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Gun Control

Our society and guns in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Supporters of gun control gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, during a vigil for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., and to call on President Obama to pass strong gun control laws. (AP)

Supporters of gun control gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, during a vigil for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., and to call on President Obama to pass strong gun control laws. (AP)

So, what do we do?  After a year of mass shootings.  With a daily toll of gun death.  After a massacre of little children, first graders, in Newtown, Connecticut that has shocked the world.  Every time there’s a shooting rampage there’s talk of change, of some kind of more effective control of guns in this country.

And every time – so far – it sinks beneath the waves of gun rights advocacy and fierce, fierce politics.  Now, twenty little children and the women who cared for them are gone.

This hour, On Point:  What now, after Newtown?  We’re talking about our society and guns.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

David Hemenway, professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. He’s the author of Private Guns, Public Health.

Robert Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

Cato “Still, the Supreme Court has suggested that sensible gun regulations may be constitutionally permissible. Sensible is not, however, what we have in Washington, Chicago, New York and other cities, where you can probably get a pizza delivery before a response from a 911 call. Police cannot be everywhere.”

Washington Post “President Obama will arrive here Sunday to meet family members of those killed in Friday’s shooting rampage, carrying out the awful rituals of mass death and national grief for his fourth time in just four years as president. Now, however, Obama will face a new and higher level of pressure from advocates of gun control, saying that this time, he must do more than simply grieve.”

New York Times “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, a leading voice for gun control, all but demanded on Sunday that President Obama confront the prevalence of guns in the nation after a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.”

Washington Times “Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents portions of New York City, said he was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon that the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 young children, requires “meaningful action” by Congress, but hopes those words turn into concrete legislation.”

Video: Obama Speaks In Newtown

Here’s a video of the president speaking at the interfaith vigil in Newtown, Connecticut on Sunday evening. A transcript is here.

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  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    When one individual got on an airplane with explosives in his shoes, an entire industry responded with scanners and  every passenger was required to remove their shoes, airport security was forever modified.  One can argue if the response was appropriate or adequate,  but a real response occurred.  A single event can and has moved our country, Richard Reid is proof that under some conditions one event will move this nation into action.  

    We could argue gun control, bullet proof glass on schools, mental health services, or numerous other possible options to prevent a repeat of a similar crime.  Maybe we could even prevent some acts of violence through such measures, but the only way to really lower the risk is to make a place where all people in America belong to the community.  

    I proposed changing our federal laws so every individual between the ages of 18 and 24 serves two years of public service.  I believe this is about keeping our children safe and teaching them well.  It is a new beginning to meeting our obligation to our children.
    Here is the petition.  http://wh.gov/IVp4

    It is on the Whitehouse website.  I wish this would get into the national discussion on meeting this critical need in our communities.
    This isn’t some little program, it is a fundamental change on what it means to be a US citizen, it will address the root of our problem where some people are excluded from society.  Service is the best way to learn you are part of the hive, you belong, and we care about you.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I admire your pursuit in this, one thing that might help is to stress that Public Service need not be Military Service. In fact, I think it would benefit all to a much greater degree if the Public Service is Humanitarian in nature.

      • Tyranipocrit

         i agree

    • LinRP

      This is a must read. The Freedom of an Armed Society. NYT’s today. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/the-freedom-of-an-armed-society/?ref=opinion

      What is so interesting is the clear point that how an increasingly armed society, in the end, actually works contrary to the goals of those who feel unfettered gun ownership defines freedom. The entire essay is an eye-opener.

      After all, a population of privately armed citizens is one that is
      increasingly fragmented, and vulnerable as a result. Private gun
      ownership invites retreat into extreme individualism — I heard numerous
      calls for homeschooling in the wake of the Newtown shootings — and
      nourishes the illusion that I can be my own police, or military, as the
      case may be. The N.R.A. would have each of us steeled for impending
      government aggression, but it goes without saying that individually
      armed citizens are no match for government force. The N.R.A. argues
      against that interpretation of the Second Amendment that privileges
      armed militias over individuals, and yet it seems clear that armed
      militias, at least in theory, would provide a superior check on
      autocratic government.
      As Michel Foucault pointed out in his
      detailed study of the mechanisms of power, nothing suits power so well
      as extreme individualism. In fact, he explains, political and corporate
      interests aim at nothing less than “individualization,” since it is far
      easier to manipulate a collection of discrete and increasingly
      independent individuals than a community. Guns undermine just that —
      community. Their pervasive, open presence would sow apprehension,
      suspicion, mistrust and fear, all emotions that are corrosive of
      community and civic cooperation. To that extent, then, guns give license
      to autocratic government.

      • Don_B1

        I had seen this in TNYT, and applaud your posting of this segment. I get the feeling that a lot of people do not take the time, etc., to visit a link when it is posted, but in this case, with such a strong segment posted, hopefully everyone that sees it will look at the whole thing.

        I would make the observation that just as gun ownership invites retreat into extreme individualism as pointed out in the Opinionator piece, extreme individualism also leads the individual to think they need guns to ensure they can “protect themselves” against people who think differently.

        Thankfully, by the dropping numbers of people who own guns, the country is hopefully moving away from this kind of individualism. Maybe that is part of the push by the hard radical right to get “concealed carry” and “stand-your-ground” laws on the books, as they go for ever more insane approaches to the coming loss of total gun freedom.

        • LinRP

           What the piece says about how of free speech is impacted by everyone carrying is also very powerful, and very much right on, IMO. I hope people do take the time to read it too.

  • Michiganjf

    Teenagers can be extremely dumb, and don’t yet comprehend the nature of consequence.

    Teenagers’ hormones are exploding in rapidly changing bodies and minds, wreaking havoc with their perceptions, mood, and rationality… even blasting them with nervous energy, which they’re not yet equipped to explain or understand.
    Combine this flooding hormonal soup with newly understood genomic traits, such as the “warrior gene,” and you’ve got a problem.

    Teenagers can be extremely angry people.
    Everyone remembers teenage life can be difficult.
    A teen’s perspective can quickly morph, making it tough to nail down the nature of one’s self… it’s tough not to feel isolated when you feel no one knows you, and it’s easy to feel no one knows you when you’re changing so rapidly that you don’t yet know yourself.
    Teenagers are familiar with the freedom of an adult life (they see and understand), but that freedom doesn’t yet exist for them… they want to, but don’t yet control their destiny or life, and that lack of control also produces anger and frustration.

    Teenagers are not likely to speak candidly to an adult who might be able to help them with all the turmoil they have internalized, often for years.

    _______________________________

    Now, be sure to keep plenty of FIREARMS within easy reach of these young people.
    Keep plenty of ammunition handy too.

    Don’t lock the firearms up securely, or keep the key well hidden.

    Be certain some of the firearms in your home are equipped with high capacity clips and plenty of armor piercing rounds.

    Buy an assault rifle or two, and maybe some worthy assault gear, like bullet proof vests.

    Familiarize your teen with all of these things, so they really know how to use everything.

    “Militarize” your teen, and be sure to talk up how the gub’ment is going to take away all your family’s guns, and how pretty much everything outside your home is evil.

    _____________________________

    I’m all for owning a good quality, reasonable firearm for home defense, but GOOD GRIEF!

    WAKE UP, NRA PAWNS AND GUN FREAKS!

    • Michiganjf

      … and get on YouTube and Google to look for evidence of accidental discharges and morons who’ve shot themselves or someone else – usually gun enthusiasts who think they’re well acquainted and trained with firearms (Dick Cheney anyone?)!

      Yeah,
         what we need is as many idiots as possible carrying weapons around in public… that will assure everyone is safe!

      Get a clue, geniuses who think the answer to gun violence is more people toting around guns… yes, especially in grade schools, high schools, theatres, and shopping malls!

      • peterlake

         More people carry guns now than ever before and crime rates continue to fall.

        • Michiganjf

          Oh yeah!!!

            OBVIOUS cause and effect, as we always hear about all those citizens out in public carrying guns who are stopping crime!

          They must have criminals terrified!

          Genius!

        • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

           Yet we’re still at over 10k gun deaths a year. “Better than before” is not good enough – full-stop.

          • Flytrap

             And blacks commit murder at 7 times the rate of whites which puts the white rate in the middle of Europe.  http://thegrio.com/2012/02/06/reports-african-american-homicide-rates-in-midwest-states-on-the-rise/

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             So what’s your solution? Imprison all black people? The homicide rate is due to poverty; african americans just get the worst of the economic downturn. I figured you would know that…

          • Flytrap

             I stated a fact about the murder rate, you stated an opinion.  The greatest driver of poverty is single parent households, I figured you would know that.  My solution is to make everyone aware of these facts so that said facts are addressed if we are to come up with a solution.  What is your solution, transferring assets from whites to blacks so they won’t be “in poverty?”

        • Gregg Smith

          I sure appreciate your comments today. I’ve read that gun violence is at a 40 year low despite our laws becoming more lax but I can’t verify it. Can you? Also do you know if more people now own guns or do fewer people own more guns?

          • peterlake

             Crime peaked in 1993 and is down 73 percent since then, but there’s been a slight uptick in assaults and property crime, perhaps associated with the recession.

            Guns are flying off the shelves now, especially in the last month. More people have guns and more people have more guns, but I don’t have empirical data on it.

            But there’s no doubt that more guns and less crime have been nearly coincident.

            I used to be heavily involved in firearms politics but now I stay away — except for today.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks. I am going to educate and arm myself too. I hate to sound like the caricature but I am beginning to believe it’s now or never. Another Supreme Court judge or two and it’s over.

          • peterlake

             Gun-buying is tracked primarily through requests for background checks. I predict this week will be a record for purchases of AR-15 style rifles.

            Good luck and be safe: you can’t take a bullet back.

  • sickofthechit

    Dear Editor;

    I heard a commentator on one of the Sunday shows who said it was time
    to have this conversation. I disagree. It’s not “time to have this
    conversation”, it’s long past time to have this
    conversation. We need to actually do something about it. On
    the radio today I heard that on average, between 32 and 85 United
    States citizens are killed by a gun each day in the US. That means
    in a given year at least 10,000 U.S. citizens are killed by guns
    each year.  It is estimated there are more than 300,000,000 guns in this
    country.  40% of the 4,000,000 guns purchased each year are purchased
    at gunshows or auctions where no background checks are made. 

    No matter how strongly we desire it, there is not a single solution
    that will prevent the types of tragedies that happened in Newtown,
    Columbine or Virginia State. We cannot instantly switch off the
    accumulation or use of guns in this country. We can do some more
    immediate things which just might prevent the next such event in the
    future.

    -Equip all schools, churches and other public facilities with
    non-lethal weapons which can stun and disable an assailant. These
    devices should only be accessible and usable by trained personnel at
    each such facility.

    -Immediately require that all guns in private hands be equipped with
    tamper-proof trigger and magazine guards. Pass them out for free.

    -Immediately require that all gun magazines be restricted to 10 shot
    capacity.

    -Restore Mental Health funding to the various states. Much of it
    has been reduced in recent years.

    -No more Gun Show or Auction sales without a thorough background
    check.

    Sincerely,

    Charles A. Bowsher

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Okay, we’re digging in as Tom always likes to say and everyone knew it was coming. Before I fall down the Gun Control Rabbit Hole I’d like to throw something out that deserves our attention. Yes there are multiple problems with assault and tactical equipment and ammunition sales. Yes there are chronic failures in the field of Mental Health. Yes we participate in a rabid non-stop Media Circus. All of these things are critical issues that need our attention but I think we also need to look a little deeper if we want to address any of them.

    Isn’t the root cause of all of it the same? Everything is connected though we refuse to admit it and the bandages never heal the broken bones. All of the industries in play and the roles we give them in our lives are a result of what is, in my opinion, our common failure. We have Institutionalized Envy and it is ripping Our Country apart at the seams. The primary driver of our economic, judicial, political, and industrial systems has completely destroyed respect for anything that doesn’t feed its insatiable appetite including Human Life.

    Call me a communist, socialist, dreamer, whatever, it changes nothing. We have to have an open discussion of why it is there is such disregard for everything that is not Financially Profitable in nature. The Theists among us will say it is because we have ‘turned our back on God’, like God’s existence this can neither be proven nor dis-proven so what is the point of arguing about it? Will that argument solve the problem? I honestly don’t think it will. Will either small or large changes in Gun Control solve the underlying causes of the United States’ obscene rates of Gun Violence? I doubt it.

    No I don’t have all of the answers, in fact I may not have any. You can count on one thing though, I’m definitely open to talking about them with people who might. There are four films that paint a nice broad picture of what is happening to us. Despite some over dramatization that I find unappealing, if you pay attention to the thread that runs through it’s hard to miss the bigger picture.

    http://www.thecorporation.com/

    http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/enron-the-smartest-guys-in-the-room/

    http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

  • Tyranipocrit

    ive been trying to tell you rich people are crazy and need to b monitored. they monitor us, why shouldnt we monitor them.

    this is a reflection of a very sick society based on capitalism.  we profit off death, murder, cancer, disease, war, conquest, torture, terror, massacre, pollution, waste, lies and more lies. 

    many rich people, especially wall street and the corporatocracy have no empathy, none–that is why they can profit off death and destruction without loosing sleep and we applaud them and elevate them to celebrity status.  Success in this country is measured by how many people you’ve killed, directly or indirectly, but it is not talked about.  the health care system is one that profits off of ensuring cancer and disease penetrat eour lives.  DOctores love money and many american doctors hate universal health care and love big pharma and will charge 100s of thousands for surgery–they have no empathy–money rules their lives!

    halliburton, monsanto, cagill walmart, oil companies, etc–thesea profit of a pain and suffering and death and destruction.  NO empathy.

    These same rich inhumane parents are raising thier children, often abusing them mentally and emotionally, and physically–physical abuse and mental abuse is as bad but probably not as bad as absenti parents–maybe thery are their physically but not emptinoally.  No empathy.  These ar ethe people who rule our lives and it is refelcted in the world and the media and the laws and senate and judicial branch and exucutive branch.

    Change the system.  We need a jubilee!  We need revolution of the mind.  they wont happen unitl we recognize that we are part of this finite world with finite resources.  health care and education must be universal.  profiteering must come to and end.  At least, corporate profiteering.  Tax the rich around the world.  Build local.  Grow local and organic.  Protest monsanto.  Protest guns.  Protest war.  protest oil.  Protest nuclear.  Protest health care run by corpoortarte profiteers int he insurance companies.  protest pesticides.  protest big pharma.  protest american cars that refuse to design all electric cars.  protest people who drive big vehicles, especially suvs and hummers.. egg them.  They have no empathy and are a menace to society.  protest guns.  protest wmd manufaturers.  protest the army.  protest the marines.  protest drones.  Protest wall street.  prtests union busters.  protest all your elcted officials–demand accountability or remove them physically.  They serve corporations–NOT you!  Unitl this happens we will see a a rapid decay of scosiety–more than we do now.  And you all will never stop whining.  Wake up.  You are not in a democracy or a humane state.  Americas is not number in anything–NOTHing.  We rank near the bottom across the world.  You are brainwashed. 

    GDP is a measure of decay and problems in society–of sickness–not health, not prosperity.

    DOnt just protest guns and the NRA–protest all murderous WMD  manufacturers and the bullets.  Flood the streets of Washington and the homes of the elected.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      One word – anonymous

      they claim they are watching… here’s one example; it’s kind of scary on several levels. Watch the video here:
      http://www.salon.com/2012/12/16/anonymous_hit_westboro_baptist_church_over_sandy_hook_picket_plans/

      I’m not one to embrace conspiracy theory, but I was outspoken against computer voting since it was first proposed. Paper ballots are the only way to prevent massive vote tampering!!! anonymous may have played a role in preventing it in ’12… it sounds crazy, but having read about the incongruous Michigan voting results in ’04 and Cheney’s  expectation on Fox News that it would happen again in ’12, I am wondering if anonymous helped prevent another such silent invisible coup by the Republicans in this past election.

      • Flytrap

         You may be right, but it is also possible that they changed votes to put our current President in office too. 

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          That is indeed true and why I found it scary. That’s why we need paper ballots: with paper ballots, you can’t make a million votes change in a nanosecond with almost no trace.

          • Tyranipocrit

             its called a match

  • Charles Vigneron

    Senator Bob Kerry’s 1994 TV spot in reply to Charlton Heston is still timely.

  • Coastghost

    Be prepared for much pushback concerning any efforts to introduce a sweep of strict new gun control regulations at the Federal level, and here’s why: already (as ever, following a mass shooting), the political lines being drawn are between CITIES and RURAL AREAS. NYC Mayor Bloomberg thinks restrictions that might work, that could be implemented in the five boroughs, need to be imposed nationwide: as if other policies he’s helped implement (stop and frisk) or advocate (controlling the size of soft drink servings) would go over very well, or last for very long, in parts of the country where they would be strenuously ignored or strenuously resisted. What might work for any city in terms of curbing gun violence (and only modestly, if that much) is not automatically a recipe that can realistically apply to folks living in rural or remote parts of the country. We who live not in large cities can appreciate the challenges of living in densely populated areas where the risk of a mass shooting is obviously greater than in a rural setting; but we generally don’t have “problems with guns” out here in the sticks: we have far too many avid and active and responsible hunters, and we have a flourishing gun culture that often enough does not erupt in any kind of horror comparable to Sandy Hook’s. –so my word of caution as the debate proceeds: be alert to the fact that this country may have grown to be so disparate in the kinds and characters of views that organically arise locality by locality, state by state, in cities and in rural areas alike, that no “national solution” will be workable, or even acceptable, nationwide. I’ve seen this dynamic at work in many other national political disputes (it’s illustrated on these pages every week, no?), but it will not be LESS intensely at work when the dispute is over regulating legal gun ownership.  

    • Don_B1

      SEVENTY (or more) percent (70%!) of NRA members support background checks for ALL purchases of handguns. There is probably lesser, but significantly more than 50% support for a limited number of purchases per month.

      This would limit the flow of guns from your “rural” areas to urban areas, where guns have the majority of the bad effects that the nation’s mayors are almost uniformly against.

      I would strongly recommend that you read and think deeply about the opinion piece in The Stone opinion thread in today’s TNYT:

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/the-freedom-of-an-armed-society/?src=me&ref=general

      This helps explain why conservatives are more in favor of armed citizens since that condition makes the general citizenry more “docile” and less able to discuss the issues of the day and then act together to improve their lives. They are therefore more subject to control for and by the moneyed interests of society.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    From a teacher on the internet someplace:

    “According to conservative orthodoxy, I’m a parasite on the public’s
    dime who is only interested in indoctrinating the precious children of
    America into communism or atheism or whatever. I can’t be trusted to
    have any control over the curriculum I teach. I can’t be trusted to
    fairly and impartially evaluate my students, let alone my colleagues. I
    can’t be trusted to have collective bargaining rights. I can’t be
    trusted to have an objective view of governmental policy when it comes
    to my own profession.

    But some will trust me to keep a gun in a room filled with children.”

    • Gregg Smith

      A hallmark of liberals is to tell people what they think, criticize them for thinking it and then make an Evel Knieval leap based on a fantasy premise. It happens everyday.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        …said the fellow who’s blithely worryless about every “I can take ‘em down” fantasy American gun culturists have.

        As in the first-responder in Tucson who was two seconds away from being shot by a lawful, licensed pistol owner. Somehow this near-escalation wasn’t a “teaching moment” for anybody.

        As in every situation like the Manhattan scenario where trained cops have trouble making those split-second decisions about who’s a threat, who’s the gunman’s target, and when not to fire into crowd of people.

        Then keep telling yourself that we’re on the proper course for less of this, not more.

  • Potter

    I have to say how tired I am hearing about praying to God when this is about us. Getting rid of the ubiquity of guns and the almost worship of violence in our society is our work here on Earth to fix.

    The parade last night of clergy on that stage only moved me when a Muslim clergyman, young, and boy of about 10 came on stage. The boy read/sang from the Koran (in old Arabic?), the man with tears in his eyes gave a heartfelt message. 

    The mother of the deranged young man had to have been aware of her son’s abnormality. She collected guns. The gun that did the “work” was an assault rifle… but he had two other guns that would have added results to his “project”. Those are the facts– our gun demanding society, our politicians kowtowing to special interests, bear some responsibility here. Charlton Heston, for God’s sake, bears some responsibility!!

    When the President says we are all feeling this, he should also note that we all bear some responsibility for it as well.

    And don’t tell me it’s all about mental health.

    • margbi

       Nancy Lanza apparently collected guns as she was an advocate for target shooting. Tell me, please, why anyone would need a high capacity assault rifle for such a sport?
      And I use the word “sport” advisedly.

      • Flytrap

         Do you need to be able to post on the ‘net?  Do you need more than 500 cubic feet to live, etc. 

  • Gregg Smith

    When I was a kid my mother wouldn’t even let me have a toy gun. I did not grow up with guns in the house. As I got a little older I never took up hunting as most of my friends did. These days we keep a .22 in the closet but that is mainly for shooting copperheads. We had to kill a horse once with it. It’s no real defense.

    We have many children here everyday riding horses. We have handicapped kids for hippotherapy twice a week when it’s warm. There is an elementary school less than a mile up the road. If some madman came onto our farm we’d be sitting ducks. This event shows me that is unacceptable. I am going to get proficient, obtain a concealed carry permit and arm myself. I will not be in a position where the last thing I do in life is helplessly watch innocents slaughtered. I am crystal deal on this, my decision is made.

    • 1Brett1

      Gregg, you seem like a person who would treat the duties of gun ownership with the gravity they deserve. You also seem like the kind of person who would act responsibly in an emergency. Neither I nor anyone else should devote any of the most remote type of worry in having you or someone like you own guns…it’s those less responsible, those who are in the worst kind of profound mental pain, and those who lack any impulse control to their environment that we should worry about…I’m not sure that simply having everyone arm themselves is the right answer, albeit it may be the right answer for you personally.

    • William

       I did not have guns either has a child and don’t own one now or care too, but I have always been curious about this 9mm pistol craze and M-16 style rifles that seem so popular for many people to buy. This mother had both and they are not cheap to buy.  Growing up, if a person had a gun, it was a shotgun, hunting rifle or a small pistol. Now, for some reason, 9mm automatics and M-16 style rifles sell very well. Is it just the violent movies and video games that made these weapons popular?

      • Gregg Smith

        I wish I knew.

    • Don_B1

      Where are you going to keep the gun you buy that will be more “powerful” that the 0.22 that you currently own?

      Will you wear it on your belt, or in a place where one of those young children could see or find it and start “playing” with it, and then create that tragedy that you seek to avoid?

      If you store it locked up (please use a combination lock that you can change and only you or trusted people around you know, and change it regularly and every time you use it in the presence of someone who should not know it), how many people could that intruder (not necessarily a “madman”) kill with a 100 bullet/min firing rate before you could retrieve it?

      Wouldn’t it be more rational to work for limits on the availability of such guns (clip size and bullet destructiveness, etc.) so that you would have more time to react to such an intruder?

      By working to limit the danger you would not only protect against the threat to yourself and those around you, but also to the greater society around you.

      Finally, I would hope you would take a longer look at the likelihood of you being the subject of such an attack.

      Just like flying is statistically much safer than driving a car, children are statistically much safer in school than out on the street, or at the mall, or on a local sandlot. The difference between the human perception of the threat of danger while persuing these activities is whether the individual feels some control of the situation. The reaction to threats over which one has no control is called “dread,” while the reaction to the danger of driving at high speed, etc., is labelled “fear.”

      Humans accept and lower their perception of the probability of events that they feel they have control over and thus just “fear,” while elevating the likelihood of things they have no control over and thus “dread.”

      But blind reactions to “dread” are often not reasoned analyses of the full issue, and lead to more dangerous choices whose ramifications are not considered. It is too often a blind response to the “flee or fight” response, when a more considered response might well be neither.

  • 1Brett1

    I’m not sure if the question: what could have been done differently to prevent this tragedy? is the right question. It looks backwards from the future, and asks the question based on having hindsight. (Tragedies in the future won’t have the benefits of hindsight.) In a way, It’s like being in a car accident and saying, “if I’d just turned that corner a minute earlier or if that other driver had just stopped at that stop sign…” 

    Yeah, sure, a lot of things could have been done differently to prevent this tragedy; they’re being done “differently” every day. 

    The young man’s mother could have safely locked up her guns with no access to anyone else. The woman could have taken up cross country skying instead of being a gun enthusiast, too! The young man could have been taught to openly, trustingly express his feelings to someone and could have been taught to seek help for his pain. The mother could have seen his troubles much earlier and helped him (maybe along with a MH professional) address those problems.

    [Maybe a mental health professional in some other place, right now, as we debate this, is on top of someone (closely monitoring him/her) who has expressed a desire to harm himself/herself or others (including outlining a very detailed plan of violence that involves knowing how to access a lot of guns) and this professional has effectively helped the person or has alerted authorities? Maybe even those authorities have effectively kept that person out of society in some way? These success could have been adopted as best practices long ago to have "done things differently." Just think what might have been possible to prevent this by better maintaining/beefing up mental health/school psychology/structured counseling services if 1.6 billion dollars hadn't been cut from sate budgets in the past three years for such services?]

    Perhaps education professionals could have been taught to have mace, pepper spray, or some more effective disabling device that could have been used in this situation?

    There could have even been some plan in place that could have effectively addressed limits on the number of guns, limits on the types of guns, limits on the amount of ammunition, more stringent licensing, training, and inspection of storage for gun owners, done in such a way that protected innocent people and didn’t infringe on anyone’s precious rights. There could have been a process that was politically possible years ago to bring about better legislation. Just think if that plan could have been implemented before this tragedy? There could even have been a much more stringent process in the purchasing part of acquiring guns that might have prevented this…Yeah, if we could know all of the variations of what might happen and who or what might fall through the proverbial cracks, then we could prevent all tragedies, for the most part.

    We could also have cultivated a society where violence wasn’t so much a part of our popular culture, where models of people resolving conflict or handling problems without violence could have been more prominently portrayed in movies, music, tv, shows, and video games. We could have encouraged our youth to participate more in supporting such ideas, and we could have supported all of us more in community participation in our own neighborhoods…so, yeah, there probably was a lot more we could have done.

    But, unfortunately, we can’t go back in time; we also can’t possibly anticipate every possible scenario that could get a foothold and fester to the point of erupting into violence. We can, however, look to the future and anticipate much of what could happen that facilitates such tragedies. We can, however, take the politicization/ideology out of many of these issues and discuss them soberly, rationally, openly, with respect to different viewpoints, and we can still be political in the process, especially in terms of meaningful advocacy and meaningful action…This last sentence is perhaps the most difficult to promote, especially as it pertains to this forum. 

    • Gregg Smith

      It seems to me you have the right approach but I do think it starts with determining if there is anything that would have given them a chance. My approach is to figure out what would have given them the best chance and I think that is not an impossible question to answer as more information becomes available. All options have an upside and a downside and if we are going to make laws or change them, that is where the debate should be. You make some good suggestions. 

      At this point IMO I think an armed guard (as Steve_T pointed out) would have given them the best chance. But is locking down every kindergarten in the country a proportional response? There are so many factors to weigh but as I see it, whatever would have given the best chance has a huge upside going for it.

      Also IMO, I think a tighter gun law would be the least effective approach. Do we require parents of mentally ill kids to lock there guns? Do we not let them have them in the first place? How do we define “mentally ill” legally? Is there a law that a mass murderer will dutifully comply with? I do not see a significant upside, just a tangential one.

      And sorry, the political angle that I see is frightening. This in the Emanuel Doctrine in full swing and there is a history on this issue. I’ll save that discussion for the moment and try not to pollute your thoughtful thread.

  • Gregg Smith

    Perhaps I’m cynical, the show hasn’t aired yet. Looking at the panel I see only one side of the equation represented. If you are going to talk about gun control as if it is a solution, as if it would have done squat to prevent this, please please at least mention that guns prevent crime. Please mention that States with concealed carry have lower crime rates. Please tell us what would have given those kids a better chance than an armed principal.

    http://www.kgw.com/news/Clackamas-man-armed-confronts-mall-shooter-183593571.html

    • 1Brett1

      Seems like such a leap in reasoning to look back in time, take one component, change it retroactively, and claim that perhaps events would have worked out differently. Yeah, and they could have worked out worse too. 

      Sorry, but arming everyone isn’t an intelligent, comprehensive solution. Also, insinuating a causal relationship between more guns and less crime (especially when what has transpired in this tragedy is a very specific kind of crime: murder)/holding up one aspect of a state’s function and correlating it with another aspect of how a state is functioning is irresponsible as it pertains to a suggestion of a solution to a problem. It’s also irresponsible to even present such as a fact (at best it is one component of a potential truth, however incomplete in its presentation).  

      To have a pretense that one is not politicizing a given topic by resorting to such tactics is dishonest. 

      • Flytrap

         Here is a scholarly attempt at causal relationship. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=161637## How do you stop smart, determined, suicidal crazy people from committing crimes before they have committed them?   The big mental hospitals now are all in prisons, which means we get them after the fact.

        • 1Brett1

          Thanks for the link; I’ll have to look it over…I don’t have the answers. 

          We have cut 1.6 billion dollars from state budgets for mental health services in the last three years. It’s true that prisons have become the new mental institutions. However, mental institutionalization preemptively isn’t a solution either. 

          Years ago, the deinstitutionalization movement didn’t take into account how municipalities were going to handle such an influx of mentally ill people being back into the communities. So, many people were left to let law enforcement deal with the problem. This was a mistake in not anticipating better what would happen.

          One thing is for sure; it’s infinitely easier to buy a gun than it is to seek mental health services. That needs to change.

          Also, with all due respect, a link to an abstract based on a document by John Lott, jr. (conservative think tank guy and Fox commentator), isn’t very impressive. The abstract is from a 54 page document! Have you read the 54 pages? Or did you just link to this because it looks “scientific”?

          • Flytrap

            Read part, skimmed part.  Impugning the source is too easy when we are talking about limiting rights.  While I have great disdain for Ezra Klein, I am not going to disregard a paper he writes because he wrote it.  If it’s true, it’s true.  Look for peer reviews, critiques etc. before you dismiss it.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Racist troll

          • Flytrap

             ^  Poor deranged moron lacking the ability to make a cogent argument.  Maybe these guys can help you?  http://www.phoenix.edu/

      • Gregg Smith

        Sure, I agree with you. I maybe should have made the caveat with the link. And please, I’m not advocating arming everyone, no one is. No one. I am saying this should be part of the debate. The story linked got almost zero coverage. I understand it is impossible to say what could or would have happened if….

        Guns prevent crime often. Sometimes it is quantifiably obvious and sometimes it’s not but it happens enough that it must be part of the discussion. It is not. The show may prove me wrong, I hope it does.

        You wrote: “Seems like such a leap in reasoning to look back in time, take one component, change it retroactively, and claim that perhaps events would have worked out differently.”

        But that is exactly what is happening with the gun control debate. If the claim is that gun locks or assault bans or a stricter gun law would have changed things then it’s pure fantasy. 

        What I want to know is what has actually happened when gun laws have changed and how much of that is causation. I want to know the cases where we can definitively say guns prevented death… or at least talk about it. 

      • Flytrap
    • anamaria23

      We do not need the other side represented on the panel.  We have you.

      • Gregg Smith

        Well that’s sweet but guns are not my issue. I’d rather listen to the experts.

    • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

      CATO, aka the crazy wing of the republican party, isn’t good enough for you?

  • 1Brett1

    Gregg, you seem like a person who would treat the duties of gun ownership with the gravity they deserve. You also seem like the kind of person who would act responsibly in an emergency. Neither I nor anyone else should devote any of the most remote type of worry in having you or someone like you own guns…it’s those less responsible, those who are in the worst kind of profound mental pain, and those who lack any impulse control to their environment that we should worry about…I’m not sure that simply having everyone arm themselves is the right answer, albeit it may be the right answer for you personally.

    • anamaria23

      If Gregg is right, then kids and other citizens of Japan and Australia should be dropping like flies.
        America is a violent, gunworshipping society.  20 children gave their precious lives so that this country could make military  style weapons available to anyone over the Internet, gun shows and so that the narcissist Wayne Lapierre can call the shots in Congress.
      Ideologues continue to deny what is right before them with feeble rationalization. 
      Assault rifles must go.  Mental health care resources must be vastly improved. 

  • 1Brett1

    disqus is being particularly quirky today.

  • 1Brett1

    disqus!

  • LinRP

    It’s hard to list in a cogent way all of things that have me so angry and distraught over this tragedy in Newtown. One of them, however, is when pundits talk about the “power of the NRA,” and how politicians dare not cross them. WHAT POWER????? WHO GAVE THEM SUCH POWER????

    The only power they have is money. The ONLY thing they can do is fill the coffers of right wing ideologues who do their bidding. So, it has come to that, yet again? That we keep talking around an issue like gun control–even in the wake of this tragedy–because of MONEY for some politicians? Enough! Enough! Enough!

    This constant yammering of fear of the NRA, like the Grover Norquist pledge, is so clear an example of what is, and has been steadily bringing down this country. Give me one example of what the right wing has been behind in the past 30 years that has lifted this country UP, and led to a better quality of life or liberty for us citizens? From this issue of gun control, to deregulation, to the opposition of universal health care, the dismantling of food safety and environmental laws, gerrymandering congressional districts, reproductive rights, to promoting a culture of fear–and on and on–they need to be stopped. Let it begin here.

    • Gregg Smith

      This didn’t happen because of the NRA or money. 

      • 1Brett1

        Again, you’re looking back and not forward. While we don’t really know all of what was involved that lead this boy to kill, we do know that we have a gun culture society that is driven by all sorts of things, including violence in media, and a strong NRA lobby. 

        You mentioned video games in one of your previous posts. Would it have been fair or reasonable for someone to have replied. “this didn’t happen because of video games.” Does that move the discussion forward? 

        Is anything anyone says here, today, that doesn’t conform to saying what could have prevented the shooting the other day, subject to being dismissed out of hand? Your tactic is one I talked about the other day: we can’t talk about gun control unless we make every thought conform to how we could have prevented the shooting the other day? 

        I’m not being snarky, here, Gregg, but you can do better. I was expecting, based on your reflection from the show the other day, that you would bring some insight and intelligent debate to this discussion…so far, it’s the “bad” Gregg we all love to take pot shots at who is present today, and that’s most disappointing.

        • Gregg Smith

          The cold hard truth is, and I say it with all affection, I am not here to impress you and I couldn’t care less if I disappoint you. I will express my opinion and dismiss as I please. I am dismissed out of hand often, that’s fine. It gives me a chance to defend and make my point to move the debate. If LinRP wants to educate me because of my response then I say cool. In fact it’s beautiful. And yes, “this didn’t happen because of video games” is exactly what I told my mother. I dismissed my dear mother’s premise out of hand. She still loves me.

          I guess I have to point out that you dismissed out of hand the idea of arming everyone even though no one suggested it. I’d call that a tactic. I can easily comment on what I think makes you tick and the areas I find nasty and illogical. I try very hard not to be that guy. On top of that list would be your penchant for doing just that. We have been having some good discussions lately because you have avoided that “tactic”. It must be bigger than you are and that’s fine too but please don’t tell me I’m the one not moving discourse forward.

          • 1Brett1

            Wow, Gregg! You seem a little ruffled…My point about the video games is that no one DID counter your comment about video games with, “video games didn’t cause this tragedy. As far as “arming everyone” goes, I was simply asking the question, as if saying certain teachers should have been armed is any solution to the problems we face. 

            I’m not telling you you’re NOT moving the conversation along; I believe you are, for the most part, contributing to this conversation. I was just saying certain statements you made weren’t moving the conversation along, so no broad-brushing what I said, please. 

        • Flytrap

           Your hurtful words towards Gregg have greatly upset me and I don’t know if I can control myself.  If you didn’t have the right to say those things then I wouldn’t be upset and do God knows what.  The obvious solution is to severely curtail the 1st Amendment. 

