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I Pajiba Love You All: An Open Thread About This Morning's Atrocities Right After These Comforting Images

By Joanna Robinson | Pajiba Love | December 14, 2012 | Comments ()


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I was in the middle of writing Pajiba Love when I read the most horrifying news in recent memory. And then, I apologize, but the linking wasn't in me. So here are some fuzzy photos and a forum for you to process your feelings. I love you all.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • ,

    Not dismissing the horror of Newtown at all, just also tossing in a little sympathy for the families of the (if yesterday was an average day in America) 90 people who died on U.S. highways and byways Sunday. And will again today. And tomorrow. And at whose memorial services the president will not show up.

  • anikitty

    Are you planning to caravan to each of them because of your deep compassion for the lost lives?

  • BierceAmbrose

    The protectors, if there are to be any, are us, right here, right now. Maybe we can fix the world so nobody goes sideways. Until then, when it goes all the way into violence, you have to deal with violence, incoming, right here, right now.

    You know what else? This isn't a national tragedy. It's a local tragedy. Did you know one of the victims? How many miles, communities, states, time zones is this away from you?

    Global, national solutions seem to have not worked. Declaring "gun free zones", "gun control", "improved mental health services" solves nothing. Any one of these, state or national or bigger, might *help* the people on the ground in the moment. But, safety is personal, local and immediate - right here, right now. We ought to be paying attention to that.

    Who stopped *that guy* in *that state of mind* from taking *those guns* to *that school* after *those threats* with *that personal history*, to move through *those classrooms* shooting up *those kids*?

    Or rather, who didn't? The protectors, if there are to be any, are us. At least three teachers at current count did exactly that, and others are alive because of it. Maybe a few other people could have chosen similarly along the way. Maybe people in the systems, starting in the school that didn't post guards.

    Maybe we ought to look to enabling people - with information, with sense, with options (like more doors), with skills, and yes, some of them, with guns.

    “Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people.”

    -Penn Jillett

  • Jezzer

    It might not even be an access to mental health issue. Some people refuse to get help, not because of a stigma, but because they believe nothing is wrong with them, or because their symptoms cause them to feel there is no hope and no point in seeking treatment. Even someone who does seek help often drops out in short order. The recidivism rate for persons with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in particular is extremely high.

    It is fairly easy to get someone committed involuntarily for an evaluation to determine if they are a danger to themselves or others, but very, very difficult to get someone committed to long-term care. In the six years I worked at a mental health clinic, I saw hundreds of patients go through the system, but only one case where someone was under a legal mandate to stay in long-term psychiatric care.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Meanwhile, this is what happened today at a mall I like to take my child to because it has a koi fish pond and a water fountain that your dog can run around in. Fortunately, we were at a different mall this afternoon when this happened, but I learned about it when I had family members frantically calling me because they knew I was taking the family Christmas shopping.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v...

    http://www.ocregister.com/news...

  • aoi

    People will always find ways to hurt each other, its just easier when guns readily available for almost everyone. Just humor each other and try just try for a year, 2013 next year, ban all guns for citizen (prohibition act), and see what happened compared to this year.

  • JAJenks

    I'm sitting in bed right now cuddling my 5 week old daughter and my tears are falling all around her. I'm terrified for her and the world she's inherenting from us. These were babies killed, 5 to 10 years old. It's heartbreaking and scary. I will protect her from all that I possibly can, but at some point she'll grow up and leave the safety of my arms- then I have to trust the world to protect her. I don't though, I don't trust the world the way it is today.

  • BlackRabbit

    Not to be a dick, but the world's never been that safe. All you can do is raise them to be smart, and happy, and strong, and be there for them. That's all.

  • anatomycoloringbook

    I'm just sad and angry. I'll get to the political agenda stuff later. I'm just gonna feel like crap about this for a while. It's the only thing that seems productive to me right now.

  • L.O.V.E.

    First off, my heart goes out to the families and community most affected by this devastating act of this particular terrorist.

    That said, I think its best to take a step back and not jump to conclusions about why this happened, or how it could have been prevented, or make blanket statements about gun control or mental health issues.

    In a country with over 300 million people, these (seemingly) random act of mass destruction may be impossible to avoid. We would like to think there is a cure-all for these incidents, but not every harm can be eradicated. I count my blessings that there are not more events such as these. I count my blessings that I don't live in other countries where 28 dead is a daily occurrence.

