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A man carries flowers from the Sandy Hook Fire Department to the Sandy Hook Elementary school sign after a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut December 15, 2012. Residents of the small Connecticut community of Newtown were reeling on Saturday from one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, as police sought answers about what drove a 20-year-old gunman to slaughter 20 children at the school. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW EDUCATION)
A man carries flowers from the Sandy Hook Fire Department to the Sandy Hook Elementary school sign after a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut December 15, 2012. Residents of the small Connecticut community of Newtown were reeling on Saturday from one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, as police sought answers about what drove a 20-year-old gunman to slaughter 20 children at the school.
I'm a Newtown resident, and like the other town folk (my neighbors and friends), I/we are still reeling from the events at the Sandy Hook school. It wil take a long time for this to really sink in and get processed. There were many heroes yesterday, including the first responders and the teachers, and I am proud of them all.

And, by the way, kudos to Brian Williams and NBC News, who accurately captured the tone, the feeling, and the ambiance of the town. That's hard to do, but they did a good job of it without being intrusive.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks for the messages of good will, thoughts and prayers from everyone. But the obvious, next question is "what can we do"? Believe it or not, there's no easy obvious answers.

That's why, to me, the idea of having a conversation about gun control makes so much sense. Discussion can often lead to enlightenment.

Let me point you to two thoughtful articles that illustrate the above points. The first, from Nate Silver, look at language and usage:

There is, of course, no way to monitor the conversations that take place in living rooms around the country. But we can measure the frequency with which phrases related to gun policy are used by the news media.

If the news coverage is any guide, there has been a change of tone in recent years in the public conversation about guns. The two-word phrase “gun control” is being used considerably less often than it was 10 or 20 years ago. But the phrase “gun rights” is being used more often. And the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is being invoked more frequently in the discussion.

That's a reason right there to enter the discussion and not cede ground.

The second, and in many ways more important, article is from the NY Times and examines the difficult conversation.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, who is the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and has worked on school violence issues, said there were steps that could be taken to try to limit school violence, like limiting entry, developing an explicit disaster plan that includes strategies to lock down schools and pursuing close ties with the local police.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “random acts of severe violence like this are not possible to entirely prevent.”

That's very true (Sandy Hook had those systems in place), but not a reason to avoid the conversation.

As a Newtown resident, I don't speak for the town.  But I'm looking for answers just like you are, and I believe discussion and conversation is an important way to find them.

Please sign the petition asking President Obama to help start a national conversation about gun control.

It's a start, and it might just do some good. It might even open the door to talk about the other topic people don't like to talk about, mental health. But let's start by making sure that gun control and gun rights are part of the national discourse.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:55 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (145+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosmic debris, JanF, blue jersey mom, Pinto Pony, willyr, DRo, Matt Z, Over the Edge, Sandy on Signal, litho, leaf63, tonyahky, hulibow, hester, arizonablue, Only Needs a Beat, hyperstation, LookingUp, MBNYC, Phil S 33, TomP, inclusiveheart, wader, eeff, SeaTurtle, nannyboz, CTLiberal, be the change you seek, pamelabrown, ranger995, Dobber, gchaucer2, Catte Nappe, newpioneer, SoCalSal, skillet, no way lack of brain, blueoasis, alpaca farmer, Lorinda Pike, maryabein, Dallasdoc, OLinda, pixxer, mamamedusa, mofembot, mconvente, Fleet, Naniboujou, fahra, jimraff, asterkitty, jadt65, Alma, FishOutofWater, swampyankee, princesspat, dotsright, middleagedhousewife, sawgrass727, emidesu, doraphasia, Remediator, lineatus, Foundmyvoice, Loudoun County Dem, Pithy Cherub, ringer, AnnetteK, SanFernandoValleyMom, Leo Flinnwood, Ageing Hippie, jamess, lulusbackintown, CroneWit, Friend of the court, amsterdam, dwayne, kishik, smokeymonkey, SottoVoce, Dem Beans, jnhobbs, politik, SpamNunn, Debby, onceasgt, All Outta Bubble Gum, shaharazade, A Siegel, NMRed, shesaid, jeannew, kleinburger, happymisanthropy, nellgwen, foresterbob, Dretutz, ratcityreprobate, barkingcat, Dave in Northridge, kerflooey, ratzo, Terri, JaxDem, Demeter Rising, artebella, The Marti, The Finite Times, Desert Rose, dotdash2u, Clytemnestra, wxorknot, Brooke In Seattle, klompendanser, belle1, koNko, myboo, albo, catly, annieli, westwoodmom04, Kaneblues, kj in missouri, Bud Fields, murrayewv, josmndsn, historys mysteries, ThompsonLazyBoy, burana, BerkshireDem, Glen The Plumber, susans, yawnimawke, seethruit, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, murphy, LinSea, Larsstephens, newinfluence, tgypsy, gloriana, remembrance, Sharon Wraight, enemy of the people

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:55:24 AM PST

  •  I hope they remember this. (50+ / 0-)
    President Obama may be able to help start a national conversation but he can't fix this problem on his own.

    Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

    by JanF on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:02:47 AM PST

  •  Signed (48+ / 0-)

    And as I wrote a moment ago to you in Georgia's post, I wish you and your community all the best. As a Tucsonan I can tell you we are still wanting to have this conversation. It really helped to gather at as many vigils as possible, to be with each other, to both grieve and talk.

    I received an email last night from the Mom of the little girl, Christina Green, who was murdered here last January and would like to share it here.

    I've heard a lot of promises from politicians since my daughter was murdered in Tucson, Arizona, including President Obama. But I am still waiting for them to act.

    And I'm not alone in my frustration. As horrible as it sounds, mass shootings have become common in our country, and 34 Americans are murdered with guns every single day. That means 48,000 people will be murdered with guns in the president's next term. Yet our broken laws remain broken, and our leaders have yet to step forward with a plan to end gun violence.

    We need to make sure today's terrible tragedy is the last of its kind. We need to make a promise to ourselves and demand action from our leaders.

    Please join me in sharing your feelings -- and your promise -- with those who have lost so much:

    Thank you for your support,

    Roxanna Green

    “Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.”  ― Naomi Klein

    by cosmic debris on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:05:28 AM PST

  •  We need to take Second Amendment absolutism (30+ / 0-)

    head on.  The NRA has willfully and ignorantly misread the Amendment, it has convinced a large proportion of the American population of their misreading, the Republican Party does their bidding, and Republican-appointed judges have reinterpreted the Amendment so the NRA-misreading has become the law of the land.

    The United States of America is objectively a less safe country due to gun violence than it was when I was a child.  The court-mandated restrictions on gun control are largely responsible for that decline in safety.

