READ THE TRANSCRIPT

BILL MOYERS: You may remember that we spoke about guns just a few days before Christmas, following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. So did Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

WAYNE LAPIERRE: The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

BILL MOYERS: Listening to LaPierre, my jaw dropped, and it occurred to me that he might well have plagiarized his vision of a wholly armed nation from another “man of the people” of forty years ago, the protagonist in the famous sit-com “All In the Family.” When a local TV station comes out in favor of gun control, Archie Bunker hits the airwaves with a rebuttal, which he watches at home with his family.

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: Good evening, everybody. This here is Archie Bunker of 704 Hauser Street, veteran of the big war, speaking on behalf of guns for everybody[…]

Now I want to talk about another thing that's on everybody's minds today, and that's your stick-ups and your skyjackings, which, if that were up to me, I could end the skyjackings tomorrow.

MICHAEL 'MEATHEAD' STIVIC in All In The Family: You could?

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: All you got to do is arm all your passengers. He ain't got no more moral superiority there, and he ain't going to dare to pull out no rod. And then your airlines, they wouldn't have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they just pick them up at the end! Case closed.

BILL MOYERS: Case closed. Except that Archie Bunker’s a fictional character, created by Norman Lear, who knew better. Not Wayne LaPierre--he’s real and he means business. Big business. Every time we have another of these mass slayings and speak of gun control, weapon sales go up. And guess what? As the journalist Lee Fang reports in The Nation magazine, “For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA.”

So naturally, in a country where even life and death are measured by the profit margin, the cure for gun violence becomes, yes, more guns. Bigger profits. Never mind that just before LaPierre spoke, three people were shot and killed outside Altoona, Pennsylvania. Or that early on Christmas Eve morning, in Webster, New York, two volunteer firemen were called to the scene of a fire, then executed by an ex-con who allegedly set the blaze and murdered them with the same kind of assault rifle used against those school kids and their teachers in Newtown. Or that on New Year’s Eve, in Sacramento, California, reportedly in a fight over a spilled drink, a 22-year-old opened fire in a bar, killing two and wounding two others. In fact, in just those few weeks since the Newtown slaughter of the innocent, more than 400 people have died from guns in America. That should boost the last quarter profit margins. So not surprising, the merchants of death are experiencing a happy new year.

We can’t forget. We mustn’t relent. We have to keep talking about this, because Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are insidious and powerful predators. Have you seen the reports in both the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post of how, 16 years ago, the NRA managed to get Congress to pull funding on gun violence studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? And just two years ago, NRA henchmen even snuck a provision into the Affordable Care Act that prevents doctors from collecting information on their patients’ gun use.

As Wayne LaPierre’s brazen call for an armed populace makes clear, the odds don’t favor common sense. There are always members of Congress willing to do the gun lobby’s bidding as they profess their love of the second amendment and wait like hungry house pets for the next NRA campaign donation.

Every American a gun-toter is a frightening vision of our future. It doesn’t have to be, if only we stop and think about where the Wayne LaPierre’s would take us. That’s what a fellow named Frank James did. He stopped, he thought, he changed directions. He’s a pawn shop owner in Seminole, Florida, his youngest child is six. Frank James told a local ABC station he has decided to stop selling guns.

FRANK JAMES on ABC Local News: It'll probably cause my business to go out of business because it was a big part of it, but I just couldn't live with myself. I thought, wow, this is crazy. As a gun dealer myself, I’m like, yes, we need more gun control. Guns are getting into the wrong hands of the wrong people.

BILL MOYERS: He also said “I’m not going to be a part of it anymore. Conscience wins over making money.” Thank you, Mr. James.

Bill Moyers Essay: The Gun Lobby’s Firepower

January 4, 2013

Even as sadness turns to outrage over the Newtown tragedy, and powerful coalitions of leaders and celebrities speak out, those who produce, push, and promote guns continue unfazed and unabated. In this broadcast essay, Bill reports on how the NRA and gun merchants continue to strong-arm Congress and state legislatures into keeping any and all discussion of sensible gun control off the table.

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  • Joe

    It’s long overdue to do something about the guns. Ban these damn semi-automatics and the high capacity magazines. See, I didn’t say clips, so that’s one less thing you gun loving nutters can rant and rave about and use as a deflection from the issue. Banning those guns and magazines will not stop all slaughters, it’s not a panacea but it’s a big step in the right direction. It’s the best we can do in this gun besotted country but the NRA, their lobbyists and the gun makers will make sure that nothing of any value will be done. In Germany, 250,000 citizens took to the streets to protest against nuclear power. In the USA, after another horrible slaughter in a long line of massacres, not to mention daily shootings, nothing even close to this happens, zip, nada, business as usual. I do blame the gun nutters who will not compromise, who will not give up a little for the greater good.

  • Patty Guerrero

    HOT DAMN—WONDERFUL ESSAY, BILL.

  • Reddoor2

    Bill, On the subject of gun control, I think we have to start throwing in some real suggestions, some real solutions, because it IS a problem! The second amendment is, no doubt, essential to the people’s liberty to defend itself against a tyrannical government. That said, people also want the ability to defend their persons and homes against invasion to protect and defend themselves.

    The argument for self-defense, is strong on both sides. Those without guns-six year old children among them, need protection from those with guns, who may be temporarily-as in a heated argument- or permanently and insanely angry. There is no mental health evaluation that could detect of protect the public from someone who might, in a fit of anger, use a weapon against another person. For this reason, background checks are little more than a band-aid that would offer little real protection against the bottled anger of our youth and others who feel oppressed in this nation.

    A car, in the wrong hands is an equally dangerous weapon, capable of much destruction, and we have regulated it’s use through licensing, and mandatory insurance to protect others from our mistakes, as well as enforcement against the use of them under the influence of alcohol. We demand safety from the manufacturers and hold them accountable. Could not similar measures be taken with guns?

    Perhaps the NRA, the insurance industry, the regulatory and enforcement agencies of the nation could sit down and determine if a policy that required responsible gun owners to be trained, licensed, and insured for the types of weapons they own would slow the proliferation of assault type weapons. Perhaps, ownership of assault type weapons could require proof of home or outside security-such as a local rifle range, or home security that met insurance standards.

    While it is a national problem, with incidents occurring in states as diverse as Virginia, Colorado, and Connecticut, but the solutions can come from the States individually. Since each state regulates it’s insurance industry, each state could define its own regulations, but governors-not the federal government would have regulatory authority.

    The NRA membership could still use the guns, but safely, in a controlled setting, and angry teens would not have access. Would it control ALL guns, or prevent ALL deaths…NO, but keeping assault weapons out of the home, away from angry teens, and requiring insurance on handguns kept in the home, would help prevent the kinds of impulsive, angry madness we saw at Newtown.

    Rather than bicker over blame, or finger point it’s time to start addressing the real problem and throw out possible solutions that would respect the needs of people in rural, urban and suburban communities that want to feel safe in their homes, schools, and communities.

  • Anonymous

    the defense against a tyranical government idea is completely ridiculous. why not let people have atomic weapons then? because there is no gun that can protect you against a tyranical government. guns shoudl be for people who like to hunt and for those who feel they need protection against someone breaking into their home(or something of that gravity). The BIG difference between a car and a gun is that guns are made for the purpose of killing and cars are made for the purpose of traveling. There’s intent in the purchase of either. If you buy a gun ,you have to be prepared to use it,right?
    gun ownership is not taken seriously in this country,not given the thought and consideration it requires because of the gravity of the subject. owning a gun is a licence to take life and it should be treated as that. the regulations you suggested would be a start but I dont see why banning assult riffles is so wrong, such an infringement of rights? can you elaborate on that?

  • https://www.facebook.com/DakinAssociates Shaun Dakin

    Guns like racism are a cancer on America and the nra is a domestic terrorist organization #newtown #enough

  • https://www.facebook.com/DakinAssociates Shaun Dakin

    We must repeal the 2nd amendment.. We are not fighting the British Empire any more. In fact we could crush them with one bomb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.hamm.13 Bill Hamm

    You haven’t addressed a single issue I put forth from your anonamouse position but instead go right to character assasination. As for sensible, I stand with the Supreme Court as a Patriot, not as a Zealots like you in direct conflict with reality and truth. “Those who are willing to give up their freedom for security deserve neither.”

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  • Anonymous

    Why hasn’t a single person in the media looked at the established connection between psychotropics and mass shootings? Not part of their agenda?

    http://ssristories.com/index.php

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    ‘Semi-automatic’ is a repeater, just like an 1875 Colt revolver, or my little .22 rifle which holds 15 shots. An ‘assault rifle’ is an AUTOMATIC. Come on, you know this! But, the problem with ANY weapon is the mind in control of it, whether it is as bomb-laden B-52 or a broken beer bottle.

    MAYBE, we should be turning our attention to Pharmaceutical companies that drug up our children throughout their school years instead of giving them true help! How ANGRY might that child become after 18 years of forced submission to a DRUG!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jody.daniel.73 Jody Daniel

    You sirs are an idiot. Can you tell me why last year the FBI crime reports showed more people were killed with hammers and clubs than guns…Why are you not trying to ban tools? You know your facts are completely wrong…If we give up even one of our rights the entire constitution will crumble and crash…If gun laws work, then can you tell me why Chicago has one of the highest murder rates in the USA…Or Detroit or New York City?You cannot you just get pissed when someone confronts you with facts and start degrading and yelling at them…Idiot!

    If you want to move to England please let me know and I’ll pay your airfare…..Only thing is you must renounce your citizenship so I know you will never return…They you can have all the gun laws you want!

  • http://twitter.com/andyharmon1971 andy harmon

    as soon as we get rid of all guns we will be at the mercy of any country that wants to invade.Japan did not invade mainland U.S.A. because they knew american citezens were armed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jody.daniel.73 Jody Daniel

    Your lack of intelligence is showing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    We were fighting our OWN GOVERNMENT when we fought the BRITISH. And it might happen again if we do not become better citizens in time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    An unarmed populace is enslaved. But, the mind behind the trigger is the problem. And a drugged-up child is the primary person behind these incidents. We have got to quit using ‘doggie-downers’ to muffle our children!

  • FProctor

    I disagree. I am neither racist nor a terrorist, but a responsible gun owner. I have never killed anyone, just like millions of responsible American gun owners like me. Why don’t you focus on real problems instead of playing the blame game for a particular agenda.

