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Gun Control Laws Are Not The Answer

There will undoubtedly be calls for stricter gun control laws as a result of yesterday's shootings in Arizona. We don't need more laws.

Guns did not cause the rage, desperation or mental illness that led the Arizona shooter to kill people. It doesn't take a newsflash to know that people who feel persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others may resort to violence. And all the gun laws in the world won't stop the next person bent on doing the same thing

There's no question that one lone wolf can cause a lot of damage, but putting more resources into prevention, particularly recognizing and treating mental health issues, and funding re-entry programs instead of building more prisons, are far better solutions than putting more laws on the books, ramping up our already massive security programs and increasing the use of privacy-intrusive investigative techniques. [More...]

More gun control laws, more anti-terror laws, and more government surveillance won't make the country one bit safer. They will only make us less free.

Our civil liberties and constitutional rights must be assiduously protected. Once they start to slip, they go quickly. Once we remove them for one group, it becomes easier to do it for the next group. Once we begin making exceptions for catastrophic events, the exceptions will become the rule.

To reduce violence, we must find out what's causing it and address it. Guns do not cause the rage, they are simply the means by which it is expressed. Addressing the cause of the despair, hurt, anger and feelings of helplessness that lead people to resort to violence will do a lot more than passing restrictive gun laws.

< Tucson Tragedy Suspect Loughner Invokes Fifth Amendment Right Against Self Incrimination | Jared Loughner Charged in Federal Court >
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  • Query: (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 03:44:39 PM EST
    from prior post

    It seems to me if a relative/friend/law enforcement officer can request the DMV look into whether a person is fit to drive a motor vehicle, the a similar inquiry is in order re fitness to own a firearm.

    Also, is it really possible to "reduce (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 03:46:06 PM EST
    violence," which seems to be an innate quality of the human race.  See Old Testament, for example.

    Parent
    You are always onto the "angles" (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:09:39 PM EST
    where the law is concerned :)

    Parent
    The problem is the Supreme Court majority, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 07:47:16 PM EST
    which declared private ownership of guns to be a constitutional right, based on a textually and historically fallacious reading of the Second Amendment.  With that precedent in place, gun ownership and use cannot be restricted as readily as driving a car, an activity which has no constitutional foundation.  Now, the legislature arguably would have to justify regulating guns at least to the same extent it has to justify restricting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, for example.  (The Supreme Court's majority opinion already makes clear that the right they claim to exist is not on the same level with, say, freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion, in terms of what it takes to justify governmental restriction, because their opinion referenced with approval the laws barring convicted felons from possessing firearms.  I do not think the Supreme Court would suggest that convicted felons could be barred from attending church.) Nor do I think that regulating or prohibiting gun ownership is possible as readily as another form of potentially dangerous property can be declared contraband or regulated (like drugs), given its separate textual basis in the Constitution, as now construed -- although perhaps the Court will find a basis for doing that in the Amendment's own reference to a "well-regulated" Militia.

    Parent
    The scope is going to be defined (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:20:09 PM EST
    by the Kennedy paragraph in Heller:

    Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.


    Parent
    Mentally ill people should (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by observed on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:08:41 PM EST
    NOT be able to carry. Drug therapies for bipolar and schizophrenia  are palliative; they do NOT prevent outbreaks. My brother is a manic depressive who has been violent (he sent a police officer to the hospital several years ago). He is conscientious about his meds,but he has to change them periodically because of toxicity; at those times, he has become manic,unfortunately.. If he had a gun, someone would be dead(probably him)

    I am ashamed of how (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:16:54 PM EST
    backward our nation is about treating mental health issues now. It seems like since Reagan unloaded all the mentally ill onto the streets the only response we have had is to build more prisons.  The mentally ill do not belong in prison, and I'm deeply ashamed of how little anyone fights for them in this country.

    If Loughner is guilty of this crime though and is mentally ill due to schizophrenia, he is exactly at that age when a violation of his privacy would have been prompted and his illness fully discovered.  Just because he displayed some funny behaviors in the past is not a reason to violate his privacy....almost every teenager and young adult displays behaviors that coincide with some mental defect until their brain fully matures.  His is just about there now and this is what it looks likely that the poor kid ended up with.  This really isn't a case of the obvious being ignored.

    Deranged or deluded (none / 0) (#21)
    by Rojas on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 07:30:42 PM EST
    Partisan rage or knee-jerk reaction? Patient heal thyself Deinstitutionalisation


    Parent
    Jeralyn: "We don't need more laws..." (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by oldpro on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:28:13 PM EST
    Really?

    I'd say we sure as Hell need fewer weapons...assault weapons in particular.  What do you say to that?  How about rocket launchers?  WMD?  Nukes?  Where do you draw the line on legalizing the tools used by the mentally fit and mentally ill alike to go postal on the rest of us?

    Having a hard time with your logic and agree with BTD on gun control so clarifying your thinking matters to readers of this blog...at least to this one.

    I've written why many times (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:25:19 PM EST
    and I think I explained again in this post.

    But to show you how strongly I believe this, here's a post I wrote about one of the only times I turned down an ad for TalkLeft based on content:

    It was an ad for gun control, that began in big letters, "Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Criminals" and urged people to support new laws on sales at gun shows. Given the focus of this blog, to protect the rights of those accused of crime and particularly, constitutional rights, I would have recoiled every time I logged on to my own blog.  So, even though it would have paid for TalkLeft's hosting service for a full month (no small amount since we're on our own server), I rejected it.