    It is time to amend the Second Amendment, so that it comes into agreement with the broad constitutional mandate to insure domestic tranquility and to promote the general welfare.  The newly amended Second Amendment needs to contain explicit language empowering the federal government to institute sensible controls on gun ownership.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:16:54 AM PST

    •  No amendment needed. One justice (26+ / 0-)

      appointed who isnt willing to do backflips to validate rightwing agendas is enough.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:25:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Second Amendment (5+ / 0-)

      That lies at the root of all the rationalizing and bullshit about gun control/ gun violence in this country. It is past time not only to "amend" the Second Amendment, but to totally scrap it! No other "civilized" country in the world guarantees its citizens that they have a constitutional "Right" to bear arms. This is no longer 1776! It just does not make any sense...unless, of course, you are the arms/weapons industry!

      Unfortunately, in this country, instead of making rational decisions about major issues like gun control, all we get to do is have a "conversation"! There is no need for a conversation. All that needs to happen is to hold our politicians' feet to the fire, and make real gun control a litmus test for votes! Until then, the NRA keeps on winning.

      •  The Second Amendment (5+ / 0-)

        needs to be readdressed by the SCOTUS.  The justices who concurred in the finding in Heller completely ignored the first phrase in the Amendment regarding regulated militias.  Each state has its own militia now; they're called National Guard.  What we need is new justices on the SCOTUS - which would be infinitely easier to arrange than a repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:11:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Never happen. Two thirds of the States would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      never do what you want done.  

      What "sensible gun controls" would you institute that would have prevented this tragedy, where a mentally ill person stole  guns (by all accounts two 9 mm pistols) from his mother, killed her with them and and then went on a rampage?

      You can't ban all guns.   We have a Second Amendment.   How do we keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill?  The only solution I see is "smart guns", which require unlocking a biometric lock before they can be used, and tougher mental health screening before you can buy a gun.  

      Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

      by SpamNunn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:50:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's Gary Wills (3+ / 0-)


      (Found this via Deadspin of all places).  The key for me is Madison's original draft:

      The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
      Notice how "bearing arms" is used in the third clause in a strictly military sense.  This sentence was, of course, deleted, and the first two reversed and unsubstantially modified, but this is as explicit as possible an understanding of what Madison understood by "bear arms."  Wills goes on to note that:

      (i) "keep and bear arms" should be understood conjunctively, as in there are not separate rights to bear arms, militarily and to "keep them," which is different from "storing them at your house, in any event;

      (ii) in a military context, "the people" is narrower than the term is used in the 4th amendment.  People who couldn't vote or own property, or were "imbeciles" or "scoundrels," or possessing of womenly attributes, wouldn't be eligible at that time to keep and bear arms, as properly understood, but could remain secure in their persons; and

      (iii) the Amendment can't reasonably be read to supersede the power of Congress to create a standing army (or "Militia") or to create an affirmative right to wage war on the U.S., a la the treason clause.

      So, what is the Amendment doing there?  Wills argues that, like the Third Amendment (and to which one might add the 9th and 10th), it was forceless language designed to co-opt the distrust of a standing army.  I think it does a bit more work than that, in that read conjunctively with the militia clause, it can say that when the Congress doesn't "call up" the militia it doesn't automatically disassemble (the better to suppress slave rebellions).  But it remains well regulated, or else Reconstruction was unconstitutional.

      Other than the fact its language is more suggestive, the Second Amendment is a historical curiosity, like the right against having troops being quartered in your homes.  (The government can achieve much the same result by taxing you and building its own barracks, though the food's not as good.)  

      Is there still a right to hunt, or in-home self defense?  Surely -- common law, tradition, the 4th and 5th amendments, and most importantly, a political check.  Though they'd probably be better off getting a junkyard dog (as noted Canadian and warmonger David Frum suggests).

      And here's the coup de grace -- even if the original understanding of the Second Amendment is right, i'm not sure it's absolute.  There's a lot of bad understanding of law that says that if something is in the Constitution it's an absolute right.  Well, the 4th amendment allows searches as long as they are reasonable.  The Equal Protection Clause says game on with respect to non-suspect classes.  The First Amendment allows a range of classifications of speech restrictions and, in some cases, limitations by types of speech.  To say it is absolute is completely circular.  Even if McDonald and Heller are right (and this doesn't even get into the issue with incorporating the 2A into state laws), they didn't even broach the issue of what happens if someone wants to take a gun outside of their house.  Those cases can be correctly decided and one can still take the position that it's up to the legislature to address the empirical question of whether guns on the aggregate, when taken into town, produce desirable ends.  Which is a complex way of saying, courts hands off.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:57:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wills wrote in 1995 (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge, The Marti, annieli, murrayewv

        so his piece should be seen as an artifact of pre-Heller and McDonald thinking about the Second Amendment.  In other words, it allows us to see just how radically SCOTUS, under NRA influence, has revised our understanding of the meaning of the Constitution.

        Any claim to "originalism" by the court's hard right-wing majority (at least so far as gun rights are concerned) is laid bare as a sick joke on the American people -- an irony to which the twenty dead children in suburban Connecticut bear silent, damning witness.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:15:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  he saw the writing on the wall (0+ / 0-)

          Clinton managed to muster up the votes for a crime bill and assault weapons ban, after Waco, so the nuts had to change the conversation.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:19:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, one of the books he reviewed there (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            was by Wayne LaPierre, so he was directly addressing the wingnut arguments that the Court eventually came to accept.

            When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

            by litho on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:22:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I note one thing that may contritute: (37+ / 0-)

    my dear friend Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is all over television, at least on MS-NBC.  Yesterday with Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, today with Chris Hayes.

    She takes a reasoned approach, and speaks with the authority of having lost her husband in the LIRR shooting, in which her son also almost died.

    She has been on this issue ever since.

    She is also a nurse, and can speak of the medical impact of guns as well.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:22:45 AM PST

  •  Something needs to get done now (26+ / 0-)

    I am in shock from this horror and it is the second mass shooting in a week.  Our legislators need to act in everyone's best interest  and stop being cowards because of the NRA.  

    I am so sorry, Greg.  My heart aches for your community.  It is unthinkable what just happened and such little children. There are no words just tears.

  •  Hi Greg, (48+ / 0-)

    I'm north of you by 40 minutes (Hartford County). Please tell me (Kosmail) if there is anything I can do for you or your town. I'm close enough to actually be there.

    I am an m.d. and do counseling, both for caregivers (esp. dementia) and grief.

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:33:17 AM PST

  •  I am so sorry (18+ / 0-)

    I can't even imagine trying to wade through the pain in Newtown. You are in a unique position - Greg, you are a powerful steady voice for your fellow townspeople and they are lucky to have you in their midst. In a house 2,500 miles away hearts my family's hearts are breaking for all of you.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:36:46 AM PST

  •  I keep hearing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, nellgwen

    the is 'Time for a conversation about gun control' thing. Personally I think that time is past. What else needs to be said?

  •  Carolyn McCarthy is on MSNBC right now (28+ / 0-)

    and just before I clicked into this diary she said that we should be calling it "Gun Safety" - not "Gun Control".  She said that we aren't trying to "control" all guns, but rather trying to make the ownership and existence of guns in our culture safer.

