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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Prison Population on 12/18/2012 17:53:04 MST Print View

"Why does the US have only 5% of the world population, but has 25% of the world prison population."

"Could be we are stricter, better at catching criminals or both. I'd argue a lot of these people should really be in mental hospitals. If we dealt with mental illness better we could reduce the prison population and most likely the homeless population to boot."


Or it could be non-violent drug offenders that would be far better served in treatment programs but are instead hit with mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
so, gun advocates, whats the solution? on 12/18/2012 18:07:52 MST Print View

In the US, we own more guns than citizens of any other country, by far. And we have gun homicide rates that can only be matched in third world countries, best I can tell. So, how do strict gun advocates propose we fix this problem? Do we double down and bet that even more guns will fix the problem? Or do you not think this is a problem? I understand the desire not to be tread upon, but what are you all willing to sacrifice to help solve our gun problem?

Edited by alexdrewreed on 12/19/2012 08:40:31 MST.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
regulation on 12/18/2012 18:32:29 MST Print View


"We don't regulate the sale of cars. We tax and liscense if you want them registered. That's a difference. I can buy a car from joe and keep it on my place no problem. Even easier if it is concealable like a gun

And guns aren't just designed to kill people. They are for target shooting and hunting too. The percentage of guns that actually have killed a person is probably pretty low. Not sure about the percentage of cars."

Let's see. If you sell a car, you have to register that sale with the state so that the new owner is responsible for any damages or violations that car causes. To operate the car, you need a license and a photo ID, as well as insurance to cover any damages that you might cause with your car.

Why shouldn't we require those same regulations for gun owners?

And how many magazines do you need to shoot bottles or deer?

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
whats the solution? on 12/18/2012 18:39:34 MST Print View

Ben C.

This has made the most sense of anything I have seen in the last few days in relation to
mass murderers.

I post it again, it doesn't take long to watch. Got me thinking.

Forensic Psychiatrist,p0,d1

guns on 12/18/2012 18:41:06 MST Print View

We dont have a legal gun problem, we have a people problem.
Society has failed, for many reasons.

You wont take guns away from people in the following link, and God help you if they are the only ones who have them. Police dont prevent crimes, they solve them afterwards.

These type people commonly have AUTOMATIC weapons, which were obtained illegally. I recall reading of one site of a shootout where the police recovered 700 bullet casings. Miraculously, no one was injured.

The ONLY thing that keeps these people out of YOUR home at night, it the odds that you probably have a gun.

People have been killing other people for thousands of years, long before they had guns to do so. And will continue to do so no matter what.

The sensationalized killing you HEAR about, are few, and usually seem to have been done by persons with KNOWN MENTAL ISSUES. These school shootings are basically copycat killings, the killer wants the shock value. These are also in part due to the medias sensationalism of past such events. Even without access to guns, someone intent on a shocking murderous act, followed by suicide has other means at their disposal to accomplish that.

These acts usually occur in what we perceive as "safe" zones, but what makes them safe? A sign? Gimme a break. Its the fact that it was PRESUMED to be a safe zone that makes it so shocking.

Nothing makes them safe. We send our kids to school HOPING that they are safe there. While we do have locks and means to protect ourselves and them at home.

What happened at that school should not have been possible. Teachers and school personnel charged with the protection of students in their care, have no way to excersise that. The school had a locked door he had to be buzzed in, but the window next to it wasnt armored. The classrooms did not have deadbolts that could be activated. And this school had recently been renovated for safety.

A couple hundred dollars spent, would have saved a lot of lives.

What they did, was refuse to believe that anything bad would actually ever happen, so they didnt take childrens safety seriously.

The worst school massacre in the US did not occur by gunfire, it was done with a gallon of gasoline.

But the really scary thing, is the people in the above video, their vote counts as much as yours, or mine.

Edited by livingontheroad on 12/18/2012 19:07:37 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Sacrifice? on 12/18/2012 18:42:38 MST Print View

"I understand the desire not to be tread upon, but what are you all willing to sacrifice to help solve our gun problem?"

Asking what we are willing to "sacrifice" implies we as a society are choosing guns over kids.
The issue is not people being "selfish" and valuing guns over kids. The issue is a lot of people just aren't convinced a few gun laws will change anything. This isn't just a few wackos at the NRA there are millions of Americans who share this view to some degree. Guns are just a fact of life in America right now. We don't have the option to virtually ban them like England does.

