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I have posted my response to the killings at Sandy Hook elsewhere, but, at this point, the question remains:

What are we, as individuals, communities, and a society willing to do to prevent mass murders?

Will we change our gun laws to decrease the number and/or type of firearms generally available?
Will we go as far in the other direction as one photo I saw from Israel that showed a primary school teacher who had a rifle strapped to her back as she took her class on a field trip?
Will we make children virtual prisoners in their schools with each classroom a panic room, with bars on the windows and no outdoor recreation?
Will we begin mandatory mental health testing at young ages and, if so, what will we do with these results?

I am sad for those who are lost and those who grieve them, angry at those whose responses have been cruel and thoughtless, and worried about what all of this will mean for our future.



I also wanted to share this article, which was written by a researcher and author who spent two years studying rampage killings:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/17/opinion/newman-school-shooters/index.html?hpt=hp_t2


In addition, I think that this article, which deals with the rush to judgement concerning the role of mental illness and development disorders in this and other acts of violence, makes some very important points:

http://www.xojane.com/issues/for-the-last-time-stop-conflating-violence-and-mental-illness

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
zitronenhai
Dec. 18th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
I appreciate both of these articles.

As an aside, I want to share that I was listening to Talk of the Nation today on my lunch break, and after a string of callers who were clearly not screened for idiocy, the announcer read an email from someone stating that we need to care for and nurture our young men, because they are feeling disenfranchised and thus are more likely to go on violent rampages. I found that appalling. Young white men from affluent communities do not need babying. Babying would not have caused Eric Harris to abandon his quest for ultimate power. It would have only been fodder for how stupid and useless he already believed everyone was. Of course, he was clearly one of those charismatic psychopaths, glib, intelligent, supremely manipulative.

I have finally caught up on most of the updates on the Sandy Hook story, and the thing I keep tripping up on is that this guy's mother had something of an arsenal. This should serve to remind us, as one of these articles points out, that even guns which are carefully secured, legally owned and registered, can be stolen. That's my chief complaint with handheld weapons, and, in my estimation, their chief weakness - they can be taken.

I would prefer a world where we could have sport rifles (I have always wanted to shoot skeet) and pretty cowboy revolvers and such, but none of that comes anywhere near trumping my desire for as peaceful and safe a world as we can have.

Edited at 2012-12-18 03:41 am (UTC)
anomali
Dec. 18th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
I just read that the legislation that Diane Feinstein is proposing would apply to only to assault weapons and clips of more than 10 rounds. I gather that even some of the pro gun-rights Dems from states like W VA are willing to support it. We shall see what happens once the NRA starts fighting back.

Assault rifles like the ones used at Sandy Hook and Aurora are not used for hunting nor are they good for self-defense(unless you are living in Syria right now!). At best, they are a thrill toy or a status symbol. We've seen their worst.

I personally believe that limiting and, in some cases, eliminating the legal sales of ammunition may be our best bet. Just as with all security measures, even those as basic as locking our doors, the idea is to make it more difficult for those with criminal intent. There is only so much that can be done, but even small measures can make quite a difference.
zitronenhai
Dec. 18th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
The mood I'm in right now, I would support the simultaneous vaporization of all firearms. Failing that, a ban on all automatic and semiautomatic firearms might be sufficient. Single-action revolvers and rifles are more dignified, anyway. Wow, I am really pissed off at the gun lobby. If there's one thing that makes me turn inside-out with rage, it's knowing that most of the population is being lead around by the nose by a powerful lobby, who has manipulated them into thinking that this is about freedom, God, and country, when it is only about money and political control.

Assault rifles like the ones used at Sandy Hook and Aurora are not used for hunting nor are they good for self-defense(unless you are living in Syria right now!).

I am noticing that there are people about that do not know this. How can people not know this? I can't remember a time when I did not know this! Ugh.

I am at that state of rage and frustration that I am about to take leave of rational thought. I apologize for my ranty tone, I hope you know that I am venting to you and not at you. I saw an infographic that almost made me throw up through my nose. I will email it to you, since this post is public.

If we did put an assault weapon ban into effect, I am trying to figure out how we would get two-hundred million assault rifles out of circulation - the ammo solution seems much more feasible.
anomali
Dec. 19th, 2012 07:08 am (UTC)
Turning from my Roku Netflixen to cable before turning to local weather this evening, I just happen to catch Piers Morgan "lose his rag" (his words) this evening when talking to the spokesperson for The Gun Owners of America who blamed the deaths at Sandy Hook on laws that kept the teachers from carrying guns. Can you imagine?

The response of the Libertarians on FB (see Israeli example) and this callous piece of shite on TV as well as that of Huckabee (please Lord, let him be struck as dumb vocally as he is mentally)and others on the Evangelical right have left me in a state of horror that is nearly equal to that caused by the killing itself.

And don't even get me started on the pointing of fingers at the mentally ill and those on the autistic spectrum. Of course we need to do more to help the mentally ill. Closing state hospitals and group homes and throwing people onto the streets would be a start, if you ask me.However, would this have done squat for the sons of privilege who shot up an elementary school and a movie theater? Nope.

Sigh.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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