Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | December 15, 2012

Terrible tragedy in Newtown

Any attempts to explain the horrible event at Sandy Hook Elementary today will – for a long time – come across as pat, as superficial and insensitive, as hubristic in the face of the inexplicable.  Jeff Dunetz at Yid with Lid asks, “Dear God: How did you let this happen????”  Mark Galli, at Christianity Today, says the slain in Connecticut “are not alone, nor without hope.”  He acknowledges that “It is a mystery why God allows the innocent to suffer. But he does.”

Yet what are the parents of the slain children to do with that? – or the husbands and mothers and children of the slain adults, whose families have been rent asunder? In the face of such grief – such brutality unjustly assailing the spirit – what can anyone say that will make a difference?  What good are words at such a time?

Mary Katherine Ham and Allahpundit have been updating this unfolding horror at Hot Air throughout the day.  The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, reportedly used his mother’s legally purchased and registered handguns to kill her in her home, and then drove to Sandy Hook, burst in on the school principal, started an argument, and killed 20 young children and 7 adults (including the principal).  Police comments early in the day have suggested that another slain adult, discovered in a separate location, may be related to the Lanza killings – and that Lanza’s girlfriend is missing.

Students led to safety at Sandy Hook (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, SHannon Hicks)

Students led to safety at Sandy Hook (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, SHannon Hicks)

Neighbors have told reporters that Adam Lanza, who killed himself at the school, was peculiar, and perhaps suffered from a psychological disorder.  Allahpundit had this to say:

Ace is right that the typical mass murderer is a mentally-ill sad-sack loser who’s bad at work, bad with women, and who finally snaps in frustration at his own momentous loserdom.

True enough; and there may have been a real disorder making it even more likely that Adam Lanza would lose judgment and self-control.  The world can never be made safe enough for people in this condition to live with complete independence.  We will learn in the coming days what Lanza’s state actually was.  There are presumably a number of people who know.  Although his mother is gone, he appears to have a father and two brothers still living.

There will be a political debate also in the coming days, as there must and should be.  Gun-restriction advocates will insist that new laws must be made (although Connecticut has some of the tightest restrictions in the country, and Mrs. Lanza was in full compliance with them).  Gun-rights advocates will point out that Adam Lanza had psychological problems, and that the rights of the majority must not be restricted in the way that may be appropriate for the impaired.  If it emerges that Adam Lanza was known to have dangerous anti-social tendencies, others will make the case that as a society, we have too laissez-faire an attitude toward the psychologically impaired.

It matters how all the rest of us will live, or be required to live, in the aftermath of this awful incident.  Every bit of the political debate will be necessary and appropriate.  Not one syllable of it will be inherently thoughtless or cruel toward the victims.  We govern ourselves, and we are entitled to debate, advocate for, and oppose any policy moves suggested in the coming weeks.  More than entitled, we are responsible for doing this, and we will be accountable if we don’t.  Policy must not be made precipitately, based on sentiment or emotion; hundreds of millions of Americans have to live with whatever policies are made, and law must be rational and enforceable if it is to be respected.

So we will have the debate.  The opening arguments have already burst out on both sides of the issue.  For tonight, however, our thoughts and prayers must be with the bereaved families, who have already had their last hugs, their last hellos and goodbyes, with the ones they loved – though when this morning dawned, they did not know it.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard onlineShe also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. and again, good post.

  2. My daughter was born in 1985, she’s now 27 and when she was growing up I frequently prayed that God would not ask of me the ultimate challenge, the loss of a child. Due to personal circumstance, I particularly remember when my daughter was of this age and I cannot comprehend the grief and agony these parents are suffering. Nor the shattering psychological effect this will have upon this schools children who survived. Tragedy certainly applies but seems inadequate as a descriptor.

    All that said, the larger issue is what our societal response will be. No one, certainly not the NRA, wants psychologically disturbed individuals to have access to guns. Reportedly CT has some of the most restrictive gun-control laws extant, which is an important point. Nor did this individual have legal access to a gun, he stole his mother’s and killed her with it, then went on his rampage.

    “Policy must not be made precipitately, based on sentiment or emotion”

    Leaving aside the far left, gun control advocates are entirely about sentiment and emotion. The arguments against gun control are primarily reason based.

    It’s interesting that when gun violence occurs in strict gun control jurisdictions, advocates of gun control simply ignore it. The reaction of horror to incidents like CT should motivate us to give even more consideration to our gun laws, but within an important context; the only way to stop someone with a gun intent upon harm is with a gun. No amount of denial will change that reality.

    • what’s the NRA position on permits, screening for permits and denial of permits for people who have never committed a crime but have been treated for mental health problems????

      long life and good health for your daughter, (and an abundance of patience, but of course)

      • I have no idea what the NRA’s formal position might be. I imagine its somewhat vague, as hundreds of thousands have been treated for ‘mental health problems’ or issues. Should all of them be excluded? The very imprecise nature of mental health treatments and their efficacy make definitive statements problematic.

