Comments for: A college student’s view: Time to talk about irresponsible gun use

Posted Dec. 17, 2012, at 2:09 p.m.

When a 20 year-old man opened fire inside of an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, I was about an hour away in a coffee shop, studying for a psychology final that I would be taking the next day. In the coffee shop, I heard some murmurs about a …

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  • Anonymous

    Ahh the joy of a young mind and the dreams of utopia. Back to reality. What would be wrong with a armed guard at schools?? Banks, malls, airports, military bases, many private companies, courthouses and even colleges have them but the idea of providing this protection to our CHILDREN offends you? You do not have kids I bet. As both a father and grandfather to 2 and 4 yo boys I say if we require/ allow armed guards for the above why not our most important asset our children?

    As far as the right answer well you are in college go to the library and read the Constitution then read the papers by those who wrote it. They are VERY clear that the PEOPLE should always be as well armed as the standing army as the people where the country.

    I grew up a Navy brat all over the world on bases small and large. you learn very young a words not taught anymore respect and responsibility.

    • Anonymous

      Travismaine, I’m not Kyle and I’m not 20 years old, and I’M insulted by your attitude toward this young man’s essay. As adults we do not teach young people to be respectful and responsible by treating them with disrespect–that is irresponsible. Apparently, you didn’t really read his essay or you’d KNOW that he does not yet have children and that this piece is all about his dreams and hopes for a decent future with children. The constitution is not “VERY clean that the PEOPLE should always be as well armed as the standing army”; the constitution give us the RIGHT to bear arms. There is no place in this young man’s essay where he speaks of taking away those rights. He speaks of hoping to find a way so that his future is NOT a place in which he is forced to carry a weapon at all times to create the illusion of being safe. From my reading of this piece, he is hoping for a future in which the words respect and responsibility are just just words being taught for tomorrows test, but lessons that are taught to be carried though a lifetime and to be imparted to the next and the next generation. Armed guards are NOT the long term answer, nor is having to carry a firearm to do the family grocery shopping. Guns do NOT kill people and laws do NOT make us safe. My suggestion is this: instead of condemning a young person who dreams of finding a way out of a culture that more and more reveres violence, take the first step and teach your grandchildren, not just the words respect and responsibility, but how the become respectful and responsible adults. When you’re done that, take the next step and teach somebody else’s child the same lesson. I realize you think you’re being realistic and have a positive place in the grand scheme of things, but your attitude is part the problem not part of the solution.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Armed guards in elementary schools. Let’s make everywhere more like prison. I’m guessing you would want to raise a tax to pay for these armed guards? Not even close to a real solution. The founders also condoned slavery. They were not infaliible.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t know until today that the Los Angeles school department has its own Police Department.

        The Los Angeles School Police Department formed in 1948 is a uniformed police department of approximately 340 sworn offices covering 1,030.

        http://www.laspd.com/

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like universal martial law. Do you really want that? If so, consider going to the Middle East.

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing in the Constitution about semi and automatic guns. Get over yourself.

      • Anonymous

        maybe you should read the Federalist Papers

      • Anonymous

        Exactly!

        • Anonymous

          There are many things not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. i.e. the Air Force, the internet, TV, movies, radio and I don’t see anyone moving to disband or limit the freedoms they enjoy.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t worry. No one is going to take away your guns. I am sure you will have adequate gun power for protection, hunting or what your purpose would be.
            There are some restrictions on movies,actually.
            I cannot really argue with anyone like you who cannot think about how it would be wise to cut down on some of these assault weapons, especially after this latest tragedy in CT. There’s no point. We have different values and priorities.
            Once again , no one is interested in taking away people’s guns. They are just trying to think in a sane and reasonable way and to try and cut down on some of the mass killings. To do something about mental health services as well, which means not cutting funding as some would propose.
            This latest killer intended to take down more people, but when the cops showed up , he , being the coward he was, took himself out. However, he had the ability with the gun arsenal he had to kill a lot more and from all evidence, intended to.
            I think cops and first responders,etc are in a different category. They are trained to do a certain job. But yes, you bet, I am in support of doing something….better background checks (at gun shows , for instance ) , more coordination between agencies, and looking at doing something about limiting the assault weapons. I suppose you think the founding fathers were advocating for assault weapons. Oh well.
            No, it would not cut down on all of the tragedies. But, if it cuts down on some , then that is worth pursuing.
            Even Republican David Brooks feels it is time to do something and that includes looking at our current gun laws.
            Let’s just agree to disagree. We all have a right to our opinions on what is most important.
            Don’t worry….no one is going to confiscate your guns.

