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Reasonable and moving commentary from Joe Scarborough

by Josh K / December 17, 2012 1:32 AM PST

Joe Scarborough said on Monday that the massacre in Newtown had forced him to rethink his "long-held" belief about gun rights.

In a lengthy monologue, Scarborough talked about how shaken up he had been by the killing of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. He noted that his children's ages averaged that of some of the murdered victims.

"From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again," he said. "... Let this be our true landmark ... politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo."

That this is coming from someone with traditionally Republican and pro-gun views is encouraging. Maybe Newtown will be America's wake-up call. I hope so.
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May as well add an unreasonable commentary
by Steven Haninger / December 17, 2012 1:41 AM PST
from Rahm Emanuel

What's that about striking the iron when it's hot? Quick...react with that legislation you wanted while the country is still in a coma! Sad
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That clip is from 2009
by Josh K / December 17, 2012 3:03 AM PST

The title of the clip also misquotes him.

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(NT) I knew of its age but thought it was fitting
by Steven Haninger / December 17, 2012 3:20 AM PST
In reply to: That clip is from 2009
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No, Steven, it was both misleading and insensitive.
by Ziks511 / December 17, 2012 4:07 AM PST

Australia had a string of mass shootings 10 years ago which moved them to tighten up the rules for obtaining guns and instituted a gun registry for hand guns and Assault weapons. They haven't had a mass shooting since.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I was raised with guns, about 10 of them, I learned to shoot at age 7 or 8, I learned gun safety because my father knew it was crucially important. My father was very critical of the NRA's campaigns and was deeply offended by the easy availability of weapons that could be converted to full auto. When my interest waned in hunting in my 30's, he was fine with that. It waned because shooting something made me feel sick, even ground hogs which were a problem on our farm.

If gun use was responsible, I'd have no problems with it. It isn't. FoxNews has a story about a kid buckling himself into a booser seat who was shot and killed when his father's gun discharged, I'd expect that was a day or two ago.

The NRA is nothing but a shill and a lobbyist for gun and ammunition manufacturers pushing sales sales sales. They are not honest representatives of gun owners. They were once, but they've changed since I was a kid. That they are as strong as they are, and have controlled the debate since the 70's is entirely wrong, and they should be legally sanctioned. Their money doesn't come from memberships, it comes from manufacturers. I doubt that membership even covers the operational costs of the NRA. They bribe congressmen and senators with Gun and Ammo Manufacturers money, and that should be illegal. They are a danger to public safety, and there are few Police Chiefs with anything good to say about them. Far more people are killed with their own guns than are able to shoot their assailant. None of this makes any sense,

I have no complaints about hunting weapons. I think all assault weapons should be made illegal, and should be destroyed or permanently disabled. I think a gun registry for hand guns and Assault weapons should be mandatory, and extra large magazines be outlawed. More than 10,000 people were killed last year, and it is the same every year. Few of thse are accidental shootings. If a gun is in a gun safe, and ammunition is in a separate ammunition safe, even suicides will be reduced, because of the delay in being able to access and load them.

What is more important? the rights of gun nuts to have dangerous non-hunting weapons, or the lives of 10,000 people, many many of them kids.

Murder and Accidental Death are not what the Second Ammendment was about, and a lot of people survived those low velocity rounds from the flint locks in 1789. High velocity rounds are devastating to the body. I oughta know, I was an EMT in Michigan and had to pick up the pieces. .223 rounds tumble in the body tearing a hole when they emerge and damaging multiple organs. It is time to call a halt to this senseless carnage. If you're too insensitive to realize that, then know this: You're a member of a minority who have had it all your own way for far too long. It is time that the majority had their say, and were respected for their opinions.


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Kind of surprising that
by TONI H / December 18, 2012 3:29 AM PST

you would argue exactly the same reasons against the NRA as the rest of us have been arguing against Unions.....just swap out the 'NRA' for "Union" and we would be in total agreement as far as the argument goes.

>>>The NRA is nothing but a shill and a lobbyist for gun and ammunition manufacturers pushing sales sales sales. They are not honest representatives of gun owners. They were once, but they've changed since I was a kid. That they are as strong as they are, and have controlled the debate since the 70's is entirely wrong, and they should be legally sanctioned. Their money doesn't come from memberships, it comes from manufacturers. I doubt that membership even covers the operational costs of the NRA. They bribe congressmen and senators with Gun and Ammo Manufacturers money, and that should be illegal.>>>>

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Unions generally don't kill people
by Diana Forum moderator / December 21, 2012 5:13 AM PST

And what manufacturer supports unions? And the membership actually supports unions because there is no other income.


