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Gun Control: Where are Optometrists on National Issues?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Mike Cohen, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    I went to high school with the officer who was stabbed. My understanding is that he is recovering well, but will obviously have some permanent marks.
     
  2. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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  3. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Yes there is more...

    I delayed mentioning the German violence until a complete report was available. We can also discuss if you wish the near civil war in Mexico with firearms supplied by US gun dealers.

    I agree psychotics and sociopaths do not obey the laws. However, easy access to firearms makes mass murder by the nuts and malcontents far easier than with other less sophisticated weapons.

    Here is the German story as reported in the 3/12/09 edition of the New York Times...

    "Teenage Gunman Kills 15 at School in Germany

    By CARTER DOUGHERTY

    Published: March 11, 2009

    WINNENDEN, Germany — A teenage gunman killed 15 people, most of them female, on Wednesday in a rampage that began at a school near Stuttgart in southern Germany and ended in a nearby town, where he then killed himself after the police wounded him.

    The attack left Germany, which tightened tough gun controls after a similar attack at a school seven years ago, struggling to understand the carnage that had again befallen it, a country with relatively little violent crime. In 2002, a gunman killed 16 people before killing himself at a school in Erfurt, in eastern Germany.

    “This is a day of mourning for all of Germany,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a brief statement in Berlin. “Our thoughts are with the friends and families.”

    The authorities identified the attacker as Tim Kretschmer, 17, who graduated last year from the school he later attacked, the Albertville secondary school in Winnenden, a prosperous commuter town near Stuttgart, in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

    State officials and the police, in news briefings throughout the day, described three hours of horror that began soon after the school day started.

    They said the attacker, clad in black, opened fire in three classrooms at the school, killing nine students — eight girls and a boy — and three teachers, all women. Seven wounded students were hospitalized.

    The officials said that several police officers arrived at the school two minutes after receiving an emergency call at 9:33 a.m. and that they could hear shots still being fired. The officers entered the school and caught a glimpse of the gunman, who fired one shot at them and ran. That is when he apparently encountered and killed two of the teachers, the officials said.

    Mr. Kretschmer managed to leave the school and flee the grounds, shooting and killing an employee of a nearby psychiatric clinic, officials said.

    Firefighters, paramedics and columns of heavily armed commandos swarmed the school and sealed off Winnenden’s small downtown area, where the attacker had been seen heading. Helicopters circled over the town of some 27,000 residents.

    But the attacker slipped away, hijacking a car and forcing the driver to take him to Wendlingen, about 25 miles southeast of Stuttgart.

    Inside a Volkswagen dealership there, the gunman killed an employee and a customer before police officers engaged him in a gunfight. The gunman was shot in the leg and two police officers were wounded. As the police closed in, Mr. Kretschmer shot himself in the head.

    No motive had emerged by Wednesday night. “There were apparently no signs that he would be capable of something like this,” said Erwin Hetger, the state police chief.

    People who knew Mr. Kretschmer described him as quiet or inconspicuous.

    Adrian Homoke, 19, said the gunman seemed to be a normal enough student during his last year at Albertville, with friends and his own interests. “He liked to play poker during the breaks,” Mr. Homoke said. “I couldn’t say anything bad about him.”

    Mr. Kretschmer’s father is a member of a local shooting club and owned 15 legally registered weapons, according to state officials. One of them, a pistol usually kept in a bedroom, was missing when the police searched the family home just after the shooting at the school, as were more than 100 rounds of ammunition, the police said.

    Many in Germany wondered whether the attack could have had any link — in the mind of the attacker, at least — to the shooting rampage in Alabama on Tuesday that left 11 dead, including the gunman.

    By nightfall, the scene around the school and in Winnenden was part media circus, part impromptu memorial.

    A long concrete wall was adorned with candles, flowers and messages to the dead and their families. A Roman Catholic church held a service in the center of town that was packed with mourners, many sobbing.

    Albert Biesinger, a Catholic deacon who works with the local police to counsel traumatized crime victims, said the authorities had quickly steered the surviving students and their families away from the grisly scene at the school.

