Monday, January 10, 2011

NYT -- Good Editorial on the Violent Political Atmosphere

The New York Times had a good editorial this morning about the environment within which the recent mass murder in Tucson took place..
She read the First Amendment on the House floor — including the guarantee of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” — and then flew home to Arizona to put those words into practice. But when Gabrielle Giffords tried to meet with her constituents in a Tucson parking lot on Saturday, she came face to face with an environment wholly at odds with that constitutional ideal, and she nearly paid for it with her life.

Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting Ms. Giffords, killing a federal judge and five other people, and wounding 13 others, appears to be mentally ill. His paranoid Internet ravings about government mind control place him well beyond usual ideological categories. Bloodshed and Invective in Arizona

There does not seem to be any serious ground for saying that the Tucson murderer was a Republican or a follower of any particular candidate or political ideology. He seems to have been a mentally disturbed person with delusions about the government controlling citizens' minds through somehow controlling grammar.
But he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery. With easy and legal access to semiautomatic weapons like the one used in the parking lot, those already teetering on the edge of sanity can turn a threat into a nightmare.

When you are surrounded by hateful talk, by people threatening to solve their problems by killing other people, you are more likely to see such a solution as acceptable. You can be sure that this young man saw himself as a hero when he pulled out his gun and started killing people.
Last spring, Capitol security officials said threats against members of Congress had tripled over the previous year, almost all from opponents of health care reform. An effigy of Representative Frank Kratovil Jr., a Maryland Democrat, was hung from a gallows outside his district office. Ms. Giffords’s district office door was smashed after the health vote, possibly by a bullet.

And let's not pretend that there is equivalent violence and violent speech on both sides. You might find a liberal getting out of line, but the gun-talk, the talk of overthrowing the government, the talk of assassinating people, comes from conservatives. The Tea Party is taking a lot of the heat these days because they have defined themselves as the true patriots in a situation where socialists or Nazis or Muslims or foreigners or something have taken over the government and must be removed from office. This is not reasoned political debate, it is a kind of paranoia that does not quite reach the threshold of psychiatric diagnosis, and it is very dangerous.
The federal judge who was killed, John Roll, had received hundreds of menacing phone calls and death threats, especially after he allowed a case to proceed against a rancher accused of assaulting 16 Mexicans as they tried to cross his land. This rage, stirred by talk-radio hosts, required marshals to give the judge and his family 24-hour protection for a month. Around the nation, threats to federal judges have soared for a decade.

It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.

I expect the previous paragraph to be misconstrued. The NYT is not saying the Republicans and the Tea Party should share the blame with liberals. They are only saying, as I noted above, that Jared Lee Loughner's delusions were not fundamentally ideological or political. The political and social environment stoked by the Republicans and teabaggers, though, provided much support for a belief system that presumed that taking up arms against political leaders is an acceptable way to solve problems.
That whirlwind has touched down most forcefully in Arizona, which Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described after the shooting as the capital of “the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country.” Anti-immigrant sentiment in the state, firmly opposed by Ms. Giffords, has reached the point where Latino studies programs that advocate ethnic solidarity have actually been made illegal.

Its gun laws are among the most lenient, allowing even a disturbed man like Mr. Loughner to buy a pistol and carry it concealed without a special permit. That was before the Tucson rampage. Now, having seen first hand the horror of political violence, Arizona should lead the nation in quieting the voices of intolerance, demanding an end to the temptations of bloodshed, and imposing sensible controls on its instruments.

This will get interesting. The nuts were already saying that "Obama wants to take our guns away," despite all evidence to the contrary. Now let's see how long it is before they say that Loughner was a stooge for the left in a plot to create an anti-gun backlash.

You will hear calls for more civil discourse in politics but I'm afraid the cat is out of the bag. Media personalities like Sarah Palin know there is power in transforming fear into hate. They're not going to stop talking like that -- people like it too much. Even now, while she's scrubbing her web sites of evidence that she is a provocateur, you aren't hearing any apologies from her. As long as a candidate can win votes by playing to the fears of the people they're going to do it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

good op-ed in Post this morning about liberal blogoshere trying to exploit this tragedy

playing to fears is exactly what liberals do

January 10, 2011 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, "Anonymous", but did you read Jim's post?

