READ THE TRANSCRIPT

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. The bells rang for the lost: Charlotte Bacon, Olivia Engel, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeline Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison Wyatt. All were six years old.

Daniel Barden, Josephine Gay, Chase Kowalski, and Grace McDonnell were 7.

Six adults died with them: Mary Sherlach, Anne Marie Murphy, Dawn Hochsprung, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel D’Avino, Victoria Soto.

It helps to say their names, to rescue them from the statistical anonymity that always settles over these awful events. It helps those of us distanced from the loss to imagine, even grieve, the emptiness in the homes and hearts of those who loved them. They will never forget. We mourn, move on, and too soon forget. And then it will happen again one day, and we will scratch our heads and ask ourselves, “Was the last time Newtown? Or Columbine? Was it Aurora? Or that college in Virginia?” And once again we will mourn, move on, and too soon forget.

There is an old Hassidic saying that, “In remembrance is the secret of redemption.” But America forgets quickly, and gives no lasting indication it seeks redemption from its fetish with guns, its romance with the free market of violence. With the sport of it all. The show must go on. It’s our right. At any price. What were their names again? Oh, yes, Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Dylan, Allison, Dawn. Poor things, such a tragedy. Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.

And so we make our peace with violence. And make ourselves over in its image. A state senator in Missouri, a life-time member of the National Rifle Association, is pushing a bill to require that all first graders be enrolled in the NRA’s gun safety course. First-graders. Six and seven years old. Pledge Allegiance to the flag. Lock and Load. Our new Head Start.

A state senator in Tennessee’s Republican legislature says he will introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms. Saintly Miss Simpson, packing heat. Hey, Mr. Russell, it’s show and tell, can we see your Glock 9? After the Newtown killings, a sixth-grader at an elementary school near Salt Lake City brought a gun to school, saying he wanted to protect himself and his friends. Instead, allegedly, he used it to threaten some classmates. As The Good Book says, get with it, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Ready. Aim. Fire.

And for the child who has everything this season, how about body armor? A Utah company named Amendment II offers a new line of it for kids. Mother Jones Magazine reports sales have tripled in one week. A Massachusetts company is promoting The Bullet Blocker, a “rugged computer backpack designed for work or play.” Made of the same materials used in bullet-proof police vests, currently on sale for the holidays for $199.99. And on Facebook, an outfit called Black Dragon Tactical that sells vests and other combat gear sent this message: “Arm the teachers, in the meantime, bulletproof the kids.”

This market never closes. America’s turned violence into a profit center. And if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, no need to wait for Santa; his sleigh couldn’t even hold the heavy weapons. Step this way. Black Friday is every day. And we have something for everyone, from cradle to grave. From cradle to grave.

Surely this can’t go on. This spilling of innocent blood, this bleeding of democracy’s soul. We’re losing faith in ourselves, acting as subjects, not citizens, no longer believing that it is in our power to do the right thing. We Americans are not smarter than other people, and certainly no more virtuous. Our exceptionalism is our capacity for self-correction. To reach the bridge of the ship, point to the iceberg dead ahead, and demand of the captain a change of course before it’s too late. “They,” the gun industry, its profiteers, zealots and apologists, its political stooges, fabulists, and constitutional originalists, who would have us think the “well-regulated militia” of a sparsely-populated frontier nation in the 18th century really means tolerating a perpetual wild west here in the 21st century. “They” say, “don’t tread on us, get off our well-armed backs, there’s nothing you can do.”

Of course there is. Register all guns. License all gun owners. Require stringent background checks. Get tough on assault weapons of any kind. Crack down on high-capacity ammunition as the President has now proposed. And then, enforce the laws. Yes, I know, determined killers will always find a way. But we can minimize the opportunities, and scale back the scope of destruction. Why do we accept the need for driver’s licenses? Or submit to the sometimes humiliating body scans at airports? Because it’s the law, and deep down we know we’re safer for the inconvenience of the law.

Good laws are hard to come by. Civilization, just as hard. The rough and tumble of politics makes them so. But democracy aims for a moral order as just as humanly possible, which means laws that protect the weak and not just the strong. Lest we forget.

Bill Moyers Essay: Remember the Victims, Reject the Violence

December 20, 2012

In this timely essay, Bill urges us to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre by name. He also rejects the notion of doubling down on guns and body armor as a response, and encourages all of us to work hard on realistic and moral solutions.

“Laws are hard to come by, civilization just as hard” Bill says. “But democracy aims for a moral order as just as possible — which means laws that protect the weak, and not just the strong.”

Today we remember:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel D’Avino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

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  • Gussie

    Thank you, Bill, we knew that we could count on your sensitivity and kindness. We enjoy your program a great deal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bill.Cater Bill Cater

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers! Over the last week, I’ve been recalling a line from the movie, ‘ Witness’ – “The gun of the hand is for the taking of human life.

    Living here in the midst of Lancaster County, PA, I recall how the Amish reated when some of their children were attacked and killed at the Nickel Mines school. In their sorrow, they reached out to the widow of the shooter, with forgiveness and whatever solace they could provide. So that their children would not have to attend school at the site of the shootings, and to prevent the school from becoming any sort of destination, they tore it down and built a new school
    I hope that all the concern that we hear today is more than a flash in the pan (a gun-related idiom), and that we work to prevent future school shootings – and also work to reduce all gun violence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.youngjohn Tom Youngjohn

    You are for “laws that protect the weak.” And against arming some willing teachers… Would you also be against classrooms having a Tazer or revolver safe in the wall, with a portable bulletproof shield beside it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.youngjohn Tom Youngjohn

    Um. I am a big fan. And I gave over $300 to the Democrats in the recent election. And I love Obama.

  • http://twitter.com/AriannaEditrix Arianna

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    My mother, a school teacher and then Head Start Director, always taught that if there was there were going to be only One safe place for children, it should be in the schools. She also believed her staff, fellow teachers and herself deserved the same “safe space”. After nearly 40 years in the classroom, she was attacked by a child and then put on administrative leave until the “details of the allegation of child abuse” could be worked out. They called her back in the next day to tell her she’d been exonrated, but she no longer felt safe so she walked away. Years later, I became a teacher and while I taught in an impoverished area, we were always safe, though we did have to deal with children whos’ lives weren’t always safe. We did the best we could to help the littlest victims of neighborhood crimes and murders. Though I no longer teach in formal settings, I do keep in touch, which was how I knew that women had laid down their lives in an attempt to preserve those children’s futures before they’d even reported on who was shot where. I know Vicki Soto saved some students by laying her body against the door. I’m proud there are younger teachers who have this kind of courage teaching out there. They don’t want or need guns, they need parental, community and administrative support in what they do every day in order to make our children good citizens who, hopefully, will grow up to be as strong as their teachers.

  • Susan ONeill

    Thank you Bill! You’ve given a beautiful message that I hope people take seriously and act upon.
    Susan ONeill

  • Rain,adustbowlstory

    I want to hear Bill Moyers’ response to the unbelievable statement being made on TV by the NRA right now. They claim to be the “victims” of discirimination; their answer is to do nothing with assault weapons and to blame video games.

    Incredible.

  • http://annienomad.com/ sharee anne gorman

    I’m sorry to take up so much space here, but I wanted to pay tribute…
    Vigil – A Poem for Newtown
    (annienomad-cyberpoet)

    Rows of cameras roll in
    silent running
    recording for posterity the
    scattered points of light
    clustering steadily into
    pools of brightly-lit
    umbrellas.

    Unintended Chinese lanterns,
    gathered in grief.

    Feeling very much the intruders
    news crews bear witness to
    a community in shock.

    Humbled and shaken,
    they shiver at the sight
    of orphaned parents
    protecting the fragile flames
    of their dwindling, yet
    somehow eternal,
    remembrance candles.

    Sodden handkerchiefs
    are folded and refolded
    by owners searching desperately
    for an unused corner
    to dry their chapped
    and moistened cheeks.

    Sleeves serve almost as
    well for the less prepared.

    While those who stand
    stone-faced and stubborn
    leave their tears to
    find their own course.

    Numbly offering up
    their body salt to the
    soggy ground beneath
    their mournful feet.

    We’ve stopped asking
    “why”.
    Why has lost all meaning.

    But the words “enough”
    and “no more”
    are quickly gaining
    ground.

    We don’t care anymore
    if it’s the guns,
    the video games,
    the horror movies
    or the meds…

    Those are just
    symptoms
    of an over-sold and
    misspent culture.

    We just want it to stop.

    To understand the
    reflection
    in this mirror
    of our collective
    conscience.

    The mirror to our madness…

    A reflection that has
    become
    a vigil
    in its own right.

    12/17/12

    ©2012shareeannegorman
    annienomad.com

  • Anonymous

    Well, Bill, I just got done watching the NRA presser this morning, 12/21/2012, and here is their “meaningful contribution” to the discussion:
    1. Horrors like Newtown are the fault of the media, Hollywood, and computer game makers.
    2. Everybody needs more guns. Especially in schools. Right now.
    3. Now is not the time to talk about some stupid “legislation”. In fact, it’s never time.
    4. No questions today! But they’ll be pleased to answer some on Christmas eve.

  • Old Marine

    Mr. Moyers,
    I agree with you that all gun owners should be registered. All weapons should be registered. But our courts let out criminals after a couple of years if that, for weapons violations. So what I would like this country to do is have a few simple laws that cannot be changed by states or judges.
    1. If you are caught with an illegal firearm of any type, 20 years hard labor, no early parole, and no early release.
    2. If you are caught with an illegal firearm of any type, and that weapon is used in a crime, 40 years hard labor. No early parole, no early release.
    3. If you are caught with an illegal firearm of any type, and the weapon injures, or kills a person(s), death by fire squad.
    Some will say that this is extreme, but our future is being exterminated by thugs and criminals.
    Here in Chicago, we have this all too often. The violence must stop.

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    My deepest and most heart felt sympathies to all of the survivors of this tragic event.

    Regarding gun control and Sandy Hook. I am not an NRA advocate, however,
    I do believe in the right to bear arms for personal protection. My
    Mother, Virginia Belle Rankhorn Sheehan, was murdered in Phoenix,
    Arizona on July 21st, 1972. She is buried at Saint Francis Cemetery.
    Hers is one of the oldest cold case files on record. The weapon was a
    .22 caliber pistol. My brother, Daniel Patrick Sheehan, was murdered in
    Casa Grande, Arizona on June 8th, 2000. The weapon was a baseball bat.
    His body was never found, only the upper part of his skull.

    I do
    not advocate for gun control, nor for baseball bat control. It was not
    the weapon used in these murders that killed them, but the humans who
    held the weapons. The finger of a human that pulled the trigger on the
    pistol. The hands of a human that wielded the baseball bat. I do not
    carry a gun or a baseball bat, but I am grateful that I live in a state
    where it is legal to have either one in my possession. That does not
    mean that I will, just that I do have the option.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great editorial. I grew up in the 1960′s. I witnessed Jack, Bobby, and Martin leave this world at the barrel of the gun/Rifle. I lived in the inner city neighborhood of Brownsville Brooklyn, where violence was a way of life and the gun represented power. As a minister one of the saddest things to do was eulogizing a young person taken away senselessly at the barrel of a gun. As a person of color, I’ve seen this scene in my community again, and again, and again. Those young souls who brimmed with promise and potential taken away too soon from our midst at the barrel of a gun and draining our future. I Love America. It is the greatest nation on the face of this good earth. But we are on trial here with the rest of the world looking at us. On one hand I believe in the right to bear arms.Many do for hunting and protection and are registered users. But we have reached a dangerous extreme where we have become the United States of Guns; A nation where it is too, too easy to buy and own a gun. It’s probably easier than getting a driver’s license. Something has to be done not just by government, but by everyone: Parents, Clergy, the arts and entertainment world, athletes,etc. The NRA , I believe, Is going to have to show humility and they too are on trial. We want the world to believe that we are the most powerful nation on earth, but they are now seeing how desensitized as a republic we’ve become to the influence of the gun. I hope Mr. Moyers is wrong in this case. That there is enough anger over this past gun tragedy in Newton it stirs the national psyche on guns at long last..

  • Anonymous

    I am so looking forward to Mr. Moyers response to the NRA’s poor excuse of a press conference today, a press conference during which I needed to slap myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming … or having a nightmare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.morrisott Victoria Morris-Ott

    A poster suggested that EU stats had US as having ‘less’ violent crime … I cannot find the source for that article, however, current UN statistics and report from UN Drug and Crime do NOT back up that claim.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabiansymbols Lynda Hill

    I am so sorry for your loss, really terrible – what an awful thing to have happen. But isn’t it the ‘right to bear arms’ that is causing the issue at it’s core?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabiansymbols Lynda Hill

    Bill Moyers, a man with his heart connected to his head. Thank you, what a heart-felt plea.

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    Hi Lynda. Thank you for your comments.

    No, I do not think that it is the ‘right to bear arms’ that is at issue here. Anyone at any time can go to the ‘ghetto’ and purchase a firearm, complete with ammunition. So, regardless of the law, the weapons are accessible to anyone at any time.

    I understand the dilemma, and truly appreciate it. As I stated, I neither advocate the NRA or gun control. I think that the biggest issue should be in more stringent rules in background checks, registration, training, and licensing.

    Another thing to consider is the extending of mental health benefits to those who are falling into the cracks of society. Although I am not a great proponent of psychotropic pharmaceuticals, some patients do respond to the treatment.

  • Martine

    Violence is so pervasive in our culture. Just turn of the TV or go to a movie. How many killings occur each day on TV? Are we shocked people forget the violence in such a short time. It’s just like turning off the TV, until the next one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.elgee.5 Pat Elgee

    In early elementary school, we read something by Pearl Buck where I learned that America was the Bread Basket of the World. “Uncle Sam” came about when the US sent food to South America in boxes marked US, so people said the food came from Uncle Sam. I can not tell you the pride that I took in that. Now I feel that we are the arms arsenal of the world. It breaks my heart

    I was a teacher. I can also tell you that I could walk into many graduating classes and tell students that many of them will never have a decent job, maybe no job at all–ever! Now, how long do you suppose it will take for those graduates, even worse those dropouts, to figure out how to be “creative” and get some income coming in? The anger, hopelessness, the fear of the stink of failure creates violence.

    Schools and attention to the success of our children should be our number 1 priority. Not wars in foreign lands, not NRA, no matter how many congressmen they can buy, not the war machines, not the ultra rich and their tax breaks. Our Children!

  • Anonymous

    I live in gun-free Taiwan. I’m an American and I’ve been teaching here for almost 8 years. I feel totally safe in my classrooms. I’ve taught at all levels, from university down to kindergarten and at the lower levels, kids aren’t even allowed to bring toy guns into the classroom. I think we need a two pronged approach to this issue. One, reduce and remove guns. Two, look at why we as Americans are obsessed with guns. This is the moral issue. I think we’ll find that once we reduce and eventually remove guns, the obsession with them will go away as well.

  • Azoth444

    Your final words missed the mark for this young, organic farmer. Not a word about pharmaceutical drugs that ALL these shooters are on. 88 deaths by mass shootings vs 200 by deer. Dont live in fear. The 2nd amendment is about defense against a tyrannical government. You think .22s and single shot shotguns gonna cut that? I dont want a gun, live by the sword, die by it and all that, but i am supremely thankful i live in area where all the neighbors are armed up, and crime levels are near zilch. If you want to stop shooters, give the teachers guns, like in isreal, which by the way all the gun grabbing zion lobby support over there. Or, lets run our schools like prisons, teach children and teachers to huddle in balls waiting to die, and frame gun owners as idiots. Dont forget to beLIEve the media….Obama sure doesnt shed tears for all the little kids he kills and maims with drones on a regular basis. For a show that understands government corruption to at least some degree, you sound pretty dumb tonight.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2LD6XVRYXNOGLZ6MHSNSSWKWAI Jeanne

    As a regular Aussie visitor to Boston, USA I love the country and especiallly New England. 3 things are, however, incomprehensible to me : the gun ‘laws’, the liquor ‘laws’ and the political system. Semi automatic rifles have no place in the community. Purchase of guns and ammunition should require ID, if necessary health records and evidence of legitimacy of a need for ownership and of competence in their use. It can surely be made very difficult for nutters to get hold of guns.

  • Phil

    All I want to do is curse the stupidity of those in America pushing for more guns instead of less. So sad. So ignorant. The outcome of this debate will settle the argument I’ve been having with myself for years. Whether, for so many sad reasons, America has truly become an evil nation.

  • MASIMONY

    AMERICANS ARE IDIOTS. FOR SUCCUMBING TO PRESSURE FROM THEM THOSE WHO HAVE, AND BEING GIVEN EMPTY WORDS BY REPUBS, GUNS OWNERS, THEY GIVE YOU EMPTY WORDS, AND ARE
    ALL INTELLECTUALLY IMPOTENT, AND DISHONESTY,
    DONT YOU HAVE AN ARMY???? YOUR HUCKAMBEE TELLING YOU THAT MOTHERS WHO NEVER PRAYED FOR THEIR CHILDREN, THAT IS WHAT YOU GET. WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICANS, RISE UP TO THIS OCCASSION, THE SECOND AMENDMENTS WAS FOR THE RIFFLES FOR KILLING ANIMAL AND OCCASSIONAL THIEF, YOU GUYS GO TO SOMALIS SO THAT YOU CAN EXERCISE GUN SHOOTING, HOW DOES ON EARTH A MOTHER BUY SEMI AUTOMATIC. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. DONT YOU REMEMBER
    ELVIS PRESSLY, WHAT HE SUNG, ON A COLD DAY, IN CHICAGO BORN A POOR BOY IN THE GHETTO,
    THOSE WERE THE DAYS, NOW ITS ON COLD DAY A BOY A CHILD, A GILR BORN AS IT CRIES, ANOTHER ONE IS BEING SHOT BY SEMI AUTOMATIC GUN. IN GOD YOU TRUSTED, WHY DONT YOU LET GO GUIDE YOU, AND PROTECT YOU, ARE YOU NOT INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST TO SAY, THAT IN GOD YOU TRUST YET YOU TRUST GUNS TO PROTECT YOU. WHO SHALL NOT DIE BORN OF A WOMAN, BUT LET SOMEBODY BORN OF A WOMAN LIVE A FRUITFUL LIFE, NOT TO CURTAIL THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF YOU IDIOSYNCRASY. BURN THE GUNS, WHETHER YOU HAVE A MILLION GUNS STORED IN YOUR HOMESTEAD, TO THE INSECURITY OF YOUR NEIGHBOURS, YOU SHALL ALL DIE. SO GIVE THOSE CHILDREN A LIFE, AND PROTECT THEM AND BURN THE GUSN

  • MASIMONY

    LET GOD PROTECT YOU . WE SHALL ALL DIED, WHY PUT CHILDREN ON HARMS WAY JUT TO OWN A SEMI AUTOMATIC. IN GOD YOU TRUSTED LET HIM PROTECT YOU NOT GUNS, DOEST AMERICA HAVE AN ARMY??????? AND POLICE
    TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS. AM PROUD OF BE
    AN AMERICAN, WITHOUT A GUN, BECAUSE, I KNOW, THE MINUTE SOMEBODY AGRESSES ME, I DILL 911, WITHIN TWO MINUTES, HE WILL BE HERE AND MANY CARS, ………SO WHY DO I NEED A GUN TO PROTECT ME.

