Until 1989, there were only a few school shootings in which more than two victims were killed. This was despite widespread ownership of — and familiarity with — weapons and an absence of “gun-free zones.” Many rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school, and sometimes storing their guns in the gun racks of truck Windows or trunk of their cars during the school day, parked on the school grounds.” Many of these guns they could buy at almost any hardware store or gas station — or even by mail order. Catalogs and magazines from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s are packed full of gun advertisements aimed at children or parents. “What Every Parent Should Know When a Boy or Girl Wants a Gun,” one proclaims, next to a picture of a young boy and his sister excitedly presenting a “Rifle Catalog.” “Get This Cowboy Carbine with Your Christmas Money,” suggests another. It was common for schools to have shooting clubs. Even in New York City, virtually every public high school had a shooting club up until 1969. It was common for high school students to take their guns with them to school on the subways in the morning and turn them over to their homeroom teacher or the gym coach so the heavy guns would simply be out of the way. After school, students would pick up their guns when it was time for practice. Americans grew up with guns, they were respected, common, and few problems emerged. Now that the are many rules in place, we have problems....
My husband said he took his gun on the school bus if he was going to a friends house after school. They would go rabbit hunting. That was in about 1957. Everyone had guns no one thought anything of it. Those days are gone.
I know that about guns, having lived in Montana for 3-4 years. The gun owners were responsible people who had a humanity that I could not find in Southern California, where I lived prior. A sense of isolation among people and a lack of civility that is a part of times in which we live explains much of this. Grandpapa told me once that even in the depths of the Great Depression, with the noted exceptions of John Dillinger, Ma Barker and other like them, people did not turn to violence as an answer to hard times.
We are not the same people we once were....
Did 2.5 million AR-15s exist in the U.S. in 1989?
Ralph, sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I don't, and when we don't agree, I enjoy our little sparring matches because I find you a decent intelligent person. Today I am with you 100%. I grew up in the era when all little boys and some little girls, like me, had their BB guns. I inherited a battered Red Ryder BB gun that had been passed down when several boy cousins graduated to 22s and shotguns. Like my boy cousins, I graduated to a 410 double-barrel shotgun and hunted squirrels with my Dad. He started teaching me to shoot at age 3 when he came back from the big war. Kids and adults alike respected guns. Only someone off his rocker deliberately killed a person with a gun.
Today’s culture is different. Our "big melding pot" became a country of diversity. We are being told that "in diversity lies our strength", and immigrants are being told that they don’t have to give up their religious and ethnic customs to become part of this country. Instead they are coming here expecting to force their customs, some very repugnant and some illegal, on us. Yet if we go to their countries, we have to live by their laws that we find equally repugnant and illegal.
I believe that our attitude toward this diversity is exploiting our cultural differences and, in some instances promoting hate, rather than strengthening our country. If Mateen had not had access to guns, he probably would have used a bomb. One does not deter crimes of hate simply by denying access to guns.
Your observations of our past conversations is spot on - I enjoy a little controversy and it's great to get some debate that isn't too polarized once in a while. I've always saw you as a commenter who raises interesting and valuable wrinkles to what's being said.
Your last point hits a home run - someone who wants to kill is going to kill, regardless of how
There is a big difference between guns designed for hunting and guns designed for killing people. Did your friends own assault rifles?
At least I understand part of US gun culture a little better from your post. Magazine ads from the arms industry exhorting parents to buy their kids guns, the normalization of lethal weapons in the home and even at school...
Start with a wedge and you can crack open a big and profitable market.
Throw some paranoia into the mix: the government is evil and we need our guns to defend ourselves. Add a little racism, a dash of cowboy fantasy and a society where materialism is everything and so many are marginalized...
What do you get? A very healthy profit for the manufacturers.
All guns are designed to kill. What you call an assault weapon is just a gun with cool looking plastic parts on it. My .22 has a 30 round magazine - is it an assault rifle ?
Guns in the right circumstances involving people who are taught to handle them responsibly are pretty harmless. It really is not the guns themselves that are the root of the problem. I'm not making a statement about solutions, just pointing out that the heart of the problem of shootings is not guns themselves.
Also - just sayin' - these shootings always seem to happen at politically opportune times. Pretty friggin weird.
Where guns are hard to come by gun murders are rare. That is a simple fact.
Where guns are rare, cops shoot fewer people, too, because they are not so scared, a bit of a bonus.
The US makes so many crosses for itself to bear.
We have dozens of Americans where I live in Thailand and when I ask them why they are here, mostly they say because they feel safe. Thailand is a far more dangerous country than the US, of course, but newcomers have yet to learn that.
Ask someone from Australia or Europe why they come to Thailand and you will receive a dozen different answers. None of them relate to feeling unsafe in their home country.
People go to Thailand because its the worlds Sex Tourism Capital - I hear they treat women like circus animals - I think I heard it called "Disneyland for Pedophiles" and there are over 2 million underage sex workers. When the world is exploiting the entire country for their own "needs" it's no wonder they don't allow guns - lest the locals retaliate (can't stop the flow of money after all)
Thanks, but I'll stay in America with my guns....
You are obviously not a man who can sustain an argument for long and when you are rattled you head for thinly veiled personal attacks.
On the other hand, you do raise a worthwhile subject: what can be achieved when rules are put in place and enforced.
The whole of Asia was a pedophile's paradise thirty years ago with (often entirely legal) sex workers as young as thirteen in appalling situations from Japan to India.
UN pressure forced governments in the region to legislate for many kinds of child protection and that has gradually been enforced.
According to the NGO workers in my part of the world, that started to happen in Thailand about ten years when police decided to stop accepting bribes to turn a blind eye.
Just think what the US could achieve if guns were taken out of the public arena... Not just fewer gun deaths but a hell of a lot fewer traumatized kids, too. People might even become more capable of reasoned debate as at least one source of anxiety was dealt with.
How does my listing facts any 12 year old can pull off of the internet make you feel like I've personally attacked you? Unless you have a guilty conscious about living in Thailand, it should be meaningless - interesting how you immediately put up your defenses about where you live and raised it to a higher level than the actual debate. It's not personal, but when you bring a country into this conversation as a comparison to America, then you should expect that it's going to be included in future retorts. In this case I gave an opinion based on facts, nothing more.
By the evidence in my original statement, the problem isn't guns. When guns stop being used as political fodder and given the respect and honored place in America they once held, the problem will self correct.
An interesting finish to your statement - "public arena" - that term needs defined further. Are you against all regular, law-abiding citizens owning guns and just have them in the hands of the government and whomever they "approve" to own them? I seem to recall Adolph Hitler using that strategy. Or do you have a different approach you'd like to share? Will law enforcement be stripped of them? Our Military?
Sandy Hook is a good example of the politically motivated shooting - funny how not a single person was wounded - all killed and the building was immediately razed.....
Sandy Hook is another example of a mentally unstable person who got easy access to an AR-15 -- thanks once again to the NRA.
You see , Now here is the problem of bias , the politically altered minds and ideologies . Orlando is the fault of the NRA , That is like saying that the Viet -Nam war was the fault of soldiers ! That the Lincoln assassination was the fault of Ford Theatre , The MLK assassination was the fault of a motel chain .
One day people like you will perhaps mature at least enough to begin to have intelligent conversations about real issues , about real and affective solutions ! AND this attitude is EXACTLY why we cannot cure any of the ills of our entire society !
The ideological immaturity of many of you IS the problem , and NEVER the cure !
Sandy Hook was a staged event by those attempting to take guns away.
Follow the evidence - there was a facebook page and a United Way charity website both on-line BEFORE the event occurred. Why were so many police officers pre-positioned to respond so quickly? How did this untrained kid manage to pull of something of this magnitude with no training and leave no wounded? Where was the blood? All these murder victims should have left a blood mess everywhere. Where are the photos of the bodies? Why was the school off-limits to almost everyone, including EMT's? Why was the school demolished and rebuilt? Why are the death certificates sealed and no able to be accessed? Why were all the funerals closed casket?
Most importantly - Why didn't anyone SUE the family, the school, anyone?
If they really wanted to stop these mass shootings then they would have revamp the 2nd amendment and completely take guns away from everyone. It's a fact that the more guns that are allowed, the more shootings will happen. Stricter laws won't do anything, guns have to be ceased by the government to do anything. And while black market guns may exist they'll be few and far between what we see now. The majority of gun deaths in this country are not due to homicides and mass shootings.
If "revamping" the 2AD is an idea you agree with, then why hasn't any Politician ever made a serious attempt to do so - A real Constitutional Amendment Change? Because 40% of all US Households have guns? Because its impossible? You don't just get to change an Amendment because you want it changed - it takes real work and overwhelming support across party lines. You can't issue Executive Orders to do it and if you try, it's headed to the Supreme Court.
