Elementary School Shooting: What Gun Control Laws Might US Voters Support?



Elementary school shooting: What gun control laws might US voters support? (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Will the heartbreaking school shooting in Newtown, Conn., lead to more support for gun control measures in the US? That’s certainly possible. The deaths of so many innocent children, so young, are likely to earn the crime a place on a tragic roll call of recent American history. Columbine. Virginia…



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Author: Guest Voice

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41 Comments

  1. The second amendment became law December 15, 1791. Four years later the Springfield model 1795 musket was the state of the art in personal firearms. This was a muzzle-loader capable of effectively projecting 2-3 lead balls/min 50-75 yds in the general direction in which it was pointed, always assuming that the shooter wasn’t too distracted to be able to reload after the first shot.

    I think that’s an arguably constitutional standard for the right to bear arms. Anyone want to bet that the SCOTUS originalists wouldn’t agree?

  2. Beyond opinion, I like knowing a law has a chance of accomplishing something because false security. There’s no real evidence that gun bans reduce gun violence. These shootings have become more common while this article clearly states that gun ownership is on decline. Obviously, gun ownership isn’t a driver.

    What has changed recently? Well, for one, we’ve declared schools to be gun-free zones, which has made the schools safe places — for the shooters. They’re the only places that I know of that has both banned guns, but typically have no security or police. Get a clue: those little “gun-free zone” signs aren’t going to stop a shooter, but they do help them feel safer going in.

    A well-announced initiative that schools can have approved armed people inside, be they a cop, plain-clothes detective, principle, or even teacher, would change that in a hurry. In the worst case, it would also mean that fewer kids would have to die waiting for the police to arrive.

  3. If only one third of American households own 280,000,000 guns we may be in more trouble than we thought. On the Piers Morgan show last night two pro gun advocates were still arguing that where gun laws are less stringent, fewer people are murdered. Until those people are willing to make some change in any of the ways we buy and use weapons, we are stymied. It’s up to them and the weapons manufacturers to make a move or explain why they shouldn’t. It’s up to NRA members to, instead of leaving, make their views known to the leadership – and to the public at large.

    Maybe it’s time for a new organization HEY-NRA (Had Enough Yet).

  4. I think that’s an arguably constitutional standard for the right to bear arms. Anyone want to bet that the SCOTUS originalists wouldn’t agree?

    Of course not because then it would of read “The Right to Bear a Musket”. Considering why they wrote the 2nd it makes no sense to limit firearms to weapons that would be unacceptable for self defense.

    On the Piers Morgan show last night two pro gun advocates were still arguing that where gun laws are less stringent, fewer people are murdered. Until those people are willing to make some change in any of the ways we buy and use weapons, we are stymied.

    I don’t get it. They are speaking fact not opinion. Now the reason for the difference is up for debate but clearly the ability for law abiding citizens to own and carry firearms doesn’t increase the violent crime rate at all. So what should “those” people change? Reality?

  5. US gun violence is at least twice the rate of Canada and Western Europe. The US is the 12th worse country for gun violence. Canada and Western Europe have gun control and it DOES WORK. More Canadians hunt than US hunters, even with more restrictive gun controls.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....death_rate

  6. Thanks rudi. The stats are pretty damning. Of course the gun lobby isn’t willing to be honest sbout the big picture because it isn’t in their interest. Also they (including the NRA) have had decades to effectively indoctrinate a good portion of the gun owners in this country. I know Canada and Western Europeans are pretty aghast at the amount of gun violence here – as are many Americans. It’s a pity this issue is yet another victim of the partisan divide since this prevents a great many people from thinking about it clearly.

  7. The idea that because gun control works elswhere it will work here ignores more facts than it considers. It ignores our unique demographics as well as what and how the actual violence is. Half of all gun deaths are suicides, 2/3 involve suicides or drugs, and the majority of the rest are centered in hi crime urban areas.

