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Thread: School Shooting in Florida

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    #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    There are plenty of groups--groups formed by illegal activities so this wouldn't require some extra Big Brother level monitoring--that have shown a significant propensity toward illegal violence. Why don't we start by taking guns out of their hands? History of illegal violence (beat up a spouse, assault a rival sports fan at a bar...), lose your right to own a firearm. Either forever, or at least 5 years. Have a history of illegal behavior fueled by alcohol (DUI, theft while drunk, whatever)? Bye Bye guns for 5 years.

    Again, there are statistics to support that fact that people with these histories are far more likely to be violent, so why on earth would we give them permits to own firearms?
    Not sure the above criteria would lower school shootings since it is doubtful that a high school aged shooter would typically have a history of spousal abuse or DUIs. Sadly, it is also difficult to implement. You can take away the right to have a carry permit and you can prohibit the purchase of new guns from legal retailers, but actually getting guns away from a person is difficult. Between the private sales, the gun shows, etc., even if guns were outlawed tomorrow we would still have lots of people with lots of guns. We can increase the penalty for possession of a firearm but school shooters frequently plan to die so they aren't overly concerned with the legal sanctions. That is not a statement that gun laws don't need to be reviewed/updated/re-written, but drafting a law to impact someone who plans to die during the crime is a particularly difficult task.


    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    It's a gross over simplification to say that they gun is just the instrument and the person is the cause. Because a person with a gun is able to be far more lethal, far more quickly and on a far larger scale.
    True, but it is also factually accurate. In regard to non-school mass shootings, a man with fertilizer blew up a building and a lot of people died. A man driving a truck down a sidewalk can kill a lot of people at once as well. The instruments change, the desire to harm is strikingly similar. Until we can figure out why the USA is breeding school shooters (I don't mean literally) then we are only addressing part of the problem.
    As I stated, "In addition to reconsidering our gun laws, we have to figure out what creates a school shooter."


    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    We can address this in ways well-supported by statistics, while still allowing law-abiding citizens access to firearms. Both sides just need to step away from the hyperbolic, divisive language and their own versions of utopia, in order to let some common sense guide a few basic policy changes.
    Absolutely agree that "common sense" is needed but it seems people don't agree on what that term means. The ultra pro-gun people are terrified that if they give one bit it will lead to the loss of their 2nd Amendment rights. The ultra anti-gun people want to believe that passing a law will be the magic solution that ends a person's desire to harm. Finding the middle ground is tough especially when you add in the business ($) of guns.

    I know I am old, but this shit didn't happen when I was a kid so something has changed. People had guns even back in the stone age when I was a child but we didn't need "shooter drills" in school. Whatever the "it" is that changed -- we need to figure "it" out. Kids should not have to fear a shooter when they sit in a classroom and kids in that classroom should not be feeling a desire to kill their classmates. I mean, WTF?
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    So I had an interesting talk with a coworker today. She's a clinical social worker, a psychological anthropologist (PhD) and has a lot of experience working with criminals, institutionalized persons (for mental health issues or otherwise) and also worked in a men's psychiatric hospital for political/war prisoners in Colombia for several years. She made the point that in a lot of these cases of mass shooters, they've been previously diagnosed (or would be currently diagnosable) with a pretty severe personality disorder and nearly always have had a prior incident with violence/police. Personality disorders, specifically anti-social personality disorder, is almost impossible to treat so even if they HAD access to mental health services, it's unlikely they would have used them or been changed in any significant way. Her idea is that, if we're going to be having a registry of everyone who has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, we should specifically be screening for anti-social personality disorder, ESPECIALLY if they have ever had been in trouble in the past, and be doing a lot more to restrict these specific individuals from accessing any guns or weapons. Less than 1% of the population has severe anti-social personality disorders so if we're going to bother monitoring, it should be there. She doesn't believe that overall gun control laws are really necessary if we learn how to really keep an eye on the truly at-risk individuals and have multiple check and balances in place to keep track of them and their behavior.

    I don't know how this could work in practice, I don't know if we could discriminate on the basis of a specific disorder in terms of monitoring and restrictions. There's always ONE person who's going to be the sweetest angel. Or people would lie/fear getting diagnosed. So I'm not sure, but I thought it was a very interesting point from someone who has a lot of background in this area.
    I agree! To me, this is a gun control and mental health issue. We need tightening up on both. And btw, people with antisocial personality disorder should not be able to own any weapons, speaking as someone who works in mental health.


    Quote Originally Posted by amandalouwho2 View Post
    But the argument that someone who is hellbent on hurting others is going to make it happen, why do we not make it harder for them to make it happen? Because it may inconvenience a law abiding citizen? I would rather be inconvenienced by a background check or deeper evaluation to own a weapon that could kill someone rather than let actual bad people just walk into a store and buy a gun off the rack because itís their 2nd amendment right. We own guns too in our home, we are educated on how they work, licensed to own the weapons and are responsible gun owners. I just think itís silly that we let people walk around packing a weapon that they honestly may have no clue how to use. Itís not unreasonable to want to see stricter background checks and mandatory training to own a weapon. We have to be licensed and train to operate a vehicle but not a gun? Seems silly to me.
    I'm with you 100%
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by LifeHappens View Post
    Not sure the above criteria would lower school shootings since it is doubtful that a high school aged shooter would typically have a history of spousal abuse or DUIs. Sadly, it is also difficult to implement. You can take away the right to have a carry permit and you can prohibit the purchase of new guns from legal retailers, but actually getting guns away from a person is difficult. Between the private sales, the gun shows, etc., even if guns were outlawed tomorrow we would still have lots of people with lots of guns. We can increase the penalty for possession of a firearm but school shooters frequently plan to die so they aren't overly concerned with the legal sanctions. That is not a statement that gun laws don't need to be reviewed/updated/re-written, but drafting a law to impact someone who plans to die during the crime is a particularly difficult task.




