Archive for Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vigil held to promote gun control

April 13, 2013


A dozen local residents with the group Organizing for Action held a candlelight vigil for the victims of gun violence Saturday evening in front of Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.

Vigil organizer Jan Pool said the group hopes to bring attention to gun violence in America and the need for tougher gun control.

Group members discussed violence, sang and related personal experiences during the demonstration.

According to its website, Organizing for Action is ”a nonprofit organization established to support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012.”


chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh look. The original comment is gone. The video looks silly out of context. A certain part of a foot decided to call everyone commies. For the record, commies prefer Kalashnikovs.

Curveball 5 years, 2 months ago

Did they have any "Gun Free Zone" signs to protect them?

arch007bak 5 years, 2 months ago

Many of the guns used in crimes in Chicago are brought in from outside the city and maybe the state at least according to friends I have that live there and hear the news more directly than we do.

I would like to know why some think it isn't unconstitutional to have background checks at gun stores but it is at gun shows and with Internet sales.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 2 months ago

The Bill of Rights is very clear. The listed amendments are freedoms for the people, not restrictions on the people. The listed freedoms (amendments) are RESTRICTIONS on the federal government. They are areas at the federal government LEVEL, where no law may prevent or limit these freedoms. What Congress is doing now with gun control is a direct violation of the Constitution.

voevoda 5 years, 2 months ago

You are wrong about the Constitution, In_God. This is what Justice Antonin Scalia had to say on the topic. He wrote this in the majority opinion in the Heller case--that is, the Supreme Court case that serves as the basis for claims that the right to bear arms rests in individuals rather than in the "well regulated Militia" as stated in the first phrase of the Second Amendment:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 2 months ago

Clearly, Judge Scalia did not read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights when he made his unconstitutional decision. A Judge's decision does not have the authority to change the Constitution and can not alter an amendment. It takes Congress and 3/4 of the States to ratify a change to an amendment. He can only expound on what it already says. He can not make new law. The amendments are listed freedoms and restrictions on the federal government, which would include a restriction on Judge Scalia. Our Rights do not come from Judge Scalia.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

Most of that gun crimes in Chicago would have happened with or without gun control, because they were illegally owned by gangs anyway. And guess what! The murder rate has dropped. Probably because whatever gang war was going on has been resolved or the surviving members have decided they want to live. The city has also decided to pour money into programs that give kids something other to do than join a gang. You know, those programs that our governor has cut drastically.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 2 months ago

The real losers are the people killed each year due to gun violence, the additional sixty plus thousand who are wounded by gun violence, and the thousands upon thousands of parents, brothers and sisters, friends, children left to attempt to go on with their lives.

For those of you who were not among the dozen of us there last night, there is a difference between gun control and gun violence. We aren't trying to take anything from you, we're trying to give you something back. The ability to go to a movie or out to dinner without having to make an exit plan should a shooter with an automatic or semi automatic weapon appear.

And for clarity - there were at least a couple of republicans present last night. Caring about America the Insane's future is a bipartisan effort.

Additional clarity, very few people with brain illness commit murder. Are there statistics about how many people with high blood pressure or diabetes commit murder? We need to stop grouping people by political party and illness for starts. Once we begin to do that, maybe all violence will dwindle.

Liberty275 5 years, 2 months ago

"We aren't trying to take anything from you"

That's just as well. As long as the house is republican and you don't have 60 senators, you can't do it anyway. Have fun chanting though.

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps you don't want to take anything away, but others do. NY and CT are taking guns away so why should we believe you, like other gun control advocates don't want to do the same?

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

Ronda - want to make a difference, then put people with mental illness into the background check database and prohibit them from buying guns.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

Good idea, but the NRA doesn't support this.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 2 months ago

Rhonda, Registered gun owners RARELY commit crimes. Violent gun crimes are typically committed by people who are not allowed to have guns in the first place. So obviously more gun control is needed because people who are not supposed to have guns clearly listen to law makers. Where in this current plan by Obama does it have a plan to get guns out of criminals hands? It doesn't.

Fully automatic weapons have been illegal for years (unless you have a permit). Most weapons now are semi-automatic. Some people have no clue what the difference is. There is nothing wromg with owning a semi-automatic glock or rifle. NOTHING. I am all for getting guns out of criminals hands, this new bill does nothing to do that. I am a gun owner and wouod support a bill that accomplished something but smaller mags and background checks wont get guns away from criminals.

