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Our Sociopaths, Ourselves: What could have stopped Adam Lanza?
National Review ^ | 12/20/2012 | Christina Hoff Sommers

Posted on 12/20/2012 6:51:52 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The school shooting in Newtown was so horrific and heartbreaking that it is only natural to call out for whatever it takes to make sure nothing like it ever happens again. It is hard to disagree with those who are demanding stronger gun-control laws and better mental-health oversight of unstable people. But how workable are such measures — and how effective? And are we asking the right questions?

The proposed gun-control legislation sponsored by California senator Dianne Feinstein sounds reasonable. But it is not clear that it would make a difference. It would stop the sale and manufacture of some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. But would it prevent an Adam Lanza from carrying out his deranged plan? A very large number of such devices are already in circulation. A determined killer can murder and maim dozens with an ordinary pistol or shotgun. Some will say we should implement radical gun control and prevent nearly everyone from having access to firearms. But, like it or not, law-abiding American citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms that would surely prevent mass civilian disarmament.

A more promising solution is to strengthen the nation’s mental-health services. But would counseling have been enough to stop the Columbine or Newtown killers? Sociopaths are good at beating the system. There is no known cure for their condition. In any case, Adam Lanza appears to have had some professional attention. So did one of the Columbine shooters. There have been calls to institutionalize or forcibly medicate mentally unstable people who show a propensity for violence. That can be appropriate in cases where the person poses a clear threat to himself or others. According to one news story, Lanza shot his mother because he believed she was about to place him in a psychiatric facility. How awful it is that she did not succeed. There is an urgent need to provide frightened parents with more treatment options and support. Still, forced institutionalization carries its own risks.

What about those odd, anti-social loners found in every high school? There seems to be widespread agreement that we should keep a closer watch over them. But, according to a 2002 study by the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Education, few school shooters fit that profile: “The largest group of attackers for whom this information was available appeared to socialize with mainstream students or were considered mainstream students themselves.” Nearly two-thirds of the killers had rarely, or never, been in trouble before at school. As a 1999 FBI study, “The School Shooter,” reminds us:

Reliably predicting any type of violence is extremely difficult. Predicting that an individual who has never acted out violently in the past will do so in the future is still more difficult. Seeking to predict acts that occur as rarely as school shootings is almost impossible. This is simple statistical logic: when the incidence of any form of violence is very low and a very large number of people have identifiable risk factors, there is no reliable way to pick out from that large group the very few who will actually commit the violent act. . . . At this time, there is no research that has identified traits and characteristics that can reliably distinguish school shooters from other students. Many students appear to have traits and characteristics similar to those observed in students who were involved in school shootings.

It is natural and human to demand solutions in the face of moral catastrophe. Still, we have to be careful that whatever we do, we don’t create a civil-liberties nightmare that ensnares millions of innocent people.

Why killers like the Columbine and Newtown shooters do what they do is as mysterious as the problem of evil in general. There will be no easy solution. But here are the hard questions no one has answered: Why now? Why us? Americans have always had easy access to guns. But, until fairly recently, no one thought to go to a school to slaughter first-graders. There have always been sociopaths among us. But we seem to have created a society where they feel empowered to act.

— Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Her new book, Freedom Feminism, will be published this spring by AEI Press. Follow her on Twitter: @CHSommers 



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: adamlanza; guncontrol; guns; massmurder; secondamendment; sociopaths
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1 posted on 12/20/2012 6:52:02 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

BTTT.


2 posted on 12/20/2012 6:55:42 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Hope and Change has become Attack and Obfuscate.)
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To: SeekAndFind

.357 just above the nose!


3 posted on 12/20/2012 6:57:36 AM PST by rktman
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To: SeekAndFind

Apparently he didn’t see the sign saying the school was a “GUN-FREE ZONE”

They need to make it a much bigger sign, and add “criminals, this means YOU!”

That’ll do it...


4 posted on 12/20/2012 6:57:48 AM PST by Mr. K (There are lies, dammed lies, statistics, and democrap talking points.)
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To: SeekAndFind

One extra hole in the head.