          • Anonymous

            “There are some restrictions on movies, actually.”
            Such as… ?

          • Anonymous

            For children. Ratings. There has at least been an attempt by those concerned about exposing very young minds to excessive violence.
            However, people in this country (many….religious,etc.) seem more intent on restricting sexual content than excessive violence.

          • Anonymous

            The motion picture ratings are not mandated by the government. It’s a voluntary system. In fact, producers don’t even have to submit their films to the Motion Picture Association of America for a rating.

          • Anonymous

            “Don’t worry. No one is going to take away your guns. I am sure you will
            have adequate gun power for protection, hunting or what your purpose
            would be.”

            OK
            ~~~~~
            “There are some restrictions on movies,actually.”

            And those “restrictions” would be what? What was the “restrictions” in “Pulp Fiction”? Quentin Tarantino sure has a strange take on movie violence “‘Give me a break’ – Tarantino tires of defending ultra-violent films after Sandy Hook massacre” http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/give-me-a-break–tarantino-tires-of-defending-ultraviolent-films-after-sandy-hook-massacre-8422467.html

            ~~~~~
            “I cannot really argue with anyone like you who cannot think about how it would be wise to cut down on some of these assault weapons, especially after this latest tragedy in CT.”

            You haven’t asked me one question about what I think so making grand pronouncements is really silly on your part.

            ~~~~~

            “There’s no point. We have different values and priorities.”

            You don’t know me or my values. You don’t know what I do for a living or what I have done to give back to my community. You don’t know anything about me so again making statements about my values without asking me one question of knowing me is very silly and self serving on your part.

            ~~~~~

            “Once again , no one is interested in taking away people’s guns. They are just trying to think in a sane and reasonable way and to try and cut down on some of the mass killings.”

            No, a “sane and reasonable” way is to invite all parties to the table and first admitting there is a problem and then working towards middle ground. It is not saying “I am going to reintroduce” this bill or that hill which hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work in the future either.
            ~~~~~
            To do something about mental health services as well, which means not cutting funding as some would propose.”

            Agreed
            ~~~~~

            “This latest killer intended to take down more people, but when the cops showed up, he, being the coward he was, took himself out. However, he had the ability with the gun arsenal he had to kill a lot more and from all evidence, intended to.”

            He was a coward. He intended to kill more people then he did. He didn’t because of the actions of the teachers.
            ~~~~~

            “I think cops and first responders,etc are in a different category. They are trained to do a certain job.”

            I have trained police officers in firearms. I know officers that had less ability and knew less about firearms then you do. And they had no interest in learning more. I knew one officer who stated “I hate guns” when asked why were they a police officer they responded “It pays well”. But they had no interest in becoming a more proficient shot or seemed to injure themselves every time they pulled the trigger on the range. 99% of the officers on the street are proficient…do you want to rely on the 1% when your life is on the line?
            ~~~~~

            “But yes, you bet, I am in support of doing something….better background checks (at gun shows , for instance ) ,

            No argument
            ~~~~~

            “more coordination between agencies,”

            Keep in mind you are talking about the same agencies that didn’t share information that could have prevented 9/11. Law enforcement agencies are very territorial.
            ~~~~~
            “and looking at doing something about limiting the assault weapons.”

            Define “assault weapon”

            ~~~~~
            “I suppose you think the founding fathers were advocating for assault weapons.”

            The standard military firearm of the day was the Land Patter Musket aka the Brown Bess. The standard “assault weapon” of the day was the Kentucky Long Rifle. Both weapons were weapons of war and in the case of the Kentucky Long Rifle were very much a hunting rifle. The Founders were very much aware of the weapons of the day and they had just defeated the greatest standing army in the world at the time….The British. So I think the Founders knew exactly what they were thinking when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.

            ~~~~~
            “Oh well. No, it would not cut down on all of the tragedies. But, if it cuts down on some , then that is worth pursuing.”

            Did you know that more children were killed in one school bombing in the 1920’s and one arson fire in the 1950s then were killed last Friday? Why do I mention that? Because thinking or believing that banning or taking away anything means that killings will stop. A determined killer, and this gun man was determined will find a way to carry out what they want to do.
            ~~~~~
            “Even Republican David Brooks feels it is time to do something and that includes looking at our current gun laws.”

            As I stated earlier we need to sit down at a table and talk. Come to middle ground. But the left and the right will go to the extremes i.e. ban assault weapons and do nothing, and in typical Washington fashion we will get little positive done.
            ~~~~~
            “Let’s just agree to disagree. We all have a right to our opinions on what is most important.”

