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Today’s must-read

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015

* Peter Nickeas, overnight reporter for the Chicago Tribune, posted this on Facebook yesterday. There is a bit of profanity, but it’s definitely worth your time

The difference between the shooting this morning in Virginia and every other act of gun violence is that the internet had to see the fear on a woman’s face as she realized she was about to die.

There is a regularity to violence in urban areas. Today everyone saw what violence looks like, except the victims are usually a little younger and have darker skin. It’s not often on tape so the reaction isn’t so visceral. This is what violence feels like to people who see it happen, we can now all say, because we’ve all seen it happen.

In Chicago alone, it happens more than 2,000 times each year. Go to a crime scene and ask kids if they have seen someone shot. And the answer will be, “well, the first time …” What the Internet is going through right now is almost a rite of passage for kids in urban areas.

So for everyone sitting at work saying, “man, that video messed me up,” well, yea. It should mess you up. It’s a disgusting thing to watch. For everyone who says “I can’t even” or “I need to disengage today,” those are normal reactions to exposure to violence. Seek help if seeing people get hurt doesn’t bother you.

And, the emotional me wants to grab people by their collars and drag them to a crime scene so they can see the ghostly faces of people who saw it happen lingering around waiting for detectives, or the anger behind someone’s eyes while they sit there staring at the body.

Go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    And of course, the NRA will say, “the solution to violence is more guns.” The “good guys” don’t have enough guns.

  2. - bloval27 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    Until Government and Politicians start truly taking the criminal element and mental health seriously there’s nothing that any gun law is going to prevent. As we continue to see when these tragedies happen it’s always someone with mental health issues or it’s gang related focus on the sources and not the tool used.

  3. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:23 am:

    Obviously a horrific event that played out on live TV.

    I’m fortunate to have never been an eye witness to an shooting. After watching yesterday’s event I hope I never do. It is indeed heartbreaking that such events play out in our society every day. I suppose when you live in a country that struggles with balance between personal rights and security this is what you get. Wish I had the answers but I don’t think they will be found in my lifetime.

  4. - Deep South - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    If the solution was “more guns,” the U.S. would be the safest country in the world.

  5. - Slippin' Jimmy - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    What Stones said + Reality Bites!

  6. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    There’s this and yet somehow the person behind “wishing for Katrina” is the featured opinion author at the Trib.

  7. - Not Alan Keyes - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    Of course in the black community the answer isn’t to tell kids to be fathers, rebuild families, and promote work. It’s to victimize. No wonder kids join gangs, it’s the only leadership and hope they have

  8. - Anonymiss - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    Nickeas is a consistently impressive writer. Go to the Trib site and read more of his stuff. He not only gives you the who/what/where, but paints a full, human, emotional picture.

  9. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    After I read the article I wondered how long it would take for someone to take a shot at gun owners and the NRA. It didn’t take long, the very first post. Our country as a whole really does a very inadequate job in dealing with the mentally ill. State budgets across the country are tight and citizens demand low taxes and as a society we don’t prioritize dealing with mental health. I saw a discussion on the mental health aspect of mass shootings in the US some months ago. A couple of the panelists represented gun control groups. They generally opposed mental health being part of the discussion because they said they feared it would serve as a distraction from what they said is needed, which was more gun control. The US has been on a gun control kick since the 1960’s. With all the gun control laws that have been passed since then you can be the judge on how effective our gun control laws have been.

  10. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:54 am:


    Thanks for posting it’s nice to see a piece on this horrid event that is respectful of the victims and brings up legitimate concerns.

  11. - highspeed - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    No,gun,knife,car,or any other item used to do harm has ever done it by itself. It takes a human to make it happen. Someday maybe people will figure that out!

  12. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    There are 300 million privately owned firearms in the United States. With that kind of inventory laying around, anyone who wants one and wants to use one is going to get their hands on one if they put their mind to it.

    You might as well say there need to be tougher laws to keep TVs out of the hands of the mentally ill.

