Massif Rocks!

Newtown CT – A Tragedy

On Friday a young man brutally murdered his mother in her Connecticut home and then inexplicably took firearms from the home he shared with her and proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary School where she worked, systematically killing another 26 innocents. Among the fallen are 20 children. Very young children. My heart goes out to the survivors and the families of those taken. I cannot imagine the pain they are feeling.

I have kids, including a child almost as young as the victims. The significance of this event isn’t lost on me by any means. However, I am also a responsible gun owner. Seeing as how I am a reasonable guy and a responsible person, I’m not so foolish as to want to blame an inanimate object for this tragedy. Instead, I’ll blame the shooter. I know for some it’s a bold move, holding someone accountable for murder. But many people can’t grasp the horror of what happened so they want to blame something, anything for this tragedy. So, they blame guns. That same day in China, another madman used a knife to cut 22 school children. Sure, they weren’t killed and some hold this up as a testament to the success of total gun bans. But I’m appalled at this line of thinking. People act as if its ok that those children were disfigured. How about this? It’s not ok.

So far, we don’t know much about the Newtown shooter or his motives. There are reports that he suffered from mental illness. And, that’s an easy case to make considering that no sane person would murder 26 of his fellow man in cold blood. But we still don’t know much about his state of mind or what set him to this bloody task. But I’d say that the China slasher was a nutjob as well.

Newtown is a tragedy, but is this a national tragedy? In my eyes, no. But it does highlight some serious issues. First, you can’t legislate away evil or crazy. Second, we have got to have a serious debate about mental illness in this country. Third, “gun free zones” are unsafe ( see issue number one).

Bad people are going to do bad things no matter what the laws are. They are criminals and the law doesn’t mean much to them unless they know that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. If the perpetrator is criminally insane then the ability to reason and consider the consequences of his actions is impaired. How can you legislate that?

One of the things I learned as a force protection officer in the Air Force was that hard targets deter threats. Schools in particular, and others where large groups of people congregate should be hard targets. Responsible, properly accredited citizens should be allowed to carry weapons and armed guards should be provided in areas that feel the need. Bad people, even crazy, bad people should look at a school and say to themselves, “too hard, I’ll fail.”

On Friday, the threat was mentally unstable but even in the recent past the threat has been terrorists who will use any form of violence at their means including items we consider mundane. As a Nation we have enjoyed a relatively safe society and have become complacent. We should all be vigilant to threats, no matter the source and should work together to harden our community’s critical infrastructure against threats. I would say that schools are critical infrastructure as they house our most precious resource; our children.

Unfortunately, the timing of this horrific event couldn’t be worse. Our Nation faces an impending fiscal crisis. This might sound harsh to some of you, but by focusing on the event in Newtown, we take the pressure off of the President and Congress to work out a deal and this is a mistake. They deserve every bit of our attention. Their inaction got us into this mess and further in action will affect us all, in many negative ways. The grieving process for the Newtown tragedy will go on for some time. On the other hand, as a Nation, we are on a train with no engineer or conductors and we are heading at breakneck speed for a cliff. No one is paying attention.

Finally, I’d like to leave everyone with a thought. This has already been politicized before anyone knows what the facts are. Draconian gun laws were enacted in the United Kingdom as well as in Australia after mass casualty shootings. Politicians took advantage of heated public emotionalism fanned by a media bent on “ratings” to pass laws that result in such silliness as the British government incarcerating an SAS hero who had an illegal handgun. Do not let that happen here. Engage your elected representatives. Join and support the NRA.

Firearms aren’t at fault here. In fact, just the opposite holds true. Firearms are one of our only true deterrents and responses to criminal insanity, no matter what form it takes. I ask my fellow countrymen to grieve for the victims but to not act rashly. Don’t treat the symptoms and think that you have cured the disease.

223 Responses to “Newtown CT – A Tragedy”

  1. MKEOD says:

    Gun control is in the news again. The usual suspects are screaming for the same legislative initiatives they’ve been braying for for decades. Now, they hope, they have an atrocity vile enough to get what they’ve always wanted pushed through.

    It doesn’t really matter what they pass. There may be as many as a hundred million guns in the United States, divvied up amongst sixty to eighty million gun owners. The AR-15, a “high powered assault rifle chosen by militaries for its ability to inflict maximum damage on victims” (I heard a TV reporter say that a little while ago), has been the one of the best-selling rifles in the US for years. There are millions of them out there now. Millions. That’s just the ARs. AKs are probably a close second.

    They’re not going away, no matter what laws Congress passes. Guns manufactured in the 19th century are still functioning just fine in the 21st.

    For what it’s worth, the pro-gun side had effectively won the debate, at least for a while. Gun laws are becoming less restrictive all over the country. A great deal of progress has been made over the last decade, progress that would’ve been unimaginable ten years ago.

    The usual suspects WILL push for a new federal “assault weapons ban”. How much traction it gets remains to be seen. The President is on record supporting such a thing, but they made no effort to push it, even when the Blue Team had supermajority control of Washington in 2009. They were more worried about the health care law then, and many Blue Team reps live in places that aren’t at all friendly to gun control laws.

    But now, when there aren’t pending elections to worry about? It remains to be seen. Given how bitterly divided Congress is, it’s doubtful anything substantive (regarding any issue) will make it through (doubtful but not impossible) anytime soon. In 2014, if Red Team loses control of the House of Representatives, Blue Team will have a somewhat better chance of getting a federal gun ban passed. How much political capital they’d be willing to expend on it remains to be seen.

    In 1994, when the last federal gun ban was passed, “assault weapons” weren’t that common and weren’t that popular. Now they’re everywhere. There are more gun owners and more concealed carriers than ever before. With a permit in the State of Utah, for example, you can legally carry in something like 36 states. Several states don’t require a permit to carry concealed. Only a couple left-wing stronghold states have any kind of “assault weapons” bans anymore.

    So I guess we’ll just see? In the mean time, expect gun owners to be demonized like never before. According to a bazillion idiots on Facebook, if you’re against a federal gun ban then you yourself enabled the murder of kindergarteners.

    A federal gun ban won’t do anything to abate the recent trend of mass shootings. A serious look at mental health treatment, and better security at schools could provide all sorts of benefits. But the usual suspects would rather waste time trying to uninvent the firearm to make themselves feel better. If you oppose them, then you oppose preventing the murder of babies. You monster.

    • JoeM says:

      No one has commented on the fact that most state and federal facilities have armed guards to protect the politicians, why not protect the children in the same manner.

    • Jimmy says:

      “A federal gun ban won’t do anything to abate the recent trend of mass shootings. A serious look at mental health treatment, and better security at schools could provide all sorts of benefits. But the usual suspects would rather waste time trying to uninvent the firearm to make themselves feel better. If you oppose them, then you oppose preventing the murder of babies. You monster.”

      Flawed logic. Many people oppose civilian sale of weapons designed to kill humans. No one is realistically discussing a “Federal weapons ban” or ” uninventing the gun”. Military grade weaponry doesn’t belong in the hands of civilians.

      It’s about making a collective decision to, in this case, ban high capacity magazines and weapons designed specifically to kill humans. While the vast majority of owners use these weapons with responsibility and care, we’ve learned over and over again that it takes one maniac with zero regard for life to use this weapon for it’s designed purpose. We simply have to ask ourselves, is it worth it to have these weapons legal at the expense of enduring yet another mass killing. Does a ban guarantee an event like this will never happen again? No. At least it’s something. The fact of the matter is if the AR-15 platform was a banned weapon, Adam Lanza’s mother would have never been able to legally purchase and stockpile said weapons. Ergo, the events at Newtown *may* have gone differently. That is enough for me and it is enough for most people: To say, yes, despite the 2nd amendment, it is worth giving up assault rifles if it lessens the potential of future mass killings to any degree.

      The fact of the matter is one of the first things we can do to limit mass killing via Ar-15 is to limit the amount of rifles, ammo and clips available. While, it’s not fair to those who use the weapons in a safe, responsible manner, it’s got to be done. Unless 20 murdered children is worth owning an assault rifle.

      • Chris says:

        Assault rifles have been banned since the Federal Firm Arms act has been passed! An Assault rifle by definition is a rifle that fires fully automatic intermediate catridges. What we as law abiding citizens own are semi automatic sporting rifles! THe AR-15 is a legit hunting platform used to hunt a variety of species including but not limited to deer, coyotes, feral hogs, etc.

        What’s the difference between a 10/22 and an AR-15? Absolutely nothing! Both are semi automatic and both shoot a similar size bullet but were not talking about banning the 10/22 are we? No because it is not an assault rifle but can still kill just the same. What about a mini 14? That’s used for hunting right we not talking about banning that cause it’s not an “assault rifle” but was designed as a military weapone?

        The 5.56 catridge was based on a varmint catridge and was not initial designed to kill people!

        Let’s take the Remington 700 series rifles that are so popular with hunters for the performance. Lets add a better scope, a more accurate barrel and maybe a trigger job. What do you get? A sniper rifle designed to kill people? So if we follow the above logic every fire arm that has ever been produced should be banned because they can be used to kill people?

  2. CJ says:

    I’d rather one SAS hero in jail for a short time than 20 dead kids, thanks.

    And conflating the assault weapons ban with the popularity of assault weapons is just silly. The guns being banned didn’t make them more popular.

    This used to be a good blog about a subject I have an interest in (military technology and it’s usage by military people and innovations in the same) but now it’s just a pro-gun screed. The NRA is in the pocket of gun-selling business owners, and it’s like so much else the ‘red team’ stands for now – padding the pockets of their rich, white, male, scared, and stupid supporters who (if they aren’t already rich) are planning on how to get rich at the expense of their fellow citizens.

    • bob says:

      Well, bye.

    • JM says:

      I see you trollin..

      • bob says:

        I’m trying hard not to feed this troll, but it’s so tempting… 😀

        • CJ says:

          Troll, huh? Do you have anything more cogent to supply, or just two-word answers?

          • Sam Park says:

            How about the fact that Columbine (1999) happened in the middle of the last ban (1994-2004)? Or the fact that something being banned doesn’t make it impossible to get. You know how easy it is for me to get illegal banned drugs?

          • Ben says:

            I suppose you are on the 400% rise in rape Bloomberg side then huh. Where do you think the advancement in firearms comes from? I would rather have the children back also but it is to exist in a state of denial that evil isn’t real. The doors where lock it was a gun free zone and no one in the school willing to protect the children was armed so this dirtbag could have done this with an axe, knives, machete with the same ending. These were small children and women against a psyco their only hope was to be armed and they weren’t. My heart breaks for the families but I blame the mother for not getting the help he needed and the government for feeding the community a false sense of security when the most precious thing in your life is at stake. I have 5 children from 22 through 3 I can’t even imagine the pain felt nor will I pretend to. My local school wanted to disarm the officer on duty at the school because some parents thought it was offensive to have a firearm on school grounds. Are you joking why even have them there. You and so many like you have the illusion of control buck naked and bleeding you would think that you were still in control. Wake up there is evil in the world be prepared be active and not reactive.

          • Q says:

            don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!

    • Dave says:

      “The guns being banned didn’t make them more popular.”

      Yes, actually, it did.

    • Reverend says:

      My condolences on the losses with the families in Connecticut.

      Keep in mind before you have a knee-jerk reaction that:

      Millions of Gun Owners today did NOT go on a shooting rampage with their firearms.

      Thousands of Gun Owners today DID defend themselves from robberies, assault, and violators of restraining orders.

      Hundreds became NEW Gun Owners for the first time today.

      Realizing that people have a tendency to blame the item, not the action. We need cooler heads to prevail during this time before we run wild with accusations, and actions, that have long lasting effects on those who did nothing.

    • Bob Gyptus says:

      Wow. That was just about the most coherent argument I have read in a long time.

      I am off to buy me some more guns while I get rich off of all them inteeligent folks out der that feel the only way to make a point is through derision and name calling. Wait, I accidently used a big boy werd. oppth.

      This used to be a good blog full of white, rich, scared male…oh…heterosexual…stupid supporters that are planning on getting even richer at the expense of all the smart people out there without guns. And then we went and let CJ read our playbook and now we are SCREWED!

      Throw the entire SAS in jail! THAT will save the children! Those all white British Rednecks…wait…

    • Golu says:

      Thanks! Exactly my thoughts about this post.

    • Axel says:

      Mr CJ.
      I am writing this becauseI want to tell you something,Sir seriously you really think that banning weapons is the solution, if your answer is yes well let me introduce you Sir to PR, yes Puerto Rico, Sir look for this little island in google is part of the US as a commonwealth or protectorate as you wanna call it.PR has the most strongest and restricted anti gun laws in all the us, here to get a gun you spend aproximately $2000 bucks and the guns are selled only in a the few gun stores that are in this island. But the crime rate here in PR are the highest in all the US and almost in the world by square mile, last year alone we have 1200 estimated people kill by gun and this year we are going to the thousand people,people her live in fear and some people like me are asking the government to soften the gun laws, at the begining of this year we had a massacre never seen before a guy kill almost his entire family not with a gun he use gasoline yeah the same gasoline that you Sir use in your car, he invited the family for a new year meal in his parent house and burn the people,look for this history over the net, and this days I don’t know if you hear about “we are Jose Enriquez” this gentleman was killed using sticks,rocks and everything they find even they try to burn the guy alive,2 young guys and 2 young girls,for $400 bucks and you Sir said that the guns are the problems,her the criminals are armed to the teeth and the civilians are defenseless because of our gun lawsn, Sir guns are not the problem people are the problem,before you comment about that guns are the problem look over the internet the crime rate in PR that is part of the US with the most restricted gun laws and answer the question of what is really the problem

  3. Lawrence says:

    Well said Eric – well said. You make a very valid point also about how this terrible outrage is going to distract attention away from our looming national cliff dive too.

    I’d like to also share a very good article that I read this morning, for anyone who wants to take the time to read it, the closing paragraph of which said:

    “Acknowledging the horror of what happened and mourning for innocent lives snuffed out and families destroyed by the incomprehensible act of a madman is precisely what the country should be doing right now. If it seems as if that is a passive non-reaction, that’s because too many people understand what mourning entails. After that can come a policy battle that can be fought with passion but not with emotionalism and ignorance of relevant, basic facts standing in for rational analysis and honest debate.”

