Saturday Night Open Thread

I'm sure there's news besides the CT shootings and tonight's Rolling Stones Pay Per View concert (see below for posts on both), but I haven't been following anything else today.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Rolling Stones Tonight on Pay Per View | Obama on the CT School Shootings >
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    Kerry to be nominated as SOS... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Cashmere on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:00:19 PM EST
    As predicted.  And, as also predicted, may open the Senate seat to Scott Brown.

    Brown was the only sitting incumbent ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:31:06 AM EST
    ... senator to lose his bid for re-election, he acted like a real jerk during the course of his campaign, and the final result really wasn't all that close. I think you may be overstating his appeal. In 2009-10, he was a relatively fresh face on the scene. Not any more.

    Yup. I will be very surprised if Brown (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:50:53 AM EST
    makes a comeback.  Not saying some other GOPer won't do it....

    I have no idea what his chances are... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cashmere on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:22:06 AM EST
    or if he (Brown) will even run.  Just pointing out that there will likely be an opening for the GOP if Kerry does become SOS.

    It will be interesting (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:52:37 PM EST
    When a senator resigns, Massachusetts law calls for the governor to appoint a temporary replacement until a special election is held, which must occur between 145 to 160 days following the vacancy. In 2009, Patrick appointed Paul Kirk after U.S.

    Senator Edward Kennedy died in August of that year. Kirk didn't run for the seat and Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley in the January 2010 special election.

    Deval said today that should Kerry give up his seat, he would again appoint an interim replacement who wouldn't run in the special election. "I expect to do the same thing I did last time," he said.

    I think we can take as a given that the Republicans would pick Brown as their candidate with very little, if any, dissension.  As for the Democrats- who knows?
    The candidates would battle each other during a short and divisive primary that would precede a special election, said Peter Ubertaccio, director of Martin Institute at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. By contrast, Republicans are likely to quickly settle on a well-known contender: Scott Brown, who lost his U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last month, he said.

    "If there's anything that could help resurrect Brown, it's the Democratic Party," said Ubertaccio, who teaches American government at the college. "If it's a crowded primary field that brings everybody down."

    The Assumption Being... (none / 0) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:30:49 AM EST
    ...the right won't do to Kerry what they did to Rice, go bananas over something not that important in terms of the SoS appointment.

    I think that's a huge assumption to make, will he need to actually find a replacement.


    I think the right wants that seat open (none / 0) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:35:40 AM EST
    so that Brown once again has a chance to win it. I doubt seriously that they will do anything to obstruct Kerry and have read blips of Republicans saying that he would be a great choice for the spot.

    Good Point (none / 0) (#99)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 10:19:25 AM EST
    The White House petition (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:05:10 PM EST
    to address the issue on gun control has now surpassed

    108,000 signatures since yesterday

    The gun non proliferation issue (4.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:27:00 PM EST
    is as important to America as the nuclear non proliferation issue is to the world. Some people will never feel that there is ever a right time to talk about gun non proliferation just as the GOP feels that there is never a right time to raise taxes on the rich; however, we should push our politicians to take action. We have to do what is right and moral to prevent gun tragedies from occuring over and over again.

    Hyperbole much? (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    Good luck tilting at THAT windmill.

    Nuclear Bombs don't kill people, people (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:45:41 PM EST
    kill people.

    That's good. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:47:14 AM EST
    Now we have to turn that into concrete action.

    Because if yesterday's wanton slaughter of defenseless first graders cowering in their classroom with a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle wasn't enough to summon forth the type of national outrage sufficient and necessary to at very least reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired a few years ago, then IMHO we've truly lost our moral compass as a country and people.

    Enough is enough.


    I believe (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:15:27 AM EST
    that we lost our moral compass some time ago.
    Completely lost during the war in Vietnam.
    Lost even further during the W. Bush administration.

    The simple unvarnished truth is that we are causing these tragedies on a daily basis in different parts of the world - and we have become numb.


    I'm not disagreeing with you, but ... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:38:32 PM EST
    ... we need to focus on the here and now, and do what we can prospectively to improve upon the present.

    Not only can we not change our country's history, it's profoundly foolish to present such lamentable events and behavior from our past as evidence that any attempt to bring about change will prove fruitless because our future is destined to be hopeless.