Oh, you mean before the massacre?

A padded room. Tranquilizers. Possibly one extra hole in the head.


5 posted on 12/20/2012 6:57:55 AM PST by servo1969
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To: SeekAndFind
It is hard to disagree with those who are demanding stronger gun-control laws

No, it's not. She lost me here.

I expected better from Sommers, usually she's pretty good.

6 posted on 12/20/2012 6:58:04 AM PST by wbill
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To: SeekAndFind

What could have stopped him?

One bullet in the right place.

If you took every gun away from every person who legally owns them, there would still be a million guns in the hands of those who own them illegally and they would be available for sale in the street.

A crazy person has only to go on the internet to find ways to build bombs, and other ways to kill. Knives , baseball bats, automobiles,many thing will kill and some crazed POS will use them.

Taking away a person’s right to self-defense will not stop killings.


7 posted on 12/20/2012 6:59:01 AM PST by Venturer
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To: SeekAndFind

“And are we asking the right questions?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Possibly. Possibly not. Each year in Chicago alone, more children are gunned down than there were in Newtown.

Where’s the outrage? Where are the calls for gun control in our ghettos?

Oh. That’s right. These are black on black killings. (yawn) Not worthy of mentioning.


8 posted on 12/20/2012 6:59:50 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: servo1969

yep.. the only thing that stops this kind of thing— IS— gun violence, against the criminal.


9 posted on 12/20/2012 7:00:05 AM PST by Chuzzlewit
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To: SeekAndFind
What would have stopped him?

What did?

A bullet.

Unfortunately all the pundits seem to be dancing around the obvious solution: Allow the staff and volunteers to be armed in defense of the children. Make it even more unthinkable to attack a school than a police station.

10 posted on 12/20/2012 7:00:22 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: servo1969

Some time at the cuckoo’s nest. Well, a lot of time there. I remember when the “state” hospitals were open for those that were deemed a threat. All shuttered now cause we sure don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings now do we. Better we have a bunch of dead little kids than hurt one nut cases feelings. Hope the jerks brother has made a call to ron kuby to persue action against all the news jerks that plastered his picture all over worldwide tv as the perp. (And, I can’t stand ron kuby.)

Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years.


11 posted on 12/20/2012 7:03:25 AM PST by rktman
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To: SeekAndFind
The only real solution to murder suicides is the threat of a worse life than the one the psycho bastard is currently suffering.

The Left has effectively eliminated afterlife justice so so it goes.

12 posted on 12/20/2012 7:03:51 AM PST by Happy Rain (Which fires first? The gun or the 2nd Amendment haters?)
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To: SeekAndFind
What could have stopped Adam Lanza?

Hmmmm ... gee ... that's such a hard question ...

Wait!

I've got it!

An armed teacher could have stopped Adam Lanza.

An armed administrator could have stopped Adam Lanza.

An armed janitor could have stopped Adam Lanza.

An armed cafeteria cook could have stopped Adam Lanza.

An armed volunteer aide could have stopped Adam Lanza.

Wow! That wasn't so hard, after all, was it?

13 posted on 12/20/2012 7:05:26 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

BINGO!


14 posted on 12/20/2012 7:05:33 AM PST by basil (Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Mass shooters go to the least protected areas with the most people. “Gun-free” zones create targets, whether they be malls, schools, or cities where guns are prohibited.

Look at the violence in DC, Chicago, New York which have the stongest gun control laws.

Look rather at the shooters. Mental health issues, no access to care, a tie to an anti-psychotic drug. But politicians want to blame the gun, not the person. Much easier. New laws will NOT elminate these attacks.


15 posted on 12/20/2012 7:06:52 AM PST by rstrahan
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To: Venturer

What could have stopped him? A $300.00 piece of bullet proof glass. With that in place, he cannot shoot out the glass to get into the school. The admin calls 911. The police come to the school and kill him before he can do any real damage.

