Guns in America After Newtown

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Here’s a look at some stats on guns — the deaths and school shootings, America’s public opinion and the failed Congressional attempt to take action — in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 27 people, including 20 children and the shooter.

The Victims

Slate editors note in the introduction to their crowdsourced map that attempts to visualize gun deaths in the US (pictured below), determining the actual number of gun deaths each year is “surprisingly hard.” That’s because as many as 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides that usually go unreported by the press.

Number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death, between Newtown and December 2013 (that have been reported by the media): 12,042

Number of people killed by guns so far in 2014: 4,772

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 51,158

Total gun deaths in 2010 (the latest year for which the CDC posts data): 31,672
number of those who were children or teens: 2,700

Number of school shootings since Newtown: 79*

Jan. 7, 2013 –Apostolic Revival Center Christian School, Fort Myers, FL – Kristopher Smith, 27, a student’s parent, was killed.
Jan. 10, 2013 –Taft Union High School, Taft, CA – one injured.
Jan. 15, 2013 –Stevens Institute of Business and Arts, St. Louis, MO – two injured.
Jan. 15, 2013 –Hazard Community and Technical College, Hazard, KY – Taylor Jade Cornett, 12, Caitlin Cornett, 20, and Jackie Cornett, 53, were killed.
Jan. 16, 2013 –Chicago State University, Chicago, IL – Tyrone Lawson, 17, was killed.
Jan. 22, 2013 –Lone Star College, Houston, TX – three injured.
Jan. 31, 2013 –Price Middle School, Atlanta, GA – one injured.
Feb. 1, 2013 –Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA – one injured.
Feb. 7, 2013 –Indian River St. College, Fort Pierce, FL – one injured.
Feb. 27, 2013 –Henry W. Grady High School, Atlanta, GA – one injured.
March 18, 2013 –University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL – The gunman, James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, killed himself.
March 21, 2013 –Davidson Middle School, Southgate, MI – Tyler Nichols, 13, killed himself.
April 12, 2013 –New River Community College, Christianburg, VA – two injured.
April 13, 2013 –Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC – one injured.
April 15, 2013 –Grambling State University, Grambling, LA – three injured.
April 16, 2013 –Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL – one injured.
April 18, 2013 –MIT, Cambridge, MA – MIT police officer Sean Collier, 27, was killed.
April 29, 2013 –La Salle High School, Cincinnati, OH – one injured.
June 7, 2013 –Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA – several were injured and six people were killed: Marcela Dia Franco, 26, Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, Margarita Gomez, 68, John Zawahri (the shooter), 23, Samir Zawahri (the shooter’s father), 55, and Christopher Zawahri (the shooter’s brother), 24.
June 19, 2013 –Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL – Christopher Marhsall, 48, and Ted Orama, 56, both custodians, were killed.
Aug. 20, 2013 –Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, Decatur, GA – a gunman fired shots and barricaded himself in an elementary school. No one was injured.
Aug. 22, 2013 –Westside Elementary School, Memphis, TN – a five-year-old brought a gun to school that went off while in his backpack. No one was injured.
Aug. 23, 2013 –North Panola High School, Sardis, MS – two were injured and Roderick Bobo, 15, was killed.
Aug. 30, 2013 –Carver High School, Winston-Salem, NC – one injured.
Sept. 21, 2013 –Savannah State University, Savannah, GA – Donald Bernard Lewis, 20, was killed.
Sept. 28, 2013 –Gray-New Gloucester High School, Gray, ME – Gaige McGue, 19, killed himself.
Oct. 4, 2013 –Agape Christian Academy, Pine Hills, FL – two injured.
Oct. 15, 2013 –Lanier High School, Austin, TX – Adrian Alvaresz, 16, killed himself.
Oct. 21, 2013 –Sparks Middle School, Sparks, NV – two were injured and Mike Landsberry, a teacher and Afghanistan veteran, was killed. The shooter, 12-year-old Jose Reyes, killed himself.
Nov. 2, 2013 –North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC – one injured.
Nov. 3, 2013 –Stephenson High School, Lithonia, GA – one injured.
Nov. 13, 2013 –Brashear High School, Pittsburgh, PA – three injured.
Nov. 21, 2013 –South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD – a professor, Alberto Lemut, 37, killed himself.
Dec. 4, 2013 –West Orange High School, Winter Garden, FL – one injured.
Dec. 13, 2013 –Arapahoe High School, Centennial, CO – Claire Davis, 17, and the shooter, Karl Pierson, 18, were killed.
Dec. 19, 2013 –Edison High School, Fresno, CA – two injured.
Jan. 9, 2014 –Liberty Technology Magnet High School, Jackson, TN – one injured.
Jan. 14, 2014 –Berrendo Middle School, Roswell, NM – two injured.
Jan. 15, 2014 –Martin Luther King Elementary School, Lancaster, PA – shots were fired. No one was injured.
Jan. 17, 2014 –Delaware Valley Charter School, Philadelphia, PA – two injured.
Jan. 20, 2014 –Widener University, Chester, PA – one injured.
Jan. 21, 2014 –Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN – Andrew Boldt, 21, was killed.
Jan. 24, 2014 –South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC – Brandon Robinson, 20, was killed.
Jan. 25, 2014 –Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles, CA – Ricardo Zetino, 31, was killed.
Jan. 27, 2014 –Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, IL – one injured.
Jan. 28, 2014 –Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN – one injured.
Jan. 28, 2014 –Grambling State University, Grambling, LA – three injured.
Jan. 30, 2014 –Eastern Florida State College, Palm Bay, FL – one injured.
Jan. 31, 2014 –North High School, Des Moines, IA – one injured.
Jan. 31, 2014 – Cesar Chavez High School, Pheonix, AZ – shooting broke out during a basketball game. No one was injured.
Feb. 8, 2014 –Bend High School, Bend, OR – Zachary Leyes, 17, killed himself.
Feb. 10, 2014 –Salisbury High School, Salisbury, NC – one injured.
Feb. 10, 2014 –Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH – shots were fired during a basketball game. No one was injured.
Feb. 12, 2014 –Union University, Jackson, TN – Olivia Greenlee, 21, was killed.
Feb. 19, 2014 –Lovejoy Elementary School, Alton, IL – A man fired a shot at the school building. No one was injured.
Feb. 20, 2014 –Raytown Success Academy, Raytown, MO – an adult male was killed.
March 2, 2014 –McDaniel College, Westminster, MD – shots were fired into a dormitory. No one was injured.
March 7, 2014 –Madison High School, Tallulah, LA – one injured.
March 8, 2014 –University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI – shots were fired during a dance. No one was injured.
March 12, 2014 –The Academy of Knowledge Preschool, Miami, FL – Michelle Wilcox, 33, was killed by her husband outside the preschool while it was in session.
March 23, 2014 –University of Delaware, Newark, DE – a man fired a gun in a school parking lot. No one was injured.
March 25, 2014 –Benjamin Banneker High School, Union City, GA – an argument between students lead to shots being fired. No one was injured.
March 30, 2014 –Savannah State University, Savannah, GA – a shot was fired in university housing. No one was injured.
April 2, 2014 –Kent State University, Kent, OH – one injured.
April 7, 2014 –Eastern New Mexico University, Roswell, Roswell, NM – Marcus Dupree, 22, was killed.
April 9, 2014 –D.H. Conley High School, Greenville, NC – Two students from another high school fired shots into the school while it was in session. No one was injured.
April 11, 2014 –East English Village Preparatory Academy, Detroit, MI – Darryl Smith, 19, was killed.
April 21, 2014 –Saint Mary School, Griffth, IN – Nina Castro, 42, was killed by her husband, Remenard Castro, 55, in the parking lot; he then killed himself.
April 21, 2014 –Provo High School, Provo, UT – one injured.
April 26, 2014 –Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, IA – one injured.
May 2, 2014 –Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI – one injured.
May 4, 2014 –Paine College, Augusta, GA – one injured.
May 5, 2014 –Paine College (again), Augusta, GA – one injured.
May 8, 2014 –Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA – one injured.
May 8, 2014 –Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY – one injured.
May 21, 2014 –Clark Street School, Milwaukee, WI – one injured.
May 23, 2014 –University of California, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, CA – Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, Weihan Wang, 20, Katherine Cooper, 22, Veronika Weiss, 19, and Christopher Michaels-Martinez, 20, were killed. Elliot Rodger, 22, the gunman, killed himself. Many other students were injured.
June 5, 2014 –Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington – one 19-year-old student was killed, two others were injured.
June 10, 2014 –Reynolds High School, Troutdale, OR – one student and the shooter were killed (developing story…)


Note on methodology: In the above list, we sought to give a conservative count. Some lists, like the one on Wikipedia and the one at Everytown For Gun Safety, include shootings that we do not. Our list includes incidents that happened wholly or partially on a school campus while students or staff were there. Our list does not include incidents of law enforcement officers responding with gunfire to a student with a non-firearm weapon, (e.g., if police shoot at a student who is threatening others with a knife). Our list also excludes murders and suicides that did not involve students or staff but occurred on campus while students and staff were not in the building.

(Mother Jones collected portraits and analyzed information on close to 200 children who have died from guns since Newtown) »
 

The Guns

Number of guns in the US: 310,000,000

Number of guns per person: About one gun for every American

Countries with more guns per person: None

Runner up: Yemen, with about 11 guns for every 20 Yemenis

Percentage of Americans with a gun in their home: 42

State with the highest rate of gun ownership: Wyoming, 61 percent

State with the lowest rate of gun ownership: New Jersey, 10 percent

Number of licensed firearms dealers in the US: 134,997

Number of grocery stores in the US: 37,053
 

The Money

Total spent by the NRA (2011): $231,071,589

Total spent by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the largest gun control organization (2011): $2,844,489
 

The Polls

Percentage of Americans that in March 2013 supported an assault weapons ban: 57
and in December 2013: 48

Percentage of Americans that in March 2013 supported background checks for all gun purchases: 91
and in December 2013: 77
 

The Vote

On April 17th, 2013, the Senate defeated several gun control measures, including the overwhelmingly popular proposal to expand background checks for firearms purchases. Here’s how each senator voted on the bipartisan proposal by Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA) that would have expanded background checks to online sales and sales at gun shows. The measure needed 60 votes to pass.

Yes Votes (54)

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
Thomas R. Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Christopher A. Coons (D-DE)
William Cowan (D-MA)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Manchin III (D-WV)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)
Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

No Votes (46)

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard M. Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Daniel Coats (R-IN)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael D. Crapo (R-ID)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Dean Heller (R-NV)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
James M. Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Harry Reid (D-NV)*
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

 

*Reid voted no for procedural reasons.

The State Laws

Since Newtown, no fewer than 114 bills were signed into law at the state level, according to an article in Mother Jones. In 22 states, new laws were created to curb gun violence. In 29 states, new laws were enacted making it easier for people to own guns, carry guns in public places and make it more difficult for the government to track guns. See an analysis of gun laws in your state and how it compares to others. 

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  • Ky subscriber

    The shooting at the college at Hazard Ky involved a custody dispute. Family involved choose the parking lot as exchange point for child and gunfire . Another social ill.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.longo.790 John Longo

    Why are you counting SUICIDES? That’s over HALF the numbers! I think if you get a terminal disease you have the RIGHT. Would you have terminal people jumping off of bridges, putting hoses in their cars or drinking drano?

  • cynthia

    My exhusband put a gun to my head in 1994 and pulled the trigger. The rifle either misfired or wasn’t loaded. He was sacked on booze & coke so who knows. Today I learned he was granted a permit for concealed handgun, in *NY state by an Ontario County judge. This man assaulted 2 ex wives and multiple girlfriends. WHY? Can anyone like him smoothtalk a rural judge? What the help? I am afraid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allanhunkin Allan Hunkin

    In Canada last year we had 173 gun related deathss. If you take our population which is 10% of the US which has about 10,500 deaths do to the same thing we should be about 1050 deaths percentage wise but we are less than 2%. Why… it’s not because we have fewer criminals or tough guys. (take a visit to anywhere in Northern Canada and you’ll change your mind about that) No, the answer is simple… guns don’t kill people… people with ready access to guns kill people.

  • faisdodo

    Harry Reid is a Jackass and needs to go. I don’t care who replaces him. He is anti Democracy, bought and paid for. There is no excuse. I own guns but I’m not stupid or crazy. Our politicians are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rothauser/692189125 David Rothauser

    Gun control in my opinion, is not a complex issue. In order to evade the deeper truth of the matter we debate, debate and debate – and nothing gets done. I posed this question to my college age Japanese students recently, “Why can’t you get guns in Japan the way we can here?” Their spontaneous response, “We don’t need them.”
    Its not that we can’t learn from other cultures, its that we don’t want to learn. Basically it is a simple issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nooz.nik Nooz Nik

    Comparing crime rates between Canada and the US is like comparing a pond of frogs to a herd of buffalo. Whatever you may conclude is most likely wrong.

    To get a better grasp about societal differences between Canada and the US, particularly when it comes to criminality, I would suggest you read, “The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy? by David B Kopel.

    It will clarify why your comparison is inherently wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nooz.nik Nooz Nik

    Gun control is indeed a simple issue

    1) The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the NAS (National Academy of Sciences) arrived in separate and independent studies to the same (unexpected) conclusions
    >>That there is NO EVIDENCE to support the thesis that gun-control has ANY effect on reducing crime<<

    2) The people who are pro-gun-control in the US, would do well to study the horrific abuses of civil rights that occurred in the past 200+ years in the US because of gun control gping back to even before the Creation of the US in 1776.
    This would be a good place to start

    This is another good primer

    3) As to your Japanese friend, you forget an important piece of Japanese history. While under the rule of the Samurai for centuries, the Japanese population was at the whim and mercy of a small band of armed people – the Samurai – who enforced their power by being armed and everyone else being disarmed.

    The ONLY way people were able to defend themselves from centuries of thuggish rule was by complete submission, and for the few that would stand and fight, the development of various “martial arts” that did not use traditional weapons.

    I will also point out that in Japan, the criminal element, the Yakuza, have no problems getting guns and being armed. Clearly even in Japan, the criminals “need” guns..

    4) The big difference in the US, compared to Japan, is that with a few exceptional (Democrat) enclaves where gun-control is rampant, most people can and do arm themselves for self-protection. They also do not rely on the police, who legally, as per the US Supreme Court (Warren) have NO DUTY to come to the aid or protect anyone.
    That translates far too often into “Call 911 and die..”
    But in places like Chicago, in 2012, there was on Sandy Hook massacre just about every 2 weeks.
    And apparently 2013 is going to be even worse
    What a great success gun-control has been in Chicago

    5) Having spent some time teaching Math, Logic, and assorted Computer related subjects, I have a simple formula for why gun-control is doomed.
    1) Man + gun CAN lead to violence
    2) Man + (NO gun) can also lead to violence

    3) No Man + gun = NO violence..
    It’s not the guns, people
    Its the criminals who would use guns or other tools to commit violence that is the problem

    STOP BLAMING and trying to punish the TOOL
    Instead blame and punish the person who MISUSES the tool

  • Anonymous

    Look at where gun violence is occurring and you will see an area of
    economic ruin. You want to end gun violence? Pull those areas out of
    ruin. Give them jobs and a sense of hope. If this is not done, gun
    violence will remain, despite whatever law is passed.

  • Chris B

    Can someone provide the number of drunk driving deaths year to date? Should we ban alcohol or cars or both?

  • Mary

    It is illegal to drive drunk, and there are criminal penalties if you do. There are legitimate reasons for civilian car ownership. Car ownership and operation is regulated to ensure personal and public safety and accountability. The current proposed gun reforms seek to enact laws that incent responsibility, deter criminal activity, and provide a legal foundation for prosecution. The only ban being proposed is on assault weapons, for which there is no legitimate reason for civilian ownership. Assault weapons are inherently offensive in capability, and far surpass the self-defense litmus test.

    When unfettered individual freedoms create a public bad, they must be regulated in order to preserve the public good. Unregulated gun ownership, like unregulated auto ownership or unregulated smoking or unregulated corporate greed — has a profoundly net-negative effect on our society – it takes lives (87 a day), costs billions in health care and public service costs (which taxpayers foot the bill for), devastates families and communities, and decreases productivity — unregulated gun ownership completely undermines our ability to be a strong nation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephena.held Stephena Helms Held

    WOW! Read it weep, folks. And our legislators won’t do a thing because they fear Wayne LaPierre, the paid hack of the weapons industry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/axmansland Axel Koch

    It is interesting to note that the State with the lowest gun ownership, per your statistics, is also completely RED with gun deaths…….Next hypothesis please!

  • Bill

    It is also illegal to shoot people with criminal penalties for doing so. Laws don’t seem to work for some people, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000357460804 Nora Edwards

    Is it possible that in more congested areas, there are more gun deaths because there is no good reason to have a gun. And in the rural areas the people who own guns are more responsible about them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Milton-Findley/100000804170632 Milton Findley

    Gun deaths are like every other people related problem in that if there are more people, there are more people problems. It is strictly a population per square mile thing, not a matter of responsibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Milton-Findley/100000804170632 Milton Findley

    Once again, population. What is the rate of gun related crime per capita?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Milton-Findley/100000804170632 Milton Findley

    That is correct, all the more reason to limit the access to the instruments.

  • scott skye

    I hear this line of reasoning a lot. Here’s another angle- since we don’t have consistent gun laws from state to state, states like NJ are at a huge disadvantage. There, it’s harder for law abiding citizens to get guns but since neighboring states have laxer gun laws, and particularly since so many guns can still be bought without background checks, lowlifes buy many untraceable guns and go to states like NJ and sell them to any gangbanger who can pay. The answer isn’t more legal gun ownership in states like NJ, but rather background checks for all gun purchases so there will be fewer and fewer untraceable guns out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Tenstring Doug Harvey

    Poverty.

  • Trojan Horace

    The legislation said nothing about banning guns… it was looking to tighten up registration – cars are registered too – and alcohol sales and consumption are controlled and if abused will result in criminal charges – and everyone knows you’ll be busted for drink-driving – i.e. asinine analogy Chris

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Milton-Findley/100000804170632 Milton Findley

    Solved with a gun.

  • scott skye

    It doesn’t mean we stop having laws does it?

  • Thom Frost

    new york and illinois have a total ban on guns but yet there is still gun violence.

    getting rid of guns or having tougher gun registration.
    according to the fbi own statistics 90% of all gun crimes are committed with handguns not assault rifles.
    and of all the crimes committed with handguns 84% are unregistered or not used by the owner.
    so taking the guns or requiring registration is not going to help.
    i think the time and money would be better spent working on the underlying issue.
    most of the shooters have mental issues.
    they would had and will kill people with or without guns.
    we saw with the boston bombing that you dont need a gun to kill lots of people.
    if someone wants to do harm to another they will find a way.
    270,000,000 gun’s owned but yet according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms.
    that is .00001.772% deaths caused by guns in 4 years.

    chart taken from the fbi web site http://1.usa.gov/Sbj7C6

    Total firearm deaths by year:
    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    10,129 9,528 9,199 8,874 8,583

    yes every death is tragic and i would like to see a world where everyone dies of old age.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1518851559 Kathryn J Maver

    On the topic of gun bans in Illinois, you are mistaken. Illinois does not have a total ban on guns. Chicago has a gun ban. There are, or have been, a ban on guns in a suburb or two–not sure if they are still in effect.

  • http://twitter.com/childdevprof Professor Pam

    We have banned drinking and driving. Would you propose that we get rid of DUI laws because the problem hasn’t been completely eradicated?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1518851559 Kathryn J Maver

    That is absolutely horrifying. Best reason ever for strictly enforced background checks. I send up a prayer for your safety.

  • http://twitter.com/childdevprof Professor Pam

    Wait, which country is the pond of frogs in your analogy?

  • Jim S

    Here you go:

    http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-death-rate-per-100-000

    NJ may be “RED with gun deaths” but it has one of the lowest per capita death rates from firearms in the nation: 48th out of 51 (including DC). Wyoming has nearly 4 times the rate of New Jersey, coming in 4th out of 51.

    Sorry Axel, but the overwhelming evidence is that common sense gun control saves lives.

  • KD

    As much as I respect Bill and what he does, it is a shame that he throws these “statistics” out there without any other research. This is not Bill Moyers usual quality of style. Look at New York alone. 48 total deaths, 32 of those in New York City, a place where it is virtually impossible to get a legal gun – yet no mention of this fact. Remember Bill, statistics don’t lie, by liars make statistics.

  • Doug

    Murder is banned, right? But yet we still have murders happening all the time. By most R’s logic, we shouldn’t ban murdering because it doesn’t work, right? Drunk driving laws ban drunk driving, yet people still do it, so why have the law against? Do you see where that logic takes you? Just because it won’t eliminate it, doesn’t mean we should do nothing instead.

  • Doug

    You realize that more people are dying in the US from gun violence than US soldiers that died in the ten year war in Iraq. We are a worse enemy to ourselves than terrorists are to our soldiers.

  • kd

    There are already background checks any time you buy a gun at a dealer and in NY, you can not buy a gun without getting it through a dealer and without a call to the FBI, yet NYC, where it is impossible to get a LEGAL gun has the large majority of gun deaths in the state, 32 in the city, 17 in the rest of the entire state. And if we buy your argument about cross state gun trafficking, isn’t this a failure of our government to control crime? Isn’t Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo at fault here for their inability to control something that is already illegal? And the best they can do is release violent criminals from prison early due to budgetary constraints. Remember, 80+ % of violent gun crime in this country is at the hands of recidivist criminals – parolees.

  • KD

    How about just vehicle deaths – if we apply this logic to cars, we would all be back to horses in short order.

  • KD

    They said nothing about banning guns, but this is where they are going – look at history – it repeats itself. Also note that cars and registration of cars is not protected by the constitution, nor is alcohol. Asinine response. Do we register typewriters to exercise our right to free speech? Can you name any other constitutionally protected right that we need to “ask permission” from the govt. to exercise? Get your head out of your butt.

  • Guest

    It looks like wherever there are a lot of people there is a lot of gun violence. This is why 90% of people want increased background checks, and why senators and others from less populated states can stick their heads in the sand and say no. I remember hearing a philosophy that if everyone voted for their own self interest, the interest of the people would be served. That’s hogwash. People need to vote for what serves the greater community and the greater good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Wyatt/100000150350053 Mark Wyatt

    Vote the gop out in the mid-terms, end the tyranny in congress, the gop is obviously no longer working for the citizenry as a whole, the gop is the party of the incorporated interest. This is more proof.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.chamberlain.50 Jeffrey Chamberlain

    The government push for gun control has nothing to do with public safety.

  • http://twitter.com/darkpath0010 Lane Lombardia

    Everything bad that an be done with a gun is already illegal. More laws are redundant. Additionally, the term “assault weapon” is a fiction. The legal definitions are arbitrary. Lastly, your figures include suicides.

  • http://www.facebook.com/axmansland Axel Koch

    and Hawaii is at the bottom of the list, with very liberal gun laws…Open carry of a handgun in Hawaii?? What maybe common sense to you is not common out here in the west. Just because you might be opposed to gun ownership, you think that there is a common sense? I agree that we should have expanded background checks, and a national database of people that are prohibited to purchase a firearm….but the bigger problem has still not been addressed…prescription psychotropic drugs, over prescribed in America….but nobody talks about that. How about suing the Psych doctors that push these pills on society?

