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What can we do about heart-breaking, gut-wrenching shootings?

What can we do about heart-breaking, gut-wrenching shootings?

I have spent a lifetime of loving children.  I raised a number of them – some biological and others brought into the family at different times.  I love being a father – and had my last biological child after the age of 50.  I enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood kids playing outside the house.

I also know the pain of losing a grandchild to violence.  In his case, the war in Afghanization.  But even that experience makes it impossible for me to fully comprehend the agony of losing an innocent school child so brutally murdered as he and she huddle against a deranged, merciless and evil killer.  

It is impossible to write about it without unsuccessfully fighting against tears.  Tragically, this moment for me – or you — is not unique.  We have seen this horror far too often – most recently less than two weeks ago in a grocery store in Buffalo.

But unfortunately, my heartbreak and frustration often turn to an anger when I see those on the left seize on this tragedy to advance their narrow political agenda.

Every time there is a horrific mass shooting, the boilerplate responses are like the script of a bad movie that we have seen too many times.  

It is the same old expressions of shock.  The same old calls for prayer – and for ill-defined and improbable offers of support.  It is the same old political pandering.  The same old calls for action.  The same old accusations against guns and gun owners – or those who defend the Second Amendment.  The same old attacks on Republicans – more intense because this is an election year.

And all of that will have the same old results.  America will go back to dealing with all those other issues until the next inexplicable mass shooting takes place.  And while these shootings understandably grab the headlines for a couple weeks, we will also continue to ignore the thousands of people murdered each year – mostly in our segregated major cities.  Those hardly get more than a passing mention in the liberal news.

Perhaps the most perplexing and disturbing aspect of the mass killings is the fact that the United States is virtually unique in the world in having these horrific events occurring on such a frequent basis.  It is undeniable that it is something in our culture that breeds these men to take out their anger, hatred and derangement on groups of innocent people in the most benign settings.

Never to let a crisis go to waste, those on the left see the gun as the primary cause – or at least the best spin to serve their partisan political strategy.   A gun is NEVER the motivation — or the reason — even if it is the weapons of choice.  The real issue is what motivates these mostly men to undertake such heinous actions?  

In the greater picture, what motivates the violence and criminality that is on the rise across the country.  Mass shooting, serial killings and general violence is so prevalent today that it is undeniable that the reason is embedded in the culture.  

The first thing we need to examine are the deepest motivations – something the myopic anti-gun lobby puts on the back burner.  The specific motivations are varied.  We have Islamic terrorists who have committed mass murder with guns, bombs, and vehicles.  We have racists, like the young man in Buffalo, New York.  These are two types who have been radicalized into killing monsters by a sick devotion to a malignant evil cause.

We have workplace shooters who were fired or disciplined.  We have angry spouses.  And we have some who we can only describe as mentally ill.  Often young men with low self-esteem or suicidal impulses – a need to gain attention on the way out.  There are copycats.

But even understanding the various “types” will not get to the fundamental factor.  What is it in the nature of these shooters that they are willing to capriciously kill a bunch of innocent people?  What is different about them is that they do something that most people in their same situations do not do – do not even consider.  The superficial motivation – if one can be ascertained – is just an excuse.  The common trait is a psychological desire or willingness to kill.  Maybe it is the same human defect that makes guys like Putin commit mass murder on an even grander scale.  Is it a sense of power over life?  Or a misguided attempt to prove their worth – to get noticed?

We are already hearing calls for action tied to political accusations.  But what actions.  The actions we have taken are not working.  Passing laws against guns is good politics for some, but meaningless in terms of changing the future.  We know that from the past.  

We have been passing “red flag” laws to identify potential killers from their social platform posts and comments to family and friends. The mantra is “see something, say something.” But there seems to be too little implementation.  Several shooters had been on the radar before they acted.  People saw something and said something about the Parkland shooter, but the FBI, the school board, and the school staff ignored the calls.

And what about the parents.  It seems inconceivable that those closest to the shooters did not see something – and maybe they saw a lot.  Can we discern telltale sighs from the family situation?  Are parents aware – or are they complicit?

What is really counterproductive is what I saw on MSNBC.  Even before the body count was complete, they were bringing on one commentator after another to accuse the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party, Texas Governor Abbott, and former President Trump of culpability.  They openly admitted their reasons for taking that approach.  They said that gun violence should be the number one issue in the November election – and that voters should throw Republicans out of office.   It was a shameful exhibition of crass political partisanship – and another example of just how politically biased and corrupt certain elements of the so-called news industry have become.  

