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A very heart-felt and personal thank you from this Newtown resident. We are moving beyond the "all Newtown, all the time" phase of news reporting, but there is still a great deal of work to be done, both at home and throughout the country.

NY Times editorial:

Bit by bit, it began to seem possible, at long last, that lawmakers who say they do not want guns to wind up in the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and others who cannot be trusted with them will do the one thing that would be most effective at achieving that goal, and the one thing the gun lobby does not want: requiring background checks for all gun sales.
A bit of history from Adam Winkler:
When Congress was considering the first significant federal gun law of the 20th century—the National Firearms Act of 1934, which imposed a steep tax and registration requirements on “gangster guns” like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns—the NRA endorsed the law. Karl Frederick and the NRA did not blindly support gun control; indeed, they successfully pushed to have similar prohibitive taxes on handguns stripped from the final bill, arguing that people needed such weapons to protect their homes. Yet the organization stood firmly behind what Frederick called “reasonable, sensible, and fair legislation.”

One thing conspicuously missing from Frederick’s comments about gun control was the Second Amendment. When asked during his testimony on the National Firearms Act whether the proposed law violated “any constitutional provision,” he responded, “I have not given it any study from that point of view.” In other words, the president of the NRA hadn’t even considered whether the most far-reaching federal gun-control legislation in history conflicted with the Second Amendment. Preserving the ability of law-abiding people to have guns, Frederick would write elsewhere, “lies in an enlightened public sentiment and in intelligent legislative action. It is not to be found in the Constitution.”

Guardian editorial:
While its influence on Capitol Hill is considerable, the National Rifle Association may not be the political force it was in 1994
NY Post editorial:
Has technology rendered the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution obsolete?

That is, has the application of modern military design to civilian firearms produced a class of weapons too dangerous to be in general circulation?

We say: Yes.

Denver Post editorial:
Editorial: Gun rights and gun control aren't necessarily exclusive

While Coloradans continue to support the Second Amendment, that doesn't mean certain curbs on weapons aren't a good idea.

Chicago Sun-Times editorial:
Last weekend, members of a Downstate pro-gun group made that point pretty well when they drove up to Chicago and turned in about 60 rusted-out and broken guns in exchange for $6,200 in gift cards. This was their supposedly amusing way of ridiculing a gun trade-in program run by the Chicago Police to get dangerous firearms off the city’s streets.

The group, Guns Save Life, based in Champaign County, said they’d use the gift cards to buy ammunition and firearms for a youth program that teaches gun safety and marksmanship.

Clever, huh?

While in town, though, we have to wonder if the pro-gun group happened to read about Heaven, the 7-year-old girl who was killed last Wednesday by goofs with guns who shot into a crowd outside her mother’s house. And we have to wonder if they happened to catch the news about the eight other people killed over the weekend, including a 3-year-old boy, and the 17 who were wounded — all shot by people with guns.

LA Times editorial:
Let gun lovers lead the charge on gun control
USA Today editorial:
Australia has much in common with the United States. It was initially settled by teeming masses — in its case, largely convicts — fleeing England. Its identity was forged in the populating of its vast, empty spaces. And today it retains a considerable frontier mentality, and a considerable amount of ranching and hunting.

But the similarities end when it comes to guns. While gun ownership has been a part of Australians' way of life, they have a much more utilitarian view of their purpose

.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:31 AM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  funerals this week, too many (25+ / 0-)

    And then there's the guy from CA that bought coffee for everyone in town.

    You know what? people are wonderful.

    "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:32:49 AM PST

  •  assault weapons ban (6+ / 0-)

    Speaking of Denver Post, and Colorado, here is my Congressman, Ed Perlmutter, CO-7:

    Washington, DC -- Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) announced plans to introduce the a new, improved Assault Weapons Ban with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) when Congress returns in January.

    Perlmutter has been supportive of reinstating the AWB since he was a state senator in Colorado.  Following the tragic shootings at Columbine and the movie theater in Aurora, CO and most recently at the elementary school in Connecticut, he has been coordinating closely with members of the House and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to prepare a responsible bill to enact an assault weapons ban which will outlaw the future sale of assault weapons while respecting the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible gun owners by exempting many firearms used for sport, hunting and personal defense.

