Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What actions could we take that would prevent such tragedies as the Newtown school shootings?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) December 15th, 2012

The Newtown school shootings have touched off a new round of calls for tougher gun laws. Gun legislation is on the minds of many now, what with the Batman Movie Mass Murders (14 dead, 56 injured), the Oregon Mall Mass Murders (3 dead, 1 injured), and now the Newtown Elementary School Mass Murders (28 dead, 1 injured); all coming close on the heels of one another.

I know this is a politically charged issue, but I have to think everyone from the most ardent gun rights advocates to those wishing for strict gun laws such as European nations have all agree what happened in the Newtown, CT elementary school, with 20 innocent little kids getting slaughtered, is horrific.

The question is what can we do to prevent it? Can legislation alone remove the threat? All three weapon carried by the perpretrator, Alan Lanza, had been legally purchased by his mother. And while a knee-jerk reaction might be an assault weapon ban, the one assault rifle he had, a Bushmaster 223 Rifle, was left unused in his car. If legislation alone can’t reduce the violence, what can?

Rather than get into a debate about what the Constitution means by “well ordered militia” and how it’s possible to kill people with a coke bottle or a length of twine, can we focus on what, if anything, we might actually do to limit or prevent such tragedies in the future? Bear in mind that 47% of US households are armed with at least one gun. So it would probably take many generations for laws restricting gun purchases to have any real effect. And like it or not, the Supreme Court’s reading of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms means we aren’t going to suddenly become a gun free land where only the military and law enforcement are armed. So within the limits of what is realistic, what, if anything, should be done?

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122 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Adequate mental health care?

Shippy's avatar

This is a huge study in itself and a great question @ETpro . I don’t know all the answers, if any. Except to say something in society needs to change. For example, sex is very frowned upon, yet violence in the media is almost cult like. This spills over to computer games and other.

Disintegration of family, lack of respect in the community, alienation and untreated mental illness. Are a few ideas that come to mind. A lot of people remain untreated because they cannot afford help or assistance. Like someone said here, guns are operated by people. I would also like to see a gun free society, but how plausible is this? Plus guns can land in the right/wrong hands. (Corrupt police).

Our parenting skills are often none existant. Sometimes parents net addiction can result in neglect much like alcoholism. There is no respect in some families and this is tolerated. Too much is tolerated in certain societies.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nobody in the school was equipped to fight back. Those kids were sitting ducks for along time…. Tragic. ..
I would change that.

I confess…..I’m one of the guys you see running toward the noise.

whitenoise's avatar

I think that guns may be part of the equation, but foremost it seems to me that also society as a whole needs to rethink its position on two important topics:
1) its attitude towards violence
2) its quality and availability of mental health care.

With reference to the first item, I feel that the US seem quite unique in the way violence is glorified. In an average (action) movie it seems quite normal for the hero to kill other people in a very vicious, graphical way. Yet 1 nipple showing will get it labeled R.

2) I’m going out on a limb here, but I feel the health care system overall has become less and less accessible. In Europe, we seem to more and more blame the patient for any mental problems and further reduce the care available to people with mental health issues. The same may be true in the US.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Also, as much as I am normally an opponent of legislating problems away (cuz, you know, it doesn’t work, and usually just hurts the poor and already disadvantaged) we might want to consider keeping people on certain medications from having access to firearms. Maybe cars, too.

cheebdragon's avatar

If my sons school announced they were going to hire an armed security guard, I would be all for it.

chyna's avatar

The news stations sensationalism of acts of violence doesn’t help either. Mentally disturbed individuals see this as a calling or a challenge to them and want the same “fame” awarded to them for these types of actions.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with @whitenoise and @incendiary_dan. My mom said she thinks schools should all have metal detectors at entrances.

There does seem to be evidence that the states with more gun controls have less gun violence (to be clear I am not talking about banning guns altogether) so that is really worth looking at. I think there are probably many factors that are in the equation that lead to gun violence.

whitenoise's avatar

@Chyna I do feel that all media attention makes it more of a ‘normal thing’ to do. If one considers suicide nowadays, it may seem a more normal thing to not just kill yourself.

Maybe the media should restrain _themselves- a lot more on their coverage of these incidents.

glacial's avatar

I am horrified to see that a lot of people (not just here) are suggesting that the solution is to arm elementary school teachers. Is that what you want your nation to become? Think about what you are saying.

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon We had a security guard at my high school, I don’t remember if he was armed? Augustlan might remember. Interestingly, at the time I felt he was there to keep the kids in line, but maybe it was more for our protection?

incendiary_dan's avatar

@glacial If those teachers were able to pass some sort of mental competency test, why would that be a problem? A weapon is just an object, need not make an appearance outside of when it’s needed, and therefore would do nothing to mentally scar children.

cheebdragon's avatar

@glacial do I want my nation to be safer? Yes, I do. Even if guns were banned tomorrow, there are still millions on the streets, the only thing it would accomplish is raising the cost of buying an illegal gun, and adding a whole new appeal in obtaining one.

El_Cadejo's avatar

We always had at least one on duty police officer in my middle and high school.

JLeslie's avatar

In communities where most people are not gun oriented, I don’t think teachers will even want to have a gun. I have lived in places where owning a gun was second nature, and where owning a gun seemed very foreign, and I have to say, I like the feeling when I live in the community that doesn’t like or want guns. Just my personal, subjective, feelings.

ragingloli's avatar

Some cons say shootings would not happen if everyone was armed.
So I say, Force every man woman and child to buy an assault rifle, 10000 rounds of ammunition, battle armour and helmet, and have them wear it openly at all times.
Would be great for the economy, too.

Wine's avatar

Gun laws..pft what kind of criminal follows the law?

ragingloli's avatar

@Wine
The one’s that are deterred by the tremendous effort to obtain firearms in a tightly regulated environment.
Say you wanted to build a nuclear bomb, and would need to go through all the trouble to obtain weapons grade plutonium. Only the most determined crims would even bother.
But if you could buy weapons grade plutonium in every supermarket and per mail order, I guarantee you there would be alot more mushrooms sprouting in the lands.