I am not a gun owner.  I am not a member of the National Rifle Association.  As a matter of fact, I have been a critic of the NRA.  I fully support reasonable gun restrictions that can be EFFECTIVE in reducing crime.  I have no problem with closing any loopholes in background checks.  I have no problem with banning gun ownership from felons and those with records of significant mental issues.  I have supported a ban on bump-stocks that turn a legal semi-automatic rifle into an illegal automatic rifle.

None of that, however, will change anything.  There is no silver bullet solution (no pun intended) – and tweaking gun laws is counterproductive because it gives the public a false sense of accomplishment.  All the tweaking that has been done in the past – and there has been a lot of it – does not appear to have had any demonstrable positive impact on the problem.  Places with the most restrictive gun laws are often the places with the most gun violence – and deaths.  Think Chicago.

We have to understand that as we examine each incident, we need to find the mental commonality between the young man who gunned down 10 shoppers in Buffalo and the young man who killed those innocent children in Uvalde.  The man who attacked the Synagogue in New York and the guy who killed kids at Sandy Hook.  What triggers this empowerment to kill?

Even if we further tweak gun laws, as Democrats would have us, you can rest assured that we will see more horrific mass shootings in the future.  Those on the left are offering a largely symbolic political response that will change nothing.  They are looking for solutions in the wrong place.  Making political opponents the cause is cheap and dishonest.  But that is the role they insist on playing in this bad movie with too many sequels.

We need to examine the larger cultural influences … the collapse of the nuclear family … the loss of religious devotion … the general discard for life … the influence of advertising … the breakdown of moral-based education … the ability of social media to narrow-cast and feed paranoia, schizophrenia … and the role of the news media in popularizing the shooters.

I fear that America will continue to be characterized by these now iconic events until we start diving deeper into motivations and mental profiles of the perpetrators.  But that is much more complicated and time-consuming – and does not fit the simplistic political narrative of those on the left.  Making the gun the issue is a political response but does not even consider the all-important underlying issues.  As long as we just point to the gun – and only pay lip service to the cultural and mental health issues – we will be watching this movie again.

If we are ever going to start down the path toward resolution, we need to keep one thing in mind.  It is the culture, stupid.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

39 Comments

  1. Mike

    A rather rambling post where you start out by attacking the left for bringing up common sense changes to our gun laws immediately after a shooting-while ignoring the fact that conservatives chronically say “don’t discuss these measures now-we’re grieving”. Then time passes and those on the right overcome their grief (their thoughts and prayers were sufficient for that to occur it appears). The time to discuss gun control (and gun ownership) is now, yesterday, tomorrow, in fact anytime. Looking at the statistics we have a huge gun ownership problem in the US compared to other first world countries. We have few regulations on gun purchases and gun ownership, and until we resolve those problems we will continue to have the routine mass shootings, murders and suicides that have become endemic in our society. Conservatives are clearly at fault for this problem and to attempt to fault liberals for this issue is simply narrow-minded and abhorrent.

    • JJ

      Mike.

      If you have a sign posted in your yard stating you home is Gun Free feel free to talk down on firearms , Otherwise SHUT–UP !!!

    • Mason

      No dumbass. We don’t have a gun problem. And many of the gun laws do nothing but make more victims. Mile if you don’t want to own guns that’s your business. I’m keeping my guns and will never turn them in It seems like that you think criminals will disarm just because liberal idiots like you want them too. If you fucked up liberals are so concerned about gun violence I’ll make a deal with you fools. Don’t fuck with me and I won’t shoot you. Go solve the New York killing problems since they brag about having the toughest gun laws in America. There’s millions more people that think just like I do. So don’t tread on us or you might get bitten. So shove your gun control up your commie ass