Couple ideas of what might help

-Take a look at our mental health system. I wonder how other societies treat potential psychos. Maybe the difference isn't their guns laws but their mental health laws?

-Figure out a way to screen for mental health cases in background checks.

A LOT of mass shootings have involved mental cases who probably should have been locked up. It won't be easy to fix mental health but I think it should be looked at VERY carefully.

Two ideas that would be a lot quicker and less controversial

-Rotate current police officers through schools more regularly as part of daily patrols

-If we can't have armed security at least one or two school officials could have access to a tazer a can of pepper spray the size of a fire extinguisher. Yes it might not help but it would be better then nothing.

-New buildings could incorporate more security, as in harder to break into. I don't want schools to be forts but solid walls and stronger doors don't spell Fort Knox.

Edited by Cameron on 12/18/2012 18:48:27 MST.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Newtown" on 12/18/2012 19:35:45 MST Print View

Brad: thanks for your reasoned and calm response to my post. I wrote my post during the last ten minutes of a half hour lunch break and realized later that I had come down way too hard on you--personalized things--in a way that you don't deserve. You've been reasonable throughout this discussion. So it's my bad. Obviously, emotions are running high.

I certainly agree with you about all of the sociological reasons that we've become, or rather remain, a violent nation. You don't however suggest a way for society to change. And even if you do have good programs to solve the problem of violence in the U.S. over the next twenty years, what do we do in the meantime? Again, I suggest that outlawing assault weapons announces that our society finds them unacceptable. Surely this is a beginning. Or maybe you have a sweeping solution that will work in a year?

I live in Oakland Ca. I absolutely hate guns. Children and adults are killed every week by the kinds of guns you and others, the nra, defend. And they have been for decades. The nra says that if everyone is armed we'll all be safer. Well, in east Oakland everyone is armed and it's hell. Gee, in Lebanon, as good of a petri-dish for this theory as any--or in many states in Africa-- everyone is armed and see how well that's worked out.

I hate guns and find them wicked.The nra wants to force me to carry a gun to defend myself from all the other people with guns. I won't do it. My guess is that most school teachers won't do it either. Do people who hate guns have rights? Police across the nation say that arming civilians en masse is a bad idea. More and more people will die if we do. But the nra is just one arm of the gun lobby that wants, surprise surprise, to sell guns.

Last summer I ran into a guy in Yosemite, just at the start of a hike from Tuolomne Meadows, carrying a big gun openly on his hip with a big smile. Apparently guns are now legal in National Parks. Did I mention that I hate guns? And that I live in Oakland? I go to Yosemite to get away from guns. Will gun lobbyists leave me any place where I don't have to face down guns? Apparently not.

And now we see the consequences.

I dare an open carry guy, or a group of them, to go to Newtown and walk around. Maybe they'll feel the kind of intimidation that I feel when these potential whackos with guns walk down my street, yes feel fear in the sense that there's a good chance that they'll be shot by a parent who thinks that this "open carrier" is the next mass murderer. Which is what I think when I see an open carry guy.

And I dare the nra to go to Newtown and advocate in a public forum for gun rights. Up with assault weapons. This is what they stand for; come on, where are your principles nra when it counts? Go to Newtown. Stage a gun rights rally. See what happens.

Edited by book on 12/18/2012 19:53:59 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Newtown" on 12/18/2012 19:48:40 MST Print View

"Will gun lobbyists leave me any place where I don't have to face down guns? Apparently not."

And now we see the consequences."

+1 A cry from the heart and well put.

"I dare an open carry guy, or a group of them, to go to Newtown and walk around. Maybe they'll feel the kind of intimidation that I feel when these potential whackos with guns walk down my street, yes feel fear in the sense that there's a good chance that they'll probably be shot by a parent who thinks that this "open carrier" is the next mass murderer. Which is what I think when I see an open carry guy."

Sadly, Jeffrey, you might be surprised by Newtownians attitudes toward guns. The link I posted at the bottom of the previous page is about exactly that. It is heartbreaking in the context of this thread, but there it is. You might want to check it out. In fact I hope all posters to this thread read it. It offers a very clear example of just how difficult this problem is going to be to sort out.

re on 12/18/2012 20:05:58 MST Print View


There are limitless numbers of small cities and towns, where the vast majority of the population are gun owners due to the culture.

