In mass shootings, it’s all about the efficiency

The latest mass shooting in Connecticut follows in a long and despair-provoking line of murder-sprees that stretches from Columbine to Virginia Tech to the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, with many nightmarish detours along the way.

As we begin to process this latest event, I think it’s fair to say that it’s not human nature that has changed.

People in America have been committing despicable atrocities from the moment Europeans touched toe on Plymouth Rock.

What’s different is efficiency.

When the Founding Fathers were talking about the 2nd Amendment — stipulating that the the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed — a highly trained soldier could fire three rounds per minute.

These days, it’s an entirely different world.

Average citizens are able to purchase firearms that put many of the combat weapons used by the Greatest Generation during World War II to shame.  These guns fire faster, with larger magazines and more destructive rounds.

The translation is simple:  Scientists and engineers have produced new generations of extraordinarily well designed machines, which have the single function of killing other people, with fluid ease and simplicity.

Under our Constitutional rules, created during the age of the Minuteman, those machines are cheap and widely available.

Defenders of the status quo stand on what they view as principle.

Whatever the dangers and moral quandaries posed by these ubiquity of machines designed solely for the purpose of killing other humans, they view unfettered gun ownership as a fundamental American right.

I’m guessing that this principle will come under increasingly ferocious scrutiny, as the death toll mounts.

If nothing else, it seems reasonable to discuss whether the firearms sold in the US might not be designed intentionally to be less efficient.  Why not ban large clips for everyone except law enforcement?

Why not design clip and cartridge mechanisms so that they require a significant amount of time to reload?

It’s hard to imagine that a person defending their home in good faith needs more than five or six bullets, or the ability to discharge hundreds of rounds per minute.

The bottom line is that we regulate dangerous machines in many ways in our country, requiring that they be designed for public safety as well as efficiency and utility.

Those modern rules prevent many of the deadly horrors that once plagued our society, from factory fires in locked work areas to mass poisonings caused by contaminated food.

Regulating firearms in a coherent and logical way might accomplish much the same.  In the wake of the latest carnage, it’s time to have that conversation.


325 Comments on “In mass shootings, it’s all about the efficiency”

  1. Walker says:

    Thank you, Mervel. Yes, that sounds reasonable. I’m not overly optimistic about the culture change thing, but sure, it’s worth a shot. The mental health thing too. (What do you think the odds are, though, that Lanza’s mom would have stood for any effort to force her son into a counseling program?) I’m sorry, though– worth a try in any case. We need to try anything and everything that might possibly put a dent in these numbers.

  2. The Original Larry says:

    Earlier I said there was no real debate going on here and it seems I was right. There’s no talking to people who think you can legislate, regulate and tax (yeah, somebody proposed increased spending on security) their way out of every situation, even if it is at the expense of personal freedom. When individual liberty is sacrificed to government control in the name of the greater good, that’s fascism. It always looks better than the alternative…at first. No doubt I’ll be ridiculed as an alarmist but that’s to be expected.

  3. Will Doolittle says:

    Larry, what are assault rifles for if not killing people? There is no other purpose I know of. And weapons that make it possible to shoot large numbers of bullets quickly and efficiently are clearly made at least to make it possible to kill multiple people. Why act offended when the weapons are accurately described as mass human killing machines and those that defend their sale and possession as defenders of mass human killing machines? That is simply accurate, unless you know of some other use I’m unaware of.

  4. scratchy says:

    Right on, Larry. I’m infuriated that the government infringes upon my “liberty” to own nuclear weapons! That damn “greater good” of preventing the incineration of the entire planet!

  5. PNElba says:

    Larry – at first you suggested that we wait for a debate. Then you made several posts saying there was no debate followed by several posts that insulted several people in much the way you claim you were insulted. The rest of your posts appear to be about how persecuted you are. It’s hard to feel any sympathy for all the perceived assaults on your personal freedom. Is there anything we can do to stop mass shootings in schools other than letting god back into the school or arming teachers?

