I - like most everyone I would think - am extremely saddened and sickened to hear about the mass shooting in Connecticut. But, even more, I am furious that these KEEP HAPPENING and NOTHING is done about it.
It is deemed insensitive to discuss gun control in the wake of a tragedy. (In this case we should do our best not to speculate about what happened in this particular situation until more information from a thorough investigation is released) – but it seems like there is always another tragedy around the corner. I mean the shooting at the mall in Portland happened on TUESDAY.
Mental healthcare and gun control NEED to be discussed, but it seems like the discussion will never happen. There is a reason this is a such a major problem in the US.
I’m pretty liberal, and I remember this Rachel Maddow clip from last year after the Gabby Gifford’s tragedy. I wouldn’t ever call her politically neutral, but I think she has a really interesting report on mass shooting throughout history. It is sobering and heartbreaking.
I think it is appropriate to have a debate and I don’t know what the solution is. What do you think?
Gun laws or no gun laws people who want to harm others will. They will burn down a building, bomb, stab....
I personally am a 2nd Ammendment supporter and have a gun to protect myself and my family.
@Crabbabs: AGREE AGREE AGREE. I too am so sick to my stomach about these gun shootings. Gun control NEEDS and HAS to be brought into the light.
I support the 2nd Amendment to reasonable lengths - hell, I live in Wyoming, we all hunt here.
But I think it should be harder to get a gun than it already is, so that psychopaths can't just waltz into a pawnshop and pick one up. Or order assault weapons and gear on the effing internet, like that Aurora shooter did.
That said, gun control would not necessarily prevent these kinds of acts - but it could reduce the frequency (think Aurora shooting, with semi-assault weapons and gear bought off the internet).
ETA: Rachel Maddow <3
I'm in favor of gun laws, but I also know that the facts are not actually in line with the position that gun control stops mass public shootings. The worst mass public shootings have occurred in Europe in countries with strict gun laws, not in the USA. They just don't dominate our news cycle the same way. The best argument for strict gun laws is not that they prevent tragedies like this... because the don't. They do, however, help lower other rates of gun violence.
I'm with you, OP.
Countries with gun restrictions in place don't have nearly same kind of shooting statistics as we have in the US. Yes, shootings happen in those countries on occassion, but at nowhere near the same rates. Gun violence in the US is crazy high. That says it all right there, for me.
I don't think there is anything remotely insensitive about wanting to discuss how we should prevent this from ever happening again. If I die from a gun crime that is exactly what I want discussed.
Gun LAWS would only affect law-abiding citizens, which would leave honest people without protection, while the black market raged on. Criminals and bad people don't care about laws.
While people who want to cause harm will, it's a lot easier with guns.
I agree it's time to look at gun control and mental health care in the US - I don't expect to take guns away, but consider how they are issued to certain individuals.
@HisAngel: I can understand supporting 2nd amendment rights, but I think it is shortsighted to say, "Gun laws or no gun laws people who want to harm others will. They will burn down a building, bomb, stab..." It's a lot harder to mass murder people with a shot gun than with a automatic gun with seemingly unlimited rounds of ammo.
There are already rules in place about getting a gun. I am not advocating taking everyone's guns away - but taking a hard look at those rules and regulations and seeing if we can improve them.
@WhiteWedding: This! Since when has a criminal been like, "Oh, the law says I can't steal? Okay, I won't." Laws don't stop criminals. Honestly, if ONE teacher had a gun to stop the shooter and even one child's life was saved, it would have been worth it.
@WhiteWedding: I disagree. I'll have to double check, but I think many of the recent mass shootings (Gabby Giffords/Colorado movie theater shooting) have been done by people that have obtained guns legally but have had histories of mental illness.
@missmorganista: I do NOT want to send my future kids to a school where the teacher is armed. That's insane.
To think that teachers should be allowed to have guns is ludicrious and just shows how insane the attitude about guns truly is in this country.
@WhiteWedding: Yep. This exactly.
I think that there definitely needs to be something done about how freakishly easy it is to buy a gun in the US. I'm all for having a gun to protect yourself, your home, and your family, but you do NOT need a miltary grade weapon to do it.
I think you should have to pass a background and mental health check before you can own a gun.
I also think there needs to be much harsher punishments for people selling guns illegaly.
While, I do agree that people who want to harm others will do so, but I think harsher laws will help slow them down. I sure has hell don't want to make it easy for them.