Coloma's avatar

I back up @glacial 10,000%

Arm teachers…no, I don’t think so.
Either completely ban the general public from owning personal weapons, or…make semi-annual mental health testing mandatory for anyone wanting a permit to keep firearms. Even then, what happens if good ol’ Fred just happens to go ballistic sometime between month 2 and 6 of his mental health evaluation?

Ya can’t corral crazy, sooo….it’s high time, in light of these ever increasing incidents, that the sound of mind gun owners have to give up their right to bear arms in exchange for saving the lives of children…well, a no brainer IMO and I say take it like a man!
My position is very strong in that it is high time that Americans change their outdated wild west mentality. If you aren’t living in the bush in Alaska shooting your supper and fending off Grizzly bears you do not have any reason to keep a weapon. Period.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@glacial I would not arm all elementary school teachers. I would allow the ones that had proper certification, demonstrated proficiency and had the mental competency to carry concealed, to do so. No one other than the school administrators would know.

If I had a child with severe allergies that could quickly lead to in an anaphilactic reaction resulting in death, I want the teacher in that room to have an EpiPen. Screw the “No medicine at the school” or “Only the nurse can give it” rules . My son is going to die! Give him the damn shot. If I have to pay you extra to break the rules by giving a big year end gift so be it. Protect my child.

When I was in Israel I saw some of the teachers walking their young students someplace. At least one teacher was carrying concealed. One had an Uzi on her back. (It might even have been a parent. IDK) At the time I thought that was a bit much, over the top, ridiculous. But then I listened to news and realized they were doing what they could to protect their children. I respect that.
I will let others figure out how to change society and not produce nut cases. (implement retroactive abortion?) Until then, I want the good guys to be able to stop the nut jobs quickly.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am getting ready to start working in an elementary school library and there is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I would want to bring a gun with me. I just can’t see arming teachers- or all of society for that matter – as the answer to stopping gun violence. @JLeslie, I live in a pretty “gun oriented” part of the country. It is fairly easy here to get a concealed weapon permit and I know many people who carry. I still would not be interested in being an armed librarian.

An interesting argument I read was step-son’s long post on Facebook blaming psychotropic drugs and big pharma for the outbreak of shootings. I was curious to see where that might be coming from so I did some research. Turns out most of the mass murderers of the past 30 years suffered from some kind of mental illness prior to their killing sprees but most were not medicated when then went on their rampage.

Here are a couple of things that have occurred to me over the last 24 hours:
1. If our culture is not guilty of glorifying gun violence, it is certainly guilty of making it seem mundane. There are so many bloody video games that kids start playing from a very early age, I just don’t see how that can have any impact other than desensitizing them to violence.

2. There is a lack of access to adequate health care and mental health care in our country. That needs to be changed.

3. There is no excuse for all of the denial that people close to these shooters seem to have. Come on now, every single time we hear people saying they can’t believe this wonderful guy snapped followed almost immediately by a list of warning signs that were missed by everyone in this person’s life. Let’s stop stigmatizing mental illness so people can get the help they so desperately need.

4. The shooters are as varied as their victims and their chosen venues. There are no easy answers and everyone who grasps for one is missing the bigger picture and not bringing any helpful suggestions to the table.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Coloma The estimated 550 American women who daily fend of rape by presenting a firearm don’t need them?

I’m kind of tired that I not only see the same ignorant, privileged bullshit not only repeated ad nauseum, but also by people that I know should know better by now.

chyna's avatar

And, as you stated @ETpro, the guys mom purchased the guns, so if he was mentally unstable or wouldn’t pass the restrictions to legally buy a gun, it wouldn’t have mattered.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

After Dunblane happened in 1996 we outlawed guns in Scotland and a section on the BBC commented how in the last year there have been a total of 5 gun deaths out of a population of just over 5 million. I don’t know about the other 4, but at least one was a drug dealer shooting another drug dealer, but I reckon the others would have been along the same lines of bad guy taking out bad guy.

I also read a report comparing gun incidents in Japan and the US and the figures they quoted were unreal as it stated how one year there were only 2 fatal shootings in the whole of Japan and there was a national outcry when they had 22 in total another year. It did talk about what people need to go through in order to get a shotgun including exams, courses, you need to pass a test at a firing range, and have your physical and mental health examined all before you are giving the green light.

I’ve said on another question that surely there has to at least be a ban on the high powered guns that are available because some of them are just quite stupid and I see no reason why a normal person would need a gun that can fire 100s of rounds in a short period of time.

I would just ban guns completely, but since the chances of that happening are probably non-existant then other things have to be done.

If somebody is mentally ill, then they should have no access to guns at all including those that are owned by other members of the family because if they are in a locked case in a house, but they know where they are, then there is no difference in either them legally owning them or their parents. Police should know where the guns are and if somebody is classed as mentally ill, then they should be taken away out of harms reach until the person has the right care.

There also has to be a limit on the way that violence is portrayed in things such as video games. They have moved from Sonic the Hedgehog to killing as many people as possible as a form of entertainment so now kids grow up thinking that they really are Chuck Norris.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

It’s obvious that violent video games are the problem, especially (M)ass Effect~

incendiary_dan's avatar

On another note: the new DSM, the handbook for determining mental illnesses, functionally clinicalizes all emotion, and definitely allows psychiatrists to claim political dissidents have a mental disorder that would bar them from protecting themselves via firearms. They call it Operational Defiant Disorder, but what it functionally is is anti-authoritarianism claimed as a sickness.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Michael_Huntington the sad thing is we’re going to be hearing that argument all over again except they won’t be sarcastic in saying it.
“zomg its totally black ops fault this happened, if it werent for that video game he’d never have learned how to aim and shoot a gun”

SuperMouse's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine I think one of the problems in the US is that it has always been a “gun culture”. I was weaned on westerns, cop dramas, and war movies that were full of the good guy shooting the bad guy to save the day. This was back in the 70’s and 80’s so we really can’t say this is just a 21st century issue, it has always been. In our country guns are power and have always been an integral part of the culture. At this point a gun ban would do next to nothing. It is a mindset that I find distressing, but it is one we have to consider when attempting to deal with gun violence.