  • Don key

    The NY and Ill stats demonstrate that leaving it to local control only is pointless. If it is easy to get a gun in the Chicago suburbs, or the state of Indiana, then of course Chicago can’t contain it.

  • Anonymous

    IF you really look at history, the party against the citizens are the democrats. Since 1913 they have been removing liberty and freedom. They are the party responsible for the last recession that they love to blame on Bush. They are the party that receives more corporate money than the republicans. Maybe if you find real news instead of the propaganda the Lame Stream media gives, biased and against the republican party.
    Instead of listening to them, me or anyone else, do your own research, and make sure the research is not just from liberal groups like factcheck, media matters, or any other biased group. AS Mulder says, the truth is out there

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.crooke.1 James Crooke

    you should not include the MIT officer or the suicide. He was not a gunman he was alone in his room. 91% of the people do not support back ground checks. A new poll released this week has that number at less than 40%. Stop asking democrats and ask everyone. Why not have a national referendum on the issue if you think it is over 90%. Also how about start putting out the facts and not the lies from 60 years ago.

  • Don Key

    The constitutional right to keep and bear arms had no intent to assure that street gangs could get and use guns unfettered. The paranoia that any attempt at background checks will undoubtedly lead to confiscation of your precious armory shows you for a lunatic. YOU get YOUR head out of your butt.

  • Anonymous

    Why so many murders is heavy gun control states? Maybe because criminals don’t obey laws and look for the soft targets that do? And it’s not 91% FOR background checks, that statistic is false

  • Don Key

    Spot on. We don’t need them either – but there is a subculture of paranoids who think they need to be armed to the teeth when the national guard is mobilized to round up all the crazy people. Ironically, they are encouraging the saner members of society to consider just that!

  • Rooster

    This is a Republic ( government by representation), they are not to represent the people as a whole, they are to represent those who voted them into office. BTW the first 2 years of Obama the Dems had control of both the House and the Senate. MENTAL HEALTH is the issue, not guns. Focus on that and gun violence will go down sharply. This poll included suicides and accidents…. Lets look at alcohol related deaths….. bet there are more.

  • Rooster

    lets just burn The Constitution then, there are plenty of countries set up that way, feel free to move there

  • Charles Hilton

    You mean unbiased sources like Faux News or the Drudge Report or talk radio?

    Why don’t you name your own sources?

  • Rooster

    Amen!

  • Rooster

    well maybe if they enforce the laws they already have to the fullest extent, then you would see more of a difference

  • Anonymous

    This is what is called a straw man argument. Murder is against another person, drunk driving can hurt or kill another person. Murder is done by many ways, guns are a small percentage of murder weapons, but we don’t outlaw cars for drunk drivers, bats, knives, cars, hands, or hammers for murder.

    What we should is find the underlying cause of the murders, but the politicians don’t want that. They would find that the erosion of the nuclear family unit is the most devastating to society. While gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about control.

    Another thing that would help reduce gun crimes is the removal of gun free zones and cities. They create soft targets, and are the areas which criminals know will be easier for them to commit their crimes.

    The problem is everyone wants an easy fix, but there isn’t one. Statists have eroded the family unit over the last 100 years, and we can see the results today

  • http://twitter.com/MacgregorDon don macgregor

    thats crap why the hell should you city dwellers decide what we can and cant do in very VERY rural america ,why don’t you worry about whats going on in the hood and we’ll worry about what happens out here two hours from any major city

  • Anonymous

    Yes read the lies and fail to find the underlying cause.

  • Anonymous

    True, except when horses were the main transport, there were more deaths from horses, so then we would ban them next.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.wilburn.5 Victor Wilburn

    I think you meant to ask, why so many gun deaths in high population areas? Because there are more people, duh. There, I fixed it for you. Fact is, states with stricter gun control laws tend to have fewer gun deaths per capita.

  • http://twitter.com/MacgregorDon don macgregor

    if your having touble getting a gun all you have to do is call eric holder he gets gun for anyone

  • http://www.facebook.com/jshufflebarger John Shufflebarger

    howcome their is more gun violence in the states where they have strict gun control?

  • Don’t hate math!

    “Love the poller, hate the poll,” huh Jimbo? lol

  • Anonymous

    1913- Wilson, a democrat signs into law the Federal Reserve Act and the Income Tax. Both are purely and blatantly unConstitutional, as money is defined in the Constitution as a specific amount of silver. Wilson and LBJ also lied about being anti-war, and got us into two ridiculous and costly wars. Those things can be found in any textbook.

    Clinton and Gore pushed NAFTA on us, has that worked out well? The Dixiecrats were the ones against the Civil Rights Acts of the 50s.

    Obama has signed the NDAA, and continued the Patriot Act. He has also pushed for gun control.

    Not admonishing the GOP, the Bushes were awful, as was Nixon, but the Dems are not a party of the people.

  • Fuzzy70

    Best reason ever to get a gun of your own and stop the SOB in his tracks if he comes after you.

  • Mary Beth

    They take an oath to uphold the Constitution. One of the premises on which it is based as stated in its preamble is to “promote the general welfare. A senator or representative is a member of a national legislature not a state legislature. He/she has the responsibility, while representing a particular state, not to act in a manner that will be detrimental to the general welfare of all the people

  • Anonymous

    Victor, not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to see some facts supporting that.

  • Anonymous

    Regulation already exists under common law. Unregulated factory pollution would have never become a problem, if it wasn’t for a Supreme Court decision in the late 1800s saying that “for the greater good”, private property owners affected by the pollution could not sue the factory owners. It was a bogus decision, which made the call for regulation necessary, where it would not be needed naturally. The market would have regulated it.

    The same is true of cars. SUVs are safer to drive in, but not for the people who have the non-SUV car. So, everyone would have eventually bought an SUV, but we couldn’t because unConstitutional foreign wars and inflation drove gas prices beyond the pale for SUV owners.

    “The only ban being proposed is on assault weapons, for which there is no legitimate reason for civilian ownership. Assault weapons are inherently offensive in capability, and far surpass the self-defense litmus test.”

    This is a long debunked argument. Repeating it over and over again doesn’t make it true.

  • Anonymous

    The welfare clause was predicted to destroy the Constitution long ago, and so it has come to pass, as seen in your language.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.wilburn.5 Victor Wilburn

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/11/20-deadliest-gun-states-from-mississippi-to-arizona.html, for instance. The correlation is not strict, of course, but it is pretty clear.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    So we all move to Wyoming and the rest of the map will be clear. Problem solved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.wilburn.5 Victor Wilburn

    This one’s a little more nuanced. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-03/science-confirms-obvious-gun-laws-mean-fewer-gun-deaths I’m not saying the conclusions are always clear, but a question like “Why so many murders is [sic] heavy gun control states?” doesn’t reflect a very deep analysis of the problem (to put it kindly). It doesn’t reflect a willingness to truly engage in an intelligent conversation.

  • Susan C

    No propaganda coming from the Republicans?……glad we cleared that up.

  • moderator

    This clearly is an emotionally charged issue, however please read the Comment Policy before commenting. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to personal attacks. Your comment will be removed and you will no longer be allowed to share with the community.

    Thank You

    Sean @ Moyers

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.wilburn.5 Victor Wilburn

    Why shouldn’t the figures include suicide? A gun death is a gun death.

  • Anonymous

    This is 25% a bunk study, as the gun laws should not account for any part of the ranking, however, the data is there, and I just jotted down some interesting things- for example, 3 of the top 11 states for gun ownership have death rates per 100,000 under 9. Why? Hard to say. Wisconsin, S Dakota, and North Dakota. Lots of guns, not a lot of deaths.

  • Anonymous

    Which at least makes this a collective guilt argument. Surprisingly, Texas isn’t even in the top 25 for gun ownership. My theory is that gun deaths have everything to do with big cities, not gun laws. Easy enough to test that theory in Wisconsin, as it has only one major city.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-R-Marsh/514025522 Stephen R. Marsh

    Number of guns in the U.S.: 270,000,000

    Number of guns per person: About 9 guns for every 10 Americans

    Total number of Americans = 30,000,000

    Thought that was the number of people in California?

  • James Olson

    Take a look at my home state of Maine, Nathaniel.

  • Chicago D

    Looks to me like the areas with the most illegal aliens have the most gun deaths.

  • John Koskela

    We can make it more difficult for for seriously mentally ill people to obtain guns and that does not impinge upon my right to own a gun. Gun manufacturers can and should produce technologically tamper proof guns that cannot be fired within geographical safety zones (smart guns).

  • James Olson

    So, you don’t think that guns, which have only one purpose, Denying another persons right to life, are a special case? Guns are only good for killing people they have no other use.

  • Lawrence Bourne

    Looking at this graphic, it becomes clearly evident why Americans are so divided geopolitically. If you notice, most of the gun violence is happening in urban areas; not in rural settings. Beyond the GOP, NRA, and media talking heads, it becomes more understandable WHY rural GOP voters think there is not as big a problem with gun violence as Democratic voters. GOP voters tend to be more rural and there is little to no gun deaths out where they are as opposed to cities where everything is happening. I think there is definitely a disconnect and it is exploited by the gun lobby. This is a message the gun control crowd needs to work on.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    Hi James. I (really) love Maine, so don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of documented shootings in Southern Maine, and I think we both know these aren’t from hunting Deer.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    Do gun advocates against regulation also favor repeal or relaxation of laws governing drugs, abortion, driving licenses, work place safety, dumping of hazardous materials, and other activities that citizens regularly “skirt around” which have the potential to harm or kill?

    Or is just guns that deserve to be non-regulated and have open access?

    This pandora’s box of a national discussion has the broader circumstances of indicating whether we should have our government representatives regulate anything at all.

    Personally, I’d be okay with non-government self-regulation if the maxim to “err is human” didn’t need to play itself out in each individual and in every generation.

  • Michael

    My part of the country is in nothing but Red… no grey areas in site… RIP the Midwest….

  • Lawrence Bourne

    You better start moving Democratic voters out into rural settings because this 9 out of 10 urban voting isn’t going to get it when you are getting clobbered in the countryside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OpaKarl Karlheinz Groeger

    The article points out lots of numbers, but it doesn’t put any perspective on things. The gun homicide number actually represents a decline, which has been ongoing for over thirty years. This is despite the enormous growth in gun sales and ownership in those same thirty years. This is also despite more citizens being able to carry, in some manner, than ever before. Statistically, one is far safer on American streets today than ever. Mass shootings, which are another issue, have remained relatively stable in numbers over that time period also. Unfortunately, perspective means little to the anti-gun crowd, as they need emotional hooks to “justify” their positions, the goal of which is to take away all guns from all citizens.

  • sjscat

    Background checks do nothing. If someone wants a firearm they can get one. Why look at Sandy Hook as the event to propel more restrictive gun laws? Every gun the sick shooter had was legally obtained.

    It was not the Bushmaster rifle that killed those children but a very sick individual.

  • Anonymous

    People make mistakes, the market corrects them. Regulation of drugs, which I don’t use, has created a toxic business, one, wasted taxpayer money, two, and created an atmosphere of government independence, three. They are not worth the psychological benefits they infer.

  • Anonymous

    Workplace safety is okay, but should be handled in a state by state business. Hazardous material dumping regulations are good in theory, but NEED transparency. I’m not touching abortion.

  • Anonymous

    Your message is one of collective guilt that should not be exploited by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    It is already illegal for them to have guns. Your so-called “smart” guns are an idea that is really pretty stupid. Personalized gun systems have been available for decades. Even the most anti-gun cop won’t use them. Bodyguards won’t, the Secret Service, the FBI won’t. Why? Because it is a self-defeating technology. It is dangerous to the user because of the failure rate. It is also useless because of the very fact that only one person can use it. Your partner can’t, your family members can’t, no one can when it is needed. Why don’t you concentrate on what really works and whgat is the real problem? Why don’t you actually do some reasearch instead of quoting sound bites from people who don’t know anything about the subject and people that are lying to you? Do you even care that all this is based on nothing real?

  • Anonymous

    You people have not proposed anything reasonable.

  • sjscat

    Yes, it is frightening. If you are not well versed in handling firearms you might consider learning. After learning, a pistol and a concealed carry permit might buy peace of mind.

    I live in the Midwest but if he has a police record with violent activities I do not understand how he got a concealed carry permit.

    I wish you all the best.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    1. This has nothing to do with economics prima facie.
    2. Markets don’t have morals.

  • Wazlav

    Speed limits do nothing. If someone wants to to speed (and maybe kill people) he can do it.
    How stupid must one be to argue like this!?

  • Anonymous

    Take out the top 25 cities by population and run the numbers. America comes out safer than most of Europe.

  • Anonymous

    I think that is incredibly dangerous, tyrannical governments can take advantage of that way too easily. It’s not a bad idea, barring that. If it wasn’t for that point, I’d actually support it, with certain provisions

  • Anonymous

    “buying”- perhaps The threatening is more effective, and they have a right to do so, under the light of the sun, which is what they do.

  • Anonymous

    Suicide is means independent. That has been widely proven. For example, Japan has a very high suicide rate and few guns in private hands.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for cutting through the propaganda kd

  • tmf354

    Dear Mr SJ Scat, Laws against stealing do nothing either. People still steal. Let’s repeal all laws against stealing.

  • Anonymous

    1. I disagree, you formed an argument that regulations are for the best, I gave you reasons why they aren’t
    2. Man has Common Law values, that, if properly enforced, make redundant any sort of regulation

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Laws, like police, are more for prosecution than prevention. Do we need another crime to charge Lanza with besides murder? Gun Hate Crime? Gun Love Crime? He murdered twenty people. That’s enough for a court.

  • Bernie Couture

    it was the sick individual who had access to a Bushmaster rifle.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    We could split hairs in perpetuity on point 1. Your counter is acceptable.

    Regarding point 2, the eloquence of the quote “there is nothing common about sense” applies. Civil Wars have (unfortunately) proven time and again that factions always lurk even amongst those with common values. This is why the rule of law exists in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    Not “you people” I prefer ill-informed neighbors

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t find the stats for Milwaukee. I want to run it against the WI average, which is 8.7

  • Anonymous

    I see your point, and it is certainly a good one, but the question is, then, who watches the watcher? Who SELECTS the watcher is even more important. That’s always where my gun rights support comes from, that it is a final provision of a corrupt and tyrannical government, foreign or domestic. If not for that, throw them out, kids lives aren’t worth the ease of hunting deer with a shotgun rather than a bow. But it always persists, and I can’t see it changing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    Yawn, same old ridiculous logic…the law doesn’t work, so let’s not have any laws. Background checks stopped 2 million people from buying guns. And it wasn’t a Bushmaster that killed both that two year old girl in Kentucky or that 3 year old in Arizona…it was a family member and it was an accident. The number of home invasion shootings that “protect” your family, pale in comparison to the number of kids that get accidently shot by another child playing with a gun. Guns are explosive devices…not toys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    Only on the open highway dumbo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    You know when the gun murder rate started dropping, 1994, the year they put the magazine and assault rifle ban in…Under Reagan we had 25,000 murders a year and that dropped to around 16,000 in 1994, and stayed that way until 2004, when the ban was lifted. Know what happened then? The gun murder rate began to increase…it’s up to 17,000 and climbing. This info is available on the FBI’s Uniform crime stats. How about educating yourself instead of spinning the numbers with lies.

  • Anonymous

    The most dangerous part

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    The really interesting thing is that if you take away the urban centers, you’re left with the south, that has more gun deaths per capita than any place in the country. The New York Times reported that the more guns in a state, the more gun deaths, which is the real truth. BTW, Check out southern Oregon, and N. California where there are few if any gun deaths. Pretty obvious that liberals are not shooting people probably because of a combination of lack of guns in the first place and less crime.

  • http://predatorhaven.blogspot.com/ rys

    Disqus, this information is decades outdated. When I grew up in Montana in the 1950s and 60s, there was no daytime highway limit, and a nighttime limit of 55 mph. In the 1970s speed laws were changed to resemble the rest of the nation. Here are the particulars for each state ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States#Speed_limits

  • bob

    montana has speed limits

  • http://www.facebook.com/betty.case.79 Betty Case

    If he had a knife or needed to reload more often, he would not have killed as many children. Background checks may not stop every miscreant, but even if it gets a few that’s better then we have now. Traffic laws don’t stop all accidents and they inconvenience many, but they do save lives. I hear some say, keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed. My question is, how does one know who these people are if not by checking. They don’t wear signs around thier necks.

  • Anonymous

    The urban centers are still the problems, and gun laws haven’t solved them, have they? Are you saying we should then make the Chicago laws the laws of the land, in order to make true trial of their plan? Collective guilt? No thanks. Look up justifiable homocides in those “red” states, as well as successful self-defense with guns that don’t include deaths.

  • Anonymous

    I should have said “had”, and meant to, my fault. The data is not decades outdated, this article explores those times in 2001. Who is Disqus?

  • T A Brown

    The reason why we as a Country is in trouble, we have lost our direction morality has been replaced by greed. I have no problem with background checks, the people that are against the checks are scared that that people might find out the truth about them. As for large magazines, the community needs to relearn how to shoot, being a retired law enforcement officer it saddens me that some of the officers of today spray and pray. Fourteen rounds were fired in one incident and the perp was only hit four times the rest of the rounds missed. It is times that both sides swallow their pride stop trying to bully each other and discuss this matter as adults

  • Anonymous

    I have nothing but a blank stare for that argument

  • Anonymous

    “people that are against the checks are scared that that people might find out the truth about them”
    This is a faulty and politically transient statement that always comes before the taking of rights.

  • mrcj

    they do now. get with it. or perhaps you don’t keep up with or observe any laws

  • Anonymous

    China bans guns. Their school attacks are therefore less effective, for lack of better word. They also had no guns in Nanjing during the Japanese rape of that city (though they were legal, Chinese citizens were far too poor at that time to afford them, so they didn’t exist) or during the Mao Revolution that killed 60 million through starvation and political executions and enslaved 40 million more.

  • tommy

    guns are registered also… its the fact that they are trying to tighten up or make more difficult to obtain one that i have a problem with. they have laws in the books already…. here is a great idea….enforce them!!! just like if i abuse my rights the own a gun, i will get my firearms taken away and stripped of my privilege to own any firearms. all the stats do not mean a thing because how many of the murders were committed by the legal owner of the fire arm??? how many of the crimes were committed by repeat offenders that should have been in jail (or death) but released because of good behavior???

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    Public ownership of guns will not protect individuals, or the public at large, from a tyrannical government with a trained and loyal armed forces in their possession.

    This is even truer for a modern tyrannical government with an infrastructure dedicated to its survival, and with advanced weaponry – chemical weapons, psy-ops – in its arsenal.

    Only when a government loses the support of its armed forces is it open to being overthrown (see Mubarak, Egypt).

    Otherwise, intervention and support from other governments is needed for the rebellion to be successful (see Khaddafi, Libya or Assad, Syria).

    The American revolution would never have been a success without the intervention of France – and her allies – supporting the Colonialists with money, naval ships, artillery, infantry and military training.

    Hence, the second amendment is a fantasy and a myth. The idea that American Revolution was won by the average Tom, Dick and Harry with a musket is nationalist propaganda.

  • moderator

    Hello to everyone in this thread,

    Let’s get back on topic, we are straying from the map/article.

    Thanks,

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Owen Johnson

    Points to consider from the statistics above:

    If there are 9 guns for every 10 households, yet only 42% of American households have a gun, that would mean that of the households that do, they would average about two each. But we know many of those have only one, which leads to a smaller percentage having MORE than two each. (While the national percentage of households that have guns has gone down, the number of guns sold has gone up.)

    If 91% of Americans favor universal or at least increased background checks, that leaves a percentage that may be less than the percentage of Americans who could not pass the checks. Obviously, anyone who can’t pass a check and wants to be able to buy a gun or guns, isn’t going to be in favor of background checks. So what’s the percentage of law-abiding Americans who favor the checks? 98%? 95%? There’s absolutely no reason anyone who can pass a background check and legally purchase guns would oppose them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bompa.Carney John Carney

    I have a question. I would like someone who might know (i.e., someone who has some data or research findings. I’m not really interested opinions, though I assume I’ll get a number) if there is a correlation between the number of guns in an area and how much gun violence occurs or how many gun deaths result. I’m going to assume that there is some validity to the claim the the sheer volume of weapons in this country and the high number of gun death and violence is somehow connected -maybe not causal but certainly related. So, if there is a correlation, wouldn’t we expect to see more deaths since Sandy Hook say in Wyoming (61% rate of gun ownership) than say New Jersey (10% rate)? I realize there are a lot more people in New Jersey than Wyoming, so there could be a comparable number of guns overall, due to the high prevalence of the guns in WY and low prevalence in NJ but I would think that the incidents of death (only 3 in WY) would be higher. What explains the small number in WY? Is it due to the types of guns owned? Populations density? Violent crime rates? Socio-economic conditions and disparities. Any social anthropologists out there who know if we are more prone to address conflict with weapons in urban areas than we are in rural areas? Maybe the renewal of studying root causes at CDC will help us answer this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Howell/633112387 John Howell

    The map becomes really insightful if you control for the majority-minority areas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Art-Valla/1643647054 Art Valla

    The killer here is that the Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid voted NO.

    What a disgusting human being.

  • Waymajor

    The reason is there should be no further restrictions on the Bill of Rights (it would affect more than one right) and the passage of such laws doesn’t affect the true roots of violence. So, it hurts citizen rights and does little to nothing against sources of violence. People are being duped by corporate owned media rhetoric whose agenda is to diminish the power of consumers, make them docile and dependent and continue to dominate citizens through increases in centralized power sources, including the DOD and all branches of federal gov’t.. In that way they increase profits and create a growing consumer base.

  • eli

    In 1979, there were about 220 million people in the US. Today, there are 313 million, a 42% increase. The increase in gun deaths from 1979 to today is 37.5%, which is LESS than the population growth. In other words, gun deaths have declined relative to the population increase.

  • Waymajor

    Up to 17K from 16K represents a stable rate…1000 increase over 9 years? You destroyed your own point…it has nothing to do with the ban

  • eli

    Do you realize that the VAST majority of gun homicides are committed with handguns, not assault rifles? 6220 from handguns, 323 for ALL rifles, not just “assault” rifles (which just means a semi-automatic rifle that looks scary).

  • Ralph

    Check this website to see per capita deaths per state: it’s not the high population states that have the most. And as for the number of guns per capita per state, check that out.

  • Sandra

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted “no” as a procedural mechanism, so he can reintroduce the amendment at a later time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.heikkila Kenneth Heikkila

    Try to get a grip on reality, Art. Harry voted no for a procedural reason that allows him to bring the issue up again: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/18/harry-reid-had-a-good-reason-to-vote-against-the-gun-bill/

  • Ralph
  • eli

    How do you determine who’s seriously mentally ill? Does depression count, PTSD, ADD, anorexia? The overwhelming majority of people with a mental illness are not violent. We just want someone to blame, and right now we’re blaming mental illness. If having a mental illness means you lose your right to own guns, I guarantee you fewer people would be willing to seek help. If I thought telling a doctor I was depressed meant I could lose my gun rights, I’d never say a word.

  • jg

    The assertion that these guns were “legally attained” only reinforces the position that there are not strong enough “legal” guidelines in place regarding background checks.
    So what’s your point?

  • jg

    no one’s trying to ban guns. This simply about making sure you can handle the responsibility.
    So what’s your paranoia about initiating the background checks 90% of us support?

  • scoach

    How much was spent on incarcerating insane people? According to the map, Illinois is no safer than other states. How are those gun laws working out?

  • Waymajor

    When the gov’t continuously abrogates domestic and international law the USA can no longer claim rule of law but rule of law-breakers. Federalism has destroyed the ability to apply rule of common sense by citizens because it has centralized military authority, against the people’s will contained in the Constitution.

  • eli

    Rights should not be up for a majority vote.

  • Waymajor

    Your premise depends on a “loyal” military…there would be a very high degree of defection from military when ordered to disobey the Constitution and attack their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    There’s no such thing as an increasing murder rate being “stable”. At least not to the other 1,000 people who got killed.

  • Waymajor

    Check your stats…the rates have gone down and stabilized over time…BTW, I am liberal-oriented …there is further discussion on rates later in this thread.

  • Dr. Farley

    What… Land do you live in that you think the insane are incarcerated?

  • http://twitter.com/MatManz Matt Manzella

    Ask Indiana, the number one exporter of crime guns to Illinois.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    You would hope so, but it’s not so simple.

    Soldiers are trained to obey, first and foremost. If they don’t there are consequences. Defecters would tried in a military court, which does not have to respect the US Constitution.

    Otherwise, for instance, Bradley Manning would be protected under his 1st amendment rights when he violated the National Security Act of 1947 (which was the document that created the industrial-military complex) and leaked confidential information.

    You also make the fallacy of presupposing that all members of the military are moral. Given impunity, members of many ranks would see the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, as well as steal the fortunes of those they slaughter.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • respectingothers

    How do you define “grocery store”? 36,000 in the whole country??? there’s that many in the state of California

  • photoguy

    No, it’s not 33,000; that’s a made-up statistic by Jesse Jackson. The FBI crime statistics (you can look them up) has the number of gun related crimes at about 8,500–with 350 by rifles. If you count suicides and accidents, you get close to 20,000 BUT if you count them, then you have to also rail against rope, pills, pools, bicycles, bridges, bathtubs, steak knives, etc..
    use the facts not the myths when arguing. you’ll look less uninformed.

  • http://graffitipoint.tumblr.com/ Nathaniel Z

    Not disagreeing with your claim but…

    the National Security Act of 1947, the Patriot Act of 2001, (amongst others that have marginalized the people’s rights under the Constitution and further enabled the military-industrial complex), have been done with Congressional authority.

    As members of Congress are elected democratically by the people, they therefore constitutionally represented the will of the people (procedurally speaking) when enacting these laws.

    If the people feel their elected members do not represent their interests, their will, they can vote for someone else in the next election, or campaign for their chosen representative to be dismissed.

    Issues that marginalize the people’s rights happen at the local or state level as well, it’s not a problem of federalism, it’s a problem of representative democracy.

  • Andrew Jordan

    It would be very interesting to know if there are any links to other activities/characteristics that correlate to gun violence. This seems like a legitimate research topic of great importance if homicide by firearm reduction is a goal of society.

  • Darin Artus

    Owen, there is a very simple reason why you should oppose expanded background checks. The reason is that it will not make one iota of a difference in violent crime. Want to know why? In 2012, according to the FBI’s own website, there were well over 88,000 people who failed a background check when trying to buy a gun and were turned away. Now, you are probably thinking ” Great! The system works! It can only improve by expanding who has to conduct a background check!”. Am I close? Well that is all good and fine except for one problem. For those who are not aware, people who fail a background check can do so for a number of reasons, the most common reason being that they are a convicted felon. However, all the reasons have one thing in common. Even attempting to purchase a gun when something is in your record prohibits you from owning a gun is against the law. A felon is not even allowed to HOLD an unloaded gun! So if these “prohibited persons” are breaking the law, how many do you were charged with a crime and punished? I am sure we would like to think all of them, right? Unfortunate that is not the case. Of the OVER 88,000 people who tried to buy a gun through legitimate means but were declined due to their prohibited status, only 44 were arrested and charged with a crime. Only 44!
    So what do you suppose a person who wants a gun but can not do so legally does when he gets declined at the point of sale? No one knows how many just give up and go home, but it is a good bet that a good chunk of them go out and buy them through illegal sources. It could be they steal one. Maybe they trade drugs for one. The point is that the overwhelming majority are getting off scott free without so much as a slap on the wrist! So now ask yourself, is it really going to make a difference if we expand who has to have a background check when our current system lets criminals continue to walk the streets instead of putting them behind bars? When recently asked why this is so, Joe Biden responded that we do not have the money or the manpower to enforce the law. So why even bother expanding the law when we can not or simply refuse to enforce the ones we have now? To even bother is a waste of time. It is an effort in futility.
    Now you may still be saying, “Well, it’s better than doing nothing!” The problem I and many others have with it is this. The “expanded” background check would also mean that I, as a father, wanted to give my son a hunting rifle or any other gun for his 16th birthday, I would have to pay to have a check done on my own son. Why should I have to pay to hand down a rifle to my son, maybe the same one my father handed down to me from his father? Especially since we now know that the government has no intention of locking up known criminals?
    I will close by saying that, obviously, we all want to do something to prevent gun crime. So why not insist that our government enforce the system we already have before we allow them to infringe on the rights of legal, law abiding citizens?

  • gunsorknivesButch?

    I agree with that question of how many grocery stores. That one number caught me up as I skimmed down. There may be other questionable numbers too, but I just don’t know the statistical facts. I agree with the premise of the entire article however and don’t want to get sidetracked on this. Let’s see if someone can give us a more accurate number.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robertstephenmoore Robert Stephen Moore

    Every American has to accept the responsibility for keeping any firearms he or she owns in a secure situation. Whether that means a gun safe or individual locks on each firearm, this is the front line in gun safety. This is especially true for those indiviuals or families that know of a mentally ill relative or friend who might have access to their guns. Of course, universal background checks are equally important, but if we could just get Americans to be responsible about securing the firearms they presently own, it would go a long way toward reducing gun violence–both homicides and suicides.

  • http://www.facebook.com/axmansland Axel Koch

    It sure seems to me that the Oft quoted statistic of 90% of the people favor more gun control…..somehow is BS….. Just look at the posters here and take the poll…Maybe we should have a public referendum on the matter and get the REAL truth out there. I will give up my firearms when our government gives up Nuclear weapons….oh wait…we need those to protect ourselves don’t we………….can anyone say Do svidania?

  • Anonymous

    Axel, do you have any idea how statistics works?

  • http://www.facebook.com/les.prangley Les Prangley

    I do. There are lies, dam lies and then there are statistics.

  • BuffCrone

    It is not accurate to say that the “Senate defeated” the proposal. What is accurate is that a majority of senators voted in favor of bringing the proposal to a vote but because the GOP threatens to filibuster EVERY SINGLE THING brought to the floor, there were not 60 votes to bring the bill to the floor. If it had been a straight up-down vote on the law it would have passed the senate.
    Also, I think the grocery store/gun store comparison is misleading and I want both sides to be scrupulously honest about facts. Those are chains, not individual markets. A fairer comparison would be individual markets v. individual gun sellers, including Walmart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.borskie Richard Borskie

    Just because gun owners are loud and angry and paranoid does not mean that the polls are wrong. Right wing polls during the election were saying Romney would win in a landslide, all because so many Republicans were angry and screaming. Yelling does not convince people to take your side, just the opposite is most likely true. As for taking away your guns, no Federal legislation has suggested that, so that’s just more paranoia. A small percentage of gun owners care about nothing but guns, and they cloak themselves in the 2nd Amendment while the GOP systematically, in both the Federal and State levels, shred all the other Amendments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.bruner Kirk Bruner

    You’re making that up.

  • debra

    Sad that a majority vote does not matter when so many lives are at stake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.borskie Richard Borskie

    good link, but they won’t believe it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.borskie Richard Borskie

    Rope, pills, pools, bicycles, bridges, bathtubs, steak knives, etc, have alternate purposes. Their primary purpose is not killing. When you twist the issue into this kind of nonsense, you don’t appear to be serious about a real discussion on this issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.borskie Richard Borskie

    That very sick individual killed his mother and stole her legally obtained guns. I don’t think he would have killed so many children if he didn’t have a weapon that was intended to kill a whole lot of people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.borskie Richard Borskie

    Also, when they aren’t at home, thieves just break in and steal their guns, because gun owners are against laws regarding gun safety, including training and storage.

  • Owen Johnson

    All of that writing just to repeat the mantra that it won’t stop all bad people from getting guns so we shouldn’t do it? Or just because the police don’t prosecute people who try to buy a gun and are turned down? I hate to say it, but that IS the same logic as saying people speed and aren’t all prosecuted so we shouldn’t have speed limits.

  • Anonymous

    The rise in the number of mass school shootings is directly related to the rise of violent video games.
    The rise in the number of handgun homicides in urban America is directly related to the Drug War/ Drug Prohibition and also influenced by the Gangasta Rap / Thug Mentality.

  • Anonymous

    America has shot itself in the foot with its liberal gun laws.

  • http://twitter.com/chartan char

    my ex husband, who always took a .38 with us where ever we went, now, 30 yrs later, told me he owns over 100 fireable guns of all kinds.. I called him a “collector”…. he hadn’t thought of it in that way, he favors background checks.

  • Edie

    It seems in this time in history so many have become desensitived to violence in today’s world. I think so many people are disconnected with the violent events. There is a feeling of indifference and I think this is very sad. There will always be some mentally disturbed individual causing pain and destruction in society. Prevention is difficult, but not impossible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.a.maxey Matthew Maxey

    Interesting map, especially when you look at the states with the most and least gun ownership and the quantity of red in each.

  • Fuzzy70

    Following your logic, then we need to limit cars and booze. And Hammers, and swimming pools, and medicine, and…
    The list is endless.

  • Anonymous

    Saying that gun supporters care about nothing but guns is a total falsehood, and you know it. You’re engaging in LCD arguments, detrimental to yourself and this country. Romney saw a surge after the first debate because he took on Obama, hardlined him for the first seven minutes. Then he stepped back, and tried to coast. That’s why he lost.

    Yes, republicans HAVE been involved with the taking away of rights, in particular the 4th, almost as much as the democrats have been. Be fair. Gun ownership is your fundamental right, one that is useless with anything that could possibly be used as a gun registry.

  • Anonymous

    Do you think a bill that is blatantly unConstitutional should be given a straight up/down vote? These bills, like the Patriot Act and NDAA, should have been offered as Ammendments. Political expediency doesn’t allow that, however

  • Anonymous

    I am for education and personal responsibility. I cannot be universal background checks, as it creates a national gun registry that can be used by anyone not named the Dept. of Justice. Then, the Dept. of Justice can just ask whichever dept. keeps it to show it.

  • Anonymous

    There is no premise of the article right? It’s just stats…

  • Anonymous

    So it’s collective guilt?

  • Joe

    * damn lies

  • Anonymous

    An easily made assumption.

  • Anonymous

    Serious discussion for you is most likely seeing it on your side. Don’t be disingenuous. Guns are made to kill for self-defense, from thugs and governments, and for hunting, and for sport shooting. Very few get guns to shoot innocent people, as very few buy knives to stab people. Saying that there is no other use for guns is approaching asinine.

  • Anonymous

    Someone else would have owned it. And it was her right to do so. Maybe the school should have armed guards like Obama’s.

  • Anonymous

    My paranoia is very clear. National gun registry, which the aforementioned bill left many doors open for, just not for the DOJ

  • Anonymous

    I would like to add I’m no Romney supporter, nor is my reasoning for the poll numbers that we saw ironclad, but its every bit as reasonable as your assumptions about them.

  • Anonymous

    Explain

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    You have to understand that a large percentage of males over 50 grew up with westerns (7 of top 10 TV shows in the late 50′s, early 60′s were westerns) and guns as part of their daily lives. I remember living in Indiana and a number of bb guns around, and even shot a .22 rifle at a camp for kids under 13. Guns were viewed as devices of skill and necessary for survival if you lived in the “west”. Now people view them as offensive equalizers rather than the defensive tool portrayed in westerns, and sadly those under 30 view them as amiable firecrackers…a fun, explosive toy. Go to any gun show and you’ll see most of the clientele is white men over 40.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    The stat is 90 percent of people favor background checks. Gun control is no where near that unfortunately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Anderson/800759414 Tim Anderson

    You can’t compare a state with 500k people Wyoming vs. 9 million like N. Jersey unless you do it by per capita. The facts are that the most gun deaths per capita take place in the south and Alaska, all big gun states…just look at the map above at the sparsely populated areas of Miss. and Ala. that have big red blobs. Here’s the stats…

    #1, Mississippi
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 18.3
    Permissive gun laws: 4th out of 50

    #2, Arizona
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 15
    Permissive gun laws: 1st out of 50

    #3, Alaska
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 17.6
    Permissive gun laws: 11th out of 50

    #4, Arkansas
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 15.1
    Permissive gun laws: 7th out of 50

    #5, Louisiana
    Gun deaths per 100,000: 19.9
    Permissive gun laws: 23rd out of 50

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    Also interesting to see compare the amount of red to gun control laws in the state.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    As far as taking away our guns it’s being done now in NYC. Police showing up at your door and telling you that you have to get rid of or turn in your newly illegal firearm. A firearm that was not made illegal by the NY State law that most know about but by executive fiat from the mayor. It’s not paranoia when the police knock at your door dressed in tactical gear!

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    It’s more accurate to say that a bill got out of committee and that bill was bought to the floor where various amendments were proposed and voted upon. The senate agreed that any amendment would need to have 60 votes to proceed avoiding the need for a fillibuster. The Manchin-Toomi ‘background check’ amendment got 54 votes. The Grassley ‘background check’ amendment got 52 votes. The ‘constitutional concealed carry act’ got 57 votes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    Since most legal gun owners have gone through a background check it would not surprise me that 80+% of them would support ‘background checks’ when asked THAT question. However given the polling results are MUCH lower for requirements for record keeping…. that were in the bill the polling on ‘background checks’ is not an indication of support for the bill or the Manchin amendment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    There is really no such thing as a ‘universal’ background check but background checks can be expanded to more transactions as Sen. Coburn has described without creating a registry or data trail. He walked out of talks with Sen. Schumer because, as Sen.Schumer has said publicly, his goal is to create a national registry and that side was not willing to let go of the data keeping requirement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    There is a correlation between population density and firearm crime. Higher density correlates with more firearm crime and murders/x population. It is also the case that in areas with lower population density there is a higher rate of firearm suicide/x population. A more interesting (to me) data point is looking at the historical trend of violent crime in the US vs other industrialized countries. Many have noted that it’s much higher here and a few have noted that it’s much lower now than if was during the ban on assault style weapons. However none have noted that the curve has no obvious correlation with gun control legislation rising after the 1968 bill and falling after the AW ban expired. None have also noted that the rate was about the same as those other countries in the 1950s when the only federal ‘gun control’ in the us was the NFA from the ’30s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.dillard.9 Peter Dillard

    There is quite a bit that can be gleaned from federal crime statistics. You can start at the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI’s crime statistics. One thing you’ll find in the FBI statistics is that it’s far more important to regulate edged weapons than rifles if you want to have the largest impact on homicides.

  • Anonymous

    They were also viewed as offensive equalizers over 200 years ago. What does the skin color of the clientele matter?

  • http://www.facebook.com/axmansland Axel Koch

    Garbage in Garbage out…what a dumb question….it depends on who is interpreting the stat, and who is polled….like i said, put it to a vote…and statistically here in this forum, your viewpoint is a minority.

  • Anonymous

    Remembering, of course, that the red aligns also with greater population. If the map portrayed gun deaths *per capita*, then such a comparison with gun laws in force in those regions could be reasonably made. The map as it stands does not allow any such comparison, so it’s of limited use and invites invalid interpretation. Wish HuffPo and this site had made that clearer, or produced a different map.

  • Sam the Sham

    Please adjust the statistics to reflect Non-Negro, Non-Hispanic gun homicides. Also, please provide context (relative numbers of murders via method other than guns). Finally, please list number of gun deaths caused by police, as well as violent crimes stopped when the victim pulled a gun. Thanks, and keep up the good fight for grabbing American’s guns. You might just start a revolution!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ruthie.presgrove Ruthie Presgrove

    There was a shooting at New River Community College in Southwest Virginia that is not mentioned here. Two people were injured.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mmontini3 Marco Montini

    Though the “argument” against remains (in many instances) gun controls are not effective in stopping Gun Violence, basic Rationality, and Simple Economic Principles of analysis clearly indicates this “rationalization” is absolutely incorrect. These principles are proven over and over again in “Real World Case Studies” (Real World Examples). The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/02/did-gun-control-work-in-australia/) and the BBC Reports on Austrialian Gun Control clearly indicate Austrialia’s Gun Control Laws had a significant impact on reducing Gun Violence. Simple Supply-and-Demand Economics indicates any (Law enforcement) method of making it more difficult to obtain an item that can be later used for illegal purposes both increases in the cost of obtaining the item illegally and reduces the supply of these items to those who use it for illegal purposes. The Economics of tightening controls on even legal ways to get large quantities of even legal substances that can be used for illegal purposes, and its impact on reducing the use of these substances in illegal activities, was clearly shown in the studies quoted in PBS Frontline’s (http://video.pbs.org/video/1933783731); illegal Crystal Meth drug trade was reduced when (legal) materials needed to produce the drug was reduced through the addition of legal controls on the materials in question. There is absolutely no credible (“well done”) studies that indicate such legal efforts to reduce the supply of substances used in illegal activities (and additional Law enforcement efforts) is not correlated to the reduction in crime associated with the use of these substances. The harder it is to get the substances needed for illegal activities, the lower the supply of these substances available for illegal activities, the higher the cost of getting these substances ILLEGALLY, and the LOWER THE AMOUNT of the ILLEGAL ACTIVITY associated with the illegal use of these substances. And so it also is for GUNS, and the illegal use of guns in violence (homicides, illegal “enforcement” of criminal activity, etc). Cutting the unchecked availability of Guns even in legal areas such as “Internet Sales” will reduce the supply of illegal guns on Inner City streets; since the illegal guns have to be supplied from some legal manufacturer in some way. Cutting the supply of Illegal guns will reduce the QUANTITY of homicides using illegal guns. What does that mean? => There will be at least 1 15 year old child that will not lose her life because of a stray bullet; and that 1 life is worth making an effort to cut down the supply of Illegal guns.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/maryl.hershelman Maryl Hershelman

    So what you’re saying is: It’s easier to get a gun in this country than to get cold medicine. They keep track of everyone in this country with a head cold but not bi polar disorder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryl.hershelman Maryl Hershelman

    Romney saw a surge after the first debate because he was ready to answer all those questions he thought would be asked…and weren’t. He just went all manic about his 5 point plan that actually didn’t have a point. It was a very strategic move by Obama. Look back on it…Romney looks mad….and I don’t mean angry my friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakob.stagg Jakob Stagg

    The problem I see is that the anti gun groups flat out refuses to have a discussion with the law abiding gun owners. If there were an interest in reducing gun and other violence, that would be a discussion to be had. Unfortunately, The only thing ever attempted is to blame and punish the l, and ignores they did nothing wrong. Attacking them is a bad strategy. Making the issue a gun issue ignores and prevents violence reduction.

    The focus should be on those who would do violence. Those who commit violence will do so. Criminals do not obey laws. They will not subject themselves to background checks or any other of the thousands of laws that already exist. Most of the proposals are already in place, and have been for years. The politicians making proposals ignore the laws that exist and why they failed. If the focus were on criminals and those who would commit violence, there would be greater success in violence reduction.

    Nor does it help the cause of anti gun groups to have spokesmen who’s only apparent knowledge of firearms and related issues, comes from TV and movies, or forms of entertainment, rather than knowledge. The ignorance is beyond belief.The ignorant cannot deal with the language and concepts of firearms and their operation. Without that ability, meaningful discussion is nearly impossible. The fear is a direct result of the lack of knowledge. Anyone familiar with firearms are appalled that overcoming ignorance would reduce the fear and go far to allow cooperation to reduce violence. That change alone would make a great difference. Unfortunately. there appears to be no interest in developing any understanding among those who align with anti gunners.

    I come from generations of shooters and gun owners. Responsibility is the greatest concern and value. We take it seriously. We have served and protected others. We are not a threat to anyone but those who present as a deadly threat to us and others near us. We resent the vilification of guns and owners who have done nothing wrong. Doing so assures violence cannot be reduced because it fails to address the causes of violence.

  • Prana

    The one truth that gun nuts can’t argue against is that if you allow guns legally it increases the number of people who get them illegally. Thus, allowing guns in this country has increased violence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=801810227 Ann-Marie Kennedy

    Every law-abiding gun-loving person I know supports background checks, period.

  • Loosly

    I was so moved by The Wheelers whose son died in Newtown. They are suffering and good people, but once again the father missed the point when he never talked about mental health changes that need too be changed, not gun laws that are already on the books. We need a law to allow psychiatrists to report anyone who might do violence to another.

  • Don

    I believe that everyone in this country has the right to “own” a firearm as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, when that was written, one should consider under what circumstances it was written. Imagine, if the colonists had AK-47′s, or conversely, if the British had them, and all we had were the muskets available at the time. Ordinary citizens do not need assault rifles, only unless criminals have them. They should not be available to either and should be banned. People who claim they should be available to “sportsmen” are not such. What does one hunt with an AK-47? It’s lunacy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Wells/1335467822 Sarah Wells

    That is not true!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jane.christmas Jane Christmas

    These statistics make me curious about how many of the deaths since Sandy Hook would be considered legally defensible. Not many, if any, I bet…

  • Liska

    Don, do you really believe that even the mentally ill and criminals have the right to “own” a firearm?

  • Anonymous

    Harry Reid voted no. No story there. Why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.cohn Jonathan Cohn

    He voted no for a procedural reason. If he wants to bring the legislation back up in the future, he has to vote no. He does that quite frequently. He voted yes, for instance, for several of the other provisions, such as the AWB and the anti-trafficking bill. The Moyers team should know this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.cohn Jonathan Cohn

    Moyers Staff: Please amend your list of the vote count to properly acknowledge the procedural nature of Majority Reid’s “no” vote or remove him from the list of “no” votes. You probably just copied the list from the Senate website, but it creates a misrepresentation of the support. Thanks, and keep up the great work with the show!

  • JohnR

    Interestingly, the State with the lowest rate of gun ownership (or is that the highest number of lying owners?) New Jersey, has had more deaths by 60% that the state with the Highest rate of gun ownership Wyoming. Of course the population of New Jersey (I googled NJ pop.) is 8.865 million where Wyoming’s is 576,412 so there’s only about 7% of the people in Wyoming.

