By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Local March for our Lives procession set

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john fritter

When will people realize that if you address the problem you would be more apt to get results. Why wont any of these "gun control" groups put any effort into mental health?
We can continue to blame guns and the system. People intent on harming others will do so. For instance if some of the people that knew the kid in Florida was a danger had addressed his mental health issues, we probably would still have those 17 people. Not to mention possibly actually helping the guy that did the shooting.
Its not a big deal to me to pay and wait for a background check. But every time we have one of these tragedies the first thing the activists attack is the lack of gun control(there's not enough, too many loop holes, on and on). What about something that could actually have a positive impact? How about actually trying to help people and put some of this hate for guns energy into improving mental health services? Not only could this help protect our children and others from these horrific events, maybe it would actually help people!
I would be really interested to know what the statistics would be like if all the money put into background check systems and gun control in general had been invested in mental health services. What would the "mass murder" situation be like? How many less suicides/murder suicides, abuse of all kinds?
Nothing society does will eliminate all the bad that's out there ever. It just seems to me and my pea brain that if both sides would address the actual issue maybe this country could make some progress. Maybe actually helping people live better lives as well. Not just the people intent on harming others but also those destine to do harm to themselves as well.


I'm done, now you all can tell me how ignorant I am.


The FBI was warned in advance about the Florida shooter. They did nothing.
As far as mental health, improvements, show me where the money will come from.

john fritter

Exactly! The FBI, local police, other students, the list goes on nobody did anything! So in that case lets not hold anyone responsible and blame an object! Redirect the funds that are fighting against firearms. But that's probably a bad idea because in the end it might actually have a positive outcome. One might just be surprised at the amount of money that could be available if BOTH sides joined the cause together rather than using it to fight each other.


Ms Sollars does realize that all gun purchases in Oregon require a background check? What stiffer background checks does she want? How does Marching through Mac make the kids any safer?


Several years ago, the Oregon State Hospital, in its dubious wisdom, unlocked the gates and unleashed severely disturbed people back into the cities. The reason? It decided patients would show far more improvement living in the least restricted environment.
Obviously, this tactic backfired.
On the other hand, just because someone hates to the degree he wants to maximize the number massacred doesn't automatically mean he's mentally ill. There are some sociopath maniacs lurking around who never should have been born in the first place. Consider them feral killing machines; no therapy in existence will stop them. Picture trying to pet a rabid dog.

Bill B

As with most ideas, the devil is in the details. How does one improve mental health problems, particularly with those who do not want help?

john fritter

Just as I suspected. Its easy to make excuses and ignore the real issues. Do we leave rabid dogs in society when we are aware of them? There is absolutely no possible way to identify and or help every person. Just like there is no way to stop every person intent on doing harm. There is also no way to keep weapons (any weapon gun, knife, bat, rock, auto, explosives, chemicals....) out of the hands these people. In my book a sociopath is an example of mental illness. But I guess now its just a different lifestyle and we should just accept them because its not their fault. If one wants to maximize the number massacred there are far better and more effective ways to do so.Totally agree about those that should not have been born! But they are born everyday and they end up with more rights than all the productive members of society. What level of background checks would have stopped someone like the guy in Florida? Like previously stated yes the devil is in the details and if those details are ignored, you end up with this joke you call gun control. Gun control that has been here for over 30 years that no matter what changes are made is still ineffective. Has anyone asked themselves what would happen if both sides were to sit down and admit failure? Gun cont advocates: ok your right the gun control thing hasn't proven effective. Gun rights advocates: ok we agree there needs to be a way to afford people their given right to freedom, security and to feel safe in everyday life. But that will never happen because in the end no matter what side you stand all anyone wants to do is pass blame and dodge responsibility. I believe the state hospitals were closed due to "lack of funding". Typical gov. When they don't get the tax money they want they make cuts in the places that impact the public. Law enforcement education healthcare, but there's still money for the butterflies, owls, squirrels...etc etc.
Good night all its time for dinner!


Sorry, john fritter, this is considerably larger than a mental health problem. Yes, you're right, we have a mental health problem. But we also have a gun problem. These two problems (and all the other current ones) do not mix well. The gun lobby, like you, wishes to focus solely on the mental health issue. Or other issues which completely ignore the stupefying number of firearms that litter this country. Do the very very simple math: zero firearms equals zero shootings.