            How does one agree to disagree without knowing what the other person opinions are. You are assuming way to much about my position without asking even one question.
            ~~~~~
            “Don’t worry….no one is going to confiscate your guns.”

            Really…are you sure…I’m not since we cannot even arrive at what constitutes an “assault weapon”. But I can tell you this, it’s not a Glock 23 with a 10 round magazine.

      • Anonymous

        The standard issue weapon of the American Revolution was the Land Pattern Musket aka the Brown Bess. Rate of fire was 3-4 round per minute with an effective range of 50-100 yards.

        The assault rifle of the same time period was the Kentucky Long Rifle. Rate of fire was 2 rounds per minute with an effective range of 100-300 yards.

        There is also no mention of the Air Force in the U.S. Constitution. Should we disband them?

        • Anonymous

          You are talking about the weapons of the American Revolution in today’s world?
          No sportsman,etc needs a glock gun with the ability to kill tons of people. You don’t need that capacity to kill a deer,etc.

          • Anonymous

            In the 1700s it was a musket mentality and as with everything else things change, and you go with the times, I’m sure they never even thought the Army or the citizen would ever own an AR-15, the 2nd Amendment was not just to protect your home it was to protect yourself against an out of control Gov/Army too, Ask some of the families in Syria if they need equal power to fight against their Govt with now over 40k dead and how many kids are in that number? Man had invented killing and also a more efficient and faster way to do it, not the rock, sword, spear, gun or the bomb.

          • Anonymous

            I am so glad I live in a country where I don’t worry about the government and having to stockpile guns . I am glad I don’t harbor such extreme paranoid views. The mother of the killer in CT stockpiled guns and provisions…she was a kind of survivalist. I’d say nuts . That was not a healthy home that killer grew up in. That is not to excuse him one bit, but it sure was a weird extremist situation….

          • Anonymous

            Actually she is what is know as a “Prepper”. The History Channel has a program called “Doomsday Preppers”. For the record I have never watched programs like that as I believe they feed on peoples fears and paranoia.

          • Anonymous

            We do not have cable so have never seen that show. I have read about Mrs Lanza’s possible connection or involvement with this kind of thing. Sad. She sounded delusional. I grew up not all that far from that community. People often do not lock their doors. It is not a place where, just because you are a single parent/woman you would think like that. It sounds like she had mental issues of her own.

          • Like with anything, it’s the extremists that are the issue (and of course make for the best TV.) “Prepping” gets a bad name because of the extremists, though in moderation, it’s actually very reasonable and logical. Storing at least several days of water supply and non-perishable food in case of emergency, having non-electric heat sources and basic plans in place, is “prepping”. The idea is to not be completely helpless and dependent in case of emergency from minute 1.

            Of course if S really hits the fan – the most prepared hoarders might as well have a bullseye painted on themselves. A small cache of weapons won’t stop a raging mob, better armed marauders or local governments from coming to redistribute their stash. Community centric solutions, not “me against the world” types will be what will succeed in such a scenario.

          • Anonymous

            Nancy Lanzo sounded delusional, with all her talk of the end of the world,etc. Not healthy. She might have done better with some therapy for herself. Not a healthy household at all.

          • Sure doesn’t sound like it, no. Fear and paranoia are contagious. (we have plenty of evidence of it even here on these boards)

          • Tom Brown III

            well said dude.

            Prepping at least in terms of food storage is also very economical and practical way to manager food budgets. Having 3-12 months of food stocked ahead allows you to buy in bulk, have coordinated meal plans, be selective in diets, etc. check out thehealthyprepper on facebook.

          • Sherman2

            Lanza’s mom had the same mentalitysome people here do, she bought guns to protect herself from the crazies, and she even suspected herself that she was living with one, even trained him how to shoot. And now these same people made a mad rush to the gun store to buy their very own bushmaster so they can teach their kids how to protect themselves from the crazies. It’s a circle that simply perpetuates itself… how long will it be before another one these home trained assassins will be let loose on the unarmed.. and the same thing will happen again, more people will buy guns to protect them selves from even more crazies…
            The gun jeanie is out of the bag, fueled by paranoia and insecure little men, these are the border line people that snap and kill, not some guy who is comfortable in his own skin and doesn’t need a gun to fight his personal paranoid delusion.

