PostHeaderIcon Conversation On Gun Ownership

Our friend Greg wants a conversation on gun ownership so I have posted this document to “host” such a conversation.

Naturally, any valid discussion of gun ownership must include the idea of repealing the 2nd amendment to our Constitution. I say this because, given the wording and intent of the 2nd amendment, no meaningful controls on gun ownership are possible while said amendment exists.

OK Greg, start the conversation…

Troy

63 Responses to “Conversation On Gun Ownership”

  • Greg says:

    Thank you, Troy! 🙂

    Unlike what Troy says, I think that there can be laws that don’t necessarily limit your right to have a gun. For instance, is it “right”/not suspicious that someone purchases as many rounds as the killer in Aurora does? Is it not suspicious when someone purchases those rounds plus, say, 5 guns all at once?

    My concern is twofold:
    1) There needs to be stricter enforcement of the laws that are already on the books. I have no problem with someone buying a gun. The only thing is, I do have problems with everyone in that theater having a gun and using them all at once. It would certainly make sense to have one or two people in there with a gun in case of this tragedy, but to have all people with guns going off in a dark theater–seems chaotic at best, a recipe for disaster at the worst.

    That being said, I think the following laws must be on the book to mitigate the above scenario:

    1) The person using the gun must be given training on when it is acceptable to use a gun. Seems common sense; unfortunately some people (but my no means all, or even a majority) with guns lack common sense.
    2) Training on how to use a gun in a crisis situation.
    3) They also must be given a prerequisite interview by the seller of the gun as to “how do you plan to use it?” This would strengthen the impact on the seller at would help him discern, more so, whether the purchaser is up to no good. Also, it should be up to the seller (if it isn’t already) as to whether to give the gun to the purchaser.

    Further, in the event of a mentally deranged man shooting up some place, the seller, the shooter, and all those involved in his getting the gun must be held legally responsible. In the case of Columbine, I believe they got the guns from Wal Mart. Wal Mart’s policies should be looked into to determine if it was an oversight (no charges in that case) or if it was gross negligence. In the event of the latter, the seller would be open to lawsuits. I also believe that, if one does sell thousands of clips and many guns to someone all at once, that this purchase must be recorded and on the books somewhere. If nothing comes of it, no harm, no foul.

    The unwritten and agreed-upon rule between all dealers (again, not on the books, but an agreed collaboration–much the same as it is an unwritten rule that you don’t bunt for a base hit in the bottom of the 9th in the midst of a no-hitter. It’s not enforced, and is not official, and is legal–but frowned-upon) should generally be “if the guy buying the gun looks shady, don’t sell the gun to him.” <– this, I think should be the general rule and hence not even a law–if it isn't already.

    (All of the above should be done in such a way so as NOT to cause inconvenience to the 99% of people who want a gun and would not look shady, buy thousands of clips of ammo and several guns at once, etc.)

    The last thing should be: There are laws on the books that certain requirements be met for you to SELL a gun. If it is ever found out that you are not meeting those requirements, you should be fined and your practice suspended.

    The concern I have in all of this is: I want to keep track of anything that looks over-the-top. If I buy a handgun with one clip of ammo, no harm, no foul. But I do want to make sure the dealer at least asks me what I am going to use it for.

    The above, in my opinion, does not infringe terribly, if at all, on the second amendment. It only limits the AMOUNT of guns/ammo that can be purchased at ONCE.

    Again, this is a perfect world scenario which works better on paper. What say you, Dave and Troy? What would make those around the psycho with the gun, safer?

    • Greg says:

      Oh, the second point I wanted to outline which I did below, was the dealers themselves should be the first line of defense, and not the government.

    • Troy says:

      Unlike what Troy says, I think that there can be laws that don’t necessarily limit your right to have a gun.

      Let us start with the exact wording of the 2nd amendment: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

      From an online dictionary:
      1. to violate or break (a law, an agreement, etc.)
      2. to encroach or trespass

      For instance, is it “right”/not suspicious that someone purchases as many rounds as the killer in Aurora does? Is it not suspicious when someone purchases those rounds plus, say, 5 guns all at once?

      Pray explain how limiting the number of weapons or the number of rounds of ammunition is NOT infringement?

      The loon purchased ~6K rounds of ammunition. You imply that such was “too many”. But, how many rounds did he actually fire in the theater? And, if he had purchased exactly THAT number, would that have been “too many”> Same question regarding the number of guns.

      I have no problem with someone buying a gun. The only thing is, I do have problems with everyone in that theater having a gun and using them all at once. It would certainly make sense to have one or two people in there with a gun in case of this tragedy, but to have all people with guns going off in a dark theater–seems chaotic at best, a recipe for disaster at the worst.

      By what possible method could the people running the theater decide which gun owner should be allowed to enter the theater armed and which should not? Sorry Greg but this borders on silliness.

      Plus, you have yet to comment on my scenario where the loon could have caused just as much havoc without using a single firearm.

      More responses to follow…

      Troy

    • Troy says:

      Greg,
      Several times, you used terms like “looks suspicious” or “looks shady” or “over the top”. These terms describe matters of opinion which will vary widely from one person to another. Ergo, how do we establish standards for “suspicious” or “shady” or “over the top”?

      I consider myself perfectly sane and have no intention of shooting up any places of entertainment. However, I may honestly believe (as I do) that our nation is on the brink of major chaos. To that end, I may choose to stock my basement with assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition so that my community has a chance to defend itself from marauding thugs. In your consideration, must I justify my purchases to some authority before I can make them? If so, might this not be the very authorities I will need to defend myself against? Would this not negate the very intent of the 2nd amendment?

      Is there something inherently ‘suspicious”, “shady” or “over the top” in my wish to protect myself, my family and my friends from a rogue government?

      I will close this with a counter suggestion. Rather than look with horror at the occasional Aurora shooting, why not measure the amount of weapons and ammunition sold in this country against the relatively few that are misused in this way then decide it there truly is a “crisis” worthy of intruding on one of our fundamental rights.

      Most of the ceaseless demand for curtailment of our 2nd amendment rights just happens to come from a lame-stream-media that routinely abuses its 1st amendment rights by lying to the public. Why is there no demand to curtail their rights?

      Troy

  • Greg says:

    I am not infringing on your right to OWN a gun; rather, I am suggesting that buying thousands of clips and many guns at once should raise flags, if not legally, then by the dealers selling the guns. There was an interview done with the owner of a firing range near Aurora. He said that something told him the shooter was up to no good. This is all that I am advocating. If you bought 5 guns and said, “Man, I live in a shady neighborhood, so I need to make sure that my family is armed,” that would be good enough in my opinion.

    Haven’t you ever had a feeling in your stomach (Not macro, but in your day-to-day life) that tells you that “something is not right here?” That’s all I’m advocating: if you don’t feel something is right, don’t do it. You do have a right, as a seller of ANY merchandise, to refuse to sell it if you have a reason.

    And I’m not advocating infringing on your rights; rather, what I am saying, is that you should have a right to bear arms. But if I, as the dealer, think you are up to no good, I should at least record your purchase in my own records and highlight it. That’s the first step: make sure dealers are knowledgable about potential safety risks.

    The second step is to make sure that the laws that are already in place are strengthened so that if you, as a dealer, are negligent, charges, etc. can be pursued. I also advocate getting rid of illegal dealerships.