    While that professor is correct in saying that we can't stop all random acts of violence, I for one do not believe that we could not reduce these incidents by creating a better barrier - as it stands now, it is wide open - there are no cracks because there's effectively nothing stopping this stuff from happening.  Even if we had been able to intervene in just one of the shooters' who committed mass murders this year alone, that would have been worth it to have tried.

    I am very sorry for your community's huge and tragic losses.  It is heart breaking.  Please take care.

  •  signed (9+ / 0-)

    I'll sign any petition that will help lead this country to find a solution to our gun problem.

  •  news coverage is part of the problem. (7+ / 0-)

    Most isn't careful, as you mention Brian Williams being.  Instead, the sensationalizing empowers the problem.

    •  creates that very fear (0+ / 0-)

      that makes people think a gun is needed for self defense.  Maybe not in these cases, but the drip drip of bleeds it leads stories on local news.

      (Somehow this maxim never applies to foreign affairs coverage.)

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:58:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Signed... I'm so sad and sorry Greg. n/t (6+ / 0-)

    Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

    by nannyboz on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:48:56 AM PST

  •  At the precise time the Sandy Hook massacre (24+ / 0-)

    was unfolding, I was observing a sentencing trial for a confessed murderer.  He had killed his 6 yr  son, tried to kill his 11 yr old daughter, but she survived miraculously.  The police were at his door to take the children to their mom who had won custody in a divorce.  The man was sentenced to 99 years.
    I spoke with the prosecutors, the defense team, and the judge.  At the end of the day, the sentence was absolutely the right call, but it doesn't bring anyone back, doesn't even begin to heal the wounds.
    2 policeman at the scene retired afterwards.  The prosecutor is retiring.  
    I will sign the petition gladly.  I will take part in the conversation.
    I am sick and tired of expressing my heartfelt sympathy, which I am extending to you and your beautiful community.
    I promise to do anything I can to help when and where I can.

  •  Signing the petition. (6+ / 0-)

    Condolences to you, the families, friends neighbors, community members, and everyone with a heart and soul.  Thank you for this diary and the petition.

    Hoping for the beginning of something "reasonable" that will open the door to common sense about assault and concealed weapons.

  •  National conversation about reducing gun violence (7+ / 0-)

    Gun violence is a much more complex issue than just stop selling guns.  (Yes we need to stop selling guns)  Criminal behavior is one aspect, much more stringent gun purchasing laws will only go so far.  A much broader conversation about these kinds of acts needs to include much broader topics.

    Violence due to mental health problems needs to be part of the discussion.  We need much better mental health solutions, treatment options, and methods to keep potentially violent people from harming others.  We have reduce the spending for mental illness.  We have hampered professionals ability to identify and treat potentially violent people, and we have stigmatized mental health in such a way that people are not willing to admit, and seek treatment when they need it, and can't get it when they should.

    After the Republicans burn down the world, they will prove the Democrats did it.

    by jimraff on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:47:17 AM PST

    •  Mental health (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThompsonLazyBoy, jimraff

      What worries me is the lack of information on what pharmaceuticals are playing in these violent outbursts.

      My understanding is that we may never know what type of drugs this shooter had in his body (psychiatric drugs), since that information is not released unless given permission from the family.

      We get to know precisely what type of weapon was used, but we are in the dark about whether or not pharmaceutical drugs were involved.

      An example of this is the Columbine shootings. We only know that Eric Harris was on Luvox because his parents released that information, but Klebold's medical records are sealed. James Holmes was under psychiatric care, but we have no information whether he was being prescribed any psychiatric drugs.

      In the same way that the NRA protects their turf, I believe Big Pharma is protecting our pill-popping culture. It just seems very odd to me that someone like Lanza would go off the rails to this degree (killing kindergarteners) without  some sort of previous violent pattern.

      This is not to say that all killings or mass murders are caused by the pharmaceuticals, but I think it needs to be evaluated as much as the ease of locating firearms.

  •  Thank you! signed yesterday (12+ / 0-)

    But please in this discussion some facts

    Harvard School of Public Heath data, it's data man!
    1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide
    2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide
    3. Across states, more guns = more homicide
    4. Across states, more guns = more homicide (2)

    and you can drill down
    1-2. Adolescents carry guns for protection--against other adolescents carrying guns

    6. Selling crack is associated with carrying guns

    2. Batterers with guns are more dangerous than batterers without guns

    Happy reading

    Yesterday WashingtonPost published a VERY GOOD SUMMARY read it

    Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States
    7. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall (good)!


    9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence

    They also repeat from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center

    8. More guns tend to mean more homicide

    And the fact checking goes on, that's a good thing, it helps stop the lies

    Thanks for the invitation

  •  I'm so very sorry, Greg (7+ / 0-)

    I think we need to go beyond a discussion of guns to a larger discussion about our attitude towards violence in this society.

    Bowling for Columbine was, perhaps, Michael Moore's best work because he was honestly searching for answers, not just pushing a narrative.

    We aren't going to get at the roots of the violence by going after the tools used by violent people.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:58:02 AM PST

  •  Yes and yes and yes. /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, nellgwen
  •  Signed. It is time. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    {{{{{{{{Love and comfort to you and your community, Greg.}}}}}}}}

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:14:49 AM PST

  •  It's the NRA and Republicans (8+ / 0-)

    who romanticize guns, and that trickles down into our culture. Then they try to blame it on video games and gangs.

    America is violent and it creates killers and gun lovers. It starts at the top. The paranoid war criminal tea bagger war mongering torturing RIGHT WING does this. Our world is THEIR CREATION.

    And even now they say "arm the teachers with guns!"

    These scared pathetic freaks are a disgrace. Ignorant. Uneducated. And too powerful.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:18:09 AM PST

  •  Reality is that national action is not possible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The NRA has their hooks in both parties. Even if the POTUS wanted to do something he'd get overwhelming  push back from his own party.  A bottom up approach is better in my opinion - start at the local level in CT to ban assault weapons.  The POTUS can make sure that no more Scalia's  or Thomas' make it to the SCOTUS to overturn it.

  •  Not conversations, not petitions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:21:57 AM PST

  •  A less-nuanced statement from the normally (2+ / 0-)

    light-hearted Dependable Renegade.

  •  Extended clips, assault weapons, gunshow loophole (10+ / 0-)

    That is where we start. Addressing this would have the most immediate impact and pave the way for other discussions beyond just sensible gun laws.  About mental healthcare, community policing, and EDUCATION.

    But to get the ball rolling on any of these, we must make a concerted push on ONE of them.  Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, prohibit ammunition magazines larger than 10 rounds, and regulate ALL firearms sales.

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:25:00 AM PST

    •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

      We do need to start here.

      Why a private citizen requires the need to buy assault weapons will never make sense to me. development and changes in weaponry continue on whole the dialogue about control over these new weapons stall.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:43:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we need a whole push-back on the legal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      front, though.  