    True, but it is also factually accurate. In regard to non-school mass shootings, a man with fertilizer blew up a building and a lot of people died. A man driving a truck down a sidewalk can kill a lot of people at once as well. The instruments change, the desire to harm is strikingly similar. Until we can figure out why the USA is breeding school shooters (I don't mean literally) then we are only addressing part of the problem.
    As I stated, "In addition to reconsidering our gun laws, we have to figure out what creates a school shooter."




    Absolutely agree that "common sense" is needed but it seems people don't agree on what that term means. The ultra pro-gun people are terrified that if they give one bit it will lead to the loss of their 2nd Amendment rights. The ultra anti-gun people want to believe that passing a law will be the magic solution that ends a person's desire to harm. Finding the middle ground is tough especially when you add in the business ($) of guns.

    I know I am old, but this shit didn't happen when I was a kid so something has changed. People had guns even back in the stone age when I was a child but we didn't need "shooter drills" in school. Whatever the "it" is that changed -- we need to figure "it" out. Kids should not have to fear a shooter when they sit in a classroom and kids in that classroom should not be feeling a desire to kill their classmates. I mean, WTF?
    Oh, I didn't realize school shootings were the only shootings we cared about. My bad. Nevermind about those other dead people, I guess? But actually this shooter did have a history of violence, so these proposals would have removed his right to legally purchase guns. So, actually, these proposals may well have prevented this shooting.

    And yes, something has changed. I think the biggest part of that is just our American gun culture. And laws like these and change in the rheotic can help the slow, painful cultural shift happen, too.

    And no, what I said is not factually inaccurate. Citing one example of a person killing a lot of people without a gun doesn't negate the fact that a gun does make it far easier to kill far more people far more quickly. There are other ways to do it, too, but they are more challenging in several ways. And addressing at least one of those ways--the most popular and easiest, is obviously going to help.

    So, do you actually have a problem with what I proposed or are you just throwing things out there because the thought of any more controls is unacceptable to you, no matter what
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #24

    based on my experiences

    <And no, what I said is not factually inaccurate.>

    I think you misunderstood - I didn't suggest you were factually inaccurate I just said that my statement was factually accurate. Sad, but accurate.
    It seems I am unable to properly express that I am not disagreeing that the gun laws are a problem, I am just stating that is one prong but there are others that are also critical to our understanding of the situation. To solve a problem, we first have to understand it.

    I think society has to look at both the correlation and causation of school shootings & guns. My fear is that people believe that a law can solve this problem. I just see this as a problem that requires "and". We need to review the gun laws AND the reason we have such a violent society. We need to look at why the shooter felt the way s/he did (in order to gain insight) AND we need to look at why warning bells were not heard or ignored. We need to recognize that the jail & prison systems have a tremendous amount of people suffering from mental illness (which does not impact their culpability). Why are kids more inclined to shoot people now than they were 30 years ago? Why are these kids so damn angry? Why are these kids at a place in life where they are planning to kill, and often times, be killed? Laws only work when the person is afraid of the consequences of violating that law. If someone plans to die during the commission of the act, it is hard to deter them by new legislation. Additionally, the reasoning center of the brain is not fully developed until mid twenties and most school shooters are not at that age, which is another unique issue to factor in. Lots of unanswered questions that go beyond just writing a new law.

    I am frequently wrong, but this is my opinion based on spending a tremendous amount of time talking with people who have taken a life (due to my job).

    As the old saying goes, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. We don't seem to be learning that a new strategy is desperately needed.
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    #25
    I don't think a law can fix it. I think only a cultural shift can fix it (and even that "fix" won't be 100% effective), but the law is our best tool for forcing that shift to begin. That, along with shifting the way we speak about guns, to including the policy debate, will change the culture, but it's going to be a long, painful process.

    Also, laws sometimes rely on multiple parties worrying about consequences, which multiplies their effectiveness. If both the seller and the buyer have to get/confirm the permit, and both are held responsible--in a severe, meaningful way--then even if the seller doesn't care about the permit laws, the buyer does. And his willingness to die in his mass shooting doesn't mean much if he can't get the gun. And if we are dealing with laws that target those who are already in the system, they have more tooth and there are more means to enforce or monitor.

    Of course it's not perfect. No law is. Or course it won't stop every murder. No law does. But logic suggests it can be extremely effective. So we can sit around and shoot holes in ever fucking proposal because it isn't perfect. Or we can do something that maybe means 10% fewer kids (and women, and young black men, and elderly guys, and housewives, and...) get murdered.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #26
    In many ways it feels like we are having a resurgence of the 60's where people are speaking out about issues that have been a problem for years but no one has said anything much less done anything.
    If we can have real conversations and not go straight to the extremes that I hear on the news ("if the Democrats get more seats in Congress in the midterms they will take away the 2nd Amendment" and an hour earlier "the Democrats had the White House and Congress and they did nothing about gun laws so they won't protect the people from guns") MAYBE there can be some changes based on what the people want.
    It is supposed to be "We the people" after all...
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