My View: Life Sentence For Aurora Theater Gunman Shows the Death Penalty Is Dead

Death Penalty

In June, US Supreme Court Justices sparred over the side issue of whether the death penalty ought to be unconstitutional in a case that was really about the use of execution drugs. But outside of that debate is the fact that the death penalty is on life support. The debate that the Justices had was a trailing edge debate for the transformation of the nation.

Yesterday, once again, we were shown that the death penalty is on the wane. The most recent example is the decision coming out of a Colorado courtroom where a decision, surprising many, resulted in the notorious 2012 shooting rampage gunman getting life without parole, rather than the death penalty.

The verdict was not unanimous by any stretch, with nine jurors favoring death, two unsure, and one holding out for a life sentence. In Colorado, death sentences must be unanimous. A single dissenting juror makes the sentence be life rather than death.

The nation remains divided on the issue. The New York Times reported the reaction was mixed: “Some families in the gallery cried quietly or slumped in their chairs; one man stormed out of the courtroom. Many had wanted death for the man responsible for so much carnage, but others had said they simply wanted the ordeal to be over, and had hoped to avoid the years of appeals that a death sentence would bring and focus instead on their families and memories of loved ones.”

But the trend in this country is once again moving away from the death penalty. It wasn’t long ago that few politicians were willing to oppose the death penalty. They saw how Michael Dukakis, the 1988 presidential candidate, was buried not only on the issue but by his poor handling of the issue. In 1992, Bill Clinton, strongly in favor of the death penalty at that time, would fly back to Arkansas during the primaries to carry out a death sentence.

It is not one issue that is changing the view. There is the view that the death penalty system is not fair, with a disproportionate number of minorities serving death sentences, even compared to their percentage of the population.

There is the work of the Innocence Project to highlight the problem of wrongful convictions. Samuel Gross, on July 24 in the Washington Post, noted that in 2014 he co-authored a study that found, while the “rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable,” they have some known data on the percentage of defendants who are sentenced to death in the United States and who are later shown to be innocent.

That number is 4.1 percent, which does not seem overwhelming until you recognize that that means that 1 in 25 people who are sentenced to death turn out to be innocent.

As Mr. Gross points out, “Death sentences are uniquely well-documented.” He writes, “We don’t know nearly enough about other kinds of criminal cases to estimate the rate of wrongful convictions for those. The rate could be lower than for capital murders, or it could be higher. Of course, in a country with millions of criminal convictions a year and more than 2 million people behind bars, even 1 percent amounts to tens of thousands of tragic errors.”

In June, the ABA Journal found that a combination of faith and fiscal responsibility has caused many conservatives to change their view of the death penalty.

They point to the case of Henry Lee McCollum, who was on death row for 30 years in North Carolina for the brutal rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie in rural North Carolina in 1983.

In September 2014, “Henry Lee McCollum, 50, on death row for 30 years, was exonerated after DNA evidence pointed to another man who lived a block from where the girl’s body was found. The man had admitted to committing a similar rape and murder around the same time.”

Writes the Journal, “If ever there was a case against the death penalty, opponents say, that was it. The difference is that now, 30 years later, many of those calling for an end to capital punishment in North Carolina are conservative Republicans who once supported it.”

“It’s an amazing case. We would have killed an innocent person,” says Ballard Everett, a Raleigh, North Carolina, Republican political consultant and coordinator for North Carolina Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.

The ABA Journal notes, “Conservatives coming out against capital punishment are part of a broader movement among conservatives who are supporting criminal justice reform policies once largely the domain of liberal-minded politicians.”

Fiscal concerns are part of the factor here. For instance, “Right on Crime, a conservative policy group based in Austin, Texas, advocates keeping nonviolent offenders out of prison, reducing sentences and creating more accountability through community-based programs and drug treatment. The theory is that it will help reduce the cost of incarceration.”

Part of the problem is that spending on corrections has increased far faster than all other government services combined, and in most states it is now the third largest category of general fund expenditures.