    Will – the fact is all guns are designed for killing. That is the original purpose of that “tool”.

  6. Two Cents says:

    well, we can hardly accomplish gun control and we seem to be moving to try and identify all the mentally compromised so we can put them on the “no guns for you list”.

    We could identify the Gene for crazy, and all fetuses will be tested and if identified as crazy Gene holders, we could abort them before they get guns and kill us all.

    sorry for the sarcassm it helps me from sobbing about the children

  7. mervel says:

    I didn’t think we were moving on. Is thread about guns or about preventing violence? By framing the whole issue as one about guns you really limit the whole discussion, its not just about guns, I think we get stuck on the minutia of gun technology to the detriment of long term solutions. I do think we need to ban these assault weapons, which will help limit access for those who buy assault weapons legally, but that is about it. You could still kill a lot of people with a couple of handguns and a couple of rifles or shotguns that you could re-load as you went along, as many as this guy? No I don’t think so not as fast at least. But no one is even considering restricting access to shotguns and rifles. Also a motivated person could easily get any illegal gun the wanted, just like motivated people easily find access to illegal drugs, its the same argument, we can outlaw all we want; if the demand is there, a supply will meet that demand. The question is numbers and I would certainly favor having less crazy weapons in this country. But having a good mental health system would be just as effective in the long run if not more. No one is talking about putting mentally compromised on the no gun for you list. What we are talking about is trying to help families who have mentally ill young people easily get the help they need. Today you can’t, in fact it is about non-existent, the early 20′s is when you have the onset of many of the worst of these mental illnesses.

    If we continue to labor under the fantasy that tweaking our gun laws is going to have a huge impact I think we are fooling ourselves and limiting the whole discussion.

  8. mervel says:

    The law also has another benefit it tells us what we as society claim we value. So do we value violence? Do we value getting high? I don’t think our country should value either one of those things, and thus we should not have it legal to be a gun nut, its not normal to want to have a bunch of working guns that have no hunting purpose but are designed only to kill human beings. Why would anybody want a bunch of weapons to kill people? It’s dark and its odd and it should not be encouraged by our laws. The same goes for being stoned its not normal and it is not something we should encourage.

  9. mervel says:

    But the same arguments apply to making drugs illegal as making machine guns illegal. What will either accomplish if the people demand both?

  10. The Original Larry says:

    Well, I didn’t expect any better and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. How sad is it that the only way you can make your point is by vilifying and shouting down the opposition? No one will ever take seriously this type of bitter invective and hysterical screaming. You especially, Will Doolittle, with your pretensions to journalism, should be ashamed of having resorted to cheap and inflammatory rhetoric. I just watched Obama speak and I thought, this is the best of what a President should be. His response should be noted and emulated and his call to action followed. No need for all the cheap rhetoric.

  11. Two Cents says:

    my sarcasm was the determining of who is mentally ill, not who may or may not belong on a list.

    i agree with a good mental health system, or is this an entitlement? oh wait maybe mental health care is part of that crazy obama heatlh tax/law/whatever its gonna get dumped, thing?
    maybe its more like a socialist type of thing, like norway and finland? good mental care there but their socialists.
    oh wait we dont like socialism- but how will we get to the utopia where no one is crazy,there are no weapons, no one gets angry or ever gets killed by another human?

  12. Two Cents says:

    oh yeah, utopia is also drugless…

  13. Two Cents says:

    yeah merv i cuaght the stoner dig, and i would not encourage “use” unless of course it kept you at home on the couch instead of say, shooting up a schoolyard

  14. jeff says:

    We cannot have dialog when the first action conceived is to focus on firearms and dismiss the nature of the malicious or mentally ill users.

    I found this article poignant

    The author relates the hostile nature of her 13 year old and committing him to long term help and paying for it. That she could be the mother of Jared Loughner or numerous other mass killers.