  • http://twitter.com/andyharmon1971 andy harmon

    tyranical goverment is rediculous? look at history,china,north korea,nazi germany before they could “lead” the people the way they did they disarmed them first.
    “A free people ought not only be armed and diciplined,but they should have sufficiant arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independance from any who might abuse them,which would include their own goverment”-George Washington

    An”assault weapon” is not for deer hunting its for personal protection not just from home invaders,looters but from a goverment intent on turning its population of free people into a population of conforming subjects

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbshumway Dave Shumway

    No, not fighting the British. But if you were paying attention in civics, you’ll recall that we were fighting the British because they were trying to take away our guns and we were tired of their tyranny. And, what so many Liberals seem to forget is that the Constitution of The United States was written to protect We The People from our government, not from the British.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbshumway Dave Shumway

    What you don’t understand is that the NRA is the voice for it’s 4+ million members, we will not go away just because you disagree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    Insurance and registration is not required of a vehicle that is not used on the road, A weapon is not taken out daily and pointed at everyone on the Interstate. As a former insurance salesman, I detest the mentality that looks to some deep pocket for redress for all our ills, as insurance does NOTHING to address the real issue. We have mental patients that can only be forced to get treatment AFTER they commit a crime. Bill Moyers, you know this is a result of the civil rights bill of ’64, but it didn’t show up on radar until the courts interpreted it . Now, we have drugs stuffed down our children to control them until they become adults. THEN the pin is pulled on the bomb of our own manufacture, and someone fails to protect and secure a weapon. But is that the reason to disarm ALL citizens? Did we learn NOTHING from history?

    Side note: The popularity of the AR -15 style of weapon for hunting and home defense is simply the logical extension of military service. It is light, dependable, easy to repair or customize, and ACCURATE! But it is no different than what was used a century ago, except it’s looks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    In GERMANY, in the 1930′s the weapons were all confiscated. And millions died as a result of the abuse of their government. We fought our own government in 1775 when George Washington called on EVERY ABLE MAN to join him. Had not the FRENCH supplied the weapons, the ‘rebellious’ colonists would have been hung. And THAT is the origin of the Second Amendment.
    One good solution to gun abuse is to require EVERY 18-year-old to process through Basic Training in a branch of the service. They would learn Civics, Constitutional elements, chain of command, first aid, weapon use and safety,… and some of the smartest of them might actually consider a military career. But ALL would be better for the experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeknowshow Mike Miller

    Again: An assault weapon is an AUTOMATIC weapon. An AR-15 is on the same frame but only a repeater as used since the Colt 6-shooter. AND it IS used for hunting. Actually preferred for hunting by most former military. Light, dependable and accurate for all but mountain goat distances of 300+ yards.

  • Rufus Cornpone

    The anti-gun rant falls under the category of if gun control could save just one life it would be worth it. The counter
    argument makes as much sense…we shouldn’t have gun control if guns can save one life. The 2nd Amendment is not about duck hunting…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000725170540 Rose Rowe

    Assault weapons did not exist when the Constitution was drafted. Where do the gun right’s advocates want to draw the line? Should everyone carry a rocket launcher? If we develop hand held nuke weapons, would they want to include those as well? I am sure the quality of a gun owner’s life would not decline if they were not allowed to own an assault weapon. Guns make it too easy to kill. Period.

  • http://twitter.com/andyharmon1971 andy harmon

    i know alot of people use it for hunting i wish we could use it in MI for hunting caliber is too small the state tells me i’m all in favor of having these guns i have one myself just saying if if the goverment is comming after us with M4′s i want atleast an ar-15 to fight for my rights.For hunting anything bigger than deer i would go to an AR-10 little more thump with same platform

  • Anonymous

    Ever notice how the NRA apologists/mouthpieces all use the same tired arguments? It’s interesting how many of them work the “kids who have been on prescription meds that made them crazy” meme into their rant in one form or another, even though it’s pretty clear that most of these “kids” have not been on any meds whatsoever, or there’s no reliable proof that most of them have even ever been under any psychiatric treatment.

    Or they go to the absurd “defending my country against the government” rant, which serves as little more than a testament to their delusional state, which alone should be enough to disqualify them from gun ownership.

    There must be a common source for all that disinformation, it’s so homogeneous. It’s as though these little NRA foot-soldiers have been turned out in full force to defend the indefensible. These feeble, anachronistic twits can always be depended upon to strap on the ineffectual trappings of pseudo-power and parade about in their impotent armor of overcompensation. They might as well carry banners that say, “I am a fear-ridden loser who indulges in childish fantasies of gladiatorial heroism,” except that not one in a hundred of them have sufficient intellect in their cold, dead brains to comprehend their pitiable impuissance or the fact that they’re mere stooges for an industry that’s intent on wringing out the last pieces of silver in service to death.

    There are two main types of people who are unbridled gun ‘enthusiasts’ who insist on unfettered access to these types of weapons. The first is the immature child who thinks guns are a way to act ‘grown up’, and the second …
    oh, wait … there really is only one type …

  • Reddoor2

    Mike, I am not looking for deep pockets, except perhaps in those people demanding to keep the AR-15 and other assault weapons in their homes, where they might be used in a fit of rage, rather than for defense.

    People ARE deterred by cost, and that cost could either be in licensing and regulation, or insurance, that would help victims and their families.

    The second amendment argument cited in Bill’s essay, stated that though an armed citizenry had some protection against the government in principle, in practice, he could not see the benefit of an undisciplined, untrained, uncoordinated militia.

    I do not know guns. I don’t have one, or want one but I do understand the arguments for allowing the citizens to keep one. Yet, some would say, given the capacity of the government to use drones, bombs, and launch and assault, the capacity of the people is far more limited than it was in the days of the American Revolution, when the second amendment was ratified.

    So I argue, that citizens can own state-not federally-registered and licensed weapons, reduce their insurance costs by keeping them in a local armory and out of their homes, where they are too often used in a fit of rage, and still be afforded the belief in their protections of the constitution against a tyrannical government. Or, they can pay higher premiums based on the number of weapons, and the capacity of those weapons, that they chose to keep less securely in their homes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbshumway Dave Shumway

    Actually Rose, very few civilians own actual “assault weapons”. What you refer to as an “assault weapon” is just a semi-auto that looks “scary”. In order to own a true “assault weapon” one has to apply to the BATFE for a Class 3 license.

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

    This is a good start. Local communities need some elected authority they can trust to know who actually has weapons in their home, especially in urban areas. I see the logic for making it more affordable to keep guns in a community armory when they are not in use. You really shouldn’t be trying to protect yourself with a weapon with out others in your community organized properly to support you if you really do have legitament purpose to be armed. Who can build on this?

    Over time, how can we go about making the ability to obtain a weapon illegally far more difficult and expensive than it cost to loan one from you local community for legitament reasons. By being sloppy we have allowed the industry to create a weapons bubble on our streets. How can you respect something adequately when you can get one for so much less in a straw purchase than it is actually worth? What are the ways we can use liability to stem this? How can we make these weapons obsolete to weapons that use all of the science that makes a weapon traceable?

    Those who have the means and want the privilege to collect and store weapons that are for recreation or more impractical uses, what-ever, could contribute to local charities that are designed to stem problems that create violence in their communities.

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

    Fortunately, have been able to find redress with our local police when they abuse their privileges. We don’t even allow them to beat up on homeless people, anymore with out being held accountable. Arm yourself with a cell phone and go viral. Fortunately, our local officials must still run for office and can not be bought off by some corporation with another agenda, with out a scandal.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations, you used proper nomenclature. You are still advocating the position that modern society has regressed to the point that our citizenry can no longer be trusted with 100 year old technology, which is a pretty strong endictment of the government run school system.
    What are you going to say when someone with a basic grasp of chemistry starts making and using explosives? Or when knife crime goes through the roof?

  • Iain

    Can I make a statement from Scotland we watch Amercia with guns amazed.
    So the only conclusion is the gun lobby must have is:-
    ‘Forget our Past, Guns are our Future’
    Very stupid and very un democratic and if the Scottish forfathers had known when they rwote the constituion we would never have written it.
    Iain in Arbroath Scotland

  • DeeMommy

    Unfortunately you can see that about half of the country values sports and shooting prior to any humanitarian values so half the country will lead the USA to self destruction. Other countries think the land of the free is the land of the lost. All they have to do is watch the destruction from afar. Why fear the most powerful defense our government has in place? Our government allows our own to shoot each other!! They can just sit back and watch the Americans continue a civil war. Our country wont last with values such as these.

  • AB

    Frank James u r my hero. My loved uncle, who homesteaded Alaska w military post and sold guns in Palm City is ur angel. He always included police in his store . He believed in the good effect of guns. He would show up 4 ur decision. God love u both.

    Alison Barnes
    Professor of law
    Marquette university

  • nevitsnidur

    It seems like a big leap to say that the Third Reich “confiscated” guns,and then to say i n the next sentence that “millions died as a results of the abuse of their government.” There were a few other reasons that caused millions to die other than the confiscation of weapons. And could people have fought the Wehrmacht with some pistols and hunting rifles? Some of your other points such as requiring basic training have merit, and are worthy of a national discussion.

  • steven sanders

    When terrible things happen to children, naturally we want to do something. If it relates to a “morality” issue such as guns then it is grabbed as ammunition for those on both sides. No need is felt to look into the causes as it is presumed the problem is, to many or to few guns.
    Social scientists know more about the causes of violence
    today then ever. Unfortunately the causes and cures are not discussed by the media because they cannot be explained in a soundbite, violate our “morality”, and aren’t good for big government or big corporations.

    When we become enthralled with a “morality” issue, certain that we are right, we naturally maintain that we are for Truth, Justice, Liberty and most of all Children.
    Objective observers however may note that our virtue does not extend beyond our chosen issue. I would like to use another volatile issue to demonstrate. Consider the child pornography possession laws. Sweden doesn’t have these because they violate freedom of speech. We have a number of laws impinging on our 1st amendment rights. Social
    scientists told us that 99% of those arrested would not be pedophiles and that of the 1% who are, many would never harm a child. This has proven true. 99%
    of those we have incarcerated are victims of childhood abuse who are addicted to repeating there own abuse through pictures. Sad but not dangerous. So this law puts mostly victims in prison. The F.B.I. told us more than a decade ago that these laws had generated a 3 billion dollar black market in child porn. Furthermore
    they told us the product had become “harder”. By that they meant the children had become younger and the sex more violent. The most desirable and common product had become the rape of 4-5 year old children.
    I wondered at the time how many 4-5 year old’s needed to be raped to generate 3 billion dollars.
    Since the advent of the child porn prohibition laws, human traffic of children as sex slaves has been a growth industry. Similar to drugs and prostitution, law enforcement officials and politicians refuse to consider either the unconstitutionality, the injustice, or the increase in victimization. But what about us? How can we continue to claim we care about liberty, justice or children. Of course weapons are an important issue, but any intelligent person should be able to think of 10 ways to save the lives of far more children, that have nothing to do with guns or possibly violating our constitution. So I wonder how we can reconcile our priorities with what we claim are our values?

  • Anonymous

    i’m intrigued by the fact that the gun grabbers in our legislature are, in part, the same members of a government that sells the most weaponry on the open market IN THE WORLD… for a handsome profit i might add…i guess a few deaths here in the states seems to be intolerable to them while weapons sold to developing countries that i’m fairly certain slaughter thousands seems to be ok….but i do see the Hippocrates angle…they don’t have to worry about the 3rd world citizen voting them in or out of office… and, more importantly, the profit margin…

  • Anonymous

    The idea that armed civilians could overtake a professional army is ridiculous. To think this is a reason to own such weapons in this country is paranoid. It sounds more to me like this argument is strictly political and not at all reasonable.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely agree Rose,and guns don’t just make it easy to kill,they are made for that purpose. They need to be taken SERIOUSLY!