    • larry Horist

      Mike …. hard not to ramble in such a complex issue. One problem we have is the left is too simplistic. They see only three major potential causes …. guns …. guns … and guns. I do not see that as THE issue, and not even the number one issue. We have been a people with lots of guns since colonial days — but this mass shooting phenomenon seems to have started in in the 1960s and has gotten worse over time. It suggests something changed in the cultures. What is it that has caused more and more people to feel a necessity and empowerment to kill innocent people? What is the common denominator? I do not criticize the left for causing the shootings, but elevating a self-serving political interest in place of serious problem solving. They do not seem to be searching for answers and solutions but rather have their own cause based on politics — not common sense or research. Most people favor some restrictions on guns, but there is no universal agreement on what they should look like. I also believe that the way the left is carrying on the debate is counterproductive. Demonizing those with different views. A Democrat congressman calling a United States senator a “f-ing baby killer.” Saying Trump is complicit. Stereotyping all republicans as demons. Since the onset of the mass shooting, America has passed a great number of gun control laws that the left promised would address the problem. The did not. I am okay with passing some more restrictions, but as long as we are only dealing with the gun, the culture will not change. If you want to address gun deaths, you need to deal with a complexity of issues. The Chicago murder rate is a different cultural issue than lone gunmen. You need to look at the oppressions of segregation and poverty — and the rise of the gangs. Fifty-three percent of gun deaths in America is suicide. You are not going to solve that with background checks and age limitations. My commentary was a invitation to delve into the root CAUSES … not merely the instrument. To me, the lefts’ approach is like solving bank robbery by passing laws for more secure safes. So … I do not fault the left for causing the problem, but for an unwillingness to solve it. As one side clings to its guns, the other side clings to its gun theories.

      • Clay

        I think the problem may have started when we opened up the asylums and turned all the clinically insane loose to run in the population. I believe only an insane person would do these terrible acts and, if the insane were locked up where they belong, the problem would be way less.

      • Mike Foley

        Larry, It seems to me that you ramble on about the gun issue because you want to baffle your readers with bullshit, but that is another story. So, based on your thinking (and those of the other conservative commenters), people in the US are unexceptional, and that is why we have this problem and other countries do not? Because if you look at the statistics for other similar first world countries, they do not have a problem with gun violence, the gun violence problem is isolated to the US. And what do the statistics tell us about those other countries? Gun ownership is drastically lower, and they have laws to limit the purchase, and require training for gun ownership. I know you will never admit that liberals are right on anything, but the problem is rather simple, and is a problem that has been solved in many other countries. Open your eyes and look at what is being done in the big wide world, you might learn something….

        • larry Horist

          Mike Foley. Do you read what I write before you respond. I have noted the obvious. America has a cultural problem. We did not have this problem before mid-1900s. Why not? Nations with high gun ownership do not have the problem. Why not? American has highest per capita gun ownership, but is not much different statistically with other gun-permitting nations. such as Israel and Switzerland. hat is because our stats tend to show per capita, which spreads those with multiple guns over the larger population. You still want to see gun ownership and gun restrictions as the only issue. I see a much deeper cultural issue that is being under examined if not ignored. I would like to solve the problem as well as you, but I sincerely believe those who myopically focus on gun ownership are barking up the wrong tree.

          • Mike

            Larry, There are so many loopholes in the current laws, plus so many ridiculous exceptions, that it is impossible for them to work. No private citizen in the US should be able to purchase (or own) an assault rifle. No 18 year old should be able to purchase a gun of any kind, perhaps mid-20’s would be a good starting point. It is obvious from what is coming out from the latest shooting that the good guys with guns (the ones the NRA says are needed to protect us from the nut cases) were reluctant to engage with the assault rifle shooter. Then there is the gun show loophole, which conservatives are reluctant to close, where people can buy weapons without background checks. And of course there are the untraceable ghost guns. Perhaps a requirement for gun purchasers to have “training” would also be beneficial. So please don’t feed your readers bullshit that we have already done everything possible as far as attempting to address the gun problems as far as regulations go-you are simply lying and are no better than the NRA mouthpieces for the gun manufacturers who are out to haul in money….Yes, my choice would be to outlaw personal ownership of guns, but I know that is simply a dream, however we need to make it more onerous than getting a license to drive a car at least. It is painfully obvious that conservatives have no plan, and inaction is simply allowing the problem to get worse…..

            t

        • frank stetson

          I think a good post would be a referendum on things that could make things better as opposed to Larry’s bashing of the Democrats. He could start off with his recommendations on mental health. That’s worth a chuckle.

          The right touts this mental health trope because it is the perfect storm. Who in their right mind would not say the Uvalde shooter was not insane? Works every time but the devil is in the details since Larry already knows it can never be addressed, never be fixed. Just what every gun lovin idiot needs —- the Quixotic dream.

          Can’t imagine Larry’s plan to address: how will he screen for mental health? will there be a mandate to complete screening before each purchase? what doctor would line up to screen someone to determine mental health when failure to identify means you own the mental health of the guy who just plugged 20 kids in Texas? Not my idea of a good job with a long future. What do customers do, just self-identify when they are feeling a little crazy? And then, what’s the sentence for poor mental health in this regards — either no guns or a prolonged set of sessions to become sane? Which Dr is going to say “all clear,” not many. Do the self-identified, I feel a little crazy’s lose their guns instantly?

