First, the real problem

Guns are a symptom; society's decay is the issue

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The White House this week said curbing gun violence is a complex problem requiring a “comprehensive” solution.

But the president immediately moved to appoint a panel on guns.

There may be some changes in gun laws that can help. But it remains that some of the areas of the country most plagued by gun violence have the strictest gun laws. Gun laws in Norway – not exactly the Wild West – were futile in preventing Anders Breivik’s slaughter of 69 at a youth camp last year.

And when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg insipidly says, “We don’t need people carrying guns in public places,” he is being decidedly un-nuanced. He can say that, and could pass such a law would it not be clearly unconstitutional according to recent Supreme Court rulings, but it begs the question: Would criminals agree? Or only law-abiding citizens?

Way back in 1764, Cesare Beccaria, warned of laws “which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent.”

We welcome a debate on gun control, as long as it is honest and adheres to reason rather than emotion.

But the laser focus on gun laws may miss the larger target.

The Newtown shooting, as all other massacres and gun deaths, is about so much more than guns. It’s about mental health issues. School security. A culture of self-gratification at nearly any cost. Subcultures that glorify violence and objectify women. Broken homes and births out of wedlock. And more.

It’s so much easier to demonize good Americans who believe deeply in not just the right to bear arms, but the wisdom of it. It’s easier than taking a painful look at lifestyles and behaviors that help lead to violence and cheapened views of human life. It’s easier, for instance, than confronting this country’s negligence of the mentally ill: We rightly ended the practice of wholesale institutionalization long ago, but turned our sisters and brothers out into a society with precious few resources to help them. A quarter of homeless people are believed to have mental illness.

Meanwhile, luminaries in the entertainment industry lament the violence while hypocritically cashing in on movie after movie, video game after video game, featuring gratuitous and ultra-violent images.

There may be some things the government can do. But in a free society, they are extremely limited, and largely ineffectual. In truth, it’s Americans, not their government, who hold the key to creating the peaceful society we want.

We need to walk away from violent imagery. We need to be our brother’s keeper – and when we can’t, we need to alert authorities who can. We need to support community-based mental health programs and organizations. We need to re-evaluate whether our anything-goes sexuality and
mating dances with virtual strangers are healthy – for us, our children or society.

Again, we can tweak the gun laws – but to treat the real problems in American society, we need an exceptionally candid dialogue about the state of American society.

Let’s see a task force on that.

Comments (29)

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burninater
6787
Points
burninater 12/22/12 - 03:45 am
6
8

When I see people trying to

When I see people trying to blame "licentiousness" and "violent imagery" for American gun violence, I have to ask, every time, are people THAT blind to the world around them?

The type of moral behavior, and the type of violent media, described in this editorial are GLOBAL. Do people think other countries are full of people living in huts singing kum ba yah, watching Bambi, and refusing to have sex unless its been sanctioned by the church? Are the Moral Majority echo chambers so well insulated that they think violent media and self-gratification are unique to America? Seriously, I have to keep asking, are people THAT blind to the world they live in?

And yet, the level of gun violence in America is unique, at least as far as the First World goes -- unique in a world FULL of media violence and FULL of self-gratification.

What IS unique about America, amongst First World countries? Well, to paraphrase from the 1992 election, "It's the guns, stupid!"

They are pervasive, and any nut job can get their hands on them. THAT's what needs to be addressed. They don't need to be banned, but they need to be CONTROLLED. And if you are part of the denial crowd -- "guns have nothing to do with shootings" (!) -- you're going to have next to no say in the manner in which they are controlled.

Grow a spine, and face the facts -- it's NOT video games, and its NOT self-gratification. It's mentally ill people with guns. So what are we going to do about it?

Riverman1
70478
Points
Riverman1 12/22/12 - 09:41 am
8
1

Analogy Found in American History

Burn, I’ll give you that sex has nothing to do with it, but the culture of violence in movies and video games probably does, even if I don’t want the government legislating entertainment. You asked who gives guns to the mentally incompetent. No governmental agency knowingly does that. Who gives the mentally ill a driver’s license? Who gives them knives?

Arming school safety officers is the logical way to combat the carnage at our schools. The opponents of that plan have offered no reasons why that’s NOT a valid measure. All I’ve seen are illogical comments from some Democrats with clichés saying more guns only bring more violence.

