Another American Massacre


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OzzFan
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Message 1263776 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 17:25:28 UTC - in response to Message 1263720.
Last modified: 23 Jul 2012, 17:41:48 UTC

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.


Well, it's frustrating for many of us too. The logic just isn't there. Let's imagine a world without guns for the sake of argument. We can either pretend that we got rid of them, or we can imagine a timeline in which guns were never invented.

Due to human nature, we know that bad/crazy people will do bad/crazy things. In this alternate timeline/future where guns don't exist, violent death will still be a part of our existence. Mass death would be a larger probability due to the various other ways to cause mass destruction on the chemical or atomic levels.

We would still be having this conversation if guns didn't exist. Tightening up gun control laws, or getting rid of guns entirely only take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still continue to get guns on the black market. Crazy people will still find ways to slip through the cracks.

Getting rid of guns is logically not the answer as it will not accomplish anything other than less gun-related deaths in the news, which is not the goal here. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

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Message 1263785 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 17:39:38 UTC - in response to Message 1263776.

. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Yet when those that express themselves in a way the Gov't finds threatening(with guns) to itself, the Gov't rounds those people up and those so called defenders of the second amendment disappear with a tsk tsk and a sad head shake. The very idea that they supposedly would defend to the death becomes meaningless fodder when a nations elite stormtroopers invade the compound and deliver those who only wished to express their second amendment rights.
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Message 1263788 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 17:41:17 UTC - in response to Message 1263776.
Last modified: 23 Jul 2012, 17:44:24 UTC

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.


Well, it's frustrating for many of us too. The logic just isn't there. Let's imagine a world without guns for the sake of argument. We can either pretend that we got rid of them, or we can imagine a timeline in which guns were never invented.

Due to human nature, we know that bad/crazy people will do bad/crazy things. In this alternate timeline/future where guns don't exist, death will still be a part of our existence. Mass death would be a larger probability due to the various other ways to cause mass destruction on the chemical or atomic levels.

We would still be having this conversation if guns didn't exist. Tightening up gun control laws, or getting rid of guns entirely only take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still continue to get guns on the black market. Crazy people will still find ways to slip through the cracks.

Getting rid of guns is logically not the answer as it will not accomplish anything other than less gun-related deaths in the news, which is not the goal here. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Thirteen Aye Eleven Ess.

Look at the figures. The death rate from gun related incidents, including accidents is much higher in the US than in any other equivalent society.
There were 84 gun related deaths in a recent year, in the last UK figures that I read, Population just over 60 million. A fifth of the US at 300 million. How many gun related deaths in the US in a single year ~10,000.

Therefore the US need to look very carefully at its gun laws ifest it wants to reduce deaths to anything like a respectable number.

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Message 1263791 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 17:43:34 UTC - in response to Message 1263785.

. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Yet when those that express themselves in a way the Gov't finds threatening(with guns) to itself, the Gov't rounds those people up and those so called defenders of the second amendment disappear with a tsk tsk and a sad head shake. The very idea that they supposedly would defend to the death becomes meaningless fodder when a nations elite stormtroopers invade the compound and deliver those who only wished to express their second amendment rights.


Agreed. And each case should be judged on it's own. Thus far, I have not seen a single case of stockpiling weapons were the group's concerns were legitimate fears; only perceived fears. Perceived fears and guns don't make for good bedfellows.

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Message 1263793 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 17:46:41 UTC - in response to Message 1263788.
Last modified: 23 Jul 2012, 18:09:33 UTC

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.


Well, it's frustrating for many of us too. The logic just isn't there. Let's imagine a world without guns for the sake of argument. We can either pretend that we got rid of them, or we can imagine a timeline in which guns were never invented.

Due to human nature, we know that bad/crazy people will do bad/crazy things. In this alternate timeline/future where guns don't exist, death will still be a part of our existence. Mass death would be a larger probability due to the various other ways to cause mass destruction on the chemical or atomic levels.

We would still be having this conversation if guns didn't exist. Tightening up gun control laws, or getting rid of guns entirely only take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still continue to get guns on the black market. Crazy people will still find ways to slip through the cracks.

Getting rid of guns is logically not the answer as it will not accomplish anything other than less gun-related deaths in the news, which is not the goal here. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Thirteen Aye Eleven Ess.

Look at the figures. The death rate from gun related incidents, including accidents is much higher in the US than in any other equivalent society.

