published Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The Defense

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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miraweb said...

I said my piece on the other thread so I won't go there. I am wondering where I can get one of those cool floating trucks. ;-)

December 19, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.

Certainly, nobody would ever postulate that people are influenced by other peoples thoughts! Even developing minds would never be affected by thoughts used to produce movies and video games.

Here's what really happens...the weapon thinks for itself, picks itself up, pulls the trigger. Naah! No connection between people and thoughts from others. kwo

December 19, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.
alprova said...

BobMKE wrote in yesterday's thread: "In 2011 - 7 years after the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) expired - the DOJ reported that the murder rate in the US fell to a FOUR DECADE LOW."

"8 years AFTER the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban, the murder rate in the United States is LOWER than it was during EVERY SINGLE YEAR THAT THE BAN WAS IN PLACE."

I did a little research on the matter, for I was sure that those statements were incorrect. Guess what? They are indeed correct.

In fact, the murder rate has been steadily declining for the past 20 years. In 1990, the average murder rate was 9.3 murders per 100,000 people. In 2011, the average murder rate was 4.46 per 100,000 people. That is a more than 50% decline in murders over the past 21 years. If you go back another 20 years to 1970, the murder rate is down the same percentage. The year with the most murders? 1980 at 10.2 per 100,000 people.

Another interesting tidbit I discovered is that one is more likely to be murdered in a state that has the death penalty than in a state with no death penalty -- 31% more likely in fact.

In addition to all this, I read that the murder rates increases are never associated with bad economies. That is a myth.

Bob...take a bow. You have made the most cognitive, sensible argument ever offered to date on the issue, and I am backing down on my knee-jerk reaction as a nut gathering squirrel calling for an assault weapons ban.

December 19, 2012 at 12:41 a.m.

'He could have murdered all of them, but, he decided to just "cut them up a little."

A man stabbed 22 primary school students in a knife attack in China on Friday, officials said, the latest in a series of assaults. The attacker “has been detained”, said a spokesman for the Guangshan county government in the central province of Henan, where the stabbing happened.

If China had just taken this deranged person's guns away, then, heaven knows, he could never have stabbed the children! Mental Giants on the loose.......

December 19, 2012 at 1:15 a.m.
Anklejive said...

Thank you, Mr. Bennett, from bumper sticker makers everywhere!

December 19, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Ken Orr,

"Twenty-two elementary school students were stabbed, so was an adult villager" but none of the victims died, the official, who declined to give his name, told AFP.

You strategically omitted the number of deaths in this attack. Why is that? I bet I know! The quote included was also in that story. Big difference between 0 dead with a knife and 27 dead with a gun.

"If China had just taken this deranged person's guns away, then, heaven knows, he could never have stabbed the children!"

If he had shot them, they would all likely be dead.

Can you really not grasp the idea that a person is more deadly with a gun than a knife? Are you really trying to argue against that fact? Are you insane? Seriously, is there something wrong with you that would make you believe these highly illogical, nonsensical things and then argue them?

"Mental Giants on the loose......."

No, seriosuly, you are a mental midget. The tiniest of mental midgets. You literally just quadrupled-down on one of the must ridiculous assertions I've ever read. You are an absolute and utter moron.

December 19, 2012 at 1:33 a.m.
miraweb said...

Canada's crime rate declined at about the same as the U.S. over the past 20 years.

In both cases an aging population seems to be the main driver. The 1960s were also an unusually violent time.

December 19, 2012 at 1:34 a.m.
miraweb said...

Demographers were also expecting a rise in crime after the 2008 crash. They now believe that extended unemployment benefits may have prevented that increase.

December 19, 2012 at 1:42 a.m.
alprova said...

I love doing research.

It appears that there is little proof that violent video games lead to an increase in violence. Here are the statistics;

68% of all homes in America play video or computer games.

60% of all players are male. 40% are female.

25% of all players are under the age of 18. 49% of all players are age 18-49. 26% are over the age of 50, making the age of the average player 35 years old.

Video games are a $13 billion industry.

45% of all video games are rated "E" for everyone. 12% of all video games sold are rated "E 10+" for those over the age of 10. 28% of all video games are rated "T" for teens. Just 15% of all video games sold are rated "M" for mature players.

Sales by Genre show that games that involve shooting comprise 11% of all sales. Role playing games are 5% of all sales. Games that involve fighting are 5% of all sales. Family entertainment is the largest slice of sales, 60% in fact, followed by sports games at 16%.

The number one selling video game? Guitar Hero. Rounding out the top ten video games are Halo 4, Madden NFL (previous versions), Solitaire, Dance Dance Revolution, Madden NFL 8, Tetris, Grand theft Auto, Halo (previous versions)and The Sims 3.