Let’s think back in American history to find an analogy. In the wild west days people were armed because of the violent society in which they lived. Do you think the bad guys would have left innocent people alone if none of them were armed? Do you think the citizens would have given up their guns? Every gun manufacturer claimed his was the one that tamed the west. Which gun did it is irrelevant, the important thing is it was well recognized that guns belonging to good citizens did tame the west.

justus4
93
Points
justus4 12/22/12 - 08:42 am
0
1

FIRST, THE REAL PROBLEM: The

Unpublished

FIRST, THE REAL PROBLEM: The nation was FOUNDED on violence, deception, and an inhumane belief about particular citizens. That fact is truthful! No bubbly or sanitized language can change those facts! In view of those truths, look at the NRA's news conference yesterday. A completely bizarre example of empathy for the 20 dead children and how to get solutions. The NRA wants EVERY school to have guns! Wow! The NRA demonstrates my first point: Violence is in the DNA of America, but FEWER, repeat FEWER guns in the hands of irresponsible owners can produce FEWER mass shootings. The President has it right on guns and his leadership on this issue will help move the country FORWARD!

Truth Matters
5179
Points
Truth Matters 12/22/12 - 09:44 am
2
5

Rights

I am amazed that when it comes to voting rights it's okay to make people produce countless documents to be able to vote, but not so with getting a gun. "We have to prevent fraud before it occurs." Well, we need to prevent shootings of innocent people before they occur. It should be as tough to get a gun as it is to vote in Florida. And every year owners should have to reregister and stand in line at least eight hours! The registration record of guns should be challenge periodically to ensure that only those who should lawfully have a gun has one.

And if you have had a gun for 40 years, never mind, no birth certificate, you can't keep your gun.

Truth Matters
5179
Points
Truth Matters 12/22/12 - 09:45 am
3
1

Correction

Challenge=challenged

RMSHEFF
10999
Points
RMSHEFF 12/22/12 - 09:49 am
4
1

Burninater is "partly" correct.

He states "When I see people trying to blame "licentiousness" and "violent imagery" for American gun violence". We can't blame external forces on our behavior. Everyone knows it is our "sin nature". Every since the fall of man in Genesis we are all born with our sin nature. Some take it to this extreme and some don't but be are all sinners.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Riverman1
70478
Points
Riverman1 12/22/12 - 09:50 am
6
0

It is very tough to get a

It is very tough to get a permit to carry a gun. Background checks and fingerprinting. But that's an interesting point because the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms.

By the way, I've got a question. We have school safety officers in our counties around here. Aren't they armed? If not...why? We should do that immediately.

Truth Matters
5179
Points
Truth Matters 12/22/12 - 09:57 am
3
5

Guns

Okay let's arm teachers and principals. Who is to say they have the temperament and stability to. Not one day turn the gun on the very ones they are to protect. I won't knowingly let my child go to a home that has guns, nor would I send him or her to a school where admin are packing heat.

People had better think about this. Another youth in Florida is dead because a driver felt "threatened." We know the profile of mass shooters but as a nation we choose to focus on kids wearing hoodies.

rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 12/22/12 - 10:11 am
1
0

Walked by a

Unpublished

gunshop yesterday. Suddenly, out of the blue, an AR-15 jumped up, pointed itself at me and forced me to turn over all of my money. Strange, ain't it?

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 12/22/12 - 10:14 am
6
1

Armed guards at banks....heh

We protect our money but can't protect our kids...duhh...

The shootings won't stop----we can't stop nutcases soo put the armed guards in the school....

I think that videos & danger attracts that mindset to do more harm.....remember most of the kids don't have a daddie in the home to stir them in the right direction......not very many females are tough enough for a teenage boy...

americafirst
958
Points
americafirst 12/22/12 - 10:25 am
6
0

When alcohol was banned

When alcohol was banned during Prohibition, alcohol was still readily available. Many drugs have been banned for decades, how's that working? To think that a law banning firearms of any kind will ensure guns of any kind won't be in the hands of criminals and mental nut jobs is just unrealistic. When we had a problem with airplane hijackings, what did we do? We put armed air marshalls on flights. Why are not our children as important and deserve the same protection? With regard to the 2nd amendment, it says the right of the PEOPLE to bear arms shall not be infringed.It does not just guarantee the right to go hunting. The 1st amendment guarantees the freedom of reliigion. Does that mean the gov't can ban certain religions as long as they allow some religions? The 2nd amendment was drafted in such a manner because the people retain the right to arm themselves and protect themselves from the tyranny of gov't. The founding fathers knew that. Millions of slaughtered germans, russians, and ugandans among others found that out. Although I am very strong pro=law enforement, there is such much they can do to protect you. Ask the people in the UK and Australia how their ban on handguns is working. Their violent crime rates utilizing illegal firearms has skyrocketed. The famous unarmed bobbies now are heavily armed. Austrialians have been introduced to a previoulsy unknown crime there that we refer to as home invasion. Disarming the law abiding cannot and has never been the solution.

