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WestCoastJoe
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:01 pm

Washington (CNN) -- The FBI has identified the dead suspect in Monday's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard as Aaron Alexis, 34, a military contractor from Texas.

The suspect was positively identified using fingerprints and ID, the Washington FBI Field Office said, asking members of the public for assistance tracking down information about Alexis.

"No piece of information is too small," said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the office. "We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates."

A military contractor ID removed from the suspect's body matched the appearance of the dead man, a law enforcement source said.

Authorities said at least 13 people -- including the suspect -- were killed and about a dozen others were injured in the shooting, which put government buildings on lockdown and sent police SWAT teams rushing to the scene.

It's unclear whether additional gunmen opened fire at the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command -- and why the shooting occurred.

One other gunman may be on the loose, police said.

Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier declined to provide specifics about why police believed others could be tied to the shooting.

Police cleared one person they had been looking for in connection with the shooting, saying in a Twitter post that a white man in a tan outfit had "been identified and is not a suspect or person of interest."

"We still don't know all the facts. But we do know that several people have been shot and some have been killed," President Barack Obama said earlier Monday afternoon. "So we are confronting yet another mass shooting. And today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital."

Obama called the shooting a "cowardly act" that targeted military and civilians serving their country.

"They know the dangers of serving abroad," he said, "but today they faced the unimaginable violence that we wouldn't have expected here at home."

Witness: 'He aimed his gun at us' and fired

Witness: People pushed their way out of building

The violence started unfolding at 8:20 a.m. when several shots were fired inside the southeast Washington facility.

Police spokesman Chris Kelly earlier described a suspect as an adult male, about 6 feet tall with a bald head and medium complexion, dressed in a black top and black jeans.

Two witnesses told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV that they heard a fire alarm go off in the building where they worked, then saw a man with a rifle down the hallway as they exited the building.

"He aimed the gun and fired our way," a man who identified himself as Todd Brundidge told WJLA, adding, "I couldn't believe it."

People frantically ran down stairs to get out of the building, Brundidge said.

"They were pushing. They were shoving. People were falling down," he told WJLA. "As we came outside, people were climbing the wall trying to get over the wall to get out. .... It was just crazy."

The injured included a Washington police officer who has been hospitalized, and a base security guard officer, said Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Saray Leon.

Victims in surgery

Three people, including the D.C. police officer, were admitted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with multiple gunshot wounds. They are expected to survive, chief medical officer Janis Orlowski told reporters.

One person was pronounced dead at George Washington University Hospital, according to Dr. Babak Sarani, chief of trauma and acute care there.

SWAT teams swarm area

Meanwhile, at the Navy yard, helicopters hovered overhead. In one chopper, there appeared to be a police sniper peering out, with a scope at the ready.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent a team of about 20 special agents to the scene, a law enforcement official said. The team was the same group that helped apprehend Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the official said.

Emergency personnel, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and local D.C. police responded to the shooting, shutting down traffic in the area on the District's south side along the Anacostia River. Some people were evacuated, and others sheltered in place.

Paul Williams, who works at a nearby nonprofit, was headed to his office when he witnessed panic at the Navy yard.

"I heard four rapid bangs -- bang, bang, bang, bang," he said.

At first, he thought it was construction noise, but less than a minute later, he saw hundreds of people coming toward him.

"I didn't know what was happening. I just ran with them," Williams said. "Everyone seemed scared. People were crying. People were being consoled and calling loved ones and family."

Government buildings, schools tighten security

Security was stepped up at the Pentagon.

At least eight schools were on lockdown as a precaution, the Washington public schools said.

Air traffic to Reagan National Airport in northern Virginia, the closest airport to downtown Washington, was suspended but later resumed, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The headquarters -- the workplace for about 3,000 people -- is the largest of the Navy's five system commands. It has a fiscal year budget of nearly $30 billion.

"With a force of 60,000 civilian, military and contract support personnel, NAVSEA engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships and submarines and their combat systems," the Navy said.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington's congressional delegate, described the Navy yard as a "very secure facility."

"And the Navy has managed to keep it secure while it has been open to the public," she told reporters.

The Washington Navy Yard -- the Navy's oldest land establishment -- was created in 1799 following an act of Congress, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command. Originally envisioned as a shipbuilding and fitting facility on the Anacostia River, it serviced some of the Navy's most famous early vessels, including the USS Constitution.

Burned during the War of 1812, the Navy Yard was transformed into a center for ordnance and technological development. The facility was the world's largest ordnance plant during World War II, but its military role steadily diminished during the Cold War era.

