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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Dec '12 07:19 / 1 edit
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they actually do something that's dangerous. Well it's too late when they've already committed murder or killed themselves, if we can't help them beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
  2. 18 Dec '12 07:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they em beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
    If they have no kind of 'Care in the Community' program which would include ongoing evaluation of an individuals psychological state then yes I would think that improving that scenario is part of the equation.

    However it should be as well as, not instead of, tighter gun controls.
  3. 18 Dec '12 07:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they em beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
    He thinks he is a pragmatist and may be playing a bit to the right. The question in my mind is whether the Newtown tragedy is a tipping point for rapid fire large capacity quick change clip weapons. We shall see; I rather doubt it will be. And of course two other aspects need attention: identification and treatment of potential shooters, and attention to the culture that produces them. But I am not stupid about this. We will always have some percentage of clever psychopaths with means and motive. Edit: some fraction of us will be executed by them.
  4. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    18 Dec '12 08:40 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they em beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
    He is right, but he offers no useful solution, only a deflection from reality, that while it is true guns don't kill, people do, without the ready availability of guns, especially those with obscene rapid firepower, it would not be that easy to kill such large gorups of people without the perpetrator being stopped.

    Having an inordinate amount of them lying around coupled with the fatalism about the inevitability of a Government imposed tyrannical rule, its no wonder that the paranoid impulse would easily sublimate the angst over government to more immediate figures of authority. In this case the boy's mum.

    Is it ironic that the mother of the boy was a survivalist and had many guns to protect herself from the coming choas, and the son, disturbed beyond reason, used her means of defence against tyranny to end no doubt what he thought was hers?

    Given the views shared by people who subscribe to the survivalist mindset, would she have likely noticed her son acting out strange and had him scheduled or intervened with by mental health professionals? Fairly unlikely!

    So you could argue that intervention/prevention is not likely an efficient route to curb the choas. However I think three things should happen that would.

    1. If you want to own a gun, you need to also join a gun club, and you need to be a regular participant in club activities.

    2. If you want to own a gun, you should have regular psychological testing. For the very least once every 2 years.

    3. Ban the sale of semi automatic/high powered weaponry and severely limit the sale of ammunition for the same.

    People who extoll the virtue of ownership at some point bring up the low death rate by firearms in countries like Austria and Switzerland. From what I am told gun ownership is more of a community experience over there and people take pride in their ability to use them well.

    In terms of psychological testing, we do a lot more to make sure adults can drive. A lot goes into licensing and testing and taking out insurance to protect property and people, when you are on the road.

    Given that in the wrong hands, guns are inherently more dangerous than auto's, maybe a psychological profile should be mandatory. And if you own a gun, you should have to take out third party insurance that in the case of a wrongful death, while the family cannot get their loved one back, at least a few mill payout will dull the pain and financial burden of the funeral costs and possible need to to relocate away from a location of very painful memory.

    FINAL EDITS!
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Dec '12 13:21
    Originally posted by FMF
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they ...[text shortened]... em beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
    I'd like to hear more details about his plan first. Under the current system the government cannot forcibly confine someone to a mental institution involuntarily unless it proves, after a hearing before a neutral ALJ, at which the subject has the opportunity to appear and have counsel, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person is a danger to himself or others due to mental illness.

    I would not like to see this standard changed to allow government to more easily confine people.
  6. 18 Dec '12 15:04 / 1 edit
    I think we shouldn't be locking people up because of the minute chance that they might be rampage killers. How would one determine such a thing anyway?
  7. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    18 Dec '12 15:18
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I think we shouldn't be locking people up because of the minute chance that they might be rampage killers. How would one determine such a thing anyway?
    Before we start locking people up, let's lock the guns up.

    Gun owners: secure your guns. That's your responsibility. You'll face a heavy sanction if YOUR gun is used to do something bad.
  8. 18 Dec '12 17:20
    Originally posted by FMF
    When asked on the BBC what Obama should do about mass murders, Richard Feldman, President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association said:

    "I wouldn't do anything to tighten gun laws. I would focus, if we are dealing with mentally deranged individuals, on our mental health system. We can't incarcerate people. We can't take them off the streets until they ...[text shortened]... em beforehand. And our laws prevent us from helping them."

    Is Richard Feldman right?
    That's been a debate subject for decades, with parties lining up on opposite sides. Conservatives were bipolar, arguing for incarceration of the insane, while complaining about the cost. Liberals were also bipolar, arguing no cost was too great, but that incarceration was a violation of the mentally ill's civil rights.

    Some will no doubt argue about the term incarceration. OK, but in those good old days, mental hospitals or asylums were like prisons only worse in some cases. There were people committed by relatives that wanted their money, or just hated them. People were raped and abused by staff. And there was no clear standard of who ought to be admitted involuntarily.

    I doubt we're any closer to agreement on those issues than before, and in a worse position to add a new layer of social costs.
  9. 18 Dec '12 17:54
    Originally posted by kmax87
    He is right, but he offers no useful solution, only a deflection from reality, that while it is true guns don't kill, people do, without the ready availability of guns, especially those with obscene rapid firepower, it would not be that easy to kill such large gorups of people without the perpetrator being stopped.

    Having an inordinate amount of them lyi ...[text shortened]... and possible need to to relocate away from a location of very painful memory.

    FINAL EDITS!
    Your offer no useful solutions either.

    "without the ready availability of guns, especially those with obscene rapid firepower, it would not be that easy to kill such large gorups of people without the perpetrator being stopped."

    Demonstrably false. The largest death toll at a school was in Bath, MI 1927 via bombs, not guns.
    Guns with smaller magazines can be just as deadly, and have adequate firepower. This argument is simply a precursor to banning and confiscating all firearms.

    Sure paranoia can be catching, but that's a problem of parenting aside from guns. Sure you can argue that anything is likely not to be effective, but I hardly see your ideas as any more promising.

    "1. If you want to own a gun, you need to also join a gun club, and you need to be a regular participant in club activities."

    You want to revoke my freedom to choose my associates and activities? I don't think this idea will be big with most gun owners, unless they already belong to a club. This would also bring in registration which is also a precursor to confiscation.

    "2. If you want to own a gun, you should have regular psychological testing. For the very least once every 2 years."

    Sounds a lot like a movie where the government tracked down people who might commit a crime in the future. I don't believe any civil liberties survive that.

    "3. Ban the sale of semi automatic/high powered weaponry and severely limit the sale of ammunition for the same."

    That is a goal post that is totally portable. What is high powered today will inevitably grow, and include everything except and perhaps including bb guns.

    The trouble with all these suggestions is that a very high percentage of people will ignore, and perhaps think that this is the trigger event for them to use those guns for defending their liberty. There obviously will be others who will simply ignore them, because they use weapons for criminal purposes, and no law will alter their actions. Beyond those risks there is the fact that guns are expensive. When you ban and confiscate them, are you planning on reimbursing the owners?

    The whole thing sounds like an overarching statist plan which if it were implemented could bring absolute disaster, and probably would not accomplish its original goal.

    Driving? Huh? We give 16 year olds in most States a license with minimal training or skill testing, and no mental testing. And they operate a heavy powerful machine in close quarters with others.

    Anything is dangerous in the wrong hands. If someone with a gun breaks into your home, I dare you to tell him or her to wait while you get your car to defend yourself. Guns have utility that no other tool has. As soon as the fazer of Startrek is available I'm getting one. Defense without killing.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Dec '12 18:03 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Your offer no useful solutions either.
    And yet, you yourself pointedly did not.

    Is Richard Feldman right?
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Dec '12 18:44
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I'm no expert in this area, but I would assume they can be held temporarily for a reasonable period of time until a hearing is arranged. No1 would probably know more.
  12. 18 Dec '12 19:01
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'd like to hear more details about his plan first. Under the current system the government cannot forcibly confine someone to a mental institution involuntarily unless it proves, after a hearing before a neutral ALJ, at which the subject has the opportunity to appear and have counsel, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person is a danger to himself or ...[text shortened]... would not like to see this standard changed to allow government to more easily confine people.
    Everyone should read this while contemplating the degree to which we should institutionalize and/or treat mental illness on the basis of non-criminal threats. The subject described below is a minor but won't be in 5 years. (The name has been changed by the author.)

    from:

    http://gawker.com/5968818/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother

    Excerpt:

    "A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7- and 9-year-old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me."

    ...

    "When I asked my son's social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. "If he's back in the system, they'll create a paper trail," he said. "That's the only way you're ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you've got charges.""

    ...

    "No one wants to send a 13-year-old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, "Something must be done."

    "I agree that something must be done. It's time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That's the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

    God help me. God help Michael. God help us all."

    end quotes.
  13. 18 Dec '12 19:24
    What say you is he the one?
    Shall we take away his gun?
    should we revoke his permit?
    Has he only the IQ of Kermit?

    Does it give him comfort to feel,
    the long barrel of pressed steel?
    As he wanders through your neighbourhood,
    do you think you did all you could?

    How many more will be blown away,
    before restrictions are placed on the NRA?
    Better watch with who you are messin'
    he could have a Glock or a Smith & Wesson.

    A terrible deed could be avoided,
    if only you all had just decided,
    to consign your arms to history
    but now your town is called atrocity.
  14. 18 Dec '12 22:54
    It is clear that we must address both increased gun control and mental health issues.
  15. 18 Dec '12 23:04
    Originally posted by moon1969
    It is clear that we must address both increased gun control and mental health issues.
    I must say that is surprising news coming from a Texan.