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Prominent blogger: Arm teachers, staff

Regarding the Connecticut massacre, Power Line’s John Hinderaker knows what should be banned: “If newspapers, magazines, web sites and above all television and radio stations were prohibited from making any reference to mass shooting crimes, then the goal that these criminals seek – fame; in effect, immortality – would not be achieved. It is reasonable to expect that mass shootings would decline as a result. … I wonder how many of our reporters and editors have paused to reflect, over the last 24 hours, on how their own news organizations may have contributed to [Friday's] killings in Connecticut. Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.” Or, to continue that line of thinking, maybe we should give all grade-schoolers courses in Hell’s Angels Survival Training.

On Ed Morrissey’s “Hot Air” site, Jazz Shaw adds this to the conversation: “If there is any remedy to be found to these events, it’s not through legislation or restricting the tools (read: guns in these cases) used by madmen. It’s the rebuilding of a sense of community and responsibility to each other ... a shared sense of decency being passed down to each generation. When that collapses, the entire system is weakened. The government is, in reality, very limited in their ability to protect us if responsible citizens are not engaged in the duty to protect and defend ourselves. And that includes speaking up when we learn that somebody is even considering doing something like this. That worked in Oklahoma by all accounts. It somehow failed to work in Connecticut. This is a time for all of us to pull together and hopefully remember that we are stronger and safer when we stand up together and look out for one another.”

But while we wait for the pro-gun crowd to make a credible argument … Tom Scheck of MPR says: “DFL Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on TPT's Almanac [Friday] to discuss the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. During the interview, Ellison argued for greater gun control measures. ‘The NRA (National Rifle Association) is strong and many of them (members of Congress) take the position that any gun position is going to lead to the position of taking away of all guns,’ Ellison said. ‘This is not rational. We need sane, sensible gun regulation and we need it now.’ Ellison says his top initiatives would be to address high capacity clips that hold multiple rounds of bullets and greater background checks that require people to submit to background checks before purchasing weapons at gun shows.” How about a watch list for anyone who buys protective body armor?

One of the children killed in the latest mass shooting spree had grandparents in Minnesota. Joy Powell of the Strib writes: “The heartbreak wrought by the Connecticut school shooter has reached into Minnesota, where the grandparents and other loved ones of 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon on Sunday were getting ready to travel from Nisswa, in north-central Minnesota, to Newtown for the child's funeral this week. ‘It's so huge, and it touched everybody's hearts, because it is children,’ said Irene Hagen, who spoke of her granddaughter Charlotte's schoolhouse slaying as she and her husband, John Hagen, packed Sunday to head to Connecticut.”

And in the same vein … Richard Meryhew has a piece in the Strib on passionate opinions regarding Byron Smith, accused of the execution-style killing of two teenage burglars outside Little Falls: “[W]hen word spread last week that police search warrants showed Smith, a retired U.S. State Department worker who set up security systems for embassies, had audio recordings of the shootings and had a surveillance video of the teens outside his house before they broke in, it fueled speculation that Smith may have set a trap. ‘Some think he planned to catch 'em,’ [Colt] Litzau said. ‘We'll never get the kids' perspective, because they are gone,’ said Marge Krinke, owner of Good Book & Gift in downtown Little Falls. ‘But, obviously, he thought it out. He had two guns. ... He sat there waiting for them. ‘Yes, they were where they were not supposed to be. But two young lives were lost and we'll never have a chance to know what they could have accomplished.’ [Hope] Barton said she worries that if Smith's bail is lowered and he is able to get out, ‘his life would be in danger. A lot of people here want to see him get the same sentence as the kids,’ she said.”

Nothing new today on the guy who opened fire on his granddaughter.

Steve Alexander of the Strib tells the story (again) of that strange-looking building across from the Metrodome: “Located across from the Metrodome on 11th Avenue S., the one-time Control Data Business and Technology Center building has a featureless exterior devoid of signage, and is largely without windows. The Minnesota Vikings apparently thought the building was so unimportant that the organization briefly considered tearing it down to make way for the new football stadium. That all changed with the threat of a lawsuit by the building's owner, Timeshare Systems, and the public disclosure of the building's actual purpose: It is Minnesota's largest Internet communications hub. Converging on the 511 Building are about 70 different data networks, ranging from AT&T and Verizon to Bemidji's Paul Bunyan Telecom.”

