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By Diana Diamond

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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Is this the kind of America we want to live in?

Uploaded: Jul 5, 2022
For more than a decade, I worked in downtown Highland Park, IL daily, in an office on Sheridan Road, just around the corner from where the gun massacre happened this Fourth of July. I was riveted to TV a good part of that day, with feelings of amazement, anger and outrage.

How can this be happening in this quiet, mostly all-white, well-educated community of about 30,000, with a median income currently about $175,000. It is a pleasant, friendly suburban town, a great place to live and work, with tree-lined streets and lakefront estates. Highland Park has experienced only two murders in two decades. My home was in Deerfield, “the next town over” from Lake Michigan.

On the Fourth, my sons, who lived there in their teens, called, very upset aboutwhat happened in the area they knew so well. How could it happen? Why?

But it did happen because one young man, who lived there, got absorbed in several social media sites focusing on guns, previous massacres, etc. He evidently decided to join their ranks and rant – he also posted several alarming messages on his blogs. He bought two rifles, legally, went downtown, climbed up a fire escape ladder on a building, and rifle in hand, shot 70 rounds of continuous bullets into the crowd on the street, killing seven and causing 30 to be taken to nearby hospitals, while 40 others had less serious injuries.

Is this just another demented young man that we can soon forget about? So far, we’ve had several such men fire with assault weapons into a crowd of people. We’ve had more than 309 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year. Killing people with high-powered rifles and AR 15s has become the new thing to do – and is having a contagious effect on others.

I am scared about these continuing massacres. It now feels that a gun massacre could happen to any one of us, any day, anywhere. What is this country coming to? No other western country is experiencing such killings. No other country has more guns than people within its borders. I feel almost desperate that we have become a gun-toting nation, and that is just fine with many. How can it be? How can killing innocent people on the streets possibly be okay?

The solution, is not, as Sen. Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, to provide more mental health facilities. The solution is to get rid of rapid-fire military-style guns in our country – totally.

This is not a Second Amendment issue, which talked about the militia and muskets. This is not about sport shooting. This is about 70 rounds of cartridges in one gun that can obliterate the faces and bodies of individuals.

The partial solution is to have all of us who are fearful come together and insist Congress take action --do something! --way beyond that gesture of a gun control bill adopted the other day.

But I now have a glimmer of hope. Why? Because the massacre happened in a white, fairly wealthy town – unlike Buffalo or Uvalde. I’ve heard many GOP senators, who come from communities like Highland Park, often imply that some cities are just safer – like white suburbs.
Are they? Ask Highland Parkers.

Many Republicans must realize we have a giant gun problem in America. People in these white suburbs are now scared. New Yorkers are frightened that concealed guns can be legally carried outside on their streets. Deep inside, I think Palo Altans are scared.

Soon, Congress is going to take a summer break when they will hear from their fearful constituents. Will they listen to what their constituents are saying? If so, can we finally crack down on military-type weapons? Can we get Congress to pass laws forbidding the sale of any rapid-fired military weapon?

We must restore the American values we once lived by not so long ago. Do you think we can do it?

Community.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by Leslie Bain, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 12:15 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Diana, contrary to what most of us have been led to believe, we don't live in a democracy. We live in an oligarchy. Our politicians do what is best for their rich donors, not what is best for "we the people". Every gun tragedy becomes a new episode of Kabuke Theater.

"Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy" - Web Link

As long as the NRA gives politicians money to preserve the status quo, the status quo is what the politicians will give us.

The only hope is to vote for politicians who run on platforms of anti-corruption.

I don't even trust our vote-counting systems. When discrepancies arise between election night polling and the actual vote count, election night polling simply disappears <-- this is very, very, very bad; unbelievably bad; but that is the truth of the times in which we live.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:30 am

Bystander is a registered user.

There is obviously much to say on this, but it will be much forgotten as there will be another one and that will take our thoughts and prayers.

The availability of guns is part of the problem. It is a big part of the problem.

The other part of the problem is what we are doing to young men. It is easy to say it is a mental health problem. I don't believe that as anything other than another excuse.

What we are doing to young men is an issue we are ignoring. Some talk about the war on boys. Some talk about it as the result of video game violence and social media taking over the role of mentorship in the lives of boys growing up in a world where fatherhood is rare, personal responsibilty is wiped away, and morality is flawed. This is not a mental health issue, but a maturity issue.

I think it is time to get back to basics. Family values, strong male role models (fatherhood), discipline, facing up to mistakes made in childhood where children have to understand that the punishment fits the crime. Allowing boys to grow up without chores, without boundaries, without discipline, is creating young men with problems who are looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

Team sports, Sunday School morality, and fathers are needed more than ever. Get back to having strong families where each member of the family is valued and depended on for the role they play. Without this old fashioned approach, we are breeding malcontent adolescents who remain adolescents until they are past 30. This is now a serious problem.


Posted by Loren Clark, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 6:47 am

Loren Clark is a registered user.

> we are breeding malcontent adolescents who remain adolescents until they are past 30.

^ This is a key observation and the problem. Permissive Baby Boomer parents have given rise to a generation of clueless/useless Millennials whose arrested emotional development and sense of unfulfilled entitlement has manifested itself in anti-social behavior and perspectives. Many are embittered because they cannot have their way everyday in the adult world.

The solution: bring back the draft and mandatory military service. There they can learn discipline and a respect for firearms.

Like Ms. Diamond, I am well acquainted with the locale having been born in Evanston while my father was studying dentistry at Northwestern. We later moved to Lake Forest and visited Highland Park on numerous occasions.

Like the news correspondents mentioned, Highland Park is a quiet upper middle class suburb roughly 45 minutes away from Chicago, similar to the geographic relationship between Palo Alto and San Francisco.

If something like this can occur in Highland Park, it can happen anywhere and already has.

I'm not sure if gun restriction legislation will do the trick as the NRA has a powerful and well-funded lobbying force to fight such efforts plus there has never been an NRA member accused or convicted of committing such heinous crimes with a firearm. That old NRA inspired pro-firearm adage from the 1970s, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" remains their mantra.

Bring back mandatory conscription (aka the draft). In addition to learning some responsibility, the opportunity to fire fully automatic weaponry will be provided, courtesy of the U.S. military + we will have a more active military force readily prepared to be deployed anywhere in the world to contain and destroy U.S. sanctioned enemies.

If one truly enjoys firing automatic, high capacity, and high velocity weaponry....join the service.


Posted by People Need Water, a resident of Rengstorff Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 8:16 am

People Need Water is a registered user.

If you want to take our guns away, get them out of the various world militaries first


Posted by Anita Hall, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 8:28 am

Anita Hall is a registered user.

Reinstate the draft or create a mandatory nationwide community service program for all 'adults' between the ages of 18-25.

It is time for many of the 20-something Millennials and upcoming Generation Z kids to learn some discipline and responsibility as their parents were apparently incapable of instilling such values.

The once freewheeling Woodstock/Baby Boomer parental generation has only themselves to blame for instilling and inciting this self-serving 'me first' mentality in their clueless offspring.


Posted by Bob Lange, a resident of Woodside,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 8:58 am

Bob Lange is a registered user.

My 31 year-old son (another clueless Millennial) strongly believes that life on Earth is nothing more than a diverse computer program created and run by an omnipotent software developer (aka God).

As a result, he views everything with a somewhat nihilistic view.

Back to topic...like racism and prejudice, gun violence in America cannot be curtailed.


Posted by Helen Carter, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 11:11 am

Helen Carter is a registered user.

