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April 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

It’s a mistake to disarm good guys

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Disarming America is not the solution to gun violence. It would be virtually impossible to confiscate every weapon in our country, and criminals will get guns no matter what.

What we are doing, with all of the talk and action about gun control, is disarming the good guys. This is a mistake.

We should be going in the opposite direction — making it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain and carry weapons.

There would be fewer mass shootings if deranged individuals believe there is a possibility that someone would be shooting back.

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  1. My comment to the above letter applies here. First things first: Mourning and grieving for the lost and prayers for the strength and comfort of their friends and family. Then, move on to the next steps.

    CarmineD

  2. Future makes excellent points that badly need to be made. Societies voice will be heard loudly about access to guns and that is legitimate, but as usual, it is an 'easy' response to a 'complex' issue.

    Much more difficult to accomplish than an assault weapons ban would be an effort to address the problems in our society that help create people like Adam Lanza and then tie our hands in doing anything about such people until after something very bad happens.

    Michael

  3. "There would be fewer mass shootings if deranged individuals believe there is a possibility that someone would be shooting back."

    The writer apparently has little understanding of the word "deranged". Every week someone somewhere decides to have a shootout with people they KNOW are armed - trained police officers. In many cases as in Newtown, the criminal ends up committing suicide. The trick may be how to keep people with a self-destructive purpose from first taking others with them.

  4. Bradley: how do you know it's "absurd?" We almost always hear about those with a screw loose who do damage with a gun, but rarely is attention given to the times when having a weapon results in a positive outcome. That's not news, according to the "Main Stream Media" who funnel only what bolsters their agenda du jur. That moron of a mayor, Michael Bloomberg, gathered 34 victims of gunplay to bolster his demand for "gun control." Any one believe he couldn't have found 34 others whose life, limb and/or property weren't saved by having a defensive weapon at their disposal? Remember, Bloomberg is the same guy who worked to ban soft drinks larger than 16 oz in size. He's a whacko and typical of so many nutty politicians everywhere in this country.

  5. There are plenty of "good guys" on psychiatric medication who are not in prison. Their condition is controlled on drugs and they are all around us. There are others that should be on medication. These people aren't in prison, never have been.

    So the issue is one of not making it legal for them to own guns. They can progress into more serious degrees of their conditions.

    Sufficient waiting periods could be established to allow for appropriate tracing of psychiatric histories and medications. No weapon should be placed in their hands legally until all appropriate records have been researched.

    This can be facilitated by the electronic medical records data base in the future, which could shorten the process.

    Perhaps this is something that needs to be researched on an every 5 year basis and registration renewal denied if the results are positive.

  6. By the way, bipolar disorder, previously called manic-depressive disorder, is thought to be an inherited disorder in some cases.

  7. CreatedEQL poignantly identifies, "The letter writer makes a case that wholly does not exist, then criticizes the non-existent case. I have heard zero talk of disarming anyone. I have heard zero talk of confiscation."

    Totally agree. And this idiocy always needs to be pointed out. Because it does not contribute anything to solving this incredible problem faced in America right now.

    Very hard to talk to pro-gun lobbyists or anyone from the NRA.

    Mainly because they live on another world. All they see is an attack on their good thing.

    Pro-gun lobbyists, especially the NRA, are not specifically pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment. They are ONLY pro-gun manufacturer. This really needs to come to light in discussions from now on. The perception is wrong.

    They want EVERYONE in America armed and dangerous. They want to sell guns. Period. Whatever consequences that causes? They don't care.

    That's why a discussion needs to ensue with our politicians and other experts after this senseless violence in CT. And it needs to happen without pro-gun lobbyists in the room.

    It really needs to also be pointed out that in the last election the NRA pro-gun lobby, especially pertaining to politics, is not that powerful. They only showed a .16 percent success rate of the politicians they backed. This is way, way less than one percent. That's even worse that Karl Rove's dirty money success rate (he showed one percent success for every $109 million spent).

    Also, the NRA pro-gun lobby aligns perfectly ONLY with ultra-conservatives. This last election, they spent over $5 million on Tea/Republican Party candidates, and over $11 million attacking Democratic Party candidates. And the result was the same. A success rate that was more abysmal than able to achieve anything.

    People need to wake up and understand the NRA pro-gun lobby does not possess the power everyone think it has.

    But if you do give them the benefit of the doubt with their over-the-top braggadacio, whatever power they think they possess needs to diminish fast. And it can. People need to rise up. Don't leave it to people who only want to sell guns to represent you, and speak for you. They are using you.

    America can't afford to listen to them. Because bodies will pile up with more and more mindless carnage like what happened in Connecticut.

