Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, December 14, 2012

America, you HAVE to do something about this!

"America sees far more gun violence than countries in Europe, and Canada, India and Australia, which is perhaps how it gets its bloody reputation among comparatively peaceful nations." --WaPo

And I refuse to listen to anyone who says "this is not the time."  When  20 grammar school children are slaughtered, it is EXACTLY the time to talk about this and to finally do something about our sick gun culture.

"I don't feel like writing about anything today in light of the unspeakable tragedy that occurred this morning in Connecticut. What is there to say? Who could pull the trigger on a five year old? It's sickening. I'm sad and angry. And I just wish I could give all those people their lives back. I wish I could fill up the hole in those parents' hearts. I wish I had any hope whatsoever that we could, as a society, do something to make tragedies like this less common and less deadly. But I don't even know if we can force the House of Representatives to hold a hearing on this massacre. I'm just feeling frustrated." --Booman Tribune

I have called my representatives here in Massachusetts and told them I want something done, and I will call the White House and do the same.  And I have been in contact with other parents and grandparents who feel just as angry and feed up as I do.

I absolutely refuse to listen to anyone who rationalizes this slaughter by saying "some crazy person will always find a way to commit murder."

I REFUSE to listen to that BS.  And it is cowardly BS.  Other countries don't have the level of gun violence that we do.

We are the ONLY country with this sort of level of gun violence, and I point my finger at the venal, evil people who run the NRA and threaten any politician who dares to speak up for stricter gun control.

We parents and grandparents will be heard.

I will work tirelessly to get stricter and harsher gun control laws passed, no matter what it takes.  And so will the people I've spoken with today.

Praying will not bring back those babies--yes, babies! More than prayers is needed.

We need action.  And resolve.

I have grandchildren who attend public schools.  The politicians don't care if they're slaughtered like helpless lambs, I DO!  No parent or grandparent should ever have to bury their little children for merely having attended school.

This is a national disgrace.

And the NRA is evil.

"Guns don't attack children; psychopaths and sadists do. But guns uniquely allow a psychopath to wreak death and devastation on such a large scale so quickly and easily. America is the only country in which this happens again -- and again and again."

 "Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t “too soon.” It’s much too late."--E.Klein

"A permissive gun regime is not the only reason that the United States suffers so many atrocities like the one in Connecticut. An inadequate mental health system is surely at least as important a part of the answer, as are half a dozen other factors arising from some of the deepest wellsprings of American culture. Nor can anybody promise that more rational gun laws would prevent each and every mass murder in this country. Gun killings do occur even in countries that restrict guns with maximum severity. But we can say that if the United States worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be many, many fewer atrocities like the one in Connecticut." --D.Frum

More HERE from our good friend, TAO.

Why America Lets the Killings Continue By GREGORY GIBSON 

Published: December 14, 2012 --NYTimes

MY wife and I learned about the Connecticut school shootings on our way home from the cemetery, where we had just finished observing the 20th anniversary of our son’s murder. Our son Galen, who was 18, and a teacher were killed on Dec. 14, 1992, by a deranged student who went on a shooting rampage at Simon’s Rock College in western Massachusetts. 

Galen was a gifted kid, and Simon’s Rock seemed like the perfect place for him. He’d never been happier. The killer had a vastly different reaction to this environment. After run-ins with college officials, he vowed to “bring the college to its knees.” 

He bought an SKS at a gun shop down the road, and obtained oversize clips and ammunition through the mail. In the wake of Galen’s murder, I wrote a book about the shooting. In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. 

Gun control, such a live issue in the “early” days of school shootings, inexplicably became a third-rail issue for politicians. I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be. We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it. 

A terrible shame, but hey — didn’t some guy in China just do the same thing with a knife? Still, whatever your position on gun control, it is impossible not react with horror to news of the shootings in Connecticut. 

Our horror is nuanced by knowledge of what those families are going through, and what they will have to endure in years to come. More horrible still — to me at least — is the inevitable lament, “How could we have let this happen?”

"The assault weapons ban enacted under President Clinton was deficient and has expired. Mr. Obama talked about the need for “common sense” gun control after the movie theater slaughter in Aurora, Colo., and he hinted during the campaign that he might support a new assault weapons ban, presumably if someone else introduced it. 