        Tentatively, we might look at anyone being medicated as automatically excluded but no doubt the devil will be in the details. In any case, anytime abridgement of someone’s Constitutional rights are being considered, the bar should be set very high indeed. I suspect therein lies much of the reluctance of the NRA to consider regulation of firearms.

      • The guns were purchased by and belonged to his mother Fuster. Why she bought them is the question.

        • thank you for the info and I fear that we’re going to be subjected to more reporting about the family than will be useful.

        • She has been reported as being a “preper”

          rafa

    • Fox is reporting (calm down, MF — it might be one of those media reports that is actually true) that the crazy young man went berserk because his mother was trying to get him committed to a mental health facility. Since he was an adult, an involuntary commitment would not be easy. This will be hard to verify because of privacy concerns. (I am having trouble justifying that when both mother and son are now dead.)

      But, true or not we know that (1) this family had plenty of money, (2) the mother was not uncaring and could have gotten the best medical help, and (3) even if young Adam received the best outpatient treatment, it may not have avoided this tragedy.

  3. Here’s an interesting factoid for those who advocate that public policy, regulation and laws bear a passing familiarity with reality;

    “Examining all the multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 shows that on average, states that adopt right-to-carry laws experience a 60% drop in the rates at which the attacks occur, and a 78% drop in the rates at which people are killed or injured from such attacks.”

    Evidently, even many mass murderers avoid the possibility of armed resistance.

    Here’s another consideration for those whose view of the NRA is that they ‘cling to their guns’ against all common sense. California’s “assault weapon” ban includes hand guns that are compatible with a magazine of greater than 9 rounds. That effectively excludes most modern handguns, which greatly impacts the ability of a law abiding citizen to defend themselves should the need arise. Only in the movies, do the good guys never run out of ammo at a critical moment and where only the good guys can shoot straight.

    Here’s a cogent argument that, Letting Teachers Pack Guns Will Make America’s Schools Safer

    • It is only cogent if you have the logical capabilities of a gnat. Note that this Mr. Lott wasn’t able to back up his expansive claims with as much as one example or any resaerch results.

      • Actually Prof. Lott has done the research. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA and is intimately familiar with statistical analysis. He’s been employed at various academic institutions including the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland, College Park, and at the American Enterprise Institute conservative think tank.

        He supports his position with “a statistical tabulation of time series data from census and other social and economic surveys of individual United States counties in different years, which he used in a multivariate model of crime rates.” His published results show a reduction in violent crime associated with states’ adoption of laws that allow the adult population to carry concealed weapons.

        The work is of course controversial, drawing both support and opposition.

        Several academics have praised Lott’s methodology, including Florida State University economist Bruce Benson, Cardozo School of Law professor John O. McGinnis, and University of Mississippi professor William F. Shughart. His work has been favorably reviewed by reviews from academics Gary Kleck, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell.

        In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences conducted a review of current research and data on firearms and violent crime, including Lott’s work, and found “no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime.” James Q. Wilson dissented from that opinion, and while accepting the committee’s findings on violent crime in general, he noted that the committee’s own findings in several tests showed “that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate”.

        Referring to the research done on the topic, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that while most researchers support Lott’s findings that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, some researchers doubt that concealed carry laws have any impact on violent crime, saying however that “Mr. Lott’s research has convinced his peers of at least one point: No scholars now claim that legalizing concealed weapons causes a major increase in crime.”

        • Lott was on the BBC the night before last. He was obviously quite impressed with the sound of his own voice, reeling-off undigested statistics until Jeremy Paxman stopped him in his stride with the question “could you please remind us of the relative rates of firearms fatalities in the United Kingdom and the United States?”

          Violent crime statistics generally have been going down in the advanced democracies in recent years. The reasons for this trend are nothing much to do with gun-control legislation (or the absence thereof). However, within this trend, the stark unarguable fact is the hugely disproportionate rate of firearms fatalities in this country when compared to the other developed democracies. This statistical anomaly comprises not just gun-crime fatalities, but accidental deaths by firearms.

          Lott seems to think that arming teachers would lessen the frequency of tragedies like Newtown. People like Lott who come up with this sort of nonsense seem to be oblivious to the significant number of children who are accidentally killed in their own homes with firearms owned by parents who have bought into the myth that having a firearm in the home will enable them to out-shoot armed intruders. Lott doesn’t seem to have heard that a significant number of teachers suffer from stress-related illnesses which necessitate them being forced to retire early. Arming such teachers doesn’t seem such a great idea. I don’t believe sane Americans want the people who teach their children “packing heat” in the classroom.

          • Assigning negative emotional motivations to Mr. Lott, who offers statistical facts in support of his assertions, that are contrary to your opinions is the sign of an inability to offer reasoned rebuttal. It is your perspective that is skewed by emotion which you have just demonstrated.

            As to the “relative rates of firearms fatalities in the United Kingdom and the United States”…sure we can do that, provided we compare apples to apples and not oranges.

            The U.S. murder rate is highly misleading because of the difference in the black and white rates. The black rate is seven times the white rate and blacks, 12% of the population, commit about half of all murders. Thus, the U.S. rate reflects neither group. White Americans have close to the European murder rate, despite ‘all the guns’.