Today, the Navy Yard includes the headquarters of Naval District Washington and is home to a naval museum. The area around the facility has been marked in recent years by significant commercial and residential revitalization.

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WestCoastJoe
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:04 pm

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

Another mass shooting in the U.S. 13 fatalities so far.

Well, I have stated my support for changes in the gun laws in the U.S. Tighten them up.

What happens in the U.S. often spills over into Canada. Culture. Political leanings. Laws. We are different, as Canadians, but the U.S. is the big dog.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/16/us/dc-nav ... ?hpt=hp_t1

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Sir Purrcival
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:38 pm

Yep, I wonder what the weapon was and how it was obtained.
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Toppy Vann
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:43 pm

Sir Purrcival wrote:Yep, I wonder what the weapon was and how it was obtained.
AR 15 was apparently the one he used but IIRC he had a Glock and something else too.

A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08 ... lt-weapon/
Former President Bill Clinton speaking during the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday claimed the U.S. is in danger of having stricter voting laws than gun laws.
These things come from easy access to guns. In China as there aren't guns to use, the nut jobs have to use knives - which while awful - make it far easier to stop than when an armed gun men has a rifle capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute.

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:52 pm

Yes, there aren't too many fatal stabbings from 3 floors up. I'm afraid that our southern neighbours will never understand that freedom and security does not come at the point of a gun but rather in the absence of them. Too many guns, too many loony tunes with them = less security not more. I always find in funny that one of the things that gun advocates say is a reason to have guns is so that if someone goes haywire with a gun, others with guns can take them down before they do any real damage. Never seems to happen that way though. Just another tragic case of a bunch of innocent civilians losing their lives while others defend their rights to have easy access to extremely lethal weapons.
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notahomer
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:11 pm

Sounds terrible. Politics will come into play. Both sides of the gun control issue usually stay loud during the aftermath. Hope the victims/families get the medical/mental support they deserve.

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:30 pm

Anyone expecting that this tragedy will have the slightest effect on U. S. gun laws hasn't been paying attention. The President's powers to enact anything with any teeth via executive order are extremely limited. It takes congressional action to change gun laws substantively, and, if that couldn't happen after Sandy Hook, involving children, it certainly won't happen now. With the Senate in Democratic control, but the House in Republican hands, gridlock is guaranteed. Even those Republican House members who want stricter gun laws are too afraid of being "primaried" by Tea Party candidates before the 2014 House elections, and even some Republican senators, like Mitch McConnell, are afraid of primary challenges. We'll hear the same conflicting bumf from both sides that we did after Sandy Hook this time, and, again, nothing of any substance will be done. At the moment, the U.S. government is completely gridlocked, and political posturing is the rule of the day. Remember that Job 1 for all politicians is to get re-elected, and the Republican House members that could bring about decent legislation have to keep the folks back in the riding happy.

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:43 pm

South Pender wrote:Anyone expecting that this tragedy will have the slightest effect on U. S. gun laws hasn't been paying attention. The President's powers to enact anything with any teeth via executive order are extremely limited. It takes congressional action to change gun laws substantively, and, if that couldn't happen after Sandy Hook, involving children, it certainly won't happen now. With the Senate in Democratic control, but the House in Republican hands, gridlock is guaranteed. Even those Republican House members who want stricter gun laws are too afraid of being "primaried" by Tea Party candidates before the 2014 House elections, and even some Republican senators, like Mitch McConnell, are afraid of primary challenges. We'll hear the same conflicting bumf from both sides that we did after Sandy Hook this time, and, again, nothing of any substance will be done. At the moment, the U.S. government is completely gridlocked, and political posturing is the rule of the day. Remember that Job 1 for all politicians is to get re-elected, and the Republican House members that could bring about decent legislation have to keep the folks back in the riding happy.
Absolutely bang on. The National Rifle Association's answer to mass shooting is to arm every American so they can defend themselves. The old wild west mentality.

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notahomer
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:38 pm

South Pender wrote:..... Remember that Job 1 for all politicians is to get re-elected, .........

Unfortunately, I COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE. Getting re-elected is exactly why we make a lot of the choices that end up being UhOH's later on. I can think of a few examples but I don't want your concept to get misplaced in debate of the example. Sometimes politicians and/or governments make choices simply based on getting re-elected. It is a rare elected official, IMO, that will go against their electoral interests. The great thing for these folks is when what they want to do and what will get them elected is the same thing. Then its easy.......for now.

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Toppy Vann
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:29 pm

South Pender wrote:Anyone expecting that this tragedy will have the slightest effect on U. S. gun laws hasn't been paying attention. The President's powers to enact anything with any teeth via executive order are extremely limited. It takes congressional action to change gun laws substantively, and, if that couldn't happen after Sandy Hook, involving children, it certainly won't happen now. With the Senate in Democratic control, but the House in Republican hands, gridlock is guaranteed. Even those Republican House members who want stricter gun laws are too afraid of being "primaried" by Tea Party candidates before the 2014 House elections, and even some Republican senators, like Mitch McConnell, are afraid of primary challenges. We'll hear the same conflicting bumf from both sides that we did after Sandy Hook this time, and, again, nothing of any substance will be done. At the moment, the U.S. government is completely gridlocked, and political posturing is the rule of the day. Remember that Job 1 for all politicians is to get re-elected, and the Republican House members that could bring about decent legislation have to keep the folks back in the riding happy.
You are right that this will change nothing and right on the gridlock in Congress but wrong on Presidential powers when it comes to guns.

In fact at the time of Obama's last nomination for President it was oft said how he didn't ban the AK15's etc like President Clinton did when he famously said 'you don't need an AK 15 or 47 to go deer hunting' - words along those lines.

The problem is that the US and the President won't go far enough.

Everyday I cross the border to our China office or travel through China where safety can be an issue if you go to the wrong places (overall I feel safe unless in a car or bus) I am thankful that there are no guns in China or it'd be a disaster. At least in China, the mass attacks by nuts have to be with knives. Yes, they can kill but you've got a better chance than against a high powered rifle.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/ ... 6S20130117
Obama extends presidential power in bypassing Congress on gun control

WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:52am EST

(Reuters) - During the past two years as his frustration with a "dysfunctional" Congress has grown, President Barack Obama has resorted to bypassing the legislative branch as he did on Wednesday to implement tighter gun control laws.

"Where they won't act, I will," he said in October 2011 as part of a "We Can't Wait" campaign he launched 10 months after Republicans took over the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since then, the president has turned to executive orders, policy directives, waivers, signing statements and other administrative steps to bypass Congress and act on contentious issues, including immigration, welfare, education reform and now gun violence.
None of this makes much of a change as the NRA is so pervasively powerful and while American may be awful at some aspects of knowledge of their country as are Canadians of ours, they know their rights and guns is insanely so much of it.

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WestCoastJoe
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:22 am

http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/18/news/co ... ?hpt=hp_c4

Not really a fan of Howard Schultz.

Reading this article, it seems to me like a flip flop by him on the guns issue, as it relates to his stores.
The company was roped into the gun debate last month when a group of gun owners announced plans online for a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in recognition of the chain's policy of allowing gun owners to bring in their weapons where permitted by state law.
First he welcomes gun owners to bring in their weapons where permitted by state law.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has a message for gun owners: Please don't bring your weapons into our stores.

Schultz told CNN that the company is not instituting a ban, and is simply making a request "through the lens of civility and respect."
Now he is asking them to not bring guns into the stores. Not banning them. Just asking.
"We've seen advocates on both sides of this debate use Starbucks as a staging ground," Schultz said. "Starbucks is not a policy maker. We're not pro- or anti-gun," but believes that guns "should not be part of the Starbucks experience." He said people carrying guns into Starbucks have made other customers uncomfortable.
He says Starbucks is not a policy maker. And yet he is, as a leading businessman, expressing his views, through his company, on national issues.

I wonder ... If a deranged person brought a gun into Starbucks, shot and killed some people, if the earlier invitation to gun owners would have made Starbucks liable. Is that part of the flip flop?

Just ban the guns. But then that would really seem like a flip flop.

To me it seems like lunacy what is going on in the States.

...................
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/ ... C720130403

Some of the debate in Australia, where gun control steps have been taken.
..................

And the Starbucks article ...
Starbucks to customers: Please don't bring your guns!

By Poppy Harlow and James O'Toole @CNNMoney September 18, 2013: 10:48 AM ET

Schultz: Please, no guns in Starbucks

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has a message for gun owners: Please don't bring your weapons into our stores.

Schultz told CNN that the company is not instituting a ban, and is simply making a request "through the lens of civility and respect."

The company was roped into the gun debate last month when a group of gun owners announced plans online for a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in recognition of the chain's policy of allowing gun owners to bring in their weapons where permitted by state law.

