Gun Control – Or People Control?

Let’s face it, an armed society is going to have shootings. Any quick internet search will turn up shootings in every country in which guns are present. This is simply fact. At the same time, there are armed countries – like Canada – where shootings are rare. Canadians are armed, no doubt, it’s just they don’t use their arms on their neighbors or their schools or family members. At least, not like us Americans do. The Swiss are armed too – literally millions of Swiss men have – get this – fully automatic weapons in their homes. In fact, nearly every Swiss man does. Same’s true of a few other northern European countries.

With notable exceptions, these countries experience few shootings.

So what is it about Americans and America that ends up with armed (legal or otherwise) citizens shooting each other?

There’s two questions posed in the title: Gun Control or People Control? If we are truly egalitarian and say there are no differences between say, us and the Swiss, then what makes it so that the Swiss can remain armed (with the most horrific of arms, the fully-automatic rifle) and yet not shoot each other? Because, if there is no difference, then gun laws won’t work. Period. The opposite side of that is that Mexico has very strict gun laws, outlawing most private ownership. So law-abiding Mexicans are without arms. You might argue that point and say “as far as we know” or some other disclaimer but then I’d point out the ‘law-abiding’ part of the statement. Mexicans are dying, especially in terms of ratios, at record rates to gunfire.

So we have two opposites: heavily armed Swiss that rarely shoot each other and an unarmed populace of Mexicans regularly dying at the hands of illegally armed criminals. If guns are the problem – why this disparity? Shouldn’t the Swiss be shooting each other just every other hour?

Gun laws have not worked to keep guns out of the hands of criminals – whether in America or Mexico.

It’s true that in America, a good percentage of gun deaths are by those who legally owned guns. Gun laws restricting ownership would then, it would seem, curtail those shootings. At least, the mass shootings. After all, the crimes of passion would probably occur with a knife, club, baggy. Those headline-grabbing shootings, though, they might be limited. So, what gun laws that would most likely affect everyone would do is reduce the number of legally-owned guns that are used in mass shootings. Fair statement?

I can hear ya! No, you gun haters say, it would restrict the number of guns, which in turn would reduce the number of shootings, like from stolen guns. So the gun laws that would affect all gun owners would do is reduce mass shootings by those who legally owned the guns and those who stole legally owned guns. Now are we in agreement?

Even if that’s true, and I’ll concede it’s logical (I don’t know that logic will necessarily equal true, but let’s say it does), it doesn’t fix the problem of the illegal gun shootings.

First, I think we have to address what we want. Because if we do that, we’re going to see that we are trying to eliminate a very few events (however awful) by affecting a huge number of people. The many will suffer for the few. Heh, sounds like America.

What we want is the mass shootings to stop – right? Gun control people just said, no, we want all shootings to stop. OK, how? How do we do that? Mexico outlaws almost all gun ownership and I think very few would think that’s what is going to happen here, no matter how much they want that. So we aren’t going to eliminate all shootings.

The possible paths are:

  1. Nothing changes – no new restrictions.
  2. The ‘assault weapons’ ban is reinstated.
  3. All semi-automatic guns are restricted.
  4. All semi-auto and handguns are restricted.
  5. All guns are restricted.

The scenarios are:

  1. America – 275million guns. Convicted felons can’t own any. Regular Joes can’t own fully automatic weapons. Most gun ownership has some restrictions on it in every state.
  2. Sweden – 4million automatic assault weapons plus hunting weapons in the hands of the public.
  3. Mexico – no legally owned private weapons.
  4. Canada – much like America with limited access to ‘assault weapons’.

So, under 1/1, nothing changes. We live with the fact that, like with any object that can hurt or kill lots of people, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, they will do exactly that.

Under 2/1, we go back to where we were in the Clinton era. Columbine occurred under his watch. So did a rash of school shootings.

The rest, we don’t know the effects.

The real problem is being obscured and for good reasons. If you were our leaders, how would you frame the real problem? If you came out and said, ‘look, we have weapons in our country and we shoot each other. A lot. Canada has weapons, Sweden has weapons and neither country shoot each other much. Mexico has outlawed weapons and we all know what happens there. So maybe it’s not a gun problem but a people problem. What’s wrong with our people?’

Because that’s the real question. And the answer is the real problem.

About these ads

~ by The Prophet on January 10, 2013.

238 Responses to “Gun Control – Or People Control?”

  1. Despite not being an American I have heard about hose tragedies on the news. I am so sorry for those peoples’ loses :(
    But, I believe that there should be both gun and people control. Blaming everything on one of them is wrong.

  2. Wow. That ending really got me. I love that, although I could kind of tell what side you’re on, your post didn’t feel like an all-out partisan attack against ‘the other side’. We need more people to write like that so that ‘the other side’ will listen, regardless of which side it is. We need CONVERSATION. Real, true, conversation, not God-damn bickering and stupidity. And not the lies on top of lies on top of lies we hear about ‘the other side’.

    *sigh*

    I don’t want to go into culture, family, society, but there is something seriously wrong with our society. We’re on the decline. I have 15 and 16 year old students who can’t look up basic information on the internet. And they grew up with the internet. One of my 16 year olds was getting frustrated to the point of quitting on an in-class history assignment they were supposed to be doing. All they had to do was type the question on google and find the answer. When I walked over to see why this was so hard for him, I saw that he had typed, I kid you not, ‘How did it contribute to English becoming the official language of Britain?’ into google. I asked him how he expected the internet to understand what ‘it’ was supposed to be.

    We have millions of kids in the country who have the entire world at their fingertips in the form of the internet, and yet don’t know how to use it. It’s like they’re living in the middle of a gargantuan library and don’t know how to read.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that this is related to the problem of people in our society. We’re not teaching our kids basic, elementary skills. It needs to start at 1st grade. I can teach basic computer skills in high school perhaps, but I can’t sit down and teach every student of mine how to read and write. Most of them can do neither. How am I supposed to teach history? Or English? High school is supposed to be where they go in depth into subjects. Elementary and middle school is supposed to be where they learn the basics they need to be in high school.

    Don’t even get me started on our school culture. Where people are made fun of and bullied starting from kindergarten? And they teach about sex in 3rd grade? Yeah, I think that answers your question.

    • I think we are living in the midst of an entitled and “instant gratification” society. And it’s our own fault. When ppl can sue for dumb shit and win, and similarly criminals are not held adequately responsible for their behavior, and even rewarded with media exposure, many ppl think they can basically get away with anything.
      And I agree, this was a well-written, non-partisan piece.

      • Amen, I agree with you 100%

      • The ‘instant gratification’ part is so true. Especially with the speed of things (cars, internet etc.) these days.

      • I co-sign your comment 100%! Being the 80s child that I am, I see how things like playing outside until the sun went down have been traded in for texting and Angry Birds (no shade at Rovio).

        As awesome as technology had become, and convenient, it is doing damage to our younger generations.

    • **@I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that this is related to the problem of people in our society. We’re not teaching our kids basic, elementary skills. It needs to start at 1st grade. I can teach basic computer skills in high school perhaps, but I can’t sit down and teach every student of mine how to read and write. Most of them can do neither. How am I supposed to teach history? Or English? High school is supposed to be where they go in depth into subjects. Elementary and middle school is supposed to be where they learn the basics they need to be in high school.

      Don’t even get me started on our school culture. Where people are made fun of and bullied starting from kindergarten? And they teach about sex in 3rd grade? Yeah, I think that answers your question…

      >>You’ve hit the nail on the HEAD..it is totally related to the problem of people in our society! NOT only aren’t kids being taught basic, elementary skills parents are NOT parenting. And even worse! those are the same parents expecting schools/teachers to do ALL of the teaching..I mean, really??? Given the circumstances you’ve outlined above(as well as scenarios friends of mine, who teach, have told me I don’t think ANYone could teach under that criteria..And don’t get me started on having to teach children who are on some form of meds..OMG what is really going on where such a great percentage of kids are on some sort of DRUG? And how is it logical to expect NOT to teach children starting at home? Mayhaps IF parents began to parent again , instead of allowing the Net and Video games babysit their children you’d not have such a gun-happy/toting society that has become SO desensitized(possibly by seeing so much killing on videos/movies) that they are settling simple differences with guns. What happened to walking away when having a different of opinion? What the heck happened to ACTING like humans with a brain instead of animals? Is there NO compassion for human life anymore? And I can’t tell ya’ll how sick N tyeeeed I am of hearing it always blamed on “mental issues” when someone shoots N kills…People control guns and not the other way around. It has got to STOP. We’re supposed to be a civil society; but anymore our country has become just a MESS of folks “Nuttin” UP and then using that as an excuse to kill. Shameful!

      • I agree that one of the basic problems is parents thinking the act of parenting begins and ends with buying their kids ‘stuff’. It may be, actually, one of the single biggest contributors to the problems our society faces. How many kids do you hear these days say ‘as my dad taught us’ or ‘as my mom always used to say’? It’s rare. Parents don’t ‘teach’ anymore.
        While there are plenty of excuses/reasons for that, it means that the core beliefs possessed by too many of our kids are those instilled by TV (such a steward of society) and our schools (which are watered down to be more babysitter than education). Not the best places to learn morals and values.
        I spend a lot of time pondering these questions and reading about them and this, parenting, is always at the top of my list for base causes. Funny, isn’t it, that you can’t get a gun or a driver’s license without a permit, but you can pop out ten kids without even a basic knowledge of how to raise them. Perhaps that’s where some more regulation needs to be targeted.

        • **Ugh! Thought I responded to this earlier with a very, long response..So I’ll keep it short this time..I like the way you think! And I couldn’t agree MORE. Although I can’t see population control ever passing approval in our country where the word “freedom” is used so liberally..Yet, are we truly FREE if now due to all the shootings there are ARMED guards/cops being posted on Elementary School grounds??? Not only is that the complete opposite of freedom; it is going backward to a time I personally don’t want to see! IF folks can’t feel secure sending their little ones off to school…I’m almost afraid to know what is coming next. Whatever it is, if things don’t stop moving in the direction they’re moving in, it won’t be good

  3. Gun control advocates have no grasp of reality and are incapable of lucid, rational thinking.

  4. I really like this article. It’s well thought out, and posits a number of scenarios, with some facts to back them up. I agree, the problem is not with the gun ownership necessarily. I especially agree with (and have written as much) with your statement: “So the gun laws that would affect all gun owners would do is reduce mass shootings by those who legally owned the guns and those who stole legally owned guns. ” As much as NRA fans hate to hear it, this is a true statement.
    I think gun owners need to be held to stricter responsibility for their firearms. If the woman who had owned the guns used in Newtown hadn’t been shot herself, she should have faced severe consequences for not securing her weapons. She had legally owned weapons that were “stolen” from her by her own family member, a family member she KNEW had a history of mental instability.
    This problem requires a comprehensive approach. There is no one answer (not gun control, not religion, not mental health reform, or media). I do believe the media ‘s irresponsibility in sensationalizing these crimes and focusing on the perpetrators rather than the victims is encouraging others to “make their mark” in the same ways. People that are unbalanced and feel put upon now know they can get noticed and get their fifteen minutes of infamy by committing horrible crimes. Anyway, the only thing lacking from this article is the solution. You start with a question and end with a similar question. But then again, if you knew the answer, you’d probably be President by now. Congrats on getting Pressed!

    • Thank you so much for both your comments and the congrats. I was very surprised!
      The fact that there’s hundreds of millions of guns – and millions of legal owners – means exactly what you said: there is no one answer. I do believe that centralized databases are needed. I do believe that reasonable changes to registration are warranted. I don’t think the answer lies in controlling magazine sizes or how many weapons you can own or (as California wanted) microstamping of ammo as it passes through a gun are the answers.
      Like most Americans – and probably a large portion of the world – we’ve discussed this at length at home and with friends. Most ‘solutions’ involve the person with the solution determining what’s “right” or “fair” and limiting everyone to that. A very good friend with a doctorate in education stated that we should be able to own guns, but not semi-auto and none with magazines. Further questioning proved out that he had weapons but none would violate the new rules. Ironic.
      I don’t know all the answers but I’m certainly willing to listen. I appreciate your comments very much.

    • It would make sense that media’s portrayal of mass shooting could be encouraging more to occur. I know that there have been studies demonstrating that when a suicide is highly publicized there will be an increase in that form of suicide in the areas which got heavy media coverage. That is media coverage of suicides can lead to copycat suicides. Well it would seem reasonable to figure a similar effect is taking place with mass shootings.

  5. how do we know that many of these shootings are not staged? some poor smuck is already off his rocker who is pushed by a third party to do this? sweden is already owned by the wealthy, america isnt fully under their control, so it makes sense to disarm you have to cause a serious problem, or use a problem and blow it out of proportion to scare the crap out everyone, then scapegoat some thing like guns (not taking into account other factors or fact doctors kill more people or that car crashes also due to negligence and carelessness of some drivers) but the elite dont care about that, guns are a hinderance of gaining full control with little bloodshed, the fbi I heard said more people are killed by baseball bats then guns, yet I don’t see a cry to get baseball bats out of people’s hands. so this gun thing is not about guns at all or violence (the elites are way more violent then most americans)it is a back door way to take away the ability to defend yourself. criminals will always get guns, after all they don’t care about any law, so making it unlawful to have a gun only affects the law abiding citizen, who by the way is lawabiding and not going around killing people. these people are the wrong targets. but I am not surprised, hidden agendas are hidden for a reason, if people knew the real reason for this and that stupid agenda 21 thing they would see it is all phoney balony.

  6. With all due respect (and I like the reasonable tone of your blog and your arguments), it is in no way that simple. I interviewed 104 men, women and teens across America for my book about women and guns in the U.S. — from convicted felons to Olympic shooters — and have been interviewed by BBC and written on this issue for the NYT and Canadian press.

    1) You completely ignore the presence of the Second Amendment. (I don’t want to argue it but it does exist here and complicates every discussion and every possible political decision/change.) This is absent in every other country you mention.

    2) A single payer health care system — which all these other countries also have — and a closer relationship between citizens and their government, makes for easier data collection and data mining.

    2a) A wider, deeper social safety net, where citizens of other nations (like Canada, where I grew up), know that if they become mentally ill or lose their job, they have ready access to free or affordable help or government benefits. Not here!

    3) A wholly different way of thinking about the role of government, of individual rights, of gun-owners’ corresponding responsibility to their larger society (the local school, or movie theatre or mall — all sites of mass shootings.)

    4) National identity. Americans are racing to gun stores right now to buy even MORE firearms. This looks like utter insanity to many other nations!

    Here is a link to my book.

    http://blownawaythebook.com/

    • While I’m not sure 104 people represent anything more than a tiny sampling of people, I’m very interested in your conclusions. I read 2-4 books a week and if yours is available in any e-book format, it’s on my list.
      You mention I leave out the 2nd Amendment and then mention it’s not part of any other country’s constitution – what exactly is your point there? I’m not arguing – just wondering.
      Point 2 is well taken. My only concern there is the speed and content of what is now considered a ‘mental illness’. I agree that there must be some kind of additional emphasis placed on this, but I’m not sure how we’d implement it. We don’t want to make it so that our mental health professionals become the gate-keepers for the kingdom of gun ownership.
      Point 3 begins to smack of socialism – sorry if that’s not your intent. I’m sorry, but I disagree that the government is the solution to anything.
      Point 4 isn’t about national identity, it’s about fear. Fear that our rights will be taken.
      National identity is one of the things I feel is lacking. We’ve been carefully steered away from any form of national identity. That might mean we want ‘made in America’ or ‘America first’ and that would not be good for our multi-national corporate masters.
      I will be reading your book and I’d love some clarification on your points. Thanks for your comments.

      • 1) The point is that no other country enshrines the right of citizens to bear arms, and this is a huge issue when you try to argue both for and against restrictions as it by default must influence your arguments. It presumes towards gun ownership, but one can define “arms” in many ways.

        2) It’s not necessarily what needs to be defined as “mental illness”, which I fully agree is too freely used. In the UK, you must have one or two references who are in “respectable” professions who vouch for you personally, and they are interviewed briefly by the police. Likewise, your GP (doctor) is consulted, but they are not the “gate-keeper” – the final decision lies solely with the local police force. I really enjoy visiting the US, but the terrible state of social security is the one thing that I find disturbing. Of course all societies are unequal to some extent (not everyone can be or acheive the samethings), but the disparity between those living “normal” lives and those who have fallen through in some way is stark.

        3) Socialism is another highly loaded term in American politics, but I don’t think that what’s the other commenter was reaching. Besides, being aware of your responsiblity to your community and others is not “socialist”, it is the foundation of human interaction. This ties in with 4 below…

        4) FEAR! In most European counties, the government is (generally) thought to be there to help the people, whereas the sentiment in the US is very different. Fear does seem (to outsiders, perhaps) to be a huge driving force behind many of these discussions: fear of the government, fear of crime, fear of the other politcal party (Rep/Dem, depending on your preference), fear of many things. Perhaps you could expand on what you think of this?