Notes the ABA Journal, “Even the conservative Koch brothers—owners of Koch Industries—have joined in, contributing to a new coalition that includes both conservative and liberal organizations pushing for criminal justice reform. The group, the Coalition for Public Safety, includes such diverse organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans for Tax Reform, and it hopes to reduce prison populations, end overcriminalization and help reduce recidivism.”

Such factors have served to undermine the willingness of many to support the death penalty and it is showing up across the board from the willingness of governors to declare moratoriums to the willingness of legislatures, even in conservative Nebraska, to vote to end the death penalty altogether.

Last week, we cited a Texas article by four-time DA Tim Cole, now defense attorney in Fort Worth, who writes, “A jury verdict in a death penalty case earlier this year in Fort Worth is a microcosm of what is happening all over the state.”

He highlighted the 2011 case where “Gabriel Armandariz murdered his two young sons — one was 2 years old, the other 6 months old — by strangling them. He then hung the younger child’s body from a closet clothes rack, snapped a picture and sent it to the children’s mother.”

He called this horrific crime a case that would be an “automatic” death penalty, writing, “The facts were as bad as any I’ve seen, but after just eight hours or so of deliberation the jury rejected the death penalty and gave Armandariz life without parole. The lawyers were crying. The jury was crying. Trial observers were crying. What happened?”

“Ten years ago this would have been a swift death penalty decision. But no longer. Something is changing,” he writes, noting that, following that trial, there were two other cases in which prosecutors sought the death penalty, but which resulted instead in jury verdicts of life without the possibility of parole.

“These cases raise all kinds of questions: How much taxpayer money was spent on these ‘failed’ attempts to get death? Could these cases have been resolved years ago with a plea?” he continues. “Have these outcomes set a new standard for the death penalty? And, is there such a thing as an ‘automatic’ death penalty in Texas anymore? Perhaps not.”

Media outlets are starting to take note of the fact that more than seven months have passed since the Texas Department of Criminal Justice “received” a new inmate on Death Row.

Mr. Cole writes, “Considering the fact that Texas juries sentenced 48 people to death in 1999, this is an astonishing shift. According to legal experts, this also is the longest Texas has gone in a calendar year without a new death sentence.”

“Why the change?” he asks. “I believe it is happening because the problems with how the death penalty is assessed have become evident to everyone, including jurors. The ultimate punishment simply cannot be administered fairly, because it is run by human beings. And human beings make mistakes.”

He adds, “Even those who support the death penalty in theory surely would not argue that keeping it is worth the state taking even one innocent life.”

The case in Aurora, and the cases cited in Texas and in North Carolina, are not gray area death penalty cases. Maybe you can argue for reduced culpability in Aurora due to mental illness, but it was not enough to find not guilty by reason of insanity.

In short, they are driven by a combination of factors that have led very different groups of people to conclude that the death penalty is broken and cannot be reasonably fixed.

—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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  1. Dave Hart

    If I were close to a murder victim I can only imagine that I would be most interested in as quick a resolution in the legal case as possible.  Death sentences would seem to keep the crime and its aftermath alive far longer than a life sentence without possibility of parole.  One victim’s family member commented to the jury that while they would never get over losing a loved one, they only wanted to turn their back on the perpetrator as quickly and completely as possible.  Life in prison without parole accomplishes that better than the string of necessary appeals and hoopla around executions.

    1. hpierce

      “By the livin’ Gawd that made you,  you’re a better person than I am,” Dave and David!

      I’m torn… if my daughter was raped and/or murdered, a just punishment would be me in a locked room with the guilty person (beyond reasonable doubt, particularly if I witnessed the person fleeing the scene), for 5 minutes where I have a claw hammer.  Yet, as a Christian, I’d want to forgive, and let God sort it out, but have problems with the dichotomy of society rejecting death for ‘monsters’ (yeah, Holmes wan’t even charged for booby-trapping his apt. to kill those who would investigate him) and supporting death for the truly innocent (non-medically necessary abortions).  Economically, I’d wish that Holmes aimed a weapon at the officers who arrested him.  Would have saved a lot of money… LWP is more economical than the endless appeals of Death sentences.  Also provides less “amenities” in prison (did I read correctly where someone on death row is appealing the commutation of his sentence to LWP, because of the loss of ‘benefits’?) and, provides the opportunity where even the most criminal inmates might ensure that child killers, folk like Dahmer, never see the light of day.

