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Sandy Hook Tragedy
Posted - 12/16/2012 7:27:39 PM | show profile | flag this post
This isn't really political.
I am just sick inside. Just sick. I finally had time today to stop and assess what happened.
What the hell?
No matter which side of the gun issue you fall on, I think it's really time to stop and acknowledge that there are very disturbed people out there. I don't really know why we see people commit mass acts of destruction. I suppose that they are trying to make the world feel their twisted pain. Some do it with assault weapons, others (McVeigh) do it with homemade bombs. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters and jet airplanes.
But the commonality is the emotional pain they inflict on innocent people. I believe, along with quite a few experts, that these mass killers also share various types of profound mental disturbance.
If we really want to see a change for the better from this recent tragedy, I would hope that, in our country at least, we finally explore and address the root causes. We have got to bring mental illness out of the shadows. We need, I feel, a profound cultural shift in our attitudes toward treatment.
Instead of being suspect of people who are getting help for crippled minds, we should applaud them. Understand that I am not making excuses for those who act out in a violent way. As a society, I feel that we do need a common morality that at least says, 'Thou shalt not kill innocent people no matter what's going on in your head.' However, I am looking for a positive way to keep the mentally damaged people in our midst, from causing this kind of pain.
I don't see why anyone would object to this. It doesn't interfere with the freedom of the masses. It may cause us to lock down more people who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. It may involve even more exploration into mental illness and treatment. We may even need to divert government funds from those who can arguably help themselves to those who need a special kind of help. (That would be the most political aspect of this, I'm sure.) Still, in the end, it may also help us to prevent these kinds of tragedies.
Posted - 12/16/2012 8:42:37 PM | show profile | flag this post
stop..i'm for anything that might help us prevent this..
and i am NOT in favor of the sweeping gun bans the far left is calling for..to get that out of the way..
i'm not even sure where we begin trying to break down the barriers to effective diagnosis and treatment of the mentally ill..
in no particular order, i'd say the families of those afflicted have to be willing to seek help..have to get rid of the "oh, no..what will the neighbors think?" mindset..
there has to be some way devised to make the mental health community more open about those they treat..more open to the idea of letting the general public, and especially law enforcement, know there is a possible problem..patient confidentiality may have to take a back seat to public safety..
the means must be there to treat these people..that means money.. lots of money..
the schools and other vulnerable places MUST be better protected..if that takes lots more cops, so be it..
after that, we'll have to see..bu ttaking away ALL guns ain't gonna happen.. we all know that, and it shouldn't..
but i really cannot see the need for high capacity magazines for semi-automatic rifles and pistols..which is apparentgly what the school shooter had.. and plenty of them..if 8 or ten rounds won't do the job, you need to learn to shoot better..you do NOT need 30 or 40 rounds in a magazine..
some changes have to happen, despite what the NRA says..
god help us.. and our children..if they don't..
Posted - 12/16/2012 9:27:25 PM | show profile | flag this post
Nice post stopbs
ANY conversation about how we can help the mentally ill is a good one. "We need, I feel, a profound cultural shift in our attitudes toward treatment." VERY well put.
But...in our fervor to help the sick, let's not stray tooooo far away from the weapons. As everyone knows by now, the 'mental patient' in this case didn't buy the guns ('Mom' did). If they weren't in the house, what would he have done?? Strangle the kids one by one? Shoot them with one of the deer rifles left behind--again--one by one?? We don't know. We DO know he used an AR-15 type--something in my humble opinion should be ILLEGAL.
The worst shooting my Pgh has gone through in the past 30 some years was done by a psych patient with (you guessed it) semi-autos, high mag clips, and [again] body armor. He was already an identified psych patient. It was the easy access to his 'legal' aresenal that made him a threat--not his diagnosis.
I'm still sick over this. And what's going to make it worse is watching it fade away with nothing done. Like Columbine, VA Tech, Gabby Giffords, Aurora....
Posted - 12/16/2012 10:04:03 PM | show profile | flag this post
I have never been in favor of curbing Americans' freedoms -
and I have never been so willing to compromise, to find common ground on this.
Posted - 12/16/2012 11:06:30 PM | show profile | flag this post
Is the real "villain" here. We need to help parents, family members and friends learn to recognize the signs before it is too late. And we need to offer whatever assistance we can to help them take care of them before they go off on a killing spree.
Banning weapons is not the answer, but I do think limiting clip size makes sense. Back when I hunted, my shotgun had to have a plug in it to limit it to three shells. Certainly didn't have any affects on my ability to hunt nor did it "infringe" on my rights.
