Gun Control

Images-1Once again we are reading about a terrible random act of violence against innocent people because someone was able to get their hands on the type of guns used to kill people not animals. 

What will it take for the Senate and the President to actually make significant changes so that the next time some upset frustrated person doesn't take their anger out by grabbing a gun? 

You would have thought that after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords that things might have changed but no.  Will it take some random act of violence against a child of a Senator or Congressman? 

Why does the NRA have such strong influence over the Government?  Pure and simple, money and support.  No other civilized country in the world has access to arms like we do. 

I live in an urban area where there is no reason to be carrying a gun.  The thought of that just frightens me.  To believe that people carrying could be our saviors vs the armed forces is beyond scary.  The other day I read about a 3 year old that found his fathers loaded gun, pointed it at his father and it went off and killed him.  There are more stories like that then people saving themselves from some evil person with a gun.

I do understand the right to bear arms.  I do understand the desire to go hunting.  Then why doesn't the industry regulate arms from that point of view.  Do uzi shot guns and semi-automatics really fall under that category? 

My heart bleeds for the family and friends who lost a loved one randomly at the movie theater because someone came in and decided to open fire.  My heart bleeds for the wounds that must have reopened for the Columbine families, the Virginia Tech families, the families at Gabrielle Giffords rally in Arizona.  Need I go on? 

When will the change come?

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Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I have little to add except I’m with you on this one all the way.I’ve learned to respect many sides of each argument. Understanding what you disagree with is what learning is about.But sometimes things are just wrong. Just need to be fixed. Need to break it down and make it so.On a much smaller level this makes me think of the tobacco industry and the guts it took to simply get smoking banned in bars and restaurants in NY. Huge lobby. Something that had to happen.Guns are worse and scarier.Where do I sign up to lend my support to help push this debate to a smart if not popular action?

    1. Gotham Gal

      On the first page of the New York Magazine this week the reporter listed all the violent killings with guns since Columbine. Once you see it in black and white it pushes your memory back and you recall most of them. It is as if we have become immune instead of numb. Something must be done.

      1. awaldstein

        Immune to what is wrong is what declining societies do.I’ll search out the piece. I’m thinking about some way to add my voice to this discussion for change.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Remember the Brady Bill? If I remember correctly, it was Mrs. Brady who by force of will made that happen. Mothers Against Drunk Driving comes to mind, also.The ‘formula’ that seems to have worked was having a spokesperson whose connection to the issue is so deep that it puts the opposition to shame. This issue seems right for that kind of activism.I grew up in Wyoming, and I can tell you that we’re going to have a hell of a time with the flyover states. My Facebook was loaded with “Guns don’t kill people” messages Sunday and Monday 🙁

      1. awaldstein

        Good point.It will be hard but it needs to happen in my opinion.

      2. Gotham Gal

        People kill people who have guns in their handsI hope that the mothers who lost their children unite on this and perhaps can find it in their souls to do something about the gun laws

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          It’s amazing to me that Columbine didn’t spawn something like MADD. It shows you how much our society has come to accept gun violence.

          1. Gotham Gal

            It certainly is

    3. JLM

      .The tobacco industry deserved its punishment because they lied about the content of cigarettes, the damage of smoking (1st and 2nd hand smoke) and their addictive behavior.They lied.Guns are a bit different because there is no ambiguity as to their deadliness when abused..

  2. John Best

    Unequivocally, this was a horrific incident, and I feel for everyone touched by it.It’s hard with so many similarities between our cultures, and such a close history to see how the US and the UK have such a different attitude to this issue. Only criminals (and the police) having guns isn’t IMHO a bad thing.

  3. Daniel Doebrich

    Mike Bloomberg described precisely how little there has to be done in order to improve the situation, all while leaving the door open for those who –as you describe– like to hunt, or go to the shooting range. he put it: “why do we have to give everyone access to guns that can take a plane down”.Also, it is hard to see that both candidates running for President fear of showing their opinion on this important issue, shying away once again from the NRA.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Its truly incredulous. I’m with Mike

  4. Deirdre

    It is appalling. TheNRA is engaged in a lethal form of Group Think (look up Solomon Asch). These people are holding the country hostage, including our entire political system. How I wish our politicians, including and especially Our Mr. President could just do what’s right. http://www.huffingtonpost.c…I can’t even contain my disbelief, disappointment and horror.

