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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:02 pm 
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chijohnaok wrote:
Gump wrote:

The constitutional fantasy about getting into a rifle battle with the federal government does seem to be a serious impediment to simple changes... I guess no amount of conversation is ever going to convince you that the likelihood of that ever happening is zero. If the country ever devolved to the point where you're in a shooting war with them you won't need to worry about a rifle... that's so 1780's.... The drone or Apache will simply liquidate you without a shot being fired. And if we ever did get to that point, you would be up to your eyeballs in suitable weapons... just like dirt poor Afghans are.... The toys will be provided ....

So if you could shelve that fantasy I think ideas like magazine limits could help.... not a lot.. but it would at least be a start....

Another idea that comes to mind here is maybe an age limit to buy a war weapon... maybe you need to be 21 ? An idea like that would not bother me at all... Will it stop all shootings ?... no... will it possibly stop a few ? If so then I think it's worth considering.

Beyond better background checks for mental health issues, I think there are several other small changes that could be considered that would not be precursors to nationwide gun confiscations or other hyperbolic fears...


My bold emphasis above.

The legal age to purchase handguns is already 21, which didn't stop Seung-Hui Cho, who had already been diagnosed as being "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" on Sept 13, 2005 from being able to legally purchase 2 semi-automatic pistols in Feb and March 2007, more than a year after he had been diagnosed as "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization". Seung-Hui Cho was 21 years old at the time that he legally purchased those 2 handguns. These are 2 handguns he then used to murder 33 people and injure another 23 at Virginia Tech.


James Holmes was 30 years old at the time that he legally purchased a handgun, shotgun and rifle and then shot up a theater in Aurora, Colorado.
He had been seen by no less than 3 three mental health professionals at the University of Colorado prior to the massacre and was undergoing treatment (including the prescription of sertraline, an anti-depressant which is also used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and social phobia) for his mental health issues. He murdered 12 and another 70 were injured as a result of this shooting.


Powerful, and concerning facts and I don't dispute the specifics nor the generalities.

MOST people who commit spree killings are mentally ill. Very likely the vast majority of crimes committed with firearms are committed by people who are not so clearly mentally ill, though arguably not fully mentally healthy. I reckon the average ethnic minority gang banger in a typical high-homicide urban area like Chicago is not the most mentally well-balanced or self-actualized individual, but are they too "mentally ill?" What is mental illness after all? Are ANY of us short of Buddha truly "MENTALLY HEALTHY?"

I raise these issues not because I wish to derail the discussion nor to dispute the point. I agree with the point: a non-trivial fraction of homicides are committed by people who have already demonstrated a clinical history of mental illness of some sort. However, the largest fraction of those who commit crimes likely have NOT demonstrated a clinical history of mental illness, even though if they WERE examined they likely would be found to show mental illness of some sort. In fact, if we imagine an Orwellian type of imposition into the lives of every American in which we are all required to submit to periodic mental health screenings, my guess is that easily two-thirds of us would score "yellow" if not "red" on the mental health alert scale. The gangbangers woul d likely be diagnosed at more like 90%; the spree-killers in the making as more like 97.5%

One of the things that criminologists have been forced to recognize based on years of psychosocial analyses of various types of recidivist violent criminals, is that it is EXCEEDINGLY difficult to identify good measurement standards for predicting future violent behavior. "Good measurement standards" means: a low rate of both false negatives and false positives. It is not hard to devise methods that suffer from high rates of false positives, that is the point I'm making. By a "zero tolerance" standard, there are probably a tiny fraction of humanity whom are truly, fully mentally competent.

But that does nothing to change the existing ecology of firearms, meaning the full gamut of social, cultural, legal and ethical elements of firearms. This is true for any society but since we are focusing on the U.S. that is the one that is worth considering.

If we take Gump's imperatives as our call to action, and we implement an Orwellian system to "force" every adult American to submit to sufficiently frequent and intrusive screenings that we can actually achieve a high degree of fidelity in detecting potential risks, there are many high probability results of such a revolutionary set of changes and a high likelihood of many unintended consequences.

In the first place, as I already pointed out, such a system would necessarily (based on our current understandings of human social psychology) suffer from a high rate of false positives. If you want to be SURE you detect any potential risks, then that is just the way it is at this point, and very likely the way it will always be; human beings after all, are not inanimate objects. This means that, in order to achieve a high degree of success at denying the mentally ill access to firearms, it very well might be necessary to deny 95% of everyone else that access too (I'm speculating, but not without some empirical tethering).