  15. dave says:

    Mental illness is a human condition. It is not unique to any country or society.

    If it were the cause of these types of mass murders then we would expect to see these events everywhere.

    We don’t.

    The woman who wrote that article would only be the mother of a mass murdered if her child also had access to weaponry designed to kill masses of people.

    THAT is the problem.

  16. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “I just watched Obama speak and I thought, this is the best of what a President should be. His response should be noted and emulated and his call to action followed. ”

    Okay, Larry, what action would you be in favor of to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future as much as is possible?

  17. Walker says:

    Here’s an interesting/horrifying account: Anarchist Soccer Mom. Worth a read.

  18. mervel says:

    Certainly on mass shootings there would be fewer people killed if we tinker with our gun laws making some sorts of military style weapons illegal. That is part of the solution, it also sends a message that wanting and desiring to own human killing devices is not socially acceptable. Violence is socially acceptable in the US, in fact practicing radical non-violence is considered odd.

    Mental illness is greatly impacted by the societies and culture that people exist within.

    So dave yes mental illness exists in all cultures we don’t know however how it is being impacted by our culture of violence and death. A first step I would agree is looking at outlawing these types of weapons and also making them socially unacceptable.

    But a lot of damage can be done with guns that are not military style weapons, which is why we need to look at the whole picture.

    two cents,

    I honestly was not trying to make a stoner dig, I was just thinking about the probability of really being able to outlaw something that is very popular, much like pot, much like whenever we have prohibition, which is the logic given for legalizing drugs. I was talking about the logic not about that particular topic.

  19. The Original Larry says:

    Unlike many here, Obama did not exploit the situation or indulge in cheap rhetoric or inflammatory comments. His response was strong, thoughtful and dignified; what I had hoped to see from more people and what I expected to see from the President. I also understand the sub-text of his remarks as they relate to the gun part of this situation and I do not disagree with his call for action. If the debate continues in a dignified, even-handed manner, free from misinformation and reactionary hysteria, I will follow his lead, as I hope all thoughtful Americans will. First thing, I would like to see an aggressive safety campaign run by the NRA. Not sure if it applies to CT, but many “accidents” involving guns are the result of careless or sloppy safety procedures.

  20. Paul says:

    “THAT is the problem.”

    Dave, I think that most people understand that it is not just one problem. I wish you were right.

    This morning on NPR I heard that in the prison population the rate of mental illness doubled over 6 years (2000 to 2006). To ignore this would probably be a mistake.

    We screen all kids in school for physical fitness why not mental fitness? There are privacy issues that we will have to deal with. There was an incident near here where a mother brought her 20 year old to the hospital and “begged” them to admit her son because she was afraid that he might hurt someone. He refused treatment and they sent them home. He strangled his mother to death that night and then killed himself.

  21. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    One of the terms I first heard reading this site was “strawman”. Well, the same people who love to use that term directed at others are engaging in strawman arguments now. No one is advocating people owning nuclear reactors, hand grenades, machine guns, flame throwers, RPGs, bazookas or any of the other exotic strawman weapons your imaginations have dreamed up. And yes, military guns have many uses outside killing people Mr Doolittle. There are whole fields of competitive marksmanship disciplines that are solely limited to military firearms. The type of rifle the Sandy Hook shooter used is the most popular hunting rifle going these days. I suppose I should give your ignorance regarding firearms a pass, but since you’re employed as a journalist I expect you to actually do some research. If we’re going by your definitions and rhetoric, then abortion isn’t just killing a baby, it’s murder- mass murder on a scale unseen before in human history. Does that make sense to you?

    Whether there are 80K, 30K or 300 gun laws in the US doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have the laws on the books already and our problem is people ignoring them. More laws aren’t going to do squat.

    As far as the allegation of a gun owner being the shooters first victim, yeah, right, a moron with a mentally ill kid doesn’t know enough to make them unavailable to him. Whose fault is that- the guns or the mothers?