  • Anonymous

    The difference is that guns ARE MADE FOR KILLING,there is no other purpose for them. Hammers are NOT made for killing,they are made for a different purpose.

  • drew

    Thank
    you Mr. LaPierre for your first grader logic for a complicated issue -“The only
    thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” – Are you
    serious? According to your logic Mr. NRA, you obviously see yourself as the
    good guy with a gun but others may not see you that way. The point is when all
    the shooting starts between every gun carrying person in a crowd, who is going
    to correctly decide in that fleeting and adrenalin-charged moment who is bad
    and who is good. Meanwhile bullet-riddled bodies are dropping left and right
    from guns designed for combat. Police officers and military personnel trained to
    recognize bad guys from good guys usually make the correct decision – usually,
    not always. But you expect that the everyday person, who maybe fires their
    weapon once a year, is going to be on the street making correct decisions about
    who is bad and who is good – I don’t think so. Unfortunately, the correct good
    vs. bad guy declaration does not usually occur until well after the shooting
    event has passed – shoot first, and ask questions later just does not cut it.
    By then it is too late – we have already buried the innocent and those persons
    deemed collateral damage by you because you insist on declaring you have the
    right to arm yourself and every bad guy in the country. Obviously Mr. LaPierre,
    the most logical way and first step in stopping a bad man with a gun is to fix
    a seriously flawed gun control policy. As long as you insist on using first
    grader logic to avoid the obvious, you will continue to get first grader
    results. Bang, your dead – okay, now you play the good guy, and I get to be the
    bad guy this time.

  • Anonymous

    Drugs need to be looked into more than guns, it is rather sickening to me all this talk pro or anti-gun control when this incident could’ve been entire avoided with a responsible drug industry and control on it.

    Why would he shoot up anybody is the first question to answer of importance, for some reason that is ignored, people dismiss him as crazy- as if there is no cause for it to fix.

    He may have not killed anybody or had intentions to if he never had taken such drugs, now there is a thought. He could’ve still as a “crazy person” still grabbed a knife killed his mother and others, along with himself. Guns wont change somebody’s will.

    I’d rather for the zero sum death toll in this where nobody is hurt, to achieve that is to address our drug and healthcare problem, social bullying problem, parental abuse problem and economic oppression and unfairness problem. Without cause of either of these problems killings amongst our society is limited to recklessness or ignorance and no longer including intent.

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather solve problems of why people do these killings first before gun issues are touched. Not to dismiss these cases as “crazy people” or “psychopaths” as if nothing can be helped or it is simple unpreventable will.

    I find being dismissive in that sense rather irresponsible, stupidly simple and wrong.

    Guns are pretty useless as a tool, to me they may be more use defined as a toy to take to a firing range. The use is more like a safe if anything. Rare that my house will burn down and that I can’t fit my entire home’s possessions in a safe, but it will still be a tool to salvage what is important in a horrific and rare situation.

  • Anonymous

    Humanitarian would be addressing the causes of these killings and not the tool used. Psychiatric drugs need a light shined on them, instead of being repeatedly shadowed in the dark about gun control debates of less or more.

    We also need to address bullying, abuse and socio-economic oppression that is occurring today. I find it doubt-able and overly simple that people just kill people because they are “crazy” as if helpless or unpredictable to remedy.

    To dare argue that other issues are harder therefor should be ignored I find disrespectful to those who are suffering or have lost to such issues and those to be future victims because sometimes if not often it is the hard problems and questions that need solutions.

  • mau628

    Thank you Mr. James.

  • http://www.facebook.com/virginia.d.hinkle Virginia Donovan Hinkle

    Bill, keep shining your unrelenting light on this issue, but on two fronts: one, gun control must be accomplished freely and openly without gun lobby pressure; and two, we must address our cultural glorification of violence, including serious attention to mental health care.

  • Anonymous

    At some point these conversations become useless. You view guns as a toy. How could we ever find common ground?

  • Anonymous

    It’s not one issue OR the other. It’s both that need addressing. And madness,can’t always we controlled even when treated.

  • LEEBLACKM3

    If the citizens were armed there is no telling what might have happened. There WAS no Wehrmacht in the beginning. Since the people weren’t armed we will never know. What we do know -and what I observed as a child stationed with my father in Germany in the late 40′s, early 50′s- was the result of an insane government in total brutal control of a populace with no means to resist or fight back. I saw the concentration camps before they were turned into parks, I saw the bombed-to- rubble cities with Germans stacking bricks, I saw the shot-up trains with track laid around them for lack of the ability to remove them. Millions DID DIE AS A RESULT OF THE ABUSE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT…and don’t you ever forget it.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. There is, sadly, too much name calling and personal attacks and even a kind of bullying involved in Online comments in general, probably because of anonimity. In my opinion, it unnecessarily diminishes the message.

  • Rick Long

    It is incredibly hard to imagine why anyone would oppose gun regulations when we have examples in this world of countries that have done so and have seen positive results. No one is asking to take guns away. Just sensible control. We have a parallel with driving and seat belts. Requiring people to wear a seat belt as law and ticketing those who do not has had an effect on lowering auto accident deaths. We did not take autos, trucks, motorcycles away from people. We required reasonable restrictions for the good of everyone. Good government acts for everyone and for the best interests of the many. Moderate control is not socialism or communism or any other non-democratic government style unless you can only operate from a limbic based, fear based brain that sees everything as black or white. That stage of development is suppose to end about age 18-24.
    Thank you Mr. Myers for continuing to provide us with intelligent, sensible and compassionate dialogue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Thegra Grant G Jardine

    When. and if, that happened the society would take measures to control those issues. There would not be a powerful, rich, politically connected organization to stop every attempt at limiting the damage caused by the knives or the chemical weapons. Knives and chemistry sets are already in fairly common usage in this country and they have, so far, been responsible for exactly 0% of the mass killings in schools and work places and movie theaters in our recent history. Maybe try any argument with logic behind it next time ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Thegra Grant G Jardine

    When the gun nutters stop trying to use military logic from the 1700′s, an era when the US government had virtually no standing army, the National Army was limited by law to 840 men, perhaps we will get somewhere in discussions. That same time frame was responsible for slavery being legal, women having no voting rights. Apparently some of the belief patterns from the late 18th century are not applicable to today’s world. Perhaps the use of gun ownership for militia is one of those issues. I mean, we are no longer carrying single shot muskets and we no longer have militias, nor do we have slaves and women are now allowed to cast their votes in elections. The government does now have a rather powerful standing army. Things are not the same as they were 200+ years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Phoenixstudio1 Michael Shea

    The comparison between cars and guns can only go so far (short distance, to my mind). As previously stated, a car is designed to carry people and things from one place to the next. A military-style weapon is designed to kill people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Phoenixstudio1 Michael Shea

    Regardless of nomenclature (which can be spun ad nauseum), the basic premise for making a gun is for killing. The more capacity built in to the model, the more lethal. How much lethal-ity can be borne ethically by a culture that seems inured to the natural consequences of unencumbered ownership of weapons of such capacity?

  • Oh Please

    Whats the difference as the hammer can do two things, hammer nails and hammer thick stupid heads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719435296 Bradley P O’Brien

    We should increase the per pupil spending we do on kids in this country. Had the school in Conn spent more money on guidance counselors or even a psychiatric nurse practicioner then perhaps they could have told the underpaid public school superintendent: “Danger Will Robinson! We have a wacko nutcase kids who can and will likely steal his gun nut mama’s fire arms and come gunning for you!” Dare we expect those we entrust our children to to be willing to fight or die protecting them? Do teachers get into teaching cuz they truly care about the youngsters in their charge??

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sparky3000 Darren Barry

    Hey Bill, hate to say this but you had better check your facts, it turns out that the weapons used at Newtown, Conn. were not assault weapons, they were everyday hand guns. But you and your liberal friends want is a disarmed America. Unfortunately that is not what the founding fathers wanted. Look if you want to live in society free from firearms England is a great place for you to be…..Please go there and leave the Country that my Ancestors fought for and died for alone. Leave the Constitution alone and and if you don’t want a firearm that is your decision BUT LEAVE MINE ALONE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sparky3000 Darren Barry

    THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    It’s difficult to know where the heart is for those “who continue unfazed and unabated to produce, push, and promote guns.” Perhaps what appears to be insensitivity to senseless violence is based on a kind of convenient hypnotic trance of self-deception that makes the metal they dabble in (and are enamored by) inculpable–and contorts it’s right of ownership into a beyond reproach inalienable right. That kind of agreed upon resolute view would certainly insure a guilt free tight control over intoxicating gun-related power and money.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    I always get a chuckle when I see this hoary old point being made by some gun lover.

    Hitler had nothing to worry about from the hunters, target shooters, and gun fanciers of Germany. They loved him, and cheered him on when he crushed the only real possibility of resistance to his regime, by arresting the leaders of the Left parties, abolishing those parties, and destroying the trade union movement.

    Once he had done that, and all the gun clubs etc had been Nazified and any Jews thrown out of them, Hitler could rely on the police to deal with any opposition.

    In the US, I can’t imagine any “responsible” gun customers rushing out with their guns to shoot at the representatives of tyranny (i.e. the cops). And if they did, most people would be outraged — as they are now when cops are attacked.

    Most gun customers in the US love the cops and the military, and are enthusiastic nationalists. Many of them are racists who mean “rule by non-whites” when they say “tyranny”. Too many of them love fascists like Sheriff Arpaio, love it when cops break up demonstrations, don’t mind when unions are busted, and think anything to the Left of a Blue Dog democrat is a Commie.

    This is not the profile of people who resist tyranny. Rather, it is a pretty good base of potential support for any right wing tyrant who comes along — as long as he’s a gun lover.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    I think it would be simpler to regulate guns than to undertake the vast societal changes you seem to be proposing. Other countries have bullies, psychaitric drugs, socio economic oppression etc, and yet have low gun crime. Why can’t America do the same?

  • TomK
  • Marti

    To wage peace with firepower is the old way. This new century requires bold thinkers into activism. The children remind us to co create peace within, then in community and ultimately the global village. All species are interdependent. Our planet is threatened if we choose inaction. ” love is the answer” sang the Beatles…

  • 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.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    Your historical facts are completely wrong. Hitler won a free election and took power constitutionally. He had strong popular support while in power. The issue of gun ownership was not a major one, especially since he was increasing the size of the army (armed men) at a fast clip. And sure enough, it was from the Army that the coup attempt came in 1944.

    North Korea has a huge army. All its members are armed, at government expense. You can see them marching in their big parades, weapons in hand, right past the Beloved Leader.

    China likewise has a huge army, as well as large police forces. All members are armed.

    If someone wanted to kill Kim Jong Un, his best best would be, not to get his own gun and rush out of his hut shooting, but to get a job on Kim’s security detail, and shoot him like Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s guards shot her.

    The US Constitution is not a rebel’s charter. Rebellion has been crushed whenever it has occurred in the US, The 2nd Amendment was not designed to facilitate rebellion, but to ensure national defense in the absence of a standing army. The US now has a standing army, hence the 2nd Amendment is pointless — except as a moneymaker for the gun industry.

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    I agree 100% with psychotropics as a contributing factor. In combination with poverty and absurd wealth disparity, a poor health system (let alone mental health), an underachieving educational/parental culture, a highly profitable and powerful gun industry, a hero-worshipping, attention-seeking, celebrity-infatuated society, an irresponsible, for-profit media, a mythical, misrepresented, ethnocentric, history and an over-funded, macho, militaristic mentality in a country that sacralizes a patently decontextualized constitution and that is saturated with violence and habituated by problem-solving by force. Tell me this isn’t a perfect recipe for maniacal mass murders.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    It seems your only real point is that we should look at every conceivable option — except that of controlling guns.

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    True; the second amendment permitted citizens to carry a musket. The drafters of the constitution, in all of their wisdom, had no understanding of semi-automatic and automatic modified assault weapons with laser sights and extended magazines. This childish interpretation of the second amendment is part of the problem. Look around.

  • erehwon

    I’m constantly amazed at the number of ‘journalists’ that regularly call for gun control, yet never talk about the other Amendments of the Constitution they’d like to gut. When will there be a national discussion on limiting the 4th or even 1st Amendment?

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    We don’t live in that world anymore; look around. Germany and Japan, economic and industrial giants, are now both peaceful nations with unrivaled health care systems; both have strict gun laws. The only countries where guns in the hands of people may be warranted are 2nd and 3rd world ones like Sierra Leone, Iran and Syria.

    We all agreed to establish a government by, for and OF the people. You can’t very well now turn around and complain that you don’t trust it. You ARE it. Don’t like it? Run for office, but don’t just buy more guns and barricade yourself behind paranoia.

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    Ours is a government by, for, and OF the people. If that isn’t clear to you then the revolution was wasted.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    Most people have never killed anyone while driving a car, but everyone has to obey the intrusive laws and regulations regarding cars, their use, their construction and maintenance, their licensing, the licensing of drivers, speed limits, etc. Or do you think only lousy drivers should have to cope with all that, while “responsible” drivers should be excused from all this?

    I’m sure you’re not a terrorist or a murderer, and are responsible with your gun(s). But there are way too many guns in America, way too many gun casualties, and something has to be done about it. If that means responsible gun owners have to put up with some inconvenience or restrictions, well, so do car owners.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    The NRA is the mouthpiece of the gun industry, nothing more. Many of its members say they disagree with its extremism, but they seem powerless to influence the organization. That’s because the NRA is funded and controlled by the industry, not its members — and not the poor suckers who fork over a dollar every time they buy a gun, and get zero in return.

  • Harry Anchorite

    OK, Mr. Moyers, so you don’t like Wayne LaPierre and the NRA. Unfortunately, this kind of emotional venting does nothing to advance our understanding of the pro- and anti-gun control debate. We have had literally thousands of gun control measures at national, state, and local levels, and none yet have proven effective in reducing crime and violence. Ever notice how we never see any headlines like “Gun Registration Reduces Violent Crime,” or “Chicago’s Buy-Back Scheme Pacifies the South Side?” We even had a national “assault weapons” ban for ten years; not even the most favorable analyses could make it look successful. We all know this, even the pro-gun control side knows this, though they hate it. Ever notice how many preface their proposals with some version of “I know this won’t solve the problem but we have to send a message . . .”

    Unfortunately, the gun-control crowd has nothing substantive to offer; they have to wait for some atrocity in the hope of shoving their proposals through on a tide of emotion.

    I would suggest that all advocates of gun control first check into the research of Prof. Gary Kleck at Florida State University. You won’t find it pleasant reading.

  • Anonymous

    You know what makes the NRA influential? It has a metric freaking ton of members. You’d do well to stop pretending that it depends on a just a couple donors with really deep pockets like, say, the Brady campaign for example.
    0% of mass killings in recent history? Really? 9/11? The Aurora shooting? Those are just off the top of my head. Not to mention that the chemicals in question can’t be restricted if you enjoy clean clothes, a clean house, food on your plate, cars you can drive more than walking distance etc.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    I guess I’m a slave then, since I don’t have a gun, don’t want one, and wouldn’t let one into my house. But even a slave like me has the right to refuse “protection” from some some gun owner who runs out into the street shooting and screaming “tyranny is here. I must stop it!” I demand the right to participate in any decision on if or when tyranny exists, and how it might best be opposed. I refuse to concede this power to gun owners.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    You are preaching armed rebellion against the government of the United States, subject only to your own personal decision as to when such a rebellion is justified. That is both seditious and undemocratic. You have no right to shoot up the place whenever you feel like it, on the excuse that you’re “defending freedom”.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    The British were not trying to take away guns. They well knew that American colonists needed them to enforce slavery, if nothing else.The Revolution was about far greater issues than gun ownership, as set out in the Declaration of Independence, which does not mention guns. Please don’t spread myths cooked up by the gun industry.

  • Harry

    Not so. Guns are also made for skeet, trap and other target shooting.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    No, they didn’t invade because they were not able to project their forces far enough, and because they had no wish to rule the US. The idea that the Japanese would not be scared by the fleet at Pearl Harbor, but would shy away from disorganized, untrained gun fanciers is just ridiculous.

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    The NRA has opposed and undermined every single law that constrains the gun market. Their goal is to get guns into every room in the country, which would be a huge windfall for their sponsors, the gun industry. The NRA has dictated gun policy in the US for too long. Time for the people to decide.

    Gun control works well in many countries, and many of their citizens are alive today because gun crime and gun accidents are rare. America would benefit by bringing in similar controls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Luthiel Dan Courtney

    Perhaps someone here who favors renewing the Assault Weapon Ban can answer me these two questions:

    What features on a firearm would qualify it as an “assault weapon” covered by a ban?

    Why do the aforementioned features justify a weapon being banned?

  • Lee Zaslofsky

    First it was Guns = Freedom. Now we’re told that Guns = Concern for our Kids. What’s next? God is a Gun?

  • kcar1170

    After watching Bill on 01 06 2013 I will not be interested in listening to him any more (as I have in the past). I am 67 and doubt he gives a damn on what I think but I will tell him anyway. You run down the NRA and show your bias against the NRA and the gun, period. Yes I am considering purchasing a assault riffle for self defense. I have seen to much in my life time to trust government to protect my family. You just like politicians think if someone breaks into your house you should call the police. That’s fine for you. Keep telling that to the bad guys so they will come to your house and not mine. I want them to know you are a soft target and that I, on the other hand, might blow them away. If I have a assault rifle with a large clip I don’t have to be a super marksman to take them out. I also want the police to know that if they break down my door in the middle of the knight weather shouting POLICE or not they will be considered hostile and I will shoot first and ask questions later. And yes I know they will kill me but my life will not have been given in vain. Newtown could/would have happened regardless of any laws on the books. The bad guy will always be able to obtain a weapon be it gun, machete, knife, baseball bat, etc etc. I guess you should outlaw any/all weapons. You guys think that the problem is the gun. Pull your head out of the sand and realize that the problem is not the tool but the mind behind the tool. I dare say if this coward would have known that teachers were carrying or even the possibility of them carrying would have maybe deterred his action but if it did not and one of them would have been trained, they could have limited his destruction. Out church has a policy of no guns in the church. In my opinion they might as well put a sign on the church doors that say this is a prime target because no one has a gun to shoot back with. I would be much more conformable in church knowing several people in the church were carrying. I am sure that liberals love these things to go down so they can further there desire to enslave the people. You should be crying out about tightening the mental health laws in this country, not going after the tool they use.

  • AnonymousViewer

    And so the Third Reich was elected. Does it mean we ban democracy? No. Dictatorships come and go in spite of gun rights or gun ownership by the general populace. Can we please have a reasonable debate here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    tell you what i am not in the gun lobby, but well maybe assault weapons should be banned and maybe clips of high capacity should be banned, but i say this if such is banned maybe the army and the police should turn their banned assault weapons in to along with all the police and armys in the world ,, killing with guns is bigger then newport,it is bigger then the u.s.a it is a world issue , maybe people should have a medical exam to get a gun,maybe people should have a license to have a gun,maybe people should have liability insurance to have a gun,maybe people should not have guns and when i say this all people of the world which means all people. maybe schools should be more secure,maybe schools should have professional guards,maybe schools should not allow visitations during class hours,maybe schools should have panic alarms maybe schools should have oneway doors on classrooms….. ideas people that is what solves problems

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    that is the second amendment,

    smart people say that you dont hunt ducks with an assault weapon etc. and you know they are right, an assault weapon is to uphold the second amendment.

    i am not pro gun i am not anti gun

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    on confiscation of guns i would agree if all guns were confiscated and i mean all guns everywhere including government and police and army worldwide

  • Erin G.

    Nobody is talking about taking all of your guns away. They are talking about *assault* rifles and high capacity magazines. I question whether the framers of the constitution could have ever forseen the firepower that is now available and what they would have thouvht of that. How many people can be shot woth a muzzle loader versus a semiautomatic in one minute? A semiautomatic is NOT a defense rifle. It is a weapon designed to kill tens of people in seconds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    have ideas send them to joe biden or your congressman i have the majority rules and that is why there is still a gun violence problem in the u.s.a

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    maybe people who dont like the second amendment should move to a country that does not have a second amendment just open thought and free speech another amendment

  • Westfield2013

    Only a very small percentage of those with diagnosed mental illness are violent. Unfortunately, the state of medicine is such that physicians (should such a person actually have access to treatment) cannot easily identify this small percentage until a crime has been committed. Onset of schizophrenia, for example, is typically in late teens or twenties. Most schizophrenics are not violent.

    Regarding psychoactive drugs: The fact that many involved in shootings are receiving psychoactive drugs does not mean that the drugs caused them to become violent. All those people probably ate dinner, too, and we don’t think that caused the problem. Lack of adequate treatment for the mentally ill – including access to treatment, ability to diagnose, access to supportive care, discovery of suitable medications, and access to the right medicines may play a role in some cases.

    At this time, it doesn’t seem that keeping guns out of the hands of those who may become violent is a total solution – although improvement is, of course, needed in medical care and treatment for mental illnesses. These conditions have always been with the human race – but lack of community support and so many extremely destructive weapons in the hands of the general public have not. Improvement will not be simple, and we need to study all of the options carefully – including some reasonable controls to limit the impact of “assault” weapons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.roberts.100483 Roberts Eric

    background checks will not catch people with mental problems that have not acknowledged their mental problems some people dont know they are ill,some people will have mental problems after they have a check some people never go to get help for mental issues therefore they are not in the system,,

  • Anonymous

    It’s important to remember that psychotrophic drugs help many live functional lives who otherwise couldn’t. In the USA, there are reportedly about 20 individuals per year who act out in horrifically violent ways causing mass mahem as we’ve seen lately. However, if each of those 20 people (and maybe even more we don’t read about or pay attention to) were severly altered by psychotrophic drugs they would still be in the minority compared to the huge numbers of people helped by them. That’s not saying though that drugs of all sort aren’t too casually prescribed. They are. Plus there are also adverse interactions among various drugs, including alcohol, recreational drugs and even herbs that are often unknown or ignored. The million dollar question then is how to treat with psychotrophic drugs (when needed to treat a disordered brain) but avoid when those same drugs will lead someone to violence.

