Monday, December 17, 2012

Moving On

I left work early today. I found myself unable to focus, unable to deal with the bickering and changing requirements in my after lunch meeting. So I canceled my other meetings, and left. Liz is right that today was a very long day, and in the end, it was too long for me. I considered going home, but I promised Petunia that I would pick her up "apper nap" today, and I do not feel inclined to break promises to my kids right now. Besides, Pumpkin has swim lessons on Mondays, and Mr. Snarky has to leave work early to take her. He needs me to pick up Petunia.

And so it has come to this: I can't even work out the logistics to have a proper break down.

I cannot explain why I have come so unglued. I was on shaky ground before this, for reasons I don't really understand and certainly can't express. I'll work on that soon. But I also know that today, the underlying cause is Sandy Hook. Rationally, there is no reason that this particular horrific tragedy should affect me more than the other horrific tragedies that have come before. But it has. I am not fine. And since I have found writing to be a very effective way of working through things, I am writing about it. This post will necessarily be a bit self-indulgent and unnecessarily a bit long, and I apologize for that. But I found Gravity Circus'  so-called "self-indulgent" post to be just the sort of thing I needed to read, so I will go ahead and share it anyway. As she says, you can click away if you don't want to read it.

I considered going to the Starbucks and typing there, but I decided that I don't trust myself to be in public. People would want to help the crying woman, but probably wouldn't know what to do with my request that they fix our gun laws, please. So I drove to Torrey Pines State Beach, and am parked above it, listening to the waves, and watching the sun sink lower over the ocean. I am writing this in Notepad and will post it later.

------------------------------------

Mr. Snarky and I work within a 5 minute walk from each other, so he came and walked with me for awhile, and that helped. He told me that Pumpkin's school no longer allows parents to walk their kids in to before care through an open gate. He had to take her through the office and sign in. We shared a wry chuckle at the ridiculousness of this piece of security theater- the school in Newtown had a locked single point of entrance. It was blasted open.

But what can we expect our schools to do? In the face of military-grade weapons, what can we expect them to offer except security theater? I made the mistake of engaging in conversation with some gun proponents over on Scalzi's post, and they were seriously arguing for armed teachers and fortified schools. I'm not sure what to do with people like that. Pumpkin's school already has a 7 or 8 foot high chain link fence around it (which Mr. Snarky hates- note, people, that such fences are not necessary in all countries). It would be easily scalable by an adult. Shall we add barbed wire on top? I'm sure the prison atmosphere would be very conducive to learning.

Last night, I forced myself to read the coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting, so that I could be prepared for questions Pumpkin might have in case she hears something at school- we have not told her about this, and no, I do not know if that was right or wrong. We'll find out tonight, I suppose. It was devastating reading, but I was struck by how brave those teachers and school staff were. How they did everything "right" and no doubt kept the death toll from being even higher. They truly were heroes, every last one of them. But then, teachers are heroes in other, more ordinary ways. How unfair of us to ask them to take on this, too.

So, no, I don't think the answer is more school security, or better trained teachers, or anything like that. I just don't. I hate that we spend money from already squeezed school budgets on the security we have.

-------------------------------------

I have seen a lot of calls for better mental health services, or better access to the ones we have, too. I will not argue with those. As I said over on FeMOMhist's excellent post, we should work for better treatments and improve our mental health system because the people who suffer from mental illnesses are human beings, suffering through no fault of their own. They deserve the same chance at a full and rich life as anyone else. I agree whole-heartedly with Julie at A Little Pregnant that we failed Adam Lanza, too. As Julie points out, he was once a little boy as full of promise as any other. Something went wrong, and I doubt our society is blameless in that, if only in that we utterly failed to keep powerful guns out of such disturbed hands. Whatever his problems or illness, we had a role in making it fatal, and we're kidding ourselves if we think otherwise.

I'm all for more research and better access to mental heath help and all that, but really, let's not kid ourselves. That is not a solution to the problem of gun violence. Not all people who kill other people- even in mass shootings like this one- are mentally ill. The vast majority of mentally ill people will never hurt anyone. Our understanding of mental illness is far from complete, and many of the medications we have to offer have very unpleasant side effects.

