Davis Community Stunned by Murder of Prominent Attorney and Wife



The police still cannot say much and are officially waiting for the coroner’s report before identifying the body.  Early Monday, the Vanguard learned that the victims were 87-year-old former defense attorney Oliver Northup, and his wife Cluadia Maupin, 76.

According to the police’s afternoon press release, they were both victims of stabbings suffered sometime over the weekend.  The police made entry into the home around 9:20 pm while conducting a welfare check instituted after family members contacted them, concerned that they had failed to show up to a Sunday afternoon musical performance.

According to Lt. Paul Doroshov, “There was a lot of trauma on the bodies.”

However, while the police described a very bloody scene at the home on the 4000 block of Cowell Blvd, Lt. Doroshov told the media that the home “had not been ransacked” and that “we can’t say this was burglary.”

That Vanguard has learned that Mr. Northup was a prominent defense attorney and has tried a number of death penalty cases.

He was an attorney for 63 years, passing the bar back in 1950, practicing appellate law and giving seminars at the public defender’s office.  According to the Bee, even now, at 87, he was continuing to work out of his home.

The Vanguard also learned that Mr. Northup and his wife Ms. Maupin were founding members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis.  There will be a memorial in their sanctuary, Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 pm.

Memorial services will occur at a later point of time.

He was also a musician with a group called the Putah Creek Crawdads.  He began singing around 1961 when he took a few group folk guitar lessons through the Davis Art Center.

Retired Yolo County Public Defender Barry Melton told the Bee, “Northup played guitar and sang with the Crawdads, a Davis folk ensemble. Northup’s last performance with the group was Saturday,” and that the two performed together in the past.

The Bee reports that daughter Mary Northup had tried calling her father a number of times on Sunday, and had a brother visit the home.  She tried to visit, as well, and called the police to do a welfare check.

Mayor Joe Krovoza released a statement from Washington DC at 5 pm on Monday, “It’s with great sadness that the City Council and I have received news of the deaths of Claudia Maupin and Chip Northup. Our hearts go out to their families, friends, fellow congregants at the Davis Unitarian Universalist Church, and the many groups in Davis they touched.”

“While Davis achieves a high degree of safety through our police and the watchful eyes of all, we are not immune from terrible acts,” he said. “Let us all redouble our efforts to protect our fellow citizens and give support to those who have suffered this irreversible loss. Our Council is staying well-informed on the quick and comprehensive response of our police, and our Police Department’s efforts will not cease until the case is brought to closure.”

While police have not declared this a burglary officially, they said there were signs of forced entry to the house.

“It was clear both victims suffered stab wounds, but the official cause of death is yet to be determined by the Yolo County Coroner,” a statement read on Monday.

The Davis Police Department is currently investigating the two deaths as homicides. Investigators from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Yolo County Coroner’s Office, West Sacramento Police Department, California Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are assisting in this case.

“Homicides are a rarity in Davis. We understand the violent nature of this crime is a shock to our community. We will be fielding extra patrol officers as a preventative measure. At this point, a motive has not been established,” the release said.

The Vanguard spoke with Lt. Paul Doroshov, of the Investigations Division of the Davis Police Department, on the scene early Monday  morning.  He said that, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, there is little he can disclose at this time.

“I can tell you it’s two adults,” Lt. Doroshov had told the Vanguard, “I can’t release a whole lot about the victim because we’re still waiting on the coroner to do their thing and they’ve got to the notify the relatives and all of that.”

Lt. Doroshov said they do not yet know the exact time that the murder occurred.

“I can tell you at 9:21 pm, our officers got a welfare request to do a check at that address,” he continued.  “For whatever reason at some point they decided they were going to make entry because they were concerned.  When they did make entry they saw two adults deceased with extensive trauma.”

Police said it was a very bloody scene and, again, there were signs of forced entry into the home.

At this point there is no suspect.  “We’re pretty wide open on our options as to what could have happened.”