Posted - 12/17/2012 12:54:50 AM | show profile | flag this post
OK: Is anyone on the right going to fight for ..
... a right to mental health care as much as their to firearms?
Who is going to pay? Your taxes?
But in the end, empty, useless, words because we all know it won't happen.
They have no solutions.
And the other thing: the vast, vast majority of gun crimes and violence are not committed by the mentally ill, chronic, recognizable or otherwise.
The evidence so far suggests this shooter would not fall under "danger to self or others" mental health guidelines. Columbine was deliberate. McViegh was not crazy; He was killer with a political agenda.
And it certainy doesn't address the other. 30,000 shooting each year, which law enforcement and criminologists will tell you are
often "heat of the moment / passion" crimes, cold criminal activity or simple stupidity/carelessness.
Make no mistake: the right is looking for a straw man to deflect from the real problem, and mental health both serves their self-serving interests. Singling out an already marginalized and powerless group .. claiming compassion, without differing any solution or action.
I will agree the problem is that some people are sick. They are called gun nuts. they put a 200 year old law, that is dead in ever in other civilized nation, above the lives of children and innocents.
Posted - 12/17/2012 1:51:38 PM | show profile | flag this post
Many here (and elsewhere)
Are focusing on the "mental health" of the shooter as the real shame or 'villian' here...Well, that most certainly is an important part of the debate.
But watching the Sunday Morn talk shows, I heard a lot of crap. Prominent politicans on all the shows trying to pin this on "violent video games" instead of the sanity of the shooter or the weapons sued. (Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge for example) Huckabee was still out there on Fox this morning pushing his 'It's because we took God out of Schools..' Yea. That's why it happened. And the 'Gun Owners of America' (among others) is still pushing the 'if the teachers were packing this wouldn't have happened...'
This is the kind of garbage that just gets in the way of actually doing something. I thought (Republican) Morning Joe Scarborough this morning hit a good balance:
“I am a conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress,” ... “I come to you this morning with a heavy heart and no easy answers. Still, I’ve spent the past few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers — while daring to question my own long-held belief on these subjects.”
"I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington’s old way of doing business is no longer acceptable... And our bill of rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want. It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas."
I think there may be a consensus here; dealing with Mental Health AND the weapons/clips that are never used for hunting. I hope so.
I sure hope so.
Posted - 12/17/2012 2:06:19 PM | show profile | flag this post
There is only one thing mass shootings have in common...
Yes, we need to address access to mental health. We also need to address access to guns designed specifically to kill people.
We need to address violent video games, movies and other artistic odes to America's violent gun culture.
But at the core of it all is guns.
We need to change that culture.
Posted - 12/17/2012 2:10:30 PM | show profile | flag this post
you got my vote, mp..
we'll see how brave some of our legislators are..
we'll see how many joe scarboroughs there are in congress..
unfortunately, we'll also see how many louie gohmerts and michele bachmanns there are as well..
we'll see whether the death of 20 innocent children means anything to the pro-gun people..(of which i am one, generally.. most ex-cops are)..
for some reason, i'm not real hopeful..
can't imagine why..
Posted - 12/17/2012 2:11:28 PM | show profile | flag this post
sorry..meant that for eta, not mp..
although it's good for both..
Posted - 12/17/2012 2:14:10 PM | show profile | flag this post
mass shootings are down this past decade and are on pace for a continued decline.
failed gun laws serve no purpose.
some old white said-
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Posted - 12/17/2012 2:19:54 PM | show profile | flag this post
"some old white said"
some old white guy said.
Posted - 12/17/2012 3:04:31 PM | show profile | flag this post
Yeah. There's no trend up or down, so let's just let the killing continue.
Posted - 12/17/2012 3:30:50 PM | show profile | flag this post
The really big issue I have with mental illness argument is that the drugs that supposedly "cure" mental illness have the same adverse effects as the behavior. Andrea Yates is the perfect example. She was on multiple drugs, under a physician's care and did the unthinkable. Did her own illness cause it, or was it the drugs? We will never know.
If you put a normal person on pyschotropic drugs, they will act like someone who has an illness. Studies have been done with depression medication where the health control group has suicides--no suicidal tendencies UNTIL they were given the drug. If you put a person who has been identified as having a mental disorder, they too will act out as though they have a mental disorder (a good read on the history of mental health/psychotropic drug industry is Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher, written by a former big pharma sales rep).
And who will be in charge of registering and releasing medical records? I know people who have sought services off their own insurance plan and paid out of pocket because they didn't want their insurance company to know.
And then let's add in that the new DSM-V has classified pretty much every human emotion as a disorder (hey scared to speak in public? you have a mental disorder) and there is a slippery, slippery slope that could directly affect everyone.