    As for the theater problem: Well, if it’s a dark theater, and you don’t know who is shooting, couldn’t you wind up shooting someone in self-defense…who is only trying to shoot the guy with the guns trying to kill both of you? Something has to be said for this. While it’s not easy to regulate who has the guns, surely having everyone armed to the teeth would not solve the problem; the guy in Aurora was going to do it whether you were armed or not (most likely).

    No, there is not anything inherently fishy about your wanting to protect your family. A dealer who is tuned into the people around him wouldn’t detect that as fishy, either. But he still should be able to ask if something does not seem right, correct?

    What I am referring to is the concept of “thin-slicing.” “Thin slicing” is when you use the nanoseconds of information available to you to make a split-second decision. For instance, when you see a tennis ball being hit and you know exactly where it is going before it lands. The same thing can be applied, if you’re good enough, to people. You see someone in the park. Most people wouldn’t arouse a suspicion. But suppose you were taking pictures of children? You might very well be taking pictures of your own children… but if you were up to no good, other parents might pick up that “something is not right.” That is what I am advocating that dealers should be allowed to do without fear of reprisal: refuse someone a purchase if they detect something is not right. And if there’s anyone who should be “able” to do that, it would be the dealers, way before the police even detect something. He is, after all, the first line of defense.

    To the larger picture, that I probably did not successfully say, there is something to be said for the 99% who use guns responsibly. But surely we must also have a plan or something in place so that when the 1% does happen, we know how to react besides the mass chaos and everyone-shooting-everyone scenario I envision?

    There is something else: I advocate a society built on self-defense, and ONLY self-defense. As you (I think it was you) said earlier, violence occurs when there is a “Breakdown of reason.” Is not the “first move” (pointing a gun at someone, drawing a knife, etc.) done out of aggression in most cases? If there was a society with no “first moves,” your gun would be there to deal with the loony who made the first move, but! 99% of the people in a given situation would be trusting. It is far better to be in an environment built on trust than one of fear, is it not? 🙂

    • Greg says:

      Also, likewise, if thin-slicing “goes off” (For lack of a better phrase >.>) on one dealer, it might not to another dealer. That would be acceptable as well, because it at least gives the first dealer time to tell the others that “Wow this guy is weird,” and also would work because, even if it’s an additional stop, it makes it just a little harder for the psycho to get the gun. I think that that is worth it in my opinion.

      • Troy says:

        “Wow this guy is weird,”

        Once again, you seem to want to rely on subjective judgement to solve some “problem”. Sorry to sound over critical, but, IMHO, this shows a lack of maturity in your thinking.

        I will suggest, however, that there is an approach that could help ensure the proper use of firearms. It is the same approach that would help with virtually every problem we face… start actually educating people!

        Troy

    • Troy says:

      It is far better to be in an environment built on trust than one of fear, is it not?

      It is indeed better. That is why I trust my fellow citizens to own firearms even though I know a very small percentage of them will misuse them. Just as I know some number of my fellow citizens will misuse their automobiles, their cutlery, their martial arts training, a can of gasoline, or, anything else they might choose to misuse.

      I accept this as one of the consequences of liberty.

      I have no basis for commenting on a ‘system” that is based on opinion, “thin-slicing”, divining or whatever. For my part, any person running a business may choose to do business / or, to not do business, with anyone they chose for whatever reason they choose.

      I also advocate getting rid of illegal dealerships.

      Say what?? Are you implying that some of us advocate illegal businesses of any kind?

      If you bought 5 guns and said, “Man, I live in a shady neighborhood, so I need to make sure that my family is armed,” that would be good enough in my opinion.

      Given Twitter, Facebook, Texting, etc., just how long do you think it would take for this simple mantra to become the “standard” comment to be made when buying guns. Get serious Greg or I am going to stop conversing with you.

      Troy

      • Greg says:

        1) I’m just telling you how I see it, and am certainly not implying that you would advocate anything illegal. I know you better than that. But more emphasis should be placed on eliminating these illegal businesses. This could go a long way to avoiding a future shooter from just ordering a gun from this illegal business. I do not know for a fact, but it seems to me that there are an awful lot more illegal business than there should be, in any occupation, anywhere. Why not set off on trying to clean them up first?

        2) I am not suggesting a business be built on “Thin-slicing.” What I am saying is that if alarm bells go off in your head, you probably shouldn’t be doing whatever it is you are doing. Most gut reactions are correct, believe it or not. That’s why I think dealers are the “first line of defense.” — alarm bells go off in their head, then there’s something wrong in my opinion. Further, if you go from one dealership to the next. It goes off in the first one, not the second. Okay, fine, get the gun from the second one. No harm, no foul. The Aurora shooter may not have set bells off, but someone else might. It is not a perfect system, not should this be “legalized” in any form or another. I am suggesting, though that dealers be proactive. And again, 99% of people will NOT set alarm bells off in your head. It is the 1% of the time that it happens that concern should be for safety, not for profit.

        3) The example I provided is lame, and I sort of abandoned that as you see in my response to Daedalus.

        Remember, dealers can also engage in self-defense, which is what I am getting at. If they don’t feel the guy they’re selling the gun to can use it responsibly, don’t sell it to him.

  • Daedalus says:

    One of the functions of the Second Amendment is to enable citizens to protect themselves from and/or to eliminate those persons or governments egregiously violating their natural rights. It would in no way help an individual, in the process of providing for his considered needs, for a third party or the government to record what arms or ammunition he purchased. This would be used against him by entities intent on doing him harm. This last is confirmed by history. As to quantities bought, that provides no useful information. There are a great many reasons for variations in timing and quantities of ammunition and weapons purchased. The potential criminal is unlikely to confess to his reasons for purchase.
    Perhaps the only line of defense against the mentally handicapped is the cooperation of the people closest to them. The Aurora shooter had a psychiatrist. If that doctor was demonstrated to know the potential of her client for his behavior, and if she did nothing to prevent it, then it seems some criminal charges are in order. Charges that might range from malpractice to complicity in the crime.
    I don’t think this topic is considering the loss of Second Amendment rights when someone uses violence in the commission of a crime, so I won’t address that issue here.

    • Greg says:

      You pretty much have what I am saying, Daedalus. If something can be done to prevent it, and there is nothing done, shouldn’t not only the one who used the gun–but also those who PROVIDED it also be charged? I don’t hear a lot about that in the news. Usually, it’s a monetary fine or something, but I’d rather it be suspension of license to sell for a period of time (and courses, taught by a third party, to reinforce the safety of selling guns, maybe by a dealer licensed to teach on that topic) or something thereof, PLUS a fine, PLUS a lawsuit, rather than just put the shooter away.

      I think that that doesn’t really impinge on the 2nd amendment. I will revisit the idea of a dealer refusing to sell guns as the first (and in some cases, only) line of defense. Considering for a moment that the owner of the firing ranger who told his employees that under no circumstances (unless he met him) was the Aurora shooter, who had scheduled a target practice meeting there, supposed to take classes, was actually a dealer who told employees of his firm (or whatever you call it) that under no circumstances was the shooter supposed to buy weapons from HIS firm (and possibly pass his name around elsewhere), I think the situation could have turned out differently. Again, all that range owner had to go on was that feeling in his gut that “Something wasn’t right.”

      The key to making sure someone does not get a gun who is not “supposed” to (read: won’t use it responsibly) lies firstly, in my opinion, on the dealer. Then comes the psychologist, and then comes the law. The reason why I think this is because once the gun is sold, doesn’t matter if the authorities come back and say, “We have reason to believe [person x] is up to no good,” because that person already HAS the gun.

      The key, as is in any potentially dangerous occupation (guy wants painkillers, you’re the doctor) sometimes lies only, and ONLY in intuition. Dealers should be encouraged to use, and listen to, their intuition. Whether this would have helped or not is a different story.

      What I will agree on Troy is this: A gun is not for me. I will probably never own a gun. But that’s because it’s not FOR ME. I will not shove it down your throat that because I don’t like them, no one else can have it. What I would say is, listen to your gut before you give the guy a gun. If that guy breaks into my home, yeah, I’d like to have a gun in that instance, no doubt about it. I just don’t like them in general.

      And because 99% of us are good people, the 1% who are evil people who will use the gun for ill will might, just might, wind up getting screened out by our gut, if the emphasis on selling guns was changed to “I want a profit,” to “Is this really safe for our society.” Further, it would, in theory, remove the need for laws regarding gun control entirely if dealers were to be encouraged to use intuition and gut feelings FIRST before selling a gun.

      • Greg says:

        This: ” “Is this really safe for our society.”// should read, “Is this individual purchase really safe for our society?”

        • Troy says:

          “Is this individual purchase really safe for our society?”

          And who or where is the great sage who can reliably answer such a question? Of course, such does not exist.

          Any criteria for determining who can or cannot do a thing must be objective, not subjective. Subjective decisions are ALWAYS subject to some manner of personal bias. For instance, some gun dealers would tend to always be more suspicious of purchasers from a different ethnic group than their own.

          If all you are suggesting is that firearms dealers apply some common sense and reasonable judgement when selling their products, I contend that this is always the case with legitimate dealers because they do not want to lose their license.

          As for direct person-to-person transactions, I have no idea how those can be stopped in a free society.

          Far too often, attempts to make systems ‘foolproof’ end up doing nothing but making them so complicated that they hardly work at all.

          At the end of the day, you either trust your fellow citizens to own and use firearms or you do not. And, if you do so trust them, you must accept that a few will betray that trust. In a world of humans, such will always be the case.

          What you seem to seek is a system that trusts people to do the right thing except that it doesn’t trust them at the same time. Such a system must end up being just as schizophrenic as it sounds.

          A favorite tactic of the progressive movement, when they know that they cannot outright forbid something they dislike is to make it such a hassle that (they hope) fewer people will try to do it. For my part, I detest “hassle laws” and those who promote them.

          Greg, please remember one final thing… our laws were meant to punish people for wrongs they have done, not for what we might sorta-kinda feel they might do because there is something about them that does not fit our personal paradigm of correct.

          Troy

        • Greg says:

          Also, Troy? Thank you for elaborating on your position; it has helped me elaborate on my position. A lot of my problem stems from the idea that I know what I want in my head, but sometimes I can’t get it out in the right way. THis does help me. Thanks 🙂

  • Greg says:

    “If all you are suggesting is that firearms dealers apply some common sense and reasonable judgement when selling their products, I contend that this is always the case with legitimate dealers because they do not want to lose their license.”//This is exactly what I am saying. But I am also saying that greater emphasis should be placed on acting on it. Obviously, everyone’s “common sense”/”intuition” works differently. And there’s going to be people who slip through the crack, like the Aurora shooter. But, if we can be assured that all dealers use common sense/intuition and that the guy having a concealed carry license in the back of that auditorium over there is *most likely* (Again, things do slip through the cracks) not going to use it for ill will, I think society will be a better place for it, and will be much more geared towards your “Self-defense” ideals.

    Let me put it this way: If I got a gun license, never used it, and one day asked to borrow your gun (if such a thing was legal at the time I am asking it)–and I set off alarm bells in your head, would you not say “no?” Further, might you also tell other neighbors that things don’t seem right and to please not allow me to borrow their own guns. This is what I am saying. And the best part is: The dealers wouldn’t be “forced” to do this; it would be completely voluntary. There would be no law stating that if you don’t act on your gut instinct, you will face punishment. You can’t be responsible for the way your mind works in that instance.

    Instead, what I am advocating is for there to be a completely voluntary, unwritten code which is basically pointing out people who seem off to you to other dealers. If they decide nothing is “Wrong,” they can go ahead and sell the gun. But at least they would have more information at their finger tips.

    The one thing that I will not ever subscribe to is the hassle law that you outlined. Hassle laws are not a good way of regulating a society. Instead, it should be more of the “neighborhood watch” that I described: Not legislated, but common sense that you would tell others to watch out for someone who is looking suspicious. I am convinced that a good 20% of the 1% of true “bad guys” would be prevented from buying a gun just through an unlegislated, common sense approach. The problem with hassle laws are twofold:
    1) They might wind up having the opposite effect and encourage it through its tabooness.
    2) If I want to get a gun because I’m in a bad part of town, the hassle laws would prevent me from doing that. I could wind up on the street, dead.

    Something else jumped out at me: “As for direct person-to-person transactions, I have no idea how those can be stopped in a free society.” A very basic tenet here would be to say that both parties involved must have licenses–if you agree with licenses that is 🙂

    As to your last point, I’ll refer you to what I said above: If guns were sold using a good faith and common sense approach, without any laws at all, and leaving it up to dealers to make their own sound judgment without being frowned upon by society, we might need an age requirement (you don’t really want a 4-year-old with a gun in my opinion), but that would be it. The rest of the laws would not need to be on the books because we know that Joe over there with the assault weapon probably wants it for a collection or self-defense and that he’s probably not going to use it because dealers are communicating with each other constantly to make sure that an even smaller percentage of the bad guys don’t get a gun.

  • Daedalus says:

    On “Gut feelings.” First, my understanding of feelings is that they are a mind/body response to a previous value assessment. As a kid if you touched something obviously hot and got burned a few times you decided it was not a neat thing to do. Repetition of the experience automated the behavior. Later you had a “gut feeling” that touching hot things was not something you wanted to do. As Troy pointed out your feelings could result from many bases, race, creed etc. Acting on feelings with a following rational judgment of a situation is probably OK but just acting because of a “gut feeling” may cause you a great deal of trouble, not to mention a law suit or two.
    The gun club owner said he was suspicious because of unusual speech problems exhibited by Holmes. If Holmes sounded drugged or drunk that would be sufficient reason to not wish to do business with him. I am not sure it would merit calling the police. I don’t know what he sounded like to the gun store owner(s). I rest on my previous comment, “Perhaps the only line of defense against the mentally handicapped is the cooperation of the people closest to them,” such as family, close friends and counselors. Unless one can read minds there is not much else that can stop a determined, intelligent, psychotic from wreaking havoc with his fellow man. Again as Troy kind of indicated, it is a good thing he didn’t use an easily manufactured flame thrower, the results of which would have been more horrific.

    • Greg says:

      And then there is this:
      http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holmes-psychiatrist-schools-threat-assessment-team/story?id=16908862#.UBnYQI59nww

      My first reaction to this is: didn’t we just go through this with Penn State? You tell someone in the university, university goes, “Doesn’t concern us anymore,” and the issue dies. No. I would say the following, and someone talk me down on this if this doesn’t make sense to you (As always 🙂 )

      1) The UNiversity of Colorado should be fined/what have you for not reporting the crisis recommendation to police and law enforcement

      2) The firing range manager should be held a little bit responsible, I’m thinking “slap on the wrist” because he did not mention it to anyone else as far as the article says.

      3) Since the dealer had no knowledge of those two when the deranged man bought the ammo clips, he cannot be charged. I am advocating some form of system so he WOULD be notified in some way. If the dealer speaks to him, concludes it was just a bad day, sure, go ahead and sell him the gun. There would be no fault in the dealer as long as he has the information needed (And uses) to make an informed decision.

      4) Keep in mind that my concern here is to focus on the 1% of people who will use guns in violent crimes (psychopaths). The other 99% of people is not my focus, and it should be, if anything, EASIER for someone with a spotless record to get a gun. Was my system in place, the dealer would have had knowledge of both the psychiatrist and of the firing range manager and may very well have decided not to give him a gun.

      Keep in mind, we cannot catch ALL of those that get through. But we should be able to catch the people we CAN and this should be made EASIER in some form or another.

      • Troy says:

        My first reaction to this is: didn’t we just go through this with Penn State? You tell someone in the university, university goes, “Doesn’t concern us anymore,” and the issue dies. No. I would say the following, and someone talk me down on this if this doesn’t make sense to you

        What happened at Penn State was the failure to report ongoing felony crimes to authorities. Not the mere “opinion” that someone might do something wrong, but the eye-witnessed fact of the crimes.

        I cannot see the slightest connection with James Holmes.

        As to what he might have told his psychiatrist, that comes under doctor-patient privilege and is an interesting conundrum, as is lawyer-client privilege. Even if Holmes told his doctor of intent to commit a crime, given his mental condition, how believable was he? Truth is, this is an area where I simply do not know how these things should be handled.

        Troy

    • Greg says:

      “Acting on feelings with a following rational judgment of a situation is probably OK “// this is probably more of what I was getting at: intuition sparked by knowledge of a former event. I didn’t clarify this earlier. I can look an arab and I might feel uneasy about him–not grounds to not sell him a gun. IF, however, white person x shows up with sweaty palms, a dead-ahead stare, nervous out of his mind…first I would seek to ask why the person is so on edge, and second–depending on the reason–I would NOT sell him the gun.

      I want to reiterate again: This would be voluntary. I do not see a system in place where you can regulate one’s mind. That’s a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE idea.

  • Troy says:

    Greg,
    Anyway you try to spin it, you are advocating a “system” where the free exercise of a person’s constitutionally guaranteed rights is subject to the “opinion” of other citizens.

    It is my considered “opinion” that only those people who pay more in taxes than they consume in government services should be allowed to vote. Let us say I am a judge at a polling place… should I have the right to enforce this “opinion” on those that I suspect did not pay the required amount of taxes?

    Let us assume that I go into a gun shop to make a purchase. The shop owner is a fundamentalist conservative (not at all uncommon here in the bible belt). In the course of friendly conversation, I mention that I am an atheist and a Libertarian (which I am). Mr. fundamentalist assumes that atheists lack any form of moral code and that Libertarians are dangerous anarchists. So, he refuses to sell to me (and even calls his fellow shop owners and warns them about me). In truth, I am an honest person with a very refined moral code yet I have just become a victim of this person’s narrow-mindedness. Is this the “system” you seek?

    Does this not trend us to becoming a government of MEN rather than LAWS?

    Troy

    • Greg says:

      That’s actually a good point.

      This is what I want. If a psych or a firing range owner, in the examples I have seen, see that something is wrong, I think that it should be automatic to at least report it to the authorities. I guess what I am advocating is sort of a “THis guy is psychotic; do not give him a weapon,” rather than waiting for an ATF agent to open the case (Because we all know how efficient they can be).

      But, Troy, your point here is WELL-TAKEN. Can you think of a way we can do the above paragraph without making it as opinion-based as I have made it? 🙂

    • Daedalus says:

      Does the owner of a property not have the right to dispose of it as he chooses, providing he not damage someone Else’s property in the disposition. I am not talking “legality” here, but principle. I am well aware of laws passed to force people to do business with others they would not normally desire to.
      I presently don’t think such laws are right As distasteful as I find someone not dealing with me because I am amystic, I do think that should be their choice as long as they are not an acting as an agent of government. If one selling a gun (or gasoline or dynamite) has reason to think it may be used to harm the rights of others he probably should not proceed with the sale. If he does proceed he should at least warn the appropriate parties of the suspected danger. That is in principle, the range of concrete situations is many and it would not serve the discussion well to get bogged down in a multitude of instances. That last is what the courts are supposed to do. The question here is “does one have culpability based on deliberate negligence causing the injury or death of another?” I think that is at the root of Greg’s pleading.
      As to the training of gun owners, that is their own responsibility, and they are responsible for their own actions.
      There probably wouldn’t have been much of a gunfight at the OK Coral if one side had only one member and the other several.

      • Greg says:

        The question here is “does one have culpability based on deliberate negligence causing the injury or death of another?” I think that is at the root of Greg’s pleading.//Exactly! If you gave the guy a gun after, say a background check, you should be culpable too, just like the psychiatrist/school that didn’t tell authorities. However, in this instance, I would not hold the man with the firing range too accountable because he took proactive steps to ensure that he would not come there. However, he did not report it.

      • ◄Dave► says:

        LOL, John. I thought you had a new medical term for me to learn. I scrambled to my dictionary to look up ‘amystic.’ 😀

        I doubt that too many people would sell any of those things to someone they thought truly psychotic and intent on using them to harm others. However, using the gasoline as an example, one could probably be sued for refusing to sell fuel to someone because one’s mere intuition gave them a bad ‘vibe.’ As far as asking the customer his intent for the product, that is pretty ridiculous. It would be an insult to 99% of his customers, and the one he is looking for would lie about it anyway.

        As an experienced retailer, if a customer was sweaty and nervous, I’d be watching him like a hawk to make sure he didn’t shoplift something, not wondering what he intended to do with something he paid good money for. Let’s not forget in the case of the Batty-man, he wasn’t planning on using it that same day, so there was no reason to be anxious or nervous. He might have passed a pleasant hour discussing his options before making his purchase; and on the pistols, he had to wait for the background check before he came back to pick them up. Suggesting that the gun shop did something culpable is silly. ◄Dave►

        • Daedalus says:

          Sorry Dave,;)
          I have been somewhat frustrated, for a number of years, referring to myself as an atheist. I do not find it comprehensive enough. “Amystic” was/is my own attempt to remedy the problem.
          Amystic: A person who rejects the supernatural, whether in the form of God or gods, elves or faries etc., or other non-demonstrable concepts such as parallel universes and time(history) travel.

          • ◄Dave► says:

            Yeah, I figured it out after my dictionary rejected it. 😀

            It is a perfect word, actually. I just use ‘godless,’ ‘skeptic,’ or even ‘heathen’ when conversing with the Piously Correct folks. Generally, among that crowd, as soon as they hear the word ‘atheist,’ their minds snap shut. 😉 ◄Dave►

  • ◄Dave► says:

    I’ve said it before and will repeat, any society which permits an irresponsible, and/or demonstrably violent, teenager to purchase the equivalent of a stick of dynamite in a 5 gal container at a gas station, or drive around in a 3K lb vehicle capable of traveling in excess of 70 mph, with the equivalent of three such sticks in the fuel tank, is not serious about eliminating the risk of mayhem for its citizens. Until that little oversight is rectified, attempts to control the ownership of lesser destructive devices, such as guns, is sentimental onanism.

    To amplify the absurdity, when are we going to require owners of vehicles to be responsible and store them under lock and key in a ‘car safe’ when not in use, to preclude an irresponsible child from climbing under it with any simple cutting tool and a bucket, to steal all the explosives and/or fire accelerant they want? Should the car owner be held responsible for any mayhem or death, resulting from their carelessly leaving it parked on the street unattended? Then, the gasoline is just the ammo; what of folks who carelessly leave beer bottles, rags, and lighters laying about, where 11-year-old kids can get to them?

    WGN: Chicago police officers are interviewing an 11-year-old boy who was seen with a Molotov cocktail. Someone reported seeing a boy with a beer bottle that had a cloth wick sticking out of it. He also had a lighter. Another person near him was seen with a gas can

    In case you don’t know, a Molotov cocktail is not just an incendiary device, it is a bomb. I can report from first hand experience overseas, that when the glass breaks it creates a fuel/air mixture that explodes in a fireball sending glass shards flying like shrapnel in all directions. Think grenade; and like a grenade, it takes a pretty good arm to throw it far enough to avoid being in the blast zone. I.e. don’t fool around with these things, they are not toys. 😉

    Meanwhile, every one of those cars has a battery full of sulfuric acid; so I suppose we need to ban squirt guns, and lock up all spray bottles and turkey basters, with our cutlery in our ‘kitchen safe.’ Imagine the mayhem a kid could do from the balcony spraying that stuff all over everyone below in the dark. Of course, the suicidal psychopath deciding to go ‘postal,’ could just steal the whole car and turn the crowded theater into a ‘drive-in.’ E.g. Dec 18, 2005 and March 3, 2006.

    Are you starting to get the point, Greg? You have been programmed by the Retrogressive schools to loath guns and distrust those of us who ‘cling’ to ours. We live in an entirely different culture to yours out here in Flyover Country, and to us guns are just tools and/or sporting equipment, which we also can employ in our defense when necessary. When I was growing up, ALL boys played with the cap pistols Santa Claus delivered to us. When I got my first Daisy Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, I wasn’t even strong enough to cock it.

    I got my first J.C. Higgins single-shot .22 cal rifle, when I was in the fifth grade; but I had already been taught gun safety, how to hunt squirrels, coons, and jack-light rabbits at night. I have known good ole boys, who ought not to be allowed near a set of car keys most of the time; but the fact that they owned guns, or even regularly packed them, never bothered me a bit. Pyromaniacs can be very responsible gun owners; but how does society prevent them from buying matches or lighters, without unduly infringing on other’s legitimate use for these deadly devices? Should we license them and run background checks; or just rely on shopkeepers to ask what they intend to do with them, and rely on their intuition? ◄Dave►

    • Greg says:

      Oh, yes, your point is very well taken, definitely Dave. There seems to a be a problem somewhere from reporting someone with CAUSE to them getting a weapon. This is my chief concern. I definitely don’t want to control your right to defend yourself because you’re a libertarian and the dealer may think all libertarians are nuts.

      Seems to me the first thing that we need to establish is whether the shooter in person would fit the legal definition of “cause” not to give the person a gun.

      Further, the psychiatrist in the link (I think?) I posted up there, who informed the school that the Aurora shooter was a psycho–should also be required to report her findings (the cause) to some central area that says “Whoa. Avoid.” The first “Strike” in this situation was that she told the school–and, as it seems like it always happened–it went nowhere.

      Further still, would you not be concerned had you picked up the phone and heard what the shooting range guy heard? Shouldn’t there be some way to report this, if not to the dealers, then to the psychologist, who would then add it to her file and continue the case with the outside, legal source?

      In both of these cases, it went nowhere. There should be some system set up so that if this, which as far as I am concerned, COULD fit cause (The above examples), everyone is aware of this. Again, there would be a legal set of criteria that sets up a database. You being an atheist wouldn’t be cause; but you talking like a loony, sweaty palms, dilated eyes, obviously disturbed, might be cause.

      THis is kind of what I am getting at. And finally, the most important point here, is to NOT look at the dealers as “bad guys.” They are actually “Good guys.” If something pops up on the background check, they won’t sell the gun and society is safer for it.

      And again, thank you for your comments. I have an idea of what I want in place, and your comments have helped me to further refine it. 🙂

  • ◄Dave► says:

    Here are some interesting stats:

    According to the very liberal categorizing of mass shootings by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, since 2010, a total of 35 people have been killed in nine separate shootings in which an “assault weapon” was involved (but was not necessarily the murder weapon)…

    Yet in 2010 alone, 742 people were killed by hands, fists and feet; and 540 people were killed with blunt objects like clubs and hammers. And 82,724 died as a result of reactions to drugs approved by the FDA. Only .1 percent of all homicides involve five or more victims.

    The gun grabbers and power brokers claim to want to ban “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines to make America’s streets safer. If they were really interested in saving lives, they would ban hands and feet and the Food and Drug Administration.

    …and gasoline. ◄Dave►

    • Troy says:

      Dave,
      I was wondering how long you could stay out of this.

      I was attempting to make a similar point but from a different angle… the point being that the gun controllers are all about emotion and totally lacking in rational thought. I thought that Greg’s comment about what would have happened had there been a number of armed people in the Aurora theater illustrated this well — he assumes something like the Gunfight at the OK Corral would ensue. My assumption would be that only those with a clear shot would go after the loon.

      Troy

      • Greg says:

        What I would say to that, to ensure 99% correctly that the OK Corral situation does NOT happen, is that those with concealed carry permits must undergo some sort of training so they don’t just shoot for the sake of shooting. The last thing you want, as Dave mentioned earlier, is for someone to panic with a gun.

        Do you see what I am getting at. It might not happen, but we want to ensure as nearly as possible that Troy’s situation IS correct.

    • Greg says:

      Not looking to ban anything. If you want a gun for your collection, or to defend yourself, I don’t want to begrudge you of it. I do, however, want to make sure that you are not a nutcase on the loose and getting a gun.

  • ◄Dave► says:

    You know, Greg, your uncanny ability to ignore the reality of our logic, and cling dogmatically to the authoritarian dreamworld of the mind-numbed altruists, is depressing. Let’s get something crystal clear; my sovereignty and individual Liberty trumps your collectivist mantra – “for the good of society” – every time. My life and my Liberty come first – always. However you may wish to define the amorphous mental construct named ‘society,’ it is just that – mental gymnastics. My life is real to me; I own it. I am the indisputable sovereign in my life, and I recognize no outside ‘authority’ proposing to rule over it.

    None; be it a dictatorship, oligarchy, mob-rule democracy, or any altruistic notion that I am required to do one damn thing ‘for the good of society.’ Poppycock. Your authoritarian statist outlook is naive, Greg. Go read my ‘Civil Disobedience‘ essay; then come back and and convince my that you too are not an incorrigible criminal, who flouts foolish and/or inconvenient laws at will. As individuals, we don’t ‘obey’ such laws just because they are on the books, or for the good of your ‘society’; but because the government has jack-booted thugs with superior numbers and firepower, and folks like you don’t object to them using them, to coerce us into succumbing to mob-rule, if (and I suspect that it is a big if) such conforms to your personal concept of a ‘good society.’

    Since logic and analogous examples fail to penetrate your collectivist armor, and convince you of the utter folly in attempting to childproof our environment and make sure we all play nice, let’s advance to the necessary discussion of that inconvenient document known as our Constitution, and an understanding of federalism. Since we all live in different Sovereign States, I presume your proposals here are meant to be Federal regulations. You repeatedly refer to licensed dealers, gun permits, background checks, maintaining records of purchases, prohibiting private sales of firearms, etc. Greg, the Federal government lacks the Constitutional authority to do any of these things, and the Second Amendment specifically forbids any of them that would infringe upon a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

    I don’t need no stinkin’ gun permit, carry permit, or any additional training in how to use one responsibly. The Second Amendment is good enough for me. I live in California, where it is notoriously difficult to obtain a carry permit. One has to convince the County Sheriff one has a legitimate need, and then it has to be renewed annually. I have been offered one by the Sheriff in three different counties over the years, for various legitimate reasons; yet I have refused to fill out the application form. To do so, would be to abdicate my sovereign natural right in exchange for a mere privilege, which I would be acknowledging could be withdrawn at the whim of the next elected Sheriff.

    No thank you; but when I think it prudent, I don’t hesitate to disobey the silly law that says I need one to be armed. The only way to get caught is to use it, and if I ever have to do that, the fact that possessing it was against the law, will be the least of my worries. Besides, there is an old aphorism, “It is better to be tried by twelve, than carried by six.” For the sake of my Liberty, I am betting that the prosecutor in this conservative county, can’t convince all twelve jurors that this old man with a spotless record, needs to go to jail for standing up for the Constitution. How is that for trusting one’s neighbors to do the right thing?

    Because of the supremacy clause in our Constitution, the right to own arms and be armed in public is sacrosanct, so all gun control laws which purport to create defense free zones are patently unconstitutional; but your interest in regulating businesses which sell arms is another matter, for local jurisdictions. A business license is a privilege, which can be easily regulated. If a city doesn’t want gun dealers in their town, they can deny them a license, and I suppose they can limit what types of weapons they are permitted to sell, and what types of records of purchases they must keep. As long as customers have the option of voting with their feet, and traveling to other less restrictive jurisdictions to acquire their arms, local communities should be able to pass whatever business restrictions make them feel good.

    The same goes for owners of private businesses. If they wish to make their establishment a defense free zone, armed citizens can simply boycott the place, and find a safer place to eat. Conversely, if the owner wants only to serve armed citizens, those unarmed can go find a defenseless place to eat, etc. Which reminds me… with all the talk about the OK Corral, what are the chances our Batty-man would have attacked that theater, even with his armor, if he had reason to believe that most of the people he intended to shoot, would be shooting back? Head shots are pretty easy at that range. There are much less dramatic and painful ways to commit suicide. ◄Dave►

    • Dave,
      Very well said… I concur 100%!!! I contribute only these fine quotes.

      “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” — French Algerian author Albert Camus (1913-1960)

      “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.” — American writer H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

      Brian

    • Greg says:

      Dave,
      In your Sovereignty Essay that I read, I noticed one thing. You said that you, as a Sovereign Citizen, have the right for me not to invade your sovereignty, including when you are at home. If I give a guy I have reason to believe is a nutcase, or do not forward the information, and I either sell a guy or he buys a gun from someone else… and he invades your home and (heaven forbid) shoots a friend or family member… have they not they invaded not only your sovereignty of the person who got shot? And would you not want everyone who could have prevented it (if it could have been) to be held responsible? This is all that I am asking.

      You seem to think that because 1% of people are nutcases, that I do not want everyone holding a gun. That is an erroneous conclusion to reach. I say if there is strong reason for someone not to have a gun (The guy was referred to a crisis team), he should not have it. That being said, you are right; there is a slippery slope to gasoline and the like. So that does poke a hole in my argument. However, I must point out that all it takes to shoot someone is to pull the trigger, rather than dousing the place in gas and lighting it ablaze. By that time, more people than would have would presumably have gotten out of the theater. But you are right, it does become a little ridiculous.

      If I really wanted to force my definition of what is “right” in a society upon you, there would be no guns and the 2nd Amendment would be repealed, etc. I am not arguing that. That solution in itself is dangerous because it takes away my right (should I decide to exercise it) to self-defense in the case of the home invader scenario I brought up.

      What I am arguing that when someone screws up and gives psycho #2 over there a gun when it could have been prevented, that person should be held accountable. If the guy seems “normal” to you, then no problem at all; you are not held responsible. <– This is my thesis here. It seems to me that too often, people that could have prevented something or at least make it known that something is not right (The psychiatrist in the example I used), do not and are not held responsible. To your sovereignty question: Supposing that, as a result of the theoretical shooting, you no longer feel safe in your home. Does this not also qualify as invading your sovereignty? Further, would you not want the people who enabled the shooter in your home to be held responsible–if you did not shoot him first that is?

      I will, however, say that some laws that are on the books are ridiculous in regards to prohibiting concealed carry laws. I remember the case of a certain New York Giants player who walked into a NYC nightclub with a gun and no intention of using it. Instead, the gun accidentally went off and he shot himself in the foot. He was taken to the hospital, treated–and then arrested and sent to jail. Though the guy was a jerk (in my opinion) he certainly did not fit the bill of what one would call a "psycho." So, you are right, there is a dark side.

      That is why I am advocating that if there is reason (and I mean reason, sweaty palms, agitatedness, nervousness, a psych's report, etc.) to believe that Joe over there is not all "with it," those who could have prevented him from getting a gun had they had more information (the dealer, had he known of Joker's diagnosis, would have not given him a gun)–but still give him a gun should be held responsible as well. Even if you do not completely agree (if at all)… do you see what I am getting at?

      As far as shooting up the theater: First of all, he did not die. Second of all, if you're a nutcase with an idea in your head, you sort of fail the criteria of "rational" if you ask me. You could have had a bazooka pointing him square in the face and he'd still have done it in my opinion.

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Greg, you do not have to keep restating your position, I/we understand you perfectly. It is you who don’t seem to understand that the Federal government has no business legislating in these matters. You may petition your local government to pass whatever tort laws you wish to assign culpability to others, you just can’t force your dreamworld on the rest of us out here in Flyover Country. Stuff happens. I assume anyone who comes on my property will be armed, because they have a perfect right to be. In what manner they acquired their arms is entirely immaterial to me. Try reading my “Urban Varmints” essay, for an example of my idyllic community. These safe little enclaves of cooperative citizens going about their lives without the slightest worry about crime, or any need to hire swat teams to protect them, still exist all over America, even here on the Left coast; but one needs to get a long way from NYC to find them.

        Our Batty-man didn’t die, only because he attacked a defense free zone, and inexplicably offered no resistance to arrest. Yes, stuff happens, Greg. Living life as a freeman entails a few risks, which we are willing to accept. You may prefer the false security of a nanny-state; but look what it costs you. And, how well does it work? Call for a cop, an ambulance, and a pizza; then take note of which arrives first. 😉 ◄Dave►

  • Troy says:

    Greg,
    For my part, this stream of babble has lost all resemblance to a rational discourse and has become more akin to trying to have a meaningful conversation with a religious fundamentalist. Ergo, I am bowing out.

    BTW, to my knowledge, ALL the states that issue carry permits do require training as well as a demonstration of gun handling competency.

    Troy

    • Greg says:

      What I find surprising is that no one has really offered a response to holding other people besides the shooter accountable. I have heard arguments for or against gun control, which is not really my argument here.

      I have brought that up twice^, both in different threads, and have gotten no response to that particular issue, which is that if I had knowledge that someone is unstable, and did not report it, that I should be held accountable. This seems, to me, to be common sense. I can even point out the other thread where I asked for a direct response from Dave and got none. I listed other items, as I have here, which were answered, and I commend you for that. But none of the specific examples relating to “I think whomever gave the gun to the person, had they been underage, or what have you, should be held accountable.” Instead, I am told of society’s risks, and I understand that. But I have not gotten the answer to what should happen when someone knowingly creates an additional risk. Shouldn’t the gun dealer at the very least be open to lawsuits if it can be proven that he knew “better” than to sell the guns?

      You seem to be concerned about me legislating things; I’m not. If a dangerous situation can be avoided within reasonable limits, it should be. To not avoid that situation is already on the books as reckless endangerment or something thereof. I have not yet had a response to, if I sell a gun to 12 year old, and he blows someone’s head off by mistake, should I be held responsible as well since I am flouting the law (age limit). The same is true if the College University (or ATF/governmental organization) calls me (Which it never did) and tells me that Joe over here doesn’t seem to be in control of his sense.

      I especially do not want to make it seem like I am not listening to you; in fact, in 99% of what you have said, you have all made good points and I agree with them for the most part. For instance, Dave’s slippery slope is a spot-on argument. Your points you have made are good as well. But the main question that I am getting at is: Shooter with a gun who is diagnosed with some mental disorder, shoots up the place. The one who diagnosed him with a mental disorder/instability did not report it. Who should be, in your view, held accountable? Do you think it is just the shooter or also those that did not call in a crisis?

      I further apologize, that I came across as a “religious fundamentalist”; that was not my intent. But I can only rephrase what I am saying a few times before it becomes annoying to even me that I have not had a direct answer as to “Who is responsible for a given shooting if it could have otherwise been prevented?”

      Now, if there was an answer to this that I missed and was implied (my reading comprehension is not good when people imply things and when people speak in metaphors, that compounds my reading comprehension >.<) please point it out to me, and I will drop this matter and we can go about this forum as it should be (in my mind): people discoursing ideas without fear of someone going off on them because they don't agree. I would not want that on my forum; I'm pretty sure you would not want that on yours as well. 🙂

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Greg, I responded to your desire for making others culpable for a psychopath’s actions directly in my last comment:

        It is you who don’t seem to understand that the Federal government has no business legislating in these matters. You may petition your local government to pass whatever tort laws you wish to assign culpability to others, you just can’t force your dreamworld on the rest of us out here in Flyover Country

        The reason you are not getting traction with your argument, is that your underlying premise that the Federal government is in a position to enact such requirements is flawed. It has no such power under our Constitution. All of the Federal gun control laws already on the books are unconstitutional, if one considers the original intent of its framers, which I am sure all other participants here would insist prevails.

        This is not a democracy, Greg. If it were, you wouldn’t like the outcome. If the majority could pass any law that pleased them, and the minority had to obey them, abortion would be illegal, homosexuality itself would be illegal, much less gay marriage. There would be no Federal welfare programs, no affirmative action, no government employee unions, and probably no income tax. etc. etc. Be careful what you ask for. 😉 ◄Dave►

    • Daedalus says:

      Washington state only requires a background check.

  • Greg says:

    Aha! Thank you for pointing this out. I think I understand what you are saying now!

    To paraphrase before I argue from a position of ignorance ( 😉 ), if I get you what you are saying is this:

    You are saying that I could make people responsible for it–in my locality alone. If St. James, the town that I live, decides that conceal carry laws are ok (it’s New York, so I think you cannot conceal carry weapons as of now)… that, being a microcosm in itself, is perfectly acceptable to you?

    However if I then said, “hey this is pretty cool; I think it will work everywhere” and then decided to toss the tort law onto, say, the whole United States, then it’s not okay. Your argument would be that what is right for one state/locality/country would not be right for another.

    If this is the case, then certainly we can certainly apply your argument to the Affordable Health Care Act/Obamacare. You would say, in this instance, if my town wants it, go ahead (or maybe even state). However, you would say that the counter effect of having a smaller state, like Rhode Island, having to subscribe to this could be bankrupt the state in question. Additionally, if you’re Massachusetts, and everyone is already covered…why would you make them enroll in a program that may not suit its needs. Is this example reflective of what you are trying to say here?

    (actually, polling now on gay marriage says the majority is in favor of it; but I believe your broader point is what happens if the majority “suddenly” decides against it? We would undo what was done and then vacillate backwards and forwards, creating a highly chaotic society. In this topic, one day you could have a gun; the next, you would be a criminal to have a gun. Is this correct?)

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Yes, Greg, that is the way federalism works. You need to get your head around the notion that the United States of America, is just that – 50 individual sovereign states, which have united into a mutual defense and free trade pact. They agreed to some common standards (e.g. the Bill of Rights); but they did not relinquish their sovereignty. They created the Federal entity, not the other way round. Think European Union; the countries of Europe entered an agreement to create the EU; which lifted trade barriers and permitted unrestricted travel and emigration/immigration between them; but they retained their individual sovereignty, local laws, and customs. Separately, they already had NATO for their mutual defense pact.

      Our Founders did the same thing, just all wrapped into one agreement, called the Constitution. I thought we had this cleared up in your mind back during the Tenth Amendment discussion. Must we retrain you after every coffee break? 😉 ◄Dave►

  • Troy says:

    I can’t believe I let myself be so easily lured back into this…

    I further apologize, that I came across as a “religious fundamentalist”; that was not my intent. But I can only rephrase what I am saying a few times before it becomes annoying to even me that I have not had a direct answer as to “Who is responsible for a given shooting if it could have otherwise been prevented?”

    Using the clarity of hindsight, we can often “see” how a different outcome to a situation might have been possible. However, using foresight is much more difficult, if not impossible in situations like this.

    If a professional diagnoses someone to be a threat to society, and other professional concur, most certainly they should be committed for treatment in a confined facility. But, psychiatry is far from being an exact science. For sure, we can usually catch the extreme cases but James Holmes does not seem to be that. He seems more likely to have had a rather recent breakdown with no past history of such behavior.

    Then, there is another thing to consider… just how seriously do we take the words of someone we suspect is delusional?

    My biggest objection to your suggestions, however, revolves around the extent to which you seem to want to rely on personal “opinion” to decide how much to interfere in another person’s life. Given the extent to which “opinion” is subject to so many factors, such as various forms of prejudice, it seems to me especially ill suited as the basis for denying another person their natural rights.

    My attitude about these things could not be more simple… always err on the side of liberty, knowing that, in an imperfect world, a very few will misuse that liberty.

    Sorry Greg, but the “system” you seem to advocate sounds to me far too much like the old Soviet Union where friends were encouraged to report on friends, children were encouraged to report on parents, indeed, everyone was encouraged to report on everyone. The risk of the occasional James Holmes is far more appealing to me than living in such a society.

    To answer your question more directly, James Holmes was responsible. Period. And the possible means by which “it could have otherwise been prevented” have a potentially far worse outcome than the shooting in question.

    Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Well said, Troy. I concur completely. ◄Dave►

    • Greg says:

      Thank you very much for clarifying. I see your point. I’m more concerned with there being “cause” and not doing anything about it, than on pure opinion. An example of that, not gun related, would be Penn State. When they heard of Jerry Sandusky and the allegations against him, it stayed there and did not get out to his charity (run by Sandusky) where they would have presumably been able to do more about it. When I started down that road about opinion, yes, I realized the same thing you do, Troy.

      If you knew me in real life and the weird things I do sometimes (I talk to myself. A lot.), you’d have me under house arrest in my own system 😉

      • ◄Dave► says:

        Who wins your arguments with yourself, Greg? I’ll bet Pennsylvania sorts out their own problems without us. Would you be as agitated and in need of ‘doing something about it,’ if it had happened in a university in Botswana? What is the difference? I don’t even bother to read the news stories about the case, because it has zero relevance in my own life, and would only unnecessarily irritate me. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    No, but for Botswana, I’d say we should stop international arms trades (illegal ones) so this way we can’t be held responsible. But that is another story for another day.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Oh, good grief…

      When I lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) we bought our arms from France, because America wouldn’t sell them to us. Our communist enemy got theirs from China. America is by no means the predominant source of small arms in the world, and if we stopped manufacturing them entirely, there would be no fewer guns on the planet, just different suppliers. ◄Dave►

  • Greg says:

    Fair point. I shall have to do more research on this topic and get back to you with a more cogent argument 😉

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Surely there are better uses for your time than digging into international arms sales. Here, go read this thread in it’s entirety; it is far and away the most viewed article on this site. It still gets a couple of dozen hits every day. Then, be sure to go read the appended early (1964) speech by Ronny. It might be an eye-opener for you. ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        “Surely there are better uses for your time than digging into international arms sales. “//I’m thinking looking for a job or studying for the Graduate Exam are better uses 😉

  • Daedalus says:

    For instance, is it “right”/not suspicious that someone purchases as many rounds as the killer in Aurora does? Is it not suspicious when someone purchases those rounds plus, say, 5 guns all at once?

    This sounds like a great idea.

  • Daedalus says:

    Sorry, that last was an experiment, I forgot to put the correct text in the quote 🙂

    I’m thinking looking for a job or studying for the Graduate Exam are better uses

    This sounds like a great idea. 😉

    • ◄Dave► says:

      They both sound like great ideas to me, John. 😀

      Except for the part about studying for the exam. It has been my general experience in life that one’s level of common sense, is inversely proportionate to the number of years one spends ensconced in the stultifying environs of academia. 😉 ◄Dave►

      • Greg says:

        >.> <.<

        *whispers* Dave would get ticked if I told him what I wanted to do with the degree I'm going to get 😛

        • ◄Dave► says:

          What is your major? Come on, fess up – and then put on your earmuffs. 😛 ◄Dave►,

        • Greg says:

          xD

          I want to be a political science professor. I already have an undergrad degree in BOTH history and poli. sci.

          *meeps and hides* 😛

          • ◄Dave► says:

            Yikes! Then, I better not give up on you… I’ve got some future students to save. 😉

            Have you seen what I think of your chosen profession yet?

            That does explain a lot about your blog… and why it is so difficult to get through to the rational corner of your mind. Assuming I fail in my mission to clear out the fog between your ears, are you going to give this site’s URL to your class, so they get a chance to consider an alternative worldview? Or will you be a willing participant in the Retrogressive ‘public school‘ agenda to keep them from thinking for themselves? ◄Dave►

        • Greg says:

          You seem to make the assumption that I have a “political axe” to grind and that I am always “progressive,” or Retrogressive as you say. That’s not exactly true. Though I do lean left and progressive, I also believe in some things that the right has to offer. A few of your posts I have even agreed with, particularly the theory that “What is right for one state may not be right for the others (Obamacare is a good example of that–I like the concept, but I’d much rather it be done via individual states).” In fact, some things you have said that I had previously thought were “nuts” (The OBama Birth Certificate issue, for one) suddenly seems more rational and understandable, so you’ve succeeded in that area ;). However, I must admit, a few of your more recent entries have seemed “spacey,” but that may only be because I don’t understand it–that, or I have a reflexive “feeling” reaction to it. Still working on that part 😉

          That being said, you’ll note that different entries in my blog are different colors (or should be). The media sources with the questions is that sort of “mock course” I am doing (to which no one responds v.v). Ideally, in an actual class, we’d crack open a book on, say, the Middle East. If the Middle East suddenly has a second Arab Spring, or Syria falls, or what have you, we’d open online, peer-reviewed academic articles and the like to see what has changed. The news would be used as a LAST resort, unless we were examining things like, say, media bias.

          To a final point, if I was a professor, I wouldn’t grade them on whether they agreed with me 100% or not at all. I really have no interest in reading what I already know regurgitated several times on paper 😛 I would grade them on “did you use evidence to develop and sound and cogent argument?” If it’s poorly written, then the mark goes low. If they write as well as you do, it’s understandable, they use facts, etc. I would have no problem giving them an A. I remember a particular essay that I wrote in college, blasting Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (I said diplomatically that it was the most unprofessional thing I had ever read. No footnotes. Refers to several “unnamed sources.” To get the footnotes, you have to go to his website. Well, if I had want to go to his website, I wouldn’t have read the book!). The note I got back on it, I’ll never forget: “Greg, though I may disagree with you entirely on this subject, it was well-written. A-.” That is the standard that I hope to live up to. 🙂

        • Greg says:

          Speaking of bad professors:
          This question was really bad in a definition lesson.

          Which of these sentences uses the word Onerous correctly? (Onerous means troublesome or burdensome)

          A) Her onerous view of the world became apparent…when she mistook libertarianism for liberalism
          This was my answer. Because if you thought liberalism was oppressive (if you’re a conservative), then you would have a burdensome view of the world. It’s set during a debate, okay, I can see that. But really, it depends on how you react. I can see this being the weakest of the three now that I look back on it. But again, if she reacted negatively, couldn’t she view the world as burdensome?

          B (The correct answer): Driving her brother to practice became more onerous because he played twice as much in the fall.

          C (This could also be right-er than B): Chad grew concerned that chemicals were being used for a more onerous purpose…

          B and C are BOTH right, and A can be to a lesser extent. Bad question in my opinion.

  • Daedalus says:

    B looks to be the right choice. C; Why would chad be “concerned.” A; I absolutely don’t see the connection between making a mistake, unless it happened repeatedly, and “onerous.” 🙂

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