By Associated Press • 

'Here we go again' - Americans lament after Oregon shooting

 

The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation — nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become — in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges.

In Loveland, Colorado, an elementary school principal mused wistfully on how security precautions now preoccupied her staff, including adults-only evacuation drills that exempt the students in order not to traumatize them. “It's a sad indicator of our world right now that we have to have a plan,” said Michelle Malvey.

In Washington, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania said he went into his office and wept on hearing of the Oregon tragedy, thinking, “Here we go again.”

A school security expert in Texas advised Americans to brace for recurrences. “This is the equivalent of: We know the tsunami is coming and we're trying to get to higher ground,” said Greg Crane.

Details remained scant about why a 26-year-old walked into a classroom Thursday at Umpqua Community College and opened fire. But enough was known to trigger outrage and profound frustration that a new place name — Roseburg, Oregon — had been added to a list that includes Newtown, Columbine, Charleston and many more scarred communities.

“We are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months,” a visibly frustrated President Barack Obama said in a televised address hours after the Oregon rampage.

“Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We've become numb to this.”

James Tucker, 70, the co-owner of an antique store in Sycamore, Illinois, about 70 miles west of Chicago, said Obama's comments underscored his pessimistic view that what happened in Oregon will happen again and again — something they didn't believe when the children in Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed in 2012.

“You thought Sandy Hook would be a watershed at the time, but it turns out it wasn't,” he said. “Nothing changed.”

Except, he said, some things have changed.

“You do start to worry about things that might be a target,” he said. “We go to the Lyric Opera in Chicago and I walk in there and I think, ‘What if somebody tried to make a statement.’ What better place. It's a fleeting thought, but you do think about it now.”

The reality is that mass shootings in the U.S. are rare and deaths in such attacks account for a tiny fraction of the more than 31,000 people killed by gun shots annually, said Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

All mass murders — in which four or more people are killed — are 0.2 percent of all U.S. homicides, Duwe said. That figure includes episodes of extreme violence within families or during the commission of robberies or other crimes.

Still, the rate of mass shootings at schools, churches and other settings where the victims appear to be random targets has increased by 26 percent in the last decade, said Duwe, author of “Mass Murder in the United States: A History.”

“What's different since the mid-2000s is the regularity with which these cases have occurred, that there really hasn't been any letup,” Duwe said. “These are usually incidents where people didn't know the shooter, essentially they are innocent victims, and I think a lot of people feel like this could've been me, could've been my child, my spouse, my parents.”

For psychologists, the relentless series of mass shootings has provided a sobering case study of how people respond to repeated trauma with a degree of routine.

“There's a certain degree of sadness about going through this protocol that's evolved because we've had so much practice,” said psychology professor Charles Figley of Tulane University. “There's an accommodation to it, in order to not be surprised. We want to feel safe and believe life is predictable.”

With each recurrence, Figley said, there's initial shock.

“And then we think, what if it happens again?” he said. “Remarkably and sadly, every time it happens, we're practicing on more quickly taking a deep breath and moving on to other things.”

That's the case for Steven Goncalves, a bread franchise owner from Cumberland, Rhode Island.

“I can honestly tell you that I'm not shell-shocked by any of these anymore,” he said. “Me and my wife will discuss it at times and say, ‘What's going to be the next place? We've had schools, we've had the movie theaters, we've had the churches, where's the next place?’ ”

When you first heard about these 10 or 12 years ago, you'd almost get a sick feeling in your stomach — Oh, my God, it's horrible — now, it's like, again, again, again, here we go, another one," he said.

The Oregon shooting got Greg Crane thinking back to the “duck and cover” drills of his childhood that sent him and his classmates under their desks in the naive belief that it might save them from a nuclear attack.

That Cold War threat was always abstract. But Crane — who left a career as a policeman in a Dallas suburb to train school administrators how to respond to an active shooter — says time has convinced him such shootings are the modern equivalent of the tornadoes, fires and other disasters that kids have long prepared for.

