Rob Douglas: Aurora and concealed handguns

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

The killing of 12 and wounding of 58 moviegoers in Aurora by alleged gunman James Holmes has reignited the debate about gun control — including whether citizens should be able to carry concealed handguns. The debate should be put to rest. After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws.

In the past 30 years, the overwhelming majority of states, including Colorado, have legalized the carrying of concealed handguns. Currently, the legislative trend is toward further reduction of existing state restrictions on concealed handgun permits and increased permit reciprocity between the states.

To date, more than 6 million Americans have availed themselves of their right to carry a concealed handgun. As expected after an incident like the Aurora mass shooting, there will be an increase in the number of Americans purchasing weapons and seeking permits to carry guns.

Carrying a gun brings a tremendous responsibility — the responsibility to assure yourself that you have the maturity and competence to be in possession of a deadly tool. Make no mistake, a handgun is a deadly self-defense tool and one that I carried for a number of years during my career as a private detective.

From the day I decided to carry a gun, I set personal ground rules that went beyond what the law required to obtain a concealed handgun permit. I followed the rules until the day I stopped carrying a weapon. Those rules included but were not limited to:

■ At the outset, three months of weekly gunfight training with a combat firearms instructor

■ After the first three months, monthly range shooting and quarterly gunfight training

■ Keeping the gun completely concealed at all times

■ Never informing anyone that I was armed

■ Never consuming alcohol while carrying a gun

■ Storing all guns appropriately at home or work

My self-imposed rules are not unique among those who routinely carry guns. Most everyone who carries a deadly weapon quickly realizes doing so is a responsibility and, indeed, a burden. There never was a moment that it wasn’t in the back of my mind that I was armed.

On more than one occasion I walked away from situations that, had I not been carrying a gun, I might have allowed myself to engage in a confrontation. Twice, I was physically assaulted while working. During those fights, my paramount concern was ensuring that my gun remained holstered and concealed so the assailant wouldn’t attempt to grab it.

If you’re considering obtaining a concealed handgun permit because of the events in Aurora, wait a month. Let the emotion of the moment pass. Then, do an honest appraisal of your need for a concealed weapon. Be forthright with yourself about whether you will invest the time and training needed to carry a gun competently and responsibly.

If you decide to move forward in the permit process, enroll in a firearms training class that goes beyond what is required for the gun permit. Find the best instructor you can. Go shoot. Shoot a lot. Shoot under every conceivable circumstance. Get to know your gun like the back of your hand.

After you receive your permit and you are carrying your weapon, keep training. If you stop training for more than several months, stop carrying your weapon. You owe it to yourself. More important, you owe it to those around you should the day come that you must employ your weapon in self-defense.

Bottom line: With few exceptions, law-abiding Americans have the right to carry concealed handguns for self-defense. The Aurora massacre won’t change that reality, nor should it. But, the right to carry a concealed handgun brings the responsibility to train in the proper use and handling of that deadly weapon.

Since 1998, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Comments

Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Nice piece, Rob - particularly the emphasis on training. To experience first-hand the physiological changes one undergoes under stress & realizing it'll be magnified tenfold during a genuine life & death confrontation is quite an eye-opener.

Dave Kopel, writing in National Review Online, has penned an excellent piece: Colorado Consensus on Gun Laws http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/312322/colorado-consensus-gun-laws-dave-kopel He carefully walks the reader through the post-Columbine debate and subsequent legislation that led to our current gun laws. He makes a compelling case that we’ve achieved an equitable balance between gun rights & gun control, and suggests we could do worse than adopting it as a national model.

It is worth noting that “no guns” signs do not have the force of law in Colorado. So any concealed carry permittee who complied with the theater’s injunction against carrying on their property was under no legal obligation to do so. And while Colorado law authorizes the State to declare its own buildings gun-free zones, it must insure the premises are indeed gun-free: all entrances must be controlled, and public entrances equipped with metal detectors staffed with armed guards. Absent those precautions, licensed civilians are entitled to exercise their concealed carry privileges in those buildings. Had the theater gone beyond mere signage and implemented similar safeguards, perhaps Aurora wouldn’t be reeling today.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

Brian, Thank you. I've had the pleasure of interviewing Kopel. He does fantastic work with the Independence Institute here in Colorado. He has been cited frequently across the media since Aurora and is a great resource on this topic. Thanks again, Rob

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

Simple fact is that very few concealed gun owners undergo that sort of training. People are not particularly threatened when a trained person carries a concealed weapon.

It is the sort of person that reveals she is carrying a weapon when a friend tries stopping her from driving drunk that is a bit scary. And so the question is whether current concealed weapon laws are too permissive and should require the sort of training described by Rob.

Though, for most the debate on gun control is not concealed weapons, but assault weapons with large magazines. These are weapons designed for assault and with large magazines then they are designed for killing lots of people.

Probably too many assault weapons in circulation to do anything effective to limit supply. Maybe could do something about large magazines.

Americans have long loved guns. The funny part of the history of gun control is that it is not about taking guns from gun lovers. What has driven gun control is gangs or Blacks with guns. A moment that inspired changes in gun laws in many states was in the 60s when the Black Panthers showed up in the California State Capitol all carrying weapons and advocating that fellow Blacks carry weapons to protect themselves from police oppression. So California Legislature and other states quickly outlawed open carry and tightened up requirements for concealed carry. I think the current acceptance of guns would be more openly debated if a Hispanics civil rights group advocated Hispanics carried guns and got concealed carry permits.

That people carrying concealed weapons can prevent crimes in progress happens so rarely that such claims are not believable. You have a chaotic situation with tear gas and yet hope that a person can locate the shooter and be accurate. And somehow everyone else is supposed to guess correctly that this person is a defender and not another attacker.

Just like having a hand gun at home is many times more likely to harm a family members than to defend the home. But the facts do not have the financial resources of the gun industry and gun lobby to contend with their well-financed myth that a gun at home offers protection.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

"Aurora and concealed handguns?" This column does not address Aurora in the least. Nor does it address the controversial but legal assault weapons used there. Rob's response to Aurora's victims is a column on the responsible carrying of a handgun?

I looked at Kopel’s report and it’s link to the three cases of school shootings ended by other’s “carrying”. His link is a dead end, so I pasted his text into a Google search. Found this report:

http://www.holology.com/shooting.html

It lists about 50 incidents of school shootings.

The above logic from Sep suggests we have armed guards at public gatherings (and schools) to keep the guns out? Sep seems to agree guns are used to do more harm than good.

Kopel also writes:

“In the early 20th century, during a period of labor strife caused by coal companies’ refusal to recognize the rights of miners to join unions, a corporate-dominated legislature enacted a law allowing the governor to ban gun sales during an “emergency.” That law had never been used, but the post-Columbine legislature, enacting its fifth gun-rights reform, repealed it — thus ensuring that guns would be available at a time when they were needed most.”

Perhaps Rob, who has interviewed and recommends Kobel, can explain what he means – “when they were needed most”? I believe it lunacy to infer guns can help in achieving one's goals.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Steve

You've missed the point. I was trying to illustrate how asinine it is to believe that posting a sign at your business will protect you and your customers like a magic talisman - when precisely the opposite is the case: disarming the law-abiding only makes us easy prey for criminals and the deranged.

Famous Family Story: While I was an infant, my parents took a day trip to the mountains.

We stopped at one of their favorite spots. At some point during our stay, a couple of bikers rolled in. Dad could tell they were trouble, so he packed wife & kid into the car. During the load up, one of the bikers shouted at Dad to hand over “summa that g00k %#$$y” (mom was Asian). Loudmouth wheeled his hog behind the car, blocking our exit. He dismounted, walked to the the driver's window & leaned in to find himself looking down the barrel of dad’s .357. Loudmouth backed away slowly, and returned to his bike. He and his compadre saddled up and rode off.