      Two prongs:

      1.)  Stop originalism.

      2.)  If you are going to practice originalism, actually be accurate w/r/t original understanding of the text (not what Scalia thinks by virtue of being old, white, rich, and crotchety - which apty describes the mindset of many of our founding fathers).

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:01:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your neighbors and friends (4+ / 0-)

    have found you to be reliable and resourceful.  It is odd that a hurricane named Sandy made your home a beacon for those enduring the loss of electricity.  Now, a town will be in mourning.  As a pediatrician, you are on the front lines and monitoring the wee ones mental health.  I also ask that you do for you what you so willingly do for others.

    I say this as a sister of a family of first responders.  The grief hits very hard after the adrenaline drains away.  Please take care of you as you are so valuable to all of us.

    Peace- It will come, but the price is so high.

    Representative Carolyn McCarthy said it best we are not talking about gun control, we need to talk about gun safety.  Do not put in the contest of rights.  Think seat belts and cigarettes.

    Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

    by Pithy Cherub on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:26:47 AM PST

  •  Wrong Discussion -- jumps to conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    This diary confuses gun control with gun violence.

    We need a discussion about gun violence.  Gun control might be a solution to gun violence.  But there may be other, more effective, solutions -- like annual psychological screenings of all teens and young men by 3rd parties, looking for suicidally depressed potential shooters.  And, of course, a program to treat these individuals.  This idea was covered by Rachel Maddow yesterday.

    Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

    by Helpless on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:26:55 AM PST

    •  there is no such thing as the wrong discussion (7+ / 0-)

      especially if it leads in the direction you suggest. Some people aren't there yet. Discussion helps them get there.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:34:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But you can't force people to undergo (0+ / 0-)

      medical evaluations. UNLESS, that is part of the process of getting a gun -- might be a good idea.

      The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

      by LiberalLady on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:02:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Act of Congress (0+ / 0-)

        Universal depression screening.  Screen every teen for suicidal depression -- a school program conducted by non teachers specially trained for the job.  Suicidal teens told they need help and referred to mental health professionals whose fees are paid for by the government.  Cost born partially by a special fee on gun sales.

        This service should allow young adults to voluntarily participate.  According to Cullen, most want help.

        Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

        by Helpless on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:38:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  99 laws in 37 states 2009-2012 (5+ / 0-)
    making guns easier to own, easier to carry in public—eight states now even allow them in bars—and harder for the government to track

    (Other highly relevant artices can be found starting here:

    the quoted MoJo article points to "NRA and its allies".  Who are these allies?  Is ALEC (or similar) writing these laws?

  •  We should examine the Australian model (7+ / 0-)

    and use it as a starting point.

    My first firearm was a single-shot .410 shotgun. I had asked for the pump action which held three shells, but my dad said, "what, do you plan on missing?". The point being, my dad correctly sussed that rapid fire is more dangerous. Therefore: Use no semi-automatic firearms as a starting point in the discussion.

    I acknowledge all of the problems, especially with the large stock of existing semi-automatic inventory in the country, but it is an extremely effective way to prevent mass murders (see: Australia) and still have the right to "keep and bear arms" (see: Australia).

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:30:43 AM PST

  •  focus (0+ / 0-)

    How about a discussion on mental illness--and the elimination of state hospital beds for those with psychological problems?  So many forced to be homeless--so much crime committed--in the name of fiscally sound budgets.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:34:02 AM PST

    •  People are talking about mental illness already (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let's keep talking about it. The sad thing is that the Virginia Tech shooter had been committed to an institution two years before he went on his rampage. How can you keep a person locked up forever? That's the tough part.

      The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

      by LiberalLady on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:03:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  state (0+ / 0-)

        If there were state institutions run humanely-- and group homes--then people with problems wouldn't be stuck in the house with their parents (embarrassing)-or homeless--and might be more optimistic.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:59:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What do other countries do? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, nellgwen, Miggles

    How do countries like Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, et al....all of whom have hunting traditions, write and administer their gun ownership laws? If anyone's seen an encapsulation of their controls, it would be helpful in seeing a way forward, perhaps.

  •  I read a couple of online newspapers daily (9+ / 0-)

    And what I've read in the comment sections over the past couple of days makes me wonder if it really is possible to have any kind of discussion at all.

    The gun supporters are out in force.  Almost none express sympathy for the victims (although surely they must feel it).  Instead, they rage against any informed discussion whatsoever.  The gun supporters, indeed, have been all over this site for the last 24 hours and while they've been far more reasonable than the incredible nonsense I've seen elsewhere they still try to give the impression that those who support sensible regulation are outnumbered. We're not.  We just need to add our voices to the mix even if we're shouted down.

    In the end, though, a discussion isn't enough.  We need action.  

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:35:17 AM PST

  •  I would like to see, beginning ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, nellgwen, artebella

    ... next week, prosecuting authorities and law enforcement come down on every gun shop and gun show in this country and begin examining their sales, registration and inventory records. If it disrupts their business for a few days, so much the better. Show to them that they will no longer scoff at the laws that are on the books that expect them to act responsibly and will be forced to recognize that the citizenry is fed up.

  •  we need to see a rise in (6+ / 0-)

    the two word phrases:

    Gun Safety.

    Gun Registrations.

    Impaired Operators

    We need to see a grass roots branding from

    Mothers against Instant Mayhem.  (MAIM)

    something like that ...

    Mothers against Automatic Weapons.

    Mothers against Killing Kids.

    something resembling the outrage.

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:39:34 AM PST

  •  Consider this. (4+ / 0-)

    Suppose instead of the shootings yesterday, something else happened.  

    The government, in a surprise vote,  made an annoucement that the sale of of all assault weapons and extended clips would be banned.

    What would the reaction from the right be?

    We all known:   The level outrage and action on their part would dwarf what is going on now.  There would  be shouting and threats.  Phones would be ringing of the hook.  They would not be asking for a conversation and we would not be expecting them to so.They would be demanding a retraction of the law and they would get it. And no one would even have been killed!  

    Let's demand a conversation and perhaps also ask ourselves:  Where along the line have we learned to doubt our own sense of outrage?  

  •  How Many (5+ / 0-)

    Of you people, while screaming Obama, Obama..............since yesterday, while sitting comfortably in front of your computers did anything to contact your national representatives directly, not just signing the now many petitions that are popping up, I mean Directly?

    How many that have on issues like this and others you care about do so on a consistent basis and not only when these horrific actions take place or the issues arise?

    In case you haven't noticed this administration had a number of extremely failed policies dumped into their laps, and those that were a part of continue Not helping to clean up their damaging messes, and since in other extremely important, domestic and international, issues have arisen that need strong attention!

    The 'Spine' to find belongs to the people and their direct representatives and is Way Too Long In Coming, in case you haven't noticed but the exec. is but one man with and administration that is rather busy these past four years and the teabags are keeping him even more so!!