    These statistics also make me wonder what it was like for the last 100 years, year by year. You know, there’s statistics and then there’s damned statistics?

  • JohnR

    Our Forefathers imagined a world where the people may be forced to rise against their own Government… not foreign invaders… we have the armed Forces for that. But in the History of Mankind, it’s been the Governments OF the people that have caused the most damage… and that’s why we have the right to bear arms. Your argument considering the circumstances of when it was written is correct… our Government now employs Tanks, guided missiles, jet airplane fighters, Gunship helicopters, drones, satellite imagery and a whole big buch more (and that’s not counting the nukes!). Now in the old days, the British had muskets… and so did we, and so did our Govt. YOu gotta know, if our Govt. wants to enslave us… how long did it take to surround Boston and all of it’s surrounding suburbs, completely cut off traffic coming and going, completely shut down communication of all kinds, all while looking for a 19 year old with 9,000 police officers more than willing to shoot first, when in the very same Country almost anyone could do a drive by shooting and kill half a dozen people and MAYBE 30(?) cops would show up?

    Still think having an AK47 is a big deal?

  • dean

    Romney lost because he consistently lied to the voters, not because of the one debate that he won because Obama did not expect him to so blatantly lie in the debate itself. The remaining two debate obama thrashed Romney.

  • Barbara W

    Here is the rest of the story: that was a procedural vote. Since the Republicans used a filibuster on this legislation this was a vote for ‘cloture’ and cloture requires a super-majority of 60 votes instead of 50/51. As leader of the party with the majority vote on this bill (54 voted ‘Yay’) Harry Reid, (Leader of the Senate and the Democrats) in order to be able to bring this legislation back to the floor of the Senate for another vote in the future had to vote against it. By voting no, Senator Reid can file a motion to reconsider and bring the legislation back up again at any time. The filibuster needs reform. This super-majority vote for literally every vote in the Senate is stifling our country. Filibuster=Cloture=Torture!

  • Chellz

    Taking constitutionally protected rights away from “the mentally ill” is a rather broad stroke. Would that include policemen and active military personnel? I have struggled with mental illness most of my life, as bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety run in my family. My father, grandfather, 3 uncles, and 2 cousins are cops (or retired cops), and at least 7 of my cousins are currently serving in the US military . Many of them have been treated for mental illness. Mental illness does not equate with being criminally insane.

  • AngeloC

    I guess my question is a two parter. Part one: Do you want to be able to defend yourself with a weapon that is equal to the one held by someone or some group that is a life threat to you, or do you prefer to own an inferior weapon? Part two: Would you prefer the threat to have prior knowledge of the capability of your weaponry?

  • JohnR

    Agreed… only wondering here… but I wonder if the anti-gunners have never developed the value of personal responsibility and therefore have no personal reference point to draw conclusions from… I see name calling and villification… but I only see it against the pro gunners and not against the anti gunners and I believe that alone speaks volumes about the character of both. Tell me, which one is showing the Agressive behavior… and who isn’t?

  • http://www.facebook.com/loel.lund Loel Lund

    Good answer Jonathan

  • Chellz

    When the second amendment was written we did not have an “Army” nor a “Navy.” States had independent “well regulated militias” like volunteer fire departments, that could be summoned to unite if the country was attacked, either from within or from outside. We could not use our “militias” today to protect ourselves from an attack from our own current military industrial complex. And the “lock down” in Boston proves that the Bill of Rights is on shaky ground, but we won’t defend it – we welcomed marshal law and unwarranted searches and seizures, and questioned an American citizen unimpeded, denying him the right to counsel for hours before a brave (woman) magistrate “barged in” and did the right thing.

  • fractalEDGE

    While it’s easy to locate the major urban centers on the map, it would be useful to distort the map to reflect the population rather than the geographic area. This new mapping might give some insight into whether gun deaths are sensitive to population density or not. Does crowding spawn more lethal violence than the relative isolation of rural communities? Is there a common propensity among Americans to commit lethal violence regardless of population density?

  • Anonymous

    Gun laws are not enough. They need to be enforced. The reason Illinois stats are so bad is because laws are in place but have not been enforced properly.

  • chellz

    “The United States consider powerful navies and large standing armies as
    permanent establishments to be detrimental to national prosperity and
    dangerous to civil liberty. The expense of keeping them up is burdensome
    to the people; they are in some degree a menace to peace among nations.
    A large force ever ready to be devoted to the purposes of war is a
    temptation to rush into it. The policy of the United States has ever
    been, and never more than now, adverse to such establishments, and they
    can never be brought to acquiesce in any change in International Law
    which may render it necessary for them to maintain a powerful navy or
    large standing army in time of
    peace.” — Secretary of State William Marcy, 1856

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1218356054 Larry E Agee

    It takes on meaning when a civil engineer states dam lies

  • http://facebook.com/dballing/ Derek Balling

    So you won’t mind passing a background check before you’re allowed to speak in public. You understand, it’s to make sure you’re not the kind of person who might “incite to riot”.

    And you won’t mind making sure you’ve got no psych issues that make you vulnerable to radicalism before we allow you to attend any sort of religious practice. And even if we do allow you to do so, we’re obviously not going to allow you to attend any of those “scary” religions that are largely the same as every other religion, but which for illogical reasons “scare folks”.

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    This is a myth, one constantly put forward by pro-gun advocates. Under no circumstances and under no reading of the contemporary documents by the Framers do we find support for the idea of armed citizens as a bulwark against the government that the Framers themselves were creating. Quite the contrary! The right to bear arms was only included in the Bill of Rights (it was the 4th proposed amendment). But the concept of treason is enumerated in Article III of the Constitution, specifying the “levying of war” against the United States as the principle definition. Armed insurrection against the government is absolutely “levying war”, and is treason, period. The Framers most certainly were not making treason the ultimate crime against the state while at the same time telling us that we must permit unrestricted firearms to the citizenry so that they may commit that treason!

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    No, they are not equal — most of the time. But where is that line? When does someone’s mental disorder cross between being “just an illness” to “danger to the public”? We don’t know, and it’s going to take a good long study with plenty of funding and limited interference to find that line.

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    Then, John, you’re willfully closing your eyes to the actions of pro-gun advocates, including *yourself*. When you suggest that gun control advocates have “never developed the value of personal responsibility” you are guilty of precisely the kind of talk that you claim is only being done by your opponents. We call that “hypocrisy”.

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    I’m curious on what grounds you believe the bill was proposing something “unconstitutional”. And incidentally, the “C” isn’t capitalized unless it’s referring to the Constition itself, which never has “un” prepended to the word.

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    “Somehow”? So you’re going off a vague impression that because a statistic, arrived at by multiple random polls, conflicts with your personal experience, that the statistic must be wrong? Did it occur to you that your belief might be the error?

  • http://twitter.com/bobjameswi Bob James

    Myth. National gun registries are already illegal, and the proposed legislation very specifically outlawed the same. To believe that one was to be created is a paranoid fantasy, nothing more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stewart.darrah Stewart Darrah

    Many of our Americans ancestors had guns with rifled barrels, capable of much greater accuracy and longer range than the standard issue British smooth bore muskets. They were in essence the assault weapons of their day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stewart.darrah Stewart Darrah

    At the time of the American
    Revolution, the tenant of a militia was based upon the perception of the Anglo-Saxon obligation of all Freemen being obligated to serve as a part of the militia. Those
    Anglo-Saxon rights and obligations were reaffirmed by William the Conqueror and subsequent Norman monarchs, until the feudal society, introduced buy the Normans, displaced enough of the Freemen, that the concept no longer mattered.
    There are several modern examples that may serve to validate the Second Amendment. In the waning days of the Soviet Union, The Baltic Republics began to demand democraticreforms. The Soviet government demanded
    all private weapons be handed in to the government. The Baltic peoples refused, and rather than face a fifth column, the Soviet government did not press the issue, allowing
    the Baltic Stated to declare independence, resulting ultimately in the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
    When Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, the Serbian controlled government began its’ attempts at Ethnic Cleansing. Fortunately, the constituent nationalities had private weapons and opposed the government, in
    some cases gaining their independence outright, and in other cases with belated international assistance, gaining their freedom.
    In contrast to those two examples, Myanmar and Communist China had no private ownership of weapons. In suppressing the democracy movements of the two countries, bodies supposedly were hauled by the truckload from Rangoon and Tienanmen Square, because the population had no means to defend themselves against the governments, and Press was denied access.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.paine.904 Joe Paine

    California’s gun laws look like they are effective crime stoppers.

  • Anonymous

    A proud moment for the NRA.

  • hanson

    Nothing in 2nd amendment about overthowing one’s own government, which btw is the only guarantor of the 2nd amendment. That is pure fiction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BadgerB1 Robert Brown

    Interesting. Wyoming has the highest gun ownership in the country yet it has almost no gun deaths. Meanwhile New Jersey has the lowest and yet it can’t be seen on the map because of too much red.

    Another item.
    Percentage of Americans that support an assault weapons ban: 57
    I wonder how many of those Americans could point out the definitive markers for an “Assault Weapon”. Most hunting guns are high caliber so that won’t work. We already ban automatic weapons so that’s taken care of. Is it having a stock and a handle and being painted black? I think people are being misled by many people on both sides on this. There really is no designation of “Assault Weapon” that can be made that would work and result in any kind of reduction in violence. Oh also, most gun violence is done with handguns, assault weapons bans are strictly a “hey look over here” misdirect.

    I think background checks become easy if you change the way the law works. As it is it says that a private individual can buy and sell as many guns as they want without becoming a dealer as long as you don’t have a set location to sell from. So these so called private sellers who go from gun show to gun show are using this loophole to effectively be a dealer while not getting licensed as a dealer. I think we could close most of the loopholes if you simply said… “Any person who sells more than X guns in a given time period is a dealer” and moreover, all gun show participants must be registered dealers. Poof problem solved, want to sell your gun to your neighbor, no problem, want to sell 20 guns at a swap meet, you’re a dealer and need to follow all the dealer’s rules. We license restaurants and dog kennels and day cares the same way why not gun dealers too. Internet gun sales wind up falling under the same rules so if you sell 1 gun over ebay no problem. Sell 20 guns a month, you’re a dealer. It’s super simple and crazy not to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BadgerB1 Robert Brown

    What about an AK-47 is “bad”? I.E. what about it is something that can be identified without the term AK-47? And what is it about that feature that makes it a better killing machine than a hunting rifle?

    I would be willing to bet that the most used weapon in these killings is a hand gun and even more it’s probably a relatively small caliber handgun like a 9mm or maybe even a .22. People aren’t walking around killing people on the streets of America with AK-47s. It’s just that when they ARE used they create a bigger stir than the guy that walked in on his wife and his best friend and pulled out his .22 and shot them. It’s a red herring used by the extreme left to rile up their base and (believe it or not) used by the NRA to build it’s membership. The NRA loves it when these things come up because no matter what happens they win. If the ban gets enacted they can play the patriot and get even more donations to try to “Make things right”, if the ban doesn’t go into effect, then they can say “See we can get things done all we need is your support”. It’s a win win for them. The higher ups in the NRA probably could care less about “Assault Rifles” because they know that there is no way to designate something an Assault Rifle that could not be challenged in court, so they concentrate on keeping that in the public eyes instead of having some lawmaker actually look at the statistics and come to the conclusion that most gun violence is done either with a handgun or a “Hunting” rifle.

  • hanson

    Better said than me above! Thanks

  • hanson

    Why not? The NRA and Republicans defend the constitutional rights (2nd amendment, anyway) of suspected terrorists on the no-fly list.

  • JoeCitzn

    How many of the daily inner city shootings are by registered guns????? Stop this violence that mostly involves teenagers. Enforce the existing gun laws to address this problem, do not mask the problem by adding more gun laws!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725396075 Jan Falk

    and still gun news will not relent, they simply will not accept the need to get rid of their guns, in fact, if guns killed their own family, they would still be in deep denial, sad, sick, dumb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725396075 Jan Falk

    and almost NO population

  • Proud gun Owner

    Bob, you are completely wrong, Check your facts not your standard college professors BS. The first 10 amendments to the constitution are called the bill of rights. Those are rights reserved FOR the people to protect them from the government. Besides the quote from the hand that wrote the constitution. That it is the duty and responseability of the American people to stand up to an oppressive government. And you cannot do that if the government diss-arms you.
    Also for you fact checkers out there. EVERYWHERE where there are gun laws that PERMIT the public to carry guns the crime rate is lowest. Wherever guns are restricted ( almost every mass shooting location was a “gun free zone”) the criminals know that there is no one to stop them. Especially knowing that the police will take a while to show up.

  • Maggieloe

    I don’t think there is a line. Any of us is capable of heinous deeds under the right circumstances. That is why moving toward a country that is awash in lethal weapons is pure foolishness. I have no problem with frightened people owning a firearm for personal protection if they think it makes them safer (although we know it does nothing of the sort). I don’t believe that is what the constitution says when it refers to an organized militia but still to calm the fearful it seems prudent. But allowing any individual regardless of his/her common sense or sanity to own an arsenal capable of pumping hundreds of rounds into cowering kindergarteners on a whim seem irresponsible and I believe portends the end of a civilized society. The rest of the world is aghast at what they see happening here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1188478730 Alma Wilkinson

    Internet gun sales are illegal NOW, if you are not a dealer. Otherwise I pretty much agree with your 2nd paragraph.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1188478730 Alma Wilkinson

    What part of the 2nd Amendment refers to “hunting” or “sportsmen”? That’s right, not a damn word of it. In the parlance of 1787, “well regulated” meant “well functioning” NOT “well controlled” as it is assumed to mean now. It was written to provide a last resort “Sword of Damocles” tool to the states and public at large to prevent the Federal Government from becoming another all-powerful “Kingdom” like they had just fought off only 6 years before.

  • Nuts

    You are incorrect. If what you say is true, why have national crime rates including gun crimes declined while the number of legally owned guns has increased significantly over the past 15 years? Please look at easily obtainable facts (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats) before calling people you disagree with “nuts” and making sweeping pontifications about “truths” that simply aren’t true.

  • moderator

    To everyone in this thread,

    I understand the passion involved in this issue but please let’s try to maintain a level of civility so everyone feels free to share their opinons without being bullied.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • http://www.facebook.com/joyce.cowan.182 Joyce Cowan

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – “You cannot invade the
    mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of
    grass.”
    TAKE AWAY THE GUNS AND YOU ARE A SITTING DUCK!!!

  • V C Wald

    In Wyoming, where hunting is an important recreational, economic, and subsistence activity, guns are not often used to commit crimes.

  • Neenster979

    I asked my friend who was a bit hysterical about gun rights, what is the essential difference between getting a background check to buy a gun and the process we all go through to get a legal drivers license? We have a background check, we have a skills test, our names and other identifiers must be verified. We did not always make people get drivers licenses in the beginning. But as more people bought cars and drove, as more accidents occurred, states started mandating licenses. The government has never threatened our drivers licenses, that I know of, or gun licenses. I think the analogy is a good one. At least, it made her stop her ranting and made her think for a minute!

  • Anonymous

    Wyoming also leads the nation in successful suicides. If you use a gun, the suicide success rate is >90%. If you fail in the first attempt, almost 90% never try again. I have two very good friends that tried with pills when they were young. Thankfully, there were no guns in either house.

  • Sother Cross

    Firearm-related homicides declined 39 percent and
    nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69 percent from 1993 to 2011, the
    Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.
    Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to
    11,101 in 2011, and nonfatal firearm crimes dropped from 1.5 million
    victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.

    For both fatal and nonfatal firearm victimizations, the majority of
    the decline occurred during the 10-year period from 1993 to 2002. The
    number of firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through
    2006 and then declined through 2011. Nonfatal firearm violence declined
    from 1993 through 2004 before fluctuating in the mid- to late 2000s…

    In 2004 (the most recent year of data available), among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of the offense, fewer than two percent bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show.
    About 10 percent of state prison inmates said they purchased it from a
    retail store or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends,
    and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5814271 Nathan Fellows

    But driving is not a right, and guns are not anywhere near as inherently dangerous as driving. You are also overlooking the fact that the answer to motor vehicle accidents and deaths is often more education, because few people cause accidents on purpose. On the other hand, the vast majority of gun deaths are intentional.

    So you are going to have to either give up your analogy, or use it to argue the other side of the issue, that tests and licenses are foolish.

    Plus, you don’t need a license to drive, my car has never once asked me for my license before it would start up. You need a license to avoid a ticket or arrest in the event that you get pulled over.

    Try again?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pitllbull.Prose Brad Prose

    Guns are not as dangerous as cars? Since when was the last time a 5 year old ran his baby sister over in the kitchen?

    Yeah fail again…

  • http://twitter.com/JeffLPatt Jeffrey Patterson

    One could argue from this chart that gun deaths correlate simply with population density, and that gun ownership rates and current gun laws are relatively unimportant factors. Guns simply become more dangerous where there are more people. Now–does that make the case that urban areas have a greater regulatory interest for public safety? The initial analogy that comes time mind is that areas with histories of government racial discrimination were subject to greater scrutiny of their voting process; so do areas with greater violence justify greater control of gun sales and possession? In both cases broad constitutional principles are being adapted to specific local conditions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grumpyhugs Carolyn Minsker

    To your point, perhaps if cars had been around during the framing ownership would be a right (especially given how basic transportation is now so essential for earning a living wage)? Perhaps if the constitution had been written today, gun ownership would not be a right.

    The times were very different. Use your head, dig it out of your behind.

  • John Tovar

    The carnage committed with the use of fire arms in America is insanity, the fact that too many lawmakers do not wish to do anything positive to correct this matter, is insanity. The least that our lawmakers could do would be to require all Americans to pass the same back ground check that the military people have to pass. How on earth could any one think that they are better than those that protect their freedom of behaving like buffoons.

    Higher education is the bed rock of what makes America better, had all Americans had axis to it my guess is that there would not be a problem with fire arms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oline-Wright/772108468 Oline Wright

    Please note the state with the highest percentage of gun ownership is not one of the ones with a high amount of gun violence. would be interesting to know the amount of gun restrictions and registration rule in the states with the most red. For instance it looks to me like New York is pretty much all red. It has some of the strictest gun laws too. So it would appear the gun restrictions are not working.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oline-Wright/772108468 Oline Wright

    Actually your drivers license is threatened continuously if you drive drunk it is taken away if you have too many violations it is taken away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oline-Wright/772108468 Oline Wright

    considering that some of the founding fathers stated elsewhere that gun ownership by the people are the defense against a government becoming tyrannical I suspect you are wrong about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oline-Wright/772108468 Oline Wright

    since the car is not in the kitchen I suspect 0 however I had a friend who at age 5 drove his family car into the porch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oline-Wright/772108468 Oline Wright

    Um do you want to limit your right to travel to means of travel available during that time as well?

  • Hm

    Um…or that’s because New York is a much smaller state than, say, Texas…so of course it will appear “all red”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    ” and guns are not anywhere near as inherently dangerous as driving” ??? That is subjective opinion at best. One I would wholeheartedly disagree with. And statistics would not support your statement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    Why does everyone turn this into “they’re trying to take our guns away”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    How many guns does Wyoming own?

  • http://www.facebook.com/grumpyhugs Carolyn Minsker

    This is exactly the kind of Constitutional misreading and failure in comprehension that nullifies any credibility of the Tea twits.

    This is what the rest of America thinks of you:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tea%20party

  • http://www.facebook.com/libtardssuck Toltepeceno Delsur

    You DO NOT have to have a license to own a car, period. You have to have one to operate it on public streets. You can operate it from now on without a license if you do so on private property.

    So you are comparing getting a license to own a gun to car ownership which does not require a license.

    You just put your foot in it.

  • noticethelanguage

    A “shooting death” was reported on Boston news recently. “Shooting death” ? Is their any other death type so described? Driving death? Stabbing death? Strangling death? Beating death? Notice how different “shot to death”, “shot and killed” “died of gunshot wounds” sound.

  • noticethelanguage

    You would have to know the per capita murder rate to get any idea of whether gun laws affect gun killing rates: that is, in a town with 100 people, 50 gun killings would be a lot. In a city of a million, 500 gun killings would still be a way lower rate than the small town. Which place would you consider safer? The one with higher number or higher rate? For example, in 2011, Ny had a lower homocide rate (4 murders per hundred thousand people) than Texas (4.4). Massachusetts, with strict gun registration rules, had a rate of only 2.8. Mississippi had the highest rate –8 per 100,000.

    Unless Mississipians don’t use guns to murder with, it’s likely it had the highest gun murder rate. So, how lax or strong are the gun ownership laws in Mississippi?

    Eyeballing a chart of red blobs is not a very good way to determine possible cause and effect between gun registration and gun murders. Unfortunately, for political reasons, no good statistics on gun murders have been built up to do research with. Truth is, some folks would not welcome a result showing that states with stricter gun purchase and registration laws achieve a lower gun killing rate. They’d prefer to believe that lax laws make them safer and don’t want to delve into it for fear of being shown that maybe even the opposite isa true — laxer laws make them less safe and more likely to die by gun murder.

  • noticethelanguage

    This chart does not show per capita gun killing rates. I’d rather live in a big city with 1000 murders a year than a town of 100 with 10.

  • noticethelanguage

    Would those who think that the right to bear “arms” includes all modern weapons agree that
    people who want to own the sort of guns used by the military and the
    FBI, — designed and intended to kill many people in a few seconds,
    “assault” weapons which have become “massacre” weapons in civilian
    hands — should be required to undergo the same training and testing
    that FBI or SWAT teams have to undergo?

    Also, is “arms limited to “guns” or does it include switchblades, biological weapons, numchuks, nuclear bombls. I’m not being funny, I’d really like to know if there are any “arms” that that gun advocates would exclude from the right to bear “arms”. After all, it doesn’t say “guns” it says arms.

  • Michael Agosta
  • Mike

    SO, explain to me how adding new laws would prevent any of this. A criminal by definition does not follow the law. There is already a law against murder. passing that law did not deter anyone bent on murder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    You need to read the Federalist papers. And the Anti Federalist papers.

    The intent is to field an individual as a militiaman with the appropriate arms for that role. It was understood that those would be used too in defense of self and others, and shooting sports were already popular.

    Your logic is that of the anti gun people that think argumentum absurdum is not fallacious. I’m sorry sir, it IS fallacious to field such arguments.

    I would include full auto firearms in the individual arsenal, but that’s about the only difference I would defend. All others, by you, are weak and revealing of your lack of knowledge and logic.

  • Anonymous

    Bill , seems to me if your out here with us writing articles on your computer you should be well aware exactly how these electronic information and communication systems actually work, for instance; everything I write and virtually say here will be part of the internet world perhaps forever there is one. How often has someone come on the news a said to teens remember what you put out there can be seen and read by every one and it will be out there forever? Well it actually makes very little difference how many times you delete something, its only written over and at that can be retrieved at a later time, I have purchased programs that will find and return all information that has been deleted or lost . It even gets worse when you add a remote site or computer into the mix , by purchasing it here a forwarding your name and information to a remote computer for a background check, as Obama would have you do. In case you weren’t aware of it , if you were to apply for a job locally, they could check your background via computer, In some cases your even directed to furnish a recent certificate from the sheriffs department, they don’t ask you what for but if you have a criminal record it will show up. Isn’t this enough? Showing this upon your purchase would certainly clear you for the back ground check, and they would more than likely know your background from your locality. With Obama’s and Feinstein’s bill it would show up where ever as a weapons purchase; your entire identification , what you purchased , everything about your history, open to any one who had the ability to hack, or retrieve it. IT CAN BE , for only one purpose to eventually confiscate our guns. This all started with both Obama and Feinstein pretty much accusing the American gun owner for Sandy Hook, Some excuse from a president that lied to his constituents to get elected( never touch SS or Medicare) to a multimillionaire who carries a gun, and resigned a senate committee when she was caught awarding her husband contracts to build military bases, perhaps both of them would like to release their “complete history” and background to our scrutiny. Within your grasp of all the news; have you ever heard Obama say he would be back every day until this bill was passed? Show me exactly what purpose this bill has to protect any child or person from something like Sandy Hook from happening again???? (“Please show America!”), the people that are forcing this issue are blind, my God are you too?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Logic, one has to love it. Facts help too. The geo distribution of gun crime tends to follow that of violent crime and overall crime rather closely.

    A further misleading point: when ever you see the word “homicide,” used by the hoplophobes remember to add a slash and the word “Justifiable.” As they are included in the category. And that would include all non adjudicated shootings because local LE and the reining city county or state’s attorney’s general found no cause to bring charges. Which of course would include all justifiable police shootings. And all adjudicated fatal shootings where the accused is found innocent. Imagine counting all these as though they were murder, which is exactly what the anti gun prohibition promoters want you to think.

    The hubris of the anti gun crowd knows no bounds. The will lie by commission and omission as readily one than the other.

    No fact, no disciplined logic, no research seems to phase them. And what is worse, they know perfectly well they are lying. And that they make dupes of the Americans that believe them, and portray us inaccurately to the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Registration is a restriction and must be included with other prohibitions, such as gun free zones, onerous expensive requirements before one can carry legally, and similar laws. They are thick in this country.

    Guns are highly restricted compared to autos and trucks. And before you follow the leader and claim they aren’t, I point out one of the more simple ones to you. (and there are dozens more).

    When is the last time you were forced to submit to a background check to buy a car? You didn’t even need a driver’s license to buy a car. Yet you’d let any looney out there buy a car and drive it on the highways with you … since mental health is NOT a question on the drivers license application. Not even CRIME is questioned.

    The level of logical dysfunction on the part of anti gun folks seems unfettered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    If you were caught carrying a gun and were intoxicated you can be sure your ccw permit would be revoked. It says so in many state statutes.

    And by the way, taking the license from an habitual drunk driver has a very bad record in this country.

    Further, you must have figured out by now that taking their license won’t stop them from driving.

    When we focus on CRIME we reduce it, all kinds. But it has to be real crime, not possession of a car, or of a gun.

    Doing a crime with either should be the standard for LE and policy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    I invite you to look up the statistics. Do you really think injury and death per capita against population or number of guns comes anywhere near that of autos and trucks?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Your argument appears logically sound. The right to move about would include the right to use any conveyance appropriate, just as “arms,” and “weapons,” included guns.

    In fact our right to travel is protected by the US Constitution, and Supreme Court ruling. And case law.

    The idea that it’s a privilege to drive a car is a piece of hogwash propagated TO COLLECT TAXES and FEES. Nothing more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    So what is your favorite flavor of KoolAid there, Mort?

    You have trotted out a long list of fully refuted claims to defend you opinion.

    My favorite is your .”or crime statistics released about the probability of being killed by a gun in homes with and without guns.” Do you know the original source for that claim (and by the way, neither the government, nor specifically the FBI, not even the CDC agrees with you or even bothers to collect that data)?

    It’s the infamous Kellermann report. Heavily weighted to get the results you think is government sourced.

    He took an extraordinary time after his public release of his conclusions, to then release his protocols. Under extreme pressure from the research community, academics.

    What was found? Hmmm….that he did his surveys in HIGH CRIME AREAS. Why yes, Mort, you will find far more people who have a gun in their home in high crime areas will be likely to shot, in or out of their home. They are likely too to NOT be legal gun owners.

    Did Kellermann survey ordinary households of law abiding citizens? LOL

    Well, I’ll give you a hint, little clue. We have an estimated 300 million guns in the hands of about 250 million citizens, most law abiding at that. And more and more guns are sold each year. Some estimate that there are 8 or 9 guns per capita for each adult in the U.S. I’m not surprised.

    How is it then,if Kellermann had surveyed with equal weight in all types of households he managed to come up with claim he did?

    It’s BS, Mort. And there’s plenty of it around. Keep digging and stop parroting what you are being told by the Kellermanns of the world. They are lying to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Any nonsensical clown claim can be made if you control the variables in favor of your argument.

    When is the last time you actually checked the facts, sir?

    Do you know the actual rate of child deaths in different categories?

    “The Top Five Causes Of Unintentional Injury involving children:

    1.
    Car Accidents: Kill 260,000 children a year and injure about 10 million
    children. They are the leading cause of death among children and a
    leading cause of child disability.
 

    2. Drowning: Kills more than
    175,000 children annually. Up to 3 million children each year survive a
    drowning incident. Due to brain damage in some survivors, nonfatal
    drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of
    any type of child injury. 
 

    3. Burns: Fire-related burns kill nearly 96,000 children a year. 

    4. Falls: Nearly 47,000 children fall to their deaths every year, but hundreds of thousands more children sustain serious injuries from a
    fall. 
 

    5. Poisoning: More than 45,000 children die each year from unintended poisoning.”

    Do you need link to source? Happy to provide, or you an do your own search. You’ll get the same thing.

    A little aside: 2500 to 3000 children a year in the U.S. are killed intentionally or by neglect by their own parents. Add that up for ten years or so.

    Now do you see where the real problems are? Guns are piffling, and been used as an easy club to bop you with to keep you stupid and unwilling to overcome your ignorance.

    Just as the politicos want. Sorry for the insults, but I find it increasingly difficult to tolerate stupid defense of ones ignorance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    If you research you ‘ll find that this is an Urban legend, false. However, I suspect it was in the back of the minds of many in the upper military circles of war time Japan.

    Considering the number of armed veterans in this country I don’t see much hope for anyone that tried to invade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Because Diane Feinstein said so publicly the last gun prohibition go around where assault rifles and magazine capacity laws were passed. And it changed NOTHING, according to the Clinton adminstrations own researchers. Funny that.

    An executive of the Brady Campaign also made clear that was the ultimate aim. Every gun, every citizen, take their guns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Dishonest politicians love you. They are nodding and smiling at how easily you’ve been convinced to drink the koolaid.

    There isn’t a need to get rid of guns. There is to get rid of the endless stream of lies and appeals to emotion the politicians think they can get easy votes with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Good question, bet lost.

    Justifiables going up, and murder going down. I’m tired of doing research for people that will just run away and no learn and grow. I’m going to take a chance on you and presume you wish to think, that hardest of all mental tasks.

    I’ll give you the search … you’ll see right off you lost your bet, but it’s important to know why. Here you go:

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Rate%20of%20justifiable%20homicides%20to%20murder&pc=conduit&ptag=A98ED4ACF51344968A6F&form=CONBNT&conlogo=CT3210127&ShowAppsUI=1

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Mmmm….I’m embarrassed we have the same name.

    You do understand you just made a very solid argument for equal arms from military to civilian, do you not?

    So you make them illegal to the criminal, who will routinely disregard laws (that’s why we call them criminals), and you’ll make the illegal to citizens who will follow the law.

    Not ponder the balance for a moment. Think about this sincerely.

    I have to go get a towel for my tears of laughter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    I keep a well thumbed copy of the Federalist Papers next to my laptop on my desk.

    You must have read it, I’d gather. Nothing like knowing the facts. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    Your argument looks on the surface to be a good one. You missed one small but critical variable. Willing versus unwilling population. LOL

    Nice try though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1184449054 Don Fisher

    One think the founders, already victims of oppression for many years, were naive in the least.

    You’ll find the sentiments of the time very much in favor of control of central government abuses.

    What do you think the Federalists and Anti-federalists were on about then?

    Have you read their comments?

    Have you looked really carefully at the DOI, and what it has to say about oppressive governments?

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  • Deb

    Registration is NOT a restriction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    Nope Cars surely cause more fatalities *per capita*. But looking up statistics isnt even pertinent unless we are going to look up the statistics comparing the quantity of TIME each is used. I drive an average of 2 hours every day (easily). That works out to about 22,000 hours over the last 30 years, wherein I have never injured or killed anyone (yes I had some minor fender benders, but no injuries) How many people could boast carrying a weapon for that amount of time withe similar results? Certainly not me.

    What do you think? If these 1,000,000 Americans who drive daily (estimate) handled loaded firearms for the same amount of time that they drive, would this result in FEWER or MORE fatalities than traffic accidents? Considering the poor and distracted driving habits of much of the population, I can only imagine the destruction these same people would cause handling firearms for just a couple hours every day.

    I would like to think they might gain some maturity and respect for the firearms.. but since it doesn’t seem to happen with their cars too much, I wouldnt set my hopes too high.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.olson.522 Daniel Olson

    Let me amend my previous statement. Handling firearms daily WOULD benefit SOME people. With proper training, they would learn how to store, handle, aim and shoot in a manner that is socially responsible. They would see the damage a firearm can cause and learn from it. Sadly, those that didnt learn would end up killing other people or themselves because a gun was handy when they were in a compromised state of mind (angry, depressed, intoxicated). The frequency of these incidences would drive gun fatalities way higher than auto fatalities.

  • larry

    Every word in the second amendment was written for a purpose. “well regulated” is easily understood and was not intended to be ignored.

  • larry

    using the term “gun or firearm” is far too generic and in my view contributes to the slaughter in our streets, schools and other public places. In a civilized society we would make a distinction between machines designed to kill human beings (hand guns & assault rifles) and firearms that have some redeeming social value (sport & home defense).

  • Anonymous

    So let’s get rid of all laws.

  • Anonymous

    And as long as you operate your gun on your own “private property” you have my blessing to do whatever you want with it. Otherwise I want it licensed and I want it registered. And I want you to prove you know how to use it and be responsible enough to not allow those who don’t know how, or who should otherwise not be allowed, access to your gun

  • Dundee walker

    I’m gay

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Herron/100000479452713 Chris Herron

    apple pie 81 %,,common sense background checks 91 %

  • rodeo

    Take a second look, a mom and grandmother take th 13 yr son,grandson to lunch to celebrate his graduation. The ex=boyfriend had physcally abused her she ask him to stay away. He met them at the restrurant with shotgun shot the mom in the arm reloaded shot her in the face in front of her son,he was going to kill himself but decided to kill her…Indiana this week…guns in the wrong hands kill people…everyday..

  • hanson

    My 2nd amendment says nothing about whatever you are refering to.

  • Jacob Taylor

    So what you are saying is gun violence is way down this year, and down by half compared to 20 years ago? Good! We should keep on our current path! Also, its interesting to note gun violence is by far highest in democractic voting areas

  • Anonymous

    Yes it is! California required that I register my SKS rifle and some collector pistols I had. They changed the law and overnight my guns became ILLEGAL. Had I kept them I would have been a felon. I sold them to a Federally Licensed Dealer for pennies on the dollar. They only had gone from my lockbox to the range. De Facto confiscation. The state also offered voluntary turn ins and some buy back programs. Had they been my only weapons I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself when a felon drug dealer robbed my business and his accomplices tried to attack me. All I had to do was chamber a round in my handgun and they walked away. Threat averted, no shots fired. Chalk one up for the good guys.

  • Anonymous

    Number one: You have no idea how expensive those military background checks are.
    Numbers two, three and four: It’s “bedrock” – one word: I think your mean access, not axis to higher education and finally the word is “firearms” again, one word. Work on phrasing too. I’m assuming that you’re a PhD based on your screed – don’t worry, just google it.. Please do some real research and check your work.

  • Anonymous

    As a licensed driver I can drive in all 50 states. I don’t have to drive around certain states to keep my car legal. I can take my car to work, to school, hell, to DisneyLand. As a concealed licensed gun owner I can only carry in about 37 states. In some I risk confiscation and in some I would be arrested. What state would arrest you for legally, safely and sanely using your vehicle?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve carried a gun for thousands of hours without incident , so have the MILLIONS of licensed concealed weapons carriers. Statistics? Here’s one with fuzzy logic:
    Someone will almost never, ever need a gun but when you do, you are really going to need it. As for maturity, the vast majority of gun owners – including my dentist and allergist are extremely knowledgeable and considerate. I’ve met some very nice people who carry or use guns, from FBI agents to teenage trap shooters to special forces operators. Let me ask you a question; if a threat came at you and your family with the intent to harm you, wouldn’t you consider having a gun. All it usually requires is a little training and some paperwork.

  • Anonymous

    please read through this thread. There are more guns in more homes and carried by more people than ever. Yet the gun death rate is way, way lower.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve needed a gun both on duty as a military cop and as a civilian. Never had to shoot anyone, thank God (can I mention God or is that illegal now?) The guy who shot a bank robber last week needed his gun and so many others it would make your head spin. But it appears to be plenty spun already.

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  • Anonymous

    Wrong. I had to have a state issued license to buy a car in my state. I had a license from a different state, but that didn’t matter at all. I couldn’t have purchased a car with NO valid license, and I had only 5 days to get a proper license, had to sign a form agreeing that in order to purchase my car that I was REQUIRED to have my state’s license within that 5 days, and had to drive 2 hours back to the car dealer to PROVE that I was eligible to buy a car in my state.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    None of these school shootings had guns purchased on the black market.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Everything you said is applied tot he gun-rights crowd. Every study shows the opposite of what you said, but you dismiss those studies out of hand,

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Guns absolutely are not restricted more than autos. You don’t have to register your gun. You don’t have have it inspected regularly. You don’t have to be licensed to operate it.

    We don’t let “any looney” drive a car. Everyone is tested for proficiency, and we police the roadways to ensure compliance with traffic laws.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    Guns are the number two killer of young people, right behind cars.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    “That story is a hoax, but it’s probably true.” Haha!

  • Anonymous

    Many individuals in law enforcements are lousy shots. Much of the training and testing has little to do with firearms but other procedural and situational training.

    Many of the best shots in war are “good ole boys” who spent their life with a gun in the pickup truck as they traveled through their farms.

    Law enforcement does not necessarily equate to proficient in arms use.

    With nuclear arms you may just be trying to be silly. No individual has the means to possess or maintain them. The entire country of North Korea, with the help of the former Soviets and later the Chinese, have been trying and failing for decades to build nuclear weapons.

  • Anonymous

    Look at NJ with 10% ownership… and Camden. Ouch.

  • Anonymous

    I saw a graph like this but for deaths of unarmed citizens killed by police in the U.S.. Very scary. These are the people we pretend are trained and restrained. Why then do they act like Gestapo?

  • Christina Bruner

    Yes it does – A gun was used, please cite me the statistics of all these people being killed with knives. A baseball bat is also less likely to KILL than a gun.

  • Dark_Space

    What state has that law? Does it require private sellers to verify licenses too? Seems bizarre.

  • Dark_Space

    In the state of Texas, carrying a concealed weapon in public requires a license, which requires the successful completion of a proficiency exam. Open carry in public is not legal. Hunting on public or private land requires both a hunting license and the completion of a hunters safety course, which also has a proficiency exam requirement. Just an FYI.

  • 1Billiam

    Montana seems pretty good. Everyone must have a gun there.

  • Dark_Space

    I’m in my car about an hour every day. I have a gun within reach 24 hours a day. Car wrecks with injuries=3-4. Gun related injuries=0. That comparison is as faulty as yours is, admittedly.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what would happen if 33,000 people a year died as a result of unsafe airliners? Do you think there might be some uproar and insistence on changes? This kind of selective blindness by this percentage of the American people is really difficult to comprehend.

  • Russell Scott Day

    If you can get a gun and I can’t, you are more powerful than I am. it is as simple as that. They might like you better than me and then you get a gun and I don’t. I am sorry I don’t wear my gun all the time. It is too much work and then I expect here I’d be threatened, but I can’t fight anymore as I am old and all these people are mean and angry and you just never know. if they were rare like atom bombs maybe we could get rid of them, but you might need them for the rabid dog or that crazy possum. The USA is crazy. There is a war on all the Blocks called the Drug War and people rob and kill all the time.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Newtown, guys, not Newton.

  • Anonymous

    Where is the stats on which schools allowed teachers to bear arms? I bet none of the schools that had shootings didn’t have any teacher who was conceal carrying.

  • Lets be Reasonable

    Teachers are not law enforcement. They do not have the training, equipment or, in general the demeanor or desire to act as law enforcement. How about keeping guns out of the hands of impulsive children and lunatics to start with.

  • Paula Meyer

    Are there studies that show the ethnic and socio-economic makeup of schools that have suffered gun violence?

  • http://dotsie01.blogspot.com dotsie01

    It really doesn’t matter the class or race or socioeconomic background of a school shooter…it just shouldn’t freaking happen to begin with. Democrats and Republicans, religious and atheist, black, brown and white…we all want our kids safe when they go to school. Our kids have that right. This is an issue that has NO sides, and at the one year anniversary of Sandy Hook, I think this is what I have learned.

  • Daniel Olson

    Exactly. I have a car within reach 24 hours a day. Your hour of car USE does not equate to having your gun “in reach”. Car wrecks with injuries 3-4? You have had 4 car wrecks, 3 with injuries?

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    lilibaiy, indeed. But don’t expect the United Sheeple of America to see that. They’re too busy snuffling along with their snouts stuffed into the grass.

    Tens of thousands of gun deaths in this country every year, and nothing is done. 3,000 people killed by terrorism in this country over a 50-year period, and the country has lost its collective mind. Bullying, harassment, theft, even sexual assault at the airport is now routine. All because millions of credulous Americans think The Terrorists Are Everywhere!

    Yet God forbid anyone try to take away their precious guns.

  • Anonymous

    Our children are being murdered. Innocent lives snuffed out. Yet, gun people are more adamant about protecting their ‘right to bear arms’ than our ‘right to life’.
    Seems to me, that law-abiding gun owners would not only understand but support the need to keep these killing tools out of the hands of those who wish to do harm. After all, their need to own a weapon is based on their need to protect themselves, right? So, why not support efforts to curb gun violence? Less violence, less need, fewer guns.
    And less fear. We are denying our children their innocence. No matter what words of reassurance we try to give them, they KNOW they are at risk. They are not safe at school, at shopping malls, in the park. They may not speak of it, but the fear is there. When I was growing up, there was no such fear. But my grandkids have had to deal with it. To deny that the proliferation of guns in this country has anything to do with it is a lie. To insist that there is nothing to be done about it is nonsense. To continue down this path is insane.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Yeah, good luck defending yourself from a government (which I agree is tyrannical) that has drones, heat-wave weapons, LRAD, and all other kinds of excruciatingly powerful force that it’s not only willing but eager to use against you. That gun or two or three of yours will really get you far.

  • Anonymous

    Hunting is generally done with a long gun, not a concealed weapon. In addition, the proficiency exam for concealed carry can be completed on the internet, how much proficiency does that take? ((By the way, I too live in Texas.)

  • 31Forever

    Really?

    So, in the last year, while almost 800 children alone have been slaughtered in school shootings, exactly ZERO have died in countries like England, Australia, New South Wales, Taiwan, and Japan.

    There is plenty of proof that your words have nothing to do with the truth.

  • Flops

    Why don’t you look up how many people die in cars each year.

  • Flops

    So let’s just surrender them all. Good idea.

  • Flops

    And how many guns didn’t hurt anyone in the last year? %99.999999

  • Umesh Singh

    You really think you have a fighting chance against a shooter with an AR-15 and body armor? Remember that most of these boys expect to die, so your ability to get off one or two shots is unlikely to affect him. He is determined to kill and has been planning for some time. You are busy rustling up school kids. There will be panic as he walks in.

    There is a reason why he is dressed and armed like a SWAT team member. Both he and a SWAT team member is determine to kill the target as efficiently as possible.

    There is no difference other than the SWAT team is suppose to be protecting the rest of us, whether we have a gun or not, and they have to recognize who is the shooter and who is not.

    Heaven help you if a teacher walks in with a gun after you hear some gun shots in the hallway, and you mistake the teacher for a shooter … or may be he IS the shooter …

    You better know the right info right away.

  • Frooble Rippers

    That’s an easy one to answer, the blue states are more heavily populated (for the most part) it’s as simple as that…. It isn’t rocket science!

  • OHIO

    I am so sorry about all these death of people in our world today. I don’t believe its a gun issue. I believe its a human being issue every single person who has done these crimes someone has said they were never known to do this. When they look harder they where depressed or down on there luck. We need to realize that we live in world where people just don’t care about one another. We are to busy in our lives to stop and look around and be friendly. When did Pollyanna’s way of life become so strange and foreign.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. And just THINK of all the rules, regulations, licensing etc etc etc that apply to cars.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad that life is worth less than it used to be. I guess that’s one “value” we have in common with North Korea.

  • Anonymous

    The majority of guns used in crimes and practically all of these mass shootings were obtained legally. These are facts I’ve found in my research. There is an underground gun market, but deaths from legal guns outnumber illegal guns by far.

  • Anonymous

    I believe the number is slightly higher than that. Either way, do you think that justifies the horrific gun killings of children? Even worse,190+ innocent kids under age 6 have been accidentally killed since Newtown because some ‘responsible gun owner’ failed to be responsible for their weapon.

  • Anonymous

    Far more Americans die from guns than all other weapons combined.

  • Gina Burton-Hampton

    Thank you. Amazingly easy to forget in this age of our standing professional permanent army, that the constitutioal amendment was written as a way to encourage local landowners to raise an armed militia in order to defend the new government. In those times firearms were hard to come by, and more pineers hunted with and proteocted themselves with hand axes, bows, staves and hunting knives. METAL IN THE NEW USA WAS SCARCE, no smelters yet to produce large quanities of firearms. Firearms were largely possed by only the wealthy.

  • Karlheinz Groeger

    None of these numbers change the facts. Violent crime, including homicide, have declined consistently over the past several decades. This is despite the number of guns increasing, and despite the number of persons licensed to conceal carry increasing from 1 million thirty years ago, to 8 million today, and despite the number of states which allow citizens to carry rising from a handful thirty years ago, to all of them today. Those facts are readily available on the FBI website, but they don’t fit the preconceived narrative the anti gun crowd wants to hook the emotional with, so they’re never brought up by them.

  • Neverfox

    There isn’t really a difference. For the same reason the state should not decide who should or shouldn’t have a firearm, the state should not decide who should or shouldn’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

  • Neverfox

    But driving is not a right…

    Sure it is. People have a normative right to drive just like they have a normative right to do anything that doesn’t treat others as a mere means.

  • Neverfox

    That wasn’t really an answer to your question. The answer is that the state prohibits it. It might be the case that if the government removed this prohibition, there would still be the same level of availability purely because of lack of demand, but that’s impossible to know a priori. Speaking for over 128 million people (“we”) is also quite presumptuous.