No shots fired, no altercation, nobody hurt. Just a big stick on display, without comment or bluster.

Less famous family story: When I was in my 20s, I owned a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, which I towed to a friend's building for storage. The building was somewhat off the beaten path in a semi-wooded area. As I pulled in, there were a couple guys about my age sharing a crack pipe. I rolled down the window & said "Hate to tell you guys, but this is private property." One of them cursed, picked up a piece of rebar and advanced. I let him see my pistol at him and told him to simmer down. Both men split.

No shots fired, nobody hurt. Just a big stick on display.

Do you believe my father and I to be afflicted with "lunacy"?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Self defense makes sense. Kobel's writing above is about self defense?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

"Gun sales during an emergency" are not a matter of self defense.

The column is offensive. Rob is satisfied with a one sentence dismissal of the horrific damage done on a recurring basis in our country, and recently in Aurora, "After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws." Is this any rationale for selling him legal stockpiles of ever increasing lethality?

If Rob is not prepared to speak to Aurora's victims and defend selling assault weapons to civilians, he should have never written this column.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Steve -- this column is offensive, more Rob tooting his horn again, while turning tragedy into a campaign for responsible gun ownership. I will not comment on the macho strut parading such virtues.

The point is not .357's and sporting arms, potential defensive weapons -- it's ASSAULT weapons, made to kill large amounts of people in short order. There is no rational justification for a civilian owning such a weapon -- the Commies or Muslims aren't coming over the hill, and if they do there's plenty of us with '06's and .308's; they won't get far. There are entirely too many of those offensive guns on the loose already.

I am not making an argument for gun control or registration in any way, just saying assault weapons deserve their own classification, and need controlling.

Sorry, Sep, not your fight. Maybe somebody will "Make Your Day" anyway.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep -- Upon reading your first post closely -- and hoping you see the irony in suggesting theatres should install metal detectors to keep your type out -- or their guns anyway -- in the instant case even that would not have prevented the carnage. Our perp exited through the emergency exit down front, no doubt propping it open for his return with the big guns, conveniently stashed nearby. Then rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat...

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Rhys:

Apparently I was unclear. My bad. Remember the high-school writing assignment to compare and contrast? That was one of my objectives here, by citing the theater's idiotic approach v. the State of Colorado's quite reasoned policy.

If you're going to dictate that "this is a gun-free zone", you'd better make every effort to enforce it. The irresponsible theater owners did NOTHING to insure their premises were gun free. They just nailed up a sign and hoped for the best. As opposed to Colorado, which requires that "gun free" is more than a platitude on State property. State law stipulates that where appropriate protections have not been established, people like me and Rob are allowed to carry concealed. Because the State (unlike the theater boneheads) recognizes that a law-abiding citizen voluntarily relinquishing that privilege on request makes him a sitting duck when the criminal, terrorist, or whackjob ignores that request.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm wondering when all the fans of the assault weapons ban and other gun-control folks, who are now reflexively ramping back up, are going to have a little chat with our US Attorney General. You know... about the hundreds of assault weapons our own government put out on the streets... Hmmmm? Aparently THOSE assault weapons are no big deal...

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's see - the media has reported a spike in gun sales and concealed carry applications in the wake of Aurora, and Rob's call to do so responsibly is "offensive."

You boys need to call your mommies and have a good cry.

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Neil O'Keeffe 2 years, 1 month ago

As long as fear rules the day ( via the media and politicians) the sheeple of this country will continue to arm themselves. If I watched Fox news every day I would arm myself as well. Always have and always will be for the right for bears to arm themselves.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

Gun carrying man ends stabbing spree at Salt Lake grocery store http://www.abc4.com/content/about_4/bios/story/conceal-and-carry-stabbing-salt-lake-city-smiths/NDNrL1gxeE2rsRhrWCM9dQ.cspx

"Before the suspect could find another victim - a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. "A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith's grabbed him." By the time officers arrived the suspect had been subdued by employees and shoppers. Police had high praise for gun carrying man who ended the hysteria. Lt. Brian Purvis said, "This was a volatile situation that could have gotten worse. We can only assume from what we saw it could have gotten worse. He was definitely in the right place at the right time." Dozens of other shoppers, who too could have become victims, are also thankful for the gun carrying man."

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

I believe it is fear that rules YOU, Mr. O'Keeffe; and it rules many others who have similar views on gun control. Hoplophobia: (n) An irrational fear of weapons. (Wikipedia)

Why do cops carry guns? Are they Fox News-watching sheeple who are full of fear? I believe the term they would rather use is prudence, not fear.

Being prepared, (physically, mentally and spiritually) allows one to live WITHOUT fear.

Perhaps you are so afraid of guns because you have not been properly acquainted with them.That is too bad.

Most people tend to have that irrational fear reaction because THEY (not Fox News viewers) have been programmed by the left-wing media with a pavlovian fear of guns. (hoplophobia)

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Bar brawls, a few one-on-one's, some shoving here or there -- after 26 years in this town and counting -- some of those associating with the street people, others with the fast crowd -- I have NEVER seen the situation which would have been improved with the introduction of a gun. They all would have deteriorated rather quickly.

That's one reason I love this town, because I don't have to worry about that crap.

I don't watch Fox news propaganda, but I will take the opportunity to brag again that I was the top expert with the M-14 (open sights, 500 meters) in my Marine Corps series of over 300 recruits, have been shooting since I was a kid, rifles and pistols, expert with both. Did some hunting in my younger day, 'til I got over it.

My gunsmith buddy is going to put a 2-lb pull on my next trigger, however.

I'm not saying nobody was packing anywhere I've been -- been in some dicey places -- just thank God nobody ever had the poor judgment to produce it. Then things can get crazy real fast. How many of you have ever had a loaded gun pointed at you? THAT won't happen again.

Not in this town. That is not on my list of fears here, and I feel sorry for you if it's on yours.

I don't know if the change is me, or this town, but I don't even SEE fights any more. Maybe I just go to the fun places. Nobody wants to shoot anybody.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Two quick after thoughts:

Lee Harvey Oswald was only a Marine Marksman -- almost Unqualified -- no way was he capable of the miracle shooting he is credited with, especially with that old clunker.

I DID think of one legitimate need for weapons in Steamboat, which I will turn over to Glenn Frey:

The sailors and pilots, The soldiers and the law, The pay offs and the rip offs, And the things nobody saw. No matter if it's heroin, cocaine, or hash, You've got to carry weapons Cause you always carry cash.

Not my scene.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

The column is OFFENSIVE because of its self-satisfied, one sentence dismissal of the horrific damage done in Aurora : "After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws."

I'll ask a second time : Is that any rationale for selling him legal stockpiles of ever increasing lethality?

If you are right in your pro gun position, why does your position fail to speak to Aurora's victims, dead and maimed? When will your position defend why we are selling assault weapons to civilians?

Stories of how a handgun saved a life are matched with 100x that many of senseless or intentional lives taken. But that is not my point, and you can keep your handguns. My point is you are either numb to, or find yourself above, the experience of people in that that theatre running for their lives, or of those with holes in their bodies from a legal assault weapon.

The ease with which this column and these posts step past Aurora's painful reality and assault weapons is wrong. You can fix that in your next try.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

So Lewi, Are you saying that these assault weapons, with their 100 round drums, are kind of like weapns of mass destruction, therefore distinguishing them from less lethal or less "high-production" weapons such as pistols or hunting rifles?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Gun control doesn't work. The murder rate didn't decrease when Clinton signed the assault weapons ban into law, and it didn't increase when Bush allowed it to expire.

