Elizabeth Rawlings: Put armed officers in schools

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I have a shocking suggestion. I’m not sure if I am the first to suggest this, but I am sure it is important. We should have armed police officers in each of our schools.

Yes, I can already hear the arguments: Steamboat Springs is a safe town for children! We don’t have psychopaths here! Armed guards will scare the children! We don’t have the money! It’s extremist thinking!

OK, possibly all of these things are true, but what if they’re wrong? Newtown, Conn., Aurora and Columbine High School in Littleton were supposed to be safe towns, as well. How can we know if have a local psychopath? We have petty crimes, robberies, sex offenders, psychotropic drug users, rapes and murders. What makes us immune to a mass murderer?

As for scaring the children, we teach our kids that police are here to help them, right? In this age of violent media, I would think that a protective, responsible armed guard would be seen as a hero/heroine.

We didn’t have the funds for many of our schools’ upgrades, such as the new building and athletic field at the high school and the new building and playground at Soda Creek Elementary School. Yet, somehow, we made these things happen. Isn’t safeguarding our kids a worthy expenditure also?

Along with their education, safety should be our biggest priority for our students. We have been protecting them since infancy and before, and we should be just as vigilant now. Perhaps an armed guard never will be called into action, and we would be grateful if that were true. Perhaps the presence of a police officer will deter a copycat killer from targeting our schools. If not, then the officer could minimize the impact of a deadly situation greatly.

By nature, I am a peaceful person, but when it comes to my children, I am a mama bear ready to defend them with my life. Our kids hear about tragedies such as Newtown and worry about their own safety. How do we answer their fears? They, and the schools’ staff, should see their community doing everything it can to keep them safe. Let’s start the dialogue.

Elizabeth Rawlings

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Another option: Group offers free weapons training for teachers http://news.yahoo.com/group-offers-weapons-training-utah-teachers-173649952.html

"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — More than 200 Utah teachers are expected to pack a convention hall on Thursday for six hours of concealed-weapons training as organizers seek to arm more educators in the aftermath of the Connecticut school shooting.

The Utah Shooting Sports Council said it normally gathers a dozen teachers every year for instruction that's required to legally carry a concealed weapon in public places. The state's leading gun lobby decided to offer teachers the training at no charge to encourage turnout, and it worked.

Organizers who initially capped attendance at 200 were exceeding that number by Wednesday and scrambling to accommodate an overflow crowd."

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Why go halfway? We need armed cops in every classroom, theater, shopping center, post office, college campus, public building, park, library, ski lift,...

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Putting armed guards in schools does not appeal to many on the far right because it smacks of "police state" and they know, as Rhys jokingly suggested, the next step will be police everywhere. The truth is that is going to happen soon anyway, so why not start with the public fool system???.

The idea doesn't appeal to leftists because that still leaves me and a lot of other folks with guns and, apart from the ones near the top who wouldn't hesitate to line people up against a wall, most leftists are hoplophobes.

Personally, as a libertarian I can not think of a single issue that makse me uncomfortable with putting qualified armed police/ guards in schools. If you are going to make your kids wards of the state for 6 or 7 hours/day anyway why not give them the full treatment?

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John St Pierre 1 year, 8 months ago

guess you missed the fact that there was TWO ARMED Officers at Columbine High school...

We might as well return to the days of Dodge City and everyone be armed to just shoot it out.... hell with 30 round clips OK corral would be pretty interesting.....

I also think that these armed officers should be attired in Ballistic Armour... basically dressed as SWAT members... oh they will need automatic armour piercing shells.... as the assault person will be dressed as such since its so easy to buy..... Just think this person covered in black scary clothes with a assault rifle standing there... just what 6-7 yr olds need to see to give them a sense of security........what happens if attacker at the other end of the school guess we need an officer in every classroom

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Sure, we'll get the Chinese to pay for this too, then some day, we'll have Chinese cops.

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Carrie Requist 1 year, 8 months ago

Your answer to "how do we answer their fears?" is to put armed guards in school; my answer is to explain that life has risks, but the risk of being shot in school is extremely, extremely small. They are FAR more likely to die in a car accident than to get shot in school (and to get injured or die doing a lot of other activities like skiing than to get shot in school). The money, time and effort it takes to put armed guards in school for the extremely low possibility that not only is there a shooter at school but that the armed guard could actually stop it could be much better spent on educating the students.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Carrie

Cold comfort for the families of the dead. If you're aghast at spending "the money" I propose the option recommended in my first post to this thread as a more economic alternative. The cost of obtaining a CCW permit is in the neighborhood of $200-300; there are many instructors who waive their fee for educators (50-60% of the cited cost is regulatory and can't be waived). You are quite right, of course, about motor vehicle fatalities v. shooting deaths. But when those on my side of the argument point it out, we're accused of being bloodthirsty Wyatt Earp wannabes.