You, of all people, excoriating the "liberal blogosphere" by saying that "playing to fears is exactly what liberals do". You are, and have been, exactly what has gone wrong in this country.

Pirating this site in order to repititiously espouse hateful, insulting, and bigoted thoughts has been exactly what you have been up to in this past year.

YOU have been exposed by the Times editorial.

Perhaps some more judicious editing of your rants and intentionally provocative musings (not posted with the idea of generating true dialogue about issues) would go a long way toward returning this site, and our couuntry, to desirable civility and respect for others.

No more of your egotistical whining and cries of "victimization" at the hands of progressive thinkers. It's gotten old.

January 10, 2011 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, it appears that the Post had a dozen opinion pieces on the topic this morning, almost all of them citing the culture of rightwing violent speech that nurtured the murderer's delusions. Maybe one discusses an alleged strategy by liberals to capitalize on the tragedy, which was Karl Rove's trademarked approach. You cannot typify the attitude of The Post though by referring to the one editorial that supports your view. At least link to it.

January 10, 2011 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, pretty funny that liberals are claiming the right engages in hate speed.

Liberals almost exclusively have a monoploy on the politics of personal destruction and insult flinging.

this site is probably a better example of it than anything else.

January 10, 2011 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Dr. Park Dietz, a forensics psychiatrist, the shooting has nothing to do with a heated political debate and has everything to do with the distorted thinking that accompanies mental illness.

"The real issue here has to do with the fact that serious mental illness can transform any political or religious thought into a justification for murder, assassination, mass murder and genocide," Dietz, president of Park Dietz & Associates said.

Dietz pointed to Loughner's MySpace page, where he listed some of his favorite books, including "Brave New World," "Aesop's Fables," "The Odyssey," "Fahrenheit 451," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "We the Living," "The Phantom Tollbooth," "Siddhartha, "The Old Man and the Sea," Hitler's "Mein Kampf," "The Republic" and "The Communist Manifesto."

"This young man exposed himself to at least 'The Communist Manifesto' and 'Mein Kampf,' which I'm sure had an important effect in fueling his thoughts," Dietz said.

It's also appears the occult played a role in Loughner's mind-set. Earlier today, it was revealed that a shrine was found behind his home. The shrine, a camouflage tent, contained an altar with a skull and ceremonial candles, the newspaper reported.

January 10, 2011 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you found one credentialed doctor to support your view. Congrats, "Anonymous."

Or did you?

No, in truth you didn't. In fact you're lying by omitting this part of the AOL News story:

"One of Loughner's last postings on MySpace reportedly was titled "Good-bye, Friends" and said, "Dear friends, please don't be mad at me." It remains unclear if the post is connected to the shooting. If it is, Dietz said, prosecutors could ultimately use it against Loughner.

"Most of the time, even those who have a serious mental disease still know they are shooting humans and know it is illegal," Dietz said. "The post where he says goodbye reflects his awareness that he could die [during the alleged shooting spree]." "

Your equally lying claim that "Liberals almost exclusively have a monoploy [sic] on the politics of personal destruction and insult flinging" rings rather weak a few days after Robert tried to engage you in a rational conversation and you insulted him by calling him a "moron." You've spent years attempting to personally destroy and flinging insults at LGBT people and their straight allies right here on Vigilance for all the world to read.

If I was you, I wouldn't expect Jim to scrub your own instances of "personal destruction and insult flinging" out of here. Maybe now you'll learn the true meaning of being accountable for your own vitriol just like your favorite role model Ms. Palin will.

January 10, 2011 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

different anon.
anon above was Theresa.
And you have never personally insulted me on this site have you ?

January 10, 2011 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what else are you planning on banning ?

Seriously are you really in favor of yet another govt agency monitoring everyone's speech ?

