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Old 01-11-2011, 04:39 PM   #316
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If he's been complaining about Democrats using this tragedy for political gain, well isn't he doing the same thing? Oh no, I'm sure he isn't.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #317
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where we failed, in this case, was in his schooling... somewhere along the line teachers, administrators, somebody... should have taken the obvious warning signs and gotten this kid the help that he desperately needed. THAT is the issue here.
Generally agree that the root of the issue was a semi-automatic gun with extended magazine legally in the hands of a man known to be mentally unstable.

What made him snap is quite literally anyone's guess.

What are school systems prepared to do to get troubled kids help? It's quite possible his parents couldn't afford quality mental health care.

Even under good care adult mentally ill people sometimes go off their meds and have psychotic episodes, it happens. I imagine it's very difficult to predict whether they will be violent.

We don't let people with certain medical conditions drive a car, why would we let them own assault guns?
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #318
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bloomberg.com


Glock Pistol Sales Surge in Aftermath of Arizona Shootings



After a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8, Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers.

Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols -- popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters -- flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

A national debate over weaknesses in state and federal gun laws stirred by the shooting has stoked fears among gun buyers that stiffer restrictions may be coming from Congress, gun dealers say. The result is that a deadly demonstration of the weapon’s effectiveness has also fired up sales of handguns in Arizona and other states, according to federal law enforcement data.

“When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Wolff said.

Arizona gun dealers say that among the biggest sellers over the past two days is the Glock 19 made by privately held Glock GmbH, based in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, the model used in the shooting.

Sales Jump

One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent on Jan. 10 compared with the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. From a year earlier, handgun sales ticked up yesterday 65 percent in Ohio, 16 percent in California, 38 percent in Illinois and 33 percent in New York, the FBI data show, and increased nationally about 5 percent.

Federally tracked gun sales, which are drawn from sales in gun stores that require a federal background check, also jumped following the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, in which 32 people were killed.

“Whenever there is a huge event, especially when it’s close to home, people do tend to run out and buy something to protect their family,” said Don Gallardo, a manager at Arizona Shooter’s World in Phoenix, who said that the number of people signing up for the store’s concealed weapons class doubled over the weekend. Gallardo said he expects handgun sales to climb steadily throughout the week.

Permissive Laws

Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old accused in the shooting, has a petty criminal record, yet so far there’s no evidence that his background contained anything that would have prevented him from buying a handgun in Arizona, where limits on owning and carrying a gun are among the most permissive in the country, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun- control advocacy group.

Critics have focused on the extended magazine used in the shooting. It was illegal until 2004 under the expired federal ban on assault weapons. The clip -- still banned in some states and popular in Arizona, gun dealers say -- allegedly allowed Loughner to fire 33 rounds without reloading.

Democratic Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York said this week that she plans to introduce legislation that would ban the high-capacity magazine. McCarthy’s husband was one of six people shot to death in 1993 by a lone gunman on a Long Island railroad train. Her son was among the 19 people wounded.

“The fact that the guy had a magazine that could carry 33 rounds, he was not out to just kill. He was there to do a mass killing,” said Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensics expert at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Virginia Tech

Light and easy to use, a Glock 9 mm was also wielded by the Virginia Tech killer, Seung-Hui Cho, in a spree that left 32 people dead. The gun is among the most popular sidearms for U.S. police departments. A negative for law enforcement is that the rifling of the barrel makes it almost impossible to match a bullet to an individual weapon with ballistic tests, Kobilinsky said.

“It’s one of the greatest guns made in the history of the world,” said Wolff, whose two stores sell Glock-made weapons almost exclusively.

When Loughner allegedly walked into Tucson’s Sportsman’s Warehouse last November to buy a Glock 19 -- favored as a concealed weapon because it is slightly smaller and lighter than similar caliber handguns -- federal law would have required a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a telephone-based check administered by the FBI.

Background Check

Loughner would have had to present his driver’s license and answer several questions, including queries on past drug use, domestic violence or felony convictions. Wolff said in most cases the check takes less than five minutes and the number of denials he receives is a tiny fraction of the total.

