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Thursday, November 23, 2017

In the wake of a mass shooting, the National Rifle Association goes silent as its members and fans spew insults they learned from the movie Mean Girls at anyone who would dare talk about gun safety.

This is typically followed in the ensuing days by Republicans bringing up the myth that mass shootings only happen in “gun-free zones” — which doesn’t quite work when the shooting occurs at the U.S. Navy Yard — and demanding that we talk about mental health!

What they don’t mention is that they oppose the few ways we can address mental health that might prevent future mass shootings.

The first is improving background checks. Currently, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of firearms in this country are purchased without a check because of loopholes in the existing law. And where the checks are implemented, there are few limits on gun purchasers.

Mother Jones‘ Sydney Brownstone and Erika Eichelberger explained this after the Newtown massacre:

The law also defines disqualifying mental illness narrowly. It only forbids gun sales to people who have been determined by a court to be seriously mentally ill, or who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution. This means that the system often overlooks dangerous and disturbed people who don’t have a paper trail.

But one of the biggest issues with the current background check system is that many states submit little to no mental health data to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Only 27 states authorize or require reporting pertinent mental health data to NICS, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Nearly half the states in the country submitted fewer than 100 records between 2004 and 2011. Seventeen states have submitted fewer than 10 records in total.

Bipartisan improvements to the nation’s background check system proposed earlier this year were filibustered in the U.S. Senate, even though 54 senators voted for them and an estimated 80 to 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo

94 Responses to So Now Conservatives Want To Talk About Mental Health?

  1. The presence of firearms in the home isn’t something that should concern a doctor at all unless it is a mental health professional and the patient is exhibiting signs that could lead towards violence. Then I think it would be OK to ask. But if it is a normal mentally healthy person the presence or absence of guns has no more to do with anyone’s health than the presence or absence of a table saw, blender, or other household tool.

    • The Newtown shooter? His Mom, an NRA member, had an arsenal in a home and was in a state of denial about her son, Adam’s, mental state. You are wrong. Why is it then some Americans can live 80 years without EVER owning a gun? And some 40 and 50 year olds find the only way to feel secure is to own an AR-15? I’ll tell you why. Guns are a weapon on intimidation. The more grossly insecure an individual is, the more they rely on a gun to intimidate others.

      Now, the NRA will once again go for the mental health platform instead of admitting that when you allow American MEN to carry concealed weapons as this Navy Yard shooter did, you ask for the murders that follow. Your post is like saying you can let a card counter loose in a Casino and he’ll never dare count the cards the dealer has in his hands. Wake up and stop feasting at the table of denial. Owning a gun is not about protection, security or any other poor lame excuse…IT’s about certain men and women who are defiant, belligerent and grossly insecure. Without their guns they are wimps.

    • In Florida, the NRA tried to outlaw PEDIATRICIANS asking parents whether they had a gun in the house that their CHILDREN might be able to use without supervision. This has a good deal to do with the health of those children, because if a child got to an unlocked gun, that child might accidentally (or in the course of “playing”) shoot him/herself and/or another child. Their proposed law even forbade the doctor to remind the parent, “IF there is a gun in your home, you ought to lock it up because …” without getting an answer!

      So I assume you meant to say “the presence of firearms in the home WITH ONLY ADULTS IN THAT HOME?”

      • Allan, studies have been done that show that even in homes without kids, that owning a gun increases the likelihood that the woman in the home with a gun, may be killed by the gun owned in that home by a factor of 5 times. Of the 70,000 gun related non-lethal shootings that occur each year, the majority of them by far, occur in homes that own a gun.

      • When I go to the pediatrician they talk about child proofing the home in general terms and there are printouts available that educate the parent about outlet covers, keeping a loaded firearm away from children, etc. I don’t disagree with doctors educating their patients on product safety (we all could probably be better informed) but I do get suspicious why a doctor would have to ask if a home has a gun unless they think there may be a problem.

        I agree with you that doctors shouldn’t be forbidden by law to ask such questions. Let the doctor do his/her job. But, just because a doctor asks a patient a question doesn’t mean that they have to answer it.

        • Those doctors are only worried that you have a gun when you see their bill! Ever wonder why surgeons wear masks? It beats holding up a stage coach every time!

