Sunday Open Thread [12.16.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 16, 2012

It’s Sunday, the Eagles are not playing (Go Ravens!) and many of us are still outraged, grieving and otherwise engaged with making sense of a country where freedom seems to mean being free to endure the mayhem of others.

I want to talk more about the “it’s the mental illness, not the guns” argument that still shifts and disregards the fundamental issue of safety for us all later. But here is a great piece that summarizes some of the facts of mental illness and violence. Go read the whole thing before indulging in the handwringing about mental illness:

- “Although studies suggest a link between mental illnesses and violence, the contribution of people with mental illnesses to overall rates of violence is small, and further, the magnitude of the relationship is greatly exaggerated in the minds of the general population (Institute of Medicine, 2006).”

Everyone who is interested in more gun control, take note — On Meet the Press this AM, not ONE of the pro-gun Senators would show their faces. Right? Even they can’t bring themselves to support the kind of mayhem that their polices inflect on the rest of us.

From the Atlantic – Guns, Parents and Sandy Hook: Time to Take The Bullet:

Whatever else it means, Friday’s tragedy is just another awful reminder of the disconnect that exists in America between the lengths to which we as parents (and teachers and school administrators) are always willing to sacrifice for our children when the bullets are flying and what we all are always unwilling to sacrifice for our children when the guns go silent. We rush to protect our kids from imminent death by gunfire but are content to allow thousands upon thousands of our children to die each year as a result of gun violence. [...]
But it also would be foolish to dismiss the idea that the Sandy Hook shootings won’t change something. Our nation’s inability to protect our school children from gun violence is not just a basic failure of law and government. It’s a personal failure on the part of every adult — and especially every parent — in America. Nancy Lanza’s love of guns may have given her disturbed son an opportunity to use an arsenal of weaponry to slaughter a classroom of first-graders. But we all have enabled that love of firearms, have nurtured and protected it, at a terrible cost.

Via Occupy Posters — an interesting thought piece about guns being regulated the way cars are. The liability insurance is probably key here.

So there you have it. What interests you today?

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  1. kavips says:

    Liability insurance brings up an interesting idea. If in a mass killing the insurance carrier (of the manufacturer of the weapon used) were liable for the entire cost of the damage done, the insurance market might just put a lot of resources into controlling who has guns. This is actually the first I’ve thought of it. Wonder if anyone has before?

  2. Joe Cass says:

    I jumped immediately to the mental health aspects of American tragedies. Health care is health care; dental,mental or premenstrual Americans should lead the world in care and equal opportunity. Though the murderer had the means, he seems to not have availed himself of the opportunity.
    Aberrations, or variables, exist out of necessity in every eco-system. It is evolution. Let’s not devolve further than those who embrace the Constitution as written gospel to those who would abandon rights out of consequence.
    I’ve been shot. Interesting scars and trivial story. Maybe a bit of credence; but then I’m still alive.

  3. Debbie Shahan says:

    Is this Carl William Shahan?

  4. SussexAnon says:

    Holding the gun manufacturer liable is silly. It would be like saying “lets hold car makers responsible for a drunk driving incident.” A manufacturer cannot be held responsible for the misuse of its product.

  5. jason330 says:

    Hardly. The product is unsafe by design.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    There was an extended period where there *were* a number of lawsuits against gun manufacturers trying to hold them liable for deaths at the end of their guns. Some of these were successful, but more than anything it got the gun lobby paid for a long time to get state laws changed to shield them from lawsuits. There was some effort in the BushCo administration to get a Federal shield law, but I don’t remember if it passed. Requiring individuals to have liability insurance for their guns does give insurance companies some leeway to impose some rules for coverage that would make it difficult for some to get it.

  7. meatball says:

    McVeigh noted that he had no knowledge that the federal offices also ran a daycare center on the second floor of the building, and noted that he might have chosen a different target if he had known about the daycare center.[46][47] According to Michel and Herbeck, McVeigh claimed not to have known there was a daycare center in the Murrah Building and said that if he had known it, in his own words:

    It might have given me pause to switch targets. That’s a large amount of collateral damage.

    “Michel and Herbeck quote McVeigh, with whom they spoke for some 75 hours, on his attitude to the victims:

    To these people in Oklahoma who have lost a loved one, I’m sorry but it happens every day. You’re not the first mother to lose a kid, or the first grandparent to lose a grandson or a granddaughter. It happens every day, somewhere in the world. I’m not going to go into that courtroom, curl into a fetal ball and cry just because the victims want me to do that.

    According to the Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), more than 300 buildings were damaged. More than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers took part in the rescue, recovery and support operations following the bombing. In reference to theories that he had assistance from others, McVeigh responded:

    You can’t handle the truth! Because the truth is, I blew up the Murrah Building and isn’t it kind of scary that one man could wreak this kind of hell?[48]”

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I mourn for the loss of these innocent souls.

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