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Kate Jones

Partner, Institute for the Advancement of Service

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The time is NOW for people to stand up and say 'No More Assault Weapons" and not wait for the government to legislate the change.

Change starts when people change, not when governments legislate change. Think back to the days when driving drunk was socially acceptable, no matter who died in the process. Then Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) formed. The rest is history.

The time is 'now o'clock'. We will change our resopnse to violence and stop purchasing violence video games as gifts for our children, and stop patronizing films that promote violence, mayhem and murder. Glorifying the horrific has become the norm.

What happened in Newtown, CT should never happen again.

Remember Mahatma Ghandi's words: "Be the change you want to see in the world". The time is now o'clock!

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    Dec 18 2012: blame canada, before some starts to blame us. so a schoolboy grabs a gun, walks into the school, shoots the manager, the psychologist, random kids, then himself. and the topic of discussion is ... guns. of course. maybe there are some minor details here to clarify first? what was the kid's problem with the psychologist? how was his relationship with the parents? with his classmates? with the teachers? was he bullied? was he punished too often too severely or with no reason? was he abused in some way? why was he so desperate that he killed himself instead of bearing it? was he mentally instable? started to lose it? nobody noticed it? nobody asked what is the problem? no no no. these questions might lead to answers we don't want to hear. let's just blame canada.

    edit: my bad. he was not a boy. already 20. the questions remain.
    • Dec 18 2012: Kriaztian, I agree guns did not cause this man to go postal, but without his M4 rifle he would not nearly have killed so many, he would just be like those knifers in China or Britain who rarely kill someone and when they do it's only a handful of people, not 27.
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        Dec 18 2012: so your recommendation is that we should just leave our kids in misery, but take away the guns so they can!t hurt anyone, and just suffer silently.
        • Dec 18 2012: An assault rifle ban can be enacted tomorrow, while societal change will take much longer, if it were up to me and I were an American then we do both, but I have to ask, you, our resident libertarian, are you actually considering... you know, dare I say it, extending a helping hand to the weak and vulnerable who can't pay you for that service... May Rothbard forgive your soul and cleanse it of that cancerous thing which those of weaker mind refer to as a "conscience"...
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        Dec 19 2012: John, I just gave Krisztián my first 'thumb up' ever and I did not expect this day to come ever, to be honest ... ;o)

        But there is nothing in what he stated on which I could not agree on.

        It has become already this repetitive ritual following any horrible and deadly rampage : We talk about technical details over and over again instead of the true circumstances what caused those people to do what they did and what we as a society missed to do to prevent those tragedies.

        As it is with technical disasters, it usually follows a chain of multiple events to finally burst in a single catastrophe.

        So let's talk technical then. I figure, that a standard Walther PPK pistol is not considered to be an assault weapon, yet it goes with 21 rounds per minute. Assuming an average reaction time of a regular police patrol to arrive at the scene - without gaining overview of the situation - would alone give a non assault weapon a theoretical kill-rate of approximately 140 shots, inclusive several times of reloading of a 7 round munitions magazine.

        So is just banning assault weapons really a wise and working decision? I have my doubts!

        Don't get me wrong, I am opposed to the weapons lobby, yet the cause of the problem we are talking about is - for once - not located at this industry.
        • Dec 19 2012: "I figure, that a standard Walther PPK pistol is not considered to be an assault weapon, yet it goes with 21 rounds per minute"

          Maybe on the target range, not in real life. Besides, the it's (much) less accurate than a rifle and the bullets are less lethal, plus you have to reload more often, giving people a better chance to start a struggle.

          "So is just banning assault weapons really a wise and working decision?"

          If you've read my posts on this website for a while (and I know you have), you'd know that I've pretty much done nothing but advocate societal changes that would make society produce less deranged shooters. I've also made it clear in several posts that I believe there should be additional training requirements and registration, sure some people will still fall through the cracks, like Anders Breivik who planned for 9 years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and trained for years on a target range and still needed the island nature of his target location and the naivite of the Norwegian police (who aren't exactly used to dealing with mass shootings because their society takes much better care of people than American society does), but that's a far cry from every idiot just being able to buy guns for a couple of thousand of dollars at the most and shoot a bunch of people the next day.
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        Dec 19 2012: Accuracy and reloading time is just a matter of training, and as you stated yourself, some gunman are even planning their assassination years at front.

        As vital body-parts and organs do not distinguish in between a small-calibre bullet or an armor piercing round, as they are soft targets anyway, their difference in penetrating power becomes irrelevant.

        I do not argue that a trained person will be able to do more damage with an assault weapon, yet reducing the body count statistically does neither fix the problem nor does it prevent those incidences from happening.