    Someone mentioned the NRA. Did you people know the NRA had a very, very good gun safety program called “Eddie Eagle” that was barred from schools simply because the NRA developed it? Politics. None of you seem to think a more proactive approach to mental illness is worth it. That tells me this is all politics to you. You won’t look at real solutions to the problem- people control vs gun control. You work on people control ( not really an accurate term, but it’s what I’ve got) and you not only affect gun violence but child abuse, spousal abuse, assaults, property crimes, etc. Doesn’t that seem like a lot more effective way of dealing with this?

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain why arming teachers who choose to be is a bad idea. There are any number of extremely secure gun safes that can be installed to keep kids away from them. Why are we turning our schools into targets? You can take all the guns away from the law abiding people and the nut will still get an illegal gun or make a bomb or use fire or something- and the people in the school will still be defenseless.

  22. Paul says:

    If you look online you can find lots of information about the different types of mental health screening that is done in some European countries. Maybe just a coincidence?

  23. Peter Hahn says:

    Arlo – I’ll take a shot at “why teachers shouldn’t be armed”. The police are armed. They go through extensive training about when it is ok to use lethal force, and under what circumstances. teachers don’t and probably don’t want to. That vigilante killing in Florida is a good example of the problem. A kid wearing a hoody gets killed. There are zillions of high school kids – obnoxious kids- who wear hoodies and cause trouble. Some of them would get shot and killed.

  24. dave says:

    “To ignore this would probably be a mistake.”

    I would never suggest we ignore the deficiencies in the mental health system.

    In fact, I encourage those of you who seem so suddenly concerned with our mental health system to begin voting for representatives who want to fund health programs, research, and services. Did you do that this past election cycle? Or did you vote for people who want to slash government funding?

    Regardless, blaming mass murder on mental illness is absurd. Mental illness is everywhere, in all human societies and cultures, all throughout history. A person with a mental illness who is prone to violence is only capable of committing a mass murder if they have access to weaponry that allows mass murder… without it, they are simply a person with a mental illness.

    Yes, this is a complicated subject, a problem that potentially has many minor contributors. And we need to address them. But the big obvious major contributor are these weapons of mass murder. Step 1… no, steps 1 through 5… are clear. Eliminate access to these weapons. To deny this, to divert attention away from it, after yet another horrific tragedy involving these weapons, is unconscionable.

  25. Mervel says:

    Blaming mass murder on the lack of mental illness treatment in this country is not absurd. I do understand the worry that this is diverting attention from the issue of assault weapons and that is not my intent. I think they should be banned along with all military style weapons.

    We have had them banned before so it should not be as if we are trying some new thing that is strange to our country.

  26. Mervel says:

    I would disagree that the big obvious contributor is the weapons, in that they have been banned before and I am not sure we have any data showing that gun violence and mass shootings were lower in those years?

  27. Walker says:

    Look, guys, obviously we need to do both. But reducing availability of weapons is probably simpler (except maybe politically).

    As for whether the “the big obvious contributor is the weapons”– Mervel, could you point out a couple of news stories from the U.S. where the perpetrator attacked a large number of victims with a knife or a hammer?

  28. dave says:

    Mentally ill, or perfectly sane, if that kid did not have access to weapons of mass murder, he would not have been able to commit this mass murder.

  29. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    It’s ironic that we’ve spent billions upon billions of dollars creating a national security state to protect us from foreign terrorists, a security state I might add that by its very creation has led to the casting aside of some of our liberties and freedoms, but yet the mere mention of holding an honest debate that addresses how home grown terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction and body armor (yes, we seriously need to ask how such equipment is legally obtained by these killers) drives some among us into a tissy. I just don’t get the fear honest and sane guns owners (myself included) feel over having this discussion.