Therefore the US need to look very carefully at its gun laws if it wants to reduce deaths to anything like a respectable number.


The statistics are a red-herring. Again, if you accept my alternate timeline/future idea where guns do not exist or are very difficult to obtain, there will be another tool at the top of the violent weapons statistic. By their very nature, statistics are only meant to show what the designer of the chart wants to display; what isn't shown is what could be given other variables.

Therefore the issue of gun control in the US is a misguided argument. In other words, I am saying that responding to calls for tighter gun control is a reactive reflex in response to gun-related violence. Some of us view reactive responses as short-sighted and missing the bigger picture. I would rather find a more proactive answer that would solve the violence problem in a more meaningful way than using more laws.

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Message 1263797 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 18:10:10 UTC - in response to Message 1263793.

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.


Well, it's frustrating for many of us too. The logic just isn't there. Let's imagine a world without guns for the sake of argument. We can either pretend that we got rid of them, or we can imagine a timeline in which guns were never invented.

Due to human nature, we know that bad/crazy people will do bad/crazy things. In this alternate timeline/future where guns don't exist, death will still be a part of our existence. Mass death would be a larger probability due to the various other ways to cause mass destruction on the chemical or atomic levels.

We would still be having this conversation if guns didn't exist. Tightening up gun control laws, or getting rid of guns entirely only take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still continue to get guns on the black market. Crazy people will still find ways to slip through the cracks.

Getting rid of guns is logically not the answer as it will not accomplish anything other than less gun-related deaths in the news, which is not the goal here. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Thirteen Aye Eleven Ess.

Look at the figures. The death rate from gun related incidents, including accidents is much higher in the US than in any other equivalent society.

Therefore the US need to look very carefully at its gun laws if it wants to reduce deaths to anything like a respectable number.


The statistics are a red-herring. Again, if you accept my alternate timeline/future idea where guns do not exist or are very difficult to obtain, there will be another tool at the top of the violent weapons statistic. By their very nature, statistics are only meant to show what the designer of the chart wants to display; what isn't shown is what could be given other variables.

Therefore the issue of gun control in the US is a misguided argument.

Then, as guns are difficult, in relative terms, to obtain in equivalent coutries, why then don't we get criminals using different methods to carry out mass killings.

So to put it very bluntly as the only difference between the US and other countries is the availability of guns, then in the US it MUST be the availablility of guns that is causing 10,000 deaths/year.

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Message 1263798 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 18:17:16 UTC - in response to Message 1263797.
Last modified: 23 Jul 2012, 19:16:04 UTC

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.


Well, it's frustrating for many of us too. The logic just isn't there. Let's imagine a world without guns for the sake of argument. We can either pretend that we got rid of them, or we can imagine a timeline in which guns were never invented.

Due to human nature, we know that bad/crazy people will do bad/crazy things. In this alternate timeline/future where guns don't exist, death will still be a part of our existence. Mass death would be a larger probability due to the various other ways to cause mass destruction on the chemical or atomic levels.

We would still be having this conversation if guns didn't exist. Tightening up gun control laws, or getting rid of guns entirely only take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will still continue to get guns on the black market. Crazy people will still find ways to slip through the cracks.

Getting rid of guns is logically not the answer as it will not accomplish anything other than less gun-related deaths in the news, which is not the goal here. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence in a civilized society, and weapons are a perfectly legitimate way to defend one's self from harm or those who would enslave or oppress the whole of us.

Thirteen Aye Eleven Ess.

Look at the figures. The death rate from gun related incidents, including accidents is much higher in the US than in any other equivalent society.

Therefore the US need to look very carefully at its gun laws if it wants to reduce deaths to anything like a respectable number.


The statistics are a red-herring. Again, if you accept my alternate timeline/future idea where guns do not exist or are very difficult to obtain, there will be another tool at the top of the violent weapons statistic. By their very nature, statistics are only meant to show what the designer of the chart wants to display; what isn't shown is what could be given other variables.

Therefore the issue of gun control in the US is a misguided argument.

Then, as guns are difficult, in relative terms, to obtain in equivalent coutries, why then don't we get criminals using different methods to carry out mass killings.

So to put it very bluntly as the only difference between the US and other countries is the availability of guns, then in the US it MUST be the availablility of guns that is causing 10,000 deaths/year.


