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Calling out the governor

Thursday, Dec 20, 2012

* An e-mail from a longtime subscriber…

It’s been great reading the dialogue on the blog about mental health care and society, some very intuitive comments. I work on behalf of a number of providers across the state that have struggled with steadily reduced state funding to support their programs..people slip through the cracks, even with as hard as they are trying to get people help and find those who need help.

We all heard Governor Quinn stand up during his budget speech last year and lay down the gauntlet on rebalancing to support community based disability and mental health care…then his budget tried to cut community mental health care funding by $56 million.

The legislature did everything they could to preserve funding for community mental health care at last year’s levels in the state budget (it’s dropped from $230 million in FY08 to $115 million in FY13), but then the Administration cut funding to providers by $21 million anyway.

Right now, at this very moment, even as the national discussion on mental health care is as high as it’s been, we are on our own fighting just to get $12 million back into the budget so community providers can try and restore some crisis care services and psychiatric support. WE CANT EVEN GET THE ADMINISTRATION TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR EVEN SUPPORT US IN NEGOTIATIONS!!

Sorry, I don’t know why I am venting to you…

So far, Gov. Pat Quinn has focused his post-Connecticut comments almost solely on guns. He wants an assault weapons ban, for example. But the hard reality is he’s been shlashing funding for community mental health care even as he closes state mental health facilities.

The governor needs to be called to account.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


69 Comments
  1. - Horace - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:03 am:

    I don’t mind Quinn selling me the vision of supporting mental health.

    I also don’t mind Quinn dealing with vision-compromising reality.

    Sell me the vision of what Illinois SHOULD be. I’ll buy it. But I also realize it is only a vision, there are realities that need to be dealt with, the biggest being a shrinking pie.

    Seriously, do we expect Quinn to deal with retirees, unions, taxpayers, health care officials, the sick, corporations, and other government officials? Please. No one can do that when the pie is shrinking.

    Keep going Pat, you are playing a low hand well.


  2. - Anon. - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:04 am:

    He is also closing prisons and paroling violent criminals. It’s for the children, of course.


  3. - Interested observer - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:06 am:

    And of course, as community-based programs shrink or close down, more people with mental illness will be sent to our county jails and state prisons. Correctional facilities may be good at incapacitating violent offenders, but they are not built to treat or effectively respond to people with mental illness, most of whom will be released back into their communities.


  4. - Jaded - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:18 am:

    Be careful Horace, medical marijuana is not yet legal, so you could get in big trouble for what you’ve been smoking.


  5. - boat captain - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    I agree with you completely Rich. My wife was employed by the state in a mental institution and knows firsthand what needs to be done. She has been so upset with the closing of the facilities and putting the patients out in strange surroundings and what it is putting them through. I agree with you in your speech at the city club that the stigma has to be taken away from mental illness and get the people the help they need. It seems as though Quinn is not aware of what mental illness does to you and your family and the needs of those that are affected. I appreciate your efforts in what you do and for getting the message out there. I realize it takes money and the state has reduced the funding due to budget constraints but if we are to change the culture in this country and this state we will have to come up with a way. Or at least not cut the funding.


  6. - just sayin' - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    well said.


  7. - Estubborn - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    Right on Horace. Some people think the Governors mansion comes with a magic wand.


  8. - Downstater - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:19 am:

    I am not defending Quinn by any stretch of the imagination, but where is the leadership from the legislative side of this equation?


  9. - Larrymulholland - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    It Mental Health care, Stupid.

    It’s not the guns! It’s the Mental wellness and our support systems that are the real issue. Gun violence is the symptom. Those who choose to hijack Connecticut for their own agenda can have a field day banning what they will but for crying out loud let’s focus on the health and wellness of our mental health needs. Please


  10. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:22 am:

    Steve Schnorf’s comment on this subject yesterday is still spot-on: Illinois doesn’t have any money for expanded mental health or anything else right now. That’s the reality.