Illinois has the most draconian gun control laws in the nation. Until the Supreme Court told the state just last year to pound sand, it was illegal for civilians to own a handgun (let alone an assault weapon) anywhere in Illinois. Care to google the gun violence stats during the 28 years that Illinois “banned” guns in the Land Of Lincoln? Post-2011, Illinois allows none but law enforcement (& hunters) to carry a weapon, and prohibits civilian possession any firearm beyond the confines of one's own home or business. And it's really effective! Chicago alone enjoys the GUN CONTROLLED equivalent of an Aurora massacre every week: 275 murders in that city alone so far this year; the vast majority of them the result of gun violence. I don't have the breakdown of what kinds of guns were used in those incidents, but I can only assume they were of the mythical benign variety Lewi approves of, or he'd be self-righteously castigating Chicago for its “legal stockpiles of ever increasing lethality.” Or maybe he believes his gun-controlled omelette is worth 275 farm-fresh Chicago eggs. And if even one of those eggs could have been spared by a licensed civilian equipped to defend himself, it's not worth thinking about. When it's fried in a gun-controlled skillet, it's only an egg – so splash on some ketchup and chow down. Yummy!

Rudy Giuliani reduced the NYC murder rate 75% by imposing a model that focused on the criminal, and not the weapons they use. Whine all you like about profiling - ask any law-abiding New Yorker who was there and you'll get an earful re: what works and what doesn't. President Obama was right on the money during his initial statement following Aurora: it was “an evil act.” As much as liberals whine about how we can't legislate morality, we try to every day of the week. Murder 1=Thou Shalt Not Kill. Cain didn't have an AK47; I doubt his brother appreciated that deficiency. Norway has some of the toughest gun control laws on the planet, and it didn't stop one of their own from making Aurora look like a church social. Evil is evil.

Something that gets swept under the rug, in my opinion: our reluctance to identify the mentally unstable as unsuited to be granted all the privileges enjoyed by the rest of the population. Jared Loughner had an extensive record of mental instability and run-ins with the law. It is a testament to the importance we assign to personal liberty that it is virtually impossible to involuntarily commit someone in this country. Regardless of how much involuntary commitment might make your skin crawl, if Loughner wasn't a candidate, no one is. Cold comfort to Gabby Giffords, never mind those who weren't as “lucky” as she was.

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Marie Matta 2 years, 1 month ago

Mark, where do you get the idea that gun control advocates are against police officers carrying guns? The whole point of pushing for restrictions on high powered assault weapons is that they are designed for use by police officers and the military, NOT by the general population. What possible use does a civilian have for a high-powered weapon other than to do harm? In fact, I'm glad you brought up police officers. I would be very interested to hear what law enforcement officers think of gun control measures, and whether they would agree that their job would be a whole lot easier if they did not have to wonder, every time they responded to an emergency or pulled a vehicle over, whether they would have to deal with a high-powered weapon in their faces. I spent most of my life in Australia where there is no such culture of gun ownership, and yes Mark, a certain amount of fear DOES motivate my support of gun control measures - fear of seeing yet another mass shooting like Aurora, and possibly being in the middle of it, just because supporters of gun ownership are so obsessed with the Second Amendment that they are totally unwilling to even TALK about sensible gun control measures. Is it really worth risking another mass shooting?

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Accepting your fear is the first step, Marie. Arming yourself is the second.

You must watch a lot of Fox News, you know... to be so full of fear and all?

I wonder; How do you, personally, know who and what "high powered assault weapons" were "designed for" and whom they were NOT "designed for"? Did you know it was Hitler who coined the term "assault weapon" ? I'll give you a guess as to why...

And Yes, Marie. It is absolutely, positively worth rsking another mass-shooting to keep each and every one of the american people's rights. Yes it is. No question about it.

You see, Marie, in addition to the many hundreds of thousands who have died face-down in the mud in some God-forsaken hell-hole, a relatively small few civillans also have to sometimes die on Amreican soil so that freedom can remain.

So I now Marie, as a deacon in The Church of the Painful Truth, I want to ask you two serious, serious questions Marie. Would you support the death penalty for scum like this guy? and Are you ready to prosecute Eric Holder for pumping 2oo "assault weapons" onto the streets of Mexico and America?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Human suffering and cost is secondary. At least Mark will say it.

Marie, unfortunately there will be more mass shootings of Americans. They are increasing in frequency and lethality. The insanity of it will eventually convince Americans that this is not what the 2nd Amendment was about. The NRA will forestall that sanity as long as possible.

There is some fantasy that gun control will have immediate effects, but it will take many years. After all we own as many guns as there are Americans. There is also the reverse fantasy - that areas like Chicago are proof that gun controls don' work. Perhaps if guns couldn't travel across state and city limits, that would make sense, but the obvious explanation for Chicago is that guns do travel there.

Guns travel do not travel well across national borders. The result is our self inflicted violence is easier to contrast with other countries:

"Americans still kill each other with guns at a level that is staggering compared to the rest of humanity. A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is at 19.5 percent, almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest nations combined. Among the world's 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.

ABC News http://news.yahoo.com/gun-deaths-familiar-american-experience-143015822--abc-news-topstories.html

The human cost does matter. Assault weapons should be banned in America.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I cannot believe the levels of paranoia I am witnessing.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

I invite all the leftist anti-gun crowd to just sit back and watch as a creature of your own making goes into action over the comming months and years.

Watch as this creature protects monsters like James Holmes from a death penalty he so richly deserves. Watch as this creature runs interference and makes it difficult or impossible for victims to get justice. Watch as this creature delays justice while victims age and die or just give up on justice. Watch as this creature ties up our courts. Watch as this creature burns through tax dollars.

This creature is the legal system YOU leftists have created.

It's not bad enough that your self-esteem chickens are comming home to roost.

It's not enough that every person thinks so highly of himself that they can kill for fun, without remorse, because, after all, personal satisfaction is everything.

It's not bad enough that leftist psycology. more often than not, stands squarely behind monsters like Holmes and allows monsters like him to blame everything from an unhappy childhood to a poor diet to Hollywood to even the victims themselves.

Is there ever any consideration by the left that swift, severe, and certain punishment might deter crime? Hell no! Only coddling, excuse-making, victim blaming, society blaming, inanimate object blaming, and the like. Come to think of it I just realized why the left hates guns... They cant identify a target, much less hit it!

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

If I may expound:

My above opinion is expressed by one who believes that America is held hostage by the Federal Reserve -- the Bank of England and the Rothschilds -- who blackmail our politicians with their very lives, to dictate foreign policy as well as domestic fiascos, our sons and daughters cannon fodder to increase their personal holdings. Turns out the Brits run our show after all.

But this is not paranoid -- this is fact.

I'm still not worried that guns will ever come into play in any situation I ever encounter in this town. The self-styled vigilantes concern me more than anybody, even the drug dealers. I trust that if the time ever comes, I will do the right thing. Unarmed.

And now we're quibbling about what is an assault weapon? How about a five-round magazine for high-power rifles, semi-auto at best? If you can't knock down your trophy bull or bear in five shots, you missed anyway, and you don't need a bigger magazine -- you need lessons.

Mark: You are so paranoid it's scary.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

And you, Rhys, while often availing yourself of the privilidges of the first ammendment, are apparently ignorant of the scope and purpose of the 2nd ammendment. It is not a right to hunt... Naa naa naa naa naaa.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

When I am forced to realize that the right to arms includes hotheads and paranoids, it makes me reconsider my whole position on gun control.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm paranoid? You're the one who ties every ill of this society to Pinky and The Brain over at the Federal Reserve; who thinks there is some big conspiracy to take over and enslave the financial world. And have I heretofore mocked you for that? No.

If such a conspiracy can exist in the financial world, Rhys, why can another one not coexist in the world of the Second Ammendment? Not that I have claimed any such thing...

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

We don't need assault weapons for self-defense or to stop the invaders.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

So we are making a list of things we don't need, now? You don't need skis, Cadillacs, pizza, beer, or mt. bikes either.

