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Enough
Author: BobR    Date: 2012-12-19 13:00:00

After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School this past Friday, I wrote a blog decrying the nation's romantic attachment to firearms. Velveeta followed on Sunday discussing mental health care and the morons who blame "lack of God in the classroom". Raine tied it together on Monday describing the problem this nation has with proactively dealing with the kind of mental health problems that lead to these nightmares.

As the president said in his address to the residents of Newtown, CT, the causes are complex, and the solutions will be as well. It will likely be a combination of training school personnel to be proactive in dealing with children that are on the path to a mental breakdown, ensuring that mental health treatments are covered by insurance, educating the public that mental health problems are just that - not weakness, and yes - stricter gun regulations.

Naturally, there are the gun nuts who think any regulation is one too many. They have suggested arming teachers, an idea which seems ludicrous to anyone that doesn't think more guns are the solution. Having had a few days to consider it, I've reached several conclusions why this is a bad idea:

  1. There's an assumption that teachers *want* to be armed. What if no teacher at that school wanted to carry a gun?
  2. Having guns in a classroom with a distracted harried teacher and lots of curious kids sounds like a recipe for disaster.
  3. There's the assumption that the instincts of the teacher would be to grab the gun rather than corral the kids and get them into a safe position.
  4. There's the assumption that a person (ANY person) whose training consisted of target practice within the safe confines of a target range is going to be able to shoot at another human being while being shot at. Soldiers go through "live fire" training for a reason. Even police have to overcome the natural inclination to run from gunfire. A teacher? Not likely.
  5. Finally - I have to wonder what other tragedy could occur with a teacher lying in wait in a classroom of kids, waiting for that gunman to come through the door. What if it's another teacher, or a first-responder and the teacher shoots them in a panic? What if a SWAT team member comes through the door and sees the teacher with a gun and assumes it's the killer? This has disaster written all over it.

I've shared on facebook a photo that's going around that says "If a child hits another child with a rock, the solution is NOT for every child to have a rock". It seems so simple. It's kind of the basis for reigning in the arms race back in the Cold War days. With everyone armed, all it takes is one flared temper and suddenly the rocks are flying.

President Dwight Eisenhower once said "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without". Such is the problem with spending money on weapons and training - at some point, you lose track of what it is you're trying to protect - the innocence of the children.

President Eisenhower had another famous quote: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed". All the money spent on training and guns and armed guards could be spent on mental health care to proactively prevent another massacre.

There's another very real theft, though that happens every time a shooting occurs at a school: the theft of our country's future. All those bright candles snuffed out before they had a chance to shine their light on humanity. What if one had grown up and found a cure for cancer? What if one had grown up and written a song that brought comfort to millions? What if one had grown up to become a teacher and pass on that beautiful gift of knowledge and inspiration and motivation? What if one had grown up to become a leader that bridged the chasms between right and left, between Christian and Muslim, between fear and hope?

Where would our world be today if Martin Luther King Jr had been killed in his elementary school? What about Ghandi or Abraham Lincoln?

The National Review wrote that these incidents are the price we have to pay for the 2nd Amendment. If that is the case, then the price is too high. Already half of our national budget goes toward the military, despite the lack of credible foes prepared to attack us. To ask that we spend more capital, more lives, and the future of our country to protect an antiquated notion is too much to bear. We are destroying that which we are trying to protect.

Enough.

87 comments (Latest Comment: 12/20/2012 01:28:37 by Raine)
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Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 13:27:28
What a wonderful thing it is that you have written, BobR.

Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 13:29:20




Comment by wickedpam on 12/19/2012 13:39:53
Morning

Awesome as always!

Comment by velveeta jones on 12/19/2012 13:42:12
Wow. Great Blog!!!


Good morning all.

Comment by Scoopster on 12/19/2012 13:45:33
Mornin' all.. Excellent blog today, Bob.

Feeling a bit better today. Still kinda stewin' from the events of the past couple days.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 13:54:58
Out frickin' standing!

I think Neal Young said it well (albiet for an entirely different circumstance) in his song, "Rockin' In the Free World"

There's one more kid
that will never go to school
Never get to fall in love,
never get to be cool.

