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Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths - Page 2

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Thread: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Thanks, Ms. Mod. I'll just christen this thread by saying that while I do understand why people want to own guns and would not support disarming the populace, one of the things that bothers me about people who do not want more gun control is that they don't seem to have any alternate suggestions. Do I think more gun control will fix everything? Nope. Not everything. But here are some interesting facts:

    1. The US is THE most violent affluent nation in the world. There is no reason that we should have more killings per capita than Europe or the UK, but we do. By a fat margin. (We actually have twice the homicide rate of Iraq. Now ain't that something?)
    2. The US also owns more guns per capita than any other nation, about nine guns for every 10 people. (Obviously not that many are armed; many gun owners have multiple weapons.)
    3. In the US, the highest rates of gun ownership are to be found in the South, then the Midwest, then the West, then the Northeast. Specifically in the US, higher gun ownership correlates strongly with higher homicide rates, about a 3:1 ratio between high gun ownership and low gun ownership. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447364/table/t3/)
    4. Though there are weapons of death in pretty much every US household (knives, pencils, pantyhose) and guns in far fewer, guns are by far the weapon of choice in in homicides. I don't know how many *attempted* murders there are, though, since guns are the most deadly weapons we have commonly available. But I'd rather be stabbed than shot anyway, based on the chance of survival. (Interesting comparison: on Friday, in China, a man performed a mass assault on a school and stabbed 22 people. The primary difference: none of them died.)

    Now. All that being said, it's also fair to note the following:

    1. Stricter gun laws, in and of themselves, do not necessarily guarantee a lower homicide rate. You have to take societal considerations into account. (Case in point: Washington, D.C.) It's ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL that any laws enacted be thoroughly thought through, researched, and implemented as part of an overall plan to reduce violence.
    2. About two-thirds of the deaths by gun in the US are suicides; unfortunately I'm less convinced that those would significantly decline if our gun ownership laws were stricter as it's pretty easy to kill yourself if you're really determined. Still, while that's sad, one person dying is better than 28, and suicide-by-pills is less likely to be successful than suicide-by-gun.
    3. Gun violence and gun ownership are actually declining in the US, though tragically, mass shootings are at historical highs.

    So here's what I'm thinking needs to happen.

    1. Stricter, federal-level controls on gun ownership. For some reason a lot of my gun-toting friends are posting about how awesome Israel's gun culture is (they have a fairly low homicide rate). I didn't know much about it, so I checked it out. Some gun advocates seem to think er'body in Israel be toting firearms, but the truth is: Gun ownership in Israel is fairly low--way low compared to the US. Minimum age to own a gun unless you've served in the military: 27. Stringent background checks. You must requalify every three years. You must have a reason for wanting it. There are limits on how many one person can have. AWESOME. Yes. Let's do that.
    2. A REAL solution to treating the severely mentally ill. If you haven't read "I am Adam Lanza's Mother," you need to. Go read it. And then ask yourself what the heck is a parent of a child like that supposed to do in our current system? This needs to be part of the overall conversation about health care in this country. Let's be real: "Christopher" (her son) is never going to be a non-dangerous member of society unless some sort of medical miracle happens. Someday he's going to hurt someone badly, maybe even kill someone, unless he is kept from doing so. And in our current culture, there's not a thing we can do about it.
    3. A change in how the media handles these crimes. I think part of the reason these are escalating is that there is a measure of fame that goes along with committing a crime such as this. I'd like to see a few things.

    - NO comparison to ANY OTHER mass shooting when reporting one. Just the facts. No "second deadliest after Virginia Tech."
    - No mentioning of the shooter's name. Let people dig it up on Google or whatever, but just refer to him/her as "the perpetrator" in the major news outlets.
    - Make the reporting as devoid of emotion as is possible. These guys already generally know they'll be hated (if they're that mentally aware). They either cherish that or don't know/care. Take away the glory.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator View Post
    Sorry, Todash, I'd thought my starter post had come in before yours so that it wouldn't show you as the thread starter. I don't think there's a way to override it.
    LOL ... Like I wouldn't start this thread? You silly.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by cat in a bag View Post
    (Told ya...I'm no good at this stuff)
    Terribly sorry then, your completely dead wrong.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by fushingfeef View Post

    If you know you have an unstable member of the family, does anyone think it's a good idea to keep guns around? The family of the shooter is responsible to some degree in this case.
    I am all for gun control. There is zero reason for automatic weapons. I am also buying myself a handgun for Christmas.

