Saturday, May 19, 2018

And how's that working?

"The Death of the First Born" by Erastus Salisbury Field (Metropolitan Museum of Art)



     If on Friday morning you tapped Texas dad Antonios Pagourtzis on the shoulder and asked him why he owned the guns that his 17-year-old son Dimitrios would soon take to Santa Fe High School and use to kill 10 people, he would have no doubt replied, "To protect my family."


20 comments:

  1. No need to say more.
    Nothing will come.of this either. Only grief; both real and false.

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  2. the questions we should be asking and finding an answer to are: why do so many people commit acts of violence? what can we do as a society , as parents, as family members, as a community to bring comfort and relief to angry , disaffected people who feel murder is the choice they are going to make to punish, avenge, impress, people that wronged, threatened, harmed or injured them or someone they know BEFORE they commit these heinous acts.
    people, especially young people need to be exposed to alternative outlets for their anger and frustration.

    we are in a multidimensional public health crisis that requires a multifaceted response. policy makers, law makers, medical professionals, community leaders and individuals need to act with vigor and persistence to find the solutions that will reverse the trends that are causing this epidemic.

    this is the responsibility of each and every one of us.

    act now

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    1. You miss, or more likely skip over, a critical point.

      The "why" of these will differ for each shooting, be it at a school, business, movie house, or elsewhere. And that why will only be discernible after the fact, if at all.

      Maybe you could give some level of thought to dealing with the "how" of these? Maybe that might make more of a difference.

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  3. Even one of the survivors of the massacre implied that he would not have felt so helpless had he too been armed. I'm afraid that one of these days, there will be some loud noise in a public place provoking a bystander to pull out his weapon, which in turn will be answered by several others to start shooting, so that a roomful of innocent people will murder each other...completely senselessly.

    A major problem with gun availability as with vaccination and other complicated social issues is a deplorable lack of mathematical knowledge. The gun owner cannot conceive how his possession of a gun can affect the probability of gun violence, just as those who oppose vaccination cannot understand how their child's lack of immunity adds to the likelihood of the spread of a disease that would be all but eradicated were there a near 100% vaccination rate.

    john

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    1. I once knew a WWII veteran who became so angry about life in his general vicinity that he asked a family member to remove all the guns from his house. He never hurt anyone, or himself. Died of old age, in his 90s.

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    2. Some people cannot be vaccinated. Those who are I'll or have compromised immune systems. The only people at risk from the unvaccinated are the unvaccinated. Get vaccinated , vaccinate your kids and your safe. Those who don't understand the logic in that are bitching about people that don't affect their lives or their liberty in any way .

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    3. Different outcome in my buddy's neighborhood. He was once a landlord in a rundown section of Camden, NJ. Some of the older neighbors had, in September of 1949, witnessed and survived what is generally considered to be the first modern-era mass-casualty shooting in American history.

      Howard Unruh, a WWII combat veteran and expert marksman, who had killed many Germans (and even kept a graphic diary and scorebook of his kills), calmly walked down his street and shot thirteen of his neighbors to death in fifteen minutes, using his trusty souvenir Luger. He thought his neighbors were laughing at him and mocking him for being gay (which, as it turned out, he was).

      He surrendered, had no trial, and spent the next sixty years in confinement, at Trenton State Hospital before finally dying at the age of 88. Coverage by a New York Times reporter (who actually reached Unruh on the phone while he was still shooting from his apartment window) won the Pulitzer in 1950. Do a search. Reading it will chill you to the bone.

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  4. Same story, different day. When another massacre occurs, my response is to refrain from watching the news, and to keep it off for the next few days. Coverage of school shootings has become as ritualized as baseball. If you miss one, there'll be another one soon enough. Always.

    But baseball has its off-season. The killing season has none. Will it ever end? Probably not in my lifetime. Like the decrease in one's stamina, one's optimism also decreases with age. And given enough time, human beings can become accustomed to almost anything. Even this.

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  5. "There has been a school shooting today in" ...moment of dread... "El Paso, Texas." Whew. My kid's not there.

    My kid is, though, in a district where the idiot superintendant gave 1,100 kids detentions for protesting gun violence about two months ago and at a public forum regarding school shootings said "These are very rare events. I know they're tragic, but they're rare."



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    1. Like hell they are. There are far more school shootings every year than MLB no-hitters. Is that super is a total asshat? Damn betcha!

