Jeff Tarbell Seth ~ This is easily the best & most rational article I've read about this complex issue on PolicyMic. Congratulations. Regarding your second point, I'm thankful that Lanza wasn't also a gay pot smoker, or right now we'd be having a big walk-back on gay marriage & marijuana decriminalization. If violence is part of the human psyche, so is finding patterns in random events that may not be there at all. That's how our ancestors saw the panther among the trees, but is also how some see a fifth shooter on the Grassy Knoll. This isn't an excuse for inaction; only to sound a note of caution before instituting supposed big ticket fixes. I'm remembering all the legislation that culminated in the PATRIOT Act that was just sitting on a shelf, awaiting only the proper tragedy. These mass shootings remind me of plane crashes. When they occur, they are terrible concentrations of suffering, once again confirming in the minds of many how unsafe flying is regardless of any counter arguments.
Jeff Tarbell Barbara ~ I'm just a bit offended by your even making that remark, as if you are somehow implying that I endorse or contributed to that terrible suffering by putting them on an equal rhetorical footing. If you, instead, would like to tell me how my giving up my gun rights could have prevented that sad tragedy, I'm more than willing to listen. The shooting in Newtown should indeed teach us something. The question becomes, what is the lesson?
Jeff Tarbell Russ ~ OK, friend, a little less coffee next time. In any group as large as the NRA, there are going to be elements that represent the extremes. But not all members are Elmer Fudds, any more than all democrats sip Chardonnay and munch tofu in their hot tubs with their gay lovers. I happen to enjoy the shooting sports, yet hate Fox News and Rush. My appreciation of firearms causes me to overlap with folks I might not share too much in common with otherwise. But the same is true with most all passions, whether it be wine, cars or sports. Sure, some folks may collect guns for the coming Zombie Apocalypse, but enthusiasts also include hunters, historians and freckle-faced teenagers on their first camping trip. It all comes down to a very cherished Liberal conceit: diversity. Try not to make a cardboard cut-out out of us next time.
Jeff Tarbell Elliot ~ Guns already are regulated. Apply for a FFLo1/03 and you'll get lots and lots of paperwork from Uncle Sam. I come at it from the perspective of being a responsible adult enjoying a Constitutional right. If I'm to give that up, there better be some pretty damn iron clad guarantee you can give me in exchange for my sacrifice, and frankly, I don't think you or anyone can do it. In any case, why should I be the one to suffer for someone else's irresponsible behavior? I'm willing to submit to a background check if I purchase a weapon to assure that I haven't broken any laws or are wanted by the police somewhere. Fine. I'm willing to provide that much for the common good. I get much enjoyment from collecting and shooting. Heck, it's even part of the Olympic Winter Games. Why should I be denied these pleasures because of the actions of a random nut?
Jeff Tarbell Mike ~ I agree. I like Lilly's work around here, and with the number of articles she puts out, she's bound to whiff it once in a while. No biggie. Even the Panda struck out now and again.
Jeff Tarbell Lilly ~ Taking any suggestion to the nth degree is a good way of either making the suggestion, or yourself, look foolish. In my kind of society, a mentally disturbed man wouldn't be homeless or wandering around a subway platform. No gun needed. In any case, too bad we can't ask Han what he would have thought of the idea of armed intervention at just the right time. We already know how you feel about it. He just might have a different perspective on the matter.
Jeff Tarbell Jack ~ Or it proves that what today would be dismissed as an outlandishly high tax burden was somehow workable and not that big a deal. Certainly not worth leaving the country over, like today's generation of crybabies would have us believe.
Jeff Tarbell Adam ~ I didn't watch the presser so I'm going just by what you're reporting here, but as a representative of the nation's largest gun proponent organization, I'd be a bit shocked if LaPierre had come out espousing canards of the anti-gun opposition. If we could go back in a time machine and rewrite the entire history of our country, a ban on weapons just might make a lick of sense, but obviously we have to deal with the reality that we're actually living in. This means striking a balance between some common-sense accommodations to public safety — like not allowing felons or people with a history of mental instability or violence from purchasing firearms — and respecting the rights of citizens wishing to arm themselves. The mistake is in thinking that only one answer applies, and I think that LaPierre is right in pointing out other areas of concern. How is it unfair to condemn those with mental illness, even if access to treatment is lacking? That, he's saying, is the problem.