          • Yea, these Doctors (especially specialist) legally rape people with their bills all the time.

            Lots of em ought to be horsewhipped.

    • Allan’s comment to you is correct to a point, that the ownership of a gun increases the risk of someone dying in the home, from the gun owned, especially if there are children. But the fact is, even for a woman without children, owning a gun in a home, increases the risk that a woman in that home will be killed by a gun by 5 times. There are more than 100,000 gun related shootings a year; more than 30,000 of those shootings end up with someone being dead. More than 70,000 end up with someone being wounded to some degree; and most of those 70,000 occur in a home that owned a gun (someone in the home or a guest may be shot accidentally or even intentionally).

      It’s kind of interesting that the 20 states in America that have the highest gun ownership are all governed by the GOP; which makes this statistic kind of telling, all 20 of the states with the highest deaths caused by a firearm are also governed by the GOP. It kind of begs the question: Does owning a gun really make you safer like the NRA would like you to believe?? Of the 30,000 plus shooting deaths that happen each year, less than 3% of them are justified homicides (someone using a gun for self defense).

      And It’s not only doctors who are starting to ask if people own guns. If you’ve applied for life insurance recently, you may notice that some life insurers and even health insurers are starting to ask if the home owns a gun. Insurance companies are starting to realize that just introducing a gun into a home, greatly increases the likelihood that someone in the home will need medical care; and it may be the person applying for life insurance, in the case of a life insurer.

        • Not sure where you want to deduct the suicides but there are no suicides in the 30,000 homicides. A suicide is not counted as a suicide in compiling the 30,000 murders. The suicides are part of the 70,000 gun related shootings that are not classified as a homicide. And yes, if a gun is owned in a home, a suicide is more likely to occur using that gun. And as has been proven in Australia apparently, people who might commit suicide may well not kill themself another way. When Australia tightened up on its gun laws, not only did murders drop dramatically, but suicides did also. Murder and suicide rates by other causes did not spike. As should be clear to anyone with common sense, a gun empowers people to do nefarious things that they would not do with any other weapon.

    • Mental health professionals have admitted for decades that they can not predict violence in patients. And it gets even more twisted. Mental patients tend to be less violent than the public at large. The logical conclusion might be that only mental patients should be allowed to have guns.

      • The only mentally ill I worry about are the Paranoid Schizophrenics.

        They are usually the ones that will clock out if they aren’t monitored on a constant basis. I used to know a few of them. Believe me, they do have some pretty odd thinking patterns, especially if they’re off their meds.

  2. Something is wrong. We need to go about this very carefully – but something needs to be done. There are far too many shootings in this country. The NRA and ALEC have too much power (or is it paranoia?) in our country. The pendulum has swung too far to the right and needs to return to a balanced center.

    • That is a canard of the left . What we need to look at is common sense and fact and go from there without trying to make the right the bad guys just to win an argument . For instance this article is wrong from jump .. This Author obviously didnt get the memo that Bill Clinton made all of our bases Gun Free zones by not allowing our military to carry on their own freaking bases . The only ones who have guns are the MP. s at the guard shacks and they are too few and too far away from where these shootings are occurring . Also every stat out there shows beyond a reason of doubt that there are more shootings and murders by hand guns where the Dems have tried to curtail the rights and freedoms of law abiding Americans . By that I mean where the Dems have had gun bans ( Chicago , DC Detroit ) and or still have the strictest gun laws . DC has some of the strictest gun laws how did that work out ? Chicago still doesn’t have a CCW even though the courts ordered Illinois to do one and to stop infringing on American’s rights . We all know how thats working ? I live in Chicago and am ex law enforcement . Meanwhile Kenesaw Georgia requires all law abiding citizens to own a gun . You can refuse it but most don’t …Their crime rate is next to non existent .