“You can hardly say this is abstract anymore and look at where it's happened,” said Crane, who lives outside of San Antonio.

After the 1999 mass shooting at Colorado's Columbine High School, Crane asked his wife, an elementary school principal, what she'd do if an attacker ever came to her building. Hunker down and wait for the police to arrive, she said. No way that was enough, he thought.

So Crane drew up lessons for responding, driving from school to school in a Chevy Suburban and living out of an RV he towed behind, while his wife did paperwork for their fledgling venture in the backseat. Today, he has a company, ALICE Training Institute, with more than 50 full-time and part-time employees, and the lessons are deployed to more than 2,000 school districts.

Michelle Malvey, the principal in Loveland, Colorado, says it's a constant challenge to ensure airtight security at her school while minimizing distress for the students.

The adults in the building want to be prepared, she said. “But you don't want to traumatize children and their families by overreacting to something that you hope never happens.”

Despite efforts to insulate them, Malvey said even the youngest children at the school learn about the violence that happens elsewhere.

“The feeling of our staff is, ‘This isn't what I signed up for, yet our teachers, like those in Newtown, would do anything they could to save our kids.”

The Rev. Joel Hunter, senior pastor of a megachurch in the Orlando, Florida, said he hopes the Oregon shooting will help galvanize a response by the faith community that goes beyond prayers and mourning.

“We are in danger of becoming desensitized to these events,” he said. “But there's a growing sense in many of us that we're reaching a tipping point of needing to address this in some way.”

“Nobody wants to take the Second Amendment away, but on the other hand it's against the law to have bazookas,” he added. “Where in the middle can we make a difference in the trend that we're now seeing?”

American society, Hunter said, has become more combative and angry, to a degree that calls for him and other gun-rights supporters to reconsider their stance.

“There has to be a conversation: are there sensible regulations, sensible precautions that all of us could have in mind in the sale of weapons, the access to weapons?” he said.

However, John Bloom, 58, a retired mechanical engineer from Tucson, Arizona, was skeptical that tougher gun laws were the answer.

“There's so many guns out,” he said. “Even if you rounded them up, there's still going to be a whole black market of guns, and the crazy people will still get their hands on the guns.”

Bloom, interviewed while visiting a history museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the frequency of the mass shootings was “terrible.”

“I feel horrible for the younger generations who have to live with this,” he said. “It's not us older people. It's more the younger generations that are going to be fearful to even go to school anymore.”

John Nicoletti, a police psychologist in Colorado who has worked with police departments after mass shootings, said he is frustrated by the public's perception that nothing can be done to curtail them.

“People don't realize there are a number of success cases, but those are ones you never hear of,” he said. “Every school has a threat assessment protocol. When people broadcast threats, they are being taken seriously. Shootings are prevented every day.”

Murphy, the congressman who wept in his office, is a practicing psychologist. He is frustrated that the recent mass shootings — many by psychologically troubled assailants — have failed to produce more support for a bill of his that would overhaul aspects of the mental health care system in the U.S.

“Next week, when we go into session, we will have a moment of silence,” he said. “What we should be doing is taking action.”

Comments

Rotwang

Assume the position, Oregon, one more time.

miketubbs1

"We've become numb to this." -Barrack Obama

I most certainly have not, nor has anyone that I know of.

miketubbs1

In fact, I highly doubt anyone will post a comment that they have indeed become numb to this.

Trafik

If there is numbness, it manifests itself in both sides of the gun issue digging in their heels and refusing a reasonable dialogue with the opposition.

On one side, we have those who support sweeping and heavy-handed regulation with complete firearms eradication as a potential end goal. On the other side, those who believe bearing arms is a God-given right, a right so fundamental it trumps possibly even common sense. When each side despises and mistrusts the other with such fervor, we can't begin to fix the lunacy of regular mass shootings.

If we are unwilling to meet in the middle to conduct a reasonable and realistic debate and implement reasonable and realistic solutions about guns and those who would do harm with them, we'd better get used to numbness. The anesthesia of paralysis will be all we have.