  • Anonymous

    More people are killed by hammers than rifles in this country, so why are we not moving to control hammers? Or fists & feet (which also cause more death than rifles)? Semi-auto rifles are actually almost ideal for a defensive minded person. Modern “assault” weapons have weak cartridges that won’t go through as many walls before they stop, reducing collateral damage, and modern rounds cause more soft tissue damage while reducing the risk of ricochet, again reducing the risks to innocent bystanders by reducing the number of hits required to stop a threat and reducing the travel of a round that misses.
    The whole “modern vs historical” weapon debate is moot. We’ve expanded our interpretation of the constitution to encapsulate new technologies often enough. As for worrying about how heavily we should allow private citizens to be armed, a lot of the early cannon used to defend our fledgling nation were privately owned. If you can afford it, you should be able to have it.

  • drew

    Well said Virginia. Our Nations fixation on violence, both real and fictionalized, has become a disease similar to alcoholism and drug addiction.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that, and I’m not knocking psychotropics in general, but there is a connection with mass shootings that goes back 20 years, which has been completely ignored in the media.

    The bigger point I was making is that the media in general has blamed guns, the gun lobby, made law-abiding gun owners feel like criminals, and is calling for gun bans and gun control – none of which solves the underlying problems. In other words, they don’t want a serious discussion about causation. Criminals and murderers could care less about any gun ban or gun law that is on the books now or in the future. Columbine occurred during the last ban, and a DOJ study of that ban concluded that the effect of overall public safety was negligible.

    This article talks about the NRA strong-arm tactics, which is ironic, since most of the mainstream media is currently involved in strong-arm tactics against gun owners to ban guns. Their anti-NRA bias is blatant. Although I’ll be the first to say that some of the NRA backlash is deserved, attacking them isn’t going to solve the real problems with gun violence.

    The media really isn’t interested in input from gun owners, which is very unfortunate, since they are missing out on some incredibly brilliant insights on reducing gun crime and violence.

  • Bill

    You pretend to care about – and fight over – all sorts of phony issues. You don’t really give a damn about affordable health care for the masses. You have given yourselves the best health care money can buy and we pay for it. You ballyhoo about “choice” and “death panels” and other red herrings that have nothing to do with the real reason you oppose what you dismissively and derisively call “Obamacare”. This is but one of many examples of your hypocrisy and cynicism. Here’s a short list of others and a lie that goes with it:

  • Bill

    It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic–bring back the “assault weapons ban”–in order to signal that I care. But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better. We shouldn’t have laws on the books unless we think there’s a good chance they’ll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks. This is not because I don’t care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend. But they will not breathe again because we pass a law. A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we’d “done something”, as if we’d made it less likely that more children would die. But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none.

    My guess is that we’re going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity. I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

    But I doubt we’re going to tell people to gang rush mass shooters, because that would involve admitting that there is no mental health service or “reasonable gun control” which is going to prevent all of these attacks. Which is to say, admitting that we have no box big enough to completely contain evil.

  • KJN

    When we say we must not relent; what is it that we could/should do? I looked online after the Newtown tragedy and I found agreement that we must increase discussion of gun control, but I personally have no idea where to start. There are a bunch of small groups, but tell me which one has the best chance of taking my voice further? Give me and the Public these kind of specifics; not just that we must have better gun control laws. What do they stand for and what are their strengths? The gun lovers have the NRA, I’m not sure what I have as a citizen that believes in further gun control. Give me specific names of legitimate groups to belong to and donatate to and I’ll will do it today!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.abrams.7 Will Stewart Abrams

    It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic–bring back the “assault weapons ban”–in order to signal that I care. But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better. We shouldn’t have laws on the books unless we think there’s a good chance they’ll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks. This is not because I don’t care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend. But they will not breathe again because we pass a law. A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we’d “done something”, as if we’d made it less likely that more children would die. But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none.

    My guess is that we’re going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity. I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

    But I doubt we’re going to tell people to gang rush mass shooters, because that would involve admitting that there is no mental health service or “reasonable gun control” which is going to prevent all of these attacks. Which is to say, admitting that we have no box big enough to completely contain evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.k.pearson David K Pearson

    Mass killings are a function of societies. The Oklahoma City bombing was the act of two men, (no guns) Rawanda lost close to 1.000,000 million people in about 4 months most of them hacked to death by machetes. Education, justice and respect for life seem to be the missing elements in our social equation.
    Creating a poor, uneducated underclass to fight wars, fill prisons and serve the wealthy, steeping them in violence in art and entertainment media then filling their minds with the idea that they alone among nations are “exceptional” by feeding them a fictional history of glorified genocide, is a huge mistake. Trying to moderate that damage by further repression and scant attention to social welfare, is another.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. And it’s a good thing you brought up the sometime adverse ignored impact of psychotrophic drugs. I think guns are the main focus of attention because guns are more tangible than the mysteries of the human mind and how–though starting out innocently–it can sometime be turned into a kind of machine that acts out violently.

  • rdkane

    No one has expressed it better. I would love to quote you.

  • kcar1170

    After watching Bill on 01 06 2013 I will not be interested in listening to him any more (as I have in the past). I am 67 and doubt he gives a damn on what I think but I will tell him anyway. You run down the NRA and show your bias against the NRA and the gun, period. Yes I am considering purchasing a assault riffle for self defense. I have seen to much in my life time to trust government to protect my family. You just like politicians think if someone breaks into your house you should call the police. That’s fine for you. Keep telling that to the bad guys so they will come to your house and not mine. I want them to know you are a soft target and that I, on the other hand, might blow them away. If I have a assault rifle with a large clip I don’t have to be a super marksman to take them out. I also want the police to know that if they break down my door in the middle of the knight weather shouting POLICE or not they will be considered hostile and I will shoot first and ask questions later. And yes I know they will kill me but my life will not have been given in vain. Newtown could/would have happened regardless of any laws on the books. The bad guy will always be able to obtain a weapon be it gun, machete, knife, baseball bat, etc etc. I guess you should outlaw any/all weapons. You guys think that the problem is the gun. Pull your head out of the sand and realize that the problem is not the tool but the mind behind the tool. I dare say if this coward would have known that teachers were carrying or even the possibility of them carrying would have maybe deterred his action but if it did not and one of them would have been trained, they could have limited his destruction. Out church has a policy of no guns in the church. In my opinion they might as well put a sign on the church doors that say this is a prime target because no one has a gun to shoot back with. I would be much more conformable in church knowing several people in the church were carrying. I am sure that liberals love these things to go down so they can further there desire to enslave the people. You should be crying out about tightening the mental health laws in this country, not going after the tool they use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.k.pearson David K Pearson

    I believe a quick look at history would prove you wrong..

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    This overlooks the most basic aspects of why and how rampages are carried out. Guns allow angry/depressed individuals to do more harm to more people in less time. Yes, guns ARE a part of the problem and NO, not just anyone can get their hands on a weapon if a ban is properly enforced.

    Consider: On the same day as the Newtown CT rampage, a man injured 22 kids in a Chinese school. But he didn’t KILL one of them. Bombs, poisons etc take time, research, planning, know-how and GUTS and unless the act is politically motivated, their anger may well subside before they can carry it out. Anyone familiar with road rage understands human nature; strong emotions pass.

    Psychotropics and mental health system dysfunction aside, when was the last mass rampage by knife or Volkswagen?

    And remember: NONE of these killers of children were criminals.

  • realrebel

    There is nothing sensible about gun control for our law makers there “plan” is to ban anything that can shoot a projectile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.harmon.73 Andy Harmon

    cell phones dont stop bullets police cant stop shootings they just clean up the mess

  • THOMAS JEFFERSON

    Funny you should use GERMANY as an example HITLER was real good at disarming the GERMAN citizens ask all the ” law abiding citizens” how that worked out? oh that’s right you can’t ask them cause most where EXTERMINATED.
    WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP OUR 2nd AMENDMENT RIGHT to bear arms PERIOD. Get over it move on or WE DARE YOU UNARMED ANTHUN NUTS TO TRY and take them from us
    GOOD LUCK YOU WILL NEED IT.

  • THOMAS JEFFERSON

    Look in the mirror You are the racist.
    I’m awake now and wise to your race baiting propaganda go sell crazy someplace else.
    JUST JOINED NRA AND AMERICAN GUN OWNERS and bought a GUN BECAUSE OF MORONS LIKE YOU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.harmon.73 Andy Harmon

    and who does our standing army take its orders from…the goverment not us ask the people whos legal guns were confiscated after katrina.Hitler did win the election then declared martial law,killed his political rivals,banned civilian gun ownership,had the chanslory building burned declared himself dictator and started rounding up jews and political dissadents banned free speach and freedom of the press.If they can infringe on one of our rights it sets presadent to go after the rest maybe first amendment rights or unlawful imprisonment rights

  • Joe

    How many hammer mass murders have there been in the past 20 years? How many club mass murders have there been? How many hammer and club mass murders have there been in which one person at one incident killed 26 people with a hammer and or a club in 15 minutes????

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.harmon.73 Andy Harmon

    the japanese military after ww2 stated that they had planned an attack on mainland usa but didnt due to civilian gun ownership look it up.gun faciers in the 40′s most gun owners back then used them to feed their families they were skilled marksman not many semi automatic weapons back then most were bolt action

  • Joe

    The founding fathers made sure that slaves had no guns. The 2nd amendment didn’t apply to slaves or Indians. As far as the slaves were concerned, they were being repressed by a tyrannical government. Washington and Jefferson were the heads of a tyrannical government that repressed slaves and killed Indians. If only the slaves were armed and the Indians had more guns and cannons, they could have killed the whites and overthrown the tyrannical US government.

  • Brad

    Yes we do live it that world , still!

  • Joe

    “A free people ought not only be armed and diciplined,but they should have sufficiant arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independance from any who might abuse them,which would include their own goverment”-George Washington
    A free people???? What about the slaves, what about the Indians? As far as slaves and Indians were concerned, the USA and George Washington were tyrants and the USA was a tyrannical government in the 1700s. Gee, if only the slaves and Indains had guns, they could have overthrown the tyrannical government of the USA and the tyrant Jefferson, for example, (that’s from the point of view of slaves and Native Americans).

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.brian.14 Tom Brian

    guns of our forefathers

    http://www.11thpa.org/neumann.html

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

    You mean their “plan”

  • Brad

    Bill your statement on the NRA was a hack job by an antigun hack , nothing more . It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun, or is that too much blue collar logic for you ! The NRA represents me ! You don’t like it , tough .

  • THOMAS JEFFERSON

    GOOGLE NDAA then you can see why we as Americans need guns.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    MEXICO.

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

    You are right. It is not enough to tweek a few regulations here and there.

    Something more fundamental needs to happen. That something needs to fully remove the profit incentive for the manufacture and sale of weapons. Weapons need to be created by nonprofit research organizations who are directly responsive to consumers and their concerns for safety and all profits should be donated to charity for the prevention of violence in society.

    Too much of our energy which needs to be used to solve other problems is being wasted addressing the tyrincal power these CEOs have on our government. Its time to ban them from their participation in the NRA on K street and put consumers back in chage of their organization. Its time for a full out mutiny . Don’t let the door hit King Waynes back side when he leaves.

  • Joe

    And what about AUTOMATICS and machine guns, isn’t that the point????? How many massacres have there been with machine guns or automatics in the past many decades? I wonder why…oh yeah, they are banned and/or heavily restricted. Banning and/or heavy restrictions have worked, did work in the case of machine guns or full automatics.

  • Joe

    Shaun, I agree 1000%, well said.

  • Anonymous viewer

    Mr. Moyers, following is a letter to America in general which I intend to send to influential people in the media to express my opinion regarding the horrible state of this nation. From your comments about the NRA and gun manufacturers it is obvious that gun control to you is no gun ownership whatsoever. I am a life member of the NRA but I do not donate to them because, as I tell them, I am not a one issue voter. With most issues today we only hear extremist arguments because that’s all there is to hear. Extremists such as you, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh are, using an expression of today, not a part of the solution, but a part of the problem. Extremist rhetoric is what helps to keep this nation politically polarized. The only difference between liberal and conservative talking heads is that they simply occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. You and the above mentioned individuals keep controversial issues such as abortion, gun control, and illegal immigration alive and well, but why wouldn’t you, that’s where the money is.

    On December 14, 2012, a young man, obviously disturbed, committed a tragic crime in Newtown, Connecticut. And when something this shocking and horrendous happens, myriad reasons surface as to why it happened. The Democrats call for more gun control legislation, and the Republicans want to address mental health issues. Interests have to be protected. The NRA might want to arm teachers in order to prevent such crimes, thus protecting gun owners and gun manufacturers. This country’s very liberal entertainment industry certainly claims no blame for this act, and any legislation restricting violence on television, in movies, in video games and music, would not help prevent these crimes, would be censorship, and would also lead to lower profits. Everyone affected by this tragedy who has an interest that will be impacted by change brought about by it will try to protect that interest even if it is detrimental to the interest of the nation as a whole. However, Americans themselves, both conservatives and liberals, have to share much responsibility in these extreme events. What has occurred in this nation in the last three to four decades has been a polarization of our political system which definitely contributed to this tragedy. Years ago if we had had a centrist President and a moderate Congress, it might have been possible to pass rigorous, but sensible, gun legislation. This may have prevented the Newtown, tragedy. The American electorate over the years have, either knowingly or unknowingly, elected extremist politicians to Congress and the Presidency. The influence in the primaries of the NRA and other special interest groups and ultra conservatives such as the Karl Roves and Grover Norquists of the world, and big labor on the liberal side, have assured this nation that no centrist will have the support to win the Presidency. And the chasim between the two parties is widening. The Newtown tragedy and the “fiscal cliff” have much in common; there is little attempt by either party to do anything good for the country as a whole. Both parties heel to the special interest groups who write the checks. This difference between the parties is much more than philosophical. In addition to a lack of respect I also believe there is contempt. During an address to the nation the very conservative Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina called the president a liar. On a political talk show the conservative journalist Peggy Noonan called the President “a loser”. I rarely hear the President referred to as President Obama on the Fox news channel, it is always just Obama. Another element that is absent is trust. This is probably the biggest reason why the NRA digs in its heels on gun legislation, for which I can not criticize them. They do not trust liberal politicians; if you give them an inch they will try for a mile. The NRA knows that if they relent on an issue, there will be a future attempt to make the legislation even more restrictive. Consider all the party-line votes there are in Congress. The NRA’s fear is justified.

    How can we prevent these tragedies? We can’t. The best we can expect is, through legislation, to reduce the number and severity of these acts. To do this though the American electorate has to think for themselves and do what is right for their country and ignore extremist rhetoric that is most likely mis-information. A politician will not willingly make any changes which will threaten his own interests such as term limits. Before party, state, religion, and country, comes the politican’s own interests, with re-election at the top of the list. That is why they are putty in the hands of monied interests. What this country needs is a large dose of what the founding fathers intended – federalism. As long as second amendment rights are not violated, individual states should be able to deal with gun issues as their voters choose. It is obvious that the gun lovers and gun haters in California have decided on the most restrictive gun laws in the country and it seems they have done it the right way – through the ballot box. I doubt that the very conservative states immediately East of California are very concerned with California’s choices. And that is the way it should be. I believe any state law to control guns that stops short of violating the second amendment should be up to the voters of that particular state. If the voters of this country will not elect moderate politicians, then control of issues peculiar to any given state should be under the control of that state. I hope that the terrible deaths of twenty innocent six year old children and the six adults who selflessly tried to protect them does not become just another monument to failed government action simply because there were no centrist adults in Congress to get the job done!

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps some Americans need to learn history. Australians and England have given up their rights for guns. Now crime is running rapid!
    Why do we have guns? To protect us from corrupt Goverments. Listen to one Marine tell his point of view.
    http://www.silverdoctors.com/marine-letter-to-senator-feinstein-goes-viral-i-will-not-register-my-weapons-i-am-not-your-subject/#comment-44216

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps some Americans need to learn history. Australians and England have given up their rights for guns. Now crime is running rapid!
    Why do we have guns? To protect us from corrupt Governments. Listen to one Marine tell his point of view.
    Senator Dianne Feinstein,
    I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection, yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
    I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America. I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
    I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
    We, the people, deserve better than you.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Joshua Boston
    Cpl, United States Marine Corps
    2004-2012

  • http://www.serendipit-e.com/blog Chris Boese

    The reaction of the head of the NRA, that to combat gun violence, we need MORE gun violence, seems to me to be the very SEEDS of what, in foreign policy in the 1980s was called “Mutually-Assured Destruction,” or basically, an Arms Race, Macro level to Micro Level.

    This is what we get. This is how it starts. From a seed, to a fight between global superpowers, both of them standing up to their chests in a basement full of gasoline, one with five matches, and the other boasting that he has six matches.

    Or a dark theater under attack from a crazed gunman, and all the theater-goers opening fire in return as chaos explodes. Archie Bunker’s airplane with all the passengers armed.

    For that matter, a lot of the gun violence that we are protesting against, in our horror at the mass slaughter of innocents, is ALREADY occurring because guns are in the hands of people righteously armed in supposed self-defense. Because once you have a loaded gun, even for self-defense, like in a Chekov play, sooner or later it is going to have to go off, before the play ends.

    Or, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “My Life had stood, a Loaded Gun.”

  • WOW

    Do you love your neighbor? Do you trust your neighbor?

    I do, but not all of the time Sometimes my neighbor’s actions take me by surprise. Surprises that I am ill prepared for. And that is where govt. should come in to keep me and mine safe. But out govt. has been overthrown, bought out–willingly. And our children will pay the ultimate price.

    Easy access to high-powered weapons, uber-lethal ammunition, and mind boggling magazines by anyone is the issue. The issue that we will soon dismiss. Old news.

    Our media mill will lead us to blame drugs, mental health, lack of security, or simply, that this act was inevitable. Profit potential leads our “news” teams responses these days.

    To put it bluntly, America’s fingerprints are all over this crime scene.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is ACCESS. Private individuals sell half the guns in our country WITHOUT ANY registration issues or background checks like gun dealers. This is how the criminals get guns. Close the bloody compliance hole!!!

  • Rachel Mark

    As always, THANK YOU Bill Moyers!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryemaurer Mary Maurer

    If they in their hearts really believe that sensible gun control is off the table then we will continue to see what we have been seeing for the past 10years but with a fury! Mentally challenged human beings dont buy guns they steal them and/or make bombs to release their anger out on the innocent masses. This is where we should be spending our Government’s money on helping the mentally imbalanced regain a life of love not of fear. Thank you, Mary Maurer L.Ac.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryemaurer Mary Maurer

    Very Nicely put Emlyn!

  • http://twitter.com/emlynaddison Emlyn Addison

    …and that attitude is not helping. Where are these boogeymen of whom you speak?

    Think your little stash of weapons is going to protect you if the government comes a-calling? You and what army?

    Please, enough with the paranoid, adolescent histrionics. This is a government by, for and OF the people–that means YOU TOO–so stop buying guns and start paying attention.

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

    No.. . . . .The money is on K street.

  • Anonymous

    How many lives are SAVED by guns every year? A lot more than are lost, most of which are criminals anyway. If you want to talk about money-making big business lobbies in Congress, let’s talk about all the money Big Pharma stuffs into the pockets of people like Feinstein. Funny how Moyers never talks about that.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, people DID fight the Wehrmacht with pistols and rifles. They were called partisans and they were highly effective with them.

  • Anonymous

    The American Revolution started with a gun-grab. It’s no myth.

  • Anonymous

    Like Mexico, for example.

  • Anonymous

    What do you think all this is happening, the monetary system is breaking down. This causes a breakdown in the economics and society, ethics, morality go out the window. Most you are missing the big picture!
    A deflationist zombie (Bernanke or Krugman for example) never notices price rises because their cost of borrowing easy credit is near-zero. When prices go up — they just borrow more at virtually no cost. Non-zombies experience these price rises because their cost of borrowing starts at 3 1/2 percent and goes right up to over 30 percent and in the case of payday loans annualizes at over 400 percent so they really feel these price rises. (Everybody’s in debt, but if your interest cost is zero you don’t notice it).

    The entire political class and ruling Wall Street class are zero percent interest zombies who talk about ‘deflation’ in the value of their second, third and fourth homes. This is paper-deflation, zombie-deflation, and has nothing to do with the real economy. Recently, house prices in some spots in the U.S. and elsewhere have risen — due to all the money created to satisfy the zombies — causing a new bubble in real estate in Florida, Arizona and elsewhere. When this new real estate bubble pops, the zombies will whine that about ‘deflation’ again and the Central Banks will print again and these zombies will not ‘feel’ the price inflation of food, energy, education, transportation, insurance, etc. They’ve been inoculated against the effects of price inflation with endless free injections of free credit. Meanwhile, the arc of prices for non-zombies has continued to go straight up since the Lehman collapse. Killing the zombies means raising interest rates but no zombie is going vote to kill itself (the Fed will never raise rates, there is no ‘exit strategy’).

    Can this go on?

    No. The 300-year-high bond market bubble in the UK — and 240-year-high bond bubble in the U.S. (whose value increases as rates drop) are set to burst driving rates to their pre-zombie normal range of 5 percent on the 10-year bond meaning prices for bonds will drop between 25 to 50 percent in value. House prices will hit new post-Lehman lows. The $15 trillion in global unencumbered cash (not tied up in derivatives) will skip stocks and go directly into gold and silver. The total stock of gold in the world is about nine trillion. The total stock of silver in the world is about 30 billion. What happens to the price of gold and silver when more than one quadrillion in rapidly depreciating derivative paper is attempted to be jammed into a market less than 1 percent in size? #ExplosivePriceRise

  • steven sanders

    Actually my point is that in our country we prefer to allow thousands of little children to be raped so that we can put adults who were victimized as children in prison. We prefer to put poor women in prison for having sex for money even though that gets women and children raped and murdered. The war on drugs kills children. When people who are silent concerning these unjust, unconstitutional laws use a tragedy to promote their “moral” cause they seem cynically opportunistic. A law such as they have in Europe taking away the license of drunk drivers would save the lives of thousands of children a year. So if children’s safety were really the concern, then that would be more important then gun control. Since doing any of these things would save more children and reduce crime more than gun control even “if” gun control worked, gun prohibitionist’s appear to not be honest concerning their actual values.

  • WOW

    This type of high capacity weaponry has no place in a civil society. It threatens our nation’s welfare. President Hoover understood this and took steps to end the terror raining down on the average American, way back in the 20s. Citizens and their guardians, the police, were outgunned.
    Soon enough we will all be outgunned by anyone who has had a bad day. Nice.

  • Greg Wetzel

    Making money is the bottom-line with corporations and nothing else seems to matter. So yes, gun companies welcome the buying frenzy that has taken place around the holidays. Even when we are talking big corporate banks there is a lot of damage they have done to the common good so to make money. The more money for corporations the more ill for the common folk. Enough is enough. We need to stop corporations from destroying our nation. We need a Constitutional Convention so we can create a government that can resolve these problems.

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

    Like the fact that many gun shops have significant inventory problems which are not being monitored in any way. Its time to stop retailing weapons off the record when you know very well you can’t get a back ground check. The people who retail and manufacture weapons have insignificant things to say about safety because they don’t really want to know. They see our safety as consumers in conflict with their bottom line.

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

    Remember the 3 monkeys. See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing. And do no good. (snore) Can you visual the cartoon I am seeing.

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

    there was an armed guard at colombine. Banks with Armed guards get robbed all the time

  • http://twitter.com/dneideffer Dan Neideffer

    When we put the welfare of the citizen as out first priority, many of these problems could be reduced significantly. As long as we make profit out first priority, we will continue to suffer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    “100 year old technology”?
    A little more than 100 years ago, the best marksman could get off three shots in a minute. Would you be willing to go back to that technology?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    What an imagination!
    The Feds ain’t comin for you!
    Local SWAT team would take you out!
    And we would all see you on the news and think: “I wonder what made him snap?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Wrong.
    How many rounds a minute a century ago, Slick?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal
  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Adam Lanza was home schooled.
    Your point is moot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Do we want to hire teachers that can look one of their students in the eyes, and aim right between them?
    I don’t think we do…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    No it didn’t….
    Fine. Post some sources.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Assault weapons bans won’t make any difference.
    Background checks won’t make any difference.
    So why do you oppose them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Wow.
    Talking about guns really brings out the nut jobs, don’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    Totally untrue.

    In 2010 there were 8,775 people killed with guns.

    That same year there were 540 people killed with blunt objects.
    It should also be noted that people with mental health problems are, statistically, not more likely to be violent than the average person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    So true….
    You could easily be talking about the climate debate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    The gun nuts are not going to be reasonable.
    We’re going to have to do it for them.
    Seriously. They are not going to be, “Reasonable”

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.neal.902 Mark Neal

    I’m sorry.

    Is it possible that you have confused this website with that of WND?

  • Anonymous

    One in 90 Americans belongs to the NRA. Msst member disagree with the NRA opposition to any new gun laws, including universal background checks.

    MOst funding for NRA propaganda comes from gun manufacturers. The NRA is a so-called charity, but it put 30 million into defeating Obama….when political propaganda with the explicit goal of influencing elections is a charity, we have totally lost our marbles. This is a corrupt model which totally destroys the concept of charity and perverts democracy.

    For every person who supports the NRA

    opposition to new laws, there are far more who do, including their own members.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leon.threet Leon Threet

    Some argue that prescription drugs cause gun violence. That may be the case but why is the rate of gun violence in the UK so much lower per capta than in the USA?
    We use the same drugs do we not?

  • Anonymous

    Suggest you look into how their “statistics” are generated, you may be surprised

  • Anonymous

    Your entitled to your “opinion” that’s guaranteed by the 2nd amendment. I wouldn’t call 80,000,000 firearms owners cult members nor do they menace your health.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see the source of your infantile claim that “80%” of Colt’s firearms goes to Mexico. That is other than the Fast and Furious guns the ATF sent thanks to Holder and his Obama crew. Making up your own statistics is an Obama tactic, do you work for him?

  • Anonymous

    The courts have stated repeatedly that Law Enforcement Agencies have NO responsibilty for individual protection; you are on your own until such time as they show up….how long are you willing to wait?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, It’s far better to lie down and die when attacked than to resist and compound the felony. Which corner of LA-LA land do you exist in?

  • Anonymous

    Your data is wrong, machine guns were outlawed in 1934, are the rest of your “facts” in the same category?

  • Anonymous

    What you ignore is how many instances where carnage was prevented because of the presence of firearms for the simple fact that you can’t sell sponsor space for an event that doesn’t involve carnage.

    You sir, and the members of the 4th estate are as culpable as the firearms you so detest. In the absence of glorification there is no fleeting public infamy…..

    Your premise is totally flawed because it ignores a fact of life….There are people who become violent for various reasons and choose to inflict harm on others. Since this is an imperfect world with imperfect people with imperfect processes for detecting the imperfections, choosing to castigate the instrument used on occasion can only be considered juvenile and politically motivated.

    Remember, the term “Going Postal”, we’ve been there done that and will continue being exposed to the same as long as there are humans walking around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wolf.wylde Wolf Wylde

    yup, leave it to him to avoid the real issue. dangerous drugs being prescribed to unstable people with the approval of the FDA and Federal Government. Shut up Bill, and step away from the cool aid propaganda . . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/wolf.wylde Wolf Wylde

    your smoking crack, right ? ?

  • Anonymous

    No Bill… sensible gun control is to enforce what we already have for gun laws, and allow ALL law-abiding
    citizens to be armed, even 100% of the time (as I am). Anything else is insanity and will only bring us to ultimate destruction. As a Naval Officer I swore an oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the USA against all enemies foreign and domestic.” We have many domestic enemies right now, including in Congress and the traitor in the Whitehouse. And I will fight to my dying breath defending our rights.

  • Keith Harwell

    i wanted to leave a message, Bill you are a idiot. I hope that helped..

  • http://www.facebook.com/duane.white.395 Duane White

    Hey Emlyn, what about the Osaka School Massacre in Japan in which 8 children were killed. That was a knife attack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1384994556 Charles Temm

    Having been a member of that Army for most of my life during which I held jobs as varied as machine gunner, recruiter, drill sgt, platoon sgt etc, one of the things I can say is that the majority of you who keep shrugging off any armed responses to the government forget where most of those who serve in the Army/Marine corp come from-rural kids. They often are from families with a history of service and having a tad more personal stake in a government that supposedly upholds the Constitution. As such you make a very grave error in thinking that the services would back the government in just any situation. Add to that how many gun owners are vets and all you have is a situation where you invite the absolute destruction of the nation if they think their government has lost its right to trust.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like the best of the best Liberal ideas have finally penetrated our young society and entered our colleges to get a further indoctrination of the above including Emlyn.

  • JJ

    don’t own a gun myself, but i respect all the amendments to the constitution, stop with the demonization of guns and address the real problem that law enforcement is dealing with, mental health and gangs. Get these violators off the street for good and watch gun violence drop.

  • Hal

    The only “strong arming” I see is the Liberal media trying to demonize law abiding gun owners! Banning guns and limiting the capacity of magazines will NOT solve this problem. With this logic we could prevent kidnapping of kids from buses by banning buses, or limiting the number of kids on the bus to 7. The gun lobby doesn’t really exist, its only concerned citizens that can prepare our nation from a take over by Washington Tyrants. Keep the 1st and 2nd amendments!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dick.harriman Dick Harriman

    Enforce the Laws already on the books!!!!!!!
    We don’t need more laws, we need more enforcement.

  • NotARedneck

    It is a NRA talking point that resonates with the right wing cretin voter.

  • NotARedneck

    “we would all see you on the news and think: “I wonder what made him snap?” ”

    RepubliCON and NRA propaganda!

  • NotARedneck

    The biggest threat to the US are those very people who state that they need guns to defend themselves from tyranny. They always seem to get a place at the table, where decisions are made, no matter how little merit their views have. Legislators are afraid of the violence that they threaten.

  • TigerRag…

    Ah, and your response is to call names and make mockery of a well thought out statement. You kind of prove his point.

  • TigerRag…

    You know, I have a rule in my house. No guns. And, you know what, there have been no gun related accidents in our house. None. The logic is so incredibly simple that I have a hard time understanding why you don’t get it. No guns means to gun related violence. Moreover, I truly do not get why you feel like you have to have automatic and semi-automatic firearms at your disposal. I just don’t get that. Out doing a little rabbit hunting with your ooozie? Preparing to take on the US Army in case you get pissed off at the next president? Give me a break. Here’s my compromise, if you are looking for intelligent discourse. Allow single bore and double bore shotguns. Everything else goes. Now go hunt your rabbits and leave the rest of us in peace. But don’t come to my house with your weapons because you will not be welcome!

  • TigerRag…

    Ok, Duane, how many people have died at the knife carrying attackers and how many at the hands of gun owners? Dugh!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    No, it shows that Emlyn thinks that big words and mistaken ideas cures something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    And banning guns has lead to increases in violent crime in every country that has done so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    More people are killed each year with baseball bats than “assault rifles”. BAN BATS!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    I guess your “unwelcome” will stop that criminal with a gun?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    Ever hear of the partisans of Yugoslavia, France and Greece? I guess that they didn’t do very well as all they had were pistols and hunting rifles. You people that don’t know history are the new fools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    What a load of self loving crap. The racist here is you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    You forget, we who own guns are ALSO the people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.lawrence.7 Ron Lawrence

    No, not really. The anti-gunners are also against freedom. They want what they want, damned if anyone else matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erdmanwest Erdman West III

    The man to read for sure!

  • Flunking_retirement

    Now if we can only figure out a way to get all the self appointed moral compasses, and national psycho babblers like Moyers off the table.

  • Derek F.

    personally, I believe that gun ownership is a civil liberty, so for me, statistics are not going to change my opinion after all in the words of Mark Twin there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I view the first amendment as I do the second, freedom of speech can lead to violence, for instance in the cases of hate speech, simulated violence on TV, music and in pornography, but all of these are still protected under the Bill of Rights. I think there are two irreconcilable cultures in America. One culture, mainly rural, sees guns and feels safer, while the other, predominately urban culture sees a gun and feels threatened; whose sense of safety is more important? For me, taking away gun rights because of handful if lunatics would be like taking away freedom of speech because of the words spoken by lunatics like the Westboro Baptist church. PS I love you Mr Moyers and all the good work you do, I just disagree with you on this topic.

  • noguns

    It doesn’t matter the action was either accidental or intentional because person’s life is at stake. All of you have a choice to purchase or not to purchase the gun. It’s time to ask to yourselves this question: Will I put my individual right first? or community’s safety first? It’s time to make

  • noguns

    Better choice

  • noguns

    Did 2nd Amendment protect those innocent people?

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

    For every criminal with a gun there is a law abiding gun tourist who made his purchase out state at a gun show and used it as an ATM machine when he got home.

  • Sanity

    Dont you come to my house when the shit-hits-the-fan and look to us gun toters for help. I know someday soon all hell is going to break loose and those people who have not prepared (guns,food, etc) will look for those items. Good luck! Those items will be long gone at that time. Me and my family will be much better able to handle the aftermath. By the way did you know that the “red states ” have more guns per capita, far lower murder rates. The blue states have just the oppoiste. WHy is it that in the blue states their people want to murder themselves? THats the real problem. Leave our culture alone and figure out the answer to the question I just posed. Its obvious to me and many others that you have interest in REALLY solving your murder problem but instead have an agenda with satan to disarm lawabiding people. Good luck it anit gonna happen. We need more guns not less you idiot. You want civil war keep it up! I hope you come to my house.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.sosbe Lawrence D. Sosbe

    What are you implying by “…decontextualized constitution…”? If it be so, then we have only ourselves to blame for allowing the government to commit high treason in their capital offense of attempting to dismantle our only protection we have against their psychopathic actions. Shame on the public for not immersing themselves in the constitution to the point of complete comprehension and practical application.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.sosbe Lawrence D. Sosbe

    Actually, the last rampage by knife and car are still ongoing…since both are involved in more deaths than guns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.sosbe Lawrence D. Sosbe

    Ok, Tiger. How many have died??…

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.sosbe Lawrence D. Sosbe

    And what retaliation do you offer if someone does decide to enter your home…a baseball bat defense???

  • http://www.facebook.com/ethan.surbaugh Ethan Surbaugh

    I think as a avid gun owner the best thing we can do is separate ourselves from the NRA on this issue. My family home had dozens of firearms, and in the 60 plus years it has been occupied we’ve never had an “accidental discharge” indoors. We never had any problems because we were taught day one that safety was paramount, and we had a fundamental respect for life. I don’t support the assault weapons ban or the magazine limitations because its short sighted and not based on what we see statistically. However, the NRA is bad blood to me, all of my family members own firearms, but not one of them is in the NRA. Its a lobbying organization that is more concerned with lining its pockets and serving the firearms manufacturers. I love Emlyn Addison’s comment below as well for addressing eloquently the many compounding factors that have created this “mass shooting” atmosphere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.sosbe Lawrence D. Sosbe

    How in the hell does a semiautomatic rifle/handgun “…kill tens of people in seconds.”??? Oh, I get it! You’re just regurgitating the lie of Piers Morgan and his magical semiautomatic gun he has yet to produce which fires a mythical ten rounds a second. Try flexing your finger, while aiming the only gun you’ll ever be able to fire…your imaginary one, and then post how many times you were able to do it on here, you poor misguided soul! You do have me scare, though…of your right to legally vote!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dunne.18 Dennis Dunne

    too many variables here. i am against guns, but you can’t be against everything else, too.

  • moderator

    Hi Lawrence,

    We love spirited debate on the site, but we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to personal attacks. Please take some time to read our Comment Policy at the top of the comment section.

    Thanks,
    Sean @ Moyers

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

    To top it off, 80% of all guns Colt makes go to Mexican drug dealers. This is treason, but NRA has bucks, buys senators and US representatives, and gets away with murder.
    And while NRA says keep guns out of the hands of psychopaths, put one on meds and he is no longer psycho. The MI patient has more rights than the average American citizen, so discriminating on the basis of mental Illness just opens the door to law suits. We just do not need more assault weapons on the streets.

  • Elyse

    For some it isn’t enough that the loss of innocents have destroyed hundreds of families. I cannot understand that. Are they so self centered that they have no vision and cannot put themselves in another’s grief, if only for a moment? Too scary? Well, tragically, it’s a reality for too many families. My new fear is civil unrest over this issue. What have we come to? Where has our humanity gone? When did we lose sight of it? Why not support smarter choices when it comes to who is allowed to have a gun and who isn’t? Who needs that kind and that amount of fire power and ammunition? Why? For what? It’s terrifying to me. I also fear we’ve lost our humanity. What now?

  • aminfidel

    @facebook-1207771736:disqus take it easy, man.

  • aminfidel

    MEXICO?

  • aminfidel

    yeah, take it easy Lawrence. these people have no chance against the NRA and you and all your fellow pro-gun proponents. over 300 million guns in the US. come on man. relax.

  • Curt Chiarelli

    Here’s an essay that addresses the issue of how America became so entrenched in its views on gun control: http://davinci41.deviantart.com/art/THE-MONSTERS-WHO-WALK-AMONGST-US-343234771

  • Guest

    Here’s an essay that addresses how America became so entrenched in its views on gun control: http://davinci41.deviantart.com/art/THE-MONSTERS-WHO-WALK-AMONGST-US-343234771

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691194010 John Dyer

    If public safety and saving lives are important, shouldn’t we raise the minimum age for a driver’s license to at least 23, revoke driver licenses permanently on the first DUI, mandate that no automobile be produced that can travel faster than 50 mph .. Can you imagine how many lives would be saved by doing these things? Why would any reasonable person object to these ideas?

    Mr. Moyers argues for restrictive gun laws, claiming he cares passionately about public safety. He scolds the opposition, saying gun owners don’t care about the harm caused by guns, and that we are over-reacting to reasonable proposals. I seriously doubt, however, that he or his supporters would embrace restrictions on how they use automobiles. The cost in lives of permissive automobile rules would not overcome self-interest. The difference is that those who favor firearms restrictions are campaigning for something they believe affects others and not themselves. Laws that might force them to change what they themselves are allowed to do would not be as palatable. The failure of Americans to understand that they must acknowledge the values of others when contemplating laws that affect us all is a symptom of poor citizenship.

    Mr. Moyers has the same problem as so many other Americans on this issue: He thinks it is all about him, and that what other people want does not matter.

  • sawdust

    Bill Moyers’ sincerity is inscrutable. I wish he could come to terms with the futility of elections.

    My only disagreement is the terrible future. And it will be terrible. They’re willing to risk the planet to get their way. A few guys with guns will become fodder for nightly news – on the bad guys!

    Must be the tin foil hat, but the Gunny Sgt. told us that escape is best before they get organized.

  • Jerry Fair

    I could live with the idea of raising the drivers license age and the other things you mentioned. I would like to see a ban on guns similar to Japan or at least Australia put in place here in the killing fields of America. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to prevent him from getting the gun in the first place.

  • Dominick Ahrens

    And that worked so well in England and Britain, where gun violence rose exponentially after their “strongest” gun control laws were passed.

  • Dominick Ahrens

    Part of the distrust on the issue is the inclusion by the anti 2nd Amendment types of suicides, criminals killed by police and thugs gunned down by other thugs as “innocent vicitms of gun violence”.
    Suicides will always find a way (see Japan as an example), criminals killed by the police is something society typically applauds, and thugs killing thugs is going to occur no matter how strongly worded the laws in a book are.
    Is the death of innocent kids a tragedy?
    Absolutely.
    Are more laws that only the sane and law-abiding going to obey the answer?
    I don’t think so.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on car restrictions, but the same gun nuts would be the ones to object. My last year teaching, 5 just graduated seniors were celebrating and all killed in one DUI accident. Your rule about losing a license for life might stop DIU drivers in their tracks.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we need to define “arms” as used in the Bill of Rights. Then in meant front end loaded, single shot, guns. Not these assault weapons that Thomas Jefferson never even imagined.

  • Jerry Fair

    Not true at all. Gun violence dropped like a rock in every country gun control was implemented. Gun violence has even dropped in New York City after stop and frisk was implemented.

  • Anonymous

    Well, making more and more guns and getting more on the street, especially with the lack of jobs will not curb violence for sure. I think we are especially stupid for making assault guns and selling them to Mexico where they end up in the hands of the drug cartels. I’d call mfgs like Colt, treason.

  • Blume

    I have great respect for Mr. Moyers and agree with his perspective 99% of the time. Unfortunately he has been brain washed by The Brady Campaign and gun grabbing politicians, What he fails to see is that the majority of gun laws have not really been about crime prevention or ‘saving lives’ but is purely about taking guns out of the hands of minorities… read that as poor blacks and hispanics. The 1968 gun control act is a prime example… this made it illegal for a convicted felon to own a gun, then the federal and state governments started changing laws to make more and more minor crimes committed mostly by poor blacks a felony… no more voting rights (Mr. Moyers has had programs on this) and no more gun rights. The 2nd amendment is about the right of the people to stand up against an oppressive and tyrannical government using force when democracy no longer works. How far are we away from that…. in that we have a government that does not believe in basic human rights?

  • Blume

    Yes, that has worked real well in places like Germany in the 1930s and may 3rd world places like the Sudan…. when will folks understand that historically when the people loose their right to protect themselves collectively then really really bad things happen. Has anyone ever figured out or thought about that the same organization we are supposed to trust with ‘back ground checks’ is the same organization that is spying on all americans and randomly killing foreign citizens from the sky…. Homeland Security. bought 4 billion rounds of ammo last year…. be afraid, very afraid.

    Oh, and yes Britain’s gun violence has gone down but their actually violent crime rate has sky rocketed… it is like 4 times higher than the U.S. in urban areas…

  • Blume

    John Dyer wrote: ” The difference is that those who favor firearms restrictions are campaigning for something they believe affects others and not themselves. ” That is one of the wisest statements I’ve read in a long time. THANK YOU!

  • Jerry Fair

    I once worked with a guy who was shot dead while driving his car in what turned out to be the wrong neighborhood. I fear one of my crazy fellow citizens shooting me more than I fear the government and you should too. As for Sudan and other 3rd world countries they have a more serious problem with guns than we do and they have no idea of how to deal with it. As for Homeland Security it should be disbanded asap and the same goes for the NSA. Whoever authorized the purchase of 4 billion rounds of ammunition should be fired. What gives anyone the authority to waste money like that?

    Reply

  • Jerry Fair

    Very thoughtful comment. I agree 100% with everything you wrote.

  • Jerry Fair

    This is why we need a law to ban the export of all firearms.

  • Jerry Fair

    gun grabbing politicians-where are they? Everyone I see is in the back pocket of the NRA.

  • blume

    Nancy Peloski, Barack Obama… Biden… do I need to go on…. just remember this….

    “When they put you and your family on the train for that free ride to ‘camp’.. you’ll wish we had our guns then. Personally I think we should have back ground checks to be able to vote…. Yep, let’s have the government approve who can vote…. but they already do that ….. it’s not about crime or keeping the children safe… it is about one thing… control of ‘the people’.

  • blume

    You realize that Mexican citizens can not own guns right? Ownership of guns by a normal mexican is illegal in that country…. and this had made them much safer and there are no gun crimes in that country.

  • Jerry Fair

    I would call the Congress treasonous for not passing laws to stop the export of guns. Trouble is as long as they get the next pork filled bill passed they don’t care what I or anyone else calls them. It’s all about the pork, the whole pork, and nothing but the pork.

  • Jerry Fair

    Totally true.

  • Jerry Fair

    Totally true about the blocked research. By the way Dominick got his stats the same way most gun lovers get their information. They dream it up.