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Mental Illness and School Shootings

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The news of schools shootings has been on the rise lately. Mentally unstable people with guns are clearly very dangerous. There is an underlying cause and driver behind all of these terrible school shootings, unresolved mental illness. 


Debates about the recent school shooting should not devolve into a fear driven debate about gun rights or gun laws. What we need to take a hard look at is the unresolved mental illnesses in society. The killers that commit these acts of mass violence are seriously mentally sick. The people that knew these killers before they killed, also knew that they were unstable and sick.

The discussion about this recent school shooting should be about mental health, mental health care, and gun control laws that keep the guns in the hands of honest normal people and out of the hands of the dangerously mentally sick and criminals: people that have a clear history that indicates they are not able to safely own or operate a firearm.


There are some things we need to consider carefully when "thinking about" these issues: 

1. Criminals do not care about gun laws! if you ban guns or heavily restrict gun ownership, the only people that loose out are honest mentally sane people that want to have guns for personal protection. Taking the guns away will do absolutely nothing to address the mental illness problem that caused all of these school shootings and other similar tragedies.

2. Mental illness was the driver of this recent school shooting and other tragedies like it. The lack of access to mental health services is a major problem. The lack of registry for mental illness is a problem: people that have a documented mental illness should not be able to own guns. When I suggested that a national mental illness registry be created, I got hazed, flamed and sh*t on like never before by my peers: meanwhile, the mentally ill criminals that commit these horrendous acts of violence were not restricted from buying guns even though they all had documented mental illnesses.

3. Guns are inanimate objects that require an operator to function. Guns are only unsafe in the hands of an unsafe operator, and this should make you think of cars. More than 50,000 people die in car accidents in the USA every year, yet I hear no rational discussion about raising the bar for what it takes to get and keep a drivers license. Mentally ill schizophrenics, un-medicated bipolars and other unstable people are driving around in traffic, and I see them... its obvious. Prohibition is never a solution. We are not going to outlaw spoons because people eat ice-cream with them. We are not going to outlaw spray paint because some people spray it in a bag and huff the fumes. What we need is more personal accountability.

4. If honest people carry guns and know how to use them safely, they can protect themselves and other people around them from criminals. If the only person with the weapon is a criminal, the victims are helpless and the crime is over with before the police can get to the scene. "Not only does the American government fail to provide effective protection; the government insists it has no legal duty to do so. The courts have concurred, holding that the police have no duty to protect anyone and cannot be held liable, even in cases where the victim was targeted in advance but was denied police protection. Research data shows that guns of all types are used defensively between 850,000 and 2.5 million times a year in the United States. Most of the defensive uses involved handguns, and the vast majority of such uses do not involve firing the weapon, but merely brandishing it to scare away an attacker.
The overwhelming majority of gun owners that are concerned about violence directed against them from the outside. They know, intuitively, that the government will not protect them from deadly criminal attacks.

5. The Police are underfunded and can't be there to protect everyone all the time. Even if the police had more funding, they would still be unable to protect every home from an armed invasion, and other violent crimes. Furthermore the police are so busy trying to enforce the prohibition associated with applying the "War on drugs", that they can not be there for the victims of violent crimes. The prohibition of drugs furthermore funnels money into organized crime, which fuels violence and other criminal activity. The border violence issues with Mexico for example can be traced back the fundamental failure of prohibition. The police would serve everyone better if they focused on preventing crimes that have victims.

6. We have a violent culture, evidence in many of our most popular video games and media productions. FPS (first person shooter) games and TV series like “24” or “Revolution” for example.


Fear Mongering Helps Nothing

Having the right to own a gun has nothing to do with having the "right" to kill someone. I will however use deadly force to protect myself. No one has a right to harm me or kill me, and if they try, I will do everything in my power to stop them, and I know the police will not be there for me (in time) to help me when it matters most. I like knowing that I can protect Megan when she is with me too. Megan and I do not want to become victims at the hands of an armed criminal if simply being armed and trained for self defense can save our lives.

The gun control argument is ok in many respects. The laws should be standardized in many instances. If you have to pass tests to operated a car, you should have to past test to prove that you know and understand gun safety, and how to use a gun safely for sport and self defense.

I agree that people should be required to learn how to use guns safely. If I were the commander and chief, everyone would learn gun safety in school from an early age. Everyone needs to know how to handle guns safely because there are hundreds of millions of guns everywhere. A gun is only dangerous in the hands of someone who does know how to operate the gun safely, or is incapable of being responsible with the gun. Guns are dangerous to people that do not know how to use them safely.

Every normal person agrees that "reasonable" gun control laws should be standardized, but more gun control will not address the underling cause of these massacres: mental illness in every mass shooting is what drove the psychotic killers. These school shootings are a red herring that mental health issues are being ignored in school, by parents and by society as a whole.

Bullying in school remains an unresolved problem, the elephant in the room. No one wants to address this issue, but if no one does, one more person is going to be pushed to the point of snapping, and we will have yet another tragedy to deal with. Bullying gives rise to angry depression, social isolation, fear and frustration: the exact things that drive these mass killings by psychotic people who have unresolved mental diseases.

In the case of this recent school shooting crime, the guns did not even belong to the shooter, so no amount of gun control laws would have helped. The shooter stole the weapons from his mother. If she knew that he was mentally sick, she had a moral, ethical and legal obligation to keep her guns out of his hands. If he was so unstable that doing so was not feasible, then he should have been locked up in a padded room and treated for his mental illness.