Coloma's avatar

@incendiary_dan Taser guns and pepper spray are just as effective, and besides,I am the voice of experience here,in the sense that in over 22 years of living in the hills I have only had 3 occasions to use a firearm. I had a bobcat shot that was returning nightly to prey on my livestock and have killed 2 large rattlesnakes, literally, under my doorstep. I have also been shot AT on numerous occasions by drunk red neck bubbas and have had a friend whose horse was shot on trail by the same. Sorry….I disagree.
I have so many reckless fuck gun totin’ idiot stories I could write a novel the size of war & peace.

I am pretty sure all these devastated parents whose children had their brains blown out all over the chalkboard yesterday would feel the same way.
Firearms belong in very, very, few peoples hands.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Michael_Huntington and @uberbatman it bums me out that people are so desperate to find easy answers that they will pin something like this so easily on video games or any other boogie man. The problem with thinking along those lines is that it causes us to stop looking for all of the causes. I think parents need to be responsible for what they expose their children to, but it is ridiculous to say Black Ops, Halo, or Modern Warfare are to blame for this guy snapping.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@SuperMouse Yea but I mean who wants to think about the problem responsibly and find a real answer when they can just go scape goat something else? I mean this game was blamed for Columbine.

Wine's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t believe in free will, so if someone’s going to commit the crime, they’re going to regardless of the law.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Wine that must be a pretty depressing life believing everything you’ve done and will ever do is predetermined.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I will add in this quote from the article about Japan. and @SuperMouse I know that we found it easier to change overnight in Scotland after what happened here and the part that I found interesting was also from the BBC where they said how after previous mass shootings there was the same kind of rhetoric about changes had to be made, but then nothing happened, so I just hope it is different this time. (although I will believe it when I see it due to the way it is so embedded in the culture)

Anyway the quote. (it was from earlier this year)

“Friday’s horrific shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has been a reminder that America’s gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America’s.

But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world’s least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.”

Wine's avatar

It’s a complicated subject for me where i’m borderline on certain circumstances. But with regards to this, if a criminal is going to be a criminal, I believe he’s already made that decision. It shouldn’t matter how difficult it is.

JLeslie's avatar

@SuperMouse Interestingly, a friend of mine was saying a couple years ago, and it stuck with me, how America is a gun culture and that is why we should own a gun, that it is the American way. I thought in my head how Michael Moore used America being gun priented as a horrible thing, and here my friend was stating it as something to be proud of.

As far as the people around him noticing signs and doing something, do we know whether this recent shooter was under any care for mental illness? I haven’t been watching the reports. Had he always been violent? I guess it is very difficult for parents who worry their child might do something violent. Probably sometimes they think the parent is being overly paranoid, or the parent is afraid to report because they don’t want their child to be in trouble, or all sorts of mixed emotions. What I really wonder is if this man’s parents were horrible? Sometimes kids do crazy things no matter how great the parents are, but a lot of the time there is some sort of abuse. I heard this man was 20 years old, was he in college? Doing nothing? I am curious to know what his circumstance was. I saw one reporter interview a neighbor who said she thought the divorce of his parents might have been part of the cause. To be honest I would never blame divorce for such acts, but I do wonder about his home life. But, really, even if you worried your son might kill you (God forbid) or have mental troubles, would you ever guess in a thousand years he would kill a classroom full of children? It is so psychotic, I just don’t think any normal mind can fathom it.

Shippy's avatar

@uberbatman If only it were so simple. Like all events, there are variables in the mix, so put one sociopath, nasty video game, (no internals controls), bad family life, a culture of violence what do you get? I am sure we can play around with variables all day. Sure it has been allegedly proven that video games do not alone cause violence. The studies were a tad flawed though. However, with a cultural idealization of violence as a means of riding this earth of whatever, and so much disintegration of parental support why not be violent it seems. @TheProfoundPorcupine Your findings seem to point then largely at gun control?

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy it does point towards that and I’m sure that Australia also did a similar thing in making it harder to get a gun after they had a mass shooting and it has also made a difference. If you limit who can own guns, then you lower the possibility of somebody getting their hands on one (although clearly does not make it impossible) who may not be in the right frame of mind for whatever reason.

SuperMouse's avatar

@JLeslie I guess I could look at it as kind of a “in you can’t beat em, join em” attitude. I am not proud that America is a gun culture, but is what it is. It just seems a silly waste of time for both sides to continuously argue this. One of my nephew’s had a Facebook status saying f you to anyone who thinks this means we need stronger gun control laws. Another listed his new year’s resolution as buying a gun to protect his family. Others of course are calling for a complete ban on gun ownership. The answers are just not that simple.

As for this kid, I read that he was always an outcast and many believed he did suffer from serious mental illness. I saw nothing about whether or not he was in treatment.

JLeslie's avatar

@SuperMouse I don’t see many people arguing for ridding the country of guns. Here on fluther Coloma has been the one that stands out. I saw a few minutes of Rachel Maddow last night. Generally I don’t like to watch her much, she is usually too extreme for me. Even she talked about gun control, not banning guns, and admitted the information for gun control shows a correlation, but not necessarily causation, and more work needs to be done to understanding these things. In my mind the left is more reasonable than the right on this, except to say that the congresswoman in NY, I can’t remember her name, who basically ran on gun control to get into office after her husband was shot said that when polls are taken of NRA members, the majority of members are in facor of gun control laws, so even they seem to be on board, except for a very loud minority apparently.

mazingerz88's avatar

Realistic. Actions. Prevent. Not gonna happen. Not when people deserve their rights to own things they need, in one form or another. Real actions to prevent would infringe on other people’s rights. Real action is allowing the memory of the painful death of those kids to do something really stupid…give up the noble principles of civilian gun ownership.

Not one sane gun owning American would do that. Voluntarily risk your life and disrupt your pursuit of happiness-? And if you plan on providing more mental health treatment. Tricky. That will cost. Big government. So nothing really.

DominicX's avatar

That would require a complete overhaul of modern American culture. Guns are a part of the problem, I agree, but the real problem is what drives young middle-to-upper class white males to think the solution to their problems is shooting a bunch of people.

cheebdragon's avatar

Are we going to ban police from owning firearms also? Cops can be bat shit crazy or corrupt also, why give them even more power?

fredTOG's avatar

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

fremen_warrior's avatar

I say ban schools – they’re obviously maniac magnets! On a more serious note, how many such shootings have you heard about that happened in countries with strict gun control laws?

tinyfaery's avatar

CA has strict gun laws and lots of crime; laws aren’t going to stop mass killings.