Diabetes kills more people than guns - should we take sugar away from people? How about cigarettes? Alcohol? Why not just take everything away?
RJ Schwartz, I was raised to respect guns, taught gun safety and trained to use guns in grade school and at home. Responsible gun owners and guns are not a problem or concern, ... except to bad guys and butterflies.
I try not to get involved in these arguments because I actually feel unwell when I start picking up on the paranoia and the rage that dominate so many people's lives.
Stuff like this:
Obama is an ISIS sleeper agent
Sand Hook was staged
9/11 was a government conspiracy
The UN's attempts to stem the flow of small arms to Africa is a plot to take our guns (which we need because so many people want to kill us)
All of this stuff makes rational decision making impossible and makes progress towards civilized societies very difficult.
I actually respect the political right in most countries. They have a valuable perspective and, if they are honest in their pursuit of their objectives, fine.
In the US, the right seem to have decided that they cannot win an argument on its merits and need to resort to the stoking of simple minded nationalism, vicious insinuations and the exploitation of paranoid and groundless fears.
Will , you are absolutely right ! Yet I still blame the vocal extreme left for the Naiveté that not only has caused much of this discourse but continues it . Divisively debating and blaming things they know little about , Guns for instance . They have never killed anyone without a fool at the grip !
And yet here you are commenting again and again, careful your hypocrisy is showing
You just won the weakest argument of the day, award. And accused me of being a hypocrite, lol.
Still, I sense you see some of the truth in what I am saying.
The American right is playing with fire when it appeals to the worst instincts of its supporters. And it's not necessary. The Republicans could win elections without undermining the integrity of political culture, without stoking racism or nationalism and without praying on irrational fears.
Maybe Trump will help to lance this boil. The saner members of the Republican party are seeing the result of years of hate radio, Fox News and trashy journalism rearing up in front of them and that has obviously sobered them.
Maybe future discourse will take a saner turn. It ain't hard to do. A law to oblige broadcasters to present news in a balanced, courteous and informative way would be big step forward. Respect debate and respect the facts.
I'm not interested in your elitist narrative - I'm quite happy with Trump as my future President. Are you the type who needs to get in the last word?
RJ, there is some discussion that Trump may go ahead and buy his own cable channel.
It is amazing how many right wingers just end up begging me to leave them alone, lol. Man up. Get some sound arguments.
By the way do you ever watch the Walking Dead? I struggled through an episode the other week and wondered what the appeal could be. Then I realized that it is probably an accurate picture of the inside of a lot of peoples' heads.
Many bad things out there, sort of like people (but not) and they all want to eat my brains. Arrgg! Need a gun, need a gun...
So satisfying to pull the trigger, over and over again.
Anyway, enough work done here. Try not to let the bad fantasies get a grip, people are nowhere near as bad as you think if you give them a chance.
If you ever thought the walking dead was produced to prepare people for the real thing to come.
Some people have learned how to eat dogs and cats.
What, eat my best friend over a barbeque, than spread his bones out, and think ,mmmm wish sport was here, he would love these bones.
I told a joke to a west Virginian, ;What do West Virginian do on Halloween,?: Answer- Pump-kin.
He laughed Insanely about that joke, then turned to me and said . Don't knock it if you have not tried it.
That was the last we had talked.
Will Apse wrote: "A law to oblige broadcasters to present news in a balanced, courteous and informative way would be big step forward."
Will, I'm not going to get in the middle of yours and RJ's debate over right wingers, but it is obvious that you do not understand our Constitution. That would be an infringement of Article 2, § 6, Liberty of the press and speech, which begins with the sentences "The liberty of the press shall forever remain inviolate. The free communication of thoughts and opinions, is one of the invaluable rights of man; and all persons may freely write and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right."
We have two legal forms of combating the dissemination of speech we don't like: 1. change the channel to something more compatible to your belief system or turn off the TV or radio; or 2.don't buy the paper. Our freedom of speech is one of the rights that we treasure the most and is the most envied by other countries. It is what has made us great. Freedom of speech is the only way that we have been able to remain a Democratic Republic. There are those who would love to take it away from us so they could take us over. The communists didn't have much luck, and with our freedom to say what we damn well please, I doubt that the Muslims will either.
You see, nobody can pass such a law that you suggest, not even our Congress. It would take a Constitutional amendment to do that, and despite political correctness that is beginning to infringe on our rights to free speech, I don't think any non-Muslim American would be willing to vote for that.
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I found this map that explains gun ownership in GA:
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