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Mental Illness And Guns Have Created A National Epidemic

Memo Pad Politics

Mental Illness And Guns Have Created A National Epidemic


Before day’s end, 86 Americans who were alive yesterday will be dead from gun violence. One of us dies from a bullet every 17 minutes.

That statistic lends a certain futility to the anguished plea of Richard Martinez: “Not one more!” He made this appeal after losing his only son, Chris, in the shooting rampage last weekend in Santa Barbara, California.

On Tuesday, Martinez led more than 20,000 people chanting “Not one more!” at a memorial rally, and the slogan has since become a trending Twitter hashtag.

But in the three days between his son’s death on Friday and the rally, more than 250 Americans died from bullets. Let me tell you about one. Isaac Sims, 26, died during Memorial Day weekend in my hometown, Kansas City.

Police had been called to his family’s home after Sims fired shots, although he injured nobody. After a five-hour standoff with police, Sims emerged from the house brandishing a rifle and was shot down by police.

Sims’ death might appear utterly unrelated to the mass murder in Santa Barbara, but they do possibly share a common thread: mental illness.

I say “possibly” because there’s a lot we don’t know about Sims. What we do know is grimly familiar. He did two tours in Iraq, and in the week prior to being shot by police, he’d sought help from the local VA for what his family says was PTSD. There wasn’t bed space. He was told to wait 30 days. Treatment had been ordered for Sims through a special court set up for veterans; he’d pleaded guilty to domestic assault.

The circumstances of his death raise the question of whether suicide was a motive. An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide daily. Had the despondent Sims, a trained marksman, wanted to harm someone else, he could have done it. But he was the only one who died that Sunday.

What if, when Sims approached the VA for help, a trained counselor had asked him whether he had firearms at home? What if, based on how he answered that question, he could have qualified for immediate admission to the hospital? Would he be alive today?

What if the sheriff’s deputies sent to visit Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara gunman, a month before his shooting spree had asked about his access to firearms? They had been sent to check on his well-being, prompted by the concerns of his mother and his therapist over videos he had posted. But in the 10-minute check, they didn’t watch the videos or enter his apartment.

Would it not have made sense for the deputies to determine what kinds of guns and ammunition he had access to?

Mary Sanchez

Mary Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools, and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star. She is now an editorial columnist for the Star, where she continues to offer insightful commentary on immigration, culture, and politics.

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  1. BillFMurray June 3, 2014

    The tradeoff of restricting all weapons is not a viable option.

    1. jointerjohn June 3, 2014

      I agree. Trouble is, if something isn’t done to curb these incidents with disturbed individuals, that is exactly where the public will be inclined to go. There are simply too many of us out here who are not in love with guns nor dependent upon them, and our patience will eventually wear out.

      1. misty swamp July 21, 2014

        It’s called affordable quality mental health care and medication, if needed. Community outreach. Case management. Shelter and consistent community outreach. “Disturbed” individuals are human beings. Mental illness affects all families to some degree at some point in their lives. We all deserve the quality attention, prevention, and mental health care that we may need.

  2. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

    A modest proposal (with deference to Jonathan Swift):

    Late at night, at the end of a session of Congress, before a long recess, by secret agreement (to keep interference from the NRA at bay), EVERY member of Congress, House and Senate, votes to hold gun sellers liable who allow unqualified buyers to purchase guns, as well as the manufacturers, requiring them all to carry malpractice insurance, just like doctors. Gun owners would have to carry liability insurance as well, just like car owners. As soon as the president signs, money immediately begins to change hands. It would be a tremendous boon to the economy. With liability insurance, gun sellers and manufacturers would be able to compensate victims or become open to the friendly ministrations of the courts and–voila!–lawyers, expensive lawyers (just like most members of Congress). Our lawmakers would be helping out members of their own profession, while giving private citizens the chance to fight back against gun violence in the courts when not compensated correctly through the private insurance system. Think of all the thinking twice adding insurance and the courts to the mix of gun ownership would provide–and paying twice in many instances. Another advantage for members of Congress would be that NRA campaign finance could be replaced with donations from the insurance industry, which will be flush with cash. While it is likely that someone will still be killed by a bullet every 17 seconds, and that gun lovers will still maintain their cherished arsenals, thanks to the additive of insurance to the gun culture in America, business will be booming!

  3. orrsra June 3, 2014

    More people die from AIDS every year then guns so let’s require all people who are not married & have an active sex life to take a blood test for HIV/AIDS then have to carry a HIV/AIDS card if infected. Anyone having HIV/AIDS having sex with another human being or animal without telling the person/animal would get the death penalty

    1. CPAinNewYork June 3, 2014

      You are a total moron.

      1. orrsra June 4, 2014

        You have at least a third grade education, so you should be able to read, but apparently you have no ability to think, because of this moron remark . God help us if you multiply. Read, Learn, Think & Question.

    2. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

      While you are at it, orrsra, why not lock up people who have a cold, flu, heart condition, cancer, herpes, cold sores, fever blisters.and a rash of any kind, and keep them in lock up until they are completely well. That will surely keep more people from dying. But let all the gun nuts buy all the weapons and high capacity magazines they want. Mass shooting are okay with you then?

      1. orrsra June 4, 2014

        Another child with a third grade education & no ability to think. God Help Us if you multiply

    3. Independent1 June 8, 2014

      Sorry but you’re wrong here. AIDS deaths are running around the 10-12,000/yr mark whereas gun related deaths each year run around 30,000 plus (almost equal to auto related deaths annually). Admittedly, AIDs deaths are about on par with gun related homicides which run a little over 11,000/yr, but when you factor in about 19,000 suicides and another 600 plus deaths related to accidental shootings, guns are a much bigger problem even than AIDS.

      1. orrsra June 8, 2014

        Since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS. An estimated 1.7 million people died as a result of AIDS in 2011 alone.
        Although there is no cure for AIDS, HIV infection can be prevented, and those living with HIV can take antiretroviral drugs to prevent or delay the onset of AIDS. estimated HIV new cases from 2006–12011 297,273

        1. Independent1 June 8, 2014

          I’m sorry, comparing American national gun death statistics to planet wide HIV deaths makes no sense whatsoever. I realize AIDS is a big problem, with the vast majority of it occurring in Africa. But with respect to the U.S., which is what this article is all about, Guns ARE STILL A FAR BIGGER PROBLEM WITH RESPECT TO HOW MANY ARE DYING EACH YEAR!!!!