  8. We have enough regulations in regards to guns and weapons. What is and has been sadly lacking in the United States, is the effective funding and support for Mental Health.

    If the psychotic individual bent on killing or harming can't access a gun, they will find another way to be destructive, as there are plenty of alternatives.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  9. Fortunately for Mr. Witcher the conversation that we seek is not about "disarming" America. Rather it is about setting policy which will promote regulation of firearms ownership....licensing, limits of type, etc.,...consistent with the 2nd Amendment. The conservative majority of SCOTUS has already endorsed that approach, holding the government interest in regulation is constitutional.

    Sadly Mr. Witcher is all too typical of the NRA extremists. When confronted with reasoned regulation they scream disarmament, fly the "cold dead fingers" argument, hold out the UN bogeyman....anything to deflect the argument.

    So let me be the extreme voice from the other side. The NRA is complicit in terrorism against the American people. Its purchase, through political contributions, of laws which weaken government ability to control and regulate tools which are used in mass murder of Americans makes it an enabler of terrorism. Its financial profit from that enabling makes it and its leadership reprehensible,

  10. Page 4B in today's RJ has three interesting stories. One identifies the man who killed a woman at Excalibur the other night before killing himself. Another reports a gunman was shot and killed by Tribal Police at Moapa Travel Plaza off I-15 at the Valley of Fire exit. Another reports the arrest of a man who fired at Metro officers and missed. They arrested him after they returned fire but missed too. Elsewhere in the paper is a story relating that two Kansas law enforcemnent officers were shot and killed and the shooter later located and killed in a shootout with police.

    Just another slow news day, I suppose, or are we just getting hardened to this stuff.

  11. In his original letter, Roger states that "There would be fewer mass shootings if deranged individuals believe there is a possibility that someone would be shooting back."

    Can anyone provide a documented instance of an armed private citizen using a personal weapon to halt or prevent a mass shooting? Just asking - I've not been able to find one.

  12. "Can anyone provide a documented instance of an armed private citizen using a personal weapon to halt or prevent a mass shooting? Just asking - I've not been able to find one."

    Nope. In fact, the Gabby Gifford shooting nearly involved a second tragedy. One of the people who responded to the attack was carrying a concealed weapon and very nearly shot the heroic bystander who had just tackled and disarmed Jared Loughner.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and...

  13. @renorobert....I would think that someone who wears body armor anticipates return fire and has prepared for it. That seems to negate the "fear of return fire" argument.

    Governor Rick Perry pontificated this AM about that, suggesting that teachers and principals be armed. Having watched the Governor's performance in the Republican primary debates we already recognize that he is an idiot. His comments merely reinforce the delusional thinking of many members of the gun nut club.

  14. "What we are doing, with all of the talk and action about gun control, is disarming the good guys. This is a mistake."

    Witcher -- excellent letter, but unfortunately to be drowned out as the herd bleats for a bigger, badder police state.

    "...the conversation that we seek is not about "disarming" America. Rather it is about setting policy which will promote regulation of firearms ownership....licensing, limits of type, etc.,...consistent with the 2nd Amendment. The conservative majority of SCOTUS has already endorsed that approach, holding the government interest in regulation is constitutional."

    wharfrat -- you're wrong about "the 2nd Amendment" and "SCOTUS." The U.S. Supremes' recent, landmark decisions in both Heller and McDonald they recognized this is mainly a local matter to set policy, not Congress. That means our state legislatures and to a lesser extent municipalities. The U.S. Constitution did not empower the feds to rule this country exclusively, the fifty sovereign states do most of that. Yet it's the feds most are looking to for crushing our freedoms in the name of safety. Again.

    "Page 4B in today's RJ has three interesting stories....."

    pisces -- another good post! Especially about the local stories. I would have mentioned that report of 30+ Ohio cops murdering two unarmed people sitting in their car @ http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec...

    "There is a strong connection that this type of "rage behavior" is brought on and or triggered in many cases by psychotropic and antidepressant medications that have not been used or properly controlled."

    BChap -- or someone who has nothing left to lose. Like another victim of injustice, like a dad cut out of his kids' lives while the rest of the world parades happy families looking forward to xmas.

    "If the exercise of constitutional rights will thwart the effectiveness of a system of law enforcement, then there is something very wrong with that system." -- Escobedo v. State of Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 490 (1964)

  15. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/w...
    Shooting back to stop a mass killer is a myth. Very few have the requisite skills to hit a moving target. The availability of body armor is another hindrance.

    The US military fired so many rounds in Iraq and Afghanistan they ran out of ammo and had to import more. 250,000 rounds for every assailant hit.

  16. <<Sufficient waiting periods could be established to allow for appropriate tracing of psychiatric histories and medications. No weapon should be placed in their hands legally until all appropriate records have been researched.

