UPDATE: Herkimer shooting suspect killed; standoff over

A police photo of suspected shooter Kurt Myers.

Update, 12:18 Police are continuing to investigate what may have motivated Kurt Myers to shoot six people Wednesday, and say they’ll continue to be a “noticeable presence” in Herkimer today.

Anyone who may have information on Myers is asked to call state police at (315) 866-7275.

The Utica Observer-dispatch reports today that state police are saying the two people who Myers shot and didn’t kill yesterday are in critical and serious condition. However, the paper reports St. Elizabeth Medical Center said one was in fair condition, and information on the other wasn’t available.

Update, 10:26 Not a lot of new information but a clearer picture emerging this morning of what happened yesterday in Herkimer. This from the Albany Times-Union:

Kurt Myers, the 64-year-old man who police said waged a shooting spree that left four dead the day before, was shot dead after opened fire on a police and FBI tactical team that swept into a building here Thursday morning, State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said.

Authorities entered the building on North Main Street shortly before 8 a.m., he said, and were quickly greeted by gun shots from Myers.

One shot killed an FBI dog. Police returned fire, killing Myers.

“As unfortunate as it is that a canine lost his life, it could have easily been an officer,” D’Amico said.

The superintendent called the work of the officers “nothing short of heroic.”

Myers had been hiding inside an abandoned building on North Main Street since shortly after he killed people at a local barber shop in neighboring Mohawk and a car garage in Herkimer on Wednesday afternoon. Police kept the building under constant surveillance. Throughout the 17-hour standoff, Myers never communicated with police.

Nearly 24 hours after the rampage, police said they still have no clear explanation for why he went on a rampage that left two people dead in Mohawk and two more dead in Herkimer.

10:27 We’re still waiting for that press conference, and we’ll check back when we have more information, but in the meantime this Twitter feed is proving useful.

Update, 10:04 am: State police to start a press conference shortly. We’ll have more when we know.

UPDATE, 8:42am: The Associated Press reports that police have killed suspect Kurt Myers in a shootout. Trooper Jack Keller says police went into the building around 8am. He says the shootout occurred in a  basement, where Myers shot a police dog. Keller says police returned fire, killing Myers.

SWAT teams have moved in on a row of shops in the village of Herkimer where they believe a gunman who killed four people and wounded two others yesterday may be hiding. According to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, loud bangs, alarms, and a PA system were heard early this morning.

Police are using a track-driven robot with a camera on top to try to apprehend 64 year-old Kurt Meyers, who they believe is still alive inside the building. The standoff began yesterday afternoon around 1 after the shootings at a barbershop in nearby Mohawk and a carwash in Herkimer. Around 1:30, there was an exchange of gunfire between police and the shooter. Watch a video of that moment here.

At a press conference yesterday, state police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said police were prepared to wait the suspect out. Citing officer safety, D’Amico said, “we’re in no rush to bring this to a conclusion. We want to make sure no one else gets injured.”

Governor Cuomo was in Herkimer at the press conference yesterday. He called the situation “bleak” and said it would take New York “a long, long time to come to grips” with what is unfolding in Herkimer County.

All six victims are men. Two of the four who were killed were corrections officers. Michael Renshaw was a 23-year employee of the state corrections department who worked at Mid-State Correctional Facility near Utica. 57-year-old Michael Ransear was a retired prison guard.

Also killed were Thomas Stefka, who worked at the car wash and played guitar during services at a local church, and 68-year-old Harry Montgomery, who was a customer at the barber shop. The barber, John Seymour, was also shot and is reported in fair condition.

Follow the Inbox today for the latest updates at the top of this post.

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71 Comments on “UPDATE: Herkimer shooting suspect killed; standoff over”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Is there some irony in the location of this shooting so near to the Remington factory?

    What about the fact that 2 corrections officers were shot? Are we going to hear from the gun-rights crowd that everyone would have been safer if those officers had been carrying weapons? Perhaps they were?

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  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I don’t want to get too far off topic but I can’t help but think of how this would have turned out if this guy was Taliban and ran into a home in Afghanistan. Instead of waiting him out they would have called in an airstrike and killed everyone.

    Of course, our lives are more valuable than their lives.