    1. Stuart Willson

      The problem is that it’s just not the fringe. Whether it’s the result of an effective marketing campaign by the NRA or a host of other reasons, more people today are opposed to gun control than 50 years ago, despite higher levels of gun-related violence and the seemingly annual occurrence of a gun-related tragedy. Politicians have no incentive to take on the NRA, not only because of how much the NRA spends, but because most people don’t support gun control. As such, the answer is education and marginally/increasingly restrictive regulation. Not unlike the tobacco example above. People, unfortunately, need to be convinced that gun control is in our nation’s best interest. That is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money. And probably more tragedies.

      1. Deirdre

        The NRA has captured the issue and there is no one who has any sense who is willing to take them on and describe what common sense regulation would look like. I don’t think people understand what gun control is or could be. The NRA has framed the issue in a stark, black and white, gun control=take away my Constitutional freedom sort-of-way. My guess is that if you described options about regulation to people, the way JLM does, above, you might find a lot more common ground.

        1. Stuart Willson

          I agree. And apparently, they’ve been very successful. In 1959, 60% of Americans support an outright ban on handguns. Today, that figure is 26%. (Related: 53% of Americans also oppose similar bans on semi-automatic weapons.) I think we agree that education is the key here. I don’t think the electorate is generally well educated (sorry, America!) and the NRA is the one educating them. To sway popular opinion in favor of greater regulation I think we need either a ton of education or a ton of tragedies. I’d rather the former.

      2. JLM

        .”gun control” — non-starter”common sense gun regulation” — has a chance.

  5. Deirdre Lord

    The NRA is engaged in a lethal form of Group Think (look up Solomon Asch). These people are holding the country hostage, including our entire political system. How I wish our politicians, including you, Mr. President, could just do what’s right. Oh, and toys are regulated more carefully than guns.Check out Bill Moyers’ comments posted on Huff Post. I still can’t even believe the stranglehold the NRA has on our politicians, etc etc. Horrified… Thanks for writing about this. http://www.huffingtonpost.c

    1. JLM

      .The problem with guys like Bill Moyers is that they are not honest and truthful.Over 55% of all gun deaths in the US are suicides.Someone who commits suicide is going to get the job done regardless of what the method has to be.You cannot legally purchase an automatic weapon in the US, gun show or not. This is simply not true.Guys like Moyers lecture the world but don’t promote any real world solutions.Guns will never be banned but they can be regulated. Common sense regulation is the answer.Politically the NRA is way too powerful.If you come to kill the King, you MUST kill the King. If not, then you will die in the process..

      1. Deirdre

        The problem I have is the lack of regulation of guns and gun purchasing. I appreciate your response, above, about regulation. You seem thoughtful and pragmatic.I will confess to not fact-checking Moyers. It seems as if you agree that no one out there is actually having a meaningful dialogue about what can be done to put common sense controls in place. If it takes some shrill talk to get that done, from someone who can get some attention, like Bill Moyers, then I say let him tell his story.

        1. JLM

          .The problem with shrill talk is that is ineffective and only serves to stiffen the resistance.I like Bill Moyers. I love his delivery. I love his passion.I decry his “facts”. They are wrong and they are not necessary to prove his point.We all have to fight fair to make a change.If one’s story is wrong on key points, then the ENTIRE story gets rejected.We will not have gun “control” but we can get common sense pragmatic gun “regulation”.Sometimes just tempering the language creates progress..

          1. Emily Merkle

            Well put.

          2. Deirdre

            Which of his facts are wrong? # of guns? ownership profile? is it the 30,000 gun deaths that you disagree with?–from what I see you are right that 16,000 of those are suicides. I wouldn’t throw out his message because he doesn’t clarify that fact.He’s certainly right about the toy analogy. Does he mis-quote Wayne LaPierre? My guess is that if I took the time, I could find some serious problems with the NRA rhetoric. At least Moyers has the guts to say something about this– where else can I find some sort of message about gun control and regulation? Other than Mayor Bloomberg and Bill Moyers, I am coming up empty.

          3. JLM

            .There are numerous assertions that Moyers makes which are simply wrong — murder statistics twisted by disregarding suicides, wrong on whether you can buy a fully automatic weapon in the US — but more importantly he simply demonizes the NRA rather than trying to draw them into a common sense, pragmatic regulatory debate.It is pretty clear that the prospect of “banning” guns is not going to work. Any politician taking up that mantle is going to be looking for another line of work.If you play “winner take all” with the NRA, you lose. They are that strong.But if you forego the notion of a “ban” and just engage in a civil dialogue about the first specific steps — crawl, walk, run — you will get some traction.As the NRA study released today, the NRA membership itself is quite reasonable and pragmatic.If you demonize the entire NRA, then you offend and lose those reasonable members who would embrace reasonable first steps.This is not dissimilar to the triumph that Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, accomplished by having almost exclusively Republican support for his landmark legislation.His Democratic Southern brethren filibustered his legislation but he was able to reach across the aisle and woo the Republicans to advance the cause.The folks who are worried about guns — which does include the NRA rank and file — have to do some wooing because pissing on the legs of their opposition is not a rain shower.More wooing, less pissing and better results..

          4. Deirdre

            Do you think the NRA is interested in a common sense, pragmatic regulatory debate? Everything that I’ve seen and read about the NRA’s leadership suggests that there is no room for such debate–and that any debate or dialogue would be a defeat. If the rank and file are worried about guns, they need to get control of that organization and not let their leadership misrepresent them so.

          5. JLM

            .The rank and file of the NRA is as represented in this poll.…Quite reasonable and a mirror of the American society.The NRA does not want to lose its political clout which is enormous.Opponents of gun ownership have been so shrill — like Moyers above — that they have played into the hands of the Wayne Lapierre’s of the world.Why should Wayne Lapierre concede anything when he has won every gun issue since 2004?.

          6. Deirdre

            So what do you do, as a NRA member? I know the NRA is a political organization, but aren’t they SUPPOSED to represent the membership? Isn’t that what they claim to do? But it looks as if, in fact, they don’t represent their member.You could be a very effective voice for helping to build some momentum and change the leadership’s position. It strikes me that you will be more effective focusing on the shrill rhetoric of the NRA than on that of Bill Moyers.I genuinely would like to know what to do. I would join NRA members like you in calling for a dialogue about regulation if there was somewhere I could go to engage.. Help me out.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I think most people who are talking about a gun ‘problem’ are interested in gun control, not a total ban. So once again, it’s the voices at the extremes that are keeping us all apart.But it worries me when you keep returning to the idea that we should “carve out” suicides and “black on black” violence. I really dislike those arguments and have to force myself to keep reading when I see them. I can’t see why we should make it *easier* for anyone to kill anyone. And guns make it easier, period. Automatic weapons make it easy to kill a LOT of people quickly. I can’t see why the race of who kills whom has anything to do with it. At all.I just would encourage you to stay away from those arguments (when talking to ‘liberals’). Stick with the idea that the rational solution is regulation. Focus on what we agree on 🙂

        1. JLM

          .Semantics and perceptions matter.gun “control” = gun “ban”gun “regulation” = possibleSuicides are self directed gun violence and would occur regardless of the regulatory status of guns.Black on black crime, a distinction which comes directly from law enforcement, is a proxy for completely illegal activity. This will not be impacted by gun regulation.Automatic weapons — pull the trigger and lots of bullets come out — have been banned for decades.Assault weapons — short stock, big magazines, pull the trigger and one bullet per trigger pull — were banned from 1994 to 2004. Not renewed in 2004.Semi-automatic weapons — including assault weapons, pull the trigger and one bullet — which can be converted to full automatic fire should be banned and are banned when converted.…As this poll indicates, the average NRA member is almost a direct mirror of the civilian populace. The NRA rank and file is quite reasonable.Liberals have lost every confrontation on gun control/ban since 2004 and there is not a single politician in the US who will even squeak up about the matter. It is a losing political proposition.The only way forward that has any chance is a “regulatory” approach in a slow, methodical and deliberate manner.It will require the liberals to modify their semantic approach or they will continue to be Wayne Lapierre’s bitch.Crawl, walk, run..