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 12/22/12 - 10:33 am
6
0

This shooter

The news says this boy hugged the walls as he walked down the hall....never looked you in the eyes---didn't speak to others---even through he was brilliant in certain parts of life...he had 0 social skills....now tell me ...
IF YOU had a child like this....would you have guns NEAR HIM......my guns would be locked away like Ft Knox.....

Some say ...well she should have gotten help...well that was WHAT she was about to do but he found out & went off .....reminds me somewhat what happens to a woman when she is fleeing her husband.....folks tell her to leave him & stop going back---then when she does ...He kills her.....a no win situation.....we can't solve this with rational thinking.....
Put the armed police in the dang schools...jmpo

Truth Matters
5179
Points
Truth Matters 12/22/12 - 10:36 am
2
2

Why not armed guards?

Most people make a choice to fly or not. Going to school or not is not an option (home schooling aside).

carcraft
20670
Points
carcraft 12/22/12 - 11:02 am
6
3

Israel arms 3 to 4 SELECTED

Israel arms 3 to 4 SELECTED TRAINED TEACHERS to respond to gun violence in each school. No gun violence since this program started! The U S government allowed over 2,000 weapons to be smuggled into Mexico killing over 300 citizens, many of them children, and one US law enforcement officer. The press yawns and the Obama administration refuses to assist congress in finding and holding those US officials responsible. Obama even went so far as to declare that the correspondence falls under executive privilege. Well I guess those 300 people in Mexico are just not as important to their families, the government etc. as our citizens killed at Sandy Hook! Now we have Obama crying and giving speeches and the left castigating the NRA. Gee where was all this for those killed by guns smuggled into Mexico by the US government? OH excuse me, can we say hypocrisy? If you think gun violence in the US is bad, check out Mexico. Mexico has very tough gun laws; ask the Marine just released from Mexican jails, never mind that the police sell fully automatic weapons to drug cartels!

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 12/22/12 - 11:02 am
5
5

It's not imagery, with

It's not imagery, with violent video games and movies that are the problem, and whenever people go down that route- they stopped being "honest and adheres to reason rather than emotion."

Japan is a leader on creating and playing violent video games, and their gun homicide rate is almost zero. It's not movies and video games.

And I hate how people want to protect the second amendment while wanting to attack the first amendment....

Or how the same people who think government is so big, and we need these weapons to fight off a big government, now want to hire a million government workers, arm them with firepower, and have them patrol our schools.

ACES being honest and adheres to reason rather than emotion? Never.

seenitB4
72524
Points
seenitB4 12/22/12 - 11:19 am
5
1

tparty...when you say this..

And I hate how people want to protect the second amendment while wanting to attack the first amendment....

I'm not saying we should do away with videos & such.....imo it is impossible to tone it down now.....milk spilled so to speak....I'm saying "some" minds can't digest this info. in the right way.....that is why we need to protect the kids in schools.....
I just read this am that armed guards will protect the families at funerals of these kids .....that is how sick we have becomed....we can't change the mindsets---we can't cure ----let us just admit that the crazies are out there.......let's deal with it!

dichotomy
26612
Points
dichotomy 12/22/12 - 11:26 am
7
2

Have a shooting.....ban "some

Have a shooting.....ban "some kinds" of guns. Have poor people.....take some money from someone else and give it to them. Have fat people.......ban 32 oz. sodas.

Knee jerk reactions to problems that will not solve anything. Liberals love to "ban" anything and walk away thinking they have solved a problem. Not only will they not solve a problem....they won't even make a dent in the problem.

Liberals have created this decaying society we have today with their anything goes, nobody is responsible for their actions, values and now their answer to the problems they have created is to ban items from being used by law abiding citizens....oh, except pot. How about lets go back to locking up criminals and KEEPING them there. Getting mentally ill people treated and if they don't resond, institutionalizing them. Recognizing the countries witht he strictest gun laws in the world still have mass shootings and violent crime against defenseless law abiding citizens by criminals WHO WILL ALWAYS HAVE GUNS.

If the liberals were able to ban ALL guns TODAY, there are enough guns floating around in the underground to supply kooks and criminals for the next century. If there is a shortage, the Mexicans will just start bringing back the ones Obama sold to them and start reselling them to us at 10 times what they are worth.....and people will pay it. If you want to protect schools, armed guards are the only option. Otherwise you will just be playing the odds. There is always a way. If I can't kill myself with a 32 oz. soda I will just use two 16 oz. sodas. If AR-15s are scarce, two six shooters and a pump shotgun will do.

So smoke another joint and keep calling for bans of this and that. You are peeing into the wind and not solving anything. It's like "taxing the rich". Doesn't fix the problem but ideologues just want to make a "point of order" and feel politically correct.