Food for thought:

Average deaths in a shooting rampage when stopped by police: 14.3

Average deaths in a shooting rampage when stopped by civilians: 2.3

http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/auditing-shooting-rampage-statistics/

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Great idea: Rather than alloting billions of dollars on armed cops who will always be in the wrong place (nobody's going to start a rampage with a cop nearby) why don't we enlist the services of the legal and sane (+/-) gun nuts with nothing but time on their hands -- on a volunteer basis, since they are probably wealthy already. They can all drive around looking for trouble, or hide under desks and in theaters, waiting for the gunfire to erupt, and hopefully not starting it.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

The alternative, of course, is a cop every 20 feet throughout society -- at every convenience store, church, bus, plane, and train, and terminal therefor, hospital, restaurant, sporting venue, office building, ad infinitum. The Chinese won't mind paying for it; heck, there's so many of them, maybe they'll lend us a bunch of theirs.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

I worked with a guy whom in his spare time trained police in tactical responses. He'd come in Monday and talk about how many police officers he "killed" over the weekend. Almost all training scenarios were based upon real incidents that killed officers. Biggest priority was to properly handle domestics with various scenarios. But the never fail scenario that allowed him to "kill" officers was an active shooter and the officers would focus on him and forget to clear the area and the shooter's friend would wipe out the officers.

It is ludicrous to think that the school's administrative staff should be trained in offensive tactical situations to quickly take out a shooter.

If the solution to having too many too powerful weapons in the hands of too many disturbed people is for schools to each have 11 trained security officers then that is completely unaffordable for the rest of the country.

Comparing the security provided for the President and his family to that available to the general public is so ridiculous that it just demonstrates the complete lack of workable proposals from the NRA and friends.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm sure the Chinese would be more than happy to partner with the Feds (govt) and the Fed (private) so they can monitor the comings and goings of every man, woman, and child on the planet. In an ideal world, exactly half the population will be watching the other half closely.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

BTW, what schools have done is to implement lock down procedures where there are panic alarms and kids retreat to locked rooms with sturdy doors. And all visitors must go through the office and be buzzed in.

It is not expected to be a safe bunker for the kids, but it is expected to provide a level of protection until the police arrive.

But the NRA and friends don't want to promote that method because powerful weapons and armor penetrating rounds can defeat it and the NRA doesn't want to limit anything. They have a logical disconnect between promoting the idea that a person has the right to own enough powerful weapons to hold off the government and the idea that a government school should be able to withstand an attack by that sort of well armed person without student casualties.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

This is an inane conversation, cops in every school a stupid suggestion. This government already spends twice as much as it takes in. We're bankrupt, folks.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Some quick numbers to consider: There are 132,656 PUBLIC K-12 schools in America.

http://www.edreform.com/2012/04/k-12-facts/

If we just put ONE armed guard in each school -- they work 8 hours, for $10 an hour (none would) that's over $10 million PER DAY -- times 180 school days per year, equals $1,910,256,400 -- almost two billion dollars, PER YEAR -- and TWO armed guards couldn't stop Harris & Klebold at Columbine -- 15 dead, 23 wounded.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/columbine-armed-guards_n_2347096.html

Sheer lunacy.

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Robert Huron 1 year, 8 months ago

What is interesting is that more people are gunned down in a city like LA in one day than in one year in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan etc. The US has 2% of the world population and 50% of all the firearms. Gun deaths now have surpassed traffic deaths in a year. We have become the most violent country outside of the Middle East in the world. The other countries see the same movies and video games and many allow their citizens to bear arms yet they have nowhere near the gun violence that we have which has exploded in the last 20 years. Why? If the NRA wants to fund(the country is broke remember) security guards in all schools let them however they better be Navy Seal or Army Ranger trained and armed because a 9 mm is no match for a madman with an assault weapon who is planning on dying anyway which is exactly what happened at Virginia Tech and Columbine. . Next we will be sending our children to school in body armor and helmets. This is not the country I grew up in. Pretty damn sad!

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Doug Starkey 1 year, 8 months ago

Sad to think someone's proposal to curb gun violence is more gun violence. Will having armed security guards in school and teachers with concealed weapons a) reduce gun violence in our schools, or b) increase gun violence in our schools?

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Robert:

You write: "Gun deaths now have surpassed traffic deaths in a year."

According to the CDC, gun injuries accounted for 31,940 deaths in 2011 (the most recent year for which I could find the data). That number includes homicide, suicide, and accidents; and puts it #6 on the list after tobacco use, medical errors, unintentional injuries, alcohol abuse, and motor vehicle accidents. If the gun fatality number is restricted to homicide, it drops to #10 on the list - so I'd be interested to learn where you're getting your numbers.

