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Rep. Hickey Vets School Marshals Bill; Invest in Teachers, Mental Health Instead

Rep. Betty Olson (R-29/Prairie City) and Rev. Rep.-Elect Scott Craig (R-33/Rapid City) are both considering legislation to allow South Dakota teachers to carry guns in their classrooms. Various school superintendents think arming teachers is a bad idea. Fellow pastor and pol Rep. Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) doesn't want me carrying a gun in my classroom; he wants me to focus on teaching. In an e-mail, he tells me he would prefer to create a corps of school marshals:

My idea would be that school boards would have the option to secure the services of volunteer or contract state registered school marshals to provide security support on premises or on outings to enhance student safety. These would be plain-clothed, concealed weapon available responders. School employees could also go through the process to be a school marshall or they could be ex-military in the community or school, or citizens who meet a criteria that includes background check, mental health screenings, weapons and some level of reaction shooting scenario training. My thought was it'd be a option for school boards to decide on for their district and the applicant would have to have the recommendation of the Superintendent and the County Sheriff. Maybe there would be a limit on school marshals based on student population [Rep. Steve Hickey, e-mail, 2012.12.20].

To his credit, Rep. Hickey recognizes that school marshals and other direct tactical responses are only one part of preventing school violence. Rep. Hickey says we also need to work on mental health and early warning measures.

Also to his credit, Rep. Hickey is seeking the input of adminstrators and educators. He wants to engage the public before dropping a bill with the House clerk and expand the dialogue beyond the confines of the hard-to-access committee process.

Rep. Hickey is right to prefer trained, professional armed guards to teachers or volunteers carrying firearms. My spare mental resources are better spent teaching, not playing marshal.

But similarly, any spare resources we may have to hire school marshals would be better spent on items other than security. I do not feel unsafe at school. Even with the shooting in Connecticut, schools are still the safest place in the world for children. My students and my daughter are more likely to suffer violent injury or death at home or on the road.

I see other student needs that should take priority over bringing armed guards to our schools:

  1. Quite seriously, let's hire back the 214 teachers lost in FY2012. At $39K each, that's a bit over $8.3 million. Those 214 skilled professionals working in classrooms and interacting with children every day will do more daily, concrete, ongoing good for our students than will any number of additional armed personnel in our buildings.
  2. Hire more school counselors to help students with mental health issues. Marshals may deter or neutralize armed outsiders and students who go ballistic; counselors may keep kids from going ballistic in the first place.
  3. Direct funds to public mental health services outside the school.
  4. Force the Governor to accept the PPACA Medicaid expansion. Make mental health services available to more citizens. Back that expansion with outreach to get people to seek that help.

The above four policy options will make our kids safer than school marshals. They will also provide direct educational and public health benefits that school marshals cannot.



  1. Fred Deutsch 2012.12.21

    I don't want teachers carrying guns in the classroom. That's not a good idea. Considering Hickey's proposal, I'm not adverse to considering it. The bigger picture is for all state schools to review, and when necessary, improve security standards. In today's world, our schools can't just focus on academic excellence -- we have to also focus on protecting our children. Schools must have a dual focus on academics and security - along with appropriate financial and moral commitment to both.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.21

    Fred, isn't "dual focus" an oxymoron?

  3. Caitin Collier 2012.12.21

    I agree with your policy options. More people with guns in schools is a reactive proposal, not proactive. More guns might (speculative) lower the body count, but even one dead is too many.

  4. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "The above four policy options will make our kids safer than school marshals."

    BS, it is the same agenda that has caused schools to be as dangerous as they clearly are today. Based on positions school administrators are taking against allowing school personel to excercise their Second Amendment rights, the most dangerous component of schools is their totalitarian ideology.

  5. Fred Deutsch 2012.12.21

    Corey, I suppose that's true. Steve, it's not an administrative decision whether school personnel are allowed to carry guns in school.

  6. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    Fred, I listened to school administrator on Keloland saying he opposes teachers excercising their Second Amendment rights. What does the schools teach in regard to teh Second Amendment? Seems to me society has no clue regarding its true purpose, instead we are being set up for a totalitarian state.

  7. Steve Hickey 2012.12.21

    Since the shooting, I've tried to talk equally about the mental health early warning piece of this issue and the reality that a lone school resource officer apparently isn't enough anymore.

    My concern with the mental health conversation is that we have to be politically correct and we have to tolerate and affirm what may in fact be fueling these incidents. We should be talking about the Goth underworld AND the gun issues,,,,, fixation with death, "deathmetal" music and bands that glorify it, and two peer reviewed studies by the A.S.H.A. concluded a higher than average propensity toward violence and self-harm. And some argue Goths are non-violent but that changes as they are frequently bullied and obviously some snap.

    It IS interesting that two minister legislators are talking about this and I'm wondering if you'd rather us focus more on the mental health issue. The Church has answers but we are only relegated only to a comforting role in these situations and not a preventative one. When school policy is that skulls and zombies are ok on t-shirts but a Bible verse isn't, are we really surprised by the carnage we are seeing in schools? Outside of a spiritual or moral context, society has no grid for processing evil. The bottom line is: since our counselors can't talk openly about the elephant in the room (including violent video games, violent movies/music), we are left to enhance security measures.

    I thought this was a good article on this matter:

  8. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    your options sounds good Cory. Rev. Hickey brought up some good suggestions and it was nnice to see that he wants educator input. I think there would still be a funding problem.

    Steve there is no 2nd admendement issue here.

  9. Rorschach 2012.12.21

    One isolated incident and the whole country goes crazy. We could hire 5,000 armed school guards nationwide and a person intent on creating a massacre could still drive up to a playground and mow down kids. So I don't think we need to spend 1 cent to hire school Rambos. It will all be wasted money that is far better spent hiring more teachers.

    Do law enforcement officers working as school resource officers carry their guns on school premises? I don't know the answer to that. But if real law enforcement officers working in schools in uniform carry their weapons it wouldn't bother me.

  10. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "Steve there is no 2nd admendement issue here."

    Right Owen, because the Second Amendment as been removed by government schools defenseless school staff and students were massacred by an evil act. Rep. Hickey has the correct analysis here. I just sent an editorial to the Mitchell paper saying the best way to help protect children from the evils of this world is to put Bibles in their hands and allow the law-abiding adults to have guns in their hands. But sadly, we have a totalitarian structure set up in America where that cannot happen in the government schools.

