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View Poll Results: In your opinion, which of these things is worse?
Owning a gun is worse.
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25.93%
Murdering 5 people is worse.
20
74.07%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

According to the law, owning a gun is worse than murdering 5 people.

Old 01-29-08, 11:45 PM
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According to the law, owning a gun is worse than murdering 5 people.

This guy murdered 5 people. And for that, he only had to spend 8 years in jail.

Now he's been convicted of owning a gun. And for that, he could get 10 years in jail.

So, according to the law, owning a gun is worse than murdering 5 people.

I disagree with the law.

In my opinion, murdering 5 people is worse than owning a gun.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080130/..._.daP0i_.s0NUE

School shooter convicted on gun charge

By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 29, 8:10 PM ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A federal jury convicted a 23-year-old man on an obscure weapons charge Tuesday, apparently unaware that 10 years ago he and another boy killed four classmates and a teacher in a schoolyard ambush.

Mitchell Johnson faces 10 years in prison
and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in the next 45 days on a count of possessing a firearm while being a drug user. Through his attorney, Johnson declined to comment Tuesday.

Johnson was arrested on New Year's Day 2007 after police stopped his van and said they found a bag of marijuana in his pocket and a 9 mm pistol and a 20-gauge shotgun in two bags. Police said they stopped the van after getting an anonymous tip about drugs in the vehicle.

In 1998, Johnson, then 13, and 11-year-old schoolmate Andrew Golden opened fire as students and teachers left Jonesboro Westside Middle School after Golden pulled the fire alarm. The boys killed English teacher Shannon Wright and four students ages 11 and 12. They wounded 10 other people.

U.S. Attorney Bob Balfe told reporters after the verdict that lawyers picked the jury carefully. He said he was hopeful that if any jurors realized who Johnson was, they could separate the 1998 killings from last year's bust.

"We strongly believe that Mitchell Johnson is a person who should not have a gun," Balfe said. "Particularly, (he) shouldn't have a gun while using controlled substances."

Government lawyers did not bring up Johnson's violent past. The only clue during the two-day trial came during jury selection, when potential panelists were asked whether Johnson's name sounded familiar. Some jurors said they had heard the name but didn't know why.

Mitch Wright, the widower of the teacher killed March 24, 1998, watched Tuesday's court session along with his son Zane, who was 2 at the time of the shootings. The boy "wanted to see what this person looked like," Wright said during a break in the trial.

State courts sent Johnson and Golden to a juvenile prison until their 18th birthdays. Federal prosecutors then got them locked up until they turned 21. Johnson left prison with an "adjudicated" record meaning he could own firearms.

Prosecutors in the trial that ended Tuesday presented evidence that Johnson regularly used marijuana. The defense offered drug tests that showed no drug usage by Johnson and testimony from witnesses who said they had never seen Johnson use drugs or possess drug paraphernalia.

A prosecution witness testified Tuesday that Johnson often smoked marijuana, but he later acknowledged that he lied under oath when he denied that he personally owned a gun.

Dustin David Wynboom said that he and Johnson smoked marijuana once every week or two and that they once smoked marijuana while working at a local Wal-Mart. Wynboom, 21, of Springdale, said he also saw Johnson's handgun and said Johnson told him "he needed it for protection, that people were after him."

Wynboom denied ever owning a handgun himself when questioned by Johnson's lawyer, John B. Schisler, prompting a long recess. When court resumed, Wynboom admitted he lied under oath.

"I was scared I was going to incriminate myself," Wynboom said.

Another Wal-Mart co-worker, Michael Lindsey, testified Johnson often discussed smoking marijuana and sometimes appeared to be high at work. Lindsey later admitted getting so drunk at a party with Johnson and other Wal-Mart employees that he fell down the stairs.

A senior chemist with the state Crime Laboratory took the stand again Tuesday and acknowledged that an initial exam of material found in Johnson's pocket came back negative for marijuana, although a lab worker mistakenly recorded the results as positive. Chemist Gary Dallas said he tested the material again last week, confirming that it was 21 grams of marijuana.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:58 PM
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Ah, I was wondering what the Jonesboro shooter was doing now. Time goes by fast.
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Old 01-30-08, 12:08 AM
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That's an interesting law about not being able to own a firearm if you're a drug user. Just which drugs are not allowed?
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Old 01-30-08, 12:13 AM
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I could understand the OP's indignation if the 5 murders had been committed by an adult, but they weren't.

They were committed by a juvenile who got the maximum sentence under juvenile sentencing guidelines.

The owning a handgun while being a drug use was done as an adult which naturally would carry a much stiffer penalty than if it was done by a juvenile.

Where I think the system screwed up was allowing Johnson to be allowed to own weapons after being let out of prison. Due to his crime, he should have been put on the national database of people not allowed to buy firearms.
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Old 01-30-08, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
That's an interesting law about not being able to own a firearm if you're a drug user. Just which drugs are not allowed?
11-e.

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Old 01-30-08, 01:20 AM
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You know, grundle, this thread is a little disingenuous, even for you.
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Old 01-30-08, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
You know, grundle, this thread is a little disingenuous, even for you.
Thanks!
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Old 01-30-08, 07:34 AM
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The max-juvenile-sentence is another thing.
Hmm...aren't we always hearing that kids, especially those preteens and teenagers who are "finding themselves" should be able to do what they want? They are capable of making adult decisions like having sex at 11, 12, 13, so they should be given condoms in third grade and taught in detail in second grade?
If they're adult enough to make adult decisions about potentially creating life, then they should be adult enough to take adult responsibility about destroying life. If he was mentally stable (ie, not schizophrenic or something) and they were committed with intent at the time of the initial slaughter, he should have faced the full adult penalty. If he was under the influence (which means he was breaking the law anyway), same thing.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by zekeburger1979
I could understand the OP's indignation if the 5 murders had been committed by an adult, but they weren't.