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  3. dan says:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/cjc/html/crime/guns.shtml

    Posts on previous thread show how far apart we are when it comes to gun crimes. The above link indicates that 85% of guns recovered in NYC crimes come from out of state. It’s reasonable to assume that this holds true across the state. Would national gun laws prevent all gun crimes? Probably not, but I’d settle for an 85% decrease. As someone noted, this crime probably would not have been committed with a pointy stick or a rock, but shotguns are not likely to be banned, and not everyone who may commit such a crime has a previous history of mental health issues.

    If “solution” means that we never have a gun crime, then there are no solutions. We’ll also never keep every drunk driving death, but I wouldn’t advocate that we abolish anti-drunk driving laws. These laws don’t create the criminal, either.

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  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I know it is wrong, but I feel much worse knowing that he shot a dog.

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  5. Pete Klein says:

    I guess now that he is dead, we will never know what his problem was.

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  6. nelson says:

    There we go again. The plethora of guns is making the country, including Herkimer and Mohawk unsafe.
    IT is time to totally, fully embrace Governor’s Cuomos new restrictive gun law.
    The less the NRA has, to defend themselves, the more they try. Give up and go away.
    I might add as much as I like dogs, humans are my first concern.

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  7. Philip Williams says:

    I suppose that someone will call for either arming barbers, or having guards at barbershops. I am very sorry for the loss of life and hope that there are some steps which can be taken which would effectively reduce the likelihood of something like this happening again. I don’t side with those who say nothing can be done or that some valuable absolute Constitutional right would be lost if we did something which would be effective. The question is: what would really help?

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  8. Peter Hahn says:

    The press should focus on the victims and totally ignore the shooter. We are all curious about why someone would do something like that, but its probably better not to give them any publicity.

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  9. Paul says:

    I wonder what made them go in. I thought that they said they were ready to wait him out?

    Any indication that there is one iota of evidence that the SAFE act would have done anything to prevent this crime? If there is good. But if there isn’t than they have nothing to do with each other. Maybe people should wait for the facts and then make a judgement.

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  10. Paul says:

    Peter, I think you are right. I would be curious to know if there is a link to an increase in publicity of mass shootings (or any shootings like this even) to a rise in their incidence. Not that we have specifically tried to hype these crimes (we have, just look at CNNs labeling of everything with some scary (yet probably very fitting) title) but perhaps the fact that a nut job knows this is a ticket to attention they might be somewhat encouraged.

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  11. dan says:

    Paul, I agree with everything you said. Part of my point above is that the SAFE Act won’t prevent every gun crime, just as the law can’t keep every drunk from driving.

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  12. Peter Hahn says:

    I too would like to see a study of the incidence of these types of crimes. There may be a component of these killings that behaves like an epidemic. Like suicides in highschool. On the other hand, they may just be making the news more.

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  13. Hoosier3 says:

    I appreciate and share your concern over tragedies that take the lives of innocents. We know the media and politicians will always attribute these tragedies to gun violence. The gun is not violent. The loss of life at the hands of those that chose to take it is mislabeled by many including the media. It is violence perpetrated by the individual. The gun, knife, tire iron, rope are the simply the instrument. What we find ourselves trying to understand is how we can we stop the violence. The answer is not the misguided solution of regulation that tramples our second amendment. The answer is not to further erode our Freedom and Liberty by meaningless regulation. I believe the church, not just Catholic, has a role. Our government continues its assault on the morals’ of mankind. Our elected officials, special interest groups, demand that we drop all references to God. How can mankind be pro-life without God? I thought I would share a couple quotes from our history.

    “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions”. Ronald Reagan

    “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Ronald Reagan

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”. John Adams

    The good news is “We the People” have the means necessary to turn the page. We must educate the electorate of the evils the Marxist approach will bring upon us. We find our government leading us in the direction of social justice and Marxism. We must educate the electorate that our individual rights are granted to us by God not government. The Declaration of Independence acknowledges this and tells us when government becomes destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and institute new government. It is my opinion the time has come to alter our government. The Democratic platform in this last election chose to remove God from their platform. This is not my grandfather’s democratic party. The just powers are only derived from the consent of the governed. We must withdraw our consent of this government. We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our government does not teach us to respect life Our God does. Our government is thrusting tyranny upon us. It is “We the People” that must change it. To do this we must turn to God. This is my prayer. It is imperative the Christians’ of our great nation stand together with God to stop the carnage. The church must become an integral part of instituting the moral high ground. Below is a portion of the Declaration of Independence. It would bode well for all Americans and Christians to refocus on what the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights means to our Republic. Without God none of this matters. This is why the church must stand to defeat the moral decay in our country. Pray for peace!

