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Gun Control: Don’t Fall for the ‘Mental Health’ Diversion

Mental illness is not a significant factor in gun crime
US News • Views: 29,108

Take a look around the right wing blogs and news sites, and watch Fox News, and you may notice that there are suddenly a lot of conservatives arguing that the real problem that leads to gun violence is mental illness — and that the solution is “better mental health care.”

While it’s true that the US does need better mental health care, your first clue that this is a dishonest diversionary tactic instead of a real argument is that the right wingers parroting it are the very same people normally vehemently opposed to any and all government involvement in health care.

There’s a reason why so many right wingers are using the “mental health” excuse - to distract attention away from the real problem: there are more than 290 MILLION guns in America, almost one for every single man, woman, and child. The right is so in love with gun culture that they’ll even make dishonest arguments that contradict their own values, to pull attention away from this issue.

There is no real evidence that mentally ill people are more likely to commit gun crimes. Columbia University psychiatrist Paul Appelbaum has found that less than 3-5% of American crimes are perpetrated by mentally ill people, and for crimes involving guns the percentages are even lower.

In fact, the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators: Focus on Mental Illness in Gun Debate Is Misleading.

Research by John Brekke and Cathy Prindle at the University of Southern California shows that individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to be assaulted by others than to commit violent crimes themselves, Metzl said.

By blaming people who have mental disorders for violent crime, the threats posed to society by a much larger population - the sane - are overlooked.”The focus on so-called mentally ill crime obfuscates awareness of a far more important set of risk predictors of gun violence: substance abuse and past history of violence,” said Metzl, a professor of psychiatry and sociology. “By blaming people who have mental disorders for violent crime, the threats posed to society by a much larger population - the sane - are overlooked.”

One possible explanation for the tendency to blame mental illness for violent crimes is the fact that the debate around gun control has become so politicized that bringing up mental illness is one of the few ways to even talk about the issue, Metzl said.

To reiterate, better mental health care is an important and worthy cause. But for the right, it has also become a way to confuse and obfuscate the issues in order to hang on to their precious, precious guns.

Also see:
The 21st Floor: Shooting down stigma

Jump to bottom

203 comments

1 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:30:36am

Charles, is there any policy change addressing gun violence that you DO support?

2 JRCMYP  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:31:01am

The difficulty here is that better mental health access is, as you say, a serious issue and worthy of discussion. It is a *separate* issue, however, from gun control and regulation. Since, as you say, there are now 290 million (holy hell) guns in the US, guns and gun violence has become a public health issue, not a mental health issue.

3 Political Atheist  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:32:58am

Asked this yesterday no takers. In keeping with the gun regulation focus, moving on from my points on what makes a killer-
I'm asking the strong gun control (or ban like handguns) advocates what they might allow a responsible trained person to have at home, carry on their person, and at their business for "last ditch bad guy with a gun" defense. 3 shades of the same question to allow for different answers like "a shotgun at home and no guns for carry ever"

What is appropriate for a person who might have a serious stalker or robbery problem? Who gets CCW if anyone?

4 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:34:00am

Another question, what limits on gun control has the supreme court actually mandated?

5 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:34:13am

David Gregory just now on "Meet The Press":

“A note here this morning: We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning,” he said. ”We had no takers.”

6 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:35:20am

re: #2 JRCMYP

The difficulty here is that better mental health access is, as you say, a serious issue and worthy of discussion. It is a *separate* issue, however, from gun control and regulation. Since, as you say, there are now 290 million (holy hell) guns in the US, guns and gun violence has become a public health issue, not a mental health issue.

It's an issue that is easy to bandaid (more access) but ignores that you can't force people to take advantage of that access. You open more clinics and provide easier access, you'll still have a society that says mental illness is "overdiagnosed" and that psychiatrists are quacks who answer every "illness" with a pill rather than a solution. That even if you get a person on medication, you can't force them to take it every day.

7 Interesting Times  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:35:31am

re: #3 Political Atheist

What is appropriate for a person who might have a serious stalker or robbery problem? Who gets CCW if anyone?

Ideally, I'd like to see the invention of an instantly-incapacitating non-lethal weapon for this purpose. Tasers seem to be the closest thing, though they've got issues of their own (and, as bitter irony would have it, aren't non-lethal forms of self-defense like that heavily regulated or downright illegal in some parts?)

8 Political Atheist  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:35:55am

re: #4 stabby

That was put to the states to do.

9 Renaissance_Man  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:37:14am

re: #3 Political Atheist

Asked this yesterday no takers. In keeping with the gun regulation focus, moving on from my points on what makes a killer-
I'm asking the strong gun control (or ban like handguns) advocates what they might allow a responsible trained person to have at home, carry on their person, and at their business for "last ditch bad guy with a gun" defense. 3 shades of the same question to allow for different answers like "a shotgun at home and no guns for carry ever"

What is appropriate for a person who might have a serious stalker or robbery problem? Who gets CCW if anyone?

I would advocate something that might actually work, instead of guns. Like legs, phones, and law enforcement. And I would also advise said hypothetical person not to pretend that having guns at home or on your person makes you safer, because self-delusion with deadly toys can have terrible consequences.

10 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:37:39am

re: #8 Political Atheist

Since when is the interpretation of the constitution and amendments to it "up to the states"? !!! That sounds totally contrary to all other constitutional practices.

11 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:37:54am

re: #7 Interesting Times

Tasers are not 100 pct non lethal, there are many deaths from them every year.

12 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:38:42am

re: #11 Randall Gross

Tasers are not 100 pct non lethal, there are many deaths from them every year.

Hence why they're generally classified as "less-lethal."

13 Interesting Times  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:39:28am

re: #11 Randall Gross

Tasers are not 100 pct non lethal, there are many deaths from them every year.

I know, that's why I said they have issues of their own. Not sure if there's something in existence and obtainable right now that meets my "incapacitating but non-lethal" description.

14 Political Atheist  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:41:32am

re: #7 Interesting Times

(and, as bitter irony would have it, aren't non-lethal forms of self-defense like that heavily regulated or downright illegal in some parts?)

In an honest broad reaching look at how to reduce guns, we have to be willing to set aside some assumptions at least to consider. Like making the less lethal devices available to civilians. Sometimes that is a taser, sometimes a spray. There are some laser dazzling devices. All of which are far less likely to kill or main than any defensive weapon like a gun club or knife.

15 Political Atheist  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:42:26am

re: #10 stabby

States have the power to regulate many things including guns. California has a broad range of gun laws.

16 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:42:30am

Other problem with a taser has to to do with their inability to take down a determined attacker. You can only run so much power through the wires, which means if your attacker is able to ignore the pain and the impulse to seize up, he'll still keep coming.

18 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:43:40am

On top of the mental health rabbit trail they are also throwing out the "video games caused it!" crap again. It's all chaff so you don't see that NRA logo on that B-2 up in the clouds alternately raining cash and threats on your congress critters.

19 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:43:50am

The hard-core 2A fetishists really should think twice before insisting nuts should be deprived of their guns. No telling who might make the cut.

20 Feline Fearless Leader  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:44:08am

re: #5 jaunte

David Gregory just now on "Meet The Press":

“A note here this morning: We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning,” he said. ”We had no takers.”

Political fear. Show up and toe the pro-gun line and a lot of people currently upset about the CT events will be upset with them as well. Show up and say anything else and the NRA and minions will start the talk about primary-ing them when their term comes up.

21 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:44:14am

re: #14 Political Atheist

Do we get these turrets for our homes?

22 Interesting Times  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:45:09am

re: #16 Targetpractice

Other problem with a taser has to to do with their inability to take down a determined attacker. You can only run so much power through the wires, which means if your attacker is able to ignore the pain and the impulse to seize up, he'll still keep coming.

Hmmm...tranquilizer darts, then, like what wildlife control officers use? If they can take down a who-knows-how-much-it-weighs bear, they ought to stop a typical human attacker.

23 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:46:14am

repost from previous thread:

I'd like to make the warning signs part of the dialogue. Like we have with suicide and drug abuse. I'd like to work to remove the stigma of mental illness that might prevent a parent from seeking treatment for their child.

These are long term goals.

I have no idea how to change the gun nuts. I understand the the assault weapons ban if written effectively would reduce the numbers of deaths. This is a short-term, immediate answer. And a necessary one.

I just am worried that once the "instant gratification " of passing the AWB, will cause people to put it to the back of their consciouses and neglect the long-term aspects.

We've slowing changed the thinking of a lot of people when it comes to suicide and drug abuse. This things being a weakness or cause for embarrassment to the understanding that they can be prevented thru intervention. I'd like to see the same for those at risk for committing mass violence.

Add to that my Star -Trek Phaser with a civilian setting for "stun".

Gun nuts are convinced that the communists want to take away our right to self-defense. Perhaps the only way to change that is to get serious about non-lethal weapons for that purpose. A way to stop the criminal for the time necessary for me to call 911, get out of the area and/or tie him up until law enforcement arrives is all I want.

24 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:47:05am

re: #23 Holidays are Family Fun Time

Oh God, is that the issue? Communists?

I forget how crazy the right is.

