V. Rogers: Solving a problem

In response to the Associated Press article printed in the Sun Journal on March 10 on one day's worth of gun killing, I expect that most of those killings didn't involve people with mental illness. Guns in the hands of amateurs, criminals, hate groups and people with anger issues figure prominently, I believe. None of those are "well-regulated militias."

An interesting follow-up would be to trace back each gun through the owners and back to the original supplier. I expect that mental illness would be rare in that chain as well.

My point? Mental illness figures very infrequently in most gun deaths. It appears more frequently in mass killings, but not enough to make it the stand-alone focus of gun control.

What figures most prominently is the availability of a gun when it seems to be the right way to permanently solve a problem.

'Nuff said.

Vickie Rogers, Otisfield

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

FALSE::"Mental illness figures very infrequently in most gun .."


Would you consider an individual that commits suicide as having mental illness? I think most of us would say that people who commit suicide do in fact have a mental illness to one degree of another.

Now perhaps you should consult some facts reported by the CDC; they report that over 50% of the annual gun deaths are due to suicide.

The conclusion here is that over 50% of annual gun deaths are related to mental issues.

Please focus on the facts, not the media sensationalized high profile cases.


The gun culture

We do need to take a comprehensive look at the role guns play in our culture. Some of that requires education on things like gun safety, and the danger that guns can pose, meaning relevant research. Some of it involves better mental health care options especially in the treatment of depression. But some of it involves regulating guns. The more you compress a large number of people into a small space the more you need rules to keep the peace. The cities are already there and the rural areas will come along before too long given the carnage that is taking place. Mostly though, we need to GET RID OF A FEW GUN LAWS implemented at the behest of the NRA which are intended to neuter the effectiveness of the ATF. You cannot say you want to get the guns out of the hands of criminals and defund the organization that is charged with that job; or prevent them from hiring or having a head of that organization. We need to eliminate laws that prevent law enforcement from tracing guns and ammo from manufacture to owner and keeping records on people who fail the background check and try to buy guns illegally We should eliminate laws for example that allow you to call yourself a gun dealer even though you don't sell guns but you might be a drug cartel or terrorist org. And we need to end laws allowing violent domestic abusers to keep owning guns.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“carnage that is taking

“carnage that is taking place”

You make is sound like bodies are lying in the streets when in fact violent crime has been dropping since 1998.

I guess it is always good for your argument to sensationalize the facts, perhaps only for the uneducated.



The statistics on gun deaths pretty much speak for themselves. Maybe they look good to you but to a lot of people they are pretty sensational.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Nice subjective response. How

Nice subjective response. How about quantifiable facts?

Given that you cannot total eliminate gun deaths, what is an acceptable number?



I'd say fewer or the least possible would be acceptable. Considering how low the threshhold is it shouldn't be too difficult. For heaven's sake, we have people shooting themselves on "Gun appreciation day", and in "gun safety class" and in a law officer's computer class and guns going off in schools by" safety" officers and families annihilated by people who have previously been arrested for domestic abuse but were allowed to keep scores of guns, and our national organization for the enforcement of gun laws that hasn't had a head of ATF for over 10 years and hasn't been hiring for over 30 years and has been virtually defunded. Gun manufacturers are forbidden by law from keeping and reporting inventories and the states are forbidden from keeping a record of people, who try to buy guns and don't pass background checks, for more than 24 hours. The laws against trafficking are a joke and straw purchasing is legal in most states. There is a lot we could be doing to make things better. For the sake of all the victims, we should at least be trying and not obstructing any attempt to make our streets and homes safer. I used to think gun laws should be aimed at criminals not responsible gun owners but the more I read the more I realize they are the problem.

 's picture

Quantifiable fact...

Violent crime is on the decrease. Gun violence is on the increase and keeping the violent crime stats from going even lower.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Quantifiable facts, not opinion: where is the beef?

What you are saying does not make sense. Show me and the readers the stats. Otherwise this is simply your opinion, or shall we say you contrived fantasy.

 's picture

It's in the FBI stats.

I found it easily enough. Do your own research. I did mine and see no reason why I should do yours. Also, I didn't realize you weren't allowed an opinion on the oped page. I'll keep that in mind and certainly will inform the folks at the Sun Journal of their error.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Do you really

Do you really believe that more gun laws would solve most of the problems you mention.

"I expect that most of those killings didn't involve people with mental illness. Guns in the hands of amateurs, criminals, hate groups and people with anger issues figure prominently"

1) Guns in the hands of amateurs. True there were possibly a few accidental shootings.

2) Hate groups seem to really use explosives. Think the 70's radicals, Okahoma city, etc.

3) Criminals. There are already enough laws on the books for them. How good are those working?

4) People with anger issues figure prominently. Arn't anger issues mental illness. Given that 60 percent of all gun deaths are suicides I would think they would also fit into the mental illness class.

Just my thoughts. As were yours.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Thoughts backed up with

Thoughts backed up with facts. One who misstates facts to support their argument is on thin ice.

Jason Theriault's picture

The problem

To quote the Joker(as cliche as it is):
You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan". But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! "

Inner city kids, poor kids, shooting each other is all part of the norm, or the plan. But 26 middle class kids getting shot up is no part of the plan. Which is why the focus has been on preventing another shooting like at Sandy Hook. Don't get me wrong, I'm not belittling the Sandy Hook shootings. I'm just saying that if we really wanted to make a dent in violent crimes with guns, we need to look at the overall problem. And that would require looking at handgun laws.

Give it two years. The Republicans haven't seemed to learn that they need to move towards the middle. The economy is improving and the GOP is still seen as the bad guy in Washington. If that trend continues, there might be a change in the house in 2 years, and if Obama can get majorities in both houses, then some real laws might get passed.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture



MARK GRAVEL's picture

Jason, Every time I read in


Every time I read in the news paper of some gang banger killing someone, I also read where they have many prior law violations, some very serious such as assault, leading up to murder.

How about getting the gang bangers off the street before they kill? Convicted of assault and gang a member, you’re gone for a long, long time. Perhaps three strikes you’re out law. Use a gun in a crime, gone for life.

From a pure numbers point of view, there are perhaps far fewer bad guys to remove off the streets than there are guns.

 's picture

The economy was improving.

The economy is improving ...

Have you paid attention to Cyprus over the weekend? Coming soon to a banking system near you!

... if Obama can get majorities in both houses, then some real laws might get passed.

Indeed, and gun-control will be the best of a slew of bad "real" laws. Many of you will wish you still had arms to protect yourselves from the new gestapo.

To quote Joni Mitchell: ... you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone ...


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