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View Diary: It's not just a few mass killers who are sick and twisted. Some gun manufacturers are worse (544 comments)

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  •  I have so much to say, (8+ / 0-)

    but one-handed typing prevents it, which really sucks for me.  I would like to direct attention to this excellent take by David Atkins over at Digby's place on what drives the paranoid fantasies of the rightwing.

    Responsible gun owners should embrace the debate on sensible gun regulation and join forces with those who are crying out for an end to the madness.  How many more children must die before a line is drawn in the sand?

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:34:45 PM PST

    •  Well, if Ms. Lanza, the shooter's mother, (8+ / 0-)

      was considered by those knew her to be a "responsible" gun owner - then we really need to raise the bar on what that is.

      Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

      by jan4insight on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:42:34 PM PST

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      •  I believe you are misreading what I'm saying. (5+ / 0-)

        I don't in the least consider her to have been a responsible gun owner.  Not even remotely.  I'm not a gun apologist.  I don't even own a gun.  I do know that responsible gun owners do exist, though, including the author of this diary.

        I think assault rifles and handguns should be banned, frankly.  I'm all for raising the bar.

        Did you read the link I left, btw?  That's something that deserves more discussion, IMO.

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:59:05 PM PST

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      •  Starting with: NO civilian, 'responsible' or not, (9+ / 0-)

        should own any form of assault weapon.

        Period.

        These are military grade tools with only one purpose: To snuff out human life. They should not be in the hands of civilians, ever, for any reason. The ban on their sale should be reinstated and made permanent, and legal owners should be given a short time to surrender the guns they currently possess.

        Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

        by earicicle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:00:11 PM PST

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        •  Totally agree. /nt (6+ / 0-)

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          by jan4insight on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:02:06 PM PST

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          •  Adding: (7+ / 0-)

            I think we should fairly compensate gun owners for the value of the weapons they surrender, with some sort of amnesty program encouraging the surrender of illegal weapons, too. I would love to find a way to frame this as a societal 'reset' button--a national armistice. Not an unhappy confrontation between an oppressive government and a reluctant populace.

            Will the bodies of 20 first-graders help the 'pro-gun' side convince themselves that this is the right thing to do?

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:14:41 PM PST

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            •  Excellent about the weapons surrender, and I (4+ / 0-)

              have an idea of what to do with them: Some of us over the past days have suggested we need a national memorial, something like the Vietnam wall, honoring victims of gun violence in the U.S.

              Let's melt down the surrendered guns and use that to create the memorial.

              (It's just an idea, but ideas are where the manifestation into reality begins)

              Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

              by jan4insight on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:17:28 PM PST

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              •  Beautiful idea: Metalwork artists are so talented. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jan4insight, Got a Grip

                This has the Biblical resonance of beating swords into ploughshares. Turn some of the metal over to artists to be fashioned into memorials--maybe several major cities that have suffered need to establish monuments, both in tribute to those who have fallen and in resolve to making the violence stop. Recycle the rest of the metal and other materials into beautiful things that cities and towns need: Park benches and lamp posts and street signs and whatever else creative minds can devise.

                Turn death into life.

                Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                by earicicle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:22:40 PM PST

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        •  the police shouldn't use military grade weapons (5+ / 0-)

          either or if they do, they should face life-long in prision, if they ever abuse the weapon in situations where their usage was not justified.

          If the military would be an "honorable" institution, a soldier would get the death penalty for target shoting on innocent unarmed civilians. They don't take that very seriously anymore. You get tortured for being a leaker, but you get away with killing innocents.

          The moral compass is getting muddied when "shooting" is something "out of everyday life" and "quite ok and necessary" to be "safe".

          •  That's why the public won't give them up (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annieli, mimi, earicicle, Simplify, KenBee, MKinTN

            Because they are permissible within the police force. To reform this, you need to also reform the police. I believe we saw this with England, right?

            I strongly feel that police ought not have military grade weaponry and that, by doing so, they set a poor example for society which mimics this as a state-set, normative "standard."

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            by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:26:38 PM PST

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            •  Peopl fear of the police overtaking people's civil (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, Laconic Lib

              rights, because they have the weapons. It's a scene supporter of the NRA build their arguments on and Libertarians see their gun ownership as an important tool to defend themselves from overreaches of the government.

              Therefore it would helpful if the police were less armed to have the argument that civilians don't need to go into an arms race against their own police force just out of fear the police overreaches.

              But how would you ever get all these guns out of private households and ownership to begin with ? And which weapons should the police have to shoot at a civilian sniper shooter like the one we had in my neighborhood way back, the Beltway sniper shooter.

              •  Realistically, mimi, I think we're in an age (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mimi, mahakali overdrive, Laconic Lib

                in which SWAT teams will always exist. Terrorism and crime are realities. As a society, we've come to expect certain highly trained law enforcement and military units will exist--and be able to respond at a moment's notice--when the worst happens.

