July 26, 2012

Bowling For Gotham

I realize that as a topical blogger I am remiss in discussing the shootings in Colorado. The reason I've not talked about it so far is really because I don't know what to say. But I do know a couple of things.

I know that crazy people and guns don't mix. And the ability of crazy people - or anyone, really - to get guns is mystifying to me. If guns are legal then should be in place absolutely every opportunity to properly screen individuals buying guns. Issue licenses for finite periods of time available after rigorous training classes are passed, background checks performed and require gun owners to recertify every five years. We do this with cars and motorcycles, teachers certifications and medical licenses. Why not gun ownership. And if folks want to argue about infringement on rights, well, seems like getting killed by a crazed gunman is just about the ultimate infringement, right?

I know that the healthcare system in this country needs to stop differentiating between physical and mental illnesses. Treatment and insurance coverage must be just as available - with less stigma - for schizophrenia as for diabetes, for depression as for heart disease. The number of people in this country who are unable to seek and receive help for physical conditions is staggering. The number who are unable to get necessary psychiatric help is shameful.

I know that my kids could have been in that theater. I have absolutely no idea what the victims and their families are feeling but I can imagine. And what I can imagine is tragic, horrific, and terribly sad.

Posted by Chris at July 26, 2012 7:04 AM
Comments

Amen...what chilled me to the bone yesterday while driving to work was the news guy telling me that gun sales is spiking because those who want guns are afraid someone is going to take away their right to own them. I'm sick and tired of people getting shot and being told that less people would have been if more people in the theater, school, church, etc. had been carrying guns! Yes, that would have been SO much better.

No one, NO ONE, outside of our military for MILITARY use should have an assault, automatic or semi-automatic weapon of any kind. What, really, is the reason to have one of these? Protection?? Hunting?? Ri-freaking-diculus!

I have friends who hunt, who own guns - I don't begrudge them that right...what I do have a problem with is the way people can get guns, what kind of guns they can get and the lack of regulation due to the NRA. I'm sick of it and I'm sick of politicians on both sides too afraid to do something about it.

I'm just sick about it. Sick.

Posted by: cyndy at July 26, 2012 10:57 AM

Make guns illegal and people will still have them- just not the law abiding ones. I am all for educating of gun owners. I have been raised in a family that has a long line of hunters and was educated on gun safety from the time I was a young child. When I was very young I was taught that there were guns in the house. I was shown where they were and educated to the fact that you can kill someone with a gun and not to touch them. And you know what? I didn't. As I got older I was taught how to handle them safely. Being exposed to firearms during my childhood did not give me any sort of inclination to run out and shoot up a theater full of people. Even IF we lived in a country where guns were not accessible...do you seriously believe that if that man wanted to do harm to a theater full of people he wouldn't have? He would have made a bomb or set a fire or gone on a stabbing rampage.

It goes back to what Chris said about the mental health stigma and lack of affordable and necessary treatment for people with psychiatric issues whatever they may be. Because just because a paranoid schizophrenic doesn't have access to a gun doesn't mean they will NOT be able to do harm.

Blaming GUNS on the violence is like blaming forks for obesity. Seriously- are you going to take away the forks and spoons of fat people? Because if you do I bet they will still manage to eat. You would instead probably suggest a nutritionist and counseling and exercise programs right?

Posted by: Amy at July 26, 2012 12:08 PM

What mystifys me is that it's more difficult to buy something like Sudafed than it is thousands of rounds of ammunition. They seem to be able to control the sales of something as simple as over the counter medications, yet.... None of it makes sense.

Posted by: Nila at July 26, 2012 5:44 PM

I was shocked (obviously, by the incident) upon hearing how easily the weapons and ammunition were obtained.

I would estimate that it was 15 years ago that the Federal Gov't (of Canada) legislated that all fire arms had to be registered. It was controversial and people complained and the projects went way, way over budget. But we had a Federal Gun registry. In the past year, the Government abolished it. Of course, I'm only giving anecdotal information, but I'm really disapointed.

Maybe if fire ams were difficult to procure, this wouldn't have happened.

I also agree that he is very, very ill. Perhaps that is because I cannot process it any other way. He needed help. I feel very badly for the families of the victims and for his family. Their suffering must be unbearable.

Posted by: Heather at July 26, 2012 6:10 PM

I was shocked (obviously, by the incident) upon hearing how easily the weapons and ammunition were obtained.

I would estimate that it was 15 years ago that the Federal Gov't (of Canada) legislated that all fire arms had to be registered. It was controversial and people complained and the projects went way, way over budget. But we had a Federal Gun registry. In the past year, the Government abolished it. Of course, I'm only giving anecdotal information, but I'm really disapointed.

Maybe if fire ams were difficult to procure, this wouldn't have happened.

I also agree that he is very, very ill. Perhaps that is because I cannot process it any other way. He needed help. I feel very badly for the families of the victims and for his family. Their suffering must be unbearable.

Posted by: Heather at July 26, 2012 6:11 PM

wholeheartedly agree, chris. WORD.

and, unfortunately, i just don't quite agree with the "it's not forks making people fat, it's people making people fat" analogy (or the similar "should we just ban cars since people die in cars?" argument). as jason alexander would say, forks and cars primary have purposes other than killing. an assault rifle's only purpose is to kill as many things as possible as quickly and efficiently as possible. not at all the same argument.

here's what he had to say and i think it's some quality food for thought:
www.twitlonger.com/show/if2nht

Posted by: kati at July 26, 2012 10:01 PM

What boggles my mind is when otherwise intelligent people use analogies that make no sense what-so-ever so that they can keep their 'right to bear arms' - that right was give back when this country was just starting out in order to ensure that IF the country was attacked, those who had guns could gather to create a militia...considering we had no army back then. I think, had the founding fathers understood that at some point in the future there would be weapons that were built to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time, they MIGHT have been a little more specific about what kind of guns the citizens of this country should have a right to.

The majority who are arguing for tighter gun laws ARENT TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS! Please, don't buy into the NRA's BS that we want everyone to be sitting ducks. What we are saying is, make the guns and weapons that are FOR MILITARY/WAR use NOT EASY TO GET. Sure, the idiot in Aurora could have walked into that same movie theater and killed people with a hand gun or a rifle...but chances are, LESS people would have been killed since he would have at least had to re load the darn things.

Im not naive enough to think that this is going to stop situations like this from happening, but geez, could we just agree that it might make it a little harder???? And is that really so bad? What the heck do you want to do with an assault rifle? What the heck are you going to HUNT with an AK 47? Can we at least be smart about the discussion?

Posted by: cyndy at July 27, 2012 10:12 AM

On the side of "it doesn't matter if we take away guns" side, which is not my usual schpiel....

He had an ENTIRE apartment rigged with dozens of explosives. It's taken them DAYS to try and undo all the explosives he set up, and some of them, they had to just detonate in a contained manner because there was no way to safely dismantle the bombs. The only reason no one has died from them is that he told police about them beforehand. If he had told the police he was going to go into the theater beforehand, I don't think anyone would have died from that, either.

Chris Rock's $5K a bullet plan sounds lovely to me.

Posted by: alektra at July 30, 2012 7:59 AM


DEC08_RECENT.jpg


DEC08_ARCHIVE.jpg