    "It's time to do more.  It is Congress' responsibility to lead, and it's time for me to take action. This is about crime control and doing what we can to deter and prevent the kinds of tragedies we've experienced all too often in the last few years.

    I've heard from so many law enforcement officers, people in my district and across Colorado and the country who want us to move forward in a responsible way limiting access to weapons belong on battlefields. Our plan to renew the assault weapons ban takes these dangerous 'weapons of war' off the streets while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners and keeping our citizens safe."

    Perlmutter's bill will be the companion measure to the bill being introduced in the Senate by Sen. Diane Feinstein (CA).

     

    I moved to a new city last summer, and was glad to see I was still in Perlmutter's district. It is a big district.
    •  it will be interesting to see his definition (0+ / 0-)

      of assault weapon; when they were first conceived in WWI where German Storm troopers (which also had a different definition than it did in later days) were armed with submachine guns to act as shock troops in attacking fortified or entrenched positions.
      They came into full fruition with WWII, with the average grunt being able to choose between full auto and semi auto depending on his situation.

      Since then this has been the struggle as some features are certainly unique to combat rifles or assault rifles but other features are universal to many different types of firearms (the pistol grip for long guns comes to mind immediately or the removable clip)  

  •  Slaughter of the Innocents 2012 (6+ / 0-)

    I hope this doesn't fade away. "You're using this tragedy for political purposes!" Fuckin'a dude.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:43:57 AM PST

  •  I espcially liked what you said on DK radio (5+ / 0-)

    That you and the rest of Newtown still retain the right to say "good morning" and "Merry Christmas".  You said that Adam Lanza would not rob you of that right.

    Keeping you and the rest of the community in my thoughts and prayers.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:49:11 AM PST

  •  Maddow described the 3 stages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Laconic Lib

    1) First there is the Movement
    2) Then the Movement becomes a  Business
    3) Then The Business becomes a Racket

    At $1MM per year the guy who runs the NRA is supposed to be pulling down annually to spew is paranoid rhetoric at CPAC I'd say the NRA is a racket at this point......

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:03:46 AM PST

  •  Background checks not enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    They won't work unless there's a licensing and control component that devolves upon the purchasers/owners of the weapons. The argument is simple: you're required to get a state license to drive a vehicle, you should be required to get one with similar education and testing requirements to own a gun. Part of those requirements should be a "road test" in which the safe stowing and storage under lock and key of a firearm is demonstrated. Owners should have to carry insurance -- just like with cars. And owners should be liable for their misuse -- like like with cars.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:03:54 AM PST

    •  What disqualifies a purchaser on a background? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694

      That has to change, too. Passing a psych test, maybe, just like an eye exam for a driver's license.

      The perp in the case of Newtown wouldnt've been disqualified without a major mental illness or criminal conviction on his record. The competency requirements under a "clean" background check are absurdly low.

      Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

      by TheCrank on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:06:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He stole the guns, they weren't legally his. (0+ / 0-)
      •  here is an example of an FOID and how it works (0+ / 0-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        but i don't see how it would disqualify Lanza from owning a gun.
        BTW what do you mean by passing a psych test?  You are aware that many serial killers passed such tests with ease as well as passing lie detector tests?  Exactly what would be scored and what would disqualify a person from owning a gun?

      •  Except he was (3+ / 0-)

        If the reporting I've seen was correct, he tried to buy a gun but was turned down.

        I think we need a broad social discussion on whether buying more guns makes you safer.  A lot of people think so, and that kind of thinking needs to be challenged.  It didn't work out very well for Nancy Lanza.  Obviously.  She is not the only one who had their guns used against them.

        While this incident got the whole world's attention, we lose many more to domestic violence incidents where 1 or 2 or 3 at a time are killed, including many, many children.  4 in Colorado yesterday, the football player only a week earlier.  Some serious muscle into keeping guns away from those with a proclivity to domestic abuse matters a lot.  We need more teeth in that aspect of things.