            And it’s not race that is determinative, it’s culture.

            How generous of you to admit that in recent years, the reason violent crime statistics have been generally going down in the advanced democracies has nothing much to do with gun-control legislation.

            Again, “the hugely disproportionate rate of firearms fatalities in this country, when compared to the other developed democracies” is due to the black crime rate.

            And again, that is not an issue of race but of culture.

            Accidental deaths by firearms are entirely due to stupidity and/or lack of education in firearms safety, which again is a cultural phenomena. It is also intellectually dishonest to include them in firearm crime statistics.

            “Lott seems to think that arming teachers would lessen the frequency of tragedies like Newtown.”

            Liars may figure but statistics do not. Not only does Prof. Lott offer peer reviewed statistical analysis but white American gun-crime statistics and Swiss gun-crime statistics conclusively demonstrate that it is not the number of guns but the culture which employs them.

            Summarily dismissing as ‘nonsense’ what one cannot rationally rebut demonstrates intellectual bankruptcy. And unwillingness to acknowledge that, indicates intellectual dishonesty.

            Parental irresponsibility resulting in child deaths at home is not even tangentially relevant to the issue of mass murders in schools, you’re engaging in fear mongering.

            A firearm in the home may not enable the homeowner to successfully defend themselves but the absence of that possibility, places oneself and any others at the mercy of the intruder and entirely dependent upon the hope that police will arrive in a timely manner. Interesting that you should be willing to advocate that risk.

            The significant number of teachers suffering from stress-related illnesses, which necessitate them being forced to retire early is almost entirely due to the decline in American cultural values, courtesy of the left. In the 40’s, juvenile delinquency was quite low and serious acting out in school was almost unheard of… teachers while seriously underpaid hadn’t a particularly stressful job then. What’s changed is our society’s cultural values.

            Your solution? More of the same. Which places you in the position of having little to say about sanity.

  4. There has been much comment on this latest dreadful mass-shooting. Much of it has been thoughtful and well thought-out. I would categorize the OTCs response as being in this category. Credit where credit is due. One of the best has come from straight-talking ex-neo-conservative David Frum who exposes the dishonest myths that have gotten us into this tragic mess. Predictably, the most egregious and facile has come from John Podhoretz in the Weakly Substandard who meanders into confused metaphysics in an attempt to sugar-coat the tired old meme of “it was the man and not the gun that did it” (For the record, Mr. Podheretz, it was the man WITH the gun that did this and all the other mass shootings. And it wasn’t done by “Moloch” and “Gehenna” either, John. The information to hand suggests It was done by an apparantly mentally disturbed young mortal called Adam Lanza with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. And, John, any psychiatrist or lawyer will be able to explain to you in simple terms the difference between “mad” and “bad”, and what follows from such categorizations in a civilized society)
    The really awful thing is that there may be 300 million guns out there – legal and illegal. Even if we could ban sales of automatic or semi-automatic guns throughout the Union, and even if we could find some way of predicting and screening the sort of people who might perpetrate these tragedies – and then devise workable laws to prevent such people buying guns of any sort – there are now so many guns out there that it could be generations before such laws would become effective in keeping guns with multiple killing potential out of the hands of the deranged. Australia managed this a decade ago after a series of mass gun-killings (There have been none since). But Australia had a much lower rate of gun-ownership than we have, and it didn’t have a virtually bottomless reservoir of firearms. Our politicians are about 50 years too late in finding the guts to face down the NRA. This horse has long bolted the stable.

    • Lanza was initially and falsely reported as having used a .223-caliber rifle, often referred to by the media as an “assault weapon.” This also turned out to be untrue. In fact, he only had handguns with him in the school, not any “assault rifle.” He did have a rifle but it was reportedly left in his car and not carried into the school.

      The UK has strict gun control laws – in 2009, The Daily Mail reported that:

      “The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offenses in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year – a rise of 89 per cent. In some parts of the country, the number of offenses has increased more than five-fold.

      In eighteen police areas, gun crime at least doubled.

      The UK has abjectly failed to curb gun violence.

      As in the U.S., crime is perpetrated by felons, who don’t live by the rule of law, and it’s the law-abiding citizens who are the ones impacted by silly legislation aimed at stopping violent crime.

      Townhall’s Katie Pavlich has pointed out that since the landmark D.C. v. Heller case, which struck down the District’s handgun ban, “the murder rate fell below triple digits for the first time since 1963.”

      On the other hand, Chicago, a bastion of corruption, liberalism, and anti-gun sentiment, had 436 homicides this year, which exceeded last year’s total of 435. (at east they’re holding steady)

      Handguns are used in approximately 9 percent of all violent offenses.

      The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed 51 studies in 2003, and concluded that “the evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these [firearms] laws.”

      Regarding Australia, the facts in support of your argument are not in evidence;

      After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, media hysteria and bipartisan political support for tightening gun laws resulted in some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.

