Too soon? Not this time.

Over the past decade, I have sadly observed each subsequent shooting tragedy, wondering when things would get so out bad, so out of hand that the United States would finally do something about gun violence.

I think Newton is the tragedy that puts the pro gun advocates on their heels.

I wonder: Is this the tragedy that moves US opinion away from the wild west and towards a more sane and civilized culture? Might we ever get a Supreme Court that understands a “well regulated militia” is not the same as an “heavily armed population?”

I am not sure what the solution is — what is logistically ideal or politically feasible.

I do know that if nothing is done, we can expect more Newtowns and Virginia Techs in the future . . .

Category: Current Affairs

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

245 Responses to “What Can Gun Control Advocates Do?”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    @fyouell – settled by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia

    Is that the same activist judiciary that the right wing always wails against? Or is it not an activist judiciary when the opinion is one that you like?

    :)

  2. stevenp says:

    @ Petey:

    Your quote only says that the National Guard is part of the militia. The militia back then comprised all white men of a certain age (yes, racist, I know). ‘Regulated’ back then meant well-equipped. Back then, there was no such thing as the National Guard. The founding fathers were wary of having a standing army, so they wanted an armed population as a counter-weight.

  3. Frilton Miedman says:

    Money in politics, once again bringing the U.S. to its knees.

    Reinstate the assault weapon ban, WTF does anyone need an AR-15 for?…rapid-fire deer hunting?

    These weapons are made for one purpose, multiple homicide, maximum casualties – they’re tools of war, not “personal protection”.

    40% of all gun sales are private, which explains why the NRA is so voraciously defending it’s gun manufacturer base.

    Private sales require no background check, this includes people who are on he FBI terrorist watch-list – Al Qaeda can buy AR-15′s with no problem right here in the U.S. as long as it’s a private transaction.

    74% of NRA members are in favor of gun control, to hell with the NRA and it’s whoredom to gun manufacturers,

    This is just one more of countless problems we have that has its roots in money influencing politics.

    20 young children died at the hands of a deranged assault weapon user, it’s time we take a look at the real problem that allows the NRA to intimidate elected officials.

    Money in politics.

  4. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    Hi Barry -

    Please don’t put this comment on your blog, it is for you and only you. It is easier to do this than to figure out how to send you an email.

    Many thanks for your split-second moderation of comments on this important topic. It has evolved into an excellent discussion (not an argument, … a discussion). Of course, sometimes I wonder about the comments you do not let through…..

    In any case, please accept my gratitude. I’m sure you’d prefer to do something else this evening. But you’ve chosen to moderate comments and foster an intelligent discussion.

    Thank-you.

    Bob

  5. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    oops. :)

  6. NoKidding says:

    To the “well regulated” vs “shall not be infringed” debate.

    The constitution implies exactly what we have right now. You can get a gun, but If you do it legally you have a smaller selection and your local law enforcement has the ability to know what you own. It is a result of 200 plus years of legal wrangling between urban and rural.

    There is a process for updating the constitution if it has become dated. Don’t waste your breath reinterpreting what the highest court has looked at regularly and recently. E.g. DC gun ban was overturned.

    I’m not saying we have the right law. I am saying the law we have IS the law. Change starts and ends in a constitutional convention – it looks to me like team Texas still has more than enough firepower to hold the status quo against team California, but you won’t know if you don’t try. Anything else is wasted effort.

  7. Frilton Miedman says:

    F-you,

    Did the SCOTUS find that it was the right of every citizen to own heavy artillery, ICBM’s with Nuke warheads, or stinger missiles?

    After the Aurora shootings, one member here put it in context as the founding fathers had seen it, the literal Constitution gives us the right to own a one shot musket.

  8. tradeking13 says:

    Also from Wikipedia:
    “Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument. The appeal to emotion fallacy uses emotions as the basis of an argument’s position without factual evidence that logically supports the major ideas endorsed by the elicitor of the argument. Also, this kind of thinking may be evident in one who lets emotions and/or other subjective considerations influence one’s reasoning process. This kind of appeal to emotion is a type of red herring and encompasses several logical fallacies…”

  9. Frilton Miedman says:

    tradeking13 Says:
    December 15th, 2012 at 11:06 pm
    Also from Wikipedia:
    “Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions ….”

    ~~~~

    That Socialist, Obama, is going to take way your guns!

  10. SecondLook says:

    I see mass murders, outside of gang based violence which fundamentally is a class of private warfare, as a form of personal terrorism. It has the same operational aims: to hurt as many people as possible, and a willingness to sacrifice one’s life in doing so. It differs from political terrorism in not having any goals. For the personal terrorist, existence is nihilistic – whether it comes from serious mental illness, or a deep despair, doesn’t matter.

    (By the way, the goal of political terrorism is not to cause an enemy to fear, but to induce a harsh reaction from the “oppressor” that ends up causing the masses to rally to your cause.)

    As others above have noted, more effective regulation of firearms is, given the state and nature of our society, is very unlikely; as much as it would lead to a reduction of incidental violence through guns. Also, no legislation is going to prevent, effectively, personal terrorism.

    I suspect that our response to all this is going to be along the lines of our home side reaction to political terrorists. More security, more restrictions; a more safety at a price, both social and economic.

    Imagine 2024, where entry to all public places, from schools to office buildings, to parks, are secured by security perimeters monitored by various weapon detecting sensors. Guards are ubiquitous in those areas, either police auxiliaries, or private personnel. Key civilians who work in those places are trained in the use of “non-lethal” weapons – better suited to dealing with an attacker in crowded spaces. The right to bear arms is limited to places where they’re aren’t crowds.

    A very plausible future, sadly.

    One last thought, whskyjack and some others offered what seems to be perhaps the best workable regulation on guns: Ban large clip, and quick reload pistols and rifles. Hand loading takes time, more so under stress, and every second can count for the victims. I know, the counter-argument is that the bad guys will simply carry more firearms, but changing weapons also slows them down, and every second counts.
    As for needing quick loading guns for personal defense, well, if you need more than 8 bullets, have to reload in a gun fight, you’re probably going to end up dead…

  11. tradeking13 says:

    @Frilton Miedman: Nice try. I voted for Obama (begrudgingly).

  12. Jill Lepore says:

    Battleground America: One nation, under the gun.

    There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American. The gun that T. J. Lane brought to Chardon High School belonged to his uncle, who had bought it in 2010, at a gun shop. Both of Lane’s parents had been arrested on charges of domestic violence over the years. Lane found the gun in his grandfather’s barn.

    The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more. According to the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Policy Opinion Center at the University of Chicago, the prevalence of gun ownership has declined steadily in the past few decades. In 1973, there were guns in roughly one in two households in the United States; in 2010, one in three. In 1980, nearly one in three Americans owned a gun; in 2010, that figure had dropped to one in five.

    Men are far more likely to own guns than women are, but the rate of gun ownership among men fell from one in two in 1980 to one in three in 2010, while, in that same stretch of time, the rate among women remained one in ten. What may have held that rate steady in an age of decline was the aggressive marketing of handguns to women for self-defense, which is how a great many guns are marketed. Gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, higher in the country than in the city, and higher among older people than among younger people. One reason that gun ownership is declining, nationwide, might be that high-school shooting clubs and rifle ranges at summer camps are no longer common.

    Although rates of gun ownership, like rates of violent crime, are falling, the power of the gun lobby is not. Since 1980, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside their homes for personal protection. (Five additional states had these laws before 1980. Illinois is the sole holdout.) A federal ban on the possession, transfer, or manufacture of semiautomatic assault weapons, passed in 1994, was allowed to expire in 2004. In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law, an extension of the so-called castle doctrine, exonerating from prosecution citizens who use deadly force when confronted by an assailant, even if they could have retreated safely; Stand Your Ground laws expand that protection outside the home to any place that an individual “has a right to be.” Twenty-four states have passed similar laws.

  13. younglasttry says:

    The one that deserve to get shot, got shot – Mother. On the other hand, it would have been possible to hear the justification to have that many guns if she is still alive.

  14. stevenp says:

    “Reinstate the assault weapon ban, WTF does anyone need an AR-15 for?…rapid-fire deer hunting?

    These weapons are made for one purpose, multiple homicide, maximum casualties – they’re tools of war, not “personal protection”.”
    Semi-automatic rifles aren’t actually ‘assault rifles’, that term is just used to frame the argument by the gun control advocates. To be an assault rifle, it would have to be capable of fully automatic fire and shoot an intermediate power cartrige. So, this is really about banning semi-automatic rifles. Back in 1994, they didn’t have the votes to ban all semi-automatics, so they basically banned ones that have certain features that have nothing to do with lethality. BTW, one of the best weapons for home defense is a semi-automatic rifle chambered in .223/5.56 because of it’s combination of stopping power and low penetration through walls.

    “Private sales require no background check, this includes people who are on he FBI terrorist watch-list – Al Qaeda can buy AR-15′s with no problem right here in the U.S. as long as it’s a private transaction.”
    Depends on the state. Also, one can only sell to residents of the same state or perhaps neighboring states. Here, private sales are legal, and every seller I’ve seen requires the buyer to prove residence and prove legality by showing a CCW or have some other proof, or they meet at Metro to double-check. Besides, if one just wanted to kill random people, there are plenty of ways to do it that don’t involve purchasing a rifle. BTW, did anyone see that thread about the guy who made an AK47 out of a shovel, just to show that it can easily be done?

    “74% of NRA members are in favor of gun control, to hell with the NRA and it’s whoredom to gun manufacturers…”
    Being in favor of gun control is a pretty broad statement. Just about all gun owners are in favor of some type of gun control, but that doesn’t mean that they want more gun control, or even support the amount that there is now.

  15. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    @NoKidding – The constitution implies exactly what we have right now. You can get a gun, but If you do it legally you have a smaller selection and your local law enforcement has the ability to know what you own.

    I remain unconvinced that yours is the sole and binding interpretation of the Second Amendment.

    The Constitution can be updated when necessary. However, that does not mean that the interpretation with regard to the current era needs to be fixed and unchanging.

    I think of the Constitution and its Amendments as a strategy for governing our Country.

    The interpretations of the above over time are the tactics that govern us within the current era.

    When those interpretations become too ‘stretched’ or too out of line for the current era, then perhaps we should consider another Amendment to the Constitution.

    Our Founding Fathers made the process of amending our Constitution a difficult one.

    For good reason.

  16. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    fyouell:

    The earlier post by seth1066 was full of examples of home invasions.

    The shootout in CA was WITH THE POLICE, and, if I remember correctly was the result of a botched bank robbery – not a shooting spree against civilians.

    The Texas shooting was from a superior position with a sniper rifle – not an assault weapon in a crowded indoor scenario. If it had been, the death toll would have been far greater, and someone would have had to go into that space to kill the shooter. Not quite the same thing we’re seeing today.

    The McDonald’s killer wasn’t shot by the first cop who arrived on the scene. You’d better bet the police had a planned counter attack.
    ______________________

    From 1788, when the Second Amendment was ratified, until 2001, no federal judge in the United States had ever held that the militia orientated language of the Amendment applied to an individual’s right to own guns.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-segall/supreme-interference-the-_b_2307295.html
    ______________________

    As for District of Columbia v. Heller (from Wikipedia):

    “District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, in federal enclaves. The decision did not address the question of whether the Second Amendment extends beyond federal enclaves to the states,[1] which was addressed later by McDonald v. Chicago (2010). It was the first Supreme Court case in United States history to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.”

    McDonald v. Chicago:

    McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US 3025 (2010), was a landmark[1] decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual STATES. The Court held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the STATES. (emphasis added).

    None of this has any bearing on the text of the 2nd amendment.

    We CAN make laws regulating, restricting, and IMO, BANNING the ownership of ANY class of weapons by individuals.

    http://www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/supreme_cases.html

  17. some are Ignorant, are unaware of it, and spread /dis-info/, because of it..(charitably)

    Union Agitator Says:
    December 15th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I wish I had a solution to give you. It’s long past time for a sober debate on gun control. The second amendment dates from a time when every man was expected to show up for a war with his own weapon. Now people say it was made so the government could not become too oppressive…”

    Now?

    When governments fear the people, there is liberty…(Quotation)

    Quotation: “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

    Variations:

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-governments-fear-people-there-libertyquotation

    hmm, TJ (?), wasn’t He the Cat that Quilled-out the Declaration of Independence?

    from..
    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus-ns-aaf&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Jefferson+author+of+the+Declaration+of+Independence

    seems, exactly, so..
    ~~~

    you know, Point being, ’til We understand the Simple Things..We ain’t gonna be Solving the Harder Ones..

  18. wally says:

    “no legislation is going to prevent, effectively, personal terrorism.”

    Two prongs here: 1. what drives them to do it and 2. what enables them to do it.

    No reason to not work on both problems. Are you in favor of increased funding of and access to mental health treatment? And are you in favor of stepping back and controlling access to guns?

    There still aren’t a lot of answers here to BR’s original questions. Gun owner’s arguments about personal safety have been repeated proven wrong. They need to step and get some answers in place or they are going to lose their “right” big time. Only fair, too, since others have lost their lives.

  19. wally says:

    “no legislation is going to prevent, effectively, personal terrorism.”

    Two prongs here: 1. what drives them to do it and 2. what enables them to do it.

    No reason to not work on both problems. Are you in favor of increased funding of and access to mental health treatment? And are you in favor of stepping back and controlling access to guns?

    There still aren’t a lot of answers here to BR’s original questions. Gun owner’s arguments about personal safety have been repeated proven wrong. They need to step and get some answers in place or they are going to lose their “right” big time. Only fair, too, since others have lost their lives.

  20. Frilton Miedman says:

    fyouell Says:
    December 15th, 2012 at 10:32 pm
    “Donna,

    “Re-instate the controls on automatic weapons.”

    Automatic weapons are very tightly regulated in the United States. Private ownership is effectively banned (with minor and guarded exceptions). In my life, I have met exactly one person who owned (illegaly) an automatic weapon.”

    ~~~

    You’re completely wrong, you may be confusing fully automatic with automatic assault weapons- which ARE legal, but also, private sales are 100% unchecked.

    Stop using Fox news as an information resource.

  21. James Cameron says:

    > fyouell Says: The weapons used in CT were standard handguns (apparently) that were never regulated by the Federal assault weapons ban (from 1994 to 2004)

    “But he apparently chose a larger weapon, a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, for much of the killing. This rifle fires one bullet for every pull of the trigger, and the unusually high speed of its round was designed to produce significant internal damage. Authorities said Lanza fired dozens and dozens of times in a spree that lasted minutes.”

    http://goo.gl/O40ho

    “The Bushmaster is a type of semi-automatic weapon that was first used by American troops during the Vietnam War and which can fire up to six bullets a second. According to firearms expert Ronald Scott, a former head of the Massachusetts State Police’s firearms lab, the rifles can be obtained relatively easily by “people with the legal right to buy them,” but said the weapons are designed for combat. “There’s really no other use for them,” Scott said.”

    http://goo.gl/cuOiQ

  22. wally says:

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    Ya, right. Dream on. What are you going to do – refuse, with a gun, to be searched at the airport? Shoot ‘em up because they monitored your internet? Blow somebody away because they’re rewarding big banks at your expense? Maybe there was a simple day when guns solved problems, but it ain’t today.

  23. whskyjack says:

    @Bob is still unemployed

    On the close your eyes open your eyes: Ouch.

    Thanks for the links too
    I maybe a crusty old bastard but some things just bring tears to my eyes.

    Jack

  24. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    BTW, the last link I posted was to Descriptions of ALL supreme court gun cases/decisions.

    Again:

    http://www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/supreme_cases.html

    As far as I can tell, the SCOTUS has never addressed the militia/individual distinction of gun ownership.

    Don’t forget, the 2nd amendment specifies “arms.”

    I submit that one cannot legally own a rocket launcher, hand grenade, land mine, bazooka, surface to air missile, or nuclear bomb, yet, they are all “arms.”

  25. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    MEH:

    Can’t exactly pin down your point, other than to observe that the government owns arms that make simple gun ownership, of even the most heavy guns available commercially to the general populace, look like pea-shooters against heavy armor.

    I guess we allowed our government the power to be tyrannical in our zeal to out-weapon every other country on earth – by a long shot. Pardon the pun.

  26. stevenp says:

    OK, 4 last things, and then I am logging off for the night…

    1) I am glad that we are having a mostly civil discussion. Even if we can’t agree, let’s try to at least understand where the others are coming from.

    2) Regarding someone’s comment on home invasions, keep in mind that when surveyed, criminals report being more afraid of armed victims than armed police. “It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.” Mafia turncoat, Sammy “the Bull” Gravanob)

    The United States has among the world’s lowest “hot” burglary rates of 13% (burglaries committed while people are in the building). UK’s rate is now up to 59 percent. Canada’s is around 50%. “If you survey burglars, American burglars spend at least twice as long casing a joint before they break in…. The number one reason they give for taking so much time is: They’re afraid of getting shot.”

    3)In the first year after adopting ‘must issue’ CCW licenses, the average state had the following reductions in crime rates: Murder dropped 8%, Rapes dropped 5%, Aggravated assaults dropped 7%, Continued declines in following years. The states with ‘must issue’ licenses only have 55-78% of the crime as than other states.
    There are similar results for Colorado State University versus the University of Colorado. Colorado’s concealed carry law was enacted in 2003. Colorado State University decided to allow concealed carry and had a 60% drop in crime. University of Colorado prohibited firearms and had a 35 percent increase in crime.

    4) I don’t have gangster friends. My friends are pretty normal. I have had no experience of any of my friends or relatives using a gun in a crime or accidentally shooting someone. However, there are 5 cases that I know of where a friend has used a gun to defend themselves or a loved one (mother) from an attacker. In 4 cases, the attacker had contact weapons (crowbar, knives, or long automotive screwdriver). In the 5th case, a woman prevented herself from being carjacked (or worse, who knows what he would have done) against an a much larger unarmed (she thinks) attacker. There are about 343,000 violent crimes committed using a firearm in the US. There are several million cases of people using a firearm to defend themselves per year (over 90% do not involve actually firing the gun). If you are a victim of a violent crime, most likely the attacker(s) will not use a firearm, most likely it will be multiple attackers, and if a weapon is involved, it will most likely be a contact weapon.

  27. Joe Friday says:

    fyouell,

    Founding Fathers did not intend for unregulated proliferation of guns throughout the population.

    Really? It appears that a majority of American families owned guns at the time of the Revolution.

    Actually, by the time the first U.S. Census was done in 1810, it found only 4.3% of Americans owned a gun.

    The reason the percentage is so small was because ownership of guns was STRICTLY REGULATED, both before and after the 2nd amendment was ratified by all 13 states, with many people barred from owning a gun.

    What was that again about original intent ?

  28. whskyjack says:

    Automatic weapons fall into two categories. semi automatic and fully automatic.

    The State of Missouri Conservation department uses the term “self loading” for both. As different from manual loading where the shooter must manually inject the shell into the chamber. An example would be my lever action 30-30 brush gun ,a bolt action rifle or pump action.

    Some one demanded to know what was the last gun I bought over the counter. That brush gun would be it. 30 years ago, damn but time flys. As someone else pointed out , guns last a long time.

    Regulations for long guns in Missouri haven;t changed, much put you money down with a picture ID and promise that you aren’t crazy and a few other things. They will let you buy you own bushmaster with large capacity clip and all the ammunition you can carry.

    Jack

  29. constantnormal says:

    Logistically, there is nothing that can be done, the horses have long ago left the barn, which is now riddled with bullet holes.

    Even if we completely halted gun and ammunition sales in the US, which surely no one believes is possible, people who want to use a gun to kill a bunch of people will be able to acquire pretty much whatever they want, the supplies are already out there. Surely no one imagines door-to-door searches for assault weapons. And with 3-D printing experiments on making home-brew weapons well under way, things like metal detectors are going to be ineffective before too much longer.

    However, as every gun nut out there is certain to point out, guns are not the dangerous things here, it is the nuts that wield them. This latest massacre of school children was not the record-setter in the US, that occurred in 1927, with the perp using bombs to do his killing.

    The really dangerous components here are the people, and with Reagan pretty much eliminating state-sponsored asylums for the mentally troubled, we have been left with no option but jails that are already overcrowded, even if those who should be locked up were identified as threats before they acted — which they would rarely be, as most of these acts are the result of either very clever and capable individuals acting alone, with no one having a clue what they are up to until it unfolds, or are the result of an unbalanced individual going off the rails and imploding in a manner that happens to kill a lot of others around them.

    The most likely thing we could do to reduce the number of these incidents (and I doubt that we could ever eliminate more than a small fraction of them) would be to beef up out mental health industry, to provide an extensive capability to treat people with problems — and we are going to have a record number of vets suffering PTSD in the near future, in addition to the large number of civilians who are unable to deal with the stresses of a culture that is changing faster than they can adapt to (Toffler’s Future Shock syndrome), widespread economic stress, and a political environment that is based on hate-speech and polarization, using every modern advertising trick to inculcate this madness into everyone. Looks like it is working.

    In the not-terribly-distant future we will likely see personal armed drones used as weapons of terror, which lowers the bar for the perps to include kids too young to drive a car.

    Again, guns are not necessary, bullets are not necessary, humans did not rise to the top of the food chain for nothing. We are the biggest, baddest killers on the planet. When we break down, we become (potentially) significant threats to everyone. Our best bet, if we want to reduce the number of these incidents, is to work harder at making and keeping people sane, instead of treating everyone’s mental stability as if it is infinite.

    If you want a glimmer of light, take heart in that in this instance, as in flight 93, responsible people on the scene acted without hesitation to protect others, and some gave their own lives in the process. So there is some good along with the horrible. So long as there are plenty of responsible heroes, we’ll survive without tearing ourselves to pieces, even though it sure feels like that’s what’s happening.

    Merry Christmas, everybody.

  30. Joe Friday says:

    Petey,

    As far as I can tell, the SCOTUS has never addressed the militia/individual distinction of gun ownership.

    * The Supreme Court affirmed that today’s National Guard is the equivalent to a state militia in Maryland v. United States, 381 U.S. 41 (1965) and Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990).

    * In Lewis v. United States, 445 U.S. 55 (1980), the Supreme Court ruled that “The Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated Militia’.”

    * The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit wrote that the courts “have analyzed the Second Amendment purely in terms of protecting state militias, rather than individual rights.” United States v. Nelson, 859 F.2d 1318 (1988).

  31. stevenp says:

    Darn, when I posted this, I forgot to mention that in 4 out of the 5 cases, they didn’t shoot the firearm. In the 5th case, a crazed stranger with a crowbar broke through the screen door and attacked the mother with it. The 16 year old son shot and killed the attacker with a 1911.

    This 4/5 ratio of not actually firing the weapon when using a firearm for defense is somewhat close to the national average of about 92%.

  32. Petey,

    that f**l, above..

    went with..”…It’s long past time for a sober debate on gun control. The second amendment dates from a time when every man was expected to show up for a war with his own weapon. Now people say it was made so the government could not become too oppressive…”
    ~~

    my first Question, above, was..”Now?”

    and, pointed out that Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence (lo, ~236 Years Ago) put forth the Idea..

    and, afterward, my Statement..”…’til We understand the Simple Things..We ain’t gonna be Solving the Harder Ones..”

    was in response to the first Sentence, in the excerpt..”…It’s long past time for a sober debate on gun control…”
    ~~~

    this..”…I guess we allowed our government the power to be tyrannical in our zeal to out-weapon every other country on earth – by a long shot. Pardon the pun…”

    is a different Point, though, no less accurate.

  33. fyouell says:

    Wally,

    “Folks, the US has had SIXTEEN mass shootings SO FAR in 2012.”

    Clearly there are some conflicting statistics on this point (are mass shootings rising or falling). However, mass shooting account for less than 1% of firearms homicides in any case.

    donna,

    “Not an emotional knee jerk response. The answer to 6 year olds being slaughtered, however, is not statistical data.”

    More kids die from firearms accidents than mass murder. Both are dwarfed by car crashes. In 2008, 1,347 children under the age of 15 were killed in traffic fatalities.

    whskyjack,

    “I think we can safely ban all large capacity clips. Registering all sales of self loading weapons(automatic and semi automatic)”

    Were large capacity clips used in this case? Would standard (10 round) clips make any difference? Rather unclear. Automatic weapons are not sold (to the public) in the U.S. Semi-automatic weapons are regulated and sales are registered.

    donna,

    “There is no reason semi-automatic weapons cannot be regulated and controlled in the U.S. We did so until 1982. SInce then we’ve had 61 mass murders.”

    You are probably referring to the 1994-2004 controls on some semi-automatic weapons. It doesn’t appear that the 1994-2004 controls had any effect on firearms homicide and it is also unclear if mass murder is rising or falling. In any case, mass murder accounts for less than 1% of firearms homicides.

    “Re-instate the controls on automatic weapons”

    Automatic weapons are effectively banned.

    Wally,

    So far the coroner is report that the murders were committed with a .223 rifle. The police reports (so far) don’t support this.Wally,

    “Your argument that guns make us safer just isn’t going to fly”

    Actually, I have never made that argument. Check my posts. However, there is conflicting evidence on this point as you probably know.

  34. whskyjack says:

    fyouell

    You are repeating yourself, if they didn’t work the first time then they won’t work the second time.

    BTW, semi automatic weapons are automatic weapon , as are fully automatic weapons.

    What is really amusing is that I didn’t use the term “automatic” I used the term “self loading” which side stepped your little kabuki dance but you just have to stick to script.

    Jack

  35. dss says:

    Nothing to see here, folks, move along now. Unfortunately, in a few short weeks everyone will forget Sandy Hook and nothing will be done. More senseless slaughter is in our futures, as no one has the guts to do anything meaningful about guns. No one out side of the military needs an assault rifle, yet millions are in the hands of everyday people.

    Some of the more ridiculous things I have heard and predicted we would hear from those who have never had their child’s head blown off:

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!
    If the teachers were armed with their own assault rifles, they and the children would be alive.
    This is a result of the ban on school prayer.
    The shooter “snapped” – his three guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and his bullet proof vest were not evidence of premeditation.
    Why don’t we ban (insert your own pet cause of death here) as people die from those things, too.

    We are a nation of violent morons, many who worship guns and violence. This is not going to change even if there were a Sandy Hook tragedy every single day of the year. One shooting like this a year is unfathomable. Nothing was done after Columbine, VT, Aurora, and the rest of the mass shootings that have taken place, and nothing will happen after this one.

  36. whskyjack says:

    “Automatic weapons are not sold”

    LOL I didn’t spot this.

    here educate yourself

    http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcfullau.html

  37. whskyjack says:

    dss

    I fear you are right, but I hope you are wrong.

    Jack

  38. capitalistic says:

    The only solution is cultural – which means we’ll have to wait for the “old” way of thinking population to become an insignificant part of society. No time soon

  39. vachon says:

    All over my Facebook page people have been posting “Only guns kill people” yadayadayada. I just don’t get the knee-jerk reaction to even a humanitarian hint at semiautomatic long rifle control. Wtf is up with them?

  40. fyouell says:

    Petey Wheatstraw,

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

    Heller and the subsequent case (McDonald v. Chicago) have held the firearms ownership is an individual right.

    TomL,

    Libya has foreign diplomats. Syria has foreign diplomats. Rio (a very violent city) will host the 2016 Olympics.

    Bob is still unemployed,

    I am a steadfast oponent of all judical activism. I supported Kelso vs. New London and the Supreme Court holding in the Obamacare case. I personally detest the taking of private property for real estate development (via eminent domain) and oppose Obamacare. Neither is a violation of the Constitution (in my opinion).

    Frilton Miedman,

    Money doesn’t drive gun control issues. Passion (on both sides) is the core influence. My father is a life-long liberal and dedicated Democrat. He is also an NRA activist. He could care less about the gun companies. Talk to people about this (on both sides of the issue). You will find that it’s a matter of conviction, not profit. Much like pro vs. anti-abortion. For abortion activists (once again, both sides), financial considerations aren’t even trivially relevant.

    “Did the SCOTUS find that it was the right of every citizen to own heavy artillery, ICBM’s with Nuke warheads, or stinger missiles?”

    Of course not. Try buying one.

    “After the Aurora shootings, one member here put it in context as the founding fathers had seen it, the literal Constitution gives us the right to own a one shot musket.”

    By the same logic, freedom of speech woudn’t include movies, radio, and TV (much less the Internet).

    Petey Wheatstraw,

    You asked for cases where the police took down spree shooters (you said that it never happened). Trivial reserach turned up three. The North Hollywood shootout did indeed start as a bank robbery. It turned into the largest shooting spree in U.S. history (save for the Civil War, etc.). Both police and civilians were hit by the shooters.

    “None of this has any bearing on the text of the 2nd amendment.”

    The Supreme Court would never have suggested that a private right to own arms existed in the absense of the Second Amendment.

    “We CAN make laws regulating, restricting, and IMO, BANNING the ownership of ANY class of weapons by individuals.”

    Ban any class? All handguns? I doubt the Supreme Court would agree. All rifles? Ditto. Fully automatic weapons? Yes.

    Frilton Miedman,

    “You’re completely wrong, you may be confusing fully automatic with automatic assault weapons- which ARE legal, but also, private sales are 100% unchecked.”

    The legal weapons are semi-automatic. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_firearm. Quote

    “A semi-automatic, or self-loading, firearm is a weapon that performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon’s feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon’s firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon.”

    Fox News is Wikipedia? Wikipedia is really Fox News? Live and learn.

    James Cameron,

    I am seeing (so far) conflicting reports on what weapons the shooter used. The weapons used in Vietnam were M16s and fully automatic.

    Joe Friday,

    “Actually, by the time the first U.S. Census was done in 1810, it found only 4.3% of Americans owned a gun.”

    It appears that you are using data from Michael Bellesiles. He was forced to resign from Emory because his work was shown to be fraudulent.

    “The reason the percentage is so small was because ownership of guns was STRICTLY REGULATED, both before and after the 2nd amendment was ratified by all 13 states, with many people barred from owning a gun.”

    Regulation consisted of ownership mandates. See “Colonial Firearm Regulation” by Clayton E. Cramer.

  41. fyouell says:

    whskyjack,

    “Automatic weapons are not sold”

    Your link has the correct information. A member of the public will never (in practice) get a license for a fully automatic weapon. Quotes from your link.

    “It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department. Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time their ownership changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each new weapon is subject to a manufacturing tax when it is made, and it must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in its National Firearms Registry.

    To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the ATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of “reasonable necessity,” and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant “would be consistent with public safety.” The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant’s residence. ”

    and

    “Since the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians. Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act’s passage are regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.”

  42. slowkarma says:

    As the second amendment implies, Congress can regulate the militia, and therefore, firearms. And, in fact, it does: private citizens (with some minor exceptions) can’t own fully automatic weapons or sawed-off shotguns or weapons with silencers. So there’s apparently no problem with banning either a type (sawed off) or class (fully automatic) of weapon. I believe Congress could also ban other classes of weapons — semi-automatic, for example. Or, a whole class, like handguns. Or high-capacity detachable magazine weapons. If a law were to be prepared that carefully delineated acceptable arms for the militia (well regulating it), I think the court might approve it. If the Congress allowed only single-shot, double-barreled, and perhaps three-shot enclosed magazine bolt-action and pump shotguns and rifles, as well as air guns, then all legitimate hunting and sporting (target) uses would still be available, but would make these mass murders much more unlikely.

    Why could that not be done? Because most Congressmen fear the NRA and similar lobbyist organizations, which are heavily funded by the guns manufacturers. However, those organizations all depend on their tax exempt status, which supposedly does not allow them to take part in partisan political activity. If we had a President with guts, who ordered the IRS to strictly enforce that law, I think the power of those organizations would be sharply curtailed. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have a President like that.

    To the arguments that there are so many guns that the idea of taking them away is silly, I say, perhaps I’d not see the end of handguns in my life, or any of our lives…but why not make a start?

  43. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    fyouell – I am a steadfast oponent of all judical activism.

    Apparently you are in favor of it, indeed you quote it, when the opinions of judicial activism run in your favor.

    Time and time again throughout this discussion, you have argued against your own viewpoint.

    You really need to stop arguing against yourself. I tire of quoting you as the counter view point of what you write.

  44. Joe says:

    The real issue is that the root cause is almost untouchable. Tell me how to stop the motive and the existence of the means and opportunity become meaningless. Even if you favor preventative incarceration or preventative medication as the remedy for the potential to commit a violent act, how do you choose who to apply it to? I’m fine with this being the last murder of ANY kind, mass or individual, for gain or as a result of mental illness, whatever and however. Just tell me how to put in place the direct attack on the problem. Otherwise all we’ll change is the details. That is not enough.

  45. fyouell says:

    constantnormal,

    “However, as every gun nut out there is certain to point out, guns are not the dangerous things here, it is the nuts that wield them. This latest massacre of school children was not the record-setter in the US, that occurred in 1927, with the perp using bombs to do his killing.”

    That’s not as strong an argument as you might think (and yes I know the full history of the Bath school bombing). Back then explosives were easy to get and the killer had quite a stockpile. These days explosives are very tightly regulated and only rarely used from crimes (in the U.S.). Timothy McVeigh was an exception. The converse point is that the explosives McVeigh used are still available in the U.S. (with tighter regulations) and no one has repeated his infamy.

  46. whskyjack says:

    @fyouell

    Yeah, that’s why they don’t do the Knob creek machine gun shoot twice a year.

    http://www.knobcreekgunsales.com/events/featured-events/machine-gun-shoot

    You really don’t know much about the gun business do you?

    I’m gonna go to that thing one of these days it has always sounded like a lot of fun

    Jack

  47. Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault

    On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.”

  48. Lexington says:

    The gun control that works: no guns

    I HESITATE to offer thoughts about the school shooting in Connecticut that has seen 20 children and seven adults murdered and the gunman also dead. Your correspondent has been in the rural Midwest researching a column and heard the news on the car radio. Along with a sense of gloom, I found I mostly wanted to see my own, elementary-school-age children back home in Washington, DC, and had little desire to listen to pundits of any stripe: hence my reluctance to weigh in now.

    To be fair, on NPR, the liberal columnist E.J. Dionne had sensible things to say about President Barack Obama’s statement on the killings, and how it was probably significant when the president seemed to suggest that he was minded to take action on gun control, and never mind the politics. On the same show the moderate conservative columnist, David Brooks, expressed sensible caution about assuming that stricter gun controls could have stopped this particular shooting.

    Switching to red-blooded conservative talk radio, I found two hosts offering a “move along, nothing to see here” defence of the status quo. One suggested that listeners should not torment themselves trying to understand “craziness”, though it would, the pair agreed, be understandable if some parents were tempted to remove their children from public education and homeschool them.

    To that debate, all I can offer is the perspective of someone who has lived and worked in different corners of the world, with different gun laws.

  49. Joe Friday says:

    fyouell,

    It appears that you are using data from Michael Bellesiles.

    Never heard of him.

    The data is from the 1810 census.

    Regulation consisted of ownership mandates.

    Nope.

    A large number of citizens were BANNED from owning guns.

  50. 873450 says:

    Gun control advocates can look forward to President Obama boldly demanding Congress enact laws that will keep guns out of bad people’s hands. The president’s major legislative proposal will call for strengthening existing laws mandating background checks of people buying guns by requiring people selling guns to conduct a more comprehensive search against names provided by people buying guns.

    In keeping with the president’s historic legislation reforming our nation’s healthcare and banking systems, regulatory oversight and compliance reporting will be based on the honor system. Enforcement will be nonexistent. Nobody will ever have to worry about President Obama taking their guns away. He just can’t do it. Don’t ask why.

    Nevertheless, when the GOP Tea Party caucus demands entitlement cuts before allowing Congress to consider his unconstitutional gun confiscation legislation, the president will shrug his shoulders and walk away saying, “See what I’ve been saying about wasting my time? Elections are supposed to have consequences. I won! And they just won’t let me be POTUS. That’s why I don’t waste my time trying.”

  51. S Brennan says:

    Timothy McVeigh knew weapons well and he chose not to use a firearm. Timothy McVeigh’s weapon of choice was fashioned from easily available components, he killed 168 people.

    I really have a hard time seeing the senseless violence ending with a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

    We soak in an ocean of greed, violence and cruelty, the last time the US was in this sorry state of depravity was the 1920′s…and guess what…we were more violent in that decade than we are now…but if we fully enact 19th century economics [now called neo-liberalism] and finish cutting away the social safety net…perhaps we could outdo our antecedents?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/oklahoma/bg/mcveigh.htm

  52. fyouell says:

    Bob is still unemployed,

    “Apparently you are in favor of it, indeed you quote it, when the opinions of judicial activism run in your favor.”

    Read my posts. I cited Heller and the subsequent Chicago case as the applicable law of the land (which it is). Please show were I advocated Heller as a correct reading of the Constitution. The two cases I did comment on were Kelso vs. New London and Obamacare. In both cases, I concurred with judicial restraint.

    whskyjack,

    “Yeah, that’s why they don’t do the Knob Creek machine gun shoot twice a year.”

    Actually, I am familar with the Knob creek gun shoot and the applicable laws. In 1986, Congress banned ownership and sale of any fully automatic weapons that were not registered as of 5/19/1986. There is a very difficult process through which an individual can obtain a pre-1986 weapon. As I have already stated

    “To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the ATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of “reasonable necessity,” and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant “would be consistent with public safety.” The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant’s residence.”

    Many things that are generally illegal can in fact be legally obtained via a very difficult licensing or regulatory process (explosives for example).

    The Knob Creek folks appear to be using fully automatic weapons obtained prior to the 1986 ban and grandfathered in under the law.

    Joe Friday,

    If you have a source for 1810 firearms ownership cite it. Michael Bellesiles is all I can find.

  53. philipat says:

    As a non-American I have never really understood the US gun culture and have no desire to own one, especially living in a country where guns are illegal and there is little gun crime. However, with the way things are going in The US with NDAA, Homeland “Security”, FEMA Camps, Drones and all, together with the possibility of a complete collapse of the financial system with associated social unrest, the last thing I would allow this Government to do is disarm me.

  54. fyouell says:

    wally,

    “So, fyouell, step up to the plate here and tell us what have done the job.”

    That’s a valid question. Let me start by observing that I am not generally a libertarian. In my view, the government has both the right and the responsibility to regulate all manner of private and public conduct. Drugs, alcohol, explosives, driving, child pornography, taxes, banking, trade, sex, immigration, etc. Of course, that includes guns as well.

    With respect to guns, regulation should be focused where it will do the most good. Apparently, assault weapons (actually semi-automatic weapons) are used for 1% of all gun crimes. See http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcassaul.html for a wealth or statistics on the subject. It is also clear that mass murders account for a very small fraction of firearms homicides.

    What that means is that the PC version of gun control (banning assault weapons) won’t impact the real problem, single-victim killings. What will? Requiring firearms owners to get a license comes to mind. Mandatory training courses would probably help. Requiring firearms to be locked up appeals to me personally (all of mine have multiple layers of locks and keys). However, I live a safe community with excellent law enforcement. 21 in a 20 zone is virtually a capital crime around here. People in more dangerous towns would vehemently disagree.

    No one wants to hear it, but tighter regulation of alcohol and drugs would be a big plus. There is apparently, a strong correlation between mental disorders, drugs/alcohol, and violence. Even though I drink to a limited extent, I would favor prohibition (like in the 1920s) if it could be made to work. That’s a fools errand of course. However, alcohol can be additionally taxed and bar hours can be be regulated. There is tentative evidence of a linkage between marijuana and schizophrenia. See http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/teens-who-smoke-pot-at-risk-for-later-schizophrenia-psychosis-201103071676. If additional research substantiates the link (causation, not correlation) then legalization is a very bad idea.

    Stable family life would help a lot. While I would be the first to agree that economic changes have undermined family life over the last 40 years, economics aren’t enough. Moral and cultural shifts have weakened family life as well. In my view, radical individualism is the dominant (and most destructive) ideology of our era. What do do about it is beyond an online comment to say the least.

  55. drtomaso says:

    I keep getting into arguments with gun rights activists who constantly argue that no laws restricting ownership of firearms are constitutional. That ship sailed long ago- as has been pointed out above, the right of congress and of the states to restrict the type of firearms for sale, and the licensing requirements for ownership has been upheld time and time again.

    So all we are debating here is where to draw the lines. I believe that reasonable restrictions on types, magazine capacities, and ammunition types can legally be made. Should the Bushmaster at the heart of this case have been over that line?

    If it were in my power, what would I change to hopefully prevent the next Newtown?

    First, I believe access to arms isn’t the sole problem here- we also have to change our culture so that access to arms illegally is much more difficult. The shooter didn’t own these weapons himself- as I understand it they were his mother’s. So this wasn’t the case of an unstable person being allowed to purchase the weapons.

    What I would propose would be strict licensing requirements for anyone seeking to own a firearm. Periodic training in the care and safety of that fire arm should be mandatory, just like we require training of drivers. Further, we also recognize that the car is a dangerous tool, and require owners and drivers to carry insurance- the owners of firearms should have to carry insurance as well. And that insurance should pay if the gun is used to harm someone accidentally or illegally, and if the weapon is lost or stolen- and it should be a significant expense.

    Failing to report a lost or stolen firearm should be a felony. Actually losing or having a firearm stolen should be a misdemeanor punishable by stiff fines, unless one can demonstrate that required and recommended efforts to secure the firearm were taken. If a fire arm is used illegally and it can be shown that it was obtained because of your failure to secure it appropriately, you should face legal consequences- both criminal and civil. The cost of owning a firearm has to rise so that people have incentives to secure them properly, handle them safely, and ensure that their exercise of the second amendment doesn’t add to the already high cost of firearms on society.

    I don’t know if those changes would have kept Adam Lanza’s hands off his mother’s firearms, but if they were in an electronic pass-code locked gun locker, it might have made it harder- maybe just hard enough that he would have found another outlet for his rage.

  56. drtomaso says:

    Also, while I am heartened by the outpouring of support from the mental health community in making counseling services available free of charge for anyone in the town that requires them following this tragedy, it might have been cheaper and less painful if the one person who really needed the assistance of a mental health professional had had access to free services, say a week ago.

    You know, like the rest of the worlds’ advanced industrial democracies do for their citizens.

  57. Frilton Miedman says:

    fyouell Says:
    December 16th, 2012 at 1:15 am
    “…. “Did the SCOTUS find that it was the right of every citizen to own heavy artillery, ICBM’s with Nuke warheads, or stinger missiles?”

    Of course not. Try buying one.”

    ~~~

    The SCOTUS has never been presented the question.

    Apparently, it has to be written out for you, Congress regulates what’s covered under the 2nd amendment, the NRA owns Congress….even NRA members are 74% in favor of gun regulation.

  58. GG says:

    Barry,

    I understand your frustration with gun violence but I also know you are an advocate of truth. With regard to interpreting the Second Amendment, there should be little confusion about the whether the Founding Fathers believed in the rights of citizens to bear arms. I trust you will find the following link persuasive:

    http://cap-n-ball.com/fathers.htm

    In addition, the following links demonstrate how often guns have saved the lives of the innocent. I trust you will find these links helpful as well:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/14-year-old-shoots-armed-intruder-while-babysitting-his-younger-siblings-in-phoenix/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/20/oklahoma-girl-shoots-home-intruder_n_1992381.html

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/very-afraid-66-year-old-woman-shoots-and-kills-home-intruder/

    Sincerely,

    GG

  59. romerjt says:

    RW has it right about socializing the costs of guns
    1. add up (at least) all the prison, court, and hospital costs of gun violence divide by the numbers of gun owners and that’s part of the cost of owning a gun. I’m tired of subsidizing their feeling of personal safety.
    2. Being in a militia is part of owning a gun according to the 2nd amendment so if you want a gun, report for militia training next weekend where you will be identified, intervened, fingerprinted, photographed and given a mental health exam like the real military.
    3. Make it illegal to carry a CONCEALED weapon, all weapons but be CLEARLY DISPLAYED on the person b/c the owner may think his/her safety is increased by having the weapon and that may even be true, but I think my safety is decreased by concealed weapons around me and that’s easy to prove . Let businesses (the market) decide if they want customers carrying guns.

    I am so sick of hearing about the rights of gun owners . . we need to stand up for our rights to be protected from the externalities of this craziness.

  60. cswake says:

    RE: drtomaso

    “I keep getting into arguments with gun rights activists who constantly argue that no laws restricting ownership of firearms are constitutional. That ship sailed long ago- as has been pointed out above, the right of congress and of the states to restrict the type of firearms for sale, and the licensing requirements for ownership has been upheld time and time again.

    So all we are debating here is where to draw the lines.”

    The Executive Branch has the power to decide both whether the 4th Amendment applies and subsequently execute Americans without trial. I assume since that ship has sailed that it’s just a matter of deciding how many and what Americans don’t require a trial by jury?

  61. DeDude says:

    In a society where everybody is scared of everybody else the desire to be able to defend yourself is understandable. However, there is no justification for semi-automatic weapons. No weapon that can fire more than 6 bullets at a time, and neither armor nor cop-killer bullets should be allowed in the civilian population.

    When lunies attack school children in china you get 22 wounded kids:
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html

    When lunies attack school children in US its 20 dead:
    http://us.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/connecticut-shooting-victims/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    What is it that is so hard to understand?

  62. 873450 says:

    DeDude Says:

    “When lunies attack school children in china you get 22 wounded kids:
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html

    When lunies attack school children in US its 20 dead:
    http://us.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/connecticut-shooting-victims/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    What is it that is so hard to understand?”

    You just don’t get it. We are exceptional.

  63. ConscienceofaConservative says:

    The reports say the shooter was autistic, suffered from asperger syndrome and disturbed. What was a mother of a child like this doing teaching him how to shoot and leaving guns around the house. As tragic as this event is, I believe the solution still is background checks and parents acting responsibly.

  64. Rationality says:

    ..and to add…. I will state that there should be strict requirements on purchasing and owning firearms. Anyone who owns them should also be held to a very high level of responsibility towards locking them up, not allowing access to them by others, etc. I do not believe in the regulation of semi-autos.

    Bottom line – people who believe they have been “wronged” (those people define that, not anyone else, however logical or irrational their definition might be) will find a way to kill the individual or group they believe have “wronged” them, with or without guns. As the level of economic disparity increases, so will the violence.

  65. Moss says:

    The gun culture is very much a part of the American fabric. Just like the automobile it has been glamorized to her point of adoration. Gun use and the associated violence is everywhere; music, TV, Movies, video games. Carrying a concealed weapon is now accepted as a right in some public places. Survivalists and ‘preppers’ have Television shows and represent a sub-culture.

    Keep in mind that those who wrote the Constitution and the 2nd amendment were slave owners, women had no rights and native American Indians occupied the US and the Revolutionary war has just been fought.

    We now have an incumbent regime who make a lot of money on Guns and the associated items. It will be interesting to see who gets flushed out besides the NRA.

  66. Rationality says:

    These are coming from Naked Capitalism by the way….a place that you have been trading posts posted with for a while now : http://globalsociology.com/2012/12/15/on-the-guns-thing-i-would-just-like-to-point-out/

    Again, income inequality.

    Again I state, people are sick and tired of the double standards/double life, I’ll keep you surpressed, you keep your mouth shut, bullshit.

  67. Rationality says:

    This is a very interesting piece, attribution again to Naked Capitalism : http://c4ss.org/content/15355

    “But third, what strict gun laws will do is take the level of police statism, lawlessness and general social pathology up a notch in the same way Prohibition and the Drug War have done. I’d expect a War on Guns to expand the volume of organized crime, and to empower criminal gangs fighting over control over the black market, in exactly the same way Prohibition did in the 1920s and strict drug laws have done since the 1980s. I’d expect it to lead to further erosion of Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, further militarization of local police via SWAT teams, and further expansion of the squalid empire of civil forfeiture, perjured jailhouse snitch testimony, entrapment, planted evidence, and plea deal blackmail. In short, a War on Guns will take us even further in the direction of a society handed entirely over to violent criminal gangs, and the biggest gang of all: The criminal beasts of prey in uniform.”

  68. gms777 says:

    The solution? From the blog Powerline:

    “Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.”

    Every school in Israel has an armed guard on-site. In the U.S. town where I live, most, if not all, of the schools, have an armed city police officer stationed on the grounds when children are there. “Gun-free” zones are like directional arrows telling the insane and evil where to go.

  69. The Geography of U.S. Gun Violence

    Gun violence in America has reached epidemic proportions — over 30,000 people died by gun in 2011, according to preliminary data [PDF]. This past summer, dubbed the summer of the gun, these numbers felt all too close and all too random, with shootings near the Empire State Building and in an office in D.C. closely following mass killings in Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

    These events prompted me to examine the geography of gun violence here on Cities this past July, based upon a prior analysis for The Atlantic. Both posts relied upon state-level data for 2008 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [PDF].

    A useful follow-up analysis was recently posted by Harry Moroz over at Next American City. Moroz relied on CDC data from 2006 to 2007 [PDF], which covers the 50 largest metros and their constituent center cities. This data set also breaks out two key types of gun violence — gun-related homicides and suicides — as well as total gun-related deaths. As such, these data provide a more precise take on the geography of gun-related death at the metro and city levels. Moroz writes:

    Based on the CDC data, almost 60 percent of U.S. firearm homicides occur in the 62 cities of the country’s 50 largest metros. However, only 27 percent of suicides do. In 2006, firearm suicides were a primarily suburban (and non-central city) phenomenon, which is likely weighing down the relationship between firearm deaths and the city unemployment rate.

    Moroz finds a close relationship between city unemployment and murder by gun (and has some nice scatter-graphs to show it). The correlation between city unemployment at the overall rate of gun deaths is considerable (.55), and the correlation between it and gun-related murders is even higher (.72).

  70. derekce says:

    Equally important should be a national debate on how to handle the mentally ill. Just about every time, friends and family confess the perpetrator was known to have mental problems. There have been a couple of these type shootings on a smaller scale in my area of multiple family members and a stabbing of an officer moonlighting, trying to stop a shoplifter. All were known to have mental problems. Since the ’80′s government services have been cut for facilities for the mentally ill, which at the time caused an explosion in homeless people. America needs to address this problem also.

  71. Adam Winkler says:

    The Secret History of Gun Rights
    Adam Winkler, The Atlantic

    The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.

    The text of the Second Amendment is maddeningly ambiguous. It merely says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Yet to each side in the gun debate, those words are absolutely clear.

    Gun-rights supporters believe the amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms and outlaws most gun control. Hard-line gun-rights advocates portray even modest gun laws as infringements on that right and oppose widely popular proposals—such as background checks for all gun purchasers—on the ground that any gun-control measure, no matter how seemingly reasonable, puts us on the slippery slope toward total civilian disarmament.

    This attitude was displayed on the side of the National Rifle Association’s former headquarters: THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. The first clause of the Second Amendment, the part about “a well regulated Militia,” was conveniently omitted. To the gun lobby, the Second Amendment is all rights and no regulation.

  72. Greg0658 says:

    I live blogged at “Up with Chris Hayes” (MSNBC) via Facebook – placed into public domain (well sorta) yesterday at 6:04amET .. as usual I keep my words for ref offline (since I take blogging seriously) so I could reprint them here but without see’g the 737 other posts they are nested inside of (another well)

    Petey in here: – providing we couldN’T possibly own on a personal level to vs. what the US has .. and to cross post on 1 subIssue: (further ref: locale armories)
    “to PaulS: – tell the Afghans ‘resistance is futile .. you will…”
    “maybe company towns and patriot missle batteries and drones are the feudalism answer – birds of a feather flock together in harmony – all paid for by the town and their efforts – raw capitalism .. sounds rather Afghanistanish :-)”

    I think this is basis of our gun laws because of our history here on the last continent for growth on planet earth .. the original teaparty, conquer’g the west from the original inhabitants, the civil war over slavery and states rights; la de la de da

    are you reaady for the new years re-release of RedDawn :-| you all know me for open’g cans of worms to smell the yuck – pretext for subversive false flags ops – or just a nut job – its so hard to tell – fuzzy

  73. Fifteen things to know about Australia’s incredibly effective gun clampdown

    In the wake of the shooting, “a national upwelling of grief and revulsion saw pollsters reporting 90–95% public approval for stringent new gun laws.”

    A conservative politician took the lead. Australia’s conservative Prime Minister John Howard spearheaded a push by Australian states and territories to severely restrict gun ownership that year, in what came to be known as the National Firearms Agreement.

    It targeted the kinds of guns used in massacres. “As the Port Arthur gunman and several other mass killers had used semi-automatic weapons, the new gun laws banned rapid-fire long guns, specifically to reduce their availability for mass shootings.”

    It encouraged people to turn in guns. The government “bought back more than 650,000 of these weapons from existing owners, and tightened requirements for licensing, registration, and safe storage of firearms.”

    It wasn’t voluntary. Long-barreled semi-automatic guns were outlawed. People were able to turn them in to authorities and be compensated without fear of prosecution.

    That would be even more in the US. “In U.S. terms that would be equivalent to the removal of 40 million firearms.”
    Gun homicide rates fell. “In the 7 years before the NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate per 100 000 was 0.43 (range:0.27–0.60), whereas for the 7 years after NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate was 0.25 (range: 0.16–0.33).”

  74. whskyjack says:

    “In the U.S. town where I live, most, if not all, of the schools, have an armed city police officer stationed on the grounds when children are there.”

    And nobody sees the obscenity of armed guards roaming the halls of our schools. We are a sick people wallowing and reveling in our insanity.

    Jack

  75. gms777 says:

    Jack…

    I agree it is ‘disgusting’ to see a policeman in a black uniform wearing a sidearm in my childrens’ schools. But he is a very visible deterrent. Not someone even a madman would want to mess with.

    “In May 1974, Palestinian terrorists targeted an Israeli school in the village of Ma’alot, taking a number of students hostage. When Israeli commandos tried to free the students, the terrorists opened fire on their captives, killing 22 of them.

    Fearing another attack, Israeli educators asked the military for assistance. But the IDF told them it was impractical to station troops at all schools and college campuses. So, the Israelis began training teachers, counselors, administrators and parent volunteers to carry weapons, and provide protection for their schools. While virtually no teachers carry guns in the classroom, every school soon had an armed sccurity detail, professional or volunteer. Realizing that Israeli schools were no longer a “soft” target, the terrorists began looking elsewhere. It would be more than 25 years before the jihadists would again target an Israeli school.”

    From … http://formerspook.blogspot.com/ …which also tells what happened when an insane student was stopped by an armed teacher in a Mississippi school. Some died, but many more were saved.

  76. 873450 says:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0509806/quotes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLjNJI54GMM

    “All in the Family” Archie and the Editorial (1972)
    [Archie is delivering en editorial on a local TV station]

    Archie Bunker:

    Good evening, everybody. This here is Archie Bunker of 704 Hauser Street, veteran of the big war, speaking on behalf of guns for everybody.

    Now, question: What was the first thing that the Communists done when they took over Russia? Answer: Gun control. And there’s a lot of people in this country want to do the same thing to us here in a kind of conspiracy, see. You take your big international bankers, they want to – whaddya call – masticate the people of this here nation like puppets on the wing, and then when they get their guns, turn us over to the Commies.

    Now I want to talk about another thing that’s on everybody’s minds today, and that’s your stick-ups and your skyjackings, and which, if that were up to me, I could end the skyjackings tomorrow. All you gotta do is arm all your passengers. He ain’t got no more moral superiority there, and he ain’t gonna dare to pull out no rod. And then your airlines, they wouldn’t have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they just pick them up at the end! Case closed.

  77. Canada Joe says:

    As a Canadian I believe I get a good look at US society from just far enough to be impartial and just close enough to understand it. I believe there are many issues here and are more complex than just guns.

    My country Canada has nots of long barreled guns. Not as many peer capita as the US but quite a few. The million person city I live in has had 12 murders this year. I think there were 14 last year. I believe that is a weekend in Chicago. In Canada you must pass an exam to apply for a license to obtain a firearm. Very similar to the process to obtain a license to drive but with a background check and references included. Also handguns can only be purchased to take to and from the range…no stopping for gas along the way, as that is not straight to the range. Gun owners in Canada argue they should be allowed town guns for hunting so we only sell hunting guns. You cannot buy an AR-15.

    Switzerland is also a nation with a very high gun per capita and suffers very few homicides. Gun training is provided in the conscription years and a soldier, every healthy male, is allowed to keep his weapon after his service.

    So it is possible to have guns and not use them in violence, however, too many Americans seem to lack the psyche to be able to do this. Please take no offense, I love Americans and will be in Seattle to cheer on the Seahawks next weekend and always enjoy my time in the US, last summer in Montana and Wyoming every time a fellow bar patron learned I was Canadian I was offered a drink and a long conversation about when so and so visited Regina or about the cousin who plays hockey. I always feel a mutual during any encounter with Americans.

    For the same reason DBs still lead with their head when making a tackle, certain people have a desire to go out with a bang. TOP OF THE WORLD MA type mentality. It’s the perverse version of Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame. I wonder if the population learns from their government just as a child learns from its parents? The casual nature that the US government extinguishes suspected militants with drones I wonder if it cheapens the value of life to a young citizen? Does he learn that the goal is the only important metric and a few innocent deaths can be justified? I’m speaking of the double tap habit…

    Switzerland does not send its forces on foreign military adventures. In fact it is neutral. Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson won a Nobel prize for organizing the first peace keeping mission. Could these vastly different approaches to life be filtering down in to society? I hate to say it, but America you solution is not just banning guns. I think it runs deeper. I hope I have not offended any of you.

    I believe guns should be harder to obtain, but I think the mass killing runs deeper.

  78. YouthInAsia says:

    If this guy couldn’t get ahold of guns we’d be in here talking about how gruesome the knife killings of these adults and children were.

  79. * Five states with lowest death rates by gun have the toughest gun laws and the lowest gun ownership:

    HAWAII
    RHODE ISLAND
    MASSACHUSETTS
    CONNECTICUT
    NEW YORK

    ~

    * Five states with highest death rates by gun have the laxest gun laws and the highest gun ownership:

    LOUISIANA
    MISSISSIPPI
    ALASKA
    NEVADA
    ALABAMA

    See:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/interactives/guns/ownership.html
    http://usliberals.about.com/od/Election2012Factors/a/Gun-Owners-As-Percentage-Of-Each-States-Population.htm

  80. wally says:

    “Timothy McVeigh’s weapon of choice was fashioned from easily available components, he killed 168 people.”

    If you think “easily available”, you should spend more time in farm country. After that event, pretty stringent controls were put on certain substances. The spread of the meth problem cause a similar response. Stuff gets locked down and it gets monitored. Farmers see no argument that their “rights” shouldn’t be exercised with enough control to prevent mass murder.
    These are dangerous substances and that’s a rational, civil response to problems.

  81. 4whatitsworth says:

    This was a tragedy of epic proportion however a much better question for serious people is what can we do about crazy people? There are options 1) Hold their families accountable 2) Incarcerate them 3) Require Medication 4) All of the above. These options would be much easier to implement than gun control and provide a much better outcome for society. Speaking of weapons, If you want to remove the deadliest weapon of all take away the car many more people die with careless/clueless people driving cars. A question I like to consider is do cars kill people or do dumb ass people driving cars kill people?

    One of these days we will all need to get past the politics of abortion and gun control.

    ~~~

    BR: Why do you assume that medical treatment and restrictions on automatic weapons, hollow point bullets, etc. are mutually exclusive?

    An enlightened intelligent society can do both.

  82. wally says:

    Interesting how so many of the ardent defenders of the idea that you need guns to “defend yourself” are the first to say that their guns, of course, are under multiple layers of lock and key.

    Like some big, bad guy is going to come to their house – naturally when they’re home, awake and alert – and knock on the door and give them a five minute warning to get unlocked, loaded and locked.

    Pure adolescent fantasy.

  83. wally says:

    “Equally important should be a national debate on how to handle the mentally ill. Just about every time, friends and family confess the perpetrator was known to have mental problems.”

    Absolutely, positively! Mental problems are the driver, easy guns and ammo are the enabler. In almost every case!
    You’ll find, though, that the same mentality that opposes controls on guns also opposes increases funding for health care, including mental health care. In other words, they want to perpetuate the current situation; they actively defend it, they help maintain it.

  84. fyouell says:

    All, Crimes like the mass murder in Newtown, CT are actually quite rare. Crimes like the Belcher/Perkins murder-suicide less so. Unpublicized single-victim killings are the most common of all. Any serious effort to reduce gun deaths has to target the mundane (but deadly) crimes that account for most firearms homicides. Rationality,”Again, income inequality” Check out the state level Gini data vs. violent crime by state. You won’t find the correlation you are looking for. New York and California typically lead the list. Neither is a high crime state. See http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/state/state4.html for the numbers.

    ~~~

    BR: Are you saying that because they are rare we should not seek to prevent them? I’m not following your reasoning

  85. A says:

    No surprise that Barry’s comments provoked such an intense response. There are a few reasons why it’s simply too late to assume that the government can (or will) take any steps to truly attempt to minimize the probability of future gun related disasters.

    One, it should have started at least 30 yrs ago, long before there 300 million (!) guns in the USA
    Two, you can do what you wish with laws and reinforcement, but the fact is, guns are easy to get…hell, it’s easier to get a gun than it is a driver’s license !
    Three, with an incredibly powerful gun lobby, freedom and profit will take precedence over safety.
    Four, it would require significant courage from a largely bought-and-paid for Washington – nix that idea
    Five, the primary goal of any politician is to get elected and stay elected. Astute politicians (yes, they do exist), realize that the public has both a short attention span and memory. And nothing will jeopardize the self-centered objectives. As with any disaster, the politicians simply wait and hope that ‘this too shall pass’.

    Cynical yes, realistic, quite so.

  86. fyouell says:

    wally,

    I think folks who keep their guns under lock and key (and frequently store their ammo in a separate location) are well aware that they could never use their weapons for fast reaction self-defense.

    “After that event, pretty stringent controls were put on certain substances. The spread of the meth problem cause a similar response. Stuff gets locked down and it gets monitored. Farmers see no argument that their “rights” shouldn’t be exercised with enough control to prevent mass murder.”

    Farmers may not have a problem with certain restrictions. That’s a good thing. However, the battle over cold medicines with pseudoephedrine is the other side of the coin. Pseudoephedrine is, by far, the best raw material for home brew meth (see Breaking Bad). Indeed, the first successful synthesis of meth was via ephedrine (Japan 1893).

    Banning pseudoephedrine (and ephedrine) from cold medicines would eliminate 99.9% of the meth labs in the U.S. Actually, that might be an understatement. Some states have imposed limited controls on cold medicines containing the required raw materials. Notably, Oregon drastically reduced the number of meth labs operating in the state by restricting cold pills (see http://www.oregondec.org/OregonMethLabStats.pdf).

    However, Oregon is the exception. Most states have not imposed similar controls. Nor has the Federal government. Why? The drug companies? Perhaps. But most of the opposition appears to amount to “I have a right…”. Radical individualism at its finest.

    For the record, banning certain cold medicine ingredients will shut down almost every meth lab in the U.S. It will not eliminate meth from the U.S. Meth is made in Mexico and elsewhere and will be smuggled into the U.S. once domestic production stops. However, it’s still worth doing. Why? Because plenty of people who get caught up in home brew meth would have never fallen victim had it not been possible to make it at home.

  87. dss says:

    The biggest predictor of being killed by a gun, is owning a gun. Like Wally says, the fantasy of being able to defend yourself with your locked, unloaded, gun hidden in a gun safe is ridiculous to say the least. What is the point of having a gun for defensive reasons if it is not fully loaded and carried on your person?

    What shocks me is that anyone is shocked by these massacres, or the gun death statistics in the US. They are predictable as the rain. And more will occur.

    Many of these massacres are by mentally ill people who have easy access to legal guns and ammunition. We all know someone in our families or immediate social circles whom we suspect might be capable of the same type of crimes. Last week in my community a husband killed his wife (the gun went off “accidentally” four times) during a fight. With four young children in the house, no less. And these were upper middle class folks. Draw your own conclusions about the outcome of gun ownership in America. It is not the least bit ironic that the mother of the shooter died by her own gun, shot by her own son.

    Also predictable is the fact that after the memorials and funeral services nothing will be done. As some here have coldly observed, the lives of a few innocent children and teachers mean nothing in the bigger picture of death in America and most of the world. Maybe there will be a push for a tiny bit of regulation to prove that America is pro-active, but in the end we are all at risk at being in the wrong place at the wrong time because America will never get rid of it’s guns.

    These deaths are the price that all of us pay whether we believe in gun ownership or not.

  88. fyouell says:

    All,

    Let me use an analogy that will help explain why gun regulation is so hard. Let’s talk about sex for a moment. Sex is actually deadlier than guns in the United States. The number of HIV deaths is considerably greater than the firearms homicides count. If you added, hepatitis c, then the number if much greater.

    What could be done about it? A lot actually. Mandatory testing and contact tracing come to mind. Testing and contact tracing have been standard public health control mechanisms forever. Yet when the subject is STDs, conventional public health policies become taboo subjects. Why? Because people believe that fundamental rights (privacy, personal license, etc.) are at stake.

    Now substitute “guns” for “sex” and you will see the problem. Somewhat predictably, the pro-gun regulation crowd regards any hint of mandatory testing and contact tracing as unthinkable. The reverse is not nearly as true.

    ~~~

    BR: I don’t get your analogy. You need only your own body and a partner for sex. For an automatic weapon, you need an entire manufacturing industry, supply chain, retail sales outlets, etc.

    You cant stop people from having sex, but you can regulate and oversee automatic weapons.

  89. Ezra Klein says:

    12 Facts About Guns in the U.S.

    1. Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States.

    2. 15 of the 25 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years took place in the United States.

    3. Lots of guns don’t necessarily mean lots of shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzerland.*

    4. Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the US, five have happened from 2007 onward.

    5. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.

    6. The South is the most violent region in the United States.

    7. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall.

    8. More guns tend to mean more homicide.

    9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.

    10. Gun control, in general, has not been politically popular.

    11. But particular policies to control guns often are.

    12. Shootings don’t tend to substantially affect views on gun control.

  90. AHodge says:

    aside from gun control— but yes
    mama needs to go directly to jail for a long time
    the kid is a trained killer–mama an apocalypse prepper gun nut
    rifle range anti people ammo–in this case 6-7 year olds
    multiple well placed shots in each corpse
    get prosecuting or pass laws –WTF

    this is a basic society must discourage promoting mass murder
    want your kid to hunt fine
    this totally different
    no kid should be allowed that level of mass murder skills and access

  91. AHodge says:

    oops never mind he blew her away too,
    the least disturbing of the homicides and rough justice
    but the principal stands –no training of kids in specialized mass murder-and no crap about that not specific
    to be applied to a parent or trainer next time this happens
    anyone want to bet it wont?

  92. Lee Fang says:

    Does the NRA Represent Gun Manufacturers or Gun Owners?

    Over the last four years, Congress and the Obama administration have only enacted laws that have deregulated gun use in America. It’s no secret why. As pundits love to note, the gun lobby is incredibly influential. But as we consider the potential for reform in the wake of the tragedy today, one of the first questions we should ask this time is: who does the gun lobby really represent?

    The National Rifle Association portrays itself as an organization that represents “4 million members” who simply love the Second Amendment. The truth is much more murky.

    In reality, the NRA is composed of half a dozen legal entities; some designed to run undisclosed attack ads in political campaigns, others to lobby and collect tens of millions in undisclosed, tax-deductible sums. This power has only been enhanced in the era of Citizens United, with large GOP donors in the last election reportedly funneling money to the NRA simply to use the group as a brand to pummel Democrats with nasty ads. (As The Huffington Post’s Peter Stone reported, even the Koch network now provides an undisclosed amount to the NRA.)

    Despite the grassroots façade, there is much evidence to suggest that corporations that profit from unregulated gun use are propping up the NRA’s activities, much like how the tobacco lobby secretly funded “Smokers Rights’” fronts and libertarian anti-tax groups, or how polluters currently finance much of the climate change skepticism movement.

  93. creeks says:

    The vast majority of homicide in the U.S. is individuals with established criminal records killing other individuals with established criminal records. These homicides are concentrated in the neighborhoods of about a dozen major U.S. cities. Some of the most violent countries in the world allow no private firearms ownership. Countries that have stripped citizens of the gun rights in the last few decades now suffer from increased violent crime on the civilian population. Many of the countries gun banners point to as gun control examples exercise a tight control on many and all individual freedoms not just guns. I doubt if any of the gun banners would be happy living there once they got a taste of what limited freedom is all about. Many of these gun banner example countries are geographically small, have a common religion and/or little racial diversity etc. I other words a common bond that in many cases prevents individuals from acting out.

    I personally witnessed many events where a private citizen with a firearm used it to save his life and/or the lives of others. These were not isolated events, but are common everyday events. Most never make the media because they are deemed not to be newsworthy especially if not weapon was fired.

    In any gun ban the police are always allowed to the keep the guns/magazines that are taken from the private citizen. Why? As a retired LEO I can answer that question: Those firearms are the most effective for self-defense when you need to protect yourself and others. LEO’s would not stand for these firearms/magazines to be taken from them.

    ~~~

    BR: Yeah, I’m gonna call bullshit on this entire comment

    1) Drawing the comparison between violent regimes that do not allow guns is silliness — look instead to comparable western nations if you want to make a credible comparison with the USA.

    2) No, you never witnessed any, let alone “many events where a private citizen with a firearm used it to save his life.”

    Yes, I’m calling you out as full of it

  94. [...] Barry Ritholz Tags: Politics « Back Posted by martinw Share var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true}; Return to main page [...]

  95. James Cameron says:

    The lunatic thinking of gun ownership . . .

    Republican Lawmaker: I Wish Sandy Hook Principal Had an Assault Rifle in her Office

    http://goo.gl/7plDm

  96. louis says:

    My prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones. May god be with you for the rest of your lives and help you to honor your children who were taken far to soon.

  97. beaufou says:

    Can’t read all comments right now.

    I fail to understand why anyone in their right mind would want a semi-automatic weapon at home (some hunters do but with limited magazines). I had the opportunity to practice with similar weaponry in the Air Force and I found them to be terrifyingly powerful and unsafe, I actually witnessed a few incidents that could have turned into disasters if it wasn’t for trained professionals standing behind the shooters.
    You don’t need a background check for those, you need your head checked if you crave such things, they are designed to kill human beings, not sports or fun. Cars kill but their main purpose isn’t death.
    For those who claim more guns will make us safer, gun sales have increased by 50% since 1996 and out of the last 60 mass shootings, 24 have happened in the last 6 years. That’s not safer, not at all.
    For those who believe that the latest culprit could have gotten his hands on similar guns via the black market, imagine a nerdy kid walk up to a gangsta looking for a piece, honestly…getting robbed would be the best possible outcome.

    Better mental health care, maybe, but before it becomes an exact science and it is far from it, let’s not give their patients the means to destroy lives so easily. The guy walked into a school spraying 5 bullets a second and body armor, even with an armed security guard the damage would have been done.

    Ban semi-automatic weapons. End of story

  98. Joe Friday says:

    I see the American RightWing (George Will on ‘THIS WEEK’, Bill Bennett on ‘MEET THE PRESS’, and others) is all over the Sunday shows claiming that the previous assault weapons ban that was federal law from 1994 through 2004 was ineffective and proof that laws restricting guns is a waste of time.

    According to the ‘National Institute of Justice’ (which is part of the U.S. Justice Dept), the ban worked QUITE effectively:

    * Murders of police officers by offenders using assault weapons declined from 16% of the gun murders of police officers in 1994 and early 1995, down to ZERO PERCENT by the latter half of 1995 and 1996.

    * Crime gun traces of assault weapons dropped 20% in the year following enactment of the ban. This 20% drop was DOUBLE the overall decline in garden-variety gun murders that year.

    * The ban had “clear short-term effects on the gun market” immediately after the ban was enacted, leading to semiautomatic assault weapons becoming “less accessible to criminals“, according to the Justice Department report.

    Overall, according to the ‘Bureau of Justice Statistics’:

    The violent crime rate fell 27% from 1994 to 2000, the murder rate was down more than 25% to its lowest point since 1967, and gun violence declined by 40%. The overall crime rate dropped to the lowest rate in 25 years.

    The assault weapons ban prohibited the MANUFACTURE and importation of 19 of the deadliest assault weapons and large capacity ammunition clips. To protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, more than 650 types of hunting and sporting weapons were specifically EXEMPTED from the ban.

    Don’t fall for the lies.

  99. DeDude says:

    “If this guy couldn’t get ahold of guns we’d be in here talking about how gruesome the knife killings of these adults and children were”

    I hope that was a joke although we have seen worse here. Most of the adults died because they were willing to put their bodies between the killer and the children. With a knife this guy would have gotten at most 2-3 adults before he would be pinned down by half a dozen chairs – and disarmed. The reason the adults willingness to cover the children with their own bodies did not save those 20 kids, was that it took the guy less than two second to put 2 bullets in an adult and remove their ability to shield the kids.