Among strictly males, the list looks like this: Grand Theft Auto, Madden NFL, Halo, NBA, Tony Hawk, NCAA, Need For Speed, ESPN, Medal of Honor, Lord of the Rings.

While video games sales have risen 4 fold since 1995, violent crimes have actually decreased by 45%. Youth violence has dropped 36%.

Breaking down youth crime statistics from 1995 to 2011, murders are down 62%, forcible rapes are down 40%, robberies are down 38%, aggravated assaults are down 33%.

The statistics are not all good. Youths who play "M" rated games routinely compared to those who do not, exhibit behavioral problems. They are categorized as;

Been in a physical fight - 51% versus 28%

Hit or beat up someone - 60% versus 39%

Bullied another student - 10% versus 8%

Did property damage - 23% versus 10%

Got in trouble with police - 6% versus 2%

Shoplifted from a store - 13% versus 6%

Poor grade on a report card - 35% versus 23%

Skipped a class or a day of school - 13% versus 8%

Got in trouble with a teacher or principal - 60% versus 39%

Suspended from school - 22% versus 15%

Been threatened or injured with a weapon - 15% versus 6%

Been bullied at school - 8% versus 15%

And finally, following the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, a poll question that asked, "Do you Think Violent Movies and Video Games Inspire Mentally Unstable People to Commit Acts of Violence, " had the following responses;

Yes - 49%, No - 35%, Not Sure - 16%.

December 19, 2012 at 1:54 a.m.
fairmon said...

Excessive time spent playing video games probably correlate better with poor school performance than with gun violence. No studies or stats found to support this opinion.

December 19, 2012 at 3:49 a.m.
fairmon said...

Alprova....good statistics and information but the results may have been even better with rational legislation to control all ownership through registration, regulation and required training. There is no logical reason for individuals to own assault weapons and high volume clips. Remember the wealthy nut case that had a tank and destroyed property in Delaware.

December 19, 2012 at 4:02 a.m.
fairmon said...

I wonder if the cartoonist, Bennet, thinks all guns should be banned with those now in circulation confiscated and destroyed leaving only military and police personnel with access to them?

December 19, 2012 at 4:05 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Guns don't incite. We have a heart problem.

Gun-free zones don't kill, they just tempt killers.

If M-rated games are what I think they are, should such statistics be part of the 'conversation'?

December 19, 2012 at 5:50 a.m.
MTJohn said...

tu_quoque said...By: Thomas Crown "Were we a decent society, we would allow the parents of Newtown to grieve before we started talking about taking away guns. We are not a decent society...

TQQ - Thomas Crown is correct. We are not a decent society. However, he could have made a much more compelling argument by focusing on other attributes.

alprova said...I love doing research.

The one bit of research that I would like to see is the percentage of the sales of firearms manufactured in the United States that is intentionally destined for illegal purposes. If we had those data, I also suspect that we would have a better reason than school shootings for doing a better job of firearms regulation. However, given the nature of our country's gun laws, I suspect that we can't get an accurate estimate.

December 19, 2012 at 6:06 a.m.
degage said...

So far today only one name caller. Easy to Orr.

December 19, 2012 at 7:19 a.m.
Reardon said...

Please remember the difference between correlation and causation.

Also, consider the concept of "the personal is the political" as utter hogwash, specifically as it relates to what chemicals I ingest and by what means I determine to defend myself.

December 19, 2012 at 7:36 a.m.
joepulitzer said...

Bennett is afraid the Republicans will try to take away his Atari.

December 19, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.
joepulitzer said...

Breaking down youth crime statistics from 1995 to 2011, murders are down 62%, forcible rapes are down 40%, robberies are down 38%, aggravated assaults are down 33%.


December 19, 2012 at 8 a.m.
Easy123 said...


Are we supposed to just take your word for it?

What about adult crime?

December 19, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
Easy123 said...


More cheese with your whine, sir?

December 19, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.
ibshame said...

While Repubs in Tennessee are planning on introducing a bill that would allow so-called "trained" personnel to carry weapons into schools, Michigan's Governor has decided that just might not be the answer to the problem. One can only hope Gov. Haslam will follow Gov. Snyder's lead:

**One day before the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill to specifically allow guns into schools and other “gun-free zones.” This bill joined a so-called “right-to-work” law and an extreme abortion ban, the GOP-controlled legislature rammed through during its lame duck session.

Following the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, however, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) promised to give the guns bill “extra consideration.” According to the Detroit News, Snyder has now decided to veto the legislation.

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to veto legislation allowing concealed weapons in public schools, according to bill sponsor Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville.

The bill allowing highly trained gun owners to carry concealed weapons inside public schools was delivered to Snyder’s desk Tuesday.