There have been armed officers in Los Angeles schools since the 80’s and aside from rare incidences of gun violence, there has not been a mass shooting at a L.A. school in my knowledge. Lots of L.A. schools also have metal detectors. No armed teachers, though. That is just going too far.

Aside from gang culture, L.A. does not really have a gun culture. No one I know has a gun, no one hunts, no one is scared that the government is trying to take away guns, no one shoots for fun.

Not sure what all that means. Take it for what you will.

Brian1946's avatar

@SuperMouse

Turns out most of the mass murderers of the past 30 years suffered from some kind of mental illness prior to their killing sprees but most were not medicated when then went on their rampage.

That’s an intriguing observation. IIRC, I think one of Reagan’s first moves was to stop funding mental health care.

flutherother's avatar

In any society that is awash with guns incidents like this are going to happen again and again and again and they do. Eventually America will come to its senses and bring in gun control but I don’t think it is going to happen quickly.

Coloma's avatar

Northern California is a whole different world, plenty of hunters, recreational shooters, good ol’ boy/cowboy types. SoCal and NorCal might as well be two separate states.
Up here in the hills everyone has guns but, there have never been any school shootings to my knowledge. More just your run o’ the mill deer and turkey hunters and ranchers that pick off the coyotes and cougars and rattlesnakes and maurading dogs worrying their livestock.

ucme's avatar

I don’t think they can be prevented, sadly, tragic shit like this always rears it’s ugly head from time to time.
Sadistic, fucked up scumbuckets are forever going to have grievances & erupt, taking innocent lives along the way.

fredTOG's avatar

@tinyfaery you are wrong about Los Angeles.

philosopher's avatar

It is sadly time the majority of us comprehend that the both parties and the majority of Politicians are self serving and corrupt. They do what is best for the lobbyist, drug companies, big business and corrupt companies like Monsanto. If one of their children were shot they would actually care.
What would be best is stricter rules about who could purchase weapons. It should be done for the benefit of the majority of American’s.
I don’t think the Politicians are willing to compromise and do what is best for the majority on the issue of gun control. I hope that I am wrong.

wundayatta's avatar

A gun is more likely to kill its owner than anyone else. Well, the shooter’s mother owned the gun that killed her. Fits in with the statistics.

The shooter is thought to have Aspergers. He was a loner. Never seemed to have any friends. Bad social skills, at any rate.

But we can’t make bad social skills a crime, can we?

The mother may have taught at the school, in the kindergarten class. Perhaps the shooter thought she wasn’t a good mother because she took better care of the kindergarten class than she did of him. Maybe he was jealous. Who knows? Who will ever know?

Some criminal situations can not be predicted. Maybe if he didn’t have access to guns, this would not have happened. But that genie has been gone since this country started. Guns are out there. The people who have them are more likely to be criminals than anyone else, since criminals are the ones who need the guns. That should make anyone with a gun want to search their own soul. Why do they really have this gun? Most will be innocent, but more people who own guns will be criminals than people who don’t own them. Not that we will ever do anything about that.

ninjacolin's avatar

Americans, you have an epidemic on your hands. It may not last forever, but at the moment, mass shootings followed by suicide are occurring at a copy-cat rate. Almost weekly.

I don’t recommend this for any other nation and I wouldn’t have recommended this before yesterday happened but.. at this point, I honestly don’t think Americans are safe in public without someone armed around.

Do you work in an unarmed office or school? Well, guess what.. you’re the EXACT target of the copy cat mass murder-suiciders of late.

Given the conditions of your natural working/shopping/schooling/living environment at the moment.. If you have a body of vulnerable unarmed people in one building at the same time then someone with a gun needs to be there to even the odds. There isn’t a better circumstance that you could hope for than that someone else is armed in the VERY likely event of another shooting. I wish you guys were safer but I don’t think you are.

Have a good week at work next week.

ninjacolin's avatar

I really think you Americans should all watch this video: Run Hide Fight – Surviving an active shooter event

burntbonez's avatar

I always wonder why Americans always feel they are so close to being attacked, that they need guns in the house to protect themselves. I often feel like people are afraid of their own shadows selves. It is because they know what goes on in their own heads that they decide they need protection from others.

I never felt like I needed protection. I’ve never been a victim of person crime, although my car has been stolen. That is not something a gun would have helped me keep from happening.

PhiNotPi's avatar

If anything, it is a cultural problem, one that cannot be solved by laws. I think that we should take action to stop guns from being so easy to acquire, but I must acknowledge that simply creating laws will not change anything.

All that gun restriction laws would accomplish is to take guns out of sight from an average person, but the people who want guns would still be able to get them very easily (although not legally). It’s sort of like the “war on drugs.” Because of the war on drugs, I have never seen marijuana in my life; however, the war of drugs has been a horrible failure at keeping drugs out of the hands of people who actually want them. A similar thing happened during Prohibition.

If we want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, then we must make it so that fewer people want guns, and no law could ever accomplish that. Change must be in the form of a cultural change, not merely a legal one.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

You have mandatory testing of all people, when they are 10yr, 14yr, and 18yr, if they show a psychological disposition to become a serial killer or a mass murderer in two of the three test, the state gives them a mini lobotomy; then you know they will never have the chance to do anything that heinous. That is the best secular solution anyhow….

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh. I guess I don’t know anything about the place I was born in, grew up in and continue to live in. Nor do I know about the people I know. Wow. I’m outstanding.

NostalgicChills's avatar

You know, there is really not much you can do. I think the most helpful thing people can do is pay attention to those sociopaths/psychopaths and get them help or report them if you get any warning signs that they are about to do something horrible. Yes, you can increase security in schools, but that can only be taken so far.

bkcunningham's avatar

A few things to ponder.

There are approximately 200 million privately owned firearms in the US. This doesn’t include law enforcement and military weapons.

In 2011, the number of murders in the US were the lowest since 1968.