Mental Illness is the Problem

Untreated mental illness is the real problem diving these horrific tragedies, more gun control laws are obviously not the solution. Sure we should update and standardize guns laws. Yes, everyone needs to learn basic gun safety. Get informed about guns, gun laws, gun safety, self defense, your rights, and if you know you have a mental problem, get help. If you know someone else has a mental problem, help them get help. We cannot continue to allow mentally disturbed people to roam around freely. We need a nation registry for people that have “dangerous mental illness”. We need to hold people accountable for their actions. We need to hold each other accountable.

The people who drag gun control into the discussion about this school shooting are fear mongering to the detriment of everyone.

Fear, uncertainty and doubt will do absolutely nothing to advanced the discussion about this tragedy or others like it. 
These tragedies have their origins in unresolved mental illness, and that is what needs to be discussed. Our neglect of other people with unfair health care needs to be discussed. We need to have a serious conversation about ending bullying in schools. We need to have a serious discussion about educating everyone with gun safety knowledge.  We need to have a realistic debate about reasonable gun control laws. There are many things we need to do to respond to these issues. Keep a balanced and open mind! The answer are out their if we are mature enough to embrace them. 


Only Some Should Carry Firearms

I am not saying that all honest sane people should be carrying firearms. Some people are that are perfectly physically able to do so safely and sanely would feel uncomfortable, and we only want people carrying firearms if they feel completely comfortable with them. I have been interacting with guns since I was a young child, and have never had a gun accident and have never witnessed a gun accident. Guns are dangerous machines like cars. Gun operators that are very careful with guns seem to never have accidents. In every incidence of an accidental shooting, operator unfamiliarity with the firearm was the problem. Statistically speaking a back yard swimming pool is far more dangerous to young children than an unsecured firearm in the same home.

I know sane honest reasonable people that dislike guns for a number of different reasons. I am not suggesting that everyone needed to like guns. I am suggesting that everyone needs to understand gun safety. I believe that basic gun safety knowledge is important to everyone because of the ubiquitous presence of firearms in the United States. Most homes and many vehicles contain a firearm.

Knowing how to operate a gun is essential to the safe operation of the gun. Knowing how to operate a vehicle is essential to the safe operation of a vehicle. There are a lot of parallels between vehicle safety and gun safety. Many people are dismissive of the dangers that automobiles create for their operators and passengers and those in the motion path of the vehicle. Many vehicles weigh in excess of 3,000lbs and can travel at speeds exceeding 80MPH. Tens of thousands of people die, and hundreds of thousands of people are seriously injured with disabilities every year because of vehicle accidents. You are far more likely to be part of a vehicular accident than you are to become part of a firearm accident.

Many of the people that openly promote the idea of banning guns have no operating, working of basic knowledge of firearms. Their ideas about guns are based on a lack of knowledge, fear and apprehension. A gun cannot operate itself any more than a vehicle can. Unsafe operators of guns or vehicles are the real danger. This is exactly why mental illness is the core problem behind all of these mass shootings. An unstable driver or unstable person with a gun is dangerous to everyone. We need to take guns away from and take the keys away from people that are unfit operators. We need to make it far harder to get a gun, and far harder to keep a permit to own one. We need to make it far harder to get a drivers license and far harder to keep it. By raising the barriers to entry for operator permits, we can reduce incidence of vehicles or guns ending up into the hands of an unsafe operator.

A friend of mine said to me "Who decides who is fit or unfit to own a gun ?" I suggest we leave that up to a well designed system of checks and balances in gun control legislation. If someone has a well documented dangerous mental illness, described on their medical record by qualified medical and psychiatric professionals, then these people should absolutely be prohibited from owning firearms. Gun laws are not going to solve all the problems we see with these mass shootings. Unresolved dangerous mental illness was the driver of these tragedies. If we hope to reduce the frequency or severity of these massacres by deranged people, we need to seriously address our failure to identify, label and address dangerous mentally unstable people.

Honest sane people with self control and a good working knowledge of firearms and gun safety are the ones who may feel comfortable to carry a firearm for self protection.

I Love Other People 

I carry a gun and always have one near me because I love other people. I love all people. I will not stand by idle and allow a mentally disturbed person to harm me or those around me. If the mentally disturbed criminal is armed, I have to be armed in order to effectively have the same force multiplying power that a gun yields for self defense. If the criminal is the only person with the force multiplying weapon, I would be at a disadvantage, making it harder and more dangerous for me to defend myself or others around me. The gun gives me the power to face any show of force with equal force.
"When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... And that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act !!"  Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

Police carry firearms to multiply their force potential as well.
The police know that criminals often have to be handled with a force multiplying device. A gun a force multiplier that uses potential chemical energy to accelerates a small projectile to very high speeds such that when the projectile impacts something, it imparts a lot of energy over a very small surface area. Pepper spray, tear gas, tasers, stun guns, batons, and knives are also force multiplying devices. Weapons are designed to extend a persons mechanical advantage and power. Sadly the police do not have the time or resources to protect everyone. If you want to take the power into your own hands, a gun can give you that power. Power has to be handled with a lot of accountability, responsibility, self control and wisdom. This is why force multiplying weapons should not be handled by mentally sick people or people under the influence of intoxicants that skew and inhibit their judgement.
I created this sign with Libre Office Draw :)  Adapted
From the Posting Header Image Credited in Caption. 


20 Key Points 

1. Guns are inanimate objects that require an operator to function.

2. Most guns are not used to kill people, the overwhelming majority of people that own guns in the USA never use them on other people, they use them for sport shooting and self defense: the majority of the time a gun is used for self defense, it is brandished by the person to scare the criminal into giving up.