    So if you got reps, and you do, it's been up to you and the rest and not just making one contact but contact over and over and over on issues important to you, and in this case, especially if NRA type shills or corporate whores!!!!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:40:24 AM PST

  •  The only logic that seems to work…. (0+ / 0-)

    In retrospect, the answer to this needless and seemingly endless gun violence in the US is actually pretty simple. When Wayne LaPierre or his family or BOTH are MURDERED in a gun-related crime, we’ll start to see some movement. And now that Mike Huckleberry over at Cluster-Fox news and all his screaming slime merchant colleagues have THEIR FAMILIES MURDERED as well, we may see some movement..


    I am in no way advocating violence in ANY FORM, but it seems that this is what it’s going to take…,

  •  Weapons of Mass Destruction!!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Way too many of these senseless acts of terror are taking place in our communities, and they are terrorist acts for that's the purpose of the shooters and in many the reason they themselves take their own lives, but this was to the extreme. Children, very young children, the most innocent among us, and we all are their teachers, shot and killed in what can only be called a killing field inside a grade school. And who are the real responsible adults, in this extremely sad case their teachers and teachers aides and administrators within, many killed also, trying to protect against the reign of terror shockingly brought within the walls of, All the first responders, law enforcement, ambulance attendants, fire, doctors, nurses and all others who give communities the service they demand but lately, in these past recent years especially, they have been in focused attacks as the communities demand excellence and immediate action by their service but refuse to pay for that demand service, especially the wealthier among us, just like they do for the veterans of our wars we send them into. Way too much needs to change in this society as it fails like the many before it!!

    Nobody seeks to strip gun owners of their guns, despite the fears laid on them by irresponsible extremist groups that go silent when the terror acts with guns occur then don't condemn these uses of guns but give excuses for why they should be allowed more of same weapons, but weapons that go beyond a need of the hunter or to protect ones self and family in the hands of the irresponsible and immature adults and especially children, and not safely contained, have no use in a civil society other then to kill and maim each other!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:41:14 AM PST

  •  Just because you have the RIGHT (3+ / 0-)

    ... to own a gun doesn't make it a good idea.  The owner of the guns in yesterday's shooting is counted amongst the dead.

    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!", but "That's funny..." (Isaac Asimov)

    by Land of Enchantment on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:41:31 AM PST

  •  Have Relatives Who Live In Sandy Hook (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, murrayewv

    The last of their kids had finished with Sandy Hook elementary only a couple of years ago.  Scrolling through Facebook yesterday out here in California gave me an idea of the problems we will face if we actually have a national debate.  First got the assurance that everyone was OK, family there overwhelmed with emotion and tales of media camping out and blocking roads. Then a father of one of mys son's friends posted how awful it was but that shouldn't let them take guns away from people with healthy minds.  The guy is artistic and gentle natured and the last person you would think would be on board with the NRA.  Seemed so out of character that I asked my son's Mom if she had seen it and if maybe there was some sarcasm that I was missing. There wasn't.  The post is sitting there with lots of likes and the "gun's dont kill people, people kill..." bullshit comments in response. I have avoided political battles on Facebook but I was tempted to take it apart. Thank god alcohol trade groups are not trying to convince people that drunk driving laws will lead to prohibition. Was going to go with that and let the battle begin.  Still thinking about it.

  •  This is a calm and well reasoned start to a good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onceasgt, The Marti

    conversation, balancing the issues that need to be addressed and including mental health in the discussion.   Thank you for starting a good discussion.   It would be a shame if it degenerated in the comments.  

    I don't know how we keep dangerous instrumentalities out of the hands of sick people.  They always seem to find a way.  

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:43:54 AM PST

    •  RKBAers should link long and hard (0+ / 0-)

      about the wisdom of advocating a mental health state. The people running it would be the same ones who add dozens of new "disorders" to every every edition of the DSM: there would be nothing to stop them from creating e.g. "Firearms Fetishistic Disorders" or "Firearms Hoarding Disorders". You could be trading one form of social regulation of gun owners --  through law -- for another form -- through "medicine" -- that is much more insidious and far less accountable.


  •  Signed. Now is the time. (4+ / 0-)

    I hope with all my heart that this is the moment the page turns in this country.  I hope this is the moment we stop allowing the gun lobby to savage the right to safer and saner communities.  

    Testimony to how insane things have become is those gun nuts who are now saying the answer is to arm teachers. Do they not hear how crazy that sounds? Do they not hear that they are promoting a culture where it is necessary for the teachers of our children to pack heat to keep our schools safe?!?!?!?!?!  

    These people must be drowned out by the voices of sanity.  NOW.

    My deepest condolences to you and your community, Greg.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:47:53 AM PST

  •  Technology? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, murrayewv

    Do you think that there might be a way to permanently affix any kind of a signaling device to a gun?  For tracking purposes?  If so, make it law to have one on each gun produced.   What to do with the ones that have been produced though.

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:47:54 AM PST

  •  Questions: why does a suburban mom need 3 guns (5+ / 0-)

    in her home?  2 semi-automatic pistols and a rifle.

    Does anyone think that a parent can keep anything hidden from their children in their homes?  

    Consider the above, then compound it with the  (according to news reports) possibility that Adam Lanza suffered from a personality disorder.

    How hard is it to pretend this is not a recipe for disaster?

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:49:14 AM PST

  •  just think that (0+ / 0-)

    if all these mass murders were committed by black or minority citizens rather than white men and boys would the problem have been addressed more than it has been up to now, i think so, we are a racist society and this is just more proof of that fact.

  •  A larger problem in this (0+ / 0-)
    steps that could be taken to try to limit school violence, like limiting entry, developing an explicit disaster plan that includes strategies to lock down schools and pursuing close ties with the local police.
    While we seemingly have no choice but to keep extending the security reach into our lives (inspections at airports, metal detectors at government buildings, camera controlled entry at schools, surveillance cameras in malls (both shopping and town ...), ...), this is a form of admitting defeat and putting (significant) resources (cash, friction in people's lives, etc) into addressing symptoms rather than solutions.

    We see this in crime: harsher judicial system to send people to private prison systems.

    We see this in health care: significant resources on treating diseases w/out the public policy to reduce onset (want to talk seriously about corn syrup's contribution to diabetes? how about coal plants and asthma?).

    We see this in ... energy (climate disruption costs), land-use (Federal flood insurance for beach properties), financial (bailout banks rather than regulate effectively), and so many other arenas -- including gun control policy.

    As a society, we are increasingly unwilling to address causes even as we see increasing bills in dealing with symptoms.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:52:13 AM PST

  •  The teachers didn't need guns for heroism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, The Marti, doraphasia, murrayewv

    Mike Flannigan's brilliant article today on the Newtown shooting asks a chilling question no one else on either side of the gun control debate seems to be asking.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:54:30 AM PST

  •   The Mayors of America (3+ / 0-)

    have already started this National Discussion.