          • 1Brett1

            Spare us your childish histrionics. 

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

          • Flytrap

             How about orc or ogre?

    • William

       Certainly, you are angry at Hollywood and the video game industry too right? Both of these industries have made billions by pumping out very violent movies and games with little if any concern of their negative aspects on society.

    • Don_B1

      @1Brett1:disqus 
      1) The high firepower of the semi-automatic Bushmaster AR-15 made this attack the huge life taking tragedy that it was. Each child was apparently hit by more than one bullet. As an aside, why was it so hard to identify the victims? Were their faces obliterated by the multiple bullets?

      2) The NRA, the most known promoter of a “gun culture” and other well-funded gun groups, such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation, are working to allow just about anyone to openly carry any firearm of their choice anywhere they wish. But right now it is the Guns Owners of America that is speaking up (and calling the others “possums” — where is the term. “ostriches with heads in the sand”?), virtually demanding that teachers be armed.

      These two items DO make the NRA, and the other “libertarian” groups, largely responsible for the size of this tragedy. The shooter’s mother was also a facilitator but she did not work to make such weapons “legal.”

  • peterlake

     I’ve been in this field for 54 years and have seen it all, lived it all, been right in the middle of it all. Everything mentioned in these postings is wrongheaded and doomed to failure. Go to a gun store today and you’ll find people lined up to buy AR-15′s. Obama’s already been the greatest spur to gun sales in years. First in 2008 and then since his reelection. Trying to pass prohibitions on the legal uses of guns based on the aberrant behavior of the mentally disturbed is not going to work. Furthermore, the media does nothing but add to the anxiety and the hopelessness of finding a solution. I recommend Barry Glassner’s work: http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Fear-Americans-Afraid-Things/dp/B003R4ZBR8  and learning why all this hand-wringing is misplaced. Kids are FIVE TIMES more likely to be killed outside of school than in school. Shootings like this, while regrettable, are an insignificant problem compared to what really kills kids. Everything going on now is a diversion from keeping kids safe. Obama and Feinstein are part of the problem, not part of the solution to child safety, but liberals prefer to villify gun owners rather than look at the real issues. You’ll see……this is an old re-run that I’ve seen re-played time and agains since Charles Whitman got up in the tower.

    • 1Brett1

      Rather than hawk someone’s book using an Amazon link (which, info. can’t be accessed without buying the book), perhaps you could offer, using your 54 years of experience, knowledge, understanding and insight, some solution-oriented ideas? 

      What do you see as the real problem? What do you see as a reasonable solution? Or are there even any solutions?

      • peterlake

        My expertise is in firearms and the protection of civil rights, not sociology. Barry Glassner’s the sociologist and he merely tries to show where the real dangers to us lie. Killing helpless children is the ultimate problem for them, but it’s not a significant safety issue for other children, especially compared to the much greater lethal dangers children face outside of school.

         I think you’re correct to question if there are solutions. It’s not polio, after all, that can be countered by a vaccine.

        President Obama was correct last night indentifying this shooting as a product of evil and we need to acknowledge that evil cannot be defeated – merely confronted and opposed. (See the myth of the death of Baldar, for example).

        I would encourage people to understand it’s their moral obligation to learn how to protect their own precious lives and the lives of those around them and it’s not the job of the government.

        Much of the public cedes its responsibility for personal safety to public employees and pretends it’s someone else’s problem.

        Fast-firing guns and large-capacity magazines have nothing to do with the real dangers to children. Ten children were blown up in Afghanistan yesterday. Want to build a bomb? It’s on the net. The killer could easily have blown the kids up instead of shoooting them.

        There’s no easy solution, but focusing on the instruments of destruction rather than the people who want to destroy is surely a misguided mission.
         

        • William

           Why do so many people want a gun  like the rifle that was used in this shooting? I’m not pro or anti gun, but just curious. You work in this area and do you ever ask people that own these weapons why they want one? I’m not trying to start an discussion about gun owner rights etc…just curious…

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             Most people want to own them simply because they can. They have no good reasoning, they just want them.

          • peterlake

             That’s a good point,, and no reason is needed, although so often we hear “you don’t need one for hunting.”

            “NEED” is not operative as far as firearms ownership goes.

            Many people don’t need cellphones, either, but need is not a requirement of ownership.

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             There are also the crazies who think they need to own assault weapons for to combat the government in the event of some usurper. Such nonsense is pretty pervasive in the tcot hashtag on twitter.

          • peterlake

            A fair question.

            The NY Times reported yesterday “In a survey conducted by the shooting sports foundation, gun dealers
            reported that in 2011, 49.1 percent of the AR-15-style rifles they sold
            were bought for target shooting, up from 46.3 percent in 2009. Hunting
            accounted for 22.8 percent of sales, and personal protection 28.1
            percent.”
            Of course, there’s a lot of crossover.

            They’re easy to handle, they’re reliable, ammo is not terribly expensive and they’re fun to shoot.

            It’s worth noting they were designed 55 years ago, so they’re nothing new although they have many ways to customize the gun.

            Although 28 percent say they own them for personal protection, I think a shotgun is a far better choice.

          • William

             Thank you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            So many rural whites scared of “Obama taking away their guns”?

        • 1Brett1

          Thanks for your time to respond and address some of my questions; I appreciate this.

    • jefe68

      Ban assault weapons. That’s not vilifying gun owners.
      The type of people buying these guns might be varied but the bottom line is they are not interested in the public good. Just shooting stuff and feeling in control for a few minutes.

      I think you sir are part of the problem, not President Obama or liberals. By the way President Obama is a lot of things, being liberal is not one of them.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregion/in-newtown-conn-a-stiff-resistance-to-gun-restrictions.html?pagewanted=2

      • Brandstad

        Would that have stopped this shooting from hapening?

        I don’t think so.

        • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

           But it will make it more difficult to carry out. The point is to limit access to high-powered weapons. The military needs assault weapons; you don’t.

          • Flytrap

             An easily acquired pump shotgun would have been more effective.  It is the weapon the Germans wanted to outlaw in WWI because it was so destructive yet no one has a problem with it.

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             Only in a crowd. Shotguns carry what – 12 rounds? A banana clip on an assault rifle can hold thirty or more, resulting in reloading less often. Besides, shotguns are more difficult to hide because of their size. That’s why you don’t see people using them in these school shootings.

          • Flytrap

             A 12 gauge 00 buck shell has 16 pellets.  If someone is planning to kill people, don’t you think they would shorten the barrel and put on a pistol grip too?  http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sawed+off+shotgun+pistol+grip&id=381D3689743E9B7A6C80A0B04EAAA40CD4917D5B&FORM=IQFRBA  Pretty easy to hide isn’t it?

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             That’s more work than I’d want. Buying an assault weapon would be easier.

          • Flytrap

             No, it isn’t.

          • http://twitter.com/BrentonPoke Brenton Poke

             At a gun show, it is.

      • peterlake

        “Assault weapons” is a misnomer, invented by the gun-grabbers to demonize scary-looking rifles.

        The guns used in Newtown were semi-automatic rifles such as have been around for more than 70 years, the pistols using a technology present for more than 100 years.

        The idea of the magical and deadly “assault weapon” is just one more lie told again and again by anti-gun lobbyists.

        And it’s mis-application is but one more reason that pro-gun forces stiffen their backs at anything suggesting a ban — they refuse to let ignorance prevail against a Constitutional right.

      • Flytrap

         Why don’t we lock up young black men?  Seems that might solve much of our violence problem too.  http://thegrio.com/2012/02/06/reports-african-american-homicide-rates-in-midwest-states-on-the-rise/

        • nj_v2

          You’ve spammed this link at least half a dozen times. Can’t you find anything else to support your racism?

          • Flytrap

             I am making sure everyone is aware of the disparity in murder rates.  Everyone doesn’t click on every link.  So far, all you have managed to do is  impugn and insult but not disprove or solve.  Perhaps you should have paid more attention in class so you could better research and form an argument.

    • nj_v2

      Curious that you invoke Glassner when what he says contradicts your argument.

      http://www.cnn.com/COMMUNITY/transcripts/glassner.html

      [[ Question from Pace: To what do you attribute the rising incidences of mass violence in previously unlikely places?

      Barry Glassner: I think the biggest factor is the ready availability of heavy weaponry. There is not necessarily an increase in violence. In fact, there is some evidence that there has been a decrease in violence. It is the degree of destruction and the number of deaths caused in a single incident that has increased. I also think that there are large numbers of young people who find themselves alone, both in school and particularly outside of school. I think that lack of connection and sense of not belonging contributes to the problem. ]]

      (excerpt)

      • peterlake

        I’m not sure which part of my argument(s) you think are contradicted by this, but I stand by Glassner’s approach to societal risk evaluation.
        Take, for example, the last of that interview you quote:

        “Chat Moderator: What advice would you give on how to deal with the fear of school violence?

        Barry Glassner: Other research is showing that adults are
        becoming increasing worried about school violence and youth violence. I
        emphasize the importance of learning the facts of what is going on and
        keeping that in mind because those facts are quite reassuring. At the
        same time, we must work to make schools safer. If we do that, we will be
        able to turn our attention and resources to problems that are much more
        prevalent, such as the fact that one in five children in America lives
        in poverty and the fact that the leading killer of young people is
        accidents, primarily car crashes, many of which can be prevented.
        If we get a clearer perspective on which dangers affect the largest
        number of children, we can be more cost-effective and realistic in how
        we try to protect them.

        That ought to be our goal: child protection, not gun control per se. Alas, it isn’t when people politicize this shooting.

        But I do take issue with Glassner in the paragraph you quote:

        “It is the degree of destruction and the number of deaths caused in a single incident that has increased,” he says.

        Not entirely.
        For example, if two air crashes kill 100 people and 300 people, which is “the worst”?

        Well, the media always ranks things by number, but that should not be the criteria we use to judge the relative degree of harm and future risk they may have exposed.

        The 300 person crash might derive from a simple cause, but the 100 person crash might have much more serious implications. The number of people sitting in the plane bearns no direct implication for the true severity of the crash, except to the families of the dead.

        Same with school shootings. Is a mass killing of 20 kids more serious than one that sees 10 killed? According to the way the media reports it and the way politicians try to exploit it, 20 is exponentially more serious than 10 deaths.

        Is the massacre in Newtown worse than the one at Virginia Tech, where almost identical numbers were killed?

        I think Glassner tries to put a realistic perspective on real risks as opposed to perceived ones and for that I hope more people pay attention to him.

        But in the interview you cite, I think you found an example that’s contrary to most of his work, although I am loathe to speak for him. Even in that same paragraph he’s saying that our perceptions of real risk are flawed.

        I agree.

  • alangig

    America is suffering from,”Cultural Lag” the days of living in the wilderness or on the range are over, actually you are suburbanites. I see nothing wrong with hunting rifles or even single shot hand guns, it is just when the word automatic comes into the equation does it become so controversial. yes, there are people who shoot up post offices where there are strict gun controls but rarely and usually not with automatic weapons. The americans need to learn compromise, so, if you really want an automatic weapon, keep it at a gun club or make your schools guilded prisons. 

    • peterlake

      No one was killled in Newtown with automatic weapons.

      Automatic weapons have been strictly controlled since the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934 and no school shootings have been committed with automatic weapons.

      Why would you think so?
      Answer: uninformed opinions abound and everyone is entitled to one…..that’s the great thing about the United States.

      • LinRP

        You’re kidding with that, right? A Bushmaster .223-caliber assault rifle is designed for military and law enforcement use. It has a 30-round magazine.

        If you are so informed and we are not, then do deign to tell us why a normal citizen needs that kind of gun, whether it is technically an “automatic weapon” or not.

        • Flytrap

           If you clad the action in finely crafted walnut with fancy engravings, voila, a hunting rifle.  An easy to purchase shotgun, that no one argues about because it’s a “hunting” weapon, is much more deadly in close quarters. 

        • peterlake

          Nearly all modern weapons of original design were built for military or law enforcement, then adopted by civilians for any legal use they wanted — hunting, target shooting, personal protection, collecting.

          So was the jet engine designed for military use, but I bet you’ve used one without whining about its origin.

      • JAIBEEZ

        semi-AUTOMATIC

      • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

        Automatic enough to kill 20 small children and 6 adults in about 10 minutes.

  • stillin

    The bullied, the mentally unstable, and the recent citizens who have gone postal are all the bigger problem, and then the weapons if they have access to them. It is very sad, I personally feel like the public school system breeds the above, protects many, sweeps a lot under the carpet ( OUR school has NONE of those problems yea right) . That said, I think there is a huge difference between someone with A gun, and someone interested in assault weapons. I would like to close with this experience, in 1985 I worked in an expensive day care in Dallas, Tx. Toy guns were not allowed. When I had groups of young preschoolers outside and a plane would fly over, little boys mostly, picked up sticks and played gun, all the time. It was like that daily. I just think it’s interesting. Our culture is sick, and the remedy is not money, it’s time to care about each other, for real, and to have our worries at school taken seriously. Little children, raised by sitters, and pushed to the limits so they burn out at school by the time they’re teens, is a real problem. To see preschoolers eating breakfast with a computer before school starts, is not the warm way I was brought up, by people who loved me. Little kids are not getting what they need to grow up to be balanced adults is what I am trying to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    How about the tens of thousands of children in the middle east that have been killed and maimed by American weapons ??
    How about Shock and Awe over false pretenses of WMD?  How about hundreds of children killing drone strikes ?  How about the arms that US funnels to both sides of conflicts?
    How about Vietnam ? I heard Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed a few children as well.

    The western media gives foreign children no such sympathy.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Republicans talk a lot about personal responsibility, so how in the conservative vision of community, do we address mental illness, crime and gun violence?

    There is no factual basis for any the radical right’s prescriptions; the only offer us a mythological course that will shred the fabric of society and manifest a wild west 3rd world America with a massive prison population, rampant poverty, crime and suffering on a scale not seen for a century.

    • Acnestes

      I generally characterize it as a cross between Charles Dickens’ London and Dodge City.  Hard to rationalize from a bunch that’s always so concerned, “for the children”.

    • peterlake

       We’ve heard this all so many times before: allow people to carry concealed weapons and we’ll be like the wild west.
      Well, that hasn’t happened, even as more and more states have allowed concealed carry.

      Please spare us the cliched misinformation.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Well… it kind of has happened in certain inner cities, places I doubt that you would never want to drive through at night, let alone during the day.

        Concealed carry, which I once had and let lapse, is a two edged sword. Innocent people have and will die at the hands of well intentioned gun owners firing at fleeing criminals.

    • Flytrap

       Why is it that the people the most concerned the children’s safety are the same ones that advocate abortion?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        And advocate for other oddball things, such as the life of the mother, and not having to bring to term some incestors or rapist’s child, and not having to be brought to a real (non-Catholic) hospital when raped and unconscious at 2AM, or having to find a pharmacist without any religious objection to the Plan B contraception one needs when the condom breaks with one’s fiance…

        Keep digging that hole about “culture”.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

        Where do you draw that conclusion from?

        • Flytrap

           Typically, what I call the “cult of safety” is promulgated by the Left as is gun control.  I am sure you know that it is also the left that fights for abortion rights.  Obviously there are exceptions, but generally this is true.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

            You make a lot of generalizations. You don’t sound very bright. You write a lot but make no sense.

  • Flytrap

    Stopping a deranged lunatic from killing people is next to impossible.  Using the actions of crazies as the rationale for placing strictures on the Constitution is, well, crazy.   From what I can tell, gun control isn’t terribly effective. Just look at the homicide rates in VT vs MA http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state#MRord. VT is amongst the easiest states to get a firearm and MA amongst the toughest but they have similar rates. http://gun.laws.com/state-gun-laws/vermont-gun-laws
    Obviously, gun control isn’t the reason.

    Many people want to look at Europe as the example of how low our murder rate could be etc.  Why is our rate so much higher?  The easiest explanation and
    most difficult to speak of is race. Blacks commit murder currently at 7
    times the rate of whites. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm Take blacks out of the equation and you get a homicide rate more in line with Europe’s. If these #’s are correct http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=23584 then white America is about as homicidal as Turkey or Estonia. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/images/0/0d/Crimes_recorded_by_the_police_-_Homicide%2C_2003-2009.PNG High for Europe, but significantly lower than here. 

    I realize the distaste of my comments.  Politicizing a tragedy to push through limits on our Constitution is even more distasteful.  If we are going to have a discussion on the “dangers” of the Constitution and how it needs to be limited, let’s break down society by demographics like the Constitution is by Amendments and identify the most “dangerous” components and and not be shy about coming up with a solution. 

    • JAIBEEZ

      If by race, you mean racism, oppression and engineered poverty, then yes, black Americans are certainly more likely to be victims of gun-crime.

      • Flytrap

         Show me the post 2000 racism, oppression and engineered poverty and then link that to the violence and explain the difference in homicide amongst the races. 

        • JAIBEEZ

          You just did it for me. Thanks

          • Flytrap

             http://thegrio.com/2012/02/06/reports-african-american-homicide-rates-in-midwest-states-on-the-rise/

      • Brandstad

        Blacks are more likely to be be victoms of gun crime primarily because blacks tend to kill blacks and whites tend to kill whites.  It is equally sad in all cases but there is nothing racist in statistics.

    • jefe68

      I realize the distaste of my comments.
      You said it, I might add there is also the inanity of them as well.

      By the way Vermont’s population is 625,741 and Massachusetts is 6,547,629. If the murder rate is about the same from guns it would seem that Massachusetts’ gun laws are working as the number is going down.

      Funny how statistics can be skewed to foster ones ideology.

      • Flytrap

        Exactly what is inane about my comments?  And where is the skew in the statistics? 

      • Flytrap

         http://thegrio.com/2012/02/06/reports-african-american-homicide-rates-in-midwest-states-on-the-rise/

    • Gregg Smith

      I applaud your effort even if futile. Maybe it’s not. The debate has got to be unemotional but I am not confident it will be. Emotions are a huge weapon of politicians, especially the left. The data is devastating.

    • nj_v2

      Yeah, it’s just those pesky black folks. Just have to get rid of them, and our problem will be solved.

      What vile tripe. 

      It’s clear that the Second Amendment is an anachronism, long overdue to be changed so that it can’t be used as an excuse for the nutcase right wingers like flytrap. 

      • Flytrap

         I am not saying that’s what it is, I am saying that if we are going to have a discussion on violence, let’s have an honest one.  The fact that blacks commit murder at 7 times the rate of whites is uncomfortable, but not unmentionable.  It’s the same as noting that mass shootings aren’t done by cowboy rifles or muzzle loaders, they are carried out by assault weapons.  If distinctions are in order, then let’s be distinct. 

        • keltcrusader

          And exactly NONE of the recent mass shootings have been perpertrated by a person of color.

          • Flytrap

            You are about as likely to die in a mass shooting as be struck by lightening.  Should everyone be in a Faraday cage?  Mass shootings are the sensational story when guns are involved.  The underlying homicide stats are what is used to justify the movement to ban guns.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Were you going to all the white rural rubes telling them “crime rates are down” when Obama was elected? Reelected?

            If you want to take a cold look at real dangers and how crazed folk react, you’re about three years late.

          • Flytrap

             I wasn’t telling them anything since I am nowhere near them.  I live in Boston.  I was and am telling irrational dolts like yourself that you are wrong about your assumptions and I am proving it. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Plenty of Teabaggers not too far from Boston.

            The “let’s go crazy with ignorant energy” wave which got such good, approving TV coverage in 2009, did you approve of it then, or did you just say “All of us calm down and not  fly off the handle; you have many misconceptions about government and our new President which can be explained with a bit of introspection and research”?

            Sauce for the goos e is sauce for the gander.

          • Flytrap

            And wherever you are, there is at least one ignorant a$$hole.  Approving tv coverage?  You mean all the stories about how everyone was braced for violence, how racist they were and how their plan was to oppose the preezy b/c he’s black?  Is that the “approving” coverage you mean? 

  • Brandstad

    When politicians try to take advantage of the gun violence and pass new laws relating to guns, you must ask yourself, “would this new law have stopped the shooter from doing the evil acts he did last week, and the other murderers who did similarly horrible acts early this year”. 
     
    Most of what the politicians have proposed so far would not have stopped any of the shooters that I have heard about.  No guns were illegally purchased, not guns were legally purchased at gun shows, that only leaves outlawing kinds of guns, which wouldn’t stop this sort of violence, but it could reduce the number of victims.
     

    • anamaria23

      It works in Japan and Australia.  Why is it LEGAL to own a semi assualt weapon?  Why would anyone need a gun that fires 30 bullets in 1 minute?   This is freedom for who?

      • Brandstad

        You bring up two arguments, first gun ownership is a constitutional right in the US and not in Japan or Australia, so I suppose this can be changed but only through a constitutional amendment process. 
         
        Second, the assault weapon ban is a very much a likely change we will see, but this is also a knee jerk reaction that would not have changed last weeks tragedy.  The shooter had two hand guns that have clips that likely hold 6-8 bullets.  So this tells me if he only had the pistils and a spare clip for each, he could have done the same horrific acts as he did with the extra gun last week. 
         
        Lots of news reports talk about how the riffle the shooter had could shoot as fast as he could pull the trigger, this is also the case for most pistols.

        • anamaria23

          I know nothing about guns, in fact, have never seen one up close, so I cannot dispute your facts and feel no need to.
          It is my belief that banning semi assault weapons is a first step in rejecting a culture of violence.  We have  a long way to go to elevate the pervasive consciousness against killing.  Let us start with most obvious. 

      • Flytrap

         A 00 buck 12 gauge shoots that many in 2 shots which can be done in less than a second and no one is calling for their banning.

  • 1Brett1

    We have to at least address why our society makes it so easy to get a gun and so much trouble to seek mental health services.

  • Brandstad

    Should we talk more about our violent culture rather than gun legislation? 
     
    Could this have been stopped if the media never identified the shooter in any way?  Some of these mentally ill people that do evil acts do it for the notoriety.
     
    Should the TV and movies not be allowed to glorify gangsters, or criminals, and limit storylines to good guys catching the bad guys?

    • Gregg Smith

      Back is my day we watched “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza”. There was violence out the yin yang (although not as bad as “Bugs Bunny” or “The Roadrunner”) but there was also message of good over evil. Now evil is glorified in our pop culture. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Eh, “evil is glorified”?

        There’s no danger in the revenge (by good people only) fantasy? That’s not glorified?

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    As Sen. Feinstein of California has pointed out, we have far too many guns in this country, especially semi-automatic weapons whose sole purpose is to kill other human beings.  But we also need to keep in mind that we have a culture of violence that is reinforced and which people have become numbed to because of the prolific violence perpetrated by Hollywood in the movies and TV and by video game companies that create violent games.  As Sen. Feinstein and others argue for more gun control laws, which I agree with, they should also focus on changing the culture of violence that key industries in her state (employing people that are typically more liberal politically) also contribute to the violent landscape.  While this violence may not cause most people to cross the line in their heads, it certainly has a numbing effect on  people who don’t need much to push them over the edge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001823480783 William Mason Cribley

    Gun control debate- My turn. I’ve watch people rant about taking their guns from their cold dead hands. I’ve read pleas for Japanese/ British style gun control. Both sides claim that “they’re taking their country back.” ‘Merica. To the gun control advocates. Yes, we as civilians do not need access to assault rifles. The very name of these weapons shows the intent-inflicting the most amount of damage in the least amount of time. But, guns are just a tool, no more responsible for the death of someone than that spoon is for making you fat, the keyboard for using the wrong to, too, or two. People are evil, not the implements they use for such atrocities. You DO NOT want Japanese/ British style gun control. When Japan made guns illegal, they made it proactive, something that isn’t allowed here. The people who lawfully owned weapons were allowed to keep them, but had to be destroyed after their passing. There was no inheritance. Britain is much the same, though you can still own a weapon. They try to “paperwork” people out of the market. And, for a vast majority, they succeeded. Before you think I’m supporting the idea, both ISLAND countries are covered in CCTV cameras. The mention of you MAYBE having a gun is enough ground for an immediate search and seizure. No warrant. No cause. Just some bloke saying “Hey, they have a gun.” We as a country are not willing to go that big brother. We don’t want to sacrifice freedom for security. Nor, should we have to. And the biggest shortcoming in the “make ‘em illegal” argument is that the criminal element is notoriously unwilling to listen to the laws of a society. Cocaine is illegal, but most everyone on here would be able to get some tonight. It’s not the law that stops us. It is how we were raised (Different arguments). Laws don’t apply to criminals, and you need to stop operating under the assumption that they do. For you “cold dead hands” folks, pull your heads out of your asses (I’m well aware you can beat me up, just give me a chance). 20 children have been shot multiple times with an assault rifle. These parents haven’t yet buried their children, a week before Christmas, and you’re worried about your guns. No one can argue that this person needed his constitutional rights protected so he could go slaughter the innocence of a community. So, how is it that you having to wait 2 weeks for a gun infringes on the 2nd Amendment? At the end of these two weeks, you still have your gun. The second amendment promises you the right to bear (fire) arms, not to bear them RIGHT NOW. It doesn’t have a “timely fashion” clause. A delay is not infringement- it is society’s best effort to keep guns away from people who do not need them, while still allowing the lawful/mentally stable citizen access. Gun control will not prevent all gun violence. Nor is any thoughtful person calling for laws suggesting as such. But, making it a little bit harder may slow it down. And, are you really arguing that a $40 sur-charge and a wait are valued higher than life? No one is trying to take away your guns. Stop acting like they are. They are trying to make it a little bit harder to purchase certain guns in the future- and these are two VERY different things. So, where are we? Half are screaming “think of the children!” as the other scream “from my cold, dead hands!” Both sides will continue to make silly statements like “they’re taking their country back,” while failing to realize it’s the same damn country. Liberal- don’t try to take away all the guns, and stop insinuating you want to. Conservative- be willing to wait a week or two for your grossly over powered gun. Don’t use to argument that “this is how it starts.” You’ve had to wait once, and it didn’t spiral into outlawing guns. It won’t this time. Compromise. For once in this generation, compromise.

    • Steve__T

       Well Said and thoughtful.

  • Shag_Wevera

    We won’t do anything on gun control.  About 50% of us don’t want to.  I’ve even heard suggestions of armed soldiers at schools.  The divide in this civilization will not be bridged by this tragedy.

  • Shag_Wevera

    This is who we are, who we have become, and what we are.  Stay tuned for even more.  Just wait until we tell folks who are no longer able to work that Medicare and Social Security are essentially gone.  We have never seen such carnage.

  • JGC

    3-D Gun Printers.   How does this 21st century reality affect discussions about gun control?  See series of articles by Robert Beckhusen in Wired magazine, between August-October, 2012 if you have not ever heard of or contemplated this new twist in gun ownership.  (Gun Lobby Loves 3-D Printed Weapons; 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine from Desktop Generator; With ‘Safe Haven’, Desktop Weaponeers Resume Work on Printed Guns)  

    • peterlake

       Good point. I think that printed gun lasted only six rounds, but with four, six, eight of them…..

      So long as the weapon becomes the focus of interest then nothing will change.

  • Flytrap

    “I stopped at one table to chat with an amiably burly gun dealer. He
    had a walrus mustache and looked vaguely like a Turkish oil wrestler,
    but when he opened his mouth and started talking, he was undeniably a
    Georgia good old boy.

    I asked him about Friday’s massacre, and although he prefaced his
    comments by stating he doesn’t watch the news, he cast his eyes downward
    and said he heard about the shooting and considered it a genuine
    tragedy. He said he thinks the main problem is that “crazy” people are
    no longer institutionalized because all of a sudden they have “rights”
    to live under bridges and be as schizoid as they wanna be.

    A full-time farmer and a part-time gun dealer, he added that you
    don’t need guns to kill people, citing Oklahoma City bomber Timothy
    McVeigh, whom he cursed for using a fertilizer bomb and thus making it difficult for him to buy the ammonium nitrate he needs to raise his corn at a profit.

    He said he realizes that Friday’s bloodbath will lead to increased
    calls for disarming the public, although he’s unsure how authorities
    will be able to pry away an estimated 300 million or so firearms from
    the public’s hands without taking totalitarian measures. He said he
    doesn’t want to give up his guns, but neither does he want to get in a
    shooting match with the government, because “government IS a gun that’s
    pointed in your face.”

    And that’s probably the most brilliant argument I’ve ever heard
    against so-called gun control. Government IS a gun. It exists through
    threat of force far more than via the illusion of consent. I pity all
    the fools who think that by disarming the public, they’re fighting “the
    power,” when they’re only the willing tools of the biggest gang with the
    biggest guns.
    http://takimag.com/article/gunsville_usa_jim_goad/print#ixzz2FJwPEvJP

    • Potter

      The government does NOT have a gun pointed at you… that’s plain false. The argument of the mustachioed man makes the point that McVeigh did not need a gun so we should not ban assault rifles. A non-sequitor. One does not follow from the other… but it does if you want to keep your gun and feel that this is the only thing between you and your enemy the government. That is not a brilliant argument- it’s a dangerous mind set. What is most telling is that this man cast his eyes downward.. out of shame.

      We have come a long way away from “we the people, in order to form a more perfect union….” 

      • Flytrap

         Try not paying your taxes and see what happens.

    • peterlake

      Well said, and you’ve got an excellent link, too.
      Thanks.

    • tncanoeguy

      Can’t imagine anyone would seriously talk about disarming the public.  That’s not what I think should happen – we need to find ways to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people (and criminals), and decrease the lethality of guns.  I personally don’t live in fear of the government. 

  • Markus6

    I’m generally conservative (mostly fiscally), but a lot of the Republican stances these days just seem dumb. And their inflexible attitude towards automatic and semi-automatic weapons is right at the top. These issues are losing people like me just when fixing our country’s debt most needs Republicans. 

    I understand there is  part of the population that feels the need to defend themselves against the government, so the more powerful the weapon the better. 20 years ago, I thought these people were complete nut cases. Today, I still think they’re nutty, but looking at history and other places in the world today, their position isn’t completely crazy (just mostly). Even giving them the benefit of the doubt, the only purpose for these weapons is to kill large numbers of people. So, I think the cost of all these weapons floating around is just too high compared to the incredibly small chance that the government will go rogue. 

    But I am concerned that some really bad legislation will happen because of this tragedy. I’ve heard proposals to arm teachers, use metal detectors at all schools, have at least one cop on the premises all the time, and others. Because of 9/11, we made a lot of really bad decisions that we’ll be paying for, for the next 20 years. The execution of 22, 5 and 6 year-olds is hard to think about, but now is not the time to put our brains on hold. We don’t have infinite resources. Let’s focus on what is doable – banning “assault weapons” is a good start. 

    • Bluejay2fly

      The Assault weapons ban did not stop people from buying AR-15′s all it did was ban flash hiders, bayonet lugs, pistol grips and high capacity mags. Most of these crimes are done with hand guns anyway. We need more jobs to keep people busy, more social interaction, less glorification of violence and the end of the news media being an infotainment industry.

    • Potter

      ANYTHING! metal detectors, arm teachers, cops in the schools…  But please don’t take away my gun!!!

    • tncanoeguy

      The NRA needs to come to terms with reality and not just advocate for more guns and lobby against all reasonable limits on firearms.  If they insist on an extreme position people will begin to question the 2nd amendment.  (just heard the report of the shooter putting 11 bullets into one little boy – can’t imagine the demons that possessed him)  As a teacher I have no desire to carry a gun. 

      • Flytrap
        • tncanoeguy

          I would suggest limits on the number of bullets a gun can fire is a place to start. Maybe if folks want to be able to fire automatic weapons and high volume semi-automatics, just for the heck of it, such weapons could be owned by clubs and used under controlled conditions. Do weapons for personal use need to be that lethal? Not allowing certain people to not own guns is a little trickier. They may be perfectly sane when they bought the gun for example. Should therapists be required to tell law authorities when patients have talked of suicide or harming others? It’s not easy but we need to talk about this. We are, I think, the most violent of the developed countries, which is something we shouldn’t be proud of.

          • Flytrap

            Limiting clips etc. all sounds nice but doesn’t address the issue of the huge racial disparity in murder rates.  If we are going to single out types of weapons for their danger, why can’t we do the same for people?

  • northeaster17

    We are currently living under siege by people who think of guns as a fashion statement, as cool toys and as a means for profit. Oh, and also to kill.
    Between 2006 and 2010 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms. Geez, how many 911′s does that equal?The gun lobbies tell us that we as citizens need even more  guns to protect ourselves. I don’t buy into that. The lights need to be turned on in a very dark corner of our society. The old arguments do not work any more. Here is the source for the numbers I used…http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/08/guns-in-america-a-statistical-look/

  • toc1234

    you can have a debate on gun control but I’d say the bigger driver of these massacres is the 24/7 news coverage.  the people who commit these crimes are losers who feel unwanted or unnoticed and in a flash they are the finally center of attention.  I bet this killer thought beforehand that a school masacre would generate the most publicity possible.  I’m not sure what the solution is, but putting wolf blitzer in newtown is definitely not helping anything.

    • northeaster17

      The time to be silent is gone. We need to shout it from the rooftops. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

      huh?

  • vshawnt

    If I hear one more person say, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, I’m gonna scream.  They claim that there’s no gun law that’s going to stop a determined/crazy person who wants to hurt others.  
    Can you imagine if after 9/11 someone had said, “Planes don’t commit terrorists acts, people commit terrorist acts”? Terrorists are determined/crazy and we have taken many actions since 9/11 – on many fronts – to improve security and prevent terrorism, even at great personal sacrifice to millions of peaceful citizens and travelers.  We locked cockpits, we changed screening processes, we made new governmental agencies, we passed the patriot act, we withstand hours of security delays at airports, we have spent billions more to strengthen key security points & on more & better intelligence, et cetera.
    We need to approach this issue the same way – not as either/or, but both/and.  We need everything on the table & some of the changes will inconvenience peaceful, legal & responsible citizens.  Gun control, enforcement, better & more well funded police/BATF agencies, mental health, our culture of violence – movies/video games/TV, school security, et cetera.  It all has to be on the table. 
    We can’t wait any longer.  Tragedy after tragedy.  This CAN’T be us.  We have to change.  WE HAVE TO DO BETTER! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Yes, control guns, *and* control our culture of violence. More police will not solve the issue. Part of the problem is our thinking that more people with guns will control other people with guns. It’s a deep cultural issue.  The movies and video games and the news and the culture of dominating the world by force, all of it causes these outbursts.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    :’(

  • IsaacWalton

    I’m a hunter (I own a bolt action rifle, black powder, semi-automatic shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun and a bow). I’ve always been disgusted by people that buy assault rifles to hunt or shoot for fun…it’s probably the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever seen. They look like military wannabees and, honestly, big kids. I do not have a concealed weapons permit. My handgun only goes with me when I go into remote areas to hunt. I think we should OUTLAW every assault rifle and destroy the one’s that are taken. I think we should ban any magazine that holds more than 5 shots. It’s legal for me to have more than 3 shells in my shotgun, my rifle only holds 5 shells. But a handgun can hold up to 15 rounds legally! RIDICULOUS! It’s utterly appalling that we give DEER, ELK, SQUIRRELS, etc a FAIR chance but when it comes to killing humans we want TOTAL annihilation! It’s RIDICULOUS that we agreed with other nations to use bullets that give soldiers a better chance of surviving but in our own country we can equip a citizen with rounds that can kill with one shot! RIDICULOUS!

    • Steve__T

       I agree 100%

  • nj_v2

    1. It’s time—beyond time—to revise the Second Amendment. Conceived in a time when modern weaponry was unimaginable, and promulgated to enable what was, in essence, the national defensive body (“a well-regulated militias”) it is now hopelessly out-of-date, and inapplicable to our current realities. 