From Detroit, Rick Hagland on the Mlive website notes that Gov. Rick Snyder overlooked the economic of one neighborhood state when pushing his “Right to Work” legislation. “Let’s say you’re a Midwest governor looking to benchmark the economic policies of a nearby state as part of your reinvention effort. Would you choose State A, which has a jobless rate of 5.8 percent, per capita income of $44,560 (11th highest in the nation), the sixth-lowest poverty rate in the country and nearly a third of its residents possessing a bachelor’s degree or above? Or would you choose State B, which has a jobless rate of 8 percent, per capita income of $35,689 (40th in the nation), the 19th highest poverty rate in the country and less than a quarter of its residents possessing a bachelor’s degree or above? State A is Minnesota. Gov. Rick Snyder inexplicably has chosen State B: Indiana.”

I suspect sports fans knew the answer to the question, “Who are the highest salaried employees of the University of Minnesota?” The St. Cloud Times reminded readers: “Gophers men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith and football coach Jerry Kill topped the list of highest-paid University of Minnesota employees last year. The St. Cloud Times requested salaries and other compensation for all University of Minnesota employees as part of its ongoing examination of public workers’ pay. The numbers are for fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30. With base salary and other compensation, Smith earned a total of $1,891,555 last year, the most of any U of M employee. Kill’s pay totaled $1,256,276. … Two professors at the U of M’s medical school rounded out the top five: Regents Professor Bruce R. Blazar, director of the Center for Translational Medicine, $575,630; and Selwyn M. Vickers, chairman of the surgery department and a leader in pancreatic cancer research, $529,079.”

In the first of a series by MaryJo Webster of the PiPress and Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News Tribune, they write: “More opioid painkillers are being distributed legally in Minnesota than ever before, a joint Pioneer Press and Duluth News Tribune investigation has found. Last year, enough of the two leading painkillers — oxycodone and hydrocodone — was distributed in the state to provide 18 pills for every man, woman and child. That's up from two pills per person in 1997. Though Minnesota ranks low compared with the rest of the country in opioid prescriptions, the drugs' impact on the state has been no less devastating. As the use of those painkillers has gone up, so have rates of addiction, crime, arrests and overdose deaths. Particularly alarming, experts say: Prescription pill addicts have been switching to heroin, and Mexican drug dealers have flooded the Twin Cities with some of the cheapest and purest heroin available in the U.S.”

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Comments (39)

Ah yes.

Imagine a school principal dashing down a hallway pulling out her six shot Ladysmith revolver
and making a killing shot on a guy in a kevlar vest wielding a Bushmaster aimed at her. Lotsa
luck. Hinderaker and his ilk are delusional.

Yes delusional -

We should make people like the governor of Wisconsin handle those duties for teachers. No more pension money though governor goofy.

....No one tries to shoot up

....No one tries to shoot up a biker bar...

The shameless bozo knows nothing about gang violence, does he?.

nobody tries

I was in the Red Eye Saloon on Washington Avenue at midnight on a Saturday night years ago when some fool stood in the doorway and started shooting into a crowded bar. This was the home bar of the BPM's in those days and the bullets went over my head into the wall. If you'd taken time to Google biker bar shootings before posting your mistaken notions you'd look like less of a fool in public. As far as describing someone as shameless try Wayne La Pierre or yourself first.

Let Me Ask My NO Gun-Control Friends Some Simple Questions

When a person snaps, and for whatever reason, decides to do violence to other people in a public place, how much damage would that person be able to do if he or she did NOT have access to assault rifles, high-capacity clips, etc.?

A deranged person with a knife can still wound and kill others (and some likely will, no matter what we do), but without our nation's ready supply of personal weapons capable of creating such mass destruction as we saw last Friday, how would it be possible for what we now take as fairly routine mass killings to occur?

And finally, if even considering the possibility of answering those questions causes rage to rise from within you or makes you feel panic at the possible loss of your guns, perhaps you'll want to consider what happened to you at some earlier time in your life to program you with such a dangerous, destructive, and far-too-easily self-destructive reaction,...

because normal, healthy people do NOT have your need for guns, your co-dependent emotional attachment to your guns, nor your panic that you might not have access to weapons designed for only one purpose - to kill massive numbers of other people.

