Say No to ‘The New Normal’ — Five Things You Can Do About Gun Violence

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Cliff Schecter is a political columnist for The Daily Beast, president of PR firm Libertas LLC and a gun safety activist. He contributed this post for our Take Action section.

Smith & Wesson 442 and Glock 21 guns on display. May 2012 (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse)

Smith & Wesson 442 and Glock 21 guns on display. May 2012 (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse)

Some days it can seem like we should just give up. You’re just processing one senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas when you find out there has been a mass killing in Florida. But there’s no time to think about that because your television is saying that there’s a shooter on the loose in North Hollywood, and there has been another high school shooting in Oregon. It can lead to despair.

But we’ve had many similar battles in this country before. Did anyone foresee an African-American becoming president just 40 years after the raging battles for civil rights in the 1960s? Ten years ago, when gay marriage bans were sweeping the nation, did anyone think we’d be at a point where Oklahoma, Kentucky, Utah and Texas have all been told by judges that marriage equality is here to stay?

The truth is that as much as there’s a sickening amount of gun violence on display today, we’re seeing the end of an era when virtually nobody challenged the blood-drenched greed of the National Rifle Association. That has now changed. Even if Newtown didn’t change our federal laws, it was a turning point.

Here are 5 things you can do right now that will help bring sane gun laws to America sooner than you might think possible.

1) Change Our Culture

The aim of the gun lobby is to make the open and concealed carry of guns the norm everywhere, from pre-schools to airports — it’s entirely ahistorical. So let’s take our culture in the exact opposite direction. Join groups like Moms Demand Action and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence as they tell companies like Target and Visa that guns are not toys, and they should not be allowing them in stores or funding the NRA with affiliate card programs.

Let Target know that if loaded guns are going to be left in the toy aisle for your children to find, you’ll find another place to shop. And if Visa is going to partner with the NRA, perhaps you’ll find another credit card, thank you.

2) Stop Investing in Guns

The Campaign to Unload has done a brilliant job of pressuring large private equity firms, hedge funds and other investors to get out of the business of guns. This has led to over $171 million being pulled out of gun companies in 2013 alone. But you have a role to play in this, too. Contact your 401(K) manager and tell her you do not wish to be invested in any funds that own gun-manufacturer stocks.

Find out where they are holding a rally – outside a large investment firm near you! — and go join them. Let those who profit from the death of our children know that it is not enough to not be affiliated with the NRA – they have to keep their resources clear of gun stocks in the same way that divesting from South Africa once helped end apartheid. This is a hugely important solution to this problem, and it’s as easy as a phone call for you. So what are you waiting for?

3) Make Corporations Get Off the Sidelines 

On economic policy, many people rightfully see corporate America as a hindrance and not a help. But on some of the great social issues of our time, the involvement of big business has helped bring about real change. From civil rights to women’s rights to gay rights, when large corporations see that it is in their own interest — because it’s in their customers’ interests — to bring about change, they get involved.

Right now, a group I do some consulting with, The National Gun Victims Action Council, has issued a bold challenge. It involves Hallmark, a company that not only allows guns in its stores, but also once promised the arms lobby that they love guns — they really love them – and rejected an open letter from NGVAC and the Newtown Victims & Clergy for Corporate Responsibility (NVCCR) to change their policy.

So the same groups have challenged us to boycott Hallmark for Father’s Day. If you choose to buy your cards at The National Gun Victims Action Council’s website, instead of at Hallmark, the money you spend will help victims of gun violence. Then ask Hallmark, 90 percent of whose customers support universal background checks, to do what other socially progressive companies have done in the past: Get off the sidelines, and use its lobbyists to advocate for all the fathers and sons who buy its products and want to spend many more Father’s Days at restaurants or parks, not cemeteries.

4) Make Politicians Uncomfortable

Show up at rallies to decry politicians who refuse to vote for the universal background checks that 90 percent of us support. Bird dog them with cellphone cameras and ask them why they’d allow more children and police officers to die. Tweet at them. Leave comments on their Facebook pages. Call their offices in their home districts and in Washington, DC. Hold vigils outside their offices. There are all sorts of peaceful ways to put pressure on politicians.

Let them know you will vote on this issue, no matter what else they do. They will be held accountable for watching a slow motion slaughter of America’s youth if they choose to do nothing. Just as with corporations, there is no neutral here. Either you support sane gun laws or you are part of the problem.

5) Use Your Voice

You are consequential. You have a voice. You have reading clubs, Facebook friends, bridge parties, etc. Make sure everyone knows your feelings on this issue, and arm yourself with the facts for when you inevitably encounter those who have a strange form of separation anxiety if their gun is in another room.

Most importantly, if your kids are headed to play at someone’s house, ask them 1) if they have a gun, and if they do, 2) is it securely locked away with the ammunition separate from the weapon? Too many children die of accidents every month because parents neglect do to this. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but think of the alternative.

Also, as speech now equals money (actually it doesn’t, but let’s play along with this inane Supreme Court decision for a second), if you have the funds, you could give money to candidates promising to support reasonable restrictions, and groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions (Gabby Giffords’ group) so they can take on those who have blocked commonsense solutions to gun violence and help get us a Congress (and state legislatures) that will act in the interests of the public rather than the gun lobby.

Follow Cliff Schecter on Twitter at @cliffschecter. The views expressed in this post are his alone, and presented here to offer a variety of perspectives to our readers.
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  • Anonymous

    You are one sick puppy, Mr. Schecter. It is your right as an American to say these things, but you will never curtail, infringe, or diminish our most important right, and you need to stop lying because gun deaths and gun violence is down overall. Stop the lying.

  • History of Bubbles

    Our most important right? Really?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think he was trying to curtail either or freedom of speech, nor our right to a fair and impartial trial by our peers.

  • Anonymous

    Yet do I fear thy nature; for it is too full o th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way…
    First, take a lesson from unborn zealots. Manufacture better terms-
    Explosives violence, not gun violence. Mom’s Against Projectile Wound Channels… (The sort of thing no responsible opposing spokesperson can dare negate.)
    Second, in small increments, locally and statewide, demand strict enforcement of existing laws banning explosives, fireworks and hazardous materials…
    Read your laws carefully. If you can’t possess a sparkler or bottle rocket in many municipalities, why are exploding cartridges and shotgun shells openly available on store shelves?
    Third, challenge or skewer the logic of waving rifle and pistol barrels around in public. Where’s the NHGA on this? (National Hand Grenade Association). A good-guy barista with a box of grenades will stop a bad guy with a gun, don’t ya’think?

  • DanT

    A state’s right to form a militia is our most important right? That would be news to the founders. And any other educated American.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t allow your kids in homes with guns, especially if you have boy children. I never asked until I found my son at a neighbor’s house ogling 3 guns. JUST ASK!

  • Anonymous

    A ‘WELL REGULATED” militia, don’t forget…

  • Greg Zeglen

    as it says…the views expressed are his alone and he could not be more correct…building solutions on economic terrorism that could affect people with no opinion or interest in the issue is a bad idea….

  • Anonymous

    Thousands of bloody deaths by guns is acceptable in your world. How is that even possible?
    .

  • Skeletonman

    Tax ammunition and high capacity magazine in proportion to use in mass shootings. There is no question that the Congress has the power to raise and levy taxes.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    SCOTUS has already ruled that the RIGHT belongs to the INDIVIDUAL. The “Well regulated milita” red herring is dead.

  • Nancy Duggan

    So when I boycott a company whose policies I find reprehensible, I’m a “terrorist”? Attach that word to any and everything and it becomes meaningless.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    So no dissenting opinion existed huh?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    That’s about as idiotic as taxing alcohol in proportion to deaths by drunk drivers.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Soon you will have boycotted everything you can buy in the grocery store. Better plant a garden.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    It is irresponsible and illegal to have guns in easy access of children. The neighbors should be informed of this. If they don’t comply then give your local Law Enforcement Officer a call and ask for a courtesy visit and explain the situation. He will set your neighbors straight. It is a gun owners responsibility to make sure that children cannot have easy access to a firearm.

  • Anonymous

    Then you support my right to go in Starbucks or Chipotle with a blowgun and poison-tipped darts and my right to get a permit to concealed-carry a Claymore mine in a satchel.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Huh?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Yes, there is a dissenting opinion. However, the law of the land is that the right belongs to the individual. The majority of the court rules. In a Democratic Republic, that’s the way it works.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Sir, he never said that “thousands of bloody deaths by guns is acceptable.” No, they are not acceptable. Neither is the curtailment, infringement or diminishing of a Civil Right. You have the right to choose NOT to exercise your second amendment rights. You do not have the right to infringe my civil rights.
    If you wish to change the US Constitution, follow the proper procedures. Good luck with that.
    How about instead of attacking law abiding responsible gun owners that are exercising their Second Amendment Civil Rights you make some sensible suggestions to curtail the gun violence.
    Perhaps promoting better parenting skills would be a good start.
    If our goal is to UNITE this country, then you should be trying to engage people like myself, who voted for Obama twice, who value our Constitutional Rights, who choose to exercise our second amendment rights in coming up with sensible solutions instead of trying to further polarize this nation.
    We are talking about a Constitutional Civil Right.
    Groups such as Everytown and Moms are known to use erroneous statistics in their emotional headlining. CNN called them out on it just yesterday. Do your homework on these groups whose goal is to take your rights away from you. You’ll give up your guns AND your Big Gulp.
    This is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve made a mistake with the word infringement. Absent the companion words upon or on it is not incremental (see dictionary). The ignored ,if known, historical intent (to borrow phrasing from Justice Scalia) was a reaction to British Crown edicts banning arms to all except the King’s military forces. It means that an entity that is not within “the people” cannot ignore or fail to acknowledge our collective right to defend ourselves.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    No, I did not misuse the word infringement. The goal of the anti-NRA, anti-Civil Rights Second Amendment cabal is to “Curtail” second amendment rights. I will not play the semantics game with you. SCOTUS ruled that the right belongs to the individual.

  • Greg Zeglen

    pretty much you are, yes…how might you classify one group of people affecting another group’s economic well being if not terrorism??

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    just pointing out that “well regulated militia” was not a red herring. the dissenting opinion was that the majority was refusing to recognize the context in which the document was written 200 years ago. and many Americans agree.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I support your Second Amendment rights. State statutes apply. The Right is well regulated in Florida.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    no its to ask for some legal protections so that we don’t have goons running rampant in walmart’s and targets with guns. so that we can go a week without a school or church being shot up. we ask for regulation so that our brothers and fathers and sisters and mothers can walk freely in the streets without being worried about being shot.

    your slippery slope argument of “curtailing” rights is bogus, your rights end where they intrude on another s, and right now guns are killing people left and right all over the country so finding a way to prevent these deaths (or restrictions to the right of life) should be our top priority.

    Not jumping off the cliff and assuming “we want your guns” I could give two shits about your guns, i want kids to stop dying.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    so your comparing implementing laws to regulate the purchase-sale-ownership of firearms to forcing everyone to have a weapon? that’s nonsensical…literately

    also could you provide a source for this : “The dissent is attempting to require that an individual join a well regulated militia”
    I read through the whole thing and never saw that.