25 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:47:33am

re: #22 Interesting Times

Hmmm...tranquilizer darts, then, like what wildlife control officers use? If they can take down a who-knows-how-much-it-weighs bear, they ought to stop a typical human attacker.

Dose-dependant. What might put me down for the count might kill a kid or just phase a muscly linebacker.

26 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:47:37am

re: #17 Charles Johnson

There's one small quibble I have with your post -- what you say for homicides is true, which is about a third of the handgun deaths. Most of the other 2/3rds are suicides, and arguably many of those are mentally ill people. So if the tea party wants to send money to crisis lines I've got no problem with that, I used to work at one myself. (Yes, I have saved a few lives in my time there.) On the other hand they need to get out of the way of better gun policy and controls in this country.

27 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:48:25am

The one thing I find so ironic in all the RW's newfound concern for mental health is the funding issue.

Where do they think the money's going to come from to pay for all this mental health?

Furthermore, for all the screaming about "mental health", I wonder how many of them possess the self-awareness to realize the depths of the paranoia that so many of them subscribe to? Some of these folks believe that President Obama is going to "take 'way their gunz!" or believe in assorted and insane conspiracy theories regarding not only President Obama, but a good many other things as well.

How would many of the RW's feel about me, as a Muslim, being armed? And I do possess a shotgun, to be perfectly honest, which I employ for pheasant hunting. What do they think of that?

Personally, when I read the rantings of an Alex Jones or Pamela Geller, I can assure you that in my opinion, they're the ones who are mentally disturbed. I would be quite concerned about them having access to anything more lethal than a wooden butter-knife from IKEA.

28 The Ghost of a Flea  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:48:37am

re: #19 Decatur Deb

The hard-core 2A fetishists really should think twice before insisting nuts should be deprived of their guns. No telling who might make the cut.

No, no. Their delusions of grandeur, persecution complexes, and extended rehearsed fantasies of personal vengeance are totally different from those of crazy fuckers.

29 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:48:47am

re: #17 Charles Johnson

Mass Murderers Often Not Mentally Ill, but Seeking Revenge, Experts Say

Mental illness is the new "other" these days. Before them was "lone wolfs," before them was the "urban youth," and before them was "unruly blacks." Anybody remember the days of the "Saturday Night Special"?

30 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:49:04am

I get the feeling that the NRA people are sane enough to know that they are really on the ropes over this last shooting... those images of those young schoolkids being led away in tears are the moral equivalent of the photo of that young rill running from the napalm attack in Vietnam.

Their only response is to blow enough smoke and toss out enough diversions and red herrings in the hope that we will grow distracted by the holidays and the fiscal cliff debate and the next celebrity sex scandal and let thigs return to their idea of "normal".

Don't let these f*ckers forget.

31 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:49:45am

re: #29 Targetpractice

The old "others" don't get replaced. Remember Trayvon Martin.

32 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:49:49am

re: #17 Charles Johnson

Mass Murderers Often Not Mentally Ill, but Seeking Revenge, Experts Say

Bullying seems to be an aspect in both teen suicide and mass violence. One turns the anger inward, the other outward.

While not what we think of as Mental Health Issues, it seems to fall under the category as the people who study it and work to change it are psychologists and psychiatrists. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (talk therapy) falls under the mental health category -with or without medication or hospitalization.

33 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:50:22am

re: #24 stabby

Oh God, is that the issue? Communists?

I forget how crazy the right is.

yup

34 Varek Raith  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:50:32am

It's all video game's fault!
/RWer

35 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:51:16am

re: #30 Sol Berdinowitz

I think the sorrow and anger will fade, and that this will get deprioritized once more if not worked on soon. That's why I'm happy Dianne Feinstein proposed a bill for the start of next congress.

36 Political Atheist  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:51:23am

re: #34 Varek Raith

No, no, no, not video games, it's that rock and roll music!

37 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:51:27am

re: #27 Dr Lizardo

The one thing I find so ironic in all the RW's newfound concern for mental health is the funding issue.

Where do they think the money's going to come from to pay for all this mental health?

Furthermore, for all the screaming about "mental health", I wonder how many of them possess the self-awareness to realize the depths of the paranoia that so many of them subscribe to? Some of these folks believe that President Obama is going to "take 'way their gunz!" or believe in assorted and insane conspiracy theories regarding not only President Obama, but a good many other things as well.

How would many of the RW's feel about me, as a Muslim, being armed? And I do possess a shotgun, to be perfectly honest, which I employ for pheasant hunting. What do they think of that?

Personally, when I read the rantings of an Alex Jones or Pamela Geller, I can assure you that in my opinion, they're the ones who are mentally disturbed. I would be quite concerned about them having access to anything more lethal than a wooden butter-knife from IKEA.

They don't want to fund it. They want to pass feel-good legislation and then forget about it. They want votes, not results.

38 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:51:29am

re: #33 Holidays are Family Fun Time

And Romney said that Russia is our greatest enemy...

I'm so boggled thinking about that.

39 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:51:43am

re: #31 stabby

The old "others" don't get replaced. Remember Trayvon Martin.

True, but gun crime is always due to "others," because "responsible gun owners" wouldn't ever do such a thing. We tell ourselves that it's not the fact that the crazies could get access to guns that's the problem, or that there's so many guns for crazies to get a hold of, but that there's crazies to begin with. So we'll slap a bandaid on the issue and call it a day until the next shooting.

40 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:52:09am

re: #34 Varek Raith

It's all video game's fault!
/RWer

Down with John Romero!

//

41 JRCMYP  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:55:36am

re: #6 Targetpractice

It's an issue that is easy to bandaid (more access) but ignores that you can't force people to take advantage of that access. You open more clinics and provide easier access, you'll still have a society that says mental illness is "overdiagnosed" and that psychiatrists are quacks who answer every "illness" with a pill rather than a solution. That even if you get a person on medication, you can't force them to take it every day.

Yes, I sadly know this. I have a young nephew recently diagnosed with schizophrenia and obtaining treatment for him was very difficult for 12 weeks.

But as to the gun issue--it's a public health issue having so many guns out there.

42 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:55:37am

I'm not sure the "implosion is inevitable", but this is an interesting approach:

Achieving Gun Control: Exploiting The NRAs Unavoidable Implosion

"...To effect legislative change it is necessary to reframe the debate into one where opposing sensible gun control measures becomes onerous to elected officials or those seeking office. And it can work. In a test case, with the legal support of the Brady Center, I was successful in reframing a gun debate in NC where a ‘concealed guns in restaurants/bars’ bill was moved out of being a gun rights issue into a business liability and business owner rights matter thus eroding support in the business community..."

And from the second link:

And Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd, the sponsor of that state’s ‘guns in restaurants/bars’ legislation, repeatedly stated during the legislative debate that no responsible gun owner would drink while in possession of his/her firearm. In October of last year he failed a roadside sobriety test, refused a breath test, and a loaded .38-caliber handgun was found in a holster between the driver seat and the center console. He was booked on both DUI and gun charges. Representative Todd was not only a licensed gun owner but was also ex-law enforcement and yet still violated the very principle he used to successfully argue for the legislation in that state (ref). His mug shot is in the following image, where he claimed he had only had two drinks.

43 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:55:54am

re: #37 Holidays are Family Fun Time

They are not interested in funding it --only creating feel-good legislation and then ignoring it. They want votes, not results.


I'd very much agree with that assertion.

44 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:56:17am

I think what bothers me the most is that it could be any of us. Given the right situation, vunerability, and influences any of us could have turned out to be this way. Angry, unable to cope and seeking revenge.

I look at the kids that get pulled into the Jihadi world & the Neo-Nazi world.

It could be your kid, your nephew, your neighbor.

Are you prepared to intervene? Would you call 911, report them to the FBI, even talk to their parents?

45 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:56:23am

re: #41 JRCMYP

Yes, I sadly know this. I have a young nephew recently diagnosed with schizophrenia and obtaining treatment for him was very difficult for 12 weeks.

But as to the gun issue--it's a public health issue having so many guns out there.

On which we're both agreed.

46 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:57:50am

re: #42 jaunte

I'm not sure the "implosion is inevitable", but this is an interesting approach:

Achieving Gun Control: Exploiting The NRAs Unavoidable Implosion

And from the second link:

I firmly believe alcohol plays a role in the "bravado" of the gun nuts.

47 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:58:18am

Drunken gun-toter Curry Todd was at the time Tennessee state chairman of the Koch Brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council and on the group's national board of directors.

48 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 11:59:54am

Heads up for a new front to attack the Affordable Care act on:

The hospital informed us that this is a fairly new operation perfected over just the last five years. However: this surgery will “cease to be available in two years for insurance patients due to ObamaCare.” This is a quote from the flustered nurse at the hospital.

This plan pays all costs incurred after the deductible, provided the services are provided in-network. The plan goes away in 2014 as a result of the health law. The best new plans to replace this will pay for 90% after deductible, and will cost more. If our daughter was born just two years later we would pay more for insurance, have inferior treatment options, and be triaged (meaning delayed) for treatment. That, in my mind, is regressive. It is not progressive as many would have us believe.

Does ACA really force them to reduce coverage or is that an excuse?