Rotwang

I thought that there was a "debate" last spring in Salem. But, Bloomberg's paid legislators did what they wanted anyhow, and we have the illegal, unenforceable mess that is SB941. They are the ones who need some common sense.

rebmc

Get rid of "gun free zones" I think we have enough proof that they do not work,and in fact attract these mentally deranged killers to our most valued citizens. Back ground checks have also been proven to not work as evidenced by the facts that most killers passed a check.

Rumpelstilzchen

"I thought that there was a "debate" last spring in Salem. But, Bloomberg's paid legislators did what they wanted anyhow, and we have the illegal, unenforceable mess that is SB941. They are the ones who need some common sense"

If the pro-gun side and Republicans had actually tried to engage in a discussion, instead of sticking their fingers in their ears, stomping their feet and yelling "NO!NO!NO!", we might have ended up with a reasonable compromise, instead of the Democrats and their out-of-state supporters just passing their bill, as was unavoidable given the current political realities in Salem. Calling a law passed by a constitutional majority "illegal" just because you happen to not like it unfortunately reflects the quality of "debate" gun rights supporters seem fond of.

Mudstump

rebmc - Get rid of "gun free zones".....

UCC is not a gun-free zone according to the Oregonian and state law. http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2015/10/umpqua_community_college_not_a.html

Oregon is one of seven states that allows concealed carry on postsecondary campuses. In fact, there was someone on site that had his legally permitted gun. The guys name is John Parker, Jr. He was carrying when the shooting started. When interviewed he said he chose not to use his gun because he feared the cops wouldn't know the difference between him and the actual gunman.

miketubbs1

"If there is numbness it manifests itself...."

In the mind of an individual, Trafik.

rebmc

Mudstump: yes it is true that a CCW holder can by law be on school property---BUT the school policy is to fire or expel any employees or students that violate that. So the incentive is to go unarmed. The anti gun policy is posted and if you were not aware of the CCW provision you would assume it was a gun free zone.
The idiocy is that the school refuses to provide armed protection and forbids it for students creates the danger. And the school says the policies will remain in force.

Trafik

This is a public forum, Tubbs. It goes without saying that each remark posted here is from "the mind of an individual," mine included. Even if you're one of those types who thinks his own remarks are particularly poignant, everything posted here is merely opinion.

To a broader point: I, for one, am tired of these regular mass shooting events. This one hit particularly close to home because the first school at which I earned college credits was Umpqua Community College. Further, my father -- not content to be retired -- was recertified by DPSST and today wears the badge of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. According to him, there were at least two armed CCW-holders on campus at the time of the event. (Mudstump also addresses this, above.)

Regardless of one's perspective on firearms and gun control, it's time to have a meaningful dialogue -- with meaningful results -- about our absurdly-frequent mass shooting events. Both sides are going to have to yield. The tragic paralysis we currently suffer from these opposing views, each utterly convinced of its moral rightness, is unacceptable.

Mudstump

rebmc - "The idiocy is that the school refuses to provide armed protection and forbids it for students creates the danger."

The idiocy in all this is that students and faculty need to arm themselves in the first place. Thank God I don't have a child in school in longer. I agree with Trafik...its time to have the dialog about common sense laws that will deter these things from happening. As was discussed on another article, there must be some way to identify those with mental illness or those with the propensity to commit these crimes and prevent them from acting out. In my opinion, it is long past time to discuss this and do something about it.

miketubbs1

"Even if you're one of those types who thinks his own remarks are particularly poignant, everything posted here is merely opinion."

I was not 'poo pooing' you're opinion, Trafik.

Trafik

Sorry, Tubbs, I misunderstood. That's good because this is one of those times when we all need to come together.

A challenge to subsequent contributors: Let's address this issue from the standpoint of what we have in common, making an effort to find shared ground. Focusing on our disagreements will achieve nothing other than to make us look like myopic gasbags and ignorant rubes. And everything will stay just as it is.

miketubbs1

I forgive you, Trafik.

