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  #81  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by MaryO View Post
Ahhh, but you can and I was! The school I worked was K-5th grade. So yes I was there all day every day. I even went on field trips and when I wasn't in the school on any day, another officer on the force came in for the day so it was always covered. That's the way the program was designed to work. Not sure if it still is but when I was an SRO it was started as a Federal Grant program so any school could apply and get them and then after 3 or 4 years the local district would take over the program. So YES it can, has and is being done - even in a kindergarten!
I'll be darned, I guess i need to reconsider that aspect of it. I always thought SROs were mainly for junior high school and high school, where kids are starting to get into more trouble. I used to be a newspaper reporter and covered police and crime and had work relationships with numerous officers, including SROs, which were just in the upper grades at the time and the schools paid part of the officer's salary. I learn something new every day.

As long as there is an armed police officer, or a secured defensive firearm accessible to trained staff, then I think schools are much safer. If each school needs to have an officer assigned to it, and if the school districts and cities can budget for that, then so be it. I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to assign an officer to every school.
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  #82  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Conneticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by MaryO View Post
There are many factors, not the least of which is lack of facilities for mentally ill and disturbed children. This was something I fought daily when I was a School Resource Officer. I saw children who were mentally disturbed and a danger to others, some of them as young as 7 years old, but when I would try to have them removed from the school or find them help, it was almost non-existent. Our society doesn't want to believe that young children can have criminal intent or be dangerous and so we bury our head in the sand until they are older and they refuse help or it's just too late and they turn our like the shooter here. Until we improve these types of services we are not going to move forward.
+100 to this.

I have been a school teacher for over twenty years, and I understand and agree entirely with what Mary is saying.

I remember in the early nineties we began to see these types of kids more and more. They are to a least a degree, products of their environments. Often they grow up in "homes" devoid of any kind of emotional, physical, or mental support. They are neglected and abused. Some are able to rise above this, but many don't. For those of us who grew up in relatively normal homes, we have no idea of the private hell their lives can become.

I don't know what else to say. I think the number of times that this has happened since columbine is a symptom of a society that needs to fix itself in so many ways. Its not just an American problem, a student was shot and killed at a school only 45 minutes from where I live and work.

I don't know about arming teachers. My God, how did we get here?
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  #83  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
I'll be darned, I guess i need to reconsider that aspect of it. I always thought SROs were mainly for junior high school and high school, where kids are starting to get into more trouble. I used to be a newspaper reporter and covered police and crime and had work relationships with numerous officers, including SROs, which were just in the upper grades at the time and the schools paid part of the officer's salary. I learn something new every day.

As long as there is an armed police officer, or a secured defensive firearm accessible to trained staff, then I think schools are much safer. If each school needs to have an officer assigned to it, and if the school districts and cities can budget for that, then so be it. I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to assign an officer to every school.
With the younger ages, we were there for problems but we were more proactive than that. I did anti drug classes, Internet safety classes and even taught a fingerprint lab for the 5th graders (loved that one!). We were in the classrooms, at ball games and really developing relationships with the kids. Then on top of that there was the safety as well. Thats why I'm such an advocate...it's a win-win situation :)
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  #84  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
I'll be darned, I guess i need to reconsider that aspect of it. I always thought SROs were mainly for junior high school and high school, where kids are starting to get into more trouble. I used to be a newspaper reporter and covered police and crime and had work relationships with numerous officers, including SROs, which were just in the upper grades at the time and the schools paid part of the officer's salary. I learn something new every day.

As long as there is an armed police officer, or a secured defensive firearm accessible to trained staff, then I think schools are much safer. If each school needs to have an officer assigned to it, and if the school districts and cities can budget for that, then so be it. I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to assign an officer to every school.
You are willing to pay DMC, but I think the reality of it is many are not. Most people are willing to spend more on their F*cking cars,( a stinking piece of metal) or that 3000 square foot house that they don't need with its goddamn granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, or a 90 inch flat screen tv etc etc than they would on the safety and welfare of children.
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  #85  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
We cannot make this any better by passing more senseless laws or restrictions.These things happen and we keep on doing the same thing that does not work. Banning guns simply will not work or any anti gun laws would not have prevented this type of thing from happening. it never will. All over the world where guns are present or not when some psyco wants to kill a bunch of people what does he do? go to some unsecured place where people gather together for maximum body count. I seems to me the solution is simple, make places like that more secure. when was the last massacre at a courtroom? Never, they have armed guards and metal detectors and everyone that goes in is checked. Yes we have the technology, manpower and know how we can make public venues more safe and schools especially.
I got this quote from another forum but it is so true.
" Violence is a part of nature. No creature on this earth is exempt from it. Violence has shaped human society since the dawn of man and only people who have accepted this fact and prepared to meet evil with force have ever stopped it."
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  #86  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by CCdrummer View Post
You are willing to pay DMC, but I think the reality of it is many are not. Most people are willing to spend more on their F*cking cars,( a stinking piece of metal) or that 3000 square foot house that they don't need with its goddamn granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, or a 90 inch flat screen tv etc etc than they would on the safety and welfare of children.
Consider the 3,000 square foot house pays more in property taxes, which are useful to fund services like police. Plus, I live in a 3,300 sf house (family of five). But I tend to agree with you and I haven't purchased a new car in 10 years.