      Australia’s passage of gun control laws has fueled a robust illegal arms market, and gun-hungry gangs have multiplied. Many Australians now feel like Australia’s criminal class is running the state. That’s not reported because, as here in the US, newspapers and television networks are never wrong on matters of ideology — no matter how many people are killed or threatened by guns, there’s always a “complex” excuse.

      The odd thing about gun control is that a culture of censorship often increases after anti-gun laws fail to deliver. As the tragedy in CT proves. (If we just ban enough it’ll be different)

      There’s little to no examination of Switzerland’s pro-gun ownership culture and low gun crime rate because our media isn’t “ready” to accept opposing views.

      The simple truth is that only a “thought control” culture can sustain the arguments for a “gun control” culture.

      The facts about firearms in Australia are as follows:

      Between July of 1997 and June of1999 nine in ten offenders of firearm-related homicide were unlicensed firearm owners.

      Raw data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that while suicide by firearms is continuing to decrease from a high in the 1980s, suicide by hanging steadily increased throughout the 1990s and increased for three consecutive years after the 1996 buy-back.

      In the year 2002/2003, over 85% of firearms used to commit murder were unregistered. (The reaction; Einstein’s definition of insanity…further increased restrictions on access to legitimate handguns by sporting shooters)

      The AIC’s ‘Homicide in Australia: 2006-07 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report’ stated that 93 per cent of firearms involved in homicides had never been registered and were used by unlicensed individuals.

      In 2005 the head of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, noted that the level of legal gun ownership in New South Wales increased in recent years, and that the 1996 legislation had had little to no effect on violence.

      In 2006, the lack of a measurable effect from the 1996 firearms legislation was reported in the British Journal of Criminology. Which found no effect detectable with statistical analysis of the data.

      It is always unpleasant to acknowledge facts that are inconsistent with your own point of view. But that is what distinguishes science from popular prejudice.

      • I would love to watch paulite walking down some specially bad neighborhoods in DC, New York or LA with a few ten dollar bills sticking out of his prom dress from giving his date a couple of lap dances.

        Since these are some of the more gun controlled cities in the US and since he is probably a very well informed and well educated fella, he will agree that he should have very little to worry about. I’m sure that his super-duper brain and baby gnat gonads will still be with him when he exits those areas…

        rafa

        • Aren’t you the nasty little unpleasant person then. I would much prefer to be almost anywhere other than next or near an abusive creepo like your good self.

          When you (hopefully) get through your obviously troubled adolescense, perhaps you will learn how to be civil.

          • Civil? Civil…? With a dung beetle like you? There you go feeling entitled again. As for being civil to the likes of you, nah! Instead I just have to tell you, dung beetle, I despise socialists. Actually, I can’t stand the dung-like smell of them. Besides, I think it’s about time that this fact was stated clearly and often by all those that feel like I do.

            Why anybody would discuss these matters with you as if you had a modicum of common sense or the slightest desire to embrace reason as an arbiter is beyond me. You are nothing more than a doctrinaire socialist bug as far as I’m concerned and you are way too insignificant to worry about offending or being civil to. Besides, the damage that your kind has inflicted to this country does not earn you any consideration by those that actually love it.

            As for my troubled adolescence, it was great; terrific actually. It was thoroughly capitalist, with the old freedoms still out there to be enjoyed and appreciated by what is fast becoming the last truly free generation of this dying culture. Which brings us back to square one and why I despise socialists and statists little dung beetles like you.

            Sincerely. Trust me, dung beetle, really and trully sincerely.

            rafa

      • Wrong (yet again) Geoffrey.

        1. According to the police, Lanza killed each and every one of his victims with the Bushmaster rifle.

        2. Under every category of firearm fatality – accidental, criminal, and suicide – the rates are many times greater in the US than in Australia. And there haven’t been any mass firearms killings since automatic and semi-automatic weapons were banned in Australia. You prolix ramble about licensed and unlicensed guns, and statistical changes (most of which have been minimal in any case, and may have many different causes) cannot obscure these facts.

        • No pauly, it is you who is wrong, “yet again”.

          According to CNN, a leftist/liberal propaganda outlet in good standing;

          “Three weapons were recovered from the school: a semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster found in a car in the school parking lot, and a Glock and a Sig Sauer found with Lanza’s body, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said. The weapons were legally purchased by Lanza’s mother, the official said.”

          “Under every category of firearm fatality – accidental, criminal, and suicide – the rates are many times greater in the US than in Australia”

          Accidental and suicide rates are superfluous to serious discussion of gun crimes, which is the entire rationale for gun control legislation.

          Taking the criminal category of firearm fatalities, ie homicides…
          and examining the seven times lower US white gun crime rate, similar to Switzerland’s, which has an equally high proportion of guns to population appears to validate your assertion.

          Switzerland’s homicide rate from gun crime in 2011 was 0.52
          whereas Australia’s was .09 but when all intentional homicides are examined, a different story emerges.

          Switzerland’s total homicide rate is .7 whereas Australia’s is 1.0…

          Whether dead by gun or knife, you’re just as dead.

          But then, you’ve already admitted above that in recent years, “the reason violent crime statistics have been, generally going down in the advanced democracies has nothing much to do with gun-control legislation”.

