Opinion

Opinion

Tucson shooting not driven by politics

January 13, 2011

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— The charge: The Tucson massacre is a consequence of the “climate of hate” created by Sarah Palin, the tea party, Glenn Beck, Obamacare opponents and sundry other liberal betes noires.

The verdict: Rarely in American political discourse has there been a charge so reckless, so scurrilous, and so unsupported by evidence.

As killers go, Jared Loughner is not reticent. Yet among all his writings, postings, videos and other ravings — and in all the testimony from all the people who knew him — there is not a single reference to any of these supposed accessories to murder.

Not only is there no evidence that Loughner was impelled to violence by any of those upon whom Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, The New York Times, the Tucson sheriff and other rabid partisans are fixated. There is no evidence that he was responding to anything, political or otherwise, outside of his own head.

A climate of hate? This man lived within his very own private climate. “His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world,” said the teacher of Loughner’s philosophy class at Pima Community College. “He was very disconnected from reality,” said classmate Lydian Ali. “You know how it is when you talk to someone who’s mentally ill and they’re just not there?” said neighbor Jason Johnson. “It was like he was in his own world.”

His ravings, said one high school classmate, were interspersed with “unnerving, long stupors of silence” during which he would “stare fixedly at his buddies,” reported The Wall Street Journal. His own writings are confused, incoherent, punctuated with private numerology and inscrutable taxonomy. He warns of government brainwashing and thought control through “grammar.” He was obsessed with “conscious dreaming,” a fairly good synonym for hallucinations.

This is not political behavior. These are the signs of a clinical thought disorder — ideas disconnected from each other, incoherent, delusional, detached from reality.

These are all the hallmarks of a paranoid schizophrenic. And a dangerous one. A classmate found him so terrifyingly mentally disturbed that, she e-mailed friends and family, she expected to find his picture on TV after perpetrating a mass murder. This was no idle speculation: In class “I sit by the door with my purse handy” so that she could get out fast when the shooting began.

Furthermore, the available evidence dates Loughner’s fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords back to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no tea party or health care reform. The only climate of hate was the pervasive post-Iraq campaign of vilification of George W. Bush, nicely captured by a New Republic editor who had begun an article thus: “I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it.”

Finally, the charge that the metaphors used by Palin and others were inciting violence is ridiculous. Everyone uses warlike metaphors in describing politics. When Barack Obama said at a 2008 fundraiser in Philadelphia, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” he was hardly inciting violence.

Why? Because fighting and warfare are the most routine of political metaphors. And for obvious reasons. Historically speaking, all democratic politics is a sublimation of the ancient route to power — military conquest. That’s why the language persists. That’s why we say without any self-consciousness such things as “battleground states” or “targeting” opponents. Indeed, the very word for an electoral contest — “campaign” — is an appropriation from warfare.

When profiles of Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, noted that he once sent a dead fish to a pollster who displeased him, a characteristically subtle statement carrying more than a whiff of malice and murder, it was considered a charming example of excessive — and creative — political enthusiasm. When Senate candidate Joe Manchin dispensed with metaphor and simply fired a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill — while intoning, “I’ll take dead aim at (it)” — he was hardly assailed with complaints about violations of civil discourse or invitations to murder.

Did Manchin push Loughner over the top? Did Emanuel’s little Mafia imitation create a climate for political violence? The very questions are absurd — unless you’re The New York Times and you substitute the name Sarah Palin.

The origins of Loughner’s delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman’s?

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.

Comments

BornAgainAmerican 4 years, 4 months ago

...exactly as I have maintained from the git-go. There is absolutely no evidence linking the alleged shooter to the right. Nor is there evidence showing that he was influenced in any way by the right Of course, Mr. Krauthammer says it much better than me.

uncleandyt 4 years, 4 months ago

The gun-nut's babbling rantings about grammar and gold and The Government sound like ideas from something called The Sovereign movement. He shot a politician. Krauthammer is linked to fooling you.

uncleandyt 4 years, 4 months ago

There is a world where "smash hit shows" are somehow not mainstream. Don't you realize that the blanket hatred and fear of the lefty leftist left that you post and post and post is exactly the problem at hand??? From where do you take your cues? You have told us, now tell yourself. It's reflection time !

Sean Livingstone 4 years, 4 months ago

Somehow, at one point in time, I begin to realize that European news sources are more reliable than our own. Some of our own news agencies don't understand the differences between opinions and facts, the differences between news reporting and journalism, and opinion columns. And I don't know how some people like Tom didn't realize that he's so far on the right, that he can label anyone slightly on the left, a far left loony, and anyone reporting things that he doesn't agree is a dishonest and corrupt news agency.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 4 months ago

Probably due to space limitations, one significant event that Krauthammer omits from this otherwise incisive, slam-dunk piece is what happened after the Times Square bombing attempt last May was discovered. When it was first reported that an "unidentified white male" had been seen in the area, the liberal media immediately fell all over itself prematurely engaging in the same reprehensible, bigoted speculation it has exhibited starting immediately after the Tucson tragedy. When they found out that the Times Square bombing attempt had been perpetrated by an Islamic extremist, their bitter disappointment was palpable.

VTHawk 4 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget that Bloomberg initially speculated that it was related to Obamacare opposition.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

I (heart) defender when he/she/it gets all harsh and stuff.

ksriver2010 4 years, 4 months ago

Statistics 101 - there is a difference between correlation and causation.

The shooter is nuts, plain and simple.

I have a relative who is mentally ill. When having a manic episode she was quoting Pascal's Pensees. Doesn't mean that Pascal caused her to be messed up.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

I like the guy guessing. To come to such firm decision at this point is a bit premature. I don't know what motivated the shooting, if he acted alone, if he was mentally deranged and if he was influenced by politics and by which side. I feel the shooter was nuts, but I feel anyone who guns down crowds, blows up children are nuts. That would mean a lot of people are nuts, doesn't mean they aren't responsible for their action, It means I have a broad definition of nuts. After the Oklahoma City bombing , a lot of experts got on and proclaimed "the truth" it was ironic that one of them who was sneered at by the interviewer was so right on. Ron Kuby was interviewed and said there was no proof the bombing was done by foreign terrorists. He said the conclusions being reached were based on prejudice not on fact.
The dismissing of Sarah Palins dialogue with our country in relation to the Tucson tragedy is missing a point or two. She is not the one most injured by the Tuscon tragedy. She scrubbed her language and changed cross hairs to assayers marks. I told my husband she should keep her mouth shut and not react as if she was responsible. I don't think she served her critics or her supporters. She is not the most innocent victim of the Tucson tragedy.
The Tucson tragedy has created a moment of dialogue that might enable "warring" fractions to better themselves. Or we can continue as we were.
I think the public was weary and frightened by the climate of politics over issues and the Tuscon tragedy released the emotions. We will find out more information.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

It is stunning to hear corky disrespect the victims and give the homage to the murderer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

While the killings in Tucson can't be directly, or even indirectly, attributed to Palin, Beck, Rush, O'Reilly, etc., the fact remains that they represent a definite trend in Republican politics towards hate-filled rhetoric and fact-free fearmongering. It may not have caused this particular guy to pull the trigger, but it has still done much to poison the political climate in this country.