Then we come to the silhouette of this "utopian" gun free society we have invisioned. Sounds a lot like a police state to me.

This leads us to the actual effects of any such efforts to infringe on people rights: well I'm sure I don't have to tell you that civil war is likely to break out long before more than a few thousand citizens are diagnosed and disarmed.

Meanwhile, what will be happening amongst the illegal/undocumented firearms owners of the U.S.? Well obviously they will not be stepping forward to willingly submit to the screenings and so we are once more back to the very issue I raised before when asking whether the weapon(s) used in this most recent case in Florida were legal or not.

The "cat" is long out of the bag and there is likely no easy way to put it back in. Even if we did, the knowledge of how to forge firearms is not something that can be forgotten . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Gump wrote:
Simple fact is that buying a weapon illegally is not nearly as easy as you think it is. So in this case that would likely be one mass shooting that didn't happen.. because he couldn't walk into a sporting goods store and buy a war weapon.

The people you're trying to stop are not criminal masterminds... there are probably only a few hundred of them spread over the country... all you'd need to do is impede or stop a few of them and you will have accomplished a lot.


Oh really?
Quote:
The Chicago Crime Lab study

Cook and colleagues Susan Parker and Harold Pollack at the University of Chicago interviewed 99 inmates of the Cook County Jail in Chicago. They were looking for criminals who were likely to have used a gun or had ready access to one. The authors described the group of participants as "a convenience sample of gun-involved, criminally active men living in greater Chicago."

"It is difficult to say how representative they are of the larger population with that description," they wrote. "For that reason, we do not place much emphasis on the statistical results, as opposed to the qualitative patterns that emerged from these data."

That said, of the 70 inmates who had possessed a firearm, only 2, or 2.9 percent, had bought it at a gun store. The report found that percentage was in line with the findings of the Chicago Police Department when it traced weapons seized from suspected gang members. (For a glimpse into how guns move through a community, Cook's full article is good reading.)

There are some important caveats however.

First, Cook noted that it’s possible to buy a gun illegally from a gun store. You can use a fake ID or employ a straw purchaser (someone who can pass a background check who buys the weapon on your behalf).

Furthermore, just because the rest of the people interviewed didn’t purchase a gun at a gun store doesn’t mean they acquired it illegally.

"It’s possible to make a legal acquisition from another source – a gift from a family member, a purchase from a private seller, etc.," Cook said. "Whether transactions of that sort are legal depend on the details of the transaction and local regulations."

Cook also cautioned that the numbers from the Chicago study might not apply across the country.

The national data

In 2004, the government conducted its periodic Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities. It found that among inmates who had a gun when they committed their crime (16 percent of all prisoners), about 11 percent had bought the firearm at a retail store, a pawn shop, a flea market or a gun show. Another 37 percent had gotten it from a friend or family member. About 40 percent said they got it illegally on the black market, from a drug dealer or by stealing it.

But the same caveats apply. A retail purchase might not have been legal and a gift from a family member might not be illegal.

A 1994 study by researchers James Wright and Peter Rossi came up with a larger percentage of potentially legal purchases. They surveyed prisoners in 10 states. About 21 percent said they acquired their weapons from a gun or other "customary retail outlets" as the researchers put it. About one out of four came through gray or black market sources. However, gun laws were looser when that data was collected. The Brady Bill and its background check provisions passed the year the study was published.

Ultimately, there are holes in the data. But Cook said while 3 percent or 10 percent might not be the exact number of legally purchased firearms used by criminals, the fraction is in that ballpark.

"I think it’s safe to say that a low percentage of criminal assaults and robberies are committed with guns that were acquired by legal purchase from a gun store," Cook said.

Joseph Olson, a professor at Hamline University School of Law and former board member of the National Rifle Association, believes that the number of legally acquired firearms used by criminals is negligible.

"Criminals don’t go through background checks because they know they wouldn't pass them," Olson said.

Olson said with homicides, there are two key exceptions. Legal firearms are often found when the killings occur duing domestic violence or mass shootings.