Take a look at this report and consider where the US ranks.

majorrich's avatar

When I look at the brass tacks of this incident, it appears the Mother was at fault for not securing her firearms and munitions. That’s what gun lockers are for; to keep firearms out of the hands of the crazy son. (I had to check to make sure this was on social). Euthanization of sociopaths sounds pretty good. Get rid of the crazy people, and you won’t have crazy people breaking into controlled access schools and having target practice with guns legally purchased in a state with the among most restrictive gun laws in the U.S.
Bottom line, and the first line in gun ownership. SECURE YOUR WEAPONS.

Coloma's avatar

@majorrich Yes, of course…but….I am sure the mother did not feel her 20 something yr.old kids would ever shoot her. There was a kid in my old neighborhood that beat his mother to death with a shovel.She was an avid gardener, I am sure she didn’t expect her son to give her 40 whacks with a spade either.

majorrich's avatar

One of my Fathers favorite jokes was a twisted logic from the Bible. They shall beat their swords into plowshares. Now picture a bomber full of plowshares dropping them on someone. It would probably smart a bit.

livelaughlove21's avatar

According to someone on my Facebook feed, this happened because parents don’t spank their kids anymore.

Yeah, let’s beat the mental illness out of ‘em. That’ll do it!

Coloma's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Oh brother….talk about grasping at straws.

cheebdragon's avatar

Were there many school shootings back when it was still acceptable to beat your kids? I’m not saying I agree, I’m just wondering if there is any truth behind it considering most gun control laws are still somewhat new…

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon Are there more school shootings in countries that have outlawed corporal punishment? Come on now, you can’t be serious.

Coloma's avatar

As someone else already said, the idea that one can beat mental illness out of a child is an archaic concept. Actually it is the complete, polar opposite. Severe punishment and abuse CREATES violent adults, and especially for those already prone to some level of sociopathology it is guaranteed the only thing you’re going to beat out of them is any remaining shred of self control.

bkcunningham's avatar

The problem with the discussion that @cheebdragon brought up and the last couple of people have commented on is that there has never been a time that I’m aware of when it was acceptable to “beat” your children.

philosopher's avatar

@Coloma
Understanding this requires common sense. unfortunately not all people seem to have any.
If this young man was aspergers he was probably abused by his peers and many untrained teachers. Killing innocent children is pure evil. However our society must to a better job providing therapy and an appropriate education for all children. Could he have been helped?
I have heard many horror stories of how aspergers and high functioning autistic people are treated at school. The teachers are not trained to teach them. They are ostracized and have No one to ask for help.
I don’t know if, this is the case. I am simply wondering.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I’m glad you said that. The word beat really bothered me, but from what I have seen people seem to use beat, hit, spank, in all different ways, so it’s hard to know what people really mean by the words. I think some people did and do think it is ok to beat their kids, or physically hurt their children pretty badly, but in America as a whole I think the nation frowns upon it. We have had Q’s of kids in Asia having some pretty painful physical punishments though, and seems culturally accepable.

Coloma's avatar

@philosopher Agreed. If you read the childhood backgrounds of the vast majority of serial killers, there is almost always, a history of severe abuse. Parents ” beating” these children, exposing them to sexual abuse, killing their pets in front of them, the horrors are endless.
I read the biography of Henry Lee Lucas some years ago, and the abuse he suffered was beyond fathoming.

cheebdragon's avatar

Sorry, I meant beat as in “if I ever catch you doing that, I’ll beat your little butt”, which is something I heard fairly often as a kid. I can only remember getting 1–2 spankings as a kid, but they were enough to make the threat seem good for most of my childhood. My son has never really had a good spanking, just a swat on the butt every once in awhile because he can be a mouthy little thing (something he gets from me), it doesn’t happen very often and it’s just to remind him who he’s talking to, nothing serious. A lot of people I know are very against spanking or warnings, and their kids are total brats, screaming in restaurants, biting their parents, throwing tantrums in stores to get what they want, throwing things at their parents. My son would NEVER do that, because he knows that’s not acceptable behavior. Everyone who has spent time with my son has commented on how good he is, and compared to their kids, he is a saint. It makes me wonder what they will be like as teenagers….

livelaughlove21's avatar

I only used the word “beat” when I was being facetious. The comment was that spanking kids will keep them from going out and killing people, which is stupid. There’s no evidence that kids that are spanked are better off later in life than those who aren’t. In fact, there’s more evidence on the contrary.

I have no strong feelings about spanking or not spanning kids, but saying that spanking your children will keep them from being mentally ill or violent is ridiculous. In what way would hitting your kids PREVENT them from being violent?

Though the person I’m speaking of did use the word “beat”, I assume they meant spanking because, as @JLeslie mentioned, people use the term in different ways. I’m in South Carolina and the words spank, beat, pop, and whip are used interchangeably even if they actually mean your run-of-the-mill spanking.

majorrich's avatar

I was beaten as a child, not with a belt or open hand, but like kindling wood, broomsticks, what have you and have the scars to prove it. i am not a sociopath and have not carried on the cycle of violence with my own son. I recognize that was the way my father was raised and later in life he apologized for what was done. But speaking to the question, having a child, even an adult child, with known mental problems is reason enough to keep weapons safely stowed away. I am sure there are more details coming down the pipe why he killed his mother at home then drove all the way to the school to carry out his deed. We may never know, but this man was obviously not hitting on all 8 cylinders in his cabeza. As tragic as it sounds and as heartless as it sounds for me to say it, I dont believe there was anything that could have been done to prevent this train from wrecking once the trigger got pulled the first time.

wundayatta's avatar

I think I may tend to agree with @majorrich for perhaps the first and only time. I don’t think there’s anything that could have been done about this guy. It was not something people could have predicted. It was something unique. No amount of spanking, beating, or therapy would have been able to to prevent it, even if he had had access to any of these things.

They guy was broken somehow. He hid it. He couldn’t be fixed. He decided to die in a blaze of hatred and anger, taking as many with him as he could. I’m sure he wished he had never been born. I’m sure he felt his life was pretty hellish. I bet it was fairly obvious, but that still doesn’t mean anything could have been done.

