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View Full Version : Vail Shooting, no it wasn't me.


farnhamstj
11-08-2009, 08:39 AM
http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20091108/NEWS/911089997/1078&ParentProfile=1062

I've seen that guy walking through town countless times. I think he worked for the forest service. or at least he had a US forest hat.

It's getting dangerous at 8150ft.

EWheeler
11-08-2009, 09:15 AM
Very sad news.

Red_Chili
11-08-2009, 09:48 AM
That is tragic.
Lewis' husband, Richard, said the gun appeared to be an automatic pistol.
I can just about promise you it wasn't. Semiautomatic, yes. Hopefully it won't become an 'assault weapon' as the story reiterates. :rolleyes:

I really cannot think of a solution to how we handle or relate to the mentally ill in our nation. But it is an open social wound.

Whether a gun, a knife, or some other weapon, tragedy on many levels.

pmccumber
11-08-2009, 09:57 AM
That is tragic.

I can just about promise you it wasn't. Semiautomatic, yes. Hopefully it won't become an 'assault weapon' as the story reiterates. :rolleyes:

I really cannot think of a solution to how we handle or relate to the mentally ill in our nation. But it is an open social wound.

Whether a gun, a knife, or some other weapon, tragedy on many levels.

Very well stated Bill. Sometimes it just hits you the enormity of the problem, especially here in the US. I am a multiple gun owner but I'm not so blind to see that such easy access to firearms doesn't come without an enormous cost at many levels.

It's sad that these events happen daily, if not multiple times a day, and we've become numb to it. I know I have.

Mendocino
11-08-2009, 10:13 AM
... I am a multiple gun owner but I'm not so blind to see that such easy access to firearms doesn't come without an enormous cost at many levels.

It's sad that these events happen daily, if not multiple times a day, and we've become numb to it. I know I have.

I think one of the issues is that we don't have complete visibility to the data. Yes, shootings are widely reported, but the defensive use of firearms is barely reported. It is difficult to make an informed decision without availability and transparency with respect to the data.

[Edit: I guess we now have to move this to the new thought sequestered section of the new-and-improved-kinder-gentler RS board:rolleyes:]

DaveInDenver
11-08-2009, 10:16 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI_VFjXnIqk&feature=youtube_gdata

This guy was on welfare, taking drugs for PTSD from Vietnam, obviously drinking and was upset he could not find a place to live in Vail, skied 150 days a year. Duh, we'd all love to live in a place like Vail but not everyone can afford it, particularly unemployed people on government disability. I'd love to be able to ski 150 days a year but I have to work, whoa is me. It's a tragedy for the family and friends of person he murdered, but I don't feel sorry for this jackass if he can't deal with reality. If he had PTSD then he should have been in therapy and last I checked the VA doesn't have a hospital in Vail.

pmccumber
11-08-2009, 12:54 PM
I think one of the issues is that we don't have complete visibility to the data. Yes, shootings are widely reported, but the defensive use of firearms is barely reported. It is difficult to make an informed decision without availability and transparency with respect to the data.

[Edit: I guess we now have to move this to the new thought sequestered section of the new-and-improved-kinder-gentler RS board:rolleyes:]

In one pragmatic breath I can say that it is foolish to think we could remove guns from the criminals but in the next pragmatic breath is also extremely naive to believe that the near daily mass killings aren't a horrific cost we're paying.

I own guns because I believe that it is a necessary check on tyranny. I own guns because bad people do. I own guns because we are a natural or man-caused event away from anarchy and I want to be protected.

Unfortunately, nothing is black and white and to argue from that position is what happens far too often in our comical polarized society. Acknowledge the reality and possibly think about what could be done while still observing *our* realities.

Hulk
11-09-2009, 10:43 AM
[Edit: I guess we now have to move this to the new thought sequestered section of the new-and-improved-kinder-gentler RS board:rolleyes:]

Not yet.

Mendocino
11-09-2009, 04:30 PM
Not yet.

OK Big Brother.:D:rolleyes:

Hulk
11-10-2009, 03:01 PM
OK Big Brother.:D:rolleyes:

Glad I can help.