        For what it’s worth, I’m a gun owner here in the UK and think the laws here are sensible: handguns and (semi)auto rifles are solely for the purpose of intimidating and killing other people. You can own shotguns and single shot bolt action rifles (you can get semi-automatics, but only in .22), and if you’ve missed first time with your rifle out hunting you’re going to miss twice, even if you’re lucky enough to get a second chance.

        Anyway – good post and raised some good thought provoking issues so thanks!

  7. I won’t say whether I fundamentally agree or disagree. I will say I have friends who are gun-control absolutists and also friends who own A.R. 15′s. No new piece of legislation can be a magic bullet, no pun intended, but I refuse to believe we can’t come up with a sensible solution. The problem is, the discourse on both sides of this debate Is troubling. I try to be optimistic, but the cynic in me is inclined to believe Americans are fundamentally mistrusting of each other. That makes me sad.

  8. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention.

  9. Oh my, where to even begin! For starters I’m a Canadian. Gun law in Canada is not in any way similar to America. You stated it was with the exception of limited access to automatic weapons. Do your homework before you post. Our border guards didn’t even have guns until a few years ago. Hand guns are not legal, security guards can’t carry guns, and most importantly – we do not have the right to shoot at anything that rustles in our yards. Self appointed armed neighbourhood watches can’t get away with murdering people they deem suspicious, and guns are strictly for hunting – no exceptions.
    Your statement – control guns or control people – is so American it makes me laugh. I dare you to explain how limiting automatic weapons infringes on your rights. Holy crap.

    • What I should have said – and what I meant – is that many Canadians own weapons. Regardless of how that reads, you miss the point entirely of my post – and that is, why do Americans choose to solve their problems (whether real or imagined) by shooting groups of people? Especially groups of people who have nothing to do with the shooter. Why can Canadians own weapons, why can Germans own weapons, why can Swedes possess weapons – and not, by and large, take out their personal issues on masses of their fellow citizens?
      While I own guns and I certainly think the 2nd Amendment provides for that ownership, I don’t share the belief that restriction of ownership of fully automatic weapons is a restriction of my rights. In fact, I believe that the polemics of both sides (the NRA saying any kind of law regarding firearms is a bad law, the gun control side saying any kind of gun is a bad gun) is what is at the heart of the problem regarding the establishment of good gun laws. The NRA believes if they give in on anything, no matter how reasonable and prudent, it will only lead to more restrictions. The gun control lobby believes the same thing. So most of the time, there is no real debate or conversation regarding guns. Until things like mass shootings occur.
      We need to understand why people do what they do and stop focusing on the tools they use to do the crimes. That is the point of my post.

      • Ever since Columbine mass shootings have escalated. Mental illness seems to still have enough of a grip on reality to want to out do the last shooter. FYI – Canadians do not own weapons, they own hunting rifles, a big difference. Canadians do not think of guns as weapons, that is an American point of view. The point of your post did not escape me, The NRA and all the gun lobby scares me to death. The debate as to why these shootings happen is nothing more than a smoke screen. They happen because crazy people have easy access to automatic weapons.. The NRA would like to arm every teacher in America – what is wrong with you people? None of this is rocket science.

      • Do you know why the NRA fights every restriction tooth and nail? There are two general reasons, first the structure of the political / legal system and second money.

        The American political / legal system is designed to move slowly. You can change the system through legislation but that requires getting a majority of both chambers of congress and the president behind you. You can change things through the courts but the effect is usually limited and time consuming. You can change things through the executive branch (like writing policy or regulations) but the scope of the executive branch is limited to what Congress grants them. The American political / legal system is built to change incrementally instead of drastically. So neither the NRA nor anti-gun advocates can win a decisive victory. Rather they rely on getting a little victory here and another one there and another one in order to accomplish a larger task.

        Because of this they have to deal with every challenge as though it were the single most important one ever. If either side looses ground today it may take months or years to reclaim it if they even can. That makes each and every incremental step critical in the overall battle for larger goals.

        The second reason is money. Social movements like the NRA or gun control advocates rely on mobilizing people. They need people to give them money to keep them running. They need volunteers to help them operate. They need advocates to get their message out. Well when something happens that focuses the public on a social movement they have to react in order to acquire the resources they need. Right now the debate on gun control means that social movement organizations (like the NRA) are perfectly positioned to acquire resources. The public’s attention is on it and the issue seems critical, so people are willing to give time, money, expertise and such. Because of this both sides have a vested interest in whipping the public into a fevered pitch over guns. If the public is highly polarized then they see the issue as being very critical and thus are more apt to offer resources to the side they prefer.

        Now don’t take this as just attacking the NRA or gun control advocates. This is a general propensity for social movements of all forms.

        PS Much of this was inspired by reading “Politics of Protest” by Meyer. Just figured I should give credit where credit is due.

        • Your point re – NRA perfectly illustrates one of the things this Canadian sees as a major fault in America. I agree completely with your analysis, yet shake my head in frustration. The NRA is allowed to operate as a non-profit organization. Yikes. How can America stomach that fact and still sleep well at night? They influence policy, are allowed to make huge contributions to political candidates, and enjoy tax exempt status as a certified non-profit. Much like the geniuses in America who recognized Scientology as a religion, therefore handing L. Ron Hubbard’s hoax tax exemption on a silver platter. ( Off the subject and verging on a rant – this I realize. )
          I know I’m prone to getting hot under the collar, but honestly America has a fundamental problem it needs to face. Call me crazy but the way I see it, the place to start is simple. Make non-profit organizations accountable.

          • So you watched 20/20 or whatever that was last night about Scientology. Good. I’d caution you about saying it’s only Americans. They have their ‘churches’ everywhere around the world. Including Canada. I know some European countries have booted them or at least not granted tax exempt status, but they are there, too. No one is immune.

            As far as sleeping at night because the NRA has tax-exempt status… I don’t spend my nights thinking about them. I find it curious that you do. Perhaps you need a hobby?

            I’ve read parts of your blog and they are interesting. You have some good points of view. But you seem a bit hung up on this issue. Americans have their problems. I’d agree that the challenge of both enforcing gun control while simultaneously supporting the 2nd Amendment is a unique situation. Ranting about it from a Canadian point of view is your right, certainly. But ok, you’ve made your point.

            I, for one, appreciate the intelligent conversation that has gone on here. It’s why I’ve left open comments and replies – many bloggers won’t. I read each and every one. I don’t agree with them all, but I allow them to post their thoughts – without editing or selective approval.

            I’m just not sure what point you’re trying to make anymore. That and the fact that you lump all of us together in almost every post you make. Not all Americans agree on ANYTHING except maybe that air is good to breathe. Or that flush toilets are an improvement to bed pans. Past that, we’re a deeply divided country. You might have noted that from our elections.

            Sorry you don’t like the NRA. I don’t agree with all of their suggestions lately, but I carry my NRA membership card with pride.

            The problem of campaign finance and the ruling of the Supreme Court in Citizens’ United will be the bane of US elections till someone brave and popular and strong enough comes along to do the right thing and kill both. They both allow for this situation the world finds itself in when it comes to ‘democracy’ and ‘free markets’. Both worked before. They don’t now. When individuals have more money than entire countries and corporations have the same rights as people but none of the responsibilities, none of the checks and balances our governments have put in place work.

            I don’t see you railing against food processors who send out knowingly poisoned food. Yet they killed more people last year in the US than mass shootings did. I don’t see you complaining about drug companies that jack up drug prices so they can make huge profits while they fake or skew test results. Where’s the outrage over our country arming Mexican drug lords so they can trace where guns went? Or the fact that we recognized the armed rebels of Syria as the (unelected) leaders of that country?

            Yeah, it’s easier and more topical to argue endlessly about guns. You never address the point of my post which is that guns could be everywhere, on the floor, in closets, on your front lawn and never would a person die. Never. Until some sick or angry individual picks one up and shoots someone. My post is about what is wrong with PEOPLE. Why do PEOPLE shoot PEOPLE? Guns are, as you said Canadians see them, tools. Guess what? So do Americans. We, unlike you, have the guaranteed freedom to own them. Jealous?

            In the end, I still appreciate your commentary and I’ll let you respond. I’m simply questioning your reasoning and reasons, that’s all. :)

    • Wow. Holy hypocrite. You jump over this author and several posters in your holier than though attitude, starting with “Do your homework before your post”. Why didn’t you do yours? Automatic weapons are very hard to obtain in the United States and were not used in the most recent mass shootings. Semi-automatic weapons (by the way, many/most modern “hunting rifles” are semi-automatic weapons) were what were used. Semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles.

      Your statement of “They happen because crazy people have easy access to automatic weapons” is completely false. The logic behind the NRA wanting to place armed guards in schools? Based on the fact that over 275 million weapons exist in the United States. Outlawing every single one of them today does very little to stop the possibility of any of them being used in a future shooting. While the merits and the efficacy of their proposal if implemented can be argued, they are at least being much more realistic about the problem than people calling strictly for gun control alone.

      Your statement of “mass shootings have escalated”? Again, did you do your homework? Numerous statisticians have gone on record as saying that mass shootings appear to be cyclical and there was actually a period of time after Columbine when they were on the decline. And apparently the “peak” of mass killings was in 1929, not exactly recent history.

      Stop speaking for all Canadians, and Americans. I know several Canadians who think of their guns as weapons, especially in rural areas of the country and consider them a means of self-defense either against animals or people since they are so far from the nearest law enforcement agency. I’m assuming, although I cannot attest to it personally, that they are not alone. Likewise, I know of many, many more Americans who do not consider their guns as weapons and who, even though they own guns, cannot conceive of ever using them to kill another human, even in self-defense. Their guns exist (for them) only for hobby shooting.

      You want to have an opinion, you want to look down in scorn at Americans for their current state of affairs? That’s fine, and it’s not unique amongst your countrymen. Actually, scratch what I was about to say. you’re an adult, you can do whatever you want. Keep being a hypocrite and making un-intelligent statements like you have. Makes for good entertainment.

      • Huh. Look. Canadians have the same problems. http://www.albertapolicereport.com/2012/12/21/17-year-old-ponoka-youth-arrested-after-making-threats-police-find-guns-at-youths-home/

      • Pardon my ignorance for failing to make the distinction between semi and automatic weapons. Call me a stupid Canadian, but in my mind semi automatic is still automatic. It seems we have reached an impasse; you laughing at me, and me shaking my head in disbelief.
        I was raised in rural Canada. I grew up on wild game, my brother has a trap line, my father had to defend himself more than once against bears. It didn’t require a semi-automatic weapon! If you took a moment to set aside your mirth and scorn at my statements you might be able to focus on my point. Canadian law does not allow any citizen, no matter how remote or isolated to take up arms in defense of a perceived risk. Now before you jump down my throat – yes we can defend against a bear attack; no – we cannot under any circumstances shoot a prowler in our yard.
        Your Canadian friends who see their guns as weapons do not in any way reflect what it is to be Canadian. And heaven help them if they ever used them on anything other than wildlife.
        Not once have I said anything about banning all guns in America. If pointing out that semi-automatic weapons should be banned gives you a big old belly laugh – go join the NRA, if not a member already. I am neither stupid or misinformed.

  10. Yeah, great post right there. I am following you now, hope you follow us back! Cheers

  11. I’ve just read over the comments again. I’m so upset I want to scream! The sad thing is nobody seems to get it. Broadsideblog is the only shred of reason. Keep your pistols America; if you can’t see a reason to control automatic weapons, or realize the benefits have nothing to do with your precious right to bear arms – you deserve the consequences.

    • I agree – most miss the point. It’s not at all, except secondarily and as an illustration point – about guns. It’s a question of what ails society. Ours (America) as well as many others. I live next to Canada, but I don’t pretend to know what your problems are. I find guns to be such a polemic that they are a perfect way to ask a question and draw in those who otherwise would not notice.
      I like your thoughts and comments but your last one points out that you’re thinking with your heart (not a bad thing) and not your head. I know you’ll disagree, but this is a problem that requires both – not one to the exclusion of the other.
      The point here is not why people use guns to solve problems – the question is, why do we solve problems with violence?

      • Excellent response.

      • Surprise; I don’t disagree with your comment “thinking with your heart” :) I’m a passionate person, for which I don’t apologize.
        Your question – why do we solve problems with violence, I would argue as moot. Human nature has and always will be aggressive. I’m sticking to my guns (haha) and original “point” – debating why gun violence or mass shootings happen, arming teachers or placing security guards at schools is a smoke screen – best left to the sociology class. Limit access to semi-automatic weapons and you nip a large part of the problem in the bud until you can figure it out.

    • I never called you stupid. I just called you a hypocrite who makes un-intelligent statements. You’re the one who called yourself ignorance, and begged pardon for it which is funny when you gave no pardon to the original author for not doing his homework. Despite the fact that there is a technical, mechanical, operational and well documented and significant difference between a “semi-automatic weapon” and an “automatic weapon” you still choose to believe their one and the same. Which is fine. Believe whatever you want in your happy little world. But you shouldn’t be surprised or have reason to shake your head in disbelief when someone takes you to task for it because you came into a public forum and made inaccurate and what appear to be judgmental comments because you refuse to acknowledge that difference. Comments like “Take automatic weapons out of the tool kit then. What part of this isn’t obvious?” and “If you can’t see a reason to control automatic weapons” just beg for correction when automatic weapons are, for the most part already out of the tool kit, weren’t used in any of the mass shootings that occurred recently and are already strictly controlled.

      By the way, was there a recent election in Canada that failed to make the news? Or were you appointed by the government to determine what does and doesn’t reflect what it means to be a Canadian? Because these people choose to be independent and take the responsibility of the protection of their family to be of the utmost importance in their life they somehow are un-Canadian? Sure they know it’s illegal to use their weapon on another person. But they’ve decided that when the nearest law enforcement official is an hour away, they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that they and their family are alive to face those charges in a civilized manner after the fact. Funny that you use the phrase “heaven help them” since, in the wrong situation if they had the gun and didn’t use it to deter (not necessarily kill)someone attempting to kill them, that might be the only help they’d get. Out of curiosity have you had that discussion with your father or brother? If they were standing there, single-shot rifle in hand, while someone was trying to rape or kill you or another of their loved ones with an illegal gun of their own, would they stand idly by and let it happen? Or would they set the rifle down and approach that armed attacker bare-handed? Or would they use that rifle to protect you?

      It’s funny that you continue to make such generalizations. Have you polled every gun-owning American to determine whether or not they consider their gun to be a weapon or just a tool or just an item that they use for a hobby, like a golf-club or tennis racquet? Or is it easier to rush to stereotypes, like assuming that since I disagree with some of your inaccurate statements that there’s a strong possibility that I must be, or would want to be, a member of the NRA?

      • I’m going to take this response very slowly. You have your knickers in such a twist you seem unable to grasp my intention….

        First – You’ve beaten me over the head regarding the distinction between automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Now pay attention – my point is that SEMI automatic weapons are unnecessary.

        Second – Of course people would take whatever steps needed to stop the rape or murder of family members or any person in a life threatening position. The “heaven help them” comment was intended to point out Canadians don’t appoint themselves “neighbourhood watch” judges and shoot the likes of Trayvon Martin (in case you’ve forgotten – the 17 year old black kid walking from his father’s house to the corner store in a gated Florida community) This is fact, not a generalization you seem so eager to point out.

        Third – I know what it is to be Canadian. You can laugh at me saying – was there an election that appointed you the voice of what a Canadian is. The only purpose that serves is to solidify my relief that I am not American. Your Canadian friends who view their guns as weapons are; well they’re your friends, nothing more needs to be said.

        Canada is fundamentally different, ours is not the culture of guns. Guns are tools, nothing more. And I’ll repeat; in case it didn’t sink in the first time – of course we would use those tools in a critical situation. One thing these tools are not is semi-automatic.

        Canada does not have a culture where a Lobbyist is an actual job position. Special interest groups are not allowed to buy favours or influence policy. The NRA is allowed to operate as a non-profit organization, That doesn’t bother Americans? Yikes.

        Read my post on them.

        http://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/not-right-america-nra/

  12. Reblogged this on cindycollin and commented:
    Some good points.

  13. I like your take on things. It is so easy to blame the tool and forget that those “tools” don’t operate themselves, It takes a person to pull that trigger.

    • Take automatic weapons out of the tool kit then. What part of this isn’t obvious?

      • Automatic weapons have been strictly regulated in this country – and nearly impossible to legally obtain – since the gun control acts of the 60′s. They aren’t, as one other commenter noted, used in any recent shootings. Except for those committed by the Mexican drug cartels supplied by Holder and his cohorts. (Sorry – couldn’t resist.)

  14. Reblogged this on cftc10.

  15. Even the non-violent Ghandi understood the value of a citizenry being able to defend itself.

    “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.

    • Something our forefathers absolutely had on their mind when they framed the Bill of Rights. They wanted Americans to be able to take back the government should it ever stop representing the will of the people. Hmmm.

      Doesn’t now seem to qualify?

