[Discussion] Mass Shootings - Yeah, we need a thread just for this...

This year is the deadliest year ever in terms of mass shootings. In a political climate of polarization, it becomes harder to suss out legitimate information from the misinformation propagated by those with political agendas. Complicating this more is the continual resistance of 2nd amendment advocates to allow for political talk surrounding these massacres. This will involve political discussion to see if there are ways we can all agree might be good ways to prevent mass shootings.

This discussion should involve the details of any current, or future mass shooting, and how they compare to past mass shootings. How are they the same? How are they different? Do gun laws have an impact? Does the race of the shooter affect how we treat them? What makes one a hate crime and one an act or terrorism? Are these shootings the price of freedom?

Malor wrote:

Three DUIs and pot possession makes you likely to shoot up a clinic?

I know you vehemently hate guns and anyone who gets anywhere within five feet of them, but this is a little over the top.

It's two things, Malor.

The first is that this guy was still able to legally own firearms after he got multiple DUIs (which just screams "I'm wildly irresponsible and don't care about anyone else") and that he was "known" by the police, as in they've had to repeatedly deal with his problematic ass. These things are nature's way of saying someone shouldn't be allowed to own firearms. Unfortunately, we live in a country where it's only *after* you hurt or kill someone or commit a serious felony that some states will take away your bang bangs (and others will bend over backwards to make sure you buy more bang bangs after you get out of jail).

The second is just the depressing understanding that if he was Black his DUIs, weed possession, and repeated run-ins with the police would immediately make the media narrative "violent Black repeat criminal slays doctors." But he's White so we're going to get a variation of grandpa's really a nice guy who just had a bad day. But he's not a nice guy. He's someone who shot up a clinic and tried to blow it up as well. His drinking and drug use could be signs of chronic pain, but there are much less violent ways to get adequate treatment than the path he chose.

I don't disagree even a little with the second point, that a black man would probably be dead, that the media would present it in exactly that way, and that he'd have a hell of a hard time getting a fair trial. This is definitely white privilege on clear display.

At the same time, however, pot possession means nothing, it's legal in many areas of the country. The multiple DUIs suggest alcoholism, but not violence. On its face, lacking hard data, it doesn't seem to me that any of those should be particularly disqualifying for owning weapons.

The possible opioid addiction seems the most proximate cause, and even that doesn't usually result in violence. And, as I understand it, this is only a possibility, I don't think that it's definite that he was hooked on Vicodin or whatever.

If there's a pattern in the underlying data, it might be worth looking at firearms restrictions for these types of crimes, but a single anecdote doesn't qualify by itself. You're seizing on it as an excuse to do what you want to do anyway (ban guns whenever possible), but without that data, it's an excuse, not an actual reason.

edit: and FWIW, I think he should definitely be perma-jailed. Crazy Grandpa is not acceptable as an excuse.

Buffalo shooting suspect had threatened mass shooting of Minnesota hospital in 2018

Gregory Paul Ulrich dreamed of getting revenge on the doctors and medical staff who had "tortured" him, records show.

In October 2018, Ulrich was calling his former doctor three times a day, threatening a mass shooting, to blow things up and other revenge scenarios, according to a Buffalo, Minn., Police Department report.

"I believe Mr. Ulrich is a high threat to society and himself," the doctor told police at the time.

More than two years later, Ulrich, 67, was arrested after five people were shot at the Allina Health clinic in Buffalo. Whether he obtained his gun legally was unclear Tuesday.

After the 2018 threats, Ulrich was taken to an emergency room for a mental health evaluation. His complaints appeared to stem from a series of back surgeries and medications he took afterward, police said.

He threatened four Allina facilities, with Buffalo first on the list, and said he wanted to do something "big and sensational so that it makes an impact," the report said.

Allina medical staff believed Ulrich could act on the threats and filed paperwork barring him from the property, which police delivered to his home. Ulrich was charged with violating the restraining order at the Buffalo clinic in November 2018. That case was dismissed last year after he was found mentally incompetent, records show.

Based on the above, there seems to be sufficient justification to prevent him from owning firearms.

Yeah, that should have been enough. Violent threats definitely count.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, that should have been enough. Violent threats definitely count.

So should this:

JLS wrote:
Ulrich was charged with violating the restraining order at the Buffalo clinic in November 2018. That case was dismissed last year after he was found mentally incompetent, records show.

You're mentally incompetent, so you can't stand trial - but sure, you can still own a gun!

Only in America, folks.

I don't know what he used, but for a long gun don't you typically only need a driver's license as they are ostensibly for hunting? Of course with 3 DUIs, if he had a D/L that would be a travesty as well.

Malor wrote:

I don't disagree even a little with the second point, that a black man would probably be dead, that the media would present it in exactly that way, and that he'd have a hell of a hard time getting a fair trial. This is definitely white privilege on clear display.

At the same time, however, pot possession means nothing, it's legal in many areas of the country. The multiple DUIs suggest alcoholism, but not violence. On its face, lacking hard data, it doesn't seem to me that any of those should be particularly disqualifying for owning weapons.

The possible opioid addiction seems the most proximate cause, and even that doesn't usually result in violence. And, as I understand it, this is only a possibility, I don't think that it's definite that he was hooked on Vicodin or whatever.

If there's a pattern in the underlying data, it might be worth looking at firearms restrictions for these types of crimes, but a single anecdote doesn't qualify by itself. You're seizing on it as an excuse to do what you want to do anyway (ban guns whenever possible), but without that data, it's an excuse, not an actual reason.

edit: and FWIW, I think he should definitely be perma-jailed. Crazy Grandpa is not acceptable as an excuse.

You're focusing way too much on me mentioning weed in my first post, which I did because solely because of the White privelege point I was trying to make.

I agree with you about the meaningfulness of pot possession. But that's not a universal view in America and the swath of Americans who worry about 'thugs from the city' also think Reefer Madness was a documentary. That was my point in mentioning it.

The gunman's multiple DUIs show he was dangerously irresponsible with a car and someone you can't trust to drive a car shouldn't be trusted with something purposefully designed to kill people.

And alcohol and gun violence go hand-in-hand. Studies have shown that a majority of domestic violence or intimate partner homicides were committed by dudes who were drunk at the time and guns are used in 60% of all homicides. And that doesn't count all the men who just got drunk and threatened their partners with a gun.

A meta study found that about half of homicide offenders were under the influence of alcohol when they killed and 37% of them were intoxicated at the time. Again, guns are used in 60% of all homicides in America.

Between a quarter and over a third of people committing suicide are drunk when they do so. 36% of men are hammered when they attempt to kill themselves and, by far, their number one method is firearms (it's also why so many men are successful at killing themselves).

Our laws should reflect the reality of substance abuse and firearms: firearms make any household more unsafe and that effect skyrockets when booze is involved. At a minimum, people with substance abuse issues should not be allowed to have firearms until they can suitably prove they are clean (and clean for a very extended period of time).