I don't think we can use other countries as a litmus test for the success of gun control laws. Different cultures throw off the test greatly.

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Message 1263815 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 19:27:41 UTC - in response to Message 1263720.

You might ask: How come that a mentally ill person can possess a gun while most mentally ill can't even manage their everyday lives?

Common misconception. Most mentally ill people are very capable of getting through their daily lives.


Well, I obviously wasn't clear enough about what I mean by mentally ill. Of course, if you define mentally ill by anyone who has any kind of mental disorder, then most of these people can handle their lives very well. As a matter of fact, these people are apart from their disorder perfectly normal.

I mean people who have that kind of illness that makes them behave destructive to themselves and/or their surrounding.

It is another common misconception that most violent crimes are done by mentally ill. Most of the criminals are perfectly normal.

Charles Manson, Juan Corona, Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgeway, Leonard Lake, Charles Ng, Albert DeSalvo, Anders Behring Breivik, Seung-Hui Cho, Nidal Malik Hasan, Andrew Kehoe, Howard Unruh, Colin Ferguson, Patrick Sherrill ...

Normal, well something is wrong with them. It isn't normal to murder. Functioning, yes. Normal, no.

Perhaps it is beyond psychiatry to figure it out.

We're watching the same movies as you over here in Western Europe. Maybe it is a factor, however you can safely rule it out if you compare the USA and Western Europe.

Common misconception, you are watching movies censored for your country. Your country has it's own film ratings board does it not?


Now, THAT is a common misconception.

Since I spent a few years of my life billing for just exactly that, while working in the entertainment biz in Hollywood, I have to believe you are mistaken. Every movie and video is cut specifically for where it is to be shown. Large legal departments at the studios insist on it. The presentation must pass the censor board of the country where it is going at the rating level they want for the target audience.

It's true that free TV is sending cut versions that are rated 12+ over here in the peak viewing time (8-10 o clock), later movies rated 16+, while uncut 18+ is sent well after midnight.

Everyone who is old enough can buy uncut DVD or see the uncut version in the cinema.

Which still is different than the uncut US version.


If you additionally take illegal copying into account, there are no limits anyway.

Which may be why such violence is on the upswing. People elsewhere are finally seeing the uncut US version.

No matter the causes, it is a people problem.


And since you are a member of this people this makes you part of the problem?

Ad hominem. Obviously you don't want a discussion, you want an imposition.


Well, I'm sorry if I offended you. I admit, this formulation was too pointed.

It's just me getting frustrated. You are searching for a single cause for a complex problem. As a matter of fact, I want discussion. But you didn't address any of the arguments I made in my original post so far. Somehow it seems to me that even thinking that lax gun control laws might be part of the problem is impossible to US Americans.

I'm not looking for a single cause, there are many factors at play. However, I know the cause isn't the existence or an inanimate object.

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Message 1263821 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 19:55:10 UTC

Speaking of "gun control"...
One Year After Breivik

Again I say words on paper will never prevent a lunatic from acquiring weapons and using them.
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Message 1263836 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 20:45:41 UTC - in response to Message 1263821.

yes but it makes it just that much more difficult to do doesnt it.
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Message 1263842 - Posted: 23 Jul 2012, 21:01:07 UTC - in response to Message 1263836.

yes but it makes it just that much more difficult to do doesnt it.

It may actually make it easier. Is it hard to obtain heroin? No. It is hard to obtain meth? No. When the USA banned booze, was it hard to obtain booze? No. Words on paper are the feel good medicine of the ignorant.

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Message 1264073 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 13:36:47 UTC

A quote from EX's post-I believe you are correct Barry. If it's semi-auto, there are no assault-rifle restrictions. I think that's federal and accepted in all states? (An unfortunate side-effect of this is how simple it is to buy a few cheap parts and make a semi-auto a full-auto)

That is not true. Yes you can make the parts or buy them. But you can not insatall them in a reciver to make an ar15 full auto. Fisrt you have to machine out the space where the parts go. look at any semi auto version and a full auto version, you can see there is a huge chunk of metal that has to be milled.

It can be done but is not easy for a joe scmuck.

Full auto is not for normal shooting, its a damn waste of ammo. From reading various doctrins on full auto use Its used when you are ambushing an enemy. You are being ambushed by the enemy or as a defender you face human wave attacks.




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Message 1264092 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 14:27:46 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 15:08:52 UTC

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Message 1264094 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 14:34:07 UTC - in response to Message 1264092.