        What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and craven, feckless politicians who won’t stand up to the N.R.A.? -- Nicholas Kristof, NYT --

        by Land of Enchantment on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:14:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  problem is that reports are that Lanza was very (0+ / 0-)

      familiar with the weapons involved and visited several shooting ranges over the years.  I am not sure how such a system would have removed the guns from his hands.

      •  almost impossible to prevent (0+ / 0-)

        concentrate on the ammo, and the weapons available to anyone.

        "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:04:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This argues for strict liability (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib

        It needs to be simply illegal to possess weapons or ammunition beyond a certain de minimus firepower.  The downside from an inability to enforce gun safety is far greater than the marginal utility of the gun.    

  •  Bad news for Scott here in FL (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Greg Dworkin, DRo, skohayes, skillet

    Florida Poll Says Scott's Re-Election in Jeopardy

    Scott, who narrowly beat Democrat Alex Sink in 2010, has been battling low approval ratings since he took office.

    But a poll of registered voters in Florida released Wednesday found that 52 percent say he does not deserve a second term. Scott has already said he plans to run in 2014.

    "Gov. Rick Scott's ratings with voters are just awful," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The numbers cannot be sugar coated. When voters in a politician's own party want him to be challenged in a primary by another candidate, it's difficult to see it as anything but outright rejection."
    But that doesn't seem to be slowing down any fund raising: Gambling Group Raises the Stakes for Rick Scott's re-election
    Now the group that is building up his campaign finances for his 2014 re-election effort have picked up a $100,000 donation from the business behind last session’s drive to allow casino gambling to proliferate in the Sunshine State.

    The Genting Group-related firm Bayfront 2011 Development LLC dropped the donation Dec. 17 into the coffers of the Let’s Get to Work electioneering organization.

    Oh, please let's not bet on his winning again!

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:07:05 AM PST

    •  Genting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, skohayes

      That group wants to turn the Miami Herald building into a mega casino and hotel. I love gambling, but I won't be visiting that one IF it gets built. Time to write them a note.

    •  I heard that Crist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem

      out polls Alex Sink (is she thinking of running again?) in a head to head.
      Would Crist run again for governor?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:19:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Crist would run again. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        That has been the top buzz since he switched parties.

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:34:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know my parents would vote (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem

          for him. Staunch Republicans both, neither voted for Rick Scott last time.
          Crist could make some real headway for Democrats in Florida- how bad is the legislature, Republican-wise?
          (oh, and good morning JD!)

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:38:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good Morning, sko (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            One Opinion

            Funny you should ask about the legislature as I was just reading this report this morning:

            Ron Paul Supporters Fail by Just Two Votes to Take Control of Miami-Dade County GOP

            Nelson Diaz, an attorney and lobbyist who has been heavily involved with the campaigns of several Republican heavyweights since the 1990s (including now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio), beat out longtime grassroots activist and political consultant Emiliano Antunez for the position of county party chairman.

            Diaz was reportedly the favored candidate of party leadership; Antunez supported Paul’s candidacy in 2008 and 2012, and was the favorite of the Paul supporters.

            Antunez reportedly lost by only two votes.

            This next quote pretty much sums things up for the state:
            County REC elections are a mystery to most voters, perhaps even most registered Republicans. But they are important for the impact they have on setting the future agenda of the party at the county and state levels.

            As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

            by JaxDem on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:08:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Spent the early morning (3+ / 0-)

    on a TV station's Facebook page making the point that no one needs an assault weapon for hunting.

    The overwhelming number of people commenting are angry that the government is taking away their rights and they won't be able to protect themselves from the criminals. They don't feel safe without their guns.

    Uh, okay, but why does any ordinary citizen need assault weapons and high-capacity magazines? The NRA and wing-nut media and websites have eaten their brain cells. My reasoned idea (at least in my mind) went over like lead.

    Course, this TV station is in Mississippi, the state where I grew up. They're blaming President Obama for the groundswell of calls for gun control, and aren't thinking about the children and adults from Newtown who were mowed down by bullets! WTF??

    There's a reason I'm from that place. Ugh!

    Sigh.

  •  Morning, Greg. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, Greg Dworkin, fahra, DRo, skohayes

    Grief and shock up here in Maine, too.  It's all anyone's thinking about or talking about.  We feel awful for the families and the community of Newtown.

