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President Obama made this statement at his presser following the Newtown shooting yesterday:

And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
Of course, he is absolutely right; we should take meaningful steps to solve the issue of gun violence.  The problem is, he is the only one who would be left unscathed by pursuing remedies "regardless of the politics."  He has no more re-elections to worry about, but I'm not so sure how our Dems in Congress might fare should the party pursue and pass laws restricting gun access/use/licensing, etc.

But what if there were a way to address the issue such that "regardless of the politics" posed a danger to no one?  I say there is:  we should be using this opening in the gun control debate to demand a stronger social safety net and prevention programs.  Because this is not about guns; it's about what drives people to embrace violence as a solution.  Violence is ultimately a function of despair; when people feel empowered and have hope, the less they resort to extreme measures. When people feel they have no voice and no control over their fate, desperation sets in.  Fewer people reaching that point means fewer Columbines, VA Techs (my alma mater; I worked in the building involved), and Newtowns.

So where might "Regardless of the politics" lead?  Let's look at a hypothetical situation wherein Obama/Dems introduce and maybe even pass gun control legislation.  The GOP, NRA and who knows what other groups on the right would be aligned with a surprising number of left-leaning gun users in opposition.  It would make the health care reform debate look like a picnic.  I'd say the risk of some militia group going straight on over the edge and engaging in violence would be likely.  Look at how they react to the mere hint that somebody somewhere might one day take their guns away; can you imagine their response should someone actually do so?

On the other hand, contrast all of that with this hypothetical scenario:  Obama and our Dems in Congress instead make a full-throated demand for strengthened social programs.  Presenting such an approach as an alternative to stricter gun laws provides us with a very strong position for arguing our case.  Complaints about costs?  Well, enforcement of stricter gun laws costs money, too.  Except that putting money into social programs reaps benefits far beyond the question of gun violence; it solves several problems, including gun violence.

It's also true that taking such a tack would not rile up any of the crazies, except the garden variety crazy that is the modern-day GOP when it comes to taking care of people.  The NRA would likely at least stay quiet, since they'd have no obvious dog in the fight, and I'm sure even some of them would regard less poverty and more education as good things.  Even conservative groups like the Catholic Bishops who denounced the Ryan Budget support anti-poverty programs.  

Such proposals wouldn't meet any more resistance than they do now, basically.  Only, when presented as a solution to gun violence, it becomes really hard for anyone to argue against, especially if groups like the NRA aren't marshaling support and making full-court presses with their lobbying efforts.  It is one thing for the GOP to decry social programs because socialism, etc.  But the optics of opposing programs to reduce gun violence are just atrocious, and not even the GOP propaganda machine has enough lipstick for that pig.

We already know that support programs like food stamps and unemployment insurance provide the best GDP bang for the buck; money that is spent immediately ups the demand side of the equation, which ups supply, which provides jobs, yadda yadda.  We also know that the links between poverty and (gun) violence are well established:

Poverty is a substantial factor in gun deaths by metro, as it was in our previous state-level analysis. The percentage of a metro’s population below the poverty line is significantly associated with all three types of gun death — homicide (.45), suicide (.35), and the overall rate (.49).

... Economic advantage plays a substantial role in moderating death by gun, at the metro level as it did for states. More affluent metros have lower rates of all forms of gun death. That said, economic advantage — measured as per capita income — plays a bigger role in moderating the overall rate of gun death (-.55) and that for gun-related suicide (-.64) than for gun-related murders (-.32).

Education plays a similar role in moderating gun death, with more highly-educated metros having lower levels of all types of gun death. The share of adults that are college grads is negatively correlated with of gun death overall (-.57), suicides (-.52), and murders (-.46).

Gun death also varies by socio-economic class. Higher levels of knowledge-based, creative class work at the metro level is associated with lower levels of all three types of gun death — overall gun deaths (-. 55), gun-related suicides (-.53), and gun-related homicides (-.39). The same pattern holds for high-tech industry. A metro’s share of high-tech industry is negatively associated with overall gun deaths (-.49), gun-related suicides (-.53), and homicides (-.32). Conversely, metros with higher shares of blue-collar working class jobs experience higher rates of all three, with positive correlations to overall gun deaths (.52), suicides (.49), and murders (.37).

Yes, I know:  there are lies, damned lies, and statistics and if you torture the numbers enough, you can make them say anything.  But poverty is consistently identified as a driver of gun violence across the board, however mitigated by other factors it may be.  Also of interest is the information about education levels being related to gun violence, as is the data about type of jobs/industry available as a career choice.

