Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Another gun-related tragedy

EDITOR:

Another mass killing, and in an elementary school, no less. The shooting and the aftermath are beyond description. Down to a personal level, the pain each individual family feels at the loss of their child is where the rubber meets the road. This is the same feeling felt when any family member is lost — whether in a car accident, to a disease, or some other tragedy. It’s the same pain my friend felt when her 9-year-old son died of a brain tumor. It’s the same pain I felt when my good friend died from cancer at 38 in September. I cried like a baby. It hurt. Death hurts. And as much as hurts, we can’t seem to keep it from happening, no matter how angry we get.

Gun owners everywhere are bracing for the forthcoming outrage against guns and those who own them after the mass shooting in Connecticut. Gun owners hate these kinds of things as much as anyone else does. But did you know that every year 10 times the number of people killed with a gun in the U.S. die from alcohol related causes? Guns-1, alcohol-10. Yet alcohol remains perfectly legal and immune to public outrage. If you are truly outraged at the loss of life in Connecticut and you want to do something to stop senseless deaths, your time would be 10 times more effective in trying to ban alcohol than guns.

Maybe we should at least have a 10-day waiting period on alcohol purchases. And require a background check. If you’ve ever committed a felony, or have a history of alcoholism or mental illness in your family then you can’t buy alcohol. And you can only buy so much every month. After all, alcohol is 10 times more likely to kill someone than a firearm.

And these statistics about alcohol deaths are a fraction of the number of lives destroyed, but not ended by alcohol. Each year countless families are ripped apart, marriages are destroyed, children are devastated, and individuals are tormented by alcoholism. Alcohol is far, far more destructive than the 300 million responsibly owned and handled firearms. “That’s ridiculous — guns are for killing or maiming, alcohol isn’t.” Really? 99.999 percent of the 100 million legal gun owners in the U.S. acquired their guns with no intent of killing anyone and never will. Meanwhile, most of the people who buy alcohol buy it specifically to impair themselves, many to the point of the destruction of their own lives or the life of someone else.

Am I advocating the outlawing of booze? Nope. If you want to responsibly have a sip or even a gulp now and then or even every day, it’s simply not my business. It’s. Not. My. Business. And If I want to responsibly own a gun, it’s not yours.

If guns are truly the problem and outlawing them will solve this problem, then we also need to look at other, much more devastating problems in the U.S.; we need to shut down all fast food operations that serve food that when consumed irresponsibly could lead to obesity or heart disease. We also need to outlaw cars; four times more people die in auto accidents every year than by gun violence — that’s 400 percent more.

And how about cigarettes? For every person killed by gun violence in the U.S., 50 people die from smoking related causes — some of whom never even smoked. And then there are medical errors; for every gun related death, there are 19 deaths from medical errors. We must outlaw medical errors. (You can read these statistics for yourself at the CDC’s own Website: cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm.)

By the way, just over half of all homicides in the U.S. are perpetrated with a gun. We need to identify the means by which all the others were carried out and pass legislation to eliminate them. This would include knives, baseball bats, frying pans, anvils and ACME™ brand dynamite. In China, guns are strictly banned, yet murders still happen. In August this year, a man murdered eight people and injured five others — with a knife. That’s a mass murder. Without a gun. In March 2010, a man killed eight schoolchildren with a knife. In May 2010, another man killed seven schoolchildren and two adults with a meat cleaver. Similar crimes have been committed there with items such as box cutters, hammers and axes.

My point is this: We can’t mitigate all the dangers of a free society or of life in general. Bad things happen and they always will. Last month, a terrible accident happened and four people were killed on Highway 50 in Camino. What do we do to prevent this — outlaw deer on the highway? Prohibition of flatlanders on Highway 50? Ban Priuses? Minivans? Kids riding in cars? If kids were not allowed to ride in automobiles, the fatalities of that accident would have been reduced by half. After all, your child is four times more likely to die in an auto accident than from a gunshot wound.

After all the raw emotions settle down, we have to accept that in a free society (and even in a non-free society) bad things will happen. People will shoot, strangle, stab, drown, bludgeon, poison and _____ other people. Even if every means by which a murder can be carried out is banned. Murder is already against the law in any form. Passing more laws will not help. Restricting the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners will not help. Killers will kill and they will kill with whatever they can get their hands on. The worst school mass murder in U.S. history was not carried out with guns — it was with homemade bombs. Forty five people were killed of which 38 were children. Life can be very, very rough and has been since people were invented, and will always be, regardless of our efforts to legislate away the dangers thereof. There will always be evil and unstable people in every generation. They are the true problems, not the inanimate objects they use to perpetrate evil.

There’s more to be said, but until then remember, 100 million legal gun owners didn’t kill someone yesterday.

PATRICK D. MCATEE, SR
Camino

Letters to the Editor

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 102 comments

  • M. SchumannDecember 21, 2012 - 6:21 am

    Bravo Patrick! Bad things happen and they always will, regardless of the law.