By a strange coincidence, I had occasion to attend a seminar about translational research in schizophrenia this morning. (Translational research is the research to translate knowledge gleaned from lab experiments into medically useful treatments.) It was a good seminar, and discussed a lot of good research. But my god, this is a challenging problem. Even developing useful animal models of this one disease has taken decades, and the work is not complete.

I am humbled by people's confidence in the ability of the scientific community to tackle this problem, and we are indeed working on it. But I'll refer you back to an earlier rant- the funding is scarce. Do not expect any magic treatments, please, certainly not soon.

In the near term, if we want to tackle this problem through mental health services, what we are really talking about is involuntary commitment. I agree that we need to make it easier for concerned families to get their ill loved ones the help they need. But we should also remember why we made it harder to commit someone: the system was abused, quite badly in some cases. So, to avoid placing limits on the 2nd amendment rights of gun owners, we will trample the 5th and 8th amendment rights of people with mental illnesses. I am not saying that infringing on those rights is not sometimes a necessary and overall good thing to do, but, wow- what a huge burden we would be placing on psychiatrists and counselors, and on the friends and family of mentally ill people- to sort out which people need to be locked up against their will and which do not. What horrible guilt we force them to live with when they fail to be clairvoyant and perfectly predict who is dangerous and who is just disturbed. I do not think we have the disagnostic power to support this as our method for preventing gun violence. I just don't.

-------------------------------------

And so I come back to the guns, in particular the semi-automatic weapons.

I was struck by the first graph in this blog post, showing the correlation between gun deaths and gun ownership in OECD countries. I was struck by how lonely the US is on the graph, with its high number of guns and high number of deaths, but that was not a surprise. I was initially surprised by the outlier that is off the line: Mexico, which has far more deaths per gun that the other countries. But I thought about it a bit, and it makes sense. Mexico is not a country with loose gun laws. If you do not live near the border, you may not know that most weapons used in the drug wars in Mexico come from the US. They are semi-automatic weapons purchased legally here and then smuggled to Mexico. It would appear that we have allowed our neuroses about our 2nd amendment to spill over into a death toll in other countries. I am deeply ashamed of that. (And yes, I know correlation != causation, so perhaps there are other reasons... but the fact remains, the guns in Mexico largely come from us.)

I stand by my statement last Friday: I have no interest in taking away people's guns. I only care that we figure out how to regulate them so that the price of one person's liberty to own a gun is not other people's right to life and the pursuit of happiness. As Scalzi pointed out, even Justice Scalia allowed that the rights granted by the 2nd ammendment were not without limit. So let's stop acting like they are, and put some limits in place.

My arguing over at Whatever did not convince any gun proponents to change their minds, but it did crystallize one thing for me. I realized that we need to change the debate. We have been trotting out statistics and studies to show that guns are dangerous, and arguing our case for new regulations in that way. I think we should turn that on its head. Guns are dangerous. Of course they are- that is sort of the point of them. Semi-automatic weapons are even more dangerous- again, that is the point of them. I see no reason that semi-automatic weapons need to be kept in homes in our communities. If you know of one, by all means, explain it to me- but if you say "self-defense," I'm going to ask who, exactly, you expect to come barging into your home, an army? And if you say "yes, an army," then I will dismiss you as either irrational or involved in some highly suspect behaviors.

So I say to the gun proponents: if you want to keep these self-evidently dangerous things in your home, then you should propose some regulations that will ensure that this can be done safely.

And if you will not do that, then you have no right to complain if the rest of us figure out the rules under which we are comfortable with your guns. At first glance, I like the idea of mandatory gun insurance, with premiums that increase with increasing risk factors (like children in the home), and I think that semi-automatic weapons should be restricted to gun clubs and shooting ranges. Shoot them there and store them there, and slap large penalties on any facility that allows you to remove them. (How would they stop you, you ask? Well, we can put security guards there or arm the staff- that was your solution for the schools, wasn't it? Or really, if there is any place that should be full of the armed private civilians that gun proponents think will stop mass shooters, it is a shooting range.)

But to be honest, I don't know what the best answer to fixing our gun problem is. I just know we have a problem that needs fixing. I cannot explain why it took a tragedy of this magnitude to shake me out of my complacency on that fact. I am ashamed that it did. We all should be. But we should be even more ashamed if we won't try to fix it even now.