  • David Rothauser

    a-priori aside, the fact remains, Japanese don’t need guns, nobody needs guns – except to kill other people. The age of hunting is over as a need. As a form of pleasure, that’s another story

  • David Rothauser

    Look at the right target. Gun manufacturers. Put them out of business and we have a fighting chance.

  • adam

    you mean like the 80,000 deaths from alcohol a year reported by the cdc? Didn’t have to pass a background check last time I went to the bar. Howd that whole prohibition thing work out again?

  • adam

    except that pesky supreme court decision DC v. Heller in which the court said the 2nd Am was an individual liberty interest completely independent of any duty to join or be a member of a militia

  • Matthew

    We’ll never be invaded but bombed so I don’t see why we should have such a dependency on courting “what ifs” that are outdated by 30+ years. Hunters and security aside, anything beyond a 6-shot capacity is unnecessary in my honest opinion. As someone who enjoys a good gun every once in 7 years, I must admit letting go is going to be for future generations.

  • AussieShooter

    Do you honestly believe that there are “bad guys” doing the killing, not just people who have become down on their luck, depressed, stressed, or impassioned? The accessibility of guns facilitates normal people doing things in the heat of the moment that they later regret.
    Here in Australia, after several mass shootings the Government (a Conservative one at that) looked at the evidence, grew a pair of balls, and stood up to the well-funded gun lobby. They implemented a gun buyback scheme, outlawed automatic guns, and tightly controlled semi-autos, handguns and shotguns (some people still need semis and shotguns for pastoral purposes, and pistols are allowed on gun ranges if they are kept there in a safe). Since this was implemented in the mid-90s, we’ve had no mass killings.
    Not bad for a law they said wouldn’t work.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the “where not to live” map.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t realize the NRA had legislative power – please source/link this revelation. Meanwhile, understand that in Chicago and DC – where handguns were banned – the murder rate by firearm has increased alarmingly… in fact, as a direct result those two cities now have the highest murder rate per capita in the US for major cities. Understand also that in many instances sources that report on ‘child’ firearm deaths cite statistics in which ‘children’ include youths up to 23 years in age, ie., the majority of which are gang related shootings (drug/substance abuse issues) but which this report conveniently neglects to point out for political reasons obviously. This report also doesn’t bother to clarify justified shootings – gee, go figure. Fact of the matter is that the highest percentages of gun deaths are suicides, which is a mental health issue and often is also directly tied to drug/substance abuse. Try tackling those 2 very clear problematic issues if you are truly serious about solving problems as opposed to encroaching on our Constitutional rights. Btw, 25% of highway fatalities (higher death rate than firearms, including innocent children) now involve the use of a cell phone… why aren’t you crying for a ban on those?

  • JonThomas

    It says (in parentheses,) that the 11,000 figure is the number that is reported in the media, and thus public knowledge.

    The 33,000 number is the estimated total number of people killed by guns since Newtown (including those not reported in the media.) It is only an estimate because it is now illegal (because of NRA lobbying efforts) to collect the data.

  • Neverfox

    Let me be clear. I didn’t make the point I did because I, like you, think that a case must be made, one way or another, for need before someone can be allowed to own something. Any weapon short of a nuke (which cannot be used without collateral damage) can be used exclusively for self-defense, and therefore I don’t believe anyone has the right to restrict ownership of those items.

    Taken by itself, your students are (in a sense) correct; they don’t need guns, because the State has implemented a policy so strict that they are now entirely dependent on State-approved agencies for keeping the peace and defending them. That should be a deeply troubling outcome for anyone concerned with unjust power. We should all want a world where no one ever found themselves in a position where killing other people was a necessary and proportionate response toward aggression, but we should also want a world where, when that is a necessary and proportionate response toward aggression, one isn’t left to be dependent on others unless they choose to be.

  • David Rothauser

    Apparently you’re speaking about government by the people – a fantasy that doesn’t exist while “the people” are taught from the cradle to the grave to follow (not lead) the power brokers.
    Now in Japan and other democratic societies there really aren’t lobbies screaming down the barrel of a gun for the “right to bear arms.”

  • Sheri Drips

    You didn’t realize the NRA had legislative power? LOL Where ya been?

  • JonThomas

    Click the numbers (in blue) and you will see the factual reference.

    In the case of ‘supermarkets,’ the food retail industry themselves reported that number, and that industry defines a SUPERmarket as stores having $2 million or more in annual sales.

  • JonThomas

    Apples and pork chops.

  • Allie J

    Nothing I said indicated that I had any desire to engage an assailant. The fact remains that if someone intent on violence attacks me or my students, I do have the demeanor and desire to respond. Teachers do not encounter violent situations by choice any more than in any other profession. We are, however, much more likely to deal with a violent situation than your average office worker. The odds of such an encounter escalate with the age of the students.

    The fact is that in schools who designate armed teachers or teachers with access to weapons, the authorities are informed of who those individuals are, their positions in the school and the specific protocols under which they function.

    All teachers are trained to follow specific procedures to minimize panic and maintain control of their students. The teachers at Newtown did exactly that. The children didn’t die because of panic or chaos. The teachers were heroes. They did everything they were trained to do and more. Several saved lives. Others died comforting their students.

  • Neverfox

    Was my point not precisely about ending dependency? The solution to dependence on power brokers (which includes those State-sanctioned agencies who systematically hunt down and slaughter their own peoples in the name of “protecting and serving”) is not to further deny people the ability to defend themselves and organize for the defense of others.

  • Anonymous

    Two Senators with any integrity, Toomey of Pennsylvania and Kirk from Illinois.

  • Anonymous

    Actually firearm deaths in Chicago are down this year. Thanks to an aggressive seizure of illegally possessed guns.

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  • Neverfox

    And also, what is even the point of an average citizen having a semi-automatic gun?

    I would think the usefulness of a firearm that’s immediately ready to fire again is obvious. Perhaps the real question is that if it’s useful to those individuals who are specially sanctioned by the State, why isn’t it useful for the average citizen?

  • Anonymous

    Swell idea: you apparently have some knowledge not available to modern psychiatry.

    The mental health bar to purchasing a firearm is fairly steep. In order to be prohibited, a person must be adjudged incompetent, a danger to themselves or others, or be ordered into involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. The judgement must be made by a court of competent authority or a panel legally authorized to make such determinations. Of all the spree killers/school shooters, only Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, had such a disqualification. But it had never been reported: even Virginia Tech, where he was a student, didn’t know of it.

    In addition, you make the assumption that the U,S. is going to completely reverse its position on our mental health care system, which to this point has been to dismantle it. Be sure to let us know if you get that past the budget Nazis.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting that the state with the highest percentage of gun ownership (Wyoming) is also the lowest incidence of gun violence. No mention of this or correlation in the article.

  • Anonymous

    Round limitations are a serious issue; on average it takes between 2 – 5 hits to stop one attacker. If a person is limited to your suggested 6 rounds he would be in a bad way in an attack with multiple assailants.

  • Anonymous

    Yes let’s include stats from hoaxes as Yale was proven to be.

  • Anonymous

    Are there “mass killings” no but your violent crime stats have increased creating an entire population of victims for evil doers to prey upon.

  • Anonymous

    Mythical information made up by gun control advocates. The 90% was a subset of specific portion of the population and creative poll taking by MAIG. If you buy a gun at a gun show from a dealer you still have to pass a background check. If you buy one off of the internet and have it shipped across state lines you have to pick it up from an FFL dealer and pass a background check. And yes there was plenty in the amendments to that bill about banning specific types of guns.

  • Anonymous

    Skewed research. Almost all guns were “obtained” legally at one point as most guns stores are heavily barricaded to prevent theft. To obtain an FFL license one must show a means to store firearms and a little lock box type safe will be rejected.
    What you are not pointing out is whether or not these guns were legally purchased / transferred to the person committing the crime in almost every instance they are not.

  • Anonymous

    Really? 80 seconds. The Arapahoe school shooting was over in 80 seconds because he was armed and announced himself to the shooter. 80 seconds. Newton went on for 7+ minutes. VaTech 30+ minutes.

    Not able to respond in time?

  • Anonymous

    Actually, yes. These cowards may expect to die but they are also very afraid of it. Why else would they pick a soft “gun free” target like a school.

    Also, the “dressed like swat” crap is media fudging the facts. None of the shooters wore plate carriers, they simply had on tac vests to carry more ammo.

  • Dark_Space

    I knew you lived in Texas, that’s why I posted their requirements. I included hunting because that is the other instance where you might need a gun in public, and you were specifically highlighting public uses in your comment – I was being thorough and covering all legitimate public uses. Also, you are incorrect in regards to the conceal carry requirements in Texas, there are specific steps you must take and they include classroom time, a written test, and range time with a proficiency test – you cannot get a concealed carry on the internet in Texas. You can verify this information on the Texas Department of Public Safety website. I’m highlighting this because the requirements that you believe to be prudent as a prerequisite to firearm ownership are already in place, so you should be pleased with your state’s current schema – rather than displeased, as it seemed you were in your comments. Yay!

  • Dark_Space

    I’m certain I don’t follow you, but I will clarify what I said. I always have a gun on me, strapped to me, next to my head at night, it’s loaded, and there is no safety switch on the model I normally carry. My car is generally no where near me, except for the 1 hour per day of commuting. I have been in around 3 or 4 car accidents with injuries. I have been in 0 gun related accidents (or “on-purposes”).

    You said, “handled loaded firearms for the same amount of time that they drive, would this result in FEWER or MORE fatalities than traffic accidents?” – I responded that I handle my loaded firearm about 24x longer than I handle my automobile, each day, and have fewer accidents with it.

    Even though I believe your comparison between driving a car and carrying a weapon is erroneous to begin with, it actually doesn’t even prove the point you’re trying to make if you abide by the same invalid rules you want to apply. I’m not going to write an entire article about the reasons the comparison is fallacious, but for starters, increasing regulations and enforcement in the world of driving has a proven track record of reducing injuries and fatalities. Increasing regulations in the use of firearms has no proven track record of reducing injury/death, and in many cases (i.e. Chicago, 1994 AWB, DC, etc.) the relationship has been inverse.

  • Anonymous

    Drug War, you say? Well…. During alcohol prohibition, the importation and sale of alcohol involved a lot of gun play, too. The shooting died down pretty quick once law-abiding business people were allowed to sell a safer more reliable product. The govt could end the drug war in an instant if they took the same approach to other mind altering substances that have health risks. When I was a teen I had an easier time getting weed than alcohol. They can’t even keep drugs out of prisons. The violence in the drug industry is entirely the result of the laws, and the laws are expensive and ineffective

  • Anonymous

    First off, who cares what a bunch of slave-owning aristocrats intended? Second, you think they would have let a private citizen own multiple cannons? Whatever they intended, they certainly included the phrase “A well regulated militia” in the first amendment, which would imply that gun rights are finite

  • Anonymous

    That may be legal precedent now, but a supreme court decision doesn’t magically travel back in time and implant itself in the minds of our founding fathers

  • Anonymous

    I am not happy about the proliferation of war weapons within our borders PERIOD. I’ve read that the federal govt is selling armored vehicles and automatic weapons to police forces at a discount and I find it troubling. I’ve read about hard-right militia groups that stockpile rapid fire weapons and train in the woods, one of those guys even bombed a federal building in OK. Frankly I don’t know if this govt can really stem the tide of gun violence when it is so clearly one of the biggest perpetrators on the planet. So which pigeonhole would you like to hammer me into?

  • Anonymous

    LOL well gun bans definitely reduce GUN violence. aaaaaaaaand there is miles and miles and miles of distance between tightening background checks and outright banning of guns.

    I wonder why You People never include the phrase “A well regulated militia”? You do know thats the first line of 2nd amendment, right? What do you suppose they meant by that? Letting every Tom Dick and Harry keep uzis and bazookas in their garage, and anyone who tries to even register those weapons is a communist?

  • Anonymous

    Hypothetically, they could collect and store all the background checks that have been run on the system. And yes, hypothetically, they could try to use that list to track down and confiscate every gun in the nation. Seems a little far-fetched to me but yes its possible. Is it also hypothetically possible that some nut job with several assaults on his record and an xgirlfriend with a restraining order is buying a gun to shoot her with at this very moment, and that woman’s life might be saved if this man was unable to purchase a gun?
    Keeping in mind that not all of us know how to navigate the black market, and other weapons like knives and blunt objects are easier to fend off…

  • Anonymous

    A criminal, by definition, has to turn to the black market if a legal purchase is off the table. The black market is more expensive and more dangerous, so at the very least SOME potential criminals would be scared off by the price tag or the potential of ending gunless AND robbed. The kind of person who is too scared to buy a gun on the black market is probably also the kind of person who is too scared to murder with a knife or a bat. Obstacles are funny like that- some people find a way around them but a lot of other people don’t

  • Anonymous

    Yeah if we all just ignore the phrase “a well regulated militia”, ignore the absurdity of even giving a s**t what some slave-owning 18th century aristocrats intended…. THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY LIMITS TO WHAT WEAPONS A PERSON SHOULD OWN. You want your neighbor stockpiling nukes in their garage? Maybe the next person you cut off in traffic is driving a tank and they blast you all road ragey? awesome

  • Karlheinz Groeger

    It is not illegal to collect data on Homicides. Learn something about which you’re trying to sound intelligent on, but aren’t. Police have all the data, and report it to the FBI. What is “illegal” is compiling a national database of gun owners, and the weapons they own – there’s a huge difference.

  • JonThomas

    …Congress, under lobbying efforts from the NRA, has indeed banned research into gun violence!

    NRA lobbying efforts have been instrumental in stopping the CDC from compiling and publishing gun violence numbers.

    The CDC is the agency which traditionally compiles, and publishes all the detailed national violence, causes of death, suicide, illness, safety.. etc… numbers for public consumption.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/gun_violence_research_nra_and_congress_blocked_gun_control_studies_at_cdc.html

    To be honest, I’m not sure if the FBI publishes the detailed numbers if they are compiled there at all.

    Now, you brought up irrational fears of publishing gun ownership records in to the conversation. I will not comment further on that issue. Just bringing it up is outside the the subject matter and is a distraction.

    Rather than the FBI, the CDC is traditionally seen as the proper agency for compiling the numbers. The FBI deals with law enforcement. Information about violence, and especially gun violence, is more aptly handled by the CDC because acts of violence tend to have multi-faceted causes… including, but not limited to, mental disorders, accidents, suicides, police misconduct…etc…

    The CDC does not have certain conflicts, like… if, for example, FBI agents are involved in misconduct, the CDC stands as an unbiased reporter.

    The CDC is also in the position to better serve medical researchers looking to help the nation, and it’s citizens, understand and correct health and behavioral issues which may potentially lead to violence.

    So, while the FBI is concerned with enforcing current laws (usually after the fact) dealing with acts of violence, the CDC can help prevent violence from breaking out before hand.

  • moderator

    Karlheinz Groeger,

    Please read our comment policy before commenting again. We have a strict policy against personal attacks.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

  • JonThomas

    TY Sean.. for the warning and the edit.

  • 31Forever

    Which means what, exactly?

    First off, your statistic is highly unlikely to be accurate, how many more massacres do we need before you actually care? Does it have to happen to your child first, is that the criteria?

  • Flops

    It’s actually really simple math I did using numbers from this page. 30000/300000000 = 0.0001% of guns hurt someone last year. Take out the suicides because they don’t count and you get 0.00004% of guns were used to murder. What is your plan to curb this violence?

  • Neverfox

    “…security aside…”

    Why should this be put aside when considering the justice of capacity limitations? Why should only certain people be allowed to secure the lives of others and select the tools they find most fit for that end?

  • Dark_Space

    That’s not true – Who told you government agencies are prohibited from researching gun deaths? I think what you are referring to is the elimination of $2.6mm from the Center for DISEASE Control’s budget back in the 90s. A quick Google search shows numerous studies and reports from all levels of the government into gun violence and covering various periods from the 90s to current day. If you’d like to research some of the research, I’d start with the data the FBI produces annually. BATFE, Bureau of Justice, and even the CDC still produce regular research surrounding firearms (just search for “Firearms” in the search bar on the CDC website). Congress has also funded independent studies done by their own researchers, and provided government funding to third parties to perform research. Some talking head has sold you a bill of goods – be upset with them, not the guy who is using actual data to stand behind an argument to protect your rights.

    Having a blender in the home greatly increases the risk of blender injuries. However, this is what is referred to as a causal fallacy in the world of statistics. Similarly, the study the CDC report that you are pulling your information from was based on the 1992 Kellerman study. The results of that study were based on 438 suicides and were matched against a control group of homes – the group of suicide victims had guns in their house 65% of the time versus just 41% of the control group homes. If anyone read the rest of the study they’d find that 27.8% of the suicides had been arrested, compared to 8.5% of the control group, 83.5% of the suicides had mental health issues versus 6.4% of the control group, the majority of the suicides were white… Taking these stats out of context by saying, having a gun in the house increases the risk of death or injury is not fair. Now that I’ve said that, you actually stated, “Having a firearm int he home greatly increases the risk of gun homicide.” – of course that is true, it requires the presence of a gun to commit a gun-related homicide, so 100% of the time a gun was present. However, having a gun inside the house does not, in and of itself, increase the risk of homicide.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    No, it’s absolutely true. It’s the Dickey amendment in the 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997. It eliminated funding from the CDC used for researching firearm death prevention.

    The language in the law as it stands now, “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html

    Kellerman isn’t the only study that shows a direct correlation between guns int he home and gun injuries and deaths in the home. There are dozens of studies that show the same thing. And it’s not a casual fallacy to report that you’re more likely to die from a gun in the home than to protect yourself from an assailant. Your risk of injury or death is greater by having a gun in the home, full stop. Where is the fallacy? There is none. Is your risk greater with a blender? Maybe, but it’s far less risky than a gun as a gun has a 90% fatality rate in suicide attempts – the most lethal cause of suicide – a transient event that is defeatable just by having it take more than 5 minutes to access the gun (rates of overdose with paracetamol dropped 43% n the UK by switching to blister packs).

    If blenders killed 30,000 people every year, and they’re designed, built, marketed and sold to kill people, you might have a point. But they’re not. Guns are designed, built, marketed and sold for the purpose of killing people. That’s the Second Amendment argument, not my own.

    There’s a simple fact that the USA does not have a significantly higher rate of violent crime than other nations, but the rate of violent death is staggeringly higher than other wealthy nations (3 times higher than the next nation). The difference is the access to guns. The gun-rights argument is literally, The benefits of owning guns outweighs the massive number of unnecessary deaths. This is a balance made with any potentially lethal technology: cars, trains, boats, planes, and blenders. In what way do the benefits of owning a gun outweigh the risks?

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    50 State Study: More Gun Laws, Fewer Deaths http://www.cbsnews.com/news/50-state-study-more-gun-laws-fewer-deaths/

    “the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high—104 percent higher—than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.”

    Just look at the figures. Top states (murder rate/%gun ownership): Louisiana (9.6/44.1%), Maryland (7.3/21.3%), Missouri (7/41.7%), South Carolina (6.1/42.3%), Nevada (5.9/33.8%), New Mexico (5.7/34.8%), Mississippi (5.6/55.3%), Tennessee (5.6/43.9%), Michigan (5.6/38.4%), and Arizona (5.5/31.1%.

    Compare: Hawai’i (1.8/6.7%), New Jersey (4.1/12.3%), Massachusetts (3.2/12.6%), Rhode Island (2.8/12.8%), Connecticut (3.7/16.7%), New York (4.4/18%), and Illinois (3.5/20.2%).

  • Anonymous

    nreese; I would never have come back to this article had it no been for beenwiser’s comment on somthing that I had posted sometime back. Never the less I take issue with your comment on our children beinbg murdered, innocent luives being snuffed out. Excuse me; but this leads to a greater picture that in turn has an effect upon the well-being of the every day American’s psyche .First you comment on our children then continue on to the Constitution. Your comment might have been written by some mother in Iraq, during our declared war on them, to cry about your grandkids having to deal with it, I’m sure your grandparents must have felt the same(?) no then what could the difference be? Is it possible that our governments everyday action of no action to the average tax paying citizen might have a bearing on us. Just about every American is aware of the legislators being voted into office, having all the perks and doing nothing on the working mans tax dollar ;while the nation struggles to survive. You say there was no fear while you were growing up, lets examine that, just how many wars fit into that frame, how many mental institutions were closed, forcing patients into the cold streets of homelessness? Before you insist that something can be done, weigh your fact against the fact ; what if your wrong? Insanity is what brings this to the forefront sane people don’t kill and attack innocent men, women, and children. To assume that the proliferation of guns is the cause is simply retarded, its like maybe a new one will infect my old ones to go out and do insane things(?) sorry but it has no bearing at all. Actually I’m impressed by the fact that generally speaking most all weapons used thus far were purchased through legal means. Did anyone ever question how they knew who purchased them? where they were purchased? seems as though they knew as much as they would have with a back ground check(?) So even if the bill to register these weapons were in place , they would have still been purchased (?) Then there would have been no way to stop any of these killings (?) Please explain !

  • JonThomas
  • Anonymous

    Yes and I’ll bet this ; after all is said and done your countrymen are very much like ours, they have if anything held back, hidden or buried their choice weapons. In America, our forefathers designed our Constitution with provisions governing our right to bear arms, when the day comes to deny this they might as well burn the entire Constitution. Our country was founded by the gun, defended by the gun, and there can be no reason that the oldest form of government on this planet should be changed by the mental psychosis of the few that choose to attack innocent men, women and children. I’m sorry but there is no way to compare your country to ours, matter of fact were it not for our country, most of all, if not all; free countries would not even exist…

  • Anonymous

    A fighting chance to do what , cower in some corner? American? Believe in that Red/White/ & Blue?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you find it hard to digest the fact that the weapons used were legally purchased(?) QUESTION< with no background check, how did they know exactly who purchased them(?) would it have made any difference had the new REGISTRATION BILL were to have passed(?) SHOW ME! Where are all the supposably illegal guns purchased at gun shows oroff the internet going? I believe that purchases from the internet need to be sent to a legal gun facility or dealer to be transported via FedX or UPS, Postal Services, I've shipped several shot guns to nephews, had to go to a legal gun shop, for pick up!

  • Anonymous

    Yes and we need to find a solution for it, there needs to be a way to help those in such pain that they would attack innocent people.

  • Anonymous

    Hold up I’ve brought that drug deal stuff up a long timne ago and it just vanished. Whats with that I’ll bet the shootings involve at least 75% or more, but they won’t admit it. Its like if they do it would make it look as though the drug deals were rampant, that or where it would look as a race issue, just check the areas where it happens.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know who you are; but you make me proud ; just knowing there are those of you out there that will defend our innocent children from harm, makes all the difference. You have no idea what your responce means to us , brings back memories of teachers that have passed on , they too have no idea what influence they have had on us, respect for all was first, its a shame we’ve lost that virtue.