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    2. No. They are rare. Your chances of getting killed in a mass shooting as compared to an auto accident or some other calamity is very very small. But that is not to say we should just accept the fact that every month or so, some teenager is going to get it into his head to shoot up his school. There are lots of things that can be done to make these events even rarer, but those things are unacceptable to a pretty large proportion of the American public.

      john

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    3. What can be done sir? What laws would help? What could Congress do that would have prevented this or other shootings?

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    4. Is that a sincere question? If it is, it's tremendously naive. Let me ask you this: Could there be, oh, other nations in the world, that have laws that might allow them to be spared these shootings?

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    5. Yes .I would like to know if universal background checks would have stop this man from taking his father's guns. Should his father be liable for this. Would outlawing bump stocks have prevented this. Limiting magazine size. Waiting periods. Sawed off shotguns are already illegal. So is murder. Comparing the US to other nations as far as gun laws would restrict firearm possession tremendously. Countries that don't have these types of crimes don't let people have guns in their homes. That's the only way gun laws are going to lessen these types of crimes. Not stop them completely but lessen them . These types of laws will never get passed in America. My suggestions for diminishing these tradgedies is outlined further up the thread. We can complain about the NRA and politicians everytimE this happens but truth be told it's the individual citizens of this country that must take action to confront this scourge. But that's hard. It takes money and effort. Most of us have little more energy than the effort it takes to type a few words to contribute to changing the circumstances that cause these perpetrators to act in this fashion. Blame the NRA . Blame the government. Has that helped? What ideas do you have mr.steinberg?

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    6. Oh for God's fucking sake, I am so tired of that stupid rhetorical tactic. "A law against X wouldn't have stopped mass murder Y, therefore let's not pass any laws against X." How about let's evaluate laws on their own merits.

      "it's the individual citizens of this country that must take action to confront this scourge. But that's hard. It takes money and effort."

      It's also the individual citizens of this country who must take action to CHANGE THE GODDAMN LAWS. We do not place the responsibility for obeying the laws against reckless driving, or processing poisonous food, or selling fraudulent financial securities, or anything else, with "individual citizens." We make laws forbidding people to do those things, and enforce them. I have had it up to my throat with right-wing asswipes who are all about punishment and consequences until the subject is mass murder with firearms, and all of a sudden the concept must switch to "individuals."

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    7. and I've had it up to here with people who won't admit that the only way to completely stop these mass shootings and random murders is to legislate firearms out of the hand of citizens. this idea that half measures are going to solve this monumental catastrophe is ludicrous . add to the inanity of
      " thoughts and prayers " , "our legislatures are in the pocket of the NRA". neither of these shop worn phrases are going to have any affect on the situation.

      yes the government regulates all measure of dangerous products and substances but its only a lesser number of people who die as a result. think cigarettes and cars and lead.

      if what your willing to accept is half the annual handgun deaths every year then say it. but if you want the lunacy to end the guns have got to go. and if there is one thing the NRA has accomplished its intimidating people into not ever suggesting the repeal of the second amendment. and with 300,000,000 guns in circulation even that would take 50 years to work.

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    8. Grizz 65, there are about 2,500
      Major Leage games played a season, as opposed to more than 5,000,000 school days nationwide. So they are much rarer than no-hitters.

      Robert M

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    9. From CNN: "We're 21 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to more than 1 shooting a week."

      There have been three no-hitters (so far) in the 2018 MLB season.
      And 17 more during the previous five seasons (2013 through 2017. How many school shootings in that timespan? Certainly far more than twenty.

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  6. Why not make gun owners criminally liable if someone uses their weapons in a crime? I bet that would ensure that the guns are secured and not easily available to nihilistic teenagers. Add to that a "one strike and you're out" law if a firearm is used in the commission of a felony. Do so and you spend the natural rest of your life in prison without the possibility of parole. And, it might help to require universal background checks no matter what the venue before a firearm could be bought or sold to someone. These might limit the availability or use of guns by criminals.

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    1. Yes. But difficult. Long guns especially are not "registered" to an owner. Hand guns mostly are not. All should be but this is opposed by so many people it would never pass.

      I favor 3 strikes . First weapons violation minimum of 5 years even for simple possession. Second 10 years 3rd life. And for use reulting in injury or death 10 minimum 25 and life.

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