  8. EE

    I didn’t say they were right, the Brady Bill guy said they weren’t, I said that is what they argue – which leaves us stymied about how to get rid of the totally unnecessarily multi-shot (you can correct my terminology) weapons that no hunter needs and no policeman wants to go up against. If they aren’t even going to talk about what could be done (dd suggested banning high volume magazines) then we hit that wall of nothing, Nothing, NOTHING should be done. Here in Michigan at 4:30 AM of the day of this travesty, our legislature passed a law that allows concealed carry in schools, theaters, bars, etc. Madness! Experts analyzing the Aurora and other chaotic killing fields have opined that more carnage would be the result of shootouts.

    I don’t accept that nothing should be done, and it is up to you and the NRA to suggest something (other than more guns, which hasn’t worked so far). We have 10 times the population of Canada and 100 times the murders. Three times more than the 9/11 victims EACH YEAR. It’s up to the NRA and the police departments to make the transition to reasonable steps to stop this yearly death toll.

    Let’s hear your suggestions.

  9. We shouldn’t have to “shore-up” our defenses in this country as an answer to the problem. Pretty soon we will need metal detectors in churches, restaurants,and malls, armed officers patrolling companies, schools, beaches and recreation centers. Rather like treating the symptoms of an illness instead of finding a cure.

    HR45 is a bill which would require, among other things a complete background check and psychiatric history, and fingerprints before purchasing a weapon.
    NRA is opposed to this.
    And what does ANY rational person need a semiautomatic weapon for?! You don’t need one to hunt and how many times does a homeowner need a rapid fire weapon to mow down an intruder…one or two shots should do it. This is just insane.
    ALL semiautomatic weapons should be banned for civilian use….period.
    And as I said in another post, I am in favor of a psychological profile for everyone who applies for a gun.

  10. Well they are right. Mind you the only areas where violent crime hasn’t gone down markedly is heavely urban areas and there has never been shown any direct connection. Basicly crime started to go down and people realized that relaxing gun laws for law abiding citizens had no negative effects.

    “No policeman wants to go up against”

    The majority of police are pro gun rights, pro carry, and personal use the kind of weapons it seems you are speaking of.

    The NRA has suggested things to lower crime and gun violence has been going down year after years so the idea that someone else must do the thinking for you, well maybe that is your real problem

  11. Hr45 couldn’t even find a democratic co sponser never mind the NRA being against it.

  12. EE, well of course I do mind the NRA being against it. Their lobbyists have alot of power…too much. But you are right, the spineless Dems just let it rest.
    As for the police being “pro gun”. Well I rather doubt they are in favor of citizens running around armed with semi automatic weapons. They need guns of course.
    The argument NRA uses to convince people that crime goes down in areas where more people own guns is RIDICULOUS. According to the Dept. of Justice Bureau of Statistics, violent crime rates have actually gone up in the US 18% in the last 2 years. And the US ranks 4th in the world for murders committed with firearms, right after South Africa,Columbia,and Thailand. For a country that is so much more advanced..that is a shameful and damning place to be.

  13. The laws are going to change re guns. Regardless of who has historically bellowed the loudest. Those who throw out statistics will be sidelined. Stats are too manipulatable. The will of the majority of people is likely to reign and the faces of dead children will lead, not those still trying to obfuscate, yelling and cavilling about having more guns than Cox’s army and still wanting more, without true and demonstrable regard for balance, temperance in all things.

  14. EE

    My wits are just fine, thank you and I’ve done a lot of thinking. If you and/or the NRA have some suggestions, let’s hear them. If you don’t just say so. All I hear is fuzzy statistics and we need more than the 280,000,000 guns already here to be more safe. Again, what are your suggestions, and I would appreciate an answer not an insult.

  15. Dr. E

    I sure hope you are right, but if the tragedy of the little Amish children being assaulted and killed didn’t do the trick, I’m doubtful this will. It will take some more politicians to grow a spine; or one of their own children killed

    We have too long ignored the murder of children, partly because it is mostly done in the mean streets and the barrios and among young men. Now that it’s reached into what was voted one of “The safest towns in America” and taken the youngest of us, we will hear more talk, but nothing from the NRA and their minions. They have too much invested and it’s their livelihood to sustain the meme.

    I’m waiting.