    TalkLeft has always supported the individual right to bear arms and the Second Amendment. (More here.) We need to vigilantly preserve all our Constitutional rights, and with the Third Amendment being obsolete, the Second Amendment is only one away from the Fourth.

    Parent

    AndI have always (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:35:01 PM EST
    strongly disagreed with Talk Left on this point.

    But respectful disagreement is the hallmark of this site.

    Parent

    yes it is (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:37:38 PM EST
    (or should be) our hallmark and you are more than entitled to your different view.

    Parent
    Well, I've read all the links (none / 0) (#37)
    by oldpro on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 02:20:04 AM EST
    and you still haven't answered the recurring qustions about where you draw the line and that raises this question:  do you think there should be no regulation of any kind re gun ownership, acquisition?  None?

    And if so, what about ammunition?  I don't see that mentioned in the constitution.  Would it be OK to regulate and tax the Hell out of ammunition?

    Parent

    What on Earth is the relevance (none / 0) (#56)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:01:56 AM EST
    of the placement of the particular amendments in the Bill of Rights?  number 2 v. Number 4 with 3 being in between and no longer counting.

    Equating the Second Amendment with the others that comprise the BIll of Rights, as indicative of the relative value of the right is absurd.  I'd love to see the 2nd repealed entirely but as that is highly unlikely there are a number of common sense restrictions and hurdles that would do much to prevent the Loughner's of the world from so easily acquiring weapons like the one he used.

    Yeah, it's in the Constitution.  So wasn't counting black slaves as 3/5 of a person and Prohibition to mention just a couple.

    Parent

    Leonard Levy, a fine (none / 0) (#61)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:23:10 AM EST
    scholar of First Amendment history, argued -- quite persuasively with the evidence -- that it was first because it was the easiest upon which the founders could agree, as it already was in most of their state constitutions.

    Perhaps the Second Amendment was the next-easiest one upon which they could agree, and on down the line.  Makes sense, as anyone can attest who has had to sit through endless committee meetings to come up with a complicated set of proposals to put forward to an even more contentious body.

    I.e., the order of amendments was . . . politics.

    Parent

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#65)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:55:19 AM EST
    but I doubt it.  Trial by jury was more difficult?  Right to confront witnesses?

    Parent
    Perhaps (none / 0) (#71)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:42:14 AM EST
    that subcommittee was taking a break at the tavern or arguing over punctuation or. . . .

    Parent
    You appear to be arguing for (none / 0) (#99)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:06:19 AM EST
    gun rights based on their constitutionality rather than any fundamental principle. Given that many de mocracies restrict gun ownership, I find this unconvincing. I'm also dismayed that you apparently have no problem with the sale of semiautomatic weapons.

    Parent
    I support measures to address the root causes (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:05:22 PM EST
    I also support measures to allow reasonable restrictions on guns that keep people safer. (And note, I said "safer" not "safe.") I agree that we should always be careful before allowing our civil liberties to be eroded, but we make tradeoffs on our liberties all the time, some of which are reasonable. You can't exercise your first amendment rights and yell "fire" in a crowded theatre. You can't exercise your second amendment rights and carry a gun onto an airplane or into the White House.  

    Although it is true that no one who is extremely determined to murder can be prevented from doing so, I also believe it is true that throwing some roadblocks in the way can prevent some of these events. If Mr. Loughner had been carrying a knife rather than a gun, a whole lot fewer people would be attending funerals over the next few days.

    Would Also Have Been the Case (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by The Maven on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:25:01 PM EST
    had Loughner not been able to obtain a semi-automatic gun with an extended ammo clip.  The human toll here would almost certainly have been lessened had he been limited to six or eight bullets.

    Parent
    This was an aberration, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by mexboy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:26:26 PM EST
    to generalize and make laws that restrict the vanishing constitutional rights of the entire nation will do nothing to guarantee the safety of its citizens, but it will get us closer to the conditions the founding fathers wanted to prevent.

    The tragedy was horrible but it should not be used to chip away at the Bill Of Rights.

    The real problem seems to be mental health. You want to prevent future incidents? Start there!

    An aberration? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:59:51 PM EST
    An aberration?  How many aberrations are you willing to shrug off?  Any idea how many gun deaths there are in this country, never mind crippling wounds?

    Sheesh.

    There's an argument to be made against gun control, but calling a mass shooting an "aberration" sure as heck ain't one of them.

    Parent

    yes, an aberration. (1.00 / 0) (#39)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 05:47:16 AM EST
    It is a horrible mass murder and I am not shrugging it off. I clearly stated that I believe the problem was with the shooter and his possible mental health issues.

    When you consider the amount of weapons in the hands of citizens and you measure that against the few incidents like this one, you will have to come to the conclusion that this is an aberration and not the norm.

    Any idea how many gun deaths there are in this country, never mind crippling wounds?

    Why don't you post a link to your research and figures, and while you're at it, link the number of weapons in the hands of citizens so we can calculate how common this is.

    Parent

    Any crime is an "abberation" ... (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:43:55 AM EST
    ... in the broadest sense - i.e., a deviation from the norm.  Suggesting we shouldn't regulate guns because gun crimes are not the norm suggests we should eliminate all criminal laws because criminal acts are an "aberration".