  11. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    Until these ideas include sensible gun law solutions, all you are doing is subject more people to the horror of an onslaught of a rapid fire high powered rifle.

    I can't believe the lengths to which these people are willing to go to avoid placing limits on what kinds of weapons to whom society at large should be allowed general, unregulated access.

    It's patently irresponsible.

  12. Barry Smith 2012.12.21

    I'm with Rorschach on this one. School marshals seem to be very reactionary to me. All the effort put into it would be something the would only create a false sense of security at best and mayhem at worst. Wouldn't it be better to focus the effort toward the problem. These young men that wreak this carnage are all very closely profiled and if they could be identified, helped and kept from having easy access to firearms it would go a long way to containing this problem.
    I too am not against having one armed security officer in each school , whose sole job is the security of that school.

  13. Barry Smith 2012.12.21

    By the way Cory - the load times on your site are much faster, whatever you did worked , at least it did on the pale moon browser that I use.

  14. Steve Hickey 2012.12.21

    Bill- even if we banned every gun and stopped all gun production today, there are already 300,000,000 guns in American homes. They are already out there. Read the article I linked earlier, it tells how the gun laws haven't worked (aside from our right to bear arms in the Second Amendment.)

    Barry - I agree this is all reactionary. Most legislation is reactionary and comes because a problem arises and law makers have to sort it out so other problems are minimized.

  15. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "Until these ideas include sensible gun law solutions"

    Thos so-called sensible gun laws prevented schools officials from protecting both themselves and their students in Newtown, Bill. The solution would have been citizens confronting the gunman seconds after the windows were shot out. Instead 10 crucial minutes passed before law enforcemnt showed up with their AR-15s. If AR-15s are good enough for law enforcement, they are good enough for me and all other law-abiding citizens too.

    Sadly the anti-Second Amendment totalitarian mindset also opposes First Amendment rights to those they disagree with as evidenced by the protesters at the NRA news conference.

  16. Barry Smith 2012.12.21

    Pardon me Rep. Hickey I should have wrote "too reactionary" instead of "very reactionary". my apologies.

  17. Steve Hickey 2012.12.21

    KELO is reporting "‏@keloland NRA plans to create a model school shield program for anyone who wants to implement it."

    I look forward to what they propose but suspect it's one police officer in each school.

    This comment in the article I linked to above is spot on in my view: "If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?"

  18. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    Wayne LaPier has lost his mind. Today is the day the NRA jumped the shark.

  19. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    There goes Fleming, calling anybody he disagrees with mentally ill. No wonder he wants the focus of his totalitarian agenda on the mentally ill.

  20. Steve Hickey 2012.12.21

    Yep, NRA calls for armed police officer in every school. I like my idea better as neither schools nor law enforcement agencies have the money to put this level of security officer in each school. Here's the story link:

    If the Hells Angels can patrol a Rolling Stones concert and keep the crowds under control, and if we can find parents and people to keep our sports programs strong, surely there are people in our communities who have the time and resources to provide a needed security presence in our schools. Sky marshalls aren't on every plane but the fact that they might be on a plane apparently gives the bad guys pause and our skies are safer.

    Superintendents told me the other day they don't want to talk about their security policies in the media- where kids are locked down, who is in which buildings, etc. I'd think some school marshals here and there would be a deterrent just like sky marshalls are a deterrent. Companies that can't afford a security camera in every room frequently have fake or dummy camera shells installed throughout a facility and shoplifters think they are real.

    If it came down to cutting the football program to put a security officer in a building I'd say, bye bye to the football program.

  21. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    When any company has a product that is killing people inadvertantly the withdraw it from the market. Typically these recalls are reqiured by law.

    The idea of forming a police state and turning our schools into maximum security prisons is totalitarian, Steve. Typical of you not to see that. Such is the nature of the paranoid schizophrenic and the grandiose delusional narcissist.

  22. tonyamert 2012.12.21

    A school marshal program sounds a lot like more TSA security theater type thinking. So let's say that we do get a marshal into each and every school. The marshal sits around 99.999999% of the time doing nothing. Then, after years of performing no useful function, a crazy kid comes in with a gun and pops the marshal first before rampaging through the school.

    Look, you can't hedge against crazy in any meaningful way. School shootings are done by crazy people. These aren't rational actors that can be dealt with in any useful way.

  23. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    Above, "Steve" as in Sibby, not Hickey.

  24. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "Right Owen, because the Second Amendment as been removed by government schools defenseless school staff and students were massacred by an evil act. Rep. Hickey has the correct analysis here. I just sent an editorial to the Mitchell paper saying the best way to help protect children from the evils of this world is to put Bibles in their hands and allow the law-abiding adults to have guns in their hands. But sadly, we have a totalitarian structure set up in America where that cannot happen in the government schools."

    what if your not a Christian Sibby? What if they're Muslims or athists or whatever? should we shove the bible down their throats?
    And more guns in schools is the answer? Let our teachers carry guns? Nuts. And if our forefathers could see what all the guns have led to in this country they would write the 2nd admendment different.

    You and the NRA live in a fantasy world.

  25. oldguy 2012.12.21

    Bill I can't understand why anybody would need or even want a assault rife. I wish I had a great idea how to help but I don't. No matter how you look at this a person is doing the shooting my questions is why. I do think even if you banned assault rifles bad guys would get them.

  26. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "If it came down to cutting the football program to put a security officer in a building I'd say, bye bye to the football program."

    Do we want ours schools to come down to this Rev. Hickey? I don't. I want my grandson to play football when he's old enough or granddaughters to play volleyball or basketball.

    Cutting programs is not the answer sir. if we are to have security guards in every school then everybody has to step up and pay for it. But more guns in school is not the answer. And the NRA is a crazy and irrational organization.

  27. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "turning our schools into maximum security prisons is totalitarian, Steve."

    So why do you want to turn this entire country into a totalitarian mazimum security prison Bill? Just so you can feel safe? Just hope the state doesn't deem you mentally ill and decide they can't afford to keep you alive.

    "I can't understand why anybody would need or even want a assault rife."

