Thread: My proposal to address mass shootings and potential violent persons

nebish - 2/17/2018 at 11:39 PM

Below is some condensed thoughts I had. Please post any questions, messages of agreement or disagreement. Suggestions, or errors in my judgement or understanding is also welcomed.

Hopefully this can be constructive.





I do not think that mass shootings can be stopped. That is an awful conclusion to come to terms with. I say that for a variety of social, cultural and family issues that go beyond the intention here. However, there is work that we can do to hopefully reduce the frequency and severity of these events while also limiting the perpetrator’s ability to carry out the attacks.

The approach must be multifaceted as no singular action will yield the desired results.

Whether or not the people who act out in such a way are mentally ill in a clinical way, or a figurative way doesn’t necessarily matter. For whatever reason, they have the vision and desire carryout a murderous event that no normal person envision. These people through their actions and words often put out warning signs, and those signs need to be recognized and relayed and recorded by authority and law enforcement departments. I will address both the means and tool they commonly use in their attacks and attempting to prevent the attack before it happens.

Here are my suggestions:

BUYING GUNS:

• Universal background checks for all firearm. This will apply to all states and US territories where any person-to-person firearm transaction is taking place. An individual private seller will have to comply with the same federal background check that licensed firearm dealers have to undergo (or they can complete the sale with assistance of the licensed dealer through the NICS background check system). This applies to family members as well.

• Semi-automatic rifles sales will have the same purchase regulations and rules applied to them as handguns. Meaning the buyer must be atleast 21 years of age, must be able to prove residency in the state of purchase.

• High capacity magazines will be banned effective immediately. High capacity magazine is defined as any detachable rifle or handgun cartridge/magazine holding more than 10 rounds. Existing high capacity magazines will be legal, however any sale or transfer of the magazine will be subject to the same federal background check as all firearms. Since high cap mags do not have serial numbers, they are not traceable and therefore sellers may not feel in danger of selling outside background check system – although they would still be risking be caught in a federal crime by doing so.

• Firearm purchase background checks will also be cross-referenced with buyer’s local Sheriff department to ensure accuracy of federal and state information on buyer.

• FBI or ATF will record and keep the data from the 4474 form in their database effective immediately, controversially starting a federal registry system. This is important since a buyer can have a clean background check at original time of purchase, but at a later date, information may go into their background which would exclude them from future sales. By maintaining record of past sales, authorities will know who has what and should they deem appropriate, if subject is thought to be a threat to the public, they may take the subject to court in order to force forfeiture of known firearms previously purchased.

SCHOOLS:

• Every school district will create a new position employing at least one person for a security department. The funding for this position will be a ballot levy in every school district across the country. If a community fails to support creation and funding for this position they run the risk of having a less safe school for their families and the families of their friends, neighbors and coworkers. That ultimately will be their decision. Failed levies will be placed annually on ballots to ensure opinion in the community is accurately represented. Money collected for this position will go into a fund specifically for this security department and can not be used for any other expenses or liabilities within the district. The security department will provide annual reports for school board members and made available to the public documenting efforts and financial costs (no names of subjects or detail on actual investigations will be made public). The school board can vote for a ballot initiative to terminate the position if they determine it is no longer needed, the community voters will ultimately decide.

• The role of the security department is not meant to provide patrol or armed security, instead they will be the lead contact for any and all complaints, tips or concerns regarding potential violent outbursts and danger posed by any fellow student past or present, or even among a student’s family members should information on such surface. They will also monitor public activity and communication of any suspicious subject to the extent possible by law. This person will report all issues to the school principal, district super intendent. It will be their task to determine what are legitimate concerns vs false, pranks or misleading reports. When appropriate, local law enforcement will be brought into the loop.

EMPLOYERS/MILITARY:

• Empower human resource departments or others responsible for employee affairs at private, public and nonprofit businesses along with volunteer-based and temporary worker agencies along with labor union leadership to report concerning or suspicious information on a subject with local law enforcement. To avoid potential intentionally false accusations, the HR official or business/union representative must have at least two accounts affirming the issue and subject in question.

• Revise military discharge terms to better align with firearm purchase eligibility or exclusions. Currently “bad conduct” discharge does not carry the same significance as “dishonorable”.

MEDICAL:

• Empower and require medical facilities, providers and professionals to submit any causes of concern and suspicious behavior and comments to local law enforcement. Change HIPPA regulations to accommodate this requirement.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

• When law enforcement sees appropriate, they will seek a warrant to monitor the subject’s social media accounts and activity. Upon approval of the warrant, the desired social media company(s) must allow their member/user to be surveilled in accordance with the warrant. Failing to comply will result in contempt and possible charges as an accessory in any related crime the subject commits.

• If evidence exists, law enforcement can question and possibly charge the subject with any unlawful activity. If no law has been broken, but remaining evidence points to suspicious or concerning activity that information will be shared with county Sheriffs and federal law enforcement for possible inclusion into the criminal background check system should those higher authorities see fit. This information will remain in the subject’s “file” indefinitely. If such information leads to a firearm purchase rejection, a process will be established to contest and challenge the information in the “file” and to potentially clear the “file” of any objectionable warnings or concerns. The burden will be on the subject to clear themselves.

• In addition to being permitted to monitor social media accounts in accordance with a warrant, law enforcement will establish new departments where they do not already exist to conduct operations in online message boards and public forums for suspicious or threatening activity consistent with carrying out acts of violence. This can happen at the federal FBI level as well as the local level. Agencies may work in sting operations to engage subjects for the purpose of data collection or potential criminal charges in applicable. They may also seek a warrant for further in depth surveillance. Findings and results will be shared with county Sheriffs and federal background check program to potentially deny a firearm purchase.

FUNDING:

• In addition to the school levy for the school security funding, additional local, state and federal law enforcement actions here will be funding by additional tax on all guns and ammo sales.


[Edited on 2/17/2018 by nebish]


StratDal - 2/18/2018 at 01:31 AM

A lot there to digest. I need a day or two. At the very least, AR-15 and similar type weapons can no longer be sold to the general public.


BrerRabbit - 2/18/2018 at 03:30 AM

Bravo ! Sound reasoning, well thought out and clearly presented. Unfortunately it is pearls before us whipping post swine. I recommend you send this to every paper you can.

Your school security task force would do well to have police psychologists on board - there is all kinds of crazy anger and threats all the time, mostly of no account - sifting through and zeroing in on the one actual killer out of millions of raving maniacal kids is gonna be tough.

The gun ideas are good, seems the way to proceed is assume it as given that no matter what the laws are, guns will be in circulation, so prevention and defense in potential target zones ought to be priority.


nebish - 2/18/2018 at 05:04 AM

I am comfortable opening myself up for critique here as I can learn and take tips from fellow users (even if it just seems I'm defending myself, I am the type that does take differing points of view into account). I never sent anything to be published, like a letter to editor or anything, I try to be very thorough and put together well thought out pieces, but having something in a paper makes me nervous. I would atleast want to add some more refinements to strengthen my positions.

I did share it with two people tonight for direct conversation, my most liberal friend who is very outspoken against the NRA and assault-type weapons. I had a quite uncomfortable dinner with him once in rural Colorado when the restaurant was almost dead silent except for him talking about dead children and compared NRA members to the people who shoot up schools and movie theaters.

I also shared it with my stepson who is a school teacher for his perspective.

A third close friend of mine is a huge Trump supporter. I engaged him by text tonight and found him to be easily manipulated from saying "the NRA shouldn't bear any blame" to "yes they should enact more restrictions".

This is what I find alot. It's all about approach and easing into the discussion and how the points are made. People are often unprepared to defend what they thought they believed. I'll have another easy one tomorrow with my other friend when we watch the Daytona 500.

That is the low hanging fruit, the real challenge will be my friends who own AR15s and are big gun guys. My one friend who doesn't own an AR like to say how much he likes high cap mags for his Glocks. I think he even bought some AR15 high cap mags at one time as an "investment" when the things were on a big backorder. I will need to have my A game strong for those talks.

I haven't written my Congressman in a long time, but am considering writing my Governor, Congressional representatives, the NRA and the President.

The other thread isn't viable for meaningful dialogue at this point, so if anyone wants to try and stick to the issues hopefully we can do it here.


2112 - 2/18/2018 at 02:49 PM

This seems very well thought out and has the potential to save lives. It also wouldn't affect 98% of gun owners, which is key in getting something actually passed into law. The only thing I would add is a manditory safety training class to purchase a firearm and a requirement to update the training every 10 years.


nebish - 2/18/2018 at 03:49 PM

quote:
This seems very well thought out and has the potential to save lives. It also wouldn't affect 98% of gun owners, which is key in getting something actually passed into law. The only thing I would add is a manditory safety training class to purchase a firearm and a requirement to update the training every 10 years.


Regarding the training, it seems that would lead to a ownership license requirement - which I'm not necessarily opposed to. I do think that falls more towards the restrictive and controversial side of the spectrum from the pro-gun types. I've suggested a gun registry moving forward, so I'm not adverse to controversial measures.

I think the training requirement would have to be a licensing issue because it would oversight by someone and documented with a start date, and then a renewal date with necessary means of enforcement.

It could be comparable to what a concealed carry weapon permit is. I have a photo ID with an issue and expiration date that I had to go to my local Sheriff's office to pick up.

So really we'd be talking about just expanding an existing training program in many states that is in place for CCW and apply something similar for all firearm purchases. If you already have your license then you do not need to have a new training class until your renewal.

I think this could get broad support which would lead to pressure on the pro-gun side to yield. Having a license ensuring you have been through a training course does not infringe upon one's rights - the only way it would is if you have failed the course or the Sheriff department denied your license, both of which should exclude one from purchasing a gun. Or I guess, it would delay the purchase of a first time gun buyer, they would have to schedule their class, complete the course and get their license before they could take possession. That would be the argument against it from the pro-gun side. I don't see the problem still. Responsible, reasonable people should see no problem with this. In fact it is likely much less controversial than my gun registry idea and more realistic to implement.


nebish - 2/18/2018 at 04:23 PM

quote:
A lot there to digest. I need a day or two. At the very least, AR-15 and similar type weapons can no longer be sold to the general public.


I keep trying to see a way that banning the gun gets the results we want. My friends and family who tend to be anti-gun of course think it will. And I already know my friends on the right what their position is.

Murder is going to happen. Mass murder too, is going to happen. If we remove one of the tools the perpetrator uses, they will substitute another tool.

But that is still good, we take away the most effective tool, the semi-automatic rifle and force them to use something else. What will that give us?

Well, the perp would probably use another gun. So the event is still going to take place in all probability. If all we do is take the semi-automatic rifle out of the equation and leave everything else static, the perp is still going to launch the attack. Maybe using a handgun, maybe a shot gun, maybe a traditional rifle.

But even then, by removing the semi-auto rifle we have succeeded because now the leathality (if that is a word) has been improved. The high powered capability of the semi-auto rifle inflicts much more damage on the victim and allows more rounds to be fired at a faster rate. So removing it has potentially increased the odds of more people living. Naturally this is good.

So if we take it further, ban all guns. Let's just say. What is the perp going to resort to? Explosive devices, knifes, crude weapons of other varieties. Unless we assume the perp's only desire to kill with a gun, then removing the gun still leaves the perp wanting to inflict his harm towards others and they will seek the means to do it. And that says nothing about illegal guns being available on the black market - let's just leave that out at the moment.

Here again, we have succeeded because potentially odds of more people living are increased without the gun used as the tool. Attacks with knives send more people to the hospital than the morgue, hopefully. Attacks with explosives can be quite lethal and infact the largest school killing in our country's history was with explosives. And explosives can be made with fertilizer and all that kind of stuff - although this process may lend itself to more delay and setbacks for the perp, but it can be done that way. So without the gun, a motivated perp can still get murderous results, but perhaps more favorable results for us.

Now the question, can we really ban the gun? No we can't.

Can we ban the semi-automatic gun? No we can't. It just is not realistic. Even if that is the ultimate goal, I think people feeling that way would acknowledge to get there it would have to be in small steps.

Can we ban the semi-automatic rifle? Didn't we do that before? Yes and no. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban I think is not completely understood by alot of people. They think guns like the AR15 were banned and not legally produced or sold from 1994-2004. That is not the case. All manufacturers had to do with change the cosmetics of their guns to comply withe rules of the ban and effectively the same functioning gun was legally available for sale. This is ture, this if fact. You could buy a semi-automatic rifle that looks just like most of the ones used with a pistol grip and a detachable magazine between 1994-2004 with the same buying procedure you can today.

Back to the question, can we ban the semi-automatic rifle? So the answer is yes we can and if we do it like Dianne Feinstein would like to do it, this ban would be much more effective than the 1994 ban as gun control advocates have learned from the mistakes of the 1994 ban. So let's just say Feinstein's bill becomes law. Her bill grandfathers in all firearms lawfully possessed before enactment of her bill. So, what effect is it really going to have then? The number of firearms in circulation now is substantially more than it was in 1994. In 1994 there were an estimated 1.5 million "assault weapons". I read in June of 2016 it was estimated there were a total of 5-10 million AR15s in the US.