    Would better mental health prevented the situation? We don't know yet. This was a young man with a mother who was evidently a teacher. He may be middle-class, with health insurance available to him. The man in Colorado had sought treatment (didn't he?), and the Chiefs player was provided counseling, but troubled minds do troubling things despite the assistance made available. We have taxis and buses and police and laws and outreach, but we still have people driving drunk and killing innocent people. (As an aside, there is no right to drive a vehicle but the benefits of driving outweigh the risks; whereas we have a right to weapons but it is certainly fair to ask if the benefits of gun ownership outweigh the risks - we as a country have to decide this)

    Were assault weapons used in this particular instance? Early reports indicate the main guns used were handguns. Even if we outlawed ALL handguns today, there is enough of a stockpile to arm a small nation. Then we get into the same arguments about drug laws: Only the criminals, by definition, have them.

    I am not saying that I have the answers, but these reactionary responses to these extraordinary events, which are helpful to spark dialogue, rarely lead to solutions.

    For now, I mourn the victims and pray for their families.

  • Cordelia

    John Smith is a young architect. His father is a lawyer, his mother is a doctor, but she's retired now. He believes in the sanctity of the human life. He keeps a gun at home though, just in case. It's not like he'll ever use it anyway.
    One day he comes back and finds his girlfriend having sex with one of his housemates. He's not a violent person, but he wishes they would drop dead, as many of us would. And there is a gun at home. He CAN use it. It's a distinct possibility, it's become real through the physical presence of the gun.
    He never would have gone trough with it had he taken a few minutes to cool off, but his mind is hazy with hurt and betrayal, and the object takes over. He kills them.

    The USA needs to ban guns, not only to prevent unspeakable tragedies like this one, but because it has nothing to do with freedom. It has to do with the fact that nobody can be trusted, not even oneself, when there is a gun involved.

  • That...helps. Thank you.

  • John W

    What's really messed up is this guy was 20 years old which means it would have been harder for him to buy alcohol than guns.

  • Mrs. Julien

    We spent Thanksgiving in Newtown, CT like we do most years. My husband's family lives there. It's like Mayberry. Mr. Julien is devastated. We had a conversation like this earlier today, "Okay, so Dave's kids go to another school, and so do your brother's, Mike's kids are too old, and so are Diana's, Shawn teaches at a different school..." and so on. They and their children may be safe, but they will know people who have lost loved ones and the tragedy will ripple and flow into hundreds of lives. When I came home and looked in Little J's room and saw his pajamas abandoned on the floor in his rush to get ready for school, my heart broke for every parent coming home to see something similar, it's banality now a crushing blow.

    It is horrifying and catastrophic and I don't know how the families are even managing to breathe, never mind function. I suspect the answers will be painfully complex and painfully simple. I feel so desperately sorry for everyone involved.

  • $2786243

    I keep thinking about those little banal things too, and I have no idea how any of those 40 parents are going to find a way to function through this, or ever again.

    Kindergarten is, for a lot of parents, the first time they let these kids venture out into the world alone. I remember when my little girl got on the bus for kindergarten, and the bus rolled away down the street, and the first thought I had was, 'please come back.' Logic instructs you that, hey, don't be silly, she'll be fine, but for these families, it wasn't fine, and it'll probably never be fine ever again.

    It's like your heart doesn't break; it screams and screams and then collapses.

  • ,

    Peace and love, Mrs. J.

  • BobbFrapples

    We need a moment to mourn before we start trying to argue about why this happened. This keeps happening, so we're doing something wrong.

  • Acacia

    We're doing a lot wrong. We're doing mental health care wrong, as discussed above at length, and we urgently need to start doing that better. I hope ACA will help...

    But we also are doing guns wrong. I'm sorry, but we are. I'm glad Obama didn't talk about it today; I cried along with him instead, as we all did. But I hope he talks about it soon. It is long past time we start talking about sensible gun control in this country. What we have now is a repellent free-for-all.

  • MissAmynae

    Resources for talking to your children: http://kottke.org/12/12/how-to...

    I think it should be about a thousand times more difficult to obtain a gun and license than it should be to get adequate mental healthcare. Other than that, all I'm thinking is love and comfort for those affected, and reassurance for anyone with children, no matter what age. Love to you all.

  • mc-rox

    Great pictures Joanna that really help.

    Also off topic, hugs to Pajiba on the hacker business.

  • Rocabarra

    I'm not sure if someone has already posted this in the comments or not, but it's so important that people see it. The more we understand ways that the media can prevent this kind of thing from happening, the better chance we have of forcing them to listen.

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

    The instructions are simple: DON'T open with sirens blaring. DON'T have photographs of the killer. DON'T make this 24/7 coverage. DO everything you can not to make the body count the lead story, and not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero. DO localize the story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market because everytime we have intense saturation coverage a mass murder, we expect to see ONE TO TWO MORE WITHIN A WEEK.