If a school isn’t going to allow CC, then body armor the school. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it might just slow it down enough so the police have a chance.


16 posted on 12/20/2012 7:10:03 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You can't bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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To: SeekAndFind

What could have stopped him?
The day of teh shooting: a good clean shot to teh face from an armed protector.

Prior to that?
Getting him the help he needed for his mental issues.
Even prior to that: teachers actually teaching instead of politically correct pablum that produces a fine crop of sociopaths from our schools who don’t care about anyone but themselves and their ‘feelings’.


17 posted on 12/20/2012 7:10:40 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: rstrahan

Agree.


18 posted on 12/20/2012 7:11:46 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Hope and Change has become Attack and Obfuscate.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There is evil in this world, and can only be stopped by righteous citizens willing to defend what is right.

But then I guess to a leftist in this country even evil has rights that must be respected.

Leftist ideologies are a birth defect IMHO.


19 posted on 12/20/2012 7:12:42 AM PST by txnativegop (Fed up with zealots)
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To: SeekAndFind
Same thing that has always put an end to evil... A good person with equal, or greater, weapons and the will to use them to stop the evil from spreading.

That is the ONLY solution that is proven to work.

20 posted on 12/20/2012 7:13:26 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Start with the marriage of two adults desiring the mind of Christ.

The Lord helps those that





seek and ask for HIS help.

We used to learn that as a child in every area of life .. not just church.

It was upheld and supported outside of church and the nuclear family ...

Was it just me, or did anyone here ALSO get disciplined after school disciplined me?

My best friend's mom whacked us both on the back of our legs (little boys in shorts) for throwing mud balls on their car, sent me home, dialed my mother, and I got it again.


America USED TO look out for each other.

America USED T'BE on the same page in the same book

21 posted on 12/20/2012 7:13:55 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: SeekAndFind
"...American citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms that would surely prevent mass civilian disarmament.

I find little comfort in this statement when I remember we have this "Right" only as long as five of nine politically appointed lawyers on the Supreme Court agree we have it.

That is one of the many reasons this last election was so important. When Obama has an opportunity to appoint another Jurist on the Supreme Court, and he will, our Second Amendment Rights will be no more.

22 posted on 12/20/2012 7:17:45 AM PST by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war, and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: SeekAndFind
No one seems to be looking at the values clarification activities tucked inside the health classes.

They have been there since the 1980s.

They are designed to disengage the child from the parent and from any belief in God.

Most kids are immune to it because they have very healthy relationships to begin with.

Some kids don't fare so well.

Everyone is looking at the guns, what the mother did or didn't do, etc.

The problem is in having kids go through a form of psychoanalysis by untrained personnel.

It is a real perfect storm for those who want a socialist America.

They create a populace with a socialist bent, a few crazies (by their design) are let loose, and a demand for gun control gets put on the front burner.

These programs create sociopaths. And we are paying for it with our tax dollars.

23 posted on 12/20/2012 7:22:16 AM PST by Slyfox (The key to Marxism is medicine - V. Lenin)
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To: knarf
Was it just me, or did anyone here ALSO get disciplined after school disciplined me?

It wasn't just you. My parents knew all I had been up to before I even got home...

The "grapevine" was alive and well. We never knew where, we never knew how, but they always seemed to know.

But then again, they paid attention, too.

24 posted on 12/20/2012 7:28:25 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: SeekAndFind

When they get as wild as this kid seemed to be, I think a prefrontal lobotomy might be the most charitable decision. Post lobotomy he can live in the community as calm as can be. No one would be in danger from him.


25 posted on 12/20/2012 7:30:53 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: SeekAndFind
After one of these incidents, a colleague asked his class why these atrocities always seem to be committed by loner white males in affluent suburbs. He was expecting to start some kind of socio-economic psychological discussion, but instead a young woman from -- Chicago, I believe -- said (paraphrasing and translating now):

"[Fecal material], that ain't no mystery. Brothers and sisters know what guns sound like. Some crazy [person with an unhealthy sexual obsession with his mother] starts busting caps, you know you got to run away or get behind something solid. Stupid [thin and crisp bakery products] got to stick their heads up and try to see what's going on."