    Your segments on DKos Radio have been enlightening and informative and comforting.  You've been a big help in understanding the mood and situation in Newtown.  It must be difficult to talk about, and you've done so with great care and patience.  Thank you for taking the time to do it.

    -

    •  it's therapy for me, you know ;-) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      and it's important to stick with daily routines to get through the grief.

      "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:56:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yesterday on Sirius/XM POTUS channel (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin, Laconic Lib

        the man who sheltered 6 children right after the shooting called in to Pete Dominick's show, and his story was gut wrenching. I literally had to pull off to the side of the road to listen and cry along with him.
        But as Pete reminded us yesterday, for every horror like the Newtown shooting, there are 10 stories of people doing good things, small things that may only make a difference to one person, but that in the end, remind us that we're good people.

        Hugs, buddy.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:36:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's just simple math. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    remember "fact families?"

    You know --- 1+2=3, 2+1=3, 3-2=1, and 3-1=2.  That's a fact family.

    Let's apply this to "the gun question:

    Guns + people in possession of guns = gun-related crime; people in possession of guns + guns = gun-related crime, gun-related crime - guns = people no longer in possession of guns, and gun-related crimes - people in possession of gun = guns that are harmless.

    Reducing gun-related crime is simple math.  There's only 2 things we can remove from the  gun-related crime equation to reduce gun-related crime:  (1) the guns, or (2) the people in possession of guns.

    Now, my personal preference on this is to throw the guns into the nearest smelter, be done with them, and still have the people around.  They might actually evolve into very decent people, once they don't have that pathetic crutch (the gun) in their possession.  However, I can also agree that a gun is quite harmless --- beginning right after its owner walks into that smelter, closes the door, and hits the "ignite" button.

    Morbid?  Perhaps --- but I'm not the one making the choice here.  If you need that gun so bad that you just can't go through life without it, then you're an addict.  Addicts have the same choice:  Either they destroy their addiction for their own sake, or they destroy themselves for the sake of their habit.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:36:17 AM PST

  •  RE: keeping guns out of the hands of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    mentally ill, the question is who are the mentally ill and who decides who is or is not mentally ill.  I would note that there have been assertions that the mentally ill should also not be allowed to drive or that the mentally ill should be sterilized.

    Given that psychiatry remains an inexact science (we can use technology to see clogged arteries to predict an incipient MI but there is no tech to predict when a previously eccentric person decides to go "full Columbine" to use a phrase I heard yesterday

    •  yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      Going postal is passè

      "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:52:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not to argue with you over the topic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, One Opinion

        but going postal is the exception, not the norm; there are many people out there with mental problems who never go postal, who never grab a weapon and threaten someone.

        Mental illness is already stigmatized and looked at askance by society in general; the current debate seems determined to further demonize mental illness.  Many of the people who use weapons to commit crime are "perfectly normal" people whose neighbors, friends and family are shocked when they are arrested

        •  I'm talking about nomenclature and terms (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          just like people don't say Biafra anymore for starving children. Or when I was a kid 'children are starving in Europe'.

          Terms change.

          Wasn't touching what underlies the term.

          "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:09:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Armenia (0+ / 0-)

            Once upon a time, it was Armenia.  Deservedly so, too.  Sadly, in all cases.

            What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and craven, feckless politicians who won’t stand up to the N.R.A.? -- Nicholas Kristof, NYT --

            by Land of Enchantment on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:17:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Using the term "mentally ill" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      is worthless at best. It demonizes a lot of people for no reason other than that gun supporters would like you to think that only "lone wolves and crazy people" would do something like this.
      It's bullshit.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:42:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  however this is the reason we are seeing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        different murderers parsed out as spree killers, mass murderers, serial kills and other categories as this manages to remove individuals that don't fit the norm of mass murderer and allows mental illness to be seen as a larger variable in such events than it really is

        •  The thing is, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          entlord, Laconic Lib

          although "normal" people would classify anyone who shoots up a movie theater or a 1st grade classroom as "mentally ill", there is no evidence that any of the people who committed these mass murders had any kind of mental illness.
          Adam Lanza may or may not have had Asperger's (which is or was a neurological disorder), but there's no telling what kind of crap his mother was filling his head with.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:12:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most important deterrent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, singe

    I would suggest that "requiring background checks" is not the best way to prevent another Newtown (although necessary).  