Doug:

I don't know where you stand on private gun ownership in general. I've found it curious how many opposed to armed teachers have no problem with armed homeowners. I see little distinction between the two.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Let's put some perspective on these numbers. Given Brian's numbers are accurate, and just for the sake of demonstration, every victim is 5'6" tall, that's a line of corpses, head-to-toe, from Steamboat past P'burg. Over 33 miles. That number becomes more significant, if you loved even one of them. Numbers never lie more, than when you're talking about death. This is a sick society, with the gun-toters leading the charge.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

This is hillarious.

The left never met an "investment in the future" that it wasn't all to happy to borrow money from China to finance.

We can borrow money for the National Endowment for the Arts to finance a picture of Christ in a glass of urine and all kinds of other trash.

Homeland security can borrow money to do public awareness on zombies and buy sno-cone machines... that's right, ZOMBIES.

$325,000 borrowed from China to build a robo-squirrel.

Morroccan pottery classes cost the US Agency for Internatio0nal development $27 million.

And since we're talking about schools don't forget the San Jose school district that spent $725,000 for a pizza machine.

Nothing on earth (even pizza) was ever "too costly" ESPECIALLY if it was "for the children".

Nothing, that is, until a proposal comes along that fails to get them their holy grail... a disarmed populace.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

The sadest part is that not one of you will even look those expenses up because you know how perfectly plausible those examples are and that they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Yet you will keep quacking about how we are too broke to bla bla bla... because you don't want the problem solved... you want my guns.

Since we are "too broke" I have to assume that would also make us "too broke" to spend billions on rounding up guns from citizens. Wouldn't THAT cost money too?

But then again, THAT is probably worth it because it's "for the children" (wink wink)

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

You missed my point, Mark. We could spend two billion dollars AT LEAST every year to make sure there are guns in every school, and it STILL WOULDN'T WORK. The nut cases will just go shoot people where the cops aren't. Two armed guards couldn't stop Columbine, or even slow it down, and even then, the perps did what the guards couldn't: They killed themselves. Like most mass murderers. It's a suicide mission. Taking as many as they can with them.

Are you saying armed guards in the schools will fix the mass-shooting epidemic? Not a chance. It'd just waste even more money.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

We could spend $2 billion/ yr to make sure there ARE guns in schools but THAT still wouldn't work. (YOUR words).

Yet you want me to believe that if we spent $2 billion / year to make sure there WERE NOT guns in schools that somehow that WOULD work...???

You guys couldn't keep drugs, weapons and violence out of the police-states you call prisons, how the hell you gonna keep 'em out of schools??? The guys with the airplanes??? How many "assault" weapons did they have?

The guy at VA Tech??? How many "assault" weapons did he have???

Funiest thing ever... that leftists who never met a cost they were not comfortable with, are poo-pooing a plan to help our children because of "the cost".

Put UIncle Scam incharge of the Sahara Desert and, in 5 years, there would be a shortage of sand.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

If you put in extra question marks, does that mean it's a real good one???

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Robert Huron 1 year, 8 months ago

Mark The Left loves deficit spending? Where where you from Jan.2001 to Jan 2009. The Federal Budget grew from $1.8 Trillion to $3.2 Trillion and who was in charge? The CONSERVATIVES. Did you forget 2 unpaid for wars. Medicare part D, Wall St.Bailout, a $5 Trillion unneeded tax cut etc. You can even go back to 1981 to 1989 when the deficit grew from $900 Billion(with a B) to over $ 3 Trillion (with a T). and who was in charge-Reagan.
There is plenty of blame to go around and both parties are at fault.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Robert

That's the first thing you've ever posted that I agree with. Tea partiers (like me) will tell you the movement first began to stir when W signed off on the asinine TARP fiasco. But it's undeniable that it is the collectivist left that is most aggressively pursuing the same policies that are sending Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal (countries which impose higher & more "progressive" tax burdens than we do) over the cliff. In 4 years, Obama has amassed a larger deficit than all of his predecessors combined were able to rack up in more than 2 centuries. You and I can't spend more than we take in and expect to survive. What makes you think government can?

And where did you come up with your gun control data?

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Robert Huron 1 year, 8 months ago

Percentage wise Reagan had the largest deficit increase in history, over 300%. Bush over 100% and Obama 70%(so far). Look where this country was in Jan. 2001. The deficit was supposed to be zero by 2012 according to the CBO but instead look what happened and who got the runaway spending going. Defense spending alone was up 91%. One F-35 costs $250 million plus engine and they ordered 2400, The F-22 costs $350 million each and so far they have built 195. The Taliban Air Force must be shaking in their boots. Military foreign aid to Egypt, Pakistan, Israel etc. is in the $10's of billions a year which we have to borrow from China. Tomorrow the House will approve a $60 Billion dollar package for relief for Hurricane Sandy which will have to be borrowed but at least that is for Americans not the Middle East.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Shop at Walmart, so the Chinese will have lots of money to lend us.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh for God's sakes Robert.