49 A Man for all Seasons  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:00:45pm

I'm putting my hopes of all the above concerning guns.
Better regulations that prevents the average Joe from buying military style rifles and severely restrict access to handguns to start lowering how many handguns are out there..( don't worry gun folks have bunches of handguns )
Reform and restoration of our mental health systems..It is a factor in killings but more importantly we as a society should be willing to help the hurting and sick among us. If you shoot up a bunch of kindergarten kids you are crazy. Or PC speak..You aren't right in the head.
Better security at schools including college. If we as a society can't protect our children and keep them safe at school then America needs to home school our kids till the Government gets it's shit together.
There are lots of ideas we can look at and discuss that puts a package together that begins to address gun ownership and mass killing in this country

50 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:01:04pm

re: #48 stabby

Heads up for a new front to attack the Affordable Care act on:

Does ACA really force them to reduce coverage or is that an excuse?

I've heard more scare rumors about ACA, I stopped believing any of them. The fact is no one knows yet, exactly how all this will play out.

51 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:02:21pm

re: #49 A Man for all Seasons

more importantly we as a society should be willing to help the hurting and sick among us.

yup!

52 bratwurst  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:02:58pm

This is the mentality we are up against, folks:

(McLaughlin is, of course, a RedState editor)

53 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:04:27pm

re: #52 bratwurst

This is the mentality we are up against, folks:

[Embedded content]

(McLaughlin is, of course, a RedState editor)

Yes, I hear this rhetoric from people. Hell, It's insinuated on Fox News.

54 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:04:54pm

I thought these people supported interment camps.

55 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:05:14pm

re: #52 bratwurst

Headdesk.

56 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:05:32pm

re: #54 stabby

I thought these people supported interment camps.

"All animals are equal
Some animals are more equal than others"

57 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:05:32pm

re: #52 bratwurst

This is the mentality we are up against, folks:

[Embedded content]

(McLaughlin is, of course, a RedState editor)

Indeed, it's sort of hard to have a discussion over the need for reforms in how this country handles mental health issues and how we regulate our guns when a growing portion of the population are convinced that an unelected black man sits at the head of a government committed to controlling their every waking moment and making them slaves to its whims.

58 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:05:53pm

re: #54 stabby

They do.

For everyone but themselves.

59 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:07:08pm

re: #57 Targetpractice

Indeed, it's sort of hard to have a discussion over the need for reforms in how this country handles mental health issues and how we regulate our guns when a growing portion of the population are convinced that an unelected black man sits at the head of a government committed to controlling their every waking moment and making them slaves to its whims.

I couldn't have said it better.

60 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:07:14pm

re: #52 bratwurst

He's a deep thinker.

61 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:09:05pm

re: #57 Targetpractice

Indeed, it's sort of hard to have a discussion over the need for reforms in how this country handles mental health issues and how we regulate our guns when a growing portion of the population are convinced that an unelected black man sits at the head of a government committed to controlling their every waking moment and making them slaves to its whims.

I'll volunteer to serve on one of the president's Sanity Panels.

62 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:09:07pm

If everyone keeps wondering why I keep bringing up suicides, it's because I have friends who post here who have guns. They also fall into the "at risk" category of being 55+. It's more dangerous for all of my friends here to have a gun in their household than not and it's time to convince a lot more people across the nation of that.

63 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:12:44pm

re: #62 Randall Gross

Just another case where a gun simply makes it easier...they also have bathtubs and razor blades.

64 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:13:25pm

re: #60 jaunte

"bottomless real evil" reminds me of worrying after Beslan, as I bet a bunch of people here no longer want to admit they also did what a future looked like if that kind of attack became common.

We would to have to break up schools into very small ones or get armed guards.

That attack was much worse. I won't even try to describe it.

65 Killgore Trout  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:13:43pm

Man with assault rifle shot dead by police after Alabama triple murder

A man armed with an assault-style rifle and suspected of killing three men in a domestic dispute was shot dead by police after a car chase and shootout that left an officer wounded, marking a second incident of deadly gun violence in Alabama in two days, officials said on Sunday.

66 Fred72  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:13:51pm

I believe that the statistics presented here are sound. And agreed with others that this is not the either/or situation than many make it to be. It's similar to the "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem" false dichotomy.

But from what we know of this monster and his mother, there is the significant possibility that this tragedy could have been prevented if there had been more mental health care counselors, more public education on the matter, or better insurance coverage, or any of a number of other things. She knew her son was mentally ill and was trying to cope with it. Did she want help that she couldn't get? Was she unaware that more help was available? We don't know. But it's a significant possibility.

Again, while acknowledging that the statistics in the article are likely sound, I can think of other examples where better recognition and treatment of mental health issues could have prevented tragedy. Paul McCartney's performance on SNL last night was pretty good, but imagine how cool it would have been if John Lennon could have made a surprise appearance for the second song.

67 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:14:07pm

Ten Lessons Learned from School Shootings and Foiled Attacks

Follow Through with Due Process,
No Matter Who Is Involved
There is yet another twist to the Kinkel story. Kip’s parents were
teachers, and his father had taught in Kip’s school for years. The
fact that the school knew Kip’s family influenced the course
of events. Policies and procedures were not followed, and Kip
was treated differently from how students were supposed to be
treated when they brought a loaded gun at school.
No matter who presents a threat, a proper threat assessment
needs to occur. This must apply to everyone, whether it is the
son of the principal or the daughter of the police chief. Policies and procedures exist for a reason, and bypassing protocol
because the family is well known or has a good reputation can
be a grievous mistake. Dick Doyle, the assistant principal at
Kip’s school, said, “The rules we set up were ignored when the
moment of truth arrived. They were not followed because, quite
simply, he was Kinkel. Instead of considering the fact of the gun,
they considered the family of the boy who was caught with it.”

68 Varek Raith  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:14:10pm

re: #60 jaunte

He's a deep thinker.

[Embedded content]

Fucking moron.

69 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:14:43pm

re: #68 Varek Raith

Me too, but mostly I don't tweet about it.

70 Varek Raith  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:15:04pm

re: #52 bratwurst

This is the mentality we are up against, folks:

[Embedded content]

(McLaughlin is, of course, a RedState editor)

And how many of these morons wanted to round up Muslims after 9/11?

71 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:15:35pm

re: #66 Fred72

I believe that the statistics presented here are sound. And agreed with others that this is not the either/or situation than many make it to be. It's similar to the "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem" false dichotomy.

But from what we know of this monster and his mother, there is the significant possibility that this tragedy could have been prevented if there had been more mental health care counselors, more public education on the matter, or better insurance coverage, or any of a number of other things. She knew her son was mentally ill and was trying to cope with it. Did she want help that she couldn't get? Was she unaware that more help was available? We don't know. But it's a significant possibility.

Again, while acknowledging that the statistics in the article are likely sound, I can think of other examples where better recognition and treatment of mental health issues could have prevented tragedy. Paul McCartney's performance on SNL last night was pretty good, but imagine how cool it would have been if John Lennon could have made a surprise appearance for the second song.

It's a complex issue. We don't seem to do well with complex issues.

72 blueraven  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:15:37pm

re: #63 Sol Berdinowitz

Just another case where a gun simply makes it easier...they also have bathtubs and razor blades.

deadly impulse...guns win

73 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:15:38pm

re: #63 Sol Berdinowitz

Just another case where a gun simply makes it easier...they also have bathtubs and razor blades.

A gun makes it easier to succeed on the first try. Wielders of razor blades often get a second chance.

74 Feline Fearless Leader  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:15:44pm

re: #68 Varek Raith

Fucking moron.

OK, add George Lucas to my list of possible things/people to blame this on.
/

75 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:16:53pm

re: #72 blueraven

deadly impulse...guns win

bathtubs, razor blades, sleeping pills, yes, all take a bit more premeditation...juns just take a second

76 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:16:55pm

re: #73 wrenchwench

A gun makes it easier to succeed on the first try. Wielders of razor blades often get a second chance.

guns also lessen the possibly of having to live with a terribly botched first try.

77 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:17:04pm

re: #65 Killgore Trout

Man with assault rifle shot dead by police after Alabama triple murder

There were at least 3 over the last couple days. Normally, we wouldn't get that much attention.

78 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:17:19pm

re: #63 Sol Berdinowitz

Just another case where a gun simply makes it easier...they also have bathtubs and razor blades.

Incorrect. Studies show that there's significantly higher rates of suicide in homes with guns. It increases even more if they are 55+. They are also more likely to succeed as you pointed out.

79 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:18:00pm

Gotta go,

Have a good afternoon all!

80 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:18:04pm

re: #76 Holidays are Family Fun Time

guns also lessen the possibly of having to live with a terribly botched first try.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

81 Kronocide  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:18:37pm

A myth that the Oregon Mall shooter was stopped by a CCW holder who 'squared up' on him, causing the Oregon Mall shooter to stop shooting others and shoot himself, is being propagated.

It seems there was a CCW holder in the vicinity, but it's not clear the Oregon Shooter saw him and changed his actions because of it.

Plus, witnesses say the gun jammed.

82 Killgore Trout  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:19:36pm

re: #77 Decatur Deb

There were at least 3 over the last couple days. Normally, we wouldn't get that much attention.

