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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:00 AM

Sandy Hook vs. Virginia Tech vs. the month since Sandy Hook

At Virginia Tech, Cho killed 33 people (including himself) and injured 17 using plain, ordinary handguns with standard magazines. The public response was a call to tighten the mental health section of the background check system. Nobody in any position of authority other than Kucinich called for a ban on handguns, despite the fact that handguns are responsible for something like 95% of gun deaths.

At Sandy Hook, Lanza killed 28 people (including himself) and injured 3 using an AR-15. The public response has been a call to ban AR-15's and similar-looking guns, despite the fact that rifles as a whole (not just AR-15's) are something like 3% of gun deaths and despite the fact that the ban will only require the manufacturers to change the name of the gun and the shape of the grip.

In the time since Sandy Hook, 77 kids have been killed, almost all of them by accidents with unsecured handguns, and the rest by homicides with handguns. The public response has been "I can't wait for the Superbowl this weekend."

Why was there the difference in focus?

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sandy Hook vs. Virginia Tech vs. the month since Sandy Hook (Original post)
Recursion Jan 2013 OP
mucifer Jan 2013 #1
Recursion Jan 2013 #2
slackmaster Jan 2013 #11
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #3
Recursion Jan 2013 #4
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #5
Robb Jan 2013 #6
Recursion Jan 2013 #7
Robb Jan 2013 #8
Recursion Jan 2013 #17
slackmaster Jan 2013 #9
Recursion Jan 2013 #10
slackmaster Jan 2013 #12
Recursion Jan 2013 #15
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #13
Recursion Jan 2013 #16
Hoyt Jan 2013 #14
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2013 #18
Recursion Jan 2013 #19
randome Jan 2013 #20
Recursion Jan 2013 #21
randome Jan 2013 #22
Recursion Jan 2013 #23

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:06 AM

1. I feel the most important thing to stop is that gun show loophole.

To me it's not only about the mass murders, but the every day killings going on across the country.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:08 AM

2. Yeah, I just edited to add something about that

*shrug*

I'm sure this will be a shitstorm, but I think this is important to unpack.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:36 AM

11. The "every day" killings, which mostly affect poor people and minorities, are far more significant

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:09 AM

3. Age Of the Victims, Sir

As well as the proximity in time to the theater massacre in Colorado.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:10 AM

4. That's a good point; I just made an edit about the 100 children since Sandy Hook

And I'm honestly not trying to poke people; I'd like to unpack the different responses to the three.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:20 AM

5. The Large, Exceptional Event Shocks, Sir

The day by day, one or two, business as usual does not, even if its cumulative total is greater.

People en masse are moved by emotion, not reason, and so an event that shocks will have effect. This one has had a great effect on the public mood. This effect is enhanced by the repellent character of the persons denouncing this change in public mood wrought by this shocking event.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:21 AM

6. "Nobody in any position of authority anywhere called for a ban on handguns."

False. Oddly enough there were liberals doing what we're supposed to do then, too.

Kucinich Offers Comprehensive Plan to Address Violence in America
The Level of Violence in Society Constitutes a National Emergency; Hand Gun Law Prepared


In the aftermath of Monday’s deadly shooting in Blacksburg, Virginia, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is proposing a comprehensive, three-point plan to deal with the violence plaguing America, including a ban on handguns.

“The tragic events in Blacksburg, Virginia which took 33 lives are not an isolated example of the effects of gun violence in America. In fact, about 32 people perish each and every day in America in hand gun related incidents,” Kucinich said in a speech to Congress today.

“It is becoming painfully obvious that the easy availability of handguns constituents a growing national crisis of public health and safety, one that calls for a powerful, wide-ranging response from Congress.

...

Kucinich is currently drafting legislation that would ban the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by civilians. A gun buy-back provision will be included in the bill.

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Response to Robb (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:22 AM

7. Thank you, I missed that

Will edit. I didn't know he called for that back then.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:29 AM

8. To your question, it's simply a matter of time. Pick your metaphor.

Straw breaking the camel's back, too much water behind the dam.

People are weary of an increasingly intransigent gun-toting minority refusing even minor steps toward sanity. The NRA and similar-minded folks forgot their Sun Tzu: giving up some ground can allow you to win the war.

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Response to Robb (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:32 PM

17. But why focus on the gun in one case and the shooter in the other?

That's the distinction I'm trying to figure out.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:33 AM

9. According to the CDC, for the entire year 2010 there were 98 accidental fatal shootings of "kids"

 

i.e. people from age 0 through 17. Something is very wrong with the cited factoid.

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html

Could we please agree to back up all stated numbers with verifiable facts? Without honest presentation of information, no reasonable discussion is possible.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:37 AM

12. The string "youth" doesn't even appear in the cited page.

 

The source appears to be an attempt at compiling all shooting deaths, the majority of which are suicides.

That's a goalpost move. I don't have much hope for an honest discussion here.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:11 PM

15. They show the age by the graphic size

I'm just counting. There seems to have been a handgun accident cluster this month because the rate is way above the baseline you mentioned.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:41 AM

13. Can you handle the truth? I want all handguns, assault weapons, and clips or whatever

that allow people to shoot without reloading banned. Then I want people who desire guns to have to pass a mental exam, a complete background check, including any record for reported domestic violence or association with any type of 'para-military' group, before they are issued a nation-wide gun owner's license. They must then present said license before they can purchase any gun or any ammunition. I want all concealed and open carry laws repealed.

But since this 2013 in America, nothing will happen.

Why I'm working on getting myself and my family out of here.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:31 PM

16. I like the licensing idea

I think a Federal license for gun and ammo purchases and for that matter gun operation (the range has to see it, etc.) is a great idea. Or state licenses like we do with cars.

I want all handguns, assault weapons, and clips or whatever that allow people to shoot without reloading banned.

That at least makes more sense than what we're trying to do.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:02 PM

14. I'm sure all gun cultists would love for gun discussions to drown in Gungeon cesspool.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:45 PM

18. The problem of gun violence in this country is multi-faceted.

And different incidents highlight different aspects of the entire problem. It's like the story of the blind man and the elephant. It can't be summed up as just one, singular problem.

Just some of the issues of the problem in gun violence include:

1. Shooting capacity and power
2. Mental health issues
3. Background checks
4. Waiting periods
5. Gun show loopholes
6. Security of weapons in one's home
7. "Stand your ground" self-defense issues

And many, many other issues to consider. Not much was discussed about the actual weapon in the Trayvon Martin shooting, but that doesn't mean that the incident hasn't contributed to the overall conversation about guns and gun violence in this country.

(Also, it should be noted that while Cho didn't use an assault rifle in his shootings, he did use a semi-automatic pistol capable of rapid firing. It's not as though he used a six-shooter revolver. So there's even a differentiation amongst issues pertaining to "handguns".)



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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:50 PM

19. Very good points

Not much was discussed about the actual weapon in the Trayvon Martin shooting

And now that you say that, I don't even know what kind of gun he used, other than "a handgun". (Semi-automatic? Revolver? Like the overwhelming majority of shooting incidents he didn't go past the third bullet, so in that sense it's "not important".)

Also, it should be noted that while Cho didn't use an assault rifle in his shootings, he did use a semi-automatic pistol capable of rapid firing. It's not as though he used a six-shooter revolver. So there's even a differentiation amongst issues pertaining to "handguns".

There definitely is. The country is absolutely awash with semi-automatic handguns that are capable of the amount of damage Cho inflicted. And even so, most murderers only fire two or three bullets. I don't think "there is no solution" is a good answer, but damned if I can think of one.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:52 PM

20. As I pointed out in the other thread, Cho wandered about in a dormitory, not a confined space.

Staying on the move makes it more difficult for anyone to isolate the killer.

The school was culpable in that they didn't warn residents quickly enough nor stress the emergency nature. If the school had acted promptly, it might have been a very different story at Virginia Tech. And if he used semi-automatics, that should factor into it, as well because if he needed to reload frequently, there would have been more opportunities for someone to stop him.

Banning assault weapons and high-capacity clips will get my vote. It isn't a 'perfect solution', of course. But since no one possesses that mythical beast, we should do what we can and hope for the best.

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Response to randome (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:58 PM

21. No, it was in a class building. I've taken classes in there.

It's laid out just like a school is: rooms along a central hallway, on multiple floors. The actual mass shooting period was 10 minutes, just like with Lanza.

And if he used semi-automatics, that should factor into it, as well because if he needed to reload frequently, there would have been more opportunities for someone to stop him.

He used semi-automatics with standard magazine sizes. Just like Lanza. But his were handguns and Lanza's was a rifle.

Banning assault weapons and high-capacity clips will get my vote.

I don't see any problem with limiting magazine sizes, though Cho stands as a warning that mass shooters don't need big magazines, just a lot of small magazines.

Like I've said, I don't think anybody's rights are infringed by banning AR-15's, I just also don't see a point to it.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:19 PM

22. And I get where you're coming from, too. I really do.

But even if, in the final analysis, banning AR-15s is nothing but 'feel good' legislation, people badly need to feel good about something after Sandy Hook. Since they don't serve any other purpose but to kill mass numbers of people, they do not belong in our country.

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Response to randome (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:23 PM

23. I'm more sympathetic to that line of argument

even if, in the final analysis, banning AR-15s is nothing but 'feel good' legislation, people badly need to feel good about

Well, OK. That's probably the best argument for it I've heard.

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