A Plea for Sanity

A Plea for Sanity


February 16, 2018

 

I almost never delve into politics, but I can’t help it at this point. On Wednesday afternoon, 17 students and staff members in Parkland, Florida were gunned down by a crazed murderer, a 19-year-old kid who had been expelled from the school. As a coach who spends a lot of time in and around a high school, this hits close to home.

Our schools are under attack.

This isn’t hyperbole. It’s a fact. According to some, this was the 19th school shooting . . . of the 2018 calendar year. And it occurred on February 14, only 45 days into 2018. That’s just over two days between school shootings. If almost any other institution were under this frequent of attack, there would be significant changes taking place to security procedures. (UPDATE: The definition of “school shooting” is unclear at times, so thanks to reader Mark for sending me this LINK. The actual number of shootings during the school day appears to be lower, but is still very concerning.)

If someone walked into courthouses around the country and opened fire every two to three days, things would change. (Note: They don’t have to change, because many courthouses have security guards, metal detectors, and other safety features.)

If someone walked into an NBA arena every few days and started shooting, there would be changes. (Note: They don’t have to change, because NBA arenas have security guards, metal detectors, bag searches, and other safety features.)

This isn’t happening at malls or fast food restaurants. It’s happening where children go to school. According to the National Center for Education statistics, there are 50,700,000 students across the country, and there are 3,200,000 teachers. That’s almost 54 million people who walk into schools about 180 days per year, and they’re largely unprotected.

There are a lot of possible reasons for schools being targeted. Maybe the killers know they’ll get a lot of publicity. Maybe when someone is 19 years old and his brain isn’t fully formed yet, the thing that makes the most sense is to go after people who are roughly his own age. Maybe they know a school is a pretty soft target. But regardless of the reason, they’re aiming at schools.

So we need to do something. I don’t have all the answers, but we as a group must have it somewhere inside of us to help effect change. Some combination of the following options (or things I haven’t listed) has to make a difference:

  • Take away guns
  • Improve mental health treatment
  • Install metal detectors
  • Hire more security personnel
  • Make it more difficult to purchase weapons
  • Build fences around schools
  • Secure school entrances
  • Arm and train more school personnel

Very few problems in America have ever been so big that we haven’t been able to beat them. We’re building electric cars. We put men on the moon. We cured polio. We know how to drastically slow the progression of HIV/AIDS.

But until we see school shootings as a common enemy – like we saw the Russians and tuberculosis – we won’t take the epidemic of violence seriously enough to fix it.

 

84 comments

  1. Comments: 46
    Joined: 1/10/2017
    Julio
    Feb 16, 2018 at 7:22 AM

    Nice post, Thunder.

    I’m not sure any “activity” in NBA arenas or courthouses would change the minds of some people. For many members of “team red,” firearms are a very emotional issue. They might learn to live with alternative lifestyles and people who look different from them, but they won’t tolerate any movement on *that* issue. *Any* movement.

    To put it another way, gun control for them is a proxy for all things “blue team.”

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2605
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 16, 2018 at 8:12 AM

      My point with that – and I didn’t discuss it deeply enough – is that if NBA arenas were being shot up as often as schools, the NBA, team owners, and police would put in stricter measures to make sure those things don’t happen. If people stop walking through the doors of NBA arenas to watch basketball games, then that means the owners aren’t making money, and money talks. Now the owners are having meetings saying, “How can we stop guns from getting in? The stadium is half empty, and we’re not selling T-shirts and beer and suites!”

      There’s no such mandate at schools. Every single one of those kids in Florida is going to have to walk back into a high school at some point, and meanwhile, the tax money is still going to come rolling in, whether they skip school or get home schooled or show back up for class. I’m not saying kids should drop out of school or people should stop paying taxes. Those things HAVE to happen. But without those things as a threat, we have to come up with alternative solutions rather than just letting capitalism run its course.

  2. Comments: 90
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Feb 16, 2018 at 7:22 AM

    I have three school age children and my first will be in high school next year. So these stories terrify me. I nearly took a job near Parkland last year and that was one of the schools people we’re recommending if we relocated. Scary!

    But here is my question….how did he get in the school? Our schools are locked once the school day starts and you can only enter the front door to the office. While I am sure this isn’t enough of a solution (gun control!!) It does seem like an easy place to start.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2605
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 16, 2018 at 8:07 AM

      I don’t know the specific answer to that question about how he got in the school, but having worked at or visited a lot of high schools over the years, there are numerous security weaknesses at every school. If you’re a student, former student, or disgruntled employee, it’s pretty easy to devise a plan. Ultimately, unless you increase the number of people responsible for the security of our schools, there are simply too many entrances and exits, and there are too many human elements (especially kids) to cover.

      Think about this: Let’s say you’re a squirrelly 9th-grader walking through the hall for a bathroom break, and you see a 19-year-old kid (maybe he’s a junior or a senior) waiting outside a door, maybe who’s knocking, maybe who makes a motion like “Can you open this door for me? I got locked out!” You’ve got 200 or 400 or 500 of these 9th-graders. What’s to prevent one of them from opening that door? These aren’t highly trained, disciplined people. These are 9th-graders who are eating Tide pods.

      I agree that it’s an easy place to start, but any high school that has 20 or 30 doors leading to the outside is going to be tough to lock down completely.

      • Klctlc
        Comments: 63
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Klctlc
        Feb 16, 2018 at 10:46 AM

        Wow. Can’t say I fully comprehend your post, but I wanted to comment on your lot in life. You obviously went through some tough shit and came out “ok” on the other side. Congrats. Not sure if you are white, black, asian or whatever but your post reminds me that behind all these comments we read on sports blogs are people who have incredible stories and have overcome so much. It is so easy to peg people because we read a few posts. Thanks for sharing

      • Klctlc
        Comments: 63
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Klctlc
        Feb 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM

        Don’t have the answer either but I can tell you I am so sick of one side saying we have to do “something” about guns. WTF is “something”???, be specific so we can debate it and see if it is possible and will it help. Ban assault rifles, ban semi-automatic ban handguns they all do very little. Instead of 17 dead you get 5 dead. I guess that is an improvement? Plus there are just too many guns out there and unless you want to confiscate guns (which will really lead to bloodshed) you will always be able to get these type of guns.