Comment by velveeta jones on 12/19/2012 14:07:15
btw:

Velveeta blogger joe gift could be a tad late. Sorry. I suck

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:10:00
Oh, Poor Momma -- how couldt he dude leave the gate open? that poor puppy.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:10:09
Quote by velveeta jones:
btw:

Velveeta blogger joe gift could be a tad late. Sorry. I suck



You were busy yesterday harassing the NRA, it's okay.

Comment by wickedpam on 12/19/2012 14:11:08
I was just going to mention Blogger Joe, did everyone want to wait till Monday to open. I confess I didn't get mine out till yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers it gets there by Friday.

No worries Vel, I think time has gotten away from everyone this year

Comment by wickedpam on 12/19/2012 14:11:44
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by velveeta jones:
btw:

Velveeta blogger joe gift could be a tad late. Sorry. I suck



You were busy yesterday harassing the NRA, it's okay.



see, valid reason

Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 14:13:11
TriSec is hoping for the good graces of the USPS to convey my package to its appointed place at the appointed time.

Monday might be the better choice.

<-- Late Santa.




Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:17:30
POTUS is Time's Person of the Year. hooraayyy/ :trails off:

Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 14:18:09


I'm more impressed by the blurb circulating on FB...about the Fort Hood shootings. Here the shooter was surrounded by assault weapons, and soldiers trained to use them, and they still couldn't stop him. And we want to arm teachers?



Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 14:19:02
Quote by Mondobubba:
POTUS is Time's Person of the Year. hooraayyy/ :trails off:



RWNM: Yeah, well so was Hitler!

(Godwins himself out of the game.)


Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:19:33
Quote by TriSec:


I'm more impressed by the blurb circulating on FB...about the Fort Hood shootings. Here the shooter was surrounded by assault weapons, and soldiers trained to use them, and they still couldn't stop him. And we want to arm teachers?




Sorry, but FB memes don't count. Interesting though they maybe.

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:23:54
So can someone please explain this to me? Who is going to pay for all of these uniformed police officers at schools?

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:25:30
Quote by wickedpam:
I was just going to mention Blogger Joe, did everyone want to wait till Monday to open. I confess I didn't get mine out till yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers it gets there by Friday.

No worries Vel, I think time has gotten away from everyone this year
Same here.

Monday would be better for us as well. sorry.


Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:35:38
Quote by Raine:
So can someone please explain this to me? Who is going to pay for all of these uniformed police officers at schools?



Silly person, isn't obvious? The already financially strapped states of course! The federal gummit can't possibly do another program like COPS again, that would be socialism!



Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:35:53
Alan Diaz, 20, asked her how her son was doing.

To Diaz, it seemed that Adam Lanza just disappeared from high school after his sophomore year, but it turns out that Lanza, then 16, was taking classes at Western Connecticut State University, a school spokesman said.

It was hard to forget a kid like Adam Lanza.

"I would call him a genius," Diaz said.

Lanza got a 3.26 GPA at WCSU, including an A in a computer class, the school spokesman told CNN, but Lanza took his last class in 2009 and didn't come back.



Read more:

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:36:34
I'm so looking forward to car shopping this Saturday. Yippee. :/

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:42:57
Quote by Mondobubba:
I'm so looking forward to car shopping this Saturday. Yippee. :/
So, officially the car is done?


Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:44:01
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So can someone please explain this to me? Who is going to pay for all of these uniformed police officers at schools?



Silly person, isn't obvious? The already financially strapped states of course! The federal gummit can't possibly do another program like COPS again, that would be socialism!

Right?

Conservatives HATE spending until it affect them personally. There is so much hypocrisy


Comment by Scoopster on 12/19/2012 14:46:21
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
I was just going to mention Blogger Joe, did everyone want to wait till Monday to open. I confess I didn't get mine out till yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers it gets there by Friday.

No worries Vel, I think time has gotten away from everyone this year
Same here.

Monday would be better for us as well. sorry.

Ditto.. I'm sending my package out this morning.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:47:30
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
So can someone please explain this to me? Who is going to pay for all of these uniformed police officers at schools?



Silly person, isn't obvious? The already financially strapped states of course! The federal gummit can't possibly do another program like COPS again, that would be socialism!

Right?

Conservatives HATE spending until it affect them personally. There is so much hypocrisy


The Clinton era omnibus crime bill was a rousing success. Added cops on the streets, funded youth programs all kinds of stuff.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 14:48:40
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I'm so looking forward to car shopping this Saturday. Yippee. :/
So, officially the car is done?