And almost finally, I'm beginning to believe American's have too many rights. How about a law that states when a horrendous crime is committed (like the murder of 1 or more innocent people) and the evidence is so overwhelming, and the witnesses are so numerous, we should wave all the legal rigamarole and go straight to the execution? That red headed freak clown should have been executed no later than Saturday night at midnight. Do this a few times and maybe some of them would get the message that you won't get 10 years to life of free meals, room and recreation.


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Message 1264101 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 14:46:11 UTC - in response to Message 1264092.

Poster with no name
"I wanted to show Guy that he should stop being so quick to judge everyone that doesn't think as he does as being a "dirty no good liberal". "
"I'm hoping that he might stop and think once in a while about another person's views without the need to classify them or disagree because it sounds too "liberal"."
When liberals stop immediately judging me without thinking, I'll reciprocate.


[off topic]
The problem with this statement is that it is people who judge you, including conservatives, libertarians, liberals, and every other walk of life. You are the one that attaches labels to the people and you focus on a single group. Perhaps you could be less divisive if you focus on the people making the claims and not what political group you believe they belong to. [/off topic]

And almost finally, I'm beginning to believe American's have too many rights. How about a law that states when a horrendous crime is committed (like the murder of 1 or more innocent people) and the evidence is so overwhelming, and the witnesses are so numerous, we should wave all the legal rigamarole and go straight to the execution? That red headed freak clown should have been executed no later than Saturday night at midnight. Do this a few times and maybe some of them would get the message that you won't get 10 years to life of free meals, room and recreation.


We've gone through this before.

1) We must show that we are men governed by law and are better than the criminals we prosecute. If we do not give every man their day before an unbiased judge, no matter how guilty, then we are no better than the clown pulling the trigger, randomly laying out judgement on whomever they deem to point the barrel at.

2) Executing guilty people does not reduce crime. Texas has the highest execution rate in all of the US, yet they also have the highest crime rate per capita. You'd think with all of those executions, people would be afraid to commit crimes in Texas, yet they still commit crimes in Texas. Capital punishment in no way deters crime, ever.

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Message 1264105 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 15:12:17 UTC - in response to Message 1264101.

Agreed Executions are more about vengeance, than crime prevention.

High crime is created by a mutlitude of situations. The biggest indicators are low income(no income), poor education(for petty or violent crimes not white collar of course), and mental stability. Texas seems to have more than its fair share of poor, poorly educated, and mentally unstable people.

Lets not forget abortion. Abortion actually appears to reduce crime about 16-18 years later.
I happen to watch the movie(documentary) called Freakonomics. It seems that states that first allowed abortions saw a decrease about 3 years ahead of the states that later allowed abortions. This of course is just one piece of the puzzle but is pretty statistically sound data.

Another crime problem is high concentrations of people. Race is not a factor. When X amount of people are crammed into a confined area crime greatly increased.

I recall sitting in on a Beloit, Wiscosin City Council meeting where they rejected an apartment complex expansion for this reason.
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Message 1264107 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 15:26:21 UTC - in response to Message 1264101.
Last modified: 24 Jul 2012, 15:36:16 UTC

Poster with no name
"I wanted to show Guy that he should stop being so quick to judge everyone that doesn't think as he does as being a "dirty no good liberal". "
"I'm hoping that he might stop and think once in a while about another person's views without the need to classify them or disagree because it sounds too "liberal"."
When liberals stop immediately judging me without thinking, I'll reciprocate.


[off topic]
The problem with this statement is that it is people who judge you, including conservatives, libertarians, liberals, and every other walk of life. You are the one that attaches labels to the people and you focus on a single group. Perhaps you could be less divisive if you focus on the people making the claims and not what political group you believe they belong to. [/off topic]

And almost finally, I'm beginning to believe American's have too many rights. How about a law that states when a horrendous crime is committed (like the murder of 1 or more innocent people) and the evidence is so overwhelming, and the witnesses are so numerous, we should wave all the legal rigamarole and go straight to the execution? That red headed freak clown should have been executed no later than Saturday night at midnight. Do this a few times and maybe some of them would get the message that you won't get 10 years to life of free meals, room and recreation.


We've gone through this before.

1) We must show that we are men governed by law and are better than the criminals we prosecute. If we do not give every man their day before an unbiased judge, no matter how guilty, then we are no better than the clown pulling the trigger, randomly laying out judgement on whomever they deem to point the barrel at.

