We won’t have meaningful action to address mass gun violence until Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the rest of us find the gumption to move past ideological tropes and onto sober, pragmatic discussion about what those actions might actually be.

So far, there’s been only a little to offer hope that might happen.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com

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(84) comments

Charles Douglas

Okay, let's get real ...shall we? I don't care if all guns are outlawed in this nation, it will not stop those who wants to get one or two to commit mass murder, in a school, hospital, or old folks home! Trying to tie age to killing is counter-productive, because it is not the age of an individual which seeks to kill, .. it is voices from his/ her soul which inspires such behavior! We see our President berates, vilify, and excoriates differents races, and groups here causing divisions for his party's advantages!

We see all the morally corrupt movies, video games, and we see morally-bankrupt politicians stand in public threatening SUPREME Court Justices with bodily harm. WE see government agencies here for the people go rogue, and link up with a political party helping them to take & keep power in order to influence national policies for all Americans! All this, and still we think everything in society is going to be peachy! Twenty-five to forty years ago we did not have to deal with much of what we deal with now, why?

I recollect that we have laws already against the use and sell of Fentanyl, a very dangerous drug which CHINA sends here through Mexico that kills thousands of young Americans annually, and all that we have been able to do so far is to pull out shovels and bury the dead! Those dangerous drugs like Fentanyl, Opium, and Meth are coming across our open borders like water flowing down a river! My question is very simple: If we have laws against Drug Smuggling, Human Trafficking, & Illegal Criminals, and we cannot stop all this from coming in and being sold, then HOW ARE WE TO ASSUME THAT BLACKMARKET GUNS WILL NOT CROSS THE BORDER BECAUSE OF NEW DEMANDS FOR THEM, AND END UP IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO WANTS THEM ALSO?

If the LIBERALS get their way nobody will own a gun in this nation but criminals, & law-breakers on the streets! I've been in schools and what I observed I cannot post here on this forum. It won't be.posted! I tried it. Truth is I am glad it didn't make the cut! It is pathetic the relaxed atmosphere which exists in protecting school kids!, then we lay it on guns! I'm hearing the Police Chief of Uvalde ISD PD says he did not know he was in charge of the situation at the school where little kids and teachers were killed, so he left his communication radio at home! THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT! I NEED SAY NO MORE! Unlocked doors, Police Chief, a leader, who didn't know what he was supposed to do. He was not the only one, the whole operation in charge of protecting those kids was ill prepared and lost as to what was to be done, and there were lives lost because of this!

Carlos Ponce

"Salvador Ramos used an AR-15 in Uvalde" .....Not quite. He used a Daniel Defense M4 DD7 similar to an AR -15 but not an AR-15. At best you can call it an AR-15 STYLE rifle. But I suppose if you are addressing a low information reader, AR-15 suffices.

Reminds me when growing up every soft drink was called a "Coke" by some kids.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, most people know when someone says that it is an AR-15 what someone is talking about. But if one wants to be totally correct, they must include the brand. The exception to this if someone builds an AR-15 from parts or a ghost gun printed in the comforts of one's home.

The Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 is a brand of AR-15 made by Daniel Defense. One can find many lists, about which AR-15 is the best, such as the following.

Best Complete AR-15 for the Money [2021 Review]

Bravo Company (BCM)

Palmetto State Armory (PSA)

Daniel Defense

Aero Precision

Colt

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 is their premium AR-15 and the DDM4 and the M4A1 are both Daniel Defense’s ARs.

If you look at the 25 Best AR-15s list under $2000 – April 2022, the first listing is Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 and you can upgrade, to a DDM4 V7 Pro: A High-Value Upgrade for about $400 more.

Second was the Battle Arms Development Authority Elite and third was the ZEV Technologies Core Elite.

It's like saying I own a pickup truck. That is true, but there are many brands to choose from. If you want to rant about what others do not know, make sure you know yourself. You have uncovered the low information reader, yourself.

Carlos Ponce

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 is NOT an AR-15.

Jim Forsythe

Daniel Defense DDM4 V7---Our favorite high-end AR-15 that's built like a tank and battle proven.

An AR-15 is not a specific model, but a style. It's the civilian variation of the Arma Lite AR-15, a variant of the AR-10 designed by Eugene Stoner in the 1950s, that was extremely lightweight, easy to care for and highly adaptable. Arma Lite sold the patent to Colt in the 1960s and they developed an automatic-fire version for the military called the M16. After Colt's patent ran out, other manufacturers began making their own versions. Such as the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7.

Carlos Ponce

"An AR-15 is not a specific model" Yes, it is.

"The term 'AR-15' is actually trademarked by Colt, which markets the 'Colt AR-15'. All other semiautomatic rifles are more accurately referred to as 'AR-style' or 'AR-15-style' rifles."

