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BILL MOYERS: You might think Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of and spokesman for the mighty American gun lobby, The National Rifle Association, has an almost cosmic sense of timing. In 2007, at the NRA’s annual convention in St. Louis, he warned the crowd that, "Today, there is not one firearm owner whose freedom is secure."

Two days later, a young man opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students, staff and teachers. Just last week LaPierre showed up at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty here in New York and spoke out against what he called "Anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens’ right to self-defense."

Now at least 12 are dead in Aurora, Colorado, gunned down by a mad man at a showing of the new Batman movie filled with make-believe violence. One of the guns the shooter used was an AK-47 type assault weapon that was banned in 1994. The National Rifle Association saw to it that the ban expired in 2004. The NRA is the best friend a killer’s instinct ever had.

Obviously, LaPierre’s timing isn’t cosmic, just coincidental; as Shakespeare famously wrote, “The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” In other words, people. People with guns. There are an estimated 300 million guns in the United States, one in four adult Americans owns at least one and most of them are men. The British newspaper The Guardian, reminds us that over the last 30 years, "The number of states with a law that automatically approves licenses to carry concealed weapons provided an applicant clears a criminal background check has risen from eight to 38."

Every year there are 30,000 gun deaths and 300,000 gun-related assaults in the U.S. Firearm violence may cost our country as much as $100 billion a year. Toys are regulated with greater care and safety concerns than guns.

So why do we always act so surprised? Violence is alter ego, wired into our Stone Age brains, so intrinsic its toxic eruptions no longer shock, except momentarily when we hear of a mass shooting like this latest in Colorado. But this, too, will pass and the nation of the short attention span quickly finds the next thing to divert us from the hard realities of America in 2012.

We are after all a country which began with the forced subjugation into slavery of millions of Africans and the reliance on arms against Native Americans for its Westward expansion. In truth, more settlers traveling the Oregon Trail died from accidental, self-inflicted gunshots wounds than from Indian attacks – we were not only bloodthirsty, we were also inept.

Nonetheless, we have become so gun loving, so blasé about home-grown violence that in my lifetime alone, far more Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire than have died in all our wars combined. In Arizona last year, just days after the Gabby Giffords shooting, sales of the weapon used in the slaughter – a 9-millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol – doubled.

We are fooling ourselves. That the law could allow even an inflamed lunatic to easily acquire murderous weapons and not expect murderous consequences. Fooling ourselves that the second amendment’s guarantee of a "well-regulated militia" be construed as a God-given right to purchase and own just about any weapon of destruction you like. That’s a license for murder and mayhem and it’s a great fraud that has entered our history.

There’s a video of which I’d like to remind you. You can see it on YouTube. In it, Adam Gadahn, an American born member of al Qaeda, the first U.S. citizen charged with treason since 1952, urges terrorists to carry out attacks on the United States. Right before your eyes he says: "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"

The killer in Colorado waited only for an opportunity, and there you have it -- the arsenal of democracy transformed into the arsenal of death and the NRA -- the NRA is the enabler of death -- paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel hoax, a cruel and deadly hoax. I'm Bill Moyers.

Video Essay: Living Under the Gun

In this web-exclusive video essay posted the day after the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., Bill says that the event was yet another tragic indication that our society — and too many of our politicians — covet guns more than common sense or life itself. The National Rifle Association in particular, Bill says, “has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel and deadly hoax.”

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  • Joyceannwhite

    A rare voice of reason and sanity in a dumbed down America…thanks Bill.

  • Tom Streeeter

    I think you said that domestic firearms death exceeded the deaths in all of the US wars.  Can this be true?  Your citation is….

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Thank you Mr. Moyers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gail.frances.7 Gail Frances

    Dearest NRA supporters of the slogan “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and defenders of Second Amendment rights to
    bear arms. According to NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre you have
    four million members who represent over 100 million “law-abiding”
    American who own firearms.

     

    I wonder, will any people in your powerful
    and well-funded organization be reaching out to aid the Aurora families of the 70+ victims mowed down in one minute? Will
    you be helping the families of the PEOPLE who were shot with the guns activated
    by a single PERSON, who, by the way, had no record of mental instability? Or, do you only spend the wealth you
    amass to purchase the candidates favor to support your right to bear arms?

     

    I wonder, will any people in your powerful
    and well-funded organization be reaching out to help support these families and
    the needless loss of lives?

     

    I wonder, will any people in your powerful
    and well-funded organization be reaching out to help pay for the funerals,
    medical bills, lifelong treatments and more?

     

    I wonder, how many “law abiding” people used
    guns in one year to maim or murder innocent victims.

     

    I wonder, if most Americans really believe
    that the people in your powerful and well-funded organization are really pro life?

     

    I wonder, are we, the voting public going to
    continue to allow this fake dialogue to triumph, or is the time to stand up and
    protect the living and prevent further massacres?

     

    Let’s hold our soon to be elected officials
    accountable, NOW. Your life, and the lives of your loved ones depend on it.

  • Woodscrone

    Thank you for speaking the truth to power.  The NRA has to be held liable for the slaughter of so many innocent people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000708538030 Thomas Morro

    Thank you Mr. Moyers for again clearly and forcefully stating what so many of us know is true.  How many more innocent lives will be lost because the NRA and its members and free-riders confuse freedom with ability to easily acquire firearms?

  • Sudforke

    Thank you!  I don’t think the 2nd Amendment is interpreted correctly.  So many people use it to justify buying a gun.   Having recently listened to two young people the same age as the fellow in Aurora tell me it’s necessary for people to own guns I grow afraid at the education of paranoia in the country. 

  • DFW Gun owner

    Your a HACK to take advantage of this tragic event!!!

  • DFW Gun owner

    Will any of your ilk do as you say? I doubt it!

  • coloradod

    I think you meant “you’re”.

  • Bpellis

    Powerful and elegant

  • Pccinvt

    Thank you Bill for speaking truth to power. What have we come to when it is becoming  easier to buy and assault weapon and harder to vote in election.

  • St Jude

    Only thing worse than a bad idea with legs is an armed bad idea with legs. 

  • Aunty L

    When we give lunatics the ability to fire off hundreds of rounds within just a few seconds, this is the result. Of course one cannot read the minds of these people, or give up all our rights to bear arms, but we can limit the damage they are able to do. A ban on assault weapons is the least we can do.

  • http://twitter.com/esd2000 Er. D.-OBAMA2012

    Gun lovers always say discussing gun control at a time like this is taking advantage of a Tragic Event. You’re so predictable.

  • Aunty L

    You might need to rethink more than your grammar.

  • coloradod
  • austin heat

    30,000 to 50,000 deaths a year going back for many, many decades. do google it and draw your own conclusions. i expect moyers did his homework here.

  • Exon123

      So very, very true.  Moyers is a voice of reason among a nation of knee jerks.

  • Anonymous

    All Moyers did was say mean things about those poor poor guns. 

    What a big meaniehead he is!

    On the other hand, James Eagan Holmes, the shooter, was one of your “law-abiding gun owners.”

    Right up to the second he started pulling the trigger.

    Your butthurt is nothing compared to the pain suffered by the victims and their familes.

    So why don’t you just shut the hell up while the grownups are talking, all right? We’re sick of your ignorant, stupid noise.

  • NRA Life Member

    Semi-auto & extended clips for handguns must be banned NOW.

    If you’re such a poor hunter that you need anything other than a bolt-action rifle to bring home the bag limit, you should take up fishing.

     If you want to own a handgun you should be required to demonstrate proficiency and be recertified at least annually.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a Canadian and have been a hunter for more than 40 years; again I will be going to our hunting camp where we hunt deer every year in November.
    The Liberal government in Canada 15 years ago decided to institute a Long Gun registry in a misguided political attempt to curb gun violence as a result of a murderous rampage by an individual in Montreal.
    Although long gun violence in Canada had been dropping for years prior to this new law it passed and became law. All rifles, shotguns etc. had to be registered  a cost of several $$billions. The net effect of this law after 15 years was nil. Gun violence continued on the same downward slope as prior to the law and in effect did nothing except possibly punish long gun owners, farmers and hunters. Criminals of course continued on in their illegal ways and obtained guns as they always had…illegally. As a result over this past year the Canadian government got rid of the Long Gun registry and has gone back to a simpler yet effective method of gun ownership based on police checks for criminal records etc.
    Since 1936 Canada has had one of the world’s strictest hand gun laws with the major thought being that handguns (other than sporting events) are for the most part only useful for shooting another person. I tend to agree and as a result there is really no public demand or even public request that Canadians can arm themselves with handguns. Of course any handgun usage is limited to legal authorities or criminal elements with powerful laws monitoring their usage.

    We have no NRA in Canada nor do we want or need one. If I want to own a rifle like owning a car or a motorcycle then I go through the legalities and responsibilities of purchasing and safe guarding the weapon.
    All in all I feel that this system (except for that politically motivated 15 years under liberal rule) is fair and generally safe for the citizens in this country.
    The odd nutcase or gangbangers are going to break the law and use both long guns and handguns illegally. When they do they are severally punished as they should be.
                                                            Kevin…Ottawa

  • Amtak

    Every gun tragedy has been followed by campaigns by the NRA and other gun lobbies to abolish gun restrictions and increase gun sales.    When will it occur to our fellow citizens that the most unAmerican and treasonous among us are the gun lovers who perpetuate this carnage by pressing for ever-more gun “rights”, ever fewer restrictions, and ever more gun sales.

  • Anonymous

    Since there will not be a rational response to this event, as in a ban on AR15 and the like…. we need to institute point of sale (even gun shows) proof of liability insurance for the gun owner, just as insurance is required for cars (been paying for years and never had a wreck), up to at least 1 million.  No responsiblity, no gun.  And if found to be with a gun and no insurance, penalties sufficient to ensure compliance. 

  • Amtak

     Then how do you interpret the facts that guns used in all of our massacres in the US have been purchased legally; that the guns of choice are usually assault weapons designed for shooting people; that most are “long” guns with extended cartridges; and that most of the assassins — as, for example, that phi betta kappagrad student in Colorado –  have passed, or been eligible, under our current registration laws.

  • Moyers_fan_1

    Bill, thanks for saying what every disgusted American is thinking, that the NRA and its parallel universe legion of gun nuts are the ones with blood on their hands again, as another insanely deadly assault weapon, the AR-15, is used to massacre children and young adults in Colorado.  Why ANYONE should have the opportunity to own one of these horrific weapons is a travesty of modern American politics and, as you say, mass-paranoia by a segment of society that has far too much power.

  • http://twitter.com/1sinatrafan Amy Leddy

    Amen Bill..Thank you for your articulate and thoughtful comments…

  • Mike in Michigan

    Yes, Bill Moyers is always a voice of reason and sanity, but I quarrel with your description of America as a dumbed-down society.  In fact, America is, to a great extent, a voluntarily dumbed society.  Those to whom you would ascribe the task of dumbing-down the masses are guilty of giving the masses precisely what they want.

  • Calliope3amg

    I have to defend the Canadian. Their gun laws are actually stricter than ours. And he was talking about long guns…ie shotguns, not assault rifles…which are military weapons just like handguns. He indicated that hand guns are restricted in his post. However, the fact that Holmes was allowed to legally purchase an AK-47, a shotgun, and two handguns…was 24 years old…with no prior record tells me something is wrong with the US system. He should never have been allowed to have weapons used predominantly for human assault. Those should be restricted to military and police personel…legislation and

  • Mike

    I saw a comedian many years ago who did a bit about gun control … He argued that the authors of the 2nd amendment could not have foreseen the terrifying assault weapons of today.  So, he said, if you want to bear arms based on a law from the late 1700′s then you should only be allowed gun technology from that era.  He went on to do some humorous bits about trying to rob a store or carry on a gang war with muskets.

  • Bob

    Some nutcase goes off the deep end and now it’s the Second Amendment’s fault?  The Second Amendment, if not actively discouraged by so many GOVERNMENT agencies, would have allowed return fire by law-abiding citizens.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Bill.  We needed that just now.

    I didn’t realize just how insane some Americans can get about their guns until Michael Moore’s *Bowling for Columbine* came out.  I could hardly believe the number and ferociousness of the insults and death threats aimed at him — for making a funny movie about the problem of too many guns!!

    We’ve got lotsa guns in Canada too, and lotsa non-rational arguments about the long-gun registry.  But one thing we don’t appear to have is a national identity bound up with guns.  If I felt that my gun was an extension of my Canadian identity, part of who I am, then I would probably get a bit irrational if someone tried to regulate it.

    I was in the Canadian military for 5 years (Navy) and learnt to fire several kinds of weapons, and I took some care to improve my skill.  I enjoyed it.  But as a civilian, I am terrified of guns.  Israel was sometimes a scary place for me — all these pimply-faced teenagers in uniform on the streets with their weapons.  Israel is beautiful but I couldn’t live there.  Even when it’s quiet it feels violent.

  • Calliope3amg

    I think we need to legislate for our right to be safe…versus there right to bear arms (which was originally intended to mean the right to defend our liberty through military action…not vigilantism).

  • Skopke47

    Why are we so afraid of the NRA?  Rational people can look at gun violence and say now, perhaps something will be done….but alas no. Americans do have a very short attention span I fear.  We see criminal behavior in the 1% all of the time, and yet since the 1% owns 100% of the politicians, nothing ever changes….and so it goes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001389138515 Beth Green Lackey

    Maybe a red alert should have poped up with all his sales, is there something like that?  He is the one that pulled the trigger you know? Not all Americans have mental issues.. This can not be the blame of a firearm’s no more than drinking and driving on alcohol, well maybe that is true since 
    alcohol it is mind altering.. But the fact is that our country can protect it self from an invasion, we can protect ourselves in our homes and this is very sad event, don’t get me wrong but I do feel our Government would love to have control over our right to bear arms. I am with the NRA. I won’t give my right and end up another  communist  country. I think your fooling yourself and our  people Bill!!!

  • Beaniecool

    He is correct! More legal guns sold to crazy people to kill people.  Come on, America!!!

  • Katejg57

    The guy was a nut case. Without a gun he could have blown up the place. Give me a break with this liberal anti- gun bull.

  • http://twitter.com/cheruscer naturalized

    An assault rifle sold legally? What for hunting doves, quail, or maybe even deer? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001389138515 Beth Green Lackey

    This happens how often? Every time it is so sad, How many guns are out there compared to this happening? Yes we a few crazy’s that get  a hold of a gun’s but the majority or more of people are reasonable. This should have been caught by his purchase order of four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days.. This is not the fault of gun’s, we just need red lights to flag on large 
    purchase’s … We do need that 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robin-Lee-White/100000175434589 Robin Lee White

    While today’s event was a tragedy… it is NOT because we have a love affair with guns Bill. It has to do with a love affair with Violence & Fear which has been propagated for decades here in America.

    Canadians actually own more guns than American’s but seem to be able to keep their guns in their holsters rather than take it out on other people when they are angry or tripping out on drugs.

    American’s have been under the constant propaganda of fear, violence and vengeance for decades through TV (mainstream), Movies/Films, violent video games and even through pumping up their aggressive tendencies at sports events = increasing testosterone.

    WE the PEOPLE are constantly being desensitized to levels of violence that 50 years ago would have been considered psychotic and criminal; today it’s considered the ‘norm’ and that’s just plain crazy.

    The news reports are ludicrous at best:

    Shooter kicks IN the steel reinforced doors to the theater: this alone is impossible as those doors ONLY open OUTWARDLY

    Shooter at first is said to have had accomplices and then they finally report it was a “lone gunman” after all

    71 people were killed – and yet it turns out that only a few people actually were injured and less killed… AND while tragic and sad… don’t loose sight of the OVER reaching of mainstream media…

    Shooter throws in several or a few canisters of ‘tear gas’… Civilians & college students cannot purchase said items… so who provided this kid with the tear gas canisters

    Federal bomb squad ‘knew’ the bombs were booby trapped on the other side of the door… isn’t it a bit coincidental that the federal authorities were on this so quickly? hmmm

    In Portland, Oregon, in Fall of 2010, the FBI stated in our local newspapers that they helped a local youth, who was a part of the Somali community, set up a van to explode during the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in the downtown Pioneer Square area. Yet it was actually the FBI providing the youth with instruction, tools, van, money & bomb materials. 

    After it came to light that they did indeed provide the kid with all he needed to build the bomb and helped him carry all these plans out, the FBI then dropped the story… but the ‘fear’ they caused and the ‘anger’ towards Middle-Easterners was already played out.

    Obama is just about to ratify a UN Agenda 21 plan to disarm American’s in about 2 weeks. This ploy seems a little to set-up for mass consumption and mass media distribution to me. 

    While I personally recognize that using a gun to solve a problems is the wrong way to go about it (I am against wars of ANY kind in any part of the world), how convenient to take away our right to bear arms at this time of economic collapse, military training of our local LEO’s and more….

    Remember Henry Kissinger? Well I remember this quote of his: 

    “Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether REAL or PROMULGATED (my emphasis), that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing that every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.” — Henry Kissinger, Bilderberg Conference

    Psychology has been used to dumb down America since the early part of the 20th century. I am 57 years old and remember a much different time. I have been paying attention for stated decades and I can say with absolute certainty… there is a fox in the henhouse dressed like a chicken and everyone thinks the Emperor has a wonderful new wardrobe for the occasion… and yes I am mixing my metaphors… it seems fitting with all the gobbledy-gook and shenanigans going on at the moment.

  • Phaia

    You start by saying it is not about our love affair with guns – and then you say:

    “American’s have been under the constant propaganda of fear, violence and vengeance for decades through TV (mainstream), Movies/Films, violent video games and even through pumping up their aggressive tendencies at sports events = increasing testosterone.”  Yes, we LOVE to consume it.  Because it is part of our LOVE affair with guns.  So is our language, and all the references we have to guns within it.  Our culture is DISTINCT.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how the Long Gun Registry Law “punished” hunters or others owning rifles. You cite a cost of “several $$ billions,” but was that cost incurred in part due to some sort of exorbitant fee structure imposed upon long gun owners? If not, I fail to see where the “punishment” came in. I would appreciate any enlightenment you can provide.

    I’m glad to see your reasonable attitude regarding handguns. I am not a gun owner, but I am not averse at all to RESPONSIBLE gun ownership. I grew up, and still reside in a rural community, and many of my friends and acquaintances are hunters, so I am quite sympathetic to the kinds of arguments that reasonable and responsible people put forward regarding gun ownership in the US. The problem down here, as Mr. Moyers points out, is that “reasonableness” is anathema to the NRA, and the NRA has become far more than the hunter safety and advocacy group it was until only a few decades ago. Its mission has become, quite regrettably, to see gun ownership and use recognized as an absolute right with no restrictions or oversight whatsoever. I suppose this attitude developed originally in fealty to the gun industry, but the NRA’s absolutely unbending insistence on fighting EVERY effort to inject some sanity and reason into the debate over guns in the U.S. seems to be the product of a pathological belief that there are enemies at our doorsteps, and we must all be afraid – VERY AFRAID.

    It’s sick, but the NRA isn’t all that’s sick in the U.S. these days.

  • Also in Michigan

    Well, Bob, what a well-thought out and reasoned response to this tragedy. What a scene that would have been, can’t you just picture it? 20 or 30 movie-goers returning fire with the gods only know how many more dead or injured, caught in the crossfire.

    The text of the Second Amendment is as follows:

    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. 

    Okay, you see that fourth word there, “militia”? Let’s look at the definition of that word:

    1. a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.
        2.
    a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers. 

    The weapons of the time needed a lot of time to load (muskets, blunderbusses) and a lot of skill to shoot accurately, or else they required the wielder to put himself in arms reach of his opponent (swords, knives, bayonets). I suspect if the Founders had had an inkling what would happen to weapons over time, that amendment would not exist, at least not in that form. Or perhaps they simply thought that if we the people needed to, we would amend the amendment to suit the times. 

    I’m going  go out on a limb here (or maybe not so much) and venture a guess that 99% of gun owners in the United States are not members of a militia. Further, the amendment was enacted to allow citizens to defend themselves against presumed aggression by the government….NOT OTHER CITIZENS. Members of a militia would, presumably, be well versed in the need to control their weapons and the use of their weapons except at need.

    That’s the problem here, Bob. Too many of those who own guns because the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects their right to do so are people who should probably not own guns. The ugly truth is that guns often make people behave in ways they would not behave if they did not have access to guns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robin-Lee-White/100000175434589 Robin Lee White

    And that would be a very different outcome for certain Mike, but unfortunately, the weapon-makers of OUR century are hell bent on complete and total destruction, as long as they are making a profit. 

  • Anonymous

    I think the answer to your question may lie within your statement itself.
    In the USA it seems assault weapons, extended cartridges and the like are designed for shooting people and purchased legally under your own current registration laws.

  • jean

     Hey, Mike, that’s funny as hell!!

  • Jeff Koerber

    Thank you, Bill.

  • Drdanj

     Averages 20 times a year, not all so big, but that’s the rate.

  • Andrew Tippey

    If only elected leaders on the left hadn’t completely rolled over on gun control. Events like this are exceedingly rare, but they can be used to bolster support for legislation that would ameliorate the much more common varieties of gun violence to which the public is habituated. It should be exceedingly difficult — but not impossible — to get any firearm not hunting legal or intended for match shooting.

  • Jeffb6224

    you are a dunbass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jensharpe11

    Honestly, I just don’t understand why people need guns????  Except to hunt for sport…..why is it necessary??

  • guest

    correction: dumbass

  • Jensharpe11

    oH YES THE VERY,VERY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN OF AMERICANS…..WE RALLY AT EACH DISASTER BUT THEN SO QUICKLY FORGET

  • Charles Bailey

    A gunfight? In a crowded movie theater? That is ridiculous. So there would be no gun violence anywhere if everyone packed heat?

  • Ed

    Hey Beth,  Protect our country?  Nobody will invade our country by landing troops on our shores. Wake up, it’s 2012 not the 1700′s.  Your AK47′s wont stop missles. May have been a valid readon long ago, but is B.S. now.

    Yes, our government should do something to control gun, but won’t because of nut jobs like you out there. If the founding fathers had any idea what gun technology would be like in 2012, they would have written the second amendment differently.

    How many more tragedys like this do we need before we stop selling assault weapons? Keep your right to bear arms, but AR-15′s?

  • colleejoe

    If someone else in the crowd had been armed, this guy may not have killed as many as he did.  That is the beauty of being able to carry a gun…not just for hunting, but for self defense. 

  • Sad

    I don’t know where you got your information that Canadians have more guns than Americans but it is incorrect.    Even per capita your statement is incorrect.   Canada has a population of 34 million people; the U.S. has about 314 million.  The US has approximately 90 guns per 100 people.  Canada has about 30 guns per 100 people.  Do the math and then factor in tougher gun law regulations on the Canadian side.  

  • LJK

    Seriously colleejoe, you think LESS people would have been
    shot if a bunch of people in the theater had guns?   Smoke, tear gas, people in costumes,
    chaotically running to get out, add to that more shooting = more dead people.

  • getreal

    colleejoe, why should it be necessary, in a civilized society, to carry a weapon in order to protect yourself.  If it was much more difficult to obtain a weapon, and if weapons intended only for killing people quickly and efficiently were not available, then nobody in the theatre need have been armed.  Or dead, for that matter.

  • http://twitter.com/Lairderg Sheila Sikorski

    Please, let us have that legitimate conversation about the first part of  the second amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State …” The part now ignored.

  • getreal

    Robin, Canadians get exactly the same entertainment and cultural cues as Americans.  The differences are:

    - a political system much less amenable to money,
    - a history and a culture of law, order, and collective responsibility rather than “rugged” individualism – as the Canadian West was developed, the Mounties were always there first!
    - gun laws that very carefully define who can own what weapons, how they can be transported, and when and where the can be used, and effective penalties for misuse.  If a crime involves the use of a gun, there is almost always a weapons charge to go along with the charge for the crime.

  • http://www.thedailycall.org/ Mark

    Let’s see we have millions of guns and a higher death-by-gun rate than anywhere on the planet. Yeah, so, yeah, right, that’s what we need … more guns and going off in dark theaters.

    What silly circuitous craziness.

    The NRA participated in the deaths in Colorado just as much as the triggerman and all those who belong and pay dues to the NRA share in the moral responsibility.

  • Claire

    Something is definitely wrong with the US.  How many massacres does the US need to change its gun laws?  The comments on TV never seem to tackle the gun issues.   Maybe it will take an angry mom movement the like of mother against drunk driving to force our politicians to do something.

  • Mgarlett

    Huh, Andrew Tippey? You’ve confused me, and I’m usually pretty reliable to “get it.” Clarify please.

  • Mgarlett

    It’s a culture, Beth — NRA, Congress, TV, movies, electronic video

  • Lzrelin

    A coherent statement in the midst of madness.  Thank you Bill Moyers.

  • Anonymous

    Great commentary, Bill! When tragedies such as today’s ‘Dark Knight’ shootings in Aurora, CO take place, I appreciate wisdom such as yours in an effort to bring a greater understanding of how our 2nd Amendment rights are far from what many perceive them to be.

    But with that said, I must admit that I feel a sense of hazard with some of your comments. By and far I would consider myself a Progressive in practice with some conservative leanings. One of these ‘leanings’ has to do with the 2nd Amendment. Now, I have never owned a gun and at present have no intentions in doing so, and in my lifetime (middle aged) I have only fired a gun/rifle/shotgun on less than 10 occasions. Yet, I am a firm believer that if I should ever desire to own a gun, I truly believe that I should be allowed to do so, including an automatic assault rifle, or even a RPG.

    My reasoning for this belief has nothing to do with protecting my person or family if, heaven forbid, some random thief were to break into my home or assault me or any of my loved ones on the street, or, as in today’s circumstance, some random psychopath decides to go trigger happy in a movie theater. My reasoning is based solely on what I perceive the intention of the 2nd to be, that is, the formation of a well regulated militia. In addition, I am also forced to consider the preamble of our Constitution where it states:
    “…Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
    should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly
    all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer,
    while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
    forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
    usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to
    reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
    My understanding of the historical purpose of the 2nd is to defend my person, primarily against my own government. By no means do I wish for such a scenario to take place and I would much rather hope that my government take note of what I have seen as a consistent usurpation of my and my fellow citizens rights in our post 9/11 world, the full extent of which can be noted in targeted assassinations upon US citizens who have been deemed a “terrorist,” or even better still, the children of designated US citizen “terrorist’s” (i.e. Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki).

    With this in mind, I would consider it equally important to consider the 1st Amendment and our right to free speech and protest, and when the people’s grievances are not heard, as in the case of the OWS movement, should the people not have the right to rise up in armed rebellion against the government, particularly in instances where local police forces are used as strong-arm of the State?

    This evening you had Chris Hedges on as a guest of your show, and in some of his pieces I hear him allude to this argument. I would be interested to hearing him speak definitively on the subject, most likely being called an insurrectionist if not terrorist by some were he to take such a stance, but it is a position I see as a foundation of our own existence as a nation. It is impossible to deny that the history of this nation is defined as open and violent rebellion, and I would consider it foolish to disregard the Founding Father’s belief in and practice of open rebellion. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the Ghandian approach of non-violent protest and believe that this can be a useful tactic for change as noted on the part of Ghandi, MLK jr., Chavez, the Women’s Movement, the Vietnam Movement, etc., but only to an extent. That extent being, in light of Citizens United and the influx of campaign money into the electoral system, along with the influence of corporate lobbying as being the primary voice and influence upon the political system when considering the millions if not trillions of dollars invested on the part of a select group of corporations and banking institutions, I find it difficult to believe that the power gained within this century would not be fought to the bitter end, and those with such power would be more than willing to silence the people however necessary, including calling up the National Guard.

    I pray daily that such a scenario does not happen, but from my reading of history, we are slowly moving in such a direction, almost as if the government is willing to disregard its own history and force the people to the edge of open rebellion in an effort to control the power, and equally important, profits they have taken. And, as relates to the 2nd Amendment, I would see as tragic if the people were not in a position to defend themselves were open rebellion to take place.

  • http://www.robertlpeters.com/news/ Rob (a pacifist in Canada)

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. Quite a simple concept, really…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Albert-Lopez/1824418031 Albert Lopez

    It’s Time to bring new gun laws that are not so liberal …who need’s an Ak47 with 30 round mag’s…But both party’s will not uttter a word It’s… POLITICAL SEASON !

  • davidp

    I hope your commentary will awaken people, but the sad fact that it will fall on deaf ears.

  • http://twitter.com/Merz Alex Merz

    Not to mention that the shooter was dressed in black head-to-feet body armor in a crowded dark loud smoke-filled room. A concealable sidearm against an armored foe with shotgun, AR-15 with box magazine, in that environment.

    Yeah. That’d make things better. Right.

  • Michaelpmoore

    I have to wonder what would happen if we got rid of all gun laws and just allowed everyone without restriction  to carry guns, concealed or not.insane or not. Coupled with teh “stand yur ground law”, we’d have soe prety good shoot outs I’m sure. Then people might realize how insane this all is.
    I have an Australian friend who had to give up all his guns, and he’s glad they did it.

  • http://twitter.com/Merz Alex Merz

    The shooter was dressed in black head-to-feet body armor in a crowded dark loud smoke-filled room.

    And you think it would have been cool to have concealable sidearm against an armored foe with shotgun, AR-15 with box magazine, in that environment.Yeah. That’d make things better. Right.I don’t think you’ve thought this through too carefully, Bob. Think you’d have been able to think it through more carefully if you’d actually been in the room?

  • Mikepr

    This killer bought a 100 round clip on the internet. We need more guts to stand up to the hatred, paranoia, and guns of the right. Guns and hatred are terrorism of the right.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G2TDR32IAGUP67DNWSRF3EWDJQ Pat

    The NRA is a very powerful lobby and influences our politics and policies with boat loads of money. It has turned gun ownership into a religion, as if the right to bear arms actually defines freedom itself and defines a country’s greatness. Equal opportunity, a level playing field, equal protection under the law for everyone, are the attributes that define a country’s greatness, to my way of thinking.

    Americans have a twisted obsession with guns, and we have the highest murder rate of any country in the world. Isn’t there a message in that? I wondered today after hearing of the shooting in Colorado, that if that event would have happened in Texas, where people can pack guns to church, even, there may have been a shoot out in Dodge City.

    The NRA and many of the Teabaggers will try to remind us that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Really? When is enough, enough? How many more tragedies like this one do we have to witness before we wake up? And we’re supposed to such a civilized nation? Not so sure…

  • Lyn

    Thank you, Bill. 

  • Aleta

     You watch too much tv and movies colleejoe.  If someone else had pulled out a gun do you think they would have been able to just shoot that guy so easily like Clint Eastwood or something? It’s dark, it’s crowded, people are moving around, rampant panic has set in. Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to hit the intended target, especially under those conditions. It’s not like on tv colleejoe.  Stop fantasizing. It would have been an even bigger blood bath.

  • Aleta

     But he chose guns.  Guns make the killing easier and more personal.

  • Anon

    After a shooting spree, they always want  to take guns away from the people who didn’t do it. -William S. Burroughs

  • Terry Verigan

    This is Bill’s most powerful essay to date. Thank God for Bill Moyers and the Republic he fights to save.

  • Kathy

    Give ‘em Hell, Bill! Thank you for this essay. When will our politicians wake up and stand up to the NRA and their paranoid gun fetishists?

  • Logical Fallacy

    Your logic assumes that making large magazines illegal now would do anything about the millions of them already in country….or the fact  that a criminal could just get one on the black market. Only lawful citizens are affected by laws.

  • Guestest

    If only we could get the criminals to agree to using just muskets!

  • Gravyyard2

    Yes , thank you Bill, but the rest of the planet is saying, “Duh…? How many tragedies do you need before you stop arming  homicidal lunatics?”

  • Lynlet81

    Just read your daily newspapers. How many are killed by someone using a gun to defend loved ones, self or property…as opposed to the mayhem wrought by the illegal possession of guns by criminals and nut cases…especially assault weapons.

    The NRA be damned.

    Congress, be ashamed…very ashamed. Do your job.

  • Kim M

    If the cigarette lobbies had been as fearsome and effective as the NRA has been, most adult Americans would still be puffing away on the sticks of poison and addiction, and we would still be suffering from second-hand smoke in all public places such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, theaters, and airplanes. They call it Freedom.

  • waterClock

    Did you know Burroughs shot his wife and was convicted of manslaughter?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YMULNB6WW3HQGCNLHN7AD2FPVU Ed Stone

     Tell it to Treyvon Martin’s family.

  • Jerry Rose

    Remember 63 million legal guns and lawful citizens did not kill one person yesterday. The theater was in a gun free zone so nobody could defend themselves, just like most of the other mass shootings.   Jerry Rose

  • Jerry Rose

    Oh and when will the people wake up that GUN CONTROL is not about controling guns, they want to control the people of the world. Look back at history when guns are confiscated then genocide comes next. Germany in the 30′s and 40′s all of the same things were happening there that are happening in the USA now, HISTORY learn from history.

  • The7thson

    I’ve found some of Burroughs’ writing entertaining; but really, a man who murdered someone while in a drug induced haze pretty much loses his credibility on gun control.
    I never was much a fan of Hunter S Thomson’s adoration and fascination with guns either. But at least the only one Hunter hunted was himself.

  • Raildog_jlrose

    Could not have made things worse, but the theater was in a gun free zone. How is that gun control working for you?

  • Jerry Rose

    Here we have someone who decides someone is guilty without all the facts, hope you end up in that same situation and learn how that feels.

  • Jerry Rose

    Yes just like the spoon made me fat, the car made me drink and drive. We have a president who talks about how bad this shooting was and he authorizes an assination of a 16 year old american citizen in a foreign country by use of an armed drone and that is not talked of as terrorism, give me a break.

  • Raildog_jlrose

    Well Congress has been doing legislation for your safety for years and we are losing our liberties at an alarming rate, where does it stop people die in pools should we do away with them, cars, trains, planes where do you stop. The police have no duty to protect you, they carry guns to protect themselves. I take personal responsability for my self and my protection.

  • Richard Crocker

    Despite all the billions of $ spent and all the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet Al Quaeda’s deadliest agent, the NRA, remains in active operation in America. Its the enemy within that should be feared most. Its not a choice between living free or dying, but a choice of how American society wants to live in peace and freedom with itself.

  • http://twitter.com/bamalibba John Earl

    America! You can’t wear a hoodie or go to a movie without getting shot..

  • Stifler’s Dad

    Dagnabbit, scrubbed again. 

    “A man’s got to know his limitations.” ~ The Outlaw Rowdy Yates

  • Cheryl Murphy

    If we truly loved and valued our kids, we would relentlessly fight the NRA  and get these horrific weapons out of our country…lets do it

  • Sbridenb

    I remember Elizabeth Dole’s comment, that a man doesn’t need an AK-47 to defend his family. Suddenly, she became irrelevant. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519171588 Janathel Shaw

    Janathel Shaw It’s always tragic when a disturbed individual takes the life or lives of others to satisfy an absence within themselves. I don’t think the genre was as important as the choice of a venue that promoted community. I saw the film and it had …many dark moments that were violent and focused on the poison of one-sided radical beliefs. There were also pivotal characters that searched and fought to preserve the faith in human kindness, integrity, peace and community. If this individual was in his right mind, he could’ve protested the movie and started up a venue for discussion.

  • Sandyagirl2004

    ….No red lights to flag on large? Or Wait, his name was not Mohamed.

  • Jmbfoster

    Truth. Thanks, Bill. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741410411 Peter Lance

    It wasn’t an AK-47. It was an AR-15. For all of the pomposity of this, he coulnd’t even get that small fact correct. And all these comments about AKs to defend our families are more heat than light: AKs are not commonly used in crime. Before you spout, check out the most common guns used in crime. No assault rifle is even on the lists. Besides, I’ll decide what is adequate for my family’s defense. Not Elizabeth Dole or you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741410411 Peter Lance

    Do you really think tighter gun control would have stopped this guy? If so, try this experiment: From the TV footage it is clear that he was wearing a ballistic MICH helmet (not the cheap plastic version available to Airsoft types even on Amazon, but the actual ballistic helmet). Go to the site of any supplier of them and try to buy it yourself. You can’t. You have to prove LE or military affiliation. A MICH ballistic helmet is not readily or easily available (much easier to get an AR or AK). Every once in a while one comes up on Ebay, but it is rare. And yet he had one. Do you seriously think you will stop folks like him with gun control? Or think of this: the Dunblane massacre happened in a country with, at the time, *massively* stringest controls on guns compared with our owh. And yet it happened.

  • Jerry

    I was listening to the radio after the latest mass murder in America and guns rights advocates were calling in and saying wholesale slaughter  like this are just the cost of freedom. We should all except it and get over it and move on they proclaim. Also they said if only someone with a gun had been there in that dark tear gassed room they could have quickly shot the killer and saved the day and prevented much of the loss of life. This is not only patently false but it is madness. More guns, they believe, is the answer. When will this madness end? When will America say enough? More guns is not the answer. No guns is the answer. When was the last time something like this happened in countries like Japan where guns are illegal? It is about time the anti gun forces got off their butts and made it known to the politicians and the gun lobby that we have had enough. We have had enough of your lies and your propaganda. We have got to stand together and put a stop to this insanity. America does not have a monopoly on madness but when you combine madness with an availability of guns you’ve got serious problems. The time has come to say enough and shout no more. 

  • Anonymous

    He means that even liberal democrats show no leadership on gun  control. It could be considered the third rail of American politics. Touch it, and you’re dead–the NRA will pump piles of  money and propoganda against you –and against any who would join you. So, the left has simply left the issue alone, despite what they privately think. And theyll never pick it up unless the people make it clear that they won’t stand for this anymore.

  • Anonymous

    All we’re asking for is a ban on assault weapons. You might have been carying a pistol, but you wouldn’t have been carrying an assault rifle. Or, should I say, God help us if we enter movie theaters with a bunch of people carrying them.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. There is absolutely no “regulation” the NRA hasn’t fought tooth and nail. 

  • Jerry

     I would have say we don’t really love our kids that much. Kids in America are mistreated on a daily bases. There are countries that value kids and treat them like a gift. Here in America we treat them like a burden. This a cruel country. This is a unforgiving country. This is a punishing country. This is a violent country. This is why the NRA does so well here. It fits right in with the paranoid fear mongering ignorant fools that populate these lands. No ban on guns will result from this because politicians are whores. The next mass murder is only a few months away if it stays on track with the past events. Who knows who will be the next victim. Does anybody really care? No. All they care about is the false security of owning a gun. Good luck America and god bless.

  • MMargate

    I’m going to wait and find out: Where the hate in this Narcisist was born. WHY?? By what logic or emotion does he think this was the right thing to do?

  • Jennifredricks

    Yes but it didn’t happen every week!

  • Anonymous

    You just want to shoot somebody!

  • Warron Gaffney

    Thank you, Bill, I couldn’t agree more!

    Peace,
    Warron Gaffney

  • Didacus07

    … or, The Outlaw Josey Wales ….

  • Pearlp2001

    I was stunned to hear that this kid was able to buy all that ammunition via the Internet.  That’s scary.

  • Harleyalic

    Only when politicians wake up to the fact that the NAACP, EPA, ACORN, etal need standing up to!

  • Anonymous

    Bill, the history of every nation on earth is built on terrible violence. From my Canadian perspective I listen to American discussions on NPR and PBS, most of which reveal people’s obsession with unregulated freedoms of every kind, for many different situations. Other countries are populated with violent people too, and produce violent films, but manage to regulate some of the greed and other base instincts in their societies through programs and through regulation. Americans seem to think that all regulation around the causes of violence, about the environment, health care, education etc, is counter to their constitution. This mania for unlimited freedom, a freedom which is not found in the natural world at all, leads to a kind of superiority or God complex, and I almost never hear a careful discussion about other nations more successful efforts to improve social, health, economic and environmental conditions with regulation and programs. They may be funded through taxes but for the most part are designed by specialists, not governments. Governments are us. If everyone in the USA believes that violent acts and a violent society are solved by violently going after violence, then the man in black at the movie with the guns is just one logical part of that  idea.

  • Kevin Slick

    Thank you for this thoughtful and powerful essay.  Having grown up in rural Pennsylvania where the first day of deer season is actually a school holiday I’ve been around guns all my life.  The friends and family that I saw hunting or target shooting have no need for assault rifles or high powered pistols.  The NRA has done a masterful job of not only stoking the fires of paranoia but also in falsely joining the image of a hunter and their child roving through the woods on a perfect autumn day sharing a bonding experience with their demands for less regulation.  Some friends who are fellow travelers with the NRA tell me that they just enjoy firing off an automatic rifle or they just want to collect guns and why should their rights be infringed upon?  I enjoy fast cars.  Are my rights infringed upon because I can’t drive down my neighborhood streets at 100 mph?  It seems that we regulate our behavior in automobiles more than we do with firearms.  Are we really willing to allow this kind of madness just because some people think it’s cool to own an automatic weapon?  What kind of ego demands that their interest takes precedent over the safety of the larger community?

  • Donna

    Yet when Congress is approached to enforce SOME sort of responsible laws from getting into the hands of potential murderers (terriorists, dangerous  mental patients, past criminals, etc…) THEY feel it affects their being reelected and do nothing! Aurora Colorado could be ANYONES town..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4XFWAVVCBUZXQXIQNGCLZRVR5E JohnDoe2b

    It’s sad that only brave people like Mr. Moyers will stand up to the evil NRA. Why is there no national organization proposing the repeal of the second amendment ? I’ve been looking for one for five years.

  • Wjk4

    People don’t care. The population is so desensitized to death and violence that it’s no more real than any movie, TV show, or video game until it happens to them personally. This latest incident will change nothing in regard to the accessibility to firearms. The right to life is only trumped by the right to kill. It is what defines humanity.

  • NN

    Guess what, you don’t live in a civilized society; the wealth of the nation is concentrated in a small group of cultural elite, a struggling middle class, and huge population of the poor, huge tracts of once populous cities are abandoned wastelands. No one is looking out for their neighbour only them selves. The education system is on the verge of collapse. Your society is building more and more disallusioned angry people who will snap and do horrendous things, with or with out guns. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men/women to do nothing, give the good guys the tools they need to stand up and protect themselves.

  • Lphughes

    He didn’t say AK-47, he said “AK-47 type assualt rifle,”  since although many in his audience may not know what an AR-15 is – everybody can picture an AK-47.  And excuse me, but why should your family need a defense?

  • JonThomas

     Because there is no problem with the 2nd amendment itself…the problem rests in the interpretation and application.

  • Donna

     Some people care and ACT. The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence is one of them. If everyone that are appalled at yesterdays events in Co.   contacted their congressperson THEY would act but when all they hear from are  the NRA, they back down..check out this video from a Virginia Tech survivor who tries to make changes to Congress and Congresses response.. 
    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-last-word/47081804

  • NN

    Your logic is flawed, you are allowed to own a fast car, you are allowed to drive it 100mph but only where it is safe and legal to do so, on a race track, where legal you can only fire automatic rifles on a safe and legal range.

  • JonThomas

     You could have brought your AK or AR with you to the theater. Then you could have protected your family with a shoot out. Wait, if everyone brought there AR’s, AK’s, Glocks, and shpeals, maybe this young man who was obviously not in his right mind wouldn’t have done this tragic action.

    Ooops, wait…he wasn’t in his right mind…so probably would have done it anyway.

    Ooooo…but then there could have been a really cool shoot out. Wooohooo… just like on the video games…or was it the war movie…no, I remember, it was the cop show on tv every minute.

    Sanity, sanity, wherefore art thou sanity?

  • JonThomas

     Yeah, but a rocket launcher…now, that will protect my family. :)

  • JonThomas

     It’s all the rage. wait…I meant it’s all the rage!

  • bethesda

    3 thoughts:(1) now, it seems, each armed person is a one-person prosecutor and jury to pronounce the death penalty on anyone committing theft, loitering, “looking dangerous”, etc. The rule of law?
    (2) increasingly it becomes clear that NRA advocates expect a growing number of people hurting from poverty, abuse, lack of jobs, and the like, to rise up in revolt. The well-off ones must have assault weapons to mow them down – the only answer they have to the problem of discontent. The more people start to think this way, the more the fear is apt to be self-fulfilling.
    (3) I know no one who has been saved by a gun in self-defense, but I lived in three different places where guns were used to kill the innocent – one by a husband against his wife by using the gun bought for her protection; one by a drunken husband against his wife, in front of their young son; one against an elderly couple by armed juveniles, breaking into a house where they thought the people were out, but when unexpectedly finding them in bed, shot and killed them both. One of the youngsters was said to have warned, “don’t move’, but the old man was deaf and sat up to see what was the disturbance. The gun used then may have been among the arsenal stolen from my next-door neighbor shortly before.

  • JonThomas

     Good sentiments, and well said…however, unfortunately, just a quick look at the campaign shows how much (or should I say…how little) American society wants to live in peace.)

  • JonThomas

     Who are “they?”

  • JonThomas

     I’m just gonna copy and paste my comment I made to someone else…

    You could have brought your AK or AR with you to the theater. Then
    you could have protected your family with a shoot out. Wait, if everyone

    brought there AR’s, AK’s, Glocks, and shpeals, maybe this young man who
    was obviously not in his right mind wouldn’t have done this tragic
    action.

    Ooops, wait…he wasn’t in his right mind…so he probably would have done it anyway.

    Ooooo…but then there could have been a really cool shoot out.
    Wooohooo… just like on the video games…or was it the war movie…no,
    I remember, it was the cop show on tv every minute.

    Sanity, sanity, wherefore art thou sanity?

  • JonThomas

     Yeah, but people could be armed to shoot those people with the poisonous sticks. :)

  • Anonymous

    The history of every nation on earth is built on terrible violence. From my Canadian perspective I listen to American discussions on NPR and PBS, most of which reveal Americans’ obsession with unregulated freedoms of every kind, for many different situations. Other countries are populated with violent people too, and produce violent films, but manage to moderate 
    in their societies some human greed and other base instincts through programs and policy. Americans seem to think that all regulation around the causes of violence, about the environment, health care, education etc, is counter to their constitution. This mania for unlimited freedom, a freedom which is not found in the natural world at all, leads to a kind of superiority or God complex. If everyone in the USA believes that violent acts and a violent society are solved by violently going after violence, then the man in black at the movie with the guns is just one logical part of that  idea.

  • JonThomas

     The two of you…duel at dawn.

  • JonThomas

     ”Take guns away” might be a stretch of what was said, but restrictions might be in order, don’tcha think?

  • Anonymous

    Not so far in European societies. Mind you, American/market society is doing wonders to correct that.

  • Anonymous

    All the other nations that outlaw guns are just figments of your imagination, Disney  cartoons, etc. etc. Nothing of value exists on this planet but the USA and its constitution.

  • JonThomas

     You’ll find that there is no “blanket” outlawing of guns.

    Guns are allowed in most nations around the world for hunting.

    The 2nd amendment is the section of the constitution that protects that which is taken for granted.

    Now, if you want to speak within the confines of what I actually said…”the problem rests in the INTERPRETATION and APPLICATION (of the 2nd amendment…”) then perhaps we may speak to the realities of how “all the other nations that outlaw guns are just figments of YOUR imagination.”

  • JonThomas

     Annie get your AK?

  • Patricia

    If the right to bear arms enables open rebellion against an unacceptable government – as was its original intent -  it totally ignores deviant behavior of individuals who are empowered to act upon their demons and kill for the sheer joy of killing (whatever that is).  Our government has become unacceptable in its acceptance of corporate lobbying and super pacs, but you don’t see the citizenry arming themselves and shooting politicians.  The establishment of the right to bear arms is archaic.  It’s purpose is defunct.  With each slaying: Colombine, Virginia, Giffords, and now Superman, the NRA and its supporters should be challenged with the fact that even carrying of firearms, on your person, would not have stopped these heinous tragedies.  Our clinging to guns, however, did enable each of these deviants to act and gun down other people at random.  People – anyone.  You just had to be present and your life would be taken.  Gone.