    Making the weapon seller, or the person, or the persons, or the family of person or persons, who purchased the gun personally liable for murders committed with the purchased weapon would be more effective.

    If father Lanza knew he could be charged with accessory to murder if any of those weapons got into the hands of his mentally-challenged son (or any of his sons), do you think there is any way those weapons could have been available to his son?

    I don't think so.  This would be a much, much more effective deterrent.  

    I would go so far as to say that a law is needed that requires anyone purchasing a gun to have at least two sponsors.  And that the sponsors are held liable for crimes committed with that gun.

    This seems far-fetched I know, but not nearly as far-fetched as the blood-bath that took place last week in that elementary school.  

    I say the rules to own an object that can be used to snuff out the lives of innocents and burden their survivors for the rest of their lives ought to carry an equally heavy burden of oversight and liability on those who in anyway contribute to the existence of that gun in private hands.

    And let me finish by saying:

    Fuck you NRA
    Fuck you Wal-Mart
    Fuck you Chuck Norris
    Fuck you Charlton Heston
    Fuck you Ted Nugent
    Fuck you Gary LaVox
    Fuck you Whoopi Goldberg
    Fuck you Tom Selleck

    •  the mother bought the .223 after the divorce (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      How would the father have been able to prevent his divorced spouse (he had since remarried) from purchasing this weapon or under what legal theory could he have been held responsible for his 20 year old son's actions?

      •  I guess we could blame the mother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird

        But she's been punished about as far as possible already.  Maybe we should spread the idea that she got guns to protect herself, that she was wrong in her thinking on that score.  Dead wrong.

        Joan Walsh wrote something about her, mostly noting that little is known.  No one's come forward claiming to be close to her.  She had plenty of money and a big comfortable house, which perhaps helped her to remain isolated.  It's all speculation, because so little is known.  But perhaps her isolation put her in jeopardy in a way that guns could never protect her from?  

        And her guns hurt so many others.  She was so wrong about where protection comes from.  So very, very wrong.

        What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and craven, feckless politicians who won’t stand up to the N.R.A.? -- Nicholas Kristof, NYT --

        by Land of Enchantment on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:25:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I understand the purpose of background checks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Laconic Lib

    It stops criminals and people who have been deemed threats from buying guns legally, and also put another bump in the process that may deter someone from buying a gun that doesnt want to go through the process. Fewer guns in the hands of people that don't really need them for any purpose other than to have one and feel empowered is always a good thing.

    But it really doesn't address anything that specifically happened in the Newtown situation. Nancy Lanza (while possibly unstable in her own right, as many in the survivalist community are) doesn't appear to have any history of violence or criminality that has been reported anywhere. She would have sailed through a background check and the guns would still have been in her house for his son to take.

    All the background checks in the world won't matter until we address the causes of mass murders, including lack of access to mental health treatment and stigmatization of those who suffer from mental illness. The next step is to tax the fuck out of ammunition to fund it. If you want to stockpile thousands of rounds to keep the zombies out of your bunker, fine. But you're going to pay society back in advance for when you or somebody else decides to go on a rampage before Doomsday comes.

    •  thank you for that important distinction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      survivalist ≠ prepper

      preppers have extra food and water in the house (I do, smart in New england where you lose power from storms).

      "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:06:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  supposedly, according to media reports (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, snazzzybird

      which have been woefully inaccurate at times, the mother either appeared or was scheduled to appear on the cable reality show "Doomsday Preppers" or some such.
      Does anyone know if this episode were taped and if so, if it were ever shown?

      •  I've watched the marathons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        Mostly because I like watching trainwrecks.

        I dont remember an episode with her ever airing, and it were taped we'll never see it now.

        My favorite were the hippies in vermont that were going to trade their apple cider with other survivors and refused to allow guns on their compound.

  •  Stop pretending mental illness (0+ / 0-)

    likely had nothing to do with it. Are you trying to say the shooter was an ordinary well adjusted kid who just played a few too many video games and ...and what?

