...a couple staffers had been armed?
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"We need regular, thorough examinations and training to make sure they're well versed in the use of their weapons and the ramifications of their actions. If you are going to hold onto a deadly and powerful weapon, then you have an obligation, a duty, a responsibility to be as knowledgeable and as secure in its use as possible. You have a duty to your fellow man to recognize when you are unfit to wield a firearm, and if you are deemed to be psychologically unfit to carry such a potent force, then maybe you should look into other methods of self-defense."
....a duty to recognize?...... Now back to reality.....
I'm inclined to believe that the problem isn't so much who has the guns and what they're doing with it, but rather the psychology of my fellow Americans as a whole.
The difference between the gun crime rate in Canada vs the United States has nothing to do with the availability of guns. Yes, gun ownership is less in our Northern neighbor, about 30 per 100 residents vs about 90 in the U.S. If those numbers seem high it's because gun owners often own several guns and gun collectors can own a lot of guns. I used to collect knives and at one time I had about 60, which, assuming a few others like me, would really skew ownership statistics to the point of making them almost impossible to interpret.
The main difference between the gun crime rates in Canada and the U.S. has to do—as you pointed out—with the difference between Canadians and Americans.
So essentially, you collected phallic symbols - way TMI!
As I've said elsewhere about comparing gun crime rates in Canada and the United States, it's all about the national psychology.
While ideally these school and mall shootings are deplorable and it would be great if we could rid our culture of them, statistically they are as good as nonexistent. We have a population of 315 million people. How many of us are really going to die in such shootings each year? Not enough to even add up to a 1000th of 1% I'd bet.
Compared to other problems we have (national debt, dying oceans, climate change) mass shootings remain almost a non-problem.
In 2008, 2,947 children and teens died from guns in the United States and 2,793 died in 2009, for a total of 5,740—one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 55 every week for two years. The 5,740 children and teens killed by guns in 2008 and 2009:
Would fill more than 229 public school classrooms of 25 students each;
Was greater than the number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and
The number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and in 2009 (85) was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48).
How many of these murders are gangsta-on-gangsta? They love to lump teenagers (remember that runs clear up to 19) with "children" (who you figure are preteens) in these stats.
And again, there's no evidence presented that the number of homicides would decrease with less gun ownership, only that homicides using a gun would.
This is due to the way all our brains are wired. We tend to take far more notice of the actions of a living being, like this shooter, than a impersonal event like climate warming. Now this is something we are all guilty of to some degree, even you unseen. I remember a little while back you where passionately arguing how American pitbulls should all be banned even though they cause an order of magnitude less problems on the scale you use to dismiss this as almost a non problem.
The sad reality is that in a country of 350 million citizens a few of us are going to have mental problems that either go unnoticed or unheeded. As a society we cannot plan for or prevent calculated assassinations by someone mentally unstable. An individual hell bent on killing innocent people, for whatever irrational reason, cannot necessarily be detected before the deed is done.
We cannot make our schools into fortresses that reinforce fear into our children, nor can we rip guns from the hands of law abiding citizens. And I really don't see a practical way to interview our entire population and assess the state of their mental health.
The father of the perpetrator should request a brain scan of his son. Perhaps something will be discovered that was physiologically at the root of the matter.
Why is no one asking: Why do these school shootings almost invariably happen in middle-class and upper crust schools, not in black or Hispanic neighborhoods. One thing people in those minorities DON'T need to worry about apparently.
That is a damned good question.
The only suggestion I've even heard in regards to that comes across to me as so conspiracy theory kooky I won't dignify it with a repetition.
A lot of people say we should look for signs and act on them, but be realistic about it: If archaeopteryx said "I could just kill a bunch of Christians!," what would YOU do...?
After other school shootings, it turned out there were signs, but nobody acted. Why? Our usually commendable tolerance for weirdness, or to think "He is just joking; he'd never do it." And usually they don't.
Too bad we don't have Minority Report technology yet.
The thing is that these kind of people don't usually make enough noise to be heard. It's always the quiet ones.
This guy was described as a "nice polite kid who always kept to himself."
"We had no idea he of all people would do this" etc.
You get the idea.
You never hear people say "Ya I knew it was him, he's the loud mouthed fucker that always bullied everyone back in school, he'd never shut up during class or on the bus. I knew he'd snap one day!"
I could just kill a bunch of Christians!
Go ahead. You have my blessings.