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Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Gun action

January 18, 2013

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In Arizona, there’s a concern about graffiti. So there’s a proposal to force stores to lock up spray paint. It’s similar to the way that cold remedies that contain ingredients that could be used to make methamphetamine have been moved off drug-store shelves in Kansas and elsewhere.

Although the seriousness of those situations are dwarfed by the mass murders that are foremost in the nation’s consciousness, the responses are a metaphor for the gun control measures being discussed in Washington: Do something that appears appropriate but that actually may not address the underlying problem.

President Obama’s $500 million plan announced Wednesday to stem gun violence incorporates calls for congressional action to ban certain weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and to require background checks for all gun purchasers, plus an extensive list of executive orders that includes giving schools and communities new grants and the flexibility to use existing federal grants for school safety, new firearm-control programs and some mental health measures.

Nothing appears to have been forthcoming from Vice President Biden’s task force concerning the entertainment industry. Do we nurture violence and evil with our movies, games and music? If so, why not try to face up to that situation?

The Centers for Disease Control have been directed to research gun violence. Perhaps this could lead to a study of any mental or emotional commonalities among the killers in these senseless attacks. What characteristics do they share that might help explain the inexplicable? What pushes them over the edge? Is it, as at least one source has suggested, certain medications used to treat depression that triggered the horrible shootings? Or is it simply the lack of effective treatment, or a means to report and address peculiar behavior before it turns violent?

The country also needs to ask whether a one-size-fits-all gun-control solution is rational for a nation as diverse as ours, with many areas where firearms are used for hunting and treasured as family possessions and other locales where firearms are primarily tools of violence or self-defense.

The blogosphere runneth over with opinions and “facts” on all sides of this complex issue. There are stories, some true, about how guns in the hands of armed civilians recently have prevented carnage. The president did not acknowledge those. Each day’s news also brings reports about people who have been wounded or killed by firearms. The president said 900 have died in the month following the Newtown, Conn., slayings. How many were killed in car accidents and other daily activities?

Are we seeking common ground? Unfortunately, neither the president nor Congress seems intent upon getting at any possible underlying issues with specific legislation that might unify lawmakers and prevent future tragedies.

Instead, what seems in store is more of the endless divisive and partisan quarreling over tangential matters that fail to control the violence they purport to halt.

Lock up the spray paint!

Comments

Centerville 1 year, 2 months ago

Someone mentioned to me that no one 'needs' a scary-looking gun, so politicians should be able to decide which ones we don't 'need' and make it illegal to buy them. I asked him how that light bulb thing is working out. I may have won over a heart and mind.

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WristTwister 1 year, 2 months ago

So making guns illegal will take them off the street? We should make heroin and meth illegal too.

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Centerville 1 year, 2 months ago

We do have to hand it to the NRA for producing a great ad - it's always fun to see pompous nitwits exposed, no matter what your political persuasion.

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msezdsit 1 year, 2 months ago

There is no fast fix to the increasing gun violence and massacres. To discount the president's new policies because they aren't a "fast fix" is to ignore that it will take a long term campaign to reduce gun violence. If they provide a deterrent which saves a few lives , then they are successful in the short term. In the long term, they will cause a gradual decrease in gun violence and therefore eventually will help. All the arguments that it won't create an immediate solution therefore we should do nothing, are, as the now most overused saying goes, just kicking the can down the road.

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danmoore 1 year, 2 months ago

For those who like to quote the 2nd amendment for their reason to own any weapon with an infinite supply of ammo, the constitution does't say anything about bullets. If we should decide to make the sale or manufacture illegal it would not be unconsitutional.

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Ray Parker 1 year, 2 months ago

After the feds confiscate your guns, you will need to use toy guns, or a replica your kids make from Legos, to scare away home invaders. The home invaders will still be using real guns, remember, so you will need to be real convincing when you confront them and yell "Bang!"

Assault Lego

Assault Lego by parkay

Home invader

Home invader by parkay

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btsflk 1 year, 3 months ago

BS

We will be conquered next time around by the use of technology.

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Pork_Ribs 1 year, 3 months ago

What about a laser weapon or photon weapon with battery powered magazine in the hundreds? They had every idea what was to come. Protect yourself and your country. China stops at our shores becuse of armed citizens. They'll simply buy the rest. We need to be worrying about drunk driver and idiots that text while driving. BTW...Who's going to come get my magazines? Good luck with that granolas.

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btsflk 1 year, 3 months ago

When the writers of the covstitution referred to weapons, they were referring to firearms and weapons as were in use then.

They had no idea what was to come.

Laws and rules writtens hundreds of years ago cannot not and should not be interpreted literally. Semiautomatic weapons are not necessary for self defense or for hunting.

