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Old January 10, 2011, 06:04 PM   #76
Glenn E. Meyer
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Sorry, I was referring to the handgun ban in the UK. It is a good point to mention that the disturbed person will try substitution.

The UK case is made as a succesful example for handgun controls in rampages but certainly not in crime statistics.
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Old January 10, 2011, 06:24 PM   #77
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Double Naught Spy,

The laws can have the opposite effect of their intent as well.

Look at child molestation laws which now track pedophiles, enhance sentences, and send them away for long periods of time.

They used to offend, get caught, go to jail, get out, re-offend, get caught, etc. etc. ad nauseum. It wasn't the best system but it worked.

Now, with all of these enhancements, they can't permit any witnesses to live so they kill the kids. It didn't used to be that way. The unintended consequences of the law have caused great damage. They don't want to go to jail so they try to eliminate the witness. The incidence of child killings is on the rise and has been for several years.

There has to be a fine line drawn which delineates the punishment for the crime which does not cause the offender to commit further, or more heinous crimes. If the punishment fits the crime, most offenders are willing to accept their punishment. Once the punishment exceeds that threshold, the offender starts to conjure the means to avoid that enhanced punishment which usually means committing a more serious crime.

So how do we get to a point where this type of crime, which occurred Saturday, will not occur at all? We can't. It will always happen. This time it happened to a congressperson; but next time it could be a member of a biker gang or a housewife.

Taking firearms would only change behavior such as it has in Britain. They outlawed firearms so knife crimes came to the fore. They outlawed knives so striking weapons came to the fore. Now, they simply call everything "offensive weapons"; and that definition is up to whoever happens to be standing there. Do not deign to defend yourself with your umbrella as it then becomes an "offensive weapon". They have simply done away with the term "defensive weapon".

Laws have to be balanced very carefully. Once they go out of balance, usually due to the desire of politicians to show they are "doing something", the unintended consequences rear their ugly head. That is when good law, or laws passed with good intentions, go very bad.
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Old January 10, 2011, 06:52 PM   #78
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I had this exact discussion with a co-worker today.

Yes maybe there are laws that would have prevented this from happneing.

But in a free country this kind of thing is going to happen

Freedom is not always pretty, sometimes it's messy, sometimes it's bloody and yes, tragically, sometimes it's deadly.

Oh, and by the way. Murder is already illegal. End of story
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Old January 10, 2011, 07:02 PM   #79
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What kind of law would have prevented this? No gun law ever written would have stopped this tragedy. Prohibition-type laws don't work. They didn't work with alcohol, they are not working with drugs, and they won't work with guns.

Having said that, prior to a court decision in the 1970's, it was much easier to force somebody with such bizzare behavior to get mental treatment. In the 1970's, the courts decided that locking some nutjob up in a mental health facility was unconstitutional unless said nut was shown to be a danger to others or himself! The proble with that is that we often don't know that the person is a danger until something like this happens. Then, it is too late. On the other hand, given the mindset of some leftists, if it were easier to lock somebody up for being crazy, a lot of us might be forced into rubber rooms just because the leftists think that libertarians are nuts and evil.

The guy was of legal age. Nobody could make him get help.
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Old January 10, 2011, 07:19 PM   #80
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The condition of irrationality precludes the notion that cause/effect, actions/consequences have a relationship in the mind of the actor. The irrational actor doesn't form these associations in a logical manner (you can observe this in his Youtube rantings), so a person like this isn't going to be in the least dissuaded by what would seem to him a peculiar if not absurd concept. He might acknowledge that there are laws, but feels that they either don't apply to him or are insignificant. You can pass a million such laws, but the irrational person will give them no credence and will not modify his behavior in any way to conform to them. If anything, he will take delight in breaking them, and thus (in his world, at least), confirming to the world their irrelevance/insignificance.
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Old January 10, 2011, 07:40 PM   #81
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Let's toss something else into the mix:

http://thechollajumps.wordpress.com/...upniks-office/

Quote:
by James Kelley

Jared Loughner is a product of Sheriff Dupnik’s office
Jim again, I won't quote the whole article as there's a lot of editorial and speculation, but the "meat" of it is short:

Quote:
Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation.
I checked around and found partial confirmation from Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0824904120110109

Quote:
Dupnik said there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against Giffords.
If the death threats were ignored due to nepotism, that's huge and turns this whole sick thing around...esp. since Dupnik has taken the lead in the "blame the right" game.
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Old January 10, 2011, 08:43 PM   #82
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As usual it comes to light that there were signs and they were ignored. If the sheriffs department ignored these death threats and dissuaded victims from pressing charges using the lie that he was being managed by the mental health system heads need to roll. Since this sherriff not only jumped on the blame the right band wagon but was essentially the person who turned the key I'm the ignition and drove it off it seems he is trying to cover his rear.
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Old January 10, 2011, 08:58 PM   #83
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According to an NPR article:

Quote:
"As we understand it, there have been law enforcement contacts with the individual where he made threats to kill," Dupnik said during a press conference Saturday evening. But he wouldn't say who those threats were aimed at.
Terroristic threats are punishable in Arizona by a prison sentence of up to three years. Anyone convicted (or under indictment) of a crime, even a misdemeanor, for which they can be sentenced to more than one year in prison, is disqualified from buying a firearm (see question 11c on the 4473).

Had Loughner been charged and indicted, he wouldn't have been able to buy a gun, at least from a dealer.

As Jim implied, there was nothing wrong with the system here. Rather, it appears that the people running it simply weren't doing their jobs. That makes a huge difference.

At least he's not still blaming the Chinese.
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Old January 10, 2011, 09:17 PM   #84
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The real answer is no law could have stopped this maniac. He was dead set on what he did, if he had used a bomb, a knife, a car or poison he would have found a way.

As long as we live in a free country no constitutional law could have stopped this.


@ Jim, I think nepotism MUST have been in play.

I know a guy who's father was a VERY high ranking official in the Chicago Police Dept. He escaped MULTIPLE felony's that would have equaled decades in jail because of his fathers position. I imagine much the same is true everywhere. If their was any case of special treatment due to his father being a LEO, I think all officials involved need to be charged as accessories.
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Old January 10, 2011, 10:57 PM   #85
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Fortunatly we have a republican/tea party majority in the house and i do not think any new firearms legislation will be forth coming.
I pray you are correct...I hope reason overcomes emotion...
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Old January 10, 2011, 11:00 PM   #86
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Maybe that's just me. But when you publicly murder someone, ALL of your rights are forfeit except those concerning your trial and punishment.
An emotionally satisfying idea, but one with huge legal issues. Not the least of which is the presumption of innocence. Even with hundreds of eyewitnesses and video showing the act, one is not legally guilty until convicted. And then there is the whole issue of other people writing about the "suspect", the act, his past, beliefs, etc. How do you stifle them, within the law? You can't.

Yes, it would be the morally responsible thing for the media to do, to simply report the bare minimum of facts, shunning the (accused) killer, and denying them the fame that they are seeking. However, since there is money involved, I don't hold great faith in the media doing the "right thing". They will claim, as they always do, that the public has a right to know, and they have a responsibility to tell the story. For profit.

OK, we all recognise that no law will prevent a committed individual (technically insane or not) from attempting their choice of action. And that since they have complete initiative, it is extremely difficult to prevent that action from being at least partially successful. We have been expending great effort to do that against terrorists, and have not been completely successful at that, even with the full abilities of the US govt at work.

And that is because those people who are trying their best to be our protectors are human, and simply cannot know all, and be everywhere at all times.

And if they could, would you want to live under such ..rule?

The law of unintended consequences is still strongly at work, and added to that is the delusion of political correctness so strongly held by so many people. So, any ...adjustments.. to our system must be made with care, and deliberate consideration. We must avoid the temptation to rush any (and all) sorts of "fixes", because what they could lead us to is something that is far from what we would wish to become.

Lowering the bar for what consititutes "mentally defective" and needing offical intervention is something that has a tremendous risk. Ultimately that slippery slope could turn us into a nation of informers, and give every petty public official a means to control our lives, similar to the Soviet Union. Only instead of party loyalty or dedication to the communist cause the buzz words will be public safety. Or at least they will be, at first.

We are already passed the point where what used to be considered unreasonable searchs are accepted as a condition of employment, in the name of public safety. Random drug screening is common today, and accepted, where it was once considered a breach of your privacy rights absent due cause.

Losing your job because your employer believes your "obsession" with firearms is a sign of a mental defect is a forseeable outcome. Of course, there will be nothing personal about it, its just their insurance risk keeping you on staff is too great, you understand....

Gun magazines, internet sites, etc., could become pornography in the new order, any interest in such things would be "proof" of a mental abberation, and of course, in the interest of public safety, and for our own good, treatment would be ordered by the state. Sound impossible? I don't think so. What the human mind can conceive, man can achieve. All it takes is enough time, and enough effort. Actually making it happen can be tricky,
But we have true believers working for it all the time. And they never let a good crisis go to waste!
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Old January 10, 2011, 11:08 PM   #87
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If the death threats were ignored due to nepotism, that's huge and turns this whole sick thing around...esp. since Dupnik has taken the lead in the "blame the right" game.
There's somethin' rotten down Pima County way.....

.....which strengthens my belief that that no Bureauacracy is free from corruption. The more discretionary power it has, the more it will be abused.
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Old January 11, 2011, 03:25 AM   #88
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Quote:
There's somethin' rotten down Pima County way.....
You ain't kiddin!

I live in Tucson these days and yeah, it's bad. How bad, you ask? If you have an hour and a half to kill, here's how bad:

http://www.blip.tv/file/4320635
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Old January 11, 2011, 09:40 AM   #89
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Focusing just on the mental health laws for a minute, I would have agreed with the following statement yesterday...

"In the 1970's, the courts decided that locking some nutjob up in a mental health facility was unconstitutional unless said nut was shown to be a danger to others or himself! "

Arizona has a completely different law. Anyone can petition the court and report a person who is mentally ill but doesn't seem to be aware of it. The system can then do an evaluation. What I read in the paper this morning also said that nobody called and the state mental health system has no record of him.

____________

One of his classmates sent a series of e-mails to friends and family. From 6/14...

"We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon."
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Old January 11, 2011, 09:44 AM   #90
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They should go ahead and give her a degree or two. She's smarter than the college employees.
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Old January 11, 2011, 10:02 AM   #91
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They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.- Benjamin Franklin

Many denizens of teh internets often cite the above quotation to bolster their position. Perhaps to some of us, too often. However, to my mind it rings ever true.

Notice how Franklin made the point of saying essential liberty.

Now, I ask you one and all. What liberties are more essential to our great republic, than free speech and the right to keep and bear arms?

Yet, in the wake of this recent tragedy there is a concerted effort to curtail both. We can debate their chances of success, the reasonable limits of our rights, etc. However, that doesn't change the fact that a full scale assault on free speech and the RKBA is happening.

In my view those efforts are a mockery to our constitution, our founders, and the men and women who have given their lives for freedom. How so you ask? Think of the tens of thousands that have died in battle for this country and then balance that against the hand full who recently died in AZ.

Tragic? Yes. Worth analyzing for the future? Yes

Worth giving up hard won essential liberties? NO
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Old January 11, 2011, 10:07 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
An emotionally satisfying idea, but one with huge legal issues. Not the least of which is the presumption of innocence. Even with hundreds of eyewitnesses and video showing the act, one is not legally guilty until convicted.

This is an issue that I've been considering for years. I really think there should be some sort of revamping of what it means to be "proven" guilty.

It has always seemed to me that crimes with audio/video recording and hundreds of witnesses should be proof enough.

Then again, I've always been of the opinion that it doesn't matter "why" it was done.... The insanity defense for example.... "Oh, yes, I shot 14 people because I'm insane.".... REALLY!? No kidding!!.... Seems like a guilty plea to me.... Since sane people don't go around shooting other people....

Ah well. If I were king of the world...
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Old January 11, 2011, 10:26 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
An emotionally satisfying idea, but one with huge legal issues. Not the least of which is the presumption of innocence. Even with hundreds of eyewitnesses and video showing the act, one is not legally guilty until convicted.
This was addressed in my statement...

Quote:
Maybe that's just me. But when you publicly murder someone, ALL of your rights are forfeit except those concerning your trial and punishment.
I wholeheartedly agree with your post though, as well as your sentiment. We've been doing the best we can, and creeps still get through. It happens. It's happened. And it's going to happen. There's really no way around it.

Life is sometimes tragic, often terribly so. I know that considering the demographic here, most of us men have our protection instincts kick in and it makes us mad to have to accept our powerless to stop something half a country away. It makes us even more mad to consider there is a group of people trying to limit what power we WOULD have had; had we been there. We can yell about it here until we're good and riled or until we came to a consensus; but after all of the brainstorming, yelling, and arguing, I'd find it disheartening if all of us didn't take the time to have a humanitarian reaction to this tragedy as well. Pull your phone out and tell your wife/girlfriend/kids/parents/friends that you love them. Kiss them all tonight before you go to bed. Take the time to enjoy your home and what it feels like to be a free American tonight. There are certainly many people rocked by this tragedy who won't be able to do the same. And it would be irresponsible to forget it.

~LT
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Old January 11, 2011, 10:36 AM   #94
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I don't know how he bought his ammunition, as I've read in OP's link he must have had some kind of 'stockpile', but along those same lines, Fox News had a guest yesterday that stated "he comitted the shooting with ammunition he purchased the very same day". Except for trying to incite lawmakers to enact ammo laws, I have no idea as to why this phrase would have been made on national television. And, has anyone ever watched just how fast some of our competitive shooters can reload magazines into their guns? Sorta makes worrying about a single large capacity magazine a moot point.
As food for thought, this case also proves the unviability of a certain state's new ammo fingerprinting law. Just how would there have been any different outcome in a case such as this? All was legal until the actual crime was committed.
Sorta like the nut cases get a 'freebie', as they can't be stopped until after they do something, in order to be entered into our present system, in order to catch their dangers, in the first place.
No additional laws would be of any use. I can't say what would be of use.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:19 AM   #95
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I didn't read all the previous posts but I read enough to know that this and almost all other proposed legislation wouldn't have prevented this tragedy.

I did work fairly closely with my state's legislature for 10 years. One thing I remember is a statement by one of our Senator's with 20 years in office: "You can't legislate morality or common sense."

The good news for law abiding gun owners (like those of us who frequent this venue) is that with the current makeup of the House of Reps, this bill nor anything similar to it will not make it out of committee.

What happened is a tragedy and the perp should obviously locked up and never let out.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:26 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy Mo
You can't legislate morality

Catchy, oft-repeated.... and entirely disconnected from reality.

Virtually all laws are designed to legislate morality.

Monogamy is the law.

It's illegal to kill people.

Forcible sex is illegal.

Racial discrimination is illegal.

Moral issues, all.

Even speeding is illegal... it's a moral issue, it's illegal because excessive speed endangers other people.


What we do, more often than anything else, is legislate morality.

Certainly, you can not make laws that change the heart of people. You can't make them "want" to do moral things. In the modern world, though, where so many people believe that "law" equals "morality" or "rights", what we do is exactly legislate morality.

In truth, what laws do is put morality in writing, so as to punish those who do contrary.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:35 AM   #97
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According to the Wall Street Journal, he bought his ammunition at a Walmart store hours before the shooting.

They said he was turned away from one Walmart but was sold ammo at another Walmart close by. Then Walmart later told the Journal that that he was not turned away from the first store, but left before completing the purchase.
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Old January 11, 2011, 02:30 PM   #98
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Strengthening the social safety net might have helped. Apparently the shooter's aberrations were reported and ignored.

Unfortunately while people argue about gun control, laws which might really help will be ignored and quietly killed.
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Old January 11, 2011, 06:00 PM   #99
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Prevent from happening--

All must carry. May not have prevented but it would have ended before 31 rounds popped off.

Quote from post #95
""The good news for law abiding gun owners (like those of us who frequent this venue) is that with the current makeup of the House of Reps, this bill nor anything similar to it will not make it out of committee.""


Dont bet much on that. We are for sure better off than last year but this was an attack on 'them' and they may move to fix it, quickly.
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Old January 11, 2011, 06:21 PM   #100
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Dont bet much on that. We are for sure better off than last year but this was an attack on 'them' and they may move to fix it, quickly.
Define "them." Gabrielle Giffords was a supporter of the 2nd Amendment to some extent. She signed on the Congressional brief in support of Heller.

Just as a thought experiment, let's picture Lautenberg's bill being proposed. What committee would approve it? How would it pass a (largely conservative) Republican-dominated House, much less in the Senate?

While a small minority in some quarters are blaming the gun, most people from all over the political spectrum are blaming the person.
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