It's always hard to tell if there's an actual uptick in violence or just increased media coverage because it's a hot topic. I'm sure the stress of the holiday season is a factor as well.

83 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:19:36pm

re: #77 Decatur Deb

There were at least 3 over the last couple days. Normally, we wouldn't get that much attention.

Don't let these things slip under the radar...let America know that this is the "normailty" we have grown to live with and let us start to discuss why.

I remember the headline news when New York went an entire day without a violent fatality.

I grew up in Gary, Indiana, a town of (then) 150,000 with 50 murders a year, one of the highest rates in the country. That was the "normal" I grew up with, a murder a week.

84 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:21:21pm

Botched suicides by gun are awful - my father by blood put three slugs from a 38 in his chest and lingered in the "Schiavo zone" for months before pneumonia and other complications killed him.

85 allegro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:23:16pm

re: #66 Fred72

I believe that the statistics presented here are sound. And agreed with others that this is not the either/or situation than many make it to be. It's similar to the "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem" false dichotomy.

But from what we know of this monster and his mother, there is the significant possibility that this tragedy could have been prevented if there had been more mental health care counselors, more public education on the matter, or better insurance coverage, or any of a number of other things. She knew her son was mentally ill and was trying to cope with it. Did she want help that she couldn't get? Was she unaware that more help was available? We don't know. But it's a significant possibility.

Did she get the guns and ammo out of the house and away from his reach? THAT would have prevented the tragedy murder of 27 innocent people.

I am so sick of seeing the OBVIOUS being eliminated from the conversation.

86 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:23:29pm

re: #84 Randall Gross

Botched suicides by gun are awful - my father by blood put three slugs from a 38 in his chest and lingered in the "Schiavo zone" for months before pneumonia and other complications killed him.

Last I looked about 16-19 percent of gunshot suicides fail, at least long enough to get to intensive care.

87 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:26:02pm

re: #81 Kronocide

I saw that on FR yesterday.

88 Killgore Trout  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:27:04pm

re: #81 Kronocide

A myth that the Oregon Mall shooter was stopped by a CCW holder who 'squared up' on him, causing the Oregon Mall shooter to stop shooting others and shoot himself, is being propagated.

It seems there was a CCW holder in the vicinity, but it's not clear the Oregon Shooter saw him and changed his actions because of it.

Plus, witnesses say the gun jammed.

Ah, I hadn't heard of that. Here's the story
Clackamas man, armed, confronts mall shooter

89 blueraven  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:27:15pm

re: #80 wrenchwench

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Remember the two boys who had a suicide pact...they shot themselves in the head, but one of them survived?

He later died from drugs.

90 bratwurst  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:27:47pm

Many dumb things have been written since this awful tragedy, but I dare say you will read nothing dumber than this:

Blame Obama for the Shooting

(to be fair, the author - credited as only "Holmes & Co." - also blames the AARP)

91 Kronocide  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:30:38pm

re: #88 Killgore Trout

Ah, I hadn't heard of that. Here's the story
Clackamas man, armed, confronts mall shooter

It's all over the web now, the myth is probably here to stay.

Many assumptions are made, Meli confirms the shooter was screwing around with the gun, and many witnesses are said to have reported the gun jammed.

That last part seems to be ignored. It has to be for the myth to have any relevance.

92 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:31:40pm

re: #80 wrenchwench

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on the circumstances. My FIL's was totally justified and in keeping with his character. He lasted a week, and technically died at 89 of the lung cancer he had concealed. I was surprised the State Police returned the gun to us after a year.

93 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:31:50pm

re: #84 Randall Gross

re: #89 blueraven

OK, bad thing. With or without a gun.

94 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:31:56pm

Here's what President Obama said regarding gun control during the second 2012 Presidential debate, there wasn't a lot of uproar over it that I can recall:

“We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.
But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I’ve had to comfort families who have lost somebody. Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago, actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at the bedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater.

And her son had been shot through the head. And we spent some time, and we said a prayer and, remarkably, about two months later, this young man and his mom showed up, and he looked unbelievable, good as new.
But there were a lot of families who didn’t have that good fortune and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn’t survive.
So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.
But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.
And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that young people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there’s violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.
And so what I want is a — is a comprehensive strategy. Part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. But part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur.”

95 Killgore Trout  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:34:06pm

re: #91 Kronocide

It's all over the web now, the myth is probably here to stay.

Many assumptions are made, Meli confirms the shooter was screwing around with the gun, and many witnesses are said to have reported the gun jammed.

That last part seems to be ignored. It has to be for the myth to have any relevance.

It's impossible to know what effect the concealed carry guy had on the situation or even if the gunman saw him. Either way, the guy knew his killing spree was a flop and decided to off himself.

96 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:35:04pm

re: #17 Charles Johnson

Mass Murderers Often Not Mentally Ill, but Seeking Revenge, Experts Say

I am pretty sure that is a form of mental illness. Mostly these types of incidents are a depression's rage turned outward (depression can be said to be anger turned inward). This theory is attributed by a guest on Rachel Maddow's show who wrote a book on the Columbine Massacre and touched on who does these things and why. As soon as the transcript is available I will post.

97 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:37:04pm

re: #96 Destro

depression can be said to be anger turned inward

Sounds like old style pseudo-science psychology.

98 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:41:37pm

Adam Lanza committed suicide. If he had used a razor blade or pills or jumped off a bridge, he wouldn't have taken 27 people with him.

One of my grandmothers tried to kill herself twice that I know of, with booze and pills. Obviously it was a cry for help, because she made a phone call after taking the pills both times. She lived to be 99.

A friend in college slit her wrists and lived.

A friend of one of my employees shot himself in his car parked in his garage. My employee was the one who found him, dead.

99 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:42:50pm

re: #97 stabby

Sounds like old style pseudo-science psychology.

I was listening to Rachel Maddow's show and she had an author who researched the Columbine Massacre discuss this.

100 Charles Johnson  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:44:06pm

re: #84 Randall Gross

One of my best friends in the music business, Carlos Vega, a fantastic drummer who worked with James Taylor, killed himself with a handgun one morning. Drove out to the foot of the mountain bike trail where he liked to ride, sat in his car, and shot himself.

He left no note, and as far as I know, no one ever found out why. He gave no sign at all that anything was wrong; in fact, he was a terrific person to be around, always positive, very funny. It was absolutely devastating to his friends and family. I still miss him.

101 Kronocide  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:45:22pm

re: #95 Killgore Trout

It's impossible to know what effect the concealed carry guy had on the situation or even if the gunman saw him. Either way, the guy knew his killing spree was a flop and decided to off himself.

That's not clear from the body of current evidence. Multiple witnesses reported his gun jammed.

102 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:46:29pm

re: #100 Charles Johnson

Growing up I had a friend who got caught shoplifting grab a gun in the police station and kill himself, it was horrifying. He was bright, artistic, talented... and then dead.

103 sattv4u2  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:46:42pm

re: #98 wrenchwench

Adam Lanza committed suicide

That he did, as did a cousin of mine (adult,, pillar of the community ,, married,,,, 4 kids,,,hung himself)

Difference is, my cousin didn't take anyone elses life 1st

104 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:46:59pm

re: #99 Destro

As much as I love Rachel Maddow that doesn't change the fact that this is the sort of unscientific, introspection-based pseudo-science that's been thrown around since Freud. And that theory is nearly that old.

Emotions aren't mechanical machines that we can analyze and understand how they misfunction.

105 sattv4u2  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:48:31pm

re: #100 Charles Johnson

He left no note, and as far as I know, no one ever found out why. He gave no sign at all that anything was wrong; in fact, he was a terrific person to be around, always positive, very funny

Exact same with my cousin (#103)

106 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:50:23pm

re: #104 stabby

As much as I love Rachel Maddow that doesn't change the fact that this is the sort of unscientific, introspection-based pseudo-science that's been thrown around since Freud. And that theory is nearly that old.

Emotions aren't mechanical machines that we can analyze and understand how they misfunction.

How do you know it is un-scientific? I am pretty sure the author cited a study. I checked the website and the transcript is not up there yet but as soon as it is I will post it. I am going by what I remember the author saying to her on this subject - and it rang true to me.

107 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:51:01pm

Feinstein To Introduce Assault Weapon Ban

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that she will introduce an assault weapons ban in the Senate on the first day of the next Congress in January, during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Gohmert Defends Access To Assault Weapons

"Well, for the reason George Washington said a free people should be an armed people," Gohmert said, responding to a question on why people need assault weapons. "It ensures against the tyranny of the government. If they know that the biggest army is the American people, then you don’t have the tyranny that came from King George. That is why it was put in there, that’s why once you start drawing the line, where do you stop? And that’s why it is important to not just look emotionally, our reaction, Chris, is to immediately say, 'let’s get rid of all guns.'"

Gohmer has a point. How will we defend ourselves from the UN unless every person in the US has an assault rifle of their very own?
///

108 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:51:02pm

re: #103 sattv4u2

Adam Lanza committed suicide

That he did, as did a cousin of mine (adult,, pillar of the community ,, married,,,, 4 kids,,,hung himself)

Difference is, my cousin didn't take anyone elses life 1st

The difference might be depression versus anger and depression. Why someone would want to take a bunch of children out with themselves is beyond my comprehension. Anger at a parent I can imagine, but why small children?