If, indeed, your own NEED to have any and all guns you can lay your hands on is not blunted in any way by the death of 20 innocent first grade children, and seven innocent adult school employees, GET HELP, because what you're experiencing in relation to your guns is NOT normal, nor is it healthy.

And for the rest of us, perhaps its time we stopped allowing those with a neurotic attachment to their guns, an attraction which can far-too-easily turn psychotic, to shape our national, state, and local policies regarding the 2nd Amendment,...

because I can PROMISE you that the founders of our nation did NOT intend the 2nd Amendment to be interpreted as saying we are required to make maximum firepower freely available to any individual who might want it, no matter how close that individual might be to snapping into violent derangement.

Really?

"if even considering the possibility of answering those questions causes rage to rise from within you or makes you feel panic at the possible loss of your guns, perhaps you'll want to consider what happened to you at some earlier time in your life to program you with such a dangerous, destructive, and far-too-easily self-destructive reaction,..."

Greg, I agree with you 99.9% of the time. However, this statement is based upon a LOT of false assumptions. And it highlights why discussing such a topic when emotions are high doesn't help anyone's cause. It only results in name-calling, no matter how well-intentioned, or how cleverly hidden. If we can't discuss this rationally, we'll end up nowhere, as we always do. In any case, the proper question is WHY, not HOW. Is it any less sad that 5 kids die a day due to child abuse? How about the 4500+ people under 24 that commit suicide a year? I submit that the common thread is where we need to focus. I submit that the common thread is mental illness in various shapes and forms.

Note that about 18% of all injury deaths (at least in 2009 according to the CDC) were the result of gunshot wounds. About 19% were from traffic injuries. About 23% were from poisonings. And not all of these were homicides--homicides represent only about 9.5% of all injury deaths. That being said, about 68% of all homicides are due to gunfire, leaving 32% to various other means.

There are about 2-3 times as many suicides as homicides--with about 50% of those deaths due to gunfire (notably, 50% of suicides don't require a gun...). This results in about 1.1 suicides using a gun for every homicide with ANY weapon. (It appears that only about 1% of firearm deaths are accidents.)

Yeah, I'd like to not see so many people harming themselves and other people with guns. However, it would seem that we're focusing on something that is tangential to the real issue of WHY are people dying violent deaths? Would a significant number of deaths actually be prevented by general restriction of guns? I posit that it would not. The result would maybe be fewer deaths in incidents like these (presuming a law would prevent illegal use of the gun), but without addressing the WHY, such tragedies would still happen. One death by violence is one too many. It is sad to think that 36,000+ people a year feel that they've no other option but to end their own lives. It is terrible to know that almost 17,000 people a year die because someone can somehow justify it in their heads that another's life is worthless. No gun law will change that because no gun law addresses the underlying issue.

Europe?

I don't think we've seen a whole lot of mass shootings like this in Europe. How about exploring the reasons why that might be?

Rachel...

Gregg was addressing gun supporters when in his opening questions he asked what you would do if...
You made no attempt to follow his line of thought. You went off with numerous percentages and stats
that really have no connection to Gregg's writing and the slaughter in Ct.
I would especially like to see your answer to Gregg's lst question.

"A deranged person with a knife...."

Just to add this to the conversation this piece of news from China of an attack on an elementary school there in which 22 children were stabbed but none died as of yet..

Beijing (CNN) -- Twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.

The attack took place at the entrance to the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Henan province, according to the public information department of Guangshan county, the area where the school is located. An adult was also wounded, it said.

Several of the children are in critical condition, the state-run website Chinanews.com said, citing local authorities.

Anyone attacking school children with a weapon is by definition, deranged. But their choice of weapon does make a difference tin the lethality of the assault. Just an observation.

Gun conversation

I'm afraid that the conversation on guns has reached an all-time irrational level. Arm teachers? Ban all guns? The real issue has been touched upon elsewhere--mental illness. The real solution needs to be related to that, not the weapons. Then we can talk about what the implications are regarding the weapons used.

Implications?

It speaks volumes about our nation that we are so willing to change the subject whenever there is an incidence of horrific gun violence. The implications regarding the weapons used? In Conecticut, the implications are an elementary school shot up and twenty children dying. I don't see any implications beyond that. A gun that is capable of firing a large number of bullets quickly has few implications that don't involve destruction or death.