  • Kelly Jenkins Brickner

    Oh, you could classify it as lots of things, depending on the people involved. You could classify it as classism. You could classify it as regressive taxation, or capitalism, or Republican-backed legislation. I could go on…

  • Kelly Jenkins Brickner

    I provide childcare for a living, and am consistently shocked that, when interviewing with new parents, I have *never once* been asked if there are guns on the property. I always give them the answer anyway, and I tell the parents that they should always, always ask.

  • wheldon rumproast

    I’d classify it as “consumerism.” Vote with your wallet. We all have priorities when it comes time to spend $$$. For some it’s cost, for others, quality, availability of service, etc. For those adamantly opposed to encouraging firearms, if they choose to buy an alternative, that’s their choice, and a good way of getting the point across…IMO. Hit ‘em where it hurts: in the bottom line.

  • Anonymous

    How about our right to life? How about that as the most important right? Do you feel that powerless and weak without your firearm?

  • Anonymous

    posh

  • Anonymous

    economic terrorism? consumer boycotts have been one of the strongest weapons ordinary people have had since before Independence was declared. What do you think the Tea Party was?

  • Anonymous

    SCOTUS has been wrong defore

  • Anonymous

    What do you think the Civil War was?

  • Anonymous

    requiring definition of something that you do not consider relevant is fatuous

  • Anonymous

    If you must have a warm gun to be free it is.

  • Greg Zeglen

    except that never works…if you would truly follow Alinsky you would know that….

  • Greg Zeglen

    that is because what you just said is not logical…you apparently do not understand logic…please express that which you say in a valid syllogism…perhaps I have just misunderstood you…

  • Greg Zeglen

    I know what the Tea Party was about and its history is neither well known nor understood by most…..I will have to put you in that group based on the evidence you present…it was a tax protest if you wish to be provided a clue….

  • Steve Cross

    The ONLY thing that will ever change the laws on guns is if the people in Congress finally believe that they’ll gain more votes by voting for gun control than they lose from NRA members by being for gun control. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will ever happen. So, we just have to get use to the shooting of the week — probably to be the shooting of the day as the mentally unstable engage in copycat shootings.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    Why does the gun lobby assume that the proponents of gun safety laws want to take away anyone’s second amendment rights? We don’t want to take away your right to own a gun adequate to provide security for your home and family. We DO see a need to legislate the sane and responsible ownership and operation of deadly weapons. If so many gun owners did not demonstrate daily that they do not respect and will not secure their weapons, we would not be having these conversations.

  • Anonymous

    I am surprised that such an esteemed, intelligent group of gentleman would sign their names to a document which included superfluous phrases such as “well regulated militia”. I wonder what they meant.
    One problem with the NRA movement (wrapped in a flag with the 2nd amendment pinned on for good measure with plenty of profit to boot) is that we are sending a very dangerous message to our children. Not only does it create an underlying feeling of fear; that the world is full of bad people out to get them, it encourages a feeling of superiority; I am better than those who might want to hurt me, steal my things, threaten me. In the mind of a child or teen whose brain is not completely “wired”, that threat can spread to “that teacher who has it in for me”, “that girl that laughed at me”, “that bully who pushes me around”, “that school full of kids who don’t know I exist” as we have seen.
    School shootings aside, we live in a nation with unprecedented prescription drug usage. Spend an evening in front of the tv. How many drugs warn of depression and thoughts of suicide? If you aren’t interested in living, are you really concerned with those around you living? Now add guns.
    “We’ll be safer” gun advocates say and yet a family mourns the loss of a well meaning son in Las Vegas (?) who wanted to stop a killer and was shot in the back for his trouble. Without “situational awareness” training, he assumed the woman was a customer and not a perpetrator. “Guns don’t kill people, people do”- and yet a father puts his handgun on the front seat of his car, it discharges and kills his son in the car seat behind. A woman sitting in a hotel bed watching tv is shot when a man in the next room accidentally discharges his gun while cleaning it. A young exchange student is shot on the driveway of a home. His offense? Asking for directions in broken English while a “terrified” woman screams “Shoot him! Shoot him!” at her husband. Open Carry advocates approach cars with copies of the Constitution in one hand and rifles in the other. The photo looks an awful lot like a checkpoint in Iraq or Afghanistan. Is this the America you want to live in? A nation where parents go to morgues to identify their kindergartners after someone “exercising their 2nd amendment rights” goes nuts? Where politicians are shot in the face in front of grocery stores? “But we’re sane. We’re the good guys” you say. Yet every mass shooting has been committed with weapons purchased legally. Only those who have been incarcerated or committed to a mental facility are denied a gun by the FBI. Not because they are on depression medicine or depression-causing medicine or have an impending divorce or are losing their jobs or believe the end times are coming or hate the government, pro choice groups, gay marriage advocates, specific nationalities or religious groups.
    I’m sorry but I don’t want my daughter at a college where young testosterone fueled young men are “exercising their 2nd amendment rights” or my grandchildren at a school where the designated gun carrying teacher just found out she’s being fired or that her husband is having an affair and leaving her penniless, or my husband working with an NRA member who is on their 3rd anxiety med during the 6 week “wait and see” period. Years ago a large corporation was shutting down their offices, hundreds lost jobs or were transferred. The first to get a heads up? Local gun stores were asked to close down for a few weeks. Sometimes it only takes a crisis.
    While I am sure you are a wonderful, law abiding person who uses and stores her guns safely, how (and I mean no offense here) are the rest of us to know you from the lady at Walmart? She did not wear a sign with “killer” printed on it. How do we know the difference? How will you know the difference?
    I have no problem with open carry for protection as long as the person carrying the weapon is wearing a uniform so I can tell him/her from the “bad guy”.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    It seems to me that the right to vote is a Constitutionally conferred civil right, and yet many of the same folks who cry “foul!” when they think their second amendment rights are being threatened have no trouble at all with legislation that denies that right to folks who disagree with them…

  • Lisa Raminiak

    And I fail to understand how exercising your second amendment rights is going to get the country any closer to “sensible solutions.” Seems to me that guns are more about intimidation than sensible solutions.

  • Lisa Raminiak

    SCOTUS also ruled that money is equivalent to speech and that corporations are people. Looks like they’ve been prone to some pretty bad, “activist” decisions, lately…

  • Stephen Coryelle

    How about just the “well regulated” part?

  • Anonymous

    Nothing will change until some senator’s kid gets shot. So i hope it happens soon. Let’s see some NRA-supporting blow-hard burying his kid in a closed casket because of what an AR-15 did to his face and maybe we’ll see some action. Until then, not happening.

  • cashman966

    Could someone here tell me what policy Target could implement or law the government could pass that would have prevented the handgun from being planted in the toy aisle of one of their stores?

  • Anonymous

    Gun regs, like car regs, are designed to bring down the RATE of gun death/injury. No reg or law can totally prevent an isolated incident just as no reg will stop all car accidents. However, since car regs based on CDC data from accidents have been put into place the rate of car death/injury has declined sharply. The same would happen with gun regs.

  • Anonymous

    Passing effective gun regulations is not the same as banning guns. That is unless you believe also that passing car safety regs are the same as banning cars. By the same token, proposing gun safety regs is not the same as being “anti-gun”, which is why you lost all credibility by characterizing the Clinton Admin. as “anti-gun”. The rest of your comment was equally absurd.

  • Anonymous

    Gun deaths are down but gun injuries have sharply risen since 2008 according to the CDC. But even if the U.S. rate of gun death/injury were down, there is no dispute that we still have the highest rate of gun death/injury of all other developed nations. That’s nothing to brag about.

  • Anonymous

    If you think, as you seem to imply, that passing effective gun safety regulations is an infringement of your civil rights then, Yes, you’re misusing the word infringement.

    Moreover, the SCOTUS ruling you’re referring to was the Heller decision by the 5 cons on the SCOTUS. That ruling overturned more than a century of judicial rulings to the contrary. However, the one thing that the Heller decision proved definitively was that the 2nd Amendment can be revised. So be careful when you advise “Good luck with that.”

  • Anonymous

    You’re conveniently ignoring the the fact that while the 5 SCOTUS cons’ Heller decision did away with the first clause of the 2nd, it also affirmed that the states had every right to pass gun regulations and restrictions, which you erroneously term “infringements”.

  • Anonymous

    Lets all send our children to school in kevlar clothing and helmets.

  • DanT

    It’s also illegal for a legal gun owner to walk into a school and shoot and kill children. Maybe we should call Law Enforcement about that too. Solved.

  • Anonymous

    You are not a centrist nor a moderate if you support and belong to an extremist group like the NRA so don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back for your moderation.

    And btw, we not only have the right NOT to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights but we also have the right to work toward changing it. And if history is any indication, there will eventually come a tipping point in our ongoing gun carnage when the public will demand something be done. When that happens the NRA supporting “craven, irresponsible politicians” will be put out to pasture.

    And, since you haven’t noticed, most here and elsewhere are united against gun violence. It’s just that you refuse to join us but instead mock us with your attempts to distract with nonsense phrases such as “economic terrorism” while at the same time ignoring the weekly equivalent of a mass murder due to “gun terrorism”.

    And lastly, the fact that you have to ask others for suggestions and strategies against gun violence indicates that you haven’t been paying attention. There are scores of suggestions here and elsewhere besides the NRA cult’s absurd suggestion of “More Guns”. But then any suggestion other than your much vaunted NRA, you’ll interpret as an “infringement”.

    It’s not hard to conclude that you’re not all that serious about “UNITING us” or arriving at solutions. You’re only interested in stroking your guns to the detriment of the lives of innocent, law abiding children, women and men.

  • Anonymous

    Ask yourself the same question but substitute “vial of Ricin” or “envelope of anthrax” for handgun.

  • SocialistCafe

    Sure, do all those things. But also buy guns. The left is dangerously silly to disarm itself while the right wing crazies arm up.

  • Anonymous

    globally if universal criminal/mental health background checks were mandated at all points of sale, including gun shows and online, perhaps there would be fewer guns available to leave in the toy aisle at Target…..and fewer guns available in the wrong hands to slaughter so many Americans. Just a thought……

  • Anonymous

    No, Steve, it IS going to happen. The groundswell of support and righteous indignation over the indiscriminate slaughter we are witness to is having an impact, a growing impact, the tide is turning. The tide will become a tidal wave of support for those politicians who do not accept anything from the NRA and those who support common sense gun reforms. You watch!

  • Anonymous

    I am really sorry about your “rights” being denied; God forbid you should have to suffer the inconvenience of a background check to sell or buy guns! What were we thinking?! Every American’s right to purchase a gun must be regulated based on their competence andy ability to carry a gun: are you law-abiding, do you have a criminal record, have you been diagnosed with severe mental instability, will you lock up your gun if kids are in the house, etc. I know these are really tough and inconvenient questions and it’s a bummer that eventually everyone will have to follow the new rules of gun ownership. I know you will adjust, however, because your right to own a gun will not be removed, it will be changed a little, and you can still feel good about being a person with a gun, the bigger the better I am sure.

  • Anonymous

    Standing ovation to you KJB. I’m sending this advice to Moms and Newtown.

  • SocialistCafe

    Or… you could just sit back and when teaparty crazies kick in your door, hope that the local police choose to risk their own lives defending you.

    This is not an unusual scenario. Look at history. Look at what’s happening elsewhere.

  • Guest

    This is a terrible thing to say. What makes it so awful is that you unfortunately speak the truth. Maybe.