So, ok, we enact Senator Feinstein's bill. Assault weapons are banned. Perpetrator wants to shoot up a school or office or bus station, they can still buy an assualt rifle if they want one, assuming they pass the background check, because there are as many as 10 million or more technically available for sale, legally, despite the new assault weapons ban.

See, I really really really think this boils more squarely down to getting more data into the background check system. And in some way or another, it needs to be proactive in getting potentially dangerous people excluded from buying guns. Deep screening of people. I genuinely feel, that when you look at all of the realistic options on the table, that better use of the background check is going to have the greatest impact on what we are trying to achieve.


gina - 2/18/2018 at 07:52 PM

quote:
A lot there to digest. I need a day or two. At the very least, AR-15 and similar type weapons can no longer be sold to the general public.


I too need time to go thru all the suggestions, but I want to open the question up, what types of weapons should law abiding citizens be able to purchase and own, in people' s opinions?

1. What do regular citizens, the GENERAL PUBLIC, actually need for safety, personal and home defense?

I think we all agree people NEED to be required to be properly trained, and should be required to go back for refresher trainings on a regular basis?


2. What about sportsmen, hunting enthusiasts who are also GENERAL PUBLIC with no military training/background? Should the list of what they can own be expanded to include more/different weapons than the regular soccer Mom who is divorced and just wants to protect her home from her lunatic ex-husband or any crack heads roaming the neighborhood who want to break in at night to rob her?


nebish - 2/19/2018 at 03:55 AM

I hope our two Jerrys feel compelled to contribute, Bhawk Jerry and Jerry Jerry because I think both can weigh in with meaningful perspectives.

It is difficult to say what any American should or shouldn't have. Certainly nobody needs to own a semi-automatic rifle and they certainly don't need to own high capacity magazines. Personal defense, hunting, recreational and competition target shooting and collecting would not be negatively impacted if those firearms were banned effective immediately. The only thing negatively impacted would be choice and presumably the manufacturers and jobs of people who make the now banned guns.

The major limitation with the bans and even the ban proposed by Senator Feinstein is the grandfather clause allowing all preban guns and magazines to remain in the market. So the immediate impact of this type of ban is going to be minimal. To be fair, if preban guns are not grandfathered it would create quite the rebellion and whether or not we are prepared for that I do not know. But even somebody considered pretty liberal in Dianne Feinstein even allows preban guns to be grandfathered.

Now, I think if we are honest, long term by not further increasing the population of certain guns in circulation, that is where the impact can be had. I think it is very important to be honest and sincere with what we are attempting to do and the chances of reaching our goals with the measures we take. We must not just do "something" "anything". I want something that is going to yield results, now and later, this is why foremost I want to widen and strengthen the background check system. While I do not think that a new gun ban will have an immediate result, I will yield to others who feel that it is still necessary due to the longer term effect it could have. I'm not proposing it, but I would not oppose it at the same time.

In the meantime, here is analysis of a 2004 report that both the left and the right have cherry picked to back their claims of the ineffectiveness or effectiveness of the 1994 ban.
https://www.factcheck.org/2013/02/did-the-1994-assault-weapons-ban-work/

And here is the actual report itself:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/204431.pdf

I read somewhere that Christopher Koper issued a 2013 report with updated data, but strangely I have not been able to find that report free of charge online.

Here is something else, the source is going to be objectionable to the right, but I will use it until a comparable report from the right can be sourced. I will take this Motherjones report at face value. In an effort to stay on topic, anyone who wants to criticize the Motherjones report I hope you would only do so while submitting your own comparable report for consideration.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-fu ll-data/

This is a quite detailed list and can be downloaded in a full spreadsheet view. Here we can see that the total number of mass shootings documented of 3 or more deaths from 2005-2018 totaled 62 cases which comes to 4.4 cases per year avg, including the two in 2018. The years 1994-2004 produced 17 cases over 11 years which comes to 1.5 per year. Based on other reporting from 1900-2004 and also 1982-1994, the per year mass shooting case averages about 1.5 per year. Now how do they classify mass shooting or shooting spree vs conventional gun related homicide I do not know. The vast vast majority of gun murders are committed by hand guns.

Back to the data, evidence suggests the ban did not necessarily lower the annual average case of mass shootings per year, it stayed about 1.5 per year. But what we all already knew, there has been a dramatic increase post ban, this data just confirms it, sitting at 4.4 per year now.

The easiest thing we can point to that changed after 2004 is the availability of more guns into the market. Although, it is very important to note that during the ban manufacturers changed cosmetic features of banned guns to comply with the ban and still functioned just as lethal. And while they could accept high capacity magazines, the only legal high cap mags available were pre ban. The 1995 pre ban high capacity magazine population was estimated at 25 million, these were legal to own and use and they fit in all the guns made during the ban. Another 4.7 million estimated pre ban produced high cap mags were legally imported during a period of 1995-2000. So for certain, there were semi-auto high powered rifles accepting high cap mags sold legally during the ban and there were as many as 29.7 million high cap mags available during the ban that could legally be bought. What changed post ban is an absolute flood of both post ban semi-auto rifles and high cap mags and sales surged accordingly. Where relatively little demand for these items existed during the ban period, when the ban sun-setted it started a buying frenzy and has led to both the problem of the AR15 style rifle being normalized to a vast degree and also the number in circulation really stacks the deck against the effectiveness of any new ban so long as pre ban guns remain grandfathered.


nebish - 2/19/2018 at 04:14 AM

I heard one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students in an interview today cite 18 school shootings in 2018 even though that number had been proven false days ago. Everyone who wants action on this issue must stick as close to the facts available as possible. Inaccurate or false claims one way or the other only undermines the work to be done.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shootin g-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d9 1fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.4a4de859a394


nebish - 2/19/2018 at 04:56 AM

This is a very good list of how mentally ill people are or are not entered into state or federal back ground check systems. We need to get this process standardized and required.

http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/background-checks/menta l-health-reporting/

If we are going to talk about mental health reporting into the NICS system that complies with constitutional rights this is a framework to employ nationally.


Muleman1994 - 2/19/2018 at 03:33 PM

quote:
This is a very good list of how mentally ill people are or are not entered into state or federal back ground check systems. We need to get this process standardized and required.

http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/background-checks/menta l-health-reporting/

If we are going to talk about mental health reporting into the NICS system that complies with constitutional rights this is a framework to employ nationally.




Good to see you are supporting President Trump’s efforts to fix a broken system:

Trump backs efforts to improve federal gun background checks, White House says
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/18/trump-backs-efforts-to-improve-f ederal-gun-background-checks-white-house-says.html




porkchopbob - 2/19/2018 at 05:05 PM

quote:
Good to see you are supporting President Trump’s efforts to fix a broken system:



nebish, who ever said debating in the Whipping Post was a waste of time was wrong. You've influenced Presidential policy!


nebish - 2/19/2018 at 08:15 PM

quote:
quote:
Good to see you are supporting President Trump’s efforts to fix a broken system:



nebish, who ever said debating in the Whipping Post was a waste of time was wrong. You've influenced Presidential policy!




quote:
quote:This is a very good list of how mentally ill people are or are not entered into state or federal back ground check systems. We need to get this process standardized and required.

http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/background-checks/menta l-health-reporting/

If we are going to talk about mental health reporting into the NICS system that complies with constitutional rights this is a framework to employ nationally.





Good to see you are supporting President Trump’s efforts to fix a broken system:

Trump backs efforts to improve federal gun background checks, White House says
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/18/trump-backs-efforts-to-improve-f ederal-gun-background-checks-white-house-says.html


I will cautiously say thank you for bringing this up and may we be united in getting some reasonable things moving forward. It doesn't matter that Trump, up until this weekend, made no such effort to support last fall's bill, but if he is getting behind it now, that is good. Right? Because the Gun Owners of American went on record against it. The NRA is actually supportive of it. House Republicans seems the only way they might support it is if the Senate were to combine it with their national concealed carry reciprocity bill. But all that inside politics stuff will work itself out in the coming sessions. Let's stay positive for now.

Here is the text of the Cornyn sponsored bill

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/s2135/BILLS-115s2135is.pdf

I see absolutely nothing objectionable in there. If I am reading things right, the federal government can not currently force the states to submit the data for the NICS due to 10th amendment concerns, so in order to entice their compliance they use grant money and penalties for those who do and do not. They want full reporting of felony conviction and domestic violence records. It also states that anyone convicted of a crime carrying the penalty of 1 year or more in jail be identified. These are good and just improvements and the states should certainly comply.

Now, it does not address any mental health related issues which was what my post that mule quoted in response to me.

One thing at a time, if they want to pass this NICS fix first for criminal offenders as a stand alone, very well. They can then move to trying to get more mental health data on individuals into the system as well with another bill.


nebish - 2/21/2018 at 03:51 PM

The more I've thought about this the more I do like the training/license law that would be administered by the Sheriff department. The benefit of this, would be the safety training, but I think the bigger benefit is if the state license works as a check requirement with the federal NICS system, making it less likely something falls through the cracks. Once somebody has their license and they are in the database as a valid license holder, any negative data that we believe should be in the system can get entered and the license holder in effect get's flagged and suspended. So the firearm seller checks the status of the license while checking the NICS. One would hope the information between the two would be in sync, but if it is not, the state license check can provide additional verification. Many states that run a CCW training class already has the system in place to expand that and apply it to the buyer/owner license. That is definitely something I would support.

So that is a state run regulation. And there is alot of focus on the news about what Congress and the President will or won't do which ignores the fact that states can set their own rules and regs and arguably, state legislatures and governors have a better chance at reflecting the will of their citizens.

The NICS Fix bill in the Senate looks like a good bill. What the House did by attaching the Concealed Carry Reciprocity law is troublesome to me, and I say that as a CCW license holder. I have been concerned that if I want to travel from state to state if my CCW will be lawful in another state. States that I have checked online offer reciprocity status with other states so one can see what states recognize their CCW permits. Ohio for instance has CCW reciprocity agreements with 39 states. Pennsylvania acknowledges 29 other states. Colorado has agreements with 33 states. These numbers have generally grown over the years as states communicate and understand what requirements others do or don't have for issuing their permits. While I support the intent of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill passed by the house, such as for somebody who travels for work and needs to be concerned about their status when crossing into other states, however I think this is a matter best left for the states, and this is a state's rights issue. Some would argue that different attorney generals from election to election could change the reciprocity agreeements which makes it harder to keep up on the legal status. This is true, but I think the views a state's population should be allowed to change one way or the other. A national one-size fits all law on this isn't good. Congress tied it to Commerce Clause to justify their involvement. I would ultimately hope to see a clean NICS Fix bill pass both houses.

Then the challenge remains how to get mental health data into the background check system. We've seen how this issue can make for strange bedfellows such as the NRA and ACLU being on the same side on the social security recipient representative issue. There must be a way we can figure out how to get people with mental issues into the background check system. I thought the Giffords Law Center addressed this well.

Taking it further, what about people on SSRI drugs? Can we, should we, deny people their gun rights if they are on certain medications? What about gun rights/restrictions for parents of children with mental challenges? Maybe children who have been entered into special education services should be on the no-buy list and maybe their parents gun purchase rights should be restricted? How? We would potentially be discriminating a large group of people that would never be violent. Is that right? I think this is the most difficult part of the entire discussion...how to identify potentially violent people before they show signs of violence and is doing so legal?


porkchopbob - 2/21/2018 at 04:24 PM

quote:
The more I've thought about this the more I do like the training/license law that would be administered by the Sheriff department. The benefit of this, would be the safety training, but I think the bigger benefit is if the state license works as a check requirement with the federal NICS system, making it less likely something falls through the cracks.


I was thinking that too. A lot of people are quick to equate the regulation of guns and automobiles in an attempt to mitigate the deadliness of firearms, but not when it comes to licensing. Typically there are classes required for conceal permits, but this kind of contact would help insure we aren't just relying on rubber stamped paper work where something can get easily over-looked.


nebish - 2/21/2018 at 05:20 PM

This is very long, but very good. I will post it here since New York Times has limitations on the number of fre articles your browser can read a month.

This article details some specific stories of mentally disturbed people and the legal issues authorities face with the guns they own. It also highlights the actions some states have taken to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people.

I don't know what measures we would need to take to try and "fix" these people and give them treatment that might improve their conditions. But I certainly know that any questionable person needs to be excluded from purchases and owning a firearm. That is where the mental health issue needs to go first and foremost, bar them from the guns. This article highlights some of the challenges and some of the solutions.

quote:
When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill
By MICHAEL LUO and MIKE McINTIREDEC. 21, 2013

Photo - (A search and seizure warrant from April 15 describes the events that led to Mark Russo’s guns being removed from him.)

Last April, workers at Middlesex Hospital in Connecticut called the police to report that a psychiatric patient named Mark Russo had threatened to shoot his mother if officers tried to take the 18 rifles and shotguns he kept at her house. Mr. Russo, who was off his medication for paranoid schizophrenia, also talked about the recent elementary school massacre in Newtown and told a nurse that he “could take a chair and kill you or bash your head in between the eyes,” court records show.