What all of those seemingly disparate metrics have in common is their solution:  education is an antidote to gun violence in two ways.  It directly reduces gun violence itself, and it reduces poverty, which also lessens gun violence.  Properly funding education opens the door to whole new worlds for children and does nothing but benefit society.  Whatever it costs in dollars, it's worth it ten times over.

Lastly, there is the elephant in the room that is the state of our approach to mental wellness. Basically, we don't have one.  Health care focuses almost entirely on the physical; even if people are lucky enough to have counseling coverage on their insurance, there are usually limits, as if psychology were that simple and six sessions constituted a cure-all.  I know there are some who view focusing on mental health as a distraction, or worse, deliberate misdirection, from the gun debate.  But that is just not the case.  Mark Follman of Mother Jones took a look at this relationship and found that over half of the mass shootings they examined pointed to mental health of the gunman as a factor.

After another young man unleashed horror inside a Colorado movie theater this July, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 61 of them—24 in the last seven years alone.

...Acute paranoia, delusions, and depression were rampant among them, with at least 35 of the killers committing suicide on or near the scene. (Seven others died in police shootouts they had little hope of surviving, regarded by some experts as "suicide by cop.") And according to additional research we completed recently, at least 38 of them displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.

Did you know that the majority of U.S. gun deaths are suicides?  In several of the more recent shooting incidents, it has come out that the perpetrators had established histories of unstable behavior, yet they were allowed to buy guns perfectly legally.  If we had adequate support available for people suffering depression, etc., we could better prevent such oversights.

Sadly, there are no easy solutions to be had, because the problem is extraordinarily complex.  But strengthening social programs as part of the solution not only mitigates gun violence, but also legitimizes liberal policies that value all Americans, not just the well-to-do ones.  Properly enforcing already existing gun laws and expanding the social safety net is an approach to addressing this issue that wouldn't incite immediate knee-jerk resistance.  And it could cement the New Deal vision of progressive values as a good thing in the American psyche for a good long while.  

Let us clamor for that and let the GOP twist in the wind as they thumb their noses at workable solutions to our gun problems.  I triple-dog dare them to speak out against effective social policy on this.  Who's with me?  


Originally posted to Cedwyn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos, Progressive Policy Zone, and Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did you know that (46+ / 0-)

    homicide (by any method) ranks 15th as causes of death in the U.S. go?  here they are, in order:

    Diseases of heart (heart disease)
    Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases
    Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
    Accidents (unintentional injuries)
    Alzheimer’s disease
    Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
    Influenza and pneumonia
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
    Intentional self-harm (suicide)
    Septicemia
    Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
    Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
    (hypertension)
    Parkinson’s disease
    Assault (homicide)
    notice the overarching theme that health care is the answer?

    take care of yourselves out there!

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:01:41 AM PST

  •  I did see it mentioned on up with Chris Hayes (14+ / 0-)
    Did you know that the majority of U.S. gun deaths are suicides?
    In addition to shootings by cops and accidental shootings. I really don't know what the solution is. Guns are too readily available to just about anyone, even with background checks. Many guns are obtained illegaly.  We also need to greatly reduce NRA's power on our government.

    Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

    by raina on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:11:43 AM PST

  •  You're absolutely on the right track here. (8+ / 0-)

    Piers Morgan had a segment last night in which he interviewed two mental health experts with long experience in analyzing people who commit mass and not so mass shootings, and in broader areas of mental health generally and you are saying the same things they did. Many people suffer mental problem in silence and need help. A few of them go down with guns blazing, and helping all of them would go a long way towards eliminating tragedies such as yesterday's.

    And you address the other, larger part of the gun violence problem- poverty and what goes along with it.

    Our gun homicide rate is about 3 per hundred thousand. In the U.K. it is about .22 though. They got there with an almost total gun ban. If we got rid of that 3 we would have a murder rate about equal to theirs instead of about 3 times as high. The stats are U.S.: total murder rate 4.2, gun murder rate 3; U.K.: total murder rate 1.2 gun murder rate .22. Take away the gun rates and you get 1.2 for us, 1 for Britain. I found those stats here and here.

    I don't know if we can get to Britain's murder rate and still keep our guns, but it looks like politics will force us to try if we do anything at all. Maybe later we will decide to do more.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:19:57 AM PST

    •  Britain never had (12+ / 0-)

      very many guns (or gun owners) to begin with, though, which made it exponentially easier to round them all up. The same was true of Australia, which went the same route as the UK. We, OTOH, have a few hundred million guns, most unregistered, in the hands of civilians, and even more significant, a population which, for the most part, approves of gun ownership. Supply side gun control as practiced in the UK will never be a reality here.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:02:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. And one other thing I didn't mention (7+ / 0-)

        was the gun suicide rate here, which is 5.75, compared to gun homicide at 3 per 100,000. Better mental health care would probably bring that down a lot as well, and it's almost twice the rate of gun homicides.