Talk is cheap. Public services are not.
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  #87  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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I seems to me the solution is simple, make places like that more secure. when was the last massacre at a courtroom? Never, they have armed guards and metal detectors and everyone that goes in is checked. Yes we have the technology, manpower and know how we can make public venues more safe and schools especially.
I don't need to see police-state checkpoints everywhere I go just so that I can feel slightly more secure that a rare thing might not happen to me if I give up just a bit more freedom. I don't need to be scattered with useless ionizing radiation or take off my shoes to get on a plane just because someone decided that they want to pretend I'm safer for it. I'm not. If someone wants to do something crazy like this, we aren't going to stop them by pretending we can secure every potential target or place people congregate.

If a private party wants security at their event, so be it. Let them pay for it. I do not need more in-effectual government stooges standing around scanning or searching everyone in public spaces. It wouldn't change anything. I/we certainly do not need to pay for it.
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  #88  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Consider the 3,000 square foot house pays more in property taxes, which are useful to fund services like police. Plus, I live in a 3,300 sf house (family of five). But I tend to agree with you and I haven't purchased a new car in 10 years.

Talk is cheap. Public services are not.
Bingo.

Sorry, didn't mean to offend, it was a bit of a rant on my part. I guess I am angry because every time this happens its the same. I saw it happen with the shooting in my school district. Nothing really changed as a result of it. Nobody wants to admit the problems are real and they exist and they need to be dealt with. Why? Because it costs money to do it, and the politicians are more concerned with preserving their own cushy positions and expense accounts, rather than risk not getting reelected by making an unpopular decision that would benefit the greater good.
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  #89  
Old 12-18-2012, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

[quote=Dr_Watso;1085674]I don't need to see police-state checkpoints everywhere I go just so that I can feel slightly more secure that a rare thing might not happen to me if I give up just a bit more freedom. I don't need to be scattered with useless ionizing radiation or take off my shoes to get on a plane just because someone decided that they want to pretend I'm safer for it. I'm not. If someone wants to do something crazy like this, we aren't going to stop them by pretending we can secure every potential target or place people congregate.

If a private party wants security at their event, so be it. Let them pay for it. I do not need more in-effectual government stooges standing around scanning or searching everyone in public spaces. It wouldn't change anything. I/we certainly do not need to pay for

I am willing to take my chances and provide my own security, All I am trying to do is offer an alternative to passing more senseless laws or bans that do not do any good and violate my right and ability to defend myself.
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  #90  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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We cannot make this any better by passing more senseless laws or restrictions.These things happen and we keep on doing the same thing that does not work. Banning guns simply will not work or any anti gun laws would not have prevented this type of thing from happening. it never will.
Worked in Oz, where firearm related deaths have almost halved since tough ownership restrictions were put in place following the Port Arthur massacre in '96.

Has it stopped it altogether? No, as you've noted there'll always be lunatics on a mission. But the figures don't lie. Isn't it at least discussion worthy as a nation? Isn't it at least worth considering we may have seen a very different outcome if the recent shooter didn't have such easy access to a ready made arsenal in his mothers cupboard? 26 people also had a right to defend themselves too.....but that argument didn't really work out too well for them, did it?. As it stands that Einstein quote is speaking volumes. Especially given no one even wants to have the conversation to begin with.

I'd never be so bold as to try and dictate to American opinion from an armchair in Melbourne, Australia. But the head in the sand approach just seems too silly to not pass comment on too. Ultimately, whether you "should" or "shouldn't" is an issue for the American people. But blind Freddie could tell you that you should at least be willing to have the discussion and lay all the cards on the table.
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  #91  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

I agree with sitting down and talking. I agree with tightening rules. The only problem is the lawless don't care about laws. People still speed. Kids still make fake ID's. People still rob banks. All against the law and yet still happen every day. then we have the nut bag in Norway a few years ago who just went on the spree of a life time in a country with little or no homicide killing 72 people.
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  #92  
Old 12-18-2012, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

It seems like the more violent the media, the more violent the society. Kids see people shooting people numerous times each day if they watch TV. I know this has to have a major affect on things. I mean even if you cleaned up the airwaves, there's still the internet which is still like the wild west in a lot of ways.
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  #93  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

If life was only as black and white as statistical data the world would be a much better place.
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  #94  
Old 12-18-2012, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Worked in Oz, where firearm related deaths have almost halved since tough ownership restrictions were put in place following the Port Arthur massacre in '96.

Has it stopped it altogether? No, as you've noted there'll always be lunatics on a mission. But the figures don't lie. Isn't it at least discussion worthy as a nation? Isn't it at least worth considering we may have seen a very different outcome if the recent shooter didn't have such easy access to a ready made arsenal in his mothers cupboard? 26 people also had a right to defend themselves too.....but that argument didn't really work out too well for them, did it?. As it stands that Einstein quote is speaking volumes. Especially given no one even wants to have the conversation to begin with.