  13. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    CNN vs. Fox News (and I don’t mean to pile on Fox - I think MSNBC is almost as bad in the propaganda department):

    CNN started its coverage by saying they were going to minimize information about the killer as much as possible to avoid glamorizing him. They then featured the author of the leading book on Columbine who ravaged against the media for effectively taunting would-be killers to “go big, and if you do we’ll make a Made for TV Movie staring you and air it for days.”

    Fox News actually aired the still of the reporter’s terror as a tease for the story.

  14. - thunderspirit - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    Great commentary.

    As for the remarks on guns: yet another shooting, even caught live on video, doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with responsible gun ownership. The difficulty arises both in defining “responsible”, and in determining what happens when someone demonstrates that they aren’t willing to be responsible.

  15. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    That’s a powerful piece, but like all the others after a tragedy like this, it will be forgotten in a week.

    Most of us think no sane person would murder another. The law says otherwise.

    As I get older, I have noticed a tremendous amount of smouldering rage in this country, something I wasn’t aware of in my childhood. I’m sure it was always there, but never expressed the way it is now.

    Maybe it’s a case of the haves and have-nots. People are deluged with advertising telling them they MUST own this-or-that to have the respect of their peers. If you don’t have a job or have bad credit, that eats at you.

    Then there’s the factor of education. When many youth see school as a waste of time, and teachers are vilified while professional athletes are idolized, it’s hard to cut through to the truth.

    We can pontificate here until doomsday, but the God-awful truth is that murder and violence have become an acceptable exchange for gun rights in the United States.

  16. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    I hate to say it and it breaks my heart. But if the murders of 20 small children and six teachers at Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to spur some kind of efforts towards reform of our gun laws, nothing is likely to. I don’t know what the threshold is for some who revere the second amendment but in my book Sandy Hook was horror enough.

  17. - BigBen - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    The author says “this world is f***ed, that it’s in someone’s head to film a murder and upload it to social media.” No. I am not F***ed up. The shooter is. Why must the “world” take responsibility for this guy?

  18. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    no. pain is pain. if people identify with it and want to do something about violence, fine. we need allies. plus, there are lots and lots of people who are experiencing the pain of violence that he references and just turning a blind eye to it. even when it happens in their own family! no snitching. he’s my baby. profiting from gangs guns and drugs. the pervasive problems have massive roots which communities must pull up by themselves.

    what happened yesterday is unusual and deeply tragic. why in the world should it not strike a deep chord? it happened on live tv. and this is a very new kind of threat to journalists and a message of how to capture 15 minutes of infamy that will probably sadly be replicated in some form here in the U.S. as it is with Isis.

  19. - BigBen - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    “Striking a deep cord” and taking responsibility are two entirely different concepts.

  20. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    @ the Dude Abides

    You simply say gun controls don’t work. Of course they won’t work if the NRA stifles or waters down every attempt at comprehensive gun control.

    Why doesn’t the NRA work in a constructive manner to create a gun registry and licensing system to protect gun owners and society? I don’t want to take guns away from anyone. I served in the military and qualified with may handgun. I just want the NRA to step up and take responsibility. They should be advocates for responsible gun ownership, not advocates for a militarized society where anybody can own a gun, regardless of mental state, or prior criminal activity. And don’t say we already have existing laws to address these issues because those laws are watered down or ineffectively applied. We provide licenses and training for cars, why not guns? What can the NRA and its supporters do to improve the situation beyond supporting more open carry laws? Why can’t the NRA do more to simultaneously encourage gun ownership and gun safety while figuring out ways to make society safer? Has the NRA ever tried to do that in a constructive way? I would like to learn more about their efforts if I am missing something.

  21. - chiatty - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    I’ll agree with all of the compliments for Nickeas. He’s been on the overnight shooting beat for a couple years now. He has seen more bloodshed, heartache and streets full of fear than any non-copper in Chicago. I hope he writes a book.

  22. - Not Alan Keyes - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    I might point out, there was no assault weapon used, and no more than the 9 shots… So extended clip was not the problem. Background checks absolutely…. Needs to happen

  23. - walker - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    Maybe “Chiraq” will be a good thing.