          Oops, but what’s a little dishonest hypocrisy among friends?

      • GB—– Paulite is correct and you’re not about the kid using a rifle….

        ——-

        “,,,,The primary weapon used in the attack was a “Bushmaster AR-15 assault-type weapon,” said Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.”

        ” …In the school shooting, police say Lanza’s rifle used numerous 30-round magazines.”….

        —–

        http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/us/connecticut-lanza-guns/index.html

        • I see that CNN has changed their story.

          I am curious however as to how and why “a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation” would ever get told that a rifle actually found next to Lanza’s body, would be reported to him as found in Lanza’s car? In addition, “numerous 30 round magazines” cannot be mistaken by anyone, for handgun magazines. That would immediately raise red flags, to any competent law enforcement official. That alone makes a ‘mistake’ highly improbable.

          As that’s so basic, as to suggest either extreme incompetence or intentional revising of the reported facts by authorities. But no, the left wouldn’t seek to politicize, through mis-reportage, a terrible tragedy in order to raise support for enacting even harsher gun control laws, would they?

          • GB, I do believe that there was reportedly an additional long gun, rifle or shotgun, found in the vehicle……..

            and don’t be daft. initial reports are gathered in haste as the imperative is to be reporting ahead of the competition, and usually revised later…. no one tries to be intentionally wrong about the facts…. when they’re gonna be shown up shortly.

            • First I’ve heard of a second rifle. Where does it report that and by whom?

              Initial reports are generally incomplete and even erroneous but this was by a “law enforcement official familiar with the investigation” and two rifles with numerous 30 round magazines is too basic for professionals to get that wrong.

              It doesn’t pass the ‘rational basis’ test fuster.

              • Yet another devilish conspiracy against GB by the MSM?

                • Just another pathetic attempt at summarily dismissing a reasoned argument by labeling it a ‘devilish conspiracy’?

                  • GB: I’m curious. Why do you bother? Do you really think that they are listening to you? Reasoning these things out…? They aren’t. They are using this venue to sow the weeds they love to plant and to gaud some of you into reactions that fuel their little minds. All that reasoning and common sense arguments just serves to validate them, GB.

                    They are dung beetles. They collect dung and feed on it. They nest in it…dung is their lifeline. And, remember, they are what they eat.

                    You are arguing with a dung beetles, GB.

                    rafa

                    • I do not bother for those who refuse to face facts and reason. I bother for those who read but do not comment, yet may retain an open mind on the issue. And to prevent their rationale from having the last word on the issue, as silence is tantamount to an inability to rebut.

                    • Very good answer. Thanks and…have at it.
                      :-)

                      rafa

    • Lanza broke into his mothers home. Stole his mothers legal firearms. Murdered her and many others. He did not purchase firearms.

      • And that this will not make a bit of difference to these anticonstitutionalist idiots that the ill-informed elect and re-elect is something that irritates me to no end. WE will all end up with the government that THEY deserve…

        rafa

        • Stop being absurd, Rafa.

          Wanting to overturn the Second Amendment doesn’t make anyone an ” anticonstitutionalist” any more than wanting to abolish slavery and the 3/5s rule made people anticonstitutionalists.

          • Jefferson and many other prominent founders would disagree.

            Slavery and the 3/5 rule were not in the Bill of Rights. Upon the inclusion of which, hinged the passage of the Constitution itself.

            Nor was it just the founders, Lincoln warned against changing the Constitution without the gravest of considerations, asserting it to be, ultimately the only real protection from tyranny.

            Lincoln can be accused of abusing the Constitution (though the supreme court upheld him) but he neither advocated nor attempted to change the Constitution.

            The hubris of today is the assumption that our current ‘progressive intelligentsia’ possess superior discernment, sagacity and wisdom than the Founders.

            Never have so many been so mistaken, nor ultimately, the price to be paid for that mistake by future generations, so costly.

            Money and treasure can be lost and regained in the span of a single life. Liberty once lost is only regained through the expenditure of unimaginable pain, suffering and tragedy.

            Newport is but the merest taste of what awaits us, as a result of pacifistic liberal foolishness.

            • GB— they were in the original body of the document… not the addendum.

              • Point taken. Which does not obviate that abolishing one of the Bill of Rights is much more than mere tinkering or morally defensible, as the result of banning all ‘assault weapons’ (virtually all handguns today are assault weapons) is to make potential victims of us all.

                • GB— of course it’s not morally indefensible to want to change any part of the Constitution, including the Amendments…such a blanket claim isn’t wise or good.

                  and you claim that virtually all handguns are classified as assault weapons seems downright screwy.

                  I’m linking to a definition of “assault weapon” and it really seems to be quite something else that’s intended.

                  http://www.ct.gov/despp/lib/despp/slfu/firearms/assault_weapons.pdf

                  • It’s morally indefensible to seek to prevent people from having a means to defend themselves and others when needed. The ONLY way to stop a nut with a gun is with another gun.

                    Various states have different definitions of assault weapons, I’m going by California’s as it is recent and the most populous state.