Insufficient and non-existent good parenting is primarily responsible for these tragic gun-related shootings.

To blame the NRA is missing the boat as all NRA members are responsible gun owners who do not want to see their 2nd Amendment rights curtailed due to the irresponsible actions of others.

Anyone convicted of using a firearm to commit a crime should get life in prison regardless of any socio-economic or ethnic factors.


Posted by DianaDiamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 11:16 am

DianaDiamond is a registered user.

One thread I sense in these responses is something akin to we can't fight the NRA; racism, prejudice, and gun violence cannot be curtailed. But that seems to me so defeatist an attitude, so powerless an approach.

we have to change our mindset. NRA became so powerful because it decided it wanted to be, and over the years worked harder and harder to achieve their power. Why can't we have the same determination to end the NRA's power? It can be done, somehow.

The same is true with gun violence (other nations have achieved controlling gun violence, e.g. Japan and Britain), and anti-racism is making a bit of progress.

We can't just sit and accept what is happening, saying, in effect, that's the way things are and there's nothing I/we can do about it. We're better than that!
Diana


Posted by MIdtown resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 11:45 am

MIdtown resident is a registered user.

I would strongly suggest not voting Republican at any level until the party is no longer taken over by the extremists. At the moment the leadership is busy protecting a man who committed the worst political crime in our memory - one that might result in a dilution or even loss of our democracy. The Democratic party used to be just as bad as the Republican party but the difference is stark at the moment especially on the topic of gun control, climate change and even campaign finance reform


Posted by Bruce Morgan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 11:52 am

Bruce Morgan is a registered user.

The NRA is not the sole problem.

The problem rests with mentally deranged individuals having easy access to the procurement of tactical assault weapons and high velocity rounds.

Why not place further restrictions on the purchasing of deadly ammunition?

Without these specialized bullets, an assault weapon is essentially useless.

We can talk all day about gun control but nothing will ever come of it because distressed, unstable people will always find a way of sourcing an assault weapon or illegal handgun.

Perhaps the only alternative is to allow open carry in all 50 states. That way people can potentially defend themselves against an active shooter intent on harming others.

Sociopathic individuals packing serious heat deserve no mercy or understanding and will not be missed by society if they are taken out by the police or by private citizens.

Domestic terrorism is not limited to jihadists.


Posted by sequoiadean, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 12:44 pm

sequoiadean is a registered user.

If you think the rights of anyone to own assault weapons outweighs the rights of people to peaceably go to school, church, the grocery store, or a parade, without fear of being gunned down, VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!


Posted by Jon Keeling, a resident of Community Center,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

Why should this time be any different? Newtown, CT is mostly white and upper-middle-class. I should know - That's where I grew up. I used to roller skate on Friday evenings at Sandy Hook Elementary as a child.

The original poster and others have already voiced their opinions on "the" solution. But, as I have been saying for nearly 10 years, mass shootings are a multi-faceted problem that should be addressed from multiple angles.

Yes, guns are a big part of the problem. But many people find a way to get around the laws (which could be improved but enforcement is challenging and changes put through to the laws now would take many years to work through the system). Even just the gun part of this is complex. But there is more...

Mental health is definitely another big part of the problem. Another complex part. I've done a lot of volunteer work in this field, including working with CrisisTextLine, where I helped people deal with a variety of challenges. It's not just a matter of getting more mental health facilities & resources, though. It's also an issue of...

Fostering a sense of community and compassion. A fairly easy step in the right direction on this is getting the best SEL program at all the high schools (and hopefully middle schools as well: ChallengeDay. But there are more pieces to this puzzle...

Parenting. It's not what it used to be. Many parents are doing a great job. But many are not. I do some parent coaching as a volunteer. There is a lot more work to be done. And what about those without parents with the time/skill? There are some great mentoring programs. I used to mentor with MentorTutorConnection and tried for a while to set up a similar program in Palo Alto. But sadly there wasn't enough interest. Another thing is...

Social media and addiction to devices (mostly phones). Blue light is harmful and any parent who is allowing their kids to have their phone in their bedroom should seek help.

There are other issues, but I've run out of space...


Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

"Killing people with high-powered rifles and AR 15s has become the new thing to do"

Diana: You and some media peers assert and apparently perceive that. (I've seen similar claims off and on for many years.)

Some factual background no one seems interested in examining right now:

• These shooting sprees, appalling and emotionally heavy, are statistically a microscopic and very unrepresentative part of US homicide totals. Almost all US gun violence uses handguns. Most years (probably this year too), fists kill more people than all rifles combined. FBI:

Web Link

To address homicides by controlling weapons, you'd logically follow the data, not headlines.

• All journalists should know by now that modern US courts have repeatedly found the 2nd Amendment to cover privately owned "bearable arms, [whether or not] in existence at the time of the founding." "Militia and muskets" is off-topic.

• Recent media indignation is very selective. July 4th's mass shooting in Minneapolis (soon after Highland Park's) got ZERO prompt national coverage (belatedly, some major media eventually took notice): Web Link

Some argue that (like the vast majority of US murders), Minneapolis's incident was ignored because it didn't fit the "narrative" favored by media pundits: weapon type, shooter, cartridge count, etc.


Posted by Green Gables, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:33 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

Look what is happening in the Scandinavian countries and their shootings. The world has gone mad.


Posted by Reese Jacobs, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:31 pm

Reese Jacobs is a registered user.

These recent shootings may prompt the opposite effect...more people legitimately purchasing guns too protect themselves.

This is a current conversation topic in our household and as a former military officer, I have been trained to effectively and safely discharge a 9mm or .45 caliber sidepiece.

If you saw an active shooter randomly killing people and had an opportunity to take him down, wouldn't you?

The police often arrive too late and after the carnage.

An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure or regret.


Posted by Cole Johnson, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Cole Johnson is a registered user.

> Look what is happening in the Scandinavian countries and their shootings. The world has gone mad.

Shootings are also rampant in Mexico and Africa but most Americans could care less because the people th


Posted by Cole Johnson, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:49 pm

Cole Johnson is a registered user.

...the people there are non-white and considered immaterial.


Posted by Randy Farrell, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 3:13 pm

Randy Farrell is a registered user.

According to Tucker Carlson, social media, porn, video games and drugs are primarily responsible for the actions of men accused of mass shootings.

He also added...

“And yet the authorities in their lives ? mostly women ? never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege."

^ Are there some overly critical mothers, girlfriends, and wives who need to curtail their incessant nagging?

We do not want any more mass shootings due to stress and humiliation.


Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 3:33 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Speaking of Scandinavian countries. I had a call earlier this morning with a Danish client of mine. He is nowhere near Copenhagen, and does not personally know anyone who was at the mall during the shooting. The man is completely shaken up, horrified and absolutely destroyed. This is something so out of the ordinary for them, they are having a hard time processing it. However, here is what he told me that makes things radically different from what we have in US:

1. It appears the man who shot the place was a mental health patient who stopped taking his medications. He is in custody, being treated.
2. Police had him in custody 7 minutes AFTER the first shot was fired.
3. Denmark has super strict gun laws. Shooter stole a gun (could not buy one legally), and the person who he stole it from will be held criminally responsible for not securing the gun properly.
4. Because Denmark has strict gun laws, the gun used could only fire 6 bullets per load. Which is why the amount of damage done, given the location - super busy shopping mall on a weekend - was much less severe then it would have been if a weapon such as AR-15 woudl have been used.
5. Immediately, the government opened up (and staffed, mind you) numerous mental health hotlines to help people of Denmark deal with the psychological stress of the tragedy that happened. There is also large encouragement of communities getting together and mourning the tragedy together - my client for one said that they have been going to a park in their little town every night since the shooting, just to connect with their neighbors and not go through the mourning process alone, with everyone bringing something little to share with all.

