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DougRich
05-23-2018, 09:35 AM
2 school shootings, 2 different gun debates: Unlike Parkland, Santa Fe response is more muted

AUSTIN – Days after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February, Sandy Phillips — who advocates for gun restrictions — traveled to the South Florida city and was encouraged by how openly student survivors wanted to discuss the shooting and push measures to try to prevent similar incidents.

The scene in Santa Fe, Texas, site of the latest school massacre, has been far different since she arrived Friday: Phillips, whose daughter Jessica was shot and killed in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting six years ago, said no one has agreed to meet with her.

No one much wants to talk about the deadly rampage inside the high school that left 10 people dead and 13 injured, much less discuss ways to prevent shootings.

“This has been starkly different from Parkland in so many ways,” said Phillips, who has traveled to nine mass shooting scenes in the past six years, offering support to survivors and victims’ families. “It’s almost jarring.”

Unlike Parkland and other mass shootings that sparked national debates and rallies calling for changes to gun rules, the shooting at Santa Fe has delivered a much more muted response to the gun debate.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he will host a series of roundtable discussions, beginning Tuesday, to find solutions to improve safety and security at Texas schools, which will include parents, teachers, mass shooting survivors, legislators and groups that advocate for and against further gun regulations.

In Santa Fe, some students and parents voiced support for gun rights over stricter regulations, while leaders pointed to other solutions, such as increasing school security, rather than tampering with gun laws.

“What law can you pass that stops someone who ignores the law?” said Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, the county’s top administrator. “We need to focus a lot more attention on mental health.”

Police said Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, stormed into the art complex at the rear of Santa Fe High School early Friday with a pump-action shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver and began shooting, killing 10 people in 30 minutes before surrendering to police. The alleged gunman got the weapons from his father, authorities said.

MORE AT LINK

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/05/21/gun-debate-santa-fe-shooting-nra-parkland-violence-school/630321002/

Earlier this week, I listened to a report on NPR wherein a number of students from Santa Fe High School were interviewed, and they spoke about how they, their families and friends, all went hunting and target shooting, and took firearms for granted as a part of their lives. Several parents interviewed expressed the same ideas. Attempts by student activists from Parkland and elsewhere to enlist (and, if we're being honest, exploit) the Santa Fe students and others from that community have largely been rebuffed.

As for the woman, Sandy Phillips, who has "traveled to nine mass shooting scenes in the past six years, offering support to survivors and victims’ families", I have to say that it sounds to me like someone who is in danger of making it "all about her", rather than about the victims. There is a thing called "disaster tourism", and she appears to be engaging in it.

Crepitus
05-23-2018, 10:09 AM
This is what happens when the shooting happens in an area with a strong NRA cult chapter.

DougRich
05-23-2018, 11:11 AM
This is what happens when the shooting happens in an area with a strong NRA cult chapter.

Growing up with guns around, understanding that they are neither toys or innately evil, having an appreciation for the historical significance of American gun rights and for the importance of the Second Amendment, and being willing to discuss the efficacy of potential solutions to gun violence that don't involve making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to buy and possess them makes someone a member of an "NRA cult chapter", Crep?

Instead of vilifying the NRA - which I, for one, have never been a member of, by the way - why don't you acknowledge that it's possible for an individual, or an entire community, to have a different perspective on firearms than your own, based on personal and collective experience, and to resist being swept up in (and used by) a movement that continues to pretend that criminals and mentally unstable people will be deterred from doing bad things if we just pass enough laws.

Crepitus
05-24-2018, 09:05 AM
I vilify the NRA because they deserve vilification. These days they are nothing but a lobby for the gun/ammunition producing companies and will do or say anything to buy political influence for their agenda, which is "profit at any cost".

Guns are not evil, but the use to which they are put often is. This isn't the wild west, normal people do not need ar15s to protect themselves. That's one of the great things about this country. It's just silly to have an arsenal in your bedroom.

DougRich
05-24-2018, 09:25 AM
I vilify the NRA because they deserve vilification. These days they are nothing but a lobby for the gun/ammunition producing companies and will do or say anything to buy political influence for their agenda, which is "profit at any cost".

Guns are not evil, but the use to which they are put often is. This isn't the wild west, normal people do not need ar15s to protect themselves. That's one of the great things about this country. It's just silly to have an arsenal in your bedroom.

Not sure what you are referencing there as "one of the great things about this country" - the fact that most of us are relatively safe without going around heavily armed, or the fact that it's legal to do or collect something that other people consider "silly". In either case, I agree.