Wolff called the shooting “horrible.” Nonetheless, it has created a surge of publicity for the gun, he said.

“It’s in the news now. I’m sure the Green Bay Packers are selling all kinds of jerseys today as well,” he said. “I just think our state embraces guns.”

Arizona law allows anyone to carry a gun in public if it’s in full view, making it what’s known as an open-carry state. Until recently, gun store owners say, it was common to see people carrying weapons in grocery stores or coffee shops. That’s less true today, because last year that state passed a law allowing individuals to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Gun Law Rating

Daniel Vise, senior attorney with the Brady Campaign, said Arizona received a score of two out of 100 on the organization’s rating of state gun laws, and that the rate of gun deaths in the state is one and a half times the national average.

Brady Campaign spokeswoman Caroline Brewer said that some states require local law enforcement agencies to approve gun permits, a system that would have given authorities a chance to further assess Loughner, whose behavior acquaintances have described as erratic. Loughner tried to buy ammunition the morning of the shooting at a local Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet, then left during the sale process, according to a statement by the company.

“If a clerk at Wal-Mart picked something up and refused to sell this guy some ammunition, we can certainly imagine that law enforcement would have picked that up as well,” Brewer said.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #319
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If one outcome of all this were to be that politicians toned down their attacks a bit, that would be a very good development. But trying to force that outcome by wielding this particular incident as a battering ram will only worsen the climate by giving people on both sides further reason to feel indignant.
But don't you think that public discussion of this is what will ultimately motivate politicians to change what's become the normal tenor of their political discourse? I can't see Palin changing her tone, unless there were some motivation to do so - loss of income or credibility (from those who believe she's credible in the first place) from failing to do so, etc. She just strikes me as being far too entrenched in her beliefs to willingly change, unless there was something in it for her. Also, change would be an admission that something was wrong with her original approach. From everything I've ever heard about her, she doesn't seem the type to do this on her own
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:51 PM   #320
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We don't let people with certain medical conditions drive a car, why would we let them own assault guns?

I think there is fear of being accused of discrimination against people with mental illness, just as there is for medical conditions. But I agree with you that this makes no sense. I know someone who has been hospitalized once for being deemed to be a danger to himself, yet he is still allowed to have a firearms permit. Don't know what happens if you're a danger to others.

I agree with what you said as far as the issues with the parents, etc. But there are usually state funded programs in place, even though of course they are constantly being cut. If they didn't even try to get him help, I think they are partially accountable. You can at least try. Supposedly the father is very dictatorial and he stayed home with him while the wife worked outside the home. So somebody was home with him and could have seen what was going on with him.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #321
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Oh, look, these lunatics are at it again. Kudos to the group that is trying to protect the victim's family.

Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Funeral of 9-Year-Old Arizona Shooting Victim
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:16 PM   #322
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I think they should just be ignored. However... I'm not a violent person, but it makes me want to fly to Arizona and do something (which stops them, not killing them or harming them) to them.

That little girl was a much better, kinder, and more intelligent person in her short life than they can ever even dream of being. Just knowing that makes them completely irrelevant.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:19 PM   #323
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PostPartisan - Sarah Palin's leadership moment

By Jonathan Capehart

Whether she likes it or not and whether it's fair or not, Sarah Palin is a major character in the drama surrounding the tragedy in Tucson. This comes with the territory when one has operated as a hub in the nation's political discourse since the 2008 presidential contest. But while I understand the defensive crouch she is now in, it's time she actually be the image she likes to project: a leader.

Conservative commentator David Frum gives Palin an excellent eight-point plan to respond in a manner that would allow her to address the controversy surrounding her and move beyond it. Points four and five deliver two key pieces of advice.

