Take a Stand Against Gun Violence

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

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

After Congress failed to pass gun control legislation earlier this year, the fight over firearms moved to the states. Some 1,500 pieces of gun legislation have been introduced in state legislatures in response to the deadly mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. About 10 percent of these bills were passed, with gun-rights bills leading gun-control bills by 74 to 66, according to Reuters.

If you’d like to see gun control laws changed, here are some things you can do.

Honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School by making the Sandy Hook Promise.

Get the facts: Learn more about the solutions that reformers would like to see made law —Mayors Against Illegal GunsAmericans for Responsible SolutionsThe Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Mothers Demand Action For Gun Sense in America all have suggestions.

Call Congress: In the days after gun control legislation failed to pass in the Senate in April, Mayors Against Illegal Guns wrote on its “Demand Action” website, “if Congress won’t act, we’ll change Congress!” So far 1,000 mayors and 1.5 million supporters have signed on to demand that Congress take action to end gun violence. You can let your congressional representatives know that this is an important issue for you — and one you’ll consider when you vote. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have online directories of their members’ office numbers. Mayors Against Illegal Guns also offers to call you first and walk you through critical talking points, then connect you to your Senator’s office.

In your state: Twenty-one states have enacted new laws to curb gun violence, according to the 2013 State Gun Laws Scorecard released on Monday by the Brady Campaign and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  See an analysis of gun laws in your state, how it compares to others and contact your governor to ask for action.

In your city: More than 1,000 mayors are members of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition. Find out if your mayor is involved, and if not, recruit your mayor.

PSA - Demand a Plan
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  • Ross G. Drago

    Dear Bill Moyers,

    I have a low tech solution to gun control. Please read my article if possible. It explains it in Paint Rag Magazine, my on-line art and awareness magazine how to warn people when someone has an automatic loaded weapon within firing range of us all.

    Here is the address of the article: http://paintragmagazine.com/?page_id=3192

    I believe that it can solve the problem simply, cheaply and create a social awareness whenever anyone steps out with an assault weapon that is loaded, without trying to pull guns away from those who keep them. Please read it if you possibly can.
    With great respect for you,
    Ross G. Drago

  • Kathleen Boettcher

    I want these websites to have direct communication to members of congress. I would gladly click on a choice saying support President Obama’s gun proposals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gramma.conners Gramma Gail Conners

    NOW is the time to provide regulations that will affect the horror of violence, not only Newtown, all the inner cities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.korell.98 Lisa Korell

    You people need to go back an look at the progression of the Holocaust. You want your rites stripped from you. It begins here. Guns are not bad it is the people the perps that use the guns that are bad. Get educated and stop following a dictator.

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile, well over 3,000 people have been killed with guns since Newtown. Including 58 more children. (That’s 58 in addition to, not including, the Newtown twenty.)

    I don’t know why this database, maintained by Slate magazine, isn’t a front page feature on every news website every day.


  • Fritzie Borgwardt

    Response to solicitation from Jon Carson, BarackObama.com:

    Dear Jon-

    I cannot donate for philosophical reasons, but I can give you the thinking behind what could be a valuable PR talking point, worth far more than $4 to your cause.

    When the motive involves making money, the argument is impure.

    Re: Gun control: When was the last time people felt the need to take up arms against the government? The Civil War? Did that not involve preserving economic gain for the rebels? What motive do the parents of the dead children have? It is not money.

    Such is the case on every single issue we face. Bradley Manning is far less a traitor than those who have chosen to play their shell game turning our democracy into a plutocracy, one that is all about money, and nothing about one man one vote, or the public good.

    As for our economy: Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” To that I would say, the problem with unbridled capitalism is that eventually, you run out of the little people’s money.