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They didn't have that many BEFORE 1996 ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 19, 2012 12:17 PM PST

but since then they have still had mass killings by other means and one in 2002 -

Childers Palace Fire - In June 2000, drifter and con-artist Robert Long started a fire at the Childers Palace backpackers hostel that killed 15 people.
Monash University shooting - In October 2002, Huan Yun Xiang, a student, shot his classmates and teacher, killing two and injuring five.

Since the ban Australia's violent crime rate has escalated as has England's.

Contrary to what you may "think" the founders visualized technological advances as they had seen advancements in firearms during their own lives and they saw a country where the people were armed with the same weaponry as the armies of this and other nations.

George Mason, of Virginia:

"[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.". . . I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers." -- Virginia`s U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts:
"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." -- Massachusetts` U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

Tench Coxe, of Pennsylvania:
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." -- The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788

Noah Webster, of Pennsylvania:
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power." -- An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787

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Not fitting at all
by Josh K / December 17, 2012 4:10 AM PST

You seemed to be trying to suggest that he had made his comment (which was misquoted to the point that the meaning of the statement changed completely) in response to the shootings in Connecticut.

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Not true
by Steven Haninger / December 17, 2012 4:55 AM PST
In reply to: Not fitting at all

I saw the date and knew there was no direct connection. That it came from a person near to and who seems to think like Obama, was the reason I thought it fit. Obama is a person who knows about timing and how to seize an opportunity. I'd indicated earlier in some other thread that we shouldn't be reactionary here but now would be a good time to burst forward with gun control legislation as a distraction from other matters that are clamoring for attention. Turning immediately to gun control as a cure all will look good when fresh in the minds of people who are still stunned by what happened. I don't, however, see that it's proper to ban purchases by the 99+ % who are honest and responsible because a few are not. If we extend that thinking to other situations, we'd need to ban automobiles because a few drive recklessly or intoxicated. We'd need to ban a lot of things just because they can be and are abused. Just wait for the right moment and not let it go to waste...or so says Rahm.

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(NT) which iron was hot when said?
by James Denison / December 17, 2012 5:09 AM PST
In reply to: Not true
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The biggest problem I can see
by TONI H / December 18, 2012 3:33 AM PST

with the new bill being introduced has many flaws in it right off the bat.....including the largest one; people can keep the weapons they ALREADY own. There is now a sell out going on all across the country so people can purchase those auto weapons ahead of the law being implemented. So how is the new law going to help?

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That's a valid point
by Josh K / December 18, 2012 4:07 AM PST

It would have to be grandfathered in, which means the effect of the new laws wouldn't be measurable right away. The only other option would be a buy-back program at taxpayer expense, for the full original cost of each gun. While I would love to see these weapons off the street, I don't think it's fair to force people who bought them legally to just throw them away at a loss, and if they're illegal to own then they are also worthless in terms of resale.

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The problem could be addressed by regulating ammo
by grimgraphix / December 18, 2012 1:15 PM PST
In reply to: That's a valid point

The lesson from China is clear. Fire power = more deaths. So how does one control firepower when the assault guns are already on the street?

Well, you control the cost of ammo. I have friends who have beautiful .45's that hardly ever shoot them because the ammo is so expensive. They get out the 9 millimeters to practice because the ammo is cheap. Make .223 ammo astronomical to buy.

Not only can they control the cost of ammo, but you also make clips that hold more than 5 assault rounds illegal. Lanza is reported to have two 30 round clips. How many people might have escaped if Lanza had twelve 5 round clips? How many of the teachers that fought to save their students could have had a chance to battle back against Lanza if he had to fumble with clips every 5 shots?

Yep, let people have their assault rifles for hunting. Just make them prohibitively expensive and tedious to shoot.

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Chris Rock had a funny bit about that
by Josh K / December 19, 2012 3:56 AM PST

He suggested raising the price of bullets to $5,000 each, which would lead to scenes like this:

"Man, I would blow your motherf*****' brains out.....if I could afford it."


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Regarding your comment ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 19, 2012 12:53 PM PST
In reply to: That's a valid point
"While I would love to see these weapons off the street", I have to ask Josh - how many have you seen ON THE STREET?

According to the FBI and Justice Department so called "assault weapons" are used in only something like 0.03% of crimes committed with a firearm.
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by Edward ODaniel / December 19, 2012 12:49 PM PST

You might want to educate yourself with this list of mass killings related to schools and school children and note that MANY DIFFERENT METHODS were used ranging from firearms to bombs to knives and swords.