(4) Join the conversation. You have often complained about out-of-bounds personal comments directed toward you (eg, David Letterman's). Now try to show toward others the same empathy that you demand from others. Innocent as you feel yourself to be, try to imagine how it must have felt to be Giffords during this past campaign season: guns showing up at her rallies, her offices vandalized, death threats - and your map as the finishing touch. Imagine how her family must feel. Speak to them.

(5) Challenge your opponents. In the past hours, many people have cited President Obama's (borrowed) line about bringing a knife to a gun fight. They have a point! At the same time as you publicly commit to raise your game, invite your political opponents to raise theirs. Instead of deflecting the blame, share it.

Just because I don't think Palin will run for president doesn't mean I don't think she should rise to the occasion when national leadership is called for. The question is, will she?

From cbsnews.com

Quote:
"At a time like this, what the nation wants more than anything else is for people to rise above the nonsense and the politics and to be gracious," said Ari Fleischer, former White House spokesman for President George W. Bush, in an interview with the New York Times. "There's nothing like letting people see your heart, your emotion. Facebook and Twitter don't convey emotion."

And at a moment that could end up being a crossroads in her political career, the PR path that Palin chooses - whether to ignore the criticism or confront it in the public spotlight - is crucial.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #324
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People always say, "The bad guys will get guns anyway," and I just don't think that's true. I don't think Jared Loughner would have had a gun if they were banned.
So you're willing to overlook all the evidence to the contrary which prove that gun bans are a policy sure to fail?
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:38 PM   #325
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But don't you think that public discussion of this is what will ultimately motivate politicians to change what's become the normal tenor of their political discourse? I can't see Palin changing her tone, unless there were some motivation to do so - loss of income or credibility (from those who believe she's credible in the first place) from failing to do so, etc.
What I'm saying is that there's already been more than enough breath, ink, and keystrokes expended over this. Forgive the clunky analogies, but if you think of this incident as a peg upon which we're trying to mount a framework for promoting bipartisan commitment to a less overtly aggressive, dehumanizing political discourse, the problem is that it's really too small a peg (one isolated violent incident) and not really the right shape for the job, either (the gunman, by all appearances, was severely mentally ill --enough so that one can't meaningfully speculate as to how the actual, as opposed to his pathologically perceived, political environment might've affected his motivations...also, rationally speaking, we should be more worried about the potential for endless gridlock and childish one-upmanship in Washington than about open season for assassins, where the effects of that discourse are concerned).

Do I think the scare and the shock waves this incident has obviously sent through our polity will have some effect of moving politicians themselves to choose their attack words a bit more carefully for the near future--yes. Basically, though not exclusively, for the same reason you might pick up the phone and finally touch base with loathsome Aunt Rose upon hearing the grisly news that the old lady three doors down died in her house 4 days ago from a fall, and no one knew. (And yet, if Mom happened to call right now to guilt-trip you about neglecting poor old Rose, you're probably gonna go hyperballistic and leave her bewildered as to what's got up your nose today.) It's a kind of pre-emptive conscience-soothing, I suppose. I think this probably played some role in Palin having that graphic removed from her website, as well. Will that type of self-editing on her part continue? Who knows, especially since Palin's status--is she politician or pundit--lies in a gray area at this point. But in any case, by forcing that kind of penitence, by publically and deliberately wielding the apparently awful randomness of what's happened as a guilt-provoking nudge, you inevitably send the message, 'YOU have blood on your hands over this.' And that kind of charge should never be leveled unless you're sure it's true. Your opponents will probably forgive a few initial, spontaneous outbursts from the victim's understandably rattled allies, but keep it up and a sense of defensive, righteous indignation will set in, exactly what you don't want.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #326
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So you're willing to overlook all the evidence to the contrary which prove that gun bans are a policy sure to fail?
(This issue, along with several others from here, should be in their own threads.)

I agree on this. Banning guns doesn't stop people from getting their hands on them if they want. The cat is out of the bag on this, and it's highly unlikely to ever get back in.

Yes, we should stop criminals and the mentally unstable from buying guns.
Yes, we should ban certain types of ammunition.
Yes, there still should be licensing and background checks on people buying guns.