    This can be facilitated by the electronic medical records data base in the future, which could shorten the process>>

    There DEFINITELY needs to be a much more thorough screening process of those wanting to buy guns. People will scream that obtaining medical records is a violation of their privacy, but is it? In most States, if an elderly person is renewing their driver's license, they are required to bring a document from their doctor stating the medications that person is on. If some meds could cause the person to pass out or become disoriented, no license. So why can't the same procedure be done for those wanting to obtain guns? Some smoking cessation drugs cause iratic behavior.

    Contrary to what the letter writer is saying, no one wants to disarm the good guys but why in the hell does ANYONE need an assault rifle?? THAT is what should be banned: Assault weapons, not your hunting rifle or your 9mm Glock.

  17. 4 billion prescriptions a year are written with big pharma keeping track of where every prescribed drug is going. Keeping track of a few million gun sales a year should be child's play.
    We are living in the computer age. Wall street keeps track of BILLIONS of transactions a day.
    The anti government types live in constant fear of the marines walking through the front door. They want to accumulate vast arsenals for the Apocalypse and keep it on the down low.
    Years ago I attended a course,"Hate groups in the US". Hundreds of thousands of people with pictures of Hitler and Auschwitz on the walls. Vast amounts of guns, ammo and explosives. Dreaming about the day when they can start killing everyone that doesn't have white skin.

    If you want something to worry about this is it. These idiots are all over. I was a policeman when one of these guys shot up a Jewish school in the San Fernando Valley shooting young children. I lived in Sherman Oaks at the time, a few blocks away. Now many Jewish schools in LA have armed guards. A sorry state to say the least!

  18. Mr. Witcher,

    Regulating the sale of weapons IS NOT disarming the public! Removing high capacity assault weapons from the market IS NOT disarming the public! Having background checks for sales over the internet or at gun shows IS NOT disarming the public! Trying to teach our younsters not to use violence and or bullying to solve our problems is not disarming the public.

    We live in a culture and society that assumes little responsibility for their actions and it's about damn time people understood they created this environment with the bitterness they exude. These last few years have brought the worst out of mean spirited people because they lost the elections and airing hate over networks does nothing but agitate mindless buffoons who don't realize these people are paid to lie to their audiences.

    This problem we have as a society goes far beyond guns, but we must start somewhere, and getting rid of assault weapons that were designed to kill is a good one.

  19. Mr. Witcher is a typical uneducated man who somehow still thinks we are living in the days of the wild west and the OK Corral. Does he honestly believe the framers of the constitution forsaw assault weapons and rapid fire huge cartridge cases? The world changes and intelligent people change with it. There is no reason a "good" man needs any guns in todays world. I would allow no more ownership than two registered hunting rifles per person. And NO handguns. Does anyone honestly believe we are in danger of government tyranny? Or a police state/military dictatorship? Both are ridiculous assumptions with no basis or chance of any reality. In addition, no one ever held up a 7-11 with a hunting rifle nor has much chance to kill multiple people. We live in a nation of far too many crazies, and Mr. Witcher is evidently one of them.

  20. I'm with Vernos...

    The majority of American citizens are fed up with the NRA & folks like the letter-writer who fear the 'evil government' is coming any day to their doors to steal their guns. No one with an ounce of sense believes that.

    The majority of American citizens are in favor of stricter controls on the sale & purchase of guns; specifically assault weapons.

    The majority of American citizens have had it up to here with the tired, egocentric, outmoded mantra of 'MY 2nd ammendment rights'.

    The majority of American citizens could care less if you have to have a waiting period & pass a background check in order to obtain guns & ammo; INCLUDING FROM GUN SHOWS.

    It's high time to reinstate the ban on assault weapons in the good ol' USA.

    And, yes...
    We need to address the dearth of Mental Health services available to those that desperately need it.
    Unfortunately, the OPPOSITE is happenning.

  21. We have enough problems finding good teachers today, yet some of you idiots want teachers to arm themselves! You, like Mr. Witcher, are all nuts and a big part of the major problem with our country today. Those who go into teaching are educated and hopefuuly learned scholars, men and women of peace. They are modeled after Confucius, Socrates, Plato and the great teachers of history. They are NOT modeled after Wyatt, Butch or Sundance. Virtually no one would go into teaching if they had to arm themselves to do so. As a retired teacher, I certainly wouldn't have done so. And how many children would die in the crossfire and so-called "friendly fire?" Try thinking before writing.

  22. No guns will be taken away. It's all saber rattling by the government in order to placate the media and general public. They want us to think that they are just as surprised as we are.