Nobody's suggesting that republicans are "thrifty". Of course they also suck when it comes to spending

But they are not the ones saying we "cant afford" guards in schools.

That folks who support leftists who spend like drunken sailors on all manner of stupid and wastefull crap have the gall to suggest armed officers are too expensive....

Funniest thing EVER!!!

The fact is there is really only ONE "problem" leftists want to solve: In their eyes I have too much freedom and they will "never let a good crisis go to waste" (Rom Emanuel D, IL) as an excuse to shackle their fellow man.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I find it ludicrous to suggest this issue is divided on party lines. Do the Dems abhor senseless death more than the Reps do? Well maybe...

Just like Presidents and pot, I'd like to see a vote on this one. By then another 40 or 50 dead folks might sway the results.

I'd like to see that line of corpses down to 20 miles. C'mon, folks, we can do it!

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Lest I be misconstrued... armed guards in schools would be tantamount to urinating into a headwind. Someone might get wet. And they wouldn't have quarters for a dryer.

Outlawing assault weapons and handguns might not fix the entire problem -- but it sure couldn't hurt. Mark will still have his, so he can take out all the Chinese and authorities for us.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Well now, there's a quotable bumper sticker of a saying, filled with wisdom which we could apply to many other issues. Let's try it out, shall we?

Public firing squad for murderers... "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Public hanging for rapists. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Chopping off the hands of thieves. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Polygraphs and term limits for politicians. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Sterilization of welfare moms. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Drug tests for anyone getting any government assistance. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Drug testing for ALL politicians. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

Torturing terrorists. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

"Loser Pays" legal system. "Might not fix the entire problem but it sure couldn't hurt."

I could probably list another 20 pages of things to which that saying could apply but the left would decry the application of such "wisdom" to those situations.

Those "words of wisdom" which would be happily applied to law-abiding gun owners, would be mocked as trampeling on the rights of terrorists, murderers, rapists, etc.

They demonstrate how utterly useless the original intent of the Constitution is to the average leftist.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

PS -- It's always the losers who wail the loudest and longest.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

PPS -- Your arguments are like your guns: Maybe if you spray enough bullets you'll hit something.

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Rick Pighini 1 year, 8 months ago

It's strange how divided we are on every issue. The left this the right this. Government is like water they flow it the path of least resistance. Two things are certain. Gaurds and more guns in schools will not make schools safer because they might be crazy too or a crazy guy will take their gun and kill and second we will never get rid of guns. I hear a lot of talk back and forth on this and how much it will cost but no one talks about education. When there were even greater deaths on the highway we educated our drivers. When drunks killed we educated the drinkers. When sex produced disease and unwanted results we introduced sex education. The best place to start is educating all our children about gun safety. If we are going to be a society of guns and choices it's our responsibility to educate our society on how to use these tools in a safe manner. Now I don't know the stats but I'm assuming that the majority of gun deaths are accidental. So my suggestion is that somewhere between 5th and 9th grade we have a mandatory gun safety class. In this class our children learn about all guns their history their safe operation and then they get to go to the range and shoot them. Once the class is passed they get a gun safety card. This card has a number on it so if this student wants to hunt they can. If this student or your child comes to my house and I'm too stupid to not have my guns and ammo locked up they may not accidentally kill themselves because they know what to do. Now in conjunction with such a measure we don't register guns we register ammo. All ammo has a number on it. If ammo you bought is used in a crime your in trouble. Also maybe kids can now go to a gun range rent a gun and shoot it at the range because shooting guns is fun. This I believe would be a great first step. As far as govt spending goes that's what they do. It's not a matter of how much it's a matter of who gets it. And the notion that we will end up like Greece or Spain two small countries that haven't produced anything since the founding if America is ridiculous. Our wealthy, the people running our govt, will never allow their dollar to be worthless. If you want to know what will happen look at the past. The Japanese found that the only way out of a financial crises was to put in as much money as was lost. This worked for them. All American companies use OPM to produce profits. If you want to know what will happen tomorrow look at yesterday. If your kid turns 16 and your wondering what they are doing think back to when you were 16 because they are doing the samething hopefully with a smarter head.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

6-year old suspended for pointing his finger like a gun http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/boy-6-suspended-from-silver-spring-school-for-pointing-finger-like-a-gun/2013/01/02/21acc8d4-54fc-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html?hpid=z5 The educators showed remarkable restraint. They shoulda kicked his teeth in. I hope our own educators are just as vigilant. Maryland residents can rest easy in the knowledge that the state has deployed such able drill sergeants to whip that virulent little punk into shape. I'm confident untold lives have been saved.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Ban those finger guns. They are "gateway" "symbolic" weapons.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

This issue is so important, we need a special election. NOW.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

"This issue is so important, we need a special election. NOW"

On his FIRST day as Chancellor, Adolf Hitler manipulated Hindenburg into dissolving the Reichstag and calling for new, "special" elections...

Yep, I'm the "dufus"...

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank You, Dear Lord, for the many Blessings I do enjoy, and that I don't spend every waking moment fuming and bitching about the Ignorant Hordes scheming to take them away from me.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Of course not... you ARE the ignorant hordes doing the scheming.

Sieg Heil

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I fell so sorry for you, stewing in your own home-brewed cauldron of hate -- unable to appreciate the Blessings you were born into, so paranoid and bitter you are. I wouldn't trade places with you for all the AK's in China. I pray that Peace comes to you while you are still with us.

God Bless you, Brother.

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Elizabeth Rawlings 1 year, 8 months ago

Gentlemen, you digress.

I understand the arguements from all sides, which will never agree on what to do about all the violence in this country. Personally, I am for a multi-faceted cultural overhaul including banning automatic weapons, educating parents and kids on the harmful, desensitizing influence of violent video games/movies/tv shows/etc., more enforcement of the laws already on the books, and a general de-glamourization of criminal behavior. I could go on but I'd rather take this down to the personal level.

Picture your wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, mother in either of these situations:

I have never owned a gun of any kind, but on two occasions privately owned guns saved my life. When I was 14 and home alone, two men claiming to be gardeners for the property next door began walking around my house. When they saw me through a window they began to taunt me with their ideas of "fun". I was terrified and called my parents who were at least 35 minutes away. My step-dad told me there was a loaded shotgun under their bed, to go get it, and sit tight until the police came. I didn't even know how to fire the thing but

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Elizabeth Rawlings 1 year, 8 months ago

.... it gave me the courage to show it to the men outside the window and they ran off.

Ten years later, I was alone in my apartment on the second floor with the balcony door open for cooling. A man climbed up onto my balcony and came into the apartment. I quickly ran into the bedroom, locked the door, and hid behind the bed. Under the bed was my boyfriend's 9mm Sig Sauer (sp?) that he had taught me how to shoot on a range. I yelled to the intruder that I had a gun and the police had been called. It was a relief when I heard him exit the way he came.

Any guesses as to what might have happened to me if I had not been armed?

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Thanks Elizabeth. I'm sure none of us wants to guess what might have happened. I'm glad you didn't have to find out.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Speaking of digressions -- this forum is about ARMED GUARDS IN SCHOOLS.

Not private ownership of weapons or defending your own home.

Pay attention.

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Doug Starkey 1 year, 8 months ago

False equivalencies are the norm for letters to the editors and the comments on the website.

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Rob Douglas 1 year, 8 months ago

Elizabeth: Thank you for sharing your personal story. Every day in America law-abidng citizens protect themselves and their families with guns. I am thankful that you were able to defend yourself. Stay safe, Rob

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I have discouraged bad guys with my .30-30 myself. I still think armed guards in schools is a bad idea, and high-capacity assault weapons and handguns should be banned.

Peace and love, y'all!!

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Elizabeth Rawlings writes: "Any guesses as to what might have happened to me if I had not been armed?"

Something like this, perhaps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Jd3vWsa4ags
If you were "lucky."

A couple more anecdotes along those lines: http://www.steamboattoday.com/users/Sep/comments/?page=3&#c115376

It's curious how those who defend having a gun around for these kinds of circumstances insist that the most vulnerable among us be denied the same protection. I'd go so far as to suggest that it's immoral.

Proposals that the law-abiding be permitted to carry on campus have been lambasted in this forum as "appalling." I submit the following:

Pearl, Miss: scumbag shoots 7 people at a high school. A vice-principal runs to his car for his handgun, halts the attack & detains the shooter for the cops.

Grundy, VA: disgruntled student shoots three people at a law school. A couple of other students run to their cars for their handguns, stop the attack & hold him for the cops.

I wonder if the good guys in those incidents are equally "appalling." If not, why? Do you wish that similarly equipped people had been on scene in Connecticut? If not, why?

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Ms Rawling's account of being protected by a gun is like a Rorschach test. Those that want to see that guns protect themselves see that her having a gun made the intruder leave. Others will see that the intruder left upon being told the police had been called and without seeing the gun and so the actual gun made no difference.

Guns as personal protection is controversial because statistics show that those that do not own guns are less likely to be the victim of violent crime. But the statistics are skewed by the fact that a lot of crime is people with substance abuse problems committing crimes on each other or their families. And so they feel a greater need to have a gun to protect themselves and as a deterrent to those around them.

So those that choose to not own guns are typically correct in their perception that they are safer by not having a gun. And those that are likely victims have reasons to feel the need of owning a gun for security.