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  14. wakeup says:

    Let’s not bring god into this.

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  15. newt says:

    This is the closest to for one of these awful mass killings (though small, by that standard). There was a bad one in Binghamton a few years ago, I recall. I’ve tended to think and say that such shootings are awful, but few and far away, and, blown out of proportion because of media feeding frenzies.

    I feel less so today.

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  16. StevenS says:

    Hossier, You do realize there was an election last fall? The people have spoken, get over it.

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  17. hermit thrush says:

    hoosier3, canada and europe are more secular and than us but less violent. how does that square with your analysis?

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  18. Walker says:

    Yeah, Hoosier, take your cut ‘n’ paste sermons somewhere else.

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  19. dave says:

    Does anyone have any insight as to why a dog was put in harms way here? My understanding is that they had this guy cornered/barricaded in a house. Seems odd to me that k9 units were used in that scenario. Is that standard practice?

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  20. tootightmike says:

    I’m hoping a ranter like Hoosier doesn’t own guns (but of course he does). All it takes is one bug-eyed guy, with a clean record, and a bit of outdated anti-Marxist rhetoric, and the potential for a problem exists.
    The right-wing hate media have whipped this thing up, and now they want to blame someone for the result.

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  21. newt says:

    Best not to make it personal, Mike.
    We can all disagree.

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  22. Hoosier3 says:

    It appears there are several that are afraid of the mention of God. For all you I say “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord”. Where there is darkness there is evil. The Lord will take those who are with Him to the light. The point is all the gibberish here is meaningless. If those here do not stand with Lord you will be consumed by the darkness that is upon us. Teach your children the word of God so they may teach their children the same. Respect for life comes from the teaching of God. Respect for life you will not find in the darkness. It is quite simple really. The facts, figures, studies, regulate this, restrict that are meaningless. This society has lost and does not teach respect for life. This is the problem. We are fast becoming a failed society.

    Our Republic, if we can keep it, is unique in the fact the rights bestowed upon us are the rights of the individual not society as a whole. A democracy throughout history always ends in failure. This is why we must protect the Republic and ALL the rights it grants the individual. Meaning we must first understand the significance of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. These testaments are what make us free. These are the laws of the land and shall not be infringed. When we stop standing for these guaranteed rights and allow those elected to peel these liberties a layer at a time we will be left as subjects and will no longer be citizens. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness will become a part of history and we will find ourselves saying, “Do you remember when”. It is clear there is an all out assault on God, Freedom and Liberty. If we fail to stand for God, Freedom, and Liberty America will fall.
    It is time to alter government. The cesspool in local, state and federal government must be flushed. A citizen government can and will replace the elitist that believe the status quo is okay. Lets elect those that believe the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are the law of the land not to be infringed upon.

    “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged”. Ronald Reagan

    “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”. Abraham Lincoln

    “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right”. Abraham Lincoln

    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves”. Abraham Lincoln

    Flush the System!

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  23. dan says:

    Good paraphrase of Ben Franklin, Hoosier, but I would remind you that he believed in a supreme being, but did not consider himself a Christian. See his letter to Ezra Stiles, written shortly before his death. Also, the founders expected there to be changes made to the Constitution, to meet changing needs. It is not, and has never been, immutable.

    I always cringe a bit when Christians use quotes from the OT to proove their points. Christ said he came to bring a New Covenant.

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  24. Walker says:

    It’s also worth noting Jesus’ instruction that one’s prayers should be done in private. I’m never comfortable with people who wrap themselves in the Bible, any more than those who wrap themselves in the flag. You know the saying…

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  25. Hoosier3 says:

    Dan,
    Amendments to the Constitution were envisioned but with the consent of the people. As we seen with Obamacare this government does not care if we consent or not. Therefore its not a government by and for the people. Therefore we must alter the government.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. Benjamin Franklin

    One must know the OT in order to understand the NT. Both are relevant.