    RISE UP, RISE UP AND FACE THE TRUTH,

    BORN OF A WOMAN WE SHALL DIE, SO WHY
    TRY TO THINK YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER, YOU WILL NOT. LIVE YOUR LIVES WELL, AND BE MINDFUL OF THE NEXT GENERATION, THOSE INNOCENT CHILDREN YOU ARE KILLING WITH YOU SEMI AUTOMATIC WEAPONS

  • Scott Robbins

    Another shooting in America. what does this tell us?

    I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. sad, but true. i remember the scene in “Bowling For Columbine” where Mr. Moore is talking with the father about why America i so different than other societies when it comes to gun violence. and they keep saying to each other “why…”

    The answer in my humble opinion is America has never dealt with the ghosts of their own past. they have yet to face up to their own history and make it right. i seems to me with the present climate in America their will have to be a serious reckoning in this great nation before it can reclaim the destiny of it’s ideals.

    I guess we must wait, and maybe pray.

  • Sincerity

    Here in Seattle, we can’t get plastic bags at the grocery store because some people littered with them and the city banned their use at retail stores. It’s really inconvenient because you can’t carry all your bags from the car to the door in one trip anymore. It’s also ridiculous because the law makes you pay an additional tax on the available paper bags so the grocery workers ration and guard them closer than the alcohol on the shelves(which gets stolen all the time). The bag ban doesn’t stop many of the businesses here from using them anyway and I can drive right over the city line and get them anywhere else. Really, it hasn’t stopped me from getting them, it just costs me a little more to do so. I like to have them to clean out the cats litter box so I shop in Redmond or Bellevue while out at work and get as many plastic bags as I need then bring them back into Seattle where they are banned.

    Despite the usefulness of the bags, part of the populace thinks that by banning them in the city everyone’s going to give them up. There’s always a way to get more bags and so people like myself get them elsewhere and bring them into the forbidden zone. As we all know, plastic bags don’t biodegrade, the ones that are here aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so the only way to really get rid of them would be to go door to door, rounding them up.

    The idea that we can snap our fingers and remove all the guns from our society is as short sighted as the plastic bag ban in Seattle but the stakes are a lot higher. What happened in CT was a tragedy, no one is going to dispute that. ThNo one is going to also dispute that this nation can’t stop the tons of drugs or millions of illegal immigrants that cross the border every year. We certainly won’t be able to stop the influx of illegal guns that will occur when there are no legal ones to be had here. In the same manner we can’t stop our own citizens from growing marijuana in their basements, we won’t be able to stop outlaw machinists from turning out guns after hours at automotive machine shops or on lathes and mills in their homes.

    If we actually did ban them, they wouldn’t all be gone. Politicians, of course, will still have armed body guards. The police -who resemble soldiers more and more every day- will still be empowered to shoot people. Banks, casinos, and other commercial industries would likely still have private armed guards and the private armed security sector would expand dramatically since there aren’t enough law enforcement officers to cover the need now. In other words, we’d still have a large number of guns in this society but we’d be giving those with power a monopoly on them. Well as we all know absolute power corrupts absolutely. You disarm America and it’s just a matter of time until we lose the rest of our rights or effective control of our government.

    It’s for this and many other reasons the founders gave us the second amendment. They further defined the militia it referenced as every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. They did so with the intent that such a group should have the means to procure the arms they need to stand up to an out of control tyrannical government. If you ask us, we’re already outgunned for such a fight as it is.

    I am still in shock that someone could be so crazy, angry, and vengeful that they would shoot their way into a school and murder children after killing their own family members. I am disgusted however, at the response, which is to defenestrate the rights of our law abiding free people for uncertain gain in a dangerous world.

    Your goals are commendable but your methods are ill-conceived. I and many others will give no further ground when it comes to our rights.

  • Melanie Woolfenden

    I’m sorry too for your sad history but who is going to pay for any mental health approach? The NRA is by and large composed of people such as the Republican Party who do not believe in money for government programs…who will pay?
    The sad truth is that guns do kill people and a human being is the partner and essential element in any such crime. No other country on earth (except maybe Yemen or Somalia) has such blatant use of guns. Australia, Canada, UK, and most of Europe have strict gun laws and the deaths from such massacres are negligent. Please wake up. There is something seriously wrong and sick now about the US and its love affair with guns (“my right” is a very poor excuse for artillery and assault weapons – surely!!)

  • Melanie Woolfenden

    You cannot really believe that if you have an arsenal in your home that the baddy federal government agents won’t be able to drop a bomb or destroy you and your house? This is such a joke. This rationale has been used for many years to let people develop their private arsenals no matter how many weapons or what power. The Second Amendment was for the 18th century in a rural and different society – they had rifles to fight against the “king’s men” or whomever such as Indians. This is no longer the case and you as a citizen can be active politically not by wielding weapons. Our society is so horribly violent yet it professes our love of country and our fellow man. What hyprocrisy. I see paranoia everywhere in your views – so sadly typical of the survival mentality and not normal at all. Many other countries seem to live and let live without guns! We Americans need help.

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    Hi Melanie, and thank you for your comments.

    I’m not sure if you are from the U.S., but there are groups here working towards and lobbying for mental health care reform. I’m sorry that you disagree with me, but you have the right to, just as I have the right to believe the way that I do.

    I DON’T own an assault weapon. I don’t own a weapon at all. I stand with my words regarding my rights, however, and am glad that I am able to own either a gun or baseball bat in my state.

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    Hi Masimony, thanks for your words.

    I’m not really sure how to reply to you, except to say that I stand by what I wrote. That is how I feel, and there is nothing that is going to change my mind.

    If you would, please take a few minutes to re-read what I wrote. Two murders in my family, two separate incidences, two entirely different murder weapons.

    By the way, I DO NOT own a semi-automatic weapon, or any weapon for that matter.

  • Diogenes

    Until the following has occured, killings like CT will continue:
    - Insurance for mental problems is made readily available
    to everyone.
    - Help for mental problems is readily available to
    everyone.
    - The stigma of mental illness is eliminated.
    - Those around persons with mental problems begin to
    take action to help the person… before they do
    something drastic.
    Many ( most ?) in the US who kill, only kill themselves
    because help was not available. Many of these are gay
    kids.
    More laws to control firearms is a fantasy of the Left…
    and will never work.

  • http://twitter.com/Tothiwim Gosto Tothiwim

    Guns in schools is a terrible idea, but no one has any practical suggestions about what else would prevent or reduce the carnage in the near future.

    Having an adequate mental health system is a long way down the road, thanks to the GOP starting with Reagan’s cuts as governor in California.

    Psychos and criminals will obtain weapons regardless of the laws, but limiting sales to dealers who do background checks would help.

    It is a simple fact that if the principal had been armed and trained, she would be alive and so would more of the kids.

    Practical suggestions:

    One suggestion would be to encourage lawmakers to require gun manufacturers to fire and store sample bullets for every weapon produced, and upload images of each bullet to a public website for use in comparing striations with bullets obtained from a crime scene. Knowing that the bullets will be easily traced to the weapon would act as a deterrent.

    The most effective solution will be to use existing technology to increase the safety of weapons. We need to educate the public, and particularly our anti-science politicians, not to mention the NRA, regarding the potential sea-changing capability of existing technology. The cost of taking advantage of such technology would be minimal and should be subsidized if necessary.

    Tracking: Objections to gun registration can be bypassed by implementation of an independent tracking system. Owners would be required to attach a simple, inexpensive registered GPS tracking device to every weapon, which could only be legally deactivated or removed from the weapon on the owner’s property. Possession of a weapon in public without a working registered tracking device would carry severe penalties.

    Video: Ideal security can be achieved by also requiring that two, pea-sized, inexpensive wireless cameras be attached to each weapon, one pointed at the target, and one pointed at the user’s face, sending real-time video to a public website. An optional postage-stamp size screen showing the target camera’s video could be added to the weapon to increase accuracy and safety.

    Objections to tracking would, of course, be moot in a collapse-of-civilization scenario that anti-gun control advocates are so shrill about.

    People have deep concerns about police corruption. GPS tracking and real-time video should be required for all police weapons and newly manufactured weapons within one year, and all existing weapons within two years.

  • Diogenes

    Susan,
    It is refreshing to hear from someone other than
    those who would ban firearms or require registration.
    It was easy for Hitler to get rid of personal firearms
    ( and resistance ) because they were required to be registered.

  • Diogenes

    Melanie,
    You might check out crime statistics
    in Australia after guns were banned.
    Also, look at the crime statistics of Chicago, New York and other places
    where firearms are banned.

  • Susan Isabella Sheehan

    Thank you Diogenes. It is refreshing to receive a comment that understands my perspective, and not one that is accusatory regarding my opinion.

    I stand with Voltaire when he said:

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

  • Diogenes

    Democrats and others are always pushing to TAKE
    AWAY rights…with out ever doing any “homework”
    first.
    We have lost so many rights in the US.
    I am really fed up with those who “shoot from the Hip”.

  • Mike

    Bill you said it all. What are the priorities of this country? It does not seem to be our children. Is it all about “rights” what about responsibilities? Where has all this fear and paranoia come from? I fear for my grandchildren, America is the most violent country in the world. The answer is not more guns, or to arm teachers, how sad. Mike

  • Tod

    Heartfelt and articulate response to the recent madness.
    Thank you Bill for your moral clarity.

  • anthropologist

    Thanks Bill!

    Very nice essay.

    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 but 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. Americans often complain about their “Constitutional Rights” yet seldom talk about their Social Responsibilities.

    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 ‘under the gun’, ‘bombing a test’, ‘killing time’, and ‘making a killing on the stock market’, in order to illustrate the point: This has become a truly pathological culture.

  • http://twitter.com/Vegasstevo Steve Bryan

    Have to agree Mike. We don’t seem to care about the 1.1 million babies aborted each year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.elgee.5 Pat Elgee

    Teachers refer students with speech impediments to a speech therapist. Elementary students are graded on behavior , self control, etc. Perhaps behavior should be accessed in secondary school as well, consideration for others, self control, aggression, etc.

    Most teachers can recognize which students are capable of aggression, violence, and mental illness. In fact, most teachers can rate students 1-10 on personal risk assessment for violent behavior. Were these students with high risk assessments referred to district psychologist for counseling, future problems might be avoided. Recommendations from a licensed psychologist might also be available to law enforcement for consideration in issuing a firearms license.

    When applying for a gun license, those with consistently high risk assessments might be subjected to further scrutiny or simply refused. In fact, those with the highest risk assessment would likely be the first to seek a firearms license. Reading students’ essays, a teacher often gets an in-depth look into a student’s life. Students often write about that which they will not voice. When no other option was available, I made photo copies of some troubling essays and had them placed in their school file for counselors.

    Not everything is about individual rights. A person can be in a clinic when someone walks in with a contagious disease; immediately, everyone present is under quarantine. Public welfare must trump individual rights at times.

    Not everyone has a right to a driver’s license; perhaps, not everyone has a right to a license for firearms. Those who knew this Sandy Hook shooter,may have been surprised only at the magnitude of his violence.

  • Sincerity

    The reality Melanie, is if it came down to it, the vast majority of our armed forces would refuse to wage war against our fellow Americans. You would not have pilots bombing our residential areas and artillery units pounding cities like they have in Syria currently. The average 19 year old private will NOT obey an illegal order and fire on civilians in this country. The real threat would come from law enforcement agencies which are quite used to military action against the citizens now. Rifles in the hands of the populace are quite capable of keeping such forces in line.

    Rifles in the hands of Americans have within the past century saved the lives of West Virginia coal miners facing privately hired armies of strike breakers descending on their towns with machine guns.

    Rifles in the hands of Americans are directly attributed to the reason the Japanese never attempted a direct ground invasion here in WW2.

    Rifles saved the lives of the Korean store owners in LA during the riots of the early 90′s. They kept criminals at bay during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

    You say I’m paranoid and that my views are typical of the survival mentality… Who doesn’t want to survive? Have you ever been a victim of a violent crime? Ever been attacked, robbed, and left unconscious by 4 strangers on the street? You may feel safe where you live, but there are some very dangerous places in this country! Go live in Baltimore, DC, Philly, LA, Oakland, Memphis, New Orleans, Miami, Detroit, or any other major metro area and tell me crime isn’t an issue or that riots don’t happen.

    You’re lucky to live in a country that affords you such safety as you obviously experience to hold you views. You quote “Many other countries seem to live and let live without guns!” Well that’s the issue, you only count those that have done it successfully and ignore the fact that they were armed for the vast majority of their existence to begin with. There are just as many countries that don’t let their people own rifles and don’t seem to live and let live. Look at Mexico, where the cartels slaughter thousands of innocent unarmed people every year to terrorize the populace into compliance. That’s just south of us!

    We Americans do need help. We worship money and idolize possessions. Many among us think only for themselves and only for the moment at that. We consume too much and assume too much that the bill will never come due. Our entertainment industry focuses on violence, yet is repressed sexually. We are supposed to be a melting pot but racism is an American institution held by all ethnicities. We prescribe to the notion of freedom but then commit atrocities against our own in the name of limiting peoples liberties to choose what they do with their own bodies. We are essentially the world biggest hypocrites in many regards. As such we have no homogeneity.

    Taking away the ability for individual people to protect themselves against aggression without solving any of the above is pure naivete. The forces who would prey upon the American people would still be armed regardless of whatever laws you pass and consent to. I honestly do share your wish for a world where school shootings don’t happen, people aren’t robbed and assaulted on the street, the government operates with the peoples best interests in mind, and the free people of that world have no need for their weapons.

    …But we aren’t there yet. The road to ruin is paved with good intentions Melanie. You are welcome to your opinion, but we are also welcome to our natural and constitutionally enumerated rights as people. In America at least, your opinion doesn’t get to change that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/breoc2011 Brian O’Connor

    Very disappointing. I agree that the victims should be remembered, but they died at the hands of a madman, not a gun. You are calling to punish me as a gun owner for something a completely insane person did.

    Banning guns is not the answer to this problem. Start addressing the illnesses these people have. Start trying to figure out how the mentally ill do not get the help they need.

    I guess it is just easier to blame an inanimate object for society’s problems than to truly address them. What happens, though, when gun related deaths do not diminish after taking these anti-gun measures? What happens if they actually increase? How soon we forget that the Columbine shooting occurred DURING the last assault weapons ban. So much for the logic of banning guns to stop high profile gun incidents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chb417 Christie Hufstedler Boyd

    You made a mistake in the wonderful quote, Bill said, “Good laws…”

  • You Who

    I haven’t seen this kind of righteous indignation from Moyers or any other left leaning “journalist” where the tragic deaths of innocent americans and mexicans as a result of Eric Holder and his operation “Fast and Furious” is concerned. Has anyone else? Did Moyers call for hearings? Confessions? Compliance with congressional requests for records? Evidently the 40+ deaths on both sides of the border due to “assault weapons” in that case doesn’t warrant his concern. How hypocritical and how typical of the leftist media. Disgusting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randi.wightman Randi Stuart Wightman

    If you would agree to move “the stigma of mental illness is eliminated” to the first position, so that it could be dealt with easily and early, I will agree wholeheartedly.

  • jan

    When my family gathers to open presents this year, I’m going to be feeling a little extra grateful that I can hug them. I’ll also be thinking about the families in Connecticut who can’t.

    The assault weapons and their ammo, both future purchases and current ownership have got to go. If you’re really serious the penalties for not complying with a ban should be painful.

    If crazy ideas like selling body armor to children, teaching gun safety to children so young that they wouldn’t be allowed to touch a gun in my house or my parent’s house, and arming teachers or hiring armed guards for our already underfunded schools are passed, our children will grow up never really knowing what it feels like to feel safe or free. That’s incredibly sad.

  • davidp

    Guns for hunting game is okay when the season starts…but all this NRA gun stuff issue(s) became politicized in the 30s….now see the craziness of it now.

  • http://twitter.com/atruthseeker4u Benjamin Eaton

    I want to know the Truth at Sandy Hook. Was a Assault rifle used or two pistols? First Media reports SHOWED police opening the back of Adam Lanza’s car and finding the assualt rifle. First reports stated Only the Handguns were used in the shooting. NEWSWEEK this week mentions ONLY the two pistols and has no mention of an assault Rifle. Who is correct and is this a Created Media HYPE on Assault Weapons? Not that it changes the outcome, and I am truly sorry for the event. I just believe a National Debate should include the truth!

  • MI NRA MEMBER BSKALB04

    wow, you people are unbelievalbe. Do you really think that a government that can’t even balance its own books and waste billions of dollars in foreign aid will actually come up with a solution to taking guns out of the hands of crazy people. And the argument of magizines is ridiculous, I guess only 10 dead kids is acceptable. You people just put your head in the sand and hope these evil people go away, let me know how that is working for you. If that young school teacher would of had a locked gun in her desk, she would have been able to protect herself and her “kids”. Evil is out there, prepare to deal with it.

  • MI NRA MEMBER BSKALB04

    I bet you a paycheck you can’t name five kids from Columbine incident? And oh, law abiding citizens must register the guns they purchase, it is Federal law.

  • Paul Marcus

    If people remember anything, remember this: The NRA speaks of rights and freedom. What are we talking about? So we happen to over-regulate guns.. so what, poor hunters and target shooters… It’s – a -game!

  • Mike

    The 1994-2004 gun ban did nothing to prevent school shootings. We all want to feel like we’re accomplishing something. But as a supplement to anti-Second Amendment legislation, can we also come up with solutions that produce tangible results?

  • DM

    The NRA is out of control. Can you imagine providing our children with the same level of protection we give banks, airports, and politicians? Kids just aren’t that valuable.