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:28 am:

    ===Illinois doesn’t have any money for expanded mental health or anything else right now. That’s the reality. ===

    I don’t disagree. However, if he wants to make Connecticut a big issue, then things have happened on his watch that he needs to at least be asked about.


  12. - Horace - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    I think we need to go on a public service campaign that educates on “vision” vs “reality”, since it seems to be causing consternation in a lot of people.


  13. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:33 am:

    That’s fair Rich. But it’s also fair to acknowledge Quinn’s gun control comments started with his response to the Appellate Court ruling, before Connecticut.


  14. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    The easiest vision to grasp is that mental health care should be viewed as element of general health care rather than a separate activity that is subject to the whims of a person like PQ in tough budget times. Actually any governor can fit that mold. At least any governor in IL in modern times.

    The other fact to face is the cuts schools make in these services, DARE programs, etc.

    This all reduces the chance of anyone with proper training getting hint of a problem.

    Reducing the number and kinds of guns is a great idea, but we all know that 2A wing nuts want everyone armed to the teeth all the time as a “solution”

    The recent school shooting is an immense tragedy that could happen in any town at any time.


  15. - STP - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:38 am:

    As we reduce services in the community for those who are not receiving medicaid or wealthy enough to pay the co-pays and other fees not covered - we should review the tax reductions given to corporations, local and state levels including TIF’s


  16. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    Don’t blame Quinn. Blame Squeezy.


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 9:49 am:

    Quick note to USMCJanitor (in case you’re around today): While I’ll bet that everyone very much appreciates what you do during your “day job,” it’s who you are 24×7 they appreciate most. I certainly do.


  18. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:01 am:

    STP,

    People on Medicaid are at the forefront of the health care rationing, especially in the mental health area, because there are less and less doctors willing to accept the low reimbursement rate.


  19. - cassandra - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    I know I keep bringing this up, but what will be the impact of the ACA, implementation a year away, on access to mental health services including in-patient hospitalization. Presumably, this will result in a lot more moeny being directed towards buying mental health services, allowing resources (hopefully, although not certainly, high-quality resources) to expand. And many more citizens will have access to care.

    But the Newton shooter, we can safely assume, had access to the best possible care as a member of an upper middle class family with very substantial resources and likely an excellent health insurance policy. Not sure what we do with that, but I hope we don’t seriously consider locking up a lot of folks who act funny.


  20. - Dave V - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    I like Steve a lot but we should look at our mental health system as a whole meaning community and institutions. Right now community based placements are demonstrated to be cheaper (and are the preference of nearly anyone in the system). So it makes sense to shift costs and, yes, expand community mental health services so people that want to move from a high cost setting to a low one can do so safely. Unfortunately, cutting money from both sides as the Governor has been doing is both dangerous for people with mental illness and can not work.


  21. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    === I don’t mind Quinn selling me the vision of supporting mental health…. ===

    Quinn’s vision is precisely what is lacking at the moment.

    Shutter mental health facilities?
    Reduce community mental health care funding?
    Shutter prisons?
    Reduce rehabilitation and substance abuse programming?

    OK.

    Do all of these simultaneously? Problem. Big problem.

    It’s like squeezing a water balloon.

    Reduce mental health facilities and people flow into community care settings.

    Reduce community care settings (or fail to increase capacity) and people flow into the community.

    Reduce access to additional mental health services, medication, etc. and people have nowhere else to flow.

    Eventually the balloon *pops*. Just hope it’s not in your backyard when that happens.

    Quinn lacks the foresight, or “vision”, to leave at least one area of support untouched for the population to “flow”. Applying pressure on all of them simultaneously was a very poor choice.


  22. - cassandra - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    Speaking of ACA, is there a state early enrollment option. Perhaps Quinn should be working on an effort to allow eligible Illinois citizens to enroll in ACA before 2014. I believe Cook County Hospital got money recently for what amounts to early enrollment–that could be expanded statewide, although I don’t know the costs, but if we are concerned about access to mental health services, that would be a step.


