RB, the article at your link doesn't say whether the shooter saw the guy or not. Be interested to know where the WSJ guy got his info from, he seemed pretty definitive. But it has been reported that Lanza offed himself when he heard cops arriving, so he fits the description of the cowardly shooter that the WSJ article I linked to refers to.
" the right-wing “no one would die if everyone was armed” fantasy."
A load of bollocks, to be sure, and one I subscribed to for a long time to until I thought about the issue a bit more.
You only need a handful of people to have a concealed weapons license and be carrying a weapon, a few percent of the population, so there would be a decent chance that one of those people would be in a mall or other populated place and be able to intervene if a shooter turned up. Retired cops & military, hunters etc, there are a lot of people around (in the US) who know how to handle a weapon.
And yes, hitting bystanders is a huge issue, and some of these nuts wear ballistic armor, but if you could wing a guy or tie or slow him down until the cops you arrive you will save a lot of lives. Every minute is valuable in these situations.
There is no perfect solution to this problem. No one ever suggested there was. But passing laws that many will ignore (they are crazy) or creating a make believe world of gun free zones and leaving people defenseless when there are crazies and guns (and always will be) doesn't seem like a hell of a good idea either.
Here is an interesting article that adds some insight to the subject.
Most interesting part.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that many of these attacks today unfortunately take place in pretend "gun-free zones," such as schools, movie theaters and shopping malls. According to Ron Borsch's study for the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, active shooters are different from the gangsters and other street toughs whom a police officer might engage in a gunfight. They are predominantly weaklings and cowards who crumble easily as soon as an armed person shows up.
The problem is that by the time the police arrive, lots of people are already dead. So when armed citizens are on the scene, many lives are saved. The media rarely mention the mass murders that were thwarted by armed citizens at the Shoney's Restaurant in Anniston, Ala. (1991), the high school in Pearl, Miss. (1997), the middle-school dance in Edinboro, Penn. (1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. (2007), among others.
At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The murderer's next shot was to kill himself.
So that explains why there were only 2 dead in Oregan last week, but the media being in favour of gun control hasn't reported that. Adam Lanza fits the profile described above as he shot himslef as soon as he heard the cops arriving. Imagine if the headmaster at Newton had had a gun (even one firing blanks or rubber bullets) and been able to engage Lanza rather than throw herself at the gunman and get killed. It would seem that it would be much less likely that we would be mourning 26 deaths.
Leaving children in a vunerable position is hardly working towards a better world. Taking sensible precautions is the sober juducious thing to do.
My understanding is that over the last few years gun sales have increased quite dramatically while crime has fallen. Cause and effect? I'm not sure, I know that there is plenty of discussion that there is a link. The "guns always bad" line of thinking isn't necessarily accurate.
The last time I looked at the stats, NZ had a higher rate of home invasion crime that the US, and I would attribute that to NZ's strict gun laws and the fact that if you were to defend yourself from a home invader, you would probably spend longer in jail than the invader. Is that such a sensible approach? A number of defenseless people in NZ have meet horrible ends as result of that approach.
We don't live in a perfect world and we have to make sensible decisions within the framework of what is possible to try to arrive at the best solution. Some of those decisions require a clear eyed view of reality and some hard decisions about the course of action that leads to the least harm.
Long time no PAS.
Some kind of ban on assault weapons always seems like a logical solution to some of the guns problems the US has, and as has been previously pointed out, there was one for a while, but it was allowed to expire without any fanfare (in the middle of the 2004 election season no less) as I believe it was fairly universally judged to not have had any impact, there was certainly no fuss about it when it expired.
I can’t see any kind of gun control onstitutional amendment passing whatever might come out of Washington as it will never get the 2/3rds or 3/4ths of states required for ratification of an amendment. While it might pass in CA or MA or NY, there is no way southern, rural or mid western states will pass that. For better or worse it just won’t happen. Best to focus efforts and energy in more productive areas.
And as an example that these issues are usually too complicated for simple sweeping solutions, if I lived anywhere outside a large city in Arizona, New Mexico or western Texas or anywhere close to the border or on the drug highways north out of Mexico and well into the US, I would most definitely want some serious firepower (i.e. something like a Bushmaster) to protect myself and my family, because the drug cartels and traffickers most certainly have more then peashooters on them. A handgun with a few rounds isn’t going to be any use. So how do you handle that situation fairly? You can’t leave people defenseless.
On the mental health aspect of this, I think a logical change would be a law so if a principal identifies a child as displaying some of the characteristics (as defined by a board of shrinks) that these kind of loner mass shooters have, the principal would be required to inform the local police so that they can visit the family and have a discussion and help educate the parents of the potential dangers of their child and to make sure that any weapons they have are securely locked away at all times etc.