15748

:D

DaveInDenver
11-10-2009, 05:29 PM
In one pragmatic breath I can say that it is foolish to think we could remove guns from the criminals but in the next pragmatic breath is also extremely naive to believe that the near daily mass killings aren't a horrific cost we're paying.
This is the rhetorical trap we get into on the matter, the root of violent crime. We can make the observation that we have amongst the highest crime rates and highest gun ownership in the world. But what is the causal relationship? In other words, what creates the response by a nut shooting people like this and would the chance of violent crime be lower if criminals where acknowledged to be the only ones with guns? Would murder rates be lower by increasing laws? The state of places like Washington D.C., Chicago, etc. don't seem to follow that argument.

Maybe this is a symptom of other externalities that make the high crime/high gun ownership relationship not in fact as clearly linked without our fairly unique societal reasons. For example at Ft. Hood I would argue that this is a microcosm of a larger environment where social control and removal of liberty makes people lash out. Military installations (domestically anyway) are somewhat paradoxically one of the least free places for Americans as weapons are very controlled and personal firearms are strictly prohibited, etc. But yet what happened happened. This guy had no regard for laws and found a way around several levels of control, arguably models for gun control that leftist politicians would like to see for everyone. Service and personal weapons are locked up and checked with the armorer unless you are working military police. Civilian concealed carry permits aren't recognized.

What I'm driving at is maybe this is one observable outcome of the mountain of growing restriction in our daily lives. This is something libertarians try to argue, that free people who are held responsible for their actions trend towards more civil society (what I would suggest is the uniquely American part of the equation, don't tread on me, live free or die, etc.). If there are no repercussions for actions, then there's no reason to live morally and our human failings (like greed) become more dominant. Too often government influence cannot be (or is not) measured, but maybe in general people's attitudes can be an attributable reaction to laws?

There was no less widespread ownership of guns through the 18th and 19th centuries (and maybe more per capita being less urban and firearms being important tools for many things). But homicide rates didn't start climbing until about 1910, which seems to coincide with laws such as the Sullivan Act (passed in New York in 1911, which wasn't limited to just gun control), for example. Then look at the trends, during the Depression and after the Great Society homicide rates increase despite continually growing laws on gun control but during socially turbulent times.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/hmrt.gif

Contrast that to historical homicide rates (these being from Europe, colonial and early American data are harder to find but argued to be similar in relative rate and trend).

http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/111.1/images/monkkonen_fig02a.gif

That was taken from a paper (http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/111.1/monkkonen.html) discussing violence in America, which includes a couple of interesting tables that I paraphrase. The gist of the paper seems to conclude that as an effect of higher personal liberty, responsibility and privacy, you can reasonably expect more crime is going to happen. It's the rough and tumble attitude of the new world, the frontier. With more freedom comes more chance to fail or have unforeseen things happen. But does show that a reduction in overall gun ownership has resulted in an increase in crime here in America.

Table 1
NYC murder rate:
5 (pre-1850)
10 (1850-2000)

European murder rate:
2.7 (pre-1850)
2.1 (1850-2000)

Table 2
US Households with any gun:
60% (pre-1850)
39% (1850-2000)

US Households with short guns:
1% (pre-1850)
10% (1850-2000)

US Murders by short gun:
10% (pre-1850)
46% (1850-2000)

Hulk
11-10-2009, 06:30 PM
Personally, I think much of the violence is due to population density. If the worldwide population continues to escalate, what will life be like in 100 years?

I also think that laws and rules are necessary evils. Our company is kind of a microcosm of society. In the 2+ years I've worked here, I've seen some of the start-up nature get undermined by corporate policy when troubles arise. For example, we used to have a pretty open policy concerning having beer around the office. When we had one complaint, however, the corporate officers had to make a policy that quashed all the fun in the name of being consistent. What ends up happening is that everyone remembers the early years as great times because of the wild frontier nature. But it's just not sustainable as the company size (population) grows.

I think the same thing is true of society. Whenever I hear things like "This is something libertarians try to argue, that free people who are held responsible for their actions trend towards more civil society" I always think that it's wishful thinking for frontier days. I lived in the City of Chicago for 10 years (not the suburbs), and I don't see how eliminating laws and government in favor of "holding people responsible for their actions" would be workable in the least. It would be chaos.

And isn't the establishment of laws and courts simply a consistent, fair structure for holding people responsible for their actions?