    But remember, one of their own congressmen Gabby Giffords was almost killed, and their response? Meh. If she had been a Republican, would they have done something different? I don’t know……I just thick we are doomed for now. The interests are so entrenched, and the cowardice of these fools so great, that our cries for sanity in gun laws are just laughed at.

  • Guest

    They have lost their collective mind so they are capable of anything. My advice is don’t live anywhere near them. They can have Idaho.

  • Guest

    As in, let them make their own nation there, let’s call it “AfGUNistan,” and give them incentives to move and take their guns with them. They can live in a paradise of their own making without any gun laws and shoot each other for sport. Citizenship limited to white people with Christian affiliation only. Good riddance.

  • Guest

    “Some people say, I’m a Dreamer…But I’m not the only one…”
    John Lennon

  • Guest

    I pray you are right

  • Guest

    Thank you Sarv, plus as a parent I don’t want my children around guns. That should be my right and my decision until they are adults. Open carry at a Starbucks? With my kids around? No F’ing way.

  • Guest

    What a load of paranoid crap.

  • Guest

    Actually about 1.6% of the population, but point well made!

  • Guest

    Beautifully said, thank you.

  • Guest

    To them, any disagreement with them on anything they want is simply “not sensible.”

  • Guest

    “Our most important right”? Say no more.

  • Anonymous

    If I could drop the comedic mask for a moment and express a serious critique- Just like abortion, this is seen as a two-sided issue but both can be proven wrong. Each faction manufactures terms not accepted by opponents and we are only talking past each other. There is a third way: License and tax bullets just like cigarettes.
    Those who want more gun regulation overlook the fact that small projectiles traveling at high speed are the culprits and only guns used as hammers or baseball bats injure. Effort is wasted in manner similar to opponents of the death penalty going after Intravenous-device manufacturers.
    Those who wrap themselves in the second part of the Second Amendment only care about their “direct-fire” weaponry, which is only a subset of “Arms” or armament, and they completely ignore the myriad of regulations that have always been in place from our founding. The powder and shot were under armed guard at the Armory/ No slaves or indians got 2nd Amendment rights/ Military trainees who received 3 cartridges from the Sergeant at the Range to zero the weapon must have handed back 3 spent casings or unfired rounds at conclusion of exercise to avoid jail time.
    The elephant not-yet-being-shot-at in the room is that the 2nd is for the pasty-faced, rogaine using, stomach paunched, but not the black man in a black blazer and beret.

  • Patricia Kelly Matthews

    STUN GUNS.

  • Anonymous

    You know, I don’t own a gun, have no plans to buy one. But Bill Maher, who is very anti-gun talks about owning one, having it carefully locked up, having had training to use it for self defense. He hates guns but hates even more that he lives in a culture that renders him vulnerable if he doesn’t have one. So I don’t think this is the worst thing anyone could have said.

  • Anonymous

    Please see my response to SocialistCafe’s initial post above.

  • Anonymous

    People keep claiming access to Mental Health services may have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy, others like it. Adam Lanza came from an affluent family who most definitely had the financial resources to get him Mental Health care. The thing is, as information about the mother has trickled out, I’m not sure he was the only one in the family who was in need of psychiatric care. First, the obvious, the fact that his mother gave him access to assault weapons. I’m not sure he ever would have gotten near one if she hadn’t made that choice. Emails she exchanged with a friend which were made public revealed a narcissistic personality type (if not disorder). She had a pretty inflated opinion of herself and I doubt she would have listened to anyone’s suggestions that she was doing a poor job of parenting — unless she had a therapist who was ethical enough to think beyond his wallet and report that her actions with her son (providing a disturbed young man with assault weapons) posed a threat to public safety.

  • Anonymous

    No, this is just you not wanting to give up guns. The days you describe are long past. I really don’t see how sporting it is to corral wild animals into parking lot and then take aim, anyway. — Kinda the same logic that aims guns at six-year-olds who have little to no chance of escaping fire.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. They always find a way to make obesity responsible for something. That kind of elitist attitude gets no one anywhere, whether it be gun control or dealing with obesity.

  • Anonymous

    Very well said.

  • Anonymous

    No, since you’re the one who is so pro-gun, YOU, “make some sensible suggestions to curtail the gun violence.” Really, trashing mothers who don’t want their children killed? You’re already demonstrating flawed judgment.

  • Anonymous

    Like SCOTUS isn’t a group of highly-lobbied conservatives helped put in place by the NRA’s many financial contributions. It kind of takes the “judgment” out of judge, don’t you think? Stop citing SCOTUS as though they’re incapable of human error. Incapable of being human, maybe.

  • Anonymous

    No, in a country where the gun-makers have all the money, that’s the way it works. Stop pretending this has anything to do with rights or equality.

  • Anonymous

    Now you’re just flat-out lying.

  • Anonymous

    You overestimate their numbers and power. They are noisy but dwindling in numbers and, even better, their excessiveness is alienating us rational beings at a rate faster than even we could imagine.
    I do not fear them. Do not give them that!!

  • Anonymous

    In that same vein, I am hoping for a mutual fund that excludes corporations that underpay their employees …
    We can talk with our investment $$ !!

  • FairLady

    I used to like shopping at Target, but now with this (after the credit card fiasco) has come about, I have a very good reason to stay away from Target.

  • Diogenes in OR

    The problem with saying ‘SCOTUS this and SCOTUS that’ is that SCOTUS has come down on the wrong side of issues in the past, most famously regarding slavery in the pre-Civil War era. Were SCOTUS decisions taken as gospel ‘once-and-for-all-Amen’ then we would have a very different nation now than we do. A case in point is their 2008 decision that forms the basis of the current ‘law of the land’ turned prior SCOTUS decisions upside down.

    As for the 2nd Amendment, knowledge of the history behind the writing and passing of same, as well as other amendments in the Bill of Rights, would give a very different perspective than the current interpretation. It is interesting to me that any and all amendments are open to various interpretations given the political climate when they are being ‘interpreted’, but to the vastly politicized and extremist views of the ‘keep your hands off my guns’ crowd ANY attempt to bring sanity to our current gun culture is anathema, to be resisted with the most inflammatory language and actions possible.

    It is also interesting, and ironic, that the Political Right is constantly harping on the Founders’ original intent whenever any political action is proposed that the Right opposes, but the original intent of the 2nd Amendment, as proven by the writings and actions of the Founders, is completely ignored, or worse, twisted.
    Briefly, the 2nd A was informed in its creation by two overriding political concepts: 1) that the Founders deeply distrusted the military as represented by a standing army and a professional officer class, believing that state militias could serve all the nation’s needs without the political hazards of said professional officer class controlling a standing army loyal to the generals and not to the elected civilian national government; and 2) that the slave states in particular wanted a militia that could double as a force in being, independent of any Federal control, to keep the large, and getting larger, slave population under control. The slave states were already cognizant of a burgeoning abolitionist movement in the new United States, and wanted to be sure that they had the means to ignore any abolitionist sentiment that might take hold in the Federal government.

    As for your characterization of the ‘well regulated militia’ clause as a ‘red herring’, neither you nor the Court could be more wrong. In the early years of the Republic every able bodied white male between the ages of 16 and 60 was expected to be available for near mandatory service in the local ‘well regulated militia’, which was administered by the individual state governments. Again, these were state militias which could be called up by local authorities at need, as well as Federalized by the national government in lieu of a standing Federal army. Service in these ‘well regulated militias, being necessary for the security of a free state’ was why ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ Any other interpretation of firearms ownership, when taking into consideration the tenor of the times, becomes secondary.
    The highly conservative and biased majority of the Court that rendered the 2008 decision had to go through verbal gymnastics and seriously ignore the Founders’ intent, as shown through the transcripts of the ratification debates of the various states, to turn established precedent upside down.

    Another factor that the Court apparently saw no reason to let modify their decisions is the effect that technology has had on firearms, something that the Founders could have had no means of anticipating. Modern tech puts more firepower in the hands of one man than a company of militia, probably even a battalion, could wield in 1790. The reasonable effort by Federal, state, and local governments to limit access to such destructive force is what is at the heart of today’s gun nut paranoia of ‘th’ gummint’s gonna come an take all muh guns away’.

  • Diogenes in OR

    And will you feel the same way if a future Court with a ‘liberal’ majority re-visits this decision and modifies it in such a way as to give back to state and local governments more regulatory control? Or if they say that ‘yes, the right belongs to the individual’, but ONLY for certain types of firearms, not to include, for example, semi-automatic or automatic weapons of any sort? Or that allows local, state, or the Federal government to register/license firearms and/or owners? Or require ALL firearms sales to go through background checks? Or require ALL firearms owners to go through certified safety instruction? Or require almost ALL firearms to be stored under lock and key, with ammunition also under lock and key but in separate storage? Or allows the victims of firearms violence, or their survivors, to sue for damages not just firearms manufacturers (which currently is prohibited) but the owner of the firearm that was used, if said owner did not follow all reasonable precautions to keep said firearm out of the hands of criminals, unsupervised minors, and the mentally ill?

    Somehow I think that your casual defense of the ‘law of the land’ would be quite different.

  • Anonymous

    You are right, Wheldon. Greg, if you want to discuss “economic terrorism,” let’s talk about how American productivity keeps rising, and yet 99% of the population is struggling to get by, while the spoils go to the owners of the companies for whom people are working. If you believe in free-market economics, where the market decides what the price will be and what is available and every other aspect of buying and selling; if you do not believe there should be any rules and regulations of the marketplace and the banks, then people’s choosing not to shop at a given store is not terrorism. It is a free-market society exercising its right to decide. You can’t have it both ways. Corporations would choose to enslave workers and exploit customers. We have the right to turn the tables on them all we want.

  • Anonymous

    Not a half-bad idea, actually. Buy locally and grow what you can. To hell with big business.

  • Diogenes in OR

    I defined a ‘well regulated militia’, as known and meant by the Founders, above. And no, no one is attempting to require an individual today to join the militia. Such a militia as known by the Founders does not exist, and is the perfect example of why we must reasonably update our Constitution and Amendments: we have a large and powerful standing armed force, which the Founders would have hated; we have a state controlled National Guard that supersedes the old militia; and we no longer have any state slave patrols.

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Never let facts get in the way of an agenda. Pew Research and the DOJ report gun homicide is down 39% and total gun crime is down 69% over the past twenty years. Yet 80% of Americans think gun crime is the same or higher than twenty years ago. Why? Because the media loves a salacious story and it sells.

    Do you want to continue the precipitous decline in gun violence that’s already happening? Stop re-releasing recidivist criminals that have already been imprisoned for gun crimes. They commit 65% of gun crimes. Also, start enforcing the laws we already have. The gun charge is often the first thing dropped in plea bargaining.

    Stop focusing on the gun! We don’t blame the car when a drunk driver kills someone. We don’t blame the swimming pool when a child drowns. By the way, more children die each and every year in pool accidents than by firearms. Where’s the moral outrage? Where’s the call to ban pool ownership?

  • Anonymous

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  • Sara Equality T Allen

    By dissent I meant the anti-civil rights anti-second amendment cabal not the SCOTUS dissent.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Thank you for calling me elegantly stylish.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    See you at the polls in November.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    We’ll see in November, won’t we?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I am not ignoring anything.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I am a law abiding citizen with Civil Rights.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Well said clairem. Let’s find ways to get mental health care to those who desperately need it.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    You are very cynical. Not open to a dialogue?