        I miswrote the UK stats, by the way, their gun homicide rate is .03, their gun suicide rate is .16. So if you just subtract the gun homicide rate from the total murder rate you still get 1.2, exactly the same as our nongun homicide rate.

        One thing I was thinking about today was that as horrific as the shooting was yesterday it only accounted for about 1/3 of a normal day's total gun deaths. Since we are at about 2 suicides for one homicide by guns, it might be fair to say there were about 70 gun suicides yesterday, and every day, that go by unnoticed. And about 30 gun murders.

        Kind of like airplane crashes vs car crashes as far as recognition goes.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:16:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ummmm, actually, Britian had a much lower... (9+ / 0-)

      murder rate than us before their bans.  And not much of a drop after them.

      One large part of the blame lies on Prohibition I, compounded by Prohibition II.

      We can fix that.....

    •  What is the homicide rate? (0+ / 0-)

      Not the gun homicide rate, but the overall per-capita homicide rate?

      I constantly hear Brits bragging about their gun homicide rate, but hear little mention of the overall homicide rate, or the fact it appears to be higher than gun-saturated northern European nations.

      Did the homicide rate increase, decrease or stay stable after the gun round-ups?

      I'm wonder if the British power establishment is beating their own chest to cover for their own policy failures?

      •  1.2 per 100,000 (0+ / 0-)

        I believe that was for 2011. Haven't looked at the change over time.

        Ours is 4.2 per 100,000 for the same year. Our gun homicide rate is about 3 per 100,000. Our gun suicide rate is almost twice that, 5.75.

        More here and here.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 11:26:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If we assume that (20+ / 0-)

    the gun lobby  is so powerful  that there will be no real action with regard to guns, then our focus on reducing the potential for gun violence should be on:

    (1) making sure that mental health care is a universal right--free and available to all

    (2) making sure that education--particularly college education--is a universal right, free and available to all

    (3) reducing poverty by raising the minimum wage and having strong unions.

    I realize that none of this is practical in today's political climate, but it's nice to dream.

  •  Start by renewing the assault weapons ban. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Onomastic

    Obama should ask Congress to have this bill on his desk at the start of his second term.  It would set the tone, and he can spend the political capital to do it.

    I'm sick of hearing how it might affect the Congressperson's next election.  This is common sense.

  •  Don't you think Cedwyn that it would be good to (12+ / 0-)

    renounce violence or the wish for violence or stating the wish for violence against those with whom we disagree? I read all the time on these pages vile hurtful things people wish to do against others, simply because they disagree. Rich/poor, educated or not, violence is our solution.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:27:14 AM PST

  •  Actually, it IS about guns. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arenosa

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:51:24 AM PST

  •  There was a time when gun control was a core (6+ / 0-)

    belief of the Democratic Party. Why shouldn't it be again? Why should the right continue to set the national discussion on this or any other topic?

    I'm no anti-gun absolutist. I believe that, as long as humans consume flesh, hunting and butchering it yourself is easily the most ethical way to do it.

    Target shooting? Fine, a hobby like any other.

    Home protection? I'm much iffier about that, but I can accept a limited right there too.

    But...

    Semi-automatic weapons? Weapons whose only use is to kill a lot of people quickly? Why on earth shouldn't there be an absolute Federal ban on those?

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:59:33 AM PST

    •  because there are ways of addressing it (12+ / 0-)

      without focusing on guns.  why fight an uphill battle when you can take the fight to safer ground?

      if the goal is to reduce gun violence, remedying social problems is just as important than focusing on guns.  

      also, too, let's actually enforce the laws that already exist.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:15:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know I'm not likely to oppose remedying (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arenosa, GwenM, Onomastic, suesue

        social problems or enforcing existing laws.

        The fact is that an outright ban on semi-automatic weapons will save a lot of lives quickly, far quicker than we can address the more basic problems of America.

        Do you disagree?

        I stumbled on this piece from a 2nd Amendment supporter in Houston. (Maybe you've seen it already, Cedwyn, being in Texas.) It makes the case for a ban better than I can.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:23:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Phil, do you realize (8+ / 0-)

          that probably more than half the weapons out there are semi-automatics? The technology has been around for a hundred years. There are countless makes and models of semi-automatic shotguns and hunting rifles, all legal, all widely used for many years. Never mind pistols. How will banning them solve this problem? How will they be removed from citizen hands quickly and efficiently? We're talking tens of millions of guns, nearly all unregistered. It's simply not going to happen.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:40:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll stipulate that I'm poorly-versed (5+ / 0-)

            in firearm terminology.