Rotwang

Rumple, to compromise means both sides give something up. Just what did the anti-gun side offer to give up? I can't think of anything. They never do. The republicans offered some intelligent amendments which would have improved public safety without a back-door gun registry, and I can't recall any that passed.

Rotwang

Rumple, to compromise means both sides give something up. Just what did the anti-gun side offer to give up? I can't think of anything. They never do. The republicans offered some intelligent amendments which would have improved public safety without a back-door gun registry, and I can't recall any that passed.

miketubbs1

On another note, will what occurred down in Roseburg spark a national conversation on the subject anti-Christian bigotry?

Mike

For me it is not only guns that is a key to the problems we face. We have a culture of violence. It is in our history of conquering this wonderful land. It is in our present ever present entertainment. Just look at the movies, most of which even the PG 13 seem to have dead bodies every few minutes. Even some of the comedies feature violence and murder. We and our youth are surrounded by images of violence. The gun deaths we endure reflect our culture. There are no easy solutions when part of the causes is deep within our cultural identity. We may some how limit the access to guns. Those of us who grew up around guns and hunting, it will make little difference. Those who are influenced by the prevailing images of violence and gun battles, it might make a difference. I'm not sure. The instantaneous (village like) but world wide notoriety that now comes with outrageous terrorist style murder of innocent people does not help. It is also part of our culture.

Trafik

To me, finding common ground means more of a "what is a starting point we can both agree on?" kind of thing, as opposed to "what is the other side doing wrong?"

This might mean: "I recognize there is a problem with these regular mass shootings and, as a law-abiding supporter of gun rights, I might be inclined to make it more difficult to acquire a firearm in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of lunatics."

Or: "As a law-abiding supporter of gun rights, I acknowledge the problem of mass shootings and, as a citizen of a country where it is relatively easy to acquire a firearm (compared to most of the developed world), I recognize that efforts to keep guns out of the hands of lunatics might make it somewhat harder for responsible folks like me to get a gun."

And even: "As a person who hates guns and their accompanying potential for violence, I recognize that thousands of sportspeople and hunters all over the country buy and use firearms responsibly every day. I want to restrict access to firearms in an effort to prevent mass shootings without punishing law-abiding citizens."

Or maybe we're beyond all that and realistic solutions are something we don't really need. Everything's just fine here, thank you very much.

sbagwell

Tubbs:
Since when has anti-Christian bigotry posed a significant problem in our overwhelmingly Christian nation? We have a long history of anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim bigotry, but I'm not aware of any legacy of anti-Christian bigotry.
In my experience, the majority never needs to worry about its rights. They will be upheld in spades. The oppression always targets the minority.
If you look or act different, look out. The bullies among us will inevitably view you as fair game.
Steve

miketubbs1

Thank you, Steve.

miketubbs1

So, we're an overwhelming Christian nation, huh? Yet not a nation founded on Christian principles?

By the way, two students whom had witnessed the mass murder have stated that anyone whom admitted to being a Christian was immediately shot in the head. The non-Christians were shot in the arm, leg or gut.

Who knows, perhaps or even maybe, the maniac wanted to spare the Christians any undo suffering, ergo the headshot.

miketubbs1

Please edit to read-->'Overwhelmingly Christian'

Sorry, my bad, for having misquoted you, Steve.

Seabiscuit

UCC Student Code of Conduct:
2.Committing acts of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and/or engaging in conduct which intimidates, harasses, threatens, coerces or otherwise endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any member of the college community on College premises, at College-sponsored or supervised functions, or at functions sponsored or participated in by the College.

