Growing economic stress & inequality brings an increase in violence

Twelve people are dead and nearly 40 wounded after a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theatre in Colorado late Thursday night. Moviegoers were attending the premiere of the new Batman movie, when 24-year-old James Holmes walked in with tear gas, a rifle, a shotgun, and two hand guns, and opened fire. Holmes is in police custody.

This is the largest mass shooting since 32 people were killed during the Virginia Tech massacre. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence – there have been hundreds of mass shootings in the U.S. since 2005 – averaging roughly 20 every year. And yet, there’s absolutely no talk of gun control in America.

The irony of all ironies – Republicans are making it harder for Americans to vote with new voter ID laws to fight voter fraud, which happens less often than lightning striking people. Yet, Republicans won’t budge on making it just a little harder for Americans to buy guns, despite dozens of mass shootings every year.


Vegasman56 10 years 35 weeks ago

how often do you hear of violence like this in other industrialized world

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 35 weeks ago

I can't see any way the public will agree to lay down their weapons until the Police get rid of theirs. Police kill and maim people unnecessarily all the time. They shoot down the handicapped and mentally ill. They shoot kids 22 times in the back because they think they saw "a gun in the waistband." Police shootings make people paranoid, and a policeman can be just as off-balance as a mass shooter.

There are other ways to fight crime if no one had a gun. There are ways to apprehend the naughty without guns.

However, this would be asking the arms manufacturers to give up their way of life. No more Remingtons and Winchesters? Can't see it happening.

Remington is now owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity fund.

Olin Corporation owns the Winchester trademarks.

A Smith & Wesson, the standard issue police gun, killed Katherine Kryder.

fancy1's picture
fancy1 10 years 35 weeks ago

I live in Colorado, about 20 miles north of Denver. I have not heard anything on the news, but there is a large gun show scheduled tomorrow and sunday at the Loveland outlet malls, about 40 miles north of Denver. I called the management of that mall and was told the show wouldn't be cancelled because "I need to understand that this was scheduled months ago and the owner of the shows' lively-hood was at stake. I commented to him that obviously money was more important to him then lives. If political candidates can suspend campaign adds I don't think it is asking too much to cancel a gun show.

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 10 years 35 weeks ago


The big boyz WANT this to happen. They want to destabilize society/civilation

sittinghare's picture
sittinghare 10 years 35 weeks ago

Surely it's time for a dispassionate discussion of the issue of gun control ... minus the extremes of both sides. There is a high level of distrust in this country that is fueled by fear, so it's unlikely that the issue of curtailing the uncontrolled proliferation of guns will occur anytime soon. We have become a violent people; our first reaction to opposition is to strike out verbally or physically. Nobody seems to listen anymore, they're all too busy yelling at each other and, all too often, going for their guns.

Micro's picture
Micro 10 years 35 weeks ago

After comments I posted on facebook

Guns don't kill people
Crazy people with guns kill people.
and you have to be crazy or a terrorist to want an assault rifle.

I got this response.

I gotta ask ya, have you ever had a gun put up to your forehead & feared for your life by someone who had just committed a murder? I have, & I haven't gone anywhere without a gun since 1990, I will not be a victim of a lunatic or armed criminal ever

I have compassion for those who are stuck in the war zone of modern America who feel there only option is to arm themselves in self defence. Perhaps we are already in the midst of a civil war and we just don't understand what we are fight for. The soldier fights only for one reason, to survive against people who are trying to kill him. In this war more guns, more prisons and more austerity and poverty won't bring it to an end. Gated communities with private security guards are not the answer nor is armed militias. America has just gotten to be a much more brutal country over the last 30 years. People are becoming more desperate, violent and crazy. In the new American war zone gangs and criminals are on one side and police and swat teams are on the other and we the people are caught in the crossfire just ducking or heads alone not knowing or trusting our neighbors and not able to get out. Do you need a weapon to protect yourself that can kill 50 people in two minutes? Are you expecting the zombie holocaust? The guns that were used last night were legally purchased. The kid who bought them had no overt signs of being a mass murderer. This was his first attempt. We need a rational approch to the kind of guns people can get their hands on but we need much more than that to end this war of all against all.

