Newtown shooting: Gun control at last?

Or is today, asks Emma Teitel, pretty much the only time American politicians will be willing to touch the topic?

Jessica Hill/AP

Twenty-seven people shot to death–20 of them children–at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut today, which means that Americans can count on one thing in the aftermath of this tragedy and it probably isn’t stricter gun laws, or in the very least, greater access to mental health care. It’s statements like these…

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert on this summer’s Aurora, Colorado shooting:

“Well it does make me wonder, you know with all those people in the theatre, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?”

Apparently “more quickly” is the best America can hope for, nevermind altogether–which is what zero guns would accomplish. Pro-gun control blogger Baldr Odinson does an excellent job disputing the NRA’s popular vigilante argument (a survivor of a shooting himself, he knows a little more about this than, say, Ted Nugent does.)

So far, Republicans (even Nugent) have refrained from “politicizing” the Newtown tragedy, but history–very recent history–tells us that it’s only a matter of time before they do, before the if-the-victims-had-guns-they-wouldn’t-be-victims argument rears its ugly, stupid head. And that’s a good thing, because then, perhaps, president Obama will be forced to respond with more than just platitudes.

This is a good start:

“We’re gonna have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.”

 

We’ll see what happens next week and the week after that– whether “meaningful action” comes to mean anything at all. New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is skeptical.

From the Mayors Against Illegal Guns press release today:

“President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today.”

Yet it won’t, because as Ezra Klein notes below, “today”–as in the day of– is pretty much the only time American politicians are willing to touch the topic. And even then, they don’t really touch it so much as actively avoid it.

“Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon.’ It’s much too late.”

American gun buffs are opposed to greater regulation on the grounds that a mentally unstable person intent on killing innocent people will kill innocent people regardless. But as I wrote in the wake of the Aurora shootings, why make it easy for them? That bad things happen to good people is a reality of life, not confirmation that we should do absolutely nothing to change it.

The anti-regulation lobby is, at the end of the day, correct. Murderers will always murder. So let’s make sure they can’t pick up one of these at the store.




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Newtown shooting: Gun control at last?

  1. Oh Americans will have a great time talking about it and arguing about it and throwing their mottos and mantras back and forth ……and in a few days something else will happen in the news, and this will be forgotten

    Until the next massacre.

    • The Supreme Court has settled the issue on guns… it is a Constitutional right…

      I think the International Criminal Court should convict Obama for running guns to Mexican narcoterrorists and Salafist terror groups in Syria.

      But those aren’t white people getting killed like here, so they wouldn’t matter to you anyway….

      • Take your meds. And go away.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Sigh…..NEVER take the red ones first.

            Even Bugs Bunny knew that

            Now then………. Efutue

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Hon, you have no jizz.

            Or brains either for that matter. LOL

          • This comment was deleted.

          • No, but apparently you did. LOL

            Ciao, Winnie

        • Sociopaths can’t be treated.

          As pinhead’s comments demonstrate, they’re only capable of experiencing primitive emotions. They can no more comprehend the rich emotional world of the average person than the colourblind can grasp a world of colours. No pharmaceuticals can rectify this.

          • Agreed.

            I was hoping for a sedative…so he’d bugger off and my inbox would have less trash.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Not to crush your dream, pinhead, but I believe that was for the Oslo Accords.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • I’m not saying that as a sociopath you can’t with the Nobel prize, pinhead. I’m just saying that you won’t get one simply for being a sociopath.
            Keep your dream alive!

          • that should obviously be “win the Nobel prize…”

  2. Yup, if all those 5 year olds hadda’ bin carryin’, this woulda’ bin over a whole lot sooner.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Wow. Ignorant, racist and completely wrong. You hit the trifecta moron.

  3. Canada has had gun control since the 1930′s. Where we restrict who owns or carries a pistol. Then in 1997, we introduced a long gun registry. Now abolished. Pistol and restricted guns are still under strict control. Still, we have people in broad daylight in the middle of a busy parking lots being gunned down with pistols. Every day in Vancouver BC someone is shot or killed with pistol. Completely illegal to carry a pistol unless you have a carry permit, which are extremely, super extremely, almost impossible to get. But people and bystanders are being shot and killed by them. Make all guns illegal if you want, killers will still get them on the black market. Our long gun registry did not save a single person in 14 years but it cost us over 2 billion dollars to set up and millions a year to maintain. Gun control simply does not work when a criminal is at work.

    • A gun registry registers guns. It does not prevent gun deaths.

      What it does do, is help prevent a gun culture….the kind of gun culture the US has got

      • I am pro-registry and gun safety and am extremely concerned when gun owners (increasingly) are not, but I don’t think there’s any need to take it out on gun culture or even tie it to the registry. The practical purpose of the registry is to remove guns when their owners have shown themselves too dangerous or irresponsible to own them – something gun owners should support as much or more than the average citizen. it won’t make people like their guns any less.