3. The mother that was collecting these weapons was mentally ill herself and had a long documented history of mental illness. T

4. The shooter in this case and all others like it was mentally ill, and had a long documented history of mental illness, and had been prescribed and had been taking amphetamines for years to treat ADHD. In almost all instances of these school shootings, the shooter was taking anti-psychotic drugs and other psychoactive medications for years prior to the fallout event.

5. Anything is dangerous in the hands of an out of control psycho.

6. The guns did not belong to the shooter, so no amount of realistic gun control laws would have prevented him from gaining access to them.

7. If psychotic people with documented illnesses were restricted from buying weapons, the shooters mother would have never been able to obtain her weapons legally in the first place.

8. The shooter could have easily done a Timothy McVeigh and created a far more destructive device that would have harmed and killed far more people. He was intellectually brilliant and possessed the knowledge and skills need to produce IED's like the one that Timothy McVeigh used to kill 168 people all at once.

9. If you outlaw guns, the only people that loose out are honest law abiding people.

10. When people compare the UK and Germany to the USA, they forget to mention that free universal health care is available in the UK and Germany. They also forget to mention the cultural differences, and that comparing the USA to any European country is an apples to oranges comparison at best. They carefully track children in Europe to identify sociopaths, psychopaths, schizophrenic, and angry depressives: when a "disturbed child" is identified, European countries handle them carefully, with lots of expensive publicly treatments, anger management, socialization, spiritual guidance and other forms of constructive psychological and social help.

11. When Australia outlawed guns, crimes of all types involving weapons increased, and criminals emboldened by the knowledge that home owners could not defend themselves began a new crime (home invasion) in Australia. When Australia rolled out their anti-gun laws, violent crimes (Assaults involving guns up 28%, armed robbery up 69%, gun murders up 19%, and a new phenomenon; home invasions up 21%)

12. We need to have a realistic discussion about gun control. Outlawing AR15's used for sport is not a realistic idea. outlawing guns is not part of the discussion by anyone who thinks about these school massacre problems carefully. The shooter in this case could have just as easily used a .22 caliber handgun to kill just as many children. There is noting intrinsically different about a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol if both are used in short range applications.

13. We need to have a discussion about bullying and figure out how to end it.

14. We need to have a discussion about training the administrators of the school about self defense so they can protect themselves and students since the police cant be there for them in time.

15. We need to have some very serious discussion about the unresolved mental illnesses in young adults that was behind and the cause of this recent tragedy and all others like it, and then create structural changes to the healthcare system and school policies to find these disturbed children and help them with social, spiritual, and psychological help.

16. "Great thoughts Aaron, banning guns will not stop crazy wierdos from harming innocent people. What will be next? Ban Baseball bats, knives, glass bottles, kite string, this list is virtually endless. You get my gist."

17. "Not only does the American government fail to provide effective protection; the government insists it has no legal duty to do so. The courts have concurred, holding that the police have no duty to protect anyone and cannot be held liable, even in cases where the victim was targeted in advance but was denied police protection. Data shows that guns of all types are used defensively between 850,000 and 2.5 million times a year in the United States. Most of the defensive uses involved handguns, and the vast majority of such uses do not involve firing the weapon, but merely brandishing it to scare away an attacker. Most gun owners' concern is about violence directed against them from the outside. They know, intuitively, that the government will not protect them from criminal attack."

18. Yes, gun control laws are important, and we already have many. The loop holes for gun shows, and loop holes that allow psychotic people to buy guns need to be closed.

19. You and I and others are absolutely correct that something has to be done in response to these ongoing psychotic fallout events: I just believe we need to address the problems I listed above that are causing these psycho's to "lose it" in the first place.

20. I agree that people should be required to learn how to use guns safely, pass a gun safety course, pass a background check and mental health exam, and prove that they are safe and sane people that can operate a gun safely with self control, understanding, wisdom and restraint, respecting the power that the gun yields its operator. Everyone needs to know how to handle guns safely because there are hundreds of millions of guns everywhere in America. A gun is only dangerous in the hands of someone who does not know about or is incapable of being responsible with a gun. Guns are dangerous to people that do not know how to use them safely. Gun and other weapons are dangerous in the hands of psychotic people, and that is why this tragedy and others like it boil down to unresolved mental illness, the problem we need to focus on solving!


Facebook Discussion 



Aaron Schwarz

If someone tries to take my bushmaster AR15 away from me, I will be on the national news too!


Megan Otto 


I completely agree with you!!!


Aaron Schwarz 


When Australia rolled out their anti-gun laws, violent crimes (Assaults involving guns up 28%, armed robbery up 69%, gun murders up 19%, and a new phenomenon; home invasions up 21%)

The criminals are no longer afraid to assault people because they know all of the honest, normal law abiding people gave up their guns to the incompetent Australian government.

Learn the Truth about Austrailias failing Gun Prohibition:
http://youtu.be/xh4oHK8Dgck


Ann LaBeck 


You'll be on national news?


Aaron Schwarz 


Yea, I will fight back for my rights! No one is going to take it from me, they will have to pry it out of my dead hands after the fight, if they survive!


Aaron Schwarz 


Meg will help me ice the communists if they try to strip us of our rights to own personal protection. Yes, the bushmaster is a killing machine, so is a handgun. If a group of people try to perform a home invasion, the hand gun lacks the power needed for self defense. Here the bushmaster is not only a fun, low coil, highly accurate, semi-automatic rifle, it also provides exactly what is needed for self defense from a group of criminals!



Megan Otto 


No one will take away my Right to Protect myself - I will not be a victim or a statistic! All the proof shows that crime against Honest people rises when gun rights are stripped away


Ann LaBeck 


Dude, you sound like Charlton Heston.