                    I’ll grant you that revolvers are not assault weapons but they are in the minority. Most handguns that take magazines qualify as assault weapons by California law.

                    I agree that the CT law that you linked to does not qualify all handguns as assault weapons and stand corrected.

                    • GB…… controls and limits on weapon ownership is NOT identical to seeking to prevent people from having the means to defend themselves and certainly IS NOT morally indefensible.

                      let’s try to separate what you think to be a rotten idea from being a knowingly pernicious one, please.

          • We clamor to overturn those things which we dislike or that threaten us. Like some of the elements of the 1st Amendment and all of the 2nd. Some don’t agree with those original Amendments to the Constitution and the initial two amendments (that would mean the first two, by the way) contained in the Bill of Rights. RIGHTS, fuster. That is the operative word…rights. Old fashion that I am…

            Admit it, you just want to see cancelled or restricted that which threatens you.

            So, therefore, I conclude without jumping too far out on a limb that the dung beetles that support these changes are anti-constitutionalists.

            Note to the uninformed: Reference to slavery was NOT included in any of the Amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. Actually, slavery wasn’t even mentioned. That penchant for emotional crap came later. Right along with “for the children”.

            So, believing the socialist dung beetles to be rabid anti-Constitutionalists or anti Bill of Rights is not too much of a stretch. For me anyway…Or even for you disingenuous socialists dung beetles in the privacy of your own small minds.

            Go walk around in the bad neighborhoods of NY, LA and DC with nothing but your “tiny” in your hands, fuster, or, if that is too much to ask of you preaching hypocrites, go help gather dung balls with paulite. You are one of a kind.

            rafa

            • rafa, when will you cease pulling shift out of yerass?

              you’ve not the faintest idea of my thoughts concerning the 2nd Am…

              admit it,

              • I doubt it but…perhaps I don’t know. But, in any case, I do see the rest of you clearly and, like I said before, I don’t like dung beetles.

                So, dung beetle or maybe, perhaps not, there might actually be some sort of miracle happening right here, please enlighten us and tell us your opinions of the 2nd amendment so that the others might not be confused about your real and honest opinions. Be clear now and don’t bullcrap around it. Just tell us, straight out, oh wise dung beetle, what it is that you like and what is it that you dislike about the 2nd Amendment.

                With baited breath…

                rafa

                • Oh, and I forgot this important pc tidbit: As for myass, you can kiss it, dung beetle.

                  rafa

                • rafa, I understand why you wouldn’t like dung beetles…. it must be unpleasant for you to be rolled all around like that.

                  my opinion of the 2nd Am is that it was a good and necessary thing at the time and we’re gonna live with it for a long time to come.

                  • And there you have it, folks. I was right again.

                    Dung beetles. Both of them.

                    YUCK!

                    rafa

      • Yep. If you kill me, you can take my guns and my ammo. That’s how this little creep got his mother’s guns. That’s how the government would have to take mine. (Assuming, hypothetically, that I had any.)

        • or that anyone was interested in killing you, cuz

          • Let’s hope not. The most disturbing part of murders by nutjobs, though, is that there is no rational reason.

  5. “GB…… controls and limits on weapon ownership is NOT identical to seeking to prevent people from having the means to defend themselves and certainly IS NOT morally indefensible.

    let’s try to separate what you think to be a rotten idea from being a knowingly pernicious one, please.” fuster aka mikefoxtrot

    Your obtuseness prevents you from admitting that to be the logical end point of what you advocate; further (and further) controls and limits on weapon ownership. It is a fact that CT gun laws did not prevent Lanza from obtaining weapons. If we ban semi-automatic rifles, wackos will then use handguns. So you’ll then want to ban large capacity magazines. But it only takes 3 seconds to exchange a new magazine for an old one. So you’ll then want to ban all handguns but revolvers. When a wacko uses multiple revolvers to murder children, what will you do then? The answer is, of course obvious.

    The consequence, which so far you refuse to face is the prevention of law-abiding citizens from defending themselves against armed attack. That is a morally indefensible and knowingly pernicious position.

  6. Does anyone know the following statistics on an annualized basis:

    1. The number of intruders shot by householders defending their property.

    2. The number of people killed and injured in the home in accidents involving firearms.

    3. The number of children killed or injured in firearms accidents in their own homes.

    • You’re attempting to set up a false dichotomy between risk and reward. Most householders will never need to defend their home against an intruder. Like insurance, most will never need it but as no one knows for certain, prudence suggests having it. Those households who do not have a gun are relying entirely upon wishful thinking, i.e. surely it won’t happen to us. Those households with a gun have decided the risk, however small… is unacceptable given the potential consequences.

      Regardless of availability of firearms, the number of people intentionally killed in the home would remain, only the weapon used would differ. If someone wants to kill you, they will find the means. That is why Australia’s overall homicide rate has not declined, in spite of draconian gun control laws and low rates of gun ownership.

      Accidental deaths from firearms in the home, which includes children, is invariably due to either lack of training and/or parental irresponsibility.