2) Executing guilty people does not reduce crime. Texas has the highest execution rate in all of the US, yet they also have the highest crime rate per capita. You'd think with all of those executions, people would be afraid to commit crimes in Texas, yet they still commit crimes in Texas. Capital punishment in no way deters crime, ever.


I can agree with that statement. Killing the fruitcake in the act of domestic terrorism, and that is what it was. Should give pause to other fruitcakes.
Also 1/3rd of gun deaths are by suicide according to the last statistics I have seen and that was a few years ago.

Get the mentally ill off the streets. I have a relative who is unbalanced, He's made threats, But the authorities cant do any thing untill he does something. lets close the barn door after the horse gets loose. Assinine is what that is.


edit~James Sotherden

"(An unfortunate side-effect of this is how simple it is to buy a few cheap parts and make a semi-auto a full-auto)"
I wouldn't say it's easy. It's easy if you have a CNC machine and the knowledge to manufacture tiny parts out of very strong metal and with very tight tolerances. Or are you talking about the battery operated devices that attach to the trigger guard and pull the trigger in rapid succession?

I think I said it would not be easy. I operate a CNC and I would not even attemp doing that. Besides altering a receiver is a Federal offense.
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Message 1264147 - Posted: 24 Jul 2012, 23:43:43 UTC - in response to Message 1264107.

Poster with no name
"I wanted to show Guy that he should stop being so quick to judge everyone that doesn't think as he does as being a "dirty no good liberal". "
"I'm hoping that he might stop and think once in a while about another person's views without the need to classify them or disagree because it sounds too "liberal"."
When liberals stop immediately judging me without thinking, I'll reciprocate.


[off topic]
The problem with this statement is that it is people who judge you, including conservatives, libertarians, liberals, and every other walk of life. You are the one that attaches labels to the people and you focus on a single group. Perhaps you could be less divisive if you focus on the people making the claims and not what political group you believe they belong to. [/off topic]

And almost finally, I'm beginning to believe American's have too many rights. How about a law that states when a horrendous crime is committed (like the murder of 1 or more innocent people) and the evidence is so overwhelming, and the witnesses are so numerous, we should wave all the legal rigamarole and go straight to the execution? That red headed freak clown should have been executed no later than Saturday night at midnight. Do this a few times and maybe some of them would get the message that you won't get 10 years to life of free meals, room and recreation.


We've gone through this before.

1) We must show that we are men governed by law and are better than the criminals we prosecute. If we do not give every man their day before an unbiased judge, no matter how guilty, then we are no better than the clown pulling the trigger, randomly laying out judgement on whomever they deem to point the barrel at.

2) Executing guilty people does not reduce crime. Texas has the highest execution rate in all of the US, yet they also have the highest crime rate per capita. You'd think with all of those executions, people would be afraid to commit crimes in Texas, yet they still commit crimes in Texas. Capital punishment in no way deters crime, ever.


I can agree with that statement. Killing the fruitcake in the act of domestic terrorism, and that is what it was. Should give pause to other fruitcakes.


As I said, killing the "fruitcake" does not give pause to other "fruitcakes". It has been proven time and time again that capital punishment for violent crimes is not effective as a deterrent to future crimes.

People kill for three primary motivations:

1) They snap. They know it is against the law to kill, but they came home and saw their loved one in bed with another person and the "snapped". Killing these people does not prevent future people from snapping, nor does it give anyone pause to not "snap" because that goes against the very definition of "snapping". People don't choose to snap, they just do.

2) They are professional criminals. They know it is against the law to kill, but they do not believe they will be caught. They willingly take the risk to kill because they believe they are smart enough to out-wit the law. Killing professional criminals in no way deters future professional hitmen from joining the ranks. They believe they will get smarter than the last guy and not get caught.

3) They are compulsive. They cannot help their compulsion and they kill. These are the truly twisted people who are not "wired" correctly in the head. These types have been executed throughout all of history, and yet we still have crazy people killing other people. You cannot deter their biology (compulsion) by executing them.


I would classify James Holmes (the guy involved in the killings at the showing of Dark Knight Rises) as someone in the third category. Killing him will not give pause to future people who are not wired correctly. They will always exist, and those that slip through the cracks of society will find a way to satiate their compulsion.