        The common factor for me is that everyone of these assholes is batshit nuts. Everyone. People know it and nothing happens. If we want a discussion about infringing on peoples constitutional gun rights, then we better talk to the aclu about infringing on peoples civil liberties because it needs to be easier to involuntary commit people and schools/teachers need to be able to remove kids and get them treatment. Tough discussions and I am not sure how I really feel but we need a discussion on both. I honestly don’t think restricting guns will work, but some concession probably needs to be made from a political standpoint. I personally don’t want an AR 15, but I am glad many of my neighbors have guns.

        (I don’t wear a tin foil hat, but I do believe gun ownership helps prevent the government from getting too crazy.)

        Serious options IMO:
        – Armed security at every school
        – More lenient rules to involuntarily commit nutjobs and/or
        remove kids from homes
        – Improve data analytics to identify and remove social media nutjobs
        – Ban semi – automatic rifles
        – Spend billions more on social services

        I am sure there are more, but the media makes this worse with the terrible statistics they spew and their incredible bias. A muslim runs over 17 people with a truck and the media’s response is don’t blame muslims. A nutjob shoots 17 people and the media’s response is “take away guns and if you don’t agree with us you are evil”. Our media truly sucks.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2605
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Feb 16, 2018 at 12:24 PM

          “Something” is a combination of things. If you work to get guns off the street, and I work to help with mental health, then we’re attacking the same problem from different avenues. There’s no “magic answer” that will solve the issue all by itself. Going after guns won’t fix it. Hiring more security won’t fix it. But maybe both would make a significant impact.

          Saying “There are too many somethings to do” is a bit of a cop-out, and a lot of people say that, unfortunately.

          Regarding guns, there’s no need for anyone in the United States to have an AR-15, an AK-47, bump stocks, etc. One side says “But I want it!” and the other side says “But it’s killing people.” Case closed. There really shouldn’t be an argument.

        • Comments: 19
          Joined: 4/21/2017
          crom80
          Feb 16, 2018 at 12:29 PM

          Same as how not all muslims run over people with trucks, not all nutjobs shoot up schools.

          The focus on most gun control advocates is on restricting the access of guns from those individuals, not take ‘all’ guns away from law abiding citizens.

          the reason why the discussion regarding gun violence can’t go beyond ‘doing something’ about guns is that there is a political base that wants to focus primarily on ‘mental health’ of the individuals that committed the crimes and not discuss anything about the weapons themselves. if you want specifics, demand law makers to have the debate.

          • Klctlc
            Comments: 63
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Klctlc
            Feb 16, 2018 at 2:57 PM

            Thunder/Crom80.

            My point with “something” is be specific so we can have a debate. Getting rid of AR-15 or AK-47’s is fine, but you need to define it because some other manufacturer will make a tweak, call it something else and with a slight modification it will do the same thing. The problem is coming up with a workable definition of what you are “banning”. It is very hard because of the Constituton. That being said, I am all for the debate. I can live with no assault or semi-automatic rifles. But people a lot smarter than me might come up with some good arguments that may make me reconsider.

            Crom, I think I agree pretty much with what you said. Please have the debate with all options. I personally don’t think will banning “assault” rifles will do much good. So the guy yesterday kills 6 instead of 17. But I also know I could be wrong and the upside is worth it.

            • Comments: 19
              Joined: 4/21/2017
              crom80
              Feb 16, 2018 at 4:32 PM

              i did not suggest banning anything. i merely pointed out what gun control advocates focused on.
              I am sure law makers have produced specifics into what to they would like to do in order to regulate and restrict access to guns. but as i have stated above there is a political base that does not even want to enter a debate regarding anything about guns.

              • Klctlc
                Comments: 63
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Klctlc
                Feb 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM

                If you are sure, please share a concrete example of one you support.
                Not trying to argue, but that would be the basis for a discussion. As I said, people a lot smarter than me may find holes, but it still may make sense.

                • Comments: 19
                  Joined: 4/21/2017
                  crom80
                  Feb 16, 2018 at 5:02 PM

                  “Every major gun control bill proposed since the Las Vegas massacre is losing ground in Congress”
                  http://www.businessinsider.com/las-vegas-stephen-paddock-shooting-gun-control-bills-fail-congress-2017-10

                  an article detailing proposed gun laws to not ban all guns but regulate and restrict access by specific types of person and to certain types of weapons.

                • Klctlc
                  Comments: 63
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Klctlc
                  Feb 16, 2018 at 7:11 PM

                  Crom80.Sorry I could not read. Not paying $1 to read and ad block was not working. If it is banning bump stocks and tougher background checks ( need a little definition, but sounds reasonable) i am OK. But I doubt any of those would have helped here. Would have been nice to have the FBI help out a little here.
                  Can you copy and paste? I would like to read it.

        • Comments: 1
          Joined: 2/17/2018
          Yourfree
          Feb 16, 2018 at 10:06 PM

          It really irritated me that you can even comparing 17 kills vs. 5 kills, and question is it an improvement. that shows how cold blood you are, and I am sure you own killing weapon.

          Those who believe you normal joe owning a M-16 can prevent the government from getting too crazy, please wake up. you have been brain washed since you are a child. you are reading those 200+ year old sentences are outdated. Please go to DARPA webpage and see how the technogloy has advanced, the killing robot will soon be developed within a few years. Your M-16 make no fear to any governments (small or big) in this planet.

          • Klctlc
            Comments: 63
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Klctlc
            Feb 18, 2018 at 10:04 AM

            Your free. Thanks for reading through all my posts. I don’t own a gun. Have no desire to own a gun. But believe in the constitution. Remember this is the second amendment not the 8th. The point still stands. Outlaw all assault type rifles and these nut jobs will still kill. Just less efficiently. It seems to me Vietnam and Afghanistan had a very rural population with only small arms at first that kind of did OK with holding off the government?

  3. Comments: 1154
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Feb 16, 2018 at 8:57 AM

    School’s first responsibility is the protection of the children that attend there. all of the above schools failed in their primary responsibility. My wife attended Finney High School in Detroit in the 70’s. Finley had Detroit Police officers at every unlocked entrance. as did most of the rest of the PSL. I believe only Cass Tech did not.

    Your depressing circle of cause and effect will not change until schools and other government entities wake up to their responsibility and provide security sufficient to prevent maniacs from gaining entrance to a school building without ANY interference at all. This kid just walked in armed to the teeth with weapons, smoke bombs, a vest … I think … and just went to work unopposed.

    Schools have no problem ruining families over all kinds of dumb shit stuff that they decide puts kids at risk, all in the name of protecting children. The stories are legion. But when it comes to protecting children while they are in attendance within the facilities controlled by any given school district, you hear all kinds of bullshit about “maintaining a conducive learning environment”. My strongly held opinion is that this is only about the political goals and ideals held by much of academia and it has absolutely nothing to do with protecting children or anyone else for that matter.

    Just so everybody is clear, my point here is that this ain’t societies fault, it ain’t about guns or gun violence it’s only about one fucked up kids and several different incompetent groups of “professionals” that failed to protect the children in their charge.

    • Comments: 1154
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Feb 16, 2018 at 8:57 AM

      kid .. singular.

  4. Comments: 226
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Feb 16, 2018 at 9:09 AM

    This isn’t about ‘politics’ . This is about preventing extreme criminal actions at a school. Evidently all of the ‘red flags’ existed regarding the alleged perp and yet no one really did anything – took any preemptive preventative measures – then he gets hold of firearms and this……….

    And then,too, a school age teen is far more likely to be killed in an auto accident or drown then being shot while attending school but the firearm violence gets the press. Something does need to be done to curb ALL teen violence be it criminal or accidental………. and I don’t think it begins with better ‘laws’ or better ‘schools’ or better ‘law enforcement’ but rather better PARENTS.

    Murahkin Culture in general, is really just pathetic……………..INTJohn

    • Comments: 19
      Joined: 4/21/2017
      crom80
      Feb 16, 2018 at 9:20 AM

      auto accidents and drowning may result in innocent bystanders to also be dragged in resulting in death (eg drunk driving, inexperienced rescuer also drowning etc), but nothing compares to the amount of damage a determined individual that is well armed is possible of inflicting.

      as most people would agree this problem is not due to ‘one thing’ such as bad parenting. not one single fix will get rid of this 100%. it needs to be approached in ALL available avenues, including laws and regulation.

      it becomes politics because one party seems to always ignore the ‘regulate gun’ approach.

      • Comments: 226
        Joined: 12/24/2016
        INTJohn
        Feb 16, 2018 at 9:54 AM

        If you want to see it as politics then it does become ‘politics’ from your perspective. Murahkin culture as a whole is seriously flawed and the thing that has enabled these serious flaws to evolve & grow is a big Ocean on one side and a bigger Ocean on the other………

        The Human Animal did not evolve over several tens of thousand of years to institutionalize its young but over the past several decades – post WWII that is what has occured in Murahkin Society and Parents have abidicated their direct duties & responsibilities to their children in favor of not only the almighty $$$ & hedonism but expecting an governmental Authority Figure to raise & protect their children for them……….
        It is going to take a while for Evolutional reactions to catch up to this severe rapid change & alteration in Human Cultural activities………
        Such rapidity in any Evolutional force activity always results in ‘violence’ be it earthquake, tornado weather or Human activity…….

        Yes – I’m not one of those many millions who think Humanity was born of some ‘Spirit’ but rather is a result of the forces of Nature……..

        And yes, Better Parenting! I grew up in foster homes and was never adopted. My parents murdered each other and I was determined to build my own great life independent of any fuking Authority Figure.

        You people who think Schools first priority is to ‘protect’ children are fukt up. A schools first priority should be to provide an educational network not ‘protection. the fact that this is what ‘Schools’ have evolved into is an indication of how messed up Parents & Murahkin Parenting , Culture in general has become.

        As I See It…………..INTJohn

        • Klctlc
          Comments: 63
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Klctlc
          Feb 16, 2018 at 10:45 AM

          Wow. Can’t say I fully comprehend your post, but I wanted to comment on your lot in life. You obviously went through some tough shit and came out “ok” on the other side. Congrats. Not sure if you are white, black, asian or whatever but your post reminds me that behind all these comments we read on sports blogs are people who have incredible stories and have overcome so much. It is so easy to peg people because we read a few posts. Thanks for sharing

        • Comments: 19
          Joined: 4/21/2017
          crom80
          Feb 16, 2018 at 12:42 PM

          institutionalization is part of human social evolution. that is why we have government and countries. that is why we root for UofM football. biological evolution should not dictate how humanity acts consciously. evolution is not a defense for males to cheat on their wives to spread their ‘seed’.

          I disagree with your opinion that a school’s first priority is not to protect the students. only when a student’s well being is protected and cared for then can that student focus on education.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 2605
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Feb 16, 2018 at 12:51 PM

            I agree with you about protection. I don’t think Roanman was talking about protecting students from criticism or anger or bad grades or accountability. I think Roanman was talking about protecting students from life-threatening situations, like fires, shooters, kidnappers, etc. And yes, I do believe that is and should be the #1 priority of a school. Parents are entrusting the lives of their children to educators, and it’s more important that the kid comes home at the end of the day than if they learn trigonometry or plate tectonics.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2605
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 16, 2018 at 12:32 PM

      One significant difference between drowning/auto accidents and gun violence is that if I’m a kid/adult, I have control over my ability to swim or how I behave around pools. I might be more likely to drown, but there are also some very simple ways to avoid drowning. (Don’t drink and swim, avoid riptides, know how to swim out of riptides, be careful around pools, etc.) If I’m a good driver, I also can choose when I should be driving, I can drive safely, I can wear my seatbelt, etc. and mitigate the issue. Of course, there’s always a chance that a drunk driver or sleepy driver might end my life, but a lot of the fatal car accidents I have personally seen have been single-car accidents where the driver of that particular has made a careless, fatal mistake. I’ve had 2 football players die in traffic accidents in the past couple years, and as sad as it is, it was entirely their fault.

      If I’m sitting in a class and get shot, I’m not in control. I’m at the mercy of a shooter’s accuracy, a gun’s reliability, and luck.

  5. JC
    Comments: 200
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Feb 16, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    What can we do moving forward?
    Taking away guns would cause a civil war. There are 300 million of them in the united states.
    Improve mental health treatment – How? I’m all for it. I’d like to see some proposed options, then we can weight the pros and cons and pick the best fix.
    Install metal detectors – The kid came into the school guns blazing, that wouldn’t have fixed this. I am ignorant to how most school shootings start. Is it typically students that sneak guns in and start shooting, or is it typically walking through the front door already fully equipped?
    Hire more security personnel – Absolutely. Local law enforcement might not have the capacity to do this, but we have budget for the best military in the united states. Rough idea: is it unreasonable to put military personnel in training, have them be on some sort of rotation for a few days or a week at a time protecting schools? Budget neutral fix.
    Make it more difficult to purchase weapons – with the amount of weapons here people will find away around the law.
    Build fences – If you put cameras around the school and had a security guard able to lock down the school as soon as any potential threat appeared, this could be a viable option.
    Secure school entrances – Aforementioned points cover that.
    Arm and train more school personnel – Hiring more security personnel covers that.