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  • DarrinDecember 21, 2012 - 6:34 am

    Gun control and legislation is not to remove 100% of the guns from the citizens of the U.S., it is to limit them form those who should not have them. Consider yourself sane and intelligent, then you can see the argument against free and easy access to guns. If you are sane then you would not be in jeopardy of losing your gun. Trying to change the topic to the harm cigarettes do and outlawing of booze are not bolstering your position. And both of which are harder to get than a gun in the US. Lets focus on the title of your letter. A topic that show the US is far ahead of similar countries in gun related deaths. Senseless deaths that could be avoided by better gun control. Handguns Killed ---- 48 in Japan, 8 in Great Britain, 34 Switzerland, 52 Canada, 58 Israel, 21 Sweden, 42 Germany AND 10,728 in United States of America . The firearm homicide rate in the United States was 19.5 times higher than in other high-income countries. More guns means more people with guns. That means more people who are less able to make smart decisions about who and when to fire a gun. Say you are in a mall or other crowded place and a balloon pops, then someone shoots at someone else who looks suspicious and then they get shot, then that person gets shot, where does it end. The last person, hopefully a small child, left standing gets to crawl through the mayhem and declare themselves the winner! The Second Amendment addressed the needs of the new country at the time. 200+ years later it is very much in need of some updating. And if protecting the country is the biggest issue at hand, have mandatory conscription at 18 (after graduating high school and only for those that are sane) for every adult and give them a rifle to keep under their bed, much like Switzerland does. I can name 5 mass shooting incidents in the U.S. off the top of my head. There have been several in the last few months. Can you name 5 in the rest of the WORLD? Off the top of your head, not using the internet. You may be able to name the one in Scandinavia, any others? “Public safety's better served by knowing where all the firearms are and making people accountable for the ownership of their firearms,” he said. http://www.wbez.org/story/under-gun-burden-being-gun-owner-canada-90096

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  • The AntiDarrinDecember 21, 2012 - 7:24 am

    Darrin you did some serious damage to your credibility when you stated of cigarettes and booze that "both of which are harder to get than a gun in the US". You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Have you ever even purchased a gun? I have, in fact I just bought two last month. You have to fill out two pages of details about yourself; your legal status, are you an immigrant, a fugitive from justice, a felon, a previous felon, ever been dishonorably discharged from the military, etc. Then you have to give a thumbprint. Then you have to sign an affidavit saying you own a gun safe (and give the make and model) OR buy a trigger lock and sign for it. Then come the background check-which is done during the 10 day waiting period before you can pick up the gun. That's the process. The "gun show loophole" is a fantasy. Very, VERY few sellers will sell a gun illegally at a show. Usually the organization putting the show on mandates all rules be followed. I bought a military relic rifle at a show some years ago that legally would have been a walk out purchase, but I still had to go through the procedure. And I don't really mind it. If it helps keep guns out of the hands of criminals, felons and wackos, no prob. But it's not as easy as you falsely believe.

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  • RichardDecember 21, 2012 - 7:28 am

    I don’t think your logic works. But I think you may have stumbled on the solution to gun control, tax guns like DMV taxes autos, trailers and boats with heavy penalties. Annual updates of gun owners could help weed out the crazies and help pay for the mess gun use leaves behind.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 9:36 am

    6 hours and 30 minutes since the world ended . . . whew!!!

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  • CatherineDecember 21, 2012 - 10:23 am

    It's a beautifully written letter, with many truths. One thing to consider, though, is that aside from skeet shooting, guns pretty much are only used to kill living things. So licensing and mandatory insurance make a lot of sense to me.

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 10:47 am

    Phil, I thought the end of the world is tonight at midnight? I'm only sorry we won't find out what happens with the fiscal cliff.

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  • Paddy O'furnitureDecember 21, 2012 - 10:51 am

    Catherine, to buy a handgun in CA, you do have to take and pass a safety course. Sort of just a common sense thing. In addition to the background check we have to do, I don't think many gun owners would oppose something similar when buying long guns either. But as was said above, the vast overwhelming majority of gun owners are extremely responsible people, hence the very, very low occurrence of gun crime compared to the number of legally owned guns in America-that's really a point that needs to be emphasized. And Richard, I really don't think you would recognize a logical point if it bit you on the Richard.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 10:55 am

    James, my sources say - LINK - December 21, 2012 - clock counting UP!!!

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Catherine, I kill quail with my skeet gun. Am I legal? Am I bad?

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 21, 2012 - 11:25 am

    Good Job Patrick. Darrin, what a joke. Richard, we are already taxed enough on everything. Everyone who legally purchases firearms PAID taxes on it and now owns it. No one should be taxed again. Just makes the fat (Bureau)cats fatter. Phil and James E., I thought it was supposed to end last night and we'd all get a "bang" out of it. And then nothing happened. I was at an "End of the world party" with a few friends drinking wine and so decided to take a cab home. Sure enough we came to a sobriety check and they waved me through since I was in the cab. This morning I noticed the cab was still in my garage. Anyone missing one?

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  • EvelynDecember 21, 2012 - 11:44 am

    FACTOIDS (interpret at will) - 1. Switzerland’s population is ~ 8 million. 2. The Swiss have one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world. 3. Over 500,000 Sig 550s are kept in Swiss homes. 4. Switzerland has the lowest gun violence rate in the world. 5. In 2011 the Swiss rejected stricter gun control. 6. ALSO (make of it what you will): a) Switzerland’s poverty rate is less than half ours; b) Switzerland is GMO free. (I threw this one in just for fun.)

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 11:44 am

    I still think if the world is supposed to end on December 21st, we have until 11:59PM for it to happen. Just think, no Fiscal Cliff resolution and no more comments on the MtDemocrat site. Sad.

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  • MikeDecember 21, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Taxing guns sounds like a good idea to me also.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieDecember 21, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    Mr E. -- I believe the Mayans were on Eastern Standard Time...

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    Kirk, my son beat you to it. When I mentioned to my son that we still have approximately 12 hours left to live, he said "Dad, it's December 22nd in Tokyo."

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    Phil, the quail would, in fact, consider you bad. Not sure if they could comprehend the jurisprudence of illegal vs. legal.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    Evelyn, the Illuminati come from Switzerland. Need I say more?

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  • EvelynDecember 21, 2012 - 12:34 pm

    Rumor has it they moved to El Dorado County a couple years ago. I'm still trying to get their mailing address.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieDecember 21, 2012 - 12:35 pm

    James -- That's silly...the Japanese Mayans weren't calling the shots. I'm heading out to play music this afternoon...not sure if I should pack the thermo-nuclear heat suit or absolute-zero cold suit. I think I'll just go with the umbrella and let the chips fall where they may. Grandkids and their parents are due in this evening...hopefully we'll get some happy time before time stops.

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Oh, Kirk, don't discount the Japanese Mayans. They were very powerful in their day. Unlike our Mayans, they really loved to eat SPAM and it made them very strong.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    There you go again, Colonel. You're just trying to stir up trouble over the notion that bird brains "consider" . . . sure . . . whatEVER . . .

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    Evelyn, not known to many, but I am the head illuminati guy in El Dorado County. It was passed on to me from my family in Bavaria, and as it's a secret society please don't spread it around.

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  • EvelynDecember 21, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    James, at long last the rumor is confirmed. Your secret is safe among the several hundred of us. Did you know that if you spell out illuminati backwards (itanimulli), typing itanimulli.com into your browser, you will be redirected to National Security Agency as the top answer? TRUE. Try it to see if I'm bluffing.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 21, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    LINK - Type itanimulli.com into your browser and the National Security Agency’s website pops up, proof positive, in some people’s minds, that the US government is a bought-and-paid-for subsidiary of the New World Order. Other people took the next step and investigated. They swiftly discovered that a computer geek named John Fenley, who lives in Provo, Utah, purchased the domain name “Itanimulli” and is redirecting visitors to the NSA.

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  • heidiDecember 21, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    Guns can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. So can vehicles. El Dorado County, let's come together and help a family LOCALLY who lost a young child. Let us donate to the Temple family who lost their four year old a few weeks ago when broadsided by a bay area driver.

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  • EvelynDecember 21, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    Nobody's challenging that, Phil. Clearly it was a prank!

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  • EvelynDecember 21, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    . . . but mum's the word about James. That's not a prank.

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    Evelyn, thank you for the continuing cover. Now, a comment about the new high paid (and alleged unqualified individual getting the job) personnel czar. Phil, seems a very competent guy and I believe, given that he is currently retired, that he would take the job for $1.00 a year. I'd take the job at $1.00 a year, but I'm very cynical, prone to losing my temper (a German you know), and a Democrat so I would just raise heck throughout the city and county government. Phil, on the other hand, is a smooth operator and could get the job done.

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    The head of the NRA has conducted a press conference and recommends a policeman in every school. I said previously that something must be done about this tragedy of a week ago, but I don't know what so I don't mean to make light of the NRA recommendation. However, it would certainly lower the unemployment rate in the U.S. given the number of schools, both public and private, in America. And, would one policeman be sufficient given the size of many schools. So, it doesn't sound practical -- I also note teachers are beginning to come on line saying, in effect, if they wanted to be soldiers they would have signed up. So, we continue without a solution.

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  • patriciaDecember 21, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    ask the parents at the school if they were willing to pitch in x dollars per week for one armed guard.

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  • DB SmithDecember 21, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    I believe armed guards in schools would have a minimal effect in curbing these types of crimes. If you protected during normal school hours, would you also provide armed guards during evening activities, weekend activities and the outdoor PE class that's cross country running? There's usually a variety of ways to gain access to school campuses and buildings so I highly doubt that an attacker would check in at the front office. No one school site has the same layout and each should identify where they are vulnerable and plan accordingly. El Dorado County does provide training for school personnel on how to prepare and react to incidents like these but after awhile I think some become complacent when nothing has happened in awhile.

