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Passions in Poetry

The Circus in Tucson

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Daddy Goose38
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0 posted 01-11-2011 08:22 AM       View Profile for Daddy Goose38   Email Daddy Goose38   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Daddy Goose38


UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Sunshine
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1 posted 01-11-2011 09:32 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Jaime, it is so very sad that politics have outcomes such as Tucson...and this, of course, was not the first. What needs to be remembered, is that we, as people of a great nation, can make this all better. It starts, as always, with Prayer...and then, with conviction.



Balladeer
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2 posted 01-11-2011 11:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Definitely convictions!
Ringo
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3 posted 01-12-2011 05:16 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

This whole thing has my brain spinning in my skull...
While I do not agree with most things Rep. Gifford says, she- from most things I saw before this, and most tings I have heard since- had strong belief in her thoughts, and was not a political lackey that went lockstep with her party. There are far too many in government (from both parties) who do as they are told and do not stand up for themselves or their constituents.
The biggest thing that gets my blood boiling is the fact that the sheriff was on TV placing political blame, as have more than one in Congress and in the news...
The law enforcement community in Tucson had dealt with him before for making threats (not against the Congresswoman) and knows that he was not a loyal member of EITHER political party, or any true political philosophy... and yet, there are members of the political scene who are using this to make cheap political points and to attempt to get their names in the papers.

I wonder if any of them have 9 year old granddaughters?


Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE
Denise
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4 posted 01-12-2011 05:22 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Prayer and truth. And better mental health policies. It is virtually impossible to commit an adult with serious and obvious mental disturbances until they prove they are a danger to themselves and others by engaging in a massacre. Five reported death threats over the past couple of years should have been enough to have someone committed. I don't see that politics, from either side of the aisle, played a role in this tragedy. Politics didn't come into play until about 30 minutes after the fact when the media, the sheriff and some on the left started playing the blame game before any information on the shooter was even known. Truly a sad state of affairs.
Uncas
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5 posted 01-12-2011 06:02 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


I just wonder which dipstick allowed him to have a gun, given everything known about him?

Surely there has to be something seriously wrong with a gun law that allows someone to legally own a firearm who clearly shouldn't be handling anything sharper than a sponge without supervision.

It's a disaster waiting to happen, and it will, again and again and people will be shocked when it does. They'll try to find any possible reasons, however remote, to explain how it could happen while conveniently ignoring the obvious.


Denise
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6 posted 01-12-2011 06:39 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

There's nothing wrong with the law, Uncas. He passed the required FBI background check when he purchased his weapon. Perhaps if the Sheriff had done his job and actually arrested Loughner a time or two for the various death threats that he had made he wouldn't have passed the background check and some people may be alive today who now aren't. But if he wanted a gun bad enough he would have found a way to get one, most likely on the blackmarket. That's where most criminals get them anyway. Then again, he may have had a harder time going that route, being so severely mentally ill.
Uncas
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7 posted 01-12-2011 06:57 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


Then the law, and the background checks are obviously flawed Denise - he was mentally unstable and the law allowed him to have a gun.

The alternative is to accept that there's nothing wrong with a law that allows mentally unstable people to possess firearm - that's a big stretch Denise.
Denise
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8 posted 01-12-2011 07:10 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The FBI can't be mind readers, Uncas. If nothing of a serious nature shows up on his police record because there is nothing of a violent nature documented there, and he is therefore able to purchase a gun in one of his increasingly rare lucid moments when he appeared normal to the gun store clerk, how is that the fault of the law or the background check process?  
Uncas
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9 posted 01-12-2011 07:58 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


It's a failure because it happened Denise.

Not once, not twice but numerous times, this is just one example. We can shrug our shoulders and say "Oh well, stuff happens, it's nobody's fault" or we can introduce measures that make it less likely to happen again.

We change the standards when toy manufacturers make unsafe toys that meet current standards and we change food safety laws when food manufacturers supply unfit food that doesn't breach current food laws.

Yet every time a mentally unstable person buys a gun legally under the current law and goes postal we shrug our shoulders and say "Oh well, stuff happens, what can you do".