The police seized the firearms, as well as seven high-capacity magazines, but Mr. Russo, 55, was eventually allowed to return to the trailer in Middletown where he lives alone. In an interview there recently, he denied that he had schizophrenia but said he was taking his medication now — though only “the smallest dose,” because he is forced to. His hospitalization, he explained, stemmed from a misunderstanding: Seeking a message from God on whether to dissociate himself from his family, he had stabbed a basketball and waited for it to reinflate itself. When it did, he told relatives they would not be seeing him again, prompting them to call the police.

As for his guns, Mr. Russo is scheduled to get them back in the spring, as mandated by Connecticut law.

“I don’t think they ever should have been taken out of my house,” he said. “I plan to get all my guns and ammo and knives back in April.”

The Russo case highlights a central, unresolved issue in the debate over balancing public safety and the Second Amendment right to bear arms: just how powerless law enforcement can be when it comes to keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are mentally ill.

Photo - (Mark Russo expects to get his 18 weapons back this April. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times)

Connecticut’s law giving the police broad leeway to seize and hold guns for up to a year is actually relatively strict. Most states simply adhere to the federal standard, banning gun possession only after someone is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility or designated as mentally ill or incompetent after a court proceeding or other formal legal process. Relatively few with mental health issues, even serious ones, reach this point.

As a result, the police often find themselves grappling with legal ambiguities when they encounter mentally unstable people with guns, unsure how far they can go in searching for and seizing firearms and then, in particular, how they should respond when the owners want them back.

“There is a big gap in the law,” said Jeffrey Furbee, the chief legal adviser to the Police Department in Columbus, Ohio. “There is no common-sense middle ground to protect the public.”

A vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent. But recent mass shootings — outside a Tucson supermarket in 2011, at a movie theater last year in Aurora, Colo., and at the Washington Navy Yard in September — have raised public awareness of the gray areas in the law. In each case, the gunman had been recognized as mentally disturbed but had never been barred from having firearms.

After the Newtown killings a year ago, state legislatures across the country debated measures that would have more strictly limited the gun rights of those with mental illness. But most of the bills failed amid resistance from both the gun lobby and mental health advocates concerned about unfairly stigmatizing people. In Washington, discussion of new mental health restrictions was conspicuously absent from the federal gun control debate.

Photo - (Kaylee Laird said farewell to her father, Officer Timothy Laird, in Indianapolis in 2004. Credit Matt Kryger/The Indianapolis Star)

What remains is the uncertain legal territory at the intersection of guns and mental illness. Examining it is difficult, because of privacy laws governing mental health and the limited availability of information on firearm ownership. But The New York Times obtained court and police records from more than 1,000 cases around the country in which guns were seized in mental-health-related episodes.

A systematic review of these cases — from cities and counties in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee — underscores how easy it is for people with serious mental health problems to have guns.

Over the past year in Connecticut, where The Times obtained some of the most extensive records of seizure cases, there were more than 180 instances of gun confiscations from people who appeared to pose a risk of “imminent personal injury to self or others.” Close to 40 percent of these cases involved serious mental illness.

Perhaps most striking, in many of the cases examined across the country, the authorities said they had no choice under the law but to return the guns after an initial seizure for safekeeping.

For example, in Hillsborough County, Fla., 31 of 34 people who sought to reclaim seized firearms last year were able to do so after a brief court hearing, according to a count by The Times.

Photo - Mr. Laird was killed in a confrontation with a schizophrenic man. Credit Indianapolis Police Department)

Among them was Ryan Piatt, an Afghanistan veteran with a history of treatment for depression, anxiety and paranoia. The police had descended on Mr. Piatt’s workplace in November 2011, after mental health workers at the veterans hospital in Tampa reported that he had made intimations of violence to his psychiatrist and had tried to renounce his citizenship, mailing his Social Security card, birth certificate and other documents to a judge. Officers confiscated two guns from his car and one more from his toolbox; he got them back less than a year later.

Similarly, the sheriff in Arapahoe County, Colo., had to return a .45-caliber pistol last year that officers had seized four months earlier after receiving a call that Jose Reynaldo Santiago, an Army veteran with post-traumatic stress, was walking around his home in the middle of the night in a catatonic state with a gun in the pocket of his bathrobe.

Even in Indiana, one of the few states that have expanded the power of law enforcement to hold on to guns seized from people who are mentally ill, the examination revealed a significant loophole: there is nothing preventing them from going out and buying new guns.

The state’s seizure law does not address the question, and as a result, records from gun confiscation cases are not entered into the federal background check database that dealers must consult when making sales, according to officials from the Indiana Supreme Court.

Connecticut had a similar vulnerability until this year. Unlike in Indiana, the Connecticut State Police handle gun background checks, running names in the federal system and checking its own records. Judicial officials are unsure, however, if the agency was receiving all gun seizure records. As a fail-safe and a way to prevent people from simply going to another state to buy a gun, the state has now begun submitting these records to the federal system.

Photo - (Kenneth C. Anderson, in a driver's license photo, killed Mr. Laird during a confrontation. Nine guns had been seized from Mr. Anderson, a schizophrenic, but were then returned.)

Adding to the uncertainty for law enforcement, federal courts have ruled that an emergency involuntary psychiatric evaluation is not grounds to bar someone from possessing firearms.

The police in Caribou, Me., discovered this after repeated run-ins with a troubled resident, Curtis Zetterman, who was sent to a hospital after talking about shooting people; he was released, and was later accused of threatening a neighbor with a gun, according to court records.

Mr. Zetterman’s conviction on a charge of illegally possessing a firearm was dismissed on appeal because his emergency hospitalization did not rise to the level of a formal involuntary commitment.

“We don’t want to violate anybody’s rights,” said the Caribou police chief, Michael Gahagan. “But if you’re in the apartment next door to this guy, what about your rights?”

Outliers Toughen Laws

It was the shock of a potentially avoidable tragedy that pushed Indiana lawmakers to act. Reports of gunfire brought Officer Timothy Laird to Indianapolis’s south side one night in August 2004. Kenneth C. Anderson, a schizophrenic man who the police later learned had just killed his mother in her home, was stalking the block with an SKS assault rifle and two handguns. As Officer Laird stepped from his patrol car, he was fatally shot. Four other officers were wounded before one of them shot and killed Mr. Anderson.

Photo - (Mr. Russo of Middletown, Conn., whose 18 rifles and shotguns were confiscated after he threatened to shoot his mother. Credit Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times)

At the beginning of that year, the police had seized nine guns from Mr. Anderson after being called to his home by paramedics because he was being combative. Deemed delusional and dangerous, he was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was not, however, committed, and when he sought the return of his guns, police officials concluded that they had no legal grounds to keep them.

Several months after Officer Laird’s death, the Indiana legislature passed its seizure bill, giving the police explicit authority to search for and confiscate guns from people who are considered dangerous or who are mentally ill and off their medication. The police can keep the guns, upon court approval, for five years.

Connecticut’s law, passed in 1999, was also a response to a high-profile shooting rampage: a disgruntled employee with a history of psychiatric problems fatally shot four people at the state lottery offices before killing himself.

This year, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, the mental health debate in state legislatures focused largely on two areas: requiring mental health professionals to report dangerous people to the authorities and expanding the mental health criteria for revoking gun rights.

One legislature that ultimately did act was New York’s, which passed a far-reaching — and controversial — measure that requires mental health professionals to report to county authorities anyone who “is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” If county officials agree with the assessment, they must submit the information to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, which alerts the local authorities to revoke the person’s firearms license and confiscate weapons.

Photo - (Ryan Piatt, whose three guns were seized after mental health workers reported him to the police in Tampa. The weapons were returned less than a year later. Credit Courtesy of Crystal Adamson)

Maryland, too, amended its laws, barring anyone with a mental disorder who has a history of violence from having firearms.

And California adopted a five-year firearms ban for anyone who communicates a violent threat against a “reasonably identifiable victim” to a licensed psychotherapist. Previously, the ban was six months.

The state already had a five-year gun ban for anyone deemed to be a danger to himself or others and admitted on a 72-hour psychiatric hold for emergency evaluation and treatment or a longer 14-day hold. (Both steps fall short of the criteria for an involuntary commitment under federal law.) Even in cases where people are sent for emergency evaluations but not admitted, the police may confiscate their weapons and petition a court to keep them.


California, Maryland and New York, however, are outliers. (Hawaii and Illinois also stand out for their strict — some would argue onerous — mental health standards for gun ownership.) Most states have been content to follow the federal government’s lead.

In fact, the issue has long been a political quagmire.

Gun rights advocates worry that seizure laws will ensnare law-abiding citizens who pose no threat. In Connecticut, with its imminent-risk standard for seizure, the law sometimes “reaches pretty normal people,” said Rachel Baird, a lawyer who has sued police departments over gun confiscations.

Photo - (A sheriff’s report from Arapahoe County, Colo., on the department's encounter with Jose Reynaldo Santiago, which lead to his gun being confiscated.)

“People make comments all the time when they’re angry or frustrated — ‘I’m going to come down there, and it won’t be pretty’ — but if you say that and you own a firearm, it immediately takes on a context that it otherwise wouldn’t,” said Ms. Baird, a former prosecutor.

At the same time, mental health professionals worry that new seizure laws might stigmatize many people who have no greater propensity for violence than the broader population. They also fear that the laws will discourage people who need help from seeking treatment, while doing little to deter gun violence.

Research has shown, however, that people with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, do pose an increased risk of violence. In one widely cited study, Jeffrey W. Swanson, now a psychiatry professor at Duke University, found that when substance abusers were excluded, 33 percent of people with a serious mental illness reported past violent behavior, compared with 15 percent of people without such a disorder. The study, based on epidemiological survey data from the 1980s, defined violent behavior as everything from taking part in more than one fistfight as an adult to using a weapon in a fight.

Substance abuse, the study found, was a powerful predictor of violence. The highest rate, 64 percent, was found among people who had major mental disorders as well as substance abuse issues. For substance abusers alone, the rate was 55 percent.

This month a consortium of mental health professionals, public health researchers and gun control advocates released a 52-page report containing a series of recommendations on improving state laws regarding mental health and guns. The group focused largely on the gray area beyond the narrow federal standard of involuntary commitment, recommending that people admitted for short-term involuntary hospitalizations lose their gun rights temporarily, and that the police be given a mechanism for removing guns from people they believe to be dangerous.

Photo - (A sheriff’s report from Arapahoe County, detailing an episode in which Jarrod Thoma threatened suicide with a gun.)

“That could save a lot of lives,” said Dr. Swanson, a member of the consortium.

Varying Interpretations

One place that has an intimate awareness of the dangers of guns, especially in the hands of people struggling with mental illness, is Arapahoe County in Colorado, where 12 people died in the Aurora movie theater rampage last year. And at a high school there just this month, an 18-year-old gunman critically injured another student before taking his own life, though there has been no indication that mental illness was a factor.

Still, when it comes to seizing firearms, the sheriff there, Grayson Robinson, says he is also acutely aware of the legal limitations. If his deputies encountered a man on the street with a gun acting irrationally or suicidal, they would probably confiscate that weapon for safekeeping, he said. But they would not have the legal authority to enter his home and even temporarily take any other guns. Nor would the authorities hold on to the confiscated weapon, he said, unless the owner is expressly barred by law from having it.

“We understand property rights,” he said. “We would return those weapons to him upon his request.”

In the absence of specific guidance under federal and state laws, local police departments vary widely in how they deal with the issue, The Times found. Some hew to a strict interpretation. Others appear to be searching for a middle ground, fearful of what may happen if they return guns to dangerous people but also aware that they are on difficult legal terrain.

Photo - (A letter from Mr. Colflesh’s doctor, stating that he was not dangerous, as long as he was on his medication.)

In Arapahoe County, the Sheriff’s Department has confiscated weapons from just 13 people it sent for emergency psychiatric evaluations in the past two years, records show. In 10 of those cases, the guns were returned to their owners. (One gun was scheduled for destruction at the owner’s request; another was given to a third party; one recent seizure was still in the department’s possession.)

Among the guns seized was the pistol from the bathrobe pocket of Mr. Santiago, the veteran found walking around his home in a trance in November 2011. It took five minutes after deputies arrived for Mr. Santiago, then 23, to emerge from his catatonic state, according to the incident report. When he came to, he asked if he had hurt anyone. He also told deputies that he had post-traumatic stress from his deployment in Afghanistan and had experienced a similar episode before. The Fire Department took Mr. Santiago to the hospital for a brief stay to be examined, and sheriff’s deputies took his gun. It was returned the following March.

In an interview, Mr. Santiago said he had “spaced out” after learning that an Army friend had died in a motorcycle accident. He said that the police had told him he could get his gun back right away but that he had decided to wait to “make sure I was all good.” He had expected to have to answer questions about his mental health and was shocked when he only had to fill out some paperwork.

“All I did was I walked in, walked through the metal detectors, walked downstairs to their holding area where they keep evidence for safekeeping,” he said. “They handed it right back to me, no questions asked.”

In August 2012, Arapahoe deputies were called to the home of Jarrod Thoma, 29, another veteran, who was holed up in his bathroom with a newly purchased Ruger pistol pointed at his head. A SWAT team eventually talked him out. According to the incident report, his wife told deputies that he had been discharged from the Army because of a “personality disorder.” (Mr. Thoma says it was actually adjustment disorder, from difficulty coping with stress.) His wife also told the police that he had tried to commit suicide twice before in 2011, once by overdosing on antidepressants and Tylenol and then in an episode involving a gun. The Sheriff’s Department returned Mr. Thoma’s gun three months later.