Aaron Schwarz 


That's good to know


Ann LaBeck 


But really, I think it's not a great idea to be making public statements about what might happen if 'they' take away your Bushmaster. Seriously. Take a deep breath and chill.


Aaron Schwarz 


Oh, that was in response to senator Diane Feinstein getting up on national television suggesting that an AR15 is somehow different than any other reasonably portable firearm, and because of its supposed differences, should be banned.


Ann LaBeck 

Disagreeing with someone is one thing. Name calling when one disagrees only polarizes people and makes them not want to listen-- there are studies that show that the more one yells at/name calls/whatever, the less one is likely to persuade another regarding their viewpoint.

We need a conversation on mental illness---no one wants mentally ill people getting guns and shooting up schools, but no one wants to pay the taxes necessary to make sure that they are cared for in a way that addresses their issues and keeps us safe. If we aren't willing to put our money where our collective mouths are, we can't complain when mentally ill people go on a rampage.

We need a conversation about the violence in our media, and we need a conversation about violent video games, because those are clearly a factor as well. I read something today about some video gamers calling for a one day moratorium on gaming, to pay tribute to those killed in Conn.-----big whoop. Let's take a one day break from pretend shooting and killing, and then go right back to it. Seriously? Unbelievable.

And yes, we need a conversation about gun violence. Really, we do. We need a sensible, non-combative conversation. No other country has this kind of thing happening as often as it does here in America. We need to have a national conversation about gun violence and how to temper and balance things.

I'm not interested in taking your guns away. Do I think that guns should be banned? Nope. Do I think that automatic weapons/assault rifles should be banned? Yup. I am reasonably sure that I won't change your mind on this---but rest assured that you won't change mine, either, because I find that assault rifles are instruments of war--not hunting. They are impossible for me to reconcile with my Christian faith. Would Jesus carry an assault rifle? I don't think so.


Jacob Wolf 

Guns are too easily available to too many people who shouldn't have them. Adequate mental health care is not easily available to enough people who should have it. Both are part of the problem; this is not a zero sum proposition.


Reed Keagle 

Missile launchers are portable 


Gayle Frisch 

Do you really need an AR15, or any automatic weapon to protect yourself and Megan? A 9mm handgun (non-automatic or semi) accomplishes everything you need for protection. The right to bear arms? These people sprayers weren't created back when that was written, so I don't believe the intent was there to have them protected.


Dennis Petterson 

Are you kidding me? An AR15 is no different than a handgun? You need a semi-automatic rifle to defend yourself? You know grenade launchers are legal, are those necessary for self-defense?

Yes, mental instability is a problem that needs to be addressed, but you are not being intellectually honest if you don't think assault rifles and high-capacity magazines aren't part of the equation as well. A mentally unstable person just killed 26 people with an automatic weapon in Connecticut. A mentally unstable person just wounded 22 people in China with a knife.

And if you think it's just liberals like Feinstein talking about gun control think again. Go look up recent statements from NRA-endorsed Senators Warner, Donnelly, and Manchin. 


Aaron Schwarz 

So far, the people on this thread and my other related threads appear to not understand the difference between an automatic weapon (machine gun) and a semi-automatic weapon. No one is arguing that automatic weapons should be legal for the general public, and I never said anything to that effect. I am suggesting that semi-automatic rifles should be legal! Once again, if a group of criminals breaks down my front door during a home invasion attempt, the handgun does not have enough fire-power. 

An SUV is more hazardous to other people, buildings, other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and everyone else in a smaller vehicle. They create a visibility hazard for other drivers, they produce more misty and tire spray during rain and after rainy weather; creating more visibility  hazards, they are prone to rolling over and loosing control if a tire goes out, they present a mass hazard because they weigh a lot more than other commuter vehicles in accidents, ect. ect. If you think of the AR15 like an SUV, you are suggesting that because the SUV is more dangerous than a Honda Civic *handgun* we should outlaw SUV's.

Once again, guns of all types, are not dangerous, if their operators are sane reasonable people. Any weapon in the hands of a deranged mentally ill person with anger problems is going to be hazardous to everyone. This does not mean we should outlaw weapons of any kind. This kid that performed this school shooting could have easily constructed explosive IED's with over the counter chemicals based on his level of scientific knowledge, and killed far more people. This does not mean we have to outlaw aluminum foil and every other thing that can be misused to construct a dangerous device.

Prohibition failed with alcohol, prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, the prohibition of prostitution is a failure, and trying to take away weapons from people will fail too. There are hundreds of millions of weapons already in America. Guns are a huge part of our culture. The fear of firearms comes from people that know nothing about guns, have limited or no knowledge of gun safety, and who like to blame inanimate objects for the actions of people....

Does anyone really need an SUV for commuting? No

Does anyone really need to commute in an F150? No

There is a huge difference between what people need and what they like and want. My AR15 is my favorite gun because it is accurate, has very little recoil, and holds 20rounds, making target practice more fun. Of course to understand this, a person would need to have a moderate amount of exposure, experience with and knowledge about guns. No one calling for the outlawing of guns seems to fall into that category of qualifications.

I don't review books that I have never read! I think it absurd to hear people giving gun reviews about weapons they have never touched, based on a lack of understanding and some sensationalized accident/ tragedy caused by an out of control mentally ill person.

I have never used any of my guns to harm anything living and never want to use them for anything other than target practice/ plinking. Any attempt to remove my weapons from me without cause will be a violation of my privacy, legal rights, and I would consider it an act of treason and betrayal on behalf of the state and will not stand for it!