19.Possession or use, without written authorization, of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, substances, or any other weapons or destructive devices that are designed to or readily capable of causing physical injury, on College premises, at College-sponsored or supervised functions or at functions sponsored or participated in by the College.

sbagwell

Sorry Tubbs, but the most definitive account says:
McGowan told family members the gunman didn't specifically target Christians, but asked them about faith. The shooter, apparently planning to die during the massacre, told students: "I'll see you soon" or "I'll meet you soon."
McGowan's mother, Stephanie Salas, shared her son's account. The teenager, one of triplet boys, was shot in the right hand and released from Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg.
McGowan heard gunshots before he knew what was happening, his mother said.
The 26-year-old gunman, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, told everyone to move toward the center of the room.
"The shooter would call a person: 'You, stand up,'" Salas said, recalling what her son told her. "And then he would ask them if they were a Christian, knew God, or had religion. And it wasn't like it was stated on TV. It wasn't about that he was just trying to pinpoint Christians, no."
The shooter would tell them it wouldn't hurt.
1) Not just Christians, but anyone who "knew God" or "had religion."
2) Having planned in advance to kill himself, he promised it wouldn't hurt and he would soon be seeing them again.
Sounds like a guy crazy enough to think he's headed to heaven himself and will soon be meeting his fellow believers there. Sounds like a guy who thought he was merely giving them a head start on their afterlife.

This is only one small and rather obscure aspect of a guy who collected guns and Nazi memorabilia, got booted from the public school system and Army, and was off his rocker but didn't like to take his meds.
What would make one muddled reference to God, Christianity or religion by one nut job in one shooting incident spark "a national conversation on the subject anti-Christian bigotry?" Sounds to me like seizing on a twig and imagining it as a towering Redwood.

miketubbs1

"Sounds to me like seizing on a twig and imagining it as a towering Redwood."

As usual, you're correct and I am wrong.

Mudstump

Rotting - "The republicans offered some intelligent amendments which would have improved public safety without a back-door gun registry, and I can't recall any that passed."

In the 90's the republicans with the help of some democrats cut off funding to the CDC for research on gun violence. It is an extreme position when you don't even want to fund research into the causes and possible solutions. The NRA through their "owned" lawmakers succeeded in killing any collection of data and study and, how many have died as a result?

Mudstump

Darn spell correction....I meant Rotwang...sorry about that.

Seabiscuit

"In the 90's the republicans with the help of some democrats cut off funding to the CDC for research on gun violence."...is not actually a completely - totally true statement...
“Included in the 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997 that none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to ADVOCATE or PROMOTE GUN CONTROL.” "This language did not ban research on gun violence."

This language was again inserted into the funding package in 2009...wasn't that the 111th US Congress and didn't the Dem's control both houses in 2009? Something like Senate: 51 Dems, 49 Reps, 2 Ind. In the House: 255 Dems, 179 Repubs...

There has been so much money spent on research grants to colleges, along with many other research activities that have taken place through Universities and private foundations to include Bloomberg, National Gun Violence Research Center, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Brady Foundation, Center for Gun Policy and Research - Johns Hopkins University, and the list goes on and on and on and on......... and then there are the "think tanks" that in totality, anything the CDC could come up with would be redundant. But lets not forget: The roughly 2.6 million spent in one year alone in the 90's on research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Injury Prevention.

It really does remind me of "doctor shopping". Don't like what this fellow says? Well darn...lets just spend more tax payer money to research it again, and again, and again, and again...eventually you might come up with something YOU like or agree with....

miketubbs1

Yeah, Mudhump, it would be nice if we were allowed some short opportunity to edit our comments.

miketubbs1

edited to read-->'we were"

sbagwell

I went ahead and made the editing change for you.
I think some opportunity to self-edit would be a plus. However, customizing software comes at a price, so I don't know if it's feasible. I'll raise the issue.
Steve

Mudstump

Seabiscuit - “Included in the 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997 that none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to ADVOCATE or PROMOTE GUN CONTROL.” "This language did not ban research on gun violence."