          Yes, I can see that Larry has his work cut out on his mental health approach. I am chuckling already.

          Still might be a good post. I am pretty sure I have a few ideas that will blow your dresses up.

          Then again, Larry and/or Joe really don’t want to address solutions to a problem that does not exist. Remaining “comfortably numb” may be the best approach as the children remain targets for the suicidal yet anxious to make their mark types.

          • Perry

            A guy who cuts himself on the face isn’t wrapped too tight. The sick bastard belonged in a crazy house. Too many shooters had shown signs of mental illness. Without the guns they would have planted bombs or something. These low gun owners countries that idiots in the democrat party squawk about have people killed with other means like machetes and cars. And explosives. So I’m suggesting that we tell the democrats where to stick their gun control. I damned sure will. Yesterday I bought a beautiful rifle and I’m keeping it.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. You have to get your answers from the fictional strawman Larry Horist that you have produced in your own mind. Your ad hominin attacks and your attributions and characterizations of my thinking is not me. Youi are just making it all up. And worse, you are just inventing your own disinformation facts in rebuttal. I suppose you are unaware that in most states people who have been hospitalized for mental health reason are ineligible to own a gun. My own Republican state has a red flag law the will allow the confiscation of guns from people reported to have make threats and appear to be unstable. There are all sorts of ways to enforce mental health laws. Frank … you are too uninformed to carry on these discussions. Maybe that is why you invent your own personal Larry Horist — so can create fictional arguments to use in support of your disinformation. I did notice that you referred to chuckling. You said in the past that it is a sign that you are just joking. Is all that disinformation your idea of a joke? That makes more sense — although I fail to see the humor..

          • frank stetson

            Mr Horist says: “Frank Stetson …. You have to get your answers from the fictional strawman Larry Horist that you have produced in your own mind. Your ad hominin attacks and your attributions and characterizations of my thinking is not me. Youi are just making it all up. And worse, you are just inventing your own disinformation facts in rebuttal.”

            This is your normal backup mode when you write something that you can’t support. You generalize your “tormentor” as making up what you said and then start the personal attacks while simultaneously playing the victim to said attacks, even as you attack. It’s your classic behavior with a number of responders. And you never close the issue. It’s just part of your diversion. You usually start a new argument while never closing on the past ones. This time it’s: “I suppose you are unaware that in most states people who have been hospitalized for mental health reason are ineligible to own a gun.” That’s not actually the truth. You can be restricted by buying a gun IF you have be adjudicated in a court of law as having a mental defect. Even Red Flag laws require court actions to confiscate and restrict gun ownership by crazy people. And Red Flag laws are usually timed restrictions that must be extended every year, over and over, unless you bump up to the “normal” process for crazy.

            Gun restrictions on mental health start at the Federal Level, which I suppose you are unaware, Fed Laws generally supersede state law. “Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution is commonly referred to as the Supremacy Clause. It establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally, take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions.” Cornell.edu. Federal Law supersedes anything Larry has to say at this point.

            Of course, Larry knows that the big bugaboo, the fly in the ointment, is Federal Law, as implemented in Florida, requires either involuntary commitment, not voluntary, to a mental hospital or court adjudicated as mentally incompetent. IOWs, it’s after the fact of being caught for being crazy. Voluntary does not even count.

            Florida Law implementation of the Federal Law interprets this as being able to incarcerate someone in a mental hospital against their will for an initial evaluation. After 72 hours, doctors observing the individual can either release, continue treatment if mutually agreed, or they can petition court for permission to force treatment. It is the court order that triggers the restriction to gun purchase. Crazy guy voluntarily says treat me does not trigger the order. If the person was taken in for mental treatment involuntarily was not requested to be held past 72 hours, he can buy a gun in Florida. So, crazy guy done been released, no trigger means they can buy all the triggers they want.