But, the fact is there are many guns and gun accessories already in people's possessions in this country, and they don't get old and go bad if you take care of them. A new gun ban would only work to reduce violence and accidents if it were coupled with an involuntary seizure of newly illegalized guns/accessories, and that almost certainly will never happen in the U.S. And, if it did, the resulting violence of the "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hand" crowd would be epic. It is a big reason why gun registration is so anathema to NRA folks and others.

Handguns and assault rifles are here in the U.S., so are large capacity magazines, they are not going away. We can limit the access to new ones, but banning them isn't going to do much, not without seizing the existing ones.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:01 PM   #327
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So you're willing to overlook all the evidence to the contrary which prove that gun bans are a policy sure to fail?
The "evidence"? "Sure to fail"? Come on 2861, there is no sure to fail evidence. You know that, we know that, everyone knows that. If it was that black and white there would be no debate. Let's bring back some common sense into our debates along with this new found civility.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #328
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So you're willing to overlook all the evidence to the contrary which prove that gun bans are a policy sure to fail?
This tragedy is basically about (1) mental illness and (2) America's lax gun laws.

You were right to be sceptical of the premature assumptions from some leftwingers that he must have been a Tea Partier but saying the lax gun laws are not a factor is absurd. How many similar mass shooting events have occured in the European Union, which has a similar population to the US, but in general, much tighter gun control? Very few, comparatively.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:07 PM   #329
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Oh God it's hard to resist.
Like stated, I'd really urge you to actually watch the video, if you haven't already. I fail to find anything in that clip that anybody here could even remotely disagree with, no matter their political leanings. I'm glad some people watched it-I thought it was a very moving speech, it deserves to be heard by everybody in this country.

I also have to say that given that I've had some really nice discussions with you in the past, some of your left-wing stereotyping is making me sad. Come on, you know better than that. I'm certainly not going to deny that there are plenty of examples of bias and nasty remarks/actions on the left, I've already acknowledged there are, and anyone on that side who engages in such things is just as annoying and less likely to be taken seriously as anyone else.

But try not to paint the entire side with the same brush, mmkay? Especially if you don't like it being done to you.

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Oh, look, these lunatics are at it again. Kudos to the group that is trying to protect the victim's family.

Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Funeral of 9-Year-Old Arizona Shooting Victim
...these people will answer for this one day. Oh, yes. There's a special place in Hell for them.

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Right now, in this thread, it would be nice if everyone would just shut up a bit. You're all saying you want this to stop, but you're in-fighting amongst yourselves at such a rate, it's honestly a bit hard to even keep up. The point here is that 6 people are dead, one of them a child, and the flat out main reason is because someone with an obviously noted by the people around him mental illness went unchecked and that person was given a gun. It's a tragedy, and the way you're acting isn't really being quite as respectful of those who have passed as you could be.

That's just how I feel at the moment, having followed this thread almost from the beginning. Everyone's allowed a rant now and again, right?
Yes, they are, and I THANK YOU for saying this .

Why I keep reading this, I don't know, 'cause I get a headache and get seriously discouraged by the end of it (that article about people buying up guns like crazy...WHYYYYYYYYYYY????).

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I agree with the last point, and all of us can obviously acknowledge that politicians function in the real world while Hollywood functions mostly in the fictional realm.
I think that's the reason I'm less likely to blame the latter. Like you said, it's all fantasy, in general. Nobody is actually getting killed in the movies, or songs, or books. And the art is an imitation of the society that it's produced in. Violence was around long before movies, long before music, long before books, so what to blame for that then based on that fact?

Politicians have actual sway over people's lives. Everything they do has some immediate effect on our city, our state, our country. And violence has been tied with politics (and religion) far longer than it has with anything else. It's sadly nothing new, but just because it's happened for eons doesn't mean we can't start thinking about the potential connections that may exist.