Photo - (A court affidavit filed by police in Marion County, Ind., on Michael Fishburn's threatening behavior, as reported by neighbors.)

In an interview, Mr. Thoma said that after his encounter with the police, he voluntarily admitted himself to the hospital, where he remained for two and a half weeks, receiving counseling and medication. When he got his gun back, he said, his problems were under control.

“If I was a danger to others and if I was still suffering from some type of depression, I wouldn’t have went back and claimed my gun,” he said. “I’ve been through therapy. I put that stuff behind me.”

In Nashville, the police appear to be exercising greater discretion in returning seized firearms. Since 2010, they have confiscated weapons from 81 people in mental-health-related episodes, according to Don Aaron, a department spokesman. Guns were returned in just 18 of those cases.

Nashville police officials said they adhered to the same basic federal and state criteria as other departments. But because of problems obtaining full and accurate mental health records from the state’s background-check database, officials said, the department will sometimes ask for a doctor’s note certifying that the gun owner is no longer a danger or will agree to release guns only to a relative.


The Times found a similar rate of returns in Columbus. Last year, the police confiscated firearms from more than 40 people in mental-health-related episodes; in eight cases, the guns were returned.

Photo - (Notes from Ryan Piatt’s psychiatrist at a Florida veterans hospital, which alerted the police about him. (Handwriting in margins is Mr. Piatt’s.)

Mr. Furbee, the Police Department’s chief legal adviser, said the detectives who handled these releases were “very deliberate.” Decisions can also be delayed, he said, because Ohio has no centralized registry of commitments to psychiatric institutions for the police to check. In addition, in several cases examined by The Times, the designation of the confiscated firearm was changed from “safekeeping” to “evidence,” which would delay its release.

Among those who did get their guns back relatively quickly was Paul Colflesh, whose 9-millimeter Beretta was confiscated in May 2012 after his wife, Melody Bowman, called 911. She told the police that Mr. Colflesh had stopped taking his medication for depression two weeks earlier and had begun drinking heavily, according to the incident report. On this night, he had gone up to the bedroom, grabbed his gun and said he was going to kill himself. She added that he had once before put the gun in his mouth and threatened suicide. (In an interview, Ms. Bowman said this had been about a year earlier, also while he was drinking.) Mr. Colflesh was so drunk that the police could not interview him.

A few days after being taken to the emergency room, Mr. Colflesh gave the police a note from his doctor, who said Mr. Colflesh had been off his medication for a month but realized that it was the “wrong thing to have done.” Mr. Colflesh, he concluded, “appears not in danger to himself or others since restarting his medications.”

A detective, who later contacted the doctor directly, scrawled notes that Mr. Colflesh was “not suicidal or dangerous to others if he takes meds.”

The police returned Mr. Colflesh’s gun two months after they took it.

“When somebody comes here and demands their weapon back, and there is no legal disability, we give it back, even when it makes us uncomfortable,” Mr. Furbee said.

Photo - (A search and seizure warrant from April 15 describes the events that led to Mark Russo’s guns being removed from him.)

Officials in Florida have also been grappling with ambiguities under the law. In 2009, the attorney general issued an advisory opinion saying that “in the absence of an arrest and criminal charge,” the police could not hold on to firearms confiscated from people sent for mental health evaluations under the state’s Baker Act, which authorizes the police to send mentally ill people who are potentially dangerous for involuntary examinations of up to 72 hours.

Across Florida, however, departments are still taking a variety of approaches, with some simply returning the weapons upon request — after performing the requisite checks — and others imposing additional hurdles.

This year, a judge ordered the Daytona Beach police to return 16 guns to Anthony Bontempo, 27, a veteran with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. They had been confiscated after he called a suicide hotline in hysterics eight months earlier. A gun-rights group, Florida Carry, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Bontempo, arguing that the police had no right to hold on to the weapons.

In Hillsborough County, people whose weapons are seized in Baker Act proceedings are required to attend a brief court hearing, where a judge can confirm that they are not felons, have never been involuntarily committed and have nothing else on their records that bars them from having guns. Almost all walk out with orders allowing them to retrieve their guns.

Mr. Piatt, 30, whose guns were seized after the episode at the Tampa veterans hospital, said the police had overreacted by having a group of officers go to his workplace to take him forcibly into custody.

Photo - (A warrant from the Connecticut Superior Court describes James Serapilia referring to police officers as demons.)

But his medical records, which he sent to The Times, show diagnoses for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and “psychotic disorder not otherwise specified.” He had stopped taking his medication. Adding to his psychiatrist’s concern, Mr. Piatt’s roommate had called the veterans hospital worried about Mr. Piatt’s stability, saying he seemed paranoid and had woken him up in the middle of the night, screaming.

In an interview, Mr. Piatt said the judge who presided over his firearms-return hearing focused not on establishing his mental state but primarily on ensuring that he would store his weapons safely because he has a young son.

The judge, Claudia R. Isom, who at the time was responsible for all gun-return petitions in the county, said she simply required gun owners to affirm under oath that they met the various legal requirements and then determined if the police or the clerk’s office had found anything in their records checks. Judge Isom said she usually did not ask the petitioners if they were undergoing mental health treatment or taking their medication because “it was none of my business.”

“I’m supposed to apply the law,” she said. “If there’s no legal objection, then there’s no legal reason not to give a weapon back.”

A Volatile Mix

It is impossible to know just how many gun owners have serious mental health issues. But an examination of gun seizure records in Connecticut and Indiana, where the police have been granted greater leeway to confiscate firearms, offers perhaps the best sense of just how frequently gun ownership and mental instability mix. Officials with the Connecticut court system have collected records on more than 700 gun seizure cases since the law was enacted in 1999. That probably represents a partial count at best, however, because court officials did not make a concerted effort to ensure that all cases were reported to them until this year, after the Newtown shooting.

Photo - (A report from the Columbus, Ohio, police, describing the episode in which Paul Colflesh’s gun was taken for safekeeping.)

The Times analyzed this year’s cases in Connecticut and found that slightly more than half involved threats of suicide; 34 percent involved drugs or alcohol; and 42 percent clearly involved psychosis or some other serious mental health issue, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or clinical depression. Just under 30 percent of the mental health cases also involved drugs or alcohol.

The results were similar in Marion County, Ind., which includes Indianapolis. In 2012, the police seized 67 guns from 30 people, according to court records. Documents in 40 percent of the cases mentioned some sort of mental illness; a quarter of those cases also involved substance abuse.

In one case in April, residents of Carlyle Place in Indianapolis flagged down a police cruiser because one of their neighbors, Michael Fishburn, 54, was screaming at cars and had pointed a handgun at a woman, according to a court affidavit. The day before, he had been strutting around his yard making rooster noises, they said. The police took Mr. Fishburn to the hospital and learned that he had been receiving mental health treatment there for the previous 10 years. They also discovered that he had a lifetime permit to carry a handgun. A judge ordered the police to retain Mr. Fishburn’s pistol, as well as a shotgun, for five years.

The case of James Serapilia of Bristol, Conn., illustrates just how challenging it can be to assess mental stability and predict violence. Shortly after midnight on March 19, 2004, the sound of breaking glass drew the police to a small ranch-style house, where they found Mr. Serapilia, then 41, standing amid the shattered remains of his living room window.

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you demons to leave,” he yelled, according to a police report. As officers struggled to gain entry, Mr. Serapilia grabbed a shard of glass, held it to his throat and said, “This is it.” He was stopped only after a sergeant fired a Taser through the broken window. Inside, the police found two rifles in the living room, along with several rounds of ammunition on a table and two handguns in an upstairs closet. Officers seized the weapons.

But as a local prosecutor explained in a court hearing, “the state has the burden of showing that he’s in imminent danger to himself or others” or must eventually return the firearms. So 10 months after the episode, Mr. Serapilia, supported by a positive report from his psychiatrist, got his guns back.

But the police had not seen the last of him. Early on the morning of Sept. 25, 2010, they were at his house again, this time for a Lifeline medical alert for an older person in distress. Officers discovered Mr. Serapilia’s mother lying in the entryway, unable to get up. She pointed to her son, who was sitting on the floor nearby, appearing pale, sweating profusely and surrounded by empty beer cans. “He wouldn’t call an ambulance,” she said, according to a police report.

Mr. Serapilia bolted from the house, screaming that he was Jesus Christ, and proceeded to lead the police on a car chase through three towns before officers were able to deflate the tires of his Toyota Tacoma, smash a passenger-side window and drag him from the vehicle. He later told them that he had schizophrenia and depression, had stopped taking his medication and believed he was being chased by demons, the report said. This time, because Mr. Serapilia was criminally charged and his guns were seized as contraband, a judge ordered them destroyed. Mr. Serapilia, through his sister, declined to comment.

As for Mark Russo, the Middletown man who is looking forward to reclaiming his 18 guns in April, he acknowledged that public records indicated that he had made threats of violence, but he said they were untrue. He said he had had difficulty getting doctors to understand the real nature of his problem, which is not mental illness but paranormal activities that have afflicted him since his youth, including objects disappearing from his home and a bird once flying out of his forehead.

“I’ve offered to take a lie-detector test to prove what I’m saying is true,” he said. “But psychiatrists, they don’t want to hear about God and demons and all that.”

At the Middletown Police Department, Lt. Heather Desmond said there was little her agency could do to avoid returning guns to someone who is mentally ill, unless “there are new incidents or concerns that would justify seeking another risk warrant.” The police check their records for that before handing over the firearms, she said.

“But if a year has gone by and nothing new has happened, there’s nothing we can do,” Lieutenant Desmond said. “It’s unfortunate, and it’s something that has to be addressed.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/when-the-right-to-bear-arms-includes-t he-mentally-ill.html?_r=0&mtrref=www.washingtonpost.com



This is the difficult work that must be done everywhere. It won't make for big headlines like banning assault weapons and depending on approach it may face legal challenges, but the stories detailed in this piece show just a small glimpse into the types of people who should not possess firearms and how local police and laws deal with such. Changing this will be the most effective thing that we can do.


gina - 2/22/2018 at 12:16 AM

The President said there are many people with many ideas. One of which might be to ARM teachers. Teachers in Texas are allowed to be armed.

https://www.newsmax.com/headline/parkland-school-shooting-listening/2018/02 /21/id/844722/

President Donald Trump floated the idea of arming teachers and promised more stringent background checks on gun owners as he hosted an emotional meeting Wednesday with students who survived last week's mass shooting at a Florida school.
"I just want to say before we begin, because I want to hear you, but we'll be very strong on background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody," Trump told the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a meeting in the White House.

Trump also suggested some teachers could be trained in the use of firearms as a deterrent to would-be gunmen.

"This would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a gun," said Trump.

"It's called concealed carry. Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them, they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone."

"A gun-free zone is, let's go in and let's attack," he said.

"There are many ideas that I have, many ideas that other people have and we'll pick out the most important ideas and work to get them done. It won't be talk, it's gone on too long."


Remarks: Everyone wants the same end result. He is looking at it from another point of view. I don't know how a trained, armed teacher who comes up against someone with an assault weapon could effectively stop carnage such as what happened in Florida. However, I do think there are enough retired ex-military people who could volunteer some part time hours (bring in more than one per school) who could take care of any would be bad-ass kid. They ARE trained.





[Edited on 2/22/2018 by gina]


2112 - 2/22/2018 at 01:33 AM

quote:
The President said there are many people with many ideas. One of which might be to ARM teachers. Teachers in Texas are allowed to be armed.

https://www.newsmax.com/headline/parkland-school-shooting-listening/2018/02 /21/id/844722/

President Donald Trump floated the idea of arming teachers and promised more stringent background checks on gun owners as he hosted an emotional meeting Wednesday with students who survived last week's mass shooting at a Florida school.
"I just want to say before we begin, because I want to hear you, but we'll be very strong on background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody," Trump told the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a meeting in the White House.

Trump also suggested some teachers could be trained in the use of firearms as a deterrent to would-be gunmen.

"This would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a gun," said Trump.

"It's called concealed carry. Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them, they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone."

"A gun-free zone is, let's go in and let's attack," he said.

"There are many ideas that I have, many ideas that other people have and we'll pick out the most important ideas and work to get them done. It won't be talk, it's gone on too long."


Remarks: Everyone wants the same end result. He is looking at it from another point of view. I don't know how a trained, armed teacher who comes up against someone with an assault weapon could effectively stop carnage such as what happened in Florida. However, I do think there are enough retired ex-military people who could volunteer some part time hours (bring in more than one per school) who could take care of any would be bad-ass kid. They ARE trained.

[Edited on 2/22/2018 by gina]


Parkland did have an armed guard at the school. Several other schools that had mass shootings had armed guards as well. Yet the school shootings continue.


nebish - 2/22/2018 at 02:11 AM

I personally do not like arming teachers. If we would arm certain guidance councilors, principles, vice principles that would be better than individual teachers. But that is a whole different level of responsibility and who is to say that those people would be comfortable with that.

