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Old November 2, 2015, 12:17 PM   #1
mehavey
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Colorado Springs Killing -- and "background check" solutions

Noah Harpham has now been identifies as the killer, and apparently had exposed plenty of warning signs,
but who also apparently had absolutely no official record of any kind that would have been a flag on any
background check.

http://www.westword.com/news/noah-ha...stions-7306531
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.2420558

Does anyone have any constructive ideas how this could have been prevented short of the State using invasive
web crawler worms to collect/file away behavioral information -- both real and rumint/accusation -- on every
individual ?
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Old November 2, 2015, 12:48 PM   #2
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Sadly, there really is no way to prevent such things. Best you can do is reduce them, but 100% prevention is never going to happen particularly given a population of over 300 million.
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Old November 2, 2015, 03:02 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armed Chicagoan
Sadly, there really is no way to prevent such things. Best you can do is reduce them, but 100% prevention is never going to happen particularly given a population of over 300 million.
Exactly. As has been said, "The only thing certain about life is that nobody gets out alive."

Let's not forget that the worst school massacre in the history of the United States (Bath Township, Michigan, 1927) did not involve guns at all. The perpetrator planted dynamite under the school. The only reason the death toll wasn't double was that the school had two wings. He placed dynamite charges under both wings, but only one went off.

Similarly, the primary plan at Columbine was propane bombs, but they didn't detonate. The guns were the back-up plan. Do we need to run background checks before people can fill their propane tanks?

There was a school attack in Europe (Germany, IIRC) in which the perpetrator used a home-built flamethrower.

IMHO the best assurance for minimizing the deaths and injuries from such incidents is to arm as many people as possible -- just as Wayne LaPierre said after Sandy Hook. Of course, even that won't help much if some nut case mines a school with dynamite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

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Old November 2, 2015, 05:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Let's not forget that the worst school massacre in the history of the United States (Bath Township, Michigan, 1927) did not involve guns at all.
Another such grim incident—and a more recent one—was the deliberate killing of 149 other people by Andreas Lubitz, first officer of Germanwings Flight 9525.

This likewise did not involve any guns, and involved a perpetrator who displayed clear warning signs of depression and suicidal tendencies, as with several recent mass shooters in the U.S.
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Old November 2, 2015, 05:16 PM   #5
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It does no good to look at one incident and then try to find a way that will solve all incidents.
That never works.

Better to look at trends and try to find ways to impact a trend.

I.E. We know that 80% of all violent crime is committed by 10% of the criminals.
Best to look for ways to impact that 10% there by reducing violent crime as a whole.
Its the same rational that corporations look at when they realized that 80% of their personnel problems were caused by only 5 to 20% of their employees.
Thats were PIP's came from by the way. It makes no sense and is just a waste of resources implementing policies that affect the 80% who are not a problem.

Also look at our mental health system. Its a mess, no one could even make a case that it is not.
When you look at how many incidents have a mental health component.
Cripes we could be taking huge chunks out of this problem and not impact the Law abiding one bit.

Makes you wonder. It really is not that difficult a problem to get a handle on and implement meaningful solutions.
Wonder why they are not? Who or what is being served.
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Old November 2, 2015, 07:22 PM   #6
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Let's not forget cars. The recent tragedy at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade is an example of a mentally disturbed person killing strangers with her car. I don't see how these deaths are any less tragic than if she'd used a gun.

Yet I don't see any proposals that you should have a background check before you buy a car, that if you have a 30 year old domestic violence misdemeanor conviction you can't buy a car or have a driver's license, nor any proposed background checks for buying gasoline, nor bans on buying car parts over the internet. Oh, and let's not forget suing the car manufacturer.

Just as it's easy to spend other people's money, it's easy to gain a false sense of security by infringing other people's rights.

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Old November 2, 2015, 09:00 PM   #7
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WE also have:
Over 300 million people in the USA.As sad as these tragedies are,they are anomalies.I recall some federal statistics that showed buckets with water in them were involved with more child deaths than firearms.
Its a fact,we WILL always have SOME tragic firearms deaths.And bee sting deaths,and peanut allergy deaths....
I'm not making light of the tragedies.Its just reality.
With our population increasing from the 200 million I recall,to the over 300 million today,seems logical we would have 50% more incidents.

We have a tremendous technology these days,where nearly all information is at our fingertips.That means the news organizations simply have better access to the news of each event.
Worse,we have a media with an agenda,working to exploit tragedy for political purposes.

Add to this,whatever factors you choose to attribute it to,...politically,economically,and culturally,our country has decayed.
The family has crumbled.Many households are fatherless.Spiritual strength is lacking.
Joblessness,poverty,desperation,anger...desperation.Hopelessness.
The mismanagement of our nation is raising the pressure.