In essence, it did however. We will never reach a consensus on how to stop these mass shootings if we don't at least invest in research and have the courage to make the necessary changes. Similarly, mental health treatment suffered severe cutbacks when the whole "deinstitutionalization" fixation became mainstream. We shuttered state hospitals in favor of community health centers and in many cases privatized services. We released thousands of the mentally ill onto our streets and they became the homeless and our prisons became our new way of handling the mentally ill except there is little treatment for those that need it. Now we are left with a society that is paralyzed by the NRA and inadequate mental health care. As Trafik has said, if we don't come together and do something nothing will change.

miketubbs1

Mudstump, nothing will ever stop a committed mind from accomplishing it's desired wishes.

miketubbs1

If you haven't already viewed it, I highly recommend the film ... 'Little Boy'

Trafik

I am personally comfortable with firearms. I received my first rifle at age ten and was a crack shot a couple years later. Although I do not hunt, I count many hunters/sportspeople as friends and know the majority of them are responsible law-abiding citizens who treat firearms ownership with the grave respect it deserves.

That said, I do not want to live in a society where being armed is the norm and everyone looks over their shoulders all the time, wondering when the next attack is coming. But that's where we seem to be headed. Mudstump nails it when s/he brings up the deinstitutionalization that mainstreamed so many folks with mental illness. While that may have been both compassionate and budget-conscious, it hardly helped public security.

If keeping firearms out of the hands of lunatics requires my gun-bearing friends to expend additional effort to acquire theirs, so be it. Enough is enough.

Mudstump

miketubbs1 - "Mudstump, nothing will ever stop a committed mind from accomplishing it's desired wishes."

Seat belts don't prevent auto accidents, cancer screenings won't prevent all cancer, locking your door at night won't keep someone from breaking in, carrying a gun won't prevent someone from attacking you, and tucking your kids into bed won't absolutely make them whole and healthy people, but we do these things because they are the right thing to do. Often, people survive a car accident because of seat belts, and cancer screenings catch cancer before it is too late. There are no absolute guarantees, however, if one background check saves the life of one child isn't it worth it. Isn't it worth it to make our society a better and safer place? Do we really value a piece of metal more than we value the lives of our children, wives, husbands, friends and fellow citizens?

miketubbs1

Mudstump, once upon a time back in 1986, I (and a snub-nosed 38 special w/3 hot rounds custom loaded by a Fort Bragg police officer) was all that stood between a knife wielding maniac whom was threating to slit the throats of a woman and her two young daughters.

A Mendocino County Sheriffs detective asked me why I'd pulled the trigger 3 times. My reply was, I only had 3 rounds.

miketubbs1

...about a month later, I went to the Veterans Admiration Hospital down in Menlo Park, California to talk to a Psychiatrist. (yeah, at the very same unit that had inspired Ken Keasey.)

I was having trouble reconciling the fact that I'd honored my fathers final wishes. Which was to take him out into the woods and watch him die. He had in-operable brain cancer, and was already in the process of dying.

After 2 weeks of confrontational therapy, a Naval Nurse said to me, Michael this place isn't for you, we can't teach you how to grieve. In the year 2000 I was diagnosed as Suffering from Major depression, as well as suffering PTSD. Just last March Traumatic Brain injury has been added to the list.

Now, ask me why.


Trafik

I don't slaughter those who disagree with me, Tubbs, unless the occasional rude word counts.

To be clear, I do not want to ban firearms but I do want to keep firearms out of the hands of lunatics. It is unfortunate that our society does little to distinguish between responsible law-abiding firearms purchasers and lunatics who legally buy over a dozen guns with which to shoot up small-town college campuses.

While a number of potentially tragic acts have been prevented by quick-acting legally armed citizens, the thought of living in a society where nearly everyone is armed is unappealing to me in a wild-west third-world kind of way.

miketubbs1

I couldn't care less what you think, Trafik

B.Muse

I'm interested in the journalist's point of view here.

Does covering these events so thoroughly, so sensationally, in any way encourage the next shooter to emulate the method and manner of the act he has planned.

B.Muse

I'm interested in the journalist's point of view here.

Does covering these events so thoroughly, so sensationally, in any way encourage the next shooter to emulate the method and manner of the act he has planned.

Trafik

The digital equivalent of a foot-stomp does little to bolster your case, Tubbs, and absolutely nothing to further this conversation.

Trafik

I am interested to hear the opinions of those hunters/sportspeople who might entertain greater restrictions on firearms acquisition in an effort to stop the insanity of mass shootings, but I am beginning to wonder if such a group exists at all.