@lolot: I wouldn't, either. It's insane that a man shot those children.
@missmorganista: That's an interesting point. In my option, I don't think more guns would help things. In the chaos of a mass shooting - assuming every adult was armed, I imagine the result would be even more casulaties becuase it would be difficult to identify the original shooter.
@missmorganista: I agree. It's insane and horribly tragic. But I don't think compounding the problem by adding more guns into the mix - especially in an environment with curious little kids who want to handle everything in sight - would be the solution.
Here's the deal. This ISN'T a major problem. It's a tragic problem and it's a highly visible problem and it's a problem that fuels emotions because it involved little loveable tiny human children and innocent victims. But it's not actually a major problem.
When you add up all the people IN THE WORLD - kids AND adults - who, in the past 15 years have been killed by school or mass shootings it totals a couple hundred. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html
46 people EACH DAY are killed in drunk driving accidents. That's about 16,000 per year or 251,850 over the same timespan. THAT is a major problem in the US.
@joya_aspera I'd like to see your statistics that countries with gun restrictions in place don't have nearly the same kind of shooting statistics as we have in the US. All evidence I can find actually points to the contrary:
In an argument against gun control, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a non-profit conservative think tank, reported the following statistics:
This is kind of a side track, but I'd like to throw this out there anyhow. People seem to throw around the term "mental illness" more and more when crimes like this are commited. It bothers me because I feel like almost every person who commits a horrible crime like this is deemed "mentally ill" and is given a lesser sentance because of it. I feel like lawyers magnify how "sick" these people are in order to protect them from the hard jail time they deserve.
I don't think people who are normal in the head would walk in to an elementary school and kill 20 children. That person definitely has some kind of issue. Normal people do not kill people, especially not 20 people, and especially not 20 adorable kindergarden-aged babies. However, it's not like he was hallucinating, or had no idea what he was doing. He's disturbed, sure, but I think we're too quick to let these criminals hide behind the label of "mentally ill".
The Second Ammen. says NOTHING about having access to assault rifles. If someone can give me one good reason why anyone on God's green eath, outside of the military, needs an automatic assault rifle then go right ahead. Guns to hunt? Sure. But people roaming around with guns meants to kill people is not what the Second Ammen was intended for.
Oh and let's not forget all that studies that show how likely people who spout off that they need guns to protect themselves will end up being victims harmed by their OWN guns. The cases of people who use their gun to successfully stop someone from attacking them are so so small compared to the cases of people who get harmed, harm themselves or someone else with the very gun they felt would protect therm.
Check out this post by MissMorganista--guns aren't the problem, people are.
OP, I was just thinking this. I am totally for the second ammendment, and I do not think gun control would have helped this situation very much. It is so easy to aquire a gun illegally. I think even if they were banned throughout the US it would still be easy to aquire one.
BUT, we live in a society with terrible attitudes towards mental health care. We allow severely mentally ill people to be let out of mental health wards because hospitals can't afford it. We send out actively psychotic homeless people into the streets after short stays because we don't want to have to spend the money, or the time, to figure out what else to do with them. I wonder how many times many of these shooters have sent out signals that they were so ill. I'm sure 95% of them were clearly having suicidal or homicidal thoughts, and yet, few people do anything about it. We allow kids to be raised in homes where they are raped, beaten, and abused, and then we condemn them for getting personality disorders and PTSD.
I have seen so many comments about how disgusting these people are, and honestly, those comments are just as disturbing to me as the action itself.
These shootings are a symptom of a problem in our society, not the problem itself.
ETA: I do believe in stricter gun control for people with mental illness, or at least better enforcement of laws which are already existing.
@WhiteWedding: That's an extremely short-sighed argument. The more readily available guns are in general, the easier it is for them to enter the black market. The black market cannot acquire things that have to be manufactured for legal purchase unless there is a system of legal purchase in place. You can't build an Uzi in your basement like you can grow pot or cook meth. Furthermore, stricter gun control can prevent the opportunity killer from carrying out his/her crime. Jordan David and Travon Martin could still be alive today if gun laws were strciter.
PRO or AGAINST gun control laws, PRO or AGAINST the right to bear arms, can we not all agree that NO civilian has ANY business owning fucking ASSAULT rifles?!
To quote that article: "Police arrested a 36-year-old man, identified as villager Min Yingjun, and while the extent of the injuries inflicted by the attacker is still unclear, there have been no fatalities reported."