Janis Pool 5 years, 2 months ago

Controlling violence by guns is vastly different than controlling guns. And mental health is a piece of it. But only a piece. So is the culture of power and hate. I believe the "two sides' can come together and make this country safe. But it starts by coming together. Last night, Republicans and Democrats did just that.

ChuckFInster 5 years, 2 months ago

I would like to see this group hold a spoon control vigil. Obesity in our society kills many more then guns. Ban spoons, they make you fat.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

The difference is that people can control their obesity, and if they don't their death is their own fault. It's really hard to control someone shooting you. Your analogy is just a smoke screen.

ChuckFInster 5 years, 2 months ago

Point is, don't blame the equipment for operators errors

Ronda Miller 5 years, 2 months ago

Fred, I agree with your suggestion - then again that check shouldn't be just for people with health issues but former criminals too. Most of the murderers won't be stopped via checks though. That doesn't mean we should've stop those we can. And I absolutely agree we need health care for all - not only those with brain (it's an organ folks!) problems but fit ALL.

There are mental health vigils. Get out more!

Larry, honestly I do find it odd that the stats are low in deeming that people with brain dysfunction (it's an organ, folks), commit few of the homocides, read them for yourself, because I think anyone who kills anything has got something wrong going on. I appreciate their are so called crimes of passion - aren't these also referred to as temporary insanity?

Gun control, back ground checks, better health care for ALL, no semi automatic weapons, social conscious are all factors. it. with so many issues. isn't as clearly defined as some would have it.

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

See Ronda, you and I can do something that many of our elected leaders can't do- come from opposite sides of an issue and find common ground.

I support harsher punishments for criminals that are legally prohibited from owning a gun who try to buy one or possess one. Kansas has done a good job of prosecuting felons caught with guns. Other states like IL have not. More emphasis should be put on enforcing current laws and punishing people who violate gun laws.

I do disagree with the no semi- automatics. You'd ban lots of hunting guns but more importantly guns that are necessary to self defense. Think about it, if what Biden says about a double barrel shot gun being the best self defense weapon wouldn't law enforcement use them instead of semi automatic weapons?

Plus this contradicts your previous statement where you said you don't want to take any of our guns.

Bob Burton 5 years, 2 months ago

Lets put the online gun sales questin to bed. If you buy a gun online the people that are selling it will need to know a gun dealer that is close to where you live so that he can send the gun to that dealer. The dealer in question may not do that type of sale. You then have to find another dealer. Once you have a dealer, the seller will ship the gun to your dealer. You then have to go in and fill out a ATF&E 4473 form for the dealer so that he can run a background check on you. If you pass and pay the dealer his fee for handling the sale you will get your gun. If you fail the background check, you are most likely now a felon that is subject to arrest. So where is the loophole for online sales in the backgroung check law?

coebam 5 years, 2 months ago

SWK what the online gun sale concern is there are websites like that put individuals in touch with each other, comparable to a craigslist but for guns only. There are no background checks because it is a transaction between to individuals, not a licensed firearms dealer.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 2 months ago

That is correct. All the expert shooters I know use a 6 shooter except that I think they are a little better than 50%. I would absolutely trust any of them when it comes to gun safety. You cannot lump law abiding citizens with street thugs.

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

Where are you guys getting your information about expert shooters using six shooters? There are thousands of expert shooters using semi-automatics recreationally, in shooting competitions and for law enforcement. The weapon of choice for law enforcement is not a six shooter but a semi- automatic high capacity pistol.

I can hit the target 100% of the time with my semi-auto at 10 feet. I had to shoot further than that for my CCW and didn't miss once.

Centerville 5 years, 2 months ago

SouthWestKs: thank you for bringing a fact into the discussion. Even though it does kind of take the edge off the righteous indignation high. If you want to continue, please explain 'automatic' weapons. Then, 'assault' weapons. My favorite politician this week is that doofus in Colorado whose claim to fame is her advocacy for gun magazines that hold fewer bullets. She (and her staff, it turns out) think that bullets come pre-packaged in magazines and that the magazine is discarded after the bullets are shot. Oh, and she's a Democrat congresswoman...who specializes in trying to dictate legislation about magazines.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