          • Anonymous

            Now it seems that Mrs. Lanza was in the process of involuntarily committing her son to a psychiatric institution. Why she trained (if she did and based on the many mistakes the news media committed I am not convinced she did) her son and took him to the range is beyond me if she considered him to be unstable.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with you on this point although I think they have determined that there is no doubt that she had many guns (didn’t do her any good it seems) and that she “bonded” with her son by taking him to the gun range/shooting range. He was proficient with video games dealing with shooting,etc. (yes, I realize he is not the only one.) I think in the case of her son with his issues (social withdrawal,etc…..no one had seen him in recent years), that another activity might have been much more beneficial.
            From all reports of Nancy Lanza (and there is verifiable witnesses….people she socialized with, playing bungo,etc.) she sounds to have had many problems of her own. Delusional. Not many single women/parents feel they have to stockpile, have many guns, talk about the end of the world,etc. She most likely could have benefitted from a good therapist/counselor. But, she wanted to handle it all herself. Individual freedom/survivalist,etc. There are commonalities here. Not some good or appropriate choices.
            Adam Lanza is the killer. He was the person responsible for this tragedy. I wanted to be clear on that.

          • Anonymous

            I believe it is Senator Joe Lieberman that wants to take a comprehensive look at the drivers of the violence.

            I think we do need to look at firearms,
            Access to mental health care,

            Video games,
            Movies,
            etc…

            I’m not sure if you agree with that approach or not but it is one that I can get behind.

          • A rating system for games and movies is already established. We could start by enforcing the existing laws to discourage the most gratuitous violence from getting into minors hands…though as we all know, kids have a way of getting the things they’re not supposed to, anyway. Enabling mom and dads, siblings, friends, etc.

            Further educating parents on what is actually in the games little Johnny plays has been tried and duly ignored by many parents, obviously.

            Access to mental health care is the crux. I don’t think anyone wants to see more Gore-esque type garbage about censorship.

          • Anonymous

            Here’s one problem sad.

            For 99.9% of the gamers out there the graphic violence is not a problem. It’s the 0.1% that are becoming part of the “game” or “think” that people come back to life when you hit reset.

            There are some games out there that include simulated rapes. I say simulated because they aren’t real but rape it is.

            Same with the graphic violence. Exploding heads, blood splatter, etc… Gone in the blink of an eye only to be played again and again and again.

            Let’s not forget the movies that are being released this weekend that both underwent last minute revisions to remove shooting scenes. If they have to remove them to be “sensitive” why include them in the first place?

          • So let’s make sure that .1% gets the medical attention they need. Not target the entertainment choices of those 99.9% who understand the difference between pixels and people.

            The last minute cuts to movies thing – it’s been done before – and it’s PC nonsense if you ask me. So what, they only kill 500 people instead of 525? That’s not sensitive, that’s just plain stupid. :) The movie will be on the shelf in 6 months and the scenes will be back in on the directors cut.

          • Anonymous
          • Point? There were violent games aplenty in the arcades decades ago. One of my favorites as a kid was Operation Wolf, where you got to use a rather realistic uzi to mow down the baddies.

          • Tom Brown III

            how can we stop ignorant parents from buying or allowing their children from playing these games?

          • I suppose laws could be in put in place that make providing R or Mature rated games to minors illegal, along the lines of furnishing alcohol – though how would it be enforced? How would it be tracked? Informants ratting on their neighbors? It’s too much of a logistical nightmare to consider really and would take the burden of judgment away from parents and give it to government. The big government loving authoritarian types would love it of course.

            Some 12 year olds have the capacity to understand the difference between fantasy and real life perfectly well. Some 18 year olds don’t. Parents need to know their kids and judge accordingly. Which is not to say I’d endorse giving 12 year olds GTA type games, though some are exposed to these sort of things and turn out perfectly well adjusted.

            Completely sheltering kids isn’t obviously a good plan either. The answer, as usual, is somewhere in the middle.

          • Tom Brown III

            I agree it is a complicated issue. I am glad you helped make my point; we can’t stop ignorant parents from buying and allowing their children to play these games. Also it is a matter of free will and parental choice. We don’t and shouldn’t need the government to tell us how to rear our children.

          • Anonymous

            Yes. And sadly, there are those who often call those who are not as pro gun as they are, as sissies, wimps, “you are afraid of guns”, “you don’t know what you are talking about”,etc. Not true. I find some people who don’t own guns as very strong people . They just have some different priorities and different interests,etc. So what! I am so reassured that there are those who want to step back and know this status quo with guns cannot continue. Many , and many gun owners, want stronger laws on these high powered guns civilians can use to kill so many, so quickly. All some can think of, even after what happened in CT, is how this will restrict them somehow (it won’t. It won’t weaken them.) Others are thinking of how we , as a civil society, need to think of not just our own backyard, but what will minimize this violence and these mass murders. We feel compelled and that is not to be discounted or demeaned. Looking at the role of certain guns and their being too easily obtained is of course part of it to most reasonable people.
            Mental health services increased, not decreased , is another piece. As far as Adam Lanza…..people with aspergers are usualy not violent. There was a lot more going on. He planned this all out……he was very much in control and in that sense, very much in touch with reality. An evil individual.