And the fact that Democrats (and jerks) like Rahm Emmanuel and Manchin have engaged in the same sort of tactics doesn't make it any better. It's just another example of how much the DLC/Republcan-Lites are becoming indistinguishable from Republicans.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

W is a war criminal who should be tried and likely imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, Obama has chosen to follow his lead.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

So what are you saying Tom, that since people acted stupidly and rudely to Bush that gives you the green light to do the same to Obama? If you do, doesn't that make what you are doing as stupid and rude as when it was done to Bush? You are incorrect if you think two wrongs make a right.

At this point we can clearly say that both sides have acted stupidly and rudely. No doubt about it. Time to let it go and focus on real issues.

Just ask yourself, as a person are you "happy" to always be angry at a large section of America? I'm just asking. Maybe you are. I've just grown tired of being that way myself.

Also, Republicans didn't "take back control" they were voted back into office, and they only have the leadership in the House. The people who voted them into office, and can just as easily vote them out next time, are the ones in control. It would be best if both parties remembered this.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

TomShewmon, Get it right. Obama wasn't in the room when Gabrielle Giffords woke up and didn't claim to be there. Her husband was there, and he conveyed word to Obama shortly before he spoke and authorized him to tell the public in his speech. Nobody at all suggested that it was Obama's touch that healed her. So there's no cause for an "eye roll." I'm glad that you have said that you are going to give up blaspheming as a mode of political discourse. Will you actually do it, or just use the cover of disavowing the phrase in question as a way of using it?

Jim Phillips 4 years, 4 months ago

Something else that has conveniently been overlooked was that a Bush appointed federal judge was killed in this attack. But that does not serve the agenda well, does it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

If you have a point to make, please do so if you expect me to respond.

Cai 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the media has blown the blame out of proportion - but that's what they've always done. They blamed virginia tech on video games in a very similar fashion.

Jared Loughner is mentally unstable, and even if someone had specifically told him to do this, he is very unlikely to have heard them.

That being said, there is no room in politics for a healthy debate anymore. The right espouses that the left is evil and the left espouses that the right is just a bunch of religious nut jobs. Not just wrong. Evil. Nut Job. The center is getting largely ignored, and the many many news outlets that specifically cater to one side or the other are only polarizing the issue further. The rhetoric should be changed so that healthy, active discussion can begin.

But that has nothing to do with Loughner.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Whether or not it was driven by "politics" is not the point.

Whether on the left or the right, the tone set can affect the mentally unstable. A violent tone with imagery of targets over congressional districts and second amendment remedies could tip a schizophrenic over the edge. Give them permission, if you will, to act violently.

I am not saying that such imagery should be banned or stopped, but the persons engaged in violent rhetoric should at least man up and take responsibility.

We live in a free society, and freedom sometimes has a price. Acts such as these just might be the price we pay for irresponsible (but perfectly legal) acts by our politicians.

Ask yourself: why did Sarah Palin immediatley take down from her website the image with targets over congressional districts, including Giffords'?

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Sarah Palin took down her "crosshairs" webpage not because she felt any guilt or remorse, but because the image didn't play well any more, even with her base constituency. Her claim to be the victim of a "blood libel" proves that she is on a venal quest for the political spotlight and is perfectly willing to rachet up the vituperative rhetoric to do so. A Jewish congressional representative lies seriously wounded; she is the real victim of "blood libel." Whatever Jared Loughner's confused motives, he clearly imbibed some of the hatred voiced in the white supremacist websites he frequented. The real "blood libel" was the fallacious accusation that Jews murdered Christian children for religious reasons. It was a keystone in centuries-old discourse aimed at fomenting fear and loathing of Jews--discourse that ultimately resulted in the Holocaust. Sarah Palin most emphatically is not the victim of anything remotely similar to "blood libel." It is offensive for her to choose this term. Did she not know, or not care? And then there is the dead Christian child, Christina. She was born on September 11, 2001--a "child of hope." Now she lies dead at the hands of a home-grown terrorist. And political pundits, including the de-facto leader of the Republican Party, demonize their fellow Americans, literally over her dead body. I agree with you, yourworstnightmare; the political pundits should express remorse for their past sins and vow not to repeat them. They should promise to disagree respectfully and never to promote hatred of political rivals or call for extreme acts. Maybe they could start with a moment of silence--lasting at least until the victims are buried or out of the hospital.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

BornAgainAmerican, I have condemned vitriol on both sides, as you know, because you have followed my posts. But there's a real difference in degree. Furthermore, the question here is about Sarah Palin's propensity to rile up her supporters. It has certainly been the case that more hostile rhetoric has come from the far right than from the center or the Democratic left. In Arizona, even Republicans are scared of the far right: Arizona GOP Official Resigns, Citing Tea Party Threats: 'I Don't Want to Take a Bullet'

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

BornAgainAmerican, For what would I need ""councelling"? Thank you, my understanding of reality is quite intact. However, why do you respond to my different perspective by reiterating your position, and then casting aspersions on my sanity? Do you assume that anybody who doesn't agree with you is insane? Or is that simply your way of admitting that you lost the argument?

libra101 4 years, 4 months ago

Are you daft? I just posted 3 different links answering the questions you are asking. It took 2 minutes. They were the first hits on Google. If you are asking whether I have personally seen this stuff, the answer would be no, I don't hang around Tea Party rallies.

The problem I have with the vitriol on the right is that it comes from the leaders of the party, Palin, Limbaugh, Beck etc. You think that is evened out by some anonymous poster at DailyKos or HuffPo. Kos himself is rarely on the big news networks and no one thinks he is the leader of the Democratic party. Yeah people hated Bush and were jerks about it, but guess what, people hated Clinton before that and guess what, they were jerks and they carried the full force of the government with them. Sorry if I don't think that moveon.org or DailyKos meets the same standard as a former VP candidate.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

You just did it again, bornAgainAmerican. You reiterated your position and cast aspersions on me personally. So I guess that this really is your way of admitting that you have lost the argument.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

BornAgainAmerican, You did not ask legitimate "questions." Instead, you tried to force me to choose between agreeing with your opinion or admitting that I'm crazy. When I refused to respond as you wished, you reiterated your position, now for the fourth time, following it each time with nasty aspersions on me. Everyone who reads this forum can see that you are not interested in a genuine interchange of ideas. Everyone can see that you have resorted to name-calling, while I have not. Everyone can see in your postings an example of why the rhetoric from the "right" is more problematical now. You have not been an effective advocate for the "rightist" position, BornAgainAmerican. Your descent into ridicule just reflects badly on you, and by extension on others who share your opinion.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

You continue to do the same thing: demand that I agree with you, and then cast personal aspersions on me. First you questioned my sanity; now you call me a coward. It's the same technique, BornAgainAmerican, and it's still a losing one. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

I posted my answer above, BornAgainAmerican. If you want to continue to argue, you will need to do it by yourself.

booyalab 4 years, 4 months ago

"The tone set can affect the mentally unstable." Whoa. You know the secret to what makes insane people tick? Man, why are you wasting time on LJW. The world needs to know your groundbreaking theories.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

If he was so obviously mentally unbalanced that classmates feared for their lives, why didn't somebody notice and do something to help him? Parents, teachers, school counselors, friends, etc.?

This is clearly, if the facts are as presented, a preventable tragedy, which are the worst kinds to me - there are enough unpreventable tragedies in human life.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

I also find it amusing that the cadre of right wing pundits have al now written columns about how politics had nothing to do with this. Cal, Douthat, Goldberg, Krauthammer, etc.

They feel they need to counteract the very real possibility that the violent tone set up by the right might have inspired Loughner.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

booyalab 4 years, 4 months ago

Definitely. The only way the right could prove that their violent tone isn't at fault would be by agreeing with the accusation.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Ask yourself: why did Sarah Palin immediatley take down from her website the image with targets over congressional districts, including Giffords'?

Hoots 4 years, 4 months ago

This guy was stalking her back in 2007 at the latest. This person had serious delusional thoughts and in no way could be considered normal. His ranting’s were all over the extreme. This guy was going to hurt someone at some point without intervention. The police told everyone "he has to do something first". He finally did something and it was big. No one that knew him thought he had any political leaning. I don't get the political blame game. It's just sick for anyone to try gaining a leg up over this. It makes them as sick as he was. Anyone who thinks there's much difference between a modern democrat or republican is living in a fantasy world.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

"It's just sick for anyone to try gaining a leg up over this. It makes them as sick as he was."

At least you are keeping perspective on this (rolls eyes)...

Hoots 4 years, 4 months ago

He was blaming people and institutions for things that were outside the scope of reality...so yes. Anyone who tries to gain anything on the back of anothers suffering is sick or seriously corrupt.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Simple question. Why did Sarah Palin immediately take down from her website the image with targets over congressional districts, including Giffords'?

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Blaming Sarah Palin for the actions of a crazed shooter is like blaming The Beatles for producing the White Album that Charles Manson loved so much.

The rhetoric from both sides has been too overheated. This is what we need to take away from the conversation following the shooting. We are Americans first before we are members of a political party. Only thing Palin and many others from both sides of the aisle are guilty of is harsh and ugly rhetoric. Is it too much to ask everyone to tone it down a bit? Is it really too much to ask?

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree. I'm tired of the mean spirited attacks against individuals and groups that pass for debates around here. Just tired of it. I'll be trying to not demonize others or their beliefs in the future as I have in the past. Care to join me?

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jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Why not stop the name-calling?

What good does it do?

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Why not simply choose not to add fuel to the fire?

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually it's more like blaming a cop killing on Ice-T for the "Cop Killer" song if you want to get musical with it.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes.

And do you think that the violent horrifying lyrics of many rap songs have no influence on people?

Aiko 4 years, 4 months ago

It seems that this event has changed the way some people think.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

Another crapslinger white wash. Covering the butts of Palin, O'Reilly and Limbaugh. Typical responses when their political methods of vicious, vile and reprehensible dialog are brought to answer for their encouragement of violent metaphors towards their political opponants. Sort of reminds me of Stalin and Hitler.

gravitykills 4 years, 4 months ago

Stalin and Hitler probably would have opted for "bulls eye targets", since carpet bombing caused more havoc than cross-hairs. Kinda like the dailykos used in the district mapping for Democrats. It's so vicious and vile to use such reprehensible dialog. How dare they!

libra101 4 years, 4 months ago

The DailyKos post didn't have have a target on it. That was the doctored one.

Kontum1972 4 years, 4 months ago

be very interesting as to what 2012 brings....

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't KNOW if they are linked, but I'm dam* glad people are finally starting to talk about this hate on both sides of the isle and how ridiculous it has gotten.

Orwell 4 years, 4 months ago

Shorter Krauthammer: When the right wing incites hatred it's patriotic. When others do it, it's either crass politics or suppression of free speech or outright terrorism.

Meh.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

Krauthammer comes off like the lunatic he works so hard to distance himself from.

I am not surprised that he and others like him have become so defensive based on their over-the-top rhetoric the last two years.

The biggest mistake the Democrats could make now is to call a large percentage of the population gun nuts. Kind of like Anthony,who represents North Lawrence, criticizing us for living here.

My prediction: They will. And they will let the extreme left do their talking and Americans will suddenly realize that they don't want to be associated with Democrats either.

The Democrats always find a way to lose and that is a shame because the Republican Party is filled with nuts right now.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Regardless of whether the violent rhetoric of the right had anything to do with this, one thing is clear.

This is what armed resistance against an intrusive federal government would look like. So, those of you who harbor fantasies about armed resistance against the federal government that you see as intrusive, keep this event in mind.

This is what it would look like. Own up to it or shut up.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

Tom, your extreme statements in the post illuminate the very problem we face. If you don't like it here, why don't you move to Austrailia or Iran or Bangladesh. I am sure you can find some government around the world that you can agree with, can't you? I doubt it.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

TomShewmon, Let me see if I've understood your position: If the radical right-wing rises up in violence against elected officials, it's the fault of the "left" (that is, everyone left of you, including the moderate center)? Huh?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

Resistance against an intrusive federal government could also look like the results of the midterm elections of 2010. Own that, skippy.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

I have, old man. That was the proper way.

Just keep in mind that this is what armed resistance would look like, the rhetoric of armed resistance that dominated right wing tea party propaganda.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

How about you, snap? Do you own up to the violent rhetoric about armed resistance?

Didn't think so.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

You mean when I posted "To the barricades! Bills and bows!" ? That was meant in a totally non-confrontational completely green inclusive respectful of other cultures minimal carbon footprint recyclable sort of fashion. BTW, there still seems to be no evidence that Mr. Nutcakes in AZ was influenced by anything other than the voices coming from his bran flakes.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

What is really interesting is the response of President Obama and others about the media making a political bashing out of this horrible tragedy. My guess that the calls for civility stem, in part, to try to deter those nut cases onthe other side that might just try to target the ones being blamed for this. Limbaugh, Beck, O"Reilly, Palin all must have quietly beefed up their security in case there is some loon on the left who will take the media bashing of the right wing vendetta as a signal to act in reverse. This is the sort of peril that our nation finds itself in with the incivility and viciousness on both sides of these issues and must look like anarchy to the rest of the world.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Tom, it isn't a group hug, it is just asking others to aim for civil discourse from here forward. That isn't a bad thing. Obviously, it is your choice whether or not you care to play nice with others.

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gravitykills 4 years, 4 months ago

There are many more people like Loughner, Cho, Klebold, Hasan you just haven't heard of them yet. They are and will be the offspring of our ever growing, fast-paced, disrespectful, empathetic, lovely, electronic world. They can be fueled by fame, infamy, hate, illusions, delusions, government, religion.

We created the platform for them to stand and they will become even more prevalent in years to come. And one day, society will become numb to it, but there will always be a platform and nobody can change that, not even the bravest psychiatrist.

Jus sayin….

gravitykills 4 years, 4 months ago

Whitman was ahead of the curve.

Since Columbine, there seems to be more and more massive shootings. I personally think it can be attributed to 1. more people and 2. the internet (instant mass information). A person can be a hero or a goat in less than a day. And any and all information is at your fingertips. It's just a matter of putting the right words together to suit your needs/wants.

gravitykills 4 years, 4 months ago

I should also add 3. mental illness to that list. It's the obvious common denominator.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

This is what armed resistance against an intrusive federal government would look like. So, those of you who harbor fantasies about armed resistance against the federal government that you see as intrusive, keep this event in mind.

Why did Sarah Palin take down the image with rifle sights over confgressional districts, including Giffords'

Please answer. No one on the right has the clusters to give an answer a shot.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

TomShewmon, You still haven't gotten the message about toning down the nasty rhetoric.
You can't win arguments by calling names. I think that you must have learned that in college, since you earned a BS in Communications.

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't know what this guy's politics were, but the attempted assassination of a politician is, in fact, a politically driven crime. What a stupid headline.

Is the conservative media feeling all unjustly blamed for the violence committed by some nutjob extremist? Maybe they should go ask a Muslim how to deal with that.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

We don't "hate" Sarah Palin. We just recognize her incompetence.
Her claim to be the victim of "blood libel" was more than a little insensitive, given that the target of the attacks, Gabrielle Giffords, is Jewish and Jared Loughner had connections (documented through his computer records) to white supremacist groups. Palin isn't a victim; she is a publicity hound.

camper 4 years, 4 months ago

I wonder why the rifle sites were not taken down after initial complaints, after offices had been vandalized. There were several points along the road where someone in charge of that webpage could have thought "ok, maybe this is a little bit distasteful, a little juvenile". But it was not until something really terrible happened.

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

"You want to create jobs as rapidly as China? The Chinese pay zero capital-gains tax. If we had zero capital-gains tax in the United States ... we'd be dramatically better off." - Newt Gingrich.

Why does Newt Gingrich want us to be like China?

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't hate her at all, and I think she's physically attractive.

And, I'd be glad for her to run for president.

camper 4 years, 4 months ago

There are incidents of politically motivated violence in the world almost every day. And yes, I think it can be established that persons who commit this violence are also unbalanced if not insane. Or maybe brainwashed? Are you insane if you are brainwashed by political demagougery?

Anyways, people who are crazy can also have political motivations. I believe the writer of this editorial is wrong in his assumptions.

Jay Keffer 4 years, 4 months ago

Found in the comments for this article:

"The rhetoric from both sides has been too overheated. This is what we need to take away from the conversation following the shooting. We are Americans first before we are members of a political party. Only thing Palin and many others from both sides of the aisle are guilty of is harsh and ugly rhetoric. Is it too much to ask everyone to tone it down a bit? Is it really too much to ask?"

No, not too much to ask. A request of you - how about dropping that antagonistic sexual slur 'teabagger'?

That would be a good example for you to set.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

(found on another discussion board, but good info) 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) Think about it - if you were going to go on a shooting rampage or robbery spree, would you do it where the people are armed, or where the laws forbid your intended victims from having guns? If you doubt this, you can do your own experiment: Post a sign in front of your residence: THIS HOME IS PROUD TO BE GUN FREE Let me know how it went for you.

usnsnp 4 years, 4 months ago

Dont know if anybody was responsible for influencing the Tuson shooter but it cannot be ruled out. You refer to Israel they have compulsory military service for both men and women and the number of weapons that are in homes are due to this, Switzerland has compulsory military service and a long period of compulsory reserve duty, during the reserve duty the soldiers take there personnel weapons home. In both countries if you use your weapon in any crime you go to jail for a long time. Mabey that what we should do here, compulsory military for all, that way people may get away from glorifying the gun mentality. By the way I spent 31 years in the military and have been a hunter since I was 12. As a hunter I have never had to use a weapon that fires a shot as fast as you can pull the triger.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

it's not a question of need but of choice. we have the 2nd Amendment that grants us this freedom of choice. The firearms are not the problem, they are only a tool. No thinking person would believe that the nutcase in Tucson would be stopped by mere lack of a firearm; there are many ways to kill. he could have easily built a bomb, drove a car through the crowd, etc. The slurs against firearms owners and firearms are myopic at best. I've been collecting firearms for many years and have amassed a fairly significant collection, and in all my years have never gone on a murder rampage / shooting spree, etc, nor have the vast majority of the other 80 - 100 million gun owners in this country., choosing to freak out about guns because a few psycos choose to use them illegally is ridiculous. There will always be deranged people bent on doing harm to others whether they use guns, bombs, cars, scissors, poison, sharpened sticks, etc...

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

so, usnsnp what is the point of stating that as a hunter you've never had to use a weapon that fires a shot as fast as you can pull the trigger? I'm not trying to pick on you but I don't see the point you're trying to make by that statement. American rights of firearm ownership are not for the sole purpose of hunting- actually hunting is far down the list. the purpose our Founding Fathers created the 2nd Amendment for are to give the people the tools to resist tyranny and defend themselves. I own several single shot rifles, several bolt action rifles- most are in calibers that would be effective for hunting. I also own numerous semi automatic rifles- eventually I plan on adding a few full autos tp the collection as well, however that'll be sometime away as the current restrictive laws have made them staggeringly expensive to purchase. the anti gun people will probably freak out about that but so what?

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

It is a matter of perspective, You feel fine with the ease of access and using a semi automatic with clips. You aren't bothered but rather enjoy it. My guess is if you took a young friend to a super market for an outing and someone was able to shoot a over a dozen people including killing your young friend, within two minutes. You might feel bad. You might wish that a rigid system of responsible ownership had been in place. One that limited the madman's weapons to something less effective per minute. I can respect both perspectives. I can't quite see not acknowledging both perspectives as valid.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Pace, I respectfully disagree, although I admit that would at first glance appear to be an intuitive point you make. From my perspective, if a person uses a weapon in the manner you described, I do not attribute the fault to the weapon as it is merely the chosen tool of the deranged individual. Had that same person chosen instead to drive his car through a crowd of people or into a bus full of small children, etc, and caused numerous deaths intentionally, the net effect would be the same- the only difference being the tool utilized. Or if he had built a bomb, or used any of many other available methods to kill people, again the result would be the same: numerous innocent murder victims....The one common factor in all these scenarios is the killer himself. A deranged individual is the root problem. A person bent of murder has a vast array of options available- so it is my belief that to blame the gun is misguided. Elimination or over regulation of firearms will solve nothing. Firearms freedoms are an obvious target for people who are struggling to make sense of senseless violence, and who are looking for a way to put a stop to such events, which is very understandable but the truth is that blaming firearms is not an answer to these problems. A deranged perso with murderous intent will find ways to kill whether guns are there or not. And excessive, knee jerk restrictions would only serve to make life more difficult for the law abiding citizens because they are the only ones who will follow such laws. Criminals, by their very nature, will not change their minds merely because the law says so. Again, I am not trying to create arguments here, and do value honest discussion on the matter. Below, I will post some positive examples of how firearms have very frequently saved the lives of innocent vicitms when faced with criminals with violent intent, as the media is often prone to putting the negative accounts in the headlines and the positives are relegated to the back pages. (as a bit of background, i'm a 12 year Army Veteran and have collected and owned firearms for roughly 32 years, & have accumulated more hours of firearms training than I can list, and have served as unit marksmanship instructor for several years at my last duty station)

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Associated Press, 12/11/07 State: CO
American Rifleman Issue: 3/1/2008
It's a story not even anti-gun media outlets could ignore. Matthew Murray allegedly wrote online, "All I want to do is kill and injure as many [Christians] … as I can." Police say he made good on his word, first by killing two young students at a missionary training center outside Denver. His next target was a gathering of 7,000 people in and around the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. With a rifle and a backpack full of ammunition, Murray entered the church and opened fire. Sadly, two sisters were killed. One man yelled to distract the gunman and was shot in the arm. That's when volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam, who has a concealed-carry permit and once worked in law enforcement, yelled, "Surrender!" Armed with a handgun, she walked toward Murray and shot him several times. "It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," Assam recalls. His twisted plan foiled, the immobilized gunman killed himself.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, NC, 03/15/06
State: nc
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2006
A pregnant woman was lying on the couch in her home when she heard the mini-blinds on her kitchen door rustle. Police say the woman, whose 1- and 3-year-old children were also in the home, got up to investigate and found a man trying to break in. When she spotted him, he ran around the corner of the duplex to the front door and tried to kick it in. The woman warned the prowler that she had a gun. When he replied that he also had a gun, she shot at him and he returned fire. The intruder was hit in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. No one else was injured.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Sequin Gazette Enterprise, Sequin, TX, 06/12/05
State: TX
American Rifleman Issue: 9/1/2005
Jennifer Cooper had never fired a gun before, but when an intruder invaded her home as her two sons slept peacefully, she knew she had to take action. At 10:40 p.m., she heard the chime of her front door sound. Cooper had not set the home alarm system because her husband, Gary, was in San Antonio at a Spurs basketball game, and she was awaiting his return. "I could hear footsteps," she said. When she called her husband's name and no one answered, she ran into the master bedroom -- where she had left her children -- and locked the door. Seconds later, Cooper heard someone twisting the doorknob. There was no phone in the bedroom, so she was unable to call the police. Cooper and her children spent the next two hours in fear, hoping whoever was on the other side of the door would leave. She yelled through the door that the house was alarmed and that the police were on their way, but the intruder turned on all the lights and the television and periodically twisted the doorknob. "We talked and we prayed a lot," she said. Then she retrieved a .357 Mag. from the closet. When she thought she heard the lock being picked, Cooper pointed the gun at the door and fired. All went quiet, and footsteps and the door chime signaled the stranger's exit. When Gary Cooper returned home he found his family huddled together, a smoking gun in his wife's hand and a bullet hole in his bedroom door. Jennifer Cooper has vowed to never become a victim. "I'm going to start taking classes," she said. "My husband said it's the first thing on the agenda."

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

The Birmingham News, Birmingham, AL, 03/05/05
State: AL
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2005
A pit bull had mauled a 3-year-old boy and was biting the youngster's mother when a passing motorist stopped to see what was going on. Corey Kelley said that at first he thought Shonda Busby was playing with the dog in the family's rural yard in Chatom, Ala. He turned his truck around for another look and saw blood. "The closer I got to her, I could see the blood and bite marks on her arms. I pulled up and said, Are you alive?' She said, 'Yes, get this dog off me. He's biting me; he's killing me.'" Kelley quickly drove home, called 911 and grabbed his .22caliber rifle. Unaware that Busby was shielding her 3-year-old, her rescuer said he drove as close as he could, about 8 feet away. From his truck, he aimed at the dog and told Busby to lie as still as she could. "Shoot!" she told him. Kelly's mortal shot hit the animal between the eyes. When Busby sat up, Kelley saw the little boy; his scalp was torn and there were bite marks all over his body. Following the tragedy, the child was treated at Children's Hospital and was in fair condition. His mother required surgery. Kelley said he did not feel like a hero. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat," he said. "I'm just an old country boy. Helping people is just something I like doing."

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Marion Chronicle, Marion, ID, 03/8/03
State: ID
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2003
Sherry Lewis was sleeping soundly on her living room couch when she was suddenly awakened by three men who had entered her home. The intruders attacked Lewis, beating her with a pool cue. Lewis' companion, Jeffrey Shaw, tried to help her fend off the attackers, but they began assaulting him, as well, beating him and stabbing him once in the side. The men then forced Lewis' children into separate bedrooms and began ransacking the house. Shaw was then able to get a .22-cal. rifle from his room and shoot all three men, who managed to flee in a waiting car. Deputies soon found the suspects in a nearby home, all three suffering from gunshot wounds. The driver, Lisa Watson, was also present and had sustained a superficial wound. Authorities expected to file charges once the suspects were released from the hospital. As for Jeffrey Shaw, police described his actions as a clear-cut case of self defense. "This individual was protecting himself, his family and his property at the time," said Grant County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Kevin Pauley.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

The Denver Post, Denver, Colo., 11/23/01
State: CO
American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/2002
A woman shot and injured a gunman in her yard early one Sunday, cutting short his assault on her and her children. Jaquie Creazzo and her three daughters were forced to flee their home after smoke from a car fire billowed into the house. Once they were outside, Justin Michael Getz came screaming toward the wheelchair-bound woman and her family, firing two handguns at them. "He was loaded for bears," Creazzo said. Her daughters and two nearby firefighters ducked for cover from the erratic gunfire, but Creazzo drew her own gun and fired several shots, hitting her attacker in the leg. Getz was the ex-boyfriend of Creazzo's eldest child, and, according to Creazzo, had threatened to kill the family two days earlier when the girl refused to see him again. "I'm certain if I hadn't responded, none of us would be here today," Creazzo said of the incident. "He had made threats to kill each and every one of us."

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Lake Sentinel, North Lake, FL, 7/4/01
State: FL
American Rifleman Issue: 9/1/2001
An 85-year-old Leesburg, Fla., man armed with a revolver came to the rescue of his daughter-in-law and two grandchildren when he chased off three home invaders. Betty Ann Ferguson had been awakened about 5:45 a.m. by the sounds of someone breaking into her home. When she discovered her phone line had been cut, she used a cell phone to call her husband who was at work. The call was cut short when three men burst into the home and Ferguson hid in a back bathroom with her children. When the men broke through the bathroom door and demanded money, Ferguson gave them about $300 in cash. As the robbers discussed whether or not to kill her, Ferguson's father-in-law, alerted by his son, drove up in a golf cart and exchanged fire with the men as they fled the scene.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

El Paso Times, El Paso, TX, 6/27/00
State: TX
American Rifleman Issue: 5/1/2001
A man who had earlier attempted a carjacking, but was turned back by his intended victim, fled the scene of that crime and then forced a construction worker inside a nearby doctor's home in El Paso, Texas. Once inside, the man who pretended to have a gun made the doctor's three children, their nanny and the worker get on their knees before demanding a change of clothes. The doctor complied by retrieving some clothes for the intruder, but also produced his own, real gun and demanded that the man leave. When the man attacked, the doctor stopped him with a single, fatal shot.

The Wenatchee World, Wenatchee, WA, 2/6/01
State: WA
American Rifleman Issue: 4/1/2001
It was near dusk in the rural town of Wenatchee, Wash., when homeowner Jennie O'Neill was alerted to trouble by her springer spaniel, Cara. The dog had come to a skidding halt on the wraparound porch where O'Neill, her three children and a neighbor girl were standing when it turned tail and ran indoors. After O'Neill whisked the youngsters inside, she noticed through a window that her other dog, a German shepherd-husky mix named Balto, was fighting with another animal. Just then, O'Neill's 13-year-old son went to break up the fight. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after he kicked the attacking animal that he realized it was an enraged cougar. "It had huge eyes," said the boy. "They looked right at me." By this time, O'Neill had retrieved a .38-cal. revolver and had taken up a position by a window in the kitchen door. With her son safely back inside, and Balto's life fading, she aimed and fired. The shots proved fatal to the cat, which turned out to be a malnourished, 79-lb. male. "When it came up on my porch, it was starving," said O'Neill. "A kid, a dog, it didn't care, it just wanted to eat." Local authorities had reported a rash of such incidents involving cougars that appeared increasingly fearless.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pa., 3/13/00
State: PA
American Rifleman Issue: 8/1/2000
Juan Perez entered a Philadelphia grocery store to buy a jar of pickles, but was lucky to emerge a short time later with his life. Perez watched in horror as gunmen stormed in, put a gun to his head, robbed him of $20 and forced him to lie on the floor. That's when the ruffians went after the store's owner whose wife and children were on the premises. As Perez lay fear-stricken on the floor, he heard one of the would-be robbers tell the merchant, "Either give me the money or I will shoot your child." At that, the merchant brought his own gun to bear and opened fire on his two assailants. In the ensuing battle, Perez was wounded in the shoulder by one of the armed robbers and one gunman was killed. Perez later commented of the merchant's actions flatly, "He was protecting his family." Another neighbor said, "I think he did the right thing. He had to protect his wife and children."

The Herald, Everett, Wash., 4/16/00
State: WA
American Rifleman Issue: 7/1/2000
A 14-year-old Marysville, Wash., girl was in bed one night when she woke to the sound of a creaking floor. "I looked up at this man, and he came over to my bed and started choking me," she recalled. "I was kicking the walls and trying to get away. We wrestled on the floor. I felt myself going unconscious." Just then, the girl's brother came to her rescue. When the pair's scuffle sent them tumbling down the stairs, the children's father rushed out from his downstairs bedroom with a gun. After he fired one round, the intruder fled, leaving his T-shirt and sweater behind.

Southern Standard, McMinnville, Tenn., 2/9/00
State: TN
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2000
McMinnville, Tenn., homeowner Mark Haley awoke to the sounds of a break-in early one Tuesday and went to investigate with his handgun. According to Warren County Sheriff Jackie Matheny, the home invader had kicked in a basement door and was heading toward the bedroom when he met the armed homeowner. "I told him to stop right there, but he took another step. Then I cocked the gun and told him to stop again. That's when he stopped," said Haley. "He was about three steps away from where my children were sleeping, so I knew I had a decision to make. All I could think of was the safety of my family." Haley held the man at bay until authorities arrived.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Wash., 1/26/00
State: WA
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2000
A 29-year-old woman was in her Sequim, Wash., home with her young children early one Sunday when she heard what sounded like someone attempting to break in. Not waiting for her suspicions to be confirmed, she swung into action, summoning help from authorities with her cell phone. Then, gathering her children, she retreated to the bedroom and armed herself with a 9 mm handgun. As the intruder made his way to the bedroom, his intended victim confronted him with the business end of her handgun, sending him fleeing. None of the home's occupants was harmed, and police later caught and arrested the intruder.

The Winchester Star, Winchester, VA (3/2/99)
State: VA
American Rifleman Issue: 7/1/1999
For reasons that may never be known, John Michael Levi turned on his White Post, Virginia, neighbors one day in a rampage that jeopardized the lives of a couple and their three children. The mother had already compiled for police a 19-page typed log chronicling Levi's offenses, which included minor acts of vandalism. The situation instantly turned grave, however, one Sunday night when Levi entered the family's home with a sawed-off shotgun and a pistol threatening to kill everyone. As the mother and two daughters ran upstairs to escape onto the roof, the 15-year-old son and his father scrambled to load the family gun. Levi pursued the father up the stairs, reportedly declaring, "It's time to die." The father finally ended the confrontation with a deadly shot of his own.

The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 11/1/98
State: WA
American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/1999
An Olympia, Washington, resident, along with his wife and their two children, was asleep at 2 a.m. one Saturday when a burglar forced open the kitchen door of their home. Roused by the noise, the homeowner armed himself with a 20-ga. shotgun and confronted the trespasser, warning him to leave. When the warning went unheeded and the man advanced toward him, the homeowner shot once, killing the intruder.

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 8/4/98
State: LA
American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/1998
An argument between a man and a woman inside a Louisiana residence turned violent when the man allegedly doused the victim with gasoline and struck matches in an attempt to set her on fire. The woman swept up her two young children and fled the house, but was pursued by her tormentor. Once at her car, she retrieved a handgun and held off the man in order to make good her and her children's escape.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

My Eyewitness News, Memphis, TN, 2/21/2008 State: TN
American Rifleman Issue: 2/21/2008
A convicted sex offender was shot and killed after he broke into a Tennessee home, intending to rape two young sisters inside. The younger sister escaped after being tied up and ran to her aunt’s house next door for help. The sisters’ cousin, a Right-to-Carry permit holder, shot the intruder after the intruder attacked him.

Southern Sentinel, Ripley, MS, 08/11/04
State: MS
American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/2004
An 88-year-old Ripley, Mississippi, woman was just trying to help out a stranger who had knocked on her door and asked to use the telephone. But once she opened the door, the stranger forced his way into the house, raped her, and robbed her of $50. The woman somehow managed to get away from her tormentor and found her handgun, firing at the suspect three times and sending him fleeing from the house. With a clear description from the victim, the police immediately suspected 19-year-old Ryan Burks because of his prior runins with the law. Minutes later, when police arrived at Burks' grandmother's house, they found Burks bleeding from a gunshot wound under his arm. Burks has been charged with burglary and rape. The unnamed victim was treated and released from the hospital.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Newsday, New York, New York, 11/22/03
State: NY
American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/2004
A Freeport, New York, woman has her boyfriend and his brother to thank for rescuing her from a rapist. First Squad Det. Lt. Andrew Fal of Nassau, New York, reported that the suspect was believed to have been hiding in the basement of the home for some time. When the woman's boyfriend left for work, the intruder hid his face with a surgical mask and went upstairs. He attacked the woman in her bedroom, punching her repeatedly in the face, and then tried to rape her. The boyfriend's brother, who also lives in the home, heard the commotion and thought his brother was having a fight with his girlfriend. He called the brother on his cell phone to see what was going on, and when his brother told him he was driving to work, the two realized the woman was in real trouble. The brother called the police and retrieved a 9mm pistol. The woman's boyfriend returned to the house where he and his brother confronted her attacker, holding him at gunpoint until authorities arrived and placed her attacker under arrest.

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La., 8/15/01
State: LA
American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/2001
A Kenner, La., man walked up to the bar at the Cajun Pub in New Orleans, pulled a gun on the bartender and demanded money. The bartender responded by shooting the suspect in the chest. The bartender later told authorities he had been suspicious of the man from the moment he entered as it was a warm morning and the man was wearing a jacket. The bartender immediately moved to the end of the bar where a .38-cal. revolver was stored and kept his eye on him. The suspect, Troy Wright, died at the scene. He had recently been released from prison after serving 13 years for rape and robbery.

The Idaho Statesman, Boise, ID, 2/16/01
State: WA
American Rifleman Issue: 5/1/2001
A Shelton, Wash., veterinarian was sleeping at his clinic one night when two armed men cut the business' phone lines and attempted to break in. The scenario was something police had issued warnings about to area vets. Armed men were breaking into clinics to steal ketamine, or 'Special K' as it's known on the street. Ketamine is legally used by vets to sedate cats, but is often referred to by police as a 'date-rape' drug. This time, however, the armed vet fired from his 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, killing one man and sending the second running. He was later caught and arrested on outstanding warrants.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

The above stories barely begin to scratch the surface of the instances where people were able to save their lives or those of their families because they were armed. There are thousands upon thousands of more cases. Before jumping on the 'guns are evil' bandwagon, people should take the time to consider this.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Robert, I don't feel most people are making the claim that guns are never used for self protection. Without a doubt they are. It is just that there is another side to that coin, as there are many cases of bad things being done with guns, including all the instances of children getting the hands on a gun and shooting / killing themselves, a friend, or a family member. Or the instances of people shooting someone they believed was an intruder and it turns out to be a family member or someone without bad intentions. It is a simple fact that gun deaths are far more likely in homes where guns are kept than in homes without guns. That doesn't make the gun evil, just that it is a tool that can be used to make bad things happen.

Yes, in almost every one of those instances in which a child does something bad with a gun the gun wasn't stored safely or properly. I suspect this is the case of many guns kept in homes in America. In these instances, it is likely the fault of the owner for not properly storing their weapons, but without requiring any form of safety course or training of any kind before someone can own aren't we setting ourselves up for the failures that do happen? Is it possible to find some balance between zero training and zero permits for conceal and carry (Arizona laws) and the extreme limits on ownership rights (recently ruled unconstitutional D.C. type laws)? I would think it is possible.

By the way, I've recently made claims on here of wanting to strive to do my part to take part in civil discourse on this forum. The exchanges between you and I in the past are a perfect example of what I don't want to do in the future. To move forward, I hope you will accept my apologies for my part on the incivility between us. Sorry for previously calling you a "gun nut." That was rude of me. You are clearly an enthusiast with a passion for something that I clearly do not share. That does not make you a nut. As someone with such a strong interest contrary to my own, maybe I can learn something from you. I hope we can have discussions from here on that don't digress into insults.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Beatrice, thank you for the apology & for the civil discussion. I extend my apologies to you as well for my similar past negative discourse. It is refreshing to be able to hold reasonable discussions on topics without the unnecessary hostility. You're preaching to the choir in regards to fireamrs safety; it is true that most instances of children being injured that the root cause is negligence on the part of the parent / guardian. My intent is not to imply that anyone claims guns are not used for self protection- it is merely to counter some of the prevailing over reaction and hostility directed towards firearms & firearms owners in the wake of the Tuscon tragedy. That is not to knock those people who are distraught and seeking solutions, as it is often human nature to have strong responses in the times immediately after such horrible acts. I'm strictly attempting to provide counterpoints to some of the less studied viewpoints with factual information. I am a strong believer in individual resposibility, and do not agree with the many calls for vast, sweeping legislation which typcally does much to infringe upon 2nd Amendment freedoms of law abiding citizens but in reality does nothing to deter the problems it was intended to curtail. I fully agree with you that it would be very beneficial for all firearms owners to take as much training as possible- I personnaly have many years of such training and continue to do so. Despite great misconceptions among others, the general group of firearms enthusiasts are by far the strongest advocates of training & safety. As most of us are current or former Military of law enforcement, the importance of training is accepted without question. Unfortunately, the fringe elements & idiots who behave in unsafe manners are the ones who get noticed by the general public. These people are generally treated as pariahs among the firearms crowd, as we have zero tolerance for the lowlifes who give the rest of us a bad name. That being said, unfortunately many are unaware of the implications of some of the laws they call for creation of, or plainly don't care because they feel it doesn't apply to them as non gun owners. (I realize I'm rambling a bit here, please overlook that as I have had little sleep last night due to cutover of our mainframe operations at work that required my near around the clock presence)..Another problem is the many misconceptions about firearms that are shared by most non-enthusiasts which result in prejudicial and unfounded beliefs, which unfortunately translate into misinformed votes and bad laws. I'll list a few examples below.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

Common misconceptions: 1. AR15's, AK47's, etc are 'evil assault rifles' which account for vast amounts of crime - This is wrong on several accounts: First, an 'assault rifle' is a lightweight, shoulder fired military style weapon , of small to intermediate caliber which has 'selective fire' capability, meaning it has AT LEAST two modes of fire: semi auto, and either full auto or multi round burst. AR15's are a clone / copy of the M16 but WITHOUT the select fire capability. They are semi auto only, and therefore are not assault weapons, yet they are portrayed by the media and many politicians as such. Unfortunately AK47's, AK74's, and many other similar class weapons do not have separate designations to distinguish the clones / copies from their Military cousins, but the theory holds true for them as well. Nearly every AK pattern rifle owned is of the semi auto only type and therefore is slanderously miscatergorized when portrayed as an 'assault rifle'. Second, weapons of this type are very rarely used in crimes- as a matter of fact they are only used in 1% or less of all gun related crimes. Anti gun politicians hate this fact, as they're easily able to delude supporters into beleiving otherwise because it's easy to drum up negativity due to how 'scary looking' they are to the uninformed. Third- true 'assault weapons' are pretty much banned anyway and have been for decades. Weapons that can fire full auto or multi round burst are categorized as a separate class of weapon, and are VERY heavily regulated by the federal government under both the gun control act of 1938 (may have the year wrong on that one), and the national firearms act of 1986. The '86 law prevents the transfer to any individual, a machine gun / assault rifle that was built or imported after 1986. So this means there is a finite supply and no more can be added. The result of this? Price- to own a true assault rifle, the starting price is generally around $10,000 on up to over $60,000 depending on type, plus a $200 transfer tax, mandatory federal registration, and a highly stringer back ground check that could be equated to a full proctoscope exam. Only the wealthy can afford these items, and I suspect very few of them are stored improperly when the price tag is so phenomonal. While I do not recall the percentage of crimes that true assault rifles are used in, I have zero doubt that due to their extreme value, rarity, and difficulty replacing that they are utilized far less than the 1% which their copies are used. ....and I'll have to continue this at a later time, getting a bit tired of typing for the moment and am falling asleep at the keyboard. But again I say thanks for the new found civility Beatrice, and I will certainly reciprocate. It's a helluva lot better being able to discuss rather than lob insults back & forth.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

"Unfortunately, the fringe elements & idiots who behave in unsafe manners are the ones who get noticed by the general public."

Very true. We do tend to focus too much attention on the fringe groups rather than the much, much larger center. I also agree that we shouldn't knee-jerk with proposed limits. Anything done should be reasoned and well considered.

And thanks for the response.

RobertMarble 4 years, 4 months ago

probably more effective if backed up by something in the .45+p or 10mm range, but your mileage may vary......but give the sears catalog deterrent a try & let us know how it works out

b22 4 years, 4 months ago

one question where is WAASHINGTON, is it anywhere near LAAWRENCE??

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