New Column; New Rule

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Let’s try a new rule on gun threads. Disagree without using invective and try to find one thing the other person said that you’d be willing to concede. And (Todd) try not to drag in extraneous grievances.

So you can dispute this column.

Do it without calling anybody an idiot and find something in it you can agree with.

And that applies to both sides.


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58 thoughts on “New Column; New Rule

  1. Martha Ahlquist

    If I’m not wearing my seat belt a cop stops me and gives me a ticket and my insurance compny finds out. How would we go about verifying safe gun storage? Random home inspections? Or penalize retrospectively after the 4 year old kills his brother because the gun was on the coffee table?

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      I think it’s a good question. I think insurers could offer lower rate to people who could prove they’d invested in certain safety measures.

  2. Todd Zaino

    OK, OK, without name-calling, or anything negative…can anyone tell me when criminals and or the mentally ill ever paid attention to any gun law?

    In 2012 there were 806 gun related homicides in Chicago. All of the gun laws there did nothing to stop those 806 murders…but having gun laws makes people feel safe? Really?

      1. Scott

        “Interesting question” but it doesn’t suit my agenda so lets get back to my agenda. Just so we are clear I doubt you will find any responsible gun owner who does not agree on the need to safely and securely store weapons. I do not agree with the premise that costly insurance is required to make that happen. Requiring insurance will only burden law abiding responsible gun owners. Criminals will not.

        1. cmcenroe Post author

          Scott, I’m thinking more about suicides and accidental suicides. And as part of this experiment, let’s try to keep the snark to a minimum.

          1. Scott

            Snark? OK if you say so. I’m still stumped as to how trigger locks and safe storage will solve suicide issues. One of my sons classmates just lost his father to suicide. No firearms were available so he used pills. Once again we are back to a mental health issue. He was recently divorced and laid off from his job. What in the new gun control package is going to help a person in his predicament. The biggest mental health proposal was for the creation of a task force. I am beyond discusted with our government and all their apologists

      2. Todd Zaino

        If Adam Lanza’a mother had safely locked her guns away from her son perhaps Sandy Hook never would have happened-I agree with you on storage Colin. Nancy Lanza was a woman who bought and owned guns legally, yet when she turned her head tragedy struck. I would have felt better about all of these new ideas had a mental health provision in it.

        1. Cynical Susan

          Is there not some question about Nancy Lanza’s owning of guns as part of an involvement with the so-called “Doomsday Preppers?” I’ve only seen one mention of this, so it might not be accurate. But IF she was arming herself for this reason, some of that paranoia might well have rubbed off on her son. I also have read that among Adam’s belongings was a gift certificate from his mother for a gun — Nancy was apparently concerned about her son’s mental health, but the combination of his condition and the easy availability of guns was deadly.

          1. Richard

            Did a search on “doomsday preppers lanza”. Plenty of hits. Appears the Sister in law is the only quote associating Nancy with the preppers. Some interesting stuff on how the 2012 cult and preppers relate. We need a new Mayan Calendar.

    1. Nancy Metcalf

      I’ve heard this argument quite a bit and don’t fully understand it. By this logic there should be no laws whatsoever about anything because some people will violate them. Plus, states with stricter laws about guns have fewer gun deaths, which suggests that laws actually do make a difference.

    2. btw

      Nancy Lanza was not a criminal. She paid attention to the current laws, and had enough weaponry in her house to bring kill over two dozen innocent people quickly and efficiently.

      Most of the mass shooters have been law-abiding citizens, up until they plan their shooting.

      There’s your explanation.

  3. Richard

    I don’t have a problem with gun locks and safety measures.

    Mandated Insurance is a form of taxation. I’m not sure if the SCOTUS would rule that using taxes and insurance to discourage ownership isn’t a form of discriminatory action–guns are for rich people only. This would fit my version of government: EBT cards would have a means tested gun ownership kick.

    1. Richard

      My version of government is that government is an ass. Means-testing for gun insurance is stupid. That’s why it has to happen!

  4. Mark O'Brien

    The requirements for registration and licensing have not kept un-registered, un-insured cars from being driven.

    And I detect another logical fallacy here: If the problem is guns, not the criminals who employ them in the commission of crimes, why do we prosecute people? If we just melted down the weapons, we’d solve the problem, right? Better yet, we could just lock them up and let them think about the crimes they’ve committed.

    1. Richard

      The pecking order of gun deaths is something like Suicides (legal guns), Urban violence (illegal guns), Domestic Violence (mostly legal), and Accidental (mostly legal).