  4. charleo1 June 3, 2014

    The subject of mental health as it relates to the ease with which the mentally ill obtain guns, and then carry out atrocities upon whomever, and for whatever reason is manifested in their untreated mental states. Is only one symptom, one part, of a larger mental heath crisis we have ongoing, in our Country today. It’s roots can be found in the same familiar issues dating back to the 60s. Economic decline associated with global competition reducing profits. Business interests then lobbying Congress for tax relief, and help in reducing labor costs. With the resultant loss in revenues falling heavily on the social safety net programs in general. And the Federally funded National mental health system being dismantled almost entirely in the Reagan years. In it’s place, a system that continues to fail to this day. With the predictable results of shifting bottom line costs of care to the States, then block granting far too little money to support the need. Corporations then pit one State against the other for the best tax deal possible, and we have what we have. Our mentally ill can be found living with parents, and family members with no where to turn. In our Country’s prison systems, our local jails, or homeless shelters, and living on the streets of our cities, and towns. Addicted, exploited, and dying. And, yes every so often, obtaining a gun and massacring those innocents around them, and we wonder why. Well, this is why. We have no mental health fairy to buzz around and fix the problem for us. And we have one faction of politicians who basically don’t give a damn, and never have. It’s not in their DNA. Never was. And they’ve had their way now for the past 40 years hacking, and chopping away at programs that deal with these people. All the while claiming we can have it all on the cheap. And it is what it is. Take the all too typical case of Colin Ferguson. The for years, profoundly mentally troubled individual. Then one morning, got on a Long Island train line, and killed 6, and wounded 19, more, before passengers finally stopped him. The other day, the same questions we hear over, and over, were about the latest mentally ill shooter Elliot Roger. Why didn’t Police stop him? They talked to him at his parent’s request. The short answer is, the guidelines have been purposefully changed. Doctors at the local mental health facilities had known about Colin Ferguson for years. They would keep him as long as his stay was paid for, then hand him a fist full of psychotropic medications Ferguson would not take, and he’d revolve back around, until he killed 6 people, and the State of NY locked him away for life. So, how cheap was that?

    1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

      My friend, we do not have “a mental health fairy to buzz around and fix the problem for us,” but nowadays each family is imagined to have the magical powers capable of taking care of their loved one practically on their own, Republican-style. You might as well think “gangnam-style,” like the guy in the pistachio commercials. Essentially, we’re expected to hop around coping with a problem no amount of antics, however expert or well-meaning, will fix. It’s all “Clap for Tinkerbell to live, if you believe!” Ideally, one family member becomes the designated caregiver giving up his or her career to become expert enough to wrangle services from recalcitrant school districts and medical providers–or Medicaid, where mental health parity hasn’t reached the family’s insurer or for families without health insurance (here, we are talking about the Mixed Marshal Arts of caring for special needs children). The services this caregiver provides would cost over $50,000 a year if provided by a paid worker, yet he or she gains no Social Security points to aid him or her when the time comes to “retire.” So the next stage is living with poverty and a family member who is not well, until one or both of you die. For every family who must deal with the tragic outcomes of the Rodgers or the Fergusons, there are many thousands more who will do better for their loved ones but suffer this lesser, more common tragedy, nonetheless. We are not helped one little bit by having our struggle painted with the same brush as the unfortunate families whose children couldn’t be kept away from weapons, as deeply as we identify and sympathize with them. We especially resent the NRA off-loading its responsibility onto those of us in the community of those dedicated to improving services and outcomes of individuals with mental illness and disabilities.

      1. charleo1 June 3, 2014

        Well said, And more importantly said by a fellow American who’s fate has taken them to the front lines of this ongoing National travesty. Believe me when I say, you, and those like you, who continue to struggle with the system for care for their children or, in the case of our elderly, a spouse that has become long term, incapacitated. Where the fight becomes about both, obtaining the professional long term custodial care for the ill husband, or wife. While struggling to prevent the illness of one, from impoverishing the other. Or, the illness
        of one child threatening the financial future of an entire family.
        So, the dual issues of physical health, and mental health are
        inextricably joined, in the challenges ordinary Americans face for access, and a way to manage the costs associated with them. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, the efforts to separate one from the other, are are part, and parcel of the ongoing onslaught of Right Wing group think, upon the health of the
        Nation, both young, and old, parent, and spouse, in the Country. As I’ve mentioned from time to time. The primary reason I’m a, “Forever Democrat,” is due to my experiences as a young man, who had the life changing opportunity of working as an orderly in a nursing facility. You come to see life in a very non sugar coated way. You see the reality of productive individuals, who’ve worked hard, played by the rules, paid their taxes, cut down by stroke, or a heart attack. Well, that’s life, as they say. But then, I also come to see where after the hospital, and convalesce care, they were own their own. I witnessed the sadness, and unfairness, that spouses of sometimes 50 years secretly divorcing them, for financial reasons. (They may no longer do this.) And I thought, things just shouldn’t be this way. The entire specter of being put in the situation of either breaking marriage vows, or losing one’s home, and security, when they are too old to work, struck me as intolerable.

        1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

          An upside to the ACA is that it addresses the ways in which financial disaster has so often accompanied illness in this country. In Iowa, Medicaid expansion has provided paid services and medication for those requiring treatment by psychiatrists and other behavioral health specialists, a lifesaver for families like ours. But the only medical practice providing these psychiatric services in our town threatened to deny accepting this coverage until our community called them on it. So add advocate to my many routine activities. This same service also wanted to deny accepting the only two insurers whose policies were sold via the ACA, thereby denying services to families receiving subsidies and lower cost health insurance. This, too, has changed and should improve over time. Yet, it is discouraging to see how providers do not want to give patients access unless they pay the highest fees possible. Part of it has to do with a shortage of providers, but the rest is sheer greed, as far as I can tell.

          For awhile I took care of my son, in high school, as well as my father, recovering from four months of hospitalization from a necretizing soft tissue infection (and two kinds of stubborn infections we cured at home, VRE and MRSA, thank the Lord). The care he received from VA hospitals and nursing homes was phenomenal, a credit to the system now under scrutiny by experts–and careless grapeshot attack by Republicans. I know what you mean about the amazing capacity of some institutions dedicated to treating the most vulnerable, that manage to pull off miracles of recovery daily.

          When all is said and done, the role of loved ones and loving care in sustaining good health and speeding recuperation is everywhere evident yet very poorly understood. Into this void, step the Republicans, wanting to foist the entire burden of health care upon this system that works at full capacity full-time of necessity. When families and dedicated professionals pull off miracles daily, Republicans complain when when they cannot do more. They should work for a week as you did in a nursing home, preferably one run by the VA, or live for a week in the home of a family caring for an adult with as lifelong disability (if they have a home). Then let us see what kind of miracles and miracle workers they think are in order.

          1. Allan Richardson June 3, 2014

            The NRA and the GOP would both suffer if mental health care — REAL care — became more readily available. One would lose membership and the other would lose votes. Oh, and the fanatic Taliban churches that want to impose CHRISTIAN SHARIA on the country would also lose members and donations.

          2. charleo1 June 3, 2014

            The problem with too many members of Congress, is once elected, they literally spend the entire balance of their time in office, talking to millionaires, and billionaires. And of course these people never have problems with their insurance companies. They can’t imagine experiencing being told their policies don’t cover this procedure, or that tummy tuck. So it’s certainly not what our Congress people get their ears yanked about at cocktail parties, and lavish fund raisers. It’s probably more like, “You aren’t really going to raise my capital gains, over this ObamaCare nonsense are you?” “Well, you know how much we appreciate you and George, Ms. Snodgrass!” “How’s that boy of yours doing in Yale?” “What? “Oh, no, no new taxes at your level to be sure!” “Tell George I’ll call him on Monday.” “I’m starting my campaign for reelection next month!” But, seriously. I do wish for you, Godspeed in all your struggles. In very important ways, you know. You are struggling for us all.

          3. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

            Your support comes through loud and clear. It is true that any one of us, or one of our family members, could experience a mental illness or become developmentally disabled: a frightening thought. Then any one of us might feel the calling to become a caregiver, and thereby discover the trials of this role that are balanced by surprising benefits. It is a kind of gift to be able to help a person in a way that he or she wants to be helped.

            For example, while I was a well-heeled author and educator, once upon a time, I tried to help my parents by taking over their mortgage as well as already covering my mother’s health insurance (she lived 25 years after suffering a stroke during open-heart surgery, thanks to my father’s excellent care). They refused and sold the property they loved instead, so I “would not get my hands on their property.”

            Now, the shoe is on the other foot, and my son and I could have used a bit of financial help recently. A dear friend of forty years, who recently discovered he had made a wise investment years ago and then forgotten about it, offered to help–and we were able to say yes. It was a happy day for all of us. As it turned out, even his generosity couldn’t save us from the consequences of the rotten credit rating many families like ours must cope with no matter how hard we try to have it be otherwise. But I’m surprised by how well we’re doing despite the apparent hardships. You might be surprised to learn as well that after struggling for so many years and moving four times, we cherish the friends we have found online–but we don’t let them know about it as often as we should.

          4. misty swamp July 21, 2014

            Thank you for standing up for mental heath services, and being an advocate, badass woman and mom, role model, and loving caretaker!

          5. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            A Person I know who has good insurance has a demon child who killed animals stabbed a fellow student and attacked a teacher he acts stupid but he very smart and cunning at 11 her family mother and father and there two other kids live in fear of him so much they got deadbolts on all the bedrooms and keep nothing sharp in the house as every time they try and commit him they see him for 3 days were he an absolute angel. the family wants to put him into long-term care were he might show his true twisted evil nature but they keep being told there no place for that so denied so he grows older and stronger and will wind up in jail after innocents suffer

          6. sigrid28 July 21, 2014

            Can you tell me if this family you describe is living in the U.S.? If so, while someone else is caring for the child, one of the child’s parents should go to the emergency room of the largest local hospital and speak to the psychiatrist or social worker. Ask simply what facilities if any are available and for what periods of time. When children are brought to the ER, even without insurance, you may stay there until they receive the help that is needed. Medicaid covers these costs for families that cannot afford insurance or have none. The ER psychiatrist and/or social worker will be able to tell the family how to go about qualifying for this coverage or how to activate the mental health benefits that are now provided under the ACA.

            Here in Iowa, there are residential care settings where children fitting this description stay for months at a time. Once the parent knows whether such a place exists (some may be out of state), the next thing to do is to gather all of the medical and school reports about the child–from day one. The parent must also keep a daily log of the child’s behavior at home; the same for his or her teacher. When the next incident occurs, the child can be taken directly to the ER, because he or she is a danger to himself as well as others.

            If the family’s physician will help, all the better. Best would be if the child could be seen ASAP by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. An ER physician can make a referral, speeding up the process. That way an expert can see the child and figure out what type of facility can best help both the child and the family. This process is labor intensive for the family, because the doctor must combine school records, the home log, and a good diagnosis to identify the correct placement and get the child in. On the other side of a placement, months or years of out patient therapy for both child and family will follow, under the best of circumstances. As difficult as this process sounds, it is so much better than giving up on the child and living with that decision.

          7. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            yes they tried hidden cams in the house but he found then easily and destroy them every time and yes he be under consulting since be 7 and the school can do nothing due to over a billion cut in Florida school system the most draconian in the county by our governor Scott and he been in the hospital over 50 times under psychiatrist care but again he act like an angel there and even under the 3 day stays he has so while the family want to send him in for long care and has really good employer insurance there no room to send him to

          8. sigrid28 July 22, 2014

            I knew children like this at the therapeutic day school my child attended for three years: one expert teacher and three special ed teachers as assistants for ten students, all day, supervision in safe spots for time out, proper restraint by the book when necessary, and weekly therapy as well as group therapy. My son’s best moment: a bossy girl complained about a problem during group, and he declared, “This issue deserves a tissue.” HIs worst, bad supervision by aides who had only a high school education and are over-used in some therapeutic day schools. Our good school deteriorated on the junior high and high school level.

            Also, it occurs to me that this child might benefit from proper medication or even a new evaluation–children with one condition can develop others over time. We went from one diagnosis to four. If one psychiatrist is not working, the family may try another–many do this frequently–until the situation opens up.

            This family shows tremendous courage and good will, trying one thing and then another, under harrowing circumstances. They have a good friend in you. If only our society did not discriminate against children with these disabilities, this family would have more resources at its disposal and a stronger support system. I hope they can bond with other families like theirs so they can discover all of the services available, as hard and as tiring as that is.

        2. misty swamp July 21, 2014

          Imagine a lone seriously mentally ill person, even stable, on medication, trying to wrangle through the horrible mental health care system, and finally getting to the bottom of the barrel therapists, so incredibly stressed out at trying different ones to find a good match, then realizing weekly therapy that they need or bi-weekly is not affordable even through Medicare. Few therapists will accept it, and only a few patients. I know someone personally who is in that situation. 🙁 The only support they can get is through community groups of people with similar illnesses, non-medical. They can only afford to see one psychiatrist for their “medication management” for prescription medications.
          Now imagine a new totally lost patient, or a paitient that’s run out of medication, or stopped taking medication…

      2. Paul Bass June 3, 2014

        Extremely well said. I’m a single parent of a “special needs” autistic son. I’ve given up my life for the past 20 years fighting this battle, with little help from the “government”.

        And no, neither I nor any “special needs” parent I know, has acquired or taught our children how to use semi-automatic rifles.

        1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

          Now you have eloquently brought this comment thread full circle. Many thanks.

        2. Allan Richardson June 3, 2014

          If they are interested in guns when they grow up, they will find some way to learn about them. Hopefully they will only be “academically” interested, not intent on a massacre.

          I pray for you and your son.

          1. Paul Bass June 3, 2014

            exactly, Allan, yet how can we parents protect our children AND society from this possibility?
            Luckily, my son is interested in frogs and reptiles and there is little overlap with these and guns, so far so good…

        3. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

          The treatment of disabled in the USA is definitely lackluster at best and the majority of disabled kids are peaceful and not at all violent so I would not worry

          1. misty swamp July 21, 2014

            Per SSA disability requirements, psychiatric disorders also qualify as disabilities. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean the disability doesn’t exist.

          2. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            Misty your taking to a disabled vet not due mental issues other then short term memory loss and hearing loss from the air force back in the early 80s but from a vascular necrosis of my hip and crushed L4 and L5 which gives me permanent pain unable to lift over 20 pounds unable to bend with out extreme pain and my sleep is interrupted every hour and a half so need to sleep up to 14 hours a day to get the sleep the normal person get in 6 but the sign of me being disabled sometimes is hidden as some times I can walk ok with out stumbling but it does give me a tag for my car.
            I really want to go back to work and know a perfect job for me which I could do and cost the system about 4k but VR refuses instead the idiotic there keep sending me to jobs were I had to lift such as a delivery driver for Coca-Cola which I can not due to being unable to been and lift no more the 20 pounds for could be awake for. I do volunteer for the adult disabled so I quite aware on the minimal care not onl;y for me but for them

    2. CPAinNewYork June 3, 2014

      A lot of the mental illness in this country must be due to drug use. These hopheads fry their brains and then go out and murder people.