    Some have suggested that we could do more to secure our schools from these nuts in the first place. Certainly not a cure all, but a topic worthy of discussion. Perhaps are now trillion dollar domestic security state could be utilized toward that end. We know schools districts certainly haven’t the funds to provide such security. Maybe the bloat that exists in law enforcement can be utilized more effectively within are schools?

  30. Paul says:

    “Regardless, blaming mass murder on mental illness is absurd.”

    Dave maybe you need to look a little more carefully at some of the comments before you respond. Mental illness is just one of the components. Just like access to the tools is just one of the components.

    If people keep arguing their points in this way I suspect that things will not get accomplished. It does not matter what the issue, if people and politicians keep yelling past each other like is going on here (to some degree) we will continue to see nothing.

    Dave, if you look back at my posts and some of the other comments that you are quick to dismiss you will see than many folks have conceded the idea that some gun control measures may be effective. Or, like me, they are willing to give them a try.

    As for the political issue basically 100% of the country (Obama or Romney supporters) voted for candidates that appeared to have no interest in some of the gun control measures that we have discussed here.

  31. Paul says:

    “Mentally ill, or perfectly sane, if that kid did not have access to weapons of mass murder, he would not have been able to commit this mass murder.”

    So Dave, what are you suggesting as a solution. I made the suggestion that we consider mental health screening for all kids just like we do for physical well being. Any part of a “well child” exam should have a mental health component.

    Walker, I think the gun control measures may be “easier” (that is big maybe for the same reason you give) but this would not be too hard and it does not require any huge politically charged changes to the Health Care system. Dave, I think we can do it now (after something like this has our attention like Brian talked about at the beginning) with the folks we have already elected into office. Let’s try to do both. Or we can argue and do nothing. That is not a good option any more, it never was.

  32. dave says:

    It is important that we recognize that these mass murders are not taking place just in schools. They are happening in movie theaters, malls, campaign events, etc etc.

    So yes, better security in schools is another good secondary issue to talk about… but it would not have stopped the other mass murders we’ve had to endure.

  33. dave says:

    “Let’s try to do both.”

    Of course. Agreed.

    But what I fear, and what recent history has shown – AND what I see going on already in the public debate about this, including in this very discussion (not from you, Paul) – is that people will do their best to use secondary issues… mental health, prayer in schools, the media, school security, video game violence… to divert attention from efforts to address the real problem.

    We need to regulate weapons of mass murder, we need to restrict access to them. If at the same time we can address these other things… great… but this whole conversation is beginning to sound an awful lot like the same old same old we’ve heard from gun rights enthusiasts after previous tragedies. It starts with people being allowed to dilute the issue by blaming things other than these weapons… and it ends with the status quo, and another mass murder.

  34. Mervel says:

    “As for whether the “the big obvious contributor is the weapons”– Mervel, could you point out a couple of news stories from the U.S. where the perpetrator attacked a large number of victims with a knife or a hammer?”

    So are you saying that you would be looking for a total prohibition of all guns? (Hunting rifles, shotguns, handguns etc)

    What we are talking about is tweaking our current gun laws to ban a particular type of gun, the VAST majority of weapons in the US will still be readily available. In addition as we have spoken of numerous times, making something illegal often has little to do with its availability.

  35. dave says:

    “So Dave, what are you suggesting as a solution.”

    Regulating and restricting access to weapons of mass murder. Absolute first step.

    I appreciate the willingness and desire to improve our mental health system, but the conversation here on that topic betrays a very weak understanding of both that system, and mental health issues. We are not going to somehow treat away or eliminate mental illness. We are not going to find, screen, and identify everyone who may possibly, maybe, some day get the urge to commit violence.

    What we can do, however, is begin to eliminate the weapons that allow people (sane, ill, or otherwise) to easily, efficiently commit these mass murders.

  36. dave says:

    “In addition as we have spoken of numerous times, making something illegal often has little to do with its availability.”

    Of course making something illegal affects its availability.

    I have no idea how to even begin going about buying heroin. No idea. If I get the urge later tonight to try heroin… I can’t do it. I can’t run down to the pharmacy and score me some. Why is that? Because it is illegal.