Jon Lester
2208
Points
Jon Lester 12/22/12 - 11:29 am
4
3

Drone strikes in 2012 alone

have killed at least 161 children. Those remote pilots still have their jobs and security clearances. We ignore that, but when a kid in Connecticut (where there's already a generic ban on semi-automatic rifles) gets denied a sale and instead steals him mother's ill-secured guns for his otherwise well-planned murder-suicide scheme, suddenly we're expected to do this national soul-searching, as if the failures of those closest to him are somehow all our own. They are not, and if our government has so little regard for Pakistani and Yemeni children, then we should not trust it with protecting our own. This is why we have gun rights, and why we must protect those rights, regardless of the occasional domestic atrocity.

eagle
94
Points
eagle 12/22/12 - 11:30 am
1
0

Stricter gun laws won't

Unpublished

Stricter gun laws won't work..check out D.C., New York, and CT. Not working too well there. If there is a nut case or criminal that wants a gun..they'll find one. The gov. won't get into the mental health issue...might offend someone...so they'll take the easy way out. By the way, better ban cars...too many people getting killed by (or in) cars.

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 12/22/12 - 11:30 am
1
0

Robert A. Heinlein

Unpublished

(Robert A. Heinlein; noted sci-fi writer; 1907 - 1988):

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."

carcraft
20670
Points
carcraft 12/22/12 - 04:17 pm
4
2

Jon Lester- Interesting, I

Jon Lester- Interesting, I guess if the Obama administration arms thugs with assault weapons in Mexico and they kill hundreds or if the Obama Administration kills kids with drones it is OK. Let a nut job go after some kids and the second amendment needs to die and the NRA is evil.

bubbasauce
17212
Points
bubbasauce 12/22/12 - 12:16 pm
3
1

Well said Dichotomy on your

Well said Dichotomy on your 10:26 post. A lot of times when I am reading posts I can always tell when you are commenting. I often share the same opinions as you.

americafirst
958
Points
americafirst 12/22/12 - 12:38 pm
5
0

TParty: The low crime rate in

TParty: The low crime rate in Japan is due to their culture and doesn't have anything to do with gun control. And I think most people will agree the culture here has gone to hell which is at least partly responsible for the violence just as it is in many other countries. If you were referring to my comment when you referenced people attacking the 1st amendment, you were way off base. I was not attacking any amendment, it was an analogy which you obvioulsy failed to grasp. If what liberals refer to as assault weopons were banned and that nut went into that school with just a couple of revolvers and was only able to kill a couple of teachers and say only 10 students, who in their right mind would proclaim victory and suggest the ban on certain guns was successful.

RMSHEFF
10999
Points
RMSHEFF 12/22/12 - 12:40 pm
2
0

Of course the massacre in

Of course the massacre in Connecticut leaves me without words sufficient to express the sadness and outrage that I feel on behalf of both the victims and their families. As a Christian I view abortion in the same way. I heard the statistic that there were 1100 abortions each day but this fact is never reported on the news or talked about. What must God be thinking as He witnesses our behavior. Who is more innocent than a child in the womb?

Jon Lester
2208
Points
Jon Lester 12/22/12 - 12:49 pm
3
2

I don't endorse the right-wing version of "Fast and Furious" but

healthy skepticism of any administration or Congress is always in order.

Riverman1
70478
Points
Riverman1 12/22/12 - 01:49 pm
3
1

In Japan, they shame 8 year

In Japan, they shame 8 year olds who don't conform or excel to commit Hari Kari. It reminds me of Columbia County.

carcraft
20670
Points
carcraft 12/22/12 - 04:16 pm
4
1

Jon Lester- Please give me

Jon Lester- Please give me your take on Fast and Furious. 2,000 weapons, (many would be labeled as assault weapons) were smuggled into Mexico after being sold to agents of drug cartels. There was no attempt to track the weapons. Those weapons turned up at the killing of a US border patrol agent and over 300 murders in Mexico. When congress requested communications from Holder concerning Fast and Furious during a given time period Obama said that was privileged communications and blocked congress from receiving those communications. So where am I wrong? This is from the most open administration in US history...yah, right!

KSL
105698
Points
KSL 12/22/12 - 08:00 pm
1
1
fedex227
8456
Points
fedex227 12/22/12 - 11:15 pm
2
1

Why not just make it mandatory

that 5 and 6-year olds in this country are trained on the the proper use, respect, mechanics, and procedures required to safely load and discharge a firearm to thwart the actions of mentally unstable citizens in our society? I've read many posts from those commenting on this forum that they 'grew up with firearms'; that their children 'fully understand and are properly trained in the use of firearms', and the damage they can cause. Are your children that unique? I believe we can work this into the curriculum. Instead of 'science' classes we can work 'gun safety' right in between lunch and recess. 'A Glock in every cubby', then let's see who dares take on the children of America.

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