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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

olddognewtrix 1 year, 11 months ago

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

Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

He did sign it, by way of his use of the passive voice: "what seems in store is more...."

Phoghorn 1 year, 11 months ago

Would you care to offer a counterpoint, or are you just going to launch insults?

jonas_opines 1 year, 11 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.

akuna 1 year, 11 months ago

You are conveniently leaving off the part of the 2nd Amendment that says "... well regulated..."

Phoghorn 1 year, 11 months ago

I have posted this before, and I will post it again. "Well-regulated" in the language of the 18th Century meant orderly or well-functioning. An example would be a well-regulated clock. It was not a reference to government regulation.

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Even the very conservative 2008 court ruling about DC handguns didn't toss out the idea that guns couldn't be regulated.

notaubermime 1 year, 11 months ago

Jonas is using satire to point out the two-faced nature of the NRA. It spouts out of one mouth platitudes about protecting constitutional rights while using its other mouth to endorse infringing on the constitutional right to free speech.

It is a worthy criticism that invalidates any claim the NRA may have to being interested in protecting freedom or constitutional rights.

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Actually, it doesn't say that. It says:

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

And there are conflicting interpretations. Perhaps this is intended to mean that individuals should have the right to possess weapons, or perhaps it means that states should have the right to maintain standing militias. Either way, the phrase "well regulated" implies that "infringement" isn't as easy as telling someone they can't have a magazine with more than ten bullets.

Jason Johnson 1 year, 11 months ago

Since the US military ultimately calls the shots (or seems to) regarding the States' National Guard, etc, then no, we cannot interpret that anymore to mean that each state can have its own militia to call up in times of tyranny. Ergo, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, then, is the only logical explanation to help prevent said tyrannical government.

I also believe that includes the people's right to have high-capacity magazines, so that if we have to fight for our freedom, we're not limited. Yes, I understand it would be a fight against drones, tanks, etc. But I've talked with many officers on various boards that said if they had an order to fight against their people (especially taking away guns), they would ignore that unlawful order and put their unit (whatever size unit they're commanding) to use to prevent that. We still need the ability to defend ourselves.

Molon labe.

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

We cannot interpret it that way any more? Were there amendments to the amendment to clarify this? The individual rights shift in interpretation is far more recent than the federalization of state militias.

It also doesn't say "tyrannical government." In fact, it says "security of a free state," which could just as easily mean that your duty in that well-regulated militia is to protect the government, not overthrow it. ie - the sort of militias called forth by Washington to quell the Whiskey Rebellion.

The SC currently leans more toward the individual rights argument, but that doesn't mean a future court wouldn't revert to the state militia interpretation. And even the current SC doesn't go as far as to say that no regulation of firearms is possible.

Governments do fall, both in armed rebellions and in massive popular uprisings, in countries that allow free access to weapons and countries that restrict them. Your personal access to high capacity magazines is not the determining factor in anything but a comic book.

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

Exactly how many times since the 2nd amendment was ratified has a well regulated militia protected us from the tyranny of our own government?

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

Right. The same US military that defeated the Nazi's and took out Bin Laden are afraid to take on a bunch of overweight men who dress up in army fatigues on the weekend and shoot beer cans off of fence posts. Is this the fighting machine that keeps our government in line?

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

IF, and that is an if of epic proportions, our government wanted to go rogue on the gun owners we would not be having this conversation because you would alread be dead. You are truly delusional on two counts. One, for even thinking that should a scenario is possible and two, believing that you could actually defend yourself.

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm afraid to ask this but what indication(s) do you have that suggest our military is coming after you? LOL

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Let's ask the Afghanis how well this works, shall we?

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

By that argument, it also protects us from invasions by polka-dotted aliens.

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

I can't wait for the first time my doctor asks me about firearms.

Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

What makes you think your doctor will ask you about firearms? You are willfully mischaracterizing what the President's executive orders say.

Why would you make a statement in response to this editorial that has no basis in fact?

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

"Alyosha, they do it because it gets them attention"

Yes, exactly. I don't walk around holding a sign but I will resist every attempt the government makes at finding out information from me. That's my form of protest, just like writing "2" on the census and running off the three people I helped pay to come find out out how many toilets we have.

We all have out forms of protest, mine is mildly passive aggressive, just like me.

If you call protest a temper tantrum, then you would have made few friends in south park a few days ago.

"Doctors won't ask about guns--it's not their job."

You are probably right. It won't do them any good anyhow. Sociopaths are good liars.

"It is their job to notify the proper authorities when an individual has been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, and/or has been prescribed a heavy psychotic (medication), for example."

Under what authority, and I mean under what law? I'm not sure simply being treated for schizophrenia is enough to get you on some watch list. Americans don't give up their rights (5th, 14th) just because they have some defect. I'm OK with the Dr reporting a crime or providing the state with concerns about people they diagnose as violent or likely to commit a violent act but not just because they are trying to get the dog next door to quit telling some guy that he's a alien.

What do you base that on?

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Doctors will ask about guns if you're depressed. Because they don't want you to shoot yourself with one. That's their job.

Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 11 months ago

Mine already did, she said it was a medicare requirement. I told her nicely it was none of their business.. She already knew I own and carry firearms, as I am a retired peace officer, but she had only to report my answer.

Resident10 1 year, 11 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?

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

I think you are missing Posse Comitatus Act and that it is an individual right to keep and bear arms which is guaranteed by the constitution.

As for some great persecution, if you were in the military, could they convince you to kill another citizen? I wouldn't do it. At that point, it's civil war and the weapons get divided up by the states. The front lines will be where the red states touch the blue. Go to either side and they'll you give an an M4.

I'm pro-choice on guns because of the constitution, not because the government can break it's own laws.

voevoda 1 year, 11 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.

Lisa Medsker 1 year, 11 months ago

Ohhh, you're going to make some heads explode with all that "Sense-Makey" stuff!

overthemoon 1 year, 11 months ago

Logic? They don't want no stinkin' logic!!

domino 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm not at all saying that firearms and guns should be compared. Your comment of "In the hands of skilled and responsible owners, automobiles are not dangerous. In the hands of irresponsible owners, they are very dangerous." Totally agree with that. I also agree with your comment of guns being dangerous/not dangerous depending on the owner/handler. I will guarantee that my guns have never injured another person in any way, shape or form and have provided countless hours of enjoyment while target shooting, skeet shooting, etc. They have also provided my family with hundreds of pounds of meat that fed my family. That is not to say that all people should own guns!

There have also comparisons to knives and baseball bats - neither of which was intended to be used on another human being, but sadly, often are. I'm just not convinced that more gun laws will put an end to, or even slow down, the violence, because in places where the laws are the strictest, the violence is just as bad, or often worse.

chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Actually not true. Sure, where gun laws in the USA are the strictest, you'll often find that gun violence is still quite high, but getting a gun in one of those places is a matter of driving for an hour or two and never having your car searched on the way back crossing the border. In countries with uniformly strict gun laws, the number of shooting deaths is much much lower. They're drastically lower in Canada, for example, and the only thing separating most Canadians from that couple hour drive is a border inspection.

It's not the idea of regulation. It's the haphazard way in which we do it.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

Okay, no more worshipping at the altar of the NRA!

Our Gun, who art in Heaven / Hallowpoint be they name / Give us this day our daily ammo / So we may protect against all trespasses - imagined or otherwise / Lead us not into gun-free zones / And deliver us our extended mags

Aim...fire.

Resident10 1 year, 11 months ago

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

bisky1 1 year, 11 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

domino 1 year, 11 months ago

It is also interesting that Chicago and New York city have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet Chicago has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation. In 2010, more Chicago police officers were killed by gunfire than any other police agency in the nation. Until a few months ago, it was illegal to own or possess a handgun in the city of Chicago - even to have it in your own home.