  24. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    “Guns don’s kill people, people kill people.” If that is true, then we don’t need gun control, we need people control. That means a comprehensive gun registry, training, insurance including damage and liability, and licenses — that needs to be periodically renewed — just like my drivers license. So I agree with comments above that say we don’t need anymore gun control. We just need better people control. Pretty simple.

  25. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:09 am:


    Just fyi. The NRA is the largest civilian provider of firearms safety training in the U.S. many police agencies at one time ir another have depended on NRA certified instructers and in fact in IL to get a carry permit the instructer must by NRA certified. In a real sense no organisation has done more to promote safe firearm ownership.

    The NRA has never advocated for felons or former felons to own firearms. They have also advocated for a strengthened NCIS system to include mental health records. Another push has been for longer sentences for the criminal use of a firearm.

    As for ineffectively applied laws a real question that had lingered is why when a felon attempts to buy a firearm and is denied is he not prosecuted. As well prosecuters have been quite lax in prosecutions of trafficking offenses. (Where someone buys a firearm to sell/give to a prohibitted person)

    Remember the Heller and McDonald decisions largely changed the discussion for both sides. The Supremes recognizing that the 2nd amendment has the same standing as the first greatly changes the options. When you consider restrictions you’d like to see ask yourself if you would accept those same restrictions on your freedom of speech.

  26. - LIberty - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    All those zero tolerance gun laws are working well.

  27. - Gantt Chart - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Nice, personal piece by the writer. I hope he writes more in the future on related stories. …not a spokesperson for the NRA, but the reason they’re against national gun registration is that because everywhere it’s been tried, registration inevitably leads to confiscation…maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but government always extends their reach and comes for citizen-owned firearms. (For their “safety”, of course…)

  28. - Flanagan - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    Why can’t the NRA blah, blah, blah?

    Too busy beating back the gun grabbers. Have any gun grabbers ever taken what the NRA says seriously?

  29. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:21 am:

    This is not about firearms. It is about an angry person, who allegedly made false claims of discrimination against coworkers, claims that the EEOC dismissed because they found no basis. He was a disturbed and angry man, who had shown a propensity to find anything said as potentially racial or sexually harassing towards him. When he was fired, the Police were requested to escort him from work. Apparently he had a history of making physical threats against people. He allegedly gave a wooden cross to his former boss the day he was fired and told him he would need it soon.
    In his so called manifesto, he claimed the church shooting set him over the edge, and that he admired the Virginia Tech shooter because of the body count. He also proclaimed Jehovah told him to act. Let us not also forget he wanted a race war and seemed to think that this would help it along.
    I have not seen any reliable reports whether or not he made any threats via social media prior to his actions. Had he made such statements to family and friends or social media, then we must ask ourselves why didn’t anyone intervene while he was in this downward spiral? No one noticed anything odd? It is hard for me to believe that someone did not know he was about to do something like this.
    Why did I assert this is not about firearms? Because no law currently in place, or proposed would have prevented him from purchasing the firearm. He apparently passed the background check. He bought it from a gun store, not a gun show, online or private purchase. Nothing short of a complete gun confiscation and strict border controls to stop all firearms from entering the Country will ever stop people using a firearm for criminal deeds. The two tasks are impossible to achieve, look how easy it is to bring drugs and other items into this Country right now.

  30. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    As for background checks. Any firearm sold by an FFL (which all firearms must be when first purchased from the manufacturer) has to go through an NCIS background check. The so called gun show loophole is the sale from one private individual to another and actually has nothing to do with gun shows. I personally think IL has done a decent compromise with the latest changes requiring sellers to verify a FOID card is valid. I think there is room for a.middle ground on this but it does require both sides to talk and not scream at each other. Personally I think requiring a NCIS call for any sale/gift to non family is not a huge ask. Of course what I don’t know is if the system is set up to handle it.

    Finally the individual who committed the crime on Wednesday wouldn’t have been stopped by any current or proposed background check legislation. This was a man that for law enforcement purposes was a normal member of society. It is tragic but largely impossible to stop. Right up until he took that firearm out to kill his former coworkers he was law abiding. Unfortunately hindsight makes it seem that the signs were everywhere however I would say we have all had the office hothead that turned out to be no more than an annoyance.