      Get rid of the drugs and many of the mental problems will disappear.

      How to get rid of the drugs? Simple:

      * The President declares a state of national emergency.
      * He suspends habeas corpus.
      * All drug dealers are arrested and summarily executed.
      * All users who are not dealers are arrested and put into a detoxification program.
      * If, upon their release, the non-dealer users go back to drugs, they are arrested and summarily executed.

      1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

        Aren’t some tax returns due in June? Please go back to your day job.

        1. CPAinNewYork June 3, 2014

          Please go F$$k yourself.

          1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

            Your three-martini lunch must not have agreed with you. Perhaps your mood would improve if you counted your blessing for a bit this afternoon instead of lopping off the heads of anyone with whom you disagree.

      2. Sand_Cat June 3, 2014

        What if the president – for instance, this one’s predecessor – fried his brains, or at least acts as if he did?

        1. CPAinNewYork June 3, 2014

          So, what if he did? We’d be free of the drug dealers and, as a secondary benefit, many illegal aliens.

          1. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            You sound like we should create the Purge in real life and not just in movies

      3. Paul Bass June 3, 2014

        Wow, a bit judgmental aren’t you? For instance, my autistic son is on drugs every day of his life, but has not an aggressive nor mean bone in his body, yet he’s a “hophead” who might go out and kill people?
        What about all the alcoholics whose DWI inflict injury or death, should they be executed?
        Please grow up and think before you put fingers to keyboard that shows your callousness and lack of empathy.

      4. jmprint June 3, 2014

        Aren’t you the one that has issues with abortions?

      5. Allan Richardson June 3, 2014

        We tried that with alcohol and it made the problem worse, while also creating the Mafia in the process.

        If drugs were not outlawed in the first place, users would not be subjected to pressure from pushers to try them, and there would be no “rebellion” factor to make them “cool.” Now that they are already outlawed, legalizing (but NOT recommending) them would still leave the currently addicted population, and a small number who would consider that first dose each year, but not nearly as many without illegal profits to motivate pushers, when they could be obtained by prescription. After some time, the number of drug addicts would be down to a manageable minority.

        And in addition, with no profit in running drug cartels, the demand for guns to conduct gang warfare would dry up also.

      6. ralphkr June 3, 2014

        Gee, CPA, I do believe that there are a number of countries that do this now (execute drug sellers and users) and they still have a drug problem.

        1. CPAinNewYork June 4, 2014

          Gee, Ralphie, I was basing my recommendation on Red China, which I understand has all but eliminated its drug problem.

          Which countries tried Red China’s method without success?

          1. ralphkr June 4, 2014

            In the past I have seen reports of various MiddleEastern and SouthEast Asian countries executing drug users & peddlers and it is my understanding that it is an ongoing program which translates as an ongoing problem. One, I believe it was Indonesia, even jailed people for chewing gum.

          2. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            Try again red china has hidden is massive drug problem as it solution

      7. misty swamp June 6, 2014

        drug use and alcoholism is often a symptom of a type of mental illness. self-medicating to kill the pain, forget, feel nothing, stop thinking about horrible thoughts, etc etc. And no, we don’t need to live in a police state. things are bad enough as they are already.

      8. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

        Mental illness is not caused by drugs however some like PCP can make you temporally crazy

    3. Sand_Cat June 3, 2014

      Well, in answer to your last question, no one those politicians gave a damn about was killed, and none of them suffered any political cost, so for them, it was essentially free.

  5. earlwatters June 3, 2014

    1st you put obama and all his hence men in jail then no one ill need guns

    1. Sand_Cat June 3, 2014

      What are “hence men”?

      1. CPAinNewYork June 3, 2014

        “earlwatters” is an uneducated clod.

        1. earlwatters June 3, 2014

          cpainnewyork just another commie demarcate with his head up his assess

      2. earlwatters June 3, 2014

        two dumb democrats

        1. jmprint June 3, 2014

          Are you KKK, or just a redneck F. M. You vote for republican you are approving their ilk.

          1. earlwatters June 3, 2014

            im not kkk but obama and the demarcates have no honor.but i know you carry an obama phone so he has your vote sorry ass demarcate

          2. ralphkr June 3, 2014

            Actually, earl, the term “Obama phone” is a misnomer as the true name is “Bush phone” since the first phones were distributed THREE months BEFORE Obama was elected.

          3. jmprint June 4, 2014

            No I do not carry an obama/bush phone, never have sucked on government tit as the red states do, BUT why do you say that democrats have no honor. I did vote for President Obama twice, and I did it because he is a man of honor, he is a respectful, thoughtful, better than average man. And he cares about ALL, not just the privileged.

          4. Independent1 June 8, 2014

            Actually earl, since the Lifeline phones are intended for people who are financially strapped, especially when they’re unemployed and need a phone to find a job, most of the phones are given to people in RED STATES – the states that have the most people living below the poverty level and therefore needing welfare and food stamps.

            And the “free phones” really aren’t free, but they are subsidized and provide cheaper service than a regular phone. But the service was started by the FCC back in 1996 as landline phones, and switched over to cell phones back in the end of 2008 while George Bush was still president.

            Ralph got it right when he called the free cell phones “Bush Phones” (note that they were first given out in a Red State – Tennessee):

            To this day the government provides discounts on landline phones for financially disadvantaged people in the United States and U.S. territories. The Link-Up portion helps with the installation and the Lifeline Assistance part helps with the monthly bills, to the tune of roughly ten dollars a month.

            So, the subsidization of phones began under President Clinton, and has continued under Presidents Bush and Obama.

            Over that time, the usage of cell phones rose and the costs came down. Assuming one believes in the Lifeline program in the first place, and remembering that the FCC has mandated the program, it only makes sense to expand the phone assistance program to include cell phones. So, in 2008 the first application of this program for mobile phones began when a company called Tracfone started their Safelink Wireless service in Tennessee.
            Aha, some say, that’s the same year Obama was elected! Well, that’s true. But the service in Tennessee was launched three months prior to Obama being elected. And that means the discussion and approval of the extension of the program occurred under President Bush’s watch.

            The Bush Phone, anyone?

      3. BillFMurray June 3, 2014

        noun: henchman; plural noun: henchmen
        a faithful follower or political supporter, especially one prepared to engage in crime or dishonest practices by way of service.
        synonyms:right-hand man, assistant, aide, helper; More
        underling, minion, man Friday, lackey, flunky, stooge;
        informalsidekick, body man, crony, heavy, goon
        “he leaves all the dirty work to his henchmen”

        1. jmprint June 3, 2014

          So is that what they are calling the tea baggers now-a-days?

    2. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

      The name I President Obama. You must be referring to Bush and Cheney who had henchmen.

    3. jmprint June 3, 2014


    4. Independent1 June 8, 2014

      Put him in jail for what earl?

      Getting America out of Iraq like he promised?
      Guiding the economy so the stock market is at the highest level in history?
      Being the smallest spending president since Eisenhower?
      Bringing down deficit spending faster than any president since Truman?
      Following through on the auto bailout so auto companies are making more profits than at any time since back in the 1990s?
      Cutting the banks out of the student loan program which is saving money for millions of college students?
      Rounding up and deporting more problem illegal aliens than any previous president?
      Starting a war on fraud in the defense and healthcare sectors and recovering more fraud monies than any previous president?
      Managing the drilling of oil and gas such that America may overtake Russia as the largest producer of energy on the planet?