They were committed by a juvenile who got the maximum sentence under juvenile sentencing guidelines.

The owning a handgun while being a drug use was done as an adult which naturally would carry a much stiffer penalty than if it was done by a juvenile.

Where I think the system screwed up was allowing Johnson to be allowed to own weapons after being let out of prison. Due to his crime, he should have been put on the national database of people not allowed to buy firearms.
Why do you think that putting his name on a database is better than keeping him in jail?
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Old 01-30-08, 10:06 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
You know, grundle, this thread is a little disingenuous, even for you.
You are mistaken.

The heading that I gave this thread is accurate.

Everything that I said in this thread is accurate.

I did not say anything in this thread that is disingenuous.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:09 AM
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Why not create a discussion about mandatory sentencing for juveniles? Why try and repackage this into a gun control debate?
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Old 01-30-08, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dtcarson
The max-juvenile-sentence is another thing.
Hmm...aren't we always hearing that kids, especially those preteens and teenagers who are "finding themselves" should be able to do what they want? They are capable of making adult decisions like having sex at 11, 12, 13, so they should be given condoms in third grade and taught in detail in second grade?
If they're adult enough to make adult decisions about potentially creating life, then they should be adult enough to take adult responsibility about destroying life. If he was mentally stable (ie, not schizophrenic or something) and they were committed with intent at the time of the initial slaughter, he should have faced the full adult penalty. If he was under the influence (which means he was breaking the law anyway), same thing.

That's a good point:


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=15407239

Maine Middle School to Issue Birth Control Pills

NPR.org, October 18, 2007 School officials in Portland, Maine, voted to make birth control pills available to students at one of the city's middle schools.

The contraceptives would be available to girls in the seventh and eighth grades, with their parents' permission.

The move, sanctioned late Wednesday in a 7-2 vote by the Portland School Committee, follows a spate of pregnancies among middle school girls.

King Middle School will be Maine's first school to have a full range of contraception available, including birth control pills and patches. Condoms have been available at King's health center since 2000.

A school health center will make birth control pills available to girls as young as 11. Prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, according to Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.

Parents must consent to their children using the school's health center, as most middle school students are ages 11 to 13.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:22 AM
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I choose to vote C. Kraft Mac and Cheese is the best.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:28 AM
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Excellent thread. Just proves that the legal system is an ass. And the ones that make them, argue them, and judge on them is the reason the system is an ass.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by grundle
You are mistaken.

The heading that I gave this thread is accurate.

Everything that I said in this thread is accurate.

I did not say anything in this thread that is disingenuous.
Sorry Grundle, I'm going to have to side with NCMojo on this one.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:48 AM
  #16  
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Yeah, this thread isn't anything I thought it was going to be when I logged in. Pfft.

On a side note, I'm willing to be this guy has terrible dental health, considering the fact that he is from Arkansas and all.
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Old 01-30-08, 01:16 PM
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apparently unaware that 10 years ago he and another boy killed four classmates and a teacher in a schoolyard ambush.
Suuuuuure...

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Old 01-30-08, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
You know, grundle, this thread is a little disingenuous, even for you.
Only if one is foolish and doesn't actually read the story posted.
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Old 01-30-08, 03:21 PM
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I rarely agree with bhk, but in this case, he's absolutely right - the law is an ass.

The boys not only killed 5 people but wounded 10 others. It's definitely a strong case for the point to do away with juvenile/mandatory sentencing and have the sentence based on the crime.

The other part why the law is an ass:
State courts sent Johnson and Golden to a juvenile prison until their 18th birthdays. Federal prosecutors then got them locked up until they turned 21. Johnson left prison with an "adjudicated" record meaning he could own firearms.
Even after the shooting, the guy still could own a gun. That's certainly bullshit.

I think the more accurate question should be if it's OK to have a gun with you when high, drunk, or have illegal drugs with you. Either way, I don't care, the guy needs to go back to jail.
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Old 01-30-08, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I rarely agree with bhk,
Even if the above happens, for your sake, you should keep it quiet because by admitting this, you've probably lost every friend you have in this forum.
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Old 01-30-08, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Why not create a discussion about mandatory sentencing for juveniles? Why try and repackage this into a gun control debate?

Because that wouldn't fit his agenda.
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Old 01-30-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ukywyldcat
On a side note, I'm willing to be this guy has terrible dental health, considering the fact that he is from Arkansas and all.
I bet he fucks his sister, too.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason
I bet he fucks his sister, too.
Now that you mention it, seeing as how the only virgins in Arkansas are those that run faster than their brothers, I'd say you are right, provided he has a sister.
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Old 01-31-08, 01:53 AM
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If this leads to them putting this scumbag behind bars for another ten years then more power to them. I guess that he has proven that he did not deserve a second chance.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by foggy
If this leads to them putting this scumbag behind bars for another ten years then more power to them. I guess that he has proven that he did not deserve a second chance.
Breaking the law in the first place proves to me that he didn't get a second chance.

Just kidding...I think people should get as many chances as they want until they choose to become productive members of society.
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