With increasing national talk of "gun grabs" and other severely restrictive measures, are there folks out there who might give up some current rights in exchange for lesser measures? Or who might be willing to face greater scrutiny during the acquisition process? Anything?

The message I keep hearing is that one legally-armed law-abiding citizen could have stopped any of these mass shootings. While that may have a certain visceral truth, it is hardly a permanent or reliable solution. By its very definition, it will put single citizens with little training in positions of completing tasks best performed by highly-skilled tactical law enforcement teams. Seriously?

Sorry, but hoping that someone like Tubbs is around when the next mass shooting begins is not my idea of effective public safety.

miketubbs1

Deleted

Trafik

It's nice to see intelligent solutions offered by articulate contributors. Oh wait. That must be another forum.

miketubbs1

Deleted

miketubbs1

Deleted

sbagwell

It's long been a foundation of our forum, but may sometimes bear repeating, that we do not allow pointed personal attacks or obscene or tasteless language. The News-Register's comment function is dedicated to the exchange of ideas, not of insults and character asssasination.
Let's keep it civil and non-judgmental.
Thanks.
Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor

scouring

sbagwell: Indeed, but you are truncating my entertainment! I do not take the matter of this discussion lightly, but the extremely varied origins of the points of contention makes for an interesting read. I hope the discussion continues...civilly.

sbagwell

Thanks. My hope as well.
The trick is having a discussion, even a debate, without taking it personally.
Steve

Mike

Access to guns and gun security, as in required gun safes, is a place to start. The NYTimes or Washington Post had a story the other day of an 11 year old upset with an 8 year old about a puppy. The 11 year old went and got a gun and shot the 8 year old. A gun safe might have made it less easy for the child to get the deadly force. Responsible gun owners have gun safes. Can safes be legislated here in America? Could they be enforced? Answer to both, not likely.
Another place to start is a qualifying and a license for different types of guns, just like driving a car. How to shoot. How to keep it safe.
I'm with Trafik. We have to start somewhere.

Mudstump

Mike - you made an excellent point. If we treated guns like we treat automobiles it could change a lot and potentially prevent gun violence. If you had to pass a written test on gun safety, laws, etc. and a demonstrate proficiency of skill and safety in the operation should be mandatory. Also, holding the owner of guns accountable by law when their unlocked weapons are obtained by anyone other than the legal owner might deter lazy irresponsible gun owners. Gun locks would help too. Banning assault weapons and the purchase and tracking of large ammunition purchases is a no brainer imo. No private under the table sales without registration and background checks and make large capacity magazines completely illegal.

Mike

Treating guns like we treat cars and drivers licenses would help. Cars are deadly and we die by the thousands. People are reckless or in attentive or drunk or suicidal or at the wrong spot and the wrong time. We have laws about drugs and alcohol and driving. We have safety inspections. We have regular license renewal tests for eyesight and such. Without the legislation and enforcement of drivers and cars, the carnage, I believe, would be much worse than it is. If I would blind, white cane tapping, it might be legal for me to pack a Glock 23 today, it would not be prudent, and slightly dangerous.
Because guns are such a nice item to steal, compact, easy to find a buyer, and nice price points on the sale, registration gives law enforcement a chance to return it to the owner or solve a crime the gun might have been involved in.

rebmc

It seems that most feel there is no way to ID a mentally defective person bent on killing.
Therefore the most effective way to prevent the shootings is to be at the school first. with hardened access and secure doors .

Anything other than an armed response is naive. Gun control has proven to be a fraud. Mainly because it is a cover for the gun confiscation agenda.

Trafik

Installing military-grade perimeters that will stand up to legal assault rifles around the nation's schools would cost an astounding amount of money, rebmc, but I'm sure you'd be delighted to see your taxes doubled to pay for that. I can't believe that people are seriously proposing turning our schools into citadels but such is the sketchy logic of the guns-at-any-cost mindset.