    Parent
    Yes. Most guns are used (none / 0) (#62)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:26:08 AM EST
    most often for target practice, not for killing humans and other living things.  

    Therefore, the need is for laws to protect targets.

    To heck with the collateral damage, the crime, that occurs less often.  An entirely logical proposal that indicates an entire lack of humane priorities, huh?

    Parent

    I use my guns (none / 0) (#77)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:54:18 AM EST

    far more often for self defense than for target practice or sport combined.

    Parent
    I was not discussing you (none / 0) (#79)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:32:17 PM EST
    but was discussing the data of gunslingers overall.

    Parent
    There is no such data available (none / 0) (#88)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 02:53:44 PM EST

    No one knows how often another person is carrying for self defense, sport, or practice.  

    Parent
    There is no logic in your proposal. (none / 0) (#90)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:37:51 PM EST
    I am a realist who knows we don't live in a Utopia. I am aware that some human beings will always abuse the system. (No I am not advocating anarchy in any way shape or form.)

    If you disarm law-abiding citizens the criminals will still get their hands on weapons even if they have to manufacture them.

    You are reading into my position ideas that are simply not there.  

    Parent

    You should stop twisting my words (none / 0) (#89)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:23:46 PM EST
    Can you please link where I advocated for what you post I advocate?

    Suggesting we shouldn't regulate guns because gun crimes are not the norm suggests we should eliminate all criminal laws because criminal acts are an "aberration".

    Your statement exemplifies the alarmist mentality that takes a horrific incident and makes it universal then demands we all give up our constitutional rights so no one will be able to abuse them.

    Gun laws should prevent criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring them, but as we know, you prohibit citizens from owning guns and the criminals will still get them, because they're criminals, that's what they do. They don't care about laws!

    Parent

    Sure (none / 0) (#97)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:09:15 PM EST
    This was an aberration, (3.00 / 2) (#16)
    by mexboy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:26:26 PM EST

    to generalize and make laws that restrict the vanishing constitutional rights of the entire nation will do nothing to guarantee the safety of its citizens, but it will get us closer to the conditions the founding fathers wanted to prevent.

    The tragedy was horrible but it should not be used to chip away at the Bill Of Rights.

    You called this an "aberration" and said we shouldn't make (gun control) laws based on "aberrations" such as this.

    Your statement exemplifies the alarmist mentality that takes a horrific incident and makes it universal then demands we all give up our constitutional rights so no one will be able to abuse them.

    Pretty funny, particularly given your first sentence.  No one is suggesting "we all give up our constitutional rights".  Reasonable gun control laws (licensing, registration, mandated training, background checks, etc.) will not stop every criminal from getting a gun - but it will stop many, and such laws are not "giving up our constitutional rights.  (BTW - I own two guns).

    Your conclusion is classic.  Gun laws are useless because (according to you) criminals will still get guns.  Extending that argument - why have any laws?  By definition, criminals violate laws.  Therefore, all laws (like gun control laws) are useless, in that criminals will ignore them "because they're criminals, that's what they do. They don't care about laws!"

    Funny stuff.

    Parent

    We already have gun laws! (none / 0) (#98)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:47:56 PM EST
    The following is your conclusion, not mine:
    Your conclusion is classic.  Gun laws are useless because (according to you) criminals will still get guns.

    I in no way shape or form said gun laws are useless. You projected that into my statement. What I am against is law-abiding citizens being unable to get guns if they want them and using this tragedy for political purposes to advance an agenda.

    Exaggerating and misrepresenting my post does not make you right:

    Extending that argument - why have any laws?  By definition, criminals violate laws.  Therefore, all laws (like gun control laws) are useless, in that criminals will ignore them "because they're criminals, that's what they do. They don't care about laws!"

    You're either willfully misrepresenting what I'm saying or just exaggerating to prove how right you are.

    ( BTW I don't have guns and I don't want guns, but I'll defend your right to own the two you already have.)


    Parent

    If that's not what you're saying ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:42:20 AM EST
    Gun laws should prevent criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring them, but as we know, you prohibit citizens from owning guns and the criminals will still get them, because they're criminals, that's what they do. They don't care about laws!

    ... then you really should try to be more clear.  In the context of a discussion about gun control (and while opposing gun control laws), when you make those statements you're saying that gun control laws are not effective because criminals, by definition will just ignore them

    ... and you prohibit citizens from owning guns and the criminals will still get them, because they're criminals, that's what they do. They don't care about laws!

    Applying the same "logic", why bother with any laws since, by definition, criminals break them or will find a way around them.  I'm not distorting or exaggerating anything - just carrying your theory forward to its logical conclusion.  You just don't like it.

    BTW - No one (except you) is talking about an outright prohibition on gun ownership or preventing law-abiding (and mentally capable) people from buying/owning a gun - but nice straw argument.

    Parent

    You are exaggerating and generalizing, period. (none / 0) (#102)
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:23:53 PM EST
    At this point this conversation is becoming repetitive and unproductive, so I will drop it.

    Your unwillingness to read what is in my posts without the filter of your bias is there for everyone to see.


    Parent

    Ridiculous (none / 0) (#104)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    It's not "bias" .... it's called "logic".

