Weekend Open Thread

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

–Francis Bacon

109 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    First, gun control is the smallest part of the solution, but still essential. We need to limit what’s available, who gets access to guns, and requirements on how people secure their guns. Will the laws work 100%? No. But no laws are 100% – they can be effective. And over time they will have greater impact (especially limitations on ammunition).

    Second, while the shooters have all had serious mental health issues, many of them were also quite smart and took time planning. Keeping weapons out of the hands of these people needs to be effective against smart people.

    Third, providing better ways to identify people with mental health issues and trying to help them is really important. Where we can help, that is gigantic because it turns someone from a possible horrific incident into a healthy member of society.

    But we also need to realize that a lot of times these issues cannot be addressed, either because we don’t know how or the individual is not willing to go through the process. And in those cases we need to identify the person and limit their access to tools that can injure or kill others.

    Fourth, I think the biggest problem is our culture where we glorify violence and the solution to any problem is presented as imposing our own will by force. It permeates our conversation, our politics, our entertainment, etc. This is the biggest issue we need to change.

  2. parsingreality says:

    THAT is the biggest issue.  I’ll say it’s even bigger than access to weapons.  

    I try to think of what movies and TV was like when I was growing up, what messages we received as kids about what was permissible and what wasn’t.  And we didn’t even have to deal with violent video games, the only kind that really sell.  

    The Lone Ranger used to wing the bad guy in the hand.  Now he would be blowing up buildings and using an RPG to avenge a slight. We have a whole population buying into what theologian Walter Wink calls, “The Myth of Redemptive Violence.”  Google it.  Think Mel Gibson.  Two wrongs make right.

    America has planted millions of weed seeds in the last fifty years.  Now the field is ripe, snuffing the garden.  And lives.  

  3. parsingreality says:

    School aged. She told them about Newtown and they asked a few questions.  But what almost made me cry was Rachel saying that when she picked up Kylie, grade one, her smile was like sunshine.  Knowing that she was safe to love another day.

    Already the loons are saying we need armed teachers and staff, that the Second Amendment is sacred.  

    I’ve gotten to where I think the Second Amendment is SHIT.  Virtually every gun murder and suicide in this country can be hung on that piece of bad, bad politics.  It made sense in the days of militias, but not now.  It needs to be repealed or amended.

  4. parsingreality says:

    Paranoid gun nut syndrome. PGNS.

    A diagnosis is made when:

    A patient owns more than two each hand guns and long rifles.  Or, any number of fully automatic weapons.


    Possess enough ammunition to fight the Battle of the Bulge singlehandedly.


    Expresses the fear that “they” are going to take their firearms away (most often expressed as tarists, the gummint, or the United Nations.)

    Under my proposal, you could still own a lot of guns, collect them, whatever.  The kicker is the belief of future events.  

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    and you are automatically drafted into the militia.

    Forced [every] weekend National Guard duty will “encourage” people to give up their guns.

  6. Lark says:

    Now is the time to sieze this issue and take combat weapons off our streets.  We can’t afford to be losing so many people because nobody in elected office has the courage to say guns are dangerous.  What is the point of controlling the legislature and Governor’s chair if Republicans are still going to call the shots on the this issue?  It isn’t just mental illness but adults with low IQ’s, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, lack of iodine from childhood and many other reasons some people shouldn’t own combat weapons in general.  There are lots of really stupid people out there who shouldn’t own combat weapons in our communities!

  7. and another 82 gun deaths.

    Please read the following article carefully and thoughtfully.  Please.

    Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

    In the harrowing aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, one thought wells in my mind: Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?

    The fundamental reason kids are dying in massacres like this one is not that we have lunatics or criminals – all countries have them – but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns.

    Children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries, according to David Hemenway, a public health specialist at Harvard who has written an excellent book on gun violence.

    So let’s treat firearms rationally as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. The United States realistically isn’t going to ban guns, but we can take steps to reduce the carnage.