You might even even be surprised to learn that the opening day of hunting season is a corporate holiday for many large global companies at their rural US sites. They have too, because no one will show up for work anyway.

No crime problems for the most part in these areas where gun ownership of households actually approaches 100%.

The problems in YOUR are are obviously not due to guns, its due to the local people.
You should contemplate the hows and whys of that reality.
Lack of God, Lack of education, lack of family values, etc.

You should also probably move if you feel unsafe.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Newtown on 12/18/2012 20:14:10 MST Print View

Yup there's plenta a guns in Newtown. Like lots of suburban "ring" towns in areas that used to be relatively rural there are folks with different cultures and different values. It's not all tony suburban bliss.

Here's an excerpt from an interesting article (also linked) by an expert on the second amendment that might offer ideas for a compromise position.

The European-style handgun bans recently struck down by the Supreme Court reflected three-decade-old policy thinking about guns. But two generations of academic research have pointed us toward a new paradigm for gun regulation. Most of this innovative gun research looks to the marketplace, not bans, as the primary means to reduce gun violence. Rather than simply banning handguns, an unpopular policy in most parts of the country, the new research suggests a more targeted strategy, with the primary goals being to prevent guns from moving into the black market and to restrict the access of dangerous people — including those with mental illness — to firearms. Rather than ban handguns, the new model only uses bans for a very narrow range of particularly dangerous items not essential for sport or individual self-defense: high-capacity magazines for semi-automatic weapons and a few highly unusual weapons such as high caliber sniper rifles. Many would also argue for providing tax incentives to encourage responsible gun ownership practices, like enrolling in gun safety courses or purchasing gun safes. The goal would be to provide both carrots and sticks to gun owners.

Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Very Interesting Video Clips... on 12/18/2012 20:23:15 MST Print View

David Olsen,

Thanks for the video clips. I agree. I think what the gentleman says makes about as much sense as anything I have seen.

One thing I am nervous about is the rush to pass immediate legislation with anything to do with this. Congress does not have a good track record of looking at the unforeseen/unintended consequences when they pass knee-jerk legislation. Whether that be for games, guns, movies, mental health, police on every corner, you name it.

Bob Burke

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Newtown on 12/18/2012 20:43:27 MST Print View

I keep saying to myself to quit posting and go on a hike or whatever, but

On PBS someone pointed out that the mother that was killed had 6 guns

The solution to the problem is not for people to have more guns

Having more guns causes more problems than it solves

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Newtown" on 12/18/2012 20:48:11 MST Print View


Thanks for your post and I didn't see anything wrong with your earlier post. All good.

Interesting to hear your prospective from Oakland and it gives me a better prospective of where you are coming from. Let me know give you my prospective:

I live in a small town of 2,000 people and the closest large city is Charlotte, NC which is 40 minutes away. My town is surrounded by rural farm land and plenty of open space. I grew up hunting before I had my drivers license which is the normal for my area. Not only did I hunt, but we frequently shot skeet and did target shooting. Growing up my life consisted of school, sports, fishing, hunting, playing outside, riding motorcycles in woods, etc. with my buddies. Only handgun in my house was my dad's and he carried it as a truck driver. He drove a lot at night and had to unload food at grocery stores. Some of the stores where located in bad neighborhoods, so the gun was for protection. He only had a couple of encounters and luckily nothing ever escalated into him having to use the gun. On one occasion three guys approach my dad, but once they saw the gun on his hip they moved along saying "he has a gun".

So I ask are guns the problems or maybe those that have access to guns in your area. I personally believe that those criminal in your area will not be effected by gun control because they can always find them on the black market. However gun control will effect those in my areas who use guns responsibly.

All that being said I'm for making changes. Maybe start with enforcing what is on the books. I read something recently where only 1% of the felonies who provide false information to obtain a permit where prosecuted. Really? Do we need to make requirements tougher to obtain a permit? No. Do we need a system that requires background checks for all permits? Yes. We already have a lot of no gun zones, but we poorly enforce.

Many things will improve the situation, but I doubt we will stop the mass murders we are seeing. People wanting to do evil will find a way. Makes you realize how little impact we really have on the situation.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown" on 12/18/2012 22:56:39 MST Print View

Brad and others: geeze I forgot to clarify. I have absolutely nothing against hunting rifles. In fact I'm a big fan of Ducks Unlimited and all responsible hunters of non-endangered wildlife. Most hunters help control populations of deer etc. and are fans of protecting wild space. Also,I'm a meat eater. It's the "urban" guns I've come to hate. It may be that the city/rural divide, the different experiences of people in those locals, fuels the mutual incomprehension of the two sides in this debate. In Chicago, New York, Oakland/Richmond, most large urban centers, gun violence is wearying. It's people shooting people, often children, no hunting about it.
I understand that the vast majority of gun owners, urban or rural, are responsible. It is the tiny minority who do a whole lot of damage.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Jeffrey on 12/19/2012 06:02:44 MST Print View

Jeffrey I would guess most of the guns that so bother you are illegal. In CA pistols must be registered with local police and carrying them in any urban area requires a permit. The permits are "may issue" which means local officials can issue it to you IF they want to or deny it. Generally they are easier to get in rural areas and almost impossible in urban areas like yours. Any felony conviction etc. disqualifies you from owning a gun or getting a concealed carry permit.

The problem in your area is we need to better enforce the laws we already have.

Edit - Thanks to those who are being careful to keep these comments more respectful then the last couple gun threads. Its not a bad issue to discuss but given the sad situation I hope we can continue to be civil.

Edited by Cameron on 12/19/2012 06:06:55 MST.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: so, gun advocates, whats the solution? on 12/19/2012 06:47:09 MST Print View

I have to laugh when people start spouting statistics and charts and talk about violent Americans all the while cynically leaving out the fact that the over whelming majority of violence and specifically gun violence is directly related to the the war on drugs. Especially in urban areas. If you are sick of the violence then you need to be involved in ending Nixon's drug war and helping to rebuild our urban neighborhoods.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: so, gun advocates, whats the solution? on 12/19/2012 07:34:53 MST Print View

This whole thread is an example of what the problem is. No one can agree on anything and everyone has an opinion, which everyone else is supposed to respect and give equal credence to. If there is anything everyone can probably agree on is that what happened at Newton and all those other places with similar tragedies, is that they were all horrific and tragic, and should not be repeated. And yet, because of the disagreement over what to do... if there even IS a consensus that something must be done (some of the posts here seem to suggest that there is no need for anything to be done)... nothing ever gets done. Perhaps that is the first thing that needs addressing... to bring about consensus on the most basic things first. Then take it up the ladder. Because nothing will happen otherwise. While everyone argues, yet another shooting will occur, and then the whole uproar starts all over again, with exactly the same arguments, exactly the same anguish, exactly the same reasons. The way I see it, the mental health problems are mainly with the entire society, with the unending inability to make up its mind. You can't know if something works until you actually try it, and that requires making a decision.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown" on 12/19/2012 09:51:37 MST Print View

MB says: :"Jeffrey, you should probably move if you feel unsafe."

Several times a year in Oakland and Richmond there's another particularly sad killing, usually involving a kid caught in crossfire, that prompts hundreds of locals to march to take back our streets. These are the local parents and workers, church goers most often. They all want guns off the streets. All of them. So do the police. That's why their marching.

Gee, are all of these thousands of people supposed to quit their jobs and move? In Chicago, NY, etc. too? Are we to give up the streets to the punks with guns and all have to move out? Can well all come stay with you, MB? will you have jobs for us?

But god forbid that gun owners should be inconvenienced.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Newtown" on 12/19/2012 11:00:59 MST Print View

From the American Journal on Public Health:

"Among a long list of issues facing the American public, guns are third only to gay marriage and abortion in terms of people who report that they are “not willing to listen to the other side.”

It's an interesting study:

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: "Newtown" on 12/19/2012 11:07:47 MST Print View

Jeffrey, How does gun control help your situation, Chicago, NY, etc. Sounds like you are talking about high crime areas when you say things like crossfire, taking back our streets, etc. I personally don't think any gun control is going to keep guns out of the hands of these individuals. I doubt any of them could legally purchase a gun under current gun laws. Not saying its not a problem, just don't see how gun control helps.