    Does it completely eliminate access to it? No, of course not. But it certainly limits it.

    Same would be true with guns. If these weapons were illegal, they would have been harder for this kid to get his hands on them. Sure, maybe he could have started making connections with some drug cartel gang or secret society of hit men and scored himself some illegal guns and still carried out this mass murder. But I’d say that would be a wee bit less likely.

  37. Will Doolittle says:

    Anger, defensiveness, and insults are signs to me, when I resort to them, that I’m losing an argument. Where is the reasonable and persuasive defense of guns? Is there a reasonable and persuasive defense of allowing personal possession of the high-powered semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle, a commercial version of the military’s M-16, which the shooter apparently did much of his killing with? Earlier, Larry, you took great offense to my description of these guns as “mass human killing machines”? But isn’t that exactly what they are?

  38. Mervel says:

    We are not talking about making guns illegal we are talking about tweaking our gun laws to make certain guns illegal and I would support that. Shotguns, rifles, handguns, these would all still be available.

    I work with the mental health system quite regularly, it is why I understand the need for better mental health services, particularly in-patient services. We certainly CAN identify people that are likely to do this, not by mental health screening or targeting the mentally ill; but by simply listening to them and knowing the warning signs. All of these mass killings took preparation, they took time, it is usually right in front of us, the families in most of the cases were very very concerned about these young men but usually have no where to turn or understand how to gain access to mental health services.

    dave you don’t know where to find heroin because you are not an addict, if you were you would have little trouble finding it, the same goes for pot or whatever else we are trying to prohibit.

    The men who do this don’t stumble across a gun and then decide to kill, the weapon is the last step, certainly making them harder to find would help I totally agree. The deeper problem though is that there are too many people who have this inside of them, the desire to kill many people including themselves.

  39. Walker says:

    “So are you saying that you would be looking for a total prohibition of all guns?”

    God no! I mean, it I thought it was remotely possible, I’d probably go a lot further than what I’d settle for, but no, hunting rifles are fine. It’s really the high capacity clips that are the main issue. Other “assault weapon” features aren’t (I guess) that big a deal, though some of them, like a folding or easily removed stock make it easier to carry a weapon undetected.

    I’m no expert on this stuff– the only hunting rifle I’ve owned was a Winchester 30-30. But was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban such an egregious infringement on our freedom?

    I see a lot of pro gun folk saying that they need their guns as a final check on the power of government. Yeah, right. I’ve got news for them. All the Bushmaster M4s ever made aren’t going to help much if the U.S. military comes after you. Truth be told, these weapons are fantasy props.

  40. Paul says:

    “But what I fear, and what recent history has shown – AND what I see going on already in the public debate about this, including in this very discussion (not from you, Paul) – is that people will do their best to use secondary issues… mental health, prayer in schools, the media, school security, video game violence… to divert attention from efforts to address the real problem.”

    Dave, I do not agree that mental health is a secondary issue. I tried to make that clear above. Not attempting to divert attention just saying what I think the evidence clearly supports.

  41. Paul says:

    I agree that a ban on some of the things talked about above is reasonable. I am afraid that in this particular shooting (totally innocent defenseless children) that it could have been just as bad or even worse if the guy had only had the two guns and extra regular capacity clips. Originally that is how it was reported and even then I still believed that he could have done it without the rifle. I hope I am wrong or the restrictions that I support will have little impact.

  42. Walker says:

    Paul, the accounts I’ve read make it sound like the almost zero survival rate of his victims was the result of both the ammunition used and the fact that he put many rounds (up to 11!) into each. That’s a whole lot of rounds– if he averaged five rounds per victim, and if we had a limit of 5-round clips, he would have had to have 27 clips, and he’d have had to change clips 26 times. I really could have saved a few lives.