What about the fall back non-gun talk line: We need better access to mental health care in this country? As a general proposition, I agree; however, it wouldn't have made much difference here. The shooter's parents were well off, and could certainly afford whatever care may have been necessary. His mother--a prepper who kept guns as a "survival" strategy--knew her son was dangerous, but did nothing to help him beyond staying home and warning others not to turn their backs on him.

I know of few people who are calling for a ban on all guns. I hear people calling for better regulation, better backgroud checks, or requiring biometric controls to prevent unauthorized people from stealing Mommy's guns (technically feasible, bitterly opposed by the NRA). The irrationality is in the assumption that the level of gun violence in this country is not about guns.

Changing the subject

It's ok to bring the subject back to relevancy. Mental illness needs to be addressed. Claiming that his mom "did nothing to help him beyond staying home and warning others..." is merely a claim. Ever wonder why the people you see on the streets are often talking to themselves? Because many are mentally ill and there's no other place for them. Even parents who do something other than "staying home and warning others" find it difficult to get the proper help and/or placement for their mentally ill children, let alone violent mentally ill children.

Should Adam's mom have had a gun? Maybe. She very well could have been afraid for her life with him. It doesn't excuse her from leaving the gun where he could get it. That was dumb. Criminally dumb. However, how do you prevent that? Lots of Americans own guns. Are you saying we need to go to each and every home, check for guns, and either take them away or force them to put them in fancy lockers? Ideally, every gun would be in a safe place, but I can't imagine what an uproar it would cause, and a dangerous one to boot, to have the police and/or military enforce such a concept. Since 40-45% of American households already have guns, it would seem pretty foolish to believe that laws that affect only new guns would make a lick of difference.

It is no less insane to claim the solution to mental illness is to make more gun laws than it is to claim the solution to mental illness is to hand out guns. Putting a gun in every teacher's hand is ridiculous, but so is the idea that we're going to somehow make 40-45% of households comply with laws whose enforcement essentially requires ignoring the 4th amendment for nearly half of all American households. Especially since no gun law or lack thereof addresses the issue of mental illness and violence.

Not what I said

I never said "the solution to mental illness is to make more gun laws." I am not talking about "solving" mental illness. I am talking about what we, as a nation, can do to prevent slaughters by people who use guns.

When you speak of the 4th Amendment, it makes me wonder how to get treatment or help for all the people who need it. Even if we manage to have help available for all who need it, there remains the question of delivery and diagnosis. The people you see on the streets who are often talking to themselves are only the most obviously ill. What about the others? Are you saying we need to go to each and every home, check for mental illness, and either take the people away or force them to be put in fancy lockers (institutions, perhaps?)? The shooter's mother thought she could handle him by herself (she owned the guns for protection from the coming collapse of society, incidentally). Do we overrule her decision without anything more than reports of odd behavior? Perhaps we could have mandatory detention for all people with Asperger's, or who are quiet loners?

Or we could adopt common-sense regulation of firearms. Fancy lockers, i.e. locking up guns when they're not in use, don't seem any more confiscatory than saying I can't drive my car without insurance. Background checks and restrictions on ammunition purchases seem like a better alternative to government by therapists.

It's not simply the people,

it's the tools to which they have access. Explain to me and to the parents and families of those murdered in Newtown and elsewhere, why any citizen of the United States reasonably requires a weapon which fires 6 rounds per second, uses a 30 round clip, and can be loaded with Kevlar piercing or fragmentation rounds.

By the way, we don't need to search homes to help ensure that legitimate gun owner use reasonable care to prevent deaths in which their weapons were involved. We can hold them criminally liable for those deaths if they fail to equip their weapons with trigger locks or cable locks ($6 and up at Amazon.com) or take other steps to ensure that their weapons aren't used by children and mad men. We can make them civilly liable as well. We can require that fire arms be sold with locks.

We can do many things to reduce the likelihood that more of us will find ourselves in a slaughterhouse, including ensuring addressing mental health resources. What we can't do is continue to indulge the infantile fantasies of those who insist on being able to play Black Ops II in real life by permitting the manufacture and sale of military grade hardware and ammunition to the general public.

The fact that no single step will eliminate the problem is no reason not to do what we can to reduce the problem.

High capacity clips

Or magazines, as a commentator in another article said was the correct term. Besides banning those holding more than ten rounds or so, ban the sale or possession of any except for the serial number registered one included in the purchase of a firearm. Maybe allow one additional clip, maybe not. No replacement without returning a worn out or defective clip. No claiming it was lost.