  • GDI

    I know very little of what happened and I'd like to keep that way. The only info I'll receive is more sensationalist trash. The media is spitting on the graves of the fallen by giving this POS (and others like him) any sort of media glorification. These assholes are the deities of CNN, NBC, Fox and the like. It is up to the viewing public to tear their false gods down.

    Let those who suffered unspeakable tragedies that day a moment of serenity and let the deceased rest in peace. It is not our place to intrude in their lives in such invasive ways provide. I do hope the families find solace in the times to come.

  • Slash

    Yeah, I'm gonna go with "inadequate mental health infrastructure" with a side of "male pattern aggression." The guy killed his mother, among many others. Seems like there's some sort of serious family issue there.

  • katy

    I get to pick my kids up from school in less than an hour, and I can't wait. That's all that matters to me right now.

  • rumcove

    A lot of people want to have some sort of vengeance on the perpetrator of this crime. This person was obviously insane and in their warped minds thought that going out in a notorious way was the right path. No right minded person would do this. Hurt people end up hurting other people. We have someone who needed mental health but probably couldn't afford the care that he needed. So the hurt grew into something more frightening.

    In-patient mental health facilities are being shutdown all over the country because insurance companies don't want to pay for them. My guess is that this person probably didn't have health insurance. Besides guns, we need to look at how we handle mental illness. I'm not saying lock them up and throw away the key but find a way where we can offer help instead of impede help.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    That is a lot of guessing - that he couldn't afford care, that he didn't have health insurance. It's probably the thing you want to believe, because that would mean there's a solution.

  • Puddin

    Maybe this isn't the right place, but last night, the hubs and I went to go see a movie. In the lobby, there were at least three massive posts with movies stars staring benignly/menacingly in your face and pointing a gun at you. I grew up around guns all my life and have never known anyone who used one who did not have a deep and humble respect for them. And I'm not one to say that the 2nd amendment should be repealed and all, but man, this glorification of the gun culture really does freak me out. I mean, the violence we face today is caused by a whole complicated web of problems-poverty, lack of mental health coverage, gun control, everything. But the mixed messages from Hollywood have always just seemed so weird to me.

    Like I said, at this moment it's highly irrelevant, but I can't stop thinking about those stupid posters.

  • PDamian

    The third pic, with the otter cuddling her baby, is breaking my heart. I imagine that's how all the Pajiba parents are feeling right now. Much love and healing to everyone, everywhere.

  • rumcove

    Thanks. That is all.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I can't even imagine the terror running through the minds of those little kids today. I bet half of them didn't even know what was going on. What a brutal and horrible thing to witness, or worse, become a victim of.

    And yet, there are stories coming out about SIX year olds jumping into action and leading their friends out of harms way after their teacher was shot. That's an amazingly brave kid.

  • damnitjanet

    It may have already been said, but I'll say it again...tougher gun laws will NOT stop the crazy people from having guns or committing such horrible, horrible acts.

  • Mr_Zito

    There's always gonna be crazy people, and even not-so-crazy people having a crazy day. The problem is random people having access to a machine that puts them in a completely unfair advantage, with no unarmed person being able to stop them, which is what makes what could be one guy making a mess into the atrocity that happened today.

  • damnitjanet

    I agree. We DO need to get these military grade weapons out of the public hands...BUT...in reality, if a loon wants a gun, a loon will find a way to get a gun...or make one....or some other weapon. Guns make it easier to make very awful things happen very fast.

  • abell

    This is unimportant in the wake of these atrocities, but, if we're going to have this conversation, I'd like to add a clarification.

    The weapons used are almost certainly not "military grade." The military uses the M-16, or increasingly the M-4, a short barrel variant. These are considered "select fire" weapons because they can be set to Safe, Semi-Auto, and Full-Auto. These are considered Class 3 weapons and are pretty well regulated. Without knowing the CT laws better, I can't be certain, but, it's usually pretty difficult to get a hold of a true select fire AR, and I believe it was instead an AR-15. The AR-15, the civilian equivalent to the M-16, is only semi-auto. There is enough difference in the internal mechanics that facilitates full auto, that they can be considered different types of weapons. Maybe, you could consider it military style because of the appearance and that it uses the same caliber, but, it's certainly not the same weapon. Though this may be splitting hairs, the more you know, the more people are likely to listen to you.

    Preempting the comments of banning all semi-auto firearms, that leaves you with revolvers, pump-action, bolt-action, and lever-action, all as perfectly legal methods for killing people. The last three would slow down the action cycling by a second or two depending on the training and practice whoever's handling it has, as well as a similar delay in target acquisition. And revolvers just have a longer and/or heavier trigger pull. Succinctly, this sort of thing can just as easily be accomplished with what's been deemed Assault Rifles.