    Parent
    These mas shootings are an aberration (none / 0) (#41)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:32:41 AM EST

    These mas shootings are an aberration.  They happen rarely.  A motor vehicle is more likely to kill someone than a gun.  

    When you talk about gun deaths, please remember that includes police and intended victims shooting would be murderers, robbers and other assailants.  In my view that is not a bad thing at all.

    It also includes suicide.  While tragic, it is certainly better for society for a suicide to use a gun on himself rather than, say jump off a sky scraper or drive into oncoming traffic and put the lives of others in great risk.

    We had a suicide near here a few years ago where the guy ran out on the interstate in front of a big rig and got splattered. He nearly caused a mass pile up, and the truck driver has to live with an extremely disturbing memory.  Fortunately no one else was injured.

    Parent

    Equating the 2nd Amendment with the others (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:55:43 AM EST
    is like Fox news fair & balanced reporting.

    I cherish freedom of speech, expression, religion, freedom from unwarranted search & seizure, trial by jury, etc.

    The right of nuts to acquire semi automatic weapons?  Not at all.  and there are common sense curbs that would be in full accord with the Second Amendment, at least would have been until the radicial Roberts court 2nd Amendment rulings with which so many here seem so comfortable.

    Parent

    pluege2, you troll rated me 4 times! (none / 0) (#92)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:43:28 PM EST
    If you disagree with my position reply with the reasons you disagree with me or why I'm wrong.

    1's are for trolls.

     Cut it out!

    Parent

    What mental helth policy change would have (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by fuzzyone on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 06:19:32 PM EST
    stopped this?  There is no indication that this guy tried to get help and could not.  He did some crazy stuff but not enough to involuntarily commit him.  So do we just shrug our shoulders and say its okay that any nut can get a gun?  Gun licensing is no more oppressive than driver's licensing or any other safety related regulation.  The bottom line is that without an glock with an extended clip this guy might have hurt a couple of people but not done anything like the damage he did.  

    By the way, I agree we need more and better mental health programs etc.  But we need gun control too.

    Gun control laws may not be the answer, (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 06:22:08 PM EST
    but I think people support them, generally, because they are afraid, and have no ability on their own to control who does or doesn't have a gun, who is or isn't mentally stable enough to be entrusted with one, etc.

    Rage strikes people at the snap of a finger; if that person has a gun at hand, all bets are off and someone is likely to be killed or injured.

    Enforcement of existing laws is woefully inadequate; more laws won't improve that statistic.

    So, what is the answer?  I have no freakin' idea.  

    No.... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    but I think people support them, generally, because they are afraid, and have no ability on their own to control who does or doesn't have a gun, who is or isn't mentally stable enough to be entrusted with one, etc.

    I think they support them largely because it makes logical sense to restrict semi-automatic weapons from those who may pose a danger to society.

    Parent

    Sensible gun control is absolutely necessary (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:37:15 AM EST
    How free am I or my family walking about a city where nuts like Loughner can buy & carry a concealed automatic weapons?

    An archaic right authored at a time when single shot muskets and pistols and cannons were the height of technology does not provide a right to unfettered access to "arms."  Surely you agree individuals cannot possess nuclear weapons or even flamethrowers.  If so then you are pro gun control and the only question is where to draw the line.  Clearly, as we witness time & again, access to guns is too easy in this country.  It should be at least as difficult as buying a car.

    Make potential gun owners wait for six months or a year, deny those with mental health issues access to guns, sensible restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, such rules do not deny freedom to anyone, in fact they enhance freedom for people going about their everyday business.

    The right of a nut like Loughner to purchase, own and carry a Glock semi automatic with the ease that he did is more important than the freedom  of an excited 9 year old little girl just elected to her student council who wanted to meet a real Congresswoman on a quiet Saturday morning?

    God help us.

    You are missing (none / 0) (#53)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:49:59 AM EST

    You are missing the people who use guns to prevent themselves from being killed.  Guns can take life for both good and evil purposes.

    Parent
    Reasonable policies should be asssessd in terms of (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:08:37 AM EST
    costs and benefits.  If you assume all self protection incidents are a benefit, and therefore assume all are jsutified (which they of course are not), then you must measure those incidients against the "cost" of murders and accidents.

    The result of that C/B should be obvious. Then add the cost fo risk every man. woman and child bears walking about cities in which Loughners can so easily obtain and carry concealed Glocks.

    Parent

    how do you explain (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    one of the highest homicide rate in the developed world?  (not to mention higher than most of the developing world)

    The only way you can argue that guns save lives is if you completely ignore the facts.

    You may feel that loss of life is a necessary evil for the freedom to protect yourself.  You cannot say that more guns = less crime/murder.

    And self defense is not considered homicide.  So you can't explain this away with "good" killing - whatever that means.

    Parent

    You have yet to compare (none / 0) (#68)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:00:04 AM EST
    You have yet to compare the gun homicide rate with the rate at which guns are used to avoid homicide and great bodily harm.  If you only count the bad and ignore the good, it will certainly look bad.

    However, that's not reality it is selective counting.

    Here is but one example.  Certainly you don't feel she should have been knifed to death.

    Parent

    more innocent people die (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:07:44 AM EST
    with more guns.

    Innocent peole "saved" by guns are taken into account, because that's one person who is not counted as "killed".  In a country that doesn't allow guns to "save lives" - presumably those people would be included in their homicide rate.

