Tuesday, October 6, 2015

There are no gun-free zones

Yes, there were guns at the Roseburg, Ore., college when the killer struck.
One student vowed the killer wouldn’t get through his classroom door. But he didn’t go out to confront him.
In many states, perhaps most, including Colorado, where memories of Columbine linger, courts have ruled that people with a permit to carry a concealed weapon may not be barred from the campus of the University of Colorado or Colorado State University.
Another reason there are no gun-free zones is that killers disregard them, whether they are schools, movie theaters or churches.
The Crime Prevention Research Center estimates that nearly 12 million Americans carry concealed weapons. This does not include retired law officers.
It is estimated that there is at least one gun for every one of America’s 320 million people. It is hard to be sure because the NRA has used every trick in the book to keep information about how many guns there are secret.
The No. 1 lie of the NRA is that a good man with a good man will stop a bad man with a gun. Why hasn’t it happened in a single massacre, except when armed police or security guards intervened?
Yet the NRA and others continue to claim that simply having more armed vigilantes will lower the death tolls.
This year Illinois signed a bill making it the 50th state to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.
California is considering trying to keep guns away from schools but previous attempts have been knocked down by courts.
Bill sponsor Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, said, “Most people I hear from are astonished that someone could legally carry a concealed firearm onto school grounds.”
UPDATE: Within two weeks there were at least two more shootings at colleges, both in states that permit conceal carry weapons at colleges. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nation commits suicide

The United States appears to be adopting the Greek and Roman attitude of tolerance towards suicide.
In Rome there was even “patriotic suicide,” to allow people to account for their dishonor.
But unlike today, most suicides involved individuals killing themselves, not taking dozens with them.
According to Wikipedia, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the world’s richest nation.
But are incidents like the shootings at Roseburg, Ore., or Columbine, Colo., result of dishonor or mental illness.
Mental illness could be considered dishonorable.
For those ages 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
School massacres didn’t begin with Columbine, but it had never attracted such attention.
Exhaustive reviews of each incident have led to new protocols for police to try to reduce the death toll. Millions, perhaps billions have been spent. Not much was spent on mental illness care.
At the same time governments have made it easier to get guns, even semi-automatic. Attempts to bar the sale of clips carrying dozens of bullets, have failed.
The idea is that if every American was pistol-packing then mentally ill young people would be stopped in their tracks.
Unfortunately, in most cases these killers planned for months or longer, and outgunned the officers sent to confront them.
Officers have in some cases lowered death tolls. But in most cases the killers were not even interested in death by cop.
They intended to die, if they had any goal. They are our kamikazes.
This has proved true in Roseburg, Ore., where an autopsy revealed the killer took his own life. Police and deputies may have pumped bullets into his dying body, as well they should.
Expect to see President Obama again, lamenting these deaths.
Gun lovers claim that if Umpqua Community College had not been a gun-free zone the killer could have been stopped. But the state had declared that persons with concealed-carry permits could bring their weapons on the campus.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pope embarrassed by meeting with Kim Davis

The Vatican released a statement Friday attempting to portray Pope Francis 1’s meeting with homophobe Kim Davis as a misunderstanding.
“The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis, and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said in Friday morning, according to the New York Times.
New York Times
Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis, says the Vatican is lying, according to the Advocate, a gay advocacy publication.
Davis had been briefly jailed for refusing to marry same-sex couples and her supporters claimed the meeting with the pope showed that he supported her.
statement released on Friday morning.
Supporters of Davis, who was jailed for a week for refusing to obey a court order requiring her to issue marriage licenses to gays, had claimed the papal meeting was proof the Vatican supported her.
“I was very disappointed to see the pope having been used that way, and that his willingness to be friendly to someone was turned against him,” Father James Martin said.  Martin, editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America.
The Vatican stopped short of calling the author of an article comparing Davis to a conscientious objector a liar.
“Inside the Vatican” reported that the pope had said:
“Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.’ It (conscientious objection) is a human right.”
“Would that include government officials as well?” “It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.” 
Unlike conscientious objectors, such as draftees who refuse to fight, Davis had run for election to her post knowing full well that it was quite likely that same-sex marriages would soon be legal.
Not only did Davis decline to offer to do some other community service instead of marrying gays, she even ordered her staff not to issue licenses with her name on them.
That would be the equivalent of a conscientious objector, assigned to carry a stretcher for the wounded in combat, telling other solders not to fire their weapons.
It was no surprise that reports subsequently appeared on news-for-hire CNN that the pope had met a gay couple before seeing Davis.