    Gun nuts rights advocates disingenuously and delusionally invoke it thinking that an armed citizenry will protect them from some imagined, future totalitarian government, or that they will be able to storm the capital in some citizens’ revolution.

    2. Automobile ownership is regulated more than gun ownership. New regulations should aggressively regulate and register guns in a systematic way similar to how Japan does it (will post details in another post). There should be mandatory background checks, inspections, renewals. The types of weapons available for common purchases should be severely limited.

    3. Idiotic gun nut rights advocate arguments to the contrary, semi-automatic weapons should be banned. Period. There is no legitimate need or use for them in what is purported to be a modern, civilized society.

    4. Under an umbrella of comprehensive health-care reform (universal coverage/single payer) mental-health services should be dramatically revised to increases availability to those who need it. 

    5. Assertively, aggressively call-out, rebut, refute, call out, ridicule, oppose, fight against all lame, idiotic, regressive, dangerous arguments from the gun nut rights organization, their lobbyists, and shills.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Yes, control guns, but moreso, look *deeper* to the roots of violence in our culture.   We glorify control by violence.   We drone attack other countries.   We are a country founded in genocide and slavery.   We have deep roots of violence that goes beyond the steel of the gun.  It’s in our minds.

  • rdboston85

    Though the discussion of gun control is extremely important I fear that in situations of tragedy like the one in Newtown, CT, we tend to focus our lens on the weapon used. I’m hopeful that the discussion will soon shift from gun control to a conversation about mental illness on On Point.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Mental illness is also not the whole picture. It’s also one element, but the shooter’s mental illness only focused the culture of violence that he was raised within. That is the root we need to address.

  • Bill Bodge

    The government has the right to control what weapons citizen’s possess and it always has.  Citizen’s don’t need 30-100 round clips, or bazookas or missile launchers.  Simple statistics, more guns more murders.  We have the right to have guns, but the government can limit what those weapons are.  

  • r dubrul

    No 2nd amendment enthusiast has yet told me why private citizens can’t own nuclear weapons.  The 2nd amendment makes no mention of self-defense or guns or even firearms: it says “arms.”  So why not nuclear arms?  Extreme gun advocates can’t answer, of course, because the question shows that government has the right and responsibility to make reasonable restrictions on private arm ownership.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Right. “Nuclear weapons don’t kill people…” so let all people have nuclear weapons?

  • http://twitter.com/maureenungar maureen ungar

    A gun is a tool.  If it is available, it will be used.  Most victims of gun violence knew their attacker.  Since anyone who legally bought a gun can become despondent, angry, depressed or mentally unstable at any time, those dangerous tools must be more strictly controlled.  Unless you are in the military, you do not need the capacity to endlessly fire off thirty rounds before you reload.  One person should not legally be allowed to amass a weapons and munitions cache, as in the case of the Newtown shooter’s mother. 

  • Steven Flythe

    On Friday, I wrote emails to my Congressman and both Senators pushing them to make meaningful Gun Control a priority.  All three are pro-Gun Control.

    Out of the roughly 20 – 25 default priority topics listed on the Email Contact Form, “Gun Control” was NOT listed as a topic nor was “Media Violence”.  ”Animal Rights” was listed.

    I needed to type “Gun Control” in the Other/Subject Line

    Is this a reflection of the politicians ignoring these issues or is this a reflection on citizens believing these issues can not be solved?

    These issues should be listed as priorities in order for citizens and politicians to actively address changes.

  • Dick Johnson

    What are the gender issues of mass murder?  Why are young men always, it seems,  the perpetrators?  if guns are an extension of the self, why is the murderous self always male?

  • sseagull

    This issue is very complex, and there will be no simple answer. There are moral and ethical issues (right to self defence), constitutional issues, economic and poverty issues, and issues of capitalism (gun manufacturers and the NRA are a powerful lobby). We have a culture of violence displayed everywhere. I can’t see naked women on TV, but regularly see dismembered and mutilated bodies there.

    To solve the problem would require introspection as a country. But doing so would require that we blame ourselves, and even after these events, I don’t think that we are not ready to do that.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Back to the same old arguments.  My opinions:
    1) The NRA has WAY more pull than they should given the number of members of voting age. IGNORE THEM.
    2) There is NOTHING in the second amendment that says people have the right to bear assault rifles.
    3) There is NO reason people NEED assault rifles
    4) There is NOTHING in the second amendment that says people have the right to high capacity clips
    5) There is NO reason people NEED high capacity clips.

    Now all those who have disagreed with this in the past can dredge up their sad arguments and post them. If assault weapons did not exist, the shooter’s mother wouldn’t have had one (and why did she??) and all those people would NOT be dead.

    There was NOTHING illegal about the gun that was used. This disturbed person killed 26 people in a matter of a few minutes, putting more than one bullet in every one and more than a regular clip quantity in some.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “Back to the same old arguments. ”

      I couldn’t agree more BHA.

  • tncanoeguy

    Am I overly cynical (conspiratorial) to think that the NRA really represents gun manufactures and has little interest in quelling gun violence?  The less safe that society is the more guns people will buy.  

    • peterlake

      You’re wrong, is what.
      The NRA represents gun owners — 4.3 million of them, not manufacturers, who have their own lobbies.

      The rights of gun owners are paramount to the NRA, but sometimes are coincident with the interests of manufacturers.

      And by the way, the NRA is the moderate branch of gun owner groups.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        The NRA damn sure doesn’t represent me. I am a gun owner.

        • peterlake

          Well, pay your $35 annual dues and then the NRA will represent you.

          Only kidding, only kidding…..but for $1000 you can become a life member.

          And you’re only a gun owner because of organizations like the NRA,, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America and others.

          Your rights are under fire, so to speak. Protect them and join the NRA.

          You can be sure that many others will be joining, thanks to Obama and Senator Feinstein.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            BullSkat. Direct your histrionics at someone else, they have no place in a reply to any of my comments.

          • peterlake

            So sorry to have resorted to facts.
            I guess “only kidding” went over your head.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I find you to be a feckless troll toting a thinly veiled agenda.

            Only Kidding.

          • peterlake

            Sorry if my agenda was thinly veiled.
            I meant for it to be quite obvious:

            Stay away from my guns and the guns of other, upright citizens, people probably like yourself.
            (Except more polite.)

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Because we should pay a fee to obtain representation, right?

      • tncanoeguy

        Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.saloomey Ray Saloomey

    One sentence: I own guns and I DON’T kill children!

    • John_in_Amherst

       well, that’s good.  And if you ever decide to, you are well equipped.

  • IsaacWalton

    Here’s a thought. I know plenty of people (since I live out in the country among hunters and gun enthusiasts) that say they want the right to own these assault style rifles and some even load their own brass. If when those same LAW ABIDING citizens have their rights to buy all kinds of guns taken away they’ll FIND a way to do get the ammo and guns. They’ll skirt the laws to get what they want—to them I’ll say, “WHOSE THE CRIMINAL NOW….WHO HAS THE MENTAL PROBLEM NOW?!”

    • hypocracy1

      Anyone that feels like they need all that firepower already has a mental condition..

  • danielrsack

    Conservatives especially, who say “guns don’t kill, people kill”, are so worried about nuclear weapons in Iran.  But nuclear weapons don’t kill, people kill.  And if mentally unstable people, as some would argue describe Iranian leaders, should not have nuclear weapons, then let’s do a better job controlling access to guns.  Or as the 2nd amendment says, “arms”.

  • Gwatti

    The issue is “offense” not “self
    defense”.  The “self
    defense” argument is specious, it distracts.  It’s as if a pollster concocted it for the
    gun lobby.  Overwhelmingly, guns in the U.S. are used
    for offense, not self defense.  Beginning
    the debate with the assumption of the right to defense one’s self – with a
    firearm – is precisely where the gun lobby wants to start the argument and it’s
    a loser for gun control supporters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826809635 Stacie Barton

    I’m waiting for a story in the news about how someone with an assault weapon saved a bunch of lives…. 

  • canvirginia

    PLEASE do not have this conversation without ALSO discussing the massive time these kids spend playing violent video games.  How may 5 and 6 year olds have a very realistic violent video game on their Santa Wish List this year.  Adam Lanza had a second room in his come for his computer “stuff”.  How much do you want to bet there is a library of them in there.  (30 years ago) my father had a giant gun case in our living room full of guns.  Much more accessible than most homes have them today – no one even thought of taking 1 and shooting someone.  Our culture had morales then…

    • AaronNM

      There have been multiple studies over the years demonstrating that there is NO connection between gaming and actual violence. How could there be? Gamers are always indoors gaming.

  • tncanoeguy

    “We can do better than this”- that’s the catch phrase of the Brady Center.  I think we can do better.  

    • JGC

      I was frustrated and looking to make a financial contribution to support anti-gun violence.  I went on Charity Navigator to search for groups against gun violence. There were only two, the Brady Campaign being one of them. I was disconcerted to see they had a “meh” rating of 2 stars.  The truth is there are no big, EFFECTIVE anti-gun violence advocates at the moment.   

  • http://twitter.com/maureenungar maureen ungar

    The government interprets the Constitution to protect us–for example, despite our right to free speech, you can’t falsely yell fire in a crowded room, you can’t sell child porn.  Groups that profit from gun sales want to protect their profits, not citizens in this country. 

  • loweller

    I have a first grader and she is just learning of the shootings today in her classroom. Now she will be living in fear of her life. It fills me with rage that she has to endure this and that in our society “gun rights” are more important to my fellow citizens than her life. It is past time for people to speak out – especially the responsible gun owners who don’t agree with the extremist views of the NRA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.mcdonald.9889 Josh McDonald

     The Bill of Rights exists to protect and uphold the common good. The First Amendment does not protect all speech, it does not allow religious practice of human sacrifice. The Second Amendment does not trump the lives of our nation’s children.

  • IsaacWalton

    I’m not sure what motivates these killers to do what they’ve done. Let us not glorify their actions, but use it to ignite the fire against these weapons and the violence. Assault weapons into plow shares please!

  • Matt Wade

    Gun ownership is its own religion in this nation. That’s why its so hard to change.

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/dec/15/our-moloch/

    • Flytrap

       So is environmentalism.

      • northeaster17

        Yeah Flytrap. You and the Westboro church are what this country needs more of.

        • Flytrap

           Wow!!  It’s pretty telling that you launch an ad hominem attack instead of proving I am either wrong or like the Westboro folks.

          • northeaster17

            This is a serious discussion. My thought was that your moronic comment needed to be called out. And besides, environmentalists don’t massacre people. Gun nuts do.  

          • Flytrap

             I’d say leftists in general are much, much better at massacres than simply gun nuts.  Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and don’t forget, Hitler was a nature loving, vegetarian environmentalist!!

          • nj_v2

            ^ Dissembling troll

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

      • nj_v2

        ^ Troll. Vile, racist troll, to be completely accurate.

        • Flytrap

           If by troll, you mean someone that disagrees with you and puts forth provocative viewpoints that highlight your hypocrisy and question the validity of your argument, then yes, I am a troll.

  • Quadraticus

    Sure, let’s ban guns: starting with the government. After the government gives up their weapons, I will give up mine.

  • tncanoeguy

    Can you say crazy!

  • Brandstad

    ASSOCIATED PRESS STORY: BELIEVE IT OR NOT MASS KILLINGS ARE NOT ON THE RISE, THEY ARE ON THE DECLINE

    Story highlights::• ​While the perception in the wake of this year’s mass shootings has been that such acts are on the rise, the Associated Press found that it’s actually the exact opposite when you look at the data on a macro level.
    • “There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University.
    • He adds that the random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest.
    • While mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, says.
    • Chances of being killed in a mass shooting, he says, are probably no greater than being struck by lightning.

    This is a piece by the Associated Press and Helen O’Neill.

    • AaronNM

      Well, whoopdie-doo. Gosh, THERE’S something to hang our hats on. Jesus wept….

    • IsaacWalton

      Good. Let this support the argument that we don’t need these weapons to protect ourselves from these mass murderers. NOT to support the argument that these weapons should be in existence. 

    • John_in_Amherst

       the USA is still the land of opportunity for mass murderers

    • Ray in VT

      I am sure that that is very comforting for the families of the murdered children.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

      Yeah, try taking your argument to parents in Newtown.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, let’s all take a deep breath before we let our feelings get overheated and start exerting political force.

      Like that deep breath the well-reasoned Tea Party did in 2009.

      Oh, wait…

  • IsaacWalton

    Thanks Tom! I’m not surprised by the caller’s ‘paranoia’. Who has the mental problem?

    • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

      Our nation is very much afraid.  Guns are a symptom of our illness.  We are an exploitative culture.  This is the root of our problems. 

  • John_in_Amherst

    Friday, a deranged man in China also
    attacked school kids. Awful? Yes. He left 22 wounded. The
    difference: In China, where it is illegal to own semi-auto weapons, he
    used a knife. No one died. In 2008, the US had over 12000 deaths by gun,
    with 587 due to accidental discharge. Japan, with 40% our population,
    had 11 total gun related deaths.  In virtually every other developed country, annual gun deaths number in the dozens.  Clearly, the USA is the land of
    opportunity for mass murderers, thanks to our gun laws.How
    ironic that, in the interest of “freedom” and “personal safety”, we now
    have a society where we cower from each other, metal detectors at our
    locked doors, armed to the teeth with assault weapons. We watch murder
    and mayhem, real and imagined, every time we turn on TV, spend millions on video game rehersals of shoot-outs, and wonder why
    America is so violent… We have become a pathetic, pathological
    country.Some of the gun rights folks I’ve heard on this tragedy express the view “Maybe if one of the adults had had a gun….”  But then do we want our teachers sitting
    in front of our kids with a pistol with the safety off, ready to go, in the desk drawer?  What could possible go wrong with that?! Or take the Aurora
    shooting…  Imagine some folks deciding to start shooting
    back at a guy in a noisey, dark and panicky movie theater full of people,
    and then having the police show up and try to sort things out….When the 2nd amendment was penned, a rifle
    cost as much, proportionately, as a mid-sized car, and it took nearly a
    minute to reload each shot.  Law enforcement or the military took days or
    weeks to arrive when summoned, and people were given the right to own guns as part of
    a well-organized militia. Times have changed….  It is difficult to see how we get the gun geni back in the bottle.  And it is difficult to imagine a free society continuing with this level of horrific threat….

     

  • http://twitter.com/maureenungar maureen ungar

     I agree with you, sir.  My husband is a hunter who will not use a gun or own one.  He is an archer who practices regularly to do clean kills and eats the venison he gets or donates it.

  • JGC

    President Reagan signed Executive Order 12291 on 17 Feb 1981:  Regulatory action shall not be undertaken unless the potential benefits to society from the regulation outweigh the potential cost to society.  I would be curious to see how data crunchers could gather the information to come to a cost/benefit conclusion on the availability of assault weapons  to the public.  I personally cannot see a benefit to society for these items.  Perhaps more restrictions could be constructed from this aspect of our law.  Reagan 12291 may provide a legal   blueprint to analyze the cost and benefit of weaponry in America. 

  • AaronNM

    I’m liberal gun owner and father to a newborn baby girl, as a result of this and the seemingly endless procession of gun-related tragedies like this, I have decided to have my firearms destroyed.

    I grew up with guns and used them primarily for recreation and with an eye to hunting and self-defense. But I now see that the more sensible and practical culture I grew up with is a thing of the past, thanks primarily to the NRA as well as complicit politicians and unduly fearful citizens.

    Today’s gun owner is primarily operating under a siege mentality, believing that there are forces all around them conspiring to “take away” their freedoms, that criminals lie in wait in the bushes, and that random street crime is likely to befall them. None of these things is true, but the belief in those fantasies pervade every thought and decision modern gun owners make; the NRA’s discussion boards or those of smaller, random “gun rights” blogs and websites confirms this culture of paranoia.

    So instead of selling my guns to a shop where they could possibly fall into the “wrong hands”, I will have them melted down so they can NEVER be used again. There is too much we gun owners have to answer for. This is my symbolic attempt to make amends.

  • distractedriver

     Cars kill more people than guns; true.  But cars are designed for transportation.  Guns are designed for killing.  Aside from hunting and protection, why are guns that are designed for carrying large ammunition clips for spraying still allowed?  There’s no public good in it!  Your caller Kathleen is delusional and comparing apples to martian space ships.

    • Potter

      Posted the same thing at the same time! — there are such fallacies of reasoning in this discussion. And irrationality and paranoia is also apparent– making it’s own point

  • Chuckles12

    It is time to review the gun laws in this country and change things that need to be changed to protect our citizens especially the children. Our moral and mental world has some severe problems that also need to be changed. Laws towards mental illness need to be addressed and funding needs to be restored to help the mental illness in this country. The mental illness issues need to be addressed as well. My concern is that this part of the problem will not be addressed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VTONLKNZ3PVP4AZJN646CQLKH4 Maloch

    I heard a woman say something like “How will we defend ourselves?” I ask her, “How did a houseful of weapons save the life of Mrs. Lance? What good did all her weapons do her?”

  • brettearle

    I strongly, strongly support gun control.

    But “On Point” is totally delinquent, for not having an official guest on the program, to explain, fully, the other side of the argument.

    I don’t get it.

    Not to do so actually detracts, significantly, from this discussion.  

    • tncanoeguy

      Maybe they declined – they have been very quiet the last few days. 

    • anamaria23

      31 members of Congress who are against gun control were invited to Meet the Press on Sunday.  All declined.

      • brettearle

         Yes, yes….

        I noticed that, too.

        But “On point” could have had the director of the Cato Institute be a `regular’ ongoing guest–rather than a call-in.

        What’s more, there are many media-visible gun activists who could have been invited.

        Tom didn’t say they tried.

      • JGC

        That is amazing!

  • Darryl Pendergrass

    I don’t think that banning assault weapons will accomplish anything, mainly because you can define an assault by features such as the ability of the rifle to accept a bayonet.

    The thing that might have the biggest impact is limiting the amount of ammunition that a semi-automatic rifle can hold. Having better back ground checks, and a national gun license to purchase a fire arm.

  • Potter

    “cars kill people, they don’t ban cars”

    Cars are not designed to kill. Guns are.

  • Annie Tye

    To the caller from Iowa: You’re dumb.  Car vs assault weapon???  Give me a break.  People like that are the reason there are 20 dead children.  I’m also from Iowa- we’re NOT all disgusting rednecks like that moron in Riverside.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO reason why ANYONE needs to fire 800 shots a second (as the previous caller mentioned).  Besides that, if you have neighbors or a family and don’t get the right bullets, you’re just as likely to kill them when you spray an intruder with an semi-assault weapon.   If you are worried about intruders, get an accurate hand gun and LEARN HOW TO USE IT.  This is not rocket science.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1491946906 Kirk Markus

      But what about the Russians with Bushmasters in West Virginia…  Really?!?!

    • anamaria23

      Well said.

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    Look at the laws around cars. registration, insurance, licence, training, taxed. Yes,  let’s treat guns like cars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1491946906 Kirk Markus

      I have been arguing this point for years!

    • anamaria23

      Yes and let us look at statistics from countries with STRICT laws– under 50 per 100,000;  US  10,000 per 100,000.  US is #4 in lax gun laws.. So. Africa is #1.

      The numbers matter, but also does the consciousness
      of a nation.  People and societies attract what they value.   Too much of US accepts and is complicit in violence including wars.  It is coming full circle.

      Wayne Lapierre, one of the most dangerous men in America.

      • Flytrap
        • nj_v2

          If you have a point, make it.

          • Flytrap

            The point is that the largest part of the problem is young black males killing people and no one wants to address that in any meaningful way.  If there is a problem with gun deaths, let’s see who is doing the most killing. The white homicide rate is in line with Western Europe’s but the only solution anyone wants to mention is gun control when that doesn’t really address our most pressing violence problem. 

          • nj_v2

            Like you really care about violence in the black community. 

            Troll.

          • Flytrap

             Like you can read my mind, dipsh!t.

  • TariTam

     It’s icy here in Framingham. My neighbor graciously offered to drive my twin girls to school. They happily left with her. And I trust I will greet them at the end of the day when when the bus drops them off this afternoon. A normal school day.

    While at home clearing the morning dishes, I listened to the BBC’s repeated description of what happened in Newtowne, CT as “appalling.” Is that it? Even now the bile rises in my throat to think of the slaughter of innocents. This was an unspeakable act. It shocks my conscience. What’s appalling is how society allows this horror to keep happening. The press is having a field day.  The people shake their heads, and extend token condolences. Does anyone doubt this will happen again? We have seen this horror show play out over and over again.

    “This time it’s different,” my neighbor said as we waited for the bus that did not show up. “It’s children,” my neighbor said. I sighed and reminded her of Columbine. The shooter who injured Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, killed a little girl. 

    Where has the collective will of people gone? Why do these mass shootings take place, these atrocities committed with high powered military grade assault rifles, and nothing changes?  Assault rifles are intended to bring about grievous bodily harm and certain death of human beings. These things should never be in someone’s home. Anyone can get to them, even if the owner is “responsible.”

    Sensible gun legislation is only part of the answer. It may or may not have saved the victims in Newtowne. The US is a first world country. We send people out in space. Can’t we find a way to stop this madness? And if we can’t, or won’t, what does that say about us as a people? as a nation?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    Deep cultural glorification of control by violence is the issue. Guns are used when people act out this cultural obsession. Yes, control guns, but also look deeply at our culture, and at ourselves. We glorify violence then act shocked when someone with mental illness acts out our cultural obsession.

  • Scott B

    The NRA and hardcore 2nd Amendment people say that US citizens have a right to any gun, and gun related items, because it’s in the Constitution. Black and white.
      The thing is that for every right we are guaranteed the the Constitution we also put limits on. We have freedom of speech, but there are laws about slander, libel, and falsely yelling “Fire!” in a theater. Alcohol is legal, after prohibition failed, but we have laws about who gets to drink it, where, and when.  We get to vote and run for office, but we place age, residency, criminal record restrictions, sanity, etc. rules on it. For every right there are rational, reasonable limits. Yet for some the 2nd Amendment is the one that ranks above all others and unassailable. Why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    If I may
    add a little ethno-cynicism, what I see here is not a gun problem but a
    cultural one.   Here we have an alienated Italian-American father
    (not typically a gun-loving, killing society, outside of media created stereotypes,) who marries a
    good-ol American gal with a feminist bent, out to make-a-point by loading up on
    weapons to impress her sons in playing the strong head of family.  

    As is
    typically the case, the notoriously anti-father US court system relieves  the father of his resources,influence and leadership, by turning the kids over to the
    Mom, despite how unstable she may be.  And
    as is the case with kids in American culture, 
    if they lack a tradition culture to identify with, they will go with the
    violent extremes of the US
    media produces. 
    Many Non-ethnic suburban
    kids either become jocks, born-again evangelists,  drug-attics, or Goths.  I contend that if this kid grew up listening
    to more of Mario Lanza instead of Nancy Lanza and Conway Twitty,  Newtown
    Connecticut would be having a
    happy holiday season.
    I don’t know the specifics, but I sense a culpability in this terrible tragedy on the distorted US family courts.

  • danielmarklouis

    How many people in the U.S. have really used a gun as protection against a criminal with a gun?  That is a lame argument as a reason to allow for guns.

    • tncanoeguy

      I’ve heard that a gun in the home is more likely to be used (accidentally or intentionally) against someone who lives in the home.  Is this true? 

      • http://twitter.com/metasilk Studio Metasilk

        I think so. Don’t have data to hand, but I recall reading something similar more than once.

  • nomoreviolence4u

    10,000 deaths a year from Aids/HIV- but we dont control sexual activity
    35,000 auto accident related deaths per year (more children die per week than have ever died at the mentally ill with guns)
    70,000 drug and alcohol related deaths a year, but alcohol is legal…. many drugs are not.
    100,000s of cardio related deaths, yet we do not make fast food illegal.
    Lets look at the drug issue. Illegal drug use is  rampant. Its illegal, but people who want to use drugs can and do. Many 18-20 year olds die annually. They are kids too. Similarly, one could outlaw guns, but those with mal-intent would still acquire them just as a crack user acquires illegal crack cocaine.

    Its not the guns. Its society. Its violence on videogames and television. Its immediate gratification. Its thinking that we should have more and being left  frustrated when we dont. Its a prevalent unwillingness to work hard over a long period of time to acquire material things. Society tells us things, sells us things, that are frustrating. And there is no real help for people who are suffering from mental illness. One reason is that insurance benefits for these things have disappeared in favor of the insurance company’s profits.

    It is a society of violence and immediate gratification, and becoming a welfare nation – which undermines the moral values and puts the self at the forefront. Its not guns. the more you focus on guns, the further you get from the truth. Do not be misled by people with good intentions but who are not looking at the whole picture.

  • nj_v2

    The Japan approach i referenced earlier:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/

    [[ To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you'll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don't forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years. ]]

    (excerpt)

    • stillin

      This would be a great start, only a start.

    • Flytrap

       We know obesity is one of the leading causes of death as well.  If someone is 1 standard deviation over their “optimal” weight, should they pay an extra tax or be forced to exercise?

      • nj_v2

        ^ Irrelevant deflection. Par for the course with Flytrap.

        • Flytrap

          Irrelevant, hardly.  If you are going to throw away individual rights, why stop with guns?

          • nj_v2

            One’s individual right to pay less for car insurance stops when one causes an accident.

            Guns should be regulated at least as much as automobiles.

            The Second Amendment is outdated. This is disturbing to gun nuts like you.

          • Flytrap

             Your ability to speak and defame should be curtailed as the 1st Amdt is outdated.  Look at the progress Canada, England and other European countries have made in regards to regulating speech.  This is disturbing to mouth breathing troglodytes like you.

          • nj_v2

            Hey, look, it’s the guy who pretends to be upset with ad hominem attacks!

      • sickofthechit

         Yes!

  • http://twitter.com/maureenungar maureen ungar

    We need political leaders not afraid of the NRA or other gun groups to push for support in the country(I don’t say Congress, who at present are only interested largely, in representing their own ends).  President Obama said things had to change.  Why not a huge push to get individual citizens to donate for gun control?  Why not a lobby for those of us who want to outlaw semi-automatic weapons, gun clips with high capacity and any other measures that will help, including more available health care for mentally ill individuals and the families struggling to help them?

    • Flytrap

       Start a petition, the 2nd Amendment can be repealed.

  • IsaacWalton

    “TINY PERCENT” wow, that will always dry the tears of the parents. 

  • IsaacWalton

    I didn’t know assault rifles were used in the Olympics.

  • heardsman

    If as the NRA says there are more than 35 million semi automatic weapons already out there then the problem is more about human control.  We as a society need to change the “culture of death” as the minister said last night into a culture of life.  This means violent movies, video games, weapons for killing humans used as sport for “gun enthusiasts”.  Do we have “poison enthusiasts”. 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Tom, push back…

    assault weapons are not requisite to hunt or have fun at shooting ranges. A 12 guage shotgun is an extremely powerful defensive weapon, more of a deterent one may argue than an assualt weapon or a semi-automatic handgun.

  • northeaster17

    The burden is now on the manufacturers and owners of these weapons of mass destruction. Period

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I really detest the far right. They make insanity seem normal.

    We’ve been following their voodoo econ since 1980 and the middle class has been sinking. Logic = do a 180 to higher taxes and more regulation of corporations. Insanity = more of the same.

    We’ve been loosening gun regulation and we get these horrible slaughters. Logic = do a 180 to reasonable regulation. Insanity = more of the same, arguing more guns is the solution.

    Sure I respect the 2′nd amendment but it doesn’t outlaw reasonable regulation. Ban assault weapons and extended clips, tighten background checks, end the obscene gun show loophole.

    • William

      What controls would you put on Hollywood and the video game industry which will claim any more restrictions will violate their free speech protections.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The bullets came out of a gun, not a movie. 

        No right is absolute. “My right to swing my fist stops at your nose”. “The right of free speech does not include yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre.” At some point movies and games cross the line, but I’m not sure where. OTOH, the difference between my deer rifle and an AK47 is obvious.

        • William

           The movie/game industry crossed the line a long time ago. I can remember the push back in the 1960′s/70′s against violent movies/tv shows, and some changes were made, but in the last 30 years? None, except even more violent movies with the weapons of choice, 9mm auto/M-16′s/…video games are worse.
           Hollywood has hired very power firms in DC to shield themselves from any restrictions and it is time for them to change.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Why do I get the impression that you’re trying to divert the subject away from guns?

            As we’ve heard ad nauseum, the righty playbook says that whenever the subject is the amazingly low tax rates on the superrich, start talking about those darn poor people who don’t pay enough.

            Looks like that same playbook says try to divert a discussion about the gun plague to “hollywood”. 

    • Flytrap
  • Jack Acme

    ~2500 kids shot dead EVERY DAMN YEAR.

  • IsaacWalton

    Dear Bob Levy….your numbers mean nothing when a bullet meets a child.

  • http://twitter.com/fignaz fignaz

    Could we please stop with these false equivalencies? Guns exist for one purpose & one purpose only: to kill or injure. Cars, knives hammers, screwdrivers pinking shears have many uses. They can be “weaponized” but a gun cannot be “de-weaponized”

  • distractedriver

    Ability to protect one self with a high-powered large capacity rifle is justifiable reason to deny gun control?  Get real Robert Levy.  Do you know anyone that can’t be put down with 1 shot?  Or are you that bad of a shot that you need 30 chances to hit your target?

  • Lori Allen

    Yes, we need to talk about gun control. But we must also talk about the institutionalization of racism and the stigma of mental illness. Most perpetrators of senseless gun violence in public places are white males. Most people who fixate on their 2nd Amendment rights are white males. Most people in charge of creating legislation are white males. People in power are largely unwilling to limit their own power. They are more than willing to deflect blame onto the scary, violent “other.” People in power have a hard time admitting that weakness exists. People who are supposed to have power or success have a hard time seeking help. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE INTERCONNECTED. The masses need to band together and rise up. And take a stand against those who protect their own power and the tools of violence.

  • Matt Wade

    My right to not be murdered by a firearm trumps your right to own a gun.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Yes there are multiple problems with assault and tactical equipment
    and ammunition sales. Yes there are chronic failures in the field of
    Mental Health. Yes we participate in a rabid non-stop Media Circus. All
    of these things are critical issues that need our attention but I think
    we also need to look a little deeper if we want to address any of them.

    Isn’t the root cause of all of it the same? Everything is connected
    though we refuse to admit it and the bandages never heal the broken
    bones. All of the industries in play and the roles we give them in our
    lives are a result of what is, in my opinion, our common failure. We
    have Institutionalized Envy and it is ripping Our Country apart at the
    seams. The primary driver of our economic, judicial, political, and
    industrial systems has completely destroyed respect for anything that
    doesn’t feed its insatiable appetite including Human Life.

  • Cynthia Boyle

    Can someone address the effects on young men of violent video games? These games (as I understand) focus on black-clad muscular (i.e. powerful) males using high-powered assault weapons to kill. I read that the killer in the Newtown tragedy was “into” video games. How can those not also contribute to this?

  • Eric Herot

    Tom, do NOT allow your guests to conflate handguns with hunting rifles.  Hunting rifles are popular in many industrialized countries and rarely a problem.  The problem here is handguns and assault rifles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindsey.karl.9 Lindsey Karl

    Please take the correlation to cars one step further.  We all know cars can be damaging, even deadly, yet we understand their usefulness in our society.  Many Americans apparently believe the same things are true about guns (even as many of us disagree…)  Why is it that we ALL accept that owning a car requires, not simply more regulation than gun ownership, but also much greater expense – insuring my cars, paying higher (often almost punitively high) rates when I have young drivers in my household or when I live in urban areas.  Gun owners simply pay to buy the thing, fill out a form or two…and bingo – they’re good for life.  Once bought a gun is “legal” forever!  Everyday that my car is on the road I am subject to near constant scrutiny of my driving habits, my repair and upkeep of the physical thing itself, my willingness to abide by thousands of rules and regulations, and a constant stream of fees and inspections over my lifetime and the life of the vehicle.  Karen Lanza bought those guns – at some point in the past – and then??? Nothing????

  • USARMYVET1986

    I am just can not believe that Tom cut off Kathleen just because he did not feel the same way she did, although she compared  cars to guns, why does the public not get this emotional when a teen is killed in a car crash while drinking alcohol or racing against another teen,
    There is no scientific study that shows GUN CONTROL stops killing of innocent people, the high profile killings are not indicitive of the general public.
    If the teachers at that school had been able to carry guns, I feel they would have been able to take care the the idiot before he was able to take more than 2 lives.

    • hypocracy1

      Why stop there?  Just toss a Glock in the kids Spider-Man lunch box..

    • distractedriver

       If trained NY city officers fired 16 bullets and ended up injuring 9 innocent bystanders, how more accurate would a school administrator be?  Sure, firing at a paper target under controlled circumstances is one thing.  To expect a typical gun owner to make their mark in a crowded school is absurd.  Your idea of more guns in more settings means more chances of stray bullets and injured/killed innocent bystanders. 

  • Matt Wade

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the NRA pays Robert Levy’s salary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003205057948 Bee Queen

    I have long thought that we do not need to own every weapon that is made.  There are some weapons that should only be owned by police/military. 

    One thought that I have is there are so many assault weapons, that if we are going to do a buy back, and I do think it is a good idea, then everything that might even be close to being an assault weapon must be surrendered.  Let us not fine line this issue this time.  When we passed the assault bill last time there were so many loop holes it was incredible.  Even with those laws the manufactures produced other weapons that got around the restrictions and we let them.

  • tncanoeguy

    Can someone say that disarming the public is not on the table?  That’s what the fringe fears, and the NRA trumps up – it’s a red herring. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.vermillion Melissa Sesco Vermillion

    What about armed school safety officers.  Is it proven that shooters stop one way or another when confronted with an authority who can stop them. 

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    I live in view of the city limits. I have a neighbor who loves to target shoot behind his house.  There are suburbs all around.  Some days I will hear more than 100 gunshots.  I have heard at least 4 ricochet buzz across my property.  What rights do I have not to be shot by ‘mistake’.  He has his right to own and shoot his firearms, unless I have physical evidence of his misuse of the firearm I have no right to stop his behavior.  In our country how can we call this equal rights?

  • Southpoint

    How can the Cato Institute speaker continue to argue for “empirical evidence” of gun control reducing homicides when the guests just gave conclusive statistics from Australia, Canada, and Great Britain.  Read between the lines of all NRA statements and you will find the same sickening conclusion: EVERYONE should be armed so as to protect themselves against the “bad apples” who use guns with the intent to murder, only worsening the murderous and violent nation we have become.  And the idea that we can “arm” ourselves against a government that has the capacity for all kinds of violence is simply ludicrous.  We don’t live in the eighteenth century folks–get a grip on the reality of the 21st century.

  • nj_v2

    Cato gun nut rights dude Levy sez: Gun control laws had no effect on shootings in Washington, DC. Well, the damn supply of guns is so great throughout the country, how would a ban in just one place possibly be effective when the guns just flow in from surrounding areas?

    Hey, look, we have legal-age laws for drinking, and still kids manage to get alcohol, so why have those laws?

    Hey, we have traffic laws, and people still speed, drive drunk, fail to stop at red lights… Heck, let’s get rid of those laws; they’re obviously not effective.

    • anamaria23

      If so many tragedies are occurring with laws in place, I shudder to think the possible carnage without them.

  • William

    Tom, 40 minutes into the show and zero discussion on violent movies or video games.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Zero discussion of Personal Accountability. To hell with the violent movie and video blame game. I enjoy violent movies if the violence is appropriate to the subject matter but I don’t like gratuitous violence. I enjoy some violent video games, does that mean I am violent? I own a few guns (A single shot rifle and a twenty gauge shotgun for obtaining food when necessary, and a pistol for defense against Coyotes, snakes, boar, and wild dogs when I’m out on the property) but I never enjoy killing anything.

