Showing posts with label School Safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School Safety. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Guns: Where We Currently Stand

With the Sante Fe High School shooting, the number of school children killed in school shootings has surpassed the number of servicemen killed this year. The blame for this lies directly at the feet of gun owners. If they want our children to stop being killed in schools, they need to figure out other ways to feel secure in their lives. The particular group who are most at fault are members of the NRA, gun rights activist and any gun bloggers and gun blog commenters who, on a daily basis, advocate for unstable people to remain able to acquire firearms. In short, this particular group of individuals are domestic terrorists. They should be arrested by the Department of Homeland Security and summarily Gitmo'd.

At this point, I think it's important to summarize many of the ideas that I've had  for how we can change this and cease living in a fucking war zone. The first step in considering the problem we have with gun violence in this country is to look at the intent of the 2nd amendment. It was written by James Madison and was meant for local militias at the time to protect themselves against possible tyrannical governments in the future. That's why it says...

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 

It does not mean that people can carry guns with them whenever and wherever they want. Recall that both Madison and Jefferson voted to ban guns on campus of the University of Virginia when it was founded. Further, Alexander Hamilton explains the meaning of  the 2nd Amendment quite well in Federalist Paper #29:

This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress.

If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security...confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority...(and) reserving to the states...the authority of training the militia

Since the time the 2nd amendment was written, the ensuing tort has shifted towards broadening individual gun ownership.

Yet even Justice Scalia, writing for the majority in DC v Heller (2008) wrote:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. ... For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.(54)

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our [majority] opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. (54-55) 

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. [Precedent says] that the sorts of weapons protected were those 'in common use at the time' [the Second Amendment was approved]. ... We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons. " (55) 

So, with all of this, here's is what I think we should do based on why gun violence continues to happen.

First, the current gun regulations are terrible. It’s very easy to obtain weapons that make mass shootings more efficient. People with little or no training can buy a gun at Wal Mart. Mental health history doesn’t matter. Some gun sales and transfers of ownership don’t even require a background check. Many states have very loose gun laws and some now allow guns in schools and churches. Here is how they should be changed.

-Background checks on every single gun purchase. This would include private transfers of sale.

-Mental health checks for every single gun purchase followed by annual mental health checks for every gun owner.

-Regular training similar to what police and military must accomplish in order to use their firearms. Organizations like ALERRT could be used.

-All restrictions removed at the National Trace Center in Virginia

-All restrictions removed from the CDC in their research into the public health issue of gun violence. -Insurance required for gun owners

-All gun manufacturer exceptions for liability removed

Second, mass shootings are #trending and have been since the Columbine shooting in 1998. People in the United States believe that they can solve their problems by shooting up some place. I think that many mass shooters want attention and the media certainly gives it to them.

Third, The United States is very rooted in gun culture even though less than a third of its citizens owns guns. Our entertainment (films, video games, television) are very violent. Even our language is gun based. Here are some examples…

“Number one hit—-with a bullet” (music)

“Rodgers, out of the shotgun” (football)

“Faster than a speeding bullet (comics, films)

“He went off like a loaded gun” (common phrase)

With so many references to guns, it’s no wonder we don’t have more mass shootings.

Fourth, there is still a stigma in this country regarding mental health. Adam Lanza, the shooter at Sandy Hook, was severely mentally ill. He was not given adequate treatment and was likely shunned by the people around him. His mom, an ardent 2nd amendment supporter, was ill equipped to deal with his issues. She paid for it with her life. If we addressed the mental health issue by removing the social stigma surrounding visiting a therapist, we’d have less mass shootings. It should be as common as going to the dentist with an equal amount of indifference when someone says they are seeking psychological help.

Fifth, the United States has a gun culture that makes it easier for unbalanced people to obtain weapons. These folks allow their own hubris and emotions about guns to override public safety. They don’t really care if people die in mass shootings. Their first reaction after a mass shooting is “Don’t take my guns!!!” or “More guns in more places” as opposed to “Hey, how can we help? Let’s make it safer out there.”

They are enablers to mass shootings and bear a great deal of responsibility for all of the deaths the US has experienced from gun violence. In short, they are domestic terrorists and should be labeled as such by the Department of Homeland Security. Given that we have lost more people to gun violence just in the last 50 years than all of the wars we have ever fought in, they are a danger to public safety. 

Finally, it’s hard to implement changes to existing gun law because there is no equivalent of the NRA on the gun safety side of the equation. Gun rights activists vote more reliably. It’s just that simple. This may be changing, however, as Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America just had their fifth anniversary. As more of these shootings happen, more people join their cause. This is the kind of group that could easily counter or even surpass the NRA if more people helped their cause.

Until there is a significant counter balance to the NRA, we aren’t going to see any changes soon.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran=Fucking Moron

Like most US citizens, I've been very impressed with the young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who have galvanized the nation into acting on gun violence. They are relentless and will not stop until lawmakers like complete fucking moron Richard Corcoran, the Florida Republican House Speaker, are voted out of office. Check out what he said recently.

"All of these shooters have one thing in common — they are abject, absolute cowards,” Corcoran said. “Here’s what a coward doesn’t want to do — stare down a marshal with a gun the second he goes through a door.”

Seriously? What a dumb ass...

Cruz knew there was an armed security guard at the school. He didn't care. He was trying to be all stealth like and shit. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold weren't stopped at Columbine by an armed guard. Cookie Thornton shot a police officer, took his gun and then proceeded to shoot up Kirkwood City Hall. What kind of fantasy world do these people live in?

People who decide to shoot up a school are NOT RATIONAL. They also aren't cowards because they are NUTS.

I hope that all the new Florida voters will eject this asshat from the capsule come November.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Bodyguard Blanket

Well, I guess it's come to this...

I can hear the Gun Cult shrieking like old ladies now..."If we could only have anyone carry a gun in a school, then kids wouldn't need the Bodyguard Blanket."

Or maybe if our society could be arsed to leave behind a troglodytic perception of mental health, guns, and violence, then we wouldn't need the fucking Bodyguard Blanket