    Could this specific instance been prevented?
    This kid posted a youtube comment that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The name he commented under, was his first and last name. CNN doxed a guy for making a meme on an anonymous internet message board.

    I haven’t been very impressed with the FBI. They’ve been involved in too much political bullshit to do their job of investigating things like this. Kid says online he’s going to be a professional school shooter a couple months ago, FBI is informed of this, FBI does nothing, kid shoots up school. I’m not saying there are always clear warning signs, but this specific instance could have been prevented.

  6. Comments: 90
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Feb 16, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    In terms of solutions, I don’t love the ideas of putting more guards and guns in school. I realize that this may help and is the way that certain venues address security risks….but I’d rather find a better solution than “fight fire with fire” if one exists. Maybe security doesn’t mean guns though – TSA doesn’t carry weapons at airports.

    Part of the problem with that approach is financial. We don’t have money to pay teachers or support the arts in school so staffing up with a bunch of security guards is, sadly, going to be a challenge.

    I read an article about how Japan controls guns. It was fascinating. You can have most types of guns in Japan, but the process to EARN them and KEEP them is far more involved. While their system wouldn’t immediately work here for a variety of reasons, I think the gun control discussion boils down to this:

    — Why is it harder to get a drivers license, get married, buy a house, buy a car, or even adopt a pet (in some cases) than to get an AR-15 or comparable weapon?

    If you can answer that question, you have the beginning of a solution. While I don’t agree with the “Right to Bear Arms” arguments, I respect them. I don’t want to deny people the right to have a weapon…..but I sure as hell want to make sure they’ve earned it. (Testing, interviews, back-ground checks, etc.)

    • Comments: 19
      Joined: 4/21/2017
      crom80
      Feb 16, 2018 at 1:59 PM

      TSA’s main role is not to defend the airport from gunmen. The security of the airport itself is provided by police not TSA.
      Unless there is a change in the type of weapons that an individual can possess I don’t see how simply having unarmed security or a screening device would prevent or intercept a gunman.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2605
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 16, 2018 at 2:07 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly with most of what you wrote, especially about the car thing. It’s a pain in the butt to buy a car, and it takes hours to do all the paperwork. Not only that, but some states have emissions tests, inspections, etc.

      But in most states, if you buy a thing that is specifically used for killing – whether it’s animals or people – there are never any questions asked after you buy the weapon. You can be a totally normal 18-year-old buying a gun to hunt, and when you still have that gun as a divorced, out-of-work, angry, 48-year-old alcoholic, nobody has even approached you about the whereabouts, safety, or use of that gun in 30 years.

      • Klctlc
        Comments: 63
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Klctlc
        Feb 16, 2018 at 2:59 PM

        Agreed. This discussion needs to be part of the debate. Many people are nervous of gun registry’s,but honestly I don’t see how we get around it.

    • Comments: 1154
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Feb 16, 2018 at 3:53 PM

      We have lots of money for schools, There is no better solution. Assign police units to school, Provide incentives to teachers who are able and willing to be trained and accept the responsiblitlity for assisting in security. This problem moves elsewhere.

      If you are unwilling to secure schools and school grounds from armed intruders, you aren’t serious about a solution, you are playing politics with peoples children.

      Secure every school first, then go to arguing about guns.

  7. Comments: 13
    Joined: 2/16/2018
    BleedMnB
    Feb 16, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    First time poster, but I want to add my two cents.

    It seems these tragedies are always politicized before the victims’ bodies are even cold. The first thing out of politicians’ mouths is always “further gun control” or “abolish the 2nd amendment” without any of them really presenting logical solutions. This is a tragedy; there is no other way to describe it. However, it seems that emotion trumps common sense when the dust settles on these incidents and, again, this seems to be happening. So, since we here seem like logical adults that can make logical determinations based on the information at hand, let’s look at the gun situation in its entirety.

    It’s important to first look at the intent of the 2nd Amendment both during the time of its enactment and the Founders’ view of what it meant for citizens of the country then and into the future. The text of the 2nd Amendment is as follows:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The 2nd Amendment is part the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution). Keep in mind, the Bill of Rights were written by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties. The Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power.

    The text of the 2nd Amendment itself says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” or violated/invaded/encroached. The amendment itself was very clear as was the intent from those who wrote it. The wanted to ensure not only individual liberty to protect one self’s life, family, and property, but also defend the newly found country:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
    – James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
    – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

    I can go on. My point is simply this: The 2nd amendment was written and enacted to prevent the government from ever taking away individual liberties of the people. Essentially, the 2nd amendment’s purpose was to protect the liberties guaranteed within the Bill of Rights. To abolish this amendment would take away any buffer from the government taking over every individual liberty.

    Let me also clear another common misconception. This whole “AR-15’s are assault rifles” narrative is inherently false. I proudly own an AR-15, and I can tell you for a fact it only shoots as fast as I pull the trigger. AR-15 type weapons shoot .223/.556 rounds. They are considered sporting rifles, and just because they have black composite stock instead of a walnut stock doesn’t automatically make them an “assault rifle.” The look doesn’t “evolve” the weapon. It’s an ignorant point of view, as the term itself is objective.

    Here in Michigan, I am already subjected to a background check before I can purchase a firearm or obtain a conceal carry permit; both infringements on MY individual rights. However, I am law-abiding just like the millions of other gun owners in the U.S. and comply with the legal requirements. You cannot make a blanket statement about guns or gun owners based on the actions of a few crazy people.

    Furthermore, a study of inmates in Chicago showed that 68 of 70 of the 99 inmates surveyed obtained a gun illegally to commit their crime. Again; they were not law-abiding citizens. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743515001486). There are numerous studies out there that support the same data. Law abiding citizens have to go through all the red tape to obtain a firearm, but they are obviously not the ones committing gun crimes. This trend is similar nationwide, where less that 10 percent of the gun crimes are committed by legal gun owners. If it isn’t law-abiding gun owners, then something else is wrong.

    Guns have been part of this country’s culture for over 200 years. It has never been a “gun issue.” It’s a people issue. The moral fabric of this country has deteriorated very quickly. Broken and fatherless homes have left many kids without any guidance. Parent accountability and responsibility to the nurturing of their children has severely declined. The daily desensitizing of violence through TV and movies. These are real issues. Guns cannot shoot themselves. As I said, it is a people problem, not a gun problem.

    Solutions to this problem are simple:
    • Have armed personnel at the schools. I can’t stress how important this is. These facilities are some of the softest targets in any one community. They are well-known “gun-free” zones and are easy targets for those looking to harm innocent, vulnerable people. We have armed security/law enforcement at sporting events, airports, concerts etc. but not at schools. What sense does that make? Shouldn’t those the most vulnerable be given the highest protection?
    • Let teachers carry. As caretakers and educators of our children, they should have the means to protect our children should situations like this arise. The average police response is 15 minutes! That is too much time.
    • Bring back the morality that once drove this country.

    These are real solutions. Going after law-abiding citizens with guns who have the means to stop violence only perpetuates the problem. It simply makes no sense.

    This is not intended to down play the horrific event that happened on Valentine’s Day. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, and I only wish I was there to stop it. However, I think it’s important that people take a step back and look at the actual data before throwing out false information. Let the facts drive the conversation; not emotion.

    • Comments: 19
      Joined: 4/21/2017
      crom80
      Feb 16, 2018 at 4:38 PM

      it’s an amendment. it can be changed.

      “Nothing is more likely than that [the] enumeration of powers is defective. This is the ordinary case of all human works. Let us then go on perfecting it by adding by way of amendment to the Constitution those powers which time and trial show are still wanting.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. ME 10:419

      • Klctlc
        Comments: 63
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Klctlc
        Feb 16, 2018 at 4:46 PM

        Crom. Agreed it can be. Good luck.

        However, don’t insult the people who disagree with you when it does not get changed/repealed ( not saying you would ,but that is the modus operandi for many on both sides).

        Read Madison’s federalist 46 (?) I believe it shows that the second amendment is to protect against the government. I know times change it was over 200 years ago… However, I think the risk is still real. I don’t wear a tinfoil hat, but Kristallnacht would be a helluva lot tougher in the US than it was almost 80 years ago. People in Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina should be worried.

        Once again, I am open for getting rid of “assault ” rifles, just show me the definition.

        • Comments: 19
          Joined: 4/21/2017
          crom80
          Feb 16, 2018 at 5:10 PM

          i didn’t insult anybody. i pointed out it is an amendment and the constitution should not be immune to the change of time. he provided supporting work by historical figures to support his opinion as did i.

          what is the definition of the ‘assault’ rifle that you are open to getting rid of?

          • Klctlc
            Comments: 63
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Klctlc
            Feb 16, 2018 at 7:16 PM

            Honestly don’t know. But fully automatic and semi auto along with large capacity magazines sounds like a good starting point. But I don’t own a gun and have never seen a fully auto or semi auto. So I am talking out of my you know what. People who actually know guns need to define it. Maybe somebody like Bleed Mnb can chime in. I do believe it can be done. But it seems like there are so many ways to modify guns to make them do whatever. I would really like people who know guns to actually debate it. I have a lot to learn.

            • Comments: 13
              Joined: 2/16/2018
              BleedMnB
              Feb 17, 2018 at 5:32 PM

              Gladly. An assault rifle is a rapid fire weapon carried by military personnel and not sold on the civilian markets. M16’s and M4’s have a selector allowing the weapon to be used as a fully automatic weapon (multiple rounds per trigger pull). AR15 (which stands for Armalite, not assault rifle) style weapons may look similar, but come in semi automatic (1 round per trigger pull) only. Civilians cannot buy fully automatic weapons, which was banned back in the 1980s. So, an AR 15, once again, is a sporting rifle, not an assault rifle.

              • Comments: 19
                Joined: 4/21/2017
                crom80
                Feb 17, 2018 at 9:37 PM

                why would a semi automatic not be considered rapid fire? is it a law or regulation term?

                • Comments: 13
                  Joined: 2/16/2018
                  BleedMnB
                  Feb 17, 2018 at 10:49 PM

                  You’re reaching here. You know what these terms mean, but let me simplify it for you: an AR 15 is a sporting rifle, not an assault rifle. That’s pretty much it.

                • Comments: 19
                  Joined: 4/21/2017
                  crom80
                  Feb 17, 2018 at 11:02 PM

                  i honestly do not know. based on what criteria does it make a sporting rifle and not an assault rifle? what defines a rapid fire rifle?

          • Klctlc
            Comments: 63
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Klctlc
            Feb 16, 2018 at 7:17 PM

            BTW I know you didn’t insult anybody. I was just saying that is what happens when people disagree. Sorry.

      • Comments: 921
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Feb 16, 2018 at 8:22 PM

        I think his point is, lose the 2d Amendment, and the others are likely to follow

        “it’s an amendment. it can be changed”

        • Comments: 17
          Joined: 10/16/2015
          Vienna Jack
          Feb 18, 2018 at 8:58 AM

          The 2nd Amendment was passed at a time when the US had no standing army. Its first words are, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State … .” In Heller v. DC, the Supreme Court wrote those words out of the 2nd Amendment not all that long after Chief Justice Warren Burger (a notoriously right leaning justice) described the efforts of the NRA to equate the 2nd Amendment with an individual right to bear arms the greatest fraud any institution had ever sought to perpetrate on the American public. The 2nd Amendment was also written when (a) many states required men to have rifles (it was the militia thing) and (b) the “arms” in question were muzzle loaders that took more than a few seconds to reload for each round. I personally have no problem with people being allowed to have muzzle loaders. Allowing people to have military grade weapons is crazy.

          • Comments: 921
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Feb 18, 2018 at 1:25 PM

            ViennaJack, you’re misleading with Heller v DC
            The Supreme Court voted in favor of the right to bear arms, and in fact found unconstitutional 1970s era gun regulations…
            As far as your point of 2A being written during a time of muskets, are you implying that we shouldn’t next restrict the media? Free speech? After all, 1A was written long before anyone & everyone went buckwild with social media, or websites passed smut as legit news
            What BleedMnB has been saying from the start is, taking away from the Bill of Rights is a slippery slope; if the government can take one (guns), what’s to stop them from taking the rest?

            • Comments: 17
              Joined: 10/16/2015
              Vienna Jack
              Feb 18, 2018 at 9:06 PM

              Not exactly a unanimous opinion, it was 5-4, with a court packed with right leaning justices who overturned an 80 year old precedent.. Every one of the Bill of Rights is subject to reasonable restrictions, in any event. You cannot yell fire in a theater, you cannot make statements likely to cause a run on a bank and any of a number of other 1st Amendment restrictions, including the libel laws. Reasonable restrictions include, for example, no handguns without extensive testing, licensing and time limits on the license. Reasonable restrictions would also include things like bans on high capacity magazines, armor piercing bullets and a great many other forms of weaponry. You are not allowed to have an atomic bomb or, for that matter, a machine gun, correct? Those are also restrictions. Personally, I think all guns should be confiscated and melted down, and there’s not one I haven’t fired, up to and including the main battery on our primary battle tank (Vietnam era).