      • Because a city or state has restrictive gun laws does not prevent outsiders from carrying in weapons. Of the shootings that have occurred in Boston this year, more than 60% of them were done by people who purchased their guns outside of Mass. Here’s an interesting statistic for you:

        The 20 states with the highest gun ownership and least restrictive gun laws, all 20 of them are GOP governed Red States; similarly all 20 of the states with the highest incidents of firearm related deaths – are all governed by the GOP. Chicago may well have a high crime rate because it attracts a lot of people who bring weapons into the city from out of state – Illinois in fact is 13th in the nation in homicides; whereas all ten of the states that lead the nation in homicides are governed by the GOP; with Louisiana by far leading the nation as the murder capital of America – Louisiana is the only state with a homicide rate greater than 10 people/100,000/yr – it’s rate is actually over 11. Mississippi and Tennessee come in at #2 and 3 with homicide rates around 8.5.

        • I don’t know where you got that from but it is patently false and if you believe that why don’t you and the rest of the lefty’s come live in the Dem Plantations on the South side of Chicago …Bring class 3 Kevlar if you do . The stuff on Louisiana is especially funny since all of their crime happen in New Orleans which is mostly a Dem Ghetto . Look everyone knows that Detroit DC and Chicago all had gun bans and we all know that their murder rates spiked as soon as they were implemented .One other thing what difference does it make where the guns come from ? They are plentiful . What you just displayed is that where guns are banned Criminals will still get guns and the law abiding will be unable to defend themselves thanks to the Liberal Dem Policy that curtails their rights and freedoms . Thank You for making my argument .

          • Don’t like the truth huh!! Figures – GOP lovers never do. I compiled the states on gun ownership and firearms mortality rates from Statemaster. If you don’t believe that homicide rates are higher in states with higher gun ownership, here’s some excerpts from an article in the Hunting Post published just a few days on on just that subject:

            Gun Violence Study Links State Levels Of Gun Ownership And Homicide

            Huffington Post 9/13/2013

            A new study of gun violence published by the American Journal of Public Health found that states with greater levels of gun ownership tend to have higher rates of gun-related murder. The study, conducted by Boston University
            professor Michael Siegel and coauthors Craig S. Ross and Charles King III, examines this relationship in all 50 states from 1981 to 2010. The researchers found that “for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm
            homicide rate increased by 0.9 percent.”

            The authors note that, though they can’t prove a causal relationship between higher levels of gun ownership
            and homicide, “states with higher rates of gun ownership had
            disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

            A more localized 1993 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which focused on the most populous counties in Tennessee, Washington and Ohio, found that
            “keeping a gun in the home was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide.”

          • No, not really. Guns do nothing more than give people a false sense of security and generally cause them to do stupid things. Of the 11,000 or so gun related homicides, less than 3%; that’s less than around 330 of those deaths were justifiable homicides in self defense; even though a large portion of those killed live in states with high incidents of gun ownership. Far more people are killed, just because they tried to defend themselves, than were actually able to do just that. Do you realize that in the recent Navy Yard shooting, that of the two people that the shooter encountered and killed were carrying a gun??? And that it was actually those people’s guns that the shooter took and used to kill more people??? And do you realize too that just yesterday there was a road rage incident when two drivers who had a license to carry a concealed weapon met each other on the road and both are dead because in their road rage they shot each other?

            SORRY, but owning and carrying a gun DOES NOT make you safer – In Fact, it greatly increases the odds that you’ll be killed, and even by the gun you’re carrying. People like you need to stop believing the NRA lies and distortions about gun ownership!! What in the world would you expect from an organization that can only thrive if it can get more and more people to become members because of the lies it constantly spews????

          • Yeah, and you have that from good authority, I am sure. God help the person who says your data is specious, but you may just go blithely along spreading you little lies.

      • Chicago (that is your city, isn’t it?) has been the victim, not of its own gun restrictions, but the greed and cynicism of the gun industry, which has circumvented restrictions INSIDE the city by establishing dozens of gun shops just OUTSIDE the city, where dozens of guns are purchased by straw buyers who sell them inside the city from the trunks of their cars. For being a former cop, you should be well aware of that.

        • That is a Liberal canard . Everywhere you go in this world Criminals will get guns …So does it matter where they get them from . By the way there are very few gun shops in our suburbs because of our restrictive gun laws . In fact several of them went out of business over the years because they lost the Chicago markets . So Criminals will get guns and that is proven and our Liberal Dems want to take the rights and freedoms away from the law abiding while taking away their ability to defend themselves …the results have been predictable and violent .