            We all know the sort of weapon I'm referring to though: a gun that fires a great many bullets very very quickly, and has little purpose other than maximizing casualties in a minimal amount of time.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:40:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again, that description (9+ / 0-)

              could be applied to half the guns out there, most of which are hunting weapons. That's why the AWB was ineffective: the difference between an assault weapon and a hunting rifle are almost entirely cosmetic.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 01:53:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  We actually do not know the sort of firearm (6+ / 0-)

              you are referring to -- and that is one of the critical problems associated with the "Assault Weapons Ban."  

              As Happy Camper points out, the semi-automatic function (and removable/replaceable magazine) is a basic characteristic of a very wide range of rifle, shotgun and handgun designs today.  Those who appreciate this important technical point therefore often conclude the AWB concerned more with arbitrary cosmetics and semantics than actual operational function and regulatory efficacy.

              The AWB is seriously flawed precisely because it is superficially appealing to those who might be less informed about this important technical point, however deeply and legitimately concerned ban advocates might be on the "gun control" issue.  

              However, as this Diary correctly suggests, we can identify positive correlations with several significant underlying social problems.  This clearly provides an opportunity to work on common ground  where firearm accessibility (now a more clearly recognized Constitutional right) is such an emotional factor for all sides in the public debate in addressing gun related violence and rights of ownership.

              The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

              by ancblu on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:02:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  PhilJD, the problem is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, Cedwyn, PhilJD

          you have to decide which is the low-hanging fruit and stick with it.

          US v Miller long championed as FIRMLY establishing the Federal role in limiting, regulating, taxing, and prohibiting firearms and dangerous devices - held at it's core:

          "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument."
          "The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."
          Vacate Miller and you undermine the NFA '34, the GCA '68, and the Brady Bill, as one is based-upon revisions of the other.

          Democrats have long held there must be gun control.
          Of what, is the question.
          Handguns.
          Concealed Handguns.
          Large caliber handguns.
          Large military/police style handguns.
          Rapid fire weapons of any size.
          Magazine fed rifles, of a military style.
          Large caliber rifles.
          Guns, all the guns.
          Shotguns - I've watched CSI, and you can't do a "ballistic fingerprint" from a shotgun.
          Any gun or bullet that can harm a police officer wearing a "bulletproof" vest.
          Oh fuck yes.  All of those.

          The last, will require a 50 state referendum.

          So pick your low-hanging fruit, and stick with that one or two items that are doable.
          Avoid coming back in 2 years and going for 2 more.
          Then 2 more, then 2 more - while NOT ADDRESSING the culture of violence and the lack of single-payer mental health care.

          MY reason is push-back of a different nature.
          Another Diarist today said:  "Have a gun, accept warrantless searches to verify possession, storage, ammunition, etc..."

          The GOP is willing to go there, and accept this.  They too ran towards war and the USA PATRIOT Act.  Senator Russ Feingold being the only principled person in the entire body of legislature.

          So not to worry - this "warrantless" thing will fly through Congress and the Senate.

          Worry however, about what's on the GOP's list of search and seizure.  
          Kossacks:  You won't like the result, anymore than Citizens United.

          Oh, and it's just about the fucking guns?  Nah.  Once the ability to avoid the pesky 4th and 5th Amendments are done-away with by fiat?  All bets are off as to what is, or what can be, due cause to Taser your ass, and tear the place apart.

          Resist?  Go ahead, "Domestic Terrorist".  

          HOLD THE WATERBOARD!!! WE'VE GOT ANOTHER ONE!
        •  few people are, which is the point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD
          You know I'm not likely to oppose remedying social problems or enforcing existing laws.
          this is one tough nut for the GOP to crack.  how on earth can they come out against proper enforcement of existing laws?  they're all but forced to fund the necessary agencies/functions.

          and yes, we all know conservatives will always gnash and wail about any kind of spending to benefit the less fortunate.  but again, when presented as a solution to something that EVERYONE except the NRA agrees is a problem, the debate takes on a completely different dimension, one in which blanket obstruction for its own sake is not going to fly.

          imagine the convo:

          you don't want to do gun legislation?  fine.  then let's attack a huge driver of (gun) violence, poverty, and expand UI, safety net, and education funding.  oh you don't want that, either?  then what do you suggest?

