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Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?
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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 12/21/2012 14:12:47 MST Print View

249 posts and counting. All the efforts, thoughts, and passions invested... who here changed his or her mind as a result of careful reading and deliberating? Anyone switch from pro gun to pro gun control -- or vice versa?

Don't mean to start a thread just to argue some more. There is already a good thread started -- so please keep adding your arguments there. What I am curious is strictly how many of you have been moved to change your position?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
A little on 12/21/2012 14:30:37 MST Print View

I can't say I have changed my mind about what response is appropriate. And I am really turned off by talk of guns being our god-given right, etc. But I have taken some new perspectives regarding the difficulties of gun regulation. I do think it will take a long time for regulation to be effective because of the positive (to gun owners anyway) associations with guns. I do think it will change over time, though. Many issues have taken generational shifts (ie old people dieing off), such as same-sex marriage and civil rights in the south. I think I actually did get a different perspective.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 12/22/2012 17:40:57 MST Print View

I like your response, Ben.

But I am still suspicious that precious few have changed their minds, either way.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
The Value of "the last word" on 12/31/2012 15:09:25 MST Print View

I have found the positions taken to be enlightening and eminent, so I have decided that I will adopt the reasoned position of whoever posts "the last word" today, December 31st, 2012. Cut off is midnight and I'll be convinced.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: The Value of "the last word" on 12/31/2012 15:16:26 MST Print View

"today, December 31st, 2012. Cut off is midnight and I'll be convinced."

Which time zone?

Now is already tomorrow in some places. That's the trouble with a global economy.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/11/2013 08:17:45 MST Print View

Mass shooters are obviously mentally ill

All of this talk about gun control has unintended consequence

It increases the hysteria that "Obama is going to take your guns away"

This hysteria might push a mentally ill person over the edge and start shooting people

We should spend more time talking about how it's everyone's right to own guns and any regulation is minor and not part of a gradual process to make guns illegal

On the other hand, they should push gun control if they want a polarized electorate with everyone arguing about guns, while they secretly pass special tax breaks for political donors

James Castleberry
Confused about focus on 01/11/2013 11:24:38 MST Print View

I remain confused about the focus exclusively on guns: Aurora and Sandy Hook are added to this list.
1.Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown. Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression. He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.
2.Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.
3.Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.
4.Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
5.Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
6.Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
7.Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.
8.Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.
9.El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
10.Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
11.Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
12.Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling. Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
13.Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
14.Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Grow up. on 01/11/2013 11:59:05 MST Print View

Why doesn't the USA simply grow up, and realise that the days of the wild west are over? Maybe the ego of small men are stoked by carrying a big penis extension, but nobody else is fooled.
Get to grip with your own insecurities, and the world, and the USA, will be a happier place.

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: Grow up. on 01/11/2013 13:44:23 MST Print View


I agree that the US needs to "grow up" in many regards, but most likely not in the ways that you would choose. Our country was founded with the right to own and bear arms given to the citizen so that the government would not have a monopoly on "self-defense". All of the cities in the US with the strictest gun control measures also have the highest rates of violence, and the opposite is true as well -- the safest cities and states tend to have the least-restrictive gun laws. Just because worldwide media says that guns are bad and it's not people that kill people but guns that kill people doesn't mean it's true. The same people that want the defender to be stripped of his ability to defend himself want to pay, with the citizen's money, for the offender to be "rehabilitated" at the local psyche ward. That makes no sense to me. Hold them responsible and get rid of them.

If a bad person wants to do something bad, he will do it; if he can't get ahold of a gun, he'll get a knife, or basesball bat, or lead pipe, or anything else. Hell, he can use his car and drive 90mph through a school crosswalk and take out more kids then than he'd be able to with a gun.

I don't want to get into a gun control debate as obviously no matter what I or anyone else says will sway your mind.

I'd rather have the wild west (and your so-called "penis extension") any day than a politically correct nanny state that punishes its citizens for wanting to protect themselves.

edit: I am not a gun owner.

Edited by nsiderbam on 01/11/2013 13:48:12 MST.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Grow up on 01/11/2013 14:24:58 MST Print View

Mike, I'm fairly certain that you know that our Bill of Rights wasn't written for the sake of the "wild west". Our founding as a nation was built upon the understanding of natural law--that is our freedoms and our rights come from our humanity and not from government. Our founders in the US wrote that our rights and freedoms are divine in origin--in other words they are a given. Thinking, speaking, worshiping, self-defense, owning and using personal property, personal privacy, etc. are the rights of all human beings and as such we don't need a government's permission to exercise them.

To assure and guarantee that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone in the United States our founders wrote into the Declaration and Constitution the Second Amendment--"self-defense". History, even current history is ripe with examples of dictators and despots--Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot, Assad that have disarmed their people. Only because some of those people resisted this effort were they enabled to fight against these dictators for their freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won. We don't know yet what is going to happen in Syria.

The Second Amendment is not about keeping alive the "wild west", or hunting--it's about protecting the right to shoot tyrants and despots and protecting one's own life, family and property.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 20:43:57 MST Print View

The second amendment was written at a time when the U.S. did not have a standing military and had to depend on armed citizens in case the U.S. needed to be defended.

We have a standing military now - the most powerful one in the world.

The amendment states "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." Note that the first part of the amendment reads "A well-regulated militia." People need to learn the history and context of that amendment. I don't belive it was written to give any lunatic the right to run around with military-style assault weapons. I think "well-regulated" means exactly what it says.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 20:50:09 MST Print View

I think we have been sold a bill of goods of fear; that we have been brainwashed by the gun manufacturers, distributors, and those who depend on the profit from guns, to think that there's an enemy hiding around each corner and behind every bush and so we need to amass a huge personal arsenal of weapons for protection. I think there's a lot of corporate greed involved. Keep the fear going and you keep being buying more and more guns so that the gun manufacturers keep prospering.

Other major industrialized countries don't have this madness at the level that we have it. A mass shooting is a rare thing in those other countries; it's getting to be a commonplace thing here. Why? Why doesn't the U.S. look at what those other countries are doing and learn from them? Problem is, we are so arrogant that we think NO ONE ELSE can do anything better than the U.S. Fact is, many other countries do a lot of things a lot better than the U.S. Health care immediately springs to mind. THose other countries have national health care that provides for mental health, too. Here, if you're lucky to have insurance, the insurance company may cover a few visits a year, if anything. That is about as good as nothing.

I don't know what the answer is. I'm just so tired of people and their guns. I'm tired of the fact that children can no longer go to school and expect to live to see another day. I'm sick of guns being used to solve every problem, every difference.
Sick of it all.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 21:09:16 MST Print View

Well said Kathy, I can understand both sides of the fence but what you posted is an amazing opinion.

I am from Ireland and grew up with shocking news on the Tv every day.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 22:30:24 MST Print View

I can understand our non-US members not grasping the 2nd Amendment or even the Bill of Rights.

When I was in high school, the study of: the philosophers and intellectuals who influenced our founding fathers, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The US Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and The Federalist [Papers] were required to graduate from high school. You had to study AND pass US History in the 11th grade, and a passing grade was a graduation requirement.

Please don't tell me that all of this is no longer part of the required curriculum in high schools; but it sounds like this maybe the case.

Regarding the original amendments in the Bill of Rights; the only debate was that it was not needed -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution guaranteed these. The debate was the Bill of Rights might be misunderstood as the only civil rights guaranteed to every citizen.

Now to the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers did not trust ANY government. They believed that citizens have the right to overthrow ANY tyrannical government, and the 2nd Amendment would help keep the newly formed government in check, because the armed populace had the right to overthrow it, should it take away any of our individual rights. This is the 2nd Amendmend.

Also, please don't tell me you have never read the following quote by Noah Webster:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of 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 that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."

No... I do not own a firearm and am not the member of any organization.

Lastly, I typed this on my iPhone so I hope it is somewhat readable.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:06:12 MST Print View


I'll paste below an excerpt from one of the Federalist Papers (#29, by Hamilton in 1788). I've trimmed it more for space than meaning; the full text is easy enough to fin.

"....Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

....if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

At that time, there was great concern over the balance between State and Federal power, and a standing army was particularly concerning. Having a great body of the citizens armed was therefore seen as a balance against the threat a Federal standing army posed, rather than as a necessary substitute to the absence of such an army. To the "well-regulated" part, I would say that the usage of "regulated" with respect to troops at that time meant properly taught and trained. (While the modern interpretation may feel more comfortable given current debates, it would not have made much sense back then.)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:21:11 MST Print View


Edited by stephenm on 01/12/2013 23:59:56 MST.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:25:55 MST Print View

Re: fear...

I don't really have fear; and I think it can be said that some on both sides are selling the fear of being attacked; one side provides respite by proposing to de-fang the wolf, and the other proposes to add fangs to the sheep.

Some fears are not easily overcome, but not all are rational. Those who fear flying and instead drive are, when considering the statistics, making a clearly irrational decision. We are for the most part able to overcome such situations, but our brains are not shaped to handle many of life's modernities. Large numbers, high speeds, and extremely low probabilities all throw us off.

Speaking of low probabilities, I think nearly every child in this country can expect to live to see another day. A mass shooting focuses attention, but the numbers are lost in sheer size of the school-age population. One should certainly look for solutions to this, but one must also recognize that it is an extreme statistical outlier.

That is why I don't have fear; it makes no sense. I, and nearly everyone in this country, are far more likely to be killed by an accident with machinery, a careless driver, or from exposure, than by a shooter.

Re: other countries...

I wonder sometimes if it's really appropriate to compare us to other industrialized countries. By Gini coefficient (measuring wealth inequality) we should be compared with South America or Africa, certainly not Europe. There seems to be enough contradictions in gun control legislation and crime statistics that one could easily make the case one has no real impact on the other. If one believes that income inequality, poor health care, etc., have a significant affect on crime rates then comparing us to Europe would certainly make use look bad. On the other hand, we look positively saintly compared to many other countries in our Gini category.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
the more things change on 01/13/2013 09:41:47 MST Print View

I went from thinking that we should do nothing re: guns because mass shootings, while psychologically horrific, remain an extremely rare physical hazard, to thinking that we should do nothing because the national "discourse" around this topic has shown that we as a nation go absolutely apeshit and are nakedly incompetent at coming up with solutions that don't actually make things worse.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: the more things change on 01/13/2013 10:21:36 MST Print View

and - as we go absolutely apeshit, it might push some crazy person over the edge into killing people

spend an equal amount of time saying people are entitled to 2nd ammendment rights, and saying some reasonable regulations are in order

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/13/2013 12:09:30 MST Print View

The hysteria is ridiculous. We are witnessing the biggest politically motivated panic buy in the history of the United States. Ammo is cleared out everywhere.