  23. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    I don’t think we can safely assume that Cassandra. My assumptions are that his mother was in denial about the severity of his problems or she wouldn’t have given him access to weaponry. And that he didn’t avail himself of the help that was presumably available because the law says he’s the only person who could make that decision.

    Anyway, yeah, Pat Quinn needs to be reminded that closing mental health facilities is as much part of the problem as allowing access to assault weapons.


  24. - Horace - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:30 am:

    == Quinn’s vision is precisely what is lacking at the moment.==

    His vision is clear. Reality is interfering. Reality take precedence over vision.


  25. - Empty Chair - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    Unfortunately, while all of you scoffed at “Squeezy the pension python,” you (and many other insiders) missed the message. The whole reason that the pension systems need to be reformed is because increasing pension payments are SQUEEZING money out of programs like services for those with mental health issues and developmental disabilities. The whole issue here is that the more money we spend on a pension payment, the less we can spend on these priorities. As such, I don’t think it’s 100% fair to levy the entirety of this criticism on the Governor. Some criticism is fair, but this is a very narrow view of a very complex problem.


  26. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    == His vision is clear. ==

    Exhibit A would be Squeezy?


  27. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    Even with expanded funding for mental health care the issue of identifying disturbed persons who have the potential of commiting violence is a very difficult proposition. Add to that the difficulty of those who are near to the disturbed person ie:family, who find it very difficult to secure the services they need to interrupt the march from madness to mayhem.

    Since current law makes if VERY difficult to forcibly detain a mentally ill person for any length of time unless the have already threatened or commited violence - families have little option but to stand by and watch in great frustration. Changing those laws would be very difficult indeed. Civil rights advocates who work in the mental health field view any changes in that area as off limits.


  28. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    The problem of the squeezy analogy, Empty Chair, is that it was those programs that “squeezed” the money that should have been placed into the pension plan in the first place. Programs were promised and funding was increased, in part, by shorting the pension fund. The bird has come home to roost. The entire elected gov’t in Illinois as well as those who elected them, bear the responsibility to rectify that.


  29. - cassandra - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    Cheryl-my point is, the care was available to him; many of the posts here concern the lack of even availability of care to those who need it.

    Speaking of which, where is the private mental health community on these issues. Governor Quinn isn’t the only person in Illinois responsible for directing mental health policy. There is a large private mental health service community outside of the state network which should be held to account regarding the state of the state’s mental health resources as well. And not just to whine about lack of state funding.


  30. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    Empty Chair, you can’t blame everything on the pension mess.

    Also, Squeezy was stupid. The message the governor was trying to send was correct. However, the message received was that the governor’s message was stupid.


  31. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    A review of the testimony presented to COGFA during the closure hearings clearly indicates viable funding solutions do exist - ranging from consolidation to using some of the surplus in the “Mental Health Fund” to repaying the over $100 million swept from that fund since 2000 to using the Used Tire Management Fund, among some of the plainer solutions.

    Off the top of my head, I also wonder where the proceeds from the sale of Thomson Correction will be going. Perhaps putting a few million towards mental health services wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    As for Squeezy? The problem is not simply Squeezy. People here did not miss the point. People get the point loud and clear. Many of them have been working on the issue in real life.

    The problem is that years of wrangling on this issue, Quinn’s vision of a way to cut through the mularkey is trotting out a colorful cartoon snake.

    A wonderful vision, mind you, but woefully ineffective.


  32. - Huh? - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    Chair - The reason why the pensions are in trouble is because the general assembly has not pay its share of the pensions. There have been numerous “pension holidays” and the money used for something else.


  33. - STP - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    RNUG - that may be trues but MD’s won’t see you if you have insurance and don’t pay the co-pay or if you have no insurance - if you can access this - http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/connecticut-health-agency-fights-desperation-among-the-insured-85899437270
    it states well the issues of the insured


  34. - Earnest - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Cassandra, I flash back to a dinner probably three years ago, CEO of a behavioral health provider talking about the frustrating thing with the funding cuts was that they were not going to be able to serve some people at all because the services for which these people were eligible for funding were nowhere near enough to meet their needs, and the agency would be liable should a tragedy occur. They didn’t want to risk an incident destroying all the agency could do lawsuits over trying to do more than they could possibly do with the resources allowed.