“He’s not going to sign it,” Green told The Detroit News.**

December 19, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.
nucanuck said...

After all the variables, statistics and studies we are still left with the unpleasant truth...that we murder far more than the countries with which we have the most in common. If the high gun saturation rate is not a factor then we must assume that we have societal problems that are far greater than our peer countries. That may be, but 20 times worse seems pretty improbable.

There almost has to be a correlation between the gun saturation rate and the murder rate. Guns make murder easier and less personal than other forms of homicide.

So where does the desire to have a gun to protect against others with guns lead us?

December 19, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Wow have awesome Google skills!!

December 19, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
MTJohn said...

nucanuck said...After all the variables, statistics and studies we are still left with the unpleasant truth...that we murder far more than the countries with which we have the most in common. If the high gun saturation rate is not a factor then we must assume that we have societal problems that are far greater than our peer countries.

Agreed. Whether or not our societal problems are greater than those in other countries is less important than acknowledging, without any apologies, that we have societal problems and that those societal problems are serious. Then, we have to commit ourselves to understand what those problems are and commit ourselves to do something about it. Unfortunately, I think our societal problems include the lack of the kind of courage required for an objective and substantive self-critique.

December 19, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.
alprova said...

"Wow have awesome Google skills"

Actually, I no longer use nor recommend Google as a search engine. I use Bing. Why?

For one thing, when searching for my business website by name on Bing, it comes up at the top of the list on the first page, and that has been the case since shortly after I launched my website.

After 13 months since I opened the doors, when I Google my business name, the direct website link comes up on page 15. Google has bombarded me with phone calls just about every day of the week for 13 months demanding $98.00 a month to list it properly.

My site is hosted by Comcast Business Class, which was a freebie awarded to me as a bundle package for purchasing internet, phone, and cable TV at my business location. Included is another free service, which when submitted late last year, was supposed to broadcast my website address to all the major search engines. Google is the only major search engine that refuses to this day to list my website properly.

If they are playing games with my site, then they are doing it to others as well. There is no way that I will pay them $98.00 a month to list my site where it belongs, which I have told them repeatedly.

I removed Google's search engine option from every single one of my computers and use Bing, which in my opinion, is a superior search engine and certainly more dependable to get you to a website that you may be searching for.

December 19, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
Maximus said...

JayZ hera, u knoz our Pimp Prez Obama's gud dog. Yo Homey Clay yuz lefts offs da gangsters rap off n yo bumpa sticker. We B Killn atz least thirty biatches per beatz nigga! Respect yo! JayZ 2013 Presidential Inauguration Play List along with pimp that will accompany JayZ on stage:

Big Pimpin-Eric Holder Hard Knock-Hillary Clinton 99 Problems-Nancy Pelosi Money Ain't A Thang-Harry Reid Dead Presidents-Joe Biden Empire State Of Mind-The One And Only Welfare Pimp-B.H.O.P.O.T.U.S.

And the drop of JayZ's new Christmas album: "Chrima In Da Hood", A Chicago Style Gang Holiday Classic!

December 19, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.
Maximus said...

Fairmon, Remember Slick Willie's Attorney General Janet Reno. She destroyed property with tanks also. Remember Waco....burn babies burn? Nice job Janet where ever you are! I think Bill Clinton had a "stomach virus" on that horrific day too. Runs in the family! Get it...runs...ha ha!

December 19, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
alprova said...

Fairmon wrote: "Alprova....good statistics and information but the results may have been even better with rational legislation to control all ownership through registration, regulation and required training."

I have long advocated for the registering of all firearms. Training should be a no-brainer, with requirements for recertification at regular intervals too.

"There is no logical reason for individuals to own assault weapons and high volume clips."

I tend to agree with that, but as I offered earlier this morning, I had no idea that murders in this nation had declined as much as they have over the past 40 years.

It is for certain that since the semi-automatic assault weapon ban has been lifted, that the numbers of them in private hands have risen tremendously, while murder deaths have still declined.

Therefore, in light of this new evidence, I have had little choice but to amend my previous stance, as someone who tries at all times to be fair and logical.

Outside of these rare incidents of mass murder, which are totally unacceptable in their own right, I cannot recall any reported incident where a private citizen has used an assault rifle to dispatch a burglar, a trespasser, or an attacker.

I'm sure that it may have happened at some point an time, but it does appear that most people who have them, are highly responsible owners.

"Remember the wealthy nut case that had a tank and destroyed property in Delaware."

Yep...and thankfully, not too many people own or have access to military tanks.

December 19, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.
alprova said...

I previously wrote: "Breaking down youth crime statistics from 1995 to 2011, murders are down 62%, forcible rapes are down 40%, robberies are down 38%, aggravated assaults are down 33%."

joepulitzer responded with: "AND GUN OWNERSHIP IS UP! THINK THERE'S A CONNECTION, AL?"