The last murder in Davis was the murder of 42-year-old Kevin Seery which happened in the College Square Apartments on J Street on October 1, 2011.

Mr. Mings is on trial for that murder and the case is expected to resume in July after some delays.

That victim was reportedly suffering from a number of ailments which included diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis and pneumonia at the time of his death.  He stood at 6-1 but weighed just 133 pounds.

Mr. Mings confessed to the killing, turning himself in and claiming that Mr. Seery had asked him to kill him.

Mr. Mings put Mr. Seery in a choke hold and then stuffed a variety of items into his throat, preventing Mr. Seery from breathing.

After the coroner left Monday’s scene in Davis, Lt. Doroshov said he expects there to be updates as new information can be released.

The Vanguard will post updates as new information becomes available.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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45 thoughts on “Davis Community Stunned by Murder of Prominent Attorney and Wife”

  1. David M. Greenwald

    Coroner Formally Identifies victims:

    [quote]The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner’s Section, has positively identified the two individuals discovered deceased on April 14, 2013 in the 4000 block of Cowell Boulevard in Davis.

    Oliver Jennings Northup, Jr., 87 and his wife, Claudia Maureen Maupin, 76 were positively identified. Cause of death was Multiple Stab Wounds for both victims. Manner of death was Homicide for both victims.

  2. Growth Izzue

    I wonder if our neighborhood house burglar(s?) has taken things to a whole new level. Possibly Oliver and Claudia confronted him and things took off from there. I hope the police can solve this case.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    That’s a possibility. Factoring against that theory however is the fact that the house was not ransacked – so you break in, run into the owners, stab them to death, and flee without taking anything? Not impossible. Also not sure what to make of the form of killing being stabbing versus shooting.

  4. Frankly

    I have a camera system installed. Cameras outside and inside. Some hidden ones for the entry and halls. Everything is motion detection. The system emails snapshots of motion detection. The videos are stored on a DVR. The DVR backs up to a remote server on a constant basis. The system is locked up. It is powered by a UPS device in the event that power is cut. The cameras are infrared. If someone breaks in and is smart enough to locate the system and destroy it or take it, the video footage will be safe on the offsite server.

    We keep our car keys by our bedside. We keep our bedroom doors shut and locked when we sleep. If we awake to someone breaking in (and the dog sleeping in our bedroom would sound the alarm), we could press the car alarm key.

    All windows have security locks that allow them to be partially open at night for air circulation… but not far enough to allow entry.

    All entry doors are solid fiberglass or steel, and have a security deadbolt with reinforced door jams.

    To some this will sound like paranoia. However, none the equipment and work was very expensive (camera systems have fallen in price) and we don’t even think about it after having the work done and formed the habits.

    Of course my motivation is to keep my family and property as safe as possible, but also to increase the probability that any perp would be identified, caught and put away or dispatched for his crimes.

    Back to this tragic story. Could this murder be connected to the previous Texas DA murder? There was some suspicion that skinhead-types or a drug cartel was responsible for pay back over convictions.

  5. Growth Izzue

    Well, if it was originally going to be just a burglary and escalated into a killing the the perpetrator might have thought to heck with stealing anything and thought ‘I’m getting the Hell out of here’. As far as not using a gun maybe the killer didn’t own one but carried a knife or used one from the house. But who really knows for sure, so many possibilities, let’s pray the the police can sort it out.

  6. dlemongello

    I don’t have any insight to offer but between Boston and this I am really down. This is just so tragic. Yes I sure hope they can solve this case.

  7. Michael Harrington

    Chip was very kind to me when I was finishing UCD in 1984. I was pretty sure I wanted to be a lawyer, especially aviation law, and I took a year before going to law school to catch up with family time, and to work as a legal assistant.

    Chip gave me some interesting work, including investigation and process serving, and I learned a lot about how a small civil litigation firm works. He was always representing the “little guy” and we had to be smart as to how to investigate and win these cases. I remember being sent up to Woodland to investigate a slip and fall that seriously injured a man, and we ended up getting him money for his medical bills and lost wages. Chip was kind but persistent with winning that case.

    Chip is one of the most important mentors I had before going in the summer of 1985 to The National Law Center at GW Univ in D.C.

    I knew him because when I came to Davis in 1979, I joined the Davis Unitarian Church (I was born and raised a Unitarian back East). Chip was very kind to me and the youth group at church.

    I know all of us have wonderful stories to tell about the Crawdads at the UU and around town.

    I just wanted to share my own personal story of how I knew this kind and wonderful man.

  8. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I wonder if our neighborhood house burglar(s?) has taken things to a whole new level.”[/i]

    Likely it’s not related to this tragic crime, but two Woodland-based criminals were caught by the Davis police in February, not too far away in S. Davis, ([url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/crime-fire-courts/police-nab-suspects-in-knifepoint-robberies/[/url]) after they robbed two victims. One of the robbers, a teenager, was wielding a knife.

    I wonder where those men were on Saturday? In jail? Out on bail? Back in S. Davis?

  9. Frankly

    Based on the description of the murder crime scene, it would be a surprise to me if they didn’t find prints and DNA evidence. If these two perps are guilty, I would expect law enforcement to figure it out.

    What percent of Davis crime is committed by non-Davis residents? How does that number compare with surrounding communities? My guess is that the Davis number is significantly higher. Could the reason be the lower probability that the victims would be carrying anything they could wield effectively for self-defense?

    One more editorial comment… the left and media has been mostly quiet about the recent knife and bomb attacks relative to the gun control debate.

  10. dlemongello

    I don’t think I’ve heard a lot of people say guns are the ONLY problem. Does that mean we should not address the issues and damage caused by guns? With guns you can do a lot more damage in a short time than with a knife, especially the kinds of guns they are trying to regulate. And I don’t think one can go out and buy a bomb.

  11. David M. Greenwald

    Frankly: I don’t think anyone believes that making guns harder to get will stop all murders. The chance of getting killed by a bomb is probably less than the chance of being struck by lightning and I’d be curious to see where knifes rank on the scale.

  12. medwoman

    [quote]One more editorial comment… the left and media has been mostly quiet about the recent knife and bomb attacks relative to the gun control debate.[/quote]

    I don’t see this so much as an editorial comment as an a egregious partisan comment. How many right leaning news sources have taken up the issue of right to bear knives for self defense, or the right to assemble common household objects and store them in pressure cookers as long as you don’t detonate them ? This isn’t a political issue. It is a matter of prevention of injury. That statistics would indicate that far more people are injured or killed by firearms than are by knives or bombs in this country. A simple statistical analysis would indicate that if your goal is injury reduction ( which is my goal) then one should focus on the common means of injury.

  13. jimt

    In Britian after gun ownership for private citizens was banned; knife assaults, including serious injuries and murders, jumped way up; as did robberies. No more “equalizers” in the hands of the public; force and physical prowess carries the day–older or smaller individuals have no means of matching strong young robbers; of course the robbers are well aware that such victims are almost certainly ‘soft targets’, with robbers knowing they are not likely to risk personnel injury in strong-arm robberies or assaults, and that they will be able to get away from the scene quickly.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    FRANKLY: [i]”My guess is that the (percent of Davis crime committed by non-Davis residents) is significantly higher (compared with surrounding communities).”[/i]

    It does seem like a higher percentage of high-profile crimes in Davis are committed by non-Davis residents. However, I have no idea if the same could be said in Dixon or Winters or Woodland or West Sacramento. One factor of “getting away with a crime” is having somewhere else to flee to and to not be recognized in the place you are robbing or burglarizing, etc.

    Also, certain types of crimes in Davis–petty thefts, bike thefts and probably stolen laptops and backpacks–are disproportionately committed by college students, whose listed residence may not be in Davis, even though they live on campus or in off-campus UCD housing. So do you count their crimes as being done by out-of-towners?

  15. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Could the reason be the lower probability that the victims would be carrying anything they could wield effectively for self-defense?”[/i]

    That theory does not fit the facts. For one thing, Davis has much lower rates of most types of crimes than all of our surrounding communities. Your theory would suggest that having guns in the home results in less crime; but you imply (probably without knowing for sure) that Davis residents are less likely to be packing heat. So one of those must be wrong. Either Davis residents are better armed than folks in high crime communities in our region; or packing heat does not reduce the crime rate.

    My suspicion is that if out-of-towners are choosing Davis as an attractive target, the major factors are: 1) It’s right on I-80, making it convenient for criminals from Vallejo to Sacramento to Auburn to get to and leave; 2) It’s also right on Hwy 113, making it a convenient location for criminals from Woodland and other points north along I-5; 3) It’s relatively wealthy, and therefore a thief who wants expensive jewlerly or expensive electronics goods is more likely to find such items in Davis homes than in say, Elmira homes*; and 4) we are in the middle of a local crime wave. What I mean by that is there have been a lot of unsolved burglaries and other thefts in Davis over the last 12 months**, and a likely result is that in the criminal world, the word is out that crime pays in Davis, and so other criminals are targetting Davis and will continue to do so until it no longer pays to do crime here.

    *I have not been to Elmira in a long time. It was VERY poor when I was a child. I would also imagine that most of the readers of this blog have never been to Elmira.

    **Not too long ago during a break at a City Council meeting, David Greenwald (sitting next to me) was privately discussing this crime wave in his S. Davis neighborhood with Police Chief Landy Black, with David saying his neighbors were getting very scared.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”One more editorial comment… the left and media has been mostly quiet about the recent knife and bomb attacks relative to the gun control debate.”[/i]

    At the same time, the right-wing media has been deadly quiet about the suicide epidemic within the high-gun ownership states dominated by conservative politics ([url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/conservatives-and-suicide_n_3039307.html[/url]). Not likely that Bill O’Reilly will bemoan that cover-up for weeks on end.

  17. jrberg

    Rich – anyone who rides DBC bike rides, or works them, has been to Elmira. I certainly have been.

    Your comment about the suicide epidemic is dead on, so to speak.

    Not to mention the rate of spousal murders in those same states.

  18. jimt


    Before the gun ban in Britain, the murder rate in Britain was also a comparably low fraction of the murder rate in USA (different social factors at play). The murder rate in Britain did decline slightly after the gun ban; but assaults and robberies rose sharply. A similar pattern in Australia before/after gun bans. I’ll try to find the source/numbers if I have time.

    With respect to the tragic double-murder; perhaps nothing would have changed if this couple had been armed; particularly if they were caught by surprise, given their very advanced age. Up until age range of 70s or so firearms can be a very effective and reliable deterrent against potentially violent (in this case murderous) intruders; however in their 80s most people have some degree of frailty, arthritis, and of hearing and visual impairment such that they may not be able to wield a firearm effectively against a sneaky and agile intruder (of course there are exceptions!) A tough situation; I like Franks security measures; perhaps it is prudent preparation particularly for the contingency of another economic downturn and more desparados on the prowl.

  19. wdf1

    Rifkin: [i]At the same time, the right-wing media has been deadly quiet about the suicide epidemic within the high-gun ownership states dominated by conservative politics.[/i]

    A related article:

    [quote]Mental Illness Didn’t Kill Rick Warren’s Son. A Gun Did. ([url]http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-11/mental-illness-didn-t-kill-rick-warren-s-son-a-gun-did-.html[/url])

    What the grieving father has not yet mentioned was how Matthew died. Mental illness may have plagued the younger Warren, but it didn’t kill him. A gun did.

    The incidence of mental illness in the U.S. is roughly on par with other developed nations. The availability of guns is not.