I thought the left was in favor of free speech... isn't that part of what the ACLU is all about ?

Seriously now, what are you going to classify can't be said ...

Battleground states ?
Target a particular district ?

do we really need grammar police..

I find it somewhat amazing that the left who constantly talks about personal liberties such that they complain about the Patriot act can be truly advocating word police.

I really don't find any consistent logic in these two positions, whatsover.

January 10, 2011 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No, in truth you didn't. In fact you're lying by omitting this part of the AOL News story"

mind explaining how that was a lie?

the reporter who wrote the story didn't include everything the individual told him

was he lying too?

liberals always have a fantasy that they can change the world by stopping free speech

it's about as reasonable as thinking they can change the weather by stopping wind

in other words, impossible

besides, there is really no indication that the use of action metaphors increase violence

fifty years ago, there was a generation raised playing cops and robbers and cowboys and indians and soldier on the battlefield with toy guns and bazookas and hand grenades

I had a great toy machine gun myself

they grew up and went to college and burned their draft card and refused to fight and put up posters that said "War is not healthy for children and other living things" and read books about hobbits while they got high and listened to Donovan records

then, they had kids and sheltered them from every mention of force and rated any movies with fights at least PG-13

and that sheltered generation produced Oklahoma City and Columbine and Virginia Tech

January 10, 2011 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously are you really in favor of yet another govt agency monitoring everyone's speech ?

Anon, do you really think that asking people not to threaten to kill one another is the same as "word police" or a government agency taking away your freedom of speech? You have the right to say any asshole thing you want, and you always will, but some of us don't know why you want to.

January 10, 2011 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, was Obama telling Latinos to "punish our enemies" the same as asking people not to threaten to kill each other ?

I actually think Obama's words are far worse than crosshairs over a particular political candidate.

Are you suggesting just asking people to tone down the rhetoric (and the President could start by exercising that discretion himself) or making it enforceable in some way....
If so, how ?

January 10, 2011 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Punish our enemies?" -- Oh, you mean on that Breitbart video. Heh, how many times do you think people will fall for that?

January 10, 2011 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you saying he didn't say this ?
Here is the entire quote.
I can go try and dig up the link if you would like.

In a radio interview that aired on Univision on Monday, Mr. Obama sought to assure Hispanics that he would push an immigration overhaul after the midterm elections, despite fierce Republican opposition.
“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

January 10, 2011 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here you go, and more Obama quotes like Republicans should sit in the back of the bus, etc.

So now he is talking about the vitriol in politic rhethoric ...


January 10, 2011 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So wait a minute, are you saying that there's something wrong with rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies? I don't get it. He's saying that's a lot better than apathetically sitting out the election -- you don't agree with that?

He's not saying to shoot them. The rightwing nuts have been hard on Latinos, there's nothing wrong with pointing out that by voting they can get more tolerant and reasonable people in office!

January 10, 2011 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you think putting an ad up with cross hairs on a candidate OR calling states battleground states is inviting people to shoot candidates ?

I think what Obama said is worse.

Please quote where a republican or conservative anywhere said that we should shoot democratics.

January 11, 2011 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with either by the way....
battleground states, cross hairs on candidates (either party) or what obama said.

it is all free speech.

but if you are going to complain about the rhethoric on the right, you also have to look at the left.

I do believe in free speech, for everyone. and property rights, and limited govt, etc.

and I regularly call my congressman and tell them that I believe what they are doing is unconstitutional or wrong, or that I shouldn't be forced to pay some illegals education when I have my own kids to pay for, and that what they are doing is outrageous, and that they won't get a penny more in taxes, and that I am going to do whatever I can to see they are voted out of office.

all free speech.
all constitutionally protected. as is yours. as is obamas. what would you suggest we do instead ?

institute the speech police ?

January 11, 2011 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you bring a knife we bring a gun"

"we have our boots on their throats"
secretary of the interior.

not just the political left, POTUS and the adminstration.

oh, and let's not forget our good ole democrat from florida suggesting that republicans want people to die....

let's hear some equivalent quotes from the right.

come up with ANYTHING George Bush said that compares with some of these quotes from Obama.