          • You have just responded with your own canard. The drive to establish a regime of universal gun registration is NOT an attempt to grab or confiscate all the guns in the country. Even Australia STILL has gun violence; however, since their actions in the 1990’s, gun violence has decreased by more than half.

          • Rest assured that Liberalism Socialism Communism all move incrementally . The Stated goal of people like Fienstein is a total Confiscation …just like Hitler …and what part of shall not be infringed don’t you people get …Who the Hell are people like Bloomberg to tell me who many rounds I can carry ? Of course if you have 4 perps break into your tip and you have 6 rounds I hope you dont miss and you put them down with the first round …Or if you are a Liberal you could hide and pray and call other people with guns and wait for them to arrive …sweeet …let me know how that works out for ya

          • Just like any laws regarding abortion are a step toward eliminating them all together? Gee, I can’t imagine where I have heard that particular argument before. It seems as if a lot of you folks have no ability to differentiate basic political philosophies.

  3. Everyone agrees that we should get weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill, but the slippery slope is identifying who is or will be too ill to have a gun. Having Mental Health insurance is not a solid answer to this problem. Would a gun owner that thinks they have mental health issues risk losing his guns by getting diagnosed? Are kids with ADHD going to be banned from ever owning guns? Are Tea Party members too crazy to have guns? And if they are, who will be too crazy tomorrow?

  4. When you look at the equation: GOP Bull males + Tea Party + Right Wing= NRA fanatics..you see where the real danger is. A bunch of nut jobs all out to show they can destroy life just because someone dares and disagrees with them. I believe the mental health professionals have a word for that…sociopath.

    • Other than calling other people nut jobs and sociopaths, how do you suggest we identify people that that have mental problems and shouldn’t be allowed to own guns? Or are you just happy to leave it at name calling?

      We will never have a viable solution if we just support the bad ideas from one side. These things need some thought!

      • What you do is when someone applies for a CC Permit or even to buy any gun, the dealer or seller must check through a state database of people who have mental health problems.

        Also, each state should submit their records to the FBI showing who was in a mental facility, who is seeing any shrink and even if it was years ago.

        All shrinks should be mandated by law to submit their patients names to a state database showing what meds the patient is taking and what the person is being treated for. The ONLY people who should have access to this information is the court system and the police.

        IF anyone does not have a mental health record on file, they must submit to a full MMPI Screening Test, which will show any mental health problems IF they want to buy a gun or seek a CC Permit.

        If the test shows a problem, you don’t get the gun or permit.

        At least this would be a good start.

        • To add to Michael’s suggestion, if such a check does show past psychiatric treatment, it should include the age at the time of the treatment and what it was for. Too many people are referred to psychiatric treatment at too young of an age due to parents, pediatricians and school officials not wanting to deal with a “difficult” child. Some of these kids are bored to tears at the snail’s pace modern education takes, so they are flagged as having things like ADHD because they are ahead of the rest of the class, or Autism because they are ahead of the teacher and not paying attention to him.

          • There lies the rub! ADHD is becoming a common diagnosis. Does this mean that all these kids are more likely to be killers? I read somewhere that they are seeing traces of anti-depressants in fish! Anti-depressants are prescribed like candy. Are all people who take anti-depressants likely killers? I am sure that a number of killers have been diagnosed with ADHD or depression but does that justify labeling the whole group?

            The people responsible for Sandy Hook and Columbine (as well as others) were young. Are we going to assume that all Emos and Geeks are prone to mass murder? At what age do we disregard the treatment?

            When the Gun Bill failed, Sen. Manchin of WV made a valiant effort to come up with some language for a new bill that would define a means of early detection of these type of individuals. It soon became apparent that we would need a net so fine that we would be catching more “dolphins than tuna”, that we would be stigmatizing whole groups of innocent people to try to identify very few.

          • It could be claimed, which most of it is true, that there is increasing levels of all types of medications being found in city water, well water, aquifers which either can’t be filtered out or just ignored which could be affecting people in a negative way, reducing our immune systems ability to fight diseases and could be creating mental health issues at an early age.