      The point I’m trying to get at is that I don’t really think that violent movies or games cause people to become violent. It’s an excuse not a reason. Sure, desensitization is an issue but desensitization does not cause someone to go out and kill other people. A complete lack of respect for those you share the planet with and a dismissal of personal accountability are far more likely culprits.

      • William

         Violent movies and video games matter and must be included in an all of the above solution to changing social norms. For some reason, Hollywood always escapes. You want to watch something, look at the video games and movies online targeted towards young, very young children.
         Personal responsibility always matters but it is something this is almost always ignored.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          You’re missing my point. What about appropriate and effective parenting? What about the personal responsibility that should accompany adulthood? People get so whipped up about the Media Diet we are fed all the while shoveling what is served gleefully down our throats.

          “Personal responsibility always matters but it is something this is almost always ignored.”

          Why?

          • William

             It is clear we have many poor parents, just look at the high number of failing students in our schools. If we have a society that is constantly under assault by Hollywood and the video game industry with a never ending parade of very violent movies/games we will continue to have more killings.  It is not just these mass shootings, but the random and not so random violent crime attacks. We just don’t value life for a whole list of reasons and a big reason to me is violent movies/games. We just can’t ignore it.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            We ARE constantly under assault…from Ourselves. Read the first comment I posted on this thread, you’re right about our devaluation of Human Life. My question is Why? Why is there a complete disregard for Humanity?

          • William

             Various factors, it is depressing to see how cheap our lives have become despite having such wealth, opportunity, etc…

          • DrewInGeorgia

            NOT Various Factors. We have embraced one of the worst traits of Human Nature and built a Nation on its back, what do we expect as a result?

            Does Greed breed Greatness or does Greatness breed Greed? Absolute power and all that…

  • Kate_in_CT

    How can anyone say gun control does not temper violence.
    This boy in Newtown stole the guns from a person who legally obtained them. If the guns and high round ammunition weren’t there he would not have killed these children. Period. Back round check irrelevant. People who hold on to the ideology that we need to have semi-automatic and automatic weapons to defend ourselves is ludicrous. This is the gun industry talking, not sane citizens.

  • ianway

    Not one of you even challenges the absurd notion of some unconditional “right to defend oneself”? Once again the message orchestrated and paid for by the death industry and faithfully delivered by politicians and media obfuscates the basic moral issue and the obvious solution that everyone would rally to if given a chance:  BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS.

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    I think the problem is deeper than gun violence in our culture.  I think the problem is violence in general.
    Government cannot solve the problem of violence in the culture because most of the violence in our society is state-sponsored violence under the color of law. Governments have been modeling the use of violence since the dawn of history. What governments teach (through example) is that if you want your way, you use violence or the threat of violence to get your way.
    If we cannot restrain our elected leaders from turning to violence, how will we ever convince our children to adopt non-violent methods of solving seemingly intractable problems?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

    Unfortunately the Lobbies in Washington have become much more important to our representatives than the general safety and welfare of its citizens. 

    The Gulf of Mexico was filled with oil and Toxic Cleaning Solution. Nothing significant has changed in our environmental policies.

    Wall Street walked away with half the treasury. Nothing significant has changed.

    Unfortunately the same people making these weapons domestically are the same people that we are funding through all our wars in the middle east. We are funding them to pay lobbyists to work against our own safety and interest. 

    It is unfortunate the violence that we inflict on ourselves as such a violent society. We could change it, but we have to want peace more than we want Money and Violence.

    I’m praying for those babies and adults that lost their lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    What about the craziness of a mother honing the shooting skills in a son who may have had asperger syndrome and who must have shown instability well before Friday??? What about the craziness of a mother storing semi-automatic weapons in a home with a son like that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.w.findlay Kimberly Wrede Findlay

    Saying you need an automatic rifle for self-defense is like saying you need a hand grenade or a pipe bomb to defend your self. Utterly ridiculous.

  • Scott B

    Joe Biden needs to get out in front and say “F___ you, Wayne LaPierre. This bullsh!t need to end NOW!”  

  • dseesd

    We need an all of the above strategy. Better gun control, better mental health care, but most importantly we need to work to make our society better connected. So that every american knows they are a part of a nation that cares deeply for each and everyone of us. 

  • Fmills1

    Why has the NRA gone silent? 
    They must have some response, or are they just going to wait out the
    outrage.  They must be counting on people
    forgetting this issue, but I don’t think that will happen this time

  • VTgirl67

    Mandatory gun safety courses (like the required hunter safety course) that has a mental health evaluation component, prior to purchase of any gun not intended for hunting. Hunters have to learn how to handle guns safely, why doesn’t everyone else? This doesn’t take away the right to own a gun, it makes it a bit harder to acquire one. Also, making taser type weapons available to homeowners who simply want a weapon in their bedside table for home protection. Trade in your handgun for a less lethal weapon. Outlaw assault weapons. No reason to have them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: I suggest one step further:

      Gun insurance seems like a natural extension of gun safety. And gun safety’s a good thing, right?

      I wouldn’t put a teen behind the wheel without car insurance. It’s irresponsible to the parent and any poor sucker the kid hits.

      • VTgirl67

        I shy away from adding yet another powerful money making industry to the equation. But I agree with you on principle.

  • JIm Papadopoulos

    The self-defense argument sounds like a canard. How often did that Cato guy have to pull out his Bushmaster and spray the surroundings? I bet a smart statistician could pull out some numbers of criminality specifically deterred by someone pulling out a gun. I’ve never personally heard of such a thing.

    • Flytrap

       http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=161637##

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherri.bogue Sherri Aasheim Bogue

    While also pushing for reasonable gun control laws, we also need to push for campaign finance reform to take away the disproportionate power of special interest groups like the NRA.

  • tncanoeguy

    Gore’s stance on fossil fuels probably had a bigger impact in West Virginia.  

  • Jack Acme

    The essential issue comes down to a societal preference to value individualism over the good of society. It’s not merely a powerful single-issue lobby and craven politicians. More of us would rather indulge in the fantasy of personal autonomy and unfettered liberty than acknowledge that we all would be better off if we focused on creating a truly egalitarian, fair, and shared commonwealth. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514038073 Rob Cui

    One thing we have to look at is the culture of death in our country.  We live in a culture without limits on abortion, live on a steady diet of violence on tv, films, and video games, participate in wars all over the world, where women and families suffer from abuse, gangs are killing one another, and beatings are regularly seen on youtube; all this affects how our thoughts, actions, and feelings are formed. As a culture, we need to examine how violent images and media affect us.  I’m not sure any limits on guns will truly stop someone who wants to commit mass murder.  If not a gun, then they will use something else to do violence or commit acts of terror. 

    • JGC

      You forgot to mention capital punishment as part of the culture of death. And BTW, there are limits on abortion.

  • Janet Cooper Nelson

    None of us need to wait for law makers to argue about rights and licensure and controls. 
    We can begin to turn our own guns in today and we can tell others on social media and at work and at church that we are doing this.If we find that our neighbors still have them, invite their children to play at your home until they turn theirs in too.  This is a public health issue. Like tobacco– legalities will take too long.   Kids lives must be protected now.  If pediatricians, educators, moms and dads, rabbis and priests start talking sense and health to one another–we can reduce the number of guns dramatically and our kids will be safer while the law makers argue and the lobbyists sue and…..

  • Matt Wade

    Gun nutz wont’ be happy until we are all as frightened as they are. Give everyone a gun so we are all forced to be fortified in our own homes! 

    • tncanoeguy

       NRA really represents gun manufactures? 

  • http://twitter.com/maureenungar maureen ungar

    From an ABC report by ANNA SCHECTER

    August 29, 2008:…a NRA spokesman told ABC News. “It has been standard operating procedure
    for gun control groups to try and exploit tragedy for political gain,”
    he said, referring to gun control groups’ use of school shootings to
    push for stricter gun laws.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5EBFE2F5M64QTEGG55KXF242WI .

    Allow gun sales only to photo ID, card carrying NRA members

    • Ray in VT

      Hell no!  I am a gun owner, and I am largely quite liberal, and I do not believe that the NRA represents me or my interests.  I have never, and do not think that I ever will, belong to that organization.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        At some point the NRA will be caught out as pimping for gunmakers.

        I had brake pads replaced today.; after four years of wear. I got my boots resoled after 10 years.

        But even compared to “durable goods” (such as washing machines), guns really don’t wear out in any number. Compared to technology, they don’t become obsolete.

        We’ve long passed the point that these gunmakers’ business needs to continue selling guns at a kajillion times a replacement rate has warped the NRA and therefore our public discourse on gun safety.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Ditto.

    • jimino

      To fully implement the second amendment right so cherished by the NRA, its well-trained gun owners should be utilized as a civilian militia in times of war.  NRA members should be the first to be deployed when we need armed combatants. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1443565335 Elizabeth Dowey

    What does Clint Eastwood have to say after this ?

  • soumyagsr

     Having guns is fine but why allow such high-tech guns? Do recreational gun users really need automatic clips and high-tech magazines that can fire 100s of bullets at a time?

    Anyone like Adam Lanza who randomly kills people is equivalent to a terrorist. If US Govt. is so concerned about terrorists in Afghanistan having high-tech weapons, why don’t they have the same concern about domestic terrorists?

  • James Harrold

    Tom, someone must address the irresponsible idea proposed by Bill Bennett that we should arm teachers.  The self-defense argument depends on three faulty assumptions:  1.  You can accuratly fire your weapon.  2. It is immediately accessible. 3.  You know for certain who the perpetrator is.  Any law enforcement or military member who has used their weapon can tell you that these assumptions are seldom met in actual combat.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Bill Bennett? I think he’s still sore at being held up by the one-armed bandits while being America’s #1 Moral Scold.

  • Kimleedelle

    The “evidence supporting personal defense” is questionable. I’ve never seen supports put up these statistics along side the harm done not only in unsucessful defense alongside factoring out non-home incidents, as well as suicide, accidents, and criminal gun owner acts within the home. Gun defenders like to present statistics that are either over-generalized or something akin to comparing tangerines to watermellons.

  • soumyagsr

     Having guns is fine but why allow such high-tech guns? Do recreational gun users really need automatic clips and high-tech magazines that can fire 100s of bullets at a time?

    Anyone like Adam Lanza who randomly kills people is equivalent to a
    terrorist. If US Govt. is so concerned about terrorists in Afghanistan
    having high-tech weapons, why don’t they have the same concern about
    domestic terrorists?
     

  • JGC

    Anti-gun violence advocates need a Candy Lightner to help change societal attitudes, much as was done with raising the drinking age and making zero tolerance for drunk driving.

    • http://twitter.com/metasilk Studio Metasilk

       Brady Act? Aaron’s Law? 

      • JGC

        The Brady Act expired under President G.W. Bush.  I have never heard of Aaron’s Law.  There does not seem to be anyone out there who can really seize on this issue and push it to a strong conclusion on ways to eliminate and mitigate the violence.  We are still tolerating mass shootings, unlike drunken driving. Maybe drunk driving tragedies were common enough to make a connection with most people.  Maybe gun violence seems so removed from most people’s lives, they cannot make this a priority in the same way.  

  • patrickjm

    How about the state makes the first move… have police stop patrolling with guns.

  • linguafreak

    Re: mental and background checks….the shooter got the guns from his mother. Backgrounds do nothing to stop people from commiting such horrific acts because they can find a gun from somewhere without having to jump through hoops. Are there laws who hold gun holders accountable for their guns having been acquired and used in acts such as these for not securing them safely. Also, knives don’t go off by themselves and can’t kill multiple people and cars aren’t made to kill…guns are.

  • Scott B

    How about windows with wire, and not 8 feet tall, so they can’t just be broken easily and walked through?

  • Potter

    Tom the caller is correct– it takes much longer to get meaningful gun control. The caller is not asking for schools to become armories– he is asking for mace and stun guns.

  • KimBailey

    I think that the attitudes of our leaders – political, social, religious, and corporate – have to change towards giving worth and respect for every and each person.  We need not have politicians that no nothing more than ideological stands; corporate leaders who think nothing of outsourcing or paying wages which require the state to support their workers; religious leaders that do not demand that their belief is the only true belief and that non-believers are less than human and social leaders who stand up for the rights of individuals, of all individuals, not just the niche they are involved with.  What good does it do our citizenry to know and evidently condone a government who puts the profits and demands of corporations over the rights of human beings; a corporate system that rewards greed and diminishes rights and equity of others; a religious system which believes all non-believers are non-human;  social entities who are also us verses them oriented; and our government leaders who can and do kill individuals around the world and undo democratically elected governments at will.  All of this but reinforces unsocial behavior.

    fwiw

  • James Harrold

    Tom, your current caller is making my point.  Just having a gun does not provide defense.  You must be able to know how to use it so that people are not caught in the crossfire.  It does not work.  It is a silly idea for teachers to carry weapons. 

    • Potter

      The caller is asking not for guns but means to stop an assault without a gun– 

    • USARMYVET1986

      James you are an idiot, if the teachers were armed, they would have taken care of the target

      • distractedriver

        Calling people names only makes your position weaker… or do you feel stronger in your position because you have a gun?

        • USARMYVET1986

          Yes I have guns, I have several, but I do not “FEEL” stronger in any position because I have a GUN, I FEEL stronger because my brain works correctly to the point where using guns to prevent others using guns is a smart decision.
          You are right I should not have called you an idiot, just your position is wrong.
          If you take guns away from the people that have the right to have them, you give the goverment the ability to decide to take “Whatever the flavor of the Month” is, say knives over 4 inches, then where does it stop?
          Another Revolt? but we will not be able to fight it because the government took our means of fighting.
          If you take emotion out of this subject, I am sure we will come up with an answer, giving the schools the tools to protect the students, glass that can’t be shot out, locks on the doors that are 1 way,
          SOMETHING, We have to do something!

      • Frances223

        You’re an idiot to believe that.  If teachers were armed, the general public would stop sending their kids to school.  A kid is much faster than an adult when they want to be and could easily grab a gun from a teacher.  Arming teachers – that’s called the old west. Why don’t you go back to building your bunker.

        • USARMYVET1986

          No need to calling me names, I guess that makes you feel stronger in your position, but calling me names only makes your position weaker and makes mine stronger.
          My bunker is my home that has an alarm system monitored by ADT, also has cameras and proctected by Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Bushmaster,

      • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

        Even trained police offers struggle to take down gun men (and recently there have been many cases of armed policemen being attacked and killed before they can offer any resistance and other cases of police firing on a suspect only to cause far more civilian casualties than the suspect ever would have).

      • John_in_Amherst

         Right!   What could possibly go wrong if teachers had loaded handguns safety off, ready for action, in their desk drawers…

  • Kimleedelle

     There has been a controlled case study recently that shows that inexperienced concealed weapon holders are not able to defend themselves and in every trial, attempts to defend resulted in them getting what would be fatal wounds.

    • http://twitter.com/metasilk Studio Metasilk

       Can you get a link to this report/study data? Would be useful to read.

  • rick evans

    Caller says every adult in schools should be armed. Hmm, should they also wear body armor like the Sandy Hook shooter? And, what if one of those armed adults goes berserk?  Teachers can go berserk.

    • Potter

      no the caller is asking for mace, stun guns, means to stop an attack…not guns.

      • rick evans

         How would a stun gun penetrate body armor?

  • sseagull

    Temporarily giving up guns when children are having problems, etc, as they were just mentioning, is not easy, especially with pistols. In NY, it can be a real hassle to transfer pistols from one permit to another and then back. Some places require constant ownership in order to retain a permit, so by doing the right thing would result in you losing your permit permanently. And giving it to someone without transferring it would be illegal.

  • JennaJennaeight

    We quibble about Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, turning a blind eye to the steroidal mutations of individual access to weapons of mass destruction provided by unfettered big business/big lobby in the U.S.  There have always been and will always be troubled, despairing souls among us who suffer to the point of fantasizing, planning, and realizing some empowering act of violence or destruction to themselves or others. The difference is exponential growth in access, speed, scale to the point of tragic absurdity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.stevens.3304 Aaron Stevens

    It is not courageous to strip free people of their liberty, when you are afraid. It is not noble to clasp chains on your fellow citizens to make yourself feel better in the face of acts committed by evil men. In fact, it was once well said, those that give up freedom for the illusion of safety deserve neither, and are the true cowards. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      Some might say it is cowardly to not be willing to confront the realities of the world without a loaded gun in hand (and safety, illusory or otherwise, that brings).  

  • William

    Changing social norms and not including any mention on violent movies and video games? Why does Hollywood keep getting a free pass?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      Yes! Our deep culture of glorification of violence is the root cause. Access to guns and mental illness are ingredients, but the recipe is our culture of violence. I went to see a movie last night, and *every* preview for movies was highly glorifying of violence.

    • Gordon Green

      I am skeptical about blaming games and movies.  Has there been any evidence of a connection?  Kids have played shootout games of all sorts for a very long time without this kind of consequence.  Kids have also had access to the family guns for a long time.  I’m certainly no fan of gun ownership or the NRA myself, but it seems to me that whatever policy solutions come out of this have to be effective and evidence-based.  To blame Hollywood, while intuitively appealing, seems like it could be misdirected.

      • William

         Hollywood pumps out very violent movies and that  is a part of the problem. They know it and make a lot money on those movies. Just a short term ban on violent movies, games for say, 15 years, and see what happens.

  • Scott B

    These people that think they, or anyone else, is suddenly going to be able to shoot a bad guy have been watching too many “Die Hard” movies. Trained law people miss bad guys and point blank range when adrenaline is pumping, and they’re trained!  

  • Kimleedelle

     So what, NRA.

  • linguafreak

    Mental health and background checks won’t keep guns out of the wrong hands such as this shooter in ct. He got them from his moth who followed the rules. Als,gun owners need to be held on same level as shooters for not having secured their weapons. Also, knives don’t “go off” accidentally and cars aren’t built to kill, guns are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.paul.5680 Anita Paul

    The myth of self-defense in the circumstances is promoted by the NRA.  It’s not even common sense no can be excepted to react quickly in a situation like that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      I think this one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed.  There is a definitely a fantasy of self-defense that many people become absorbed by.  They dream of quick-drawing on robbers or terrorist (never mind how ridiculous the idea of a terrorist invading a house is to begin with).  People seem to want to be an action hero, which leads to assault weapons and bullets designed specifically for killing people.  It is not a healthy fantasy and I think is directly related to these mass shootings.

  • bmccloy

    We need to spend the money as a society to better secure our schools.  We need to prevent access for unauthorized people – like the killer in CT.  ID cards, keypads to get in every door.  Fences.  If one set of these defenses works to deter someone like the person in CT – it’s worth it.  We won’t get rid of the guns – but we have to protect our children.

    • nj_v2

      All the doors to the school were locked. The assailant shot his way in through a window. 

      What do you propose? Moats? Barbed wired? Armed guards surrounding the building? There isn’t enough money to make basic repairs to most public facilities these days. How would you pay for those measures?

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      I’m always deeply saddened when I go by a school with barbed wire fences.  Schools should be inspiring, not look like prisons.

    • PithHelmut

      That is addressing the symptoms and not the cause. We are a sick society – that is the cause. Not just mentally sick, because even that is a symptom but we abide by sick rules. For example, if you can’t pay your bills you get kicked out of your house; we drain our lives away working daily doing ridiculous work in order to pay those bills; government scams its people and we think that everything is disposable and for our benefit. We have little care for Nature let alone a closeness to it. Ramping up weapons in schools is just not going to work. It’s almost puerile to suggest so. It’s good to be having this discussion. Our society denies our humanity. Molding people into simple economic slots is sick in itself. Speak to any man and he will say that wars will always exist – he cannot even imagine a world without wars! That’s not creative thinking and will not get us off this course of violence. We need new thinking, new caring. I hope we talk about this – caring because it has been silent for too long in this culture.

  • USARMYVET1986

    This woman is a nut case, CUT HER OFF TOM

  • Quadraticus

    The answer is clear: we must ban schools. These attacks all seem to happen at schools, so something must be done about them.

    • John_in_Amherst

      when I am next searching for an example of sick, unfunny humor, your comment will come to mind.

      • Quadraticus

        I’m using satire to make a point: that there is more than one common factor to all these attacks, so focusing on guns to the exclusion of all the other problems (“gun-free” zones, mental health problems) is evidence of opportunism rather than an honest attempt to solve the problem by whatever means are most likely to be effective.

  • Scott B

    The founding fathers would have made the 2nd Amendment a bit differently if they had foreseen assault weapons.

    • Flytrap

      Yes, they would have insisted on enshrining explosives as well.  http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

      • Scott B

         They had explosives in those days.  That’s what makes guns shoot and some kinds of artillery rounds go “BOOM!”

        Take a tour of some Revolutionary era forts, read a book, watch History Channel, stay away from Faux Noise, do something to get yourself educated.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Tom you just said “where 99% are fully sane”.

    Do you really believe that ninety-nine percent of US are fully sane?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/32D5IWIRVI3NDNJ6N37FPTFYBQ Col

    The Wild West finally became civalized when guns were removed from cities and towns.  Although the gun was involved in taming the west, once that job was done then it was ‘ hand over your weapon at the town line’

  • http://twitter.com/kikinola kiki

    You often hear it’s not enough to have a gun for protection, that you have to be willing to use it. Fine, but there’s another part of the equation: You have to be able to get to the gun before your attacker’s gun gets to you. If you’re carrying a gun, it’s of no use to you unless you’re constantly vigilant. It’s hard to carry on with your day with your hand on a holster.

    Years ago, I was the victim of a violent mugging. I was taken by surprise. I know that if I had been carrying a gun, it would have been no use, and may have gotten me killed, because the mugger “had the drop” on me.

    • anamaria23

      I agree.  I tried to imagine  myself a principal  of a school, gun on my person, always on the look out for a gun toting predator so that I could beat he/she to the draw.  In addition to the amount of training need to be a near perfect shot.  Very challanging.

  • stillin

    the caller about arming teachers…I am a teacher, 4-12th. I understand his feelings, but if that were ever to happen I would leave teaching for good. I would never send my grandkids to school if I ever have them, under those circumstances. Already, you are asking teachers to teach, to help bring up children from age 3 on…to feed them, to teach them manners, to teach them how to be a good human being and now you want to hold teachers responsible for another human life? No thanks. I am telling you this is a culture that needs to be tweaked from the inside out…it’s not the guns, it’s not all mental illness…it’s a sick culture that needs to be healed. Arming teachers will not work, and also remember, when you are teaching you are so focused that 5 seconds the caller said you need to get a weapon will be spent ushering kids somewhere, there’s your 5 seconds.

    • jefe68

      I agree, the very idea that arming teachers and administrators is insane. This incident is more about mental illness and the lack of resources available to people coupled with the stigma of having mental illness problems.

      The reality is this poor woman had a son who had a lot of problems. She made a huge mistake in keeping guns in her house with a troubled child who grew into a troubled adult.

      As an aside, the gun culture in Newtown is something to examine. There are shooting ranges within the proximity of the Sandy Hook Elementary school.
      Another note, the bullets used in the assault rifle went through windows and walls and lodged in cars in the parking lot. This kind of ammo is designed for killing, not hunting.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/nyregion/in-newtown-conn-a-stiff-resistance-to-gun-restrictions.html?hp

      Ban all assault weapons, we don’t need them.

  • sickofthechit

    Mandatory trigger locks and magazine locks
    Teachers, preachers and clerks with Tasers
    Background checks
    Assault weapons ban
    Large capacity clip ban
    Restore mental health funding

    Charles A. Bowsher
     

  • Jean Dickson

    So far I haven’t heard anyone mention ther culture of militarism and its effect on our domestic life.  Some of the massacres have been carried out by veterans with PTSD.  IN addition, the US government promotes the unreal view of violence and its effects by promoting long-distance attacks (bomber planes, and now drones) as well as video games used to attract kids — yes, kids– to the military.

    • PithHelmut

      Right. What do we expect when killing is sanctioned by the state, violence is constantly churned out by the media and money is considered more important than people? We have a lot of overhauling to do.

    • Flytrap

       I am sure that “the culture of militarism” is what drove Brevik to kill all those kids in Norway.

  • OnPointComments

    http://spectator.org/archives/2012/12/17/preventing-school-massacres 
     
    Excerpt:
    The practical solution is to provide school teachers and personnel with the training and the assets necessary to protecting the children.  First and foremost, school rooms could have ballistic doors with magnetic locks which would prevent most shooters from getting into the rooms.  The next thing schools should have — in every classroom — are what we call ballistic blankets.  Provide the teachers and school administrators with controlled access to a non-lethal means to defend themselves and the children under their care.

  • rick evans

    Why caller Carl is right, that nothing will be done. Anyone remember the Amish schoolhouse massacre? … Hello ….? I rest my case.

  • Kyle earthtones

    train our veterans as teachers and have them in our school.  banning guns will not stop this.  WHY does anyone need body armor except to be protected from bullets?

  • Kimleedelle

     I don’t see TF’s comments having anything in common with your reply.

  • PithHelmut

    Whatever we decide, the decision must not be made by males. Males are the problem. If that sounds sexist, what do you call the plethora of men in the legal system, religions, and everywhere that power exists? Men have been in charge exclusively since time immemorial, now it’s time for them to step down and let women made the decisions. I’m not kidding. Men are incapable of controlling their urges, they kill, they rape in proportions far above what women do. As far as indiscriminate killing is concerned, males are the overwhelming perpetrators. Isn’t it funny that we never address this stark fact?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000283880019 Douglas Stearns

    As far as i have heard the man in CT had no criminal record so a background check would not have stopped him. I live in NY and we have a law about a background check at gun shows and some of the strictest gun laws in the country. We need to enforce the gun laws we have on the books now, not make new ones. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible law abiding citizens, and these are the people who are forced to deal with these laws and pay for them not criminals, who obtain there guns illegally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      We need to examine our deep cultural fascination with violence as empowerment. Why was this the son of a survivalist mother who loved guns?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Then you’ve got smuggling from easy-gun states to tough-gun states. That’s been a kettle of unaddressed fish ever since Hinckley shot Reagan.

  • http://twitter.com/metasilk Studio Metasilk

    Tom, please follow up this show with one about mental health: what’s available, how much we know, how it is accessed (how easy it is to access…or not), typical outcomes, preventative care as it applies to mental health, etc. 

    (I think anything I’d have to say about guns, access, care for, use of, laws about) has been said already below. Although it’s probably incumbent upon more of us to know more fully the data about who’s shot, when, why, and by what.)

  • coachmom20

    Can”t tell you how many times over the years that we teachers may say to one another ” that kid is a ticking time bomb” . But what happens when we bring it to administrative attention ? They are in an impossible situation. They hear us but without real REAL evidence of that, there is little they can do. And what happens if we stigmatize these kids throughout their school career ? I know, you say , so what ? But what if this were your child ? Parents need to step up not down when confronted with this. Would you want your child followed in this way in his or her school  records .. we have to come up with better evaluational tools and better means to help these troubled kids.

  • Calvin Smith

    Why can’t we have people that we know are coming unhinged committed for @ least 72 hours

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      We can. But why do we have too many people coming unhinged, and why is it that they turn to violent acts?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        This is the focus of all of my comments today. If we dissect and compartmentalize a fundamental problem, then focus solely on one section while the others fill with water, the ship is going to sink.

    • Ray in VT

      That would probably work for the people that we know about, but so many people who are somewhere along that spectrum may not be giving off any signals that one could reasonably use to commit someone.  What level of suspicion would one need?  Believing, suspecting and knowing are very different things.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Calvin Smith is thinking Minority Report.
        I’m thinking Majority Report.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.stevens.3304 Aaron Stevens

    Solutions: Increase freedom for the law abiding citizens, not limit it. Allow teachers and school staff to carry concealed weapons(if they choose). 
    Then focus on the real issue, mental health problems. Guns don’t walk into a school and kill kids, but mental health problems certainly do.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      Call me crazy but I don’t think putting a bunch of loaded weapons in the proximity of our children is a good idea. I also don’t think the prospect of shoot outs in schools is a good solution the problem.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

      No. Control of assault weapons is a step we can take. Mental illness is an issue. The deepest issue is our cultural glorification of violence, which i think you are illustrating here. We’re not “free” to have a nuclear weapon or a smallpox virus or a chemical weapon, are we? The adults killed would not have had a concealed weapon, and would you want teachers to do so? 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “The deepest issue is our cultural glorification of violence”

        I disagree.
        What came first? The Chicken or The Egg?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I don’t know which came first, but allow me to tangent on there being “violence”, and also “violence”.

          When it comes to glorification, the “take ‘em on” and “revenge” styles of fantasy never seem out of order.

          It’s seldom part of the mainstream media conversation to point out how
          deluded certain classes of gun people are made by seeing those.

          The end of a fiction involving weapons is typically good for the good guys, no matter the interim losses.

          Mistakes along the way are never the end-all and be-all of the story. (For example, a movie would never end with a child carrying a toy gun and accidentally being shot by a good honest cop who thought that toy was real, and was therefore a real threat. But twenty years later I remember that happening “offscreen” to the black cop in Die Hard 1 or 2, and it was part of that cop’s redemption story to draw his weapon and finish off the not-killable villain.)

          Real violence has painful consequences, however, but does get in the way of an action movie. Think of that effective, yet slow and deliberate, scene in Kill Bill was with Uma Thurman lying prone in a truck trying to gain some control of her assaulted, pain-wracked body by first starting with moving her big toe.

    • nj_v2

      Heck, arm the kids, too. Give ‘em little pistols, or maybe BB guns. Get ‘em started early. Arm everyone, all the time. Store owners, bank tellers, bus drivers. I’d feel much safer. Yep, that’s the solution!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658005439 Steve Howard

    The feds can bypass the NRA and all the politics by just cornering the market on assault rifles and .223/5.56 ammo.  Simply offer to buy civilian owned weapons for 200% of the market value.  Many, if not most, of these weapons would be handed over for cash.  In effect, this drives the price up to the point where most people can’t afford them.  Use the free market!!!! Isn’t this worth the price of one aircraft carrier or a B2 bomber?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QNRWOPX66TMOVMWCKCLKV7CYZQ Joy

    I am incensed by those who compare the deaths from these mass killings to the number of people who die in car accidents.  These two things are not even marginally related.  Car accidents, even those caused by the criminal negligence of drunk drivers, are just that, accidents.  Mass shootings are most certainly planned and executed with the intent to kill the identified targets.  How sick is it that we can lump these two types of deaths together and not discriminate between an intentional and unintentional act.  As one caller pointed out, a victim may only have seconds to act when they are attacked, not enough time to save themselves or others.  So we must act on the front end through gun control, through mental health services, and other preventative services to protect ourselves and our children.

    • Rondank

       Forget gun control; there’s way too many in circulation. We need to go the
      source of the problem; ammunition manufacturers. It’s much more effective to
      institute “bullet control.” Increase the price of ammo to $500 per bullet and
      watch the murder rate plummet. When gas prices skyrocket, fewer people drive. If
      bullet prices skyrocket, tens of thousands fewer people will die each year in
      the USA. Time for the public to tell it’s representatives to man up to the
      ammunition companies.

      • Rondank

        Higher gas prices = = fewer drivers = fewer car deaths. Higher bullet prices = fewer shooters = fewer gun deaths.

        • nj_v2

          Nice! Thumbs up!

  • Ragnar2012

    A caller today said that she heard on WHO radio (a major commercial station in DesMoines) there were 400,000 Russians with automatic weapons in the hills of North Carolina.  This was a serious person with a serious concern.  Where could she get such a notion? WHO’s daily lineup gives us Rush Limbaugh from 1 – 4 p.m. and George Noory (“Coast to Coast” program) from midnight to 4 a.m.   Here’s a brief Wikipedia view of Noory:

    On-air style
    In an article about Noory published in the magazine The Atlantic, Timothy Lavin wrote:
    Noory can be an uneven broadcaster, sometimes seems to not pay full attention to his guests, offers strangely obvious commentary, and often lets clearly delusional or pseudoscientific assertions slide by without challenge.We should consider, in the debate about gun rights and public safety, what consequences Limbaugh’s propaganda and Noory’s irresponsibility have on citizens who seek truth in the media. 

    • Ray in VT

      Was that the lady who asked about how many people were murdered/abused every year in satanic rituals?  Someone said something about that, right?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I bet it’s 50,000. Interesting thing that 50,000 number. I recall reading a study once that any time the fifty thousand figure is tossed up as a statistic it is almost always baseless or severely manipulated. Something about how it is a large enough number to cause alarm but not large enough to draw serious inquiry. Tangent I know, it just popped into my brain when I read your comment.

        As an afterthought it was during the 80′s Satanism Scare which explains why it occurred to me.

  • Kimleedelle

     In addition to hormones, part of the physiological change includes, literally, of brain cells “sloughing off” as it establishes its identity and develops. And, the part of the brain where “judgement” forms is the last to develop, not becoming fully formed untri the early 20′s.

  • harperleestokillamockingbird

    I’m holding with Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch: “having a gun is an invitation for someone to shoot you.”

  • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

    I worked in a mental health facility, the last thing you want in such a place is a gun.  There are individuals who would spend their entire day trying to figure out how to get that gun from its owner.  Do you really think having a gun on the side of every teacher is a good idea?  Johnny, please sit back down in circle and give me back my weapon.  Arms escalation is not the answer.
    Tom, I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness.  No one else has signed the petition to change our behavior toward youth.
    6 is a long way from 25,000, but one individual with the the right group of friends can make the difference. Please share.

    http://wh.gov/IVp4

    • nj_v2

      You had me until the “…with additional training in firearms.” part.

      Sorry.

      • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

        In a society that owns guns, you don’t think we should spend energy on gun safety?  The discussion on when to get guns out of the home should be part of the training.  I wonder if any current training looks at that.  I am a realist, we don’t make the country stronger by ignoring the role of guns in our society. My goal is to remove the fascination people have with guns, give them some other skills to feel secure, and skills to survive.  We don’t have hardly any apprenticeship programs anymore.  This is part of my goals in public service. It is like sex education, not teaching it doesn’t prevent the unintended results.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          How about gun insurance?

          I’ve been a teenager whose car cost less than the insurance to road it.

  • AlitzaB

    I’m all for more thought-out and more effective gun control, but you won’t get that as long as $$$$ drives the discussion. Having the NRA and the Cato Institute (thank you for giving them the opportunity to do the right thing and I’m glad to hear that they are re-thinking things) acting as spokesmen for “gun rights” $$$$ will be driving the issue.

    The attitude that needs to change to the degree that attitudes about gay rights have changed is mental health. Access to mental health, screening for mental health, research for mental health, what happens to the mentally ill. Right now, as I understand it, prison is the place the mentally ill go and get treated. What parent is going to send their troubled child to prison???!!! Talk about a stigma…

    Unless we are all going crazy… and the extremes do seem to be getting to be the norm… treating us all as if we are ill will not get us the results we desire.

  • AC

    i’m all for gun ‘control’, i still haven’t found an answer for myself as to why joe schmore needs a glock.
    but at the same time, i don’t think this alone will end mass murder if a sociopath is committed to the idea – there are so many other ways…i think the appeal is that they can commit suicide right after. other ways involve more risk in surviving and being caught….
    i don’t know. i’m thinking about it all…

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “i’m thinking about it all…”

      I hope we all are, we certainly need to be.

  • ianway

    What is unreasonable about banning assault weapons which have no other purpose then the slaughter we just witnessed!!!  Tom you are driving me nuts in your bizarre desire to insist there is no reasonable solution that addresses all the issues raised.  When intelligent, reasonable people like you can’t see the answer that’s written in blood of children in an elementary schoolhouse, I feel utterly hopeless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sage.radachowsky Sage Radachowsky

    The mother of the shooter was fascinated with guns. We need to examine our deep cultural fascination with violence, and change it.

    • Prairie_W

       Yep.  She was one of those well-armed people, “well-prepared” gun owners who paid for her gun ownership with her life.