  • Neverfox

    Are you saying that “law-abiding gun owners” don’t “support the need to keep these killing tools out of the hands of those who wish to do harm”? I’m having a hard time thinking of anyone who actually believes that there should be a killing tool in the hand of someone who wishes to do (unjust) harm with it, as that would mean they were committing assault, which is widely regarded as (and in fact) unacceptable for anyone to commit. In any case, you simply seem to be begging the question by assuming that if one supports no State control of firearm ownership, and no de jure limitation on the extent or kind of firearms one may own, then one must “not support efforts to curb gun violence.”

  • Neverfox

    The accessibility of guns facilitates normal people doing things in the heat of the moment that they later regret.

    And that’s a problem to be addressed, but not by limiting people’s ability to defend themselves or others.

    Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that the law in Australia worked in the manner you described. Okay, so now what? Now you have reached a goal, but you’ve done it after running roughshod over people’s rights. That, to me, is a failure, not something to be proud of.

  • Anonymous

    Is this like the comment involving a hypothetical violent and abusive xboyfriend that apparently goes out to legally purchase a gun to kill his astranged xgirlfriend and oh yes I believe he has a criminal background. First of all I’m at least amused to see its a hypothetical scenario, and really wonder why someone with this type of background would even need to purchase a weapon, but as I recall knives and blunt type weapons were more easily defended against(?) It seems amazing to me that I’ve never heard of anyone with this type of background able to purchase a firearm from a FF dealer.. Maybe its that quick check ? Now this I assume is another glimpse of hypothetic rant (?) one in which the government would take if drugs were permitted to be sold as a safer more reliable mind altering substance. I can readily understand your eaiser time getting mind altering weed than alcohol. I’m sure you realize that research into the substance has shown the damaging effects on brain tissue. Rather than quell the violence within the drug culture are you positive with all the new cross hybrids of plants there might be a problem with who has what? Not completely sure that without laws against the use or distrubution of drugs, we might be witness to the downfall of our country. Think about it drugs every where, no control over them, mind altering, just how far will it go? What about the effects of these drugs on those with allready mental problems? How about nthose that have a psychosis, or extreme depression, possibly push them over the edge?

  • moderator

    GeorgeChipLeveto,

    Sorry for the confusion, Karlheinz Groeger had posted a personal attack, I deleted it and then warned the poster. This is an issue that brings out a great deal of passion on both sides and I am trying to be as fair as possible. Our comment policy is quite clear. If you have any questions please read it again.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Neverfox

    Legal and illegal as a distinction applied to mere ownership is a notion meaningful only if you think the State has a right to determine who should or shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms. In fact, no firearm is illegal in the sense that the State (or anyone for that matter) doesn’t have a right to determine who should or shouldn’t be allowed to own firearms (and assuming it wasn’t stolen from someone). So I don’t really see the point of focusing on what State-chosen status is applied to a firearm used in the commission of a crime. Murder, assault with a deadly weapon, etc.: these are uncontroversial violations; they’re already illegal uses of a firearm, in either sense of the word.

  • Anonymous

    OH! Liz, I’m sure while our forefathers were confiding in you to write the Constitution, they explained to you they did not mean for Americans to own automatic or semi automatic killing machines. (Only single shot black powder right?) ( PLEASE) Arew you seriously confiding in your comment that you drove someone to the point of purchasing a gun to kill you? Even after you heard your husbands reason you were to overwhelmed to realize he has a mental problem? You have the nerve to place the blame on the store owner(?) any store owner(?) to make a buck? Well I’m sure once your husband told him he was going to use it to kill you it speeded up the transaction that much more. You do realize if he’s gone thus far he may not have the courtesy to wait next time, You might wqant to report such qan incident to local police, at least ifb this fairy tale is true he’ll find it rather difficult getting a second chance to own a fire arm, or you can be like Adam Lanza’s mom buy him a gun!

  • Anonymous

    How many innocents were murdered in Iraq? We were led to believe lies by our own government to declare war on innocent people and mothers fathers and their children were blown to pieces in a unjustified war, now the perpetrator can be seen on Air Force One sketching pictures on digital tablets for amusing moments. Just look what its come down to, theres Obama, Hillary Clinton and George H Bush all in a happy little group like nothings ever happened while America suffers the recovery from war after war. With Liberty and Justice for all? How about these words for some truth?

  • David Rothauser

    Put gun manufacturers out of business and we have a fighting chance to prevent the gun murders of innocent children in our schools, on our streets and in our homes. No guns no gun murders. That’s the challenge? Who’s got the guts to back it up?.

  • Neverfox

    Well, they way for those who do have “the demeanor or desire to act as law enforcement” to get the training and equipment they need and use it when necessary isn’t to limit these things to a privileged class of individuals.

  • Anonymous

    You do David , you go out there and shut down all the gun manufactures, all the thousands of employees out of work , not to say even the legal gun owners that like myself may have waited up to several years to obtain the first production models of special weapons. You know I would agree that both sides of the issue have several points not to be considered bogus. But David you fall far short of that level, you might as well run for the senate in Antartica, Hell I’ll even vote for you, did you actually think this comment through? I mean just look at what you’ve posted, and the only thing that you have in common with the population in Antartica are cold feet. I afraid its comments such as yours that causes short circuits in immuture minds, of the approximate 400 million guns valued at some multi-billions of dollars, we should just dump them? How say you to the fact that across the sea they choose to use bombs , people bombs, carbombs, truck bombs, boat bombs what will we do? Nope I’m not even going to come close to insulting your theory or you, not an attack on your intelligence or integrity, I’ll let your post be your judge.

  • David Rothauser

    Well written, well thought through. But when you get right down to it, all the protests, marches, lobbying, hand wringing, op-ed writing, campaign financing, etc. means nothing for gun control advocates as long as gun manufacturers rule the roost. I didn’t say it was easy, I simply said they are the target for gun control folks. Why waste time trying to manipulate and change laws when the source of gun violence is guns. Gun control isn’t something to get emotional over. The manufacture and sale of guns is business as usual with a strong dose of addiction thrown in. Allow me a question or two – too often in these social meanderings we tend to pontificate, myself included. But sincerely, for the sake of my education, which country manufacturers the most hand guns, assault weapons and military hardware? I really don’t know and would like to know. Also where does the money come from to front the manufacture of so many weapons?

  • Neverfox

    You really think you have a fighting chance against a shooter with an AR-15 and body armor?

    Maybe not, but I don’t see how it doesn’t help. And I’m not just talking about the fact that it would allow someone some chance, however small, but also because the very erosion of dependency on the State for our well-being removes a huge source of the tension that contributes to desperation.

  • 31Forever

    You know what’s sad, amusing, and ironic about your statement?

    “30000/300000000 = 0.0001% of guns hurt someone last year.”

    No. 100% of guns are used to injure, maim, or kill. It’s a gun’s only function. By your own math, 30,000 of them did their job. How long should we wait for the rest of them to follow suit?

    More importantly, why should we?

  • 31Forever

    Okay, two things:

    A) I have no idea how this pertains to the conversation at hand.

    B) What, exactly, was your point supposed to be?

  • Flops

    You didn’t tell me your plan to solving this horrible horrible gun problem we have. Most gun deaths are caused by handguns, but everyone agrees people should be allowed to own handguns right? Two things things I think will really help to curb violence in the country: legalize drugs and lots more education funding and the “gun problem” will solve itself over time. I know you don’t like numbers, but according to this article only 0.00000009% of guns were used in mass shootings. How can you stop that without totally infringing on constitutional rights? You can’t. You ever used the expression, “It’s a free country”? It says right in our national anthem that this is the land of the free. Freedom comes with a cost. It always has and likely always will. Sorry but we are not ready for utopia yet as much as we’d all enjoy it.

  • 31Forever

    You’re not repelling an invading force. America is not seen as the shaky-legged upstart nation that it was in the late 1780′s. There’s no reason for guns in today’s society, as many countries have already discovered.

    You said I didn’t have a plan for stopping this, but I always have: ban all guns. Grant a very few exceptions, for people like farmers, sportsmen, and livestock ranchers, and get rid of the rest.

    And I’m more than happy to get into this with you, but I promise you, the only way you win is to ignore every single fact in existence.

    I know you don’t agree with this, but I don’t expect you to, as you only wish to enforce the latter half of the amendment, and ignore the former.

  • Flops

    Ha you accuse me of ignoring one half of the second amendment, but you want to completely erase the other! As I figured all along you are a radical and you just lost this argument. You are aware of how corrupt our government is right? All the money and oil and special interests and war. Why do you want to give these people more power? More government is too dangerous until we can make government honest again somehow. To better understand the second amendment I would recommend reading this: http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html

  • Anonymous

    How many bad guys are emboldened because they have a gun in their hand? How many gun carrying good guys are necessary to actually scare the bad guys into submission? How many of these apparent good guys will turn out to be bad guys? How many will succeed in a suicide attempt that would otherwise be unsuccessful? How many will accidentally shoot an innocent person that they only THOUGHT was a bad guy? How many good guys’ weapons will fall into the wrong hands? How many of the good guys’ kids are going to shoot themselves or others, by accident or on purpose? And how much money are these weapons manufacturers going to make in the process while significant portions of the country literally BUY into this fallacy that guns will make them safer?

  • Anonymous

    LOL @ “A person can easily buy a gun in the “bad” neighborhoods.” Take that batman shooting. You think some skinny orange-haired white boy with crazy eyes could just go to “the hood” and buy hundreds of dollars worth of hardcore war machinery? “easily”? like its really no harder than buying from a store? cmaaaan

  • 31Forever

    “How corrupt our government is”?

    Of COURSE I’m aware of it! Here’s a question for you in return? When was there EVER a successful uprising by people who felt that the U.S. had overreached, and they were going to rebel?

    The only instance of this is the Civil War, and it resulted in two things:

    1) the greatest loss of American life in our history; and

    2) the U.S. government prevailing, and the secessionists being quelled.

    I agree with you that there is waaaaaaaay too much corruption in our government – now, more than ever; too much money flowing through the halls of Congress, too many powerful corporations literally writing our laws, and forcing our nation into elective wars that they can profit from.

    But – and here’s the really important point: Scooter and his band of happy rednecks aren’t going to pull off a “Red Dawn”- style resistance against the mighty U.S. military, if they choose to suppress an uprising. Not only was that movie a fiction, it’s entire premise was a fantasy.

    Meanwhile, the reality of our surroundings is that people – children – are dying every. single. day. due to gun violence, unsecured weaponry, and outright carelessness. And, while you may not choose to acknowledge it, you are tacitly approving this when you argue in favor of unfettered gun access.

  • 1fullsailkid .

    It’s simple. We need to link medical records with background checks…… For instance, If someone was committed for a mental illness…..No Gun! Until they get a clearance from a Doctor!

  • Marc Richardson

    The rhetoric in the article is offensive to anyone with higher than room temperature intelligence quotients. I’m speaking about the ‘guns kill’ ‘killed by guns’ and ‘gun death’ rhetoric. What we are really talking about are mentally ill people, thugs, desperate drug addicts, career felons and uncivilized gangsters wielding unlawfully obtained firearms in such a way as to cause the death of others. Just calling such a thing as ‘killed by guns’ is simplistic and misleading.

    If you really want an answer to the problem within constitutional boundaries, with the full support of pro-gunners, it really isn’t that complex. Lawful, honest and upright gun owners quite simply want to be left out of the loop of efforts to control violent criminal acts. Yes, it really is that simple. When you get specific enough and focus upon the felon and not the firearm, the answers are glaringly bold.

  • Michael Lambert

    The facts are glaringly bold. No other country in the world comes near the number of gun deaths the U.S. does. Why is painfully simple.

    But never mind. Let the carnage continue.

  • Anonymous

    competence with a tool is not morally influence; nor a sense respect or responsibility. yes, too many people having too easy access to guns. And “crayons” that’s your analogy? that’s got to be one of the most over simplistic and offensive analogies i’ve heard in some time.

  • Anonymous

    As if it matters – same w/ some of the comments in response to you. if guns weren’t quite so easily available, regardless of “cause of misuse”, there might be less?

  • Anonymous

    I seriously doubt those guns hanging on the back of trucks are military-grade assault weapons easily available at your local gun show.

  • goOs
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  • goOs
  • goOs

    Multiple sources below. BTW, funny you should mention highway fatalities. The funded research on traffic fatalities since the 70′s resulted in many, many laws promoting car safety, including bans on cell phone use, cutting traffic fatalities as much as 100 percent. Exactly the point, when lamenting the funding bans for federally-funded gun-safety research.

  • Henry Vandenburgh

    It’s not “assault weapons,” it’s largely pistols. About 95 percent. Yep, get background checks, psych evals, letters of recommendation for pistol ownership. One of the reasons we gun owners resist this stuff is the “assault weapons” chimera. I’d agree with a five round mag limit on rifles.

  • TSS

    There is a shockingly disproportionate number of school shootings in Florida where I live and teach. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, of course, was a “No” vote. I go to work everyday wondering who will protect me in the event of a school shooting. I know who will be protecting Florida’s student. It will be the dedicated teachers who consider your children their own.

  • Ashley Coe

    This is a deep seated problem with America’s Sociological relationship with guns. It goes into the American psyche. Compare Deaths by guns to the country that has the most Guns per capita: Turns out its America, big surprise. +33% more than the next country, Twice as much as Switzerland, a country that has been invaded over, and over, and over again by many european powers over Centuries. America, invaded 2 times? Do americans even know that? Some maybe. Death by guns in Switzerland by 100k = 3.8. US, is 10.3, That is 2.7 times more deaths by gunfire, than the next Democratic country, that happens to be in the middle of a part of the world that has seen actual convict in its borders in the past 70 years, thats within a lifetime. They managed to get a relationship to Guns, and controls that the US has failed at. Of all the countries in the world, USA has 89 guns per 100 persons. Whoah! Crazy, Only 5 countries down the list, it drops to 36 per 100. Thats less than half, only 5 countries down the list. Still don’t think there’s a gun Ego problem in The USA? 28 countries down the list, it drops below 20 per 100 people. There are Hundreds, upon Hundreds of countries in the world. The country with the biggest military budget in the world, that is actually the size of all the other countries in the world combined, needs 89 guns per person at home? Not likely. The “Amendment” Yes, Amendment, as in, “It was added” not laid down initially, so it can be changed, as it itself was a change in truth. Was written during a civil war, and unrest in the US. Something that has not been a case in any live American today in their entire life time. America needs to buck up, realize it has Drug problem, and seek help from countries that have it figured out, and don’t have a drug (gun) Problem. They need an intervention. Canada For instance, has excellent and successful gun laws. I have never seen an open weapon in my life, that wasn’t near a gun range, or in a locked case at home, or stored by my father safely and securely, with education as to what a gun is, and its appropriate use. Its not a right, its a privilege, and a dangerous one at that. Canada, has near 30 guns per 100 persons, near 2/3 less than America, and 2.38 gun related deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to US 10.3. Thats near 20% less than people that live just across a border, in a country that has an almost exact if not completely similar culture, source and genesis. That means, USA is 80% higher than the country, its brother and neighbour, that is its closest and most natural match. Thats pretty huge!!! Clearly, Canada has done something right, and its perhaps, not the number of guns, but our emotional and psychological relationship to guns. Plus of course, Canada’s gun laws make sense, and work. Nobody, can openly carry guns in Canada, without proof they are carrying it to a gun range, or to home. Thats it. There is no other purpose for a citizen to carry a weapon. In the USA, you carry guns to protect yourself from other people that carry guns. its a disease. It really is. USA needs an intervention, or this will not change.

  • Ashley Coe

    On a personal level, for you, yes, you are right. Perhaps you were raised to understand what a gun is for, when to use it, and to show it respect. But America as a whole is running wild with guns, and free gun laws, that clearly are failing on a massive scale, and not only threatening the lives of your children, but actually taking the lives of your children. I refer you to this point: This is a deep seated problem with America’s Sociological relationship with guns. It goes into the American psyche. Compare Deaths by guns to the country that has the most Guns per capita: Turns out its America, big surprise. +33% more than the next country, Twice as much as Switzerland, a country that has been invaded over, and over, and over again by many european powers over Centuries. Death by guns in Switzerland per 100k people = 3.8. US, is 10.3, That is 2.7 times more deaths by gunfire, than the next Democratic country, that happens to be in the middle of a part of the world that has seen actual convict in its borders in the past 70 years, thats within a lifetime. They managed to get a relationship to Guns, and controls that the US has failed at. Of all the countries in the world, USA has 89 guns per 100 persons. Whoah! Crazy, Only 5 countries down the list, it drops to 36 per 100. Thats less than half, only 5 countries down the list. Still don’t think there’s a gun Ego problem in The USA? 28 countries down the list, it drops below 20 per 100 people. There are Hundreds, upon Hundreds of countries in the world. The country with the biggest military budget in the world, that is actually the size of all the other countries in the world combined, needs 89 guns per person at home? Not likely. The “Amendment” Yes, Amendment, as in, “It was added” not laid down initially, so it can be changed, as it itself was a change in truth. Was written during a civil war, and unrest in the US. Something that has not been a case in any live American today in their entire life time. America needs to buck up, realize it has Drug problem, and seek help from countries that have it figured out, and don’t have a drug (gun) Problem. They need an intervention. Canada For instance, has excellent and successful gun laws. I have never seen an open weapon in my life, that wasn’t near a gun range, or in a locked case at home, or stored by my father safely and securely, with education as to what a gun is, and its appropriate use. Its not a right, its a privilege, and a dangerous one at that. Canada, has near 30 guns per 100 persons, near 2/3 less than America, and 2.38 gun related deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to US 10.3. Thats near 20% less than people that live just across a border, in a country that has an almost exact if not completely similar culture, source and genesis. That means, USA is 80% higher than the country, its brother and neighbour, that is its closest and most natural match. Thats pretty huge!!! Clearly, Canada has done something right, and its perhaps, not the number of guns, but our emotional and psychological relationship to guns. Plus of course, Canada’s gun laws make sense, and work. Nobody, can openly carry guns in Canada, without proof they are carrying it to a gun range, or to home. Thats it. There is no other purpose for a citizen to carry a weapon. In the USA, you carry guns to protect yourself from other people that carry guns. its a disease. It really is. USA needs an intervention, or this will not change.

  • Elizabeth Patten

    Ok here is my rant about this….

    How about some common sense gun legislation :

    If every car I own has to be license and insured….how about every gun I have has to be too. Not just handguns… Rifles and shotguns kill too.

    If we can mandate airbags and seat belts then why can’t we require a “smart gun fingerprint locking” so that only the owner could use it. With this There would have been no Sandyhook. There have been over 50 mass shootings with multiple victims in the past 15 years with young shooters under 16 years old. Almost every school shooting has been with guns that were taken from their family or stolen from some one nearby. This technology would have prevented every one of them. Why should gun makers have lower safety standards that automakers.

    If we can track every traffic ticket you get nation wide for the past 10 years, then why cant we track all weapons , ammo and magazines purchased in a national data base So that if someone is stock piling guns magazines and ammo and they are not military, law enforcement , or a licensed dealer that they are red flagged to law enforcement . This would be a simple ID card with a magnetic strip.

    If we have to renew our drivers license every four years, then why don’t we have to renew our gun license with a current background check every four years.

    If a doctor or family member can have a person’sdriving privileges re-examined by the state for medical reasons by filling out a basic form ( without fear of reprisals) then why can’t mental health professionals do the same with gun licenses? There would be no Elliot Rogers if that were the case.

    These are inconveniences to lawful citizens who want firearms but they do not prohibit any lawful citizen from owning a gun for lawful purposes…. The however may help to prevent another mass shooting

    It is time to get educated and hold our elected officials accountable.

  • Hella Yella

    ??? wow this seems like quite an oversimplification. the state/cities you mentioned have some of the largest populations in the u.s. with some of the highest rates of poverty as well. that means larger black markets and more demand for guns. when you can drive one state over to avoid slightly stricter gun laws, the gun laws in your state don’t really make that much of a difference, do they?

    tbh though i’m not even sure what gun control you’re talking about since any gun control laws that exist are so lax they might as well be nonexistent.

  • Hella Yella

    i’d like to see you put your money where your mouth is and actually research the perpetrators in these cases, because it seems to me at the moment you’re just blowing hot air out your butt repeating some drivel you received from the media and accusing others of not doing their research when you haven’t even done your own.

  • Hella Yella

    there are like 3 people total in wyoming, so…

  • gcolombini

    Actually, easy access to firearms is statistically a factor when it comes to suicide. If a gun exists in the home of a young person (teen) they are twice as likely to die by suicide than when a firearm is not present in the home. This is purely by the numbers and not taking into consideration any other risk factors such as depression, substance abuse, etc. The risk goes up taking those into account. Check the research, meansmatter.org is a good starting point.

  • Lisa Fitzpatrick

    Thank you for this analysis. Would be interesting to create a map juxtaposing states and districts where shootings happen with the district of senators who voted against the measures. At quick glance aside from GA, the impact of gun violence may not be tangible to some senators who hear primarily from gun advocates in their states. In addition, an analysis of the incidents by state relative to the content/intent of the state’s law would be helpful as would an analysis of NRA funding by congressperson. It could be current laws in many states are not written effectively enough to impact gun violence prevention.

    Finally, we have yet to engage in a national discussion about how our culture tends to shun, isolate and demonize certain people rather than provide easily accessible and non-stigmatized support folks need during mental health crises. We need action in this area. We don’t need to take everyone’s guns away, we need to change our behavior toward each other. There is surely a happy medium here but the subject is so emotionally-charged and volatile each side can no longer hear the other. We are too disconnected as a society.

  • csejda

    Switzerland has not been invaded in modern times, If your facts are wrong from the get go, why would anyone listen to your following arguments. In addition, Switzerland SUPPLIES it’s populace with fully automatic assault rifles as all are in the military. The difference is not the guns…Its the people. There is something wrong with us. Not you or me personally but the society as a whole. Perhaps a society that thought that service to the country or the common good through action and not having someone (Other than me) pay their fair share, would engender a feeling of community. We also have to stop calling each other stupid all the time. You lose whatever argument you might have had right there…even if your points are cogent. Anyway have a pleasant day.

  • Beth Pyles

    I join a FB friend in asking of those who do own guns – what would you do? As in what would you actually be willing to do in reference to laws about guns (mental illness, poverty, etc., etc., etc., are an issue for another time in this query)? Are there any laws or regulations of guns and gun ownership you would be willing to support? Any? And if so, what are they? If there are such measures you would back and you are a member of the NRA, would you drop your membership in protest if the NRA opposes measures you support relative to the regulation of guns and gun ownership, their manufacture and/or sale, or their ammunition? Just asking, because while I know what you oppose, I have no idea what you might favor. If, as I am beginning to suspect, you would oppose any and all regulation of guns, gun ownership, etc., I, for one, would appreciate it if you would simply say so. (I take your disagreement regarding cause and effect as a given).

  • Brett Stewart

    The gun shouldn’t be on the table for someone to pick up in the first place.

  • Marc Richardson

    First of all ‘hella’, I have done a LOT of research over the years. Most mass shooters are indeed seriously mentally ill and on unstable and unpredictable psychotropic medications and from grievously dysfunctional homes and will habitually disobey all gun control laws.

    People like you seem to have the imbecilic impression that a metal detector would have prevented the Newtown school shooter from doing what he did, because their would be an audible warning and a blinking red light as he shot his way through the glass door to the school’s lobby.

    For crying out loud!!!

    The ONLY thing that would have stopped the Newtown shooter was to be met with determined, accurate and relentless countervailing force to take him out. Shouting at him and telling him that having a firearm within 1,000 feet of the school just wouldn’t work. I’m being as kind as I possibly can and I’m purposefully not being insulting in any way.

  • Marc Richardson

    The Second Amendment was not about hunting. It was about keeping the door to tyranny and despotism locked forever. The Founders were abundantly clear about that point in their letters and speeches.

  • Marc Richardson

    Military grade “assault weapons’ have been VERY strictly regulated since 1934 and are not readily available without federal, state AND local permission plus a $200 additional tax and a $500 annual permit.

  • general rabble

    Here is something more sinister to consider. How many were murdered in the last century by governments that FIRST took their guns? The shocking answer. 170,000,000. Yes 170 million. You do NOT have to like guns. You don’t have to make things WORSE either. Looking for a perfect answer? You’re NOT standing on the planet that has one.

  • Mike

    Jefferson also stated that changes to the Constitution would have to be made in the future and its clear that the 2nd amendment needs change. In no way shape or form does it apply to modern society. Its your and others flawed ideology that has contributed to the deaths of thousands of people in US. No sense presenting facts, you wouldn’t believe it anyway. Its like administering medicine to the dead. Your knee jerk reaction to a mass shooting is to worry about your guns rights, your priorities as a human being really suck!

  • Mike

    You pro-gun people always bring up Chicago and DC without presenting all facts and info. You are right these laws are a failure, but you fail to mention the real reason. The reason for this is that surrounding communities and states don’t have these laws in place. Its like living in a dry county, you simply drive to the next county and buy alcohol. Btw the 1# cause of deaths of people under 25 are firearm deaths, just surpassing highway fatalities. Also the nra bought and paid for the no votes that killed the bill the required background checks at gun shows claiming there was to much pork attached. It was a pathetic excuse, finding out later these gop senators who voted no were getting major contributions from the nra. They have no legislative power but they have a HUGE influence in Washington. The only reason i’m replying is to try to stop people from believing your BS.

  • Cameron Wiebe

    Please provide evidence of your copious research. Links to written articles or citations to your results made in other forums would be adequate. Thanks.

  • Mike

    Does it really matter how they die geez. Law enforcement numbers have

    shown that having a gun in your home increases suicides dramatically. So yes guns do matter. Think about it, its fast, painless and convenient.

  • Cameron Wiebe

    It’s actually not abundantly clear whatsoever, either in the Bill of Rights, or in any parole evidence associated with the drafting of the 2nd. I’d suggest reading Waldman or Halbrook on the subject.

  • txlakedude

    Not only do we have serious gun issues in this country, but the NRA, And other gun organizations, make sure weapons are exported to Mexico, Central America, escalating, gangs, violence. The issue in the news now, children fleeing those country’s, are on the backs of gun owners, and their political hacks and representatives.
    America has become the most violent country in the world, period.
    Sad, very sad. Violence is a indication of weakness.

  • Lorenzo

    Beth, I oppose any type of gun regulation. There are approximately 20,000 gun laws on the books. Making more laws is not going to stop the bad guys from getting guns. If someone is going to use a gun for crimes, they are not going to go buy it legally. What would I do in reference to gun laws….allow conceal carry thru all 50 states…just like drivers licenses. How can you find all the people that are not supposed to have guns – you won’t. But you will reduce the number of shooting. There are so many teachers that are vets, right. In those schools, find those teachers and designate them as first responders in a crisis situation. If the are armed, and being vets, they have been trained with firearms, they have a better chance with a weapon than they do with reasoning.

  • Lorenzo

    Elizabeth, have you ever been in a hostile situation where you had to retrieve a weapon to save your life. The things you speak of….car, seat belts, airbags…are thing you can take your time to use. If you have to deploy a weapon in a hurry, you don’t have time to run your finger across a scanner and hope that its right. These guys are now in your house and coming up stairs and they are coming to kill you and your family. Are you going to beg and plead for your life and that of your family. Remember, bad guys have the advantage immediately. They have their weapon in hand.

    With the docs revoking licenses…thats fine for mental health reasons, I will agree with that, but when do you have someone evaluated? That falls back on the parents. You know good and hell well if your child does not seem that he is in his right mind. You should take the precautions to secure your guns at home.

  • Lorenzo

    When was the last time you heard of a gangster or violent individual going into a gun dealer and BUYING a gun? They don’t! They steal them, take them, or get them on the black market…

  • Lorenzo

    If you get rid of all of the guns, are you going to allow the military and police officers to have guns? Why do police officers carry guns? For protection…the same way concealed carry holders carry, too….for protection.

  • Jon Debona

    the measures you are proposing may sound great to you, but i can tell you they will not prevent much in the way of overall gun deaths. if we had a registry where the government knew where every gun in america was, it would be far too easy to lead to confiscation. which several senators have already admitted is their end goal. putting fingerprint locks on guns is also not a good idea, maybe a gun safe that is fingerprint unlockable, but the gun itself is a poor idea. what if the battery dies? what if my wife needs to use it to stop a home invader and it doesn’t work? comparing firearm safety standards to car safety standards is laughable. firearms rarely go off when they are being safely carried, stored or handled. firearm misuse or negligent handling is the fault of the user not the firearm itself. And why must someone be red flagged to law enforcement for owning firearms ammunition or magazines if they aren’t doing anything illegal? any form of database with information of every single firearm owner is never a good idea. it leaves too much at risk. the information could be used to discriminate against the gun owner, released publicly without the owners consent (which already happened once in ny) which could give criminals looking to steal a firearm a place to look. or again lead to confiscation by the government. in my opinion we as a society need to look at the big picture, and focus on preventing killing rather than take away the means to do so. the justice system is built to protect the innocent. i should not have to prove my innocence, without ever having been accused of a crime. these regulations are ridiculous, and infringe on our rights too much without really showing any gains. these are my opinions as a gun owner, and army veteran.

  • Jon Debona

    the ATF, which is a government agency responsible for enforcing gun laws, were the group responsible for trafficking guns to mexicos drug cartels. not the nra. do some research before you blame the wrong people

  • nick quinlan

    Yes, only the increasingly armed police state is allowed those types of weapons, without permits

  • nick quinlan

    Maybe gun violence in this country reflects the global violence our “government” has inflicted, and is still inflicting, on innocents all over the world. And with the full scale arming of police with military weapons in all 50 states, you might want to worry about that.

  • Anonymous

    I still think the psych test is one way to prevent a lot of violent murders. And for good measure, taking away fire arms in domestic violence arrests. It may not stop the killings but I will bet it will cut them down a hell of a lot.

  • Travis Holland

    With all respect, I assume you’re comparing despotic tyrannies like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (and other repressive, murderous 20th century regimes sadly too many to list) with the United States? In what way does the United States in 2014 truly resemble those places? Death camps? Really? We are a free democratic nation ruled by Constitutional law. The same law that supporters of gun rights rely upon in their arguments.

  • Jon Debona

    closing the “gun show loophole” is and should remain low priority. the overwhelming majority of vendors at gun shows are federally licensed gun dealers, they already are required to perform a background check, they often just use the shows as advertising. a justice department survey that looked into where criminals acquired firearms showed 0.8% of criminals that committed a crime with a gun acquired it from a gun show. thats a statistic small enough to warrant we look elsewhere for solutions to the issue of violence in america. it also is not significant enough to pass a set of regulations with “too much pork” that also would insignificantly reduce crime.

  • muktuk

    As an anthropologist- it is obvious to me that understanding cultural differences is the necessary beginning to understanding gun violence in the United States. In contrast with cultures like the Japanese, the U.S. emphasizes individualism, hyper-competitiveness, and social irresponsibility (homicide being the ultimate socially irresponsible act). Anthropologist know this phenonmenon as “Independence Training”. Americans are overly concerned with their individual rights, but seem to care less about their social responsibility. This is why total crime is less frequent in cultures like the Japanese in contrast with the U.S., moreover, the U.S. extols violence as a solution to problems, whether the problems are domestic or international. And we are entertained by violence- not just fictional, but even in our sports.

    Independence Training (IT) also helps to explain the political-economic morass that permeates our society.

    just one anthropologist

  • Marc Richardson

    Easily available? In a lot of states to carry a firearm in public you have to go through a mental health, narcotics and criminal background check and take a 16 hour course which may cost well over $100.00, then in many cases you have to make out an application, submit photographs, fingerprints and pay another fee. I don’t count that to be ‘easily available’. Unless you’re talking about people who don’t give a $#!^ about the law, like career criminals, uncivilized gangsters, desperate narcotics addicts and the violent sociopath. No law is going to stop them, because they don’t care. You get that point right?

  • Marc Richardson

    My priority is to fight against violent criminal acts without wiping our buttocks with the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t need any changing, but clearly our focus in fighting violent crime does.

    For example:

    * 42.4% of guns that felons actually use come from off the street or illegal source, drug trade, burglaries, black
    market and theft.

    *39.2% from the felon’s family and friends

    *11.4% fraudulently from some type of retail source

    *6.9% not listed or unknown (due to some rounding, this comes out to 99.9%)

    Our focus should be on these PROVEN sources that felons actually use to get their guns, since they have been prohibited from getting them at a gun store for the past 46 years.

    The focus should NOT be on the firearms owned by lawful, honest and upstanding American citizens. SERIOUSLY, HOW DIFFICULT AN INTELLECTUAL MOUNTAIN IS THAT TO CLIMB?

    We good, decent guys and gals who own, enjoy and carry firearms, just want to be left out of the loop of efforts to control crimes of violence committed with illegal guns. That shouldn’t be hard to understand.

    How do we do that? How do we affect the criminal mindset and their access to firearms, while leaving good guys and gals alone?

    I’m so glad you asked!!! That’s what you’re interested in right?

    How about a $10,000 civil fine for knowingly providing a firearm to a family member who has a record as a felon?

    How about a $5,000 fine for EACH firearm stolen from a home or business during a burglary???

    How about FORCING felons by law to serve the FULL MAXIMUM sentence for any violent crime in which they were in possession of a firearm, with no possibility of parole, good behavior, time-served, work-release, early-release, over-crowding release or anything else???

    How about THREE STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT??? Three violent felonies involving a firearm in any way and you are in prison until you draw your very last breath?

    How about a $10,000 fine for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and a $15,000 fine if the gun is discharged???

    WE MUST FOCUS ON THE FELON and leave the lawful and honest gun owners out of the loop. The focus should be upon crime and criminals and not firearms, which are very clearly protected by the Bill of Rights.

    How exactly am I not making sense here??????????

  • Elysia

    Lorenzo, everything you’ve just said can be easily debunked. Most gun deaths (whether homicide, suicide, or accidental) are in fact legally purchased guns. People who are armed have very little chance of stopping an attack of gun violence while underway, as the numbers show. Please check out this link and see what research actually supports. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

  • Ashley Coe

    Well, I lose nothing in airing my opinion, you saying, “I lose” anything is just your opinion. Switzerland was ground zero during the second world war, smashed between Germany and Italy. Clearly this is what I am referring to, perhaps you need to look up your history. It is in fact, the psyche and relationship on a mental and emotional level that I refer to here, in that the US has a poor relationship to Weapons and guns. This is the problem, and the US needs an intervention. Perhaps looking to a country like Canada, its closest and nearest, and most identical society, where guns are not treated, or related to, the way they are in the US, would be wise. Nobody here walks around with guns like a self indulging psycho. Nobody had guns, to protect themselves from people with guns. The law is, that if you are carrying a gun, you have to prove you are going to a gun range, or going home, or have a hunting licence and are heading out to hung. Those are the only reasons anyone is carrying a gun here. The US’s romance with, identity crisis with, and egotistical need to carry guns around, is burned into its psyche. Its needs an intervention.

  • Anonymous

    That isn’t true. It was an act passed by Congress under Bush for gun walking and proved to be a failure. It ran out in 2010. There were a few rogue border patrol agents that attempted it again under President Obama…frustrated they could not bring charges against straw purchasers and their own being killed by weapons sold in the U.S….Not one prosecutor would take the cases..unless the purchasers were caught in the act of turning over the weapons they purchased for the Mexican Cartel (to skirt the background check). Another effective law to curb straw purchases for the Cartel was the gun regulations that banned sales of certain weapons that ran out in 2010. After all the grandstanding by the extreme GOTP in the hearings, they failed to pass a simple law banning multiple purchases in one sale transaction…

  • Anonymous

    For all the rabble rousing about loving the Constitution and abiding by it, gun advocates choose to ignore the provision that gives Congress the power to form a militia against insurrection/rebellion…i.e. Citizens of the U.S. are not allowed to take up arms against their government…

  • hBPM

    We don’t need a black market for guns in this country the “gun show” loophole has created a grey market where the law abiding and criminals can both purchase guns without background checks.

  • hBPM

    Under a well organized militia.

  • Coinspring

    You can protect yourself silly. Its Florida. Put a gun in your pocket and go about your day.

  • Coinspring

    I like the Muslim comparison.
    You can’t blame an entire religion on the acts of a few “crazy’s” now can you? People are the problem here people. More focus on that would be beneficial.

    It would also be more helpful if gun-nuts would shut up, and prohibition fans would admit that the end-game for them is completely disarming the nation. Neither will ever happen.

  • Beth Wills

    Wait did anyone else actually bother to read the articles that accompany each alleged “school” shooting? I am especially intrigued by the MIT “shooting,” which turns out to be the memorial service for a policeman killed at the Boston Marathon bombing.

  • James Roach

    I only wish that the above chart included Canada, where gun craziness is far less prevalent. Now that would be a dramatic and embarrassing comparison.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Sorry, that is part of the myth of the embattled Minuteman taking on the British regular – and winning. In very few of the major battles of the Revolution did such actually occur. And your comparison of rifled muskets, circa 1776, to modern assault weapons is so faulty as to throw doubt on your understanding of any of these issues.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Azrielle, you and the Fox are both principally wrong. First, well regulated meant and means both well functioning AND well controlled; to wit, it – the militia – cannot BE well functioning if it is not ALSO well controlled. By whom, you may ask? And of course, the answer is by the appropriate STATE authorities. Additionally, by the appropriate Federal authorities at specific need. Why them?
    To answer that we need point the Second: while the Federalist papers that the Fox refers to outline arguments about the proper role of the Federal government vis-a-vis the states (and to a much lesser degree, the voters – in much of the country that meant adult white male property owners) the true birth of the 2nd Amendment was in two different regional concerns.
    In the northern half of the country there was an abiding distrust of a standing military led by professional officers who may be more loyal to their generals than to the elected national government. Of course, that distrust was a direct result of their experience with the British army before and during the Revolution. The answer to that dilemma was to have essentially no standing Federal army, but to have ‘a well regulated militia’ at the state level. Theoretically, the militia was formed by a nearly universal mandatory service required of all able bodied males between the ages of approx 16 to 60, which was subject to call-up at need by state authorities, and able to be Federalized if necessary, as President Washington did during the Whiskey Rebellion.
    In the southern slave states the concern was to have a state militia whose more immediate task was as a force in being to control the ever growing slave population while remaining free of any sort of Federal control. The powers that be in the slave states were well aware of the nascent abolitionist movement in the North, and were wary of that gaining strength in the national government, and so wanted the 2nd Amendment as a barrier to any future Federal interference.
    So while the theoretical arguments posed during the Federalist/anti-Federalist bring up some such scenario as the two of you wave as the primary justification for the 2nd, the transcripts of the ratification debates of the various states are full of the much more immediate regional concerns I have outlined.

  • Diogenes in OR

    No, ‘assault-type rifle’ means in this case a semi-automatic weapon that has the ability to load high capacity magazines (typically defined as more than ten rounds), and that fires military grade ammunition, such as .223/5.56×45 mm or .308/7.62×51 mm.
    I don’t dispute your numbers as to firearms homicides committed with which type of weapon, but I do dispute your cavalier dismissal of assault type rifles as nothing more than looking scary. It is precisely those type of weapons in the hands of shooters equipped with multiple high capacity magazines that gives any single incident the potential to result in many casualties, the Newtown school only being the most horrific. And it is that revulsion that motivates the desire to remove that type of weapon from the hands of the general public.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Sorry, it was precisely the Bushmaster rifle that killed those children. The ‘very sick individual’ pulled the trigger, but the weapon and the high capacity magazines were the tool that enabled him to do so. One can only speculate what might have been different if he had not had access to the weapons that he did, but in other attacks shooters firing different weapons with fewer rounds gave surviving onlookers the opportunity to successfully disarm the shooter as he attempted to reload.
    As for legally obtained firearms, in this instance or others, had the “responsible” gun owner taken appropriate steps to secure their firearms against unauthorized and unsupervised use then this and other attacks, as well as thousands of accidental shootings every year, could have been avoided.
    In this specific event, given every other condition, if his mother had kept her weapons in a locked safe that only she knew the combination to, and secured each weapon with a trigger lock that only she could release, then he would have been unable to commit the attack in the manner that he did, and maybe never would have at all. Why should she have taken those steps? Because as a “responsible” firearms owner, and knowing her son as she did, it was the only smart and prudent action to take.

  • Diogenes in OR

    The Declaration of Independence does not form a government, nor does it attempt to do so. It is simply a statement of grievances against the Crown, in the person of George III, and a statement of separation from Great Britain to become an independent nation. It justifies that action by said grievances and an assertion of legal and natural rights. While it doesn’t say this, the assertion of rights is intended to counteract the ‘divine right of kings’ as understood and claimed by European monarchies, and so give our actions a solid legal basis.
    However, in no way was what it says about oppressive government intended to open the door to civil insurrection against the provisional government then formed by the Continental Congress, or against the permanent government formed after the successful conclusion to the revolution. In point of fact, the Framers and Founders were referring to the Parliament and Crown of Great Britain, and no other. The Declaration can and did serve as a template for other independence movements, but once we established our government under the Constitution, it was made plain that similar insurrection against the duly elected government of the United States would be an act of treason.
    After all, who gets to say what is or is not an oppressive government which is deserving of being thrown down by a – presumably – popular uprising? And who or what defines the tipping point from a terrorist civil insurrection to a deserved and necessary popular uprising against an oppressive government? Support by few dozen? A few hundred? A few thousand? These nitty gritty reality based questions are what those who cite the ‘right’ to rebel seem to never really address from a real world point of view.

  • Veteran

    SC has it’s daily reports of violence and it’s victims. Channel 4 cherry picks it’s data and mostly shows only the non-white criminals. Gun violence is prevalent here. The number one cause of violent death for women here is at the hand of her domestic (male) partner.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Wow, you were just full of the snark,weren’t you? Good question, bet won. while it is true that ‘justifiables’, such as they are, are going up and total murders are going down, as a total ratio of justifiables to murders the justifiables are a pittance.
    As for the why, perhaps you should enlighten us as to your interpretation. However, ‘justifiables’ have been climbing for one very obvious reason, and one not so obvious but still significant reason.
    First, the so called “Stand Your Ground” laws have made it much harder for law enforcement to prosecute civilian on civilian killings when the survivor can claim that he was ‘in fear for his life’. As long as he didn’t obviously premeditate the killing then he isn’t usually prosecuted, and if prosecuted isn’t usually convicted. Unless, of course, the survivor is a person of color. Then all bets are off. (After all, St. Reagan was against gun control as governor of California – until the Black Panthers began practicing their own 2nd Amendment rights to open carry; then things changed in a hurry.)
    Second, almost all police shootings, regardless of how apparently shaky the grounds are, are ruled justifiable. Friendly D.A.s and compliant grand juries rarely rule anything other than ‘justifiable’ in officer involved shootings.
    Homicide rates per 100,000 go up and go down, but the rise in ‘justifiables’, especially by private citizens, is a new phenomenon.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Good God, that was her opinion, not a realistic legislative goal. Same for the Brady Campaign exec – just his opinion.
    As for why little changed? Because even when bans on assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines were passed all prior possessions were grandfathered in; you may not be able to buy more, but if it’s already in your hands then it is legal. Couple that with the long lead time before enactment and it became nothing more than a sales tool for the firearms industry.
    If you want to make something change then you have to be more aggressive about implementation, and you have to make all in existence illegal, no grandfathering, just a reasonable but brief time to dispose of prohibited weapons and accessories, perhaps through some type of buy-back program.
    The goal is to reduce the ability of disturbed persons to conduct mass attacks on large groups of people, such as in schools, malls, sporting events, etc.
    Of course, another way is to require owners of said weapons and accessories to restrict access to only supervised and authorized users by such means as gun safes and trigger locks. Failure to do so could/should put the negligent owner at criminal and/or civil peril. After all, if one claims to be a ‘responsible owner of firearms’, then one had better be prepared to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

  • Diogenes in OR

    Of course the story is a hoax, a myth perpetrated by the pro firearms lobby. The reality is that Imperial Japan never had any intention of invading even Hawaii. It didn’t fit their war aims, which were to grab SE Asia for resources. They only attacked Pearl Harbor et. al. to keep us from interfering with their other plans, and hoped to get us to sue for peace within six months or so. Yamamoto originally did not want to attack us because of our then current and potential industrial capacity. The Imperial Japanese military initially thought very little of our fighting ability, and could care less about our civilians.
    So, no, it was not at all in the ‘back of the minds …etc’. That’s just you liking the sound of it, knowing it’s baloney, but still trying to validate it in some way.

  • David Wilson

    While they are tragedies, I feel that the inclusion of suicides in the overall statistics muddles the issue greatly — especially when accompanied by the statement that they represent up to 60% of all deaths. The goal should be to highlight loss of innocent life that could possibly be minimized by a different approach. I believe the idea that suicides can be prevented just by removing access to guns is a misjudgement of the causes and motives of suicides.

  • Doug Hurd

    Relying on Mother Jones for reliable information is not very wise. You should rely on The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

  • Doug Hurd

    Gun control in any context is simply about CONTROL by a few elitist, period.

  • Elizabeth Patten

    I am a police officer.. So the answer to your question is yes, and I still support the measures I previously stated 100%.

  • Elizabeth Patten

    Then what are you proposing ….that we maintain status quo?? That’s not a solution. How long should we continue to pretend that there isn’t a problem? How many more of these bizarre shootings do we need to have until we finally admit that the current system is broken? I would rather see calmer heads from both sides of the issue come together and develope a comprehensive plan that all sides live with.

  • Anonymous

    If I missed it, someone please enlighten me. How many of the deaths were caused by guns in the hands of registered gun owners? How many deaths were outside of L.A., Chicago, New Orleans, and New York? How many were directly related to gang-activity? Think that might be pertinent info???

  • NH Citizen

    The police officer was not killed at the bombing. He was shot several days later during efforts to apprehend the terrorists responsible.

  • Janice

    I disagree, as a retired teacher of teens, who are the major factor in the suicide rate, and much more impulsive. Having a gun handy at the wrong moment is a guarantee that a suicide attempt will be successful. Of course it doesn’t account for all suicides, but it does account for most.