The president’s challenge to DO something about gun violence

POTUS is fed up, as would be any national leader who’s had to make far too many of these statements, and doesn’t want to make any more of them.

And we know how futile all of the words he’s said in the past have been, in terms of providing actual leadership toward solutions to the problem.

As I’ve said over and over, I’m not sure what we can do about the problem of gun violence, because the problem is that there are just too many guns. It doesn’t matter who has them at a given point in time, or how careful we are about who makes the initial purchases, there are just so many of them that lots of them are inevitably going to fall into the wrong hands.

And I don’t know of anything we can do about that that has the slightest political chance of being enacted in this country. I mean, you want to see violence in the streets? Try implementing the worst apocalyptic nightmare of the gun lobby — try rounding up the guns. Not that we’d ever get to the point of starting such a program, because it’s politically impossible.

But I certainly share the president’s frustration, and I’m glad that the entire country doesn’t look at me expecting me to say something meaningful every time one of these things happens…

23 thoughts on “The president’s challenge to DO something about gun violence

  1. Doug Ross

    How about the next President commit to decreasing gun deaths by 50% by his/her 4th year or else he won’t run again? Put some actual goals on the table that give him the incentive to do something more than talk.
    Obama’s great at talking. Leading ,not so much. He’s a lame duck with nothing to lose politically. He is in the best position right now to do something if he’s serious.

      1. Doug Ross

        Yes, but there weren’t as many cable news network hours to fill back then to hype every shooting 24×7… Jeez, you couldn’t even take a selfie with a murder victim lying on the ground back in the old days.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    So…ah…other than…you know…an “apocalyptic nightmare” proposal, what do you propose?

    I’m no advertising guru, but I just don’t think “The Apocalyptic Nightmare Proposal” is gonna poll really well with the voters out in Iowa.

    1. Norm Ivey

      I saw Apocalyptic Nightmare open for Confidence Factor at the Township in 1982. They were kind of an odd pairing.

  3. Dave Crockett

    I am pretty well convinced now that there really isn’t anything that can be done legislatively. It seems to me the typical (and I guess we have a large enough ‘n’ to call something typical) mass shooter is solely motivated by a desire to go out in a blaze of glory. The motivation can be ego, angst, anger, depression or any one of a dozen more descriptors. Most have little or no significant criminal record, so they don’t pop up on the law enforcement radar. Almost none seem to have any desire or plan to survive their fifteen minutes of fame, and the vast majority don’t. They expect either to be caught or killed, and they certainly don’t care about the pain inflicted on themselves, their victims or their families. As such, almost no amount of police presence, security screenings, or legally or illegally carried concealed weapons is going to have much impact on reducing the number of such incidents, nor will it have much effect on the scope of them when they occur.

    We are at a tragic confluence of the First and Second Amendments, the Age of The Internet, and 24-hour news cycles. I used to think that there might be some kind of “common sense” legislative remedies, but have learned here that my concept of common sense and others’ is often sharply divergent. I used to think that funding more emphasis on mental health evaluations and treatment might help, but it seems those who need it most are least likely to seek it out or receive it.

    So, yesterday when I went out to see “The Martian” with my wife and friends, we cast our fates to the wind, enjoyed the flick, popcorn and soft drinks, and just didn’t think about the danger we might be facing being far more than that faced by Matt Damon onscreen. Good flick, BTW…

  4. Bill

    On the bright side,serial killings peaked in the 80’s,but now,mass murderers have taken their place.One leads to another?

  5. Doug Ross

    I am appalled by the senseless killing of innocent people. Something must be done to stop this from happening. I am fully supportive of taking whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from happening again..

    We are talking about the bombing of the Afghan hospital by U.S. military that killed 22 innocent people (including 3 children) , right? That was 100% preventable without any new laws.

  6. Doug Ross

    So it’s impossible to deport X million illegal immigrants but it is possible to confiscate 20X legal guns? Interesting.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, I don’t think it is. That’s why I think the situation is hopeless. That’s the only thing that would help — a radical reduction in the number of guns that exist — and I don’t see it as practical.

      Who is it who thinks it WOULD be practical?

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Note that I say “practical” rather than “possible.” Anything is possible. I just don’t see us wanting to become the kind of police state it would take to accomplish either of those goals…

  7. Doug Ross

    What is the most common factor involved in the following mass killings:

    Columbine, Sandy Hook, Denver movie theater, Charleston Church, Oregon

    All were committed by young males on some type of prescription medicine that impacts brain function. Why isn’t this even spoken about as a potential cause?

    1. Scout

      What are the drugs? I’ve not heard this angle? Were they all taking the same drug? same class of drugs?

      1. Pat

        One kind of drug, antidepressants, was mentioned a long while back when a male teen in Charleston killed his grandparent. I can’t recall all the details but his defense was that the drug had adverse affects on teens as opposed to adults.

      2. Doug Ross

        SSRI (Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) were used by Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Denver shooters. Suboxone was used by Dylan Roof. It’s purpose is to treat opiate addiction and one of the common side effects from the website is “mood swings” . The Oregon shooter was somewhere on the Aspberger’s spectrum according to his mother which likely means some type of prescription to deal with the symptoms.

    2. Phillip

      Maybe because if there’s an entity more powerful and with more clout in Congress than the NRA and gun owners, it’s the pharmaceutical industry.

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