Issue everyone a musket.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Don't you find it a bit odd bea that even tho guns are designed to kill, you are 2x more likely to die by falling than getting shot?

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

"The president said 900 have died in the month following the Newtown, Conn., slayings. How many were killed in car accidents and other daily activities?"

How many made it across town on a gun, or drove to work on their gun? You see, cars and "other activities" have a purpose other than flinging a hunk of metal out one end at a high rate of speed. Guns? Not so much. They fling hunks of metal out one end. That is what they do, so is it a surprise that sometimes those hunks of metal enter human bodies when guns are pointed at human bodies? Didn't think so.

Guns are used to kill people. No matter how many deaths happen by accidents by utilitarian objects, that doesn't change that guns were designed as weapons to be used to kill when pointed at people. That is all.

But think it is about spray paint. Wow.

So when someone kills a bunch of kids with spray paint, get back to us, okay?

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

Phoenix, the 6th largest city in the country, is relatively free of graffiti when compared to other large cities. Why? The control on spray paint works, keeping it out of the hands of many would-be taggers.

Thanks for the analogy.

Now, what was the point again?

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Milton Bland 1 year, 3 months ago

Video games as well as the movie industry is run by liberals. No way is Obama going to go after the group that funded his successful campaign.

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Darrell Lea 1 year, 3 months ago

Pretty lame editorial, but one question was asked that accidentally takes great strides towards the root of the problem:

"Do we nurture violence and evil with our movies, games and music? If so, why not try to face up to that situation?"

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The violence present in movies, games and music would not be there if there weren't already lots of customers lapping it up and begging for more. Does violent content in entertainment create violence, or merely reflect an ugliness deep in the heart of the collective American psyche? The same entertainment products are available in many other western countries, and most of them don't have the problem with gun violence that we do.

There is a selfishness and fearfulness to the American character that has been bred and stoked by corporate media for generations. Don't take MY guns, don't infringe on MY rights, ME, ME, ME. Eventually this will change, either by choice or by cataclysm.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

--- Democratic Party on Gun Control Democrats passed the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban in 1992. We increased federal, state, and local gun crime prosecution by 22 percent since 1992.

Why is this GOP STILL pushing deadly assault weapons instead of a solid assault weapons ban?

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KSManimal 1 year, 3 months ago

So....does violent entertainment influence people to act violently? Well, duh,...of course it does.

Advertisers will pay, in total, about $5 billion per year to have their products shown in movies - sometimes just for a few seconds - because they know it works. Does anyone really believe a five second scene of a "Coca-Cola" logo inspires people to buy Coke; but the remaining 100 minutes of shooting won't inspire anyone to shoot people?

Now, the overwhelming majority of people won't go out shooting after seeing it on TV. But it isn't the overwhelming majority we're concerned about, is it?

Case in point: a few years back there was a shooting outside that "shootings-r-us" club down on New Hampshire street. The guy shot someone in the leg with the first shot, then fired two or three more rounds into the sidewalk in front of himself.

How did that happen?

If you operated a handgun properly, the barrel would be more or less horizontal at first; and the recoil would tip it upwards...so if your subsequent shots went astray at all (due to your lack of control) they would go high....not low.

It's obvious that this shooter held his gun sideways or even upside-down when he started; hence the downward angle (shooting someone in the leg) and subsequent recoil-induced shots into the sidewalk.....

He sure didn't learn to hold a gun that way from a competent instructor....or competent anyone. Where do you suppose he learned to hold a gun that way?

Give ya three guesses, and the first two don't count.

That being said, no...we should not ban free speech on tv, in the movies, video games, or anywhere else. But we should be honest with ourselves that what entertains us might do far more to folks who are teetering on the edge of sanity or criminality.

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Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

How does government people like Demigod Obama, penalizing my liberties, taking them away, keep Lawbreakers from killing children again? I missed that part.

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bd 1 year, 3 months ago

CDC says 26 children have died due to the flue! Some states have said they will not share the vaccine(California) what are they doing about this??? Where is the hysteric over-reaction???

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bevy 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't like today's violent movies, even the hero ones. They are just too gory! Call me old-fashioned but something like an old Western or even Rocky showed heroes overcoming all odds without us having to see the entrails splattered across the screen. Movies like SAW have no place in my universe. Gore for gore's sake, no plot, no redeeming qualities whatever. Bring back the old movies with John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. As a side benefit watchers could learn about "old fashioned" values like honor, integrity, and responsibility.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, merrills response made the most sense. I would very much like to see it in place as soon as possible.

I wonder why people choose to watch movies that have a lot of violence in them? I think that in some cases it is because the good guy takes it till he can't take it no more and then acts. The viewer sees this as the same as if they could get back at the people in their lives who are causing them so much trouble, people who because of their position they do not dare to talk back to, they have to take it day after day. But, the hero in the movie gets to turn the tables. I think "Wanted" is an excellent example of a young men who is on medication because of his misery. But, in this case he gets rescued by A. Jolie and joins an organization where he learns how to use weapons very effectively.

What thoughts do people have going into action movies and then coming out?

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Alyosha 1 year, 3 months ago

It's unfortunate that the editorialist neglected, for reasons we cannot know, actually to read a transcript of the President's remarks, or the text of the executive orders the President signed.

Had he allowed what the President actually said, and what the text of the orders actually contains, to enter and influence his thinking, it's hard to imagine the editorialist would have wasted his words.

For instance, the editorialist writes, "Nothing appears to have been forthcoming from Vice President Biden’s task force concerning the entertainment industry. Do we nurture violence and evil with our movies, games and music? If so, why not try to face up to that situation?"

Had the editorialist, even for a moment, looked beyond his existing negative preconceptions about the President, he would've heard the President ordering exactly what he, the editorialist, is calling for: "I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce [gun violence]. And Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence."

Further, the editorialist could have read the executive orders themselves. He would have found the President specifically focussing on "investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence."

The editorialist also asks, a propos of nothing the President said, "The country also needs to ask whether a one-size-fits-all gun-control solution is rational for a nation as diverse as ours, with many areas where firearms are used for hunting and treasured as family possessions and other locales where firearms are primarily tools of violence or self-defense."

To anyone paying attention, and not just listening to the thoughts in their own heads, the President is not calling for a "one-size fits all" approach. The editorialist apparently sees it necessary to object to a "one-size fits all" solution no one is proposing.

The editorialist concludes with the question, "Are we seeking common ground?" He might ask himself "Am I myself doing all that I can not to misperceive what the President said, owing to my own partisan beliefs? Am I myself accurately and honestly getting all the facts before offering my opinion?"

Unfortunately, what seems in store from this editorialist is more endless mischaracterizations of the Presidents words and actions; more (willful?) lack of acknowledgement of what the President actually has said and done, all in a manner that does nothing to halt the partisan dysfunctionalism he purports to wish to stop.

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WristTwister 1 year, 3 months ago

"President Obama’s $500 million plan announced Wednesday to stem gun violence incorporates calls for congressional action to ban certain weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and to require background checks for all gun purchasers, plus an extensive list of executive orders that includes giving schools and communities new grants and the flexibility to use existing federal grants for school safety, new firearm-control programs and some mental health measures."

Tell me again...exactly how does any of this keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable among us? Those who plan violent actions against law abiding citizens will find a way to get the guns. Only the law abiding citizens will comply with any law that bans guns and be defenseless. Obama's plan is not a solution. It's merely a political knee-jerk to appease his constituency. Unfortunately, this plan will be ineffective in preventing similar, future tragedies from occurring and cost us $500M to boot. The problems lie in the cultural upheaval we are experiencing in our society. Values and morals have been in decline for decades. As always, this President is playing politics without real solutions.

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beerbaron03 1 year, 3 months ago

So let me summarize the right's position on this:

It's not the fault of the gun, people need to take personal responsibility for their actions. However, violent video games and movies are clearly at fault.

There's sort of a disconnect there...

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

STAT RESPONSE Concept over more guns on any school ground

Instead of more guns in schools how about this...

Arm all school staff with "emergency STAT buttons" that can be worn about the wrist,neck and belt. This allows law enforcement to be notified quickly and quietly. 911 calls take too long and require chit chat.

This STAT concept leaves nothing to the imagination as to what COULD be happening and demands a STAT response no questions asked.

These STAT buttons can reveal exact locations.

Additionally hire a law enforcement officer as security because security people often do not have law enforcement authority.

This law enforcement person also receives this "alert" and proceeds quickly and quietly to observe or take out the problem.

If the problem is more dire this law enforcement person can advise all other law enforcement who might be responding as to the status of the situation "from the inside".

This law enforcement person should not be expected to participate in "everyday" discipline situations thus preventing distractions.

This concept removes the "more guns with every teacher is better" nonsense and leaves the matter to a trained response team. Yet "team" action is working to quell the situation.

Senior Citizens have such a concept in place for emergencies as we speak.

======================================================================

In the meantime take away the NRA as a political action committee and all of their tax deductible privileges. For in the beginning this organization was not a political action committee and now are part of a corrupt practice known as special interest campaign financing.

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grammaddy 1 year, 3 months ago

Your 2nd Amendment rights end where my childrens' right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begin.