I own guns, legally, under some pretty restrictive gun laws and I had to jump through a whole slew of hoops before I was granted a license, which included providing documented evidence of my character and mental stability. I have to reapply every 5 years and jump through the same hoops all over again and my license can be rescinded at any point on a temporary or permanent basis.

Does it stop people being shot by someone holding legally held guns? Absolutely not, but it definitely reduces the chance of it happening and therefore the number of incidences.

Change the law to reduce the failures, law abiding and responsible folk get to own guns and mentally unstable individuals don't.


Balladeer
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10 posted 01-12-2011 09:34 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm curious, Uncas. What documentation does one provide showing mental stability?
Uncas
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11 posted 01-13-2011 02:13 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

First you fill out a declaration regarding your mental history and sign it. Then 2 referees (of sound character) who've known you for at least two years counter sign to say that the details supplied are correct.

Finally you sign a waiver that allows the licensing authority (the local Constabulary) to ask your doctor to provide verification of your medical history.

Providing false information is an offence and applicable to all signatories.

The application form including guidance is here in case I missed anything:
http://www.northumbria.police.uk/Images/FIrearm%20Application%20Form_tcm4-11687.pdf

Balladeer
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12 posted 01-13-2011 03:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I see. Obviously signing a declaration would be no proof of anything since a person trying to evade discovery would lie anyway. Two references would have to sign it...."mentally sound" is specified there, which would mean, I suppose, that they would have to be investigated also to prove their sound character..which may require two references of theirs...which would need to be investigated..which would need to provide....sounds like that could go on forever! Allowing your doctor to provide medical history? If one is mentally unbalanced and has not been diagnosed with it or treated, that wouldn't be much help.

Don't get me wrong. I applaud any and all investigations that could keep guns out of mentally imbalanced hands. I just point out how difficult it really is on a large scale. It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback with the should-haves and could-haves. Look  how much of that was done convering 9-11. There is real and there is realistic. I personally favor incredibly stringent rules on gun purchases...and still I would acknowledge that, in spite of such, guns would still wind up in lunatic hands.
Uncas
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13 posted 01-13-2011 04:57 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


Sure, you could get counter signatories ad infinitum as you suggested but that would be stupid, not to mention unworkable.

Fortunately the gun law that form relates to was designed to be both thorough enough to reduce legally held firearms being used inappropriately, while at the same time being practical in the real world. It's not perfect but it's better than the law in Arizona.

The alternative to changing the gun law is to carry on selling guns to 18 year olds without any question, simply because the current law says you can. Then shrugging your shoulders and rolling out the old "Oh well, stuff happens, it's nobody's fault" mantra when it all goes pear shaped.

Perfection is a great goal, but just because you might not make it is no excuse to do nothing.


Balladeer
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14 posted 01-13-2011 05:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

We agree. One needs to do what one can and no system is perfect. Those who say that an incident such as the recent one wouldn't have happened with more stringent rules in place are not correct but, in other future instances they could be.

One can only try...
Uncas
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15 posted 01-13-2011 06:26 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I agree 100% with that.
Ron
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16 posted 01-13-2011 06:35 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Craig, I would be delighted to hear that England never has a legally registered firearm used inappropriately, but I think we both know that isn't true. The slew of hoops you had to jump through can, at best, reduce those incidents, not eliminate them. Add a few more hoops and you might reduce them even more. Is that what you're advocating? The inevitable result, of course, is the abolishment of legally owned firearms.

In this country, the right to bear arms is a Constitutionally guaranteed right. Just like free speech and the right to worship without interference. The thing about rights is that there's always someone somewhere who will abuse them. That's the price we pay. The only way to ever eliminate the abuse, I believe, is to eliminate the freedom. Again, we're talking about nothing less than the abolishment of legally owned firearms.

Personally, I might be swayed by an argument that the right to keep and bear arms shouldn't be a right any more. I'm honestly not sure.