Its not about guns.As a matter of fact,I think the best chance for peace and safety lies with an armed responsible populace looking out for each other.
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Old November 2, 2015, 10:15 PM   #8
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Lets also not forget that signs of depression even suicidal tendencies are OTHER PEOPLES judgments, and most often only made public AFTER an incident happens.

He was showing signs....we hear this EVERY time, AFTER something bad happens. Along with the implied, "if we had only known..."

Trouble is, when you "know", you have to act, right? to do otherwise is irresponsible.

But what do you do? Report to the police??? If you are wrong, filing a false report is a crime. (leaving out the whole "cry wolf" thing)

And what if you're right, and the police are wrong???

Wasn't there one rampage killer who got a "health and welfare" check from the police, and passed, a day or three before going on his rampage??

There is no "standard" you can apply, about depression and what someone WILL do, you can only speculate on what they MIGHT do.

Depression, odd behavior, even obsession is NOT a crime. Are we to turn in every "weird" person to be evaluated by the system?

What happens when YOU are one of those people?? Slippery slope, one that leads to torches, pitchforks and witch burnings, at an extreme, camps and gulags taken in another direction, the possibilities are legion.

I'm fine with the idea of background checks, in principle, NOT as currently proposed. Restricting legal purchase ability for arms of those people with a history of problems (criminal) is sensible.

But selling a background check as safety, one that will stop people with NO history (background record of offenses) is a FLAT OUT LIE!

Even the scifi stories where they can SEE the future has them get things wrong, and we are no where near that good.

Pretending that we can, is lying to yourself. Telling us it will fix things is lying to the rest of us.
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Old November 2, 2015, 10:41 PM   #9
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I don't think you can ever tell when someone will snap. Sometimes there are signs, sometimes there aren't.

My adopted daughter is 20 years old. She has been attending college in South America. In June and July of this year, shortly before the end of what is first semester in the southern hemisphere, she tried to kill herself -- four times. There were no advance indications, and that's not just me saying that. Nobody in the family saw it coming.

She was back on her feet to come home for a visit the last two weeks of July. She was taking meds but she appeared to me to be happy, and over whatever it was that had triggered the suicide attempts. She left here the evening of the last Thursday of July, arrived in South American Friday morning, went off the the shore with a friend for the weekend -- and tried to kill herself Sunday night.

The ER pulled her through, she spent ten days in a psych clinic and was released -- two weeks later she tried again. She is currently in another clinic.

Psychology and psychiatry are not, no matter what anyone tries to tell you, "science." They are -- at best -- guesswork, with a dose of black magic thrown in to sweeten the pot.
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Old November 2, 2015, 11:07 PM   #10
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I get that about the undiagnosed cases. But there are plenty of diagnosed cases that dont get treatment. ESP as related to crime and criminals. And by far most violent crimes committed by people with mental issues have already been diagnosed.

As of right now its our city and county jails that provide the care for the mentally ill that are disposed to crime.
What normally happens is they get a examination and treated until they become stable. Once stable they are released onto the community.
They then become unstable again and do some thing to get arrested again.
Rinse and repeat until they finally do some thing bad enough to not get released. Usually involves violence.
I can understand the 1st time they are released. But not the 2nd time.
They have shown they can not follow out patient practices for care. That in and of its self should be grounds for committal to in patient care.

So we know about them, We have had them in our system and we could have helped.
This needs to be fixed. Not saying its all cases. But if you dont believe its true.
Just talk to ANY county jailer.

Its really not that hard to find workable solution. ( paying for them would be hard work) But if they solve the 10% problem and the mental health problem.
We are not even having this discussion.

Again it comes back too. Who is being served by this problem being there?
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Old November 3, 2015, 12:28 AM   #11
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People are way to quick to always call these people "crazy" or blame it on mental health. I don't think there are too many people who do not understand that it is illegal and wrong to just kill people. They are NOT crazy, they are just plain evil! They make rational decisions to kill and know exactly what they are doing....nothing crazy about it. Are all those terrorists willing to blow them selves up to collect their virgins crazy or mentally ill? Of course not, having a radical belief system does not make one crazy.

I don't think there are any forms or background checks that will identify evil individuals absent a criminal record.
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Old November 3, 2015, 12:54 AM   #12
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with all due respect to those who are affected by this, I’m certainly not an expert nor am I saying who should or shouldn’t be institutionalized but in another conversation on the same subject it came up that we used to institutionalize those with serious mental disorders, such as depression, suicidal, schizophrenia, bipolar etc. but phased that out in place of letting unqualified society (family members, jail) and medications to take care of today’s struggling people. Like pause for the COZ said the ones in jail eventually get let out.