        • All part of it GFMD.

          It means it’s a serious tool. Not like a hammer or saw….and it has no other purpose than to kill. And it’s registered ….so people are aware you have it. You are ‘on notice’ about it.

          Canada doesn’t have a gun culture. We don’t make westerns unless it’s Paul Gross in ‘Gunless’. Our ‘cowboys’ played Polo …..not at quick draws in the middle of the street. [Didn't do that in the US either, but Hollywood made it into a belief] We don’t make TV shows like the ‘Sopranos’ or movies like ‘The Godfather’. No Elliot Ness, no cop shows. No violent type heroes. No gun boats for diplomacy. LOL

          All countries have guns, all countries have mentally ill, all countries have knives, hammers etc. Only the US has constant gun massacres. It’s part of their guns and violence culture.

          • “Only the US has constant gun massacres.” Good Lord, don’t you ever read a newspaper or watch the TV news?

          • Pretty much 24/7 in fact.

          • Other countries have gun massacres, but unless they are in a state of civil war or insurrection, they aren’t constant. This is where the US demonstrates its exceptionalism.

    • First, how can you prove the registry did not save lives? That’s an assertion that is impossible to prove.

      Second: We live next to the States.As long as they have such lax gun laws, there will always be ways for someone who wants one to get one. That doesn’t mean we should just throw up our hands and give up. Canada’s murder rate is about 1/10th that of the US per capita (if I remember the stat correctly; I didn’t look it up); I strongly suspect the difference in gun laws plays a part in that.

    • Your argument would carry a little more weight if it were buttressed with facts instead of nonsense, starting with your idiotic assertion that 365 people a year are “shot or killed with pistol” in Vancouver.

    • Another gun nut with no facts to support them waffles forth and spouts nonsense. If you have an argument make it, don’t just make a noise.

    • You are absolutely correct! No matter what anybody does to control or prevent guns the people who are going to do such atrocities and be in gangs are still going to be able to get access to handguns etc. Substantially more people are killed each year with knives then handguns. So why take it out one the gun owners. Gun owners are the safest people to have handling guns and more often than not it is not gun owners committing these crimes. Gun control can only do so much. All it does is make it take longer for people to gain access of guns and for anyone who wants to do this stuff would not take the time of day to register a weapon or obtain it in any legal matter. What criminal is stupid enough to register or buy a gun legally? it would cost them more money and any crime committed with it would be immediately traced back to them. So why waste money on gun control? It doesn’t do a thing. Rather than that use your resources to help people who are mentally unstable and spend it on prevention and training on what to do when situations such as this arise. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

      • And how do you propose we determine who may or may not be mentally unstable? A mandatory annual psychiatric test for all citizens? With extra tests at times of personal crisis, like separation or divorce?

        • The point I am trying to make is that our resources would be much better used on other means of prevention other than gun control.

          • Your point is that you are using the sad state of mental health services in the U.S. to change the channel from a discussion on gun control. The facts is only a small fraction of gun-related violence is committed by people who are mentally ill. Americans own more guns than any other country on earth, with over 80 guns for every 100 people. As a consequence they (unsurprisingly) suffer more gun-related injuries and murders than any other industrialized country. There is no amount of mental health funding that will fix that.

          • Yes, but what gun blazing rampage has not been committed by some unstable lunatic? I am not saying that the situation in the United States in the way of firearms is perfect. In fact most illegal weapons in Canada come that way. I am saying that other means of prevention would be far more effective then banning or forcing people to register their guns. Atrocities such as this will never cease. Their will never be an end to violence and evil. In fact as time goes on it only seems to get worse. The only way we can protect ourselves from all of this is through education and preparation for what can happen. Yes I am sure nearly every single person in North America has heard about what has happened and is deeply saddened. But in a month go back to schools and workplaces and ask. Ask the people who are there on a daily basis if the feel that they will be safe from something like this happening to them. I guarantee you that 9 times out of 10 that person will tell you, “That won’t happen here”. Registering weapons only creates a false sense of security. People feel safer but in reality it is just as easy to get that handgun from the black market. Just as easy to slip past some form of security, and just as easy for repeat after repeat.

          • If that’s true, why are there so many more of these incidents in the U.S. than there are in countries with tighter gun rules? No one says tighter rules will prevent it from happening anymore. But experience around the world suggests it will decrease. Isn’t that a good enough goal?