    The full article is here: http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/15/4-archetypally-awful-reactions-to-sandy/singlepage

  4. CJ says:

    One more note – the UK didn’t ban guns, that’s a myth. Handguns are banned completely, and also the UK criminalized the possession of any gun outside of certain permissible sports and locations and with stringent background checks and legal storage requirements, but I could completely legally own a shotgun or a rifle living in the UK. Following the Dunblane massacre, which again involved a primary (elementary) school with a mentally unbalanced but legal handgun owner going berserk and killing 16 kids, the public outcry was such that the gun ban passed without a whimper. There was no evidence of mental issues or any record of criminality of the killer before the crime took place, much like the guy in Newtown who I am trying like hell to forget his name. So how exactly, without banning guns, could he have been stopped? Or this new guy? Or the guy in Aurora? Or the Columbine kids? By all the news reports I’ve seen thus far, none of them had done anything that would prevent them from legally owning a gun and buying ammunition until they actually opened fire on innocent school children.

    Why not actually look at the cost of the public owning handguns, and have a serious conversation about banning them for the general public and criminalizing possession, especially when in connection with another crime, rather than trot out the same old rhetorical bullshit about how teachers should be armed and the NRA is a force for good and how our guns are what keep us free. If you’re a true shooter, you can protect you and yours with a 12 gauge much better than a pistol anyways.

    • Chris says:

      I cant conceal a 12 gauge.. Legally.. and I am a ‘true shooter’ and i am surgical with a handgun and much more proficient with it too.

      • CJ says:

        No you can’t conceal a 12 gauge, but neither can you shoot over and over and over and over with one without reloading.

        • Johns381 says:

          Look at England and the terror bombings in 2005, England has some of the most strict gun laws but the terrorists just used bombs. No matter what legislation you enact bad people will find ways to harm the innocent. Keeping guns away from law abiding citizens is not the answer. I 100% agree with the author of the article, mental health and school security are the issues here. How hard would it be to have the FBI background check include mental health. Make it the doctor’s responsibility to report mental health issues to the FBI.

          • CJ says:

            Well, the shooter had mental issues but his mom didn’t, and he got the guns from her, so I doubt an FBI check would make a difference?

            And the terrorists used bombs because that’s what they could get. If they could get guns, they would have used those too and the death count would have been higher like in Mumbai.

          • Bobbydavro says:

            Your right terrorists did use bombs just as the Irish terrorists did,ohhh yeah the Irish also used guns….supplied by American simpathisers supporting terrorism. your guns didn’t stop 9.11 did they??? don’t start with the terrorist thing mate this wasn’t wanton terrorism it was a boy with easy access to guns regardless of mental state, as was pointed out they were owned by the boys mum not him but still he had access to them and again as stated she legally held them. Want to stop this??? Restrict ownership simple

        • Chris says:

          I dont want to reload.. If im trying to neutralize a threat, aka a gunman killing innocent people, i want to shoot him as many times as it takes. He can shoot as many people as he wants 1 shot at a time and reload and shoot again but if there is no one there to stop him from doing that it doesnt matter what he is using either.

          • CJ says:

            Yeah, but if you’re a responsible shooter who knows about shooting, you must realize that a gunman stopping to reload gives you a chance to stop *him* using other means? Or are you just a sheep without a gun in your hand?

          • Brian says:

            Actually CJ, the Columbine idiots did not have semi-auto weapons and reloaded several times. So your point is not valid.

          • Chris says:

            Yes i can stop him after hes spent all 30 rounds in his magazine and even then i can reload an AR in under 2 seconds easy and a pistol in under 1.. so how many people die while i wait for him to reload? Thats not much time to stop that situation. Why try to win a fight with your hands if you have the ease to end it with a firearm? Its an unnecessary risk to my own life as well as other that i could be saving.

        • Ed says:

          CJ, there are at least 25 different makers of Shot Guns with different models, that have up to 14 shot magazines. This is what is so disturbing about people in the media and on blogs. They don’t know what they are talking about, and this isn’t even a gun type that’s in question here. Shot guns are used for duck hunting or other fowl. That is why skeet shooting is the training of choice for a shot gun owner. They have military applications and police use them. But for the most part, a shot gun seldom leaves the home. Skeet shooting is a lot of fun, and there are shooting competitions all over the country. So, just wanted to mention that.

        • Luke says:

          They have semi auto 12 gauge shotguns that you can get 20 round clips and 50 round drums for. I know this because I have one.

          • Alex says:

            interesting point….. Connecticut has an interesting regulation making a shotgun with more than a two round magazine illegal. so if you’re using one for home defense, you damn well better be surgical, because you’ve only got 3 rds, max. assuming it’s legally owned in that state.

      • Lawrence says:

        CJ – I was living in the UK at the time of the Dunblane terror and I know for a fact that both he and the Hungerford AK killer had a record of complaints and concerns about their mental health, and would not have been granted permits to own guns if the local police had been thorough in their due diligence. Now as a result lawful, legally-owned semi-automatic rifles and handguns of all types have been taken away from law-abiding citizens and left in the hands of law-breaking criminals. And the number of murders committed with handguns have been on the rise ever since.

        Regarding Newtown; I don’t know what news reports you’ve been reading or seeing, but as the shooter was under 21 he could not legally own a handgun. Also, as he was known to have mental health problems, he probably would have been denied a permit to buy one when he did reach 21. So, instead of that, his mother bought the guns and appears to have violated Federal law, and common sense, by letting him have access to them. For which she, and many others sadly paid the ultimate price.

        FYI – info about gun laws in Connecticut:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Connecticut

        • CJ says:

          How do you know his mother ‘gave’ him the guns? Maybe he got one, shot her, got the rest, and went off?

          The point remains – he had access to guns, regardless of legality, and used them to deadly effect. How could background checks or legal right to hold guns stop this?

          And the idea that gun crime increased in England after Dunblane, or that law-breaking criminals are all gun-toting in the UK is just silly. It’s just not happening. Fewer guns in the general population means fewer guns in total, as criminals usually steal their guns anyways.

          • SSD says:

            Guns and other illicit arms such as grenades are flowing into the UK like a river from the former Eastern Bloc. In the UK criminals have access to weapons at an unprecedented rate.

          • CJ says:

            THis is a reply to the host below, but this is a falsehood. SOME guns come into the UK, but if you are under the impression that there is a ‘river’ of guns flowing into the UK you should check your sources.

          • Lawrence says:

            You should check YOUR sources dude. I’m referring to actual, factual statistics reported by the Home Office.

        • Bobbydavro says:

          Per populous there are 92% more killings to firearms in the us compared to the uk because in the uk Do not confuse the criminal ownership and legal ownership of guns nor the ease of which they can be obtained

          • Bobbydavro says:

            And as a retort to ssd see above there are guns in criminal culture yes primarily used by American stylised gang bangers who have the same wanton distain for life as is popularised by American media and music culture

    • Andrew says:

      Your first question is simple; We provide armed security at schools. Like the OP said, hard targets go a LONG way. Banning guns will not get rid of them. Like Crack, if the criminals want it, they will find a way. As for the shotgun being a better home defense weapon, you have just blatantly shown you don’t know a whole lot about firearms and their application…

      • CJ says:

        So you WANT to live like the Israelis are forced to?

        I grew up in Montana, served 7 years in the US Air Force, and have shot my whole life. I know a fair bit about guns thanks.

        • Andrew says:

          You cannot compare our situation to the Israelis, it is apples and oranges. A small LE presence at schools would go a long way in prevention.

          And just because someone has shot their whole life or served in the armed forces does NOT mean they know anything about guns. I have served with plenty of Marines that know dick about guns, or how to effectively use them… I will again re-iterate that the shotgun is not better than a handgun in an HD role. I will take the gun that is MUCH more weldable around corners, has a MUCH higher capacity, is MUCH easier to re-load, and MUCH more accurate, over a shotgun any day.

      • Bobbydavro says:

        You confuse this incident with a criminal one this man used legal weapons, not illicitly held guns criminals will always get guns but if these guns weren’t so easly available would he have had the criminal links to get them???? Quiet socially isolated boy ??? No this wouldn’t have happend the saving grace to shootings in the uk which involve legally owned weapons is that they aren’t military grade assault rifles/handguns they on the main are shotguns or bolt action hunting rifles with legally restricted ammunition supplies

    • Chuck says:

      If you’re going to threaten to stop reading (and presumably posting on) this blog, please follow through.

      Thanks.

      • CJ says:

        Uh, I didn’t threaten to stop reading or even leave, I just expressed sadness that this blog used to be much better. So maybe actually work on that ol’ reading comprehension, please?

        • jay says:

          If you think for a second banning guns in the us will magicay end violence you are vastly mistaken. With th e uprising of Mexican drug cartels illegal guns will flow over the border like wildfire.drugs are illegal and i can obtain those easier than guns criminals will prey on our new weakness.the cartels will jump at the new illegal business opportunity. Us citizens will be helpless relying on police who s will more than likely make it to a location just in time to witness the aftermath.since 1950 with the exception of one occurrence allmass shootings occurred in gun free zones.you want to make a difference push for legal carry and i also suggest ALL gun owners to invest in a quality gun safe to protect your investment and the public.

          • IRISH says:

            Been fallowing this event in the media and online, first mention of the use of a gun safe, anyone know if the mother had one? After a shooting we always hear about banning guns to make our nation safer, why not making gun safes mandatory?

    • Burnout says:

      Might as well ban fertilizer & motor racing fuel too. Timothy McVeigh did a hell of a job with that. His bomb took out 168 and injured another 800. Where is the ban on vans for Christ’s sake. If only he would not have had a van the bomb would have never made it to the building. He launched the greatest act of “terrorism” in the USA before 9/11.

      Guns are NOT the problem.

    • Chris says:

      I propose that if you aren’t from the United States and currently living here (deployed .Mil/.Gov excluded) you STFU regarding any talk of bans or changes to our Constitution or Bill of Rights.

  5. Sgt B says:

    This post nails it. What happened in Newtown was tragic and horrifying. It’s also true that no one EVER wants to be responsible for their actions, and in the eye’s of so many blinded people, guns are responsible, not the person with evil intentions.

    I suppose if people start making the case that gun owners or pro-gun citizens are associated with being mass murders, they too should be associated with murdering as well. Look at the number of people killed with simple items such as hammers, baseball bats, knives, rope, etc… Simple items do extreme damage (Oklahoma City Bombing).

    It’ll never be enough for the “blue team”. Banning of weapons does nothing but leave many defenseless.

    Looking at the last several mass shootings, everything leads to one issue, mental health.

    • bob says:

      We as responsible gun owners submit to criminal background checks before purchasing our weapons. It violates my privacy, but no so much that I’m not willing to submit to it for the sake of owning a firearms. I personally believe the same to be true for mental health issues. While only considering the first-order effects of such a thing, I think it might make sense to require a mental health check prior to owning a firearm. Again, just thinking (typing) out loud, but clearly something structured needs to be in place to prevent those with documented mental health issues from purchasing firearms.

      • CJ says:

        The guy in Clackamas stole his AR15 to kill 3 people. The guy in Newtown apparently stole his from his mom to kill 26. How would a background check stop either of these? How would it stop someone from buying from either a gun show or a private buyer, both of which are excluded from background checks?

        • Chuck says:

          Precisely. You have just made a quite concise and cogent argument for the failure and futility of gun control.

          What you don’t do is explain how banning, and presumably the subsequent mandatory turn-in and inevitable forcible confiscation of an entire class of firearms would work.

          What is the mechanism for your utopian/totalitarian vision of disarmament? And spare us the comparisons to the UK. This is, for good or bad, most decidedly not the UK.

          • CJ says:

            How about Australia? They implemented a buy-back system and got 650,000 guns out of private hands in just under a year, as well as increasing the legislation on owning and storing them. They reduced private gun ownership by 1/5th and haven’t had a mass-shooting incident in 14 years. Or are they another special case?

            How about Canada? Not too many mass killings up there, and the answer is tighter gun control laws.

            I am an American; I live in the UK but I grew up in Montana, and was given my first gun at 14; I still own two. Guess what – they’re in a gun safe, with trigger locks, with the ammo stored separately at my mother’s house. The way ALL guns should be stored

          • Chuck says:

            Since the comment function apparently won’t let replies to replies go on indefinitely, I’m replying to my own post.

            Again, you give examples of docile populations that had no problem with being forcibly disarmed by their governments. Unlike Australia and Canada, we actually killed our British masters when they tried to keep us from exercising our God-given rights.

            You should stay in the UK. If things go down here the way you apparently think they should, things will probably get a bit too sporty for the likes of you.

          • CJ says:

            To Chuck – thanks I will. And not because it’s too ‘sporty’ for me but because I want my children to grow up in a country where it is a big deal when a single person gets killed with a gun, not only when 26 do, and where they won’t need to go to an armed camp to learn but instead a school where learning is a higher priority than security.

          • CJ says:

            Oh, and Chuck you should travel more if you think the population of the UK or Australia are ‘docile’. Maybe attend a football (aka soccer) match and see how ‘docile’ the locals are when it kicks off.

          • Will says:

            So you’ve left firearms unattended in your mother’s house. Gun safes can be opened, trigger locks can be opened. You are a hypoctrite. And when your safety is compromised in the good ole UK who will you blame then.

        • Big G says:

          The Clackamas shooter offed himself as soon as he saw an armed citizen approaching him with a pistol.

  6. james says:

    Once again Eric well presented. I am glad to see that there are like minded individuals who are willing to voice their opinions regardless of the POP culture backlash. As a responsible gun carrying citizen the more who carry the less dangerous it should be for those who do not. If this tragity had been committed with a shotgun then they would be looking at restricting sales of 12GA shells… much like the Ft Hood shooting and the lack lusteer attempt at restricting or even banning the sales of 5.7×28 ammo. Let’s concetrate on the mentally ill who need help…

  7. Jeff says:

    Excellent post!! Had to share this on facebook in hopes a few folks will read and understand the truth about guns/gun laws.

  8. CJ says:

    Enjoy your guns. I hope that none of yours ever have to go through something like this from any point of view, but clearly you rambo-types never think it will.

    Keep this in mind – this guy didn’t own any guns himself; he took them from his mother. I’m sure his mother was a fine and law-abiding person, with the right background checks and everything, so how exactly would background checks or anything else stop this? How do you keep the guns out of the hands of the criminals and the crazy without stopping a few sensible ones from keeping them as well?

    • Jim says:

      I will enjoy my firearms. I pray that I never have to use the force I carry daily to defend myself or others from loss of life or severe bodily harm, but since I’ve already had to do so (both in Iraq and back home) I recognize the reality.

      As to your other questions: Nothing would have stopped this other than the mother not informing her son of the combination to the safe–or having the weapons in a safe to begin with. We can keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy without stopping the sensible owning them by better-funded police and a more adequate mental health system that does report to NCIC and could therefore stop those who wish to cause harm to others or themselves.

      • CJ says:

        You’re really comparing carrying a gun and having to use it in a war zone and in the US as being equal? That’s a truly sad state of affairs unless you’re a police officer.

        How exactly would a background check or NCIS reporting or better-funded police have stopped this guy? Or the guy in Oregon who stole his from a friend? Or the thousands of preventable gun deaths, mostly from children, that come from accidents?

        • Will says:

          Or the tens of thousands of preventable auto deaths, mostly children under 16, that come from accidents. UK doesn’t ban cars either.

        • James says:

          The Oregon mall shooter was confronted by an armed citizen while he was reloading and trying to clear a jam… his next action after that was to take his own life. What would the outcome had been if no one had confronted with him equal force. I’d venture to say more people would have been killed.

          As many above my comment have pointed out, stricter laws and more regulation will not deter evil. To paraphrase a former Army Colonel, he said guns have no morals, because they have no will of their own. They can be used by evil men to do evil things. However there are more good men than evil men and since evil men can’t be persuaded to be good with more “regulation and control”, they can certainly be corrected by good men with guns.

          An even more tragic event that the Newtown Shooter… Alexander Kehoe killed 44 people, mostly children, at a school he worked at by setting off a series of bombs and fires. He planned it for months. As first responders came, he drove in to them and detonated a car bomb. No guns used. It just goes to show that if someone is intent on taking another one’s life, they will find a way.

        • Bobbydavro says:

          http://www.basc.org.uk/en/departments/firearms/certificate-forms-and-fees.cfm
          It took a colleague who is in the army 9 months from application to actually getting a licence including medical police interviews security checks on his house and storage I’ve also been into a gun shop in Fayetteville, boy what a difference lol

        • Chuck says:

          CJ – What our liberal media did not report about the Oregon incident is that there was a young man in the mall with a conceal carry permit that drew down on the shooter. He could not shoot because shoppers were running behind the shooter but it distracted the shooter enough that he left the area and went into the stairwell and offed himself. Had he not been carrying there may have been dozens killed.

          • CJ says:

            Another factual error from our friend Chuck. It was all over the news, even over here in sunny old Liberal England the the Liberal Oregonian online newspaper. It was just overshadowed by someone killing 20 school children and 6 teachers.

  9. Steve says:

    It appears that “national tragedy” is defined solely by size nowadays. Where’s the national day of mourning for the 450 kids that died of leukemia in 2011, or the nearly 12,000 kids that died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010, or the 700 that die each year from drowning, often in home pools and spas? Since they died singly or in small numbers, their lives are apparently less valuable than the Newtown kids.

    • SSD says:

      Thank you Steve…I agree with you 100%. Why do we mourn the loss of one over another? Every lost child leaves a grieving family.

      • CJ says:

        Prevent-ability. The kids who die from accidents or illness are largely not preventable. Kids dying in large numbers from guns are.

        • Chuck says:

          Inshallah, right? Those kids who fell in the swimming pools and drowned…a shame, but it was not preventable.

          The logic of the deluded liberal.

          • CJ says:

            Nice assumption, but I’m not a liberal.

            Again, work on reading comprehension. I said it’s MORE of a tragedy because it was preventable, not NO tragedy because it wasn’t.

          • Chuck says:

            Whether intended or not, your implication was that somehow traffic deaths and swimming pool drownings are less preventable than mass shootings of small children at elementary schools. Ever hear of a swimming pool cover?

            I don’t really care how you identify yourself politically, but anyone who advocates revoking one tenth of the Bill of Rights and would happily live in a disarmed society where government has a monopoly on force is most certainly not a conservative or a libertarian.

          • Chuck says:

            Notice I said one-tenth (1/10th) of the Bill of Rights. As in the 2nd Amendment to the first ten amendments to the Federal Constitution. Your proposals are a de-facto revocation of the 2nd Amendment. Either you get that or you don’t. And if you do, you are being deliberately obtuse.

            Your turn, chief.

          • CJ says:

            You get defacto ban from ‘ban specific types and accessories, but not all guns’. OK, I guess you win the internet with your logic.

        • KP says:

          Plenty of preventable medically related deaths.

          The main difference is that this one got a lot more coverage.

          But this kind of talk degrades the lives of those lost. Let us at least be glad that we can mourn with some of those who need solidarity.

          • CJ says:

            To Chuck: I am not suggesting revoking the bill or rights. Still struggling with reading comprehension?

            Sorry, but no – legalize ownership with significant penalties for mis-use or theft, ban on handguns and high-capacity magazines. No outright ban

            Care to try again to assign to me a belief in something else? Happy to shut you down some more.

          • Will says:

            CJ all those are already in place…criminals don’t care. The mentally ill don’t care.

  10. CJ says:

    He said it better than I can:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-have-the-courage-to-stop-this.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB&_r=0
    ++++++++++++++++++
    In Australia in 1996, a mass killing of 35 people galvanized the nation’s conservative prime minister to ban certain rapid-fire long guns. The “national firearms agreement,” as it was known, led to the buyback of 650,000 guns and to tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those remaining in public hands.

    The law did not end gun ownership in Australia. It reduced the number of firearms in private hands by one-fifth, and they were the kinds most likely to be used in mass shootings.

    In the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings — but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect. The murder rate with firearms has dropped by more than 40 percent, according to data compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and the suicide rate with firearms has dropped by more than half.
    +++++++++++++
    Why is it that the gun-rights people suck so bad at simple math?

    • TM says:

      From reading your posts, it appears that you’re not even suggesting that certain types of guns be banned from being sold. You’re actually in favor of the government taking away guns that already exist. No?

      Awesome.

      • CJ says:

        For the record I propose:
        -a full ban on high-capacity magazines for all weapons (anything -over 5 rounds)
        -a full ban on handguns of all types and calibers
        -a full ban on any weapons or accessories which can be make a weapon easily concealed (i.e. folding / compressible stocks)

        Yes I propose getting rid of the guns that match the above already in circulation, otherwise there’s no f’ing point to any of this. What is the point of stopping ‘new’ guns from being made if there are 200 million guns already in the US?!?

        For all other gun types and for all ammunition, a full background screening, no matter the source of purchase, and no loop-holes for private sales or gun-show sales and for any gun purchase must be vouched for by at least 2 other people and no more than 1 gun purchase per month. Every gun must have a trigger lock and every gun must be kept unloaded in a gun safe, with ammunition stored in a separate safe. If a gun is stolen from the owner and used in a crime, the registered owner is accountable for that crime in part – if someone kills someone with a stolen gun, the gun owner is done for manslaughter, for instance, for improperly keeping a firearm.

        • SSD says:

          How the hell did you end up reading SSD?

          • Oxymrn says:

            And what about the criminals who will continue to acquire firearms and use them regardless of your bans on weapons? Do you propose a ban on those? Laws only apply to those who are going to follow the laws in the first place.
            Criminals don’t care about you or your gun control laws. When they break into your house to rape your kids and dog, be sure to call the cops. The Police do their best and they are already spread thin.

            Get a gun and learn to take responsibility for your actions.

          • CJ says:

            I served 7 years in the Air Force and came from a military and hunting backgroun and I liked your posts about military hardware and the technical know-how that goes into making better tools for the warfighter. I thought this was a blog about military arts and the technologies supporting them.

          • Lawrence says:

            CJ – did you ever stop to consider that part of the reason that no more mass killings have happened in Australia could also be due to other cultural and social reasons than simply the fact that they reduced private fun ownership by some magical percentage?

            And yes, the friend of the guy in Oregon and the mother of the guy in Connecticut were irresponsible to store their guns in such a way that someone else could grab them.

            Same as if you left you car unlocked, with the motor running, while you went in to a store and somebody jumped in and drove off with it, you’d be partly to blame as well.

          • Reverend says:

            This… to the Infinite Power.

            My condolences on the losses with the families in Connecticut.

            Keep in mind before you have a knee-jerk reaction that:

            Millions of Gun Owners today did NOT go on a shooting rampage with their firearms.

            Thousands of Gun Owners today DID defend themselves from robberies, assault, and violators of restraining orders.

            Hundreds became NEW Gun Owners for the first time today.

            Realizing that people have a tendency to blame the item, not the action. We need cooler heads to prevail during this time before we run wild with accusations, and actions, that have long lasting effects on those who did nothing.

          • Bobbydavro says:

            We read it for the usefull technical equipment and company updates ie soldier systems lol not redneck gun nuts getting there nickers in a twist cos they’re gonna lose ‘ol Bessie’ m trusty m4 lol

          • IRISH says:

            SSD you just made me smile.

          • Angry Misha says:

            I was totally wondering the same thing. How a person who claims to be so enamoured with “Military Tech” is such an adamant anti gunner. Oh wait… maybe he’s still upset about that ass kicking we gave his forefathers with the assault rifles of the time.

            Jeeze Eric, “171 Comments??!”
            Wow
            That’s gotta be a SSD record

        • CJ says:

          Reply to Lawrence (sorry no reply button on his post) – I agree with you, but my point is more that you can’t control this kind of thing through background checks or criminal records, and sadly the mom in Newtown is dead. So what is the best way to prevent this? Armed guards and bunkers around every school? Teachers packing heat? Then what happens when a teacher looses it one day?

          • Johns381 says:

            CJ, this is not a perfect world we live in. You can’t prevent every crime from happening. As I stated above we should have some sort of mental health database to keep those people from being able to legally purchase those weapons. Yes the most recent tradegy would still have happened but Aurora, CO and Va Tech could have been avoided. I agree with what Charles says about medication being overused too, these types of mass shootings rarely happened before ADHD medication was being used, seems an interesting connection that nobody wants to talk about.

          • Big G says:

            CJ,

            I’ll totally support all gun bans. And I’m a life member. With this one caveat:

            The courts have ruled many times over that the citizens cannot file suit against the police for failing to protect them; even if the citizens have a restraining order against a belligerent with an immediate arrest clause. Even if the citizen with such a restraining order calls the police. WE CANNOT HOLD THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR OUR PROTECTION. The courts have ruled that the government has a general obligation to the public, but not a specific obligation to the individual. We “the individuals” are responsible for our own protection. Not the government.

            Make us a law that says we can hold the government (municipal, state, federal) liable for the protection of the individual.

            You want a serious compromise on Gun Control? Be the bigger man and make a serious compromise on mental health, and big pharma. See here: http://ssristories.com/index.php These drug companies are responsible for these cases. I want serious changes to mental health law; mandatory reporting requirments in the public record by the health care provider, otherwise they are responsible for leaving these ticking time bombs on our streets. I want politcians to cut subsidies to green energy programs to pay for mental institutions to treat and house these people until they are well or for the remainder of their natural lives.

            There are at least 3 billion firearms and an untold number of rounds and explosives in the US among the civilians. Our bans have worked so well (CF: War on Drugs; Illegal Immigration; Drunk Drivers; Prostitution; Street Gangs). There is ample data that shows us, wishing evil away does not make it so.

            Do all that and we can talk gun control.

        • Robert says:

          How about a counter proposal. I suggest banning all liberals and liberal mentality. I also propose expediting the removal of all freedom hating communists from American soil. Third I propose teaching critical thinking skills in all schools instead of touchy feeley thinking.

          • Big G says:

            Seriously,

            I think it’s time we set out on different paths and let the 48% have their own country so the 51% percent can have another. We need serious talks. We are diametrically opposed… polar opposites.

            I will not abide an existence as a slave, or “SUBJECT” like so many in the commonwealth.

          • IRISH says:

            But their coffee is so good Comrad…… eerrrr How are we supposed to have coffee with our guns? Can we keep liberal commie coffee?

          • CJ says:

            So in love with the 2nd Amendment, you just don’t seem to care about the 1st. Or the 4th. Or the Declaration of Independence. Sad, from a ‘patriot’.

  11. Mike says:

    Guy´s
    as a european living in the country with probaply the most restrictive gun law in the world I might see thing a bit different than many US citiziens when it comes to the right for everyone to carry guns.

    I´m not a “ban all guns” fanatic. But I might like to put it in a different perspective and ask you if it´s really neccessary that underage kids teens and even twens – are able to buy guns, or can go out on shooting ranges to fire round after round. We all know that teenagers and twens are not the most mentaly stable persons at all – per definition. You are improving your personality and character while growing up. We all have been teenagers and might remember that sometimes “right” and “wrong” wasn´t so easy to figure out. So if misslead or not properly guarded things can co drastically wrong in these early years.

    Yes, one should blame the shooter not the tool. Still though, don´t you have the feeling as well , that such shootings by youngsters could have been preventend if they wouldn´t have been so familiar with the way of using guns and guns wouldn´t have been accessable to them so easy ? The legal access is making it an option to use guns.

    But can one really blame a kid for being tought how to use guns and herewith giving some of them a tool to use lethal force as an option to express their obiously deepest frustrations ?

    Banning guns in general will not be a solution. One has to take care of the mental health of young kids, but at the same time prevent them from the the tools that have such leathal power, they are simply to young and unstable to control.

    my 5 cents

    • Reverend says:

      “Still though, don´t you have the feeling as well , that such shootings by youngsters could have been preventend if they wouldn´t have been so familiar with the way of using guns and guns wouldn´t have been accessable to them so easy ? ”

      I’ve been in the shooting sports since I was five years old, and my military father laid down the law of handling firearms. It has NOTHING to do with the tools, and EVERYTHING to do with the lack of proper parenting.

      Never underestimate fear, and respect. I feared disappointing my father, and I respected him enough to not act a fool.

      • Mike says:

        Thanx for your reply.

        I do not doubt that there are also very responsible young guys and parents around.

        My point is, that it unfortunately just takes a single one that is not -to get to massacres like the Connecticut shooting. Using a firearm is creating ultimate precedents. The ultimate damage that a single misslead young person can cause is a high price.

        I do live in a society where the general right to wear guns is restricted to governmental institutions and the military. Still though one can own guns privately under certain circumstances. And I can state – it works !

        However, even over here we had such school shootings. The last one caused by a 17 year old , killing 15 teenagers. He was the son of a target shooter, who got the right to carry and own several guns. As this requires a backrounds check etc. he was regarded as a very trusworty person. Still though the guy failed to lock up his guns properly and had obviously no idea about the disasterous mental state of his son. The combination of these two fatal failiours caused the death of 15 young people.

  12. Andrew says:

    As an ER nurse if someone come to the ER with a complaint of a seizure we had the secretary send off a letter to the DMV precenting them from driving for a period of time untill they were cleared by a physician.
    When mentally ill people came in there was no database to to submit their names to. Not even to place an asterisk next to their name somewhere so they could get a second look if they applied for a firearm.
    On both nursing licenses and gun applications you are on your own to admit mental health deficits and as far as I know there is no entity in place to verify your meantal fitness even if it’s known to other medical professionals that you are ill.
    I don’t see things like this stopping anytime soon since we can’t keep guns out those we know have mental issues . Theres nothing to prevent those we don’t know have issues from obtaining them legally.

    • Lawrence says:

      Thank you Andrew – both for the work that you do, and also for that reality check. This is one of the kinds of loopholes that needs to be fixed.

      • Marine FO says:

        Well put Andrew. There needs to be a database and any history of mental illness, being treated for depression etc. would in my perfect world stop you from ever owning a firearm.

    • Bobbydavro says:

      That’s because if they had a register half the NRA members would be band immediately lol

  13. Charles says:

    There is one angle that has been completely overlooked with this event and it drives me frickin nuts that NO ONE (except the Washington Post) has pointed out that the guy was on medication. You know, the kind of medication that has suicidal or homicidal thoughts as a side-effect? The kind that has been over-prescribed to kids with depression or ADHD? The kind that has been involved in every single mass shooting in the last 20 years?

    Why has no one looked at this and said “Wait a minute. It’s not the guns that are killing. It’s the people who have lost their bearings and are going on a rampage with no regard for people or themselves!”

    Think about it: Do you ban cars to reduce-drunk-driving accidents or do you try everything to prevent alcohol from being consumed by someone who is going to drive? WE NEED TO PUT THE BRAKES ON MEDICATING PEOPLE WITH DRUGS THAT HAVE THESE SIDE-EFFECTS!

    There have been plenty of guns available since the Civil War. Why is it that these random, massive shootings started occurring when we started doling out prescription drugs like candy?

    Why is no one is connecting these dots in the media? For fear that Big Pharma won’t be giving out ad dollars? I’m not a conspiracy theorist but really, tons of doctors have been warning about these drugs (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, etc., etc.) for eons and ALL the mass killings has killers using these drugs.

    • CJ says:

      Learn history. The most violent school mass killing in America was in 1928 (a caretaker of a school blew it up and shot the survivors); the frequency of mass killings has actually gone down in the last 20 years. It’s not the number, or the severity, but the media coverage.

      But I like how you’re casting about trying to find something, anything, other than ownership of guns in record numbers in America to blame.

      • Chuck says:

        So, WTF is your point? The worst school mass killing was by means of a bomb. Oh, and by the way, the frequency of mass murder has actually decreased in the last 20 years. So let’s ban guns.

        Please, just stay on your side of the Atlantic. Your strawmen, logical fallacies and cognitive dissonance are ruining my lunch.

        • Norbis says:

          CK, I do not understand your point of view at all, if anything you seem to be strengthening the argument for gun ownership.

          Background checks do not work; the guns were acquired by other means. (“How would a background check stop either of these?”)

          Good question CJ, I guess making them [guns] illegal would not have prevented these cretins from acquiring guns?

          We live in a country with two international borders, two oceanic coastlines and the Gulf of Mexico. We cannot even keep people and drugs that do not belong here from entering our country.

          If there is lack of supply and high demand for firearms in the US, guns would become just another commodity that is smuggled across the borders along with humans and drugs. Let’s not even pretend for one second that the cartels in Mexico could not get tguns from other countries (especially if they were not being supplied by our own federal gov) in order to make money smuggling and distributing them in the US.

          So tell me how making guns illegal would stop there from being an overwhelming supply of unregistered and unaccounted guns on the street?

          What happened when alcohol was made illegal in the 1920’s? Oh, that’s right, a new niche market for organized crime was created, violence went up and nobody stopped drinking.

          What is the main argument for legalizing marijuana? Oh, that’s right, legal marijuana would be easier to regulate and monitor (according to the legalize it crowd. For the record I’m not making a case for or against legal marijuana, just pointing out the argument that is made for it).

          Seems like history repeats itself or something along those lines.
          But yes go ahead thinking we should create another niche market for criminals to buy/sell/distribute guns and that we will be safer for it.

      • Charles says:

        You point out one event in 1928 and we don’t know the mental state of the killer or if he was under the influence of anything at the time. It is well documented, however, that every mass shooting in the last 20 years (Columbine, Aurora, Fort Hood, etc., etc.) had a person on prescription anti-depressants pulling the trigger. Shouldn’t that be investigated also?

        I’m open to ALL possible evidence and if it’s solely because of the number guns, so be it. But there are other factors at play here and to dismiss them off-hand because we want to focus on one solution only (gun control) is not in the best interest of society at large.

      • JES says:

        CJ Said:
        “It’s not the number, or the severity, but the media coverage.”

        I agree, though I think my agreement is probably out of context. I’m quite convinced that if the media quit glorifying mass-killings, there would be fewer of them. Anyone read “The Tipping Point”? There’s a section where they point out how a statistically significant number of “accidental deaths” directly follow the suicide of a celebrity; they suggest these are copy-cat suicides induced by thinking about the celebrity’s actions. And here we are literally plastering this guy all over the world news- instant celebrity. The only way it could be worse would be to announce that he liked to drink Red Bulls or something- every loose screw would start drinking Red Bull to feel the synergy with this media-made demigod. If you’re feeling fruity and want to go out in a big way, we’re sure teaching folks the right way to go about it.

        Let’s let the poor folks mourn in peace. Probably the last thing they want anyways is to hear 24/7 about their child’s killer.

  14. Chris says:

    We had a guy where I’m from kill his wife, 2 kids, tenant and himself with a knife. It was a shocking and horrible scene apparently as he gutted them all. People couldn’t understand because he seemed pretty normal but something flipped and he went crazy. The interesting about it though, is no one talked about the device used in the murder-suicide. I bet everything that had he used a gun, it would be about the gun.

    People like to think it’s so clear cut. Ban guns, everyone will be safe. They try to make comparisons about how something works in another country forgetting completely that the US is a pretty unique country. Would mass killings just stop because it because harder to get guns? I don’t know. But I’m pretty confident that if someone decides they want to kill a large group of people, they are going to do it. The gun isn’t driving people to do this.

  15. Bryan Black says:

    Good commentary Eric, I appreciate your thoughts.

  16. Bryan says:

    I have been thinking about this all day and every day since the tragic event. For full disclosure, I am an NRA member and I train and shot AR type weapons. I am former Army and have vast experience with such a weapon. I do however understand the feelings on the banning of assault type weapons side and I am conflicted. What I have come up with is perhaps a solution that helps bring both sides together. I’m not a policy writer, but as a US Citizen I feel this is about the best I can do to try and help this crazy situation. I know this most likely wont be used, but perhaps it can give an outline on some sort of middle ground. I did this because I did not know what else to do.
    1. I would ban Assault weapons from being sold at high volume retails stores, ie, Wal Mart, Dicks Sporting Goods, Dunhams ect.
    2. I would licenses highly trained authorized dealers to sell such guns.
    3. You would need to purchase an assault weapons license at an initial cost of $500 for first gun and $200 after that on a limit of 3 total Assault type weapons.
    3a. Magazine clips would be reduced to 10 rounds.
    4. License would need to be renewed each year at a $250 price point for each gun.
    with a max total of 3.
    5. You will need to take the physiological test law officers take to make sure they are mentally competent to carry a fire arm.
    6. If you pass, you pay for the license and you can own the gun. If you fail, it is not refundable and the US keeps the $500.
    6a. You would also need to take an AR type safety course on the gun before the licenses was granted
    7. The money collected from the sale of the license will support public schools to hire and train professional armed security.
    At 10% tax on all Assault type weapon will be used to supplement that program as well.

    This program works on multiple levels. We reduce the sales to people that pass a rigorous test and also can be scrutinized by a proper selling authority. We generate perpetual funds to support the Public School Security program mentioned above. We also do not infringe on the rights of true sporting US citizens that want to own this type weapon.

    I’m not an NRA blue blood, what I am is a person who does enjoy this type weapon, but also understands that the vetting process needs to improve. And I also understand the concerns over this type of gun. I am not naive to think otherwise. I’m just trying to think outside the box for both sides.

    Thank you for reading. As I stated, this was a thought weekend and it really made me recalibrate my own thoughts and beliefs.

    • JM says:

      It wasn’t the guns, it was the operator. Similar situation happened in China with a knife and 22 innocents on the SAME DAY.

      For what its worth, more people will die today from either automobile accidents and alcohol abuse then firearms. No one is talking about banning or controlling either. Wonder why? Its called agenda setting and the media and government are doing a great job of framing the issue.

    • Pete says:

      Bryan you can’t be serious. How would ANY of that prevent what happened friday?

      From reading your post I doubt you have the “vast experience” you claim. They’re magazines—not clips.

      Let me guess…..officer right?

      • Bryan says:

        Pete my friend you have no idea how much experience I have my friend. I could go on and on to defend my military service but it’s not worth my time. I was a non-commissioned as you likely were but I have absolutely nothing to prove to you. I could continue and throw insults and smart ass comments like you have, but quite frankly I doubt you would understand it. I’m fully aware it is a magazine and I by the tone of your response it appears that your educational level might be lacking. I was speaking in generalities my friend. The point is Pete that this might not have mad any difference on the Friday travesty, however I am one that does not believe in absolutes as you must. It must be glorious to live in a world of absolutes and ignorance. What I am trying , and I stress, trying,to do is come up with a logical solution to an ever changing landscape. Like it or not , change in some sort is coming regardless of what we think. What I am doing is actually being proactive by coming up with a logical (a stretch for you I know) solution that appease both our view, gun control side and also fund a worth while project. Let me hear you soliloquy on your ideas and resolutions. My guess is you most likely can’t.

        • Pete says:

          You’re right. I don’t understand any of your stupid plan. I’m so uneducated I can’t seem to understand how placing an 800+ dollar tax on an assault rifle is a “compromise” and “no way infringes on my rights.”

          Hey in this dream world you’ve made up we’ll add some more tax…to fund assault rifle handouts to those unfortunate souls who can’t afford them. We’ll call them “Obama rifles”. Now everybody’s happy.

          I’m really sorry if I come off as a smartass. But the utter stupidity of your post has left me dumbfounded. You want to tax the shit out of someone who wants to buy an assault rifle and make him take the MMPI( oh that’s about 3 hours of your day). THIS is a compromise? You can’t seriously believe any of it.

          And I live in a world of ignorance?

          My solution? Not tax the holy fucking hell out of a law abiding citizen trying to by a rifle. They are not the cause of this problem.

          And for the record soliloquy is a noun, not a verb. IE you can’t soliloquy on something. But of course you’re fully aware of that.

          Have the best day ever!

          • Bryan says:

            Pete, fortunately for you Ignorance is bliss and I used soliloquy as a noun, just a typo on my part with you instead of your. Nice try though, I’m fairly impressed. A major disappointment for you I’m sure. It’s obvious that you can’t have a civil conversation. Throwing F bombs shows just how odd and strange you are. Civil dialog is not your forte and its obviously a threat to you. Choose to keep your head in the sand and not try to find a solution. That’s fine. My guess the world has passed you by a long time ago. For one, your response in no way made any sense and quite frankly it’s a ramblings of a mad man. Like it or not, and I don’t (we are on the same side here) change is coming. The tragedy that we witnessed on Friday will give legs to more gun control and I’m trying to head it off at the pass. Also the numbers I used are arbitrary. They can be adjusted obviously but that is not the point. I’m was just trying to develop a way of keeping our rights, make the situation safer for all of us, and fund a needed security project. Without forward thinking I’m afraid we will not have the ability to purchase a semi auto again. Yelling as screaming, like you are, at this point will not solve the issue. Like it or not, change is in the air. We either adapt smartly or the ban will have a suffocating consequences. I love problem solving and I can take other suggestion and ideas that are well thought out positions, however you chose to not talk, instead you filibusterer. No worries, I’m fine with that as well.

          • Pete says:

            Bryan your “solution” tells me you and I are not on the same team. You own firearms but I dooubt you really understand what gun ownership really means in this country.

            Maybe you should just follow CJ’s lead and move to a county were you can give up gun ownership so you can feel safer.

  17. LR says:

    Good article, but you lost me at not a national tragedy. I am as right as right can be, but the butchering of 20 little children is a serious problem for this country on so many levels.

  18. Pete says:

    CJ, Why do you even own guns? Seriously what’s the point?

    • CJ says:

      I have hunted since I was 12 (not in the UK, but until I moved here) and the guns were presents from my father – a remington 12 gauge and a .30-06 rifle. They’re kept in a gun safe, with trigger locks and my mother has the key.

  19. Will says:

    Excellent article Eric!

  20. Glaser says:

    I think we should ban spoons, they are making people fat and then they die of diabetes

  21. Drake Shurley says:

    MKEOD wrote : The Ar-15, a “High Powered assault rifle chosen by militaries for its ability to inflict maximum Damage on Victims” (I heard a News Reporter say that a little while ago)

    This Statement makes you the problem, you get your information from the Ill-Informed. That News Reporter does not know a Baseball Bat, from a AR-15……….and that’s your credible source….to many sheep in this Round Up Pen.

    With that being said, my Heart goes out to each and every person affected by this hainus act, true evil lives, there is no doubt about it…but blame the Brain, not the tool.

  22. Mr. European says:

    As far as weapon legislation goes, how’bout this:
    non-mechanical bladed weapons require zero permits or bans;
    mechanical bladed weapons (switchblades and ballistic knives) banned from public places altogether or according to standing legislation;
    No particular bans or permit requirements on firearms without magazines (issues of caliber should be handled separately according to their destructive potential, such as .50cal);
    A license or certificate requirement (a general gun-owner’s license) with a 20h firearm safety and handling course (job creation!) for weapons with non-detachable magazines and manually cycled action (bolt-, pump- and lever-action rifles and revolvers);
    A further certificate for semi-automatic weapons with integral magazines, this’d include early semi-auto pistols and most pre-cold war semi-auto rifles;
    A more expensive certificate perhaps with a requirement for a justification of ownership/use for semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines (to borrow from the finnish gun law “use in hunting, hobby activities [pro- or amateur sports shooting, reservist shooting] or profession”);
    Fully automatic weapons would be reserved for trusted collectors, instructors and police or military professionals.
    And of course a legal requirement for storage of weapons, e.g. an approved gun safe if one owns five weapons or more.

    A total ban on weapons or making them all require a legal justification (self-defence doesn’t count) would be impossible with your culture, but one can run damage control.
    Does a civilian really need a 5.56mm weapon that can kill a man 600m away even if they’re wearing a flak-vest, at several hundred rounds a minute? Wouldn’t a lever-action from 1880 loaded with modern magnum rounds suffice for “home defence” or moderate-range defence?
    Or would a civilian really need a 30rd magazined glock over a six-shooter with a speedloader?
    Has the average perp really gotten tougher to kill since 1870? Or 1770? Or 70AD for that matter.

    Weapons are meant for one thing: lethality. They’re nothing more and nothing less than implements of killing. And they have gotten better at it in the past six centuries, the past one especially.
    And since such highly developed tools of ending a life have made that deed so easy, wouldn’t some people see that as a lower barrier for mass killing than with a sword, a knife, a chainsaw or one’s own bare hands?

  23. SGT Rock says:

    This… “We have got to have a serious debate about mental illness in this country.”

    Lately all the mass killings have been committed by persons w/serious mental health issues. There needs to be a national database system in which this is reported and these individuals are not allowed to purchase firearms and they’re monitored by law enforcement b/c that individual may be displaying potentially harmful behavior patterns.

    Seriously, this would be a step in the right direction as everything else is just widespread panic and knee jerk reactionary decision making due to the actions of a few mentally ill individuals.

    • Mr. European says:

      The thing is with american healthcare, who’d foot the bill?
      Any public healthcare is “socialism” and people can’t afford comprehensive mental healthcare.
      So if having the govt. take care of a national database and comprehensive public mental healthcare is politically undesirable, then the only real solution would be to defang the beast. One can’t ban all guns. One shouldn’t. But restricting firearm types would make a dent.
      E.g. a six-shooter would have to be reloaded five times before a 30rd magazine of a glock is emptied. Five chances to tackle a shooter.
      But no. /people need to have access to 30rd pistol mags and 100rd assault rifle mags to defend their homes from perps with tanks./
      The common robber is no more durable today than he was in 1880, so why have such free access to weapons that are that much more dangerous than they were in 1880?

  24. Brad R says:

    Residential Swimming pools are the 2nd leading cause of death in the US for children under 14. Lets BAN those two since once again, parents are not responsible enough with their kids and we someone might get hurt.

    • Mike says:

      Brad,
      the difference between a pool and a gun is, that the pool wasn´t invented to kill people. If it happens it´s an accident. A gun is invented for a single purpose – to kill – if you practice with your gun (for self defence) you practice to kill people intentionally -not by accident.

  25. Jack Boothe says:

    First and foremost what happened in Newtown is a tragedy. Webster’s defines tragedy as a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that elicits pity or terror. Clearly the disastrous results in Newtown were sorrowful and terror filled and they eat at our souls.

    However those that are now clamoring for more gun control legislation are as off target as a Parkinson patient using a one hand stance at the range. Many, including an ill-informed and misguided President, are arguing that assault rifles have no place in civilian hands, These neophytes argue their use should be limited to only the military or police. Senators, and even some my conservative colleagues are arguing that weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s should be banned because they really cannot be used for hunting. Many argue that these assault weapons’ only purpose is to inflict mass injuries on our fellow humans. That ability to inflict horrific destruction on humans is exactly the reason they should not be banned or restricted.

    The Second Amendment is not about hunting doves on a cool morning in Georgia with your 28 gauge. It is not about being out on a winter day stalking deer with granddad’s .30.30. Nor, is about going the range and testing your skills with the .22 that you have had since your youth. The Second Amendment is about killing; specifically killing people, and if necessary killing people that work for the government. Now I know that the NRA is not going to use my arguments in any advertising campaign and that they will slink around these arguments and come up with some slick Madison Avenue tested and approved feel good campaign and I truly approach their efforts to sway a truly and remarkably ignorant and obtuse American population. Nonetheless, the fact still remains the Second Amendment was, is, and always will be about killing people.

    You see, our Founding Fathers, despite some of their own personal failings, were brilliant men. They argued and reasoned based on principles and on their understanding of the classic theorists and political philosophers—some whom were their contemporaries, and others going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Can you imagine anyone in the US Senate or House of Representatives referencing Plato or Cincinnatus or Rousseau or Hobbes in the upcoming debate on this issue. I guarantee that Lady Gaga will have more influence on how your local representative will vote than any of the reasoned and time tested words and ideas of the Founding Fathers.

    The founding Fathers knew that the state politic could not be everywhere at every time and that “we the people” would need to protect ourselves, our families, and property. In the late eighteenth century it was from wild animals, marauding Indians, bandits, and British regular and irregular troops. When they added the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, it was for this very reason. Specifically it was written so as not to limit any individual’s ability to protect and defend themselves. There was no Parents against Guns special interest groups arguing that people only needed “matchlock blunderbuss” and that Kentucky Rifles and Brown Bess’s (especially those with bayonets) should not be in civilian hands because they were obviously for the military only. After the Revolutionary War the founding fathers also knew that the new government (or any government) could be as dangerous threat to freedom as any wild animal, or member of an invading or occupation army. That is why citizens today enjoy and are engendered with the right to own an assault rifle. Simply put, the founding fathers knew the potential exists for the day when the people may need again to rise against a tyrannical government to preserve their and their loved ones life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Is that day here. I don’t think so: but, as we see the government intrude more and more into our personal lives and more and more of our liberties are being taken away so that government can allegedly make us safer—but safer from whom—that day may come in the future.

    I know this forum is read by many police officers and members of the military. While I truly respect the sacrifices that you and your family make daily, and wish you home safe every night, I also fear you. You represent the state and ultimately as a citizen my ability to ensure the safety of my own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and that of my family, and your ability to do your job may come into direct conflict someday. I would like to think that if I was as welled armed as you are, that might create some hesitancy on your part before you tried to take my life and liberty away. I am not talking about criminal enforcement of the legitimate laws here. I am talking about the day the state may decide that having more than one child is too much of an economic burden and that as an officer or government official you have been ordered to take away my child. Will that day ever come, I hope not. But if it does, I will do whatever I need to and use whatever weapon I have available to protect my inalienable rights as “God the Creator” gave them to me and all men against the abuses of a tyrannical state and its agents. This may mean that as an agent of the state you may have to make the ultimate sacrifice at my hand in enforcing an unjust law. It may mean that I might have to make the ultimate sacrifice at your hand in protecting my freedom. But that is the resounding beauty of the Second Amendment it gives me the ability to defend myself and my fellow patriots—but only if we at or near a level playing field.

    Let us be honest here: guns are inherently dangerous. Automatic weapons more so. Guns are meant for killing—but that is OK. Sometimes the violent application of force is necessary for the greater good. Governments and their agents (and here I specifically mean our heroes in law enforcement) use deadly force all the time and they should have no fear of a well-armed citizenry. However, citizens that are forced or give up their rights to self-protection and self-preservation to a government are no longer citizens but slaves to that government.

    I am sorry if my right to own an assault rifle makes life more dangerous of law enforcement officers. I am sorry my right to own multiple weapons scares people. However, it this very right that keeps government from becoming tyrannical and taking away your and my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. In short, we are truly free (albeit not entirely safe as some would like) because some citizens own assault weapons.

    • Robert says:

      Thank you sir, very well said.

    • Mr. European says:

      It’s nice that you believe that your ownership of multiple rifles can keep you safe from the government should you ever disagree with it.

      But here’s the thing. Can your rifle kill an Abrams? Can it drop a Raptor? Does it match a Minuteman?
      If it can, then you have parity with your government. If not then it’s like catapulting yourself at a castle wall in an attempt to bring it down.

      And retroactively enforced one-child policy? Bit of a strawman argument, don’t you think?

      And some would quite dangerously use this “military-grade weapons to defend oneself against the establishment” argument as a license to kill police officers in cases where they have a disagreement.
      Laws are written by your elected representatives. You have little choice but to follow those laws until they are repealed by future elected representatives. This is the point of representative democracy.
      Or would you rather exist in a society where every law requires 100% agreement not only from the elected representatives but from the people they represent? This system does not work in any continent-spanning state. The closest to such is Switzerland, and their reservists are allowed to keep their service weapons! Consensus democracy can only work if every voter has equal and full access to information about referendums or bills.
      So would you count disagreement with your government as them being tyrannical, or if/when they try to remove some or even most of your civil liberties (yeah, thanks for that, Bush) and dismantling any vestige of representative democracy you have left and leave power to special interest groups or some overt nomenklatura?

      “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.”

      One can see why there’s so much debate about gun regulation, as the meaning of the text was not spelled out…

      All this talk about keeping and bearing modern arms for parity with the government, but rarely I hear word about well regulated militias. A central authority (in whatever geographic/administrative level) is required to regulate anything. And it only speaks of one Militia. But does this mean each state in the union should have its own militia, or the country as a whole? In a government of the people, for the people and by the people a militia of citizen soldiers would be subject to the regulation of said government. And each citizen has the right to join this militia to carry arms for his liberty.

      But then we get to the personal liberty part. Do we mean a citizen who influences his state to ensure his freedom from outside oppression and with his vote ensures his freedom within the state? Or does it mean an anarchistic view where a person is not and should not be subject to any other authority or rule than his own? If it’s the latter option, then forget the Greek city-states, focus on the societal model of clan-states or even person-states.

      “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”
      It doesn’t spell out the types of arms (there weren’t that many back then), so does this include anything between Derringers and Peacemaker MXs? Or does it mean anything between single-shot pistols and brass cannon? It’s a completely different paradigm than what they had back then. Even revolvers were about as developed then as infantry DEWs are now, let alone any other kind of repeating weapon.

      • CJ (The conservative one) says:

        “But here’s the thing. Can your rifle kill an Abrams? Can it drop a Raptor? Does it match a Minuteman?
        If it can, then you have parity with your government. If not then it’s like catapulting yourself at a castle wall in an attempt to bring it down.”

        Have you paid attention at all to AFG/IRQ for the past ten years?
        Two words – asymmetric warfare.

        • Mr. European says:

          Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, so you alone or a rag-tag group of like-minded individuals can bring down a government on that government’s own soil, with any soldiers loyal to it seeing you as traitors and/or terrorists. Especially if you commit strikes that cause collateral damage (as some militia groups have already planned).

          • Bobbydavro says:

            Woah there big lad see they did it to the British a couple of century’s ago then did it to them selfs shortly after therefore they can and will do it if this liberal socialist namby pamby government tries to take there m16 of them lol hahaha

          • IRISH says:

            Syria?

        • Big G says:

          No shit, right! I was thinking the same thing. The supreme court already ruled on this.

      • Random Browncoat says:

        Uh, the Brits didn’t think a bunch of hillbillies could stand against the world’s greatest naval force and the strictured, structured Army of the King, either…

        We kept the country, you sawed your guns in half.

    • Big G says:

      Well spoken Mr. Jack Boothe! Great Job. Thank you for taking the time to write that.

  26. Logic says:

    CJ – I agree with you that there perhaps needs to be more accountability and resposibility on owners. I do not however agree with your idea that owners should be held accountable for crimes committed with their stolen weapons. ‘If my car were stolen and invovled in a car vs. pedestrian where that pedestrian died, would I be held liable for manslaughter?’ I do believe that owners should have a requirement to report stolen firearms immediately.

    I know I will catch flack here but I also think it would not be terrible to require firearm sales between 2 private parties to have to occur at a weapons retailer or even police station. There would be no requirement for the government to retain information of the sales, but for the potential buyer have the same/quick background check run(similar to when you buy a new weapon.) It would be the sellers requirement to retain documentation of the sale in their records. Thus, you can have a background check, record of transaction, and accountability. Perhaps not the best solution but only an idea.

    Having to store your ammunition seperate from your weapon is not ideal if your intent for the weapon is home defense. I do keep my weapons locked in a large safe which requires both a combo and a key. I also have a quick-safe for a handgun built-in/hidden in the nightstand.

    I am a liberal, but I am also a realist. I live in the Southwestern US where crime is high. I have been hiking with my family in the desert and have had to take refuge under cover because we are passed by armed drug trains. There are home invasions(inceasing) because of the drug use, mostly by meth users looking for money/jewelry or other items to sell for drug money. I am not reducing my ability to defend my family because I have to run to my mother’s to get ammunition for my handgun. I want to be able to immediately dispatch all threats, multiple or single and to do so quickly. I am against “Total Bans.” I am an 8 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and I am a public safety officer of 10 years. While comparing military environment to civilian for rational in owning firearms is also flawed, I will tell you as an officer protecting our communities I get to see horrible things first hand as well as getting REAL exposure to today’s society. I believe my experience/insight here is far more reliable than cutting and pasting an internet link. I will tell you that banning weapons from law abiding citizens will not reduce overall crime/killings. The crazy and the evil do prey on the weak. In fact I would tell you that if you ban you will see an increase in crime and potentially deaths. In a utopia, if you could totally isolate or have significant controls over a society(geographic locale) you would probably see positive results from a ban, i.e. a country that is an island. A country that shares its border with another country that is lawless and has a newly elected governement that champions the drug trade/war, and is corrupt throughout would become easy prey. Especially(ironically) when the same US gov’t that wants a ban also opposes finding a true solution to securing the border and subsequently enabling that culture of crime/danger.

    I do not profess that each individual has the right to carry an RPG or the like, but I also believe that a ban would not solve anything. If you did spend time in the military doing what you claim, you know that a sniper “will” hit their target. It is the same, if a an evil/mentally ill/ideological person wants to commit murder they will with whatever tool they can. By removing weapons from citizens you are removing the deterrent from criminals. I understand your rational(although I do not agree with banning them) that the high cap magazines gave the shooter the ability to increase the casualty rate exponentially, and should be banned. Yet you profess that shotguns are okay? As a past “operator,” I can tell you that one can cause more damage/casualties with a shotgun than any handgun and can be reloaded almost as fast. So, after a handgun/rifle ban some individual shoots up a place with a shotgun, do we outlaw them? Where does it stop?

    A ban is not the solution, just a short sighted, flawed, and immediate fix.

    Maybe it is not… There are a lot of obese people in America, I am going to start a motion for a ban on spoons. If they did not have spoons, they would not be overweight.

    • Mr. European says:

      An approved firearms broker would be an excellent common-sense arrangement. Get access to the background check system and a supervised environment for any purchase or exchange. Perhaps an opportunity to buy something extra at the same time (if at a private venue).

  27. Palehorse1 says:

    Teaching our youth that “everyone is a winner” and that “you tried” makes failure good enough is setting them up for life shattering events when they go into adult life and find that only those that are winners are in fact “the winners,” and that just turning up is not enough and that you do actually have to work hard and improve yourself to compete.

    So many of these young adults are finding that they have no comprehension of how adult life actually works as they have been led to believe that it’s okay to be a poor performer in order to keep them from getting their feelings hurt. As long as we continue to hide the facts of how the world works from them we have to expect these type of meltdowns on a regular basis.

    • Logic says:

      My little daughter had her first soccer practice a few weeks ago. During a break she said, “Dad, we get a trophy even if we do not do anything.” What the heck?!?!? We had to have a discussion about expectations, including doing your best/what is right without the expection of reward, and even if they do not win first place that playing as a good sport is what was really important.

  28. Logic says:

    Mr. European,
    I agree with your idea of requiring some sort of education for owners. I come from a family that taught proper use/expectations/safety for firearms and extensive history in military/law-enforcement experience. While we, nor other families I knew growing up, have or even need such a class, I believe the complacency/laziness of today’s society in the US and the surge/availability of firearms has created a large pool of ignorant/uneducated firearm owners. I have seen terrible unsafe actions in person and on the internet. Our culture has been desensitized(sp?) to firearms. Law-abiding does not mean educated… I think a class would greatly benefit all owners. Muzzle awareness, target selection, defensive shooting, avoiding escalation of situations, etc… I think a firearm in the hands of an uneducated owner is potentially as dangerous as in the hands of someone intending to do harm. I worry about an owner, in an attempt to engage a threat, hitting collateral targets. I have seen police officer miss targets under stressful situations, do you think an untrained civilian would do any better? Education is the key.

    • Mr. European says:

      But that education wouldn’t have real impact or meaning in the grand scheme of things if it didn’t have some legal weight.
      A 20h-30h course with a resulting federal (or state) authorized gun-owner’s certificate would be a positive flag in background checks. Of course, it could be revoked if there’s need, leading to an inability to purchase a weapon.
      The course and the certificate itself (perhaps a credit-card sized standardized license) should cost little, perhaps a few hundred dollars tops per applicant.
      It would cost anyway to applicants, unless the govt. takes it upon itself to fund it (they should, but it would be decried as “socialist”). So if it costs anything, it has to have some concrete legal weight to justify it. Education is not effective unless it’s mandatory.
      Let’s say, you have two brothers, both of the same background and upbringing. One attends a gunowner’s course and pays for it. The other doesn’t. The one who attends gets his license and goes to purchase a firearm. He either shows his license or there’s a note of it in his background check, and he gets his weapon easily. The other brother would have to go through a much longer process to get a similar weapon since he doesn’t have this license, if he even gets the weapon at all.

      Perhaps this course would be made redundant for those who’ve been to the armed forces. Just have them attend some “final exam” of the course to get a license at a discounted or subsidized price.

      And since America has a volunteer force, this course would be very much required in the civilian sphere.
      Where I live pretty much everyone who owns a weapon has been to the army. There are 56/100 firearms per capita here regardless of our gun regulations and gun homicides are rare. Most murders are drunken stabbings.

      I’ve been to the army, and I’d personally like to own a weapon for firing range shooting and reservist purposes. Preferably an SKS (unmodified except with a sight rail). Here I would need to justify the need for a rifle to the police (they’re the sole authority that gives firearm licenses). With what I’ve previously stated, I’d need to apply for a rifle, state its function and caliber, and state that I’d need it for firing range practice as part of a shooting club. If required, I’d go through an examination to see if I’m mentally fit for it (which I’m sure I am :)). Then when I have a temporary license, I’d have to keep count of the occasions I’ve gone shooting with it to get justification for a permanent license for that particular weapon (legally stated as “valid until further notice”).

      Sry for the long rant though, but this is a subject that requires detailed enunciation, as it is far from simple. Especially with this context’s entanglements.

  29. Frank says:

    I’m going to throw a whole different slant to this discussion. I don’t know about Australia or the UK but in the USA there is the Second Amendment which I have not seen mentioned once and then there is a name in our Constitution that is also not mentioned God. The Second Amendment speaks for itself and speaking from New York State, not only one of the strictest gun controled states in the country but also one of the highest crime rate states in the country. Show me where “gun control” has worked, especially in New York City, where the laws are even stricter then the rest of the state.

    Now GOD, this country was created with a strong presence of a “Higher Being” that I call God.Read the Constitution and count the number of times God or Under God is mentioned. It is in the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not a Bible thumping person but I believe that OUR country has gotten away from our roots and that if we don’t get back there, there will be more of these heinous acts. Satan has so much to work with these days it is scary.

    So please no knee jerk reactions that we are known for because I don’t think you will get the cooperation that they got in Australia, far from it. Guns don’t kill people, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE

    • Mr. European says:

      “One nation under God” was added in the 1950s, changing it from “one nation, indivisible”;
      most of your founding fathers were deists by what I hear, wanting to break the shackles of intertwining church and government;
      1st amendment states that the state shall not establish a religion;
      and indeed people kill people, but guns make that a whole lot easier.

  30. Stutz says:

    I’m dumbfounded at the stupidity of some people… The problem with secular humanism is that you can’t hold accountable an animal you’ve made to be his own god… Look, it’s not rocket science: Man with evil intent sees someone he’d like to harm for one reason or another, and if a deterrent fails to be presented, He will fulfill his desire… When I deterrent is presented, He has to question his risk assessment… criminalizing honest citizens won’t stop criminals… You cant make people be honest or do right… But you CAN provide a deterrent to cause them to consider their actions… THAT is the only true security, I trust my personal security to no other man on earth, as it is not his responsibility to provide that… It is MINE… It is the right and responsibility of fathers to protect their children, and I’m sorry to say this in light of the recent tragedy, but they have FAILED the next generation, failed to protect their own offsprind… I have no respect for this, nor will I ever…

    • Mr. European says:

      Sometimes no deterrent is enough. For some that deterrent is the reason to perform evil to begin with.

      When someone’s gotten into their head to hurt or kill you, they will do their utmost to do so.

  31. Mark says:

    1. We need to live in cages and be fed by guards. Wise guards.

    2. If you have ever smoked a joint, your comments on prohibition are invalid.

  32. Eric says:

    Eric, your post was excellent and a perfectly put this topic in perspective.

    For all those who are advocating “European” style bans, licensing, etc.: America is not Europe. Period.

    This country was founded on the principals of freedom and individual liberty that was not subject to state controls. This is our tradition, it is our birthright, and is our choice. We fought a revolution to take control of our destiny away from an oppressive central authority.

    In Europe, the move from centralized authoritarian feudalism to modern “social-democracy” wasn’t a dramatic break (yes, I am aware of the French Revolution, but look where things ended up shortly thereafter with Napoleon to today); but rather a slow evolution with the core of central authority that has priority over personal liberty. We (ours ancestors and also some of us, if recent immigrants) decided to leave this type of system to gain personal freedom where the rights of the individual trump the central authority. While I admit that I am generalizing to make a point; European democracy is just the same old enterprise, with different management. In the history of civilized man, the United States is different and exceptional.

    As far as Newtown, CT goes: my heart is heavy for the families. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the grief. What I can understand from this is how our mental health system is a failure. That should be the “national discussion” not just some token gun legislation to gain some soundbites for leftist politicians. It is not the tool that is responsible for destruction, but the destroyer.

    As far as the claims of “prevent-ability of death”. The fact is that you don’t know when your number is up. You don’t control the lives of others. This is one of the oldest philosophical debates in mankind, so thinking that some gun ban will provide the answers is like thinking you can prevent rain by wearing sunglasses.

    • Mike says:

      Well -as a european who used to live in the US (a long time ago) I´m quite aware of the cultural differences in backround. As for the revolutionary aspect of your societies history. Europe isn´t a single country – even if for you it might be easier to regard it as such to fit your theory . It´s not! It´s an ever sizzeling brew of different cultures, languages religions and political ideas that where formed through over 2000 years of history including countless revolutions till the 21st century (the french just started it) but also many dictatorships and disasterous wars carried out on european soil – in some parts till today . So calling these events “less dramatic” for the creation of the society models compared to your own society- model “just” being based on a revolutionary event dating back to the 18th century, and the last war fought on american soil in mid 19th century is a bit – strange. So in my books if the a central Government “is your “problem” any european should have a much stronger feel for the need of selfdefence against political rulers than an american citizen, as we have experienced the missue of governmental power big style and some east europeans still do today.

      The difference of a european view is – that we had and still have to learn from each other. It´s a matter of cultural surival to put things into different perspecvtives and not regarding your way of seeing things always as the ultimate option. Others might have great ideas as well 😉

      I regard this a a benefit – as it keeps you constantly alert for the developments of a rapidly changing world. So yes, Europe isn´t the USA- but who knows – you may be benefiting from a different perspective -for a local problem – even if it´s a european idea.

      It sometimes sound a bit odd to us that disscussions like these in are so polarized in the US. If you support a healtcare you are a socialist and worse. ( For somebody who has really experienced a socalistic political system- this sounds like pure cynicism ) And if one is just questioning the need for everyone to carry guns in the 21st century , one is a misslead liberal. Your country, the world, and the firearms have changed since 1789.

      • Mr. European says:

        : applause :

        • Eric says:

          As I mentioned in my original post, I was over generalizing purposely. This is not a forum for multi-day summits on world politics and discussing the culmination of 2000 years of history, etc. To do so in short form would be either ignorant or cynical.

          Having lived in Europe for several years and currently having business interests there, I do try to understand the cultural, historical, and political differences in the mass of cultures and countries in Europe. The underlying similarity in most European societies is a need to legislate and regulate every aspect of one’s life and react to any incident with new regulation. That is where the old authoritarian feudalistic state and the modern social-democracy have intersected.

          I understand from the European perspective, it is much easier to argue over “rights” you never had than those you hold now and are threatened with being taken away. This is a fundamental difference in perspective and divergence in world view between the US and the rest of the world. You (in a global sense, again generalizing) believe that the government “gives” you rights or permits behaviors, freedoms, and liberties at their discretion. For this, you are obligated to serve the state. Our Constitution states that rights have been endowed upon us by our Creator. The state is obligated to us to protect our freedoms. That is our Constitution- it is a contract between a free people and it’s government to limit the power of the government and ensure that our freedoms are protected from tyranny.

          Yes, the world has changed since 1789, but the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution should not as they are inalienable rights. Ask yourself this question: Who is better to be in charge of determining your destiny? You or the state? Who grants freedom? God or the state? If you understand that these are fundamental questions that surround these issues, you will understand the European bans, licensing, and other “solutions” are out of place in the United States. If you start to dismantle each part of the Constitution and provide limitations on it, you are setting to grounds for further limitations. If you start placing limits on something specifically guaranteed by the Constitution, what rights are next? Free speech? Make a new law that only one political view is allowed, the rest are banned or require licensing? Freedom of religion? Outlaw some religious expression and make others subject to regulations? Private property? You can have private property at the discretion of the state, but it can be confiscated at any time?

          It is not that you are a ‘misslead liberal’ (your words) for questioning our rights. It is a slippery slope when you allow one liberty to be lost; as once it is lost, even if restored there will always be a threat to restrict it again.

  33. Nick says:

    Thank you for a tremendously well presented and moving piece.

    After the media coverage over these past few days, I’ve decided to formulate my own opinion on the events, and both sides of the argument. Please critique the hell out of this comment:

    I believe that the repeated occurrence of horrific loss of life in concentrated “safe areas” is not only troubling, but a clear message that what we as a society are doing is not working to make our population, especially our youth, safer. Also, data that has already been brought up in the previous comments suggests that American society is suffering from an unprecedented number of cases of mental illness, many of which are “treated” through the use of prescription medications which may and often do have dangerous, mood altering side-effects. Given these two factors, third and fourth aspects of society become all the more important: youth in society are becoming more disconnected from the consequences associated with their actions, and our current societal model does not discourage this behaviour, but rather ignores or appeases such individuals; this in turn starts to create an entitled society where previously labeled “anti-social” behaviour is not addressed.

    Throwing firearms into the mix creates a problem of risk within such a society where individuals are medicated, removed socially from the realities of consequences for their actions and are used to “getting their way”. Irrational people with any object that can potentially maim or fatally injure others is a recipe for disaster. I’m just brainstorming, but wouldn’t addressing risk-associated behaviours as they relate to gun ownership in the way that insurance and credit agencies do for money-lenders (or used to do correctly, I should say) potentially reduce violent incidents?