Jeff Tarbell Alright, whoever posted this under Jesse's account is going to get into a lot of trouble... Seriously, Jesse, thanks for showing another side to yourself, one completely off the usual beaten political trail. I enjoyed reading it a lot, because who hasn't ran over the one we were trying to save in the ambulance of our own neglect? I'm thinking that most of us would probably benefit from an enforced period of hibernation from around puberty to maybe 30 or so, or maybe it's just the world that would benefit most. Your revealing story reminds us that growing up is an ongoing endeavor, and that the process of self-awareness and honesty must also grow along with us. Yes, it sucks to hurt and be hurt, but few things carry more emotional potency than a sincere apology freely given. I hope you and your special person are on a happier path.
Jeff Tarbell Michael ~ Sorry if I gave that impression. Thanks for the interesting link. I've never felt that taxes alone were the solution to our spending. Naturally, you can't keep spending more than you bring in and expect to get anywhere. I've noted before that letting the Bush tax rates for upper income individuals expire, the argument is always how that won't cover everything; yet when republicans mention doing something like raising Social Security age requirements, the fact that this alone will likewise not fix our budget problems never seems to enter the conversation. I find that double standard telling. As far as cutting, I was pointing out how anything defense-related is off the table, even though we all know the waste involved in that arena as well as the huge bite it takes out of the national budget. I'd also love to save $30 billion dollars by stopping subsidizing Israeli settlements, even though that won't magically cure everything, either, but it would be a great start.
Jeff Tarbell "Those who are seeking exile abroad are not those who are scared of becoming poor," the prime minister declared after unveiling sweeping anti-poverty measures to help those hit by the economic crisis. These individuals are leaving "because they want to get even richer," he said." Sorry, but I gotta go with the French on this one. Here in America, returning upper tax rates to what was common under Clinton is hardly going to equate to Sweden on the Potomac, and only shows how off kilter this entire conversation has become.
Jeff Tarbell John ~ Your article is about two months too late. We had at least a year where the voters were presented competing versions of reality. Your side lost. Handsomely. Also lost in groups sucking at the government teat are the boys in camo, blue & white. With so much of our economy going to producing weapons of war, any proposed reduction gets immediately sidetracking by a states jobs issue argument, which representatives of both parties are reluctant to change. Washington, being Washington, means that no one's hands are clean when it comes to pointing fingers. But don't pretend that the democrats are the main culprits in this affair. Bush needlessly wasted money when enjoying a surplus; Obama inherited his sluggish economy immune to the usual fixes. Apples and apples, please. And for the thousandth time, I've heard no one save pundits on the rights claim that letting tax cuts for the rich expire is going to generate enough to cover the bill all by their lonesome. But it's a start.
Jeff Tarbell Just because I'll never be mistaken for George Clooney is no reason we shouldn't have movie stars. We admire these people in part because they don't look like the average bear. I remember setting up an event for a new film starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. When they both entered the room, they glowed like ethereal beings. Sure, they had folks spending untold hours on their clothes, hair and make-up, but still...they looked exactly like what they were — larger than life movie stars. Did I go home and feel bad about it? Nope. Our culture needs its heroes. Some of those are doctors, first responders and teachers. And some are folks who just happen to look fabulous. As an artist, I see nothing wrong with that.
Jeff Tarbell Frank ~ You started out good, but by the time Feinstein had her say, your list of good statements on gun control was looking kind of threadbare. Figuring out what drives people crazy should keep politicians in Washington busy for some time. Personally, I don't want my rights and privileges determined by what nuts do with them.
Jeff Tarbell Adam ~ I'm a bit confused by Myth 3, as another poster here on PM linked to a report that X number of firearms were traded illegally without background checks by listings on craigslist and on-line auction sites, in clear violation of existing FFL laws. So it would seem to be an area where better enforcement of existing laws would apply.