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  26. Hoosier3 says:

    Hermit, I believe Canada or Europe would make a the place for you!

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  27. dave says:

    “As we seen with Obamacare this government does not care if we consent or not.”

    Obama was elected by a majority of citizens via a fair and free process, and the affordable health care act was approved by a majority of legislators who were themselves elected by a majority of citizens via a fair and free process.

    We consented.

    It sounds to me like you not only have a problem with the healthcare law, but you have a problem with democracy.

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  28. hermit thrush says:

    and to add to dave: we just had an election in which obama won, senate democrats expanded their majority, and house democrats received, in aggregate, more total votes than the gop. doesn’t that sound like after-the-fact affirmation for obamacare?

    hoosier3, i think you missed my point about canada and europe (or are just avoiding it, because you have no counter). so here it is again. how can europe and canada be simultaneously less religious and less violent than the u.s.? doesn’t that directly contradict what you’re saying? if not, then what gives?

    it would be great if you could address this narrow point head on.

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  29. The Original Larry says:

    Liberals care for nothing but their own philosophy. If I read another “I told you so” quote I’m going to be ill. I’m also tired of the fiction that the Democrats should control the House of Representatives because of an aggregate advantage in votes. That’s not how it works and everyone should know it. The MO here seems to be to repeat the same crap over and over until people believe it.

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  30. hermit thrush says:

    larry, i never said that democrats should control the house. hoosier3 claimed that obamacare was somehow passed without consent of the governed. i disagree, and i think the fact that house democratic candidates just received more votes than republicans is a completely valid and relevant point to raise. do you feel otherwise?

    aside from that, what is this “Liberals care for nothing but their own philosophy” business? are conservatives any different?

    and “If I read another “I told you so” quote I’m going to be ill” — what is that even supposed to mean? heaven forbid anyone make arguments and cite evidence on their own behalf!

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  31. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord” ? Do you understand what that means Hoosier? Because it doesn’t make much sense in the context of your diatribe.

    As far as the whole Declaration of Independence thing (life, liberty, etc) that was a document for the purpose of explaining why our founders thought it was OK to commit treason. The Constitution is a document meant to set forth legal principles for governing a country. Between the D of I and the Constitution we had another document,
    the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation ) meant to do the same thing as the Constitution. But as it turned out our Founding Fathers didn’t do a very good job with the Articles a fact they alluded to in the first words of the Constitution “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…”

    So they added the Bill of Rights. Even that had some major flaws and we’ve been working at it ever since. It is still a flawed document and there need to be some clarifications one of which would be that when the Founding Fathers said “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” they knew what they were writing and it wasn’t a random phrase thrown in for effect.

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  32. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I’m relatively certain that HT would enjoy a nice vacation to Canada and Europe. In fact I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t.

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  33. The Original Larry says:

    Yeah, forget that whole Bill of Rights thing, after all, it is a “flawed document”. That pretty much sums up the liberal approach to…everything.

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  34. The Original Larry says:

    “i never said that democrats should control the house”

    No, you didn’t, but I wonder why you keep repeating that crap about their aggregate avantage. It means nothing, especially when viewed in the context of the Obama 51% “landslide”.

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  35. Philip Williams says:

    Hoosier3,

    I have a very strong intuition that your Reagan quotes are bogus, or at least, unverified. Given that I dislike the man Ronald Reagan, I’d still be willing to give him credit for some relevant, unscripted observation of merit; but it seems unlikely. Would you mind doing a little, God forbid, research on these quotes, before quoting them as received wisdom? particularly since a lot of us – I am not the only one – really think Reagan was not that cool?

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  36. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “That pretty much sums up the liberal approach to…everything.”

    Yes Larry, we liberals like to believe in the truth. I certainly enjoy mythology, too, but I understand it is not true in the strict sense of the word.

    So what kind of crazy liberal flaws do I find in the Bill of Rights? Well, to start with black people were allowed to be held in slavery and women couldn’t vote. Don’t you consider that a flaw?

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  37. Paul says:

    “Yeah, Hoosier, take your cut ‘n’ paste sermons somewhere else.”