Is there any NRA member out there that is willing to support confiscating guns when a person exhibits scary behavior? For instance the guy who killed the bus driver and kidnapped the little boy had several complaints against him. What if when the first complaint came in the police had a right to temporarily confiscate his guns until he was cleared mentally? Yes, he could have gone out and bought some guns illegally, but he would have been distracted for awhile, and might not have used his legally owned guns to kill an innocent bus driver. Surely there were people who questioned a mother teaching her son, who appeared to be anti-social, to shoot. Even if they had made a complaint, there was nothing anyone could do to confiscate the guns. And how many of you out there would have ever said anything anyway. I mean crazy people should own guns too, it's their right. Isn't that what the NRA stands for?

coebam 5 years, 2 months ago

Smitty - did this Bert Nash client actually have a firearm or did he just make a threat? Making a threat of that nature is aggrivated assault I'm pretty sure. Just having a felony conviction on his record voids him from legally owning a firearm. he should have been arrested on the spot.

jjt 5 years, 2 months ago

Assault weapons by their very nature are what they are called, weapons for assault. I do not see a problem with shotguns riffles pistols etc for recreation. Thus if one owns an assault weapon one would surely own it with the intention of assaulting someone at some point which would be illegal, thus why would one worry about a ban on them? Or what about the folk who want to own a machine gun for their own protection this would be a Defense weapon.
Now clearly as we all know there is a vast difference between an assault weapon and a defense weapon. Just because they look the same, weigh the same, take the same rounds, work the same, does not mean they are the same.

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

Only the gun control crowd calls them assault weapons. How do you define an assault weapon that has any real meaning and doesn't include all weapons?

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 2 months ago

See how how quickly the conversation moves from background checks to confiscating guns.

You cannot trust these people.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 2 months ago

Houston had 207 murders in 2012... Chicago had nearly 3x that.... Conclusion is obvious, cold weather causes murders... Gun owners don't promote violence

Prairielander 5 years, 2 months ago

Uh-oh. Twelve people want tougher gun laws. I better run out quick and buy some more guns.

EMR 5 years, 2 months ago

Gun Control: When you hit what you were aiming at.

BlackVelvet 5 years, 2 months ago

It would seem to me that if banning certain types of guns would result in less crime, then why not just BAN CRIME?? Wouldn't that be easier??

David Reynolds 5 years, 2 months ago

I find the gun control debate very confusing morally. On the one hand we have the tragic killings in Connecticut which inspired the current clamor to restrict access to guns or just gun control in general. Proponents say: it is only back ground checks who should argue with that?

Yet we have the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell from Philadelphia where police found what a grand jury report called a “baby charnel house” where illegal and late term abortions were performed under dangerous conditions. There is no public outcry against this situation. Since Roe V Wade approximately 53 million children have been aborted, some under the conditions mentioned above, yet no out cry.

There is no public outcry to restrict the scalpels, or other devices, or medications that cause these deaths and dangerous conditions for women. Not to mention the innocent lives that are taken some of which occur after birth.

Guns are legal and even encoded in our constitution; scalpels, & medications are also legal...Where is the balance?

If a bomb is set off that killed 53 million people all at once we would be going to war. Yet because we abort our children in clinics and charnel houses a few at a time we ignore this atrocity. We justify it because the Supreme Court said the citizens of the USA have a "Right to Privacy". Did the Supreme Court say we had a right to abort 1/6th the population of the USA?

So before anyone goes and expounds poetically about gun registration or any other method of gun access/control, ask ourselves "Where are our priorities really"? Can we really justify gun control without controlling the means, methods, conditions & reasons that facilitate abortions?

I do not support the needless taking of life under any circumstances, but given our current debate, are guns worse than abortions? Where is the moral balance in this complex situation?

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

"There is no public outcry to restrict the scalpels, or other devices, or medications that cause these deaths and dangerous conditions for women. Not to mention the innocent lives that are taken some of which occur after birth."

You're kidding right?

voevoda 5 years, 2 months ago

citizen1, here's one opinion about the guns/abortion comparison:

Many citizens keep firearms to defend their homes. If an intruder enters, they want to be able to legally use deadly force, if necessary, to defend themselves, their families, and their abode.

When women seek abortions, they are defending their own most personal "home"--their body--from an unwelcome and possibly dangerous intruder.

We don't tell persons who use a gun to protect their homes that instead they are legally obligated to take the intruder into their family for the next 18 years at their own risk and expense. So we shouldn't demand that women do this with the intruder in their bodies.

You can argue that morally it is much better not to use deadly force to expel the intruder in either case. If the intruder hasn't entered violently and doesn't present a risk to the safety and well-being of the "home," it would be morally superior not to take a life, in my opinion. But my definition of "safety" and "well-being" might not be someone else's, and I would hesitate to second-guess the decision of someone actually in that situation, much less demand that he or she do what I think is best.

Everything that is immoral need not--and often should not--be illegal. Only three out of the Ten Commandments are actually a violation of US law, and US actually protects activities that violate those seven commandments.

David Reynolds 5 years, 2 months ago

Well voevoda I fundamentally disagree with your argument regarding :" ...they are defending their own most personal "home"--their body--from an unwelcome and possibly dangerous intruder". This implies that there have been over 53million rapes since Roe V Wade, possibly many multiples of those considering there are only certain times of the month a women can get pregnant.

You can decide how all these pregnancies happened but one thought is that abortion is used as contraception. If abortion is occurring because of promiscuity this is not a good motive for abortion.

My point really is about the contradiction between the demand for "gun control" & the "silence on the aborting of innocents".

How can one demand gun control and not abortion control?

Centerville 5 years, 2 months ago

Citizen, timely that you should mention Gosnell - sorry that anyone who relies on the LJW for mass murder news knows nothing of this. As someone said "If he'd killed those children with a rifle, it would be front page everywhere." I think death count is somewhere around 900 X Sandy Hook - and he didn't even get a party at Cedar Crest.

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 2 months ago

I think I might throw up after reading that article.

Nikonman 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually I think Ronda Miller put up a very well written post and makes good points. Mental health is the key here. Not being an attorney, I would have to guess tha the problem with bringing mental health records into the background checks is the Medical Privacy Act. How do you get around that? Have you noticed in the past few years how many "privacy" forms you have to fill out at the hospital, pharmacy and doctor's office? You also no longer (or rarely) see condition updates in the paper after a terrible accident. A hospital spokesperson will only say he or she is still in the hospital. Mental health is an especially sensitive issue and there are probably lots of fine people undergoing counseling or treatment that pose no threat to anyone. If mental health records are part of the bacground check, who else has access to the information? Employers, Teachers, the gun store?

Brock Masters 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, but isn't it worth it if just one child can be saved by doing away with a mentally ill person's privacy.

voevoda 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually, Hitler did not prohibit private ownership of firearms by German citizens, and liberalized earlier stricter gun laws. It was persons who were not entitled under Nazi laws to be citizens who were forbidden to own firearms.

Under Stalin, the army was armed, and all men were liable for military service. So lots of Soviets had access to firearms. In the summer of 1991, when hardliners tried to stage a coup and ordered the military to back them, instead, the army (and police) did not. Troops went out into the streets of Moscow, as ordered, but without ammunition, and they assured the populace that they would not attack them. The people brought down the communist government, there and in many other countries of Eastern Europe, without firearms.

So, Gotland, your assumption that totalitarian rulers disarm the population and only an armed population can protect against tyranny his historically false.

David Reynolds 5 years, 2 months ago

According to the Weimar Republic 1928 Law on Firearms & Ammunition, firearms acquisition or carrying permits were "only to be granted to persons of undoubted reliability, and—in the case of a firearms carry permit—only if a demonstration of need is set forth." The Nazi Weapons Law of March 18, 1938 was very similar in structure and wording, but relaxed gun control requirements for the general population. However, it prohibited manufacturing of firearms and ammunition by Jews. Shortly thereafter, in the additional Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons of November 11, 1938, Jews were forbidden from possession of any weapons at all. On November 9. 1938 , the New York Times reported that "The Berlin Police President, Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, announced that as a result of a police activity in the last few weeks, the entire Jewish population of Berlin had been 'disarmed' with the confiscation of 2,569 hand weapons, 1,702 firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition." Holocaust survivor Theodore Haas, when asked "Some concentration camp survivors are opposed to gun ownership. What message would you like to share with them?," replied: "I would like to say, 'You cowards; you gun haters, you don't deserve to live in America. Go live in the Soviet Union, if you love gun control so damn much.' It was the stupidity of these naive fools that aided and abetted Hitler’s goons and thugs. Anti-gun ownership Holocaust survivors insult the memories of all those that needlessly perished for lack of being able to adequately defend themselves."

kernal 5 years, 2 months ago

The shooting at the NRA 500 NASCAR race today...

Ronda Miller 5 years, 2 months ago

Good discussion everyone. That's generally the first step towards reaching an agreement.