    “I tell them, ‘This is too much for you,’ ” the deacon said. “They couldn’t handle that right now.”

    Victor Homola and Stefan Pauly contributed reporting from Berlin.
     
  4. Michael A. Langevin

    Michael A. Langevin Active Member

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    I am an Arkansan.

    You come in my house uninvited, I shoot you.
    You are robbing my neighbors house, I shoot you.
    You are running after someone with a knife in one hand and your pecker in the other..I shoot you.

    These are a few of my favorite things.LOL
     
  5. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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  6. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    Doesn't Germany have some of the strictest gun control on the books? So, obviously, after the last 'school shooting' their response was to tighten their gun control statutes... and look how well that worked.

    Repeat after me... Firearms are not the problem, firearms are not the problem, firearms are not the problem. People are the problem.

    My fork doesn't make me fat

    My Pencil doesn't misspell words

    My gun doesn't kill anyone

    My Car doesn't run into objects by itself, or speed by itself

    Guns are a tool. They are an inanimate object. They are good at what they do.
     
  7. Scott Caughell

    Scott Caughell ODwire.org Supporting Member

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  8. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    I would be happy to discuss the drug war in Mexico, as well as the implicit failure of the US policy known as "the war on drugs". Drugs being the operative word. Take the money of the drug trade out and there is no war (well, there is always some war for some reason, power struggles being what they are for humanity). Also note the high number of decapitations; with the heads found in coolers. An exercise in psychological warfare, better outlaw machetes so the decapitations stop and all can feel better.

    Easy access to firearms does not make mass murder easier than less sophisticated weapons.

    How many American military personnel have lost their lives to IED's?

    Pick up a copy of "the anarchist cookbook" or "the poor man's James bond". Everyone has EASY access to information and the necessary chemicals to create IED's. These very unsophisticated weapons, in an automobile, become a far better means to an end. But most would rather go down in a blaze of glory, gun fighting it out with law enforcement, just like their hero's in movies/video games etc.

    Besides, legal access to firearms is not easy. I was practically strip searched the last time I purchased a firearm. It would have been a lot easier to find a black marketeer. Although, as an honest citizen, I don't know where to find one.

    Why does it always come back to parenting?
     
  9. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Changing the method of mayhem in the USA?

    Are you suggesting that we are moving into an era of lunatic suicide bombers in the USA rather than shooters?

    So far the issue is easy access to firearms causing incredible loss of life in a very short time span by the deranged. Other means such as knives or scissors cannot compare.
     
  10. Patrick Shorter O.D.

    Patrick Shorter O.D. Active Member

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    Wrong.

    http\[​IMG]
     
  11. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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    Easy Access?

    Paul,

    Honestly, have you yourself recently tried to purchase a handgun?
     
  12. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am suggesting that lunatics will use whatever is at their disposal. Perhaps explosives, as Oklahoma City will attest too. Perhaps crashing a large automobile into a crowd of people or using firearms obtained outside legal commerce channels. Poisoning a water supply, contaminating food sources, the list of ways to kill one's fellow man are endless.

    The issue of easy access to weapons of mass destruction will always exist. A black market will always exist, be it drugs, firearms, explosives etc. A government can deny it's law abiding citizens access to these items, but they will always be available to those outside the law.

    I would prefer to have a part in defending myself, family and country in times of crisis, rather than give up that right and place my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness solely in the hands of others, incapable of being in all places at all times.
     
  13. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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    Never again

    Germany had gun control
     

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  14. #174 Mar 14, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
    Greg Vickers

    Greg Vickers Active Member

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    Think about it............if just one in ten or even 100 of the Jewish people were armed and took it upon themselves to take out a couple Nazi soldiers, Hitler would not have been able to pull off the mass killings or the war for that matter.
    I agree, never again. Try and pull a genocide in a country of free, armed individuals. It's not going to happen.
     
  15. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Packing heat in national parks...