But, so long as it IS a right, I'm against just about any limitation being imposed on it. People willing to jump through a slew of hoops to buy a weapon should, I think, ask themselves if they're equally willing to jump through hoops to go to a church of their own choosing or to speak out against government policies they don't like. Erosion of rights is a cliché, but it's also a synonym for rights we've allowed others to limit. That snowball at the top of the mountain can too easily become an avalanche.


Huan Yi
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17 posted 01-13-2011 06:38 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“ According to a 2007 Justice Department study cited by Torrey, the mentally ill represent 45 percent of all federal prisoners, 56 percent of state prisoners, and 64 percent of local prisoners. Clearing out state mental hospitals was sold as a compassionate policy during the 1960s and 1970s. Yet the “reforms” of that era left behind a grisly trail of human wreckage.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/257058/lesson-loughner-editors


But most "mentally ill" don't go out and kill people.  This as with Fort Hood was
a case of a lot of people for one reason
or another letting it slide or looking
the other way.

.
Uncas
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18 posted 01-13-2011 08:47 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

But all Americans don't have a right to bear arms Ron. That right, like every other right, is restricted by common sense rules and regulationss enacted into law.

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Unless of course you're deemed too young, a convicted criminal or, quite rightly, mentally unstable.

Those common sense restrictions already exist, changing the law to ensure that they're stringently enforced doesn't curtail or diminish anybody's rights one iota. In fact, it could be argued that it acts to ensure another of your rights - the one that mentions life and liberty.

Would any of this stop people from being killed?

No. Whatever hoops are put in place can be circumvented and I'd be a fool to argue otherwise, but its reasonable to assume that it may stop some incidents. Even if it stopped one single solitary incident then if the only cost as a law abiding gun owner is that I have to jump through a few hoops I think it's worth it.

Are tighter controls a slippery slope to a total ban?

I don't think that's as inevitable as you make out. The UK has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world but even here, were gun owners are a minority voice, I can't see a total ban being a viable possibility. Shooting for sport is too entrenched in the fabric of our society for any political party to consider a total ban.

Should the right to bear arms be removed?

It's an interesting question. I think I'd have to say yes, I can see an argument for giving up my guns that doesn't entail prying them from my cold dead hands.

Can I keep my bows though?

Ron
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19 posted 01-14-2011 12:04 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
"According to a 2007 Justice Department study cited by Torrey, the mentally ill represent 45 percent of all federal prisoners ... "

They must be underestimating those numbers, John. By my estimate, the percentage of mentally ill people in this country is much higher than that. Indeed, sometimes I think the only completely sane person I know is me. Other times, I'm not so sure about me.

'Course, I guess different people have different definitions of mentally ill? And therein lies the danger.

quote:
Unless of course you're deemed too young, a convicted criminal or, quite rightly, mentally unstable.

Would you argue that freedom of religion or speech should be similarly limited, Craig?

quote:
Even if it stopped one single solitary incident then if the only cost as a law abiding gun owner is that I have to jump through a few hoops I think it's worth it.

Isn't that the same argument we've been hearing ever since 911? That freedom is less important than security?

Don't get me wrong. Pragmatically, I know there will always be necessary limitations on the freedoms our forefathers (in both countries) fought and died to preserve for us. Idealistically, however, I think we need to question every and any limitation proposed, fighting it tooth and nail right up to the moment it becomes law. And sometimes beyond.

Freedom is too fragile, and far too precious, to ever take for granted. I firmly believe that if you're not actively fighting for your freedom then you're already in the process of losing it.
Local Rebel
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20 posted 01-14-2011 10:52 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

But, so long as it IS a right, I'm against just about any limitation being imposed on it.



Yes.  Where's my nuke?  I want my nuke!

I'm not really trying to play gotcha Ron, it's just not as simplistic an argument as a right is a right is a right.  And I know that you know that.