This, of course, won't address what's already out there. Maybe a buy back effort along with monitoring firing ranges to check for shooters in possession of more than one or two per firearm.

Clips

Banning high capacity clips is a non-starter in this issue for the simple reason that it's way too easy to quickly swap clips. Even if you have a ten round clip, it only takes a second to drop the empty clip to the floor and slap a fresh one in place. Or the shooter can duct tape the butts of the clips together, in which case he just has to flip the empty around, slap the full clip in place, and he's good to go.

You could also ban ammo belts, but people will just get a bag to carry their clips in.

Another issue to consider: 3D printers. It won't be long before someone prints a gun on their printer, sans serial number. (Someone has already printed the receiver.) How do you regulate that? What's to stop a nut from printing a high capacity magazine to use?

To date I haven't heard of any effective solutions to this problem. What would be ideal is mental health screening for people who are likely to commit horrendous crimes or even more pedestrian assault or murder. Unfortunately the health care industry isn't to the point where they can reliably screen for that defect.

The human race is still fighting evolution, which taught us to fight quickly and decisively. And extract retribution on others for wrongs, either real or perceived. Until we can find ways to counteract a couple million years of evolution I'm afraid our laws, short of banning all guns, will be just spitting in the wind.

Brave New World?

One day soon after the media hype burns out, someone will write a sequel to Thornton Wilder's "Our Town'. Call it New Town, 21st century style where rather the dead but the living will be looking back not in nostalgia but in a state of time and distance warped, making room for a new literature; even winning a Pulitzer too I suppose.

Questions worth considering however, before an overt-hyped press cools down and switches to another public event:
How do we make the classroom safe for kids...
...if we arm a nervous teaching staff, how long before a kid 'acting out' any small rebellion...could be shot by a teacher 'acting out' his/her fears of what a student may do if talking back or challenging and assignment, whatever?
Do we strip-search kids next... to demand conformity, to snuff out our fears; uniformed acceptability?

Certainly it must be a more complicated than a kid who wanted to fly like Harry Potter, and found out he couldn't...instead he finds himself a hero in his own video game world of dungeons and dragons or whatever? Then in some unbalanced way; heroes and antiheroes begin to collide in his mind; virtual and real worlds collide too and no longer do boundaries exist between real and virtual; and thus...yet who really knows?

Is the gun to become the object for control in society so embedded in the pursuit of; the idealization of competing and winning and controlling for its own sake? King-O-The-Mountain gone awry? Is the gun a mere image that solves the issue? I am no gun enthusiast...but has there ever been a shoot-out at a gun show?

We are slowly losing super power status around the globe and security and surveillance and privacy itself has been absorbed into the dust of our public and private fears. Do we kill to control, indiscriminately the innocents overseas; collateral damage?
Is that need to control seeping into our everyday life? Hundreds of questions. Too few answers?

The names of the children come out over the airwaves read in sorrow by a grieving president to a grieving nation?
And when does repetitive news become hype that soon only titillates; breeds another sick one?

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's a drone:
We are the greatest seller of guns I believe, on the world stage.

Then again, how long before the ultimate weapon, the depersonalized death machine; a man-less, dehumanized glider will become also, as small as a butterfly and enter our domestic scene, where sick minds can play god over others; innocent children again horrifying victims...or even almost children, killing children?

Boomerang effects small or greater become the new dream-scape; the latest nightmare event to absorb the abuse of power. Sickens, kills; here or over-there...have we come to this too late to save even the least of these?
We have gone from school fire drills to nuclear war drills to what next in our classrooms? Brave New World to Raving New World...are there no acceptable solutions?

And while we are at it ...

Of course we should ban guns . . . and alcohol as well. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that alcohol kills 75,000 Americans a year. I can't understand why no one has thought of this solution before. Think of all the horrific, heart-breaking traffic accidents that would be avoided, for example.

Accidents

There you have the distinction. It's hard to imagine anyone getting a snootful and then driving intending to cause a fatal car wreck. It's also hard to imagine shooting up a room full of six-year olds accidentally.

Try again.

Actually

Texting is a far worse problem in many car accidents. In addition, there are many consequences for drunk driving.

False dichotomies.