Civil liberties and medical confidentially are at risk. And despite what we *think* others think, does anyone here believe that mental illness is a stigma? I don't, and I suspect the majority here don't either. So who is perpetuating the image of the *stigma* of mental illness???
Posted - 12/17/2012 4:49:01 PM | show profile | flag this post
for openers, the families of the mentally ill..
there is still WAY tyoo much of the "we can't say anything!!..what will the neighbors think?"..
NO ONE is willing to admit, up front, that there's a mentally ill family member..
we don't think it's a stigma.. but then most of us who actually ARE journalists have dealt with it many times over the years..
among the general public, there's still a major finger-point-and-whisper attitude..
Posted - 12/17/2012 5:17:16 PM | show profile | flag this post
Hmm ... I guess my experience is different. I've known families that have bipolar as well as schizophrenia (three different families), and while they don't lead conversations with it, it isn't hidden either.
Posted - 12/17/2012 5:37:03 PM | show profile | flag this post
Think we're getting off track again;
HELL "my experience is different" too. I freely mentioned it when we were arguing ObamaCare: My wife has been maentally diasbled for years, and is on all kinds of pysch meds, has been since college.
DON'T have to worry about her packing three semi-aumomatics into the car and blowing up a first grade classroom. BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ANY....I don't have an AR-15 laying around And she can't go the gun store to buy one. She can however go to a gun show and buy one.
The discussion CAN'T be just on the ill shooter--It HAS to be on the weapons as well.
Two related headlines caught my eye: "Tea Party Group: ‘Had George Zimmerman Been At’ Sandy Hook, ‘Those Children Would Still Be Alive’...."a piece posted to the Tea Party Nation website, Birdnow blames the Newtown, Connecticut shooting on everything from teacher’s unions to lack of spanking in schools. Changing our gun laws, Birdnow believes, is not the answer.
The piece, entitled, “Barbarians at the Gates of Sandy Hook,” prescribes a number of solutions to our nation’s violence problem, including homeschooling children and a “more frank discussion of race and culture.” According to Birdnow, “for far too long we have tiptoed around these issues, fearful of being branded a racist.” He believes, “If black thugs kidnap and rape a woman,” we should “ask if there is something in the black culture that fostered that.”
Birdnow also suggests a restriction of “the sex in movies, television, on the internet,” claiming young people that commit violent crimes have “their passions…eternally inflamed.” “They wander the Earth with no outlet for their overstimulated glands,” he says.
He laments the absence of God from our society, saying the “key” to our “cultural disintegration,” is that we’ve “kicked God out of our collective sight.” He claims that American pop culture “has made murder, rape, mayhem, hatred, and violence ‘cool.’”-----
That's the largest TeaBagger group in the country. This is the kind of crap we're against.
Posted - 12/17/2012 5:46:51 PM | show profile | flag this post
The other one
That I did not know:
"Connecticut Gun Laws Are So ‘Strict’ You Can Have A Grenade Launcher On Your AR-15" "One of the persistent talking points to emerge from media discussion of the horrific mass shooting in Connecticut on Friday is the notion that, because Connecticut has some of the most strict gun laws in the country, the shooting demonstrates the futility of legislating against gun violence"
"That’s right, even according to Connecticut state law, which The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence ranks as 5th strongest in the nation, allows for the possession of a semiautomatic assault-style rifle with a grenade launcher, as long as it doesn’t also have one of these features:
* A folding or telescoping stock;
* A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
* A bayonet mount;
* A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
You’re allowed to have any one of those features on your semiautomatic rifle, but not two of them, so if you want to fire bullets as fast as you can pull the trigger and launch grenades, and use a bayonet, you’re out of luck. Bullets and grenades, only. Thankfully, real grenade-launcher rounds are tough to get, but the launchers can also be adapted to fire shotgun shells."
It's the mentally sure--I know that. But much much much more important than that--It's the weapons. If we don't face up to that, we'll get no where. (Besides, helping out the mentally ill like WE ALL SAY NOW we should do (Where the hell were you people when we were debating Health Care???) Costs. Money.
Banning semi-autos, and especially fully autos, costs us nothing. We'll even make a few billion in fines. Think about it.
Posted - 12/17/2012 6:03:55 PM | show profile | flag this post
Well, no it's not off track. Indulge me here.
If mental health screening is added to the list of checks that a gun purchase requires, as I stated the DSM-V has classified just about every human disorder as a mental illness.
So ... the combination of new DSM designations and a mental health check would mean that everyone would be declared mentally ill and no one would be qualified to purchase a gun. No one.