"What Is an AR-15 Rifle, Exactly?"

https://www.thetrace.org/2022/06/ar15-rifle-assault-weapon-ban/

Jim Forsythe

All we need to make an offer on firearms is a few pictures representative of the gun’s condition, a brief description of the specific make, model and caliber to give an accurate offer.

Carlos Ponce

Is Jim posting from experience?

Jim Forsythe

No, that from a site that people sell guns on.

If you wanted to buy an AR-15 at a sporting goods store, the first thing they would ask after you said could I see a SR-15 would be, what brand and model.

Carlos Ponce

That is called bait and switch. The salesman will direct you to a higher priced similar item or something they are pushing to sell.

Jim Forsythe

When you are the one giving the brand and model number, only an incompetent salesperson would try that. If that happen, I would ask to talk to the manager.

At that time if I had not left, the manager would make sure that I would be able to look at the one I wanted.

If the brand and model was the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7, the price of this is the upper end and most likely the highest price of all the guns they have.

Carlos Ponce

Chances are the clerk is following orders from the management, commission salesmen being the exception. If under commission, the manager will pay lip service to the customer but not fault the salesperson.

Carlos Ponce

The proposed legislation does not address the ROOT CAUSES of the Uvalde shootings. The killer was a heavy marijuana user According to the NIH this can produce psychosis. But yet we have a gubernatorial candidate offering to decriminalize the weed which would make it more available to youth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927252/

https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/there-link-between-marijuana-use-psychiatric-disorders

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32677690/

Yet the media promotes marijuana as "harmless".

Jim Forsythe

I have looked but cannot find that Salvador Ramos was a heavy marijuana user. You may be thinking about Salvador Ramos sr.

Cannabis exposure may be a “component cause” which interacts with other factors that may be a possible cause of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders but is neither necessary nor sufficient to do so alone. This is from your link.

If one looks deeper, people that have mental problems sometime turn to drugs to relieve themselves of the pain.

Did they have a mental problem that turned into using drugs.

It is important to look at what needs to be changed to help slow down the killings of Americans.

Salvador Ramos was subjected to being made fun of at school, because he stuttered. Was this the reason he did this, we may never know for sure, unless he wrote it down as the reason.

Carlos Ponce

"I have looked but cannot find that Salvador Ramos was a heavy marijuana user." That's where arguments between him and his abuela stem according to Ms Rodriguez, a co-worker at Wendys. The reference appeared in the New York Times but was edited out by the pro-marijuana editors.

"And Ms. Rodriguez recalled he would often talk about how much he despised is mother and grandmother whom he told her did not let him smoke weed or do what he wanted." New York Times May 25, 2022

"LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Was it bad information or is this the pro-marijuana bias that we've become accustomed to that's so powerful because billions are on the line with it nationwide? So is the story now irrelevant? We reached out to the Times on this, but they have not responded. The American people are hearing a lot about AR-15's and background checks, but they also deserve to hear about this as well. Respected medical studies for years now have demonstrated that pot use, especially among teens, can trigger psychosis and increase the chance that the young person will develop violent behaviors."

In a recent episode of The Ingraham Angle, the host claimed that cannabis is directly responsible for the increasing incidence of mass shootings. Ingraham cited some vague claims that Ramos smoked weed and that the shooter who killed 9 people in Dayton, Ohio in 2019 reportedly got high too. And to add some conservative conspiracy theory into the mix, Ingraham said other media outlets were ignoring this unlikely motivation because of “the pro-marijuana bias that we've become accustomed to that's so powerful because billions are on the line with it nationwide.”

"Word has emerged that Uvalde mass shooter Salvador Ramos was an ardent pot smoker with a violent temper. According to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, this may perhaps be no coincidence.

Speaking on Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle” this Wednesday, she drew attention to several studies that “have explored the connection between regular pot use and an increased risk for serious mental illness and even violent psychotic episodes in some cases.”

“In March 2019, the prestigious journal of The Lancet conducted a case control study from 11 sites across Europe and Brazil. It found that with daily cannabis use, there were increased odds of a psychotic disorder compared to those who never use it. And when it comes to high potency weed, the psychotic disorder went up fivefold,” Ingraham said.

“A paper published in 2020 by one of my next guests analyzed past cases of violence and marijuana use looking specifically at the deadly attacks. So in researching the Parkland and Sutherland Springs mass shootings, the Times Square attack in 2017, and the Boston Marathon bombing, his study found recurring consequences of marijuana-induced paranoia and marijuana-induced psychosis. It also found that more potent marijuana resulted in a greater risk for psychosis,” Ingraham continued.

To be clear, Ramos’ toxicology report has yet to be released, so it’s not clear if he’d recently been smoking marijuana or if perhaps he’d even been high when last week’s mass shooting occurred.

Nevertheless, Ingraham argued, the issue of pot psychosis still seems relevant. And indeed, even the mainstream press used to admit this:

AP Tweet: Scientists say smoking high-potency marijuana every day increases the chances of psychosis. http://apne.ws/0UaJ3gu

Jim Forsythe

His mother and grandmother whom he told her did not let him smoke weed or do what he wanted. So, he was not using at home.

