Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Musings

We're doing it all again.  A mass shooting.  Lots and lots of talking about it.  I'm practically losing my shit over this whole gun debate in the USA.  What is wrong with people?  The problem is not mental illness, the problem is, well, wait, let's look at the profile of the average mass shooter.  Young white male with rage issues.  The need to get revenge, to "show them."

We can (and do) debate, endlessly, gun control -- does it even exists in this country?  I remember when Bowling for Columbine was released in theaters.  I was incredulous at the statistics.  "No way!" I thought. "Those numbers are off the chart!"  Well, they were, and they are.  And still, as a nation we cannot pass gun legislation.  Personally, I advocate a strict NO GUN policy.  Don't pussy foot around with regulation.  Ban them.  All of them.  (Hear the objections mounting in your head?  They don't mean a thing to me anymore.)  If I were a gun owner, and I knew giving up guns would end the shooting of innocents to the tune of 30 THOUSAND people a year, I'd give up my gun in a hot minute.  Nothing is worth these lives.  Nothing is worth this pain.


My latest brain storm: talking with my husband last night I said, to my horror and surprise, "They should start showing photos of the crime scenes."  Ewww.  Gross, you say.  Horrible, you say.  Yes, I say.  And the only thing more horrible is the fact that these killings actually happened and will continue unless we do something about it.  I think we should get good and disgusted by an in-your-face campaign to show the real horrors of these crimes.  Then take these photos and picket outside gun shows, NRA sponsored events and stores that sell guns.

I'm pissed.  This is not rocket science.  We, as a nation, have accepted the mass killing of people, and particularly grade school students, as a by-product our of second amendment rights.  Rights that, I believe, are not guaranteed to the individual, but to a well regulated militia.  But I'll get all kinds of push back on that constitutional interpretation.

By the way, where is the Occupy movement people when you need them?  Are we at the point where we will occupy the streets, en masse,  and demand gun legislation?  I'm ready.

12 comments:

  1. It is the wrong people getting their hands on guns. This young man did have mental illness and it began quite young which was evidently diagnosed as Asperger's as he was in a special school for whatever was going wrong. I know those with Asperger's and they'd never hurt a fly but he combined it with other issues. He felt rejected from childhood. He was an obvious problem to the military as they kicked him out after a month. A gun training site rejected him for seeing the danger. This went beyond rage to a mental problem leading to him never being able to fit in. Finally an aggrandizement that sounds like psychotic disorder (if you study them) and when he went into that schoolroom, he finally felt empowered.

    The survivor descriptions of his behavior was that he was enjoying himself. He shot that one young woman 10 times to evidently torture her. This isn't just about guns and if we had meaningful background checks and an accountability for gun ownership, it would be a start. By accountability, I mean a chain of ownership so that if a parent buys their offspring weapons, when the offspring could not acquire them legally, there is a legal price to be paid-- assuming the offspring doesn't kill them first. The mother of this man was a nurse but she also had a gun fetish. People who own guns as we do have a responsibility to keep them safe or they also should be held accountable. If their gun is stolen, which a gun safe should prevent, they should immediately have to report it but without accountability too many don't care and they sell their guns privately to people they should not. I also would ban ownership of all assault rifles and extended magazines but that's not happening with today's voters.

    You know most gun owners are like me-- they consider the gun a tool and they need it for assorted reasons. They don't go brandishing them and they are cautious how they store them (good gun safes) and how they use them. If that was not the average, we'd have even more deaths from guns considering how many are in an area like say where I live.

    The problem with gun ownership and the average shooting, not like Roseburg, but the kind we see more frequently, is how many use their guns for anger issues. It's again not the norm but it and gang violence are a lot of the reasons for the deaths. It's why some would like to see all guns taken away. That isn't happening though. It didn't even happen in Australia, but we could do more about our gun violence mentality where a gun is the solution to rage at a neighbor or spouse... and not sure what the hell we can do about the history of this country and our current propensity for going to war at the drop of a hat. I believe that plays a role as gun violence went up with Vietnam and again with Iraq. This baloney about fighting over there to keep it safe here is bull----!