  • tryingtothink

    Please please please Tom and producers find somefolks who can pose questions and guide our thinking on the way society raises our young boys and men to cope with emotion, rage, violence AND the connection between young white men and this form of mass violence.  We are not talking about guns or mental health in the abstract – there are specific age, race and gender components to violence that takes this mass form and targets schools.  It’s a glaring absence in our national conversation.

  • LovedPeopleLovePeople

    We
    need to talk about the culture of violence in boys. Forget a Fiscal
    Cliff, we need to talk about a mental cliff that SO many young people
    fall off of. A socially awkward and/or ‘on the Spectrum’ of autism
    youth, suffers at the hands of our culture, being mistreated, bullied,
    and ostracized, early on, and thru all their years of schooling. Then
    they go home and play strategic first person shooter games until they
    pass out. Access to guns is something we can legislate, but access to
    the dark side of the mind isn’t. What we can do is stop torturing our
    kids with bogus standards they can’t live up to, and raise them to
    accept themselves and others, esp. the ‘different’ kids. It is not an
    accident that these shootings happen at schools and I think it is
    because school is a site of trauma for so many people.
     

    • Flytrap
      • LovedPeopleLovePeople

         That article seems like a weighted statement. Not sure what you mean, but I think I get….
        How you feel about the Treyvon Martin Case?

        • Flytrap

           It isn’t meant as a “weighted statement.”  It is meant to shed more detail on violence in America.  If one distinct cohort is responsible for most of the violence, shouldn’t we identify it and address the problem in a mature fashion?  Right now everyone is talking about assault weapons, but as this chart shows, 2007-2011 http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8 rifles, shotguns and other still don’t come up to fists and feet.  It’s handguns people are killed with but assault weapons make better stories.  Just like young black men do the most killing, but it’s better to compare the American homicide rate to the world than it is to look at disparities in black and white in America. 

          On Trayvon, I feel that we should look at the evidence objectively and proceed accordingly. 

      • 1Brett1

        Is repugnantly presumptuous your default mode?

        • Flytrap

           We all know that you are definitely not a racist and are repulsed by the ideas I’m promulgating.  That said, what is your solution to the obvious disparity in homicide rates btw blacks and whites?  Insulting me isn’t a solution anymore than gun control is. 

          • 1Brett1

            Welp, you seem to do a pretty good job of insulting yourself all on your own.

          • Flytrap

             No mas, no mas!!  You are far to erudite and logical for me to even try and engage with. 

          • sickofthechit

             Education for all about gun safety, which would include learning how to handle, care for, use and not use one.  The more educated we all are about this, the better the chance we act intelligently.

    • stillin

      absolutely, it’s the breeding ground.

  • Leilasmimi

    To me, it relates to the way we are treating each other in all parts of our society.  We have very little respect for anyone who thinks or looks/dresses differently from us, and it seems the level of anger is so high, at times they seem to want to get rid of the other person.  A 20 year old may not be able to see where using a gun is not appropriate.  But he may have been hurting and feeling all the anger that he had to listen to on the radio, TV, computer or within the family, calling each other liars, responses to each other filled with hate. We have to become a more tolerant, more loving society.  The people who kept saying they had to have guns to protect themselves or that they would not give up their guns sounded that kind of angry.  They will shoot you/me/whoever if we try to tell them they must give up their guns, or if we try to take them away.

  • EmilyWJ

    Ella; 27 lbs, 18 months, white with black spots, black floppy ears, rarely barks, growled once, doesn’t seem to know how to bite, looks like she ran out of a story book; SHE IS LICENSED!

    Some cities are banning pit bulls

    Semi-automatic weapons we have to debate and argue about!?

    • Flytrap

       Oh, you’re right, we shouldn’t debate it at all, what is with these “Constitutionalists” anyway?  http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

      • 1Brett1

        Are you interested in any kind of discussion (granted, as tersely one-dimensional as Emily’s comment may have been)? Or are you here just to post links from ideologues who reinforce your narrative? Or are you here to “win” some kind of “debate” by treating other differing comments as silhouettes?

        • Flytrap

           Countering uninformed histrionics with sarcasm and facts is as good as any idea.  I have tried to start conversation today about the  proclivity of young black men to kill people but no one wants to acknowledge it. 

          With overall murder rates declining and the # of people killed by long guns extremely low, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8, why is there so much attention paid to this incident carried out by an obviously mentally ill individual to further the agenda of limiting access to “assault” weapons when you consider the fact that hand guns kill 10 times more people every year?  Why aren’t these stories http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28411203/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/study-murders-among-black-youths-rise/#.UM99SazheSo  http://thegrio.com/2012/02/06/reports-african-american-homicide-rates-in-midwest-states-on-the-rise/  talked about more?  Is everyone to afraid of appearing “racist?”

          • 1Brett1

            Except that most of your “conversation starters” just post links about violence and young black men without any preface. Considering the tone of your other commentary on this forum what are people supposed to think? 

            …I’ll try to reset and start over. I’ll ask a question, and please understand that I am truly not trying to make it rhetorical: what, if anything, should be done differently in the black community, or in society as a whole, to address violence coming from young black men? Should this phenomenon’s solution be made distinct and separate from violence in the overall population?

          • Flytrap

            The preface is the topic being discussed and in light of that, what should we do.  The people I posted to all had strong statements in support of gun control but no comment about racial disparities in homicide while at the same time many of those folks want to look at some European country as a comparison. 

            I think we should treat blacks as equals which means reporting the race of criminals, calling out community leaders for doing a lousy job if they are “leaders,” condemning out of wedlock births etc.  As it is now, no one is willing to do that out of fear of being called a racist. 

            If you watched any of the Sunday shows yesterday that had any black spokespeople, you may have noticed that every single one screams “gun control!!”  My hunch is they do that to avoid discussing increasing levels of black violence in our nation. 

            What place do you think black violence has in the larger gun control question?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1119807488 Skye Borden

    My husband and I live on a subsistence farm in Alabama, and we own guns. We use them to hunt wild game for meat and, occasionally, to kill a mortally wounded or dangerous animal. Since we live thirty minutes from the nearest police station, I take some comfort in the knowledge that we could also defend ourselves with these weapons as well. 
    I believe that these are all valid uses for firearms. None of these uses, however, call for assault rifles. I harbor no delusions that our farm will be descended upon by an army of evil doers — our shotgun is sufficient protection against potential criminals. As far as I can tell, the most valid uses for assault rifles are recreational; people enjoy shooting them and think they ‘look cool.’ I don’t think these reasons for ownership should override the overwhelming public need to avoid future mass-shootings with assault rifles. For that reason, this red-state gun owner supports an assault rifle ban. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Great Comment!

  • AustralianInAmerica

    Further to Joy’s comment about comparing gun deaths to car accidents, the degree of regulation around motor vehicles is enormous – licensing, registration, compulsory insurance, etc, whereas I could walk into Walmart today and walk out with a handgun.

    • Steve__T

       No you can’t walk out of any store with a hand gun there is a waiting period, now a shotgun is a different weapon under less restriction.

  • peterlake

    As much as I enjoy On Point, I thought today’s show was a great disappointment, both in choice of guests and callers. The lopsided view of gun control presented on the show was painful to hear and added little to our understanding.

    Hemenway and Thomas = guns bad.
    Gun-grabbers = good.

    Levy was refreshing but too brief.

    Needs a re-do with Alan Gottlieb (Second Amendment Foundation) or Don Kates, Glenn Reynolds or John Lott on the show.

    C’mon, Tom. Don’t make me look forward to the Mayan apocalypse.

    • Prairie_W

       Don’t wish to be rude to WBUR, but the Diane Rehm show (also NPR) at the same hour this morning had a terrific discussion about the effects of mass shooting. 

      http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-12-17/mass-shootings-and-their-effect-american-psyche

    • Flytrap

       When there is an agenda Tom wants to push, as he did today, don’t expect too much balance. 

      • peterlake

        I think he wants to balanced, but he’s not the only one in the office and I expect he’s got a crew around him of smart, 20-somethings who are completely ignorant about the issue and who might make a good guest.

        Their selection of callers was astonishingly bad and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Tom as frustrated (but always gracious) as when the woman worried about the 400,000 Rooskies in the hills of North Carolina.

        And then when he said he didn’t know who to talk to on the phone.

        A very poor show that I blame his staff for botching.

  • 1OnPointFan

    A gun – any gun – is a killing machine.   That is its sole purpose. Not only can it kill others, both humans and animals, but it has what I think is a profoundly negative psychological impact on its owners, one we don’t seem to discuss publicly.  In Korea no private citizen is allowed to possess a gun.  Korean citizens that we know are clueless about why American citizens believe they have a right to own a gun.  If I could make a wish, it would be that the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, would be repealed. As the later caller said, we passed that amendment in a completely different time period of our country’s history.  It no longer should hold.  Failing that I favor a permanent ban on ownership of assault weapons, not one that expires after a finite period of time.  I would also love to see a gun buy back program like the one they had in Australia.  The comments of the woman who called early in the program angered me greatly.  It is time to stop trying to be sympathetic to people like this.  It is time for people who seek an end to gun violence, people who want to be part of a peace loving society, to outvote them and the NRA.

    • Flytrap

       You are so right, a gun is for killing.  The reasons for the 2nd Amdt are fairly well explained by this guy at Valparaiso Law Review.  http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

    • peterlake

      You’re right, we did pass the Second Amendment as a different time from now.

      In fact, we passed the First through Tenth Amendments at the same time.

      Would you mind if we repealed the other ones, too, besides the Second Amendment, as you suggest, since the framers never anticipated iPhones and television and GPS and all the rest of what we’ve got today?

      I mean, who NEEDS a printing press?
      Who NEEDS to go to a non-government sponsored church?
      Who NEEDS Freedom of Assembly?
      Who NEEDS freedom from unreasonable searches?

      They’re all about musket-loading times, aren’t they?

      Go ahead, get that “Repeal the Second Amendment” movement going. I want to see how far you can take it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FRW4JNB3GCZ4TH4QW5F4NYEBLY Troy E

    I understand the strength of the gun lobby and the gun industry, but enough is enough.  When will the Supreme Court and lower courts recognize the wording of the 2nd Amendment and correctly interpret it?  For far too long it has been conveniently misread by gun supporters and the Courts alike.  Read the opening clause and don’t take the rest of it out of context:  “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  This opening clause defines the underlying reason for the right “to keep and bear arms”.  It is not an unassailable right.  I see the “shall not be infringed” just like the gun lobby does, but I also see “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.”  This is clearly a recognition of the fact that the colonies had no standing army until June of 1775, two months after the Revolutionary War began in April of 1775 at Concord and Lexington.  This amendment was to ensure a ready, able-bodied, and armed force could be conscripted as needed in any future times of war.  That’s why the amendment was written and what it means.
    Oh, yes, I hear the argument from gun supporters, sarcastically responding “How can YOU know what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the 2nd Amendment?!”  It’s easy, actually.  Read the early drafts of the 2nd Amendment.  Madison clearly intended it as a means of ensuring the availability of a ready militia.  He even tried to work into the Amendment an conscientious exemption from service for people of faith.  He made this clear in the final clause of the first draft of the 2nd Amendment where he wrote “but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”  Note those final five words “render military service in person”.  It is absolutely clear what the intent of the 2nd Amendment was.  This clause was ultimately dropped by Congress, but it doesn’t make a difference, it just clarifies the context of the remaining words of the Amendment.  It was included to ensure the US had a military force when needed.  It was not to permit hunting, or recreational shooting.  It was not for personal home protection.  And it clearly was not to enable individuals to commit acts of violence or threaten acts of violence against fellow citizens.  It was to ensure individuals were prepared for military service when needed by the government.
    Given that, and the times we live in, where we have not just a standing Army, but also the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, FBI, and state and local law enforcement agencies, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment has passed into history.  The United States does not need it anymore.  It is therefore time to repeal the 2nd Amendment as it was ratified and replace it with an Amendment for our times, one that allows limited gun ownership – limited in terms that are reasonable for the majority of Americans.  I realized this is the nut to crack at this point, but surely we are better starting from a blank sheet of paper and adding gun ownership rights to it than starting from the right to own assault rifles and other military grade weapons and trying to work in the direction of a blank sheet of paper?

    • peterlake

      Sorry to burst your bubble but you’d better read District of Columbia vs Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago to find out why you’re 100% wrong.

      The Supreme Court says it so much better than I can:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, the D.C. vs. Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago cases did go a long way (Supreme Court speaking) to reinterpret the 2nd Amendment. Prior to those, the 2nd Amendment was interpreted a little differently. 

        All of this is a pretty clear indication, in my view, that the 2nd Amendment can be interpreted toward differing subtle distinctions, by humans, trying to make sense of a breathing malleable document.

        • peterlake

           I chuckled when I read your post since you are quite right — many people still ignore what is now settled law and still want to go off with their own ideas about what the Second Amendment means.

          So for further study, try last week’s ruling in Illinois which overturned the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons.

          http://blogs.suntimes.com/politics/2012/12/big_win_for_gun-rights_groups_federal_appeals_court_tosses_state_ban_on_carrying_concealed_weapons.html

          • 1Brett1

            Well, you cited two fairly recent cases and not “original,  founding intent,” as it were, and on that point we can certainly agree.

            …I’m probably not going to agree with your “politics,” generally, ostensibly, but I do appreciate that you’ve come to this forum willing to have a conversation, and I have appreciated your interactions. Thanks for the link (I’ll look it over) and welcome to the forum. (This should be an interesting week, as I sense this On Point conversation about guns will continue for at least a couple of days.)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/BSQCL636RT2GLSXYOBIS7NO53I a

      I agree….

      This is the second amendment:
      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      This is the definition of militia:
      “a body of citizens organized for military service”

      In our day,”state-wise,” that’s called the National Guard. 

      Th NG is a an abused concept, but as I see it, it is the “regulated militia” referred to in the second amendment. Having served in the National Guard, we are not given any of the benefits of a marine, soldier, sailor, airforce or coast guard member, UNLESS we were called up for active duty. (Another issue all together) But the NG is the “regulated militia” of every “state.” For just anyone to be allowed to own any semi, or automatic weapon is as ridiculous as the method Mitt Romney used to make his millions. We have a very sick country with too many people who believe we are still cowboys…too many people who care about stuff more than their neighbor…and a broken system for medical care. The good part? We have a president who cares. Let’s support him to the hilt. Write, walk, scream in all directions. Please…help stop the madness.

    • Flytrap

       Here’s a bit more scholarship on the 2nd Amdt origins.  http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

  • soundfriend

    There is no protection from human stupidity.

  • http://twitter.com/A_MagUidhir Andrew McGuire

    Why can’t we start looking at the use of non-lethal technology in schools? Using such tools can give the schools an option to defend themselves. Plus, if there is an accident, nobody dies, and there is a chance to apprehend the attacker.

    • OnPointComments

      Your suggestion is the proposal in this article.
       
      http://spectator.org/archives/2012/12/17/preventing-school-massacres 
       
      Excerpt:
      The practical solution is to provide school teachers and personnel with the training and the assets necessary to protecting the children.  First and foremost, school rooms could have ballistic doors with magnetic locks which would prevent most shooters from getting into the rooms.  The next thing schools should have — in every classroom — are what we call ballistic blankets.  Provide the teachers and school administrators with controlled access to a non-lethal means to defend themselves and the children under their care.

      • nj_v2

        Some of the ideas in this article actually make some sense. But coming from the, ummm, “conservative” realm of which the Spectator is a part, it’s entirely disingenuous. 

        Conservatives have been seeking to dismantle and un-fund public education for decades in preference of private schools. 

        There’s barely money available to patch ceilings and pay teachers, yet the conservatives now want  to install “ballistic doors” and add additional layers of training for school staff. And with their other hand, they want to defund public schools and they demonize teachers’ unions.

        The rich constituency that the conservatives cater to would be the ones who could afford private schools that could afford these kinds of heroic measures.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FRW4JNB3GCZ4TH4QW5F4NYEBLY Troy E

    No, she paid for it with the lives of herself, her son, 20 innocent children, and 6 innocent teachers.  If she’d paid for it with her own life, this would have been a minor blip in the news.

  • http://twitter.com/A_MagUidhir Andrew McGuire

    Why can’t we start looking at the use of non-lethal technology in schools? Using such tools would give an option of defend themselves. Plus, if there is an accident nobody dies, and if there is an attack there is a chance to apprehend the attacker.

  • http://twitter.com/bigudubsarge200 Sheldon

    Hi Tom: Thank you for letting say my piece on your show. It is a hard thing to do for me to surrender my firearm. That I am at liberty to possess, use and carry and to use for home protection. But if I can spare the life of one child or I can help in maintaining the life of another. And not add to the over surplus of “good guns” flooding our society. Then I don’t mind surrendering my gun for the greater good of society. Of course I know and even now I am getting a lot of flack and heartburn from the NRA types and Pro-Gun lobby types here in my state. Especially because I am a former law enforcement even if is via the military. I am still expected to buck up against the President of the United States and all those like the person I mentioned and I hold in high esteem. (D) Senator Keith Ellison of Minnesota who said on the MSNBC he is not afraid to confront the NRA and the Gun Lobby. Neither am I. I know I have the right to have a gun. We all do from The President of the United States to a Boyscout learning to use a .22 rifle at summer camp. Which is when I first fired my first firearm back in the late sixties and early seventies. But times have changed and firearms have really changed. And so has society. Back in 1961 my relatives weren’t using semi-automatic weapons to hunt with such as a “Bushmaster” or a 9 mm handgun. But today you can get anything from a “Gun & Knife” show or even from a gun shop or weapons emporium. America is just becoming too gun crazy. Including me in trying to collect so many. You only need one. But at this time for me, my one is far too many if it can save a child’s life then I willingly and unconditionally surrender it. Regardless of the grief I am and will get from the NRA and other gun lobbyist. Most of all my deepest condolences for NewTown and Connecticut. I wish all a Happy and safe Holiday.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Am I the only one thinking the NRA is the opposite of Mark Twain, i.e. a political downswing greatly underreported?

    Let’s see if Beltway narrative of their political horse-backing is changed by their really awful efforts this year.

    And as a mere political observation, the NRA’s bread and butter is really honing in on scared, older, white men, and the geographical distribution of same doesn’t result in the electoral votes that it did 30 years ago.

    • Mike_Card

      I’m afraid I don’t recognize the Twain reference, but I think I agree with the general gist of your comment.

      The NRA is much closer to Grover Norquist’s band of thieves than it is to a monolithic presentation like the Catholic Church.  In other words, just another K Street band of hoodlums using “membership” as cover for banditry.  (I also object to NPR’s similar use of the term).

      There has been wholesale, serial hijacking of formerly-legitimate organizations:  the US Chamber Of Commerce is one of the most egregious.

      But my point is that the NRA is nothing like the US Golf Association (a truly recreational organization); the NRA is a lobbying group that represents the firearms manufacturing industry–not recreational hunters or target shooters.

      If you think I’m merely proselytizing, you can do what I did:  Google NRA–the results speak for themselves.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Mark Twain said “The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated”.

        Or it’s been attributed to him. Back in the old days of telegraph-only communication, a newspaper got something mixed up and printed that he had died, and that was his response.

        • Mike_Card

          Ah-HA; THAT one!  Sorry–you were too subtle for me yesterday.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BSQCL636RT2GLSXYOBIS7NO53I a

    This is the second amendment:

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

    This is the definition of militia:

    “a body of citizens organized for military service”

    In our day,”state-wise,” that’s called the National Guard. 

    Th NG is a an abused concept, but as I see it, it is the “regulated militia” referred to in the second amendment. Having served in the National Guard, we are not given any of the benefits of a marine, soldier, sailor, airforce or coast guard member, UNLESS we were called up for active duty. (Another issue all together) But the NG is the “regulated militia” of every “state.” For just anyone to be allowed to own any semi, or automatic weapon is as ridiculous as the method Mitt Romney used to make his millions. We have a very sick country with too many people who believe we are still cowboys…too many people who care about stuff more than their neighbor…and a broken system for medical care. The good part? We have a president who cares. Let’s support him to the hilt. Write, walk, scream in all directions. Please…help stop the madness.

    • nj_v2

      Thank you! I made this point earlier. It’s time to re-write the Amendment to remove the possibility of it being (ab)used—as it currently is—by the gun nuts rights advocates in their misguided attempts to rationalize an armed society.

  • bewat

    I hope you, Tom, were as frustrated by today’s show as I was. I hope you chewed out your call screeners.  As you asked “What can we do? What can we do?” not a single suggestion from callers got on the air. Meanwhile, the extremists (“Arm the teachers!”), the cynics (“nothing will change!”), and the lunatics (“do you know how many kids are killed by ritual Satanic abuse!”) commanded the caller section of the show.  If you take this up again, please let moderate voices speak.  

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Reasonable regulation and gun ownership have no conflict. Here’s Sen Manchin, NRA member:

    “I’ve been a hunter all my life. The culture in West Virginia is hunting and sporting and we love it, it’s part of who we are. But we’re taught at a very young age how to do it responsibly and respect the weapons and learn to use them safely for the purpose of hunting and sporting. With that being said, I’ve never been hunting with anyone with an assault weapon. I’ve never been hunting with anyone with multiple clips of ten, fifteen, thirty rounds in it. In deer hunting we maybe have 3 shells in our gun, and that’s the sport of what we do.”

    What’s the problem? 

    Like shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre re free speech, there has to be some upper bound on 2′nd amendment rights. Can I carry an RPG in public? Mount a machine gun on my truck? Have my own artillery? My personal military aircraft? Where does it end?

    • Benburrito

       There are weapons we don’t allow our citizenry to purchase.  I have yet to hear a well reasoned argument for assault weapons outside the 2nd amendment, or the paranoid we need to be ready in case of an invasion argument.  Hunters don’t use them to hunt, and the designed purpose is to kill many, many people.  We don’t allow people to have hand grenades, land mines, flame throwers, tanks, etc.  It is reasonable to discuss what level we cut people off at.

      I can’t see someone committing a mass shooting using a black powder musket that has to be reloaded each shot.

  • bewat

    And here’s my moderate solution, for what it’s worth.

    Just as Mothers Against Drunk Driving turned personal tragedy into activism, a new organization, perhaps Victims of Gun Violence — must organize victims’ families.  They must sit in at Congressmen’s offices, picket gun shows, denounce point and shoot video games (which I call “murder simulators”) and link their personal tragedy to the soul of the nation.  Only when this happens will the lunatics and the extremists and the cynics have no choice but to sit down and shut up.

    • Benburrito

       Let us also ban any depictions of gun violence on TV and movies, regardless of context.  Let us go back and digitally remove all guns from movies.  Let us edit any of our books that may contain gun violence too.

      The real problem arises from selling weapons designed to kill many people, and not making sure there’s enough oversight over who’s purchasing guns.  The people most likely to be shot by the guns in a home are themselves and family members.  The media working people to a frenzy and hysteria is of far more concern than depictions of gun violence in entertainment.

      • brettearle

        Well said.

        Less than 1 % of all background checks are rejected.

        To me, that’s unbelievable.

        It’s also unbelievable, to me, that BEFORE Newtown–and after Virginia Tech, Aurora, Fort Hood, Columbine, Arizona, etc.–that high magazine capacity has NOT been curtailed.

        Doesn’t EVEN matter if all of those tragedies– listed above, before Newtown–didn’t involve such firearms.

  • Linda987

     Did not hear all of today’s show but was disturbed by what I did hear — the fear rising. Please see Firmin DeBraBander’s comments in NYTimes today Opinionator, about how gun ownership breaks us up, from community, to individual islands of law interpretation and enforcement, where we no longer have communication. Also, guns force a hierarchy: if you wear a gun in my presence, you rule, and I lose free speech. Unless I also have a gun, and then we can shoot each other. Really?

  • Concobb2

    Complex problems often require an expanded scope of thinking and a longer term perspective. I’d like to try to do some of this  kind of thinking on this issue.

    Throughout western civilization, and particularly in the US, weapons have traditionally be used for DEFENSE of good and preservation of family, neighbors, and property.  Now more than at any time our history as a nation, and certainly in my life I fear and distrust the trajectory that our society is moving along.  Consequently i actuely feel the imperative to be able to defend my loved ones, my neighbors, and my property.   - For example, the US government no longer respects my privacy as an individual (see ACLU report on 900k instances of warrantless spying on citizens), there is active debate in Executive and Legislative branches of our government on indefinite detention of citizens without due process.  Where will this trend go? What does history show?- For example, violent crime is rampant with violent house hold breakins are at an all time record (see DoJ stats), drug gangs run rampant with unspeakable crimes and abductions. Where are these trends going? - For example, there ever increasing fragility of the global economy. Where is this trend going? What does history show?- For example, the TRADITIONAL view of our Constitution is that Citizens have a right to weapons to defend themselves.  - For Example, the further we depart from our traditional Social and Legal Norms, and Rights, the greater the social confusion and disorder there will be and the greater the need for personal protection.In my view, all these INCREASE the need for a weapon and the knowledge of its use. A few thoughts for consideration:I am a trained licensed concealed carry person.  I am also a veteran with combat experience.  In any situation like Sandy Hook, etc, you can bet I would come to the aid of those in need. Just for a moment, lets consider greater individual Liberty and a return to the traditional responsibility of Citizens to take care of each other.  How does that compare with an ever more restrictive government?  Do we really think that our government can be everywhere it needs to be to protect us from Sandy Hook like incidents?  Do we really want a government that has that degree of omnipresence and authority?  Think TSA 100x more intrusive and restrictive.   What if we rebuild our communities and look to our neighbors and friends to mutual support – and defense when needed? What would that look like?Suppose, the your neighbors, or other active duty or ex-service folks, or any properly trained and lic citizen, all carried a personal weapon for defense of self, and others?In the community I live in, a Sandy Hook shooter would not get far.Accordingly, I am actively encouraging every responsible adult that I know to get a Concealed Carry lic.Respectfully submitted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bgbennett Bradley Bennett

    Gun control is important, but we are not focussing on the right issue here. The problem in these cases is mental illness. We do a terrible job dealing with mental illness in this country. What can we do better with that?

    • DrewInGeorgia

      How do The United States’ rates of Mental Illness compare with the rates of other Nations Globally? What actual percentage of US residents are already taking anti-depressants? What percentage of those abusing prescription drugs actually suffer from the conditions they self-medicate for?

      I strongly believe that ‘enough is never enough’, ‘I want what you have’, ‘I deserve more’, and ‘MY desires outweigh YOUR needs’ foster the growth of depression. If we believe, and others constantly reinforce, that we are never rich enough or pretty enough, or powerful enough or famous enough it certainly isn’t going to improve our self-esteem.

      • brettearle

        It is IMPOSSIBLE to determine the percentage of the mentally ill–who are capable of violence.

        It is virtually impossible to assess mental comparison percentages, from country to country.

        What IS possible to assume is that many patients, or potential patients, go untreated, are ignored, are half-treated, or are wrongly treated.

        And even then, it might not always help stop potential violence with such patients.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It seems my point got sidelined by the Country Comparison. Your third statement regarding a lack of treatment goes without saying. And no, diagnosis will not always stop potential violence with such patients.

          Think less symptom and more root cause.
          How many people do each of us know that medicate for depression or anxiety? Why?

          • brettearle

            When I said, `treated’, I didn’t necessarily mean only psychopharmacology.

            Medication or psychoanalytic psychotherapy will not necessarily eradicate the problem.

            What’s more, if psychotherapy were quite successful, the hype and the distribution of psychotropic drugs would be much less of a priority.

            Both together is STILL problematic.

            Any any practitioner who claims otherwise is fooling the public, the community, his patients, and himself.

            Doesn’t mean, however, that sometimes such treatment methodology isn’t actually effective.

            It is and can be.

            “It seems MY point got sidelined” by me not emphasizing that I was referring to psychiatry in general.

    • brettearle

      The RIGHT issues are BOTH mental health and gun control.

      NOT one or the other. 

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, as long as discussion can truly examine the topic and not just simply scapegoat whole populations and stigmatize people further than they are already stigmatized. 

        I would like to see the relatively easy access to guns and relative difficulty in seeking mental health services be switched to a different balance…at least! It’s a lot easier to get a gun than to get help for a mental health issue in this country, and that’s got to be a part of any change/ intelligent conversation.

      • Michele

         Exactly.  I think it also stems from the way we socialize boys. Over and over we see externalized anger from young men who don’t know where to put their emotions.  I’m speaking in generalities but women turn their anger inward (eating disorders, etc) and men turn outward.  Everyone should have the space to express themselves without fear of social reprisal.  We should also take mental illness more seriously.  Too often, behavior that has all the red flags after the fact, is ignored or perhaps there is a hope that they’ll “grow out of it”.
        Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the country but it still was not enough. 

        • brettearle

          The FACT is that other people, more than ever (even before Newtown), are AFRAID of SOMEONE ELSE’s anger….and now, too, more than ever after Newtown….

          If you can’t express anger–for fear that others will think that you are either a lunatic or a violent criminal or that you are afraid that someone will call the police or call security, because of your behavior–THEN HOW ARE MEN (AND WOMEN) GOING TO HAVE THE SPACE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES WITHOUT FEAR OF SOCIAL REPRISAL?  

          Your comment is WELL-MEANING–but, ultimately, it is LIP SERVICE to the issue, even though you were being sincere.

          • Michele

             My comment is not lip service or trite.  Why must the expression of anger be in public as you infer?  One can express anger and other emotions without blowing up or “going postal” as it is often termed.  I am talking about a fundamental shift in the way people are socialized.  There is a long road between getting angry and believing that you have the outlet to express it and picking up a gun and slaughtering 27 people.  Moreover, our society rewards people for being stoic.  Especially in Connecticut, we keep ourselves to ourselves.  People who move here from other states always comment on how long it takes to get to know others in CT.  That’s the Yankee way.  Perhaps I did not convey my message clearly but mine is not a facile argument.

          • brettearle

            In fact, you were going postal for thinking that I was suggesting that people might go postal (or might need to go postal) in public.

            Indeed, you yourself exposed not just society’s stigma and exaggeration–but your own quiet hysteria by, erroneously, inferring something in what I said.

            I was expressing almost precisely the opposite:  that we should be able to express anger–without anyone thinking that such expression means anything other than what it is: anger.

            Not violence.  Not harm.

            Indeed, your argument was particularly facile–because you misunderstood and misread my point.

            We don’t have to express our anger simply by punching a pillow or by playing the sport of squash in a confined squash court. 

            Any other sort of expression of discontent, outwardly, is therefore public–including, for example, at the family dinner table.

          • Michele

             Your condescension is beyond the pale.  Perhaps you are very angry so you read that in others’ responses.  I did not write my words in anger, therefore “going postal or being hysterical” as you suggest are impossibilities.  If what you meant by “public” displays of anger are as you described above then that is what you should have stated earlier.  However, it is not.  Moreover, one can express anger through WORDS, and discussion.  If I have revealed myself as you state, then you have done so doubly. All of your suggested displays of anger are physical. One does not need to punch a pillow (or anything else) to express anger and that is entirely my point.  Being able to connect to one’s feelings and feeling safe to articulate them, provides an outlet to deal with anger.  In our society as I stated earlier being stoic and keeping one’s feelings inside is rewarded. I would be willing to bet those individuals who commit acts of tremendous rage are not venting their upsets at the dinner table.

            By the way  I was agreeing with your original post although from your response it does not seem that you comprehended that. 

    • matt gallagher

      The problem is that we let people have weapons who have sons, that are strange, withdrawn and lack social skills.  Also, compounded by a recent divorce people who have such sons are very likely to be the mother of one who kills innocent people.  If only there were a way we could insulate ourselves against such people in our society we could prevent such things from happeing again.    

    • anamaria23

      Agreed.  But there are 10,000 deaths per 100,000 from guns each year in USA.  Most other civilized countries have under 100 per 100,000.  The citizens of other countries have mental illness, recessions, drugs also.
      The reason the rate is so high here is because   it is just too easy to resolve real or perceived problems using a gun.
      In a great number of towns grocery stores cannot sell alcohol, yet one can purchase a handgun at Wal Mart. 
      They use a gun often because they can.

  • WSM1

    Your guest Robyn Thomas repeatedly made the claim that the shooting in Newtown involved an “assault weapon”.  Does she even know what an assault weapon is?  By definition it means the weapon can be used in semi-automatic mode (one shot with each pull of the trigger), burst mode (any where from 2-5 shots with each pull of the trigger), or full automatic mode (one sustained pull of the trigger fires all rounds available in the magazine).  Hmmm, what does she think an “assault weapon” is?  Is it the appearance or the functionality of the weapon?  Inquiring minds want to know.  All media reports indicate the RIFLE (not assault weapon) used was a commercially available Bushmaster.  BY LAW, these can only operate in semi-automatic mode.

    Your caller from South Carolina indicated he was former Special Operations (Sheldon, I believe).  He stated assault weapons can get off 850 rounds per minute in semi-automatic mode (one shot with each pull of the trigger).  WOW.  Even assuming a “high capacity magazine” of thirty rounds was used, and given that there are sixty seconds in a minute (a widely known and recognized fact), exactly how does one get 850 rounds per minute out of ANY weapon in semi-automatic mode? Try this simple test:  flex your left or right index finger 850 times in 60 seconds.  I dare you!  Don’t forget, you also have to use your other hand to keep popping those “high capacity magazines” into your weapon at the same time. Also don’t forget, that leaves you one hand short to actually hold your weapon.  And of course you also have to actually HIT something, assuming you are Superman and can do all of the above simultaneously.  Just doesn’t work, does it?   Good luck, The Guiness Book of World Records is always looking for new entries.

    There can be no doubt that a tragedy occurred.  There is no doubt that more could have been done to prevent it.  Loose talk about banning assault weapons (which as already described had nothing to do with the shooting), and sillyness such as saying citizens should only be allowed to buy one gun per month, just don’t pass the common sense test. 

    In Israel, where children are under constant threat, teachers are commonly armed and trained by the Israeli Defense Force.  Which of your guests are prepared to talk about the number of Israeli school children killed by their armed protectors (the number is zero), or how many school massacres have happened in Israel?

    Your guest Mr. Levy was dismissed by Ms. Thomas as only wanting to talk about generalities.  Sad that facts are dismissed as generalities.  Sad that so many don’t realize the Second Amendment exists for only one purpose, and that is to make sure the other nine original Constitutional Amendments (also known as the Bill of Rights) cannot be taken away.

    Sad that so many of the gun laws already on the books are not enforced by the current Administration.  You know, the one that wants more gun control but had no problem getting stupid and arming Mexican Cartel leaders.  Sorry, but as John Adams often said, FACTS are difficult things.  Here’s a fact to think about:  How many violents crimes in the US are actually committed with “assault weapons”?  To hear the gun control pundits, it’s happening every minute.  Hogwash!

    As a final comment to once what was known as the Brady Campaign, Jim Brady was not shot during the asassination attempt on Ronald Reagan with an “assault weapon”, it was a .22 magnum Hornet revolver.  Good God gun controllers, you know nothing about guns but want us to bow to your silliness?  Please get a grip.

    • matt gallagher

      So well informed about guns! I guess anyone without such extensive knowledge need not voice a common sense opinion regarding guns control.  I am comforted to know that the massacre in CT was done with a semi automatic rifle and not an assault rifle.

      Also, were our laws trully reflective of Isreal indeed we would not have seen such a massacre as Friday.  Only those who have served in the IDF may apply for ownership of a pistol, must reapply after three years, have an acceptable purpose for owing a pistol and be limited to 500 rounds per year.  Only settlers in disputed, occupied lands may apply for a permit to carry a rifle. 

      My take on the 2nd amendment is that we have never fulfilled its mandate.  Were we really capable of defending ourselves against tyranny we would need all the weapons that would-be tyrannists have; we would need tanks, artillery, bombs and..well you get the picture.  A couple of guys in camo with buck knives and and assault rifles…oops I mean semi-automatic rifles would stand no chance of real resistance.  The 2nd amendment has never and will never realistically be put to its full meaning because we would be insane for doing so.

    • jefe68

      You know what, I don’t give a damn about this idea that unless the weapon is a fully automatic rifle it’s not an assault weapon. It was used in an assault and is designed for one thing, killing people. It’s not a hunting rifle, and I’m sick and tired of hearing this nonsense. Also the killers mother was not fully in charge of her guns nor does it seem that she was in control of the seriousness of having firearms that she owned. Add to that her son was a disturbed individual and you have a the makings of an incident. Which is now clear and apparent.

      Owning a gun is a serious responsibility not just a right.

      Enough is enough. You quote John Adams, I agree facts are stubborn things, you don’t need that semi-automatic weapon to live free in this country. If you think you do you’re the last person who should be allowed to have the privilege to own any kind of firearm.

      • 1Brett1

        I am inclined to agree, in that why is this trivial semantic distinction a ubiquitous argument fond in any discussion about guns/tragedies? It’s usually a dismissive tactic, as in, “you are not giving the exact, precise definition of an ‘assault weapon,’ therefore, all of your overarching points are invalid, which is such tripe. 

  • Jake Henderson

    I’m saddened by the guest who seems to think that when gun control is proposed we’re trying to fix ALL violent crime.  What a copout!!  I’d like to see gun violense reduced which would happen if it was harder to purchase a gun.

  • Jake Henderson

    Can the caller assure that all of our teachers are mentally stable??? I would pull my child out of public school immediatly if the the solution to our gun issue is to arm our teachers. 

    • hypocracy1

      Let’s mess with the teachers’ pensions then issue them firearms..

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Exactly. For some reason the phrase ‘Postal’ comes to mind.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      OMG! Armed Union members, there’s a righty nightmare :)

      • William

         It certainly was in WI and MI.

      • Flytrap

         Considering their proclivity for violence, I would say everyone should be concerned with that idea.

    • brettearle

      What if there were more breaches of security, however, in schools–and these break-ins, during regular school hours, resulted in more and violence?

      Not that this will happen…..but if it did, might you have a different opinion about teachers carrying?

      • 1Brett1

        Maybe start out with training teachers in the use of mace, pepper spray/other means along those lines. (There could even be those boxes encased in glass attached to alarms in classrooms that have mace, etc., in them, for well-trained teachers to use.) 

        I don’t like the idea of teachers armed with guns; there’s always that chance that a teacher can become unhinged like any other possibly unstable person. There’s also a possibility that a teacher can be disarmed by a troubled student and the teacher’s gun can be used for some unintended consequence…I think we should do a lot more in other areas before we talk about arming teachers with guns.

        • brettearle

          I don’t like the idea, either.

          I was playing Devil’s Advocate.

      • Michele

         The guns were owned by his mother, one of the kindergarten teachers.  How did that work out?

        • brettearle

           (1) I was playing Devil’s Advocate.  You did not notice my additional comment, below; it was a comment written before yours.

          (2)  It is still unconfirmed whether Lanza’s mother had a voluntary position at the school….or whether she, indeed, had any connection to the school at all….other than to have castigated the school, possibly, for not offering her son more specialized instructive care, while he was a student there.

        • anamaria23

          Tthat was a false report.  It has been revealed since that the killer’s mother had nothing to do with the school.

  • William

    Why do I think you want to protect Hollywood? A Liberal stronghold? 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Wrong.

      I couldn’t care less about the politics of Hollywood and certainly am not looking to protect it. To get mad, start a Crusade, and create legislation after seeing something you didn’t like on The Idiot Box is insane. Sanity is picking up your remote and pushing the ((power)) button.

      • William

         Actually, this was in response to another reader..the disqus moved it up…

        • DrewInGeorgia

          My bad. Though I haven’t read the comment you were responding to it likely still applies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jellen.huddle J Ellen Huddle

    why would you take away our guns and leave us at the mercy of those who wouldn’t turn in their guns?

    arm the teachers, like israel does.

    sweden has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and nearly everyone there has a gun!

    http://www.nationmaster.com/red/country/sw-sweden/cri-crime&all=1

    • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

      From Wikipedia…. “Gun ownership requires license and is regulated by the weapon law (Vapenlagen 1996:67) further regulations are found in weapon decree (Vapenförordningen 1996:70). The law doesn’t ban any specific firearms or weapons, it merely states the requirements to own one. Everything from pepperspray to full-automatic machine guns are technically legal, and license to civilians can be given in ‘special’ cases. Like the other Nordic countries Sweden has a high rate of gun ownership, due to the popularity of hunting. The weapons law doesn’t apply to air guns and similar with a projectile energy less than 10 joules at the end of barrel. These require no license and may be bought by any person over 18 years. Breech-loading rifles manufactured before 1890 are exempt as well. The gun license is obtained from the Police, and one must be in good standing and at least 18 years old, but exceptions regarding age can be made. To apply one must either be a member in an approved shooting club for at least six months or pass a hunting examination (jägarexamen). The former is mostly used to legally acquire pistols for sport shooting and the latter for hunting rifles. A hunting examination must be passed to actually use a firearm for hunting. One can for instance acquire a shotgun license through a skeet shooting club but may only use it for clay pigeon shooting until an actual hunting examination has been passed. The minimum age for taking an hunting exam is 15 years. A person under 18 years may not own a firearm him- or herself, unless an exception have been made. A person with a gun license may legally under supervision lend his or her gun to a person at least 15 years and older. A person may be granted license to own up to six hunting rifles, ten pistols or a mix of eight rifles and pistols. Owning more firearms than this requires a valid reason. Firearms must be stored in an approved gun safe. Carry-permits are usually only given to armed guards, for civilians it’s illegal to carry a firearm around unless between the home and shooting range. Self-defence-needs can in special circumstances permit a person to acquire a license. Another reason for gun ownership is collecting. A collector must have a clearly stated demarcation of the interest of the collection. To be a valid interest of collection it must be possible to obtain a complete collection, for example -British handheld weapons from before second world war-. A collector may start a second (or more) collection if he or she has collected for several years and shown a great interest in gun history. If the collection holds guns of criminal interest, such as pistols or sub machine-guns the police may demand a very high safety level on the keeping of the guns (such as security windows and vault doors). Collectors may also require a time limited permit in order to be allowed to fire their collectables. Guns can also be owned for affection value or as decoration. If ammunition for the guns are easy available they have to be made useless for shooting. Owning firearms is seen more of a privilege than a right.” Long and short: the NRA would NEVER work out in Sweden. THEY HAVE REGULATIONS!!!!

    • jefe68

      Sweden is not highly armed, this is false information the country has around 300,000 registered hunters. Hunters in Sweden are allowed to own four to six rifles for recreational purposes, but handguns are strictly regulated and usually only allowed for members of gun clubs.

      I think you have mistaken Sweden for Switzerland which has a policy of having all able bodied men between the ages of 21 and 32 are in a national reserve and they all own an automatic weapon with 24 rounds of ammo.

      By the way in Sweden you can lose the right to own a gun for being arrested for being drunk in public.
      You also have to be a member of a registered gun club if you own a pistol of a rifle not used for hunting.
      Sweden has very strict gun laws.

      Arming teachers is dumb. We are not Israel and it’s also not true that all teachers in Israel are armed. That’s a lie.

    • hypocracy1
  • Farid Masri

    I do not understand why we do not label ay domestic act of violence as terrorism? Any public shooting, drive-by shooting, stabbing, rape, mass killing should be labeled as terrorism. Maybe then, people start to understand that this affects everyone, not just certain areas, neighborhoods, or groups. These acts are an attack on our freedom to enjoy our streets, parks, schools without fear.  Perhaps then, politicians and the NRA start acting responsibly!

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Call everything terrorism? Even if it technically fits the definition won’t that just increase the general level of fear? Aren’t inflated levels of fear the primary driver behind the NRA’s bread and butter?

  • LALSJ

    Here in Horry County and Georgetown County, South Carolina our schools have “resource officers” in the school. This is a sheriff’s deputy assigned in the school specially trained to help the faculty and staff deal with difficult student situations – bullying, fights, disagreements, and, unfortunately, possible violence. At the very least the presence of the officer is a deterrent.

    At Socastee High School in Horry County a student with an Autism disorder came into the school with a gun intent on doing violence. The officer stopped him. The anniversary article is attached http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=665881#.UM9rMZPjn6YMaybe the placement of officers in schools is the short term answer until we, as a society, can agree on a long term solution.

  • Jadusta

    After hearing John Lott I truly do despair for our “society”.  I also seriously question is “facts”.  He is latching on to one factor as being dispositive of where mass shootings occur in a completely invalid way

    • Flytrap

       Then perhaps Soledad O’brien should have had you on to counter him this morning since you seem to be in possession of the “facts.”

      • nj_v2

        ^ Troll

  • WSM1

    Farid,

    You and I don’t know each other, but I would be truly interested in hearing on how the NRA doesn’t act responsibly. 

  • John-Paul LaPré

    Tom: Responding to your first guest, he should read the blog by Rob Waters today — Gun Violence America’s Secret Health Crisis. You should read it and use parts of it…

  • WSM1

    Jefe,

    Welcome to America, Home of the 2ND Amendment.  I respect your opinion, and would certainly fight to protect your right to voice it under the 1ST Amendment.  I don’t get a warm and fuzzy that you would do the same on my behalf.  Fortunately, whether or not you think I can or should own a semi-automatic weapon is irrelevant, thanks to the 2ND Amendment.

    Matt,

    You stated ” A couple of guys in camo with buck knives and and assault rifles…oops I mean semi-automatic rifles would stand no chance of real resistance. ”

    Never read your history did you?  A bunch of people without Buck knives, assault rifles, or camos used to take down Army helicoptors in Vietnam with crossbows on a pretty regular basis.

    • hypocracy1

      Where in the 2ND Amendment does it give individuals the right to own a simi-automatic weapons? 

      • Flytrap

         Where does it say you can’t?

    • jefe68

      Oh please, this is hyperbolic. Vietnam, you’re going to bring up Vietnam and crossbows which were used by the Montagnard fighters who happened to be allies of the US.

       

  • Mike_Card

    This is a re-post from Friday’s discussion.
    The message I’m hearing repeatedly bleated is that a few dozen students’ lives, paid annually, is the price we pay to preserve freedom for jackasses like Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent and Adam Lanza and Gerald Laughner (Gabby Gifford’s shooter) and this nutjob in Aurora to own and operate deadly weapons without the slightest of encumbrances from those who might be murdered.

    And they say the Westboro Baptist church is a bigger threat than the maniacal firearms lobbying group known as the NRA.

    • Flytrap

       It’s strange, but I’ll bet that you aren’t nearly as concerned with the unborn.  Of course that’s “choice.” 

      • Mike_Card

        Like you, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • 1Brett1

      This mother of Adam Lanza is a perfect example of the neocon version of a well-armed citizenry needing more freedoms than those who could potentially be killed by a well-armed citizenry. 

      Adam Lanza’s wasn’t a nutjob; she didn’t excessively stockpile guns in some sort of survivalist frenzy. She got her guns legally. She was simply a gun enthusiast who felt people should have the freedom to be armed with a few assault weapons to “protect themselves.” This is someone the Dick Cheney’s of the world, the neocons of the band-lifting-on-assault-weapons-freedoms tout as needing freedoms, would love to cite as why gun owners need so many freedoms, that is until the gun owners screw up to reveal flaws in this thinking (of course this is then spun as “isolated” so that the narrative/concept can stay intact).Gregg Smith has proposed over and over today the idea to have administrators/teachers armed and given these same latitudes as Adam Lanza’s mother. In someone with his mindset, this is what’s called for…until some similar miscalculation in concept causes another tragedy brought on by well-meaning, everyday people who want the freedom to own assault weapons for protection (and at such time when the Gregg Smith’s of the world will bring forth the “isolated incident” argument to continue the myth of more guns, better-armed citizenry is the answer. 

  • Unterthurn

    A bill should be written up and passed the last session before Christmas just the way Graham passed the bill that lead to the finical crisis. 

    • harverdphd

       And those poor finicals have never been the same, especially since Sandy.

      • Unterthurn

        Thank you for so kindly pointing out the typo.
        “financial”
        As in financial crisis…

  • 1Brett1

    Does it seem that DISQUS has been particularly glitchy since the recent addition of those pop-up deals on other stories? If this is the reason: do we really need even more alerts to On Point stories?

    • nj_v2

      It’s been no more or less glitchy for me, but the pop-up thing still sucks. It’s utterly useless.

  • Samuel Walworth

    I guess the outcome of this very tragic event will be an airport style security check for elementary schools and above.

    Until when someone fires with a semi automatic rifle (God Forbid) to a school bus filled with pupils…

    then what?

    I wonder what in the world make us a nation who takes pride to own Semi Automatic Assualt Rifles?

    If anyone living in an area is endangered constantly by  armed robbers and thugs, then its time to pack up and move!!

    • harverdphd

       Vote with your feet…I like it!

  • WSM1

    jefe,

    Keep and bear arms is pretty clear.  In point of fact, it is not specifically concerned with firearms, it is concerned with the Right to keep and bear All arms.  More to the point, which part of the Constitution says which arms CANNOT be kept and borne?As a concealed carry license holder, I can tell you that my State makes it very clear that the license for concealed carry is not restricted to firearms, and that is consistent with the 2ND Amendment.  I’d say the ball is in your court.

    As I’ve stated in earlier posts, the tragedy in Connecticut was just that, a tragedy.  All of the weapons used were reportedly purchased legally, but the owner failed to keep control of them, and apparently paid the price.  My reason in posting here in the first place was to point out how certain folks see this as an opportunity for curtailing the 2ND Amendment, primarily by using misinformation, misleading terminology, and faulty statistics.  These people have been around for decades, and will be here for decades longer.  There are still those who dream of a Utopia where all is milk and honey, everyone is nice to everyone else, and nothing bad ever happens.  Dream on.  For now, we have what we have.

    The real issue is that current gun laws were not properly enforced, people who thought they had a handle on security at the school in Newtown missed something they should have caught, and a lot of kids died as a result, not to mention several teachers and the Principle of the school.  So, now the answer is to draw up MORE laws?  If you have a hard time with that logic, then we have something we can agree on.

    I am going to state a simple fact, verifiable by a simple perusal of history:  No populace that has been disarmed by it’s Government, or has willingly given up it’s collective right to self defense, has escaped tryanny and/or dictatorship.  If you want the Government to take care of everything, then you have to deal the cards the Government deals you, and you never sit down to a card game where you know the deck is stacked.  Tragedies can be averted by other things than abject surrender.

    • jefe68

      I agree with you about Mrs. Lanza not securing her gun collection and in light that her son had a history of mental problems it would have been even more prudent in this case. In her case she should have removed all of them. That might not have saved her from his rage as he could have attacked her with a knife. But after that he would have been hard pressed to do the amount of killing he did.

      I also agree with about the laws not being enforced to the fullest. But lets be clear here, when the Second Amendment was written we did not even have bolt action rifles let alone sem-automatic ones. I’m not sure why anyone would need a semi-automatic rifle.

      For home security a shotgun is best. If you need to carry a sidearm, then so be it and get a license. Which should be subject to renewal like a drivers license. The part about tyranny is interesting in regards that we now have the patriot act and that any American can be charged with being a terrorist and be held on that suspicion alone. I don’t see to many gun advocates complaining about that. What I see is a lot of people wanting to have the right to shoot big guns because it’s fun. I know a few hunters and all of them hate the idea of semi-automatic assault weapons.

    • hypocracy1

      How do you want to properly enforce gun laws when you can’t even properly interpert the 2nd amendment?

    • nj_v2

      Nearly everything about this post is wrong. 

  • cthomasbowman

    I think one of the elephants in the room happens to be the threat of rioting and anarchy in this country left over and growing from the sixties. Lots of people believe they need to be armed and have an arsennal for when THEY (fill in the proper name) come over the bridge or up the hill to harm us, take us hostage, or take control as in a revolution. Funny we still have organizations called the Minutemen. Maybe we just need to register special groups with permission to have arsenals. They already have the arsenals and are scared of that group out there on the opposite side who has an arsenal of their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoberteKelly Robert Kelly

    Russians in the moutains?…Satanic Cults?…these people are so stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nixjasr Jason Nix

       Agreed. Kudos to Ashbrook for shutting up that nut job and bringing the conversation back to reality.

      • JGC

        I wonder how these types get past the screeners. Maybe they present a provocative yet grounded opinion, conducive to generating discussion, but then go off the deep end when they get their 15 seconds of fame. 

  • bobbyh7

    Forty years ago, my best friend Sharon and I were ejected from a Volkswagon beetle while doing 60 MPH.  I lived and she didn’t.  If we had been wearing seat belts with shoulder harnesses, we would have walked away from the crash and been late for a party.  Today, almost everybody wears seat belts. Tens of thousands of Sharons are alive today because of the many safety measures mandated since then as well as pressure from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and others. Back then, almost nobody wore seat belts.  Loud voices from the auto industry and others claimed seat belts would be too expensive, and that, as Americans, we have the right to use them or not. 
    I hear similar arguments about gun rights.  We need to do something now to change the mindset even if it takes decades to see the results.

  • Phylax_L

    When I listen to the news, almost every day some one says “We will hunt them down and we will Kill them” Officials, Presidents, you name it. With this it is made legitimate, some one hurts you and you kill him for this. What do you think will derive from this? Isn’t it normal that you can kill some one? This is common American Language and no one even thinks in blanking it out like an indicent word.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    I am a “senior citizen” who carries a gun, a .38 caliber 5 shot revolver, for protection. I have extensive experience with firearms but have never owned an “assault” weapon. I would like to pose a question only to those who would make all guns illegal. How do you propose to protect my wife and I from criminals who do not follow the law? How do I protect myself, and my wife, from assault by someone with a deadly weapon? Are you going to assign me a police officer? I’ll make you a deal. When you can assure me I will never be assaulted by someone with a deadly weapon I’ll give up my guns. Until then I’m not going to rely on the police, or the “hope” that it never happens, but on myself.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Is this some “straw man” argument? I have never heard anyone say “make all guns illegal”, so why argue against it? By all means, protect yourself on those mean VT streets.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        Apparently Vermont news doesn’t reach as far as Massachusetts. While not as commen as in the Bay State, there are illegal drugs and violent criminals in these “Green” Mountians.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          …and a rogue cow is no laughing matter, either. But again, can you please point me to “those who would make all guns illegal”? Somehow I’ve missed them. 

          • Ray in VT

            That is one thing that really annoys me about the discussion, Tom.  One questions whether or not it is a good idea to have rifles that can have clips of upwards of 100 rounds readily available for public consumption, and all of a sudden you’re trying to outlaw all guns and you hate the Second Amendment and freedom.  Also, a rough cow is no laughing matter.  I grew up on a farm, and I’ve been trampled once and gored twice.  They are not to be trifled with.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yeah, exactly like the way you suggest that the plutocrats pay a low, instead of ultra-low, tax rate, and you’re told that “confiscating ALL the income of the rich wouldn’t fix the whole deficit” (tho it would). Hey, where did that “all the income” come from, LOL? They really stick to the playbook.

            I’m a city boy and anything as big as a cow or horse terrifies me. OTOH I don’t feel I need a gun to walk around southie or dorchester.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I’ve noticed that one too.

            I grew up on a farm that was being engulfed by suburbs, so it was a weird situation, but there was still plenty of open space and quiet.  Plus we didn’t even lock our doors back in the 1980s, because one didn’t really have to.

            Horses bother my wife, as do cows sometimes.  Cows are fairly curious, so they’ll come over to a fence and watch you if you’re new to them or if they think that you might feed them, and it really creeps her out.

            I lived in Albany, New York for a couple of years, and I don’t recall every feeling threatened to the point where I would have thought about carrying a gun, and even though I didn’t live in the nicest neighborhood (I was in grad school after all), I never witnessed a crime.  I did not care, though, to hear shots fired.  At least at my house I think that someone is hunting or target shooting, because I live out in the sticks a bit, but in the city my thought was always that someone was getting shot at.  Flat places weird me out.  It’s just not right.  There should be hills if not mountains.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Ray, my sister has a horse farm and those creatures are HUGE and powerful, but she and her kids treat them like big teddy bears or something. I suppose it’s all a matter of what you’re used to.

          • Ray in VT

            They sure are.  We’ve never had many horses, because by the time that I came along they had lost pretty much all practical use in modern dairy farming, but my sister always liked them.  Like with any other domesticated animal it’s pretty key to know the species and the particular animal.  I’ve dealt with cows almost all of my life, and although one can always act in an unpredicatable way, it’s fairly rare that one really surprises me.  They tend to act within a fairly standard set of ways, and once you get a handle on that they’re not too difficult.  I always worry about the bulls.  Cows tend not to be aggressive, except, perhaps, when they have just freshened, but bulls can be highly unpredicatable.  They can always “turn” on you.  A lot of them get mean somewhere between 2.5-4 years old, and they just become uncontrollable.  The problem is that you never know when it’s going to happen, which is why my dad always told me to never trust one and to never turn my back on one.

          • Ray in VT

            My boss is from around Boston, and he was saying something about Dorchester the other day, and I said that just about all that I know about it is that that is where Washington put the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga back in the winter of 1775-1776 in order to compel the British fleet to leave Boston harbor, and his response was “well, it’s been all down hill from there”.

      • Flytrap

        “Assault rifles” are on a shall issue basis in MA, handguns are not.  Try getting a Class A Concealed permit in Boston vs buying an assault weapon.

    • Mike_Card

      Do you think you’d be safer flying if every passenger was required to carry a loaded fire arm, to protect against hijackers?

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        Only superman could make a leap from carrying a gun for protection to arming every passenger in an aircraft.

        • Mike_Card

          Your responsibility.  If you don’t show your gun to the ticket-taker, you’re not allowed to board.

    • turnerwarehouse

      Steve, you would have to make a sacrifice and risk only having the police and army carry arms, so that all of us on average in the US will be safer. The lives of children anywhere should NOT be taken for your privilege!

    • raoullambrusco

      Steve, you and everyone in your situation should be entitled to have weapons at home, registered and/or licensed. All weapons should be licensed, period, in my opinion. Make penalties for carrying, or selling, unlicensed firearms severe, and you will be much less likely to be attacked by someone with a weapon; and if you were, you would have the same protection you have now.

    • jefe68

      Steve, how about a little common sense here.
      I don’t see anyone advocating a ban on all guns.
      But one has to admit, having guns in a house and an angry unstable adolescent seems to be a recipe for a disaster.

      By the way, for home protection a shotgun is going to protect you better than a revolver. That .38 caliber revolver is going to be hard to aim at night when you’re woken from a deep sleep.

      Owning a gun is no guarantee that it will protect you from criminal behavior.  The late Mrs. Lanza owned 5 or so and she was unable to protect herself. She became a familiar statistic.

      I just read that Vermont has one of weirdest gun laws.
      You can buy and carry a concealed weapon at age 16 with parental consent. That’s a little lax in my view. What is interesting is that Federal law prohibits the sale of handguns to those younger than 21. Federal law also prohibits the sale of long guns to anyone younger than 18

      Only 20 states and the District of Columbia have a minimum age for long gun possession. The age is usually set at 18, but in New York it’s only 16, and in Montana it’s 14. So in Helena, one can legally own a shotgun before graduating from 8th grade. And in the 30 states with no such minimum age, you could own one when you’re in elementary school.

      That said one would hope that under aged kids are using these firearms under adult supervision.
      I know in some families it’s a right of passage to go hunting and this is done at around 12.
      I use to shot targets with a .22 rifle at summer camp at 11. We had to take and pass a safety class and we under constant adult supervision.

      What is clear to me is that state laws and federal laws are not working in congress in regards to gun laws.

      The article has some errors in it but it does show how in some states the gun laws are pretty lax. What’s going on in Kansas?
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/16/the-6-craziest-state-gun-laws/

  • WSM1

    hypocracy1,

    I don’t “interpert” the 2ND Amendment, I read it, and apparently the Supreme Court has, as well.  You spelled interpret incorrectly by the way, but now we are off topic, aren’t we?  Never mind, my comments stand.

  • turnerwarehouse

    I beseech you, On Point. Please do not stop talking about this until the politicians sit down and get this done. They have no more pressing matters but to save even one life!

  • farm2000

    It occurs to me that the woman who called in the first segment of the show about gun control might have been further engaged off air.  Her paranoid comments about satanic killings and Russians in the hills of North Carolina I think she said, could be the line of thinking that might lead to the destructive behavior we have all been talking about.  Perhaps she could benefit from speaking with a professional.

    • HaircutterRomney

      How did she get on the air with her delusions and paranoia? She sounds like Nancy Lanza. I hope this caller didn’t happen to have a son like Adam Lanza.

  • casey1986

     Okay, I will dare to go where no one else has dared to go so far. Let’s imagine that this killer were black.  I can assure you that the tone of this conversation would be much different.  Given the tendency in this country to relate crime to race, why is no one wondering why the vast majority of these crimes are committed by white males?   If these killers were black or Hispanic, there would be much discussion about these men exhibiting behavior which reflect their race or culture.  In other words, people would be looking at factors attributable to their race.  Why aren’t white men the focus of similar narratives?
    Instead we focus on the mental state of these white men who commit such horrendous crimes.   Van Jones was right; it’s time for social scientists to study this group the way they have been studying young black males.   We need to expand the definition of high risk kids to include suburban/rural young white males.

  • nj_v2

    It is true; to be a real man, one has to own a gun!

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/17/bushmasters_horrible_ad_campaign/

    Assault rifle company issues “man cards”
    The maker of the assault weapon that killed 27 people in Connecticut quizzes its customers on their manhood

    • Ray in VT

      My boss has some theories about the manhood of dudes who feel the need to have a boat load of large guns.  It’s something along the lines of what the middle aged guy with the sports car is making up for.  I can’t say that it’s true for most, even many, but it’s about right for some that I’ve known.

      • harverdphd

         Don’t take it personally; we’re all sure you’re very attractive.

        • Ray in VT

          My wife thinks so, and her’s is the opinion which I care about the most, although I don’t see how that is at all relevant to either my comment or the topic at hand.

        • Vigilarus

          And we’re sure that you’re a ‘Harverd’ [sic] PhD.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Gawd, I can’t tell if that’s more pathetic or worrisome.

      Several years ago, at the advent of the term “metrosexual”, there was a “test” one could take online. But the side effects were much more benign.

  • Coastghost

    Kieran Healy at Duke has assembled OECD data comparing US assault deaths (from any kind of assault, not merely with any type of firearm) per 100K population with data from a select group (numerous omissions) of OECD member states for the period 1960 to 2008:

    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/12/16/america-is-a-violent-country/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SociologicalImagesSeeingIsBelieving+%28Sociological+Images%3A+Seeing+Is+Believing%29

    The US rate of assault deaths is higher across the measured period. However: the US rate has been falling for some time now, and the rate is lower now than when the last Federal “assault weapons ban” was in place (1994-2004), and the US rate is now almost as low as it was c. 1963. (Admittedly, the rate has been falling SINCE the assault weapons ban expired, but the rate was also falling BEFORE the assault weapons ban was signed by Clinton). These data also show slight but curious rises in the assault death rates for Canada and for Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg over the 1994-2008 period.

    • anamaria23

      It is still 10,000 deaths per year by hand guns compared to less than 100 for other civilized countries with stricter laws      Slight deviations matter little.  Only three other countries outnumber us with So. Africa and Thailand being  ahead.
      What is your point?

      People kill with guns here so much more often  because they are easily available.

       

      • Coastghost

        And what’s your point? Almost 5000 US homicides each year are committed with knives, blunt objects, or weapons other than firearms. Mere availability of guns is not necessarily the determining factor for a murderer’s choice of weapon. Also, I only mentioned “assault weapons” and not handguns because the only proposed remedy I’ve heard mentioned since Friday is a new Federal ban on assault weapons, I’ve heard nothing about any effort to restrict legal handgun sales. Thus, my point that the 1994-2004 Federal assault weapons ban had little to no impact on reducing the rate of lethal assault in the US: that rate was falling both before the ban was implemented and continued to decline once the ban expired.

        • anamaria23

          Banning of assault weapons, closing of loopholes at gun shows, improved data base, safety implements on guns that allow only the purchaser to fire it are among other things being discussed.
          Other resolute nations have dealt successsfully with this issue including Japan and Australia.

          I still do not get your point.  Should we just do nothing?

          • Coastghost

            Based on the data gathered by Dr Healy, a second assault weapons ban in twenty years looks no more likely to have any effect on curtailing homicidal assault in the US than the first one did. I also think it’s not useful to compare the unique cultural, historical, social, and political dynamism of the US with that of any other country: I’ve never seen anything called “an index of heterogeneity” but (I’m guessing) it must remain the case that the US population is far more heterogeneous–and certainly experiences complications resulting from its sheer size–than that of any OECD member state. Political unanimity would seem much easier to come by in countries with far more homogeneous populations. I’m not convinced that any Federal “solution” to gun violence is forthcoming: Sandy Hook now constitutes a national tragedy, yes, but first and foremost it remains a local tragedy, and localities are where these tragic events occur (some of us seem to have forgotten). Certainly I see no grounds for thinking that an outbreak of domestic pacifism is just around the corner.

  • buffalobirdie

    That woman speaking of 400 thousand Russian militiamen hiding in the mountains of NC is the type of paranoid panic I have started to hear many people use.  I personally, personally know of 3 people in my life (and my life is pretty normal and not in the hills of Kentucky) who believe weird things just like this.  We have a segment of society that is increasingly, dangerously detached from human connection and they are coming up with wild delusions.  This runs right along with the type of behavior that let that young man to shoot 20 kids and 6 teachers. Mental illness and detachment is seriously growing to be an epidmic.

    • anamaria23

      There is whole section of media in this country that feeds these delusions along with ideas of   needing defense against the government by stockpiling arsenals lest the government  
      become too strong. 
      Freedom of speech is fine, but when it is  used to undermine the best impulses of a civilized nation such as gun control or health care  it becomes the enemy.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Low-information media for low-information consumers is all well and good right up to the point it destroys the media the rest of us depend on.

        That point was reached ages ago.

    • hopes2

      Yes, great point.

    • cosmogeny

      Faux loves it.

  • Fishermanidaho

    Even military personal think its crazy for the public to have access to weapons that have one purpose;to kill mass number of people.

    • harverdphd

       Some think military personal (sic) are crazy…

  • Fishermanidaho

    Unfortunately, I also feel we need armed plain clothed officer at each school and fences around them. ITs the only feasible solution, otherwise more killings will happen in a few months. We protect our money at banks better with officers than we do our children and teachers.

  • guncrap

    Let’s please remove the gun lobby’s Wash DC argument.  Those DC guns come mostly from Virginia, which is notorious for lax gun control laws, and Wash DC is a city with no borders to control entry of guns from there or anywhere else.  I suggest a once/yr gun-purchase law, no assault-type guns or high-capacity cartridge magazines, all nationwide.  And a gun buyback program would help reduce the existing number of guns.  The bottom line is that I refuse to live in fear of guns.

  • catiastephanie

    One topic related to gun control that seems overlooked to me in the discussions following the Newtown mass shooting is access to body armor.  I heard in reports that the Newtown shooter was wearing body armor, as was the shooter in Aurora.  Armor does not cause harm to others, but just as no ordinary law-abiding citizen needs a large capacity magazine, no ordinary law-abiding citizen should need full body armor.  I would like to know more about how these shooters obtained their armor, and whether there are any regulations or restrictions to purchasing body armor.  Even if limiting access to armor does not prevent mass shootings, it could at least limit the number of casualties in these rampages, and it could also serve to raise flags when certain individuals try to obtain body armor.

    • hopes2

      Fantastic point!   

  • Dab200

    So what is more important: having the right to own a gun (by the way, how many guns this right refers to? 1, 2, an entire arsenal? ) or having the right to move around freely? How come our right to move around is so regulated but guns are not? If you want to move around and choose so by car you have to get a driving license, register your car and get car insurance and all that for a vehicle that was not manufactured as a killing machine, though of course it can kill people. And let’s not forget about all the rules of the road, signs, lanes, right of way, one way, seat belts, etc.Were are all those gun enthusiast who scream at the thought of any gun controlling rules? Why are they not screaming that our basic right to move around freely is not that free at all and is so infringed upon?

    • harverdphd

       Apples and oranges, fruity…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1014120784 Aria Littlhous

    The best solution is to repeal the Second Amendment and outlaw guns completely. No protected markets for the merchants of death. If you want a civilized society, then walk the walk.

    • Coastghost

      Unalloyed utopian fantasy.

    • hopes2

      You got it!  I totally agree! 

  • Dab200

    Our putting the Second Amendment on a sacrosanct pedestal because of what its authors were concerned with some 200 years ago is akin to renouncing all the knowledge obtained since then.But if you still want to go by this interpretation of the Constitution than people should be allowed to have only the type of guns that were present at the time when the Second Amendment was written that means single bullets!!!

    • hopes2

      Right on! 

  • raoullambrusco

    Changing the US culture to reduce gun violence has to be seen as a moral issue, not a political one. Whether the shooter was insane, or whether people drive cars too, or whether the NRA or Cato Institute like it, isn’t what’s important. What’s important is making sure this does not happen again. Ever. If that requires making gun owners earn a license, and making it a crime to carry an unlicensed gun–the same as having illegal passports, driver’s licenses, vehicles, pitbulls or marijuana–so be it. 

  • JGC

    Wall Street has had its best day in weeks. The Masters of the Universe are moving on.

    • harverdphd

       What would you expect? Two weeks unpaid bereavement leave for all working people?

      • JGC

        Hmmm. Just a thought.  The tragedy of the deaths of 20 little school children has diverted the national Mordoresque eye from the fiscal cliff. This has created space for Boehner and Obama to privately float more points of commonality, which in turn has buoyed the Investor Class. Life is already moving on. For most of them.

        One of my hopes that “this time is different”, is that this horrific event occurred in a generally privileged place in our country, and these are the people that are equipped to lead us forward to a conclusion that makes sense for the majority. It happened with 9/11. It is happening now with the shift in conversation on the reality of global warming, post-Sandy.  

         

           

  • Chris Owens

    Thanks Tom for the forum! Not sure how your guest Robyn Thomas can seriously connect decreased suicides in CA with banning high capacity magazines, but she did!

    I remember the chagrin of the congressman from FL who helped pass the assault rifle ban during the Clinton administration when he discovered he had banned the rife he used for turkey hunting.

    The fact is, guns are used by honest and law abiding citizens over a million times a year in the US to prevent horrible crimes. Google it and see. In aggregate, the benefits outweigh to horrible and tragic bad.

    Also, the president has a gun agenda; groups such as the NRA do as well. It would have been in disgustingly poor taste for the the pro 2nd Amendment folks to show up in Connecticut to push their agenda. I was sickened by the president’s politicization of a tragedy. 

    • JGC

      Are you for real? 

      • Chris Owens

         JGS,
        In respect to what point or to all points I raised?

        • Drew Carlin

          If seeing a national problem and calling for action is  ”politicization”, then I suppose we’ll never address any big issue. I don’t recall the president, in his “sickening” speech, advancing any policies, only acknowledging the difficult political terrain and the need to cross it. 

    • jefe68

      And more people are murdered by someone they know who owns a gun. The only poor taste here is your inane comment.

  • Chris Owens

    Dab,Private people of that time generally had rifles. Armies typically had inferior smooth bore muskets. So, an American farmer at the time was better armed than British or Hessian infantry. And by the way,  ALL the amendments are on a sacrosanct pedestal.

    • Vigilarus

      Long-range accuracy of Kentucky and Tennessee riflemen was an important part of the defeat of the British in the Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812.

      Still, they had to go through a multi-step reloading procedure before each fire. I support responsible, regulated gun ownership, but the extreme postion of the NRA is beyond the pale. Easily-converted semi-auto rifles with high-capacity magazines and good accuracy are a breed of offensive weaponry which didn’t exist in the early days of the republic. We are now more urbanized and disconnected, and there is more psychological pathology among us now.

      Gun control laws are not perfect, but they can move the needle in the right direction. Maybe we need to look at a new idea of regulating ammo, enscribing a lot number on every round in the box, regulating their sale, and recording the data. Purchasers would have to answer for bullets which end up in the wrong place or the wrong hands.

  • farm2000

    An assault weapon for turkey hunting?  That sounds like someone who likes to kill more than he likes to hunt.

    • Chris Owens

       Farm2000,
      You’ll have to ask the Democratic congressman who used the Ruger Mini 14 .223. Actually, it would be very appropriate for the thick feathers of a wild turkey, and your comment is an illustration of the non-communication of easy buzzwords like “assault weapons.” There is a lot of talking past each other and misunderstanding on this issue.

    • Erik_Thorkildsen

      Tracking and survival expert Tom Brown’s teacher believed that a certain level of skill and dedication is necessary for one to be an ethical hunter.  He said: “It’s not a fair hunt unless the feathers of the arrow are barely past your bow hand before the arrow hits the deer”.  

  • harverdphd

    The futility in this is that we are looking for a rational solution to an irrational event.  There is none.  And if you think some gun control law will fix things, you are inviting legislation more problematic than abortion:

    Asbergers or  autism in the family?   No guns in the house.
    Felon in the family?       No guns in the house.
    Family member in prison?  No guns in the house.
    Mental illness of any kind?  No guns in the house.
    Live alone, little social interaction? No guns in the house.
    Recently fired?  Turn in your guns.
    Recent divorce?  Turn in your guns.

    Feel free to add your favorite “no guns” situation consistent with a certain SCOTUS defeat.

    • JGC

      I could live with that.  Really.

      • harverdphd

         But we won’t live to see it.

    • Chris Owens

       You wrote: “Live alone, little social interaction? No guns in the house.”  So the paraplegic I know who nearly died from the beating he received in a home invasion has to give up the 9mm hand gun he now keeps at the house?

  • intothevortexxx

    Despite the horror, bloodshed, and loss of innocence on Friday Colorado is being overwhelmed by new applications for gun ownership… If we can’t even pause to consider the implications of gun ownership and the loss we’ve just experienced what does that say about us as Americans??? 

  • Gregg Smith

    Has any change in gun laws translated to the benefit more successfully than concealed carry? As I understand it, everywhere there are concealed carry laws crime rates are down. It may indeed be a consistent, coincidental correlation and not causation. Either way the data does not seem to support the idea that an armed citizenry causes more crime. Or maybe I have my facts wrong, I’m sure someone will tell me.

    • Gregg Smith

      To follow up, what if we had a super-duper concealed classification for schools? A principal or teacher who had this classification could be compensated above the normal level. In the public system taxpayers would pay for it and in a private system the marketplace would justify it. Wouldn’t that be cheaper than securing our schools like prisons?

      A school could make it known some in the administration were packing but not say who. The Aurora shooter chose  a theater that had the sign prohibiting firearms. There would be a deterrent factor. These creeps prey on the helpless. The gun free zones are a huge mistake.

      • 1Brett1

        In terms of possible solutions along this way of thinking (other solutions more overarching aside for a moment), how about pulling back on that idea of yours just a little bit. 

        How about instead of arming a certain select administrator/teacher with a gun (a gun that could possibly, potentially, be used against innocent people through some surprise skirmish), instead of an armed administrator/teacher needing to be in the “right” place at the “right” time to stop an assailant. Instead of going from the step of no armed administrators/teachers straight to armed administrators/teachers, how about something not quite as extreme and intrusive? Something in between not armed and armed? Something along the lines of a glass encased box in every class and in every hall that stores mace or some equivalent that is also attached to an alarm? Something that could be accessed by all teachers/administrators, all throughly trained (to disable a possible attack) in how to handle such emergencies?

        Perhaps this isn’t the best “solution” either (and again, ideas like this should not be the only approach in trying to combat these kinds of problems), but it has at least as much potential as a solution as arming an administrator/teacher with a gun, albeit it also has as much potential to fail as arming an administrator/teacher.

        This idea seems less drastic.

      • jefe68

        Oh boy. So in your world everyone packs a firearm.
        Yeah, that’s a plan.

        By the way the South leads the nation in gun violence. Another issue you leave out, more people are shot by someone they know when there is gun in the home.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/23/six-facts-about-guns-violence-and-gun-control/
         

        • Gregg Smith

          Why is that claim repeatedly made when no one said it? Please don’t tell me what I think. 

          • jefe68

            Has anyone every told you are obtuse?
            You made a statement that I found to be pretty dumb. Arming school administrators is absurd. I’m not telling what to think just that what you think is nuts.

          • Gregg Smith

            You told me I think everyone should have a gun. I do not. What you call absurd wold have given those kids the best chance. What kind of monster are you?

    • WestCoastSusan

      Hi Gregg- Good question… It took me awhile to find an answer. The Texas ‘concealed carry’ law HB 225 passed in the fall of 1995 and came into effect January 1, 1996. It had no effect on crime in Texas.
       
      The FBI website has relevant measurements in standardized categories going back to 1990. Yearly decreases in each type of violent crime were already happening in Texas and the rest of the country. These decreases were no larger and no smaller for Texas in the years after 1996 than they were each year from 1990 to 1996.

      • Gregg Smith

        So more guns dd not cause a spike in crime.

        • WestCoastSusan

          which surprised me… I expected it would. On the other hand, it does not seem to have prevented any crime, either.
           
          We will have to look elsewhere to understand the roots of this violence, to find an effective way to turn down the slaughter.

          I should add that the number of licenses issued under these programs is not actually very high. Taking Texas again as an example and remembering it has a population of 24 million (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/1996Calendar/ByCounty/CY96CountyLicAppsIssued.pdf)

          CHL issued in Texas
          1996 – 114,017
          1997 – 50,130
          1998 – 51,186
          1999 – 48,765
          2000 – 53,107
          2001 – 48,676
          2002 – 62,623
          2003 – 62,781
          2004 – 54,065
          2005 – 62,019
          2006 – 75,939
          2007 – 87,391
          2008 – 85,973
          2009 – 138,768 (increased applications after Obama elected ?)
          2010 – 102,133
          2011 – 143,725

  • harverdphd

    Only if you’re a turkey…2M

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielrose0 Daniel J. Rose

    Folks talk about the so-called assault weapons ban coming back, but it never really banned assault weapons at all. To do that, you would have to ban all semi-automatic weapons, which would ban most guns used today.  What I think really needs to happen is that the ammunition delivery systems for semi-autos needs to be carefully controlled.  I would even say that guns available to the public should be required to be modified to accept only new low-capacity magazines made for specific hand and long-gun models.  This would certainly create a new industry that could help revitalize the economy as well as limit access to guns that can kill at a high rate.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      I’m ok with semi-autos. I’m not ok with autos. And I agree with a max round mag, like Canada is 5 I think. You don’t need need more than that for hunting, and I’m sure you can afford to by a few mags for plinking, range, etc; It’s not perfect, but let’s at least take steps in the right direction.

  • Jombi Labman

    Before we rush to “solve” the problem, let’s understand it.  What is the goal?  Is it to reduce deaths, or just mass gun deaths?  Are there other commonalities other than the guns?  Personally I suspect Obama won’t “let this crisis go to waste” to finish the job he started by trying to destabilize Mexico with Fast and Furious so he can disarm US citizens?

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Typical paranoid response. What is this deep-seated suspicion with Obama? Could it be racially-motivated? First he was going to disarm everyone the moment he got into office in his first term. Then it was, well, he’ll definitely do it the moment he starts the second term. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT TAKING AWAY GUNS FROM AMERICANS! We are talking about sensible gun regulations. Like a ban on assault rifles for example. I would like to see more thorough/strict background checks. I would like to see max 5 round mags. The NRA has propagated this black or white thinking, that either we get what we want, or they must be taking everything away from us. Wake up. Smarten up. And get with the times we’re in people.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2E5WCCXCATY6OYFURYWT2WU74 NicholasO

        These doomsday preppers (aka, paranoid republicans) are lunatics.  The concept of defending an amendment that was drafted when gun powder was the source and semi auto’s were inconceivable defiantly defend this concept because they are CRAZY ! How can we not modify this amendment without considering the newer technology?  To me, this is the madness.  Fear of a government takeover….the militia.  This women was consumed by an “economic collapse”, she stockpiled food & ammo…ready for the Zombies and Martians to take over the planet.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          I think we need to distinguish between a small minority who are actually nuts and believe in all kinds of nonsense.
          And the majority who think hunting, self-defense, going to the range, pest control, plinking, are a right. I fall into the second category and I consider myself on the whole a liberal Democrat.
          I see it as a right, not because of an old writing, but because I genuinely feel it is a right. I don’t subscribe to the whole militia thing. Fact is, if the Gov decided to turn on it’s people, a minute part of the population with autos isn’t going to do squat for the post powerful army in this history of mankind!
          I do agree we need more regulations. Better background checks. Magazines limited to 5 rounds. Ban on all autos. But the fact is, the majority of gun related violence comes from gangs, thugs, criminals, thieves… And the majority of their guns are blackmarket.
          So I think a lot of this anti-gun rhetoric is more a false sense of security than dealing with facts on the ground.

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    It’s not that differences don’t exist among Americans, it’s how the Elite USE these differences to create 2 unmoving camps/sides/teams. So that you have to think this way if you’re a Republican. And you have to think that way if you’re a Democrat. And any agreement is portrayed in the MSM as weakness, as losing your way, as giving in, losing face.
    This brainwashing is so deeply embedded, that people have stopped thinking for themselves in large numbers. Like “Hey, what do I ACTUALLY think about this? Does it ACTUALLY make sense? What do I ACTUALLY want for my family?
    And the truth is, and the Elite do not want you to realize this, THERE IS FAR MORE THAT WE ALL AGREE ON AND CARE ABOUT THAN NOT.
    If we could put aside the propaganda, we would realize that “we the people”, the 99% in the US, agree on and are primarily concerned with:

    Economy – Jobs – Pensions – Healthcare – Human Rights – Functioning Legal System – Security within the country/at home/in our neighborhoods – Education – Essential services – Infrastructure – Public Transport – Access to clean water and healthy food……..

    And in spite of this, have you noticed where the lion share of the money ahs gone, where the trillions of dollars have gone? Of course you have. Bank/Wall Street/Mega Biz bailouts. Foreign aid that serves special interests. Feeding the war machine. Pork barrel spending. Get it? Everything for the special interests. Everything EXCEPT what we the people ACTUALLY want/care about/need/agree on.

    Do you get it? Doesn’t it make your blood boil when you consider the reality of it? It’s not that a 2 party system is inherently problematic. It could work to serve the people. But the Elite use it to keep the country divided, keep the people distracted and pointing fingers at the other side.

    The US could easily be a utopian country – relative to what we have seen in history around the world – IF ONLY the Gov ACTUALLY existed to primarily serve the people. But that is the LAST THING the Elite want, for reasons that must now be obvious to readers.

    So how can we work towards achieving this goal? Which is after all what we claim America is all about. The ONLY way to change a system designed to serve the Elite, is to fundamentally change the system – from the top most down.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    What is
    necessary and will be done is a “maniac” guard, armed with a military
    rifle w Teflon bullets (cause now the whacko losers are wearing body-armor)
    ex-military, ex-warrior who has shot people, in every school and medium big
    business… who sits around in a room watching TV until he hears pop-pop-pop,
    then runs down to take out the killer.

    2nd a huge factor in this is the Copycat Effect (exc book I reviewed- see below)
    in that crazies latch on to the sickest examples, and copy them to a T – same
    day of month, same date, same method of attack (or suicide), same weapon (in
    this case a Bushmaster the DC sniper used)… which has been functioning for
    centuries. We are 98% monkeys and imitate everything. There is a way to stop
    that cold- make the results for the killer so horrific that it is a deterrent
    to the next one. In ancient Greece there was a rash of virgin suicides; they
    paraded the next girl through the streets naked and boom… they stopped. These
    sick abused losers want to seen as powerful, and nothing is more counter to
    that than humiliation. As bad as it seems, I think cops should smash their face
    in and not take them alive- photos of that would dissuade the next ones. In the
    2 days after Newtown, there were about 5 mass shootings. This is underreported
    because the media forcefully rejects their own culpability-  hey it sells
    papers + soap!

    3rd Prohibit massive magazines, even make them completely illegal; and greatly
    restrict military grade rifles, esp fast semi-autos (I know this is hard
    because any semi-auto is capable of mass death), but their cyclical rate can be
    slowed. Guns are cool and fun and useful, but the problem is they make murder
    too easy of the way-too-many a-holes we deal with. I’ve owned them, but most
    people shouldn’t be trusted with them. At a handgun training seminar I went to,
    most of the people were ignorant swine snarling about how they would blow away
    anyone crossing their property- I was convinced 80% should never own a firearm
    (inc most police)!

    4th Complete criminal + mental health background checks and 1 week waiting
    period including ALL gun show and private sales, with big penalties for
    floutation (like that word?). In WY, you could go down to the 24hr IGA, pick up
    a $32 pistol at 2am with no paperwork, and take care of that vexing
    disrespectful wifey or abusive lout hubby. 3-4 times more people with guns are
    SHOT BY THE INTRUDER than shoot the intruder, no matter what bull the NRA liars
    say. There is no need, in almost every instance, to buy them TODAY. You are
    many times more likely to kill your spouse or kid or parent or neighbor than
    any dangerous intruder- THAT’S who you really fight with, and a gun is a very
    efficient “solution”.

    5th  Manditory to inform authorities by
    any doctor or civilian about anyone who speaks of inflicting mass random death,
    if they aren’t kidding. Most of these monsters tell SOMEONE, who of course
    doesn’t believe them because they’ve always been ineffectual nerds before. I
    guarantee Lanza’s family or friends realized he was close to the edge, down by
    the corner.

    6th Real serious crackdown on bullies- probably 80% of these sometimes
    effeminate killers were tortured for ages in their schools or work by some
    punks or gang of “In” kids while authorities looked the other way.
    They always look the other way under the perverse notion that Darwinian
    selection is part of the education process. The killers’ attacks are their
    attempt to deselect their tormenters, but they are now so addled that that
    includes everyone! The fact no one has done any serious analysis of this in any
    article I’ve seen is indicative of the problem (Mark Ames wrote a book on it,
    but the contemptible jerk actually said the random victims “deserved
    it” – I met him in Moscow + he is that big a jerk, think Segal had him on
    ATC!@#$$).

    7th   A total ban on releasing the
    killer’s name, work, reasons, etc- make them a non-person… and I say this as
    a journo. The vast majority are doing this for the fame, for their one day in
    the sun, and we can remove that incentive. They go after young school kids for
    maximum impact, maximum horror, maximum fame.

    8th Some responsibility in Hollywood in depicting any mass shooting- by the age
    of 14, a kid has seen, what, 20,000 shootings on TV and movies- why wouldn’t
    they think it’s neat. But the religious nuts go berserk over a breast or 2.
    Make love not war.

    9th Take on the NRA head-on – full investigation, end tax breaks, prosecutions
    of threats on lawmakers or the Prez; stop their constant criminal extortion of
    Congress. I believe in gun rights, but I believe the NRA are blackmailing
    scumbags and need to be taken down.

    10th
    Properly interpret the 2nd Amendment, esp a WELL REGULATED MILITIA-
    that means a State (national) Guard, not any yahoo with a machine gun! Impeach
    Thomas and or Scalia. These lowlife retrograde fascists have chosen a loser President
    who killed 400K in a traitorous unnecessary war, decided billionaires can buy
    any elections, almost destroyed Obama just as a political excersize, and want
    to turn the clock back to the 1890’s when the barons ran wild. America doesn’t
    need 300 mil guns, what they guarantee is that when the AGW famines hit, we
    will become a vast killing field…. so maybe the good people should hang onto
    theirs. Ha ha.

    GO TO IT OBAMA + States  

    Michael
    Hammerschlag     http://hammernews.com

    http://hammernews.com/copycateffect.htm
    THE COPYCAT EFFECT- ARCHIVE  MediaChannel  proves
    sensational media coverage of deadly mayhem causes people to copy it; Loren
    Coleman’s important new book; Media + journalistic response; Ethics and better
    approaches; Analysis of newsmags coverage; Possible imminent risks: CLEAR and PRESENT DANGERS -
    Columbine + Waco/OKC bombing anniversaries and apocalyptic cults re: NBC’s Revelations-
    April 21, 2005

  • rm2001

    To the caller who advocated for teachers being armed: Think about how many more tragedies this would lead to. Think about a teacher that could snap at another teacher, administrator, principal. Do you really want a deadly weapon at their fingertips? 

    Not to mention how many children get their hands on weapons because of careless adults. It can happen to the most vigilant gun owner. And it only takes a second.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ENZZAUXMGTBMXWQMNKWLDKTSUA AnnArborMom

      I was APPALLED when I heard the caller’s comment advocating for teachers being armed. No, no, no. I do recognize he was sincerely upset about the incident, but sir, really? 
      You are asking all teachers to have the quick response of a green beret or navy seal…while teaching?

      Please think about how ludicrous this idea would be. I’m a mother of a Kindergartner and a 2nd grader. There are plenty of things I need their teachers to be trained in, and thousands of things these teachers do (with the threat of budget cuts and countless pressures and demands). Please do not asked them to be trained gunmen too.

      • nj_v2

        It’s an insane idea and should be vociferously opposed. Whackjobs in the Michigan and Tennessee legislatures are considering legislation that would enable the arming of school staff. The good citizens of those states—and others where this inanity is proposed—should organize to stop this.

    • Michele

       Nevermind that a teacher could “snap”.  We already put a great deal of responsibility on our teachers.  Now, we’re going to ask them to arm themselves?  What if there are teachers who abhor guns, what about their rights?  The suggestion is sheer folly!

  • jt cal

    jtczj _ PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE !
    First – your guest Robyn, from SAN FRAN – stating that guns are sold at gun shows with no background checks _ COMPLETELY False!  It’s obvious she’s hasnt’ been with in a mile of a gun show.  Tom, please acquire a more qualified guest on this issue, it lowers the cred of your show. 
    Secondly – My heart goes out to all the parents and families for there loss of a loved one, May God Bless and assist you in your time of mourning.
    Thirdly – MENTAL HEALTH OPTIONS is this issue here folks, Not the GUNS.  Why is that so hard to see?  Unfortunately, the Mother of this young man believed in home protection and self defense, obviously the guns were not locked up, or somehow the young man devised a way to get his hands on them, how WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER EVER KNOW!  Had he not killed his Mother, most likely she would be facing law suits and a trial.
    Fourth – re distribute tax dollars (heard this anywhere before?) And put them into institutions that are qualified in housing and providing support for families with .. socially / mentally challenged persons.  When these institutions were closed years ago, our streets filled up homeless people, our prisons have been over run as well and they aren’t trained to deal with this type of behavior either. 

    It’s sad we keep blaming the gun…. (yes guns are dangerous),but  it’s the person who’s more dangerous. This kid would have used a Samurai sword if one were in the house and he had access to it..  isn’t obvious too, that his mind was incapable of the same feelings you and I have, he had no concern for his actions?  How else could such an atrocity happen?  

    In short, everyone needs to look to the “root cause” of the issue,
    more guns, less guns, gun bans – none will solve what we are really talking about.  Even if there was an AR-15 gun ban, he had access to two semi auto pistols, and through re loading would had same / similar outcome, so the “assult rifle ban” is really a mute point.  Think back year and a half ago, Arizona………

    • rm2001

      The “root cause” is important, yes mental health is the underlying issue, but are you aware that in Henan province China on the same day as the Newtown tragedy a man stabbed 22 primary school children? ALL OF THEM SURVIVED. 

      There have been six similar attacks in China in 2010 that killed 20 people. A horrific tragedy, but imagine if there were semi-automatic weapons involved. The death toll would most likely be well over 100.

      And the fact that the mother of this killer was an irresponsible gun owner – how else would he have gotten his hands on the guns, and what kind of responsible person would bring an unstable person to a shooting range? – is an argument for a gun control.

    • lighfbulb151

      “Robyn, from SAN FRAN – stating that guns are sold at gun shows with no background checks _ COMPLETELY False!” 
      I didn’t hear it that way. She was referring to “federal law” not state law. Your comment was disingenuous at best.   
      Current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers, which account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States. 

  • farm2000

    Reaction to events like Newtown have become sadly predictable. The nation is aghast, politicians express their condolences/outrage/determination to stop this violence.  The mental health community discusses the causes, intervention and treatment of the offenders.  We grieve and mourn as a nation.  Reactions and sensibilities we all share.  Yes, there may likely be a causative effect of the violent entertainment industrial complex and the easy access to firearms to mass killings.  But might this delusional behavior be a natural albeit extreme example of human behavior?  In the same way that schizophrenics in historic societies were seen as seers or prophets because they could hear things that others couldn’t, aren’t the killers in Newtown and Aurora exhibiting extremely marginal aspects of traits we may all share?  Killers act on impulses.  We all have impulses we don’t act on.

    • Chris

      I agree.  What evidence is there that mental health was a key factor in this shooting?  Unless someone with expert knowledge of the shooter’s mental health comes forward with information, any talk is pure speculation and should not be center stage in media coverage.  The media is regularly too quick to attribute events to the motivations and psychology of individuals.  I suggest the media engage in a critical examination of the societal factors that make school shootings an almost uniquely American phenomenon.  Unfortunately, news sources have a script for these events and as we learned from Columbine and other shooting the media regularly perpetuates myths about killers and heroes that are rarely re-evaluated once more complete information is known.  

      • jefe68

        So what part of this mans actions were normal?
        He showed a complete lack of empathy towards innocent children and shot them multiple times. Some had 11 bullet wounds in their small frames.

        The media is a problem in how they report this kind of event, that’s beyond a doubt. But rational sane people don’t go on rampages and kill children.

        • Chris

          Rational, sane people do go on rampages and kill children.  Terrorists motivated by strong political beliefs are not behaving irrationally when they murder.  They are wrong, but they are not insane.

          Speculation as to what mental diseases Lanza suffered from is problematic in that is focuses attention on health issues that may or may not have played a role. If Lanza was a muslim, the conversation would be completely different.  The media’s job is to report facts, and in this regard their job performance is lacking.

          I bring up Columbine as an example because the media created a myth after that shooting that later turned out to be false.  Mental health explains only a small portion of what happened there and may turn out to explain only a portion of what happened in Newton.  Mistaken early reports, however, will color people’s perceptions of this event and other shootings long into the future.

          Everyone would like answers, but let’s not let that desire overcome the more important need to learn the facts.

          • nj_v2

            I’m not sure what the hell you’re talking about.

            What definition of sane and rational applies to someone capable of shooting up a first-grade classroom?

            Anyone able to do this is de facto mentally ill/damaged/sick.

          • jefe68

            Sorry. Rational and sane people do not murder children.
            I don’t care if they are terrorist, or nazis from WW2 with orders. It takes a huge leap of condition to kill another human being and even more of one to kill children.

            What happened here is not normal and to make the kind of comments you are is pretty disturbing in light of the horrific nature of this crime.

            The media is a problem, they jump to conclusions to get a story. They accused Lanaz’s brother of the crime even though he was at work in NY City.

            But that’s besides the point. What happened in Newtown and Columbine is not what one would call the result of behavior that is capable of rational thought and understanding right from wrong and how a civil society works.

  • intothevortexxx

    My children 6 and 7 and I have the right to not fear living as Americans >>>Where is our liberty???

  • jsland1

    “In the absence of political order and law, everyone has unlimited natural freedoms, including the “right to all things” and thus everyone has the freedom to plunder, rape, and murder. In the absence of political order there would be an endless “war of all against all”. To avoid this, free men contract with each other to establish a  political community (civil society) through a social contract. Individual citizens offer up their right to be violent to their state government in order for all people to be able to live without fear of violence from each other.” But the people keep the right to bring down the government if it is not protecting them. Various versions of this covenant exist in every state/nation. What happened in the USA? It’s not only the ownership of guns but the IDEAS behind gun ownership which are deadly. These ideas in America have promoted concepts of freedom and unlimited, unrestrained individuality which have undermined the ability of Americans to keep a healthy role for governments in relation to society.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    deleted

    • suzeequince

      “War is good business. Invest your son.”

  • WhyBadNewsOnly

    Can we bury the inocent before Tom, the President and others take advantage? Shame on them.
    Vehicle deaths US apx. 32,000/yr – limit speeds to 50 mph? Ban 500 horsepower vehicles? Dallas Cowboy DWI player on the sidelines Sunday after his car slid over 900′ killing his passenger.
    Drunk driving caused deaths apx. 11,000/yr – prohibition again?
    Lung cancer 159,000/yr and 85% from cigarettes – you can still buy tobacco and get hooked.
    Gun violence – about 8,000/year. Shocking, serious, needs to be addressed but put it into perspective please.
    In my town every school is locked, you need to be buzzed in from the office. Every school has a plan for something just like this. So what happened this time? Do we skewer the inept school officials?
    Let’s bury the kids and teachers before we take revenge. This behavior got us into Iraq and Afganistan.

    • Vigilarus

      Yeah, since people still drive drunk and smoke, we should give up on any attempt to discourage them.

      The kid broke a window and went into the school, a buzzer woudn’t have stopped him but trigger locks might have.

    • jefe68

      The school was locked. The shooter broke in.

      Take revenge on what?
      Ban assault rifles.

  • suzeequince

    The Constitution gives me the right to own a musket.

    • Ray in VT

      Not just a musket.  As many muskets as you want!

      • Vigilarus

        If your militia commander okays it, although they may want you to keep your musket down at the armory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1273328048 Tomasina Covell

    Wow, Ashbrook loves the CATO institute as respectfully as a suicide bomber love Islam, or another bugnutty catholic loves the pope!  We don’t need mouthpiece of fascist CATO on public anything including this fucked up show!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      No one forces you to listen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

    A woman on your Monday show called in and claimed of the presence of Russians in Georgia with AK-47s. She must have been confusing the US state of Georgia with the Georgia in the Caucasus region. Congress should not cut the budget on education.

    Politicians must curb the proliferation of weapons of massacre. We need a comprehensive, national gun control law that will will stop the sale of military weapons to unhinged people.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SRHR2B3KEQDEOMPU2M2Q4ZL3S4 p c

    I hope everyone knows that DEER kill more people in the US every year than so called assualt weapons.  What other parts of the Bill of Rights are the banners willing to throw away?

    • Vigilarus

      Total deaths per year caused by deer/vehicle collisions: 400 [http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/10/24/267786.htm]

      Total gun homicides in 2007: 12,632

      What part of “a well regulated militia” does banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines ‘throw away’?

    • Michele

       Deer don’t break into elementary schools and massacre unarmed school children and their teachers.  That is one of the most despicable comparisons I have ever read.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      And more people die in their sleep than are killed by guns. What is your point? Do you realize the futility of your statements?

    • nj_v2

      ^ The insane are crawling out of the woodwork.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TDAXW5Y42H7F6NC2OLR2JBYCDA Webbie

    Gun lovers: why don’t you do something? I would like to call for all the gun lovers to volunteer in our schools to protect the kids, before the legislature does anything meaningful. if you are in a gun-loving community, I believe there will be enough volunteers.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVDZN64HIFIZMS4JC4IHHBI5DA RickV

    I work with K-2nd graders on the brink of expulsion due to behaviors. I have never owned or fired a weapon and do not plan to. I am a future elementary teacher that lives in Casper, Wyoming, which made headlines a couple of weeks ago due to a shooting in a school that was committed by a crossbow, not a gun. This tragedy has nothing to do with gun control. Guns are being used as a smokescreen to placate people and make them think that there is an immediate solvable issue. In fact, there is no immediate solvable issue. The problem is cultural, and we need time to think and explore options to better our society.

    • rm2001

      I would like to point out that 3 people were killed inthe incident in Casper as opposed to 26. 26 were killed in a matter of minutes. If someone is wielding a knife or even a crossbow there is a much greater chance that they can be overcome by another person or people and subdued. It’s seems nearly impossible to tackle someone firing a semi-automtic.

      I agree the answer is not simply to take away guns. Those determined to kill will find away, but it should at least lessen the number of casualties. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/DVDZN64HIFIZMS4JC4IHHBI5DA RickV

         I agree on your point that a crossbow does not commit mass casualties, but who is to say that multiple people could not walk into any establishment and commit a similar crime? In any form that this kind of tragedy occurs, and however many people die because of it, the problem lies deeper than the weapon used.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

    To those whose mantra is “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,”  I say “nuclear weapons don’t kill, people kill people.” Let Iran and terrorists have their nuclear weapons according to such irrationality. It’s nonsense. And yes, car accidents kill many people, but the purpose for cars is transportation. The purpose for guns is to kill living things.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TDAXW5Y42H7F6NC2OLR2JBYCDA Webbie

      guns also protect, when the good people have them. so all the gun owners/lovers should be mobilized to do some good things with their guns. Go to volunteer as a guard in your local school! everyone only need contribute some time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ECUXKSK6OV74WAWFBXKLWBOXEE David

         Oh, right. Take your guns to school and show all the kids that weapons are the answer to their problems. Oh, and let’s arm our neighborhood watch, too. That will keep everybody safe. Just ask Zimmerman.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TDAXW5Y42H7F6NC2OLR2JBYCDA Webbie

          the reality is that it will not solve the problem by simply banning the guns. because you can only unarm good people by the laws, not the bad guys. on the other hand, I did not say we should arm more people, instead I want the gun owners to show that owing a gun can benefit their community. show people some good things and usefulness of guns. If the next school shooter is taken down by a gun owner volunter in the school before the massacre occurs, no one will argue whether guns should be banned.

          • SportsmanforGunControl

            Webbie, “taken down by a gun owner volunteer” is language that scares the daylights out of me.  Fire away at someone who is also armed?  In the midst of children?  What might lie in the line of fire beyond? Injure the shooter and then what?  Ridiculous

          • TheDailyBuzzherd

            Actually Webbie, we’re at that point where all this is proof that adults can’t handle the freedom to “keep” guns responsibly, and thus, they should be taken away, just as we take a toy from a child, because these are not toys.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

            Your monomaniac idea of gun volunteers saving the day makes as much sense as arming every man, woman, and child to prevent massacres. Compare statistics of countries with and without strict gun control, if your brain is up to it.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

         Your argument makes no sense. It is irrational.

  • Pingback: Should we talk about guns, or should we talk about pathology? | Workspace Practices

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Here’s a thought: everytime a community suffers this crime, send the NRA the bill. Hospital. Triage. Funeral. Rehabilitation. Lost pay. Construction / renovation. Legal.

    Let’s see what it thinks about “collateral damage” after that.

  • Bob Johnson

    I like everyone else feel terrible about the recent shooting
    tragedies.

    However, we something like this happens we put the spotlight
    on X, Y, or Z and loose perspective of where things fit in the big picture.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_04.pdf

    In reading the overall CDC numbers (per 100,000): Homicide
    with firearm (11,015) is much less than say Drug induced death (37,792), alcohol induced death (25,440), motor vehicle accidents (35,080), with the top 15 causes
    of death are by diseases (1,976,978).

    Or if you look at the 5-14 age specific causes (per 100,000):

    Motor vehicle accidents          895
    Other accidents                      731
    Malignant neoplasms              913
    Congenital malformations       292
    Suicide                                  273
    Assault (homicide)                  254

    A 5-14 year old child is 3.5 times more likely to be killed
    in a motor vehicle accident than homicide, and some smaller portion of homicides are via a gun.
     
    Suicide is a tie with homicide; one could argue that it
    would be more productive to put effort in trying prevent children from committing suicide vs. arguing how many bullets a gun should or should not have.

    • WestCoastSusan

      Are you saying that the existence of motor vehicle accidents makes it OK to kill children with guns?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      An elementary course in statistics and public health would do you good and untangle your jangled mind.

    • nj_v2

      Tired of this kind of idiocy. 

      According to this “reasoning,” if my house is more likely to burn down from not cleaning my chimney vs. not fixing my frayed electrical wiring, then i should do nothing to fix my wiring. 

      When i can use a semi-automatic weapon to drive to work, then your “argument” will have some merit.

  • LouisvilleKid

    Caught only part of your broadcast but wanted to comment.
    To quote MR Kurtz in Heart of Darkness:
    “The Horror! The Horror!”
    This is an American nightmare too oft replayed.
    We (US) need to make some common sense changes to this
    culture.  First:  Every one who purchases a gun must be
    required to pass a local, state, federal background check.
    This includes gun shows, private sales, etc…
    Second: Everyone who owns a gun must purchase liability
    insurance to cover damages in the event the weapon is
    used illegally.
    Third:  Automatic 10-additional years in prison for the use
    of any firearm in the conduct of any crime.
    To the NRA.  If you really want to stand up for American
    sportsmen & gun owners now is your time.  Help us (US)
    solve this terrible plague of gun violence.  If what happened at
    Sandy Hook Elementary School does not move you to 
    action you have no conscience, no morals & no heart.
    Put your money where your mouth is NRA – help US
    & be part of the solution – not part of the problem!
    To Mayors Bloomberg, Emanuel, et al
    Each of you are constantly guarded by knuckle-heads with
    enough fire power to stop an elephant.  You have no need of
    weapons – they & your trigger-pullers are provided at tax-
    payer expense.  Your call to disarm the ordinary law abiding
    citizens of your cities is disingenuous and hypocritical.  Today’s “American streets” are mean & violent & there is no reason
    why a citizen should not have the right & means to defend
    themselves if they choose.  If your going to talk the talk
    then walk the walk – loose the fuzz & the black Tahoes,
    your honors.
    Lastly, regrettably, our schools – all of our American
    schools must be hardened:  Locked exterior doors, bullet resistant glass, etc… Secure enough so the children,
    teachers, staff can SAFELY shelter in place until the police 
    arrive & respond.
    Tom, keep up the good work & the sanity. 
     
     
      
     

     

  • babbo1

    Very disappointed in the lack of balance and rationality in today’s program as illustrated by the following exchange a few minutes after Robert Levy’s introduction:

    ROBERT: One has to assess both costs and benefits when making these kinds of policy changes.
    TOM: W-willing to do that, but the costs are weighing very heavily on our minds today…

    “The costs are on our minds today” is a statement of willful ignorance that I would never expect to hear from Tom given many of the subjects which have been discussed on this program over the years, particularly during the previous Presidency.

    The shootings in Aurora and Oak Creek and Clackamas and Newtown are all terrible, heart wrenching tragedies, and it is truly horrible that something so bad would happen to good and innocent people. But the costs always need to be weighed carefully against the benefits before rushing ahead and turning over long established civil rights to the American police state in the name of safety.

    The rush to react to “only the costs” is what got America involved in Iraq, Guantonomo Bay, waterboarding, wiretapping, and CIA black sites, among countless other mistakes in international politics in recent years. I can’t believe that so many on the other side of the aisle would so eagerly lead America down the same primrose path in the realm of domestic politics.

    I’m all for reasonable regulation of firearms, but it needs to be founded in a rational discussion of all facets of the issue, pro and con, not sensationalist fearmongering rooted in only one half of the equation.

  • SportsmanforGunControl

    LouisvilleKid stole some of my thunder but I’d like to add:
    These mass shootings are horrible but as many or more are killed daily in domestic gun related violence.  Typically the result of loaded, unsecured weapons readily available to irresponsible individuals under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or enraged.  The following are suggested in addition –  
    1) To purchase/own a firearm you must possess a license obtained by passing both a background check and a firearms safety course.
    2) To buy ammunition you must present your firearm license.
    3) Any criminal conviction (DUI etc.) will revoke your firearm license.
    4) Any evidence of an unsecured weapon or recklees use would revoke the license.

    These requirements in time would screen out the idiots, i.e.those who would not have the discipline or good judgment needed to own a firearm.  The sea of illegal guns would take decades to evaporate but these requirements woudl be a start.  A gun buyback program would aslos help.

    Webbie, “taken down by a gun owner volunteer” is language that scares the daylights out of me.  Fire away at someone who is also armed?  In the midst of children?  What might lie in the line of fire beyond? Injure the shooter and then what?  Ridiculous.

    With respect to schools becoming fortresses:  We’ve definitely failed at every level if we are start having armed guards and concertina wire fenced perimeters.

    For the record I’m an avid hunter and gun owner. 

    • Jenna Smith

      >>1) To purchase/own a firearm you must possess a license obtained by
      passing both a background check and a firearms safety course.
      >>2) To buy ammunition you must present your firearm license.
      >>3) Any criminal conviction (DUI etc.) will revoke your firearm license.
      >>4) Any evidence of an unsecured weapon or recklees use would revoke the license.

      Fine.  And how would any of this have done a thing to prevent the Newtown shooting?

      The mother was a gun enthusiast.  She wasn’t able to prevent her disturbed adult child from having access to her guns, which unfortunately included a semiautomatic rifle.

      When experts talk about suicide prevention, it’s well-established that one of the major risk factors for a successful suicide is access to lethal means.  Why don’t we talk about this re:  gun deaths?  Access is a major risk factor.

      • SportsmanforGunControl

        My opening statement clarifies the intent of this approach:  To address the thousands of deaths annually attributed to guns in the hands of irresponsible individuals. 

        Guy comes home drunk.  Gets in fight with wife/girlfriend, grabs loaded unlocked pistol from nightstand…

        Teen is distraught over girlfriend, comes across parent’s loaded unlocked pistol …

        These are the situations that could be prevented by responsible gun ownership.

        Newtown is about mental health and assualt weapon availbility.  Possibly unsecured weapons.  Its all gun violence.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Same old song and dance. Heartbreaking.

  • cosmogeny

    Why have so many people for so many decades not been able to comprehend the meaning of “well regulated militia”? Are they just illiterate?

  • Unterthurn

    The org that’s putting the PR announcements out to warn us about the warning signs of ill people is the NRA. They are the supporters of guns. The guns need to be removed from American households. Nobody is going to catch every mentally ill person (nor temporary episode) and if they can’t get their hands on a gun then these nightmares won’t occur.

    • babbo1

      Two points: 1) A person with no regard for the consequences of their actions needs nothing more than a can of gasoline or a couple of choice kitchen cleansers to commit an atrocity and kill 10 or 20 people. Banning guns sounds good in speeches but isn’t actually a solution to the problem before us. 2) Banning guns makes them illegal, but doesn’t turn back the clock and make the technology disappear. Anyone willing to commit mass murder isn’t going to care whether carrying a firearm is legal or not. It’ll just be one more charge among dozens on the rap sheet after the fact, with little to no deterrent effect.

  • Pingback: Guns, Paranoia And Newtown: A Civil Libertarian’s Take | Cognoscenti

  • WestCoastSusan

    Responding to Mr Levy’s assertion that guns serve a self-dense purpose: I was looking at FBI stats (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/) to see if that was so. It’s hard to find general numbers that would reflect defensive use, but if we take deaths as a rough proxy for ratios of use in general:
       Let’s consider three categories of violent
    crime: Aggravated Assault, Robbery and Murder (FBI tables 20, 21 and 22). We find that well over a million
    of these three combined occur every year in the USA, of which about a quarter
    (271,525 in 2009) are committed using firearms. Of these, muders with firearms
    run over twelve thousand a year for the
    nation as a whole. Meanwhile nationwide there are only about 200 cases a year of
    firearm use in “killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by
    a private citizen” (FBI Justifiable Homicide table 15).

    So that’s the annual ratio: 12,000 criminal shootings to 200 defensive ones.
    Let’s consider three categories of violent
    crime: Aggravated Assault, Robbery and Murder (FBI tables 20, 21 and 22). We find that well over a million
    of these three combined occur every year in the USA, of which about a quarter
    (271,525 in 2009) are committed using firearms. Of these, muders with firearms
    run over twelve thousand a year for the
    nation as a whole. Meanwhile nationwide there are only about 200 cases a year of
    firearm use in “killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by
    a private citizen” (FBI Justifiable Homicide table 15).

    So that’s the annual ratio: 12,000 criminal shootings to 200 defensive ones.

    • Sy2502

      So just to make sure we all understand, these criminals will break any existing law regarding assault, robbery and murder, but in your fantasy world they’ll observe the gun laws? Maybe you should take it easy with the dope, pal. You know, the same dope that is illegal but everybody and their sister can easily put their hands on?

  • Jenna Smith

    Caller  @16 minutes, Kathleen in Riverside, Iowa.  OMFG.  “400,000 Russian military with assault weapons in the mountains of North Carolina.”  “Do you know how many dead children there are in this country every year from Satanic ritual abuse?”  Seriously?????

    This, folks, is why we haven’t been able to have a reasonable discussion about gun control in this country.  Too many legislators and “think tanks” pay respectful attention to these vociferous lunatics.  Make no mistake, Kathleen really believes this crap, just like she believes it’s okay for the average citizen to own a Bushmaster semiautomatic.

    I live in a state with very lax gun laws.  Most of my friends and neighbors are armed.  The ones who quietly hunt or target shoot or even keep a properly secured gun for personal protection don’t concern me.  The ones who think it’s okay to walk around town with guns on their belts and loudly proclaim their “rights” at town meetings should be subjected to immediate mental health evaluations as well as an adult education course on the U.S. Constitution.  Our founding fathers didn’t envision 20 dead children in less than 5 minutes by a lone shooter with a military-grade weapon.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      I agree with the open/concealed carry morons.
      I think there needs to be more regulations in place as well.
      I don’t agree semi-autos need to be banned.
      The fact is a guy (or 2 or 3) can inflict the same damage on a school in roughly the same amount of time with a fast loading bolt-action rifle, handgun, shotgun, or even knife.
      It is a false sense of security, imo, to think that it will prevent these kinds of horrific shootings.
      We need better background checks, safer public areas (priority on children), more aware/informed families, neighbours, crack down on gangs, etc
      I do agree assault rifles (ie. autos) should be banned.
      But the fact is the vast majority of gun related deaths come from “sane” (let’s say legally but no one who kills people is really sane in my opinion) adults in this country. Most of it is black-market guns/violence, some is legally-owned gone wrong or stolen, etc;
      Mental illness accounts for maybe 3% of gun related violence.
      So we need to know the big picture when having this debate.
      It might be “easier” if no one hunted, went to the range, did pest control, plinking, or wanted guns for self-defense. We could have a total ban on all guns for civilians.
      This you might say, would be ideal, right?
      Thing is, you still have the gangs, criminals, thieves, rapists, nutcases etc who have all the guns they need on the black market. And they will be less concerned about people they may bump into because no one will have guns (legally anyway)
      Is that really ideal? For the average citizen?
      I don’t think so. And neither does the majority of the country.
      What is being discussed is gun regulations, not getting rid of guns.
      We want to take action when faced with such horrific events. It’s only natural. But we must move slowly, rationally, and not allow strong emotions to cloud the way forward on this.

      • Jenna Smith

        You either didn’t read my post in its entirety, or you didn’t understand what I wrote.  Try again.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Well I did admittedly address your post in part and went off in other directions as well.
          So basically, you think the problem is a minute number of genuinely crazy gun owners? Seriously? You might want to examine your own head too. The vast majority of gun-related violence comes from gangs, criminals, thieves, thugs using blackmarket guns. That clearly has to be the focus of any crackdown going forward. And founding fathers or not, it doesn’t matter if they envisioned semi-autos or not. They are here, and banning them will not solve the problem. A genuine nutbar can inflict the same damage in the same amount of time with a bolt-action, shotgun, or horrible as it is to imagine, a knife or a bat.
          We want to feel in control when these things happen. We want to take action.
          But the crazy rampage accounts for a minute fraction of the total gun-related deaths every year.
          And 99.9% of the nutbars you’re talking about, will never actually commit any violent acts.
          So we need to get clear on what the facts are.
          And what is realistic moving forward.

          • Jenna Smith

            The fact that you’re more interested in emotionally going off in other directions tells me you, like Kathleen from Iowa, have no interest in productive discussion.  Which was my point, which you missed, again.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            What you call “emotionally going off in other directions”, I call having a productive discussion. And I have absolutely not missed the point of your post btw. Please enlighten me though, as to your version of what a productive discussion might look like?

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

       My question is why didn’t Tom cut her off after the first lunacy rather than ask her another question? Was he educating us by exposure to the lunatics in our midst?

      • JackInPortland

        I think it was good to let her speak so that his nationwide listeners heard an example of the type of Looney Tune conspiracy ideas that are out there, and that some people totally buy into. It’s just head-shakingly sad the fairy tales that this woman believes—kids being slaughtered by Satanic cults, North Carolina’s mountains overrun with Russian soldiers… just pure conspiratorial insanity.

        I wish Tom would’ve said more to rebut her wild conspiracies, but it was pretty clear from his manner that he thought she was talking craziness.

        I fear for that callers mental health and hope she doesn’t have contact with children.

    • JackInPortland

      Yes, this is what we’re up against in trying to keep school children safe—people that literally believe that there are close to a half-million Russian soldiers with assault weapons hiding in the mountains of North Carolina! You know, just hanging out like The Grinch, cleaning their weapons and waiting for god-knows-what. This is Joseph McCarthy conspiracy stuff on steroids—pure unadulterated insanity!

      And this caller whole-heartedly believes this simply because some nut or political fabulist said it on her radio. This is madness! This caller is EXACTLY the type of person who shouldn’t be out there running around with an assault weapon!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QYPLKPVC4YRRTU2W2HQWLIYVJE Paul

    FYI, Connecticut currently has a law that is almost a verbatim copy of the 1994 assault weapons ban: http://www.ct.gov/despp/lib/despp/slfu/firearms/assault_weapons.pdf

    Bushmaster still sells a model that is compliant with the ban (to sell in places like CT), and the rifle used in CT was probably a compliant version: http://www.bushmaster.com/firearms/state_compliant.asp

  • 1Brett1

    People blame media for glorifying violence and glorifying the sick people who do these things, yet a person not suffering from some severe mental disfunction seeing such violence and news, over and over, would not go to the local elementary school and gun down a couple dozen children and adults. 

    People blame mentally ill people for these acts, yet mentally ill people who have no access to guns wouldn’t do this (they might otherwise inflict a certain amount of damage using other weaponry but would not be able to walk into an elementary school and mow down a couple dozen children and adults in a matter of minutes while not allowing effective physical confrontation from some of the adults; and, as bad as this scenario is, it most definitely would result in fewer deaths)….

    Let’s see what scenario haven’t I covered…well, we already know what would happen if a person could get access to legal guns…let’s see…we know what happens with illegal guns…I don’t know, maybe more guns accessible to all kinds of people by doing away with any potentially restrictive laws so that all people can have as much freedom as they wish with guns as a solution? …As much as this issue is a complex web of culture, lack of mental health services access and gun deregulation. We could stop the mass murders by focusing on the guns that have capacity for multiple rounds being shot in seconds just as a starting point. 

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    To all those who think a militia is key to keeping our government in check. Consider this:
    Are a relatively minute number of assault rifle-bearing citizens really going to do squat against the most powerful military in the history of mankind, if the Gov should inconceivably decide to turn on it’s own people?
    The answer is no.
    It is entirely a false sense of security, that your auto makes a single damn difference in that regard.
    And other than for militia, there is no conceivable reason US citizens need automatic weapons.
    So let’s get real here. We could definitely use more regulations, like better background checks, limited round mags, etc
    And no, it’s not the beginning of a total gun ban, you paranoid morons.
    It’s just taking some measures to at least try and make this country safer.
    It may or may not work, but we do what we can within reason to move in the right direction.

    • peterlake

       There’s a long history of underarmed citizens defeating professional armies. See N. Vietnam and N. Ireland as modern examples.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        Let me ask you, and I’m not trying to be facetious here. Do you think there is any comparison whatsoever here?

        • peterlake

           There’s certainly a spiritual and philosophical analogy in that the definition of free men used to be the ability to bear arms.
          Thus, after the civil war slaves were suddenly able to be armed, which alarmed their previous owners more than a little.
          Enter gun control.

          Jews for the Preservation of Firearms is a good source for this, by the way.

          http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/six-about-2nd.htm

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Given how drastically different society is today from the time the ammendments were drawn up, I think we clearly need to take them with a grain salt. The fact is today, gun ownership remains only symbolic. It has not been a threat to the Gov for many decades now. And likewise, if God forbid, the people were to persecute Jews yet again, owning an assault rifle might make you feel safer, but we both know there’s not much that can help if such a thing were to occur.
            The fact is, we now rely on the Gov to protect us at home and abroad.
            And they are extremely well-positioned to do so today.
            But if they were to decide to turn on the people, I’m sorry but a few assault rifles are not going to mean a damn thing.
            And personally, I’m not going to vote for you to have them, just so you can “feel safer”, when it’s ultimately an illusory false sense of security.

      • Choua Yang

         ??  are you implying that we should legalize AK’s and rocket launchers from Russia and China?  Get real people!  US citizens are not going to fight their own soldiers.  Government takeover is in politics and money.  The only way a citizen force can take over its own government by force is to be backed by other superpowers (e.g. Syria).

        • peterlake

          AK-47′s are legal already in the USA, thanks, and can be bought like any other semi-auto rifle. Rocket launchers and automatic AK-47′s require a special license and a Federal tax.

          Of course US citizens aren’t going to fight our own soldeirs. US citizens are better armed.

          And if you think it’s not possible you only have to see what’s happening in Afghanistan. A superpower is backing one side against lightly armed citizens (Taliban).

          How’s that working out?

    • WestCoastSusan

      The fantasy of personal power is very seductive relief from anxiety for men who feel helpless otherwise. I think unemploment contributes significantly to this.

      Also, convincing a majority of fellow citizens to agree with a cause or an arguement is the hard work of democracy. The fantasy of overthrowing the Government by force is just intellectual laziness.

      If we take away their killing toys they’re just pathetic rather than scary and pathetic.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        I agree the militia argument is nonsense.
        I don’t agree with your characterization and villainisation of gun culture as a whole.
        For most gun owners, it’s about hunting, pest control, plinking, the range, and self-defense. It’s not about forming some militia and overtaking the Gov.
        What we need is tighter gun regulations.
        And it looks like we’ll get it.
        What we don’t need is the kind of mean-spirited, elitist, misinformed, name calling that you are spewing here.

        • WestCoastSusan

          What is the point of semi-automatic weapons other than civil insurrection, then? It’s the only explanation I’ve heard users offer, other than that firing guns is thrilling and fun.
           
          Americans are slaughtered at the equivalent of FOUR 911s every year by guns. Little children, elected officials, theatre goers, worshipers in a house of God slaughtered by easily available guns. You are saying that a society awash in these obscene killing devices is a small price for everyone else to pay for you to get YOUR moments of whoopie.
           
          Why can’t you all just ride roller-coasters or set off fireworks or something? Why does it have to be bullets and death??

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Semi autos I could honestly go either way on. But to answer your question, they are used for hunting, self-defense, and yes for fun. The mistaken jump you make is that tighter gun restrictions, or even a full ban on guns, is going to prevent future mass killings, and everyday gun violence in America. They will always be available, either legally or on the black market. If no guns existed, it would be crossbows, knives, bats, poison, arson. It’s not the guns in the end, it’s people. You want to imagine there’s an easy solution. You don’t understand why people want guns. I get it. But there is more to the story.

          • WestCoastSusan

            I accept that you are a reasonable, decent person. But it’s not your job to protect society. Nowdays we have professional law enforcement. That is their job, not work for vigilantes

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            I don’t know where you got protecting society and vigilantes from? I said hunting, for hobby, and self-defense. Self-defense, in this case, refers to protecting one’s home and family. Not going out like Batman and taking down criminals.

          • WestCoastSusan

            you asked “How many deaths, rapes, robberies, etc were averted because of guns?” Are you talking about vigilanteism?  We know the mere presence of hidden guns does NOT have a deterrant effect on crime. Crime rates have been falling consistently for more than a generation at a steady rate in all states completely independent of concealed weapon carry laws. The only correllation between legal and illegal gun use is that both are high or both are low. More legal guns DOES NOT correlate with lower crime rates.
             
            If you want outdoor male bonding you should take up golf or fishing or hiking. We need to throttle back on the volume of guns out there. And we haven’t even mentioned accidental shootings or suicides. Those add about 18,000 deaths a year to the 12,000 murders.

        • WestCoastSusan

          and don’t give me that “self-defense” line. We have established that 600 innocent people die for every 1 legitimate act of self-defense.
           
          We live in a society that believes in “innocent until proven guilty” because we have decided that it is better for ten guilty men to go free than to punish one innocent.
           
          Unless it’s you carrying the gun, then it’s OK for 600 other innocent people to die just in case you are the VERY RARE instance of actual self-defense, because YOU are more important than 600 strangers.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Correct. We as a nation decided (and it can change) that the right to own guns for self-defense outweighed the inevitable gun-related deaths that would occur as a result of those guns being around. How many deaths, rapes, robberies, etc were averted because of guns? Bet you don’t have a stat for that one. Now this has been the way for a long time. But if there is enough push in the other direction, you just might get your wish. Who knows. But I know one thing for sure. You can take away all the civilian-owned guns in America, and there will still be mass shootings. There will still be gun-violence/deaths. Anyone who denies this, is extremely naïve and ignoring the reality on the ground.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QYPLKPVC4YRRTU2W2HQWLIYVJE Paul

    Automatic firearms have been very tightly controlled since the National Firearms Act of 1934 in the wake of gangsters with Tommy guns: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act

    No modern lone wolf shooting sprees that I am aware of were committed with automatic weapons. If there are some, they are quite rare.

    Semi-automatic means something else, and encompasses a very large portion of all civilian firearms. Of civilian rifles made in the US, many of them (probably more than half) are semi-automatic. Almost all non-revolver handguns are semi-automatic. Based on 2010 production figures, about 80% of all handguns made in the US are semi-automatic (http://www.atf.gov/statistics/download/afmer/2010-final-firearms-manufacturing-export-report.pdf).

  • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

    Dear Tom
    I am a long time listener, and I really respect your journalism style. I’m a moderate democrat, socially liberal, libertarian on civil rights issues, and, yes, a gun owner. I’m also the father of a 3 year old and since I dropped him on his first day of daycare 3 years ago my heart sinks every time the thought of a random act of violence may happen. Then rationality ensues and I realize that the likelihood of choking on his food or die at the playground are much, much higher, and fear subsides a little

    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=113518

    http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/playground-injuries/playgroundinjuries-factsheet.htm

    Your show yesterday was well thought out, but some of the guests misspoke about the contents and effects of the gun laws in California and Massachusetts. Perhaps a gun lawyer in the show would have been a good idea (I suggest Jason Guida, former director of the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau, now in private practice).

    First of all, for all the horror and sickness to my stomach that  what happened in CT causes to me, mass shootings are not trending up over the years, but trending flat with occasional spikes, as this well known gun control advocate admits:

    http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/2012/08/no_increase_in_mass_shootings.html

    I know that is a cold statistics and that one child is one too many, but policy must be ground in facts. Raw emotions after 9/11 gave us the Patriot Act and torture/detention of legal immigrants without habeas corpus, extra-judicial killings and I don’t want to see that done to the second amendment.

    Secondly, contrary to what your guest from San Francisco said, in Massachusetts and California, AR-15 type rifles with limits in magazine capacity and attachment are currently for sale at lawful federally licensed dealers. For instance in California, AR-15 with modified stocks that don’t have a pistol grip and with “bullet botton”-magazines make the AR15 legal. If there is a drop in crime in California I am not sure it is due to the AWB in effect there, because such modified AR-15s are functionally identical to the one used in CT.

    Third, most of the focus has been on the rifle used, but the two service-type pistols found with the shooter are just as deadly (9 mm, semiautomatic, detachable magazine etc.). Admittedly, even a hunting pump shotgun with buckshots or a revolver with a speed-loader would have been just as lethal on a undefended target,like a school.

    All of that said, I’m on moderate compromising positions when it comes to gun issues, mainly as a way of avoiding worse compression of second amendment rights.

    so what are the possible compromises?

    1. Reinstate the 1994 AWB (smaller mags, no certain features etc.), but leave possession of AR-15-like semiautomatic firearms like it is now possible in Massachusetts or California for target shooting in legitimate competitions like Civilian marksmanship Program, International Practical Shooting Association, USPSA. Pushing the issue too hard on this class of rifles (ie total ban on semiautomatics) may cause the supreme court to intervene with even a more radical decision, because it has already signalled that bans in whole classes of firearms in common use and pertinent to the militia function are inconstitutional
    2. Expand NICS to private sales: this may curb illegal trafficking and lawful owners would not object to a 20 minute-long wait for a check
    3. introduce one-gun-per-months laws. normal people with normal income like me buy one firearm every one-two-three years or more.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      And a tiny fraction of people die from reaction to medicine. So, by your logic, we should do away with the FDA.

      • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

        wrong analogy, actually. a tiny fractions dies from drugs because you first do animal studies and phase 0 and 1 clinical trials and you have a company that can lose billions if the drug kills scores and does nothing good. the eventual licensing of a drug is always a balance of cost and benefits, relative risks of side effects vs. benefits. and You would be surprised how little the FDA does in the process….anyway, I’m not arguing against gun regulations, if you read the whole thing. I’m arguing that emotions now run obviously high and policy should not be based on emotions, because we have had bad precedents when that happens. what I am saying is that policy should be guided by statistics, odd ratios and risk assessment, within the frame of the Constitution ad the bill of rights, and that pushing wholesales ban too hard as I’m hearing now from Congress may get you the opposite in the judiciary.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

          It’s not a bad analogy. You seem to be conflating incidents that have nothing to do with each and making inferences from them. That is bad statistics, very bad statistics.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QYPLKPVC4YRRTU2W2HQWLIYVJE Paul

      I appreciate you delving into the details here. The abstract arguments about the 2nd amendment generally overlook the details that actually affect real situations.

      “1. Reinstate the 1994 AWB (smaller mags, no certain features etc.),”

      The ban on large capacity magazines is sensible. But people should have no illusions about what its effect will be. The ban will either grandfather existing large capacity magazines, which will result in the pre-ban magazines being easily available just at a markup. Or the ban will not grandfather existing large capacity magazines, which means hundred of thousands of products that people currently own will become illegal, and there would be incredible pushback against such a ban.

      The AWB is about appearances instead of function, and people should have no illusions about that either. It bans firearms that “feel” dangerous or military-ish, but allows firearms that are nearly identical except for five features that don’t make much functional difference. To use Colbert’s excellent term, the AWB is about “truthiness” and not functional facts. The rifle in CT was probably ban-compliant because a copy of the AWB is in effect in CT today.

      “2. Expand NICS to private sales: this may curb illegal trafficking and lawful owners would not object to a 20 minute-long wait for a check”

      That makes good sense. It will have more effect than any ban, and it is also more likely to be politically palatable.

      “3. introduce one-gun-per-months laws. normal people with normal income like me buy one firearm every one-two-three years or more.”

      This will be seen by gun rights people as an attempt to ostracize and will ignite a lot of pushback.  Some gun owners are hobbyists and buy and sell many firearms amongst each other. That may seem weird to us here in Mass. but is not weird in some parts of the U.S. 

  • Sy2502

    I guess most people don’t get why it’s a problem to use statistical outliers to draw conclusions on the whole population. The general trend has been that although gun sales have been going strong, homicide has steadily declined over time. To any rational person the meaning should be clear enough but no, so much better to use the random shooting by a disturbed individual to conclude that normal, non disturbed individuals shouldn’t have guns. The stupidity of the average voter never ceases to amaze me. And not in a good way.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Recent shooting aside, there is no reason, imo, for
      assault rifles to be legal. Not for hunting, not for plinking, pest control, or
      the range. It’s not going to solve all our problems. There are many steps that
      need to be taken. Like a big crackdown on gangs/criminals and blackmarket guns.
      They make up the majority of gun-related violence/deaths. We need to make
      places where children congregate safer as well. We need 100% in-depth
      background checks. We need to track people (and children) with a history of
      mental illness and violence. But just because tighter gun regulation isn’t a
      magic pill on its own, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be one of the measures we take
      going forward. I’m no longer willing to allow a minute segment of this
      population have access to assault rifles, simply because they want them. No more.
      I’m sure you’ll survive without them. And don’t even get me started on the
      whole militia argument. If you think a relatively minute fraction of the
      population having assault rifles is going to do jack shit against the most
      powerful military in the history of the world, should they inconceivably decide
      to turn on their people, than you are dreaming in Technicolor. That’s just a
      false sense of security.

      • Sy2502

        I don’t own guns for militia purposes, I own them for protection. With all due respect, I don’t see how an individual can or should tell me what I need or don’t need. I have never shot any child nor do I intend to do so, and until I commit a crime, what’s in my house is and should remain my business. Again trying to limit the freedom of good, law abiding citizens is not going to prevent tragedies for the very simple reason that it’s not good, law abiding citizens who do massacres in the first place.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          So was Nancy Lanza.
          Sorry to break it to you, but the Gov already tells you what you can and can’t have in terms of guns.
          It’s not your business alone, because that’s democracy.
          And if this assault ban is passed, assuming you are a “good, law abiding” citizen, you will accept the majority will.
          It’s not a magic pill, as I said. It’s one part of what I hope is a much more comprehensive strategy.
          If there is grandfathering, then you might just be in look.
          But if not, then like I said, I won’t be losing any sleep over it.
          You can defend your home just fine with existing legal guns.

          • Sy2502

            I am sure this will make you feel so much better about yourself. It won’t stop the killings. But you don’t seem to care about that part. Good luck in your pointless crusade. Me, I’ll actually work to solve the problems, not to make myself feel good.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            I will feel better about the country, not myself. And I care deeply about the killings. And I am working to improve the problem of gun-related violence/death in this country. As I stated, it will require a multifaceted approach, and both parties coming together. I’m curious. what are you doing to “solve the problem”?

          • jefe68

            So let me get this straight.
            You think owning a gun will protect you. I guess if you’re home is broken into at 3 AM you’re a crack shot. That’s if you are not in a deep sleep.

            If you’re at a stoplight and you get car jacked that gun in your pocket wont do much as the chap taking your car already has one pointed at your head.

            The level of fantasy here is amazing. You’re more likely to shoot someone you know in anger or by mistake than an actual criminal.

            Me, I have a large dog with a loud bark. Never been robbed in the ten years I’ve owned him. And you know what, he’s cuter than a gun and more fun.

      • http://twitter.com/VoxPopuliInfo Vox Populi

        That is a point that so many people ignore…
        @VoxPopuliInfo

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      Don’t blame the average voter for stupidity. Look in the mirror and stupidity will stare back at you. Homicides are down because doctors have become so much better at patching up gun victims. Those who use statistics to draw conclusions should at the least look at the relevant variables, inter alia. You seem to have neglected that part. Garbage in, garbage out.

      • Sy2502

        You seem to be a perfect example of what I just said. Keep working on keeping guns out of the hands of normal, good people. It will solve no problem whatsoever, it will just limit other people’s freedom. But then some people get their jollies that way.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

          Your logic is as fallacious as your statistics. Twenty six people, including 20 children, just lost their lives. How does banning assault weapons limit anybody’s freedom? And what makes you so certain that banning them will not solve the problem? Your certainty borders on dogmatism. There is no rationale in provincialism.

        • jefe68

          And yet “normal, good people” will have arguments and shoot other normal and good people.

  • iservethee

    Why is no one talking about the other common denominator in all these mass killings?  Psychotropic drugs.  Nearly every single mass killer in recent history was on or recently off psychotropic drugs.  Guns have been around since the conception of our country, but outside the watchtower incident in Texas, mass shootings have all occurred over the last twenty years.  Psychotropic drugs were first made available on a mass scale just a few decades ago.

    Also keep in mind, 50,000 Americans are killed each year in automobile accidents, with millions maimed and injured.  Every. Single. Year.  There is no call for new Vehicle Control Laws, because we all understand and accept the risk associated with the freedom the car affords us.  We need to keep things in perspective regarding the associated risk living in a free society necessitates.  Even if we could get rid of every gun in the country, crazy people would still be able to kill us.

    Guns are not the problem, the psychotropic drugs are.

    ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ – Ben Franklin

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

      After reading your rant, I am more convinced than ever that there should be a ban on assault weapons.

      • iservethee

        You are right.  Clearly it is the availability of assault weapons that makes people snap, not drugs like Zoloft of Prozac.  They mention their products might cause thoughts of suicide in their ads because they don’t want to sell too many.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

          Your nonsensical babble has no relevance to the topic. Irrational people like you shouldn’t be permitted to own even the most basic weapon.

          • iservethee

            Name calling doesn’t settle anything nor dispute ideas.  I believe we are talking about different things.  I am concerned with the root causes of the escalating mass killings, and how to prevent them.  You are concerned with taking away one tool that a mass killer might use.  If someone is so far gone that they will pull the trigger at one person 11 times, then the lack of guns is not going to stop them from rampaging. That kind of hatred is not abated because there is no gun in reach. Are suicide bombers not mass killers?

            Why not look at stopping people from snapping in the first place instead of focusing on how they killed?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NTZPSD3UXV6GEV5YWADOS56IYQ Kar

            You keep referring to drugs as the cause of massacres. What evidence do you have that drugs cause people to commit these heinous crimes? There is no reportage of the latest perpetrator having been on drugs. It is the use of assault weapons that cause unimaginable casualties. Keeping them out of people’s hands will not stop crime, but it will drastically reduce the carnage. If anything, treating mental disorders with drugs gives the afflicted a normal life.

          • iservethee
    • jefe68

      Wow. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WRAJRJNGTKJTWS24EEDZ45B6NE Izzy

    Firearm Legislature Idea:

    The idea is to adopt the same model as the Department of Transportation

    The Department of Firearm:

    1. In order to purchase ANY firearm, citizens will have to obtain a Firearm License
    2. All firearms will need to have a valid Registration Form obtained by the Department of Firearm
    and a New Jersey Institute of Technology child-proof “smart gun” style safety system

    NJIT has spent the last nine years on a “dynamic grip recognition” technology that can identify gun owners based on how they squeeze the trigger. 
    The technology uses sensors located in the gun to identify unconscious, reflexive actions unique to each person and then decides whether the gunman is authorized to fire the weapon.
    University officials say it works 99 percent of the time when paired with an off-the-shelf handgun outfitted with green and red lights to indicate whether the embedded circuitry decided to fire or not. 
    They have tested it successfully with shooters wearing gloves, under timed conditions to simulate stressful conditions and using alternate hands.

    3. NO firearm can be sold, bought, traded or destroyed without a valid Registration Form
    4. The only people/person authorized to sell an UNREGISTERED firearm is an authorized dealer
    5 Firearm authorized dealer process already exists.

    Steps to purchasing a Firearm:

     1. Obtain a Firearm License - 
    A. Must attend a certified Firearm Course that teaches Safety and Use. (Instructor should use training to spot possible signs of instability and report behavior)
    NOTE: Added benefit to our incoming unemployed Veterans, possible opportunity to open their own business by teaching certified Firearm Courses
    - Once you pass the course, you will obtain a signed certification from your instructor stating the course you”ve passed and the “class” you are released on: example CLASS – H: Handgun, R: Rifle, S: Shotgun, etc…
    B.Go to your local Department of Firearm office and deliver your certification with proper ID and pay license fees
    C. The Department of Firearm will conduct background check
    D.  The Department of Firearm will create your Firearm License, taking picture, fingerprints name, address and your own unique License number.
    - License will have all the similar security features of a current issued drivers license and will be valid for 5 years
    - Renewal licenses will be subject to similar Department of Transportation requirements for renewal.  Address change, class change, etc…

    2. Purchasing a Firearm -
    A. Retailers will validate your Firearm License with another form of ID and another background check will be conducted at the time of sale
    B. All firearms, at the time of sale, will be registered to the Department of Firearm and a Authorized Registration Form will be mailed to the owner of the firearm.
    - Authorized Registration Form will have the following information:
    FIREARM INFORMATION
    Year Built:
    Make:
    Model:
    Serial Number:
    Caliber:
    **Round Capacity:
    **Classification Use: Home Protection, Work, Conceal Carry, Hunting
    NOTE: ** means that fees will vary based on round capacity of the firearm and use of the firearm
    To obtain the highest level of participation by the population the Department of Firearm should create a Website and 1-800 number offering FREE firearm registration for a year.Also, a 2012 grandfather law for any citizen that already owns a firearm and is using it for home protection ONLY:  NO need to obtain a Firearm License 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Wilson/537350780 Dan Wilson

    Be it resolved that all firearms be subjected to an annual
    tax assessed on the owner’s income tax return. The owner will be required to
    declare on their federal and/or state tax return the number of firearms in
    their household and then pay a fee for each in an amount to be determined by
    the taxing authority. The revenues will then be dedicated to paying the societal
    costs of firearms violence which takes the lives of 30,000 Americans every
    year. The funds will be used to offset the costs of medical care, long-term
    care,  law enforcement ,  funerals and the overall pain and suffering
    engendered by the proliferation o f firearms. Failure to make the declaration
    and pay the tax will expose the owner to charges of income tax evasion.
    facebook.com/taxthegun

    • http://twitter.com/VoxPopuliInfo Vox Populi

      That’s not a bad idea!

  • http://twitter.com/podoq_ru PODOQ
  • Estevan Carlos Benson

    Kathleen was amazing.

  • Gregg Smith

    I learned this morning that in Texas teachers are not forbidden from carrying guns. There is extra training and background checks but it is legal and has been.

  • Regular_Listener

    Please note the technical glitch – when I download the show, I only get the first 9-10 minutes.  And I don’t care for the Flash player, which does not allow me to fast forward for some reason.  Download and play on Winamp is the best way to listen to On Point.

  • http://twitter.com/karenmorris40 karenmorris

    The thing that disturbs me is that the first thing that Hitler did was take away guns to leave jews helpless. Would you put it past Hitler to stage shootings so that he could create laws to take away guns so he could start rounding people up???

    Think about it. You have a higher chance of getting in a car accident then getting shot by a gun. Many people have guns for self defense to protect their families in case of a break in. Also, the constitution setup the 2nd amendment as a way for people to defend against a tyrannical govt.

    I don’t like the fact that people like Kathy Obrien and Arizona Wilder are on youtube talking about some pretty scary things going on secretly in the govt. I urge you to check out these videos to see why maybe people like Alex Jones says that we are being played like fools. As joseph Gobles said in Nazi Germany, the bigger the lie, the more they believe it!

    Karen
    Financial Writer, http://gmbullion.com/

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 25, 2014
President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as the Miraikan, in Tokyo, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP)

Guns in Georgia. Obama in Asia. Affirmative Action. And Joe Biden in Ukraine. Our weekly news roundtable.

Apr 25, 2014
In this Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 file photo, employees of the New Hampshire state health department set up a temporary clinic at the the middle school in Stratham, N.H., to test hundreds of people for hepatitis C related to an outbreak at nearby Exeter Hospital. A new drug, Sovaldi, is said to successful treat more than 90 percent of Hepatitis C patients. (AP)

Super expensive miracle drugs. How much can we afford to pay?

RECENT
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Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

 
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Up At Everest Base Camp, ‘People Still Don’t Know The Ramifications’
Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

With a satellite phone call from Mount Everest’s Base Camp, climber and filmmaker David Breashears informs us that the Everest climbing season “is over.”

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The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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