Carpenter: What rights for victims of gun violence?

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Walter Carpenter of Montpelier.

With all this talk about our beloved Second Amendment I want to ask a question. It is probably an ignorant one, but I possess a solid reason for asking it. After all the massacres of innocent Americans lately (four more Americans died a couple weeks ago in New York state, felled in a shooting by a man with no criminal record except a traffic conviction), I want to ask about those Americans like me who do not love guns or who do not feel (even if they do own guns) the compulsion to own an arsenal of military-style weapons for any of the reasons given by the NRA on why it is necessary to own them.

As far as I know there is no constitutional amendment on our behalf like there is for the NRA. Despite all the bills out there on the federal and state levels calling for things like background checks or regulation of assault-style weapons (Colorado just signed one. Vermont’s are languishing.) to hopefully reduce the 30,000 or so Americans lost annually to gun violence, there is no legislation I know of to guarantee the rights of unarmed citizens from wanton victimization by the Second Amendment. While the NRA and other gun aficionados can tout the second as their unfettered right to own unlimited firepower, perhaps we need an amendment of our own to protect us from getting shot at in public places anytime America’s longstanding gun culture gets a hair across its brow.

We never learned who shot at us, why they did it, or what weapon they used. If the gun firing at us had been one of those available today perhaps even the infinitesimal forewarning we were lucky enough to get may not have been enough to save us.

I survived a drive-by shooting (Boston, 1972) and want to know the answers to these questions. I was 17 years old, sitting at a park one summer’s night with some friends when a strange car pulled over out of the darkness and compelled us to hit the dirt for our lives as the bullets flew over us. We had maybe a second’s warning before the anonymous shooter fired at us. This warning — A group of Vietnam veterans fresh from the jungles of Southeast Asia were with us that night. One of them just saw the rifle barrel protruding from the window of the unknown car and shouted the warning just in time. — is probably why we survived with no casualties. We never learned who shot at us, why they did it, or what weapon they used. If the gun firing at us had been one of those available today perhaps even the infinitesimal forewarning we were lucky enough to get may not have been enough to save us.

Twenty years later I lost a female friend to semi-automatic fire at her work as a town clerk in New Hampshire. The gun was wielded by a local citizen and deer hunter who had been a responsible gun owner with no criminal history. I knew him, but not well. He lost it over a denied zoning permit, bought the semi (easy enough to do back then), and three women went down that day. One survived, though barely, and is crippled for life.

In light of these experiences, in light of all the recent tragedies we have suffered as a nation, I want to know the answer. Do we need a constitutional amendment of our own to secure our rights not to become indiscriminate targets? Do we survivors have to hear the sounds of those shots fired at us in our sleep so that the Second Amendment can go on unimpeded? Forty years later I remember the pandemonium and the unimaginable fear of wondering whether I would live to see age 18, or even the next five minutes, as vividly as when the bullets were ripping through the leaves above our heads.

Does anyone in this state, in this country, give a damn about the survivors of our national fetish with guns?

Comments

  1. Last week I attended a school safety forum at the Williamstown Elementary School that was meant to inform the parents and community about some hardware security upgrades we were making to the building as well let folks know about the in-building emergency procedures.

    This forum was a very direct reaction to the ever increasing assaults by firearms on our nation’s children and young adults in our schools and more specifically the recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Parents are justifiably worried about the safety of their children, and the school staff is appropriately concerned regarding their ability to adequately safeguard those students entrusted to them as well as their, the staff’s, own safety.

    There are two points I want to address here, and I am going to address the least important first to get it out of the way. The second point is by far the priority.

    We are being forced into spending tens of thousands of dollars to physically harden (make bunkers of) our school buildings. This is a cost that is not a part of education but instead is made a requirement due to our having to respond to circumstances outside of school buildings and entirely beyond the control of our educational institutions. If legislators won’t or can’t provide changes in law that will help to reduce the number of and access to firearms in our society then they should at least have the decency to provide financial assistance that is not mistaken as educational spending.

    THE MORE IMPORTANT POINT: I sat at the above mentioned school safety forum and listened as heart broken teachers explained how in the case of a school lock down any student so unfortunate as to be caught outside a classroom would not have a door opened for them to find safety behind. This is a standard practice and the rationale is simple: opening a locked door for one student could endanger the lives of 15 or 20 students already in that room. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are taught the few things that they can do to find shelter in this case, and these children are taught that in the case of the worst and most horrifying possible situation nobody was going to be able to assist them – they would be on their own.

    I could see in the eyes of our educators how emotionally devastated they were just to have to discuss this possibility with the children entrusted to their care. And believe me when I say I was overcome by a very deep sense of sadness.

    I am also extremely angry. I am angry that the above conversation seems to be acceptable, but another conversation, how to reduce the number and lethality of firearms in our nation and state and how to make access to those firearms much more difficult, is a conversation that we can’t have. From my perspective this is due to political cowardice on the part of our elected officials, personal selfishness on the part of firearms manufacturers and too many gun owners, lack of interest by way too many people and a basic misunderstanding of what is going on in society today.

    None of this is happening because of knives or hammers or any other blunt force instrument. Arguments that we are dealing with some new found mental health problem ignore the fact that a dangerous person without a firearm is much less dangerous then one with a firearm.

    What I’ve related above is due to one and only one reason: the over abundance of and easy access to firearms. Mass shootings occur as frequently as they do because those bent on harm find nothing to stop them from obtaining the implements they need to perpetrate their horrific acts. False arguments over non-existent rights to own and access without restraint and restriction any firearm cannot be allowed to override our right to and need for a safe society.

    We should not be teaching our children that firearms are more important then they are. This is an intolerable and unacceptable situation.

    • Justin Farrar :

      “False arguments over non-existent rights to own and access without restraint and restriction any firearm cannot be allowed to override our right to and need for a safe society.”

      Apparently you have not read the 2nd Amendment or the Federalist Papers that clarify and reiterate the exact meaning of it!

      I am so sick of hearing people claim that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give us the right to match arms with the government. Dont even respond with the “oh so you should be able to have a nuke” comment because thats not what the 2nd says at all. Its about the matching arms with the common foot soldier and what he can “bear”.
      Here is a good place to start for those of you that dont want to take the time to research it on your own
      http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/

      • Walter Carpenter :

        “I am so sick of hearing people claim that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give us the right to match arms with the government. ”

        I am so sick of hearing this argument. The idea that the 2d amendment grants us the right to own an Abrams tank, a grenade launcher, or whatever else to match arms with the government is an argument which seems beyond reason. Although I do not have time now to research or get into it, it seems ludicrous that the well-regulated militia called for in the 2d is hardly one where a government, any government for that matter, would desire its citizens as armed almost as well as its own army. In the 18th century this might have been much easier both said and done. Nowadays, it is much different. In what little time I have now, I will put forth an idea and agree that you are partially right. Society of that time, especially in the South, lived in great fear of massive slave revolts,and a “well-regulated,” militia, called up by the guv, by the establishment, would serve not against the guv, but for it to help put down slave revolts or anything else of like manner.

        • Justin Farrar :

          Walter,
          Apparently you didn’t read my reply. I didn’t say the 2nd applied to tanks i said it applied to the common foot soldier and what they could “bear”. Also as you stated you didn’t have the time or maybe dont want to take the time to research it but the government wanting the people to match arms was the exact reason the 2nd was written. They had seen first hand what a government out of control can and will do and wanted to make the this could never happen again in our country. It had absolutely nothing to do with slave revolts. Please make the time to read the Bill of Rights, The 2nd Amendment and the Federalist Papers before you post an article or make a comment about something you know so very little about. People trying to take away something as important as the 2nd without first educating themselves on the matter is unpatriotic and un-American!

        • Carl Fyrdman :

          Walter,
          While I’m not sure where this train of thought will end, the fact is that the Colonial militia had cannon as well as small arms. These cannon were among the things the British troops went after when performing their raids in Concord, Somerville, and Salem Massachusetts.
          This becomes more relevant when we see that the militia was specifically designed to consist of “the body of the people” (Madison). The Founders clearly intended the militia to be comprised of all free men (variously from 16-60 as expressed by the Pennsylvania Minority, or all free men 18-45 per the Militia Act of 1792).

          What does this mean? That the militia was the body of the people, not the National Guard (which has become ever more a branch of the National Army) – and that the militia was entitled to cannon and field artillery.

          I am not suggesting that necessarily means that single individuals are entitled to anything beyond small arms. But that municipal militias, not subject to Federalization other than during an invasion or insurrection, ought to have such arms. Additionally, it is important to note that some states refused to lend their militia to the Federal Govt during the War of 1812.

          Turning away from history, I would say that when our federal govt states it can perform roving wiretaps without warrants, conduct drone surveillance, ship what is mistakenly believed to be our militia (the Guard) overseas to serve as an occupying army, create “free speech zones” for political protest, indefinitely detain citizens (NDAA 2012), and assassinate citizens via drone strikes (Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki) … it is not inconceivable that at some point 20 years from now, this expansion of federal power will continue until a tipping point. I personally think that chance is slim, but it is certainly real.

          In regards to the 2nd Amendment and small arms, prior to the Heller case, the Supreme Court ruled in US v. Miller (the case the ACLU bases its stance upon) that the militia was again the body of the people, and that while some personal/individual defense weapons (a sawed-off shotgun in this case) were NOT protected, the Amendment did protect those weapons designed for the militia purposes – that would specifically mean that “assault rifles” are protected.