        Of course I read your posts and saw your approach on society, and I do not recall that I ever argued against it. But I also don't see any change in 'our' societies, to finally face and deal with the roots of our problems.

        Shouting 'No More Assault Weapons' in the US, is actually nothing but a lame compromise towards the weapon industry, the 'cowboy mentality' which is still alive in many minds and the preceded experience, that a total weapon prohibition comes only with a high price tag on 'lost votes'.

        If I follow this logic of selected availability, the US had to rethink the use of ammonium nitrate, which is widely used as fertilizer in agriculture, as this was the main component of the bomb Anders Breivik was using. Even though the purchasing of this chemical gets registered in Norway, and in many other countries as well, this won't stop any suicide mission anyway.

        A single car packed with this explosive next to a school will do more overall damage than any assault weapon ever will.

        So preventive measures which can easily be bypassed or substituted by alternative methods are pointless and does not protect anyone at all. At times even on the contrary.

        I think we do agree that assault weapons, violent movies and video games are not the cause of the problem, so why don't we stop naming just those and finally start to investigate and change the real cause and source of it?
        • Dec 19 2012: "Accuracy and reloading time is just a matter of training,"

          Up to a point...

          "some gunman are even planning their assassination years at front."

          Most don't.

          "As vital body-parts and organs do not distinguish in between a small-calibre bullet or an armor piercing round, as they are soft targets anyway, their difference in penetrating power becomes irrelevant."

          Oh, it matters, a rifle round has three times the kinetic energy. You have a pretty good chance of surviving a pistol round lodged anywhere but in your brain or your heart.

          "Of course I read your posts and saw your approach on society, and I do not recall that I ever argued against it. But I also don't see any change in 'our' societies, to finally face and deal with the roots of our problems."

          Guess what, I'm not king of the world, others decide these things, I can only suggest.

          "reducing the body count statistically does neither fix the problem nor does it prevent those incidences from happening."

          It saves lives...

          "Shouting 'No More Assault Weapons' in the US, is actually nothing but a lame compromise towards the weapon industry"

          Yup, but there are certain realities in the US (which I'm not from) that put constraints on what can be done right now.

          "If I follow this logic of selected availability, the US had to rethink the use of ammonium nitrate, which is widely used as fertilizer in agriculture, as this was the main component of the bomb Anders Breivik was using. Even though the purchasing of this chemical gets registered in Norway, and in many other countries as well, this won't stop any suicide mission anyway.

          So preventive measures which can easily be bypassed or substituted by alternative methods are pointless and does not protect anyone at all."

          You throw words like "easy" and "any" around like it's nothing. Did you know Anders Breivik bought a farm and pretended to be a farmer for years to get the ammonium nitrate? That just isn't the sort of dedication your average nutjob would display.
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        Dec 19 2012: It is fine with me if you think that 'No More Assault Weapons' is the best the US can do by the given restrictions, yet if those restrictions are worth the loss of human lives by staying untouched and unchallenged I do not agree.

        If the main focus stays on the 'how' only instead also on the 'why' part, we will have the same discussion again in just another time and we will never know if the number of dead people was really reduced by banned weapons or not.

        It is interesting that Switzerland, which has one of the most liberal weapon laws does not face as much rampage as the US does compared to the number of citizens. Also given the fact, that there is probably no other country on earth which has more assault weapons in private keeping, as all military personnel and its reserve keeps their Stgw 90 standard service rifle at home. Just recently, in 2007, the private keeping of ammunition got changed, so that they get handed over today only from certain alert states on.

        So how can it be, that even though assault weapons are that widely spread and easy accessible in this country to anyone who wants to get it, they do not report a single school shooting in between 1986 and 2010, at least this is the the timespan of the source I found at the SRV Television of Switzerland.

        So yes, 'No More Assault Weapons' but don't just stop there, as the cause of school shooting is hidden somewhere else, somewhere deeper in the fabric of society, which got to be identified and changed.

        Would this stop school shootings? No, yet it has the chance to save even more lives than 'just' some by banning certain assault equipment.

        And no, I do not expect you to solve this problem, as I was talking 'in general' in case this did not become clear.
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        Dec 19 2012: "are you actually considering... you know, dare I say it, extending a helping hand to the weak "

        we can compare our charity activities if you so desire.
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      Dec 20 2012: Six words: People are not bad, situations are. Create healthy loving prosperous (in the REAL immaterial sense of the word) societies and these problems will simply not occur. Worth aspiring to people? Anybody?
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      Dec 21 2012: Human ability to bark up the wrong tree is amazing. I've seen people in atheist forums using the very same statistics on gun violence to prove that religion is to blame. They call it "evidence" and "reasoning" for some reason.

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