    They have to deal with its local fallout everyday.

    Coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
    by jamess -- Dec 14, 2012

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:58:13 AM PST

    •  they insist that ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, Glen The Plumber

      Gun Laws must be enforceable, in order to prevent those with mental issues, from acquiring illegal guns. That they might misuse.

      Unenforceable laws, lead to too many "fatal gaps" ...

      Coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

      Fatal Gaps:

      [ Interactive Map -- from "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" ]

      larger image

      Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns. That's 48,000 Americans during the next presidential term.

      Too often, the people pulling the trigger are able to buy guns because of gaps in our broken background check system. The shooter at Virginia Tech was a prohibited purchaser under the law, but he was able to buy the guns he used to kill 32 people because his mental health record was never submitted to the national database.

      Five years after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, new FBI data show that millions of records are still missing from the database. Every missing record is another tragedy waiting to happen.

      Coalition Members

      Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a group of over 725 mayors from big cities and small towns from across the country.

      Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
      -- Here's how.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:04:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need action (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is through action that we have a national conversation.  I think that someone in the senate should bring an assault weapon ban bill to the floor.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:59:01 AM PST

  •  SANE GUN LAWS is the phrase I have found to be (4+ / 0-)

    a good way to start a serious conversation on this subject

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:03:54 AM PST

  •  A Modest Proposal: Single-shot, single-use (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    firearms for home & personal defense. If the weapon is discharged, you must return the "empty" to a gun shop and file a report in order to purchase a replacement. Your right to keep and bear this type of arm, concealed or otherwise, shall not be infringed.

    Sportsmen, security guards and others who wish to keep re-loadable firearms must obtain membership in a state-licensed club with no less than ten members, and attend no less than ten meetings per year (other rules regarding admission, meeting quorum and maximum size of club to be determined).

    If any member of the club commits a crime using a firearm, the club's license shall be revoked, and all members lose their right to keep re-loadable arms for a minimum of one year, and a maximum determined by the severity of the crime.

    Any member deemed unfit to handle firearms may be expelled by majority vote of the club, which shall report this action to local law enforcement.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:06:22 AM PST

  •  Military Grade Weaponry (5+ / 0-)

    Citizens should not be allowed to own any military grade weaponry.  No exceptions.

  •  George I'm sorry for you and Newtown. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm just up I-84 in Danbury.  The victims of this carnage all came to the hospital here which I can see from my window.  This is too close to home.  My kid was in school and I got a message from the superintendent about the school being locked down because of the shooting.  NOT a call a parent wants to get.

    I'm really getting sick of pro gun people today.  No patience for them.  Yeah the guns were purchased legally but they were obtained by her son illegally.  He didn't have a permit.  

    I have yet to hear a credible excuse for why a kindergarten school teacher in NEWTOWN had several semi automatic guns in her house to begin with.  What practical purpose did she have for them?  Opening cans?  Shooting wild turkeys invading her property?  While she certainly had a right, she obviously wasn't responsible with them and unfortunately it cost her and several other innocent people their lives.  Including children.  20 of them.  One could have been my friend's son but fortunately he's safely at home in the arms of his dad and mom, both wonderful people (even though I disagree with them politically on almost everything).  

    This whole thing sickens me.  Why did a 27 year old teacher from Stratford have to die.  She gave up her life to save the children she hid in a closet.  What the fuck was the purpose of that.  Heroic people like that should be elevated to the highest stratus of our society, not fucking gunned down in an elementary school.  

    I don't give a rats ass about the 2nd amendment.  Fuck guns 'right' advocates.  Enough is enough.  Along with those rights come deadly serious responsibilities and just because one gun owner is responsible it doesn't mean ALL are.  Guns should NOT be readily available.  Especially guns used for war.  No practical purpose for them in a fucking civilized society.  You want a fucking gun, prove you're worthy, capable and responsible enough to fucking own one.  Let's stop mass producing them and stop selling them in fucking Walmart.  Why is it that some of the the same motherfuckers who don't want a national registry for gun owners want to fucking tag every brown skinned person that comes into our country with a bar code?  Here's an idea, GO FUCK YOURSELF.  Only way to prevent some wacko from NJ from going to Arizona, buying a huge cache 'legally' and using them in CT is by having strict national laws and a national registry.  It's high time we got serious and educated about the issue and tell the NRA to go to hell.

    BTW sorry about the rant but this was TOO close to home.  Even closer for you.  If you need anything let me know.  Only 15 minutes up the road.    

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:09:35 AM PST

  •  Very sorry for your loss, Greg (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    And I mean your entire town.  I cannot imagine how devastating it must be to your community.

    Yes, it is time for a conversation.  But no one seems willing to do so.  I pushed in a few diaries yesterday for people to list specifics on what type of laws or gun control could have prevented yesterday's tragedy.  You would have thought I was cheering on the killer from the responses I got!

    I abhor guns.. never owned one.. probably never will.

    People are just not willing to have a sensible discussion  They want to "demand" a solution from Congress.  Period.

    The problem, as you stated, is not that easy.

    The only real solution is to have no hand guns.  For all the talk of assault rifles, they are used in an infinitesimally small number of shootings.  Semi-auto handguns are the problem.

    But the horse is already out of the barn..  Pandora's box has long been opened and you cannot put back the evils.

    A complete ban on ownership of handguns is impossible, IMHO.  It would never pass a Constitutional test in the Supreme Court.  The Supremes have already voted against such bans in DC and here in Illinois/Chicago.

    Let's have that discussion.  But it will have to be a real in-depth look at the problem and at the solutions available to us Constitutionally.  So far, all I hear is demands for Congress and President Obama to simply fix the problem (magically, I guess).

    •  Yeah I got few response like that from my posts (0+ / 0-)

      from my post.  However, I believe a big part of the problem is that the gun lobby has confused so many people on this issue.  My opinion is, this is an American problem so pick any other democratic developed country they've solved.  It doesn't require a lot of thought.  All you have to do is incorporating existing ideas that work.  However, in this country everything argues like they need to reinvent the wheel.

  •  This is the price of having unfettered access (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, The Marti

    to guns as advocated by the NRA. I think they are politically responsible for those deaths as they have been unwilling to engage in a conversation leading to a meaningful reform. Part of NRA's success is to consolidate the various gun interests and get them to act as a block, and therefore I think every NRA supporter has blood on their hands because of this.

    Their answer to the problem is that more people should own guns. My answer is that if people have the freedom to own guns, people should also have the freedom not to own guns and still has a high level of personal safety. If people want to own guns because they want to attack the innocent, they do not have a right to own it. But somehow the potential gun owners have more rights than the non-gun owners. Our non-gun owning 2nd amendment rights are being ignored.

    I not advocating any sort of widespread gun ban because I don't think it would be effective, but there needs to be some meaningful fix here.