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  • J. OthersideDecember 21, 2012 - 4:48 pm

    Sigh. I don't know the answer either, but sadly will point out that on the same day of the Sandy Hill tragedy another headline appeared. I believe it was "32 children slashed at gates of elementary school in Henan, China". So China has very restrictive gun ownership laws and of course someone found the next best available alternative. On the other hand I don't believe any of the Henan kids died. In all cases it would appear that mental instability is the root culprit. Unfortunately it would also appear that medical and society's ability to identify such is woefully inadequate, even in an oppressive and controlling environment. Lesser of many evils solution needed here? I don't know, just so damn frustrated and horrified I needed to comment on something.

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  • CatherineDecember 21, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    Phil, quail is delicious. As long as you're not driven by auditory hallucinations to kill that quail, no one will call you evil.

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  • James E.December 21, 2012 - 5:09 pm

    I note that a Mr. Ronnie Barrett has developed a .50 cal sniper rifle which is available for sale in the civilian market. It is one mean looking weapon -- in Vietnam, I fired the .50 off the top of tanks and it put out maximum fire power. Except for hunting elephant (who would kill such a magnificent animal?), or killing enemy soldiers I cannot imagine a need for a .50 cal sniper rifle in civilian life.

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  • M. SchumannDecember 21, 2012 - 7:05 pm

    Bear repellent as a weapon for teachers? That tragedy could have been averted if all the teachers carried it in a holster. You don’t have to be accurate either shoots spray 30-35 feet, just wait until they are coming down the hall, stick your arm out and shoot. Problem solved

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  • DB SmithDecember 21, 2012 - 7:20 pm

    Martin, your bear repellent idea sounds like it would be more effective and certainly less violent than people running around campus with guns. Those in charge should conduct some live drills with different scenarios to see how it would actually work. The only draw back that I can see would be if the bad guy brought a gas mask with him. At Columbine there were armed guards and look what happened. I like your idea.

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  • Patrick HenryDecember 21, 2012 - 7:30 pm

    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests..., Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands..., Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who comes near that precious jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined."

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  • statisticianDecember 21, 2012 - 7:34 pm

    90 folks die in auto accidents EVERY DAY... Minimum of 120,000 year die of physicians... about 1,500 die of gun ACCIDENTS per year.

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  • arnold langeDecember 21, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    an armed guard in every school? for starters he would be the first target of the would be shooter. second, it sounds like the first step to a cop on every corner in America, ie: a police state. that shouldn't appeal to any freedom loving american.

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  • locknloademDecember 21, 2012 - 9:59 pm

    Gun Control is BS! When will the law makers and their "followers" come to reality and get educated about firearms and learn all the history behind the right to bear arms. Gun control is nonsense because, it is not the gun, the gun shops, the gun makers or the advertisers backing up gun and ammunition sales, but it is the one who is handling the gun that is the cause and is to be held accountable for their actions. If the law makers would just see the BIG picture instead of running our country and our constitutional rights into the ground, they would see they are failing their followers. We the people must stand up and demand changes. A) We need to have a LAW requiring ALL schools in the USA, to have either an armed officer on the grounds at all times during school hours or that requires every Principal and 1 other staff member to have a license to carry a concealed weapon. In addition to the license, attending a required class which includes live scenarios on a routine basis ~not less than weekly, monthly or quarterly is a must in order to be maintain the knowledge, confidence and reacting in a given situation if one should occur. Not only would this be putting our tax dollars where it matters most of all, but our precious children would have a better chance at getting through school and becoming our future leaders etc…. HOWEVER, If the law makers continue to ignore the BIG picture and impose "idiotic gun control" regulations then they need to find another means of protection for our public schools where our children spend most of their time until they are 18. Obviously, Gun control is not working nor is it going away any time soon, the expensive Lock Down security systems being installed are also not working. Locking down an entrance to a building is useless when there is exposed glass windows locked or not. B) The law makers need to replace every glass window, door etc., with bullet proof glass in all public schools in the USA. The Lock down Systems already installed, will then do what they are designed to do. This will allow more time for our children, teachers, and principals etc., to get to a safer area. The intruder will less likely be able to break in before law enforcement arrives.

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  • billzzDecember 21, 2012 - 11:28 pm

    An effective defensive strategic strategy is one that makes the enemy rethink his position. The announcement that all airline pilots will be armed is an effective strategic defensive strategy because the pilots do not actually have to be armed. But the enemy has to rethink his strategy because he thinks that they are armed. Signs that say this is a gun-free zone, should better be replaced by signs that say we are all armed with M16 machine guns.

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 8:46 am

    locknlodem ~ To put a gun in the hands of a Mr/Mrs/Ms Principal or Vice Principal of every school isn't going to happen. The professional armed guard in every school would be a possibility but I would question the effectiveness of that and not only because of the Columbine incident. The costs associated with the armed guards would be an issue as well. The lock down drills are there for a reason and need to be rehearsed just as often as a fire drill. I wonder if they had those emergency drills in place at Sandy Hook? I am an NRA member with plenty of guns and believe in my gun rights but I strongly disagree with the NRA's recommendation of having an armed officer in every school. Where did we leave off after the murders at the Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado? They were calling for an armed guard in every movie house. Right now I'm leading towards the Martin Schumann idea of the bear repellent. I've seen some demonstrations and have heard that if you do get it in the face you will wish your were shot dead and if the teacher/principal sprayed the wrong person it would be a much more forgiving experience than being shot with a bullet.