    Parent

    An interestig assertion (none / 0) (#74)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:50:40 AM EST

    More innocent people die with more guns.  Got any evidence?

    People who have avoided being killed are not counted in the homicide rate.  Get real.

    Parent

    homicide rates (none / 0) (#76)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:52:29 AM EST
    are my evidence.

    People who are killed in other countries because they don't have guns for "self defense" are included in those country's homicide rates.

    And yet their rates are still lower.

    Parent

    That's weak. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:06:58 PM EST
    The Swiss have more access to guns that we do, and have a lower homicide rate.  Also note that homicide includes people the cops shoot.   Other countries are different in many ways than just the gun laws.  

    Many of our homicides are due to drug gang turf wars.  Those gangs are going to illegally obtain both drugs and guns regardless of any drug control or gun control law.

    Do you really think this woman should have faced her attackers disarmed? And likely cut to pieces.

     

    Parent

    spare me (none / 0) (#80)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:33:09 PM EST
    do you really think all of these people deserved to die?  Or the kids at Virginia Tech?  All in the name of some nutcase having a gun?

    Switzerland is a poor example.  It's a very small, very wealthy country.  I realize no two countries are 100% alike, but that's not even apples and oranges.  That's grapes and prime rib.  And they don't allow unliscenced adults to carry firearms (and if someone steals your gun to kill someone you are also held responsible).

    The more guns you have, the more illegal guns available.  Where do you think all the guns in Mexico come from?

    Parent

    So I take it that (none / 0) (#86)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:42:34 PM EST

    So I take it that you feel the woman at the link in the previous post should have faced her attackers unarmed.  Shame.

    We are not very much like any other country.  Most of western Europe is demographically much older, and its not the old farts that are big into murder.  The young are into crime much more than the old. This BTW is one reason that black crime is higher than Jewish crime, the average black is almost 20 years younger than the average Jew the last I looked.

    As to Mexico, those guns come from about every gun producing country on the planet.  Many of the guns of purchased by the Mexican police and military from whatever country wind up in criminal hands via theft and corruption.  If you have not been keeping up with the news, the narcos have been bumping off the police at quite a clip and keeping their guns.

    Parent

    actually that's not what I said (5.00 / 0) (#93)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:44:20 PM EST
    My point was for every anecdotal "self-defense" you have equally as many (and IMO many many more) anecdotes about people being murdered by someone who never should have had a weapon in the first place.  By your logic I take it you think it's ok that all of those poeple die.

    It's not just Europe, it's most of the world.  Including many countries in the developing world that have significantly younger populations.

    90% of all "traced" weapons in Mexico come from the United states.  Not all weapons in Mexico are submitted for tracing.  But even if you consider that only the weapons traced to the United States come from there, and all other weapons come from somewhere else (which is highly unlikely), that means at LEAST 34% of all guns in Mexico come in illegally from the U.S.  And the number is probably much higher than that.

    And for the record, I'm not opposed to all guns.  But I DO think they should be a lot harder to get, require a license and a registry (and training), and not every wacko off the street should be able to purchase it.  In my scenario, your "woman under attack" would most likely still have a licensed weapon.  And I have no idea why anyone would ever require a semi-automatic weapon for self defense.  That's what was used, both here and at VT for mass murder.

    Parent

    Whatever you think of gun control (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by CST on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:48:12 AM EST
    The idea that more guns stop crime or that we don't have a significant gun crime problem in this country is obsurd.  We have one of the highest murder rates (with guns) in the world.

    This is a systemic problem, not an anomaly.

    Well said J... (1.00 / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:02:49 AM EST
    all more gun control is gonna do is create more "illegal" guns and more criminals...some core problems just can't be legislated away, and to attempt a legislative fix often just makes the problem worse...see addiction and the war on drugs.

    I understand the fear people have that leads them to advocate for more gun control...but I'm convinced gun control and creating more criminals is not the answer...I'm not sure there is an answer, definitely not an easy one like a new law(s) anyways.

    Not sure there is an answer? (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:10:28 AM EST
    Look at the stats from nearly every other Western nation that has in place gun control laws far stricter than ours.

    Second Amendment afficionados sound like the tobacco execs denying smoking causes cancer.  On par with climate change deniers.

    Parent

    What are you saying... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:47:39 AM EST
    people don't commit murder in those states?

    I was talking about there being no answer to the violence our species is so fond of...AZ can pass every gun law imagineable and I'm confident people will still kill each other, with the added displeasure of more chains and cages and criminal law to be misused and misapplied unequally.

    Believe you me, I wish the blasted things were never invented, but there is no going back.  If there is that elusive answer, it involves love, not chains and cages and law and control.

    Parent

    Less people will be killed overall (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:58:02 AM EST
    and far less wth firearms.  As is the case in every other Western nation.

    Parent
    Perhaps... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:19:21 AM EST
    but at what cost?  If it means more Plaxico's locked up for years for causing harm to no one but themselves, count me out.

    And there are far more factors at play to our higher murder rates compared to other Western nations than our right to bear arms...I believe it is the hate in the air and in our hearts much more so than our right to bear arms that contributes to such tragedies at the present time.

    We have strict gun control in NY, which means  more illegal guns and gangsters getting rich running guns up from the south...I don't see what that accomplishes.