That is exactly the slippery slope George Orwell described (and he was no conservative) We are indeed reaching that Orwellian point at which "that which is not compulsory is forbidden."

Not a world I want to live in, Rhys. And I'll do everything within my power to stop it from happening.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Anyone out there agree with any part of Mark's posts?

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

I've related this story before but I'll give the abridged version here. NYPD is the 40th largest army in the world, they have a Navy (harbor patrol) an Air Force(Helicopters) a Bomb squad, snipers etc. etc. Should they and all the other cops in this nation decide to listen to Mayor Bloomberg and go on strike(as he suggested last week on Piers Morgan) or perhaps take over the country, the weapons I currently own will not be enough to either protect myself and family from them or to take up arms and join them as the next revolution may just be around the corner.(man I wish I had more cash to buy more ammo.)

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Kevin -- James Holmes had THOUSANDS of rounds left over -- maybe if you asked the Aurora Police real nice, they'd give you some of his. Don't tell 'em you might shoot it at them. Maybe he had drum and banana clips too; those'll warm up your barrel. I mean, how much evidence do they really need?

Mark -- Capital Idea: Maybe us Fed conspiracists can join up with you 2nd Amendment conspiracists and we'll have us a good old fashioned revolution!!

Steve -- Could you get on board with THAT?? Turn the assault weapons on their Creators?

Might I suggest the Firesign Theatre album "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All' (1969) is strangely still relevant, culminating with Lola's song "Bringing The War Back Home" then "We would like to thank the United States Marines, the British Commonwealth, and the Hong Kong Fireworks Company, without whom all of this would not have been necessary."

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

"Here, stop crying..."

"I can't go out there and face those boys. They're all wearing -- Bill's face."

"Telegraph for you, Miz D'Angelo -- uh -- sorry Ma'am, this is for you."

"Hand that to me -- Honey, this is from Washington DC! (crinkle crinkle) Loleen, better sit down. The President IS named Schicklgruber."

"Hand me that parachute."

"You can't go out there now."

"Zip me up. We're bringing the war back home!!"

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Rob, you got nothing.

No rationale and no empathy. Just an empty NRA slogan. In 3 sentences, your column raised the subject of Aurora, said there should be no debate about it, and walked away.

The posting since, i.e. the debate, offers one reason for civilian ownership of assault weapons in America - the next revolution.

In other words, you got nothing. Your column is a hollow, offensive and unsympathetic dismissal of the extra horror NRA policies support. The NRA fought for and won the end of the assault weapons ban.

If you will not or cannot stand for assault weapons in the hands of civilians, a central fact in Aurora, your next Pilot column should retract the Aurora title and the opening paragraph of this column.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

The next revolution won't happen with guns -- it'll happen in boardrooms and courtrooms, and the Chinese will win by default. They hold all the cards. Well, most of them. And as with any takeover, they will leave middle management in place momentarily, while they reassess and rearrange. They know we have guns; we just won't know who to shoot. So the revolution argument for assault weapons is moot.

That still leaves MANY handguns in the hands of unstable people, legally and otherwise; recent local events have demonstrated that. It's these self-styled Wyatt Earp's that continue to concern me. Rob's arm-yourself plea just enhances the paranoia and polarizes the issue. Aurora does not speak well for current policy, however you choose to dance around it.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

My dad will be 79 this year. The incident with the biker is the only time in his life that ever pointed a gun at another human being, and that includes his tenure as a police officer. I'm in my 40s, and the crackhead episode 20+ years ago is the only time in my life that I've ever pulled my gun; I earnestly hope it's the last. No one I've ever known in my 40+ years (including those with CCW permits) have ever had to deploy a deadly weapon against anybody.

Rhys's sweeping generalized smear of licensed civilians as slack-jawed Dirty Harry wannabes illustrates who the paranoid really is - and it's a paranoia fueled by malignant ignorance.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I knew a guy in Arizona a few years back, who had nefarious dealings, shall we say, and he wore his 9 mm in plain sight. That neighborhood was rough, and I myself occasionally put a .357 in my belt to bike up to Circle K. No law against carrying a gun in open sight in Arizona, nor Colorado either, to the best of my knowledge. It's the CONCEALED guns that cause such problems, with law enforcement and in general.

I apologize to all responsible CCW holders and gun owners in general; as I have stated, I grew up with guns and oppose gun control, to protect our Union and our families, if for no other reason. (for the one they won't help, I fear, and for the other their necessity is highly unlikely. Which are both beside the point.) I'm just afraid of the few loose fanatics who might be packing in volatile situations, and we have a couple of those incidents in our recent history, involving an upstanding community leader (cough cough).

Not to mention the assault-weapon issue, actual revolution so far the only justification advanced for their private ownership. Mass murder the primary argument against. Which one is real, and which is fantasy?

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

{Interesting tidbit that was passed to me by a reader}

The Pew Research Center reports: "There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado."

Here's the full report: http://www.people-press.org/2012/07/30/views-on-gun-laws-unchanged-after-aurora-shooting/

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Rob -- Nobody in this forum questioned an individual's rights to own a gun. That was never an issue, and your column is particularly offensive because it offers NO sympathy to the Aurora victims and their families, and instead seems a knee-jerk defensive counter-strike, trumpeting the virtues of responsible gun ownership, particularly carrying concealed weapons.

Was Holmes a legally permitted concealed weapons holder? Does it matter?

The point of contention -- which you conveniently still ignore -- is ASSAULT WEAPONS.

So far the only justification advanced in these forums for their private ownership is armed revolution.

You go along with that line too, Rob?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

I must have missed something. Who's calling for revolution? My dad owns an AK because it's fun to shoot.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep -- That shoots the same round as the M-14, which I did not find fun at all -- despite my competence with it -- I found the kick and the noise both offensive. Even the M-16 had a tendency to ride up on full auto, causing a great waste of ammunition, unless you are firing into a crowd. So maybe the Commies figured out those problems; I have never had the pleasure of shooting an AK. I view guns as tools, not toys. I would rather place one round precisely, than many rounds indiscriminately. But that's just me.

Your buddies Mark and Kevin seem to be itching for a revolution, not that that's a bad idea...

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Dad's AK isn't full-auto, and he's quite accurate with it. And tools and toys are not mutually exclusive. What he'd REALLY like is the B.A.R. he was assigned in the army.

I've just trolled thru Mark & Kevin's contributions, and don't detect any call to revolt. At this point, you're just inventing reasons to whine.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Kevin: Should they and all the other cops in this nation decide to listen to Mayor Bloomberg and go on strike(as he suggested last week on Piers Morgan) or perhaps take over the country, the weapons I currently own will not be enough to either protect myself and family from them or to take up arms and join them as the next revolution may just be around the corner.(man I wish I had more cash to buy more ammo.)

Mark: You see, Marie, in addition to the many hundreds of thousands who have died face-down in the mud in some God-forsaken hell-hole, a relatively small few civillans also have to sometimes die on Amreican soil so that freedom can remain.

These are both submitted in support of assault weapons. Lots of trigger-happy folks treading our streets. None with combat experience, I'd venture to guess.