  16. Actually, nicely thought out post. But there’s something else about guns and rapidly shooting guns with lots of bullets flying downrange… it’s just plain cool! Ok.. now wait.. before you label me as some gun-toting radical read on. Just like anything else in our society our affinity with guns is just another facet. Whether your opinion is to preserve the Second Amendment in order to have that little bit of insurance when the time comes to overthrow the government and put you in charge, shoot zombies after the apocolypse, or you just like to see things blow up for its entertainment and wow value… it’s all part of our society and who we are. This is partially reflected in our popular reality TV shows about gun shops and gun families.. and even the Mythbusters guys getting good ratings on episodes with guns, rockets, and blowing things up in general.
    When I listen to politicans and other proponants to gun control continually asking “Just why does anyone ‘need’ a rapidly firing military-style weapon with a high capacity magazine anyway?” I can’t help but wonder in my mind… “I dunno that we ‘need’ it but it’s cool to have and shoot.” So the interest for these kinds of weapons is part of our culture… right or wrong. Does it mean we should ignore gun control? Of course not. What it means is that the problem is not an easy one to solve as the answers are not plain-jane as some might think.

    But again, as I’ve posted on my own site, Sandy Hook has illustrated that we need to protect our kids…. NOW. While it might be nice to assume that all our problems will be solved with gun control, the reality is that legislation that truly matters will at best not likely show up for years by time all parties sit down to compromise. Some school districts are already installing armed security guards, which I think is a great way to go on the short term. Put the guards in plain clothes or in a uniform (give the kids their first experience with “Officer Friendly”; might be a good place to teach respect for the police and not fear).

    By the way, another aspect your post doesn’t address is that the difference between the Swiss is a fact our respective populations. Simply by adding the numbers of people as populations increase, increases the chances for random violence exponentially. That’s likely why there was seemingly less random gun violence years ago versus now… and likely why the Swiss can have a machine gun in the house. More people, the more complex the problems.

    http://dougsboomerrants.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/teachers-with-guns-you-gotta-be-nuts-wellll-i-dunno-about-that/

    http://dougsboomerrants.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/what-exactly-would-we-be-controlling-with-gun-control-is-this-truly-all-we-can-do/

    http://dougsboomerrants.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/and-now-sandy-hook-becomes-the-new-columbine-you-really-all-that-surprised/

    • You’re kidding, right?
      FYI; guns won’t help you out of a zombie situation.

    • Agreed – except perhaps that population numbers have to do with gun control. I’m not aware of any studies linking the two. That said, I’m open to that possibility.
      One thing that many people forget is that one of the reasons the 2nd Amendment exists is so we, the citizens, can overthrow the government should it become necessary. Naturally, in the last 100 years or so, no one can really imagine that, but then those same folks point to ‘the Arab Spring’ as legitimate ‘regime change’ by the citizenry. (And one, my guess is, we’ll all come to regret supporting.) Most Americans will cheer their efforts while simultaneously making sure we can’t do the same here. I didn’t want to bring that up in the post as those same people will read that as extremism. It’s not. We are, often, one generation away from tyranny. (not my line, I know)
      Thanks so much for commenting and I will be visiting your blog later today!

  17. It not just a situation where americans kill each another
    the problem is far deeper USA govt via the military are
    carrying out mass killings on many other nations thus to
    try as portray as limit the problem unto a few individuals
    is some way of mark of reality as how deep the problem.

    One could write books upon as explain how such a dire
    situation has come into place for the american people’s
    it interesting as it tragic in it’s trail of human slaughter
    twhich not confined to a USA but carried out worldwide.

    However as interesting as history be what required as
    needed is the cure for such tragedy thus bring peace
    to people’s of america / as unto all people’s worldwide.

    Material need focus having been taken to the extreme
    where spiritual development is now in dire need thus
    to bring a balace unto people’s life thus with greater
    use of brain in bringing compassion /understanding
    not a constant seeking of revenge as wishing malice
    harm unto others where perceieved one be wronged
    or brainwashed to believe one having been wronged.

    How where such spiritual experience to be found ?.

    Answer to such an question has not changed since
    time began / the answer is to found in MEDITATION
    in one turning their senses inward in a unfolding of
    the spiritual self / not in ideas as beliefs not that of
    a heaven that being beyond the clouds / but that of
    very practical spiritual experience which grants the
    individual a clarity of understanding unto creation
    the true purpose of creation in one going beyond
    that of belief that via experience know the creator.

    Throughout history of humanity there be spiritual
    teachers / among all teachers (always) being the
    “Teacher of Teachers” the teacher of teachers is
    a aid as guide to those in having reached such a
    stage of development that meditation is required
    for their furthering needed spiritual development.

    Present time the “Teacher of Teachers” is Prem
    Rawat / Prem has dedicated his life as aid guide
    to those in having reached such stage in learing
    where being meditation being their greater need
    that via true spiritual experience they find peace.

    On pc search put (words of peace) or put (words
    of peace global) on site an selection of videos in
    which Prem explains meditation as being a open
    invitation to all whom be ready for such stage in
    their development meditation a necessity. Prem
    will be guide / aid in their Spiritual Development
    where spiritual experience granting them peace.

    There are grave problems for humanity of that
    there be no doubt / yet we also have such the
    needed solution there having always being an
    light within / the very light of creation thus one
    should not dwell in darkness fear or anger but
    turn their senses inward thus knowing creator.

  18. Reblogged this on Mr. Rommie Blog and commented:
    This blog sums up nicely my thought about the matter. Regardless of the approach to the guns or other things that kill people, if you remove them, you will always end up with people. Why they do what they do is the real question. Just like that blog says.

  19. I live in an area without a legal provision for concealed carry. Many shootings still happen in public. Those who shouldn’t own guns (gang members and criminals) are pretty much the only ones who have them. I’m not a big pro-gun person, but I can see the problem. Why make more gun control laws if you can’t enforce them? You can tell people what to do and what not to do, but the ones who don’t obey the other laws aren’t going to obey the gun laws either. I don’t think there is an easy answer. I believe many factors come into play: discipline, spirituality, mental health, bullying, poverty, and law enforcement to name a few. It’s a tricky business. We can’t lock people up because some shrink thinks they may do something bad. We can’t force a religion on people. We can’t end bullying or poverty. We can’t take away every potential weapon in the country.

    • Thank you! While I keep saying that the primary thrust of this post is the question of what’s wrong with our society, the secondary aim is to ask for real solutions that take into account reality. Reality means you won’t legislate the problem away. And even if you try – there are hundreds of millions of guns. If you outlaw them all, it will be decades before they are out of the hands of anyone but law-abiding citizens. As the NRA said (and one of the few things they’ve said lately I agree with) only an armed good guy stops an armed bad guy.
      Until we solve the base, core problems that end up motivating people to respond to problems the way they do, we won’t solve violence. More than likely, it’s so ingrained in the human mind we won’t ever “solve” violence. Perhaps though, we can predict it better.
      Thanks for your comments!

  20. Reblogged this on titusaha.

  21. WOW.

    If you had not been freshly pressed I would not have read this.

    First, you are correct some of the time. And so is a broken clock.

    Mexico allows LEGAL GUN OWNERSHIP …. It is not easy, and Mexico does not allow military caliber weapons … and from there, you went to your logic.

    What a failure.

    The first question you raised was why does the American society bread such wonton acts of hatred?

    The first issue should be to address your first question.

    Why does the progressive nature of America evolve into hatred and murder? What can we do to restore traditional culture like Sweden or Switzerland and reduce violent killing sprees?

    regards.

    • I wish I had these answers. It’s my stated belief that if someone can recognize a problem, then they also have some idea of the solution. That’s not always the case.

      I do have some ideas for solutions, but they are wholly unrealistic. Not because they are un-doable, rather because, in America, right now, change is simply not going to happen. Oh sure, if you mean the nod to change, the illusion of change, the promise of change. But substantive, systemic change? No freakin’ way.

      To call America ‘progressive’ today simply means we’re willing to tolerate more. We don’t really accept it. We don’t really embrace it. However, the power of Political Correctness and the threat of being called out on it will force some ‘progress’. It’s the thin veneer of progress without real change.

      How can we fix things? That might be my next topic. Please, I’d love to see your comments on that. Thanks.

      • I love your answer, however, I disagree slightly.

        America wants change. But, we have ineffective leaders who lie to the masses to get elected instead of leading America back to the greatness we had under God.

  22. You Americans have to make up your mind what you’re addressing, imho. Most people discussing this issue right now want to do something about the mass shootings, the one guy (with or without a sidekick) who goes on a rampage.
    Nobody, though I lament that, is really addressing the mostly handgun shootings that occur mostly in the big cities, though, they always cite the big numbers that include those shootings. The right side of things, though, talks as if this were the case, and, consequently, nobody has a conversation, everybody is just talking by each other, and until it’s like that nothing will change.

    For the mass shootings my opinion what needs to be done is the following:
    1.) Storage legislation; Switzerland and Germany (among others, but these two I have researched a bit) have pretty precise rules about how guns have to be stored (separate from the ammo, taken apart if not stored under the bed or pillow for protection would be ideas). Imagine Lanza hadn’t been able to access his mother’s guns AND the ammo (and lots of ammo).
    2.) Sellers of ammo have to report sales to individuals above xxx bullets within time span x. Imagine somebody had made a phone call, when the Aurora lunatic ordered all those bullets?
    3.) Social shunning; I’m calling on all gun owners to apply common sense to their own handling and storage of their weapons and enforce some group pressure on their friends etc. to do the same. Imagine Lanza’s gun-enthusiast mother had had one or two people she could identify with give her something like a role model? (this ties in with 1.)

    None of these things restrict gun ownership, yet nobody talks about them. Your society is highly dysfunctional.

    More mental health services would be nice, but I don’t see how this country is capable of designing anything fast in that area.

    • Good points. California has storage laws and you must provide make and model of the safe prior to picking up the gun. All guns are supplied with (or you must prove ownership of) a gun lock. That said, if you don’t use these protections, they’ll be useless. Ammo sales don’t point to mass killings in preparation. Even if they did, how would this extra data help, except in researching after the fact? You could take it further and say a person can only purchase x number of boxes of ammo per x period. That will punish those who are often left out of discussions, the legal target shooter. I guess we could license them so that they’d get additional quantities.
      As far as social shunning, I live in California and it already practices that in large part. I mention my guns and people look at you like your the next shooter.
      Part of the problem is a lack of education and respect for guns among non-owners. There is so much fear that many non-owners respond with emotion much as they would about snakes or spiders. That doesn’t help.
      Like I said, I think you have some good points – and thanks for posting your comments.

      • Understanding and respect has to go both ways, though, and I see none of that. With “great power (read: rights in this case) comes great responsibility”.

      • And about enforcement: If you report somebody for a failure to accordingly store a weapon in Germany, you get an unannounced visit from the police, and if it’s bad enough, you’ll have your permit revoked. But, alas, we don’t have a 2nd Amendment (and I really don’t mind).
        It should be in everybody’s best interest to store weapons and ammo safely if there are children in the house. I believe such behavior would be called “common sense”, and it’s really sad that it has to be legislated.

        • I agree with you in spirit.

          My problem is simple, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and others DO NOT have a culture of hatred. Not that that cannot change. But, when young boys are taught to hate, and are not taught to be accountable, gun control or people control are both difficult ….

          IMHO.

          • I don’t believe the US has a culture of hatred, either. I think we suffer from a lack of real parenting, a fractured national identity and a distinct disconnect from our fellow man. We distrust our government and pay an unsustainably low tax rate while expecting the same government to care for us – cradle to grave.
            Thanks for your comments!

          • I didn’t grow up here, and, though I’ve heard “culture of hatred” before, I don’t quite know what to make of it.

            • The progressive feminist agenda to hate the ‘white man.’ It has grown into a ‘freedom for all,’ but true freedom for none.

              And when placed into that cauldron, many young adults short out mentally. They cannot handle what they are being programmed to behave like.

              It is similar to going to a rock concert in Germany. Some of the people there seem to wilder and crazier than the ‘average.’ The difference is this is happening in our culture – not a rock concert.

  23. Guns are a quick way to kill people. Cigarettes, booze, cars, drugs, knives, work are not quite as efficient. Americans like efficiency. We like our independence. We don’t like admitting weakness. What if I suggested that most people will have bout of mental illness at some time in their lives. This would not be admitted by most gun owners. Every culture has weakness in their vision of themselves. Ours I would guess is our need to be number one. That is not necessarily a people, as in only an American, problem. It’s what makes us great and what also destroys us. All of humanity faces the challenge of seeing ourselves as we really are. Our culture is not more wounded than any other. We all struggle with self examination. Most countries continue to send their children to war. We are all still learning.

  24. Well written post and I was even able to follow and see your point. But as I thought a little about it and while reading the other comments I realized that you are wrong. Not totally, but I think you missed some relation between guns and people, I think, specific to your country.

    I’m from Germany and I studied a few month in Michigan, so I actually know some US citizens and also have the spectator view. The point is, as Germans are allowed to have guns in their homes there are strict rules:
    You have to have a safe to keep the weapons. You have to be an active member of a “shooting club”. Your police record has to be deep clean. You are only allowed to carry your weapons from your home to the club (or maybe to a tournament or shooting range) and back. When carrying the gun the bullets have to be outside the gun and in a separate place or bag. You are only allowed to shoot at shooting ranges. Maybe there are more.

    My father in law has two rifles and a hand gun and told me how hard it was to get the allowances.
    I think because of that typical German nightmarish bureaucracy there are not many weapons around. I think this is the main reason we are not shooting that much on each other. As it is totally uncommon to get the chance to actually put your hands on a real gun. And when you get the chance, you are so deeply scared, because it is something really special.

    The first time for me was our, back then mandatory, military duty. That scared the shit out of me. The second time now 15 years later, were the rifles my father in law owns and I have seen them only once. It still felt so deeply scared.
    And I guess the fear or respect for those machines made to kill is the big difference.

    When I was in Michigan almost everyone I met had a gun or has simple access to one, liked them, was shooting regularly and did some backyard tin shooting at the age of 5! I’m exaggerating, maybe 14. But actually it doesn’t matter, it is not so much the age I guess but the frequency. So here is your answer: you, the people of the USA, are to accustomed to guns. You have no problem with them. No respect. No fear.

    THIS ARE MACHINES SPECIFICALLY MADE TO KILL!

    You should be scared! And the only way, that the next generation will fear, means abandoning all guns now. You have a strong weapons lobby and industry. I guess your governments hands are somewhat bound. So the responsibility lies in you: fathers, mothers and grandparents. Keep the guns away from the innocent. Hide them. Destroy them. Throw them in the Erie. Whatever. And the next generation will fear guns and there will be a much higher barrier to actually put them to desastrous use.

    I should finish but there is one more thing to say: it is a totally different story playing shooters or watching violent movies and holding a real gun in your hands. I was a quite active CounterStrike player and love the movie Crank, but that never reduced my fear of real guns.

    • I lived in Germany for two years, have visited a half dozen times since then and owned weapons while I lived there, so I’m familiar with the laws.
      Our laws are different. Period. One of the rights we were given was the ability to own guns. I’d love to say the solution is as simple as 1) convincing Americans to hand over their weapons and 2) outlawing them. It’s idealistic, not realistic. They won’t do it and without that – guns in the hands of bad guys will continue to be a problem. While I don’t agree with the NRA’s propositions to arm school officials, I can agree with them in the statement that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. With hundreds of millions of guns in the hands of the populace, both legal and illegal, until you find a way to disarm everyone, there will be decades where only the bad guys are armed should you take away the guns from the good guys.
      Thanks for your comments.

      • How many people do you personally know that would call themselves the bad guy? I guess none. And everyone else knows quite certain no one or would call himself bad. So when addressing the good guys you address probably 99,99 % of your population.

        There er a few mentally disturbed truly bad people out there. But even them follow generally the way of least resistance. That means why should they spend much money to buy a gun when they can arrive at their insane goals with much cheaper and less deadly weapons.

        There is crime in Germany, too. But the offender, the bad guy, rarely has a gun or rifle. Often he/she has no weapon, a knife, or a toy gun. Nothing nearly as deadly as a real gun.

        And one last remark: there are more hues between the extremes black and white.

        • Dirk,

          There is less violent crime in America. And there are MANY fewer murders by guns than the media makes it sound like. About half of our murders are NOT gun related.

          2,000,000 times each year, an American uses a ‘gun’ to protect themselves ….

          And yes, there are really bad people. And they call themselves bad. Unfortunately, the politicians and progressives who brought this evil upon us, call themselves good.

          IMHO.

  25. Poor addicts and submissive, the psycho-political slaves …

    The political class lives an awkward moment.

    Not for everyone, but for the most part, is the “positioned” as a situation or as opposition.

    But it is interesting to see how many behaviors, whether councilors, ex-councilors, secretaries (political office) and allies, end up being similar to that of gambling addicts.

    The gaming addicts, for example, illegal slot machines, stand beside your preferred machine.

    To create a bond of affection, with MACHINE, and when the affection weakens, moving to a kind of …

    continues in: http://wp.me/p1iO2Q-DA

  26. [...] Gun Control–or People Control? [...]

  27. Reblogged this on .

  28. Great article, thanks for posting it – I have reblogged it as well. Its going to be a long slow process to fix this problem, whatever the question and answer is. It’s taken years to get here, there is no quick fix. But since you need to start somewhere, limiting the types and number of guns that citizens are ‘legally’ allowed to own/possess has to be the starting point. There are a lot of factors involved in that process, but it needs to begin. We also need to fix our ‘people’ too, not just those that are medically mentally ill, but those who feel pushed to the edge by the ‘laws that govern’. Politics isn’t the entire problem, but it certainly is a huge contributing factor. Thanks again for the points you made. Well done!!