Our ruling

Scarborough said that about "3 percent of murders and crimes are committed with guns from people who actually (legally) purchase those guns." Recent studies that look at prisoners who had a gun when they committed a crime found that between 3 and 11 percent purchased the weapon at a store or gun show.

But the studies only tell us where the guns came from, not whether they were acquired legally, and there are issues with using the data to reach the conclusion Scarborough did, experts told us.

We rate this claim Half True.


I suppose you are correct though. Acquiring an illicit firearm is NOT easy; but if one is not legally able to acquire one, and one desires to have one for purposes of intended malice, then the difficulty is of limited significance. Even in the most gun-controlled parts of the world, people with the desire to acquire weapons still manage to do so.

From where I'm standing, it doesn't look like restricting Americans' rights to bear arms across the board is likely to help with the various crime and social problems that are exacerbated by firearms. Better interdiction on the various illicit weapons acquisition channels seems like a promising area for discussion though.

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Last edited by Anthropoid on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:09 pm 
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Gump wrote:
Simple fact is that buying a weapon illegally is not nearly as easy as you think it is. So in this case that would likely be one mass shooting that didn't happen.. because he couldn't walk into a sporting goods store and buy a war weapon.

The people you're trying to stop are not criminal masterminds... there are probably only a few hundred of them spread over the country... all you'd need to do is impede or stop a few of them and you will have accomplished a lot.



My bold emphasis above.

Quote:
Simple fact is that buying a weapon illegally is not nearly as easy as you think it is.


That may be easier than you think ....in some places:

Chicago police: More than 5,000 illegal guns seized this year
It was actually slightly less than 5,200.
That was through July 25, 2017...so a little over 6 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:12 pm 
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I am going to predict the rifle was legally obtained.

One problem now is the standard for a mental health professional to report someone dangerous is somewhat arbitrary. In California it is an "imminent danger to himself or others" (Lanterman-Petri-Short Act). Even worse, the metal health professional has ethical obligations NOT to report.

One also needs to understand the LPS Act is a response to past psychiatric inpatient abuses which were pervasive and terrible and dwarf any current concerns over erosion of rights in the present circumstance.

One also has to remember that psychiatry once thought pre-frontal lobotomy and involuntary ECT were a good ideas and labeled homosexuality a psychiatric disease so they do have some credibility to regain.

Even so, there are some recognizable psychiatric diseases that appear to greatly increase the risk of violence...schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and sociopathy.

Notice I did not include Bipolar or Major Depressive disorder. Some of these sufferers DO commit suicide with guns but that is their business.

Perhaps something like this:
--Law enforcement encounters a "crazy person" causing problems and takes him/her to ER
--Medical professional identifies possible dx of Psychosis
--Report is made with liability protection for the reporting entity
--If a new case...a panel of 3 experts employed by the government literally SEES and independently interviews the patient BEFORE he is discharged
--If the consensus is Schizophrenia the case goes PROMPTLY before a judge in a special court. An experienced attorney (employed by the government) is provided at no expense for the mentally ill person to represent him. If the judge is persuaded the background screen is notified. If the patient has licensed guns they are held in probate for 6 months and he is partly compensated. He cannot legally buy more guns. After 6 months there is an automatic hearing. If sustained, there is an automatic hearing in 12 months and the guns are purchased at fair market value.

Now this would cost a LOT of money but at least it provides some due process and free mental health care.

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:16 pm 
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I used to think that worry about abuse of FISA was paranoia.

I no longer think that because it happened in a fashion so fantastic as to shock even law and order types.

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Quote:
That may be easier than you think ....in some places


Missing the point as usual and dredging up all the tired arguments intended to derail any discussion about methods that could help reduce the problem... Just like Hop Chop Suey and his 2 pistols... failing to acknowledge that he killed that many people because he moved between several distant locations. If you show up at a crowded high school with a pistol or a shotgun, you are not going to kill as many people as you can with an AR 15 with 30 round magazines.... So the point was obvious... why are submachine guns more heavily regulated ?

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:25 pm 
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jack t ripper wrote:
I used to think that worry about abuse of FISA was paranoia.

I no longer think that because it happened in a fashion so fantastic as to shock even law and order types.


I agree that a system like that cannot be half baked... but it does exist already for elderly people being judged incompetent.. etc... we take away old peoples drivers licenses... you want to see some god given rights heartache go talk to some of them... it's an unfortunate part of human life.