    I would also add that his tone wasn’t “whining.” It was simply measuring what could be accomplished with the resources available and their advocacy on funding was about communicating the potential consequences of those funding choices made by our state.


  35. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    I’m tired of our politicians essentially dumping of services for the most helpless and least able to take care of themselves. Oh, but they and their families don’t represent a significant voting force so that’s OK.

    Focusing on guns while abandoning the mentally ill should be called out. And Quinn should answer.


  36. - Soccertease - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    The governors intensions are good. He’ just not very good at governing. He wants to appease everyone. At least he’s not willy nilly promising everyone a million dollars like some other governor. But I disagree Horace-he’s not managing what is under his control very well.


  37. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    –The recent school shooting is an immense tragedy that could happen in any town at any time.–

    And will. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next month. But soon. And over and over, again.

    Because that’s what we do now in this country. We massacre our citizens, our children, and then defend the “rights” of our next potential madman to have the means to start spraying when life doesn’t go his way.

    When it happens, again, over and over, there will be the same maudlin, made-for-TV stream-of-tears from those who “identify” with the victims, like it’s a national tragedy, and we’re all victims.

    News flash: the only victims are those shot and killed. The rest of us are enablers to the murderers. Admit it, live with it, own it, look at your face in the mirror.

    It will happen in relatively tough-on-guns Connecticut. It will happen in wide-open Arizona, where an until-then law-abiding citizen can start spraying in a grocery store parking lot, killing a little girl, a federal judge and blowing the head off a member of Congress.

    By the way, where were the pistol-packing, law-abiding, Liberty First citizens at the supermarket parking lot that day in Tuscon? Not exactly a “soft target” as some of the Big Brains now refer to our schools.

    How come none of them blasted Loughner? The law was on their side. Certainly some of them must of have been packing. They had guns; what were they lacking? Courage?

    This country is sick with guns, nearly 300 million of them, almost one for every man, woman and child. It’s a cancer. Are you safer? Or do we need more guns? 500 million? A billion?

    The great philospher, Ronnie Van Zandt of Jacksonville, when opining on guns, said:

    “Handguns are made for killing; ain’t no good for nothing else. If you like to drink your whiskey, you might even shoot yourself.

    “So why don’t we dump them, people, to the bottom of the sea? Til some fool comes around here, wants to shoot either you or me.”


  38. - Holloway - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    Yet again Squeezy becomes part of the conversation.

    Marketing / branding at its best!


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    =The rest of us are enablers to the murderers. Admit it, live with it, own it, look at your face in the mirror.=

    Could you clarify exactly what you mean by this statement, wordslinger? I’m sure that my interpretation can’t be right.


  40. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    Nice essay, word. I haven’t read that stance anywhere else. Do I see a suggestion as to how to address this issue other than the “why don’t we dump them…” quote?

    Would you support the repeal of the 2nd amendment? I just don’t get your point except as a thinly veiled knock on gun owners and gun ownership.


  41. - Represent - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    I agree with Wordslinger. It’s the fault of guns. Not the culture of the many killing games and killing movies. Not the lack of good parenting, but guns.

    Yep, it’s guns I tell you!


  42. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    So, you’re for confiscation of weapons then, Word?


  43. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    –So, you’re for confiscation of weapons then, Word–

    No, Cincy, I didn’t say that, and, surprise, you raise a strawman. That’s your game, I get it.

    But then, you’re the Big Brain who compares KoolAid to assault rifles and thinks you’re making an intelligent argument.

    Guns aren’t going away, obviously. Too many scared grown men. And they will continue to be used for the purpose for which they are made, which is killing.

    That’s how you like it, deal with it. But spare me your maudlin tears about “tragedies,” or ludicrous defense of “rights.”


  44. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    I think Cincy was asking what you are for, word. Attacking him isn’t really an answer to his question, is it?

    What is your solution? Your essay was as full of maudlin tears as you accuse Cincy of using. Your statement about too many scared grown men - is that your target?

    Or would you rather post your diatribe and take potshots at anyone who challenges your wisdom? It’s lazy rhetoric.


  45. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    All I am trying to do is understand your post. Are you trying to make some point, because it’s lost on me. Anything you offer seems to lack a proposed solution you’d like to see implemented.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you that these evils will persist because any proposed solution short of enforced confiscation will be ineffectual, an argument I made a couple of days ago. We’ve been fighting evil since Adam bit the apple, it won’t go away.


  46. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    Dan, you should stay out of it. I think Wordslinger and Cinci can have their own back and forth without you chiming in. You’re not helping advance the ball here.


  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    As word seems to be ignoring my request, I think I’ll withdraw it for now, excuse myself, and go see what’s happening on the other threads today.


  48. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Cincy, my point is that, many of us, should own up to the fact that we are willing to sacrifice the lives of others in order to allow easy access to weapons and ammunition, without which, these massacres could not occur.

    We do so in defense of our “rights,” which we hold more precious than others lives.

    But let’s take responsibility for our beliefs. So when the next massacre occurs, no tears, no crying about the tragedy, no national remorse.

    Instead, let’s celebrate it as a testimonial to that liberty we value more than life — the life of others — itself.


  49. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    As I posted a couple of days ago, what if it is as simple as these children (and other victims) are the price we pay for living in a free society? It’s word’s point, grossly twisted. Then we have to consciously decide are we willing to pay that price, or are we willing to live in a somewhat less free society. And, whichever choice we make, we have to be willing to live with it.


  50. - TCB - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    =That’s fair Rich. But it’s also fair to acknowledge Quinn’s gun control comments started with his response to the Appellate Court ruling, before Connecticut.=

    Not true…..Quinn jumped on the gun issue following the Aurora, CO shooting (totally reactive). Within days he AVed a bill relating to ammunition with restrictions on magazine capacity & AWs. Once the GA chose to override his veto he shut up about it briefly. Until the Appellate Court ruling, at which time he spoke a little more reasonably on the subject & seemed to accept the ruling. Until the Newtown tragedy, at which time he began beating the anti-gun drum hard again.

    Quinn certainly can & should be asked about the mental health funding issue. To take the easy way out & blame guns is to only make an effort to address 1 piece of this tragedy. There were multiple factors involved, likely more than we will ever know, and Quinn is doing the people of IL a disservice if he ignores such a major piece of this issue.


  51. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    Steve, thanks, that is my point, and that is our choice.

    If we choose easy access to killing machines — machines that have no other purpose than killing — then there will be massacres.

    Choices have consequences. Admit it and live with it. But don’t you dare bemoan the cost. You knew what it was going in.


  52. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Steve,

    Let’s grant your point for a second. Now we have to figure out if any change made would actually be effective in its desired result. If the answer is no, they we are paying a price for nothing, correct? We are talking a classic ROI analysis, right?


  53. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    TCB, thanks for adding some important background.

    I was at a press conference with Quinn on another subject the day after the Appellate ruling came down. When asked about concealed carry legislation, Quinn connected his AW ban as part of the broader CC legislation he wanted to see. That was before Newtown. That was the only point I was trying to make.


  54. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    C, I don’t know if is a classic ROI investment, since it isn’t easy to value 6 year olds, other than statistically. But your larger point is well made.

    What if we already had a ban on high capacity mags, let’s say with a limit of 10 rounds. Then perhaps only a dozen kids and a couple of teachers might be dead in Newtown. I’m not sure society views that as a heck of an improvement, especially since we wouldn’t know that the trade-off was from 20 kids dead.

    So I’m not sure what changes, other than a total ban on private ownership of guns (along with the requisite Constitutional amendment) would really very substantially decrease these sorts of tragedies. But I’m probably more willing than some others for us to try things and see if we make progress, keep them if they work, throw them out if they don’t.


  55. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:41 pm:

    Cincy, for an alleged “conservative,” you sure do like to run away from responsibility.

    If you want to maintain easy access to guns and ammunition as a right, than accept the responsibility that guns and ammunition will eventually be used for their only purpose, which is killing.

    With rights comes responsibility. You’re not a child; accept it and live with it. Own it.

    And you can stick your “classic ROI analysis,” when you’re talking about murdered children.


  56. - Truthteller - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    Quinn has money for CME and Sears, why not for mental health service?
    Has he really reined in all those crony contracts which squander money that would be better spent on programs that actually help people?


  57. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    @wordslinger,

    I guess that’s what Thomas Jefferson meant by his statement:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots…”

    If this includes our children, what does the gun lobby care? They don’t.


  58. - Anon. - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==And you can stick your “classic ROI analysis,” when you’re talking about murdered children.==

    You can say the same thing about cars that go over 2 miles an hour. You’re right, that we all have to own up to our choices, but you keep trying to paint the choices as being a lot simpler than they are. Guns don’t only kill the innocent, they also deter killing and other mayhem, and gun restrictions don’t necessarily work.


  59. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:56 pm:

    Wen, TJ talked a good game, but he also allowed his own children to live as slaves.

    I’m a John Adams guy, myself.


  60. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:57 pm:

    You assume I am unwilling to accept the responsibility for my belief that new restrictions would be ineffective in decreasing evil? You’re wrong. I don’t know what utopia you’re trying to achieve. 275M guns ain’t going away unless they are confiscated. The odds of eliminating deaths of innocents because of evil people using guns are, oh, let’s say zero since they’re too small to calculate.


  61. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 2:59 pm:

    –You can say the same thing about cars that go over 2 miles an hour.–

    Cars are designed to convey you from Point A to Point B. When bad thing happen with cars, they’re called accidents.

    When guns are used to kill, they are being used for their designed purpose.


  62. - Rod - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 3:15 pm:

    Once Adam Lanza’s profile becomes public we will get a better understanding if any type of additional community based mental health services would have done any good at all to prevent the Sandy Hook killings. Until then we are all just guessing.

    I have dozens of questions about the Adam Lanza and the type of care he was or wasn’t getting. I wonder if Adam rejected medications or if he and is mother were both opposed to using them. I have read conflicting accounts of that. I wonder if his mother actually had her weapons secured and Adam got access to the key or code without her knowledge. I wonder if Adam had a form of Autism, if so was he also depressed, did he have oppositional defiant disorder or other complications. I wonder if Adam was identified as disabled when he attended Sandy Hook or because of his apparently high intelligence was he not identified.

    I agree with the comments of posters who have pointed out that it appeared that Adam Lanza would have access to mental health care, but mental health care also requires some level of compliance by any patient. All of us on this blog I think believe that the mass murder was a form of insanity but was it a form that can be dealt with effectively at all by the mental health system even with the best possible care? Maybe when some of these things are answered we can all deal with the mental health component of preventing future Sandy Hook type assaults.

    I honestly believe Adam could have easily have killed just as many people using multiple clips holding only ten rounds in addition to the Glock and Sig Sauer hand guns he was packing. Having smaller clips required by law or having what is in effect an AR15 that looks more like a hunting weapon likely also would not have stopped this guy.


  63. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 4:15 pm:

    –You assume I am unwilling to accept the responsibility for my belief that new restrictions would be ineffective in decreasing evil?–

    No, you’re unwilling to accept responsibility for your need for easy access to guns and ammunition, which inevitably leads to them being used for their designed purpose.

    Who are you kidding, anyway? It’s unreasonable to believe that you can eliminate every terrorist in the world, yet 11 years and a trillion dollars later, we’re still after it.

    And we have given up many liberties due to those 20 hijackers, much more dear than a 30-round mag and an AR-15 in the closet.


  64. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 4:33 pm:

    Cinci and DD - I’m glad I don’t live in your black and white world.

    As Schnorf said, if a smaller magazine would have prevented a handful of the deaths in Connecticut, would that be a good ROI in your opinion?

    What if requiring you to participate in a national gun registry prevented a single criminal from getting a gun that might have killed a kid or a cop on the street, is that a good ROI?

    How about a closing of gun show loopholes, if that prevented a single lunatic from purchasing a high powered weapon that they might have used in a massacre, would that be an ok ROI?

    Apparently not with you folks, it’s all or nothing. Turns my stomach.


  65. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 4:36 pm:

    “It’s unreasonable to believe that you can eliminate every terrorist in the world, yet 11 years and a trillion dollars later, we’re still after it.”
    Agreed. Let’s stop doing that. Save some money and stop killing civilians while we’re at it.


  66. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 5:03 pm:

    STL,

    I don’t know how you take my statements as from someone living in a black and white world. Sometimes these debates come down to specifics and the like. The 2nd amendment has some plain language that has been clarified for us by SCOTUS in some plain language. That is black and white. We are asked specific questions and when we respond with specific answers we are accused of living in a black and white world.

    I have some experience with firearms. I have practiced with various weapons including so called assault weapons. Swapping out magazines takes mere seconds. In a firefight during war (something I have never faced) I can think of reasons why I would want to limit those times. As USMCJanitor pointed out in another section of this blog - in a mass massacre situation there is barely time for people to act and swapping out magazines doesn’t leave much opportunity for vicitms to respond. A stark description but it appears it is called for since there is such focus on the magazine capacity. A point I made in posts from other days is that those who want AWs and high capacity magazines will get them. Selective banning of these weapons simply didn’t work from an access point of view. Other weapons of similar power and capacity are available that can cause as much mayhem. The debate here focusing on such minutiae, IMO, misses the point that I think we all wish to focus on. How to prevent these things from happening to the best of our ability while recognizing the legal realities.

    As far as your suggestions are concerned - smaller mags, again IMO, would have little effect. I can understand why they would be banned but don’t think it would really make much difference in a real world scenario. National gun registry is a problem I believe the NRA is against - due to the desire to make sure the gov’t can’t confiscate the weapons. The NRA can speak better on that than I.

    The gun show loophole is one that should be closed. The background check is a reality in all other areas - why not there? The technology would be simple. I have stated that elsewhere - perhaps you haven’t seen it?

    I would suggest that mental health issues come to the forefront but it boils down to the possiblity of denying a person with mental health issues some basic legal civil rights - I work in this area. I know advocates for the mentally ill. They would bristle at the thought of moving the pendulum the other way, even a little. They are quite willing to fight VERY hard for the folks they represent as attorneys and advocates. These are folk from the left side of the political aisle. Figuring out who may commit such mayhem would be difficult - families are the ones who know and they are fearful, in denial or frustrated at the state of law.

    I have suggested elsewhere that schools and other so called soft targets should be hardened. I have been attacked for that. So be it. We could provide these children some measure of safety if we put heavy wire screens on the first floor windows of schools. We could ask retired law enforcement/military to volunteer some time to act as armed guards at the single entrances to schools. We have armed guards at various federal buildings, court houses and other vulnerable places, why not schools?

    I have never stated/implied that I am an all or nothing person. Your remark is offensive.


  67. - geronimo - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 6:49 pm:

    My childrens’ junior high and high school in the suburbs has an armed resource officer–an active police officer,always armed with both taser and gun. Only one such person for a massively large area school with many entrances. I believe this is routine in upper grade schools. I realize some people bristle at the thought of a person like this in primary grade schools, but obviously, it’s needed. IMO schools DO need to be protected in this manner, but by law enforcement trained in use of weapons and crime prevention–not teachers or principals or whoever……people who have no gumption to go there.


  68. - Flan - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 10:55 pm:

    Wait, you’re telling me that our Governor is incompetent? I’m shocked!


  69. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 21, 12 @ 12:16 am:

    China, the greatest force in the world when it comes to human rights, is reported to be calling on the U.S. to “disarm” based on this tragedy. Hmmmm.


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