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  • CatherineDecember 22, 2012 - 8:56 am

    Billzz, psychotic people aren't terribly motivated by signs or warnings. Except maybe the ones in their heads. I encourage everyone to read Elyn Saks' book, The Center Cannot Hold, which walks you through what it's like to live with emerging, and then lifelong, psychosis. She was living in the UK at her first break, and so she received health care.

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  • prime timeDecember 22, 2012 - 9:35 am

    Gun Manual For Nearly EVERY Firearm On The Planet ebooks pdf free download links

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  • Gerald LillpopDecember 22, 2012 - 10:21 am

    When was the last time a bottle of Jack Daniels went in to a school in Connecticut and killed twenty six people? When has anyone heard of a pack of Marlboro’s going to the Virginia Tech campus and killing 32 people and wounded 17 others? And when has a McDonald’s hamburger gone on to Fort Hood and killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. We can debate gun control and taxes but the booze, cigarette and fast food kill more people than guns argument is nonsense.

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  • General LollipopDecember 22, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    Gerald, your argument is based on emotion and hypotheticals. Facts are a far better thing to base doctrine and law on. The statistics show more people die from alcohol, cigarettes and heart disease than gun violence. Calm down and try to be rational.

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  • James E.December 22, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Everyone seems to have their own opinion about the horrific killings in Connecticut. But, the opinion that is most despicable is that of Christian Right Leaders and radio hosts. Dr. James Dodson, Franklin Graham, and Bryan Fischer claim the massacre of 20 tiny children happened because Americans have turned their backs on God. These three individuals have just told us all that they are into religion just for the money. After all, did God suddenly realize that Americans have turned their backs on him and the solution was for him to direct the violent killing of 20 small children? These three are not religious, they are the worst of money grubbers interested only in sucking donations out of their followers. Totally despicable.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    Perfectly expressed, James. Vipers.

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  • Paddy O'furnitureDecember 22, 2012 - 2:29 pm

    Wow James, care to be "fair and balanced" in your criticisms? Any lefties you know of saying stupid despicable things after the shooting? Or do you just ignore them and focus on conservatives? I'll give you one; Michael Moore. Did you know, dear James, that because you own a gun, that you're a racist? So says the venerable Mr. Moore- http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/12/21/michael-moore-people-own-guns-because-theyre-racist-n1471949 -He wants the 2nd amendment repealed altogether and has taken to associating it with racism to push the agenda. Is that not despicable as well? There's a little balance for you James.

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  • DarrinDecember 22, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    To the nameless "The AntiDarrin", as well as you with not using your name and refuting gun purchases. You can find someone to sell you a gun in most places without any id. If you think that the millions of guns in the US are all accounted for you are fooling yourself. And regardless of what you think for people to have to fill out paperwork, etc. The fact that you purchased two guns in the past month proves that it is too easy to purchase them. What kind of arsenal are you building there, oh nameless one?

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  • DarrinDecember 22, 2012 - 2:55 pm

    And the solution of having armed guards at schools that people are suggesting, even the NRA, is suggesting, is great, since schools are gun-free zones and need protection. So then the gun-free zone at a church needs guards after a shooting there, then the mall, then the whole UNITED STATES needs an armed guard. Or, just maybe you could get rid of all the guns??? Canadians watch the same tv. play the same video games, see the same movies, in many respects they are very similar to Americans except in gun deaths. A shooting spree is what happened in Newtown CN, Aurora CO, these two sprees alone almost account for the total gun death toll in Canada for the year. In a recent year, handguns killed 52 people in Canada and 10,728 people in United States of America.

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  • Rich JuethDecember 22, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    The 2012 campaign and election will be seen as the beginning of the end of the Republican party. The December 2012 response to the Connecticut shooting will be seen as the door slamming shut on them. They have rallied around a culture of violence, blood and death. All sane people, even those with close held conservative beliefs, will not want anything more to do with these blood drenched psychos. They are finished. gone.

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Yea colonel...maybe kinda like that money grubbing Obama and his followers that have sucked the life out of America. These folks that you mention do not represent all, just as you Obama lovers do not represent all.

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  • Ted GreshamDecember 22, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    You think the life has been sucked out of america? What a crappy little life you have. I weep for you.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 3:49 pm

    Paddy O'furniture, on the matter of "fair and balanced" criticisms: I have no idea the political alignment of Dr. James Dodson, Franklin Graham or Bryan Fischer (I’ve never heard of the latter two). What does it matter? Have we become so politically sensitized, divided and BLIND that it now is necessary to do a sampling of all disagreeable positions before saying anything at all? I agree with you about Michael Moore, by the way. Constructive processing of a negative point of view does not require a YOUR SIDE IS WORSE response. Rather, is point of view valid or the information true?