    Maybe the problem is that we don't really have the right vocabulary for talking about this.  What is mental illness?  I consider autism and aspergers neurological, not mental illness though obviously someone with aspergers, like someone without, could also suffer from a mental disorder.

    When we talk about needing to do a better job handling mental illness I am pretty sure we are not talking about all those folks out there suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD and the like. As you point out, that covers a lot of people, most of whom function fine and wouldn't hurt a fly.  We are them, we live and work with them. The pharma industry is devoted to them. No problem.

    But there is unquestionably a very small group of people who really are mentally ill in that hurting themselves, or others, or more concerningly, hurting themselves and others, really and truly does seem to them to be a solution.

    They are not insane, so yes they can plan.  Some may be too disorganized to plan well, some may also be too depressed to plan well, but a small subset is going to be quite capable of planning well.

    Often we know who these people are.  All species have the ability to sense danger. There are the shy gawky friendless smart kids that teachers feel sorry for, but sometimes there is that one that they are afraid of.  There is the guy in the trailer in Oregon with a gun that someone wrote about earlier this week.

    I deal with people and families and their issues for a living. Of the hundreds and hundreds of families I've dealt with over the years they have been chock full of folks with depression, anxiety, OCD, aspergers, autism, folks who don't fit, live off the grid, eating disorders, people who are quirky or dickish or controlling...a  whole host of stuff that to me seems to just be part of weave of life.  

    But there are four who haunt me, where people have been injured or killed. The anguished calls from the family who sense a change in their loved one, who know they are about to "do something." What can they do? Who do they call? Unless there is an active threat on the table, the answer is not much, even if there is a history. Involuntary commitments are hard to get and often the family is afraid of the person, though they love them, and they don't want to try - they just want to warn the authorities but the authorities don't really have grounds to do anything until after the fact.  And then it is the criminal justice system that steps in, not the medical profession.

    The guy who shot the schoolteacher in TN, family did call police to warn that he was unstable and had access to weapons. But absent an actionable threat what can they do?

    I really think we ought to reserve the term mental illness for folks who are truly psychotic or who pose a danger to themselves or others. They may not be able to act on that impulse, but they should be denied access to weapons.  If the psychiatric profession can't figure out a way to identify these folks, they should put down their Rx pads and find another job. And then we need to find a way to help these folks other than jailing them after the fact.

    If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

    by trillian on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:04:43 AM PST

    •  who was that directed at? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, skohayes

      "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:10:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would point out that treatment and rehab (0+ / 0-)

      are not usually available in many prison systems as the meds given to the inmates are more for control issues rather than therapeutic.  I remember the outrage in the US media when it was reported that Anders Breivik might one day be a free man.  However in a system which believes rehab is possible, such an eventuality has to exist vs our own practice of locking the door and throwing away the key.
      Given that the violent mentally disturbed are likely to end up in the prison system it would seem treatment and rehab would be common sense responses  

      •  But you do have to agree (0+ / 0-)

        That even in a system where rehabilitation is the goal, as opposed to whatever the purpose of our system is (certainly not rehabilitation, based solely on our rate of recidivism), Anders Breivik got off pretty light for the scale of his crime. Some people really do need to be locked up and the key thrown away because of the damage that they have inflicted on society.

        •  by my understanding he still may end up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader

          locked up for life, depending on how things go.  Life, even in  Euro jails, is not as pleasant as some wingers claim it is or there would be a problem with people breaking into jail instead of out of them

          •  True (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader

            French jails, for example, are notorious for being run by corrupt wardens working with organized crime in the South. And they are extremely violent and harsh.

            Wingers think European jails are tea socials where they coddle ax murders because their mothers treated them badly, when in reality many of them are worse than American prisons.

