Journalism in the Public Interest

Mass Shootings Do Little to Change State Gun Laws

We take a look at what’s happened legislatively in states where some of the worst shootings in recent U.S. history have occurred to see what effect, if any, those events had on gun laws.

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Jan. 5, 2013, 11:30 p.m.

@ David and Mike Jackson: Two brilliant articles in a row! I wish every American could read them.

David: I’m also a teacher (retired) and my son is a teacher. You can imagine the conversations we in our local teaching community are all having now regarding the LaPierre patch solution he threw at the wall. CQ Maine’s post including his call to action is one of the best descriptions of the NRA “fear of government” syndrome I’ve ever read. And no, I don’t want to see the photos, but maybe we all should.

Most of us who’ve sustained long held hopes in finally getting some sensible gun control legislation passed are riding the current wave of concern caused by an unspeakable atrocity. Sandy Hook leads us also into finally taking another hard look at the daily carnage we usually ignore.

Mike Jackson: Wow! Flawless logic leads to inevitable conclusion: Our second amendment as interpreted by the NRA guarantees us the right to possess whatever weapons we deem appropriate. As a result, we should be able to purchase RPG’s at a competitive price online via Amazon. (Hope they have free super savers shipping). - OR - as you say, we should discard the whole thing. I learned somewhere we managed to get rid of prohibition some time ago. I’m pretty happy about that since I enjoy the occasional Margarita.

@ John: Your statement to me: “You are lying to yourself if you think decisions are based solely on the wants of the majority.” is incorrect. In a participatory democracy we get to choose the representatives who make decisions in our behalf. Many of us work hard from the precinct level up to try to make sure we have candidates who represent the interests of all of us instead of corporate donors. We work hard at trying to get money out of politics. When enough of us (the majority) educate ourselves on the issues, care enough to actually vote, and then vote for candidates who won’t be bought off, we change government. Nothing’s permanent, every system put into place suffers “mission creep” so the process of finding the means to peacefully coexist is never ending. The alternative is, of course, anarchy. So this merry-go-round is preferable to most of us.

Your statement, “we have no reason to fight each other, our common cause to get along is our freedom in this country.” misses the entire point. Check our own history. Our civil war was very recent. Each “free” side had a different idea of what we’re “free” to do. The side that didn’t want to give up their economic advantage through forced forfeiture of their free labor pool lost. Hence my fear of a growing arsenal in a country full of NRA supporting, well-armed, government fearing, paranoid gun owners. They don’t all live in isolated bunkers and I find many of them to be quite irrational.


Jan. 6, 2013, 1:40 a.m.

I know the theory behind our democracy and stick to my statement. Your comparison to our past civil war can’t work as the issue behind it does not nearly have the gravity as gun control. To think another civil war would erupt from the passage of additional firearms restriction is irrational. The stereotype you continue to cast of gun owners does not exist in the paranoid amounts you believe. The NRA only has 4 million members….you are worried about a group 1.2% of the US population. Not all gun owners support the NRA and its interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

What would you say sensible gun control laws should be? I believe some things could change and have a positive impact. Such as background checks in any firearm transaction, mandatory lockable storage of firearms, and perhaps even mandatory training. I don’t think civilians should have access to the same type of weapons the military does, and they don’t!  I also don’t think banning anymore types of guns will help any violent crime prevention as it has been proven time and again.


Jan. 6, 2013, 3:41 a.m.

@ John

I’m pleased you agree some changes should be made to our existing gun control laws. My wish list is extensive.

Basically, I believe all gun owners should be required to register them and go through the same process car owners do in order to own and drive vehicles. This would include insuring themselves against any harm they may inflict on others while using them. (liability insurance) This would also include paying fees for the bureaucracy such a system would create. Non-gun owners should not have to absorb the costs. As in the privilege of driving a car, I agree with your suggestion about mandatory training, but not just “maybe”. Tests should be administered and the right to possess weapons should be periodically renewed.

I agree with background checks. They should be kept on a national database permanently though instead of being erased after a period of time as is current practice.

I agree with mandatory lockable storage and those who are responsible for the storage should be held legally accountable when someone else gains access to or steals those weapons.
I support reinstating the ban on those types of weapons commonly referred to as “assault rifles/weapons”, (those which are designed for the specific purpose of killing many people as possible as rapidly as possible). Extended clips, of course, should be banned along with them. (We’re all aware sales of these are currently skyrocketing again due to fears of reinstating/updating the ban)

The sale or trade of weapons via gun-shows, online ads, and any other means of gaining access without going through proper channels should not only be made entirely illegal but enforced with heavy penalties when violated.

I support “buy-back” programs designed to get illegally owned guns and assault weapons off the streets. Initially expensive, but a beginning dent in the stockpile of illegal firearms.

Your statement that ” I also don’t think banning anymore types of guns will help any violent crime prevention as it has been proven time and again.” is incorrect. Statistics conclusively prove that fewer guns equals fewer deaths by guns. What so many of us here are trying to do is not ban all guns as have so many countries with stricter gun laws (and much safer citizens), just hold gun owners responsible for owning them, get illegally purchased guns harder to obtain, eventually get them off the streets.


Jan. 6, 2013, 2:03 p.m.


I will also add it would be a good requirement to submit background checks of people the firearm purchaser resides with.

Periodic tests proving your still competent with firearms would be a good idea.

Registration - How would this lead to gun crime reduction? At the same time it would create an underground criminal market of unregistered guns, most likely the ones to be used in crimes.

Insurance - I don’t worry about crashing my car into other cars as much because of this, you want to promote that feeling when someone decides to use a gun?

Why keep a permanent record of background checks, again how would it lead to gun crime reduction?

Are you responsible if someone steals your car and kills someone with it in an accident? (if we are going to treat guns like cars…) What if I had my guns as secure as I could afford (massive locked safe) and criminals broke into my home and somehow stole the entire thing, then went on to commit a crime with the weapons inside. Am I still responsible?

Do you realize hunting rifles are made to kill with one shot as fast and efficiently as possible…..what if a maniac had two of them? Would it matter they only had 9 shots in each?  I’m sure you don’t know what an exhibition shooter is, but its someone who can shoot and reload very skillfully and very quickly with with revolvers, pump shotguns, lever actions and even bolt actions (all traditional hunting guns). If one human can learn something, any human can learn it, even a maniac. Getting rid of high capacity magazines is a reasonable idea…but I don’t think it would beyond human capability to modify something to hold more.

Again where does it stop? will traditional hunting rifles be next on the list to ban?

My point is, “assault rifle” types of guns are not the issue. Its the maniac. Studies have been conducted on the 94-04 assault weapons ban by the CDC, National Institute of Justice, and even the National Research Council panel noted similar results. That academic studies of the assault weapon ban “did not reveal any clear impacts on gun violence” and noted “due to the fact that the relative rarity with which the banned guns were used in crime before the ban ... the maximum potential effect of the ban on gun violence outcomes would be very small….”
(Firearms and Violence: A critical review, Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors, National Research Council, National Academy of Science, NAP 2004, 2005, ISBN 978-0-309-09124-4)

I can provide more examples upon request.

The only loophole to obtain a gun without a background check, is at a gun show or at a face to face transaction with another citizen. Or criminal transactions. If you order any gun of the internet it gets shipped to a licensed gun store where they run a background check before they let you take the gun home. Like I said before though, I agree there shouldn’t be a loophole at all.

A nation wide gun buy-back is a great idea to be honest, im all for getting the illegal ones off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

Saying gun deaths increase with gun ownership is over simplifying a complex issue. Its like trying to claim if there was no guns there would be no violence. Please provide me with a reference for your statistics, how many of those gun deaths are suicides? or accidents that could be prevented with mandatory training?  From my research, I found quite the opposite of your statement.

“the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal
more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially
since they argue public policy ought to be based on
that mantra.149 To bear that burden would at the very least
require showing that a large number of nations with more
guns have more death and that nations that have imposed
stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions
in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are
not observed when a large number of nations are compared
across the world.”

Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser, “WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Vol. 30 N. 2 Spring 2007 page 693


Jan. 6, 2013, 7:45 p.m.

@ John. (part 1) Thanks for your response! You’ve given me more information to chew on in regards to gun regulation with the intent to making our country more safe.

Your query: “Registration - How would this lead to gun crime reduction? At the same time it would create an underground criminal market of unregistered guns, most likely the ones to be used in crimes.”

A national database requiring registration of all guns/gun owners will determine who is legal and what weapons they possess. When weapons surface which are not registered, they would be added to the meltdown pile. We both know there’s already a very healthy and growing underground criminal market of stolen and unregistered guns. From what I understand, they’re the bulk of weapons used in crimes. The ATF is the agency which currently handles it. Closing the gun show loophole, Craig’s list sellers, etc., will surely help them do their job. I agree that chasing down illegal weapons after that horse has long ago left the barn will be a daunting, long term task.

Insurance: Cars are designed to transport people and things, not kill. Nonetheless car owners are required to carry insurance to protect victims in case of injury, death, or damage. Cars are subject to theft, and by necessity they’re often left out in the open and accessible to theft. Guns are designed to kill. Gun owners should be even more responsible for any injuries or deaths which occur through the theft or misuse of their weapons (not, as you suggest, having their insurance indemnify them from their own responsibility. Car insurance does not eliminate the consequences to the driver if he/she smashes a vehicle into pedestrians.) This requirement would definitely prompt gun owners to take greater care in securing their weapons. If someone broke into a gun owner’s home and stole their weapons, the owner’s insurance policy should be cancelled and he/she shouldn’t qualify to purchase or own replacement guns.

Your argument about hunting rifles vs assault weapons is something I’m unqualified to respond to. I’d prefer the experts parse through the various options in determing how much fire-power should be allowed. Sure, there are plenty of people who can make alterations to weapons to make them more lethal. Having laws in place allows legal action to take place when laws are broken.

“will traditional hunting rifles be next on the list to ban?” Why are you mentioning them? I was singling out assault weapons and extended clips.

Assault weapons, of course, don’t impact our daily death rate (over 80), but they seem to be the weapon of choice for some of our recent “spectaculars” which have prompted our current debate. I’ve always been deeply concerned over the daily carnage in this country - and have long understood that most of our citizens are tuned out until something like Sandy Hook occurs. Then they (we) start looking at our overall statistics and re-engage the discussion. There are many weapons already banned to the public. I suspect we’ll end up with some kind of assault weapons ban reinstated so they’re again added to the list. Makes sense to me.

Thanks for your inclusion of the Harvard article, “Would Banning Firearms reduce Murder and Suicide?” I read the conclusion (p. 693) and will read the entire 46 pages. Interesting conclusion! I won’t ignore other statistics though:


Jan. 6, 2013, 7:49 p.m.

@ John, (Part 2) For a hard look at just how violent we are in this country, Please

google ” Nationmaster Murders with firearms (most recent) by country ” which has a self-explanetory title. A quick look will show that the bulk of countries we identify with have stronger (and enforced) gun regulations than we do. Switzerland is an outlier.

For those who champion the reality that Switzerland is a country bristling with guns yet has a very low gun homicide rate, please google ” swissinfo Switzerland’s troubling record of suicide ” The entire article is worth a read. Switzerland is a tiny country with a strong sense of community. They train their citizens from a very young age to handle weapons safely and to use them responsibly. They do far more than we in gun education, handling, use, and responsibility. Apparently though, instead of shooting each other, they have an alarming rate of shooting themselves when they’re depressed.

Then google ” american bar the us compared to other nations ” which includes a breakdown of gun deaths in this country by suicide, homicide and undetermined or unintentional, plus it offers more statistics which compare us to other countries.

And finally, in comparing ourselves to the next 23 high income countries, we lead with 80% of all firearms deaths. google: ” Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm fatality: comparing the United States with other high-income countries, 2003. “.

When we take a good look at ourselves, most of us should agree we
need to improve our regulation of guns, gun owners and gun sellers. Beyond that, we need to address the serious problems we have here which create a climate where too many of us feel entitled to resolve issues at the point of a gun. That’s the real elephant in the room.


Jan. 7, 2013, 7:39 a.m.

the only people who dont want law abiding   people to have guns are the termite district   attorneys in america because they own   the elegal   drug   and elegal   gun buisness look what they do to the people   of mexico and the   whole central america with   their elegal drug and elegal gun all elegal   drug   dealers work for the termite   district   attorneys of america   that is why their big   dealers no american jail can hold them   cant every 1 see they set them free to   deal more   drugs   on the streets   of america


Jan. 7, 2013, 8:06 a.m.

I would like to put a perspective on it that I have not seen very well explained.
I have seen these demonstrations in person, mentioned below. One can even google them.

I served around the world and saw different takes on the USA putting Nuclear Wapons in Nato countries.

The US paid for those same weapons and for the support required to maintain them in other countries.

I saw protest in Europe that stated Better red THAN Dead meaning become communist instead of possiblity of using Nuclear Weapons.

Guess what those protest were not taking place in Communist Held countries and territories. The population was defensless see Checoslovia up rising in Prague and what the Communist did, Google it.

The point in this is this Nuclear Umbrella as it is termed provided protection to those NATO countries not seen or understood by the general public. Allof this paid for by the US tax payer, Europe went ahead with Free medical and such at the expense of the USA paying for the defense unbrella as we still do like with the UN.

A local armed Police force is doing the same thing providing an unbrella of protection to citizens, an armed citizen adds to the aurora of protection and criminals fear this.
If one looks at mass murders one must also note where thy take place.

I see no incidents of a mass murder attacking a police station, why is this?

Mass murders are not stupid but sick without a doubt and know where the un protected zones are in our country, they even post signs. Never heard of a blind mass murder guess the signs are not in Brail?
But some congress or liberal will find a way to declare gun free kill zones as Bill Clinton has done. Zones of no defense, enter at your own risk they should be labeled. Look at it without the rose colored glasess.

Kill free zones, no worry of some one defending themseles against some one mentally un stable.
We need to talk about getting sick peole off the streets and or declaring them in national data bases no exceptions.

Mike Jackson

Jan. 7, 2013, 4:43 p.m.

@ Carolyn

I hope you can now see how utterly futile it is to try to debate this issue with someone like John.

No matter what reasonable proposals you might come up that might lead to a solution to the problem, you will be met with endless “what if?” scenarios. (Some plausible perhaps but many of them mere speculation and/or paranoid fantasies.)

As the saying goes, “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, and I believe this is a very good example of that axiom.

I often encounter such thinking in regards to tobacco control. No matter what type of measures are proposed to curb tobacco use, opponents of tobacco control measures will criticize them and/or prevent their implementation because no single measure can be 100% successful. I call this, the “since we can’t do everything let’s do nothing” argument, usually used or promoted by those with a vested interest in doing nothing (e.g., cigarette companies, gun manufacturers, etc.).

While it is entirely appropriate to make the effort to have an intelligent debate with such people, at some point we just have to realize that they are not interested in compromise and, in order to promote the general health and welfare of society, move on with or without them.


Jan. 7, 2013, 5:45 p.m.

@ Mike Jackson. Thanks! You are absolutely correct! However, for me it was fortunate that John prompted me to finally come up with a more comprehensive expression of my own views on what should be done in the interests of making our country safer via gun control measures. That exercise alone was worth it simply because my thoughts and previous research then needed to be grouped into categories, then led to the search for missing elements, then became somewhat organized text - still missing lots of pieces since I’m not a legal expert, but leaves me more fully informed and articulate in expressing what I (and I think many of us) believe.

Your inclusion of the saying, “The perfect is the enemy of the good” is spot on and, of course, applies to our entire political process. I wish more voters would realize this and engage themselves in it since our government is the only institution which gives us a voice and which separates us from anarchy.

Yep, John really went into the weeds in his post following my excruciatingly long self-educating post. I also fully understand that it’s a painful process to alter views for those who’ve held them unexamined for a lifetime. When they look over the edge, it’s a great comfort to retreat to the “safety” of the closed loop they know. Developing critical thinking skills is much more easily acquired in young brains which don’t require a lot of “un-do’s”.

As you say, moving on with or without them is the key. My greatest fear is for another distraction to drown out the momentum we seem to be gaining in our struggle to mitigate our horrendous gun violence rates here.


Jan. 7, 2013, 7:26 p.m.

As long as we continue to blame the problems of our society on inanimate objects, we will never solve these problems.  Banning items has never worked in the history of mankind.  All it does it make people who don’t pay taxes extremely wealthy—hardly a sensible strategy.

The reality is that, according the the FBI’s stat’s, violent crime has decreased from 800 per 100K population in 1992 to less than 400 per 100K population in 2010.  Murders with guns are also well down, while gun ownership is way up.  We are becoming less prone to violence as a society.

Cars account for more than twice as many deaths as all murders, regardless of weapon used.  Cars are also an inanimate object, but there is no movement to ban or restrict car ownership.

It is always tempting to jump on a symptom as the “solution” instead of doing the much harder work of dealing with the actual problem. 

There is no question that we need a national mental patient database, as well as a national criminal database to make it easier to restrict gun sales to mental patients or criminals—we have neither, which is a travesty. 

Let’s focus our efforts on keeping weapons of all kinds out of the hands of criminals and mental patients and leave the law abiding citizens alone.


Jan. 7, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

@ MJ and Carolyn!!

Don’t be so quick to lump me back into the stereotype you so wish I fit! Is it possible there is more than one John that posts here? No worries though, the internet is at fault for many misunderstandings.

I think Carolyn and I had a positive conversation in terms of improving our views and understanding of the issues, and like she said formulating and expressing them better. I too am happy about it.

Although I don’t agree with everything either of you are stating, I have provided examples and scholarly references to support my beliefs. I also have stated that I do agree there could be some changes in gun control policy that would be for the better. I am quite capable of compromise.


You can’t get anything figured out without asking what if? Its all for the good of understanding. I won’t address the rest of your post because Im not sure it was in regards to me, or the John posting about nukes. I assume the later, but I know assuming is often a mistake! Let me know if im wrong.


Glad we are both benefiting from this!

(part 1)

Registration - So, this could be helpful in determining if a current gun owner is proven guilty of a crime and should no longer be in possession of a firearm. I don’t want criminals to have guns so I approve this aspect of it.

Insurance - I see how it could be incentive to keep your gun locked up if you lost your ability to obtain required insurance in the case guns were stolen from you. This could also help insure that any victim of a shooting gets all medical expenses covered.

I do think 10 round magazines is a good compromise.

I would hate for one day, hunting rifles to be used as the next “trend”, and then become targeted for ban. They are essentially as dangerous and an “assault rifle”. I know that might be considered a paranoid fantasy by MJ, but it would be a bad side effect and im sure handguns would follow if not lead. Above that, I believe we are spending efforts in the wrong direction, and should be focusing them on identifying troubled individuals in our society and what we can do to decrease the amount of them.

(part 2)

First of all - your nationmaster statistics doesn’t give an accurate representation with the option of “Murders with firearms (most recent) by country”, because a country with less people will have less murders. You must look at “Gun violence > Homicides > Firearm homicide rate > per 100,000 pop. (most recent) by country” which shows the United States to be 3.6, about half the weighted average of the countries on the graph. We are below average of those 46 countries. This unfortunately is outdated as the data source is from 2002.

Second - Both the ”american bar the us compared to other nations” and ” Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm fatality: comparing the United States with other high-income countries, 2003. “.
also provides interesting but outdated statistics. The latter compares literally half the amount of countries (23) than nationmaster does, so its even less accurate on top of being dated. Its been at least 10 years since the latest data in those reports and it would be beneficial to see what current trends are. Its kind of unrealistic to rely on on 10 year old data to make accurate judgement on current issues, think about how much has changed and how quickly. So far, the Harvard report I posted is the most current. I’ll see what else I can find.



You are right on!


Jan. 8, 2013, 12:47 a.m.


After re-reading your post it does seem addressed towards me. Ahh assumptions. Anyway…

I offer realistic questions to help understand, narrow or define more accurately a proposed idea, which would only make it into something better all around. My posts are based on the studies and research regarding the issue, along with referenced evidence more current and comprehensive than previously presented in the thread. You don’t even address it, I bet you didn’t even read it. Who is it really futile to argue with? I looked up each and every item on Carolyns google list and offered my opinion. If you ignore some evidence or interpret it incorrectly, you get a skewed result.

You originally stated:

“Although I believe the right to bear arms in the U.S. is a constitutional right, I also believe that it is totally within the rights of society to place reasonable limits and restrictions on that right. Just as the right to free speech doesn’t give you the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, the right to bear arms shouldn’t give you the right to own automatic weapons, etc.”

The current limits on gun ownership are pretty reasonable, and a ban on “assault weapons” (semi-automatic) has been proven to be infective in gun crime reduction based on numerous reports, although I do agree some simple things could change for the better.

Your sayings and metaphors accompanied by bitterness gets us nowhere. What restrictions would you want to add?

What evidence do you base your beliefs on? Backup what you say and prove that the restrictions you wish to impose would effectively reduce gun crime and/or prevent maniacs from getting a hold of and using guns in a tragic crime.


Jan. 8, 2013, 2:48 a.m.

@ John: Another interesting response from you. Apparently at the moment you’re amenable to some beefing up for regulations for gun owners. Yet you continue to equivocate over the statistics. (Thanks, by the way, for correcting the “nationmaster homicides by country” which I incorrectly provided.  For you to put a “weighted average” on the contents was clearly your effort to create the illusion that we don’t have a problem with gun violence here. We clearly disagree. We’re 8th in line among 32 countries in our rate of gun deaths.

I’m pasting in a previous July post I made on a now “closed to comments” ProPublica article on gun control. I think the comment fits in here nicely.

“I’m also aware that raw statistics (such as those I posted) are glaring, even taking the obvious data gathering inconsistencies between countries/jurisdictions into account. The only means to make certain that gun violence data is consistent is to have a central authority which gathers a thorough and honest account from all parties in all countries. Never gonna happen. So therein lies the escape hole which allows you (NRA) to dismiss all collected data, from “incomplete” to “pretty good”, as worthless.”

In comparing ourselves to the next 23 high income countries, Providing half the number of countries was exactly the point. Instead of comparing ourselves with undeveloped countries, we’re being compared with the countries most like ourselves. But I’m sure you already knew that.

The CDC data is not current by your standards, but the NRA made sure their efforts to continue collecting, updating, and recording such statistics was shut down. What doesn’t the NRA want us to see?

For anyone to agree to improving the prospects for a safer existence for all Americans by tightening up gun laws, it would seem to me that acknowledging a problem of excessive gun violence exists. Your posts clearly tells me/us that you don’t think we have a problem with gun violence, so why are you agreeing to any measures in fixing something which don’t believe is a problem?

My parting shot: google: bloomberg American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015


Jan. 8, 2013, 11:45 a.m.


Do you seek the truth, and a realistic solution that addresses the problem? I debate the statistics with you because that seems to be what you are basing your beliefs on (which is never a good idea btw). I would like to stop gun violence effectively, not with a misplaced patch. If we are going to base policy on stats, they should be interpreted correctly and in the most accurate form.

I have to call you out on something though, you claimed you were a teacher,  yet you misread stats, provide google lists as reference, and ignore more current and comprehensive scholarly data that contradicts your beliefs. I haven’t had a teacher in my life that does a single one of those things. Who am I really debating?

You admitted you were reading the data wrong, and you also admitted data can be use to create and illusion that may not exist (you may want to think about this in depth…), in fact you claimed that I manipulated it to misrepresent the data. I simply took the weighted average calculated by the website you provided, its right at the bottom. Do you even know which representation is more accurate and why? Study statistics before you try to use them to prove your point.

To me, this suggest that you are basing a lot of your reason off emotion. Further, you basically just admitted that you can’t prove your point with any supporting evidence. This proves you are basing your beliefs on emotion to some extent. I agree its a shame there isn’t more current information, but I won’t assume on what it would represent.

It comes down to, do you want to base policy on outdated information and emotion, or do you want to look into the issue and find out the best way that would currently and effectively address the problem.

I don’t think we have the extreme gun violence problem you paint, I don’t want criminals to have guns as they are the ones causing violence. I support initiatives that realistically prevent them from doing harm to others with guns. You are suggestion banning semi-autos would do this, where I provided evidence it wont. Seems this is the main point we really aren’t agreeing on when it comes down to what should be done, and that’s completely fine.

In everyday life, do you see an accurate representation of the way you think the statistics are? Are you afraid someone is going to shoot you? I only have 26 years under my belt, but I can say as time has progressed, I have not seen an increase in maniacs with guns trying to shoot me going about my day to day activities. Its not something I fear, and I feel sorry fore those who do. Stop watching TV, stop misreading stats, educated yourself and understand the data you are providing in full before you expect to have a meaningful conversation towards any ends.

If you provide me with some real supporting evidence from a peer reviewed journal or the likes, I will continue to respond. Google searches are for the birds.


Jan. 8, 2013, 2:29 p.m.

@ Carolyn

One last thing on the stats…I did the math and double checked nationmaster, and now im pretty sure 6.9 is actually the arithmetic average, not weighted. So again, US is half the average. This tells us a few things, nationmaster may not even know what a weighted mean is (is this really a good source?), and you don’t judge data fully or even confirm references for yourself, you just quickly accept the version you want to believe.

This raises concern on the credibility and accuracy of your arguments, and statistical interpretations you seem to post.

I’ll admit though, Im still going through the report “Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm fatality: comparing the United States with other high-income countries, 2003. “ which is the best support you have offered, so I will give you my thoughts on it when I completely finish (this includes doing the math for myself).

It sounds like it will be months before anything goes anywhere, so hopefully truth prevails and people who actually know how to interpret statistics come to an accurate conclusion.


Jan. 8, 2013, 3:29 p.m.

@John: Please don’t go to the trouble. Neither I nor the rest of the American public are breathlessly waiting for your conclusions regarding whether or not your take on available statistics proves or disproves we’re a country which needs to “do” something about gun deaths/violence. You clearly don’t believe a problem exists, and disproving, disqualifying, and demeaning the efforts of those who do (in the guise of “meaningful conversation”) appears to be your highest priority.

A great many of us understand we have a problem with gun violence. We will continue moving on in our efforts to get sensible gun legislation passed as soon as possible. Clearly it will be without your “vital” input or support.


Jan. 8, 2013, 4:11 p.m.


There is your problem, you don’t care about understanding the truth, pinpointing the issue, or compromising. I will still continue reading the study from 2003 because I do care, and I want a balanced view. I can’t believe, that as a retired teacher you would encourage me to give up on that attempt.

You remind me of the southpark episode when they all start driving hybrids and start producing clouds of smug….don’t act so high and mighty, you must have forgot that your vote/voice is no stronger than mine.


Jan. 8, 2013, 4:46 p.m.


I also find it sad that you are dismissing this opportunity for both of us to further get a better view of this. It seems in spite of me proving your data to be wrong you want to end the discussion. While you have a chance to possibly sway someone in your direction (heck I already agreed with you on things I hadn’t even thought about before in terms of gun control) you pass it up because why? You think you’ll never convince me to change my mind? Its people like you that have failed our country,  even though I don’t agree with their mantra, at least “gun nuts” don’t give up so easy. As long as that is the case, they don’t have anything to worry about.

Linda Meza

Jan. 12, 2013, 5:36 p.m.

In conversation this week with my former Congressman George Miller, redistricting in Martinez, his response to my plea “please, don’t let the NRA win this time” was the NRA would win but its overall influence was being ‘chipped away’. He tried to assure me that there were legislatures who, when discussing the horror of six year old bodies being ripped apart, are visibly shaken; but these same legislatures, with normally decent voting records, seize up when confronted by the machine that is the gun lobby. Having been in sales and marketing for over fifteen years I can see the power of suggestion the NRA and gun manufacturers wield in all the fear based messaging; it works. My only hope for this situation is enough of them find a sliver of the type of courage displayed by Victoria Soto to potentially lay down their political life for the greater good of our country.


Jan. 14, 2013, 1:06 p.m.

Will you feel safer? Depends on where you are and what you do. Will the Police offer better protection? Only if you are wealthy enough or important enough otherwise you will be told to hire private security companies. Besides here some Police officers hardly get to the range (they should attend 6 times per year) yet some I knew were lucky to get to the range once a year. Others do not like to use guns and scare the Police officers they work with as their partners express concern regarding their own safety in a situation that may require the use of firearms. Now the Police have teasers. Some questions have been raised about the abuse of these devices.
Remember that the Police were set up for the protection of the rich by the rich, follow the historical evidence. Although their roles have changed they are often enticed to work as Security personnel some even moonlight in the Security related jobs. They did have to get permission from the Police Service to work in other areas of employment as there was corruption involved.
So this will give you in the USA some idea as to where this is heading as far as gun control is concerned.
Oddly enough all the evidence that was presented regarding the ownership of legal and properly checked and licensed firearms ownership in relation to the crime rates has been ignored and was not presented here after Port Arthur. The FBI statistics that stated that the US states with draconian gun laws had a sharp increase of firearms related crimes were ignored. The FBI statistics stating that crime was lower in the US states that had a balanced and responsible as well as personal carry permits were ignored. The scare mongering and the Media hyped this up and the Premiers assistants at the time lead the ant gun campaign.

Look at the bright side I can not shoot my self accidentally. I do not go out to night clubs and do not associate with shady characters, I do not even associate with Police, and only have a few Security Officer friends.  We live in a friendly neighbourhood I only had to call the Police 5 times in 10 years due to break ins and other suspicious incidents like stolen cars being left on the street down the road. 
One of my best friends was a COP he has left it now. Corruption and Politics.
I no longer hold a Investigators license, Security or firearms license. Medical and other reasons that would make your hair stand on end. I never did anything illegal apart from traffic offences.
Had a judgement passed against me in court I never even knew about. With an outstanding fine of just over $350.00. I FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS 7 YEARS AFTER IT HAD BEEN HEARD IN COURT WITH OUT ANY NOTICE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE WATCH DOG.  You can only appeal within a 5 year period.
Minor issue, however it had me fuming as it was done deliberately and swept under the carpet.
Yes, they can do this and people can be taken to court without having a chance to defend themselves.

Just to add to this the Medical issues where mental health is concerned, I think that here and in other western countries we have major issues with Drugs and even prescription drugs that often cause people to have major problems. The regulation of the medical and drug industry needs to be addressed more than the gun death issue as more people die from medical treatments and in Hospital stuff ups than by gun crimes. If we continue to ignore this crime rates will increase and perhaps this was the agenda as the Medical association is often very quick to blame other injury and death causes for costs related to treatments. Such as Smoking, Motorcycle accidents, crimes of violence involving weapons. Strange that they never pounce on their own mistakes and inability or unwillingness to treat certain conditions that can be cured. Cancer is one such example.
Do some research on what happens to Doctors that use alternate cancer cures and step out side of the guide lines even if the cures have over 80% success rates. Its all about the money and control. The dirty Politics of the system that promotes anti human behaviour.


Jan. 16, 2013, 1:37 a.m.

I’m tired of reading false anti gun propaganda. first off an honest person since the late 1940’s can’t buy a fully auto gun that will shoot probably 60 shot per second legaly in any usa gun store. drug dealers smuggle them in. I could not afford to shoot one, or want one. a semi-auto shoots as fast as a revolver, one shot per trigger pull. it is also a fact that states that people are armed have lower crime rate. that is because the thief isn’t sure the person he is after is armed. criminals and killers will always get ammo and guns. I do feel every gun owner should be mandatory to own a safe, and be fully responsible for use of their guns. if you don’t feel that way you should not own a gun, as you are not responsible.
    that is how this boys mother got us all in this position. also other school shootings were caused by children that should not have been able to get there parents gun. the guns need to be locked up.


Jan. 18, 2013, 2:11 a.m.

I see you have contradicted yourself several time, yet found it necessary to dismiss key points in my post. You only criticized me on my thoughts of proper people control not gun control.

“To say that only people who are “truly honest and responsible” identify
people as the problem, and not guns, is equivalent to saying “Anyone who
doesn’t share my opinion is a liar and a bad person.” If that’s really
what you believe, fine. But it doesn’t add anything to the public
discourse. “
People do tend to tend to do bad it is our nature. example you ever tease other fellow school mate? Well if so did you ever think of the consequence of your actions? We as people tend to work the same push to much and to long and that person your push tends to push back. If you read my post in full You will see that you agreed to many of the things I have said in it in you later postings. How can I as a [person now believe you when you only later admitted it. You took my posting and twisted the meaning of it, to suit your claim, not the facts that lay with in it. as far as this
“And no, I’m sorry, a pencil/hammer/screwdriver/etc. does not and cannot
inflict as much damage as even a simple handgun. Never ever. Yeah, you can
stab someone with a pencil. But you’d be pretty unlikely to kill 30 people
with a pencil before someone stopped you.”

I never said I could kill 30 people, just one innocent person killed for unjustified reasons is still wrong. The point I was making was in regards to the banning of the gun. a gun can kill one or many, as can a hammer until the person with the hammer is caught. See my point now? Banning the gun doesn’t solve the problem, banning the people whom are unstable and keep unstable family members or friends where a gun is at easy access is the problem. So in turn Yes it takes truly honest and responsible people to own and operate a gun or guns. Same goes for your one post
“Insurance: Cars are designed to transport people and things, not kill. Nonetheless car owners are required to carry insurance to protect victims in case of injury, death, or damage. Cars are subject to theft, and by necessity they’re often left out in the open and accessible to theft. Guns are designed to kill. Gun owners should be even more responsible for any injuries or deaths which occur through the theft or misuse of their weapons (not, as you suggest, having their insurance indemnify them from their own responsibility. Car insurance does not eliminate the consequences to the driver if he/she smashes a vehicle into pedestrians.) This requirement would definitely prompt gun owners to take greater care in securing their weapons”

Car insurance doesn’t stop the drunk that kills a family of 4. neither will gun insurance. Will it make a gun owner think twice, hmm nope why they have insurance to cover it now. You should really step back and re-think what you are saying instead of jumping on the assumption wagon.


Jan. 20, 2013, 12:25 p.m.


Took forever but I just finished reading this and it was worth it.

Great job laying the smackdown on carolyn!! Logical arguments with CORRECT interpretations of FACTS to back it up.

Whats really funny was how you used the information she gave you, to prove her wrong, yet she was still in denial! (she may not have understood the math haha). Just goes to show, how ignorant some of these liberal anti-gunners really are.

Gary the Gun Nut

Jan. 21, 2013, 8:24 a.m.

My dear fellow Gun Nutters™: It is so obvious why we need to own assault rifles, either semi or fully auto doesn’t really matter (let’s not get into semantics here), that it causes me great pain ta have ta once again explain why. But for the sake of all my fellow Gun Nutter™ friends out there having ta endure all the low down mean spirited insults coming right and left from the friggin’ scaredycat libtards I will, just sose the libtards (meaning people who don’t know their effin’ a** from a hole in the ground) will finally understand and quit picking on us Gun Nutter™ types ‘bout this once and for all. Now, s’pose yer typical ‘bad guy with a gun’ (who happens ta really be a ‘good guy with a gun’ who thinks yer a ‘bad guy with a gun’ because when y’all saw him with his gun y’all thought he was a ‘bad guy with a gun’ and so ya pulled out yer gun which is why he thought y’all were a ‘bad guy with a gun’ to begin with, but I digress) shows up on the scene? What y’all gonna do ‘bout it? Ya have ta react real quick-like, ya know, no time ta think. Follow me? See what I’m getting at here? It’s like the Wild, Wild West, ya know, where whoever is quickest on the draw wins and lives ta kill another day. Of course, ta win in this life-or-death contest ya have ta either be a real good shot (now that’s the kind a gun control we should all get behind) or armed with a weapon that doesn’t require ya ta be a good shot ta take out yer target. And this is where yer semi or fully automatic rifle (again, let’s not quibble about semantics here as either will do the job quite nicely), ya know, the one that sprays effin’ bullets all over the friggin’ place, bullets that can go through solid walls like an effin’ hot knife through butter, comes in quite handy. (But a good shotgun also works well if’n yer up real close-like.) Of course, ya may take out a few in’cent bystanders as well, but heck, ya were just doing yer civic duty in taking out the ‘bad guy with a gun’. (Okay, so he was actually a ‘good guy with a gun’, but how was ya supposed to know that before all the shooting started and the smoke cleared? Jeez, can’t ya friggin’ libtards cut us ‘good guys’ some effin’ slack here, okay?) Anyways, it’s like my dear ol’ Granpappy, may God rest his soul (he recently succumbed ta a severe case of lead poisoning), always used ta say, “ya know, ya never know”. So my fellow Gun Nutter™ friends, remember ta always stay ‘locked ‘n loaded’ with a live one in yer chamber, and good luck ta y’all at the Great American Shoot Out™, may the best shot win. Oh, and as a public service announcement fer all our friggin’ scaredycat libtard friends out there in the line of fire, remember ta take cover at the first sound of gunfire, keep yer heads down, ‘n fer God’s™ sake, don’t come out ‘til the shootin’s over and done with. Cheers!


Jan. 21, 2013, 9:48 a.m.

Haha how long did it take gary to type that! What a clown.

What’s hilarious is that is the worst example ever, I bet that almost never happens. What’s even funnier is the liberals who are scared of such ridiculous situations and use them as their argument. Haha, with opponets like this, I’ll be laughing all the way to the shooting range with my 100 round magazines and semi autos for the rest of time.

Gary the Gun Nut

Jan. 22, 2013, 5:52 a.m.

Ma dear fellow Gun Nutters™. Always remember wat our good friends at the NRA sez: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. The truth o’ this is so plane for ‘nyone but a friggin’ scaredycat libtard ta see, tha it’s almost too painful fer me ta have ta explain it all over again (but I will); it’s the bullets, not the guns, tha kill people (but let’s not argue here over a technicality). And believe it or not, lots o’ people out there can kill with their own bare hands! So jus’ ask all your friggin’ libtard friends (if’n y’all got any, that is), “Wat’s next? Y’all goin’ ta ban hands now, too?” And remember, ‘n ‘dition ta tellin’ us that we done got the right ta keep our arms beared at all times, our good friends at the US Supreme Court also done told us tha “corporations are people“. Therefore, the only logical ‘clusion I can draw from this here last statement takin’ ‘gether with tha o’ our friends at the NRA is tha gun manufacturers, which’n ‘re corporations ‘n therefore people, kill people…er…um…wat I really mean ta say here is, “They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers”! (Well, actually ma fingers’ll prolly still be warm as it does take a while fer a freshly killed body ta cool down ta room temp, but I’m sure y’all git my drift here.) Anyways, those there’n ma thoughts fer the day. Cheers!


Jan. 22, 2013, 10:26 a.m.

Holy craps a gun! Hide! Run! The world is being taken over by crazies! It’s a war zone out there with people getting mowed down right on my TV! I don’t like guns, they are the biggest problem and that’s all I care about. Here are some facts I got from tv. AR 15 are full autos who needs that! The military uses AR15s, they are the most powerful gun. Unlike other guns, these ones are made to kill! Ban them now so I don’t get shotby one because I know this will happen, I saw it on tv.


Jan. 22, 2013, 1:30 p.m.

@Michael Long: On your post to Rich, I’ve found more clues towards answering the question you posed to him. He made a recent comment in response to Gary the Gun Nut on ProPublica’s previous gun article, “Mass Shootings do Little to Change State Gun Laws”.

Excerpt: “...Haha, with opponets like this, I’ll be laughing all the way to the shooting range with my 100 round magazines and semi autos for the rest of time.”

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