    Maybe proposing a couple things to make a paradigm shift in our legislature could be in order:

    1. Nationalize a concealed carry permit requiring stringent evaluation and ongoing training/education to be held on a national standard (Every state and county, including Washington DC, should allow for concealed carry within one rubric of laws, instead of the free for all that we have now). This idea is similar to a LEOSA permit, but extended to vetted citizens.

    2. Require a shooting qualification every year/two years for handguns, rifles and shotguns. I strongly feel that if you are going to own a weapon, especially for self defense, you should be able to safely operate it; why not make gun ownership dependent on demonstrating proficiency in safe handling and shooting practices?

    3. Make “Soft” points “Hard”. Schools need a way to respond to active violence scenarios that makes sense, cowering in a classroom with the lights off makes as much sense as not bringing a writing utensil to a written examination; you’re helpless and waiting for failure.

    4. Educate and gag the media. If someone doesn’t know a Bushmaster from a Baseball Bat and reads whatever their editor gives them, then they are no help to anyone when it comes to factual information. The Atlantic, one of my favourite publications, tries hard not to fall into this trap, but they misinform readers when it comes to guns, the NY times is notorious for this too. Unfortunately, news like this sells well, and people in a digital age will post as many stories to get as much traffic and “user engagement” as they can. Since Gun Control is such a hot keyword, media enterprises feel obligated to cover anything involving a firearm ad nauseum regardless of the factual content. It’s time that the NRA became better at communicating with these people, even though they may not understand the outdoorsman and shooting enthusiast’s way of life. I’d love to see major news publications come to the NRA looking for factual information and understanding about a lifestyle choice that can bring about a happy, value-filled and respect driven life, not to mention a safe community.

    5. Fill in the gaps in our mental health system. Our nation doesn’t have an efficient framework for helping our distressed and mentally disabled communities. A great blog post came up about this perspective shortly after the shooting: http://thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/ and I hold a personal stake in the argument, as my younger brother is incredibly intelligent, but suffers from developmental and emotional disorders. He is very lucky to be able to have the kind of care that he does, away from home in a therapeutic environment/school setting that will (hopefully) help him develop social skills. It’s hard for me to talk about his condition, as I don’t know enough about it, and I feel that there is a social stigma within having anything short of a “perfect” family, but I strongly feel that as a society, we need to address this issue like many readers of SSD do daily: without the bullshit, with honesty, integrity and steadfast determination to make real and lasting change, no matter how many feathers you ruffle to do the right thing. If you are sibling or a parent with a sibling or child with these issues and you own firearms or other possible improvised weapons, do what I do, and keep them secured in an off-site location unknown to anyone but yourself and/or a trusted individual so that access to unauthorized people is minimized.

    Americans aren’t Israelis; we do not have required military service, and we aren’t beset on all borders by nations wishing our destruction, but our culture was built on similar values, and given the nature of our most violent threats, maybe we should take a few notes from the Israeli playbook and toughen up, teach better values through community and national service, and make our nation safer through education and smart legislation that doesn’t penalize and stigmatize those of us who do enjoy shooting sports and enjoy using legally available instruments within the peaceful confines of our society

  34. Jared says:

    Our 2nd amendment was not put in place just for home defense, or concealed carry, or hunting. I believe firmly that, our forefathers knew that if we were an armed nation, aside from the military/ law enforcement, we would be a deterent in itself. 200, 000 gun owners is a strong force. Our gov. knows this, that is why they want to take them away. By taking away our rights to own weapons, whether it be handgun or semi-automatic assault rifles, I believe it could possibly open the door to foreign agression on a scale we’ve never seen. Our military is stretched thin all over the world. And were hated by the world because we support Israel. So lets say, we get attacked by china, they wipe our main line of defenses out, and the bulk of any force is the gun owners? We will be the ones fighting. Now this is all theoretical, but not impossible. We are living in dangerous and evil times. Liberal gun control fanatics might as well hand the enemy the keys to the door. Or turn into a police state, like youve never seen before.

    • Golu says:

      Wow, i dont know if this is paranioa or just stupidity. To say you need your AR15 to fight China or the future democratic/communistic police state is as ridiculous as fighting zombies or aliens…its no realistic scenario, so whats your point?

      So what if? Do you really think you are a threat to any army just because you have a gun? Better get some tanks, planes, artillery, nukes etc…war is more than just a bunch of people with rifles.

  35. CKS says:

    I have read through nearly all of these posts/articles on a variety of websites and thought a long time regarding gun ownership in this country. I would rather be a citizen, not a subject. The thoughtful people from the left are all pointing at America’s gun culture as the root of evil. 2 seconds after the news broke there was a psychologist blaming video games and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) clamoring for a Clinton-esque ban. What this boils down to is simple. You can not plan for maniacs. All the police in the world could have been siting in the lot at Sandy Brook, that maniac’s mother would still have died. She may have been irresponsible. She may have been frustrated with his condition and set him off. But regardless, she should still be alive today. Those children and staff are dead today. I am personally pained. My job is that of a public safety dispatcher and I am an infantryman in the Army Guard with a deployment to Afghanistan. What most readers on this site will instantly recognize is my need to basically do an AAR with improves/sustains. A “What if?” instantly hit me.

    I know the response time for cops/EMTs/SWAT in my town. Would I have been able to start a response in time after receiving the first call to save lives in a situation like that (where he walked in a room and killed 20 or so)? NO. Would the police who arrived be prepared for triaging 20 shot children AND engage the threat? NO. Would my department be able to handle an active shooter within a 5 minute time hack? NO. Soon and so forth. In essence, I was personally saddened because this occurred just a few months before in Aurora and I took the same AAR approach and came up with the same answers and truth be told I think most cities/towns/county law enforcement still has the same sickening feeling that this is a skill set that eludes them for a number of reasons.

    Which leads me to the point, disarming citizens is a detriment to good order and weakens our society more than a gun ban strengthens it. Law enforcement has become paramilitary but it is not the military. Most police officers step forward to serve their community not shoot people. It is important to remember the NYPD beat-walking, billy club swinging Irishmen in the early 20th century who picked up guns AFTER being shot at. You escalate force in synch with the force used against you. In Afghanistan, local police are inept, poorly trained and equipped and ineffective at law enforcement, so village elders put AK’s in peoples hands and gave them a post; the Taliban caught on quick, do not F with this village. If an American base is nearby with effective weapons and training (I.E. Kabul) their response time is still not good enough to deter a threat and the Taliban attack with impunity killing innocent children and women all the time.

    The analogy holds true here in America. NYC has an enormous, well funded and modern police force, yet it has strict gun control and yet criminals commit gun crimes almost daily. Yahoo news actually posted an incredulous article about the fact that NYC went a whole 24 hours without a rape, murder, assault, robbery or domestic disturbance being reported. NYPD officers and cops in general are not omnipotent. Law enforcement is typically a reactive science. You get called for help and go. As a citizen I’d like to be a witness to a crime that can provide a statement to police as the assailant is hauled away (in cuffs or on a gurney-his choice), not a victim that provides evidence for collection to a bunch of detectives trying to figure out why I’m dead.

    I won’t degrade this discussion by comparing us to any other country. If you ask me Kate and William seem like good people but I’ll take voting. America unshackled itself from tyranny with firearms. America has flaws, but our experiment in liberty precludes us from standing in line and groveling for rights. We don’t ask government for anything more than good order so we can do as we please and obviously they cannot provide even that all the times no matter how much money we give them. Those children died as a direct result of a failure in reason and judgment not a failure in a system. Should we preclude certain types of people from access (notice I didn’t say purchasing which is useless as this tragedy highlights) to firearms? Damn right. The Lautenberg amendment which protects against domestic violence suspects, NICS checks which stop felons and illegal immigrants from buying and concealed carry permits are not unreasonable applications of law. Can they go further? Absolutely. I just don’t see the logic in banning a type/class/style of weapon to achieve a tangible goal. Especially given that you cannot have the power to prepare for maniacs. By definition, a maniac does not behave rationally. That’s tough to defend against. But if you take away tools you are curing a symptom not the disease. Especially a tool that once put in the right hand can also be a solution instead of a problem.

    I am the 3rd generation to go into law enforcement and hope that police are not becoming accustomed to legislating rights away for the sake of expediency, it is a troubling trend. Those that champion gun bans like to make non sequiter ad hominem attacks on people like me and my fellow gun owners. That’s fine. That’s your 1st amendment right. Just remember the 2nd amendment helps maintain it.

    I will end by saying those people who were killed and their families deserve condolences, compassion and justice, not a crying President with a stump speech. The gunman is to blame. Not America. Not the NRA. Not video games. Not guns. I hope a real change occurs with regards to firearms. I’d just hope for a little thought to be put into it.

  36. Fishdog says:

    Every mass murderer of our generation was horribly influenced by violent video games. By glorifying the use of all manner of automatic weapons to our youngsters Hollywood and video game manufacturers should be held to some kind of accountability. Eliminating that destructive influence on our impressionable youth is where we HAVE TO START if we are going to responsibly address and begin to correct the desensitizing of our youth to a violent culture.

    • Jared says:

      I have played violent video games since I was 13, have I went out amd killed people as a result? Absolutely not, never has such a thought ever come close to my mind, even during times of serious anger. The difference in people like me, and those that play games, and are tied to the kinds of incidents, is that my parents diciplined me, taught me to know right from wrong, respect my elders, and to love and fear God. Now, I’m not saying there isnt a corealation, but it boils down to the upbringing. But was is this difference between violent video games and standard tv shows? Almost every show now has killing, cussing, sex, firearms drugs, and everything else. What about movies? I grew up on arnold, stallone, bruce, etc..if you know them, you know their movies and their full of drama. So if you blame violent video games, then you gotta blame the rest.

    • SomeITGuy says:

      Fishdog, actually that myth has been debunked several times (http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/12/15/study-no-link-between-violent-video-games-youth-aggression/21824.html). Also, the US doesn’t corner the market on violent media, other countries see the same thing and don’t have these kinds of problems. I’m starting to think its a lack of mental healthcare, parenting skills, and common sense.

  37. Dubb says:

    If guns kill people then pencils misspell words, cars drink and drive and spoons make people fat…

  38. jrexilius says:

    Well written Eric. I only would have put more emphasis on the prevention aspects. Everyone seems to glaze over the glaringly obvious answer to the question “how to minimize or prevent repeats”. The answer is not ban guns as that won’t actually work. The answer is make places hard targets as you say. People should be asking “why wasn’t the principal trained and armed?”

  39. Mr Shen says:

    SSD

    Thanks for another great piece of writing. I’ve been a reader of this blog for quite some time and, I’m from China.

    There have been loads of discussions over the past few days on Chinese microblogs and forums with regard to these two tragic events. There are indeed people who say thankfully guns are banned in our country otherwise we would probably see worse outcomes.

    It is probably true that there are less gun crimes in our country than in the US. But that doesn’t mean there is no violent crimes.

    There have been a series of school attacks in China in 2010/2011 where scumbags using knives, hammers to hurt innocent children
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_attacks_in_China_(2010%E2%80%932011)

    In this most recent case (12/14), according to what’s reported in our media, the suspect attacked an old lady living near that primary school, grabbed a kitchen knife from that lady’s house and then began a full assault on the school. and yes he had previous history of mental illness.

    IMO, it doesn’t matter what the government bans or allows, if a bad guy wants to do some crazy stuff, he can always find a way and find a tool he needs, that includes guns as well, even in China. We’ve had many police officers killed in the line of duty by criminals using smuggled or homemade firearms.

    Would you believe if I tell you that drug dealers in China would even have access to Glock 26, Sig P228 and FN FiveSeven, which are far superior than most of our LEO issued weapons. They do. Pics of these guns captured by LEO have been posted online.

    Early this year, a high profile robber in China was eliminated by police after years of manhunt. He used guns bought from southern border to brutally murder bank customers and grab cash.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_Kehua

    The reason I mentioned these does not mean I wish our government would allow us to legally own firearms (And they WON’T!), but I do share the views of most of the folks here. Bad guys would always find a way to do bad things and people should have the right to defend themselves and their loved ones

    I always try to carry a baton and pepper spray in my EDC kit. that’s the best I could do in this good old country. And I also carry a first aid kit as I’m a Red Cross certified first aider. Some of my friends would say you crazy bastard, are you always looking for a fight?

    No obviously not. I’d never do that. But if someday I was shopping with my girlfriend in a mall and some manics came in wielding a knife, started cutting everyone. Hopefully I could stay cool and used what I have in hand to get myself and my loved ones out of there.

  40. straps says:

    Echo chamber.

  41. JB says:

    As an Australian and as as someone who is Tasmanian who has seen firsthand the damage of gun related mass shooting I believe I can only offer my own opinion. I am also a 15 yr LE officer that has worked state, federal and internationally in a tactical LE role.

    I witnessed the change in laws in Australia. I had to hand in firearms, of which I was not happy about at the time and I have worked in LE after the gun buy backs and law changes. I honestly believe that they have had a lasting and positive effect on crime and trauma as well.

    As a shooter you are still able to own appropriate firearms to sporting shoot, cull animals in fact conduct any legal task needed. You can still own semi-automatic handguns in the appropriate setting. I am yet to meet a shooter with the a reasonable skill set who cant get the job done with a standards hunting rifle.

    The US ideal of home protection and the need for assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols is something so foreign to me I can not comment on. Only to say as a LE officer and a father I find it truly sad that there is such a market for this.

    Whilst the debate regarding mental health is a valid one and any spotlight shone onto that to affect positive change is fantastic. I think that any reasonable person would also think that it is also a time to examine the laws surrounding gun ownership. In this case all of the firearms were legally owned by a middle aged woman, and for what purpose ??

    As for the posts regarding the Australian public as being ‘docile’ or ‘easily railroaded’ I prefer to see it is being reflective and reasonable. I do not think for a minute that you can just stop gun ownership in the US, and due to the sheer number of guns and the culture surrounding them you have some great challenges a ahead of you. If just one life is saves because of it then it is worth while, let alone the lives of 20 children.

    I use military grade firearms everyday for work purposes. I have done so for years in many different environments, and not for one minute have I ever though that I should be able to keep them at home.