    Actually, they might be more successful with, say, a bolt action rifle. In Oregon and Colorado, we saw the gunman run into difficulty due to their weapon jamming. Semi autos are more susceptible to that sort of a jam and are more difficult to clear, especially, if they're not properly maintained, or the shooter's training. With a manual action, you can clear a misfire or a jam much easier.

    Regarding high capacity magazines, if you limit magazines to 10 rds, like California, you've only added a second or two for reloading a new magazine. That, like the other inconveniences above, may save a life, but, it's not going to prevent anyone from killing a bunch of people. Actually, the most practical idea to limit one's ability to fire many rounds of ammunition is what's called a "bullet button," a workaround developed to get around CA's AR laws, it fixes the magazine, unless you have a small tool to release it. You can use the tip of a bullet to do so, but, it is a precise enough action, that you'd greatly reduce the time it would take to reload, particularly in a stressful situation, where you're actually trying to shoot someone.

    Again, this is unimportant compared to the atrocity committed and nothing can fix that. But, if we're going to talk about gun control, I'd like us to be working with the best possible information.

  • damnitjanet

    Point taken, and well put

  • abell

    What we all already know

    "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6 (KJV)

  • To my American friends, especially any who are affected by today's tragedy, my heart goes out to you.

  • kirivinokur
  • jen

    President Obama giving his condolences from the James Brady Press Briefing Room... Just incredibly... I don't know the word... I just keep wondering when the connection between easy access to guns and inadequate mental health care will start adding up to people.

  • Jerce

    These are really sweet adorbubble wickle pickies; thank you very much for supplying them.
    I am still searching the Internet for the most up-to-date news, even though I am sure it will all be bad.
    I hope that I am not emotionally short-changing the deaths of so many, many other recent shooting victims, who though they were adults were just as innocent and deserved to live just as much. I don't mean to imply that their lives had less value--but it hurts my heart to think that someone was sick enough, or evil enough, to actually target little children...

  • sjfromsj

    The reporting on this has been atrocious. Everyone is throwing out every little thing that they overhear from who even knows, probably gossiping parents. They are back-tracking on so many details that have been stated as fact for hours now.

    Plus, don't even get me started on the on-air interviews of the children...

  • Melissa Doucette

    That last bit just disgusts me. I saw a reporter with a mike in a 10 year old's face - she couldn't have been older - asking her about the shootings, when she heard gun shots, if she was scared, if any of her friends got hit, etc. Can we really NEVER have decency? Her parent was standing right there, and I don't for a second think he should have allowed that interview, but he was likely barely capable of thought beyond "thank god my child is alive and with me". Anything for a story, though, I guess. Reminds me of Bowling for Columbine when they replayed the 911 conversation of the reporter pouting because another news station got to talk to someone live and she couldn't. JESUS.

  • Miss Kate

    Thank you for this. Now I just want to rush home and hug my son.

  • e jerry powell

    The kitty has a face on its butt!

    Seriously, though, I am about to go out and buy my nine-year old niece about ten more presents, and then I'm going to hug her stupid and let her play Wii until her arms fall off. And then spoil her some more. And then take her out for her favorite sushi.

  • Fredo

    Find your loved ones. Pour your love on them. Let them do the same to you. And remember that your life would suffer without them.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Awww, I'm just gonna' yook at these yittle otters for a bit. Thanks, Jo.

  • dizzylucy

    Thank you for the photos.

    I don't know what to say in a horrible situation like this, other than be thankful for every day and for the people in your life.
    Thoughts and prayers with all affected by this.

  • A-Sad-Human

    My sister-in-law and nephew live less than 5 miles from this school. It is the school my nephew will go to in about 2 years. All of those poor young souls... I wish we could just have everyone understand that life is precious gift that doesn't last.

  • This actually kind of helps for a minute or so. Thanks.

  • John W

    I want punch someone and hug someone at the same time.

  • Louise

    This.

  • John W

    Don't blame you.

  • TheEmpress

    To the next person who's about to go on a shooting spree (because there WILL be a next time until we have a serious discussion about gun control in this country): Just skip to the end and kill yourself. Leave the innocents alone.

  • GDI

    Part of the problem is media glorification. And attitudes like that; those that think suicide is acceptable if it denies a murder suicide. Perhaps something can be done for these people before it gets to that point?
    Nah, let's just point fingers so we can feel good about ourselves.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I know a lot of people want to talk about guns, and I don't disagree, but something this unspeakable tells me we need to be addressing the woefully inadequate mental health system in this country.

  • GDI

    Thank you for seeing the light. I appreciate it when someone really wants to tackle the issue instead of jumping on the soapbox.

  • iamjames

    I know plenty of people who are odd, shy, compulsive, and smart. None of them are capable of executing the heinous crimes committed by Adam Lanza.

  • DominaNefret

    I agree that we need to address the mental healthcare system in this country. Totally.
    But it is VERY dangerous, and denigrating to those who suffer from mental illness, to assume that anyone who commits a spree shooting or public violent act using a gun, is mentally ill.
    That is why talking about gun control needs to come first, though both need to happen.

  • GDI

    The issue is the rationale of the spree-killer (in general, not just this one). How do you justify shooting unarmed civilians within the parameters of what society considers sane?

    I'm not saying that to be factitious. I just have a difficult time how some could be considered sane after committing such atrocities.

    I do understand that this type of mentality could be bring harm and discrimination to those that are suffering from mental illness if thought of irrationally.
    Not every killer HAS to be "insane" and not every "insane" person is going to be a killer. I got that. But I would argue that focus on mental health issues could stop this from being a problem in the first place. I see it as the cornerstone to a myriad of social issues, not just a solution to stop sporadic spree-killers.
    The main obstacle I see for mental health professionals is that they may need to more invasive to be effective. Which, in itself, brings another series of pitfalls.
    I accept that there is no easy answer. If there were, we would've figured it about by now.

  • chanohack

    You're right--it's not fair to assume. Mentally ill does not equal violent, or vice versa. I'm not pointing fingers or anything, but it seems like before we know what really happened, it helps us to identify a problem, even if it's not THE problem. That's why we hear stuff damning video games, drugs, that the guy had access to a gun, that other people didn't have guns... anything that COULD be the culprit gets mentioned. One of my friends even said that this happened because we're not Christian enough. Fuck that guy, but I think finding something to work on, even if it's not to blame, helps people deal with news like this until we actually know what happened.

  • Viking

    I keep saying this and no one ever says I'm wrong, but they never have anything to add. I think they just aren't informed about the terrible state of our mental health system UNLESS they are close to someone who spins in and out of the revolving doors of treatment facilities.

  • lilianna28

    I can't figure out how the discussion starts. Is it, we should have better screening for.. .gun ownership? That we should be screening people for mental illnesses? Is it that we should have better programs to HELP mentally ill people before they go crazy? Give me a frame of reference and I'll post that shit on FB so fast, but I am generally clueless as to the start of the conversation I really really want to have.

  • Robert

    How about we need to restore funding to mental health care and research in the United States that was eliminated during the 1980s when deemed unnecessary? That would help get the discussion going.

    It's not just about guns at this point. It's about actually getting people who need help the help they need. It's about destigmatizing mental illness and actually creating a culture where seeking out help isn't frowned upon.

  • Robert

    And let me clarify because I looked into it more. The defunding started in the 60s and hit its peak in the 70s. The 80s is when a whole lot of mental hospitals were shut down because of the poor conditions in a few. There are people who need in patient treatment who cannot get it because the facilities do not exist anymore. Funds started shifting back to mental health care in the late 90s/early 00's but started being pulled back out a few years ago.

  • lowercase_ryan

    This a thousand times.

  • lowercase_ryan

    That's the hard part. I think they are two separate issues. The guy today stole the guns from his mom. A background check wouldn't have done squat. I think we need to start with greater awareness of mental illness, I don't think most people are aware of just how widespread it is. Awareness, education, and treatment. The mentally ill should not be allowed to legally own guns, but more importantly we can't keep letting them fall through the cracks.

  • Kip Hackman

    Exactly. More laws and stricter gun control won't accomplish anything. In addition to your point, it's illegal to carry a gun on any kind of school property, but obviously that law didn't prevent anything yesterday. Someone willing to shoot and kill 18 children and several adults would be able to do what he wants if guns aren't available. Stricter gun control laws would only affect people like me, who own guns and are law abiding citizens. I do think a great place to start would be some sort of mandatory screening process for gun ownership. I spoke with the trainer for my concealed carry class, and he considered an unofficial part of his job was to keep an eye out for any that seemed unstable or unfit to legally conceal a firearm, and had turned a few down in the past. In Ohio, there's a mandatory class for minors who wish to have a hunting license. We require training for someone to learn to drive, I think rather than limit the guns that people can own, a mandatory training would be more beneficial. This would cut down on accidental discharges as well.