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

Highwaystar--I read a book recently on the subject of the psychology of killing in wartime. The jist of it was throughout history man doesn't automatically want to kill another man. In WWI it took 100 rounds per kill, by Vietnam it was close to 50,000 rounds of ammo per kill. Either we have become more sensitive or your fellow soldiers and Marines aren't as good a shot as yourself. No disrespect, as both my Dad and Son are Marines.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

{Did so-called authorities know Holmes was a threat weeks before the alleged attack and do nothing about it?}

"The University of Colorado Denver psychiatrist seeing accused murderer James Eagan Holmes was so alarmed by his behavior that she notified the campus-wide threat assessment team that she helped create years before, a source told The Denver Post."

http://www.denverpost.com/theatershooting/ci_21212797

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Kevin -- I liked Pat Paulson's plan, back when he was running against Nixon. He said:

I hear where it costs like $600,000 for every Viet Cong we kill. Heck, we can buy 'em off cheaper than that.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Or the line from the HBO documentary, "Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam" quoting senior brass in Vietnam:

Don't knock it. It's the only war we've got.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

"...In 1990, before the assault weapons ban, a Gallup poll found that 78 percent of Americans favored stricter regulation of guns. But that number has declined steadily ever since. Last year, Gallup asked the same question, and only 43 percent of those polled said they favored stricter gun laws.

The public doesn’t agree with the NRA that gun laws should be eased further — only 11 percent hold that view, according to Gallup. But on the core issue — the right to gun ownership with only minimal government oversight — the NRA has won the debate." http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/jul/27/assault-weapons-ban-doa/

Hickenlooper: Tougher gun laws would not have stopped shooter http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21132699/hickenlooper-tougher-gun-laws-would-not-have-stopped

I heard on the news today that James Carville has sent an email urging prominent Dems to steer clear of the issue, as he believes it's a loser for their side.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Politicians and polls?

As with the column, it's easy to read the above and doubt you understand that people are dead.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Steve -- I'm sure they died proudly, defending our Patriots' God-given rights to have fun with assault weapons.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry I missed out on the "fun" for a couple days. I've been out back "cleaning my guns".

Rhys, I'm wondering how much combat experiance YOU actually have. Or even firearms experiance in general. A ways back you stated that the M-14 and the AK-47 shoot the same round. WRONG.

Steve, Can't find a lot of people in Steamboat Springs who agree with my posts?

To everyone, I repeat: Just sit back and watch the leftists creation (our F....d up legal system) and how it deals with the monsters. It can't even call THEM monsters, but seeks to make me, and people like me a monster for wanting to defend myself against the real monsters they helped to create.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

The tactic being deployed by our resident SS (Sanctimonious Schoolmarms) is as old as totalitarianism. It boils down to a single imperative: Control The Conversation. Dictate to the great unwashed what can and cannot be discussed, and under what circumstances.

Aurora, Columbine, Gabby Giffords, DC snipers, John Lennon... these incidents always provoke discussions of gun control v. gun rights, and to what extent personal liberties should or shouldn't be restricted in a free society. A more than reasonable discourse to have, unless you're the SS. The excuse being used here is that the conversation can only take place when preceded by a eulogy. Extend that logic, and we should talk about seatbelts and airbags only after traffic fatalities have first been acknowledged. Those who stray from the SS orthodoxy are to be insulted and marginalized. Because at their core, the SS are little more than wannabe bullies.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that the Kalashnikov has killed more people than any other small arm. Regardless, one of our resident SS feels it appropriate to blithely speculate about the ammunition it uses – without acknowledging even one of those deaths. Unsurprising, as hypocrisy is central to the SS worldview, and to the maintenance of their own self-esteem. That they are oblivious to it says more about them than they realize.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

If the left was so concerned about assault weaons in the hands of civillians it would be demanding US Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation, and asking their darling in the White House what his personal connections with Operation Fast and Furious are.

It is the bloated federal government of the United States of America that likely arms more people world-wide than any other entity. These arms kill civillians, women, children.

The fact is that the left is NOT AT ALL concerned about out-of-control "wannabees" having guns. Not at all!! As ong as those toting the guns are percieved to be "on their side" they are perfectly comfortable with people shooting women in the head as they hold their babies on their front porch (Ruby Ridge, Id 1992).

They don't give a damn about military operations with "assault rifles", "assault helicopters", "assault tanks" etc, being conducted on civillians (in direct violation of Posse Comitatus... DIRECT VIOLATION. (Waco, TX 1993) Seventy-six people died including more than 20 children, two pregnant women and their unborn children.

Where was the anti-gun left on that? Nowhere to be found, because they don't care about guns in the hands of out-of-control people; just so long as those people are percieved to be "on their side".

True to form, they also don't seem to care about waging illegal or covert wars, like the one in Libya and the one Obama has authorized in Syria, just so long as it was the conduct of THEIR MASCOTS they don't ever seem to care.

But let GW Bush authorize such an op and it's "treason". Let some guy who understands and respects the Constitution be seen with a gun and its time for some more laws.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I have admitted in previous posts that, though I am Vietnam-era, the closest I got to actual combat was Okinawa. Many of my friends and associates had combat experience in 'Nam, however, and I assure you none of them are/were as gung-ho as our present forum contributors. I DID lead successful ambushes earlier, during advanced Infantry training -- my boys cleaned out their boys. You boys believe what you want -- I don't care.

Once the Marine (Navy) computers thought I had brains, they grabbed me for their own, effectively removing me from anything that went boom. I qualified in boot camp for both OCS and sniper school, but they would not let me out of computers. So sorry I can't brag any direct kills, but they wouldn't let me. And I am not bragging about the smarts -- I am obviously not smart ENOUGH -- but I find it more of a burden, as I am constantly amazed how stupid some people can be. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

The M-14 and the AK47 both shoot a 7.62 mm round, varying only in case length, and the Commies experimented with several of those. I had a Romanian landlord once, who claimed the Romanian AK shot a 7.63 mm round, so they could use purloined Russian ammunition, but the Russkies couldn't use theirs. That's a big part of why our calibers are so similar -- so you can use your enemy's ammo, once you have captured it. The main reason it is difficult to speculate which specific round the AK shoots is because they tried so many different ones. But virtually ALL of the AK calibers are shorter than the M14 is chambered for, (overall case length) so their ammo could be used for it in a pinch. I've done some reloading too, so I know whereof I speak. If your AK shoots something else -- and some do -- then so be it. If you knew the facts, you might hesitate before you call someone stupid.

Cowboys-and-Indians, cops-and-robbers, Army -- some little boys never outgrow it. My brother never did, and he's a big boy now.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep, I believe you have it backwards. What you write describes Rob's column and yourself.

"The tactic being deployed... boils down to a single imperative: Control The Conversation. Dictate to the great unwashed what can and cannot be discussed, and under what circumstances."

Rob - " The debate should be put to rest." Sep - "A more than reasonable discourse to have, unless you're the SS,… is to what extent personal liberties should or shouldn't be restricted in a free society."

Then, insulting and marginalizing:

Sep - "tactic ...by our resident SS (Sanctimonious Schoolmarms) is as old as totalitarianism." "Those who stray from the SS orthodoxy ... Because at their core, the SS are little more than wannabe bullies."

Looking for where Rhys or myself meet your standard. Don't see it.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

The conversation becomes unintelligible.

Sep, none of your or Rob's writing is willing to address the central frustration of Rhys or myself - people are being killed and maimed by assault weapons.

These deaths, in your mind, are an "excuse"? For me, they are victims of your most frivolous rights - you want to own assault weapons. You refuse to connect the weapon rights you want with the people killed by those weapon rights.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

BTW -- the 7.62 NATO designation refers to the cartridge shape. The body length, combined with the shoulder angle and the neck diameter (caliber) determines this standard shape, differences now defined by neck length and resulting in different overall case lengths. The M14 is chambered for the 7.62x51 mm cartridge, while the two main AK47 variants -- the early 7.62x41mm, then the predominant 7.62x39mm in use today -- will BOTH fire in the M14. I can use your AK ammo in my M14, whatever you're shooting. So for my intents and purposes, they are the same round.

The AK has also been chambered for several other calibers -- .223/5.56mm (same as the M16) 5.45x39mm, even .308 Winchester (same as the M14, 7.62x51mm) as well as several shotgun gauges -- but as those are in the vast minority, they fall outside the scope of this discussion.

