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Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Unintended consequences on 12/17/2012 16:38:41 MST Print View

"NIMH estimates that over a quarter of Americans suffer from some kind of mental illness--which makes the idea of locking up people without their consent a bit problematic..."

This a facetious argument. You're lumping all mental illnesses of all types into one category, then throw out a red herring about locking up everyone. We need someone to monitor people with serious mental illness, and yes if professionals think that person is a threat to society and themselves to be locked away in a mental health facility.
Who was monitoring the shooter in Newtown? No one. I prefer the problematic solution of better health care and locking these crazies up over watching any more of these media feeding frenzies after people have been killed. Gun control is a ineffectual bandaid designed to appease soccer moms and make people "feel" like something meaningful has been done while conveniently sidestepping the real problematic cause of these tragedies.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Re: Re: Unintended consequences on 12/17/2012 16:51:10 MST Print View

As much as 25%?

"NIMH estimates that over a quarter of Americans suffer from some kind of mental illness"

I think I also read somewhere or heard on the tube that there are @ 500,000 school staff in the USA. Actually that seems low; but anyway, taking those 2 figures: 25% of 500,000 is 125,000. Maybe arming all those folks might not be such a great idea.

Remains to be seen what if any modifications were made to the 223 used in the shooting Here's a little info on the 223 bushmaster:

The AR-15 comes in many sizes and has many options, depending on the manufacturer. The part shown bottom center is the lower receiver with pistol grip and trigger assembly. Under US law the lower alone is the component legally considered the "firearm".
Type Semi-automatic rifle / Service rifle
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1958–present
Production history
Designer Eugene Stoner
Designed 1957
Manufacturer ArmaLite, Colt, Bushmaster, Rock River Arms, Stag Arms, DPMS Panther Arms, Olympic Arms, and others.
Weight 2.27 kg–3.9 kg (5.5–8.5 lb)

Cartridge .223 Remington, 5.56 NATO
Action Direct impingement / Rotating bolt

Rate of fire 800 rounds/min (fully automatic versions only)[1][2][3]

Muzzle velocity 975 m/s (3,200 ft/s)[4]
Effective range 400–600 m (avg 547 yd)[5][6][7]
Feed system Various STANAG magazines.
Sights Adjustable front and rear iron sights

And this:

Semi-automatic AR-15s for sale to civilians are internally different from the full automatic M-16, although nearly identical in external appearance. The hammer and trigger mechanisms are of a different design. The bolt carrier and internal lower receiver of semi-automatic versions are milled differently, so that the firing mechanisms are not interchangeable. This was done to satisfy United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requirements that civilian weapons may not be easily convertible to full-automatic. Despite this, through use of a "Drop In Auto Sear" or "lightning-link," conversion to full automatic is very straightforward (sometimes requiring slight modification to the bolt carrier).

800 rounds per minute

and this:

the AR-15 has more variants than any other rifle I know of. The compatibility with both .223 and 5.56 rounds makes the Armalite extremely popular with disaster preppers. There are variants chambered in other rounds, such as the .50 Beowulf, a 50-caliber round developed for the military which is designed to be used against vehicles and other harder targets. Those very high powered rounds are available on the civilian market.

There are other very dangerous modifications, including the ability to have a rifle that is legally a semi-automatic weapon, but functionally an automatic weapon. These completely legal devices are called "sliding stock" devices which allow shooters to bump-fire their weapons.

These are legally semi-automatic weapons because the trigger is pulled each time the weapon fires. You can see the weapon vibrating, going further back and forward than it normally would. The Recoil is pushing the weapon back, while the shooter pulls the weapon forward. A piece of the stock pushes the shooters finger off of the trigger, and the pressure pulling the gun forward pulls the shooters finger back on the trigger again.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
poke in the eye on 12/17/2012 16:58:53 MST Print View

well we can keep poking each other in the eye on this obviously sensitive issue or take a step back and see if there is some common ground

clearly we don't do a very good job with dealing with mental issues, it's not an easy subject to broach, but it is at the root of the problem- that would be a good place to start

closing the "gun show" loophole makes perfect sense as place to start on the firearm side, a background while not the end all solution, certainly helps keep firearms out of the hands of some folks that shouldn't possess them

banning "assault" weapons is problematic, it's hard to define and simply limiting magazine capacity is rather futile imo- I can train someone in a day at the range to get magazine swaps in the 1.5-2 second range

I do think there is good reason to ban certain ammo- specifically rounds designed to defeat body armor; the NRA used to be made up of a lot of LEOs, there hardly is any in their ranks anymore as they decided to cater to the fringe for some reason

or...... we can just keeping poking each other in the eye :)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: School Security on 12/17/2012 17:47:47 MST Print View

"Think about the world we've created here.
I guess the fact that we regularly conduct drills and plan for a "shooter on campus" by locking doors, drawing blinds, and having minors crawl under desks away from windows is a direct by-product of our Freedom to have 300 million guns accessible by just about anyone that wants one, including kids."