In response, the Newtown Coalition For Corporate Responsibility -- a group including family members of victims from last year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- published an open letter calling on Schultz to ban guns in all Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) stores. One of those signing the letter was the father of Lauren Rousseau, a substitute teacher who was killed at the school who also worked at a nearby Starbucks.

"That hit home very hard for all of us at Starbucks," he said. But he said the Newtown shooting did not prompt Starbucks' request to gun owners.

"We've seen advocates on both sides of this debate use Starbucks as a staging ground," Schultz said. "Starbucks is not a policy maker. We're not pro- or anti-gun," but believes that guns "should not be part of the Starbucks experience." He said people carrying guns into Starbucks have made other customers uncomfortable.

Starbucks is publishing an open letter from Schultz on the subject in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a number of other newspapers.

Schultz said customers who bring in guns will still be served and won't be asked to leave. Starbucks isn't imposing a ban on firearms because "we don't want to put our people in the position of having to confront somebody who's carrying a weapon," he said.

There are 43 states that have so-called "open carry" laws meaning you can visibly carry a licensed firearm in public. Many businesses, including Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), Target (TGT, Fortune 500) and Home Depot (HD, Fortune 500) say if guns are allowed in the state, they're allowed in their stores.

But open carry laws don't require businesses to allow guns on their properties and other companies, including AMC Theaters, Peet's Coffee and Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) theme parks have banned firearms on their property.

The open letter is not the first foray by Schultz into public policy debates. The CEO has previously spoken out in support of gay marriage, and encouraged business leaders to withhold political donations until Washington gets its fiscal house in order. Speaking out, Schultz said, is part of part of the corporation's responsibility as a member of the community.

"I know there will be criticism of the company and me personally," he said. "We've tried to be as empathetic and as sensitive as possible."

Related: Starbucks won't cut benefits because of Obamacare

The CEO also said that his personal views on guns did not factor into the policy change. He refuses to comment on whether or not he is a gun owner.

"I don't think this is about Howard Schultz," he said. "This is about Starbucks Coffee Company, our customers and whether I am or am not a gun owner is not the issue."

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Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:22 pm

Toppy Vann wrote:
South Pender wrote:Anyone expecting that this tragedy will have the slightest effect on U. S. gun laws hasn't been paying attention. The President's powers to enact anything with any teeth via executive order are extremely limited. It takes congressional action to change gun laws substantively, and, if that couldn't happen after Sandy Hook, involving children, it certainly won't happen now. With the Senate in Democratic control, but the House in Republican hands, gridlock is guaranteed. Even those Republican House members who want stricter gun laws are too afraid of being "primaried" by Tea Party candidates before the 2014 House elections, and even some Republican senators, like Mitch McConnell, are afraid of primary challenges. We'll hear the same conflicting bumf from both sides that we did after Sandy Hook this time, and, again, nothing of any substance will be done. At the moment, the U.S. government is completely gridlocked, and political posturing is the rule of the day. Remember that Job 1 for all politicians is to get re-elected, and the Republican House members that could bring about decent legislation have to keep the folks back in the riding happy.
You are right that this will change nothing and right on the gridlock in Congress but wrong on Presidential powers when it comes to guns.
Well, you are right that the President can implement tiny changes without congressional support, but the powers that he has do not address the really big changes that many feel are needed. That's why I said that "his powers to enact anything with any teeth via executive order are extremely limited." For example, there's nothing Obama can do regarding purchase of semi-automatic rifles (the so-called "assault rifles") without Congress. Similarly, there's nothing he can do about large rifle magazines without Congress. Or requiring more stringent background checks that really work and connect the mental-health community with the police and gun dealers. He can use the bully pulpit to argue for stronger restrictions and can try to get the country behind him, but even when 85% of the country believes (as it did after Sandy Hook) that tougher gun controls are needed, Congress--given it's current divided and completely dysfunctional state--will stop any real change in its tracks, and there's not a thing Obama can do about that.

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:43 am

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/20/justice/c ... ?hpt=hp_c2
'It's got to stop,' grandmother says after 3-year-old injured in Chicago shooting

By Mariano Castillo and David Simpson, CNN

updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri September 20, 2013

13 injured in Chicago park shooting

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Police superintendent calls for ban on assault weapons
The 3-year-old boy was shot in the ear, and 12 other people also were injured
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cancels a trip to Washington after the shooting
Police call the shooting gang-related; no suspects were in custody

(CNN) -- A Chicago grandmother pleads for a respite as television cameras roll: "Y'all out here killing these innocent people, kids, parents, grandparents, mothers, fathers: It's got to stop. You need to stop."