            As Larry says: “My own Republican state has a red flag law the will allow the confiscation of guns from people reported to have make threats and appear to be unstable.” Why would you suppose that? Is it because you are a dum-dum? Yes, Florida has a Red Flag law which skirts the Federal Law offering a slightly expedited process as compared to the standard Florida implementation of the Federal Law noted above. The State Red Flag law requires police agencies to file a civil court petition citing serious mental illness or threats. They must have evidence that will hold up in civil court. IF the judge agrees, then the person must immediately surrender their arms. That’s a huge expedite over the basic Florida implementation of the Federal Law but still requires the police to file with the court, and for the court to respond. After that, within two weeks, a hearing determines final guilt that allows guns to be held for up to one year. Whether purchase is halted depends on whether Florida populates the NICS system, a questionable action for Florida as noted below. After that the guns are returned to the crazy one unless another hearing to extend is held. One bugaboo in the Florida process is that it’s civil law, therefore the gun owner must provide his own lawyer, no pro bono by the State which is deemed unconstitutional by some.

            And, of course, I suppose Larry was unaware that in 2006, Florida was taken apart for sending zero mental health records to NICS; in 2012, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns quoted 40K records sent in 2011, by 2014 60K — after spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars for less than 100K records… The record submissions were slopy, incorrect data. A larger proportion took 12 months to transmit. That’s 12 months that a mental incompetent, having been adjudicated, if free, could still legally purchase a gun in Florida. It doesn’t get better for Florida where in Feb of 2018, this headline ran: “Florida failing to report names to mental health databases, stats show.” You know first you gotta adjudicate them, then you gotta send the data in to NICS; otherwise, they be OK to buy guns in Florida even if adjudicated as mentally incompetent.

            In all honesty, the above, including not getting the State mental health data into the Federal NICS system, is about Florida but could be applied to dozen’s of States. Sorry, Larry, but mental health and the NICS systems are anything but perfect and, currently, in regards to stopping gun violence, imperfect at best.
            On a better note, numerous states, like Florida, have added red flag laws adding some clout and speed to getting guns out of the hands of crazies. Because they are an overlay to the Federal Law, they have also added a lot of confusion on how this works in different locales. I’ve attached a piece by Stateline, a Pew Trust nonprofit, that gives a good idea of these laws, how they can help. In the case of Florida, the story provides an idea of the moving parts involved, plus how, in Florida, much is being driven locally. Pretty cool, but a lot of moving parts and organic development. Wonder if they have a state-wide scalable version yet?

            Yeah Larry, I guess I am too uninformed to carry on these discussions without disinformation. You have a much better understanding of law no doubt or maybe I just made it all up.

    • Karen King

      Until you open your eyes to the actual truth snd stop listening and believing the dumbocrat lies, you need to keep your mouth shut. It is the Dumbocrats that are always saying “our thoughts and prayers are with you.” It is always the same line of crap and we all know good and well they don’t mean a word they say to the victims family because they only thinkabout themselves! Conservatives are NOT at fault for these shootings. If it were up to the conservatives then there wouldn’t be all this going on. The dumbocraps are the ones that are all for gun free zones, the dumbocraps are always the ones crying for more gun control, and it is the dumbocraps that doesn’t know the difference between an assault rifle and a freakin semiautomatic rifle! Besides that, the dumbocraps are always wanting to take ours guns away. That would only leave all the freakin criminals owning guns.

      • Karen King

        This reply is to Mike.

  2. frank stetson

    I need a new PC after my massive coffee spew on your first line on what is a very serious and tough subject and you begin: “I have spent a lifetime of loving children.” Thank God, we know you are some distance from Disney and Universal. :>)

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. So … you mock the fact that I have a special place in my heart for children — intimating I am a pervert. That must mean that you do NOT love children … you’re more like the Uvelde shooter …eh?

      • Frank stetson

        Wow, that’s low Larry. Comparing me to the shooter of 19 kids for telling a joke about your special live for children. Harsh.

        It’s a joke, happy face, right? I even gave you a hint. Coffee spew, happy face, joke, wow, sigh. .

        You’re from FL; you guys got groomerphbia. just say “hey” to gay and all that..

        Lighten up you ole grouch.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson. .. You twist my words to intimate I am a pedophile and it is a joke. I give it back in the spirit you sent it and you get bent all out of shape. Can’t you take a joke? The fact that you did not get the nature of my response makes you are an intellectual light weight.

          • frank stetson

            Larry, you are acting like a sanctimonious sack of shit. I took your words out of context, as I read them, which made me laugh. I did not twist anything, it’s printed just as I read it before I laughed, spewing coffee everywhere. It’s even funnier knowing you are a denizen of DeSantis’ restricted freedoms Florida. I added the :>) happy face knowing you are sensitive and get defensive easily. Which you did as you went off having your hissy fit.