"Word has emerged that Uvalde mass shooter Salvador Ramos was an ardent pot smoker with a violent temper". According to Laura Ingraham. And this word would be written where?

You and I have no idea if Ramos’ was using and if he was how much, because his toxicology report has yet to be released. To say he was a heavy user has not been determined, yet. He also may have been drinking, but we do not know yet.

Was Salvador Ramos suffering from psychosis? Maybe, maybe not.

Psychosis is primarily diagnosed by clinical examination and history – the doctor examines the patient and asks about their symptoms, experiences, thoughts, and daily activities; they will also ask if there is a family history of psychiatric illness.

Mx. Amanda Jetté Knox Of COURSE Ingraham went there. 🙄Weed's been legal in Canada since 2018. There are pot shops all over the place - like I can walk to three or four of them from where I am. Canadians like their weed, but we've had a tiny fraction of mass shootings per capita compared to the US. 10:10 AM · Jun 1, 2022

Ingraham was drawing conclusions from the Daily Mail and New York Times reporting

that the Uvalde shooter may have smoked pot at some point, so she now sees weed as a big scapegoat for

all mass shootings. And she got dragged mightily by Michael Steele, a former RNC chairman,

who wanted to know of Ingraham, “What kinda sh*t you smoke’?” He continued Pass out, maybe. Hungry, absolutely. Happy, always. To quote Kat Williams “That's the side effects: hungry, happy, sleepy. That's it.” Well researched my bag of chips.

Carlos Ponce

I hope there is a toxicology report issued.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos, I find it instructive that you speak to the bias at the NYT and then go on a long rant based upon what you heard from Laura Ingraham. But then again, I suppose you don't see the irony here, do you?

Carlos Ponce

Gary, Gary, Gary.... the initial report did not come from the NYT nor Laura BUT a Wendy's co-worker in Uvalde, Ms Rodriguez.

Jim Forsythe

Please post what Ms Rodriguez. said. Not what Laura Ingraham said.

I found other co-workers talking about him, but not Ms Rodriguez.

18-year-old Grace Cruz said Ramos quit his job at the Wendy’s just weeks prior to the shooting after raising the money he wanted. A former co-worker of the heinous Texas school shooter said that he was open about his plans to save up his money in order to purchase weapons, and he quit just when he raised enough money.

Evening manager Adrian Mendes talked about Ramos and said he didn’t socialize with the other employees. “He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much,” said Mendes. “He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.

Carlos Ponce

"Please post what Ms Rodriguez. said." It's on this page, Jim.

Jim Forsythe

What does the statement prove? What is abuela stem?

That's where arguments between him and his abuela stem according to Ms Rodriguez, a co-worker at Wendys.

"And Ms. Rodriguez recalled he would often talk about how much he despised is mother and grandmother whom he told her did not let him smoke weed or do what he wanted." New York Times May 25, 2022.

Carlos Ponce

"abuela" Spanish noun translated as grandmother

"stem" English intransitive verb defined as: to occur or develop as a consequence : have or trace an origin her success stems from hard work

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stem

George Croix

My MS Word count says 785 words in this editorial.

I read the whole thing twice to be sure I 'got it'.

Hard to find a more ardent supporter of the 2nd Amend. and firearms than me. I think this is a 98.86% thoughtful, consensus enabling example of pretty darn good conclusion drawing from reality, a place we so often eschew in favor of making a point.

But for nine words....1.14%...

"... perfectly ignorant about the responsibilities inherent in bearing arms."

The good folks in 25 states, memory serving, would like a word with you......

grin

Still, congrats on a good job.....

George Croix

Harden the schools. Make it more difficult for a threat/danger to those inside to get to them, whether the threat has a firearm, an axe, or a bad cold….

Every school in the country can have glass replaced with impact resistant polycarbonate. Can have doors replaced with stronger ones. Can have remote enabled magnetic locks installed, such that in an external emergency all can be locked at once by master control and for fire, etc. all unlocked at once by same. Just like your own car doors. And each class room should have the same type locks with a ‘lock zapper’ on the teachers person at all times. Easy enough to code individual or multiple, and provide for Emergency Response personnel, too.

Ideally, armed, effective security on site to repel borders, and effective perimeter fencing to minimize easily getting onto grounds, but even without those two, better than status quo.

I, myself, would allow willing and competent instructors to carry their own weapons on them, but failing that, put a 20 buck can of bear repellent mounted to the teachers desk. Better some last resort defense than just waiting and hoping…

The cost? Not insignificant, but SHOULD be borne at the federal level, as it’s there that the most vocal action demanding comes from. Put money where mouth is, and instead of bridges to nowhere and bullet train boondoggles prioritize helping kids actually be safer than they are now. Let the states and folks locally have input, but if they have sense enough to go forward with action vs words, then give them the federal taxpayer funds to do so…prioritize our citizens. But don’t just hand out money that can be redirected…pay the invoices costs directly, and minimize the widespread practice of padding personal pockets.