Fred_mertz, I don't know that we are coming from opposing sides. When I said I don't want to take your guns, I wasn't referring to all guns. And it was my personal statement. Truly there are people on far left and right sides. It isn't about an all or nothing in my mind. Just sensible restrictions, laws, health care for AlL, preventative measures, societal awareness and responsibility.

Reality_check, I agree that registered gun owners are not responsible for committing most crimes - it, registration, helps make people more accountable. That stat may change once all gun owners are registered. Registration isn't the end but a beginning. It also helps track a stolen or gift assist in finding criminals.

Larry, I disagree that this issue has come to the front in response to the ill person who committed the mass murders in Sandyhook. I think it's more about honoring lives of tiny bodies riddled with bullets. People have been fighting for these same changes for many years - our children being shot down has sickened a nation.

And, Larry, I grew up on a farm in NW Kansas. My grandfather didn't have a semi or automatic weapon. He shot coyotes for a couple of bucks for their ears, sometimes a rattlesnake, although my grandmother could use a mean hoe, and sometimes he put an injured animal - wild or tame - out if its misery.

I've shot guns for decades, am a former PD and enjoy target practice whenever I get the chance.

kawrivercrow 5 years, 2 months ago

If you are former PD, here is no way you can say 'get rid of semi-automatics' and not be aware of the way at all.

The overwhelming majority of firearms sold today are semi-auto. I don't care what your grandfather had. Living in the past like that suggests a poor grasp on reality. My grandfather actually had a horse-drawn wagon when he was young. Ironically, he bought me a semi-automatic 22 cal. rifle for my 12th birthday, nearly 4 decades ago.

Are you thinking you can just confiscate all the pre-existing semi-autos out there or just outlaw them so only outlaws will have them?

Seriously, what are you thinking?

coebam 5 years, 2 months ago

"Registration isn't the end but a beginning. It also helps track a stolen or gift assist in finding criminals."

Ronda - what criminal is going to register their gun and then use it in a crime? A national gun registration is absolutely unenforceable. Simply because the registration would not affect the guns the registration was created to control in the first place. Why can't people understand the bad guys do not care what laws are in place?????

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

All the arguments have been made many times, so I have only this to say.

The posts of many of the extreme anti-gun control people do give one pause. Everyone seems to think they are perfectly trained and could bring down the sniper, they could/would never make a mistake and shoot an innocent person and no one could ever steal their arms. The very arrogance and the fact that so many gun owners do make mistakes does not give me cause to trust you, in fact quite the opposite.

Wayne LaPierre comes across as a crazy person and those who parrot him do the same.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Reading comprehension much? Or just purposely twisting my words and putting words in my mouth so you can attack me?

Actually, you just made my point.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Once again you made my point. Instead of speaking to what I said, you make stuff up that you know absolutely nothing about. And that kind of ranting is what makes me not trust the extreme anti-gun control people.

lwctown 5 years, 2 months ago

If they wanted to do something that might actually help people they should hold a vigil for mental health care.

David Reynolds 5 years, 2 months ago

The current tragedy, at the Boston Marathon, makes one wonder why we think all this talk about gun control really means anything. This tragic incident dramatizes to us that the government, at any level, or laws of any kind, can not protect us in any situation if some crazed person(s) wants to commit a horrific act using any means. Don't we already have laws against killing and bodily injury to others including guns, bombs, etc.? All such laws just reduce our freedoms. They only lead to punishment of the perpetrator, if they are caught, but they do not stop the explicit act!

The only actions we can reasonably take are personal defense. An analogy is driving, the best we can do to prevent an auto accident is to drive defensively. Even with that we can not fully protect ourselves against a careless driver.

That said, I like my chances when I am acting defensively regardless of the threats surrounding me.

What we can expect here is the police and the Feds will respond and make a big show, investigations will follow, but basically nothing they did or do will have protected the innocent people killed and hurt as a result of this tragedy.

Cynically I say the next thing that will be happening will be our President will go on TV and expound on the tragedy, offer empathy, and I predict over time he will use it to promote another law costing us our freedom in some way, all under the auspices of making us safer.. And as this incident shows that new law will prevent nothing, will not make us safer, but it will cause a further erosion of our freedoms.

As John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Meaning if this countries citizens & elected people are not of a sound moral character, and behave accordingly, no law will protect us.

Our Constitution does not guarantee our safety! Our Constitution guarantees our freedom! Beware of those who come calling for a "loss of our freedoms in order to protect/make us safer"!

May God help those who suffered and died in this tragedy and their families.

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