Dennis Petterson

Again, a mentally unstable person just killed 26 people with an automatic weapon in Connecticut. A mentally unstable person just wounded 22 people in China with a knife. Clearly the inanimate object used matters. And if you think a handgun doesn't have enough power to stop someone you're using it wrong. 


Aaron Schwarz 

It was not automatic, automatic weapons are called "machine guns" it was semi-automatic, just like most handguns! Automatic weapons have never been legal for the general public to posses without special permits. A handgun can stop some-one, but not a group of someones... that was my point! In Japan, where the Jakuza perform home invasions, they do it in small groups of 5 or more... and guns are totally illegal in Japan, so the home owners have to bend over while they get raped and have their things stolen. 

In Australia, where they outlawed guns, crime rates have increased. When Australia rolled out their anti-gun laws, violent crimes (Assaults involving guns up 28%, armed robbery up 69%, gun murders up 19%, and a new phenomenon; home invasions up 21%)

When criminals and police are the only people with guns, everyone else is less safe!

Again, unstable angry mentally ill people are always going to make the lives of everyone else more difficult with whatever they can get their hands on. Gun laws outlawing assault rifles are just going to take the guns away from honest normal law abiding people like me.

Our unfair health care system is the real problem. We shut down and de-funded many mental hospitals where dangerous mentally ill people once lived medicated in padded rooms. Now we have schizophrenic weirdo's wandering around freely, and when an angry one flips out and misuses things to harm others, the answer is not to outlaw the things he used.

He also used two handguns in the attacks. Two 9mm handguns. His anarchist (mentally unstable) mother was collecting weapons and ammo. She was also mentally ill, and passed on her sick genes to her son. That is another problem altogether: allowing people with dangerous mental illnesses that we know are genetic, to reproduce, passing on their broken genes to a new generation of sicko's and psychopaths.

Clearly the drugs they are prescribing unstable children are not working. Every since the psychology community starting handing out amphetamines to add children, school shootings became a phenomenon. AR15's have been around since the late 1950's. The problem with these school shootings has nothing to do with guns, and it has everything to do with unresolved mental illness, and deranged people that roam freely because the state is negligent to keep these people out of the general public. Instead, our prisons are filled with who? A teenage girl that sold an MDMA tablet at a party, and other non-violent offenders. We have the highest rate of incarceration in the world, the overwhelming majority are in prison because of crazy substance prohibition laws that carry minimum sentencing requirements. I have a friend that is in prison until 2024 because he manufactured some MDMA in college: and the judge in his case was unable to adjust the sentence because of the crazy laws associated with enforcing the wasteful war on drugs.

The fact that our government is waging a war against the people over substance control issues is one of the problems in the first place. When anyone sophisticated about this subject attempts to suggest that the prohibition of drugs is responsible for the majority of the problems associated with their use, the fear mongering general public responds with demands for continued prohibition. Outlawing something that is already in wide circulation makes absolutely no sense! It is 1 a logistic impossibility! and 2. a flagrant misuse of government resources!

Dennis Petterson

I see. Well you accomplished one thing in that I looked into it a little further. Turns out you can bump fire a semi-auto into firing nearly as many rounds as a full auto. Given its larger mag capacities and its higher power, no rational human being needs access to such a gun for any form of self-defense.

The 2nd amendment doesn't grant anyone unregulated access to whatever guns they want to own.


Aaron Schwarz 

Incorrect, an M16 can shoot 900 rounds per minute, as long as you feed it ammo. Modifying the trigger on an AR15 is illegal, and even when you operate it with a bump-trigger technique, it cannot fire at the same rate as an M16. M16's are illegal for the general public to own.

Keep reading!

It matters not; Many Glock handguns hold 20 round magazines of 9mm. My AR15 holds 20 rounds of a small bullet that travels at a higher rate, making it more precise for long distance target practice. The Glock has more firepower upclose for killing people!

The military and armalite developed the .223/ 5.56mm in order to make a humane alternative to the much larger and more powerful 7.62mm (ak 47). The small rounds of the M16 and .223 bases rifles passes through the body because of its high velocity: unlike large, lower velocity handgun projectiles that tumble, spread open and tear through the tissue.

The shooter in this case use his Glock too, to execute people senselessly. If you compare the ballistic profile for short range human tissue impacts, the 9mm handgun is going to cause just as much damage as a .223 based rifle.

The assault rifles are better suited for hitting targets accurately from large distances of 50m or more, where handguns and shotguns are better for 30m or less.

Again you need to understand a lot about firearms to have a sophisticated discussion about them.


Dennis Petterson 

So what's your point? Because he also used a handgun that all should be legal in the name of liberty? Even grenade launchers?


Aaron Schwarz 

I never said anything about allowing grenade launchers to be legal for the general public. You cant buy 20mm grenade ammo anyway.

Fine, outlaw grenade launches, rocket launchers and other weapons to keep them out of the hands of the general public. That will not stop criminals from obtaining and misusing them: criminals do not care about laws!

The shooter in this school tragedy was brilliant, and could have easily used his knowledge of science to inflict far more harm, death and destruction than a wimpy AR15. Do you remember Timothy Mcveigh? Not one reasonable person was calling for the outlawing of fertilizer and diesel fuel after he use both to construct a massive bomb that killed 168 people all at the same time!

You could misuse beef to produce a biological weapon, and unleash in a way that would instantly kill thousands of people. This does not mean we need to outlaws burgers and steak.

I could on an on, but many common things can be used to construct weapons of mass destruction by someone with the required knowledge. The shooter in this school shooting has extensive knowledge about DIY explosives and weapons production. He could have easily fabricated something far more deadly than the weapons he stole from his mother.