      Just what has he done to be thrown in jail??? NOTHING!!!!!

  6. howa4x June 3, 2014

    We have an up side down value system in this country. Access to guns is far easier than access to treatment. We don’t react unless it is someone we know. What we are witnessing is a carnage every day in our urban areas. We recoil and plead to do something about the children of Syria but refuse to do something about our own. We have no real mental health system anymore but more of a patchwork or clinics and hospital Er’s with no real connection to each other. People will pay attention only when the rich and powerful kids get caught in the cross fire, gunned down by a person with mental illness. When one of the Walton grand kid or a Koch grand kid gets wacked Then something will be done. But for the powerless Meaning us) there is more concern about protecting corporate profits that protecting the people.

    1. Brenda Robert June 3, 2014


      ❦❦❦ �❦❦❦ ❦❦❦ ❦❦❦ ❦❦❦ �❦❦❦

  7. Bob Williams June 3, 2014

    In May of 2014, Carol Coronado stabbed to death her 3 daughters, ages 2, 16 months and 2 months, and tried to stab to death her own mother, but she survived. About the same time, Elliot Rodger stabbed to death his three roommates. This all happened within the past month.
    Here are six dead people who would be alive today if knives had been
    banned. We have to ban all knives immediately so that no more people get stabbed. If you are against banning knives, you are clearly a racist.

    1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

      When someone can kill more than one person with a knife at the same time, with the rapidity of an assault weapon, then we probably would consider banning knives, idiot.

    2. tdm3624 June 3, 2014

      Your point is that mental illness is the problem, not the objects the mentally ill use to commit crimes correct?

    3. awakenaustin June 3, 2014

      Simple questions.
      Someone wishes to do you harm. Would you prefer he arm himself with a gun or a knife to accomplish that task?
      Do knives have a reason for existing other than to kill people or other living things?
      Does a handgun have any functional purpose other than to kill people?
      Why do police officers arm themselves with firearms? (Some do carry knives but not for a defensive or offensive purpose.)
      Why don’t we arm our soldiers with knives rather than firearms?
      Why have all modern armies moved in the direction of arming their soldiers with automatic weapons?
      Why did they abandon broadswords, lances, crossbows, longbows and spears for firearms?
      Do they realize something you have failed to grasp?

      1. BillFMurray June 3, 2014

        Yes, you can cut bread, meat and all other things with them.

      2. ralphkr June 3, 2014

        Well, awakenaustin, as someone who has been shot (on duty) and who has been knifed (off duty) I must say that being shot hurt a lot less. The strange thing was that my nose being sliced open hurt far more than my elbow or my abdomen (I now sport two appendectomy scars). On the other hand, anyone who came at me with a knife would quickly be looking down the barrel of my sidearm.

        1. awakenaustin June 3, 2014

          And there is a reason why you carry a sidearm rather than a knife, isn’t there?
          You have a sidearm (a handgun) to kill people should you feel the need to, correct? Surely you don’t have it to defend yourself against the occasional marauding bear or elk you might encounter in your daily activities.
          I imagine getting one’s skull cleaved open with a broadsword would be pretty painful too. But I bet you wouldn’t forego your sidearm for the opportunity to carry a broadsword.

          We can pretend a knife is the same as a gun, but that is what it is – pretending. They aren’t equivalent, are they? The very real way we use them exposes that non-equivalency. People who kill with knives do so because they don’t have access to a gun. If they did, they would use a gun.
          Frankly, I like my chances better with a guy pointing a knife at me over a guy pointing a gun at me. I bet you do, too.

          1. ralphkr June 3, 2014

            In addition to my sidearm I also carried a knife, a sap, a night stick (yes, I know they are not called that now but that is what they were when I started), a sniper rifle as well as pry bar and ax in the trunk of my car, and a few other gadgets with which to meet whatever task was at hand.

            Since I was not trained by the Rangers in using a broadsword I am unable give a valid opinion on their use but I can definitely state that a knife can often be far more useful than a hand gun and that I found my rifle more useful than either. As far as chances are concerned it would all depend on proximity. If the person with a knife is 30 yards away, yes, prefer knife to gun, but if the person is one yard away then it would be a tossup with injury definitely more likely by knife than by gun. By the way, when I was in Alaska we had far more problems with marauding moose than with bears.

          2. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Answer the question! Quit conditioning your response.
            If the guy was 100 yards away you might prefer a rifle, if he were four or five miles away maybe a howitzer, if 250 miles away maybe a F-18, and if on another continent maybe a ICBM.
            But the question was – given the choice between a knife and a firearm for defense which would you pick?

          3. ralphkr June 4, 2014

            And the answer would still be: it depends upon the circumstances. Of course, at my current age and physical condition I would go for my 10 gauge and hope the attacker was at least 10 feet away.

          4. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Jesus! The lengths some folks will go to to avoid giving an answer which fails to match their biases.
            Reminds one of the officer on the witness stand who spends all of his time avoiding giving the straight forward response only to realize at the end of it all it was the avoidance of answering that defense counsel was actually looking for.

          5. ralphkr June 4, 2014

            My goodness, the lengths you have gone to to ignore my clear answers, awakenaustin, or do you just have a problem understanding American English? Is English a second language for you? If it is your non-primary language then I admire you for how well you do but if English is your primary language then I fear that you are incredibly obtuse.

            I made it very clear that the same tool is not best in every circumstance but, considering my current physical circumstance, I prefer my 10 gauge shotgun as long as the attacker is at least 10 feet away. When I was young and alive I would prefer a knife if the attacker was less than an three feet away.

          6. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Ooh, insults! Impressive!
            Clear evidence you are beginning to feel penned.
            As long as we are clear you didn’t answer the question asked.
            You changed the question to some version of “under a variety of different circumstances what is the optimal weapon to use.?”
            That was not the question!
            The question asked wasn’t an unfair question.
            You just refused to answer it, presumably because you thought it some kind of trap or you didn’t care the consequences you percived would flow from your answer. My experience is that they teach this technique of not answering a straight question with a straight answer in the Academy. Is that where you learned it?
            Oh, and it is the clarity of my thought you have the problem with, not the obtuseness.

          7. ralphkr June 4, 2014

            You are absolutely hilarious, awakenaustin, in your continued ignoring of my very clear answer to your question. Obviously, YOU have forgotten what your original question so I must restate it for you; “Given the choice of arming yourself with a knife or a firearm which would you choose?” which I answered very completely in my first post listing various items I carried when I was on the job and which weapon I would prefer under differing circumstances. In my last post I gave a very clear and concise answer that today I would prefer my shotgun but that when I was on the job I would prefer a knife at very close range.

            Actually, awakenaustin, I learned when I majored in engineering to give complete answers to vague questions and to NOT cover every possibility would be a black mark against one.

            To summarize, if I was still young and someone was attacking I would prefer that person had a knife if they were 10 or more yards from me but that the person have a gun if less than a yard from me. Conversely, I would prefer to have knife in hand to hand combat (a gun is of little use in that situation) due to my Ranger trainer.

            Exactly, the clarity of your thought/question or, rather, the lack thereof, is what my problem is since your question is the very definition of vagueness.