In the case of the youth crime statistics, I think the more likely explanation is that youths these days are more predisposed to being occupied with other activities, like playing video games, rather than to be bored and tempted to rape, rob, or beat someone up for fun.

December 19, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Inanimate objects cannot kill unless they are used by a person to kill, thus a gun never killed an innocent person unless a psycho pulled the trigger with it pointed at someone. The gun I carry has never gone off in direction except the one I point it in. So blame the shooter not the gun. On the other hand, no one outside the military needss to possess an assault rifle.

December 19, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Fear on inanimate objects is a mental disorder itself. Maybe some of these anti-gun nuts need to get some help with that.

December 19, 2012 at 10:41 a.m.
Easy123 said...


"Inanimate objects cannot kill unless they are used by a person to kill"

Demonstrably false.

"thus a gun never killed an innocent person unless a psycho pulled the trigger with it pointed at someone."

Again, false.

"The gun I carry has never gone off in direction except the one I point it in."


"So blame the shooter not the gun."

How many people would the "shooter" be able to kill without a gun?

"On the other hand, no one outside the military needss to possess an assault rifle."

I concur.

December 19, 2012 at 10:46 a.m.
Easy123 said...


"Maybe some of these anti-gun nuts need to get some help with that."

There are no "anti-gun nuts" posting here, so who are you talking about?

December 19, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Racial slurs already? It's not even noon yet.

Maximus said...

"We B Killn atz least thirty biatches per beatz nigga!"

December 19, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

December 19, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
Livn4life said...

The Driveling DrawBoy continues to miss the point!

December 19, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
Rebus said...

Bad parenting? Seems the shooters are getting younger & younger. Perhaps parenting is becoming lousier and lousier with each succeeding generation. no stats, just an observation.

December 19, 2012 at 11 a.m.
ibshame said...

Saw this today:

"Gun Massacres Require Guns That Can Massacre"

I think the whole point of the discussion on gun control should not be about abolishing the 2nd Amendment, it's about what kind of guns are necessary to provide an individual with protection. Assault weapons do have a purpose and that purpose is to provide protection to those who are in combat. It is fair to say when facing enemies on the battlefield our military needs to be able to use the kind of firepower an assault weapon provides them.

The United States is not being attacked by a military regiment. When the lives of citizens are in danger or there is the threat of danger we have the police department and other law enforcement officials to provide the kind of firepower needed from an assault weapon if necessary. If the police can't get there in time, then a regular firearm can provide efficient, precise protection if the gun owner has been properly trained to use the weapon. The second amendment SHOULD NOT be abolished but Assault weapons on the street are not what the framers had in mind.

As for the impact of the video games on the minds of children. It's up to the parents to provide guidance for their children by PAYING ATTENTION to what they are buying and what they are playing and listening to in their homes. Years ago people made fun of Tipper Gore when she fought to get a ratings system for some of the songs that were being played and sold to our children. Now that does not seem like such a far out idea considering what is on the market today.

December 19, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
hambone said...

All I see here today is those saying that assault weapons don't do bad things. Tell me what GOOD they do.

So, the murder rate went down after the assault weapon ban expired.Does that mean the expiration of said ban was the soul reason for the drop in the murder rate? Does that mean that there were no other facts that cotributed to the decline?

December 19, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Meanwhile, USA Today, which looked at FBI figures, reports that 774 people were killed between 2006 and 2010 by a mass killer, defined as a person who kills four or more people in one incident. The figures show that mass killers strike on average once every two weeks. A third of the 156 mass killings did not involve firearms, but rather fire, knife or other weapon. Almost all of the mass killers in those years were men, and their average age was 32. The dozens of deaths caused by mass killers represented about 1 percent of all homicides between 2006 and 2010.

Time to ban fire and all men around the age of 32, I guess.

And I reiterate. A gun shoots in the direction of the person pointing in AND pulling the trigger. The gun cannot aim itself and has no sense of right or wrong.

December 19, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
degage said...

Easy I wasn't whining I was just stating a fact. As I promised you a couple months ago I was going to call you on your habit of name calling. You are not the only one that does, but you do it more often than others. just an observation.

December 19, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
Reardon said...

Why should a semi-automatic rifle like an AR-15 be deemed illegal, but shotguns, which if loaded with slugs or even basic buckshot, are much more devestating than an AR-15 round, should be legal?

All guns are assault weapons. Think about it.

Is a mass murder of 20 children worse than a mass murder of 10 children?

What right do any of you have on telling me what I determine, of sound mind, I need? Who is the final arbiter on defining my need?

If you say I need not an AR-15, then why is my need justified when I own a shotgun? Or a handgun? Or a katana?