Carol R's picture
Carol R 10 years 35 weeks ago

I lived overseas in Malaysia for nine years. My local friends couldn't understand why we had so many deaths by guns. It was an embarrasment for me but I still don't understand why the American Rifle Association has a strong lobby that always prevents a reasonable law from being passed. I guess money buys Congress.

How many lives have to be lost before Americans wake up to the fact that guns do kill people. This unnecessary violence needs to stop.

richmellott's picture
richmellott 10 years 35 weeks ago

I am a gun-owner, a hunter, and an urban special education teacher in a public school. I have seen the rough side of town, and have dealt with students who come to school packing weapons of various types. I am not against gun control, and understand the 10 day waiting period is probably a good idea. The only problem is, the guns are available illegally, all over the nation, and the scofflaws who buy them are not being brought to justice. I would rather see gun trafficing get higher penalties, than to make ownership more difficult, in some places, and I also fear the reactionary backlash of the "mass murder" does nothing to diagnose the difficult question that is the elephant in the living room. Why are there so many people who are distraught in our society, and willing to take it out on random strangers?

I read a book as a child, John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar," which dealt with two phenomena: (1) Overcrowding of the planet, which he used as a way of explaining the (2)"Crowded Cage" symptoms of Amok-ers, individuals who succumbed to their rages and went on killing sprees. The idea that people "running Amok" were showing signs of stress due to overpopulation still resonates with me now, as I keep hearing about so many shootings. Sociological studies haven't related these concepts? I figure if a science fiction writer could write the book 50 years ago, and find it to be a reflection of today's chaos, then maybe it should be considered.

In any case, the underlying cause of these shootings, where people on one side blame the guns, while the others blame the criminal mind, is yet to be unclothed for what it is: treating the symptom, and not the diseases of poverty, disenfranchisement, overcrowding, and lack of mental/social services. Until we deal with these issues, we will not see a decrease in the incidents, and we will see security firms once again making a living off of our funds, due to our myopic fears of the public space.

patti03's picture
patti03 10 years 35 weeks ago

The Second Amendment "right to bear arms"..should have been amended immediately to RIGHT TO BEAR MUSKETS" !

We wouldn't have today's legal problems trying to control the "arms" of today...

5 minutes ago · LikeUnlike

aerogirl59's picture
aerogirl59 10 years 35 weeks ago

Your Prozac Comments

Thom, I heard comments about Prozac on your show today, at the end of my Sirius XM listening time. There are hundreds of thousands of people who take SSRIs every day and do not have violent reactions nor suicidal tendencies. As progressive/liberal thinkers, we emphasize the importance of science and evidence to inform policy and discussion. There is no scientific evidence that these drugs increase violent behaviors. There IS scientific evidence that SOME people who have begun taking SSRIs have suicidal or violent thoughts at the beginning of their course of treatment, which is why it is critical to have proper psychiatric medication management, rather calling into question the class of drugs altogether.

Many many people have been helped by SSRIs, and while no psychoactive drug is without side effects, there are people who could not function or be productive members of families and communities without the tremendous benefits of these medications. I urge you to avoid making sweeping statements about SSRIs without the proper information. Just because some people are improperly medicated does not mean that all medications should be discontinued.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 35 weeks ago

Hmmm; Colorado, gun-country. How many people in that theatre had personal weapons (with or without concealed-carry permits) ostensibly to protect themselves and fellow citizens against a criminal attack -- -- -- and what good did it do?

tarheelnm 10 years 35 weeks ago

The shooting in Colorado is a tragedy. An even greater tragedy would occur when a disarmed populace is unable to defend the country from a totalitarian take-over.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 35 weeks ago

Yes, I've looked down the wrong end of a shotgun. One night after being broken into at my parents home, I was "taken down" -- suddenly finding myself on the floor with a shotgun in my neck. (They were professionally trained by the military, I presume). Had I a weapon, there was absolutely no way I could have gotten to it, or used it effectively, likely creating a massacre. And if the burglers had found it, they would have simply added to their arsenal to be used on someone else. We survived; that's the only good to come out of it.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 35 weeks ago

tarhealnm claims: "An even greater tragedy would occur when a disarmed populace is unable to defend the country from a totalitarian take-over."