  29. Its not the law or lack there of where the problem lies. I think its the people, the lack of moral compass, lack of family values, lack of parenting and low standards in general…. need I go on?

    This is said as my opinion nothing more. I don’t claim to know anything but my own and what I want and don’t want for them.

  30. Very well written, and an apt deduction.

  31. Thanks for a well reasoned statement that didn’t go to one extreme or the other. We need more people thinking like this.

  32. Well written article. However, I have a Canada shooter story to add. My grandfather was murdered by a man in a coffee shop. The owner of the coffee shop told my grandfather he would have to pay for the teaspoon m grandfather had bent. When my grandfather shouted insults about the owner being a Frenchman the owner pulled a gun, they wrestled for it and my grandfather was killed. The shop owner was also shot and was wheelchair ridden for the rest of his short life. He was found guilty and in prison he killed himself. This was in Montreal.

  33. You make a pertinent point. A solution will not be reached unless the problem is addressed. From what I’m hearing in the media (and out of the mouths of politicians), the US is deftly skirting the issue.

    Many countries are shaking their heads in disbelief at America. Until the US gets their social problems sorted out and alters people’s behaviour and perceptions, these tragedies are going to continue.

    • “Until the problem is addressed…”

      It seems no one can pinpoint what “the problem” is exactly. No region on earth is completely void of PROBLEMS. Society is problematic.

      Sweden has gotten much praise in this list of replies, it seems, but the country has its own issues of:
      Stupidity—“Soul music: coffin with speakers and a playlist”
      Depravity—“Man jailed in Sweden for ordering webcam rape in Philippines”
      Amorality—“Holocaust victims’ ashes used for painting”
      Gender Inequality—“IKEA criticized for airbrushing women out of Saudi catalogue”
      (The Telegraph)

      “Alters people’s behaviour and perceptions…”

      You mean like a Coco Cola add? The government is not some moral, infallible do-gooder that can cure the ailments of society. It is up to the individual to make conscientious decisions regarding their own lives and the lives they affect.

      • Hey cantankerouscorinne,

        I’m assuming you’re American (but apologies if you’re not), and I know you guys are big on American values etc., but my comment was only referring to the social problems arising from gun ownership and the “right to bear arms”. In my view, stupidity, depravity, amorality and gender inequality in the US are entirely separate issues, and worthy of debate, but probably don’t have much to do with issues arising from bearing arms.

        (Actually, now that I think about it, perhaps these things DO have a bearing on current problems. Now there’s an interesting discussion!)

        You are spot on when you say that the US government (or Coca Cola, or whatever other world superpower you wish to name) cannot cure society’s ailments. If change is going to occur, it needs to happen at a grassroots level, with kids and public education, and it will take a really, really long time to achieve. Changing people’s views doesn’t happen overnight. What America is experiencing is too complex to be solved with legislation alone. It will take a shift in social mores to accomplish any meaningful result.

        • As you said – spot on. And since in America, short term thinking involves choosing what’s for lunch and long term is never further than the next election, I have serious doubts about real, substantive change ever occurring.

        • I am American but my values don’t have anything to do with my nationality. Albeit, I am a product of my society, but I would prefer to separate myself from the politics of it all. My lil list of abstract nouns was really me just lightening the mood but also to point out that no society is free from ‘wrong doing.’ I completely and utterly agree with you about accomplishing things at a grass roots level and that education is a key element in affecting change. Too many people are roped in by sound bites, partisan evening news and an internet that makes readily available both accurate and inaccurate information….they fail to really acquaint themselves with the issues and in turn can only proffer mediocre opinions based on, what a professor often sees in a student paper, a regurgitation of the text. Thanks for your response Theasaurus. :-)

  34. Reblogged this on The Poise Magazine and commented:
    What is your opinion?

  35. I think we should make cilvilians owning automatic/semiautomatic/machine-guns illegal, put a higher tax on bullets, restrict felons from getting guns except under special exceptions, make background checks mandatory and gets it done within a week, no matter what the circumstances, and figure out a system to keep those with mental illnesses who pose some sort of danger to themselves or others from getting firearms.
    Of course, I have this opinion because I’m leery of guns and I worry about what would happen if a massacre happened in my neighborhood. I just want to save lives, not take away people’s rights. And heck, if we can keep the Patriot Act around to protect the nation, why not restrict guns?

    • You have some valid concerns. What if, in your neighborhood, someone started shooting and you were there?

      And you were trained with a .380 pistol? And you had a Concealed Carry License? And you pulled out that pistol, aimed with intent and shouted,

      “Stop, or I’ll kill you.”

      And he stopped. And you averted a massacre?

      Guns are deadly weapons. But it works both ways.

    • When it comes to guns, Rami, I often find this type of commentary. “What I have is OK, but beyond that is just crazy”. That and comments and conclusions drawn by those who let fear dictate their decisions. Then use that fear to draw up laws or restrictions. That concerns me. I want people educated – both owners and non-owners – so fear is not part of the solution. The bottom line here is guns are secondary to the problem. They are a tool used by the sick to carry out their plans.
      Many ignore or are ignorant of the fact that the boys at Columbine also made a number of bombs to use in the attack. In fact, they played with bombs before guns. Why? Getting the materials was easier for them than guns. Had their big bombs worked, few would use that incident in gun control discussions. The recent attack on the kids in Europe was also accompanied by a bombing. Again, that wasn’t as horrific or successful (if you can use that word) so it’s downplayed.
      The other truth is that people are not as polarized by bombs as they are by guns.
      The real question that I ask is – what makes us so willing to use violence against the non-involved to solve our problems? Not just here in America, either. Solve that and the rest of the questions fall into line.

  36. I’m just curious as to why we are using Sweden, Switzerland and Germany as the litmus test in determining the ultimate, peaceable, American society? Germany, Sweden and Switzerland do their thing, we do ours. When did these countries become the shining example of just the right amount of gun control, democracy and equal access to healthcare? What works for their society and culture may or may not work for ours. One must also consider that Sweden, with a population of around 9.5 million and 25 provinces; Germany, with a population of around 81.8 million and 16 ‘states’; and Switzerland, with a population of around 7.9 million and ’26 cantons’; might have an easier time managing its people. The U.S., with its 50 states and 50 state governments and its 311.6 million population; might have a harder time managing its people. These tidbits are just that: tidbits. There are many more determining factors.

    Rules and regulations are all fine and dandy; and although they may deter the light-hearted criminal or sociopath; they certainly have no true preventative effect. You think laws against murder prevent murderers from murdering? Or thieves from stealing? Or drunks from driving intoxicated? Passing more laws is like adding wood to a fire—it simply causes the flames to reach higher. And yet our system of law is such an integral part of our society. We live by what we ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do—a compartmentalized existence. What else can we do besides creating more laws and restrictions?

    What about addressing the issue of disparity? You may find yourself asking, “disparity of what?”

    Economics, religion, race, education, healthcare, government, opportunity….

    • I used the countries I mentioned as examples. Not necessarily shining examples and certainly not as litmus tests. After all, most any comparison regarding gun laws is going to be apples and oranges.
      I agree with most of your comments in whole. The response to events with additional laws is nothing more than politicians trying to look like they are doing something – rather than doing something.
      I also agree that disparity is part of the core problem. That, and hopelessness for much of the masses. I don’t think any single problem can explain all shootings. I think there are a core set of issues and many of the comments here have touched on those.
      Along with defining what we want to accomplish with the response to these events is what we CAN do once the causes can be defined. One thing, in my mind, is certain: the problem does not lie with the gun. It lies with the shooter – whatever the causes.
      There is something about guns that elicits a visceral response from people. Very few have no real feelings on this issue.
      I thank you very much for your comments and feelings on this post.

      • Excellent post by the way. (That should have been my opening line) You make very good points….and I think I was really replying to the people that are so quick to lay blame on one event or one society. Thank you for your response.

  37. Guns were involved in the killing of something around 9000 people in America last year. We make that up in 3 days of baby killing in the womb. Yah, we have some pretty messed up values here.

  38. Reblogged this on Bag Lady Boutique.

  39. Reblogged this on bec's endeavour to write a book and commented:
    The answers to gain control over guns and the people that use them is complex true that there needs to a shift in the culture of the country in it’s views with in regard to gun control. I think the constitution does not help the matter with many gun lobbyists hiding behind the ‘Right to bears arms’ Perhaps it is time for a scrap of this Right and a new Right brought into effect stating that it is a right to bear love because this is probably the crux of the issue. I am an Australian citizen and after the massacre in Port Arthur, Tasmania stricter gun laws were brought into effect at the time many screamed and jumped up and down in opposition of the stricter gun laws but today we accept that there should be stricter laws around guns for the protection of many. In regards to Mexico the drug trade and gangs is the issue and so to could be said for America. European culture of many of these countries with there loser gun control laws may come down to the people with their regard for life and the environment they live in. There is also a maturity to their alcohol laws because responsible alcohol consumption is encouraged within the home and to the broader community. I believe that Americans and I am speaking broadly that acceptable culture is the issue. Respect for life, is the crux of the issue this needs to be a long term goal for a nation that seems to have extremes in it’s society for intolerance. A very grey area I commend the author to debate the issue intelligently but there needs to be a balance to it’s response. Let’s hope the countries leaders act responsibly and set an example for the country to move forward in this issue. good luck!!!

  40. As a Canadian, I can tell you that we are “armed” only for hunting purposes. If you don’t hunt, you don’t own a gun. Gun ownership is a foreign concept to Canadians. We look at the American fanaticism with gun ownership and shake our heads, wondering how our American cousins have gone so wrong.

  41. This Wednesday, the 9th, a gorup in Southington, CT, cancelled a planned violent videoagme buyback and destruction program. It was comics in the 50′s and heavy metal in the 80′s. It’s just the same old song with different lyrics.

    • Exactly! Symptoms of the problem – with no understanding of the problem.

      Thanks for your comments.

  42. This is the problem. How do you change a cultural attitude that thinks that violence is the solution to problems. Maybe you cannot change culture, but you can limit the damage the attitude can have. The Constitution guarantees a right to bear arms. Given that, how do you limit the potential for harm if you cannot change the mindset of the public?

    The simplest approach would be to only allow guns that hold one bullet. Hard to massacre people when you have one shot, and it doesn’t offend the 2nd Amendment. Hunters really cannot complain since if you miss the deer with the first shot, the deer generally runs away.

    Second, get rid of handguns. Too easy to conceal. You can spot a musket long before a wing-nut has a chance to fire at you with any kind of accuracy.

    • Thank you, a voice of reason at last. Correct me if I’m wrong – after all it has been pointed out that I am an ignorant Canadian. That said; I thought the purpose of the “right to bear arms” stemmed from a colonial time when the government wanted to easily raise a militia in defence of a fledgling nation.

  43. The greatest number of mass shootings was in 2012. The “Clinton era” looks good in comparison. And that pales in comparison to the dozens of gun deaths every day–the equivalent of a mass shooting. Every. Day.

    In the U.S., there are 89 guns per 100 people. The next highest rate of gun ownership is 59 in Serbia, then 55 in Yemen. We have the highest rate of gun ownership in the world. Our gun death rate is similar to a third-world country run amok. It’s shameful.

    I was little confused by your post because you seemed to switch from the Swiss to Sweden. Are you talking about the Swiss, as in Switzerland, or an entirely different country, called Sweden? Both require registration and licensing of guns, not to mention training. As does Canada.

    In Switzerland, they are doing the sort of thing that was intended by the 2nd Amendment: a people’s militia charged with protecting their country. The guns are army-issued, and they have to leave the ammo on the base. When the Swiss leave the militia, they can turn in their gun or keep it. If they opt to keep their gun, the automatic function is stripped.

    Our lack of training, licensing, and other gun regulations, combined with the exceptional gun ownership rates is not like any other country in the world. Our rates of mental illness are.

    In the U.S., it doesn’t really seem to be about protecting our country–it’s gotten to the point where it seems like gun owners care more about their personal arsenal than the lives of our countrymen and children.

    Something’s gotta give.

    • OK, so nice numbers. I didn’t look up numbers specifically for two reasons: If I chose the wrong study, someone would argue the numbers. I wasn’t interested in the numbers. 2) Numbers don’t show the core issues.

      Part of the problem with the folks charged with ‘solving’ the problem is they haven’t even defined the problem! What is it they want to solve? Mass, random killings? The neighborhood fight that escalates to guns? The woman shooting the husband? All of these?

      Once we define the problem we want solved, then we have to find the causes. Not the tools used – the reasons the tools were picked up in the first place. My belief is that most Americans don’t want to address the causes. If they can stop the problem by taking away the tools, they can get back to their McD’s and NFL.

      The problems won’t be solved by removing guns. The problem is the people, not the tools. Solve the people problem and the tools become irrelevant.

      • We have addressed a lot of problems by addressing the tools: seat belts and airbags, motorcycle helmets, smoke-free workplaces, etc. It doesn’t always matter why people do or don’t do certain dangerous things: if we change the the context, we can reverse the problem.

  44. Switzerland is an extremely poor example to use. The high degree of apparent gun ownership there stems from the fact that the country has no standing army, rather depends on a people’s militia. Most men between 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia for military training and the weapons are kept at home as part of their military obligations. This will, of course, lead to a VERY different point of view towards firearms by the Swiss and their place in Swiss society.

    Basically, the Swiss militia members are obligated to have such firearms in their homes but in most cases the firearms still belong to the military. Also useful to point out is that while they are obligated to have the firearm in their home, as of October 2007 they were no longer allowed to keep ammunition for them in their home. Up to that date, they had a small allotment of ammunition they could keep at home, but it was in a sealed package and regularly inspected to avoid unauthorized use.

    When they leave the military, they have the option to keep their weapons if they wish. if they choose to keep them, the rifle is sent to the factory and the fully automatic function of the weapon is permanently disabled, rendering it semi-automatic.

    Long story short, the Swiss have a very military relationship with firearms and view them with the level of responsibility that a soldier would. This certainly is a different point of view from the American “Right to bear arms” culture.

  45. Being an Ameican I find your article very pertinent and well thought out. One really wonders what the question is we should be asking society.

    I found the blog post “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” very interesting, and possibly mental illness is somewhere we need to focus out attention.

    http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/17/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-when-parents-are-afraid-of-their-children/

    I do wonder where you got your information though. As I currently live in Sweden all the statistics say there are approximately 2 million legally owned weapons in Sweden. No where near 4. And it is almost impossible to get an automatic weapon.

    http://www.jagareforbundet.se/svenskjakt/Nyheter/Nyheter/2012/09/Allt-farre-vapen–allt-farre-innehavare-1.34872/

    One of many citations of this statistic.

  46. Thank you for your well-written and thought-provoking post.

  47. England and India also do not have guns in the hands of civilians. Yes there are problems there but not as horrific as the Gun problems in USA. It should be not allowed in the hands of common civilians. People should trylu respect the human life “live and Let live” and be raised with better morales. Money making at any cost should not be the goal of the country or the world.
    Pratibha

  48. Reblogged this on salwamadhy.

  49. You ignore potent differences between the US and other countries cited, and some of your statements are misleading. Switzerland has military conscription. Those assault weapons are owned by trained, disciplined personnel, and you greatly overstate the number of weapons owned. Switzerland has far lower rates of gun ownership than the US does, and individual owners have far fewer numbers of firearms than do those in the US.

    Mexico isn’t a viable comparison either, since there are too many poignant political and cultural differences. It’s not a developed country! Developing nations by their very nature have greater rates of violent crime. Mexico’s political instability handicaps its efforts to quell gun violence, but at least it doesn’t have the US’s fanatical gun culture.

    Changing the culture around guns takes time and is extraordinarily difficult. Banning or restricting assault weapons ownership, on the other hand, is simple to implement. In the US, guns are glorified as weapons. If you change that culture, restrict assault weapons whose primary use is to shoot many targets rapidly, and raise significant barriers of entry to prevent would-be shooters from acquiring guns, then the US wouldn’t be such an outlier when it comes to shootings.

  50. i wrote a rather agitated number in this topic, thoughts? http://prolongedsigh.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/guns-or-a-soul-the-american-choice/

    • Your first paragraph states that a gun is a deadly weapon and nothing more. It’s also a recreational tool. I’ve gone, many times, to the local shooting ranges and both myself and my children enjoyed the sport immensely. So to state that and then have someone read the rest unbiased will be difficult. Not once, during any of the hundreds of visits to gun ranges have I killed anyone. (I did once have a ricochet go past me though.)

      From there on, you basically state a bunch of opinions (which is all I did, too, so no harm, no foul) and call them facts. Not so. Still opinions.

      An opinion restated here in these comments a number of times from those outside the US is how we all want to own every type of firearm… We all don’t. Most of us can’t. Whether because of local, city, county, state or federal restrictions, there are many weapons the average citizen cannot own. Those we can own are under constant threat and each time there’s a shooting, the attacks on our ownership increase.