      Scares me to think that society is willing to pay, by orders of magnitude, more to incarcerate folk like Holmes for maybe 60-70 years, with food, clothing, shelter, medical, dental, etc., while giving dropper servings to children at risk, providing an alternative to pregnant women who have to make abortion decisions based on economics instead of true medical risks, the homeless (who may have the same mental ilnesses, but don’t kill 12 people, and maim scores of others) who are not sheltered, fed, nor given the same access to medical/MH care than murderers.

      As I said, I’m “torn”.

  2. Tia Will


    Being torn is also a choice of how to feel. Why be torn?  Compassion is a limitless emotion. We are not issued a set amount that we have to dole out carefully so as not to have enough for the truly innocent. I am no angel and am certainly not sure of how I would feel if my own child were killed. However, I am firm in my belief that when we choose to harm or kill others, we wound our own spirits as much as we harm our perceived enemy.

    1. hpierce

      “… when we choose to harm or kill others, we wound our own spirits as much as we harm our perceived enemy.”  Thank you.  That helps to explain why many women, who have truly “elective” abortions (not due to medical issues, rape/incest, etc.) need couselling years later.  I have compassion for those women.  I definitely have compassion for the wounded, and those who suffer.

      1. Tia Will

        Hpierce Having made my decision about the inherent “wrongness” of taking the life of another, the economic issue became irrelevant for me as I see the moral issue as taking precedence over the financial. Having said that, I do have opinions on the finances of the death penalty.  If human beings were completely free of error in our decision making, and if police and lawyers both prosecution and defense never acted out of malice, or self interest , or mistaken judgement, or just plain fatigue or boredom,and if juries and judges also acted with this degree of purity, then if an individual were convicted of a capital offense, the economically sensible thing to do would be to take them out and shoot them on the spot. Knowing that none of this is the case, we allow a long appeals process which, combined with the need to house, clothe, feed and provide medical care during this prolonged process makes the death penalty in many cases just as if not more expensive than life in prison.

  3. Frankly

    Can someone explain to me their rationale for supporting the free termination of a new life in the womb that has the potential to be another Mother Teresa yet agitate vigorously to save the life of a monster that murders many?

    1. hpierce

      BTW, I definitely understand those who believe that capital punishment AND “elective” abortion is morally wrong… I trend that way.  The ‘economics’ of both are complex.

    2. David Greenwald

      I think most feel that abortion is a choice that a woman has over their own body while capital punishment is a state punishment. Personally I do not believe the state has the right to put people to death and I believe that while abortion is wrong, the state doesn’t have the right to control a woman’s body. But as I attempt to show in the article here, the issue of capital punishment is more complex than that. In the case of Aurora, the guy was clearly mentally ill. Other cases you have questions about guilt and ineffective counsel issues. Then you have the cost.

      1. hpierce

        Question… do you define “ineffective counsel” as anyone who fails to have their client either found not guilty, or failing to have their client receiving less than the maximum sentence?

        1. David Greenwald

          No. Ineffective counsel are cases where the attorney failed to properly investigate the case and the evidence against their client, failed to have the proper experts scrutinize that evidence.

      2. Frankly

        Good response.  It seems that you are kinda’ libertarian on this… don’t like the state deciding, but support the individual right to choose.  Too bad you are not consistent on that sensitivity!


        1. hpierce

          Looks like some folk like the idea of “… don’t like the state deciding, but support the individual right to choose.”  As do I.  The huge problem is if the latter exercise their right to choose, they expect the ‘state’ to make things “right”, when the individual finds out hey have chosen wrongly/poorly.  Biggest failure of many “libertarians”.

          Not particularly sympathetic to “choosers” who choose wrongly.

        2. Frankly

          Not particularly sympathetic to “choosers” who choose wrongly.

          That is the conservative libertarian view… which fits me pretty closely.

          I am fine with second chances for certain things.  But what I see from many of my left-leaning friends is almost endless empathy for people prone to making mistake after mistake and/or making a giant mistake that materially harms others.

          My tolerance for mistake-making is high for developing children, and low for adults… especially as the adult is older.

          I detest a lack of human self-control and believe that all people are worthy of love, at the same time they can be worthy of scorn and a demand that they have to accept sleeping in the bed of their own making.

          Now mental health is another issue.  I am pissed at Democrats primarily that exploit each and every gun shooting tragedy as their ideological pursuit of more gun restrictions instead of correctly and accurately demanding that we increase our mental health institutional care.

          But related to abortion, I once had a coworker that had had five abortions because she could not keep her legs together when meeting guys in the bar after drinking.  Once at a party of coworkers she drunkenly came on to me very aggressively and I sat down with her to explain (first that I was married and would never have any affair) that she was out of control when she drank too much and she needed to stop drinking so much and/or make sure she was with friends that would stop her from making another mistake that would lead to another abortion.  She started crying and I drove her home.  I’m not sure what happened to her after that because soon after I took another job, but I heard a rumor that she settled down and got married.  But I remember thinking that the problem was/is that she had easy access to abortion services, yet no services to help her fix her emotional/psychological problems causing her to make so many mistakes.  Also she was not given any support or advice to choose carrying the baby to term for adoption.   Had she done that, I am guessing she might have stopped making additional mistakes.

    3. KSmith

      “But related to abortion, I once had a coworker that had had five abortions because she could not keep her legs together when meeting guys in the bar after drinking.”

      Or maybe she could have been counseled on availing herself of one of the long-term, highly-effective contraception devices along with getting help for her substance issue. I find it odd that nowhere in your lengthy comment did you address responsible contraception, but instead only focus on the woman “keeping her legs together.”

      1. Tia Will


        I once had a coworker that had had five abortions because she could not keep her legs together when meeting guys in the bar after drinking”

        Or maybe you could be placing at least 50 % of the blame on the men who were either equally as drunk as she was, or willing to take advantage of her drunken state in order to provide the sperm necessary for the conception. I will give you one thing on this point. You have been consistent in your “keep her legs closed” philosophy which places 100% of the responsibility and burden on the woman for what clearly takes one man and one woman to occur. So, tell me, if the responsibility is 100 % the woman’s pre conceptually, how is it that men should have any say at all in what the woman does once the jointly created being is 100% in her possession ?

  4. Tia Will


    Can someone explain to me their rationale for supporting the free termination of a new life in the womb that has the potential to be another Mother Teresa yet agitate vigorously to save the life of a monster that murders many?

    First, I never try to explain why someone else takes the positions they do. I can certainly explain why I believe that you are misrepresenting the issues involved, how I see these issues, and why.

    1. I have never understood the “potential to be the next Mother Teresa” argument. Would the unborn fetus not have a potential to be the next Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot ? If that were the case then would you then be arguing for termination ?

    2.) I do not define other human beings as ” monsters” based on their actions. If I were to do this using my moral code ( perhaps not yours) I would be defining many of our Presidents as “monsters” since I do not believe in the taking of innocent lives in war regardless of the justification, and I do not believe in any ” preemptive actions” . So should our society be forced to operate in accordance with my morally restrictive views ?

    3) a third point that I think that you continue to ignore is that many people simply do not share your definition of when human life begins or what constitutes meaningful human life. Personally, I see the definition of its beginning at conception as ridiculous for several reasons.