As 2112, said Stoneman Douglas had an armed officer on site, but some of these school campuses are quite large, so one or two officers might be in the wrong place at the wrong time to have an impact. Or in the case of my district, we have 7 different schools for all K-12 grades, that would mean an additional 7 officers. In general I think it would be great to have a police officer on hand at every school, but I don't think anyone should be under the illusion this will stop an attacker before they can inflict damage.

All of the schools I go to in our area have the doors all locked. You have to buzz in and there is a camera so they can see who you are. But this attacker figured out a way around that.

Metal detectors are fine, but it only stops regular students from entering under normal circumstances. It wouldn't do anything to stop an attacker. Or an attacker that wanted to show up before or after the bell to get people entering or exiting.

Lots of things can and should be done. Some of it comes down to local school district policy and what they are comfortable with. There are actions that can be taken at every level from local to state to federal.

There is definitely something different about this time. I felt it last week. Mark Kelly said to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas "you woke the nation up, now the goal is to keep them awake". I think everyone is going to be up for a while. Every activist, victim and concerned citizen may not get everything they want, but the time is now for some steps in the right direction. And it may not stop the next mass shooting, and it may not stop the one after that. But I believe that longterm changes we make today can and will influence what happens in the future.


gina - 2/22/2018 at 08:35 PM

Trump brought up a point that if the coach had been carrying he could have shot the kid and that would have stopped the carnage.

“If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy – that coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect,” Trump rambled. “But if he had a firearm, he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot him, and that would have been the end of it.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/feb/21/marco-rubio-c ameron-kasky-cnn-town-hall-florida-gun-control

Remarks: It brings up points of who should be allowed to kill someone even the shooter in an armed shooter situation? Teachers, coaches, anyone who is properly trained. Even if the cops respond in 5 minutes of less, that's 5 minutes too long for the lives of those being mowed down in an onslaught of bullets.


Sang - 2/22/2018 at 09:04 PM

Thanks for all the thought you have put into this nebish. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Myself, I would like to see a ban on AK-15's and guns like them. Make them available at gun ranges for those that just have to feel that power, but keep them out of society.

I understand guns for hunting and guns for protection. I have some friends that love to target shoot. I have seen then go from 'I need a handgun' to needing 4 or 5 guns of increasing power .... which may be why 30% of the population have guns, but there are more than 1 for every person.

I read something yesterday (not sure where) that suggested that similar to a restraining order, if people thought someone was unstable and a threat, they could get an order with the police to have that person's guns taken away temporarily. There would be due process for the person to get them back. This seems like something that could have been useful in the Florida case, since there were so many signs ahead of time. Of course, if the guy could just walk into Walmart and get another gun right away, this wouldn't work. I agree with you that there needs to be some kind of national database, or else people will be able to find all kinds of loopholes.


2112 - 2/22/2018 at 09:15 PM

After stepping back and taking another look at this, I am just as concerned with someone with a quick temper having a gun as a mentally ill person. I had a client a few years back who I knew had a quick temper, but I never would have thought him to be a murderer. I was more than a little surprised to turn on the radio one morning and hearing he did a murder suicide.

So, how do you keep someone like that from having a gun?


porkchopbob - 2/22/2018 at 09:54 PM

quote:
I read something yesterday (not sure where) that suggested that similar to a restraining order, if people thought someone was unstable and a threat, they could get an order with the police to have that person's guns taken away temporarily. There would be due process for the person to get them back. This seems like something that could have been useful in the Florida case, since there were so many signs ahead of time.


The big story here in south Florida the week prior to Parkland was a 22 year-old kid who went on a shooting spree and ended up shooting his girlfriend and driving into oncoming traffic on I95 where he was shot and killed by cops (just a few miles from Parkland). Prior to all of this, his grandmother had taken out a restraining order on him for violently threatening her. I haven't read whether his gun was legally purchased, he was a minor drug runner, but a more thorough investigation based on the violent threats might have saved lives exactly as you suggest. He also called to turn himself in after the first few shootings, and instead of sending a squad car to pick him up, the operator gave him the address of the closest precinct. (here's the whole story: https://www.local10.com/news/crime/suspect-killed-by-deputy-on-i-95-went-on -shooting-rampage )

I'd like to note that although most news agencies are referring to Parkland as a "Miami suburb" (metro areas are deceptively large), it's 45 miles from the northern edge of Miami. It's just west of Boca, where TTB held the Sunshine Music Fest and FAU recently fired a professor for claiming Sandy Hook was a hoax. It's also just north of Ft Lauderdale, FL's 2nd biggest city, which only a year ago suffered from a deadly airport shooter. Parkland is also closer to Palm Beach than it is to Miami, where Trump was playing golf over the weekend. South Florida can be a lot of things, but don't wonder why these kids are reacting so defiantly.


OriginalGoober - 2/23/2018 at 02:03 AM

Some good ideas here. I would like to stop law enforcement from focusing on weed and other low level alcohol and drug offenses, and consensual prostitution, use those resources wasted on incarceration, surveillance, prosecution, and local kangaroo courts and shift them to school security and mental health and drug treatment. Use the death penalty for drug money laundering . Improve border security. Deport illegals. Work with the NRA to crack down on illegal gun sales or fake paperwork.



[Edited on 2/23/2018 by OriginalGoober]


nebish - 2/23/2018 at 03:48 AM

I don't know what was different this time, I think for me it was just building towards it. I started feeling it after the Las Vegas shooting and then the Texas church shooting and then this one, each cut got deeper and I was done just moving on and hoping it wouldn't happen again. So I used this forum, the original now deleted thread to throw a bunch of stuff up on the wall, and then focused more seriously in this thread. And I'm glad to read thoughts and ideas of others because that has helped me too. This weekend I hope to write several representatives at the state and national level. What I hope to accomplish is to make those Republicans realize how many reasonable things could be done to move in the right direction and I'm fairly reasonable and calling out for it. And what I hope to make those Democrats realize is how many effective things can be done instead of just focusing on a new gun ban. I really want to read further into how some of the states in the NYT article handles the issue with mentally disturbed people. I'll post my letter here when I have it.

2112, short temper people obtaining guns? Unless there could've been some specific threat or some type of cause of concern data that maybe could've gone into a system flagging them. I do not think we are going to be able to drill down that far in trying to prevent violence before it happens.

Gina, as you say, in 5 minutes the shooting may be over. If that is how long it takes for police to get there. Again, arming teachers is problematic. It may work in some areas, in some cases districts may be able to do that. I would personally rather see it be a more general person at the school rather than a teacher responsible for a classroom of kids. Most coaches that are full-time are actually teachers themselves when they aren't coaching. Maybe an assistant coach who is around might be able to carry. This is really a very local decision for individual districts. It isn't all bad, but needs to be advanced with extreme caution. Better to have a dedicated security, assuming that person actually acts.

Sang, I have heard of the restraining order too and I also like it. Just like so many things, you scratch the surface and see what is being done here or there and it kind of opens up a whole collection of things that people are trying to do. If only there was some kind of way to pull it all together. Maybe this new northeast governor coalition sheds some light. I would think the hope from that is that other states get shown the way rather than relying on the feds. But it is tough. I may or may not support everything they support, but I think they have done alot of the right things to try and limit wrong people from obtaining guns legally and I certainly support as much of that as possible.

Bob, that story isn't your every day gun violence story, but it kind of just goes under the radar. Whether it is a school shooting, or anywhere, if we can make it less likely that the wrong people are able to obtain guns that is the goal. And then we do the best we can. Maybe there are further steps after that. Let's just clamp down on the errors in our current system as a strong starting point and continued improvement from there can always be had.

OG, I would like to think that maybe, some day, the NRA could evolve into a good partner in this. But after hearing clips from their CPAC comments we are a ways off from that ever happening. Their comments are what I hate most, the acidic us vs them position that has ruined reasonable conversations in this country. The NRA has some good platforms. They have grants for local public shooting ranges. I have used one of these, free, open to the public thanks to NRA money. It is very clean and well designed. In the sport of competitive target shooting they sponsor many events. They also sponsor training programs. Marksmanship is a sport, we just saw some of it in the Olympics. And actually, with what happened with this latest school shooting, perhaps this is an area where participant evaluation can help law enforcement identify troubled individuals. There is a place for a good national firearms "club". But their legislative branch and their political agenda makes me glad I left their organization. At some point down the road, after the NRA has lost on their agenda to fight against most legislation they lay eyes on, at some point I can perhaps envision a nonpolitical NRA that does good, but for now it's like "all I'm trying is up and all you're bringing is down". Otherwise, I agree, I think that local law enforcement can be even more proactive in trying to identify these threats, but they are still going to have to do all that other stuff unless a whole bunch of laws change.


[Edited on 2/23/2018 by nebish]


Jerry - 2/23/2018 at 05:20 PM

quote:
Thanks for all the thought you have put into this nebish. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Myself, I would like to see a ban on AK-15's and guns like them. Make them available at gun ranges for those that just have to feel that power, but keep them out of society.

I understand guns for hunting and guns for protection. I have some friends that love to target shoot. I have seen then go from 'I need a handgun' to needing 4 or 5 guns of increasing power .... which may be why 30% of the population have guns, but there are more than 1 for every person.

I read something yesterday (not sure where) that suggested that similar to a restraining order, if people thought someone was unstable and a threat, they could get an order with the police to have that person's guns taken away temporarily. There would be due process for the person to get them back. This seems like something that could have been useful in the Florida case, since there were so many signs ahead of time. Of course, if the guy could just walk into Walmart and get another gun right away, this wouldn't work. I agree with you that there needs to be some kind of national database, or else people will be able to find all kinds of loopholes.


As Nebish said, please get items and facts straight before posting.
Just correcting, not fussing, but Sang it's the AR-15, and the AK-47.

Unfortunately right now I haven't had much time to get in the forum. I'm going through tests for back surgery.
Recently completed a never connectivity test to make sure the nerves from my back down my legs haven't gone through too much degradation. That wasn't fun at all, took a couple of days to get back over it.

It's going to take a while to digest all the posts, do some research, and return.


Stephen - 2/23/2018 at 05:31 PM

Really hope the couple of days of misery prove out in the long run to have been beneficial Jerry as far as the proper medical course to pursue -- hoping the discomfort subsides, recall your post "my back hurts" from sevrl mos. ago -- it's not fun & all the best


nebish - 2/25/2018 at 05:30 PM

Hoping for the best for you Jerry.

I live in Ohio, Ohio requires adjudicated mentally ill persons or persons involuntarily admitted to a hospital be reported to Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. This information is utilized when someone applies for a concealed weapons permit, but there is no law requiring it gets submitted to the the federal background check system. So Ohio could reject such a person for a CCW permit, but they could likely legally purchase a firearm!!! So the state is saying "this person should not carry a concealed gun, but we aren't going to go the extra step to prevent them from purchasing a gun" That data must be submitted to the NICS. Ohio CCW permit background checks are actually more detailed than the federal system due to more information available. The Sheriff can revoke the CCW if more data becomes available after issuing. Would be nice if we had a licensing process for everyone wishing to purchase a firearm similar to the CCW process.

I've long been against gun registration, but I am changing on that. You have to register a drone with the FAA if it is over a certain size, but you don't have to register a firearm in most states. I think there should be some date where any purchases after a certain date goes into a database. I still do not support any registration of currently owned, pre-date firearms. That would rely upon voluntary registration and alot of people would ignore it and I really don't want to see penalties and such for people who ignore it. But it would be easy to implement registration on new purchases when they go through the back ground check - assuming back ground checks were universal in nature. This database would help law enforcement know what firearms a criminal or mentally ill person, assuming they were not a criminal or mentally ill person when they legally obtained their gun, if they become such later there should be a mechanism whereby law enforcement can remove all known/registered firearms for safe keeping pending court reviews. Law enforcement currently has some authority to temporarily take a suspect's firearms, having a registration log just allows them to fully know what the suspect should have.

The high school I graduated from just had a 14 year old arrested for making a threat about shooting at school. After arrest the kid said he wasn't going to actually do it. He is being charged with inducing panic. A local catholic school got a threat of a shooting that is to take place tomorrow. Police will have a heavier presence at that school. Kids are going to say stuff just because they are kids, but they will quickly learn that people are going to take them as if they are serious and will face charges. Same as with bomb threats, which there has always been bomb threats made here or there, you know, kids think it is funny, maybe get school canceled for a day. This isn't any difference, threats will be taken seriously whether they are or aren't.

My local school district has a three full time resource officers for our two middle schools and high school (3 separate buildings/campuses). Another resource officer is responsible for our 4 elementary schools, spending time divided between the four. Our police department also has uniformed patrol officers do walk throughs at the schools so the officers become familiar with building layouts and also so the students become used to seeing officers in their hallways.

It might work for some districts who want to have armed teachers or front office administrators with guns, but I really would rather see this done through a professional security or law enforcement professional instead. More school resource officers.


gina - 2/27/2018 at 12:37 AM

Nebish has identified part of the problem. The states and the federal systems are inconsistent. Not deliberately, but that is the reality. The reality allowed Mr. Cruz to buy the weapon he slaughtered people with. If as the news reported he was being treated for emotional illness, sorry, no weapon. Someone who cannot handle their emotions without pharmaceutical support cannot be tasked with responsible gun ownership. Doesn't matter how many hundreds of millions of other people also take the same thing and have weapons currently. Grandfather anybody who currently has weapons, but has not created problems. We need to stop dancing around the issue.