We need to have a realistic discussion about gun control. Outlawing AR15's used for sport is not a realistic idea. You go ahead and watch what happens if our government tries to take away guns from the general public! Fortunately, I think the NRA and other sport gun lobby groups will keep what I fear from happening... I fear the idea of living in a world where criminals and the police *who are almost never there when you need them*, are the only people with guns! I fear America becoming like Australia with ridiculous gun laws that strip the rights of normally sane law abiding people in an attempt to address a fundamentally unresolved problem with unfair health care and freely roaming mentally deranged people (many of whom I encounter in traffic regularly, racing to catch the red light, road rage, ect.)


Dennis Petterson 

Great then you agree that there's a line. My line just happens to also exclude high-powered hunting and assault rifles, as well as high capacity mags. The NRA is bat-shit crazy enough to support legalizing grenade launchers. Calling them a fear mongering, hate-driven, extremist fringe organization would be an understatement.


Aaron Schwarz 

Mental illness is the problem. Dragging this debate into a technical discussion about weapons is misleading and unproductive to the discussion.

Our unfair health care system is the problem: it causes mentally ill people to remain untreated, and our schools fail to identify, isolate and remove highly disturbed children from enrollment. The shooter in this case had a long history of documented dangerous mental illness. This event is not isolated, and the reoccurring nature of these events speaks to the much larger causes of these tragedies. Gun are not the problem, the deranged people misusing the guns are the problem. The fact that we have deranged people roaming around freely is the problem. These greedy people on wall street, like Bernie Madoff, had a deeply sick mental problem, that went unresolved because of our failure as a society to identify mentally sick people and help them.

The shooter in this case, and in others like, needed but did not receive serious professional psychological help. They needed peer support, love, spiritual support, anger management training, socialization, and kindness. The people that commit these tragedies are often the ones were were bullied and cast out by the peers, neglect and shown hatred and bigotry.

There are many issues that need to be addressed: outlawing guns is not part of the discussion by anyone who thinks about these school massacre problems carefully. He could have just as easily used a .22 caliber handgun to kill just as many children. There is noting intrinsically different about a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol: if both are used in short range applications.

We need to have a discussion about bullying. We need to have a discussion about training the administrators of the school about self defense. We need to have some very serious discussion about the unresolved mental illnesses in young adults that was behind and the cause of this recent tragedy and all others like it.


Dennis Petterson 

You can say til you're blue in the face, but you're not being intellectually honest with yourself if you think mental illness is the only problem.

I read this somewhere:
Guns allow for an efficiency of killing that goes far beyond any other implement so readily available to the general populace, and they detach the act from the result. In short, guns makes it easy; not just physically easy, but mentally easy. That detachment, combined with the ease with which a gun can be used to kill multiple people in a short span of time, make guns 100% incomparable to any other implement, and absolutely puts them in a class of their own, regardless of whose hands they’re in. Even an unbalanced person has to go through a different thought process to stab someone to death, or bludgeon them to death with a baseball bat, or strangle someone. The personal nature of that type of killing is enough to make even the craziest of crazies think twice about going through with it – especially on a mass level.


Aaron Schwarz 

Yes, give a mentally disturbed person anything that can be misused, and they can hurt themselves and other people with it! Car, fork, knife, bat, gun, pen, glass bottle, pepper spray, gasoline, wax, oil, ect. ect. ect. The solution is not to outlaw anything that can be misused by a deranged person.

"Great thoughts Aaron, banning guns will not stop crazy wierdos from harming innocent people. What will be next? Ban Baseball bats, knives, glass bottles, kite string, this list is virtually endless. You get my gist. And thanks for being sensible, I wish everyone was. Protect our second ammendment rights." Richard Frisch

Other Interesting Ideas to Consider:

"Not only does the American government fail to provide effective protection; the government insists it has no legal duty to do so. The courts have concurred, holding that the police have no duty to protect anyone and cannot be held liable, even in cases where the victim was targeted in advance but was denied police protection."

"Data shows that guns of all types are used defensively between 850,000 and 2.5 million times a year in the United States. Most of the defensive uses involved handguns, and the vast majority of such uses do not involve firing the weapon, but merely brandishing it to scare away an attacker."

"Most gun owners' concern is about violence directed against them from the outside. They know, intuitively, that the government will not protect them from criminal attack."

This discussion is on my fb wall and part of my posting: I will relentlessly defend my position that the causes of this tragedy and others like in America are:

Unresolved Dangerous Mental Illness

School bullying

Psychotic People Having Children

Unfair Health Care

Inequity

Injustice

Bribery and Corruption in Government

The War on Drugs Distracting Law Enforcement

Jails and Prisons Full of Non-violent People

Prescribing Amphetamines to Children with ADHD and ADD

Turning Away from Gods Love

Selfishness

Hatred, Bigotry and other Negative Toxic Thought Processes and Emotions

I will also relentlessly defend my right to own an AR15 and my other weapons. Not until I am blue in the face. I will not allow these issues to upset me. I post about these topics and respond to the comments with calm balanced thinking, not the knee jerk emotional overreactions I hear coming from people that call for the end of gun ownership in America.

Yes, gun control laws are important. I think everything should be taxed, controlled and regulated. I do not agree with moral prohibition laws that restrict personal freedom. I believe in taxes, controls and regulations. I believe the governments role is to tax, control and regulate; not replace or hinder the private sector. Gun are a huge part of our economy and culture in America.

You, me and others are absolutely correct that something has to be done in response to these ongoing psychotic fallout events: I just believe we need to address the problems I listed above that are causing these psycho's to "lose it" in the first place.