Crime Control by reducing opportunities.

It shouldn’t be revolutionary…

Charles Douglas

Mr. Croix> Makes plenty of sense and I agree!! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

If half of what Mr. Croix mentioned had been used and planned in Uvalde, no telling how many of those who died would still be with us!

Consider These:

1) Unlocked Doors.

2) No Campus Resource Officer(s).

3) Patrol Officers notified of threat,... passes by the campus ahead of shooter entering the building, but never stopped to check for safety adherence, staff needs, or perimeter status.

4) No Perimeter Saveliance Cameras.

( If I visit your school and their are no Saveliance Cameras, this means you are probably not serious enough about the safety of that school!).

5) ISD PD Chief did not know what to do, Left his radio at Home, and ordered the officers on hand to stand down until safety equipment could be trucked in after he got there! All that while kids locked in with the shooter, for almost an hour was playing dead, calling 911, dying, and praying that somebody, somehow, would come save THEM!

I don't blame parents for being angry in Uvalde!

Gary Miller

George > If our "In control" politicians used your advice they might accomplish something. I don't think any one thing is the problem. It might be drugs, home life, poor social conduct, weather, personal economic condition, mental health or something else. The one thing not causing mass shootings is guns. Socialists disarm their subjects even where there is no mass shootings or any identifiable problem with gun ownership. Socialists fear armed subjects.

Gary Scoggin

Gary M > The one factor common to all shootings is the presence of a gun. We can debate the efficacy and constitutionality of gun control all day but to deny that guns are not part of the equation is to deny reality.

Bailey Jones

I agree Michael, but I have to point out that your editorial also offers no solutions. Our conversations should be about exploring those solutions.

I've been thinking a lot about our gun cult-ure, and what drives it. I think that what drives it is the same thing that drives everything in America - money and politics. The NRA has morphed into a political force that can provide a reliable block of votes for, or against, anyone thirsting for political power. You don't need ideas to get elected anymore, you just need to wave a gun in your commercials and a have good rating from the NRA.

In what other nation do we witness the outrageous spectacle of politicians flocking to a gun-rights convention to demonstrate their obeisance to its leadership and principles?

And in politics, nothing succeeds like fear. That's the basis for all of this. I know a few gun owners who have guns exclusively for hunting or sport shooting, but the vast majority of gun owners that I know personally own guns because they are afraid. They are afraid of criminals, of "others", of the government, etc. Guns deliver a sense of safety and power to people who otherwise feel powerless.

America has always been a land of guns - and a land of fear. We were founded on a continent populated by other people. People who were in the way. People who objected, usually violently, to our invasion of their territories. You can imagine the fear that a settler on the frontier might have of being attacked by those people. One need look no further than the Declaration of Independence to find that fear documented - "He (King George) has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions."

America was also founded as a nation of slaveholders. And people who hold other people in criminal bondage are afraid of them - for good reason. The Haitian Revolution, in which slaves in the most prosperous forced labor colony in the world rose up and slaughtered their oppressors, was a source of real terror for white Americans. "Slave rebellion" was a clear and present danger in the early US - Virginia in 1800, Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831, etc.

The militias mentioned in the second amendment served three purposes - to repel an enemy attack, to protect the frontier from uprisings by angry displaced indigenous peoples, and to put down slave rebellions.

Militias eventually became obsolete after the Civil War, as did indigenous uprisings, but the fear of America's (former) slave population did not. It continues to this day. There is a correlation between the fear of other races and gun ownership. Sometimes we see this played out explicitly - such as in Buffalo and El Paso. Sometimes it's implicit - such as in the overlapping ideas of white nationalists and anti-government groups.

I'm not saying that all gun ownership is based on fear of other races because clearly, that's not the case. But I do believe that most gun ownership is based on fear. That fear comes from the transgenerational trauma of our nation's existence and feeds on the social isolation that so many of our people feel today.

And so, one possible solution is to begin the process of healing that fear. That process involves acknowledging why we are afraid, who is feeding that fear, and then turning away from the philosophies, politicians, and institutions that profit from it. And we need to get past this feeling of powerlessness - by realizing that no one is powerless in a real community - one that's based on forgiveness, humility, acceptance, and inclusion. We need to return to our natural state - a love for each other, free from the trauma of our ancestors.

George Croix

I, a force of one, give a fat rats patoot in real time what caused the drunk or high or dumb A texting driver to get behind the wheel of a ton plus projectile loaded with high explosive. I will ruminate later over his lousy childhood and irresponsible parents and his politics and his internet posts and his access to a vehicle and thank Goodness right now for the seat belts and air bags and crash panels I can use NOW that make it a better chance for me and my family to go and get back in the same shape we left home in. That’s one man’s opinion…. Same thoughts about killers, and their methods.

