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Original post made by Old Danvillian, Danville, on Dec 16, 2012

What if you knew one of your neighbors, a sweet woman who had a heart of gold, was a gun collector and what if she had a son who was polite, friendly, quiet, and a bit strange but stayed out of trouble. What would your views on gun ownership under the current laws be? Would you be willing to give up your guns for the possibility of preserving the life of just one child?

Comments (23)

Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

I don't care if Mr. Obama is your guy or not -- this address is a masterwork. I hope every American has the opportunity to witness it.

weblink: Web Link

It's time.

Posted by Patriot
a resident of Danville
on Dec 18, 2012 at 7:39 am

The question makes no sense. Why would I give up my guns because a nice woman collects guns and has a son who is a bit strange? How would giving up my guns preserve the life of a child?

My guns preserve the lives of me and my family, and it looks like someday soon they will be protecting us from a tyrannical government, which is the reason for the Second Amendment.

Posted by Gun Control Now
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

Patriot: It must suck to go through life being scared. Keep on keeping your head in the sand dude

Posted by Another Patriot
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

#1 Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

#2 Is nobody willing to question, let alone criticize the mental health system in this country?

#3 And do we really want to live in a world where every 'odd child' is reported to authorities - and maybe even surveiled?

#4 And lastly, do we really want every school to become a "jail facility"? Not to mention the ridiculous costs and more buracracy at a time when we need LESS.

It's a complicated problem and banning guns is not the simple simple easy easy answer that some people very naively believe.

Posted by Trying to Make Sense
a resident of Danville
on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I think there are answers in all of these sides. Mental Health is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. We could go a long way by creating more empathy for others and finding ways to help those who need it. Guns are also part of the problem. They certainly do not shoot themselves, but they seem to be used for violent acts like this more than they are used for good acts. The consequences of them are just too severe. Why does anyone need an automatic weapon?

I hope that we can find some ways to better protect all of the innocent people who have not chosen to be part of these horrific killing sprees.

Posted by Another Patriot
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

Um, this is irony. California Teachers Union Pension Fund owns stock in the assault weapon company.

As I said, its a complicated matter with no easy solution.

See below, from the Chronicle today.

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – The nation’s largest teachers’ pension fund says it will review its holdings after being criticized for having an investment in the manufacturer of an assault rifle used in last week’s Connecticut school massacre. California State Teachers’ Retirement System spokesman Michael Sicilia said Tuesday that the $155 billion pension system is making sure its investments comply with the fund’s own social and ethical standards.
The fund invested $600 million in the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which owns gun maker Freedom Group International. Cerberus said it will sell its holdings in the manufacturer of the rifle used to kill 20 schoolchildren and six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has asked CalSTRS and the state employees’ pension fund to reconsider any investments in firearm manufacturers.

Posted by Gary
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I don't know how many guns there are in the country but I know it's a lot. Somehow, some of us seem to think if there is legislation passed against firearms they will just suddenly vanish. So where are all those guns going to go? Someone who wants a gun is still going to be able to get one... or more. They will just be more expensive. I fail to see how that is going to solve the problem.

Posted by charles
a resident of Danville
on Dec 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Hopefully she would be in the Danville area so we could meet and see what we could trade ! Then we could meet for coffee and spend the remainder of the day buying weapons, etc.

Posted by Sue
a resident of Danville
on Dec 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Connecticut has some of the most strict gun laws in the country ... so much for that. Why has no one questioned the fact that the value of a life in our society has diminished? Or, is that too hard to fix? I haven't checked the stats, but it would be interesting to see what the rates (of gun-related killings) were prior to the introduction of (violent) video games. The separation from fantasy to reality has changed. Add in divorce/family instability & it results in kids acting out in ways we do not comprehend. The unbelievable tragedy, in one day, in CT is horrific. Yet, how many kids have we lost this year on the streets in Oakland, Richmond, Antioch, etc. I'd venture to guess that the number is much greater. Again - no value being placed on a person's life. That's what needs to be fixed.

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Dec 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

There are so many layers to what may be contributing factors to this tragedy. I can't help but say "what if" over and over. What if mental health services were not significantly reduced during the Regan administration? Would those with mental health issues receive better services, and would this young man have received meaningful treatment? What if this young man's mother had not had (legally purchased and registered) semiautomatic weapons? Would he have had the idea/opportunity to shoot up a school?