Dream on. Instead of musing the fantasy of a bunch of boys-with-their-toys resisting the most richly weaponized military on the planet "defending the country from a totalitarian take-over" -- Get active now, keeping the Totalitarians from gaining the reins of power by any means. It's infinitely better to recognize who The People and who the Totalitarians are -- and prevent such an extreme conflict from even getting started.

Berry's picture
Berry 10 years 35 weeks ago

Something very interesting ~ One Day In July: Remembering the 1934 Minneapolis Teamster Strike On Bloody Friday, July 20, 1934. Police acting on orders from the Citizens Alliance, an Anti-labor group. You can find this Also on youtube ~~~

lmessmer's picture
lmessmer 10 years 35 weeks ago

I live in Cobb County GA and today I called R.K. SHOWS in Iowa to ask them to cancel their GUN SHOW in Marietta GA scheduled for tomorrow, in respect of what happened in Colorado. The incredibly rude woman on the phone didn't know what I was talking about when I referred to the days top news event. "Oh that." she replied when I explained what I was talking about. No, they will not cancel or postpone their show and she told me the violence in CO has nothing to do with their event. I completely agree with you on "money was more important to him then lives. If political candidates can suspend campaign adds I don't think it is asking too much to cancel a gun show."

I am so saddened by what is going on in this country and the ignorant lack of control we have. When are we going to stop giving lunatics LEGAL access to guns? How many innocent children have to die first?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 35 weeks ago

Another senseless act by an unbalanced person...... most likely...... One of his friends need to step forward and be honest about recent events in his life!

The whole thing reminds me of a comment made by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik...."When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous."

I realize the comment made by Limbaugh a couple days ago, about the movie being a left wing conspiracy, by timing is coincidental, but it just brings back the whole Palin crosshairs map with names coincidence's all very depressing...that's what I think!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 35 weeks ago

There would have been far fewer people dead or injured in that theater...or at any of those other mass shootings if more responsible people carried guns to protect themselves from such crazies. The people in the theater would have been able to shoot back and kill that lunatic before he was able to shoot so many others. And if more people carried guns....fewer idiots would dare do such things.

Those who are willing to sacrifice their freedoms to own and carry guns, hoping that the police or government will protect them, deserve to lose all their they surely will eventually...all a matter of time.

If they are not willing to defend themselves and expect someone else, especially given the current circumstances of corrupt police and government, to do it for them then they are hopeless sitting ducks for oppression and tyranny....oh, and also the lone wacko gunman.

It's not too much to ask for a waiting period..or even a psychological test as a rudimentary screening. But that will only help keep the crazies from obtaining guns legally...they will still be able to get them illegally anyway. It certainly won't make any of us any safer by preventing people from obtaining will actually make us all a lot more unsafe.

The way it works(does it really work?) is that someone with a gun...or a knife...or someone who is so physically overpowering..threatens...and, often, kills people. Then the police are called. HELLO!!! The people are still dead when they could have immediately reacted in their own defense saving their life and possibly other's lives.

Gun control worked for Hitler, and Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung...too bad all those Jews weren't well armed and had the will to fight back....a few did...toward the end. And now Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews...however on a smaller scale. Funny how the victim can change his tune real quick.