December 19, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
jesse said...

Inside 60 feet a 12 gauge shotgun w/#1 buckshot is the most devastating gun on the planet!

AND I KNOW THIS FROM 1ST HAND EXPERIENCE!!(sorry about the caps,hit the cap lock button!)

December 19, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Reardon said...Why should a semi-automatic rifle like an AR-15 be deemed illegal, but shotguns, which if loaded with slugs or even basic buckshot, are much more devestating than an AR-15 round, should be legal?

If you are asking about an AR-15 with a 5-round clip, I think you ask a fair question. I haven't seen any pump action shotguns equipped with a banana clip or belt-fed semi-automatic shotguns on the market.

I do have one concern about military-style semi-automatics unrelated to Sandy Hook. I suspect that a substantial percentage of the "legal" market for these weapons is destined for illegal purposes, e.g. weapons purchased for the purpose of smuggling to Mexico, terrorists, etc.. If that suspicion is correct, this likely would also be the market most affected by reasonable restrictions on the sale of assault weapons. This issue is seldom part of the conversation, but probably ought to be.

Jesse - if you are talking about firing only one round, I'd agree with you. I'd even agree if you are talking about firing up to the limit of the magazine of an unplugged, repeating shotgun (5 to 7). I'd add one caveat - depending on the intended target, I might prefer rifled slugs.

December 19, 2012 at 3:11 p.m.
MickeyRat said...
December 19, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.
alprova said...

whatsnottaken wrote "And I reiterate. A gun shoots in the direction of the person pointing in AND pulling the trigger. The gun cannot aim itself and has no sense of right or wrong."

Your point is valid, but there is a flip side to it. If somebody snaps and decides to do harm to others, they will use whatever they have at their disposal to do it. A firearm is a deadly tool used sometimes to carry out evil intent.

If this same person did not have access to a firearm and had to resort to using a knife, there is a much higher chance that he could be over-powered before he carries out his quest.

A knife would not present the same threat to people whom he sets sight on to stab, for they might be able to flee from him, for all they have to do is to be a sliver of an inch from that blade to avoid any and all harm.

December 19, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
prairie_dog said...

Unfortunately, the truth is that killing starts in the mind. A man in China injured 26 children the very same day, except he used a knife instead of a gun. If you take away the guns, guess what? A glass jug filled with gasoline is all you need to kill and hurt people. There is no way to prevent people from hurting others if that's what they decide to do. The kid in CT could just as easily have found a busy sidewalk and run over a bunch of people instead. Would that make you want to ban cars?

There are a lot more people killed by cowboys in 18 wheel trucks than there are shooting victims. Why not do something about the REAL and REGULAR carnage that takes place on our roads while trying to solve the one about how to make everyone feel so good about themselves, that they will never, ever want to hurt someone else.

Good luck with that.

As for the whole assault weapon subject, give me a freakin' break, people. There is no difference between the .22 caliber rifle with a 15 round magazine capacity that my Dad had back in 1950, which did NOT have a pistol grip, and a .22 with a pistol grip. Same for semi-auto shotguns.

The GRIP makes no difference when it comes to firing the thing into a crowd of kids. It's just a cosmetic and style feature that has no real impact on the deadly nature of the weapon.

December 19, 2012 at 3:44 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I read that yesterday, MickeyRat. Very insightful indeed.

December 19, 2012 at 3:58 p.m.
hambone said...

There are plenty of people saying we should arm teachers.

I get a picture in my mind of an armed teacher loosing it and wiping out a classroom full of roudy 2nd graders!

December 19, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
Sailorman said...

"Somewhere around 0.8 to 2.0 million violent crimes are deterred each year because of gun ownership and use by civilians. In addition, another 1.5 to 2.5 million crimes are stopped by armed civilians. There may be some overlap in these two categories because of the ways in which the data are collected, but there are almost certainly some two to four million fewer completed crimes each year as the result of civilian gun ownership."


St. Louis University Public Law Review Gun Control Symposium vol 18, no. 1, 1999: 217

December 19, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.
Rebus said...

Cannot even imagine teachers being armed. A horrible idea.

December 19, 2012 at 4:37 p.m.
miraweb said...

Gamers Plan a Day to Cease-Fire

A growing movement of video game enthusiasts plans to put down their weapons Friday in a solidarity “cease-fire” for those families who lost loved ones in Newtown, Conn.

GamerFitNation, the group sponsoring the 24-hour call to disarm from online shooting games, said it’s not trying to imply video games are to blame for real-life violence.

Rather, “it’s the same thing you would do for a moment of silence,” Antwand Pearman, the founder of GamerFitNation, told the Daily News on Wednesday. “It won’t change the world, but the whole point is it’s supposed to symbolize something. It’s supposed to symbolize that gamers care.”