    Walker, the person can say whatever he or she wants here or anywhere. Is he or she hurting you? Just ignore it if you want. I did.

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  38. Paul says:

    “Does anyone have any insight as to why a dog was put in harms way here? My understanding is that they had this guy cornered/barricaded in a house. Seems odd to me that k9 units were used in that scenario. Is that standard practice?”

    Good question Dave. Like I said they said they were prepared to wait him out what changed?

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  39. Paul says:

    The bill of rights doesn’t necessarily have “flaws” it is just the best they could do at the time. It has been changed and interpreted over time. For example with the second the supreme court has said that one aim of the second is self defense (certainly has more to do with defense than hunting). Knuck you call that “activism” fine. But it is what it is. Many would call using the 19th to protect abortion rights activism (not me). It is what it is. We learn to live with it.

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  40. Walker says:

    “Walker, the person can say whatever he or she wants here or anywhere. Is he or she hurting you?”

    Of course they can, Paul. And so can I. I take offense at being preached at. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. If I can shrug it off, so can they.

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  41. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I must confess an error on my 7:10 post. Somehow I deleted a reference to the Constitution being a tremendously flawed document.

    For OL’s benefit let me point out that the Founders themselves made no claim of it being perfect. They just wanted something more perfect than the Articles, which were really terrible if the goal was to establish a long term nation. In fact, the Founders enshrined some really loathsome ideas into the body of the Constitution.
    For example, the 3/5ths Compromise in which slaves were counted to apportion representation and taxation (my God, yes, they put taxation right into the Constitution!) as 3/5 of a person, while at the same time they were treated as property. I hold no respect at all for anyone who will read this paragraph and not agree that our founding document is horribly flawed.

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  42. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Paul, a flaw is a flaw. An imperfection, defect, shortcoming. How is it that I am incorrect in any way? The Constitution and Bill of Rights were, are, and always will be flawed. That is why the Constitution sets out procedure to evaluate its inherent flaws and to amend it.

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  43. jeff says:

    At at the same time as this horrific event caused by one individual was unfolding, millions and millions of firearm owners went about their daily routine with no harm to anyone.

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  44. hermit thrush says:

    like knuck says, “has flaws” and “the best that they could do” are hardly mutually exclusive.

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  45. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Let’s get to the real point. There are a lot of people who own guns that I don’t trust. People who have a fascination with weapons seem odd to me, just like people who keep snakes for pets. Sure there are some people who keep snakes for pets who are probably decent folk but most of them are weird and I don’t trust them. Chances are the people with snakes aren’t going to hurt anyone with their snake but the weirdos with guns have proven again and again that they can’t be trusted.

    Now there are lots of gun owners I feel perfectly comfortable with but if you fly a ” don’t tread on me” flag, or if your American flag is on the pole right now hanging upside down, if you think that we are becoming a fascist state because most people don’t want their children gunned down, if you start quoting passages from the bible in defense of being able to own a gun, well, I question your grip on reality and, frankly, you scare the crap out of me. Not that I’m afraid you’ll shoot me because I’m not going to have much interaction with you. But I’m afraid for your wives and children, your co-workers, and your family.

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  46. Walker says:

    “At at the same time as this horrific event caused by one individual was unfolding, millions and millions of firearm owners went about their daily routine with no harm to anyone.”

    Jeff, that’s supposed to make the dead folks’ families feel better?

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  47. Paul says:

    “If I can shrug it off, so can they.” Telling someone to get lost isn’t really shrugging it off. Play nice.

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  48. Paul says:

    Fair enough, “flaw” is a good way to put it. Back then counting a slave as even 3/5ths was probably very progressive for the times, but certainly flawed with hindsight.

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  49. Paul says:

    Knuck, I totally agree. They are weird and I don’t trust them either. But like anyone else they have right to act that way as long as they are doing no harm. They also have a right to own a gun. Are you suggesting that the way to deal with the fact that we think they are weird and we don’t trust them is that we should legislate that right away from them as precaution? I am afraid until they do something wrong we will just have to keep on worrying.

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  50. Peter Hahn says:

    Paul – there are things we can do short of legislating away their guns that are perfectly compatible with the constitution.

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