  • PerpetualIntern

    "Someone willing to shoot and kill 18 children and several adults would be able to do what he wants if guns aren't available"...few other weapons allow people to kill as quickly, efficiently and detachedly as a gun. Our gun laws are not infallible just because crazy people will still be crazy.

  • marya

    Yeah, someone could absolutely kill that many people without a gun, or without a semi-automatic, but it sure would take more effort. It might mean injured not dead. It might mean 2 dead, not 26. It's about playing the percentages. Stricter gun control laws would mean it's harder for anyone, sane or not, law-abiding or not, to get a semi-automatic weapon. Fewer semi-automatic weapons = harder to kill people. I don't understand why we're still having this argument.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Without saying anything about guns,you should know that the worst incident at a school did not involve guns. Google up the "Bath Massacre". The individual used bombs and it was in 1927.

  • emilya

    yes and yes!! we need better laws (who needs any sort of assault weapon who isn't in some branch of the armed forces- no one), a better/stricter screening process that includes some sort of psychological component, longer waiting periods, and gun safety training. the person that "needs" a gun the moment they step in the store is exactly the person i don't want carrying a gun.

  • lowercase_ryan

    YES!!!!! It is appalling when you're confronted with just how difficult it is to get help for those who need it.

  • $2786243

    THIS THIS THIS.

  • Claire

    it just makes me feel cold...

  • Xtacle Steve

    I understand the need for an open forum on issues like gun control and that events like these or the Batman shooting often serve as a way for those forums to start and intensify, but there's something kind of unnerving and sad about the way we all immediately jump at one another's throats. I dunno, just a thought.

  • It's not everyone. It's just the loud ones. For every nattering jackass on television, there are probably a good dozen that honestly think that events like this should lead to a serious discussion of ways to realistically prevent a repeat of the tragedy. Unfortunately we'll get Bob Costas and Fox News. We'll have Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Bachmann posturing.

    Honestly I think it's time to toss the lot of them in a burlap sack with a few badgers and a bee hive. Tie the opening. Give it a few whacks with a stick, and let whatever happens happen. While they're in there trying to filibuster angry badgers, we can have a reasonable discussion. Or just enjoy the quiet.

  • NateMan

    It's a symptom of the same disease. Some people are content to do it with words. Others need to go the next step and use their fists. And others go still further and use a gun. Our lack of rationality, be it in discussion or in our actions, is one of the biggest problems in our species.

  • GDI

    Damn, well said.
    I consider primal bloodlust as the propelling mechanism, with rational thought as the brakes. Some people lack a proper braking system.

  • A. Smith

    I honestly don't know where all this is coming from. If you're not hearing about random adults shooting teens because of music, or people getting shot at normally safe places like a mall or school it's something else. I know this country has issues, I know right now as a country we are divided because of a changing environment. But why oh why must violence even be in the equation. When will people say I don't want to live in fear anymore and do something to truly create change?

  • THRILLHO

    This is an old one I'm sure we've all seen, but it still helps: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expres...

    I love you, Pajibans

  • linlinB

    Thank you so much for the animal pics. I really needed a pick me up, and that was absolutely perfect. Thank you.

  • BlackRabbit

    'Course, now I really want a puppy. :(. Stupid landlady.

  • layla

    Hey America,
    You SHOULD NOT have the right to bear arms simply because.
    Time for some gun laws.

  • Eddie Izzard: 'And the National Rifle Association says that guns don't kill people. Which is true, but I think they help.'

    That flippant tone aside, I mean to express nothing but solace and sympathy to the victims' families. This is a thing that shouldn't happen to anyone.

    And I hate saying stuff like this when tragedies like this occur but it's exactly at times like this that specific points, if worded carefully, can have the most impact. So here's an attempt at careful wording (and this is me speaking as a lad whose spent most of his life in England, so I am not blind to the fact that this country used to be like this - and still is, but thankfully due to limited reach, less so): you guys have a violence problem. That's putting it as simplistically as possible, but I think it distills the point nicely. Lack of gun control; lethal force as a legitimate method of solving problems (or most of the time just intimidating) endorsed by the highest office in the land and its spokeperson, the media; glorification of violence completely out of proportion to the comparative prudish attitude to sex - these are not unrelated and insignificant factors. Society is what its shapers make it. You can't cry havoc and blame individuals forever. I went to a terrible, violent school, but by the sheer luck of my specific genes and upbringing I, by and large, managed to escape that culture. I don't take pride in this, because I know how little control I actually had over it. Change one little factor and I could have and I could've ended up in prison like a fella I used to play football with, for stabbing a man through the chest. Individual choice and reason is of course not negligible, but it is the system and the culture that it breeds that holds much of the blame. If President Obama is sincere in his apparent commitment to some change, and his coming moves end up reflecting that commitment, then I applaud this. If not, however, do not be surprised. Vested interests hold more water than the tears and blood of those they tread on.