At an emergency response, you put the darn fire out now, using what you have at hand, then critique the response later, and later make modifications as needed.

If you do not respond until you think you know every reason or have every gadget or ban matches or some such there will be a lot more damage next time while the good waits on the perfect….

Ted Gillis

George, you won't be able to convince locals to agree to the federal government directly paying invoices for improvements at schools. That method doesn't allow the states to redirect these dollars to other projects, like funding a border wall, or deploying troops to the border.

George Croix

Attaboy, Ted.

We certainly need more COVID money spent for local potholes and parks than to try and keep carriers of unknown origin and degree from bringing COVID in, along with the fentanyl......

George Croix

“…gets more diligent about enforcement than it has been with existing laws.”

Yes.

No need to talk about that, other than ask why we have avoided doing so. Why are prosecutions for firearms related crimes down, for a long time, yet demands for more laws never abate. Why are serious offenders often given low or no bail.

We could talk about why someone thinks it’s progress to minimize incarceration even as crime goes up. Why anyone with a dozen arrests is still allowed to move around in society. Why anyone would react to civil anarchy by cutting back law enforcement capabilities. Then, wonder why citizens prepare to take their own safety in hand, where possible.

The loudest voices among our leaders for ‘gun control’ for the honest are those leading the charge to end the ‘carceral state’, yet they personally have security details, paid for by the very people they argue deserve none. Why.

None of the why matters if you find yourself personally and suddenly in a position where the odds against it just changed from 1 to 100%. It can’t happen and the odds against it are very slim - until it can, they are not, and it’s you.

Fear is one motivator, and it dam_ well should be. It motivates pretty much everything we do. Insurance, seat belts, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, immunizations, door locks, emissions standards, safety certifications, consumer products contents and caution labels, stop signs……..nearly infinite…

We have not reached the point of commonality of such because they were not needed to mitigate problems that we feared might, or had, harm us.

Fear is not the equivalent of irrational, nor must it be confused with mindless terror.

Slavery/racism is not the reason in 2022 for anything. It’s to often an excuse for nearly everything. I have never met anyone in 71 years, but have not met everyone, who owns a firearm because they are afraid of a home intruder or mugger of some specific skin tone alone. The Skinheads no more are representative of the whole than the Panthers. Most people do not want to harm or be harmed by anybody.

There are good reasons why we call the Police when possible and/or arm ourselves when we can rather than dial up a social worker or psychiatrist.

At its most basic, we fear because not everyone cares about the rules and norms that are supposed to allow us to live peacefully and unafraid.

If we do not fear the potential and actions of those people, knowing that they will always be among us, then we are the ones proving Einsteins definition of insanity correct.

Of note is that our nations leaders, while debating and endlessly covering the same ground and dragging up antique wars and and pointing in each other’s faces in what passes for dialogue, if short on introspection, do so with armed security near.

With a nod to our past, I note that many years ago, a much younger Dianne Feinstein was a highly vocal voice in the gun control efforts of the time. She never mentioned that she had what at that time was one of a handful issued….a San Francisco gun carry permit.

Charles Douglas

Mr. Croix> What I'm talking about!!!!! "P-r-e-a-c-h!!"

Gary Miller

Not perfect but close.

Norman Pappous

One of your best Michael.

Gary Scoggin

All of the above.

Everybody has their favorite solution to this. And reasons why other solutions won't work. I keep going back to the "swiss cheese theory" of accident prevention where you can erect different barriers to prevent an event, realizing that no barrier is perfect - it's like a piece of swiss cheese. If different barriers have holes in different places when they are stacked together they hopefully line up so that there are few holes that go all the way through the barriers. Each of these barriers has to be both legal and feasible but are individually effective enough that, collectively, they make a real difference.

So if we take some of the barriers that have been talked about - raising purchase age to 21, hardening schools, better mental health services, and others - we can create a set of defenses that collectively will lower the rate of these horrible shootings. However, they won't prevent them all and its foolhardy to think they will. We will never know in specific how different barriers prevented different shootings but we should see these terrible tragedies become less and less common. And, sadly, the probably the best we can hope for.

Charles Douglas

That might be a plausible idea "OG,"..now I vote for you to go explain what you just finished laying out to us,...to the LEFTISTS & GLOBISH politicians which controls "Slow-Joe!" [beam][beam]

Gary Scoggin

You can lead a politician to water but you can’t make them think.

Charles Douglas

I never tell others how to do a job, even when I had individuals working for me who had individuals working for them but....but if it was me, I'd start with Obama, Gates, and Soros! Just a suggestion! [wink]

Gary Miller

Gary S. > School shootings are the most hated of all. They thankfully are rare. In 23 years only 129 have died in schools. 5.6 per year. Bad but fare less than drugs are killing, over 100,000 a year. The majority as young as killed in the schools. The worst problem needs solving before a lessor problem.