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I just think the culture of violence in America is enhanced, if by anything, more by absurdly violent songs, movies and games (none of which I even find remotely entertaining or enjoyable, but maybe that's just me) than by real people who, we hopefully all agree, truly don't mean for any actual harm.
Of course most of them don't, no. But I guarantee that if society became less violent, the entertainment would reflect that as well.

I recall an old quote from...Frank Zappa, I believe it was, on this topic once in which he said: "There are more love songs in the world than anything else. If music could make us do anything, we'd all love each other."

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When one sad event crosses the line between the two, and other psychotic individuals witness the notoriety that comes with it, you can't unring the bell. The Virginia Tech shooter referenced Harris and Klebold as an influence. Harris and Klebold referenced McVeigh as an influence. McVeigh referenced Waco...
That brings me to my next point-if we're so genuinely bothered by such things, let's stop giving these killers so much attention, let's stop making the stories so sensationalistic. Violent media is popular because for all the public outcry, privately many people love it and watch it, for all sorts of reasons. We need to know all the gory, horrific details of the situations. I'm all for dissecting why these people acted the way they did and figuring out how to spot signs and that sort of thing, that information can be helpful. But that should be left up to the people who are experts in such things and that information should be discussed in a non-sensational way, in a way that shows these people as the disturbed psychopaths they are rather than almost romantic, martyr-type figures. By doing that, of course people who commit crimes in the wake of those who acted before them will reference those killers-they're still fresh in people's minds, everyone knows who they are, and it makes it easy for people to make crazy connections instead of take each incident as the stand-alone situation it is. Every killing is different and has its own reasons surrounding it-there may be themes that are similar, but there's also a lot of differences, too.

I hope that all made some sort of sense.

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Of course, all this can be solved by responsible parents, peers, pastors, teachers, and others investing in the lives of these individuals and making sure they can't get a gun so easily, regardless of the motive.
Fully agreed on this, absolutely. I find you and I are agreeing quite a bit in this thread, you've had some very nice posts here. Just want to say that. It's always nice when people can find common ground .

Angela
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:12 PM   #330
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Senate Sergeant-At-Arms: Congressmen Should Not Arm Themselves

The man in charge of Capitol Hill security strongly discouraged members of Congress from arming themselves -- in response to two lawmakers who said they intend to carry guns at events in their districts, reports ABC News's Rick Klein:

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer told Klein: “I'm not denying the right [of members to carry firearms] if that's the law and their particular jurisdiction. I think what we have to realize is preventing homicide is a pretty complicated matter. And so the response to that is a bit complicated.

“And more cops, more jails, or more guns is not the only answer. Some people need to be locked up, and some people need to carry guns. I happen to think law enforcement are the ones who ought to do that. And we can work on all those other methods together to make sure things are safer.”

Klein also reports:

He added that credible threats against members of Congress are “relatively rare, given the thousands of interactions that members have with their constituents,” and said Capitol law enforcement authorities “can handle the threat problem.”

“Last year we only had 49 [reported threats against senators]; the year before we had 29. I do think there was an up-tick in the beginning of 2010 when there was a debate about healthcare and immigration and, frankly, the war. … I don't think they’re showstoppers. By and large we can handle the threat problem.”




GOP Rep. Seeks To Enclose Congress In Plexiglas

Equally strange but true: Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton plans to introduce legislation next week to encase the House Gallery in "a transparent and substantial material" such as Plexiglas to protect Congressmen from members of the public, an aide to the lawmaker tells CBS News:

Burton has introduced similar legislation in the past. It reads in part, "The Architect of the Capitol shall enclose the visitors' galleries of the House of Representatives with a transparent and substantial material, and shall install equipment so that the proceedings on the floor of the House of Representatives will be clearly audible in the galleries."

A past version of the legislation, which will be reintroduced in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday, references past attacks on Congress. Among them are a 1915 bombing by a man protesting U.S. involvement in World War 1, the shooting of five members of Congress by Puerto Rican nationalists during a House vote in 1954, and a the placing of a bomb by the Weather Underground in a Senate bathroom in 1971. (The bomb went off early and no one was hurt.)
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