Putting aside all of the controversy over violent entertainment, Darcy Cruwys, who works for PlayMaker Grips, a gaming controller developer in Montana, said she and her co-workers believe in Friday’s “cease-fire" message.

“Most important is that, as gamers, we want to show our love and support for the families of Newtown and will be putting down our virtual guns,” she said.

December 19, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Alprova I agree. If they only way we had to kill one another was hand to hand, there'd bne a lot less dead people. But people like me are forced to carry concealed weapons for protection because of all the sickos packing. Blaming video games is absurd. Media glorification and (NON PUN INTENDED) overkill is as much to blame. They simply can't just report the news but dig and prod for every imaginabele angle. All the publicity of these events is just what some of these edge-teeterers need to go off the deep end for their moments in the spotlight.

December 19, 2012 at 5:10 p.m.
miraweb said...

I want to try a small though experiment. Let's take something that of itself, is entirely harmless - say, a backhoe.

I have no doubt that many of you are perfectly capable and perfectly safe operating a backhoe. You have the training to understand the risks and the limitations and you aren't likely to blow up your own or other people's houses by crashing through gas lines.

Does this mean everyone should have a backhoe whenever they want one? Is a construction permit and marking the utility lines too much of a burden to society?

Video games are certainly less harmful than a backhoe. Assault weapons are far more dangerous.

The ratings recognize that not every virtual situation is appropriate for every age group. There is also no case for putting a nine-year old child behind the controls of a backhoe.

There may even be a good case that certain individuals with severe mental impairments should not be engaged in violent gaming or driving backhoes or shooting weapons.

And this may be where a badly stretched analogy breaks down.

December 19, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
patriot1 said...
December 19, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.
alprova said...

patriot1, I'm not sure why you posted the above video, but the adult(s) should be arrested for child endangerment, not to mention for the firing an illegal weapon.

It was hard not to notice the typical Southern accents.

December 19, 2012 at 6:36 p.m.
nucanuck said...

After years leading the world, we now seem incapable of believing that other societies have caught up and passed us in many areas. Why we can't learn from others is an enigma that we need to solve.

Hand guns and assault rifles just can't be part of the social order that we want for ourselves or our children. I don't disagree with the gun justifications that are aired daily, but I dream of day when we have the collective courage to say enough violence, a day when we work together to get tough on all who want to continue this endless escalation. And I am a tough old former gun owner who just says NO! HELL NO! I will not be a part of the gun culture. No matter what. I may be on the road less traveled, but it feels right and it feels good.

December 19, 2012 at 6:54 p.m.
una61 said...

Maybe a law making it illegal to possess a gun within a mile of a school and allowing law enforcement to search any person or vehicle suspected of having a gun.

December 19, 2012 at 7:08 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

somehow I don't think this shooter cared what was illegal.

December 19, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

A parent with a child who exhibits any form of mental illness shows an extreme lack of good judgement openly possessing weapons and instructing the child to shoot as a form of recreation.

Video games don't kill people. Guns with bullets in them do. As we saw in the 9/11 massacre, box cutters do too. Funny how we haven't outlawed them by now?

December 19, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.
patriot1 said...

Gameon....One thing gun owners can take heart in is that Joe Biden is heading this effort up from the White House. I can hear it now.....we got a problem in this country, a THREE letter word, GUNS!!

December 19, 2012 at 7:34 p.m.
jesse said...

How about a LAW to make it ILLEGAL to be efing INSANE!!!!


Search ANYONE within a mile of a school??????????As con man would

say "Jesus Wept"!

Former surgeon general Jocelyn Elders had the answer to this intire problem years ago!"SAFER BULLETS!" there ya go,prob.solved!

December 19, 2012 at 7:54 p.m.
GameOn said...

Evil does not come in the form of a law abiding citizen. Never has and never will.

December 19, 2012 at 8:06 p.m.
rolando said...

Here's another 'toon with a slightly different take...from the gamer's viewpoint.

December 19, 2012 at 8:14 p.m.
miraweb said...

GameOn - The problem comes when we are at the crossroads of criminal and insane. A kid with serious mental health problems will need far more than a civics class and a 10 Commandments statuette.

There are a few, poorly documented, reports that Mrs. Lanza was trying to get her son committed. There is a very difficult balance between delaying a commitment to protect civil rights and waiting too long to help someone with severe illness. We often get that balance wrong in involuntary commitments.

In hindsight, we can imagine the police escorting this clearly disturbed kid into a locked unit but in real life, it rarely works that way.

My mother is bipolar and one day we spent 12 hours working to get her to the emergency room doors during a particularly bad episode.