That seems like a plan that’s not working out so well now in the long run. I figure the big pharmaceutical industry made it this way on purpose and doesn’t care about these cases of violence that prove its not working, they put whatever price they want on meds.
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Old November 3, 2015, 08:56 AM   #13
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Unfortunately the asylums we had were fairly horrific which is why they got shut down. Inhumane was the keyword for most of them. Lots of people who probably shouldn't have been locked up ended up in them. The stigma attached to them was so bad that they were beyond fixing.

While we could probably do a much better job of it now, the stigma still remains and there's no political will on either side to try and get something going again. I mean heck, some people are already trying to push that gun ownership as a mental illness

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Old November 3, 2015, 12:34 PM   #14
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so we traded horrific conditions for the institutionalized for horrific conditions for happy healthy sane people who are in the wrong public place at the wrong time...


then to put a cherry on top we make these public places gun free zones.
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Old November 3, 2015, 02:34 PM   #15
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Because of COs stricter gun laws, this has quickly faded from the news headlines.
There's a couple of stories trying to blame it on open carry, but it's all but disappeared.
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Old November 3, 2015, 03:18 PM   #16
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Now it looks like the media is partially blaming the 911 dispatcher for 'blowing off' the caller about a man with a gun.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-...0dzB&ocid=iehp

When the caller called 911, the dispatcher replied that open carry of a firearm is legal, and there was no reason to send an officer to check it out. Minutes later the guy started shooting. So it's the dispatcher's fault for not sending the police.
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Old November 3, 2015, 03:23 PM   #17
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Watch the news lately?

There is an extremely LARGE portion of society that is on the verge of insanity and is vocal about violence against police and other segments.

This stuff is all hindsite related. Someone commits a crime, and then others go find a video or post or picture that shows them with a gun or rant somewhere and this is an "obvious clue."

Newsflash - tens of millions of angry or frustrated people didn't kill anyone.

This is not a gun problem or a violence problem that can be solved by direct legislation. This is a humanity and heart problem...
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Old November 3, 2015, 04:42 PM   #18
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I tell people all the time who bring up these shootings: "back in paw paw's day, you could buy a fully-auto tommy gun for what would be about $2G in todays money. But there were nobody shooting anyone up like today. So what changed?"
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Old November 3, 2015, 10:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
"back in paw paw's day, you could buy a fully-auto tommy gun for what would be about $2G in todays money. But there were nobody shooting anyone up like today. So what changed?"
ALSO point out that paw paw could buy that Tommygun over the counter OR mail order, with NO background check, no delays, no special licenses, or forms to fill out. He handed the clerk the money, they handed him the gun and a receipt.

And look at the most famous mass shooting of that era, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. By today's standards, it barely qualifies as a mass shooting. And it was a gang shooting!

What's changed? Lots.

Too much to easily list, but one thing appears certain, people seem much more willing to shoot other people today than they were in the past.
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Old November 3, 2015, 11:49 PM   #20
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Cripes we could be taking huge chunks out of this problem and not impact the Law abiding one bit.
As others have said, many were law abiding before their acts and there are thousands and thousands who show the same signs and never perpetrate these acts of violence. YOu have to restrict ALL of them if you wnat to make a dent in these acts.

I know of a person with a very serious "mental illness" making him a danger to a certain segment of society. He is currently under investigation by the FBI. He has multiple prior convictions. He has admitted to illegal acts and that he is unable to control himself. He has admitted, that given the chance, he will do the same thing again. He has turned over evidence and a confession to the FBI and indicated prison is the only place he can be watched and kept under control. He claims he WANTS to be taken into custody. He thinks if he goes to prison it will save him from hell.

Everyone is waiting for his case to be heard by the grand jury and an indictment handed down so he can be taken into custody. It has been three months since the FBI raided his residence(obtaining an incredible trove of evidence) and as I understand it more than a year may pass before his case goes to a federal grand jury to be reviewed.

Given the situation, he was interested in going to a mental care facility. None will take him long-term.

I'd like to say this goes back to paying people who can't come close to holding down a job to keep popping out kids, but most of the mass murderers seem to come from middle class and above well educated backgrounds.
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Old November 4, 2015, 12:20 PM   #21
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Locally, a State institution for the insane was closed in the 1980's, and turned over to a tribal authority. Today, the tribe wants to divest itself of the site, and it's being looked at for a few public uses.

A mental institution is not one of them. No one cares enough about the issue to do anything towards getting the mentally ill off the streets.
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Old November 4, 2015, 01:11 PM   #22
A pause for the COZ
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Locally, a State institution for the insane was closed in the 1980's, and turned over to a tribal authority. Today, the tribe wants to divest itself of the site, and it's being looked at for a few public uses.

A mental institution is not one of them. No one cares enough about the issue to do anything towards getting the mentally ill off the streets.
I can understand why they are not.
Today even when it is shown that a perp has mental health issues.
The news media, politicians ect. Gloss right over it like they did not hear it. Then move on to what ever the cause they wanted it to be.

They dont want to look into any aspect of a problem that cant be made to disappear at least for the short term by passing a LAW.
Its going to take a serious amount of work to solve the problems.
They want nothing to do with that.

It wont get fixed until WE hold their feet to the fire and make them explain how they are going to fix the underlying reasons for this violence.

They just pop out. " Gun Gun Gun Gun Gun. We need to stop the Gun!"

Then when that fails. They use that as an excuse for nothing getting fixed.
Its just a shell game so they dont have to actually do any thing.

I mean I get it. The Federal and state mental institutions were a mess and were also not serving us well.
Closing them and just kicking out the mentally Ill was probably the worst solution.
But non the less its what they did. And washed their hands of the whole thing.
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Old November 4, 2015, 02:06 PM   #23
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so we traded horrific conditions for the institutionalized for horrific conditions for happy healthy sane people who are in the wrong public place at the wrong time...


then to put a cherry on top we make these public places gun free zones.
+1.

Let's destabilize society by letting all the mental patients out onto the streets so long as they promise to take their meds and behave themselves ..... and then when those people cause mayhem, punish all the people that DID NOT DO IT....... similar to the way they destabilize society by letting out thousands of violent felons because they don't want to build any more prisons, and then when those same felons cause mayhem, they insist we must pass yet more laws ...... that they will not enforce ..... because the prisons are full ......

....the whole deal is designed to control the population: You can't rule an honest man, so they will make criminals of everyone.
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Old November 4, 2015, 08:01 PM   #24
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While I agree that our asylums of old were bad, and that the closings were probably not the best solution in the long run, there are a few points still to consider before fastening on mental health care as the solution.

Federal money supporting the institutions went away, when??? I recall hearing (a lot) that Reagan was responsible for closing the asylums and forcing the mentally ill out on to the street.

So, lets look at that for a moment. The Reagan years were how long ago?? Shall we round off and say 30? or 25? even going with 25, it should be CLEAR that the people committing the mass shootings in recent years were NOT people who were "dumped on the streets" when the government "shut down the mental health hospitals".

Look at the most recent batch, 30s or younger, many in their 20s, not from the lowest income groups. These are not people who were in the system and got kicked out. Some of them "brushed the edges of the system", but were never IN the system. (at which point the hindsighters start pointing fingers, about how we KNEW and did nothing, etc).

The current background check push isn't aimed at STOPPING anything criminal, its about making second hand gun sales a crime without official sanction. And some of the laws are so poorly worded as to be unenforceable burdens on every one involved.

Sure, it SOUNDS simple and easy, but it isn't.

They will not (possibly cannot) allow ordinary citizens access to the background check system. SO, since we are not allowed to make a phone call, we have to go through someone who IS allowed. And that is mandated in the laws, some versions even giving limits to what may we may be charged for the service.

On a philosophical level FFL dealers might complain with the rest of us about the infringement of our rights, or about all the "extra work" they are being forced to do, but financially, they have to be smiling all the way to the bank.

After all, when he LAW creates your customer base, you probably aren't going to lack for business, ever.

We've pointed out already that no background check can have any effect on the actions of someone who has no background to be checked.

Also there is a level of insult to we, the private seller, as the background check laws do NOT allow us to use our own judgment. THE STATE will not accept what I know as valid, except as allowed in the statutes. They may generously allow me to sell or transfer a gun to a specific listed family member without a background check (done by an FFL in the presence of the person AND THE GUN) but that same law does not allow me to do that with a non family member who's background I have known FOR DECADES!!!

oh, and how about the insult of presumption of guilt when you "transfer" a gun to a gunsmith to have some work done, or have it stored?? They have to run a background check on you (the owner), before you can get it back!!!

Now we are told, over and over how this is to stop the "bad guys" from "getting guns". What a crock. IT doesn't, and it won't. As others have pointed out its a feel good do nothing solution that makes the politicians appear to care.
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Old November 4, 2015, 08:44 PM   #25
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I recall hearing (a lot) that Reagan was responsible for closing the asylums and forcing the mentally ill out on to the street.
That happened when Reagan was Governor of California 40+ years ago. The people released are at least in their 60s and 70s now. I don't think it had much to do with any of the recent shootings.
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