The school shooting should not turn into a debate about gun rights or gun laws.

1. The father of the shooter should have secured his weapons.

2. The parents of the shooter should have worked to resolve their sons mental illness.

3. If the parents knew their son was mentally ill, they should have been extra-cautious about securing their guns.

The debate has everything to do with unresolved mental illness, angry depressives, schizophrenics and sociopaths.

The debate has everything to do with identifying mental illness in children and addressing it from every reasonable angle.

The people who drag gun control into the discussion about this school shooting are fear mongering to the detriment of everyone.

Fear, uncertainty and doubt will do absolutely nothing to advanced the discussion about this tragedy!

The news of this tragedy saddens me. The shooter was obviously deranged and in desperate need of mental health services.

The solution is better mental health care!

How should we fund universal mental health care ?

More DOD funding for crazy expensive wars that yield what, or could we pay down the debt and focus on using tax money to provide critically needed public services to the tax paying public ?

While I appreciate that the GOP will defend gun rights in the aftermath of the Tragedy, the Austerity measures that Boehner and his friends in the house want to put into law to slash spending are exactly the source of the failure of government to provide basic health care to those that need it most.

I agree that government spending is out of control, but I understand that most of the government debt spending is spent on the DOD, enriching defense contractors in the largest pseudo-socialist branches of government. The GOP says that the DEM's with the social services are the spending problem when 70% of the debt spending is spend on waging wars, rebuilding Iraq's electrical grid and other wasteful DOD projects.



If one honest adult at that school had been armed, he or she could have stopped the shooter.

Here again only the criminal was armed, and that is the problem!

"Not only does the American government fail to provide effective protection; the government insists it has no legal duty to do so. The courts have concurred, holding that the police have no duty to protect anyone and cannot be held liable, even in cases where the victim was targeted in advance but was denied police protection."

"New data show that guns of all types are used defensively between 850,000 and 2.5 million times a year in the United States. Most of the defensive uses involved handguns, and the vast majority of such uses do not involve firing the weapon, but merely brandishing it to scare away an attacker."

"Most gun owners' concern is about violence directed against them from the outside. They know, intuitively, that the government will not protect them from criminal attack."


Ann LaBeck 


Respectfully disagree. We all need to have a conversation about this issue.


Dennis Petterson 


Better yet, arm the kids! Why should anyone's safety be a risk because a father failed to secure his weapons?


Pete Luciu 

You explained it well. It needs to be understood by everyone. All shootings could have ended sooner if someone else was armed for self defense. It's your choice whether or not you want to become a statistic. I don't.


Dominic Rocchio 

Very nicely said Aaron!!


Richard Frisch

Great thoughts Aaron, banning guns will not stop crazy weirdos from harming innocent people. What will be next? Ban Baseball bats, knives, glass bottles, kite string, this list is virtually endless. You get my gist. And thanks for being sensible, I wish everyone was. Protect our second amendment rights. Remember, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.


Megan Otto

I agree, I will not be a victim nor a statistic like Pete said...


Aaron Schwarz 

The FUD published by the anti-gun people is infuriatingly incoherent. I have stated it before, and will state it again, no one will take my guns away from me, EVER!

The people who disagree with me about gun rights overwhelming refuse to acknowledge the merit in any of the rational arguments I make when conveying why it is important for honest people to carry guns.

For example.

1. Criminals do not care about gun laws< so they are going to get guns one way or the other. If you ban guns or restrict them, the only people that loose out are honest mentally sane people.

2. Mental illness was the driver of this and other tragedies like it. The lack of access to mental health services is a major problem. The lack of registry for mental illness is a problem: people that have a documented mental illness should not be able to own guns. When I suggested that a national mental illness registry be created, I got hazed, flamed and shit on like never before: meanwhile, the mentally ill criminals that commit these horrendous acts of violence were not restricted from buying guns even though they all had documented mental illnesses.

3. Guns are inanimate objects that require an operator to function. Guns are only unsafe in the hands of an unsafe operator. This should make you think of cars. More than 50,000 people die in car accidents in the USA every year, yet I hear no rational discussion about raising the bar for what it takes to get and keep a drivers license. Mentally ill schizophrenics, un-medicated bipolars and other unstable people are driving around in traffic, and I see them... its obvious.

4. If honest people carry guns and know how to use them safely, they can protect themselves and other people from armed criminals. If the only person with the weapon is a criminal, the victims are helpless and the crime is over with before the police can get to the scene.

5. Police are underfunded and can't be there to protect everyone all the time. Even if the police had more funding, they would still be unable to protect every home from an armed invasion, and other violent crimes.

6. We have a violent culture. Many of our most popular video games are FPS (first person shooter) games. When a pot growing operation is busted, the swat team moves in with automatic rifles and riot gear as if the growers were going to fight back with force. Speaking of the DEA, the police are so busy trying to enforce the prohibition associated with applying the "War on drugs", that they can not be there for the victims of violent crimes. The prohibition of drugs furthermore funnels money into organized crime, which fuels violence and other criminal activity.

7. The people that argue to take away gun rights refuse to acknowledge any of the rational logical well balanced ideas that are supportive of gun rights. They use fear, uncertainty, doubt, misunderstanding and other forms of rhetoric to promote ignorant ideas that ignore the facts, logic, reason and truths.

The discussion about this issue of of the recent school shooting should be about mental health, mental health care, and gun control laws that keep the guns in the hands of honest normal people and out of the hands of mentally sick criminals.