    To calm frayed nerves over the Board Certification debate here is an editorial in the newspaper fire arm enthusiasts love to hate...;)

    "‘Astoundingly Flawed’

    Published: April 2, 2009

    In December, ignoring proper procedure and the risk to public safety, the Bush administration rushed through regulations allowing people to carry concealed, loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. Fortunately, a federal judge has blocked this last-minute mischief, giving the Obama administration a fresh chance to do the right thing and withdraw the rule.

    Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the United States District Court in Washington, said the Interior Department failed to conduct the legally required environmental assessment, taking into account such factors as public safety and the likely impact on the “human environment.” Over all, she said, the process by which the rule was adopted was “astoundingly flawed.”

    Rather than appeal, President Obama’s interior secretary, Ken Salazar, should agree to retract the rule — even though that would anger the gun lobby.

    The judge rested her decision on procedural breaches, but allowing park visitors to pack heat would be a terrible idea even if proper procedures were followed.

    The rule authorizing concealed weapons, which took effect in January, lifted Reagan-era gun restrictions that do not trespass on the Second Amendment. With limited exceptions, they permit visitors to transport guns in national parks and wildlife refuges, provided they are unloaded and properly stored or dismantled.

    The Bush Interior Department claimed it was changing the rules to “give greater effect to principles of Federalism” because some states allow residents to walk around secretly armed. But respect for state authority does not require applying those laws to federal lands, including those in states that ban loaded, concealed guns in their own parks.

    States routinely grant concealed carry licenses without proper background checks or training. Indeed, among the evidence Bush officials ignored in their haste to relax national park gun limits was the long list of violent crimes committed by dangerous people with state concealed carry licenses. Contrary to gun lobby claims, the evidence suggests that permitting concealed weapons drives up crime rather than decreasing it.

    Before becoming president, Mr. Obama spoke of the dangers of concealed weapons. Yet a few weeks ago, his Justice Department filed a brief in the parks case supporting the Bush line that the change would have no significant impacts on public health and safety.

    The injunction carries a message that the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits. Mr. Salazar has initiated an internal 90-day review of the new gun policy but says he is still undecided about whether to continue to defend the Bush rule. A serious steward of the nation’s parks would not."
     
  16. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    Since it is legal for me to "transport" my firearm in a National Park, I'll be OK Paul.

    First, I use my bear spray to confuse, blind and disorient my attacker (man or beast). Then, I acquire my legal firearm from its case and load it with it's separated source of ammunition. If the attack persists at this point, I use deadly force.

    This formula can also be applied if you live in the "Peoples Republik of Illinois or Wisconsin," where personal freedom and liberty is infringed upon.

    I only hope my attackers aren't armed with firearms (of course they won't be, that would be illegal:rolleyes:) because then they might shoot me from beyond the effective range of my less than lethal device and rape and murder my family as I lay dieing. But if it makes us all safer, yehaa!;)
     
  17. Greg Vickers

    Greg Vickers Active Member

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    Field and Stream published an article several years ago called "would you rather pay a fine or be dead?" or something along these lines. The picture was of a grizzly pushing it's way into a tent and the guy holding a revolver at point blank range. Grizzly attacks in Yellowstone are not unheard of and I for one would not be on a horse or backpacking or camping in griz country without a sizeable sidearm. Legal or not.
    I would love to have some liberal judge sit down with any bear attack victim and discuss the merits of gun control in an untamed, wild area of wilderness where humans are not at the top of the food chain. This is all insane to me.
     
  18. Kristopher Glanville

    Kristopher Glanville Well-Known Member

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    Having spent a good deal of time in Grizzly country, a sidearm is not the best choice. A 12 gauge with slugs or a high power rifle are certainly better. With bears, being smart and avoidance really work best, IMO.
    I have been bluff charged though, and if I had not been armed, I would have needed new undies.

    Bears encounters make for great copy and sell, but I don't think bears are nearly as fearsome as portrayed. Including those I have spent time with on Alaskan salmon rivers. I have more concern with Mountain Lions. They are so damn quiet and they only want you for a meal. Although, once calling coyotes, I called in a bear. He was coming for a meal, so it was different and I created the situation and have thus far lived with the consequences of my actions.