Airbags deployed + 85K miles + lots of front end damage=Yeah, pretty sure.

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:53:46
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I'm so looking forward to car shopping this Saturday. Yippee. :/
So, officially the car is done?



Airbags deployed + 85K miles + lots of front end damage=Yeah, pretty sure.


Yeah. bummer.


Comment by wickedpam on 12/19/2012 14:55:31
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
I'm so looking forward to car shopping this Saturday. Yippee. :/
So, officially the car is done?



Airbags deployed + 85K miles + lots of front end damage=Yeah, pretty sure.


only 85K miles? you car was still a youngun compared to my 183K

by yeah, they probably call it totaled if the amount to repair is worth more then value of the car. although they could give you the option to have it repaired and the pay out would be less.


Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 14:57:45
Robert Bork has passed away.

Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 15:06:33
Hello, my new name is Ralph.

Well, not really. But they changed my regime 7 days ago now, and I haven't felt quite right since. With the Oxy, the side effects would have receded by now. Seems like the two drugs were working in concert somehow.

All the personally annoying side effects I was having were from the Oxalaplatin. Looks like the 5FU in now pointing on digestive side effects. And even the water tastes freakin' weird now.



Only two more left. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....ah, screw it.)


Comment by Scoopster on 12/19/2012 15:08:56
Quote by TriSec:
Hello, my new name is Ralph.

Well, not really. But they changed my regime 7 days ago now, and I haven't felt quite right since. With the Oxy, the side effects would have receded by now. Seems like the two drugs were working in concert somehow.

All the personally annoying side effects I was having were from the Oxalaplatin. Looks like the 5FU in now pointing on digestive side effects. And even the water tastes freakin' weird now.



Only two more left. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....ah, screw it.)

Hang in there chief.. Oh yeah! I've got two new connections and one is for the good stuff so if you need any let me know. ;)

Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 15:18:28


Found a new website...reading up on the side effects again.

I sure am glad they went with Metal Salts instead of a Mustard Gas Derivative...

•Mustard gas derivatives: Mechlorethamine, Cyclophosphamide, Chlorambucil, Melphalan, and Ifosfamide.

•Metal salts: Carboplatin, Cisplatin, and Oxaliplatin.


Comment by velveeta jones on 12/19/2012 15:26:15
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
I was just going to mention Blogger Joe, did everyone want to wait till Monday to open. I confess I didn't get mine out till yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers it gets there by Friday.

No worries Vel, I think time has gotten away from everyone this year
Same here.

Monday would be better for us as well. sorry.

Ditto.. I'm sending my package out this morning.

Oh thank Cheesus I'm not the only loser on here. :P

Also, sending hugs to you TriSec.

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 15:26:30
Caller is breaking my heart.



Comment by BobR on 12/19/2012 15:46:19
Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 15:50:38
An article on seceding from Alternet.

I don't think that these folks in Texas have a good grasp on Marx:

he fact of the matter is, that there cannot be a union between those that esteem the principles of Karl Marx over the principles of Thomas Jefferson. Here in Texas, we esteem those principles of Thomas Jefferson—that all political power’s inherent in the people.


Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 15:58:19
Wow...

Glad they have the priorities in order.


Comment by TriSec on 12/19/2012 16:02:47
A lengthy email from Senator-Elect Warren:


One of the country's largest billboards is next to Fenway Park, facing the Massachusetts Turnpike. It has a giant number counter.

When I was running for the Senate, I passed that billboard nearly every week, sometimes three or four times in a single day. I always looked at the counter to see how it had changed since the last trip, counting the change -- up two, six more, another one.

The counter is from Stop Handgun Violence, and it shows the number of children killed by guns in the United States. Every time I saw it I thought about another small coffin.

Over the past two years, more than 6,000 children have been killed by guns. The number jumped by twenty little children last Friday, and then it climbed on Saturday, on Sunday, and kept on climbing as other children died.

Like millions of people across this country, I was heartbroken by the news of Sandy Hook Elementary School. I don't know how to explain their deaths, or to explain why six heroic teachers and staff members needed to make the ultimate sacrifice for their kids. And I don't know how any of us explain what happened to our children and our grandchildren.

The ultimate causes of such tragedy are impossible to understand fully, but the difficulty of untangling all the elements is not an excuse for failing to do what we can to make our children safer. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children to take the steps we can to stop the violence.

There may be no foolproof solution, but that doesn't mean we can't do better.
As Mayor Tom Menino -- co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- said, "Now is the time for a national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods and the tragedies like today out of our future."

That's why, when I get to the Senate, I will sign onto Senator Feinstein's bill to re-instate a ban on assault weapons and other commonsense gun control measures.
I grew up in family that used guns. My older brothers hunted, and I learned to shoot when I was in grade school. I understand the role that hunting and guns play in many communities across the country. There can be a place for responsible gun ownership in our society.

But no one needs military-grade assault weapons to hunt, and no one needs Rambo-style high capacity magazines to protect their family from intruders.
The facts are simple: 83 Americans die every day from gun violence in America. Eight of those people are children or teenagers. Eight a day, every day -- thousands a year, tens of thousands in the last decade.

If eight children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would mobilize to put a stop to it. Gun violence is an epidemic that is taking our children's lives in our schools, on our streets, and in our neighborhoods.
As with other epidemics, we must do everything we can to make a difference for people through prevention and treatment. We must renew our commitment to mental health care -- to ensure that children and adults can receive both the physical and psychological health care they need in America.

And we must put in place commonsense gun laws and enforce those laws. Right now, 40% of gun sales are not subject to a federal background check because they are purchased privately at gun shows, online, or person-to-person. The Fix Gun Checks Act would close this huge loophole. We must look for other reasonable measures like this to protect our kids as we move forward.

Re-authorizing the assault weapons ban is a responsible first step that we can take now. Is that all we can do? Of course not. Is it a full solution that will stop all gun violence? No, but it is a start.

It is not possible to explain to our children what happened in Sandy Hook, but it is possible to make changes that will help keep them safer. We owe this to all our children.

Thank you,
Elizabeth


http://www.stophandgunviolence.org/

Comment by Will in Chicago on 12/19/2012 16:09:23
BobR, thanks for a great blog!

Speaking as a teacher, I do not believe that having teachers armed would work well. It takes a great deal of training to be an accurate shooter under fire.

As for myself, I am job hunting. I am so looking forward to the new year.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 16:09:42



Mu Mandarin Wal-Mart doesn't sell guns.

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 16:15:50
If eight children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would mobilize to put a stop to it. Gun violence is an epidemic that is taking our children's lives in our schools, on our streets, and in our neighborhoods.


Comment by Will in Chicago on 12/19/2012 16:23:37
Quote by Raine:
If eight children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would mobilize to put a stop to it. Gun violence is an epidemic that is taking our children's lives in our schools, on our streets, and in our neighborhoods.



Raine, I have subbed at schools where gang violence in the surrounding neighborhood caused several student deaths each year. It is high time that we do something, and I am determined to do my part.

Comment by Scoopster on 12/19/2012 16:39:07
Quote by Mondobubba:

Mu Mandarin Wal-Mart doesn't sell guns.

I'm amazed that Eminem isn't on that list, but the Goo Goo Dolls is?!

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 16:39:44
So, Sen Inouye, Judge Bork and...

Please insert who you think with be the next in the death trifecta.

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 16:40:57
Fun fact about the late senior Senator from Hawai'i. His son Kenny was very big in the HarDCore scene in DC during the 80s.

Comment by Raine on 12/19/2012 16:49:16
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Mondobubba:

Mu Mandarin Wal-Mart doesn't sell guns.

I'm amazed that Eminem isn't on that list, but the Goo Goo Dolls is?!
that was the strangest of them all.


Comment by Will in Chicago on 12/19/2012 16:54:01
Charlie Piece has some thoughts in Esquire on the proposed deals from the White House and Boehner. (I oppose the idea of switching SSI to the chained consumer price index.)

The Grand Sellout Emerges

Comment by Mondobubba on 12/19/2012 16:54:58
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Scoopster:
Quote by Mondobubba:

Mu Mandarin Wal-Mart doesn't sell guns.

I'm amazed that Eminem isn't on that list, but the Goo Goo Dolls is?!
that was the strangest of them all.


Pregnant Barbie was my personal favorite.