Over the past few days, I have realized that my conscience requires me to try to fix this. I do not yet know what I will do, but I will have to do something. I want to do some research, and some soul-searching, before I decide what I will do. I know that some of you will disagree with me about guns, and that is fine. I do not intend to turn this into a gun control blog. I may update you occasionally on what I decide to do, but will mostly continue to write about the subjects that I have always written about. I just needed to write this post, to get my anger out in the world, so that maybe I can let my sadness out tonight, after the kids are in bed, and move on. I need some time to educate myself on an issue I have not previously bothered to fully understand before I decide what to do. I also need to leave this topic for awhile and get in the holiday spirit, for the sake of my children and the rest of my family, so I'll be turning to happier topics next.

I will move on. But I do not intend to forget.

29 comments:

  1. The NIU shooter *was* getting mental health treatment and was considered a success story. But he went off his meds briefly. I don't want to live in a country in which high functioning people with treated mental illness are locked up just in case they stop taking their medication (and what an incentive to never seek help in the first place). But I do want to live in a country where the harm that people can do when off said medication is severely limited.

    And I agree with the commenter on the Scalzi thread who noted that it is more difficult and intrusive to get an abortion in this country than it is to buy a semi-automatic or assault weapon. If we put the same limits on guns that we already put on women's health we'd be banning semi-automatic weapons and making prospective gun owners have extensive mental health tests and forcing them to view pictures of children dead from gun accidents before each purchase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I don't understand why some people are presenting better mental health care as the answer here. Sure, we should do that. But we should limit the damage of the inevitable failures, too.

      I had a section in this post about the difference between how we regulate the sale of medicines vs. the sale of guns... but I took it out, pending time and emotional energy to do the research to back up my impression- which is that we regulate the sale of medicine more.

      Delete
    2. I think it's about equivalently difficult to buy cough syrup as it is to buy firearms. They're just different counters at Walmart.

      Delete
    3. OMG, just checked back in on that thread. It got seriously surreal after I left. And htom just went over the edge. It was an interesting experience, but I think it may have convinced me that trying to argue rationally with die hard guns rights types is a waste of time. I'm currently liking the idea of trying to get people to pledge to donate to the re-election campaigns of any congressperson who votes for gun regulations and gets targeted by the NRA because of it. Not sure how to work the logistics, though, and not sure if it would be effective.

      I did already email Joe Manchin and offer to donate, though. (See: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/12/17/joe_manchin_nra_w_va_senator_calls_for_action_on_gun_laws.html)

      Delete
    4. Ugh, yes. Frankly, I'm worried about the sanity of some of those gun-owners. I would say that on the thread, but one does not say such things to crazy people with guns.

      My FIL is also a hunter and does not believe in semi-automatic or assault weapons. I don't think that most serious hunters do. Just the ones with figurative (or perhaps literal) small genitalia who have to prove something.

      Delete
    5. Oh Cloud, hugs to you - if you keep feeling low and can't work please, please, please speak with someone. I say this as someone who has grappled with depression and has been seeing it all over the place since Friday.

      "I don't understand why some people are presenting better mental health care as the answer here."

      I tend think of the mental health piece as "an" answer but absolutely not "the" answer alone. (BTW, feel free to delete my comment if this is not the time and place for these thoughts.) Those who work in the field of mental health and/or who have family members who are mentally ill and who basically can't get long-term mental health services unless they are put in jail - of course, we'll tend to immediately see circumstances like these through the lens of mental health. To me, this should not detract from the obvious need for better gun laws - can't they go together?

      Elsewhere, I'm seeing a false dichotomy between "this is a gun issue" or "this is a mental health issue" - how about considering it with BOTH/AND thinking instead of with either/or thinking? Surely these issues are interwoven, and are reflective of some serious pathology in our larger culture that also needs addressing.

      Finally, I think it is honorable of you to work towards advocating for changes to our gun laws, and dismantling the power of the NRA lobby. I, for one, am feeling a sense of optimism after President Obama's eloquent remarks in Newtown on Sunday - he says we have to change. Pretty sure he was referring to our gun laws. Amen.

      Delete
    6. @hush- thanks. I will probably find someone to talk to in January. I cannot imagine fitting it in right now. I had been planning to find someone anyway, because I haven't liked my mindset of late.