    There were more than 19,000 firearms suicides in the U.S. in 2010; guns were responsible for about half of all suicides. For Americans under 40, suicide is a leading cause of death, and the presence of a firearm in the home is a serious risk factor.[/quote]

  20. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”… anyone who rides DBC bike rides, or works them, has been to Elmira.”[/i]

    I was riding out northwest of Davis on Road 95 in Yolo County (not too far from where I was plowed into by a car last year). Beside the steady North by Northwest wind, which sucks to ride into, but is fun coming back to Davis, the thing I notice out that way is that almost all of the small, poor, early 20th C. houses are now gone, but the new ones are all large and appear to be for the wealthy. I am not sure if that is because the farmers are so rich, now. Or if it’s more than rich city people have bought the land and are building expensive mansions to reside out in the countryside. … Either way, the evidence of rural poverty in this area is less salient than it used to be.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”suicide is a leading cause of death, and the presence of a firearm in the home is a serious risk factor.”[/i]

    One thing mental health pros say about people with untreated clincical depression is that their low points come and go, even without therapy or medications. If they reach a nadir and have a gun around, that is a dangerous combination. But if they don’t have facility for killing themselves, that will often result in failed suicide attempts. Having a gun handy thus reduces the “failure” rate to next to zero. Ultimately, they need professional treatment and medications. But they won’t get that far if committing suicide is easy.

  22. medwoman


    [quote] If they reach a nadir and have a gun around, that is a dangerous combination[/quote]

    This is a key observation, and is also true in domestic and acquaintance injury, murder, or murder/suicide, as it is in suicide. It is a matter of fact that injuring another person with a gun requires less time, less physical strength ( thus the “equalizer” concept) and less proximity to the victim than does bludgeoning or stabbing someone ( giving the victim less chance to flee,seek help, or fight back).

    Domestic violence injuries frequently occur when there has been a “trigger” event which may or may not have involved the victim, but has pushed the perpetrator past their point of self control. The availability of a gun at such a time increases the probability of injury in this situation just as it does in the situation of depression related suicide.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree GI. First, they would have to be able to get it. Second, they would have to be able to use it. And three, their attempt to use it might actually induce an attack which might make them less safe. And you’re assuming that the gun wouldn’t be stolen during the burglary attempt and that it wouldn’t end up supplying a weapon to the attackers. We know very little about the physical condition of the individuals and whether they even under the right circumstances could have used a weapon at all.

    I’m not expert, but on the surface, you are assuming way too much based on speculation and assumptions.

  24. medwoman


    If an elder couple are being robbed or attacked they certainly have a much higher chance of a good outcome if they own a gun.”

    it is not the mere presence of the gun that confers safety. It is it’s immediate accessibility, the familiarity and proficiency with its use, the eyesight and manual dexterity needed to use it, the clarity of purpose and lack of confusion often lacking under surprise circumstances or duress that confer safety. To flip the frequently quoted statement accurately observing that guns [ as inanimate objects] don’t kill people, people kill people.
    Likewise guns don’t protect people, people protect people. And if you are not well trained and have not purposely and vigorously maintained your skills, you are statistically more likely to be accidentally or intentionally harmed than you are to “be protected” by having a gun in your home.

  25. David M. Greenwald

    You said it better than I did, medwoman.

    Adding to that is the concern that even well trained police and other law enforcement officers make mistakes – they miss their mark, they hit bystanders, and they leap to conclusions and occasionally hit innocent people. THat’s the best trained people in the world. Now you want to arm people who are near the end of their lives, their physical strength and eyesight and agility is failing, and you think they are going to be safer? I’m not convinced.

  26. Frankly

    Home alarm, locked bedroom door, loaded gun in easy access gun vault:

    On suicide rates, there is no scientific correlation with gun ownership and suicide rates. The US is ranked 34th (12 per 100,000 people per year). Japan has some of the strictest gun ownership rules on the planet and it is 10th on the list (21.7 per 100,000). Even uber liberal-can’t buy a gun unless you are in the military-France has a higher suicide rate (24th on the list at 15 per 100,000).

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people and some kill themselves. Let’s focus on the root cause for suicide… depression. The use of suicide as a justification for greater restrictions on gun ownership is a non-starter and frankly quite disturbing from my perspective. It appears to me that people are attempting to exploit the highly charged emotions of suicide to win an ideological move.

    Can someone explain this map of US suicide statistics? It does not correlated with anything I can think of.

    It looks like being white or Native American are risk factors for suicide.

    Also, if we want to save more girls from suicide, we need to better restrict ad control sleeping pills and cleaning fluids.

  27. Growth Izzue

    Medwoman and David, since most elderly couples are physically incapable of defending themselves do you really feel they are more safe not owning a gun? I know that’s the liberal ad nauseum anti-gun response you both gave but all of your arguments are what-ifs. Just the fact the elderly people may feel more safe and not live in fear because they own a gun holds a lot of weight also.

  28. Growth Izzue

    There are many examples of this even though the liberal media tries to hide these stories:

  29. Frankly

    GI – I agree. I see some agism in their comments. Some of the best gun handlers I know are people of advanced age. However, it seems that some on this blog want to move people above a certain age to that incapable victim category.

  30. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, I’m sure they’ll shop Google and come back with some liberal biased study that will somewhat back their points but bottom line is someone, whether they be small in stature, female or elderly, are almost always more safe when they have a firearm for protection.

  31. David M. Greenwald

    GI: I think most people, under most conditions, are more safe not owning a gun. You probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do getting murdered living in Davis, so you would under the best of circumstances be planning for a very remote occurrence.

  32. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, you know what gets me? A bad guy is breaking into an elderly person’s house and somehow that senior is safer if he doesn’t own a gun. After all, he might accidently shoot himself or an innocent bystander while trying to defend himself. If you listen to them the senior is better off trying to hide in the bathroom or cowering down and hoping the bad guy will show him mercy. Then heaven forbid the villian might end up taking the senior’s gun. We can’t take a chance of that happening can we? So that senior is better off without protection. Shaking my head in disbelief.

  33. Frankly

    This is telling…

    Seems pretty clear to me that the areas with more gun ownership have a lower percentage of murders per population.

  34. David M. Greenwald

    You’re kind of missing the point of the argument then, GI. The problem is that the chances of being in that situation are far less than the chances of any numbers of other things going wrong. And even if you have the gun – where are you storing it, how quickly can you get to it, can you get a shot off before the bad guys do something, are you escalating a situation that could be diffused? You want to unequivocally state its safer, what’s your evidence to substantiate your assertion?

  35. David M. Greenwald

    “Seems pretty clear to me that the areas with more gun ownership have a lower percentage of murders per population.”

    Or perhaps the people who own guns tend to live in areas that are less likely to murders?

  36. Growth Izzue

    [quote]And even if you have the gun – where are you storing it, how quickly can you get to it, can you get a shot off before the bad guys do something, are you escalating a situation that could be diffused? [/quote]

    At least I have the option to maybe get to my gun in time and get a shot off to protect myself. What options do the elderly have otherwise? And oh no, don’t dare take a chance on escalating the situation, just rely on the goodness and fairness of the villian to just do his dealings and scoot along. Unbelievable!

  37. dlemongello

    I think the issue is more complex than those of you on either side are considering. I believe gun distribution as it relates to urban vs. rural would play a major part in the statistics. And what’s up with Louisiana?

  38. Frankly

    [i]Or perhaps the people who own guns tend to live in areas that are less likely to murders?[/i]

    You would have to come up with a theory or stats that make a case to back this assertion. Frankly, I am quite uncomfortable with this premise that people are THAT different based on where they live in this country.

    People I know that work in law enforcement tend to agree with the saying “criminals are generally not stupid, but they are generally lazy”. I think a likely reason that there are fewer murders is that the lazy criminals know where there are more gun owners and migrate to where there is less chance to be shot.

    On a related note:
    [quote]The U.S. Senate defeated a bipartisan compromise proposal to expand background checks on firearms sales.[/quote]

    You go Dem-controlled Senate!

  39. David M. Greenwald

    “You would have to come up with a theory or stats that make a case to back this assertion.”

    Correlation as you know does not prove causation.

    “Frankly, I am quite uncomfortable with this premise that people are THAT different based on where they live in this country.”

    Really look at the voting patterns based on geography and whether people live in cities or rural areas.

  40. medwoman


    [quote]Just the fact the elderly people may feel more safe and not live in fear because they own a gun holds a lot of weight also.[/quote]

    Feeling safer does not necessarily correspond to the reality of one’s situation. I think that Adam Lanza’s mother probably felt safer because of the presence of her arsenal. She wasn’t.

    [quote]Shaking my head in disbelief.[/quote]

    I also would be shaking my head in disbelief. The only problem is that I never made any of the claims in the paragraph that you found so unbelievable. These were fantasies that you spun about what a liberal must believe.


    [quote]I see some agism in their comments.[/quote]

    Please point out exactly where I said anything that had anything at all to do with age. I definitely mentioned proficiency with guns, eyesight, dexterity, practice and calm intent. Do you honestly believe that any of those is necessarily age related ? So instead of addressing the issues I have raised, you have chosen, as is your custom to pretend I have made an argument never made by me, so that you can refute it. Neither my daughter nor I have ever had sufficient visual acuity without our contacts to even be sure of the identity of a person in a dimly lit room unless they spoke . Nothing at all to do with age. But either of us would be very dangerous even to family members if frightened and armed.

  41. rdcanning

    Contrary to Frankly’s statements, guns and suicide are highly correlated.

    But first let’s look at his map of the distribution of suicides around the country. The intermountain West has long had the highest rates of suicide in the country. Rural areas in general have higher rates of suicide. Rates of depression and other mental disorders are also higher in those areas. As is gun ownership – some of the highest rates of gun ownership are in states with the highest gun suicide rates.

    The overall rate of suicide in this country is about 12 per 100K. For women it’s about 5 per 100K and for men about 20 per 100K. Women have many more suicide attempts than men. Men (particularly white men) predominate in part because of the means most use to inflict the injury – guns. Gun injuries (as someone else pointed out) are more lethal while the means that women use are not – poisons, OD’s, lacerations. If guns were less accessible there would be less suicides. Suicides account for almost 20,000 of the total 30,000 gun deaths per year.

    Having a gun in the house increases the likelihood of a suicide – by gun. Gun safety – locks, keeping ammo separate, gun safes (as Frankly shows) are effective in keeping guns out of the hands of vulnerable individuals. Reducing the means of suicide is a proven suicide prevention strategy – whether it is gun buybacks (as in Australia), bridge barriers (Santa Barbara County), or changes in fuel for heating (Great Britain in the 1950s I think). Reducing access to a gun will reduce suicide. The numbers do not lie.

    And effective programs for gun safety and suicide prevention can be wedded. New Hampshire’s suicide prevention programs and a prominent gun seller have joined up to create a novel video about suicide prevention. Some gun sellers in New Hampshire now feature suicide prevention information in their stores. This is not an anti-gun agenda – it’s about saving lives.

    It is simply false to say that guns and suicide are not related. It’s misleading and has nothing to do with politics.

  42. B. Nice

    There is no way my 70+ years olds parents house with be safer with a gun. If they ever decided decided to go that route I would never feel comfortable leaving my children there. Plus I’d worry mom my would freak out in the middle of the night and accidentally shoot my dad on his way back from the bathroom, thinking he was an intruder. I’m not joking.

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