Ban all guns/some types of guns/certain ammunition? Arm teachers? Cure all mental illness? They all present false choices. We should look at each as an incremental means of increasing public safety.

What possible need do civilians have for weapons that fire 6 or more rounds per second? For Kevlar piercing bullets? For fragmentation rounds? 30-round clips? None, I'd venture. If you can't drop a buck with 3 rounds from a bolt action weapon, you shouldn't be hunting. If you can't drop an intruder with 6 rounds from a revolver, you shouldn't own a handgun.

As for arming teachers: tasers, perhaps; handguns, no. Even then, I'll take a good deal of convincing.

Mental illness: there's no doubt that we need to change attitudes about seeking mental health care and ensuring that it is available for those who need it and seek it. Unless we're going to adopt some form of compulsory mental health program, however, it's not likely to make a dent in the number of deaths by gunfire in this country.

As for the Second Amendment fans among us: I'd love to hear what the "originalists" on the U.S. Supreme Court have to say about the term "bear arms" and how that equates to the ownership of weapons of which no one had conceived in the 18th century. "Arms" were muskets and, in rare cases, Kentucky long-rifles, at the time of the Revolutionary War. The Kentucky long-rifle had a maximum effective range of 200 yards. The percussion cartridge wasn't invented until more than 50 years after that war (1840). The repeating rifle even later.

The weapons of today bear no resemblance whatsoever to those of the 18th century, so if we're going to use the meanings of terms as they were understood at that time, let's do it here as well.

We have the right to own weapons reasonably necessary to hunt and to protect ourselves. We have no right to become armies-unto-ourselves, capable of killing hundreds in a matter of minutes or withstanding the combined might of our local police forces.

For those concerned with the coming apocalypse, civil disorder on the scale of Syria, or other catastrophic events: Remember where we live and who we are.

Maybe teachers don't want to be armed

What a silly suggestion, arming teachers and administrators. Will this be forced arming, or will they be allowed to object without reprisal.

The gun nuts and their NRA ilk have an untenable position, and now are forced to defend the murder of children over their supposed right to own an assault weapon. They must all feel very good about this, brave citizens they are.

Gun nuts?

I live in Minnesota and I am an avid hunter and gun owner. I am not nuts and I feel that I am brave citizen. I have a conceal and carry permit which may or may not some day save my life or the life of a loved one, or maybe someone I don't even know. I am hoping that I never have to even think about using a gun in that manner. I am law abiding and pay my taxes. Where ever this "gun nuts" comment comes from is beyond me. And yes, I feel horrible for anyone who has ever been harmed by a gun. These are not gun owner issues, but mental health issues. Don't lose focus here.

This is a stupid concept -

What happens if a teacher misses and kills his/her own students. Seems like a bad deal for teachers.

Hard to believe

that I agree with John Hinderaker on anything, but I do think that media coverage of these shootings is way overblown.

Overblown?

Seriously? A madman shoots up a classroom full of schoolchildren and teachers, and you want a restrained reaction from the media?

Yes,

I would.

Yes

Not only is it overblown, it has been shown that high levels of coverage on these types of incidences encourage similar acts. No one is saying it isn't a tragedy of epic proportions, though. It's just that you would think that children get gunned down by insane shooters on a daily basis when they're definitely not. 20 children died and it chokes me up to think about it. But...how many times does anyone choke up over the fact that, every 4-5 days, 20 children die of child abuse and neglect? 1500-1800, maybe more, children die due to child abuse and neglect each year; half of them babies under a year old. When do we take up that issue? Interestingly enough, it's likely that finding ways of reducing those horrible statistics has a lot in common with finding ways of preventing mass murders, such as we saw in CT. It's not gun laws, though.

Rachel and Phil...

Given the mass slaughtering that has gone on in this Country since Columbine a decade ago, coverage is not overblown....rather, it has been way overdue.

Columbine

Ever considered that the "mass slaughtering" has gone on in this country due to all the attention the Columbine kids got? It's been labeled the "copycat effect." Not that high coverage necessarily leads to more violence or the same type of violence, but it frequently does. Here is a search of scholarly articles about the copycat effect:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=copycat+effect+statistics&hl=en&as_s...

Right

We should just cover it up, sweep it under the rug. It's a health issue, so we'll just ask our doctors. There's no need for everyone to get so excited. We might get copycats! Lord knows, a violent, deranged person would have no thoughts of doing anything if the darned media didn't run arou d giving them ideas!

