Letters to the Editor

Love of guns

January 12, 2011


To the editor:

We live in a country where a nationally known political figure places on her website a map of the United States with congressional districts in rifle crosshairs as a plea for those representatives to be voted out of office. The opponent of one of those representatives drums up support by inviting people to fire his M-16 rifle. A national political organization fights tooth and nail for the right of our citizens to own firearms, even those conceived solely to shoot as many people as possible with maximum speed.

It is difficult to watch a film or television show without seeing stories that glorify firearms. Then some nut with a gun shoots up a university campus or a grocery store, killing and injuring many people, and we call it an “unspeakable tragedy,” with similar phrases even coming from those who employ the imagery of firearms and violence for political purposes.

Shouldn’t the phrase “unspeakable tragedy” by now have been changed to “foreseeable consequence”? All one can really hope at this point is that the next nut with a gun doesn’t shoot someone you love.

I love this country, but our love affair with guns is completely out of hand. Sadly, I doubt any solution is on the horizon.


labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

Here we go with the political rhetoric. Once again, the guy was nuts. Both the left and the right have tried to place him with the other end of the spectrum for political gain which is a shame. Read his ramblings... I highly doubt a website by Palin pushed him over the edge. It seems that those who are now calling for an end to hateful political rhetoric are the ones most guilty of spewing hateful political rhetoric.

As for guns, I will use the same argument you pro-abortion types like to use: if you ban all handguns, then those who want a handgun will be forced to get them in the back alleys where there are no regulations.

voevoda 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom Shewmon, I have already reminded you, several times, that the use of the sacred titles of Jesus Christ ("the anointed one"--caps or no caps) as a term of political abuse is offensive to Christians. Governor Brownback is a devout Christian (see his inauguration speech); is it really your intention to offend him?

meggers 7 years, 4 months ago

Loughner didn't violate any gun laws. He only violated the law when he started shooting people.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

If he was mentally unstable, I believe there are often restrictions on such individuals buying guns, no?

meggers 7 years, 4 months ago

In theory, however a person must be declared to be 'mentally unfit' by a court to wind up in the ATF registry. And even then, they can still purchase weapons from unlicensed sellers through craigslist, auctions, or gun shows.

Some states, like California, have laws that are stricter than the federal law, but Arizona isn't one of them. In fact, they aren't even close. In Arizona, one doesn't need a permit for concealed carry and concealed guns are even allowed to be brought into bars. It truly is the wild, wild west.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 4 months ago

He has. He doesn't. He won't. He refuses. He incites. He is of the Imbecilites.

voevoda 7 years, 4 months ago

BornAgainAmerican, Use of the sacred title of Jesus Christ ("the Anointed One") as a term of political abuse is offensive to Christians. Please do not do this again. Next time, I will ask that your comments using this term be removed.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

Maybe their surviving family members can receive the same benefits and honors as veteran's? After all, the dead did pay the ultimate price for one of your freedoms.

labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

Convicted felons already are not allowed to purchase or possess guns.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

They aren't allowed to mow the lawns or clean floors at KU either, but who commits most of the crime on/near campus?

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

These laws already exist. A felon is a felon for a reason. They don't care about the law the same as crazy people don't give a rats bum either.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 4 months ago

AZ has a law that keeps crazy people from owning firearms. Too bad the local LEOs seem to have given nutty-boy a pass on his long-term habit of threatening people.

bad_dog 7 years, 4 months ago

It's ironic, the shooter reprtedly tried to purchase the ammo at a Wal-Mart store. They refused to sell due to his sketchy behavior so he went to a second Wal-Mart and purchased it there. Perhaps we could tweak the existing laws such that in a similar situation a person could be entered into a database as an "enhanced scrutiny required" sale or denied the right to purchase until reviewed/investigated by a LEO. It would likely be challenging to adminster and potentially subject to abuse, but it might prevent an obvious whacko from learning from the experience, modifying his/her behavior and obtaining ammo or additional firearms from another seller.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.

Is it a love of guns that makes us one of the most violent and murderous countries on the planet?

Or do we love guns because we are so inherently violent?

I suspect it's the latter. Canada has similar gun ownership patterns as the US, but they don't kill each other nearly as often as we do.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

What's the real cause of our violence, in your view?

It would be good to figure that out, and maybe be able to do something about it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

That's a good question. About all I have to offer is speculation.

The country had a violent birth, beginning with the Pilgrims, and continuing through the revolution against the British. The violence didn't end there. There was constant violence, or at least the threat thereof, to maintain the institution of slavery. There was also a continuous campaign of violence against Native Americans, beginning with the Pilgrims, and not relenting until the beginning of the 20th century, and even now, Native Americans are seen primarily as a problem to be dealt with, not as a people who deserve respect or fair treatment.