DaveInDenver
11-10-2009, 07:33 PM
Personally, I think much of the violence is due to population density. If the worldwide population continues to escalate, what will life be like in 100 years?
Not sure the evidence support this assumption. In the period 1400-1850 Europe had higher population density than America ever did and their crime rates were lower even then. Since 1850 their rate has continued to decline while population still grows. I am suggesting that the old world's sociology and mentality has more to do with crime than simple statistics on inanimate objects.
I also think that laws and rules are necessary evils.
Don't disagree that anarchy as envisioned by Jefferson would work in modern world. Even as soon as Jackson's era it was pretty clear the move from a purely agrarian society to a market and mercantile economy was going to make things different. But I don't agree that it means we ignore the principles of the individual they worked to protect.
I think the same thing is true of society. Whenever I hear things like "This is something libertarians try to argue, that free people who are held responsible for their actions trend towards more civil society" I always think that it's wishful thinking for frontier days. I lived in the City of Chicago for 10 years (not the suburbs), and I don't see how eliminating laws and government in favor of "holding people responsible for their actions" would be workable in the least. It would be chaos.
The problem socially is that laws and rules replace common sense here. People are not moral because they feel the need to be moral, they follow rules and the absence of a rule for every outcome now results in the chaos when things don't fit the mold. There is no sense of right and wrong.
And isn't the establishment of laws and courts simply a consistent, fair structure for holding people responsible for their actions?
Yes, this system of laws and judicial oversight is supposed to provide that structure. But laws are not fair anymore, they are done with socially directed outcomes. The argument on licensing contractors for example. How is this uniform? Some people are better off with the law, some people are worse off. This is the subversion of our system that happened in the middle 19th century, that laws are no longer specific and non-arbitrary protections of natural rights and nothing more. Laws are passed preventing unpleasant things or individual inconveniences.

ElliottB
11-10-2009, 08:59 PM
Why would you even need a gun in Vail? Paperweight to hold down all of your benjamins?

Nay
11-10-2009, 10:32 PM
What I'm driving at is maybe this is one observable outcome of the mountain of growing restriction in our daily lives.

How would that explain the fact that European homicide rates per 100,000 are less than half what U.S. rates are? Assuming of course that Europeans are more restricted than Americans, which is an argument I would debate.

There are some new books out that attempt to explain why the U.S. has over double the homicide rate of any affluent democracy. There are some interesting conclusions, many of which tend to our politics.

Some of this goes to the trading of a "culture of honor" for a "culture of dignity". The Europeans are way ahead of us in this area, having frankly had more time at it than we have.

The biggest restriction I have in my life is having to work 15+ hours a day because I can't afford to lose healthcare and I have to save for college for four kids. Something most of our European friends don't have to do on either account. Government doesn't even come close to restricting me the way "productivity" does.

Which is why when we finally break free for a trip to Moab we hear all those European accents out traveling the world. Amazing how all these restricted people get out about the place with big smiles on their faces, isn't it :D?

DaveInDenver
11-11-2009, 06:43 AM
How would that explain the fact that European homicide rates per 100,000 are less than half what U.S. rates are? Assuming of course that Europeans are more restricted than Americans, which is an argument I would debate.
I would agree that we're not the most free society in the world anymore.
There are some new books out that attempt to explain why the U.S. has over double the homicide rate of any affluent democracy. There are some interesting conclusions, many of which tend to our politics.
I've been working through (in that they are somewhere in my pile of books) a few, if you're interested.

Homicide: A Sociological Explanation by Leonard Beeghley
Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control by Gary Kleck and Don Kates
More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott

These books are not all one sided coming from my viewpoint (Beeghley most definitely does not agree with Kleck and Kates). Beeghley is a sociologist from Univ of Florida and Kleck a criminologist from Florida State, so I'm also guessing there's some professional rivalry.

But none-the-less, politics and American spirit are not secondary to the question. IOW, that we have within our fabric the social important of individual rights makes comparison to Europe and Asia not complete. Things that do or don't work, particularly in Europe, don't fit here necessarily because we are not the same people socially, geographically, politically.

What irritates me about Beeghley and most sociologist's approach to the question is that they say particular groups or people are 'vulnerable' to gun violence (say inner city African Americans in housing projects is a common social group with higher than average homicide rates). It's as though people do not have a choice not to do something. These are people pulling the trigger or stabbing someone, not robots. They made an irrational decision for some reason, but it needs to be recognized that it was a choice and there are consequences for that.