      Gun ownership is much higher in rural areas than in urban areas but the rate of firearm homicide rates is much higher in urban areas.

      Explain that or indicate that your position is intellectually bankrupt.

      • Gee, does anybody here know the following statistics on an anualized basis:

        Number of death of children due to being related to people that drink, driving, walking, talking on the phone, taking a leak, whatever…

        Number of children killed in any kind of event associated with red cars.

        How about convertibles…?

        Motorcycles…?

        Number of children that died while swimming anywhere.

        Number of children that died after falling, diving or playing in a swimming pool.

        Number of death of children due to driving while texting.

        Number of death by children due to car accidents.

        Number of death by children due to cars hitting them while crossing roads.

        Number of children killed or maimed while riding bicycles.

        BAN CARS! BAN DRIVING ANYTHING THAT IS…AH…RED! BAN CROSSING STREETS! BAN ALL DRINKING! BAN CELL PHONES! BAN BYCICLES! BAN MOTORCYCLES! BAN SWIMMING POOLS! BAN CONVERTIBLES! BAN EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!

        For the children, of course……..

        Damned dung beetles. Rolling dung. All the time. rolling, rolling rolling….dunghide! Yeha!

        rafa

      • GB, you may not like that he’s pointing out parameters of risk/reward analysis, but it’s not simply dismissible as “false”

        it’s something that people in the real world sorta hafta do as part of the process of deciding things.

        • When you do your risk reward analysis you must always realize that having a gun is an individual choice, and the risks and rewards will be different for every citizen legally entitled to possess a firearm. You can’t make that calculation on a national basis. Each of us, and each of our situations, is different. We are average only as a collective.

          Just as the government allows me to decide whether I am able to safely do a brake job on my car, the government should also (even if there were no explicit constitutional right) allow me to decide whether I am able to safely possess a firearm.

          • I think I’ve struck a raw nerve here. Of course the balance of freedom for the tens of thousands of Americans who are killed and maimed each year by firearms is rather stark.

            There is a presumption that our society is very different from other advanced democracies. But mostly it isn’t. Our crime and accident rates are not completely out of kilter with other advanced democracies either – if you take statistics for accidents, and violent crimes involving firearms, out of the equation. Factoring them in again will show that the US has between 20 and 30 times the death and injury toll compared to, for example, France, the UK, and Australia. It is the gun toll alone that makes us remarkable. That’s a lot of loss of freedom for a lot of Americans.
            (The journalist and commentator, Fareed Zakaria, currently has an excellent article on this topic)

            You might consider the possession of firearms an essential component in your idea of freedom (as is your right). However, most Americans don’t feel they need to own these things, and presumably don’t share you views. This is particularly the case when it comes to semi-automatics and the like. There is a growing feeling in our nation that the sheer volume and type of firearms in circulation are having a deeply negative overall effect on the balance of freedom for Americans.

            • one large ambiguity I noticed when re-reading: “Factoring them in again…….” should read “Deaths and injuries from firearms, and crime involving firearms, shows that we have a rate in these categories between 20 and 30 times that in such countries as France, the UK, and Australia. Factoring these back in largely accounts for the difference in violent crime rates, and accidental death and injury rates between the uS and these other countries.

              apologies.

              • ““Deaths and injuries from firearms, and crime involving firearms, shows that we have a rate in these categories between 20 and 30 times that in such countries as France, the UK, and Australia.”

                Quite true and nice try but an entirely deceptive (what a surprise) data point. Intentional homicide data paints an entirely different picture. Australia’s rate is 1.0 – France 1.1 – the U.K. 1.2

                Whereas the US white (remember, cultural values not race) intentional homicide rate is similar to Switzerland’s, which has comparable rates of firearm ownership. That rate is .7…lower than all the countries you cite.

                So unless you are prepared to argue that being knifed or bludgeoned to death is preferable to death by firearm, your entire argument collapses, as when culturally similar populations are compared, higher rates of gun ownership demonstrably correlates with less intentional homicides…

                • You just don’t get if Geoff.

                  The rates for victims of knives, bludgeons, and other non-firearm forms of violence are not all that different in the US, France, Australia, and Britain. However, in the latter three countries deaths and injuries from firearm crime and accidents are a tiny statistic – as I said: a whopping 1/20 to 1/30th of the US rate.
                  So, Geoffrey, the honest comparison is not between being stabbed and bludgeoned or being shot. For upwards of 30 thousand Americans (and this figure is for fatalities only – it doen’t include the maimed) the comparison is between not being killed or injured at all, and being shot. For those many thousands of Americans the balance of liberty is stark and obvious.

                  • It would appear that it is you who “doesn’t get it” paulitet.

                    The rates I cited above are for intentional homicides which is what counts, not whether someone shot or knifed you to death. Hello? What counts is the fact that you’re dead.

                    And the rate of intentional homicides is higher in Australia, France and the UK, than in Switzerland. The European country that most closely matches the US gun ownership rate and the majority cultural characteristics of the US.

                    Your focusing on the ‘whopping’ US rate of firearms deaths is a ‘red herring’ because its only part of the intentional homicide rate and for the white majority culture in the US, the overall US homicide rate is lower than in the countries you cite.