      Imagine if each time someone shouted some remark from a soapbox (or blog) that angered or hurt (since we’re told now so many words can be hurtful) someone else, restricted speech advocates jumped up screaming that the right of free speech needed to be amended. No, there’s no comparison to shooting twenty kids. None. I’m simply illustrating a point.

      On the other hand, there are those that claim that bullying, even in words, has a lifelong effect on those being bullied. Some of those involved in school shootings certainly have been identified as having been bullied. And far far more people are bullied at school each year than are shot. So should free speech be limited?

      The problem is simply not, as I’ve stated all along, guns. Whether they kill easier and faster and in greater quantities than knives, bats or being hit with a VCR, they are still just tools. No one has been shot by a gun that didn’t have a shooter behind it. We need to address the shooters.

      But see, that means we have to work on ourselves, on our society. So much easier to take something away, fix the symptom, than fix the problem.

      Right? Sorry for the combative tone. I wish more folks would read the intent of my post and not stop at the word GUN.

      I just was relooking at your post. Check out your statistics paragraph. You show that 93% of your homicides are with something other than a gun. More proof that the problem lies with PEOPLE and NOT GUNS.

      Sincerely, thank you for your comments and the link to your post and blog.

      • thanks for this response. i should have mentioned further that it was written from a fairly emotional position and that i did in fact read your article before posting the link there…

        no worries at all about the tone, perfectly diplomatic really and this is a hard topic to approach with an abundance of calm. it just so happens that here in the UK, I belong to the relative minority of gun users. or did, it’s been a few years but i love shooting, game birds mostly but i’m partial to a stint on the clay pigeon range. the first three things you’re always taught is: safety, safety and safety, because indeed, at the end of the day you’re just playing with a deadly weapon. i’ll stand by that opening.

        you make a very pertinent point about the underlying problems that can really accentuate the issue of gun control. mental health is an increasing concern everywhere and needs a hard looking at. my thought about this is framed in the following question: what is the calculus of a young man, or woman, contemplating an extreme reaction to unmanageable social pressures, in either an environment with, or without, firearms available to them.

        distinctly different i would say. the manifestation of these intense emotions in the average school child is often a terribly sad and quiet suicide in their home. now had they access to weaponry throughout their history of abuse at the hands or words of peers, is it inconceivable to think even a fraction of a percentage of these same children might choose a more dramatic statement?

        that is what has happened in almost every incident we hear about from across the pond, and it’s very hard not to think that, if guns weren’t quite so common place, not just materially, but culturally, it wouldn’t have happened.

        i would also say the lethality of the tool in question is hugely significant. you mention that there are plenty of types of weaponry that are banned for various reasons, and i would think it’s because they were deemed too dangerous to made generally available.

        my primary argument is that america needs to seriously pull back that line of what is an acceptably dangerous tool for the public’s use.

        • oh and the statistics i use in the article show that proportionally per 100,000 people, roughly 42 times as many homicides in the USA are committed with firearms as in the UK. that does kind of indicate a correlation with their availability, no?

  51. I think that we have the same problem here in the Philippines. Lately, there have been so many shooting incidents all over news. Your blog post inspired me to write about our gun problems. http://leeevogue.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/gun-mayhem/

  52. I’m a gun-owner and concealed carrier, and a veteran, and I think there needs to be a little more restriction, mainly in the way of background checks. I don’t have anything to hide, and I wouldn’t mind having to get a background check to buy a rifle like I do when i buy a pistol. The mental health thing is a big problem too, but how do you check people out in that respect without invading their privacy? Ultimately I don’t think any of this will change the number of mass shootings, or murders, or anything else. I’m in some agreement that video games have something to do with it, but that would only apply to kids, and that’s a parenting thing. The whole thing is a mess, but I don’t think much will actually change, whether there is more regulation or not. After Newtown in particular, I understand why people are calling for reform, and I’m really sick of my ultra-conservative, FOX-watching coworkers saying it’s an Obama thing.

  53. nyc blog….i like it…

  54. Reblogged this on looniebeaver.

  55. It’s nice to see the debate going on here. I have no problem with the gun laws in the USA or the right to have guns. I don’t believe we should be handing guns to everyone. Yes, drug test and physiologic background check . Not everyone should own a gun. Growing up Guns were tools for life. This was how a meal was put on our table. I don’t see a reason for more than ten rounds in a gun. What are you going after the whole herd or just one. That’s my question.

    • Thank you for your comments! For the most part, I agree with your positions. The one stance I would question is the ten round limit. Why is ten the number? One of the best responses I’ve seen to this position was that we need more rounds because the bad guys have more rounds.
      I don’t agree with many of the statements coming out of the NRA these days, but one thing they said is true: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In the heat of battle, few rounds find their targets. If that’s the case, then the guy with the most rounds wins. If we accept the fact – and I can see you do by the mention of guns in your life – that we are an armed society, then we should also look to why. If one of those reasons is because the bad guys have guns, then shouldn’t we be allowed to face them with the same things they have?
      I realize folks could reply that this will only cause an arms race, but I politely disagree. We’re never going back to a time of Tommyguns and BAR’s in the hands of the public. The most popular weapon purchased right now is the AR series of rifles. If that’s what the bad guy has, and part of the reason we have guns is bad guys, then we need to face them with similar tools.
      It’s not always about hunting.
      Thanks again for commenting!

  56. “So the gun laws that would affect all gun owners would do is reduce mass shootings by those who legally owned the guns and those who stole legally owned guns”….You can’t just stack up dependent clauses and construct a logical argument…OK

  57. Good post. Doing something about the drugs people take would definitely help. I can’t understand why the fact that many of these shooters were on prescription drugs doesn’t make the headlines and create a bigger uproar than guns. It should.

  58. Thanks for your entry.

    I believe that yes, people control is important, by this introducing o reinforcing social values that avoid the use of guns. However what I disagree with when you compare Mexico to the US, Canada, Sweden or Switzerland. The control of the state over the affairs of people or the capacity to do so, is radically different in those four countries and in Mexico. In Mexico the state is totally unable to manage and control the different mafias and drug lords inside their country. Would you say this is the same in the other countries? No. Gun control in Mexico is like trying to implement safety road laws in the Sudan. Inconceivable.

    Thus in the US gun control can be applied and work, in Somalia gun control can be set and will surely fail. And this success is not cultural, but directly refer to government strenght.

    If we take this case to countries with few weapons, whether its countries with a strong government (United Kingdom or Japan) or a weak governments (Haiti or Central African Republic), the number of deaths by gun is systematically low.

  59. Some very interesting questions posed about the nature of the people rather than the laws. However, it cannot be disputed that the constitutional right to own a gun has to be curtailed. It is much more difficult to change a people, than it is to change a law. Changing the law may be exactly what is needed in order to instigate a change in the people?

    • So would you agree to the same restrictions on other Amendments from the Bill of Rights? Should free speech be changed since so many are hurt by hateful or bullying speech?
      The Rights outlined are all on ‘the same level’ so should we start restricting those as well? I can agree that we need to find better ways to keep guns from certain people, but it’s treating the symptom rather than the problem.

      • I don’t think the right to bear arms is on the same level as some of the other fundamental human rights protected. It may have been at the time the constitution was written, but the world has changed since then. It is incredibly narrow minded not to recognize that fact.

        • You are correct. So you think then that the Constitution is a living document, meant to change with the ages? Or are you saying only this one right is subject to change? I for one don’t think the framers had the “artwork” entitled ‘Piss Christ’ in mind when they wrote the 1st Amendment – and many have said that. You don’t hear, however, that we should restrict 1st Amendment rights.

          The debate about whether the Constitution is a living document will be ongoing for as long as there is an America. I’m personally still debating it internally.

          One thing I am convinced of, however, is that once we give up one freedom, one right, we open the door to the degradation if not elimination of the rest.

          Witness the Patriot Act for examples – and for that, we weren’t even consulted.

      • Although I understand you point, that once you start restricting one right, then it is only a matter of time before the other rights come under scrutiny.

    • I understand what you’re saying, but the phrase “it cannot be disputed that the constitutional right to own a gun has to be curtailed” sits wrong with me. It IS being disputed, heavily. In your mind it’s a clear cut answer. Your mind is made up because of your experiences in life to this point, the things that influenced you. Military guys who’ve fought tyranny in other countries, or immigrants from those countries might see the right to bear arms as one of the most important to protect the country and might argue that restrictions need to be loosened, not tightened. Guys who used Molotov cocktails against tanks might wish they had readier access to automatic weapons or heavier to keep the government in line.

      In that same vein people who’ve been victimized by violent crimes and now own weapons for self defense may have a very rabid, deeply emotional response to anyone trying to curtail their ability to defend themselves or their families. Discussions are good and healthy, and revisiting the 2nd Amendment and deciding whether it is still appropriate or not is fine, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that it can’t be disputed.

  60. Reblogged this on Onyanchaerick's Blog and commented:
    Great article on gun control.

  61. Reblogged this on demontheses's Blog and commented:
    this is very good.

  62. I’ve never known of a gun killing anyone without human intervention of some kind, whether it be from a deranged person or a careless owner. The same goes for cars, airplanes, or boats driven by drunk or careless people.
    Taking guns from people won’t curtail America’s crime rates any more than illegalizing meth and heroin curtailed America’s drug use. When something is made illegal, only law-abiding citizens cease to use it. Lawbreakers will continue to use it because, after all, they are… lawbreakers. Most shootings in America are illegal; i.e., they aren’t the result of legal self-defense. They are committed by, you guessed it, lawbreakers–those who will continue to break laws, including laws prohibiting firearms ownership.
    Asking criminals to please put down their guns is an ineffective measure, as we’ve seen time and time again. It’s a fact that in every state or municipality where gun control measures are implemented, the crime rate skyrockets. And, in localities where such gun control measures are eased or lifted altogether, crime rates plummet.
    An armed criminal’s worst nightmare is an armed, law-abiding citizen. Restrict guns from law-abiding citizens, and the law-abiders become sitting ducks–and the criminals, who will continue to carry guns, will enjoy their “human buffet” of potential victims. The Swiss prove this point beautifully.
    I don’t see cars, airplanes, boats, or guns as being the problem in America. It’s the people who use them maliciously or carelessly. The only thing needing done with guns, is putting MORE of them into the hands of law-abiding citizens.
    We need to stop blaming guns for all the deaths, and start taking a closer look at our PEOPLE–the mentally ill, the mentally weak, the intellectually challenged, and others. We also need to educate our law-abiding citizens on how and when they can legally use their guns, and how to store and protect their guns from getting into the wrong hands.
    Americans need to learn love, respect, and accountability, and to stop blaming their tragedies and shortcomings on inanimate objects. It’s people control, folks, not gun control.

  63. Here’s something to think about…. I can’t name the source, because I don’t know…I wish I’d have authored it.

    Why I own a Gun

    I don’t own a gun to kill people.
    I own a gun to keep from being killed.

    I don’t carry a gun to scare people.
    I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

    I don’t own a gun because I’m paranoid.
    I own a gun because there are real threats in the world..

    I don’t own a gun because I’m evil.
    I own a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

    I don’t own a gun because I hate the government.
    I own a gun because I understand the limitations of government..

    I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry.
    I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

    I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
    I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

    I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy.
    I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven,
    I might just want to be a cowboy.

    I don’t own a gun to make me feel like a man.
    I own a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

    I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
    I carry a gun because unarmed and
    facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

    I don’t carry a gun because I love it.
    I carry a gun because I love life and
    the people who make it meaningful to me.

    Police protection is an oxymoron.

    Free citizens must protect themselves.

    Police do not protect you from crime,
    they usually arrive just in time to investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

    Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to take a butt whoopin’…..author unknown (but obviously brilliant)

  64. Reblogged this on prettypistols and commented:
    I’ll keep my second amendment rights, thank you.

  65. This has made me think about the issue more.. Great ending, powerful and true.

  66. @ MentalGaming
    Fanatical gun culture? It’s not the Wild West over here, at least, not anymore.

    ATROCIOUS…APPALLING…HORRIFIC…VIOLENT CRIMES…MASS SHOOTINGS…KILLING SPREES….20 SCHOOL CHILDREN MASSACRED…SLAIN…MURDERED…DEVASTATION…..

    All makes for big headlines, no? Our culture thrives on the notoriety and hype of such events—an overzealous media coupled with a society with a macabre fascination. Let’s face it: violence sells. But is American society really that violent? Check out Mother Jones’ inadequate summation of mass violence, beginning with a 1982 welding shop incident

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map?page=1

    I’m curious to know how many people are affected by violent crime. How many of you—bloggers, posters, repliers have had an up close experience with such carnage? Truth be told, many of us, including myself, are playing armchair problem solver. We are convergent thinkers on the precipice of discovery…and right around the corner is the solution to the paradoxical “problem.”

    Yet, centuries of bloodshed; over land and possessions, over ridiculous concepts such as ethnic purity and religious denomination, over stray dogs and assassination attempts; has yet to enlighten our thought processes.

    The contributions of great thinkers of past and present…Ayn Rand…Albert Einstein…John Locke…Noam Chomsky…philosophers, strategists, scientists, theorists, humanists…

    …and still it eludes us.

    Eventually we will evolve…we will learn and improve over time? Or are our inadequacies a permanent tattoo…a self-inflicted scar that will stand the test of time? Are our “problems” just a part of a vicious cycle mathematically destined to repeat itself?

  67. People are the problem! People make the choice to act out their evil plans. People make the choice to pull the trigger. But people can also be the answer. If we just would treat each other like a human race that really cares about each other and find a way to make sure that the people who need help get it (how I don’t know but there has to be some way) and teach our children more about respect, kindness, and love then maybe just maybe we can change the future of how people act.

  68. I do not believe that gun control will substantially result in fewer mass killings. All I have to do is look at England, where gun ownership is very restricted and see the Cumbria mass shootings and all the people killed in the riots last year and recognize that gun control just leaves a lot of people unprotected. And our Founders had some great things to say about what government does when the people can’t fight back and it wasn’t very complimentary. So gun control is not the answer and you’ve provided some great examples of how guns are not really the problem.

    Having worked in the mental health field as an administrator for 15 years, I believe our mental health system needs a lot of overhaul. We really need to look at whether or not we should force paranoid schizophrenics to take medications even before they have harmed someone. I’m a civil libertarian who doesn’t enjoy the idea of government forcing anyone to do anything, but I’m also a pragmatist who recognizes that some people are simply too dangerous to be allowed in society without appropriate medication. I suspect something like an insulin pump would be required to make sure they take their medication on time every time. And, this would only be for the paranoids who are the most likely to harm others (Loughner and Holmes both probably falling into this category). Catatonic and undifferentiated schizophrenics tend to scare the hell out of the uninitiated, but most are harmless. I suspect we’d see a steep drop in these sort of violent episodes if we did that one thing.

    All the NAMI nazis are going to start screaming that I’m a horrible person, but someone needed to say it.

  69. Additionally, I am not a big person to say that the government or my neighbor or my pastor has any right to tell me how to raise my children. I do not have the right to tell you how to raise yours. That said, we do need to have a conversation about parenting. My 14-year-old son (IMO) spends too much time on the Internet. But he spends it with a great group of kids from church, playing games that are not overly violent. He also spends a lot of time at church hanging out with these same kids in Bible studies that teach them important morals and social activities that help them put those morals in action.

    We also spend time with him as parents. We hike a lot in the summer. We play board games. We watch TV together — sometimes shows that would shock anyone who has a certain view of Christians as disconnected mouth-breathers who won’t allow their kids to know anything about the modern world. We like to have conversations about issues that make us uncomfortable. Our 20-year-old daughter is proof that you will raise a kid who thinks for herself and will make you feel uncomfortable as you hold your breath hoping she uses that brain for good. (Watch that space, news updates when appropriate).

    So, what am I saying? That a lot of modern parents need to be honest about what they’re doing wrong and decide that they need to change their ways. It’s not easy. You have to turn off the Internet and shut off your smart phone. You have to listen to your kid. And, sometimes you have to say “No, I don’t care that you think this will be boring; we’re doing it anyway and when we get back, about three years afterward, you’ll suddenly realize that what I made you do was the best time of your life and you wish you could do it again.”

    We also, however, need to realize that parenting is not always going to take care of what ails us. I’ve seen good parents struggle with mentally ill kids. It’s only their fault in the sense that their DNA predisposed their kid to schizophrenia or bipolar, etc. I find myself wishing I could slap people who say “Well, if the parents had done this or that ….” Sometimes, yes. I think the Lanza woman made some grievous errs as a parent. Most often, though, the parents are doing the best they can with a situation they didn’t ask for and for which they frequently get zero help from society.