          • It is far more likely that virus or bacterial issues effect the brain as well as genetics and the huge issue of accident and sports injuries that impact the brain functions. Many mentally ill people fear medications simply because they do not feel themselves when the illness is dampened or controlled by medications. Manic depression is notorious for patients refusal of proper medications. In general a person with mania will take any medication that does not moderate their condition. Despite manic depression being a life ruining and often fatal condition normal people never feel as good as a manic on the high side of the illness. Many will love the high side and take dope on the low side to try to feel as good as they did before the huge mood shift.

          • Sadly we have a society that will not allow or support good psychological testing of school children. Not only do we miss the opportunity to spot truly gifted kids and get them into advanced classes we also miss the chance to correctly identify poor learners and get them remedial help. On top of that we lose the chances of spotting psychopaths and sociopaths as well as some easy to spot mental illnesses. This type of testing is very expensive and takes a therapist two or three days to administer.

          • There is a LONG list of issues I have with kids being diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses in our school system(s).

            But, they’re not for this thread – unfortunately.

            Hint; It’s mostly BS.

          • That snail’s pace teaching is caused by allowing students in classes that simply should not be there. Either their school history is too poor to allow them to be around normal students or there is some wall that they can not get over. For example if a child speaks only Mandarin Chinese that child still lands in the class and can’t understand a single word. In some areas teachers must contend with foreign language students speaking several tongues. In south Florida Creole, Spanish and Portugese students are tossed into public schools in large numbers. And then some idiot wants to pay the teacher according to the students test scores. By the way foreign language speakers are not given aid in learning English. The official policy is absorption by contact with English speaking students takes care of it.

        • Do you have a clue as to the expense and size of the government agency that would be needed for such nonsense? And how about the spin off effects such as people being unwilling to seek help due to the reporting to the state? And obviously the mentally ill as well as their therapist have strict privacy rights. No psychiatrist or clinical psychologist can release such information without a massive law suit. Then there is the simple reality that mental patients are less violent than the general public. If anything we would want to investigate only people who were not mentally ill.

          • I never claimed it to be a perfect plan. At least this is a beginning.

            Nonsense?, far from it.

            Yes, it would be expensive at first to create a agency right along side the FBI.

            Like you said before in earlier posts, there is a desperate need for testing at a early age, etc.

            Big issue – no body really gives a shit about it.

      • Here’s how I identify the mentally unstable…people who demand others obey their misguided ideas, people who believe themselves superior to others, people who absolutely never take blame or responsibility for their actions, lie, cheat, steal and generally obstruct the peace and stability of everyone around them.

        If you are trying to say that that no one knew Aaron Alexis was mentally disturbed, you need a refresher course in men who lose their ability to control their anger without danger to others. Today’s males seem to all walk around with chips on their shoulders. They seek to blame everyone but themselves. They blame women most of all. That’s about as cowardly as it needs to get. And, in some cases the enth degree of sociopathy.

    • It is mostly just ignorance. The need for a lot of expensive therapy as well as forcing some education on the wing nuts means there is no hope of turning them around.

  5. The trauma surgeon said it best yesterday, that we have an evil in this country. Thousands killed by gun violence since Sandy Hook. That’s like a couple of 9/11’s every year, right by our own citizens’ hands. Why the fixation over jihadists under every rock when we have a bigger problem?. Let’s face it, America has a love affair with guns. Until our people and children mean more than unlimited weapon ownership, we will continue to have this carnage. After all, we don’t have to shoot our own food anymore. It seems that guns are being used more in offense rather than defense.

    • In theory, you are right. In practice, banning all guns would make guns as rare as liquor was during prohibition, which wasn’t very rare. The violence surrounding the control of liquor may have been worse than the social cost of having legal liquor. It would be reasonable to expect that banning guns would play out the same.

      There must be a solution, but it isn’t easy. We have gun laws that should prevent 15 and 16 year old kids from shooting each other, but they don’t work.

      • Gun safety laws could still prevent SOME tragedies, because unstable people who are not EXPERIENCED in black market dealings (i.e. not already career criminals), confronted with a background check and/or waiting period, might “cool down” or seek help rather than go to the extra effort to find “somebody who knows somebody” to buy a gun.

        Even if it does not prevent ALL tragedies, it may prevent the specific tragedies that would otherwise “inspire” a copycat shooter, and maybe cause a chain reaction of “non-shootings” that would reduce the total number of such tragedies.