    Parent

    causes: Poor mental health care (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 03:34:03 PM EST
    Fundamentalist religion; child abuse; glorified violence engulfing young men in our culture (maybe not the guns so much as the glorification and fetishising of them); ignorance; wage stagnation and lack of long-term job opportunity and stability; increasingly heated and violent political rhetoric from the right (and the lack of real opposition from the left); alienation; isolation; anger, anger, anger.

    Testosterone doesn't help.

    We have that many millions of guns in private hands, when they're as easy as they are to get, no one can ever be genuinely surprised by these acts. Honestly, I'm more suprised they don't happen more often. And in that tiny surprise I manage to retain a few measures of hope.

    and i can't fail to mention... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 03:37:53 PM EST
    ...high school/teenage/adolescent nightmares of bullying and social ostracizing, and all that other heinous crap we went through in high school, much less the daily gauntlet kind of feel to gym class for boys. I used to vomit thinking about having to go to gym some days in Jr. High.  Literally.

    Parent
    I'm for gym-class control laws (none / 0) (#5)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 03:52:46 PM EST
    believe me -- and also know that is based on experience with girls' gym class and teachers, too, for me and for my daughter.

    But we still need to learn more about why Loughner had to leave first high school and then college.  I am all for schools doing more to protect all students and teachers.

    Parent

    Here is some information re community (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:00:42 PM EST
    college.  Washington Post

    Parent
    Yep. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:53:03 PM EST
    McGahee said he had to make several complaints before administrators finally removed Loughner.

    "They just said, 'Well, he hasn't taken any action to hurt anyone. He hasn't provoked anybody. He hasn't brought any weapons to class,'" McGahee recalled. "'We'll just wait until he takes that next step.'"

    Administrators still have not learned to listen to those on the front lines.  This was almost another V-Tech.  And perhaps the mall tragedy could have been avoided, if teachers were taken seriously.

    And let us try to imagine how much all of those other students in the class were able to learn.

    Parent

    Isn't media think-speak and (none / 0) (#12)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:41:19 PM EST
    drum rolling by media and politicians an adult form of the bullying we see in children?  

    Parent
    Some gun control laws are necessary (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyjets on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:35:19 PM EST
    Show gun ownership be outlawed. No.
    However there are simple gun control laws that should be in place.
    1. Require a person to have a gun license before they can buy a gun. This way, it will be harder for criminals and crazy people to own guns.
    2. Have all guns be registered.
    IOW, treat owning a gun the same as you would owning a car.
    3. Outlaw certain weapons. I am sorry, some military  grade weapons should not be allowed in the military.
    Now would these laws have prevented the tragedy that   happened in Arizona. I do not know, but they would help reduce the likelihood of such an event happening. As would your other points.

    I agree - (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:43:37 PM EST
    what do 2nd amendment rights have to do with granting every citizen the right to buy semi-automatic guns?  Perhaps we cannot stop certain people from violence, but semi-automatics in the hands of civilians mean more deaths and serious injuries from the same incident.

    Parent
    Semi-autos (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:36:39 AM EST

    This should have some facts to back it up.  Are semi-autos used more often to kill the innocent or more often by the innocent to prevent death or great bodily harm?


    Parent
    & your facts are what exactly? (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:44:15 AM EST
    Oh I see, non existent.

    Parent
    KMinimum common sense laws (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:45:07 AM EST
    all in accord with the 2nd Amendment.

    Parent
    I'll keep my constitutional rights thank you (none / 0) (#96)
    by DaveCal on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 05:14:27 PM EST
    It always amazes me that some people (left/right/whatever) seem perfectly willing to give up or pare down their (or other peoples') constitutional rights in response to certain events.  

    Too many abortions?  Some will advocate outlawing or restricting abortions. I'm pretty sure that won't find much support on this site.  

    People killed with a gun? Some now want to have more gun control laws. And many on this site seem perfectly willing to restrict other peoples' rights to have guns.

    No.  I'll keep my constitutional right to keep and bear arms, thank you very much.  

    What part of "shall not be infringed" is unclear?    

    Parent

    I've seen usually intelligent people (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ben Masel on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 06:29:50 PM EST
    advocate for getting rid of 30% of the Bill of Rights, plus the prohibition on ex post facto laws, within the last 24 hours. Proof that insanity is highly contagious.

    Please elaborate. What is your (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 07:14:29 PM EST
    position re gun control?  None?  Some?  Who decides?

    Parent
    Some, not much. (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    Declining class of those defining themselves as (none / 0) (#23)
    by Rojas on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 07:52:33 PM EST
    liberal I suppose.

    I just got off of 20 some odd hours of planes trains and automobiles when I logged on last night. This was early Sunday morning back in the states. I had no idea this incident had taken place.

    Damn disappointed to say the least. I was especially shocked to see people advocating for a Bill Clinton response.

    Parent

    Can I finally have my own (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:58:02 PM EST
    in home M-16 Ben?

    Parent
    More guns, less crime (none / 0) (#24)
    by diogenes on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 08:18:07 PM EST
    From Yahoo story of serial rapist Billy Joe Harris, just arrested:
    "One rape victim played piano at her church on Sundays. An 81-year-old woman scared off an intruder with a gun, firing several rounds. A 66-year-old woman was attacked twice, despite having moved across town following the first assault."