Don't let it happen again, this time here in America...and this time not victimizing could be many of us who oppose the Fascist regime that is slowly putting us to death anyway. They don't need gas chambers anymore....they have high tech weapons of mass destruction's called the economy...starvation...lack of health care...mass sickness and death. And they have high tech weaponry...robotic droned and helicopters... flying death machines to rain down fire from the sky...rather than Zykon B gas chambers or ovens. It's just a practice exercise for what will eventually happen here in America. And all you liberals (and I am one but will keep my weapons thank you very much) out there will curse the day that you thought strict gun control was a good idea.

Strict gun control would be even less effective as the war on drugs. The war on drugs, in addition to being a misnomer, is a farce. It is as much of a farce as the idea that we have democracy in America and people still think that we will be able to change things at the polls. Don't you get it yet? The polls are not going to save us and neither will strict gun control.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 35 weeks ago

Took my relative, a Vietnam Vet, that I spoke about before back to the emergency at the VA hospital. He was no longer eating..hadn't eaten for a great deal of constant pain and the meds for pain wasn't working..and very depressed. I was shocked that the hospital actually took him in this time, gave him an MRI, and will stay at the hospital till they determine his status from the MRI results.

I found out that the VA doesn't care if you are so wracked with pain, as he was, they have programs to deal with pain (yeah, right..a therapist). So, if you go to the VA hospital emergency only with the symptoms of having pain, they really won't do anything except put an IV in you, let you lie there for hours, give you meds, and turn you loose many, many hours later (as I wait in the waiting room) with instructions to contact the assigned doctor.

The first time we took my relative into the emergency room the assigned doctor was ticked off because we didn't contact him first..even though he was unavailable. So, this time I call the doctor's office and again he was unavailable and the assistant asked us what was my relative's symptoms..and then recommended we take him to the hospital emergency. The symptoms include this time...not only the pain, but also severe depression, thoughts of suicide, and not eating for days.

The VA is really keen to the suicide and depression bit and takes it very seriously...but not pain...even though such pain could drive one to suicide...go figure! The assistant told us that it was very important to stress the other symptoms...not limit it to pain.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 35 weeks ago

Maybe they should put a warning label on the guns saying that "Caution: This gun can maim, injure, or kill people. Never point it at another person unless you intend to kill him/her in self-defense of an immediate life-threatening situation to yourself or to protect others from life threatening situations. Expect that even if you think you have a clear cut case of self-defense expect to be indicted for murder anyway, go to prison, and lose your life's savings for legal defense. Don't be like Zimmerman!" And engrave the whole thing on the barrel of the gun. Or maybe, just engraving "secret Jesus sayings" on the barrels like some American gun manufacturer did to sell to our government for the war in the Middle East. "Splat! Here's one from Jesus!"

Funny how occasionally one lone nuts kills a few people and it is hyped up forever on the news media...and they do really play it up...but they say very little about all the innocent civilians...women and children who our troops butcher using high flying drones and helicopter gun ships in the Middle East. Maybe we should ban guns and drones and helicopter gunships from the Military...take away their toys...who is really the crazy gunman(men/women) here? Our military has murdered many more innocent people than the occasional lone nut.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 35 weeks ago

Maybe they should, instead of banning hand guns, ban movies and TV and DVDs and the Internet...oh, no, not my beloved internet!!! The anti gun nut would try to argue that the reason why so many gun-related crimes happen in the US is because of the many guns that people in the US have.

But, maybe it is not all about guns....maybe it is more about violent movies. This gun-man in Colorado, was not a young kid...what 24? But, he was said to have said when the police nabbed him...."I am the Joker!" He clearly was living the movies he saw. He was touted to be quite intelligent although having dropped out of the University where he was studying. Was well armed with not inexpensive was not poor by any means...

Was he doing drugs? Or, was he drugged and hypnotized by powerful people who want to continue to make us very afraid and willing to give up our weapons. Once they completely disarm us...we won't have a hell's chance of even being a tiny being totally powerless and oppressed. They won't have to worry an iota about the really, really ticked off and starving masses...the 95%..who by this time would know that they should have rebelled when they had a chance.

MKULTRA? Manchurian Candidate? Far-fetched? Many people now know how these 3 letter agencies have created situations...set people take the heat for being terrorists...when they weren't terrorists... and may never have been terrorist had the three letter agency not sent in infiltrators to trick people into becoming patsies.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 35 weeks ago

There are individuals and groups and organizations that have liberal or progressive sounding names and even talk and sound liberal or progressive but are, in fact, using that front to manipulate liberals and progressives into acting against their best interests. I believe one objective they have is to totally disarm Americans so that the takeover will be complete. They will continue playing their cards convincing you that, for example, you should vote for Obama because you have no other choice. And they full well know that Obama is part of the strategy by the ruling elite to keep people hopeful for change. When there is hope, no matter how foolish, people will continue to play the crooked games that their masters have rigged for them. Hope will keep people from becoming unruly and keep them placid. Another four years of more of the same. It will keep people, perhaps, from really losing it. And if they are all well armed....well...then the ruling elite would have something to worry about. If they don't have to worry about rioting mobs with guns then they can continue to ignore us. I suspect that they are keeping a running tab on all the negative things that some people say and they analyze potential for being the next patsy. Funny thing is, though, that this guy doesn't have an internet history where they can say he fits what their idea of a deranged lone-gunman would be. But, I'd bet they are sure looking for a few good men to fit the next patsy's shoes. Ramblin' Rose......No one knows....

Funny also how the US tries to support all the rebels in other overthrow the county's leaders and constantly put down the "atrocities" that those regimes commit against their people. Yet, if this was happening in the US, ie: the people rebelling and demonstrating and defending themselves from the cruelties of the police, or perhaps the military...there would be just as much violence coming from the US government as is going on in, say, Syria.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 35 weeks ago

Psychiatry, primitive as it still may be, is going to be ruined by psychologists, DOs and LPNs writing scrips. Anyone prescribing psych meds should have advanced education in chemistry and the full medical degree of an MD. There are often obscured root causes which can alter behavior and mood- various types of tumors, hypoglycemia, and other disease states.

These days LPNs are allowed to prescribed psychotropic medications without the supervision of a psychiatrist. They are extremely anxious to use new generation drugs. Prozac, on the other hand, has been around many years with not much bad publicity. Nevertheless, an LPN will start prescribing Zoloft, Seroquel, Resperidone, and Welbutrin, all together, for a depressed patient who may likely get no follow up treatment, who may not recognize the thought patterns developing which lead to suicide, or any of the possible side affects. An LPN is not able to distinguish a psychosis from depression. Prozac is used to treat depression and is not an anti-psychotic.

Aerogirl is on the nose about the individuality of treatments with drugs that affect the brain. Anyone interested in some of the history of psychiatric treatments should try and see the 1948 movie The Snake Pit. starring Olivia deHaviland. An incredible alto, Jan Clayton sings "Going Home" in this movie, and just writing about it gives me tingles. It was one of the most moving solos I have ever heard.

Another thought- a garden design client of mine who was a very successful psychiatrist with the perfect family, killed herself between our Friday and Monday morning appointment. I was instantly stricken with a flu-like illness and woke up the next day with Bell's Palsy. I thought I'd had a stroke.

I sincerely doubt Prozac would make a killer out of a depressed person. A really depressed person can't get out of bed and get to a Batman movie and depression suicides are an act against the self, not others.

I don't think there are any pharmaceuticals sold to the public which are marked "Caution, may cause feelings of violence which lead to mass murder."

CASSIE COUNCIL 10 years 35 weeks ago

So-0 where's the outrage in the media about all the violence that is sensationalized in the Headlines, on the radio, in movies and tv-programming? VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE. It is in the "dark " consciousness and must be transmuted; this high IQ student begat a criminal mind. All of us are capable, IF not on guard. Media becomes a co-conspiritor. Respect all life, including the hunted animals; all sentient beings possess a s o u l. i. e., God particle. May his parents survive this and all those who are being asked to bear this burden. NO man is an island--we affect each other energetically.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 35 weeks ago

Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Note that the last clause states that "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction" are guaranteed equal protection of the constitution DOES NOT RESTRICT to citizenship!