        • But background check laws are already in place, except for gun shows and some private transactions. I don’t know how we would enforce private transactions. If Gun Shows could get immediate go/no go info, they should use it.

          • Ever since Columbine, when Dylan Klebold and his partner legally obtained their weapons through straw purchasers, the mass shootings that every week or so flood the airwaves have been committed by mentally unstable individuals who, basically, have obtained their weapons legally. If we have a system that allows the mentally ill to obtain weapons that can kill dozens in a matter of two to three minutes, there is something wrong with the system.

        • Most states already have a waiting period while the background check is run. I think it was five business days the last time i purchased a gun. Frankly it is useless. The other odd ball issue is that we can not purchase a gun at a gun show. We leave a deposit and meat the seller at his store to complete the transaction. But you can sell your weapons at the local flea market to anyone with the cash.

      • Australia..

        Find out what happened when they enacted stricter gun laws; their Conservative and Liberal politicians worked hand-in-hand to enforce stricter control and there has been a MASSIVE decrease in the murder rate, the suicide rate and most specifically, they have not had a SINGLE mass shooting in 18+ years now.

        The firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides.

        It CAN be done, it SHOULD be done here in the USA, but instead, we are left with business as usual and an ongoing death toll from guns that has exceeded the entire death toll from all US wars COMBINED since the revolutionary war.

        • Australia does not have the crowding that we have in America. We also are very multicultural which in itself leads to violence. Match that with the huge wealth divide between the rich and poor as well as our tradition of fighting back when offended and the stage is set.

          • Australia’s large cities are just as large as any in the US except our largest cities of New York, Chicago and LA. Additionally, Australia has their own gang problems, spawned, as in the US, by drugs.

          • Try seeing it this way. The entire nation of Australia has roughly the same population as Florida. The city-suburb that I live in is close to 200 miles long. Each little hamlet has its own charter but in essence it is one city with about seven million people with no natural spaces between the hamlets. This type of crowding generates mental illnesses, addictions, crimes and a general lack of community identity.

          • One 200-mile long stretch with seven million people, and you call that crowding? I live in North Carolina, which is something over 300 miles long (population well over 10 million). South Carolina is about 200 miles, east to west, with about 8.5 million (of course, it is close to 150 north to south). Depending upon how wide your locale is, My frame of reference doesn’t give me much understanding of your “crowding” (Long Island, I guess, closer to what you are talking about). Is it just a narrow stretch of habitable land along the coast? While I have some difficulty figuring out your “crowding”, many studies have been done to indicate just the kinds of alienation and disassociation you speak about in crowded metropolitan areas. I would hazard a guess that you experience some of the same issues the US faces with our gun industry selling guns to “straw” purchasers who in turn basically distribute to the criminal element in our large cities.

      • Did she say anything about banning? Even Australia does NOT ban all guns,and we had our own weapons ban until last year (that, BTW, did NOT include all guns). The proposal by Sen. Manchin for universal background checks said NOTHING about banning or confiscating guns, only requiring background checks on transfers of ownership, and even the proposal he submitted was weakened so greatly that its passage would have constituted an NRA victory.

  6. The Navy yard murders were committed by a shotgun but mostly with a gun taken off of a slain police officer. All of the nonsense proposed would have done nothing to prevent these crimes. Also this last year we had a Major in the Army who was a psychiatrist go off his nut and shoot a bunch of unarmed soldiers. Obviously he would pass any security check easily. We also had a former cop go bonkers and murder people who was highly qualified and investigated by both the military and the police authorities.
    If we look at the public at large we find that almost all people are eccentric, sort of mindless and often afflicted with some degree of a mental disorder. They are easy to spot and you know it is quite true. A rational mind can not exist in a drunk or an addict as they act against their own self interest constantly. The same is true of those that resist education. We see it in people that join strange religions such as scientology. It is no shock that many of these seemingly typical citizens get full blown whacko and strike out now and then. Society loves whacked out minds. How else could you get young people to seek jobs in the military that involve combat?

    • When people have moral convictions that the weak ought to be protected from the strong, or that their country has been threatened and needs defending, and honestly believe that it is worth the risk of their own lives to achieve those goals, then they volunteer for risky police or military combat duty.