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    Ms. Jueth, culture of violence, blood and death? I'm conservative minded and don't have those thoughts unless you were to threaten any of my family and believe me I'm not going anywhere.

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    Evelyn, if you've never heard of the latter two then how in the world could you call them "vipers"? Someone once told me that "reality is complex". Get real.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 4:05 pm

    If James correctly represented what they said, then I'll stick with VIPERS.

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    Sounds like your a cry baby ted. I'm embarassed for you.

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  • Ted GreshamDecember 22, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    Yes, you should be embarrassed. For any number of reasons.

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    Evelyn dear, just the mere fact that you said you've never heard of Franklin Graham tells me enough. Good evening.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 4:15 pm

    DB Smith, I now have heard of them - LEADERS OF CHRISTIAN RIGHT RESPOND TO NEWTOWN MASSACRE, FAIL TO MENTION GUNS: “Christian Right leaders continue to insist that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of 26 people, including 20 six and seven-year-old children, happened because Americans have turned their backs on God. The list of prominent Religious Right leaders spewing this unholy venom now includes Dr. James Dobson, the founder and former head of Focus on the Family, Bryan Fischer, a popular American Family Association talk-show host, and Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.” ********** http://tinyurl.com/ctp6d68

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    DB Smith, there's an amazing amount of stuff and number of people I don't know about. Upon your return please provide me with a primer of essential knowledge so that I may avoid future embarrassment.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    Ahhhhh . . . Franklin Graham is BILLY'S son. How could I not have known? Now I understand why DB Smith fled the scene!

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 4:29 pm

    Evelyn, during your childhood do you remember something called the 10 Commandments. One of those commandments says "Thou shalt not murder/kill." If somebody is doing the opposite of that then from a religious perspective would you say they are turning their backs on God?

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  • DB SmithDecember 22, 2012 - 4:34 pm

    Evelyn, the only reason I'm going to flee the scene is because at this very moment I am smelling something very good coming from the kitchen.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    DB: You're back! Does that mean we're still speaking? Yes, I do remember the 6th Commandment. I'm a big fan of it, and consider murder, assassination & torture immoral -- definitely not life affirming.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 5:04 pm

    And, finally . . . Lost in all the toing and froing was that my initial response to Jame's 1:36 pm comment was unrelated to perception about alignment of Messrs Dobson, Graham & Fischer. More important is the WHAT, not the WHO.

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  • James E.December 22, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    Mr. O'furniture, Michael Moore is wrong because not all gun owners are racists, nor are all racists gun owners. But his stupid statement does not raise to the level of religious shysters saying that God directed the killing of 20 little children because Americans have turned their back on him. See fair and balanced: Moore is stupid making such a statement (if did), and the two religious leaders and talk show host are beneath contempt. And, they would really like some donations from their base to help their work in saving America.

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  • James E.December 22, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    ADDED: And, like Mr. Smith, I also smell something good coming from the kitchen so will be back later.

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  • billzzDecember 22, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Hi Catherine! Yes, my last paragraph stating that signs saying, "Gun free zone" should be replaced by signs saying, "We carry machine guns," was humour (British spelling.) Hopefully everyone knows that crazy people do not heed signs. And that is one reason why they should be locked up. I don't say much because of the really irritating reCaptha thing that one has to fill in. I don't get it right half the time, so I must be half of an autobot. Some of them are indecipherable.

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  • J. OthersideDecember 22, 2012 - 5:44 pm

    Evelyn and Darrin, it's probably a mistake to quote statistics as a means to understand this mess. Out of 32, Switzerland is actually tied for third in gun related homicides per 100,000 population in industrialized countries. Canada is tied with Ireland for 8th. Agreed that USA is ranked 1st by a long shot. At 89 guns for every 100 civilian population in the USA, it is tempting to make an inference. But as every budding statistician learns about the inference between rates of rape and sales of ice cream, these issues are never quite so easy to understand. Let alone solve.

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  • J. OthersideDecember 22, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    More on stats: In 2011 Great Britain reported 6 guns for every 100 civilians and 41 gun-related homicides. Finland reported 45 guns per 100 civilians and 24 gun homicides. So one would be tempted to think the number of guns doesn't correlate. But the rate in Finland is 0.45 per 100,000 population vs. 0.07 per 100,000 population in Great Britain.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    J Otherside: I couldn't agree with you more about the problem of using statistics to prove causation. It's almost certain that the issue of gun violence (for instance) is much more complex than simply the number of guns in circulation.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 6:29 pm

    billzz, about CAPTCHA: It used to drive me crazy. As you say, some of them are indecipherable. It was ages before I noticed the way through this. Have a look at the box at the bottom that says "Type the two words". IMMEDIATELY to the right is a symbol with 2 circling arrows = "Get a new challenge". So .... when presented with the indecipherable, press that symbol and you'll be given two new words. That can be repeated as many times as necessary. (You won't lose your already-typed comment.)

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  • James E.December 22, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    A change of subject: The chained CPI seems to have found its time -- it has been bouncing around the Belt Way for many years. It won't make a wit to me as I'm not living on the edge, but I don't think it's good for those oldsters living on the edge where every dollar makes a difference (especially given the current CPI and especially the chained CPI which have little relationship to the real cost of living increase each year). It's estimated that the chained CPI will save $12 billion each year, and it's taken out of the hide of the poor. Want to save some money? How about a modest speculation tax. Just 1/4th of a cent for each transaction. It would gain $350 billion a year and which of us, rich or middle class, would mind a 1/4 of a cent transaction tax? Twelve billion versus 350 billion -- why is this so hard for our bought Congress? Oh, that's right because they are bought.

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    Today has been exhausting. First I had to find out who this Franklin Graham is. Now James is back from dinner talking about "chained CPI". I need to look it up before DB Smith returns. That will save him the trouble of including in that primer he's working on for me! Or, since I'm in lazy mode, perhaps James would be so good as to explain it: IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE. (Not kidding, I really don't know what it is.)

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  • James E.December 22, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Evelyn, it's a new way to gauge the yearly increase in the cost of living index. The premise is that if beef is too expensive, you will buy chicken, or if you are living on the line cat food. Hence the cat food CPI indes. The difference between today's method of gauging CPI and the chained CPI is about a .3 reduction. So, if your social security check is $1,000 and the CPI is 3%, instead of getting $1,030 you would get $1,027. Only three dollars, but it escalates each year and over time your benefit is cut at higher levels. Now, $3 is virtually nothing, but if you are one of the poor oldsters living on the line it has meaning. And, why take it out of their hide when a transaction tax would make $238 billion more?

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  • EvelynDecember 22, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    Thanks, James, for the "chained CPI" explanation -- and for making it simple enough for me to understand! Several years ago I had heard about the method, but it wasn't attached to a name. Hamburger instead of steak, cat food instead of chicken. At the time I thought "what a fraud". Now, my thoughts are unprintable.

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  • BillDecember 22, 2012 - 8:28 pm

    Gun control is a joke. Bad guys do not obey the laws...duh. The columbin shooters stole the guns. Intereting how the government can afford to put a psychologist on an elementry campus, but not a cop or a guard? All of our miliatary get trained in the use of a weapon, why not a teacher or two? By the way, did you notice that the leftist media failed to tell you all that the shopping center attack a few weeks ago in Portland, Oregon was stopped by a 22 year old resident with a concealed weapon permit? The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

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  • RichardDecember 23, 2012 - 12:59 am

    Only after his AR-15 repeatedly jammed and he committed suicide. The only place I’ve heard you version was on fox news.

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  • curiousDecember 23, 2012 - 4:54 am

    Bushmasters popped up at the following mass shootings: Last week's Oregon mall shooting, Aurora/Holmes, similar as Bushmaster used in Beltway Sniper Mohamed/Malvo. Bushmasters are popping up like mushrooms after a hard rain in mass shootings and they happen to just coincidentally be the exact type of weapons feds want to ban.

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  • BillDecember 23, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Yes, Richard, when he was trying to clear/reload his rifle, he saw a man pointing a gun at him, so he gave up trying to clear the rifle, pulled his handgun, stopped shooting victims and shot himself instead. You found this website, try a little internet research. You will find the story well covered in Portland, including an interview of the man himself. Fact-good guy with a gun pointed at the dirt bag=no more victims. And no, I did not see it on Fox, I first heard it on the John McGinnis show on kcra. For those not experienced with dirt bags, maybe we listed to the advice of those who are, instead of the politicians who take money from one side or the other.

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  • DarrinDecember 23, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    O'furniture, you are just a jackass... If for no other reason that you are one.

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  • DarrinDecember 23, 2012 - 6:40 pm

    J. Otherside, I agree, it is a bit late, but do we sit idly by and let more people die and call each other names like Paddy O, no, I think not. It is time for action. Make the penalties for not locking your guns up and making them accessible higher. Here is a good article about guns in Canada. “Public safety's better served by knowing where all the firearms are and making people accountable for the ownership of their firearms,” he said. http://www.wbez.org/story/under-gun-burden-being-gun-owner-canada-90096

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  • arnold langeDecember 23, 2012 - 9:18 am

    the guy in portland ran into a stairwell to unjam his weapon after he saw the other guy pointing his gun. then he committed suicide. the rightwing alternate universe has run with this story always infering that the shooter was "stopped" ie, killed by the guy claiming to have pulled his gun.

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  • RichardDecember 23, 2012 - 11:38 am

    Makes a good story Bill. "As he was about to fire, Meli said he noticed movement behind the shooter. Meli was afraid if he misses, another innocent person would be hurt. Meli says the shooter saw him and his gun and seconds later took his own life." I was in Portland yesterday with a former cop buddy. His comment was, " Meli had nothing to do with the out come as things played out and was lucky he wasn’t shot by Portland PD."

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  • Paddy O'furnitureDecember 23, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    It's kind of interesting; thanks to the whores in the drive-by media, we know the intimate details of each of the shootings-Aurora, Tucson, Sandy Hook-including the shooter, the guns used, some of the victims names and stories, etc. The shooter is immortalized and even glorified and we know everything about them. And then we get jackasses like Richard and Darrin who call for more gun control and say things like more guns won't help. But who can off the top of their head tell us anything about the Colorado Springs Church shooting in 2007? Anybody know the shooter's name? How many he killed? How he was stopped? No. We don't want to. Because the shooter, armed with a rifle and two handguns and lots of ammo, was shot dead by a woman carrying a concealed pistol. Why doesn't this get mentioned? Oh, that's right, because it's an unfavorable scenario for gun control nuts. Same beginning as every other mass shooting, but this woman prevented it from being bigger than Columbine. How? With another gun. And no one talks about it. Can you say "hippo-crit"?

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  • DarrinDecember 23, 2012 - 4:09 pm

    Paddy O'Jackass has ONE incident where a gun toting shooter killed a someone and thinks that is the reason to arm the rest of the US, genius, O'Jack! Where were all the other saviors for the mass shootings?

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  • BillDecember 23, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    Geez, Richard, what do you think stops these guys? The no guns sticker on the window? The CT killer gave up when the cops (with guns) showed up, just like almost every other one. Tell you what, you move to New York City if you feel safer there. When a state changes to right to carry, violent crime goes down.

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  • Sid ManchesterDecember 23, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    Those who buy into the ridiculous NRA notion that more guns will buy safety, are drenched in the blood of innocent children.

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  • BillDecember 23, 2012 - 5:18 pm

    No sid, nobody wants more guns. We want the good guys to have the right to protect ourselves from the bad guys. A gun is the tool used to protect ourselves. It is one hell of an effective deterrent.

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  • RichardDecember 23, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    Vigilantes are more trouble than there worth to law enforcement. I don’t have the answer but limiting weapons with more than ten round capacity and annual license fees for all weapons is a good place to start. The revenues could good to law enforcement and mental health services.

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  • J. OthersideDecember 23, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    Sadly, at a little under one legal firearm for every civilian man, woman, and child in the US (0.89 to be exact) arguments about the number of guns are specious at best. The cat is already out of the bag as the guns are out there right now. To put the cat back in would take massed armed force to physically remove firearms from circulation, the only way to ensure that not just law abiding citizens turn them in. Not going to happen. The only argument worth refining is how, when, and what firearms can be legally deployed by civilians. As the evil/unstable among us change tactics that deployment needs to change as well until better methods of dealing with their ilk are developed and utilized successfully.

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  • Paddy O'furnitureDecember 23, 2012 - 7:35 pm

    It has been said many times before, it's being said now, and it's plain reality; there hundreds of millions of guns in the hands of private US citizens today and this will never change. To wish or hope for otherwise is pi$$ing in the wind. Maybe when some of you's that hope for gun control sit on MallSanta's lap next year, you should ask him to make all guns disappear. Would have the same result. The neat little utopia that your Peace Prize President has promised you aint happening.

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  • MikeDecember 23, 2012 - 8:22 pm

    Back in your hole fruit cake.

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  • Paddy WagonDecember 23, 2012 - 10:25 pm

    The man in the Colorado church in 2007 was not killed by the ex-police officer, although she did hit him. He shot himself.

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  • DarrinDecember 24, 2012 - 7:24 am

    @James E - It is interesting to read the comment you posted about "James Dodson, Franklin Graham, and Bryan Fischer claim the massacre of 20 tiny children happened because Americans have turned their backs on God." If the lack of religion in the US was truly to blame, then why are't European countries experiencing even MORE murders and death since they lead the US in the decline of church attendees and believing in god, unicorns and magic underpants.

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  • EvelynDecember 24, 2012 - 7:27 am

    Darrin, don't ask ridiculously logical questions. We all know death by magic underpants is rare.

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  • DarrinDecember 24, 2012 - 8:35 am

    Evelyn, Sorry. I believe!

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  • DarrinDecember 26, 2012 - 10:53 am

    For the - Schools Need Armed Guards - crowd, here are some more ideas. Firemen need armed guards. Search the SacBee for - NY firemen's killer mapped out plan for slayings Mall Cops need armed guards. Oh, wait, this guy didn't kill anyone, but some armed citizen should have shot him or a bystander anyway. Then they could get shot by the police who respond because they are shooting people... Where does it end? Search the SacBee for - Man cooperative after firing shots at mall Drivers need armed guards. Search the SacBee for - Driver killed in East Los Angeles shooting or Man fires at couple in SUV, passenger wounded The Police need armed guards - Wait, police already have guns. Search the SacBee for - Kansas man who killed 2 cops dies Homeowners need armed guards - Robber shoots resident with own rifle Search the SacBee for - Robber shoots resident with own rifle Whoops, maybe MORE GUNS are not the ANSWER!!!

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