                    The point is simple enough to grasp, any further confusion on your part is clearly intentional.

                    • Switzerland may have a slightly higher gun ownership rate than France, the UK, and Australia, but it has a fraction of the US rate of gun-ownership. In fact, the Swiss rate is infinitely closer to the rate in the other countries than in the US. And similarly, the firearms homicide rate is similar to that in those other countries and a small fraction of the US rate. Check it out.
                      This point is simple to grasp by anyone with an average IQ. The manifest confusion on your part is presumably unintentional and related to your inability to grasp this simple point.

            • I’m on the same sheet of music as the Founding Fathers. That’s what separates conservatives from liberals today. If a right is written down in the Constitution in black and white, conservatives see it as an essential component of freedom. Liberals view it as something to be denied or disposed of at the whim of Big Government — unless it is one of their treasured unwritten “constitutional” rights. We shouldn’t even be having this discussion until you folks are able to legally rescind the 2d Amendment.

              Why is it the liberals are only in favor of choice if an unborn child has to die as a result?

              • right to have your slaves counted as 3/5s of a person appeal you and and fellow conservatives, Vinnie?

                most all Americans see things enumerated in the Constitution as good as wise but short of perfect, and subject to change and adaptation to changed circumstances in a different era.

                t

                • That was changed the right way, by Constitutional Amendment. The FFs were prescient in allowing for that. People today want to short-circuit the process and adopt the policy du jour without bothering to amend or rescind constitutional provisions that bear directly on the issue.

                • Change and adapt it all you want, through the Constitutional Amendment process. Absent constitutionally compliant legislation, any other method such as judicial activism, dubious executive orders and intrusive regulations is essentially dishonest. Those who attempt ‘end runs’ around the Constitution, reveal themselves to be unworthy of citizenship because they seek to impose upon other citizens what they cannot achieve through legislative consensus.

                  • And what are we to make of the entitlement to citizenship of people who consider the exercise of the freedom of expression enshrined in our Constitution by people with whom they disagree makes such citizens “unworthy of citizenship”?

                    • Nice try pauly. No problem here with “people who consider the exercise of the freedom of expression enshrined in our Constitution” to disagree

                      But I didn’t refer to people exercising their right to disagree, nor that activity or those who seek to change our Constitution through constitutional means… but rather those who seek to use ‘extra’ constitutional means to secure goals to which they cannot secure societal consensus.

                      It is those who engage in extra constitutional means who reveal themselves, by their actions, to be unworthy of citizenship.

                      The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Now, reveal your unworthiness, by denying the obvious.

                  • GB:

                    Plus those dung beetles are, as stated before, anti-constitutionalists which is pretty close to being anti-American as well, since our Cosntitution, besides the protector of our freedoms, is also one of our main claims to American exeptionalism.

                    Hmmmm………maybe that’s why they hate it so much.

                    rafa

                    • Perhaps. I suspect however that it is not exceptionalism itself that they hate but their own sense of inadequacy in measuring up to that standard…and rather than strive to attain that standard or prove minimally worthy of it through support of it, they condemn it as invalid.

                      Which of course is the moral coward’s way out of the conundrum.

                      That incidentally is what Lucifer did, he knew, far more than we, of God’s innate goodness. His rebellion was rationally unsustainable without irrationally condemning God and his creation through rationalization.

                      Which of course is exactly what the left (and many liberals) are doing today.

          • Vinnie— each of us is different and we all experience different outcomes…. yet somehow insurance companies become extremely successful averaging things out on a national basis…and offering the resultant products to individuals.

  7. Obama’s children attend Sidwell Friends school. There are well trained, armed guards there. Mayor Bloomberg’s children attented Spence school. There are very well trained, armed guards there.
    High end condo and apartment buildings have 24 hour security, featuring armed guards. Public buildings are protected by armed guards. Courts are protected by armed guards.
    I wonder why school children in public schools do not deserve the same protection?

    • good point, reed. each school kid deserves a full set of body armor and individual bodyguards at all times. armored personnel carriers rather than school buses.

      • I doubt the dead childrens parents, siblings and friends would enjoy your humor. As usual, you prattle on about cute little nothings that have no relation to the original points made.
        School children deserve at least minimal protection.
        The children of the wealthy are protected. The children of Federal politicians are protected. Buildings are protected.
        The idea that the children of everyday people deserve not even a modicum of the possiblility of protection is not really the American way is it?
        You carry the bigoted,hypocritical banner of ” I’m covered, the Hell with the rest of you” quite well.
        Please respond with shallow points, that have nothing to do with the subject matter: Hey a funny thing happened on the way to a slaughter of children, but really folks………take my child….please!!
        No protection can secure absolute safety, or you know, you are just going to get some dead children now and then or My family is okay, what’s the fuss, or every family should have to hire their own armed guard, or I love making jokes about dead children.

        • and where is it that I mentioned that children should not be protected, turkey?

          save your idiotic posturing

          • Really pathetic Fuster. Can Paul be far behind?


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