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Last edited by Gump on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:27 pm 
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jack t ripper wrote:
I am going to predict the rifle was legally obtained.

One problem now is the standard for a mental health professional to report someone dangerous is somewhat arbitrary. In California it is an "imminent danger to himself or others" (Lanterman-Petri-Short Act). Even worse, the metal health professional has ethical obligations NOT to report.

One also needs to understand the LPS Act is a response to past psychiatric inpatient abuses which were pervasive and terrible and dwarf any current concerns over erosion of rights in the present circumstance.

One also has to remember that psychiatry once thought pre-frontal lobotomy and involuntary ECT were a good ideas and labeled homosexuality a psychiatric disease so they do have some credibility to regain.

Even so, there are some recognizable psychiatric diseases that appear to greatly increase the risk of violence...schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and sociopathy.

Notice I did not include Bipolar or Major Depressive disorder. Some of these sufferers DO commit suicide with guns but that is their business.

Perhaps something like this:
--Law enforcement encounters a "crazy person" causing problems and takes him/her to ER
--Medical professional identifies possible dx of Psychosis
--Report is made with liability protection for the reporting entity
--If a new case...a panel of 3 experts employed by the government literally SEES and independently interviews the patient BEFORE he is discharged
--If the consensus is Schizophrenia the case goes PROMPTLY before a judge in a special court. An experienced attorney (employed by the government) is provided at no expense for the mentally ill person to represent him. If the judge is persuaded the background screen is notified. If the patient has licensed guns they are held in probate for 6 months and he is partly compensated. He cannot legally buy more guns. After 6 months there is an automatic hearing. If sustained, there is an automatic hearing in 12 months and the guns are purchased at fair market value.

Now this would cost a LOT of money but at least it provides some due process and free mental health care.


Excellent points. The take-aways being:
1. There are SOME mental diagnoses that are relatively unproblematic as a basis to deny 2nd Amendment rights.

2. However, out of the grand scheme of "mental states" that contribute to violence, or more specifically firearms violence, those diagnoses only comprise a small fraction.

3. Even restricting the discussion to efforts to assess patients who are suffering the least questionable ailments referenced in point (1), there are incredibly legal, ethical, and financial pitfalls that need to be avoided. To put it simply: we don't want to live in a society that punishes people and denies them their rights simply based on the probabilistic prospect that they MIGHT commit a crime.

4. Assuming such a system managed to evolve, be funded, and work copacetically, how much of an actual impact would it make? Probably not much. We already know that the overwhelming majority of firearms homicides are not the "school shooter" or spree killer variety. They are gang-related for lack of a better term. If we consider ONLY the fraction of people who could be diagnosed with the clearly high-risk ailments described in (1) then we have reduced the total impact of such interventions even further.

It may be worth it, but it may not be. We should not be quick to rush to conclusions that ANY efforts to interdict are necessarily better than the status quo based on irrational and emotionally charged sensational media coverage of "dead seven year olds . . ."

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Gump wrote:
Quote:
That may be easier than you think ....in some places


Missing the point as usual and dredging up all the tired arguments intended to derail any discussion about methods that could help reduce the problem... Just like Hop Chop Suey and his 2 pistols... failing to acknowledge that he killed that many people because he moved between several distant locations. If you show up at a crowded high school with a pistol or a shotgun, you are not going to kill as many people as you can with an AR 15 with 30 round magazines.... So the point was obvious... why are submachine guns more heavily regulated ?


Your problem, is that you refuse to listen to rational discourse and insist on resorting to the irrational appeals to emotion of the gun-grabbing leftist rhetoric.

NONE OF US want to do anything that promotes violence on this board. SOME OF US, also want to do NOTHING that infringes on legal rights of Americans.

I belong in both those categories. You apparently only belong in the former, at best . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Floride School Shooting at least 15 dead
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:44 pm 
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Your problem is that you imagine your tactic of only focusing on broad constitutional and philosophical issues will somehow absolve you from the utter failure of doing nothing about a problem that clearly needs to have "something" done about it...

At least it appears the ball has moved a little toward the latter.... at least the topic of better background checks isn't being immediately scorned.... Waiting for the next one.... maybe it will be one so big it can't possibly be ignored... My guess is it's only a matter of time now that every clown in town owns an AR-15 with a thousand rounds...

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Last edited by Gump on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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