 Republicans will never do that, because they are mired in an ideology that opposes any gun control. After each tragedy, including this one, some litter the Internet with grotesque suggestions that it would be better if everyone (kindergarten teachers?) were armed. Far too many Democrats also live in fear of the gun lobby and will not support an assault weapons ban, or a ban on high-capacity bullet clips or any one of a half-dozen other sensible ideas. 

 Mr. Obama said today that “we have been through this too many times” and “that “we are going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” When will that day come? It did not come after the 1999 Columbine shooting, or the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, or the murders in Aurora. 

 The more that we hear about gun control and nothing happens, the less we can believe it will ever come. Certainly, it will not unless Mr. Obama and Congressional leaders show the courage to make it happen."--NYTimes


Jerry Critter said...

Call it what it is. It is DOMESTIC TERRORISM! The man is a terrorist and should be treated as such.

Shaw Kenawe said...

We have limits on all of our rights. The NRA has seen to it that there will be no limits on people to own guns. This is nuts. And today and the next day, and the next and the next and the next will continue to show us how nuts it is.

Tao Speaks said...

I totally agree with you Shaw and posted my own thoughts here:

Its time to say, "NEVER AGAIN"

Anonymous said...

YOU give them space to speak their murderous pro gun garbage

Anonymous said...

The retail sale of machine guns has been barred by federal law since the gangster era, but at ALEC's "policy summit" in Scottsdale in December, 2011, the NRA successfully obtained the approval of the ALEC crime task force for a modified "model" bill that would ban cities from barring the sale of "machine guns," expressly. The Center for Media & Democracy documented this in its two-part special report on how the NRA's gun agenda has thrived while Koch Industries has helped lead ALEC through its seat on ALEC's corporate board and on its crime task force last year. (Koch continues to bankroll and back ALEC.)

ALEC also strongly opposed the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban," which sought to prevent the U.S. sale of semi-automatic weapons, similar to the notorious AK-47 -- a rapid-fire style weapon that has been used in numerous mass murders in the U.S. That ban has since expired. ALEC also filed papers with the courts calling for city bans on guns to be struck down as unconstitutional. And, ALEC's move in January, 2012 to urge state legislators to prevent city officials from limiting access to machine guns comes in the wake of an earlier decision by new justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who struck down D.C.'s gun ban, in part at ALEC's request.

The NRA's gun agenda helps protect and expand the market for the firearms sold by the weapons companies that bankroll its multi-million dollar lobbying and influence operations. Although ALEC's crime task force no longer officially exists, ALEC is doing nothing to undo the damage done through its many years of advancing the wish list of the gun industry through laws like SYG, pushing for guns on college campuses, and even opposing codes of conduct for gun makers and sellers.

Anonymous said...

According to the Center for Responsive Politics' Open Secrets website, "between 2001 and 2010, the NRA spent between $1.5 million and $2.7 million on federal-level lobbying efforts. During the 2010 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $7.2 million on independent expenditures at the federal level -- messages that advocate for or against political candidates. These messages primarily supported Republican candidates or opposed Democratic candidates."

In the 2010 federal congressional elections, the NRA contributed $902,700 to Republican candidates and gave $373,350 to Democratic candidates.

These people have a lot to answer for. I have no idea if that will ever happen.

Anonymous said...

A factoid about a person's "right" to have guns in his or her home in relation to our children's right to protection from guns (in or out of locked or unlocked cabinets): Pediatricians routinely, as part of well-baby and well-children visits, asked parents about guns and whether or not they had guns and if so, did they have them locked in a safe place. They have been stopped from this routine safety check and discussion about safety with parents. I'm' not sure exactly what law or how much lobbying the NRA did to prevent these conversations from happening, but basically, the rights of gun owners was elevated above the rights of children to be safe. Those are the priorities asserted in this country in regards to gun ownership and human life. It's no wonder that people in countries all over the world look at our gun violence and shake their heads wondering how we can be so stupid to tolerate such nonsense. (If anyone knows how that rule came down, I'd be very grateful to learn more.)"

Rational Nation USA said...

Perhaps we should fully enforce the gun laws already on the books. That is unless the hidden agenda is to do like all dictatorial regimes throughout history have done. And that is to remove all firearms from the people so as to make them defenseless against their tyrannical government.

Before you jump to the normal liberal knee jerk reaction I am not against reasonable gun control, nor do I believe the sportsman and hunter need automatic weapons.

In fact before you jump to conclusions and a knee jerk reaction to my comment take the time to read my condemnation of a conservative/libertarian for his knee jerk politically driven BS. It can be found on today's post at my site.

