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Just going through video of the president's address

by Steven Haninger / February 12, 2013 9:39 PM PST

and not really hearing anything new as far as changing our economic habits. It appears that he'll continue to push for further squeezing of the financially successful but doesn't sound very agreeable to considering a slowdown of his spending spree. Gotta' hunker down for a while, I suppose.

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He stated at the very beginning.....
by Josh K / February 12, 2013 9:46 PM PST

......that nothing you were going to hear from him would add anything to the budget or the deficit. It was really a pretty centrist speech IMO.

I was watching it on NBC. A reaction shot of two Republican female Congresswomen or Senators shaking their heads in disapproval over the statement that women should get equal pay for equal work was priceless.

The Republicans were also awfully quiet when the president introduced the parents of the 15-year-old girl who was shot to death only a week after performing at the inauguration. The "________ deserves a vote" finish was perfect. Shaming them over trying to avoid even letting gun legislation make it onto the Floor for a vote, good for him.

I'd heard that one Republican senator, apparently unaware of Bobby Jindal's "Let's stop being the 'stupid' party" speech, invited Ted Nugent to attend the SOTU address. Hopefully he was turned back by security on the basis of his recent threats against the president.

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Of course you know that the Chicago murderer
by Steven Haninger / February 13, 2013 12:53 AM PST

of the 15 year old girl was a kid with a criminal record including weapons violations

and from the link

McCarthy also noted that at the time of Hadiya's slaying, Ward was on probation for a weapons conviction. McCarthy said weak Illinois gun laws allowed Ward to avoid jail time because of the absence of mandatory minimum sentences.

"This incident did not have to occur," McCarthy said. "And if mandatory minimums existed in the state of Illinois, Michael Ward would not have been on the street to commit this heinous act."

I don't see anything in the new proposals that will save one life that's been taken this way and it's these murders that are far more common and have gone on longer than the high profile event that prompted the president's actions. You might also find these words interesting from Chicago's mayor.

Earlier Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel seemed to make just that point.

"The only time when the gun issue ever gets affected is when Newtown happens," he said. "What happens in urban areas around the country too often ... gets put to the side."

He said that while it's not wrong that massacres stir such debate, what happens on the streets of Chicago and in other urban areas "gets put in a different value system."

It's my thinking that this is where we need to go, if not first, at least at the same time. Obama's use of this child's death to make a point about his plan was way off target as far as being an example of what he expected that plan to achieve.

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The weak law contributed, no doubt
by Josh K / February 13, 2013 1:19 AM PST

But so did the fact that these two minors were able to get the guns they used to commit this murder. Most of the illegal guns in Chicago are brought in from Indiana, where gun laws are much more lenient than they are in Illinois. Obama's proposals do address the methods by which those guns get into the wrong hands.

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I'm afraid to say that you probably are greatly
by Steven Haninger / February 13, 2013 1:44 AM PST

underestimating the determination of a criminal and overestimating your knowledge of where these kids possibly got their guns. Unless you think these underage kids could walk into a gun shop in East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, or whatever and walk out with a weapons purchase, you'll need to come up with another theory. It is quite possible the guns were stolen from legal owners anywhere and worked their way through the underground markets. A thief doesn't need to find that many guns before becoming a gun merchant serving other criminals but it still requires a legal purchase somewhere. Background checks might help but only as far as preventing criminals from buying weapons on the street corner. It won't prevent theft. There's no way to verify it but I'd be willing to bet that most of the guns in the hands of gang members were either stolen or purchased illegally somewhere.

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(NT) Still putting city ahead of state?
by James Denison / February 13, 2013 3:31 AM PST
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He looked like one
by James Denison / February 13, 2013 3:30 AM PST

of Obama's kids. Wasn't that what Obama said about Trayvon?

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mandatory minimums, where do we put them
by Roger NC / February 13, 2013 6:28 AM PST

and how do we pay for it.

Actually I lean to the idea, espcially for repeat offenders. Double the minimum every time you get caught for the same category of offense too.

But we have to be willing to pay for it even after cutting back some of the extras they have now, jail is not suppose to be a country club.

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We have prison overcrowding partly because
by Steven Haninger / February 13, 2013 6:42 AM PST

there's no real incentive to fear being jailed. You'll be out soon enough. I could think that mandatory very long sentences for some crimes could actually reduce the prison population by providing that negative incentive. Worth a try?

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maybe but
by Roger NC / February 13, 2013 8:15 AM PST

some of the overcrowding and early release of robbers and muggers are because of mandatory drug sentences.

The drug sentence being mandatory, the assault not, they release the mugger.

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That's why you increase their length
by Steven Haninger / February 13, 2013 8:53 AM PST
In reply to: maybe but

and, as well, impose consecutive rather than concurrently served sentences. You might know what the customary penalty was for repeat offenses in earlier times before prisons evolved from torture chambers to holding cells. I'd not advocate that but repeat offenses should be dealt with very severely.

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When I was growing up
by TONI H / February 13, 2013 11:03 AM PST

the rule in our house was always, ' the punishment must be at least triple what the crime was ' , in order to make sure we remembered when we pondered committing a crime again (crimes could be anything from lying to tormenting a sister to stealing, etc). My children were raised the same way....none have been locked up except one...for a weekend DUI and spent the night in the 'drunk tank' to sleep it off. Too bad our judicial system is nothing more than a revolving door with goodies like cable tv, weight rooms, going to college, and other 'luxuries' that those living on the streets without a job don't have, including three meals a day and a warm bed.