  • environmentalist

    Please use cloth bags!
    bad analogy.
    try again!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VXFGRHHCUZTJEBJSWOGRDA4JNE the electrician

    Mr. Moyers.
    Who in the hell are going to protect the people from the bad ones who have guns!!. In a lot of cities especially California they are laying off police officers even when there are tax hikes in those cities….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VXFGRHHCUZTJEBJSWOGRDA4JNE the electrician

    I feel hollywood, and violent video games have a lot to do with this incident in sandy hook!!!.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VXFGRHHCUZTJEBJSWOGRDA4JNE the electrician

    that definitely is wasted space….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VXFGRHHCUZTJEBJSWOGRDA4JNE the electrician

    I worked in hollywood, and let me tell you that a lot of these a-list movie stars have body guards that have military style weapons, and some of these b-guards are also convicted violent felons….

  • Joy W

    Do you remember what happened in Waco, TX?

  • Sincerity

    I remember the BATFE entrapped Koresh into selling the sawed off shotguns to their agent. Then instead of merely grabbing the guy when he went for his morning jog, they alerted the local news station to bring the cameras because they were going to raid the compound cowboy style. The news station employed a friend/relative of Koresh so they tipped him off. Then, with the use of RIFLES, the compounds inhabitants were able to hold an entire army of federal agents at bay for over 50 days. Finally, the agents decided to administer CS gas in lethal concentrations inside the compound walls and burn the building using incendiary charges and more CS grenades because they happen to light fires as well. They used this mix of deadly CS gas and flame, knowing full well the children were still inside the compound and would be killed. Then they claimed that the inhabitants lit the fatal flames despite the fact that anyone who has used CS grenade can vouch for their potential to start fires.

    I do remember Waco. A bunch of feds killed a bunch of kids because they botched an operation against a crazy guy who wasn’t really dangerous until they backed him into a corner. Now they call it standard procedure and will happily bring the same action to YOUR front door should you not play nice.

    Are you really using that event as an argument FOR gun control?

  • Sincerity

    Cloth bags transmit bacteria. It’s a perfect analogy.

    A few people misused an item that can be good or bad. Now no-one is supposed to have them based on the say-so of a select few. There are many of us who will not comply. Mind you, I don’t litter but if I did, the ban wouldn’t stop me from doing it. Even though I didn’t litter before the ban, I now have to break the law to continue with the proper use of that item. Why should I be restricted for the faults of a few?

    You could try again with logic and reason but I’m fairly certain you lack both of those,.

  • Gyorgy Hollo

    I really enjoyed your monologue about the gun violence in the United States. In almost all of it, you were right on the money — except for one thing:
    American exceptionism is not the positive that you indicated, not the self-correction mechanism you said it is. Quite the contrary! The concept is what keeps Americans from learning from the present (by constantly referring the Constitution, a 200-year-old document) and from other countries, since America is clearly the exception — hence nothing to learn from others.

  • Sincerity

    I almost forgot, within the past hundred years, rifles in the hands of American citizens saved numerous black communities from Klan raids. Gun control has historically been very closely tied with racism as well. That’s why we see the most of it traditionally in mostly black, urban centers.

    It hasn’t been that long since law enforcement looked the other way or directly participated in violent acts against minorities. Don’t think it can’t happen again.

  • Ed Robak

    Yur comments on Sandy Hook and gun violence are the most intelligent and well-presented thoughts I’ve seen yet.
    Ed Robak

  • BARB

    I CAN’T BELIEVE BILL MOYERS IS SO STUPID

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.gla Sheila G-La Giles-Mullen

    THANK YOU…..

  • jan

    I liked it.

  • W. Lloyd

    In review of all the comments I can not add any more except to express as the debate on both sides develop may the truth prevail to resolve this serious problem.

  • Lorenzo

    Did you know that it took 15 seconds to load a musket ball and it now takes 15 seconds to load and fire 30 to 100 rounds of bullets?
    Did you know that Adam Lanza was angry at his mother because she was putting him in a psychiatric hospital and also he felt she spent more time volunteering at Sandy Hook than with him?
    Did you know that the primary mission of the NRA is to sell guns for weapon manufacturing companies?
    Did you know that the longer the NRA prevents any changes to the laws that faster we will all forget about this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Rainey/1368640058 Michael Rainey

    The right-wing claims that gun regulations are worthless because a determined killer can always get around them. If that’s true then anti-abortion laws would be equally worthless, given that a determined woman with sufficient resources could get around them just as easily.

  • http://twitter.com/stinco123 matt pace

    Perhaps to help protect schools from acts of violence like what occurred at Sandy Hook, some senior school staff members should be trained in gun use in order to defend against these murderous acts. A gun could be kept in the administrative offices in a locked compartment that would have a central station alarm that would go off whenever the compartment was opened. This alarm would alert police to immediately respond to the school whenever the compartment was opened and the alarm could also go off in all classrooms to alert the teachers and students as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.rossmiller.5 Mark Rossmiller

    For the most part, I greatly respect your programs that make us think. However, this latest program on gun control efforts precipitated by Newtown is missing the larger picture.
    I oppose Common Sense Legislation to End Gun Violence because…If it doesn’t end US military gun
    trafficking worldwide it’s hypocrisy.

    Iraq has hundreds of thousands of AK-47 assault rifles – supplied by the US, the U.S.-led occupation authority bought and import 34,000 more to equip a new Iraqi army. Hypocrisy.

    The Pentagon lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces,
    according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents used to kill U.S. forces in Iraq. Hypocrisy.

    The US objective is to outfit the entire Iraqi army with 165,000 American assault rifles in a one-for-one replacement of the AK-47. Hypocrisy.

    The civilian death toll of Iraq is now over 109,000 people.

    And here we are in America in national sorrow for the horror of 20 children killed in CT, and yet very few of us can relate to 50,154 children killed in Iraq.

    Are Iraqi children worth less than our own? Hypocrisy.

    The US Govt. needs to eat its own dog food on gun control by stopping the sales of arms and assault rifles
    for profit in other warring countries that kill so many innocent children. Hypocrisy.

    If the US government stops arms proliferation worldwide, including assault rifles and handguns, then I
    would support domestic controls. Then police should need them either. Hypocrisy.

    Finally, why has the National Weather Service, Department of Homeland Security, and the Social Security Administration begun buying BILLIONS of rounds of ammunition for assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons. Hypocrisy.

    See included links:
    http://www.infowars.com/national-weather-service-follows-dhs-in-huge-ammo-purchase/

    http://theaxiomreport.com/armed-weathermen-6528.html

  • RandomTraveler

    Mr Moyers,
    You are a pontificating old poop and need to retire. I get sick of your diatribes on PBS. Its too bad the funding for PBS has to go one. It has strayed from its original charter and is now full of political trash like you. You have no clue! Why don’t you ask why children get put on psychiatric drugs and are fed those drugs into their teens and then get an overload of their effects and snap.
    That is exactly what both the perp that killed and maimed all those people in Colorado. It is also what happened to the perp in Connecticut. Do the research and stop acting like the ultra liberal you are and tell the truth of things for once in your life. You are just as much in denial as many of the people in this country.
    When will you and others learn that people do the crimes and the damage and not objects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.wolfel Scott Wolfel

    A humble attempt to move our lawmakers towards moral solution. http://www.causes.com/actions/1716927

  • http://www.facebook.com/825sbrd Russ Fowler

    If every honest stable American own or know how to use a weapon there would be less killing. Take the weapons away from honest Americans and you will be at the mercy of the gunman.

  • zoomzoom2CA

    I have two handguns and have never shot ANYONE. THE GUN ISN’T THE PROBLEM, THE NUTS ARE, THE VIOLENT MOVIES, AND THE VIDEO GAMES THESE BOYS PLAY. WHY DON’T we understand this. !!
    Don’t we have enough ‘gun laws’ on the books, it sure has done a lot !!!

  • Tim

    The shootings are
    terrible and sicken me, but it was not the gun that shot those children, it was
    the man. The first homicide recorded, was done with a rock. We do not blame the
    rock, the bible even says Cain slew Able, not “The evil mean looking rock
    slew Able.

    The gun did not put
    the bullets in the magazine, the bullets did not jump in the magazine of their
    own power, the magazine did not jump up and insert itself into the gun. The gun did not open the locked cabinet it was
    sitting in, it did not go shoot the owner and then march itself to the school
    and shoot all those children. All that was done by a man. The gun was the tool. If we are going to ban things, better ban
    everything.

    I disagree about
    needing to remove guns. If you look at countries with stricter gun laws and gun
    bans, they have more violent crimes than America.

    Americans are not
    obsessed with guns, we are obsessed with protecting ourselves and our
    rights. Laws banning or restricting
    anything will not stop criminals. In
    china, in 2010, they put in greater knife laws, you have to show your ID to
    purchase large knives, but that did not stop the suspect, who they are saying
    is mentally Ill from obtaining one and attacking 22 children and one adult in
    China recently. If you think more laws
    will stop crime and criminals, you are kidding yourself?

    There are already
    laws in place banning guns on school grounds, killing, and stealing. How many laws were broken just leading up to
    the killing? Those laws did not stop the
    shooter.

    If someone wants to
    kill innocent children, they really do not care how many laws they are
    breaking. It does not matter if you ban guns, they will find other ways. Terrorists use razor knifes and airplanes on
    9/11, much more destructive than guns.
    The deadliest school attack in US history was not done with a single
    gun, it was bombs.

    Why does someone
    need an Assault Rifle? First we need to
    define Assault Rifle. To be an assault
    Rifle, it has to be fully automatic.
    This means that the gun continues to fire as long as the trigger is
    pulled. There is already massive
    controls on Assault Rifles. The gun used
    was not an assault rifle. It was a
    semi-automatic rifle. Restricting
    magazines will not stop violence, they will either commit more crimes by
    illegally obtaining high capacity magazines, or they will have to be able to
    reload. Just because the gun
    “Looks” like an assault Rifle, does not mean it is one.

    Now to answer the
    why question. This is America and it is
    our constitutional right to own one. We
    have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The constitution does not say we only have
    the right to keep and bear single shot non scary looking arms, it does not
    limit the number of rounds we can have.

    Lets look at a few
    other things we have the right to do in America.

    If you can afford
    one, you have a right to own a car. Do we need a car that goes 120 MPH?
    No, so we better ban them, people are killed by speeding cars. Let’s go back to horse and buggy, much safer,
    who needs 485 horse power, 1, maybe 2 is plenty.

    Do we need Cell
    Phones, no, we want them, we do not need the, people keep texting and driving
    killing people, lets ban the cell phones go back to Pay phones and pagers.
    Worked great for years. There was not a
    single texting while driving accident 40 years ago.

    Do we need Alcohol
    and cigarettes? No, we want them though. Lets ban both of them too and reduce
    cancer and drunk driver deaths. Where does it stop?

    Doctors misdiagnose
    and kill more than gun homicides, should we ban doctors?

    For heaven’s sake,
    more people died from diarrhea than gun homicides last year, lets focus on
    making pepto more accessible.

    So, I will make you
    this deal. I will give up every one of my guns when you can make one of my guns
    load he ammo, load the magazine, and jump up and shoot someone with no human
    intervention.

  • Rebecca Harris Kotula

    Mr. Moyers, I thought you might be interested in our local paper’s Sunday cover story, which addresses local mixed responses to the CT shootings – http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/montanans-have-complex-reactions-toward-guns-after-conn-school-shootings/article_497e1366-4cc0-11e2-8d37-001a4bcf887a.html . Yesterday I was having a conversation with my 16 year-old son about the societally promising signs of personal response to the CT shootings, and he kept arguing the idea that, ‘But Mom! That won’t keep bad guys from getting illegal weapons!’ I was trying to get him to see that what I sense happening — invididuals making a concrete personal decision as a conscientious response to this horror comprising the begnning of a sociocultural sea change on the issue — strikes me as very promising. When we finally got to clarity (my defense was that of ultimately moving toward a culture of nonviolence), he said, ‘Well you never said that! We were talking about guns! That makes sense!’. I felt a small victory for humanity. Hope resides in our young ones.

  • Chip

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful and focused discussion, Mr. Moyers. Having read the comments, I continue to be amazed at the gun rights communitys rigid line in the sand with absolutely no room for discussion or compromise. “Guns don’t kill people!” Lunacy!

    My field of work for nearly 50 years has been occupational safety and security and I am also retired Navy. I assure you that a multitude of objects are well known to kill and that is why they are regulated. Chemicals, nail guns, fork trucks, cranes and hoists, ladders, punch presses, conveyors, power saws and a host of other “things” found in the workplace are controlled, guarded, restricted or limited and all require training.

    In the home, you can not buy a baby crib unless it meets strict safety requirements.

    The only object that I can think of that can kill multiple people in a few moments that is unregulated is the gun. The inability of the most vocal, hard line gun rights advocates to see the need for reasonable and responsible limits on gun use is very scary. This is why we have representative government in the US and it is time for our representatives to put limits in place on guns.

  • Tom

    Tim, We can no longer hide behind the cliche that people, not guns, kill people. It solves nothing. Statistics on deaths by drugs or diarrhea are irrelevant. Limiting access to high capacity assault weapons is a positive step to reducing murders by guns. Your argument offers no options and says only that to own a gun, any gun, is more important to you than giving up just a little to help protect innocent lives. With all due respect, that is the most painfully selfish point of view I can imagine.

  • Patrick Y Tan

    Protect the Children and teachers, teachers should be allowed and encouraged to be trained to carry concealed weapons to defence themselves and protect the safety of the children. Just like our army protecting our country (are our army and police armed?)

  • Tom

    Dear NRA,
    We can no longer hide behind the cliche that people, not guns, kill people. It solves nothing. Statistics on deaths by drugs or diarrhea are irrelevant. Limiting access to high capacity assault weapons is a positive step to reducing murders by guns. The people-not-guns argument offers no options and says only that to own a gun, any gun, is more important than giving up just a little to help protect innocent lives. That is the most painfully selfish point of view I can imagine.

  • Noe

    of those attacked by the knife wielding man in china none died. if he had a gun that would have been a different story.

  • Aldodio

    Outlaw psychotropic pharmaceuticals that all these killers have been on.
    Look into the affects of divorce on male offspring raised by single mothers
    examine the endemic use of video games in relation to desensitivity to violence
    Look at new media sensationalization of these violent acts

  • Aldodio

    On January 29, 1979, Spencer put herself by a window in her home and
    began randomly shooting at Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the
    street. She opened fire as children were waiting outside for principal
    Burton Wragg to open the gate.[3]
    The shooting claimed the lives of Wragg and Mike Suchar, and injured
    eight students and a police officer. Wragg was killed while trying to
    help the children, and Suchar was killed while trying to pull Wragg to
    safety.[3]

    After firing thirty rounds, Spencer barricaded herself inside her
    home for almost seven hours, warning police that she was going to “come
    out shooting.”[3] Ultimately, she surrendered to police.[3] Although police officers found beer and whiskey bottles cluttered around the house, they stated that Spencer did not appear to be intoxicated.[3]
    When asked why she committed the gun attack, Spencer replied, “I
    don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a
    pig [policeman]. I think and I want to shoot more. I’m having too much
    fun [to surrender].”[3][5]
    She also said, “I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun,”
    “It was just like shooting ducks in a pond,” and, “[The children] looked
    like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings.” At
    the time of the shootings, Spencer was 16 years old.[

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004843991653 Diane Smith

    The Second Amendment pertains to the citizenry being able to
    protect themselves against, among other things, a tyrannical government. Oh, I
    know, some think that sounds extreme, but the facts are the facts. Even if it
    were an extreme position, one should remember Barry Goldwater’s quote, “I would remind you that extremism in the
    defense of liberty is no vice!”

    A question that is
    often put forth by those intent on passing anti-Second Amendment (aka gun
    control) legislation is: Why do people need an “assault” weapon? An “assault”
    weapon, according to those people who want to take this right from the people,
    are semi-automatic rifles, hand guns, and anything with a magazine that hold
    over 10 rounds. This is the majority of guns possessed by the American people.
    At the risk of not being politically correct let me very briefly address the
    question posed at the beginning of this paragraph with the following comments:

    1) The Colorado National Guard killed
    approximately 25 innocent citizens at Ludlow, Colorado in 1914. The government
    used, among other weapons, a machine gun.

    2) In 1993 at Waco, Texas, the action the
    federal government (supported by Texas State Police) resulted in the death of
    76 men, women, and children (21 children under the age of 16). Whatever you
    think of the adults involved; the children were innocent and if the adults were
    not going to act responsibly, then it fell upon the government to use the
    caution necessary to protect them. The government took extremely aggressive
    action that resulted in the death of American citizens. The government used,
    among other things, helicopters, a tank, and many automatic weapons.

    3) While watching historical films of the
    holocaust, I have often wondered how the course of history might have been
    changed if the Jewish population had been adequately armed. Military grade
    weapons were used by the German government against the Jews.

    4) Look at Syria right now. A significant number
    of its citizenry have been killed by the Syrian government. Military weapons,
    including aircraft are being used against the civilian population of Syria. Our
    government has reported the Syrian government is planning on using chemical
    weapons against its own people. The killing of civilians by criminal
    governments is not a rare occurrence in history.

    5) A “Combat Arms Survey” was administered to
    active duty marines at the Twenty-Nine Palms, California in 1994. The last
    question on the survey read:

    “The
    U.S. government declares a ban on the possession, sale, transportation, and
    transfer of all non-sporting firearms. A thirty (30) day amnesty period is
    permitted for these firearms to be turned over to the local authorities. At the
    end of this period, a number of citizen groups refuse to turn over their
    firearms. Consider the following statement: I would fire upon U.S. citizens who
    refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government.” When
    questioned, the navy officer who administered this survey to active duty
    marines reported that he did so, ostensibly, for his Master’s thesis. I know
    this occurred because I wrote my congressman about it back when it was reported
    in the news. My congressman confirmed the survey took place.

    6) There are many other examples. Let me give
    just one more. In Gerry Spence’s book, “From Freedom to Slavery” he writes, in reference
    to the Ruby Ridge incident, the following about the actions of federal law
    enforcement agents, “They wore camouflage suits and were heavily armed. They
    gave…no warning of their coming. They came without a warrant. They never
    identified themselves.” These federal agents shout a fourteen year old boy in
    the back and killed him. They later killed his mother. One of the agents was
    killed by Kevin Harris (who was also shot), a friend of the boy. The actions of
    the government were so egregious that Mr. Harris was found innocent by a
    federal court of committing a crime in shooting the federal agent.

    While hunting and
    target shooting are legitimate uses of firearms, they are not the reasons we
    have a Second Amendment. To invoke them as reasons for the Second Amendment, as
    those do who want eviscerate it, is to weaken the position of those opposing
    infringement of the Second Amendment. Those supporting the Second Amendment are
    not proposing that private citizens should possess aircraft, tanks, chemical
    and nuclear weapons, as governments do. The point is, if the purpose of the
    Second Amendment is for American citizens to defend themselves, against, among
    other things, a tyrannical government with unlimited weapons and force, then
    how would they do it with less than a semi-automatic rifle? Even then, they
    would be at extreme disadvantage.

    Another reason for
    the Second Amendment was to allow citizens to protect their person. If anyone
    does not wish to protect himself or his family and choose instead to rely on the
    government for protection, that is perfectly fine. There are people who do not
    want to take responsibility for their own safety; they prefer instead to have
    someone else or the government assume this responsibility for them. Someone has
    said, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” This is very
    true. In the recent Connecticut shooting the teacher who hid in the classroom
    closet with some children during the assault reported that they remained in the
    closet for over 3 hours. During hurricane Katrina a large portion of the New
    Orleans Police failed to report for duty (and was later fired) and some of
    those that did report to work refused, in some cases, to venture out after
    nightfall. Our government recently failed to protect our Libyan Ambassador. He
    and some of his security staff were murdered. This occurred despite numerous
    and emphatic warnings over a period of months to those responsible for their
    safety that they felt increasingly threatened. In short, relying on the
    government for the safety of your life can be hazardous.

    Finally, the common problem
    with these assaults is not firearms – it is mental illness. Citizens don’t have
    guns in China. Most police do not even carry guns there. However, they do have
    mental illness. Twenty-three people (22 children) were stabbed at a school
    there this month. In 2010, eighteen school children were killed. In China the
    attackers use knives and meat cleavers. People who call these people crazy,
    evil, lunatics, etc. are revealing their ignorance of mental illness. Yes, I
    know that comment will be unpopular. However, mental illness exists and it is
    no different than physical illness. Just one example: A person with
    schizophrenia, a devastating mental illness is shunned, looked at sideways, and
    called “crazy.” However, a person with Parkinson’s disease is viewed with
    sympathy and wishes for their good health. The thing is, Parkinson’s disease is
    caused by a lack of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain and
    schizophrenia is caused by an excess of dopamine. That’s the difference; the
    person with schizophrenia has no more control over their illness than the
    person with Parkinson’s. That’s the stigma of mental illness. Loving and caring
    about the welfare of children does not require that a person to be cruel and
    condescending to the mentally ill. These offenders are mentally ill. That is
    what needs to be addressed.

  • bryan

    assault weapons should not be ban it wasnt the guns fault the only thing that will happen is the black market will get the money and not the government,sportsmen use the weapon for nuisance animals , people also use them for self defense i would like for someone to try to take my guns just so i could tell them off

  • bryan

    and the violent games are at fault here the people are crazy , and i refuse to give up my weapons no matter what some politician says i will not sucome to apression

  • bryan

    people kill people not guns

  • bryan

    why remove guns people kill each other guns are only a tool you people will not take away weapons we would have no way to defend our selfs

  • bryan

    well weapons are an american right and i will refuse to give mine up and am a proud member of the NRA

  • bryan

    man car accidents killed 20,000 people 9,000 of them kids ban cars not guns i beileive in keeping our semi automatic guns and will always

  • bryan

    here a list of how many people die in other scenarios to show guns are not the problem and should stay in our hands…these are per year results

    40,000 in car accidents

    11,000 in medical failures

    abortions 56,617

    14,000 bye knives

    how many were killed bye guns this year 9,000
    why ban guns when all these other things are happening guns arent the problem we are

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the long answer, Tim.

    “The shootings are terrible and sicken me, but it was not the gun that shot those children, it was the man.”

    If we look at the cause of death in the medical reports, it was from the gun, not the man.

    “The first homicide recorded, was done with a rock.”

    Rocks can’t kill classrooms full of children. And the gun hadn’t been invented back then.

    “The gun did not put the bullets in the magazine, the bullets did not jump in the magazine of their
    own power, the magazine did not jump up and insert itself into the gun. The gun did not open the locked cabinet it was sitting in, it did not go shoot the owner and then march itself to the school and shoot all those children. All that was done by a man. The gun was the tool.”

    Without the gun, the man couldn’t have done any of these things.

    “If we are going to ban things, better ban everything.”

    We need to look at two things here, opportunity and motivation. In these cases, you can never predict the motivation. Even if you think someone’s going to do it, you really don’t know. While more programs to council people are needed, simply put, guns provide opportunity. Remove the opportunity and the motivation (highly irrational in this case) becomes meaningless.

    I don’t think we need to ban everything. Americans aren’t obsessed with rocks and sticks. They have an addiction to using guns in these cases, so guns must go.

    “If you look at countries with stricter gun laws and gun bans, they have more violent crimes than America.”

    My friends live in Australia, another gun free country. Counter to the stats you’ve been given, violence has gone down there except for one kind. Knife violence has gone up, but there hasn’t been a single case of a mass shooting at a school since then. Knives can’t kill so many people so quickly. Guns provide the opportunity.

    “Americans are not obsessed with guns, we are obsessed with protecting ourselves and our
    rights.”

    Don’t take this personally, but it’s like saying crack doesn’t kill. It’s the guy selling the crack to me, he’s the problem. Not the crack. See what I mean?

    Cigarettes kill. So we put warnings on the packages. We have laws that limit where you can smoke. The laws are effective. Do guns come with a severe warning like we see on cigarette packages, or do they just say, ‘Guns don’t kill, people kill.’?

    “If you think more laws will stop crime and criminals, you are kidding yourself?”

    I think better enforcement of laws will stop crime. I don’t mean to dump on the police, but they are outnumbered because so many guns are out there. In the wild west, you had to check your gun with the sheriff before entering town. This was not unconstitutional. It gave the sheriff the advantage. It provided law and order.

    “There are already laws in place banning guns on school grounds, killing, and stealing. How many laws were broken just leading up to
    the killing? Those laws did not stop the shooter.”

    Remove the guns.

    “If someone wants to kill innocent children, they really do not care how many laws they are breaking. It does not matter if you ban guns, they will find other ways.”

    But those ways are not so quick and convenient. Guns are far too convenient. Six times this year. Think about it.

    “This is America and it is our constitutional right to own one.”

    Laws go out of date and need to be changed. I would ban guns in the lower forty-eight, but not in Alaska. The reason for this exception is quite interesting to consider. I’ll let you do the homework on this one.

    “Where does it stop?”

    When children stop dying. We have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at guns.

    “Doctors misdiagnose and kill more than gun homicides, should we ban doctors?”

    Accidents happen. The gun didn’t accidentally go off in the classroom.

    “I will give up every one of my guns when you can make one of my guns
    load the ammo, load the magazine, and jump up and shoot someone with no human intervention.”

    Robots? Ha. You see, separate the guns from the people and we’ll all be fine.

    I used to be quite into guns. I grew up around guns. One of my friends had over 100 guns in his collection and he took me to the shooting range and taught me how to load my own shells and so on. I was about to my buy first gun when the light came on in my head. This is just a hobby. And an expensive hobby. And a deadly one.

    The gun industry is a $31 billion industry. They’ve got a brilliant marketing strategy. I know, I’ve got an MBA and I’d envy them, if they were in some other industry. There’s an entire gun culture in America that keeps the money flowing. I used to read the magazines and they’d say, “We are going to lose our rights, so buy these guns now, while you can!” And gun sales would soar. “It’s not the guns, it’s the ammo they are going to take away. So buy it now while you can!” And sales would soar. Don’t be pawn. Think for yourself. You don’t need guns in your life. I know it’s hard to give them up, but you can overcome this obsession.

  • Anne Miura

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    Thank you for the Christmas gift that your essay is to me. I was in Australia when this terrible thing took place and I,along with the rest of that country, was horrified and disgusted that America’s love of guns had once again claimed the lives of so many innocents.
    I knew in my heart that things would not change as my 40 years in America has taught me that the majority of Americans see nothing wrong with gun ownership. Then came the response from the NRA – and several politicians – that made me sick to my stomach and heartbroken at the realization that this country was not a land of good and caring people. I truly had lost faith – then; your essay. Thank you for reminding me that , although few in number, there are Americans for whom liberty is not owning a gun, and caring is not arming the schoolteachers.

  • Sincerity

    no, the attacker in China clearly wasn’t aiming for vitals. If he had enough time to assault 20 children with a knife, he would have had time to kill one or two if that was his real intention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510809481 Heather Mash

    Thank you Bill Moyers, you inspire, you educate and you warm our hearts. With all respect, Hugs Heather Mash

  • Linda Dugan

    ” The average 19 year old private will NOT obey an illegal order and fire on civilians in this country.”

    Have you ever heard of Kent State? If not I suggest you google it.

  • bartman

    A tax credit for gun owners to buy gun safes what a GREAT IDEA… why not Its because some Dems want to take your guns rights AWAY that is the facts just read the comments here or online. The NRA needs to get a BILL for A TAX CREDIT on gun safes that would be a BIG first step from keeping the crazy’s from stealing our guns or robbers from taking them ,Gun shootings could be cut by a lot…..If a crazy lives in your house you can only have a 1 shot or 2 shot gun in a safe if a robber or crazy gets it they must reload after 1 or 2 shots. NRA please think out this IDEA……

  • Sincerity

    So you use your position as a professor to force your personal views that have nothing to do with the course you teach onto your students who have to put up with it lest they fear a failing grade if they disagree with you openly. I met other professors like you in college and on the whole you all represent the most close minded, selfish, and narcissistic abusers of position I’ve ever met. This is exactly why I oppose tenure for the majority of professors. It just gives these overgrown children an avenue to throw daily tantrums and abuse others who simply want to receive an education.

  • Sincerity

    Statistically speaking one event is an outlier, not a trend. I am too young to remember Kent State but I have read much about it.

    The shooting were proceeded by riots in the previous days which is the reason for the presence of the NG troops. Many students had been throwing rocks at the troops prior to the shooting, which is considered to be grounds for self defense even today. Just look at the Border Patrol shootings which occur when Mexicans throw rocks at our BP officers from across the rivers.

    There is a difference between responding to mass civil disobedience in the streets and bombing Americans in their homes. I don’t agree with what occurred at Kent. If anything those events solidify my point. Soldiers firing indiscriminately into a crowd of unarmed students is exactly the kind of event our founders envisioned when they gave us the 2nd Amendment.

  • Anonymous

    In short:

    I don’t think guns are the answer period, pro gun control or not we have 5 major issues to address first:

    -Drugs, dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and illegality of a great alternate: Marijuana

    -Mental healthcare

    -Bullying, (political/social) oppression and child abuse

    -Economics and economic oppression/inequality

    -War and traumatic effects with a violent soldier archetype, glorifying news and political media.

    ————————————————————

    In detail:

    This is being covered more than ever. It’s not that the
    crime is increasing, it in fact has been historically declining but still there are issues that promote it if only from current issues.

    The fact is the media is jumping on this bandwagon and now reporting ever gun affiliated crime now to push an agenda long held. I don’t see guns are the answer, for more or less gun control.
    -

    Instead they hide numerous contributing facts to what causes people to turn into killers, so let me briefly describe a few topics:

    -Drugs, illegality of Marijuana and the whole enforcement with the war on drugs is a failure while pharmaceutical corporations privatized “medicine” that has FAR MORE dangerous neurological effects (such as anti-depressants, especially Prozac) that doesn’t actually cure.

    -Mental healthcare, we as a nation dedicate such a small amount to the mental public healthcare services for the unstable and disabled. As well as services to troubled people.

    -Bullying, (political/social) oppression and child abuse. These create serious traumas later in life if unresolved (Hitler is a product of domestic abuse, for example). Oppression politically, the fact that people can’t be heard or will not along with perceived infringements of rights (legal system and enforcement) cause some to take extreme action (we see this around the world today). School shootings like columbine are prime examples.

    -Economics and economic oppression/inequality. Many killers have too much time on their hands, aren’t happy, recently fired or unemployed or disgruntled (college) students. People need a way to be kept busy in a way that keeps them happy.

    -War and traumatic affects with a violent soldier archetype glorifying media. People are too obsessed with the macho man, chest beating mentality and have a delusional image of war and the atrocities of it- the reality. It creates a very ignorant and arrogant based divide amongst people and our military, media and politicians lying/deceiving (potential) recruits doesn’t help.

    These are my big five issues that contribute to this not guns I would like to see talks about these please.

  • Sincerity

    Except that you overlook the fact that guns are also used for self defense on a regular basis, even “assault weapons.” You are every bit as selfish to deny people the means of defense because you “feel” it might help.

  • angel

    For the love of God, Fix this..we are killing each other, we really are at the point where all hope is lost.

  • Walt

    News flash Einstein, we are NOT a democracy. We are a constitutional republic!!!!!

  • Gordon32176

    The arguments are over for me. While I agree that the public should be able to purchase hand guns and hunting rifles, there is absolutely no need for them to be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. It only takes one shot to stop an intruder into your home and no true hunter would be using a semi-automatic weapon to hunt.
    I am tired of hearing about the gun owners rights. My right is to not have to worry about a madman coming into a mall, post office, or any other public place and blowing me away along with 20 or 30 others. There will always be insane people who can do damage with a gun. However, if they only had access to non-automatic weapons they could be taken down after only a few shots.
    This country nee to use some common sense and stop crying that their rights are in danger.

  • Tom

    But ‘Sincerity’, I never said anything about taking away anyone’s guns, only restricting access to assault weapons. And my feelings have nothing to do with it. The evidence is clear. I own a 22 caliber rifle that my uncle, a police officer, gave me as a teenager. I enjoy target shooting and appreciate a well-made gun.
    I would ask you though – would you be willing to accept a law that would require a background check for all gun purchases and exclude all loopholes (like gun shows)? Once a buyer has had a background check, no further restrictions would apply perhaps for 5 or ten years like a driver’s license. This is only a partial answer to a very complicated questions, but surely you have to admit that a weapon that can be so devastatingly dangerous in the wrong hands must be sensibly regulated. As Bill Moyers points out, we don’t put unregistered people behind the wheel of a car. That doesn’t stop all auto accidents any more than properly regulated guns would stop all gun deaths. People steal cars. People steal guns, but it makes no sense that for some notion of “freedom” we should make it easier to get a gun than a car.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t need to read their names or see their faces. If anyone has ever had a child, been a child, is related to a child or even seen a child, and has an ounce of sensitivity in their hearts, this horror will never be forgotten.

  • John

    Obviously you haven’t been paying attention. The gun laws in place right now have been working. All the incidents with guns lately in the news have been people that used guns they did not buy legally. None of these persons purchased the guns that were used, they stole them. The Laws you pass don’t effect criminals. And you will not keep guns out of this country anymore than you’ve been able to pass laws to keep marijuana from being brought into this country just like guns would. The difference being the law abiding citizen would have no gun to protect themselves from the criminal. Wake up people these gun laws don’t affect criminals. Only stiffer criminal punishment affects criminals. They don’t care about the law only the punishment.

  • MART

    Well Said! Had he come into that school with a couple of six shooters… That is an optimal solution to the pro gun control movement? THE ONLY way those children could have been saved is possibly with armed security, OR better yet… Better ways to deal with the dangerously mentally ill! While this is a tragedy, people forget that this is NOT the worst rampage killing in a US school… Google Andrew Kehoe and you will see he did NOT use guns to kill over 40 students and wound 50 others. And he did that at a time when you could order guns through mail order without any license or questions asked (1927) Rampage killings happen ALL over the world, not just here. Google “Rampage killings” to see for yourself.

    Lastly, rampage killers are NOT the same as the garden variety criminal… The mother bought these guns, complied with the law, he murdered her and stole them from her… How could a law have stopped that? Gun control laws will NEVER prevent rampage killings, bans or not. BEFORE anyone had accurate information about the who, how, why’s, the debate turned to “Need Tougher gun control” It never works, yet the media says we need more!

  • mart

    The problem with what your saying is that it wont work! Had he come into that school with a couple of six shooters or ten round magazines…
    That is an optimal solution to you? THE ONLY
    way those children could have been saved is possibly with armed
    security, Teachers willing to qualify to carry (With Gun SAFES) OR better yet… Better ways to deal with the dangerously
    mentally ill! While this is a tragedy, people forget that this is NOT
    the worst rampage killing in a US school… Google Andrew Kehoe and you
    will see he did NOT use guns to kill over 40 students and wound 50
    others. And he did that at a time when you could order guns through
    mail order without any license or questions asked (1927) Rampage
    killings happen ALL over the world, not just here. Google “Rampage
    killings” to see for yourself.

    Lastly, rampage killers are NOT the same as the garden variety
    criminal… The mother bought these guns, complied with the law, he
    murdered her and stole them from her… How could a law have stopped
    that? Gun control laws will NEVER prevent rampage killings, bans or
    not. BEFORE anyone had accurate information about the who, how, why’s,
    the debate turned to “Need Tougher gun control” It never works, yet the
    media says we need more!

  • MART

    Dude, where do you get this? You need to learn to write English, for one. To understand the 2nd you have to read the attitudes of the men who wrote it… Madison wrote the 2nd and he and the others wanted the people armed, read Washingtons remarks, Jefferson etc… It had NOTHING to do with what you are saying! Try telling the people in Stockton California to give up their guns and wait for the police to come and save them… (The police aren’t coming, the city is broke) Rampage killings happen ALL over the world, even some with guns in gun controlled countries. Google “Rampage killings” and see how many have happened outside the US.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debbie.bourne.5 Debbie Bourne

    Hi, from Marshall texas,Your hometown,the city that you made a documentary making fools out of your former neighbors and friends,…and I cannot forget you receiving a DWI…driving while intoxicated,which makes you a bigger threat to our children than any firearm..YOU ARE IRRESPOSIBLE..Your automobiles should be confiscated and you should be prevented from driving for life.

  • aila erman

    The NRA is the single most dangerous purveror of false fear tacktics, which in turn enable anger to play out as multiple murders of innocents. This country should be ashamed of its romanace with assault weapons . They should be outlawed immediately. Background checks should be done on each person buying a gun. Related weapon’s serial numbers should be federally cataloged when licensed to the owner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/philip.falcone.5 Philip Falcone

    I didn’t fight in Viet Nam to have my grandchildren have to live in an armed camp here at home. I don’t want to see them have to go to school under the watchful eye of armed guards. Let the sportsmen and women have their guns. But no one needs assault weapons with high capacity magazines, and every citizen does not have to be armed. We have 10,700 gun related deaths each year in this country compared to less than 50 per country in the rest of the world. If the rest of the world can live without everyone having a home arsenal, we can live with fewer guns too.

  • Miguelito3557

    Diogenes,

    If you spent some time reading, you’d discover that Hitler didn’t ban guns in Germany. The Weimar Republic had already banned them by the time Hitler came to power. You’ve just accepted NRA propaganda at face value, a most unwise choice.

  • Miguelito3557

    In fact, Diogenes, Democrats have led the fight to extend civil rights to people for the last 80 years. I never saw Republicans clamoring for the end of racial covenants that forbade selling property to Blacks or for the end of racial miscegenation, I wasn’t aware that Republicans argued strenuously for a full range of options for women to pursue outside the home, Republicans have waged a campaign of hatred and exploitation of Latinos for decades, and you know quite well who has supported discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

    What right have you lost, Diogenes? Maybe you’ve lost the right to discriminate against others on the basis of their race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation, but pardon me if I don’t lament your losses.

    I’m afraid that too many frightened people like you have been misled into believing that government, especially the federal government, is their enemy and the enemy of liberty itself despite the fact that we remain a democracy capable of making nonviolent changes by self-governance. Stop drinking the NRA koolaid.

  • Miguelito3557

    By the nature of your argument, it’s clear that you have no evidence to support your wild assertions. For example, you claim that there is an inherent repugnance by America’s 19 year-olders from following orders to shoot fellow American citizens. If American citizens are firing weapons like AR-15s or are grouped together in such a fashion as to form an armed battalion, I seriously doubt that soldiers will refuse to follow their commanding officers’ orders to shoot.

    It’s incredible that in the 21st Century, people like you actually contemplate some kind of righteous civil war between gun wielding citizens and the country’s trained military forces that will do anything but spill lots of blood on our streets. Although the NRA pushes military style weapons on the general public in the name of “self-defense,” civilians will never be the equal of trained soldiers. Do you really yearn so much for such a bloodbath?

  • Miguelito3557

    So, you think there would have been more or less bloodshed had the Kent State students been armed? Do you want to be part of an America where soldiers go from house to house in search of weapons held by Americans after martial law is declared? Do you think soldiers searching for weapons won’t kill anyone who is shooting at them? What are you people smoking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    Thanks alot, Wayne LaPierre,

    Was that a threat?

    ‘If you want to feel safe in your homes and your schools, the best way to get protection, is to buy more guns from us, wink, wink. because more scary people are coming to get you.’

    Just as soon as we recovered from the shock of Sandy Hook and pulled our selves from the floor to evaluate things, you’ve used the media to poke all of us in the eyes with another blunt object. Now it seems, no one can see straight. I didn’t know we had so many citizens suffering from PTSD.

    What part of the definition for Racketeering do the CEOs who run the NRA, not understand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    You should talk to the young guardsmen who didn’t shoot because they were so stunned by what they saw their fellow guardsmen doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    scarem and fleecem. Isn’t that called Racketeering?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    So we should go back to banning people, again and set all the weapons free? How about, only the people who are addicted to solving their problems with fire arms?

  • Rita_R

    The most under-reported story of 2012 and for far too long has been that
    the USA is by a long long long shot (no pun intended) the most prolific
    modern armaments manufacturing country. Per Wikipedia, here’s the list
    of global weapons and armaments manufacturers, and the number of such
    companies in each country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_modern_armament_manufacturers):Australia
    = 2, AUSTRIA = 2, Argentina = 3, Belgium = 4, Brazil = 7, Bulgaria = 3,
    Bangladesh = 1, Canada = 4, Chile = 1, China = 1, Columbia = 1, Croatia
    = 1, Czech = 3, Egypt = 3, Europe (EADS) = 1, Finland = 3, France = 3,
    Georgia = 2, Germany = 11, Greece = 2, Hungary = 1, India = 6, Indonesia
    = 1, Iran = 3, Ireland = 1, Israel = 5, Italy = 7, Mexico = 1, Norway =
    2, Pakistan = 5, Philippines = 4, Poland = 1, Portugal = 1, Romania =
    1, Russia = 10, Serbia = 1, Singapore = 2, Slovakia = 1, South Africa =
    2, South Korea = 8, Sweden = 2, Switzerland = 4, Thailand = 2, Turkey =
    7, UK = 12, Ukraine = 6, USA = 52. So we wonder why the NRA has such
    lobby power? At least we know we lead the globe in manufacturing
    SOMETHING.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    Tell him about the longest ever lines of people turning in their guns for grocery cards in LA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    You are right, the NRA is just a non-profit front for K Street transactions.

  • K in KY

    I working on posting a petition on the White House website to get Congress to reverse censorship of gun data from ATF, and to allow CDC to do research on gun violence. Need 150 signatures for it to be visible to nation, and 25000 to ensure response from White House. Please consider signing. http://wh.gov/ntiw

  • Rob Gruen

    Isn’t it about time gun control advocates offered America a workable solution to gun violence?

    Log in to http://www.licensebullets.com for a proactive, nonpartisan approach.

  • Sharon Black

    Isn’t it about time gun control advocates offered America a workable solution to gun violence?

    Log in to http://www.licensebullets.com for a proactive, nonpartisan approach.

  • Sharon Black

    Isn’t it about time gun control advocates offered America a workable solution to gun violence?

    Log in to LicenseBullets dot com for a proactive, nonpartisan approach.

  • ken

    guns are no more responsible for people being shot than spoons & forks are responsible for people being fat,than cars are responsible for car crashes,alcohol responsible for alcoholics,I dont see anyone trying to ban those things. TRY ADDRESSING THE REAL ISSUES, MENTAL HEALTH,HOLLYWOOD,VIDEO GAMES,THE MEDIA , guns are the smallist partr of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Mann

    WE all need to work to get any action out of our representatives. I am asking others to join me in utilizing the tools the NRA-ILA website provides to make it easy to contact reps and press.
    Remember guns don’t kill but men with guns sure do!

  • Michael H

    Mr Moyers absolutely nails it and does so with the most poignant, gentle, yet dead-on analysis. I don’t think anyone on the planet could have stated this so beautifully or so succinctly. Thank You Mr Moyers for all you do and the way you do it!!!
    Michael H

  • YWalk

    Amazing that the NRA is blaming some of the video games for the violence that has come upon us, yet they fail to mention that they have a financial interest in some of the violent gun related video games, guess what is good for the Goose is not good for the Gander

  • Anonymous

    I share your grief at the number of young lives snuffed out by shootings. New York, your home state, has had a history of tough gun laws. The Sullivan Act, which I would guess goes back to the 40′s, makes it very difficult for anyone outside of law enforcement personnel to legally own a handgun. Yet New York has been high on the list of shooting homicides for years. I used to be staunchly in favor of rigorous gun control laws. But what I have seen is that it only restrains those who obey laws. I believe we are entering an increasingly lawless society (pick your favorite causes – movie violence, single-parent families, abandonment of religion, emasculation of American males), Every day brings new stories of outrageous crimes — ‘flash mobs’ of teenagers who ransack stores, citizens beaten for no apparent reason, victims killed for their high-priced sneakers, leather jackets, etc. or for a gang initiation. In this environment, the only common-sense approach, I believe, is to allow those who do obey laws to own the means to protect themselves.

  • Kevin Codraro

    Illegal guns are only a small part of the problem and they will be much harder to control

    Many of the mass murder attacks have been enacted with legal guns

    Legal gun ownership is as much a problem in this country as illegal guns and we CAN do something about that

    The gun control debate will produce nothing without a buyback program of all assault style weapons and high capacity ammo for repeated firing

    Anyone who thinks that allowing 10 clip ammo is the answer is mistaken

    Nothing short of removing these types of guns and ammo from society will stem the tide of violence

    Of course we need to tighten the regulations on gun suppliers so that everyone buying a gun has to go through a rigorous background check

    We have a problem of too many guns in this country and we should put a stop to the number of weapons floating around in society

    not be adding more

    We no longer live in a society that could by militia, revolt against the government

    No Milita in the is country could stand up to the military … it is just not possible

    Change will have to come from a different form of revolt

    Foremost we as a society will have to change our views of itself and the rest of the worlds citizens that we live with to produce a safe environment for our selves and our children

    Jobs can not be the reason for inaction

    Mental health and the lack of treatment is also not a problem we can address in any reasonable time frame to curb mass murder attacks

    Certainly we need these these services to be better, much better than they are, but without the correct type of gun control and regulation we will continue to morn the innocent and too often the innocent are truely innocent children

  • Steven Mikes

    Gun laws did not protect the children at Sandy Hook. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens does not stop things like this. It is all about controlling you, not protecting you. Progressives don’t care about us peeons. They send their kids to schools protected by men with gins, but if we think our children should be protected the same way, we are evil.

  • Steven Mikes

    Gun laws did not protect the children at Sandy Hook. Taking guns away
    from law abiding citizens does not stop things like this. It is all
    about controlling you, not protecting you. Progressives don’t care about
    us peeons. They send their kids to schools protected by men with guns,
    but if we think our children should be protected the same way, we are
    evil.

  • Steven Mikes

    The unbelievable statement that our children should be protected the same way rich progressives protect their children?

  • jsnowdon

    I think that many people are missing the point of why there is a need for people to be armed. If you Google the subject you will find that many of our founding fathers discussed the issue during the framing of the constitution.
    Basically the need is to prevent the government from becoming an oligarchy, where the very rich are in control of the government. We are well down that road now. The gap in income & resources between the very rich and the rest of the population is growing wider rapidly. George Soris and Michael Bloomberg would have us unarmed and Diane Fienstien, Chuck Shummer, and Barney? are tools (or perhapsmembers) of the prevailing oligarchy. When the people become very poor, oppressed and hungry enough they will revolt. The French and Russian revolutions are historical examples and Syria and Egypt are current
    examples. When the people do revolt, they will need “military style rifles with large capacity magazines”.

    Lets not make the mistake larger by allowing the oligarchy (politicians) to outlaw the sale of any gun or accessory as Diane Fienstien and several others are proposing. The arguments that it won’t happen here are:
    We have the vote, –
    Voter apathy will facilitate the
    implementation of the oligarchy.
    Oligarchies don’t permit representative
    democratic voting.

    Our army won’t support an oppressive oligarchy –
    Remember that people were shot bythe army at Kent State university during protests of the Vietnamwar?
    Once a revolt starts the army usually must support the oligarchy since they have been the tools of abuse for the oligarchy and will be punished for those actions if the revolutionaries win.

  • jtnega

    if anybody hears this or sees this please im beginning to think we need help soon. there is a boy who is shot, its getting too close to home too fast. the speed is coming from the recent over purchases of firearms. now, there are more people w/firearms leaving them lay around or in view or forget about for children/teens to steal, pick up, however they get access to them. im a proud father…, im not very comfortable w/EVERYBODY else having/carrying a firearm beside me. i absolutely loath firearms, but as of late i think i should be arming myself. im sure there are many others thinking this way too. my father said to me, what happens when somebody really knows how to handle these weapons. the boy in ct. was just a teen, how many official crack shot shooters are there at that age??? somebody needs to respond… please

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    And so explain to me why we let people with such inadequate security in their own homes and very little training take weapons home with them where they can be stolen or abused! Even gun owners in Switzerland keep their guns in a community vault. This is to make sure that they are always used to benefit the local community.
    Mind you I am the niece of an FBI, regional director who lived with a gun strapped to his chest at all times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    Yes, Wayne. We’ve heard from you already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    How old are you jt?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    You are right. We should put those laws on the restriction of bullets. They are worth so little that people waste them. Who knew what the effects of an ammunition bubble would be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.jessy1 Don Jessy

    How is it that there seems so little awareness, or discussion ANYWHERE about the general shift away from purposeful, higher consciousness in our society? -and how rapidly we have lost respect for our elders, our social programs, our neighborhoods, our benefit packages from work, even our families.

    When I was a child (67 years ago) I knew to address any adult with the prefix -Mister, or Miss, until I was given their permission to call them otherwise. If there was a complaint about my behavior by ANYONE (teacher, police, neighbor, etc) I KNEW I would have to answer to my parents…who automatically assumed I was in the wrong – just to have created a complaint about my behavior.

    Today, very few people take personal responsibility, or even know what it means. It seems ANY misbehavior can be excused if you can generate a sharp come-back, or make an irreverent joke, to be “cool.” And most people are desparate to be “cool.”

    How has it happened that we no longer have respect for honesty and truth in our society? I think since the advent of situation comedy on TV, and the dependance on unthinking violence, car crashes, explossions, in movies for “excitement” our unquestioned peer pressure to be admitted to the in-group from psyco- advertisement is reducing our ability to think critically. Fostering the Me Me Me society, the “anything for a dollar” attitude. I have travelled around the world, and the “Ugly American” has descended to the bottom in the opinion of people from other countries. We are no longer the Can-Do country, we are seen now as over ripe, over inflated egos, expecting that money will buy us out – no matter what.
    Too sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    The weapons industry has a vast wealth. Perhaps %50 of it could go to proactive programs in our communities for mental health programs, child care and Arts programs for children. Let us arm our children with music and develop their powers of Executive Function and impulse control so that they can compete with the world acedemically at school. The other %50 could go to weapon buy back programs, so more Americans living with hunger can obtain groceries. A record breaking number of them did just that in LA last week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    Dear Bill:

    This line and others like it keep sticking to my mind.

    “America’s turned violence into a profit center.”

    Something about an industry making a profit from guns sounds wrong to me. This is the wrong motivation to provide for something that is impulsively this dangerous. The ambition to profit from those sales is what is escalating this problem. Wayne LaPierre and his corporate friends have become addicted to their fix.

    What we need to do is convert our entire arms industry into non-profits, whose soul purpose is to meet the needs of local citizens and communities, who decide as communities and neighbors what they truly need for protection. Then any citizen who qualifies based on adequate training and safety requirements, regardless of their income could check out weapons as needed from their local vault, from librarians who know the inventory at all times. This would make it extremely difficult for criminals to steal weapons, as they would be protected by local citizens at all times.

    Any profits made from the manufacture and design of weapons could go to charities chosen by local communities.

    It takes a village to protect itself wisely. It is only the most successful when this is done proactively and with lots of planning by its neighbors.

    There are many creative ways this could be done. But we need to get the arms manufactures out of the for-profit sector of our economy. Its time for them to serve our needs an not theirs.

    I welcome your ideas.

  • allen lardieri
  • Sincerity

    Ever heard of Posse Comitatus?

    I’m not suggesting anything about what might have happened had they been armed. Now that you raise the question, I suppose it’s worth asking if you think those state national guard troops would have been so eager to open fire. Instead what I’m really asking you, is to ponder what would happen should soldiers shooting unarmed kids for protesting become a regular occurrence? I guess being unarmed would somehow benefit us in that situation? I’m not sure how being disarmed would help us in the event of martial law either. I’m also not sure if you even have a point.

  • Sincerity

    I don’t contemplate any such thing. I know full well the power of the
    military and would be loathe to fight against our own. Read my above
    comments where I clearly spelled out the actual threat of oppression is
    from civilian law enforcement. I truly wish nothing more than peace and
    prosperity for all in this world. However I acknowledge its dangers
    and do what little I can to guard against them.

    Tell me how exactly we would end up facing the marines, army, navy, or air force here on our own soil? Explain to me how, should that somehow actually occur despite Posse Comitatus, you think that the average soldier would be willing to wage war against his own country men. You think the generals would support it? The officers? The enlisted? Where do these people come from? Do you really think they are going to fire tanks and artillery into their own neighborhoods? I supposed you think they will eagerly drop JDAMs into residential areas including schools and churches?

    Finally, Migeulito… I have to say that up to this point I have been very respectful in framing my arguments on this board. What occurred in CT was awful and I do not wish to offend those who were affected. However, everyone has their limits. Your argument is that in the face of oppression, we should all roll over rather than resist a stronger force. You and your like disgust me. You are less than a man and are not worthy of my respect. That argument flies in the face of everything liberty, humanism, free will, and this country embrace. Those who make it are enemies of the worst kind for they attempt to enslave the rest of us with their cowardice. You do not deserve the freedoms this country provides you, if in fact you live in America. We will not sit back and let you gutless, spineless, and worthless pieces of garbage trample what liberties we have left. We shall oppose you at every turn and in every courthouse, legislative office, and area of public opinion there is.

    I can think of nothing else but to leave you with the words of a better man than I:

    Contemplate the mangled bodies of
    your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plow, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the
    earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude
    than the animating contest of freedom–go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. ~Samuel Adams

  • Michael

    I have a SignOn petition to ban the AR-15 bullet. If we ban the bullet, we ban the popular assault rifle.

    Petition Background

    The 223 cartridge used in the M16 and AR15 follows the letter of the
    law of the Geneva Convention. It is copper clad and does not expand on
    impact. However it tumbles upon impact and tears the tissue apart having
    the same impact as banned expanding bullets. It violates the spirit of
    the Geneva Convention. It was used in the Slaughter of Innocents in
    Newtown, CT and Webster, NY. The 223 caliber bullet is in-humane and
    should be banned from military and civilian use.

    View the victim’s portraits here:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324481204578181244231543014.html

    BAN the 223 Bullet and Cartridge

    The web address is: http://signon.org/sign/ban-the-223-caliber-cartridg Thank you, Michael

  • Anthony Hamilton

    Sandy Hook needs to be the tipping point for change and a Better America. Sandy Hook is the 9/11 of all of our children and Weapons of Home Destruction – WHD Must be outlawed. Let’s build a better future for the lost children of this tragic event and honor them every day.

  • tom

    Thank you. The founding fathers were flawed, and they believed in a world that no longer exists.

    My rights to have my children in school and alive is more fundamental than the right to bare arms. We can not tolerate this violence, and change is needed. The silent majority is waking up.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I completly disagree with you. I can set my gun on a table and it wont kill anything. It takes an individual act of picking up the gun and pulling the trigger to cause a death. The firearm cannot act alone. It takes an action from an animal to shoot another human. Unless you are protecting your family.
    If one of the adults at any of the schools could have been armed, how many lives could have been saved?

  • Anonymous

    If you believe that a ban on assult rifles will save anyone, please open your eyes. Where I live it is being discussed that if teachers were able to conceal, how many shootings would happen Think about it. Signs in front of schools that state “Gun Free School Zone” For the Animals that have shot up our schools that is an open invitation!
    Allow the teachers to pack heat and school shootings will dissappear.
    An armed society is an honest society!

  • Anonymous

    Yes it did, and thats a shame. 100 dollar card for groceries, 200 if it was considered an assult rifle. My rights are worth way more than 100 dollars. My families protection is worth an unlimited amount of money. Poor suckers are selling out for a hundred bucks, cheap price for protection.
    The thugs wont give up their guns. In fact they will use the illegal gun they bought in the ghetto to steal your 100 dollar food card.
    My life is worth way more than that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    I am sure that most local communities would agree that the more powerful a weapon is the more hours per year of continued training the owner needs to be a trustworthy and responsible owner of such a weapon. These owners need to become well versed and highly specialized depending on the technology. But the training is so much more than the mechanics, If you are going to take the gun out of the gun case and actually use it. Our local police are constantly updating their own training. You need to know all of the changing social conditions and laws that you could potentially be confronted with. WE do not want any more amateurs in our communities handling this kind of equipment, even if they are sound of mind. You can not use a weapon responsibly or effectively for protection with out the context of a supportive and well informed community.

  • tom

    We loose more lives to gun violence than most countries loose in war. We live in constant state of mass murder. This happened in a quiet Connecticut town. It could happen anyplace. To quote an old anti war song from Peter Seiger: When will we ever learn.

  • Edward “Mikeminnesota” Wick

    One folk singer-songwriter here in Minnesota, finally had enough of all the shootings and was so moved he created a music composition couple days ago addressing the Sanford Town Killing. It’s posted on youtube under the title “sanford town – ben aaron (original)” The words to the music are included with video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesburroughs220 James Burroughs

    TEST THE NRA’S IDEA. SET UP CARDBOARD STUDENTS IN SEVERAL CLASS ROOMS. ARM THE TEACHERS WITH PAINTBALL GUNS. SEND IN A CRAZED GUNMAN WITH A PAINTBALL GUN AND SEE HOWMANY TARGETS HE PAINTS BEFORE GETTING STOPPED. I KNOW ID BE PRAYING MY CHILD IS ONE NOT PAINTED BUT I CAN GIVE YOU A 150% GURENTEE THAT LESS TARGETS WILL BE PAINTED

  • Bob Craig

    Despite this horrible event in Connecticut, your children are more safe in school than nearly anywhere else. We have the third largest population of all the nations, and everything gets reported, especially the spectacular acts of violence. Our perspective is easily distorted. Hysteria makes for bad laws.

  • Bob Craig

    Oddly enough, such events don’t happen in towns we associate with violence, but in small settled towns or in the west in suburbs. That may be because the oddballs there are really made to feel their oddness and react with violence.

  • NCIC

    I think we need to focus on the glorification of guns by Hollywood and the Video Game industry. Also what about the Media frenzies whenever there is a shooting? 100 years ago, percentage-wise there were more homes with guns than there are today, but why were there not having shootings in schools, businesses, etc? Hollywood and the video game industry are training these monsters. The media frenzy takes it to a new level in covering
    the shootings day and night. The people that are attracted to the R-rated violent movies and the killing video games are the people that are going out and performing these heinous deeds, yet the media and
    politicians are afraid to shine the light on the true culprits. We have to send a message to Hollywood, the gaming industry and the internet videos that are training our children how to become mass murderers!

    Regulating guns might fix a small part of the problem, but it’s not stopping the cause.

  • Carl L Moore

    Hi Tim..And you too Bil.
    Our founding fathers warned us to fear our government…and that we should remain watchful..and armed. That good enough for me.
    Bill and thouse like him are hoplophobic and would disarn all citizens period.
    If they are so worried about school shooting then they should follow Israel’s example…it worked overnight. They won’t
    simply because it dose not fit “thier” agenda…of disarming America !
    There are now over 100million handguns in American homes…With latest figures…they are safer than baseball bats !
    A a former soldier I did take an oath to protet and defend the US Constitution against all ememies foriegn and domestic…that includes
    the second amendment.
    The next time you hear a politician( that has taken an oath to defend the Constutition) say it’s an outdated document that need to be replaced.
    Ask yourself,just what do they want to replace it with…something that will give us new freedoms. or something that will take more freedoms away from us? There is no reason to replace the US Constitution, unless
    it will give”them” more control over our daily lives….they are working towards totall population controll.

    Fire arms caused deaths in the US came in at tenth place. about 5% of first place…well below baseball bats !
    Godbless America.

    Best Regards
    Carl L Moore

  • Carl L Moore

    Hi Susan,
    Sorry to hear of the fate of your mother.
    I hope you will decide to take advantage of you option. All of my family and most all of my extended family own pistols and have CCW permits( Lifetime permits) The main stay of our arms is the Beretta XD Storm Sub-compact in 9mm, and the SIG Sauer SP2022 in 9mmPara (9mm x 19mm)
    These are fair priced for quality and preformance
    If you do choose to buy a pistol I strongly suggest you find a good trainer or a school with good instructors..IE Gunsite
    If you are well trained that makes a great deal
    toward safety. If your are and are not careless a pistol or anyother weapon is as safe as a butter-knife.
    I have been armed since Viet~Nam, carry 24/7,
    or its under my pillow while I sleep. No I am not paranoid… My life in The Army taught me it is better to have it and not need something, than to need something and not have it.
    The SIG Sauer is a med to full frame pistol with a 3.9″ barrel and the Berreta has a 3″ barrel. Most of the ladies in my family prefure the Beretta and the men the SIG Sauer SP2022
    Several places that you can find them online or instore are; Gander Mountian , and Cabelas
    You can actually pay and have then sent to thier nearest store, where you fill out the Parers
    Then carry out your purchase.
    If You want I can be reacher at;
    tnrebelin @ yahoo.con ( take out the spaces)
    Note: My wife has both the above mentioned firearms with 9 magazines for ea. gun
    I do have other guns but these are those that are most popular in our family.
    If you have a husband or if you want a larger frame pistol, I strongly suggest SIG Sauer’s MK25 or thier M11-A! they are veryy simular one having the Navy anchor, the other not. Bothe run around $1,100 but are VERY well made they both are internaly phosphate coated especialy made for rough use and long life.
    Thay are very accurate…as they are the same side arms issuer to the USN SEAL Teams
    Like the SP2022-9mm they hold 15 rounds
    I think if you do discide to buy a fire arm you will do well.
    Again I am sorry to hear about your family’s misfortunes. I wish you a healthy, long life with many joys to come.
    Carl L Moore

  • CARL L MOORE

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    If you are so concerned about school shooting, why don’t
    you find out how Israel stopped them in thier tracks overnight.
    No you won’t…you would rather disarm all citizens in a plan that has no hope of sucess. Could it be that you a
    hoplophobic liberal ? Maybe it just that you are infavor
    a all controlling government vs We The People
    Look at recent gun sale across America…People are voteing with thier hard earned pay at Gun Stores all across this land.
    I would guess that American have spent more on guns in this year…than there were in political contrabution…
    …Why are you really thinking and talking the way you are? Tell us please
    Sincerly,
    Carl L Moore

  • tom

    I completely disagree. The UK now has much stricter gun control since a similar event in Scotland. Since that time in 1989 gun violence has completely dropped off. Same is true for Australia. Read up.

    We are in constant turmoil with mass shootings now. This happens no place else in The West.

    You are on the wrong side of history, but You probably are on the wrong side for a multitude of issues.

    The violence in this country will continue until we change.

    Even Ronald Reagan advocated an assault riffle ban.

    And, no, school children are not safe.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t the fact that “anyone at any time” can get a gun a result of the overall volume?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.smart.528 Mike Smart

    One time I ran home faster than a villian he nearly reached me for a beating I had an apple corer(at home) and slashed him. He later jumped me with gang but persuated him that was enough or another slashing may occurr. I was in first grade.

    I give peace the utmost energies but all in all the republic need not succomb to criminals it is ill balanced and unacceptable.

    NRA responce is always at local police first then quick lawful defence second. Detroit, Chicago, and other high crime need police first and secure lawful citisens resistance.
    Also NRA as not religeous affiliated safty practrices only should be allowed in school along with sherriffs, police and military. I do not condone courts ruling no Pledge of Aliegance or Swithblades and the Cross films but court be courts.

  • Anonymous

    Can you give an example of someone using an “assault weapon” for self-defense?

  • Bart25

    Miguelito – whether it was the Weimar Republic, or Hitler, the result was the same.

  • PHILIP T KAPLAN

    For a discussion of
    possible new means to enact gun control, see “Breaking Through the Gun Control
    Logjam” at http://www.guncontrollogjam@blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    One of the problems is that we are more densely populated. There is no way we could sustain the level of gun ownership by people who lived in rural America. If someone out in the wilderness was going to kill off their family and commit suicide nature would clean up the mess before anyone heard about it. You also had no press to cover all of the dangerous things all people have always done with guns. They didn’t need our modern media to inspire violence.

  • Woody Pitt

    It’s this crazy paranoia of not just the militant whites. but U.S society that makes even normal people think they need an AR 15 or the like to make them feel secure. When the truth is they probably won’t see the mad man coming and if we would just begin to really look after the welfare of or neighbors we might actually make som progress.

  • Anonymous

    Renunciation

    “…the righteous man has nothing to fear,
    neither In life, nor in death, and the gods will not forsake him.” Socrates

    (For those who died heroically at
    Newtown, Connecticut, And William Dane Dodge, un rédacteur sans égal)

    I
    The gods came to this place once known as Quanneapague
    before the town bells could ring out their joy to the world.
    It was a cold December morning.
    In the forest surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary,
    the hoarfrost hung like Christmas icicles.
    Homes along the quiet streets of Newtown were brimming with pine cones and poinsettias,
    with Christmas wreaths and Himalayan green roses.
    The gods saw the longing for immortality
    in these rolling hills with their winter apple orchards.
    This was the same place where the French General Rochambeau encamped on the way to the siege of Yorktown with his troops.
    It was not a massacre then, but a revolutionary war.
    These ancient gods who dimmed the hopes
    of every schoolchild in Connecticut, were the same gods who sealed the pact
    between a great democracy and an even greater anarchy, proclaiming its right to bear arms.

    II

    Here we are again, moved to an insidious silence
    as we witness men and women of high rank,
    along with the somber faces of journalists and TV anchors,
    lowering the flag to mourn another mass killing.
    The people have gathered outside the Newtown meeting house
    not far from Ram’s Pasture
    as they have since the Revolution, standing
    beneath the Rooster weathervane, his proud tail
    spinning at the center of this unending vigil.
    Everybody knows what this country is about.
    The cathedrals and churches are lit with candles
    while gun shops across America are jammed with new customers.
    As members of the ‘Commission on Morality and Massacres’
    we go on talking about safety
    while gawking at children’s coffins on TV.
    The chatter on the internet is all about mental illness
    and the impossibility of gun control,
    as if death was the perpetual star of our nativity.

    III

    They fell at Sandy Hook: twelve schoolgirls, eight boys, six adults,
    warriors as great as those at Lexington and Gettysburg
    but they were no match for two automatic pistols
    and the smooth steel of a Bushmaster assault rifle.
    Thinking of America’s firing ranges and the carnage
    unleashed by one gunman,
    the gods came to me this morning.
    Before the rooster crowed,
    I took my AK-47 and smashed its wood stock,gutting the firing chamber and breaking its trigger with a sledge hammer.
    I marveled at the precision of this weapon,
    all the beauty and craftsmanship now lying in ruins.

    The gods did not promise me any safe passage.

    Luis Lázaro Tijerina, Burlington, Vermont
    December, 2012

  • Anonymous

    Renunciation

    “…the righteous man has nothing to fear,
    neither In life, nor in death, and the gods will not forsake him.” Socrates

    (For those who died heroically at
    Newtown, Connecticut, And William Dane Dodge, un rédacteur sans égal)

    I

    The gods came to this place once known as Quanneapague
    before the town bells could ring out their joy to the world.
    It was a cold December morning.
    In the forest surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary,
    the hoarfrost hung like Christmas icicles.
    Homes along the quiet streets of Newtown
    were brimming with pine cones and poinsettias,
    with Christmas wreaths and Himalayan green roses. The gods saw the longing for immortality
    in these rolling hills with their winter apple orchards.
    This was the same place where the French General Rochambeau encamped
    on the way to the siege of Yorktown with his troops.
    It was not a massacre then, but a revolutionary war.
    These ancient gods who dimmed the hopes
    of every schoolchild in Connecticut,
    were the same gods who sealed the pact
    between a great democracy and an even greater anarchy,
    proclaiming its right to bear arms.

    II

    Here we are again, moved to an insidious silence
    as we witness men and women of high rank,
    along with the somber faces of journalists and TV anchors,
    lowering the flag to mourn another mass killing,
    The people have gathered outside the Newtown meeting house
    no far from Ram’s Pasture
    as they have since the Revolution, standing
    beneath the Rooster weathervane, his proud tail
    spinning at the center of this unending vigil.
    Everybody knows what this country is about.
    The cathedrals and churches are lit with candles
    while gun shops across America are jammed with new customers.
    As members of the ‘Commission on Morality and Massacres’
    we go on talking about safety
    while gawking at children’s coffins on TV.
    The chatter on the internet is all about mental illness
    and the impossibility of gun control,
    as if death was the perpetual star of our nativity.

    III

    They fell at Sandy Hook: twelve schoolgirls, eight boys, six adults, warriors
    as great as those at Lexington and Gettysburg
    but they were no match for two automatic pistols
    and the smooth steel of a Bushmaster assault rifle.
    Thinking of America’s firing ranges and the carnage
    unleashed by one gunman,
    the gods came to me this morning.
    Before the rooster crowed,
    took my AK-47 and smashed its wood stock,
    gutting the firing chamber and breaking its trigger
    with a sledge hammer.
    I marveled at the precision of this weapon,
    at all the beauty and craftsmanship
    now lying in ruins.
    The gods did not promise me any safe passage.

    Luis Lázaro Tijerina, Burlington, Vermont

    December 2012

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    I think we will fall short if we do not look deeply into our past. When the news broke on Friday, I was filled with an inner furry. But I had to bite my lip, so I could get through a day of teaching music to under-served urban children. I couldn’t understand why all the rest of you were so shocked. Have you been living on an island?

    I remember when I returned from my studies in Japan with Sensei in 1992 and 1st I was greeted with the Riots in South Central. Then in 94, age 11, Yummy Sandifer killed and was killed on Chicago’s south side. To young to kill, To young to Die.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601940919,00.html#ixzz2Gh4ZOpSn

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601940919,00.html

    Yet most of you treated this story as if it were happening in a 3rd world country where children are recruited as soldiers. There has been a war going on unabated in our inner cities where weapons have become available to children. But it seemed so far away. It was happening to other people’s children.

    In a world where our corporations have the power to write custom legislation to their own preference and agendas, any New Town could just as easily become the next South Chicago, South Central or South Sudan.

    There’s no such Child as Other People’s Children . . . . not then, not now, , , , ,not any more.
    Lyrics continue on the link below.

    http://heartdancing.wordpress.com

    It wasn’t until the Sunday evening that I heard the voice of reason coming from our president over the air, that my anger melted into tears.

  • signofthetimes

    twisted perspective.

  • signofthetimes

    Sounds like an NRA post.

  • http://twitter.com/CJ2Professor Ed

    Mr. Moyer, the shooting was indeed a national loss, but what I am seeing and hearing liberals & anti-gun lobby are attempting to lump all of us who own guns into the catagory of mentally disturbed and not capable of making rational decisions..I spent 21+ years in law enforcement protecting your rights. I have never killed anyone nor do I have plans to do so. So for me I dont want you and your lib dem, news cracks making decisions for me and my RIGHT to keep and bear arms!!!!!!!

  • towgunner11h

    A classic statistical mistake- too small a sample size. Compare violent deaths in Europe with those in the US since the Second Amendment was adopted, then get back to me

  • tom

    Any one with the name “towgunner”is not qualified to comment. I specifically compared the UK and Austrailia to the Unites States because they are also Anglo democracies. I do not need to bring racist regimes prior to 1945 into the discussion.

    In the Unites States, we loose more lives to gun violence than we do in war.

    The second amendment gives you the right to an arm – not a semi automatic.

    Take a look at the 20 children murdered in Newtown by a gun enthusiast. Read there names and ages. If your argument still stands, then you need to be committed

  • covert1968

    Nothing like an NRA post ! Mr. Moyers, look at the number of people killed by drunk drivers every year and how they are coddled ! It is not just a fact of making Presidential executive orders in direct conflict with the Laws of our Constitution which guarantees as a means of stopping governments from taking over the people the Second Amendment exists and the founding fathers had the foresight to see this as a distinct possibility 1 The Police are not equipped to respond to a situation like this I I live in Florida and we have laws which provide for School Resource Officers to prevent situations like this from happening and as a result have never had a situation like Sandy Hook or Columbine happen and our students are protected from this very type of incident and have safe schools !

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.lynch.927 Jack Lynch

    Bill, as always, you say what needs to be said. It is my hope that many will watch this touching and insightful essay. I am so grateful for your journalism and your ‘company’. I pass many of your shows on to facebook, this one is definitely being posted. I think of these students often, and of the teachers and also the first responders. But I also think of the larger travesty of our guns policy and our arms policy that take far too many innocent lives every day around the world. Continue to be the voice of reason, Bill. Thank you.

  • covert1968

    The Crime rates in Australia and other counties who have confiscated guns and deprived citizens of the right of self defense have seen Violent Crime increase by as much as 60 plus percent and murder by 45%. Look at the Swiss who reqire all males to serve in the military and then keep the weapons issued and in working condition and that the crime rates there are the lowest in the world and murder rates are almost 0!

  • covert1968

    Yes five times in Florida in the past year ! Define Assault Weapon !

  • covert1968

    They steal or get them illegally at an illegal age from parents stupid enough to allow it and then the parent winds up the first who died ! ID is required along with a Back Round check to legally Purchase any gun from a gun shop in the U.S. A. Any criminal knows where to get a weapon of any type illegally that is what criminals do !

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    You are right. A few laws aren’t going to do it. We need to turn the entire weapons industry upside down and remove the profit motivation that is escalating the way in which guns are marketed. Art always tells the truth, even when it is ugly.

  • http://www.greggdeselms.com/ Gregg L. DesElms

    Yes… to a word, what Jack Lynch said.

    Thank you, Jack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/myrna.shreve.7 Myrna Shreve

    All the way

    Let’s go all the way!
    We can do it in one easy jump!

    Yes, we can FIX our broken government; we don’t HAVE TO HAVE children murdered by assault guns. We do not have to have a broken Congress. We CAN have a fully functioning United States of America which is a parliamentary democracy (like those other democracies that DO function). Many of our politicians and the wealthy of the United States have vested interests in the status quo—where the wealthy can buy our legislators. They do not want United States
    citizens to know about parliamentary democracies. If you learn that we can copy a government of a country that presently has a balanced economy, universal health care, an excellent educational system, low unemployment, a housing market that is BOOMING, an infrastructure that is in good hands, citizens that have only hunting rifles (not guns), and the country’s legislators are not bought by money, they are afraid you will want that too.

    Elections in parliamentary democracies can last only 33, or so, days—then the prime minister (the very next day after winning) can begin passing legislation to carry out his platform. When the party in control has a
    majority of the seats in the parliament there is no worry about filibusters or other opposition to his platform. If citizens do not like the way he and his party are governing, a new election can be held. Had the United States been a parliamentary democracy we would not have had to wait and wait while the country was going down the drain during Bush‘s last term. We could have stemmed the loss of jobs much sooner. Had President Clinton and other presidents been prime ministers instead of presidents, we would have had universal health care many administrations ago!

    There is a book, LIBERATION FOR THE NATION, which lays out WHY and HOW the United States can become governed as a parliamentary democracy. You can read the book FOR FREE by searching Google for liberatenation.wordpress.com. Find out how we can fix our government quickly. Let your friends know!

    Sincerely, Myrna
    Shreve

  • http://www.facebook.com/myrna.shreve.7 Myrna Shreve

    Read LIBERATION FOR THE NATION in honor of our precious children murdered in Connecticut!

  • byron

    the UK has the highest violent crime rate in all of europe, south africa and austrailia. there are now loud voices from the medical community in britain to ban kitchen knives. yes, you heard that right. kitchen knives. it seems that they are the weapon of choice, now. and according to ‘scientific research’ one really doesn’t need a large kitchen knife to cook or prepare food. a small short one will do just fine. where does the need to control others so that you feel safe end?

  • byron

    he is correct though. the US has 4 times the violent crime rate as the UK. the only problem is that the US has 6 times the population.

  • tom

    This is the best reply ever. Do you understand basic math and stats. Yes, the US has a much much bigger population than the UK. But the UK had about 40 gun deaths last year compared to about 20k here. Look it up.

  • byron

    that is correct. but it hasn’t cut down on violent crime. they just use other weapons. like knives. it’s not a joke. there are loud voices in the UK to ban large kitchen knives. mostly from the medical community. they are now the weapon of choice and it’s felt you don’t really need a large kitchen knife to cook. where does the pathology of trying to control others so you feel safe end? you will never be safe and there will always be people and countless other things in the universe that are always trying to kill you. i don’t need you legislating that i can’t drink a large soda or must wear a seat belt, either.

  • byron

    there are 300 million people in this country. how many mass murderers were there? what percentage is that? you people are demented with your need to feel safe. we will never ‘learn’ because we are still humans. we are animals. there will ALWAYS be people intent on killing others and they will ALWAYS find a way. no matter how many laws you pass

  • tom

    I can tell you the damage done to those young children is not something the founding fathers would take likely. Semi automatics running loose in town is not acceptable. As long as mental patients are allowed to use shooting ranges, and buy ammunition online, we are in danger.

    Do you really believe this is the intent of the 2nd ammendment? Read it.

    Why does the GOP’s “right to life”end at elementary school? Once again Conservatives are on the wrong side of history.

  • byron

    at the time of the writing of the constitution muskets WERE the semi-automatic of it’s day. they wanted the populous armed to the teeth so that the government feared them. so that it was government by the people. as chairman Mao said, one governs by the barrel of a gun. i’m not republican nor democrat. i believe they are one in the same. i also don’t own any guns. i do, however, understand that i can’t let fear rule my logic. or believe that there won’t always be these tragic things happen even if you make everything illegal. that kid could have just as easily filled his truck up with propane and gasoline tanks and drove into the side of the building. probably would have killed even more people. then others would have seen him do that and copycatted it. the side of history, as you put it.. is clear. when kings don’t fear the guillotine, they become tyrants. invariably

  • tom

    Drink as much soda as you want Byron. Since, I actually live just outside Sandy Hook, I can tell you the terror here is very real. Tomorrow my young child and I will be visiting the memorials and making snow angels. This area was also hit heavy on 9/11, so we know how to cope with tragedy and will rebound. In fact, my father died in that attack.

    Sandy Hook Ct is just far enough from NYC. It is small and sleepy. The press has left, and it will be a long winter. Real people. Real loss.

    Anything else?

  • tom

    This just gets better and better.

  • byron

    i would say. don’t live your life in fear. when you recognize that nobody is ever safe. not even your children. no amount of laws is ever going to change that. really bad things are going to happen, even to you. they always have. when you quit living in a perpetually worked up and fearful state, then maybe you can appreciate how precious life really is. you would stop spending so much energy and emotion on something that is impossible to achieve. maybe show your child that the universe is indeed a violent place. but you love him and choose not to live in fear despite that fact. whatever time you have is not a given and it is very precious. so use it wisely.

  • byron

    you can choose to trust the government with your life and the life of your child. you can choose to let a congress who is so obviously doing the bidding of ‘main street’ to write the rules. you can announce that history is over and that government will never do you harm, because this is amerika in the 2013! the world is different now! but there are an enormous amount of people who will not. this has the potential to be as divisive of an issue as slavery was. save the fact that only a few wealthy land owners had slaves. people really do mean it when they say you can take my guns out of my cold dead hands. i wouldn’t be surprised if they reinstated the assault weapon ban. it won’t change much. colmubine happened during the last one.

    however, if they push too hard trying to disarm law abiding americans, there will be bloodshed. mark my words.

  • Anonymous

    Women would be at a loss here,no?

  • Anonymous

    So ,you don’t live in fear?

  • Anonymous

    Cars are not made FOR killing,guns are madeFOR KILLING. Why is this difference being overlooked?

  • kate

    We’ve got our own little test tube for the nra’s arm-everyone proposal. Last I heard kennesaw, ga had done just that, over ten years ago. How’s that working out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.phillips.313924 Randy Phillips

    Mr. Moyers I look forward to future shows in which you use the same furvor and “conscience” to address the drunk driving epidemic (which kills hundreds of children) as vehemently as your anti gun crusade. Shame on you.
    Randall L. Phillips
    Cazenovia, NY

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.phillips.313924 Randy Phillips

    I guess the truth is inappropriate.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps Wayne LaPierre has the right idea. Maybe we need to protect our children by putting armed guards in schools. As the war in Afghanistan winds down this would be a good way to employ some returning veterans. These are people who are trained. They know what to do when the bullets start to fly. Most have basic first aid training to care for any hurt or wounded till the 1st responders get there.
    How, then, do we pay for it? Do we raise taxes so that the federal government will pay for it? Do we raise state taxes and have the states pay for it? Do we raise property taxes, which is how most schools are funded, to pay for it? Or do we reduce the number of teachers and increase class sizes to make the children pay for it?
    I propose licensing all people who want to own a weapon. It will involve an extensive background check. Perhaps even a psychological evaluation. They will have to take and pass a test proving their knowledge of safety. A practical test to prove they are capable of handling the weapon safely. Maybe the NRA can contribute to developing the test. They will have to renew their license and retest every 5 years. Also they will have to demonstrate how they will secure their weapons to keep them out of the hands of children and criminals.
    All weapons in peoples possession would be licensed as we do cars. The license to be renewed every 2 years or when the ownership of the weapon is transferred.
    A fee would be charged for each license. 10% for administration, 90% of that fee would go for paying for the armed security to protect our children. Law enforcement officers and military personnel would be exempt from licensing fee for their service weapon. Businesses that require their personnel to carry weapons can pay to license them.
    It will help pay for training and equipping school security. It will close the guns show loophole and the dealers who are lax about the rules. The gun owners will have to show their license to buy, sell and carry a firearm and no ones right to keep and bear arms is infringed.
    Of course, severe penalties would have to be mandated for violations.
    ~;^}>

    If you miss the way it used to be- Tax a millionaire, support a union and buy American

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomincolo Tom Fox

    The latest and most shameless example of the NRAs attempt to deflect the nation’s attention is the conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged to provoke the nation to accept additional gun control measures. This ludicrous and intellectually bankrupt argument must be debunked at every opportunity.

  • Rob

    Instead of talking about taking the guns away from every law abiding citizen in America, how about we actually enforce the laws we have. If we take the rights away of citizens because BAD PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS, then we should seriously talk about banning cars, because after all these years way more people are killed by DRUNK DRIVERS and ACCIDENTS than GUNS. That and until we see people like Diane Fienstien of California who goes around trying to take away others rights, actually has a CCW and carries a .357 magnum for defense. Or Senator Chuck Schumer of New York who has an unlimited pistol liscence in New York yet has no problem telling others that they should not have the same right he has. When politicians give up their guns and armed guards I’ll give up mine.

  • Rob

    It is about the right to bear arms. The 2nd Amendment is fundamental to our country. The idea that only the government should be armed was the reason the Founders put it in. An armed populace is a check against a corrupt and despotic government.

  • slackercruster

    Seems to me, a well regulated Militia needs assault weapons and not muzzle loaders. Even if there is a killing per week unfortunately it just goes with the territory. Freedoms always involve side effects that are not desirable. Alcohol drugs, cars, planes, whatever – their is death involved – it just goes with the territory.

    Ban assault weapons and they will just pull out 2 or 3 auto pistols to kill the Innocent. Ban auto pistols and they will pull our 2 or 3 revolvers and a shotgun and so it goes down the ban list. Ban all guns and the insane will just switch to a different method of killing like poison or fire bombs. You can’t ban mental illness, but our world has evolved to foster mental illness.

    As our world decomposes, the greedy, rich and powerful will continue to squeeze the life out of the poor and middle class. People will be fed more and more poisonous food and live on an unhealthy diet. And no doubt more people will be going off the deep end and lashing out by killing others to build their own sick minded determination to commit suicide. It is a sad state of affairs, but it does not affect the 2nd Amendment provision for the self defense of our nation.

    History has shown us what can happen to the defenseless citizens of a country…

    http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/GunControlWorks.jpg

    [img]http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/GunControlWorks.jpg[/img]

  • V. Ramirez

    I haven’t stopped thinking that if Adam Lanza had walked into the Sandy Hook School and begun (gasp) strangling students rather than shooting them, could he have killed all of those innocent people in the few minutes that it took him to shoot them. Guns are the coward’s way to vent anger. i am not insensitive to what he may have suffered that lead him to such a horrific act, but I also feel so strongly that collectively we tend to have very little self-control. Instant gratification of all our desires, both good and bad, seems to be our modus operandi. I also can’t help but think that his mother was the lucky one. How can you feel when Adam Lanza is your son or brother. Talk about feeling conflicted; being shocked and still loving your child or sibling.

  • Quinten Quarqy

    What was the response to 9/11? Didn’t they put armed people on planes to protect us?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    I was being completely ludicrous when I suggested earlier, that we rehire veterans to do as LaPierre recommended. Most of these folks are returning with injuries that do not make them very good candidates for such an occupation. I’m sure that most of them would like to do any that does not return them to holding a weapon.

    More over we need start sending the bills we incur for this kind of violence directly to the weapons industry that wants to market domestically?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    And I thought it was a conspiracy on the NRA’s part to boost weapons sales during a lingering ressecesion.
    I wish that sounded more sarcastic than it did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    You are now being stripped to the bone before you get on a plane because you can’t shoot guns in a pressurized aircraft.

  • RRuss

    Would it make any difference if a gun owner were to be held strictly liable for the consequences resulting from the use of his gun? Like a car, if every gun were required to be registered, and insured then there would be some recourse in the event of misuse of the weapon, and there would be an incentive to assure no harm comes from one’s weapon.

  • leybinuc

    The first horrible act committed by ahuman according to the Bible happened before guns existed Cain and abel and this act occurred simply due to the fact that there was evil in his heart so to blame a weapon is ignorant… To act on fear and fight for another freedom to be revoked would be absolute blasphemy i do not own guns myself but i do believe it is the right of the American people to have them for many reasons from personal defense against an intruder to hunt and most importantly for defense against agovernment that over steps it’s bounds i sincerely hope we do not forget that our ability to make laws comes from the fact that our ancestors owned guns and they were not afraid to use them to protect our rights and beliefs

  • RRuss

    Bill Moyers is a national treasure. He has been telling it like it is, supporting the views and voicing the opinions helpful to those who otherwise are disenfranchised for most of my life. Thank You. It is an essential to any America I want to live in.

    Now we are engaged in a debate that I cannot imagine there is any serious difference about. Do we want to live in a violence crazed world or do we not? How can reasonable people disagree?

    Most of the argument in favor of violence seems to hinge on interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I think this is a mistake. Any interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, whether for or against, is nothing more than an interpretation of the thoughts of men of more than two hunderd years ago, who knew nothing of the world we live in today, and who could not even imagine the kind of weapons that exist today, and certainly could not imagine weapons that will be produced in the not so distant future. Why should we be limited by their thoughts about the right to bear arms?

    The debate as it has run in the past reminds me of a dog chasing its tale; it never quite gets there. Iwould suggest that we change the terms of the discussion. Rather than argue about the right to bear arms, which turns on the wording of the 2nd Amendment, why don’t we talk about things that are clearly not mentioned in the 2nd Amendment?

    I do not see anything there that gives anyone a right to manufacture or sell arms. I do not see anything that gives anyone the right to manufacture, sell or for that matter own ammunition. Why not just prohibit these?

    What about if we make gun owners strictly liable for the harm resulting from the use of their weapon? This is completely compatible with the 2nd Amendment and also within the precept of free enterprise.

    Or we could also just require that gun ownership be registered and insured like we register cars. I see nothing in the 2nd Amendment that would limit this.
    Owners would be responsible for the damage caused by their gun, and could protect themselves from liability through insurance.

    There are just examples of how we might change the discourse over gun violence. It is important to change the discourse from a zero sum game of guns or no guns to one of discussion of various alternatives, The reality is that no one need a gun at all, and most clearly no one needs an automatic weapon capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute. So, it those who want guns insist on continued ownership, then reasonable conditions for that ownership should be imposed.

    But in ay event, change the discussion to include many alternatives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    It is unfair to accuse those who seek to find a solution to this problem as reacting emotionally to any specific incident. Most of us have lived a life time with this problem and have put forth a lot of creative energy looking for constructive ways that would address the abuse of weapons in our society for quite a long time.

  • http://2000ah.blogspot.com/ Edward

    How broken is our society if we all have to be armed and wearing body armor, what kind of cyberpunk hell are we trying to create. Unless you are an actually cowboy you are not a cowboy.

  • http://twitter.com/HoneyBee_Bryant HoneyBeeBryant

    The founding fathers knew about gov’t oppression, and how important it was to have a base of law abiding armed citizens keeping the gov’t in check. Unfortunately, the current gov’t is moving toward a dictatorship. This will be the 5th year of Obama’s reign – same # of years to turn Austria into a dictatorship. You need to read the real history, not the ones our socialist schools portray. Step 1) Make sure schools teach socialist propaganda, Step 2) Take over high positions in each Gov’t Dept, Step 3) Control media to only print what you want, Step 4) Register all guns, Step 5) Confiscate all guns (from law abiding citizens using a crises as a reason), Step 6) Make presidential term limitless, Step 7) Discard Constitution, Step 8) Arrest Christians and/or Conservatives as terrorists.

    btw: Christians were just kicked out of jails in 2012 due to “security issues” (both employees & ministries) so no one will know what goes on in there.
    Pull the wool away from your eyes.

  • http://twitter.com/HoneyBee_Bryant HoneyBeeBryant

    I lived in Scotland and I saw the statistics book itself – the one with all the numbers. They don’t count everything they should – they categorize it differently. Besides there is only 5 million people there. Our big cities are usually 2 or 3 times that size and they have more diverse peoples. Big cities have gangs & drug business. It isn’t the guns in law abiding citizens’ hands, it is any weapon in a criminal’s hand.

  • sudepmom

    talk and think too much . don’t seem to feel anything ..but anger
    typically clannish

  • sudepmom

    even comedians say they “have to kill ‘em”
    in the audience. “kill two birds with one stone”
    to save time. also there is always a “war” on something: crime, drugs, fat!

  • byron

    nice to know you’re so judgmental. yeah, really redneck clan here. grew up at the johnson space center and moved to the hills.. openly gay and accepted with open arms by my clan. big on the local food movement as a farmer. jokes about neighbors from me and others, “you know todd, you’re my favorite rebuplican.” as we actually get together as a community in the community center that was built in the 30s by the WPA.

    i HAVE a community. one that i’m very different from on many levels. but very close to, nonetheless. this is the real problem. do you talk to yours when you go into the doctor’s office or elsewhere? or type on your phone? people in the ‘red states’ the gun fanatic places… they all feel an intense nationalistic sense of community. this is why we don’t fear each other. don’t fear each other having guns. i suppose it’s different where you live, in the republic.

  • sudepmom

    sorry Todd. good that you have such a strong community.

    wasn’t the WPA brought about by a democratic president?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707467623 Andy Smith

    Nancy Lanza had her guns for years. She’s the one to blame. She let her “family-challenge” kid use them, and even brought him to gun ranges regularly to become a good shot!

    I propose Victoria (Soto)’s Law: the owner of any gun used in any crime should be charged with that crime unless the gun was provably stolen.

    I also propose Gabrielle (Giffords)’s Law: the ATF should tax the hell out of guns, as they do with alcohol and tobacco, but all gun-safety devices should be tax-free.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707467623 Andy Smith

    How about a little logic? Look at cars. Cars kill. So to drive a car in a manner than isn’t deadly (or at least to reduce the chances of death), you have to 1) attain age 16 2) pass a written test about signs, lights, right of way, etc,. etc. 3) pass driving school 4) pass a road test, and then 5) pass a new test every four years. And that’s OK, because it reduces death. But with guns, which kill BY DESIGN rather than by accident/negligence/recklessness, any talk of licenses, checks, practice, training, etc., is met with rabidly insane morons calling it all anti-American!

    1. Guns are instruments of death — nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. When you use a gun, you’re doing one of two things: killing or practicing to kill. Therefore guns equals death, and therefore more guns equals more death, and fewer guns equals less death. LESS death is GOOD. MORE death is BAD. Duh.

    2. Foam-mouthed crazies like Ted Nugent always talk about defending life. Fine! In fact that’s legal; it’s called “self-defense”! Fine! But that’s the ONLY legitimate use for a gun: kill or be killed. What did a deer, a fox, a duck, etc., ever do to you to threaten your LIFE? And what kind of sicko gets up in the morning and says “I’m going to kill a living thing today — because I can!”? Hunters are the same as serial killers, except they kill animals rather than people. If they really want that macho feeling of competition, why not level the playing field? They should hunt… EACH OTHER!!

    3. Hunters by and large go for “that perfect shot”. Knowing that, there is NO NEED for ANY civilian to have an assault rifle or a clip of more than ONE bullet. NONE.

    4. Since guns equal death, the training one should go through to use a gun should be equally serious, as serious as death. A cop’s training — with background check, practice and repeated testing — should be MINIMUM. But just after Newtown, the town’s police chief said that citizens need only show their driver’s license and fill out a little paperwork, and they get handed the gun RIGHT THEN AND THERE, even BEFORE the paperwork’s results come back! That’s the DEFINITION of insanity!

    Gun nuts tend to be 100% reactive, who would do something only if it were THEIR kids who were shot up 3-11 times each. Therefore it’s people like them who deserve NO voice in formulating public policy about ANYTHING or serving the public at ANY level in ANY office, elected or appointed. They’re just plain way, Way, WAY too stupid and insane.

  • Dave

    Megan’s Law (here in California) certainly created a data-base of “sexual predators” that is extensive and easily accessible to see how many of these sex-freaks live in your neighborhood… It hopefully protects children from being raped by one of these deviates, or at least let’s you know when it’s time to pull-up stakes and get the “Hell Out Of Dodge”!
    I’m guessing it’s a better tool then any present California gun laws to prevent them from being
    raped rather then slaughtered, sad to say.

    Maybe it could provide a blue-print the country could use to establish a data-base to track all the psychos (or pre-psychos) that might commit such heinous crimes in the future…?

    After all, tracking guns or ammo seems nearly impossible considering how many are produced and purchased annually (never-mind how many are out there already).

    Of course this “psycho-data-base” rings of Ray Bradbury’s “Thought Police” and how to decide (or WHO would decide) what constituted a “psycho killer” in the first place… (I know of a number of highly decorated Special Forces personnel that might fall in that “category”… LOL)

    I see that New York just passed some new additions to their present gun laws that, along with the 32 ounce ban on soft drinks should keep our kids safer, or at least thinner, so they might run fast enough or dodge
    quick enough to escape the onslaught of some crazy bastard from Texas or South Carolina guning for them with that 50 caliber machine gun they got on their
    birthday.

    Better yet, we really must consider a closer look at Islam’s Shiria Law where-by we just cut off ALL the fingers of anyone deemed crazy enough to even think of shooting a bunch of innocent children, or a president, senator, or the guy who just stole your goat.

    I think the thought of having your fingers cut-off would put an end to all this madness… (Unless you were so crazy that you just didn’t care)

    Maybe start with breathalyzers attached to all guns…?

    Thoughtfully your’s,

    Dave in crazy California

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    We have become slaves of our own weapons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    Knowing this made me realize how obsolete the 2nd Amendment really is. In their efforts to control slaves, the fathers of our nation have unintentionally, placed a yoke around our necks. This should have been removed or at the very least rewritten after the Civil War. Now we have become slaves to our own weapons.
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/13890-the-second-amendment-was-ratified-to-preserve-slavery

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Faisst/754258940 Cynthia Faisst

    She could have taken him to music lessons. I love my special needs students. They are amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenStreets Steven Streets

    In 1990 three woman knocked on my door to tell my ex wife her only son had suicided in NOLA.
    The horrible scream.
    He had gone down to that cloaca of America to meet the father he never knew. That crack dealer dad stole the boys food stamps and repaid him with a stolen shotgun. He put the gun in his mouth to end it all.
    It brought to mind the last verse of the Olde Testament Malichi 4:5&6. Read it and see for yourself.

    The Columbine flower represents the Holy Spirit in Italian culture. That tragedy brought to mind the very same last words of the Nevi’im in the Tanakh, The Prophet Malichi 3.23&24. That would be a Jewish Bible.

    My neighbor was a former Navy officer who suicided while attempting to kill his mother. He put the gun in his mouth to end it all.
    Now what do you think about the curse of Elijah and it’s verity in this world today?

    ecce ego mittam vobis Heliam prophetam antequam veniat dies Domini magnus et horribilis
    et convertet cor patrum ad filios et cor filiorum ad patres eorum ne forte veniam et percutiam terram anathemate

    This is what I have seen from G’d.

    It applies to me as it was impossibe to be reconciled to my contentious mother for putting me in jail on false charges when she was drunk. 10 days after she died I learned she had never been my true mother at all. She had raised me in strict military secrecy from birth as a Navy divorce orphan with a flight of Air Force fathers one of whose name I took into the Army as Chaplain assistant.

    I did get to meet my Navy Father before he passed, a wonderful Sister and new Grandmother who accepted me with a vengence before she passed away. All i ever inherited was these storys from G’d so use them well.
    That’s why I am here…

    and my Patron Saint when I was Ukrainian Orthodox Deacon during Cold War was signified by a mysterious icon of John the Baptist. He whom Christ said was Elijah.
    That’s why he is here…

    Pro Deo Et Patria

  • http://twitter.com/Doops54 Donald Wester

    Praise the Lord and pass the peace!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilbur.clark.90 Wilbur Clark

    I would like to say a few words about gun control and
    the other million laws that have been enacted to force the working class to act
    in a responsible manner. As long as law
    makers continue to enact laws that only benefit wall-street and corporate
    America, the standard of living for the working class will continue to
    decline. Working Americans can no longer
    afford to survive in a responsible manner.
    Most of the working class is caught in a downward spiral of increased
    costs to comply with new laws that treat the symptoms of a declining standard
    of living and not the root cause. The
    intolerable and unjust balance of political power in America has ruined the
    quality of life for the working class.
    Many people have lost hope and have turned to drugs and crime. America needs a labor movement or some other
    vehicle to return power to the working class.
    Gun control is just another measure along our current path towards
    injustice and a police state. We have
    reached a point where radical and harsh words have become a necessity to
    understand the truth.

  • ratchetmaster Tim D

    haha . . . “pass more laws . . . and then enforce them.” More laws . . . yes! That is the answer! More laws!!! Take away as many freedoms as you can! That will make us all safe from criminals and mentally ill people!! Sorry Mr. Moyers. Your eloquent words do no justice for the American freedoms given through the Constitution. And your exploitation of children to push your Anti-freedom propaganda is an affront to the intelligence of the American people.

  • Concerned

    I want to relate what i see is a reason we have violence. Drugs, i see so much drug use in the suburbs and nothing is being done about it. These chemicals are getting more into our water, air and not to mention when you live around crack, heroine, meth and whatever else they can smoke, they do it repeatedly throughout the day and night poisoning neighbors, i get high in my own apt from it and especially notice it when i am trying to sleep! I haven’t slept straight through the night in months after moving there. After my family members and I awake from muscle flinching at the same times and months of sleep deprevation and an undeniable deduction of what is going on, we decided to contact the police. Not only did they do nothing about it, but now the drug users are smoking more than ever and appear to be harrassing us with their fumes! it is non stop! How can they afford to use drugs! They don’t go to work, they never leave and they drive expensive cars! The inner city seems to be the only focus of the drug war and I believe they have the most violence because they can’t afford to feed their habit as often as the rich out in the suburbs and further the dealers in the suburbs are probably putting more dangerous chemicals in the drugs they distribute there. With all the money there is to be made in drugs this may forever be a problem and therefore we will have folks that need them and folks that get chemically imbalanced from them even if it is only because of their exposure from others’ use of them.

  • TC

    Do you have a larger concern about these mass shootings than you do about violence in our inner cities where most of these shootings occur?

  • blowfish

    she wasn’t safe and you’re not safe. People will commit violent acts if they think they can get away with it. The only thing that will stop them is training the folks who will be attacked (and those who think they can protect them), training and equiping them to become violent in the face of violence. In China recently, where guns are not as readily available as here in the USA, a person went into a school and began stabbing people. Those who wish to do violence always obtain weapons. Those who sincerely wish to protect folks from violence can choose to take up similar or superior weapons, as the police do.

  • Fair and Balanced

    It is already happening. Obama is coming for those guns….

  • Fair and Balanced

    We require small children to attend school. They are completely defenseless, and some did not even know enough to run. We must keep these lives safe. As the President said, it is how we will be judged as a society.

    Every murder is tragic, but the murder of young children in a school cuts to the soul.

    if you were not impacted by the stories of that day. Children being shot 12 times or more, you really have no heart.

  • Fair and Balanced

    You live in Florida? You mean where they murdered Trevon? And, you really think all Florida schools are equipped to handle this kind of attack?

    Hello, Columbine had guards. Hello.

    It takes one gun nut to destroy a whole community, in a few seconds. One nut.

  • Fair and Balanced

    But that would mean they care about anything other than profit.

  • Fair and Balanced

    this is why we need BIG government. It is protection from all the guns

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirby.killian.7 Kirby Killian

    A proper response to random violence

    After the shooting at Sandy Hook, some politicians will, without conscious, try to exploit the emotions of all effected by the tragedy to further their own political/personal agenda and thirst for power. We need to take a logical look at what reasonably can and should be done to prevent future tragedies. The best place to start is looking at the common factors. The four I am aware of are:
    1. The perpetrators were all criminals. They violated multiple laws in preparation for the incident.
    2. They had no purpose in life, no moral compass. None of them expected to survive the incident.
    3. They choose “Gun Free Zones” to avoid the risk of anyone shooting back.
    4. They either were on or had in the past been taking serious phyc drugs.
    Before looking at each of the common factors, let me dispel the myth that guns were another common factor. Knives, clubs, chemicals, cars, fire, and water are used to carry out senseless violence far more often than guns. Main stream media deliberately filters out those events so that they can convey the false premise that guns are the problem.

    1. More laws for the killers to break will not deter them in the least. Effective enforcement of existing law may help, but putting greater burdens and limits to freedom on law abiding citizens will not help.
    2. Get God, prayer, religious morels back in our culture, schools, communities and families. The more people with a purposeful relationship with their Creator, the less people with a bent to kill. We have deliberately created the main cause of killings such as Sandy Hook by removing religion from our public life. The first amendment was intended to keep the government out of our religion, not to keep religion out of our government. Get God back in our schools.
    3. Eliminate all but a very few select “Gun Free Zones” and remove barriers to law abiding citizens to carry weapons. The armed citizen, identified in the Constitution as militia, needs to be trained and encouraged to carry the tools of defending the lives of fellow citizens against random killers. The only legitimate gun free zone I can think of is court houses and that only because crazy, bad people are required to go there.
    4. The mental health issues need some serious study. It needs to be done carefully so as not to create a threat to freedom for people that are not a threat to other people. My limited experience with county mental health facilities is that if you are not mentally ill when you go there you will be after a stay there.

  • Fair and Balanced

    In Christianity there is a difference between accidental death and murder. Read the ten commandments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/youbetyoursweetbippy Jack Molitor

    Yeah, too bad you can cut people down about, oh maybe a tenth as fast with a knife as you can a high-powered firearm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/youbetyoursweetbippy Jack Molitor

    You guys are comparing apples to oranges. Gun nuts always cite Australia but it’s just one country. Japan has the most stringent gun laws in the world, and it’s also one of the most peaceful and advanced democracies in the world. The fact is, violent crime just isn’t what it is in the rest of the civilized world compared to America, and guns, while not the main reason, are a big reason. And please stop citing large cities as a reason gun laws don’t work. Crime is high in cities like New York and Chicago simply because they are huge centers of population, and therefore huge centers of crime and poverty. It’s not like they got more violent because they have gun laws. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard.

  • MacL

    Sir. More Americans die daily by the use of illegal guns in this country than died that day in Sandy Hook. While I deplore the violence that took those children’s lives, where is the outrage for the criminal activity that takes place daily in this country?
    You and others want to restrict the sale of the legal guns in this country, while not even mentioning the illegal gun trade that goes on daily in almost epidemic proportions. Our country and states already have multiple and effective and restrictive gun laws that regulate law abiding citizens. The U.S. Attorney General’s office publishes statistics of the number of attempts to illegally buy guns that generate a PROSECUTION and CONVICTION rate of about 0.03%. Three tenths of one percent. And the same office admits they do not have the resources to prosecute them any further.
    Criminals – there is a reason they are called criminals – it is their complete dsregard for the existing laws. Multiple surveys of these “criminals” have documented their complete disregard for the laws, and their own support of even more restrictive guns purchase laws – because it makes their ultimate aims safer and easier for themselves.
    I strongly suggest we use what current resources that are available to enforce the current laws, and whatever resources that might be allocated to enforce any more laws be directed to enforcing all exstent laws.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, you said it your self in your closing ” Laws that protect the weak and not just the strong” In this age of Plutocracy and with the country spiraling rapidly towards
    becoming a fascist state it is paramount for the preservation of the democracy that the citizens should have their second amendment right preserved. If you think that the founders were not astute enough to realize that that amendment was exactly for that reason,
    then you probably don’t deserve the freedoms that you willfully endanger.

    I have always been a fan of your programs and commentary, but in this instance you have let your self be foolishly lead from facts and reason to being just another useful idiot for government propaganda.

  • http://annienomad.com/ sharee anne gorman

    Thank you, Jan.

  • MBrecker

    A question to anyone who says they enjoy shooting a gun. Why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000600056140 Gail Trotman

    Please, Bill, do a program on what it really is that is at issue for Americans and this need to impose old Amendments to law and the unyielding demand to bear ever more powerful weapons. I have been trying to understand the CAUSE of it all and WHY the cause exists. It seems to me that it is the HISTORY of the USA and the irrational fear and even paranoia bred into Americans to believe they are about to be ATTACKED any minute by some horrible enemy who will annhialate every man, woman and child in America. While this perception of threat has grown over the almost 3 centuries of existence of America, no true threat has actually occurred in proportion to the sheer numbers Americans appear to anticipate. My hypothesis is this: A combination of events including the WILD WILD WEST and the free-for-all in the new territories, SLAVERY and the perceived threats of slaves who may, at any moment either turn on or return and kill slave owners, and finally, the VIETNAM WAR, the likes of which fears and atrocities were never before seen and brought back to America in the form of PTSD and the resulting mental illnesses. I believe that until the wound of the CAUSE of the fear is opened up and healed, America will continue to be a nation of dysfunction, fear and violence, unlike any other civilized western nation in the world. I am Canadian and we have guns but strict gun laws and no fear that another human being will turn on us and destroy us as individuals, communities or our entire nation. Thankyou

  • Anonymous

    I seem to recall that there was a bit more to the story about the stabbings in China. It seems that none of the victims died.

    You are right, however, that nothing will make us perfectly safe. Still, that’s no rational for taking naps on railroad tracks. Reasonable people take reasonable precautions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/conorsavage1 Conor Savage

    And it’s too bad you can cut down 10 – 20 times as many people with a home made bomb (IED) as you can with a high powered firearm, I don’t see anyone trying to make bomb making materials (including fertilizer) illegal, or making people get permits or passing background checks to get them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/conorsavage1 Conor Savage

    Actually you have it totally wrong, the people of the US are “in love” with having the ability and tools to defend themselves against criminals intent on doing them and their families serious bodily harm, or death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/conorsavage1 Conor Savage

    I think it’s about time we start enforcing the laws that already exist instead of adding more laws that criminals wont obey anyway. It is already against the law for felons to own a gun. More laws and restricting Constitutional rights won’t change anything… it will only drive legal guns underground, because no one in this country will willingly render themselves helpless to defend their families.
    I agree with you, it would be more constructive to put the funding back in place for mental health care in this country instead of moving ill people from hospitals to prisons.

  • Anonymous

    You would certainly find such controls being enforced if fertilizer bombs were a tenth as common as mass shootings.

  • Lynn Cole

    Yes, background checks for all gun purchasers, gun registration for all purchasers (we register our cars, don’t we) are a good start. I would like to see a ban on all removable ammunition clips for semi-automatic weapons. This would limit the number of cartridges a gun can hold and lengthen the reloading time so good unarmed citizens would have a chance to overpower a shooter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1011553247 Abbas Abedi

    Trying to sort out this Gun Debate Nonsense takes me to the very heart of US Schizophrenia (on both sides). Not fun.

  • unkerjay

    Why would people who interned the Japanese, denied Asians the right to own property (the 1790 Immigration act), declared Native Americans citizens (the Dawes Act) so they wouldn’t have to deal with them on their terms, moved them around like pawns on a chessboard as the mood moved them in an effort to corner the market on the nation’s resources, who enslaved African Americans, followed by Jim Crow, the KKK and lynch mobs, who’ve now moved on to Latino/as and moved on from the failed war on homosexuality, why then would they fear that someone’s coming after them? What could possibly be the basis for such paranoia?

    On the flip side of that equation:

    “downloadable 3d-printed semi-automatic gun”
    Cody Wilson

    Look at all the gun related violence, suicides last year and since Sandy Hook. Look at Harper highschool, Ill. and other similar schools around the country. Colorado, Fort Hood, Columbine, Arizona’s Gabby Gifford and on and on and on.

    Have we had enough? Apparently not.

    Slow walk, until hot heads cool. Short memories move on to the next big thing.

    The last stand for the way it was and should be.

    Let’s just find a way to red letter every mentally ill person in America with violent tendencies so that they may never own firearms. Better that than, in addition to that doing anything about the proliferation of firearms and restricting their capacity to do damage, should the off mentally deranged individual fall between the cracks of the woefully un(der) funded, un(der) staffed (non-existent?) system by which the potential threats are identified and weeded out and disallowed.

    The NRA has one thing right, we know how not to fix a problem.

    The media asks, yet again, on yet another subject, have we learned a lesson, is this a tipping point, will this be the moment of critical difference? Short answer: No.

    We think frogs are too dumb to know that they are being slow boiled to death. We’re smarter than that. We’re too busy disagreeing over whether or not there is a threat or what the threat is. Yeah, I know, this or that poll is well above the median. And we have elections as indicators of where we stand, what we stand for. So, the heavy lifting and hard work has already been done. Difference made. Well done. Certainly knowing that this moment children are going hungry somewhere in America has curbed hunger. Knowing that somewhere in America someone is using illegal drugs has curbed the incidence and use of illegal drugs in America. As in our courtrooms, the courtroom of public opinion rises and falls on (un)easonable doubt. Inertia is the weapon of choice these days. Just drag everything to a slow and complete stop. Distract, deflect, deny, lie, manipulate, disregard. We’ll do what we’ve always done. We’ll move on. So, until next time…

    The proud trademark of American individualism.

    Yay.

    The “greatest generation” is so proud of their legacy.