Per your request (Sorry I didn't see your note sooner):
No giant panda winners at the shooting gallery.
I think I like to type that because, that way, I can at least SEEM to be starting on a positive note, before descending into the stygian depths of inchoate rage that are stored in the cellar hole 'neath my hindbrain.
So, okay, we've tried reason, we've tried accomodation, we've tried balance. Howsabout we try this:
"Fucking moron with guns and an inability to deal with, or even articulate, his problems decides to be a coward and kill other folks so we'll all feel bad for him."
I am getting pretty worn out reading about folks with histories of abusing others or mental problems, killing folks with easily obtained (legal or otherwise) weaponry that is, to "hunting", what dynamite is to sportsfishing. I don't HATE guns. I like guns. I like the way they look, I like the way they sound and I like the way they operate. They are great, as machines, or implements or whatever you want to call them. What they are not great at, in fact they are quite horrible at, is "getting even" with one's own demons.
I know how touchy some folks are about their second amendment rights. I'm that way about the other nine items in the BoR and the rest of the U.S. Constitution, come to think of it. However, when some shithead's "right" to bear arms causes the cessation (with extreme prejudice) of another's "right" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--well, for me it's a no-brainer. I'm gonna side with the poor, unarmed schlub, every time.
I'm not suggesting confiscating anyone's guns. I am suggesting that current rules for gun ownership need to be reviewed. Current firearms ownership laws, particularly in some states like GA and FL are so fucking lax that people who have histories of violent, irrational behavior are able to easily obtain weapons that are equal to, or better, than those used by law enforcement agencies.
Some folks have suggested that an armed populace would cut down on such incidents as; the three policemen murdered in Pittsburgh, the thirteen people murdered in Binghamton or the four police officers killed in Oakland--all within the last two weeks. In those three particular cases, it appears that the shooters were in two cases, duly licensed--the parolee in CA, obviously not. Weapons differed--not to the victims, of course; dead is dead; but, they all had in common, that they were wielded by people who thought that "might makes right".
Re: the argument for arming the populace, if carried to its logical conclusion. During the Binghamton incident the police placed a number of individuals in custody while trying to sort out who were innocents and who might have been perps. Had those "suspicious" characters been armed they might have been mistaken for the shooter and been shot by the police.
This idiocy needs to stop. Now.