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I do recall prisoners being sentenced to what was called
by Steven Haninger / February 13, 2013 5:53 PM PST
In reply to: When I was growing up

"the workhouse". I suspect this meant no sitting around watching TV, no weight rooms, etc., but doing some form of labor. I'd not want to deprive a person an opportunity to complete or further their education if that person had a finite sentence. This doesn't mean one gets to pursue academics but at least finish High School and perhaps learn a trade.

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I rather see them have to do the old fashion rock
by Roger NC / February 14, 2013 7:09 AM PST

pile if nothing else for several hours a day.

Nothing that would actually threaten their health, but hard steady regular physical work.

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That was considered
by TONI H / February 14, 2013 7:27 PM PST

by bleeding heart liberals as 'slave labor' and cruel and unusual punishment that they should have to 'work' for their keep and put a stop to it.

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Consider also.....
by Josh K / February 13, 2013 10:45 PM PST

.....that the sentence for ten murders is usually the same as the sentence for one. A lifer has no reason to not kill fellow inmates either.

Another factor is that many prisoners are career criminals who have spent big chunks of their lives behind bars. For many of them prison is the real world and the outside is what they have trouble adjusting to. Long sentences don't dissuade them. Charlie Manson made statements to that effect more than once.

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As always, a few will be lost
by Steven Haninger / February 14, 2013 12:26 AM PST
In reply to: Consider also.....

That doesn't mean the idea is altogether bad. We know that what we're doing now isn't working so what's the good reason to continue with more of the same? If a person shows he can't adjust to living away from prison and is a threat to others when outside, all the more reason to keep him locked up. The public deserves to be protected more than a shown-to-be-violent criminal deserves to be. But for some reason our wonderful legal system doesn't seem to feel that way. It would rather punish or inconvenience the law biding whenever possible...as they're easier to deal with and keep under control.

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There is the unwanted side effect
by Roger NC / February 14, 2013 7:07 AM PST

if you make the penaliy for armed robbery or assault with a deadly weapon bad enough, the criminal may figure he's better off to just kill them first.

If he's going to get 40 years and he's already 30, he probably figures that even if he got caught for killing and robbing he'd probably get life at the worse, and what's the difference to him.

It was decades ago, but I remember when someone my parents knew when overseas somewhere as missionaries. They were warned by locals if they woke up and someone was in the house to pretend to be asleep. The penality for robbery was bad enough that if the crook thought you could identify him, he'd kill you out of hand. I don't remember what the penality was, maybe it was the old one of losing a hand for theif, I don't know.

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Proverbs 6:30
by James Denison / February 14, 2013 3:35 PM PST
In reply to: Steal a loaf of bread

Men do not despise a thief if he steals
To satisfy himself when he is hungry;

31 - But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
He must give all the substance of his house.

However, in agrarian society, gleaning was an acceptable way to
gain food for free, but required working to some extent for it.

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That certainly makes sense.
by JP Bill / February 14, 2013 7:31 PM PST
In reply to: Proverbs 6:30

We don't despise you for stealing a loaf of bread....however if you give us everything else you possess or 7 loafs of bread...you're good, you're golden....I hope you're not too cold without any clothes, since you've given us everything else you own.

IF the thief could pay back 7 loaves why would he steal 1?....Was he trying to corner the bread market? Why would any sane person expect the thief to have 7 loaves of bread? Do you consider pending the rest of your life in prison the equivalent of sevenfold of stealing a loaf of bread? You life can't be worth much.

Not only are proverbs metaphorical...they're nonsensical.

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by James Denison / February 14, 2013 11:39 PM PST

He'd just have to serve in slavery labor for awhile till it was worth the 6-7 loaves, but he'd get to eat while doing it. Think of it as reparative training, or reparations received.

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Let's also keep in mind.....
by Josh K / February 14, 2013 9:48 PM PST

......that most criminals don't plan to get caught and aren't very likely to be considering the penalties for their acts.

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And so how would you handle these criminals
by Steven Haninger / February 14, 2013 11:55 PM PST

if you were in charge? Do what's currently being done? It's working just fine?

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No, it isn't working just fine
by Josh K / February 15, 2013 12:38 AM PST

Locking people up for gun offenses is not the solution to the gun problem. It's reactive when we need to be proactive. That doesn't mean we shouldn't lock people up for gun offenses.

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We were discussing...or so I thought...
by Steven Haninger / February 15, 2013 1:10 AM PST

criminals in general and not just gun offenses. Not to worry as the questions were meant rhetorically. I'm just suggesting that what we are now doing needs to be changed. I've made a suggestion or two and would be interested in other thoughts. If we want to leave things as they are and just think of crime as a chronic and incurable disease, then we just manage it and shut up about it. In people, we can sometimes get longer term relief by transplanting something. Too bad Australia is already taken. Maybe we can save up enough waste and scrap worldwide to make another big island. Who knows.

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by Roger NC / February 15, 2013 7:09 AM PST
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Punish people before they do something?
by James Denison / February 15, 2013 4:47 AM PST

Basically you want to punish them by depriving them of their Second Amendment rights lest they use those rights in an improper way. Furthermore you want to thereby also punish those who never would do anything improper. As I've said before, apply everything you want to infringe against the Second Amendment to the First Amendment and then see how you like it, if you believe that's the way the First Amendment should also be treated. Maybe we can make some exceptions to some other Amendments you don't like too?

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that was a nice political ploy/play
by Roger NC / February 13, 2013 6:26 AM PST

demanding a vote to satisfy the pro gun control without demanding gun control laws pass he knew would fail and make him look bad.

Good political play, I'll give it that.

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