The bold bit is why guns can be the problem. Fatality rates of gun vs. knife. People will do horrible things no matter way with no matter what they can get their hands on. But limiting their access to weapons that are more likely to cause fatality. Seems a no brainer to me.
(But I'm Canuck.)
@Crabbabs: I agree with you. I don't know how many people have to die by gun violence in the U.S. before the american people wake up. =( It's SO SAD to me...
All of the most recent mass shootings were with guns obtained legally: the sikh temple, the Virginia tech shooting, the movie theater shooting....even Columbine was with the boys' legal guns.
This is just heartbreaking to see, over and over.
@3xaCharm: Thank you for the info - it's a lot to process and you made some good points. I do think that there is a discussion to have for each statistic you mentioned. Many factors contribute to violence and gun control laws are a portion of that.
You are right that there are many many problems facing the us, but while as a percentage this is very small, I think it is a preventable problem.
@canadablue: I'm not canadian, but I completely agree with you.
Criminals don't listen to gun laws. It won't make it any more difficult for these people to obtain guns, because when it comes down to it, beforehand there isn't anything to indicate that they shouldn't own a gun.
Truthfully, there isn't much you can do about it. I am incredibly saddened by the tragedy today, but when you sit down and critically think, "What could have been done to stop it?" What do you come up with?
If someone has no legal reason to not own a gun, (Previous shootings/attacks etc etc), that gun control won't help.
Even then... do you know how easy it is to obtain a gun? You can get anything you want in this world if you just know where to ask and are willing to pay for it.
Ultimately, I don't know how to solve school/public shootings. I don't think there is a solution.
@LaCroix: Terrible, horrifying and heartbreaking. But the difference? Those kids are alive. They get to go home to their parents.
@3xaCharm: I'm with you. I'm for gun control, but a lot fo the arguments people make for gun control simply aren't true. Mass public shootings happen all over the worl, not just in the US. We simply have an incredibly high population for one country and a news culture that eats this stuff up and keeps it going and going and going. School shootings in Germany don't stay alive in the US news media for months or years like Columbine did.
@DeathByDesign: Good point.
@DeathByDesign: I don't know how much contact you have had with mentally ill people, but the amount of them are shocking. I didn't realize the number of people who were so ill until I worked with psych patients in the behavioral health ward. Many of these people suffer delusions go great that they believe God wants them to kill people. Some people believe that killing people is actually helping them. Some people believe they are dead (seriously). The list goes on and on, and they get very little actual help.
It's hard to believe that so many people could be that messed up, but in my limited experience it is very true. There are hundreds of them in metropolitan areas. Compare that with the amount of these crimes and the proportion is very low.
@LaCroix: That is so, so awful.
But a crazy person with a gun is more dangerous than a person with a knife.
the knife attack on the children was awful too, but there were no fatalities at least. the level of harm from guns is normally higher than other weapons (with exception of big bombs)
its a sad day today.i think its awful that these things happen. i wonder if there were any signs of obvious mental instability beforehand
@canadablue: Exactly this. I thought I was against stricter gun control, until today. We just can not continue this way. Columbine, the CO theater shootings... Are crimes like these truly on the rise, or does it just seem that way?
@Follydust321: My sister is mentally ill (Acute Borderline Personality Disorder). She probably has it in her to commit some horrible acts of violence, against others and herself (don't worry, she's in safe hands), but it would still be 100% her fault if she did. She is still aware of her actions.
Sure if you are actually having delusions, or hallucinations, that makes sense. You could kill someone and have no idea you did. But many of these criminals deemed "criminally insane" have no such histories.
@DeathByDesign: we don't know the shooter's mental background at this point. How can you be sure he wasn't suffering from hallucinations, hearing voices, or having delusions of grandeur? All/any of those are extremely common symptoms of paranoid schizophrenics....of which my sister is one. And she hasn't been violent towards other people yet, but she has talked about wanting to "get protection" from the "people trying to hurt her".
What if this shooter was the same? Legally, his parents couldn't have involuntarily committed him if he's an adult.
There are a LOT of reasons this keeps happening in our society, and I don't think it's an either/or situation. I think it's because we don't treat mental illnesses as we should, AND because we need much, much stricter gun control. I don't think regular people should be able to own automatic assault weapons.
@BookGirrl: I have said that I am not talking about people who have hallucinations. delusions or hear voices.
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