Anything, please.
what hypocrites.

January 11, 2011 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

turns out that a leftwing site, angry because Giffords was a Blue Dog Dem rather than a true liberal had her on a "target" list and removed it since the shooting, just like Palin did:

"Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, the largest left-wing community online, put Gabrielle Giffords on a target list with a bullseye. Just as Sarah Palin removed her post, Markos has removed his.

Another Daily Kos writer, just the other day, penned a post saying Congresswoman Giffords was dead to him."

January 11, 2011 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On all available evidence, Jared Lee Loughner is a mentally disturbed man who targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday because she was prominent and tragically accessible. Whatever confused political motives he expressed seem merely to be part of the maelstrom of his mental sickness.

In a better world, no one would attempt to exploit his madness for political gain. We would instead focus on the contributions of Ms. Giffords, by all accounts a laudable public servant. We would praise the survivors who intervened to tackle Mr. Loughner and disarm him before he could kill others—like 74-year-old retiree Bill Badger, who was grazed in the head by a bullet before helping to restrain the shooter.

But the shooting news had barely hit the wires on Saturday before the media's instant psychoanalysis put the American body politic on the couch instead of Mr. Loughner. "Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics," declared a story in the New York Times, which focused primarily on the tea party and Sarah Palin in the context of mass murder. The story even hauled in opposition to health-care reform.

Politico, the Beltway website, chimed in by quoting a "veteran Democratic operative" advising the White House "to deftly pin this on the tea partiers."

Shouldn't a publication insist that someone urging the exploitation of murder at least put his name on the record? The same goes for the anonymous Republican Senator quoted by Politico denouncing "town halls and cable TV and talk radio" in relation to Mr. Loughner.

Consider the kind of rhetoric that is being implicated as incendiary and beyond the pale. Mrs. Palin is being scored for having put contested Congressional seats such as Ms. Giffords's in cross hairs on her website before the last election. This is supposed to be an incitement to murder?

At least one left-wing site also put Ms. Giffords on such a "target" list because she is one of the Blue Dog Democrats who doesn't vote the party line.

Judging from Mr. Loughner's own website, his mind was a mess of conspiracy theories, influenced by tracts like "Mein Kampf" and the "Communist Manifesto." His main complaint about government seems to be that he believes it is trying to control American "grammar." Yet this becomes an excuse for the media to throw him in with the tea partiers as "anti-government."

Perhaps we will learn more as the investigation unfolds. But so far this case couldn't be more different than that of Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer who was motivated by Islamist hatred of America. Yet it is notable that the press corps was more restrained in identifying Major Hasan's Islamist role models than in immediately stretching to link Mr. Loughner with American politicians who universally denounce such violence.


January 11, 2011 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ponder the implication of this. A deranged soul shoots a public figure and we are supposed to change our political discourse and rule certain people and opinions out of bounds based on whatever incoherent ramblings Mr. Loughner published on his website?

Every two years we hold elections so that sane Americans can make a judgment on the policies of President Obama, John Boehner, tea party candidates and so on. But even though the people have recently had their say, in a typically raucous but entirely nonviolent fashion, we are supposed to put that aside and assess what a murderer with a mental illness has to tell us about the state of American politics, government and our national dialogue.

This line of argument is itself an attack on democratic discourse, and it is amazing that it even needs to be rebutted. Taking such an argument seriously will only encourage more crazy people to believe they can trigger a national soul-searching if they shoot at a political target. We should denounce the murders and the murderer, rather than doing him the honor of suggesting that his violence flows in any explainable fashion from democratic debate.