+1 But you're pi$$ing into the wind, Craig. You're participating in a thread that is a microcosm of yet another national exercise in trivializing the problem and sweeping it under the rug. The killing will go on....and on, as our nation continues its nihilistic downward spiral into barbarism. As one who was born and raised here, and who has a deep sense of place here, I am sick at heart for my country. Whatever solutions eventually arise, will take far more time than I have to live, and the prospect of living out my days in a nation so obsessed with violence
is beyond depressing. For a look at how this obsession plays out on an industrial scale, check out this link. The Pentagon is finally starting to come clean about the true human cost of our militarized foreign policy.

I guess in this context the domestic slaughter is actually sort of trivial. :(

Edited by ouzel on 12/17/2012 20:54:36 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: guns on 12/17/2012 18:08:59 MST Print View

"If someone had driven a car over a chain-link fence, onto the playground, and run over dozens of kids and a few teachers, would someone be wanting to ban all cars? Or just big ones that could run down the fence easiest?

Of course not. No one would want to give up their car. Hypocrites.

But because some dont want a gun, they dont think anyone else should have one.
Thats whats at the core. The warped thinking of some people."

For me, the warped thinking starts with people who apparently cannot distinguish between the purpose for which a car is designed and that for which a gun is designed. But at least such a person cannot be accused of hypocrisy.

Not to mention that driving a car requires being tested for knowledge of the laws, visual acuity, and an actual driving test, after which you obtain a license. Maybe we could start there with guns?

Edited for content.

Edited by ouzel on 12/17/2012 20:52:54 MST.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Not the Point... on 12/17/2012 18:16:21 MST Print View

As the OP, I'm going to assume that everyone in our community is OK and none were directly affected by this tragedy. I'm out, but I hope everyone enjoys the political argument this thread has descended into.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Re: Re: Re: Unintended consequences on 12/17/2012 18:20:24 MST Print View

Nice job of taking what I posted out of context. Let's try that again.

I wrote: Can we provide better mental health care? Absolutely. And we should. As for some of these other posts:

NIMH estimates that over a quarter of Americans suffer from some kind of mental illness--which makes the idea of locking up people without their consent a bit problematic...

NOTE: I was suggesting exactly what you are suggesting. IT was SOME OF THOSE OTHER POSTS who suggested locking everyone up.

IN fact, we should provide much better mental health care and monitoring than we do.

And we should also ban weapons whose primary goal is to kill lots of people quickly.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Newtown on 12/17/2012 19:46:47 MST Print View

You might have noticed this if you've driven I-84 through Newtown; especially going north or east towards Hartford. The original was placed alongside I-84 on 9-12-2001. The owner passed away a few years back and the new owner picked up the standard so to speak. It's become kind of a local icon.

Newtown Flags

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Unintended consequences on 12/18/2012 01:33:42 MST Print View

"And allowing more guns into schools? Let's see--there were some 25,000 people wounded accidentally by guns last year...and we want to make sure that they are in every school? Yikes."

Firearms are used heavily for sport, so obviously there are going to be accidents. By that logic, we shouldn't let anyone conceal carry anywhere because of accidents. But how often does a firearm tucked into someones waistband suddenly fire and kill an innocent bystander? Not very.

"You've certainly convinced me, Bruce. Let's ban them all. Do you need a high capacity magazine to kill a moose? If so, then you really aren't much of a hunter..."

No, but you may need a high capacity magazine to defend yourself against people. Many home invasions involve several people. Being able to fire excessively could be provide a huge advantage. Or you could just reload more often. The only way to limit the lethality of rifles would be to be semi auto.

"I do not understand why we should allow any civilian in this society to own an assault weapon designed to facilitate killing lots of people all at once. And for every fear I have of the government forcing me into white slavery, I have ten or twenty fears about some whacko with a couple of assault guns having a bad day and opening fire as I drive by on the freeway or take my family shopping."

A weapon designed to facilitate killing lots of people all at once is an explosive. A weapon designed to facilitate killing lots of people in a short period of time would be a machine gun. An assault rifle is not "designed" to kill lots of people at once. It's designed to kill once person at a time with accurate fire and it has semi automatic capabilities to allow quick follow up shots. Firing a rifle in fully automatic is extremely inaccurate and would only be used for suppressive fire. Fully automatic weapons can't be owned or purchased unless they were manufactured and registered with the BATFE before 1986. Even then, purchase is super highly regulated.