    And speaking for myself only, I'm not in the habit of creating self-fulfilling prophecies. I'd really like to believe that we are fully capable of learning from our previous mistakes and prior transgressions, in the hope that we can somehow do better from this point forward.



    Completely agree, Donald (none / 0) (#76)
    by christinep on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    The self-fulfilling " nothing has ever been done, nothing ever will" is nothing but self-defeating.  The Eeyore syndrome overdone.

    We need to start...even a step or two.  To that end, I'm heartened to hear Sen. D.  Feinstein's plan to introduce a bill regulating high-capacity magazine as well as curtailing assault weapons.  We need these types of specifics to get off "dead" center...we need more than our historical cries of "do something" and Lamentations with Handwringing.

    As for broader, longer term:  A very public Blue Ribbon Panel with copious PR and air-time...with periodic reportings before public audiences addressing the WHYs of 50,000 gun deaths yearly & the pragmatic, specific HOWs of reducing such numbers in a realistic way within the confines of the 2nd Amendment.  And, another thing:  The language of the wise-guys should be pointed out again & again...e.g., when people KILL people with guns, they KILL; they do not "off" nor "terminate" nor (the biggie) "take out.". We need to stop the fantasy movie & video talk; we need to call it what it is.


    Yeah, maybe the DroneMaster-in-Chief (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:31:51 AM EST
    will save us from those nasty guns.  Here, that it.

    An Open Thread It is (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:39:31 AM EST
    We have had thirty years and counting to discuss ways to prevent future tragedies. Yet it is never the right time to have that discussion. Let's postpone the discussion until the current tragedy fades away without any action taken. Let's postpone the discussion for a few more days - a few more weeks or a few more months until the next tragedy occurs and we can be told that now is the time to honor the dead and not the time to have a discussion on how to prevent future tragedies. We hear shame, shame on you for wanting to address the problem rather than merely honoring the dead.

    We have had 61 mass murders since 1982. We have had 8 mass murders this year. Two just this week. Where is the action plan to prevent these tragedies? No where, because we must at all cost avoid "politicizing" this tragedy and the next and the next.

    Ezra Klein said it best IMO

    When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk about reforming our gun control laws." link

    To me, (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:10:15 AM EST
    politicizing this issue means making it an issue on which we will either support or defeat incumbents.

    Politics is, I believe, supposed to be our way of expressing our needs and desires through the political system.

    We rarely have the opportunity to actually do that.

    And the rush by politicians to tell us not to politicize this tragedy is their effort to keep us mute while they go about their business of enriching themselves and endangering the people of the United States.


    People who fetishize linguistic (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:53:24 AM EST
    constructions which are more than 200 years old drive the problem.
    If it weren't for the 2nd amendment---whatever it means--we would have had a rational discussion about gun control generations ago.

    Why anyone would think owning guns (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:05:05 AM EST
    is worth this, is beyond me.

    "Arms" should be construed (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:49:10 PM EST
    in deference to the original intent crowd, as a musket and a sword.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:22:20 AM EST
    when legislation for a new assault weapons ban is introduced it should be given a name that keeps the moral issue at the forefront.

    Page 1 of the Bill should read:

    "Sandy Hook Protection Act".

    Page 2 should read:

    like this


    Moral issue for sure (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:41:52 AM EST
    Let us hope that legislation for a new assault weapons ban is introduced so that your ideas can be included. Also let's hope it more inclusive then the previous ban.

    A study by the Department of Justice found that, after the ban, the share of gun crimes declined by 17 to 72 percent across the cities they studied (Baltimore, Miami, Milwaukee, Boston, St. Louis, and Anchorage). That decline, however, was largely offset by increased use of "large-capacity magazines," firearms that hold 30 or more rounds of ammunition. Those manufactured prior to 1994 were exempt to from the law.

    "The failure to reduce LCM [large capacity magazine] use has likely been due to the immense stock of exempted pre-ban magazines, which has been enhanced by recent imports," the authors conclude.

    An Australian gun reform law in 1996, which took pre-ban guns off the market as well, looks to have had more striking effects. Researchers in the British Medical Journal write that it was "followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides." link

    I just read (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:16:11 AM EST
    that Senator Feinstein plans to introduce an updated version of the assault weapons ban that was first passed in 1994 at the start of the new session in January.