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Ah this helps me. I will use “gun regulation” from now on.I’m just saying, if you want liberals to keep listening, stay away from the suicide and “black on black” arguments. You don’t need them, actually. And they don’t work with liberals.Just like “gun control” doesn’t work with NRA members 🙂

          2. Emily Merkle

            I respectfully disagree. The suicide statistics are mind boggling, and one can make the case for merging mental health records with gun registration databases to try to keep weapons away from those who have exhibited instability and are under a psychiatrist’s care. Save lives.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I’m not clear on what you disagree with? But just to clarify, I think fewer guns would result in fewer suicides.I come from a place where a lot of people have killed themselves with guns over the years (and their loved ones). I think if they wouldn’t have had a gun readily available, it would have at least bought everyone involved more time and possibly prevented tragedy.Nothing is going to prevent suicide altogether. But we can certainly make it harder to accomplish.

          4. Emily Merkle

            I thought you were advising JLM to avoid the suicide angle; I misunderstood. I feel strongly about that facet of this issue.

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yes, I think his point is that gun violence is overstated by some sources because they include suicides in the numbers. I think he feels that suicides shouldn’t count as gun violence. It’s my opinion that he should avoid using that argument as a defense of gun ownership. In fact, he doesn’t need any arguments at all, in my opinion. Because most people are ok with regulation (versus an all out ban). So there’s no need to turn people off unnecessarily by saying that suicides don’t “count.”

  6. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Amen, sister.

  7. Cam MacRae

    As a former soldier from a long line of sport shooters I have to confess that I love guns. I find nothing returns my mind to a calm meditative state faster than the rifle range. But after that jerk Martin Bryant took it upon himself to kill 35 and injure 21 souls at Port Arthur community attitudes towards gun ownership changed. As did the law.So I, along with hundreds of thousands of other law abiding citizens, turned in favourite my rifle to be destroyed during the taxpayer funded gun buy-back. See, I love guns, but I don’t want you to have one; you people are crazy. I love you, but it’s true. And if the price I have to pay for you not having a gun is me not having one either then so be it.Fifteen years later and I couldn’t direct you to a gun shop — they’re just about all gone. It’s nearly impossible to own a handgun, let alone a semiautomatic. Only the cops, crims, farmers, and diehard gun club members have guns.The cost of liberty is that as a US resident you’re somewhere between 15 and 20 times more likely to be murdered by a gunman than I am today. Perhaps that’s a cost worth paying? I don’t know. But I do know that I stopped missing my guns long ago.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Good stuff, Cam.

      1. Gotham Gal

        I wish more people felt the way you do. Bravo

    2. Ruth BT

      Couldn’t have said it better Cam. I remember my husband handing in several of his beloved rifles in the buy-back. As a child of Africa who had to learn to shoot at 4 for safety, I am so happy to live in a country where the right to bear arms is no right at all.

      1. Cam MacRae

        You and me both.How did your life/career decision turn out?

        1. Ruth BT

          Perfect. Decided to stay home and help with the family business. This way I have more time to raise more money to build schools and change lives – working on the 3rd one for the year. Thanks for remembering Cam.

  8. Guest

    We are on lockdown in our office in Colorado. Copycat attacks are a concern and people are steering clear of the movie theaters. The saddest part is that the news wasn’t shocking.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s so sad. That’s what America his become? People feel the need to have guns to protect themselves from their fellow citizens.Why and when did we start locking our doors and started the escalation of violence?Obama talks about change. This is something that needs to be changed.

      1. Guest

        I read this morning that applications for background checks for guns in CO have risen 43% since the shooting. I bought a knife, a whistle, and bear spray because I felt the need to protect myself from wildlife, but those don’t really work against a crazy human with a gun. So what to do?

      2. John Revay

        Good post – 75 comments – touched a nervecame across this in huf post this AMhttp://www.huffingtonpost.c…Obama continued: “But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. “

  9. William Mougayar

    I’m with you and totally for gun control, but will caution by saying that you need more than just that to prevent these types of incidents. I’m sure you heard of an equally horrific incident in Toronto last week when a rampant shooting happened during a community bbq that killed 2 and injured 19…. And there is gun control in Canada.

  10. JLM

    .An interesting subject and one which should be debated with facts in hand BEFORE making any changes and not allowing a knee jerk reaction to guide our thinking.Since 1980, the murder rate in the US has dropped substantially.1980 population 225,349,264, murders 23,040, murders per million 102.32010 population 308,745,538, murders 14,748, murders per million 47.8The murder rate has dropped by over half.When this is further subdivided by ethnic subdivision — black on black crime as an example — the murder rate for a white urban dweller is extremely low.Anecdotally, Chicago (a third the size of NYC) has had 253 murders through 6-1-2012 while NYC has had 193.If one were to gross that up and extend it for a 12 month period, the comparable Chicago v NYC murder rate would be approximately 1,518 murders for Chicago v 386 for NYC.The issue is as much crime in general as it is murder in particular.Both of these cities have fierce gun control laws but NYC is clearly doing a better job of law enforcement.Having said that there is no question that the debate on guns could include the following reasonable positions:Nobody under the age of 18 in the US can own a gun — a bit silly given you can enlist in the Army at 17. But not a bad idea to raise that age. I personally would have no problem with 25.Automatic weapons of all types are currently banned and it would not be unreasonable to ban weapons that can be easily modified to fire full automatic.Gun registration — just registration nothing else — is not a bad thing. If a guy, like the Colorado nut, bought 5 guns in a 2 month period, someone should know about this no differently than if someone buys 2K lbs of ammonia nitrate and lives in a city.Ammunition purchases could similarly be reviewed — if you buy 6,000 rounds of ball ammunition over the Internet, I want to know why. That is a lot of ammunition.Assault type weapons — Uzis, et al — could be more stringently reviewed in much the same way that the FAA requires more stringent training and testing for jet airplane pilots.Legitimate war souvenirs could be carved out completely. If you have an AK-47 from Viet Nam and you are willing to spit out the firing pin, then if you obtained it on the battlefield, you should be able to keep it.States should have universal CHL (concealed handgun license) requirements because it is both training and registration. If someone in that theater had had a CHL and a weapon, perhaps they could have acted.Remember there are whole parts of the country in which a weapon is simply a tool. If you live in rural TX (half of the population does), you may have a revolver to kill snakes and a Winchester to kill coyotes. These are tools.I don’t think there is really a Constitutional issue between regulation — common sense regulation — and gun ownership. And I don’t think there should be any problem with law enforcement engaging with gun owners.When I go hunting, the Game Warden routinely inspects my license, my rifle (pre-WWII Sako, an heirloom with a very sweet Zeiss scope) and my ammunition; but, he also makes damn sure that my ranch neighbors (a bunch of wild Cajuns who really suck at poker) do not shoot after dusk and not across our fence lines.There is a huge difference between common sense regulation and stepping on the Constitution.The NRA will continue to exist and will exert unbelievable power as long as their opponents are in the camp of banning guns.In some ways this is the crawl, walk, run approach to regulation.Ban unreasonable weapons, common sense regulation, gather more info (purchases of guns and ammo), registration, education, engagement — rinse and repeat.You want me having a gun should a difficult situation arrive. I am trained. I shoot regularly and I am not afraid..

    1. Gotham Gal

      Great points. I am going to read your comment a few times

      1. JLM

        .I would like to think that my view is that of a pragmatic conservative who respects the Constitution but is willing to regulate what is obviously a crazy situation.My view is the one that the NRA fears — a NRA member, a real conservative who is willing to regulate — not ban — gun ownership.That is the real key. Regulation, sensible regulation, as a immediate first step. Not banning gun ownership.Crawl, walk, run. Pick the low hanging fruit.I cannot imagine that a bunch of thugs in Chicago can legitimately purchase and own hand guns. While it may have a scent of racial profiling — no guns should be sold to someone from the projects, they are killing fields.If that nibbles on the margin of the Constitution, then so be it.Life is more important than principles.If we can step inside the two extremes of banning gun ownership and unbridled gun ownership, then we can make real and immediate progress.And, we should..

        1. Stuart Willson

          I don’t mean to take this on a tangent, but I don’t necessarily understand the Constitutional argument. I’ve read the text and I certainly am in support of a well-regulated and armed militia but I don’t see why this must be interpreted to mean that everybody has the right to own a gun. I also don’t generally subscribe to the idea of the Constitution as sacrosanct given it was written over 200 years ago and, at least in my mind, that it allows – thankfully – for Amendments, makes it a working document. Personally, I support severe gun control (both in terms of what firearms are allowed and in what means they are regulated) though not an absolute, heavy-handed ban. To your point, above, I don’t see why someone shouldn’t be able to own a shotgun, but I don’t believe it should be easy to get one. But, since the Constitution in invoked so often in this argument, both by the mainstream as well as the fringe (i.e. take away our guns and the next stop is a totalitarian state), it’s reasonable to ask whether it’s really relevant.

          1. Gotham Gal

            it is very relevant to ask if the gun laws written over 200 laws should still be upheld today.(fyi – so glad you commented)

          2. JLM

            .Go look up what is required to amend the Constitution and report back how “easy” it is.The FF intended for it to be a hard hill to climb and thus we only have had 27 (net 26) amendments.The last successful amendment was proposed in 1789 and was ratified in 1992. Does that suggest anything to you?”Severe gun control” is not going to happen. Ever.Common sense gun “regulation” with a crawl, walk, run approach has some chance over time.The trend of violent crime — murder in particular — is on a downward trend, in a meaningful way..

          3. Stuart Willson

            Hmm, I’m not sure what gave you the impression I thought it was or suggested it was “easy” and that selectively citing Wikipedia addressed my point, which was about how one should INTERPRET the Constitution. (As as aside, there have been 12 Amendments to the Constitution since the beginning of the 20th century and most of them have taken 1-3 years, so while the Constitution is a “hard hill to climb” it is MOST CERTAINLY a working document.) But regardless, as to the 2nd Amendment, which seems to ensure an armed militia, has the interpretation been hijacked by the gun lobby?

          4. JLM

            .Your suggestion that the issue of the 2nd Amendment is subject to some new interpretation is pretty naive.This issue has been litigated ad nauseam.In Colonial times, citizens were REQUIRED to own a weapon and to join the local militia.Hence the reference to a “well regulated militia”.The requirement to own or the privilege to own a firearm was a safety requirement to ensure that if the militia were called up, the individual militiamen would be armed and ready to go.This is not dissimilar to the current requirement of the Swiss to have a weapon and ammunition on hand in the 20-30 year age range (a bit of an over simplification).As to the ease with which the Constitution can be amended, it requires a 2/3 majority of the House and Senate (typically a joint resolution) to simply propose and amendment and then a 3/4 ratification by the States.Tough sledding, indeed. And rightfully so?This is not an easy process — witness the death of the ERA.It can also be done through a Constitutional Convention — however it has been done by that method — ever..

          5. Stuart Willson

            Perhaps I haven’t made myself clear: I’m not here to debate with you the manner with which the Constitution is amended, nor how many times nor how many years it took to be amended. I’m not sure what gave you that idea. I AM interested in the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, for public opinion purposes, by the NRA and other gun lobbyists, and whether that interpretation has been hi-jacked. As to whether it’s naive to question that, call me naive.

          6. Stuart Willson

            And btw, there are numerous court cases that clarify and interpret the 2nd Amendment, including whether and in what manner felons can possess firearms.

        2. pointsnfigures

          I live in Chi. Last gun I bought was an over and under shot gun. When I walked into the gun store, there were three younger black kids, looked like gang bangers to me, checking out a Mac 10. There is only one reason to buy a Mac 10. It’s not target practice. I am an NRA member, and agree with a lot of what JLM says. My brother in law though, would not. But he lives in Alaska where a walk through the woods designates that you have to be well armed.

    2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I am Canadian so I am trying to stay out of the American gun debate. However, I agree with most of JLM points as they sound sensible. My question would be – is this version shared among pro-gun groups such as NRA.

      1. JLM

        .No, of course not.The NRA is a knee jerk reaction to the prospective banning of gun ownership.These are both extreme positions. Real life is lived somewhere in the center of the extremes.We must enact crawl, walk, run legislation which allows this particular rabbit to jump halfway to the lettuce over a period of time.Life is too precious not to cowboy up and deal with this in a responsible, pragmatic, methodical and sensible manner..

        1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          this might sound naive but if there are a sizable number of pro-gun owners who share viewpoint then would it ever be possible to form a rival lobby group to the NRA that might be able to exert some influence on the congress.

          1. JLM

            .The problem with the NRA and Congress is two fold.The NRA raises and contributes a huge amount of money. No Congressman is about to oppose the NRA or the VFW.The difference between banning gun ownership and regulating gun ownership is where the debate has to take place.I am opposed to banning gun ownership.I am in favor of sensible common sense gun regulation.I am an NRA member. I am a reasonable guy..