  16. EE, Like Ohio, I am also waiting for suggestions. I have suggested banning killer-magazines (if reason doesn’t work, I will resort to propaganda)and said this in response to you on one of the many threads on this tragic event.
    I repeat:
    EE, No you don’t have to show a “benefit”, you just have to say you don’t want something to be legal. There are laws on the books that seem arbitrary to some, like machine gun restrictions along with pot which may have medicinal value.
    But, we will go around on this forever, because you see “some” value to mega-magazines to a very small portion of the population that; “Combat shooting is a sport just like cowboy shooting and other forms.” I can’t fathom. Do they actually shoot each other or what.
    Here’s a good example where deaths of children was minimized by the lack of firearms: Man Stabs 22 Children in China, it happened yesterday: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12......html?_r=0
    How many of those 6-11 year-olds, none of which died, would have died if he had either a handgun, a semi-automatic rifle, or a SA rifle with a mega-magazine.
    I think it is reasonable to assume MANY would have died.
    There are too many guns in America, but I don’t see a way out for now so I would at least push for a ban on mega-magazines, no matter what some think “that it didn’t work” the last time. At least it is something with very little, if any, “downside”.

  17. Dr E, I too would like to believe you are right, but this is a political battle, unfortunately not a moral issue to our leaders. It would take a concerted effort of many thousands marching on Washington to even get anyone to forget about their re-election chances in favor of ticking off the powerful NRA.

    After watching Obama speak though, I am convinced he has reached his tipping point. SOME sort of action will undoubtedly be taken. Only hope it isn’t as lame as his last one on this issue.

  18. Just read that article dd. Wow! and you have a point of course. The question is really…what do we do about the NRA in this country? WHY do they have so much influence and power over our politicians and how can that end!
    Our leaders just have to get some guts and value life and sanity over money and elections.

  19. There is a list online btw of all the congressmen and senators who have received campaign contributions from the NRA this year. WOW!! it’s every state and almost ALL are Republicans ( counted 5 Dems in about 50). It’s public information, anyone can view it.

  20. May it be so dr.e…. may it be so…

    Sheknows here is a link… there are three pages of politicians… I did a quick count based on party… since they were not numbered, think this is very close for 2012

    26 House Democrats
    216 House Republicans

    1 Senate Democrats
    7 Senate Republicans

    http://www.opensecrets.org/org.....038;sort=A

  21. SK, they don’t have to bribe the Dems, because they are afraid of the NRA.

  22. Thanks OS. I just did a quick count and eyeballed roughly 10% Dems to 90% Reps.
    I got angry when I saw Deb Fishers name (R-Ne) and stopped reading. There is quite a story to her, but bottom line she tried to take valuable land away from her elderly neighbors, even tho they had allowed her cattle to range on their land and use the streams for free for over 15 years. Fisher lost her landgrab suit, but it said tons about her character. Public opinion was not favorable. Then all of a sudden she had 20 political ads appearing weekly and won over Bob Kerry. Millions went into her ads.
    Not on topic here, sorry but I wonder just what kind of government we have in this country and who with the most money is actually in charge!
    We are being held hostage by the ones with the biggest and most guns ( literally)

  23. Sheknows, knows, and dduck also make excellent points, such as, that we don’t have to prove any benefit from banning high round clips other than because we think they should be banned. statistics are alarmingly easy to manipulate.

    I am not opposed to the average home owner having a couple of small handguns with, lets say, ten round clips—provided they also pass a background check. But no, ordinary citizen also needs an assault weapon, to defend themselves.

    I heard tonight that the shooter used guns that his mother had acquired legally, and therefore, the NRA is downplaying the importance of the incident. But what about questioning if the mother should have been legally allowed to purchase an assault rifle to begin with? along with every other non-military or non-police force, civilian?

    The NRA is correct in saying that guns don’t kill people—people kill people. However, making guns easier to get for people that kill people, also puts all of us at greater risk. The NRA and the political power exerted by its often, somewhat paranoid members, is the true problem to overcome—since they have made gun control such a hot button issue that immediately effects the electability of political candidates, that none of our politicians has felt comfortable in taking on this fight. I also know that many policemen (but don’t know if a majority) do not like criminals being able to outgun them, and so, they support common sense restrictions on the availability of guns.

    It has also been pointed out that since drug running criminals can easily pay in cash to purchase assault weapons at gun shows near the Mexican border, we are effectively arming drug lords who have killed tens of thousands of Mexican citizens, while using the most violent and depraved ways to do, so as possible!

    To quote a famous poet of my generation as to how long this travesty will last, “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind!” He appears to be right!

  24. dd..well obviously the Dems aren’t afraid of the NRA, otherwise they would cowtow to them and kiss their feet like 90% of the Reps do each year. ( read OS link I mentioned earlier) :)

  25. SK, you are wrong, or else Obama would have done something after Giffords.

  26. Well I rather doubt they are in favor of citizens running around armed with semi automatic weapons.

    Well you’re wrong. Most officers favor the 2nd and are worried about criminals with guns not law abiding citizens. Now many cops do favor mandatory notifications when they contact someone who is carrying concealed but they also realize that the bad guys won’t be the one with permits and will ignore any laws that make carrying illegal.

    No you don’t have to show a “benefit”, you just have to say you don’t want something to be legal.

    Well in this case there is that pesky 2nd amendment thing. It does require you to have a reason if commen sense isn’t enough. Come on! We have a bunch of stupid laws so lets make more even tho we have proven they are ineffective? What sense does that make?

    “Combat shooting is a sport just like cowboy shooting and other forms.” I can’t fathom. Do they actually shoot each other or what.

    Well since you don’t participate let’s just eliminate every sport you dislike. the Police Pistol Combat Competition, Three-Gun and Tactical Action Shooting, IDPA, and anything else that might offend you. Funny a repeated refrain is training but you seem to think shutting down training is the better option.

    Here’s a good example where deaths of children was minimized by the lack of firearms

    And what was the biggest school massacre in the US? That’s right, one in which no guns were used.

    I would at least push for a ban on mega-magazines, no matter what some think “that it didn’t work” the last time. At least it is something with very little, if any, “downside”.

    I’m not going to get to worked up but one it’s a good way to lose elections for anyone who tries, two it will be a huge fight, and three for no damn effect. I would think there might be a better, more effective, place to use all that effort.

    If you and/or the NRA have some suggestions, let’s hear them. If you don’t just say so.

    Actually they do have some. Project Exile was a NRA lobbied law in VA. It included mandatory 5 year sentences for felons caught with guns and 15 years for felons who used guns. One of my big ideas would be a nation wide standard and system for reporting people who have mental issues that should prevent them from possessing firearms. This would of course be checked during the background check when purchasing a firearm.

    we don’t have to prove any benefit from banning high round clips other than because we think they should be banned. statistics are alarmingly easy to manipulate.

    Well then try and manipulate them into the previous gun ban accomplishing anything and when you can’t maybe that will tell you what an absolute failure it was and why trying to recreate it is just silly. Put the effort into something that will make some small difference.

  27. Well theres those blasted politics again! In a loooong history of “nobody doin nothin”, Clinton was the first President with guts to sign anti gun regulation into law but when it expired in 2007, Bush didn’t reinstate it.
    I am not excusing Obamas actions by any means, I am simply pointing out that to get legislation passed in an obstructionist Republican house full of NRA worshippers, it’s damn near impossible to get anything done.
    Reality, not fear would be the main factor affecting that failure. BUT…he has another chance to prove his metal. Like he said ” no matter WHAT the politics are”.

  28. EE..Hooray…that’s what I said…yes HR45…lets get it passed!! And I am also in favor of doing a psychological profile using the military standard MMPI index before issuance. If it comes back a little “off”, than ..”no guns for you”.

  29. But what about questioning if the mother should have been legally allowed to purchase an assault rifle to begin with?

    It wasn’t an assault rifle and wasn’t used in the attack. I have a pet peeve with people trying to change definitions on things to suit their needs. Assault rifles must by definition be able to fire full auto. The rifle left in the car does not meet that criteria and except for it’s military looks performs no different, and uses less powerful ammo, than many common and accepted civilian rifles.

    It has also been pointed out that since drug running criminals can easily pay in cash to purchase assault weapons at gun shows near the Mexican border, we are effectively arming drug lords who have killed tens of thousands of Mexican citizens, while using the most violent and depraved ways to do, so as possible!

    Who here likes wikileaks? I have to be honest I’m not a fan but here is a bit of reality to combat the propaganda so often spouted.


    the State Department cables recently made public by WikiLeaks do seem to confirm that the U.S. government is very aware that much of the heavy firepower now in the hands of Mexican criminal organizations isn’t linked to mom-and-pop gun stores, but rather the result of blowback from U.S. arms-trading policies (both current and dating back to the Iran/Contra era) that put billions of dollars of deadly munitions into global trade stream annually.

  30. I just read that contrary to the initial reports that had the ar-15 in the car and unused it was actually the weapon the shooter used to shoot the majority of his victims. I apologize for the mistake.

  31. ” A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. Every one of those nations has stricter gun control laws.

    And then there’s this fact: add together all the gun deaths in the 23 wealthiest countries in the world and 80 percent of those are American deaths. Of all the children killed by guns in those nations, 87 percent are American kids. ”

    Lisa Belkin: Gun Control Is A Parenting Issue

    “The ‘Right to Bear Arms’ Is Not More Important Than a Child’s Right to Grow Up”

  32. Hmm I wonder how the overall murder rate compares? It was from December 2000 – Volume 49 – Issue 6 > Firearm Availability and Homicide Rates across 26 …..

    Lets see I found a homicide rate for the US at 4.2 per 100,000. Quite a bit higher than most but not even close to 20 times. It tops out at about 3 time on average like with Canada. The same with most European countries which of course is what they mean when they say wealthy nations. Of course even the FBI cautions against making such comparisons. Crime rates are driven by a number of factors which include how the countries report crime, population diversity, population density, policing, heck even access to freeways affect crime rates.

  33. OS, the dialogue will be won by the will of the people I think. Those in the wrong and the right often try to argue stats which is excercise in futility on this matter, I think. Stats are so manipulatable as to often be stone stupid.

    Also, attempts to detract from the central issue, which is the will of the majority, by bringing in 20 other aspects or issues from all over creation, is in my opinion, in no way contributing to balance nor solutions. Redefinition has never solved issues. It is past-timing, opining and powerless to get anything done.

    Covering the legislatures over the years, i see those who get down to the 2 or 3 factors of an issue, turn away the blabbers and shriekers and the disrespectful… and instead discussing how to solve those, then log-rolling to solve them to best ability, and then moving on, gets the job done to best possible outcome.

    I note strongly over the last couple years esp, that problem solving, proposing sincere helps is seldom forthcoming from those who want what they want, what they want, what they want, without regard for others who are different than they are and who are in the majority.

    There’s something that stands behind ‘my right, my gun, must have, or else.’ There’s also something that stands behind, let’s put our heads together and make this a better country. The two ideations that stand behind are not at all in the same light.

    I also note OS, a depressive ideation fostered by some;
    ‘genie’s out of the bottle.’ ‘nothing can be done.’ ‘we all just have to pound sand’

    I not only dont believe those are true. I know they are not true. So do many many others. h.i.t. Ordinary Sparrow and others who are willing to work toward a new day on many fronts.

  34. Forgot to mention OS and others here, my son, spec ops CN 20 year vet, has been reading remarks here, and thinks many are on right track about yes, more can be done, much more… and he thinks some are just blowing boastful and inaccurate. He reminds, and I hope to get him to write for us, that Canada came to terms far better than before. The US can too. I’ll write about the shootings in C about now, two decades ago.

    My .02, just keep keepin’ it above the waterline as you can, within your reach. Do not let others dishearten you nor convince you nothing can be done. I always liked that cartoon of –was it Mighty Mouse, or in my own imagination as a night dream? In dream memory, The head mouse is saying to his comrades to be of courage… asserting ‘Are we men or mice??!!’ And a little guy in the back of the room calls out… ‘We are both!!!!!!!’

    Us too.

  35. EE

    The NRA hasn’t been very diligent in not allowing felons firearms.