            Then you double down and compare me to the Texass killer. No happy face and now you say that’s a joke and funny. And the fact I did not find your comparison of me to the Texass mass murderer funny strikes you as a sign of my intellectual prowess? Where does that put you?

            Sorry that your own words tend to tweak you. HAGWE

          • larry Horist

            FRank Stetson … admit you got busted on your cheap shot insult. And enough of your childish ad hominin insults. Grow up.

    • frank stetson

      According to Horist: “But unfortunately, my heartbreak and frustration often turn to an anger when I see those on the left seize on this tragedy to advance their narrow political agenda.” Is it really fair to say these things are only seized by the left? What about Trumplicant prayer requests? Took Ted Cruz only a few hours to say something like: “Texas tragedy is bad but just say no to gun control.” Texas AG immediately hit newsmax saying: laws don’t stop criminals, no new laws, we just arm everyone. Helpful problem solvers all looking for a little airtime. Since 2014, Texass averages about one mass murder a year. It’s as popular there as anywhere. They call it Texmass murder or, in recent cases, TexMexmass murder. They invite the financially beleaguered, even failed-at-bankruptcy NRA to hold their national convention there this weekend, that ought to be rich, and “Hey, aaaaaaabbbbbot” will be a featured speaker. Trump too and when he moutbs off a mandate will ban all guns from the area. Got to see that coat check room. Thank God, that guns will be allowed at all other times according to Texass law. Trump no likey guns in hands of his constituents. “Dey be craze peeples there.”

      • frank stetson

        “Every time there is a horrific mass shooting, the boilerplate responses are like the script of a bad movie that we have seen too many times.” Rodger that big guy, +10. So, yourself included, let’s just stop. We fuckin ain’t doin shit, so, like Covid, let’s move on and just stop talking about it. Might be the best thing to “just say no” to MMA (Mass Murderer Advertising). We are not going to change so let’s move on.

        But I disagree that the political pandering is just from the left as you so blithefully describe. You hit the ole Trumplicant trope yourself with: “As long as we just point to the gun – and only pay lip service to the cultural and mental health issues.” Yup, those mental health issues; the right loves this one because they can scream it all day knowing full well nothing can be done. Imagine the furor if we attempted to detect and cure mental illness BEFORE a mass murder. How do we scree, is that Constitutional? You want to be the Dr. who is treating a guy just before he climbs a tower to take out the Freshman Class? Are you the potential perpetrator who just volunteers to the DR — “hey, I thought I would see you today cuz I’m feelin a little crazy about love into shoot a few and really want my guns confiscated due to mental health……” Yeah, that’s the cure. Or how about the special “test” to determine if you are sane enough for the gun…. You think vax mandates are bad….

        Yeah Larry, that’s a good one alright. But I do agree with you on the culture issues. I just see it as an American problem, not a single-party problem. And America does have a gun violence problem: homicide and suicide. I mean what exactly in our culture demands so many guns. Obama becomes President, we buy guns. Trump becomes President, we buy more guns. Covid causes supply issues, we buy guns. Biden becomes President, we buy more guns. Bwhaaaaat? Why would Biden cause someone to need a gun?

      • Karen King

        Frank Stetson, You talking Trump down like you doing and everything, but let me ask you this; how many mass murders did you hear of when Trump was in office? Answer me that! Gun control or turn into whatever you want to do with them is not going to stop the criminals from getting the guns and causing problems as with the shootings. But take away the gun-free zone signs out of schools yards let the teachers concealed carry and I guarantee you they may try but I doubt they’ll be successful. And besides all these gun laws that all you Democrats is wanting to know everything all that’s going to do is hurt the law-abiding citizens that owns guns like myself.

        • frank stetson

          Karen, thanks for your kind words and thoughts. Thoughts n prayers, as if Republicans believe God has something to do the free choice decisions that he left up to man. Uvalde was not hit by an act of God like a tornado or hurricane. To say that asking God for help is the sole purview of Democrats means you are just lying to yourself.

          Because Mitch McConnell knows what to do about Uvalde: “Horrified and heartbroken by reports of the disgusting violence directed at innocent schoolkids in Uvalde, Texas. The entire country is praying for the children, families, teachers, and staff and the first responders on the scene.” Moscow Mitch scores a 6.7 for diving right into it with the prayer fix.

          Senator Blackburn said: “Horrified and heartbroken to learn of the significant loss of life in the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Please join me in lifting their loved ones up in prayer. Thank you to the local first responders working on the scene.” You tell me, sure looks like a prayer playbook for Republicans, seems they all have the same book. Nice alliteration though, must have hired a post-school-mass-murder PR response writer.

          Teddy Cruz did a reverse spin double flip flop earning him a 9.7 for his Uvalde dive bundling his prayers with his two-fisted political punch. Ted says: “when there’s a murder of this kind you see politicians try to politicize it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.” Then he went to Houston to toast the financially bankrupt and criminally beleaguered NRA….

          Senator Thom Tillis went for a 2X degree of difficulty with his full-avoidance dive: “I have not seen anything in the initial reports that indicates the shooter’s record was in any way affected by Congress’s actions or inaction.” IOW, nothing to see here, let’s move on. Tillis also sees red flag laws as ineffective. DeSanctimonious, king of the red flag, gonna take him off his Xmas list for that one :>)

          But Lauren Boebert has the bottom line for Republicans: “You cannot legislate away evil.” So why even try. Of course, Republicans sure as hell legislated the #%$#$# out of murderous evil doers after 9/11. They frickin legislated our rights away to go after Muslim bad guys who did a mass murder on a soft target. Both parties worked together then to legislate evil away. Republican led, Democrats agreed. Well, except Ran Paul. Of course, Lauren did her low-risk dive, a backhanded bellyflop worth 2.7 points: “We don’t need more gun control. We need to return to God,” because 9/11 was never about God to Lauren, they were not Christians… and she also offered up the Republican trope: “Our nation needs to take a serious look at the state of mental health today.” She doesn’t know what that might entail, or will it help, but hey…..she is an expert in batshit crazy. Lauren knows nuts.

          The fly in Lauren’s ointment is that she readily admits Americans are one crazy bunch of mother fuckers. We have the most mass murders, the most school murders, we all are lunatics apparently, according to Boebert who says that only by saving the crazy can we save our kids. And we are crazier than anyone else in the modern world of developed nations. We are nuttier mass murderers than everyone else according to Laureen.
          Okie GOP Senate candidate Jackson Lahmeyer went for the extra points with a ten-mile high dive with his: “It’s time to arm the teachers and bring back prayer in our public schools.” Which first, God or guns? Guns n God, perfect together. Just make sure you don’t arm the crazy ones. And do we arm the Nuns and Priests in the Catholic schools? We can make a habit of this…. (sorry).

          Yeah, I don’t see throwing the God card as just Democrats, Karen, seems to be a lot of giving up and asking God for help, or at least to take the blame, on this one.

          But on to your question: “how many mass murders did you hear of when Trump was in office? Answer me that!” Do you idiots even think of looking before you say something you obviously have not a clue about. One word: WIKI, jfgi next time. Under Trump:

          2019: 14 mass murders, over 100 DEAD on Trump’s watch
          2018: 12 mass murders, over 90 DEAD
          2107: 12 mass murders, over 140 DEAD

          That’s just three of his four years we you apparently forgot as you forgot: Vegas shooting, El Paso, Parkland, Virginia Beach, and all the others. But really Karen, what did Donald J. Trump ever do that would minimize or stop mass murders? How about any President since Bill Clinton’s Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act or what we called the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban? And before you go non-linear, I said what did he do, what did he try, not did it work, or did I support it. Chillax on that one.

          But Karen: BUSTED.

  3. JJ

    If our so called white house leaders would spend money protecting our children and people here in our own country instead of everyone crossing our southern borders and every other country we would be much better off !!!!
    GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE…..PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE… !!!!

    THE 54 BILLION DOLLARS SENT OUT OF OUR COUNTRY FOR OTHERS THAT COULD CARE LESS FOR US SHOULD BE USED TO PROTECT US AND OUR CHILDREN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Harold blankenship

      I’m not giving up any rights just to make liberals feel good. I didn’t shoot anyone and therefore I shouldn’t be held accountable. And I won’t be. These so called common sense gun laws does nothing but make people more vulnerable to violence. I suggest armed guards and school staff Properly trained of course. I don’t hear my guns being fired. Someone would have to load them and pull the trigger. And that takes intent. Red flags were flying on the Texas shooter and nothing happened. And now here we are. We can’t legislate evil from our society. The people in Mexico are pretty much disarmed but the cartels with their heavy artillery are ruling the roost. If democrats have their way we will be in the same shape with much more slaughter. Prevention starts with proper parenting and upbringing. Yes, I would kill to protect myself and my family. And other innocent people. But thank God I’ve never had to do that. And I pray that I don’t ever have to. But I’m keeping and bearing my arms. Thoughts and prayers.