But even those who would ban firearms outright must realize there are far too many guns in circulation for them to be eradicated in less than two generations. Plus, the outcry would likely be loud and violent.

The only solution is to regulate firearms in such a manner that makes them extremely difficult for the average nutcase to acquire. Naturally, this would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens, too. In my opinion, this is a no-brainer because I think a human life has greater value than a perceived right to own a gun.

Sal Peralta

Traffik - I have not seen anyone in the mainstream who supports "getting rid of all guns". What I have seen is the "zero regulation" crowd asserting that universal background checks are the equivalent of "grabbing all guns". The "center" of this debate -- the position that most Americans support -- is true universal background checks and some mechanism to ensure that violent people and mentally ill people who interact with the criminal justice system in such a way that they are identified as a danger to themselves or others and violent criminals should not have a path to lawfully obtain firearms. It is illegal for violent criminals to purchase firearms but without universal background checks it is not possible to enforce. As a gun owner who has had a secure gun case stolen from a locked room when my house was under construction, I would also like to have a way to track a stolen gun if it is sold. Unfortunately, those reforms are immediately dismissed as "gun grabbing" by NRA and OFF-types. Regarding the "Bloomberg legislators"... they campaigned on the issue and then went out and did what they said they were going to do. No one was misled by their actions. Regarding background checks... Since 1994, more than 2,000,000 prohibited purchases were stopped due to background checks. However, the NRA has managed to weaken background checks by blocking their universal implementation and by passing laws like "default pass" which requires an automatic "okay" if the background check takes more than 3 days. This has resulted in 10,000 guns to be sold to criminals through otherwise lawful channels in the past 3 years alone. http://smartgunlaws.org/background-check-procedures-policy-summary/

Trafik

I have always liked the car analogy.

We require people to demonstrate a basic driving proficiency before we grant them drivers' licenses. Then we have them keep the license current, submitting to retesting when necessary. Further, we require operators of motor vehicles to carry insurance so that they can pay for any damage they might cause if they fail to maintain that basic competence.

Obviously, I'm not proposing running gun owners through the DMV. But the idea that we might require firearms owners to demonstrate a basic level of competence, maintain a current license and carry insurance has significant merit, in my opinion.

Sal Peralta

REBMC - How is law enforcement supposed to differentiate the "good guys" from the "bad guys"? If arming teachers and staff is the smart way to go then can you explain why insurance companies currently charge our schools an extra $2500 per armed staff member or teacher to deal with the increased liability?

Trafik

I agree with you, Sal. My question was simplified, using the current buzzwords making the rounds of the hundreds of daily conservative email blasts. But to be sure, there are a good number of folks who support outright eradication, an unrealistic goal at best.

Lulu

This is obviously no objective provable theory, yet consider how many of these mass shooters actually LOOK like maniacs: remember Adam Lanza's photos? James Holmes of the Colorado theater? Loughner in the Gifford shootings? Dylan Roof in the church massacre? These are people who compel you to cross the street. They are creeped-out looking.

yamhillbilly2

sbagwell, thank you for your help with the commentator who seems to dive into snotty, rude comments so quickly. this person seems to have a big bag of chips on his shoulder. I find most comments interesting but have a hard time understanding the rudeness of a minority of your posters.

sbagwell

You're welcome.
We are reluctant to intervene, viewing this forum as one that ultimately belongs to readers, not to us. However, at some point it seems as if we really have no choice.
Some people just don't seem to know where to draw lines or how to restrain themselves.
Steve

kona

The discussion about gun control is nothing more than a discussion that should have taken place 50 years ago. The "cat is out of the bag" for guns. Think about much of the entertainment that is presented in the U.S. We glorify guns (as a group) and the use of guns. Similarly we glorify the use of alcohol. The effects of both are unintentionally (perhaps) considered collateral damage in our society that is why nothing of substance will ever happen to control guns nor alcohol. All of the discussion is nothing more than "nibbling around the edges". But it is entertaining as well as polarizing.

Trafik

Pathetic, kona. But you're totally right.

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