                But I agree with you & m.o. in terms of the average police officer on the street: More community policing; less high-grade weaponry.

                And know that this comes from someone whose personal views are about as peace-loving as they get. I wish we didn't have to have any guns at all.

                Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                by earicicle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:01:47 PM PST

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                •  sure we need to have swat teams, they come (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive, earicicle

                  mostly into action AFTER a mass killing shooter takes hostages, not before. If they come for controlling a peaceful demonstration that gets abused by some stone throwing idiots, it's questionable and dangerous.

                  So, I have nothing against highly trained SWAT teams. They are needed in certain situations.

                  But in general the police is afraid of the armed civilians they might have to face in a 911 call, and the civilians are afraid of the police, as they believe they shoot too fast, too often and overstep their rights. They fear them too, because they know that the police gets away with borderline abusive behavior.  Laws are on their side, not on the side of the civilians, who want to be protected by the police and not be scared of them.

                   

                  •  Replies (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    schnecke21, MKinTN, earicicle

                    I have five years as a street cop, 3 of them in a tactical unit focusing on violent criminals; both of my sons are now cops on those same streets, with one on the SWAT team, and the other on the bomb squad.

                    The one on the SWAT team has had 7 callouts so far this year, all of which dealt with an armed individual either holding a hostage or holding police at bay after shooting incidents. Only one resulted in a police shooting and that was when the shooter exposed himself and fired directly on an officer 10 feet away. In another instance, that same son saw an opening and took an extraordinary risk by running up and tackling the shooter.

                    So yes, what they do is extremely dangerous and highly necessary.

                    As to your other issue, police have significant reason to be wary of each an every call that they answer. I cannot count the number of times I entered a house or turned a corner and was faced with an armed individual bent on doing me harm.

                    Are there cops who abuse their authority? Unquestionably so. But if the leadership in the particular department is good, the number of incidents is low, and the offending officers are dealt with appropriately.

                    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                    by Wayward Wind on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:24:37 PM PST

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            •  Police were being out-gunned at crime scenes (0+ / 0-)

              by drug dealers  & gangs with unlimited money who were trying to intimidate the public & law enforcement. Then there were the drug dealing home-grown militias that were using stolen military weapons to kill officers responding to crime scenes.

              SWAT officers are supposed to be the best trained & most skilled responders on scene. If they're not, there is a problem to be addressed outside our gun fetish discussion.

              It's been a nasty progression & the gun manufacturers & weapons dealers, & the NRA & other gun & violent survivalist anti-government groups are to blame.

              They can't play nice, so we need to tell them we are justified taking their dangerous toys away.

              Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

              by CA wildwoman on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:28:45 AM PST

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          •  mimi: I understand your concerns. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi, mahakali overdrive

            My point is to focus on what DEFINITELY should NOT be in civilian hands, ever. This 20 year old civilian slaughtered 20 kids with assault weapons that are legal for US citizens to purchase and own.

            There is a tangled web of conversations that can arise out of these tragedies. One of the ways that the NRA has always won is to encourage tangle and confusion and cacophony among its opposition. If we speak now clearly, with unity, on a few important things that a large majority of Americans can agree on quickly, we might be able to make progress for the first time against some of the deadliest weapons.

            Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

            by earicicle on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 05:51:37 PM PST

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            •  oh, count me in for supporting such an effort ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... and regarding the issue of "encourage tangle and confusion and cacophony among its opposition" ... that seems to me the main focus of lots of politicians, who are slaves to their corporate donors and have to buy their freedom and livelihood back from them, accepting to "entangle and twist the mind, to cause confusion, to hide the truth from transparent clarity, and love to dump a load of shitty cacophony, using the media as their platform.

              Yes. So why not boycott the media who give those "entangling cacophonists" (sorry I love that word and had to steal it twice from your comment) a platform.

          •  I agree 100% with you about the military (0+ / 0-)

            I am against capital punishment for civilians with a possible exception for treason and maybe mass murder but I'd be happy with an outright ban as well.

            But I think military justice should be harsher than civilian justice.  Murder or rape committed by a soldier should be a capital offense and should be the standard sentence unless there are sufficient mitiiating circumstances to reduce to life.

            "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

            by Quanta on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:49:22 PM PST

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        •  I disagree in part. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think you can realistically force people to surrender their weapons.  Many people would refuse and you'd be turning otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals.  Instead I'd suggest voluntary surrender with a sizable reward for turning in assault weapons.  Perhaps something as high as 150% of the retail price of the weapon.  Maybe 200% even since that would drastically raise the value of the guns and the black market price of the weapons.

          "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

          by Quanta on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:55:59 PM PST

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