    But this question really makes me think. Should I not have a handgun because my sister-in-law is bipolar? I mean, she lives 3,000 miles away but she may come to visit.

    Should I not have a handgun because my husband has suffered from depression that is not at all debilitating but has caused some issues.

    If I have a child that has Asperger's, should I get rid of my handgun?

    My dad is an alcoholic. Should I not buy a handgun because he comes to my house?

    It's not that people who have metally unstable people in their lives should not have guns - they should just be smart about it.

    My step-father has about 8,000 guns. Every single one is in a safe that only he and his safety deposit box have a code to. I couldn't get in there if I tried. He also doesn't announce to everyone that he has guns, like Nancy Lanza did.

    And the kid in Portland who shot up the mall? He stole his gun. If that gun had been locked up or if he didn't know it existed, that wouldn't have happened.

    I am all for gun control. I think in this day and age it it neccessary. But people also have GOT to be smarter.

    Here is story after story about kids shooting themselves with their parent's guns:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...t-gas-station/

    http://kfor.com/2012/12/16/toddler-s...troopers-home/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1893741.html

    These are all recently. COME ON!! There is no reason for things like this to happen. I understand accidents. I get it. But this happens time and time again.

    I rant all of the time that Americans have an "It's not gonna happen to me attitude." It's annoying because things DO happen and they happen all of the time. You can pass a background check and still be a total idiot.

    As a public we need to ban guns that make it so much easier to kill people but we ALSO need to stop demonizing guns and start a conversation about gun safety. People are afraid that if they admit they are okay with guns they will be demonized as well. Look at poor GNTLGNT!! If we stop demonizing all gun owners and start teaching people how to deal with guns safely, we can get the best of all worlds.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by cat in a bag View Post
    3 weeks ago, there was an incident at a Casper, Wyoming college, which is about 100 miles from us. A young man, who was also diagnosed as being autistic, killed his father's girlfriend with a compound bow, and then went to the college, where his father was an instructor and walked into his classroom and shot him with the bow, then stabbed him and then killed himself. His motive? He blamed his father for having him and "making" him autistic. People who want to cause harm always find a way.
    I agree wtih everything you say, but I only partially agree with this. It's a heck of a lot easier for a group of people in a setting like a mall or a school to take out someone with a bow (or a knife) than it is to take out someone with a gun.

    (And it creeped me out how much this story reminded me of the book "We Need to Talk About Kevin.")

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by PatInTheHat View Post
    Terribly sorry then, your completely dead wrong.
    Agreed.

    It was a good post Cat, I enjoyed reading it. You should never feel embarrassed about stating your beliefs.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by cat in a bag View Post
    I normally stay out of political discussions, so first I just want to say that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts down.
    I think you did a lovely job. It's a difficult issue; to pretend otherwise is to mark oneself as unreasonable.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    I questioned that gun ownership is on the decline in the US especially with all the news reports of increased sales following events such as this or any rumor that stricter legislation regarding gun controls would be enacted. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, self-reported gun ownership is the highest since 1993 and is up 41% from over a year ago. And as another article pointed out, since there is no national database on who owns guns, polls and self-reporting (which may or may not be accurate) are the only way to even guess. What can be tracked is the number of background checks requested which has risen every year since 2005 and nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010.


  9. #19
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator View Post
    I questioned that gun ownership is on the decline in the US especially with all the news reports of increased sales following events such as this or any rumor that stricter legislation regarding gun controls would be enacted. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, self-reported gun ownership is the highest since 1993 and is up 41% from over a year ago. And as another article pointed out, since there is no national database on who owns guns, polls and self-reporting (which may or may not be accurate) are the only way to even guess. What can be tracked is the number of background checks requested which has risen every year since 2005 and nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010.
    Oh, hmm. We really need to track that better!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: School shooting in Connecticut

    We need to talk about mental health. People don't do evil things because they are evil, typically; they do evil things because their brain chemistry is broken. The mental healthcare support in the US is a joke.

    I do believe in gun control, but these weapons were nothing special (a couple of handguns and a rifle) and had been legally aquired by his mother. One wonders if he would have bothered getting them if they had not been so easy to get at home?

    This is a terrible tragedy. I wonder though if people will just sit, talking, and kicking their heels in (like they do every time this happens) without actually changing a damned thing?

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