          • Anonymous

            “You are talking about the weapons of the American Revolution in today’s world?”

            The poster was making the point that the weapons of the 1700s were different from the weapons of the 2000s. I was just explaining what was considered a “standard” military firearm and a “assault weapon of the day”/
            ~~~~~
            “No sportsman,etc needs a glock gun with the ability to kill tons of people. You don’t need that capacity to kill a deer,etc.”

            What’s the difference a Glock 17 and a Ruger P85? Any firearm…ANY firearm when in the wrong hands is capable of killing “tons of people”. It’s not the gun but the person using the gun. I can purchase a “drum” magazine or a “banana” magazine today for a Ruger 10/22. I can kill just as many people with a .22 as I can with a 9mm Glock and I don’t have to reload as often either.

          • Sherman2

            well good for you… good to know you can kill just as many people..

          • Anonymous

            The point was (and I understand that the point went over you head Sherm) that a .22 is just as deadly as a 9mm. In the wrong hands the caliber doesn’t matter.

          • Sherman2

            Jd buddy, read what you wrote with a modicum of sensiblity, it was pretty heartless & insensitive. There are many ways to kill many people, do we need to postulate on them all…?

          • Anonymous

            “Heartless and insensitive”?

            It’s the truth. People are screaming about “assault weapons”. I am trying to demonstrate that people have no understanding of what an assault weapon is.
            ~~~~~
            “There are many ways to kill many people, do we need to postulate on them all…?”

            It’s interesting that you mention that fact There was a poster on one of the threads yesterday that was trying to convince people that if we banned all firearms we would end mass killings. She refused to acknowledge that people hell bent on killing people will find a way.

          • Anonymous

            Thankfully there are many gun owners, people who are not anti gun ownership at all, who are looking at the total picture. They are not just focusing , solely, on making sure people can have any gun they wish with as much power as possible.

          • Tom Brown III

            he was obviously being rhetorical.

          • Tom Brown III

            the 2nd amendment isn’t regarding hunting and sportsman.

            A glock gun doesn’t have an inherent ability to do anything. It is an inanimate object. An ability is a characteristic of a living entity.

            A glock will only kill a ton of people if there is a person with the ability to use it and ability to take life indiscriminately behind it pulling the trigger.

        • Anonymous

          It’s 2012. Weapons were needed for a MILITIA. You tell me about the jollies of owning a semi automatic gun.

          • Anonymous

            Roxie I am going to be as respectful in my response as I can. It’s going to be difficult given the “tone” of you response but here goes….
            ~~~~~
            “It’s 2012.”

            Thank you for stating the obvious. ”
            ~~~~~
            “Weapons were needed for a MILITIA.”

            Really? Where does it say that? As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State the 2nd Amendment states, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

            The militia is not the National Guard. The militia are the people of the several states. There is also a “comma” separating the two statements which normally means (but not always) they are two distinct thoughts/statements. Now the states do have and many do regulate the ownership of firearms and that is all well and good.
            ~~~~~
            “You tell me about the jollies of owning a semi automatic gun.”

            “Jollies”? Do you know me? Have you seen me at a range?

            Let me explain something to you. I treat every single firearm (yes I own more than one) with respect and have never, ever pointed any of them (from single shot rifles to semi-auto pistols to pump action shotguns to semi-auto rifles) at anyone or anything that I didn’t intend to shoot. My daughter was taught from an early age the power of a firearm and the duty to treat every single firearm as if were loaded unless you clear it yourself. I have taken dozens of people to the range and shown them why I am serious about a new shooter understanding the power a firearm by starting out with water jugs and .22 and moving up through 9mm and .40 I am very proud to say that not one person I have ever taught how to shoot has EVER shot anyone.

            So please keep you comments about “jollies” to those people you know. I am a serious and responsible gun owner and having said that I will tell you this also. While I target shoot and skeet shoot I also hold a valid Concealed Weapons License and if necessary I will defend my family with those very same firearms I target shoot with. You may find that offensive and if you do so be it. It’s my right to defend my family.

          • Tom Brown III

            though I appreciate your sentiment in your reply and you seem to be a responsible law abiding shooter who like myself came up shooting since a young age and you’re better for it.

            however, I respectfully will point out that the Militia Act of 1903 established a division for the militia into an Organized Militia funded and managed by the states, i.e. national guard.