    Ask those in law enforcement, they seem to like them a lot. Do they use them for protection, or only to assault others? Makes you wonder why the media keeps using the "assault" label, doesn't it? If tehy governemtn uses them, they are OK...if a law abiding citizen has one, it is evil and needs to be outlawed. And that is Fleming's idea of common sense.

  28. oldguy 2012.12.21

    By the way I can't get the picture of a 6 year old with 8 bullets holes laying in a pool of blood out of my mine. I don't think arming teachers is the answer. I think the answer is more complex as yes the gun is a issue but the reasons behind the tigger is the bigger issue in my mine.

  29. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "But more guns in school is not the answer."

    Then pull a Hilter or a Stalin Owen and have the Second Amendment removed from the Constitution.

  30. Steve Hickey 2012.12.21

    Thanks for clarifying which Steve as I get confused too. And this is spectacular feedback which is very helpful to me. Also I've floated the idea by law enforcement, school superintendents and the AG. Liability issues remain unclear to me with this idea. Law enforcement are concerned about the training requirement being too low. I saw a school field trip group in Israel and a teenager with an AK-47 over his shoulder hiking past me with his school group up Masada a few years ago - if a teenager there can be trusted with that weapon to protect his class on an outing I'm not sure we need sheriffs deputy level training for a school marshall.

  31. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "Then pull a Hilter or a Stalin Owen and have the Second Amendment removed from the Constitution."

    That didn't take long

  32. Barry Smith 2012.12.21

    Hmm- The NRA calls for 140,000 new Government Jobs. I am not against the idea just doesn't seem like the conservatives will like it much.

  33. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "Ask those in law enforcement, they seem to like them a lot. Do they use them for protection, or only to assault others? Makes you wonder why the media keeps using the "assault" label, doesn't it? If tehy governemtn uses them, they are OK...if a law abiding citizen has one, it is evil and needs to be outlawed. And that is Fleming's idea of common sense."

    My son is a cop Sibby and he's use his "assault rife" to even protect you. Plus he's trained to use his.

  34. tonyamert 2012.12.21


    Well, we regulate tons of things because we recognize that they are force multipliers. For example, we don't let people buy hand grenades, missile launchers, and tanks because we recognize that these are inherently too dangerous for general availability. One could argue that they are just simply "arms" and should be allowed to be owned by citizenry under the second amendment.

    The gun regulation question really hinges on where we as a society decides the line needs to be drawn. It's not obvious and is a compromise.

  35. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    Rev Hickey, The Affordable Healthcare Act puts emphasis on mental health but the Republicans (including our Governor) want to repeal it.
    Even the NRA wants more money for mental health

  36. Sue 2012.12.21

    Compulsory attendance and armed teachers and/or marshals or police officers, Schools and prisons differ how??? Talk about your "school to prison" pipeline.

  37. Dylan 2012.12.21

    I think that the focus we have on guns in this issue is kind of ridiculous. It's not as if either side is going to make concessions. Why should we focus on an issue where we aren't going to move forward. That's why I agree with Rep. Hickey. Mental Health is an area where we can actually do some good.
    Increased funding for mental health and a cultural effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness is what's going to help prevent tragedies. Not just school shootings, but all manner of heart wrenching incidents.
    Just FYI, because I know someone mentioned political correctness in relation to mental health earlier: there is a real difference between being politically correct and approaching the issue in a way which doesn't perpetuate stigma.
    I encourage all of you who agree on the point of mental health to check out and their advocacy sections.

  38. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    I agree Dylan that we have to put an emphasis on mental health. No doubt. but we have to include the availability of guns as well.
    the main thing is we have a dicussion and to do it quickly

  39. Donald Pay 2012.12.21

    Police state solutions to violence in schools is the exact opposite way to go. Schools are the safest places in America, and putting armed officers in them is a tremendous waste of police resources. You would think conservatives would know better. When the NRA advocates putting an armed police force in the safest places in America, we see the complete and total ridiculousness of this organization. If conservatives fall for that, they have gone totally off the rails.

  40. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "My son is a cop Sibby and he's use his "assault rife" to even protect you. "

    And that is my point Owen. How many times have you heard the media say police officers use "assault" weapons?

  41. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "we have to include the availability of guns as well"

    Yes we do, there was not enough guns in the hands of the good people at Newtown. And my read of Rep. Hickey's is not a police state, but one where the citizens participate. I understand the founders meaing behind well regulated in the 2nd Amendment is "trained". I attended a citizens police academy class and found it to be a very good experience.

  42. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.21

    Who had 10:37 in the "Steve Sibson invokes Hitler pool?"

    I have two issues with the second amendment:
    1. It says "well regulated militia" as the introductory justification for the amendment - we have neither in the US in the current state of private gun ownership. Intrinsic to the ownership of guns during the founding fathers' writing was an obligation to stand and defend the US with that private gun you owned from REAL threats. That is not the case now.
    2. It also relies on the justification in "the security of a free state"; if ownership pushes us past security into insecurity, it seems to have outstripped the justification.

    I am not Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, just a guy that has seen the horror now too often of gun violence and tired of masking it behind a "right." In the same way the right does not accept abortion - a constitutional right, I do not accept gun violence.

  43. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, beefing up security (AKA creating a Citizen's Militia) at schools does nothing to alleviate the exact same problem in churches, nursing homes, medical clinics, movie theaters and shopping malls.

  44. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.21

    How long before Haliburten offers their services (for a cost) as independent school security contractors? Who will line up to profit from tragedy an fear? Bringing the Iraq/Afghanistan security model to US schools doesn't ease any insecurities I have about my school.

    I believe Rep Hickey has the best of intentions - to make school secure. As the Rolling Stones found out at Altamonte when they hired the Hell's Angels to keep control, security is too often not a thing that can be purchased.

  45. Dylan 2012.12.21

    Owen, I think that if something could happen in the way of the availability of firearms, it'd be great. But I'm willing to put money on the discussion leading to a political stalemate, and no policy action being taken. I'm a pessimist.

  46. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    you could be right Dylan. maybe I'm a pesimist as well. All I know, with grandkids now going to school, we have to at least try. maybe reinstating the Assault weapon ban would be good for starters.
    At one one time I thought the NRA could be part of the discussion-but not anymore

  47. Donald Pay 2012.12.21

    By the way, Columbine High School had two armed guards. That didn't prevent or reduce the casualities in that massacre.

  48. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "I am not Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao"

    Mr. O'Brien, you are one whose ideology will set America up for those kind of leaders. So is Fleming, Owen, and the rest of the Second Amendment haters.

  49. Sue 2012.12.21

    Corey's post serves as a great framework for the discussion. We as a society need to focus on the total "well being" of our citizenry. Yes, security is a piece of it so is the need for more school counselors and caring committed adults and mentors in the lives of our kids and young people. As a teacher, I do not wish to be "armed" nor do I want armed individuals patrolling the playgrounds. What I do want are strong collaborative relationships between law enforcement and schools. Such relationships currently serve the public quite well, case in point, Rapid City's situation chasing down rumors of uttered threats. Schools really are the safest place for many of our students and quite frankly, it scares the bejeebers out of me to have well intentioned legislators drafting bills before rational and reasoned dialogue occurs.

  50. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    Another friendly reminder or two.

    1. Readers will recall that in August 2011, three Rapid City Police officers approached a man on the street and were all three shot, two fatally.

    2. Also recall that Roland Johnson, an armed prison guard was executed by prisoners inside the State Penitentiary.

  51. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "That didn't prevent or reduce the casualities in that massacre."

    And the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had no Second Amendment and that allows millions to be slaughtered. Quiz: where have we had the least amount of killing:

    Stalin's Soviet Unon
    Hitler's Germany
    American schools
    American abortion mills

  52. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "As a teacher, I do not wish to be "armed" nor do I want armed individuals patrolling the playgrounds."

    That is because you are a part of the government's anti-Second Amendment indoctrination team. The goal is a totalitarian state on the order of Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany. So how many decades has Cory and the rest of you teachers have been pushing your anti-Second Amendent propaganda on American students anyway? No wonder things have gotten as bad as Newtown.

  53. Donald Pay 2012.12.21

    If we end up with an armed guard at every school, it would need to be paid for. Let me suggest that the cost to pay for these armed guards should be borne by a tax on guns.

  54. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "And that is my point Owen. How many times have you heard the media say police officers use "assault" weapons?"

    Cops are supposed to have assault weapons Sibby. Not the nutbags that use them to shoot innocent people and kids. They only use them when they have to

  55. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "Cops are supposed to have assault weapons Sibby."

    Why would you say cops should have something as evil as an assault weapon? How long did it take for the cops to show up at Newtown with their assault weapons?

  56. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.21

    "Mr. O'Brien, you are one whose ideology will set America up for those kind of leaders. So is Fleming, Owen, and the rest of the Second Amendment haters."

    Mr Sibson, I am one who believes the strength and longevity of this country lies in something deeper and far more important than the armed populace. I believe our determination for freedom, the concern for equality, and the education of all have allowed the US to endure and to thrive. A totalitarian regime will neither rise or endure under the light of those values. Revolutions are fought for hearts and minds. Believing that rule is created at the end of a gun, that seems more in line with those you fear the most.

    I fear the message of schools in their actions showing their students that guns are the way to purchase security in life. it fosters living in fear.

    By the way, your list is incomplete for the second amendment haters: I would add Ghandi.

  57. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.21

    "And the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had no Second Amendment and that allows millions to be slaughtered. Quiz: where have we had the least amount of killing:

    Stalin's Soviet Unon
    Hitler's Germany
    American schools
    American abortion mills"

    Steve, may I add three palces to your multiple-choice selections:
    The United Kingdom

    None of which have a second amendment, in fact heavily regulate guns, yet have far fewer gun related crimes and, as of today, have not been taken over by a 21st century Hitler, Stalin or Mao.

  58. oscar 2012.12.21

    #1 No sheriff or police chief would have an armed volunteer in a school in their jurisdiction with out knowlage that this person had been trained by the sheriff or police department. Not gunna happen.

    #2 Just maintianing a group of volunteers for this type of duty would be nearly impossible. It's very difficult to maintain volunteers with this type of training. It is also very expensive to train, arm and equip them for a successful mission.

    #3 It seems like most sd politicians want you to volnteer for a good cause when they get paid to come up with stupid stuff like this.

    Go back to the drawing board and start again Mr. Hicky

  59. Donald Pay 2012.12.21

    Can we pay for these armed guards with a tax on dim-witted politicians?

  60. Rorschach 2012.12.21

    I don't think anybody ought to spend one penny militarizing schools. If trained law enforcement officers are there anyway, then I have no problem if they have their service weapon with them. But that's if they are there already anyway.

    The NRA's position appears to be that people should be able to have any weapon they want, whatever they want. And government should hire school guards with guns to protect against people with guns. Just amazing!

    Time for policymakers to talk about the "well regulated" language in the second amendment. Time to talk about where to draw the line on the type of weapons civilians can have. Time to regulate all the way guns change hands and who can buy them. Not the time to advocate putting more guns on the street and in the classrooms.

    The NRA went over the cliff a few years ago in my opinion when they started advocating to force business owners to allow guns on their premises. When they start telling property owners they have to allow guns on their property whether they want to or not, they have gone too far. The NRA also got big game hunting age in SD reduced from 12 to 10, and eliminated the training requirement for kids in the process because they didn't want to "dumb down" the training for 10 year olds. Apparently after the NRA achieved every reasonable goal they could set, they started setting unreasonable ones. Enough! Let the pendulum swing back.

  61. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "None of which have a second amendment, in fact heavily regulate guns, yet have far fewer gun related crimes and, as of today, have not been taken over by a 21st century Hitler, Stalin or Mao."


  62. Eve Fisher 2012.12.21

    It's ironic that the same person who is terrified that Obama is leading us towards a police state, keeps telling us that we have to live in a military state for our own protection.

  63. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    Mr. O'Brien, as Rep. Hickey pointed out, you need to add Israel to the list. If you and the rest of you gun bannings want to go the route of Australia , Canda, and the UK, then Constitutionally remove the Second Amendment First. But in so doing, you cannot guarantee that this country won't be run by a Stalin or a Hitler. After all, we already have an Obama. Oh yes, Ghandi was anti-Christian too.

  64. oldguy 2012.12.21

    I don't think anybody believes in a total gun ban as that will never happen but maybe some type of differnt regulation will. We need to focus on things like assault rifles as in my opnion there is really no good use for them. Thenlet's have people a lot smarter than me try and figure out what the cause of this is from games, movies, TV showes i don't know but something is at play and it just isn't a gun.

  65. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "We need to focus on things like assault rifles as in my opnion there is really no good use for them."

    So why are they used by military and police? Is Second Amendment about hunting, or is it about military and defense?

  66. Bill Fleming 2012.12.21

    Sibby, if you want to be in the military, or in law enforcement, sign up. See if you can pass the exams. If you can't, don't try to pretend you're a cop or a soldier. That will just put you and a whole lot of other people in grave danger.

  67. Old guy 2012.12.21

    Steve I just don't see a reason why a private person would need a assault rife. Please enlighten me. Thanks

  68. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "Why would you say cops should have something as evil as an assault weapon? How long did it take for the cops to show up at Newtown with their assault weapons?"

    they wouldn't need assault weapons if the public couldn't get them.

    Mr. O'Brien you make total sense. great posts

  69. Owen Reitzel 2012.12.21

    "Time for policymakers to talk about the "well regulated" language in the second amendment. Time to talk about where to draw the line on the type of weapons civilians can have. Time to regulate all the way guns change hands and who can buy them. Not the time to advocate putting more guns on the street and in the classrooms."

    Exactly Rorschach. Couldn't have said it better myself. NRA hopefully is finished

  70. Jana 2012.12.21

    I'm glad that Pastor Hickey made the reference to Israel. Maybe he can tell us how gun control works in Israel vs. the U.S.? Pastor Steve might want to tell us how we are in the same situation as Israel in terms of national threats...seriously pastor? Seriously?

    Oh wait...he might not want to talk about gun control in Israel so I will.

    Pastor Steve, I'm still with you on the Satan-like usury laws that feed our state, our children and South Dakota.

  71. Steve Sibson 2012.12.21

    "Steve I just don't see a reason why a private person would need a assault rife. Please enlighten me. Thanks"

    It comes down to the premise that the "militia" stated in the Second Amendment are citizens versus a "standing army" which is controlled by the government. The Founders considered a "standing army" a threat to liberty. If the citizen militia is to do its job, then they need to "bear arms". And today that includes the semi-automatic version of the fully automatic machine gun. The debate actually should be: should the citizen militias be allowed fully automatic machine guns, not whether the semi-actuomatic versions should be banned. Sadly the media has most thinking the right to bear arms is only for hunting. That is a lie. Another lie is that when evil uses a firearm, anybody who owns a similiar firearm is also evil. That notion is driving the assault weapon ban nonsense.

  72. Dylan 2012.12.21

    Just to throw an idea out there on the concept of regulating weapons. The Second amendment simply states arms. Would we have citizens obtaining nuclear armaments? It's not out of the realm of possibility. Purchasing uranium is becoming easier, even if it isn't enriched enough to be used for fission, it can still pose a serious threat. But in the world of full honoring of the second amendment citizens have this right. The same may be said of biological weapons. So Mr. Sibson, I pose this question to you: where, if at all, do we draw the line?

  73. Old guy 2012.12.21

    Not arguing just asking again using the militia argument wouldn't today's militia also need drone tanks and so on in order to combat a army? I get what you are saying I just keep thinking about 6 year old laying in a pool of blood we 8 bullets in them. I think it is time to change.

  74. Jana 2012.12.21

    The 2nd amendment militia thing seems to be a dog whistle for the mouth-breather-wife-beater-tshirt crowd.

    2nd amendment boys...Red Dawn is fiction...a movie...besides there's no way Patrick Swayze would have been the one to do the fighting. He's a dancer at heart.

  75. Jana 2012.12.21

    The NRA blamed video not politicize things. But I can see where they are coming from.

    Just today I was horrified to see kids and even adults putting cute little birds in sling-shots and shooting them at poor green little heads.

    Conservatives like the NRA...always standing up for personal responsibility.

    These guys are like Fonzie not being able to admit they are wrong. Only with gray hair and no cool factor.

  76. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.21


    I thought history's examples were proof that the idea of highly regulating, even banning much of personal ownership of guns would be a fair counter to the fear of a madman taking control of our country. Apparently because it has only been true until now, it is an iffy proposition? I guess history cannot compete with imagination when it comes to bombast.

    Looking at so much of the gun debate (not just on this thread), one would come to the conclusion that guns stop bullets - that if we just have enough guns the bullets will no longer be able to fly. That is where I seem to part ways with many on the NRA side; I think guns are the things that fire those bullets - not stop them.

    I think I would have more sympathy for the NRA and its positions if I really believed that they were concerned with rights and not corporate profit. The second amendment has been used as a tool for too many to line their pockets with the profits of carnage and then been applied as a shield from the responsibility of those actions.

  77. Donald Pay 2012.12.21

    I understand the need to have weapons available to prevent Republicans from turning this country into a fascist state. I would never want to take away people's guns, because I think the fascist threat from the Republican Party is real. The extremists in the party are just barely to the left of Hitler, so I have been an advocate of the "armed and progressive" militia, for the express purpose of keeping the fascist Republican agenda from being instituted here in America. As long as we have the kooky right allowed to roam the streets here, we had all better have weapons loaded and ready to use against Republican operatives.

  78. John 2012.12.22

    It's the guns, stupid.

    It's not the cultural for other nations have the same or similar movies, video games, etc.
    It's not the mental health unless one thinks the US has 12 to 30 times the rate of mental health disorders as occur anywhere else in the world (now that is an interesting thought perhaps worth pursuit. . ..)
    It's the guns.

    It takes a 2 step solution to move from the world in which we live to arrive at the world in which we want to live.
    First, some unfortunate, immediate, reactive, highly trained, highly regulated, highly supervised armed presence in schools. This is not a job for "volunteers" in the classical sense of the PTA, but rather volunteers who are already on patrol - either teachers, administrators, or police -- though few are competent enough for this mission.
    Second, a new assault weapon ban without the 600 loopholes of the last one, and programs to buy-back the millions in existence.
    It's the guns, stupid.

  79. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    Rep. Hickey: be careful. Your comment near the top seems to suggest that "Goths" are to blame for being bullied. I hold any student who acts out violently responsible for his or her actions, and I discourage every student from resorting to violence as a response to problems. But I don't want to tell kids that they are at fault for the bullying violence others choose to wreak upon them.