Where I suspect we would disagree is where you seem to move - and please correct me if I'm wrong - from your opinion that it's silly or unnecessary for me to own something, to the proposition that my ownership of that thing ought to be prohibited by law. You are seeking, in effect, to have your personal opinion about something codified and supported by the State; and while no analogy is perfect, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear about someone wanting that to happen is the "pro-life" (or, if you prefer, anti-choice) movement.

Back to the guns, themselves, though, various estimates place the number of so-called "assault-style rifles" in private hands in the U.S. at somewhere in the neighborhood of three million. Given that, if there was something inherently dangerous about someone owning such a weapon, would we hear about an attack on innocent citizens carried out with one of them only a few times a year?

Dr. Who
05-24-2018, 07:40 PM
Not sure what you are referencing there as "one of the great things about this country" - the fact that most of us are relatively safe without going around heavily armed, or the fact that it's legal to do or collect something that other people consider "silly". In either case, I agree.

Where I suspect we would disagree is where you seem to move - and please correct me if I'm wrong - from your opinion that it's silly or unnecessary for me to own something, to the proposition that my ownership of that thing ought to be prohibited by law. You are seeking, in effect, to have your personal opinion about something codified and supported by the State; and while no analogy is perfect, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear about someone wanting that to happen is the "pro-life" (or, if you prefer, anti-choice) movement.

Back to the guns, themselves, though, various estimates place the number of so-called "assault-style rifles" in private hands in the U.S. at somewhere in the neighborhood of three million. Given that, if there was something inherently dangerous about someone owning such a weapon, would we hear about an attack on innocent citizens carried out with one of them only a few times a year?
While I don't in principle have an issue with gun ownership, what gives me pause is 1) the almost obsessive desire on the parts of so many to own as many guns as possible and 2) the sheer paranoia that grips some people, such that they need guns in every room of the house - just in case. I find that attitude frightening and fairly unique to America. You might expect it in places in the world that are virtually lawless, but not in the wealthiest first nation country (ostensibly) on the planet. Paranoid people are dangerous people. Perhaps someone can explain to me why some folks have such a heightened level of vigilance where their chances of getting killed in a car accident or falling in the bathroom are so much higher than being killed by a nogoodnik.

William
05-24-2018, 07:51 PM
Sorry to break into your conversation DougRich, but 33,000 Americans die every year from gunshot wounds. So I guess other Americans feel they have the right to question how necessary guns are in your society.

Are they a total necessity for survival? And if so, what does that say about your society? If they are not a necessity, what then is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and why cannot that be repealed?

I know many Americans have grown up with guns, but so have many Americans grown up with cigarettes - does that make them OK?

Yours is a rich, powerful, and in many ways great, society - but some of your ideas about freedom are seen as weird by other developed societies. The freedom to own a killing machine in a suburban environment with no obvious need to cull wild animals or pests, is one of those. Some Americans are always going on about freedoms, but any 'freedom' which reduces other people's freedoms is not a freedom (and the freedom from fear of being shot dead is a real freedom). The same with so-called 'freedom of speech - it cannot be total, as a 'freedom' which can hurt other people and even drive them to suicide, cannot be considered a real freedom.

The only effective and permanent answer to school and other massacres is a repeal of that outdated 2nd Amendment, and a total ban on the sale and possession of all guns - with the exception of shotguns and single shot rifles for people like farmers. It could take many years, even many decades, to get rid of all the firearms - by means of buy-backs and amnesty hand-ins for illegal weapons - but it would happen. And it would not mean that no one ever gets shot in your society, but it would likely mean that most of that 33,000 people, including kids, who would otherwise die - would live.

Dr. Who
05-24-2018, 09:05 PM
Sorry to break into your conversation @DougRich (http://politicalfireside.com/member.php?u=4), but 33,000 Americans die every year from gunshot wounds. So I guess other Americans feel they have the right to question how necessary guns are in your society.

Are they a total necessity for survival? And if so, what does that say about your society? If they are not a necessity, what then is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and why cannot that be repealed?

I know many Americans have grown up with guns, but so have many Americans grown up with cigarettes - does that make them OK?

Yours is a rich, powerful, and in many ways great, society - but some of your ideas about freedom are seen as weird by other developed societies. The freedom to own a killing machine in a suburban environment with no obvious need to cull wild animals or pests, is one of those. Some Americans are always going on about freedoms, but any 'freedom' which reduces other people's freedoms is not a freedom (and the freedom from fear of being shot dead is a real freedom). The same with so-called 'freedom of speech - it cannot be total, as a 'freedom' which can hurt other people and even drive them to suicide, cannot be considered a real freedom.