            The side of that coin was the Unorganized or Reserve Militia. Any able bodied man 17-45 not an enrolled member of an organized militia.

            though you are correct at least in my scholarly opinion for what its worth about the comma in the 2nd amendment, that the right to bear arms is independent from the militia.

      • Look again….it’s right next to the word “muskets”!

      • Anonymous

        Our founding fathers were well aware that technology would continue to evolve, including the technology to make guns more efficient to fire and be accurate. Are you going to argue that because the Fourth Amendment doesn’t specify apartments or computers or Web servers that the government should be free to search such things without a warrant?

        • Anonymous

          What good is it owning a semiautomatic gun?

          • Anonymous

            If you missed your first shot at a running deer you are able to make a quick follow-up shot.

            There are many other examples I could give. Semi-auto shotguns are also widely used in bird hunting. A semi-automatic rifle/shotgun allows people with disabilities or limited use of extremities to enjoy the sport of hunting.

            Why should we ban semi-automatics?

        • They were also well aware that laws should continue to evolve with the technology. ;)

          Interpreting the constitution literally, like the bible, is definitely a mistake.

      • Tom Brown III

        nothing in there about the internet or cobra SVT mustangs. Nothing in there about protesting funerals of soldiers and children.

    • Travis, I want to clear up just two things. I too grew up a Navy brat, was born in Italy and am the son of a now-retired veteran with 25 years of Navy experience. Also I’ve read the constitution multiple times, and re-read almost every semester. I understand that people can have differing views, and that they don’t always learn the same lessons from the same experiences, but I encourage you to think about this before jumping to conclusions. Thanks for the comment.

    • Anonymous

      A very sad reply. No, the people who wrote the Constitution were not advocating for people to walk around, throughout time, with guns, in parks,etc. By the way, we don’t live in the times of the Wild West. We live in a world where people need to get along and work cooperatively. The answer to that is not more guns.
      Reading your post, one thinks that perhaps some college courses might have been beneficial for you . ( Run on sentences, etc.) I find this piece written by the college student whom you seem to denigrate to be in sharp contrast to yours. His impresses.

      • You have never been to chicagostan , have you?

      • Anonymous

        Except for this: “Eventually, though, I opened my laptop, read the news for myself and discovered that the shooter was the same age as ME…” (emphasis added).

  • Anonymous

    Kyle, thank you for this essay. It’s the voice of reason in an environment of chaos causing me to think more deeply with regard to what the core of the problem might be. This essay strips away all the bs and will, hopefully, cause others to think as it did me. Personally, I think the problem lies not only in the apparent reverence we place, as a culture, on violence, but on over population and crowded communities in which people have no chance to understand that we are part of nature not controllers of the cosmos, and that we have become so materialistic that we no longer think, as a whole, on the ramifications of our actions, but only on what will make us feel content or powerful at this moment. Events such as this have nothing to do with our rights or lack thereof to bear arms. It has, in my not so humble opinion, everything to do with living in a culture in which the most important thing increasingly seems to be to feel power over others. Again, good work, Kyle, as a young person, I did not have to share your dream, it was automatic. Not once did I ever think that my children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren would need to be fearful of entering a school building. It saddens me that our culture has evolved into an entity in which your essay even needed to be written. One last word, stay out of politics, your voice needs to be heard by the people, not encumbered by political minutae.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with much of what you said….but overpopulation? Many of the incidents of gun violence are in rural communities (domestic violence,) and in Maine, many times out in wooded areas with a lot of physical distance between neighbors.

  • Anonymous

    Kyle, three words, “gun free zone”.

    • Anonymous

      Better yet, two words: “game farm.”

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful commentary. Thoughtful, balanced. I never thought of taking a gun (or even having one) to a park with children. Never. I would not now either, and wish to work to make this country a place where people don’t feel that is necessary. That is not a place or country we want to live in where people carry guns wherever they go. Just accepting it as inevitable is certainly not the answer.

  • Maybe we should be looking at the “operator” of the firearm instead of the firearm, bullet or magazine! After all, I have never seen a lone gun harm anyone!

  • Anonymous

    We can’t ban psychos, so let’s ban guns. Typical knee jerk reaction to tragedy. The mother of that kid is the one who caused this heinous crime. First, by being in denial that he was deranged. Second, by introducing her deranged kid to guns.

  • Anonymous

    Kyle, what’s nu? Hope all is well in CT.

    If land mines, hand grenades and backpack nukes were legal there would be a crowd that would say that they were protected by the 2nd, fun to own and a necessity.

    Rapid (5 rounds/sec) weapons are a toy that aren’t safe in society. This has been proven too many times this year.