  70. That article was not what I was expecting, but very interesting. I don’t really know what I was expecting per the title. I will say congrats on freshly pressed. I agree with the entire article, but I am certain that there is going to be some sort of gun restriction enacted and the people aspect will go unchanged. IMHO the problem with the United States of America is twofold, but actually boils down to one. The first issue is that we no longer regard the Constitution as our rule book. There are rules within it to modify it if anything is necessary, yet our “elected representatives” seem to simply disregard the truths laid out. The truths that made us the leader of the free world. The second problem is that we have been asking God to leave for many many years. I fear that He has finally obliged….We need to repent (which means turn back) and lean on God evermore. The more we ask Him to leave, the worse and worse things seem to get. We teach evolution and schools and no God. Evolution states that the fittest survive, so why wouldn’t I simply turn my gun on my neighbor in order to take what is his (That is an argument, not a veiled threat)? God laws state that we should love our enemies and even help them in times of trouble. I guess I ranted long enough. Thanks for you thoughts and the well laid out blog post.
    DrJeff7

    http://heritagebreedsfarm.com

  71. I can honestly say, I am stumped! I do not know the answer. Obviously, it is not gun control. The facts all show it does not work. Assault weapon bans, do not work. Look at Chicago and New York. Some of the toughest gun laws in the US, and the highest murder rates to match.
    People control? How does a country plan to control the people, without infringing on their freedoms? Do you study Canada? Do you study Europe? Try to find out what exactly the big difference is?
    I’m sure a lot of the shootings can be tied directly to the economy, drugs, marital problems, gangs, greed, you name it!
    Can we trust Washington DC to come up with an answer? That I doubt! They can’t even agree to disagree! They spend months trying to figure out budgets, and spending cuts. And still can’t agree! But talk for a few weeks and “think” they have the answers to stop the killings?
    I served this Country to defend our freedoms. My Son served this Country, and fought in Iraq to defend this Country’s Freedoms. My Son-In-Law still serves this Country, and fought in Iraq, and Afghanistan to defend this Country’s freedoms. Not just “some” of the freedoms, but ALL of them!
    We didn’t “pick and choose” which parts of the Constitution we liked, or believed in. We defended them all!
    Never forget all of those that have done the same, and do not have the option of reading, or commenting on this topic because they too served to defend ALL of our freedoms, and paid with the ultimate price!
    The US Constitution was written for a reason. That reason was not for a group of (and I use this term loosely) Politicians to change it because they don’t think it is working. It has worked fine for a couple hundred years. Maybe it is time for the general public, parents, teachers, etc., to get their heads out of the sand and do the jobs they have taken on! Teaching right from wrong starts in the home! And it doesn’t start when school starts. It starts the day they are born.
    Sorry if I strayed a bit off topic. But, in the end, I believe it is all connected.

    • Very well put! And I agree – none of our current crop of so-called ‘leaders’ is above the founding documents of our country. I certainly don’t feel any of them should be considering modifying a set of rights most of them never fought to protect.
      Thank you for the comments!

  72. All I can say is, “Thank you!” And that I pray that those who are avidly anti-gun will realize the criminals will not be punished, but instead only those of us who legally (and carefully) own the gun.

  73. In fact it is a bit of both isn’t it?
    In Australia we had 13 mass shootings in 19 years, and then there was a huge public outcry to the Tasmanian massacre, Port Arthur, April 1996. Despite massive opposition from the gun lobby the Australian Federal government acted to severely restrict availability of firearms, restricted legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading and pump-action shotguns, and heavily tightened controls on their legal use. They initiated a “buy-back” scheme with owners paid according to a table of valuations. Some 643,000 firearms were handed in at a cost of $350 million, funded by a temporary increase in the Medicare levy which raised $500 million. Since that time throughout the country we have not had a single shooting of more than three people by an armed civilian.
    The Tasmanian shooter was thought to be mentally handicapped with an IQ of about 66. He drove a car and obtained a gun without a licence for either – indicating the inadequacy of the gun laws at the time.
    America should bite the bullet (pardon the pun) follow the lead of Australia and enact strict gun control laws. No question abut it.
    Tony

    • Tony – one of the reasons I did not present solutions is that few single solutions are palatable and combinations would result in a book, rather than a post. (Some already complain I do that)

      Highly restrictive gun laws will face challenges from more than just the gun lobby in the US. It would face challenges from gun owners. It would face Constitutional challenges, since we are assured our right to keep and bear arms. One I don’t think is enshrined in Aussie founding documents.

      That’s one group of reasons.

      The other is something I struggle with talking about. And that is, do we let the actions of very few determine the rights and privileges of the many? You point out that one person, a person who should not have had weapons in the first place, determined the course for the rest of the country. In our county, the actions of 19 insane men on September 11, 2001 changed the laws the govern us, sent our boys and tax dollars to war and restricted our freedoms like no other incident. I’m not sure I’d have responded the same way.

      No one is asking me, however.

      We have a unique set of circumstances we are dealing with. I know no reaction is not a good one, but I don’t think wide-sweeping changes are the solution, either. Otherwise, these people who want to ensure their 15 minutes extends well into the future win. The rest lose.

      I don’t want the actions of a few lunatics to determine the course of a nation. (Don’t we already have that situation with politicians?)

  74. Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  75. I think this is the most rational, logical, level-headed post I’ve ever read on this subject. Well done for daring to look outside the square and directing attention to the REAL point of the issue.

  76. 15 years ago, there was a mass hooting in Port Arthur, Australia, 35 killed. The conservative government of the day responded by outlawing all automatic and semi automatic weapons and imposing heavy sanctions on remaining guns. This included by the way a significant buy-back of banned guns.

    That was the last mass shooting in Australia.

  77. I am a Canadian living in the USA. May I say that Canada does have guns but the laws around the guns are very much different from the USA. Amongst other things your weapon needs to be stored in a locked cabinet and the ammunition must be in a separate locked cabinet. Note there are no stored armed weapons in people’s homes. Does this stop shootings? No but when you put all the laws together including classes that need to be taken to get a gun license creates an attitude about guns. Guns are not thought of a weapon for self defense that you keep in your bedside table or glove compartment.
    Canada is changing in the big cities and guns are becoming more of a source of violence a problem they are trying to deal with. I must say the proximity to the US allows for easy transport of illegal guns into the country.
    Your final statement is very accurate about the people but the culture and attitude of the people is shaped by the laws that surround us.
    Guns where never seen as a “play toy” when I grew up in Canada and although I come from a family of serious hunters shooting wasn’t seen as a form of entertainment. Never once was the discussion of a gun for personal safety. A gun was simply used to hunt and we ate the moose, or venison or duck.
    I don’t know how the attitude of the American people can change, you can’t erase what you already know and unfortunately Americans believe that guns are used on people not just as a tool to help supply your family with the staples of living.

  78. I would like to say that I really enjoyed reading your post. It was well written and did ask the questions that need to be asked. I do believe I know what side of the fence you are on, but instead of ranting and raging as many are doing, you gave a well thought out post.

    In my opinion, there are so many things that as Americans we need to address.

    1. Parents needing to remember how to parent. I am a mother to 3 boys ages 12, 10, & 6. I am amazed at how many parents do not put restrictions on their children. Some of my children’s friends have been playing Call of Duty type mature games since they were in third grade. These games are rated M for a reason, but the parents don’t seem to think that means anything. The graphics on these games are not the Atari we grew up with! I don’t believe video games cause mass shootings, but what I do think that they desensitize children to actual violence. It blurs the lines.

    2. Family time for many in a thing of the past.

    Employers don’t seem to care if Mom/D

    ad have to work round the clock as long as they don’t have to hire another employee and save money. For many work doesn’t end at 6:00 and even if they do get to come home, usually they are bringing their work home with them.

    Many families due to activities, tv, ect, don’t eat meals together anymore. We try to have a sit down meal every night. It doesn’t always happen, but at least we try! No phones allowed. I can’t tell you how many important conversations happen around the table.

    3. Access to mental health care. Even those with insurance have very limited access. We just don’t address the issues that need to be addressed and insurance has many just putting a band aid over it!

    4. Too much easy access to guns.

    5. People on both sides (and this seems to happen with everything anymore) are unwilling to actually TALK to each other as decent human beings and come to a compromise.

    I do believe this is more than a gun issue and so many things need to be addressed in this talk.

    Thanks for the great post!

  79. I was in the theatre in San Diego on Saturday where the shooting happened during Les Mis. I don’t agree on how the San Diego police felt that their cop was in danger and had to shoot him. What if that cop would have shot us in that theatre. I think there has to be gun control on the San Diego cops as well. The fellow in the theatre only had a pistol. With all the San Diego cops in this theatre they really could have taken him down a different way then to randomly shoot in a theatre filled with people. We were not evacuated as they reported but we were in the theatre. Very scarey and poorly handled by the San Diego police department.

  80. Your right about guns. Its not guns that kill people its people who kill people. And what a great question to ask “What is wrong with our people?” I think for one we need to pay more attention to the mentally ill and ensure that these people get help. I recently heard that about 30 years ago there were beds for every ill person and today there is only 1 bed to every 25 mentally ill in our country. Second, is change our focuses, values and morals and how we teach our younger generation, how we assess, care and protect our people and that is not going to happen by banning guns. Banning guns is against our constitutional rights, it was created for a reason by our founding fathers of this country. Research History, times have changed but people have not only beliefs have. Our new generation now, is not being raised or taught with the same traditions, values or morals as our past generations were in the K-12 education system. We need to bring back teaching traditions, values and morals in our school systems. Most importantly, we need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. We need to take care of our mentally-ill and ensure the safety of people and gun owner rights and be responsible with guns and keep them out of reach from the irresponsible and ill-hands of others.

    Learn responsibility. Be Responsible. Teach responsibility.

  81. i cannot say anymore than what others have said about how good this piece is…especially how you leave it open for increased analysis and debate..well done!

    • Thank you and I hope I can continue to spark debate (and not a hit squad!) with further posts. I hope you’ll visit me again.

  82. Very controversial subject. Well written. Gun control isn’t the answer. To many underlying issues.

  83. Very well written! You executed a very touchy subject perfectly and I agree! Thank you for providing such a great perspective on gun control :)

  84. Reblogged this on progressera.

  85. We have gun laws that criminals do not obey. Disarming law abiding citizens and limiting ammo is a bad thing . Debate is healthy.

  86. Well said. The pencil isn’t responsible for spelling and the fork didn’t make you fat…

  87. Reblogged this on tenr0 and commented:
    Interesting…

  88. [...] This blog succinctly frames the overarching issues in this debate…is it about gun control or people control? [...]

  89. You couldn’t have framed the debate better. If you get a chance (and I linked to your post) check out my micro post on the gun component.

  90. http://msdrocks.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/a-bullet-point-primer-on-guns/

  91. Reblogged this on My Weblog.

  92. National gun registry needed
    National licensing system that includes required shooting practice, gun safety, handling and storage lesson before issue.
    National mental health database connected to the gun registry.
    National criminal database connected to the gun registry.
    Accountability for the manufactures.
    Amendments to the constitution outlawing semi and automatic weapons for citizens.

    That’s where I’d start.

  93. Reblogged this on Brouhaha Me.

  94. india is a huge country 1.2 billion ppl and we have very few licensed guns and lots of illegal ones.The illiegal ones are used by the real bad guys, so if you are a bad guy having a illegal gun is risky business in itself.But we dont have this kind of crazy guys shooting kids becuse the mentally ill guys dont hv guns.its as simple as that.think its a good model.

  95. When I was younger I used to load Dads magazines for him (not the guns). He used to shoot handguns. When the law came in to ban them he sold them to this friends shooting club in Europe where it is still legal.

    As an adult I have watched him shoot and been shooting with him. I used his semi auto shotgun. Once when I was with him at the shooting club a man turned up with a pump action shotgun. When people questioned him he told us that he had to have a special licence to use it.

    Over he it’s not illegal to use a gun for sports. The police do regular check ups to see if he stores them correctly. The gun and ammo had to be locked up separately.

    As for gun control or people control? well the government can bring out many laws as it likes. If people really want to get hold of one then they find a way (illegally of course).

  96. Great article. I think that the sad fact is, there is not solution to the gun “problem” in our country. In China, kids start walking to school by themselves at the age of 4. I would never allow my daughter out of my sight for one second here. If these criminals want the guns, they will do whatever it takes to get them. That is why they are called criminals. As for the Automatic and Semi-Automatc weapons, what do regular people need them for? You can’t hunt with them. I totally agree that we should have the right to bear arms but for protection or hunting. Semi- automatic and automatic weapons are not needed for that.

  97. Reblogged this on njgarrell and commented:
    great article, very well written and some great points.

  98. “So what is it about Americans and America that ends up with armed (legal or otherwise) citizens shooting each other?”

    Its an hilariously macho and violent country that was built on war and genocide. Its hardly going to be calm is it? Gun control yes. The people control has been going on for years which is why gun control is needed.

  99. I get the impression that you and I are on opposing sides of this issue, and yet I so respect the way in which you have framed your argument and taken such a logical approach without accusations, bashing, and foaming at the mouth.

    My thoughts are, there are other democracies in this world who allow gun ownership as well as enact control over the types of firearms that people can possess. If those countries can get it right, then why can’t we?

    Further, in four years I have not heard a word about legislation by our federal government toward gun control. The Brady Foundation gave our President a straight-F report card during his first term when “grading” his committment to protecting citizens from gun violence. His only move to enact any legislation was in response to an unbelievable tragedy. My belief is that if he really wanted to control people under the guise of controlling guns, whe would have gotten started a bit sooner.

  100. People find periods in life where vulnerable they
    then beunder much pressure disturbed of mind
    due to many various circumstanes / unemployed
    a example as the problems it brings more so if a
    family to care for a home to pay for or be evicted.

    The point be people can find themselves in direst
    state of minds where having a gun would consider
    ending their life / in more extreme circumstances it
    be people can be in such a disturbed state of mind
    they will turn a gun on others killing at random……
    it being some people have experienced long term
    abuse // where they kill others (children included)
    believing others will suffer as they having suffered
    of course such a vile act is that of sheer madness
    a action of the extreme by very ill minded people.

    To prevent such gun killings then govt must be
    firm in dealing with the situation where those in
    having guns must have very very good reason.

    With americans it not a case of debate on this
    matter the situation so dire that govt need act
    and adapt the law that its clear to people that
    having guns is illegal and those breaking the
    law will face the consequences via the courts.

    ps / one can’t go into the USA history of guns
    such would take much wording in explanation
    such reality being gun killings are an growing
    problem /thus govt need take firm action and
    gain control of the situation not to take action
    will allow the problem to worsen that results in
    gun killing becoming accepted as being norm.

  101. Well done sir! A well-written and logical article in a time of insanity.

  102. Reblogged this on Mountaineers Are Always Free! and commented:
    Just found this guy’s article while browsing through the ‘Freshly Pressed’ section…good stuff!

  103. Interesting article grappling with a huge problem. Does it have to be either/or? Guns are used by people to kill other people. If it was harder to get guns, especially automatic weapons, maybe the killings would be reduced. But the social issues also need addressing. What is driving the desire to kill people, and can that be reduced as well?

  104. I would like to read something from an independent observer, some piece of writing where you just can’t tell if this is pro or con “guns”. As usual, this all-American debate is way too black and white

  105. This sounds like an anti-gun control freak trying to promote people restrictions whilst leaving the lethal weapons out there for people to kill with. “It is people that kill not guns” – what nonsense. You can’t have one without the other.

    • Sorry you feel that way. I guess there’s a lot of truth in what Niemoler said:

      First they came for the communists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me,
      and there was no one left to speak for me.

      As long as they aren’t coming for the rights you care about, it’s all good?

  106. Reblogged this on TEES AND MORE.

  107. Very well done, definitely a thought provoking post.

  108. http://laworlogic.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/gun-laws/

    I feel that it’s extremely immature to compare US with Sweden/Switzerland because even if the number of weapons is extremely high in these countries but who these people are and how they got their weapons is extremely important. These north European countries don’t have standing armies and their young men are trained and then given these weapons to act as a state militia in time of a conflict. People who get weapon after going through a process of selection and some more training are lot less likely to carry out mass killing. This was also the purpose of 2nd amendment but it was defeated long time back.

    Second the comparison with Mexico is also inapt because you yourself know that the law and order situation is a lot worse in that country. When they forbid the private citizens from owning a gun they still manage to get hold of one but America has lot stronger homeland security structure and when the American government forbids the use of guns, there wont’s be any guns and then the Japanese comparison would be a more suitable example for the outcome.

    • I was using examples, but as with many arguments where the point of the argument is difficult to deal with, people will pull apart the pieces to argue those instead.

      Indeed, I’ve found that there are closer to two million guns in the hands of the Swiss and that, according both to a commenter here and my research, they are rendered semi rather than full-auto. My bad.

      My intent of using ‘examples’ was to frame the larger question of why Americans respond to their stress the way they do. More importantly, why are there so many people willing to commit the killings? That question is addressed by a number of responders here, but many choose to take the easier route of tasking the tools used. And quite a few, like you here, choose to ignore the question I pose entirely and focus on my examples.

      You’ll notice I approve every post, every comment, every reply. I feel this is important and even if folks want to attack the examples rather than the question, that’s fine. That’s free speech and also a protected right. However, I’d like to hear why you think we respond this way to problems.

      England and Australia have both experienced these issues and banned guns (with exceptions) and had good results.

      I would argue – in those two cases – that they have different circumstances than our country. Not the least of which is our 2nd Amendment, recently held up by the Supreme Court.