This could be done. All tragedies will not be averted, but many can with sensible gun control, mental health support on a governmental level and strong community engagement. But in order to do all of it, we need to get rid of NRA influence and vote in decent humans.


Posted by Rebecca Hughes, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 3:37 pm

Rebecca Hughes is a registered user.

In addition to Highland Park, a 4th of July mass shooting occured in Minneapolis (7 wounded) and another one was thwarted in Richmond during an evening fireworks display.

Domestic terrorism has superseded Islamic related terrorism and today, all Americans are potential targets.

The National Guard should be assigned to provide protection at all public gatherings including sports events, concerts, church services, public schools, community parades, and chili cook-offs.


Posted by Sam Kenyon, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Sam Kenyon is a registered user.

?...we need to get rid of NRA influence and vote in decent humans.

^ The NRA should not be blamed for the misguided acts of troubled individuals.

Only law-abiding and mentally stable American citizens should be allowed to own and carry guns.

Good people who own guns do not commit mass murders.

Only whack-jobs.


Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 4:09 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

@Sam Kenyon
Why do you think we do not have laws that would keep people with mental health issues from legally buying guns? Its the NRA money that is flowing freely to politicians.
There is no reason for any civilian to ever own AR-15. None what so ever.


Posted by Lyle Carter, a resident of another community,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 5:12 pm

Lyle Carter is a registered user.

> There is no reason for any civilian to ever own AR-15. None what so ever.

^ Concurring...owning an AR-15 style assault weapon is absolute overkill.

According to esteemed Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

"...social media, porn, video games and drugs are primarily responsible for the actions of men accused of mass shootings...yet the authorities in their lives mostly women never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege."

^ Concurring...though I do not actively participate in the Carlson ascribed vices, watching Sunday football and drinking beer while neglecting other household duties is an male American privilege.

It is a right that men must exercise regularly or they will lose it.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 5:18 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Mass shooters are mentally ill. They're dealing with paranoid functioning. Normal men don't dress up as a woman, climb up on a roof and shoot a happy crowd of Americans enjoying a Fourth of July parade.

I believe in gun control, but without guns they'll just find another weapon of mass destruction. A bomb, a vehicle, etc.

Pick your poison.


Posted by Charles Wick, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm

Charles Wick is a registered user.

"watching Sunday football and drinking beer while neglecting other household duties is an male American privilege."
@Lyle Carter
You forgot to add Saturday morning and afternoon college football.

Monday Night and Thursday Night NFL football games should be automatically exempt from wifely nagging because these games are on regular workdays.

"Mass shooters are mentally ill. They're dealing with paranoid functioning."
@Jennifer/resident of another community
Won't this affliction and its tragic aftermath simply lead to a defendant plea of insanity and subsequent incarceration in a specialized prison for the mentally disturbed?

Had this shooting taken place in Texas things would be different.


Posted by Lee Templeton, a resident of another community,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 7:04 am

Lee Templeton is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Melba Cotton, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:14 am

Melba Cotton is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Jarrod Parks, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:44 am

Jarrod Parks is a registered user.

Some older readers may recall the 1966 Texas tower campus shooting in Austin.

The shooter was also deranged.

There have also been countless mass shootings at workplaces including post offices and the more recent VTA yard shooting in San Jose.

Unless guns are fully outlawed, these tragic incidences will reoccur.

The only problem is that if gun ownership is severely restricted to the general public, only street criminals will possess them and everyday life will become even more dangerous.

Law-abiding citizens have the the right to protect themselves by shooting back.


Posted by L. Calhoun, a resident of another community,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 9:50 am

L. Calhoun is a registered user.

I have always hated guns & my refusal to carry one into battle resulted in a dishonorable discharge from the military during the Viet Nam War.

As a draftee, I felt that the United States had no reason to be there in the first place. And by following direct orders to shoot at total strangers defending their own homeland against American political interests was a crime against humanity.

All guns should be outlawed by a given timeframe and the 2nd Amendment repealed in full.

Only those authorized to carry them (law enforcement & military personnel) should be allowed to do so with severe penalties for suspected criminals apprehended with firearms in their possession.

Guns are one of the worst inventions ever created by mankind and modern technology has increased their firepower, range, capacity, and ease of use.

And justifying the ownership of rifles and guns for hunting purposes does not hold any water as it involves the stalking and killing of animals.


Posted by I can't breathe pollution, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 10:47 am

I can't breathe pollution is a registered user.

You gun control activists miss the point of the second amendment. It is protect you from THE GOVERNMENT. Work on disarming Russia and China instead of your fellow citizens. There are NUKES out there, and you're worried about assault rifles, it's ridiculous.


Posted by I can't breathe pollution, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 10:52 am

I can't breathe pollution is a registered user.

Only having "authorized" personnel armed is completely antithetical to democracy. I suggest if you don't like the second amendment to live somewhere else and develop some respect for our ways


Posted by Pete Delaney, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:17 am

Pete Delaney is a registered user.

> You gun control activists miss the point of the second amendment. It is protect you from THE GOVERNMENT.

>> Only having "authorized" personnel armed is completely antithetical to democracy.

The previous poster brought up two key arguments against sweeping gun control.

When only law enforcement and the military are allowed to carry firearms, we will have a repressive society that ensures dictatorships and colonial subservience.

Imagine what would have happened if the American colonists were not allowed to take up arms against a repressive English sovereignty.

We would still be a part of their colonial system and paying homage to a parasitic royal family living luxuriously off taxpayer dollars (or pounds).

Guns ensure freedom which is why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Constitution.

And for those who differ in opinion, consider relocating to a banana republic, Mynamar, The People's Republic of China, or Russia among other repressive regimes.

Guns allow us the freedom to revolt and be patriots for the common good.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:26 am

Bystander is a registered user.

As for freedom to revolt, I think it is important to remember that in a mass shooting, when the police arrive they have no idea if a guy with a gun is a good guy or a bad guy and both would be most likely shot on sight by law enforcement.


Posted by Lucy Sherman, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:29 am

Lucy Sherman is a registered user.

Speaking of nutballs, Sarah Winchester built that strange house in San Jose in response to the ghosts she perceived representing all of the people killed by her father's famous repeating rifle.

She should have let it go as many of the shootings were justified.


Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:32 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Let's remember that the shooter's father -- who'd run for mayor there -- signed the application for the kid to buy guns months AFTER relatives reported the kid for "threatening to kill everyone" and the police confiscated multiple knives, swords and other weapons.

Were the mother and father so blind they didn't see that huge mural painted on their wall depicting a shooter???

Charge the father just like the parents of that other shooter for ignoring the obvious and endangering the community. It was reported that both sets of parents often ignored calls from the schools to come in and discuss their kids' behavior, often left them at school without anyone to pick them up.

Start forcing parents to pay attention to their violent boys.


Posted by Mildred Peters, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Mildred Peters is a registered user.

The parents bear a certain responsibility for this tragedy by looking the other way.

There is no report to date as to whether the arrestee has procured legal representation, either private or a public defender.

A good criminal lawyer would advise him to 'lawyer up' and not disclose any additional incriminating information to the police as his goose is already cooked.

A major civil suit against the shooter's family could ensue following the criminal proceedings.