    For 20 years, however, felons convicted of crimes “involving the use of a firearm or other weapon” or of violations of federal firearm laws were ineligible to apply for “relief.” This changed in 1986, when a law backed by the National Rifle Association took effect. The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (also known as FOPA or McClure/Volkmer for the bills’ Senate and House sponsors) expanded the program to allow felons convicted of gun crimes to obtain “relief.”3 And gun criminals certainly took advantage of the program. Of the 100 sample cases obtained by the Violence Policy Center, eight were for firearm violations, including two convictions for illegal sales of machine guns.

    More information here:

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/felons.htm

    As far as the mental health issue, I think the possibility of stripping a citizen of the right to privacy would equal stripping them of their right to own arms. However, it seems that some reasonable efforts could be made and I hope the NRA and you would welcome those efforts as well as the limiting of unnecessarily high volumne magazines except for responsible collectors.

  36. As far as the mental health issue, I think the possibility of stripping a citizen of the right to privacy would equal stripping them of their right to own arms. However, it seems that some reasonable efforts could be made and I hope the NRA and you would welcome those efforts as well as the limiting of unnecessarily high volumne magazines except for responsible collectors.

    Well of course you have the right to privacy but if you voluntier access to that info because you want a gun it would seem to be reasonable. There would need to be safeguards and that info should be unable to be used for other things but thats technical issues that should be possible to work out. As far as the NRA well screw them if they don’t like it. Their juice is way overstated and gets played up by their opponents as the big bad boogeyman. While the NRA may have some effect the truth is people are not fond of restrictive gun control. Laws have passed because that’s what people want not because of the NRA. If you have real laws that would make a difference then people would support that. What doesn’t get much support are ineffective laws restricting ownership for the sake of restricting ownership. And for the record the NRA is for restricting guns from anyone deemed incompetent by the courts.

    You mean the program that VPC had gotten all funding removed from in 1992? The program that hasn’t operated for 20 years? I’m sorry but you’re going to have to get a bit more current before I care. Sure the NRA supported a bill that established a system of relief so that mentally disqualified persons can legally own guns again. This is a necessity, heck a constitutional requirement. Without such a program ones constitutional rights could be removed by one doctor making one decision and you would have no recourse to exercising a constitutional right for the rest of your life. No hearing, nothing adjudicated just one persons decision with no legal recourse after. There must be some legal way of relief from any ban be it gun or the no fly list. It allows for people who would be banned due to mental illness to get their name removed if they can show competency. I’m fine with this and have trouble understanding why anyone would be against it.

  37. EE, short and sweet, this past Friday: China attack of school children resulted in 22 stabbings, no deaths. U.S. attack on school children, result 20 killed plus 6 adults, ? wounded.

  38. EE

    I agree with a lot of your first paragraph. We are expected to give up our privacy to obtain licenses and to gain other benefits. As you say, as long as the proper restrictions on use of the information are in place, it should be a reasonable priority for purchasing a weapon. Always accepting that even the psychiatric professionals sometimes make tragic mistakes in their evaluations.

    As far as your second paragraph; I believe the FOPA act is still in place since gun lobbys are still complaining about certain states’ laws concerning transportation of arms exceeding FOPA regulations currently in 2012. You will correct me if I am wrong.

  39. FOPA is still in place but in 92 all funding was removed from the BATF “relief from disability” program and they no longer have any money or a process to appeal for returning of right to own, posses, or carry firearms. Now what that ends up is that now people must bring a case to federal court and have the court return their rights to them, when applicable only I’m sure. Big surprise that now only people with money get their rights back but you know us poor people are prone to violence anyway so who cares right? Bear in mind this only applies to people who were convicted on federal charges or of crimes out of the US.

  40. Judges like Alito that rule in favor of 2nd Amendment rights should give up their police protection, gun free courthouses, and security guard patrolled estates. But then again, since when has gross hypocrisy shamed conservatives?

  41. Judges like Alito that rule in favor of 2nd Amendment rights should give up their police protection, gun free courthouses, and security guard patrolled estates. But then again, since when has gross hypocrisy shamed conservatives?

    If you want to be taken seriously by anyone but the choir you may want to try and say something that has some small logic.

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