A remarkably astute observation, I think.

26 posted on 12/20/2012 7:33:23 AM PST by Flatus I. Maximus (Subvert. Obstruct. Overthrow. Obama.)
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To: SeekAndFind
But, like it or not, law-abiding American citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms that would surely prevent mass civilian disarmament.

Not quite correct. We have the Constitutionally-recognized inalienable right to keep and bear arms. An inalienable right is a natrual right that, short of due process, cannot be taken away, denied, or transferred.

27 posted on 12/20/2012 7:33:31 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmitt in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: Smokin' Joe; knarf
"We never knew where, we never knew how, but they always seemed to know."

In my case, it didn't help matters that my father's sister .. my aunt .. worked in the lunchroom of my junior high school, and then she and my mother worked in the lunchroom/cafeteria of my senior high ...

28 posted on 12/20/2012 7:33:46 AM PST by BlueLancer (You cannot conquer a free man. The most you can do is kill him. (R. Heinlein - "If This Goes On"))
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To: Smokin' Joe; knarf

It did teach me to be resourceful though ...


29 posted on 12/20/2012 7:35:21 AM PST by BlueLancer (You cannot conquer a free man. The most you can do is kill him. (R. Heinlein - "If This Goes On"))
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To: DJ Taylor
"When Obama has an opportunity to appoint another Jurist on the Supreme Court, and he will, our Second Amendment Rights will be no more."

A right does not does not disappear when some voice in black says it does. On the contrary: when that traitor speaks, then it is clearly the time to exercise that right.

30 posted on 12/20/2012 7:37:50 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias... "Barack": Allah's current ally...)
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To: SeekAndFind

When’s the last time a person shot up a police station or a gun shop? We put armed guards in banks and on armored cars, school kids are far more precious. We should have armed guards in every school ; it would be a good job for retired cops and MPs


31 posted on 12/20/2012 7:42:06 AM PST by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: Venturer

Moreover, the price would go up and guns would start flowing into the country from Central and South America to meet the demand - one more profitable import for the Cartels.


32 posted on 12/20/2012 7:44:51 AM PST by Little Ray (Get back to work. Your urban masters need their EBTs refilled.)
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To: muir_redwoods; SeekAndFind

Politicians and certain celebutards have armed protectors.
Who is more important to us, the politicians and the celebutards or our kids?
Take the preatorian guard away from the politicos and the celebutards and have them watch over the kids.


33 posted on 12/20/2012 7:45:10 AM PST by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
The admin calls 911. The police come to the school and kill him

They took 20 minutes to arrive. It was all over by the time they got there.

34 posted on 12/20/2012 7:46:12 AM PST by Dan(9698)
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To: Dudoight

Suggestions like this just make us look crazy.


35 posted on 12/20/2012 7:52:54 AM PST by firebrand
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To: SeekAndFind

[What could have stopped Adam Lanza?]

Not unlocking a locked door to let him in.


36 posted on 12/20/2012 7:55:25 AM PST by RetSignman ("A Republic if you can keep it"....)
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To: SeekAndFind
The Left is all about root causes save when their agendas are threatened.
37 posted on 12/20/2012 8:00:58 AM PST by Happy Rain (Which fires first? The gun or the 2nd Amendment haters?)
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To: firebrand
Hmmmm ... to look crazy or allow a madman be crazy ...

Dint'cha ever learn; sticks n' stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me ?

38 posted on 12/20/2012 8:03:16 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: SeekAndFind
"A more promising solution is to strengthen the nation’s mental-health services."

I agree - but even this might be used against us. Look for unintended consequences.

I read that he tried to buy a gun but was turned away for two days.

He used his mother's gun. Were the guns just laying around? Were they in a safe?

How easy or difficult was it for him to access his mother's guns?

39 posted on 12/20/2012 8:07:39 AM PST by hummingbird
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To: wbill

The whole point of her article is advance just that disagreement. It is the claim that she is countering.

(I guess sometimes it is useful to read beyond the first couple of sentences in an article...)


40 posted on 12/20/2012 8:08:12 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: SeekAndFind

For me the very title of this article is the MAIN reason behind these outrageous acts: Blah...ADAM LANZA...blah. The instant celebrity and fame that is bestowed upon these pathetic losers by the MSM.


41 posted on 12/20/2012 8:10:37 AM PST by bruoz
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To: SeekAndFind

The Mother. Period. Amen. She trained her insane son to use firearms and gave him access to them. If she was alive she should’ve been charged with manslaughter.


42 posted on 12/20/2012 8:12:17 AM PST by bramps (Sarah Palin got more votes in 2008 than Mitt Romney got in 2012)
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To: shove_it

self ping


43 posted on 12/20/2012 8:34:10 AM PST by shove_it (the 0bama regime are the people Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about)
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To: servo1969
"Tranquilizers."

High quality Tranquilizer Darts!

Might not kill him or anyone else, but might knock him on his ass while help was on the way.

Just trying to buy time until responders could get to the school.

Like sky marshals. Sky marshals are not identified as marshals so the bad ones don't know who the marshall it and think doing anything over. .

Not all teachers would need to be armed.

Arm the teachers who are proficient but, like the marshals, no one would know who is armed and who isn't. But, for Heaven's sake, quit listing ANY places as gun free zones.

Bad guys come to school or anywhere and doesn't know who is armed, might think twice.

44 posted on 12/20/2012 8:35:17 AM PST by hummingbird
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To: bramps

I just keep asking ...where was Dad? He’s like some shadowy figure — we don’t really hear much about him.

Guess he had better things to do than to look in on the ex-wife and kid. He sheepishly accepted that the boy had “pushed him out” of his life. How convenient.

Perhaps if Dad had been more in tune, the kid would not have been so intimately aware of the weapons.

But, alas — Dads are just “pushed out” everywhere these days. And we’re just leaving it up to these screwy women to handle it all .. .


45 posted on 12/20/2012 8:36:03 AM PST by LibsRJerks
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To: LibsRJerks

Very good points. Couldn’t agree more.


46 posted on 12/20/2012 8:46:49 AM PST by bramps (Sarah Palin got more votes in 2008 than Mitt Romney got in 2012)
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To: wbill
If our side decided to ignore the Constitution and call for laws requiring ALL citizens to attend a Church or Synagogue (weekly) - because we BELIEVE that's the solution to school shootings - the left would scream bloody murder.

Our passionate rely that we LOVE the children more and are only calling for such extreme measures as forced church attendance - is because WE want to protect the children - the children they don't seem to care about...

I wonder if the MSM would stand with us because of our great love for children - and our not so hidden disgust with liberals... (Gun control is a liberal dog whistle for their hatred of traditional Americans)

Christina Hoff Sommers needs to consider the possibility.

47 posted on 12/20/2012 8:48:40 AM PST by GOPJ (Detroit should be renamed 'Michael Mooresville'...)
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To: Mr. K

Perhaps the sign should read, “No guns permitted on premises, except OURS!”


48 posted on 12/20/2012 8:51:32 AM PST by shamusotoole
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To: EQAndyBuzz

“What could have stopped him? A $300.00 piece of bullet proof glass”

I doubt that would stop anyone. They have to keep the doors open in the morning, at recess, lunchtime, or anytime the kids go out to the sports field for gym class. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that you could just wait until one of those times, and waltz right in.


49 posted on 12/20/2012 8:52:44 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: txnativegop
You are correct - there is evil in the world. But even before the evil can be identified, the concept of evil must be acknowledged. Unfortunately - and this is purely anecdotal - there are those walking about that do not believe in the concept of evil or good. I think that is where the breakdown starts>

Rush said something yesterday - he does not waste his time talking to idiots. And unfortunately - again - the majority of the talking heads are idiots.

50 posted on 12/20/2012 9:07:16 AM PST by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
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