    Well, seeing Milwaukee on that list (none / 0) (#37)
    by Towanda on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:27:47 AM EST
    I can tell you that the study is flawed, as the stats are flawed; the city's top cop has been in trouble for months for -- as reported in a searing expose series by the local daily paper -- miscoding violent crimes as nonviolent crimes.

    And note that the Milwaukee burbs (I think your link includes the larger metropolitan area) have been the site of two mass murders-by-gun in only recent months.  Your list below includes the Sikh temple shooting but not the more recent mass murder at a spa.

    In sum, I suspect that the situation is even worse than the study states.


    Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY): (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:24:34 AM EST
    Our expressions of sympathy must be matched with concrete actions to stop gun violence." link

    Tricky. (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by robert72 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:12:04 AM EST
    I'm Canadian. Many Canadians own guns, lots of guns. My son likely has 6 or more shotguns and rifles, used for hunting. Handguns must be registered here, and owners cannot take them from the home to a target range without a permit for that time. This allows the police to confiscate any non-registered guns, and those that are found in vehicles or on the person of someone without a valid permit. There is no such thing as the legal ability for people to carry weapons as they go about their daily business. In the home all guns and ammunition must be locked up in a metal safe. The government tried to do a gun registry, and after spending over a billion dollars it was politically expedient to drop it. The need for it just wasn't there.
    But it is more than that - it is a mind-set. I don't know any Canadian home owners who own guns for protection. Guns are owned for hunting or target shooting. City and suburban people rarely own guns. We often leave doors unlocked - Bowling for Columbine told the truth.
     And yet I have a US cousin who has always been an urban dweller and not an outdoorsman who has a handgun in his bedroom for protection. This seems to me to be more of a danger than a safe-guard. But it is a state of mind, and I don't know if this can be changed. There seems to be a fear in the US that we don't have, and an old west idea of protecting the family that most other civilized countries don't feel the need for.
    I would be interested to hear your ideas on this!

    One (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:20:40 AM EST
    idea I have heard, from a person who fears having his gun rights taken away, is that some folks want these weapons to protect themselves from the government. They envision a fascist state emerging and the storm-troopers coming for them and their property.

    We have a friend (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:40:42 AM EST
    Who believes that.  I said to him "What good are all your guns going to do against what the government could throw against you?  You going to shoot at a tank?  Or a Hellfire missile?"
    He finally admitted that his weapons would be no match against a government.

    I (none / 0) (#27)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:34:02 AM EST
    guess the guy I talked to envisioned WW2 types banging on his door in the middle of the night... More mano a mano than tanks and missiles...

    Oh boy.


    Yes, well (none / 0) (#58)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:38:38 PM EST
    I'm thinking that if the military does go banging on doors, there would be more than one of them, they would have fully automatic weapons, and most likely body armor.  Even if your friend has lots of semi-automatics, he still loses.  "Mano a mano," indeed.
    I'm thinking these people envision themselves more as American Revolution Minutemen.  Who knows?

    Yes, (none / 0) (#66)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:43:29 PM EST
    I'm thinking these people envision themselves more as American Revolution Minutemen

    That's what I think too.


    And that would be (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:27:00 PM EST
    sort of imaginable, if the government mainly used muzzle-loading flintlock rifles, bayonets, and small cannons.  We're definitely way past that era.  

    It is a mind set that has been (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:18:12 AM EST
    promoted and nourished for decades by well funded organizations as well as political parties. It goes back further in our history but more current examples of this:

    It's not just the NRA who are political villains in this story: the right-wing Koch-funded ALEC has been pushing to weaken gun laws too. In fact, the lame-duck right-wing GOP-controlled Michigan Legislature just passed an ALEC-backed bill allowing concealed loaded guns in schools, churches and day care centers, and abolishing the county panels that controlled concealed-pistol licensing. link

    Americans have been bombarded with themes based on fear of the "other" (defined in numerous ways) for political and profit reasons for a long, long time.

    Our politicians either receive financial support from these groups or are too afraid to challenge them. The American public has too often allowed themselves to be manipulated into silence by shaming techniques of "have you no respect for the victims," "can't you just focus on them for a few days rather than pursue your political agenda."

    From the sounds of it Canada has some reasonable gun controls. Unlike the propaganda being spouted non-stop, I don't want to take all the hunter's or sport men's guns away. I do want reasonable gun controls and a ban on weapons whose only purpose is to kill the most number of people in the shortest amount of time.