109 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:51:41pm

re: #108 wrenchwench

The difference might be depression versus anger and depression. Why someone would want to take a bunch of children out with themselves is beyond my comprehension. Anger at a parent I can imagine, but why small children?

Make others feel their pain, etc? Revenge on society? Make other parents hurt like he hurt his parent?

110 Mattand  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:51:43pm

re: #106 Destro

How do you know it is un-scientific? I checked the website and the transcript is not up there yet but as soon as it is I will post it. I am going by what I remember the author saying to her on this subject. So save your judgment till then.

And if Maddow is wrong, she'll own up to it.

Oh, wait, I forgot, she's no different than Glenn Beck.

///

111 sattv4u2  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:52:00pm

re: #108 wrenchwench

The difference might be depression versus anger and depression. Why someone would want to take a bunch of children out with themselves is beyond my comprehension. Anger at a parent I can imagine, but why small children?

Sadly, I don't think we'll ever know!

112 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:53:23pm

re: #110 Mattand

Oh, wait, I forgot, she's [Rachel Maddow] no different than Glenn Beck.

I assume that is sarcasm?

113 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:53:36pm

Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds

In a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

The study was released online this month in the American Journal of Public Health, in advance of print publication in November 2009.

“This study helps resolve the long-standing debate about whether guns are protective or perilous,” notes study author Charles C. Branas, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology. “Will possessing a firearm always safeguard against harm or will it promote a false sense of security?”

What Penn researchers found was alarming – almost five Philadelphians were shot every day over the course of the study and about 1 of these 5 people died. The research team concluded that, although successful defensive gun uses are possible and do occur each year, the chances of success are low. People should rethink their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures, write the authors. Suggestions to the contrary, especially for urban residents who may see gun possession as a defense against a dangerous environment should be discussed and thoughtfully reconsidered.

114 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:53:56pm

re: #109 Destro

Make others feel their pain, etc?

A good guess. But Lanza was probably incapable of imagining the pain he caused. And I suppose I'm incapable of imagining his anger, or whatever state of mind he had.

115 Mattand  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:54:05pm

re: #112 Destro

Oh, wait, I forgot, she's [Rachel Maddow] no different than Glenn Beck.

I assume that is sarcasm?

Yeah, I added the /// stuff at the end.

116 dragonfire1981  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:54:25pm

I've seen this floating around Facebook the past couple of days. I want to respond to it but I'm not entirely sure how.

117 Michael McBacon  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:54:37pm

It's true that one doesn't need to be mentally ill to be a serial killer but in all seriousness, I think that some mental illnesses, or traits that are perceived to be such (i.e. psychopathy, schizophrenia) can develop just by accumulating weapons and believing NRA propaganda.

118 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:54:45pm

re: #106 Destro

For one thing I lived with clinical depression for some decades.

"Anger turned inward" my god, what pernicious, ignorant tripe, nonsense, idiot stupidity.

There.

I don't actually have words strong enough to express how harmful and stupid these old uninformed "theories" are.

But you can find fakers saying it going way back. I think Fritz Perls was the first psychologist I remember spouting that bullshit back the the early 70's but I'm sure he didn't make it up. No doubt they've been saying it back to Freud.

the old style psychologists just made up any shit that came into their cocaine addled little heads and pretended that was science.

119 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:55:10pm

re: #116 dragonfire1981

I've seen this floating around Facebook the past couple of days. I want to respond to it but I'm not entirely sure how.

Not worth a response, it makes no f*cking sense.

120 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:55:36pm

Killer's mom was stockpiling weapons in case the economy collapsed. Anybody surprised?

[Link: talkingpointsmemo.com...]

I'm going to guess she was more of a Ron Paul than Romney supporter?

121 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:55:36pm

re: #113 Kragar

Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds

It doesn't matter what the studies show, they'll always argue that it wasn't done "properly" and even if it was, it doesn't take away from the "security" they feel of carrying around a .44 Mag penis extension wherever they go.

122 Mattand  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:56:26pm

re: #116 dragonfire1981

I've seen this floating around Facebook the past couple of days. I want to respond to it but I'm not entirely sure how.

Well for one thing, guns never be made illegal in the US. It's a bit of a strawman.

123 Varek Raith  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:56:37pm

re: #107 Kragar

Feinstein To Introduce Assault Weapon Ban

Gohmert Defends Access To Assault Weapons

Gohmer has a point. How will we defend ourselves from the UN unless every person in the US has an assault rifle of their very own?
///

Do you think my neighbors would object if I put a 105mm Howitzer on my front lawn?

124 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:56:46pm

See how well that works? Throw out mental health and everyone wants to start guessing the killer's motives and states of mind rather than discussing reasonable controls, policies, and limits on guns.

125 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:57:13pm

[Link: books.google.com...]

1969, I think you can find that "theory" mentioned here

126 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:57:31pm

re: #116 dragonfire1981

I've seen this floating around Facebook the past couple of days. I want to respond to it but I'm not entirely sure how.

The argument isn't "No one can have guns anymore." Its restricting access to the more dangerous types and keeping better controls and safe guards over access to the remainder.

127 Kronocide  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:57:34pm

re: #112 Destro

Oh, wait, I forgot, she's [Rachel Maddow] no different than Glenn Beck.

I assume that is sarcasm?

Oh yes, marinated in 4 weeks of sarcasm. And a tweak at KT.

128 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:57:41pm

re: #104 stabby

As much as I love Rachel Maddow that doesn't change the fact that this is the sort of unscientific, introspection-based pseudo-science that's been thrown around since Freud. And that theory is nearly that old.

Emotions aren't mechanical machines that we can analyze and understand how they misfunction.

re: #110 Mattand

OK, I found the name of the author who appeared on Rachel Maddow's show:

[Link: maddowblog.msnbc.com...]

Ahead on the 12/14 Maddow show

By Julia Nutter

Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:51 PM EST

On tonight's show we'll be continuing MSNBC's live coverage of the school shooting in Connecticut. Our guests include: Dave Cullen, author of “Columbine”;

Transcript to follow when it is made available.

129 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:57:47pm

re: #120 ElCapitanAmerica

Killer's mom was stockpiling weapons in case the economy collapsed. Anybody surprised?

[Link: talkingpointsmemo.com...]

I'm going to guess she was more of a Ron Paul than Romney supporter?

Scary thing about it? I'm running into more and more wingnuts with that mentality, that we're on our way to collapse and when it happens, they'll have to protect themselves from the government.

130 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:58:13pm

re: #115 Mattand

Yeah, I added the /// stuff at the end.

Oh that's what that means!

131 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:58:15pm

re: #123 Varek Raith

Do you think my neighbors would object if I put a 105mm Howitzer on my front lawn?

How else are you going to defend yourself?

132 Charles Johnson  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:59:01pm

re: #114 wrenchwench

The story that his mother was a teacher at the school turned out to be false.

There doesn't seem to be any personal connection to this crime. Apparently, Lanza went to the school with the sole intention of slaughtering as many children as he could before he killed himself.

133 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:59:15pm

re: #120 ElCapitanAmerica

Killer's mom was stockpiling weapons in case the economy collapsed. Anybody surprised?

[Link: talkingpointsmemo.com...]

I'm going to guess she was more of a Ron Paul than Romney supporter?

If this turns out to be a case of Apocalypse Anxiety, I will break something.

134 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:59:25pm

re: #123 Varek Raith

Do you think my neighbors would object if I put a 105mm Howitzer on my front lawn?

They might, but just tell them that they'll be thankful for it when you're fighting off the government for them.

//

135 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 12:59:31pm

re: #129 Targetpractice

Scary thing about it? I'm running into more and more wingnuts with that mentality, that we're on our way to collapse and when it happens, they'll have to protect themselves from the government.

And a screwed-up gun control bill that won't pass Scalia's SC is going to make them just that much crazier.

136 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:00:10pm

From the article;

WHDH 7 in New Hampshire, the local NBC affiliate, interviewed Lanza’s sister Marsha …

“Last time we visited with her in person we talked about prepping and you know, are you ready for what can happen down the line when the economy collapses,” said the gunman’s aunt, Marsha Lanza.
The reporter asked, “Survivalist kind of thing?”

“Yea,” said Marsha Lanza.

Nancy’s guns were supposed to be for self defense. Marsha Lanza called her nephew a special needs child. So far, no motive has been released.

“Just pray for peace,” said Marsha Lanza. “Do I think gun laws need to be changed? No. It’s the person that does the killing, not the gun.”

137 dragonath  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:00:14pm

You know, the sad thing about the argument they are making about mental health is not that they are against addressing the issue, but that their implementation of mental health is administered under the guise of the "pro-family" movement.

138 wrenchwench  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:01:14pm

re: #132 Charles Johnson

The story that his mother was a teacher at the school turned out to be false.

There doesn't seem to be any personal connection to this crime. Apparently, Lanza went to the school with the sole intention of slaughtering as many children as he could before he killed himself.

But he killed his mother first at home, right? That's how the paper version of today's NYT has it.

139 stabby  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:01:38pm

re: #137 dragonath

Maybe they can cure gayness, sluttiness and interest in science along with gun violence.