BTW, did you read that paper by Eric Monkkonen that I linked to in an earlier post? His claim is that America has had significantly higher rates of crime since the 17th century colonization. His conclusions sum up the problem well I think in a short paper.
Some of this goes to the trading of a "culture of honor" for a "culture of dignity". The Europeans are way ahead of us in this area, having frankly had more time at it than we have.
What do you mean by this?

Red_Chili
11-11-2009, 10:46 AM
...They made an irrational decision for some reason, but it needs to be recognized that it was a choice and there are consequences for that...
In this case at least the decision was certainly irrational, and the freedom of rational choice was constrained to a greater or lesser extent by mental illness (or in the vernacular... "flat nuts").

Which is why it would be very difficult if not impossible for the man to purchase a gun in the first place. Legally, that is. Laws are important to draw general lines of accountability in society. But laws cannot solve root problems and we get in trouble with impinging on freedom for the law abiding center-of-the-bell-curve folks when we try to elevate laws to that position, in quest of "doing something" about the outliers.

Air Randy
11-11-2009, 10:55 AM
Seems there are a few obvious bits of info that none of you have addressed:

The US has the largest and most affluent consumer economy in the world, we also have the largest "middle class" of any country. Although there are huge gaps between the upper incomes and lower middle class incomes, generally speaking, the majority of our population is better off financially than most places in the world.

Two things come from this: We are the biggest market place for illicit drugs in the world. The drug culture has contrbuted significantly to the crime rate (including homicide) whether it is a junky that shoots the store owner in an attempt to steal to feed his habit, gang members fighting over distribution turf, or cartel members shooting each other over a deal gone bad. If you removed all direct drug related murders and the next layer or two of ripple effect related crimes you would see our numbers be much closer to the rest of the world.

Europe and lots of other places in the world have a much more relaxed attitude towards drugs. Its basically anything goes in Amsterdam in designated areas, lots of drugs are decriminalized elsewhere.

The other impact of the American way of life is the focus on productivity and generating income. In Germany and France it is almost unheard of to work more than an 8 hour day yet their per capita incomes and medical benefits are close to ours. They have a lot more paid vacation than the average American does. Thats why in Germany the average income tax rate for my employees was 68%. So don't kid yourself, they aren't getting "free" health care.

Is there a need to work 15 hours a day? Do both parents need to work full-time jobs and put the kids in day care or make them latch key kids? Is it really neccessary to make these sacrifices just to give your kids a full ticket ride through college? These are all personal choices that we each have to make and there is no right or wrong answer. But I think we over look the potential negative impact this can have on the social fabric of our families and therefore our society.

When I first moved to Turkey one of the most striking comments made to me by a Turk who had never met an american before in person was: Why do you americans hate your children? I was shocked and asked her why she thought that was the case. She said we spend all of our time working instead of spending time with our kids and then we force our children to leave home at a young age. I explained to her we value productivity and we see children leaving home after high school or college as a sign of success and independence. The Turks typically have 3 generations all living under the same roof.

Just some things to think about.

Red_Chili
11-11-2009, 11:45 AM
Very well said, with experience to back it up... thanks Randy.

And drugs are another example of why making something illegal does not necessarily address the real issue. From my perspective... that would include 'assault' weapons and other similar gun control. The only people a ban affects are the law abiding; the pushers still have them. Useless. And proven so by the statistics.

nakman
11-11-2009, 01:17 PM
So am I reading this right, did you guys just argue to "legalize it?" :smokin:

DaveInDenver
11-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Is there a need to work 15 hours a day?
This is about what I work, between here and what I try to do on the side. I'm usually in for about 50~55 hours per week at the paycheck job (but we don't get OT which stinks). Figure typically I'll do about 2 hours in the evening when I have work on the moonlight thing. Primarily though we're a one paycheck house since Kirsten's job (she's a drafter for an architecture firm and a full time student until May 2010) hasn't had work for her in almost a year. We don't have kids. And no, there is no reason for it other than that is what it takes to get the job done. It is no way to live (well not really living since you don't have a life) and I encourage high school kids to very much consider other fields besides engineering.

Red_Chili
11-11-2009, 01:22 PM
So am I reading this right, did you guys just argue to "legalize it?" :smokin:
:lmao:
Well, I dunno... just acknowledging that "illegalizing it" in many ways makes the problem much worse, not better.