Some were in the US and some were in other countries and they are listed beginning with:

Enoch Brown school massacre. On July 26, 1764, four Lenape American Indian warriors entered a log schoolhouse of white settlers in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania, near present-day Greencastle. Inside were the schoolmaster, Enoch Brown, and twelve young students. Brown pleaded with the warriors to spare the children before being shot and scalped. The warriors then began to tomahawk and scalp the children, killing nine or ten of them (reports vary). Two children who had been scalped survived.[1]

and moving to:

Bath School disaster.
School board member Andrew Kehoe set up a series of explosions in the
Bath elementary school. That morning he killed his wife and <b>detonated a bomb
inside the school. As people amassed outside, Kehoe detonated his
shrapnel-filled vehicle outside the school</b>, in which he took his own
life. The bombings constituted the deadliest act of mass murder in any
type of school setting in U.S. history.

and on to more recent times like 1959:

Poe Elementary School attack.
The morning that Paul Orgeron's second-grade son is denied enrollment, <b>he detonates an explosive on the school playground during recess,
killing himself; his son, Dusty; a teacher; a custodian and two
seven-year-old boys</b>. The school principal and 18 students aged six to
ten are injured, many seriously.


October 10, 1977 when A man running through the halls of El Socorro public school <b>killed four
children with a machete</b>, as well as a woman outside the school when
trying to escape. He was later arrested by police

and more recently in Latvia:

February 22, 1999 19-year-old Alexander Koryakov entered a kindergarten in Gulbene where <b>he chopped three girls to death with a meat cleaver. He also killed a
teacher and wounded a nurse</b>, before trying to escape. After his arrest
he told police that he wanted to become as famous as Russian serial
killer Andrei Chikatilo.


May 3, 1999 teven Allen Abrams purposefully drove his car
onto the playground of Southcoast Early Childhood Learning Center. He
killed two children and injured four other children and an adult. Abrams
later stated that he thought the deaths of the children would silence
the voices that he thought the US government was beaming into his brain

leading up to:

March 23, 2010
Nanping school stabbings. Eight children were hacked to death with a machete and five others were injured outside an elementary school in Nanping China. The assailant, identified as 41-year-old Zheng Minsheng, was restrained by school security guards and then arrested by police.


November 15, 2011 Gilford Shapo, teacher at Mmasehlong Primary School in Ga-Mmasehlong
village South Africa, was hacked to death with a machete in front of his class by his
brother Happy. The attacker was arrested by police.

and those are a VERY SMALL sample of the many school killings by other means than firearms. China leans toward knives, meat cleavers and swords since firearms are not available but the result is DEAD CHILDREN regardless of the means.

All firearm victims are not necessarily killed either so don't allow yourself to think that death is more likely if a firearm is used as the list shows a VERY DIFFERENT STORY!


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multiple wounds
by James Denison / December 19, 2012 4:36 PM PST

For instance Klebold in Columbine shooting shot one girl 11 times after mocking her for praying to Jesus. I wonder how she'd have done if instead it had been 15 machete hits instead?

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RE: multiple wounds
by JP Bill / December 19, 2012 9:48 PM PST
In reply to: multiple wounds

What about multiple wounds?

Can you swing a machete 15 times in the same time as you can fire off 15 rounds with an automatic rifle?

In other words, which is faster...squeezing a trigger or swinging a machete?

Anyways...this discussion is headed nowhere or down a well traveled road......So I'll use MY machete in this forum.

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Modern attacks with the most deaths were all done with guns
by grimgraphix / December 19, 2012 2:20 PM PST
In reply to: Firepower?

The bloodiest usually involved semiautomatic guns designed to kill people. Most people who go on these rampages prefer large clips that allow them to shoot multiple rounds before the need to reload.

As an example, Dylan Klebold was equipped with a 9 mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun with one 52-, one 32-, and one 28-round magazine which he fired for a total of 55 times.. His partner Eric Harris was equipped with a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9 mm carbine with thirteen 10-round magazines, which he fired a total of 96 times.

BTW... mentioning the known historical record of school attacks is interesting, but it doesn't really have a whole lot to do with modern attacks, now does it? Does it apply to the occasional restaurant mass shootings? The movie theater attacks? The sporadic attempted assassinations of arizona senators?

The point I made while talking about China is that the deadlier the weapon, the more deaths. Are you disputing this statement specifically? Are you saying that we should ignore this reality and do nothing to reduce availability of massed firepower?

I'm a gun owner. I intend on staying a gun owner. I'm just saying that I know of no hunter or home owner that needs the destructive power offered by a 10 round clip, let alone a 30 round clip or larger.

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not a gun owner myself, but re clip size
by Roger NC / December 20, 2012 10:27 AM PST

your own facts point out that limiting the size of the clip doesn't necessarily limit how many shots you get off.

The guy with 10 round clips fired more than the guy with a 52, 31, and 28 round magazines.

A 50 round clip is the same as 5 10 round clips, you can change clips in less than 30 seconds.

Not totally opposed to gun control, but most of the things they're howing abount in the news has little to do with this tragedy.

As soon as saw the news story, I knew what was coming. Before I even heard of calls for new gun control, I saw and heard comments from pro gun advocates arguing agains what they knew was coming. About the first thing was the old inaccurate argument that no one wants to ban cars that will do 100mph, and they kill as much as guns, and so on.

The best argument against gun control is simply the nose of the camel in the tent. I understand why gun owners don't want the government gaining control, it's not at all unlikely for reasonable steps to be followed by more and more.

The biggest problem I see are unregulated sales, individual to individual, some perferctly legal, some not. And the gun shows get around background checks someway or another.

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Regarding your comments ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 20, 2012 3:14 PM PST

"The bloodiest usually involved semiautomatic guns designed to kill people. Most people who go on these rampages prefer large clips that allow them to shoot multiple rounds before the need to reload. "

A couple of things are obvious from that statement:
1. You haven't seen any multiple killings. These "Eight children were hacked to death with a machete and five others were injured" would have been a WHOLE LOT BLOODIER than the same number shot.

2. So far as I am aware not a single one of the "people who go on these rampages" had any clips with them. Had they relied on clips their reloads would have been limited to the 5 round clips, 8 round clips of a Garand or 10 round stripper clips common to the 5.56 round. There are no 30 round clips nor have there ever been any.

"BTW... mentioning the known historical record of school attacks is interesting, but it doesn't really have a whole lot to do with modern attacks, now does it? Does it apply to the occasional restaurant mass shootings? The movie theater attacks? The sporadic attempted assassinations of Arizona senators?"

What we can glean from that comment is that you DID NOT read the link provided and since this thread concerns the Sandy Hook school shooting comparing it to previous school attacks is apples to apples while comparing it to a theater or shopping mall shooting would be apples to pineapples - not even close.

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Throw out the baby with the bathwater ...
by tumbleweed_biff / December 18, 2012 1:35 PM PST

So, if the same guy decided to drive his pickup through the crowd of school children walking out the front door at the end of the day, do we ban pick-up trucks? School lets out and you have a solid stream of children flowing out the door. By their very nature, just about all schools have a sidewalk on which a car/van/pick-up could easily drive, sending little bodies flying without a second thought. How about ammonia and bleach? Mix those two together and you basically have mustard gas. So the mad man walks into the school, throws a couple of bottles into the room, closes and bars the door, walks to the next room ... he's carrying a crowbar, the approaching principal walking down the hall to check him out takes a couple of good wacks and then lies on the floor while the crazy continues on his way, tossing malatov's or whatever chemical cocktail he has whipped up. So, do we ban crowbars and tire irons?

The weapons are not the problem. No matter how many laws passed to ban this, that or the other, people will be able to figure out how to kill other people, whether 1, 10, or 100 at a time. History proves this all too well. The only thing that has really changed is the instant dissemination of the information about such tragedies and horrors across the globe in a heartbeat. In many ways, we have the mass media feeding frenzies at such events to blame for any perceived increase in such events as well as possible encouragement to those looking for attention, infamy, or making a statement that all the world hears.

We have to address the issues which cause people to want to do such things as such aggressors will find a way to do carry out their evil, without regard to any weapon bans.

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the weapons are not the problem? are you serious?
by grimgraphix / December 18, 2012 3:07 PM PST
I tell you what... pick up that banana and come at me.

You want to know the one common theme about public mass murders in the USA?

They are never committed by career criminals. They are done by common people. People who are known by their neighbors. People who go to work or go to school. People who go about their business until one day, a switch flips in their head. These are not people that red flag in the system. They are not the ones the police keep an eye on. They are the ones who pass gun buying waiting periods.

The propaganda about how, if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns is just so much balderdash. The people who go on these rampages are not criminals. That is the whole point of this thread. Your neighbor who has the easiest access to weapons of war are the ones you have to worry about the most because they are the ones most likely to pick up an assault rifle.

Don't get me wrong. I used to hunt and I still own guns. I just don't feel the need to own a modern military weapon that would allow me to cut down a dozen deer at once..
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Factually incorrect ...
by tumbleweed_biff / December 18, 2012 3:58 PM PST

These crimes are not, by and large, done by common people. They are instead people with serious mental issues. They aren't "normal" people who just one day pop a circuit. You are correct that these people generally do not have a VIOLENT CRIMINAL history, but they are not mentally sound or normal. By the very definition of normal, normal people do not do these things.