"I live in Ohio, Ohio requires adjudicated mentally ill persons or persons involuntarily admitted to a hospital be reported to Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. This information is utilized when someone applies for a concealed weapons permit, but there is no law requiring it gets submitted to the the federal background check system. So Ohio could reject such a person for a CCW permit, but they could likely legally purchase a firearm!!! So the state is saying "this person should not carry a concealed gun, but we aren't going to go the extra step to prevent them from purchasing a gun" That data must be submitted to the NICS. Ohio CCW permit background checks are actually more detailed than the federal system due to more information available. The Sheriff can revoke the CCW if more data becomes available after issuing. Would be nice if we had a licensing process for everyone wishing to purchase a firearm similar to the CCW process. "

People are afraid of witchhunts, people being labelled and stigmatized. Then there is the financial incentives. Certain gun lobbyists pay into politicians coffers. It should not be that complicated. Reason and sound judgment should be able to prevail.

[Edited on 2/27/2018 by gina]


Bhawk - 3/4/2018 at 05:09 PM

The noise is starting to soften. The fervor after the latest incident was a little more intense and longer lasting than usual, but it won't be too long before it too shall pass.

Nothing will happen at the Federal level. This much is clear. Having a president that doesn't fear saying outrageous things is an immense help to the dedication of the do nothing cause. He can set the entire noise machine off course for three or four days at a time. Before long, the next crisis of social issue will come to the forefront.

Actions at a state level will most likely occur in Florida, perhaps some things have happened already. Enacting bans on things like bump stocks are compromises of residue from the larger issue.

To make it clear, Scott, I'm not disrespecting you or the spirit of this thread by not offering what I think about what preventative actions society could take on this issue. I just truly believe that nothing will ever change. We have accepted the risk of death either by shooting or mass shooting along the same lines as being hit by a drunk driver or dying in an industrial accident. Heck, even on the same level as dying of pneumonia or the flu.

Nothing will change, until it does. At this rate, it never will.


nebish - 3/4/2018 at 10:47 PM

No disrespect taken Jerry. I understand your pessimism. I do think the biggest potential for changes will take place at the state level.

To your point, we've heard alot of talk from people, but not much from McConnell or Ryan that I heard. I did hear Ryan tout their NICS-fix / CCW reciprocity bill, which is a good idea coupled with a controversial one.

Things like the NICS-fix, bump stocks, and even the age change. That is the easy stuff that only makes a difference around the edges. They are good changes, but more needs done. Those alone don't go far enough to really impact the issue. Plus the NICS-fix and bump stock issue aren't even new to the discussion post Parkland.

I can't remember, what state do you live in? Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma? I can understand your doubt on getting changes that you think are needed. I think the likelihood of states acting more, but that depends on where you live.

To me, there is the extreme one side (doing nothing or virtually nothing) and the extreme other side (gun bans), but there is a whole lot of things in the middle that matters to hash out that could bring reasonable people into agreement. Who is going to bring those people together? Trump? Depends on what day of the week, or what hour of the day. I didn't want a Republican President and I didn't think Trump would be a Republican President, as alot of people doubted if he really was or not. So we get glimpses into some of his non-rightwing-conforming train of thought, like "take guns away, then have due process" and other off-the-cuff remarks. And it makes me think, 'I think we can get something done here with most Democrats and enough Republicans'. Then he changes course or back tracks and I'm left feeling doubtful like yourself. I mean, McConnell and Ryan aren't going to take us there. I'm still going to write everyone that represents me or my district. Will it matter? Probably not, but what else do you do? It's like, all i can do is speak my mind and then what will be will be. I'm not going to protest. I'm not going to vote D blind up and down the ballot, just like I don't vote R up and down the ballot because neither side offers the full package of what I really want, and this gun issue doesn't jump ahead of any other particular issue that is also important to me. Lots of things are important. I want to try and get people to consider things they haven't considered before. So I play my role. They play their's. And in between we talk about it all.

I do appreciate this thread not getting off the rails because nothing sucks more than putting alot of time into spelling out ideas and thoughts only to have it break down into insults and potentially getting deleted.

More discussion would be good, but this is what we are left with. I appreciate the people we still have here who are willing to listen and respond with respect for the issue at hand and one another. I don't look for agreement really, if everyone agreed with me here I probably wouldn't be here because there is nothing to be gained if we all look at things the same way.


nebish - 3/7/2018 at 04:31 PM

In the next day or two I will be emailing or mailing letters similar to the one I post below. This specific one was written for one of my Senators Sherrod Brown. The other letters will have the same overall message with some changes around the edges based on the intended recipient.

Everything stated in here has already been said throughout our thread. I submit it for your review.

--

Senator Brown,

Thank you very much for taking your time to read my thoughts and concerns. Before I get into that I briefly want to thank you for your continued efforts on trade and outsourcing issues negatively impacting American workers. It’s extremely important and I appreciate you not playing partisan politics on this.

I’m compelled to write you today concerning access to firearms in our country. Gun violence is an immense ongoing problem, but specifically it is these mass shooting events and the perpetrators involved that moves me.

I wanted to go through certain topics and areas I seek change:
• NICS-fix
• Mental health data
• Universal background checks
• Federal + State background checks
• Age restrictions
• School safety

One aspect I don’t necessarily support:
• Gun bans

Allow me to elaborate on each of the above topics.

The NICS-fix bill has passed the House. I am aware of the controversial concealed carry reciprocity aspect the House passed. I am a CCW license holder and while that law would benefit me, I do think it is best left to the states to determine who they do or do not want carrying concealed within their state. I don’t know your position on that singular issue; ultimately I do hope you will support the NICS-fix bill. It is my strong belief that we need more data on violent and criminal persons in our background check system and upon reading the NICS-fix bill I see that as an effective way to achieve that.

We must not stop there. I would like to see a similar bill that addresses documented mentally unstable people being entered into our federal background system. The states have some of this information, but there is no mandate to share it with the federal system. It has come to my attention that in Ohio, the back ground check process for a CCW license is more thorough than the federal system because of the type of information Ohio utilizes for the background checks isn’t always made available to the federal system. So please, let’s get more violent and criminals excluded from legally buying firearms AND let’s also do the same for those who lack the mental capacity to safely purchase and own firearms. It is just as important to populate an exclusion list for mentally unstable and ill persons as it is to have an accurate exclusion list for those with violent and criminal backgrounds. On a side note, I of course support you in adding terror-watch list / no-fly list names into the system as well.

Even with our best attempts, there is always potential for some information being left out of the federal system. So I see benefit in having a dual back ground check where a seller consults both the existing federal system and also a state administered system that many states already have in place. This will serve as a double-check in the event of inconsistent reporting to ensure no individual falls through the cracks who otherwise shouldn’t buy or own a firearm.

Next, we need universal back ground checks for private sales just like we have for sales at licensed dealers. Strengthening the background check system isn’t very good if that check can easily be circumvented by sales at gun shows or other individual-to-individual purchases. This is an extra burden and hurdle for me if I choose to sell one of my firearms; however I see it as a necessary layer of safety to ensure the buyer can lawfully purchase and own a gun.

I also think raising the age to purchase all semi-automatic weapons is wise. There are many hunting and sporting rifles that younger people can use for legitimate use that are not semi-automatic, I don’t want to shut off access to all young people for sporting or even self-defense purposes. I do however want to limit their access to the most dangerous and lethal weapons. I understand the argument of one being able to enlist and serve our country at 18, why should we limit others of the same age? With military service and commitment comes responsibility and maturity. Unless an individual is a member of our military, I think we should limit the purchase of semi-automatic weapons to 21.

A lot has been said on what schools should and shouldn’t do. I think arming teachers or administrators should be an individual school district decision, I do not see any role for the federal government to get involved with any requirement or program like that. What I do believe is we should have either more school resource officers or creation of a security professional, similar to a guidance counselor whereby they can monitor and report on any and all suspicious activity or threats from within their school or targeting their school. This person could coordinate all interested parties from law enforcement to school boards so everyone is in the loop on the issues at hand in order to react in the best manner possible. This would be something left to local districts, but I tell you about it in case you can see some way the federal government could help along the way. We know that troubled kids come through our school system and it seems that we end up with a lot of loose ends on properly accessing the danger such a person does or does not pose. We need to tie all that together and give somebody the responsibility to see that we are properly tracking and reporting suspicious and potentially dangerous individuals. I think local or even federal law enforcement could do more online at identifying threats and then setting up a means to catch somebody breaking the law before they get to the point of attacking others. I envision a program similar to what is currently used to catch child predators or potential terrorists uncovered online where they are engaged by undercover law enforcement in a manner to reveal their intentions or catch them in an unlawful act and can then be charged accordingly.

I plan to write a similar letter to my state representatives to highlight ways they could be effective in their capacity, such as how local schools should proceed or perhaps requiring some training and safety course or even requiring a licensing program for the buyers. Another issue I am not sure is best addressed at the local level or nationally is empowering law enforcement to confiscate weapons upon a court order, similar to a restraining order, under certain conditions. Many states do something similar currently and I think law enforcement’s ability to expand such programs can be an important tool when combined with all the other safe guards we will hopefully enact.

Finally, I wanted to touch on gun bans. I know that you support some kind of assault weapons ban similar to what we had in 1994 or what Senator Feinstein introduced. In the short-to-medium term, I do not see a ban having an impact on the availability of the guns due to the extraordinary amount of such firearms in circulation that always get grandfathered in. New or used, these guns will be available for a very long time in stores and private party sales. If your stated goal is more long-term reducing, or at least not expanding, the overall supply of these weapons, I wouldn’t argue with that point, but I think it is important to clearly state what the actions we take or don’t take will and won’t do. There is no doubt that for many mass shootings, assault weapons are the tool of choice. I also think if we take that one tool away from the perpetrator they will utilize another weapon to carry out their attack. I see a more effective route is limiting the people who can purchase not just assault weapons, but all firearms through a deeper and more effective screening in the back ground check process coupled with greater effort at the state and local level to better identify threats and act accordingly. I also believe the methods laid out here find more common ground with realistic potential of passage and real world results. I wouldn’t say I would directly oppose you if you strongly believed in the merit of gun bans, I just think there is a better, less controversial way to achieve the same end result in the final analysis.

I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to listen to my thoughts. I’m proud when I see my representatives check their party affiliation at the door and try to forge common ground for the greater good on important issues. No doubt your beliefs are strong, as are opposing views of others. Please always put the good of our state, our country and our people ahead of all other interests that might be at play and by doing so we will find the best way forward for everyone.



nebish - 3/20/2018 at 03:09 AM

Another arrest in the school district I attended:

quote:

12-year-old faces felony charges for threatening Boardman school

March 19, 2018 at 2:34p.m.

BOARDMAN

A 12-year-old Glenwood Junior High School student was arrested on felony charges related to threats against the school, according to a police report.

A school resource officer was notified of the threat Friday morning, according to the report. A student reported hearing people talking on the bus about another student’s threat to “shoot up the school.”

The school resource officer, principal and a guidance counselor interviewed several students who told them the student in question posted threatening messages in a group chat on the app Instagram, and posted a photo of a gun and a photo referencing Nikolas Cruz, the teenager alleged to have killed 17 people at a Florida high school Feb. 14.

The student was arrested Friday on felony charges of inducing panic and tampering with evidence, police said.


Kids can say and do stupid things, but they are going to have to learn that making threats will not be tolerated and taken seriously. I hope anyone doing so faces charges to the fullest extent of the law. Sucks for them, moral of the story...don't say or do stupid stuff, if you do you will be held accountable for your words and actions.


Jerry - 3/22/2018 at 03:40 AM

Several things to go over her.
1) New meds so my back is the same, I just don't feel the pressure on my spine. The problem is that the vertebrae out of place make me think my legs and hips hurt, but it's just pressure on the nerves. I have had a few bad days where I wished I could find some of those opiods.

2) Every time a shooting occurs, people react and want laws passed to show their anger at what happened, not realizing that there are already laws in place exactly like the ones they want passed. According to what you consider a "gun law", there are from a few thousand to over 20,000 on the books.

3) Laws were in effect that would have prevented this kid to purchase the AR-15. Unfortunately the proper notifications were not made to the proper authorities.

4) The truly mentally ill in this country actually don't fall under most laws as do the rest of us. The term "guilty, but mentally ill" can be construed as that the person did the crime, but can not be held responsible due to mental incapacity or not having enough mental capacity to realize the extent of their actions.

5) unfortunately, those who commit these crimes don't care about how many laws about gun ownership there are, or any other laws.
The shooters at Columbine and Sandy Hook committed multiple crimes before they even reached the school area.

6) Much misinformation and divisive propaganda is given out after many of the shootings. This time the now disputed figure of "18 school shootings this year" was widely reported by anti gunners and news media.

7) Gun bans, no. A gun ban would have had no impact on the school shootings in my opinion.

8) Changing the legal age to purchase shotguns and rifles, again no. That still has had no effect on the school shooters since in general they have been younger than the present legal age to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

9) It's still part of 8, but a new direction: around 20% of firearms used in school shootings since Columbine have been stolen, not purchased by the shooter. The majority of the rest were taken from home, and since the majority of shooters were underage, they did not own the firearms.

The basis of what I'm saying is that if the laws in effect had been followed, several of the more recent shootings could have been avoided if the shooter was trying to get their firearms legally.
Enforcement of laws already in effect is what is needed, not more of the same laws.
Stop restricting rights of the law abiding citizens due to the dastardly acts of criminals.

Nebish, I do like your letter and think it would be a good start.


BoytonBrother - 3/22/2018 at 01:34 PM

quote:
The basis of what I'm saying is that if the laws in effect had been followed, several of the more recent shootings could have been avoided if the shooter was trying to get their firearms legally.
Enforcement of laws already in effect is what is needed, not more of the same laws.
Stop restricting rights of the law abiding citizens due to the dastardly acts of criminals.


All true. But you fail to address measures to reduce and minimize the number of deaths during these terrorist attacks. I wish he used a pistol, rifle, bomb, or shotgun. I bet there would have been less casualties with those weapons. You can argue that an AR-15 is well regulated, but I argue the opposite. There is no rational argument for civilians to purchase that type of weapon. I’ve heard every response - then the burglars will be stronger, how can we defend ourselves from tyranny, my rights are being taken away, blah blah blah. None of those are rational. It’s the height of insecurity to focus on one’s own rights instead of reducing casualties in our schools.


Jerry - 3/23/2018 at 01:46 AM

quote:
Damn right. There's a good reason these particular weapons are chosen more times than not -- maximum precision, maximum causalities. If you deny this simple fact don't you dare lecture me about what AR stands for because you don't know crap about guns.
quote:


AR stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite is the manufacturer that designed the weapon and designated it the AR-15, Colt bought the rights to the firearm and made it for the government that designated it the M-16.
Semi-auto variants are called AR-15, while the select fire versions full/semi/three shot burst, are called M-16s.

What did you think that the AR stood for? If you thought it stood for automatic rifle, then you have proven you really don't know crap about guns (or how to research before posting).

quote:
Also gun nuts don't seem to want to address the irrational almost erotic passion millions of Americans have for their gun collections. Taking selfies with your arsenal is NOT NORMAL and should be considered a warning sign and definitely not the hallmark of a responsible gun owner. Go kill a deer and strike a pose if you like, we could only wish this was the extent of gun porn in today's sick fck American gun culture.


UHHH, you are really sick with a disturbing sense of fantasy.


WaitinForRain - 3/23/2018 at 03:07 AM

Let all the air-time but not real-time Xtians stand up and unite behind Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Disgusting how many self-professed "Christians" support killing as long as it isn't Fetuses.



Really have lost patience with this bunch of screaming crying PRETENDERS
Really have lost patience with the willingness to endorse violence as if violence ever did a single
thing besides provoke more violence.

But Finally there is a solution. Let all the gun nutters send their kids to the special school where psychos are encouraged to thwart security and kill 'em. Both sides get what they want and they can leave
the peaceful rest of us OUT of it.


Jerry - 3/23/2018 at 10:20 PM

quote:
I guess I struck a nerve. Oh well.


More like grossed out from your fantasy of having sex with guns.


alanwoods - 3/24/2018 at 11:41 AM

quote:
Your 9-point diatribe came off a bit sanctimonious.



Pot, meet kettle.


Bhawk - 3/24/2018 at 03:00 PM

Anything changed yet?


gina - 3/24/2018 at 04:10 PM

School district arming their classrooms and students with buckets of rocks

One schools superintendent has a novel way to keep his students safe from school shooters: arming them with rocks.

David Helsel, superintendent of a school district in northeast Pennsylvania, explained his plan to a legislative education committee last week, drawing a flurry of local media coverage.

“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone,” Helsel explained about his Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County, northeast of Harrisburg, in a video broadcast by ABC affiliate 16 WNEP. “If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks, and they will be stoned.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/03/23/this-school-d istricts-plan-to-stop-shooters-a-bucket-of-rocks-for-students-to-throw-at-t hem/?utm_term=.acace93f97b8



BIGV - 3/24/2018 at 06:25 PM

quote:
but a more thorough investigation based on the violent threats might have saved lives exactly as you suggest. He also called to turn himself in after the first few shootings, and instead of sending a squad car to pick him up, the operator gave him the address of the closest precinct.


So I am reading through this thread and the above jumped out at me. This suggests to me that there is a huge breakdown in the ability to share information between all concerned agencies and local police departments. Imagine how many fall through the cracks....


OriginalGoober - 3/24/2018 at 07:40 PM

About responding to calls that come in....

The more gov dependency grows, the more irrelevant 911 calls like "they put cheese on my burger" that we have all heard clog the system. I believe its a symptom of how to best use the resources you have to work with..The crazier the low lifes get the more people want to keep their firepower. Government can't be everywhere all the time. We need to shift away from using our cops as craigslist personals poseurs (which BTW is now kaput) or the 420 patrol. Or as revenue generators for local towns because of seatbelt offenses.


Muleman1994 - 3/25/2018 at 03:02 PM

The people who abuse the 911 system can be fined. Generally, the people who abuse the 911 system couldn’t pay the fine.

If you want an accurate sense of the 911 abuse problem, ask a law enforcement official (the non-elected sort).


Muleman1994 - 3/25/2018 at 03:05 PM

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting was a cluster-f of screw ups at every level.

As usual some immediately started screaming “gun control” while ignoring the long list of factors that caused this tragedy.

The most glaring failures occurred at the school, local and state government level.

No gun control law would have stopped this shooting.
- What good are more gun laws when the laws already on the books are not enforced and anyone can buy a gun on the street in minutes?

The perpetrator had known mental health issues, but no one followed through.
- Good luck fixing this one. Someone displaying mental health issues can be prevented from purchasing a gun and can be institutionalized but the laws regarding this vary greatly state to state and where they do exist it can take years to be acted upon.

Local law enforcement (Broward Co.) failed to do their job.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS has been broken since it was implemented but only now is being fixed. Late is better that doing nothing. While NICS is being fixed at the federal level unless that system is fed with the necessary data from the localities and states it will remain useless.

Many changes to current gun laws are needed but the issue is so politically charged that it is doubtful any effective changes will happen.

Anyone notice that these “protests” are not pointed at Hollywood or the politicians who are surrounded by armed security?

The NRA is the one organization that promotes gun safety. How many of the gun violence criminals were NRA trained? None.

The so-called gun violence problem can never be solved but much can be done to significantly reduce it if the people are willing to participate.

A good place to start is holding local and state officials accountable and responsible.

Yea, good luck.




funkyfitter - 3/25/2018 at 03:47 PM

I have no idea how to stop all of this mass shooting violence in our country, especially when the shooter has no ties to those that they target. That being said, I am a U.S. Navy vet, and N.R.A. member that has legally owned since age 19 and legally carried guns since my Honorable discharge 31 years ago. I've never shot anyone, and had to pull my gun out once when 3 guys approached me & told me to "give it up ". The sight of my revolver was enough to freeze them in their tracks and back off, turn & run. I hope that was the last time they ever tried to rob anyone. I now have an 18 yo son that is graduating from high school this year and is enlisting in the Army. I've practiced safe, responsible gun ownership with him, including hunting, where he has actually taken the life of animals for us to eat or varmint control, but has seen the end result and knows that it's final. I feel that I've done my part and am confident in our rationale of responsible gun ownership and it's opposite, irresponsible gun ownership.


Muleman1994 - 3/25/2018 at 04:02 PM

quote:
You guys remember that mass shooting committed by the guy carrying the fully automatic M41A carbine?

Yeah me either.

Golly gosh I guess gun bans really do work.



So, it was that gun that shot the people?

Any word as to why the gun was so upset?

I understand the campus banned guns so I'm not sure how the gun was able to pull this off. Many local jurisdictions also have very strict guns laws. The gun must have been defective, if it didn't obey them.

Probably need to pass more laws so the guns will behave.



Muleman1994 - 3/25/2018 at 05:06 PM

quote:
I guess the proven effectiveness of our own country's automatic weapons ban escapes you.

Bumps stocks one example of a workaround Trump is now rightfully banning like obedient cuck he is.





Where the Obama administration failed and made bump-stocks available to everyone President Trump is standing up and banning them.


BIGV - 3/25/2018 at 05:28 PM

quote:
I feel that I've done my part and am confident in our rationale of responsible gun ownership and it's opposite, irresponsible gun ownership.


The above statement says it all. Personal responsibility.

Thank you for your service.


Sang - 3/25/2018 at 05:53 PM

quote:
quote:
I guess the proven effectiveness of our own country's automatic weapons ban escapes you.

Bumps stocks one example of a workaround Trump is now rightfully banning like obedient cuck he is.





Where the Obama administration failed and made bump-stocks available to everyone President Trump is standing up and banning them.





Repeating a lie over and over again doesn't make it true.... but keep trying


HerringinNC - 3/25/2018 at 08:20 PM

I haven't checked in to this forum in a year at least. Don't let it turn into the phish message board


Jerry - 3/26/2018 at 01:18 AM

quote:
You guys remember that mass shooting committed by the guy carrying the fully automatic M41A carbine?

Yeah me either.

Golly gosh I guess gun bans really do work.


You mean the gun used in "Aliens"? How do you ban a fictitious firearm?


Jerry - 3/26/2018 at 01:04 PM

quote:
quote:
quote:
You guys remember that mass shooting committed by the guy carrying the fully automatic M41A carbine?

Yeah me either.

Golly gosh I guess gun bans really do work.


You mean the gun used in "Aliens"? How do you ban a fictitious firearm?

Well thank you sweet baby Jesus for the typo else you might have been compelled to consider a very difficult question. Phew! Now you don't have to think about it.


You are welcome.

Oh, and M4s are not banned for civilian ownership.


adhill58 - 3/26/2018 at 02:01 PM

quote:


AR stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite is the manufacturer that designed the weapon and designated it the AR-15, Colt bought the rights to the firearm and made it for the government that designated it the M-16.
Semi-auto variants are called AR-15, while the select fire versions full/semi/three shot burst, are called M-16s.

What did you think that the AR stood for? If you thought it stood for automatic rifle, then you have proven you really don't know crap about guns (or how to research before posting).




Can I please go on the record to say that I do not care to know what the silly "code letters" mean on weapons?

A person does not have to know the technical "F-Stop" differences between two professional camera lens to be able to say that child-porn is bad with either of them.

A person does not have to know what "GT" stands for on a car to be able to say that drunk driving is dangerous.

The whole "I can't even discuss guns with someone who knows less than me" trope is pathetic. All there is to know is that sickos are taking these things to schools and very easily killing children.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

On a separate note, there is a gun store in a town near me that has a billboard along the highway with two women in lingerie holding military-looking rifles and with pistols in holsters strapped around their bare thighs. I have to agree with the previous poster that there is at least a certain segment of gun owners that has a strange erotic connection or fetish with guns that is pretty disturbing. Otherwise, a billboard like this would not be good business. I would like to hear one of the gun culture advocates to explain what this is about. Thanks.


BoytonBrother - 3/26/2018 at 04:43 PM

quote:
Oh, and M4s are not banned for civilian ownership.


If true, then this is a disgrace. They should be banned. Whoever first allowed these types of weapons to be sold to the general public is at fault as much as the shooters.


nebish - 3/26/2018 at 06:04 PM

The difference in what the military uses today and what a civilian can buy is the military issue is a 3 shot burst fire, civilian is semi-auto...which really isn't much of a difference. We are talking split seconds in terms of one trigger pull for 3 shots or 3 fast trigger pulls for the same amount of ammo to be shot.

There has long been a history in this country of guns used by our military and theaters of war also being available to the general public... WWII, Vietnam - historically people could buy either the exact same gun or a version very similar to it.

You could say that the guns used by the military has evolved to the point that civilians should no longer be allowed to own them. Or I could say the character and make-up of our people has changed and they can no longer be counted as responsible owners of these weapons. Yet I'd venture to state that over 99% of AR15 or owners of similar rifles are not using their weapons for murder or criminal purposes. But as I said before like so many other things in life, the bad decisions of a few tend to ruin it for the vast majority doing nothing wrong. As a result here we are.

If we want to talk about the success of an automatic weapons ban and how that has worked and apply it to another gun ban, say a semi-automatic rifle ban the sheer volume of weapons in existence is vastly different. The number of automatic guns available at the time of ban, and also then grandfathered in for legal possession, is much much much smaller than the number of semi-autos in existence today. And every assault weapon ban bill I have seen to date always grandfathers existing preban guns as legal. So one has to temper the expectations of what a gun ban will really do as long as we are talking grandfathering preban guns. Now, if somebody wants to go down the path of removing, or requiring forfeiture of a certain type of gun, I think that would meet a very strong resistance and potentially cause civil unrest. Senators like Mrs Feinstein do not even suggest this so it isn't realistic within the mind of most rational people.

As for photos with guns, I take pictures of my friends shooting their guns when we go to the range. Just like I take pictures of my friends when we hike, play cards, drink beer, or a variety of other thing we do together. I have pictures of people smiling with their gun. Target shooting is fun, it can be competitive and takes patience, skill and practice. So if you get some good shots you are going to be happy with those results. The selfie gun thing, not for me. The people who take those pictures, there must be an image they want to portray, like 'look at me, I'm a bad ass' or something I guess. Some people always want to control how they are viewed by others and to them, a tough looking photo of them with a gun does something for them, I'm not sure what. Lots of people like attention.