Parental accountability is a big issue in some of these mass shootings. The mother was just crazy to take her son, with his issues, to a range and teach him how to use a semi automatic weapon and have the cache she had at home. If she hadn’t been shot, the mother should have been held accountable for what she did. Likewise Dylan Klebold’s and his friend in Columbine had huge stashes of weapons, ammunition and bomb materials in their rooms and houses. Where the hell were their parents? Obviously you can’t hold a parent accountable for their child’s behavior, but if their gross negligence is judged to have been a major contributing factor to an event like this, then they should be held criminally liable. That should wake a few parents up.
Another obvious thing to do is to make it more difficult to get into schools and especially into classrooms. Heavier doors into buildings and classrooms that can be bolted closed so that they can’t be shot open or kicked in would have made a huge difference in Newton and at the Virginia tech shooting a few years ago. Anything that slows the shooter down while law enforcement gets there saves lives.
And of course having a few teachers with a weapon is an obvious solution. Sounds crazy and shouldn’t be needed but we don’t live in a perfect world and never will. There are a couple of ex army guys at my son’s school. I would be very happy for them to have a weapon and a bullet proof vest locked away somewhere at school ready to deal with a crazy guy. It is child like magical thinking to believe that if we declare somewhere a gun free zone, that everything will be wonderful. All you have done is told the world, and every nutter in it, that this place is an easy target. How the hell is that smart or responsible?
Rich, states in the US could go bankrupt as Illinois and California are in the process of proving.
I have subscribed to Stratfor for about 10 years as a way to get better information than you can from the media. I think the idea of Stratfor as a "secret CIA" is a joke (as much of a joke as Stratfor's website security apparently!!) It is just a source of good info for those of us wonkish people who like good info. Big deal.
Stratfor has some really interesting and insightful commentary, and I note that in the past I have seen RB site Stratfor in a few of his commentaries on Public Address, so therefore it can't be a total neocon, fascist, right-wing wankfest can it?
I have read all Friedman books and found his approach to strategic analysis as interesting as the actual results the approach produces.
After reading him for a decade, it is clear to me that Friedman probably votes Democrat, believes that over the course of history Govt has had a central role in economic and technological development and for sure is no neocon, if anything he is an anti neocon. He tactfully but strongly criticized Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the neocon approach to world affairs in general, he is much more in the balance of power realist view. So as far as I can deduce Friedman and therefore Stratfor is no stereotypical far right wing “US supremacist, US take over the world” kind of guy. So I don’t know why all but the most extreme lefties would have a big problem with him or his views. Without a doubt he has some good sources, who may now be revealed, but so what? What is wrong with good sources and good info?
But regardless of Friedman’s views, this hack is a crime and as with any crime hopefully someone or some people will go down for it. Serves the bastards right.
The Euro was a load of bollocks from day one, you can't have one monetary policy with multiple different fiscal policies, it can't and never will work over a period of time, it is an impossibility. Either countries with fiscal policies different (looser) from the majority leave the zone or all countries adopt the same fiscal policies, it has to be one or the other.
The Euro project is and always was an ego driven political construct about creating a European super state to enable Europeans to collectively still be internationally significant and relevant and be able to challenge the US global "hegemony". The Eurocrats were never shy about expressing this as their objective and they never gave a damn about democracy and the will of the people of the various European countries, whether they wanted to participate in this grand project or not. A cynic would say that the Germans are trying to achieve with the Euro what they couldn't achieve with Panzers and Stukas 60 years ago.
The troika's 'austerity" medicine being forced down Greece's throat only partly addresses Greece's problems. Without a doubt the Greek government spent for too much money for far too long without undertaking necessary reforms while they had the time, to address, for example demographic change by raising the age when pensions kick in (paging John Key...), and that needs to be addressed, but like in a business, you can't cut your way to prosperity, you need to grow the top line, to generate revenue / economic activity and tax revenues. Nothing that I am aware of that the troika is making Greece do is growth oriented. The poor bastards in Greece are in for a miserable time for quite a while.
A sobering example of the consequences of bad political and economic policies. Unfortunately there are plenty of such examples of disastrous policies around the world in recent times. The Fed's easy money policy of the 2000s and continuing today, the US Congress in the 1990s making banks give housing loans to people who couldn't afford them, land use restrictions that force up the price of real estate to absurd levels, the current US Administration’s “money grows on trees” approach to its budget. Sadly the list goes on... Even if you could get rid of these bad policies tomorrow, their impacts will be with us for a quite some time.
You think you have it bad? The cult of Obama would have to be the worst ever. As far as the main stream media is concerned, Obama's shit smells of roses. They didn't ask a single searching question or do any digging into his background prior to the election and haven't given him a tough interview since then. And to disagree with Obama and his policies is to be a crank and a racist.
His ratings have slipped in the past six months, to about where Reagan was at the same point in his presidency, but he still beats a generic Republican candidate, and seems likely to beat anyone from the utter freakshow that is the Republican lineup. Given that he took office at the beginning of the US’s most severe financial crisis since the 1930s, he was always going to face challenges on the economic front.