The only effective and permanent answer to school and other massacres is a repeal of that outdated 2nd Amendment, and a total ban on the sale and possession of all guns - with the exception of shotguns and single shot rifles for people like farmers. It could take many years, even many decades, to get rid of all the firearms - by means of buy-backs and amnesty hand-ins for illegal weapons - but it would happen. And it would not mean that no one ever gets shot in your society, but it would likely mean that most of that 33,000 people, including kids, who would otherwise die - would live.
Repealing the 2nd is highly unlikely. For millions, it may be the only part of the Constitution that they know or care about. For some reason, the gun is the symbol of freedom in America. To quote Charleton Heston: "From my cold dead hands".

Crepitus
05-24-2018, 09:17 PM
Not sure what you are referencing there as "one of the great things about this country" - the fact that most of us are relatively safe without going around heavily armed, or the fact that it's legal to do or collect something that other people consider "silly". In either case, I agree.

Where I suspect we would disagree is where you seem to move - and please correct me if I'm wrong - from your opinion that it's silly or unnecessary for me to own something, to the proposition that my ownership of that thing ought to be prohibited by law. You are seeking, in effect, to have your personal opinion about something codified and supported by the State; and while no analogy is perfect, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear about someone wanting that to happen is the "pro-life" (or, if you prefer, anti-choice) movement.

Back to the guns, themselves, though, various estimates place the number of so-called "assault-style rifles" in private hands in the U.S. at somewhere in the neighborhood of three million. Given that, if there was something inherently dangerous about someone owning such a weapon, would we hear about an attack on innocent citizens carried out with one of them only a few times a year?

The fact that we don't need to go around armed and afraid, even though some choose to.

Yes, it should be limited by law. Licensing, training, and insurance for users, registration for weapons. Enforced storage regulations. Red flags if someone buys enough rounds for an infantry platoon at one go. Waiting periods and better background checks. Maybe even a basic mental health check.

William
05-24-2018, 09:33 PM
Repealing the 2nd is highly unlikely. For millions, it may be the only part of the Constitution that they know or care about. For some reason, the gun is the symbol of freedom in America. To quote Charleton Heston: "From my cold dead hands".

I can't pretend to understand the attitude, but in an educated and civilised society, isn't change and progress a natural part of it? If guns are not a necessity to staying alive; I can't believe that any Americans would be so dumb as to believe that so-called 'freedom' is worth the lives of their children. Isn't it a cost/benefit equation? And where are the benefits?

Dr. Who
05-24-2018, 10:44 PM
I can't pretend to understand the attitude, but in an educated and civilised society, isn't change and progress a natural part of it? If guns are not a necessity to staying alive; I can't believe that any Americans would be so dumb as to believe that so-called 'freedom' is worth the lives of their children. Isn't it a cost/benefit equation? And where are the benefits?
I don't think that logic necessarily comes into it. It's more complicated than that, not that I can really quantify it. To an extent, it goes back to the revolution and a distrust of government. You will hear many talk of refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots, but that doesn't explain those who are fairly ignorant of history. Perhaps it's also just an idea handed down from one generation to the next. It's not really a matter of right and left, although there are more on the left who don't equate gun ownership with more freedom. It's probably more of a separation of ideology between urban dwellers and suburban and rural dwellers.

DougRich
05-25-2018, 12:03 AM
While I don't in principle have an issue with gun ownership, what gives me pause is 1) the almost obsessive desire on the parts of so many to own as many guns as possible and 2) the sheer paranoia that grips some people, such that they need guns in every room of the house - just in case. I find that attitude frightening and fairly unique to America. You might expect it in places in the world that are virtually lawless, but not in the wealthiest first nation country (ostensibly) on the planet. Paranoid people are dangerous people. Perhaps someone can explain to me why some folks have such a heightened level of vigilance where their chances of getting killed in a car accident or falling in the bathroom are so much higher than being killed by a nogoodnik.

I think it's important to separate our lack of understanding/appreciation for someone's interest in collecting and owning a thing from (1) the danger, if any, arising from that activity, and also from (2) advocacy for and justification of laws that would restrict or prohibit that activity. Anti-gun folks often bring up the statistic - true or not, I don't know - that 3% of gun owners own a large percentage of all the guns in private hands...as though that, in itself, is a public safety problem. If that stat is true, how many individuals included in that 3% have ever used a single one of those guns to murder another person, let alone perpetrate a mass killing? We can shake our heads all we want to and wonder what motivates someone to want to accumulate/collect that many guns (or anything else), but the bottom line is that unless it negatively impacts public safety, it really isn't any of our business. I would venture to guess that most gun-related murders - I'm referring to the thousands that happen, singly and in small numbers, throughout the year and may not even make it into the newspapers or other media - are committed by individuals who actually own very few guns - maybe just the one.

