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February 15, 2018 - 9:31am

Today's Local Deals: Should more be done to deal with gun violence in the U.S.?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
tom hunt
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What happened to the idea to select one teacher or administrator and have him or her have a loaded gun on site in a locked desk. This person would be trained in the proper use of the fire arm and would be solely responsible for it's use? Unfortunately the use of force is the only solution to this increase in shooting in our open school system.

tom hunt
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I see that my comment garnered one negative vote. If you don't agree with my opinion, please state what you would do to stop this senseless violence in our school system. I feel that just the presence of a loaded gun on site would be enough to deter anybody from committing this violent act.

Jim Urtel Jr
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I think it`s come to the point that they need an armed guard and a metal detector on every entrance to every school in the country no matter what the cost is.

david spaulding
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How about, there isn't anything you can do about it ?... it is what it is, deal with it......

Try to think about all the innocent people the United States kills everyday on the other side of the world, I don't think America is losing any sleep over it..

Rich Richmond
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God bless the brave teachers who protected the students during and after the fact. We need to do more for them, so they don’t have to die as human shields.

God bless the first responders, police, fireman, and medics who sadly arrived, after the fact to care for the injured victims.

We need to stop pretending that passing more gun laws without enforcing the ones we have will solve anything. We pass laws designating schools “GUN FREE ZONES” as if this will stop a school shooting. Sensible gun laws don’t disarm law-abiding citizens. Effective Mental Health Laws and national databases are a good start.
We need to do something in schools that work, such as armed, trained profilers and secure entrances, to keep the bad or mentally ill people out.

We have fire drills IN GUN FREE ZONES, but no active shooter drills in GUN FREE ZONES. When was the last time in this country, 17 or more students died in a fire or a school burned to the ground after a fire drill?

Most school shootings last five minutes or less. The Swat Teams and police arrive after the fact.

We protect our government buildings and politicians with layer up layer of physical barriers and armed security details. Major Corporations use the models of armed security details and physical barriers because they work.

Jim Urtel Jr
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"How about, there isn't anything you can do about it ?... it is what it is, deal with it......

Try to think about all the innocent people the United States kills everyday on the other side of the world, I don't think America is losing any sleep over it.."

Wow Dave, you really are special aren`t you?

david spaulding
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thank you jim..... I think you're special too......

Jim Urtel Jr
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So I guess you think to hell with it, there`s nothing we can do about kids getting shot up in schools? Just live with it? What kind of person would even think to say such a thing? Then compare it to the US killing innocent people? Who, the terrorists? Step away from the bong for a few minutes and wake up! Would you say that if your kid was in that school and got shot?

Brian Graz
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Just something to ponder...

NUMBER OF DEATHS IN US 2016 (CDC)
1. Heart disease: 633,842
2. Cancer: 595,930
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 155,041
4. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 146,571
5. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 140,323
6. Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561
7. Diabetes: 79,535
8. Influenza and pneumonia: 57,062
9. Kidney Failure: (nephritis): 49,959
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,193
43. Gun violence (excluding suicide): 15,549

NOTE: in 2017 Unintentional injuries - driven by a staggering increase in accidental drug overdoses due to dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl - are now the third leading cause of death: 161,374 (63,600 people who died after a drug overdose).

aLSO, abortions far outpace any other cause of death in the USA, but are not included in most accountings [because those aren't persons]. The CDC began tracking abortion numbers in 1969, today there are only two recognized credible sources, CDC and Guttmacher Institute - AGI. Compiled from both, based on available state-level data, approximately 893,000 abortions took place in the United States in 2016 - down from approximately 914,000 abortions in 2015.

david spaulding
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There you go Jim, look at those numbers, it's not as bad as you thought eh?

Jim Urtel Jr
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Those numbers mean absolutely nothing. How do you compare an idiot on a shooting spree to any natural causes? You can`t.

Jim Urtel Jr
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The problem is that even though this kid was posting all over social media that he was going to become a professional school shooter, he was allowed to buy an AR-15 with no problem and do what he did! Sorry, but the gun laws need to be tougher and security needs to be upgraded at the schools, period. It said on the news this morning that there have been something like 240 school shootings since 2012 in Sandy Hook. I would say that`s 240 too many! Something has to be done because the current system isn`t working.

Rich Richmond
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Cruz may have been allowed to legally purchase this firearm because his juvenile record was not accessible to investigators conducting his background check. Juvenile records must be made accessible to authorities for background checks for every potential gun buyer. People ineligible because of mental problems and criminal records must be held accountable for trying to purchase a firearm after the authorities deny them. The laws are already on the books. Enforce them with a vengeance.

John Roach
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Jim, the Federal background check does not check social media. If it did, I doubt many would even be allowed a drivers license. It seems people knew he could be a danger, but nobody stepped up to report it. How do you fix that? .

david spaulding
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Rich, which God do you wish for the blessing ?

Howard B. Owens
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Monitoring social media (however logistically difficult) seems fraught with both free speech and due process conflicts.

Julie Morales
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As long as the GOP values NRA blood money and LIES over children’s lives, nothing will change.

I am so sick of idiots, “Too soon to talk about it…” “Don’t politicize tragedy…” and “Thoughts and prayers…” from Washington. Who believes that worthless obligatory response?

I want to hear Trump “pray” about US gun deaths in front of the world. I want to hear Trump lead the country in “prayers” for the never ending murders of babies. “Please God…keep the NRA gravy train running at full steam.” What a putrid lump of hypocritical crap.

Who the hell needs a semi automatic rifle. There’s only one purpose and everybody knows it. It’s sickening.

Rich, the school does have “shooter drills.”

“Teacher Melissa Falkowski said drills for a code red (active shooter) situation had been well rehearsed: ‘We could not have been more prepared for this situation … we have trained for this, we have trained the kids for what to do … We did everything that we were supposed to do.’”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/15/florida-school-shooting-...

Abortion isn’t a “cause of death,” and how would the CDC or anyone else have “tracked” abortions in 1969? Has what to do with mass gun murder?

Howard B. Owens
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"As long as the GOP values NRA blood money and LIES over children’s lives, nothing will change."

It's these kinds of stark partisan attacks and mischaracterizations that increase the divide that makes any chance of reform or change an unreachable fantasy.

Real reform only comes through compromise and compromise is only possible when there is mutual respect and trust and a willingness to see the other side's point of view.

It cuts both ways, of course.

Rich Richmond
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Good point, Howard, and both parties accept money from lobbyists.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-helmke/democrats-take-nra-cash-b_b_6...

https://www.opposingviews.com/i/democrats-take-nra-cash-block-disclosure

Here are the names of 53 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have taken money from the NRA this year and have tried to block the disclosure that they did:

Jason Altmire (PA);
Joe Baca (CA);
John Barrow (GA);
Marion Berry (AR);
Sanford Bishop (GA);
John Boccieri (OH);
Dan Boren (OK);
Leonard Boswell (IA);
Rick Boucher (VA);
Allen Boyd (FL);
Bobby Bright (AL);
Chris Carney (PA);
Ben Chandler (KY);
Jerry Costello (IL);
Henry Cuellar (TX);
Lincoln Davis (TN);
John Dingell (MI);
Joe Donnelly (IN);
Chet Edwards (TX);
Brad Ellsworth (IN);
Bart Gordon (TN);
Gene Green (TX);
Deborah Halvorson (IL);
Martin Heinrich (NM);
Brian Higgins (NY);
Baron Hill (IN);
Tim Holden (PA);
Steve Kagen (WI);
Paul Kanjorski (PA);
Larry Kissell (NC);
Frank Kratovil (MD);
Jim Marshall (GA);
Jim Matheson (UT);
Mike McIntyre (NC);
Mike Michaud (ME);
Alan Mollohan (WV);
Scott Murphy (NY);
Glenn Nye (VA);
David Obey (WI);
Tom Perriello (VA);
Collin Peterson (MN);
Earl Pomeroy (ND);
Nick Rahall (WV);
Mike Ross (AR);
Tim Ryan (OH);
John Salazar (CO);
Heath Shuler (NC);
Ike Skelton (MO);
Zachary Space (OH);
Bart Stupak (MI);
Gene Taylor (MS);
Timothy Walz (MN);
Charlie Wilson (OH).

david spaulding
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You might like to know that most of the members of the NRA are Americans and most believe they have a Right to protect themselves. If you wish to wait on someone with a gun to come and protect you when you holler for help, that's ok, but sheesh, don't expect everyone else to....

Jim Urtel Jr
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The FBI was notified about this guy months ago! No way this nut should have ever been allowed to purchase a gun, no less an AR-15 with many clips. Being he was able to shows just how bad the process is.

Randy Sliker
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Who the hell needs a semi automatic rifle. There’s only one purpose and everybody knows it. It’s sickening.
With all respect Julie==its called the Bill Of RIGHTS!!! Not the Bill of needs ,,

Rich Richmond
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More food for thought on school shooting from the Daily Wire.

https://www.dailywire.com/node/27165#

Howard B. Owens
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It’s important not to draw conclusions based on hindsight bias. It’s always very easy to say the shooter, the clues, the evidence, were obvious after the shooting. It’s much harder to spot shooters before they act.

Rick Hensel
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"As long as the GOP values NRA blood money and LIES over children’s lives, nothing will change.

I am so sick of idiots, “Too soon to talk about it…” “Don’t politicize tragedy…” and “Thoughts and prayers…” from Washington. Who believes that worthless obligatory response?

I want to hear Trump “pray” about US gun deaths in front of the world. I want to hear Trump lead the country in “prayers” for the never ending murders of babies. “Please God…keep the NRA gravy train running at full steam.” What a putrid lump of hypocritical crap.

Who the hell needs a semi automatic rifle. There’s only one purpose and everybody knows it. It’s sickening.

Rich, the school does have “shooter drills.”

“Teacher Melissa Falkowski said drills for a code red (active shooter) situation had been well rehearsed: ‘We could not have been more prepared for this situation … we have trained for this, we have trained the kids for what to do … We did everything that we were supposed to do.’”

Abortion isn’t a “cause of death,” and how would the CDC or anyone else have “tracked” abortions in 1969? Has what to do with mass gun murder?"

WOW ! Has someone gone off their meds?

Ed Hartgrove
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Julie. You wrote, "Who the hell needs a semi automatic rifle. There’s only one purpose and everybody knows it."

I suppose you're correct, in that, the purpose of a semi automatic rifle is to shoot it. I'm gonna fall into the trap of assuming, again, and guess that you meant the only purpose of having a semi-automatic rifle was to kill.

Perhaps you should take the time to search OTHER reasons why people own semi automatic rifles. A quick search on YouTube for Target Shooting AR15 will dispel the thought that semi-automatic rifles are a one-purpose firearm.

Or, visit the YouTube channel Hickok45, where retired middle-school English teacher, Greg Kinman, reveals his delight in shooting an AR15 (for SPORTING purposes).

But, then again, I suppose that wouldn't fit your narrative.

John Roach
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Julie and rick, explain to us why this is happening now. In the 1950's and 60's, there were almost as many people who owned guns. And guns of all types were much easier to get and own There were no background checks. Many schools even offered gun safety programs and had rifle shooting clubs. Why only since the mid 60's on has this been a problem? And, why do school district in many areas refuse to hire armed security officers for the schools?

Tim Miller
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Parkland did have armed security
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/armed-guard-florida-school-encount...
https://thinkprogress.org/fox-news-parkland-shooting-armed-guard-7fbe62f...

And as noted above, the school did have shooter drills.

As to how did this guy buy his gun legally, my guess is what somebody noted about juvenile records being suppressed. He bought the gun a year ago, legally, when he was 18.

Rich Richmond
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They had one armed Security Officer for a campus of 3000, and that is obviously inadequate, and yes they had an active shooter view, and many of the students, at first, that it wasn't real.

The shooter was reported to the FBI, and there was no follow up. Semi-Auto rifles have been around 100 years, plus. When I was16, I purchased a Remington 742 Woodsmaster semi-auto rifle in 30-06. I had friends, 18 and 19 years old who owned AR-15 Rifles, sporting rifle-varmint rifles (woodchucks) and both served honorably in Vietnam.

We have a mental health issue in this country that needs to be addressed, the common theme in these types of shooting. Hipaa laws and regulations- sealed juvenile records prevent thorough background checks and this must change

david spaulding
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.... A day later and with all that ranting and raving we are back to where we were two days ago... A day where We have a Right to speak against our government without fear of retaliation, a day where We have a Right to protect ourselves and our family from not only thugs but from a tyrant government too.

Howard B. Owens
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Again, I'd warn against hindsight bias.

It's real easy to say what should have been done after the shooting. It's a lot harder before.

When you start talking about acting on what people say, there are Constitutional issues to consider. When you start talking about acting on people's supposed mental health, there are privacy issues to consider. When you start talking about ramping up security at this or that place, there are police state/due process issues to consider. Going down any of these paths are fraught with unintended consequences.

The vast majority of people with mental health problems, even those who have anger issues, don't become deadly threats.

Are we prepared as a society to take on the consequences and expense of acting as if they are?

Consider this case:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-16/this-short-seller-pre...

Here you have a guy suing the government because the FBI showed up after he threatened a company CEO on Twitter. He's mounting a free speech defense.

FWIW: I'm not advocating a do-nothing approach. This is a complex and difficult issue that neither the left nor the right seems willing to deal with in a systematic way. Looking at it though, through a narrow field of vision, doesn't help surface solutions.

It's not just the guns, it's not just mental health, it's also culture and society. We all share a little of the blame.

Rich Richmond
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Howard, what due process issues are you referring to by securing our schools?

Howard B. Owens
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Rich, increased security always raises the potential for due process issues, unintended consequences.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Howard, it might also save some lives! We might have to live with some due process issues.

Rich Richmond
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Howard,

Due process is the judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual. Due process is also formal proceedings (such as legal proceedings) carried out regularly and in accordance with established rules and principles — called also procedural due process.

We secure our school buildings. We have armed professionals protecting our child. There is one entrance and exist to the said school, with two or three barriers-check points to pass through.
The remaining entrances can be monitored by security cameras and alarms, and can’t be open from the outside.

There are metal detachers at the main entrance. All visitors must show ID and state their business. They must open their coats, and or bags etc. They then will be issued a temporary encrypted pass-ID. They will be required to sign in and sign out.

The students, teachers, and other employees will be issued a similar an encrypted ID with their photo.

Everybody is treated the same. Nothing is unfair or arbitrary here.

Where is the due process violated? What are the unintended consequences?

John Roach
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You get screened at the Genesee County Court House, you get screened at the Buffalo and Rochester airports, you get screened at some national parks. You even get screened to go to a Buffalo Bills game. Armed personal at all. Why not for schools?

Rick Hensel
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John Roach, I agree with you totally. My point was that the test I referred to in quotes in my opinion seemed to be authored by someone who has gone off their meds and not totally rational, that text being :

"As long as the GOP values NRA blood money and LIES over children’s lives, nothing will change.

I am so sick of idiots, “Too soon to talk about it…” “Don’t politicize tragedy…” and “Thoughts and prayers…” from Washington. Who believes that worthless obligatory response?

I want to hear Trump “pray” about US gun deaths in front of the world. I want to hear Trump lead the country in “prayers” for the never ending murders of babies. “Please God…keep the NRA gravy train running at full steam.” What a putrid lump of hypocritical crap.

Who the hell needs a semi automatic rifle. There’s only one purpose and everybody knows it. It’s sickening.

Rich, the school does have “shooter drills.”

“Teacher Melissa Falkowski said drills for a code red (active shooter) situation had been well rehearsed: ‘We could not have been more prepared for this situation … we have trained for this, we have trained the kids for what to do … We did everything that we were supposed to do.’”

Abortion isn’t a “cause of death,” and how would the CDC or anyone else have “tracked” abortions in 1969? Has what to do with mass gun murder?"

Julie Morales
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John, were American civilians buying recreational semi automatic weapons in the 50s and 60s? That’s a bit before my time. Why do you think this is happening now?

Trump tweets it’s mental illness. He’s got 12 million NRA reasons to say so. Think he’ll do something about this, then?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-signs-bill-revoking-obama-era...

Maybe he’ll do something to ensure dangerous mental health conditions are covered by health insurance, like toss millions of Americans off coverage. Probably he won’t mention it at all though.

I would imagine that school districts in many areas refuse to hire armed security officers for the schools because they can’t afford to. Teachers pay out of pocket for classroom supplies so it’s doubtful salaries for armed security officers are in the budget. Is there some other reason you’re being coy about?

Rick only quoted me as a platform for his incisive and compelling rebuttal.

David, how many times have you had to use a gun to protect your family from “thugs” and/or the government? Don’t worry…I’ll never holler for you to help or protect me. Maybe you’ve seen a few too many glorified war movies. You think shooting people is as simple as flicking the remote or toggle on your video game? If it’s down to guns, you’ve already lost.

It’s funny, sounds like you think my disgust with hypocritical NRA worshippers means I wouldn’t own a gun. In fact I’m an excellent shot.

Ed, yes, I’m sure there are many valid reasons for everyday folk to acquire lethal military weaponry. You never know when you might have to overthrow the government.

John Roach
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Julie, yes, many did buy them. And don't kid yourself, Democrats take NRA money also.

As for why now and not then? Could it be discipline in schools has become weak. Schools and teachers are under the eye of groups if too many kids are held back or suspended or disciplined. Are we making too many excuses for kids having poor behavior?.

And in this most recent case, gun laws were followed-period. Other people dropped the ball by not reporting or following up on his behavior that could have prevented his legally buying the rifle.

As for mental health, many policies cover it. But if you use it, then you get labeled. And with guns, too many officials will try to take your guns if you report any problem, and right now, you do not always get due process.

Ed Hartgrove
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Rich Richmond wrote (NOTE - misspelled words corrected for easier reading):
"There is one entrance and exit to the said school, with two or three barriers-check points to pass through.The remaining entrances can be monitored by security cameras and alarms, and can’t be open from the outside.
There are metal detectors at the main entrance.
What are the unintended consequences?"

One unintended consequence could be, when 1,000 students are standing on the sidewalk outside the school, awaiting their turn to pass through the "one-person-at-a-time" myriad of security measures (metal detectors, purse/backpack inspection, opening of coats), some "nut-job" has before them a thousand people on the sidewalk, milling around in groups of 3-15. Talk about "ducks in a barrel". When you significantly slow down the process of people getting INTO the building, you create a whole different problem to deal with.

Rich Richmond
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Regarding Post #40, February 16, 2018, at 9:45 PM (new).

Ed, Hartgrove, In the paragraphs you cut and pasted, I misspelled one word, detectors. I wrote in haste. I may have made other mistakes. Thank you for pointing it out. In your Post #26, you wrote “semi automatic,” instead of semi-automatic. You forgot the hyphen between semi and automatic.

Was your Post #40, and pointing out my honest mistake, an example of an unintended consequence?

John Roach
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So, Ed have more than one detector and have more than one officer for a complex that large. Or, let staff carry firearms.

Rich Richmond
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Good point, John. You and I worked in armed and secure Facilities, where visitors and employees are put through metal detectors. We searched bags, briefcases, etc, for contraband, drugs, and weapons. There are heavy traffic periods, such as shift change, when extra staff is available, and we were subject to the same searches as everyone else.

Ed Hartgrove
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Rich.
Regarding Post #41, you are (half) correct.
In my haste in writing Comment #26, I forgot, twice, to hyphenate semi-automatic (and, REMEMBERED twice to hyphenate it) - I'm not counting the copy/paste from Julie's comment.

As for your misspelled word(s) in Comment #35, if I'm not mistaken, you had 2 misspelled words - exit, and, detectors. But, who's counting?

And, yes, my pointing out your honest mistake, most likely, WAS an example of an unintended consequence. LOL

Rich Richmond
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Fair enough, Ed, exit stage right.

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