      But the question is not about guns, it’s about people. Why are people responding to the world by the killing of (mostly) innocents? Why go into a theater, school, mall and kill people? I doubt the same sympathy would be forthcoming were the targets IRS buildings or corporate headquarters. So is it about killing the innocent instead of those they are really angry with?

      I don’t know and it’s why I posed the question. But the question of why our people are sick goes to our society and that, most people don’t want to address. They may have some complicity in that. Crap parenting, crap schools, crap social programs. Those are the problems.

      Funny the government can find $1.7T for banks and insurance companies and the auto industry while simultaneously cutting anything to do with social help. I’m a lifelong GOP’er and I can’t believe what’s happening.

      Time to focus on the real problem – sorry.

      • I read a news item of a court case in the USA where the individual on trial / whom believing there no justice from the american legal system
        dealt with the situation where by some means getting hold of a court guards gun / he then with the gun shot both the court guard & judge.

        In main the majority would be appalled at such a act of killing others
        yet many would approve of his actions indeed he be seen as a hero
        whom stood against a corrupt USA legal system rotten unto its core.

        However in taking all into account one need come to the conclusion
        govt need tackle the problem of gun killings as such easy access to guns / the best solution being the owning & the possession of a gun
        being illegal / thus deal with an ever growing problem of gun killings.

        Of course there be exceptions / situations where people need to be armed & have access to guns / yet in main people don’t have guns.

      • You are right, my comment was just sidetracking from the main debate you are trying to starting.
        I feel that we (i am referring to all the people who blamed the guns) tend to encounter you on examples in the first go because that’s a lot easier.
        Just decreasing the number of guns seems like the easiest and most effective solution in the short term.
        It’s a lot more important to try and find the actual reasons for this and then approach them but that would require a lot more effort, thought and research.
        The questions you are raising would provide better understanding and solution but they will take a lot more time and will power on the part of state.
        Even if we are ready to give time, I don’t see any real will power on part of the leadership to answer the real causes and in that case I would say at lest save as many lives as possible by taking away the guns.

        I completely agree with you on the bigger picture but i will say that things like gun control would also be of some help.

  109. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  110. In Memory of School Shooting Victims

  111. Reblogged this on lifeloveandfillintheblank and commented:
    #Mental #health not #guns #newtown

  112. the biggest single thing that works against this is the correlation betwen gun ownership and falling crime rates. The highest gun crime area’s in the country are in areas where the gun control is most stringent. Look at chicago. It has a higher death by gun rate then afghanistan.

  113. Wow 10 thumbs up for this! Very powerful!

  114. This is a fantastic write up! Thanks for sharing!

  115. Very interesting…although i”m not sure i agree with all the points made but the one that i find most accurate is that there is something wrong with our people. The sooner we can figure out what is the problem the more chance we have to change our future when it comes to arm weapons.

    • The history of Chicago & the gun is much based on crime where corrupt politicians & gangsters fought it out as to whom being Top Dog, not that
      such did not happen in other states /it’s that the criminal world saw such
      the chicago mob as representing their interests // even to the point that
      a president & other politicians assassinated (not a communist plot) but simply a bid for power betwixt the outlaw & corrupt politicians / indeed it
      being over time they having made peace / where such political reality is
      BARACK whom now the president being nought but another version of
      Ale Capone put in place by criminals to defend their interests to defend
      them facing a liftime behind bars / for their continued abuse of the law.

      The problem be as long as their being corrupt politicians there will be criminal gangs / they themselves understand this fact thus in main the
      corrupt politician as the criminal gangs will work together /on occasion
      in being a breakdown in the relationship then they will kill one another
      such is the reality of life / criminal money made BARACK president it
      being BARACK must back his fiancial backers or be another kennedy.

      How do the crime barons view the gun debate ??? . Their view is they
      don’t need a gun because money far more powerful a influence than
      guns / thus they would support the ban on guns where the ownership
      & possession of guns illegal / with their control of BARACK then it be
      the gun debate will be via the media in favour of making guns illegal.

  116. Baseball bats kill more Americans than guns. Let’s outlaw baseball. No steroids were used to write this comment.

    • Is that just hyperbole or truth? I’m looking for stats for a future post.

      • From About.com…http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aacrime2001.htm
        American’s Weapons of Choice? What weapons do Americans prefer when using them to commit violent crimes? According to the Unified Crime Index, “personal weapons” — hands, fists and feet — were used in 31.1 percent of violent crimes. Other dangerous weapons, like golf clubs, hammers and baseball bats were used in 27.8 percent of violent crimes. Firearms were involved in 26.2 percent of violent crimes, and knives and other cutting instruments in 14.9 percent.

      • Tobacco and its highly addictive chemicals kills far more people than baseball bats. Tobacco kills millions of americans /millions worldwide.

        Tobacco has a yearly turnover of $billions thus allows their funding
        of political parties /in return politicians turn a blind eye to the horror caused by tobacco diverting the focus to that of imaginary terrorism.

        The taxpayer the people paying $billions to treat victims of tobacco
        it’s many related illnesses while tobacco companies continue profit
        accepting no responsibility no regret or concern of an great wrong.

  117. [...] Gun Control – Or People Control?: Hey, guns don’t kill people; Cthulhu kills people. [...]

  118. Politics is ever clothed in the rational after the fact of its continual propensity for irrationality. The moment after always is explicable in scapegoats and what should be done in the future to protect against it. The real issue is a larger world society that has aspirations for global domination through subsuming every other culture on the surface of the earth is as rational as a virus. To speak about the niceties of precedent and law controlling violence becomes largely irrelevant when that same culture backs up its claims with a doctrine of overwhelming violence as a matter of standard policy. Detente is meaningless unless all parties have a healthy respect for each other vis a vis an equal ability to do harm as well as good.

    Sadly, Malthus and Bentham have the most sway in the state’s employ of cutting edge technologies and the mindset’s driving them. The dependency of a consensus obsessed urban populations upon an outsourced world system of coordinated supply precludes any real ability to effect and real immediate opposition beyond anarchy. There will be no Bunker Hill events ala Howard Fast’s narrative nor the form of James Cameron’s Armageddon style “Terminator” franchise ‘mano a machino. The only recourse that the individual has is to maintain invisibility through anonymity exerting their will through purposeful slowdowns and non-participatory acts of inaction interspersed with totally random unplanned action.

    History has shown time and again that once any given republic descends to mere street democracy, the institutions that define the rights of society crumbles into the discretion of the most capable dictator. The great difference between this time and that of a thousand years previous is that the method of universal rule and social order exercised over the masses as a whole is conducted through the proclivity of interlocking technologies that provide their wards with the temporal illusion of community at the price to members of that society of routine surrender by total disclosure of the external and internal desires that define the individual.

    • Yes it a scramble for the planets resources. CHINA went to Africa
      through the front door / FRANCE as USA etc having seen China
      make great advances on the political stage in Africa thus people
      as nations now prepared to trade with CHINA the result in being
      western nations as FRANCE now forced make their bid for their
      share of Africa’s resources /only unlike CHINA theyr’e not wating
      to be invited they are simply kicking the front door in // claiming
      they come ARMED that they then can defend freedom / defend
      democracy / presently FRANCE in the lead in claiming it has the
      support of NATO to bomb as kill as please /they have as a USA
      declared ISLAM as islamists the enemy of god loving christians.

      As western puppet govts were placed throughout a middle east
      the same western agenda but in store for AFRICANS / AFRICA.

  119. First off, extremely nice piece of writing! As I am a 90s baby, what I learned in school is that privileges come with responsibilities. As I see it, gun ownership is a privilege and it too comes with responsibilities, many which are obviously neglected lately. Many of the criminals out there do not see gun ownership in this way but instead as a tool of power to help break laws and get ahead in their life or they see it as a “problem solver” for themselves (a wrong one, but in any case a problem solver.) A vehicle, a pen, a box cutter, our own words, a hammer. . . they can all be deadly weapons, but for the most part the responsibility of these items are followed because they are not viewed as weapons for the most part. The point I am getting at is that if taught correctly at a young age, people would have more respect for guns and know how to properly use and handle them therefore not being ignorant about a deadly weapon.

    Another reason for mass shootings is directly related to the news and media outlets, as far as i am concerned. I choose not to watch the news for the simple fact that most all stories are about the bad and evil within the world we live in today. All of this negativity being glorified simply prompts “the next person” to go out and attempt to pull off the next similar criminal act of violence, but on a bigger scale! I mean, the gov. in our technology savvy world, keeps the public ignorant to a ton of situations, so why cant the media? Not only that, why can’t the media cover stories of inspiration and good deeds, let “the next person” try to top the acts of kindness and caring? Our society has it all backwards IMO!

  120. Reblogged this on Nifty Energetic Nice Extrovert – NENE and commented:
    Hmm

  121. It the change of mindset that is the task one need overcome.

    Example being not to focus on the punishment but rather give
    focus to the cure / such a attitude will give development to the
    brain and in a working brain it will reveal many wonders unto
    creation / unto lifes true purpose the ultimate aim of humanity.

    Where not engaging the brain / then one stuck with the mind
    and the mind is as changable as the weather / and can be as
    violent and destructive as the weather when showing its power.

    One need a good teacher in life thus aid their development of
    the brain / unto the joy that life offers / not that of destruction.

    Worlds best teacher presently is Prem Rawat (throughout the
    history of humanity there always be a “Teacher of Teachers”).
    Prem travels the world his life dedicated to the development of
    the human brain / he is guide aid to all whom seek knowledge
    of creation one going beyond believing unto knowing creator.

    True peace is achieved via meditation in turning the senses
    inward in an unfolding of rhe spiritual self / thus being Prem
    as the “Teacher of Teachers” will guide aid all seeking truth.

    On pc search put (words of peace) or put ( words of peace
    global) on site a selection of videos where Prem explaining
    meditation as a open invitation to aid all whom seek peace.

  122. I own a gun and live in Texas but I’m not extreme about my guns being taking from me. I don’t think the proposed gun law changes will take away Americans guns nor will it eliminate shootings or deaths by guns. I understand wanting to carry a gun for protection and I understand the use of guns for recreational hunting. What I can’t understand is the use of a AK-47 for anything besides killing people. I mean if you use an AK-47 for hunting, isn’t that cheating? I know we can’t stop the killing because this midset we have stems all the way back from the western day when we had real cowboys. We could go back even further to the WW1. The mentality was to kill to get what you want. Kill to win. That’s how our country was built. If someone wronged us in anyway, go to war and fight and try to kill them. However military guns outside of war, the front lines, ect, in the hands and homes of normal civilians is a murder/mass murder waiting to happen. Not only that, I can’t see myself protecting my home with a 30 clip handgun. If it takes me 30 rounds to shoot a burglar, then I shouldn’t have a gun anyway. Some of the changes may not stop the killings, but they could curve some of the killings. I don’t think Americans will ever stop making guns legal.

    • While I do find it hard to defend the use of an AK or AR in the sport of hunting deer, I do acknowledge that they have other, legitimate uses. Defending your home – especially in the aftermath of catastrophe or eliminating tyranny, should it raise it’s ugly head. Not to mention, they are both great for squirrel hunts or just at the range. That’s one of the reasons they are among the top-selling guns in America.

      I think it’s vital, absolutely vital to remember that when the 2nd Amendment was written, our forefathers wanted the citizens to be armed not just against each other or bears or Bambi or foreign invasion, but against the evil of a government gone wrong. That’s one of the reason many of our ancestors moved here – to escape their government. When we can’t change things in the voting booth – and keep in mind we’re a representative democracy – our votes rarely count on major issues, or the president decides that HIS way should be OUR way (read: executive actions), then it will be these rifles that allow us to reset things.

      Imagine what the Arab Spring would have been if the people had not been armed. Syria would still be in Assad’s hands without the AK-47 in the hands of the people. Indeed, imagine America had our forefathers not been armed.

      Are the gun control people saying we’ve perfected government? That there’s no chance, no circumstance where, we the people, might want to exercise our right to change? I doubt it. Unless they’re already an elected official.

      I don’t know about you, but I consider the right – the obligation – to take back our country to be one of the reasons we were guaranteed the right to arms.

      • Well the second ammendment does give americans the right to bear arms but the problems is when others use it to kill innocent people. These AR and AK guns are not being used to over throw the government, they are being used to satisify the adrenaline rush of a mentally ill person. They’re being used to massacre famillies. There is no real argument for them being legal for a civilian person. I dont plan to over throw any government and I surely dont need a AK-47 to do so. We have many non-violent approaches to make change happen in our country. It takes time but we’ve had plenty that has made a huge difference. The civil rights movement could have used gun power to over throw the government, which may have been a good time to use guns because they were definitely used against the protesters. But the non-violent movement made a difference. War is not the answer to disagreements and there will only one result from it and thats multiple. Which is the only result for a civilian owning a AK or AR. Which takes me back to my earlier point, that Americans feel that guns and killing is the answer to our problems or disagreements. Guns and killing dont solve problems, they just make more problems. This country is no where near anarchy and I’m sure there is no need to overthrow the government, at least now is not the time. We should have considered that when we were lied to by about WMD that never existed. And then of course americans felt we should go to war. I dont understand the world and the people who feel its ok to go to war with a another country as the solution ro the problem, but when we have huge massacres and unnesscessary lives lost we cant find a solution to that problem. The only solutuions we have or agree with is when its involves us using guns and killing others. I want my guns to protect myself and my home and hopefully I dont need to use for that. But I cant see myself need an AR or AK to protect myself and my home. I’ve used both of those guns for target at the gun range but I didnt bring it from home. I used rented the gun at the range and politely returned it when I finished it. Like you said if the voting booths doesnt make change we want, then as citizens we should do something about it but guns and killing is not the action required. There were several other non-violent protest that made a difference in our country, I just felt the need to use the Civil Rights movement as an example in honor of the late great Dr.King.

        • I’m sorry to disagree, but you might change your opening argument to “there’s no reason I see” instead of “there’s no reason”. There are several reasons to own AR/AK styled weapons. First is the least controversial, recreation. It’s simply FUN to go to the range and send a lot of lead flying downrange, quickly. Ask your gun-owning friends about it. It’s just a great way to spend an afternoon.

          The second reason, my second reason, is more controversial and, while I still consider it VERY important, one that more folk can find argument with. I accept that.

          If I may, let me preface it by asking a question: do you trust your government? Not, do you trust the GOP or do you trust the Dems, but the overall government? Do you believe them when they give press conferences? Do you believe them when they tell us why they are doing something? If you do, read no further as it will mean little or nothing to you.

          While I’ve made mention of this a number of times here in the comments and indeed, plan to make it the topic of an upcoming post, the framers of the constitution were not great proponents of big government. They didn’t trust it. They specifically wrote the 10th Amendment to make sure, in the founding documents of the country, that most of the power was held by the local people and their direct representatives. That didn’t work out. Obviously.

          They wrote the 2nd Amendment in part to insure that, if the government became too much, we could take back control and fix things. Again. Like they did.

          Before you say, that was 200 years ago – INDEED IT WAS. Let me remind you that since then, the British Empire has fallen, The USSR rose and fell, China became communist and most recently, the “Arab Spring” revolutions took place. I mention these because they all involved reset, what GW called ‘regime change’. What, if we needed to, would be called revolution.

          Our founding fathers were the participants in or sons of revolution. They understood how power changes and how governments change and they certainly, certainly, understood how money corrupts and corrodes. Our government is not immune to that. I would submit that it is rotten with greed from the top to the bottom and that, were Jefferson here, he would consider the time ripe to water the tree of Liberty with the blood of revolution.

          So one of the arguments, the reasons, for us to maintain an AR/AK is simply to take things back. On the flip side, using the USSR as an example – to hold what is ours in the event the government simply decides to stop working. How many years did it take before police were able to help normal people in that country following the fall of the Iron Curtain?

          My third reason runs along that same line – how long would it take the police today to help you? Not some far-off scenario where the government fails or the zombies attack or a grass-roots revolution is taking place, but how about when you call 911? Against three or four home invaders? 5 minutes? 10? 30?

          The only reason to give up our guns is that a few, tragic, horrible, but few, mass shootings by sick individuals takes place every year or couple of years. The only reason. Period.

          Do we reinstate prohibition because alcohol kills five times as many people each year? Nope. Many, many more people abuse alcohol EVERY SINGLE NIGHT than misuse guns. Do we arrest those that allow our food to become poisoned and kill dozens or hundreds? Nope – not even looked at criminally. Do we stop bankers from crushing the lives of billions (B) with their rampany speculative actions that benefit only them? Nope. Again, not even criminal. Would you say that any of these has more impact EACH AND EVERY YEAR than mass shootings?

          I would hope you would.

          Yet where is the outcry? Sure, Occupy marched or sat around for a couple of confused months saying ‘something is wrong’ but never knowing what. The news plainly reports on the rest like it’s inevitable – we can’t change these things. WE CAN. But there’s something visceral and seemingly actionable in guns. Those we can stop, right?

          Even if we outlawed every semi-auto tomorrow, without debate and every citizen turned their gun in the day after, there would still be millions in the hands of those we are armed against right now. The difference would be we would be helpless. It will take decades to strip them of their guns.