    I would like you to go into another aspect of the problem for us. Since as a Canadian, you have a true universal health care system, I would guess that people have access to affordable mental health programs. This is another part of the problem IMO it is much, much easier to get assault weapons than it is to get good mental health treatment.

    Kind of a rambling response off the top of my head that just touches the surface of the issue. I may add to it later and hope that others on the site who are much more articulate than I give you a better explanation.


    MO Blue, on the issue of hunters and sportsmen, (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:25:32 AM EST
    I learned yesterday that, when surveyed, the majority of the NRA membership wants a ban on assault weapons and stricter gun control laws, while the NRA leadership lobbies against these.

    Maybe we need some type of citizens (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:39:25 AM EST
    action group(s) to get all people (hunters and non-hunters) who want a ban on assault weapons and stricter gun control laws together as one united force.

    I don't know how we get this done, but get it done is something we must do.


    Mental health (none / 0) (#41)
    by robert72 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:58:31 AM EST
    In Canada mental health care is free - that is, if you can get it. This is one part of our system that does not work very well. There are extremely long waits to see a psychiatrist - there just aren't enough of these doctors to go around. There are a lot of mentally ill people living on the streets. Hospitals have mental care wards - but these are only for the most severe cases. There are group homes for chronic mental illness - but again, not enough.
    We rarely hear of mentally ill people endangering others, though. The École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal in 1989 was one of the first North American incidents of mass murder with a gun - and led to tightened gun laws here.

    Was hoping you had a better system (none / 0) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:47:47 PM EST
    so that we could learn from your experiences. This sounds all too familiar:

    There are a lot of mentally ill people living on the streets. Hospitals have mental care wards - but these are only for the most severe cases. There are group homes for chronic mental illness - but again, not enough.

    Some good articles yesterday on gun control... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:17:51 AM EST
    1) From Americans Against Tea Party:

    If Guns Were At Least As Regulated As Cars:

    Title and Tag at Each Point of Sale
    Mandatory Training and Tests
    Health Tests
    Renewals and Inspections

    2) From Hunters for Gun Control:

    "Guns Don't Kill People. People Kill People."

    Well, no sh!t sherlock. We want mandatory safety courses for people, not guns. We want thorough background checks for people not guns. We want stricter negligence checks on people not guns. If you're stupid enough to think we are pissed at guns instead of their users, you're stupid enough to own one.

    3) From Nicholas Kristof:

     "Do We Have the Courage to Stop This Yet?"  There's an epic contrast between the heroism of teachers facing a gunman and the fecklessness of politicians who won't stand up to the NRA.

    Honoring the dead in 2012 (5.00 / 9) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:15:41 AM EST
    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre  

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    April 6, 2012. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, shot 5 black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in racially motivated shooting spree. Three died.

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    May 29, 2012. Ian Stawicki opened fire on Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, WA, killing 5 and himself after a citywide manhunt.

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    July 20, 2012. During the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO, 24-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58. Holmes was arrested outside the theater.

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    September 27, 2012. Five were shot to death by 36-year-old Andrew Engeldinger at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, MN. Three others were wounded. Engeldinger went on a rampage after losing his job, ultimately killing himself.

    We honored the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths on

    December 11, 2012. On Tuesday, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts killed 2 people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon. His motive is unknown.

    We are once again told that we must honor the dead by our silence to avoid "politicizing" their deaths.

    28 people are dead after a shooting at a school in Connecticut and at a secondary scene nearby, state police have said.

    The toll includes 20 children and six adults, an adult victim at the second scene in Connecticut, and the gunman himself, officials said.

    Wow. Look at how many lives had to (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:16:09 AM EST
    be honored just this year because we didn't want to "politicize" the role of guns.

    Imagine if we had had some real leadership, if we had started treating these deaths as part of a public health crisis, or as a failure of critical infrastructure, how many lives could have been saved.

    But what are we doing?  Passing more laws to make it legal for more people to have ready, easy access to guns.  So that when more people have a bad week at work, or someone takes that last parking space at the mall, or cuts you off on the highway, or someone in a bar gets drunk and offended by someone's offhand comment, or their neighbor once again refuses to cut his overgrown grass, they can just pull out their guns and start shooting.  Yeah, that sounds like an excellent idea.