Semehca Nunn's grandson, Deonta Howard, was in a hospital after being shot in the head Thursday night. In all, 13 people were. None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, but that fact offered little relief.

Once again, Chicago is in the spotlight over gun violence; a reminder that it is the city with the highest number of homicides in the country.

An assault-style rifle with a high-capacity magazine was used in the shooting, which appears to be gang-related, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy said Friday.

3-year-old Deonta Howard was shot in the head.

The violence "needs to stop," a tearful Nunn said after she came home to find police and television cameras all around. It was only then that she learned that her grandson had been shot in the ear and that the bullet exited through his mouth.

Deonta's condition has stabilized, and he is heavily sedated and will have plastic surgery on his face, Nunn said.

"They said he is going to be OK," she said. "That's what Grandma gave him, strong man, 3 years old, strong survivor."

The other victims include two 15-year-olds who were listed in stable condition, said Officer Ron Gaines of the Chicago Police Department. The rest were adults ages 21 to 41.

Video from CNN affiliate WLS-TV showed police had taped off an outdoor basketball court at Cornell Square Park.

No suspects were in custody as of Friday, and police were focused on interviewing witnesses and victims and gathering any video that may be available.

"We need to keep illegal guns and military-type weapons out of our communities," McCarthy said. "Illegal guns drive violence. Military-type weapons, like the one we believe to have been used in this shooting, belong on a battlefield, not on a street or in a corner or in a park."

The nation needs a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, he said.

"It's a miracle in this instance there have been no fatalities based on the lethality" of the weapon used Thursday, McCarthy said.

There was a basketball game being played when the shooting happened, the police superintendent said. People were enjoying the park as they do on any other day.

The shooting prompted Mayor Rahm Emanuel to cancel a trip to Washington.

"Senseless and brazen acts of violence have no place in Chicago and betray all that we stand for," the mayor's office said in a statement. "The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I encourage everyone in the community to step forward with any information and everyone in Chicago to continue their individual efforts to build stronger communities where violence has no place."

Chicago's record murder rate: Don't blame guns alone

"It's pretty frustrating, it's very disappointing this is happening in our neighborhood once again," said the Rev. Corey Brooks, a spokesman for the 3-year-old's family.

On any given day, any child in the park or walking to school can be shot, until the community does something about it, he said.

"The truth is that in Chicago, we are facing murders every single day on the south side and west side," Brooks said. "Blacks and Latinos are facing extreme violence."

Opinion: Treat Chicago gangs as terrorists

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he was saddened by what he called "horrific violence."

"We pray for the swift recovery of all the shooting victims, and our hearts go out to their families," he said in a statement. "This senseless violence must be stopped."

The January shooting death of another child, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, brought national attention to Chicago because the band majorette had performed in Washington at events surrounding President Barack Obama's inauguration in January.

The president invited Pendleton's parents to his State of the Union address in February. Obama mentioned her in that speech and a few days later when he returned to Chicago, his hometown, for another speech in which he pressed for stricter gun laws.

Police charged two men in Pendleton's death. They said the two were gang members seeking revenge and mistook Pendleton for someone else.

The FBI's annual crime report this week showed Chicago had 500 homicides in 2012, up from 431 in 2011 and more than any other American city. Chicago officials have said homicides this year are below the 2012 pace.

Chicago bans some semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, and restricts handguns.
"You packin' heat?" "Fill your hand, you sumbitch." It is getting crazier and crazier in the U.S., it seems to me.

I am inclined to commend the actions taken in Australia to control gun ownership.

Just IMO ...

TheLionKing
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Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:48 pm

America's enemy is not Al Quaeda, terrorists, Communists etc. but gun toting citizens.

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notahomer
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Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:14 pm

Many will not agree but I like a piece I read in a paper somewhere (Sun or 24hours) that part of it is almost ZERO safety net. Other countries have guns. Other countries have large income disparities. But the US is one of the few that has both and it has very little social safety net (welfare).

I was watching Global news last night when I heard about this story hitting the newswire. These types of stories are only going to increase according to the psychologists that were interviewed for the piece I wrote. Paraphrasing here ( I should just dig the piece up, I'll try to track it down) how the 'american dream' hardens guys (most mass shooters are male) and they are frustrated with the lack of success they have in what should be their time of success. Still doesn't justify killing innocent people, IMO......

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