      I’d prefer each policy plank speaks to various demographics and says it is documented to resolve XXXX. Most of the policies for prevention do not overlap.

  5. peter brush

    The paucity of new ideas.
    That there are no ideas is disappointing, but that fact is not newly discovered. Life is a bitch, etc., pretty well established.
    What is disappointing is that despite the fact that there are no ideas, and without due deliberation about the old ideas pulled out of dusty drawers for the occasion, our legislators insist on making new laws. Binding laws not merely expensive pains in the asses of law-abiding citizens, not merely ineffectual in preventing future Newtowns, not merely a bureaucratic nightmare, but laws that implicate our Fundamental State and U.S. Laws. It’s Legislat-omania the reality show starring Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, and Dannel Malloy.

    1. Richard

      There are some new ideas. The best ones aren’t part of the legislation. The suicide and urban violence issues are being handled separately. Too politically charged among liberals either stigmatizing the mentally ill and denying them equal rights or the urban racial profiling of felons as an unfortunate byproduct of targeted policing.

      With the exception of registration and safety requirements (training, locks etc) the rest does look like the usual legislation for legislation sake to me without any scientific basis.

  6. Mark O'Brien

    Peter Brush, this is precisely why nations fall. The intellectual ruling elite, following their self-serving predilections for control (which diametrically contradict their political rhetoric, of course), and with the complicity of the complacent gullible, relentlessly pursue the legislation of their utopian visions. Equality! Fairness! Social justice! Laws! (Remember that, given the context in which we’re expressing these opinions, we even need a new rule on gun threads, here, in a blog, presumably under the protection of the First Amendment.)

    This goes on until the entire construct becomes so top-heavy it transgresses the one immutable law to which it never gave a thought: gravity. It literally topples over.

    1. Bill

      Mark O’Brien: Nations do not fail based on your presented points. They fall because the economic fundamentals weaken over a period of time. Oftentimes, and, as with the ancient Roman Empire, it grew so large and weighted with the the frequency of wars, weakened mother Roma until it could no longer fend off invaders.

      A point for the US to consider.

      1. Mark O'Brien

        Bill, I agree with you about economic fundamentals; e.g., it’s not possible to borrow unto prosperity. If you’re suggesting wars are entirely to blame for our economic fragility at the present time — without even delving into Iraq and Afghanistan — there is much mathematic, empirical evidence to the contrary.

        Should mother Roma be studied for its hedonism, its superficiality, and its aggregation of power at the top? Yes.

        Also a point for the US to consider.

        1. Bill

          Mark; I agree that Iraq didn’t weight us down but indeed, wasting a trillion dollars (and sending pallet loads of dollars to Bagdad) on it in addition to all the wasted lives didn’t help matters much.

          I believe that the major flaws in our system, if not repaired, will ultimately bring us down. When you have gridlock caused by either party and no good legislation can get passed, we have a problem. When special interests rule the day with so much greater influence as in no other time in our history, then we have a problem. When any special interest can throw enough money to make good legislation bad, we have a problem. When Glass-Stegeal is rendered obsolete by these special banking and wall street interests and causes a major financial collapse, we got ourselves a problem.

          As for hedonism? I don’t no how to tackle that one. I think if a fair system of law and justice can be formed, and we can prosper with an expanding middle class/middleincome, then the good nature of people will flourish.

          So I agree that we cannot spend our way to prosperity. But I believe that we should and must spend our way out of recession. We can’t change the sins of the past. But we shouldn’t constrict at the most difficult of times. Smart stimulas spending like real infrastructure spending is goo. Bus lanes to nowhere is a waste. (And I have studied this a little and I can’t figure how this corridor will benefit considering the cost.) As the economy grows, the debt and deficit will become smaller.

    2. Cynical Susan

      “…here, in a blog, presumably under the protection of the First Amendment.”

      I thought blogs-comments weren’t subject to the First Amendment — that blogs are more like private property where commentors are subject to the rules as set by the blog-owner.

        1. Cynical Susan

          If a commentor says something that the blog-owner feels is inappropriate in any way, I thought that the blog-owner is within his/her rights to block or remove that comment, without it being a First Amendment issue.

  7. Bill

    Colin, I agree wholeheartedly that we should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. While my goal is to envision a day when all semi automatic long guns and hand guns will be banned simply because they have excessive ability to inflect humongous damage, I think invention and new ideas such as insurance for guns should be discussed in detail. I am sorry that I did not testify at the hearing on insurance. It was a good idea to explore. The gun lobby swamped them and it seems that our side didn’t show that much interest. The side of gun reform is in the vast majority.

    In terms of invention, I suspect that a identification device could be made respond to only the original owner of the gun. Something akin to a thumb print ID. This device could only be removed or changed by an gun dealer. The device would be welded on to the weapon. This would go a long way for preventing unauthorized use as well as accidental discharge and prevent suicide.

    Just a brief word on the nastiness on these posts. I too have indulged with the worst of them and have enjoyed the humor of it. But I no longer post on them after talking with a member of the Newtown community and this person was shaken by the nasty remarks allowed to be displayed.
    I think you guys should simply expel these posters after giving them one heads up. Rick Green won’t do it. I think you will and because of this, you don’t see the remarks on your blog post. Express this to your colleagues. It has gotten way out of hand. Go next door and you can read a post horribly insulting the mother who expressed herself in President Obama’s Saturday radio.

    I partially hold the Hartford Courant to blame for this. This is your property and these posts are your responsibilities to maintain some decorum. And you should not be standoffish when they accuse you of censorship. They are trolls and will accuse you of anything they can think up. you already know this. They are using and abusing the format.

    So I say to you: Get rid of them if they need to use these public posts for their own mental health options.

    1. Scott

      Bill I agree with your assessment of the nastiness of some of the comments. I think it fair to say that this applies to people who favor both sides of the argument. My frustration with some of the comments often require me to step away from the discussion to
      regain my clarity of thought.

      I do feel that your belief in gun insurance and hi-tech are rather simplistic. Once again your proposal focuses on the tool and not the hand that wields it. Sick minds intent on murder with seize upon whatever tool is available. If semi-auto weapons are not avail they will move on to revolvers or bolt action rifles. In the Cologne school massacre an improvised flame thrower and a lance were used. This is why the mental health problem deserves our attention. Those of us in the pro 2A community are appalled at the simple minded thinking. Please tell us why the focus is on the gun and not the perpetrator.

      1. Scott

        Not to mention that the ability to defend oneself is becoming increasingly necessary. Ask Dr Pettit and this homeowner who refused to be a victim.

        FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Two men who attempted to invade a Fayetteville home early Friday morning died after a gun fight with the homeowner, according to WTVD

        1. cmcenroe Post author

          Scott, it’s actually tough to figure out whether it’s “increasingly” necessary. Home invasions are not currently a kept statistic. Most of the stats that correlate with them, though, are falling. Like robbery.

          Setting that aside, let’s say you want a gun you can use that way but also not accidentally shoot your cousin dropping in by surprise and also not have a depressed adolescent turn it on himself. Maybe there’s a way to look at gun ownership that factors for all of the above.

        2. Bill

          Scott: I don’t disagree that a well armed Dr Pettit might have been able to succeed defending his family. First, had he a fully loaded glock, he most likely would not have been walking around the house with it strapped on his hip. But he could have also defended himself with a double barrel shotgun. When a person argues in ones own favor, he will always seek an example that is plausible as you have with this example even though costs far outweigh that on incidence. Finally, I recently read a book about how human evolution excelled through observing other tribes then adapting new methods of solving problems. Perhaps we should give a closer look at the English and the Australian solution to gun violence since they simply banned guns and gun violence went down. And I assure you, the English and Australian armies are not about to declare martial law and fore their citizens into slavery.

          1. Richard

            In the case of Dr Petit’s killers you have a diferent set of issues including the way prison release and follow up is handled.

            If you read the whole situation with Hayes post-release (loss of his Mother’s support; job issues) I think it could have been prevented at a far lower cost than arming all of society.

            Dude was a screw up, granted. But, he got backed into a corner with no support.

            It also helps to look at some of the homeless who use prison to get out of the cold. February is a hot month for prison time served.

            Society makes progress but there are some holes that come back to bite us. Mental health treatment is appropriate for some but for others society need to better prepare job opportunies and a safe landing until they get settled and with supportive housing and counseling and transition services.

            The cost of hand-holding is far less than social cost of violence.

      2. cmcenroe Post author

        Scott, I think it should be on both.
        But that’s a strong argument for universal background checks with permanent record-keeping.
        I’d also feel better about this if I sensed from the pro 2A community a real commitment to public spending on mental health. Is there one? Sometimes it just feels like the mental heath flag gets waved when pro-2Aers want to talk about something other than gun control. Would your people be willing to show up in force for a public hearing on funding mental health services, the way you do on gun legislation days?
        This is a serious — as opposed to taunting — question.

        1. Scott

          I have to admit I am a proponent of universal background checks. I was actually unaware of the fact that only 16 other states require them as rigorously as CT does. I’m actually not a fan of a registration database. It was used in New Orleans to the detriment of its citizens after Katrina. Registered legal weapons were confiscated while the criminals were left armed.

        2. Scott

          Oh and regarding your question on mental health funding the answer is no. I didn’t attend the gun legislation days as it was apparent that this was only a sad theater exercise. The democratic leadership had an agenda and that wasn’t going to be stopped. There will be no funding for mental health resources. The mental health task force will be another act of theater. the state is broke and its only going to get worse. Just wait till the under funded pension system blows up. We’ll be lucky to keep state police cruisers on the road. I personally am planning to move out of this state. Of course that assumes I can find a sucker to buy my house.

      3. Bill

        Scott: i responded to the boss’s request for polite dialogue and possible solutions.

        i have a single bolt-action rifle. It was made in the late 19th century. Beats the hell out of me how it works.

        Thant being said, I fully agree that mental health is one major component in reducing gun violence. But the other component is banning semi automatics. To suggest that too many guns float in the black marketplace and therefor we must all arm is a self-defeating logic. And BTW, i am not suggesting that we fully disarm. I don’t know how many times i need to include this tidbit. A double barrel 12 gage shotgun has plenty of fire power. You ain’t going to walk away from a blast pointed at you. It is just not as sexy. And don’t ignore the sexiness aspect of marketing and owning a semi automatic rifle. It’s a big MAN’s gun right?

        This problem of guns in the US can’t go away overnight. It has to be seen as a long time plan. maybe it will take 50 or 100 years to clean up all the old guns.

        Scott; you just expressed a profound result of gun reduction. I would be happy to see criminals have only revolvers or single bolt action rifles. So one or 2 people might die instead of 20 or 30.

        1. Scott

          Bill: your statement that “therefor we must all arm is a self-defeating logic” leaves me somewhat annoyed. At no time has anyone suggested that all people should be armed. Owning weapons for whatever the reason is not something to be taken lightly. I think the process CT uses to issue Concealed Carry Permits is a good one. I personally think the training aspect is a little lite but the background check is effective. This whole notion by the liberal media that Pro 2A people want to arm all teachers is nonsense designed to confuse the issue. The thought of arming all teachers is scary to say the least. That said I do believe that in a school with 100+ certified/professional staff it is quite possible that 5-10 would have the ability and mindset that could allow for them to be trained in firearms. Israel has shown that this is possible.

        2. Scott

          Oh BTW, please lighten up on the ” It’s a big MAN’s gun right”. In theory this was supposed to be an adult conversation. I am relatively new to gun ownership and my manhood was quite sufficent long before I purchased weapons.

          1. Bill

            Scott: what I should have said without my editorial is that I believe that I read how the Bushmaster is marketed as a real man’s gun. I was speaking of the marketing only.

            Patrice: I agree with you. Should we have or want the ability to protect ourselves with arms assuming that a percentage of these weapons will fall into the hands of criminally minded? In my perfect world, I say know. But I will accept the concept of home protection with limited but effective armed defense less the assault weapons.

  8. Todd Zaino

    All of the feel-good laws won’t matter one bit. Fort Hood is a gun-free zone and Major Nidal Hasan was able to kill 12 people three and half years ago.

  9. Patrice Fitzgerald

    I have a serious question, since we are having a serious discussion. Do those of you, who feel current attempts to change law will be ineffective, believe that we simply have to accept that mentally ill individuals will continue to sometimes kill large numbers of people with guns? Do you believe that we simply have to accept that some individuals will accidentally kill others with guns? Do you believe that we simply have to accept that some depressed or disturbed individuals will commit suicide with guns? Do you accept these realities as a side effect of the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment, and an unfortunate, if saddening, result of Americans’ access to guns for protection or entertainment purposes?

    1. Bill

      Patrice: I’m on the truck. I have always asked, “protection at what price?” Or the benefit/risk ratio.

    2. Scott

      Patrice: would you feel better if mentally ill people killed large numbers of people with bombs or flame throwers or cars? Sadly all the discussion has been about the guns. In the Cologne school massacre the killer used a homemade flamethower. This belief that if we take away guns the mass murders will stop is based on a lack of information.

  10. peter brush

    Do those of you, who feel current attempts to change law will be ineffective, believe that we simply have to accept that mentally ill individuals will continue to sometimes kill large numbers of people with guns?
    Will bears continue to poop in the woods?

    1. Scott

      Patrice did you even bother to read the study. This is a classic case of being able to manipulate the figures to tell any story you want.

    2. peter brush

      Do we agree that this is a new problem?
      What strikes me as new, although I have no data with which to quantify my impression gained after 58 years on the planet, is our country’s social decay. When I look at the Lanza kid, or the other guys in recent mass murders (Colorado,Arizona), I’m impressed by how screwed up he was. I think we have more alienation, isolation than we used to. It doesn’t surprise me that his family was broken. Frankly, I notice that these folks are often white youths from the burbs, and I ask if you believe they’ve been educated to be proud of their race, gender, or country. That he used an assault-style weapon not particularly critical, it seems to me.
      The charts you send indicate that Connecticut already is well-regulated and already has a low gun mortality rate. Why the “emergency” legislation rushed through our esteemed legislature without hearings wherein your study could be analyzed in public?

    3. peter brush

      In other words, I’m not talking about schizophrenia or other mental “illness,” but about our ongoing social/sexual disorientation initiated, roughly speaking, in 1965, although perhaps Phillip Larkin makes a case for 1963. Divorce was rare when I was a kid, and so were kids born out of wedlock. Not saying everyone was happy as a clam (or asking why clams considered happy), but allegiance to community was stronger, self-hatred weaker. I’m not a religious person, but I am curious if any social scientists might be analyzing these mass-killers’ religiosity.

  11. equality 7-2521

    One summer job, as a “cowboy” in northern N.M., I purchased my first firearms, a necessity for the job for reasons too complicated to discuss now. I still maintain those “tools of my fleeting trade” for the memories. Perhaps one of the most profound experiences I had was after shooting an ancient porcupine in the dead of night with my 30-30.
    This experience, I’m sure is peanuts for an avid hunter, but for a Easterner and immigrant from a war torn society, this gave me pause to reflect upon this toy of American popular culture.
    A firearm’s only purpose is to kill! It can be modified for other purposes, but it’s reason for existance is to kill.
    Why this culture has become so enamored with this lust for power and strength through primal fear rather than reasoned confidence, is beyond me to understand. Symptoms, such as Newtown only provide us with a brief glimpse of our problem but we should remember it is only a part of a broader illness.
    Using motor vehicle metaphors is valid yet automobiles are not manufactured to be weapons as their sole purpose.
    Addressing mental concerns is very valid, however how sane is a person who goes about his normal day to day activities yet stockpiles weaponry for the great disaster or grave government injustice? Is a person truly in charge of his wits when his security is a working trigger finger and a shiney blued barrel?
    Yet folk like this really exist who will never kill a soul and help the needy but but who have been driven to by perhaps excessive wall to wall media coverage of 11 Sept or overexaggeration of threats overseas which should never affect us.
    This country stinks from the excrement released, in fear, by the reactionaries amongst us and those of us who are saner must clean them up through tough love, provide safer toys and help them cope with the realities of the global marketplace into which big business has thrown us.
    Why not just let those porcupines rummage for food at night and protect the garbage so that those who look for it can’t find it and therefore go away on their own.

    1. Bill

      equality: man, did you say a mouthful and I thank you. I too have reflected about why our gun culture is so entrenched. Our original sin is of course our 2nd amendment. We embrace it like a spouse or lover. But I am convinced that today, there exists another hidden reason in front of us. Since the country is so war-like, we send generation after generation to war and after these veterans want to relive their moments with their guns. So they buy something very similar to the automatic rifles such as the Bushmaster and they continue enjoying and reliving that very shot moment in their young lives in battle.

      But the answer lay in observing other developed countries such as England and Australia.

      I’m in agreement with you, brother.

        1. Bill

          Scott: After listening to professor speak at Newtown High School about the 2nd amendment, I am slowly and with greater understanding that the 2nd has strong limitations with have become lost in the conservative activism of the Supreme Court. i know the term “activism” is usually used to berate the liberal side. but indeed, the conservatives have pulled one part of the 2nd and used it to justify a fully armed populace at all costs. And this is not what the 2nd, as I now have come to believe, means.

          Along with my expanded study via his book, I will except and realize that the 2nd is going no where for now but that it is most important to increase the Court to have a solid liberal block. Then we can say, “we have taken the country back.”

      1. equality 7-2521

        Ya know Bill, you might have something there. Due to the vagueness of the wording, even the insane could make a case for owning firearms. Maybe under the ADA, but maybe a rewrite of old #2 which means a repeal conditioned upon a new clear one would protect us just as well. It would still need the consent of the people via the ballot box.
        I don’t think it’ll happen, but you never know.

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