    Honestly, I have more concern of human predators in National Parks than the fauna. Creating a pool of defenseless victims should be a magnet for criminals.
     
  19. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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    I'm still carrying.
     
  20. #180 Apr 4, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
    Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Guns don't kill people etc... really? Now this!... again

    As reported in the 4/4/09 edition of the New York Times...

    "13 Shot Dead During a Class on Citizenship

    By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
    Published: April 3, 2009
    A gunman invaded an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, N.Y., during citizenship classes on Friday and shot 13 people to death and critically wounded 4 others before killing himself in a paroxysm of violence that turned a quiet civic setting into scenes of carnage and chaos.

    The killing began around 10:30 a.m. and was over in minutes, witnesses said, but the ordeal lasted up to three hours for those trapped inside the American Civic Association as heavily armed police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers threw up a cordon of firepower outside and waited in a silence of uncertainty.

    Finally, officers who had not fired a shot closed in and found a sprawl of bodies in a classroom, 37 terrified survivors cowering in closets and a boiler room and, in an office, the dead gunman, identified as Jiverly Wong, 42, a Vietnamese immigrant who lived in nearby Johnson City.

    Two pistols and a satchel of ammunition were found with the body. In what the police took to be evidence of preparation and premeditation, the assailant had driven a borrowed car up against the center’s back door to barricade it against escape, then had walked in the rain around to the front to begin the attack.

    What motivated the assault remained a mystery. Binghamton officials said the assailant apparently had ties to the center, which helps immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement and other issues.

    It was the nation’s worst mass shooting since April 16, 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho, 23, shot and killed 32 people in a dormitory and classroom at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., then killed himself in the largest shooting in modern American history. In the last month, 25 people, including 2 gunmen, were slain in three mass shootings, in North Carolina, California and Alabama.

    As city, state and federal officials from numerous agencies began what was likely to be a lengthy investigation, expressions of condolence for the victims and their families were offered by Gov. David A. Paterson and other officials who went to Binghamton; by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in New York to address a civil rights group; and by President Obama, in Europe for NATO talks.

    The vice president said Americans must find a way to prevent the kind of bloodshed that erupted in Binghamton. “We’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this terrible, terrible violence,” Mr. Biden told a meeting in New York.

    Binghamton, a city of about 43,000 at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers in the Southern Tier, some 175 miles northwest of New York City, is the home of Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York. It is a working-class town whose population is more than 80 percent white and about 10 percent black, with small percentages of Asians and Latinos.

    The American Civic Association, a small nonprofit resettlement agency financed largely by the United Way, has resettled 53 refugees through its Binghamton center since 2004, most of them Vietnamese who studied English as a second language there. It operated quietly for years, its officials said, and seemed an improbable venue for a murderous attack.

    Little was known about the assailant Friday night. Cautious officials declined to name the gunman, but there appeared to be little doubt about his identity. The name Jiverly Wong was provided by a law enforcement official who declined to be named because he was not authorized to release information.

    But the official said Mr. Wong had a New York State pistol license that listed two handguns, apparently the weapons he used at the immigration services center: a .45-caliber Beretta and a 9-millimeter Beretta. The authorities matched the serial numbers of the two weapons found with the gunman’s body to the serial numbers on the pistol license. Officials said they were trying to trace the histories of the guns. Other public records indicated that Mr. Wong had also lived in California in recent years.

    At Mr. Wong’s home in Johnson City on Friday night, the police were seen removing a rifle case, a box with a picture of a rifle on the side, and two black boxes that may have been handgun cases.

    Maurice Hinchey, who represents the area in Congress, said he was told by law enforcement officials that the gunman drove to the center in a car registered to his father and barricaded the center’s back door with it. “He made sure nobody could escape,” Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said at a late-afternoon news conference.

    It was unclear what connection the gunman previously had with the immigration services center, but there appeared to be no doubt that he was acting alone, Chief Zikuski said.

    Armed with the two handguns and wearing a green jacket, the executioner came out of the rain through the glass front doors of the center, entering a reception area where he encountered two secretaries. He said nothing, but shot both. One slumped dead, but the other, Shirley DeLucca, pretended to be dead, and as the gunman walked on, she crawled to a desk and called 911.