    –  we are unable to identify the point in time that we are designating as critical

    – this definition ignores the aliveness of the sperm and egg and their potential to join to form a new h allow others to determine the fate of relatives who can no longer speak for themselves but are comatose on life

    – there is the issue of inconsistency. We allow family members to end the life of  loved ones who are comatose or for other reasons on life support and unable to formulate or express their wishes. Are we not also taking away any potential they might have for life meaningful to them

    – Or how about another inconsistency. We approve ( as a society) of wars knowing that fetuses and children will be killed. No moral problem there ?

    We ( as a society) justify the killing of innocents daily. We make up stories about defense or “keeping us safe” while knowing full well that amongst the deaths will be those who have no intention nor any means of harming “us”.

    And yet some of us are willing to vilify women exercising their legal right to a medical procedure that they ( although not you) may not define as a human being.  For example, I do not define a blastocyst as a human being, but the Pope does. I think termination at this stage of pregnancy is moral, he does not. This is purely based on our differing religious beliefs. So which of us has the right to impose our view on the other ?  I know my answer.

    what is yours ?


    1. Frankly

      From my perspective the line is when the fetus is viable given the current state of medical methods/technology to provide a reasonable probability that the fetus can be incubated to a point of being a healthy baby.  Before that line I am supportive of abortion being a personal choice of the woman.  Beyond that I see it as currently sanctioned legal murder.

      I have another related perspective that if liberals and the woman’s rights movement would put even half the energy they put into perpetuating the narrative of “war on women” into increasing and improving services to young women to be better supported choosing adoption instead of abortion, then there would be a greater coming together on this issue.  But the political left loves those wedge issues.  It is that Saul Alinksy method to keep inflaming the emotional tension of moral issues to harvest them for political advantage with help from the media.  Even Fox News news anchor Megyn Kelly helped with this in the recent GOP debates by attacking Donald Trump.  She wants to be seen as being Fair and Balanced so she threw a bone to those angry NOW people to chew on.   The left and media narrative on the abortion conflict is just part of that ongoing political strategy.

      1. Tia Will


        I very much appreciate your response which I see as evidence based and rationale. Your reasoning is consistent with current law which for the most part puts that boundary at 24 weeks.  PP, all university programs of which I am aware and all practitioners of whom I am aware honor that same standard.

        However, that was not the question that I was asking. I was specifically asking whether or not you believed that any religious belief system should have hegemony over another with respect to my example of the Pope and I having different standards and beliefs for when “human life” actually begins and ends, and who should be making the decisions and whose belief system should prevail.

        1. Frankly

          any religious belief system should have hegemony over another

          I simply view this as allowing diverse views and allowing the debate.  Because I am certain that without this basis in morality we would degrade to new “progressive” definitions that would ultimately lead to no good.  For example, I have no doubt that the woman’s rights demand would be to allow abortion up to the end of the third trimester.

          But no, I don’t support the Pope’s view as being the basis for our legal, social and cultural rights.  As an example, he is a devote socialist and fiscal liberal and if we were to follow his morality along those lines we more of us would suffer greatly.  Economic issues are above the Pope’s pay grade.  Abortion hits a fundamental conflict of human morality of the rights and meaning of life.  However, I think the science aspect related to the viability of a new life in the womb is also above the Pope’s pay grade… and I would support using that as a basis for our legal, social and cultural acceptance of abortion.

      2. hpierce

        “But the political left loves those wedge issues.” You would have given your thoughts more credibility, in my opinion, if you had also included the political right.  Both ends of the bell curve, beyond 1st deviants, don’t think.  They react.  I reject them both. Neither are credible.

        1. Frankly

          A wedge issue is a social issue, often of a divisive or controversial nature, which is used/intended by one group to split apart a population or political groups.

          Note, wedge issues don’t really exist without a strong media support of their narrative.  The other thing that identifies a wedge issue is attacks against those that would challenge the narrative in the court of political correctness.

          What are the wedge issues of the right?

          I can only think of one… and that doesn’t really get much play in national politics or the media.  And there are a lot of Democrats in agreement…

          – Public sector unions and Democrat politicians vs taxpayers.

