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Overnight Video: President Obama’s Speech in Newtown

“We can’t tolerate this any more”
US News • Views: 25,440

Live Video: Obama Speaks at Newtown Vigil

For families of the victims and other students from Sandy Hook Elementary School
US News • Views: 25,625

[Live video concluded…]

Gunman’s Aunt: Nancy Lanza Talked About Survivalism

“Prepping” for the collapse of civilization
Crime • Views: 25,445

According to the aunt of Adam Lanza, Adam’s mother Nancy was a “survivalist.”

“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?”

“Yeah,” said Marsha Lanza.

I Googled “prepping” and discovered that there’s a thriving right wing movement dedicated to this form of survivalism; first time I’d heard the term in this context.

Amazon Deal of the Day - Canon EOS T4i 18MP Camera w/Lens and Accessories - 40% Off!

Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR With 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens
Technology • Views: 25,859

Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR With 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens: CANON: Camera & Photo

Product Features

Style: with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens

18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, ISO 100-12800; expandable to 25600 (H) for shooting from bright to dim light and high performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality and speed

High speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture all the action

Improved autofocus performance with a 9-point all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 center point), and new Hybrid CMOS AF increases autofocus speed when shooting photos and movies in Live View

Enhanced EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, manual exposure control and multiple frame rates (1080: 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 480: 30p (29.97) / 25p)

New 3.0-inch Vari-angle Touch Screen Clear View LCD monitor II (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with smudge-resistant coating features multi-touch operation and Touch AF for an easy and intuitive experience, flexible positioning, and clear viewing even when outdoors

Amazon offers the Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, model no. 6558B003, bundled with the AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and Accessories and Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card for $640.50. At final checkout, it drops to $599 with free shipping.

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

Mental illness is not a significant factor in gun crime
US News • Views: 29,086

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

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Don't it ever get lonesome?