Military weapons? Are you talking clip capacity or what? An AR-15 is a .223 caliber, only slightly larger than a .22 caliber. It has more charge behind the round, but at 30 feet? Makes not a difference. At classroom range on kindergardeners, a pistol would be every bit as deadly, probably more so. I know that as a boy I did a pretty good job with a lever action imitating "The Rifleman". .22 caliber lever action with what, 17 rounds? 18? I could empty that in 5 seconds or so. You would probably have been amazed at how quickly I could fire a bolt action .22 as well. Much faster than 1 per second. Okay, so you find a way to limit the clips to 7 rounds. Gunman has 1 in each hand. That is 16 rounds (1 in the chamber) out in a blink of an eye. And how long to put in a new clip? Faster than someone can cross the room. Now deal with a more realistic 15 round clip and a 9mm or a NATO 7.62mm.

So, it is not an issue of "military" weapons, even though those seem to be the weapon of choice. Any or all of these crimes could have been performed with the same weapons you can get from you Meijer or Walmart. Again, with very little thought or effort, I could do every bit as much damage in the same amount of time with what I could pick up at the local hardware store as these people have done with civilian and "military" weapons.

The controls which would prevent most of these incidents from happening are things readily available: like trigger locks and gun safes. Other preventative mechanisms are things like everyone taking responsibility for the things around them and if someone is mentally unstable, getting them treatment and keeping weapons away from them. Anyone deemed not responsible enough to have access to alcohol, should not have unmonitored or unsupervised access to weapons (we'll forgo a discussion on drinking age ... I grew up in a culture where youth were allowed to drink but society also taught strict responsibility rather than the wanton lack of responsibility so prevalent in US culture). In many ways, the basis for many of these problems lies in the persistent belief in absolute entitlement without responsibility in this culture and our utter failure to hold people accountable. Where in some countries, if you drive a car under the influence and cause an accident or even hurt or kill someone you are going to prison for quite some time, in this country you can not only avoid prison, but even be driving again within days. "Oh, I have to be able to drive for work or my family suffers, your honor" ... "Ok, so you are allowed to continue to drive, but only back and forth to work, or to do work functions." "You have 3 DUI's, okay, surrender your license for a year ..." Teach people they aren't going to be held responsible for their behaviors and choices and you can be certain they won't behave responsibly.

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by definition of normal, normal people dont
by Roger NC / December 20, 2012 10:35 AM PST

Interesting argument, someone could apply that to all horrendous crimes and deduce the individual didn't need to be accountable but "helped".

That said, how much can someone do for someone who is "off"? Local man on local news tonight back to camera to not identify the family. He's actually afraid his son may end up killing someone. He's tried to get help, but the son is over 18, and not yet committed a crime to get him a mental evalutation or a felony record.

So this guy, whose father thinks may become dangerous, is legally qualified to buy a gun.

How much are we willing to provide in mental health care? the most vocal people want everyone to pay their own way for everything now it seems. Are we willing to prejudge someone will do violence before they do? that's a nasty can of worms.

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... the cost of prevention
by tumbleweed_biff / December 21, 2012 2:43 AM PST

the old axiom - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies.

I believe that society as a whole should foot the bill for the mental care of citizens and that there should be a reasonable course of action for society to take to evaluate a citizen if the citizen is deemed to be a potential threat. In the case you cite, the father should be able to report the potential threat of the son and the son should then be evaluated and treated as appropriate. Some will argue that this is an expensive course of action. However, treatment for most people would not require long term hospitalization, but short term hospitalization (if any) and then outpatient care and medication of varying types and lengths. This would be far cheaper to the country than what we are currently spending on trials and incarceration for those same individuals.

It is in the society's best interest to pay these costs in prevention than to pay them later in "cure".

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That ounce of prevention should start before
by Steven Haninger / December 21, 2012 2:48 AM PST

mental health conditions can arise. The cost would be astronomical as we'd need to change our entire lifestyles by giving children the best of ourselves before they become the worst of themselves.

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by tumbleweed_biff / December 21, 2012 6:25 AM PST

Welcome to the world of community/social psychology.

How often do bullies get away with bullying because boys will be boys or other such stupidity? In such instances are the grounds of tragedy laid.

There was a time when someone could be cruel to small animals and such and people would generally ignore it. They might not like it or the person, but it wasn't their business. Now we know that such is the sign of a sociopath in the making and something better be done sooner than later.

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