Jerry - 3/27/2018 at 01:26 AM

quote:
quote:


AR stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite is the manufacturer that designed the weapon and designated it the AR-15, Colt bought the rights to the firearm and made it for the government that designated it the M-16.
Semi-auto variants are called AR-15, while the select fire versions full/semi/three shot burst, are called M-16s.

What did you think that the AR stood for? If you thought it stood for automatic rifle, then you have proven you really don't know crap about guns (or how to research before posting).





(Quote)The whole "I can't even discuss guns with someone who knows less than me" trope is pathetic. All there is to know is that sickos are taking these things to schools and very easily killing children.(Quote)

I don't know who won't talk to people who don't know guns, about guns. Those who wish to ban or rigidly regulate guns, usually don't know much about them and quite often only know what someone tells them about firearms. Example given: what the AR in ar-10 and other armalite products stands for. What designates a semi-auto firearm from a single shot, or even a full auto firearm. What a mil-spec firearm is vs a civ-spec firearm.
If they don't know, how are they going to argue a good case?

Why aren't they arguing a case of keeping the sickos from killing kids at schools?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------

On a separate note, there is a gun store in a town near me that has a billboard along the highway with two women in lingerie holding military-looking rifles and with pistols in holsters strapped around their bare thighs. I have to agree with the previous poster that there is at least a certain segment of gun owners that has a strange erotic connection or fetish with guns that is pretty disturbing. Otherwise, a billboard like this would not be good business. I would like to hear one of the gun culture advocates to explain what this is about. Thanks.



Same reason they use scantily dressed women to sell many products, like shave cream and cars, and booze.


Jerry - 3/27/2018 at 01:27 AM

quote:
The difference in what the military uses today and what a civilian can buy is the military issue is a 3 shot burst fire, civilian is semi-auto...which really isn't much of a difference. We are talking split seconds in terms of one trigger pull for 3 shots or 3 fast trigger pulls for the same amount of ammo to be shot.

There has long been a history in this country of guns used by our military and theaters of war also being available to the general public... WWII, Vietnam - historically people could buy either the exact same gun or a version very similar to it.

You could say that the guns used by the military has evolved to the point that civilians should no longer be allowed to own them. Or I could say the character and make-up of our people has changed and they can no longer be counted as responsible owners of these weapons. Yet I'd venture to state that over 99% of AR15 or owners of similar rifles are not using their weapons for murder or criminal purposes. But as I said before like so many other things in life, the bad decisions of a few tend to ruin it for the vast majority doing nothing wrong. As a result here we are.

If we want to talk about the success of an automatic weapons ban and how that has worked and apply it to another gun ban, say a semi-automatic rifle ban the sheer volume of weapons in existence is vastly different. The number of automatic guns available at the time of ban, and also then grandfathered in for legal possession, is much much much smaller than the number of semi-autos in existence today. And every assault weapon ban bill I have seen to date always grandfathers existing preban guns as legal. So one has to temper the expectations of what a gun ban will really do as long as we are talking grandfathering preban guns. Now, if somebody wants to go down the path of removing, or requiring forfeiture of a certain type of gun, I think that would meet a very strong resistance and potentially cause civil unrest. Senators like Mrs Feinstein do not even suggest this so it isn't realistic within the mind of most rational people.

As for photos with guns, I take pictures of my friends shooting their guns when we go to the range. Just like I take pictures of my friends when we hike, play cards, drink beer, or a variety of other thing we do together. I have pictures of people smiling with their gun. Target shooting is fun, it can be competitive and takes patience, skill and practice. So if you get some good shots you are going to be happy with those results. The selfie gun thing, not for me. The people who take those pictures, there must be an image they want to portray, like 'look at me, I'm a bad ass' or something I guess. Some people always want to control how they are viewed by others and to them, a tough looking photo of them with a gun does something for them, I'm not sure what. Lots of people like attention.


Good post Nebish.


Bhawk - 3/27/2018 at 02:38 AM

Doesn’t matter if it’s the AR, the M, the XYZ, the PDQ or the WTF. Nothing’s getting banned.


2112 - 3/27/2018 at 02:45 AM

quote:
As for photos with guns, I take pictures of my friends shooting their guns when we go to the range. Just like I take pictures of my friends when we hike, play cards, drink beer, or a variety of other thing we do together. I have pictures of people smiling with their gun. Target shooting is fun, it can be competitive and takes patience, skill and practice. So if you get some good shots you are going to be happy with those results. The selfie gun thing, not for me. The people who take those pictures, there must be an image they want to portray, like 'look at me, I'm a bad ass' or something I guess. Some people always want to control how they are viewed by others and to them, a tough looking photo of them with a gun does something for them, I'm not sure what. Lots of people like attention.


It seems like most of these mass shooters have taken selfish with their guns (not just photos at gun ranges or hunting).

I see the argument all the time that an AR-15 is a semiautomatic that does the same thing as semiautomatic guns that look like hunting rifles, so banning an AR-15 just because it looks scary is ignorant. Well, the AR-15 is the preferred gun in these shootings, so maybe they use it because it looks scary and it makes them feel more like a badass. Maybe they wouldn't be doing the mass shooting at all if the weapon looked like a hunting rifle. Maybe if all AR-15s were required to be pink with purple and yellow flowers painted on them they wouldn't feel quite so badass and would take out their frustration doing something else instead.


BIGV - 3/27/2018 at 07:19 AM

quote:
quote:
Oh, and M4s are not banned for civilian ownership.


Whoever first allowed these types of weapons to be sold to the general public is at fault as much as the shooters.


Disagree. No one and I repeat, No one, is as responsible for the act of shooting as the shooter.


nebish - 3/27/2018 at 01:38 PM

I too really do want to make the acquisition and purchase of alot of these guns more difficult by the 'wrong' people. Since it can be difficult to figure out who these wrong people are before they do something wrong, everyone will end up - or should end up - having to jump through more hoops to buy certain guns. And it goes back to the 'if you aren't doing anything wrong or have done anything wrong then you should have nothing to worry about'. I know some flaws with that thinking when applied to other controversial topics, like surveillance for instance. That is just how my mind works. I will submit anything they want in order to verify my eligibility to purchase said gun if that is what they want because I am confident in my mental stability and my background and my proper use of any gun I may want to purchase.

So that is where I'm at. I want more data in our systems to cross reference against to try and block purchases that shouldn't be allowed to go through. And then a host of other things as well.

I appreciate how some people will want to ban the guns. I mean, I think I get where you are coming from. And I think a few of us here also understand my point of the immediate impact of a gun ban would be minimal. I'll conceded that a ban would have a longer term effect of reducing the number in circulation, and if that is the stated goal I think that is the honest way to present the argument. Some gun buy back type program could have some small effect compared to the overall number out there, I think our country is different. We have a culture of gun ownership, a history of it and in some respects a passion for it that other nations do not have. For the lifespan of all of us we are going to have to live with guns in our society that is a fact. I think the best thing we can do is focus our attention on stopping people from obtaining them who at highest risk of using them to willfully commit violence and crime with them.

Just one other thing, the point 2112 was making, partially tongue-and-check perhaps, but yeah, if you did make the AR15 pink or whatever "maybe they would take out their frustration doing something else instead"...I don't know or understand what goes through these people's minds, but if the AR15 did not exist (or some similar variant of it), the desire these people have for carrying out an attack doesn't go away does it? I dont know why it would. I can't fathom that these people only wish to kill because of the gun(s) they are using. I have to believe the fantasy and want is to kill first and foremost, then they seek the appropriate means to achieve that goal. And the AR15 is a good choice for their purpose. Ofcourse there are many other guns or weapons or means they could carry out a deadly attack as well. I'm here with you though, if the AR15 is the primary choice, we need to make that primary choice more restrictive and difficult to obtain. And then with each alternative an attacker considers we find some marginally more favorable outcomes...maybe more victims live if they use another gun, maybe making an explosive is too problematic or prone to not work right, down the line we go.

These defective people still want to carry out their twisted visions. If we can agree that limiting access and creating barriers is a proper way to go then we are atleast in some agreement on a really difficult issue and can work towards what those restrictions and rules become. While we are at it, we must not ignore failures in our current system that have allowed guns to legally be purchased by people who shouldn't have purchased them. Alot needs done. We can't reliably count on the federal government to do this. But state governments continue to lead and make changes. This is really where anyone can and should put their efforts at this point.

[Edited on 3/27/2018 by nebish]


BoytonBrother - 3/30/2018 at 03:45 PM

The far end of the pro-gun crowd definitely has some weird affection towards it. I think these people are deeply insecure and take the photos to show that they are powerful, which means they feel as though they are not. Then there's the hunting crowd - people like Carson Wentz. He's a devout Christian, positive member of the community, a role model, sky is the limit - but posts pictures on IG of his hunting kills. I'm not saying there's anything wrong or immoral about it, but I do believe there's a dark reason why, of all the hobbies in the world to choose from, he chooses one that involves killing/taking the life of something else. If that's how he chooses to deal with his demons, then it's better than shooting up a school, but I'm simply stating that there's probably demons deep down inside anyone fascinated with guns and killing.


funkyfitter - 3/30/2018 at 07:31 PM

quote:
The far end of the pro-gun crowd definitely has some weird affection towards it. I think these people are deeply insecure and take the photos to show that they are powerful, which means they feel as though they are not. Then there's the hunting crowd - people like Carson Wentz. He's a devout Christian, positive member of the community, a role model, sky is the limit - but posts pictures on IG of his hunting kills. I'm not saying there's anything wrong or immoral about it, but I do believe there's a dark reason why, of all the hobbies in the world to choose from, he chooses one that involves killing/taking the life of something else. If that's how he chooses to deal with his demons, then it's better than shooting up a school, but I'm simply stating that there's probably demons deep down inside anyone fascinated with guns and killing.



There is nothing dark about a law abiding citizen out in the woods on a legal hunt. It happens every day all over the country. The taking of an animal life is nowhere close to murdering people. The vast majority of gun owners are just regular people that have no intention of killing anyone, unless it was for self defense, let alone mass murder.

[Edited on 3/30/2018 by funkyfitter]

[Edited on 3/30/2018 by funkyfitter]


BoytonBrother - 3/30/2018 at 08:48 PM

quote:
There is nothing dark about a law abiding citizen out in the woods on a legal hunt. It happens every day all over the country.


I never said it did. My post says that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

quote:
The taking of an animal life is nowhere close to murdering people.


Agreed. I think hunting is way better than murdering people too.

quote:
The vast majority of gun owners are just regular people that have no intention of killing anyone, unless it was for self defense, let alone mass murder.


Hence why I wrote “the far end” of the pro-gun crowd.


funkyfitter - 3/30/2018 at 08:58 PM

quote:
quote:
There is nothing dark about a law abiding citizen out in the woods on a legal hunt. It happens every day all over the country.


I never said it did. My post says that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

quote:
The taking of an animal life is nowhere close to murdering people.


Agreed. I think hunting is way better than murdering people too.

quote:
The vast majority of gun owners are just regular people that have no intention of killing anyone, unless it was for self defense, let alone mass murder.


Hence why I wrote “the far end” of the pro-gun crowd.




I know. It was your deep seeded dark comment that got me thinking.
As a legal, gun carrying vet, I'm just tired of so many people thinking that every person that shoots a gun is a psycho, yahoo with no moral conscious that's ready to go off at the drop of a hat


BoytonBrother - 3/31/2018 at 02:53 PM

quote:
It was your deep seeded dark comment that got me thinking.
As a legal, gun carrying vet, I'm just tired of so many people thinking that every person that shoots a gun is a psycho, yahoo with no moral conscious that's ready to go off at the drop of a hat


Whoever thinks that would be wrong. I enjoy target practice myself. It's fun to shoot. I'm simply referring to those who enjoy killing animals. There are poor families in rural areas who hunt for their nightly dinner, and I fully respect that. But then there are fortunate people like Carson Wentz who can choose any hobby in the world, but chooses to post pics of himself smiling next to a pile of dead geese. I'm not saying he's a psycho yahoo ready to go off at the drop of a hat, as you put it. But I do think there's something dark that motivates these types of people to want to take a life.


funkyfitter - 3/31/2018 at 04:59 PM


Whoever thinks that would be wrong. I enjoy target practice myself. It's fun to shoot. I'm simply referring to those who enjoy killing animals. There are poor families in rural areas who hunt for their nightly dinner, and I fully respect that. But then there are fortunate people like Carson Wentz who can choose any hobby in the world, but chooses to post pics of himself smiling next to a pile of dead geese. I'm not saying he's a psycho yahoo ready to go off at the drop of a hat, as you put it. But I do think there's something dark that motivates these types of people to want to take a life.






I just disagree that it's dark. It's hunting. Nothing more, nothing less.
Do you feel the same way about a guy with a stringer of trout ?

[Edited on 3/31/2018 by funkyfitter]


BoytonBrother - 3/31/2018 at 10:58 PM

Fair points. Maybe the word “dark” is too strong. I just think trophy hunters have something to prove.


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