    I also do not agree that political correctness keeps counselors and teachers from talking about violence, video games, music, etc. I'm perfectly free in dealing with students to say that violent video games and music are crap. I confiscated a student's computer and sent him for consequences in the office for playing a violent video game during class. If "mental health" is just a new code word for reviving the Tipper Gore culture war, I'll be taking up arms on the other side of the barricades.

  80. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    ...or, in a metaphor that resists the culture of violence, I'll argue strenuously but civilly for a different focus in our discourse and policy.

  81. larry kurtz 2012.12.22

    What part of neocolonialism is being lost on you people?

    Sociopathy is not the absence of God: it is the manifestation of creating miscreants of a species mutating as response to the evil being perpetrated on Earth.

    Chaos has clearly triumphed over the perceived capitalistic order perpetuated by consumerism.

    The Hickeys and the Sibsons have won: arm yourselves.

  82. Donald Pay 2012.12.22

    If Christians were honest, they would recognize that death culture runs through the Bible. The central theme of Christianity requires the torture of an innocent man until he died. And the Bible is full of death and killing. One thing I notice from reading the Bible is that Jesus, who Christians claim to follow, didn't say we should kill the bad guys, or even have good guys armed so they can prevent the bad guys from killing. He said we were all bad guys, but we needed to take care of each other. Chrisitians have really lost their way. Jesus was all right, but Christians are the reason not to be Christian.

  83. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    John: thank you for the reminder that two armed policemen were on the scene at Columbine, fired shots at one of the assailants, and still failed to stop the massacre.

  84. Joseph G Thompson 2012.12.22

    Sadly, I have finally accepted the fact that in this country, at this moment in time, the only value a human life has is its value to a politician or to a politcal movement in advancing a political agenda. Maybe we are in the beginning of the end of the United States and the only thing left to do is to embrace the suck.
    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good ending, if you'r lucky.

  85. Bill Fleming 2012.12.22

    Merry Christmas to you too. Joseph. It's always darkest before the dawn, brother. Keep the faith.

  86. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    Barry, I remain skeptical of the NRA's prescription of an armed police officer in every school. Is even policy worth the cost? If I have $40,000 to spend, do I do more good for my kids by hiring a full-time armed guard, a full-time English or math teacher, or a full-time mental health counselor?

  87. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    Rep. Hickey says "If it came down to cutting the football program to put a security officer in a building I'd say, bye bye to the football program." Rep. Hickey just lost 1000 votes in the West Central School District. But Rep. Hickey, if you do propose legislation on this issue, I hope you will go to Hartford and put this issue in exactly that context for your Hartford constituents, not because I want you to lose re-election, but because I think that perfectly puts the issue in context for your audience: if you think putting armed guards in school is a good idea, what are you willing to give up to make that happen? Your football team? A physics teacher? More tax dollars?

  88. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    Mr. O'Brien affirms his belief that our real strength is our values, not our firearms. Mr. Pay warns that the NRA is advocating a very literal expansion of the police state. Sue sees armed guards turning our schools to prisons. All three are important and should be presented in any committee testimony on any bills on this topic Rep. Hickey may put forward.

  89. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.22

    Easy, Larry—Rep. Hickey is one of the saner voices in this conversation.

  90. larry kurtz 2012.12.22

    When Rep. Hickey leaves the GOP his sanity would be more visibly and verily verified.

  91. grudznick 2012.12.22

    Young Rep. Hickey is armed during his sermons and Mr. H. should be as he espouses French policy to the youth of our society.

    They each should wear a beret, sport a goatee, and eschew stockings.

  92. Sam Peil 2012.12.22

    Sibby, Is there a term that you would prefer people use rather than "assault rifle"?

  93. grudznick 2012.12.22

    These are just as much anti-assault rifles as anything. I have mine to ward off the assault of insane raving maniacs or the future threat of monkey flu induced hordes.

  94. Donald Pay 2012.12.23

    Unless the Rep. Hickey finds the money for his bill, requiring districts to hire armed guards is an unfunded mandate. I believe it is illegal to send that requirement to the districts without providing the funding.

  95. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.23

    ...and I believe that mandate immoral when we have much more fruitful ways to spend that money.

  96. Rorschach 2012.12.23

    According to the NRA, the solution to gun violence is ... more guns. Guns in every school. Guns concealed on every person. Guns, Guns Guns to stop guns! There's a Dr. Seuss book in the making.

    Did Rep. Hickey really say gunmen in schools are a higher priority than the football program? Well, since an armed guard can't be everywhere at once we better also build walls around every playground. There goes the basketball team and the volleyball team, and wrestling. There goes French class.

  97. Steve O'Brien 2012.12.23

    The deeper one dives into this discussion, the more it becomes clear that we cannot make ourselves secure. In the presence of so many guns of such indiscriminate destructive power, requiring only one person to go over an emotional or mental cliff, barricading everyone, everything we hold dear is a numbers game that we cannot win. There are not enough guns, sentries, or walls to ensure safety. Given incidents in churches, not even enough praying can help either.

    But gun purchasing is up, and the NRA can celebrate a job well done. Gun discussion is really about what happens when business and profit are allowed too far ahead of any other safety or security concern.

  98. MC 2012.12.23

    Having armed guards in the school, arming teachers and staff this is a small part of the discussion we should be having. The guards / teachers in the school are the very last line of defense against some lunatic bent on killing. I want those teachers to have the tools they need to protect our children, and yes that includes semi-automatic handguns. I don’t like the idea of having to turn schools in to fortresses. Those that don’t think this is a Second Amendment issue need to go back and re-read the entire amendment.
    We also need to look at our culture, movies, video games and media coverage. We get wall to wall coverage of the event, followed by a video game. For most of the ‘well-adjusted,’ it can be dealt with, someone who might have some kind of mental disorder, that could lead to problems.
    We need a serious change of attitude. Life once taken is gone; there are no do overs, or restarts. Once it is gone it is gone for good. We need to learn to respect that fact.

  99. Donald Pay 2012.12.23

    What I'd like to know is who protects us from the so-called protectors the Republicans want to arm and put in our classrooms?

  100. MC 2012.12.23

    YOU! You have the right and the obligation to protect yourself.

  101. Steve Hickey 2012.12.23

    Thanks for the conversation on this - it's helpful. I did make the comment about the football program and, no, it won't cost me a thousand votes in West Central. I only got 850 or so votes total there and I assure you there are many who agree with me when I say that not every program is mission critical and if we came to the place (and we are not at that place) where keeping kids safe meant cutting a non-mission critical program then people would opt to keep kids safe. During the budget cuts a couple years ago a parent came to me crying that we were cutting a autism program that affected her kid. In checking into it, WE the legislature weren't cutting that program - the school was floating that fear. It was unfortunate in my view they used that instead of listing a variety of other programs including football. If it came down to cutting an autism program and cutting football, bye bye football. BTW, I played football and so did my boys.

    Steve O'Brien is correct, we cannot make ourselves entirely secure.

    With 300,000,000 guns of all sorts already out there I fail to see how any gun prohibitions would do anything.

    Mostly I'd like to have the mental health conversation and the violence in society conversation. Our president has zero integrity to lecture us on guns... answer me this: why do those who want more gun control ignore the Obama administration arming mexican drug lords/ fast and furious? That article linked here earlier is spot on. If Obama is going to call out the NRA, he needs to call out his Hollywood buddies on the violence issue.

    Donald Pay (09:56) - You are on to something with your generalizations about the Bible and death and killing. It is very much the case that the Bible chronicles a long conflict between both LIFE and DEATH and in the end, death is defeated. It appears you only see death and killing in the Bible. Please don't miss the bigger conflict and the fight for and the victory of LIFE. And you say "Jesus was all right but Christians..." Many people only know about the turn-the-other-cheek-Jesus but the John 2:15 Jesus-who-made-a-whip would offend them. I'm certainly not a Rambo Jesus proponent but we know at least one in his entourage was armed. This same book tells us the Jesus who returns marches up through Bozrah killing the king of the earth. The nice Jesus in white is tolerated today, but the Jesus in red that is also spoken of in the Bible will shock many for sure. Saying all that I do agree many Christians surely must be an embarrassment to God as they reflect him so poorly.

    So,,,, not the place here to make a case for self-defence in the Bible, my point is that a strong case can be made that we have a duty to protect the vulnerable in our midst.

  102. larry kurtz 2012.12.23

    Like people in the religion industry who rely on the supernatural to intervene in personal decisions are sane.

  103. grudznick 2012.12.23

    Schools will always float the red paper bunny that they'll cut programs for autism or eliminate good lunches and things before they admit that they just want to keep all the perks for teachers like free coffee and lunch and the fancy parking spaces for administrators and the football program and two gymnasiums when just one would be fine. That is what school do, they protect themselves and greedily want more and more and it is never enough.

  104. Steve Hickey 2012.12.23

    Merry Christmas Larry ! And same to the rest of you.

  105. Steve Hickey 2012.12.23

    Wow, I had to look that up. We had three precious children die in a fire in Sioux Falls here yesterday. Ever been close to that kind of horror , Larry? I have, several times . What a vile , hateful and dispicable thing so say about anyone. I speaks volumes about you. You should be banned from participating in civil discourse.

  106. larry kurtz 2012.12.23

    Mail a stool sample to someone who cares what you believe, Rev.

  107. grudznick 2012.12.23

    Don't do it, Rev. Hickey. Mr. Kurtz knows it's illegal and against the Dawes act to send stool samples through the mail without ziplock bags.

  108. Steve Hickey 2012.12.23

    I'm just going to assume he's three sheets to the wind right now and ignore him. Please tell me he holds no responsible position in society.

  109. larry kurtz 2012.12.23

    Responsibility in society: and your party has sealed the fate of its population by invoking freedom for some.

    You can fool Cory because his wage is bound to your whims, Steve; but, your reach extends only to those giving to your tax-free voice. The Feds will find your flock soon enough.

  110. Charlie Hoffman 2012.12.23

    Rep. Hickey you are closer to the truth than most will ever wish to attest to!

  111. Steve Hickey 2012.12.23

    Yeah Larry you are not only a bitter human being, you are clueless. I sent DVDs to the IRS a few years ago to provoke an audit or challenge. The IRS agent that audited me personally came back and told us we under reported our charitable giving an we enjoyed an additional decent refund. I'll pony up my donations to the poor this year and compare them to yours. And tax free church? If we paid $10,000 in property taxes as a for-profit ,, whoopie. It's into the six digits what we gave back to our community. If churches pulled out of the safety net presently helping our states poor, your taxes would go up to pick up the load.

  112. Dylan 2012.12.23

    Wow, people, I'm surprised at how long this conversation held relevance to the topic at hand. Bravo!
    Just to provide another piece of insight from someone who is a student (albeit at the collegiate level), adding more guns to the equation would make me feel less secure.
    Blaming the 'Goth' culture is simply ridiculous, and kind of offends me as an individual. I went through a dark phase myself, as did many of my friends, and yet I can assure you that outward violence was never an option for any of us. If you want to provide a safer school environment you should focus on bullying. It's a hell of a lot more common than most of you realize, happens much more often than school shootings, and can do a lot of damage: driving students to self-injury, or worse.
    Also, Larry, man... You're use of internet lingo like DIAF is so comically out of place. roflmao.

  113. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Whom did you bully, Rep. Hickey, Charlie?

    Ted Kaczynski was inescapably bullied, the OKC bomber was called 'Noodle McVeigh' by peers, and it goes on.

    A self-proclaimed 'apostle' comes on to a forum where liberals dominate and rails against the head of our party because, well...the earth haters have a wimp as head of theirs, if at all.

    If the Right Revrearend Hickey really believes his state is broken it's hardly at the hands of Democrats.

  114. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Will add this because this guy is our party's true nemesis and, unlike Hickey and Hoffman, has an actual intellect. He is an ex-pat Montanan living in Colorado:

    "By the way, just an afterthought – the idea that there is any serous government concern about gun control is a knee-jerk reaction on my part. A citizen with a gun is no match for a blow-dried anchorman with a microphone, and an Apache helicopter would take out Noxon Montana twice before morning coffee. Armed or unarmed, the American citizenry is no threat to anyone in power. That is a side issue."

  115. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.24

    MC, the idea of turning civil society into an armed standoff between the state and the citizens is terribly unappealing. I would prefer not to invite any lethal force into my daughter's classroom, not even on the hip of a policeman, not on a regular basis. The psychic damage will be too great: "Have a nice day in a place where we have to have guns to keep you safe, sweetie!"

  116. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.24

    Rep. Hickey: with 300M guns out there, a restriction on new assault weapons might not do much, but it would start to bend a curve that has grown over a long time. It's just like deficit reduction: you've got to start somewhere.

    Of course, ammo is the consumable good here. Pass some bullet manufacture restrictions, limit the sale of unnecessarily large magazines, and we might get further on curbing violent attacks.

  117. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.24

    And yes, Rep. Hickey, we do have an obligation to protect the vulnerable. I want to protect my vulnerable daughter from fear and paranoia. I want her to believe in civil society, not the Wild West. I want that armed cop and all guns out of my duaghter's elementary school.

    But I am darn glad that you will permit us to have this conversation about your bill proposal before session starts. I want to believe that conversations like this can stop some bad ideas from taking up legislative time and make some bad ideas better.

  118. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Armed policemen in full riot gear at the doors of Sioux Falls churches and Sunday schools seems like a perfect world.

  119. Rorschach 2012.12.24

    Rep. Hickey is desperate to become relevant in his second legislative term. He hasn't passed any bills in his first term. Will militarizing schools be his legacy? Let him start with his own church and daycare center and see how that is received.

  120. Steve Hickey 2012.12.24

    Guns or Goth?

    My interest is to see every possible cause put on the table to be discussed in the full light of day. Right now there is a gag order on numerous things. People will say "lets focus on the mental health factor" but the forces of political correctness narrow that conversation down entirely. Spiritual health is a central part of mental health but that's off the table. Let's talk about these kids going through a "dark phase" as described by Dylan earlier. We can't. We have to just smile and say nothing about the fact that darkness and the spirit world is real, spiritual darkness is real, and it overtakes some people entirely, or even momentarily - which is all it takes. (I had my own sojourn into darkness and the Occult in the early 80s and have had numerous experiences with it since. I'm talking about things that would make your average mental health counselor wet their pants.)

    So let's get everything on the table, not just guns. Let's put Hollywood in the hot seat, not just the NRA. We know what porn does to men and how it hurts women. Let's talk about what violent video games and movies are producing? Let's trumpet a culture of LIFE, not just for planet earth, but for ALL the people on it. Let's have a zero tolerance policy for that which glorifies death. Evolution theory teaches that death weeds out the weak and only the strong survive. What if we rejected that theory and rallied around the weak and dealt with the things that destroy them? How radical do people want to get in dealing with what is killing our children. I agree with Gov. Christie on this- putting a gun in schools IS the easy way out. However, since people aren't willing to have the hard conversations and put everything on the table, we are left to stop bullets with bullets.

    Or, here's one for you: what about the fatherless connection in these recent shootings; the Aurora shooting, the D.C. sniper, Chardon High School, the Norway terrorist, and Tucson??

    Maybe if we had a father in every home we wouldn't need a cop in every school.

    We are talking about full prisons in South Dakota and some want us to legalize drugs to buy us some time before we have to spend $300 million on a new prison in five years. The fatherless connection is not disputable as the common denominator in America's prison population. What if someone trumpeted a plan to shore up the traditional family in South Dakota? That would be met with what?? See what I mean?

    Since we can't talk about the multiple and various cause factors in these shootings we are left to stop guns with guns.

  121. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner's father lived in his home.

    Curious how you perceive readers here as a receptive audience, Steve: go over to Pat's Place and get called a RINO.

    The code buried in your diatribe is pure GOP boilerplate, Steve: see if you can make a statement devoid of weasel words.

  122. Steve Hickey 2012.12.24

    RE: Tucson shooter: "The family was contemptuous. It wasn't the son. It was the father."

    Why vet an idea, Larry, on a blog where people mostly agree with me? No need to change minds there and preach to the choir. I'm also vetting this idea with a dozen superintendents and various law enforcement agencies in SD.

    If GOP boilerplate fits my words, what describes yours? Your posts are erratic, hard to follow, threatening and the type of things a mental health people would say raise concern for those around you. Is it possible for you to discuss anything here without the personal affronts?

  123. Charlie Hoffman 2012.12.24

    Larry I know one thing is certain when you go postal on anyone they have cut deeply into your psych. Your world is not perfect nor is mine but we get to play in it and make suggestions some of which will be wrought upon the public in statute coming to a legislature near you. May God inspire and help us all. Merry Christmas!!!

  124. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Drugs are already legal and opioids are rampant killers.

  125. larry kurtz 2012.12.24

    Headed to Ojo Caliente for a couple hours: hope you men get better soon.

  126. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.12.24

    Is there a reliable way to distinguish "desperation for relevance" and trying to craft good public policy? I would like to think one could most easily achieve relevance by offering good public policy... which Rep. Hickey hasn't yet in this original proposal, but which he may... if we can keep from talking about the influence of the devil. (I'm not saying you can't talk about that, Steve; I'm just saying that crafting policy to fight the devil sounds like a sure way to distract us from solving the problems on which we can agree.)

  127. Rorschach 2012.12.24

    If we're fighting the devil, will we do so with guns? If so, the devil wins, no?

    Now about solving the problems on which we can agree. Don't both parties in congress agree that taxes shouldn't go up on people making under $250,000 next year? When everybody agrees on this point, the solution should be a slam dunk, no?

  128. Les 2013.01.05

    Steve O'Brien says, "in the same way the right does not accept abortion, I do not accept gun violence".

    There are approximately 1.1% of all, 5000-8000 abortions performed in the US after the 24th week annually. So a sane doctor using a tool to stop a viable beating heart is comparable to an insane person using a gun Steve?

    Steve O'Brien also goes on to say " our strength and longevity lies in our determination for freedom, our concern for equality and the education of all".

    Very admirable qualities later interpreted by Cory as "values".
    Steve didn't invoke Hitler but repeated the thought.
    Steve, how do I meet Ursula at coffee and explain the "tattoo" on her and her husbands arms, qualify survivors and 6,000,000 plus others as coming from a background of little determination and concern for freedom and equality, poor education and low values?
    Steve O, you're a smart man with good intentions, well aware of the issues of gun control with the more likely number of 3/4Bil guns on US soil. My questions are not meant to attack you.

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