  42. Derick says:

    everyone of you who says guns kill, tell me this then, you idiots!! i have a gun, rifle or whatever lying on a table!! tell me now, how is it going to kill someone? tell me…. come on all you smart azz people who know all about guns, tell me how that gun laying down on a table can kill someone? you can’t, just like that gun can’t kill me.. physically someone has to pick it up, point it at me and pull the trigger!!! oh yeah it has to be loaded first… glad all you idiots think a gun kills someone………

  43. 3Chevrons says:

    It makes me sad that many of the pro-gun control people consider “Killing your mother” as being “Readily accessible”.

    • CJ says:

      If he killed his mom, but his mom had safely stored her weapons in way that he couldn’t access them, then this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

      • straps says:

        A person with impulsive housemates (children, co-housed roomates, maybe even a spouse going through a rough patch–or a deeply-troubled adult son) has an even greater obligation to secure firearms in ways that assure security FIRST. Killings no less tragic than what happened in Newtown happen every day because gun owners fail in their obligation to properly secure their hardware, which gets sucked into the criminal underworld and serially misused.

        There are safes that provide a high level of security AND allow rapid access. If she had multiple handguns she probably had them secreted around the home. Safes aren’t cheap (actually, good ones cost a few boxes of ammo), and defeating a determined burglar takes thought and skill, but this woman appeared to be a full-fledged prepper and she was drawing something like $20K a month in alimony.

        We may never know how that day’s first murder transpired, but a key-based safe–or no safe at all–may well have precipitated a disaster.

  44. Burned says:

    Connecticut already has an assault weapons ban!

  45. Big G says:

    Guys it’s all about staying on message. This is now an information campaign and they have all the resources. You cannot be against something and win. You must be FOR something to win this. Stay on message. This is all about mind altering medication, big phrama, and the mental health care system.

    You and I cannot win an argument in support of wolves teeth with an audience of sheep.

    They must have the SSRI drugs front and center, to stand accountable for these crimes. We need a state attorney general to file suit against the makers of these drugs and against health care professionals for failing to protect the public from violent mental patients. Go on the offensive, otherwise we’re just reacting. Being led in a dance.

  46. A Alan says:

    It’s clear to me now that no one is really “getting it” when it comes to mass shootings. Our local paper had a story about our city’s public school security. They interviewed the security director who discussed how their doors are locked at all hours of the day and how all visitors have to sign in at the office. It sounds eerily similar to the security measures at Sandy Hook Elementary.

    We will never be able to totally eliminate the danger of a lone individual who is intent on killing a large number of people. Locked doors and metal detectors staffed by unarmed security won’t cut it. How hard is it to break / shoot out a window and enter a building? The simple truth is our school security plans in place rely almost entirely on one factor – chance.

    We can turn our schools into armored bunkers if we want. No windows, steel doors, and TSA-style screening for everyone who enters. Of course the cost will be astronomical and alone, it still won’t work. The doors have to unlocked for the mass entry of students in the morning. People will still need access to the school. Do we airlock each individual, scan them for weapons before allowing them to proceed? Essentially, we would need to turn schools into prisons with compartmentalized access, and a central, secure control room that could lock down parts if needed. Of course, that system is only as good as the person sitting behind the control panel.

    Then there are the cries for tighter gun control and another “assault weapons ban.” Even if we could eliminate semi-automatic rifles and “high capacity” magazines, those bent on murder will just arm themselves with multiple, or alternative weapons – such as the shooter in Colorado had at his home – gasoline bombs. Are we going to ban gasoline cans, duct tape and nails? Could someone not cause incredible carnage in a movie theater with a few molitoff cocktails? How hard is it to smuggle a bottle or two of soda into a theater right now? Passing a law doesn’t keep criminals from breaking it – as is evidenced by illegal drugs use. Plus, there are Constitutional issues, and strong opposition to stricter gun control, which makes that discussion pretty much a moot point.

    Our mental health system is a basket case, forgive the pun. While certainly with good intentions, we have moved away from institutionalizing people to pumping them full of pills and releasing them back into the community because it’s the “least restrictive” environment. For most patients, this may work fine. The problem is people learn how to manipulate this system. I have placed a number of people under emergency detention who have made serious suicide attempts or very credible threats against others. After a a month or two in treatment, they learn what they need to say to the psychiatrist to be released again – and they’re given some medication and set free. After all these people are crazy – not stupid. The only way the most dangerous of the mentally ill will ever be held in an institution is after they commit some heinous, violent crime.

    Worse than the mental health system is parenting. We have to teach our kids about respect, about right and wrong, and about life and death. Kids learn about death through video games and movies today, and their young little brains can’t tell the difference between a guy dying on the screen, and someone dying in real life. Our barometer for what is important has completely gone askew. I respond to juvenile fights all the time – over a girl, over someone being disrespected, etc – the same things we fought about when we were kids – but nowadays, someone is running off to grab a bat, a knife or a gun. Even parents are showing up and engaging in these fights alongside their kids too!

    So, where does that leave us? I am convinced we will never be able to eliminate the problem of “active shooters” or rampage-killers. But we need not throw our hands up in the air and do nothing. We can take steps to reduce the damage these people can cause, and maybe reduce the frequency in which they occur.

    The easiest, most immediate thing we could do is add layers to our physical security. Right now, security at our malls, our schools and other public places is one-dimensional. It relies on technology and unarmed, poorly-paid security guards. This may deter petty criminals but not armed murderers. The White House has a far more advanced security system than any school in America. But the President doesn’t rely on it alone. It’s backed by highly-trained, well-equipped professionals who can immediately respond if the system is breached. The truth is, once an attack begins, the only way to stop it is by engaging the shooter as quickly as possible. Law Enforcement analysis has shown when these cowards meet effective resistance, almost all retreat and commit suicide. Very few stand and fight. The problem is the police response takes 3-4 minutes, and in a shooting like VA Tech, victims were shot every eight seconds.

    We have to reduce the amount of time a killer has unrestricted access to defenseless victims. In many of these cases, police are already conducting a “solo officer response” – the first officer on scene immediately moves to confront the killer without waiting for backup – and it’s still not fast enough.

    The only effective way to significantly reduce the time a shooter has to target our children is to have someone on scene when the shooting starts, who can engage the shooter and stop them quickly. Nowhere is this more clear than in Israel. There have only been a handful of attacks against Israeli schools by armed terrorists in the last decade. The highest body count in a single attack that I could find was five students. In every case, the terrorists were quickly killed by school staff, police or military who were on-site at the onset of the attack. Because the Israelis have developed an effective response to these shootings, the terrorists have realized attacking a school full of kids is not an easy target.

    The goal of the terrorist or a mass-killer is a high body count – because that’s what makes headlines. Their only fear is failure, not getting the attention they wanted because they were stopped before they could kill anyone or they didn’t kill enough people. When the media coverage of a mass-killing is less, the incentive for the next copy-cat killer to act in the same manner is also less.

    This leaves us with two options. One is to arm a few volunteer teachers and administrators, and seriously train them to the respond in these situations. I’m talking about two weeks of serious legal, tactical and firearms training, and mandated refresher training to include marksmanship, decision-making and force on force scenarios. I’m guessing there are trainers out there who would provide this training for free, and there are staff members who would volunteer to do it on their own time. It’s clear the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary had the mindset and the courage to take on the gunman as he began his rampage, but she lacked the training and tools to be successful against overwhelming odds.

    Now, is it fair to expect this of our administrators and teachers? It is a heavy burden. The other alternative is hiring armed, uniformed security to be present at our schools at all times while children are present. This doesn’t mean a minimum-wage Barney Fife, but well-trained, well-paid professionals who make $40K-$50K a year. Retired cops, retired military and so-forth.

    The reality is we are all good at different things. Some people work on cars, some people write music, and some people are adept at protecting others. Would anyone these days NOT want an armed police officer standing guard of their children at school? But why? What is a police officer? Among other things, the police officer is a professional gunfighter. Yes I just said what you think I did. A gunfighter: accurate, fast and deliberate. A person with good judgment, clear morals and the courage to put them self in harm’s way to protect others – a person with the training, and the equipment necessary to save lives. The problem is our professional gunfighters are usually 3-5 minutes away, and for too many victims, they won’t arrive in time.

    My frank language will no doubt make some cringe and fill their proper, sensitive minds with scenes of Wild West, OK Corral style shootouts, but we have to ask ourselves: do we stand a better chance in a “gunfight,” or a massacre? When we call upon the police to stop an active killer, are we not asking them to engage in a gunfight? If this will be the end result anyways, wouldn’t we be better off if it occurs before the killer can take so many innocent lives?

    -A. Alan

  47. Morden says:

    So this is a really heated debate. So here goes. CJ, I’m glad u don’t live here in the U.S. anymore because you clearly don’t get it. In fact a lot of pro-gun owners don’t get it. The 2nd amendment isn’t about defending yourself from a robber or hunting for food. It is about overthrowing a tirannical government that has put its own interests ahead of the people’s. It is taboo to say and some say it is radical or whatever, but bottom line is the founding fathers wrote enough about what they did and why they did it that anyone can crack open a history book or site and find the answers. I still don’t understand why the supreme court was ever given (or stole) the power to interpret the constitution, when so much was written by the F.F. Now I’m going to ask the question that many may not want to ask or have answered because it is so radical. How are we suppose to fight a disciplined organized government funded military with single shot weapons and bolt action rifles? This may never happen and I pray it doesn’t. But the founding fathers had to go toe to toe with a legit army and they wanted to insure that their children’s children’s would be guarenteed the right to own weapons in case the need for the people to take back their government or their land were to arise in the future. Sorry but the constitution is bigger than all of us. It is what everyone swears to defend and protect even more so than the land we stand under. Why don’t you ask all the rebels in the middle east who recently had to fight and earn their freedom and who are still fighting tyranny how they feel about fun control and disarming the people? Bottom line is the 2nd amendment is about guaranteeing the people’s freedom because no matter what happens in politics it will always come down the force and violence. It always has and always will.

    • Morden says:

      Gun control not fun control (fat finger). And to add a little perspective. Every country has a set of mores that it values because they are emotionally tied to them. The Israelies value their security more so than personal privacy at times is one example. Their security ensures their survival. In the US the ability to take back the government or freedoms that were eroded by tyranny is deeply seeded in this country and we value or ability to do so more than our own security from ourselves. It’s our internal struggle based on a somthing that insured our founding fathers survival. We must not lose site of the real reason we have te second amendment.

    • CJ says:

      Thanks for assuming I am an idiot, but I do understand the defense from tyranny argument.

      But the reality is, defense from tyranny is achieved through multiple methods, including freedom of press.

      And I’m not talking about banning all, or even most, guns.

    • Bobbydavro says:

      But the American people just ‘amend it’ or as everyone else calls it ‘change’ it every now and then to suit there own needs or wants lol that be why it’s called an amendment lol

  48. ODG says:

    Some great posts here, and also a lot of horrible BS, watching and reading a majority of this, it followed its usual down word spiral that most gun control arguments follow. I would like to propose to focus on a few small points and a direction that would be a more realistic course of action given the fact that none of the bickering here will amount to anything other than gratifying over inflated egos. So gentleman I beg you to bare with me as I take my 5 minutes on the soap box.

    First and foremost I will follow in suit with my other esteemed readers and say that this tragedy deeply impacted me as I am a father of a 5 year old who is attending kindergarten and is in the age group of many of the victims. My heart and prayers go out the families.

    Lets be objective here, realistically what we are talking about is pure evil, evil in it’s absolute purest form. Any person who preys on and takes innocent lives especially those of young children, is the most disgusting type evil. Evil can not be reasoned with, negotiated with, medicated, or bribed away. Evil can only be dealt with by eradication. It comes in many forms and many shapes and varies with intensity but none the less it is ever present in our lives and walks among us.

    So how do we deal with this kind of evil? Ban assault weapons you say? That’s a great plan, evil will use a hunting rifle. Ban ALL guns you say, thats a great idea evil will use a knife. Etc, etc. the bottom line evil will always find a way. And that is exactly why we should not ban guns at all. Because it is a waste of time and money, and not to mention a disgusting infringement of our Constitutional rights. Rights that good men have died to protect. I would suggest as my friend and proprietor of this great site mentioned looking at focusing on a different aspect. Security of our children’s schools. I will be scheduling a meeting with my son’s principal to discuss the school’s active shooter policies, and security protocol. I will be asking him very uncomfortable questions like, What’s your evacuation plan? Why isn’t there armed security? whats your mass casualty management plan? How many teachers have trauma management certifications or experience? Do you have trauma equipment co- located with your fire extinguishers?

  49. Padawan says:

    I know many of you might see it as the first step to complete disarmament or contrary to the Second Amendment’s original purpose (defense against tyranny), but how about strictly enforced, mandatory registration of any firearm owned? Transfer from one individual to another requires a background and mental health check, and must be recorded and reported properly. Any injury, death, property damage, or crime committed with the weapon will result in the prosecution of the registered owner. The punishment would be some time of incarceration, not simply a fine. In essence, legislate in responsibility, make negligence of any sort illegal. Strict enforcement is absolutely necessary.

    Those who are truly dedicated shooters or sheepdogs and fully understand the risks and dangers of a firearm, and will to the fullest extend ensure that they are mitigated, and can still own them if they want to accept the responsibility. (Concealed carrying should be legal and standardized, but require an expiring permit with some sort of exacting quals, and maybe a course on self defense legality)

    More “casual” owners, who have no real interest in training with their guns, or purchase or handle them without the respect they deserve, who are more likely to leave their weapons unsecured, where children or criminals or deranged relatives are able to access them might think twice about owning a gun if there were serious legal repercussions tied to such negligence. This might decrease in the tragic accidental shootings among children, spur of the moment murders, or events such as the ones that have recently transpired in Connecticut.

    One has to admit that a higher saturation of guns simply means they are more likely to be used in crime, homicide, and accidental killings. If firearms were very rare, there simply would be less gun deaths. However, short of removing nearly all guns, an impossibility in America, somehow holding gun owners to the higher standard they need to maintain is the likeliest to reduce the gun related deaths each year.

    It is unfortunately impossible to prevent mass killings, and criminals will still be armed with illegal weapons, however the vast majority law abiding citizens that do own weapons would be those that truly understand and live by the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm.