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Archive for Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letter: Guns, alcohol

December 22, 2012

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To the editor:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health, alcohol kills more people than guns do: 75,000 deaths per year — including 5,000 underage children. Obviously, existing laws don’t stop the carnage or keep alcohol away from children. It’s time to get serious.

We must ban hard liquor and limit beer and wine to packages not exceeding a three-drink total. We need mandatory background checks and 10-day waiting periods for every alcohol purchase. Also, alcohol stored in the home must be kept in locked cabinets to prevent unauthorized access.

Ballistophobic boozers will fuss, with predictable hypocrisy and double-standards: “It’s already illegal for minors to purchase alcohol.” It’s already illegal for minors to purchase firearms. “Drunk driving is already illegal.” Shooting people is already illegal. “Alcohol doesn’t kill people. Alcohol abuse kills people.” Guns don’t kill people, murder kills people. “You don’t need guns.” You don’t need alcohol, I hope. If you do, please seek help.

“Why do you need semi-automatics and large-capacity clips?” Why do you need hard liquor and cases of beer? “Guns are made to kill.” Alcohol is toxic, made to intoxicate. “Most drinkers obey the law and never harm anyone.” Most gun owners obey the law and never harm anyone.

“Tell the parents of 20 murdered children how your constitutional right to bear arms trumps their kids’ lives.” Tell the parents of 5,000 booze-killed kids how your selfish need for convenient drinking trumps their kids’ lives. Then wipe the blood off your bottles and shut up about my guns.

Comments

Kirk Larson 1 year, 3 months ago

Something I read: We do not need to ban alcohol to reduce problem of drunk driving. However, no one thinks that more alcohol is the solution.

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ScottyMac 1 year, 3 months ago

What a pathetic analogy.

Look. Can you picture a disturbed individual walking into a school armed with a 12 pack of PBR? What's he going to do? Shake up the cans and spray the innocent children with beer?

Or maybe someone will show up at a mall with a jug of Chardonnay and uncork it so he can pour wine all over some folks?

Perhaps a lone mad man will walk into a movie theater with a Super Soaker filled with vodka?

How silly can these gun nuts get?

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Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

if conservatives want to protect life maybe they should act more like christians and be less selfish and self serving.

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windex 1 year, 3 months ago

Turned on CNN this morning to see that firefighters responding to a fire in NY were shot when they arrived on the scene. Two killed, two injured, fire left to burn. Those attacked were, as usual, shot. Not hit with baseball bats, poisoned with involuntary lethal applications of vodka, run over by trucks, or attacked with machetes. Just more dead-from-gunfire firefighters, to join the dead cops, kids, movie-goers, teachers, congresswomen, etc.

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Gotland 1 year, 3 months ago

If liberals want to protect innocent life they can start by outlawing ellective abortions.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

Lots of interesting discussion with a pinch of emotion thrown in. Always entertaining and enjoyable - thanks for the mental fun.

I think I've beat this dead horse long enough but before I exit this thread I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

yeah....tange.....mertz is probably so indoctrinated that when I venture out of the nra/fox/gop points he repeats the same nonsense without realizing the empirical points of a discussion because his limited view renders him incapable of doing so. I probably should've realized that when confronting a wall of denial a couple of times the answers won't change. Besides his hero Mike Parks of KMBZ fame crossed up the clip/magazine discription all week. Nothing funnier that listening to a Conservative host being attacked by conservatives. Remember the look President Obama gave the moderators when Romney went on tangents?

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Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

Americans always say blah blah blah to facts. that's why much of the world sees you for the archie bunkers you are. It's fun watching Keeping Up With Appearances to see how the British networks clown people like mertz for being facts aversive and backwards. I had to listen to Republicans and Talk Radio speak with no facts and loud opinions just like mertz all week so that's why I put my two cents in. I worked in the neighborhood where the TPD police were killed last week and a half mile to the east of there was where I had a gangbanger pull a Raven 25. cal on me to rob me in June 1992 while working at that particular job. Shots were fired to get my attention and luckily I hid the money bag in the truck and I convinced the thief I had no money. I didn't go out and buy a gun after that. I did get pepper mace though. I couldn't haul a shotgun (my preferred weapon) in my vehicle so I grew way more cognizent of my surroundings in Central Topeka, East Topeka, and North Topeka and did that job for another four years with one more robbery involving a sawed off baseball bat. A gun isn't the total answer to everything.....it's just easier for people who are too lazy to think or reason.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

As I read the comments, one thing is clear, many are for restricting the rights of gun owners because the restrictions wouldn't affect them personally. It isn't really about saving lives or reducing crime, but instead it is about taking away the right of individuals to defend themselves and become more reliant on the government.

I base this on the fact that there are so many things we could do to save lives every year but we don't because it would inconvenience us. For example, we could require anyone wanting to drink alcohol outside the home to have a breathalyzer interlock installed in their car. Or require the use of helmets for kids driving in cars.

Or we could have a better more informed electorate by requiring a free civics class before being able to vote.

Do you think any of these ideas would be embraced or would they be fought vigorously?

With the exception of putting the mentally ill into the background database I oppose new gun control measures unless the restriction does not add to the cost of gun ownership, restrict all law abiding people from purchasing and owning guns and there is direct scientific data showing that the measure will actually stop gun violence.

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jaywalker 1 year, 3 months ago

Sad to think Mr. Reber was probably patting himself on the back after penning this idiocy. There are thousands of ways people die, and many of them are due to pure stupidity or irresponsibility. Ban soda machines 'cuz some moron might rock one when it steals his money, so it falls on him. Ban electricity; can't people see the inherent dangers there? Don't even get me started about auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Sorry, David, alcohol is self-ingested. When madmen start running around shooting 30 shots of Wild Turkey into the mouths of 6 year olds you might be closer to a relevant comparison.

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msezdsit 1 year, 3 months ago

pointless meaningless tripe, but nice try reber.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 3 months ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that makes me the authority, blah, blah, blah. Same old excrement, blah, blah, blah. Because I say so, blah, blah.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

mertz....my father and I have collected World War One weapons for over twenty years. I know the difference between a Valmet, an FN 49/56 Hakim, and a Stoner 223. cal. I've studied weapons for thirty years. You sound like an archie bunker armed with clutching bitterness and an aversion to facts. Personal attacks are all you know right Mertz. I took Hunter's Safety in my Cub Scout troop 73 at First Baptist Church in Manhattan, Kansas in 1981 and passed it so you are the one that doesn't like facts. My father and I have collected over 150 weapons of all kinds except semi automatic weapons/assault weapons. I leave those to the clutchers and the doomsday preppers who fear whatever the GOP, the Tea Party, and NRA rhetoric plugs into their heads. You all said Obama was going to take guns away and you spread the code language fear even as I could walk into Jayhawk Pawn and see more assault weapons and high capacity clips than I'd seen in a long time. The NRA put out posters at gunshops like I saw in Tulsa saying that the President was the best gun salesman ever. It wasn't his actions that led to these circumstances. It was the racist code language fear mongering and all of this apocolypse nonsense that led people to act even more paranoid and arm themselves for something they hoped would happen to justify their zealousness. Whatever happened to reasonable and responsible gun ownership? why did someone let politics pervert this during the Reagan era? My dad had bagged six deer with old school muzzleloaders.....who needs an assault rifle? sorry some of you have an inadequacy issue....better go buy a Hummer H2 to fix the problem.

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

I still can't believe the NRA's "solution": We need people using the items we promote to protect us against people using the items we promote.

That would be funny if it weren't so damned tragic.

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tange 1 year, 3 months ago

BTW,
the only thing that stops a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun
... or another good guy with a gun
... or a raging roadie with a gun
... or a disturbed individual with a gun
... or a child with a gun
... or random celebratory gunfire
... or his own gun
... or....

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tange 1 year, 3 months ago

And look what's back in the news...

"Bet You Didn’t Know NRA Leader’s Son Fired at Another Motorist During a Road Rage Incident December 21, 2012...
During Friday’s press conference, National Rifle Association President Wayne Lapierre shifted blame away from his organization and onto ‘evil’ people and violent video games...."

http://www.techyville.com/2012/12/social-media/bet-you-didnt-know-nra-leaders-son-fired-at-another-motorist-during-a-road-rage-incident/

_

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tange 1 year, 3 months ago

Don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to more adventurous grocery shopping...

_

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overplayedhistory 1 year, 3 months ago

The understanding of how a apples vs oranges argument is not logic, is lost on the author.

"Guns are made to kill.” Alcohol is toxic, made to intoxicate" ..... Exactly! the difference being malicious intent.

Someone who wants to kill lots of people (Intent), does not first stop at the liquor store to aid in the completion of that task.

I mean seriously we can't even talk about making these nut jobs have to at least reload, without such a ridiculous comparison?

1

Paul R Getto 1 year, 3 months ago

We can be drunken and violent chimps. Modelling and repetition shape much of what we are. Fortunately, 99.99% of the time we behave and get along. Trying to legislate behaviors, intoxicants, and implements like weapons are all problemmatic. Helping each other build community is much more effective in the long run.

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Liberty275 1 year, 3 months ago

"We must ban hard liquor"

You do realize Biden has been put in charge of trying to ban things, right? Good luck getting him to ban alcohol.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 3 months ago

Aw gee, if all you have to do to qualify as the resident expert is be able to identify old guns, attend gun shows and pass Hunter Safety class . . . I did 2 out of 3 before tuschky was in diapers. Hunter Safety class? Wasn't required at my age but I live it every day, hunting or not. You just keep congratulating yourself on your accomplishments though . . . Seems no one else is impressed.

1

grammaddy 1 year, 3 months ago

The NRA ceased being a lobbying group for gun-owners along time ago. They are more interestedin the rights of gun manufacturers. This was proven yesterday by LaPierre.His answer to gun violence--more guns.

3

Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

'Assault' weapons are those that the women in Senator Feinstein's office picked out of a catalog for purposes of the recently sunsetted bill. Their choices were based upon what they found to be visually scary.
An automatic weapon doesn't shoot multiple bullets with one trigger pull.
But, hey, why mess up a good emotional, self-righteous high?

1

Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

hey mertz trying the emotion versus fact logic? you and fellow deniers are good at it. I've been to gun shows since 1980 as a ten year old. I was able at eleven to identify the difference between an 1891 Argentine Mauser and the 1889 Belgian Mauser my world war one collector father was looking for and we eventually found decades later. I can identify 90% of the guns out there due to my teaching as a child and my hunter's safety passing at age eleven. Conservatives don't like facts. That's how they lose arguements.

1

Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

The main point to remember in these discussions is gun ownership unlike drinking, driving, buying medicine etc. is only gun ownership is a right affirmed and protected by the US Constitution.

The government could outlaw driving and people would have the right to complain but their rights would not be violated. This cannot be said about taking away the right to own guns.

0

Mike Ford 1 year, 3 months ago

having heard all of the false arguements on kmbz and rush which I listen to in order to study the lack of empathy and lack of logic exhibited over and over by people who don't like facts and who bully people themselves with emotion laden vitorol over and over I have this to offer.... one having listened to conservatives with emotional authority ignore facts when confronted with them here is the answer to the weapon question...an assault rifle is a semi automatic version of a military weapon......M16/M4=Ar 15/Bushmaster.....M14=Mini-14, FN/FAL, HK91 or 93, AK-Galil or Valmet or some Chinese knockoff... ten round clips instead of twenty or thirty. The issuing of safe purchase cards by the ATF for those who are certifiably okayed for purchase which creates a situation where no card means no purchase just like no age 21 ID means no alcohol. The 19 to 21 purchase law went into affect when I lived in Manhattan, Kansas where kids previously drank like there was no tommorrow...i.e. the Class of 1984 at MHS had an 84 keg party when I was 14. We had a couple of kids a year die from dui driving accidents previous to the 21 law in Manhattan. The mom of a person I acted with in a school play at MHS had a take the keys and drink safely at my home party for HS kids and had the book thrown at her. Canada has had a cannibal on a bus issue a couple of years ago but they have control and don't see near the gun violence we do which is why I could safely sleep in my car traveling across Ontario and Quebec in 2002 and 2003. Playing dumb to clutch guns for 30 round clips shows how little empathy these clutchers have for their fellow citizens. Spoken by a 42 year old Democratic gun owner who got my Stevens 20 gauge at age 8 in Louisiana to hunt rabbits and quail with who doesn't believe the NRA's rabid fervor..

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 3 months ago

I have yet to read a gun control law idea that will make a difference.

1

Armstrong 1 year, 3 months ago

Do liberals also blame spoons for making them fat ?

0

verity 1 year, 3 months ago

People are trying to dredge up the strangest analogies and then stop before they carry the analogy to it's logical end, because that brings up the many points where the analogies run into trouble. A number of these have already been pointed out, so I won't bother.

I will point out that the two policemen who were tragically killed in Topeka a few days ago were armed and trained.

As Leonard Pitts stated recently in his column (before the Newtown shooting)

"As has happened with conservatism generally, the gun rights movement has lurched hard to the right in recent years, has alienated reason, ostracized compromise and fetishized guns and gun ownership to a point that seems psychologically unhealthy.

"What was once a campaign to ensure the right of people to bear arms has mutated into a campaign to ensure guns at all times for everybody everywhere and to smack down those who would seek to ban them, even from places where banning them makes obvious sense."

I stated on here a few weeks ago that the more guns out there, the more likely it was for people to get them illegally and was pounded by a number of people for making what they considered a foolish statement, although obviously true.

It looks like people are much less willing to be intimidated since the Newtown shootings.

We might start by looking at the other western first world countries whose homicide rates are so much lower than ours. What are they doing differently?

1

bearded_gnome 1 year, 3 months ago

all of the proposed laws here would have had no impact on the Newtown slaughter except a restriction on purchase of large magazines.
Lanza took his mother's improperly stored guns, which she owned legally.

and even if we focus on large magazines, we still miss thereal problem: the brain behind the finger on the trigger.

there is a serious connection between most of the major mass casualty shootings of the past few decades: shooters's mental illness.

we have far too many unhospitalized longterm mentally ill out on the street.


the only thing that stopsa bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

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voevoda 1 year, 3 months ago

If any consumer of alcohol excused his drinking with the kind of statements you attributed to them and in the kind of curt, defensive tone your used, David Reber, his friends and family would be justified in staging an intervention: take alcohol away from him, get him into rehab, and take his car from him until he had could demonstrate that he was off booze. Given the tone of your last sentence, Mr. Reber, it might be a good idea if your family and friends did the same with you. You sound entirely too dependent upon guns.

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Phil Minkin 1 year, 3 months ago

, Although alcohol and automobiles can be a lethal, especially in combination, neither product is designed or sold for the purpose of killing people. Assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns (and their ammunition) are.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 3 months ago

I think some of you need your satire-meters adjusted.

2

disappointed_regressive 1 year, 3 months ago

Isn't the leading cause of death in the US heart disease? What do we do about that?

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thuja 1 year, 3 months ago

Humans have passed the threshold of being able to deal with the world that they have created.

5

Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

Gee, Mark_P, what do you have in mind for other parts of our lives, like, say, where we vacation or where we send our children to school or what we eat for lunch? I hope you're happily employed, but if you're not, I'm sure there's a fabulous job waiting for you with Mayor Bloomberg.

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

Good thing to know I can buy Everclear in the grocery store and then resell it to my neighbors without needing any record of the transaction.

Oh wait, I can't? At least there are no restrictions on my home still and the moonshine I share with friends, is there?

Well gee, now that I consider it, there are a ton of restrictions placed on the distribution and manufacture of alcohol after all, as well as restrictions on consumption (public intoxication, drunk driving, bars can't sell to someone already intoxicated, I can't take a child out to the drinking range for training, ...).

So yes, Mr. Reber, a very good analogy indeed. Certain products have restrictions, including alcohol and guns. And yes, if you have young children and leave your alcohol out in the open where they might get their hands on it, you are being a negligent parent.

With or without the cooperation of the NRA and gun enthusiasts, it is time to place limits on the size of the magazines. I won't be surprised if types of guns are also further restricted.

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Mark Pickerel 1 year, 3 months ago

How about we:

1) Start a national database on gun purchases and make it a felony to sell a gun off-database 2) Force a longer life for Brady background checks--1 year minimum, 5 years preferred 3) Gun dealers & private citizens must report stolen firearms within 48 hours of thefts or face a felony conviction if the stolen gun is used to commit a felony 4) Force background checks at gun shows 5) Make the sale of large-capacity ammunition clips illegal

This will let Mr. Reber keep his precious guns.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 3 months ago

So out of curiosity, I decided to take Mr. Reber's analysis to the next step: the global stage. What exactly, if anything, affects alcohol consumption rates in other countries? If you look at the country-by-country problem drinking rates: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_status_report_2004_overview.pdf

you quicklly come to the conclusion that religion is the strongest controlling factor for limiting alcohol consumption: 94% of Bangladeshis are lifetime abstainers, and most countries where Islam is the predominant religion, alcohol consumption and problem drinkers simply is not a problem, period.

What conclusion does that lead to for gun control? Well, it would be interesting to see the world's major religions come out with a strong connection between the "thou shalt not kill" commandments that are in all religions and conclude that having and using guns that are designed to kill and maim people is a sin. Wouldn't it be interesting to see if it had the same effect on homicide rates as Islam has on alcoholism rates? But I'm not going to hold my breath on that one (with or without a breathalyzer)!

So exactly what works and doesn't work for various countries on controlling societal impacts of alcohol consumption? Looking at countries that have significant alcohol consumption the global report put out by the World Health Organization... http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241580356.pdf

....reports that heavy drinking rates are most responsive (i.e. drop the most) with judicious use of the following three factors: 1) availability 2) price 3) regulation (prohibiting youth, drunk driving, open containers in public, lowering alcohol blood content level etc.)

Public awareness/education campaigns and advertising restrictions also play a notable but probably less important part of national policies. The report, which is worth reading in its entirety, suggests that any one policy will not work effectively by itself, rather nations should develop a country-specific mix of strategies that work most effectively for that population, with the result being a significant reduction in problem rates.

With this in mind, perhaps the issues of gun control should be addressed in the same way. What about re-framing the conversation toward exploring the possibility of the following: 1) Significant taxes/"Sandy Hook surcharges" on all gun and related accessory purchases that are designed for shooting other humans; 2) Requiring mandatory background clearance for all gun transactions, with penalties for folks who sell and buy without this step; Those are just a couple of ideas--folks can come up with a longer list, I'm sure.

.

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Pal 1 year, 3 months ago

Collective solution of Liberal phantasmagoria with a pinch of moral bullying works how again?

oh. it eliminates "choice"

1

Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

Well-written and the analogy is perfect.

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Pal 1 year, 3 months ago

Why? Because I "choose" to. I choose to.

Classic liberal logic. They "choose" for you what you like and do not like.

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Phil Minkin 1 year, 3 months ago

Thousands also die in auto related accidents, but we have speed limits, drivers tests and other laws that make for fewer deaths than there would be if these laws were not in place. AAA does not spend millions of dollars opposing these restrictions and auto manufacturers are required to continually make their products safer. There are high taxes on alcohol to help mitigate the damage it does to society as there should be a very high tax on ammunition, possibly high enough to cover the cost of the NRA solution of having armed guards at every school. Incidentally, the NRA is constantly fear mongering about citizens having to protect themselves from the government, and now they want more armed government employees. Go figure.

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Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 3 months ago

I have had several pointed exchanges with Mr. Reber, via his LJWorld screen name. Typically, I challenge his letters to the editor. However, this LTE is spot-on. Good analogy and to the point.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 3 months ago

Here, here! Nobody wants a complete and total ban, just some reasonable restrictions. All 24 pak and 30 pak cases must be banned. Imported spirits must be heavily taxed, and grain alcohol should never be sold in anything larger than pint bottles.

I never touch the stuff, but I know what's good for those that do. I encourage the president to sign an executive order to put restrictions in place. Don't even bother with those pesky House and Senate people, they're just a bunch of drunks.

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