140 Targetpractice  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:02:06pm

re: #137 dragonath

You know, the sad thing about the argument they are making about mental health is not that they are against addressing the issue, but that their implementation of mental health is administered under the guise of the "pro-family" movement.

"Mental illness is just a sign that one has strayed from God. They don't need drugs or shrinks, they need prayer and support of their church. Because we all know that such drugs didn't exist in the past and people got along alright without them."

141 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:02:07pm

re: #138 wrenchwench

But he killed his mother first at home, right? That's how the paper version of today's NYT has it.

Multiple shots to the head.

142 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:04:02pm

re: #132 Charles Johnson

The story that his mother was a teacher at the school turned out to be false.

There doesn't seem to be any personal connection to this crime. Apparently, Lanza went to the school with the sole intention of slaughtering as many children as he could before he killed himself.

re: #138 wrenchwench

But he killed his mother first at home, right? That's how the paper version of today's NYT has it.

Almost all the reports from the first hour or so were speculation and supposition. Some still in play will turn out to be the same. That's inevitable. BENGHAZI.

143 Destro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:04:55pm

re: #118 stabby

Here is his twitter feed:

[Link: twitter.com...]

I will post his transcript from the show when available so there can be no misunderstanding of what was said by him just in case I misquoted.

144 Mattand  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:04:55pm

re: #136 ElCapitanAmerica

From the article;

“Just pray for peace,” said Marsha Lanza. “Do I think gun laws need to be changed? No. It’s the person that does the killing, not the gun.”

There's your problem, right there.

145 Charles Johnson  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:06:12pm

re: #138 wrenchwench

But he killed his mother first at home, right? That's how the paper version of today's NYT has it.

Yes, that's right. He killed his mother first, with her own gun.

146 allegro  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:06:29pm

re: #129 Targetpractice

Scary thing about it? I'm running into more and more wingnuts with that mentality, that we're on our way to collapse and when it happens, they'll have to protect themselves from the government.

I think that they are using the word "government" as a dog whistle. They aren't afraid of the government taking their shit as much as brown people and illegals and other such undesirable poor people taking their shit. That's what they fear with the supposed "economic collapse" and why they are hoarding. The 47% will be showing up at their doors to take their food and supplies so they must be prepared to shoot them.

147 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:06:51pm

re: #121 Targetpractice

It doesn't matter what the studies show, they'll always argue that it wasn't done "properly" and even if it was, it doesn't take away from the "security" they feel of carrying around a .44 Mag penis extension wherever they go.

My ongoing mantra:

Any maniac with a gun can wreak mass havoc, even with little or no training.

To defend yourself effectively with a gun, you need training and steady nerves.

To defend others - especially in a crowded public place - you need expert training, very sound nerves and even more sound judgement.

The latter combination is rather rare, and if you want to hire someone like that, it is gonna cost you.

148 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:06:57pm

re: #145 Charles Johnson

Yes, that's right. He killed his mother first, with her own gun.

If she was armed then that would never...
///

149 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:07:48pm

I'm off for the holidays so I downloaded some games from steam -- Mass Effect III, Fear III, Bioshock II, but the game I keep gravitating back to started back in the 80's on the Atari & Amiga:

[Link: www.ragingmole.com...]

150 CuriousLurker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:08:15pm

re: #108 wrenchwench

The difference might be depression versus anger and depression. Why someone would want to take a bunch of children out with themselves is beyond my comprehension. Anger at a parent I can imagine, but why small children?

Because having to live after your child has been murdered is far more excruciating. If you're mad at a parent and taking it out on parents in general, that would be the way to go.

There are also those who claim they wanted to protect the children by killing them. Remember Andrea Yates?

151 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:10:32pm

I have a friend who is also afraid of some coming "civil war", is stockpiling weapons and buying gold. He thinks the rich shouldn't be tax too much, because one day he'll be rich (99.99% he'll never be).

He's a big Ron Paul supporter. I feel bad for him because he's divorced and has been unable to remarry (while being a generally good looking and moral guy). However, I try to imagine the horror of dating a guy who is getting ready for the apocalypse and I think I have a clear image of why he has dating problems.

152 dragonath  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:10:39pm

re: #140 Targetpractice

Pretty much- but there's massive distrust of putting a diagnosis in someone else's hands, especially if it's going to cost money.

Although, psychologists coming on-air after the shooting and giving an ad-hoc opinion of the shooter's mental health doesn't especially engender confidence.

153 Decatur Deb  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:11:37pm

re: #146 allegro

I think that they are using the word "government" as a dog whistle. They aren't afraid of the government taking their shit as much as brown people and illegals and other such undesirable poor people taking their shit. That's what they fear with the supposed "economic collapse" and why they are hoarding. The 47% will be showing up at their doors to take their food and supplies so they must be prepared to shoot them.

Some truth to that, but a stream of the crazy crap is obvious in the Clinton-era 'patriot/militia' movement. No surprise when Reagan described the government he led as "the problem".

154 Michael McBacon  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:11:49pm

re: #149 Randall Gross

I used to have an Atari 1040STF and played Dungeon Master quite often.

155 Fred72  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:12:21pm

re: #85 allegro

Did she get the guns and ammo out of the house and away from his reach? THAT would have prevented the tragedy murder of 27 innocent people.

I am so sick of seeing the OBVIOUS being eliminated from the conversation.

My post, of course, covered the false dichotomy of gun control / mental health care. In doing so we should be careful not to create a "gun safety / mental health care" false dilemma, either.

I think the obvious is being left out of the conversation because.... well, it's obvious. Nobody needs to be told that his late mother did not safeguard the weapons adequately.

156 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:13:58pm

re: #154 Michael McBacon

I used to have an Atari 1040STF and played Dungeon Master quite often.

You can download the pc version at that link, the whole series.

157 dragonfire1981  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:14:16pm

Fred Phelps you piece of garbage:

Westboro to picket Sandy Hill funerals

158 William Barnett-Lewis  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:14:57pm

re: #149 Randall Gross

I'm off for the holidays so I downloaded some games from steam -- Mass Effect III, Fear III, Bioshock II, but the game I keep gravitating back to started back in the 80's on the Atari & Amiga:

[Link: www.ragingmole.com...]

Humorous. I just installed DMII on my Amiga Emulator's partition. I need to see if I can get Eye of the Beholder to install properly to the hard drive too.

159 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:15:38pm

re: #154 Michael McBacon

Oh, and me to. I wish I still had it, I gave it to a musician friend so he could do some midi composition.

160 A Man for all Seasons  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:15:46pm

re: #136 ElCapitanAmerica

It’s the person that does the killing, not the gun.”
It's a person with a gun that kills

161 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:17:04pm

re: #158 William Barnett-Lewis

Humorous. I just installed DMII on my Amiga Emulator's partition. I need to see if I can get Eye of the Beholder to install properly to the hard drive too.

That download has DM, DM return to chaos, and DMII

162 CuriousLurker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:17:18pm

re: #157 dragonfire1981

Fred Phelps you piece of garbage:

Westboro to picket Sandy Hill funerals

Of course they will. Was there ever any doubt?

They give garbage a bad name.

163 dragonath  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:17:59pm

re: #149 Randall Gross

I'm off for the holidays so I downloaded some games from steam -- Mass Effect III, Fear III, Bioshock II, but the game I keep gravitating back to started back in the 80's on the Atari & Amiga:

[Link: www.ragingmole.com...]

Those computers have a massive fan following. Did you know there's an entire scene dedicated to the sound chip in the ST?

164 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:18:16pm

re: #146 allegro

I think that they are using the word "government" as a dog whistle. They aren't afraid of the government taking their shit as much as brown people and illegals and other such undesirable poor people taking their shit. That's what they fear with the supposed "economic collapse" and why they are hoarding. The 47% will be showing up at their doors to take their food and supplies so they must be prepared to shoot them.

There is one scenario I both fear and yet see as the only thing that will start to cure us of our obsession with weapons: a major natural and/or man-made disaster, especially a terrorist attack, one that totally paralyzes public services and law and order over a large area, especially a large urban area.

I can almost see the hordes of crazed militia idiots out in their SUV's firing away at anything they consider "suspicious" (namely anyone with dark skin or long hair), and then the government trying to restore order and prompting a near civil-war scenario when these goombahs decide that the government is cracking down their "rights" and they turn full Wolverine on us.

We were lucky with Sandy, we saw it coming well enough in advance to put measures in place to deal with it, other disasters might not afford us that luxury.

165 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:19:07pm

Ind. man with 47 guns arrested after school threat

A northern Indiana man who allegedly threatened to "kill as many people as he could" at an elementary school near his home was arrested by officers who later found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.

Von. I. Meyer, 60, of Cedar Lake, was arrested Saturday after prosecutors filed formal charges of felony intimidation, domestic battery and resisting law enforcement against him.
....
Meyer also threatened to enter nearby Jane Ball Elementary School "and kill as many people as he could before police could stop him," the statement said. Meyer's home is less than 1,000 feet from the school and linked to it by trails and paths through a wooded area, police said.

