The Right Opinion

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

By Rich Galen · Dec. 17, 2012

There is nothing good about the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. President Obama said what I thought my President should have said and the way I wanted my president to have said it in his remarks there last night.

I am no longer worried about my son. But my son is worried about his two little girls. They are not yet old enough for school, but sending a seven-year-old to school should not be a cause to worry all day that he or she will come home safely.

Unfortunately, the level of untimely deaths in America may lead those who are, at a minimum misguided, and at a maximum mentally unstable, to believe that violence is an acceptable way to show one's unhappiness.

First, there are the gun laws. I am a member of the NRA but I am not an expert in gun laws. I do know that gun laws already in place are unevenly enforced, if they are enforced at all.

Maybe we need new laws. If so, I hope someone will show how Newtown would have been prevented had those new laws been in force.

A Congressman said on Friday night that 9,000 people in America were killed last year from gunshot wounds. I have no idea whether that is true or not, but if it were half that number; or one-tenth of that number it would still be too many.

There are also too many unnecessary deaths in America from other causes.

In 2010 almost 33,000 people were killed in car accidents; about a third of those involved drunk drivers. Half of that number; or one-tenth of that number would be too many.

I understand that very few drivers – drunk or sober – set out to use their vehicle to purposely maim or kill someone, so I am not making the impossible claim of equivalence to Newtown. What I am saying is that even with an entire generation of intense focus on wiping out drunk driving, 10,000 Americans died in one year due to the actions of impaired drivers.

Far too many of those impaired drivers are teenagers who got their hands on alcohol or drugs illegally.

Want more? According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 443,000 deaths per year are the direct result of cigarette smoking. About 44,000 die from the effects of second-hand smoke.

The CDC says that every day about “3,800 people younger than 18 smoke their first cigarette,” so just under 1.4 million new smokers are headed into that statistic every year.

Nobody walks into a grammar school and blows cigarette smoke into classrooms to kill children, so I am not claiming equivalence there, either.

Getting back to outright violence when will Hollywood step up and take some responsibility for desensitizing children to the horrors of brutality. Many of the most popular dramas on TV are gruesome murder programs.

You can't watch an NCIS episode without seeing a shot, stabbed, dismembered, and/or burned victim laying on Dr. Mallard's autopsy table.

The USA schedule for today shows 10 straight hours of Law & Order episodes (4 AM - 2 PM) followed by five hours of NCIS reruns (3 PM - 8 PM. After that your kids can watch the manufactured mayhem of professional wrestling for three hours while they're doing their homework.

I'm not picking on the USA network. I know a lot about it, because I watch it so much.

What's the most popular sport in America? Football where slamming into an opponent so hard you knock his brain against the inside of the opposite side of his scull might get you fined by the NFL, but will certainly get you on the highlight show Sunday night.

What's the lesson for young boys and girls who are urged to come out and cheer for their team from Pop Warner to the Washington Redskins?

Of the top 10 video games as ranked by the Washington Post earlier this fall, four were sports-based (two hockey/two football) five were war-based and one – Super Mario Brothers – was … whatever Super Mario Brothers is.

None of this excuses what happened in Connecticut on Friday morning. I'm not at all certain it even begins to explain it.

I do think that if anything good comes out of Newtown it will not be a discussion solely focused on gun laws; it will be a broader discussion about how to how to stop glorifying violence in American culture and how to stop killing ourselves prematurely through totally preventable behaviors.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to pages dealing with auto and smoking deaths, as well as the Washington Post's list of top 10 video games.

Also a really interesting license plate Mullfoto.

Copyright ©2012 Barrington Worldwide, LLC | Mullings.com

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21 Comments

Ct-Tom in NC said:

"What I am saying is that even with an entire generation of intense focus on wiping out drunk driving, 10,000 Americans died in one year due to the actions of impaired drivers."

Well, not all that focused; if we really wanted to dramatically reduce drunk driving, we'd have, say, a $10,000 fine for the first dwi offense and jail time for the second, with no exceptions. The truth is that we don't really want to.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Tom, Good point! How many times do we see where the individual has been arrested for the third or fourth time for DUI. That tells me the justice system isn't doing meaningful deterrence for this behavior. I'm with you, $10,000 fine and if caught again a minimum of 2 years in prison. No letting some sleazy lawyer get the sentence or fine downgraded because of so-called mitigating circumstances. There are no mitigating circumstances when you get behind the wheel and your drunk.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

The same should apply for texting while driving! In fact, double it, because it is twice as dangerous!

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

rab in jo,mo said:

The perpetrator in this case broke a multitude of laws in committing this heinous act, what makes anyone think additional laws would have stopped him? An armed principal/teacher would be more effective.