    For the record, I’ve come around to the view that gun legislation and improving mental health treatment are equally important. After all, if we had an ideal mental health system, you wouldn’t need gun legislation. Not that we’ll ever get there, but that article Anarchist Soccer Mom that I linked to above (after Jeff did (sorry, Jeff)) makes it pretty clear how far we have to go.

  43. Mervel says:

    It’s too bad we have to choose. I do think we need to say the heck with you; to these extreme gun lobby types, I agree with the above posts, there is an inflated fear of the gun lobby. Come on how many people are really into guns to the degree that they think they have to have assault weapons, as a right? Just assure the hunters that we are not attacking your sport and move forward.

  44. Somehow I suspect that if this shooting had been done by a Muslim, laws would’ve been changed already.

    My personal opinion is that Brian M has is spot on. I think we should give pretty darn wide latitude to single shot weapons (the kind where you pull the trigger once and one bullet is shot) and that we should give very little latitude to all the other kinds.

    I think background checks make sense. I have no problem with concealed carry. But none of these mass shootings are done with ordinary handguns or shotguns.

    Last week, a psycho in China and a psycho in a America both went on a rampage at a school. Both caused a few dozen victims. But one injured 20 kids. The other killed 20 kids. The difference? One used a knife and the other used a semi-automatic, military style assault riffle.

  45. Two Cents says:

    “Arm the teachers”

    good lord i can say i have heard it all now. twice

  46. Two Cents says:

    i go put a 10×10 addition on my house for a bathroom, i got half a dozen people walking thru at times, one to three inspections depending on the type of foundation, one for rough framing,rough electric, finish electric, insulation, rough plumbing,finish plumbing and then a final.

    i go to buy a handgun, i leave my money,my name and license, and hopefully in three days i come home with my pyrchase.
    no one knows if i have a proper storage cabinet, or a trigger lock, or a separate place locked for the ammo, did i take a safety course etc, no safety inspection what so ever.

    Q: how many people die from improperly installed toilets?

  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Fiscal conservatives should be troubled that many are lining up behind the idea that the response to this incident and all the others is to increase security in schools and public places; hire more security guards everywhere, and increase police presence on school campuses.

    Remember that when you have to pay higher school taxes and higher costs for movie tickets or anything else.

    Maybe we should pay teachers more money if they agree to carry handguns to school. How about a fee on any gun purchase to pay for security at local schools, shopping malls, movie theaters etc?

  48. Two Cents says:

    there will be alot of soldiers returning from Aghanistan soon. Post two at every door at every school in the country.
    it will be their peace-time job. They get a salary from the military /homeland budget

    any soldiers left-over go to the ports of entry.

  49. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Larry I don’t think you really answered my question. Sure, an aggressive safety campaign by the NRA would be helpful, but that is a pretty minimal response. Not to mention long overdue.

    I don’t know what you mean by “Unlike many here, Obama did not exploit the situation or indulge in cheap rhetoric or inflammatory comments.” First, let’s get real, you should be one of the last people to get all in a hissy fit over cheap rhetoric or inflammatory comments. You are no innocent in this.

    But how do you think people are trying to exploit the situation? If you mean that people who have a long history of advocating some minimal common sense control of deadly weapons are back here saying “we should have some common sense control of deadly weapons before even more people are killed” it just doesn’t seem like exploitation to me.

    Most people are proposing or supporting legislation that the NRA itself supports. Why can’t we all just say, “okay, git’r done?” I’m a flaming liberal for cry-ey and I don’t want to take your hunting rifle away from you, or your shotgun, or your target pistol/rifle or even your handgun with a clip capacity limited to maybe 6-10 rounds. We can negotiate a number. All you bi-atheletes, keep your rifle! I’m sure we can even accommodate gun collectors in some way though registration, locks, disabling of assault style weapons so the wont fire…something.

    But there must be some sort of mandatory storage safety requirements, trigger-lock requirements, restriction on magazine size, and mandatory back-ground check requirements.

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