  4. The 2nd amendment was not so we could go hunting, it was to prevent tyranny. Guns are not the problem, they never have been. In Switzerland, 1 in 2 citizens own and carry a firearm, and the crime statistics (not just murder, but theft) are so low, that they don’t even keep a tally. We have to protect ourselves from the government. They are taking away our freedoms and liberties all the time, and we must prevent tyranny. Instead of teaching our children to fear firearms, we should teach them about firearm safety. Everyone that decides to carry a firearm, also agrees to take responsibility for their actions. Banning firearms, or heavily restricting firearms doesn’t solve anything. It just disarms the American people, in their fight to keep the government in line.

    • The 2nd amendment was to protect the new US GOVT from invasion. It was a private volunteer army….a militia.

      The people in 1776 didn’t expect their own rebel govt to turn against them…..they worried about invasion by the British again.

      The Swiss do indeed have crime stats….same as everywhere else….and that means misusing firearms at home and in the street.

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

      http://www.nationmaster.com/country/sz-switzerland/cri-crime

      And these days ‘bearing arms’ does not protect anyone from either outside invasion….or their own govt…..unless you figure some ‘good ole boys’ with assault rifles could hold off the army tanks and the marines. LOL

    • “We have to protect ourselves from the government.”

      No, we have to protect ourselves from people who think we have to protect ourselves from the government.

      • “No, we have to protect ourselves from people who think we have to protect ourselves from the government.”

        You need to be slapped.

        • Or shot?

          • You’re an idiot. All the worst horrors of the modern world have been committed by governments (from Mao to Stalin to Ceaucescu to Assad to Pinochet to …) and it is precisely because, by definition, governments hold enormous power over everyone else.

          • Govts aren’t aliens invading us ya know, they are ordinary human beings….put in power by other ordinary human beings.

            All the leaders you mention were loved by a majority, put in place by a majority, and kept in place by a majority. They weren’t individuals with magic powers.

          • Thanks for reinforcing my point.

          • Since you don’t understand the point, that’s not likely

          • Do you actually believe that a populace casually and pervasively armed with small arms is an antidote to the military power of totalitarian governments? Even in nations like that great self-declared bastion of democratic freedom to the south, where no such threat realistically exists?

            If so, then the epithet of idiot from the likes of you is truly a compliment. So, thanks for noticing.

          • That makes no sense. You’re saying governments pose no threat because they are such a powerful threat.

            Most idiots cannot contradict themselves so thoroughly. Bravo.

            Several thumbs up for such sheer stupidity shows the quality of Ms. Teitel’s readers.

          • Where did I say governments pose no threat? I said the real idiocy is the suicidal belief that arming the citizenry with small arms is an antidote to the military might of oppressive government.

            If you really think that’s a recipe for a tranquil, civil society, my friend, I’d suggest the idiot you’re looking for is in your mirror.

          • I said the real idiocy is the suicidal belief that arming the
            citizenry with small arms is an antidote to the military might of
            oppressive government.

            And you made that statement for no reason whatsoever. But good for you, you appear to be proud of that statement.

            If you were to actually think for a second, you’d realize that it’s never military might that enables an oppressive government, it’s the willingness of the citizenry to allow governments to seize control of all the levers of society – press, media, monitoring citizenry, attacking political opponents, the list goes on. It has nothing to do with the military – by the time the military is involved, it’s far too late. You might even be shocked to learn there have been occasions when the military has actually removed an oppressive government. Try reading a book sometime.

          • Ah, dude…it wasn’t the pervasive availability of hand guns that won the day in the overthrow of any repressive regime recently. It was the skillful use of social media, people in the streets banging pots and pans (how many of them were armed?), people engaged in strikes and civil disobedience…almost none of them armed. In fact, the presence of small arms in many of those situations would probably have escalated those events seriously.

          • The whole point, you twit, is avoiding the need for a revolution in the first place. I was talking about the hundreds of oppressive regimes in the last century, but clearly you’ve never read a book so all you know about is the shallow coverage of recent events coming from the media, primarily from the Middle East. And if you think it’s just a matter of pots and pans, you’re a disgrace to the thousands of people who have been killed in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Iran, Egypt and elsewhere, and in most of those places the uprisings were a complete failure. Thousands have been killed, thousands of people. In places like Egypt and Iran, thousands have been beaten by the police, and both countries are more oppressive than before. In Libya thousands were killed. In Syria, thousands have been killed and there is an ongoing civil war. And you spout lies and you trivialize the dead. You’re pathetic. You’re a naive fool. People like you disgust me.

          • My, you have a nasty streak, don’t you?

            And if you actually believe it’s necessary for citizenry of the United States (or, for that matter, Canada), to arm themselves against their own government (even a Con government), then you are presenting clinical systems of paranoia.

            Get help. And leave me alone. You’re becoming a nuisance.

          • Clearly you have trouble getting the point.