          Ghandi said it was the blackest act of the occupying Brits to strip the Indian people of their guns, their means of defense. Stripping the people of arms was one of the first things the Nazis did as well. I’m not sure those are great acts to follow.

          • Mr. Prophet… we do have similar views but I would be a bit remiss if I didn’t take issue with the common defense of the Second Amendment being that of being prepared to “correct” our government. In your post you cited as examples gun control, the fall of the British Empire, Nazis, the fall of the USSR, China going communist, and a quote by Ghandi. These are common examples when defending the right to bear arms. While I agree with the Second Amendment it seems history is being a bit bent to support a particular viewpoint.
            The fall of the British Empire was due to economics; supporting colonies, protectorates, and commonwealths around the world with a huge modern army and naval force to maintain British interests became expensive and a severe burden to the British taxpayer with little or no payback. Historically any country sought out colonial rule in order to gain economic or strategic advantage. Over the previous hundred years or so many of these colonies themselves became self-sufficient to the point that economic ties with Britain were not as critical to maintain, either for that colony or Britain. Also, many of these protectorates grew into some level of political maturity themselves, thus striving for their own independence from Britain. To presume to think that the British Empire fell as a consequence of some lack of gun ownership or imposition of gun control would be historically inaccurate.
            The fall of the USSR was similar in context. Even at the end of Soviet rule the people still never rose up in some grand revolt; after 70+ years of domination people were used to their lifestyle. The USSR collapsed under its own economic weight and government simply gave up… and the old smaller countries spun off toward their own independence. And, yes.. there were weapons galore over there when the military just gave up.
            Regarding the Nazis making the populace gun-free… you have to remember that Hitler was widely popular in the early years as he was a vocal spokesman for those oppressed by the injustices of the reparations demanded by the Allies after the First War, and those suffering from the effects of the lingering Depression. He promised better economic times and a new German prestige in the world… and for a while he was able to deliver on that. In other words… the German people wanted him in power and had no overriding desire for weapons because so few ever thought of open revolt (this doesn’t even take into consideration that guns cost money and money was needed for food). To presume that the Nazis stayed in power because there were no guns owned in the public sector so that people could revolt against the Nazis is not historically accurate either.
            China went communist as a result of the nationalist movement of the 20’s, copied from the Russian Revolution of sorts. They were also suffering from the Depression and add to that the hundred years or so of colonial rule of half the nations of Europe over sections of the country.. followed by the Japanese invasion leading into WW2 that killed millions of people. Most people were poor and owning a gun just to have around to revolt against some government didn’t make much sense. There were two forms of governing that were jostling for position in those days… the communist nationalists (led by old guy Mao) and the democracy-loving Chiang Kai-shek leading the group that ended up occupying Taiwan. So to presume that after years of colonial rule, two Japanese invasions, and a civil war that there weren’t enough guns around to grab is also a bit historically inaccurate. The people simply had no desire or priority to own or keep guns around.
            Gandhi’s quote, while partially accurate, is also a tad out of historical context. Gandhi himself evolved and succeeded in using the more peaceful passive resistance to contribute to independence from Britain, so morally he was less about guns. But in his early days he was asked by a local British viceroy to recruit men for military service since at the time the First War had been going a bit badly for the Brits. In Ghandi’s book he talks of having handed out a recruitment pamphlet of his own wording which included the quote.. and other wording. The context was for inspiring recruitment to serve in the British Army; that the “Gun Act” forced Indians to be ill-prepared to join the Brits in battle. By the way.. this is another quote attributed to Gandhi to the Brits in WW2: “This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist, it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man.” It seems even great sages of wisdom can sometimes make a mistake.

            • Doug – I enjoy your comments, so please don’t take any offense to mine here, cause I’m not sure you read my response to this young lady.

              My sole point in mentioning the fall of these empires (and I did re-read my commentary to make sure it was clear. At least to me, it was!), was to point out even the biggest can fall. We are most certainly not immune.

              For the most part, your reasonings for their collapses is what I’ve read and what is commonly accepted also.

              What you seem to be saying, though, is that we are either not at that point or that we are immune somehow to those same causes. We are not. While I’m not a doctor, don’t play any role on TV and am not a trained forensic historian, I do know enough to say that with confidence.

              Working backwards, the same forces that tore the USSR apart are MOST CERTAINLY at work here in the Homeland. From a 50/50 split in right/left politics, with very very few nearer the center than the edges., to an unsustainable budget, both domestic and imperially, we are perched atop that very wall that Gorbachev was told to bring down.

              On the plus side, we have the low interest rates that Russia didn’t have and the ability, via China (and Goldman!) to finance our ‘wars’ and domestic programs for some time, but not forever. We also have, in the negative column, a populace that believes its “free” and, like I said, deeply divided. The passage (and demonization) of Obamacare and the attempt to control guns, partly through executive actions that circumvent ‘check and balance’ (even though these are mere token events, the media is telling Jane and Joe less-than-high-school-diploma that they are substantial and real), should there be a third leg, such as another drought forcing food prices higher or a mis-step (imagine that!) by the Goldman/Obama economic team leading back into recession and you have the makings for domestic discontent.

              The wall fell without the citizens well-armed and without much of the marching-in-the-streets that will happen here. If you interrupt this nation’s ability to watch football, eat McDonalds and drink beer, you risk revolution. Right now a Big Mac is five bucks, beer is…well, I don’t know, I don’t drink but I’m sure it’s like everything else and outrageous and football is almost over for the year.

              Moving on, I’m quite aware of the history of the Nazi party. In many way, Obama patterns his programs after the early ideas of Hitler. The infrastructure programs (with clearly marked signs by each one telling you this is part of his ‘putting America back to work’ money-printing) smack of the highway building of 1930′s Germany. I never suggested the party kept playing because the citizenry was unarmed. And the comment about the citizenry wanting him in power is perhaps overstated. He won by thin margains and only became truly powerful by internal politics. While the crowds greeting him certainly loved him, that same type of thing can be seen about most any dictator.

              The Brits did gain value – at least the upper classes and at least for some time – in having colonies. I submit that the end of slavery and the rise of the American Imperial Army and of Political Correctness as a weapon of social change had more to do with the collapse than pure economic means. Certainly, that had a part, but because the economies of the colonies changed.

              There are some exceptions. The move to keep and expand British South Africa was a losing one from the get-go and an expenditure made largely because they didn’t want to lose access to the Cape nor lose the Horn to another – any other – country. But, at least prior to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s, that was pretty much an exception.

              Again, I was talking about the fall of otherwise great Empires and that we should not expect our American Experiment to last forever just cause “we got it right.” It had nothing to do with whether the citizens were armed.

              The line about Hitler still stands. Whether the people “wanted” him or not, whether they were hungry or not, whether they were devastated by the treaty of Versailles or not, they were disarmed.

              The statement you make by Ghandi does not mean the one I made is incorrect. Even so, an “unarmed” India remains a very violent place.

              The point I was making (and I notice you make no mention of my comments regarding the Arab “Spring”) is that even now and despite the permanence associated in the modern mind with great empires, those empires can still fall. And when they do, it would be nice to be armed against those who are. Because there are millions, perhaps tens of millions of guns in the hands of those who will be criminals in that case. I was also making the point of an armed populace, provoked by a government that has forgotten it’s duty as representatives of the people, might be forced, by Twitter and Facebook and Al Jazzera and the BBC, at the point of a gun, to make changes.

              Because while the pen may be mightier than the sword, a good shot with a properly setup AR can wipe out that pen with just one round. Even from a fixed, ten-round only magazine.

              • No.. I take no offense as we are offering differences of opinion. My remarks about history were aimed at the implication that proponants of the Second Amendment who use as their argument that had populations under past historical events been allowed the freedom to have guns that they could have changed their own lives. I was not even attempting to endeavor any corealation with current political events domestically somehow emulating past “downfalls”. I find that subjective at best and a matter of personal interpretation. I just find it inaccurate if the argument for owning firearms suggests comparisons like had the Nazis not taken all the weapons from the German populace that they could have risen up and WW2 could have been avoided (which you surely can’t deny are the kinds of “historical” arguments that are being used by others).

                The curious question I have is at what point who decides when the government needs “correction” and who decides when we grab our guns and take to the streets? More on a strategic note, who decides who and what we will be shooting at, who is going to go first and charge that government machine gun nest? I guess I have a little more faith in the “organized militia” concept that millions of gun owners thinking on their own.

  123. One need to be reminded the USA mindset with guns
    not only results in americans slaughtering each other
    there also a ongoing increase of violence as of mass
    killings on other nations / that milions killed worldwide.

    The cold war with RUSSIA needed end as western
    nations wanted access to RUSSIA’s vast resources
    they could not invade RUSSIA (RUSSIA well armed)
    thus peace needed be made (HOWEVER) the USA
    needed maintaining its reasons for their constant
    expansion of their military forces / an enemy was
    needed replacing RUSSIA as enemy/ the western
    brainwashing media went to work / RUSSIA t’was
    portrayed as a friend / as equally muslims were
    portrayed as the USA’s number one enemy the
    propaganda campaign an complete successs
    RUSSIA made a friend of the west as muslims
    portrayed as enemy number one ( result of
    such propaganda against muslims / brought
    the slaughter of muslims / millions killed as
    man woman child in being shown no mercy.

    Thus americans need look at bigger picture
    in relation to guns not only killing one aother
    but the slaughter that taking place worldwide.

    Removing gun ownership as gun possession
    being a step in the right direction / where the
    american people being weaned of an diet of
    violence ( the constant anti muslim media be
    brought to a ending thus true media debate
    allowed encouraging people where able form
    a independent opinion / where free from fear
    in finding peace of mind in knowing true love.

  124. Humanity needs to get beyond this, and we will.

  125. “This morning, I took an oath to protect and defend our nation from any threat, foreign or domestic. Gun violence has become a domestic threat. Ten times more Americans die by gun violence each year than died on 9/11, and it is time that we stand together for the sake of freedom and safety within our borders. It is reasonable to be afraid that if you surrender your firearm, you will be vulnerable to attack by someone who has not surrendered theirs. However, I have decided to call on you, the American people, to stand bravely in that fear, to risk your safety, to some small extent, in order to save the lives of our friends and neighbors. I ask you to willingly lay down your firearms, and be a soldier for peace. You will risk your life, just like a soldier for war. But as Mahatma Gandhi proved in India, an army that refuses to participate in injustice is invincible. Let us wait no longer. Let us be the generation to cure the plague of gun violence that has swept our beloved nation. We will wait for no legislation; we will end no debates. We will begin here and now to risk our lives for our fellow Americans by choosing freely and willingly to make ourselves defenseless, armed only with faith, good will, and determination. The bullet stops here. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”

    –Barack Obama (if I wrote his speeches)

  126. I read this a while ago and decided to come back for a second look.

    I agree, the problem is NOT guns and it’s not the type of guns either. Switzerland requires its citizens to keep military-grade weapons in their homes. Not rifles tricked out to look like military weapons, but actual combat weapons that fire multiple rounds at a single pull of a trigger (as opposed to semi-autos which only fire one round at a single pull of a trigger , which is falsely called “assault” weapons here). Oddly, Switzerland doesn’t have that many mass shootings (I believe they’ve had one in the last decade).

    It’s not the guns, folks. It’s something wrong in our culture. Unlike you, I don’t think the problem will be even partially solved through an education program — although basic gun handling and safety REQUIRED throughout all grades would be a nice start). I believe it goes a lot deeper than that — to our materialism and addiction to mind-numbing technology and our distracted parenting, to our loss of moral grounding, to our insane fear and isolation from guns, to our government’s increasing tyranny over us, to mental illness, and more than anything else, our increasing interpersonal isolation.

    This isn’t going to be addressed by legislation. It requires a lot more soul-searching than that.

    I would also point out that many of these other country accept as a matter of course that the government has a right to tyrannize them. Only in American and (perhaps Switzerland) is there a sense that the citizen must be able to resist tyranny in order for the government not to become tyrannical. That’s a social experiment I would not want to risk because if you were able to disarmed Americans (and I don’t think we would cooperate in that), you would have no way of correcting the unintended consequences if our Founders were correct about why we needed the Second Amendment in the first place — to keep the government in line.

  127. This is one of the better arguments I’ve read on allowing citizens to have guns. I’m pro-gun control myself, but I do agree that framing the argument this way is much more persuasive than some of the other anti-gun control advocates make. Sensible without being emotional.

  128. I’m English and I look at this as one of the things the US is still backwards in. You dont need guns, at the end of the day if they are going to be used they are going to injure and kill people. This is the 21st century, guns belong in warzones not in everyday life. It is not a right to have a gun, in reality you have no rights other than to the air you breathe.

    • Perhaps in the UK, my friend. Here in the US? We do have a few more rights than that. And one is outlined in the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms.

      But thanks for your comments!

      • Surely all matters that put the people of your country in danger for no other reason than protection should be seriously considered for debate. I understand its an important right for some people because getting rid of it opens the door for other legislation to be changed but I hope than even the most ardent gun can see that something isn’t right.

    • We are American and we don’t look at it that way. In France the internet is a human right. In America self defense, one of our most base instincts, is a human right.

  129. Reblogged this on youngemt95's Blog and commented:
    I agree completely with this post. When you restrict people from having things they are more apt to use them. Anti-gun activists need to look at the facts. If Sweden is doing well then why can’t we with the same laws? If we allow the government to restrict as it is in Mexico there will be more mass shootings, because the criminals will always have guns. Criminals do not follow the laws.

    When freedom is outlawed only outlaws will be free.

  130. Here’s the funny thing about gun control; You can’t stop someone who is determined. I have detailed plans on my blog to home build a 9mm machine pistol. It is all made from common parts and needs no machining. You might ask where I got them? From a Briton, where almost all guns are banned. It shows the futility of thinking that guns could ever actually be removed. By the way, a well written piece.

    • Thanks, Jay, both for this first comment and your others.

      I’m overwhelmed by the commentary and the tone of commentary this post have evoked. By and large, it’s very civil, which given the anonymity (and seemingly hostile attitudes that go with it) of the internet and the volatile subject matter, is quite amazing. I’ve not edited nor rejected a single comment.

      I think my next post will violate, to a degree, the middle-of-the-road position I took in this post. If you look at my older posts, I’ve been all over in my posts, but the comments here force me to create a larger response laying out some of my ideas for solutions – and some of the problems in actually implementing those solutions.

      I hope you’ll read that post and offer your comments again. Thanks again for taking the time to read and post.

  131. And for a little additional perspective in this discussion: Almost 200,000 Americans die in hospitals annually from preventable medical error. We should all thank the host of this blog also for allowing us to have this discussion here.

  132. The Swiss have guns because they are all required to serve in the military but after their service is over, they are not allowed to have fully automatic weapons at home, and they aren’t allowed to keep the ammunition at home. Those who carry a gun in public need permits that are much harder to obtain than in America.

  133. Excellent article. I recently wrote a letter to America along this same line. You can find it at toocleverforwords.wordpress.com

  134. Gun control of course! People should be able to drink and lose control! This makes life great! And although I can imagine firing guns is probably awesome when you’re shitfaced, it doesn’t seem to safe!

  135. Reblogged this on My Name is Marcy and commented:
    My thoughts on this affair put concisely.
    While I am a libertarian and so concerned and opposed to gun control, but I do not hold any political opinion so strenuously that I am unwavering or incapable of understanding the point of opposing political movements. As such I understand the impetuous for gun control, and I sympathize with it and am not even opposed to it if it would do anything. But really, nothing that has been proposed would do anything. A handgun’s clip can be fired and reloaded in a manner of seconds. The proposed solutions do next to nothing. It seems that if we are going to do anything, we ought to do something to better screen people and especially to rehabilitate our mentally ill. The answer is not to restrict gun control, but to work harder to treat others as fully human so that they could no more conceive of such a heinous crime as Newtown as we.

  136. the funny truth is… people control

  137. Well put,

  138. Reblogged this on Abruptly Put and commented:
    I found this to be an interesting read

  139. Yea, I agree with the others. People control, sad but true.

  140. I really don’t think it’s fair to use Mexico as an example to the US. The social situation is fairly different. And as many pro gun people have pointed out, yes, criminals who really want guns, will often procure them. But compare this to Canada, where shootings are very rare and even more rare when they involve innocent bystanders. Generally when there is a shooting there, it’s gang related. So, bystanders do sometimes get injured or even killed, but the numbers in the states are astronomical compared to that.

    There is a completely different culture around guns here than most other countries. Having not grown up in the states, I find the culture very gun crazed. You don’t find automatic riffles in the hands of your average joe in most other countries. I personally don’t see how gun control can be considered “people control”. In Canada, people have the freedom to go to a shooting range or to go hunting, but if you look at the numbers of deaths from shootings, you have to realize what the difference is.

  141. Control is not the answer either way. Fully prosecuted any that want to pull the trigger on another innocent is. They will be executed as terrorists. Policy cures the head that may want to the law drops them dead. So feel like pulling that trigger on an innocent human go right ahead and ask the new power to fix that urge for you. The law will execute you.

  142. I am sure this post has touched all the internet users, its really really
    pleasant paragraph on building up new blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: