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What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding

We spoke with the scientist who led the government’s research on guns.

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Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 12:19 a.m.

Rusty, if you extrapolate the 20011 FBI data, you get: Handguns 8,809 or 88%; Rifles 396 or 4.6%; and Shotguns 419 or 5%. And a long gun percentage of 9.6%, or 815, total.

The proposed AWB references “assault weapons”, some shotguns, as well as “assault pistols”, so the effort is not just on banning rifles.

http://www.gunfaq.org/2013/02/murder-weapons-2011-guns-68-knives-13-blunt-objects-4-personal-weapons-6-other-9/

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 1:17 a.m.

Michael Long: Your post is brilliant in every respect! You provide reasonable measures to help reduce the very real problem we have in this country with death by gun violence, and give us a compelling argument why they should be embraced by every concerned American. That some who post here just don’t seem to care about the carnage is a mystery to me.

Rusty Shackleford’s post which follows yours suggests we don’t have a gun homicide problem since the death rate by guns has fallen. In the 1960’s our death by gun rate was much higher, and as of last year it had fallen to “only” 4.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people. So I’m guessing Rusty measures problems by their severity in comparing our current gun death rate to that from previous years.

Okay: Here’s some more stuff to compare ourselves relative to some other countries we share our planet with. The US, of course, has BY FAR the highest per capita gun death rate of all developed countries. Four times as many per capita as Turkey and Switzerland which are tied for third. Twenty times the average for all other high income countries.

Individual gun ownership in this country is actually declining. In 1977, 54% of households reported owning guns. By 2010 that number had declined to 32%. The surge in the number of guns being purchased in this country can be attributed to gun owners who buy lots of guns. There appear to be a lot of gun lovers who like guns so much they amass large personal arsenals.

Yesterday marked the date which doubled the number of children’s gun deaths caused by the Newtown shooter. We now have 42 children, ages 12 and under, who have died at the point of a gun since December 14th when 20 were shot. Grand total: 62. All it took was less than 11 weeks. Total of all killed since Sandy Hook: 2332 or more. .... Less than 11 weeks…..

As Michael Long suggested, maybe taking out a few minutes to complete a background check might be worth at least as much as a child’s life.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

rusty shackleford: “Just out of curiosity, how many of the people advocating banning guns here are also supporters of the Obama admin?  I would wager the percentage is very closely linked - which is certainly yet another in a long line of hypocritical behavior moments from gun prohibitionists. ”

It appears to me that the protests about the drone program, black sites, indefinite detentions, the loss of habeus corpus through the patriot act, unilateral decisions with no oversight, and the lack of transparency in all of these are coming from the left, not the right. I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

We have a lot of issues to address. Creating a safer country through sensible gun control measures is one of them.

Others are the very real problems we seem to be facing due to our efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. We shouldn’t have to resort to terrorism, secrecy, and unilateral decisions with no oversight in that process. An awful lot of us fear we’re becoming what we’ve been fighting against and we’re making a lot of noise about it.

Albert

Feb. 28, 2013, 2:10 a.m.

Remember everyone, Guns don’t kill, people kill! Does anyone have numbers on how many deaths by every violent means have been avoided since newtown because of illegal Gun ownership and fear by criminals?
If that doesn’t matter to you then you don’t care about saving lives you care about your agenda!

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 4:08 a.m.

“It appears to me that the protests about the drone program, black sites, indefinite detentions, the loss of habeus corpus through the patriot act, unilateral decisions with no oversight, and the lack of transparency in all of these are coming from the left, not the right.”

Sorry, but that is absolutely false and not even close to being accurate. 

With very, very few exceptions, the only people who have been talking about the drones and NDAA have been the libertarians, who aren’t really of the right or left.  The exact same media types and leftists who complained about what Bush did became extremely silent or even cheered Obama throughout the last four years.  Only now are a relatively few even starting to mention the topic exists now that Obama has safely won re-election.

Glenn Greenwald has done a brilliant job of pointing this out over the last few years, and here is the latest in a long line of columns exposing what complete hacks and frauds most on the left are on this issue.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/11/progressives-defend-obama-kill-list


The reason I bring this up is that it proves that those who are advocating assaulting the second amendment and banning guns also are on other ends of the fascist spectrum when it comes to giving the government unprecedented powers when it comes to civil liberties and war.  It is hard to take seriously the same people demanding a ban on rifles that are linked to 323 deaths in 2011 when they cheer on the guy who is blowing away muslim civilians on a regular basis.

John Henry Bicycle Lucas

Feb. 28, 2013, 8:55 a.m.

Rusty, that’s easy. Semi automatic rifles that fire many rounds of ammunition are much more of a threat to government officers.

Sandy Hook has been reduced to an easy method or excuse, just like 9-11 was to enact laws to take away our rights.

Our government needs a boogy man. Hype from the media helps the masses believe. Now the tide is turning inward towards the citizens. Now many of us may be considered as terrorist. What does it take to wake people up? Has critical thinking totally left the country? Turn that idiot box of a television off and think and reason for yourself!

Albert

Feb. 28, 2013, 11:47 a.m.

Mike Long, I agree Lawful ownership of guns come with a responsibility, unfortunately criminals are exempt! The result is lawful people will be at a disadvantage over the criminal. Guns do prevent many violent crimes. Be careful what you advocate because every action has other actions associated. This needs to be a study by the appropriate people. The Harvard study is very interesting.
It goes without saying, mentally incompetent people should not have legal access to guns but that will not stop them from getting them illegally, just as it will not stop the criminal from getting them. Human nature is such that we desire what is prohibited. This is no reason not to implement a system that keeps dangerous people from legally owning guns, but preventing legal ownership will do little if anything in stopping mass murders. If someone is sick enough to mass murder they will find or build a gun, if not a gun a bomb as did McVey and the Uni-Bomber. Digging into the mental health of every person who wants to buy a gun is not the answer as that is another example of possible abuse by government and infringement on our freedoms and Rights…
People that have a mental health history that is serious enough to deny them their 2nd amendment rights should be on a legally protected, private list that will prohibit them from legally buying a gun. No doubt! People who allow their guns to be accessed by sick people are responsible. Don’t check out every law abiding citizen, just compile a list of existing incompetent mental patients. 1st design a clear system and definition to identify known mental patients that this pertains to.
It is unacceptable that people with no serious mental health issues be put through back ground mental history inquiry to buy a gun.  Some people will take it to that or maybe metal health testing.
Remember your right to own and bear arms shall not be infringed! There is a limit that will be tolerated.
Question, does anxiety or situational depression qualify as a reason to deny? Should one doctor have the power? Once deemed incompetent to own a gun, is that forever? What doctor will take the chance to remove your status?  Should every mental health patient wanting to buy or presently owning a gun be tested? Should their guns be confiscated? If this keeps up the government will put chips in guns or God forbid chips in people. How much do you want the government to know?
Don’t give up any of your freedoms or Rights; you will have to fight to get them back as did our forefathers did.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 12:34 p.m.

rusty shackleford: “With very, very few exceptions, the only people who have been talking about the drones and NDAA have been the libertarians”

Count me and every single other Obama supporting Democrat I know as exceptions then. We certainly wouldn’t choose to bail and support libertarians since they want to dismantle our government, destroy all social programs, and unleash unbridled free-market enterprise. An Ayn Rand dream come true! We do agree with the libertarians, progressive democrats, and “others” who are alarmed at giving our government unprecedented powers. We have some issues to resolve in that respect, but would prefer having enough of a government in place so we actually can resolve them - through our votes.

I believe all of us are hybrids as far as choosing party identity is concerned and appreciate the ability of so many of us to think in dynamic ever-changing greys instead of possessing the kind of absolutist thinking which starts with an unyielding premise and doesn’t adapt to new data. (We are not “sheeple”)

I’ve always loved this quote from Winston Churchill: “Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Your statement: “those who are advocating assaulting the second amendment and banning guns also are on other ends of the fascist spectrum when it comes to giving the government unprecedented powers when it comes to civil liberties and war.” is unequivocally false. In forming opinions about what we all think per our designated categories, perhaps you watch too much of our corporate owned media.

Albert

Feb. 28, 2013, 12:35 p.m.

Harvard Study, For your review… I found this and wanted to share with those that do not know about it!

Harvard Study: Gun Control is counter productive

Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).
.....
Finally, and as if to prove the bumper sticker correct - that “gun don’t kill people, people do” - the study also shows that Russia’s murder rate is four times higher than the U.S. and more than 20 times higher than Norway. This, in a country that practically eradicated private gun ownership over the course of decades of totalitarian rule and police state methods of suppression. Needless to say, very few Russian murders involve guns.

The important thing to keep in mind is not the rate of deaths by gun - a statistic that anti-gun advocates are quick to recite - but the overall murder rate, regardless of means. The criminologists explain:

er capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the United States as in several other nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing, or beating is much more frequent. (p. 663 - emphases in original)
http://theacru.org/acru/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/


http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

In my opinion, Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens prevent more murder and violent crime than it creates! Guns are a threat to abusers more than good people. Gun Control will change that to the advantage of the person with ill intent.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 1:26 p.m.

Albert, EXCELLENT points. I have yet to see any anti-gun advocate intelligently debate against the Kates and Mauser report.

==================================================


Micheal Long

Im not on your nuts like carolyn, but indeed a good post.

Universal background checks like you said MIGHT have stopped those incidents. Some states already require background checks at gun shows. Adam Lanza attempted to legally buy his own guns, but after learning about a 14 day waiting period/background check he decided to get them easier from another source….Most likely the route any maniac hell bent on killing would take.

The only way you won’t get background checked is if you go to a gun show at a state that doesn’t require them, or buy from an individual. Close the gun show loophole, sounds good.

How do we prevent individuals from selling guns to others when the guns cannot even be traced back to the seller? If they have any criminal interest, they will see how easy it would be to capitalize without much risk.

Background checks usually take 30-45 minutes not 5. Regardless..every gun I have bought i’ve had a background check run on me. I fill out the 6 page 4473, they are no inconvenience and I don’t mind them at all. The dealer holds on that form for 20 years but does not put it on any database. If a crime is committed with a gun purchased legally background check and all, law enforcement will have no idea who bought it, or where it was purchased from. They have to go to each store they might think it came from, then ask for the records.

Put that on an individual level where private sellers are to keep the form for 20 years, now law enforcement has even more work to do.

Registration is the only way you can prevent that…which won’t ever happen judging on how hard it would be resisted.

Loosing rights for being considered mentally ill sounds dangerous, if you take a bunch of anti-depressants are you mentally ill?...having therapists report when their patients talk about specifically killing people sounds good though.

Gun safety and public awareness programs, sounds GREAT!

Lets also be realistic as to where the problem is mainly taking place and stop focusing on the outlier issues. The gun violence “carnage” is definitely not concentrated in suburbia. Put a chart/report on that (your?) website breaking down the demographics of the gun violence in the USA…then you can start to call it “trying to be unbiased as possible”.


==================================================

Lets talk about child deaths since that seems to be the biggest selling point for the anti-gun crowd. They use this because you can’t be insensitive about a child’s death without seeming like a complete POS.

from childstats . gov “Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012”

Leading cause of children’s death intentional and unintentional injuries.
This is broken down into:

(Deaths per 100k children ages 1-4)

-Motor Vehicle Related (1980= 7.4,    2010= 2.2)
-Drowning (1980= 5.7,    2010= 2.9)
-Fire and Burns (1980= 6.1,    2010= 1.1)
-Firearms (1980= .7,    2010= .4)
-Suffocation (1980= 1.9,    2010= 1.0)
-Pedestrian non traffic (1980= 1.5,    2010= .7)
-Fall (1980= .9,    2010= .3)

(Deaths per 100k children ages 5-14)

-Motor Vehicle Related (1980= 7.5,    2010= 2.1)
-Drowning (1980= 2.5,    2010= .5)
-Fire and Burns (1980= 1.5,    2010= .4)
-Firearms (1980= 1.6,    2010= .7)
-Suffocation (1980= .9,    2010= .7)
-Pedestrian non traffic (1980= .2,    2010= .1)
-Fall (1980= .3,    2010= .1)


In terms of numbers, we should still be focusing on the traffic laws and driver responsibility. In the US a kid is more likely to suffocate to death as they are to get shot to death. Stop reducing their deaths to your only arguing point and using them to act morally superior than gun owners. Promoting the idea that somehow if you own a gun, not only do you have no compassion for kids, you are responsible for their deaths as well is uneducated at best.

=================================================

Yes we are a violent country, compared to other countries that are only similar to the USA on a economic level. Other than that, our cultures are so vastly different its hard to draw accurate conclusions from USA vs. X country. Can we learn from them though, yes.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 1:27 p.m.

My ideas to promote a safer society and reduce gun violence:

-Monitor past and current criminals better, reduce their rights, and have something like random quarterly searches of their residence and vehicles for guns, maybe even financial monitoring.

-Enforce current guns laws to the extreme, put the needed money into the correct places and make examples out of all offenders, ZERO tolerance.

-Parental liability of their offspring until that person reaches a certain age (30-40?). With proportionally reduced liability as an offspring gets closer to the determined age. Meaning parents are partially charged along side their offspring if they commit a crime. (This could possibly help our society in more ways than one)

-Strong promotion of peaceful problem solving/conflict resolution skills in schools along with more prominent gun awareness programs to prevent accidents. (I remember D.A.R.E. in elementary school, slightly touched on guns, main focus on drugs)

Are they possible or realistic?

Robert R. Frump

Feb. 28, 2013, 1:30 p.m.

As an author and investigative journalist who is open to all points of view on the issue of violence and guns, I’m curious as to why Pro Publica, an operation I greatly respect, does not include the several scientific studies performed in the criminology area, some appearing in the Harvard Law and Public Policy Review, that seem at odds with the CDC studies.  My point is pro-journalism here, not pro gun or anti gun.  These are important discussions and I have no easy answer to my pro gun friends who criticize the pillars of journalism and ask my why these other studies are not included.  They are not NRA funded.  They are peer reviewed. They have been “repeated”—all tests of valid scientific studies.  While I am not convinced by them, they belong in the discussion.  Why does Pro Publica not include these studies, easily accessible and referred to by the Academy of Sciences 2004 review of “gun science.”  It is not a false objectivity to mention them. They should at least be mentioned, even if you do have a good point about the CDC being prohbited from following its studies.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 2:15 p.m.

John Smith: ” Promoting the idea that somehow if you own a gun, not only do you have no compassion for kids, you are responsible for their deaths as well is uneducated at best.”

At what point did our gun control efforts to make gun ownership safer for them and the rest of us lead you to the conclusion that we believe gun owners don’t care about kids? There are plenty of gun owners who do believe we need to take measures to reduce the rate of gun violence here.  Google: “Americans, even NRA members, want gun reforms - CNN.com”

I agree with you regarding the perils of targeting the mentally ill - especially since it relies on subjective analysis and the qualifications/intent/biases of those doing the analyzing. I can envision many states/communities which would undoubtedly use this new “provision” to strip “undesirables” of their rights for life.

Child deaths by suffocation have prompted many safety measures and regulations to reduce the occurrence. google: “Effectiveness of measures to prevent unintentional deaths of infants and children from suffocation and strangulation.” In this forum, we’re asking for measures which increase the safety for children from gun violence.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:08 p.m.

Robert R. Frump: I agree with you. These studies should be included.  I pulled these quotes from the abstract done via the National Academy of Sciences: “Reducing firearm violence: a research agenda”. I think everyone concerned should read it in its entirety.

“The report indicates that considerable gaps in research and data make it difficult to draw cause‐and‐effect relationships between firearms and violence. Further, methodological problems hamper efforts to evaluate policies and to gain consensus on effective strategies to lower gun crime and violence.”

“The NAS report noted that inadequate data and inadequate access to existing data, are among the most critical barriers to understanding gun violence. The report recommended that the federal government support a systematic program of data collection on firearms and violence, including emerging data systems on violent events such as the National Violent Death Reporting System and the National Incident‐Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The report also noted the need for better data on firearm markets, ownership and use.”

My own opinion is that “violence” and gun ownership should be connected only by acknowledging the stark reality that violence can be enacted more efficiently, quickly, and with more deadly results using the tool of a gun. Regarding the Brits for example, we find they like beating each up as much as we do, but they kill each other with guns at only a mere fraction of the rate we do here. Their total homicide rate is much much lower than ours. (What others here attribute to “cultural” differences).

Enacting gun control measures is simply using a triage approach towards stemming the death toll from the gun violence here we excel only too well at achieving. Addressing the underlying problems of violence here is yet another issue we need to deal with.

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:11 p.m.

“Rusty, if you extrapolate the 20011 FBI data, you get: Handguns 8,809 or 88%; Rifles 396 or 4.6%; and Shotguns 419 or 5%. And a long gun percentage of 9.6%, or 815, total.”

Sorry, but you are incorrect with your stats.  Straight from the source:

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 were used in 323 homicides, while handguns were used in 6,220.  Shotguns were used in 356, knives 1694, blunt objects 496, and bare fists 728.  In addition, the numbers like the 323 for rifles are a raw total of homicides - meaning that justified shootings by LEOs and citizens are included, so the actual figure is probably somewhere in the 200s.  In contrast, Chicago, where guns are banned, had over 520 shooting deaths almost entirely from pistols last year alone!

“The proposed AWB references “assault weapons”, some shotguns, as well as “assault pistols”, so the effort is not just on banning rifles.”

I have read the fascist screed so I am aware of what all it attempts to ban - in true ignorant fashion, one particular rifle is banned when it has a cosmetic feature that looks scary and otherwise the exact same gun is not.  An FBI agent who was shot with it in Miami back in the 80s by a bank robber laughed at how ignorant that was.  The pistols you refer to are actually rifles that have been turned into pistols - so no, Feinstein is not attempting to ban pistols directly.  Most of the common shotguns that are actually used in crimes are not affected one bit, so again, you are wrong.  The focus is almost entirely on rifles in the bill, and it is entirely on rifles in the PR attempt in the media. 

The overwhelming majority of firearms banned in Feinstein’s bill are rifles.  Rifles are used as props over and over again in photos, video, etc.  The false claims about it being an “assault rifle” or a “machine gun” or “automatic rifle” that it is a “weapon of war” are repeated over and over with the focus being on rifles.  Why is that?  Is it because they look scary and it is easy to capitalize on that? 

Is it basic ignorance of the actual crime stats from the gun banners?  Is it because the same people pushing this ban are all for the govt having the right to detain and assassinate any US citizen it deems to be a threat and are just staying consistently fascist in their beliefs of the collective power of the govt vs the rights of the citizens?  Again, why focus on rifles instead of the pistols that are used overwhelmingly more often according to the crime stats?   

Biden, the leading face of the anti gun movement these days, has urged people not to own AR15 rifles and instead shotguns - despite the fact that shotguns are linked to more murders than rifles every year.  His ignorance knows no bounds - as he has said that ar15s need to be banned bc they make it easy to kill a lot of people quickly, while also saying that they are too tough to use even for someone who is trained for home defense.  Someone who has spent five minutes firing both a double barrel 12 gauge and an ar15 would know that is an absolute laughable claim - almost as laughable as his advice to just walk outside without identifying a target and what is around and behind it first and start shooting if you “think there is an intruder.”  That is exactly how innocent people are shot, and it is about the worst possible advice that could be given.

The fact is that constitutionally the words of the Founders were very clear as to what the second amendment was about - and sorry gun banners, but it wasn’t the lone bill of right to not be an individual right and instead written to give the government the right to own guns as gun prohibitionists claim.  So the next attempt for gun banners, who just a few years ago were arguing that there was no individual right to own firearms, are now attempting to use tragedies in “gun free” zones like a public school or cities like Chicago to justify banning.  They hope that in the process, no one remembers how incredibly wrong they were with their predictions in the late 90s and early 2000s that more guns and far more CCW holders would mean more crime - while the crime and murder rate have literally fallen in half in the last twenty years.  Why should we listen to the people who were so amazingly wrong on such a basic concept?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:20 p.m.

“Rusty Shackleford’s post which follows yours suggests we don’t have a gun homicide problem since the death rate by guns has fallen. In the 1960’s our death by gun rate was much higher, and as of last year it had fallen to “only” 4.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people. So I’m guessing Rusty measures problems by their severity in comparing our current gun death rate to that from previous years.”

No, my point is that the people like you were all proven completely wrong with their predictions around a decade ago about what the crime rates and murder rates would be.  I mean not even in the same ballpark wrong.  So wrong that any sort of credibility is destroyed when the claims were that crime and murder would skyrocket, while they literally have fallen in half in the last two decades.  So why should anyone listen to you when you were so wrong before?


“Individual gun ownership in this country is actually declining. In 1977, 54% of households reported owning guns. By 2010 that number had declined to 32%. The surge in the number of guns being purchased in this country can be attributed to gun owners who buy lots of guns. There appear to be a lot of gun lovers who like guns so much they amass large personal arsenals.”

Where did you get those stats?  Gallup has been tracking this for decades and they completely disagree.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/Guns.aspx

According to gallup, 43% of people have a gun in their home.  The claim from the gun banners that it is at record low levels despite record high levels of instant checks by the FBI is hilarious.  Sort of like the conceal carry weapons requests all over the country in states that allow it are surging.  Attempting to argue that gun ownership is decreasing just ignores a lot of relatively basic information - but since when is that anything new for gun banners?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

“Count me and every single other Obama supporting Democrat I know as exceptions then.”

Did you vote for Obama?  If you supported him with time, money, or votes, then that argument is false.  I sat out the election because both Romney and Obama had no basic differences on the major issues, and I won’t vote for anyone who supports the drone war, the ndaa, the patriot act, or banning guns - which describes both romney and obama.  Besides, the outcry over his policies has been virtually silent from the left - the same people who were having rallies and going crazy over what Bush did, whipping themselves into a frenzy on npr and msnbc, etc and now what bush did was relatively minor in comparison to Obama’s assault on basic constitutional rights. 

“I believe all of us are hybrids as far as choosing party identity is concerned and appreciate the ability of so many of us to think in dynamic ever-changing greys instead of possessing the kind of absolutist thinking which starts with an unyielding premise and doesn’t adapt to new data. (We are not “sheeple”)”

Actually, most people are.  Glenn Greenwald has documented the complete 180 that Obama supporters have done on civil liberties and war now that Obama is doing it.  Even polling shows that now most liberals who were once opposed to those policies under Bush support them now because Obama is doing it. In fairness, the GOP types are the same way.  The amount of people who are not sheeple and don’t let the people in their party change their minds is shockingly small.

“Your statement: “those who are advocating assaulting the second amendment and banning guns also are on other ends of the fascist spectrum when it comes to giving the government unprecedented powers when it comes to civil liberties and war.” is unequivocally false. In forming opinions about what we all think per our designated categories, perhaps you watch too much of our corporate owned media.”

Again - the people pushing for fascist gun bans are shown by the same polls you love to cite in arguing for banning guns to now support Obama’s civil liberty and war policies.  So as painful as it may be to admit, the gun banners are now on the same side as the pro patriot act, pro ndaa, pro drone view of government - aka fascism.

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:36 p.m.

How come none of the gun banners, who tend to be from the political left of the spectrum, ever want to admit the role that the drug war causes in gun crime?  They also tend to realize the costs of the drug war, along with libertarians, yet they never, ever mention this and instead focus on guns.

Why not look back at history - back during Prohibition, crime and murder exploded as gangs fought over drug turf.  When we look at the situation today, most of the country has very low crime and murder rates.  The exceptions tend to be large inner city areas where gangs are fighting over drug turf like Chicago - and where guns are often banned or regulated to the point of almost being banned.  Who knows how many tens of millions of rifles are in the hands of people in the nation, and yet a total homicide rate of 323 deaths via rifles was done in a nation of 300 million plus.  Of course, naturally the focus from the gun banners is on banning rifles!

If they really want to look at causes and reducing crime and murder in an honest fashion - even though it has declined by half in the last two decades as gun laws have greatly loosened - why not spend some time and energy into making the case for drugs being legalized?  Is it just because obama and biden have laughed at the idea of making drugs legal and continue to launch medical marijuana raids at higher levels than Bush?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:40 p.m.

Robert R Frump,

Great point.  The reason is it doesn’t fit the gun ban narrative - sort of like why a number of quotes from the person interviewed involving his outright call for banning firearms was not brought up.  I guess the author here did not deem that relevant to a discussion on banning guns. 

There is also the Clinton Justice Dept Study from back in the 90s that quietly admitted gun control laws did not have an impact on crime - or the current Obama admin memo that basically says the same thing.  I wouldn’t expect the CDC to mention those, either. 

Now it is starting to be clear on why the CDC isn’t being given taxpayer money to be even more biased than they already are.

Jim Travers

Feb. 28, 2013, 3:51 p.m.

glenn C wrote:

“The criminal element of this country will find guns one way or the other.”

And that’s why reducing the numbers of guns will be effective and prevent the flow of illegal gun sales to criminals. Reducing the supply reduces the opportunity and availability of firearms to criminals.

glenn c

“Thankfully it did not pass but it is a sign that the government, well intended as they would like to appear, wants ‘to protect the citizens’, will not accomplish protecting them when and if the only ones with guns are the police and criminals.”

This information is patently false.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle voted and the law was passed. It becomes effective on March 16, 2013. As far as the passing in the middle of the night, glenn obviously is using someone’s talking point. Messages of Necessity are commonplace and legislators use them frequently, hundreds of time each legislative session. Voted and passed by New York’s duly elected legislators from all parties. http://www.governor.ny.gov/2013/gun-reforms

Jim Travers

Feb. 28, 2013, 4:09 p.m.

Here’s a link to NY’s SAFE act: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/s2230-2013
Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 4:21 p.m.

rusty schackleford: I voted for Obama. Yes, there is a huge difference between them for those of us who don’t support libertarian views - although Romney came closer. You didn’t have a viable candidate once Rand Paul got knocked out of the running so you chose to take your ball and go home. I voted for Nader in 2000. Big mistake. Bush 3 got in. We have an opportunity to change what we don’t like via our votes. More public awareness and concern over executive over-reach is needed before we can address the issue. Thanks for your concern. Too bad you don’t vote.

Back to “banning guns” again? You can’t seem to differentiate between confiscation of all guns and our efforts to find the means to make us all safer through sensible regulations. The 2nd amendment isn’t being threatened unless you’re in the camp which insists you get to do what you want, when you want, how you want, with whatever weapon you choose. It appears you are.

Re: drug wars: I joined the majority of Washingtonians to legalize the possession of marijuana. Colorado also passed the same measure. Yes, the drug wars are costly and drain our resources. We’re now waiting to see what the feds do about it. I think smoking dope is stupid, but my personal opinion wasn’t reflected in my vote. Some of us actually have the flexibility in being able to look at all the data offered and accept some realities PRIOR to making decisions.

So far I think we have the ability through our votes to change what we don’t like, thus can live within the “tyranny of the majority”. Beats the heck out of civil war. In my lifetime we’ve achieved voting rights, civil rights, minimum wage laws, food safety laws, environmental protection laws, etc. They’re not all perfect and not immune from continued attacks, but in my view they represent progress. A lot of us want to add sensible gun regulations to the list.

Jim Travers

Feb. 28, 2013, 5:20 p.m.

First, let me say that I received my first hunting license 50 years ago, when I was 14. That was long before radicals usurped and took control of this once noble organization in the late ‘70s. I was our town Republican Party’s choice for candidate to run for the Town Supervisor’s position and I lean towards the conservative side of the political spectrum.

I was a guest lecturer before a graduate level class of students taking a Criminal Justice course at a prestigious local college. The course they were enrolled in was one on Law and Society and had to do with Crime and Justice Policy. I was there to address Restorative Justice issues involving Restorative Practices.

You may wonder what could qualify me to address such a class, and so I will tell you.

I’ve worn many hats in this life, but the one I wore to this presentation I would have preferred not to have in my wardrobe.

I belong to a club closely related to firearms, but one not any sane person would seek to join. I didn’t choose to join this exclusive club, but four years ago on March 25, 2006 a licensed firearm owner decided to enroll me in it. That was the morning he decided to kill my son and five of his friends and seriously physically wound two others before taking his own life. Numerous others there were severely scarred, not physically, but emotionally.

With me participating in the lecture were several other reluctant club members: a mother whose daughter was killed by her son-in-law, who afterward took his own life;  the sister of a woman who was killed by her brother-in-law, who afterward took his own life; a man whose sister it is suspected was killed by Charles Manson and the mother and sister of a woman whose body was found buried in the basement of a man who killed and dismembered thirteen women. All were victims of legally licensed firearm owners, except for the young woman suspected of being killed by Charles Manson, who was not legally allowed to possess a firearm. None had any history of mental illness, though we could call all mad, especially Manson.

I began my presentation by asking who among them had experienced a loss due to firearms. Seven had; 25% of all those enrolled in this class. I informed them that unfortunately, statistically, others in this class sooner or later would too. One third of those on our panel were relatives of victims of domestic gun violence committed by legal gun owners

Perhaps needless to say, our presentations were powerfully moving.

Those of you who think it would be appropriate to take the life of another for whatever reason have little understanding of loss or the pain caused by such acts of violence, or how such an act will forever change the person you once were.

You feed the energy that promotes violence just by expressing such a clinging desire for life at the expense of another’s; a life you know must come to an end in one way or another and I feel sorry for you.

What is a shame is how many firearms aficionados cling to our Constitution’s 2nd Amendment while utterly ignoring our 1st, 4th and 6th Amendment rights have been eroded without a peep of objection from our fellow “Patriots.”

Everyone should read the Heller decision, especially the opinion of arch-Conservative Justice Scalia, who wrote the Court’s prevailing Opinion. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf
And it wouldn’t be a bad idea for everyone to read the earlier SCOTUS decision in the 1939 Miller case.
Perhaps then we’d see just a tiny bit less of revisionist history from those blinded by the power offered them from their deadly weapons.

Please don’t expect me to engage in back and forth argument.

Both of these Supreme Court decisions clearly explain that the regulation of firearms by the state or federal government does not violate anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights.

To the more radical of the pro-gunners I say, just be glad that neither you nor one of your loved one’s have yet been on the wrong side of a legally-owned gun in the hands of its owner when they decide they want to act criminally with it, like the murderer who put a .40 cal bullet through my son’s head did while he was sleeping.

Jim Travers

Feb. 28, 2013, 5:49 p.m.

The March 25, 2006 Seattle massacre was 7 years ago, not 4. Pardon my error.

Albert

Feb. 28, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

Jim Travers: I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how I would go on after the loss of my son me such a brutal murder.

Someone obviously had a vendetta. Did you ever find the motivation?
I hope you realize, someone willing to murder so brutally certainly would not stop if he had no access to a gun.

We need to look at the reasons for murders in general not just gun murders. Guns do avoid murder and violent crime. We need to categorize the the reasons in a parado graph. Then go after the most common reason 1st. A root cause analysis of the issue will focus the effort and guarantee a level of success. Communicating the result to the public will help them avoid more murders.
After we take a big bite out of the largest category we go after the next largest category, leaving a team of people focusing on the largest category and commission them to do a continuous improvement process to help avoid future murders in that category. The issue is not guns it in the hearts of men.
I envision the largest category of murder or loss of innocent life is Abortion. If we are truly compassionate people looking to save lives and restore human dignity we must start at abortion. Abortion sends a message to our young that life is not sacred. We need to change that deadly perception.

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

Rusty, if you’d followed the link you would have seen the numbers derive from the same FBI data.

“Also of interest is that 1,587 deaths occurred from firearms whose type was not stated or reported.”

If one were to make the fairly reasonable assumption that the unreported weapons followed the same general distribution pattern as the reported weapons, then those percentages could be calculated and folded into the existing numbers.

Handguns 8,809 or 88%; Rifles 396 or 4.6%; and Shotguns 419 or 5%. And a final long gun percentage of 9.6%, or 815, total.

http://www.gunfaq.org/2013/02/murder-weapons-2011-guns-68-knives-13-blunt-objects-4-personal-weapons-6-other-9/

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 6:42 p.m.

John Smith, we already register new sales with a dealer using the 4473 process. Private sales could be handled the same way, just take it to a dealer to be transferred, and the dealer keeps the paperwork on file and registers the SN just as they do with a new sale.

In fact, they’re already doing just that in California and Rhode Island.

No new “national gun registry” would be required, and you have all of the protections already built into the existing process.

If a firearm is then recovered from a crime scene, you lookup the owner. If the criminal is not the individual who’s registered as the owner, the original owner has a bit of explaining to do. And could face a few unpleasant consequences.

Besides, it’s to your advantage to take it to a dealer anyway. Neutral ground, and you’re not inviting a stranger who saw your classified ad into your home.

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 6:57 p.m.

“I voted for Obama.”

Sorry, but that means you were incorrect earlier.  If you voted for the guy doing all of the drone strikes and who rammed through the patriot act renewal, the NDAA, the SOPA attempt, and the medical marijuana raids on people, you supported him.  You mentioned the other things that you viewed as progress, but I would argue that whatever progress you think obama has provided, the basic assaults on the first, fifth, and fourth amendments far outweigh whatever good you think he has done on other issues.  We have gone way, way back when it comes to progress - back to pre magna carta days.

“Yes, there is a huge difference between them for those of us who don’t support libertarian views - although Romney came closer.”

What?  Romney was almost identical to Obama on all of the major issues!  He and Obama were about as close to libertarianism as Ron Paul was to socialism.  Romney didn’t want to cut any spending, and in fact wanted to spend more.  He was for all of the things Obama did on war and civil liberties, and just like obama, was against auditing the Fed bc they both received a huge amount of money from the big banks.  Romney literally banned guns in MA, too - so how was he in any way closer to being a libertarian than obama?

“You didn’t have a viable candidate once Rand Paul got knocked out of the running so you chose to take your ball and go home.”

I chose not to support someone who assaults so many basic rights and who is blowing away muslim civilians on a regular basis, which means neither romney nor obama.  Funny enough, I sleep a lot better at night knowing I didn’t vote for a power hungry sociopath who kills innocent people - which would describe romney or obama.  That is also why I don’t take seriously obama voters who claim violence upsets them - evidently not enough to refrain from voting for a child killer. 

“Back to “banning guns” again? You can’t seem to differentiate between confiscation of all guns and our efforts to find the means to make us all safer through sensible regulations.”

Did you not read the quote I posted from the guy who was interviewed?  He literally used the ‘ban” term.  Most dems don’t use it these days because of how they were humiliated in a few elections after being open about their plans and have come up with some poll tested terms and phrases, but the same groups and people just changed tactics.  Besides, are you saying that you don’t think the “Assault Weapon BAN” is a ban????  Do you oppose it then?

“The 2nd amendment isn’t being threatened unless you’re in the camp which insists you get to do what you want, when you want, how you want, with whatever weapon you choose. It appears you are.”

So is that how you would describe the 2nd amendment now?  Because that is not even remotely close to being accurate.  If you care to disagree, I can give you example after example of how that is wrong. 

But the very thing you are saying - “trust us, this is just some regulation, but not a ban,” has long been an open tactic of handgun control inc and other actual advocates of banning guns.  If you doubt that, I can give you quote after quote from when they viewed it as being much more politically safe to be open and honest about their views.

Here are a couple examples:

“In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security.  Nonetheless, it is a good idea . . . .  Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.”

          Charles Krauthammer (nationally syndicated columnist), Disarm the Citizenry. But Not Yet, Washington Post, Apr. 5, 1996


“We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily—given the political realities—going to be very modest. . . .  [W]e’ll have to start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again.  Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice.  Our ultimate goal—total control of handguns in the United States—is going to take time. . . .  The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country.  The second problem is to get handguns registered.  The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition-except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors-totally illegal.”


          Richard Harris, A Reporter at Large: Handguns,  New Yorker, July 26, 1976 (quoting Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc.)


Also, would you say that those who want to regulate and ban certain kinds of abortions pose no threat to a woman’s right to choose, even if the same people doing it had long advocated banning almost all abortions?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 7 p.m.

“Rusty, if you’d followed the link you would have seen the numbers derive from the same FBI data.”

I did - which is where I saw stats that were estimates, and not actual hard stats like what the FBI provided.

“If one were to make the fairly reasonable assumption that the unreported weapons followed the same general distribution pattern as the reported weapons, then those percentages could be calculated and folded into the existing numbers.”

Again - that is an assumption, and we have no idea of knowing how accurate that is.  I prefer to deal with the actual numbers, and not guesses.  Regardless, it doesn’t change what I said earlier though that the entire focus in the PR campaign has been on rifles, when it is the lowest percentage of any firearm related to homicides in the nation.  The legislation is almost entirely related to rifles, as well. 

Again, why is that?  Why not go after pistols if the goal is to cut down on crime and murder?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:07 p.m.

As an effort at finding something we can agree upon, would those on the other side at least consider for a moment what I posted about above with the connection between the drug war and crime?  And why the inner cities have so many young people shooting each other, yet most of the rest of the nation is quite safe with dramatically lower crime and murder rates? 

Again, we can look at how the crime rates exploded during Prohibition and then fell dramatically once the ban on alcohol was lifted.  Why can’t we make the same connection to our failed “war on drugs” - a war that no one actually thinks can be won, but yet we continue to spend billions on and watch gangs shoot each other every day over drug turf. 

Everyone, and I mean everyone, I know from high crime areas has told me that virtually all of the crime is fighting over drug turf.  The reason they fight over drug turf is because the govt prohibition on the drugs makes the price very high, so profits are to be made and then fought over.  Why don’t we see anyone trying to do studies on this or making this connection instead of just blaming the race of the people or blaming the gun?

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:08 p.m.

John: You also continue on discussing child deaths, including accidents and placing them in “perspective” vs. other causes, with the implication that we should be focusing on a single area, and ignoring the fact that we can do more than one thing at the same time.

More people are killed from cardiovascular disease than cancer. Should we stop all cancer research? No?

You’re also fairly selective with the data you presented, showing deaths in the 1-4 and 5-14 age groups.

So here’s some CDC data for you, regarding assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms n 2010.

Age 1-4, 43 deaths
Age 5-14, 185 deaths
Age 15-24, 3,889 deaths

Quite a large bump there in the 15-24 age group, yes? I can see why you left that one out. Then there’s the following…

“While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend.”

With that trend, American gun deaths are to set exceed traffic fatalities by 2015. Perhaps, as you indicate, we should look into it then.

Since we can apparently only do one thing at a time.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:11 p.m.

Jim Travers: It’s so terribly difficult to respond. Your very stunning and heartbreaking account of the senseless death of your son along with five others carries such a powerful message.

I well remember the news coverage, particularly the Seattle Time’s outrageous response to this unspeakable outrage by opining that the victims, if they’d been better supervised and not been out so late, wouldn’t have been at the “wrong place at the wrong time” (a very nice and respectable private home located on Capitol Hill - a home which was full of adults). It wasn’t much later when I permanently cancelled my subscription to that rag.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and that of the others who joined you in presenting their stories. Most of us can move beyond accidental deaths at some point, but deliberate random homicide doesn’t allow making sense of the senseless. Your choice to become an advocate of gun regulations and willingness to share your own journey is the most important part of helping us all understand the very real life-shattering impact on those of you who’ve been left behind. None of us ever would want to have to walk in your shoes.

Your inclusion of the very accurate 2nd amendment information is timely and much needed here. A few around here seem to hold fast to the LaPierre 2nd amendment “rights with no responsibilities” version. Thanks again so much!

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

“To the more radical of the pro-gunners I say, just be glad that neither you nor one of your loved one’s have yet been on the wrong side of a legally-owned gun in the hands of its owner when they decide they want to act criminally with it, like the murderer who put a .40 cal bullet through my son’s head did while he was sleeping.”

I agree with others above that I am sorry for your loss.  However, I am related to two elderly people who saved their own lives from home invasion/robbery attempts by having a firearm and pointing it at the would be robber.  The most recent was a 70 something year old woman who waited 30 minutes for police to arrive after calling 911.  The home invasion attempt almost worked until she brandished a firearm, and that was the only thing that ran him off - he even saw her calling 911 and continued to try and break into the house bc he knew the police would take too long to arrive. 

Literally her life was saved only because she had a firearm - how else can a 70 something year old woman defend herself?

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:14 p.m.

Rusty, like I said, the numbers follow from the FBI data. But if you’re not going to allow for the fact that reports where they type of weapon was not stated would tend to follow the same distribution pattern, then I’m forced to consider that all 1,587 of those deaths came from assault weapons, and act accordingly.

Regardless, the “entire” focus has not been on assault weapons, but also on universal background checks, better NICS data, allowing the ATF to crack down on bad dealers and trafficking, and so on.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:15 p.m.

Micheal Long they don’t register the serial number when a FFL shop sells a gun anywhere else in the country…it goes on the 4473 which gets tucked away in the dealers file cabinet never entered into any database.

If it was common practice to register the sn in database….it would be considered a national gun registry.

I don’t mind background checks like I said, I obey the law. Who says I would invite any stranger into my house?

rusty shackleford

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:25 p.m.

“Rusty, like I said, the numbers follow from the FBI data.”

No - they are estimated to be the case. 

“But if you’re not going to allow for the fact that reports where they type of weapon was not stated would tend to follow the same distribution pattern, then I’m forced to consider that all 1,587 of those deaths came from assault weapons, and act accordingly.”

So one of us wants to use actual FBI stats, the other wants to use estimates.  Gotcha.  You also just got caught again with another bias, considering that the “rifle” category includes all forms of rifles - so we don’t even know which are the dreaded rifles with a pistol grip and which do not - so you have no idea what kind of rifles were used. 

“Regardless, the “entire” focus has not been on assault weapons”

In terms of the assault weapon ban attempt - please show me how many times Feinstein or anyone supporting it has trotted out a pistol as evidence to pass the bill!  They are only talking about and mentioning “assault rifles” and “weapons of war” and other intentionally incorrect propaganda terms - despite the fact that pistols are used dramatically more often to the point that it isn’t even comparable.  You have attempted to lump in shotguns with rifles to bolster the case, but just about all of the common shotguns in use would not be affected either. 

Again - why do the advocates of the AWB only bring up rifles when they are clearly not the problem when it comes to murder rates?  Why do I only get deflections and no answers when I ask proponents of the bill that question?

“but also on universal background checks, better NICS data, allowing the ATF to crack down on bad dealers and trafficking, and so on.”

Those only have popped up in the discussion more often once it became clear that the votes were not there for Feinstein’s rifle ban.  Laws already exist for trafficking, just like they already exist for people who knowingly fill out wrong data on 4473s - they just aren’t enforced by the same people asking for more laws. 

Speaking of cracking down on bad dealers and trafficking though, will that apply to the Obama admin for its fiasco and subsequent coverup and executive privilege stonewalling in Fast and Furious?  They did send thousands of rifles with no way to trace them to Mexican drug cartels - and then later sent those same rifles they want banned from the american public to people with links to terrorist groups like al queda in libya and syria.  I am guessing they will be immune to the law?

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:29 p.m.

It’s possible for the ATF to maintain make, model, SSN, and dealer information while storing ownership information locally. Hence, no national registry of gun owners, only weapons.

CA records buyer information at the state level.

And the ATF already has the SSN data for new firearms.

“I went to the BATF’s Washington offices—the Belly of the Beast to the NRA—to work on procedures that would bring gun traces into the Information Age. Working with BATF’s Bill Earle, Terry Cates, Wally Nelson, and Gerald Nunziato, we developed a system that would streamline the process while assuring privacy protection for gun owners. Each manufacturer, led by Robin Sharpless of Harrington & Richardson, would convert its shipping records to digital form and keep them on “stand-alone” computers that could only be accessed by the BATF’s National Tracing Center in West Virginia. The wholesalers, led by Mike Saporito at RSR, duplicated this procedure.”

Feldman, Richard (2011-05-16). Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist (Kindle Locations 4845-4849). John Wiley and Sons.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:34 p.m.

Micheal you missed my point with the children data. It keeps being presented that we need to make these gun regulation changes for the childrens sake, when in reality we haven’t had to do anything and the child firearm related death rate is declining. 

I don’t consider anyone 18+ a child and neither does the government so I didnt include that group….break it down for me so it only shows 15,16,17….

Obviously we can do more than one thing at a time, but im asking the fools who keep reducing the childrens death into fodder for their argument to stop, because its disgusting and transparent.

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:39 p.m.

“In terms of the assault weapon ban attempt - please show me how many times Feinstein or anyone supporting it has trotted out a pistol as evidence to pass the bill!”

You mean, other than, say, a weapon like the TEC-DC9 that’s listed and that was used at Columbine?

“Those only have popped up in the discussion more often once it became clear that the votes were not there for Feinstein’s rifle ban.”

Feinstein’s AWB was released on Jan 24th. Obama’s plan, which included all of the things I suggested, was announced on Jan 16, 2013.

“So one of us wants to use actual FBI stats, the other wants to use estimates.”

Actual FBI data tells us 1,587 deaths occurred from firearms too. Or are those people not really dead, and as such not germane to the conversation?

Albert

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

Rusty, you will achieve nothing.
Controls only make people want guns more, just like alcohol, and drugs you will make black market criminals rich, then try to regulate them. The US government sold guns to Mexico! What happen to them??? You are being so foolish! You are a pawn. if you truly want to make a difference you need to understand…
You are not going after the root cause.

1st and foremost, are you concerned with the loss of life or just the loss of life by Guns? Please answer that.

Did you read the Harvard Study I supplied links to?

Human dignity is under attack. Life has less and less meaning because of the examples we set for our young. Start with abortion and send a message to everyone life is important. You will save MILLIONS not 20 twenty here and five there.. Go after saving the MILLIONS 1st then save the 20 here and there. Rusty, Think Root Cause!
Look if you poison the roots of a tree you kill the tree. If you cut a branch here and there you just waste your time. When you go after the root cause the problem cannot help but get impacted. The fact is these mass murders are being exploited to serve an agenda. The same people who support Gun control at high levels support the woman’s right to choose death.

Wait until the UN starts pressuring us to conform to their gun controls. We will have a choice between our Constitution and World Order. Beware if you give up a right you will not get it back without great sacrifice!

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

What’s disgusting to me is the NRA’s constant attempts to politicize the situation.

After the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech shootings that killed 32 people: “The NRA joins the entire country in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of Virginia Tech University and everyone else affected by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.”

After the Feb. 14, 2008, shootings at Northern Illinois University that killed six, the NRA said: “We think it is poor form for a politician or a special interest group to try to push a legislative agenda on the back of any tragedy. Now is the time for the Northern Illinois University community to grieve and to heal. We believe there is adequate time down the road to debate policy and politics.”

After the April 3, 2009, massacre at a Binghamton, N.Y., immigration center that killed 13: “Now is not the time to debate politics or discuss policy. It’s time for the families and communities to grieve.”

After the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting spree that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six: “At this time, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate.”

After the July 20, 2012, massacre at an Aurora, Colo., theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded: “We believe that now is the time for families to grieve and for the community to heal. There will be an appropriate time down the road to engage in political and policy discussions.”

Sandy Hook? More of the same.

According to the NRA, the “appropriate time” never arrives.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:46 p.m.

Micheal at least you understand my point now. You should also realize Im not the NRA….they have never seen a cent of my money…..and both extreme side are disgusting for politicizing and trying to capitalize on anyones death.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:52 p.m.

Like I said Albert, no one can present a good argument to dispute the Harvard study. They just keep pointing fingers.

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:53 p.m.

“I don’t consider anyone 18+ a child and neither does the government so I didnt include that group…”

Ah. So it would be okay for someone to shoot and kill your 18-year-old daughter? Since she’s not a your child and all.

Or one of the twenty-year-olds shot at Virginia Tech? No?

Of course not. Which probably explains why 69% of all women now favor stricter gun control laws. A kid’s always her child.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

Albert: Mr. Travers made it clear he wasn’t going to engage in the “debate”. Since I live in the area where the massacre happened, I’m aware of some of the background.

No, no vendetta known. It appears the shooter, who had a large cache of weapons, just decided it was the right time to start shooting random people. He didn’t personally know anyone at the scene. He was a last minute invitee to attend an after party following a larger event. Survivors described him as a “pleasant” person. He went to his truck sometime during the party, got out a bunch of weapons, returned, and began shooting. Mr. Travers’ son was shot to death along with five others. Nobody knows why, and since the perpetrator shot himself when the police arrived, nobody was able to interview him. The shooter’s truck still contained the rest of his huge arsenal of weapons in it when it was later checked.

Why would you assume the shooter would have resorted to other means if he hadn’t had his personal gun arsenal close by? A deranged mind met an unplanned opportunity, had the necessary equipment handy, and we can only presume the “messages” in his head sent him into action.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 7:59 p.m.

Micheal I guess I assumed to much when I thought you understood my point….the government will send my 18 year old across the world to get shot, and I would never be a okay with her dying no matter the cause or age. Silly question.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 8:04 p.m.

Micheal, don’t start quoting polls…..when this starts to happen your desperation shines through.

carolyn

Feb. 28, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

John Smith Alert: John Smith has now established ground rules in the debate: No quoting poll results allowed! Too funny!!

Michael Long

Feb. 28, 2013, 8:11 p.m.

I’ll read the Kates study tonight, even though it starts out with a misconception of it’s own on page one.

“There is a compound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.”

The assertion commonly made, however, is that America has a gun homicide rate of 4.7 murders per 100,000 people, one of the highest of all developed countries.

Only Estonia’s is higher, at 6.3. The next most violent country is Finland, with a homicide rate of 2.5, half that of the U.S. The remaining 28 developed countries are even lower, with an average of 1.1 homicides per 100,000 people.

The first assertion is that guns are “uniquely” available, even though ownership rates are quite high in countries like Switzerland.

Of course, the problem with comparing numbers across nations lie in cultural differences and other factors. What applies here may not apply there, and vice-versa. Then there are factors that don’t appear based on numbers alone.

Switzerland, as mentioned, has extremely high gun ownership and an extremely low death firearm death rate… however, Switzerland also has mandatory conscription into the militia of all men between 20 and 30.

The requirements for ownership of militia weapons mandates annual training and practice; laws for transportation and safe and secure storage of firearms are strict and permits to carry are difficult to obtain; citizens are limited to a maximum of three firearms apiece.

Switzerland’s gun policy requires all purchases of ammunition to be registered and recorded, and every gun legally sold to bear a serial number. Permits and background checks are required for purchase. Records must be kept and maintained.

In short, regulations that if proposed and implemented here would send the NRA leadership into a frothing apoplexy.

John Smith

Feb. 28, 2013, 8:24 p.m.

Micheal you must have very narrow definition of what a modern developed nation is.

Also, one of two is indeed unique.

You really like mentioning the NRA don’t you?

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