As with drugs, so with gun control...

subzali
11-11-2009, 01:30 PM
I like my engineering job. 40 hours a week. Just sayin'

DaveInDenver
11-11-2009, 01:38 PM
So am I reading this right, did you guys just argue to "legalize it?" :smokin:
That is my stance, it's your body to abuse or destroy. None of my business. The war on drugs is consuming way too much.

nakman
11-11-2009, 01:57 PM
That is my stance, it's your body to abuse or destroy. None of my business. The war on drugs is consuming way too much.

I agree Dave. I might take that tangent even further to our embarrassing implementation of medical marijuana here in Colorado. The biggest demographic getting their tickets are males aged 18-25... and something like 600 new tickets are issued each day. I had no idea we had such an epidemic in our city, but apparently all these young males have this incurable pain.. :rolleyes: yeah right.


OTOH what if you legalize it, tax the hell out of it, then sell it in gas stations. Use the excess hemp for paper, clothing & fuel. Talk about a positive economic impact..

Air Randy
11-11-2009, 05:38 PM
That is my stance, it's your body to abuse or destroy. None of my business. The war on drugs is consuming way too much.

OMG, Dave and I have finally found a point we agree on!

Believe it or not I also believe legalizing pot makes a lot of sense. Whoever wants it today can get it anyways so why not make the quality consistent, collect taxes on it and stop wasting resources trying to enfoce the impossible. I've never seen any evidence that proves it harms your brain or body any worse than alcohol. I would not be in favor of legalizing any of the schedule 2 drugs that do hurt you and can kill you if you OD.

nakman
11-11-2009, 08:50 PM
Wow. Planets have aligned here in RS Politic-land.. :lmao: group hug everyone. :D

DaveInDenver
11-11-2009, 08:55 PM
Caught me in a moment of weakness, doing whiskey shots at lunch and all. Promise to be my normal disagreeable self tomorrow. Maybe more so with the hangover.

15760

Red_Chili
11-12-2009, 07:33 AM
Caught me in a moment of weakness, doing whiskey shots at lunch and all. Promise to be my normal disagreeable self tomorrow. Maybe more so with the hangover.

Ah... that helps us understand the context for that 55-hour-a-week thing...
:lmao:

Mendocino
11-12-2009, 08:34 AM
snip...I encourage high school kids to very much consider other fields besides engineering.

I think and engineering degree with an MBA is a fantastic way to have a very interesting and financially rewarding life.

wesintl
11-12-2009, 09:17 AM
This is about what I work, between here and what I try to do on the side. I'm usually in for about 50~55 hours per week at the paycheck job (but we don't get OT which stinks). Figure typically I'll do about 2 hours in the evening when I have work on the moonlight thing. Primarily though we're a one paycheck house since Kirsten's job (she's a drafter for an architecture firm and a full time student until May 2010) hasn't had work for her in almost a year. We don't have kids. And no, there is no reason for it other than that is what it takes to get the job done. It is no way to live (well not really living since you don't have a life) and I encourage high school kids to very much consider other fields besides engineering.

dude, minus the 15 hours of research and time spending reading/posting here and you work a regular week :thumb::eek::D

Rezarf
11-13-2009, 10:46 AM
Farnham-

Glad you and yours are safe and okay. Such a sad situation. My thoughts and prayers are with the shooters victims.

What a tragic event.

AxleIke
11-13-2009, 12:07 PM
To jump in with a bit o rant on drug policy.

One, I agree 100% with Dave.

Secondly, I would be much more inclined to listen to any pro-illegalizing argument if the entire drug policy wasn't born out of some hyper-puritanical reaction to the hippy/anti war movement in the 60's and 70's.

Third, how much money are we spending on incarcerating minor drug offenders these days? No need to raise taxes people, lets just stop putting addcits in jail.

Lastly, look at the statistics on pot vs alchohol. How many pot smokers are beating their wives or children into bloody pulps? How many pot smokers are driving their cars at 100+ and killing minivan's worth of kids? Probably some, but compared to alchy's, the numbers are miniscule.

That alone shows the sheer idiocy that makes up our current drug policy. It makes me so mad when some politician is out spewing anti-drug vomit and talks about "keeping our communities safe". Bull.

And for perspective, I have never tried any drugs except alchohol and tobacco. I did not drink at all until I was 21, and smoked my first cigar at 19. If all drugs were legalized, I doubt I would choose to partake in them. But the government has no business telling me what I can and cannot do as an adult.