  • Anonymous

    Well, they could stop believing MBAs who say the smartest way to cut costs is to cut staffing.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. LOL. Lamenting an implied-false “underlying feeling of fear; that the world is full of bad people out to get them” in an article about bad people proving they are out to get us. Irony at its finest.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, don’t do anything, anything at all, about lunatics. That would just be silly, right?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Except for the fact that her suggestions are already required in the State of Florida.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I did not intend to say such a thing. I would never propose that everyone be made to keep and bear arms. It is a personally choice. The right to choose. I respect your right to choose not to exercise your Second Amendment Civil Rights. Please respect my right to choose to exercise them without name calling, disrespect and insult.

    By dissent, I meant, the ant-Second amendment, ant-gun cabal. I was not referring to the SCOTUS dissent.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Well, can you define it?
    It is relevant in that it is contained in the preamble to the Second Amendment and it is an issue worth discussing.

    In your mind, how do you define a well regulated militia?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    You continue to name call and insult. I don’t understand that when you anti-second amendment folks gather, you must resort to name calling and insult.
    No wild-eyed gun nut here.
    I am an American Citizen speaking out about exercising my Second Amendment Civil Rights.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Exactly what do you consider the lie? That there is a polarization in the United States?
    Name calling will not lead to an open dialogue.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    clairem is right. You are wrong.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Lots of snarky and insulting name calling comments here.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    Who leads this mythical cabal you speak of? Its right-wingers who are opposed to civil rights, and compering the fight for the right to vote and own land for women and minorities to the right to walk around with firearms is a false equivalency fallacy. I am a socially progressive and i own guns and am not “anti-second amendment”, i just think that one humans right to life outweighs anothers right to carry a weapon around in public.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    It was a statement of fact, not a brag.
    5 million members and growing.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    saying it doesn’t make it true, you have to show evidence.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Her first sentence is wrong in that she concludes that clairem simply just does not want to give up guns and that is clairem’s single motivation.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Let’s take a poll. Who here is for the Australian Style Gun Confiscation and Ban that has recently been praised by President Obama?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I agree with you on Universal Criminal and Mental Health Background checks. This information needs to be current and quickly accessible to everyone involved in the sale and transfer of gun ownership. Let’s work together to make this happen.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    That is your choice.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Name calling, disrespect does not contribute to the debate.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    A very good example of extremely bad parenting.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Your point being…?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    And your point is…?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Never forget them.

  • pointofgrille

    You can walk into any PRIVATE gun sale in Florida and purchase a gun in a PRIVATE sale without even showing an ID, much less have background checks. And, That is INSANITY!

  • pointofgrille

    Demand of your legislators that vote for open carry laws that they also include the legislative sessions as a place and time where open carry is legal.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    Yeah. Statistics prove everyone right.
    I disagree with you.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    How does this comment contribute to common sense legislative reform?

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    What do you mean by walk into any PRIVATE gun sale?
    Are you referring to Gun Shows? They are not private.
    Are you referring to transactions between 2 private individuals?
    Florida Statute states that it is unlawful to transfer a firearm to a minor or someone of unsound mind.
    If you are referring to retail sales at Gun Shows, transactions require Form 4473 and NICS Background check.
    If you referring to transactions between 2 private individuals, then make a suggestion on how you would word the legislation. Remember that there must also be a provision for enforcement.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    Then show a logical line of reasoning and offer some evidence to support it, as i have.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    You are correct. You did not name call, disrespect or insult me. The statement was made as a general request and not directed at you personally.

  • Sara Equality T Allen

    I disagree with you.

  • moderator

    Sara,

    Please leave the comment moderation to us in the future.

    Thanks
    Moderator @ Moyers

  • pointofgrille

    Well, in Florida, where they passed open carry laws, they specifically excluded the Florida Legislative facilities, and open carry is not legal there. If it’s OK to put me in fear from someone carrying a weapon in a place where I am eating with friends shopping for garden supplies, why should the state legislators exclude open carry in legislative buildings. What are they afraid of. If you are unable to see the common sense in that thought process, I’m afraid I am unable to discuss this topic with you. Have a nice day.

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    I’m right and you’re wrong is all you can add to the discussion?

    edit: and a sarcastic remark about the accuracy of scientific data.

  • pointofgrille

    Retail sales only. There are “private” gun sales that are private in name only. No questions asked. Some sellers ask for completion of requirements as outlined for retail sales and some do not ask for anything. They claim the sale is not a retail transaction but a private exchange of goods, and no one prevents the sale. Happens every weekend. Make any transfer of a weapon subject to strict regulation that requires background check, completed results, age verification before any weapon may be transferred or given to another individual. We check the sale of vehicles, closer than the sale of weapons.
    If enforcement cannot be guaranteed with adequate security, the sale or gift cannot be exchanged. We do that every day for sale of prescription drugs, why are we unable to control the much smaller number of gun sales?

  • Ernest Crunkleton

    banning guns and passing regulations are two separate things your disagreement is irrelevant unless you can bring a well reasoned argument as to why gun ownership should be less regulated than car or boat ownership to the table. Or why our we should have school shootings once a week.

    The US owns the most guns of any first world nation, and is the only nation where these outrageous tragedys are taking place.

    Your political stance is costing children their lives. I don’t have to name call, you know what you are.

  • Tom Welsh

    Moderator, it seems to me sara asks a legitimate question of pointofgrille, which he or she answers. I question your admonishment.

  • George Ward

    We need gun restriction starting in towns and cities there may be a right to bear arms but it doesn’t say the power speed and distance. Start with limiting guns to 6 bullets and a distance of 1000 feet. Make every town different work with hunters to include them. Also how about fining companies for every person killed domestically with their guns. I look at the NRA as the National Right to Assasinate

  • Anonymous

    I was referring to online someone writes on Craig’s List or FB that they want to buy a gun, and someone responds, and then they meet and the gun changes hands without any paper work. If sites would prohibit that kind of thing then we would all be safer. And I am well aware of WA State laws pertaining to gun purchases and selling. My point is that the laws must be universal, across all states, to truly be effective maximally.

  • Anonymous

    And, one more thing, not all shipping companies require an FFL. Many companies don’t know what they’re shipping and couldn’t care less. It’s a huge loophole that must be closed and will be.

  • Guest
  • acabadaba

    This is is all useless. Just shoot right-wingers.

  • Anonymous

    I stand by my statement. Just ask Trayvon Martin if Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida are well regulated. Make sure to get back to me with his answer if you can.

  • DanT

    That’s an excuse. People killed people with weapons before film and television. You will not change human nature. That’s why we have laws. Gun control is the answer. In Japan, the UK, and Australia they watch the same Hollywood films and have almost no gun deaths. The only difference is gun laws. Period. Blaming Hollywood is a complete excuse, part of the problem and leads to more violence to our children by arguing against sensible gun laws.

  • Anonymous

    Posess == private ownership. Carry == bear. Keep == possess. As in, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    I am not responsible for the acts of others. Collective guilt is a stratagem to bludgeon people into accepting the burden of others’ acts, in order to coerce them into doing something against their interests. I own a car and enjoy a drink, but I am not responsible for others who drive intoxicated. Just as automobiles don’t drive by themselves (yet), guns don’t shoot by themselves.

    Why is it that when teenagers were allowed to take guns to school, no one was shooting up schools? What has changed in our culture? No one is calling for kids to bring guns to school today… but no one is talking about the real problem. It’s a sociological problem, not a gun problem, and until we as a society realize this and work for a cultural change where initiating violence against others is universally condemned nothing will change. If you don’t think the casual acceptance of violence is a problem, just browse YouTube.

  • James Cox

    In reviewing my post, I didn’t say that Hollywood should take the blame. I only said that it should be included in the conversation about the glorification of violence. The media entertainment resources I mentioned, do influence young impressionable minds. No argument about that. You stated that “You will not change human nature”. If that’s true, why do people keep trying to change human nature? Advertisers spend millions to influence what you buy and effect your lifestyle habits. Are you saying that nothing can persuade you to change your ways? I don’t think that’s true. What you think about, what you focus on influences who you are and what you do. I understand you have tunnel-vision, focusing only on guns and gun laws and that guns are evil. However, I’m interested in the broader picture… why do more and more people in society resort to violence to solve problems and issues? If not a gun, they will use knives or bombs or rocks or fists or automobiles. Elliot Rodger killed 3 with knives and 3 with guns and injured several with an automobile. He could have easily killed them all with knives and better gun laws would not have stopped him.

  • DanT

    You’re avoiding the issue again. By speaking about “broader” things. What I mean by saying you are not going to change human nature is that when guns are freely available, murders go up. When guns are not available, murders go down. This is proved in every Western country including ours. We’re the country with the available guns and murders. All the others are the ones with gun control and a very small murder rate.

  • moral DK

    This article would be a lot more effective if mass shootings were really on the rise. They are not. What has changed is the coverage by 24 hour news sources and social media. The hysteria created by these sources changes the perspective of the average citizen. Mass killings of any kind should be prevented, but not at the cost of the rights of all.

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  • binaryloop

    Disarming law-abiding citizens to try to stop criminals from breaking the law makes no sense.

  • binaryloop

    how would universal background checks have stopped any of the recent mass shootings? all of the shooters passed background checks and owned legal firearms.

    banning guns based on cosmetic features is also pointless. just because a gun is black and looks scary (with a bunch of attachments on it) doesn’t make it any more deadly than a handgun or hunting rifle. a lot of the media hyperbole is designed to scare and mislead people about AR15′s which are the most popular sporting rifles in America.

  • binaryloop

    No they are not. The media is just making you think that. But, the numbers don’t lie.

  • MikeDPah

    lol good luck with that radical. No, you cant have my guns, no you cant set insane limits. not now not ever.

  • MikeDPah

    Nope, it will never happen. The last time you crazies proposed gun control after sandy hook, 3 million new gun owners popped up out of nowhere to buy their first gun because you were saying you wanted to ban it. Now you have 3 million more people to “Brainwash” and that is not going to be easy.. Guns are more mainstream today than ever before, and we will not accept any new laws because of that. END OF STORY. We win, you lose.

  • MikeDPah

    If you want to make me turn my guns into less effective self defense tools, then yes, its a gun ban. The clinton admin is the main reason people are against dumb gun bans, it showed how ineffective they are.

  • MikeDPah

    Better lock your kids up in a bubble, your kids are not my problem or concern. I could care less about YOUR kids.. that is not an issue.

  • Bob

    How about lock them up when you aren’t using them? Ah……… focus on gun safety. LOL The anti-gun lobby zealots simply do not grasp how much of a civil right this is to millions of people. The “shame game” failed miserably in 2012. By all means, call for more gun bans or boycotts of gun companies………… we will just buy more…….. like last time.

  • DanT

    The research you quote from Pew & DOJ are not about mass shootings. I’m not blaming the NRA. NRA membership is only 1% of the population. You’re quoting arguments used by the NRA to distract from the serious issues. Nonsense about equating pools with guns. Your evidence is about mass shootings going down is one single professor? Mass shootings have risen since 2007. Your professor defends this as a spike. It’s only a spike if mass shootings decrease after. Which they haven’t in seven years.

    The trend lines in a graph below that has been shown recently to prove that mass shootings are not increasing, clearly shows a trend upward if you know how to read a graph and this graph does not include the last three years.