I'd never be so bold as to try and dictate to American opinion from an armchair in Melbourne, Australia. But the head in the sand approach just seems too silly to not pass comment on too. Ultimately, whether you "should" or "shouldn't" is an issue for the American people. But blind Freddie could tell you that you should at least be willing to have the discussion and lay all the cards on the table.
What worked for Australia and the rest of the world simply will not work here, We already have states separating from the union at the mere thought of banning guns and they are tired of the federal government getting too big and controlling. I simply do not want to live in a country where you do not have the ability to defend yourself. May be time to move back to Texas or Oklahoma where they will never ban guns.
What do previous gun owners think about the bans in your country? Don't they feel naked? I am sure all the criminals turned in they're guns as well. What about rape? I hear that went way up.
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  #95  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

In the UK, we have a routinely unarmed Police force. Gun crime is also fortunately only a very niche issue and we have specialist units that deal with armed offences. The justification is below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19641398

I've always been of the view that one gun in a potentially violent situation leads to a lower potential for being shot. Both sides having guns merely raises the stakes and in hazardous situations, simply increases the chance of being shot from panicking the criminal. This notion of 'defending oneself' is exactly the reason why knife crime in South London has become a problem. One teenager carries a knife, the others start carrying to 'defend' and then all of a sudden you have a spate of stabbings. The same is true of guns.
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  #96  
Old 12-18-2012, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

As this thread has now morphed to consideration of contributing factors, & the inevitable search for answers, perhaps as somewhat of an outsider to this debate, I can chime in with a few thoughts.

In a country where a very rich & influential lobby opposes mandatory safety catches on guns as being "unconstitutional", yet has a firearms related child homicide rate (by percentage of population) greater than the rest of the top 25 industrialized nations combined, you know any attempt to afford change is nigh impossible. The priorities are just too skewed to make headway.

Mandatory safety catch on a cigarette lighter = no problem.
Mandatory safety catch on a lethal device that would go some considerable way to preventing the 5 or so daily firearms related child deaths & injuries in the US = big problem. Go figure--

Clearly, any degree of gun control will never prevent a determined & resourced deranged individual from carrying out their intended crime. Same applies to terrorism. Ring fencing soft targets won't work either. Take all statistics in context & with a pinch of salt, but when the numbers stack up to be so hugely disparate, to deny that firearms proliferation isn't at least a very significant factor, is to ignore the overwhelmingly obvious. Saving lives of those outside of these dreadful high profile events must be the aim of all right thinking Americans. Preventing the multiple horrific, the exceptional, is a difficult one to win, but the daily slaughter that passes underneath the press radar can surely be reduced by a change of emphasis. Society is increasingly obsessed with protecting the rights of the individual. That's fine, but when upholding those individual rights is to the detriment of the greater society, one has to question personal motivation.

Adjusted for population size, & excluding suicide, the firearms related death rate in the US is 92 times greater than the UK. The UK is no model place, I can assure you, but in global terms, it's society demographic is surprisingly similar to that of the US, the only significant difference being it's gun laws. A multiplication of 92 times the death rate guys, that's no statistical "blip".
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  #97  
Old 12-18-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Just catching up on this thread after a couple of days. Interesting comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
It's all about money though, who's gonna pay? The middle class, who else? .. .. It would be nice if the guys like Zucherberg and Gates and Turner would and the other top 1%-ers would be required by law to donate a billion a year to combat this. It's the least they could do to give back from the land they profited so immensely from.

They need to free up the money they spend on the war on cannabis and use it on a war against mass killers instead.
Larry, I'm surprised at this comment. I don't think it would be "nice" to use the police powers of the state to force wealthy people to surrender money to the federal government to use on this sort of public safety. Gates probably donates willingly more than a billion a year through his foundation to global and domestic causes. Not sure about Z or Turner. Most extremely wealthy people already give to charity much more than the average person realizes.

Besides, I look at school safety and security issues as a local and state concern. The taxes received by counties and states can be used much more efficiently and productively when it doesn't get filtered down by corruption and waste to the local schools that need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Where do you draw the line on mental stability? For example, should someone diagnosed with clinical depression have their guns taken away - even if they have never committed any crime? I would tend to say yes, at least for their own safety, and even if they're being medicated for it. Gun ownership is a tremendous responsiblity and you really need to have each and every one of your marbles.

If we're going to look at issues of mental instability, then we need to be prepared to make some very hard choices about who may and may not own firearms.
It's a slippery slope to say the least. It is immensely difficult to deal with all of these issues on a individual case by case basis. Regulating and legislating according to groups inevitably leads to the unfair loss of rights to some that might unfairly be put into one group or another. A related example would be my 80 year old mother. I would agree that taking the privilege to drive on public roads away from elderly people at a certain age would reduce the accidents and deaths in Florida by a huge percentage. My mother, however, is sharp as a tack and would throw a fit and probably drive anyway if you tried to take her drivers license away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
I'll be darned, I guess i need to reconsider that aspect of it. I always thought SROs were mainly for junior high school and high school, where kids are starting to get into more trouble. I used to be a newspaper reporter and covered police and crime and had work relationships with numerous officers, including SROs, which were just in the upper grades at the time and the schools paid part of the officer's salary. I learn something new every day.

As long as there is an armed police officer, or a secured defensive firearm accessible to trained staff, then I think schools are much safer. If each school needs to have an officer assigned to it, and if the school districts and cities can budget for that, then so be it. I'd be willing to pay more in taxes to assign an officer to every school.
I would too. I'd pay extra on an airline ticket for a uniformed sky marshall. By referendum, I would allocate some of the property tax money I pay for school security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCdrummer View Post
You are willing to pay DMC, but I think the reality of it is many are not. Most people are willing to spend more on their F*cking cars,( a stinking piece of metal) or that 3000 square foot house that they don't need with its goddamn granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, or a 90 inch flat screen tv etc etc than they would on the safety and welfare of children.
I totally understand where your disgust and frustration come from. Many people are selfish but it does make me worry if 150 people who feel like you do got together in a legislative capacity, how quickly would you be trying to mandate what people spend their personal money on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarrdoss View Post
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
We cannot make this any better by passing more senseless laws or restrictions.These things happen and we keep on doing the same thing that does not work. Banning guns simply will not work or any anti gun laws would not have prevented this type of thing from happening. it never will. All over the world where guns are present or not when some psyco wants to kill a bunch of people what does he do? go to some unsecured place where people gather together for maximum body count. I seems to me the solution is simple, make places like that more secure. when was the last massacre at a courtroom? Never, they have armed guards and metal detectors and everyone that goes in is checked. Yes we have the technology, manpower and know how we can make public venues more safe and schools especially.
I got this quote from another forum but it is so true.
" Violence is a part of nature. No creature on this earth is exempt from it. Violence has shaped human society since the dawn of man and only people who have accepted this fact and prepared to meet evil with force have ever stopped it."
Amen, brother. This issue is about violence and public safety. I have not gone anywhere in the last 15 years unarmed. I do it legally, discreetly, responsibly and vigilantly.

I only wish that I or someone like me could have been there so at the first murderous act, one of us could have shot Lanza dead right on the spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I don't need to see police-state checkpoints everywhere I go just so that I can feel slightly more secure that a rare thing might not happen to me if I give up just a bit more freedom. I don't need to be scattered with useless ionizing radiation or take off my shoes to get on a plane just because someone decided that they want to pretend I'm safer for it. I'm not. If someone wants to do something crazy like this, we aren't going to stop them by pretending we can secure every potential target or place people congregate.

If a private party wants security at their event, so be it. Let them pay for it. I do not need more in-effectual government stooges standing around scanning or searching everyone in public spaces. It wouldn't change anything. I/we certainly do not need to pay for it.
Yes and no. I don't like the "in-effectual government stooges" either. Maybe Mary O has an idea of who provides security in government schools. Is it private contractors, government agencies or both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I agree with sitting down and talking. I agree with tightening rules. The only problem is the lawless don't care about laws. People still speed. Kids still make fake ID's. People still rob banks. All against the law and yet still happen every day. then we have the nut bag in Norway a few years ago who just went on the spree of a life time in a country with little or no homicide killing 72 people.
I prefer to live under the rule of law. It makes it harder on the individual but that's not a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarrdoss View Post
What worked for Australia and the rest of the world simply will not work here, We already have states separating from the union at the mere thought of banning guns and they are tired of the federal government getting too big and controlling. I simply do not want to live in a country where you do not have the ability to defend yourself. May be time to move back to Texas or Oklahoma where they will never ban guns.
What do previous gun owners think about the bans in your country? Don't they feel naked? I am sure all the criminals turned in they're guns as well. What about rape? I hear that went way up.
When I travel to states that do not have reciprocity for my Georgia State issued concealed carry permit, I do feel vulnerable to the most extreme and rare of circumstances that I might not be able to save my own life. I just accept it. I guess if I started to travel to these places and feel more concerned more frequently, I would go about getting a non-resident carry permit.

As a community we have to try harder to protect our most vulnerable public places. It is nigh impossible to prevent every act of insanity that results in tragedies like Newtown.

I hope this doesn't sound too cavalier, but I agree with Otto. I have had a good life. I would have traded my life to save any of them that day.
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  #98  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

A few more intersting facts.


How does the number of murders committed with firearms compare to the number of suicides committed with firearms?
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2011 there were 19,766 suicides committed with firearms and 11,101 homicides committed with firearms.
What percentage of murders are committed by people using guns?
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, in 2011 firearms were used in 68 percent of the nationís murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21 percent of aggravated assaults.

32% of the nations murders, and 59% of the nations robberies were conducted without firearms. There are many ways to kill and guns are only one.

This is from an MSNBC article from this morning.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

This thread is starting to become less about the sad, tragic loss of life and a stupid, and I MEAN STUPID, gun control debate. Not the thread for this everyone, please close this thread mods.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:39 PM
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This thread is starting to become less about the sad, tragic loss of life and a stupid, and I MEAN STUPID, gun control debate. Not the thread for this everyone, please close this thread mods.
If it gets closed, that's fine. Part of dealing with sadness and tragedy can be talking about what you would do about it in the future. It helps people cope.