President Obama does have an opportunity here, but it is not to link—"deftly" or otherwise—his political opponents to Mr. Loughner. This would only further poison and polarize our public debate. Mr. Obama can lift the level of public discourse by explaining the reality of Mr. Loughner's illness and calling out those on the right and left who want to blame the other side for murder. That would be a genuinely Presidential act of leadership, and it would have the added advantage of being honest about the murders in Tucson

January 11, 2011 7:49 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

I am old enough to remember the assassaination of President Kennedy. Because of recent assassaination of Mississippi NAACP Chair Medgar Evers, the Birmingham Church bombing, the vitriol directed at Kennedy from the extreme right-wing in those days and because of an incident a few days (or weeks) earlier in Dallas where UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was physically attacked by anti-Administration demonstrators, the initial assumption by many was that the shooter must have been inspired by the right wing. This was not an unreasonable hypothesis.

It turned out that the assassain was a man with Communist background, and we later learned that there may have been a mob connection, as well. So there was no right-wing connection.

What should we learn from this history?

First, no one should make definitive statements until we know all the facts.

Second, if our initial assumptions (even if wrong) are based upon objective evidence of a danger to civil society, then the shock of the moment should lead good people of all political persuasions to step back and consider whether the rhetoric has gone too far. Talk of "Second Amendment remedies" is not good for healthy political discourse.

Third, the Kennedy assassaination was not done by a "mad man." Rather, it was a calculated political act. The Tuscon tragedy, on the other hand, appears not to have been a calulated political act. But it is reasonable to consider whether the kind of discourse we have seen over the last two years -- principally from the extreme right -- has created a polluted stream in which the madmen swim. In other words, an environment in which the madmen are more likely to focus their insanity on political figures.

PS: If our various Anons would identify themselves, even with a pseudonym, it might make for an improved discourse -- or at least a less confused one.

January 11, 2011 10:54 AM  
Anonymous What goes around, come around said...

"Hey, Sarah Palin, hows that hatey, killy, reloady, chrosshairsy thing working out for ya?"

January 11, 2011 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

liberals seemed to have convinced themselves that anyone is paying attention to their attempt to associate Palin and the Tea Party with a crazed killer

the backlash has already already begun and, really, Palin wasn't expecting to be endorsed by the NY Times anyway


January 11, 2011 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Dilbert Arenas said...

Loughner's fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords dates to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform. The only climate of hate was the pervasive post-Iraq campaign of vilification of George W. Bush, nicely captured by a New Republic editor who had begun an article thus: "I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it."

The charge that the metaphors used by Palin and others were inciting violence is ridiculous. Everyone uses warlike metaphors in describing politics. When Barack Obama said at a 2008 fundraiser in Philadelphia, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," he was hardly inciting violence.

January 12, 2011 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His fixation may have begun in 2007 but he didn't shoot her then.

January 12, 2011 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's true

he did it this weekend, when the liberal website, Daily Kos, had Giffords on a target list with a bull's eye

she didn't follow the liberal line faithfully enough so she was on their list

I assume to be consistent, you guys will calling for the shutdown of the liberal blogosphere

of course you will!

how could I even doubt it?

January 12, 2011 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's not forget that Obama used a gun metaphor in 2008 to describe what response he was going to use against his political opponents

January 12, 2011 8:47 AM  
Anonymous "Anonymous" is wrong again said...

the backlash has already already begun

Is this "the backlash" you are referring to "Anonymous"?

AP/GfK poll finds Obama's approval rating has risen to 53%

January 12, 2011 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm talking about the backlash against liberals who exploited the tragedy in Tucson for their own dastardly political purposes

as far as I know, Obama hasn't done that

Obama's number have gone up significantly since he came out in support of tax cuts for the very well-to-do

everyone loves the very well-to-do

don't you?

January 12, 2011 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee-hee, Anon, I'm getting a kick out of hearing you echo the talking points and it goes nowhere. Everybody understands that the rightwing has been out of control for a long time. Something like what happened in Tucson was inevitable. Go ahead and own it, man, it's yours.

Nobody is buying the "liberals are exploiting the tragedy" talking point. Nobody. Turn the page, see if they come up with something better. How about "the rhetoric is just as violent on the left" -- that oughta wow 'em. Try that.

January 12, 2011 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hee-hee, Anon, I'm getting a kick out of hearing you echo the talking points and it goes nowhere."