Referencing a few examples of people using guns for protection does not demonstrate it is a good overall policy. By that sort of logic, one could look at lottery winners and thus decide that buying lottery tickets is an extremely profitable investment strategy.

To decide whether carrying a gun is a wise strategy also requires considering all the various times that guns dangerously escalated a situation. Such as locally recently when Lisa Watts felt threatened by how her friend Dr Victory revealed the gun she was carrying when Lisa Watts tried to stop her friend from driving after drinking. Or the shots fired at local bar security. And locally, more women have been shot by estranged husbands than intruders have been shot by people defending their homes.

As for the topic of guns at schools - the issue is not whether police or security guards are allowed at schools. They are obviously allowed. The question are whether teachers and parents visiting the school can carry; and whether schools should spend more money on security and less on education.

Teachers have been threatened and even shot by parents carrying weapons and it is teachers that wanted to feel safer by knowing an upset parent is not carrying a weapon. And parents were afraid that annoying kids that get to a teacher wouldn't lead to an incident where a teacher slaps an offensive kid, but a shooting.

And the particular issue is not whether someone is allowed to own a gun to protect their house, but whether assault weapons with large magazines are too powerful to be in the hands of the general public. Machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank guns and other guns are not allowed to be owned by the public.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

As Scott relates,

Studies suggest that gun under your bed may find a purpose other than shooting intruders. From an earlier Rhys link:

"A total of 743 firearm-related deaths occurred during this six-year period, 398 of which (54 percent) occurred in the residence where the firearm was kept. Only 2 of these 398 deaths (0.5 percent) involved an intruder shot during attempted entry. Seven persons (1.8 percent) were killed in self-defense. For every case of self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3713749

And this one:

"...we found that keeping a gun in the home was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide. Virtually all of this risk involved homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance."

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199310073291506

In other words, if you have a gun in the house, you probably need another gun in the house.

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Rick Pighini 1 year, 8 months ago

Once again I suggest we start with education. Give our children and our society all the information they need so the can my educated decisions, which many of these comments lack. I also believe that we should have a continuous and constant gun buy back. As we know most criminals need money so give them the opportunity to sell back the guns they illegally buy and steal. The parents of these people will sell back guns. Also the main purpose of owning a gun is not protection but because safely shooting a gun is fun. Most of the things we engage in are things that bring us enjoyment and are fun. There are safe options which don't outlaw guns. I look forward to teaching my children about guns and their safe operation. I fondly recall my father teaching me. So in a country of freedoms let us legislate education into those things we don't understand and that scare us this will leave us making educated decicions. My cousin recently committed suicide and while he owned guns he decided to hang himself so owning a gun was not one of the reasons he killed himself. So while most of us are saddened by the horrific acts of the crazies lets not let those acts determine the ability of the rest of us being responsible caring gun owners.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

It's no secret where I stand on the issues of guns & gun control. But this is so asinine the mind fairly boggles: www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/09/small-u... "Officials in a small Utah town want to make sure every head of household has a firearm and knows how to use it... Spring City Councilman Neil Sorensen first proposed an ordinance requiring a gun in every household in the town of 1,000."

Dollars to donuts Councilman Sorensen is (rightly) opposed to the government dictating that he purchase health insurance. But mandating that every Tom, Dick & Harry buy a gun somehow fails to translate into government overreach. Never mind that there are perfectly reasonable & law abiding people who have no business with a gun. In a just universe, Mr. Sorensen would remove himself from the gene pool.

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Matthew Stoddard 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually, if he can mandate gun ownership, they'll probably need that mandated insurance.

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Rick Pighini 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow, crazy is what crazy does and says. Be careful what you say when they decide to do a mental health check none of us will have a gun. But I doubt anything in the law will change and if so it will have little to no affect. Nothing has changed since I can remember we have had deficits and bad govt since FDR so I'm not worried that what the Feds do will ever have any effect on my life. Good luck with the demons clouding your day and life it's really not that bad except if you go crazy of course.

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john bailey 1 year, 8 months ago

rick, crazy just may be a good thing to shield your self from the xit that is going on , on this planet. well, as long as you don't act it out...... your welcome for my thumbs up. (insert cheery face emoticon here)thats what this site needs , emoticons, all y'll stay warm

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Rob Douglas 1 year, 8 months ago

Every day in America law-abidng citizens protect themselves and their families with guns.

http://www.news9.com/story/20568878/shawnee-woman-thwarts-home-invasion

"And just all of a sudden, with one kick, he knock the door completely in. The frame came flying down. Things came flying everywhere," Pam recalled. "And he saw that I had the gun, and he grabbed the door handle and pulled the door shut.""