And the gun manufacturer(s) could also be held liable as the now bankrupt Remington Company was following the Sandy Hook shootings.

Restrictive gun legislation is not going anywhere and the only recourse are major civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers for damages and loss of lives.

Only then will we have gun reform.




Posted by Raymond Larkin, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 2:53 pm

Raymond Larkin is a registered user.

Everyone here has overlooked or missed a key culprit...one that is shared by all mass shooters and associated criminal minds.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM!

People with positive/high self-esteem (not false self-esteem/narcissism) do not commit these types of crimes regardless of their race, ethnicity, socio-economics, or political/religious affiliations.

Raising one's self-esteem opens the door for other more creative and constructive endeavors.

Loser mentalities tend to be rooted in low self-esteem and in many instances, this can manifest itself in anti-social behavior.

Excessive bullying can also trigger these shootings as the young shooter often feels victimized by more powerful forces and wants to transfer his inner pain towards others.

It does take a Dr. Phil to put 2+2 here.

If you really want to curtail these kinds of shootings, try to treat everyone with respect and some vestige of dignity.

And encourage your children to do the same.

Soon you will find that guns are not the real problem but man's ongoing inhumanity and cruelty towards others.

Wake up.


Posted by Reuben Huerta, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Reuben Huerta is a registered user.

Good insights. When it comes to low self-esteem due to being bullied, I have taught my sons to challenge their abusers
and then these uncalled for incidents will gradually dissipate on their own.

When you fight back against a bully (with fists) they will eventually back-off as there will always be others left to pick on offering minimal resistance.

The key is not to back down or acquiesce to your tormentors.

This is how you develop self-esteem and self-respect.

It must be earned.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jul 7, 2022 at 5:52 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

His dad claims he thought his son wanted a permit for the "shooting range." When they ran backround checks, they should've denied his permit. Threatening to "kill everybody" and finding weapons at the home is a red flag. Legal gun ownership aside, if someone wants a gun they can find one illegally.


Posted by Georgia Stefanik, a resident of another community,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 6:37 am

Georgia Stefanik is a registered user.

While theocratic order should not be a part of any governmental process, we may need to further emphasize and promote the tenets of The Old Testament to establish a more stable concept of law and order within the United States.

Full compliance to the Ten Commandments, and the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy would be good starting points as would harsher capital punishments for serious offenders.

It is my understanding that felons surrender their civil rights upon conviction and are not permitted to own handguns i when they are released from prison.

Unfortunately, too many convicted felons have easy access to firearms prior to arrest.


Posted by Orin Thatcher, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 11:26 am

Orin Thatcher is a registered user.

@Georgia Stefanik
Organized religion and/or personal religious beliefs have absolutely no place in the decision-making process of a secular society including the United States government and the Supreme Court.

Any references to God including "under God" and "In God We Trust" should be stricken from any political speeches and currency pertaining to the United States.


Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Full compliance to the Ten Commandments, and the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy would be good starting points as would harsher capital punishments for serious offenders."

Are you really willing to stone your unmarried daughter to death at your front door if you discover she is not a virgin? (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

And do you seriously think capital punishment deters murder-suicide?


Posted by Alice Smith, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:43 pm

Alice Smith is a registered user.

Contact US Senators: Sinema, Manchin, Collins, Romney, Murkowski and Portman: No filibuster for voting rights bill : H.R. 5746: support our right to vote by setting federal standards for times, places and manner as granted in Article 1.4 of the US Constitution. Tell them to do their duty. Then some of this craziness in the US Senate will stop and we will push back on the illiberal Supreme Court and begin to pass fair civil and human rights laws such as banning assault weapons, the right of privacy .. etc.


Posted by Julienne Lockhart, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Julienne Lockhart is a registered user.

@Curmudgeon
Capital punishment may not deter all murder-suicides, but once a murderer is caught & convicted they are locked up for an extended period of time to protect society from a repeated crime.

Suicide is irrelevant as the song is over.

American laws are rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Code of Hamurabi
which emphasized retribution, not rehabilitation or restitutionary measures.

And as far as the death penalty is concerned, public executions are no different than applying surgery to remove a malignant tumor.


Posted by Geraldine Richards, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 2:43 pm

Geraldine Richards is a registered user.

"if someone wants a gun they can find one illegally."

And if one cannot source a handgun illegally, they can easily produce a plastic weapon via 3-D printer.

In 2021, there was only one gun-related murder in Japan. Earlier today, a former prime minister was assasinated by a handmade wooden gun.

Guns are here to stay in one form or another and as some other posters noted, we should consider applying traditional Biblical laws to punish the perpetrators of heinous crimes against society.

The Old Testament defines and spells out the measures needed to keep bad or immoral behavior in check.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of Juana Briones School,
on Jul 8, 2022 at 5:26 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Yesterday's assassination of Shinzo Abe in broad daylight proves that even in a country like Japan where gun control laws have reduced gun violence to almost nil, a mentally deranged person will do whatever they have to do, to kill others. Savvy people can make their own weapons and ammunition. Strict gun control is the only answer to prevent *most* (not all) murder by guns. Diana, everyone lives just a block away from an area that will eventually have a tragedy occur. My parents' generation was either blissfully ignorant of such things, or just plain lucky. Now in the 21st Century in the Bay Area, we are becoming more aware of murders, DV, theft, muggings, even theft of water by horse boarding ranches. The more we hear about it, the more we learn to turn a blind eye to it, as if it's the price we pay to live in these zip codes. Meanwhile the local authorities suppress the crackling of the scanners that used to inform us to be alert. Now even the police are getting in on the "what they don't know about won't hurt them" mentality. If we are complacent it's because we seem to want it that way.


Posted by Eric Daniels, a resident of another community,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 8:29 am

Eric Daniels is a registered user.

"American laws are rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Code of Hamurabi
which emphasized retribution, not rehabilitation or restitutionary measures."

^ In most instances, the punishment should fit the crime regardless of any perceived harshness on the part of 'soft on crime' advocates.

"Full compliance to the Ten Commandments, and the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy would be good starting points as would harsher capital punishments for serious offenders."

^ The only problem here (at least for some) is that those two Biblical books also condemn individuals engaged in LGBTQ activities.

The Supreme Court under the guidance of conservative Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is currently reviewing the possibility of outlawing gay marriages and gay sexual practices as these lifestyles are not cited or guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.

Civil rights are being redefined in the SCOTUS and whether one agrees or disagrees with these legal opinions is strictly up to the individual as there are always two sides to every coin.

On the other hand, the government should not be dictating how others live even if these lifestyles are condemned in the Bible.

A separation of church and state is paramount to ensuring freedom from religious dogma and intervention.

Personally speaking, I have absolutely no use for organized religion or its doctrines.

Live and let live or simply look the other way if something is none of your business.


Posted by Jim Cunningham, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 9:32 am

Jim Cunningham is a registered user.

On one hand, the founding fathers did not perceive the advent of modern firearms technology which might explain why certain restrictions were not included in the 2nd Amendment.

On the other hand, early biblical writers and prophets did not foresee this development either which might explain why gun restriction is not mentioned in the Bible as a mandatory word of God.

Early biblical mandates were written and emphasized to establish a working foundation for human society via enforced laws. And without them we would have chaos and anarchy.

Choice of lifestyles is strictly up to the individual(s) providing they are not against the law.


Posted by Elizabeth Warden, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 9:56 am

Elizabeth Warden is a registered user.

Societal norms and acceptances during any given time in history decide what is lawful or unlawful.

In ancient Greece, pedestry was socially acceptable whereas today, pedophilia is not.

And the same can be said of polygamy.

Times change as do perceptions.

Gun control needs to be further addressed as we now have a pandemic of mass shootings.


Posted by Carly Jansen, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 10:09 am

Carly Jansen is a registered user.

I stand united with those advocating gun control and a woman's right to birth control measures.

As far as further accommodating LGBTQ lifestyles, I cannot endorse or support them with a clear conscious as it is not my cross to bear.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 5:37 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

People made some wrong statements above which deserve pushback, because they are part and parcel of the right's attempt to destroy (drown in a bathtub, was the term) our free and broadly prosperous democracy and replace it with plutocracy and/or oligarchy (which is in power terms, exactly what colonists fought a revolution to throw off).

“You gun control activists miss the point of the second amendment. It is protect you from THE GOVERNMENT."

This is false. It is a lie intended to subvert the Constitution.

The colonists almost lost their ability to “take up arms against a repressive English sovereignty" as an above poster said. Instead, they won, and thus wanted to ensure that we could protect the FREE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT they had just fought a bloody revolution to get, against such concentrations of power as monarchies, plutocracies, and oligarchies (which plutocracies inevitably become).

Again, the 2nd Amendment was intended as a way to protect our free Democratic Republican form of government from concentrations of power that the right has been promoting. Getting people to hate their government of the people"when the 2nd Amendment was clearly about helping the newly free people to protect their government against being taken over by tyrannical/autocratic forces"now has people who claim to revere the Constitution working virulently to destroy the very government the Constitution was written to form, and the 2nd Amendment to protect.

The interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as about individual protections was simply dishonest.

Web Link

Secondly, the slippery slope argument ignores the many free countries around the world like Australia who increased the safety and freedom of citizens by creating better gun safety regulations. They have not become “repressive" because of it, they have saved innocent lives.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of JLS Middle School,
on Jul 9, 2022 at 6:38 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Carly, I can't pick and choose or otherwise deem unworthy any disenfranchiesd group that has been legislated into oblivion. Your statement about LGBTQ members negates the fact that until ALL disenfranchised groups have secured their rights, NONE of the disenfranchised groups who HAVE didn't get there without the support of those "other" groups. As has been said before by much better contempraneous speakers than I, if one suffer we all suffer. When interracial marriage is on the chopping block, will you speak up for those who could lose their marriage licenses? Or, since it may not affect you, will you remain silent? How about when it's decided that Abraham Lincoln didn't have the authority to proclaim ANYONE free in this country? This backward step by the SCOTUS fails to address how pregnancy begins. No pregnancy can start without the seeds a man is holding. What we really need to do is prevent men from being able to impregnate women. It won't help with preventing incest, rape, etc but at least it wouldn't result in unwanted pregnancies of ALL types.


Posted by Beau Daniels, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 8:01 am

Beau Daniels is a registered user.

@MyFeelz
I can sort understand Carly's perspective from the standpoint that it is one thing to advocate and/or demonstrate on the part of abortion rights and gun control but entirely another when it comes to endorsing and marching on behalf of a particular lifestyle, especially if one is not a part of it.

Another consideration is misconception as friends, co-workers, and family members might get the wrong impression that you are an active member of the LGBTQ community and this in turn could have an adverse impact on one's everyday life and associations.

While we are slowly making progress as a society, one must choose their battles with discretion.


Posted by Sally Vance, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 8:47 am

Sally Vance is a registered user.

"When interracial marriage is on the chopping block, will you speak up for those who could lose their marriage licenses?"

^ This development is highly unlikely as SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas would most likely have to recuse himself from this hypothetical judicial scenario or risk being branded a hypocrite.

"...Abraham Lincoln didn't have the authority to proclaim ANYONE free in this country?"

^ In actuality, Lincoln did not have the authority to proclaim this mandate as the Civil War was still in progress and the Confederacy had not yet surrendered.

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to disrupt the Southern economy and to entice newly-freed African-American male slaves into joining the Union military forces.

Lincoln's intent was not social justice but rather a political and economic gamble to further cripple the south.

Lincoln also explored the idea of providing free passage for all freed slaves back to Africa upon the conclusion of the war as this measure would expedite the cultural and political reunification of North and South as a predominantly white country.

The point here is that Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than accommodating former African American slaves.


Posted by Malcom Smith, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 9:36 am

Malcom Smith is a registered user.

The 14th Amendment

Section 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.

SCOTUS interpretation of the 14th Amendment (both past & present) is where the conflict lies.

Are these rights ‘implied' and also applicable to abortion rights as decided earlier by the SCOTUS or non-applicable as opined recently based on originalist textualism?

If originalist textualism is the legal compass, then LGBTQ rights are safely preserved regardless of opinion (legal or private) and there should be no further need for voter rights legislation.

The liberal view = the Constitution is a living & breathing document.

The conservative view = originalist/textual...if a legal issue is not clearly stated in the Constitution, then the power to initiate and enforce certain laws reverts back to the states.

Legal drinking, driving, and marital age are all established by the states as these provisions are not covered in the Constitution. And the same will apply to abortions as decided recently by the SCOTUS.

Times are far more complex than when our founding fathers were drafting this experiment in democracy.


Posted by A Young Republican, a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 11:12 am

A Young Republican is a registered user.

If the federal government can restrict the sale of tobacco products to adolescents citing harmful health effects, it also has the right to curtail abortions which are inherently harmful to an unborn fetus.

A right to privacy is one thing but the right to privacy in order to commit murder would not stand in any court of law in the United States.


Posted by Lorraine Edwards, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 11:37 am

Lorraine Edwards is a registered user.

As per the 14th Amendment, the LGBTQ community is entitled to both privacy and a lawful existence in American society but as Florida governor Ron DeSantis has rightfully emphasized, private pro-LGBTQ enterprises such as Disney will sacrifice business tax breaks because their progressive platform is not reflective of Florida residents as a whole.

Having recently taken my kids to see the Disney/Pixar production of 'Lightyear', I grew weary of having to explain a same-sex kiss by a lesbian couple in the movie.

Kids do not need to be exposed to this lifestyle at such an early age and I suspect that Walt Disney would be appalled at the new Disney direction.


Posted by Bobbie Neuman, a resident of another community,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Bobbie Neuman is a registered user.

As a young college student, I demonstrated on the behalf of civil rights for African Americans, the legalization of marijuana, a lowered voting age, gun control, probate reform, and a woman's right to an abortion.

I have not and will not march on the behalf of an LGBTQ agenda because I cannot relate to this community whether in practice or political philosophy.

Advocacy is one thing but you have to draw the line somewhere.


Posted by Regular Guy, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 10, 2022 at 4:37 pm

Regular Guy is a registered user.

"Another consideration is misconception as friends, co-workers, and family members might get the wrong impression that you are an active member of the LGBTQ community and this in turn could have an adverse impact on one's everyday life and associations."

Unfortunately being gay in America still carries a certain stigma.

Last year our seven year-old son made a pride flag on scratch paper with crayons and my wife (who is female) placed it on our refrigerator along with his other 2nd grade drawings.

Fast forward to this summer. His grandfather and I are taking him on a trip to Montana for his first fly fishing excursion and for some reason he asked if he could place a pride decal on our SUV bumper as we will be driving there. I denied his request because...

My wife joked that in a red state such as Montana, the locals might think that my father in-law and I are gay male parents and as guests in another locale, we would not want to give that false impression.

