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Tim Murphy 12-15-2012 06:56 AM

Sandy Hook Massacre
 
Rhina Espaillat asked me to post on this tragedy. Here is my email to her, with a horrifying link to WSJ:

"I just don't know what to say. This is a totally depressing tour of the world's worst mass shootings. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...%3Dinteractive

At my school visitors must show photo ID to come in the one door that is open. The cop who checks your ID is VERY good with a gun. No way would any one dare to go up against him. I once showed up to teach en route to a hunt, and I had guns and ammo in the (locked) Ford. He saw that when he was doing a vehicle check, and he just ripped me a new one! Dumb Tim, a mistake never repeated. Of course if some of the boys at Virginia Tech had been carrying, the killer would have been dropped in his tracks. But what about the school kids on that island in Norway? Or the kids in Canada? Or Scotland? Or Tasmania? Or Finland or Russia? I just don't know what to say."

John Whitworth 12-15-2012 08:03 AM

Perhaps, perhaps we think this is more prevalent than it is because of globalisation. I mean we know the details of things from everywhere in the world when we didn't before. I think I am right in saying that ALL the most violent countries in the world are in Africa or South America and that the United States is a relatively safe environment to bring up children in. Britain is safer still and Norway about as safe as you can get.

I am not going to say anything about guns. I have never held a gun in my life and I don't see that changing.

Janice D. Soderling 12-15-2012 08:36 AM

Quote:

I just don't know what to say.
I know what to say. Ban the damned guns and create a society when people are not so frightened that they demand the right to carry concealed weapons on the street.

Handgunds have nothing do with hunting. Most people with guns do not hunt.

It is not a human right to carry a gun and most certainly not to own an automatic weapon. That amendment should be amended.

This is the time when Republican congressmen and senators should get smart and cooperate with President Obama. Why make it so easy to kill?

I weep to think that it is necessary to get a patdown from a sharpshooter officer in order to enter a public school in the US, or any school. i weep to think that anyone considers that such protection is a good state of affairs.

The Norway shooting was a politically inspired hate crime. It was a national tragedy and we in neighboring countries were devastated along with the Norwegians. But I haven't heard anyone saying it would have been prevented if the kids had been carrying guns of their own. That attitude is unthinkable.

E. Shaun Russell 12-15-2012 08:41 AM

I firmly believe that anyone who has such dark and malicious intentions that he is willing to kill countless innocent people will find a way to do it, regardless of whether guns are legal, illegal, easily accessed, or completely locked away. I think stricter gun control laws (particularly on handguns, assault rifles etc.) would help to reduce the incidence of spontaneous "snaps" that lead to shooting sprees, but anything premeditated is going to happen if the intent is there.

Like John, I've never held a gun in my life, safe for air rifles or BB guns when I was a child. But I think that the legions of people demanding stricter gun control laws as a result of this incident are oversimplifying the issue. A focus on identifying people with violent tendencies is probably a more prudent course of action, though how such a thing can be done effectively is beyond my ken.

Janice D. Soderling 12-15-2012 08:48 AM

I'm not saying that shooting crimes can be stopped completely, but they can certainly be reduced if guns are not considered a god-given and constitution-given right.

Of course there will always be some who get food poisoning in restaurants, but should we do away with sanitary controls because of that?

It is a violent society, but (or so the Swedish radio informed me some days ago) there was recently in New York a day with NO murder. And who is running New York? A mayor who has an agenda for gun control. He seems to be on the right track.

Tim Murphy 12-15-2012 09:03 AM

Oh come off your Swedish horse, Janice. Right-to-carry states are way below gun control states in homicide. An inconvenient fact. The most inconvenient fact is that anyone can get a gun, anywhere. And who needs a gun? OJ Simpson managed mayhem with a butcher knife.

I read one reaction this morning urging that all teachers take firearms training and lock a gun in the desk. I prefer stationing a police officer at the door of my school. I do not carry my pistol to class.

E. Shaun Russell 12-15-2012 09:04 AM

I don't necessarily disagree, Janice, but I think the gun control issue is truly a red herring. As you surely heard, yesterday's Newtown massacre wasn't the only one in the world. A slasher, armed with a mere box-cutter, injured dozens in China. While it's easy to point out the distinction between injured and killed, the intent is still the key issue.

Tim Murphy 12-15-2012 09:14 AM

It all comes down to good and evil. We must recognize the distinction. Brievik was unspeakably evil. I live in an extremely Norwegian community. I'm Norwegian myself, and we were appalled, just shaken by what happened.

Janice D. Soderling 12-15-2012 09:28 AM

Right-to-carry states are way below gun control states in homicide. An inconvenient fact.

Other inconvenient facts are that most right-to-carry states are sparsely populated, and that gun-related homicide occurs most often in metropolitan areas like New York. This correlation would be expected by any statistician

The most inconvenient fact is that anyone can get a gun, anywhere.

That is indeed an inconvenient fact, but for whom? For pro-gun people, methinks. Who wants to live in a society where anyone can get a gun, anywhere?

And who needs a gun? OJ Simpson managed mayhem with a butcher knife.

That is a false analogy argument.

I read one reaction this morning urging that all teachers take firearms training and lock a gun in the desk. I prefer stationing a police officer at the door of my school. I do not carry my pistol to class.

I prefer a society with less violence. If that is a Swedish horse, I'll ride it.

Marcia Karp 12-15-2012 09:30 AM

Shaun:
Quote:

A slasher, armed with a mere box-cutter, injured dozens in China. While it's easy to point out the distinction between injured and killed, the intent is still the key issue.
Had you said two dozen you would have been just about at the number reported, but dozens implies some larger number. The reality is bad enough without unnecessary inflation.

What use is it to pretend the weapons don't matter? Or that desire to kill or harm doesn't matter? All of it matters.

So, the intent isn't THE key. Not to those attacked, at least. Or to those attached to them. Life really is lived inside bodies that can survive some intentions, but not some weapons.

A man with hands or a rope or a knife can kill and maim and that is terrible. A man with a gun can massacre and that is terrible multiplied.

Marcia


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