    More guns are not the answer.  Arming more of the citizenry is not the answer — a gun in the hands of every preacher, doctor, nurse, teacher, front desk clerk, dentist, airplane pilot, movie theater ticket taker, day care provider, deacon, trumpet player, stand-up comedian, librarian, bus driver, massage therapist, janitor, sound board technician, mother and father, son and daughter — that may be the NRA and the gun manufacturers (not that there’s any difference) wettest of dreams,  but we all know . . . Know . . . KNOW . . . KNOW . . .  that that certainly hasn’t and won’t make things better.

    Thinking about keeping a gun, or twelve, in your home for “protection”?  Maybe you ought to ask Nancy Lanza about that.  Oh, wait, you can’t . . . maybe if she’d owned another couple of AKs, or a dozen, she could have stopped this senseless tragedy?  Vigilance . . . Hah!

    Wake the fuck up, people.  

  8. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Taking into account the constraints, what limits make sense that would stop someone where their mother appeared to be a responsible gun enthusiast?

  9. Lurker19 says:

    Naturally, WBC plans to protest at the funerals of the babies killed in Connecticut.  Because, GAYS!!!!11!!!1

    Their right to do so was upheld by the Supremes.  

    So Anon used another Supreme Court decision and published contact info (addresses and work place info) about members of WBC on teh interwebbies.

    I would never access or use such information, because I wouldn’t stoop to the level of the WBC.

    But when I read the piece about it, it made me giggle, and today of all days, I needed a laugh.

  10. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Something the pro gun side does not want to hear. But owning a gun for self defense statistically is a bad idea http://www.sciencedaily.com/re

    And just like 80% of drivers think they do an above average job driving, I’m guessing 95% of gun owners think they’re in the very small percentage who are actually safer with a gun.

  11. PitaPita says:

    I’m still having a difficult time expressing my sorrow or formulating salient thoughts on gun control-then I ran across this story. I could only shake my head and mumble expletives.


  12. Whiskey Lima JulietWhiskey Lima Juliet says:

    “When we consider the myriad school shootings that have occurred between 1992 and 2002 (there have been twenty-eight cases), several constants stand out. All twenty-eight cases were committed by boys. All but one was committed by a white boy in a suburban or rural school. We speak of teen violence, youth violence, violence in the schools, but no one in the media ever seems to call it suburban white boy violence, although that is exactly what it is. Try a little thought experiment: Imagine that all the killers in the more famous shootings in the 1990s – Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas, were black girls from poor families who lived instead in New Haven, Boston, Chicago, Newark. Wouldn’t we now be having a national debate about inner-city black girls? Would not the media focus entirely on race, class, and gender? -Michael Kimmel


    When this calms down, however, we’ve got some serious things to consider. For my part, I’ll be thinking quite a bit about how we perceive crime and race in this country. I’m genuinely disturbed that the conversation has been largely dominated by (mostly) White men… yelling at me for being too feminist. This is an issue of race, and it seems invisible because it’s about Whites.

    Why aren’t we addressing this issue?  Clearly something is up?

  13. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    We know we and our children can never be 100% secure from death or mayhem because of guns–or cars or dirty bombs or… . But, as with everything else in our fragile lives, we can lower the risks considerably. If we’re allowed to.

    Unfortunately, our hands and tongues are tied. For all the good solutions and logical  justifications we’ve offered here this weekend and yesterday, we’re being outgunned (obvious pun intended): outspent outshouted, outmaneuvered, and beaten. All our good intentions (There sure are a lot of smart, compassionate people here on Pols.) will amount to a prairie dog hole if we fail to use every tool at our disposal, raise our voices, and, most importantly, de-legitimize and marginalize the forces against us. Otherwise… ?

    There are real villains in all this. http://consortiumnews.com/2012… We’ve got to go after them.

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990, the gun rights lobby, led by the NRA, has contributed $29.2 million to candidates for Congress and the White House, 87 percent of it to Republicans. In the most recent election cycle, gun rights groups donated $3.1 million to political candidates and spent another $5.5 million in lobbying.