As I've stated many times;  I believe it is an absolute right for every citizen to own a single-shot, muzzle loaded, ball shooter -- the technology that was available at the time of the signing of the 2nd Amendment into law.
Ron
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21 posted 01-14-2011 01:15 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Actually, Reb, I believe if we were to agree that the right to bear arms should remain in the Bill of Rights, you should indeed be allowed your nuke. Assuming, of course, you could afford it? Not everyone three hundred years ago had a single-shot, muzzle loaded ball shooter, either.

It has always been clear, at least to me, that the Bill of Rights was added to the American Constitution at the insistence of men who very much didn't trust government. They obviously were also men prepared to violently oppose any government they felt had wandered too far down the path of tyranny. The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms, I think, is essentially the right to have a fighting chance against our own government should it ever come to that. That's an over-simplification, I know (State militia versus Federal army is probably closer to what they foresaw), but I honestly don't think it's too far off the mark.

The limitations we've already allowed on our right to bear arms has pretty much circumvented the Founders' intent. You can't have an automatic weapon, you can't have a tank, and yea, they seriously frown on anyone stockpiling their own nukes. Those State militias, of course, have become our national army, a.k.a. the National Guard.

The right to pose a serious threat to tyranny has devolved into the right to shoot targets and poor, helpless little animals. I really don't think that's what the Founders intended.


Essorant
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22 posted 01-14-2011 01:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

In an overhwhelmed society where people are full of depressions, anxieties, addictions, obsessions, etc and "losing it", short-term or long-term, the last thing that should be easy or a special "right" to get is guns, making all our instabilities even more dangerous when people can do far more damage more quickly and efficiently through a gun.   Sure, the law can allow people to have and use guns to a limited extent, but I don't think that should mean making them easy and convenient, allowing guns and/or ammunition to be sold at common stores such as Walmart.   The restrictions on ownership should be very strict, and the locations of where guns are bought and sold, even stricter, because it is too dangerous for them not to be.

On the other hand though, I think places where guns can be used recreationally (such as a shooting range) should have their own guns, owned by the facility, but not by any specific individual.  Therefore, if people have difficulty finding guns to buy (which they should in, my opinion) they shouldn't have any difficulty getting a gun to use at a recreational facility: there would already be guns there, but they would be dependant on going to the facility to use it.   No one would need or be allowed to take any guns home with them at the end of the day.  

Uncas
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23 posted 01-14-2011 03:00 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Would you argue that freedom of religion or speech should be similarly limited, Craig?


No Ron, I'd argue that they already are.

There are caveats placed on all rights. If you don't believe me try standing outside your local sheriff's office exercising your right to freely speak about the need for the armed resistance of the fascist police force and see how long your freedom lasts.



You're right to free speech is restricted by the common sense rule that you can't freely incite violence.

Freedom of religion?

Devil worshipers can't sacrifice virgins Ron, while Christians witch finders are swelling the ranks of the unemployed. Right now the Westboro Baptist's might also question how free they are to exercise their rights, to both freedom of religion and speech.

All rights have limits, you can argue that mentally unstable individuals should have the right to bear arms, but society has decided that they shouldn't. If we all agree that they shouldn't doesn't it make sense to do everything practically possible to ensure that they don't?


Ron
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24 posted 01-14-2011 05:18 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Essorant, you're simply arguing, as did Uncas, that freedom is less important than security. As Ben Franklin said 300 years ago, that course inevitably leads to a loss of both.

As to your suggestion, I'm guessing you are not an active shooting enthusiast? I would no sooner want to use an off-the-shelf weapon than I would use a bowling alley's in-house ball. It would almost be like borrowing a friend's jock strap.

Uncas, I think you're analogies are flawed.

To address just one example you posted, that of the hypothetical sheriff, you're not talking about freedom of speech so much as the abuse of that freedom. Your other analogies follow suit. We don't restrict the rights of people standing outside their sheriff's office, we don't restrict the rights of devil worshippers or Christians, rather we restrict what people can do with the rights they have. That's a far cry from making everyone fill out a bunch of paperwork or get testimonies from their doctor and a few friends before they're allowed to speak their mind or go to church.

If you want to restrict what people can DO with their legally owned firearms, that's a somewhat different discussion, I think.


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