166 Feline Fearless Leader  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:19:30pm

re: #107 Kragar

Feinstein To Introduce Assault Weapon Ban

Gohmert Defends Access To Assault Weapons

Gohmer has a point. How will we defend ourselves from the UN unless every person in the US has an assault rifle of their very own?
///

But aren't 40% of us going to be pro-UN traitors when that happens?
///

167 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:23:17pm

re: #163 dragonath

Those computers have a massive fan following. Did you know there's an entire scene dedicated to the sound chip in the ST?

Yes, of course there is. We used to gather every weekend to ring sixteen ST's together in a midi loop and play Midi maze. Those were some fun times.

168 Renaissance_Man  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:28:10pm

re: #136 ElCapitanAmerica

From the article;
“Just pray for peace,” said Marsha Lanza. “Do I think gun laws need to be changed? No. It’s the person that does the killing, not the gun."

FFFUUUUU.....

Seriously, what is it about the American people that makes them so trainable? What is it about the conditioning they grow up with that indoctrinates them so well with intensely stupid, knee-jerk responses that ignore the blindingly obvious?

169 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:29:29pm

Whooops.... it's Sunday & the kids are all coming over to dinner, checking out a bit.

170 Charles Johnson  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:32:23pm

re: #168 Renaissance_Man

I'm always amazed at how wingnuts can instantly respond to almost any issue with canned talking points, many of them straight from Rush Limbaugh and/or Fox. They study Limbaugh and memorize his lines.

171 Kragar  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:33:21pm

re: #170 Charles Johnson

I'm always amazed at how wingnuts can instantly respond to almost any issue with canned talking points, many of them straight from Rush Limbaugh and/or Fox. They study Limbaugh and memorize his lines.

Its not so much study as tap into the hivemind.

172 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:35:25pm

Went down to the lot behind the village community center for the Xmas tree sale, got there too late, it was already over. But there were two trees they had left there on the lot unsold leaning on a fence in the corner. So I just took the better of the two and carried it home.

It is somewhat irregular in shape and has a double crown, but if you turn it the right way and decorate it with enough apaper chains and garlands it will look just fine, and it stands nearly seven feet tall, so I am pleased and have another 25 euros to spend on my kids...

173 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:35:33pm

re: #170 Charles Johnson

I'm always amazed at how wingnuts can instantly respond to almost any issue with canned talking points, many of them straight from Rush Limbaugh and/or Fox. They study Limbaugh and memorize his lines.

Here are the responses I've been getting, all predictable;

1. Guns don't kill people, people kill people (this is the one that just drives me nuts)
2. Homicides are higher in gun free areas, or states with strict gun control laws
3. Arming the teachers would prevent these incidents
4. Cars kill more people, why don't you try to ban them (this one drives me crazy too)

They're programmed talking points, but they're also meant to overload the logical part of your brain and just give up. Because you can't really reason with somebody spouting this nonsense.

174 funky chicken  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:35:38pm

So, they support Obamacare now?

175 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:36:18pm

re: #174 funky chicken

So, they support Obamacare now?

No, it is just a way of deflecting from the core issue.

176 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:37:05pm

re: #168 Renaissance_Man

Ron Paul: "Its not the gun thats the danger, its the person that's dangerous."

Rush Limbaugh: "It's not the gun. It's the guy pulling the trigger."

Eric Bolling: "Bob, it's not the gun. It's fast money, it's quick celebrity, it's alcohol, it could be brain injury, it's the decay of the America family, it's all of them. But you can't blame the gun."

177 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:39:50pm

I have a "friend" on facebook who is a super NRA gun nut. Always linking to pictures insulting the first lady (not sure why these people obsess over her), misspelling words, and falling prey to ridiculous conspiracy theories (like the UN trying to take away his guns).

He's been very quiet, and I can almost bet he's waiting for the talking points from the NRA. Once the NRA figures out how to talk around this latest massacre, I'm sure he'll start echoing it. It's like the droids in the Phantom Menace, if they all stop if the droid ship is down!

178 dragonath  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:40:00pm

The government in Japan just got crushed in the latest election. Some freaky right-wing party that denies Japanese war crimes ended up with almost the 2nd most seats in the Diet.

179 CuriousLurker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:40:44pm

re: #168 Renaissance_Man

re: #136 ElCapitanAmerica

From the article;
“Just pray for peace,” said Marsha Lanza. “Do I think gun laws need to be changed? No. It’s the person that does the killing, not the gun.

FFFUUUUU.....

Seriously, what is it about the American people that makes them so trainable? What is it about the conditioning they grow up with that indoctrinates them so well with intensely stupid, knee-jerk responses that ignore the blindingly obvious?

I wonder if she thinks that would work for terrorism too... According to her logic it was the terrorists that did the killing on 9/11, not the airplanes, therefore praying for peace should be a sufficient deterrent.

The stupid, it burns.

180 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:41:41pm

re: #178 dragonath

The government in Japan just got crushed in the latest election. Some freaky right-wing party that denies Japanese war crimes ended up with almost the 2nd most seats in the Diet.

I've heard about that bunch. Their leader, who's name I've forgotten, is quite the whackadoodle. Rape of Nanking.......nah, that never happened, at least according to him.

181 Sol Berdinowitz  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:44:22pm

re: #180 Dr Lizardo

I've heard about that bunch. Their leader, who's name I've forgotten, is quite the whackadoodle. Rape of Nanking.......nah, that never happened, at least according to him.

"We were just quietly expanding our Greater East Asia Co-Properity Sphere when they came and dropped atomic bombs on us for like no reason!"

182 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:45:09pm
183 Renaissance_Man  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:45:49pm

re: #176 jaunte

Ron Paul: "Its not the gun thats the danger, its the person that's dangerous."

Rush Limbaugh: "It's not the gun. It's the guy pulling the trigger."

Eric Bolling: "Bob, it's not the gun. It's fast money, it's quick celebrity, it's alcohol, it could be brain injury, it's the decay of the America family, it's all of them. But you can't blame the gun."

Anything, anything at all, as long as I get to keep my precious, precious guns.

184 dragonath  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:45:52pm

re: #180 Dr Lizardo

My favorite story about the guy is his insistence that:

Then, on continued questioning by investigative journalist Hajime Yokata, he stated 'Minamiyama is a Devil's Mountain that eats children.' Then he went on to explain how unmanaged forests 'eat children'.

Imagine, people like this want to control Japan's foreign policy.

185 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:47:17pm

re: #183 Renaissance_Man

They don't have to remember too many talking points.

186 jaunte  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:48:54pm

Sanctimonious liar just can't stop:

Huckabee attacks ‘tax-funded abortion pills’ in Newtown monologue

Fox News host Mike Huckabee on Saturday said he never claimed that the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was linked to the lack of religion in schools.

When asked about the massacre of children, the former Arkansas governor on Friday lamented “we’ve systematically removed God from our schools.” Huckabee suggested Americans shouldn’t be surprised that “schools have become such a place of carnage” without God.

187 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:48:56pm

Here's a good one, from Roger Ebert:

"Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that. "But what about 'Basketball Diaries'?" she asked. "Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?"


"The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.


"The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."


"In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them.


"I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy."

[Link: blogs.suntimes.com...]

Personally, Mr. Ebert's theory is quite close to my own.

188 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 1:57:19pm

re: #187 Dr Lizardo
Personally, Mr. Ebert's theory is quite close to my own.

re: #187 Dr Lizardo

I don't know if I believe it. These stories are sensationalized all over the world too, and we don't see the same epidemic in those countries. The things that is obvious is that it's easier to obtain high powered guns in this country, deranged individuals here have too much access. See, all the arsenal this guy needed was at his mom's house, plus he also tried to buy it at Dick's (and failed).

Doesn't mean the publicity can't be a factor, but look at the results and compare with other countries. They all point to the guns, and anything else is a distraction from that simple fact.

189 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:11:21pm

re: #188 ElCapitanAmerica

Easy access to firearms is a part of the problem as well. I recall there was a school shooting in Germany in 2001 or 2002, and it played in the media, to be sure. But the coverage wasn't quite a relentless as (I can imagine it must be) say, the 24 hour news cycle with CNN, Fox, etc.

Here, it merited quite a bit of coverage as it unfolded, and then was relegated to "page two" news. Of course, this is a foreign country. I imagine if something similar happened here, it would get more than its fair share of coverage, but that relentless coverage would dissipate after the first day.

There was an incident in Prague, in 2001. A loony with a homemade spear and a bomb tried something in the Prague subway. He killed a cop and injured about four or five bystanders. Then another cop shot him dead. It was certainly in the news, as things like that are quite rare here. And then the next day, nothing.

I don't even remember the fellows name, and to be honest, it was mentioned once. The tabloid press media ran with it for about two days, and then it was back to talking about which Czech starlet had new boobs.

190 ElCapitanAmerica  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:13:23pm

The colombine shootings were followed assiduously by the media in other countries. Additionally, some countries the tabloid media is extremely worse and more sensationalistic (and gruesome) than here; see Latin America.

191 CuriousLurker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:18:40pm

re: #30 Sol Berdinowitz

I get the feeling that the NRA people are sane enough to know that they are really on the ropes over this last shooting... those images of those young schoolkids being led away in tears are the moral equivalent of the photo of that young rill running from the napalm attack in Vietnam.