December 19, 2012 at 8:17 p.m.
alprova said...

una61 wrote: "Maybe a law making it illegal to possess a gun within a mile of a school and allowing law enforcement to search any person or vehicle suspected of having a gun."

A couple of problems with those ideas. I live within a tenth of a mile from an elementary school, so that would mean that I could not own any firearm in my home.

And, as it is now, the police are allowed to search anyone or any vehicle they so desire.

There are no easy answers to finding ways to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.

If someone has the desire to invade a public school with a weapon, it is almost certain that they will succeed, that is unless all schools are fortified with steel doors and bullet-proof glass.

Arming teachers is not a good idea, for there will surely come the day when a fed-up teacher, at the end of his or her rope for any number or reasons, might blow a gasket and decide to blow away the entire class and then commit suicide.

Posting an armed guard at all schools is not going prevent incidents, for one person is not going to be able to protect everyone at the same time.

I don't know how true it is, but Fox News has a story up on its website, surmising why Adam Lanza did what he did. Nancy Lanza allegedly was in the process of assuming conservatorship over Adam, in order to commit him to a facility that could possibly help him. They additionally surmise that Nancy Lanza was remotely involved with the Sandy Hook School as a volunteer and that Adam Lanza targeted the school because of her love for the kids.

It may well have been that Adam Lanza was suffering an extremely bad case of a detachment disorder and finally snapped.

December 19, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.
patriot1 said...

I also read the Fox News story of Ms. Lanza starting the process of having him committed to a facility. Her son being an adult makes it a little more difficult than if he was a minor. It's my understanding in order to do an involuntariy commitment, a competeny hearing would need to be held. That means setting a court date and the judge to rule, which might first mean a mental evaluation, and the health expert testifying and so on and so on.

So what has this got to do with a law abiding citizen owning a semi automatic rifle?

December 19, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.
miraweb said...

You mean a law abiding citizen like Mrs. Lanza? Her son had no criminal convictions that we know of, either.

December 19, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.
rolando said...

As to using "mental health" standards to determine who needs treatment and who doesn't, check this out on wikipedia:

Rosenhan experiment

It says a lot about the headshrinking business. Since the APA holds the copyright on the DSM, if you want specific quotes you must buy a copy [at about $100 a crack].

There is no indication that The Shooter was ever diagnosed with something listed in the DSM-IV, aka the ICD. If it wasn't diagnosed, only the manifested symptoms can be treated in a hospital. [Violent actions, etc.]

No one really cared when that small number of shrinks heading up the APA decided to re-write the bood...and got it passed in a dead-of-the-night manner...sorta like ObamaCare.

So now we have armed nutcases roaming the streets on occasion...all for lack of a decent [reasonable] set of rules...and an on-the-spot, alert Permit Holder.

It is a Brave New World we live in.

December 19, 2012 at 9:42 p.m.
rolando said...

I own a honest-to-goodness "assault rifle" as defined by the Dayton, Ohio city council [I lived there for 10 yrs]. They banned it a decade back when they defined it as "a rifle capable of holding 20 cartridges or more in a magazine."

They ignored the fact that my rifle can hold up to 20 .22shorts at a time in the one in the chamber.

I call it "My Drive-By Plinker".

December 19, 2012 at 9:51 p.m.
rolando said...

Up until the time he shot his mother, Lanza was law abiding, too...once he did that, well...he wasn't.

December 19, 2012 at 9:54 p.m.
miraweb said...

In my family's case we hit, what in retrospect, became a lucky break. My mother had a nerve problem in her back that resulted in her being permanently placed in a nursing home because she requires an indwelling catheter.

Once she was in the nursing home with 24/7 supervision, three meals a day, and her medications being given on time along with social supports and access to therapy, her mental health issue began to see improvements as well. She isn't cured but she is doing quite a lot better.

We could not have gotten her into a supportive care environment without the physical problem although it has improved her quality of life in all dimensions. She is now far less of a threat to herself and to those around her.

The discussion has always been out on the streets vs. a mental institution or incarceration.

I wonder if there may be some middle ground that has never been fully thought out.

December 19, 2012 at 9:55 p.m.

Maybe the seizure inducing ones.

Or perhaps depressing Swedish cinema.

December 19, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.
patriot1 said...

Mira...we have to reject the idea that everytime a law is broken or some bad thing happens such as this that society is guilty. He was an adult and is the guilty one. Guilty due to insanity maybe, but guilty non the less. She too was negligent by no securing these weapons which were legal to possess. I wonder if the outrage would be less if he were alive to answer for what he did? If she were alive and families could go after her too, would we feel better? How about our so called justice system that drags its feet on issues such as this, and we know it does. Should they share any blame? Instead we'll make a felon out of someone like rolando for owning a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.

December 19, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.
miraweb said...

It does look like the assault weapons ban is coming back.