    I know the mantra is always that we don't need more gun control laws because we already have a slew of them, but what we do need is a ban on certain kinds of guns, on certain kinds of ammunition, and we need regulation at the manufacturing and distribution level.  No one should be able to buy a gun on the spot at a gun show with no record of the transaction, no background check.  We need to have gun laws that are the same in every state in the union, so that someone can't go to a gun-friendly state to buy a gun that he or she then transports to the state where he or she wants to use it.

    There is no honor in allowing more and more and more people to die from gun violence, only shame.


    Susie Madrak has a heart wrenching post (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:43:47 PM EST
    by a mother who is trying to deal with her son's mental illness without adequate options to help her and her son. She states:

    I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am Jason Holmes's mother. I am Jared Loughner's mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho'smother. And these boys--and their mothers--need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness. link

    Take time to read the post. We need reasonable gun controls and we also need to do much more in treating mental illness.


    You may want to go to the original (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:06:36 PM EST
    From the Anarchist Soccer Mom.

    In FL, the law to involuntarily commit someone is called the Baker Act. A friend of mine did an investigative piece about Baker-Acted children. She expected to find horrible parents. Instead, she found stories very similar to the one told at the link above.


    Thank you. (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:42:57 PM EST
    Yes, 'silence in order to honor the dead' is also a political agenda, of course.

    Meanwhile, back in reality... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:49:54 AM EST
    While y'all are enthusiastically competing with TV's talking heads for righteous indignation, the real culprit, a sick-as-F*** video game industry is busily cranking out training simulators which both teach and desensitize children to violence.

    And I won't even mention the nonstop violence on television.  Nonstop.

    But hey, American Foreign Policy would take quite a hit without a steady supply of young sociopaths to handle enforcement, wouldn't it.

    In the media (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:56:21 AM EST
    we used to repeat the meme that the media reflected culture; it didn't create it. Of course, that's ridiculous. If the media doesn't  create desires, desensitization, etc., then the ad industry has been spending billions for nothing.

    Almost all these shootings are done by boys and men. So, we also need to look at the way our society particularly feeds them violence.  Boys especially get messages that violence is fine as long as you're the good guy; that killing people feels good and cathartic; and that violence makes you more manly.


    These things are not mutually exlusive. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:41:41 PM EST
    Yes -- our sick, violent culture and the romanticization everywhere of it is part of the problem IMO.

    Military/war glorification is part of it.

    Mental health problems and too little treatment for them is part of it.

    The libertarian mindset that denies that gun ownership and other issues are also societal problems for the rest of us is part of it.

    The crazy second amendment literalists are part of it.

    And the selfish gun culture is also part of it.


    I agree about the games as simulators (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:25:20 AM EST
    As one who has worked in training and simulation for 30 years, I think that prolonged exposure to these games works as training and desensitization to these scenarios. I think parents need to be a lot more vigilant about their children's mental state as they let them play these games.  

    what about refusing to buy them? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:24:41 PM EST
    I am not sure what you mean by being vigilant about their mental state?  I don't think keeping them from doing too many hours will change what they learn from the games.  Why did it become acceptable for kids to have games that involve killing as many people as possible on a screen?  Yeah, that sounds like censorship.  I am not into censorship.  But shouldn't parents be encouraged to exercise more common sense?  
    We stopped buying candy cigarettes for kids.  How is this different?  I am not trying to yell here.  I am asking for what people think?

    David Brooks on MTP (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    said today that video games do not really come into play because the mass shooters have not been video game enthusiasts....

    He said that they are intelligent, have an inflated sense of self, suffer a setback so they are not successful, and then blame society for their failures, and when they kill is the happiest day of their lives....FWIW


    and why (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by womanwarrior on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:45:19 PM EST
    should we think david brooks knows what he is talking about?

    I thought Harris and Klebold (none / 0) (#100)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:05:07 PM EST
    were big time video game players..

    I have to just say that many of us (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:05:21 AM EST
    have been through real mourning of the sudden loss of a loved one. The "nation" is not in mourning right now.  27 families and circles of friends are.  

    The rest of us are going through our usual ritual sympathy grief, and I think way too much of it takes place in public.  It gets harder and harder to watch. Someone commented on ABCs web page that they are "glamorizing" the killer. I don't agree with that, but the media does glamorize the so-called "national grieving process". Does this make it something that the unstable among us might desire to bring about?

    I don't mean to brush off the real sadness we all feel - how can we not?  