I suppose several people knew he was in trouble. But what do you do if you suspect such a thing? I would have wondered, but I doubt I would have talked to him. I can’t talk to everyone. And even if I had, I would have urged him to get therapy and he probably wouldn’t have. Then what? Most of us have no standing with each other. We can’t force each other to do anything. We could make a report to the police, but if he doesn’t do anything wrong, and he isn’t harming himself, they can’t do anything.

JLeslie's avatar

This morning a reporter said his mother was a gun enthusiast. What exactly does that mean? I don’t know where they got that info from, or how gun enthusiastic she was. They said she kept guns for protection and that she took her sons shooting. Again, I don’t know how valid the report is.

glacial's avatar

There’s a story about it here. “Nancy Lanza wanted guns for protection. “She prepared for the worst,””. ”...she even spoke of taking her son to the firing range to practice his aim”.

I’m so tired of hearing that guns are completely safe in the hands of people like this… and that the people around them are safer, too.

Blackberry's avatar

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, as this is is only hearsay, but is it true some police in the UK don’t carry guns?

Ela's avatar

I don’t believe that people have the right to own any type automatic firearm for personal use. That goes way beyond the right to bear arms, imo.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t agree that more guns is part of the solution. I don’t think we need to burden the schools with even more responsibility by arming teachers. In my opinion, they already carry a lot more responsibilities than many of the parents do.

This particular incident started in the mother’s home and I believe any hope that we have to limit or prevent such tragedies in the future lies within the home.

We can’t stop people from shooting one another, but as parents we can not allow our toddlers to play with realistic looking guns and think it’s cute or no big deal when they pretend to shoot someone repeatedly (cause once is never enough for a toddler). Kids don’t come with instruction manuals, but there is a ton of information available and I strongly believe that if someone is going to be a parent they need to educate themselves on how a child develops during the first five years and how crucial they are

As a parent we need to teach our children respect. For themselves, each other and in this case guns. We can teach them that guns are not toys and as they mature, we can introduced them more to firearm, the uses, dangers involved and safety precautions that must be practiced when dealing with them.

As a parent, we can pay attention to the video games they play and the movies and television shows they watch at home. We can’t control what they see when at a friends, but we can control the amount and type of violence they are subject to within the home. We need to know what they are watching and the games they are playing. We need interact and even play some of their games to get a sense of what they may feeling.

We need talk to our children. About school, their friends, their ideas, their fears, thoughts and feelings…everything. We need to talk, laugh, argue, bicker, joke, kid around and laugh some more.
Most importantly, we need listen to our children. To not only to what they say, but what they don’t say. We need to be able to step out of the parent role and see them as the individuals they are.

As I said, this incident started in the mother’s house. I completely disagree @wundayatta that there was nothing that could be done. Maybe as an outsider, there was little a person could do but within that family’s home, something was going on. Something was very wrong and something could have been done about it. He shot his mother multiple times in the head, you just don’t develop that kind of anger and rage overnight.

burntbonez's avatar

@Ela How could anyone have intervened in that home? Or even known what was going on?

wundayatta's avatar

@Ela That’s what I meant. As outsiders, there is nothing we could do. You don’t think the family did everything it knew how to do to cope with it’s situation? They needed help, and couldn’t ask for it. So no one could help them. Nothing we could do. Nothing that can be done, except to try to make it easier for people to ask for help. Which means reducing shame. Which is an extremely difficult task.

philosopher's avatar

@wundayatta
The truth is that most people on the spectrum never receive an appropriate education. Most therapist are not knowledgeable on how to help them.
Very high functioning aspergers people often can’t function well in a social situation. They suffer from Sensory problems. Teachers and peer often bully and mistreat them. Simply because they are unique.
None of this gives him a right to be so evil. I wonder how he would have become if, he had the support he should have?

burntbonez's avatar

You can wonder and we all can wonder. What we need are ideas about getting folks help when we can’t even figure out where they are.

wundayatta's avatar

@philosopher Do you know how to get people like this the support they need? I don’t mean people who will become killers; I mean people with Aspergers.

Perhaps his parents were ashamed of him. Maybe they didn’t believe in getting support. Maybe they thought they should do things all by themselves. Maybe it was a dysfunctional family. Clearly the parents did not get along after a while.

But there are tons of families like this, and hardly any mass murderers like this. So is it possible to learn what was different when all the people involved are dead and there are so few cases to study?

I’d love to get people support, but I don’t think we know enough, and I’m not sure we ever could know enough to make useful interventions. That’s why I don’t think we can do anything that will make a difference.

JLeslie's avatar

I just wrote on another Q that when I worked in a psyche/behavioral hospital, when we discharged patients we specifically asked them if where they are going to be staying has guns on the premises. The basic idea being maybe it isn’t a good idea for mentally ill people to have access to arms.

I think we want to know why it happened, to understand it,to help make us feel better that no one around us is dangerous, that we would know, see, have an idea, that someone might be likely to snap. The truth is, we don’t know who is really going to snap or not. We see people pushed to their seeming limits all the time, one guy tries to kill himself, the other doesn’t. One person has a breakdown, the other somehow holds it together. It’s not easy to know who will break.

philosopher's avatar

@wundayatta
There are places on line where people talk and there are organizations. Funding is always a problem.
I always try to reach out to parents that have people that are in the spectrum. If they appear to need support.
I have become friends with high functioning people and they helped me to better understand my son’s needs. Since he struggles with expensive language.
My son loves everyone and does not even understand hate or prejudice. Many people on the spectrum take things literally and this makes them awkward in social settings.
There are a few therapist around that are on the spectrum. I have only heard about them.
There are support groups.
It would greatly help if, teachers were better trained to work with people on the spectrum.
I could write a book about all that should be done but in this Economy few would listen.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Now we are hearing he was on the “autistic spectrum” and had some “other mental issues”.
For those who said use metal detectors at the school – apparently he broke a window to get inside. Once inside there was nothing people could do. They were sheep.
Maybe an armed police/security officer wold have made a difference. One or two trained and armed teachers would have too.
The Principal was killed when she lunged at him. I’ll bet during her last seconds she too was looking for a tool, anything, a way to fight back.

What would have stopped this attack? Treating and/or locking up a crazy kid before he did it. No doubt we will hear today that there were warning signs for years.