I haven't heard a lot of workable suggestions that would keep high-power firearms out of the hands of unstable individuals short of a full ban.

If you think you've got the answer, we're all waiting.

December 19, 2012 at 10:10 p.m.
miraweb said...

If my hobby were flying airplanes, it is reasonable that I would have to pass a physical and mental evaluation. If I want to keep flying, I have to keep renewing my certification.

The reason is much the same - with an airplane I could do a lot of hurt to myself and others if I were not physically or mentally fit enough to operate the equipment safely.

I, personally, could see a similar certification as a reasonable option for advanced weaponry hobbyists with some focus on training and safe storage.

December 19, 2012 at 10:31 p.m.
patriot1 said...

I didn't write this so don't beat me up about it.....but where is the ambiguity in "shall not be infringed?"

December 19, 2012 at 10:52 p.m.
Maximus said...

Easy 123...I guess you don't know irony mixed with a little sarcasm when you read it. JayZ sayz..yo Easy know wut i sayn..nigga be term of endearments in da gangsta raps worldz as is Obama...Dats My Nigga. E123 have you listened to any rap lately? Tune in and I guarantee you will hear the ebonics term of endearment in 60 seconds. I listen to rap for comic relief, very funny!

December 19, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.
miraweb said...

The ambiguity lies in that the constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. They have spoken pretty clearly on this issue:

"The Second Amendment right is not unlimited. We do not cast doubt on concealed-weapons prohibitions, laws barring possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws barring firearms in sensitive places like schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions on commercial sale of arms." (54-55)

"Also, the sorts of weapons protected are the sorts of small arms that were lawfully possessed at home at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification, not those most useful in military service today, so “M-16 rifles and the like” may be banned."

Justice Antonin Scalia, Majority opinion, D.C. vs. Heller, 2008

December 19, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
miraweb said...

Scalia is enough of a textual originalist we may be lucky he didn't limit it to just flintlock pistols and blunderbusses.

I'm sure he thought about it.

December 19, 2012 at 11:34 p.m.
Sailorman said...

"M-16 rifles and the like” may be banned."

For all practical purposes, they are already banned. With enough time, money ( lots), licenses, tax stamps, and BATF approvals, they can be had but you're not going to find them on the shelves at your sporting goods store.

I suppose it could be claimed that "the like" means anything that is similar in appearance. That is exactly what happens when politicians get on their soapbox. Feinstein's ballyhooed bill bans weapons because they look like something they aren't. An AR-15 is not an assault rifle. ("AR" stands for Armalite, the original manufacturer.) Neither is it an "assault weapon", a term coined for use in the previous AWB and perpetuated by the media, as well as politicians, in their never ending search for scary words. It is a semi-automatic rifle that looks like an M-16. There are BB guns, pellet rifles, and paintball guns that look like an M-16 as well. They certainly aren't "assault rifles".

At some point, "and the like" may well be determined by a future Supreme Court. In Federalist #46; Madison; the author of the 2nd amendment clearly states that the citizenry is to be as well armed as its government as a check against oppression by that government. An opinion clearly not shared by Scalia et al. (No that doesn't mean we should have nukes, F18, or tanks)

Just to add to the list of issues, there's this little gem

Connecticut Mental Health Bill Defeated Months Before Deadly School Shooting

"with opposition calling it “outrageously discriminatory.” The ACLU said the bill would “infringe on patients’ privacy rights by expanding [the circle of] who can medicate individuals without their consent.”

Interesting times indeed

December 19, 2012 at 11:53 p.m.
GameOn said...

miraweb....There is no easy solution and I'm not married to this board like some! We all have our priorities and are free to use our time as we wish. I posted a link yesterday about a Mom living in fear of her 13 year old. I can't imagine living with this child and his mom cannot get any help. Mental health services, for most, are non-existent until a crime is committed. Work with the public in a retail environment sometime, I did years ago while going to school. I saw numerous examples of mental illness. Some harmless and content, others were aggressive and downright scary but until they committed a crime nothing could be done.

The mother of the shooter from what I can tell was not a responsible gun owner. Why expose this child to guns in the first place? Second, the assault rifle, one pistol, and ammo should have been a gun safe. I could see keeping one well hidden pistol out for self defense. Personally, I have no use for an assault rifle but some people get their kicks owning them and if you look at the total number sold 99.999% must be responsible owners. I am not downplaying this tragedy in any way but this kid was on a mission to kill and, in my opinion, nothing would have stopped him. The end result could have been more or less innocent victims without a gun. He did know how to drive.

The act of this kid was pure evil. Mentally, he may or may not have been fully responsible but he committed the act. I was not making an attack against anyone with mental illness and I am sorry you were left with that impression.

December 20, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.
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