      There is a mental health issue here, and I will be happy if we take this opportunity to try to improve our system- but not if that is used as an "out" to avoid addressing the guns. And already, it seems some Republican congressmen are trying to do that. If I believed that we really could address both the mental health aspects and the gun aspect, I would have no qualms about getting behind efforts to address mental health in this context. But too often, I am seeing it presented as THE solution, as you say. If only we would fix the mental health system, then we wouldn't need to address our broken gun laws. And that just isn't true. As I said in the post, as hard as it is to believe, not all mass shooters are mentally ill- to say nothing of the "regular" murderers.

      Delete
  2. Also, as you're doing your research: It is widely thought (strong circumstantial evidence, but no proof-- his data were lost in a hardware failure) that John Lott falsified his data or data analysis in his work showing that guns decrease crime. No other work has been able to replicate his findings. Keep that in mind as you read the propaganda out there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am honored that anything I wrote was helpful to you (because you're awesome, but also because it is so nice to hear). I just want to say this: the point of my piece was that I needed to opt out of these discussions for a while, for my own sanity. It felt (feels) selfish, and uncaring, but it is neither, and granting myself permission has been wholly helpful. It is simply necessary, for right now.

    I am the last person to tell you what to do. And if you are energized by these debates, go for it. But if not, I hereby give any and all of us permission to stop, heal for a bit, and then fix the world with renewed fervor, in just a little while, when we can manage it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your writing is wonderful. I am always happy to see a post of yours in my reader.

      I totally understand needing to opt completely out. You are right, and you say what I'm getting at towards the end of my post much better than I did. I need to heal a little, then I can come back and do what my heart tells me I need to do.

      Delete
  4. I have no interest in taking away people's guns

    Then you are a better person than I am. I would be perfectly content with taking everybody's guns away. Nobody should ever have a gun in their house. I don't give a fuck about gun enthusiasts. They can learn to direct their enthusiasm elsewhere. I recommend stamp collecting.

    I am so unbelievably enraged that I have no words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have family who hunt, and I respect their hobby. It is not one I want to share- but I can respect it, and believe it should be something they can pursue.

      I admit I'm stretching to understand the people who are just gun enthusiasts, but I also think there can be a way for them to pursue their hobby safely.

      But I have no patience for the way the NRA has bullied us into thinking we can't regulate these things. We can. We should.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:01 AM

      I don't understand why anyone who isn't a cop or other state/federal agent would want to keep a gun at home. But I'm a hopeless northeast liberal with a little kid.

      Delete
  5. I find myself without anything coherent to say about this--I keep trying and it just ends up being a lot of emotional brain dump, and I just think I am too undone by this event to have rational thought.

    But I know this--if this country can't see, now, that something needs fixing? Then we never will.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good on you Cloud for writing these posts and wanting to take action as well.

    As an Australian, it is really hard to understand the many complexities that surround this issue. I can't really understand what it is like to live in a country where gun ownership is commonplace.

    I was struck by your description of the security measures that are taken at American schools because I am a high school teacher and we have no security at Australian schools except a visitor needs to sign in at the administration building. I can't imagine it being anymore than that.

    I can't stop thinking about a description I read in one of the news reports that the teachers had the presence of mind to form a train with the surviving students and told them to keep their eyes closed and only the locomative of the train at the front (the teacher) were allowed to open their eyes and they led the children through the school that way to safety. Unbelievably heroic.

    Always enjoy your blog and respect and admire you and your perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Friday is too close to home for me literally and figuratively. It brings up all of my anxieties. I'm thinking about it all the time or just shutting it out and thinking I've got my own problems. :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many of us are going through what you're feeling right now, Cloud.

    I'm a teacher, though at a university and not an elementary or high school. Whenever I walk into a new classroom, I think - where are the exits? Are there locks on the doors? What could we use to barricade ourselves in? Is there anything that could be used as a weapon? (To me one of the most terrifying things about VATECH and Sandy Hook is what happens when you have people trapped in a room - the idea that there were so few wounded is chilling to me. Everyone shot was killed, almost.) I don't think this is morbid or hysterical. It's like having a fire emergency plan in your house. It only takes a couple of minutes. But mostly what I think is - I am responsible for my students. I think this even though they are adults. It's a strange weight to carry around.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for posting this. I don't comment all that often, but I really wanted to thank you for writing this. I feel very much the same way. I just can't write anything coherent. Each time I begin to write something it comes out like that Onion article. Words escape me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rinna8:26 AM

    I feel exactly the same way – thank you for expressing it so beautifully. This whole situation has me unhinged as well...

    I live in Canada (though I lived in NYC for over 6 years as well for work). There are many things I admire about the US that I wish we had more of in Canada, but gun control is not one of them. I’m not sure why people think gun control is an issue. Controlling doesn’t mean outlawing…We control pharmaceuticals and drivers licenses and a whole host of other things. Of course, criminals will still get their hands on things they shouldn’t. But why not make it a little bit harder?!?! Adam Lanza and his mother weren’t criminals – she bought those guns legally. Why did she need them?

    This religious fervour over the 2nd amendment just makes no sense to me. Um, isn’t the fact that there are any amendments to the constitution proof that the document itself needs to change and evolve?!?! So maybe the 2nd amendment has to evolve as well. If we want to go back to the original constitution, maybe we should reinstate slavery and make sure women don’t vote…

    I wish I knew what the answer is...if you think of something, do let us know!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a wonderful post, Cloud. As hard as it must have been to write (and post) it, I'm really glad you did.

    As with Rinna, I'm from Canada and just DO NOT get the gun culture in the US. I don't understand why people want them in the first place, and why people get so angry when there is talk about ramping up gun control. As Rinna said, controlling is not outlawing --- so what's the big deal about making them harder to get? I've tried to ask this question, but people just get their backs up and start spouting the typical "pro-gun" tyraids ("guns don't kill people, people kill people", "why not outlaw axes and knives and fertilizer too?", etc. etc.). I just cannot wrap my head around the attachment.

    I also don't understand how people can't see this is a gun problem. Like you said, the stats that show the incredible number of deaths via guns in the US compared to any other OECD country just don't work to convince people. I don't know why - but we have a hard time convincing people that evolution and climate change are real too. Gun control = less deaths by guns. Period. Full Stop.

    Finally, I don't get the fear rallying against the pro-gun groups. Like you mentioned in your last post, the (very small) majority of Americans don't even own guns. On top of that, I'm sure a good percentage of the gun-owners would be fine with some gun control. So, why is the loud minority able to speak for the whole country?

    Anyway - I really don't know what else to say. I'm just flabbergasted and, frankly, disgusted by the attitude about gun control in the US. How can people put their right to own a gun above the safety of children?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have followed gun control issue in the past and I read again recently that one of the proposed solutions is to limit every person to 1 gun purchase per month, and to limit types of ammunitions and guns. Several thoguhts -- one gun a month is too strict for some people... that is insanity to me. As for the types of ammo and guns, no one needs high-powered rifles and ammo that allows for Rambo-like shootings. Even taking that time to reload would save some lives. I'm planning to not forget and do something, too, and also to teach my kids to run..as moving targets are harder to hit than static (or move to Italy!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. I don't have the emotional energy to answer each one individually, but they are all appreciated!

    For the non-Americans wondering about out peculiarities regarding guns.... I am not the best person to try to explain it, but I think it is worth noting that we actually have changed the Constitution very rarely, and that the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments, which were actually an integral part of getting the Constitution ratified in the first place- they were the requirements made before some states would sign on) are held particularly dear. I can understand that at a deep, emotional level, even though I cannot articulate it.

    But obviously, I think the 2nd amendment does not prohibit addressing this problem, and neither does Justice Scalia, who is one of the most "strict Constitutionalists" on the Supreme Court. We have allowed the NRA, the gun companies, and our nostalgic ideas about what people use guns for in this country to cloud our judgment here. I am hoping we can find the political will to change that, but make no mistake- it will be a fight, and a fight against some groups that are very, very good at bending our government to their will, even though they actually represent a minority of the voters. Explaining that is beyond my capabilities, I'm afraid.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous11:27 AM

    80% of the guns sold here are semi-automatic. I do not own a gun but I attended a gun handling class. As a woman, I found revolvers hard to fire--the pull was hard and the recoil was bigger than with a pistol. So I guess I would like to see people who are calling to ban guns be more clear about what they are banning: every rifle and handgun in the country other than revolvers and pump-action shotguns?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a fair question, and thank you for asking it without rancor. I've just started my research, so I am not able to give you a great answer. I know very little about guns, and I admit that freely.

      My desire is to see military-style weapons that have no legitimate civilian use banned. The little research I have done has convinced me that this is not as straightforward as it could be, and that manufacturers happily worked around the 1994 assault weapons ban. So care must be taken in crafting the laws. I am open to all suggestions that come from a place of wanting to find an honest answer to the problem, not just shut us liberals up and allow things to continue basically as they are.

      From what I have read so far, banning high capacity magazines seems promising. Maybe limit to 10 rounds before the shooter would need to stop and reload?

      I think other specific restrictions could be found.

      I also do not want us to forget the fact that most gun deaths are not in mass horrors like this one. I doubt it feels any less horrible to lose a loved one in a single victim shooting. Which is why I like the idea of mandatory gun insurance. For those who hate being required to buy insurance, perhaps there could be a self-insurance option, similar to how we do car insurance. If your gun is used to kill someone, you should have to pay some large damages to that person's estate, and you can either do that via insurance or via a self-insurance fund.

      But again, I'm just starting my research, and I am not sure that I'll still like that idea when I've done more research.

      Since the phrasing of your question leads me to believe that you disagree with the idea of a gun ban, at least as you're seeing it commonly formulated- so let me turn your question around: what regulations on gun ownership could you support, or at least accept?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous6:35 AM

      I don't actually know what my answer is. I support a 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I can imagine that if I found myself in a position where I needed to protect myself, a gun would be an option I would want to have (particularly as a woman--it evens the odds). The Glock handgun I fired, which was semi-automatic (which just means it ejects the spent cartridge and loads the next bullet without external action on the part of the user) was much easier to use than the revolver.

      More broadly, even if I didn't support the right to gun ownership, it is not at all clear to me how we could ever get rid of guns anyway. We have a long history of gun ownership in this country, are awash in guns, and have two long and leaky borders (though I gather the gun flow across those borders is currently in the other direction). We also have other Constitutional protections against things like house to house searches to find and remove firearms.

      So then the question is whether there are legal limits that might actually have a positive effect on the rate and severity of violent events. I haven't researched this much either, but I think I would support bans on large clips and the possibility of rifles like the AR 15 Lanza used being restricted to gun club storage only.

      Some of the posters above say they can't understand why there is such anger when gun control is brought up. I can think of two reasons: the ad hominem attacks on the kind of people who own guns and the unbelievable level of ignorance of basic gun facts by people who publicly call for bans on things they don't understand. I admire your analytical thinking, Cloud, which is why when you posted about a total ban on semi-automatics I wanted to know if you understood what you were proposing. Good luck on your search for answers--God knows we need more smart people looking into the problem.

      Delete
    3. Thanks. I do not think we could get rid of all guns, nor do I think that most gun regulations advocates want to do so. But looking at what other countries have managed to do, I think it IS possible to craft regulations that will have a big impact, if we can be open to real change. I doubt that we will have the will to do a mandatory buyback program like Australia did, so that is one area I am thinking hard about. I wonder if a voluntary buyback could have some impact, if the amount offered for the now outlawed gun was large enough. I don't know.

      FYI, from the reading I've done so far, guns are lousy for self-defense. Statistically, you are more likely to be hurt or killed in a "bad" situation if you have a gun than if you don't. I suspect this is because most normal people will not just shoot first and ask questions later, and that hesitation gives their assailant time to overpower them and get the gun. I haven't read the source papers for that critically yet, though. I may write up a post summarizing the data I find.

      Delete
  15. coming in late, just to say thanks for the link love. I shut down after writing my post. I still can't think about action, even sciDAD and I disagree on basic political steps forward and it is just all too overwhelming, which makes me ashamed. I seldom find myself in accord with Edmund Burke, but in this case I do. Good (wo)men have to do something or the evil of endless, ongoing slaughter will continue. and p.s. I too come from a hunting (extended) family and grasp the "sport" of shooting. None of my relatives use assault weapons. There would be nothing left to eat if they did :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to see any hunter come forward and defend the use of assault-type weapons for hunting.

      I can completely understand shutting down/disconnecting on this issue for awhile. I've had to scale back my reading, and focus on things helping me understand the general issues. I've largely avoided reading the specific coverage. I do not need to know Lanza's motives. Frankly, I do not think they matter in terms of what we need to do next.

      Delete

Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...