So I can understand that while some straight folks might support LGBTQ rights, they do not want to create any misconceptions.


Posted by Robyn Fisher, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 11, 2022 at 9:00 am

Robyn Fisher is a registered user.

The advocacy of pro-active gun control measures and preserving a woman's right to an abortion have little if nothing to do with LGBTQ societal objectives.


Posted by Adrienne Fortiere, a resident of another community,
on Jul 11, 2022 at 10:42 am

Adrienne Fortiere is a registered user.

Unlike gun control and abortion rights, there is no current political movement to to regulate the private activities of consenting adults.

Most American citizens simply opt to look the other way.


Posted by Cecily Rhodes, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 11, 2022 at 11:44 am

Cecily Rhodes is a registered user.

"The liberal view = the Constitution is a living & breathing document."
"The conservative view = originalist/textual..."

The Bible is not a living and breathing document subject to whimsical interpretation and/or alterations based on convenience...the Bible is God's word.

And as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned, its originalist/textual parameters allow for changes in the law but they must be legislated by Congress or on the state level.

It's no different than residing in a condo with HOA mandates...if one doesn't like the rules, either move out or initiate change via the democratic process.


Posted by Gabriel Klein, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:46 pm

Gabriel Klein is a registered user.

The Old Testament, Quran, and Torah spell things out quite clearly and serve as a foundation for our current laws both here and abroad.

These sacred texts provide a moral compass for civilized societal behavior.

Gun control is not mentioned nor condemned in these ancient writings but LGBTQ behavior is.

I am not clear as to whether abortion is mentioned but it does constitute murder if a specialized nature.


Posted by Gabriel Klein, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Gabriel Klein is a registered user.

[of] a specialized nature.


Posted by Ronnie Jackson, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 9:34 am

Ronnie Jackson is a registered user.

No one has ever said that politics are fair or that justice is always righteous.

We'll just have to live with these legislative and judicial decisions until they are repealed by a new ones enacted by a subsequent group of politicians and judges.

Until then, life goes on.

America is still the best country on Earth in which to live and this clearly explains why so many people from abroad continue to seek residency here.

They are not flocking to despotic locales like Africa, the Arab Peninsula, Middle East, Central America, China, Russia, Pakistan or India where freedom remains a pipedream.

Count your blessings.


Posted by Jon Keeling, a resident of Community Center,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 11:23 am

Jon Keeling is a registered user.

@Raymond Larkin posted: "Everyone here has overlooked or missed a key culprit...one that is shared by all mass shooters and associated criminal minds...LOW SELF-ESTEEM!"

Please note that I *DID* mention SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) as a priority in my prior post. I did not have space to go into detail on this and other things.

I suspect I have put more time, effort and expertise into this subject than anyone else posting here. And it is my opinion that this subject is complicated and multi-faceted.

I have experienced Active Shooter Training with law enforcement. I was the only person in the group of volunteers without military/police training to be given a role with a gun. I was the "good guy with a gun" and can tell you that this could be a scary position to be in if the cops came and confused you with the bad guy with a gun...Having done a lot of work with police over the years, I handled it fine. But many people have unrealistic views on how such a situation would play out.

Yes, low self-esteem is often part of the problem. But not always. I have done quite a bit of research and one thing that is clear is that it is not clear! ;-) There are very few attributes that apply to the vast majority of shooters so creating a "profile" is very challenging. In hindsight, people say "it was so obvious he was going to do this." But in reality many people "fit the profile" and don't do anything and others shock their family and friends by doing something unexpected like shooting up a school.

Someone else posted that "Suicide is irrelevant..."

It is not irrelevant. Almost every mass shooter in recent history has planned to take their own life when they feel they will be apprehended or killed. There are a few recent cases where the shooter walked away, thinking maybe they would get away with it. But they had fully planned on taking their own life.

This is complicated, folks. Discussion can be productive. Just complaining is not. Let's keep talking.


Posted by Regina Miller, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 11:50 am

Regina Miller is a registered user.

"Almost every mass shooter in recent history has planned to take their own life when they feel they will be apprehended or killed."

^ Who cares? After they have done their damage to humanity, why waste taxpayer dollars on extended trials and long-term incarceration?

Good riddance.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

To the commenter, Ronnie Jackson, I would like to say that the reputation of USA is no longer safe or free and people are flocking to other countries where they feel safer due to the gun climate here. Other countries will not tolerate the lack of gun laws here and are tightening their laws all the time.

I would go futher to say that there are many who are leaving USA to live in safer countries.

Freedom and safety is leading to fear and escape.


Posted by Exodus, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Exodus is a registered user.

"I would go futher to say that there are many who are leaving USA to live in safer countries."

BUT...

"They are not flocking to despotic locales like Africa, the Arab Peninsula, Middle East, Central America, China, Russia, Pakistan or India where freedom remains a pipedream."

The American expatriates who can afford to relocate are moving to predominantly white European countries or places like Baja California and Costa Rica which cater to white/moneyed 'refugees.'

Let's get real here as certain hellholes are not on the travel agenda...just 'nice' places.


Posted by Stephen Pryor, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Stephen Pryor is a registered user.

Sometimes the SCOTUS gets it right and other times wrong.

Dred Scott case (1857) > wrong

Fred Korematsu case (1944) > wrong

Trump vs Hawaii (2018) > correct

The Dred Scott and Fred Korematsu cases involved American-born citizens whose civil rights were violated due to racism.
And as a result, they were eventually overturned.

The Trump vs Hawaii case involved President Trump's Muslim ban which was ruled constitutional because refugees and immigrants from abroad are not American-born U.S. citizens and consequently, they do not have the same rights & privileges.

Trump vs Hawaii was a good call as it restricts immigration into the United States and refutes racism and bigotry as reasons for preventing certain individuals from entering the country.

A liberal (and wrongful) judicial majority gave rise to the Scott and Korematsu decisions.

A conservative (and correct) judicial majority upheld President Trump's Muslim ban.

When it comes to deciding the constitutionality of gun control and abortion rights, it depends on what goalposts you are defending.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of JLS Middle School,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 5:51 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

"Regular Guy", this is not criticism of your kid flying the pride flag, but perhaps just another layer. My favorite 7 year old loves rainbows. Loves, loves, loves them. She crayons them on every piece of paper she can get her hands on. Whether she's drawing a picture of a house or her family, there is a rainbow prominently displayed on it. She has no idea what a "pride flag" is. I have wondered, on what day exactly, someone will tell her it has another meaning. For now, she thinks a rainbow is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. We go chasing to find them whenever it rains. Sightings of them are rare. I hope when she learns that a rainbow flag shows gay pride, she will like them even more. And appreciate them that much more. I can't say what I'd have done in your situation. I suppose, to keep the peace, you made the right choice for you. But I hope your son doesn't end up being gay, and has to remember that time when his symbol of pride wasn't allowed to ride along on a trip to see grandpa. Not everyone on the way (or in Montana) is a bigot. I'm sure you're not, either. Maybe all people would see is three generations, going fly fishing. They probably aren't even looking at the bumper of your car.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of JLS Middle School,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 6:02 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

[Post removed. Successive posts from same person are not permitted.]


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 12, 2022 at 8:19 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

MF, I love the story of your daughter loving rainbows. I hope you tell her the story of Noah's Ark and the rainbow is a prominent part of the story. When the flood subsided, God sent a rainbow and used it as a symbol of his promise not to destroy the world again with water.