    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/06/mass-shootings-arent-on-the-rise.html

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/16/mass-killings-data-map/2820423/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/why-are-mass-shootings-becoming-more-frequent/

  • DanT

    Here is a report on the upward trend of “active shooter events” (ASE) from the FBI. Not from a politically-fueled TV show trying to get ratings. You can also see how those who have a political agenda soften the statistics and cut their own data.

    http://leb.fbi.gov/2014/january/active-shooter-events-from-2000-to-2012

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Gun deaths and gun crime include active shootings so the research is valid. Yes, active shooter scenarios are on the rise recently. They represent a statistically insignificant level of violent death in this country but they get all the media attention because they’re salacious and sell.

    So, the fact that more kids die in pool drownings than firearm deaths is of no consequence to you? You’re proving my point. You attach more value to the life of child dying by one means over another. You’re buying into the media hysteria. My point is the media prioritizes and spoon feeds you singly focused reports that you just lap it up and perpetuate it rather than taking the time to view it in context.

    Any unwarranted death is a tragedy. Focusing on mass shootings, which are statistically insignificant as a method of murder, perpetuates the activity and distracts from the core issues. Spare me the “if it were your family member” argument. Again, if it’s all about saving just “one more life”, there are much larger causes to be tackled.

  • DanT

    All other Western countries have solved their gun death problem. We alone haven’t. That’s not true of pool deaths. We do not have 32,000 people drowning in pools every year. If we did, the pool death epidemic would be solved. Your comparison is specious and used to simply avoid the issue. Guns and gun control. You’re refusal to take sensible action to save American children’s lives from unacceptable and exceptional rates of gun deaths is becoming an even further minority opinion every day.

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Your credibility continues to erode. So, Mexico and South America have solved their gun death problem, ‘eh? I suspect you’ll now attempt to define the western world as only countries that have lower gun homicide rates. That won’t fly. By the way, we are talking about gun deaths in our country. Comparing the U.S. to Australia or the UK is like comparing our GDP’s, no correlation.

    Furthermore, I said pool deaths involving children. My facts are sound. You should read more carefully before knee jerking reactionary comments.

    As for further reducing the already precipitous decline in firearm homicides and crimes over the past twenty years, I’m staunchly supportive of effective measures. Let’s start with not re-releasing recidivist gun criminals back into society. According to the DOJ, they are responsible for over 65% of gun crimes. Your accusation of “refusal to take sensible action…..”, is again without merit. You never asked me.

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Nice try. The CDC study counts age 14 and younger as children. Your other sources counts age 20 and younger. Apples and oranges. You really need to do your homework. I’ve done mine.

  • DanT

    No one walks into a school and intentionally mass kills children with a pool. But I know you understand that. You just like to play games for a personal agenda.

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Rather than owning up to trying to pass off bad data as facts, you attempt to deflect by accuse me of having a personal agenda. Better yet, you accuse me of playing games when you’re “blending” your studies. When you have the facts, pound the facts. When you have the law, pound the law. When you don’t have either, pound the table and scream. Feel free to keep pounding and screaming.

  • DanT

    None of what I posted was “bad data”. It’s data. You assert that (now, present day, not 20 years ago) more children die drowning in a pool than by guns. Prove it.

  • DanT

    No one kills children with a pool. People do kill children with guns. That’s a fact. Not screaming. You compare pools and guns. What did you say about apples and oranges?

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    Your right. It wasn’t bad data. You just drew false conclusions to “play games for a personal agenda”. The drowning of children vs gun deaths is in the CDC report. Do you own homework. Again, I’ve done mine.

  • DanT

    Those figures conveniently leave out ages 14 to 17. When many kids are killed by firearms through gangs, etc. Ages 14-17 is when those kids have a greater chance to carry guns.

  • Patricia Kelly Matthews

    I hope it is the right one, Sarah. My sister and I are seniors living in a big house alone. This seemed the lesser of evils since we cannot afford a home security system. I ordered two for about $10.00 each from a seller on Amazon. Pink or black & about 3×4 inches. Now, I hope we never have to use them!

  • http://www.youtube.com/cruciblearms Crucible Arms

    I am not going down this rabbit hole with you. 14-17 are adolescents, not kids. I’m done with you. Keep pounding and screaming rather than offering anything constructive to the conversation. You don’t have any arguments for your position that you can factually back up so you just attack, weep, and gnash your teeth. I’m out.

  • moderator

    DanT and Crucible Arms,

    You will have to agree to disagree. Please end this thread without any further comment.

    Moderator @ Moyers

  • moderator

    Crucible Arms and DanT,

    You will have to agree to disagree. Please end this thread without any further comment.

    Moderator @ Moyers

  • James Tugger Arens

    Your point that “people killed people before film and television” can also be turned around that “people killed people before guns.” Your point is null and void. People have killed other people since the dawn of time.

    What you, and most other anti-gun lunatics out there fail to realize, is that you cannot make law-abiding citizens safer by making them more vulnerable. Every day, thousands MORE people protect themselves and others with a firearm than those who are killed by one. The CDC has estimated that 3 MILLION TIMES PER YEAR, someone uses a firearm to defend themselves or another person. Most of the time this does not even mean firing the gun. The mere presence of a firearm is enough to scare off most criminals.

    Self defense is a civil right. Telling someone they don’t have the right to defend themselves is the same as telling them they don’t have the right to sit wherever they want to on the bus.

  • drew

    “well regulated” in the 18th Century vernacular meant “drilled”, “trained”, “equipped”, those who were trained and proficient as marksmen were known as “regulators”. Progs see “well regulated” and get giddy thinking it means they can “regulate” it to death, while forgetting it says at the end “shall not be infringed”.

  • drew

    “Well Regulated” in the 18th Century vernacular meant “drilled”,
    “trained”, “equipped”, those who were trained and proficient as marksmen were known as “regulators”. Progs see “well regulated” and get giddy thinking it means they can “regulate” it to death, while forgetting it says at the end “shall not be infringed”.

  • James Tugger Arens

    What are YOU afraid of? If it was a police officer, would you ask them to leave their gun behind? Most citizens actually train more with their firearms than government agencies do. Citizens who carry guns do so because they WANT to. Police carry guns because they HAVE to.

  • drew

    Last I checked, it was gang bangers kicking in doors, not “tea party crazies”, unless you have something to cite that backs up your emotionally handicapped argument? You should probably talk to a professional about your fears of the “tea party crazies”.

  • Scott

    Its not the tea party kicking in doors. Look at the FBI crime statistics

  • Scott

    Its funny how the media ignores 20 people shot in Chicago (or any large city) over the weekend, but whenever a something happens at a mall or school there is mass hysteria. All those poor kids killed in the inner cities get ignored by the media. And that is where most of the gun deaths are coming from.

  • SocialistCafe

    I understand reading comprehension isn’t a strong point for right wingers. Note that I said “Look at history.” Teapartiers are what’s known as ‘fascists’. Fascists are extreme right wingers who, coincidentally, kick in doors.

  • Bret Ashby

    Why do progressives continue to insist on denying people the civil right to self defense? The war on self defense is over and time to move on. To those who are in goose step – sorry – lock step with the confiscation agenda will you personally have the fortitude to do the job? Will you arm yourself to disarm your fellow citizen? The violence that you advocate is un-American, please please please stop.

  • Bret Ashby

    On the right we are absolutely ecstatic that the left is unarmed. It will make the solution easy to implement.

  • Bret Ashby

    300,000,000 small arms and 100,000,000 small arms owners. Keep underestimating.

  • SocialistCafe

    What solution is that, Bret?

  • Bret Ashby

    Apparently I cannot share my solution.

  • Scott

    You must be oblivious to the millions of dead bodies as a result of left wing communists and socialist which is what liberals have become.

  • Scott

    Can you explain how the tea party resembles anything remotely fascists? You’re confusing American right wing with European right wing. The tea party is fiscal conservative, constitutionalists. Very different from your right wing description. They are not even close. Sticking to facts is not a strong point for left wingers.

  • SocialistCafe

    Step back and take another look at America’s right wing They are hateful bullies, religious fanatics, they lack any actual knowledge of history or science and they are easily fooled into rabidly supporting their own enemies.

  • Scott

    DanT, what you’re missing with these statistics is that the majority of injuries/deaths from guns are crime/gang related and happen in large cities.

  • Scott

    You’re painting with a very wide brush there. “they lack any actual knowledge of history or science and they are easily fooled into rabidly supporting their own enemies.” That’s how Obama got elected twice. An uneducated electorate that was spoon fed by the media and didn’t do any research of their own. Sounds like you’re looking in a mirror and projecting your problems on the other party.

  • SocialistCafe

    Scott, your comment is an excellent validation of my points. I really hope you’ll give some thought to this. I agree with you on Obama. I didn’t vote for him. I am not a Democrat, nor a liberal. I am a socialist, just as my moniker should make clear. Obama, on the other hand, is a pro-corporate right/centrist. His policies are center/right. He is a supporter of and supported by the super wealthy.

  • moderator

    Scott and Socialist Cafe,

    Looks like you will have to agree to disagree. Please move on without further comment

    thanks
    Moderator

  • moderator

    Socialist Cafe and Scott,

    Looks like you will have to agree to disagree. Please move on without further comment

    thanks

    Moderator

  • David Mason

    True, the majority of gun-owning families will never have a gun death or perhaps even injury. The average gun has only a one in ten-thousand chance of killing someone in a given year. Nevertheless, multiplying these low odds by 300 million guns gives us 30,000 gun deaths per year and a per capita rate much higher than other advanced countries that restrict guns.
    In the 1970s, air travel was pretty darn safe: about one airliner crash per 500,000 flight hours. Flying was much safer than driving. Nevertheless crashes made the news on a pretty regular basis. By eschewing complacency, we have achieved a much better safety record. Few models in the current generation of planes have more than one crash per five million hours and some models do better than one crash per 15 million hours. By avoiding complacency on firearm deaths and injuries, we should be able to achieve this kind of improvement.

  • Barry

    You lose some credibility when using the 30k number. That number is mostly suicides. Our total suicide rate is exactly the same as the UK. It is less than France. It is much less than Russia, Japan, or South Korea. Blaming those deaths on guns is silly.

    Of the remaining deaths, most are homicides. Most of the perpetrators and victims of those crimes have criminal records. What would reduce our homicide rate more than the “common sense” proposals parroted by gun control proponents would be to never let a violent criminal out of prison early. That should never happen.

    This country doesn’t heavily restrict guns like those other countries. Our constitution prevents this. Despite the easy access to guns a person is more likely to be killed in a DUI or died from second hand smoke than be murdered by a gun.

  • David Mason

    Suicide attempts with guns have a much higher completion rate than attempts by other methods. Suicide attempts by are also more likely to be impulsive, which means they are opportunistic responses to a convienient means. Impulsive suicides are the least amenable to anti-suicide programs because victims typically don’t have long histories of being fixated on suicide and thus being accessible to treatment. Jumping from bridges is another method that tends to be impulsive. A study of people thwarted from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge found only six percent subsequently commiting suicide by other means.

  • David Mason

    And on the premise that they can be penalized for disobeying. Career criminals respond to incentives. For example robbers in Australia threaten with knives rather than guns. Better chances of survival being stabbed than shot!

  • David Mason

    Simple. More guns in fewer hands. Gun owners typically have more guns than hands.

  • David Mason

    Anecdotes may be entertaining, but statistically it doesn’t seem to help much.

  • David Mason

    The media needs to do a better job publicizing “routine” murders by ones and twos. This said, the Los Angeles Times has been documenting every murder in the county for some years now.

  • David Mason

    Simple. If open carry at legislative sessions makes them uncomfortable, how is that different from other venues?

  • David Mason

    With lots of room to add more names.

  • David Mason

    Do what about lunatics? We’re all ears.

  • Barry

    It is true that using guns results in a more successful suicide attempt. However restricting guns doesn’t reduce the suicide rate. The suicide rate of the US compared with other nations shows that.

  • David Mason

    In Australia, gun suicide rates have fallen by about 2/3 since strong gun regulation in 1996. Suicide rates by other means have fluctuated somewhat from year to year but don’t seem to have increased. Not unless you cherry pick the years anyhow.

  • Barry

    You are cherry picking countries. Australia’s gun laws would also be impractical and unconstitutional in the US. We sell more guns in a month than their entire gun “buy back” (confiscation).

  • David Mason

    Actually I just tried to think of a country that started strong gun control in the past few decades. I had no preconceived idea whether Australia’s non-gun suicide rates have trended up or down. Are there other advanced countries starting strong gun control not too long ago, with accessible statistics?

  • David Mason

    Facetiousness aside, you *should* ask about swimming pools and how well they are secured. This certainly does not preclude asking about firearms as well.

  • DanT

    This is yet another technique of avoiding the issue. The issue is 32,000 American gun deaths a year. The majority of Americans are focused on that issue: it’s too many. Saying that a 500 pound man has lost 50 pounds so what are you complaining about, is tone deaf.

  • DanT

    I didn’t miss that.

  • Barry

    Australia didn’t have many guns before enacting their laws. There are no nations comparable to ours in this regard.

    I’m not even arguing that removing guns wouldn’t cause a decrease in the suicide rate. I think the decrease would be small and that cultural differences play a much bigger role than whether guns are available or not.

    That goes for homicide and suicide. With no guns the Japanese kill themselves at a much higher rate than us. You could give every one of them a machine gun and a hand grenade and their homicide rate would still be much lower than ours.

    What is interesting to me is that we have jumped from the “common sense” type laws being proposed in the article and by the President to Australia’s confiscation laws to try to see an effect.

  • Barry

    Looks like you are combining two unrelated issues into one. Most of those deaths are suicide. Our total suicide rate is no higher than that in the UK.

  • DanT

    It’s one issue. Too many gun deaths.

  • Barry

    So you are OK if those people chose other methods to kill themselves as they do with ease in France, Russia, Japan, or South Korea? All of those countries have higher suicide rates than us and very strict gun control.

    I really get it. You want guns banned and including suicide helps your argument when discussing the issue with uninformed people.

  • DanT

    The issue is there is an unacceptable amount of gun deaths of Americans and American children. This is what the majority of Americans are grappling with.

  • David Mason

    Australia is like the U.S. in so many respects that I would expect a response to gun control — adjusting for the reduction in gun numbers — to be similar. Whether Australia’s legislation is deemed “common sense” or draconian is a red herring, provided we are talking cause and effect. Whether the Second Amendment would permit legislation like Australia’s is a whole different discussion. Japan is very different, particularly in attitudes toward suicide, loss of face, military conduct and so forth. Ritual suicide by knife (seppuku), suicides in a forest near Mt. Fuji, kamikaze pilots, and other practices that are very different are all evidence of the vast cultural differences.

  • Barry

    You are focused on the tool used instead of the root causes. You realize that our suicide rate would be largely unchanged if there were no guns, but that doesn’t stop you from dancing on the graves of those who kill themselves with a gun to push your agenda.

  • Barry

    You are comparing our nation to a country about the same land mass with a population slightly bigger than Texas. Australia had a homicide rate much lower homicide rate than the US before they passed strong gun laws. Their suicide rate is only slightly lower than our rate today.

    If you compare states, we have states with strict gun control and high homicide rates (Maryland) and states with no gun control and low homicide rates (Vermont). It isn’t the guns, it is the conditions in those states.

    You have nations like Russia with strict gun control an high homicide rates (double the US). Mexico is another example, but that is largely because of the drug war. You will argue that these are 3rd world countries compared to us, but I would counter that many areas of our nation are no better than the 3rd world.

    There are statistics available to support both sides. I won’t deny that. The core of this argument isn’t a battle to be won with stats. If a person believes the right to be armed is a fundamental human right as I do then you aren’t going to change my mind by looking at marginal suicide rate changes in other countries. The fact that countries like Russia have vastly higher homicide and suicide rates than the US does make me comfortable in my position though.

  • David Mason

    Russia isn’t exactly a third world country but it’s a very different culture. Suicide and homicide rates are high all over the ex-Soviet Union and even former satellites that we used to call Eastern Europe. I have traveled around Russia a fair amount and stayed over night in several villages. Out in the provinces It’s almost rare to find a Russian who is neither a heavy binge drinker or outright alcoholic and that’s probably wrapped up in high suicide rates. Whatever Russia’s rate of gun ownership may be, there are other issues they need to address. Certainly organized crime as well as alcohol.
    Australian demographics aren’t that different from ours, except there is no history of slavery and they probably exercise better control over who gets to immigrate.
    Mexico is a complicated mixture of strict gun laws on paper but unrestricted sales along the border, a history of violent revolution much more recent than ours, extremes of wealth and poverty, and of course the drug cartels. In some ways more foreign than Europe, for example.
    Granted there are other influences on U.S. suicide and homicide rates besides the availability of guns. Nevertheless when you control for these other factors, guns are not going to drop out of the equation.
    Personally, I believe it’s a valid choice not to have guns in the house, and even to live in a community or state that limits guns. If people in Texas feel otherwise, I’m not going to quarrel with them, provided they leave their guns at home when they come to my state. I’m quite willing to make exceptions for people living in rural areas where law enforcement and animal control may be many minutes or even hours away, but I don’t see much justification for military-style weapons even there. Given vastly different preferences and situations, I don’t like the “one size fits all” framework that the present Supreme Court has created for us.

  • Barry

    It is a valid choice to not have guns in the house. I agree with you there.

    There are already a lot of variety in gun laws state by state. If my car was magically beamed to NJ or DC on the way home from the range and my car was stopped and searched I would be going to prison for a very long time. Here it is no problem and I even shoot with law enforcement officers on occasion. Earlier this year I ran carbine drills during a training class with a young police officer who had to qualify on his weapon later that week. It made me feel good to be able to help him out some.

    In DC a man was arrested and convicted for having muzzle loader bullets without a license (no gun in the home). That law at one point seem like a common sense idea to someone. To me it is unbelievable that can happen in this country.

    I think a lot could be accomplished on gun violence (and violence in general) if banning guns was off the table. That is why nothing got done last year. I realize that there are good people on both sides of this argument. You seem like one of them. There are idiots on both sides too. Hopefully we can find some common ground. There are ways to reduce violence without infringing on rights that have existed in this country since the founding.

  • binaryloop

    You want statistics?

    “Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011,” according to a report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, “and nonfatal firearm crimes dropped from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.

    There were seven gun homicides per 100,000 people in 1993, the Pew Research Center study says, which dropped to 3.6 gun deaths in 2010. The study relied in part on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49 percent lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew,” according to the Pew study. “The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75 percent lower in 2011 than in 1993.”

    All of that is good news — but many Americans don’t seem to be aware of it. In a survey, the Pew Research Center found that only 12 percent of Americans believe the gun crime rate is lower today than it was in 1993; 56 percent believe it’s higher.”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/05/07/181998015/rate-of-u-s-gun-violence-has-fallen-since-1993-study-says

  • David Mason

    I agree that it ought to be possible for someone from a gun-permissive state to transit or visit a non-permissive state or community without having the “book thrown at them”, provided they take reasonable steps to unload and safely store their guns. It would be nice to have some uniformity from state to state in how they should achieve this. Unreasonable laws and enforcement are not friends of the compromises we will probably all need to make, just as many of the NRA’s extreme positions aren’t exactly poster children for compromise either.
    Rather than absolute gun bans, I would think we could get better at deciding who should not have guns and then actually making it stick. I don’t see how this is realistically possible without registering and databasing all gun transfers. I think our streets should be generally gun-free excepting law enforcement and people with extraordinary needs such as transporting large amounts of cash. To me an assault rifle — semi- or fully-automatic — is not appropriate for hunting and is highly questionable for self defense. We should not be having a domestic arms race.

  • Barry

    You seem like an open minded person so I’m going to give you my take on why semi-auto rifles should be allowed.

    For the role of home defense, a small caliber carbine like an AR-15 is one of the best choices. Most of the firearms instructors and law enforcement guys I’ve talked to recommend and use these types of weapons for home defense. They are much easier to use under stress than a handgun, much more precise than a shotgun and the ballistics are superior to both (including mitigating over penetration of walls).

    These rifles are also one the most common type of rifle used in competitive shooting events. I use an AR-15 in 3-gun competitions.

    So your opinion on these types of firearms is probably largely based on misinformation. They aren’t used to spray from the hip. Pistol grips and adjustable stocks don’t increase the lethality of a firearm. Most homicides, mass shootings, and the worst mass shooting ever in this country used handguns. Virginia Tech showed that “assault weapons” are not a requirement of a mass shooting tragedy. Considering the fact that these types of rifles are the most popular type of rifle sold but are responsible for only a tiny sliver of gun death every year (knives kill 5x more people), I don’t think going after them is the best use of political capital. It killed the gun control effort in 2013.

    I’m actually curious why this is focused on so much by those on your side. Does it offend you to that civilians can have the same arms as law-enforcement just on principal? I will tell you that more than anything else, this is the issue that kills progress that could be made.

  • DanT

    The issue is gun deaths and the deaths of children. More studies have come out suggesting that even the CDC has underestimated the volume of the problem. Including labeling shootings as suicides. Accidental shootings in legal gun owners’ homes. It’s an epidemic that people are trying to find solutions to. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/25/death-child-unintentional-shooting/11324717/

  • Barry

    I apologize for the comment above. I shouldn’t have judged your intentions.

    I did read that article. The good news is that over the past 30 years, the firearm death rate among children 0-14 (including accident, homicide, and suicide) is down over 50%.

  • DanT

    If every other family member weighed 110 pounds and the man was 5’2″, any responsible doctor would call him unhealthily obese, if not morbidly obese. While the loss of weight is good, the situation still remains dire. Also his cholesterol has spiked and blood pressure is up. So by some measurements, he’s even worse. Weight is not the only test that predicts very bad health.

  • Thomas 64

    “while the weight loss is good”
    You brought up the concept weight issue in an earlier post- I used the metaphor as a frame of reference.
    Gun homicides have been trending down for decades. While the remaining approx. 20K gun suicides are tragic, they are no more tragic than the 9K that commit suicide by poisoning themselves, or the 6K that suffocate/hang themselves every year. Ultimately, suicide is a self inflicted fatality. Our mental health system is broken, but everyone from the DOJ to the CDC says gun homicides are trending lower.

  • Thomas 64

    Your math does not add up- gun homicide deaths down almost 50%, but gun ownership falls from 47% to 34%- a 13% decrease.
    Trauma care has not improved that much since 1995, so that point is not valid.

  • Thomas 64

    Heller vs. DC ended the argument- the power comes from the Constitution and the Supreme Court. Gun sales have been booming since 1998, according to the FBI NICs system, so if gun owners are dwindling, explain the failure of national gun control to make any traction ?

  • DanT

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I stand with the majority of Americans who acknowledge that gun deaths in America including children are unacceptably high especially when compared to every other Western country. Quoting statistics about suicide and saying gun deaths are lower does not change that fact. Avoiding the main issue of too many gun deaths by stating suicide facts, etc. simply motivates the majority of mothers, fathers and families who no longer share the minority’s complacency to find better solutions.

  • dana daddee

    you should ban cars then too, eh?
    not a gun owner here, but support the 2nd amendment as it is.

  • Kristopher Heinekamp

    I think there needs to be a focus on “reasonable” measures.

    All too often, “Let’s have universal background checks” turns into “Let’s make all firearms illegal!”
    This is why there isn’t any legislative success. A small minority hijacks a broadly supported change, and then nothing happens. I get it. Many people are uncomfortable with firearms. Waving a gun in their face at the grocery store isn’t going to help that. But, on the other hand, there still is not a compelling argument as to why a well-regulated, legal possession of a firearm by John Doe is somehow CAUSING suicides and/or gang-related gun violence (which is where the vast bulk of the “gun deaths” are coming from). So, instead of passing laws that we can ALL agree on, the vocal minority extremists (on either side) destroy everything because now no one can talk to each other.

    Most gun owners support reasonable measures (universal background checks being one), but will back off on efforts once the hardliners show up and start demanding that all firearms become banned. Just the same, people who are completely okay with legal firearms possession can be put off by militant gun owners pushing their post Heller v. D.C. 2nd Amendment interpretation.

    At the end of the day, the people who want extremes on either side are a small minority, but so long as reasonable gun owners are alienated from regulatory efforts, nothing is going to change.

    This article was very careful in that it really focuses on REASONABLE measures (which I interpret as being measures a large majority of the population agrees with), and this is exactly the attitude the United States is in great need of.

  • Elssa

    I have never, ever heard anyone say,”Let’s make all firearms illegal”.

  • Anonymous

    The most successful tactic so far has been boycott………women buy the vast majority of the stuff of life…..we can bring business to its knees. We are doing it now. I don’t want to talk anymore or listen to gun people trying to justify their “need” for a gun. This is our message, keep your guns out of where we and our children are.

  • Doctsc

    Boycott add-on: If you see someone with a firearm at a store, it has become an unsafe place. Tell an employee. Then leave what is in your cart behind as you exit without paying.

  • Anonymous

    All you people are recommending that the good people of this country resign themselves to be come victims of the criminals. As long as the criminal can go anywhere in America with a high degree of assurance that everyone is disarmed he can commit any crime with impunity. The good people will always outnumber the bad in any situation. The criminals need to begin having some doubt whether everyone else has been disarmed or not. The way to do that is to allow those willing to defend themselves have that option. They might save your life too by preventing a crime before it starts. No policeman will ever do that.

  • Sean Duggan

    Heh. This reminds me of the similar movements by Pro-Life groups to not give money to businesses that supported abortion. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy to really stand up on such subjects. Give them an internet petition or a snappy meme-laden picture to put up on Facebook and they’re completely on it. Suggest that they take a little time or extra money to shop elsewhere and support dissolves. They assume that “someone else” will do it, so they don’t have to.

  • Barry

    National gun registries are illegal.
    States that try gun registries (CT and NY) get mass non-compliance from most citizens. As many as 85% refuse to register their guns.
    Guns can already be traced back to the dealer they were sold from if the serial number is on the gun.

  • Barry

    No, they really are rare. The odds of being killed in a random shooting is extremely low. The vast majority of gun homicide is related to criminal activity of both the the victim and perpetrator.

  • Anonymous

    I was in Gettysburg PA on 7/4 and I saw I guy openly packing a Glock on his hip, walking down the street in broad daylight. I guess he felt our ancestors fought for that right. Wonder what he needs it for. As they say, “Let me know how that works out for you.”

  • Curtis Ensler

    Here’s a sixth ..and with American priorities it might be the most effective..

    http://www.pqed.org/2014/06/how-should-people-respond-to-open-carry.html?m=1

  • Anonymous

    That is the point, they’re illegal because we gave in. Much like how we gave up on the single power a mental health professional had, that of the ability to ask a patient if they owned a gun. Laws are can be changed, there is nothing in the Constitution that bars the creation of a national gun registry.

    Also, it’s not just the point of sale registry, it has to be like the any other manufacturing in this country, from drugs to cars. The weapon or weapons batch is registered from the point of manufacture, to distribution, to retailer, to sale. Inventory tracking is the most basic technology that we have in this country, so we know it’s not a cost or difficulty issue. This way if at any point in the commercial enterprise the weapon isn’t registered we know where the point of failure is derived from.

    This is the flaw in States that are arguing for tougher laws, for example New Jersey or Chicago can’t say that 80% of the illegal firearms on their streets are coming from say South Carolina or Arkansas. We keep arguing the same points, but have no empirical numbers aside from a body count. Clearly the weapons industry and Governors of lax states don’t care about lives.

  • Anonymous

    It’s pretty telling that we can track where an RPG or a M60 machine gun taken from Afghanistan or Syria came from. The Right Wing of this country tear their hair out over the fact that Mexican drug lords are killing Texans with our guns, but we can’t trace where a Chicago gang banger’s Smith and Wesson came from. Clearly there’s something wrong.

  • Barry

    Do you think that the data in a gun registry should ever be able to be used to confiscate a class of guns? As an example, do you think the government should be able to ban a class of weapons like AR-15s and then use the registry to determine who owns those weapons and remove them?

    In other countries with registries, this has frequently been done.
    What safeguards should there be to prevent it in the US?

    What happens if a such a law is passed and almost no one complies? How do you enforce it? (NY and CT are experiencing this now.)

  • Leslie Hyland

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is the entire Second Amendment. One sentence opening with the words “well regulated militia” and yet any attempt to regulate results in cries that this amendment is being defiled. Support of this amendment demands regulation and doing otherwise nullifies the mandate of the authors.

  • Richard Shaw

    Criminals are not concerned or hindered by
    universal background checks.

  • David Mason

    True of laws in general. Are you saying we therefore should get rid of all laws?

  • David Mason

    Shouldn’t we also stop registering vehicles because a fanatically green government might use the registry to confiscate?

    Non-compliance can be penalized. Guns buried in someone’s backyard as a hedge against tyrannical government probably needn’t concern society very much. Likewise guns kept strictly at home aren’t a problem until someone gets shot, at which point non-compliance can be prosecuted. Other than that, most of the law enforcement would involved unregistered guns showing up in public places.

  • David Mason

    Google is your friend. There have been large improvements in trauma care since Gulf War I.

  • Thomas 64

    The Supreme Court disagrees with you, both in 2008 and 2010. If Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land, so is Heller vs. DC.

  • Thomas 64

    Please post a reputable source that states trauma care has advanced significantly since 1995 (the year I quoted). You made the claim, back it up.

  • Thomas 64

    So with 200 million to 300 million guns in circulation (according to the FBI NICS Reports), you really believe legal gun owners will comply ? The 1986 Firearms protection Act prohibits a national registry. Congress could reverse their decision, but won’t.

  • David Mason

    One could also argue that the media have promoted hysteria over plane crashes while giving less attention to the much larger toll of motor vehicle crashes. Nevertheless disproportionate attention to plane crashes has helped make flying at least 10x safer since the 1970s. At the same time attention to the more prosaic problem of road and vehicle safety was not neglected and so driving is 4x safer (per mile) over the same time span.

    I would guess that the death toll in mass shootings (e.g. 3 or more victims not members of the shooter’s family) is roughly comparable to that of plane crashes in the 1970s and no less deserving of attention. These mass shootings are different enough from “routine” murders that they should be addressed differently.

  • David Mason

    Being shot with a semi-automatic assault rifle is much more likely to be fatal or severely damaging because that is what these weapons are designed to accomplish. Gabby Giffords and Ronald Reagan very probably would not have survived being wounded in the same places with assault rifles.

    In civilian settings, self-defense means doing the least amount of damage that will deter or incapacitate. Firearms designed to do maximum damage with no consideration to collateral effects don’t belong in civilian hands. If civilians didn’t have them, then there would need to be serious discussion whether law enforcement should have them either.

  • DanT

    You are speaking in rigid talking points everyone has heard before. I don’t want to repeat myself. I stand with the majority of Americans who embrace all different attacks on the problem of unacceptable and exceptional American deaths including children. Some of these solutions include common sense gun legislation. Without common sense gun legislation along with mental health efforts, incarceration efforts, etc, you and others who make these same tired arguments cannot be taken seriously when you say you want reduced gun deaths. Again. We can simply agree to disagree.

  • Thomas 64

    If Supreme Court decisions are considered “ridged talking points”, you are correct, there is nothing more to say.
    If Roe vs. Wade were under attack, as opposed to DCvs. Heller, the progressive left would explode with anger, and their first response would be “the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade…”

  • Thomas 64

    The Supreme Court disagrees with you.

  • Kristopher Heinekamp

    It’s not a question of what YOU have or have not heard, but a question towards the wide range of opinions on gun ownership amongst EVERYONE.

    Take about 16 seconds and do a search for “Guns should be illegal in the US” and then come back.
    Then, for fun, do a search for “Shapeshifting Lizard Politicians,” because I am sure you also have not heard of that, and it tickles me endlessly that people believe in that.

  • Barry

    In the case of guns, registries in other countries have almost always been used to confiscate firearms at a later date. For that reason, a registry in the US will be opposed.

  • Barry

    So what you are saying is that you are OK with civilians owning the types of weapons used in the most homicides, most mass shootings, and worst mass shooting ever, but oppose those that are commonly owned (millions of AR-15s have been sold) and used in less than 3% of homicide because they produce worse gunshot wounds? Really? Shotguns are used in more homicides AND produce worse wounds. Should they be banned?

    If the shooters in the Reagan or Giffords cases had used rifles they likely wouldn’t have been able to get close to the victim (especially in Reagan’s case since he is guarded by Secret Service). What if Giffords or Reagan had been shot in the head with buckshot or a 12 gauge slug?

    In a self defense situation, the goal is to stop an attacker quickly. A rifle reduces the chance of stray bullet, and rifle rounds stop an attacker quicker. There are numerous instances of a person continuing to fight after being hit by multiple handgun rounds. My goal in defending my home is not to get into a duel with equivalent weapons or to use minimal force.

    You will continue to make no progress on gun violence by focusing on banning these guns. The laws you support don’t even address the issue you seem to find important. They only focus on cosmetic aspects of the rifles. It is comical to watch these politicians try to explain how a pistol grip or adjustable stock makes a rifle more dangerous. They have to do this though because it is their only chance at a ban. They would fail to ban handguns. They would fail to ban hunting rifles or shotguns (which produce more devastating wounds). So they focus on the one type of weapon where they think they have a chance. If by some chance another AWB happens, when gun violence doesn’t drop they will start pushing on the next type of weapon using the AWB as precedent.

