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03/09/2012

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Baltimore Jack

So sad to report that I don't think there's anything we can do except learn how to duck and cover. Senseless gun killings have been part of our culture ever since the 1st drunken cowboy rode into towns like Dodge and Deadwood and "shot up the town". Even good gun control laws didn't save Plaxico Burress from himself. Gang war crossfire and random criminal activity account for a lot, but this irrational psychopathic indiscriminant rage is jsut that Irrational and as such defies rational solutions.

My mom would say that prayer is all we can do. I often dismiss her advice but she's been right more often than not. I'm willing to do more if I can but I think a dose of my mom's advice wouldn't hurt.

Nancy Martin

One of the Kardashians got a modeling contract. Heidi Klum and Seal split up. And Whitney Houston left all her money to her daughter.

What I mean is, we're all looking at "infotainment" instead of reading real news these days. And that can't be good.

I think automatic weapons have no purpose except killing people, and we need to outlaw them.

Ramona

You know that old saw, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"--I call bullshit on that. It's a given that a determined person or criminal will get their hands on a weapon, illegal or not, but you'll never convince me that more guns don't equal more gun violence. It's math.

I think it should be very difficult to purchase a gun. I think there should be a waiting period. I think there should be a background check. I think there should be mandatory safety classes. Sure, all of this will cost money, but it's still what I believe.

Is any of that unreasonable?

Guns are deadly weapons. Sure, the 2nd amendment grants you the right to bear one, but with rights come responsibilities, remember?

Kathy Reschini Sweeney

We have a young friend who is home on break from medical school in Israel. She explained last night that, while there is systemic violence there, you just do not see this kind of random killing.

That is because there are armed law enforcement personnel everywhere. And you cannot enter ANY place without being searched.

Do I think this is the way to go? Hell no. Our 4th Amendment rights have been battered enough. But I have to admit it works.

The 2nd amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to carry whatever weapon they want. In fact, it was drafted with state militia in mind, because they feared centralized power at the federal level. When I have my students actually read it out loud, they are stunned.

I understand the logistics of gun control are a nightmare. But I am getting much closer to believing we have to try.

Karen in Ohio

Omigod, you can't take away people's guns, Kathy. They need those automatic weapons in case the "little people" rise up against them, you know.

I have actually heard friends, longtime friends, say exactly this, especially in the three years since Barack Obama has been in the White House. And then you have media numbskulls who shall not be named lest they get more Web hits espousing hatred and fomenting distrust and unrest. It's only a miracle more kids and adults haven't taken up arms and gone haywire.

I'm with Ramona on this one. Guns DO kill people, dammit. If there weren't any guns those who feel the need to take their anger and frustration out on others would be forced to do so close in, the cowards. A whole lot less of this crap would go on, for certain.

Maryann Mercer

You'd think that growing up in Chicago's burbs I wouldn't still shudder every time I read something akin to what happened in Pittsburgh, but I do. And I wonder how the shooter managed to get the weapons into the building...or even how he got them in the first place. I argue a lot about gun control, especially in this area where hunting is what people do every Fall. For some reason, there is no separation in their minds between a rifle used to shoot deer and a Saturday Night Special whose purpose is to maim and kill a human. I have a good reason for not wanting a gun in my house. My own safety. I had a very wise person tell me once that if I had a gun I needed to be prepared to use it and to shoot to kill. Don't want that responsibility(at least not unless we're invaded and I have no choice). Do I think getting a weapon should be harder? Yes. Do I think screenings are in order? Yes. Do civilians NEED semi-automatic or automatic weapons? Hell, no. BUT. There need to be people in Washington who feel that way as well. Maybe we need to MAKE changes to weapon laws a major issue this time around. Write your congressperson, talk to the local cops and see what they can do to educate the public more than they are already, find some celebs who think as you do. Those are the only ideas I have. As for the 2nd Amendment...perhaps someone should read it out loud to the members of Congress. It's so easy to say "It's the right to bear arms", but there are conditions in that amendment too, and I think those have been forgotten. I hate to see us adapt the Israeli technique, but I'd also rather have my loved ones safe. And Kathy, I hope the people in charge can find out why this man did what he did. We need to consider that aspect as well...and make funds available again for treatment and prevention. I'm sorry your city was wounded yesterday.

WIlliam

Kathy, I'm sorry this happened, and so close to home. Glad you and yours are okay.

As for the argument for/against Gun Control, there are no easy answers. I've had more training than I can remember, am responsible to the point of paranoia, and can sadly confirm the fact that if a Bad Guy needs a gun, he'll have one, as opposed to the citizens who fill out the paperwork, submit fingerprints, undergo background checks, and exercise extreme responsibility about it.

I don't want to say "Those are the ones who will be affected", because that's jingoism. We've got to find an answer, and in all these years, there are no easy answers. I'm more than open-minded, personally, to alternatives, but can't seem to find one.