Rainbows mean much more than a flag and are also a lot of fun for children to make if you find a prism and water from say a hose to make a rainbow on a sunny day. Children have enjoyed rainbows for a long time. There is also a song, Red and Yellow and Pink and Blue, I can sing a Rainbow. Do teach her the magic of rainbows while she enjoys them so much.


Posted by Phil Taylor, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 6:55 am

Phil Taylor is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Emily Hawthorne, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 9:46 am

Emily Hawthorne is a registered user.

"...speaking of the old days, decades ago you could find a gay bar (several of them, even!) within a 15 mile radius of Palo Alto."

Having lived in the midpenonsula since 1955, I don't recall any of these establishments in Palo Alto or anywhere nearby...not that I was keeping an open eye out for them.

There were no public advertisements to my knowledge nor any 'word of mouth' innuendos that I was aware of.

Perhaps these venues were situated in larger cities like San Jose or Redwood City?

""Where there once was a thriving and healthy gay community, it has now all but evaporated."

On what grounds did you establish this premise? San Francisco immediately comes to mind but around here, things were always kind of low key and down to earth.

Times have changed and if anything, I would expect the LGBTQ community to be thriving...both in numbers and mainstream activities.

The annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco is very colorful and at times outlandish. It often reminds me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.



Posted by Ken Stafford, a resident of another community,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 9:59 am

Ken Stafford is a registered user.

> The annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco is very colorful and at times outlandish. It often reminds me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

The Gay Pride Parade is a community celebration, no different then the annual Chinese New Year's parade.


Posted by Hugh Mather, a resident of another community,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 10:24 am

Hugh Mather is a registered user.

• Having lived in the midpenonsula [sic] since 1955, I don't recall any of these establishments in Palo Alto or anywhere nearby...not that I was keeping an open eye out for them.

There used to be one by the current San Jose Sharks Arena called The Manhole.

It has been closed for decades but the boarded-up building still remains.


Posted by Liu Wen, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Liu Wen is a registered user.

"The Gay Pride Parade is a community celebration, no different then the annual Chinese New Year's parade."

Big difference. The Chinese New Year's parade celebrates good fortune and prosperity.

The Gay Pride Parade celebrates the freedom to be who you want to be.


Posted by Mildred Johnson, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 1:04 pm

Mildred Johnson is a registered user.

It's such a shame that words like gay and rainbow have taken on negative connotations.

At one time, gay meant happy and festive. Now it is an integral part of the LGBTQ acronym and rarely used by straight people to convey any form of joy lest it be misconstrued by others.

And now rainbows?


Posted by Madison Peterson, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 1:24 pm

Madison Peterson is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Jesse Martin, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Jesse Martin is a registered user.

Speaking as a true libertine, unlimited access to abortion should be legal throughout all 50 states and absolutely no restrictions imposed upon LGBTQ lifestyles or firearms ownership.

These basic freedoms are what our forefathers fought and bled for.

Conservatives and liberals alike need to recognize that further government restrictions on implied Constitutional rights are not in the best interests of our country and that SCOTUS decisions are not the final word, just another opinion dependent upon who is sitting on the bench.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of JLS Middle School,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 4:40 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Y'all gotta get out more. Emily, you can look at the link below. It sounds like you may have benefited from having an LGBTQ establishment closer to you. You could have picked up one of the SEVERAL SF/South Bay newspapers that had advertisements for all of the gay establishments in the days of yore. Just because you never heard of them doesn't mean they didn't exist. Web Link


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of another community,
on Jul 13, 2022 at 4:49 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

[Post removed. Successive posts by same person are not permitted.]


Posted by A Liberal with Guns, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 5:30 am

A Liberal with Guns is a registered user.

Dear Diana, and I mean all of this respectfully,
You named your blog: "An Alternative View" and your mission statement reads in part: "My goal with this blog is to help the public better understand what really is happening,".

First, I am a life-long classic liberal and registered Democrat as well.
I am fully pro-abortion and pro-gay-rights (I'm old enough to remember when that's what it was called) and support most of the long-standing line-items in the Democrat platforms.

Would you want people to make such huge assumptions about other people to decide on abortion or gay rights as you have done about this issue, or would you want people to do real research and know what they are talking about?

Wouldn't you be far more effective in arguing your point if you knew and understood the true facts about the issue before you wrote your opinion and your proposed "solution"?

Or do you feel people should only allow themselves know what supports their pre-judged opinions and should never take the risk of learning anything new?

I would love it if you would apply your stated concepts to this issue.
I wish you would do actual research about it too.
I would love to have an honest discussion (email or in person) with you about it too.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

However, and with respect, what you have written is not at all "An Alternative View" nor in any manner helping people understand anything.

What you have written only shows you have a lot to learn about the facts of the issue.

This blog has so many factual errors which you could have easily researched to learn about and avoided spreading misinformation, that I hardly know where to begin to address these false statements.

All it would have taken in one phone call or email with someone who knows the issue in detail and you might have written something that honors your blog's name.


Posted by Lonnie Garnett, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 7:02 am

Lonnie Garnett is a registered user.

@MyFeelz
It's terrific that there are (and were) some bars that catered to the LGBTQ population as many people enjoy a venue where they can wind down with friends and associates of the same feather with common interests.

That said, years ago I inadvertently walked into a gay bar with another buddy and both of us being straight, we were not made to feel all that welcome by the other patrons or the bartender.

Soon the experience began to feel kind of creepy and after finishing our one and only drink, we left for a more conventional establishment.

Providing one does not overemphasize their sexual preferences, a gay person can enjoyably co-exist in a straight bar but not vice versa.

In gay bars, the 'gay radar' is always on and it is uncomfortable feeling pre-screened upon entrance.


Posted by Bryan Kendricks, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 7:35 am

Bryan Kendricks is a registered user.

I have a couple of lesbian acquaintances whom I enjoy going to baseball games with.

They are always good company because they are very insightful and knowledgeable about the sport.

On the other hand, I once attended a baseball game with a gay male colleague and all he could do for nine innings was compliment the physiques of the various ballplayers and this made for a very unpleasant experience.

I suspect that many straight guys can get along fine with lesbian friends who share common interests (i.e. sports and music etc.) than they can with gay males who are always checking other guys out.


Posted by Rebecca Townsend, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 8:02 am

Rebecca Townsend is a registered user.

"I suspect that many straight guys can get along fine with lesbian friends who share common interests..."

^ And the same applies to straight women who have gay male friends.

I have a gay male friend that I frequently go shopping with. He is always good company and has a keen eye pertaining to women's fashions and accessories.

And we can comfortably discuss menfolk as the topic is also of interest to him.

My boyfriend on the other hand, has minimal interest in anything pertaining to 'women's world' and would just as soon stay home watching football and drinking beer.


Posted by Stephen Caine, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 11:12 am

Stephen Caine is a registered user.

This is a very enlightening thread.

Kudos to Ms. Diamond and the PA Weekly moderators for allowing it to breathe.

My conclusions...

(1) Assault weapon possession should be limited to military and/or law enforcement (SWAT Team) applications as no private citizen really needs that kind of firepower.

(2) The LGBTQ lifestyle is here to stay and it is not unrealistic nor unreasonable to assume that many straight males find themselves uncomfortable being around gay males. This has nothing to do with being homophobic but rather personal comfort zones.

On the other hand, many straight women enjoy the company of effeminate gay men because in many instances, they share common interests and concerns.

We cannot mix oil and water with the possible exception.of salad dressing.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 11:21 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It is interesting to see how this thread has developed.