    Beyond the entryway, about 50 people — Russians, Kurds, Chinese, Arabs, Laotians and others — were arrayed in several classrooms at their desks in language and citizenship classes. The gunman entered the first room, a citizenship class, and resumed firing. As victims wounded and dying crumpled to the floor, students in nearby classrooms heard the shots.

    Thanh Huynh, who translated the account of a young Vietnamese woman, said the group fell silent. The teacher called 911, then hurried out with the others, running for the back stairs to the basement. “They heard the continued shooting, very fast,” the translator said, “like 10 bullets, 10 shots together. They tried to hide in the basement anywhere they can, under chair, closet, storage room. Then, after they heard, so quiet.”

    Zhanar Tokhtabayeva, 30, from Kazakhstan, told The Associated Press that she was in an English class when she heard the shots. Her teacher screamed for everyone to go into a storage room. “I heard the shots, every shot,” she said. “I heard no screams, just silence, shooting. I heard shooting, very long time. And I was thinking, when will this stop? I was thinking that my life was finished.”

    At least 26 people took refuge in a boiler room, the police chief said. The first officers were on the scene within two minutes of the first 911 call, he said. In all, he said, 37 survivors were found.

    Meanwhile, swarms of Binghamton police officers and Broome County sheriff’s deputies with rifles and shotguns converged on the scene a block off Main Street, just west of the Chenango River, and took cover behind a tangle of vehicles and the corners of nearby buildings.

    Streets were cleared for blocks around. Apartments and homes nearby were evacuated, along with shops and other business establishments in the area. Nearby, Binghamton High School went into lockdown. The ensuing hours were tense, with no further shots fired inside and no information on how many were dead, wounded and trapped.

    About 1:30 p.m., police SWAT teams moved into the building methodically, encountering the gunman with his weapons and ammunition satchel. It was unclear in what part of the body he had shot himself. Most of the dead were found sprawled in a classroom — their names were not released — and survivors were found scattered about in closets, storage rooms and the boiler room. Many were too terrified to come out of hiding, the police said.

    In addition, the police were unaware at the time that there was only one assailant. On the possibility that others were involved, some of the male survivors were handcuffed when they were brought out. Chief Zikuski later apologized for this.

    Four wounded survivors were taken to area hospitals. Two women and a man suffering gunshot wounds were being treated at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, and a man was being treated at Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton. The police and other officials called their conditions critical, but hospital representatives gave various reports of conditions.

    On Friday night, the scene of the shooting and much of the block around it remained cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape. Crowds that had milled around throughout the day had dwindled to a group of onlookers who mingled with television news crews, lingering in the ordinarily quiet neighborhood, a mix of homes and small businesses.

    Just a few doors down is the First Congregational Church of Binghamton, a local landmark. The pastor, the Rev. Arthur Suggs, said the shooting that had transformed the city was only part of a larger pattern in the nation. “It’s like our number came up,” he said.

    Omri Yigal, 53, said in a telephone interview late Friday night that his wife, Doris Yigal, also 53, was taking an English class at the center at the time of the shooting and remained “unaccounted for.” The police told him she was not among the survivors they had interviewed, Mr. Yigal said, adding that he could not find her at the local hospitals.

    Ms. Yigal, a homemaker originally from the Philippines, came to the United States about a year ago. She was taking English classes to help her compete in the job market.

    “She has always dreamed of coming to the United States,” Mr. Yigal said. “But certainly she had no idea of the kind of dangers that were present in our society.”

    She has two sisters, he said, both of whom called wanting to know how she was. “They’re very distraught,” he said.

    Mr. Yigal said he planned to stay up through the night, calling hospitals and hoping. “Right now, I’m looking at our wedding pictures,” he said."

    Reporting was contributed by Ray Rivera in Binghamton, N.Y., Nate Schweber in Johnson City, N.Y., Al Baker, Jack Begg, Nina Bernstein and Anahad O’Connor in New York City, and Francesca Segrè in Inglewood, Calif.