P.S. Joseph Koney should have been douched to death when his mother had the chance. Just sayin'....

Meryl Neiman

I think we need to change the way special interest groups finance politicians so they can think with their brains instead of their pocket books. There's no need for citizens to have semi-automatic weapons. Yes, guns do kill people -- kids with guns, sick people with guns, angry people with guns -- its a weapon that allows for no second thoughts, no impulse control. As a woman, the data shows you are safer (less likely to be injured or killed) in a home without a gun than with one so who are the guns protecting?

As for the Lord's Army, that guy is sick and his organization was praised not long ago by Rush Limbaugh without much backlash. I doubt he knew what they were really doing but that's all the worse. People need to get educated before they blindly follow Rush or anyone.

Elaine A. Judge

I remember several years ago, a person went nuts at Case Western Reserve. Lisa worked next door at Severance Hall. They were in lock down also. Terrifying.

If nothing happened after Gabby Giffords, I doubt that anything will be seriously discussed.

Saw on the Southern Poverty website that there are 1200 militias out there--huge increase of them since President Obama took office.

We had a man who lived in our condo association who had been a Principal, he had a doctorate in education, and he also had a garage filled with guns and bullets. He was totally convinced that President Obama was going to take his guns from him and everyone else. I heard that you couldn't find a bullet on the shelves at Walmart here because the people would buy them all as soon as they were being sold.

Sorry you and your family went through this yesterday.

Kathy Reschini Sweeney

I've had several conversations about this already this morning, and here is one thing that continues to resonate:

We need to open our minds on the issue of guns in this country.

Smart, mature, rational people are mired in the same arguments; you cannot take away a man's gun; the laws will only work for good people; there is nothing we can do.

NO.

We need to set aside all the crap we've heard/read/learned/believe about guns in this country. We need to be willing to start from scratch, to hear new ideas - to propose new ideas.

Do you realize how many things have happened in this country that "they" said would "never" happen?

Women obtaining the right to vote
The election of an African American president
Gay couples earning the right to marry (that one is still inchoate - but we are making progress!)

We need to stop thinking in terms of never and start thinking in terms of how.

judy merrill larsen

One idea I've tossed out there after each new shooting--Va Tech, NIU, my own town of Kirkwood, MO, etc. is we need to reframe the argument--we need to turn it into a Health Issue--just like I want to be protected from secondhand smoke, I want to be protected from "secondhand" bullets. You want to kill yourself? Fine, have at it. Blow your brains out. But, if in the process of offing yourself, your bullets hit people I love, innocent people, then it's not okay. It's a public health issue. Seat belts. Secondhand smoke. Hell, there are laws about not texting and driving. I want laws protecting me from secondhand bullets.

kate

For some reason I was struck most by that it was at a psychiatric hospital. From what very little I've seen, we have come a very long way from One Flew Over, but the atmostphere is still one of tension and wariness. I've known people that have spent months in Western Psych - there but for the grace of God go I.

Margaret Maron

I think the waiting period to purchase a gun should be at least as long as the waiting period for an abortion in Virginia. And an ultrasound probe should be mandatory.

Storyteller Mary

Sad that I have no answer. We clearly need fewer guns and better mental health care, just as we need better education and general health care. I have no idea how to get them, but limiting campaign spending might make our legislators more attuned to the public good . . . just a thought.
I'm remembering a young couple I met on a flight from New Orleans. They were just back to visit family. They lived in Europe because they saw it as a safer place to raise a family. Yeah, world leader in senseless violence and salacious "news" -- not something to be very proud of . . .
Also remembering a sweet quiet student who went home on Friday afternoon and shot himself. On Monday we were scheduled to read "Richard Cory" in our Am. Lit. class. After that, I read that poem the first week of class and talked about the need to reach out and talk with a friend.
Margaret, you are too clever.

mary lynn

i have to run to the doc, so I can't expand right nhow, but i thinbk the answer lies in part in legalizing drugs. I will write more when I can see

gaylin in Vancouver

I can't add much to all of this because it has all been said, very clearly, I might add. I don't see much in the way of guns here in Vancouver, I would have no idea where to get one or even to get bullets. Not something that sells in Walmart here. The police have guns and I hear on the news of the occasional finding of a gun cache that bad guys have, us regular folks, not so much. I know they exist in Canadian society, it just doesn't seem to come to the forefront as often as in the US.

Margaret Maron - I loved your comment!

Nancym

What Margaret said!

lil Gluckstern

And to think that they-read Jan Brewer-want to make it legal to carry guns in elementary schools. Inside, there is a mother in crying out, NOOOOOOO. Maybe, there should be a group of people who do an Internet thing against guns. Our legislators are owned by the gun lobby.

Harley

Yes to everything and double yes to what Margaret said.

Kathy Reschini Sweeney

Can we get Margaret to moderate the next Republican debate?

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