          2. Gotham Gal

            I wish more people felt like that who are card carrying members of the NRA

          3. Dale Allyn

            Thanks for your thoughtful comments on this important topic, Jeff. You’ve expressed my feelings very well, as my plate is a bit too full to participate in a meaningful way today.The [gun regulation] conversation must be rational and supported with facts, not emotional reactions from either extreme. There are many factors which contribute to violence and many ways to execute heinous acts.As a point of reference, I own guns (long guns and handguns), have a concealed carry permit in a state where it is not easy to acquire one (CA), know very well how to use and maintain firearms, etc. Your position is similar to mine.Violence is a tragedy, regardless of the means used.

          4. Gotham Gal

            They would need a lot of cash. The amount of cash that the NRA pumps into the coffers of both parties is why nothing has changed

          5. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            this is why I was proposing forming a rival group that focused on sensible measures for gun regulation as @JLM:disqus has mentioned. This rival group will only work if they are sizeable in number and can contribute funds to match NRA. Or perhaps a change from within the NRA can happen but that seems more unlikely (however they do have sensible members such as @JLM so perhaps it is not impossible). Again, these are the viewpoints of a Canadian living outside of the US.

    3. Cam MacRae

      As you say, there is no way you’re going to achieve any reform without a crawl, walk, run approach. You’re looking at a multi-generational winding back of gun culture if that’s the direction you choose to go — it’s not clear to me as an outsider that this will be the chosen direction as it seems guns and gun culture are part and parcel with the pioneering spirit.

  11. Emily Merkle

    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

    1. Stuart Willson

      The dataregarding guns and gun-related deaths is pretty much indisputable: developed countrieswith aggressive gun control policies have massively lower rates of gun-relateddeaths (see Japan as one example:…and see also that our incidence of gun-related deaths is 10-23x the average ofother developed countries; not 10-23 PERCENT higher but OVER THOUSAND PERCENTHIGHER). I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a rational individual who wouldargue against the relationship. The idea that guns don’t kill people, people killpeople is akin to arguing that people don’t get into car accidents, cars getinto car accidents.

      1. JLM

        .One has to consider that Japan was completely disarmed after WWII as a result of the allied victory.McArthur was the driver of this decision to ensure that guerrillas did not get a toehold in the post WWII environment.Remember this is the country which undertook the Rape of Nanking in which its regular army slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent victims.They are hardly an exemplar for restraint and reason.When evaluating gun related deaths, one has to take into account suicides (55%+ of all gun related deaths) and hunting accidents which in a large country like the USA are meaningful.Statistically, we are quite close to Europe and lower when black on black violence is carved out…

      2. Emily Merkle

        Murder by gun is not at all akin to a car accident.

        1. Stuart Willson


      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Thank you 🙂

    2. FlavioGomes

      Yes….but its much easier to affect mass slaughter with war weapons than with hunting firearms.

  12. rachel

    I am so pissed off about this. The WSJ’s article this weekend about why gun laws won’t change pissed me off even more. I don’t get it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      neither does anybody in this group.

      1. Emily Merkle

        The media has an agenda of its own.

  13. SL Clark

    The change will come when the country is bled dry. When “gun nuts” can no longer afford bullets and they turn their anger against the powerful.Welcome to the New Revolution and the following Martial Law, removing said guns, suppressing the oppressed. We continue inching closer to this with each Enron, LIBOR and the like, the path to change you’re looking for could become insanely bloody. North, South, Us, Them.

  14. JLM

    .How timely is this? This is what NRA members think. I am one of these folks.…It is important to separate the seeming institutional view at the top from that of the membership.The NRA is not a monolithic lump. There are thoughtful gun owners who are quite pragmatic and sensible in their approach to gun regulation.There should be hope for meaningful change. Ughh, did I really just say “hope & change”?.

  15. Lynne Bairstow

    The gun control laws of the U.S. have an impact beyond its borders. I am a U.S. citizen who has lived in Mexico for almost 20 years now, and in recent years have lived through the escalating violence resulting from to the government’s war against narco-trafficking. It is documented that approximately 80% of the weapons recovered and virtually all of the automatic weapons come from the U.S. into Mexico. President Calderon spoke out this week imploring the U.S. to revise its gun laws, in the wake of the Aurora tragedy. Why does the NRA have such strong influence over our government? Their donations help fuel the relaxed gun and ammunition laws that enable the weapons supply chain to exist. I see it as much more about that, then defending a “right to bear arms”… And, Joanne, I completely agree with all of your points above. We all need to speak out more against this, or the senseless violence will just continue.