Gary Scoggin

Gary M > While I agree drugs in schools (and elsewhere) are a big problem, I don't think working on one precludes the other. We should be working on both. I'm not one to advocate big, radical government action on anything; that's why I advocate taking reasonable steps on a variety of factors, each of which will incrementally reduce the problem. This applies to combating drugs as well as school shootings.

Our difficulty in combating these things lies in our desire to simplify them. If there were a magic potion to any of these we would have taken it a long time ago. But there's not. These problems are complex and that's why they are so hard to address.

Carlos Ponce

Alex Berenson, author of “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence,” pointed out that the New York Times had curiously removed from an article about the Uvalde school shooter a former co-worker’s recollection that he complained about his grandmother not letting him smoke weed. The Times didn’t append a correction to the story as it might be expected to do when fixing a factual inaccuracy.

Assuming the elided detail was accurate, it would fit a pattern. Mass shooters at Rep. Gibby Giffords’s constituent meeting in Tucson, Ariz. (2011), a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. (2012), the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (2016), the 1`1234. First Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas (2017), and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (2018), were reported to be marijuana users. It could be a coincidence, but increasing evidence suggests a connection.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/marijuana-and-mass-shooters/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cannabis-and-the-violent-crime-surge-marijuana-pot-use-thc-shootings-psychosis-mental-11654540197

Carlos Ponce

NIH:

"Here, we present 14 cases of violence with chronic marijuana users that highlight reoccurring consequences of: marijuana induced paranoia (exaggerated, unfounded distrust) and marijuana induced psychosis (radical personality change, loss of contact with reality). When individuals suffering from pre-existing medical conditions use marijuana in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms, ultimately this worsens their conditions over time. Although marijuana effects depend on the individual’s endocannabinoid receptors (which control behavioral functions, like aggression) and the potency level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the drug, scientifically documented links between certain marijuana users and violence do exist. Wider public awareness of the risks and side effects of marijuana, as well as a more prudent health policy, and government agency monitoring of the drug’s composition, creation, and distribution, are needed and recommended.

On February 1, 2018, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and staff at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and injured 17 others. Cruz was diagnosed as developmentally delayed at age three and had numerous disciplinary issues dating to middle school. From a young age, he started consuming marijuana heavily. He accounts that he would frequently “hear demon voices” and would consume large amount of marijuana to try and silence those voices. He also attempted suicide. During an interview after his mass shooting, he stated that he used “a lot of marijuana” as well as prescription tranquilizer Xanax

On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley carried out the deadliest mass shooting in Texas’ history, resulting in the death of 27 people and injuries to 20 others, by opening fire at worshippers who were attending regular Sunday Service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Kelley was later shot by bystanders and killed during a high-speed chase with law enforcement agencies. The autopsy on Kelley revealed that toxicology tests detected marijuana and anti-anxiety drugs in his system. "

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7084484/

John Merritt

You can focus on gun laws, and change them, but I think this type of carnage will continue. I have a 22 rifle that holds 14 bullets, and could easily kill 14 people. Assault rifles are an obvious target (no pun intended), but guns are easily obtained. The Uvalde shooter showed all the signs of mental illness, and should have been committed. School officials, parents, many others can initiate civil commitment, if a child is injuring his self, or potentially others. They just ignored the signs.

Virginia Stone

Blather, the people obsessed with owning and firing weapons of war become very upset if you don't use the exact terminology when describing their beloved killing machine using that as an excuse to not discuss said gun with people who have had enough with this culture. When asked why anyone needs more than 10 rounds of ammo the answer is because we have a right to them. I say anything that slows down the shooter is a good thing, so I ask whether it is easier and quicker to carry and re-load three 30-round magazines or nine 10-round magazines.

Carlos Ponce

"so I ask whether it is easier and quicker to carry and re-load three 30-round magazines or nine 10-round magazines." Yes.

Virginia Stone

So you understand why smaller capacity magazines help slow down the shooter and are a good thing.

Carlos Ponce

No, Virginia, the firearms you describe are semi-automatic, not fully automatic. The time used to change a magazine is negligible. Of course in the hands of Virginia Stone......[whistling]

Virginia Stone

So Mr-know-all is proving that HIS blather is much more important than the content of my comment, You are not ignorant Carlos just very closed-minded and un-Christ-like.

Carlos Ponce

I'll let Christ make that determination, not you.

Gary Scoggin

Why not? You seem to make it for everyone else.

Carlos Ponce

I'm on a mission from GOD!

Gary Scoggin

Hmmm. Are you Jake or Elwood?

Carlos Ponce

Neither.

Virginia Stone

Carlos claims to have been called by God to inspect the fruits of all persons. I call him the fruit inspector.

Carlos Ponce

And I see a lot of rotten fruit!