I think everyone has been doing a very good job of being compassionate and not over politicizing this issue.

My apologies if this thread was intended as a "only share your grief and compassion" thread.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Today I observed at least 25 news people and 5 or 6 news satellite trucks across the street from the towns only funeral home which is located on Main Street just north of the famous flagpole that Im sure that you have all seen by now.
They were taking videos of the mourners as they came and went to pay respects to 6 year old Jack Pinto. The line was long and people were standing outside in the cold December rain.
There was also a videographer inside the local deli that was near the funeral home. He was sticking the large shoulder mounted camera in everyones face as they walked in for lunch. Other reporters were outside of the deli trying to interview anyone who would stop and talk. These news people are truly bottom feeders. They are scum.
This may help you feel just a bit better:

Jennifer Quinn
Staff Reporter

Dear Newtown:

I must confess that Iím glad to be leaving you ó though youíre probably even happier to see me, and other people like me, go. As the week goes on and Christmas gets closer, there will likely be fewer members of my profession driving around your town, down Main St., and through Sandy Hook.

Youíve been incredibly kind. And I would guess that not every one of us has deserved that. But I want you to know that I am very grateful for the patience you displayed when answering my questions, and will always admire the grace with which you handled the terrible events that took place in your pretty town.

I arrived here on Friday night ó hours after a troubled man who carried a scary rifle burst into the elementary school and killed 26 of your neighbours, 20 of them children ó and went straight to the Catholic church.

Hundreds of you were huddled on the lawn. Originally, I thought the service was over, and people were just waiting for friends or whatever, and were going to head home. Wrong. People were staying. And talking. To each other, to members of the clergy ó and to reporters. Tons of reporters. We represented media outlets from around the world. Norway. Spain. Korea, too, I later found out. Canadians, obviously. And from all over the U.S.

And you talked to us. To me. About how you felt about your kids, and how you worried for your friends, and how you hoped your town would eventually be OK. No one was angry at the assailant, not at that point. People were just terribly sad. And even as you cried, and hugged, and sang, only one out of the many people I approached said heíd rather not talk ó and he said that with a polite, sad smile. And then he said to me, ďBut thanks for asking.Ē

I think you wanted to tell your stories, and those of your community, and I believe you did that beautifully.

Iíve never lived in the United States, but Iíve spent a lot of time here. For a couple of years I travelled here almost weekly ó I was covering professional sports for the Star ó and then, when I moved overseas, I worked for an American news organization, with many American colleagues.

I love the U.S., and I love Americans, and I always felt like I knew and understood this place. But here, in Newtown, I was reminded of the differences between our two countries.

Itís not just your gun laws, though those are one obvious difference. Put it this way: If I had gone to Newmarket, Ont. ó or New Westminster, B.C., or pretty much any other Canadian community ó I think things would have been different.

This isnít to say that Canadians arenít just as thoughtful, or as welcoming. But I think weíre more reticent when it comes to talking to the press ó and nowhere is that difference more obvious than when it comes to public officials.

Just look at the remarkable news briefing held by Dr. H. Wayne Carver, your stateís chief medical examiner, on Saturday afternoon. True, there is no prosecution in this case so he doesnít have to be careful about what he says, but I donít think thereís any way any Canadian official would get up and speak as frankly as he did.

He said how many times the victims he saw had been shot. He described what the bullets did to their flesh. He gave the kind of detail that sometimes we donít even hear spoken in courtrooms. I was astonished.

And then, I have to confess, I was also taken aback Sunday afternoon when I heard a smart, pretty 21-year-old girl ó who was setting up to take donations for the families in your town ó make the ďguns donít kill people, people kill peopleĒ argument.

Iím not naive, but I was surprised when she and her two friends all said, sure, they know people with guns. I donít think I know anyone with a gun (cops notwithstanding). Look around, one of them said to me, waving her arm. Newtown is surrounded by woods. People hunt. Of course they have guns.

Zoe told me her boyfriendís mom and her best friendís mom were in Sandy Hook Elementary when the shooting took place. So I thought she might now think that people donít need weapons.

ďSome people are saying this is about gun control,Ē she said. ďI donít believe that. This is about one sick person.

ďI donít forgive him,Ē she said. ďI really donít, at all.Ē

That was about the only anger I heard during the days I spent in your town. Mostly, people talked about love.

I havenít cried yet. Iíve been close, but when youíre working, you just kind of keep on going. Iíve tried not to look too closely at the pictures of the little girls ó they remind me too much of people who are important to me. And I grew up surrounded by amazing women who are teachers.

So I am glad to be leaving you. Because I get to go home and see those people. Iíll get to hug them on Christmas Eve, and Iíll get to laugh with my girlfriends, and sit at a favourite bar, and leave some of what I heard and saw in Newtown behind.

I wonít forget you, though. And when I stop and remember, thatís probably when Iíll cry.

Sincerely,

Jennifer
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  #102  
Old 12-18-2012, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Thanks for posting that Bruce.

As a former member of the press corps for over 20 years, it is nice to see that journalism isn't the complete cess pool I thought it was when I left.
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  #103  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

You are welcome-You may like this as well, the writing is very good; I posted this yesterday.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/ar...-shows-the-way
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  #104  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

I just want to say this is a productive, civil conversation about a very emotional issue and I'm impressed with everyone's level-headedness, respect and thinking. There are many different views here being expressed and I am learning from all of it.
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  #105  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

What a difference a few days can make. Until Friday morning, Discovery Channel's "American Guns" was generally regarded as a popular, not especially complicated show about the travails of a family of gun sellers. In the aftermath of the devastating murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the show's become a symbol of our culture's fraught but durable love affair with guns. After hundreds of Facebook users besieged the show's page, calling for its end, they got their wish. The network has cancelled the show.
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  #106  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Conneticut Elementary School

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Just when you think things can't possibly get any worse, something like this happens to up the ante.
Everyone is going though the shock and grief phase at the moment (as well they should be) and mere words written on a drum forum post cant even begin to express the heartbreak we all feel for those innocent kids, teachers and the other victims.
Can someone please tell me, exactly how many massacres does it take before a country realises it needs at least SOME form of gun control????
The worst school masssacre in U.S. history was 1927 in Bath, Michigan, 44 people were killed, 38 were children. The guy used explosives and blew up the school, no guns used there. The insane will always find a way to kill, no matter how many laws you have.

Look at Switerland, people walk around freely with rifles, men between the age of 20-30 are required to join the militia and are givin assault rifles to keep in there home, yet they don't have a high gun murder rate. It's not the guns, it's more to do with people with mental health issues getting there hands on guns or bombs.
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  #107  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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This thread is starting to become less about the sad, tragic loss of life and a stupid, and I MEAN STUPID, gun control debate. Not the thread for this everyone, please close this thread mods.
This. 1 Star rating.
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  #108  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Conneticut Elementary School

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Look at Switerland, people walk around freely with rifles, men between the age of 20-30 are required to join the militia and are givin assault rifles to keep in there home, yet they don't have a high gun murder rate. It's not the guns, it's more to do with people with mental health issues getting there hands on guns or bombs.
Yes, in Switzerland we have our assault rifles at home, with munitions as well, but a murder involving a military gun is extremely rare indeed.

When you join the army (not by choice, mind you) you will be given your gun, however, it is closely monitored, and if the army think there's a possibility that someone could be a danger to themselves or to others, the army either don't give a gun or take it back.

I had an automatic assault rifle in the wardrobe in my bedroom for 15 years, it's for a much longer period normally, but I had to give it back when I left the country to live abroad. I kept it in that wardrobe though, it only got out when I had military duties to do (which I hated anyway)

It's not the guns that are problem, I agree, but guns in the wrong hands are a disaster waiting to happen, you need to find a solution for the hands, not for the guns.Which bring us back to the point raised by Mary...
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  #109  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Conneticut Elementary School

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It's not the guns that are problem, I agree, but guns in the wrong hands are a disaster waiting to happen, you need to find a solution for the hands, not for the guns.Which bring us back to the point raised by Mary...
I agree with this and although I do believe in the right to bear arms, there are still many areas of improvement that can be made to the gun control laws we already have.

In addition to gun control reform and or improvement, this tragedy should also invoke the issues of improving awareness, security to vulnerable public places, crisis training, etc..

Larry touched on an interesting aspect to all of this. Our culture and history have a lot to do with this. The USA was born of rebellion and violence. Our country celebrates it in a way with film, TV and literature as entertainment. The media contributes to the incessant exposure to violence. We are becoming more and more desensitized to it even by our increased awareness of it.

In our modern world today, just our incredible access to information and current events offers up more possibilities that we could be putting more ideas into the heads of the truly insane people that would do these things.

Back in 1927, I'll bet that a very small percentage of the population would have heard about the school massacre in Bath, Michigan.

Even in a firearms abolitionists perfect world of zero firearms in anyone's hands (if they just didn't exist) crazy people will find a way to do crazy things. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve our situation but accepting the fact that a "no weapons world" does not exist should prompt us to look more closely at the realistic things we can do.

I am always amazed at how almost all of the people that are so anti-gun don't really concern themselves at all with their personal security.

Except for those that are truly pacifists and would rather die than defend themselves violently, I think many of the no-gun crowd would probably prove to be hypocrites if this issue hit closer to home.

I remember when I used to live in DC, there was a Washington Post columnist that was very anti-gun. Carl Rowan was extremely outspoken about restricting the sale of hand guns.

A Wiki excerpt: Rowan gained public notoriety on June 14, 1988, when he shot an unarmed teenage trespasser, Neil Smith, who was on his property illegally. "The interloper was a near-naked teenager who had been skinny-dipping with friends in Rowan's pool, and the columnist's weapon was an unregistered, and thus very illegal, .22 caliber pistol." ..