Give me a break. America needs to see this. America needs to see what our nation has become. The massacre was caused by our policy choices or inactions. America doesn't want to restrict access to guns, and improving access to mental health care is creeping socialism. No,let's see the consequences. Let's see what kind of nation we get with those choices. Let's see if that's the nation we want.

"But...how many times does anyone choke up . . ." In other words, we can only mention one issue if every issue is discussed at the same time? Or are we just changing the subject? There are a lot of problems that need to be addressed. Focus.

they'll find a way

If some sicko wants to kill a lot of people, he doesn't need an automatic-type of gun to do it. Timothy McVeigh kiilled lots of people, including little children, at the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City by exploding a truck full of fertilizer. No gun was used.
We would be better off focusing our attention on how to prevent mentally ill people from acting out violently than on what type of guns to ban.

We found a way

to restrict the sale of nitrogen-based fertilizers and then modify them chemically to better prevent another Oklahoma City-style bombing. We also restrict the sale and distribution of high explosives to civilians in order to prevent them from being used for violent acts. That other nations have been able to regulate firearms and ammunition shows it can be done, and that doing so does greatly help to prevent such mass killings as last Friday's in Newtown.

A novel idea....

Why not do both?

You know, synergy and all that.

Too may people think this is an either/or type of situation.

It's not. It's a complicated problem that will not be solved by simple solutions.

To the contrary,

we should give serious consideration to every means of reducing the likelihood of such events. Since guns are the most favored weapons, it only makes sense to start their.

For God's sake, we already ban sawed off shotguns and fully automatic weapons. Today's arms are far closer to these, in terms of lethality, then anything on the market or in the hands of our military when we banned them.

Can you give me, us, any reason why a civilian should be permitted to own a weapon which fires 6 rounds per second, can be equipped with a 30 round clip (magazine) and can be loaded with bullets which turn the target into hamburger with a few rounds? That's what was used on these children. That's what their bodies looked like.

Correction

For the record, fully auto weapons are not banned. They simply have a more stringent licensing process to own them. And they're pretty darn expensive! You can go out and buy a fully auto M2 .50 cal machine gun, but it's going to run you about $20,000 plus $5.00 per round. It's a crew served weapon too, so it's not likely to be used in a mass shooting, but that's one example of the cost of full auto weapons.

6 per second?

The type of weapon used was a Bushmaster in .223. It is a SEMI-AUTO. It is capable of firing 45 rounds per minute. Do the math. Doesn't come close to your 6 rounds per second. Maybe do a little research before you get on your soapbox. Also, can you tell me how many people are killed each year by M-16 type rifles with high capacity magazines vs. traditional handguns? I'm betting you can't. I would also bet that the numbers don't even come close to comparing. This is not a semi-auto vs. non-auto. This isn't 30 shots vs. 6. I can kill you just as fast with one shot as I can with 30. Bottom line is you're not getting up. This is a however an accesibility issue and maybe more important, a mental health issue. Arm teachers? What a joke. Convenience store clerks have kept gun under their counters for years. Do you see the numbers of convenience store robberies dropping any? How many time a year do you hear of a clerk being shot and killed? Plenty. Arming clerks isn't a deterant of crime. People are going to do what their going to do period. It won't work for teachers either. Who do you think the first person to get shot will be if teachers are armed? That's right...the teacher. After that...game on. Here's an idea...why not prevent the person from gaining access to the school all together?

Agreed, except

When there's a high number of rounds available non-stop, there's little chance of subduing the shooter, as has happened in some spree-killings of late. The moment the shots stopped during re-load, people can lunge the shooter and stop the *mass* in mass killing.

The mental illness angle

it seems to me, is a little shaky. Mental illness strikes people worldwide not only in this country, so wouldn't these same mass killing tendencies show up in equal numbers of those with mental illness in other countries as well as ours. The difference seems to be that the access to guns to those outside this country is far more restricted. Not to mention the cultural differences concerning guns between our "How the West was Won", Manifest Destiny attitude and the rest of the world.

I don't ever see us changing the ability of those who want guns in this country to be able to get them, but I am tired of all their statistics when they don't have an answer to the most obvious statistic: Countries where there are fewer guns have less tragedies. Far less. Not that that's perfect but I'll take less, especially when the choice is between kids and guns.