Charles Douglas

"If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels." Luke 9:26

I agree with Mr. Ponce! The man does not stick Jesus & God in a closet with the dust pans, mops & the brooms, and try to live a self fulfilling life by the world's standards! I got tons of respect for him and his council!

There are some who are a ashamed to own up to being a.Christian, let alone mentioning the name of Jesus publicly, but Mr. Ponce is not one of THEM! Lastly I will say this not being ashamed to speak it to any man who walks on two legs of four:

1) Every man will have to stand before God one day;

2) All men have sinned and come short;

3). Jesus Christ died for ALL men's sin; ( Last but not least ).

4. ALL MEN MUST BE BORN AGAIN TO RECEIVE THAT EVERLASTING GRACE GOD SENT TO MANKIND BY WAY OF HIS SON! Many will and many won't ...and that is why God's Word states: 13) Enter ye at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, AND MANY THERE WILL BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT:

14). Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE WILL BE THAT FIND IT.

.....Matthew 7: 13-14.

Charles Douglas

[beam] I'm like Mr. Ponce,....I'm not Afraid nor Ashamed to speak of God nor Jesus before the WOKE! I do so all the time in various places, and have for.years!!!!!! [smile]

Gary Scoggin

Charles, there are many "WOKE" people that love and follow Jesus. I don't think Christianity is reserved for people of a certain political party or mindset.

Charles Douglas

Hey I didn't say nothing about love! That's what's wrong with the WOKE! They want their cake and want to grub it down too! I'm talking about being ashamed of Christianity, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ! The mission of a Christian is to TELL THE LOST ABOUT JESUS AND GOD'S SALVATION! God never blessed his people for them just to wag their heads and brag with pride! He blessed his people that they would be a blessing, and go TELL OTHERS ABOUT A GOD THAT LOVES HIS PEOPLE & WHO SAVES!

Frankly "OG" the only time I see you talking about Christianity is when you are vilifying & mocking Mr. Ponce for spreading the word or for fulfilling HIS MISSION FROM GOD TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT JESUS AND THE LOVE OF GOD! ( Go back and read your own posts ). Oh I have been watching for years! The WOKE is in the streets now trying to kill Supreme Court Justices! They are turning criminals loose on the American public, or opening the borders for millions of law breaking Illegals, and drug cartels! You mean those are the ones you are talking about? Please!!!! I was born on a Tuesday night but that was NOT LAST NIGHT!!!!!!

Gary Scoggin

Charles, I hate to say this my friend but you are incorrect. Feel free to criticize my views but never question my faith. I’ve been open about my belief in Christ on many occasions. It is what informs my view of the world and how I deal with it. It drives much of what I do every day. Unless you think you’ve got it all flawlessly figured out, then don’t tell others they’ve got it wrong. I don’t question your view of God and I’d thank you not to question mine. A little grace goes a long way.

Regarding Mr. Ponce, that’s between me and him and I’d invite you to stay out of it. He is perfectly capable of defending himself.

Exactly what is this “WOKE” insult you love to bandy about lately? I see it defined as “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” If that is correct, I’m proud to be WOKE. In fact, in my reading of the New Testament, Jesus was WOKE. Is there a better example of WOKEness than the parable of the Good Samaritan? My regret is that I’m not WOKE enough. Hardly anyone is.

Virginia Stone

And you throw the phrase woke liberal at anyone who disagrees with you as if it were a curse.

Charles Douglas

My mission is not to curse, my mission is to tell it like it is, weather that is here, in the South, in East Texas or in Southeast Asia, and I have stood up against Racists, and WOKE, BLACK AND WHITE in each place and fulfilled my mission! God don't need TEN thousand willing individuals to speak out against wrong doings and bad actions. Many times he can use just one individual! ( Ex. Rosa Parks ).( Jackie Robertson ). Yeah I'm one of those type, and I'm not a shame to speak out and I don't care WHO thinks it is a bad thing! I never have! I respect authority, always have, BUT I have NEVER BEEN AFRAID OF IT EITHER!

Jim Forsythe

It looks like there is enough support in the Senate to pass the following. It will be voted on in the near future. What's in the gun legislation deal?

Support for state crisis intervention

Investment in children and family mental health services

Protections for victims of domestic violence

Funding for school-based mental health and supportive services

Funding for school safety resources

Clarification of definition of federally licensed firearms dealer

Telehealth investments

Penalties for straw purchasing

The plan also calls for an "enhanced review process" for young gun buyers.

"For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement," the statement said.

Charles Douglas

Yeah "OG" so now you got Jesus being WOKE? Really? You mean he would be for abortion? He would be for DOXXING out people's addresses, phone numbers, and addresses of places they go to worship, so they could be harassed by the WOKE or maybe Killed because of WOKE politics? Maybe you meant he would be for CRT and WOKE sex ideologies being taught to kids in Pre K through Elementary school without the parent's permission? Like I said was was born at night but not last NIGHT!

Let be clear about this too, This is a free society for now, with freedom of speech FOR NOW, and if I want go comment on a post at anytime I will do so without your permission sir! Another thing I did not call your name when I posted about my support to Mr. Ponce's stance on God did I? You stood flat-footed and began your rebuttle by " Charles". Practice what.you preach! I will continue to support whoever and when ever I please until GDN says I can't or you purchase this Newspaper!

Gary Scoggin

If the definition of “woke” is “ alert to injustice in society, especially racism”, then, yes, I’d like to think of Jesus as woke. I’d like to think you are, too. You seem to ascribe a different meaning to the term, conflating it with some of the aspects of progressivism or liberalism. What is your definition?

Carlos Ponce

Gary, the current use of the word has drifted away from what you present. Current popular use refers to your "different meaning".

Gary Scoggin

I guess that’s obviously the case looking at the context of Charles’s use of the term. The use here has become a code word for something sinister. What is then the current definition of “woke” among those on the farther reaches of the right wing?

Carlos Ponce

"woke" - über Left wing.

Gary Scoggin

Thanks, Carlos, that is actually very helpful. So all of this WOKE stuff is not just left wing, but über left. I guess über is in the eye of the beholder. As I’ve asked before, can someone on the far right differentiate between moderate, liberal and very liberal? I don’t think folks on the far left can make similar distinctions about the right.

Virginia Stone

I, too, am a woke Christian.

Carlos Ponce

Is this a woke joke?

Bailey Jones

It occurs to me that we may be overthinking our “gun problem”. The answer is right there in the Constitution, staring us in the face. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Allow me to offer this modest proposal. Americans who own militarily useful weapons – automatic or semi-automatic military-style rifles and side arms - are, by Constitutional definition, a militia, and should be designated as such. My guess is that this militia is at least 5 million strong.

The next time we need to do battle in Afghanistan or Syria, or Iraq, or Somalia, or Libya, or North Korea, or Ukraine, or Taiwan, I propose we send the militia first – as the proverbial “tip of the spear”. If they fail to get the job done for whatever reason, then we can follow up with the professional military.

This is a great idea – gun advocates will get to exercise their God given Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the generals get free cannon fodder. Easy peasy – everyone wins!

Carlos Ponce

Read DC v Heller (2008).

Bailey Jones

My comment was a joke, Carlos. Your comment is irrelevant. Heller protects the right of the individual to own a gun, it doesn't protect gun owners from being called up as a militia.

Carlos Ponce

"My comment was a joke" No one is laughing.

Gary Scoggin

For the record, I am laughing.

Carlos Ponce

A forum on mass murder and Scoggin is laughing.[ohmy]

Virginia Stone

Great idea, Bailey; we should send them. You know they would willingly go these great patriots.

Ted Gillis

We can always get DC v Keller overturned. Nothing is ever in stone.

Carlos Ponce

DC v Heller is based on sound Constitutional principles. The only was to move it out of the way is with a Constitutional Amendment, Highly doubtful.

Jim Forsythe

Since DC v Heller cannot be changed by Carlos, it also means Roe v. Wade cannot be changed.

Of course, most people know that that is not true.

When the Supreme Court rules on a constitutional issue, its decisions can be altered only by constitutional amendment or by a new ruling of the Court.

Charles Douglas

I just want to at this particular time send out a BIG high five congratulations to Newly Elected House Rep Mayra Flores for beating the "stuffings" out of the WOKE last night! The onslaught preceeding the NOVEMBER midterms has begun! [beam]

The Hispanics are leaving "Slow Joe" and the LIBERALS, like none other!!! African-Americans are following their lead at a slower pace, but still following despite the fact that Ole Slow Joe Called us "Monolithic!" This November He will find out just how "Monolithic" we really are! Some say Joe has lost a step! I don't all together buy that! Anybody who observed him lift his forearms to his shoulders, like a chicken getting ready to fly, and straighten his back and run out of Afghanistan, will know that the man can still RUN, just ask all the American citizens he ran out on in Afghanistan ....leaving them to be beheaded, raped, sold as child brides, made to be concubines for ISIS and the TALIBAN fighters, and torchered! He learned that from His only clean-cut, well spoken, educated African-American he ever knew! Those were his words not mine. He also disgraced himself by saying his "Crack-head" son who got kicked out of the military, and who has spearheaded the Biden Family's rise to riches by orchestrating the selling of access to his father's government positions!

They left Kayla Mueller a 26 year old beautiful American Humanitarian Worker from Arizona to be kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and made to be ABU AL BAGHDDADI'S Concubine, and did nothing to help her parents get her back! They did just the opposite with a traitor/deserter named Bo Burgdahl. Go figure on that! I must say though Joe Slow, ( Or Joe China ) ....is my man! Think about it! He he was not as clueless, unqualified, & racist, who is determined on destroying America, Rep. Mayra Flores would have NEVER "WHUPPED" her WOKE opponent like she did last night! [smile]

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