  • Maguita NYC

    Makes me uneasy, all barbaric reasons Americans dig up simply because they refuse to let go of old rules and regulations, even when faced with obvious resulting tragedies. Holding on so viciously to some of the most absurd and devolutionized of notions in a supposed civilized land and era.

    We have done this. We have sat aside, or we have not fought hard enough to protect our own. Battling instead for deformed reformations that... what exactly? Make us more? Get us more? More likely spend us more. And with too many averments of insensible acts, none have kept our children healthy and safe.

    This is it. Our return investment: Innocents shot down like deer in hunting season. No elegance, no humanity, no pity. I am scared because my America is no more land of the free, but land of the enslaved to the ideals of bullshit and supposed rights disguised under special-interest groups' hungry hands.

    And after all, what else can you say, yet one more time before the end of 2012: My deepest and sincerest condolences to the families of innocents lost. With nothing to offer but an aching anxious heart, a big lump in my throat, and damn eyes burning all the time.

  • GDI

    The world will never be a safe place, no matter how much we attempt to control it. It is a fact oft forgotten.

    That is not to say this is not a tragedy. It is. Harrowing as it may be, we must accept it. Condolences to the families, as it will never get any easier for them. They will carry this burden until they themselves are gone from this world. Whatever peace they may find until then, I hope they embrace it fully.

  • firedmyass

    I've was raised around guns and have been a gun-owner my entire life. From my earliest age, my family made sure I both respected and properly feared the inherent potential for danger that firearms contain. They are useful tools, but they are also weapons. Because/in spite of my background, I think it's WAY too easy to purchase a gun. The patchwork of regulations is confusing, ineffective and greatly hampers true and necessary regulation. I don't know exactly what needs to be done, but something clearly does. Rights are important, but responsibilities are equally so.

  • iamjames

    Are you willing to give up your guns for the sake of gun control reform? Instead, you can use non lethal guns if protection is a concern.

  • I LOVE THIS COMMENT. *rolls around in the awesomeness*

  • Guest

    But The 2nd Amendment gives us the right! It was ratified in 1791, it isn't like anything has changed since then or the world is different in any way. I'm sure the authors had machine guns in mind when they wrote it.

  • Archie Leach

    It's cause the "still in the mindset of 50 years-ago (mainly) white males" still carry a lot of political weight but the United States is evolving - ALL industrialized nations sociologically evolve and sane firearms control will eventually prevail. It SHOULD work along the lines of how "free speech" works in the United States.

    We own a home deep in the forested mountains and it's a location where the fauna (critters) is very abundant. These critters include bears and mountain lions and badgers and etc. It's not located in one of those Aspen or Lake Tahoe areas where "community agencies" determines rules and "standards": our house exists in a place where dwelling are separated by up to miles and it's a pretty much "you need to have understanding and to know how to handle being in a environment where there aren't human neighbors but plenty of other mammalian critters". People there have guns, mainly rifles, and people there have used them when they felt it was necessary when one of the furry critters was deemed a real threat. The huge vast of the people in this area are not crazy-survivalists rightwing nuts but are actually working folks with families that are just living and existing. It just so happens they've chosed to have a home in a remote place full of animals And as much as I'm the liberal lefty that has with strong communitarian views my knowledge/experience of our mountain cabin/home has us keeping a rifle stored there. In the region where our cabin is, is the proper place for relatively lax firearm laws because firearms violence is not a problem..... well at least not against human beings.

    Now compare this to the urban, cities where human beings are packed in and human contact with each other is not necessarily the most pleasant: every individual fully armed in an area dense with human beings is probably not the best idea. Thus in places like New York City or Philadelphia or Washington or Chicago or Cleveland or Los Angeles or San Francisco and numerous other urban places are where "sane" regulation of firearms makes absolute sense.

    Which is why I bring up the free speech laws. The Supreme Court rules decades ago that "free speech" should be subject to the "community values". This issue involved the availability of pornography and the Court said that since there are different views about pornography across the nation, such as how porn is viewed or accepted in New York City or Los Anglese versus how porn is viewed in say Utah or parts of Deep South, thus the Court said the legality of porn should be determined locally.

    And thus this is how firearms laws should be handled. The situations with firearms in the mountainous rural area - like where our cabin is - is very different than what what the situation is in New York City or Los Angeles and thus firearm laws should BE DETERMINED BY WHAT THE SITUATION IS BY LOCALE.

    "Unrestricted access arms" is fine in rural areas or Alaska or Wyoming and it should remain so in those areas but "unrestricted access to firearms" in big dense cities like New York and San Francisco are just plain stupid.

  • Buttinsky

    Archie,

    Just getting home from work and only just reading the sad news, I then come over here to gauge the reaction, only to be smacked with your goddamned epistle about "free speech" and "firearm laws" that just plain doesn't belong here.

    Joanna and others are expressing their grief over this tragedy, as humans are wont to do in these circumstances; your iteration of the problems you have at your "cabin/mountain home" with "mammalian critters" is so far removed from what this thread is intended for as to be irrelevant, insulting, and so lacking in basic human compassion that it barely separates you from the "critters" you justify killing when they get too close to 'your' habitat.

    Get a freakin' clue.

  • GDI

    Archie gave a proper response to someone stating that there should be a federal blanket law on all weapons, which would be as effective as the War on Drugs or the War on Terror.
    It's not a simple issue.

    And don't so damn one-sided about this. It was a gun control advocate that started this comment thread. Honest debate needs to happen, obviously. Illogical discourse and obstruction of truth has no bearing if we hope to make any progress.

  • Archie Leach

    Hmmmmm....."justify"....."killing"...... "critters".......hmmmmmmmm..... no.

    Not
    "justifying" "killing" "critters". Perhaps you "buttinsky" should take
    to note that those human mammals that have chosen to live amongst the
    mammalian fauna are not like the bambi deers - along with the peter
    cottontail wabbits and the chip and dale chipmunks - which evolution has
    built into those mammalian critters the ability to have a *chance* to
    RUN to escape the Winnie the Pooh bear..... unfortunately the ability
    for the human mammalian creature is MUCH lower to be able to run away
    from Winnie the Pooh bear......

    The fact that YOU "buttinsky"
    exists in the clean anti-septic environment where you are shitting in an
    anti-septic toilet as opposed to on bushes and where you and I can
    engage in this discourse across these electronic tools is due to the
    fact that certain things including furry cute mammalian creatures called
    "rodents" have been unemotionally removed from the human environment
    and so thus we do not spend out time trying to figure out - LIKE THOSE
    WHO CAME BEFORE US - how to stop those furry little mammalian rodents
    from getting into our food supply and, unfortunately, adding various
    viruses into us and thus causing you and I do die from them.......

    .......
    thus the mammalian human has determined that given the human mammalian
    is not very efficient to run away as Chip and Dale and Bambi is: that
    thus the human mammalian is thus forced to do what evolution has given
    the human mammalian: a VERY large brain and bipedalism and, most
    importantly, *a hand with a grasping thumb*..... and thus the human
    mammalian took what evolution gave her and him and went with
    it......BUT....

    YOU "buttinsky" are part of a VERY RECENT set of
    humanity that has the toilet AND has enough of the material condition
    where YOU "buttinsky" can actually *THINK* about human interactions with
    non-human mammalians.

    YOU "buttinsky" can call me and the other
    "unevolved" "savages" in our "mountainous savagery" over our "barbaric"
    "attitudes" over non-human mammalians but all it shows is that YOU
    "buttinsky" simply exists in an insular eclosed bubble that the rest of
    99% of the humanity doesn't exists in......

  • abell

    does that also apply to layla's comment?

  • NateMan

    The world is a cold place, and there are terrible people in it. This is not to belittle or offer cliche to such an awful event. It is, sadly, the way of things.

    But it is also the way of things to offer comfort to one another, to celebrate the lives of the people around us, and to use this opportunity to see in each other what makes them, and us, special. My heart goes out to every family that lost a child today, and every child bound up in such terrible, truly incomprehensible events. That anyone, particularly a father, could do this to children is something about the human mind that I will never understand; a fact for which I am most grateful.

    I'm sorry for you all. And if I could do anything, anything to take it back I would, as I know would we all. I will go home tonight and I will hug and kiss my little girl and try not to weep as I do so. I will tell her she is loved and safe and that I will always, always do my best to make sure she stays that way.

    Love to all.

  • Mavler

    Maybe tell her about conflict resolution and the positive sides of gun control too - it's never too soon. Hugs, while certainly necessary on a day like today can only do so much and won't prevent this from happening in the future.

  • NateMan

    Well, she's only 18 months old; we can only discuss so much, thank Gods. So I'll be sticking with I love you, though your point is well appreciated and stated.

  • Mavler

    Well, okay at that age hugs are quite effective. All the best to you and yours for the holidays.

  • Kballs

    I want to shred this guy's soul apart with my bare hands. Worthless fucking coward.

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