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Nose Under the Community Tent

By Paul Losch

About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Uploaded: Dec 21, 2012
What transpired last week in Connecticut was indeed tragic beyond my imagination.

While my kids are now grown adults, I kept thinking about how the schools they attended could have been assaulted by some nut case who shot while kids were in the playground, not even a classroom

I had a conversation with my son, who is an elementary school teacher, about what his school did at a staff level and with the students in the classroom this week. They tried to play it down. Kids should not be concerned about this sort of thing. Teachers and Administrators should not either. This should not be an issue, because we have safe environments for people.

I then heard a spokesperson from the NRA (National Rifle Association) assert that the "solution" to the problem of mass killings is to have armed officers in schools. What BS.

What about movie theaters, where an incident in Aurora Colorado took place. What about a Sikh temple in Wisconsin? I could go on with other examples, and I think the point is made.

I am of the opinion that there is so much disingeuity around guns in this country. Too much hiding under the guise of the 2nd Amendment that makes little or no sense in this day and age.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by parent, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

"so much disingenuity" implies that a lot of people agree with the NRA. Especially after today's press conference, I think most Americans agree that the NRA and its leadership are fringe extremists.

Posted by Woodrow, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

Insane idea. Keep guns at schools?

Hire, screen, train another half million union cops to cover all the schools?


Posted by Jerry, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:03 am

Just to be clear, Paul, you are saying that you want to cancel the 2nd Ammendmet?

If your answer is "yes", please do me a favor and explain why the 2nd Ammendment was crafted by Madison.

Thank you.

Posted by Woodrow, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

from the Meet the NRA website, an NRA board member bio. This is the type of mindset in place, totally against traditional, life, family values:

"Ronnie Barrett personally designed the first .50 caliber sniper rifle after observing a Browning machine gun mounted on a gunboat. This high-powered sniper rifle?available for sale on the civilian market?has an effective range of over a mile and can pierce armor. John C. Killorin, a former special agent in charge of the Atlanta field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), called Barrett?s rifle "a devastatingly powerful weapon against which most troops, most law enforcement, no civilians, have any means of defense.? Barrett, on the other hand, has described his invention as ?a toy for a big boy.? In 2004, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) banned civilian ownership of the rifle. In 2005, U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and 28 cosponsors introduced legislation that would have placed stricter regulations on .50 caliber sniper rifles by placing them in the same federal regulatory class as machine guns. The 50 Caliber Sniper Rifle Reduction Act found that ?the intended use of these long-range firearms?is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices, in addition 50 caliber sniper weapons pose a significant threat to civil aviation in that they are capable of destroying or disabling jet aircraft ? The virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security.?

(the bill died in the 109th)

"In fact, a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle was used by the Branch Davidians during the 1993 Waco siege, forcing the FBI to use armored Bradley fighting vehicles before having to upgrade to even heavier armor."

Posted by Woodrow, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

Jerry: nice try (not!) I see nothing in Paul's statement about rescinding the right to own a musket for self-defense. Nor to hunt.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

What does that have to do with civilian ownership of military style weaponry? The Supreme Court has ruled that "We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms."

Jerry: where do YOU draw the line? grenades? RPG's? personal missile systems? an Abrahms tank?

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Paul Losch is a registered user.


"Cancelling" the 2nd Amendment will not happen.

Interpretation of it is something else.

Laws can be passed at the federal and state level that can help to curtail all these terrible incidents we have experienced in this country in the last several years.

My personal opinion is that we no longer need the sort of "militia" that was at the foundation of the 2nd Amendment. The Amendment has been so conflated that we now see the consequenceds zuch as what occurred last week.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:53 am


Madison wanted to insure that a tyranical government could no longer hold sway over its own citizens. The 2nd Ammendment was not about personal protection against bad (non-government) guys, although it could be argued that a militia of one constitutes a rationale for personal it has. The 2nd Ammendment is a personal right, not a state right. However, it is not absolute, as some in the NRA argue. For example, private ownership of tanks and mortars is outlawed. The same thing could be done, regarding semi-auto weapons, and magazine capacities; also limitations on bulk buying of ammunition. Personally, I would outlaw semi-auto weapons, and go back to bolt action/three rounds per clip...this would still provide a possibility of a well regulated militia, as well as self protection and hunting.