            And you keep repeating the same bizarre concepts of handing over personal freedoms to the government is perfectly fine because (a) they’re already too tyrannical for it to matter or (b) the world is a rosy place and we all just need to hold hands. You have little ability to make a coherent argument of any kind. You try to argue both sides at the same time, as if it made any sense whatsoever.

            Just try reading a book sometime. You might like it.

          • Thoughtful of you to be concerned about my reading habits when you obviously have so many serious issues of your own to deal with. You might benefit from a medication review.

          • Tough call, you being rabid and all!

    • Hint: If you have to fight your government with weapons, not only will you lose (see: Waco), but you’ve already lost.

  5. How about more funding for mental health. Do not blame the tool or weapon, blame the operator. Shall we ban knives, baseball bats, chainsaws, hammers.

    • All designed for purposes other than killing. Why do we permit the sale and possession of instruments designed for killing by people who are neither hunters nor recreational shooters?

      • People kill. Why are so many young people so desperate? What is going on? People had access to guns in the twenties or thirties and did we hear about such mass shootings then?

        • “People had access to guns in the twenties or thirties and did we hear about such mass shootings then?”

          Perhaps because they didn’t have mass media to instantaneously communicate the horror of such events or to inspire copycats. More
          importantly, they didn’t have ready access to relatively small, easily-concealed automatic weapons that can efficiently inflict massive carnage in a matter of minutes.

          It could also be argued (although I’m not sure it can be proven) that some
          perpetrators are inured to violence by gratuitous killing and bloodshed on any given day on primetime TV and in digital games, movies, and the internet.

          Short answer: it’s a whole new world.

          • Yes, of course it’s a whole new world, that’s why I’m saying it didn’t happen in the twenties and thirties as it does now (and yes, we would be able to read about it, even then!).

            So I repeat: Why are so many young people so desperate? What is going on?

            Digital games, movies and the internet. But my kids had access to all of that and (still) haven’t done a mass murder.

          • So many young people aren’t so desperate. In fact, a miniscule number ever are. It only takes one. With easy access to small, portable, concealable, efficient instruments of death.

          • Let me rephrase that: Why are so many of these recent mass shootings done by young men?

          • Testosterone would be my guess. Males have probably been the main perpetrators of violence in most cultures for which we have historical evidence. interestingly, the rate of violence (usually assault) among young women has escalated in some recent studies but I don”t believe they are as likely to use firearms.

          • Testosterone, maybe. I’m thinking in different directions, more to do with upbringing, learning of values etc. Learning to live within reality rather than trying to live in a surreal understanding. But that’s just a guess. Could be of value.

          • Great. And in the meantime, while we navelgaze and work out where it all went wrong, how about we keep guns strictly controlled so this kind of thing doesn’t have to happen while we figure out how to fix society for once and for all?

          • Keeping guns strictly controlled. You do understand we are dealing with humans here, right? It is impossible to control humans in such fashion. Guns are a human invention. Humans understand how to make them. Therefore, they will be with us forever and ever. Nothing we can change about that, unless, of course, it is your intention to do away with the human aspect altogether.

          • Francien, I’d love to have a real debate with you on this issue, but you’d have to stop sounding like a blithering idiot first.

            Dangerous things invented by humans that are strictly controlled:

            - nuclear weapons
            - narcotic drugs
            - baby walkers
            - Gary Glitter

            Yes, some people still manage to get access to them, but it is often exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. (In the case of Gary Glitter, for example, the cost of a flight to Cambodia is prohibitive for many, and we are all safer for it.)

          • OH, if only we could get our hands on more Gary Glitter stuff – how bliss life would be! :) (I hang onto my LP copy as a retirement investment)

            I know the future looks good. My energy is already being supplied by North Korea and Iran because their nuclear energy production is out of this world, while my grandsons and granddaughters (almost one year old’s) promise me to not tell anyone where they got their baby walkers purchased (but I will tell you this: it was in the open market).

            And you will have to excuse me, but I have to go next door for getting me some pot. Need to mellow out. Peace man!

          • And that right there is the quality of the pro-gun debate. Good night folks!

        • See: Chicago.

          • Chicago was a mob fight. We still have that today. See biker gangs or other gang shootings. We are not talking about gang shootings in what happened today. Is it that difficult to stay reasonable?

          • It’s kind of funny when you think about it, because you’re actually making an argument for gun control. Even though the weapons were available, they were, at least for automatic weapons.. much more rare, and much more expensive.

          • Tjee, you are really trying hard to twist the meaning of my posting. What I did say is that the Chicago shootings of the twenties and thirties were mob related, and that today’s shooting were not to be regarded in any such way. And that somehow makes my argument in favor of gun control? Man, oh man, where to find the counter intelligence when being in the mood for having a reasonable debate. Have a good night Thwim!