      The problem for police and military recruiters is to distinguish the legitimate reasons above from the mental illness, paranoia, desire to bully others, etc. that prompt SOME people to volunteer for the same duty.

      • I must disagree. Normal people do have a moral imperative that applies to things that happen in their immediate vicinity. A man will put himself at risk when a child is in the path of a car. But it becomes abnormal when a man wants to put himself in the position of being at risk for things that have little to do with him and are far away. It is similar to the reason the Air Force has always trained very young pilots. The foolishness of youth allows the acceptance of risk. Heroes yes, but far from mental normality which puts survival at a much higher importance. The minds and brains of youth are not fully functional and they make lousy decisions. There is a reason that some universities will not allow military recruiters on campus. Combat is not wholesome and detracts from the lives of soldiers as well as their families.

        • On this I do not agree with you. I believe mankind hasn’t got a moral fiber in their entire bodies. Maybe a little bit for children but that’s about the limit of it.

          The ONLY reason people are moral at all is because we have laws that prohibit free exercise of things we deem as bad behavior. Without government, without laws and without police to enforce them, man would turn into less than an animal within a week.

          Actually, I consider my Pet Lab with more morals than most of the people I ever met. Shadow certainly has got more brains.

    • Rachel Maddow this evening gave an accurate accounting of events before the shooting. The Navy in D.C. was notified by the R.I.(I believe) police by FAX, this past July for several happenings — Aaron moved to three different motels because he heard voices in their walls, the ceiling, from the floor, from the microwave. The Navy ignored the notice and did nothing.

      • According to the FBI spokesperson no AR15 was involved in the incident. Apparently the killer entered with a shotgun, killed a cop, and used the cops pistol.

        • So a good guy with a gun, not only FAILED to stop the bad guy with a gun, but the bad guy took the good guy’s weapon and proceeded to kill people with said good guys gun…???

          So where’s the good guy with a gun argument now?

          • Good guts with a gun will not be lucky 100% of the time. Like all human efforts there are times when the very best ideas get all screwed up and turned around.

          • Except those good guys with guns are specifically the people we hire, train, employ, and deploy to keep us safe from the bad guys with guns. If they cannot get the job done, who can? Arming or putting a gun in “the office” as NRA suggested after Newtown is the equivalent of random people with CPR training standing or sitting outside a subway station waiting for someone to have a heart attack.

    • Haha:)

      Emmm, you really hit it right on the head.

      “Society loves whacked out minds. How else could you get young people to seek jobs in the military that involve combat?”

      “We see it in people that join strange religions such as scientology.” Only thing is though, ALL religions have that basic same problem – when they become radicalized. I don’t consider any religion superior over another.

      Yea, I tend to agree, everyone I know is a little screwy in one way or the other, and I don’t exclude myself either.

  7. The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun… Unless the bad guy shoots the good guy, then takes his gun and shoots dozens more innocent people with the good guy’s gun.

    If you live in the USA, you have 4 times the probability of being murdered than in ANY other Western civilized country. Given that Americans seem to be quite a bit more murderous in general than the rest of the civilized World, why does it shock anyone that they will resort to the easiest, cheapest form of mass murder available to them… namely a gun??

    • By rough estimate, 90% of the “good guys” with guns are totally unprepared for an actual encounter with a “bad guy” with a gun. Normally the “bad guy” already has his weapon drawn and aimed before the “good guy” realized he is about to become a statistic. Then a double-tragedy will ensue, not only will the “good guy” have lost whatever possessions he has on his person (including his gun) he will probably have lost his life, too, because a dead “good guy” cannot be an eyewitness against the “bad guy”.

      • It is a money problem. Look at business like banks that want the public to see the armed guard near the entrance. A bad guy coming in the door has a huge advantage and the security guard is dead meat. The business hires the guard as a form of advertising and also to get a break on the insurance rates. The fact that the presence of an armed guard will increase the chance of shots being fired means nothing to the owners. If anything that guard needs a well secured spot in which he can not be shot while he defends the bank or whatever.

    • Actually home built bombs have far more potential for murders. Way back, close to 1900 we had a contractor build a school with dynamite in the walls. I think it was in Wisconsin. He murdered more kids than anyone has ever done with a gun in the US.