You can hear a lot of this kind of thing in insane asylums.

Irrational laughter.

"Everybody understands that the rightwing has been out of control for a long time."

People who cruise gay bars are not "everybody."

Don't make the mistake of assuming your field of acquaintences are "everybody."

As liberals kept pushing this line about the Tea Party, it kept getting more popular, until the smashing electoral victory they just secured.

btw, who do you think should be "controlling" the rightwing?

"Something like what happened in Tucson was inevitable."

That's true.

After liberals emptied insane asylums in the 70s, it was inevitable that one of these unmedicated nuts would shoot someone.

As a matter of fact, experts estimate that 10% of all homicides committed every year are perpetrated by certifiably insane people.

"Go ahead and own it, man, it's yours."

Tell the nice man in the white coat when he comes to your "room."

"Nobody is buying the "liberals are exploiting the tragedy" talking point. Nobody."

There's a world outside those gay bars, I'm telling you.

"Turn the page, see if they come up with something better."

I'm gonna stick with the truth if it's alright with you, Keem-o-sabe.

"How about "the rhetoric is just as violent on the left" -- that oughta wow 'em. Try that."

I've already made that obvious point.

Given examples too.

I guess guys in your condition have a lot of tricks to help them "escape" reality, huh?

January 12, 2011 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you don't think I "cruise gay bars," do you?

January 12, 2011 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

This seems to me to be less of an issue of the first amendment than the second.

January 13, 2011 5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you oppose the second amendment, Robert?

(this oughta be good)

January 13, 2011 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I support the all parts of the constitution which are still in force. I've even read it in the original Latin.

January 13, 2011 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I thought you were implying that you didn't support the Second Amendment

January 13, 2011 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

No. Iwas just saying we should be discussing not how crazy people get their thoughts, but how they get their guns.

January 14, 2011 4:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pointless, Robert

they'll get guns somehow

what's more important is how do we make sure the dangerously insane don't roam the streets

did you know one reason prison population has soared in recent decades is that mentally unstable people are not being treated in homes until they cause some tragedy?

mentally ill people, who once would been committed, kill people all the time

it's very common

we're only hearing about this case because a Congressman was a victim

January 14, 2011 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The point being that, if it's less easy to get guns, it will be harder to get guns, and insane people, who are almost always less functional than sane people, will find it harder to get guns.

Crazy people are not hardened drug dealers, and don't have the connections to find easy access to illegal guns. What they do have easy access to are legally obtained guns that can be sold to any person walking in off the street. Have you ever tried to buy a gun? Shockingly easy.

It's a simple equation. You're NRA talking points don't change that.

As I said, should we be debating where crazy people get their thoughts, or where they get their weapons?

January 14, 2011 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

drug dealers aren't causing the majority of random murders in America

it's usually someone insane

there are many ways to kill people without guns

you can run them over with a car

you can push in front of a Metro train

you can put poison in their drink

you can shove a red-hot ice pick into their gut

you can infect them with AIDS

let me know if you want any more ideas

"should we be debating where crazy people get their thoughts, or where they get their weapons?"


we should figure out how to detect which ones are dangerous and get them help before they hurt someone instead of waiting until they do and throwing them in prison to be tormented

January 14, 2011 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

In Virginia, there is something called a "Temporary Detention Order" (a 'Green Warrant') that certain officials (such as the police) can issue, if they think someone is a danger to themselves or others. Within 24 hours, the person thus detained must go before a magistrate, who will determine whether he or she should be committed or not.

Certainly, people are committed all the time under such rules, but there is a presumption in this country that citizens can't be detained indefinitely without having committed some sort of violation.

Your scenario, I fear, leans to a police state of detaining "undesirables" indefinitely without due process.

There are many ways to kill people, in multiple numbers. The easiest is to walk into a gun store and buy a semi-automatic weapon. Should this be easy? Your argument that people can be killed means that we should allow and encourage really easy ways of doing it simply absurd.

January 16, 2011 7:48 AM  

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