          • Sorry, I was unclear. I realized after the fact that your argument about there being less shooting in the 20s and 30s was an argument for better gun control, and that that was irrespective of the mob shootings. I should have been clearer that I wasn’t referring to that any more.

          • Agreed, it does get a bit complicated after a while with so many back and forths writings on these comment boards. All is good. But still, I’m gonna call it a night in any case. :) It has been a terrible day for mankind!

    • I agree with your first statement, but when something goes wrong with somebody’s mental health, ignoring the tools we’ve created that make such mass tragedies so much easier seems like a fool’s game.

      • Indeed, both issues can be addressed.

  6. Since 10 Sept 2001 more Americans have been killed by other Americans with guns than have been killed by Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has sucked up so much US defence money and is regarded as a serious threat to the USA. The more efficient killers are regarded as patriots.
    I think they might have messed up their threat assessment somehow.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • I don’t believe you with respect to Hispanics, you’ll have to back that up for me.

        • Go to East L.A.

          Leave a will with your lawyer, puto…

          • You didn’t back up your statements.

          • You don’t know anything about it.

          • I’ve been to East LA and on public transportation too. Never saw one gun, just a load of smiling faces and people asking me where I was from.
            Still need those figures though

          • This comment was deleted.

          • you are a strange one, nope I was traveling and enjoying the LA warmth during February

  7. Leave it to insensitive boobs like Teitel to politicize the event as soon as possible.

    • Why yes, keep it quiet….like all the other massacres the Americans have had. Maybe….in a thousand years…..that might solve it.

    • You should look around. She’s not alone. And “as soon as possible” is already too late. Again.

      • It’s never too late for the likes of Teitel and yourself to shut up.

        • Classic…when logic inevitably fails, resort to juvenile taunts.

          Come back to the conversation when you grow up and have your mental acne under control.

          • The failure is all yours.

            But wow, you is one smart dude with dem big big wurds!!

          • Why, thanks for recognizing mastery of the language. It’s a skill that’s generally unappreciated among the stupid like yourself.

    • She probably just should have posted a picture of a candle or something. Maybe with an inspirational quote. There’d be fewer bunched panties.

      • Well….we woudn’t want ‘bunched panties’ now would we?

        I mean only 20 toddlers have been blown apart…what’s the big deal?

        • Yes, a massacre is the perfect opportunity for you to shoot your mouth off more than usual, isn’t it? If that is possible.

          • Wow….you devolved into teenage silliness faster than usual this time

      • Actually reporting on the story might be useful too. Like you know, actual info. Seems to me that’s what journalism is about – telling people what happened.

        That would be interesting, rather than endlessly repeating the same old gun control drivel.

        Hell, a tragedy has happened, and it might be nice if Teitel did not use the event as a springboard for one of her pet political projects.

        • So, assuming you have some residual human qualities like most others on this board and that you genuinely regret the senseless extermination of a couple dozen children (more or less), how do you propose to reduce the incidence of such events?

          • Simple, neuroticdog. Arm the children!

    • If 20 kindergarteners were crushed by a falling bridge, would calling for better bridge engineering standards also count as politicizing the event?

      • No.

        There is no political debate regarding whether bridges should unexpectedly fall on people. Nobody wants a fallen bridge. You need a political issue to be politicizing, genius.

        Calling for good better pool parties and more tasty food is not politicizing either, in case you’re wondering.

        Calling for higher quality music on the radio is also not politicizing.

        Death is also not necessarily a factor. When a plane crashes into the side of a mountain and kills everyone, calling for safer flying is also not politicizing.

        Feel free to ask any more stupid questions about what is politicizing, in case you remain so utterly confused.

        • What if there was an anti-bridge lobby that spent millions to convince the government not to do anything about lax engineering or building codes? The, um, National Bridge Association, let’s call it. Then it would be a political issue, and I would no longer be allowed to call for better bridges. Is that right?

          • Yes, if the earth were invaded by aliens, and pigs could fly, then we’d have people lobbying for falling bridges, because heck, there’s something wonderful about falling bridges, and because so many people would understand the crucial need for falling bridges, it would certainly be a political issue. And because there was no clear link between the falling bridges and the people crushed by them, and because of all the important things accomplished by falling bridges, of course it would be inappropriate of you to take the occasion to politicize the issue.

            You are one heck of a genius, genius.

          • Please explain the crucial need for a gun that fires 5 rounds a second, during peacetime.

        • “There is no political debate regarding whether bridges should unexpectedly fall on people.”

          Some people want children to be shot with guns?

  8. Yes, banning things has had a strong history of success. I mean, Prohibition worked out great, didn’t it? So did banning drugs. Let’s not forget about talking on cell phones while driving — hey, that one’s really workin’ out well. Yes, let’s ban guns…I’m sure the day after we pass that one through parliament the criminals will lay down their arms and we’ll all have a great big group hug.

    • Anyone suggest banning guns? Anyone?

      • Well the original article did suggest it was feasible to have zero guns.

        • Really? Where?

    • And while we’re at it, let’s repeal the ban on date rape drugs.. we can’t stop that happening either, obviously we shouldn’t bother trying. Oh. And child pornography as well.. no way we’re ever stopping that, so we may as well make it legal, eh?

      God. I hate that moronic argument. It’s made by morons who are incapable of understanding that there’s something between black and white.

      • No, it’s your arguments that are moronic. Child porn is and will forever be a harmfull deviency, and that’s why it’s banned. Not all gun owners are mass killers in waiting, and the vast majority in both Canada and the US will never harm a soul. The question is how to prevent the angry people (somewhat like yourself) from obtaining them. It probably means more regulation, which is good, but not if implemented by angry social engineers like yorself

        • And if you’d originally stated, “Well guns aren’t that bad so we shouldn’t legislate against them” you’d have a point, and we could discuss that one.

          You didn’t.

          Your logic was specifically that we can’t get rid of them, so we shouldn’t try.

          Now that you’ve realized how bone-headed moronic that easy regurgitation is, perhaps you’ll start to think

  9. In this case, the guns were registered in the mother’s name. And so the twenty year old killer never had to deal with registration etc. I’m not saying that some stricter rules could not be applied to gun ownership (size of re-loadable cartridges could be better regulated for instance) but in this case it would not have made a difference.

    Ultimately, people kill. When someone wants to get his or her hands on a gun, they can find one, somewhere.

    I think the problem may have more to do with mental health of young people. Why do some of them feel so utterly lost and desperate? What is missing?

    • We obviously have to wait for all the sad details but tighter enforcement of storage restrictions might have helped here.

      I don’t think anyone argues with the tired old NRA mantra that “people kill”. But that’s no justification for lax regulations and easy access to instruments that, without argument, make it convenient for them to kill.

      • OK, let’s say the implementation of stricter storage rules come into effect. Who’s to say that every person will adhere to the rules? Anyone could carelessly store guns even if new rules apply. The matter comes down to individual responsibility, in any case.

        • No (thoughtful) person would ever argue that regulations and enforcement will prevent any given homicide. Killers will kill and the determined and resourceful ones will do so even in the absence of a convenient instrument. But I think comparative studies of homicide rates in general, and gun-related homicides specifically, show pretty conclusively that the incidence of homicide is lower where guns are less accessible.

          That kind of evidence alone should be an incentive to control access to guns.

          And that doesn’t preclude hunters, farmers, and recreational shooters from owning or using purpose-appropriate firearms. I think that’s a rancid old red herring in this whole debate, one the NRA never fails to wave under our noses.

    • Of course they can. But the harder guns are to come by legally the more expensive it is to come by them illegally.

      • “But the harder guns are to come by legally the more expensive it is to come by them illegally”

        Simple: people will find the money when motivated enough. And the desperately motivated will find the means or money. It’s people who kill.

        • And once again with “If we can’t stop it all, we shouldn’t try to stop any of it.” I take it then, as per my comment to vault above, you’re in favor of getting rid of legislation on child pornography as well because we can’t stop that either?

        • You’re absolutely right. It’s people who kill. So why let them have guns?

          • Why do we even let people do anything at all? They might get hurt. Probably better to lock everybody up.
            Even scissors can kill. Better to put people in cages so they can’t hurt each other.

          • The day a man with a pair of scissors can systematically mow down a classroom or movie theatre full of people is the day we’ll start talking about regulating office supplies.

          • 2000 innocent people were killed by criminals using box cutters. You might have heard of the event. It was possibly the worst tragedy on American soil in American history.

            Box cutters are office supplies. Box cutters are no more dangerous than scissors.

            Genius.

            And by the way, office supplies are already regulated. Try walking through airport security with a bottle of window cleaner. Or a box cutter. Or scissors.

          • “2000 innocent people were killed by criminals using box cutters”

            Oh, and passengers jets loaded with tons of jet fuel. I’m pretty sure those box cutters aren’t quite as effective without those.

  10. Thank you for the post, Emma, and the shout-out. Let us hope that the massacre of 20 innocent, small children at the hands of a madman, in yet another mass shooting in America, will finally be enough to make our legislators enact real change. On this same day, 22 kids in a school in China were attacked by another madman. All were injured, but ZERO died. Why? Because the only weapon the man had available to him was a knife instead of a gun. The weapon matters. Let’s do a better job of keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

    • Yet they gave Yasser Arafart the Nobel Peace Prize for doing exactly the same thing?

      What am I missing here?

      Maybe the Obama administration and the DOJ smuggling guns to the narcoterrorists in Mexico or State Dept. smuggling guns to Salafist terror groups in Syria?

    • Well said!

  11. This is such a horrible tragedy, my heart go to the victims and their families. However these weapons where not bought illegally or where machine guns etc… This was irresponsible safe keeping of weapons. The shooters mother ” God rest her soul” should have kept them secure and away from her children or anyone in her household. I have guns in my house and they are locked away in my safes, I have two of them one for my pistols and the other for my rifles/shotguns. No one has access but me, guns aren’t accessories that you have lying around. They are tools and need to be safe kept away, just like I keep my chainsaw locked up or my axe locked up. Hopefully there can be a campaign to promote positive hope for people who are mentally distraught and depressed. And let them know that there is help out there and killing is not going to help at all. My prayers are out to everyone who have lost someone in this fashion.

    • You keep your guns locked up. Great. Does your neighbour? What about the parents of the kids your children goes to school with. Are they similarly responsible?

  12. one simple thought take away guns, leave law enforcement above us with the power to take down civilians with no issue. The insane will still murder, and just remember a knife is faster… there is no reload time. This is a war that never will be one, controlling guns does not control or even limit the evil in a person or an entire society

    • No. Controlling guns will not stop people from killing. But it will limit the body count. That’s kind of the point.

      • “controlling guns” may limit individual incident body counts but I doubt it would reduce the total count. How many lives are saved by people being able to easily and freely defend themselves, I don’t know the stats, but I know the number is far from zero. A disarmed society will have more victims of otherwise preventable crimes. People willing to part with their liberty for safety will end up with neither.

        • Good point. How would poor George Zimmerman have been able to defend himself from that belligerent teen brandishing a very dangerous bag of skittles without his gun?

          • That ‘poor teen’ was shot because he had the smaller Zimmerman pinned on his back, on the ground, pounding the crap out of him. Do you think a police officer would have done anything different ?

    • If you want a knife with the range of a gun? Then yes. there is a reload time. Quite a long one, actually.

  13. “So let’s make sure they can’t pick up one of these at the store.”

    And by “these,” I assume you mean “a standard hunting rifle that’s been dressed up to kinda look like an assault rifle, making it seem really scary to the ignorant among us”?

  14. our country is founded on freedoms that other nations cannot fathom, including gun ownership. Violence in America is declining yet America is schizophrenic. Hollywood and the left love making films and games which teach kids how to kill, yet any attempt to regulate the evil flowing from California and New York is met with screams of censorship. Removing guns isn’t possible and is also illegal based on our constitution ( the document Obama hates most). America also has a bizarre relationship with law enforcement. We sue and prosecute officers at every opportunity and then wail when they aren’t there to protect us. The problem is latchkey children and a daily dose of brutal violence in film, games and books, not weapons. The NRA is wrong to suggest an untrained civilian will engage an active shooter, which social history repudiates. Read Grossmans “stop teaching our kids to kill” for a much better treatment of this subject.

  15. “President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today.”

    If the Mayors Against Illegal Guns want real action, they should be lobbying their Senators and Congressmen to outlaw the NRA and bring in a long gun registry.

  16. For all of you who sit on twitter and retweet stories and comments about all of this mess all day long…give this a read. Someone posted this on Facebook and said it was a quote from Morgan Freeman. Whether or not it is his or not this is 100% absolutely true.

    “You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
    It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

    CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

    You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

    • What first strikes you about this map, Nathan? http://mibazaar.com/schoolshootings/ My first thought was that there are a lot more red dots in the U.S., with a lot higher body counts.

      Other countries have mass media, media that regurgitate the same news cycles in every language. Yet they do not have the same number of mass shootings. Other countries also have mentally ill people, and other countries also have gaps in their mental health systems. So what’s the key difference? Could at least part of the difference be easy access to military style guns?

      • The US murder rate of non criminals is not higher than the developed wold average.

  17. We don’t need gun, bullet, xbow, or knife control… We need crazy control. The biggest serial killers in history didn’t need guns. Man is smart enough to figure out that if they want someone dead it will happen. Thousands of murders go unsolved, even against children. Yet people don’t react in mass unless its worth their attention. 10 or more seems to be sufficient. Should one legislate all rights and freedoms away because the minority in a minority used violence? Has our democracy and the Usa Republic been hijacked by a minority smaller than all currently definable ones? Were taught mob rule wins the policy, unless that small mob is crazy… Then all bets are off.

  18. Doesn’t matter what the president or congress says or laws they try to introduce. In the end the US Supreme Court will have the final say on what is constitutional or not. And afterwards there is nothing they can do about it.

  19. I’m looking forward to reading all of these same arguments in another 3 months, when this inevitably happens again. The United States was founded upon a fundamental distrust of all governmental institutions. They cling to their “right to bear arms” as a hedge against “tyrannical rulers” (ie. King George III). Violence is in the country’s DNA, and too many elected officials are beholden to the NRA.

    What happened in Newtown is perhaps more shocking because of the age of the victims, but children died in Colorado last summer, and in Arizona before that, and at Virginia Tech, and most of the victims of Columbine were children as well. Not to mention the thousands that die each year in the inner cities and poor neighbourhoods all over the country.

    Once the rage and the grief subside, it will be back to business as usual. I hope that I’m wrong. I really do. But history has given me no reason to think that I am.

    • I hope you did come back. The US had several newsworthy killings that , if all the gun laws proposed had been passed, would have occurred anyway.

      Fact is 85% of US murder victims are criminals. The US murder rate of non criminals per capita is the same as now largely disarmed Canada.

      And fighting tyranny with guns isn’t about George III. The US civil rights movement was seriously armed, with the NAACP, CORE and SNCC recommending African Americans be armed, to deter violence against civil rights workers. Shocked? go to wikipedia “deacons of defense”

  20. reader 1948•a few seconds ago

    +
    Flag as inappropriate
    How come no one in the media or elsewhere has noticed or made a point of the following: Earlier on the same day, Dec 14th 2012, the news reported that a so-called “mentally unstable” man in the village of Chingping in China assaulted first an elderly women with a knife and then went on to assault, again with a knife, 22 primary school children. The injuries varied in severity but no one died. The similarity of the 2 events is eery in itself ; but it so illustrates that there are, in fact, mentally ill people everywhere who, left untreated, can potentially cause havoc with little warning. But only in America (which includes Canda) does that person have such easy access to guns that can kill so many in a short period of delusion and madness. Is that not enough proof that no one should be allowed to purchase/own an assault rifle or similar lethal weapons unless they are “licensed to kill” meaning law enforcement, armed forces, professional bodyguards etc.

  21. Nancy Lanza had a lot of guns, and she had training as well. It backfired on her.

    • And none of the proposed gun laws would have any affect on her ability to buy all the guns she wanted

  22. It takes tyranny to enact prohibition on private firearms
    ownership and that is why this has only been done successfully by tyrannies -
    the root cause is not firearms ownership, but a societal breakdown. These
    types of firearms have been in circulation since WW2 and this sort of thing
    wasn’t an issue back then – it is a recent phenomenon that goes hand in hand
    with our new “progressive” society. Pop on Google and type in
    “Japan knife rampage” and you can read about what happens in
    countries where firearms are generally unobtainable by ordinary citizens – oh
    my – what do they do now?

  23. Unfortunately the consensus media is the problem.. In the incredible
    hurry to out do each other, they will print just about anything
    simply to Sensationalise ANY form of violence because if it Bleeds
    it leads, and rarely does it actually contain accurate information..
    This is the same pack that has just named murderer Luka Rocco
    Magnotta as Canada’s 2012 News maker of the Year. Wow, how wonderful
    that they have finally set the bar and purpose to acclaim the next
    murdering news maker of the year. EVERYTHING proposed by the NRA
    will work, because it HAS worked in other countries. EVERYTHING
    proposed by the hand wringing, left has NEVER worked ANYWHERE in the
    world! They just can’t bring themselves to believe their wrong in
    the face of overwhelming evidence. Gun Free Zones are the problem..
    It’s not as if the Nut-Job looks at the sign and thinks Oh darn I
    can’t shoot anyone here.. The Nut-Job looks at the signs and thinks
    wow.. I’m safe from anyone that’s going to try and shoot me.. Give
    your head a shake. When you call 911 you are calling for someone
    ‘else’ to bring a gun to your rescue. Cops are not Jedi Knights,
    ANYONE can be trained to the same level as your average traffic cop.
    I used to shoot on a regular basis with people that could draw a
    pistol, and put 8 holes in the ‘A’ zone of four targets in under 3
    seconds. Many of these people fired upwards of 30,000 rounds a year,
    and were experts. Compare this with your average traffic cop. Most
    just have rudimentary training, and most only fire a gun once a year
    to qualify themselves to continue to carry what is largely a
    decoration on their uniform, yet for some reason, the public seems
    to think this is OK.. This is NOT OK. With a few exceptions, most
    civilian shooters are FAR better trained, and safer than your
    average police officer. If you don’t Believe me ask anyone that
    shoots regularly on a range with police officers. The stories could
    make your hair curl..

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