  • Mark Swantkowski

    I saw a bumper sticker the other day: ” We’re Christians and We’re Armed ” It’s not owning guns that bothers me… It’s people like this who own guns… Lots of guns… People who drape themselves in the flag or stand under the cross while arming for some self-created confrontation…

  • Barry

    We should get rid of any law that does not hinder criminals but does hinder those who follow the law. Many gun laws fall into this category.

  • Barry

    Maybe you are worried about the wrong people. Do you think that most gun violence in this country comes from right wing Christians?

  • David Mason

    Firstly, well thought-out laws on who is allowed or not allowed to possess guns plus robust enforcement would hinder criminals by taking them out of circulation before bad stuff happens instead of afterwards. Secondly, there are zillions of laws that hinder those who follow them, because not following them gives competitive advantage. Should all those laws be eliminated?

  • David Mason

    But only 5-4 and only the current court. Previous courts found the “well regulated militia” part more persuasive.

  • David Mason

    Concealed carry for the carefully vetted and trained is one thing. Open carry for anyone who feels like it is a different matter altogether.

  • Barry

    Most of them probably should be eliminated. There are so many laws that under enough scrutiny many (possibly most) decent individuals or businesses would be found unknowingly in violation of something.

    I agree with you on robust enforcement on gun laws. That is sorely lacking at the moment. Since most victims and perpetrators of gun violence have criminal records, keeping them locked up as long as possible would greatly reduce gun violence.

    At least they had time to prosecute the former cop Bruce Abramski who bought a gun for his uncle to get a discount for him. They convicted him even though he transferred the gun to the uncle through a dealer where the uncle received a background check. Glad that well thought-out law is on the books. Many lives will be saved.

  • David Mason

    Hunting rifles and shotguns have too many legitimate uses to ban. Excepting sawed-off shotguns in civilian hands of course. Shotguns also have limited range and limited penetration (possible exception for slugs but then you lose the greater coverage of pellets).

    Assault rifles are designed for covering a field of fire, not for accurate placement, which is the sniper specialty functionally resembling a deer rifle. Assault rifles have grips designed to facilitate shooting from the hip, i.e. maintaining situational awareness while doing the field of fire thing. Many if not most rifles above the .22 level produce devastating wounds and have excessive penetrating power. Assault rifles then multiply those problems with high-capacity magazines and muzzle shrouds.

    Questioning assault rifles for self-defense as I do, the only legitimate need I can think of would be hunting feral hogs where “field of fire” and high capacity mags do seem justified. I also suspect the number of assault rifles in civilian circulation happens to vastly outnumber the population of hog hunters.

    Your goal may be to disable an attacker ASAP, however society as a whole has other interests. Including enough survivors so shootings can be fully adjudicated in court, while producing fewer human vegetables needing 24/7 intensive care at taxpayer expense.

  • Barry

    I can’t believe you actually wrote that. Muzzle shrouds multiply the problems? Really? Please explain. I can’t wait to hear this. I would be embarrassed to write that. It’s like reading Todd Akin talking about women’s health.

    An AR-15 is an extremely accurate rifle. It will place one round as accurately as any hunting rifle. Many AR-15′s are hunting rifles. Shoot from the hip? Actually a regular wooden stock is more ergonomic from that position. Just visualize it. Soldiers in battle don’t shoot from the hip. If someone is shooting at me I would want them to shoot from the hip.

    With that reply you have let me know that you really know almost nothing about firearms or how they work. People like you trying to make laws is how we end up with the rifles that look like the NY legal AR-15′s while nothing gets done to solve the real problems.

  • David Mason

    I think you are just being disingenuous. As I suspect you actually know, muzzle shrouds protect the shooter’s hands and other body parts from high barrel temperatures produced at sustained elevated fire rates. The perfect complement to high-capacity quick-change magazines.

    If you were facing not one but a large number of attackers at short to medium range, you would either maintain situational awareness or you would very soon be dead. Shooting from the shoulder with careful shot placement is not conducive to seeing the big picture. Whether you personally like the AR-15′s ergonomics or not probably didn’t greatly influence military decisions to provide them.

    The fact that this wide-angle battlefield scenario is not relevant to most civilian self defense situations, is unkind to arguments that lots and lots of civilians need the AR-15.

    It is true that the AR-15 is reasonably accurate. In fact this helped the Beltway buddies achieve a high ratio of kills to shots fired. So we have a civilian rifle with some sniping capability. What does sniping have to do with civilian self-defense anyhow?

  • David Mason

    You know Barry, I’ve heard these obfuscations about assault rifles enough times to recognize that they origiinate from Guns Я Us Central, not you personally. I was hoping to have a discussion with a live, thinking human being with whom I might find areas of agreement as well as disagreement. How disappointing!

  • Barry

    Let me ask you a direct question. Google the image of the NY compliant AR-15. Should that gun be legal? Why?

  • David Mason

    No, because the AR-15 — and most assault rifles or derivaties — don’t belong in civilian hands, period. Marginal tinkering has no more merit than obsessing over the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. Again, the only exception I can think of is fairly unique stuff like hunting feral hogs.

  • Barry

    I’m not being disingenuous. It is just clear that you have bought all of the Brady talking points without thinking the issue through.

    First the term I think you are looking for is barrel shroud. This is the term gun controllers like to use. The term more commonly use by people who use guns is hand-guard. Name one rifle where a person holds the actual barrel when it is fired? All rifles and shotguns protect the shooters hand from the bare metal of the barrel. In this respect an AR-15 is no different from any other rifle.

    When firing any gun, you have both eyes open even when using a scope. Firing a gun like the AR-15 from the hip will only ensure that you miss almost all of your shots. Our military does not do this. That will lead to death.

    I thought we were having a good discussion but the barrel shroud nonsense really frustrates me.

    As long as people like you push this issue there will be no progress made.

  • Barry

    Google Ruger Ranch rifle. Should that gun be legal?

  • Barry

    My points on AR-15s come from experience. I have trained in self defense using firearms with one of the best instructors in the country. I have trained with law enforcement officers (in a civilian capacity) using AR-15′s and handguns. I shoot competitively using AR-15s and handguns.

    I was attempting to give you an honest view of why it is important to some Americans to have these firearms. I’m going to assume you probably aren’t a firearms enthusiast and you probably have a lot of trust in your sources. The guy from the VPC makes a lot of the points you make.

  • David Mason

    Has it possibly occured to you, Barry, that if you shot off a sequence of high-capacity quick-change magazines with a typical sporting rifle with about a foot of exposed barrel, the barrel would get dangerously hot? This is what the shroud protects from. I should hope you would understand this. Instead you and so many other gun enthusiasts dissemble that assault rifle features — provided at considerable taxpayer expense — serve no real purpose. That is a bit much to swallow!

    Even if you shoot from the shoulder with both eyes open, your second eye will focus on a target, with little peripheral perception. Not a good situation in many battlefield scenarios!

    A competent, practiced shooter can hit human-size targets fairly consistently out to a hundred feet or more from the hip or other stances without using the sights.. The term for this is variously “point”, “instinctive” or “target focused” shooting and it is a standard, widely-taught infantry tactic. It’s also something some show marksmen get very good at, even with much smaller targets.

  • Gato Pardo

    Right wing and christian are two terms that should not go together……Like diet ice cream, sounds good, tastes good,in the end will get you in trouble just the same…

  • Gato Pardo

    I believe he means criminals will get their guns no matter what, outside the law kind of activity….

  • David Mason

    Are you a rancher?

  • Gato Pardo

    This remedy is just as bad as the illness. Few gun owners really care about the NRA or the opposite forces. Just like everyone else they want to be left alone. To ban fast food is not going to solve health issues, fundamentalism is not going to keep gay people from loving each other. To ban guns or to make it almost impossible to buy one is not going to keep the criminal and insane from getting them. The more action, the more reaction.

  • Barry

    The barrel shroud aka hand guard has an extremely important function. It is how you hold the gun with the support hand. Name one long gun where the person shooting holds the actual barrel of the rifle. There are none. The barrel on any gun gets dangerously hot. Ever shot clays with a shotgun? After a few rounds the barrel is too hot to touch. Same with any rifle.

    Thank you for instructing me on how to shoot. I’ll be sure to spray from the hip the next time I’m at the range. I will disregard everything I have been taught by people who have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about how to use a rifle and trust your advice.

  • David Mason

    I suspect quite a few shooters have — intentionally or otherwise — touched the barrel of their long (sporting) rifle. These guns usually aren’t fired at a high enough rate to greatly heat up the barrel, in fact you would avoid doing that because you want the gun sighted in for that first shot with a cold barrel. Combat would be a totally different scenario, with major barrel heating.

    Hey, no charge for the shooting lessons!

  • Rick Martin

    The war on guns will have the same result as the war on alcohol and the war on drugs, failure! It will create artificial value and wealth for criminals! Maybe it already has!

  • Anonymous

    “Vetted”? Who would do the vetting? Roseanne Barr? You? It doesn’t take a lot of training to treat every gun like it is loaded and only point at what you want to shoot.
    I don’t know where you came up with “open carry”. I don’t know of anyone asking for that, so why pretend it is an issue?

  • David Mason

    Those who don’t comply, looks like they are no longer “legal gun owners”. Congress might not repeal the 1986 legislation entirely, but as the NRA’s overreaching is exposed Congress will start taking chunks out. Sorry but there is nothing unconstitutional about a registry.

  • David Mason

    SCOTUS has made it clear that regulating what types of weapons may be possessed passes constitutional muster however. The federal assault weapons ban was never successfully challenged, nor state bans.

  • David Mason

    We don’t ban cars but we most certainly regulate them. We regulate who can drive and a whole slew of laws on how to drive. Safety features are mandated. We invest in safer roads and in trauma care. As a result deaths per mile are about 1/4 what they were in 1970.

  • David Mason

    There’s still plenty of room for improvement. Our rate is 3x Canada’s. Outside the former USSR, rates in european countries are one sixth to one third of ours.

  • David Mason

    The only serious guns made outside mainstream factory settings are from places like Afghanistan and adjacent parts of Pakistan. Such guns would find their way to this hemisphere only with great difficulty. Clandestinely making alcohol and most drugs is far less challenging.
    With no more guns or far fewer guns entering the pipeline, plus natural attrition aided by buybacks, the number of guns in circulation can be scaled back. More than anything else, the huge present number makes keeping guns away from criminals and the insane a practical impossibility.

  • David Mason

    I haven’t read of many shootings — mass or otherwise — committed in this country by Buddhists, Hindus, Jews or Muslims.

  • David Mason

    Maybe a little prosecutorial overreach in the Abramski incident, but he still should have known better. A high proportion of criminals get their guns via relatives, so vigilance on this issue is all to the good.

  • David Mason

    Roe v Wade was decided 7-2. Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago were only 5-4 and contradicted earlier SCOTUS rulings. Furthermore SCOTUS still leaves the door open for plenty of restrictions that the NRA bitterly opposes.

  • Barry

    There is zero vigilance on this issue. The reason this guy got caught is because he tried to to the right thing by taking the time to do a background check on his uncle. This proved he sold the gun. A criminal straw purchaser would never do this. He or she would just sell the gun directly and never get caught. This guy tried to follow the law.

  • David Mason

    Lack of vigilance could be the best argument yet for gun liability insurance. You can bet on insurance companies going to considerable lengths to assess risk!

  • binaryloop

    So, go live there. We won’t miss you.