    Citing John Lott? Really? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 09:10:25 PM EST
    The same guy who has been thoroughly discredited numerous times?  The "academic" who was caught using fraudulent data?  The guy who, when challenged to produce the actual data for his "study", said his computer ate it?

    No thanks.

    I'll stick with the National Academy of Scientists.  Real scientists, using real data subjected to peer-review.

    Parent

    is john lott the guy that claimed (none / 0) (#33)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:55:52 PM EST
    a study of his showed 2 million instances per year of guns being used for self-protection in the united states? this was many years ago, and was used, for some time, as support by groups such as the NRA, to argue against any restrictions on gun ownership.

    just a quick bit of simple math shows how patently ludicrous that claim is:

    (2,000,000/50)/365=110 instances per day, per state

    if this were true, it would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country, it never was. and yet, it was commonly touted as support for the rabid gun nuts of america. worse yet, it was, briefly, taken seriously by the MSM.

    Parent

    Actually not. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:39:22 AM EST

    (2,000,000/50)/365=110 instances per day, per state

    if this were true, it would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country

    No.  Newspapers report the unusual, not the commonplace.

    Parent

    Not sure (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:49:38 AM EST
    Sounds like something he would claim.  He hasn't been cited by the MSM as much in recent years, probably due to his numerous credibility issues - caught using fraudulent data, (and accused of lying about it to cover his tracks), using a fake Internet persona to hype his own falsified work, failing to produce the data to support his 1997 study on defensive gun usage,  and misrepresenting the findings of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on voter disenfranchisement in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.

    Parent
    Policy be anecdote (none / 0) (#66)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:56:25 AM EST
    how Reaganesque.

    Parent
    comment with personal insult (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:48:31 PM EST
    deleted. The commenter knows better, and that personal attacks are not tolerated.

    Arguing about gun-control laws (none / 0) (#36)
    by Towanda on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:12:43 AM EST
    is one thing.  

    But questioning someone's ability in their profession because they disagree is another thing, I have to agree.

    'No more giun laws' - Wow, just WOW! (none / 0) (#38)
    by pluege2 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 05:32:23 AM EST
    so we shouldn't have laws to make sure the mentally-ill do not have guns - the is just irresponsible beyond words.

    so by the gun nuts view if Gabrielle Giffords had been packing this would never have happened - that is delusional beyond words - your talking a mentally-ill person here as perpetrator.

    Seems to me there was a state Trooper there who did fire and wound loughner - so how well did the gun nut double packing theory work out? Just what we need - more shoot outs.

    Its gotten to the point where the abject denial by gun nuts of any reasonable measures to keep guns away from bad and irresponsible elements is so far from reality, that the denial in and of itself should be defined as a mental illness.
    .

    The problem as I see it, (1.00 / 0) (#40)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 06:18:40 AM EST
    is that some people think we can avoid every single tragedy. We cannot.

    People are incredibly resourceful and when they are determined to do something awful, they most likely will, no matter how many laws that erode our civil rights are on the books.

    Its gotten to the point where the abject denial by gun nuts of any reasonable measures to keep guns away from bad and irresponsible elements is so far from reality, that the denial in and of itself should be defined as a mental illness.

    This is the kind of fear-based exaggeration that tries to make  rational citizens feel ashamed if they don't abdicate their rights. Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn't make them a gun nut or mentally ill,  and no one is advocating guns for bad and irresponsible elements.

    I am not willing to give up any more of my constitutional rights for the fallacy that laws to disarm law-abiding citizens will make me safer; they will not!

    Parent

    So lets ignore how ridiculously easy it (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:42:00 AM EST
    for those incredibly resource folks wanting to do awful things to acquire automatic weapons capable of being carried and concealed.

    You can never avoid every single tragedy but you sure as Hell avoid a lot of them if nutjobs like Loughner couldn't acquire a Glock and ammo with ease.
     

    Parent

    Automatic weapons (1.00 / 0) (#51)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:46:41 AM EST

    Automatic weapons are both very expensive and very difficult to obtain.

    Parent
    Semi automatic make you feel better? (none / 0) (#58)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 09:03:52 AM EST
    There is the core problem, in your own writing. (none / 0) (#94)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:55:58 PM EST
    nutjobs like Loughner



    Parent
    Straw argument (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:51:16 AM EST
    ... some people think we can avoid every single tragedy. We cannot.

    No one thinks that .... but it's much easier to knock down arguments made of straw.

    Parent

    Evidence helps. (none / 0) (#95)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 05:06:31 PM EST
    How exactly is my argument made of straw and how are you knocking it down, since you provided no evidence of either one?

    Parent
    Look up "straw argument" (none / 0) (#101)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:51:55 AM EST
    Here - I'll even help you out.

    You were claiming that:

    The problem as I see it, (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by mexboy on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 06:18:40 AM EST
    is that some people think we can avoid every single tragedy.
     

    Presumably, in the context of your reply, you were referencing people who advocate for stricter gun control laws.  It doesn't really matter, however, since no one actually thinks we can avoid every single tragedy.  It's just a silly, exaggerated argument made to (try to) diminish the argument of those who advocate for stronger gun control laws, or ...

    ... a "straw argument".

    Parent

    The context was the Bill of Rights (none / 0) (#103)
    by mexboy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:32:24 PM EST
    and the cost to our constitutional rights by fighting a war or guns, but never mind, your sole interest appears in defending your position by distorting my posts.