  31. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    @Scamp, the suggestions you mention are largely aimed at law abiding people. It all sounds good and logical listening to what you say but how effective will it be. Most of your suggestions have been recommended by many people before. If a gun owner has to incur more costs for training, licensing fees, etc. it might discourage more folks to say it’s not worth it and they will decide not to own a gun, which is one of the motives behind these ideas, not necessarily you but with gun control advocates. If these additional regulations become law, law abiding gun owners will comply because after all, like 99% of gun owners, they are law abiding. As a previous poster commented, the problem is all the guns that are already out there on the street. The criminal doesn’t obey the law and usually doesn’t purchase his gun legally. It’s like passing a law mandating that farmers not open their barn doors without supervision because the horses are escaping from the barn and creating problems. In the case of firearms, some 300 million of these horses are already out of the barn and are readily available and a criminal will be able to get his hands on one if needed.
    I think there should be background checks for anyone who purchases a gun, regardless of where they buy it. As far as a National gun registry, I am opposed, let the individual states have their own registry and craft their own gun regulations, this should be handled on the state level. When background checks are conducted, individuals who have been treated for a mental illness should be flagged, that information needs to be in the database. The Virginia Tech mass murderer is one case in which the shooter purchased his guns legally. The fact they he was being treated for mental illness was not in the database that the state police use for background checks.

  32. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    “Nickeas is a consistently impressive writer. Go to the Trib site and read more of his stuff. He not only gives you the who/what/where, but paints a full, human, emotional picture.”

    And his Twitter feed is a must follow:

    – MrJM

  33. - Cheswick - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    A good start would be to amend the Second Amendment, or if that’s impossible, at least more tightly regulate it.

  34. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    – beating back the gun grabbers–

    Do you see “gun grabbing” going on somewhere? What else do you see? Try not to pay attention to the voices in your head.

  35. - Past the Rule of 85 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    ===The Virginia Tech mass murderer is one case in which the shooter purchased his guns legally. The fact they he was being treated for mental illness was not in the database that the state police use for background checks.===

    This seems to be a prime example of the need for a national registration system.

  36. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    ===Nice, personal piece by the writer. I hope he writes more in the future on related stories. …not a spokesperson for the NRA, but the reason they’re against national gun registration is that because everywhere it’s been tried, registration inevitably leads to confiscation…maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but government always extends their reach and comes for citizen-owned firearms. (For their “safety”, of course…)===

    Why take guns when you have drones, tanks and nukes?

    Somehow the “liberty is defended by the cartridge box” folks never seem to comprehend just how heavily outgunned they are.

  37. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    *Cheswick @ 11:40
    A good start would be to amend the Second Amendment, or if that’s impossible, at least more tightly regulate it.*

    I’m definitely not an NRA guy but the Second Amendment says what it says and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon or probably ever. Weapons have always been easily obtainable for persons desirous of having one. I doubt that had either the Reporter or Cameraman in this case had been “packing” (i.e. concealed carry) that this situation could have been prevented.

    It’s just plain sad but I don’t think there is a solution out there now that could have prevented the murders of these two individuals.

  38. - Rod - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    As an ISRA member I am totally opposed to the registration and licensing of individual guns. As a Chicagoan I went through that process for years and eventually moved most of my weapons to a vault at my Wisconsin home. I have no objection to being required to have an FOID.

    I also do not believe full scale gun confiscation is likely, nor will additional laws prevent the murder that took place of the cameraman and the reporter. Yes, our society is becoming overall more violent, and we have been through periods of breakdown before, particularly following the Civil War when the west was rife with pyscopaths with PTSD. We will have to live through this.

  39. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Past 85

    He went through a federal background check. A registration woul have produced the same results. There is a bill sponsered by John Cornyn to use federal funds to encourage states to supply more mental health data to NCIS. It has the support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Police Organizations, and the NRA. It also allows judges to order treatment for mentalhealth without involuntary comitment.