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Message 1264164 - Posted: 25 Jul 2012, 18:58:07 UTC

Dr. Keith Ablow writes:

The case of James Holmes, the man who killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo., and injured dozens more, has absolutely nothing to do with the availability of guns. Such individuals -- twisted or hobbled by disorders of the mind -- can always find ways to turn the demons that haunt them inside-out, projecting their terrors on the world around them.

If Holmes hadn't shot people with an assault rifle, he would have blown them up with makeshift bombs or sprayed gallons of acid into the faces of children or ignited an inferno in a hotel.

I lost a friend to murder several years ago. He was run down by a mentally ill doctor who accelerated to 60 mph, aimed straight for my buddy, who was jogging in a park at the time, and plowed his car into him, crushing his skull. He had no gun. The two men had never met.

The case of James Holmes has everything, however, to do with the fractured, fragmented, anemic state of psychiatry in America and our unwillingness to educate the public how to recognize symptoms of mental illness and what to do when those symptoms are identified.

Because, in the end, it will become clear that more than one person -- and probably several, including family, friends, neighbors, classmates, health care personnel or educators -- knew or should have known that James Holmes was confused, losing sight of reality, experiencing severe mood swings, withdrawing from the world around him, experiencing violent fantasies or all of the above.

Most people -- even high school guidance counselors, college educators and family physicians -- remain mystified what to do if a person is acting bizarrely, has expressed thoughts of being violent or is voicing paranoid ideas or responding to voices commanding them to wreck havoc on others. They don't know that they can call 911 or that they can call their local police. They don't know that they can petition a district court to commit a loved one to a psychiatric facility. Many have no idea that their communities are covered by mental health centers with crisis teams that are duty bound to respond to such matters by at least considering the possible risks or evaluating the individual in question.

People who wouldn't hesitate an instant to intervene on behalf of someone who has a seizure or experiences chest pain, seem paralyzed to intervene on behalf of those who are mentally ill and experiencing even the most severe symptoms.

Deploying a national public information campaign, perhaps titled “MY BROTHER'S KEEPER,” about what to do when someone appears to be in the grip of mental illness -- and unwilling or unable to get help -- would go a long way toward preventing tragedies like the one in Colorado.

Still, the campaign would have to be married to a tandem and very aggressive project to close the gaping holes in the safety net that keeps the mentally disordered from falling too far -- sometimes with tragic consequences. Because many police officers remain unclear how much discretion they have to convey troubled people -- even people with violent thoughts or intentions -- to emergency rooms. Many teachers wrongly believe that they have no right to approach students and their families with concerns about violent writings or art. And, believe it or not, many mental health personnel see the mental health care system as so complex, and so stretched, that they are loathe to deploy even the meager resources that exist within the courts and our gutted state and private psychiatric hospital system.

Some of what should be done seems obvious. The fact that the University of Texas at Austin; Columbine; Virginia Tech I; Virginia Tech II and, now, Colorado, involved assailants who were students or were recently students argues for strategies to identify the mentally ill on campus. Students in grade school are required to show evidence of immunizations. Would it be too much to expect high school students to sit for tests designed to identify severe psychopathology? If we care whether our kids are exposed to tuberculosis, shouldn't we care if they are exposed to people struggling with voices, visions or paranoia?

If students show up at university health services for physical examinations and medical histories and there is no evidence that they were screened for psychiatric symptoms, and tragedy ensues, shouldn't colleges be liable for the fallout?

My professional life as a psychiatrist has been spent gaining more and more respect for the power of psychiatry to heal people, while watching the profession itself become a shadow of itself, partly due to the ineffective, misguided leadership of the American Psychiatric Association and other bodies that we entrusted to deploy our resources to the public good.

Now, it is time to do so in a strategic, sensitive, comprehensive way that can reduce psychiatric suffering and psychiatric stigma, while safeguarding the public from the worst symptoms of psychiatric disorders.

Now. because for dozens of people in Aurora, Colo. -- and hundreds of their family members and friends -- it is already too late.

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Message 1264231 - Posted: 25 Jul 2012, 22:07:04 UTC

So, another potential nut case mass killer sees all the reaction everywhere to this ignominious deed and all he/she sees is a glorious end to a not so well lived life and continues to prepare his/her own plan for glory.

This event had nothing to do with gun control. The killer would have found a way unless someone has a workable way to disarm the entire planet.
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Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required.

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