Dr. Who
05-25-2018, 12:42 AM
I think it's important to separate our lack of understanding/appreciation for someone's interest in collecting and owning a thing from (1) the danger, if any, arising from that activity, and also from (2) advocacy for and justification of laws that would restrict or prohibit that activity. Anti-gun folks often bring up the statistic - true or not, I don't know - that 3% of gun owners own a large percentage of all the guns in private hands...as though that, in itself, is a public safety problem. If that stat is true, how many individuals included in that 3% have ever used a single one of those guns to murder another person, let alone perpetrate a mass killing? We can shake our heads all we want to and wonder what motivates someone to want to accumulate/collect that many guns (or anything else), but the bottom line is that unless it negatively impacts public safety, it really isn't any of our business. I would venture to guess that most gun-related murders - I'm referring to the thousands that happen, singly and in small numbers, throughout the year and may not even make it into the newspapers or other media - are committed by individuals who actually own very few guns - maybe just the one.
Why then the desire to open carry weapons or even concealed carry weapons? Clearly, that is not about collecting weapons, but some pervasive belief that one's life is constantly in danger and the only solution is to be armed at all times.

DougRich
05-25-2018, 09:22 AM
Why then the desire to open carry weapons or even concealed carry weapons? Clearly, that is not about collecting weapons, but some pervasive belief that one's life is constantly in danger and the only solution is to be armed at all times.

I think the notion that those who advocate for the rights of firearms owners all feel the need to be constantly armed is incorrect and overblown. Arizona is a very pro-2A place and has been an open carry state for a very long time; yet prior to concealed carry here being made a much easier thing to do from a legal and procedural standpoint - i.e., any adult lawful gun owner may do it, without a special permit - a few years ago, I probably saw fewer than a dozen non-LEO individuals openly "packing" in the first twenty years I lived here. Even if one is a strong, sincere advocate for the right to be armed in most public places, the great majority don't see the need for they, themselves, to do it, and don't want to be bothered with it.

The point is that I don't feel the need to make something illegal simply because I think doing it is silly.

Prior to taking on my current job, the last time I felt the need to carry, concealed, was when I lived in Memphis in the early '80s and occasionally had to go into bad parts of town late at night. I think the photos we sometime see in the media, of some doofus in Texas or Alabama walking into Taco Bell or Walmart with a rifle on his back create the impression that such behavior is common among gun owners, when the reality is very, very different. (I also tend to believe that the motivation for that kind of thing is usually less "I'm in constant danger" than it is "Hey, look at me!")

DougRich
05-25-2018, 11:55 AM
I know many Americans have grown up with guns, but so have many Americans grown up with cigarettes - does that make them OK?

"OK" in what sense? They are legal for adult citizens to own and use, as are - in most cases - firearms. I think smoking is disgusting, and it obviously kills many thousands of people every year, but my feelings about the habit/addiction do not translate into a desire to make tobacco use unlawful.


Some Americans are always going on about freedoms, but any 'freedom' which reduces other people's freedoms is not a freedom (and the freedom from fear of being shot dead is a real freedom).

No, it really isn't - not in a legal sense. It's like saying that I have the freedom not to be run down by a vehicle while crossing the street, or I have the freedom not to be struck by lightning in a rainstorm. Pedestrian deaths and injuries could no doubt be drastically decreased if governors were put on vehicle engines to keep them from going faster than 15 miles per hour; deaths and injuries caused by lightning strikes could be reduced by making it unlawful to be outside during a thunderstorm. Taking away the right of millions of sane, law-abiding citizens to own firearms - for personal and home defense, sport shooting, hunting, etc. - is every bit as radical a proposal as either one of the other two suggested above.

Speaking of lightning, I recall what W.C. Fields said about controlling what he called "spiritus fermenti" or liquor; he said that it was "tougher than tying a hair ribbon on a bolt of lightning". Not nearly as difficult/impossible, however, as trying to outlaw firearms in a country as vast as the United States, with more than 300,000,000 of them already in private hands. Some misguided individuals throw up the examples of Japan and Britain, and suggest that the U.S. could do similarly. Guns have never existed in any great numbers in Japan, and - as you may know - the government in Great Britain has been placing serious controls on the private possession of firearms since at least the mid-19th Century. It's like suggesting that the same tactics one might use to control an unruly Cub Scout den would be effective on a squad of U.S. Marines.