.. Rowen was charged for firing a gun that he did not legally own. Rowan was arrested and tried. During the trial, he argued that he had the right to use whatever means necessary to protect himself and his family. He also said the pistol he used was exempt from the District's handgun prohibition law because it belonged to his older son, a former FBI agent. Critics charged hypocrisy, since Rowan was a strict gun control advocate. In a 1981 column, he advocated "a law that says anyone found in possession of a handgun except a legitimate officer of the law goes to jailóperiod." In 1985, he called for "A complete and universal federal ban on the sale, manufacture, importation and possession of handguns (except for authorized police and military personnel).[7]]</ref>-->[8] Private gun ownership had been illegal in the District of Columbia since 1976[9] and the facts of the case were the talk of the town for many days.

Rowan was tried but the jury was deadlocked; the judge declared a mistrial and he was never retried. In his autobiography, Rowan said he still favors gun control, but admits being vulnerable to a charge of hypocrisy.

I offer this story in hopes that we might spend the rest of this thread, for however long it lasts, in IMO, on the more important issues of improving school security, training and any other ways we can find to stop this kind of thing from happening in the future.

Ultimately, there is no complete solution to avoiding another tragedy. One day, we're going to read a story about a soccer mom that notices a perp in her kids school parking lot. When she sees him take out a weapon and approach the school, she runs him over with her mini-van averting a disaster.

In an unfortunate way, this will be some of the progress that we are looking for.

Sorry for the long rant. I keep thinking about those poor kids and I get so bothered by it all.
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  #110  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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This. 1 Star rating.
what do you expect?????...it's the f-in internet!
good grief. just a lame attempt at trying to be better than everyone else.

welcome to the ego show

Everything here has been very civil and it's not like this thread is going to bring back the dead children. It's absolutely horrific..THAT is something we can all agree on.

Let's ban guns, then we'll ban knives and then we'll ban spoons and before long we will ban keys. Where are the men in this world? Why have they become a bad crop of little boys who don't know how to be respectful of others and most importantly how to treat women? Women no longer get married to a strong man..they basically marry a child to raise. The family dynamic and morality in this world is suffering the wrath of selfishness. Culture has changed and we're too busy looking at our smartphones to adapt and balance the loss of morality. We just keep breeding more selfishness. No body knows how to love and respect their neighbor anymore.

Last edited by badgerfromsaturn; 12-19-2012 at 12:23 AM.
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  #111  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Unfortunately those hands are connected, however loosely, to some brains that have a disconnect or are medicated to the point that the person has trouble defining reality. This lady in Conn. mentioned to her friends that her son was drifting further away lately and she had a tough time getting through to him. Why in the hell then did she have weapons that he could access. Today in the news a 6th grader brought a handgun to school because he said his parents told him to for protection. He had a gun and ammo. These parents if this is true, need to spend a little time behind bars.

And here is another consequence of the shooting like other shootings, the conversation turns to gun control, and gun sales are up significantly since last weekend. Lack of Education, mental health issues and Psyco-tropic drugs are a big reason for all of this. The last 5 or 6 mass murders all had some issues they either had been or were being treated for. This whole thing is sad and an answer will be found, but only through calm, informed discussion.

On a side note I read yesterday that if the fore fathers indeed wanted us to have weapons, then all of them should be muskets of the type used during the writing of the Constitution.
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  #112  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Originally Posted by Bruce M. Thomson View Post
This may help you feel just a bit better:

Jennifer Quinn
Staff Reporter

Dear Newtown:

I must confess that Iím glad to be leaving you ó though youíre probably even happier to see me, and other people like me, go. As the week goes on and Christmas gets closer, there will likely be fewer members of my profession driving around your town, down Main St., and through Sandy Hook.

Youíve been incredibly kind. And I would guess that not every one of us has deserved that. But I want you to know that I am very grateful for the patience you displayed when answering my questions, and will always admire the grace with which you handled the terrible events that took place in your pretty town.

I arrived here on Friday night ó hours after a troubled man who carried a scary rifle burst into the elementary school and killed 26 of your neighbours, 20 of them children ó and went straight to the Catholic church.

Hundreds of you were huddled on the lawn. Originally, I thought the service was over, and people were just waiting for friends or whatever, and were going to head home. Wrong. People were staying. And talking. To each other, to members of the clergy ó and to reporters. Tons of reporters. We represented media outlets from around the world. Norway. Spain. Korea, too, I later found out. Canadians, obviously. And from all over the U.S.

And you talked to us. To me. About how you felt about your kids, and how you worried for your friends, and how you hoped your town would eventually be OK. No one was angry at the assailant, not at that point. People were just terribly sad. And even as you cried, and hugged, and sang, only one out of the many people I approached said heíd rather not talk ó and he said that with a polite, sad smile. And then he said to me, ďBut thanks for asking.Ē

I think you wanted to tell your stories, and those of your community, and I believe you did that beautifully.

Iíve never lived in the United States, but Iíve spent a lot of time here. For a couple of years I travelled here almost weekly ó I was covering professional sports for the Star ó and then, when I moved overseas, I worked for an American news organization, with many American colleagues.

I love the U.S., and I love Americans, and I always felt like I knew and understood this place. But here, in Newtown, I was reminded of the differences between our two countries.

Itís not just your gun laws, though those are one obvious difference. Put it this way: If I had gone to Newmarket, Ont. ó or New Westminster, B.C., or pretty much any other Canadian community ó I think things would have been different.

