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« Monday morning water cooler 5.21.07 | Main | MSNBC poll: Impeach Bush »


Tara Rowe

The killer used an AK-47 which if I'm not mistaken was banned by the Brady Bill until Congress sat back and watched the bill expire last year.


Sheesh Tara. And if not that one it would have been another gun in his arsenal he used to kill. He had no shortage of guns nor will any determined American despite the laws we pass. Don't get me wrong I grew up around guns but don't own a gun personally deciding they cause people more grief than they are worth. But this really isn't the time to make divisive political points.

Julie in Boise

Here's another essay about Saturday night in Moscow:


This one has a real Palouse vibe - the friendly spirit that Joan hinted at in her piece. I believe that spirit will prevail.

Anonymous New Neighbor From California

It isn't divisive to tell the truth. I came from California where we don't have mass shootings anymore since we passed sensible gun laws.

There is no reason for anyone to own a gun. Hunting? Killing for fun? Not desirable or even needed with supermarkets.

Self defense? That poor young boy who was shot fell victim to that gun lobby macho NRA propaganda. I bet that the minute he gets out of the hospital he turns that gun over to the police for proper disposal and helps start a chapter of the Brady Campaign. What a horrible way to learn that the NRA lies.

Julie in Boise

Um, new neighbor, I respect your views and share your disdain for the NRA's bullying ways.

But you'll find that here in Idaho, relatively few people want to take guns away from law-abiding folks. And there are people who would rather hunt for their own meat than buy factory-farmed stuff at the supermarket. As long as they obey gun laws and safety measures, that's their right.

It turns out this guy had a history of violence and he'd told authorities mere months ago that he'd kill a bunch of folks if he decided to kill himself. More than gun control, we need help for people like this. When they express an intent to kill, we need the ability to remove them from society so they can't act on their stated intentions.

The Nickel-Plated JA

This discussion has been generating a LOT of bile for me. First, this whole chain of events grieves me greatly: I love Moscow; I lived there while in grad school; I ran for City Council there (which I admit was an exercise in poor judgement on my part at the time); I've hung out in those bars and done business in that courthouse; a LARGE number of people I consider friends still live there. Fortunately, no one I know was among the victims.

Nevertheless, look at the reactions people have exhibited. Before the identity of the shooter was released, there was no shortage of speculation among wingnuts (try Google Blogsearch for examples) that the shooter was a Muslim. Human nature doesn't change much, does it? Twenty years ago, bigots would have speculated Hispanic. Forty years ago, Black. Sixty years ago, Communist.

At the other end of the spectrum, it outrages me to see people, *especially* people professing to be Democrats, using this as another excuse to argue for gun control. We need a resolution within the Party making gun control anathema -- the philosophical relic of a bygone era -- much as we had to do with racial discrimination in the early 60s (when *THAT* was still on the tongues of a number of Democrats). It's a losing issue for us... period. Its most-radical advocates need to go join a fringe party -- it's too much of a non-mainstream political third-rail in the West. In fact, gun control is prohibited by the Idaho Constitution. Get over it... guns don't shoot themselves; you don't see otherwise-reasonable people trying to ban cars because some nut could drive one into a crowd.

All that said, it appears in this case there was a falling-down in the enforcement of existing laws. Hamilton was, as part of an earlier conviction, prohibited from possessing firearms -- yet it appears there was no effort made to ascertain if he already had any, and to seize or force the sale of the ones he had.

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