    I am completely behind you on your thinking on concealed weapons. It speaks of a bunch of really scared people.

    Great essay.

    • Anonymous

      How did prohibition work out?

      How about the “war on drugs”?

      • Anonymous

        Neither put me at grave risk, sorry that is difficult to figure out.

  • No, living in constant fear and paranoia is not something I am prepared to do either Kyle. Well written piece.

    • Anonymous

      There are many, that no matter how many reasonable ideas and concerns are put out there about the excessive power on some of these assault rifles, would still balk. They are zealots about gun rights and that is more important to them, it appears, than trying to cut down on this carnage in this country.
      Once again, the kinds of guns with that ability to kill so many by one person,( in an elementary school) that Adam Lanza used are not necessary for protection and hunting. People worrying about that being taken away from them are just going overboard and one has to wonder about that.
      Here is another thing that does not add up and gun zealots would find some hole……Lanza by all accounts was prepared to kill a lot more than he did. If someone had been armed in that school as these gun proponents say, they would not have needed all the gun power Lanza had just to take down one person ….Lanza.
      Many leaders including the one from West VA who is a member of the NRA know it is time (past time) to look at gun laws. Yes, mental health services have to be strongly looked at and strengthened (access, affordability, quality) as well.

      • Anonymous

        The first thing one has to do is define “assault weapon”. So what is it?

        Listening to Ed Schultz this afternoon said an “assault weapon” is any semi-automatic firearm. Really? A Ruger 10/22 is a “semi-automatic” firearm but is it an “assault weapon”?

        • Sherman2

          So pulling the trigger on a semi auto pistol into an unarmed crowd is different how from pulling the trigger on a semi auto rifle?… except for the additional carnage…

          • Anonymous

            There is no difference. But a Ruger 10/22 is not a semi-auto pistol. Not even close.

            By the way one can purchase a 100 round magazine for a Ruger 10/22. I can also purchase a 30 round magazine for my Glock. Just because I can doesn’t mean I own one today nor that I intend to purchase one in the future. I personally do not need either and a 30 round magazine would make my Glock impossible to carry concealed which was the reason I purchased it in the first place.

          • Sherman2

            And that is a whole different arguement, why do you feel you need a hidden Glock? Is Bangor that dangerous? When I go out, I put on my shoes, my jacket, maybe a hat… but I never, never feel I need to carry a weapon. Why do you feel the need to? Am I that important that I fear some one will harm me, that rich that someone will rob me, that hot that someone will rape me… see that’s where my issue lies…in the simple question…. Why?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t live that way either, and don’t care to. No paranoia and do not walk around in fear. Never have. That is not the answer as far as I am concerned, even though I am a realist in my approach to life.
            Nancy Lanza owned plenty of guns. It didn’t work out for her too well, did it!
            (by the way, what is wrong with the BDN online computer system these days!!)

          • Anonymous

            Simple answer….because there are bad guys in the world. But you made a leap of faith. I have a Concealed Weapons Permit. That doesn’t mean I do.

            One of the biggest reasons…I can carry the firearm to and from the range on my person. I can also have the firearm in my vehicle loaded which one cannot do if you do not have a permit.

            But to address your specific questions:

            “Is Bangor that dangerous?”

            Not sure what newspaper or news you are watching but Bangor is becoming an increasingly dangerous place.
            ~~~~~
            “When I go out, I put on my shoes, my jacket, maybe a hat… but I
            never, never feel I need to carry a weapon. Why do you feel the need to?”

            I do the same thing as you do minus the hat. And I haven’t felt the need to carry but if I wish to I can. That is a personal choice and one that is available to me if I choose to do so.
            ~~~~~
            “Am I that important that I fear some one will harm me,”

            No
            ~~~~~
            “that rich that someone will rob me,”

            People that are robbed come from all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old. I don’t think the robber is lurking for a “certain” particular victim…they are lurking for anyone. But short answer is no…I am far from rich.
            ~~~~~
            “that hot that someone will rape me…”

            No but my daughter might be.
            ~~~~~
            “see that’s where my issue lies…in the simple question…. Why?”

            Because I am allowed to if I so choose. I have taken the necessary training, passed the required tests, submitted the necessary paperwork to the state and they issued the permit. Let me assure you I am not a threat to you or anyone you know.

          • Sherman2

            Jd and Cosmos, Thank you for your rational responses, neither of you flew off in rage, which I half expected. This can be a very volatile topic for many.

          • Anonymous

            Thank you and I agree it can be a very impassioned and volatile topic for many from both sides.