  16. SL Clark

    Back again to avoid the apocylpse I foresee. If “regulation” is to happen, who will put up the first $1mm to seed fund 10x10x10: Ten guns, Ten magazines, Ten rounds, 10 year Federal Felony sentence? It’ll take 500 such anonymous donors to make a dent and thousands at $20, while the head takes the death threats in style.To remove assault rifles, another $500mm and the final necessity in my always right opinion, remove handguns brings the total needed to about $1.5bil, give or take. And *don’t* get me started on first person shooter gaming or even “paintball”, legalized human hunting.While we agree on most of it, my pragmatic Christian wife said it is easier to use a handgun to kill an intruder, be they civilian or police. An independent America was built with violence acre by acre and it continues today, be it simple gun like this, wars or economic.Time is ticking on the backlash social wide crazy meter. If nobody will step up with serious funding for a national discussion, the NRA dictates the agenda. The US is the world’s largest supplier of violence, get over it, or change it with massive $$ toward a society all of us want to live in.

  17. SL Clark

    And if all of that wasn’t enough, what happens when a group of foreign, yet unknown to anyone, angry *teenagers* set up a sophisticated BotNet, attack the US, violating this:

  18. LE

    There is a segment of our population that has been raised in a way that they feel a positive around a gun the same way some men like fine watches or some women like shoes (which of course present no danger).I remember an older man that I knew, quite well to do, that took up guns as a hobby later in life. I remember very distinctively when he said to me “I like the look and feel of a gun”. I’ll never forget that. To him it was an object that made him feel good to just hold in his hand.I won’t pass judgement on others and why they want to have guns (although I suspect many are like the older man I mentioned – it’s just the way they’ve been raised and what has been dropped into their head at an early age). Some do need it for protection (I have a relative who owns a gun and seems to me to have a valid reason for having one.)From a practical point of view I would avoid ownership of guns at any cost unless I had a specific threat that I was trying to avoid. I think it invites danger upon yourself more than it protects. (As someone who has done martial arts for many years when I was younger, I feel the same way about those classes where they teach people self defense in a few lessons. Not possible and a little knowledge just invites danger.)

    1. FlavioGomes

      That fellow would likely have a low probability of violence. Its the lunatic fringe that causes all the concern. And its awefully hard to contain without tramping on civil liberties.

  19. FlavioGomes

    Im of the mind that mental health care is as important as guncontrol and cancer research.

    1. Gotham Gal

      that is a very sound mind.

  20. pointsnfigures

    I own two shotguns. Won’t part with them under any conditions. Interesting Gotham Gal thinks she doesn’t need one in the city-maybe with the higher potential of violence she does?!!!The NRA is in a tough spot. It’s akin to the abortion debate. If you cede any ground anywhere, where does it stop?As far as semi-autos; they are great when bird or deer hunting to rattle off some quick shots. Where I live, you are limited to a three shot clip.That all being said, I think that education remedies a lot of situations. The more educated people are about guns, the more they respect them. It’s the wackos that abuse them.Scalia said recently that there is room in the Constitution to limit the rights of gun owners. Recently, a gun was made with a 3D printer. It doesn’t seem right to me that I can buy 100 shot magazines via mail order and some other accoutrements of guns. I’d rather a gun shop owner sized me up before I made a purchase.The nutjob in Colorado was denied membership to a gun club. That guy must have seen something.

  21. John Revay

    I know this post set off a fire storm of comments……w/ this past Sunday’s shooting – I hope our elected leaders can finally figure out a way to start a dialogue on this.I like your mayor – he is very out spoken on this since he sees first hand the harm that guns are doing every time he goes to the hospital for a cop shooting

    1. Gotham Gal

      LOVE Bloomberg!

  22. John Revay

    HUMMM,Very saddened to hear the news today from CT – 20 little children, just before Christmas.Senseless – we have to get the guns off the street.It sounds like the POTUS may have opened the door for gun control today when he spoke.

    1. Gotham Gal

      POTUS was very moving. I hope he leads the charge for changes in our gun control