Even without a gun he could have broken a window and thrown in a Malatov cocktail killing or maiming everyone. Would we be talking about outlawing gasoline?
He could have driven the car up on the sidewalk just after school let out and the kids are running to the buses. Who knows how many would have been mowed down? Would we be talking about outlawing cars?

The kid was crazy. Unless you figure out a way to fix that there is no way to stop it.

glacial's avatar

You know, I would be willing to bet that Nancy Lanza made many similar posts in her lifetime. We know that she felt that her guns made her safer. But she was wrong, wasn’t she?

philosopher's avatar

@glacial
I hate guns.
However Nancy Lanza was a mother doing her best. Parents with children/adults on the spectrum are forced to find resources on their own. There is far too little support. Even in support groups and some schools their are users. Perhaps Nancy Lanza was distrusting of others.
In my son’s first school which I helped to start those who donated most received the most help. No matter what we donated they requested more. Despite that it was a funded private ABA school in Queens, NY. He was treated much better in his second school in New Jersey and we were asked to donate much less.
The problem begins with an accurate diagnosis, teachers, Psychologist or therapist appropriately trained to help people on the spectrum. It is Scientifically documented that ABA works best for autistic children. However the majority of teachers who work with autistic children do not know ABA. Districts lie to parents and they are basically paid for abusing children. That is what happens daily here in SI. New York. I have personally seen how incompetent these teachers are.
I fought and won every fight.
Ms. Lanza son was high functioning. She thought she could do it all on her own. She felt this way because she was aware of the limited resources for people on the spectrum. Many therapist care much more about being over paid than actually helping.
What would help is if, more help was available. If schools district only hired staff that actually were trained in ABA. The district offer parents lies,Psychologist that have little experience working with autistic people, teachers that have little to No ABA training. They lie and cover up their total lack of ability.
Ms. Lanza son needed a therapist that understood and had experience with people like him. No one can say if, they could have helped him. Her error was leaving guns where he could have access to them. When your stressed beyond what most people can comprehend you make mistakes. It is clear to me that all special needs people and their parents need more resources.
People on the spectrum can learn and contribute to society. Most will need a life long supportive structured Environment. This is less expensive than the barbaric intuitions. Unfortunately Congress would like to cut all programs that help. To maintain tax cuts for Billionaires. What does this indicate about our society?

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t know if anyone has posted this yet, @philosopher, but it is worth a look.

From my above link: Liza Long, the woman who wrote the viral post “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”, is being held up as a heroic woman warranting sympathy for bring the plight of her mentally ill son to the public.

Her blog tells a different story. Long has written a series of vindictive and cruel posts about her children in which she fantasizes about beating them, locking them up and giving them away. In most posts, her allegedly insane and violent son is portrayed as a normal boy who incites her wrath by being messy, buying too many Apple products and supporting Obama.

I feel uncomfortable speculating about someone’s private life based on a blog. But since these children are likely to be the object of enormous media attention, someone should be paying close attention to the words of their mother.

More.

philosopher's avatar

@bkcunningham
Someone just sent me this link I don’t know anything about her but what I read.
What I know is what I read above.
Most people lack empathy for people like me. Until it happens to their family.
My son was in a wonderful NJ ABA program from eleven to twenty one. From three to four I payed greedy money hungry Psychologist out of pocket to teach him to speak. I helped these immoral people start New York Child Learning Institute. At eleven they decided we were not donating enough and he had to leave. The NJ school was far superior.
His adult program is OK but we miss the support of the school. The schools adult program has structured work programs he does not have. This what life is like for parents of autistic people.
Our society is too busy making money to comprehend that helping all people with disabilities is important. That with an appropriate education autistic people can contribute. That autistic adults need to work in a structured Environment for life.
We are grateful for his program but we can use more support. He should have the work he was trained for in school.
Congress keeps promising more help but we never recieve it. They are too busy taking vacations at Tax Payer expense.

bkcunningham's avatar

You have my sympathy and support, @philosopher. I can only imagine the difficulties you and countless others face advocating for a child with autism. I’ve seen the post you provided many, many times over the past couple of days and it just sent up a red flag for me. I did a little more research and saw my instincts were right. It wasn’t anything personal or directed at you.

philosopher's avatar

@bkcunningham
I admit I have been venting.
I see this as an opportunity to heighten awareness about a world that few people have a clue about.
Special needs people need help. Autistic people can contribute but some of their needs are different than Neuro Typical people. High functioning people are often brillant but many suffer from Sensory disfuntion. They often can’t handle crowds.
Our society should learn to accept unique people. We must also provide all children with an approiate education. They should be helped through their lifespan. That is what civilized society should do.

bkcunningham's avatar

(((HUGS))) @philosopher. Vent all you want. Peace to you friend.

burntbonez's avatar

I suspect there is a lot to be learned about helping autistic kids and adults. I am pretty sure there are enough resources from the public sector to help. Parents in these situations don’t have enough money to get the support they need. But unfortunately, there are many problems in the same boat: just not enough money.

I understand people taking advantage of situations like these shootings to try to get attention and support. I seriously doubt it will make a difference. Well we get gun control legislation? I doubt it. Will there be more funding for mental health services? I doubt it. Especially not in the current economic climate.

People are on their own. At best, we might expect better information. But we will not prevent many of these shootings. Not in this country. People may like to lament and beat their chests, but they will not spend one more dime on the issue.

Whatever.

JLeslie's avatar

I wonder how many shooters have been on the autism spectrum? I have a feeling it easily might be very few. Everyone is focusing on him being autistic, but I have a feeling his diagnosis is much more complex than that. He probably has multiple diagnoses.

ETpro's avatar

Thanks to all who have and will add their input. I usually try to respond to each of you, but on this question, I didn’t want my input to interfere with your free flow of ideas. I truly didn’t know what we should do, and have been learning a great deal from what you all have shared. Now, though, I do think I have something to add.

I read this article in Slate Magazine about the outcome of Australia enacting tough gun laws in 1996 after a horrific mass murder left 35 dead and 23 injured at a crowded tourist area. There had been numerous other mass murders before the law was enacted. There have been none in the 16 years since.