Posted - 12/17/2012 6:14:03 PM | show profile | flag this post
But as you can see the mental state of the shooter does not matter. Offering help to others who could be facing the same kind of potential tradegy does not matter. All that matters is banning guns. If we do that, then we don't have to worry any more.
Sorry for the sarcasm. But as much as I appreciate your efforts at switching the conversation to something that could make a real difference it is all for naught. Banning guns is just so much easier than dealing with the real issue. Again, thank you for trying.
Posted - 12/17/2012 6:57:54 PM | show profile | flag this post
Banning certain guns...
has to be part of the solution, blackedtape. Of the 60 or so mass shootings in the last 30 years, only about half involved a shooter with mental illness.
Some just involved people seeking revenge (Columbine) or people who had a political agenda (Fort Hood).
Posted - 12/17/2012 6:59:44 PM | show profile | flag this post
" If we do that, then we don't have to worry any more."
liberals then will turn their attention to doctors, blunt objects, knives, and hands- which kill more people then guns do.
liberals won't stop until we turn into europe or everyone has no hands.
Posted - 12/17/2012 7:58:47 PM | show profile | flag this post
"trying to pin this on "violent video games"
instead of the sanity of the shooter"
It's not a matter of "instead." It's a matter of "in addition to." Some people are clearly more susceptible to becoming mesmerized by violent video games than others.
Some of these games are the SAME or SIMILAR to those used by the army to train soldiers. Part of the effect is to desensitize the users to the real world consequences of what they're doing. Add this desesnitization to the autistic's or mentally deficient's tenuous grip on reality and you have a recipe for disaster.
But...once again...and I have to keep repeating this until it sinks in to the hard-headed here...firearms are NOT the problem.
Joe Scarboroguh: "...sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell..."
I agree...high capacity magazines (those exceeding 10 rounds) should be restricted to police or military users. The rest of Joe's screed contains ZERO truth, to wit:
-- "High caliber." No, the caliber is .223...VERY slightly larger than the ubiquitous .22. The bullet weighs about two TENTHS of an ounce. The caliber of the M1 Garand rifles used by US troops in WWII and Korea was .30 or .308 NATO. The most popular REAL assault rifle in the world is the Russian designed AK-47, the projectile of which is 7.62X39mm (this means the bullet is 7.62mm in diameter and the cartridge is 39mm long. It is roughly the same size as the .308 NATO). The bullet weights of the M1 Garand and the AK-47 are about five times heavier than the .223. Even these, however, are NOT "high caliber." That appelation is reserved for loads like the .505 Gibbs, the .475 Nitro Express the .375 H&H, the .375 Winchester, etc.
-- "Combat assault rifles." No, the AR-15/M16 lookalike used by Lanza was NEITHER a combat rifle NOR an assault rifle. Such firearms are simply not available on the legitimate civilian market in the US. Combat rifles (since Vietnam) have fully automatic fire capability while the AR-15/M16 lookalikes are SEMI-automatic ONLY...meaning the trigger must be pulled for EACH round fired. It cannot fire repetitively in a burst with a single trigger pull like the Russian AK-47.
In order to find a viable solution to incidents such as Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, etc., we need to identify ALL the factors, define the entirety of the problem and propose solutions. For this we need to ACCURATELY define the component parts. Allowing emotion to mischaracterize the firearms used will NOT lead to a satisfactory solution.
But I think mp is finally coming around to what I've been advocating for a LONG time...better identification and monitoring of those with mental issues, a prohibition on ammo magazines of more than 10 rounds, expanding the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system so that law enforcement has a heads up on the people who may be prone to firearms violence.
I will add to my list restrictions on violent video games...which was an oversight and should have been there all along.
Posted - 12/17/2012 8:12:56 PM | show profile | flag this post
Curiously, the usual suspects here
are blaming guns...as they always do...but are flying in the face of what their president said in Newtown last evening.
He talked about the same sorts of things to which I referred in my post above. He did NOT mention firearms in the context of being to blame for the incident.
Posted - 12/17/2012 9:04:19 PM | show profile | flag this post
For the record;
I don't think I ever said "ban guns"; certainly not those used for hunting...but an AK??? Yes. IMO, ban them. You don't need that for deer season anymore than you need grenades for fishing.
And I STILL don't care about lectures on the ammo or model(s) used. As I said before, when a 6 yr old is blown away with eleven bullets--don't think the weight of the cartridge or the muzzle velocty has anything to do with it.
It has to be about banning certain weapons (and the high capacity clips), bullet proof vests etc....
...and better mental health care...
...and a better background check system. It all has to be part of he package or it's meaningless. IMO