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Private citizens protecting themselves is one thin, armed guards patrolling hallways around excitable kids quite another.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

In Two Months, Americans Bought Enough Guns to Arm Chinese and Indian Armies http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/11/179551/us-gun-sales-hit-a-record-high.html#storylink=cpy

Barack Hussein Obama: Best. Gun Salesman. Ever.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

I was just wondering if any of the conspiracy clan that thinks GW Bush instigated 9/11 have any similar thoughts about a conspiracy in the Sandy Hook shooting???

After all, as Obama's White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said "never let a good crisis go to waste".

They sure don't seem to be letting this one "go to waste"...

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

New Conspiracy Theory: It's the FEDERAL RESERVE behind all the mass shootings, brainwashing their deranged operatives just like 9/11, so the government will get real mad and take away everybody's assault rifles to prevent future tragedy, so now we can't raid their HQ's. It's BRILLIANT!!

And we figured it out, me and Mark.

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Rob Douglas 1 year, 8 months ago

Every day in America law-abidng citizens protect themselves and their families with guns.

"A pair of would-be robbers were shot and killed by their victims in separate incidents in Hollywood and North Miami-Dade."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/15/3183760/two-robbers-shot-dead-in-hollywood.html#storylink=cpy

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

And people win the lottery all the time with many more articles on the winners than the losers. Doesn't mean that buying lottery tickets is a wise investment strategy.

Just as most lottery tickets are losers, the statistics are very clear that a gun in the house is far more likely to be used against a family member than for defense.

And, the number of times that the capacity and power of an assault weapon as compared to a standard gun was needed for home defense is close to zero if you don't count the times when it was used against police officers at the house.

And also from that cited article: Miami-Dade police are also investigating an unrelated drive-by shooting that killed a man on Northeast 90th Street near Northeast Second Avenue in El Portal around 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. Police have not released the name of the 27-year-old shooting victim.

So guns don't make life safer for all. Though, I suppose the gun nuts will blame the victim for not avoiding the gunfire and then shooting his attacker.

And one of the two "defending" incidents, looks to me more like criminals fighting each other. That was probably a couple of druggie trying to rip off a dealer. That North Miami-Dade neighborhood is bad area. So yes, if you are drug dealer then a gun is an useful form of protection. Though, that is the sort of person that the police would prefer was not armed with assault weapons.

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Matthew Stoddard 1 year, 8 months ago

Rob- Expand on your links: in each case, what type of weapon did each victim use? Did they all have AR's? AK's? Were the victims using 30round magazines?

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Guns don't kill people. Mammaries kill people: Woman accused of smothering boyfriend with chest http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/woman-accused-smothering-boyfriend-chest/nTwt3/

If they outlaw Big American Breasts, only outlaws will have Big American Breasts.

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john bailey 1 year, 8 months ago

i'll take , Big american Breasts for 400, alex.

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Melanie Turek 1 year, 8 months ago

Rob, the statistics speak for themselves. Posting a few anecdotes that show exceptions to the rule doesn't change the data, which clearly shows that guns in the home (or on the person) kill far more innocents than criminals. As a writer for the paper, you really should know better. As a political commentator, you are diluting your credibility.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Melanie -- Rob abandoned any pretense of objectivity years ago. Soapbox always ready, he is our very own Rush.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Here's another question.

New technology is rapidly comming to market that would cause/enable a firearm to function ONLY in the hands of the rightful owner. No locks, safes, etc. The gun would just "know" if it was in it's owners hand and only function if that parrameter were met.

Isn't it funny that this part of the equation is not being discussed?

What does that say about who they really want to dis-arm???

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

The private sale background check proposal is absolutely unenforceable. Nothing more than meaningless sound & fury to make the querulous feel better about their favorite boogeyman without having achieved anything useful. But that's ok, because feelings are more significant than results. Were gun control effective, the President's hometown wouldn't be Murder Town, USA. (a guess; gun-banned DC may still own that distinction, but ChiTown is in the running).

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

You hear that Tom? You are just a racist who wants to bring back slavery.

I knew there was something about Tom that bothered me but I couldn't put my finger on it. Thanks for clearing that up, Rhys.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

It is sad. It's among the reasons I've filed Rhys under 'life's too short' and put him on the list of people I ignore.

I've just replaced the original & quite attractive wooden grips on my Colt Cobra with after market Pachmayrs. Breathtakingly ugly, but wow - significantly more comfortable. I'm sure it'll translate into superior handling & control. I'll be testing that proposition during some racist target shooting this weekend. The new grips are black. The old ones are brown. Their interchangability is surely a red flag for my bigotry. It won't get above freezing anytime soon. Keep a sharp eye out for ice of color as you're driving.

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john bailey 1 year, 8 months ago

good on some of them front range sheriffs, look up the articles yourself. even they think HIGHLY of this "idiot-in-chief................yo, tom beeaauutiful day huh? good for hula dancing................tonight my friend ...;0)

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank GOD for ever vigilant school administrators, protecting us from dangerous 5-year olds and their pink plastic bubble makers: 5-year-old girl suspended from school earlier this week after she made what the school called a “terrorist threat.” Her weapon of choice? A small, Hello Kitty automatic bubble blower. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/01/kindergartner-suspended-over-bubble-gun-threat/

I feel SO much safer now that the little maggot has been set on the straight & narrow.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

If that 5-yr old girl is a terrorist, you & I must be downright genocidal.

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Rob Douglas 1 year, 7 months ago

Every day in America, law-abidng citizens protect themselves and their families with guns.

"After seeing the barrel of an AR-15 staring them in the face, the two men fled from the apartment. No shots were fired and no one was injured."

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/01/24/no-shots-fired-home-intruders-decide-not-to-stick-around-after-seeing-their-victim-holding-an-ar-15/

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 7 months ago

Rob,

Three people this week are lottery winners in just Colorado!

http://www.coloradolottery.com/winners

Yeah, I know that does not mention all of the losers. but neither does Rob mention the 100 or so gun deaths every day. (Gum homicides plus gun suicides).

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mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

Rob also doesn't mention the folks who commit suicide by cranking up the 'ole chevy in the garage... you know "auto-suicide".

How bout those who jump out of windows? You know "Height- inflicted" suicides. Banning heights and automobiles is really the only sane solution.

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mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

Scott, David Mamet wanted me to ask you a question:

If a firearm is so much more dangerous to it's possesors than to potential aggressors then would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals and let them accidentally shoot themselves?

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr Obama"s kids go to a School in Washington DC where there is Armed Guards and Armed Teachers. I don"t like the idea of armed guards but I think Utah has the right idea with allowing the school staff to pack if they are trained and have a CCW permit. And just why is it that pro gun States like Colorado and Utah have a lower murder rates than anti gun Cities or States like Chicago or New York? Prohibition has never worked. It failed with Alcohol in the early 20th Century. It is not working with Drugs today. However the people in Colorado and Washington seem to be ahead of the curve on such issues as we saw this past November with Prop 64 and Im sure Colorado will not put up with Nazi like gun control laws from California or New York. Most people here get it....

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mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

If "most people here get it..." then how-come most people here voted for someone last November who is moving as rapidly and aggressively as he can to take their guns?

Frankly, I don't think most people here would "get it" even if "it" smacked them square in the mouth.

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Bob Smith 1 year, 7 months ago

Guntards: if you think that holding-off an FBI counteterrorism team with an AR-15 is "doable", then you are too unstable to own a gun...moron!

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john bailey 1 year, 7 months ago

bob, you know what a TROLL is. look it up. i think i see your picture there. hula any one?

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mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

"If you think... (fill in the blank)... then you are too unstable to own a gun..."

In other words: "If your thinking is not aligned with that of others (specifically ME) then, if it were up to me, I'd gladly give government permission to intervene and to sweep away your rights."

I wonder what that says about the naivete of those who think they can "hold off" a tyrannical government with just a ballot box, and a #2 pencil? About those who believe that anything lawful is legitimate while anything made unlawful is somehow no longer a human right. About self-centered fools who refuse to see tyranny or, even worse, knowingly condone it when it serves their immediate purpose? About those who cheer the uncaged beast, rather than fear it. Who snicker and smile when the "bull is running loose in YOUR COMPETITOR'S china shop" but not in your own. When another mans treasure (2nd ammendment) is being trampled but not your's(1st ammendment, 4th, 5th, 10th)...at least not today.

How can a man be so foolish to think he can uncage a beast powerful enough to destroy his enemies and yet be so docile as to walk back in the cage on command rather than turn on those who opend the cage?

It seriously scares me how few people seem to understand the implications of a philosophical mindset that a man's rights may be based on either someone elses or society's assesment of that persons "need". The list of things these airheads enjoy but do not "need" is long indeed; skis, beer, sports, mountain bikes, vacations, ... Go ahead, jackwagons. Start with other peoples guns and, by extension, give up your own rights to everything YOU don't "need" and see what's left of your miserable lives...

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rhys jones 1 year, 7 months ago

Those things all sound fun to me, Mark, compelling me to inquire: Who is miserable, besides yourself?

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 7 months ago

A couple of teenage choirboys, exploring their bonds of brotherly love, pull a gun on a pair of working stiffs. Citizen produces his own pistol and opens fire. Choirboys win an ambulance ride to the ER. http://www.freep.com/article/20130208/NEWS01/130208029/two-teens-brothers-rob-two-men-working-public-lighting-pole-Detroit-west-side

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mark hartless 1 year, 7 months ago

Do I still have a right to be miserable, Rhys, or would you take THAT away by popular vote as well? What about protecting the things that don't "sound fun" to you? Are they any less important just because they may not "sound fun" to you?

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