          Here is a list that the left brings to us…

          – Racism is a manufactured wedge issue
          – War on women is a manufactured wedge issue
          – War on gays is a manufactured wedge issue
          – Rich vs poor, have vs have nots is a manufactured wedge issue
          – Fair vs unfair is a manufactured wedge issue
          – Corporations and CEOs vs workers and the unemployed is a manufactured wedge issue
          – Illegal immigration is manufactured as a wedge issue by artificially connecting it to racism and xenophobia

          1. Don Shor

            What are the wedge issues of the right?

            I can only think of one…

            Your perspective on this is very funny. I find it hard to believe you don’t see how the right uses wedge issues. As David has noted, this is way off topic. But I will just give you the example of abortion:

            During the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country.


            Immigration is a right-wing wedge issue. Abortion is a right-wing wedge issue. Birth control is a right-wing wedge issue. Gay rights are a right-wing wedge issue. They are all used by the hard-right to rally the base and separate out RINOs from true believers. Read any Tea Party site for evidence.
            You are welcome to call all of those things, and those you’ve listed, “manufactured” wedge issues. That just seems like part of the definition of the term. But your notion that this behavior is unique to the left, or that any behavior is unique to one side of the political spectrum, is unfounded and easily refuted.

          2. Don Shor

            I would add that your theory of some kind of unified or monolithic media is very outdated with respect to content and the behavior of how people obtain their news nowadays.

          3. Matt Williams

            Frankly, your post is like a two-way mirror, transparent on one side, with a blind dimness unable to see through on the other side.

            … with apologies to Anthony Liccione

  5. Tia Will


    “But the politics of the left loves those wedge issues>’

    As does the politics of the right.

    Would we not also prevent a lot of abortions if instead of demonizing Planned Parenthood all those right wing religious zealots were not grandstanding, but rather joining with gynecologists to educate and provide free contraception ?  Would we not have less accidental shootings and gun related suicides if the NRA were to join with those who promote sensible safety measures and block funding of research on improved gun safety instead of  screaming “they are trying to take away our guns” every time even the most modest safety suggestion is made ?

    Neither side has a monopoly on the creation and use of “wedge issues”. My observation is that some are willing to see them wherever they occur, while others are willing to acknowledge them when they are being used by “the other side.”

    1. Frankly

      Interesting.  There is great majority support for providing greater access to contraception, but abortion is still close to a 50/50 split.   So why aren’t Democrats pushing for former and instead keep harping on the later?  The answer is that they are exploiting the wedge issue for political gain.

      The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 70 percent of Americans favor legalizing over-the-counter birth control pills and patches without a doctor’s prescription, 26 percent oppose such a proposal, and 4 percent don’t know enough to say. There has been a slight uptick in support for OTC birth control, rising from 66 percent in May of 2013. Moreover, Reason-Rupe finds that women across income groups highly support legalizing OTC birth control at about the same rates.

      When asked directly about the legality of abortion, 51% of U.S. adults say it should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 43% who say it should be illegal all or most of the time. In both cases, these figures have remained relatively stable for more than 20 years.

      There’s a difference between what Americans think should be legal and what they think is moral. About half of Americans (49%) say that having an abortion is morally wrong, while 15% think it is morally acceptable and 23% say it is not a moral issue. These views differ by religious affiliation: While 75% of white evangelical Protestants say that having an abortion is morally wrong, 25% of religiously unaffiliated people say so.


        1. Frankly

          Oops.  Yes, I think I was the one that took it off the rails.

          Putting it back on the rails, Europeans did away with the death penalty and now European liberals are decrying that life in prison is inhumane.

          I think this then illuminates something problematic with the anti-death penalty crowd… they will likely never be satisfied because they will always see the convicted and punished as being victimized by the state.

          Another approach would be to have swifter executions.  I think this would help as time tends to cause liberals to forget about the true victims of crime that are gone.  So it stands to reason that any prisoner that is executed would also tend to become a lost memory.   Egalitarianism and victim mentality only seem to resonate for the living.


      1. Matt Williams

        Interesting. There is great majority support for providing greater access to contraception, but abortion is still close to a 50/50 split. So why aren’t Democrats pushing for former and instead keep harping on the later?

        Frankly, they are two separate and distinct issues. Regardless of which side of each of the two issues a person is on, unless that person is undecided on one or both of the issues, a win in both the issues is a preferable outcome to a win on only one of the two, and a win on neither of the issues is the least preferable outcome.

        The support for increased access to and affordability of contraception is currently an overwhelming majority, and the chances of any back slipping on that majority are very low. As a result devoting resources to increasing that reality provides minimal (if any) incremental benefit/progress. On the other hand, the opportunities for incremental benefit/progress on the second issue, which you characterize as “still close to a 50/50 split,” are substantial. As a result resources and effort naturally flow to the issue with the greatest possible incremental impact. I suspect that you run your business using those same principles when deciding where to deploy your business’ available resources.

    2. hpierce

      You fall victim (in your logic/words) to the same ‘extremism’ that you say you abhor.  NRA is ‘religious’ about providing education in gun safety.  And ‘responsibility’ (most strongly favor gun safes and trigger locks, keeping guns unloaded (generally) and keeping guns out of the hands of children and those with mental issues).  Am thinking that they are much like PP.  At least as far as education… not so much sure about stressing ‘responsibility.  Yet, you probably take exception to PP being characterized as “abortion factories”, but am sure that many NRA members would reject the label “gun nuts”.

      Lets talk issues, not generalizations.


  6. Tia Will


    NRA is ‘religious’ about providing education in gun safety.  And ‘responsibility’ (most strongly favor gun safes and trigger locks, keeping guns unloaded (generally) and keeping guns out of the hands of children and those with mental issues).  Am thinking that they are much like PP.  At least as far as education… not so much sure about stressing ‘responsibility.  Yet, you probably take exception to PP being characterized as “abortion factories”, but am sure that many NRA members would reject the label “gun nuts”.

    Fine, except that you are mischaracterizing my comments. I was  not talking about what the NRA says, I was talking about what they actually do. They talk about the importance of gun safety, but then block funding for research about how to make guns safer. They talk about and promote those who claim that they use and store and carry their weapons safely, but then come to the defense of those such as the woman whose 2 year old shot her with her own obviously unsafely carried weapon in a tragedy of child endangerment which resulted in the woman’s death, but could just as easily have ended the toddler’s life or that of an innocent bystander.

    There is a huge difference between what is “preached” and what is “practiced” and defended.

    And to your last point, I object to PP being characterized as “abortion factories” just as I object to the NRA as a group being labeled as “gun nuts” in the same way that I dislike murderers being labeled as “monsters”. I believe in judging actions, not in judging people.

  7. Tia Will


    Not particularly sympathetic to “choosers” who choose wrongly.”

    I would say that this is a major source of disagreement between us. I am somewhat sympathetic and have great compassion and empathy for those who have “chosen wrongly”.

    I have made many poor choices in my life. I chose poorly with my first selection of college majors, with the choice of my former husband as a life partner, and many, many smaller decisions. Fortunately, I always seemed to have other doors open for me and was able to redeem myself with better choices as I became older and wiser.

    This has left me with the opinion that all humans are capable of making very poor choices. Some repent and learn more easily than others. In my opinion, all humans also have the ability to choose to make something positive of their lives, but they are unable to do this if we take their lives away.


    1. Barack Palin

      Making the wrong choice over picking the wrong mate or choosing the wrong major is a far cry from making the wrong choice and murdering someone.  A bad analogy.


  8. Tia Will


    My comment was never intended as an analogy. It was intended to address the point that no human is perfect and where we draw the line on what is a capital crime will be very, very different depending on our religion or lack thereof. There are some in our society that truly believe that abortion doctors should be murdered with impunity.  The very fact that there is no unanimity of belief should be sufficient to stop the imposition of death sentences by the state.

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