    Of course mental health in and of itself is a very sensitive subject something both sides of the debate tend to forget. It’s easy to say “crazy” people shouldn’t have guns but do youreally want anyone who goes to a grief counselor to be on a database? Or worse those who truly need help avoid it because of the database. We saw some of that when the V.A. got a bit overzealous In reporting and some vets stopped seeking help with ptsd.

  40. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    For all those advocating mandatory registration, background checks and stricter tracking / reporting, the root cause in most of these shootings seems to be MENTAL ILLNESS. Therefore, I assume you want new stricter regulations on identifying, reporting and treating persons suffering from mental illness since that is the apparent cause. And if you agree with that, then are you in favor of forced treatment and / or involuntary incarceration without a judicial order? Do you want a national database identifying everyone who has ever been identified has have a mental illness or some precursour indication? How do you want to go about balancing the ill’s privacy rights with the public’s need for protection?

    That is the discussion that needs to be undertaken …

  41. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    – We will have to live through this.–

    Or not.

  42. - yinn - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==what happened yesterday is unusual==

    No, it’s not. Workplace murders made up 9% of job-related deaths in 2013.

    It’s a riff on domestic violence, and, as routinely happens in homes, inadequate responses to the aggression allowed it to escalate over time until it was finally stopped by tragedy.

    So into the gun regulation–mental health mix, we must throw domestic violence. Too many abusers do not experience consequences that motivate changes in their violent behavior.

    You’d be hard put to find someone in prison who has not been traumatized by a domestic violence situation. We, via our dysfunctional court systems, have been doing a poor job of protecting our children from abusers, which perpetuates violence across generations. Then you throw in the exacerbation of our current hard times, when economic factors have so many families living on the edge, too many parents working too many hours and/or doubled up in housing with the wrong “friends,” or exposed to violence through homelessness.

    Homelessness can be traumatic in itself, and we have at least 1.5 homeless children in this country.

    As we work to better protect our children — and the rest of us — it would also be helpful to be able to predict which hotheads present actual threats. There are professionals who are really good at this, and we can avail ourselves of the resources they offer.

  43. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    It should not be MENTAL ILLNESS -or- GUNS. Both MI & Guns are a problem & both need to be addressed. No one needs a machine gun or any other war-type weapons for hunting.

  44. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==- Not Alan Keyes - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:35 am:==

    You’re clueless. Maybe if you didn’t speed through the neighborhoods like Kirk, you would actually understand what is going on there. Of course that is only if you even go near such places at all. Next time you comment, try to leave your complete and total ignorance out of it by not commenting at all.

  45. - Mama - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    …and people with a serious mental illness need medication to treat it.

  46. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    Q: Why was my comment removed?

  47. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 12:25 pm:


    Actually if u pull up the FBI crime statistics you see a pretty steep reduction from 09 to 13 with a slight bump in 12.roughly a 12.4% reduction.

    Of course to watch the news you’d never know it. Or if you live in certain areas which have seen enhanced crime it’s cold comfort.

  48. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    @ RNUG

    I am advocating for some better monitoring of mental illness. However, we also need to change the overall gun culture in the US. Gun owners need to be more aware of the consequences of their actions. I hypothesize that if gun owners were forced to pay insurance premiums for damage and liablity related to their gun use, we would see a whole lot more responsible gun use.

    We would see a decline in children being accidentally shot. People would simply be more aware because of the direct monetary consequences that would occur due to mishandling of firearms. Just as we are very aware as we drive our car.

    So, I partially agree with your ideas about mental illness. But we need a change in gun culture where we think differently about guns. I know they are a “right” to own. But all rights come with limits. For example, there are limits on free speech (can’t yell fire in theater or engage in libelous behavior). Hence, we can ask gun owners to be more mindful and responsible gun owners. This may not be directly linked to the gun shooter yesterday, but to do nothing is just shameful and depressing to consider.

  49. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    Nickeas nails it.


  50. - Rod - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Mason I am aware of that data and in fact Rich has made note of it in posts on this blog. But when I say we are becoming a more violent society, comparable to times in our past, it goes beyond the data to the culture. Here in Chicago many urban youth express what I would call “nihilism” and a vision that life is likely short so there is no reason to back off any conflict. You can see it also in violent road rage incidents in the Chicago area.

    There is more involved in this than data, Don Mann a weapons expert who has spoken many times before NRA related groups and has talked about this cultural issue. He is anything but a gun control supporter. Wordslinger is of course correct that many of us are at risk to a limited degree, chances are much more likely we get killed on I-57 an a car accident than shot down by an enraged murder. To be honest I was not shocked by the murder of the TV reporter and cameraman, Islamic State sends out murder videos now on a daily basis. It is a sad reality to say that, but it is true.

  51. - Slippin' Jimmy - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    RNUG’s question of how does society balance the possibly mentally ill persons privacy rights versus the law abiding publics rights to be protected from those with mental health issues is the discussion which correctly fits this particular incident, IMO. Obviously a very difficult/complex issue. One thing seems very clear to me is persons with mental health issues should have no firearms.

  52. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    - Scamp640 - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:14 pm

    Gun owners by a large percentage are responsible for their firearms and actions. The problems arise in those who are not part of the mainstream firearm culture; generally speaking I am referring to gangs and radicals. The people who are the abusers are not the ones who will be paying insurance. Many of us who are the mainstream do already carry some form of insurance.

    Just as mandatory insurance for motor vehicles is ignored by certain elements, mandatory firearm insurance would be ignored by the same people. The shootings would continue unabated, and no changes would be seen, except that responsible firearm owners would have coverage, the ones who are not the problem. The real problem will still be there.

    Yes, we know firearm ownership is a right that has limitations, just like free speech. No one has the right to murder with a firearm, to shoot indiscriminately into groups of people, or to intentionally cause harm to others. No one of the mainstream culture disagrees with the limitations, which are nothing more than common sense. The change is not with the mainstream gun culture that needs changed, it is the counter culture of gangs and radicals, where the problems truly are.

    To do something that is wrong headed and ineffective to the situation is worse than doing nothing. I know your heart is in the right place, and we all want to do something. I don’t have all the answers, and I believe no single person does. But I do believe there are some on both sides of the issue that pieces to the puzzle that we can jointly use to lower the rates. The problem is a lack of trust between both sides due to over the top rhetoric from each side of the issue.

  53. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:55 pm:


    I see your distinction. You also brought up a much more dificult to deal with issue. One that goes right back to tge post the Nickeas made. How do you teach respect for life and others when experience shows how cheap it really is?

  54. - Juvenal - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    The GOP and NRA should stop paying lip service.

    If the honestly believe that the issue is mental health, than the NRA and the GOP ought to make full funding of mental health a reality.

    They don’t, and there’s your evidence that this is nothing more than a clever effort to change the subject.

    Secondly, we throw around the word “culture” very carelessly sometimes. There’s a boat load of evidence of the cyclical nature of violence, with exposure to violence or abuse as a child during brain development linked to both learning disabilities and behavioral health problems equatable to post traumatic stress disorder.

    According to the State’s Attorney for Kane County, 40% of the criminal defendants he sees were abused as kids.

    That’s not culture. That’s something we as a government have the power and the responsibility to address.

    Speaking of which, lawmakers will have the opportunity soon I am sure to vote to override the governor’s veto of services for abused and neglected youth.

  55. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    Slippin’ Jimmy

    Which mental issues and how long? My father came home from Vietnam 44 yrs ago. He had PTSD issues which he worked through. Should he have been prohibited? Should he still be 40 some years later? Should someone who seeks counseling for a marriage or death of a loved one be on the list? What happens if you treat anyone asking for help as a pariah? How many won’t seek help?

    I know what you mean. All of us think our version of mental health issues should be prohibited it’s when we codify it that it gets very messy.

  56. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    I do believe it was was both political parties that cut funding to mental health, not only in Illinois, but throughout the entire Country and at Federal levels. I fail to see how the NRA is to blame for mental health funding, maybe you can show where they somehow were responsible for the cuts?