    The media wallows in grief and tragedy; (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:51:58 AM EST
    I feel like each network is trying to outdo the competition in bringing us "the best" visualization and expressions of grief - and the more actual participants they can parade in front of the cameras, the better.  I especially hate it when, while talking with someone who was there who is managing to hold his or her emotions together, the interviewer will ask an especially personal and pointed question to trigger the tears.

    They want us to cry for the victims, but if that's all they want, it's cheap and shameless and starts to feel like manipulation for no other purpose but ratings.

    Of course we feel sad - one's heart would have to be made of stone not to feel that - but if that's all there is, it seems like it doesn't mean a whole lot.  If nothing is done to prevent it from happening again, it's as if a bridge collapsed and the rubble is left as a reminder.

    It's a national shame is what it is, and it's time we stopped wallowing and did something so this kind of thing doesn't keep happening.


    It's not a new phenomenon (none / 0) (#48)
    by rdandrea on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:02:33 PM EST
    "If it bleeds, it leads" has been a fundamental principle of "journalism" for a long time.  The earliest use I can find is from the Boston News War in 1982.

    I just emailed (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:26:42 AM EST
    Senator Feinstein and my own two Senators and Congressman with regard to voting for an assault weapons ban.

    Using the Government website along with their dropboxes for topics was enlightening. The three Dems all had gun control as a potential topic, but for Senator Rubio I had to classify my topic as "Other"

    Gun culture is not limited to NRA and tea party (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by peon on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    I like to watch British TV shows with my Netfliks streaming. I especially like cop shows. One thing that is profoundly different from American cop shows is the lack of guns.
     Cop shows about murders, with bad guys, chase scenes, etc. only the cops do not carry or shoot guns, for the most part, and neither do the crooks!
    George Gently, Wallander,Taggert, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost, Foyle's War, Prime Suspect, Blue Murders....they are all remarkably gunless.

     In Northern Ireland, all police officers carry firearms. In the rest of the United Kingdom, police officers do not carry firearms, except in special circumstances. Look up the shooting stats by police in UK, compare it to the US.

    It is not just the "right to carry" nuts, the NRA, the gun industry, the violent video games, that drive this insanity. The authorities are also gun nuts. The police visibly bristle with weapons and use them with abandon. We all worship our "troops" and all their deadly boytoys.
    You are never going to pry guns out of citizens "cold dead hands" with the police state armed to the teeth.

    Very true (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:00:36 PM EST
    Hollywood and television network executives also need to do some soul searching. We should also push for legislation that will reduce the glamourization of gun and violent culture.

    I (none / 0) (#69)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:55:30 PM EST
    agree about film-makers and television networks (and video game programmers) needing to do some soul searching... but legislation cannot be the answer. That would violate the constitution, in my opinion.

    If people stopped watching the violent, predictable, repetitive and unoriginal crappola presented by the seemingly endless parade of cop shows and superhero and war movies, that would be a start.
    I lost my stomach for that stuff some time ago.

    I also think that the government could set an example by not glorifying kill lists, smart bombs, and drones.


    I have no problem in principle with (none / 0) (#70)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:07:17 PM EST
    legislation which limits exposure of children to various influences.

    Theoretically (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:27:26 PM EST
    I would have no problem with that either - but it seems to me that every repressive measure - from censorship of books, movies and occasionally music - has as its stated rationale to protect children.

    I think that it is up to parents to discriminate between things that are enlightening or harmful for their children.

    How in the world are you going to legislate content?

    When I see these cop shows referring to victims as "vics", I want to scream, but I wind up changing the channel. And fast. That means that some advertiser has not had the chance to sell me its cr@p.

    If people were to stop watching that fare, it would cease being produced.

    Government censorship is not the answer, imo.


    I think Scandinavian countries in (none / 0) (#88)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:07:23 PM EST
    particular do a lot more regulation of content for children, and those are not repressive countries, in general.

    Please (none / 0) (#91)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:17:17 PM EST

    Regulating content for children is not the same as censoring content in general.

    We have a ratings system, for example. PG etc.

    That should be sufficient.


    Yeah, great idea lentinel (none / 0) (#77)
    by rdandrea on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:41:48 PM EST
    Let's throw out the First Amendment because we don't have the backbone to deal with the Second.