From my younger years, camp humor was funny and we found it easy to laugh at those who often made fun of themselves. Nowadays, humor is often mistakenly the cause of offense or even hate. Also from my younger years, the ability to play "cowboys and indians" without being made to feel we were doing something hateful or culturally wrong, was in my opinion harmless fun and to some extent educational as we played out some of the scenes we saw from movies or tv shows.

Today humor and role play are almost forbidden for children. Do they still dress up as indians and pilgrims for Thanksgiving? Or, is the politically correct society taking away another childhood tradition?


Posted by Stephen Caine, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 11:37 am

Stephen Caine is a registered user.

"Today humor and role play are almost forbidden for children. Do they still dress up as indians and pilgrims for Thanksgiving? Or, is the politically correct society taking away another childhood tradition?"

The PC police have eliminated countless harmless expressions.

For example...it is now considered politically incorrect to dress up for Halloween (or an adult costume party) as a gypsy, an Arab, a Native American Indian, Buckwheat, an Oriental person, or a hobo.

Some people are getting way too oversensitive as most white folks are not offended by others wearing cowboy outfits.


Posted by Julia Moss, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jul 14, 2022 at 3:19 pm

Julia Moss is a registered user.

When my sons were children, we let them have BB guns, pellet guns, and .22 rifles as they got older.

Except for having to pay for a few neighbors' windows, no harm was ever done and our boys were only allowed to fire their .22s at squirrels when we went camping on a friend's private property up north.

Guns are a part of American culture and everyone should know how to operate a basic firearm safely and effectively.

Our nation's history beginning with the French and Indian Wars to the American Revolution and through the 19th century westward expansion was dependent on one's ability to fire a rifle accurately.

The bad guys often had weapons too which is why the Colt .45 revolver was nicknamed 'the Equalizer' and the Winchester Model 73 became the rifle that tamed the west.

Times have changed and there is no logical reason for civilians to own semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines and high velocity bullets.

If one really wants access to these kinds of firearms, they should consider joining the military where these weapons can be used against America's enemies.


Posted by A Liberal with Guns, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Jul 15, 2022 at 5:42 am

A Liberal with Guns is a registered user.

I have three sincere questions for everyone, especially Diana.

1) Can you accept the possibility that a person could strongly agree with you on most issues, but also strongly disagree with you on one issue?

2) If you feel you are correct on an issue, do you feel it is justified to lie about related facts in the hopes those lies will achieve your methods to address the issue, because your intentions are good (or for any other reason)?

3) Once you feel you are correct on an issue, are you willing to learn additional information on the issue that might potentially contradict what you feel is true, or do you prefer to close your mind for fear of learning something that could threaten your beliefs?

As an atheist, scientist and engineer, I have always believed and always found that all knowledge is inherently good and potentially useful. If you allow yourself to learn new information about an issue you have decided on already, at the very least you will be far better prepared to argue for your side of the issue, your arguments will be far more effective and you are far less likely to be proven to be wrong on some relevant facts. Credibility matters and knowledge creates credibility.

These questions apply to pretty much any issue and any side.
The answers are critical to trying to bridge the deep divide that has developed in our nation.


Posted by Hal Traynor, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jul 15, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Hal Traynor is a registered user.

An overly zealous acceptance of religious dogma led to the repeal of Roe vs Wade.

This backwards mentality is far more prevalent in red states and regions where god-fearing ignorance remains supreme.


Posted by Anita Lee, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 15, 2022 at 2:37 pm

Anita Lee is a registered user.

The repeal of Roe vs Wade has nothing to do with religion other than many of its supporters are evangelical Christians who abhor the murder/destruction of an unborn human being.

Americans who are staunch supporters of human rights should understand this basic concept.


Posted by Missy Latimer, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jul 15, 2022 at 3:40 pm

Missy Latimer is a registered user.

Religion (or a lack thereof) aside, we have become a souless nation overly obsessed with mass consumerism and self-serving conveniences.

When people eventually realize that the world does not revolve around them, perhaps things will get better.

Until then, we are all screwed.


Posted by Donald Clark, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jul 15, 2022 at 7:46 pm

Donald Clark is a registered user.

These gun-related tragedies are easily explainable...as a nation, many people have lost their optimism and hope for the future.

And this sense of hopelessness trickles down to the younger generation.

It has nothing to do with red-blue political deliniations, fervent Christian evangelicism, or racism.

People have lost faith in tomorrow and many have chosen their own ways of accepting and dealing with this dilemma whether it be through violence, robbery, substance abuse, or a 'blame game' directed at others.

Making excuses never solves the problem but few want to face up to realities.


Posted by Meghan Roth, a resident of Stanford,
on Jul 16, 2022 at 10:34 am

Meghan Roth is a registered user.

America has become a dystopian society with disfunctional governance.

And while many Americans do not want to live under these conditions, it is what is is and at present there is too much disunity upon the various factions to reach a common ground.

The Party of Trump (along with a conservative SCOTUS bench) and the progressive left will never come to terms.

And the next thirty years will be marked by this disunity.


Posted by Jackie Prentiss, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jul 16, 2022 at 12:47 pm

Jackie Prentiss is a registered user.

I too have lost faith in the future of this country.

246 years of democracy was a good run but now it's over.


Posted by Pamela Tieg, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 16, 2022 at 3:49 pm

Pamela Tieg is a registered user.

> America has become a dystopian society with disfunctional governance.

>> ...the next thirty years will be marked by this disunity.

>>> 246 years of democracy was a good run but now it's over.

So true. The younger people will be inheriting this mess and can easily point their fingers at the true culprits including the MAGA movement, evangelical Christians, the NRA, and progressive liberals promoting changes that most of America is not quite ready to accept.

Fortunately I will not be around when this festering boil erupts into total national disharmony and the possible secesession of states rights advocates.

Some say we are already there.


Posted by Warren Sykes, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Jul 17, 2022 at 10:22 am

Warren Sykes is a registered user.

The COVID pandemic and its adverse impact on the economy as well as public health has also been a contributing factor to the overall pessimism we are now experiencing as a nation.

The mutant COVID variants are necessitating mass vaccinations and there is word of a 5th vaccine currently being developed to combat the Omicron strain. When will this all end?

"Unfortunately being gay in America still carries a certain stigma."

The recent surge in monkeypox has contributed to this assertation as both San Francisco and New York are asking President Biden to expedite full-scale production of the monkeypox vaccine to safeguard the gay population.

As of this week there are over 1,800 reported cases in the United States and the number is growing.

Rare zoonotic transmissions aside, sexual practices among the L [GBT] Q community has increased the number of these cases and further steps must be taken to protect the general public as surface contact can also spread the disease.

Add political dissent, the recent SCOTUS decisions restricting abortion (and potentially other personal freedoms), inflation, the recent shootings etc. and it is no wonder that many disenchanted people see the glass as half empty or less.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 18, 2022 at 4:23 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Another mass shooting yesterday in a mall in Indiana. Once again a young man was the shooter and what's the betting his father was absent.

Our young men are losing any type of hope in life. They are being told their masculinity is toxic and if they they are white as is so often the case, that they have privilege as a result, even if they live in a blue collar setting without future prospects.

The American dream is not one that these young men can visualize for themselves. They feel like second class citizens without anyone giving them hope or self esteem. There is a war on boys, a lack of male role models and society gives them not a second thought.

These attitudes must change. Our young men must be given a hope and a future. They must see value in their lives. They must feel self worth. Condemnation of this whole demographic group must change.

Our youth are screaming out for help. How long will they be ignored?


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