    Have a nice day.

    Parent

    I'm distorting nothing (none / 0) (#105)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:35:18 PM EST
    But I understand why you try to claim otherwise.

    Parent
    Yep, you got me! (none / 0) (#106)
    by mexboy on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:03:12 AM EST
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
    temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
    Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

    Parent

    Not a single constitutional right ... (none / 0) (#107)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:33:14 AM EST
    ... is absolute.  Reasonable gun control laws (licensing, registration, background checks, restricting certain weapons, etc.) are not an infringement on anyone's constitutional rights.  Unless, of course, you're one of those who believes the 2nd Amendment protects the right of the mentally ill to own machine guns, etc.  

    "Guns are neat little things, aren't they? They can kill extraordinary people with very little effort."
    John W. Hinckley, Jr.

    Parent

    Utter nonsence (1.00 / 0) (#46)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 08:43:33 AM EST

    so we shouldn't have laws to make sure the mentally-ill do not have guns

    Should we have laws so people can't get heroine?  Pot? Cocaine? Pictures of two year old kids using sex toys?

    Sorry laws cannot prevent any of that.  There is no magic.

    Parent

    What is rational (none / 0) (#75)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:52:18 AM EST

    about selectively disarming law abiding victims?

    The same rationality (none / 0) (#81)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 12:38:47 PM EST
    that underlies selectively disallowing people to drink/do drugs and fly airplanes or drive cars.

    It ain't rocket science.

    Parent

    your first comment (none / 0) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 04:42:50 PM EST
    was deleted for the "give it up." You may express  opinions, including those contrary to the views held by TalkLeft, within bounds as stated in the comment rules. The arrogant assumption in your comment that you are correct and we should change our viewpoint is insulting. If you cannot discuss the topic without insulting others who disagree, please comment elsewhere.

    Parent
    Who said anything ... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:18:48 PM EST
    ... about "selectively disarming law-abiding citizens"?

    Reasonable restrictions on gun ownership and types of weapons are not "disarming law-abiding citizens".

    Parent

    Gun nuts have some nerve talking about rights! (none / 0) (#85)
    by pluege2 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:34:47 PM EST
    No one has a right to kill another person.

    Every living person has a right to be alive.

    You want to talk about rights, defend those rights instead spewing inanity from the bottom of your delusional, self-invented, rationalized rabbit hole.

    The sole purpose of guns is to kill. You can not separate the device from its purpose.

    With all the self-rationalization going on here by gun nuts, I wouldn't trust a one of you to not abuse gun ownership - you ARE the very threat to everyone's right to be alive and unharmed.
    .

    Simple answer, tongue only partially in cheek. (none / 0) (#87)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:53:34 PM EST
    Second amendment says we can bear arms. It says nothing about ammunition. Let people buy all sorts of rocket launchers, heavy machine guns like the M2, howitzers... but make a license requirement for EACH ROUND of ammunition.

    The second amendment says nothing about ammunition. This argument should satisfy the Scalia-types, while allowing folks their weapons.

    More laws will not solve the issue. Creative interpretation of laws may help, and civil society would help even more.

    Too many guns? (none / 0) (#108)
    by mjbarkl on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 05:07:55 PM EST
    Jeralyn says "Gun Control Laws Are Not The Answer", and, uh, what?  research? counseling? being nice?  Jeralyn makes no correlation between the free availability of guns and the number of shootings?  why not?  Sure, help everyone to be happy and contented and well-adjusted and not be insane, but until then, what?

    It's been two months since the Tucson shooting and I don't see any progress on either the "be happy" proposals or the "Gun Control Laws" fronts.
    Shouldn't Congress be doing something?  Except for a few members timidly nibbling around the edge of the problem, Congress is doing what it does best, hiding under its collective desk afraid of the NRA, etc.  After decades of watching these mass shootings and seeing no progress, I've had enough, and I'm running for Congress to push the effort to repeal the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, including the Second Amendment, followed by serious taxation of guns.  In furtherance of this, I am accumulating links to web articles and lead comments advocating repeal at http://www.mjbarkl.com/run.htm .  Now what we need are 534 other candidates who feel the same way.
    Best wishes, --Mike , Candidate for Congress


    Please don't post your material here (none / 0) (#109)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:54:01 AM EST
    TalkLeft proudly and strongly supports the individual's right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and opposes gun control laws.Please find a site that agrees with you to post your views on. Thanks.

    Since you are running for Congress, how about pledging to eliminate mandatory minimum penalties for drug crimes, increase good time for non-violent offenders, reduce penalties in general for drug offenders, offer more treatment and vocational programs to inmates while in prison, so they will have skills when they come out and are less likely to reoffend.Then maybe there would be a debate to be had.

    Parent

    Guns & crime (none / 0) (#110)
    by mjbarkl on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:16:37 PM EST
    My mistake.  Sorry.

    If you have specific legislation drafted for your proposed changes in the focus of the criminal justice system I'd like to see it.

    Best wishes,  --Mike

    Yes, just think: (none / 0) (#111)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 12:08:52 AM EST
    if we didn't have all those guns there'd be even MORE homicides, assaults, rapes etc in this country..

    And yet, those most fervent about gun rights are, more often than not, the same people who like to repeat ad nauseum that this is still the greatest country on the planet. Murder, rape, terminal siege mentality/paranoia and all..