          A friend of mine suggested that we need to figure out a way to create independent municipal militias again, and stated that members of those groups could then have assault weapons (and ???) but that the rest of people can just have a hunting rifle or revolver. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s an idea.
          What I do know is that as the Second Amendment stands, based upon the Founders words and intent, it does protect “assault rifles” If people feel it has become anachronistic, then they need to Amend the Amendment. Any lesser act of Congress (other than a Constitutional Amendment) is as invalid and inane as having a lesser act of Congress modify the 13th Amendment.

          • John Greenberg :

            Whatever a militia may have been in the 18th Century, it clearly was NOT one individual acting by herself. Prior to Heller, courts read the 2 clauses of the 2nd amendment together, which meant that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” was a right attributed to a “well-regulated militia,” NOT to individual citizens. ((One might also note that the framers knew the difference between “the people” (2nd amendment) and a “person,” (5th amendment)) such that even without the militia clause, the right is not intended to apply to individuals by themselves.

            As to the KIND of arms allowed, even the Heller court grants that the right is not unlimited, and that governments CAN constrain the types of weapons in circulation: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” (Heller, p. 54)

      • There are many who will claim the 2nd amendment states “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That is incorrect as the above phrase is part and parcel of a larger sentence, and that larger sentence provides valuable context that until very recently was well accepted by the federal court systems (ie. there was no individual right to “bear arms”).

        Here is the text of the 2nd amendment to the US constitution: “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.” The only variation you will find is the comma between “Militia” and “being” is often times presented as a semi-colon.

        The 2nd amendment is about a free STATE and a well regulated militia. Arguments made by various people over time regarding the need to arm oneself against one’s government cannot remove those words – that is what was agree to, and that is what is in our government’s framework.

        • Tony Lolli :

          While everyone is entitled to an opinion, the one that matters is the opinion of the US Supreme Court and they have already addressed this question.

        • Justin Farrar :

          Rama,
          Your statement “Arguments made by various people over time regarding the need to arm oneself against one’s government cannot remove those words” is incorrect. I’ll say it once again. The EXACT reason the 2nd Amendment was written was because our founders had seen firsthand how a governement can get out of control and take away the peoples rights. The founders wanted to be certain this would not happen again in our country.
          No matter how much you want the 2nd to mean something else it’s still not going to change.

      • Dina Janis :

        check out Century International Arms in Franklin county and then keep talking your bs!

        • Ron Pulcer :

          Yes, and conveniently located near the U.S. border for easy international shipping.

          http://www.centuryarms.com/

          I’m only asking, I don’t honestly know … how much trade do they do with Syrian Government or rebels, or other 3rd world dictators, organized crime, or drug dealers?

          The NRA and Wayne LaPierre are really about the “money”, and the 2nd Amendment just gives them a platform to protect the gun traffickers.

          Since Congress allowed a loophole in the Brady Bill (Sen. Chuck Schumer alluded to compromise in recent hearing), I suspect there are ways to sell guns and weapons to “anyone with the cash”, just like Congress has allowed loopholes for some people and corporations to hide their money in the Cayman Islands … or Cyprus.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “I could see in the eyes of our educators how emotionally devastated they were just to have to discuss this possibility with the children entrusted to their care. And believe me when I say I was overcome by a very deep sense of sadness.”

      Rama, what an amazing post. Thanks so much for sharing it. As I read through it, I was also overcome by that same “deep sense of sadness.” If this is what we have come to, telling our children that if one does not make it into a classroom or shelter in time, they are “on their own,” then we have become a desperately sick society not worthy of the name of democracy. Every one of those children is going to carry the memory of this with them for the rest of their lives. I know well what that feels like. Thanks so much again.

    • Here is the thing about our “National Conversation on Guns and Gun Violence”. It’s not really a conversation, it’s two groups screaming at each, both sides completely convinced they are in the right and unwilling to listen to anything from the other side of the issue.

      The reality that none of seem to recognize, is that we really don’t know. We don’t know what a “common sense approach is” We don’t know what policies are completely ineffective. Why, cause we have never made a really serious study of the issue at hand. The last time our society tried to seriously study the issue of gun violence, the efforts were stopped and defunded.

      Before we make sweeping changes at a social level, we need to really understand the problem. While the spectacle of children being murdered in a school is a horrific reminder of how far we have to go as a society, it is one incident among many and for all agony and pain it causes, this single incident does not define the entire issue at hand.

      So many people fear getting caught in a situation where a nut job decides to go on a rampage in a mall, theatre, school, take your pick. The reality, is you have a better chance of being hit by lightning than being the victim of a violent crime, which begs the question, why do we need guns for self defense? The other side of this, is that based on the statistics collected by our own government, about 150,000 people use a gun in some manner to defend themselves in a given year. What if just 1 in 10 of these situations meant a person who would have survived because they had the means to defend themselves, is murdered, killed, etc. This sort of situation would add about 15,000 additional homicides to the total number of people murdered in a given year.

      There are so many factors to be considered and understood. Why are we describing our country as being awash in an epidemic of gun violence when both firearms violence and violent crime in general have been on the decline for the last decade. Obviously, we are doing something right. Does this mean we don’t need to keep working to make things better, no, it just means we need to understand why the numbers of violent crime are on the decrease. Is this because firearms ownership has dramatically increased? We don’t know, because we have not made a careful dispassionate examination of the problem AND developed an understanding of the long-term consequences of the action we might seek to take in addressing the issue.

      Over the centuries, many things have been “common sense solutions” that turned-out to be anything but. Dosing one’s self with radiation, sealing canned food with lead and the Earth revolving around the sun are a few examples that immediately spring to mind, a more recent example is the patriot act and people having to remove their shoes at the airport. We have a very disturbing history of racing forward and trying to solve problems with solutions that don’t really address the problem at hand.

      Anyway, I gotta go to work, so let me leave you with this one last tidbit, 97.5 % of all firearms homicides are committed with handguns. So what I have to question, is why, if we are really seeking to address the issue of gun violence, are we not looking at banning handguns? At a glance, based on the numbers, they are a scourge on our society when one examines this issue from a purely statistical perspective in terms of homicides and the weapon of choice used to commit the homicide.

  2. I’ve been shot at several times – perhaps intentionally off-lined and sometimes maliciously.

    Once when I was 10/11 years old walking on a country road and someone decided to watch me flinch.

    At least once while walking in some woods near farmland from random spraying of bullets from multi-bullet chambers – I could hear the boys hooping it up down on the farm – probably 2-3 rounds per second slamming into the trees around me.

    Living in DC I’ve seen weapons brandished out car windows (probably not our beloved Secret Service/FBI/DHS boys).

    I’m starting to believe that we should hold the manufacturers/sellers of the firearms and their munitions directly liable for the damage incurred.

    Imagine what would happen to the NRA sponsors if they were hit with multi-million personal injury civil and criminal law suits because they are actively promoting murder.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “Living in DC I’ve seen weapons brandished out car windows (probably not our beloved Secret Service/FBI/DHS boys).”

      Wow, Roger. We are brothers, having gone through the same things. Although I did not put it in the above commentary which the vt. digger so kindly printed, I have also seen weapons brandished outside of car windows. I have also helped someone who got shot. This was in Boston, where I lived for a time. I think it is a good idea that you have about holding the manufacturers/sellers of firearms directly liable for the mayhem incurred by their products.

  3. Walt Amses :

    The “right” of someone to purchase, without limitation, enough firepower to instantaneously create a war zone at the cinema, elementary school or shopping mall, evidently takes precedence over anyone else’s right to be safe in their community. Wayne LaPierre is like a character out of Doctor Strangelove, except he’s unfortunately all too real. The very idea that the solution to a massive gun problem (which the NRA created) is more guns is pure lunacy. And the longer we allow politicians to drag their feet on rationale gun control legislation the more likely it is that the carnage will continue unabated. It’s shameful that schools are expected to problem solve around this issue while congress gets a pass.

  4. Dave Bellini :

    The pink, fluorescent, strobe lit, elephant in the room is mental illness. The debate how much ammo a magazine should hold is a red herring. Will it make a significant difference in outcomes if legislation passes to limit gun style and magazine capacity? Maybe we’ll have 5 dead bodies instead of 15. So, this is the answer?

    Look at the mental state of the killers in Newtown, Aurora and Tucson. Closing mental hospitals and constantly underfunding community mental health providers is a large part of the problem. Vermont had over 50 secure beds at the old state hospital. The new one will have 25 and now the legislature will only fund 17. Politicians would rather have the discussion about magazine capacity, it’s cheaper.

    • John Greenberg :

      ” Maybe we’ll have 5 dead bodies instead of 15. So, this is the answer?”

      Clearly, it is not a complete answer to the question of gun violence. On the other hand, it’s a very adequate answer to the people who will remain alive rather than joining the other 5.

      The Talmud says: “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” (Sanhedrin 37a)

      • Walter Carpenter :

        “Clearly, it is not a complete answer to the question of gun violence. On the other hand, it’s a very adequate answer to the people who will remain alive rather than joining the other 5.”

        Thanks much, John. You’re right here. It is an adequate answer. And if we had adequate controls in place, we might not have those five.