              • Comments: 921
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Feb 18, 2018 at 11:01 PM

                So you admit to trying to pass off a High Court decision as something other than what it really was?
                You are also wrong in your claim that 2A was passed before we had an Army. The Army (and Marines) were in place before the Declaration, the Revolution, and the Constitution
                I’d say you’re wrong about firing every weapon in Vietnam, but I wasn’t there with you… I do doubt it though, and assume you are seriously exaggerating. 20 years in Marine Corps infantry–4 tours in Iraq & 1 in Afghanistan–and I haven’t come close…
                As far as your preference for “collecting all guns & melting them,” that tells me all I need to know, which is enough to doubt the rest of your two posts

                • Comments: 13
                  Joined: 2/16/2018
                  BleedMnB
                  Feb 19, 2018 at 11:29 AM

                  From one veteran to another, thank you for your service. It is concerning to see people ignore that fact that these amendments were enacted to guarantee individual liberty for ALL and prevent the government from infringing on these liberties. It is hard for me to fathom why someone would want an elected politician or anyone in a position of governmental power to tell them what to do with their own lives. This mindset completely contradicts the purpose of the Bill of Rights itself. If you want the government to control every aspect of your personal life, there are plenty of countries that do just that.

                  Some people like guns; I get it. That, fortunately, has no bearing on my choice to protect my family, my life, and my home (and other innocent people if necessary). That’s the beauty of living in this country. Feelings do not get to trump personal liberty.

      • Comments: 13
        Joined: 2/16/2018
        BleedMnB
        Feb 17, 2018 at 11:21 AM

        Your quote seems to only contradict your point. Yes, times have changed. However, I would argue that the evil in this world is more rapant than it was 200 years ago further justifying the need for individuals to protect themself. You are arguing for sending more sheep to the slaughter. It seems to me this is more destructive. Abolishing the 2nd amendment makes every person in the US more vulnerable. Is that logical?

        • Comments: 19
          Joined: 4/21/2017
          crom80
          Feb 17, 2018 at 3:12 PM

          I don’t see how it contradicts my point that laws should change with time.
          I strongly disagree against your opinion how 200 years ago there was less evil in the world. People owned other people back then. Women were considered not worth enough to vote.
          What sheep are you refering to that have been sent to slaughter which may have been saved by the 2nd amendment?

          • Comments: 13
            Joined: 2/16/2018
            BleedMnB
            Feb 17, 2018 at 5:05 PM

            The sheep I am referring to are the millions of gun owners here is the US and abide by the law, which would no longer have the ability to defend themselves. If you dont like guns, then don’t buy one. You don’t get to tell me I can’t defend myself and my family. As mentioned in my previous response, the problem is not legal gun owners. It’s the bad guys’ ability to obtain a firearm illegally. Focus on that issue. Don’t come after people like myself.

            • Comments: 19
              Joined: 4/21/2017
              crom80
              Feb 17, 2018 at 8:40 PM

              i am not familiar with the history of the struggle of people trying to keep the 2nd amendment. was there a slaughter of people trying to protect the 2nd amendment?
              i don’t suggest banning all guns. i agree with the idea that stronger regulations and restrictions are needed. as you have opined that there is more evil in today’s world wouldn’t you want to regulate and restrict access to them.

              • Comments: 13
                Joined: 2/16/2018
                BleedMnB
                Feb 19, 2018 at 11:35 AM

                As I have mentioned numerous times now, it is not legal gun owners committing the vast majority of gun crimes. It’s the bad guys obtaining guns illegally. Criminals don’t listen to laws; that’s why they are the bad guys. Regulations, once again, restrict LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS. Please, explain how gun restrictions are going to stop the bad guys when they simply circumvent the law. Further regulations will not stop this problem.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 2605
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Feb 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM

                  I think this is a far too simplified idea. There is a large area between “LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS” and “the bad guys.” Yes, gang members, drug cartels, career criminals, etc. might get guns.

                  The school shootings that have been taking place have been coming from deranged young males. I’m not saying it wouldn’t happen, but Nikolas Cruz or Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris or any of these other school shooters wouldn’t qualify as gang members, cartel members, career criminals, etc. If guns weren’t so prevalent, they might not have had access to them or have known where to go to get one. And in the process of getting one, they might be dumb enough to get caught or set off some red flags.

                • Comments: 921
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Feb 19, 2018 at 1:39 PM

                  Set off some red flags?
                  Thunder, Cruz was known by the FBI to have posted on the word wide web his aspirations to be a schools shooter…

                • Comments: 19
                  Joined: 4/21/2017
                  crom80
                  Feb 19, 2018 at 7:22 PM

                  so is it correct for me to understand that you are against any type of restrictions and regulations regarding the type of arms an individual is allowed to possess?

    • Comments: 921
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Feb 16, 2018 at 8:21 PM

      Very well-written BleedMnB. I don’t own a gun, and haven’t even fired one since I retired, but as far as concealed carry goes, I’ve got some real douchebags in my area who got a permit. The thought of them with a weapon in a moment of crisis makes me cringe

      • Comments: 13
        Joined: 2/16/2018
        BleedMnB
        Feb 17, 2018 at 11:24 AM

        I understand your concern, but I can tell you I feel the opposite. I know many people with whom I would entrust my life with. Logically, this is not an evidential argument. Feelings cannot be used to take away individual liberties.

    • Comments: 162
      Joined: 12/19/2015
      Extrajuice
      Feb 16, 2018 at 9:59 PM

      Instead of saying, “Let teachers carry”, maybe you should ask them their opinion. I think you’ll find the vast majority of educators are repulsed by that comment. Most likely because the 1 in 10 that want to carry are the craziest teachers in the building!

      Also, it seems that police prefer more gun control as well. If the actual individuals that have to deal with the results of gun violence suggest it needs to be more regulated, well, it needs to be more regulated.

      How do other countries deal with gun violence? Whatever they’re doing it seems to work a lot better than us. The 2nd Amendment was made 200+ years ago. It’s a bit outdated. But, taking away guns would be like trying to shut down social media for teenagers. There’s going to be a lot of whining despite the fact that it’s probably better for humanity.

      • Comments: 1154
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Feb 17, 2018 at 8:03 AM

        Of course most teachers are repulsed, they are also not the people you want in possession of a weapon anyway. It violates their politics, possibly among other things and they are not equipped for the responsibility. I don’t mean that as a pejorative.

