What changes to the mental health system would make a difference in situations like these? The shooter in Connecticut had a wealthy family, with access to resources. So it isn't as if giving everyone access to treatment resources will make a difference.
Is the idea that people showing signs of a breakdown or with a mental illness diagnoses should be "locked up"? If so, who decides where the danger point is? Who pays for it? How long are they detained, considering they haven't done anything yet?
Do we only "test" those that have shown a propensity for violence? Or do we test everyone and red flag and detain those that test outside certain parameters?
If we decide to not lock them up, but rather restrict their access to guns, where do we start and stop? Is it only the household that is banned from keeping guns? Are the police responsible for checking the home? Or will it be the mental health professionals job? Can the neighbors next door have guns? After all, we wouldn't want the dangerous person to be able to sneak in and steal the neighbor's guns, right? So how far out from the targeted home will we ban guns? A block? A mile?
If we decide to provide armed, trained marksmen for our schools, how many will be needed at every, single school in the country? Just one, for the front door? One for every door? How many will be needed to provide coverage for recess and lunch? How about during morning drop off and afternoon dismissal? Those are pretty chaotic times in the school day. It would take more than one armed cop to police the entire property. Maybe a couple of armed guards at the drive way entrance could check every single person trying to enter?
What if a shooter grabs an eight year old hostage? Will the policy be that the shooter is taken out, regardless of collateral damage? Can you imagine that press conference? "Sorry about the dead kid, but on the bright side...".
And just like with the mental health issue, who will pay for this? Will the cost be absorbed by the police departments? Or the school district?
THESE people are the ones who scare me the most- how can we be safe when there are psychos walking around amongst us, with concealed weapons, eagerly looking for a chance to pull that gun out and blow someone away?
we need to stop these people before they start blowing away kids playing with water pistols and innocent bystanders.
FEWER weapons, not more. NO concealed weapons. Strict controls on how guns can be stored and transported- unloaded, locked up at all times.
Having "armed guards" may actually backfire- if you're planning to shoot em up, and you know there is an armed guard, you'll come in prepared with extra-heavy weaponry and armor, or perhaps just skip straight to the bombs. Arms-races always escalate. You don't want to start an arms race, you want to stop them.
There are very very few people that carry concealed weapons feel this way. They are not walking around itching for a gunfight or to blow someone away. They are just normal everyday people that prefer to have a way to protect themselves should someone threaten them. There was a gentleman in the Portland mall shooting that was carrying a concealed weapon. He drew his gun and had the mass shooter in his sights, but didn't fire because he felt there were too many people moving around behind the shooter. He wasn't itching for a gunfight and he behaved reponsibly and as he was taught in his concealed carry classes. He represents the majority of people with concealed weapons.
Should everybody be armed? No! Because not everybody wants to be armed and nobody should force anyone to have a gun if they don't want it. But at the same time please respect those that do want to have that extra measure of protection.
Here's the thing, I know a mentally unstable person that owned guns. He showed up at my house (family friend from high school) during an off-med binge. He had already by this point broken into a bar totally vandalizing and stealing. Anyway He genuinely frightened me, I don't feel fear often, not that kind. It was awful. We have a gun around every door for varmints.
He is an extreme bi-polar. I've known him since I was 12 years old. His sister is my older sisters best friend. WE ARE OVER 50 years old.
Anyway my point is he could legally own guns, crazy as a loon off meds but he had no felony until the above weekend. He was back on the meds as a plea bargain, did not go to prison, went off his meds, went on another yahoo binge. Now he's going to prison. Thank gawd he didn't kill anyone these last 3-4 years. I really feel for him and his family. His sister was here with my sister a couple months ago. She said D wants you to call him....I can't and I won't.
I don't know if greater access to mental health will help or not but I wish more people would have it, it SEEMS like it would help. i could see local school districts deciding for themselvs if they want to invest in security measures or not. I don't know about arming teachers, no opinion on that as I can see both sides of it. My main concern is that I do not support arming anyone who does not want to be armed! That should be a choice. And we need teachers to teach!! Not be annie oakleys! but if they want to, I can see that too. the problem with gun control is that good guys will always be playing catch up to criminals who will always get them, always modify the legal ones and so on. They do that EVEN WITH RESTRICTION we have now, although I also agree that we need to enforce the ones we have now!!
.... in the opening moments of the Columbine massacre Neil Gardner was not wearing his prescription eyeglasses but was instead wearing non-prescription sunglasses
Yes, but according to his own sworn testimony, he was able to give a detailed description of the shooter he exchanged gunfire with. If he was close enough to do that, you would think he was close enough to aim. His description was judged accurate by the crime scene report.
Good Heavens! No one is advocating all carrying guns. But what is being said is that those who chose to do so legally shouldn't be told they can't! Oh, by the way, God bless our our troops, especially our snipers!
I think you missed the point. I did watch the NRA news conference and the theory is that having "good guys with guns" will make everyone safer. Except that Columbine HS had "good guys with guns" and Virgina Tech had an entire police department with "good guys with guns" and Fort Hood had many "good guys with guns" and non of them changed the outcome.
As another poster stated, where do you limit this "protection" should malls have snipers strategically placed ? Should movie theaters ? Where do you draw the line and who should not be "protected" ?
I think the mental health card gets played way too soon and too often.
But, perhaps that is to calm the masses into thinking it was a rare incident.
There have to be females with mental health issues, so why do we not see any of them going on a killing spree?
It's obvious ... men & women ARE different. Why are there more women than men on COTH? There are exceptions, I dated a women taller than me. But most women are shorter than I. As an outlier myself here... there are exceptions but taken as whole populations, one can make generalizations.
That's not a full list, MHM. There are far more than that, and they do attack strangers (check out the Deadly Women series on Investigative Discovery). They usually don't do it in such a visible way as men.
I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.
A school (or a church, mall, political rally, etc.) are what military folks call "soft targets." They are designed for easy access and have a "mind set" of openness and welcome. This is normally a Good Thing. It also make the job of the thug (demented; motivated by religion or politics; or just wanting to be famous) very easy.
Assigning armed security to a school is no "radical, new" idea. It's been around for decades in inner city schools (some of which have histories of violence that stretch back to the 1950s). Armed resource officers have been in schools in our county since the '90s.
The person who chooses to engage in a mass shooting in a public place may be evil or unbalanced. They are not necessarily stupid. They plan the event as carefully as they can and execute it as well as they can. They pick "soft" targets because shooting up a police station is generally not something that will rack up much of a body count.
So any action that makes the "soft" target problematical for the thug is a Good Thing. Of course we must consider the "unintended side effects" of any action proposed.
Further, a single, armed security guard would be a known quantity and would, in fact, be a target for the thug if the thug decided to attack that target in spite of the guard. The thug might kill the guard first. Or just note his location, go where the guard wasn't, and begin their action; then await the guard's response, "bushwack" the guard, and then resume the original program. Clearly a single, armed guard is some deterrent but not a strong deterrent.
A second line of defense would be to permit teachers, administrators, staff, etc. exercise the powers granted by CCW permits. Note that this is NOT a demand that we "arm teachers" but rather permitting those who "pass muster" to carry on school grounds. "Passing muster" would mean qualifying to a state issued CCW permit.* It would also likely mean additional evaluation of and training for any person who wished to fill this role.
This would grossly complicate the thug's problem. While the "resource officer" would be easy to spot the "armed teacher" would not. I would also equip the armed teacher (as well as all other official school personnel) with a "silent alarm" that they could activate if they believed trouble was immanent.
Many people try and compare the U.S. to Europe on the issue of gun violence. It's worth noting that successive regimes of Nazi occupation and Communist/socialist governments essentially eliminated private firearm ownership by the late 1940s. Mass killings using firearms still occur, but with a much lower frequency. This proves that even total bans are not a guarantee of "no incidents."
EU countries also have a much different criminal justice system that is much more friendly to the state taking custody of a person suspected of serious mental illness or of planning a criminal event. As there is no Second Amendment in Europe neither is there a First, Fourth or Fifth.
Persons who want to engage in a mass shooting are not going to be "halted in their tracks" by any, one action. It's going to take a "layered defense" which likely begins with people associated with a potential shooter noting behaviors that suggest they are a threat. Note that this is a beginning, not an end. Putting real, substantial barriers in front of them are also part of the program. Addressing firearm ownership within the limitations of the Second Amendment is part of the program.
*I heard on NPR (IIRC) that persons holding CCW permits commit crimes at a rate lower than the general population. They even commit crimes at a rate lower than police officers. They are the penultimate "good citizens." They are a resource that could be effectively used.
If you aren't willing to accept or support ANY changes in gun/ammo laws or regulation, then I'm not at all sure you are.
Wel I like to think that by providing offenders with mental health services, I AM doing something, but I can see not everyone would see it that way. I also work hard to see more peole GET mental health services because I thnk that is helpful as well. AND I have pretty interesting conversations with frirend who are very much for gun control, to at least on our own figure out what seem like potential, even if probably unworkable, solutions (noted on debate during last OT day). I think at least being open to discussion, ie not calling people names, not making it personal, focusing on the merits of ideas, IS working towards something, but again, it might not be as obvious as a specific recommendation. I am in favaor of enforcing what we do have on the books!