Republican Racism said...

"To ensure domestic tranquility"

Is the authority to enact gun limitations, which Republicans will fight against. They truly hate America.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, if you or anyone else isn't outraged at this massacre of the innocents then you're not human. My anger is not knee-jerk. My anger and reaction is absolutely human and correct.

We are a stupid country where it concerns gun rights.

We accept limits on freedom of speech and freedom of religion but not gun ownership? Why?

Look to the evil NRA and their connection with the ammunition and gun sales.

I've been in touch with parents and grandparents across this country today and they are ANGRY.

I've told many young mothers that it's up to them to put pressure on their Congress men and women to do something about this national disgrace.

I don't give a flying donut about gun owners feelings right now.

Babies were massacred in what should be a safe and happy enviornoment--a g-d grammar school. And you worry about taking about weapons fr9om mentally ill crazies who were able to get guns to work out their psychoses?

Every g-d parent and grandparent should be angry and have their hair on fire over this outrageous assault on our children.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, did you actually read my comment. Did you read my condemnation? I'm not the one you need to lecture.

Have a nice evening.

BK said...

I've been reading the comments and comparisons of today's massacre with the attack in China, and I've got to tell you it only adds to the sadness and disgust I'm feeling. I think anyone making that comparison is missing a fundamental point. Do we want to be a society that compares itself to China and feels somehow absolved by coming up only slightly short, regardless of the weapon employed? I've spent time there - China is an insecure, deeply troubled society with a lot of violence bubbling beneath the surface. What makes me sick is that we are increasingly the same way.

As I drove around today, my day off, all I felt was sadness and disgust listening to the radio. The complete unwillingness to reflect on why this country is so full of violence. I could never feel anything but contempt for the asshole who did this, but the truth is we are a nation of assholes. I include myself in that. Most radio stations I heard could only be bothered to touch on this massacre of children for a moment or two before getting back to the critical topic of football. That wonderful game full of violence that has no regard for the well being of the young men who play it. It was such an apt representation of the priorities of our country. I watch it too, but at least I'm willing to examine it.

I'm a conservative, and I still think this country is exceptional, but our heads are too far up our own asses to look at why we kill each other at exceptionally high rates.

If even the massacre of innocent children won't wake us up, it's because we've become a nation of children!

reeder43 said...

In just about any civilized society, the NRA would be considered a terrorist organization, and I've been a gun owner and hunter for 60 years.

Tao Speaks said...


No one jumped to any conclusions in regards to your statements.

The reality is that the young man today used the guns that his mother owned legally to kill her and all these babies. The shooter earlier this week stole a legally owned assault rifle from a friend.

As such the concept of "responsible gun ownership" is either an oxymoron or at least a mutually exclusive term.

The reality is that most of gun laws are old and out of date as none of them were written since the advent of the internet and the proliferation of automatic weapons.

Thus, the concept of "enforcing the laws on the books" no longer holds water.

The idea that somehow individual gun ownership protects us from tyranny is laughable. In light of the fact that the government can monitor your every phone call, email and all sorts of things without cause; oh, and lets not forget your government has more guns than you could ever own.

I think its time for "responsible gun owners" and the NRA to step forward with something significant inregards to gun control.

You have 26 people dead today still lying on the floor of the school where they died.

This isn't a "liberal knee jerk" response but if you look at the timeline of 2012 and the number of mass shootings in this country; which does not include the stupidity of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" laws or the events involving the NFL player, its time for change.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Most moronic statement made today:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) weighed in on the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, saying the crime was no surprise because we have "systematically removed God" from public schools.

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

The idiot Huckabee suggests that because public schools do not promote Christian prayer, God got pissed and sent a madman to shoot and kill babies?

I don't know how this melonhead manages to breathe, never mind talk and express his deepest stupidities.

Rational Nation USA said...

The socon right working overtime to give insanity a new and expanded meaning.

Never thought Huckabee would go off the deep end.

I'm quite certain that if there is a supreme being who created life this being would be equally disgusted with Huckabee's bone head comments.

Jerry Critter said...

What gun laws are not being fully enforced?

BB-Idaho said...

The 'melonhead' is all that and more; in matters of crime, he is a
hypocrite .

Craig said...

"enforcing the laws on the books"

It's not that they are outdated, the NRA, groups like ALEC and their bought and paid for stooges in Congress are actively undermining them through legislation. From Think Progress,

In fact, Congress has passed several laws that cripple the ability for current gun regulations to be enforced the way that they’re supposed to. According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, a series of federal laws referred to as the Tiahrt amendments “limit public access to crime gun trace data, prohibit the use of gun trace data in hearings, pertaining to licensure of gun dealers and litigation against gun dealers, and restrict ATF’s authority to require gun dealers to conduct a physical inventory of their firearms.” Other federal laws “limited the ATF compliance inspections” and grant “broad protections from lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and retail sellers.”

I'm a parent. I'm sad, angry, bewildered by the insanity of what we've come to and feeling impotent about changing anything. I did sign this petition. I don't know if it will help but, I suppose, it can't hurt.

KP said...

@Shaw "The idiot Huckabee suggests that because public schools do not promote Christian prayer, God got pissed and sent a madman to shoot and kill babies?"

I am not sure why this should make anyone uncomfortable. If one disagrees they should ignore him.

The Governor's sentiments may not be all that helpful to non believers as part of a solution. However, for context, they were made alongside those of a man addressing the entire nation, who is a believer, President Obama, and his heartfelt prayors, scripture readings and closing of "God bless the kids".

Silverfiddle said...

As a practical matter, how would this nation ban guns?

England, a relatively tiny nation surrounded by water has imposed draconian gun laws, yet they still suffer gun violence.

Craig said...

England, a relatively tiny nation surrounded by water has imposed draconian gun laws, yet they still suffer gun violence.

Gun deaths: U.S. 9/100,000 U.K 0.22/100,000

Homicide by gun: U.S. 3/100,000 U.K. 0.03/100,000

Suicide by gun: U.S. 5.75/100,000 U.K. 0.16/100,000

Death by gun accidents: U.S. 0.27/100,000 U.K. 0.01/100,000

Murder by all means: U.S. 4.2/100,000 U.K 1.2/100,000

Source; Organization of American States and U.N Office on Drugs and Crime.

If we had the same gun murder rate as England, we would have had 240 in 2011. There were about 9,000.

Shaw Kenawe said...

MYTH #1: More guns don’t lead to more murders. A survey by researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health found strong statistical support for the idea that, even if you control for poverty levels, more people die from gun homicides in areas with higher rates of gun ownership. And despite what gun advocates say, countries like Israel and Switzerland don’t disprove the point.

MYTH #2: The Second Amendment prohibits strict gun control. While the Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that bans on handgun ownership were unconstitutional, the ruling gives the state and federal governments a great deal of latitude to regulate that gun ownership as they choose. As the U.S. Second Court of Appeals put it in a recent ruling upholding a New York regulation, “The state’s ability to regulate firearms and, for that matter, conduct, is qualitatively different in public than in the home. Heller reinforces this view. In striking D.C.’s handgun ban, the Court stressed that banning usable handguns in the home is a ‘policy choice[]‘ that is ‘off the table,’ but that a variety of other regulatory options remain available, including categorical bans on firearm possession in certain public locations.”

MYTH #3: State-level gun controls haven’t worked. Scholars Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander recently studied state-to-state variation in gun homicide levels. They found that “[f]irearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation.” This is backed up by research on local gun control efforts and cross-border gun violence.

MYTH #4: We only need better enforcement of the laws we have, not new laws. In fact, Congress has passed several laws that cripple the ability for current gun regulations to be enforced the way that they’re supposed to. According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, a series of federal laws referred to as the Tiahrt amendments “limit public access to crime gun trace data, prohibit the use of gun trace data in hearings, pertaining to licensure of gun dealers and litigation against gun dealers, and restrict ATF’s authority to require gun dealers to conduct a physical inventory of their firearms.” Other federal laws “limited the ATF compliance inspections” and grant “broad protections from lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and retail sellers.”

MYTH #5: Sensible gun regulation is prohibitively unpopular. Not necessarily. As the New Republic’s Amy Sullivan reported after the series of mass shootings this summer, a majority of Americans would prefer both to enforce existing law more strictly and pass new regulations on guns when given the option to choose both rather than either/or. Specific gun regulations are also often more popular than the abstract idea.

Anonymous said...

James Fallows in the Atlantic.

I will henceforth and only talk about "gun safety" as a goal for America, as opposed to "gun control." I have no abstract interest in "controlling" someone else's ability to own a gun. I have a very powerful, direct, and legitimate interest in the consequences of others' gun ownership -- namely that we change America's outlier status as site of most of the world's mass shootings.