          * crickets *

          the GOP is never going to stick it to the NRA, so what solution could they possibly have to counter-propose?  i contend that they would pay a hefty price for not doing something at this point.  and if the dems are going to provide the solution, i maintain it should be an approach that most can agree on.  the links between poverty and violence are well established.

          if we focus the solutions to gun violence on liberal social policy, the left would be totally united in the fight.  whereas if the focus is guns, there will be disagreement, even among the left, and it would incite the most rabid of opposition.

          that the debate has opened up like this provides a GOLDEN opportunity to really, really, hard-core make the case for the progressive policy solutions we all want. pitting them against gun violence is sort of a silver bullet, so to speak.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 09:29:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I like your approach very much (10+ / 0-)

    And think this could be a very smart way to go. My only concern is how do we bring linear-thinking Americans to understand the links between social support (or lack of it) and reducing desperation in people who might otherwise turn to violence?

    Too many Americans are never taught to look for, let alone see, how circumstances interact with each other; lots of "either/or" thinking out there could make this a difficult task.

    Nevertheless, I think you're on to something that could make a real and impactful difference.

    Yes, he’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. Yours, mine and ours. And he’s black. Get over it. --Eugene Robinson

    by Jennifer Clare on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:24:13 AM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn
    nice try, troll /nt (0+ / 0-)
    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:43:11 AM PST

    [ Parent | Reply to This ]

    OH, you are RKBA. That explains it. nt (0+ / 0-)
    "We have cast our lot with something bigger than ourselves" - President Obama, July 30, 2010

    by Overseas on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:34:37 PM PST

    [ Parent | Reply to This |  Recommend   Hide ]

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:39:17 PM PST

  •  Many wrongs in this diary (0+ / 0-)
    Because this is not about guns
    It kind of is.  Yes, there are mental health aspects to deal with, but the weapons the shooter had in this incident and others were key to the large numbers of deaths.
    I'm not so sure how our Dems in Congress might fare should the party pursue and pass laws restricting gun access/use/licensing, etc.
    Well, it's already happening; see Feinstein and Schumer.  Our dems in Congress fare just fine when they actually stand up for progressive ideals.  Before this election, many were warning the party to avoid social issues like marriage equality and reproductive rights.  Guess what....people want courageous leadership.  
    The GOP, NRA and who knows what other groups on the right would be aligned with a surprising number of left-leaning gun users in opposition.
    If they oppose the sort of vanilla AWB or gun show loophole legislation we're likely to see introduced, they aren't very left-leaning in the first place.
    Obama and our Dems in Congress instead make a full-throated demand for strengthened social programs.
    Not only would such a proposal do little to stop most of our mass shootings, it would be opposed vehemently by the Right whether you think so or not and Obama would still be accused of wanting to grab guns.  
    I know there are some who view focusing on mental health as a distraction, or worse, deliberate misdirection, from the gun debate.
    Who?  Certainly not me.  You just don't hear about it as much here because we actually believe progress can be made on this front, unlike the gun front, due to NRA enablers such as yourself.
    In several of the more recent shooting incidents, it has come out that the perpetrators had established histories of unstable behavior, yet they were allowed to buy guns perfectly legally.  If we had adequate support available for people suffering depression, etc., we could better prevent such oversights.
    You'd need more gun laws to accomplish that too.  Recognizing someone is troubled, and keeping them from buying weapons intended only to kill humans, are two entirely different things.  
    Properly enforcing already existing gun laws and expanding the social safety net is an approach to addressing this issue that wouldn't incite immediate knee-jerk resistance.
    The knee-jerk resistance of gun nuts is not a reason to sidestep doing the right thing.  

    You never say in your diary that you think there is anything wrong with civilians having firearms capable of firing 60+ rounds a minute.  I guess that means you don't.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:17:59 PM PST

  •  Tipped and rec'd for a thoughtful diary (3+ / 0-)

    advocating a comprehensive solution which ends, yes indeed, in a solution rather than reflexive responses.

    Right now, I'm most convinced by the idea of better mental health screenings in vulnerable populations, alongside certain types of increased gun controls and legislation that I would easily vote for if they were put on a ballot without blinking an eye.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:09:19 PM PST

  •  By far the best option so far on this site, kudos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, KVoimakas

    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
    Emiliano Zapata

    by buddabelly on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:11:26 PM PST

  •  Great diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, Cedwyn
    Such proposals wouldn't meet any more resistance than they do now, basically.  Only, when presented as a solution to gun violence, it becomes really hard for anyone to argue against, especially if groups like the NRA aren't marshaling support and making full-court presses with their lobbying efforts.  It is one thing for the GOP to decry social programs because socialism, etc.  But the optics of opposing programs to reduce gun violence are just atrocious, and not even the GOP propaganda machine has enough lipstick for that pig.

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