What we have are modernized semi automatic rifles ("assault" weapon) designed after general issue military rifles that are no more lethal than the many semi automatic recreational rifles available (not "assault" weapons). The difference is like trying to kill someone by running them over with a car made in 1970 or a car made in 2010. You would rather own the car made in 2010 but either car will run someone over just fine.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: guns on 12/18/2012 07:16:46 MST Print View

I don't get it. How do a people who have never had any gun control, and thereby have no experience whatsoever with how gun control works and what its effects are, speak with any authority about gun control?

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
More Heat than Light on 12/18/2012 07:32:45 MST Print View

Hey, could you fellas work in to this conversation a competent discussion of private gun ownership/operation as a factor in global warming, if it exists and relates to gun control in Connecticut?

Let me know what you come up with, so I can make a decision. Consensus points are all I ask.

Thanks so much.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: guns on 12/18/2012 07:58:52 MST Print View

+1 Miguel.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: guns on 12/18/2012 09:01:29 MST Print View

I have stayed out of this conversation for days and probably shouldn't comment. As a dad of three boys the Newtown tragedy is especially troubling. Thought about it a lot as I sent my boys to school this week.

However, when people are intent on committing evil acts their is nothing we can do to stop them (unless we find out beforehand). For example, 12 guys with knife cutters, OK City bombing, etc found a way to commit a violent act.

Putting tighter restrictions on guns will just lead to enterprising criminals creating an alternative market for people to purchase. Drugs are illegal, but addicts have no trouble getting access to drugs. Tighter restrictions will really just place limits on law abiding citizens. Criminals are responsible for many of the homicides in the US and no gun control will prevent them from obtaining guns.

According to the FBI, violent crimes have declined 21.9% in the last ten years. During that same period the number of homicides have declined by 10% and the rate of homicides have declined by 16.8%. So saying that the US is spiraling downward, etc is just not supported by the numbers. Actually just the opposite is true.

As a gun owner I have mine for hunting, sport(targeting shooting) and protection. Not sure why that is an issue for so many people. Many argue that guns are not necessary for protection and I struggle understanding that point. If someone where to break into my home with or without a gun how am I going to protect my family? Just hope it all turns out ok. BTW, according to the FBI the one crime that has risen over the past 10 years is burglary. And what's interesting about burglary is that it has dropped significantly in the commercial world, but risen significantly among residential property. Really don't care if someone disapproves of my right, but please stopping treading on me.

For the record, 33 teens have died while texting and driving since this thread was started. Also 18,000 people have been burglarized since this thread started (According to FBI)

As with all things improvements can be made. I'm all for doing realistic things to improve situation, but doing radical things like outlawing guns or making it difficult for law abiding citizens to purchase is just not right. However we are a country with an out of control media that loves to incite us. Every mass murder leads to gun control, every storm on the coast leads to why build their in the first place, oil spill leads to stop the drilling, on and on and on.......

However this is all trivial when you think about the loss these families are experiencing.


Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: guns on 12/18/2012 09:35:01 MST Print View


What dreamland are you living in. People in the US have to deal with some form of gun control if they want to purchase or carry firearms. Or maybe you just didn't realize since you left this country long ago.

Just because the laws aren't as restrictive as in some societies doesn't mean there aren't laws.

Geez. Can you drop your anti American know it all attitude?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Guns on 12/18/2012 09:43:36 MST Print View

+2 Miguel.

"Gun control" is a farce in this country. I know guns and I know my state's gun laws. And I have never known anyone that wanted a gun but couldn't purchase it.

Has anyone in this discussion ever been denied the ability to buy a gun?

From a .22 plinker for your kid to a handgun to a semi-auto "assault" styled rifle, what is it people want that they can't get? Are people mad they have to be background checked or wait 10 days or whatever your state requires? Mad that they can't legally buy 15 guns at one time?

Thus far, what exactly is the government denying law-abiding people here? A semi-auto .223 with a rail system, lasers, lights, a collapsible stock, endless black-market mods, and a few thousand rounds to go with it somehow isn't enough? Not being able to carry it into Starbucks is infringing on your Freedom?

So California neuters their AR15s. But anyone in the know can get around this in a second. Want a bigger magazine for your Glock? Drive a few hours to Nevada or hit your local gun show.