This isnít to say that Canadians arenít just as thoughtful, or as welcoming. But I think weíre more reticent when it comes to talking to the press ó and nowhere is that difference more obvious than when it comes to public officials.

Just look at the remarkable news briefing held by Dr. H. Wayne Carver, your stateís chief medical examiner, on Saturday afternoon. True, there is no prosecution in this case so he doesnít have to be careful about what he says, but I donít think thereís any way any Canadian official would get up and speak as frankly as he did.

He said how many times the victims he saw had been shot. He described what the bullets did to their flesh. He gave the kind of detail that sometimes we donít even hear spoken in courtrooms. I was astonished.

And then, I have to confess, I was also taken aback Sunday afternoon when I heard a smart, pretty 21-year-old girl ó who was setting up to take donations for the families in your town ó make the ďguns donít kill people, people kill peopleĒ argument.

Iím not naive, but I was surprised when she and her two friends all said, sure, they know people with guns. I donít think I know anyone with a gun (cops notwithstanding). Look around, one of them said to me, waving her arm. Newtown is surrounded by woods. People hunt. Of course they have guns.

Zoe told me her boyfriendís mom and her best friendís mom were in Sandy Hook Elementary when the shooting took place. So I thought she might now think that people donít need weapons.

ďSome people are saying this is about gun control,Ē she said. ďI donít believe that. This is about one sick person.

ďI donít forgive him,Ē she said. ďI really donít, at all.Ē

That was about the only anger I heard during the days I spent in your town. Mostly, people talked about love.

I havenít cried yet. Iíve been close, but when youíre working, you just kind of keep on going. Iíve tried not to look too closely at the pictures of the little girls ó they remind me too much of people who are important to me. And I grew up surrounded by amazing women who are teachers.

So I am glad to be leaving you. Because I get to go home and see those people. Iíll get to hug them on Christmas Eve, and Iíll get to laugh with my girlfriends, and sit at a favourite bar, and leave some of what I heard and saw in Newtown behind.

I wonít forget you, though. And when I stop and remember, thatís probably when Iíll cry.

Sincerely,

Jennifer
Kind of like Hitler telling Poland that he is sorry for the inconvenience, my army was just passing through on our way to take over the world.

Let's not forget that the mass media is controlled by corporations who are all connected to the Industrial/ Military Complex. The media has been used to lie to the world about many recent events such as 9-11. Never trust the media because they are corrupt. The media is not your friend.
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  #113  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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Kind of like Hitler telling Poland that he is sorry for the inconvenience, my army was just passing through on our way to take over the world.

Let's not forget that the mass media is controlled by corporations who are all connected to the Industrial/ Military Complex. The media has been used to lie to the world about many recent events such as 9-11. Never trust the media because they are corrupt. The media is not your friend.
not all of us buy into the paranoia
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  #114  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

If only it was as simple as paranoia.
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  #115  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Ah, Mr Godwin, I've been expecting you . . .
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  #116  
Old 12-19-2012, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

Yes this has morphed into a gun debate and IMO has no place here but that is not for me to decide. I will not read or participate further in this thread and will leave you with this, Just ask yourself what you as an individual could have done to help prevent something like this? I wish you all well and good day.
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  #117  
Old 12-19-2012, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

"I totally understand where your disgust and frustration come from. Many people are selfish but it does make me worry if 150 people who feel like you do got together in a legislative capacity, how quickly would you be trying to mandate what people spend their personal money on?"

You bet I would mandate it,and as far as what that personal money is spent on I think I mentioned something previously about the safety and welfare of children.

You can rest easy though, that will never happen. Most of here in good old North America are far more concerned with our own personal level of comfort and staying fat than doing anything that might benefit the greater good.
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  #118  
Old 12-19-2012, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

I'm a little late to the thread but I have to compliment this site for the diverse group of folks here having such a rational discussion.

There are somewhere close to 300 million firearms in the US if you believe the statistics. (I think they are a little low based on production figures I've read.) Enough for almost every person to have one in this country. Restricting the supply in the future will do nothing. We can use Mexico as an example of how effective sweeping gun control in N. America is.

Removing existing firearms from their current owners would be a sure fire way to start another civil war in this country so no politician will touch that with a ten foot pole. So we are left with gun control being nothing more than a panacea for the emotionally charged constituents.

When terrorists took over airplanes and commited their evil acts we armed pilots, beefed up airport security, and expanded the air marshal program. These actions seem to have prevented further attacks, however the long term effectiveness remains to be seen one we leave the terrorists homeland.

Psychotics will always exist. They will find ways to do their evil deeds with or without firearms. The only realistic way to stop them is to identify and help them before they do their damage. If they aren't identified before they try to do an act of evil we need to make it difficult to find the time to do much damage before they are neutralized. The only way to do that it to have an on site response rather then waiting for the police to respond from across town.
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  #119  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

oh.......ok Alex Jones
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  #120  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Elementary School

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oh.......ok Alex Jones
I knew a kid in grade school named Alex Jones. I assume you're not talking about him. Anything constructive to add?
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