    •  Stop blaming mentally ill people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, wader

      Studies show that only 5-10% of homicides are committed by mentally ill people.
      The kid was not a "normal well adjusted" 20 year old, but that doesn't make him mentally ill.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:53:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Morning Joe: Katty Kay with a masterpiece of (0+ / 0-)

    mainstream media "smear shit on the narrative" reporting... after Joe et al maintaining a firm posture against the "arm the teacher" idiots (Perry and McDonnell, she comes on with a waffle about "There's still a big question whether there's something that can be done...I was at Newtown yesterday and talked to a mother of a high school student who said the teachers should be armed, and I talked to the "expert" who wrote "More guns = Less Crime" (or something) and he said there's no statistics that show violence decreasing after stricter gun laws...blah" She finished finally with a toss-off sentence to the effect that there really is evidence evidence that stricter gun laws reduce violence.
    Then Barnicle made a strong statement against the "more guns" idea.

    They're shocked, shocked, of course that gun violence has penetrated to quiet, upper-middle class New England neighborhoods and "something must be done about it."

    Whatever it takes, it's way past time.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:09:32 AM PST

  •  Something just popped up on Twitter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Robert Bork has died.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:55:24 AM PST

  •  Two suggestions on gun control (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, Laconic Lib

    One legal, the other political.

    One element of any gun control legislation passed should be the imposition of legal consequences for the owners of guns used in crimes.  No, that would not have stopped this Newtown crime, directly, because the owner was the first victim of her son's rampage.  But, indirectly, there is a good chance that she would have kept her guns locked up securely if she had known that she would be prosecuted if someone stole her guns and committed crimes with them.  And, yes, she and other gun owners would be likely to include relatives when thinking about the "someones" who might steal their guns to commit crimes with, and from whom the guns would need to be secured.  This gun owner in particular knew she had an unstable person with impulse control problems in her house, and that she had better keep the weapons secure from him if she didn't want to face jail for his misuse of them.  And that would have weighed on her mind even if she were incapable of imagining him killing 20 children, because much lesser misuses of the weapons, which she would be able to imagine her son capable of, could still have landed both of them in jail, had such provisions of the law been in place.

    Politically, someone on our side needs to start a Norquist-style pledge for politicians to sign that they will not accept any money from the NRA.  Shame the shit out of politicians who won't sign.  One of the benefits to this idea is that controversy over this pledge would keep the issue alive.  Even a tragedy as awful as Newtown will gradually fade in memory as more recent events intrude, so any way to keep the issue alive, such as this idea of creating a constant burr under the saddle in the form of this pledge, would be a good thing.

    We can't bring those children back to life, but maybe we can at least kill the NRA so it can't enable and facilitate the killing of more children in the future.  ACORN didn't deserve to die, Planned Parenthood doesn't deserve to die, but we let the other side get away with killing the former, and it may yet kill the latter.  The NRA does deserve to die, both in itself and as a means to weaken the other side.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:03:16 AM PST

    •  This is a wonderful idea! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib
      Politically, someone on our side needs to start a Norquist-style pledge for politicians to sign that they will not accept any money from the NRA.  Shame the shit out of politicians who won't sign.  One of the benefits to this idea is that controversy over this pledge would keep the issue alive.  Even a tragedy as awful as Newtown will gradually fade in memory as more recent events intrude, so any way to keep the issue alive, such as this idea of creating a constant burr under the saddle in the form of this pledge, would be a good thing.
      How can we make this happen?

      Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

      by snazzzybird on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:05:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greg, I feel for you and your community (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    I am very humbled at the vast amount of grief you and your community are working through.  As one who has grieved significant losses I know that the grief process may take years.  

    I'm finding that I need reassurance that appropriate grief and bereavement support are in place for all these hurting people.  What is your perception of the support systems in place and/or being put in place?

    As of this morning November 7, 2012 the Includers are ascendant, and the Excluders are in the minority. [samsoneyes]

    by FlamingoGrrl on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:00:19 AM PST

    •  Its been fantastic (0+ / 0-)

      Yale crisis and disaster teams from New Haven who specialize in this, local services, the hospital... and hundreds of volunteers from outside the community (some from this blog!).

      it's been there for the families, the care givers, the first responders, and for anyone that wants or needs.

      "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 Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:08:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is so wonderful to hear (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for letting me know.

        As of this morning November 7, 2012 the Includers are ascendant, and the Excluders are in the minority. [samsoneyes]

        by FlamingoGrrl on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:32:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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