I also think it makes sense to train administrators at schools to become proficient in the use of defensive weapons...this might have helped at Sandy Hook. And on the Norwegian Island.

It is also very important to get the nut cases locked up, because they are just too dangerous to the rest of us. Parents are not capable of controlling them.

Posted by i love guns, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

Deflect to Norway, mental health. What next, knife attacks?

Ban military style weapons.

Ban high capacity clips and magazines.

Background checks on all purchases, including private and gun shows.

Register all guns.

That's a start we can all agree on. No negotiations.

Jerry, do you think we need a militia against the US governemnt? Armed invaders?

Posted by Jerry, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm

The Sandy Hook masacre demonstrates the limitation of gun registration...all those guns were registered, with background checks (by the mother). The nut case that killed all those children would have used pistols, if he did not have the availability of that 'military style' rifle. There is nothing in the 2nd Ammendment that limits individually owned weapons to muskets. There is also nothing that prevents the regulation of the type of weapons individually owned.

My view is that guns need to be toned down. However, the crazy people need to be locked up. And the public officials need to be armed, as a first response. Sane people need the right to own arms, in order to form armed resistance to any tyranical force that threatens it (e.g. the gangs in Chicago and EPA).

Posted by Woodrow, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Jerry - "The Sandy Hook masacre demonstrates the limitation of gun registration"

Yes, thank you! That's why comprehensive gun control needs to be enacted to remove assault style weapons and high capacity clips/mags. Thanks for making the point about comprehensive gun control. Take away Lanza's mother's access to military style weaponry that serves no legitimate purpose! Then they can't be used on her and 20 children.

Jerry - "There is nothing in the 2nd Ammendment that limits individually owned weapons to muskets. There is also nothing that prevents the regulation of the type of weapons individually owned." From another thread, Antonin Scalia disagrees: (Scalia's majority opinion, Heller): "We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ?in common use at the time.? We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ?dangerous and unusual weapons.?"

Jerry - "My view is that guns need to be toned down." Yet Jerry wants more guns out in schools and on the streets. Jerry: there are 37,000 grocery stores in the US; there are 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States.

30,000 grocery stores

129,000 firearms dealers

Jerry is worried about the government!?! " form armed resistance to any tyranical force that threatens it (.. and EPA)."

Wow. There ya go folks. Your gun protectionists at work. It's all about the EPA taking over and Jerry needs military style weaponry to defend himself and the tea baggers from the EPA.

Easy call. With opinions like that, I agree with Jerry, we need a mental health background check on all gun owners!

If you don't think so, let me help you consider it with a list of the kids at Sandy Hook:

- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

If that doesn't help, you can recall 80 Americans died due to guns SINCE SANDY HOOK. That includes at least 4 police killed by guns, since Sandy Hook.

Four officers killed by guns since Sandy Hook:

Officer David Gogian

Officer Jeff Atherly

Officer Martoiya Lang

Officer Sean Callahan

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Jerry, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm


How many of these victims were shot by law abiding citizens? How many were suicides? Gangbangers? Crazy people?

Posted by Anon., a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

The idea of arming teachers is so ludicrous it makes me laugh. Anyone so warped as to do this kind of thing would have the sense to target those with the guns first or plan around it - which apparently these people think is a cool challenge on their way out. Then the adult contact is lost immediately and probably even more chaos will ensue making the situations even worse.

I don't think there is an answer to this based around guns. I have not seen any ideas for laws that I think would be effective or that would not ban legitimate people from owning guns. Are there legitimate reason for owning guns, and what about the 2nd amendment?

I think the problem is our society, the stresses and strains and lack of infrastructure to channel people's actions along with the squeezing of all the wealth of the country into the hands of just a few to ramp that up drives the society crazy over time - trends in the wrong direction. Parents have to work to the point they cannot be responsible parents, and just like a scar, the effects of that gets passed down with reverse-interest to later generations ... we are heading the wrong way if we want to reduce these problems. Yet somehow even addressing the issue of people and what to do about them is taboo to even discuss.

