Saturday, 12/15/12, Public Square

mental health - guns



Filed under The Public Square

28 responses to “Saturday, 12/15/12, Public Square

  1. “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are
    finally confronted by someone with a gun.”

    Larry Pratt
    Executive Director of Gun Owners of America

    • Why does Mr. Pratt not talk about these magazines with multiple bullets that gives the shooter the ability to do widespread damage?

      Like the NRA supporters say – it’s not the gun, it’s the shooter.

      Well – the shooter could not kill more people if he/she had to reload – which is when they could have been taken down.

      But – guess what – NRA supporters NEVER talk about that – do they?

      I think the NRA is like the Fundamental Islamists and these Fundamantal Christians – the ‘leaders’ all have very big mouths and they run their mouths 24/7 with nonsense. – While the silent moderates in both groups are never heard from.

      I want to see the moderates in the NRA – who really do care about how to stop these mass killings – take back the control of their group from these Fundy leaders.

  2. (from the link): One major way in which conservatives have been successful in changing policy in America over the last decade or so is by changing the way in which we talk about issues in the first place. The most obvious example is global warming, which slowly morphed into the much more cuddly “climate change” early in the Bush administration. Well, according to New York Times stat guru Nate Silver, one area where conservatives have been very successful in corrupting public conversation is gun control, where they’ve slowly shifted our vocabulary since the Clinton administration.

    In 1993 and 1994, when Congress was debating a ban on assault weapons, the phrase “gun control” was used about three times per 1,000 news articles. Use of the term was even higher after the mass shootings in Columbine, Colo., peaking at 3.7 instances per 1,000 articles in 1999. It reached a low point in 2010, when the term “gun control” was used 0.3 times per 1,000 articles – less than one-tenth as often as in the year after the Columbine shootings.

    Nate Silver: Pro-Gun is Winning

  3. Chris Hayes is holding forth this morning on the whole gun and violence issue. If you are up in real time, turn it on. He’s the second smartest person on the TV machine, next to Rachel, of course. 🙂 Hell, he gives Rachel a run for her money in the smarts department.

    On another note, with all due respect to the dead, wounded, and heartbroken in Connecticut….

    Can I change the subject a bit?

    This is exactly why SCOTUS needs to strike down the odious DOMA.

    Good enough to die for her country but not good enough for her family to be taken care of while she’s deployed.

    • I think Nate Silver and Ezra klein belong in that smarts department too, probably Matt Taibbi as well.

      Here’s a good piece on both the injustice and stupidity of the ‘war on drugs.’

      Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

      Read more:

    • SCOTUS. One of the reasons, among many, we should be extremely pleased Mitt Romney is history.

      • There are so many reasons we should be grateful that Mitt Romney did not get his hands on the White House…..and close to those nuke buttons to bring on World War III

    • azzippy

      If Anthony Kennedy is consistent with what he wrote in Lawrence v. Texas, DOMA is already toast (though relying on Kennedy to be consistent isn’t always a good bet). A disturbing possibility::a majority will strike down DOMA, but punt on Prop 8, i.e “leave it to the states,” which would violate the “full faith and credit” clause of course, but would be entirely consistent with the “states’ rights” arguments the Court has too often embraced.

      • I agree on both counts, Zippy. I think the best we can hope for on Prop. 8 is a narrow ruling that strikes it down in CA but leaves it open for other states. A broader ruling, I fear, would not be in our favor and would set us back for a number of years. We really need a ruling forcing all states to recognize marriages legally performed in other states. I think, though, that will have to come at a later time, given the makeup of this court.

        And, as you noted, consistency is not Kennedy’s long suit. Of course, Roberts could surprise us, but I think the crap he took over the ACA ruling will probably make him gun shy. He’ll have to shore up his conservative credentials before the wingnuts lynch him. However, keeping the government out of personal marriage decisions is really a very conservative and libertarian position, so he could take that tack. I just think his previous writings on state’s rights mean he will rule very narrowly on PropHate.

      • According to Wiki (yeah, I know) this is probably how they will get around the full faith and credit clause.

        “[T]here are some limitations upon the extent to which a state may be required by the full faith and credit clause to enforce even the judgment of another state in contravention of its own statutes or policy. See Wisconsin v. Pelican Insurance Co., 127 U.S. 265; Huntington v. Attrill, 146 U.S. 657; Finney v. Guy, 189 U.S. 335; see also Clarke v. Clarke, 178 U.S. 186; Olmsted v. Olmsted, 216 U.S. 386; Hood v. McGehee, 237 U.S. 611; cf. Gasquet v. Fenner, 247 U.S. 16. And in the case of statutes…the full faith and credit clause does not require one state to substitute for its own statute, applicable to persons and events within it, the conflicting statute of another state, even though that statute is of controlling force in the courts of the state of its enactment with respect to the same persons and events.”

        Wiki goes on to say “Until the Supreme Court struck down all laws banning interracial marriage in 1967, a number of states banned interracial marriage and did not accept interracial marriage certificates issued in other states. The full faith and credit clause was never used to force a state to recognize a marriage it did not wish to recognize.”

        And, we wait……

      • azzippy

        If the Loving v. Virginia precedent is respected, then FFC credit MUST be upheld.I dunno though. And Scalia’s gotten so unstable lately, I could actually see the bastard calling for the overturning of Loving, and Obama to resign as a crime against nature!

      • “And Scalia’s gotten so unstable lately, I could actually see the bastard calling for the overturning of Loving”

        No shit, Zippy. This could go very bad very quickly depending on how much flesh and blood the wingnuts want to extract in payment for Obama’s election.

        And we all know that Robert’s fealty to “stare decisis” was nothing more than hot air to get confirmed. That SOB might overturn Loving as well! And we know their little dogs, Thomas and Alito, will fall in line.

        God help us that Kennedy is still our best chance to avoid disaster much less make any progress!

      • Zippy, I could be wrong here, so I defer to your expertise and the knowledge of 617, but IIRC, Loving was not decided on the basis of the FFC. It was a racial discrimination case that violated the 14th amendment on the basis of race, not the states recognizing each other’s marriages. It said nothing about FFC, at least as far as I can find.

      • azzippy

        Prairie, I would have to go back and read it, but FFC is implied anytime an invalidated state law is applied nationally. Otherwise, the decision would have only applied in Virginia. Or, as your excerpt from Wiki puts it “Until the Supreme Court struck down all laws banning interracial marriage in 1967, a number of states banned interracial marriage and did not accept interracial marriage certificates issued in other states. The full faith and credit clause was never used to force a state to recognize a marriage it did not wish to recognize.” So it did set the precedent.

      • That, to me, is the most likely outcome of the two cases. One troubling aspect of the DOMA case is there is an out for SCOTUS there without getting to the constitutional issue, namely a question of standing. From time to time, the Court will use a procedural issue like this to avoid a decision “on the merits”.

      • azzippy

        6, since Edie Windsor was put on the hook for a huge amount of estate tax, thanks to DOMA (as a “non-related” inheritor instead of spouse), it would take some serious judicial gymnastics to deny standing. Also, you know Scalia and Thomas (and probably Alito) are chomping at the bit — they will only avoid this case if they think they’re gonna lose, in which case they won’t have five votes to deny standing anyway.

      • The standing at question involves certain Republicanmembers of Congress.I glanced through the cert petition, etc., and while I don’t recall the secifics, there is a real serious question in that case. As you note, likely moot given the justics you identify.

  4. It will be interesting to see how Foxxies in the Hen House and Hate Talk Radio covers this most recent mass killing.

    Let’s not forget that this latest one is joined by by how many others in the past year or two years?

    When is enough going to be enough?

    If the Far Right Wingers and gun nuts keep defending their gun show sales loopholes and keep defending the gun industry making profits off the fear and misery of others – then I think the tipping point will be seen.

    Moderate, sensible and rational people are getting fed up with the rhetoric – so if the FAr Right Wingers keep up their diarrhea mouths – that will be what takes them down. If there is a God in Heaven – LMAO

    • To this point I hear from the right wingnuts that the killings by gunfire had nothing to do with a gun. It is mental illness, it is a kook who would have done evil / sick… deeds with or without access to a gun. If his Mom hadn’t been a gun owner he would definitely have found the means to do his evil somewhere, somehow (which btw supports what all of us are saying about guns being too readily available to those incapable of the responsibilities that accompany the right to own a gun). Anyway, don’t pause to consider nuances, just know that these killings by gun had nothing to do with guns.