  •  I wrote the White House and my neighboring (4+ / 0-)

    congressman, since Todd Akin is presently my rep, and he's useless.  I begged for action on gun control, including background checks for guns bought at gun shows, mental health background checks, etc.  If it costs more for the background checks, it would be well worth it.  Owning a gun is for responsible citizens, who should be more than happy to pay for such checks.  

    And no one,no one, no one, needs an automatic, or semi-automatic assault rifle unless engaged in war or law enforcement.

  •  Headline - Dozens Plead For Action On Gun Control (0+ / 0-)

    On Huffington : Dozens Plead For Action On Gun Control at White House Vigil

    When that reads "Hundreds of Thousand Plead For Action on National Mall" then maybe.  Right now a politician puts his/her political career at risk for just saying that assault weapons should be thought about.  That has to change before there is any hope of getting control of this problem.   Pro-gun control has never created many single issue voters.  Anti-gun control does.  Just a fact and one that explains why we have 300,000,000 guns in this country.  

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:40:56 AM PST

  •  Is Flash Popup a permanent resident 24/7/365? (0+ / 0-)

    Admittedly barely on topic here, but is the banking, banking, and now gun control unwelcome flash popup window a permanent resident here at DailyKos?  

    i.e. We -- DailyKos -- are going to annoy you -- the members -- every single time you visit us.

    Just curious.  Sorry to gripe, but I don't care for irritating online tactics aimed at members or patrons by site administrators who apparently don't give a darn when it comes to being annoying.

  •  Firearms deaths are preventable (0+ / 0-)

    through strict regulations. I think the conversation is over and there should be action, like strong regulations.

    This was not just another "random act of severe violence," it was a calculated use of a semi-automatic gun to kill mostly children, as many as possible before being stopped.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:46:04 AM PST

  •  Thanks for posting at a time like this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    You have the moral high ground, so keep talking and writing far and wide. Maybe instead of either "gun control" or "gun rights" we can talk about gun safety. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but it's start. We should all have a lot invested in keeping the nation's kindergarteners safe. I have to wonder if the suspect's mother had been told that someday her own guns would be turned against herself and innocent children, how she would have reacted.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:48:17 AM PST

  •  productive national discussions are impossible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri, murrayewv

    there is a well oiled PR machine working in the RW think tanks that anticipates those discussions and can distort, divert, and distract us from getting anywhere with them.

    its primary tool is the radio, and we have no organized challenge to it except the flush rush/stop rush boycott activity.

    just like the aurora massacre, the talk radio stations and their national and local talkers will spend the next few weeks blasting to 50 mil a week, making sure the NRA sponsored GOP politicians and their allies in media will have plenty of pro NRA and gun industry PR ammo. there will be little chance of getting republican politicians to do the right thing.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:48:26 AM PST

  •  Dear Greg and the community of Newtown, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Greg Dworkin, kj in missouri

    I feel absolutely horrible for your community,  and I understand better than most as the Tucson shootings happened at my supermarket, near my home.
    You and your community have my family's deepest condolences. I am an elementary school administrator, and I can't imagine this happening to my students and their families.
    My family wishes you all peace, healing, and love.

    Desert Rose

    Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

    by Desert Rose on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:48:46 AM PST

  •  two things (0+ / 0-)

    As I see it, there are two things that we really need to tackle following this disaster. First, mental health. I know that we have not gotten a full description of the shooter. We have no idea if he had mental health problems or not but we have more than ample evidence that we have a mental health problem in the United States. It is a crisis. There is no free market solution. We need to come up with an answer that includes increasing the number of mental health professionals as well as increasing access for patients. (Psst, there is no free market solution to this problem. If there was a free market solution, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan would have already been all over this.)

    Finally, we need to attack gun violence in the US. There were over 31,000 firearm deaths in the US in 2009. We need to figure this out. Simply saying that everyone shouldn't have guns isn't the answer. Saying that "guns don't kill people, people do" ain't the answer either. Let's pull our heads out of the sand and find a solution.  

    Be involved!

    by ecthompson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:50:22 AM PST

  •  Lose Control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    Because words matter, perhaps those of us who seek responsible gun laws need to reframe the discussion.  The word "control" has negative connotations, and it allows for the N.R.A. and others to misrepresent what many Americans desire; which is for government to protect the rights of private citizens while providing common sense laws to preserve the public good.  

    When automakers and toy manufacturers are regulated by specific standards for the products they produce, we don't call it auto control and toy control.  When the FDA sets and enforces standards, nobody accuses them of food control or medicine control.  When our water and air quality is regulated, we don't claim that it's water control and air control.  And when the FCC regulates interstate and international communications, it's not referred to as speech control or media control.  

    The only issue that I can think of where government regulation is described as control is the issue of regulating firearms.  And I'm sure that the N.R.A. likes it that way.  I don't know when the word control was first inserted into the discussion of gun regulation, but by using the word it allows for the false and negative portrayal of advocates who simply desire common sense gun laws as seeking to control guns and to abolish the Second Amendment, which then allows for the inaccurate portrayal of the N.R.A as defenders of Second Amendment rights.  

    It's time to change the debate by losing control and calling for common sense gun laws.

    •  that's why "gun safety" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      comes close.   there is already an association with the word (the "safety" on guns) and safety also associates the idea of protection and that idea can resonate.

      "common sense" is also good.  out here in the hinterlands people still say, "that's just good common sense!"

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:47:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Condolences (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    Please accept my sincere condolences, Greg.

  •  My prayers for you, Greg, and your town. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    My heart aches for all of you.  All I can do, now, is sign the petition and get the work started to change the way we do things.  Gun control and the revision of the way we treat mental health issues in this country are the best ways to start.  But they are only the start.

    I no longer remember where I read it, but the idea has stuck with me:
    The Constitution give us all the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pusuit of Happiness.  The Second Amendment does NOT supersede that.

    My sig line says it for me.


    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:54:34 AM PST

  •  I code medical records for an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri, murrayewv

    Emergency room in a rural area of New York State.

    A year or so ago, some fella came in with a gun shot wound to his leg or foot. Can't remember exactly.

    He had repeatedly asked a buddy of his to shoot him with a gun, to see what it felt like.

    The buddy finally capitulated.


    Gun Control: If not now, then when????

    by karma13612 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:13:08 AM PST

  •  Enuf talkin' - Time for doin' (0+ / 0-)

    What is the Bill Number we should be telling our members of Congress to support and pass?...


    Don't have one??...

    Can't talk about a bill until it gets proposed !!!

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:40:56 AM PST

  •  A question... (0+ / 0-)

    Why are guns not allowed in airports and airplanes? Can't gun violence be deemed " a national security threat"? and handed over to Homeland Security  for standardization of laws? Obviously terrorists have easy access to guns... who needs a bomb when you can buy guns? Play the terrorist can't bring a gun on a plane for that very reason.. but you can bring one into a school.....Maybe the powers in the Patriot Act and Homeland Security's jurisdiction are the answers to restriciting guns....The NRA couldn't stop guns from being banned from airports....let the pro gun lobby take on the Patriot Act and HOmeland Security ( which they totally supported)

  •  This is what I would propose as federal law: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    This model law preserves all the legitimate gun rights that do not pose a threat to public safety. I believe it protects such gun ownership and use as the founding fathers might have intended.


    Policemen: Law enforcement professionals on active duty who are employed by any governmental authority.

    Soldiers: Members of the armed forces who are on active duty.

    Public place: Any location other than their own home where ordinary citizens might reasonably be expected to congregate. Suitably regulated facilities that are designated for firearm target practice are exceptions.

    RFID device: An electronic device that answers any properly coded electronic inquiry.

    Gun: Any pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is capable of firing no more than six rounds without reloading. Any gun that can be reloaded by attaching an external device such as a magazine or clip, is a non-conforming weapon.

    Non-conforming weapon: Any gun that can fire 7 rounds or more without reloading, or that fires a projectile that contains any substance, such as an explosive or a poison, designed to inflict further damage after reaching the target. Also, any gun lacking an RFID device.

    1 - No person, except for policemen and soldiers, may carry a loaded gun in a public place.  

    2 - All guns available to ordinary citizens or to policemen must be equipped with an RFID device that can respond to any electronic inquiry within 50 feet (15.24 meters). [Note: this might have to be modified if it's not technically possible.] When queried, the RFID device must identify the type of gun, and its rightful owner.

    3 - All citizens have the right to keep a loaded gun in their home, and to carry a loaded gun in a bona fide hunting environment. Local authorities may further regulate and define the term "hunting environment".

    4 - No citizen may own, carry, or use a non-conforming weapon.

    5 - Any citizen convicted of violating this statute is permanently disqualified from carrying or owning a gun.

    Note that the definition of "gun", while not technically accurate, conforms to popular usage.

    What do you think? Too strict? Too lenient? Obviously, the RFID requirement would have a phase-in period.

    Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:50:45 AM PST

  •  Who'da thought? (0+ / 0-)

    [-8.50,-8.31] Look out honey, 'cause i'm using technology. Ain't got time to make no apology.

    by patop on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:03:12 PM PST

  •  Talking about mental illness (0+ / 0-)

    Some interesting observations from the National Institute of Mental Health after Tucson: "... mental illness contributes very little to the overall rate of violence ..."

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:03:52 PM PST

  •  Notice that Congress (0+ / 0-)

    --although the GOP members and many conservaDems crow about how wonderful and necessary guns are--does not allow guns on the premises in the Capitol building.

  •  Greg, please accept my sincere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, Faito

    condolences and pass them along to the people of Newtown. My father, who is in his 70's asked me today why someone would do this, especially to little children. We are in a mid-sized town in Illinois, quite a bit larger than your little corner of the world but I want you to know that two people cried in her father's den today for your town. And we are both sorry that we have not lifted our voices higher after other tragedies before this one. We could have and we should have done better for your town. For that, I am deeply, deeply sorry to have failed you and yours.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:36:15 PM PST

  •  change the conversation (0+ / 0-)

    it's hard not to say gun control.  but don't do it.  it's actually confusing and meaningless.  and the black helicopter people really think it means something it is not.

    say gun regulation.  because that is what is needed.  comprehensive regulation of the products that are guns.  and the people who use those products.  

    a decision to not allow guns to be sold unless they have been approved individually by model by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.  and a decision to allow buyers to buy a gun only if they have passed a background check and a safety course.   all purchases of guns must be covered by this sales process, from stores and from individuals.

    and, no, this does not mean that no guns will be sold in the U.S.A.  there is, after all, a second amendment right to own guns.  also,  there are those of you out there who think that by definition a gun cannot be safe and therefore none would  pass at the CPSC.  that view is not helpful for the solution to the problem.

    and for you NRA, stop fooling the public that you care about background checks and regulations.  start allowing the ATF to do the job it must and get adequate funding and regulations to help them prosecute the bad guys that you claim must be prosecuted.  the job of law enforcement can only be done if you fund and empower.  anything less is a sham claim to enforce laws.

    one last thing, most of the deaths from intentional acts of violence in this country which involve guns do not involve those who have some kind of mental illness.  they are mostly not deaths from mass incidents.  those are certainly sad and problematic deaths and involve all sorts of health care and social issues.  most gun deaths that are violent and intentional are rage involved. often gang involved.  these acts are committed by criminals.  poverty is not an excuse for rage. a driving incident is not an excuse for rage. criminals must be prosecuted and put in prison.  away from all of us.

    change the conversation.

  •  take action (0+ / 0-)

    Most of us presently are experiencing some form of disbelief and mourning over the events in Newtown. Sympathy and prayers are wanted, needed, helpful, necessary; but, for me, also insufficient. Our levels of violence and ability to cause mass death have gone on long enough. The death of 20 children must serve as a wake-up call or
     we have no moral fiber as a society. The levels of gun death in ou
    r country dwarf those in other similar societies. The difference between “us and them” is, at least partially, reasonable gun laws. The phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a poor defense by those who would tolerate this madness in order to insure easy access to weapons. People do kill people, but guns make killing infinitely easier and more efficient. One could extend the argument to “shoulder mounted guided missiles don’t kill people, people kill people.” The ability to mass murder decreases exponentially with the implementation of reasonable limitations on weaponry, firepower and access. As an avid hunter and owner of multiple guns, I offer the following as starting points toward reasonable weapons laws.
     First and perhaps foremost, limit clip size. If a gun can fire no more than a few rounds before having to be reloaded, the hindrance to mass murder by rapid fire is obvious. As a hunter, I have never needed more than three rounds in any situation. I would think something similar would be the case for those advocating self-defense using guns. If you haven’t hit what you are shooting at in a few rounds, perhaps marksmanship classes would be more useful than further access to quick firing large clips. Large clips have no function other than the ability to kill multiple people quickly. Is it not insane to allow such in a complex and diverse culture with severe violence issues?
     Second, close the "gun-show no background check loophole." It is presently possible in the US for anyone, including someone on the terrorist watch list, to buy weapons legally because private sales at gun shows are unregulated. No reasonable society would allow this.
     Third, an extension of #2, require mandatory background checks and waiting periods for all gun sales. Do not allow gun ownership by anyone with a history of violence or psychotic mental illness.
     Fourth, license all gun owners. Why should I have to pass a test to have a license to drive a car but not to use an item that is potentially much more deadly than a car?
     I’m sure there are many more reasonable ideas out there that could help limit our culture’s easy ability to perpetuate mass killings. These are the first that come to my mind as one who owns and uses guns, wishes them to remain legal, but is fed up with the deaths of innocents and the unchallenged rhetoric of the NRA and others that helps to perpetuate the madness of the unacceptable level of American gun violence. To my fellow gun owners, if your first reaction to these killings was fear for your gun rights, please spend some time reflecting on your priorities. The killing of innocents must stop.

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