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    1. not to mention the suicides by gun. Almost 22 THOUSAND deaths each and every fookin' year. And accidental shootings when children get a hold of a firearm. I know, Betty, that there are responsible owners like you and Farm Boss. That fact doesn't hold water any more. Sadly, killers are going to make it impossible for gun owners like you to keep their weapons. Because, some day, we're going to ban guns period. You may call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

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  2. Can't we just call it a combo plate of problems? I agree that this man -- and the others who commit these horrifying mass murders -- is mentally ill. I agree that the culture of solving problems with violence, with guns, is out of control -- and that feeds people who are hanging on by slender threads, or who just get pissed off about something. And I don't think anybody could disagree that the easy availability of high-powered weaponry is the reason so many angry or upset or mentally disturbed people end up killing so many. 30,000+ gun deaths per year in the U.S. That is not normal. It is not tolerable.

    I personally hate guns with a passion -- for the murders, for the suicides, for the accidents. I do not wish to ever worry about being shot in the street because somebody has a grudge against somebody else -- or against me. I do not personally believe that "I need it for self-protection" is a very compelling argument -- it is the exact argument that all the gang members in poor neighborhoods use, and they have better reason to believe they might be killed in everyday life. So, I'd rather find ways to ramp down the glories of gun ownership; to make them less available.

    But I have relatives who are gun owners. The kind who keep guns away from their kids, have some attraction to hunting that I do not share. And I'm fine with them having guns, with restrictions -- think they are fine with safety measures, training, licensing and registration, liability insurance. It is insane that it takes so much more to buy, own, and drive a car than it does to acquire a gun.

    This is a big personal issue with me. One of my classmates nearly killed his best friend in 9th grade, horsing around with a dad's gun. The husband of one of our doctors decided they weren't making enough money, so he shot and killed his wife, their two young daughters, and himself. A kid who took piano lessons with a friend's daughter was shot at his lesson, when somebody was trying to take somebody else out across the street. And then the headlines, all the time.

    There are other ways to kill, but this one -- these weapons are all made for killing. There are other ways to commit suicide, but not so fast and effective. (And don't write suicides off as victimless; everybody left behind is left to wonder how they could have stopped it.) The accidents alone are enough to require much better safety measures.

    But the NRA has its own firepower, in the form of huge financing from manufacturers and crazy people who think they need armaments for the Armageddon. That needs to stop.

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    1. * this man WAS mentally ill.

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    2. yes, it is a combo plate! All you can eat!

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  3. No man, woman or child is ever safe in America now, in these times. It has become time to declare the NRA a domestic terrorist organization. Responsible gun owners do NOT need the IRA. It is time to disband the organization and begin large scale investigations of it.

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    1. I agree completely. I'd love to see this happen.

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  4. My husband quit the NRA more than 20 years ago when he said they went nutso on the assault rifle push. I don't think any responsible gun owner should belong to them. Their whole mentality on guns is wrong in my viewpoint and my husband's. I hear from the far right who want to force everyone to buy a gun, who believe if that teacher had been armed, it would have changed things. It's pure ignorance and catering to the ignorant to believe it. An ambush is not what anyone expects and having a gun doesn't mean you would have time to use it or even know how. The guy in the CC, who had the gun that made a difference, was a trained police officer. In Salem, Oregon some years back a guy started shooting in a small mall. An off duty police officer who happened to be having dinner there and was carrying was able to pin him down until the police got there but in a chaotic situation, with guns being fired, having a gun could get a person killed by the police as how would they know who was who? It's why the guy with a gun in Tucson that time left his in his pocket. He wasn't sure who the killer was and eventually helped to subdue him when the killer's magazine jammed.

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  5. I heard that a big group in Australia is considering leading an international boycott of American travel if our government doesn't contend with gun control. I think that would be TERRIFIC.

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  6. I saw one of those posters on facebook that said if we didn't enact any new legislation after Sandy Hook, with all those children dead, we ain't ever going to do it. Dead children in their classrooms didn't change a thing. We are a crazy country.

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  7. as I see it legislation is needed. Congress is either part of the solution or part of the problem. Right now they are part of the problem. The American people want a solution. Get rid of your previous elected officials now, vote for new ones now, let's get moving on this solution now.

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