    Our society chooses what it wants to be.  The United States of America chooses to have the right to bear arms and as long as that continues, just like the terrorist in Bill Moyer’s essay confirms, if you want to get a gun and create mayhem or kill other human beings, you can secure a weapon in the USA – a firearm, an AK-47, an AR-15, an RPG, a rifle, a shotgun, a pistol, whatever.

    So why don’t we all get one of these and all tote guns so that whenever we go to a movie theater now, we can defend ourselves, just in case the need arrives.

    Let’s continue to allow the owning and use of firearms and the subsequent cost in the form of crime resolution (police forces, trials and attorney fees, incarceration costs, rehabilitation) and continue to underfund healthcare and education.  Each man and woman and child for themselves.  Despite what religion might try to convey, it’s each ‘man’ for himself.

  • JonThomas

     And, while we are speculating…

    Maybe those armed people would have shot innocents.

    Sorry, but speculation about this type of situation, in a tone that carries the weight of debate, is a mistake.

  • JonThomas

     Lol…careful, you may be accused of advocating a complete disarmament of the entire planet…now wouldn’t that be a shame?

  • Patricia

    Very well stated.  I totally agree.

  • JonThomas

     Too bad it was so easy for him to get the guns though. :(

  • JonThomas

     Might not be considered peaceful to call her a “nut job.”

    You’re working a cross purposes.

  • JonThomas

     And your logic assumes that continuing to flood the market is better than those items being reduced by attrition.

    Insane, or the temporarily insane individuals are indeed hindered by controls on dangerous products.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001389138515 Beth Green Lackey

    When I was a young girl our family went on picnics and shot guns, we also went bowling . I enjoy shooting guns. No I’m not an over lover of guns, but yes I do enjoy deer meat. But our right to have a gun in the US has always been before this country became a country. I am not saying that every person needs an AK47, don’t be silly.

    Just so you know I am not a nut job. I am a single mother of three SON’S who has, with the help of my brother, taught my children to respect gun’s and humanity so that they don’t become your nut job. My boys knew if they wanted a gun they have to be responsible or they didn’t get one. They went through and passed hunter safety course. I even joined my children in the class it, became a family event.

    Maybe the People with mental disorder’s need to be treated as a felon and be on the reject list so they can’t purchase a gun.  Stop labeling all gun owners as nut jobs.

    Our freedom is slowly getting taken away in the USA and none of you see that. The simple laws that do make sense, like wearing a seat belt, no smoking in public places, are two laws that I do agree with.  But it is still taking our freedom little by little.

    Do I need an AK-47 to hunt with? No not at all.. But the anti- gun people want to take them all!! I don’t want to give them all, that simple.

    But I will read up on the NRA people more :)

  • Abermudiansmith

    Could not agree more! So sad America.

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk/ Alan

    It is a myth that carrying guns protects you. In the vast majority of cases when someone strikes it is too sudden for you to respond. Less guns equals less potential for death. 

  • Cloakedknight

    Google “internet cafe robbery” and see a 71 year old man and his CCW handgun in action from last week.  These self-defense uses of guns  happen an estimated  1.75 MILLION times per year, according to the Justice Department.

  • Cloakedknight

    The right to self defense is a fundamental human right.  Gun control advocates do not believe in this  individual right. Their vision of America is one where private citizens are totally unarmed and subject to assault, rape, robbery, and murder with no chance to protect themselves, relying completely on   police to investigate and  clean up after-the-fact.   

    Gun bans are the policy of totalitarian nanny-states and are a prerequisite for tyranny.  With firearms in the hands of private citizens, ‘freedom’ is just a hollow word on paper, easily  ignored  by those in power.  

  • Anonymous

    You make some very good points; I use the word punishment in a very broad view.
    The initial punishment was to all Canadian taxpayers where the government of the day in 1993 passed the long gun registry law estimating the cost to be $2 million to the tax payer. By 2005 the cost overruns were in excess of $2 billion or 1000%.
    Above and beyond this taxpayer money anyone who wanted to own or to possess a long arm had to take additional gun courses and pay a regular and occuring fee for these licenses to the registry.
    Long rifle owners, hunters, farmers and millions of Canadians were liable to a criminal offense if they did not comply–this punishment was in both financial terms and possibly legal terms.
    Like you I grew up in a rural area; a 70 year old farmer friend of mine had an old rusted out 20 guage shotgun that was in an outside shed and hadn’been fired since the 1950′s. He never did register it but he was breaking a criminal law…I don’t think he ever shot anything in his life.
    My point here is that we had and now we have again with the cancellation of the registry a more than sufficient set of laws in buying or aquiring a long gun with many important safety aspects and common sense as the rule of thumb. These existing laws have been around over the past 50-70 years.
    The draconian law of 1993 was politically motivated and did not make any Canadian safer but piled on the costs and bureaucracy and threatened law abiding citizens.
    Saying all this as a Canadian I am glad we have no NRA (that’s all I’ll say about them).

    Sorry for being so long winded but below please puruse a few statements of Canadians in authority talking about the waste that the Long Gun Registry imparted on Canadians:

    1)      However, the Auditor General’s report found that the
    program does not collect data to analyze the effectiveness of the gun registry
    in meeting its stated goal of improving public safety. The report states:

    The performance report focuses on
    activities such as issuing licenses and registering firearms. The Centre does
    not show how these activities help minimize risks to public safety with
    evidence-based outcomes such as reduced deaths, injuries and threats from
    firearms.[11]

    2)      Former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian
    Fantino opposed the gun registry, stating in a press release in 2003:

    We
    have an ongoing gun crisis including firearms-related homicides lately in
    Toronto, and a law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor
    helped us solve any of them. None of the guns we know to have been used were
    registered, although we believe that more than half of them were smuggled into
    Canada from the United States. The firearms registry is long on philosophy and
    short on practical results considering the money could be more effectively used
    for security against terrorism as well as a host of other public safety
    initiatives.”[12]

    A survey in August 2010
    revealed that 72 percent of Canadians believe the long-gun registry has done
    nothing to prevent crime.[20]
    Organizations like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation have
    circulated petitions to end the registry and have collected tens of thousands
    of signatures supporting the elimination oof the registry.[21][22]

  • Cloakedknight

    TYPO: “without firearms in the hands of citizens”

  • JonThomas

    “1. 75 MILLION times per year…???”

    I have to ask, as that seems WAY too exaggerated… where can I find that statistic?

  • Cloakedknight

    So then Alan, how do you explain the 1.75 million estimated uses of guns in self-defense every year in the USA, based on DOJ statistics?   And why have murder, rape, and assault rates steadily DROPPED after the passage of laws allowing concealed carry handguns in ?  Why is it that anti-gun opinions almost never seem to be in accordance with reality and facts?

  • Cloakedknight
  • JonThomas

    Making the pure assumption, that the crimes you cite are dropping because of laws allowing concealed handguns, is false reasoning .

  • Cloakedknight

    Well, I just posted a link and it was deleted.  The data comes from 15 different surveys, the best of which are from the Department of Justice, which sponsored a survey titled, ‘Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearm’. They arrived at 1.5 million uses per year.  Another study by professor Gary Kleck used a much larger survey group and arrived at a 2 million figure. The 1.75 million is the average of these two. The previous 13 surveys which he found some flaws in, arrived at figures between 800,000 and 2.5 million.

  • JonThomas

     I’m sorry, I should have been more clear in my question.

    The site you seem to link to looks like an interest group…would you please provide the direct DOJ statistic?

    If we don’t check our facts, and just parrot unconfirmed statistics, there may be egg, and a bunch of cleaning up involved.

    Not that a little egg in the face is necessarily a bad thing mind you, it’s just the whole salmonella thing and all.

  • Cloakedknight

    Actually, it’s not. Regardless of other factors you might try to conjure up to obfuscate the obvious association, the most salient point is more legal guns are on the streets and yet violent crime rates have declined.  This pretty well debunks the more guns=more crime argument. In truth, the inverse has proven true, and in consistently predictable chronological  fashion as these laws have passed in different times and different states. 

  • Roc1

    Part of the responsibility for this tragedy lies with the NRA and the politicians who enact (or disable) gun control measures – Colorado having one of the lowest rankings on the Brady scale is a classic example – a psychopath has a much easier time obtaining weapons and ammo in Colorado than in many other states, but as a nation we are consistenlty exposed to massacres in places like Arizona and Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Virginia. When will the citizens of those states wake up? At least restrict access to ammo if you cant/wont control access to guns. You can say that the shooter was a psycho all you want, but that’s besides the point – if he didnt have easy access to guns, it’s much more likely that all the innocent people in the theatre wouldn’t have died last night.

  • Roc1

    Attitudes like yours help to ensure that pychos like this shooter easily gain access to guns and ammo, killing innocent people for no good reason. But the NRA’s days are numbered, as are the gun-lobby bribed politicians who maintain the most totally ineffective gun policy in the world by hiding behind a total misrepresentation of the 2nd Amendment.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/20/james-holmes-ar-15-semi-automatic

  • Cloakedknight

    Only in the web do posters ignore any published reference without a direct link. Really, don’t be lazy.   But anyway, here it is: 

    http://www.nij.gov/pubs-sum/165476.htm

  • JonThomas

     I’ll leave off after this comment to avoid the he said/he said thing, but actually it is…

    If you read what I said closely, you’ll see I said..”the PURE assumption…”

    There may be hundreds of factors that contributed to the decline those crime rates.

    When you make such unsubstantiated statements you not only do a disservice to the audience, but you diminish your own  credibility, injure the side you take, and drive a very important debate down into the realm of irrationality.

    There are lives at stake, please try to keep your mind open. Passion for a belief is good, but fervor,unrestrained, leads to unreasonableness.

  • Cloakedknight

    Actually, that link is to a NIJ research brief done  3 years later about the survey, which attempts to caste doubt on it’s validity (for political reasons presumably).  It does contain the key results of the original survey data.

  • Cloakedknight

    How has restricting access to hardcore drugs worked out for you?  There are markets for everything that is banned/illegal.  Criminals intent on murder will find the guns & ammo they want ( in some cases from a Fast & Furious gun walk operation, courtesy of the current administration).   You can do little to prevent the existence of armed criminals. The only question is whether you will  disarm their future victims, leaving them helpless like the people in that theatre. 

  • Cvandijk1

    Um… What?

  • Cvandijk1

    There are an average of 20 mass shootings per year in the United Staates.

  • Cloakedknight

    Roc1, attitudes like yours ensure that  people at the sight of future mass killing attempts will be helpless and unarmed victims, instead of people with a fighting chance .  Prohibition only works on the law-abiding.  

    If only that armed 71 year old man from the Florida internet cafe last week had been in the front row of that Colorado theatre and put a few rounds in the shooters face, a lot of lives might have been saved.  But guns were not permitted in the theatre, so he wouldn’t have had his.Ineffective gun policy?  Thanks to  concealed carry laws being passed in 38 states, violent crime rates are DECLINING, even as they are steadily rising in European countries with much stricter gun laws and high rates of third world immigration.Just look at what is happening in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia.  The facts are on our side. Enjoy your hollow nanny-state ideology frpm the UK, the land of police cameras on every street. Double-Plus Good, that.

  • Cvandijk1

    The state of Colorado has no registry, no waiting period, no permit necessary for any gun, including semi-automatic assault rifles like the AR-15 used the other night. He had four guns, that’s it. An assault rifle, a shotgun, and two hand guns. They would not have raised an eyebrow at these sales in the United States. Since the NRA managed to do away with the Brady Bill Assault Weapons Ban, shootings have risen and in particular with weapons, now legal, like the AR-15, previously only available to military personnel.

  • JonThomas

     Sorry, but I have to say whoops…only on the web can a link be posted at all.

    Besides that, even face to face I’m going to ask that you give me the direct source.

    Now, that said…

    Thank you for providing the link to the DOJ report. If you read the report itself (especially pages 8-11,) you will see why I asked for the direct link, and why I rejected the advocacy group’s information. On page 9, this report calls your numbers… “absurd.”

  • Upnorthgramma

    Thank you Mr Moyer. So few people speak the truth, even though they know it. I continue to hope that our political will is strong enough to abolish this ridiculous idea of a god given right to be armed. 

  • Cvandijk1

    The police at investigating whether return fire injured some of the 71 civilians shot. We know there were people carrying that evening. The authorities are investigating. Sure did a lot of good. Just like the Gabby Giffords shooting when an armed civilian tried to take out the shooter and almost shot an named civilian and then an off duty cop by mistake, a mistake he admitted to and said, “Thank God I thought twice about shooting.”

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk/ Alan

    If carrying guns offers protection then why has the United States such high figures for violent crimes. Compare with the likes of the UK or most of Europe.

    As for being shot, I speak from experience, it happens so fast you don’t have time to respond and if you did you would be running around in shock in control of a lethal weapon. Seldom a good combination.

  • Revere

    Society needs to know when extreme video gamers switch gears and start stockpiling assault weapons. see: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/videogame/top-10-most-violent-video-games.html

    A fund set up like a lottery, to allows gun dealers or sceptical friends to enter, by naming these buyers onto a database. The trick for the agency would be to focus on the moment their lives suffer a shock, where annihilation seems possible, much like “person of interest.

    Soon, corporations will claim “their right” to bear arms and “their” drones will be flying above us and “they” aren’t responsible under our Laws…

  • latow

    So, why isn’t England a totalitarian state if the idea of keeping guns out of the hands of civilians is the basis for the theory? They simply had 41 gun deaths in 2010, while Time Magazine reported 
    31,224 gun deaths in the US in the same year. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m more interested in the reason nobody is demanding to know how he got into that emergency exit…..it wasn’t by himself….no way….I’m anti prohibition period, btw…. this America the Contrived in the information age is becoming massively insulting ….agenda’s shuffled….doesn’t matter which side… in a symbiotic shell game to keep the focus off the facts…I can’t believe it still works …. why anyone needs assault rifles and body armor is beyond me, tho…throw up red flags when average Joe buys this stuff…but bans?…legislating personal choices and behavior doesn’t work….open/honest dialogue does….and now that you all know we’re screwed….carry on

  • JonThomas

     Actually, IF the last report I read was correct, he entered the theater just like every other customer, by buying a ticket. He then went out the emergency door, propped it open, went and got dressed, then returned through that same door.

    But that was according to a news article. Sorry that I can’t confirm. I have read articles from situations I was directly involved in and they contained lies that served propaganda purposes.

    I just wanted to add some clarification to your thought

    By the way.. the article I read was on yahoo, but there have been probably a hundred of them on yahoo alone since yesterday.

  • Lsubonnie

    Over 60 million legal gun owners that didn’t shoot anyone yesterday and who don’t ever use their guns to kill people would agree with you that “common sense” should rule. Try practicing it before you condemn legal gun owners and trash the 14th amendment?

  • Ck

    My understanding is that the Gunman bought a ticket to the show.  Then propped the exit door open and re-entered all equipped.  Who really knows, and the entrance is not the problem in my opinion, it’s having all the equipment to do the harm.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741410411 Peter Lance

    Are you referring to Dunblane? Well, masscres like this do not happend here every week either and, outside the context of a few of these massacres, AK-47s and AR-15s are generally not used for crime. Fact. The most guns commonly used in everyday crime are far more prosaic.

  • Reyrev

    countries that out law guns have lower murder rates!! unles they are able to buy guns from the U,S ,  mexico comes to mind , all the current cartel violence in mexico was made possible by U,S gun dealers…. out law guns…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741410411 Peter Lance

    Sorry, meant to write “The guns most commonly used…” Stupid smart phone.

  • Martin Fass

    Thank you.  I have written to the President, because the rhetoric of “we will be there for them” in his Weekly Message today is an abomination if he does not now make Gun Control and strict regulation of the sale of ammunition a major issue in this campaign and onwards.

    I have no way not to perceive so many of the rich and powerful in our country as people (virtually all men, I reckon) with hands dripping blood.  And I am struggling to maintain some hope for us.

  • Arianna Doxis

    The only people who need guns are wild animal hunters and armed  guards. Why should the average terrorist or paranoid be able to buy assault weapons? I am afraid our politicians are bought by the NRA , so shooting will become our principle means of population control. Smart tourists, stay away.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, I read that…nobody sitting around him saw him leave?….not one witness testimony?…ehhh, screw it…thank you two for answering me

  • FarmladyPA

    The NRA should be proud of its record, working so hard to insure that even demented psychopaths can obtain guns so they can shoot unarmed children like fish in a barrel.

    Good work NRA!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741410411 Peter Lance

    Dude, the UK is not as free a state as we are. Period. It is an intrusive soft paternalist state that has shown its teeth when it feels it needs to (eg British policies in Northern Ireland during the “Troubles” went way, way, way beyond the Patriot Act and would never have passed constitutional muster in the US). Part of the reason the founding fathers put the 2nd and others amendments and subarticles in was the erosion of traditional English rights from the Tudors onwards (a significant proportion of our constitution could be called a “Henry VIII” clause). And the the absolute guarantees on liberties are really no better now. Speech, for instance, is no where near as free from a civil or criminal standpoint in the UK today.
     

  • BarbaraA

    I’m not a historian but I’ve read quite a lot. One of the things American colonists hated about the British was their standing armies. The original purpose of the second amendment had nothing to do with citizens’ rebelling against the government. What a paranoid thought!!! It had to do with public order and national defense:  our founders did not envision a large United States standing army but in effect applauded state militia–defined in American Heritage as “A citizen army as distinct from professional soldiers”–to maintain order and aid in national defense as need arose. That’s why the second amendment refers specifically to the need for militia, which certainly does not correspond to the “need” for a concealed weapon in every purse and trouser pocket. I frankly can’t imagine how an article in the Constitution could deal with the problem of deviants and obviously our present governments, state and national, can’t either. But making it harder for them to acquire lethal weapons–assault weapons of all things–conceivably could cut down on tragedies like Columbine and Aurora. The assassinations of four American presidents seem to prove that there will always  be tragedies, but how would a nice citizen who  happened to be carrying a gun have prevented them? BarbaraA

  • BMA

    A provocative suggestion. How many militia are there out there anyway nowadays. But probably citizens should have some right to arms–there’s Patricia up above who thinks we should have arms for rebelling against the government; rebellions in the Mideast have shown that there’s an argument for that. But it’s extreme, and what seems wrong now are the NRA and its likes, who seem frighteningly in charge.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Moyers scores a 10 again! increasingly the inmates are running the asylum. for proof, look no further than lapierre, bachman, palin,  karl rove and their ilk.

  • Anonymous

     actually there are more guns per capita in canada than in the (dis)united states; and canada’s murder rate is roughly one-third of ours.  and by the wya, the don’t have capital punishment either. we are an incredibly angry people; what i don’t understand is what we’re so angry about…frustrated yes. frustrated people take to the streets in “occupy” demonstrations and elect representatives who make sense.  angry people shoot strangers.

  • Anonymous

     ”hitman”?  really?

  • Julie Be Good

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for blaming an Inanimate Object for the problems we face today.  

    Thank you for saying in essence to fear the evil gun.
    I say you are wrong, dead wrong, in saying these things.
    Yes it is a hard thing to say in the face of such recent tragedy.  
    But don’t for a second blame the inanimate object, the guns, on what happened early Friday last.  Not For One Second.
    Yes the killer had an assault rifle, but it could just as well have been any number of guns with multiple rounds.
    And yes, we really need to put the assault rifles back on the banned list.  There’s no reason for the average non-military person to have them.What you forgot to address, what people generally do forget to address until tragedies like this happen, is the overwhelming and underfunded need for mental health care in this country.
    How many more people need to die due to mental imbalance before we finally put some funding back into mental health care?
    07/20/2012 is only going to be one date among many tragic dates until we do two things.We need to remove assault rifles from the realm of public access.We need to increase ease of access to and support for mental health.

  • JonThomas

     That’s the second time this morning I’ve read that same innocuous sounding euphemism (Inanimate Object) for something, dirt cheap (relatively speaking for what it can do,) what’s purpose is to instantly,  with no effort or contemplation at all, snuff the life out of another precious human being.

    What an incredible failing of language, and the people who use it, to reduce one of the most unbelievably evil inventive machinations of man down to an innocent sounding, almost dismissible bit of minutia.

  • Anonymous

    Drunk drivers have dropped in numbers since the implementation of DWUI laws with heavy consequences to the offenders.  That took a national movement of people who lost their loved ones to drunk drives.

    And thanks be to God that there where no gun toting vigilantes in the theater.  The death rate could have exponentially exploded,  since the gunman was fully protected in body armor. Sounds like your IQ fixed at 5o.
    Gun toting fools are the real domestic terrorists in our country.

  • Anonymous

    …Clearly your ability to comprehend what you hear is dramatically limited and impaired.  It may be due to the thick ideological filter that blocks the passage of the bulk of information that your senses pick up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Z2KAEXJSST27IB4N2PLMXT3RM bk_inAZ

    I live in AZ.  People here are not interested in waking up as long as their guns and political operators like Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce, et. al. fuel their lucid dreams of superiority and omnipotence.

  • http://twitter.com/Laurenbdavis Lauren B. Davis

    Keep talking, Mr. Moyers.  Many of us are listening.  

  • Mike

     

      Mr. Bill Moyers is spewing liberal propaganda and fraud. Please
    get your facts correct. An AR-15 is nothing like an AK-47. Where did Mr. Moyers
    get his facts on the deaths of people dying from their own firearms on the
    Oregon Trail? His opinion on the NRA or other organizations being scorpion like
    is HIS opinion and not fact. IF any of what Mr. Moyers said is factual, please
    reference the resources that he used.  This entire commentary is fraudulent.

      Blaming the NRA or “Politicians that covet guns” as the
    reason evil people use guns to hurt and kill others is foolish and falsely
    casts blame on those that are not at fault. That is the same as blaming auto manufacturing
    or auto insurance companies like GM or AAA for people being hit by cars or people
    being injured or getting killed in car accidents. With that kind logic being
    used, we should also blame Liquor stores or restaurants that serve alcohol
    because people drink too much and become alcoholics. Why not also blame farmers
    and McDonald s because most Americans are overweight which causes health
    problems that result in death because they ate too much. Guns, cars and food don’t
    kill people. People kill people. There are good people and there are bad
    people. Just like day and night. People use guns, cars and food to kill, not
    only themselves but unfortunately others. Bad people are to blame. People are
    always to blame when a person takes a life no matter if they use a gun, knife,
    car or something else.

    Like most psychopaths, this killer showed signs that he was
    dangerous and had problems. Those warning signs have not yet been made public
    but they will come out. The reason that nothing was done to get this person the
    mental health help that he needed is because to many people in the United
    States are more worried about being 
    politically correct than they are doing the right thing. More than one
    person saw signs of this man being dangerous yet, nothing was said. This man’s
    mother knew right away when the police contacted her that he had committed this
    massacre. She told the police when they contacted her “yes, you have the right
    guy”. She knew that he had problems and did nothing about it. Did she not want
    her son to turn on her? Was she afraid of what he would do? Someone knew this man
    is dangerous. Neither the NRA nor “Politicians that covet guns”, had any idea that
    James Holmes was mentally unstable or would kill, let alone commit this
    horrendous massacre.

      We should blame the people that deserve to be blamed for
    this tragedy. That is James Holmes and all of the politically correct people
    that knew he had a problem and did nothing to get him the help that they knew
    he needed. Stop blaming the people and organizations that stand up for and
    protect Americans rights. Because a person doesn’t like or believe that people
    should own or use guns, is not reason to cast blame where it doesn’t belong.

      At this time of sorrow and loss, instead of casting blame,
    why don’t all Americans show our support and stand behind our fellow Americans.
    This is not the correct time for democrats, republicans or any other political
    party to attempt to try and gain traction or points for their political
    ideology.  Allow our courts and our
    justice system to do its job and allow all Americans this time to morn.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Z2KAEXJSST27IB4N2PLMXT3RM bk_inAZ

    108,000 DGUs (Defensive Gun Uses) are reported as a reliable figure there. That’s quite different than 1.75 million.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Z2KAEXJSST27IB4N2PLMXT3RM bk_inAZ

    108,000 DGUs (Defensive Gun Uses) are reported as a reliable figure in that report. That’s quite different than 1.75 million.

  • right thinker

     An AR-15 is nothing like an AK-47?  Are you serious?  They are both assault rifles that were designed with one primary purpose:  to kill human beings.  And yes, let’s allow the courts and the justice system to incapacitate one person at a time after they kill a dozen people.  In any other area of life that would be considered an insane exchange, but when it comes to gun owners getting their panties in a wad over assault weapons, it’s considered worth the cost. 

    And the reason this guy did not get help is because we keep electing idiotic politicians who run on the mantra “No new taxes.”  And that means cuts in services.  The mental health services is this country are OUTRAGEOUSLY underfunded. 

    Instead of paying taxes, the “not my brother’s keeper” crowd keeps saying private charities should take care of everything.  Yeah, right.  All these righteous churches keep building their “family life centers” (aka gymnasiums) to benefit their members in the upper middle class part of town and pee in their pants when someone from the poor section of town wants to come to their church.

  • JonThomas

     This is exactly the time.

    I am willing to go out on a limb to say that I’m sure you were willing to go to war on terror after 911.

    Or do you think Bush should have just shut up and not acted, or over-reacted, blaming even Iraq?

    I will guess you own guns, or perhaps you defend other people’s right to use guns…either way, do you keep your guns locked up?

    Do you restrict fire arm use from children who may not be responsible enough to use guns?

    Why not let your kids just go down to the Gun Show and buy assault weapons?

    The most passionate, RESPONSIBLE defender of gun rights believes in restrictions. Only irresponsible people and groups will block restrictions!!

    Groups like the NRA defend unfettered, immediate access to many different types of fire arm style weapons.

    It does seem the accused person suffers from some sort of reasoning difficulty. If this is so, then the NRA deserves even more blame!!!

    This is exactly the reason we do want restrictions and hindrances from people having easy access to fire arms!!

    Restrictions work! A person who would act irrationally should not have the “right” to a fire arm!!

    Is that “liberal” enough for you?

  • Ginny_in_CO

     Under the weather conditions hunting is often done,  the glasses fog, hands slip, or the wind gusts, and the shot hits a leg. A mag with 5 bullets allows the hunter to follow the first shot immediately with one that drops the animal. Without that feature, how many times will animals escape to wander with the wound, eluding the hunter’s chase, until they die? 

    Was it a moose, bear? Single shot went into the chest, the 800 + lb adrenalin charged animal is coming at you, fast, furious. I want you to have those extra shots.

    No, I don’t hunt in CO. I spent 14 years in AK getting the kind of experience you rarely find in the lower 48.

    Increasing training requirements would definitely help the accidental and careless deaths for many gun owners, family and friends. Biennial recertification for Advanced Cardiac Life Support – being able to participate and run codes- is how those of us in emergency and critical care jobs maintain proficiency under stress to do the job fast and smart.

    The training standards,  limits on magazines larger than 10 bullets, assault weapons, liability insurance, and other sensible controls need to be discussed legislated and voted on over the din of NRA rants.

    There is a much bigger problem which is mental health care in America. Personally it doesn’t matter if Holmes has a psych diagnosis. We already have far too much evidence of the massacre that plays out daily in the highest death stat of gun violence. Suicide.

    Adequate, accessible mental health care  would also address and decrease suicide by rope, pills, bridges, illegal drugs, carbon monoxide, knives and cops.

    For those individuals with psych disorders who kill individually, serially, or in mass venues; it should also help decrease the numbers and frequency of these tragedies. Far better than burying our heads in NRA piles of manure.

  • Shelagh

    Mr. Moyers – good for you.  Excellent commentary!

  • Kenegbert3rd

     Words, words, words, Mike.  I’ll take them over bullets, though.  Trouble is, in America the bullets outnumber the words, don’t they;  if there’s 300 million guns in the USA, how many bullets are there?  I’ll defend your right to own a gun if you feel you must have one (none for me, thanks), but maybe you would prefer an American society in which you felt safe enough to leave it home.  Just suggesting!

  • Caring

    Well said.  I don’t care what kind of gun it is it will kill.  The NRA is a crime against man.

  • Non-Troll

    @ Observer & Mike. If you actually listened, you’d know that he said AK-47 “like” assault weapon–not that it was one. It’s a basic simile for those of us (probably most viewers) not familiar with the AR-15. Since most people have some idea of how an AK-47 works, and since the two weapons are similar (both gas-operated, magazine-loaded semi-automatic assault rifles), the comparison is apt. The tired comparison, on the hand, of banning cars and alcohol because people die, is NOT APT. Semi-automatic rifles and handguns are designed with the sole purpose of KILLING PEOPLE. Cars and alcohol have other functions and when people die it is an unfortunate by-product. You should probably do your own research before you accuse someone of misusing “FACTS.” According to the NCHS and the NSC, since 1933 when the US started keeping records (and the year before BM was born), 1.4 million people have died as a result from domestic gun violence (this is includes suicides, homicide, and accidents). The total number of US casualties of war including BOTH combat deaths and non-combat disease-related deaths from every war, big or small, since the Revolutionary War is 1,343,812. The US has 10 times as many gun-related deaths every year compared to every other advanced-industrialized nation. We are not “naturally” more homicidal. The lax gun laws and gun culture in this country are the problem and the NRA and GOA play major roles on both fronts. Bill Moyers is an incredibly respected journalist known for his
    moderation, honesty, and restraint. The man knows his history and knows
    how to do genuine fact-checking. It seems to me the only real sheep here are the ones throwing accusations around without having actually listened to what he said (hearing what you want to hear, it seems) and without having done any legitimate research. The real FACTS speak for themselves.

  • Ryan Bauer

    True, criminals will have access to a gun black market. But this kid was no criminal and that would have made it much more difficult for him to obtain such weapons. However, while I think stricter control is needed, we really need to focus more on the root cause of criminality rather than gun control. There are other countries that have relatively high rates of gun ownership but much less violence per capita than we do. What are the root causes of this in our country and how can we remedy?

  • Anonymous

    It’s not that I’m against guns, but I’m certainly against the American “Attitude” towards guns.  Here’s my take on the subject: http://www.halfbakedlunatic.com/post/2011/06/09/Americans-and-their-Guns.aspx

  • Ryan Bauer

    This is NRA propaganda, which boils down to the idea that citizens with small arms could actually “protect their freedoms” against a well-armed military like ours. Unless you’re stockpiling anti-tank missiles and laser-guided smart bombs in your garage, you wouldn’t stand much of a chance against our military. If the evil “government” wanted to, they could run rough-shod over every citizen with an M16A2. However, this is just paranoia. We must use the representative democratic system that our military fights to protect to ensure tyranny doesn’t rear its ugly head.

  • jerry

     Did I say tighter gun control? No. I said ban them altogether. Make guns illegal with a 10 year sentence for anyone caught with one. That would eventually stop this insanity. It would take a couple of decades to unwind the damage done by terrorist organizations like the NRA but it would stop guns once and for all. Why am I writing to a gun rights advocate? You and your kind don’t listen. I am wasting my time.
     

  • jerry

     Totally correct. The NRA is a terrorist organization. Nothing more.

  • jerry

     300 million+ people in the USA did not molest children so does that mean we should forget about the ones who did molest children.

  • Phyllis

    Thank you speaking out against the NRA. I wish you would run for president.

  • Davidthewriter

    This is the violence you see. Much of the violence in this world goes unseen.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EX7AZEEN5ZWSFBOOIUYYVEX7GA Mojakwamoj

    How convenient. In a state where it’s quite difficult to obtain a handgun much less an assault rifle you have a fellow who has obtained lots of guns and lots of explosives as well. There is no way in hell you make those type of purchases without one of the many agencies noticing something. We have the president backing the UN’s movement to ban gun ownership all over the world. Wake up Folks, if you can’t arm yourself then you can’t defend your self when the tyrants come to your home and smash you in your head and smack your wife to the floor. Smells like Dallas, Texas and another scapegoat.

  • http://twitter.com/baptox P. Joan Bartos

     The killer who perpetrated this rampage was a “legal gun owner” many times over. Your either/or argument doesn’t work anymore. The emperor has no clothes but he’s fulled loaded with guns,ammo,propaganda,hubris, and profits.

  • Fourlegsrgood

    I’m sorry, but want tyrants are you expecting and why? 

  • Kim

    Thank you Bill Moyers

  • Awctwo

    Likewise

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALPG5G2D22XESJZIH5HKEWQP6E Tony

    Yes…people kill people 0 and most of them use a gun as it detaches them from the personal contact as has been gorified for many years.

    An AR-15 is an assault rifle and not meant for hunting – it is meant for killing other people. The mod to make it a fully functioning automatic weapon can be done in about 5 minutes. We MUST re-instate the ban of ALL assault rifles and extended clips, stop the sale of ammunition on the Internet, limit the number of rounds purchased, and beef up the application/investigation process for gun ownership. It is proven, beyond any doubt, that the countries with the strictest gun laws and restrictions have much fewer killings and a much lower crime rate per capita.

    To say you need a gun for your personal defense is BS as you very obviously don’t have a clue about using a gun in the first place; by the time you asses you really need it for your protection and then try to take it out, you are already dead. That 3-5 seconds gives away your intentions and allows your attacker to shoot you first while you fumble around getting out your piece and then taking aim. Your attacker already has you at a great disadvantage. Ever wonder why the cops have their guns out at the ready when they storm into a building or a crime scene?  They know seconds are valuable when facing a person who has his gun already out and probably aimed at you.

  • Jhazlett1949

    Two things Mike:

    1. Moyers’ facts about the Oregon Trail appear to have come from the Oregon-California Trails Association.  They say the following about deaths on the trail:

    According to Peter D. Olch, being runover by wagon wheels was the most frequent cause of injury/death. With some frequency, both children and adults apparently slipped while getting out of a wagon and fell beneath the wheels. Firearm accidents were the second leading cause of emigrant injury/death, and the third major source was stampeding livestock. Other causes of injury/death include attacks by emigrants on other emigrants, lightning, gunpowder explosion, and suicide. ["Treading the Elephant's Tail: Medical Problems on the Overland Trails." Overland Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, 1988. Pp. 25-31]

    2.  You appear to think that the mental health facilities in the US would be able to handle people like the alleged Colorado shooter, but precisely the same politicians who uphold the NRA’s irrational belief in the sacred nature of a man’s relationship with his guns have been gutting funding for mental health care in this country for the past four decades, beginning with Ronald Reagan.  Here in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal is in the process of closing down most of the mental health facilities run by the state, at the same time that he’s courting the NRA and its money.

  • Decowboy

    Look closely at the transcript. You will see AK-47 assault rifle NOT an AK-47 “like”

  • Warblingbird

    NOT ENOUGH good people own and use guns.

  • Decowboy

    Obviously you are one of those who do not followup on what you have incorrectly heard. Moyers’ transcript and video does NOT say AK-15 but AK-47. Reading your comment reveals thaat you believe, like so many people do, you listen only to what you believe and as a result are blind to facts. 

  • Decowboy

    Obviously a great number of these comments have been posted by NRA members. Keep this in mind as you read.

  • Anonymous

    1Techuser, this is why they always have the transcript available. Little more work to read that sit back and listen as you consider a response. Obviously you did not read the transcript.

  • Siouxgilber

     You’re delusional

  • Jellystone

    I’m glad you prefaced that as comedy; otherwise, by those standards our right to free speech would not extend to radio, tv, phone, email, and/or the internet.

  • shumphreys

    How many more presidents will have to offer condolences and prayers before he/she is willing to stand up and call for a serious discussion about the problems in our country with violence and guns?

  • JonThomas

    As many who are afraid of the NRA and their illogical, irresponsible, intransigent positions on reasonable firearm restrictions.

  • Stephanie Mann

    Controlling guns is not a solution to a complex problem. I will post on my facebook.com/stephanie.mann and blog tomorrow, “The Perfect Storm for Violence.” Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant for 35 years. http://www.safekidsnow.blogspot.com

  • rlegolf – retired citizen

    I would not venture to add my two cents to these comments except that I have read through a good many of them and do not find one that refers to the major contributions of the gun manufacturers to funding the NRA. The gun makers took a lesson from the cigarette wars and pushed through Congress a few years ago a law exempting gun makers from any liability involving the use of their products. That our supine, corrupted law-makers regularly treat gun related legislation like political third rails should not surprise anyone. A loud militant minority will always scare the pants off venal legislators.

  • Reggie

    If only we could all take this on board and hang onto it for dear life (and I do mean life), maybe just maybe
    things might begin to change. Or perhaps that’s only
    fantasy.

  • Jerry C

    LOL! You don’t consider him to be a criminal? You’re joking, I hope. What next, you’re going to say that if there were no banks, there would be no innocent kids turned into gun wielding thugs with the intention of robbing a bank? :ox

  • Reader

    Apparently you can’t read either. it does say “AK-47 type weapon ” in the full transcript! Little more education might be in order,

  • alabamawildflower

    Thank you again, Mr. Moyers.

  • Anonymous

    @Mojakwamjo. I smell something but it’s not Dallas. Smells like…nuts!

  • Michael Ken

    I am a big Bill Moyers fan and will continue to be..but whoever wrote this piece should be fired. Without pushing for either side of the argument, the presentation is manipulative at best and clouds several issues, mis-linking several causes and effects (and facts). Bill, you are a master of clarity, of reason, of not confusing humanity with our politic. Very disappointing to see an essay that pushes one way on a topic that merits real discussion and deeper contemplation from both sides. This is a heated discussion in our country…might that not be a clue that the real answer lies neither here nor there and that a new perspective must be found through better thinking? More honest thinking. Real life thinking. Leave the gimmickry to others and bring your talents to the table. I would have rather seen you do an essay on finding a solution…complainers do so little to help…especially when they point fingers and make problems seem more simple than they are. We are a complicated being. And a new paradigm shift is needed. I’m not, by the way, far away from your sentiments that changes need to occur, but only that you did nothing to address a solution. I am an American. I am not the NRA, so please don’t confuse Americans as America’s politics. We are human beings in need of answers that address our human strengths and weaknesses.

  • Greg

    Thank you Mr. Moyer. At a time when the rest of the world thinks of the US as some backward nation filled with gun loving, murderous NRA types, you allow us to remember that there are many millions of good Americans that any sane person would be happy to call a friend.

    I also thank you for your courage to speak out in this dangerous period of American history. I fear that the US is being taken on a long route into a Taliban like place full of violence and hate, but this time with another group of hateful hypocrites spewing the Bible and the NRA theme as they destroy the country they suggest they love.

  • Greg

    I have a musket, a hand me down from my father. I would say it makes a much better club than firearm and I wouldn’t take a chance on using it as such. I do not own any modern firearms although I have no problem with huntinig or hunting rifles.

    If all the gun nuts could get easitly was a musket, then most problems with guns would be gradually disappear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/govarubio Govita Rubio

    amen

  • JonThomas

    I liked this piece, even if a lot of people heard what they wanted to hear lol.

    What issues do you see as being clouded? You didn’t say.

    What would be wrong with ‘pushing one way?’

    I heard Mr. Moyers’ give his opinion, that gun violence is too common. That the NRA defends the ‘all too easy’ access to guns. That, when the law allows for, and protects unfettered access to fire arms, then why should we be surprised when atrocities like what happened in Colorado occur??

    That was a sampling of Mr. Moyers’ opinions, they were very clear, reasonable, and not confusing in the least…what’s yours?

  • http://twitter.com/arabylilac arabylilac

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, you have always written and spoken eloquently to us in these moments of tragedy. I wish more people learned the lessons. You are right.

  • P

    I’m not for a “gun ban”, and I think that is rhetoric created by the NRA to scare the fearful in this country to the gun store. No one is ever going to ban guns. Nobody. However; something must be done to minimize the damage being done DAILY in this country. The argument that “if you ban gun ownership, then only criminals will have guns” is a weak one. A good majority of firearms are bought legally by law abiding citizens. It’s what they do in the heat of the moment and because they don’t respect the weapon that makes them criminals. Like Bill said, “we are inept”. We have lost all common sense and reason. We don’t settle our arguments with words because that is too difficult. The way to settle an argument now and permanently is with a gun. Common sense dictates that assault rifles have no purpose in the home of any citizen. Common sense dictates being able to purchase 100′s or 1000′s of rounds of ammo on the internet should not be considered a “right”. Back before the election of 2008, if you scanned Facebook postings the rhetoric then was “If you vote Obama he will take away your guns!” Not one new gun restriction has been put in place in 3 years. Now the rhetoric from LaPierre is that it was a well thought out ruse and Obama is just waiting to be re-elected and THEN he will take away all of your guns. The days after the Colorado shooting, gun sales soared. WHY? Why are the people in this country so fearful and reactive?? How many of those people are properly trained to defend themselves with that weapon? I assert that many who conceal carry would not have the presence of mind to engage their weapon if need be. Bill Moyers is right, whether your long held belief system allows you to understand that or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mel-Haun-Sr/1749116655 Mel Haun Sr

    Good Job Bill, but the timing is atrocious. No politician wants to go into an election facing off with the NRA nuts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mel-Haun-Sr/1749116655 Mel Haun Sr

    ” The NRA is a terrorist organization” Maybe a bit harsh….or not! Maybe I have rose colored glasses, but I don’t remember it always being that way. Of course I dropped my membership in the 70′s. When they appeared to me to being going off the rails. Almost modest compared to now. There was a silly discussion about shotguns if I remember correctly and some said..if you give an inch, we Will lose our guns.

  • Rosa Bloom

    Thank you Bill Moyers for this.It was SO good to hear that a public person like you speak up with such powerful words with no holding back. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    For every spouse gunned down in an act of passion where a gun happened to be nearby, for every cop killed in the line of duty, for every child whose life is accidentally and prematurely ended when their playmate discovers Daddy’s gun in the closet, for every bystander who happens to get in the way of a drive by shooting or is caught in the wrong place when gang members decide to whip out their substitute penii, for all those gangstas themselves who tragically find their end in the culture of gun violence, their blood is on the hands of the NRA. Just as sure as James Holmes pulled the trigger seventy some-odd times, the NRA held his aim steady.

    I heard a commenter on the radio the other day, whose bipolar nephew had committed a murder-suicide, call the NRA “the largest and most deadly terrorist group in the United States.” I can’t disagree.

  • http://wahkeenasitka.com Wahkeena Sitka

    you nailed it Bill. this is so perfectly & eloquently well spoken. thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=641531193 Alida Fernandez Chacon

    Mr Moyers, I am such of fan of you and your show. I am however a little disappointed that in light of this tragedy it comes down to the obvious and simple issue of gun control for you. What we fail to see is the connection between these crimes and the not so obvious issues. First, since 1966 these crimes started happening exponentially in the 1990′s, at a time when many young men who have been subjected to a lifetime of Ritalin and other drugs for ADHD are just coming of age. Perhaps there is no connection, but it might be worth taking a closer look, but then that would be so inconvenient for our pharmaceutical companies and for busy parents everywhere. We are living at a time when we alienate our children from any meaningful real work or from having even the slightest control over their lives, yet we are shocked when they act out the very fantasies they live in. These types are crimes are not committed by typical criminal youths that live in the low socioeconomic sectors of our society because these youths understand the horror of their crimes. Crimes they commit not to shock but in order to survive, Perhaps these youths have more meaningful lives then their affluent counterparts whose lives are filled with meaningless tests and created standards that have no bearing on real life. These crimes are not about gun control, these crimes are about boredom, legal drugs and empty meaningless lives.

  • Patricia Roop Hollinger

    Well said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cpoorker Craig Poorker

    Well-said, Mr. Moyers! Unfortunately, there’s too much paranoia amongst the ignorant here in the Excited States of America. ONLY in America do we see a near-monthly slaughter of this type.

  • Anonymous

    Ryan said “wasn’t” a criminal. I think all you gun nuts must be drunk or on drugs, or huffing. Or you just need to drink more water. Something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    The problem with government’s inability to change gun control laws is the fact that the NRA donates huge sums of money to these politicians and they don’t want to lose their meal ticket. They could care less how many citizens die due to guns. It’s time for a change in the laws regarding gun control and I agree that if you need anything other than a rifle for hunting then you shouldn’t be hunting. You don’t need a semi-automatic weapon or assault type weapon to hunt. All they are good for is killing people. It’s time to bring some common sense into gun laws.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    The large magazines that are already out there could be obtained by offering buy back programs like we have for guns in our city. I’m sure these items would be available on the black market but if the laws changed stiffer punishments could be handed down for possessing such an item. Your logic that only lawful citizens are affected by laws makes no sense. Just look at all the people in jail in our country. So the laws do affect criminals. This is just typical NRA rants.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    I feel bad for you with having to deal with the likes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He is a radical nutcase. He takes what he does for a living to a whole new level. I’ve rarely seen such an arrogant, egotistical, and meglomaniac such as Arpaio. He needs to be removed from office as the power has most definitely gone to his head.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    You are right that the “drug war” has not done a great job but it has made it harder to obtain such items and increases the cost. If controls were put on guns the same thing would happen but it would make it more difficult to obtain guns and ammo and possibly stop some one from obtaining said items because of the cost. I don’t have a problem with the right to bear arms what I do have a problem with is the type of ammo and weapons people can get. I’m sorry but no one needs a clip that holds more than 10 shots or a semi-automatic weapon or assault weapons. Remember that the constitution was written when there were only musket guns and I’m sure our forefathers had no idea of the weapons and ammo that would develop in the future. If they had I’m sure the law would have been written differently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    You hit the nail on the head when stating that our politicians are bought and paid for by the NRA and that’s why the gun laws will have a difficult time to change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.kuryak Andrea L Kuryak

    See people, if it can be done in Canada I’m sure we could do it here too. It’s time to give gun control laws a better try. It certainly would be better than what we have been doing which is basically nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerrydhand Kerry Hand

    Wrong Andrea! Drugs are available everywhere and at a “reasonable” cost. Otherwise, only the rich would be hooked on crack and meth. The war on drugs has only “enslaved” a huge portion of our population.

  • Mike

    Laws about free speech ARE being interpreted to adjust to changing technology. For example, here in Canada there was a debate about whether providing a link to a site that has hate speech is in itself an act of hate speech. And in the US there was the debate about whether corporate money=free speech that went all the way to the Supreme Court. So if those kinds of interpretations are going on for freedom of speech, then why not gun ownership too? In my view there’s nothing wrong with owning a hunting rifle (for hunting only), but any other type of gun is open to debate.

  • Jason

    300 million gun owners in the United States did not commit mass murder last week.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    The basis of comedy is truth that people don’t acknowledge. That’s funny because it’s true. The founding fathers never foresaw an 800 billion dollar a year military organization with stealth fighters and laser guided bombs either. The idea of a citizen soldier taking up his musket is an absurd anachronism. If right wingers want their guns to carry out their duty as militia men, then let’s eliminate the bloated military and let them do it. How many gun owners would still want their guns if they actually had to use them to fight a war rather than play with them as toys.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    That’s a dangerous argument to make. If the right to bear arms refers to the best available technology at any given time, then would we not have a constitutional right to own personal nuclear bombs?

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    People don’t “need” guns to hunt, they want guns to hunt because they get pleasure from vandalizing nature and destroying life.

  • JonThomas

    Just for the record… there are many people who do still hunt for food, not as pleasure seekers. Even native peoples use guns when they hunt. Many have deep reverence for the animals and do not get a “thrill” outside of the success of the hunt.

    But I do not argue with the fact that in my opinion, far too many people’s culture allow them to think killing is fun. Those ones treat the taking of life as a sport. That is sad.

  • cross1242

    The main question about gun control is why our legislators in Congress and on the state levels could not care less about trying to stop gun violence in this country. It’s my opinion that the reason is that thanks to the NRA there is a big penalty for being for gun control. Plus there is absolutely no advantage that at least offsets the penalty. The legislators know that nobody will vote for them for being tough on guns. Until such time as there is a positive side to being an advocate for gun control, gun control won’t go anywhere.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    This is a bit of a digression from the main topic, but I believe an important one. Whenever guns are brought up, hunting is invariably mentioned as a legitimate activity which justifies gun ownership. I could not disagree more. From a broad perspective, hunting is an extension of the viewpoint that the natural world is something to be dominated, controlled, exploited and wantonly destroyed for entertainment. This is the same world view that justifies Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal, global warming, and the mass extinction of species worldwide. People value their houses, their cars, and the possessions under their control, but fail to see the value of this planet which is our collective home. If our personal possessions are to be valued and protected, then this planet which sustains us should be treasured infinitely more so. Failure to recognize this will have dire consequences for humanity.

    On on a more personal level, people hunt because they feel a pleasurable sense of power when they destroy life. Hunters see a living creature and have no capacity to empathize with it, or to feel any compassion towards it. They also lack the ability to appreciate the marvelous complexity and rarity of life in this vast universe of empty nothingness. A living creature that isn’t protected as personal property is used as a target for violent and destructive impulses.

    If you look at a fanatical hunter, for example a guy like Ted Nugent, you see a diseased psychopath who is consumed by the most vile aspects of human nature. Valuing a dead carcass more than the beauty of a living creature is a symptom of spiritual death. By spiritual death, I don’t mean in some supernatural mythological religious sense, but in the inability to feel some connection to other living creatures and to the natural world of which we are a part. It is said that you can judge a person’s character by how they treat their subordinates. This is even more true for how people treat living creatures who are incapable of defending themselves.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    It is illegal to murder someone, yet murder still happens. By your logic, we should legalize murder, because the law only affects murderers who ignore it anyways. You are arguing that we should eliminate ALL laws, because only lawful citizens follow them. Because a law can be circumvented in no way means that you are justified in eliminating that law.

  • Obtrusive Elusion

    The point being made, that you completely missed, is that this kid had no prior criminal record, and would therefore have passed a background check.

  • mbrecker

    Do any national politicians (Obama, Romney or anyone in Congress) have any investments in weapons manufacturers?

  • mbrecker

    If you really believe that you must have a gun, what happens if you have to use it and you freeze? Odds are the three hour training session to get a concealed permit won’t teach you about that. It also won’t talk about the high potential for developing PTSD from this (potentially severe and could last for years). If that happens, how will you get treatment for it? Right now, many in the VA say that PTSD is just a dodge to get out. Many health care “providers” say that PTSD is a “pre-existing” condition. If nobody will help you, what do you do then? Is the NRA going to pay for your treatment?

  • mike cubed

    there are over 300,000,000 firearms in the country. Probably close to 100,000,000 ‘magazines’. The American people have voted with their wallets and pocketbooks. Also, they are not ‘clips’- those went out 60 years ago folks!

  • pat

    As the daughter of a man killed with his own gun I can tell you how safe those guns make you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=800039493 Richard Lennox

    Lets get real… some people actually like guns and our gun culture, but it is high time to put some limits on assault rifles AND put guns back in the closet where they belong… as something to keep to yourself- like your sexual proclivities…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000025468499 Jimmy Lewis

    In America, exercising the right to vote is harder than obtaining a firearm! Go ftgure!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    non-troll, you are a fool. There are 20% more deaths every year, from drunk drivers, than there are firearm related deaths. And, a true assault rifle, has features that the civilian AR15 does not have. Also, the AR15 has become the rifle of choice in Varmint and Predator hunting, and it is also the rifle of choice, used in CMP and NRA Service Rifle competition, Before you start wanting to ban firearms, even particular ones, you better look at history, and remember that quote, “Those who fail to learn from past mistakes, are destined to repeat it.”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    You are another fool, and I highly doubt you are a life member of the NRA. I am a Life Member in the NRA and the TSRA. We sure don’t need or want your standards for what we need. It is kinda like the vehicle you drive. You don’t need that car with cushy A/C, power and auto transmission, when a 63 Volkswagen will get you to a store just as well. Take a jump.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    And I am not selling mine back. I’m keeping them, just as most people will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    All honorable people. Moyer sucks,

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    The NRA works to keep our rights. If you don’t like them, why don’t you move to Canada, England, Mexico or some where else?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    Mike, you and your comedian are funny. Citizens then were allowed the same firearms that the military used, and the citizens today, are using firearms that are inferior to the ones used by the military, Civilian models do not have fulloy automatic capability, and a few other features that the military models have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    If all of you nuts would start carrying a firearm, the sick people like Holmes would think twice before they tried some stupid stunt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chick.collins.7 Chick Collins

    I am a life member in the NRA and the TSRA. I am a law abiding citizen, and I THINK, Something some of you fail to do. A civilian AR15 is not an assault weapon, anyway. the Fully Automatic M-16 is an assault rifle, You need to read history and understand the laws, and quit spouting your stupidity here.

  • americanadian

    True. Was a time when it was true perhaps but likely due to sky-rocketing sales in the States and the “turn in your guns” programs up here the comparative numbers have changed dramatically. Our big problem here is handguns coming in illegally from the U.S.

    The difference in attitudes between us is the thing. It is a profound cultural difference I’ve observed having lived in both countries. I learned to shoot as a military cadet and being a part of an army family who viewed it as a “skill” to acquire. Times have changed though. I’ve since turned our family’s service revolvers and war “trophies”. I feel no less free as a result. At the same time many friends Stateside still collect and own numerous weapons.

    I don’t think I’m alone in the feeling I get when we observe news and discussions on more than a few topics in the U.S. that I’m “looking through the looking glass”. Gun control, or the absence of same, is one of the biggies.

    Bill, once again you’ve given voice to the unmentionable. Bravo.

  • Dea Smith

    Thank You for adding sanity in a time that defies reason.

  • http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com/ Shelley

    “Covet” guns is the right word, implying as it does that people who care so little for human life (we can’t agree to make it impossible to get semi-automatic weapons? really??) are violating a moral contract with their fellow beings.

  • sifu61

    Firearm deaths in the US have been going down each year. Although, still high….it pales in when compared to automobile deaths. Yet, we don’t ban cars! We just try to make them safer. The truth is that in our lifetime, even if we banned guns altogether, we’d never see the end of them. Like drugs, they would just be shipped in to this country with a huge price tag. Prohibition didn’t work, and neither will banning guns. People will just work around it, and the people who will have them…are the ones who will use them unencumbered. Most criminals now have better weapons than our law enforcement. Anyone who doesn’t own a gun is a subject of the government, not a citizen. No, I know that the private individual could not resist our government, nor am I suggesting we should be wanting to do that. Our government works for us. I’m just pointing out that Guns are here to stay so people need to get off their high horses and recognize it. Eating red meat is contributed to killing more people per year than guns, but we don’t ban beef. So what’s the rub here? Proper gun training and awareness is the best defense. If we stopped selling guns today…the problem would only get worse. Education is the key to fewer accidental deaths. And, armed, well educated, and capable citizens are the answer to violent and aggressive crimes. Sure, I wish there were no firearms, but then wouldn’t people just kill each other with other things….that’s what they did before firearms were invented, so it would still be that way in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.myers.963 Chris Myers

    No for killing people that are going to rape your wife or child.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HLD2UYNDCGZ5ORMDJVP75HC6T4 Monique

    Someday the NRA and the gun factory will face the same fight that the tobacco giants fought…liable…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HLD2UYNDCGZ5ORMDJVP75HC6T4 Monique

    Why don’t Blumberg be the first to go to court over this issues?

  • E. Johnson

    Why is it that we regulate the sales of spray paint cans, and not assault or automatic weapons? Why do we make it harder to buy a can of spray paint, than it is to buy assault or automatic weapons? Do we care more about the appearance of buildings and boxcars than we do human life?
    We will always have disturbed people in society, why make it so easy for them to kill so many innocent people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.humpage.79 Mark Humpage

    If you are a NRA Life member and familiar with the weapons inquestion, you may ahave rephrased some of your post. Does your “semi-auto refer to rifles or handguns? As you are/should be aware “semi-auto” just refers to the action…the manner in which the next round is moved from where it is stored (magazine) to the chamber.
    I object strenuously to the comment about “such a poor hunter”. The choice of action does not indicate either a lack of proficiency or ability…it is just a choice. I personally know several individuals who can operate a bolt, lever or pump action as fast or faster than others can operate a semi-automatic one.
    And the correct phrase is “magazine”, be it detached box magazine or otherwise…not clip; unless you may be referring to an M-1 or M-14, both originally developed for the military and still in use for competitive shooting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.humpage.79 Mark Humpage

    Wow…..what a stretch

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.humpage.79 Mark Humpage

    The logic excapes me…..WOW.

  • http://twitter.com/BradleyC4U Bradley Colson

    Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show you are 6200% more likely to be killed by your doctor than by a homicidal shooter. The TRUE data show that FDA-approved prescription drugs kill 290 Americans every single day, meaning that for ma
    ss shootings to approach that number, you’d have to see a Colorado Batman movie massacre take place EVERY HOUR of every day, 365 days a year -OR- you’d have to see a jumbo jet airliner with hundreds of passengers crash into the ground every single day in America. Yet, admittedly, doctors receive HUGE kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies (similar to the kick-backs probably involved in making the above video) to ram as many of their products as possible down peoples throats. Healthcare… it’s all about the money. Watch http://youtu.be/Jhj3u3LoooM. -OR- Just have a Prozac with an Ambien chaser and relax…

  • justice4all

    On this issue I disagree with you Bill. I’m not saying guns played no role, but I think it’s a mistake to make them the focal point here. IMO the issue that needs focus here is how in this case (and others like it in the past) parents and especially the schools in CT (and other states) handle the social and emotional issues of children with special needs, particularly with the limited budgets many of them have. Initial reports suggest that Adam may have had Autism and that his parents, the school, and the kids who he went to school with, all first became aware of his social-emotional issues 15 years ago. The adults who knew him in school described him as “weird”, an “outsider”, and someone who “didn’t connect with” or “fit in with” other kids — from the time he was 5 years old and himself in kindergarten.
    From what I’ve witnessed in our town (which is one of the better funded towns in CT), social-emotional issues of kids with Autism and similar disorders take a back seat to “core-only” academics (reading, writing) –
    in particular, to preparing these kids (for literally months on end) to take the once per year state mastery test (the results of which are directly linked
    to teacher salaries and future funding for the district.
    The only time any child’s (including Autistic children’s)
    social or emotional issues seem to get addressed in any meaningful way at school is when the affected child is creating a disruption in class and preventing other students from learning, NOT when the affected child is getting impacted by other children ostracizing or harassing him. If that’s what happened here, who knows what unresolved emotional issues were building up inside of Adam Lanza over these last 15 years.
    What parents can do for these kids can only go so far. Most can’t do it without the support of the school, even when they can afford private services. And most can’t afford services. I know several people in town who have children with Autism, and their private insurance plans don’t even cover occupational or physical therapy for their kids, let alone psychological support
    and social skills counseling.
    So if it turns out the issue was that Adam’s social-emotional needs slipped through the cracks either in or out of school – then I think that THIS is where the (main) emphasis should be placed – not guns.

  • g. f. nestel

    Bill, I have been watching your wonderful interviews and commentaries from Canada for 30 years. I agree with what you say; but when you make reference to ‘Lunatic’ shooters like the young man who shot Gabrielle Giffords or the young man who killed twenty children yesterday on December 14, 2012, should you not also question the lack of community based mental health programs that might prevent the mentally ill from being pushed to their brink, causing them to purchase these weapons?

  • http://www.facebook.com/texsbill Texsbill Gran

    guns belong in museums only. as much as i love people we are flawed. cannot be trusted 2 use – or not use – deadly weapons responsibly. as standard of living & quality of life worsens in u.s.a. violence will increase. less affordable health care makes it nearly impossible to recognize mentally ill & unbalanced.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supergeek2004 Craig Pierrot

    And that’s what “buyback” programs are for. The government offers a price FAR higher than what they are worth on any legal or black market. This is especially effective in poorer communities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supergeek2004 Craig Pierrot

    “I personally know several individuals who can operate a bolt, lever or pump action as fast or faster than others can operate a semi-automatic one.”

    So? Make it THAT much harder to kill loads of people. That’s merely a poor excuse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supergeek2004 Craig Pierrot

    How does this logic “excape” you…especially given today’s school shooting in Newtown, CT?

  • Anonymous

    This needless tragedy breaks my liberal heart and President Obama is already leaning politically towards
    Gun Control in lieu of facing the real problem. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder when not treated by a professional doctor results in sick minds that want to do harm to others. They will kill using guns, knifes, or even bare hands.

    Yet, I do not believe it will be possible to have a responsible dialog on the root cause of this evil. Discussion will be diverted by a handful of corporate news organizations that control the national discussion for our self-serving two party political systems?

    But before we run like sheep to the trumpets blaring “Gun Control” let me present you with some alarming facts about the root cause.

    As reported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “one in 17 people in America lives with a serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder. ABOUT ONE IN TEN CHILDREN lives with a serious mental disorder. In recent years, the worst recession in the U.S. since the Great Depression has dramatically impacted an already inadequate public mental health system. From 2009 to 2011, massive cuts to non-Medicaid state mental health spending totaled nearly $1.6 billion dollars. And, deeper cuts are projected in 2011 and 2012. States have cut vital services for tens of thousands of youth and adults living with the most serious mental illness. These services include community and hospital based psychiatric care, housing and access to medications. To make matters worse, Medicaid funding of mental health services is also potentially on the chopping block.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000133250544 Allen Dossett Jr.

    There is a big difference between hardcore drugs and firearms that you are not considering. There are many people out there with the ability to produce drugs out of the raw materials required for the drugs. If firearms were banned and all existing firearms were confiscated and destroyed there would be very few guns available. Unless present gun manufacturers intended to go rouge and continue to produce illegal firearms, the number of people with the ability to produce even crude firearms would be small. Your arugument just doesn’t pass the smell test.

  • Biba

    Thank you Mr. Moyers for your wise and thoughtful reminder of what is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nealcamp Neal Camp

    The NRA is a fanatical, fundamentalist organization.

  • dcris

    What kind of parents raise children that do these kind of acts? Parenting should perhaps not be a right. Perhaps there needs to be mandatory parenting classes and follow up classes. Perhaps we should live more communally to raise our children.

  • Mauricio Tobon

    Violence is the cancer that is destroying our society, and guns are such empowering instrument to perpetrate crime. Thanks to the almighty NRA, which under the Second Amendment fallacy, has become the perfect accomplice of the “merchants of death”…

  • Gary Harper

    I don’t need to respond. It has nothing to do with guns. It is the human that chooses to pull the trigger. Now, how can we keep the few that choose to use guns as a weapon for their crime? I know there have been many innocent people lost due to the few insane that should have been identified prior to the crimes they committed. Every American should realize, our enemies carry fully automatic weapons and rocket launchers. Without American’s second Amendment, those who hate America and the few who want to overthrow our Country would already be well on their way to do so. Unfortunately, our Second Amendment will be destroyed by the very government that was elected to protect it. God help us!

  • Anonymous

    IDEA: Let’s fund a federal commission for gun responsibility – purely private donations. Call it whatever you like – but there are certainly a lot of people who want to contribute to the solution to this problem, if only to feel they’ve paid some measure of tribute to the victims of gun violence that have directly touched their own families.

    I say ‘federal’ because it should have govt. oversight and transparency; not referring to funding.

    With this money, set up a nationwide consulting firm with professionally trained ‘analysts’ in every burg, nook, rural route, city block, capital and seaport in the country – and let the folks with real-life experience be the consultants to judge whether or not a person should be issued a license or register a firearm – let it be our vets. Returning vets need our support so badly; they need jobs, respect, appreciation and trust – but they also need a ‘mission’ to give meaning to their lives after seeing the horrors of combat – and who better to give us a reality check on the collateral damage guns can do than those who have used them legally lethally?

    This vet network (‘Vetwork’) could create a lecture circuit in schools and advise us on curriculum that might address issues of teen depression or antisocial behavior – and how to recognize the warning signals. I think they should also be given a measure of jurisdiction over the media, and how it thoughtlessly reports on devastating incidents, which inadvertently inspire others to violence for public recognition. I truly believe it is possible to tell a ‘moral’ story, as opposed to the sensationalization and repetitive headlines we currently bestow on these psychos.

    Vets may truly and deeply feel that this work they could do might help ease the dark emotional residue from war – and if one hour of consultation with a potential Adam Lanza could prevent him from seeking a gun – or even shed light on a path leading out of his own darkness – that vet might feel the beat of their own wings, or the growing glow of their own halo.

    I have not mentioned ‘gun-control’ here on purpose.

  • WaltGodek

    Another voice of reason…. Everything in our universe can be expressed in laws of probability. If handguns and assault weapons are kept in the hands of law enforcement and the military, the chances of seeing the parade of little white coff
    ins declines dramatically. Oh, the parade should start early this week! Stay Tuned to FOX NEWS for the live action footage. Keep a gun at home? you contribute to the chances of putting your kid in a little white box. Yes, I won’t hide on the internet, I’ll stand by my opinion.

  • geewiz26

    Great idea, go against the constitution by banning all weapons, then criminals and terrorists will be the only ones that have them, and people will build guns out of whatever they need, sort of like a zip gun, and the mentally unhinged will build bombs, like in Columbine, and kill, and disfigure even more people, and people will not be able to supplement their food supply by hunting. (Yes, believe it or not some people still do need to hunt for food)

  • geewiz26

    If we attempt to do a ban it has to make sense. My Dad has a shotgun that is very old and it hold 5 shells in some states it is illegal and is labeled an assault weapon. That is stupid, not that he ever put 5 shells in it, he didn’t need to, he was an excellent shot. I do wonder if some of those huge number of shot clips shouldn’t be banned. Some guns couldn’t shoot 50 rounds without jamming up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/garrylafferty54 Garry Lafferty

    I dont like the no back ground checks .NRA is clear a right wing gun lobby.we need a new gun lobby that includes both partys.Not NRA there to polotical.Nugent for God sake.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I see you value the effective killing of a sport animal as being something you would rather have, than not have people shooting other people with an assault style gun. I find that to be an unreasaonable and stupid position to take. You value the effective killing of an animal over not being able to kill a human being! This is what is wrong with Pro Gun hunters. The killing in NewTown was due to the NRA and Congress not doing the right thing for people. What the hell, next you will say PETA supports your effective kill logic.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    We need to hold Congress accountable for banning assault weapons in the USA!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I agree, any hunter that needs an assault rifle to hunt with is one hell of a poor hunter. Handgun owners should also be held for the security of their weapons, i.e., locked when not in use.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    Then why do law abiding citizens leave their guns laying around the house for others to pick up and use? What the hell is wrong with gun owners, are they dragging their knuckles on the ground still?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I oppose the NRA, as all they do is spit out propaganda to people that think they should have a right to any type of gun made in the world, even though they are made for the military!!!
    I agree with Andrea 100%. Let’s kill the NRA, and not people.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    You really are delusional. You don’t need an assault weapon, unless you are in the military, period.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    You are really fooling yourself.
    You don’t need an assault weapon, unless you are in the military, period.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I have a bolt action gun, and you are full of s#@$. No one can do that….. You are really fooling yourself.
    You don’t need an assault weapon, unless you are in the military, period.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    This concept is so true.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    The NRA continues it successful record, with the New Town murders, they can now add 1st graders to their list of people that have died for the right to bear arms, unconditionally.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I am not sure how we disarmed the 1st graders in New Town, but then as usual any NRA logic fails miserably.

    The NRA should
    be proud of its record, working so hard to insure that even demented
    psychopaths can obtain guns so they can shoot unarmed children like fish in a
    barrel.

    Good work NRA!

    The NRA
    continues it successful record, with the New Town murders, they can now add 1st
    graders to their list of people that have died for the Right to Bear Arms,
    unconditionally.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2YGNEYXRZS52A3SFODJPYJJWBY Judy L

    I applaud the work of Bill Moyer and hope we can eventually kill the NRA so that their depraved indifference to life in USA is no longer the way we treat gun control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lee-Forrest/623872138 Lee Forrest

    Our founding fathers intention was for a well-regulated militia… with muskets. I don’t think they ever envisioned semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15′s or AK-47′s in the family home. I’m quite certain that they never imagined that shooting ranges and gun shows would become a twisted form of ‘family entertainment’ either. It’s 2012… we need to wake up and realize that we’re not dealing with 18th century weapons anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.mallen.7 David Mallen

    Mr. Moyers:

    Until Congress musters the political will to take a more balanced view of 2nd Amendment rights, will you and your listeners join me in petitioning Congress to pass legislation for the victims of gun violence?

    Here is what I said:

    We the People join in prayer and a non-partisan call to action for Congress to establish a special fund for
    victims of gun violence.

    We the People affirm that gun ownership is embedded in our American Constitution and our American heritage; we reject a ban gun ownership.

    Yet, we recognize that gun violence is the price we pay daily for our American freedom. So, we ask Congress to pass legislation to establish a national fund to aid victims of gun violence. The victims assistance
    fund will be financed solely by a tax of a few pennies on the manufacture and sale of guns and bullets.

    We understand that a surcharge on inherently dangerous activities makes good economic sense. For example, we tax cigarettes that kill. We require insurance to drive cars that kill. Now is the time to tax guns and bullets designed to kill, for the benefit of innocent victims of gun violence and their families.

    Thus, we petition Congress to help victims of gun violence repair their lives, by way of simple economics — not politics. By spreading the risk of loss among millions of people, we the people strike a balance between our Constitutional right to own a gun and our
    respect for the sanctity of life and limb.

    We the people can no longer suffer gun violence in silence. We cannot stand idly by. Our national grief and our prayers must lead to meaningful action. Honoring the memory of millions of precious souls lost to gun
    violence requires nothing less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639805927 Wolf Braun

    I’m not opposed to helping victims of gun violence…. but automatic weapons in the general population,,,the down side is the frequent pile of dead kids; what is the up side?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639805927 Wolf Braun

    CathalKelly, a writer for the Toronto Star wrote on the weekend…

    …”The great proletarian mob (Americans) will already have begun turning on each other. For all their obsession with the symbols of comity – flags at hall-mast, handwritten signs hung from front yard
    tree branches – America doesn’t get along very well. They’re probably the most divisive semi-functioning democracy on Earth. That’s the real root of America’s mass shooting problem. Guns are the necessary
    instruments. Paranoia is the cause. Americans don’t trust each other, or their institutions. So they need guns.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1659975688 Laura Robinson Morris

    You are so right…help move that forward!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639805927 Wolf Braun

    Bradley, so are you saying that the down side of having automatic weapons in the general population is the frequent pile of dead kids?

    What’s the up side?

  • Anonymous

    The mother “legally” owned her guns. No amount of certification is going to keep them from being stolen or out of the hands of criminals who don’t give a hoot about the laws. Meth, cocaine, etc are all illegal yet still on the streets where my 16 year can easily purchase. It’s a people issue. We need to help these mentally ill people just as we help drug & alcohol addicts.

  • Guest

    I did 25 years in military with tours in the sand box, how about you? I will maintian my weapons forever no matter what the Feds say…

  • Vince Poscente

    (This post is a question to answer to yourself… It is not a proposal.) Imagine a United States where people had to decide which half to live in. The half that embraces the second amendment and a half that had no guns. Which half would you actually move your family to? Which half would you feel safer in?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Van-Garrick/100000222927410 Phillip Van Garrick

    Someone with clout needs to investigate why meaningful and sane videos like these freeze up, and mindless commercial ads run flawlessly.

  • Scuzzlebutt

    That’s an asinine comparison. Drugs are not used for mass violence. There are certain parameters and budgetary considerations to weigh in the aggressiveness of creating laws. The “war on drugs” could be fought much more effectively if we allocated more resources to it. Who are you to assume that any new gun policies would be considered less than our greatest concern?

  • Scuzzlebutt

    Is this a real response even? Clearly you are either trolling, or just completely batsh*t silly.

  • DavidS

    Mr. Moyers, you are brilliant and spot on. I am saddened, however, that I can share and repost this essay days after the shooting in Newtown, CT, and Bill Moyers comments appear to have been made today. Nothing has changed.
    Please let this finally be the moment where we are moved as a country to real action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.laroche.98 David Laroche

    Very good, Bill Moyers… Maybe the second amendment should be repealed given the state of weapons in our country. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS HAD IN MIND!

  • violinsensei

    Bill? Wasn’t it last week that we were talking about an international bank that was caught laundering funds for the Drug Cartels? What they didn’t make clear is: Was the money created by profits from drugs headed south? or was it going north to buy more assault weapons for the Cartels while profits from gun running could end up being used by politicians who pass the NRA litmus test? Don’t get me wrong. I just want to know exactly how the ecosystem of violence on the continent works before we come up with a solution to the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I have yet to see ANYONE in this ongoing gun debate explain in any meaningful way, the appeal and/or need for responsible gun owners to own weapons that fire dozens of rounds in split seconds.
    The resounding silence, I guess, speaks for itself.
    Are these folks, then, attempting to compensate for psychological inadequacy through ownership of “WMD’s”?
    If so, then YES, mental health issues ARE definitely a large part of the problem.
    And these gun owners need help-
    Soon!

    If there is any other kind of reasonable explanation – let’s hear it.

  • Anthropologist

    Thanks Bill!
    Very nice essay. But this violence is not the result of Human nature, but rather our American Culture.
    As an anthropologist, it is obvious that American Culture extols violence as a solution. We as a culture venerate warriors and even fictional heroes who use violence to solve problems- even American baseball was not violent enough so it was replaced with football as America’s favorite sport. I remember growing up wanting to be a fighter pilot and my first (and only) gun was a toy cowboy pistol presumably to shoot the “bad guy” and the occasional “Indian”. Violence is one symptom of independence training which enculturates
    hyper-competitiveness, lack of social responsibility (homicide being the most irresponsible act), lack of empathy, selfishness and greed.
    Many of America’s societal problems stem from this cultural core value.
    When I teach the segment, ethnolinguistics, to my anthropology classes, I talk about American metaphors like ‘killing time’, ‘making a killing on the stock market’, in order to illustrate the point: This has become a truly pathological culture.

  • JonThomas

    Hey Fred, maybe I should let a gun rights advocate answer, and there’s no qualification that my response will satisfy as “reasonable,” but…

    What a lot of gun rights owners have as a motivation for assault weapon ownership, while it’s usually unspoken, or at least only alluded to in veiled, or obscured fashion, is the readiness for revolutionary or defensive response.

    Whether it be the Russians that were coming, the United Nations, the Fascist Hoards, the Liberal Communist/Socialist Dictators, the Muslims, Terrorists, Basques, Zapatistas, Flesh Hungry Zombies, or Crazed Yoga Instructors, such protective or preemptive perceived need for High Capacity Assault Weapons is included in that catch-all reason… “protection.”

    Some citizens of this nation may someday even want to use such weapons to revolt against the U.S. Government.

    Even the desire to live in a world without weapons of violence and death is an idea which makes you an enemy of those who own weapons. You are seen as wanting to take their guns out of their “cold dead hands,” In which case they will want to shoot you(perhaps that’s what the automatic setting is for.)

    And…maybe such people are right. Perhaps it would be best to be prepared for any eventuality. I guess the reality is that we don’t live in an ideal world, and if something did happen, then those who have weapons will surely have a powerful advantage, but it sure makes for a hostile mindset.

    One of the reasons they don’t often overtly speak of such “ultimate reasons” is fear and mistrust. If you trust your neighbor and the world you live in, then there is no rational for protection. But, who is the enemy? Is it the guy next door who thinks that guns belong in the hands of professionals? Is it the woman who voted for that non-citizen,Muslim… Obama.

    Then there are people who really enjoy the feeling of handling such powerful weapons. It’s like riding a motorcycle, owning a sports or muscle car, and riding a horse. It’s exhilarating.

    But what are we to do? As a whole we are not a mature or responsible species. For example…There are many who manipulate the fear and mistrust.

    Just like the gun enthusiast mother who didn’t, or wasn’t able to keep them from her son, she was killed by her very own gun in her own son’s hands…How do we allow guns to still be a tool and yet keep them out of the most violent and irresponsible among us?

    Personally, I feel as you seem to…that there is no rational need for high capacity assault rifles, and we need to do our utmost to prevent misuse of anything, but that’s only a start to a better world.

    In the meantime, it sure would be nice if the NRA, and the weapon manufacturers would be a little less irrationally radical in their lust and greed. If they would recognize that fanatical zeal in the face of such horrific atrocities is monstrous and obscene. But, greed and lust are indeed blinding, and a deep sickness.

  • Tfill

    Well I can think of one thing… LOCK THEM UP!!!

  • http://twitter.com/godgunsgutsbook God, Guns & Guts

    Check out my new photography book about American gun culture. It will blow you away! http://godgunsgutsbook.com

  • Marcus

    Lies Julie

  • cgmcle

    To begin with, look at your 2nd and 3rd sentences:

    “It has nothing to do with guns.”

    “It is the human that chooses to pull the trigger.”

    Triggers are on guns. So if “it has nothing to do with guns,” why the mention of a trigger? Humans using guns have killed more than 1,000,000 million people in the U.S. since 1980.

    It’s true that our most venomous enemies carry fully automatic weapons and rocket launchers. Lucky for us their range is significantly less than 5,000 miles.

  • Sully99

    Gary; Rocket Launchers? Please; where people have access to goods of any utility then a direct proportion will use these goods (guns, drugs etc. will be utilized by a larger percentage of the population) as is happening on a regular basis in the US.
    More than 300 shootings occur in the US every couple of days; the US has more guns available and access to them then any other country. You know it and I know it too.
    What vacuum in other wise intelligent minds overcomes Americans who support these laws of availability of human killing handguns and assault rifles and justify it with such phrases as ‘guns don’t kill people’ when in fact guns do kill people–that’s how these people are dying, the wounds and the blood are the proof of it.
    Are guns bad-not really; are gun laws bad? They are in the US as the thousands shot every year testify to and hiding behind the 200 year old (musket) 2nd amendment is tiresome and shallow.
    Does the 2nd amendment allow you to buy a gernade launcher? Maybe; so that’s good too?
    Please reload your mind and think for yourself-this herd mentality in the US support of extreme gun availability is just nuts.

  • Gwendefortun

    Vets teaching about gun violence. Wow, this is a vital idea. Integrate and support these men with regular free PTSD-dimming therapies like iRest meditation and good food. Give the vets/trainers some real autonomy to develop what needs to be said and how, but have the whole experiment observed and measured by young scientists of social psychology so it can be valued. And disseminated nationwide. Could be good.

  • Edteach

    Yeah it’s focus is the 2nd amendment but listen to what he is really saying, history is so close to repeating its self and honestly I have no idea how half of the American public are so stupid and idealistic that they are just handing over liberties and freedoms to the government hand over foot to be “taken care of”. It worked out so good or the native Americans I guess the rest of the country wants that good deal

  • Erik Jiru

    Thanks for telling the truth Bill…. keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    Vince, You did write your question as “Imagine a UNITED States of America where people had to decide whether to live in ..” I believe that you should have described your hypothetical country the DIVIDED States of America. It sounds to me like you’re living a fear-based life.
    There are better ways to live.

  • http://ronnisrants.blogspot.com Anonymous

    Native Americans didn’t elect the government.

  • Doc Peg is IN

    thanks Bill/ Rev. Moyers. I’m reposting to my web blog on difficult conversations on docpegisin.com. could not have said it better than you, with all your heart and wisdom. Bless

  • Justme

    I am completely deaf. Can you please add captions or a text only link please. Thank you.

  • David Veal

    it’s our human nature, when all is said and done. We do great good, we do great harm. That is our human nature (Ya know, so would any other species that developed our brain & hand dexterity, so if you want you can blame the violence on a violent laden planet, go ahead)

  • Diana

    Click “Read the Transcript” under the video, on the left. You’re welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly what “liberties and freedoms” are you talking about? Oh yeah, the freedom to shoot lethal firearms whenever you want. Never mind.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t you read what Anthropologist wrote? Have a look at what goes on in some other cultures. They’re none of them perfect but you might find it enlightening.

  • Anonymous

    Carrying this analysis in the other direction, since virtually the entire populace is armed, why not just shut down the army and save trillions of dollars?

  • Dave Carson

    Put a sign in your front yard saying your anti-gun and dont own any firearms,,,

  • Joseph

    I’ll give up my guns when you reverse Roe vs Wade and shut down the baby killers!

  • Anonymous
  • Randy Pease

    Put a sign around your neck saying “paranoid, and thinks arming every moron who wants a gun is a good idea”