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 10 years 35 weeks ago

For all those who feel like their is no liberal media bias, read this:

Before you start pointing fingers, you need to check your facts please!

liddell's picture
liddell 10 years 35 weeks ago


liddell's picture
liddell 10 years 35 weeks ago


Sailorman's picture
Sailorman 10 years 35 weeks ago

Jobs/Health Debate VS Gun Control Debate:

Would the right to carry a job with a health care system that leaves no one behind have prevented this.......maybe. It does makes for a much more poignant debate.

Faccia D'Coulo's picture
Faccia D'Coulo 10 years 35 weeks ago

Tom, I have been listening to this well deserved extremely valuable debate on gun contorl all over the media today. I have what I believe is a equally valid perspective, I wish my fellow progressives and liberals, and democrats would consider and keep in mind. While this event in Colorado is horrible,its timing is even worse. The natural reaction to it is to ask these important questions about our gun laws and also this Administration's aversion if not apathy when it comes to addressing it. Bottom line, short answer, is timing. This is an election year, more importantly an excrutiatingly high stakes election. I feel we need to pull together and keep our eye on the big picture. This is a hot button issue, a big ugly devisive hot issue, with the potential of throwing kerosine on the Right's already thriving blaze. Isn't it much more in our mutual interest to keep our current Democratic President in the White House, to re-address the issue when there is hope of actual successful legistation rather than fuel the fire of the already pervasive lies previously perpetuated by the gun lobby, right, and tea party. Let me be clear, I am totally on board with control to the extent that these weapon intended for only human destruction should be more heavily regulated. But inthis crucial season it seems to be another case of our best intentions undermining our chances of the opportunity to make a differnce.

bowenje's picture
bowenje 10 years 35 weeks ago


When I read of such tragedies my heart goes out to all the victms, which include James Holmes and his family. See comments of Dr. Torrey::

When my daughter quit taking her medication, I felt like I was walking on broken glass as I encountered her wild mood swings between "I love, you're the best and "I was thking about getting out a knife when I saw you sleeping". and "You are poisoning my food." Any time my daughter failed to come home I experienced the visceral terror of the fear that she might disappear among the 250,000 homeless in the US who have a severe mental illness, wandering the streets, eating out of garbage cans, victimized by robbery, assault, rape, or ending up alond and dead like college student Mitrice Richardson.

What did I do wrong? What did my daughter do to deserve this kind of life?

Should I apologize for having a daughter with mental illness?

Should I apologize for not being able to handle her frightening behavior?

Should I apologize when a psychiatrist throws us out of his office because she is not compliant with prescribed medication?

Should I apologize when police officers tell me my daughter has a right to walk the downtown streets at midnight while in a psychotic state?

Should I apologize when Mental Health Professionals fail to provide involuntary treatment to my very ill daughter until she is in imminent danger? What the hell does that mean? Do they need to see blood? How much?

I am grateful that my daughter is now safe, receiving treatment in another country, in a community where medical care is a priority, whether for a heart condition or a brain disorder. I miss my daughter, but I am afraid she will not be safe here, if she returns, and if nothing has changed. She is now taking medication for her illness (without hospitalization) and hopes that the system here "gets better". I hope sharing my story will in some small way help others.

See the complete article in Seattle Weekly "Mad Medicine" by Keegan Hamilton, published on May 23, 2012.

J Bowen

P.S. I enjoyed THE FORUM on Saturday sponsored by AM 1090 . Thank you, Thom Hartmann, Mik Papantonio, Ron Reagan, Randi Rhodes Norman Goldman and San Seder for keeping the message alive.

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