Given the ignorance and inexperience I am attempting to reason with, now I am wondering who is the "wannabe." I'll gladly "blithely speculate" about your ammo as long as I can use it use it in my gun too. And how arrogant, for the never-been-there's to call "schoolmarms" people who have an accurate grasp on the firepower we are actually talking about. If experience is credibility, you have none.

Go ahead, shoot 'em up, boys. Get your jollies where you can. And so what if a few innocent civilians die for your fun.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

“Sep, none of your or Rob's writing is willing to address the central frustration of Rhys or myself ”

No kidding. You've been crying about it for days. Why do you believe Rob - or anyone else - is obligated to address your frustrations?

The article isn't about the victims (at least you're astute enough to have noticed that much). It is an effort to provoke a measured and carefully thought-out approach from anyone whose response to Aurora is to impulsively arm themselves. But it fails to address your & Ryhs's “central frustration” (it's not about YOU and YOUR FEELINGS, in other words) so he needs to be ripped apart for how “offensive” he is. Those who don't discuss what you want them to are miscreants because they've not paid proper tribute to your agenda.

So pay all the lip service you want to the victims. I'd have preferred that cop or a licensed civilian had been there to empty a double-stack of .40 caliber 180-grain Speer Gold Dots into the freak, and spared many more families a great deal of pain.

An assault weapons ban is meaningless. The rate of gun violence and resulting casualties didn't decline after the ban was imposed in 1994, nor did it rise when when the ban expired in ten years later. The vast majority of criminal gun violence is inflicted by people using the kinder & gentler weapons – principally handguns – Lewi approves of. Those victims are not entitled to his passion or sanctimony.

For the record: I don't hunt, and I'm indifferent to assault-style weapons. My dad has an AK. I don't & have no intention of acquiring one – except after Dad kicks, at which point I'll have an AK for sale.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

I disagree.

The amount of harm and death caused within each massacre incident is in fact rising dramatically, and is directly attributable to civilian access to assault weapons.

It is a frivolous right that costs more deaths.

Why is my character part of your argument?

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey as long as we're discussing gun rights and such what do you say we stir the pot a little with this question. What do you think of the left pulling an end around and going to the UN for a resolution to ban certain guns? In this manner they wouldn't have to follow the Constitution but we would certainly have to obey the UN. I say the US should get out of the UN and the UN should get out of the US. (costs NYC tons of money). As Bill O'Reilly likes to say "What say you".

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, let's see. Those with whom you disagree are hollow, offensive and uncaring. Not to mention unintelligible and ignorant. Those who view firearms as a solution to anything are lunatics. Rob should never have written the column because you've decreed that it should have never been written. And then there's your schoolmarm-in-arm's invitation to “...shoot 'em up, boys. Get your jollies where you can. And so what if a few innocent civilians die for your fun.” Because that's what we want: bloodshed and body counts. No character assassination there.

Character's an issue because you've made it an issue.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

"You boys need to call your mommies and have a good cry."

"The tactic being deployed by our resident SS (Sanctimonious Schoolmarms) is as old as totalitarianism."

Recognize those, Sep? I think THAT'S where character got introduced, and I was just responding in kind.

Then we got Mark and his dastardly "left." Those malcontents intent on bringing down our country.

I don't see ANYBODY else with military experience contributing; they're all just chuckling, at the idiocy presented. Even Rob's alleged "experience" consists of a few gun-club visits. Nobody else sat and squatted and knelt and laid flat, for hours and days, days and weeks, painfully stretching into the positions, mindlessly snapping in, dry firing, hour after hour, repeating the basics: Sight Alignment. Sight Picture. Trigger Squeeze. Breath Control. You don't need a real bullet, to know if it was a good shot. You do that long enough, your glamour rod becomes just another tool. The 14 weighed at least that many pounds, and I got damn sick of toting that thing around. My friend Dan Ward carried a 27-lb M-60 in the Army Rangers -- wonder what he'd say to all this.

I will ignore Mark's paranoid ravings for the moment, how the "left" is out to systematically destroy this country, and instead focus on your very revealing comment, Sep. When you specify the load and quantity you would like to pump into the perpetrator -- yes, character does very much become a concern.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes it's those darn pesky "frivilous rights" that are to blame for so much mayhem.

Just the other day I saw a "frivilous right" come running out of a bank with a sack of money in one hand and an assault rifle in the other. There were no humans around anywhere.

And we all remember last winter when one of those "frivilous rights" rode a horse up into a bar. Once again there were were no humans controlling the horse. I think they ended up prosecuting the horse and the "frivilous right", didn't they?

Tell us Steve, since you are so concerned about assault weapons getting into the hands of civillians you must be simply outraged about the hundreds of them that Obama's justice department passed out, no? Have you contacted Attorney General Holder about that? Or do THOSE assault weapons not bother you???

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's assume Obama's assault weapons bother Steve too, okay Mark? So what's your point?

What in the HELL do HORSES have to do with anything??

You shoot-em-up kids have it all wrong -- blow the perp away with two clips, indeed -- you don't want to KILL; that just ends their problems (barring St. Pete) what you want to do is MAIM -- remind them of their errors, for the rest of their life. That takes skill. I won't kill the guy who invades my house -- but he will never sire kids again, nor even walk the same, even after he gets out of prison. Retribution requires a live subject. And maybe he'll salvage his wretched soul.

If you have the option, a live suspect is much preferable. Sometimes less is more.

Now you can have your shoot-em-up back.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Tell us Rhys, just how you come know how many hours anyone else on this blog has behind a rifle?

When I used to shoot regularly it was about 100,000 rounds / year. I used to OWN an 800 meter range, where we fired bolt guns, machine guns, shotguns, grenade launchers, etc, in all conditions, high wind, rain, snow, 100+ temps, etc.

I collected and fired and serviced class 3 weapons of every kind, including .50 BMG, M-203 grenade launchers under M-16's, sub-machine guns, silencers, etc, etc, etc. All stamped, all 100% legal. Even gave the local sherriffs deputies a demonstration on more than one occaison.

The .50 cal was sometimes mounted on a British Ferret I owned... on the exterior; while there was a 1919 beltfed inside sitcking out of the rotating turret.

Your ramblings about how much you know about real-world weapon handling don't begin to impress me. My guess is that I have forgotten more about firearms than you ever knew.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Well if you have forgotten more than I ever knew -- where does that leave you now?

And how did you go about losing those memories? You a juicer, Mark?

I am so in awe of your mounds of vast and relevant experience, you have no idea. I am much comforted to know there are such well-armed paranoid fascists protecting our common interests.

You are a self-styled Wyatt Earp, Mark, only even scarier because it yet holds such glamour for you. You will never grow up, my trigger-happy friend.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

And if I don't miss my guess, you never saluted, stood guard duty, or mess duty, or ran PT, or endured endless IG inspections, morning formations, musters, working for incompetents and still saying "sir," getting sick on their boats -- no, you just did the fun stuff, bang-bang shoot-em-up. The pinners have a saying -- you've got to "earn your turns" -- and you never did. You're still a pup.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Stop. That hurts. Fascist? Juicer? Wyatt Earp? Trigger happy?

Stop, please. Youre hurting me. After all, I'm still a pup that will never grow up... and never earned my turns.

That's pretty good, Rhys. 7 characterizations and insults in 150 words or less!

Another mistake you make is assuming one can only pay one's dues while in boot camp. You think any of that trumps anything many of us did on the family farm? Hell, at least you got paid. I just did the fun stuff? You really think you are the only person to have things hard? Please. Boot camp only lasts a few weeks. Growing up on a farm lasts 18 years.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

And that wasn't boot camp, that was four friggin' years of that crap. How many did you serve, Mr. Patriot?

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Hell no I never grew up. I'm damned glad I didn't.

Patriot: (n) Someone who feels a strong support for his (or her) country. Doesn't say anything about military service.

When you ask "How many years did [I] serve", you seem to be suggesting that the only way one can "serve" is in the armed forces... formally. That's not true.

Even the second ammendment speaks of a "well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state..." . The "Militia" was/ is considered anyone from the general population of fighting age.

And let's be real, real clear, IF YOU WERE ALIVE, AND OF AGE TO BE DRAFTED, YOU WERE THE MILTIA! Therefore, just being registered for the draft made you eligible to get your ass shot.

I am not aware of, especially on the left, any suggestion that military service is the only way to properly "serve" your nation.

For example, Since you trained on the firing range while I worked a civillian job that paid 5-6 figures annually in taxes, I could argue that I bought my own ammunition AND yours. Is it not "patriototic" for one to contrbute treasure instead of talent? Time instead of blood? Sweat instead of tears?

Did the mother of a fallen soldier give less for her country than the soldier who fell?

While I respect the work of our military personelle, I do not subscribe to the notion that only they know what sacrafice is. I, and many other Americans have toiled and sweateated and bled to provide the boots for many american soldiers.

To say our opinions somehow matter less simply because we did not answer to a drill seargent every day is short sighted.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Excerpts from a column I understand:

The consensus among the more than two dozen folks who gathered at the community forum was summed up best by, “We’d better work this thing out before someone gets hurt.”

What “thing” ? The ongoing — many would say growing — conflict between bicyclists and motorists. Any cyclist who has spent more than a few hours on local roads can recite hair-raising experiences that left them shaken. The reality is that far too many motorists are far too cavalier when approaching cyclists on narrow mountain roads.

At the end of the day, if we draw on common sense we can go a long way toward reducing the number of potentially dangerous incidents between cyclists and motorists. There is a stark reality that should guide anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The driver of any motor vehicle must operate that vehicle in a manner that precludes any chance of striking a cyclist or forcing a cyclist off the road — even if the cyclist is breaking the law, impeding traffic or creating any other hazard.

Any motorist who thinks otherwise should take a moment and contemplate the guilt and psychological agony they will experience for the rest of their life having maimed or killed a cyclist because they let anger or frustration overcome common sense, patience and respect.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Fault, guilt, responsibility, duty, etc, can only be put on certain groups of people, and those "frivilous rights" that group holds dear. This is Steve's world.

Never can his mascots be responsible, guilty, at-fault for anything.

Ignoring traffic laws, running a stop light, whatever, it's someone elses fault if you are a cyclist, but all your fault if you drive a car.

An assault rifle is a bad thing in certain peoples hands, but perfectly acceptable so long as you are a drug dealing murderer got it from the Obama administration.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Rob, The new column on sharing the road is good. We need to work it out. Someone might be hurt. Drivers can be too cavalier and the cyclists are vulnerable. The last paragraph warns of the agonizing guilt, "take a moment and contemplate the guilt and psychological agony... having maimed or killed.."

Perhaps now you understand my complaint on the above.

Above you wrote, "the killing of 12 and wounding of 58 moviegoers in Aurora by alleged gunman James Holmes has reignited the debate about gun control — including whether citizens should be able to carry concealed handguns. The debate should be put to rest. After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws."

I do not understand what difference invokes on one hand concern and empathy for vulnerable cyclists on our roadways, and on the other hand dismissal and silence for the maimed and killed movie goers in Aurora.

Rob, please someday write a column on gun control like the one on cycling.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 1 month ago

Lewi How about the female cyclist that almost broadsided me doing 35 in a construction zone which had a 25 speed limit and she ran a stop sign. Would she have any responsibility for that? I also ride a bicycle but not in a completely irresponsible manner.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Lewi writes:

"I do not understand what difference invokes on one hand concern and empathy for vulnerable cyclists on our roadways, and on the other hand dismissal and silence for the maimed and killed movie goers in Aurora."

I'm under the impression that you and your fellow schoolmarm are endowed with a comprehensive understanding of Rob's perpectives and motivations: he's a "hollow" "offensive" "ignorant" "self satisfied" "lunatic" "parading the virtues of macho strut". I'm sure those observations were offered in the most generous possible fashion, so as not to impugn his character. Consider me chastened and converted. You and Rhys have set the standard for respectul disourse, and are the arbiters of what those beneath you should and shouldn't talk about. I bow my head in obecience to the SS.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep, Re: assault weapons, you have nothing to say. You do have a lot to say about straw men. Mark goes to assault weapons. Should hold you responsible for his words?

There is a big difference between saying "Rob's column is hollow" and saying "Rob is a hollow person". Your quoting of me as saying the latter is fiction, but you write it anyway.

Kobel, from your link, writes, "(Colorado) legislature, enacting its fifth gun-rights reform, repealed it — thus ensuring that guns would be available at a time when they were needed most." My response to Kopel's text, "I believe it lunacy to infer guns can help in achieving one's goals." Your quote that anyone has called Rob a "lunatic" is fiction. but you write it anyway. Straw men are what you want to discuss?

Seriously, these are the pro gun arguments? "The other side are mean, insulting people!!?"

Sep, there are 12 dead and 58 wounded in Aurora and your only concern is that you've been insulted?

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jerry carlton 2 years, 1 month ago

Lewi Do I not deserve a response on my cycling question? What are your thoughts on the cyclist I described which is a true story of just a couple weeks ago?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Jerry, I was paraphrasing Rob's comments on cycling above; I don't post to the cycling issue because my biking miles are mostly on single track in the hills, and I haven't had incidents on my towny. Plus, I can imagine how much you want to read more Lewi.

But yes, she would be wrong, and responsible.

My tours during college on the old Pacific Coast Highway ended my comfort road biking around traffic. That was one narrow road. Seems to me a question of self-preservation. I do need to be more respectful of stop signs on Oak, but out on the highway I would be that phobic guy riding over on the grass.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 1 month ago

lewi I have never biked on Pacific Coast Highway but have driven on it. I agree with you there 100%. Elk River Road is slightly less dangerous because there are no 1000 foot cliffs to go off.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

Boulder County concealed weapons permit applications are up http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_21237536/boulder-county-concealed-weapons-permit-applications-are-up

BOULDER -- Boulder County officials report that applications for concealed carry weapon permits spiked in the week after the July 20 shootings at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead, and local firearms advocates believe it shows some people are ready to take self-defense up a notch..."People do go out and feel like they have the need to protect themselves and stock up," said Boulder County Sheriff's Cmdr. Scot Williams, who added that the numbers appear to be related to the shooting at the Century 16 theater in Aurora.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

And more guns on the streets is a good thing?

"the gun murder rate in the U.S. is... almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest nations combined. Among the world's 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.

ABC News http://news.yahoo.com/gun-deaths-fami...

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I would venture that most gun nuts are insecure in their masculinity. Rob illustrates this with his he-man tales of arduous training, and his supporters, with their tales of crimes averted by the mere display of weapons -- complete with calibers -- and their impressive arsenals, also listing calibers.

Guns are The Great Equalizer; now these guys are as big as anybody. I saw plenty of this in the Suck. Guns compensate for other perceived shortcomings. That's why the vigilantes scare me almost as much as the crooks. They don't need guns, half as much as they need therapy. Let the fireworks begin anew.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

James Holmes' Psychiatrist Contacted University Police Weeks Before Movie-Theater Shooting: ABC Exclusive http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holmes-psychiatrist-contacted-university-police-weeks-movie/story?id=16943858

"The psychiatrist who treated suspected movie-theater shooter James Holmes made contact with a University of Colorado police officer to express concerns about her patient's behavior several weeks before Holmes' alleged rampage, sources told ABC News."

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

How do we know which crazies to watch, Rob? How many watchers are there?

