The comment below was posted under my earlier post “Contrasting reactions to the Colorado shootings from Pres. Obama, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert“. It would have also been appropriate under Gun Violence and Our Dark Underside: 12 More Dead in Shooting Gallery America because it hits a few of the same points.
We should post this daily, along with Darcy Burner’s “An adult conversation about guns“.
Bolding is mine:
First off, Louie Gohmert is a moron. His crazy religious BS talk makes me sick.
As to the shooting, it’s tragic. It was probably also preventable on a number of levels.
The shooter obviously has mental health issues. There’s no way to commit an act like this without being a psychopath or suffering from some mental breakdown. Had he made his plan known to anyone? Had he hinted at it in a cry for help? Did he post on social media about his intent? I’m sure we’ll find out in the weeks to come.
Obviously people with mental health issues shouldn’t own firearms. That goes without saying.
Could a security guard or an armed citizen have prevented this? Possibly. Is the answer to arm everyone? No, it’s not.
I’ll say it here first on my sister’s blog. I believe we need tougher gun control in the form of a proactive screening process. I’m not talking about phoning the ATF to see if a person has a criminal record. I’m talking about testing. Psychological and competency testing.
In over 20 years as a firearms instructor I’ve encountered people that I refused to take on as students. I made a decision based on their demeanor, their words and whether or not they gave me the willies. Sadly, I’m sure they went down the road and took classes with someone who didn’t care about anything but the color of their money.
I teach people how to shoot pistols, shotguns and rifles. Yes, I even teach them how to shoot the AR15. Anyone who owns any firearm should train extensively. Just having a gun makes you a marksman like owning a piano makes you a pianist. I shoot between 5 and 7 thousand rounds a year. The average police officer shoots less than one thousand rounds a year.
Shooting in a situation like this isn’t only about the mechanics of shooting, it’s about mindset, personal responsibility and a host of other factors. In short, probably less than 10% of people who have CCW licenses in any given state are truly qualified to carry a firearm.
Tougher screening, rigorous and extensive checks and mandatory and thorough training are in order.
Just my 2 cents.
Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my buddy Mark Karlin:
America has a fascination with guns and gun violence that is a deadly pathology.
It happened again in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado – the home state of the Columbine massacre [...]
We will hear the wails of members of the victims’ families on television and watch them as tears roll down their faces. We will hear for a couple of days about who the shooter was and what was his likely motivation. Then we will see the first victims buried, many of them children in this case.
And then we will forget. [...]
The mass media will wring its hands for days and explore what narrow technical change in laws might have prevented the latest gun tragedy – and it will overlook the bigger picture of our deadly linkage of firearms with freedom. [...]
And it was after the Civil War that the handgun became the totemic symbol of liberty that it remains today, even though nearly 10,000 people a year in the US are killed with handguns and another 15,000 or more die as a result of shooting suicides or accidents. [...]
It is a national religion of sorts, considering the power of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry lobby in Washington and in state capitals. [...]
But while the prevalence of guns – and profiteering — is conceded on the political landscape, the reality is that our fixation with them is a psychological illness. [...]
But how do we bring to justice an entire nation that enables these horrific incidents to continue, along with our annual toll of gun deaths?
Please read the rest here.
It’s always ticked me off that women having to deal with this momentous decision get all these lies and half truths thrown at them.
Having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems, but having a baby does, one of the largest studies to compare the aftermath of both decisions suggests.
The research by Danish scientists further debunks the notion that terminating a pregnancy can trigger mental illness and shows postpartum depression to be much more of a factor.
The Danish study included 365,550 teenagers and women who had an abortion or first-time delivery between 1995 and 2007. None had a history of psychiatric problems that required hospitalization. Through various national registries, researchers were able to track mental health counseling at a hospital or outpatient facility before and after an abortion or delivery.
Researchers compared the rate of mental health treatment among women before and after a first abortion. Within the first year after an abortion, 15 per 1,000 women needed psychiatric counseling – similar to the rate seeking help nine months before an abortion.
Researchers say women who seek abortions come from a demographic group more likely to have emotional problems to begin with. Statistics show that a large percentage struggle economically and they have above-average rates of unintended pregnancies.
While first-time mothers had a lower rate of mental problems overall, the proportion of those seeking help after giving birth was dramatically higher. About 7 per 1,000 women got mental health help within a year of giving birth compared with 4 per 1,000 women pre-delivery.
I have nothing to base this on other than a gut feeling, but 162 sounds like a “misunderestimate”:
(CNN) – Exposure to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in 162 cases of illnesses reported to the Louisiana state health department, according to a report released Monday. Of those cases, 128 involved workers on oil rigs or individuals involved in the oil spill cleanup efforts, the report said.
Here is how these poor people are feeling: They have throat irritation, shortness of breath, cough, eye irritation, nausea and headaches, per the article. BP: Beyond Poisoned.
But here is the sentence that stood out to me, because I’ve written about the subject so often:
Several of the workers who fell ill reportedly had been exposed to fumes from the dispersants being deployed in the Gulf, the report said.
But sadly, that’s not all. Physical illness and the lasting effects are horrific enough, but the emotional toll this is taking compounds the way too many problems from which the Gulf residents are already suffering.
Take a deep breath. Now read the following…
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine, in a letter to BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles:
“Teams have counseled almost 2,000 people in affected areas, and are reporting increases in anxiety, depression, stress, grief, excessive drinking, earlier drinking and suicidal ideation [...] These are early warning signs of developing substance abuse and dependence, mental illness, suicide and familial breakdown including divorce, spouse abuse and child abuse and neglect.“
And if all that isn’t distressing enough, this was sent to me from Hugh Kaufman (AltaKocker on Twitter), senior policy analyst at the EPA’s office of solid waste and emergency response. Thad Allen admits dispersants make the clean-up virtually impossible:
…Adm. Thad Allen said… “We don’t have a large monolithic spill anymore. We have a disaggregation of hundreds of thousands of patches of oil.” [...]
[A]s the oil has swirled and broken up in the Gulf of Mexico currents, it has made finding and capturing the oil more difficult. Instead of one giant sheet, there are thousands of large ones, like the mass that made landfall Wednesday along eight miles of Pensacola Beach.
“The bad news is that it’s everywhere and it’s almost impossible to find all of those patches of oil with the skimming capacity we have in this country,” he said.
Drill baby drill!
Have a good day!
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