I'm all for a ban on assault weapons, and for increasing support to those with mental health issues and their families. Even with those two factors in place, however, people will still have mental health issues and guns will still be available.

I don't profess to have the answers. Mostly I'm hoping I don't live too close to either of the "Patriots" on this thread. Scary.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

If it were illegal for the general citizenry to purchase assault weapons, criminals or gang members who want them could still probably get them, but they WOULD be fewer and more expensive. It is much less likely that those that perpetrate mass killings like we see all the time now would have them. That's a BIG plus.

On the flip side, what is the downside to assault weapons not being available to the general citizenry?

-- Hunting? The deer don't shoot back.

-- Recreational skill shooting? No skill needed there.

-- Personal self defense? When was the last time you heard of a mugger or even home invader using an assault weapon?

-- Group self defense a la teachers defending the students at Newtown? Inexperienced users would make a blood bath into a bigger blood bath. Having experienced users requires organizing security at every public venue where people gather -- not going to happen. We can barely tolerate the TSA.

-- Protecting against a "tyrannical government" We get to vote on our government representatives. Last time a revolution was necessary here, we didn't have that. If you mean start a civil war against the other half of the country because you know what the real America is supposed to be, there are plenty of civil war-torn countries you can go to if you like that freedom. If you mean hold off the black helicopters a la Ruby Ridge, mental competence background checks were made for you.

-- Because the Constitution says that the right to bear arms "shall not be abridged"? Courts have held that no right is limitless. One person's right to possess any kind of gun they damn well please stops at the right of another not have their life unreasonably endangered.

The general citizenry does not need semiautomatic weapons that can fire 30, 50, 100 rounds in a few seconds or minutes without re-loading for any reasonable purpose. Limiting them by law WILL limit their availability to the mass killers. Better and less loophole-laden background check requirements and better mental health care are also needed.

Posted by Old Danvillian
a resident of Danville
on Dec 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

Thank you for your comments. Here are more observations...

* There are some 40 million guns in private hands in the US.
* Australia created a ban and buy-back system that seems to have reduced gun crime there.
* The guns used in Sandy Hook were duly registered and most probably stored in a locked gun safe
* The school/theater shooters had no trouble acquiring guns and ammo without buying and registering them
* Mental health problems supposedly afflict 10% of our population from time to time.
* Hand grenades and RPG's are "arms"; is hand grenade and RPG ownership guaranteed by the Constitution?
* We can take away or control guns, but how do we control people?

Just sayin'.....

Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

A couple of comments on Old Danvillian's comments:

"The guns used in Sandy Hook were duly registered and most probably stored in a locked gun safe" -- The guns were registered but, to my knowledge, whether they were properly controlled (e.g. in a gun safe) has not been publicly disclosed.

"The school/theater shooters had no trouble acquiring guns and ammo without buying and registering them" -- The theater shooter purchased his own weapons, including the assault weapon, legally. The school shooter used hi mothers weapons, but they were purchased legally.

"Hand grenades and RPG's are "arms"; is hand grenade and RPG ownership guaranteed by the Constitution?" -- Very good question. If they have been prohibited by law, it shows that a line can be drawn.

"We can take away or control guns, but how do we control people?" -- We can't completely control people with any law. That doesn't mean the law shouldn't be there.

Posted by Asian
a resident of Blackhawk
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Guns add NO value to society or individuals. VERY few should be legally available with strict limits on ammunition capacity, exhaustive background checks, waiting period before purchase and training. I don't care what the constitution says about right to bear arms.

Posted by Woody
a resident of Danville
on Dec 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

According to the Anti 2nd Amendment posters here, we need a law against this! Oh yea, there already is a law against this. Until we as a society have the nerve to deal with the degradation of our sociatal values, i'm afraid that tragedies like this will continue. And just to correct a few "Facts" posted here-

*There are an estimated 350 Million guns in the US, not 40 Million.

*Violent crime in Australia is up since the gun ban.

*The areas of the country with the most restrictive gun ownereship laws have the highest crime rates. See Chicago & Washington DC

I'll agree to consider some restrictions on gun ownership as soon as liberals agree to censor Violent video games, Rap Music, Graphic Violence in movies, and get our kids off of pharmacuticals.

Deal? Oh and by the way, if you don't like the Constitution of the United States, feel free to move home.

Posted by Alex
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

All developed (and developing) countries have the same challenges of dealing with unhealthy elements of culture and media, but except the US no where else is it cited as a reason for mindless, gun related violence. Morons!

Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Dec 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Good topic and good discussion. The issue of mental health is complicated but here is a video on the difficulty accessing mental health care in the US.

Posted by Bayareamom
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 23, 2012 at 10:35 am

Yes, the issue of mental health is complicated; here are some stats to ponder:

"And for those at risk – young people receiving off-license mind-bending drugs, an urgent overview of individual indication, efficacy, compliance, and adverse effects must be undertaken, funded by the relevant players in the pharmaceutical industry and conducted independently of any other input from them."

"Tragically, predictably, there will be more events like that at Sandy Hook Elementary. The vast number of individuals with developmental disorders presages such events. This is not because of their diagnosis, per se, but rather I would suggest, because they may be at increased risk for adverse reactions (due to pre-existing conditions) and are being inappropriately medicated with drugs for which violence is a recognized adverse reaction. These drugs are being prescribed by a “mainstream” medical system that, through clinical neglect, has run dry on alternative treatments for autism spectrum disorders while enjoying Parma’s inducements way too much to look for any."

"My opinion is neither mine alone, nor is it new. In attempting to make sense of the “senseless” it offers both tangible reasons and approaches to prevention. It is not enough that our hearts break for those affected; we are compelled to act. Perhaps inevitably, I am left with a mental image of Pharma lobbyists scaling Capitol Hill like an army of Orcs closing on Helm’s Deep. It’s a hideous sight."

Appendix 1.

"Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.

El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.

Eric Harris, one of the killers at Columbine High School, was on the antidepressant drug Luvox. Court records show that the prescription for Harris had been filled ten times between April 1998 and March 1999.Three and one half months before the shooting, the dosage had been increased. The Physician’s Desk Reference records show that during controlled clinical trials of Luvox, manic reactions developed in 4 percent of the children given the drug.

Thomas Solomon, a fifteen-year-old at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, shot and wounded six classmates. He was on Ritalin at the time.

Kip Kinkel, a fifteen-year-old at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, killed his parents and two classmates and wounded twenty-two other students while on Ritalin and Prozac."

Link: Web Link

Posted by Norman
a resident of San Ramon
on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Joe Shmo from the US armed services shot and killed several private families including the children in Iraq in the middle of the night sneaking out of his barracks on two occasions. He was not on any antidepressants. He is being placed on trial. Thousands of people die from car crashes, knives, trains, bridges, and more. Bad people do bad things. Guns will never be eradicated from this society. Restricting them will only place them in the lawless hands. Try family values and social education at early stages along with god and respect back in our schools. We mold our young people at early ages. The burden is on the parents and family values. Family values and respect for society have been lost by the expectation that the government is responsible for raising our children. That is the first and biggest mistake. There is too much government and not enough community.

Posted by GG
a resident of Danville
on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

The moral authority that we once followed without question is gone. I hear people all the time talking about the "good old days", and while there was still crime, you could leave your doors unlocked, let your children play outside unattended, not worry about getting robbed, mugged or shot at if you were out late at night. There was once a healthy, yes, healthy fear of authority, whether it was the authority of parents, teachers, or law enforcement. Now, rather than listen and follow the direction of authority, there is a generation that flips the bird and does what they want until they get caught, then falls back on the "I'm a victim" mentality. An obscene lack of personal responsibility for personal behavior is what is desperately wrong in society. There are no severe lasting consequences for inappropriate actions, and there seems to be a "romance" with being a nonconformist in our society today that extends to those who refuse to comply with civility, common sense and respect, for any of the laws as well as the community. Perhaps when enough individuals begin longing for the good old days, before they become the very distance past, then we will start to see a change for the better.

Posted by Tea Party Forever
a resident of Danville
on Dec 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Yes, we need to return to a time when people would follow authority without question. When public drinking fountains were segregated and some types werent permitted to use our public swimming pools or sit at lunch counters. We need more of the good ol' days if we are to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government.

Posted by Let's Be Real
a resident of Danville
on Dec 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Let's stop with the smart mouth, Tea Party Forever. You're not really a Tea Partier. GG is right. We need to return to a time when Morel Authority didn't have to worry about political correctness. When someone approached you with a gun, you could shoot to kill, no questions asked. And if you got shot first, then the community would kill the killer. None of the milk toast whining you hear today. And besides, Connecticut is thousands of miles away from here.

Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

How far is Stockton? Tucson? Carson City? LA? Portland? On and on. Moral authority comes from the rule of law, not from the barrel of a gun.

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