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bisky1 1 year, 3 months ago

or try this It’s really not much of an exaggeration to say that parts of Chicago resemble a war zone. The numbers are grim. Unofficially, there were 513 homicides in Chicago in 2012, nearly 100 more than New York City, which recorded 414 killings but which has a population three times larger. Chicago’s body count is 200 more than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan last year. The carnage has continued unabated into the New Year. Consider this, Mr. President: During the first 16 days of January, 26 people have been killed by guns in Chicago -- the exact same number as at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Yet there has been little outcry by the national media, and not much public attention paid to Chicago’s crucible by either national political party. If you are serious about doing everything in your power to curb gun violence and save lives, then you must harness your immense popularity in Chicago -- and in other big cities -- to address the elephant in the room: the failures of a society grown coarsened, desensitized to violence, and too tolerant of such carnage. If you are serious about doing everything in your power to curb gun violence and save lives, then you must harness your immense popularity in Chicago -- and in other big cities -- to address the elephant in the room: the failures of a society grown coarsened, desensitized to violence, and too tolerant of such carnage. From Real Clear Politics.com

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Resident10 1 year, 3 months ago

I think the point is, we are willing to deal with some risk depending on the social utility of the risk.

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voevoda 1 year, 3 months ago

"How many were killed in car accidents and other daily activities?" So the LJW editorialist equates firearms and automobiles. How valid is that comparison?

Of course, firearms and automobiles have different purposes. Firearms are intended to immobilize or kill--sometimes for valid reasons (hunting food, skeet shooting, self-defense), and sometimes not. They have no other purpose. In the hands of skilled and responsible owners, firearms are not dangerous. In the hands of irresponsible owners, they are very dangerous.

Automobiles are intended to transport persons and goods from one place to another. They are not intended for the purpose of immobilizing or killing anyone. Exceedingly few people intentionally use automobiles to immobilize or kill anyone. In the hands of skilled and responsible owners, automobiles are not dangerous. In the hands of irresponsible owners, they are very dangerous.

If firearms and automobiles are similar, then it is reasonable to treat them similarly under the law: Every car/gun registered to a specific person or organization. Every legal user licensed after a test of knowledge of key laws and skill in operation. Persons who cannot operate the car/gun safely prohibited from getting a license. Prohibitions on operating the car/gun while impaired. Loss of license and/or confiscation of car/gun for violation of the law. Insurance required to cover any harm to persons or property.

If firearms and automobiles are not alike, then why would the editorial writer propose a comparison between gun deaths and traffic deaths?

The gun enthusiasts will surely point out that the Constitution guarantees a right to bear arms but not a right to own and operate automobiles. But it does not follow that the Constitution permits any and everyone to own firearms of any and every sort and operate them whenever, whereever, and however they please. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing in the Heller decision--that is, the decision that serves as the basis for claims for a right to bear arms for individuals rather than solely for the "well regulated Militia" named in the Second Amendment--explicitly noted that the Second Amendment permits regulations and limitations and limitations on the ownership of firearms. Any claim that this is not the case is simply a defense of the "right" of criminals and crazies to possess firearms legally.

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Resident10 1 year, 3 months ago

Just a question: I can see limiting rights based on public safety. We do it all the time. However, I don't see "individual rights" as the real issue.

I wish we were hearing more about how people are justifying leaving the population open to future persecution from the government. The greatest crimes I can think of that happened at the end of a gun barrel were perpetrated not by a crazy with an assault rifle but by a government.

I certainly am not a prepper. I don't own a gun or even one can of meat. But I take some comfort in the fact that there is really no way a right or left faction of the government could ever persecute a portion of the population. Not now and, assuming the public isn't disarmed, not two-hundred years from now either. Anyone with constructive thoughts? What am I missing?

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Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

Will Lawbreakers follow Demigod's new firearm laws? Or will the lawful lose more of their firearm liberty?

Would huffer's follow Demigod's spray paint laws? Or would non huffer's lose more of their spray paint liberty?

Liberal Andrea Dworkin says pornography leads to rape... The late feminist activist, Andrea Dworkin, argued that by depicting women as men's willing sexual playthings, porn contributes to rape. ...but, but Liberal Hollywood death by massive firearm attack movies do not inspire the easily inspired to create massive firearm attacks?...... http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/200904/does-pornography-cause-social-harm

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jonas_opines 1 year, 3 months ago

Ridiculous! Saying violent movies leads to violent culture is exactly the same as saying a spoon made me fat. Whatever happened to personal accountability? The anti-free speech nuts are just trying to come after all of our movies and video games in order to control us and keep us in chains. The founders wrote the Bill of Rights as they saw in importance, and free speech is the first amendment that there is.

Rather than banning some types of movies and video games, we should instead put a person in every movie theater and game store in America to clearly explain before and after the purchase that it is only a movie or video game and not real life. Because the only thing that can stop a dumb person with a movie or video game is a smart person with a movie or video game.

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olddognewtrix 1 year, 3 months ago

What a wierd twisted editorial! One expects better of the LJW,

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