And the violence that has been our constant companion has been consistently romanticized. There was a whole literary genre in the 19th century glorifying the gun culture of the Old West, including the genocide conducted against Native Americans. And when movies were invented, this glorification of violence found new forms that remain with us today.

cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

In Arizona and most states you actually have to do something to be committed. The random paranoid schiz is not going to be forced into treatment unless he has demonstrated an imminent threat. That being said one would think the parents should have noticed his functional decline and taken some steps to get him treatment.

The blame going both ways currently is without merit.

The real issue is the accessibility of these deadly weapons and the high quantity clips. what sportsman needs 31 shots ? For those of you in the NRA did the assault weapon ban really cramp your style ? I think not. There needs to be something done with our gun laws and access to these assault type weapons. I'm not sure what the answer is that would work but the current situation is out of control.

ksriver2010 7 years, 4 months ago

No, the real issue is that a crazy guy shot a politician. Did the background check fail, Yes. Could he have gotten a gun through other means, of course.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago


A similar situation existed with one of the school shootings as well - there seemed to be a number of ways the situation could have been prevented.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't remember the details, but at the time, I became convinced it could and should have been prevented, and that there was a lot of evidence that something like it might happen, after reading a number of stories about the shooter in the case.

Sorry on the details.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Go research the Virginia Tech events, and find them for yourself if you're interested.

By the way, the recent column by Krauthammer portrays the Arizona shooter as somebody who was so obviously mentally unstable and potentially violent that classmates feared for their lives.

Think something might have been done there?

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Over many years the people who came in contact with him thought he needed help. The police told everyone time after time "he has to do something first" Well, looks like he did something..

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Cocaine, meth, and heroine are all illegal but if people have the will they can buy it by the pound on our streets. What makes you think guns would be any different. There is always a black market for anything people want. This is true in counties with even the most restrictive of gun laws. In Mexico guns are highly illegal but it seems the bad guys didn't get the memo. We can't uninvent the gun. We have less than 5% of the world population yet we have 25% of the world’s prison population. We don’t have a gun problem. We have a serious dysfunction in our culture problem.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"In Mexico guns are highly illegal but it seems the bad guys didn't get the memo."

The memo isn't particularly helpful if all the bad guys have to do is to cross the border into the US and they can get anything they want.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Guess you haven't heard of the illegal arms business. It's an international franchise in the billions of dollars. Baddies don't care about laws. What's so complicated about that?

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

What's the root problem, and what would be a way to work towards a solution, in your view?

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

I've never been in any other place on the planet that glorifies violence as much as Americans do. Show a nipple and heads roll but show 100 people being shot to death in a movie and we're fine with that. Amercans just love to see death and violence in video games, movies, and sport. Watch out...that nipple may put your kids eye out.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 4 months ago

If we rid ourselves of keyboards and writing utensils, misspelling would be a thing of the past!

Do people misspell, or do writing utensils?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Yea, I know what you mean. I misspelled a couple of words last week, and I really apologize for the people who lost their lives as a result. But it was just an accident, really.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 4 months ago

This is for all those who are trembling while they load up, thinking, "'Bama's gonna take mah guns away!"


jayhawklawrence 7 years, 4 months ago

Another rediculous anti-gun article.

I have girls in my house and even if I show a BB gun they squeal like I am going to shoot somebody.

I didn't teach them that and I did not do a very good job of helping them understand firearms.

They learned that nonsense in school I guess.

If guns are outlawed I think almost everyone I know will still have them. It will make Prohibition look like a joke. Our excuse will be that if the criminals can have them, we sure as hell will too.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Because the right is doing such a horrible job of it.

Liberty275 7 years, 4 months ago

"one particular political party, political ideology?"

I thought he said "everyone".

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

The gun Genie was let out of the bottle about 650 years ago. I don't think anyone is going to get it back in.

voevoda 7 years, 4 months ago

The radical right-wing assumes that our country will be better off--economically prosperous, freer, safer, etc. without government. We tried it that way; it didn't work.
The rest of us (what you call "left" but it's the majority in this country) want government involvement. That's not the same as a government takeover, TomShewmon. We want reasonable regulation to prevent unscrupulous people from, for example, cheating us out of our retirement savings or distributing contaminated foodstuffs or fake medicines. We want the things that government has helped to create: good roads; public education; scientific advances; economic development; a safety net for our poorest and most vulnerable fellow-citizens. We want affordable health care, and not only for the rich. We want the Constitutional guarantees to be upheld: Freedom of religion, including for Muslims; separation of church and state, including in connection with abortion; the right for responsible gun owners to keep weapons (that's the "well-regulated militia" part of the Second Amendment); citizenship for persons born in this country; etc. We are defenders of American values, TomShewmon. If you share those values at all, TomShewmon, you will refrain from a contemptuous retort.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"What are you talking about?"

Demonizing government of any and all sorts has been central to Republican rhetoric for the last 30 years. That's still very much true today.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

The middle of the road is great but those far right and far left always run us into the ditch on either side of the road. They always highjack the agenda. We need a new system. The constitution went up is going up in flames. Government to the highest bidder doesn't work unless you're an east coast banker or investment firm.

livinginlawrence 7 years, 4 months ago

As usual, your contribution here makes little sense.

"Stoners" are not a cohesive group onto which you can slap a label. And exactly why you even brought marijuana into the discussion isn't quite clear. The only fathomable connection between the stuff and guns is that people who steal marijuana usually do so with a gun. Funny thing is, these types of crimes would not occur if cannabis was simply legalized.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

He mentioned it because the alleged shooter in Tucson may have used it.

But even if he did, it's not known to trigger violent behavior-- quite the opposite.

Now binge-drinking and cocaine use, which our illustrious previous occupant apparently engaged in before he started talking to imaginary supernatural beings, that's a whole nother story.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

The point is, and it seems correct to me generally, is that pot has a calming, soothing effect, whereas alcohol and cocaine are known to increase aggression.

From long ago, my memories of what we did while under the influence included sitting around quietly, giggling, watching tv, etc.

I don't recall any impulse to go out and start fights, which often happen when people get drunk or use cocaine.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

You can't buy a full-auto AR-15 or AK-47 at the local gun shop. Try it. You can't get one with a grenade launcher either. More media BS no one checks out before they repeat it. Those weapons are most likely coming from the beach on a boat or South or Central America. These are also weapons likely shipped to the Mexican government by the U.S. government but were sold to the baddies by Mecican officials. The ATF wanted to check the serial numbers on some of the captured guns and the Mexicans wouldn't let them. I wonder why? Hmmmmmm.

labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

Hoots... I am about as anti-control as anyone, but it isn't difficult to make an AR-15 or a semi-auto AK-47 into an automatic. Half the time, the gun store owner will tell you how if you ask.

Still.... the guy used a Glock, a very common handgun, not an automatic weapon that many in the media have said he used. The rhetoric on each side needs to calm down. 9mm ammo prices have just went back down from the last run on ammo... we don't need another.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

It was a semi-automatic, and that very non-expert gunman managed to drain at least a couple of clips into a crowd in a matter of less than a couple of minutes before anyone could stop him.

Peacemaker452 7 years, 4 months ago

Are you saying you discussed an illegal conversion of a semi-auto into a fully automatic firearm?

If so, thank you for waiving your 5th Ammendment rights and admitting to "conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws"

"So Johnny, what does he win"........An all expense paid, 10-20 year vacation in sunny Leavenworth, KS.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 4 months ago

Your first paragraph is laughably inaccurate.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

I was referring to just another bozo's comment earlier. I do know these things as a gun owner. Yes, it is simple. I more than understand the difference between semi auto and full auto... My point was the Mexican guns haven't necessarily come from across the border from Bob's Guns N' Stuff. They want to blame border sales but when it comes down to it they don't want to give us any evidence. How is any of this rhetoric? People blaming democrats or republicans is rhetoric. I was simply stating a fact.

hunterb 7 years, 4 months ago

Personally I am much more worried about getting hit head on by a 17 year old girl texting on her phone while driving than I am getting shot by some crazed rampage shooter. It happens much more often. You liberal crybabys are so worried about crazy people with guns going on a rampage. Go drive down Prospect in Kansas City, MO at midnight some night you will feel very different about honest people who have never been convicted of a crime owning a firearm for self defense.

hunterb 7 years, 4 months ago

sorry new at this stuck this post in the wrong spot on the discussion.

jjt 7 years, 4 months ago

Since America is not going to ban guns it seems to me to be about protecting those that might be a target for what ever reason. Thus it should not be an issue to ban weapons from public places by what ever means works. You want to get on a plane get used to the detectors, you want to go to football get used to the detectors you want to pay your bill get used to the screen. You want to use the service, then do not complain about protecting the folks who provide that service from the nutter. Interesting that folk expect a barrier at a bank or govt building.

How many folk get killed by guns each year? Maybe 75000, now compare the 9/11 killings. Look at the different reaction and consequences to both. Same thing with car deaths, research clearly shows Drinking causes accidents. If it was a country wide law that if you get caught over the limit you automatically go to prison for a month per point, and that law was enforced then folk would not think twice about drinking and driving. Texting, car phones where does it stop, what draconian steps does a govt have to take to get the message across?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 7 years, 4 months ago

Had one armed citizen been present and close to the shooter, the shooter could have been neutralized before so many lives were lost. You think we love guns, some do, I collect them. I also always carry one, I am a retired peace officer, I served 30 years. With so many armed nuts running around I support the right of law abiding citizens to carry concealed with a permit. I do not like open carry at all, except for peace officers. If a citizen wants to carry openly, they should have to go through the same training as concealed carry permits holders do. In addition they should have to show their open carry permit on the front of their person any time they are carrying openly. If the bad guys have guns, which they do, law abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves and their families.

EarthaKitt 7 years, 4 months ago

I really don't think the average Joe who might have been carrying a firearm at that event last weekend would have had the training/ability to process what was happening, locate the shooter and get his/her weapon out quickly enough to "neutralize" the shooter. If they did, I wonder what the chance would be that they might accidentally shoot the wrong person or someone standing near or behind the shooter. Would police really shoot into a crowd of people in that situation?

Keith 7 years, 4 months ago

There was an armed citizen nearby, he nearly shot the man who wrestled the gun away from the real shooter.

Keith 7 years, 4 months ago

Use the Google, do I have to do all your work for you. But, since I'm here and have already done the work, try this. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41018893/ns/slatecom/

Peacemaker452 7 years, 4 months ago

Don’t get so butt-hurt, it is not unusual for someone to ask for a source for an unsubstantiated statement presented as a fact.

Guy’s handgun never cleared his pocket, don’t think he “nearly shot” anyone. But, by his own admission, he needs to get more practice and training if he is going to rush to the scene of a crime and potentially use his firearm.

Kathy Theis-Getto 7 years, 4 months ago

Nah, Eartha, Mac isn't having a stroke, just a little "Kinky" story. LOL

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

98,000,000 US citizen gun owners that legally own 240,000,000 guns did not kill, injure or threaten anyone this year, regardless of the type of firearms they own or the magazine capacity of those firearms.

hunterb 7 years, 4 months ago

Love it!!! I have a safe full of guns and I dont run around firing into crowds of people. I have had high capacity rifles for years and it has never caused me to go on a killing rampage or have a shootout with law enforcement. I have a glock that holds 18 shots it has never made me feel crazy and need to fire clip after clip into crowds of people. Maybe it was the crazy sob that did the shootings fault not his ability to get a firearm.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Since he was clearly mentally unbalanced, though, should he have been able to easily and legally obtain one?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Canadians love theirs just as much. But they don't kill each other at nearly the rate we do.

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, but they're . . . . Canadians . .

I'm more afraid of my doctors prescriptions (he's a Republican) than my neighbors guns (and he's a Democrat). But I keep going back to the same doctor and my neighbor is one of my best friends. Whodathunkit?


Flap Doodle 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks to their knee-jerk reaction to a shooting by a nutcase, firearms are greatly restriced in Canada.

hunterb 7 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone ever gone hunting in Canada?? You should see the list of restricted firearms that cant be brought into the country. It is about 5 feet long.

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

I think 31 round capicity pistol magazines should not be owned by anyone other than Law nforcement Agencys. This AZ shooter was not subdued until his mag ran out of bullets and he was changing to a second one. How many more people could he have killed if the first mag held 50 bullets? (up to 19 more) There has to be limits somewhere.

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't be sorry. Let the hand wringers be 'sorry'.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

It's very simple then to take more than one gun along with more clips. You can change a clip in less than 2 seconds. This would solve nothing. I can see people making modifications to clips or simply buying them from suppliers outside the states. People overseas will ship you anything for a profit. You also have the millions of clips that already exist to contend with. People would still trade them around but at a much greater profit.

remember_username 7 years, 4 months ago

First of all, I'm way to the left of center, and have been a vocal Social Democrat for as long as I can remember. However, I'm getting a little embarrassed by others of leftist ideology who attempt to make this crime more than what it appears.

The guy was mentally unbalanced (possibly the understatement of the year). The anti-government gibberish he made public spoke more of his paranoia than conservative ideology. This is more an issue of identification of mental illness and available treatment than gun control laws - how many firearms did Ted Kaczynski use in his killing spree?

Ms. Palin's map could have used little hearts to indicate districts she felt could be converted during the last election and I'm sure that Jared Loughner wouldn't have shown up at the event with flowers.

If anything the greatest action that caused this “unspeakable tragedy” to become a “foreseeable consequence” is the anger and partisanship that seems much more a part of American culture than any love affair with guns. Perhaps since we all own the rhetoric that led up to this crime then we should put the blame where it belongs. What is the saying? "It's a poor workman that blames the tool".

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."

I think we are about here: From complacency to apathy;

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Wow, someone has actually read a history book or two here. Amazing!!! You are correct.

gogoplata 7 years, 4 months ago

I love guns. I'll take the tragedys that accompany too much freedom than those that go with to little.

Gun control kills.

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

Before you dismiss this due to it's source, try reading it.


ABC News

“Though there are no known ties whatsoever between shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner and Sarah Palin or any part of the Tea Party movement, the “crosshairs” became part of the media coverage of the Tucson shootings from the very beginning.”

LA Times

(23rd paragraph)

“Those seeking a coherent philosophy will probably be frustrated”, said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League. “So far, most of his beliefs appear to be the product of his own mind, primarily,” he said.

Wall Street Journal

“All he did was play video games and play music,” said Tommy Marriotti, a high school friend. Mr. Marriotti said much of Mr. Loughner’s free time was devoted to the school band. He wasn’t especially political, Mr. Marriotti said, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration”

CBS News

(14th paragraph)

Preliminary examinations of Loughner’s web presence suggest he shared passions with both the far left and far right.

The Washington Post

“Turns out the politics espoused by the alleged gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, are difficult to pin down.

The New Yorker

“Judging from his Internet postings, Jared Lee Loughner is a delusional young man whose inner political landscape is a swamp of dystopian novels, left- and right-wing tracts, conspiracy theories, and contempt for his fellow human beings.”

New York Post

“we really don’t know a thing about Loughner’s motivations”

Washington Post

At this point, there’s no evidence that any statement from any politician sent Jared Loughner over the edge.

ABC News

“However, so far there is no evidence that he has any ties to any political group”

Time Magazine

His exact motivation was not clear, but a former classmate described Loughner as a pot-smoking loner who had rambling beliefs about the world.

Fox News

Megyn Kelly: “…I’m wondering is do you have reason to believe that this particular suspected killer was taking in information or was in any way influenced by the vitriol or the rhetoric that you are referring to on the airwaves”

Sherriff Dupnik: “I have to be specific and say that I don’t have that evidence. The investigation is in it’s initial phases. My belief, and I’ve been watching what has been going on in this country for the last 75 years and I’ve been a police officer for over 50 years, There’s no doubt in my mind that when a number of people try to inflame the public that there is going to some consequences from doing that and I think it’s irrresponsible to do that.”

Megyn Kelly: “Is that, Sheriff, it sounds like you’re being very honest, but that’s just your speculation. That’s not saying it’s fact based at this point.”

Dupnik: “That’s my opinion, period.”


RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago



BLITZER:  But the question is, is there any evidence that the suspected shooter in this particular

case was a Sarah Palin fan?


BLITZER:  Read Sarah Palin's website?

YELLIN:  Absolutely not.

BLITZER:  Watched her FaceBook, her tweets or anything like that?

YELLIN: None at all and there is no evidence that this is even inspired by rage other healthcare.


Some liberals quick to point the finger are linking 22-year-old shooter Jared Loughner to the Tea Party—showing the same lack of restraint and tendency to demonize their ideological opponents that they accuse the right of having.


The evidence doesn’t suggest that any of the victims of the Jan. 8 shopping center rampage, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old child, who were both slain, were shot for their politics, right- or left-wing.

Business Insider

“there’s zero evidence that the Arizona tragedy is somehow related to political speech”

Good Morning America

“The shooter’s motives remain unclear. One acquaintance from 2007 described him as liberal.”

Washington Examiner

There’s little evidence he has a coherent ideology. Loughner’s philosophy professor says the 22-year-old acted like “someone whose brains were scrambled” and whose “thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world.”

The Washington Post

“Loughner’s decision to affiliate as an independent rather than a Republican or Democrat would seem to affirm the sense that while he targeted Giffords in the attack, it was not a decision born of a set of deeply held political beliefs that fit neatly into either party.”

And, let me end by giving credit where some credit is due—a few left wing publications also telling the truth about the story.

Mother Jones

Barring any new evidence that directly links Loughner to any political activism or activities, Democrats will have a tough time pinning the blame on extreme rhetoric.


“around a third of the country that blames rhetoric for the attack, despite evidence that it had nothing to do with it.”

The New Republic

“Conservatives are furious that the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords is being pinned on them. Their indignation is justified. “

Some might say–”Hey, doesn’t this prove that the media IS covering the truth about Loughner? What are you so upset about?”


RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago


"Mainly because in many of the stories above, these are toss away sentences in an article or column that furthers the storyline. They include one sentence halfway down the page that basically says “oh, by the way, we have no reason to tie these killings with the right. Now, more about the right’s rhetoric and the shooting…”

If you want to complain about our discourse…fine. That’s your right. In fact, it’s part of healthy discourse. But, conservatives have about as much to do with these shootings eggplant parmesan. Absolutely nothing. It would be nice if someone noticed that."

beatrice 7 years, 4 months ago

Okay, so conservatives aren't responsible. The shooter is responsible. Personally, I didn't see anyone saying "conservatives," but rather used Palin's crosshairs map of an example of perhaps going over the line. She is a high profile figure, so I'm not surprised people look at that example. We all know she wasn't alone, as liberals have been shown to do similar things. Fair enough.

Does this mean we can't or shouldn't tone down the mean-spirited rhetoric? That is the real point here. Remember, some things were said immediately after the shooting out of frustration and by those too close to the situation. Take it for what it was -- a lashing out at the constant lashing out. Let us see it for that and improve on how we talk with one another. Anything wrong with this?

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

I very much agree with you, on this, bea. I was just trying to show that there is evidence out there to help calm the rhetoric from all sides, even if some choose to ignore it. As someone above stated, these people would most likely have been killed and injured if "♥ " were the symbol used on Palin's website.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Let's try to calm things down and see what effect that has.

On another thread, I invited people to refrain from name-calling and hate-filled rhetoric on these comments.

I asked "Any takers?" - so far, nobody's responded.

If we can't even do that on a small local level, what sort of chance is there that it will happen on a large national one?

beatrice 7 years, 4 months ago

I didn't see that call on the other thread, but count me in.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Glad to hear it.

Hope more people will follow suit.

labmonkey 7 years, 4 months ago

Bea, you call for toning down mean spirited politics rings very hollow. All one has to do is look through your post history.

RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

I for one see bea as being sincere about this. If she can do it I certainly can.

beatrice 7 years, 4 months ago

lab, I'm shocked. If you look through my post history, I believe all you will find is love, love, love.

Seriously, you are absolutely correct. I have certainly made more than my share of ugly comments, sometimes in response and sometimes as the instigator. I recognize that anything I say now about toning it down a bit must ring hollow. More importantly, I also recognize that it must first start with me. I'm the only person who I can control what they type. Hopefully, at some point a few months or more from now any comments made about civil discourse I might make will ring a little less hollow. Hopefully.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

We all can only start from today, and work on how we act in the future.

If enough people do it, it will make a difference.

jaywalker 7 years, 4 months ago

Agnostick: "There were several opportunities along this timeline when circumstances and the people involved could've taken Loughner off the streets: the faculty, students, and administrators at his college, local law enforcement"

Actually, the chances to have someone committed involuntarily are incredibly slim. This kid is a case in point. He's been scary for more than 5 years at the least and bupkiss has happened.

jaywalker 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh, without a doubt there are multiple issues with gun laws. But while I'm empathetic to the plight of state agencies and to the people that fall through the cracks when it comes to mental instability, I don't know what could be changed in that area. Involuntary commitment is loaded with numerous 'fail-safe's', and with good reason. In hindsight it's always easier to decide if someone should be committed to an institutiion.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

According to Krauthammer, this guy was so obviously unhinged and potentially violent that classmates feared for their lives, and teachers knew he was mentally off and in his own world.

Isn't there anything that could have been done?

Parents, friends, teachers, law enforcement are powerless to intervene?

jaywalker 7 years, 4 months ago

I just know of the troubles of a friend and his family to get his brother help. Once they're adults it gets very complicated and it's almost as if nothing can be done UNTIL there's a serious incident, sad and baclwards as that sounds. Once law enforcement gets involved the ball can start rolling, but it's long and uphil unless threat to self or community can be established.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 4 months ago

Okay, hypothetically, let's say the anti-gun folks get everything they want, and the guns are out of citizen's hands. Would that have prevented this? Would lack of guns be a cure for the schizophrenia or whatever mental issue he had? Or do you think that he would have found another way to cause a tragedy? Driving a car through a crowd of people or building a bomb could easily be more destructive than he was. Besides the point that he probably would have been able to buy an illegal gun anyway, what difference does it make?

Firearms are not the root of the problem, why punish millions and millions of responsible gun owners because of extremely rare occurrences?

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

People who want to do you hard will always go to the extreme.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 4 months ago

I think you will find few who believe guns should be given to everyone. The last thing many pro-gun activists want is for guns to be in the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable. I never did advocate for the other extreme. You can't blame the gun for the actions of the individual though.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

firstly, I'm a gun owning DEMOCRAT. I got my first shotgun at age 7. I passed hunter's safety in the Cub Scouts in 1981 as an 11 year old. I started going to gun shows looking for World War I bolt action rifles and pistols with my father. We built a love of learning and collecting through this experience. None of this was politicized by the NRA or by blind and paranoid patriotism. It was historical and educational. I consider myself an educated gun snob. I was taught that one needed to be careful and never point a gun in the direction of somebody at a young age. That said, I will spill the beans on those culpable for this environment. I don't have enough fingers or hands available to count all of the hateful, violent anti-Obama and anti-Democratic garbage I hear spewed in gun shops this days by crazy people who forget the academic and historical relevance of gun collecting. They have politicized guns into a racial and anti-governmental paranoia. I know this from the gun shops that I go into and listen without saying a word. I remember the anti-governmental St. Mary's, KS paramilatary people who hung around North Topeka in the early 1990's as TIm McVeigh was attending church in St. Mary's. KS. Who do these people support on their walls.... Sarah Palin. Who pushes the envelope and is now having to blindly lash out with ill-advised Blood Libel comments. Who brought the crazies to the GOP tent? Who wore guns to political events in full view of cameras? post dixiecrat Democrats have never done this. 1 + 1 + 1 = a clear cut and undeniable connection between Tea Party and GOP comments and Tuscon. If you refer to someone needed to be taken out long enough and unbalanced people see them as less than human due to GOP and TP vilification, whose trying to control the crazies??? no one because someone was trying to harness them in the first place. I'll sat what I said Saturday... they brought them to their tent, they own them. Tuscon is on them. You got the assault weapons ban not renewed and most pawn shops and cabela's circulars have assault weapons all through their ads. Congrats on the enlarged clips in the Glocks. How's your liberty and faith now?

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

What a load of malarkey! The Tea Party and the GOP are at fault for Tucson??? Bull. The left is just as culpable as the right. Own this: http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

Keep spewing.

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Bingo. The deadliest battle fought in the history of the world was waged with axes, swords, and pikes.

voevoda 7 years, 4 months ago

It's true that guns are dangerous only when they are in the wrong hands. There is no problem with responsible gun owners, who know how to use them safely and keep them securely.
The problem is that people who are not responsible can still acquire weapons. As a society, we have not dealt effectively with this problem. For some gun enthusiasts, the "collateral damage" of innocent people killed by individuals who misuse their weapons is simply the price of the freedom to own firearms. They wouldn't change anything For some gun enthusiasts, the best solution is "concealed carry"--if lots of people are armed, the good people will use their guns to stop the bad people in the act. Except that isn't how it has happened. Armed people haven't reacted in time to stop the carnage. Unarmed people have disarmed shooters (that's what happened in Tucson). Unarmed people have even overthrown tyrannical governments (that's what happened in Eastern Europe and Russia).
For some gun enthusiasts, reasonable regulation is the solution. Before a person can acquire a firearm, s/he must show a clean record (no history of violence, drug use, anger control issues, etc.), and knowledge to use the weapon safely. The Second Amendment allows for such regulation (it specifies a "well-regulated militia").
Why not require licensing for gun ownership, similar to licensing for driving? Why not require gun owners to carry insurance, just like car owners need to? Will this completely eliminate gun violence? No. But it might well have kept guns out of the hands of Jared Loughner.

jailerbynight 7 years, 4 months ago

Just to get rid of a bit more misinformation or rumor It is not a "clip" it is a "magazine". Semi-Automatic pistols are fed by magaziines.


Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

when one gets to 20 or 30 rounds on a gun whether it's an M1911, which my father owns, or some of the HK models, it's semantics. When it holds 7 or 9 rounds it's a magazine, when it's one of these montrosities with many rounds in it it's a clip. It's a clip on a Mac-10 or a tek-9 right? those are considered pistols... right? I'm not anti-gun, I'm anti crazy.

jailerbynight 7 years, 4 months ago

Common that they are called clips but are none the less are magazines.. Ill jump on your Anti Crazy boat though if you have room.

gogoplata 7 years, 4 months ago

Clips are used to load magazines. Some magazines are detachable like with most semi auto pistols and rifles like the AR and the AK. Some guns have internal magazines that do not detach from the gun like the SKS and the Garand. Stripper clips are used to load the SKS and en bloc clips are used to load the Garand.

Jeremiah Jefferson 7 years, 4 months ago

Ya know, if that guy had killed 6 factory workers instead of a federal judge, 5 others and wounding a congresswoman this whole incident would have been old news by now. Its a shame that a persons life is worth more because he or she holds a specific job title or position in government. It sucks what happened to those people and I hate it for all those affected by it. You can ban guns all you want and this kind of thing is still going to happen. Stiffer laws and regulations is just going to hurt the people who do the right thing and obey the laws

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

You're right. If it had been 6 people from this board we would have been dismissed days ago. Much worse things happen in this world with much less said. Who says we don't have a Caste System in this country.

Robert Marble 7 years, 4 months ago

I didn't think the libtards could sink any lower than they did during the presidential elections when they were crying 'racist' at everyone who disagreed with obama. but they've sunk to a new low now by prostituting the deaths of the people in Tucson in order to further their political agenda....I'm no fan of sarah palin but get real- trying to use these murdered people to attack her or anyone else is subhuman. have some respect for the dead and save your damn partisan bickering for something else; murder shouldn't be made into a platform for you to spew your rhetoric.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

hardknock9, find me a picture of a Democrat with a don't read on me flag and a rifle strapped to their back. Oh, there isn't one is there. Find me a sound clip of lock and reload or whatever malarkey term that Sarah Palin and our local wonderkind? Terry Lois Gregory have used. Oh there isn't one is there. Find me a Democrat refering to second amendment remedies for their opponents...oh there isn't one is there. There isn't anyway to distance yourself from the crazies is there. I figured sooner or later the harnessing of the crazies would lead to something bad. Just like when one of my fathers professors at Baker University walked into the local IGA in Baldwin City and said the conservatives have gone too far after JFK was assasinated in November, 1963, when my dad was working there. Sometimes rage backfires on those trying to harness it for political gain. That sometime was Saturday.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

I remember hearing someone say that a fanatic is someone who can't change their mind and won't change the subject. More and more, I suspect that you may belong in this category.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

no substance whatsoever, full of contradictions and misspoken statements like blood libel, and you like her, duck factual criticisms, and meagerly try to avoid culpability for the environment she helped create by expressing faux outrage. nice...