Their only response is to blow enough smoke and toss out enough diversions and red herrings in the hope that we will grow distracted by the holidays and the fiscal cliff debate and the next celebrity sex scandal and let thigs return to their idea of "normal".

Don't let these f*ckers forget.

And the funerals haven't begun yet, nor have photos of the children been released (that I know of). Seeing 20 children's funerals is going to rip people's hearts out.

192 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:26:28pm

re: #190 ElCapitanAmerica

I wasn't here in the Czech Republic for the Colombine massacre. I can very well imagine the tabloid media is much worse in other countries.....here it's mostly boobs and who's screwing around on who and which politician is taking bribes.

But to Mr. Ebert's point, there is an argument to be made that wall-to-wall media coverage, with dramatic theme music and breathless reporting of irrelevant details (they have to fill that 24 hours with something) may well get some lonely 16 year old in Topeka thinking, "Wow...that lucky sumbitch! Everyone knows who he is and everyone's talking about him. I wish people would do that with me." So maybe he tweets or posts, "Well, I'm not takin this crap anymore!" and then it's a case of see you at the next massacre.

Excessive coverage of such events may plant the seed of an idea in a highly disturbed, alienated and socially isolated individual. I understand that excessive coverage and oversaturation is the name of the game. It bleeds, it leads, as the old saying goes.

And if that highly disturbed, alienated and socially isolated individual has access to a handful of firearms, or even just a couple, well.....that's when trouble starts. But Mr. Ebert made, in my view, a good point about the media inadvertently glorifying such individuals in the name of explaining their actions.

Face it.....Charles Whitman, Kip Kinkel, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, those are names that folks remember. Scientific papers get written about them. They become the stuff of legend, albeit, infamous legend. But people remember who they were, and the murderous impact they had. And for some people, that may act as impetus.

193 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:32:19pm

re: #191 CuriousLurker

To the best of my knowledge, the funerals haven't take place yet.

What'll really rip people's hearts out? A mass funeral ceremony for all the victims. 20 little tot-sized coffins.

Imagine seeing that on Christmas Eve, or maybe a day or two before, when you turn on the TV.

194 CuriousLurker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:37:46pm

re: #193 Dr Lizardo

That's right, I forgot that all the funerals will surely happen before Xmas. Gawd, it's gonna be rough.

I don't think people could take seeing a mass ceremony... I don't think the parents or people of Newtown could bear it, and the media would turn it into a circus. I thought of how seeing the coffins will affect people, but couldn't quite bring myself to to speak of it.

195 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:43:50pm

re: #194 CuriousLurker

Yeah. With the idea of a mass ceremony, I would think from the perspective of a small town, it might be more logical to do it that way. But as you pointed out, whether the parents or even the town itself could take that or not is a different matter, and to say it would be a media circus is quite possibly the understatement of the century.

But yes, all the funerals will likely happen just before Christmas. I'm not a parent, but I think I'd lose it if I were. This is just too damn much.

You know, I remember the Port Arthur Massacre....that was big news internationally. I also remember former PM John Howard, who was philosophically conservative, leading the way to ban semi-auto firearms. Can you even imagine the wingnut reaction here if a conservative leader did that?

196 TedStriker  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:47:02pm

re: #195 Dr Lizardo

Yeah. With the idea of a mass ceremony, I would think from the perspective of a small town, it might be more logical to do it that way. But as you pointed out, whether the parents or even the town itself could take that or not is a different matter, and to say it would be a media circus is quite possibly the understatement of the century.

But yes, all the funerals will likely happen just before Christmas. I'm not a parent, but I think I'd lose it if I were. This is just too damn much.

You know, I remember the Port Arthur Massacre....that was big news internationally. I also remember former PM John Howard, who was philosophically conservative, leading the way to ban semi-auto firearms. Can you even imagine the wingnut reaction here if a conservative leader did that?

Won't ever happen, because "conservative" politicians are either in league with the RWNJs or are scared of getting primaried by them.

197 Randall Gross  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:50:01pm

I've seen photos purporting to be of the victims on facebook, but you know how facebook is.

We need a panda break

[Link: www.zooborns.com...]

198 Dr Lizardo  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 2:51:25pm

re: #196 TedStriker

Oh, I know. The "conservatives" will never, ever in a million years, do anything like PM Howard did. As you pointed out, either they're in bed with the RWNJ's or they're scared to death of them.

But I can well imagine the frothing at the mouth howls of rage that would issue forth from the wingnuts if someone like, let's say, St. Ronnie or George W. tried to do what PM Howard did.

199 Tigger2005  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 3:46:38pm

re: #192 Dr Lizardo

I wasn't here in the Czech Republic for the Colombine massacre. I can very well imagine the tabloid media is much worse in other countries.....here it's mostly boobs and who's screwing around on who and which politician is taking bribes.

But to Mr. Ebert's point, there is an argument to be made that wall-to-wall media coverage, with dramatic theme music and breathless reporting of irrelevant details (they have to fill that 24 hours with something) may well get some lonely 16 year old in Topeka thinking, "Wow...that lucky sumbitch! Everyone knows who he is and everyone's talking about him. I wish people would do that with me." So maybe he tweets or posts, "Well, I'm not takin this crap anymore!" and then it's a case of see you at the next massacre.

Excessive coverage of such events may plant the seed of an idea in a highly disturbed, alienated and socially isolated individual. I understand that excessive coverage and oversaturation is the name of the game. It bleeds, it leads, as the old saying goes.

And if that highly disturbed, alienated and socially isolated individual has access to a handful of firearms, or even just a couple, well.....that's when trouble starts. But Mr. Ebert made, in my view, a good point about the media inadvertently glorifying such individuals in the name of explaining their actions.

Face it.....Charles Whitman, Kip Kinkel, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, those are names that folks remember. Scientific papers get written about them. They become the stuff of legend, albeit, infamous legend. But people remember who they were, and the murderous impact they had. And for some people, that may act as impetus.

We already know that serial killers often follow the activities of other serial killers, and even communicate with them, compete with them, and praise their work. They like to have a nickname, see it in the press, get attention. That's how Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, was drawn out. In the case of serial killers whose crimes occur days, weeks or months apart and usually involve just one victim, this desire for attention can be used to catch them. With mass gun murderers, there's no time.

The effect of the media really can't be denied. Look at the Mafia. Many mafioso actually started taking their wardrobe cues from the 30's and 40's Hollywood idea of what a mobster "should" look like. Then they looked to "The Godfather," "Goodfellas" and even "The Sopranos." It got easier for the FBI to take down the Mob because they were becoming caricatures of themselves and the code of omerta was routinely ignored.

But what all this overlooks in the case of gun violence is that if these people could not easily get their hands on guns, they couldn't act out these violent fantasies. Maybe they would try other methods, but most other methods have a greater chance of being ineffective or of getting them caught before they can carry out their plans. Maybe they would steal guns, but that adds another layer of risk of being caught. It's when they can just grab some legally purchased high capacity magazine guns, ammo and body armor and go to a public place and start to shoot...that's very hard to predict, prepare for, or mobilize in time to stop.

200 Tigger2005  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 3:52:42pm

re: #184 dragonath

My favorite story about the guy is his insistence that:

Imagine, people like this want to control Japan's foreign policy.

Wow, that's not going back to the 30's, that's going back to the medieval era. I bet this group is big on putting the "untouchables" (the barakumin) back in their place, not to mention kicking out Koreans and mixed race people. Not hard to guess what their policies are.

201 Tigger2005  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 4:15:59pm

re: #170 Charles Johnson

I'm always amazed at how wingnuts can instantly respond to almost any issue with canned talking points, many of them straight from Rush Limbaugh and/or Fox. They study Limbaugh and memorize his lines.

My brother is one of them. His instant response to one of my first posts on the massacre was "So, what are you saying? You want to ban all guns?" Then he followed this up talking about the gubmint conducting massive searches and seizures.

I have had this discussion with him numerous times before. Each time I have explained I'm not in favor of banning all guns. I've debunked various other of the standard NRA talking points he predictably, reliably regurgitates, time and time again. It matters not at all. Every discussion is exactly the same as the one before. "So you want to ban all guns?"

What I've come to accept is that my brother is a piece of shit, cynical, hypocritical, selfish racist hater with a feeble conscience and a broken moral compass who embraces dishonest thinking and arguments. That probably describes your average Tea Partier...

202 davesax  Sun, Dec 16, 2012 8:12:47pm

Charles,

Great post. I've been very bothered by the "mental illness" angle being played up by countless journalists, people on twitter, etc. A big disseminater of this is MOTHER JONES, a publication I don't know much about. Even Gail Collins of the New York Times pushed this.

If "mental illness" was the core of the problem, the New York city singles scene would be a war zone, given all the people here who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, etc. Chronic mood swings, sadness, and manic depression don't cause people to commit mass murder. The planning and implementing of such a destructive act comes from a much darker place. What were these guns doing in the house in the first place? I suspect that the "survivalist" ideology is just the beginning.

203 Golden Age John  Mon, Dec 17, 2012 7:21:17pm

Mentally ill people may commit a small proportion of gun crimes, per se, but they probably are responsible for the preponderance of mass killing gun crimes against innocents...children and adults.


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