We are creating liabilities that cost so much they are out of control now and there is no reasonable and peaceful solutions can be found, especially those that just focus on guns. Our country is so concerned with external competitions and aggressions that we short domestic investment and leave decisions up to an elite who believe they can just exist purely on the global level.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

>The idea of arming teachers is so ludicrous

I am talking about arming administrators, who are near the entrance to the building. The idea is to buy time, until the cops arrive. It is a very sensbile idea. At Sandy Hook, the administrators had the courage, but no arms. Maybe they could have made a big difference, if they had been armed.

Despite the various safety measures at Sandy Hook, as well as the gun regulations in CT, it ended up being a huge failure. We need to look at all of this logically, not just emotionally.

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of ,
on Dec 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Many thanks for this, Paul.

Posted by That User Name is already, a resident of ,
on Dec 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

That User Name is already is a registered user.

Woodrow - thanks for listing the murder victims at Sandy Hook. And the names of officers killed by gun since Sandy Hook. The list is probably already longer, by now.

Jerry - your answers about guns, rarely involve the actual guns.

- first, you want more guns in schools. I agree with Anon: ludicrous. Columbine had armed guards and security cameras.

- second, you appear to want better mental health services; okay, that's good, let's improve the safety net.

- third, you claim "he nut case that killed all those children would have used pistols" but you can't prove that. Forcing the murderer of children to use a slower weapon, with smaller clips, would have saved children. He only fired for 4 minutes before killing himself. If he was forced to reload several times, he would have killed fewer children, as well as bought more time to escape, etc...

Guns kill Americans, 30 a day. Homes with guns have a 3x chance of that gun being used to kill someone in that home, than for self defense.

I agree with the poster and the simple, constitutional approved suggestions above:

"Ban military style weapons.

Ban high capacity clips and magazines.

Background checks on all purchases, including private and gun shows.

Register all guns.

That's a start we can all agree on. No negotiations."

Posted by bru, a resident of ,
on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

bru is a registered user.

> >The idea of arming teachers is so ludicrous
> I am talking about arming administrators, who are near the entrance to the building.

What is the difference between that and having police on campuses ?
Nothing, but the professionalism.
What if administrators do not want to take up this responsibility?
What if they are not good shots or do not have expertise in shooting judgement under pressure.

I repeat, this is ludicrous and that 99% of Americans cannot immediately point this out and shut it down at the mention of it is our own shameful ignorance.

What if it is the administrator that becomes the shooter?

As long as we keep stealing resources, freedom, liberty, humanity from the 99% we are going to have more and more people going nuts. Fixing this doesn't happen because when someone mentions what is necessary to do ... what the real problems are, the jerks chime in with socialist, nanny state, communist, terrorist, blah, blah, blah and the realities and numbers and ideas cannot be heard.

But so far as attacking the specific problem in a country where owning a gun is a right ... and I do not disagree with that right ... there does not seem to be any specific legislation I've heard about that will do thing one to stop this.

Ban assault weapons ... people can find and modify existing weapons. Increasingly technology and tools are so cheap and ubiquitous people can build or modify their own guns, or hire those who know how to do it.

Limit clips ... same thing.

Background check ... good idea, helps, but guns can be stolen, and a certain percentage of any large group of people are going to be outside measureable parameters - meaning undetectable crazies ... look at Hassan ... a doctor for God's or Allah's sake ... , and still their guns could be stolen or sold.

Our culture is saturated with violence and programs that model psychopathic and criminal thinking ... it's cool ... the kids crave "dark" movies ... and most of them get over it and grow up ... not to say a dark movie cannot be good by the way, but most movies and TV a totally colossal waste and misuse of time and money resources that go down a hole .... and the people that watch them having put those resources down that hole because they think it's cool or have no other options, get warped to some degree ... like thinking this is normal or desireable.

More and more this violent mental attitude pervades the rest of society, metaphors, models, advertisements, products, and we see that violence is how we solve or act out on a global level. Viet Nam it turns out was a gambit so the US would appear tough and strong ... not much reason or criminal to that reaction.

We seem to think its cool to do everything wrong, and then those who prosper can put the mantle of really cool on, while at the bottom are these weirdos.

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