  5. Patrick Cashman :

    If only there were a law against threatening the life of another…
    Oh wait, there is.
    If only there were a law against threatening the health of another…
    Oh wait, there is.
    If only there were a law against a felon, pot smoker, or mentally disabled individual from owning a firearm…
    Oh wait, there is.

    So all the laws are in place. Perhaps instead of creating new laws restricting a constitutional right, we could just enforce the ones we have. If only…but then so many people would be denied their opportunity to complain. And I guess that would be the true tragedy.

  6. Walt Amses :

    Seriously Patrick,do you really think it’s a constitutional right to purchase, with hardly a restriction, enough armament to instantaneously create a war zone at the mall? the firepower to kill 25 people in the time it takes to dial 911? The means to defend ones self from the Army? That’s typical NRA claptrap that the majority of their members don’t even believe.

    • Stuart Hill :

      Interesting how you have to put your words in his mouth to confabulate an argument.

      Perhaps you wouldn’t have an argument were you limited to what was actually said?

    • Patrick Cashman :

      Walt,
      I believe we have a right that should be protected. I believe those who are so eager to restrict this right out of existence for all Americans for their own personnel peace of mind because of what someone, somewhere, maybe might just possibly do with this right, have lost their way.

      • walter carpenter :

        “II believe we have a right that should be protected.”

        Patrick, I agree with you in a way. That is what this commentary above is about: do not us unarmed folks have a right to be protected as well. Yet, in what you say is the right to protect yourself from everyone else because there are so many weapons out there, so easily obtained, by so many people, almost no matter how crazy they are. In a sense we are arming ourselves to the hilt to protect ourselves from ourselves because we are all arming ourselves. It is insane.

    • Jason Wells :

      Dial 911 = about three to four seconds assuming such that’s 6.2 rounds per second on target. A fully auto machine gun does not shoot that fast and if you are aware those have been and still are illegal without massive red tape. The firearms you wish to ban are NOT capable of that PERIOD. If you want to have a debate please know the facts first. Do you own a firearm, ever used one, or even know the difference between full auto or semi??

      P.S. You might be happy to know that we cant even get ammo anymore as our Government has decided to purchase so much ammo (most hollow points) that its enough to wage a 27 year Iraqi war. Even your trusty police departments are finding it close to impossible to find ammo for training.

  7. Cheryl Ison :

    I live in Australia. We are an unarmed society (mostly). There are relatively no occurrences over here of your massacres. One thing I do not understand is why one person requires more than one gun to defend themselves. I admit knowing little about guns but an assault rifle does not sound like a weapon of defence. So why??

    Evidently it is your constitutional right to bear weapons, but is it not also the right of every citizen to life and liberty.

    • walter carpenter :

      Cheryl:

      How I would love to move to Australia:) imagine, an unarmed society where you do not have to fear being shot at the whim of someone with an arsenal. Imagine.

  8. Jamal Kheiry :

    Vermont has some of the most lenient firearms restrictions in the nation, and yet its firearms violence rate is far less than that of states with strict firearms laws. The explanation is that people make the difference. Not the firearms. Passing laws to control people isn’t nearly as easy, so nobody focuses on the real problem. Hence, the drive to control firearms; it’s simpler. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s simpler.

    • Dina Janis :

      Yes- Jamal- and Vermont is responsible for 30% of the guns that are confiscated in Boston every year from criminals and gangs as a result of our lenient laws- and – while you are at it- check out Century International Arms- in Franklin County- one of the worlds largest assault weapon retrofitters – 500 of their guns were confiscated from mexican drug lords in the past 2 years alone.
      We can sit in our green mountains and turn a blind eye- or we can wake up and be good american citizens

      • Jason Wells :

        Dina, I don’t dispute your claim of 500 of the firearms confiscated in Mexico came from VT but I wonder how many of those were part of Fast and Furious?

      • Patrick Cashman :

        “And Vermont is responsible for 30% of the guns confiscated in Boston…”
        Not really. At least according to the Boston Police Superintendent in the 3 Aug 2006 Free Press “Boston Billboard Pins Crimes on Vermont Guns”:

        “Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce said Vermont is not a significant source of guns used in crimes in his city, but that Florida, Maine and New Hampshire are.

        “We only had one illegal gun end up in Boston from Vermont in 2005,” Joyce said, adding that “secondary markets” for old guns, such as flea markets and “kitchen table” sales, make it more difficult to trace guns to where they were bought by criminals, even if the place of the first sale can be identified.”

      • Jamal Kheiry :

        Ms. Janis,

        I believe the data you provided serves only to reinforce my point. People, not firearms, are the factors that determine firearms violence.

  9. Justin Farrar :

    I am continually amazed at the people blaming guns rather than the shooters. What amazes me more is the people calling for gun bans, magazine restrictions, background checks, etc, etc don’t even know the first thing about firearms or self defense and most of you wont even bother taking the time to do the research. The facts are clear as day and readily available. Stop wasting your time listening to the myths and lies being pushed on you. An AR-15 is only an assault weapon in the hands of a person assaulting others. In the hands of good people it is a defensive gun. Now dont even bother telling me I dont need an AR-15 as there are thousands of documented cases of a handgun not stopping a drug crazed attacker and even after being hit multiple times still trying to do harm. If you haven’t taken the time to learn about self defense you wont understand the need for an AR-15. By the way pretty much EVERY gun, even our bolt action deer rifles originated from the military and were a “weapon of war” when used in a war. When used by good people they are no more than a deer rifle, a target rifle, or a defensive rifle. The people intent on killing innocent children will still find a way no matter what laws you might pass. They dont care about the laws. Apparently our own government doesn’t either seeing how out of the 76,000 people that failed the background check in 2010 they only prosecuted 44 people. Lets enforce the laws we have first before we go passing more laws that will only take away the rights of good people.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “I am continually amazed at the people blaming guns rather than the shooters….An AR-15 is only an assault weapon in the hands of a person assaulting others. In the hands of good people it is a defensive gun.”

      Justin. I think you have it wrong here. Those of us advocating gun control, especially those of us who have been fired at or have suffered in other ways, are not blaming the gun itself for our intractable problem of gun violence. We are blaming the culture which promotes such easy and all but unregulated access to just about anyone now (in broad terms) to high-powered weaponry. As my friend who died in the semi-automatic fire this can turn a person into an assault force all their own. With weapons like these it can be a thin line between a person assaulting others and good people

      • Stuart Lindberg :

        Walter, Is it time to restrict your right to free speech which allows for every form of deviant violent behavior to be promoted on television, the internet, books, movies and the internet?
        Is it time to restrict doctor’s and pharmaceutical companies economic freedom by stopping them from pushing hard core, mind bending, psychotropic medications on our children?
        Maybe it is time to allow the Bible back in our public schools instead of just our public prisons? There are 10 clear commandments in the Bible. One of them is quite relevant to the discussion of violence in our society. It is “Thou Shall not Kill.”
        Most of the “Gun Grabbers” I know find all these suggestions massively offensive, especially any mention of religious morality. Are you one of them?

        • walter carpenter :

          Stuart. What is religious morality?

  10. Stuart Lindberg :

    I saw a movie once where only the police and the military had guns. It was called “Schindler’s List”.

    Gun control worked great for Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Not so good for the victims of the gun violence. Millions of unarmed civilians successfully murdered in the 20th century. This is why the Second Amendment needs to be protected.

    • walter carpenter :

      “It was called Schindler’s list.”

      Stuart, having studied the history of the holocaust, lived in Israel, and seen Schindler’s grave, and talked with many survivors of the camps, that statement is not even worthy of an answer. Many elements caused that horrible time. The problems of guns and the lack of guns were only one of these elements.

      • Walter, I have to tell you, responding with “that statement is not even worthy of an answer” is the kind of answer people offer when trying to defend something that can’t be rationally defended without resorting to emotional responses completely devoid of any sort of rational thought.

        • David Bell :

          Anyone who honestly believes that advocating gun control is advocating totalitarian rule is living in a world so divorced from reality their comments are truly not worth responding to.

          If you believe the solution to despotism is cheap, plentiful assault weapons, please visit a few of the more violent countries in Africa or South America.

  11. Walt Amses :

    Patrick….I think the people who have “lost their way” are the 70 left bleeding on the multiplex floor, shot In under five minutes because it’s as easy to buy an assault weapon in this country as a bag of popcorn. Second amendment rights shouldn’t be expanded to include weapon systems. Everyone believes this “right” has limitations….you may believe it doesn’t cover grenade launchers (hopefully) while I think high capacity magazines have got to go……but we all have a saturation point……the challenge is to find some common ground about where that point is and begin considering not only the right to bear arms but the right to survive them.

    • Walt, you really need to do some research and actually go do some shooting. Every statement you have made is an emotion laden exaggeration that only serves to accomplish alienating people you should be trying to engage. You obviously don’t know a thing about firearms. There is simply no way a person who has even a little practical experience and training could make the statements you are so carelessly tossing around. I have to wonder, are you actually a troll who is trying to make those seeking changes in our countries firearms look like complete idiots? Seriously.

      Assault weapons are not available unless one is very wealthy. Very, Very, Very wealthy. A fully automatic M-16 costs in the $12,000 – $20,000 range. Why so expensive, because by Federal law, they can not be manufactured for civilian use and anything manufactured after 1986 is completely banned with regards to civilian ownership. In other words, if you want to own a fully automatic weapon, you must go through an FBI background check. The number available is VERY limited because the ones available had to manufactured before 1986, so the cost is several orders of magnitude more expensive. You also have to obtain a federal tax stamps from the ATF. Based on this, your claim that an assault weapon is as easy to acquire as popcorn is either being made from a position of complete ignorance, you are somehow intellectually challenged or you are trying to provoke an emotional reaction.

      “2nd amendment rights should not be expanded to include weapons systems” Again, this is a statement that tells us you are either completely lacking in a real understanding of the subject you are pontificating about, or you are trying to provoke an emotional reaction. I am saying this because the sentence I am quoting above is just, well, really dumb. When people start throwing these kind of statements around, it becomes very clear they are not ready to engage in an intelligent discussion. One has to actually know something about the subject to be meaningfully engaged in the discussion. Walt, you obviously need to do some more reading and get some practical experience, because my good man, you are making everyone who believes we need better gun control look like a moron.

      I apologize if I am sounding harsh, I am genuinely trying to impress on you how far off base you are with literally everything you have been saying. Let me close with this. The guy in the Colorado theater had a shotgun, and AR-15 with a 100 round drum and a 9mm. The AR jammed almost immediately. The idea of the 100 round drum sounds great, but the reality, is they don’t work well and are notorious for failing. When this happened, the shooter resorted to a shotgun. One which would not be banned under current proposals. A shotgun, is several orders of magnitude more dangerous in a relatively closed space than an AR. If you don’t understand why this is the case, it should tell you more research and learning on your part are needed.

      • walter carpenter :

        “You obviously do not know a thing about firearms.”

        Mark, I do know what it is like to be on the receiving end of them. Apparently, in your eyes at least, that is being “emotionally laden.” No matter what type of weapon it is, the effects are basically the same, especially when you are its intended victim. This is something which cannot be denied.

    • Patrick Cashman :

      Walt,
      What’s wrong with a grenade launcher? You can go buy a standalone or under barrel 37mm launcher right now. And that is as it should be. If you want to sit in your backyard shooting flares and smoke rounds, well it’s an expensive but relatively harmless hobby as long as you don’t set the place on fire.
      However if you go and try to buy high explosive rounds for your grenade launcher, then you can expect a visit from the nice gentlemen at the BATF. Because high explosives are tightly regulated and we have a slew of laws restricting their ownership, sale and manufacture. And they are actually enforced. So instead of coming up with further restrictions to our rights as a kneejerk reaction to a tragedy, how about we actually just enforce the restrictions already in place (which, the mass narrative aside, are significant).

  12. Margaret Newton, :

    In the late ’60’s we hosted a beautiful young boy from Chicago’s South Side for a summer holiday at our home in Wisconsin. He told us he often heard gun shots at night and sometimes witnessed daytime gun fights/shootings on the streets, and the victims. That was everyday life. Tragically, it happens all over America. I doubt I’ll see an unarmed America in my lifetime; tragically,I doubt my young grandchildren will see it
    Maggie Newton

  13. Dina Janis :

    this editorial is totally right on-

  14. Jim Barrett :

    It is obvious the writer would like all of us to be like sheep, and when approached by an enemy ask them to shoot you in the head to avoid any prolonged suffering. Everyone has the right to defend themselves from quacks even though the writer thinks you don’t.

    • Walt Amses :

      What does “When approached by an enemy” mean? It sounds like the same paranoia that fuels the NRA’s absurd “good with a gun vs bad guy with a gun” campaign…How does turning the country into an armed camp insure anyone’s safety? Who wants to live like that? Wayne LaPierre’s fantasy land built on the blood of innocent people while he makes millions shilling for the gun industry. Pathetic.

  15. Jed guertin :

    Take a look at what’s out there now that would be considered “bearable arms” In 1 hour they could kill more people than a battery of 1700’s cannons I not sure our founding fathers would have written the 2nd amendment the way they did,

    Thanks for the comment Rama.

    I think the idea of “bunkering” our schools is an awful idea. It will do more damage to our society than the any rational changes to modify the 2nd amendment.

    For now maybe we should tax guns and ammo sales to cover the cost of this “bunkering.

    • Jed, trying to compare an AR-15 to any sort of artillery is not only silly, it tells me you likely have zero actual experience with firearms. This is the sort of silly emotional back and forth that not only contributes nothing to the issue being discussed.

      An AR is a weapon that was originally designed for competitive target shooting and chambered a far larger round in it’s initial configuration (.308).

      There seems to be this silly idea that a weapon carried by a soldier is somehow more dangerous, has more killing potential. Do any of the people pontificating about this realize the round this weapon fires was originally conceived for the sporting market. Target shooting and small game.

      There is this strange rush to ban semi-automatic rifles that look like military weapons that is so irrational, it clearly tells us the authors really do not understand firearms in any sort of real or substantive fashion.

      A common .22 cal handgun or rifle is just as dangerous in a confined space, for example a classroom, as an AR-15. A shotgun, again a weapon not covered in the proposed ban, is far more dangerous in a confined space than an AR-15. As a matter of fact, the shooter in the Colorado movie theater brought an AR-15 with a 100 round drum. It jammed almost instantly and he continued his rampage using his shotgun, the one that would never have been covered by the bans being proposed.

      Perhaps we need a better understanding of the issue of gun violence before we race forward passing laws that will have a huge impact likely in ways we never considered down the road.

      The Columnbine shooters were limited to 10 round mags. Their solution was to bring more magazines.

      • Jed guertin :

        Dear Mark,

        1. Who said I was comparing anything to the AR.

        2. While we’re at it the Newtown guns used in the incident allowed the shooter to send 155 rounds, each round capable of killing or wounding a child into the school hallways in less that 5 minutes. That’s an an average of 1 round in less than 2 seconds.

        3. Regarding the Aurora shooting you sort of glossed over a few points.
        a. The Remington 870 is not your average shotgun, 8 rounds in rapid succession. Nor is it likely it did most of the killing.
        b. The rifle discharged OVER 30 rounds before the 100 round magazine jamed. That’s 30 potential kills. Then he used a, what 10 round, rapid fire Glock hand gun.
        c. If the gun didn’t jam the number killed or injured would have been much higher, 70 potential kills higher.

        4. So far all you’ve proven is that there’s good reason to ban these rapid fire/large capacity guns, because they have a tremendous kill capacity. If the 100 round magazine didn’t jamb how many more people could have been killed. 12 – 24 – 48? These are simply, no aim needed, point and shoot rapid fire human killing machines.

        5. Mark, your statement, it tells me you likely have zero actual experience with firearms does nothing but show your ignorance. There are a lot of high ranking military officers who feel the way i do about these weapons, and they do know a lot about guns, more than both of us combined.

        I’ve heard your argument before, it’s right out of the NRA talking points play book.

        • #1 – Ok, my bad, which bearable armament were you specifically referring to with the statement “Take a look at what’s out there now that would be considered “bearable arms” In 1 hour they could kill more people than a battery of 1700′s cannons?”

          #2 – A statement about each round having the potential to kill a person is correct. The problem, is that it bears no resemblance to the practical reality of firing a rifle quickly with the intention of hitting an actual target. This very sick young man fired a 158 rounds at grouped people and only managed to actually kill 20. The only way you are ever going to understand the point I am trying to make is by actually handling and firing an AR-15.

          #3 – Actually an 870 is very typical of a defensive shotgun which as a class of shotgun which generally hold 6-8 rounds. It is also not the only shotgun that is made to hold 6-8 rounds. Mossburg immediately comes to mind as well as Remington. Since you are measuring the danger in terms of “potential kills”, another little tidbit you might not be aware of, is that every shotgun that is rated to hold 3 rounds (usually used for bird or skeet) can have this capacity expanded by simply removing the “high-tech” wooden dowel that is placed in the magazine to prevent the tube from accommodating more rounds. Do you understand that on average, your typical double aught buck shotgun shell contain 9 separate lead slugs which are fired in a pattern that when fired into a crowd will cause enormous damage. Even a shotgun that only holds 3 rounds, will fire out 27 lead slugs, designed to spread out as they get further from the muzzle. At close range and in a confined space, firing into a crowd, these rounds will go through people and hit the targets behind them. A shotgun firing 8 rounds will send 72 lead slugs down range before reloading. An Ar in the same situation would require 3 reloads, assuming 30 round mags, to match the number of “bullets” an 8 round shotgun can put on target in 8 shots. The Ar also requires more skill to operate and troubleshoot. Having said all this, you still did not address the point that this type of shotgun would be permitted under the ban you are so quick to support.

          #4 – “No aim needed rapid fire killing machine” – This is another statement that is so silly that I can only offer that once you have handled and fired an AR-15 you will understand why aiming the weapon is actually quite critical to the process of shooting a given target. You obviously have good intentions, but it appears your perception of firearms is based on what you have seen on TV, in the movies, in video games, I am guessing. The reason a shotgun is so effective for an inexperienced shooter is because precision aiming is not required if one is relatively close to the target, exactly the opposite of what one is dealing with when firing an AR or other weapon that sends SINGLE projectiles each time the trigger is pulled.

          #5 – Jeb, since you don’t actually know me or my background, you are also in no position to make judgements about my expertise on the subject of firearms. I have been handling firearms for 41 years, I am not making this stuff up, it is the simple reality of how firearms function which I am using as examples and basing my statements on. Guns are dangerous, period. Whether it is a .22, .223 or a 30-06. They are all dangerous. In an enclosed space at short range a .22 is just as bad as an AR-15 and it will kill you just as dead. As a matter of fact, the size of the bullet fired by an AR-15 and a .22cal target/sporting rifle are so close that by changing the bolt carrier in an AR, one can fire standard .22LR ammo through the weapon.

          #6 – Jeb, I have no problem with gun control, I do have a problem with our elected reps crafting laws simply so they can pat themselves on the back and say we “passed common sense solutions to address gun violence.”
          Why, because in 2011 rifles were used in 2.5% of the firearms homicides. The assault weapons you are so quick to ban are actually a subset of this number which includes everything from flintlocks and lever action to bolt, pump and semi-auto. 97.5% of all homicides that involve a firearm, are committed with a hand0gun, yet, we are focusing on “Assault weapons”, really? How is this an intelligent approach to the problem of gun violence. Targeting a type of weapon that is used so infrequently that it is not only less than the margin of error, but in the strictest sense could be considered a statistical anomaly. A semi-automatic rifle that looks scary is not somehow more deadly.

          Jeb, trying to dismiss what I am saying as NRA propaganda because you don’t like it is just silly. This is what zealots on both sides of this issue do when they are trying to deflect inconvenient facts. Everything I have said is an easily provable fact, or is based on a great deal of research and practical experience. Let me leave you with one last thing to consider. Since 1983 there have been 62 mass shootings in the United states. A total of 458 people have been killed in all of these mass shootings combined. You have a better chance in any given year of being accidentally shot by a cop, than you do of ever being shot by an AR in a mass shooting or otherwise. Cops kill an average of 650 innocent people by mistake every year. 650! If you are genuinely interested in addressing this issue of gun violence, perhaps it makes sense to: A) understand the problem and B) to spend a bit of time understanding the reality of the thing you are seeking to regulate. In this case firearms. Statements like “No aim needed rapid fire killing machine” simply tell everyone you are not to be taken seriously, because you obviously have no practical experience from which to base the statements you are making.

          Again, of the 6500 or so firearms homicides last year, 97.5% where committed with handguns. So perhaps you could help me understand the logic behind your desire to ban semi-automatic weapons.

          • Jed guertin :

            Mark,

            You’re yelling again.

            I’ll only respond to one of your “points.” Just don’t have the time. Also, have another response below.

            REGARDING # 4: “No aim needed rapid fire killing machine”

            YOUR RESPONSE: “This is another statement that is so silly that I can only offer that once you have handled and fired an AR-15 you will understand why aiming the weapon is actually quite critical to the process of shooting a given target.” SIMPLY VERIFIES MY STATEMENT.

            You see the people who were using these guns WERE NOT SHOOTING AT A GIVEN TARGET. They were simply spraying bullets as fast as possible at a crowd. He was simply playing the averages. And possible didn’t want to aim, because he wanted them to be TARGETS, not people.

            Lanza, in closed quarters, had a kill ratio of 1 in 6. No aiming involved. JUST POINT AND SHOOT, And that was in a confined school building. The shooter in Aurora had a 100 round magazine, that as you mentioned jammed at 30 rounds. Just think if it didn’t jam, using Lanza’s ration that’s another 8 dead.

    • Justin Farrar :

      Our founding fathers wrote the 2nd at a time when they themselves were using modern arms. The guns they were using were far superior to what the British had. They had seen many improvements in arms and also had repeating arms at that time that fired about 7-8rounds per minute compared to the 2 per minute that muskets were capable of. They also saw the Kentucky long rifle introduced that was far more accurate than the musket. Many of the framers of the BOR were inventors of all sort of new items that were a huge improvement to life back then so to say they were not forward thinking enough to imagine todays modern muskets is quite narrow minded.
      STOP BLAMING THE GUN AND PUNISHING THE LAW ABIDING GUN OWNERS THAT CARE ENOUGH TO STEP UP AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THOSE THEY LOVE AND THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM! Instead focus your “good intentions” on the real problem.

    • Ok, I have to tell you the ” your yelling again thing” was really funny. :-) I almost started my last post off with “Oh Jeb, there you go again” :-) (I am not sure if we are in the same age group, but if we are, the “There you go again” might give you a laugh)

      You are completely misunderstanding my point about guns and crowds. ALL guns are incredibly dangerous when being fired into a crowd. We tend to have assumptions about firearms based on what we see in the media, both news and entertainment. The AR-15 has this association with our military and thus, in most peoples minds, it is the most dangerous gun out there. The error people make in singling out the AR-15 based on it’s use in a couple of recent high-profile killings, is that it is not even close to being the most dangerous weapon in the hands of a nut, in a confined area, firing into a crowd. A Ruger 10-22 is just as deadly, can hold as many rounds, has less recoil, is quieter, a lot quieter and yet no one considers these or a shotgun to be as dangerous as an AR-15. ARs are designed for precision shooting out to about 800 meters. A shotgun is designed for targets at relatively close range, say, 100 meters or less. Adam Lanza got off 153 rounds in 5 min. If he had known what he was doing, the number of dead would have been several times what it was. If he had an 870 and managed to get off even 50 rounds, it would mean he actually would be firing 450 metal slugs, in groups of 9, each of which is bigger than the bullet fired by the AR-15. 1 shotgun, 50 rounds, 450 metal slugs. Firearms tend to be purpose driven in their design. While an AR is a good compromise in terms of capability, it is worlds away from being the best weapon for a close quarters slaughter.

      Let’s look at the numbers. It is estimated by the federal government that 310,000,000 (million) privately owned firearms are currently in circulation in the United States. Of this number, it is estimated that 3,750,000 are AR-15s. This means AR-15s comprise 0.012% of the total number guns available. Of the 110,000,000 (Million) rifles in the US, AR-15s comprise 0.0375% of the total available. There are 86,000,000 (million) shotguns. There are 114,000,000 handguns. So, again, why are focusing on a specific type of semi-automatic weapon that not only comprise a statistically insignificant portion of the available firearms, they also comprise a tiny fraction of the number of firearms used in crimes. If 97.5% of all firearms homicides/crimes happen with handguns, why are we talking about the AR-15. Has anyone noticed that the one weapon that consistently appears at every one of the last dozen or so mass shootings, is a 9mm handgun. The AR-15 is no more or less dangerous than any gun. That is my central point. The AR-15 is a red herring. Banning this particular gun will have no impact on gun violence. Handguns on the other hand….

  16. Julie Hansen :

    I am still stuck on the teachers saying how sad they are that they cannot let a child in the door. Are they seriously saying that they would follow such a policy; that they would relinquish their own sensibilities on behalf of a policy? They are still grown-ups capable of making decisions.

    Wow.

    • Ann Braden :

      The policy is the best people can come up with when confronted with the threat of a gunman in their school. The doors are locked to keep the intruder out. If you open it up because someone is knocking on it, you are risking the lives of all the students hiding in the classroom. This is the reality they’re facing at every lockdown drill. To attack the TEACHERS in this situation to the opposite of what anyone should be doing. They are given the protecting the lives of the children in their care ON TOP of the work of teaching math and reading and how to grow up to be a responsible person.

      Lockdown procedures aren’t perfect and so as a society we owe it to our children (and their teachers) to do what we can to make it harder for a person intent on killing to access a gun.

      But meanwhile, the gun lobby is adamant that NOT A SINGLE change should be made to the gun laws in this country — that someone with a criminal background or with a restraining order against them should be able to walk into the nearest gun show and buy something capable of taking out an entire classroom of children in seconds. That is it’s own form of tyranny.

  17. Dave Bellini :

    SOME SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE:

    1. Pass state laws that mirror the federal law prohibiting violent convicted felons from possessing firearms. This is a no brainer.

    2. Background checks.

    3. Increased funding for totally rebuilding the “community mental health system.” (Presently a joke)

    4. Mental hospitals and “reform schools.” Some people need to be in an institution and some kids should not be “mainstreamed.” This isn’t politically correct; but it is correct.

    5. More EAP’s for employers who don’t have one and more robust EAP’s for those employers who do. Disgruntled employees have been involved in many shootings.

    Current debate centers only around the tools used in killings. The limited national discussion has proponents and opponents debating if the next round of murders should be with a semi-auto Glock or revolvers with speed-loaders. Making America safer requires changing social policy.

  18. Stuart Hill :

    I have to stand in awe of the paranoid fantasies that so many of you have about firearms and firearm owners.

    The real wonder is that you are so immersed in this nightmarish fantasy world that you don’t even see the obvious holes in your stories.

    Were someone else to post similar fantasies about the dangers of a certain race or ethnic group most of you would rail against the idiocy. When it is your own delusion though you will spew away with paranoid fantasies and see yourself as some sort of heroic figures. Quite frankly, you look like fools to anyone who has not drunk the same kool-ade as you have.

    Deal with the causes of violence, where the violence is taking place. Leave the fantasies for scary stories around the campfire instead of trying to force the rest of us to live in your twisted reality.

  19. Walter Carpenter :

    “I have to stand in awe of the paranoid fantasies that so many of you have about firearms and firearm owners.”

    Gun deaths in the US since the Sandy Hook Shooting: 3,151. I suppose, though, that these gun deaths are just fantasies conjured by deranged and paranoid liberals in awe of their delusions:) When you’ve nearly been one of these statistics it is not a paranoid fantasy.

    Gun-death tally: Every American gun death since Newtown Sandy Hook shooting (INTERACTIVE). – Slate Magazine
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

    • Stuart Hill :

      No the fantasies are the guns causing the problems and the dream that restrictions on the law abising will make a difference.

      The fantasy is that ONLY the deaths of upper middle class whites matter. The non-whites and poor whites forced to live in the hellish conditions that classism and poverty breed are not as human as upper middle class liberals apparently.

      The heroic fantasies that so many on left have that they hold the solutions to societies ills, “DO AS I DEMAND AND THE WORLD WILL BE A PARADISE” are a problem. Your mother lied kids. You are not the brightest and the best. You are not the center of the universe. We are not required to worship and obey you.

      As shocking as it may be to you the vast majority of the feel good liberal programs of the last 50 or so years have failed.

      Gun control has not worked. The violence has continued to rise. Not because 15 year old gang members have been coming to Vermont to buy guns but because the root causes of violence are not addressed. When that point is raised on this site the howling starts with bizarre fantasies about the NRA, firearms industry and gun owners.

      Again, the socio-economic groups that are most affected by the culture of violence apparently are not viewed as mattering by the liberal elite.

      Now let’s look at the “Great Society/War on Poverty” programs that were supposedly going to put an end to poverty.

      Take a good close look at the situation. There is an industry built up around MAINTAINING a level of poverty. Talk to people who have been trapped in poverty because of the system. Take a good close look at thhe percentage of AHS workers right here in nice liberal Vermont who have raw contempt for the people they are supposedly helping.

      The programs have become a new form of debt bondage, “poverty bondage”. If too many people get back on their feet again some state employee might lose their cushy job. Better to have multiple generations trapped in the system, eh Walt?

      None of this matters to the true believers. They want what they want and reality be damned. Baby wants what baby wants and will scream until they get their way.

      • Walt Amses :

        So all we need to do – in addition to being armed to the teeth – is eliminate food stamps, head start, affirmative action, the civil rights act, the voting rights act and Medicaid and all will be well? I’m sorry Stuart, some types of weapons and their capacity to inflict catastrophic damage in a matter of seconds ARE the problem. Guns should be regulated at least as well as toys and gun manufacturers should not get a free pass on liability because our politicians are spineless.

        • Walt, is it possible the issue is less spineless politicians than perhaps one where the politicians are actually basing their decision to or to not support legislation based on what they are hearing from their constituents?

  20. The cause of a firearm injury or death is the projectile being launched out the end of a barrel at either side of 1,000 feet per second. The reason those projectiles are the cause of some many injuries and death is the ready availability of firearms – they are as easy to locate as a used television.

    That is the primary problem, and until we deal with the easy availability we won’t get anywhere. A great starting point is the requirement that every firearm be accompanied by title that, just like an automobile title, ties a specific firearm to a specific individual or business.

    Until we do that we will never get a handle on the flow of firearms around this country.

    • Stuart Hill :

      “The cause of a firearm injury or death is the projectile being launched out the end of a barrel at either side of 1,000 feet per second. The reason those projectiles are the cause of some many injuries and death is the ready availability of firearms – they are as easy to locate as a used television.”

      No Rama, someone has to make the decision to harm another person. Like it or not that’s just the way it is. Pontificate, lie, scream and fabricate you cannot change that simple truth.

      Welcome to the real world. Enjoy your stay.

      • walter carpenter :

        “welcome to the real world. Enjoy your stay.”

        Stuart, the real world is what Rama said. The real world is that the cause of firearm injury or death is someone sending a projectile of lead at a 1,000 or more feet a second at someone else. You can argue all the socio-economics you want, argue all the class issues you want, blame us liberals all you want, but if it is a fact based in the real world that if the anonymous shooters who fired at us that night did not have the means to do this in their possession, they could not have done it. They could have thrown rocks at us, yelled obscenities, or whatever, but if they did not have a gun they could not have shot at us. This is a fact which cannot be denied no matter how hard you try to blame someone else.

        • Stuart Hill :

          So what were the regulations like at the time on buying a gun in that burg?

          Try to understand. Heroin is illegal. It’s still available.

          During that great social experiment called prohibition alcohol was still available. Criminal empires were built on supplying alcohol to those that want it.

          I’ll tell you a secret, banning something assure that there will be a criminal market to supply it.

          Stunned? Well , you might want to sit down for this one. Criminals don’t obey the law.

          Now if you care to provide a picture of a 15 year old from NYC buying a pistol at Paro’s we’d all love to see it.

          While you’re at it how about you check out where Clyde Barrow (no Anne, he’s not a lawyer) acquired his Browning automatic rifles. HINT: He didn’t buy them in Vermont.

          • John Greenberg :

            Great argument! Murder is illegal, and people still kill each other. So we might as well go ahead and legalize it.

      • David Bell :

        So, in “the real world” you inhabit, it is impossible for someone to accidentally kill someone using a firearm?

        Since, according to you “someone has to make the decision to harm another person”, no gun has ever been fired accidentally by a user.

        This view is absurd. Pontificate, lie, scream and fabricate you cannot change that simple truth.

        • Stuart Hill :

          Of course there are accidents. If you care to note though the general tenor of the op-ed piece and those howling in support of it was evil gun owners blowing away children and movie goers.

          To be a little less flip about it. the conversation is about violence. Some like our chum Rama see gun control as being the cure.

          Some of us see that as being akin to regulating cars to stop drunk driving. I.E. idiotic, simplistic, dreaming. Complete and total denial of the many problems that CAUSE violence.

          Get it?

          • Walt Amses :

            Evil gun owners DID “blow away children and movie goers” And why would working on the “many problems that CAUSE violence” prevent us from also implementing some restrictions on the capacity to create carnage in the time it takes to dial 911?

          • David Bell :

            “Of course there are accidents. If you care to note though the general tenor of the op-ed piece and those howling in support of it was evil gun owners blowing away children and movie goers.”

            I was responding to your comment alone, specifically the blatantly false statements in it.

            Get it?

          • Stuart Hill :

            Dave and Walt, you are both getting hysterical. Typical behavior for those that are trying to convince others that your emotional tirades are in fact carefully crafted logical debating.

            Matches do not cause arson even if they are used by an arsonist correct?

            The firearms do not cause the killing even if killers use firearms.

            The math is the same.

            What causes a person to become an arsonist? There is no one clear answer.

            What causes a person to become a killer? Again, there is no one clear answer.

            Shall we ban matches, Shall we make every farmer buying diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate fertilizer submit to a psychological evaluation, finger printing and a criminal background check?

            As I said before you two are getting hysterical and emotional. Like many of the others singing the big ban tunes you don’t seem to want to deal with the cause, just the tools.

            I.E. the equivalent of demanding restrictions on cars to deal with the problem of drunk driving.

            Deal with the causes of a problem if you want to fix the problem. It’s a fairly simple concept.

          • Peter Liston :

            Other reasons to own a gun (besides killing people):

            1) skeet shooting
            2) target practice
            3) biathalon
            4) hunting
            5) crime deterrent
            6) preservation of a family heirloom or historical object

            I actually believe the #5 is a terrible reason to own a gun … but the point is debatable.

            And I believe that there should be sensible restrictions on guns. I favor universal background checks over outright bans. Prevent the mentally ill & those with criminal backgrounds from buying guns legally. That’s sensible.

            But saying that there is NO reasonable reason to own a gun isn’t sensible.

        • Walter Carpenter :

          “So, in “the real world” you inhabit, it is impossible for someone to accidentally kill someone using a firearm?”

          Dave, the shooters who shot at me and my friends that night did not do it by accident. They did it on purpose. The shooter who killed my friend with a semi-automatic weapon did not do it by accident. He did it with deliberate intent. Argue is as you might, but in the real world that we inhabit this is what happens. Neither incident here was an accident. While many of the 30,000 or so Americans who die annually due to gun violence are, of course, accidents, or deliberate as in suicides, many others are on purpose. This is something which cannot be denied as our rather moribund statistics of gun deaths show.

          • Walter Carpenter :

            “The firearms do not cause the killing even if killers use firearms.”

            Stuart, if you say we are getting hysterical, you are getting insane. Guns in the hands of people do harm to other people. While the gun itself is an inanimate object it is a tool. Without this tool, and the easy availability and the largely unregulated manner in which to procure it, all, or most of our American brothers and sisters below here would still be alive.

            http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

          • Walter, unless I am terribly misinformed, my understanding is that a firearm actually requires a human to make a conscious decision to pull the trigger. It is possible that guns have been sneaking out at night and going on rampages, but, it seems like I would have heard something about this if it were really happening.

            You have a better chance of being beaten to death, stabbed or shot with a handgun that you do of being shot with a semi-automatic rifle of any sort.

            I notice no one has even tried to respond to my original post above.

          • Jed guertin :

            Walter,

            You’re not being hysterical. Look up Alex Jones and Guns on Youtube, sadly, this is probably one of the sources of Mark’s information.

            Talk about hysterical!

          • David Bell :

            Mark,

            Unless I am terribly misinformed, the only reason one own a gun is to kill people.

            When I see some use for a gun other than killing, your analogies will be valid.