    • You mean like in the Navy Yard shooting when Alexis killed two guys that were carrying guns and used their guns to kill more people???

      Also, a study done by a group in Europe did not conclude that Americans were in fact more murderous or violent than people in other countries. What they found was that foreigners have just as many disputes as Americans, and generally just as violent, but foreigners have far less access to guns which quite often turn similarly violent incidents into someone going to the morgue in America, whereas they most often may be going to a hospital in a foreign country.

      For example, like just the other day when two guys who were licensed to carry concealed weapons got into a road-rage encounter and both ended up dead because they were both carrying concealed weapons.

  8. Again another mass shooting by a person taking prescription drugs for depression. These drugs need to be looked at and their side effects. IF people would listen to the ads on tv they go through the whole litany of side effects, depression – thoughts of suicide are among them. Any connection with these shootings? Like clockwork one of these shootings happen and the person was on one of these drugs. ( name one of these mass shootings in which the perp was not on one of these drugs – either actively taking or took self off ) The Dr; the drug company and the FDA should be held accountable, they are NOT innocent by standers.

    • That makes zero sense. How many crimes are committed by people who are not on prescription drugs. We know that 85% of all convicts were either alcohol impaired or illegal drug impaired at the time of their crime. We also know that they are illiterate and tend to come from single parent homes. So should we round up all the males whose dads walked out and who did poorly in school? After all, that information plus any involvement with drugs or alcohol are almost proof of impending crimes.

      • Okay we are talking about the mass shootings here, so take the challenge and name one mass shooting in which the shooter was NOT on one of these psychotropic drugs or took self off.

    • A lot of these crimes are committed by people who were on meds, but took themselves off them.

      If they stayed on their meds, they’d probably be ok. MAYBE!

    • I remember LaPierre saying when the 5 Supreme Court members elected Dubya to the Presidency that now he would have his own office in the White House. Luckily for us VP Cheney didn’t allow that. So he had to settle for having an office next to Justice Scalia’s.

  9. Who/what bears responsibility — HIPPA laws(government)-Affirmative action(gov.)-Honorable discharge(gov.)-Failure to enforce 3 prior violations(gov.). Security clearance(gov.) And you sheep want the government to do more ?

  10. We have evil in this country because some men can’t get it through their thick skulls that they can’t ALL have everything their own way. Women are seeing this childishness more and more every day. Not all men are like this. But a goodly number are.

    Once you peruse the mind of the belligerent, always angry man, you see 99% of his discontent is his own doing…not anyone else’s.

    Aaron Alexis had many prior anger issues. But, men who view that as “normal” did nothing about it. Men who think every man should be licensed to carry a concealed weapon allow other men to get away with what they consider “normal” male anger. Until 13 more Americans are dead because men refuse to police their own gender and stop their “boys will be boys” attitudes.

    All humans have the ability to be angry. It doesn’t mean you build up mental delusions that manifest into murderous or violently abusive rages.

    • I would not assume that mental illnesses are due to thought processes at all. Chemical issues or diseases of the tissues or injuries to the brain probably account for most mental illnesses. If the problems were simply psychological they would be easily fixed.

  11. The second paragraph proves that the writer has never been in the military nor ever been on a military base. There is absolutely a more gun free zone than a military base. I was in the service in the 1950s and the only people with loaded weapons were MPs and men on the rifle ranges. You never had ammo issued until after you arrived at the range and all unexpended ammo plus brass had to be turned in and matched with the amount of ammo you had been issued. Any of us caught on base with a civilian weapon and/or ammo faced severe penalties which usually included stockade time and reduction in rank. Every time I came on base I would have to turn in the sidearm I carried off-base to the MP officers and left in their care until such time as I went off-base. Kindly note that the Major was stopped by civilian police officers as well as the Navy Yard shooter.

  12. Once again, the Republicans serve to clearly demonstrate the NEED for Obamacare. Yearly, hundreds of thousands of people MUST declare bankruptcy because of unaffordable healthcare, while tens of thousands die annually of treatable causes simply because they cannot afford health insurance. Adequate treatment of many mental health issues, funded through Obamacare, will reduce all kinds of ills facing our society, INCLUDING gun violence perpetrated by the mentally ill. Republicans talk a meaningless talk, and walk a backward facing walk.

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