So California also doesn't issue many concealed carry permits. Boo Hoo. Does that stop anyone that wants to carry? Gun stores still directly market half their pistols as the perfect "purse" or "concealed" gun and will sell you a slim-fit belt or ankle holster to go with it. Tactical or leather?

"Gun Control". What a joke.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: guns on 12/18/2012 09:57:29 MST Print View

I have to agree with you Brad, there is no huge problem here.

"...As with all things improvements can be made."

Diane Feinstein is proposing:

make assault weapons illegal, but define it to mean it can't fire more than one round per second (or whatever) rather than pistol grip or bayonet mount

eliminate gun show loophole - everyone has to get approval to own gun

more than 10 rounds per clip would be illegal

the assault weapons ban is more to make us feel good

the other two would probably reduce the number of people killed in mass shootings

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Dad's as school volunteers. on 12/18/2012 11:19:42 MST Print View

"I don't get it. How do a people who have never had any gun control, and thereby have no experience whatsoever with how gun control works and what its effects are, speak with any authority about gun control?"

The nation historically has. The "founding fathers", many from Scotland, saw how gun control made it easy for power abuses.

Anyway, I think the tools of murder and terror should be kept out of the wrong hands. How that is accomplished?


Here is something people can do right now.

"The “Watch Dogs” group organized earlier this year as part of a national program to involve more fathers and male role models in schools."

Perhaps a Dad, who had taken extra interest in Adam, might have made all the difference.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Re: guns on 12/18/2012 11:39:26 MST Print View

I love statistics, Brad.

How about this one: In 2008, according to the FBI, 14,180 people were murdered in America.[4] In 2010, according to the UNODC, 67.5% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.

Not knives. Not bats. Not curling irons. But guns.

The culture of gun toting independence has been embedded in the US culture for a very long time and continues to have negative effects.

"Crime has been a long-standing concern in the United States, with high rates at the beginning of the 20th century compared to parts of Western Europe. In 1916, 198 homicides were recorded in Chicago, a city of slightly over 2 million at the time. This level of crime was not exceptional when compared to other American cities such as New York City, but was much higher relative to European cities, such as London, which then had three times the population but recorded only 45 homicides in the same year.[6]"

Homicide crimes have fallen slightly in the past 10 years on a per capita basis. The population of the US has increased by 10% of the same ten years. Congratulations in "smoothing" out the killings.

"In contrast to the recent sharp decrease in the homicide rate, the rates of other violent crimes and of property crimes, although they have continuously decreased recently, have decreased at a considerably slower pace than in the 1990s.[11] Overall, the crime rate in the U.S. was the same in 2009 as in 1968, with the homicide rate being roughly the same as in 1964. Violent crime overall, however, is still at the same level as in 1973, despite having decreased steadily since 1991.[12]"

Sadly, the US has a problem and it is not going away.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Newtown" on 12/18/2012 11:53:16 MST Print View

Craig I think Miguel's post and to a lesser extent your's implied that the US has no controls on gun ownership. But of course that's not the case, there are laws concerning the purchase and possession of guns.

Some people think existing law is too restrictive, some think it's too lax.

Edited by davidlutz on 12/18/2012 11:58:13 MST.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Newtown" on 12/18/2012 11:57:09 MST Print View

We live in an advocate culture. It seems to me that people used to come together to work towards a goal on an ad hoc basis. Once they achieved their goal they split up and went about their business. Now we have professional groups of all shapes and sizes that exist solely to advocate for one cause or another. That's what they do, that's how they make their living.

They have a President, a Vice-President of Public Policy, a bunch of Regional Directors of Advocacy Advancement, an office on K Street, etc, etc.

Can you imagine any of these guys one day saying "You know what, I think our work here is done, let's go home"? That will never happen.

The NRA is one of these groups but there are many, many others on both sides of the political spectrum.

It gets in the way of reasonable people having a reasonable dialogue IMO.

Another thing that concerns me is the reflexive reaction to look to the State to fix things. Some event takes place, new laws are written, politicians throw out a few speeches, everybody feels good and the winning lobbyist firm throws a party for the interns manning the phones downstairs.

Then the event happens again. Rinse and repeat.

Cynical, I know.

I think our best chance for preventing the horrible events at Sandy Hook from happening lies in stronger community ties. Some sort of stronger support network. I don't know anything about that kid's life, but I think it's too easy for troubled kids to become isolated and look for ways to act out and make an impression. Sometimes it's through violence.

I have no idea how to do that but church comes to mind. Not necessarily religion - church. I don't think more State oversight is the answer.

Who knows - it's complicated.

Edited by davidlutz on 12/18/2012 11:59:20 MST.