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago


many posts ago I was dismissed by stating follow the current guns laws. Either the criminal violated law by buying illegal guns, or he filled out a 4473 form and went through an FBI background check.

If he filled out the 4473 like all of us legal gun owners and was approved then somebody at the FBI has some serious stuff to explain. The 4473 is supposed to be an FBI background check.

If he purchased the guns illegally, then either the criminal or his "Uncle Buck: needing some beer money sold him a gun and is guilty. Same as handing your car keys to a drunk who kills.

Take the fictional for demo purposes Uncle Buck's house and vehicles to pay back the victims and more people would begin to realize the law has teeth.

For example, in Iowa if you shoot more pheasants than allowed the state can and does keep your guns and vehicle. Makes you think twice about shooting too many birds.

Until we start prosecuting lawbreakers no laws are going to work.

Just what we know, he was judged unfit by the military, tossed from Jr. Birdsman College, and all who knew him thought of him as wacko city. Bet he has a record a mile long too.

And we citizens just gave government employees keys to our health care?

Hoots 7 years, 4 months ago

Many balls were dropped in this guys case. He had a conviction for drugs on his record. Add that to the list of repeated contacts with law enforcement.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

no fear, no jealousy, she's a walking contradiction. While her daughter was dancing with the stars and her bristol's baby daddy was taking off his clothes, guess who was taking care of the child's health care? Indian Health Services. Todd Palin is Inupiat and yet his wife while she was governor spoke out against Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting and went inside an Inupiat elder's salmon smokehouse and raved about it on her cancelled show. She doesn't have to worry about contradictions with the intelligence of her constituents does she? Use Indian Health care and be against big government....no contradiction at all...not at all....

jaywalker 7 years, 4 months ago

After bouncing through a number of the threads about this story, I have to say I'm encouraged by the prospect of proceeding here on out in a civil manner. Kudos to all who've considered the idea. I'd love to see it come to fruition. Perhaps our code or reminder could be the date of this tragedy. It'd be fitting (and not a little ironic) to replace 9-11 with a date that brought Americans back together.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Sounds good to me.

By the way, one way to encourage it would be to stop responding to those who post in such insulting ways - maybe that will stop rewarding their behavior.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 4 months ago

Since we are on the topic of guns. How about somebody opening up a gun range in Lawrence so we don't have to drive so far.

Local concealed carry classes would be nice.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 4 months ago

And if people in Kansas knew how many of us are packing, maybe they would not be so quick to call everybody in Lawrence leftist liberals and get to know us a little better. They might find out we have more in common then they think.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago

Disk2 So would I. In stating this there is an outstanding grandma/gramps shotgun range between Larrytown and Baldwin. Sporting clays and the like. If you wish to feel Americana 1950s try a few clay birds at the place. Good popcorn too.

Never much cared for clays much after cleaning, no matter how long I cooked um, they never turned out right.

Keep your powder dry mi amigo.

Robert Marble 7 years, 4 months ago

civility would certainly be a new direction for this board, will be interesting to see

Robert Marble 7 years, 4 months ago

(found on another discussion board, but appropriate to the title of this thread) Russia, Mexico, South Africa and Brazil have very strict gun laws and much higher crime than we do. Switzerland has almost 100% handgun ownership. They even have shooting competitions for teenagers. Their murder rate is lower than England, where handgun ownership is banned. Violent crime in England has risen since the ban. If guns caused crime, Switzerland would be the most dangerous nation on earth, rather than one of the safest. Finland has higher per-capita gun ownership than America, and they also have lower crime rates. Israel has 40% higher gun ownership, and near zero murder, except for terrorists. New York, California, Chicago, and Washington DC have the strictest gun laws in America, and the highest crime rates. Virginia borders Washington DC, yet it has few gun laws and far fewer violent crimes. Vermont has the least restrictive gun laws in America, and their gun crime rate is 48th out of 50 states. Every state that started allowing average citizens to carry concealed weapons saw a decrease in violent crime over the ensuing years. Gun laws have been proven to make things worse, not better. (Prof. J. Lott, More Guns, Less Crime, 1998)

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