    There will be NO meaningful changes to make children any safer from nuts with guns than they were before this incident. The absolute worst case scenario will be a limit of round capacity in assault rifle magazines. Probably 10. So if you're planning to wreak havoc at any venue whatsoever, you'll have to buy two to three times as many magazines. Big whoop.

    So no worries. Just sit back and do what the NRA is doing. Waiting for people to forget. The only ones who won't forget are the families and friends of those killed.

  23. Regarding my request of 8:53 this morning, Antigov commented: "@ renorobert, there are no private citizens to date who have stopped any mass murderers. I would ask if any of them would have the cajones to stand up to someone wearing full body armor while firing an AR-15 with a 50 round clip and plenty of backup clips."

    I could, Antigov, but I already know any number of people who CLAIM that they would (read the comments section to various letters/stories). Talk, however, is cheap. I'm trying to determine if anyone has actually DONE it. So far, I only have a variety of negatives. With the number of mass shootings over the years, surely, if it's such a good idea for a single civilian to stand up alone against one or several mass shooters, SOMEONE would already have done it! Or is it just possible that it's a really BAD idea?

  24. Renorobert: How would we know? Does the term mass murderers include serial killers. Some may have been killed by targeting the wrong (right?) victim. We all probably recall the FBI agent in line at the bank in Vegas when it was robbed. Agent tried but was killed. I don't recall the agent's name but they renamed the FBI building (in Vegas) after him.

  25. I carry a concealed weapon on my person every time I'm out in public. I'm not a nut case ,I am a law abiding normal joe shmo. Lord help the idiot that decides to go stupid if I'm in the crowd. Everybody should carry self protection on them it's a sick world we live in and the non sickies need to step it up a notch.

  26. Brad,

    "Your nursing background, "PeaceLily" could provide us excellent suggestions in how these dangerous prescribed drugs can be controlled when consumed by mental health patients in a free society. I have no real suggestions or answers there."

    I'm afraid there is no guaranteed way, short of requiring people to go to a clinic to get their doses, which could be prohibitive. Then, how do you trace those that don't show?

    Not everyone is so bad that they need that type of surveillance. However, they could stop their home meds and go bad.

    The costs would also be tremendous.

    The best that could be done is for monthly follow up visits with the prescribing doctor, which could also become quarterly visits for those who are not at dangerous levels.

    Honestly, I think it is more important to discover the source of the problems. What is causing these disorders? Addressing the causes, environmental, genetic, familial, whatever the source is. This is becoming an epidemic.

    Additionally, is the problem caused by the drugs? Could the over prescribing be a problem, rather than finding other treatment methods? The doctors are more responsible in this area.

    I respect your experience within the prison system. In that location, you have seen some of the worst problems, the end result of insufficient mental health care from an early stage and the politics of money.

  27. Brad,

    "Moments later I handed the phone through the opening to Leland. Shockingly, his violent nature abruptly ended and I took him back to his cell without incident. Ironically, I got permission from my supervisors to allow Leland to keep in frequent phone contact with his mother. I never had another emotionally raged outburst from Leland again."

    You are a good man!

    Imprisonment is not a normal environment, and following an established protocol to the letter may not elicit the needed response. Personal judgement is necessary, and you demonstrated that with safety. Bravo for taking time to recognized the problem and find a solution!

  28. The goal should be to deal with the problems that make people unable to feel they can live in society without weapons for protection against some unseen threat.

    Thinking the answer is to own guns and carry them is not the answer. This displays a lack of trust in general. It is the opposite of what should be.

    The source of the lack of trust must be discovered and counseling should be undertaken. The lack of trust is connected to relationship problems at some time in a persons life, maybe multiple times. That seems compatible with some of the shooters in many of the extremes we have read about.

    Then, we have those who are living in fear that has progressed to paranoia. Conspiracy theories are a past time. They have control issues as well. Certainly, their stability is questionable.

    This is why comprehensive mental health exams should be required for gun ownership. If denied, they can at least get treatment.

  29. There is a NY Times article that gives a picture of something more going on in Newtown surrounding guns which could have fed this kind of killing spree.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregi...

  30. This mom and son were law abiding...until he wasn't. She trained her own killer and he used her weapons on her. So this started as a domestic violence murder and ended in suicide.

  31. Gun violence is killing 80 people a day. That's a lot of human potential going up in smoke.

  32. The young man doing the shooting had a known mental health history and a developmental disorder.

    The mother's desire to have a gun collection was either and act of denial or serious irresponsibility.

    The prior target practice events with explosions in the area were evident of a potential problem. Read this article for more details...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregi...
    ~~~~~~~~~

    As far as arming teachers goes, that will only serve to make the the first target to take out. It is not rational to think of putting educators in that position.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Created EQL,

    Sound points!

  33. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?