    Fritzie Borgwardt

  • steven sanders

    After the Civil War, Congress passed a law forbidding the Jim Crow Laws. In the 1870’s a southern, racist Supreme Court overturned this law as unconstitutional. In so doing they threw out the basic Rule of Law. They did this in an effort to re-institute slavery. You can read about how slavery was recreated in the U.S. for fifty years, between the 1880’s and the 1930’s in the excellent book, ” Slavery By any Other Name”. Knowing how the ex-slaves had successfully used Civil Liberties in their defense, this Supreme Court decided that there were no individual Civil Liberties. All the Constitutional Liberties were States Rights only. The greatest fear in the south was that black people would fight back against re-enslavement. After all many were Civil War Veterans. They therefore decreed, based on there being no individual Civil Liberties, that the 2nd Amendment was a State Right, not an individual one. This was done for the primary purpose of re-enslaving black people. Though it also served a purpose in disarming women. Susan B. Anthony and other feminists throughout the 19th and 20th century fought for the right for women to carry weapons to defend themselves. Up until the corp o-government press began telling us drugs and guns were evil and we needed to outlaw them. At one time women would use their hat pins to defend themselves from rapists. This was before Women’s Suffrage. Men knowing that no woman can be raped because she only needs to keep her legs together and women are hysterical, outlawed hat pins. I was reminded of this in the early 1970’s when a woman who was attacked by a date rapist, pulled a knife from her purse and frighted him off. The man, angry, went to the police and reported her. She went to prison for the felony of carrying a concealed knife in her purse. About a year later I read about a black woman on death row. She had gone to the police to tell them her ex-boyfriend was going to kill her. They told her they could do nothing. Now they would tell her to get a restraining order. So she carried a knife in her purse for defense. He found her standing in line at a movie theater with some friends and he began to strangle her to death. She stabbed him and he died. It’s a felony to carry a knife in your purse. Death from a felony is automatically 1st degree murder. It’s also apparently assumed the victim must have been ‘laying in wait’. Things have changed. Hopefully today she would only get life in prison. Soon after the waiting period for buying guns was enacted a woman went to the police to tell them her ex-husband was going kill her. They told her they could do nothing. She went to buy a gun but she couldn’t because of the waiting period. That night he broke in and beat her to death in front of her two small children. It turns out the waiting period hasn’t saved anyone. It’s the victims who need a gun right away not the perpetrator. After all the most common weapon used in violence in our country is the baseball bat. We’re not going to make that illegal. PBS recently surprised me in a report on guns. They admitted that the gun prohibition laws had been started because black people had started to arm themselves in self defense. Of course as is common they told a partial truth. They didn’t mention that they were arming themselves because they were tired of being shot down by the police for walking or driving while black. Something that continues to this day. They didn’t mention that it was part of the war on blacks along with the drug prohibition laws. They didn’t mention how these two laws had been used to strip us of our 4th and 5th Amendment rights. A black friend of mine, now in his 70’s has told me that our prison industry is the new slavery. I guess there will be a new book one day entitled “The 3rd American Slavery: 1970-?”. These are the new Jim Crow laws. I will probably surprise you when I tell you I don’t like guns. Social scientists say we read the books supporting our position and then pretend we know. I come from an odd childhood. I study all sides. I’ve studied statistics and I’ve gone over the facts over and over hoping they will add up to gun control working at least a little. They don’t. The Supreme Court told us the police can’t protect us and have no responsibility to do so. The case was in Washington DC. A group of men broke into some women’s home. One of them managed to call the police reporting the men were raping the others. Afterwards they found her and raped her too. They forced them to perform sex acts on each other and abused and raped them through the night. In morning they left. The police never came. I understand they were never apprehended. In many major cities they don’t even process rape kits. It was after this we got the Supreme Court case from DC about the right to have a gun. I don’t want one. But how dare people tell women they can’t defend themselves. How dare people write off the hundreds of thousands of women and children who have been raped or murdered because of weapon prohibition laws over the last 40 years. Do your homework and you’ll find out that hundreds of thousands of women and children are raped every year because of the prostitution prohibition laws. Drug Prohibition has destroyed tens of millions of lives. We have put millions of innocent people in prison who weren’t guilty of what they were convicted of. So why aren’t these the pressing issues. For 40 years our brainwashing machine, the television has told us drugs are bad, guns are bad, trust the police. We’re authoritarians. I don’t expect anyone to change their mind because these aren’t rational issues. Drugs, Guns, ‘creationism’, anti abortion, homophobia. These are “Holy Crusades”. But please remember, there is a constitutional way to remove the 2nd Amendment. But if you accept the 1870’s Supreme Court decision, how can you then claim any civil liberties? If you say there is no 2nd Amendment right then you agree with our current Supreme Courts right to decide what ‘civil privileges’ they will allow us. The Constitution is a package deal. Give away a piece and give away all of it. Is this the time in history to be in-powering the police state?

  • steven sanders

    Perhaps because it’s not useful information by itself. We need to know how many of these deaths are suicides, which would take place with or without guns according to experts. In the U.S. we lie with statistics. According to experts suicide is not the 3rd largest cause of death for children in our country, but at least the 2nd and it could be number one. We also need to know how many were killed by people defending themselves. It might be useful to know how many were killed by police for walking driving or living in their homes while black. However if it is human lives that count and not just those killed with guns then we should look at all murders by all causes. It would be useful to compare the overall murder rate based on the amount of gun control, affluence, toxic metal exposure in the area, educational opportunities, jobless rate, etc. If you should find a site which provides useful statistics I would be very interested.

  • 1938marine

    The carnage across America with the use of fire arms is insane, that too many of our lawmakers want to do nothing positive about it is insane.

  • russ

    Bill, you are wrong on this issue. Even the Justice Dept said the proposed legislation would not work. You say “Get the Facts” but the sources you list only supply distorted and emotion laced reason. Bloomberg is his own corporate sponsor using millions of his own money to force legislators to his point of view. C’mon Bill, you and your team can do better than this.

  • Russ

    More disinformation. Generally people do not own “automatic assault weapons.”

  • Anonymous

    red herring, change the subject, pretend you are making a relevant distinction – assault weapons are dangerous automatic or not

  • Anonymous

    …You can look at the link above and see exactly how all those deaths came to be.
    By the way, at least six more innocent children have died at the end of a gun since Newtown, in the 20 days since my original comment, bringing the total to 64.
    Obfuscation won’t bring any of them back.

  • Ned Stotesbury

    DUI deaths are now about 10,000 same as gun murder rates. Do we ban the bars? http://zautos.com/dui-fast-facts/

  • Linda Gonzales

    I appreciate your insight on so many other issues, but on this one I have diverged over the years. One reason is because I now understand the importance of supporting the US Constitution in it’s entirety. Another reason is because I myself have looked at the source material for all the gun statistics and found as John Lott did that More Guns means Less Crime. I realize that there are many criminals that carry guns and use them in violent crimes. But, there are more citizens that carry guns and use them for protection. The real life changer for me though was actually getting involved, and going to the gun ranges, and meeting the people that are firearms enthusiasts. I’ve taken many firearms training classes now and found these people to be diverse in their beliefs, accepting and caring individuals with strong family bonds. They are quite literally the hero’s of our society and gun control laws seem to be hindering their ability to have access to firearms and related products, and not adversely affecting the criminals who don’t follow the law to begin with.

    I find drone bombing moral offensive, I find animal slaughtering and suffering reprehensible, but AR15’s? No, not now that I’ve shoot many different types of firearms. For a petite woman, like myself, I am much more competent with my AR than a shotgun for home protection. Don’t attempt to judge others when you don’t understand them or their needs. Of all the problems in the world right now, law abiding citizens are not one of them. So, please don’t advocate for changing the law to make these people criminals. Thank you.

  • Linda Gonzales

    Thank you!

  • steven sanders

    There is no “disinformation”. I did not say anything about fully ‘automatic assault weapons”, as no one is attempting to make them legally available to the general populous. Trying to put words in another persons mouth to discredit them is incredibly dishonest.

  • Anonymous

    Ned, DUIs (of alcohol) are only _part_ of the problem with a society that is heavily medicated, and with those medications now detectable in drinking water nationwide. Many people are under the influence of drugs not readily detected. Still, there are over 30,000 highway deaths in the US which is simply unacceptable. Japan which has less than half the population of the US but many MORE concentrated urban centers, has only 4,500 highway deaths and very few DUIs. They have very few homicides.

    The US needs to work on peace, cooperation and mutual respect. I think Jesus could return to Earth and find that the largely shinto Japanese understand more about loving self, neighbor and nature than in America.

    Before someone chimes in about suicide rates in Japan, consider the weather. It is overcast a LOT in Japan and, like in Seattle in the US, it affects S.A.D. and feelings of depression with regards to the suicides.

  • Anonymous

    Newtown isn’t an inner city. Population = around 2,000.

    Not sure which regulations will work.

    Chicago has draconian regulations but high gun murders.
    NY has strong gun regulations but (relative to Chicago) low gun murders.
    NJ has strong gun legislation but Camden (and nearby Philly, PA) with high gun murders.

    I only ask rhetorically what will work.

    Fortunately, we are raising awareness of a problem, now we need to figure how to solve it. My thought is that if people have a positive outlook for the future, lack of oppression and many opportunities, they won’t be as motivated to lose their lives or take those of others.

    Let’s drive sociopathy underground and harvest love. Why not?

  • Anonymous

    all my state’s reps are for these laws. What do I do about the other states?

  • Anonymous

    are you serious? An AR for home protection? How about land mines?

  • Anonymous

    Like almost every other U.S. citizen who legally owns a gun, I already have taken a stand against gun violence. We made the conscious decision not to shoot anyone unless they threatened us or others, and we haven’t.

    We don’t need more useless laws that only infringe on the rights, freedoms, and safety of peaceful, law abiding citizens. Murder is already a criminal act. If someone is willing to commit murder I really don’t think that they care in the least whether or not it’s illegal for them to own the gun that they use to take another person’s life.

  • Anonymous

    Seems you joined the Mrs. Lanza club and also see government and things outside your control as something to defend against? That was the course with MAD and now Fukishima end product.

  • Anonymous

    And what about all these little tykes who are shooting themselves or someone else because a “responsible” adult didn’t have the gun locke up in a secure place? Guns do one thing and one thing only. They kill.

  • DK

    Yeah, an opinion we keep hearing. But consider: this guy shot the person when the door opened. In other words, he’d beat the homeowner to the draw – even if the homeowner had gun in hand, the perpetrator has the advantage. And anyone who’d shoot first at someone who’d just rung the bell or knocked would, in more cases than not, nail a completely innocent person . . . like a Girl Scout selling cookies or a doorbelling evangelist. Sorry, too often a gun in the home is more likely to kill an innocent than a perpetrator.

  • Jmt

    Yep, Colorado passed “common sense gun legislation” and two of the senators who passed it were recalled, and the third had to resign because she was going to be recalled. The lawmakers have taken notice and the majority have spoken.

  • aniko

    The second amendment does not say you can have a gun for your individual needs. It certainly doesn’t require gun ownership. You are not a Constitutionalist. You are, for some reason, one who does not understand a very clear line in a document that, if it had been kept to its original form, would not allow women to vote or rule away slavery. How far does your “Constitutionalism” go?

  • aniko

    And it’s scary that so many people here who supposedly agree with Bill Moyers on other issues somehow see the 2nd amendment as sacred and beyond questioning. Where did their sense go on this issue? What is so damn sacred about gun ownership that our kids have to die from ARs? Good thing these commenters weren’t in charge when we amended voting rights and outlawed slavery.

  • Anonymous

    About a year ago in Atlanta, some fool broke into a home where there was a woman with two children (might have been 3 children; I just can’t remember).

    This particular lady had seen the man walk up on her driveway and rang the doorbell. She did not answer, and that man kept ringing the bell.

    The woman called her husband (he was at work); he told her that he would call the police, and for her to get their 9mm pistol from where they kept it and take the children upstairs.

    The robber broke in to the home while she was talking with her husband.

    She and her children hid in a closet (which believe it or not, had a lock on it!). The robber ran into the room just as she locked the door on the closet.

    He proceeded to beat on the door, and had just about knocked it in when the woman fired 5 shots through the door.
    When the police got to the home (11 minutes after being called), they found the robber on the floor, bleeding profusely. He was a wanted felon.

    Now I don’t know what he would have done had he been able to break down that door.

    However, that woman’s first priority was to protect her children. It’s up to anyone speculation as to what would have happened to that family had that homeowner not had a weapon to protect herself and her children.

  • merryterry

    it was a small minority that voted. and the vote count is suspect. They may have won the battle but not the war.

    A sensible Coloradoan.

  • cherie2n
  • cherie2n

    That seemed a big deal, but now people are getting it, and they are going out to vote. That situation in CO was a joke.

  • cherie2n

    No body is trying to take anybody’s guns; gun safety, registration, background checks and so on are simple common sense.

  • cherie2n

    Their house was an arsonal. The mother made some bad choices…

  • jimmie

    make the sandyhook promise and give us your email

  • http://www.guninsuranceblog.com/ Tom Harvey

    Demand that guns are insured like cars and everything else that’s risky in our society.

  • Al

    The problem is we have 12,000 people who will kill. They, not the tool they choose are the problem.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    You advise people to get the “facts” from Mayors Against Guns and Mom’s Demand Action? Those groups wouldn’t know a fact if it slapped them in the face.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    I’ve owned guns for over 40 years now. During that time I believe I’ve owned well over 75 guns. Not one of them killed anyone. They shot some targets and killed some deer, ducks, and coyotes but not one person. Have all my guns been defective?

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    Do you even know what an “assault weapon” is? Rifles in the US account for less then 2% of all homicides – that’s ALL rifles, bolt actions, pumps, lever actions, single shots, double barrels and semi-auto. Baseball bats kill more people every year.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    Why are you so against an AR for home defense? Don’t mistake an AR with an M16. They might look alike but that is all. Personally, I prefer an AK for home defense. Plenty of fire power and more knock down power inside. AR’s are better for longer distances though so I suppose if you’ve got a big home there could be an advantage.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    Do you REALLY think drug dealers and other criminals guy their guns at BassPro or Cabella’s? They never have any problem getting guns illegally. By making it harder to get guns you are just stopping the law abiding citizens.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    Automatic Assault weapons? Automatic guns were made illegal in 1934. Educate yourself.

  • Shelly-Sherm Mowery Rhoten

    You are right Elizabeth, SOME other civilized countries have fewer gun related killing then the US. But they also have MORE violent crime.

  • Anonymous

    And I have to question anyone’s sanity who feels the need for that many weapons.