    As we press our elected representatives for legal remedies, where, it seems, the majority of solutions lie, we also have to let them know that we won’t tolerate their being influenced by the powerful gun lobbiests of the NRA. The US Chamber. WallMart. ALEC. They’re not just filthy pushers, they’re hit men.

    So help me, if I learn that any of these assholes even get past the receptionists at  Obama’s, Udall’s, Bennet’s, or DeGette’s offices (or Hick’s or Ferrandino’s or Aguilar’s or Hancock’s or Nevitt’s or Kniech’s or Ortega’s) it’s going to be noisy hell to pay.

    The blood of the 26 victims of the Connecticut shooting, including 20 young children, is on LaPierre’s hands. Of course, LaPierre didn’t pull the trigger, but he’s the NRA’s hit man when it comes to intimidating elected officials… .

    No, of course, LaPierre didn’t pull the trigger. Osama bin Laden didn’t fly the airplanes either.

  14. CastleMan says:

    We who have had enough of our society’s acceptance of gun worship need to take a stand. Tell everyone you know that you are among those who have decided that it is time for this country to confront its addiction to guns and the suffering they cause. Make your voice heard. Contribute time and money to politicians that support reasonable gun control laws. Join organizations, like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and become active in their work. Fight for our safety, our families, and our freedom – our freedom to live without fear that our children and our community’s teachers will be mowed down by a madman with a semi-automatic.

  15. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    While in Delhi, he visited the American Embassy School, his third such visit, and spent the afternoon answering questions from students, parents and teachers. His Holiness visited school as part of Peace and Global Citizens initiatives.

    One student asked, “What is the most important value of the Tibetan culture?” The Karmapa responded in a low voice, interspersed with English words, and shared with the audience by a translator. “The life that we live is a pretty simple life, We put at the center of our life altruism, the wish to benefit others. We’re pretty direct and straightforward. I think if you look at Tibetan culture, the most important values at the center of our culture are loving kindness and compassion, and we develop these feelings not just for other human beings but for all forms of life. Whatever we do, whatever activities we engage in, whatever studies we do, we always try to put the value of other beings in the center.”

    Emissaries, teachers, models, teachings, missives, printings…..effort is made.

    As a people and as a culture, China notwithstanding,Tibets a peaceful people because they value the effort.


  16. Gray in Mountains says:

    It is never the time after one of these massacres. Yet, what day did the pro-gun people come forward and say “OK, next Monday we’ll be ready to discuss gun control?”

  17. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Just as I had to visit FoxNews on election night to enjoy it’s take on Romney’s impending victory, I just went over to Red State to see if they were having a thoughtful conversation on the Connecticut school shooting (so you won’t have to, that’s why). OMG, are they. LOL

    If you count as thoughtful about three yards of thread with personal invective for Obama for every two-liner addressing the shooting. (Ok, I didn’t actually compute it.)

    If you count a diary with a couple dozen “fat”, “fat body” and other slurring comments about a particular pro-regulation liberal personality. These aren’t jacks. The diary actually headlines he’s “fat”!

    Full-blown conspiracy hysteria about Obama taking their guns away? Probably Monday morning!

    Their hatred for Obama and liberals drips from nearly every comment, and even desperately tangles up gun legislation with the deficit negotiations and gay rights. Boehner might trade away assault weapons and a tax hike for Obama’s keeping DOMA intact? Looks like it, folks.

    One of my favorites:

    We’ve been silent too long on the constitution and when we do not advocate the Second whithers and is vulnerable to opponents slaners.

    Now is not the time to retreat. We are cornered in fact.

    I wish I were confident of that.

  18. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    If they add that anyone who makes an illegal sale, if that is then used to commit murder they are an accessory – I think you’ll see underground sales dry up big time. And doing this on ammunition will have a very rapid effect.

    If you own an illegal magazine, first off you don’t want to sell it because how can you replace it. Second, it is so valuable, you are left wondering what the person paying that much wants with it.

  19. I am happier now than ever that I have supported Barrack Hussein Obama for President.   His remarks tonight were the words that make me happy to be an American!

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