Sweet dreams. In the year before the 84 election the US economy was growing strongly and unemployment was coming down significantly. That ain't going to happen here because Obama's policy setting are the opposite of Reagan's. Volker was operating a strong dollar monetary policy, Bernake is printing money like toilet paper, Reagan cut taxes on job creators, Obama wants to increase them, Reagan was reducing economic growth stifling regulations, Obama is increasing them at an amazing rate, Reagan wanted to cut govt expenditure (he didn't thanks to a Dem congress) Obama has increased govt expenditure faster and to a higher level than at any time outside war. As a result of the diametrically different policy settings, Reagan and Obama's political trajectories are also heading in opposite directions.
In many ways we should thank Obama. He has conducted a full throated Keynesian/Progressive experiment, and it has been an absolute bust. It will be interesting to see who can and who can’t absorb the lessons of Obama’s great Keynesian experiment.
This is actually the problem – as you unwittingly implied above. The US revenue system is borked, to the point where there simply is not the revenue base available to fund the kind of superpower Americans perceive their country to be
Wrong. With the right economic policies (i.e. not what Obama is doing) economic growth will return quickly increasing tax revenues. Cut out all the crap Obama has added to the budget, or just adopt Ryan's spending plan and the budget would get back into shape much sooner then many expect.
You are wrong about Bush's tax cuts, as you can see from the linked graph (I know, it is from Heritage, sorry about that, but they used to have this graph at the CBO but I can't find it anymore. It is the same info, there is nothing controversial about this graph)
You can see that revenues dropped sharply after 2000, due to the dot com bubble bursting, the impact of 9/11 and yes, Bush's tax cuts. The tax cuts were only one factor in that drop. But look how sharply revenues increased after the 2003 cap gains cuts and the reduction of double taxation on dividends. When Bush left office, revenues were higher than when he arrived. Sure they were trending down thanks to the GFC, but that wasn't his fault.
Note the 15% top rate on dividend income.
A common mistake, you are in good company on that one. There are many screwed up things about the US tax code, one of the more destructive is double taxation of dividends. Corporate income is taxed at 35%, and distributions of dividends post corp tax income are then taxed again at 15% at the individual level, for a combined effective tax rate of 47.5% (35% + ($65*15%)). Hardly a low level of taxation and prior to being cut in 2003 the effective taxation of corp income would have been as high as 60% (with a 39% personal income tax rate.
Just about every other country in the world, including NZ, gives you credit for corp income tax paid on dividends, so they aren't double taxed.
This double taxation is really destructive, it drives a lot of marginal M&A activity, as company's can't pass excess cash to shareholders without punitive taxation, so they try to drive stock price by buying companies. Most M&A doesn’t not create more value than it costs. This is also why so many US corps have huge piles of cash sitting on their balance sheets doing nothing useful.
And remember when you are talking about cap gains and dividend income, you are not just talking about rich wankers that lefties love to hate, you are talking about the majority of Americans who have their retirement, education and life savings in stocks and mutual funds. They are the people who suffer the most from bad tax policy. It doesn’t matter how high tax rates get, Warren Buffet and his other insufferable rich liberals will not feel an iota of pain. Everyone else will.
Regarding state taxes, 8.97% really is a long way away from 10% isn't it? Massive difference, LOL. My point was that in some states such as CA and NY (I forgot to include NJ) Fed plus State plus local taxes (paid out of income) get north of 50%. 35% (39% if Bush's cuts expire) + 8.97%, plus local and state sales taxes, + property taxes get north of 50%. Deductions for children and mortgage interest etc get used up pretty quick. You only get to deduct $3,000 a year for stock market losses. Deducting a loss from an LLC would impact taxes paid and the effective rate. But you only get to make that deduction if your company or a company you have invested in makes a loss. Unless it is in the startup phase, that is a loss you don't want!! And if it is a start up, isn't that what we want? Wealthy people spending money creating companies and jobs?
Craig, you are exactly right, it is a different kind of Repub party than the party of Delay and the compassionate conservative, Bush. Compassionate conservatism must have actually meant "spend like a drunken sailor conservatism" (which therefore isn't actually conservatism).
Contrary to much popular belief, the sentiment that drives the Tea party was born under Bush and Delay, not under Obama. The extreme frustration and disgust of many Repubs, independents and mod Dems at the pork party and fiscal flatulence of 2000 to 2006. Of course the only problem the Dems had with Bush's spending was that it wasn't enough, when Bush spent 400b on his prescription bill, the Dems were screaming that it neeeded to be at least 1 trillion!!
That anger at spending was only compounded by the concerns of the GFC, and when Obama went of a wild spending spree with his absurd stimulus and across the board big budget increases, that existing concern and anger at excessive govt spending burst out into a wild fire. That is why it got so big so quickly. Sure their was some organization and money involved (just like the Iraq war protests), but no amount of money or organization is going to get your average joe or jane out to a protest if he or she isn't really pissed about something.
The desire for spending restraint really is real, if the Repubs don't deliver on spending cuts, you will see a lot of Repub Congressmen and Senators being primaried before 2014.