  57. - Slippin' Jimmy - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Mason: It’s a very difficult issue. I don’t have the answers, if they do exist. Human beings are so difficult to predict what any of us may do tomorrow. Mental illness discussion seems like where some ot this must begin. I am not anti-2nd Amend.

  58. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 2:39 pm:

    @ Mason Born, but the Coryn bill sounds like the term of the prohibition just lapses and the person does not have to go back to a judge for evaluation.

    civil libertarians who advocate for the mentally ill meets the NRA has not been a good partnership. one thinks that people should have the freedom which can lead them to damage themselves and others, and the other the freedom to have whatever guns whenever,which leads not just to this kind of incident, but to the tens of thousands of people murdered each year.

    and which makes millions for the gun industry.

  59. - Fedralist - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    Add to the list of the nation’s ills that are obvious and yet go on and on.

    Immediate furor followed by nothing.

  60. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:42 pm:


    Please do not take this personally it is not meant as such. A very large part of the problem is blanket rejection of any proposed action by the other side. No move has been made to find areas of impovemant for that bill it has automatically been panned because it isn’t opposed by the NRA. Both sides have become so entrenched that any proposal is deemed to be an assault. It’s either gun grabber or NRA shill for whomever makes a proposal to address anything in this subject area. I get being dubious lord knows I do but nothing will be accomplished without working together. Cornyn’s bill is far from perfect but it is a good start one that deserves contemplation from both sides.

    Fyi 2013 there were 14, 196 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters in the U.S. % 69 or 9795 of which were committed with a firearm. Down from 23, 326 In 1994. This is from the FBI uniformed crime statistics of which ‘13 represents the most recent data. Problems bad enough without adding tens of thousands to it.

  61. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    I blame ‘W’…. I mean ‘BO’…….we always have to blame somebody.

  62. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Slippin jimmy

    I apologize if you were offended. I get frustrated at the talking heads that rail that insane people shouldn’t have guns. No kidding. To hear them talk you walk down the streat and if someone is insane they have a big I on their forehead that everyone can see. It’s one of those things every one nods their head and pretends it isn’t happening because the otherside is unreasonable instead of acknowledging that your discussing removing possibly forcibly a civil right from an individual who may have never committed a crime or even had a vocal altercation with anyone.

    It is where it begins you couldn’t be more correct but that conversation doesn’t fit on 30 second sound bites. Therefore it is inconvenient to have when verbal bomb throwing gets ratings.

  63. - Slippin' Jimmy - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:35 pm:

    Mason: No apology needed my friend. I understand the emotion.

  64. - TS - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    A while back, I read an Onion article where the headline was something to the effect of “Only nation in the world with massive gun problem unsure of how to fix it.” That is what this has devolved into. We are the only country in the industrialized world that has this problem, yet we just can’t seem to fix it. And to the people trying to draw the distinction between guns and mental health, give it a rest. It isn’t mutually exclusive. We’ve done a bad job of caring for the mentally ill in this country, and we’ve exacerbated the problem by making guns so easy to get ahold of. It isn’t one vs. the other. We’ve failed on two counts which lead us to where we are today.

  65. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    - Scamp640 -

    Most gun owners are responsible. I believe you would have to concede that most of the estimated 300M guns in the hands of law abiding US citizens caused zero harm yesterday. I suspect a large amount of them, just like mine, spent the day peacefully, most likely securely stored away in a safe. Those owners do obey the applicable laws.

    The issue is the people who are not law abiding; I believe the definition of those people is “criminal” or, in some cases, possibly, “mentally ill”. Additional / new laws will not change behavior: People that obey the law will still obey it; people that break the law will still break it.

    To repeat: the discussion needs to be about the people who break the law and how to stop that, without unduly limiting / punishing the people who obey the law.

  66. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 6:19 pm:

    ==- Rod - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 1:39 pm:==

    Nihilism, invented in Chicago. Pound sand.

  67. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 6:37 pm:

    As usual RNUG neatly articulates the issue. As I mentioned in my previous post the gun control people have law abiding gun owners in their cross hairs, that’s who their proposals target. The criminal will just ignore any of their proposals if they become law. Some gun control folks exhibit hostility towards gun owners and the NRA. With rare exception, most gun owners and NRA members are honest, law abiding people but they are looked upon with scorn by many people who just don’t understand why anyone would want to own a gun. It’s just an element of the cultural divide in this country.
    A previous poster mentioned changing the constitution. The framers recognized that there may be instances in which an Amendment may need to be repealed and the Constitution provides a mechanism to do just that. Good luck with the repeal effort, you are going to need it.
    As RNUG said the real challenge is to identify dangerous individuals with mental issues without tramping on an individuals right to privacy. Not everyone who seeks professional help with a mental issue is dangerous. Coming up with effective legislation will be a delicate matter and will require some heavy lifting. It’s just much easier to pass more gun controls, it makes people feel better about themselves, they will have a big bill signing ceremony and there will be a lot of back slapping but it won’t deal with the root of the problem.

  68. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 9:12 pm:

    @ Mason Born, I just think you are kidding yourself with the Cornyn bill. I get what you are saying about both sides, but, seriously, the major venom comes from the NRA. everything is linked to some slippery slope of someone coming to grab guns. it’s just nuts. early on gun regulations even spoke of what kind of gun someone was supposed to have, you know, because they were to participate in a militia. it’s way past time that the NRA supported universal background checks. all sales, stores, gun shows, private, get checked. what is wrong with that?

  69. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 27, 15 @ 10:28 pm:


    Really? When journalists are stating that the criminal actions of Wednesday are brought to you by the NRA? That the NRA Is thrilled to have that shooting or the Charleston one? When celebrities state that a gun Is a phalic symbol and anyone who owns one is dysfunctional and sexually repressed. That is what you term productive talk? Don’t kid yourself. Just because you happen to agree with the political goals of an organization doesn’t mean they aren’t just as big of arses as the opposition. I understand that in your circle anyone who owns firearms are contemptible while those who lobby for gun restrictions are white knights who can do no wrong.

    As for the regulations of firearms early on that you bring up it wasn’t as clear cut as you’ve been told. Yes you were told to have a certain calibre of musket or rifle for militia service as well as a certain quantity of ammunition however what they didn’t tell you was no one said that was all you could have. Have a militia musket and a dozen non-militia firearms perfectly fine. The modern corollary would be if all gun owners were required to have an M4 (a fully automatic service rifle), a M9, and 400+ rnds of ammunition in addition to their other personal firearms. I suspect that isn’t where you want to go either.

    As for background checks if you look through my previous comments you’ll see that i have stated I’d like to see the NCIS system opened to private sellers. A simple waiver of any legal or civil liability being granted with a successful check would probably be incentive enough for most legal owners. One reason this hasn’t moved is the people that propose these changes on the gun control side do not understand firearm owners and how the firearms are enjoyed. They propose going through an ffl dealer for all checks while stating that any transfer of any duration or purpose requires a check. The result of this is if I hunt with a friend and his shotgun suffers a malfunction I cannot allow him to use mine without finding a dealer paying a fee and waiting 24 hrs despite the fact that I will be 20′ away from him the whole time. It is a result of arrogance and an inability to attempt to find common ground.

    As for the so called gun shoelw loophole doesn’t happen. The only sales at a gun show that don’t require checks are private transfers.

    In the end both sides will retreat to their bunkers on the opposite sides of Flanders field and wait to lob more grenades and artillery at each other the next time emotions run hot. After all an armistice and finding middle ground is hard. Besides you only negotiate with those you respect. You demand capitulation of those you despise.

    May I make a suggestion? Attend a NRA gun safety class, pay attention, and leave politics at home. You may find that the folks you meet are more like you than you think. Seriously if you have kids send them to a kids class they won’t handle guns but what they learn could save their life.

    Have a good night sleep well. I hope you enjoy the beautiful day to come.

  70. - FAIRNESS AND FAIRNESS ONLY - Friday, Aug 28, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    The article hits home for me and is something I’ve thought of frequently, especially in the last year. While everyone is quick to jump on or off the NRA bandwagon, few are quick to take action on the entrenched poverty and violence in areas that they pass too quickly.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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