        There are certainly teachers who are both willing and equipped to have a weapon. I’m guessing that if you could ask him, the poor bastard of a football coach who lost his life trying to protect the kids under attack in this obscenity would have been delighted to have been trained and armed.

        As one can easily see in this conversation, like everything else in this country for the last 30 plus years, murdered school children is unfortunately only about politics. Which is exactly why we have the massive cluster doodle that we live with on a daily basis. You’ll notice that Federal government enjoys an exceptional level of armed security. You will also notice that the Federal government after talking a lot bullshit, doesn’t give a rats ass about these kids as evidenced by the nothing that has and will continue to happen. School children are expendable tools, congressmen and bureaucrats, not so much.

        • Comments: 162
          Joined: 12/19/2015
          Extrajuice
          Feb 17, 2018 at 9:11 AM

          “Of course most teachers are repulsed, they are also not the people you want in possession of a weapon anyway. It violates their politics, possibly among other things and they are not equipped for the responsibility. I don’t mean that as a pejorative.”

          Interesting statement considering 52% of public school teachers have Masters Degrees (fastfactusa.com), compared to 8% of public, it may be worthwhile to consider that some of the most educated people in our society realize that guns in schools is not the answer. Gun control and mental health care should be priority #1 and #2.

          It’s also a bit insulting that you make a statement that the “poor bastard” (his name is Aaron Feis) would have wanted a gun at that time. By the articles I’ve read, he may have had guns. His step-father was a NYPD detective and former security guard at the same high school. But your statement would mean that guns would be allowed IN school. In these circumstances, I tend to listen to the victims families who strongly favor gun control after these tragedies. I don’t hear many family victims calling for more guns!

          • Comments: 1154
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Feb 17, 2018 at 4:13 PM

            What matters is results, not credentials. It’s a profound mistake to confuse holding an advanced degree with either smarts or the ability to reason. Schools that are run by your 52% holders of advanced degrees are failing children the length and breadth of this country. This particular fail is only the most egregious. The result of the opinions and fine work preformed by the highly credentialed people in this particular instance is the slaughter of innocent children.

            They are not only failures, but culpable. It is their fault that there is/was insufficient security to even slow this kid down, or any kid anywhere for that matter. That lack of security is on the heads of teachers, administrators, school boards, cops and lets give special mention to the morons at the FBI, many if not most of whom are JDs by the way, who have demonstrated themselves once again to be complete incompetents

            None of these groups in the majority interestingly, enough, think guns in the hands of trained, licensed citizens is a good idea, despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that any of these people and the institutions that employ them ever successfully deter anything more serious than speeding.

            You want to save children’s lives? Protect/defend school campuses. Want more dead children? Keep playing politics arguing about guns in schools, gun control and mental health issues.

            And just for the sake of full disclosure, I own a 45 year old Browning five shot, automatic shotgun that has never been fired and no other gun. I don’t shoot or hunt. The cop next door told me I should saw that puppy off.

            • Comments: 1154
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Feb 17, 2018 at 4:28 PM

              And as an aside, Mr. Feis is not insulted, he’s dead.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2605
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Feb 17, 2018 at 1:26 PM

          I would be terrified to know that some of my high school teachers had guns. Some of them were off their rockers, were rumored to put alcohol in their coffee mugs, had anger issues, or were just flat-out airheads. Granted, not ALL of them would have to be trained, but there are plenty of sideways people in the teaching profession, too.

          • Comments: 1154
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Feb 17, 2018 at 5:18 PM

            I wouldn’t want any teacher in any school to be holding any weapon that hadn’t been trained and tested on every imaginable issue. Pretty much anywhere else either for that matter.

            I wouldn’t want people doing it for free either. One reason teachers pursue advance degrees is that they are well compensated for that pursuit. That’s how you get your raise or promotion. People should be compensated for passing training and accepting this responsibility.

            Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that their are half a dozen teachers in most every school with the experience and demeanor necessary to provide security.

            There are multiple guys in schools around here that are ex military. I know at least one and I’m pretty sure two who have permits to carry.

            • Comments: 1154
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Feb 17, 2018 at 5:27 PM

              Chip used to have sweet old minimum wage retired guys supplementing their pensions by providing security in the parking lots and entrances. Those guys knew what they were looking at mostly and worked the kids pretty smoothly.

              Now they have a group of young guys who they for damn sure are still hardly paying. The kids have not an ounce of respect for them. I was happier with the sweet old guys, although I wouldn’t be handing a weapon to either group, frankly.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2605
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Feb 17, 2018 at 1:29 PM

        I agree with your last paragraph. There are lots of industrialized countries throughout the world who don’t have these issues, at least not to this extent. Rather than thinking of ourselves as The Way To Be, perhaps we should look to other countries for examples.

        • Comments: 13
          Joined: 2/16/2018
          BleedMnB
          Feb 17, 2018 at 5:10 PM

          We are not other countries nor should we strive to be. Our constitution differentiates us. I love our uniqueness, and we should never try to follow other coutries. We are looked at by other countries to lead for a reason.

          • Klctlc
            Comments: 63
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Klctlc
            Feb 17, 2018 at 7:26 PM

            Roanman. Agree 100% well said.

            • Klctlc
              Comments: 63
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Klctlc
              Feb 17, 2018 at 7:27 PM

              I meant Bleed MNB

          • Comments: 19
            Joined: 4/21/2017
            crom80
            Feb 17, 2018 at 8:45 PM

            being unique for the sake of being unique is not rational. i doubt other developed countries look upon the US as a good example regarding control.

            • Comments: 19
              Joined: 4/21/2017
              crom80
              Feb 17, 2018 at 9:01 PM

              *regarding gun control.

            • Comments: 13
              Joined: 2/16/2018
              BleedMnB
              Feb 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM

              No other country has a constitution, either, that offers you the freedom to disagree with me right now. Why not embrace your individual liberty instead of trying to take mine?

              • Comments: 19
                Joined: 4/21/2017
                crom80
                Feb 19, 2018 at 2:26 PM

                are you sure no other country in the world has a constitution that allows an individual to freely express his or her own opinion?

          • Thunder
            Comments: 2605
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Feb 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM

            That doesn’t mean we’re the best in every category. We should always be looking to improve.

            If you apply that same rationale to Michigan’s football program, then you would be very disappointed. If Michigan said, “We only want Michigan people coaching Michigan, running defenses devised by Michigan Men, and running offenses created by Michigan Men,” then yikes. Our defensive coordinator – probably Harbaugh’s best personnel move – came from Boston College.