            By the way. I am extremely surprised that you think I was being insulting since I actually complimented you on your grasp of American English for a foreigner. Believe me, if I were insulting you there would be absolutely no question as to my intent.

          8. awakenaustin June 5, 2014

            Insults and then ridicule and finally in the last paragraph being disingenuous. Wow, those are real standards to live by. (Sarcasm.)
            I will try this one last effort.
            When someone asks you a question, if you are going to give a straight answer to the question, then you answer the question within the terms set out by the question.
            If you think the question unfair you may choose to not answer it and you may further choose to say why. You may offer what you believe to be a more appropriate question.
            However, if you change the terms of the question and answer the question as you have now changed its terms then you are not answering the question asked.

            Maybe you got shot and stabbed “Ralphie” because you don’t understand what insults and ridicule are? (Effort to insult combined with sarcasm.)
            In addition to being an engineer, a Army Ranger, apparently a sniper and expert marksman, self-defense expert and an aficionado of close combat, as well as a police officer, are you a man among men and God’s gift to women? (Sarcasm, combined with ridicule and effort to insult.)
            Caught on yet? (They are rhetorical, I don’t expect an answer to any of those questions.)

            The twaddle about me being a foreigner and English as my second language was a clumsy and juvenile attempt to insult and provoke me. Your first paragraph (last post), the use of “hilarious” is an effort at ridicule. Your last paragraph is disingenuous at best. But, more likely a marginally more subtle riff on the foreigner business, since despite being a native English speaker you are going to need to look up the meaning of disingenuous in a dictionary. (See, that is an insult!) I am sure you are getting it now. (Sarcasm and ridicule.)

            As an “honorably discharged” former American soldier (note the insulting inference that you might not be) to another former soldier, you can kiss my f*****g ass.

            No hard feelings I am sure, since I clearly had no intent to insult you, merely to explicate the meaning and proper use of insults, ridicule and sarcasm. Have a nice day.

          9. DEFENDER88 June 4, 2014

            You dont even know what you dont know.
            “Frankly”, tactically, at close range you have a better chance against a gun.
            This should make you wonder what else you “think you know about guns” but dont really

          10. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Answer the question!
            Given the choice of arming yourself with a knife or a firearm which would you choose?
            You and I both know the answer to that question!

          11. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Statistically you are wrong!
            Emergency room surgeons disagree with you. Your opportunity for dying from a single gunshot wound as opposed to a single knife wound are greater regardless of the distance.
            Since the rooms in most homes are not greater than 20 feet wide, might I then assume you keep a knife rather than a firearm for home defense purposes since at close quarters they are so much more deadly?

          12. DEFENDER88 June 4, 2014

            A different issue. You miss the point.
            If you are actually shot – then yes.
            At close ranges, from a defensive standpoint, your chances of disarming a gun man and not being shot at all are better then disarming a knife man and not being stabbed. This has been studied and documented in self defense studies.

            Additionally you ignore the fact that guns, like many things in life can be used for good purposes or bad. Good – for self defense against attackers or Bad for attacking.
            I submit they are used/kept, by far, more for good than bad – 100 million gun owners in the US own guns for self defense, sport, hunting etc and shot no one today.

          13. awakenaustin June 4, 2014

            Yes if you are adequately trained in self-defense and martial arts. So? And that was not the point you sought to make, it is your now fall back position. So, maybe you missed the point by arguing something which wasn’t the issue in the first place.

            Actually, I have ignored nothing about guns. You are assuming a lot about me and what I am saying. I am just not pretending that knifes are the equivalents of firearms.
            Firearms are more dangerous than knives. That is why given the choice we would choose them over knives. They are designed for the purpose of killing things. That is the sole purpose for which they were created and developed and it is the overwhelming reason why they are purchased. They are very, very good at killing things. They are great equalizers. They make the weak strong and the strong weak. They make the big small and the small big. They turn cowards into bullies and bullies into cowards.

        2. misty swamp July 21, 2014

          As far as protection for a small woman, can’t you just shoot to take someone down, disable them, not kill them when they were pointing a gun at you first after already threating you with death, or coming at you with a knife? And if so, what would be a safer place that would disable them/not kill at maybe 20 feet? Then get the hell out of there and try and call the cops along the way?

    4. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

      Perhaps you remember the 20 precious little six year old children who were brutally shot to death in their classroom, while in Japan a man with a knife stabbed 20 children…they all lived. If we are in a room with a nut wielding a knife we can run. We can’t outrun a bullet. Unless of course you are superman.

    5. jmprint June 3, 2014

      Maybe we should get rid of telephone poles as many workers have died while working on them!

      1. Allan Richardson June 3, 2014

        According to that logic, we should abolish the Presidency of the United States, because almost 10 percent of the occupants of that office have been assassinated, and a few more died of natural causes while in office.

        Statistics with small numbers are misleading (the old joke says that Cain killed 25 percent of the world’s population).

        But seriously, workers who have died on telephone poles died in ACCIDENTS, either because of their own carelessness in not following their company’s safety procedures, or because of their company’s carelessness in having bad, or no, safety procedures. As far as I know, no one except possibly movie villains has ever used a telephone as a weapon.

        I do like the required liability insurance idea though. The insurance companies themselves will take care of doing the background checks!

        1. jmprint June 4, 2014

          I was just being sarcastic, you know, stupid remark answers stupid remark.

  8. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

    We are not magically going to be able to find every mentally unstable person in this Country. We won’t know who will be the killers. What we can do is make sensible gun laws that will help keep the mentally ill, and the people who are just mean, jealous, angry, revengeful, thieves, robbers, and the criminals from obtaining firearms. Until we resolve as a people to make the laws that will actually work we will continue to have single and mass shootings.

  9. tdm3624 June 3, 2014

    “In massacre after massacre, a severely troubled assailant is found to have acquired his guns and ammunition legally.”

    Let’s focus on the cause then, the troubled individual.

    1. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

      The cause of the death is a bullet. Legal medical definition. Bullet wound to the head…to the chest…to the stomach.

      1. tdm3624 June 3, 2014

        I respectfully disagree. A bullet by itself cannot do anything, it needs an action to send it flying through the air; an action that a person provides.

        1. jmprint June 3, 2014

          Even a toddler. Shame on them, they should know better! (snark)

        2. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 3, 2014

          You can’t deny, no matter how hard you try, that the bullet kills. I am a hospital worker. The cause of death is listed as a bullet wound. Obviously it takes a human to pull the trigger. If a person were holding a plastic gun, a stick, or any pretend gun without bullets, no one would die. So we must agree it takes a human with a gun to kill.

          1. tdm3624 June 4, 2014

            I do agree. And thank you for being there at all hours of the night to help fix all of our injuries. 🙂

          2. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

            Just as deadly are knifes swords and bows as well as bombs especially in trained hands which sadly is easy thanks to the internet but I also want to thank you as hospital workers care for all

          3. disqus_il6KG9d3VM July 22, 2014

            It is the gun/bullet that can kill 20 precious little children in one minute.

  10. methinkthis June 3, 2014

    What is most interesting about the concern for gun deaths is the almost irrational focus vs other ways that people die. For example, in 2010 there were about 11,000 homicides by firearms in the USA. There were 10,000 deaths as a result of drunk driving, driving with a BAC of 0.08. It seems that people have this pent up furor over guns with demands for changes that when considered rationally would do little to reduce the number of homicides as it is individuals who cause the deaths, not the inanimate object. Yet we hear no equal uproar over the almost equivalent number of drunk driving deaths. No calls to ban alcohol, to license alcohol users, to register cans of beer or bottles of whiskey, no background checks before you buy a drink. Those who campaign against guns need to fess up the fact that they just don’t like guns. Add to the irrational behavior that three times as many homicides were committed using something other than a firearm and you see that the campaign against guns is really about gun hatred and absolutely nothing to do with gun deaths or premature death in general. Else we would hear the clamor for registering knives and tire irons and baseball bats etc.

    1. sigrid28 June 3, 2014

      Your point is well taken with respect to licensing and insuring cars, which is how DUIs are mitigated, through insurers and the courts. The same would serve us all well in reducing the number of deaths through irresponsible use and ownership of firearms, don’t you think? Else, why point to this example?

    2. JPHALL June 3, 2014

      There is a group in the USA called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that has been fighting this for years through education and political pressure. That is why, in some states, the drunk driving laws are tougher. But like women or child abuse, many cases are political and not logical. Money, a great lawyer, over rules the law.

      1. Magnus Thunderson July 23, 2014

        yea they did a good job but went kind of over board in the reporting as it a sleepy non drunk driver go up on the side walk and hit a drunk it reported as a drunk driving instance.
        As well as a non drunk designated driver fall asleep and drives into a tree with drunks in the car it also reported as a drunk driving instance even thought in both cases no one was charged for drunk driving. what piss me off is talking and texting is treat as a minor offence as the reason I on disability was not due to a drunk driver but a texter who did not even try to stop. So hit me at 50 mph driving me into the van in front of me and drive that van into the truck who had been waiting for a few minutes to make a left turn due to traffic the other way.

    3. DennisRL June 3, 2014

      I have nothing against guns. I own guns myself, but your argument is illogical. You’re bringing in the tired old argument that the gun advocates always bring up. Other things can kill people but we don’t hear the outrage about those items. First of all guns have one purpose and that is to kill. That cannot be said of the other items. Secondly, I’ve heard outrage for years about getting drunk drivers off the road but that’s not sexy enough for the news outlets and they’ve gotten tired of talking about it. And finally for the upteenth time, no one is advocating taking guns away from people. The talk has been about limiting mag clips and doing background checks which the vast majority of americans approve of. But if you’re a gun nut, all you hear is ‘they’re taking away our guns!!’ no matter how trivial or innocuous the change might be. So even though you tried to make your argument sound logical, sorry..it’s got gun nut written all over it.

    4. Independent1 June 5, 2014

      “Add to the irrational behavior that three times as many homicides were committed using something other than a firearm and you see that the campaign against guns is really about gun hatred and absolutely nothing to do with gun deaths or premature death in general.” You really don’t believe this totally blatant lie do you???

      Of the 16,000 plus homicides committed in 2013, 11,000 of them were committed by a gun – that’s 68% of the homicides. That leaves 32% for all other methods combine, of which knives is about 7% and no other weapon or method of killing someone exceeds about 5%.

      And as Dennis pointed out, a hand gun, the type of gun used most often, really has no other purpose than to kill someone. And the notion that “guns don’t kill, people do” is about as idiotic a comment as anyone can make – IT’S PURE STUPIDITY!!!!

      Guns kill people every single day, many times accidentally. An article in the DailyKos highlights each week the 80+ shootings and deaths that occur when GUNS ended up killing someone often unexpectedly. Like this recent sad event:

      A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself Saturday in Boerne, according to the Boerne Police Department. The boy, identified as Adrian Rojo, shot himself in the head Saturday around 2:30 PM on the 100 block of Becker Street. He had been left alone in a car while his parents were moving items in and out of the car, police said. He found a pistol that was in the center console of the car and shot himself in the head. Rojo was taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

      Try to tell me nutcase that this 2 year old would be dead if that gun hadn’t been in the center console of the car. Go ahead!! Try to convince me of that!! Just the presence of that gun, is why this 2 year-old is now dead. That gun killed him as sure as you’re alive!!

      What you’re neglecting to realize clueless one, is that owning a gun, is not a means of protection, IT’S A LIABILITY!!! Owning a gun increases by 4.46 times the probabilitity that the gun owner or someone in his or her home will be killed by a gun – most likely the gun that he or she owns. The NRA would like you to believe that owning a gun will protect you!! WHAT ABSOLUTE GARBAGE!! THAT’S THE LIE OF THE CENTURY!!

      Do you realize of 165,000 homicides committed between 2000 and 2011 that only 1,365 of those homicides were ‘justifiable homicides for the purpose of self-protection”??? That means that in an 11 year period a gun was used for self protection in only .008% of the homicides committed during that time. Proving without question that the NRA’s propoganda about a gun being good for self protection IS A BLATANT LIE!!!!! The only thing a gun is good for is increasing the probabIlity of the gun owner DYING!!!!!! And as I mentioned before by a factor of 4.46 times!!!!!

      Here’s the link to that DailyKos article highlighting some of the very stupid things people do with guns – and that includes cops. They shot themselves accidentally; they kill innocent people sometimes by accidentally firing their guns just like every other clueless gun owner. Spend a few minutes and peruse the list of idiocies committed with a gun – and remember, what’s here is only about one weeks worth of the travesties committed with a gun:

      Jeez, I hope those 10 guys with AR-15s in this restaurant don’t have keychains!


      1. misty swamp July 21, 2014

        That kid shouldn’t have been in the car. I blame his parents for leaving him alone in the car in the first place, which is illegal. Leaving a gun in a car unattended and without the safety on is f’ing stupid and irresponsible too. Stupid, irresponsible people don’t have the common sense to manage posession of a gun.

        1. Magnus Thunderson July 23, 2014

          yep parents are totally to blame for that just as much as if they shot him while I do have a gun in to car when am it never stays there nor is it anywhere ever where some one could just pick it up and use it

    5. Independent1 June 6, 2014

      And just in case you think I made up that 4.46 times number. Here’s where I got it from:

      The issue of “home defense” or protection against intruders or assailants may well be misrepresented. A study of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed
      suicides (Kellermann et al, 1998). Over 50% of all households in the U.S. admit to having firearms (Nelson et al, 1987). In another study, regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home (Dahlberg, Ikeda and Kresnow, 2004). Persons who own a gun and who engage in abuse of intimate partners such as a spouse are more likely to use a gun to threaten their intimate partner. (Rothman et al, 2005). Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession (Branas et al, 2009). It
      would appear that, rather than being used for defense, most of these weapons inflict injuries on the owners and their families.

      And here’s the link to a lot of not so good gun stats that you’d do well to check out. And they were compiled by a red state medical department so they’re not by lefties. And the only red state by the way whose residents are projected to live to age 80 – Utah (there are 9 blue states with life expectancy to 80 and 81 but only 1 red state. Think about that for a moment. Part of the reason is the far greater ownership of guns in red states.)

      Here’s the link to some stats you really should check out:


  11. Michael Plautz June 4, 2014

    I agree that mental illness and violence are going hand in hand these days but I do not agree that guns are the problem or that it takes a rich child to die before anything is done. We have many mental facilities and doctors than ever before and many more welfare checks on people. Things are being done and always have been done but it is so convenient to say nothing is being done so someone can push their agenda of gun control and claim guns are the problem. Emotional chants and outbursts about guns after losing your child will not solve the problem. You must change people’s thinking. Chicago has this nation’s strictest gun control laws and yet has the most murders in this nation. Why? It doesn’t happen in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota or a number of other states.There are millions of people who legally own guns who do not kill other people. Two reasons for this. When you simply ban all guns people will get guns illegally and there will be more murders and robberies as criminals will have the illegal guns and they know ordinary citizens do not. Remember the war on drugs where we made all drugs illegal with stiff penalties? We ended up with more drugs in this nation than before. The same thing will happen if you ban all guns. There will be more illegal guns in anyone’s hands including those seeking revenge on others. The second reason is that we have become a violent nation that seeks to get rid of our problems by killing other’s. It starts with the innocent baby in the mother’s womb. We believe he/she is not really a human being and when it is not convenient for us to have him/her we murder that child legally since 1972 by an abortion. If it is OK to kill a human being in it’s own mother’s womb then all life is OK to kill when it gets in your way. All children in America grow up with this kind of thinking and mentality. When another human is in your way of having a good life, get rid of it. All children, boys and girls, need to be taught to be responsible for their actions and take care of that baby or give it up for adoption like I was given up. If I had been murdered by abortion you wouldn’t be reading this letter. Unless we end murder by abortion you will only see these murders from people and mentally ill increase. The only way to stop this is to put in jail or mental institutions all people who are mentally ill and all people who post or even once say they will seek revenge on those who have hurt them. We used to do that until it became unpopular to treat mentally ill like that. You will have to have a police state like Russia or China and give up all your civil rights and even then people will find a way to murder. If you want the freedom to murder your own child in your own womb then expect that kind of thinking to spread into more killings as people get older. The generations that are growing up with legal abortions are becoming more violent towards others. Get rid of guns legally and they will use illegally obtained guns. They will use other weapons such as knives, crossbows etc. It is not the weapon that kills but the attitude that it is OK to murder others even before they are born. At 4 weeks in a mom’s womb the child has blood flowing through it’s veins, brain wave activity and a beating heart. That is a living human child we are killing because it is inconvenient for us to let it be born. Teach respect for life at all ages from the womb up and you will see the murders decrease. Check the statistics for 1940’s through 1960’s murders. They are significantly less than today. Same is true for the 1800’s through early 1900’s not counting mafia gang wars and mafia hits from Al Capone etc.in the 1920’s through 1930’s. When we allowed murder by abortion in 1972 we opened the floodgates for all murders. It just took time to sink into the thinking by teaching each generation that it is OK to murder your own child. So logically it must be OK to murder any human being. Abortion supporters in Congress have even introduced legislation to allow murder by abortion up to one year after a child is born. See what happens when we allow the legal killing of 60 million American children in the womb?. We are now reaping the results of our previous actions and it will only get worse as each generation murders more and more. Laws will only put murderers in prison after the crime. We need to change our thinking that it is OK to kill life at any age since it is OK to kill human life in the womb..

    1. Joseph June 4, 2014

      Really! That whole screed is nothing but baffle gab. It’s hard to pick a piece and refute it since the irrationality interlocks. I suggest you check with our doctor for an adjustment of your meds. Be sure to bring along the above comment so he can decide if you should even go home alone.

      1. misty swamp June 6, 2014

        The whole rant is about being brainwashed to be pro-guns and anti-choice, nothing to do with the article. And Joseph, it’s not cool to make “fun” of people who you decide might be mentally ill, and by jumping to the conclusion that they’re on medication.

  12. egbegb June 4, 2014

    The NRA does NOT ‘conflate’ an inquiry with ‘privacy invasion’. I’m not even a member and I know that. The article has excellent analysis, but the conclusions are ignorant. The author shows promise, but to conclude without knowing all the known facts will condemn her to oblivion. Part of the article is WSJ or NYT creditworthy. The conclusion part is not.

  13. Magnus Thunderson June 5, 2014

    It been a ticking time bomb even since we closed down all the mental hospitals. and the only reason there was not issue then they all closed was a huge spike in frontal lobotomy’s right before each hospital closed and let the patents out on the street.
    Which cost us so much more not only in cash but in the damage they do to society. What is needed now is new mental hospitals but with proper funding as the old system had 1/2 the money per patent then our jail convicts

    1. misty swamp June 6, 2014

      Lobotomies? Then lock away all the mentally ill? WTF!

      1. Magnus Thunderson June 6, 2014

        we use to till Regain decided to shut them all down by cutting funding which they ran on as many of those hospital before putting out violent patents on the street they preformed frontal lobotomy’s on then to make them passive and non violent

        1. misty swamp July 21, 2014

          Clearly, you have no knowledge of mental illness, treatment, or the metally ill in general, and like a fool, you are brainwashed by the mainstream media and suffering from ignorance.

      2. Magnus Thunderson July 21, 2014

        nope after the Lobotomies there Peaceful due to being barley functional so safe to put on the street on disability.

        what I want is it to build good property funded so this nightmare of Lobotomies will never be needed again

        1. misty swamp July 21, 2014

          The damage you do to the English language is horrific!
          Your insane plan of basically kidnapping people you deem mentally ill, locking them up in some kind of prison-like facility, making sure they have been lobotomized (brain damaged), blaming mentally ill people for society’s ills, sounds pretty damn close to a really, sick beast that went by the name Hitler. Fortunately, that is NOT going to happen again.

  14. misty swamp June 6, 2014

    Mental illness + guns is not an “epidemic”. Mental illness needs to be taken as seriously as physical illness, which it is, of the brain, and medically treated as such. As deadly as a terminal disease, which it is in percentages of some diagnoses. Mental illness needs to be treated equally, like physical illness, or it is not going to be under any kind of control, but get worse, as governments continue to stop funding MH research, universities with psych programs/hospital wards, community MH care that is high quality, not the crap that it is, as I have seen myself. Insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid need to treat MH care as equally deadly as cancer, because it is. Suicide rates for certain diagnoses are really sad. We need QUALITY MH care for all that need it, including those that are afraid to come forth, which I’m sure are many, out of stigma, shame, thinking it’s a weakness, etc. It is not a weakness. It is a disease and not your fault. We need more beds in hospital psych wards for hundreds in each city that need them but end up getting sent away or sent home or back to the street from the ER. Let us not forget the Vets that have been totally screwed over as well!

  15. rkief June 16, 2014

    About the famous (or infamous) claim that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” it can truly be said that while a gun by itself does not kill people, people using guns kill many more people than do people without guns. If vehicles (accidentally) kill as many, it’s because twenty or thirty times as many people (at least) are using them daily as are shooting guns.

    It seems that even the professionals – those that ought to know – are unable and often unwilling to commit individuals, because it has been proven almost impossible to know when any individual could lose logic and/or self-control. Avid gun-owners, despite their protestations, would do no better, and in fact, seem hell-bent to protect anyone against losing their access to guns, no matter how dangerous they might be.

    Ergo, It’s almost impossible to identify would-be mass shooters before-the-fact, but the use of guns – if the American public thought it important enough – could easily be made much safer.


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