Guns are not the problem -- they are only a symptom of a deeper disease. I might suggest that it is the ever-widening gulf between rich and poor in this country which leads to feelings of frustration in so many, as unemployment, foreclosure, and ongoing bills and expenses take their toll. Many of the perps in recent mass shootings are Eagle scouts, veterans, star students, and loners, who have never had contact with the law before, allowing them to amass their arsenals. When they snap, they might kill themselves, they might kill others, and they might do both. The preponderance of mass murderers in recent history have gone on to kill themselves, so it was a death mission before they ever left the house. How can you predict that, let alone prevent it?

There are so many guns loose in this country already, to suggest gun control at this late date is folly. A far better idea might be to address the social conditions which lead to feelings of helplessness and result in mass shootings. But this too is unlikely to happen, as the rich -- a class in which I include all three of the pro-gun advocates in this forum -- are unlikely to willingly turn loose of even a dime of their hard-earned (or inherited) money -- they would rather buy more guns and take their chances.

No motive has yet been established for either of the recent shootings in Aurora or Wisconsin, leading me to believe it is most likely financial in nature. What we are witnessing may be a precursor to a more general class warfare which could rend this country into shreds, long before the Chinese take over. Should be interesting.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Rhys writes: "There are so many guns loose in this country already, to suggest gun control at this late date is folly."

The first thing you've said that I agree with. Folly is derived from 'fool'; I hope lewi doesn't take it personally.

lewi writes: “Mark goes to assault weapons. Should hold [sic] you responsible for his words? ”

Of course not. Unlike you, I don't post remarks like “Looking for where Rhys or myself meet your standard.” or “...none of your or Rob's writing is willing to address the central frustration of Rhys or myself.”

Unlike you, I speak only for myself and don't use other participants to ratify my viewpoints.

lewi writes: “Your quote that anyone has called Rob a "lunatic" is fiction. but you write it anyway. ” Mea culpa for not quoting you verbatim: “I believe it lunacy to infer guns can help in achieving one's goals. ” Concealed carry advocates clearly disagree; we're the ones you're arguing with; so who are the lunatics to whom you refer?

lewi writes: “Seriously, these are the pro gun arguments? "The other side are mean, insulting people!!?" Wow. Check out the punctuation - !!? Don't know about mean and insulting. Sanctimonious blowhard, you bet. Self-righteous hall monitor, absolutely.

Your issue seems to be that an AK variant was used in Aurora. If an assault weapons ban is imposed, why do you believe that any but the law abiding will comply? The Aurora whackjob was clearly intelligent and meticulous. If the AK had been legally denied him, I'll wager he'd have acquired one regardless. The KKK freak slaughtered a half-dozen people in Milwaukee the other day. Are those murders less egregious because he used a 9-millimeter pistol? 13 dead and 21 maimed at Columbine. Casualties inflicted by the kinder, gentler non-assault weapons you're ok with.

I think the principal difference between us is this: I accept the existence of the American gun culture, and that gun-control measures have zero impact on criminals, terrorists, or the deranged. The only truly effective gun control would be mandatory door-to-door confiscation. When you've acquired the magic wand enabling you to so radically change the American perspective to let that happen, let me know. In the meantime, I'll make you a deal: I'll relinquish every last piece of my very modest arsenal when you've guaranteed everyone else has done the same.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 1 month ago

Rhys I agree that we might be headed for class warfare in this country. However, when the Blacks were burning Watts and Detroit and so many other places that I can not remember them, it appeared we were headed for a fullblown race war. Never happened. I think that the beginning of the end for this country began in the early 60's when the Atheists and the ACLU began taking God out of a country that was founded on Christian beliefs and principles. You and I will both be dead before it all plays out but the collapse could come in 20 years instead of 50 or 100.

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Rob Douglas 2 years, 1 month ago

Armed citizens stopping crimes is an everyday event in America. In this case, an armed citizen assisted a law enforcement officer in stopping a gunman who had already killed two people and was trying to kill the officer. http://www.ktxs.com/news/RV-Park-witness-shooter-Vic-Stacy-recounts-shoot-out-with-gunman/-/14769632/15933066/-/3v7gsnz/-/index.html

"Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said the outcome could have been a lot different if Stacy hadn’t had his gun and the presence of mind to do what he did Sunday afternoon."

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Once the crazies are on a professional's radar, they ought to be red-flagged for gun purchases just like felons. The Giffords & Virginia Tech shooters are good examples.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep -- Nice thought, but our Founding Fathers, in their Infinite Wisdom, protected ALL Americans, not only with our 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms, but also a catch-all phrase, designed to encompass our many variations, called Due Process. Rights are not so easily taken away, without an involved court process, and thank God for that. People can't be punished preemptively for what they might do.

Jerry -- I remember the race riots of the '60's, Dad packing the shotgun under the front seat of the car. (Two asides: We are obviously exceptions to the rule, that if you remember the '60's, you weren't there. And, that 1905 Browning auto 12-gauge was a beautiful gun (here I go breaking my own rule).) This time the aggrieved class is much larger -- like, at least half the country. It could happen much sooner than you predict.

Rob -- We heard you already. Some originality might be appreciated at this point.

Lewi -- I'm not jumping ship, not by any stretch. The Wyatt Earp's still scare me, and I still see no need for private ownership of assault weapons. I'm just trying to be semi-realistic, in admitting that we will never control all the guns already out there.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

This must be the umpteenth time you've deployed some variant of your Wyatt Earp smear while preaching originality in the same breath. Hypocrite much?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 1 month ago

Sep, I have not insulted you, but I'll apologize anyway. You are a great guy, and very fair. Rob is an even greater guy. His column above stinks though.

Would you like to discuss guns?

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

We don't have an "aggrieved class" in this country. We have a bunch of mal-contents who's so-called "aggrieved" is only "percieved".

They are mostly a bunch of animals who have been whipped into a frenzy by politicians... just like the apes at the zoo go nuts when you rattle their cage.

These animals live in the freest country God ever gave man and they are too stupid to know it and be grateful.

They have electricity, cell phones, cars, air-conditioning, clean drinking water,and medicine, and so much food that they are morbidly obeese.

They have access to education, recreation, transportation, and legal representaton.

They contribute little or nothing to the system that supports them yet they are convinced the system owes them so much more.

They need to be ignored... like children pitching a temper-tantrum. And when they pick up arms and demand they get what's comming to them they need to be obliged...

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I can't decide if you are ignorant, or just stupid, Mark.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe you ever made six figures either. You're not smart enough, as evidenced by your comments, You're just running a bluff, I don't think that's your real name, and judging by the maturity level of your repertoire, you can't be over 30.

If you think paying taxes constitutes "serving your country' you are delusional. Spoken as one who has never given a day of his life to this country; alleged dollars don't count. I wouldn't let you shine my shoes, let alone carry my lunch. You don't rate.

Big Talk, that's all you are. And none of it pleasant. You sound like a real fun guy.

Who's your next bad guy, Mark? Scott? Me? Flail away, you petty soul.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

Okay, I found your name, but the rest stands. Time must move slower out there.

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rhys jones 2 years, 1 month ago

"Of those who say nothing, few are silent." -- Thomas Neill

I apologize to all readers for allowing myself to get caught up in the emotion this conversation has degenerated into, and allowing the level of my own discourse to suffer accordingly. I intend to withdraw forthwith, unless I feel compelled to respond to another slam. I anticipate no new logical arguments for either side.

Jerry -- Here is a link to a Nuggets/Altitude announcer intern we will never see, after Aurora --

http://www.indiegogo.com/OfficialJessicaRedfieldFund

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jerry carlton 2 years, 1 month ago

Rhys A lovely young woman and a tragic loss as were all the victims. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8 The devil consumed the shooter and then used him to destroy hundreds of other lives when you include the familys of the victims.

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