    • Well said Stuart!!!!!! :-)

    • “Walter,
      You’re not being hysterical. Look up Alex Jones and Guns on Youtube, sadly, this is probably one of the sources of Mark’s information.
      Talk about hysterical!”
      Jeb, refusing to accept facts, well documented ones at that, which you don’t like, or do not support your world-view is childish. I am not sure who Alex Jones is, but I suspect he is some conservative nitwit wearing bible blinders. The sources of my information are, The FBI – This report by the congressional research service: Gun Control Legislation William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy November 14, 2012, Time.com and Mother Jones Magazine.
      The numbers and facts I am citing are very easy to confirm, you just have to be willing to accept that your information may be incorrect and put a tiny bit of effort into doing some research. A person who is interested in real solutions to problems, does not refuse to look at or accept information that tends to contradict that person’s opinions and world view.
      “Mark,
      Unless I am terribly misinformed, the only reason one own a gun is to kill people.
      When I see some use for a gun other than killing, your analogies will be valid.”

      David, hunting, skeet shooting, target shooting, biathlon, protection from predators in the wilderness, self-defense.
      Boys, this ends your trip to the woodshed. :-)

      • David Bell :

        Mark,

        Once again you fail to grasp the irony.

        When you make up some inane none sense about guns going out on rampages, don’t be too shocked when someone counters with another equally simplistic argument.

        Guns are for killing things.

        When you can show me some actual practical use for a gun other than this, you will have a point about knives or cars causing more deaths.

        But I suppose someone who lives in a world where we should all be able to easily purchase cheaply made assault weapons designed specifically to make it easier to kill large numbers of people without even needing to aim; your simplistic arguments and poor analogies constitute “a trip to the woodshed”.

        • David,
          I can’t help but wonder if you really read my post and bothered to check the statistics I cited.

          “When you make up some inane none sense about guns going out on rampages, don’t be too shocked when someone counters with another equally simplistic argument.”

          Based on the poor grammar and spelling I am going to make a guess that you are unfamiliar with hyperbole. This is when a person makes a point about a concept or idea using an exaggerated or extreme example. Yes, guns are designed for killing. It is also a FACT that a gun requires a human to pull the trigger. If I am wrong, show me an example.

          “When you can show me some actual practical use for a gun other than this, you will have a point about knives or cars causing more deaths.”
          First, I did not mention cars. I am not sure where you are getting this. What I did do, was make a factual statement about the likelihood of an individual being stabbed with a knife or shot with a handgun vs the likelihood of being shot with a rifle of any type. That statement was, that you are far more likely to be shot with a handgun or stabbed than shot with a rifle. I am making this statement based on the information published by the FBI in their 2011 crime statistics. The logic behind this statement, is as follows. In 2011 there were 12,664 murders in the United States. 6,220 of these were committed with handguns, 1,694 were committed using knives and 323 were committed using a rifle. Hence, based on these numbers, there exists a greater likelihood of being stabbed or shot with a handgun vs being shot with a rifle. So, as you see, “My point” about knives is actually just a factual statement reflecting the available statistical data. Here is a link to the FBI data: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-11
          1) skeet shooting
          2) target practice
          3) biathalon
          4) hunting
          5) crime deterrent
          6) preservation of a family heirloom or historical object

          ‘But I suppose someone who lives in a world where we should all be able to easily purchase cheaply made assault weapons designed specifically to make it easier to kill large numbers of people without even needing to aim; your simplistic arguments and poor analogies constitute “a trip to the woodshed”.’

          David, you are obviously not understanding what I have been posting. Is english your second language? What I have been saying, based on actual numbers collected by our government, is that we should be looking at hand guns. If you really think an AR-15 is made to kill large numbers of people without aiming, than you are obviously intellectually challenged or just don’t have any kind of realistic understanding of the subject being discussed.

          I realize it is difficult to be confronted with statistical information which contradicts one’s worldview. That being said, responding by irrationally lashing out is just childish. What you are experiencing is called “cognitive dissonance”

          The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognition, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements. It is the distressing mental state that people feel when they “find themselves doing things that don’t fit with what they know, or having opinions that do not fit with other opinions they hold.” A key assumption is that people want their expectations to meet reality, creating a sense of equilibrium. Likewise, another assumption is that a person will avoid situations or information sources that give rise to feelings of uneasiness, or dissonance.

          It is almost impossible to purchase an actual assault weapon in the USA without being very very very wealthy. One can purchase a semi-automatic rifle that looks like a military rifle for about $1000. In my book, this is not cheap.

          Let me finish with this. I have no problems with gun control. I just have a problem with stupid legislation that sounds great and does nothing to address the problem. If the problem is gun violence and 97.5% of this happens with pistols, it strikes me that logically one would focus on the main cause of the problem. You have not offered an intelligent response to any of the information I have offered aside from belittling me and being rude. Sadly, this seems to be the response by the extremist on both sides of this issue when confronted with actual factual information based on real numbers. Again, I am not advocating cheap and plentiful assault weapons, I am advocating intelligent solutions to the actual problem.

          • David Bell :

            Mark,

            As this conversation is getting boring, this will be my last post, and unlike you I actually mean what I say.

            “Yes, guns are designed for killing.”

            Good to see you finally admit this. Now while it would be nice if you could acknowledge that putting weapons whose purpose is to kill in the same category as a knife or car is absurd, I won’t hold my breath.

            “What I did do, was make a factual statement about the likelihood of an individual being stabbed with a knife or shot with a handgun vs the likelihood of being shot with a rifle of any type.”

            No, what you did do was make a dishonest analogy between a knife, which is a tool and a gun which is a weapons whose purpose is to kill.

            Your desperate attempts to claim a knife is in the same category as a gun is simply evidence of your need to make false analogies to justify your beliefs.

            While you insist “If you really think an AR-15 is made to kill large numbers of people without aiming, than you are obviously intellectually challenged or just don’t have any kind of realistic understanding of the subject being discussed.” The facts simply do not agree with you.

            As has been pointed out by another commenter, “Lanza, in closed quarters, had a kill ratio of 1 in 6. No aiming involved. JUST POINT AND SHOOT,”

            If you believe this is not evidence that the guns available to the public can kill a large number of people in a short time span without the need for much accuracy on the shooters part, then I am afraid it is you who is intellectually challenged.

            Similarly, you are actually guilty of the cognitive dissonance you accuse me of. You claim “It is almost impossible to purchase an actual assault weapon in the USA without being very very very wealthy. One can purchase a semi-automatic rifle that looks like a military rifle for about $1000. In my book, this is not cheap.”

            If you believe a cost of $1,000 is so high that it makes the purchase of such a weapon “almost impossible”, you have poor grasp of the facts. Most middle class americans do in fact have a thousand dollars in the bank. We are talking about the mindset of a person willing to either die or spend the rest of their life in jail, this is not a person who is overly concerned with retirement funds or the state of their credit rating.

            Clearly, it is in fact quite possible to purchase an assault weapon in the US without being very wealthy, let alone “very very very wealthy”.

            I have trouble believing you genuinely think this price tag is going to prevent a shooting from occurring.

            Let me finish off by saying that if you truly believe your misleading claims and belittling commentary is polite, then you are part of the extremism you claim to oppose.

    • The velocity of a 5.56 round from an AR-15 id between 3600 and 4200 feet per second. The variation has to do with the size of the actual bullet (the projectile part of the round the weapon fires) and the powder load in the round.

  21. Mike Barone :

    As I have stated in a previous post on another page. Our law enforcement response to a 911 call is, if even a minute later, to late to help with your immediate emergency. Any emergency! In their best effort to help “having every intention to help you” and be there for you, it is with their personal regret as they only have an investigation of the crime as a tool to help.

    We learn first aid, emergency care, fire prevention, driver safety, disaster preparedness and etc. to save ourselves as disasters arise or should have prepared. It is our responsibility to be proactive while we pray our law enforcement can get to us safely to help where we called and should have been helping ourselves stay safe.
    We are are the first and most important party of any emergency and it is disingenuous of anyone to expect the impossible from or government.

    Laws are for law abiding citizens who should demand enforcement by our elected legislative officials and stop making excuses for criminals and enforce red line justice to prevent recidivism in our court systems and if they fail us in that lawful enforcement, it is our obligation to replace them with officials who will.
    Stand up and protect your selves, its your responsibility, protect your self against political correctness and demand personal responsibility from each of us first, then compassion for the truly un able amongst us.

    People are lacking necessities of survival because we as a society have failed to do the hard work in teaching social societal self reliance an personal responsibility and disabled good families and people to become defendant upon willing government” do gooders,” “the Experiment Has Failed” fix it! With sound education starting at the local level grade school with follow through, not from Washington.
    Just saying,
    Mike

  22. walter carpenter :

    “Making America safer requires changing social policy.”

    Right on, Dave. I agree. This would involve raising taxes, even on the rich, and we cannot have that, god forbid. Sadly, it takes one to do the other.

  23. ALEX BARNHAM :

    WANTED -AMERICANS -DEAD OR ALIVE – THOU SHALT KILL ONE ANOTHER AS IT IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY

  24. Jed guertin :

    Adam Lanza chose his weapons and magazines for the Newtown killing of 20 elementary school children and 6 adults with care.

    He went to the school armed with 10 (count them 10) 30 (thirty) round magazines. He left his 10 round magazines at home. Not enough killing power I guess. He also had 2 pistols and a shotgun. The shotgun he left in the car. And the pistols, as best as I can gather was used once, on himself.

    The police count was 154 shots in less than 5 minutes, accounting for walking, loading, and available targets, that’s probably 40+ rounds per minute. That’s one person killed for every six shots. This was a point and shoot situation, no aiming required. And with the Bushmaster, no aiming was necessary. In fact, you can almost do the same blindfolded if you’re in a crowd. No guilt at seeing a child die. Just point, shoot and move on.

    Any person with a gun can kill another person, the type gun Lanza used simply allow him the ABILITY to kill a lot of people easily and quickly. At a minimum, 50% of those deaths were directly caused by the gun Lanza was using.

    And that’s 50% too many.

    N.B. Just think what the death count would have been if the Aurora shooter’s 100 round magazine hadn’t jammed at 30 rounds.

  25. Walter Carpenter :

    “You’re not being hysterical. Look up Alex Jones and Guns on Youtube.”

    Jed, thanks much for the tip. Appreciate it. I think I will do that.

    “You have a better chance of being beaten to death, stabbed or shot with a handgun that you do of being shot with a semi-automatic rifle of any sort.”

    Mark, I would like to see some statistics on this to back up what you said. Whatever the case, I do know that I would have a much better chance of surviving the first two than I would with a semi or a handgun. I survived once; the next time I may not be so lucky. And it could easily happen again, in Vermont or anywhere else, despite your reassurances here. The thing is, Mark, is that you never know when it is coming until it has already passed and the results are in.

    • Walter here ya go:
      The FBI website has extensive crime stats. That is one fantastic source,I included a link for you and a number of others.

      Here are some links:
      http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#17

      http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/violent_crime/murder_homicide.html

      This report by the congressional research service:Gun Control Legislation William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy November 14, 2012

      http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map

      http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2011-crime-statistics

      http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

      As you can these are all bastions of the NRA, especially Mother Jones. :-) (yes, that’s snark)

      • Michael, if you actually read my other posts, you would understand that my point is we don’t know enough about the problem to craft intelligent legislation because our society apparently decided to defund and stop any studies of gun violence.

        Please explain how the other links and stats are misleading.

        Again, I don’t have a problem with gun control, just stupid gun control that will not impact gun violence in a meaningful way. Handguns are used in 97.5% of all firearms homicides. Yet, we want to ban assault weapons? How is this logical. Again, I never said gun control was a problem. I have been saying stupid legislation that does nothing to address the problem is foolish.

        Again, 97.5% why are we not talking about handguns? What about this is so hard to understand?

    • “Mark, I would like to see some statistics on this to back up what you said. Whatever the case, I do know that I would have a much better chance of surviving the first two than I would with a semi or a handgun. I survived once; the next time I may not be so lucky. And it could easily happen again, in Vermont or anywhere else, despite your reassurances here. The thing is, Mark, is that you never know when it is coming until it has already passed and the results are in.”

      Walter, sadly, we live in a very dangerous world, in a dangerous solar system in a dangerous galaxy in a dangerous universe. Being fairly pragmatic about these things, I tend to be more concerned about other drivers than I am about the random wack-a-doo going on a shooting spree. There have been 62 mass shootings in the USA since 1983, including Sandy Hook, with a total of 480ish killed (the Mother Jones link has the actual number). Based on this, you have a far better chance of being accidentally killed by a cop, than you do in a mass shooting. Cops kill an average of 650 completely innocent, by “accident” people each year.

      If it were me, I’d be way more worried about the cops than another Adam Lanza.

  26. Christian Noll :

    Walter Carpenter nice work, almost one hundred comments for a vtdigger Op-Ed must be a record. Well done Walter.

  27. Walter Carpenter :

    “Walter Carpenter nice work, almost one hundred comments for a vtdigger Op-Ed must be a record. Well done Walter.”

    Thanks much, Christian. While I have not tried to beat or set any records for commentaries here on the digger forums, I am glad the editorial got others thinking and responding to such a degree as they have:)

    Mark:

    I confess that the reason you posted these stats is a bit mystifying. The Mother Jones one is heartrending and does not do anything to promote the causes of the NRA, which may have been the reason for your little snark there. I was not able to go through all the links due to time constraints. I did pick out a couple things at random which are very little to be proud of:

    From the FBI stats:

    “Nationwide in 2011, there were an estimated 1,203,564 violent crimes.”

    Another from the FBI stats you offered. I noticed the word injuries rather than fatality. As you said that one has a better chance being beaten to death or something than from dying at the hands of a handgun or a semi, this is a little problematic to that point.

    “However, non-fatal gun injuries from assaults increased last year for the third straight year, and that rate is the highest since 2008.”

    • Walter, if you think my point is to support the cause of the NRA, you are not paying attention to what I am saying.

      • Walter Carpenter :

        Exactly what are you saying?

  28. Walter Carpenter :

    “Sandy Hook, with a total of 480ish killed (the Mother Jones link has the actual number). Based on this, you have a far better chance of being accidentally killed by a cop, than you do in a mass shooting. Cops kill an average of 650 completely innocent, by “accident” people each year.”

    Mark, the folks who let fly at me and my friends that night were not police. They were just random shooters. Statistics like what you put above here, and picking hairs over whether you have a greater or lesser number for this or that style of shooting, do not count when you are the one ducking the bullets. I have a far greater chance of being blasted by a random shooter such as they tried to do than by a cop. And one does not have to be in a mass shooting to become one of the statistics. I have posted these up here before, but here they are again. Rather than just mass shootings, which are horrific, and grab the headlines, more are on a lesser scale. The shooting I was nearly a victim of never even made the headlines.

    http://www.bradycenter.org/facts

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

  29. Patrick Cashman :

    “The shooting I was nearly a victim of never even made the headlines.”

    Enough, for the love of god. I personally think everyone here has been immensely polite about this particular line. It’s shady, sounds a lot like someone telling stories, yet they chose to take the high road because by and large they are good people. Regrettably I have a hard time finding the onramp to the high road so please let me be the first to say; no, Walter, you weren’t. You are telling stories and should stop.
    Now if this were simply a matter of someone telling unlikely personal exploits or bar lies I would have no particular problem with that. I would merely tune it out and carry on. But somehow you have made this supposed incident, which you have gone to great lengths in this string and another on this site to insist can’t be verified, into the centerpiece of your argument. And now you have the temerity to argue that the fact your allegation cannot be verified somehow bolsters your argument. Let’s say that again; the very fact that your alleged experience cannot be verified, is somehow supposed to emphasize your point. It boggles the mind.

    Now I’m sure there are those who would say “prove it didn’t happen”. To which I would reply that I never made the experience of being shot at as a critical component of having an opinon in this matter. Walter did. He suddenly chose to trot out this particular yarn which appears to be a flashback to an evening spent watching “The Deer Hunter” and “Dead Presidents” back to back, perhaps with some bad curry thrown in the mix, to somehow bolster his own opinion. That would indicate to me that the burden is on Walter to demonstrate that this event, which he proposes bolsters his argument, is something more than a figment of his vivid imagination.

    To steal a valid yardstick from a younger generation Walter; pics or it didn’t happen.

    • Walter Carpenter :

      “The blindingly obvious point Walter was making is that these types of shootings are common enough that they do not always, or perhaps even often, make the papers.”

      Michael, right on. You hit it perfectly. How many of the 30,000 or so annual gun deaths make the papers? Many do, for sure, the more sensational ones by the national media, and local incidents in local media, but a good many of these shootings are so common and go on without any notice from the local or national media at all, except, perhaps, for an obituary.

      “You are telling stories and should stop.
      Now if this were simply a matter of someone telling unlikely personal exploits or bar lies.”

      LOL, Patrick. Nice try. You are the one who should stop before you perjure yourself in those bar lies.

      • Patrick Cashman :

        Walter,
        So… nothing then?
        You make this alleged incident the centerpoint of your argument.
        You seem to believe it gives you some moral authority or critical perspective on this topic.
        This alleged incident is so central to your position you somehow found it necessary to trot it out again in the comments, outside of the original column, an additinal nine times by my count.
        Yet you provide nothing that would support this (conveniently timed) tale, and insist its lack of verification in some way supports your position.

        You are telling stories Walter. You should stop.

  30. Charles Samsonow :

    Interesting to see how many people stay up in the wee hours – to answer this stuff. Just amazing .
    You are absolutely correct Walter – with the police carnage – related to innocent people – when they do it – it doesn’t mean anything – remember all the idiot lawyers and judges will – remind you – they are saving your life.
    But if you look at a cop wrong – or video tape them – or what ever else stupid stuff they can conjure up – you broke the law ! that is jail time and will be a criminal from that day forth . While they all expunge their hypocritical past transgressions. This problem will never be solved without violence – ask any cop – diplomacy only goes so far – then it has to be the – STICK !
    Real criminals do what they want – wether they wear a badge or not – and the rest of us will suffer – time tells all – and so has history.
    The LORD ! himself has said – “there is nothing new under the sun” – and never will be till he sets his foot down here.
    Great topic
    C

  31. SOME SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE:

    1. Pass state laws that mirror the federal law prohibiting violent convicted felons from possessing firearms. This is a no brainer.

    2. Background checks.

    3. Increased funding for totally rebuilding the “community mental health system.”

  32. We really need to at least pass a background check bill. It is a shame that the bill got blocked in the senate. The NRA has a near stranglehold on the republican party. When are things gonna change?

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