        • Anonymous

          I have never listened to Ed Schultz. I am listening to many moderate voices, including David Brooks….. and also some political leaders who own guns, hunt,etc. but have had enough. They now want to have more discussions, to look at tighter gun laws….stricter gun checks at gun shows and other measures. They are not making any impulsive rash decisions but rather know some changes are in order. What those will be, has not at all been determined.
          It seems some places that sell a lot of guns (Dicks, Wal Mart and others ) are “re-evaluating” . Sure, it might be temporary and out of respect to these young victims….or it might turn out to be more.
          You seem to come across as someone who is most interested in trying to poke holes in others’ views on guns, their knowledge,etc. I believe some of these leaders and others who are not anti gun at all , know as much as you do about guns, but want to stop going the way we have been in this country and look at ways to minimize these slaughters as people I want to listen to. I respect their intentions and their concerns. It has nothing to do with them not knowing about guns, which ones are assault weapons,etc. They are very aware of those guns, how they operate,etc.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry you feel the way you do. My point has and is when people start to say “ban assault weapons” I honestly wonder if they know or understand what an “assault weapon” is?

            I heard an interesting comment today on Howie Carr. “An assault weapon is any firearm pointed at me”. That is a very interesting observation. Never thought of it that way.

            But I wonder what people consider to be an assault weapon. The 1994 Public Safety and recreational Firearms Use Protection Act specifically names 19 different firearms as patently illegal, and specifies that three or more of the following features present on a single firearm 1 constitutes an assault weapon.

            * A folding or telescoping stock
            * A pistol grip
            * A bayonet mount
            * A flash suppressor, or threads to attach one
            * Muzzle capable of acting as a grenade launcher.
            * Magazine capacity over 10 rounds

            OK so a folding stock/telescoping stock. Makes sense because it makes the rifle more easy to conceal.

            A pistol grip makes no sense at all. How does a “pistol” grip make a rifle any more or less dangerous?

            A bayonet mount. OK I can but that. I haven’t seen anyone charging after deer or moose in the woods with the need to affix a bayonet.

            Flash suppressor. Other than making the rifle look “mean” a flash suppressor doesn’t make a rifle any more or less dangerous.

            A “muzzle capable of acting as a grenade launcher”. Really? When has a M203 Grenade Launcher been available to the general public as a mountable device. When for that matter has ANY grenade launcher mountable or standalone been available for purchase? But OK for the sake of agreement let’s keep that on the list.

            I have already stated that I have no problem with limiting the number of rounds a magazine can hold (detachable or fixed).

            For the record I honestly support logical and meaningful measures to decrease the access to firearms. But to throw words our there that one does not understand makes no sense.

          • Anonymous

            I am not sorry at all that I feel the way I do. I would not to view it the way you do. But your opinions are just as important to you as mine are to me.

          • Anonymous

            For clarification my “Sorry you feel the way you do” was in response to “You seem to come across as someone who is most interested in trying to poke holes in others’ views on guns, their knowledge,etc.”

            Again, I am sorry you feel that way. You have been respectful and I appreciate that.

          • Anonymous

            I understand. Gun rights,etc. is , and always has been, a “touchy” subject. Very impassioned,
            I want to be clear also……although admittedly not someone who has guns in my personal life nor think about them in that sense, I have absolutely no desire to limit the rights of gun owners, such as yourself, to have the guns you need or want. I would like to think that doing something about the violence in this country (and where guns fit into that in some way) can be compatible with responsible gun owners not having any of their rights impinged upon at all. Maybe it is possible….

          • Anonymous

            I see your most recent post , via disqus. Answering on this one (reply) as am having some computer issues with this site.
            Yes, most definitely can get behind that approach. Absolutely. It is not all about guns. I did not mean to imply that. It is much more complex than that. A lot has to be looked at it. Guns are one piece of it.
            Absolutely we need to look at all those things!

            (Sen Lieberman comment,etc.)

          • Anonymous

            I can only hope our elected representatives will approach it in the same manner moving forward.

          • Anonymous

            I feel the same way you do. Time will tell I guess. Nothing is certain…

  • Anonymous

    It’s true that we live in a country where people have been given the right to own guns…

    Not true. The Bill of Rights recognizes and guarantees natural rights. It ‘gives’ nothing.

  • Tom Brown III

    The bill of rights was not bequeathing us rights, it was imposing limitations on governments ability to legislate our human and inalienable rights you speak of. The right to self determination and self defense, is not a privilege granted us by a government, it is a human right that has existed since the dawn of man.

    The right to life is your own and you have a duty to protect it; be it from crazed murders or tyrannical oppressive governments.

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