    Sorry, that was a response to Politalkix (n/t) (none / 0) (#78)
    by rdandrea on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:42:56 PM EST
    The ultimate protection for Rights (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:02:12 PM EST
    is obtined through Responsibilities. Throw away Responsibilities and you throw away Rights!  We should not even be talking about Rights without addressing issues about Responsibilities.

    And what precisely does that mean (none / 0) (#89)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:08:42 PM EST
    in the context of the shooting?
    How did I or anyone else not exercise their responsibilities in this regard?

    It was a reply to post 77 and 78 (none / 0) (#92)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:20:53 PM EST

    Even so, (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by sj on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:23:10 AM EST
    observed's question is still relevant.  

    WOW, no wonder the politicians think (5.00 / 5) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:58:27 PM EST
    they can cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.

    I just looked at the benefit notification I received from Social Security this week. After they raised my SS benefit for a 1.7% COLA and raised my Medicare premium, deducted the higher premium for Medicare Part D and I subtract my higher supplemental premium, my incoming revenue went up a whopping $21 per month. I'm rich I tell you, rich. Oh, wait a minute that $21 doesn't come close to covering the increases to my day to day living expenses. :o(    

    My experience is the same, MoBlue. (5.00 / 6) (#74)
    by caseyOR on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:06:33 PM EST
    The increase in my SS is offset by the expenses you mention plus an increase in my rent and my car insurance.

    And don't me started on the measure that is used to figure the COLA. It is outdated and does not figure in the things that cost seniors. There is a CPI that does focus on the expenses that most affect seniors, like increased medication costs and increased medical expenses. Of course we can't use that CPI because then people on SS would get COLAs that might actually help them meet their costs.

    And the currently used CPI applies to all federal benefit programs. So, veterans and retired federal employees take the same hit.


    Well, just to put this out here (1.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:35:26 PM EST
    In the middle of this irrational fear fest...


    Just a reminder that it's happened before, and it's going to happen again. You can make it less likely, but you can't stop it. And since half your argument about guns is that you will STOP such things from ever happening again, there goes your emotional arguments as well.

    I have ideas to make it less likely, some of them involving guns but most of them involving actually helping people before they become motivated or alienated enough to want to kill someone. Thus they don't speak to your fear, and thus I doubt they will get heard. So I leave alot of you to stew in your fear and hate.

    Later I'll put up a separate something with my ideas. I bet it will get no comments  because half of you simply can't overcome your fear and hate.

    This was already discussed. (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:14:51 PM EST
    The fact you have to go back to 1927 to find a "counterexample" to the idea that guns are the problem speaks for itself.

    By the way, Nancy Lanza was an extreme survivalist and gun nut, who stocked up on guns to be ready for the economic collapse.
    Just FYI.


    Could you supply a link? (none / 0) (#81)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:07:44 PM EST
    The NYT is describing her as someone who grew up in the country and loved hunting.

    Adam Lanza's aunt Marsha (none / 0) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:25:55 PM EST
    is the source of the story. TPM has post.

    Today Show contradicts (none / 0) (#98)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:25:40 PM EST
    Friends on the Today Show contradicted the idea that she was a survivalist.

    People hunt with those (none / 0) (#101)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:20:47 PM EST
    kind of guns?

    Did she even have any actual hunting guns?


    I must be arguing the other half (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by Towanda on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:22:19 PM EST
    because your post confirms my fear -- that we can't STOP people like you from posting on blogs, so I doubt that we can STOP people from shooting up people, either.

    However, I am pro-gun control, because I think that we can REDUCE the number of guns in the hands of nuts to REDUCE the number of lives lost to mass-murdering idiots who never ought to have guns.

    Now, act rationally  Speak to the half of the arguments, according to you, that are reasonable, according to you, and who explain why you are against an effort to REDUCE the number of guns and the number of lives lost to mass-murdering idiots who never ought to have guns.


    Fear and hate? (5.00 / 4) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:51:27 PM EST
    Boy that is a stretch. People who believe that we do not need to be armed to the teeth are the ones living in fear.

    Maybe those who feel the need to surround themselves with an entire arsenal of semi-automatic, automatic weapons and numerous hand guns are the people who are living in fear.


    Who are you responding to? (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:08:36 PM EST
    Just a reminder that it's happened before, and it's going to happen again. You can make it less likely, but you can't stop it. And since half your argument about guns is that you will STOP such things from ever happening again, there goes your emotional arguments as well.