      They also are all sure if only a civilian carrying had been present no one would have died other than the shooter. Ya know, each teacher and administrator could have started shooting and everyone would have been safe!

      And know too that the same people who think this had nothing to do with guns, are against all gun regulations, including the sensible ones, are the exact same people who are against improving American’s access to all kinds of health care!

  5. azzippy

    One idea that makes sense to me: graduated licenses. If you buy a serious gun from a dealer, you already have to have an ATF background check. I say use an explosives analogy. I knew a guy who put on fireworks shows, a licensed explosives guy. He could own things others couldn’t. He had enough boom in a refrigerator to take out a few neighbors, including homemade “firecrackers” that were essentially a quarter-stick of dynamite. The average person couldn’t buy something like that without a very good reason. Let’s insist on very good reasons. Make gun sellers, for the record, ask why you need an AR-15 or a 9mm handgun.

    But beyond that, there are tougher issues. Sure we can put tighter regulations on gun shows, and private purchases, but like anything that can be passed from person to person, enforcement is a bitch. We also need to be careful about creating a black market — regulations, thank you, not prohibition, except maybe with the most extreme firepower (strange that we fear drugs more than hot metal projectiles).

    All which of course, must respect the right of people to have a gun in the home for personal protection, per the Supreme Court’s DC v. Heller decision.

    But the bigger issue — the tough nut to crack — will be to address the lunatic cowboy culture in the US, driven by fear, and believing that a gun is somehow a shield that will protect them from all harm.

    • Zippy, what do you think about applying the concept os strict liability in tort to hold owners of firearms liable in tort for any and all damages resulting from the use of said firearm? Think inherently hazardous activity/instrumentality.

  6. This is what needs to happen in Kansas, although, perhaps someone should recruit winning candidates to run as independents since the Kansas Democratic Party can’t seem to find it’s own ass with both hands, a flashlight, and a map. Somehow, even if good people are recruited, the KDP will find a way to sabotage them. The Kansas Democrats are committed to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at every opportunity.

  7. Often you hear those who want absolutely no restrictions on gun sales talk about how cars kill, and they ask if you want to ban cars too. Of course, that is changing the subject. If they don’t know that is changing the subject quit talking to them because it takes two to hold a conversation and they’re obviously not capable, you may as well be talking to yourself as it would make more sense that way. NO ONE wants to ban all guns, NO ONE wants to remove the right to be armed to the gill if you accept the responsibility that goes along with that right. Don’t let the gun nuts change the conversation!

  8. Did our founding fathers really intend for Americans to be able to buy cheaply made machine guns that shoot 30 rounds for under $700 with a simple push of a button, and then have it delivered?

    It is easy to buy that weapon online! All you need is a credit card. See for yourself.

    • Probably not. It’s hard to discern just what was intended by the Congress. While Heller is likely correct, I can darn sure guarantee it didn’t involve semiautomatic weapons and handguns. They weren’t around then, in a nod to the originalists.

  9. I don’t know Christy Caine, but I would like to. I already respect her. She belongs to a Facebook page titled, “Unfundamentalist Christians.”


    In response to some recent comments made about the tragedy in Connecticut, we offer the thoughts of our own Christy Caine:

    “To my friends wondering how folks like Brian Fischer of the AFA and Mike Huckabee could say the vile things that they did in the wake of such tragedy, let me be clear: Everyone has a family member like them. Religion is no different. Christianity is not immune. They represent bad theology- an angry, petulant, narcissistic god that gets angry and murders children when people don’t pay enough attention to him. Be assured, as a person of faith, this line of reasoning disgusts me as much as it does you. This is not the God I believe in. This is not good theology. These are men, who lacking a foundational grounding in unconditional love, have only their own sad and empty life experiences with which to view and understand the world.

    They should be renounced for the statements they have made for the heresy that it is and they deserve the harsh criticism that has already come their way. But I assure you, Dr. King was right: Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that. Darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can do that.

    In the words of the one whom they have forgotten and do not represent:

    Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do.

    • I may be too cynical – but I suspect these Fundy Christians do know what they are doing – it’s called raking in tax-free millions off the fear of the vulnerable.

      In my opinion – this makes what they are doing even worse…