Now the state of New York has enacted a bunch of new legislation with more restrictions. But what is intersting about the new laws is one little thing they apparently forgot - law enforcement! The way the new restrictions on magazine capacity is written, it will be illegal to have a magazine that holds over 7 rounds. That means that every law enforcement officer will be in possession of illegal magazines! Now, I'm sure they will get this fixed before it goes into effect, but to me it just shows what happens when knee-jerk reactions run rampant.

fiddleback 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, studies do confirm that Republicans have magical powers precluding gun violence wherever they are in power...whereas Democrats don't even care about carnage; they just like it as an excuse to take all the AR -15's away from the real patriots...

rv, I think you've earned this thread's Fair and Balanced Award.

grammaddy 1 year, 11 months ago

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

Resident10 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, they do and so do, currently, my first amendment rights.

Abdu Omar 1 year, 11 months ago

Neither of those rights end, Gram, because each is protected. The whole problem is exactly the same as an automobile license. If one is capable of handling and taking care of a firearm, he can have one, just the same as handling and taking care of a car. When one uses the car or the gun to do someone harm, they have crossed the line and should lose the right to bear arms or drive.

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

Nobody here would do anything to violate your children's rights.

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

He had lots of help. Can't remember the guy who was president before him but he started his admin with a surplus and while in office started two wars based on bad info regarding WMD's. When he left office there was a huge debt and an economy spiraling out of control. Had to bail out the banks. You remember, it was in all the papers. What was that guys name again?

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 11 months ago

The 2nd amendment was not being exercised when those little kids lives were taken in CT. It was the actions of a mentally unstable person and a thief. Therefore, your children and mine are quite safe, with the 2nd amendment in tact. The 2nd amendment does no harm. It is only intended for the good of the country and your and my freedoms.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 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.

beerbaron03 1 year, 11 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...

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

Summarize the left's position concerning the same items.

Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

Your premise that there is a singular, monolithic "left" is specious. Hence, your question is logically not possible to answer. That goes for people believing their is a singular, monolithic "right" as well.

Further, your dividing a spectrum of beliefs into a binary system seems unlikely to lead you to actual knowledge or effective argumentation, let alone compelling comments on this particular editorial.

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

I'd say the left/right thing is more a sine wave than binary. Libertarians are split, far right and far left.

What do you think about violent video games and movies? Do you think they help breed some of the violence in our society?

Concerning the gun thing, who goes to prison? The gun or the human? Where is the guilt?

fiddleback 1 year, 11 months ago

"Tell me again...exactly how does any of this keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable among us?"

Maybe we should have asked this back in 2004 when Kansas representative Todd Tiahrt started castrating the ATF's ability to effectively regulate gun sales:

http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/federal/tiahrt.shtml

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Alyosha 1 year, 11 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.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 11 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?

bevy 1 year, 11 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.

voevoda 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe films (and video games) that feature gratuitous violence solely for the sake of prompting violent emotions could receive an "X" rating--just like films that feature gratuitous sex solely for the sake of prompting sexual emotions. Just as films with a "PG" or "R" rating cannot show graphic sex, so they would not be permitted to show graphic violence.

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

I think that's a rather good idea.

I've always wondered why sex isn't ok, but violence is, personally.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

I would completely support different ratings for violent films. However, what do we do with television? For the longest time, CSI was the top show -- with graphic details on murders week in and week out. That was primetime, sitting around with the family television. Can anyone explain that one?

bd 1 year, 11 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???

KSManimal 1 year, 11 months ago

The flue is harmless if you sweep the creosote buildup out of it regularly. Smoke detectors are a good idea, too...regardless of regular chimney sweeping.

:)

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

BD. There is no hysteric overreaction because no one is lobbying againt preventive measures to curb the flu. The medical profession as well as the public are all on the same page. If however there was a well funded lobby that was oppossed to the use of hyperdermic needles for some inexplicable reason then you would have a valid point.

Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

Leaving aside the very odd use of "demigod" with regard to a U.S. President, which has no basis in US political thought, how exactly are your "liberties" being "penalized" or taken away?

What policy penalizes your liberties or takes them away? Sounds like you are imagining things, but do correct me if I'm wrong.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

It is the Clint Eastwood Chair syndrome. It is the belief that what one imagines of their political "enemy" is the truth, despite all evidence to the contrary.

KSManimal 1 year, 11 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.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 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?

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

Because that's what people elected them to do.

Do you think people will vote different next time?

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 11 months ago

Because an assault weapons ban is unconstitutional.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

So then why do we accept automatic weapon bans? Where do we draw the line?

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

Why that artificial line? Do we really need to arm people with weapons that fire a bullet as quickly as they can move their finger?

Seriously, if one is "unconstitutional" why isn't the other? That simply doesn't make sense.

Darrell Lea 1 year, 11 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.

beatrice 1 year, 11 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?

jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, I thought his examples were oddly chosen as well, since they make sense and probably work.

beatrice 1 year, 11 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?

notaubermime 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't make fun of old people. Falling is a serious health issue as a person's sense of balance decreases and their bones get increasingly brittle. A lot of effort goes in to helping people avoid falls and decreasing the risk from falls when they happen. It is not something to make light of.

notaubermime 1 year, 11 months ago

"I'm just pointing out statistics" Uh-huh. That's why your argument chose falling instead of heart disease? Or cancer? Both of those are larger causes of mortality. If one were to compare gun violence to heart disease, the statement would not work as well because heart disease is recognized as a large and deadly social problem that people should work to prevent. Falling is used in this case, to make gun violence seem less common than it is given the general lack of awareness most people give to the dangers of falling when one gets older. It's rhetorical effectiveness depends on making light of how real of a danger falling can actually be.

Age has nothing to do with freedom of speech rights and it is never morally okay to make light of other people's life-threatening medical issues, IMO.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

That must explain why people are 2x more likely to walk around wearing crash helmets than carry a gun, you know, since people are so concerned about self protection and all.

Clearly, if you carry a gun for protection but don't wear a helmet, then you are being hypocritical, right?

Oh, and gravity was designed to kill, too, just not designed by man.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

I've made fun of no one, so please take your false umbrage elsewhere. If you have seen people who wear helmet protection, they are likely people prone to falling. They recognize the situation and protect themselves accordingly. It is not, however, something used for protection by most people.

Again, if you recognize that you are 2x more likely to die from falling than by being shot, and you don't wear a helmet but do carry a gun, you are being hypocritical. That is making fun of no one but those who carry guns but don't wear helmets.

Do you wear a helmet when walking about? Isn't safety your major concern?

btsflk 1 year, 11 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.

Paul Wilson 1 year, 11 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.

btsflk 1 year, 11 months ago

BS

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

danmoore 1 year, 11 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.

danmoore 1 year, 11 months ago

Why would we. Did someone get mangled in one and die. As far as I know they don't pose a workplace problem.

msezdsit 1 year, 11 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.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 11 months ago

@msezdsit, Taking a bat away from all children in the nation, because you have one child in your house that is hitting another child in your house, is not reasonable, and it will not fix anything. It is similar to throwing the baby out with the bath water, to drain the water. The children in the nation that have bats are using them in sports and doing well. You would steal from those that have nothing to do with your problem. You are assuming that bats are the problem. It is clear that your child's behavior is the problem. That is what needs fixed, not the bats. Teach your child to have proper behavior and respect for others. Then teach them how to use a bat when they can be trusted with the responsibility, to use it in sports, not on the other child. You above all should know this bit of common sense, being in your profession.

Centerville 1 year, 11 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.

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

So I guess you saying there should be no laws limiting access to heroin and meth, correct?

beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

Long mandatory sentencing, just as we should have for those who use a gun while committing a crime.

This argument that laws don't stop crimes from happening is, in my opinion, ludicrious. Not only do the laws help prevent crime, they also are intended to punish people who go against what society deems appropriate behavior.

Centerville 1 year, 11 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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