Lessons of the latest shooting

37

To the Editor:

So we had yet another school shooting in this country, the 18th or 19th in this year alone. Seventeen young lives are snuffed out and a great many others scarred forever. When and where will the next such catastrophe be? The signs are that we won’t have to wait long, since the shoot-em-dead tradition is deeply rooted in this country’s history.
And what does this say about our future? Matthew 26:52 of the Book we say we base our beliefs on says: “Put your sword back in its place – for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Son of a gun.

Everybody says America is a young nation, and so it may be, but the time is overdue for it to have to grow up. Yet it seems almost impossible, given the addiction of large parts of the population to the gun, which they equate with security.
But it takes more courage to give up the gun than to hang on to the illusion that it will save you.

The only thing that occurs to me as a realistic step we could attempt, would be to institute intensive courses in problem solving and crisis resolution in all our schools, so eventually our young people can learn not to feel that the only recourse they can take against perceived or real bullying and frustration is bloodshed and murder.

Brigitte Lent
Edgartown

37 COMMENTS

  1. Who is the “we” you allude to ?
    While I agree with most of your general points,
    I for one think the book you reference is about as accurate as the daily astrology column, or a fortune cookie.
    Let’s get real– these shootings happen because the nra gives massive amounts of money to republican officials who then block any form of sane gun control. Lets just say it– It’s their fault.
    Perhaps they are the “we” you refer to– after every one of these shootings, they offer “prayers” for the victims and their families– What a crock– just pass the money please..
    The truth is, either these people are praying to the wrong “god”, or prayer doesn’t work..

  2. Every politician who has accepted money from the NRA is going to hell, and that is exactly where they belong. Anyone who thinks that a teenager should be able to legally own an AR-15, easier to buy in Florida than a handgun, is a sick criminal.

    • Tell you what. the Repubs will agree to ban AR-15 guns if the Dems agree to end late term and partial birth abortion. both sides worry about a slippery slope—-ie ban all guns and ban all abortions. Is that a deal? We can all think of at least three things to do without guns if we wanted to kill 17 people wouldnt you say?

      • You’re trying to leverage students being killed in school. I wish you luck extracting from that moral failure.

      • Andrew– I for one would not agree to end late term abortions, as it would undoubtedly result in the deaths of the women that procedure is performed on. It is not legal in the United states to have a late term abortion unless the life of both the mother and the child are at imminent risk. As far as the partial birth abortion trump famously talked about– that has been illegal since the 1990’s. It simply does not exist in the United States.. Period.
        http://reason.com/blog/2016/10/21/late-term-abortions-in-america-2016
        Your frequent inaccurate comments about this subject demonstrate your willful ignorance of this issue, as well as many other issues that you only have an unfounded opinion about that you treat as truth. Your opinion is not truth , Andrew, and it would better serve us all if you did not spread your half truths, deliberately misleading facts and innuendo here.

        • It is you Dondondon who is inaccurate and plain wrong. the contingency on late term abortion is ”the life and health of a mother” and pone can drive a truck through that objective definition. As for partial birth abortions, 3000 to 5000 are done every year and most of them to healthy babies and mothers. many states legislate against late term abortions but many do not and those that do usually strike down the law and make exceptions due to ”health”.You want to read only that which pleases you because you dont fundamentally have a problem with abortion but if you really researched you would find that what you say is untrue.My statements are not inaccurate, they are always correct and you are a denier.

          • Andrew– I post factual stuff from a reputable site, give you the link to the facts, and you simply tell me that I am wrong and you are “always correct”, and that I am the denier ? Your propensity to willfully deny anything that opposes your narrow twisted view of the world is only eclipsed by your arrogance. Find some place to get some morality, common sense, humility and compassion.. Your current fairy tail that you cling to obviously provides none of that- Try something different– Shame on you–

  3. Lets see. The kid got expelled after exhibiting anti social behavior. His adoptive father/guardian knew he had a gun. The kid posted that he would become a professional school shooter. That you tube post was given to the FBI who interviewed the informant. Nothing was done because it didnt raise enough alert. Another mental problem kid and nobody does anything due to PC or privacy concerns. Going after the NRA wont solve anything. Identifying problem people will go a long way. Israel solved this problem 40 years ago. Look it up.

    • You are aware the NRA wanted rolled back the rule that added people with mental illnesses to the national background check? Not banned, just to check. The NRA is a big part of the problem.

      • New Englander please read the roll back rule carefully. You are misrepresenting its intent and the group involved. Even the ACLU sided with Trump and the NRA on that rollback.

      • New Englander. the Obama rule said that people with anxiety or mild issues who have difficulty with their Social security finances and need help should not have access to guns. That put thousands of people into a class that had nothing to do with their ability to handle a gun properly and lawfully. Trump rescinded that rule and all manner of shrinks and ACLU and other liberal groups agreed with him.

        • key point– Obama had a rule to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill (# 1 republican talking point ) trump rescinded it .. does anyone on the right have any idea how to handle this other than pray after a slaughter ?

          • In my Mother’s case, we took away her car keys. But she can still get a gun because heaven help us if the EMT’s & police don’t catch her before she walks into to a gun shop.

          • Don don. Obamas rule did not state mentally ill. It said specifically people who need assistance with social security finances. Read it first then comment.

        • Andrew—people who had trouble handling their finances should not be allowed to have guns ????? what Chinese restaurant did you go to to get that one in your fortune cookie ? Or perhaps “info wars”, or some other nut case web site of the kind you seem to get most of your information from. And “mild anxiety” ? I could agree that anyone who actually believes that shouldn’t have access to a gun.

        • It put those people on the list to *review* during application. And making difficulties with Social Security finances into scary-sounding trait, that’s because the ability to handle math and instructions requires critical thinking skills. Also a good test whether to take away someone’s car keys.

          Yes, there is a prohibited ownership list, this wasn’t it.

        • One more time. The people you describe were not added to the prohibited list; rather they were added to the check list, meaning their mental functioning was to be reviewed as part of the application process.

        • Andrew– ok– I took your advice and read about Obama’s rule concerning social security.. This was to give additional scrutiny to people who are collecting social security because they have deemed themselves mentally incompetent.. Not because they have reached a certain age– but because they ( or their providers) have deemed them mentally incompetent.. They also were not prohibited from acquiring a gun. Just had some added scrutiny.,. your comment is disingenuous, deliberately misleading, and borders on a flat out lie.. Perhaps you should read the Obama rule then comment.. Do you not have any moral compass to actually analyze the facts, or are you just conditioned to a knee jerk reaction to all things that you consider “liberal values” ?

          • None of what you say dondondon is even remotely accurate. Mentally incompetent are your words. These were people who had disability payments but never deemed unable to safely use a gun. It was a violation of 2 nd and 4th amendment rights and obama over reached

        • The amendment you should be pulling out is the 5th for due process and that was addressed. People who received social security because they qualified under some mental impairment, whether at their request or a conservator, had the application REVIEWED, not flat-out denied.

          @andrew The bright side is now when a vocal gun rights type argues mental health issues rather than racist white male syndrome, they still own the shooting because they supported removing the mental health check.

    • not hard to identify the “problem people ” — they all sit on the right side of the capital building during the state of the union address.

    • My test for mental issues is simple. If a person believes the ability to possess a weapon designed to kill people is more important than the life of just one innocent person, that person cannot be trusted with life and death decisions and should not permitted to possess weapons.

        • Either stay on topic or stop posting. The topic is school shootings, it’s in the first sentence of the letter. The logical conclusion to your attempts to deflect is you haven’t a problem with our children being killed in their classrooms.

          You get one response on abortion. If you haven’t the morality to defend lives of children, you haven’t the morality to attack on the subject of abortion.

          • I didn’t know Morality is selective new englander. It is precisely on topic when you bring up “” innocent “” lives. You know as well as I do that the gun issue mantra is a red herring. If you magically made 100 million guns disappear you would not stop mental health killings. My solution to stop killings in classrooms does not involve whining about the second amendment.

        • @andrew You’re trying to trade lives of children with fetuses. Born or unborn makes no difference. You’re trying to trade lives. Do you comprehend how immoral and reprehensible that is?

          • New Englander—-the baby in the womb is just as human as you and I and due to science and technology increasingly people are turning against abortion as the see the baby, it human form, its life. You wouldnt be a science denier would you?

        • And so you keep trying to make morality selective. If you want to discuss abortion, write a letter to the editor. But here, the essence of your argument has been it’s more important to have the ability to kill innocent people than are the actual lives. Make lives what is important and there’s still lots of room for discussion, possibly even find a solution.

    • It is not possible to arrest someone because of having a gun, posting hate on utube or twitter, or having mental issues.
      Otherwise the guy in the White House would be gone.

  4. Intensive courses in problem solving and crisis resolution to decide whether the classroom door will provide enough shielding from 5.56mm ammunition?

  5. You cannot fix a problem if the electorate does not want it fixed. And it doesn’t. Firearm ownership in this county is deeply intertwined with culture and political identity. The practical effects of having the most heavily armed society on earth are secondary to that.

    Nothing will change rural/red Americans’ minds about owning guns, whether it is for hunting, anomalous “good guy with a gun” fantasies, or most laughably of all, the belief that owning a large gun collection will somehow allow them to overthrow our government. There are more of them, and their mind is made up.

    State-based solutions are minimally effective. Guns used for crimes in Chicago mostly come from Indiana, which has far laxer gun laws. Even national borders are questionably effective at keeping guns out: France has tremendous problems with black market firearms flowing from Eastern Europe. Even if we somehow found the political will to disarm, it would take decades.

    Limiting gun rights is also an exercise in futility. Half of our gun-restriction laws just drum up more business for the firearms industry, as consumers rush to buy things ahead of a ban or a paranoid belief that the government is coming for their guns. If only.

    The other half of our firearms restrictions merely look good on paper, perhaps helping a democrat get re-elected, without meaningful restriction. Any gun nut can explain why banning bullet buttons, bumper stocks, or even assault weapons is an exercise in futility: the technology underlying guns is simple, and gun owners ingenious at developing workarounds. And people can already print assault weapons with 3D printers, which will only get easier over time.

    Maybe in a generation or two.

  6. Dondondon. You don’t post factual stuff. You tell us late term abortions are illegal and you tell us partial birth doesn’t exist and the latter is a lie and the former is like telling us murder is illegal ——- it still happens. If you really researched instead of parroting Huffington Post you would see that I am factual. Go to CDC for example

    • Quoting from the letter:
      “So we had yet another school shooting in this country, the 18th or 19th in this year alone. Seventeen young lives are snuffed out and a great many others scarred forever. ”

      Is this a concern to you? The question can’t go away because school shootings keep happening.

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