Based on the information coming out, this individual exhibited signs of severe psychological issues for a long time and should not have been running loose in society. But, unfortunately, the mental health system in this country has been broken for a long time, so instead of getting treatment (including removal from general society), he was pumped full of meds that only made him more numb and allowed to roam free. Does it make any sense to give a socio- or psycho- path meds that further disassociate them from any kind of empathy? It is extremely difficult to have an adult involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility anymore - why? Insane people are allowed to run free and then we wonder why they commit insane acts, blaming the tools used instead of asking why lunatics are roaming the streets.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Well put, the progressive idiots kill more babies through abortion, then won't incarcerate a pathological psycho. Liberal marxist statists are insane, and the only reason for gun control, is better control of the sheeple. To totally transform, they must disarm.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

P. Long in Texas replied:

Good observation, rab. And accurate. The only thing I would add is that it is impossible to have an adult committed without their permission unless they have done something severe to themselves or someone else. The last case I heard of around where I live, the 20 something beat his mother with a baseball bat.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

sfj in Alabama replied:

My wife had a mentally ill friend of hers committed after she - my wife - convinced the Judge this friend was dangerous to herself and others. Yes, it is difficult, but can be done if the situation warrants and people care about the safety of others. I guess no one cared that this nut-case was allowed to roam free when surely they knew he was dangerous.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

I just called my two senators and congressman and told them to sponsor a bill with Congressman Louie Gohmert (R TX) to require administrators, teachers, parents, grandparents to be armed in schools. Israel has a similar program and has not had a shooting in a school since the program was initiated. My wife, Cindy, was a teacher. She would have hall duty every once in a while at the front entrance. She was armed with a clip board. I wished she could take the .357, but guns were/are not allowed in schools unless you are a criminal or a mad man.

If guns are so bad how come BloomingIdiot, Up Chuck Schumer, Feinstein, etc, have armed guards. Now I get it, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal" (Animal Farm).

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Jim G in Oklahoma said:

Mac, Old Sarge... Amen!!! If you haven't read LtCol. Grossman's article "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" I highly recommend it. Google it up, it's a short read and very applicable here. Was written not long after Columbine and goes directly to Mac's point - At her moment of truth, Principal Dawn Hochsprung discovered she was in fact a Sheepdog. She charged the shooter in an attempt to take him down or disable him. Unfortunately it was a futile attempt and she paid with her life. The reason it was futile, is that she was not equipped to BE a Sheepdog. In fact, even had she been so inclined to equip herself as a Sheepdog, she was by law prohibited from being a Sheepdog, or at least an equipped Sheepdog. After killing the Principal and the school psychologist (who I believe also participated in that heroic charge), the shooter proceeded to the classroom where so many of the children were killed. The simple truth that had she been armed they would be alive is a terrible fact and an indictment of these Free Kill Zones (Gun Free Zones) the Democrat/Progressives have created out of their Hoplophobia.

Yes, I too just blamed the Democrats, and aptly so!

As a prior Law Enforcement Officer, I wondered about how the Portland Mall Active Shooter Incident resolved so quickly and with considerably less loss of life. It didn't fit the pattern. Active Shooters tend to almost always be mentally disturbed individuals committed to mass murder and then suicide. This ASI resolved with only two deaths and one critically injured, well before the arrival of Law Enforcement. This in a crowded mall at the height of the Holiday shopping season. FBI stats overwhelmingly point to roughly 90% of Active Shooters killing themselves just prior to or upon the arrival of Law Enforcement. These mental cases tend to crumble quickly when faced with Reciprocal Force. The remaining 10% or so are resovled with the application of Deadly Force, or in the rare 1% of cases, capture (i.e. The Gabby Giffords shooter and the Aurora Movie Theater shooter). So why the quick resolution in Portland? This may explain -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD52IxplEoM

“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor for the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM

MoeLarryCurly in CA replied:

To further a point regarding the brave principal, the presence of a firearm is in itself a deterrent. Had the shooter anticipated an armed response, then he may have not even thought about carrying out his evil intentions. I haven't heard of a police station being shot up by a rogue gunman.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Craig Omaha in Omaha, NE said:

As I watched the aftermath of the shooting I was struck by how many guns were running around the parking lot AFTER the shooter and all the victims were dead. We need to have a serious discussion about guns being in the schools BEFORE the shooter gets there. It would cut down on the victims and may even lead to shooters not even showing up.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM

tdrag in South Carolina said:

I can't add much to the previous comments but this. We have spent the last 50 or so years actively pushing God out of every aspect of our lives including school. Those of us old enough to remember life before prayer was removed from school know that things were different then. That prayer, while brief and general in nature, was a benchmark that everyone recognized. It signified a behavioral line that you did not cross. Today those lines are gone, we are too PC to recognize God and our Saviour Jesus Christ except, of course, until after the evil deed is done. When you take away the Light, you have darkness. We have embraced the darkness.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

td, Your comment made me think of something so stupid about the liberals ie, Demorats. They don't want prayer in schools or anywhere else in our lives but have you noticed whenever a tragedy occurs at a school they don't hesitate to attend a memorial service where people talk about God and Jesus Christ. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Ted R. Weiland in Nebraska said:

"I do think that if anything good comes out of Newtown it will not be a discussion solely focused on gun laws; it will be a broader discussion about how to how to stop glorifying violence in American culture...."