      • Ben

        Maybe start with just locking the fucking door.

        • Frank

          Dumbass answer But what can we expect from Ben?

          • Ben

            Really? You don’t think the unlocked door is critical? That’s just stupid.

        • larry Horist

          Bad Ben. I do not own a gun, but I fee good that others do. If you were in a theater with your family and a shooter start firing in your direction would you be hoping that no one in the audience was armed?

          • Ben

            Lame Larry: where did I say it’s a bad thing to own a gun? Are you projecting again?

            And to answer your question, I do not think I would be hoping for anything, I would be taking action.

      • spaceman spiff

        I might add two things to your idea of armed guards and trained teachers. Make our schools fortresses with metal detectors and such. Single points of entry and such. Trained security experts can make this happen. On the gun control front, make sure that all firearms sold to the public are: For handguns, make them revolvers. Most citizens don’t need semiautomatics. For rifles, even those like AR15s and their clones (“assault” weapons) make them manual bolt action. Semi-automatics with gas-operated cocking mechanisms should be replaced with manual bolt action assemblies. Hunters don’t need semi-automatics.
        As for fortifying schools, I know it may be expensive, but is the life of even one child not worth the cost?

        • Ben

          Probably the lower cost solution would be to open the jails and then convert them to schools. They are overloaded so just free some druggies, deport the illegals, and open up some space. Now your school is already fortified, probably will require less armed guards with all those gun towers and such. Lock downs can be standard. And they already have the buses!

          Problem solved. We got plenty of jails.

        • Ror

          It’s not your call to decide what I need. I didn’t shoot the kids so it’s not my fault. So STFU

          • Ben

            Didn’t Hitler say the same thing as Ror.

        • Ken

          It’s not your call telling hunters what they need

          • frank stetson

            I would never do that Ken. I merely indicate that we have a gun problem. Sure, it’s a people-problem first, we like to shoot more people in America than most countries in the world. Death by gun is the leading cause of death for kids under 17. That’s just a fact.

            But I don’t want your guns. I own guns. I own gun stocks. Hate to say it, but I am making money on Uvalde because gun sales are up, up, up.

            I do have a plan to help, but it includes more guns, bigger guns, why not? I think that if we search, there is a win-win here.

            But this is not even the thread for that and I have not even suggested any changes since I made my peace with all this a decade ago.

  4. frank stetson

    Like Larry said, American culture is causing much of this, and culture is hard to change. In our American culture, the majority, like 68% don’t own guns. The NRA is a financially and morally bankrupted organization, they no longer have the voice they did. Of the Americans who own guns, the ones who do have a whopping 66% of them holding more than one gun and 32% of them hold five or more guns. A huge 73% of all single gun owners, 34%, own hand guns, not exactly hunters, maybe a lot of target shooters. We are a culture of guns, our culture has more guns per capita than most civilized countries, and more gun violence than that same. We let 18-year old’s buy assault weapons, lots of bullets, when they can’t drink, can’t drive a big rig across state lines, smoke or vape, etc. Clearly our culture does not consider 18 to be a “complete” adult and there are many restrictions. It’s culture all right. One thing is certain: if guns magically disappeared from America, gun death, and homicide itself, would be reduced, statistically, if just for the higher lethality rating of the gun, statistically speaking. The fact this magic ain’t gonna happen does not mean it’s false. The question is, how to change the culture away from guns so that we just don’t want or need them anymore. Like most civilized nations across the globe.

    Larry, just crapping on the Democrats is not only wrong, but won’t fix anything. What I search for is the win-win. I think I have a number of easy ones, I have contacted the NRA, but ….. The bottom line is neither side really wants to work with the other to offer up any solutions acceptable by both. That’s Trumplicant culture when Democrats rule. And vice-versa when Trumpacula ruled. I believe there are common sense win-win solutions out there and that neither side is presenting any ideas that are win-win and therefore, are doomed to defeat to the gun lobby. So I say let’s just stop talking about it. It’s our culture to kill, to shoot up soft targets, to pick those different than us for death. Let’s move on and quit harping on that we don’t plan to do anything about.

    Maybe just treat it like covid, raise the threat level to medium, no mask needed, just like the “low” status, so let’s get about our lives.

    • Mark

      No Ben, I don’t recall anyone quoting Hitler on this issue. So stop being stupid. Oh I forgot. That’s impossible. It’s democrats who are much worse than Hitler. You people are dictator wannabes. So stop being so upity Boy.