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Mass Killings: Solutions: The Weapon


glintofpewter
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I'm not done thinking about the mass kilings and whether there are any workable solutions which would improve the situation. I do have my arguments but will put them aside. I also have doubts that there will be any really useful results in the political discussions and legislative actions. There is little agreement about the way forward and almost no collective will to accomplish any thing that will take work, commitment and sacrifice.

 

But forward...

 

Not my favorite opinionator, Charles Krauthammer, sees that solutions may be sought in three areas:

  1. The Weapon,
  2. The Killer, and
  3. the Culture.

The roots of mass murder

http://www.washingto...9029_story.html

 

 

The NRA suggests there is a fourth: The Target

 

Krauthammer:

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

 

That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments. But there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.

 

I am starting four topics for brainstorming about solutions. Please be specific. "Stricter gun laws" and "better mental health delivery systems" and "less violence in media" are not specific.

 

Under brainstorming rules you cannot attack another's idea. Also you cannot say it won't work because I already said it in the first paragraph above. You can ask questions for clarifications or to investigate intended and un-intended consequences.

 

THE WEAPON

 

Before you call for bans of specific weapons or ammo read this. I apologize for the name calling and inflammatory language. If you think this article presents a solution flesh it out.

 

A Proven Way to End the Gun Slaughter: Will We Fight For it?

http://www.huffingto..._b_2341815.html

 

Dutch

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Dutch,

 

thanks for bringing up these ideas for possible solutions.

 

I’d definitely be in favor of the Australian model as outlined by Douglas Cooper in that HuffPost column-- it’s been proven to work. “Of course you ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. I simply intend to demonstrate that you'd be foolish to stop there. ... You do not partially treat an aggressive cancer. Unless we wish to be conquered by despair, this is what America simply must do…”

 

I hope the Diane Feinstein proposal will go through at least, even if it doesn’t make as much difference as we’d like, it says we care more about protecting children than guns, we aren’t closing our eyes to this national epidemic.

 

As Cooper says, “ it will require a seismic shift in the American psyche, of the sort rarely experienced in history”…The US has gone through seismic shifts before, as in the abolition of slavery-- maybe we’re facing a similar challenge with the “two different worlds” on the issue of gun laws.

Edited by rivanna
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I hope the Diane Feinstein proposal will go through at least, even if it doesn’t make as much difference as we’d like, it says we care more about protecting children than guns, we aren’t closing our eyes to this national epidemic.

 

...

The US has gone through seismic shifts before, as in the abolition of slavery-- maybe we’re facing a similar challenge with the “two different worlds” on the issue of gun laws.

 

I agree that some actions are only effective in their symbolism. I like the hope offered by hope in a seismic change.

 

I will not have enough time to post all my thoughts now - after work we are packing for trip to North Carolina to visit my son - but on my long lay-overs I will.

 

I started 4 different threads because I have come to believe that a successful response to these tragedies in a representive democracy can not rest on one or two factors. Passing an assault weapon ban or funding improved mental services must not be the only ways we measure our nations response.

 

Part of our response is already happening and we should name it and claim it as part of a multi-faceted effort. The NRA's suggestion that we should have armed guards at schools is not off-the- wall. Many districts have already implemented such programs with creative funding. The NRA should support their suggestion by acceppting civil and criminal liability for their voluntary militia and offer grant money to school districts that can find none.

 

Dutch

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From what I’ve read, Feinstein’s bill is a definite improvement on the expired ban. While the previous law banned 18 specific types of weapons by name, Feinstein's law would ban 120 specifically-named firearms. Unlike the old law, this proposal would ban semiautomatic weapons and handguns with fixed magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Feinstein's bill would "grandfather" in semiautomatic weapons made before the ban-- but those who have them would have to undergo background checks.

 

I don’t know about armed guards at school-- it didn’t stop the bloodshed at Columbine. But as you say, worth considering. It’s better than all teachers having to be armed.

 

I agree that gun violence in the US is a multi-faceted problem.

 

It really is eye-opening to see how other countries have dealt with this issue.

Also, from Jonathan Haidt’s book— the ethics of autonomy, protecting ‘individual rights’ above community, has become dominant in Western society….Taken to a self-destructive extreme, it seems.

Edited by rivanna
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As you probably all know by now, I think a ban on all military weaponry and repeating-action firearms would be an excellent start. It makes a statement and it removes a ton of deadly firearms from your society. It's not a solution in isolation and needs to be accompanied by cultural change, but it's a start. Massacres won't stop overnight, but they will become more difficult to execute if there are less guns and less efficent guns, available.

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I was in Ebenezer Baptist Church (MLK's home church) in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. This issue was brought up by the pastor. He pointed out that while the nation is grieving (justifiably) over the Newtown massacre, thousands are dying every year from gun deaths on the streets of our major cities. He didn't say, but implied, that these are mostly poor, minority children about which our nation doesn't seem to be as concerned.

 

The church is planning to coordinate with other churches a gun turn-in program and they will symbolically bury them in coffins. I don't think this will be practically effective, but it may be effective as another means of highlighting this issue and discouraging the proliferation of guns.

 

George

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The nation of Australia had a gun buy back program where you would turn in your gun in exchange for free money and it's my understanding that it was widely successful over there. LA has also started a gun buy back program recently.

 

According to Wikipedia, "Unlike the voluntary buybacks in the United States, Australian gun buybacks of 1996 and 2003 were compulsory, compensated surrenders of newly-illegal firearms."

 

There are several significant differences. First, the Australian program was in connection with a ban on newly-acquired guns so one could not replace the turned in weapon. Second, it was national. In LA, one need only drive a few miles to acquire a replacement. Third, it was compulsory.

 

I am certainly in favor of these programs as they may take a few weapons out of circulation. But, I don't think they are any substitute for good, national gun-control laws.

 

George

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All of these things have been previously discussed in the previous thread on guns and gun control which was closed. I am closing this thread as this topic has again turned into such an issue. In my view, It has been discussed in enough detail for a progressive Christainity site which i hope to keep focused more on issues more clearly related to our mission and such topics more clearly related to religious issues, spiritual writings, theology, individual spiritual journeys and the like, There are other sites more appropriate for those wishing to continue to discuss or debate such hot issues as guns and gun control in more detail than has already been done here.

 

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation

 

JosephM (as Admin)

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