Homicides by firearm have dropped 59%. There has been no spike in homicides using knives, beer bottles, chain saws, baseball bats, ropes, etc. The suicide rate by gunshot has dropped by an even more impressive 65%. So maybe doing something meaningful to curb mass murders is not an impossible dream.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ETpro, the article says homocides by firearms dropped 59 percent…but the article doesn’t say 59 percent of what. I’m not a member of the Oxford Journal where the article’s author apparently got his information. Do you access to the figures? I’ve heard both pros and cons of Australia’s gun control legislation and it is interesting to me. Thanks in advance.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If health insurance were not so fucking expensive, many many more people would have better access to mental health care.

wundayatta's avatar

Single payer would give everyone health insurance at a very affordable price.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham Great question. This is the best I could find on short notice, but it is fairly telling.

Paradox25's avatar

Our society, especially in the U.S, is too obsessed with masculinity. We put so much pressure on boys/men to be a ‘confident’ alpha male, to be strong, to not show fear, to have sex, have the ability to get women, etc that we’re literally driving our children crazy. How many times do we hear about wussy men, emasculated men, or hear statements like boy these men today or whatever happened to all of the real men. Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately, even men are still individuals with unique personality types, and not every guy is going to live up to these enormous masculine standards. Our overly masculine obsessed culture is literally generating walking time bombs.

These issues have a much more powerful impact on boys (and even men) then we could ever realize, or at least it seems. I was watching a psychiatrist on a news show this morning talking about what I’m saying here. Actually though I’ve already realized this inconvient truth for the last twenty years now. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having masculine qualities, but our superman and unfeeling standards are really pushing it here. Argue with me if you will, but then watch the frequency, and severity of these violent acts to increase. It is the inconvient issues that are not talked about which are not only causing, but are probably the source of so much heartache and violence. Don’t even get me started about the olden days, or when I was a kid stuff.

I’m sure we could guard against violence with more armed people, but wouldn’t preventing violence from occuring in the first place by changing the way we think as a culture be better? Until then we may have to keep ourselves armed, but this is not the way I want to live.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Blackberry the vast majority of police here in the UK do not carry guns. Each area has an armed response unit and there are armed police at the airport, but apart from that they do not carry them and they are completely safe.

cheebdragon's avatar

I can think of a few people I know that I wouldn’t be surprised if they had done something like this. Realistically, there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent this from happenening. It’s not illegal to be a creeper, and social etiquette prevents us from telling our friends “hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but your kid is seriously deranged, maybe you should have him committed.”
As small as that town was, I don’t see there being a huge crime rate, maybe the guns were to protect her from him. On a subconscious level.

ETpro's avatar

@cheebdragon I utterly refuse to accept that there is nothing we can do, we just have to get used to this sort of carnage and learn to live with it. It was almost unheard of when I was a kid, and I am convinced we can get back to that.

@glacial Actually, there are a tiny handful of instances where armed civilians did possibly stop a mass murderer. It’s rare, and many of the cases cited here are questionable. But the fly in the ointment is that armed civilians can also be nutcases. As far as I can determine, all the recent mass murderers were armed civilians. That being the case, way more armed civilians probably isn’t the answer, it’s the problem.

100% background checks might be a small step with huge payoff. Most NRA members support that.

cheebdragon's avatar

“Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media.

In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.

The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.”

Source

wundayatta's avatar

Actually, mass shootings are growing more common.

For much of the 20th century there were, on average, a handful of mass killings per decade. But that number spiked in 1980, and kept rising thereafter. In the United States, there have now been at least 62 mass shootings in the past three decades, with 24 in the last seven years alone, according to a recent Mother Jones survey. This has happened even as the nation’s overall violent crime and homicide rates have been dropping.

[source]

Note: the Mother Jones definition of mass shootings excludes things like armed robbery or gang violence. If you include those things, you won’t see an increase in mass shootings. I think the Mother Jones definition makes sense, because we are interested in this specific type of shooting, not gang violence or shootings that happen during a felony. In the Newtown shooting, the purpose is to kill. In the other kinds of shootings, the deaths are a side effect of other kinds of conflicts.

ETpro's avatar

@cheebdragon I have to side with @wundayatta on this. Harking back to prohibition and the Mafia violence it inspired is just a ruse to cover the increase of mass murders by nut cases with guns. I was born in 1944. You can’t fool me with claims that things today are just like they were in the 1950s. We actually did have news media back then. Much better, more honest media than much of what we have today.

bkcunningham's avatar

Excellent article, @cheebdragon. Thanks for posting.

cheebdragon's avatar

@wundayatta did you miss the update at the bottom of that source?
“Update: It’s also possible that mass shootings simply aren’t on the upswing at all. See this newer post for data suggesting that these shootings have remained constant since 1980, and haven’t increased at all.”

Even without that update, I would still have serious doubts about the credibility of a blog that used an opinion piece as its main source. To me that’s like saying, “my cousin knows a guy who was friends with this chick….”.

wundayatta's avatar

@cheebdragon Clearly you didn’t read past the first sentence of my post, or you would have noted that I addressed your issue in my post. You’ll see I chose the definition that makes sense, because it doesn’t roll in gang violence with mass shootings. They are very different things.

Anyway, it would be fun if I could watch your face when you reread my post and see I actually answered your objection before you even made it.

ninjacolin's avatar

Here’s an interesting article/video from CNN to consider:
Look to MADD in changing our gun culture

excerpt: “When I learned about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, I wept and mourned like many other Americans. I was also reminded of my own daughter’s death 32 years ago. For those parents, families or friends of victims who want to see less guns fall into the hands of potential shooters, my personal journey may help serve as a path for change….”

ETpro's avatar

@ninjacolin That’s a good model. It would also be wise to stop talking about gun control and start talking about reasonable gun safety.

majorrich's avatar

“Hi. My name is Nathan Brown, I have a gun”. Like an AA meeting.

ETpro's avatar

@majorrich Never been to an AA meeting. I’ll take your word for it. :-)

majorrich's avatar

I haven’t either, but I’ve stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

cheebdragon's avatar

@wundayatta Just imagine the look on someones face when dealing with bad customer service interactions, the look of questioning a persons intelligence.My objection was to the credibility of a blog based on an opinion piece.

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