From what I read Nancy Lanza was an avid gun collector, and she was concerned about her son's mental health. He had a form of autism. So far we have not heard whether her worries included her son wanting to kill others. Mental illness covers a very wide range. I feel fairly certain that many gun owners feel it is safe for them to store guns at home, that nothing can go wrong (until it does- an accident or a theft of the weapon by the wrong person, like in this case). She did contribute to the tragedy, including her own death, but it is quite possible that she did not see her son as a potential killer. I am giving her the benefit of doubt until further details emerge.
Originally Posted by ForeverFish
About enforcing the gun control laws (if they get passed)- nobody said it would be easy. Enforcement is rarely 100% but it is still better than 0% enforcement (meaning no gun control laws). It will take time, training and efforts to implement it, and even a small success is progress when you compare it with what's going on right now. It is hard to predict whether an adult carrying a gun at Sandy Hook could have prevented the loss of so many lives. We are talking of possibly a single shot gun vs an assault rifle that was military grade. I don't think that would work. IMO the more important thing is to not encourage people to buy even more guns because of gun violence. The real need is to get away from violence, and not let it increase exponentially (IMHO it already has).
Another factor of the argument is being discussed today, and that's mental illness. Some very good points are being made that we need to pay attention to. For example, a lot of mental health care isn't covered by insurance. This is pretty silly, because something like cancer isn't "catching," but a mental illness can have a dreadful effect on the surrounding population, as we've seen.
Like gun control, this is not an easy problem, either, but it must be confronted. Because of the early awful history of the mentally ill being warehoused in asylums, the law now makes it very difficult for a mentally ill person to be confined against his or her will. Many family members live in fear of what could happen next but can't do anything about it. Yet an expert on TV this morning said that many mental health issues can be dealt with effectively with early intervention. (Obviously I'm not talking about full-blown schizophrenia, which Holmes, the Aurora theater killer, clearly has, but there are other disorders that lessen people's impulse control, and those show up earlier and can benefit from both pharmaceutical and behavioral intervention.) Years ago I read that there would never be a poster child for schizophrenia, meaning that a cute picture wouldn't ever be used to raise money for mental illness research the way Marlo Thomas can use the brave and lovely children who help motivate us to donate funds to St. Jude's Hospital. (And it's paid off; St. Jude's has developed many new treatments for pediatric illnesses, and it treats children who couldn't afford such help.)
Last edited by Olympia; 12-17-2012 at 08:30 AM.
People are doing more than arguing. There's a lot of movement right now. The time may be ripe for hard work and improvement. Additionally, there was a news story about a man who threatened his wife's school, and she reported him to the authorities. They took him in. People are starting to take their fate into their own hands. Also, public figures such as Joe Scarborough are beginning to rethink their stance on all guns, all the time. His opinion piece on his morning show was astonishing in its eloquence.
I couldn't believe it when I read a recap of the NRA's press conference. Last week, they seemed like they might at least try to have a real conversation. The press conference was totally resistant to the concept that not everyone should be able to obtain guns.
I know guns by themselves aren't evil....however, that doesn't mean it should be easy for anyone to get a gun - especially one that can kill so rapidly.
Sure - put an armed guard at the door or inside the school. The gunman will know to look for the guard and get rid of him/her 1st. The gunman will have the element of surprise. Will the armed guard have an automatic weapon, as well? What happens if there are kids between the gunman and the guard??????
Bullet proof glass? I can see that as something that should be done. However, it won't protect the kids when they are outside for gym or recess. Do you put up walls around the schools then?
Then you have 'inside jobs'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster Who's going to be monitoring the guards to make sure that they are mentally competent?
I was pretty astounded by the NRA guy's approach as well. An armed guard in every school, really? And these are the folks who believe that the government spends too much money as it is. Maybe they can close school lunchrooms and fire the kitchen staff to make up the costs.
More significant is your point about the element of surprise. The shooter, after all, came into that school ready to kill. If the principal (may she rest in peace) had been carrying a gun as she rushed out of her office to confront the guy, what would she have done in that split second? Would she really, truly have plugged him between the eyes without a second thought? What if he turned out not to be a shooter but just the janitor? Or, as you say, what if a child was between him and her? If she had hesitated for even an instant, she would have died with her gun in her hand.
Or maybe the point of the armed guard is that a shooter won't go somewhere that has an armed guard. Well, gee, I guess that means no one ever shoots at a cop....
By the way, Mr. NRA, police don't really like the idea of automatic weapons in the hands of civilians either. Guess why.
Wicked Yankee Girl