In the case of this crime, the guns did not even belong to the shooter, so no amount of gun control laws would have helped. The shooter stole the weapons from his mother. If she knew that he was mentally sick, then she had a moral, ethical and legal obligation to keep her guns out of his hands. If he was so unstable that doing so was not feasible, then he should have been locked up in a padded room and treated for his mental illness.

Untreated mental illness is the real problem diving these horrific tragedies.


Salena Ashanti Farris 


The father is in another state....


Dennis Petterson 


Allow me to retort. Here's just one of many flawed arguments. If his mother wasn't allowed to own guns he wouldn't have been able to steal them. Hence gun control laws may have worked.

Second even you stated that mentally unstable people shouldn't be allowed to own guns. Mentally unstable people can walk into a gun show and walk out with a gun, no background check needed. Therefore you agree with the need for more gun control.

Third, yes guns in the hands of unsafe operators cause enormous problems. Therefore there should be extensive training programs required to buy a gun. Hence more gun control.

Fourth, are we just more homicidal than the rest of the developed world? Are we that much more violent? Why are we the outlier?

Fifth, who defines who is and is not mentally unstable? How do you balance the rights of gun owners and the rights of individuals from being locked up for a disease someone else claims they have?

Finally, I am a gun control advocate. Explain how anything I've said is irrational.


Shon K. Hancock 


I agree with you Aaron Schwarz. The problem here is much deeper than the superficial manifestation of violent actions. The attention needs to turn to the deeper causes of these terrible acts and not on the method they were brought upon victims.


Aaron Schwarz 

Fear mongering helps nothing. Having the right to own a gun has nothing to do with having the "right" to kill someone. I will however use deadly force to protect myself. No one has a right to harm me or kill me, and if they try, I will do everything in my power to stop them. I like knowing that I can protect Megan when she is with me too. Megan and I do not want to become victims at the hands of an armed criminal if simply being armed trained for self defense can save our lives.

The gun control argument is ok in many respects. The laws should be standardized in many instances.

In this case, the mother was the one with the guns. If she knew her son was mentally ill, she had a responsibility to keep her guns out of his hands.

DP: to answer your question about who decides who is mentally ill: lets leave that up to the professionals in that field. If people have a history of medically documented mental illness, established by reputable doctors, then they should not be able to own guns, unless they can prove that they are sane enough to own one responsibly.

I agree that people should be required to learn how to use guns safely. If I were the dictator, everyone would learn gun safety in school. Everyone needs to know how to handle guns safely because there are hundreds of millions of guns everywhere. A gun is only dangerous in the hands of someone who does not or is incapable of being responsible with the gun. Guns are dangerous to people that do not know how to use them safely.

Every normal person agrees that "reasonable" gun control laws should be standardized, but more gun control will not address the underling cause of these massacres: mental illness in every mass shooting is what drove the psychotic killers. These school shootings are a red herring that mental health issues are being ignored in school, by parents and by society as a whole.

What kind of example does the DEA set when they bust a pot grower with a swat team armed with assault rifles? I have a friend named Rick that would never hurt anything living: doesn't and never wants to own a gun: when the police raided his dispensary, they busted in with the swat team armed to the teeth with overpowered weapons as if Non-violent peace loving Rick was dangerous.

Watch an episode of the TV series "Revolution" and see what kind of violence is in our mainstream media and culture.

Bullying in school remains an unresolved problem, the elephant in the room. No one wants to address this issue, but if no one does, one more person is going to be pushed to the point of snapping, and we will have yet another tragedy to deal with. Bullying gives rise to angry depression, social isolation, fear and frustration: the exact things that drive these mass killings by psychotic people who have unresolved mental diseases.


Salena Ashanti Farris 

Perhaps you should be attacking lack of access to healthcare then, that our lack of free access is unpatriotic, i hope someday you get to protect and exercise your right, it seems you are a solid candidate for that, in the mean time, none of these people are protecting anyone, maybe ull be packing the next time you are in school and can save everyone, or when u go watch a movie, u can be a hero


Aaron Schwarz

I think the lack of universal health care is disturbing. I understand why people oppose universal health care (because government is poorly run and inefficient). I think everyone deserves basic access to health-care, especially mental healthcare. That was my point all along! Crazy people are the problem here. Crazy people make the lives of those whom they interact with worse. Crazy people need serious professional mental help: people seem to want to have the government debt spend on more wars... 70% of the budget to the DOD while the tax payers and their friends and family are neglected.

You hit the nail on the head Salena, If given the opportunity, I will be a hero. Some have already claimed that I have saved them by sharing the truth about organic food, fossil fuels, and energy conservation. I believe my purpose on Earth is to help other people. I believe I am here to defend the defenseless, to give a voice to those who cannot speak, to stand up for what is right and fair, for equal rights, for truth, for freedom, for kindness and for love. My faith in God and Christ Jesus has inspired my greatly, through my lovely partner Megan Otto, to become a kinder, nicer person. I never want to pull the trigger: I never want to have to use my gun. I have brandished it to stop criminals, as a visual deterrent to stop crimes. I love all other people, especially the sick, broken and hurting among us. I understand that people disagree with my gun enthusiasm. I understand why people agree with me that reasonable gun control laws make sense. I enjoy knowing that most of my friends seem to understand and agree with me that guns are good when they are in the hands of Good people that will only use the guns to keep everyone safer.

I should probably restate the following fact:

I carry a gun because I love other people! (so that I can protect them from a violent attack by an armed criminal if we are at a school, theater or other public place where some deranged mentally ill person goes on a shooting rampage, or for other self defense reasons) I never want to hurt anyone, because I love anyone, but I feel I can do a lot of good in this world, and need to protect my life and the lives of those around me)

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