    No one - repeat - no one - is claiming that gun control measures will "STOP such things from ever happening again."  That would be a ridiculous argument - which is probably why you're the only one making it.  OTOH, reducing the number and accessibility of guns can make it more difficult for these people to get their hands on these kinds of weapons, which can make it less likely.

    I'm good with that.


    why not do something useful (none / 0) (#84)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:47:53 PM EST
    like address the mental health issues driving these killers.

    Are you implying that it wouldn't be (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:31:00 PM EST
    useful to keep guns out of their hands?
    How dangerous would Adam Lanza have been without the weapons?

    Honestly, if private ownership of guns (none / 0) (#86)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:42:48 PM EST
    in the home is constitutionally protected, as the Supreme Court has said it is, then no legislation can keep a young man who suffers a sudden mental breakdown from accessing and then using the legally owned weapons that his political extremist (but psychologically undiagnosable) mother has chosen to keep in their shared residence.

    Question: what is the (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:03:20 PM EST
    legal definition of gun in this context?
    Is a handheld anti-tank weapon constitutionally protected? What about an anti-aircraft launcher?
    If not, is there a clear, constitutionally sound method of excluding such weapons?

    Ask the Supreme Court (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:16:54 PM EST
    No one else has any idea what it means today to "bear arms" in the sense comprehended by the Second Amendment (at least none worth a damn), nor what reasonable "regulation" of that right will be allowed. I wish I did, but I don't.

    Why not do both? (5.00 / 6) (#94)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:04:31 AM EST
    And I don't agree with the implication that gun control measures are not useful/effective.

    Question: do your ideas about (none / 0) (#64)
    by observed on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:21:40 PM EST
    making these incidents less likely include arming teachers?
    In general, do you believe that arming people is the answer to gun violence?

    NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament: (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:09:03 PM EST
    Texas easily swept by Oregon 25-11, 26-24 and 25-19 tonight in Louisville to win the 2012 NCAA Women's Volleyball national championship. Congratulations to both the Longhorns and the Ducks for a marvelous season.

    Not a Duck fan... but as an Oregonian.. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cashmere on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:10:12 PM EST
    Was rooting for the Ducks.  :(

    UT fan here. Proud of the ladies!! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Angel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:12:42 PM EST
    The Longhorns played ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:22:17 AM EST
    ... a phenomenal and nearly flawless match, hitting .481 overall with only four errors over the course of the entire three sets. The Top Ten teams in the country usually average between four to six errors per set, not per match. It was an amazing performance, and you can be proud of them.

    Okay (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:51:37 PM EST
    "Texas easily swept by Oregon 25-11, 26-24 and 25-19"

    That would be a terrible Newspaper headline...swept by gives the impression that Texas was swept. I would suggest "swept Oregon" rather than "swept by Oregon"


    Excuse me, but did I say ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:15:40 AM EST
    ... "Texas was swept by Oregon"?

    No, I did not. I said the Longhorns "swept by" the Ducks -- as in "blew away," "easily dispatched," "routed," etc. It's a figure of speech.

    Anyway, I was simply posting some information about the match on a blog, not writing a newspaper headline, and I'm assuming that people here can read English.


    Hillary Clinton Recovering After Fainting, (none / 0) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:55:07 PM EST

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fainted and suffered a concussion, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Clinton is now "recovering at home."

    "While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion," spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement obtained by Reuters. link

    So much for 2016. (2.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:36:33 AM EST
    She's too old.  

    Not to worry, though.  Plenty of shiny young professional liars are lined up to run.


    Your comment is silly (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:27:44 AM EST
    Fainting is just as common among teenagers as it is over 70.

    Yeah, I almost fainted (none / 0) (#47)
    by fishcamp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:00:42 PM EST
    yesterday when I caught a bonefish on a fly, from my skiff, by myself, in a secret place, but nearby.

    Oh brother... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Cashmere on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:35:28 AM EST
    is my only reply to your ageist comment re: Hillary Clinton.

    Diversions.... (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 10:54:48 AM EST
    Listening to audiobook version of Claire Tomalin's biography of Charles Dickens. It is excellent. She is such a good writer - makes it come alive. She must have loved digging into this great story.

    It inspired me to read The Pickwick Papers, so I started that last night...made it through all of the various prefaces....

    Bomb threat at Catholic church in Newtown, (none / 0) (#50)
    by Angel on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    church evacuated.  Good grief.