Hopefully, it will go deeper than that. I think (I hope) we can all agree that unless we get to the root of our current cultural abyss, it ain’t ever going to get fixed. Besides man’s depraved and wicked nature, what’s the genesis of today’s corrupt culture? There has to be a definitive point in history that’s responsible for the America we have today as compared with America in the early 1600s. Until we figure out what it is and deal with it, we are only doomed to more of the same or worse:

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

It’s something that destroyed our Biblical foundations. The Prophet Jeremiah provides a hint:

“Who is the wise man, that may understand this? …land perisheth … [b]ecause they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have walked after the imagination of their own heart…” (Jeremiah 9:12-14)

And when did this occur here in America? It officially and nationally occurred when the constitutional framers failed to expressly establish the Constitution upon Yahweh’s immutable morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. In fact, there is hardly an article or amendment that, in some fashion, is not antithetical, if not hostile, to Yahweh’s sovereignty and morality.

For the sake of future generation of our posterity, please join me in helping place the focus upon the only thing (Yahweh's perfect law, Psalm 19:7-11) that can ethically save America from the precipice upon which she teeters.

For more, read "5 Reasons Why the Constitution is Our Cutting Edge Issue" at http://www.constitutionmythbusters.org/sample-post/.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Robert Alexander in Houston replied:

Psalms 94:
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

David W. in NH said:

How many tragedies is it going to take for the Federal Government and people who oppose guns to admit that gun-free zones do not work?

Contrary to what they want us to believe, gun-free zone laws guaranteed Adam Lanza would face no immediate armed resistance, which is exactly what was needed to stop this heinous and horrific attack.

And while we listen to their diatribe on gun-free zones, not one single case can be found where a multiple homicide has occurred in a school where armed security (teacher or otherwise) is known to be present.

Many will blame this tragedy on gun laws. This is nonsense. Repeating arms have been around for over 150 years. The AR15 semi-automatic rifle has been available for sale to civilians since 1963; almost fifty years.

Not long ago, hunting before school used to be the norm in America. Students would hunt in the morning. They would drive to school, leaving their firearm in their car or truck while attending school. Then drive home after school.

The number of school shootings? Zero.

It wasn't until the 1980's that violence entered our schools on a regular basis. By 1998, there were more than a quarter of a million SERIOUS injuries in our schools as a result of violence.

What possible explanation is there for this increased violence in our schools, or in our society in general?

The truth is. Guns aren't the problem. They are nothing but a red herring created by anti-gun zealots.

Acts of violence in the United States have been increasing over the last three decades. When the question why is answered honestly and truthfully by the american people, only then will they realize we have a far more serious issue in this country that needs to be confronted. And that issue has nothing at all to do with guns.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

David Hodges in Reidsville, Georgia said:

It's too bad that Joel Myrick, the assistant principal at Pearl High School, in Pearl, Mississippi, wasn't in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. On October 1, 1997, Mr. Myrick pointed his .45 pistol at Luke Woodham after he (Woodham) had already killed two people. This action ended the shooting spree. Of course I didn't hear about this by watching the lamestream media. Neither will you.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

David, I attended Brooklyn Technical High School (New York City), graduated in 62. The school had a rifle teams. The guys on the team would take their rifles (.22 bolt action) to school on the subway. Surprise, surprise, no one was ever shot or injured. Unfortunately the Board of Education saw fit to abolish rifle teams. BTW, how many students are injured every year playing football, basketball, soccer, etc. and no calls to ban them.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Sammy in Kansas said:

I about puked when obungle choked up when he was speaking about the shootings in Sandy Hook the other day. Not that he shouldn't have, anyone with a shred of decency would in those circumstances. The nausea was caused by his acceptance of millions of babies aborted in this country since Roe v. Wade. Hypocrite!!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Master Gunny in Tifton GA said:

Does anybody else see this prophecy being fulfilled in our country besides me? When men forget that they are answerable to a judge who transcends human laws and who judges righteously they feel no restraints.

"29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Dioneikes in Colorado said:

Master Gunny - yes I do and all I can do is prepare my soul for when my time comes. It is within my biblical rights to protect myself as my body belongs to Christ, and only he can decide when its time for me to be called home. The path this country is on is a scary wicked path right now, and it feels like we're riding the express train to hell. Luckily Ive chose to be on the right side, something I did when I first took my oath of enlistment over 30 years ago. I still love my country and will still fight for her, but I WILL NEVER SURRENDER MY FREEDOMS or GOD GIVEN RIGHTS on the whim of some douche bag wannabe dictator.
"Live free or die, there are worse evils in life."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM