Gun control, the constitution and you, let's keep it civil.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:08 PM
The way I see it, there are three prevalent issues in situations like this that can affect the outcome. The first is the security of the site. From what the news is saying, security was pretty high at this school. The mental illness of the shooter is the second. Mental illness is a horrible disease that affects so many people. Despite what certain news channels would have you believe, there is tons of research on the subject but treatment remain elusive. Our mental health system sucks and should be improved, but for many of these people they never make it to the system because there is just not enough to push them there. There are thousands of little signs that, in hindsight, add up to a devestating picture but that cannot be appreciated as they are happening. Often times, the first sign of a mental health problem is when they act out and go on shooting sprees. Do we just lock up anyone we have a concern for mental illness against their wishes? Our laws work against us in this case. There are fluridly manic people walking around all over the place. There is nothing we can do about that. Our laws pretty clearly say that unless someone is a danger to themselves or others, at that specific time, we can not hold them against their will. This does not mean that in an hour, in their mania, they will not become homicidal and go on a shooting spree. Even with a perfect mental health system, we cannot predict who will snap. We are not psychic. It is the same way with chest pain pts. We can admit them for their chest pain and work them up. It does not mean that as soon as they walk out of the door, one of their plaques isn't going to rupture and lead to a STEMI/death. So we have maximized the security and cannot do anything about the mental health issues. That only leaves us the last common thread, the gun. This is the only part of the equation we have any control over. We need to start seriously talking about gun control in a rational manner. It does not mean taking away everyones guns.
There are plenty of people that jump on the second amendment. Keep the second amendment in the proper frame. In the 1700s people used their guns for food, protection from parties (Indians, French, British, etc) when the goverment could not provide that protection. They also were dealing with single shot, smoothe barrel, rifles that had the accuracy of a sling shot when they actually fired. The founding fathers were smart guys and knew that times would change. Thomas Jefferson felt that any constitution would be worthless after 19 years and would need to be rewritten by each generation. In the end, we were given the amendment process, which allows a new amendment to overrule a previous amendment. It would be interesting if we could resurect one of the writers and get their impression on our current weapons technology (as well as several other issues). I would guess that they would say, "Hey, it's up to you guys. We dealt with what we had to in our time, you have to deal with your time. That is why we gave you an amendment process."
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:04 PM
I will not pretend to say I know all there is to know about why people snap. My feeling is, especially around the holidays, people with a mental illness and left to their own devices feel lost and increasingly depressed causing things to spin out of control to a point where they can't help themselves. That is on us as a Society. I don't mean to sound callous but, while the events of the last few days are indeed tragic, the CT shootings are only different by the number of innocent victims and the ages. Unfortunately, innocent victims of GSWs happen everyday. The USA is not alone when it comes to citizens suffering from mental illness. I think that 100% of all other Countries also have the same problems as we. I don't know if their treatment of the mentally ill is different, but I do know that firearms are not as readily available anywhere else in the World.
When I hear people cite the second amendment as a reason for a firearm, all I hear is "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". What I seldom hear though is, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state". As Doc stated, this was written at a much different time. We no longer require a Militia as we have well trained LEOs and the Largest, best equipped and trained Military in the world. The chances of the lay public being called into service and them needing to bring their own weapon are virtually nil. I am all for some form of gun control. I understand that a rifle for hunting is a part of American hx and I don't think that is what needs to be regulated as stringently although plopping down a DL and walking out of Wal-Mart with a semi-automatic rifle and 500 rounds of ammo needs to stop. There are other controls that I would like to see put in place but, I do not wish to start a "big to-do". I do not have the time to check back as frequently as I would like.
I find it hard sometimes to discuss this issue with some as they become very defensive of the 2nd amendment and will not even consider a different point of view may carry some merit. The very word amendment means change but alas, they consider it carved in stone. The simple fact is, if there are less firearms, then there is. The argument that criminals won't comply or obey new legislation holds little water. If there are less guns and ammo available, where are they going to get them/it? If law abiding citizens keep their weapons secured in a locked cabinet and bring them out for hunting or sport shooting, I have no problem with that. But the fact that the guy sitting next to me at a restaurant is carrying a concealed weapon is a little scary. I have no way of testing this theory, but my belief is that 50% of the people that carry a concealed weapon, would never use it in a confrontation. It's all well and good to have the bravado to carry, it is quite another to pull the trigger and kill someone.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:54 PM
But the fact that the guy sitting next to me at a restaurant is carrying a concealed weapon is a little scary.
Why is this scary to you?
Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:04 PM
Dunno, what if he snaps?
What if he doesn't and is useful in the event of a violet crime perpetrated in the same room? I indeed hold you with respect but this is very subjective don't you think?
I am sorry that I started posting in this thread post because I really don't have a lot of time to chat right now. I will be back. I just don't know when.
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