            I appreciate the idea of wanting to innovate and lead, but if things aren’t working, then you can look elsewhere for inspiration. Our gun laws, mental health care, culture, or SOMETHING isn’t working, so we should be looking at all alternatives, including implementation of rules and laws found in Europe, Asia, South America, or anywhere else that has a better system.

        • Comments: 1154
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Feb 17, 2018 at 5:31 PM

          You probably won’t like the answer. The difference tends to be way, double homogenized races, people and cultures. That melting pot thing is a double edged deal. The heat from the pot does provide some useful tempering, but it also burns.

          • Comments: 1154
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Feb 17, 2018 at 5:33 PM

            On the positive side, we ain’t Venezuela … or Mexico.

  8. Comments: 36
    Joined: 9/18/2016
    Chowman
    Feb 16, 2018 at 5:50 PM

    I don’t want to get into the whole argument of banning guns or not banning guns. Bottom line is if somebody is out to harm others, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll succeed. That being said, sounds like the ball was dropped on dealing with this kid. There were warning signs. He wasn’t the “man never saw this coming/totally out of character” type. The banned him from having a backpack on campus, then expelled him. People commented about how he talked about shooting people. He needed help, and instead of getting it, he was told to just go away. The school system has some questions to answer. I read today where the FBI was notified about him. I get its 20/20 hindsight, but man this sounds like this was tragedy that could of been prevented!

  9. Thunder
    Comments: 2605
    Joined: 7/13/2015
    Feb 17, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    I appreciate the relative maturity displayed throughout this discussion. I know some other places where this topic would have turned into name-calling and hate speech.

    • Klctlc
      Comments: 63
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Klctlc
      Feb 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM

      Agreed. You can tell some of us disagree, but nobody got personal.

      Wish we could see a real debate from a pro gun person and an anti second amendment. I mean a real debate it may not change minds, but I admit I don’t know it all. Would love to Ben Shapiro debate an equally competent person on the other side.

      BTW Thunder the discussion here is a compliment to you and how you handle your blog. Thanks,

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2605
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Feb 19, 2018 at 12:19 PM

        Thank you. I appreciate it.

  10. Comments: 9
    Joined: 11/23/2015
    Burge333
    Feb 18, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    I thought I would chime in on this as I might have a unique prespective as a non American, that no longer lives in North America. I won’t address gun control but just provide an outsiders observation.

    These horrible attrocities have become what America is known for, mass shootings are becoming what good ole apple pie used to be. Where outsiders we used to be appalled, our responses now are “Americans being Americans”. An example, if your domestic airline had a plane crash once a week the government would intervene, people would stop flying… In these cases you do neither.

    It is sad that our response is now so benign, but this is a unique to America problem, no other countries in the world have this problem. You patently refuse to address it in any manner. This has been going on for a long time now and is likely to continue, after the government failed to action first school shooting it became an normalised expected response. Incidently having the worst health care in the western world contirbutes to the issue. Citizens did not and have not expected more or required more from elected officals. Even Obama refused to address the issue meaningfully.

    The government seems to have normalised the behaviour by arguing semantics of it. Realistically politicians pause while it is happening, the right praying it is a muslim, the left hoping it is a old white dude. One side cringes when they find out, the other slyly says “we got them” they both grab the one of two prepared official statements that apply to the race of the shooter. Normal Americans feign outrage; half the country defends the NRA and the need for mandatory machine guns, the other half outraged and judging those gun owners and the NRA.

    This isn’t meant to be an anti American rant, but it is how we observe you. America does some things really well, your top notch schools are amazing, you have the most flexible and successful capital markets. America has pushed innovation over the past 40 years to increase our quality of life in many ways. It was a great run.

    However, Americans do somethings really poorly and stubbornly refuse to change them, this is one of those things. It is also a symptom of obviously much bigger issues as a society.

    • Comments: 13
      Joined: 2/16/2018
      BleedMnB
      Feb 19, 2018 at 11:53 AM

      I would argue that Europe has more mass killings than the U.S. Perhaps it should be “Europeans being Europeans?” (https://crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-rates-from-mass-public-shootings-in-the-us-and-europe/)

      I appreciate your non-America point of view, but the fact of the matter is this: The United States has, by far, the highest rate of guns per 100 people at 89 (Yemen 2nd at 55). That’s the LEGALLY owned figures and does not include guns illegally obtained, since that is untraceable. However, we only have the 31st highest rates of gun deaths in the world (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/06/555861898/gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-to-other-countries). Statistically speaking, if the narrative was correct, that number would be much higher.

      Again, legal gun owners are NOT the problem. The narrative, statistically speaking, just isn’t there.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2605
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Feb 19, 2018 at 12:35 PM

        Honest question: Where are the guns coming from that are used in these shootings?

        I don’t think they’re coming with the serial numbers filed off in secret shipments from Cuba or buried under coffee grounds so the dogs don’t find them in customs.

        The guns are coming from people who legally owned them initially, and then they were used by those people in illegal ways, OR they were sold to a third party that used them illegally.

      • Comments: 19
        Joined: 4/21/2017
        crom80
        Feb 19, 2018 at 2:29 PM

        were all the mass shooters illegally owning guns?

      • Comments: 9
        Joined: 11/23/2015
        Burge333
        Feb 19, 2018 at 5:33 PM

        Thanks for your response, I didn’t claim that legal gun owners are the problem. I didn’t even mention gun ownership stats.

        My point was that in the western world this is a primarily US problem. It is also something the US has specifically not addressed nor made any effort to protect it’s own people. Historically the US gov’t has acted to prevent deaths when prompted, even at the inconvenience of many and significant costs. Keeping in mind that in the US there have been roughly 271 mass shootings between 2006-2017 while in Europe 19 mass shootings between 2009 and 2015. (best stats I could find, although you provided the link to Crime Research it has a controversial founder, considered between far right or extreme right and there are rumors it is funded indirectly by the NRA).

        The US might only be rated 31st in gun deaths. However looking at a number of the countries it is better than I am not sure that is something to be proud of. There are only about 35 western countries…

        You are clearly gun advocate, there is nothing wrong with that, I have a lot of friends with hunting rifles that are safe and have never had an incidetn and I am considering taking up hunting (which would involve buying a gun). I am curious about a couple of things:
        * What has prevented Americans not demanded action on these killings? (Republicans can act, without touching guns) they have a massive majority)
        * I assume you hope these stop, what is your solution?

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