Yes, yes, I know. If we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns. I could go into Portland right now and pick up a stolen firearm for less than $100. And sure, if we eliminate firearms, then nutcase-crazies will get knives or rented panel vans and still kill people. Here's why I'm cool with that: knives and rented panel vans weren't designed with efficient killing as their primary purpose. Hence, a lot less people will die when you take a knife into a school or try to drive a rented panel van into a concert venue with the intent to kill. And yes, I know, guns aren't really for killing; they're for target shooting or self-defense. Sorry, but if you believe that, you're astonishingly naïve.

Using the gun lobby's assertion that firearms make us all safer, we should be the most secure country on Earth right now. After all, we've got more guns per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Further, pretty much every recent mass-shooter met the popular definition of "law-abiding gun owner" right up until the moment when he squeezed a trigger and sprayed a crowd of [high school students / concertgoers / parishioners / pick your favorite group] with high-powered gunfire. (C'mon, Denise, let's debate "high-powered gunfire" because quibbling over semantics is such a great way to deflect from the true issue.)

So tell me, john fritter, how the hell is addressing mental health alone going to fix this? Specifics, please.


Trafik - I'm going to come out of the dog house long enough to tell you that you made excellent and well reasoned points.


It's common sense to enforce all the laws you already have, and leave the rest of us alone.


I dunno Trafik, Here's some more simple math:
No alcohol equals no drunk drivers.
Ladders kill way more people every year than guns do. Ban them and save a ton of lives.
No SSRI drugs equals no mass shootings as every shooter seems to be medicated to the gills with the stuff.
The gun-control lobby would have me voluntarily disarm "for the children!!!" and place all my hope and trust into government. I got problems with that. You may think I'm naive, but have guns for self defense. That's why I bought them, it's my right.


MiffMaff1 - another statistic - how many teen deaths from texting while driving? Too many!

A lot of good points presented in these comments. A very complicated issue.

Sal Peralta

I'd love to see the source for more people dying from ladders every year than guns.


Yes, MiffMaff1, it is your right. It’s also your right to pretend guns had nothing to do with any of the mind-numbingly common mass shooting events that dominate headlines every week. Nope, not guns. Coulda just as easily happened with a knife. Or a rock. Or an old Buick.

Nothing changes. A wacko-lunatic walks into a school and mows down a dozen-or-so kids with a high-powered firearm. It’s the same story over and over again, except the school names are different and sometimes it’s a church or a public event. Then, already hopped up on paranoia that the government is coming for their guns, the gun nuts start placing blame on everything but their beloved guns. It was mental illness. It was crappy parenting. It was an inept FBI. It was immigrants. It was a previous president. It was any-freaking-thing but the guns.

Even if you’re correct, gun enthusiasts, and it was any or all of those, one fact is indisputable: a single tool enabled the lunatics to wipe out a bunch of innocent human beings with relatively little effort. Can you guess what that tool is? I’ll give you a bunch of hints because I’m pretty sure you’ll have trouble choosing correctly. It’s not a knife. It’s not a compound bow. It’s not a rented panel van. Not bumbling law enforcement. Not bleeding-heart Commie pinkos. Not undocumented brown people. Not ladders. Not alcoholic beverages. Not anti-depressant medications. Have you figured it out yet?

(Continued below...)


(...continued from above.)

I have a theory: As a society, we’ve been gradually removing boundaries we spent centuries erecting and defining. Some of this is for the better: repression is diminishing and compassion is increasing. But along with those disappearing boundaries, we’re also lowering our ability to reason without emotion and to exercise traditional self-discipline—all while sharply reducing accountability. Many of society’s current ills might be attributed to the upending of longstanding social structure.

If my theory is even partly correct, we need to reexamine the ways we’ve always done business and come to terms with a fundamental change in the rules. Like it or not, this means guns. I know there are far too many firearms in the U.S. to eradicate them—not to mention the violent outrage that would ensue if someone tried. But, for God’s sake, gun nuts, this means restrictions. Not endless bickering over tiny details. Not blaming everything but firearms. We need real restrictions that will make it far more difficult for a lunatic to get a gun.

Unfortunately, meaningful restrictions will make it more difficult for everyone to get guns, not just lunatics. And since pretty much every recent mass-shooter met the popular definition of “law-abiding gun owner” right up until the moment he wiped out a bunch of people, this means more restrictions for you, too, law-abiding gun enthusiasts. The rights of my children to attend school without worrying about when they’ll be shot supercede your right to bear whatever arms you choose.


Trafik. That are the most perfect statements I heard in months. Thank you


Amen Trafik, Well said!

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