Friday, December 14, 2012

Look What ALEC Hath Wrought

Something bad, something that should never have happened, happened today in Newton, Connecticut.

A gunman, armed with two semi-automatic handguns and an assault rifle and wearing a bullet proof vest, walked into the Sandy Nook Elementary School and proceeded to shoot his mother, at least five other adults and 20 innocent children between the ages of 5 and 10.

I can't imagine anyone who would not be deeply affected by this.  I can't imagine wanting to know anyone who would not be deeply affected by this.

Some say that this is the second worst school shooting in the nation's history, behind only the shooting at Virginia Tech five years ago.  I'd dare say that this one is worse given the absolute innocence and defenselessness of the children.

As one would expect, the folks that aren't tools or fools are calling for a serious discussion, and more importantly, movement on getting some true gun control laws in the books.  For emphasis, we're talking reasonable, rational gun restrictions and not taking everyone's guns away.

The other side has shown their true disgusting nature by demagoguing that this is not the time to discuss gun control.  Other fools tried to blame the shooting on the fact that the children and teachers weren't packing guns themselves.

After the long list of horrid shootings, it is beyond time for responsible gun control laws to be enacted across the country.

Beyond belief, just yesterday, Michigan, on a roll of terror themselves, just passed a law that would allow guns in schools and other places that people would normally and should feel safe in.

That law, like the laws passed in every state, is a product of the NRA and ALEC, to which the NRA is a proud member.

But passing gun control laws will not be enough.  Nowhere near enough.

Another thing that is just as important as any gun control law is making mental health services more accessible.  Unless I miss my guess, the Sandy Nook shooter will be found to have had a serious mental health issue.

Claiming that mental health services are too expensive, ALEC controlled Teapublicans like Scott Walker has continuously cut services for the mentally ill.  Gotta save that tax money, y'know.

In Milwaukee County, under the austerity measures of Scott Walker and Chris Abele, the mental health system is so broken, even Disability Rights - Wisconsin is saying that it can't be fixed.

Sadly, we've seen this scenario played out again and again across the country.

Along with gun control laws and improved mental health services, there is much more that needs to be done.

We need to restore basic human rights and dignity.  When people are treated like second class citizens, they lose their sense of the value of human life.  When you have ALEC Teapublicans dehumanizing women, minorities, workers (especially teachers!), children and anyone else that's not rich enough or white enough, those people can start seeing themselves and others as not worthy either.  That disregard makes it even easier for someone to take the life of another.

Lastly, we need to reverse the negative impact that these ALEC-created laws are having on our economy.  As was just revealed this past weak, due to the idiotic, ideological rules passed and enacted by Walker and the other Teapublicans, our state's economy is tanking and accelerating its downward spiral.

When people have no jobs and no money, they can reach the point of despair.  This can lead them to take desperate actions, such as armed robberies, or to the point of taking themselves, and all to often, and others out of their perceived misery.

There will never be an absolute cure all for violence in the world.

But for God's sake, we don't have to increase it's likelihood or the ease of it happening.  It's too late to save all those innocent children.  Let's not make it too late for the next shooting, whether it's one or 20+ victims.

The ALEC based rules are not good for the country on any level and need to be rejected. And this needs to start today.


  1. Is it really only just a matter of time before the gun nuts tell us that we have to start arming the kids in kindergarden?

    Is this going to be the future? Marketing opportunities for "baby glock"?

    How many dead children before people like RoJo or Skippy catch on that allowing anyone to get a gun anytime they want and carry it anywhere they want is a bad idea?

    1. And the ones who voted for those clowns are likely to be the ones who keep blathering about right to life. Might want to stress that blatant hypocrisy to your district Republican legislative enablers, publicly.

      As my child's right to life or my very own right to life while attending a movie, a church or a shopping mall is apparently superseded by the second amendment right to bear arms, officially sanctioned by an NRA funded SCOTUS, tis 'bout time for some of us to get a large measure more activist.

      FAUX guest commentators were complaining almost immediately yesterday about the apparent fact that no one was there to immediately "confront," the shooter before law enforcement arrived. Asshats, let's leave a bunch of guns lying around in more kindergartens, what could possibly go wrong? /snark

      Can we allot more public funding for mental health services for the vocal minority of individuals who are incapable of feeling guilt, remorse or empathy for their actions of calling for more guns and lightly regulated gun ownership? I'm surprised more of them have not yet commented here already.

      How about getting a public list of concealed carry licensees in the state that can be accessed online by the public, or maybe even accessed by the local police in you neighborhood.

  2. I saw a statistic that there are 20 mass shootings a year in the US. I think we don't have all the list here because no one ever writes articles anymore about the kids killed in South Central LA or Harlem and a side effect or even direct result of gang violence

    1. How about the kids killed in Milwaukee, Chicago or any other American city?

  3. Beside making mental health care more readily available, I think making owning an assault weapon of any type should be illegal and the guns turned in or confiscated. There is no reason for citizens to have access this type of weapon. These weapons are not self-defense for hunting weapons. They are designed to inflict the maximum damage on the maximum number of victims.

    I'd like to think that we as a country have progressed beyond the wild west.

  4. Luanne that's not remotely realistic. They're out there now, and while I agree with your sentiment it's just not feasible.

    1. Someone told me today that there are 300 million guns out there in America. I don't know if that's true, but the number didn't surprise me. Her point was that there was no way to get rid of all those guns. But I don't think that means we should just give up and accept the situation.

      What about making ammunition sales illegal?

  5. We can start by banning large ammunition magazines that were designed for a firefight rather than for hunting or even personal protection.

    If you take your weapon out of your home you should be required to have liability insurance and produce proof of insurance if stopped by law enforcement. If you don't have proof of insurance your gun is confiscated.

    Insurance companies will not want to sell gun liability insurance to people with mental illness or a history of brawling or domestic abuse.

    Taxing ammunition heavily would also be a good idea. There is no rational reason for someone to horde thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    Weapons should be required to be unloaded when transported in a motor vehicle or carried in public. If you violate this law the weapon will be confiscated. The only exceptions would be when actually hunting or using a target range. Trained and licensed security personnel would be exempt while on the job.

    Repeal "concealed carry" and "stand your ground" laws.

    1. I personally wouldnt have such a problem with CCW if they had a serious training piece to it and did not have to pass the stand your ground laws , absolving any gun owner of any responsibility of their actions.

  6. Here's an interesting article from 2011 by Richard Florida on gun violence across different states.

    Biggest takeaway, states with higher poverty, ones that vote GOP, and those that allow weapons in schools are much more likely to have gun deaths than places. On the flip side, places that have lower amounts of gun deaths are in states with higher levels of education, economic output, and stricter requirements like assault weapon bans and gun storage requirements.

    You can say correlation isn't causation, but at a certain point, it stops being a coincidence. I'd like to see the changes since Jan 2011, as TeaBag governors and legislatures have taken over in states like ours and passed laws that closer match the poorer, more violent states.

  7. I appreciate the recognition of the need for better mental health services and and for increased funding for such services. We need to increase awareness about mental illness. We also need to school people on the signs of potentially violent behavior. We must also inform people that very few mentally ill individuals are violent and the systematic treatment of any group of people (even Conservative Evangelical Republicans) is always wrong. I've heard so many reports tying the man's mental illness to his odd behavior to his actions without any facts about diagnosis or treatment. I have no doubt he was profoundly disturbed, but that is all. I do not want a widespread reduction in only the rights of the mentally ill or an increase in stigma due to this tragedy. Better gun restrictions for all I can handle.