Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Every man for himself mentality check



Well what do you know? The NRA actually supports a law that keeps guns away from prohibited purchasers. If only law enforcement had the staff and the budgets they should have, the California system of tracking prohibited purchasers would work even better and likely save more lives. "Perhaps most important, the burden for confiscating weapons falls largely on local jurisdictions, most of which are too short on resources to do much. Some may also have been only dimly aware of how the list works." Yes, if legislatures are doing what's best for public safety, they will fund the laws already on the books and make sure the wrong people don't get guns. But....


In Arizona, of course, where there are few gun laws in the first place, the legislature wants to take the state backwards towards the days of minute men. Seriously folks. Does anyone really believe this stuff? This editorial calls out the nonsense of the NRA in Arizona and the legislature that should be thinking about more pressing things than getting rid of the few gun laws already on the books. That's the way things are going in our country. What happens after a major mass shooting? We go backwards and get rid of gun laws instead of moving forward with common sense legislation to actually save lives. Spare us folks. We are in trouble. It's not only Arizona. I have already mentioned what is going on in my home state of Minnesota- an attempt to repeal long held gun laws on the books. As I said, if you don't have any gun laws, you can't say any more that we should just enforce the laws already on the books. 


Oh yes, the Montana NRA is trying to get us to believe that if private citizens who want to help out in emergencies are just called "militia" they can have their guns and shoot them too. A proposal in the Republican led Montana legislature wants "armed paramilitary" folks to help "regulate" the state. Say what? The last time I checked, we had a National Guard. Never mind. Instead of focusing on jobs and raising enough money to run our states, some legislatures are using their power to pass ridiculous laws. This one almost takes the cake. When we start having armed citizens roaming the streets of our community to "help out" with law enforcement and providing social services, this country will be in trouble everyone. What's to stop these folks from armed insurrection against the duly elected government? Not much. Are we living in Egypt? Come on.


Why not? Someone on this blog commented that the volunteers who showed up to help in the aftermath of a destructive tornado in the college town of St. Peter, Minnesota were actually an example of the "militia" in action. The only problem with that ridiculous idea is that there were so many unarmed regular citizens, including my own daughter, who just happened to have graduated from the local Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, who volunteered that to call them the militia begs credulity. But never mind. No one said the gun lobby cared about the facts or reality. They live in an alternate world where, as Linda Valdez the author of the Arizona editorial piece above says: "The GOP Legislature's every-man-for-himself attitude is clear. There is a continuing push to make gun ownership as easy as chewing gum. No permits. No questions. No responsibility. Legislative proposals also aim to roll back what few safeguards exist for innocent bystanders."


Meanwhile, back at the ranch of real life there is legislation that might actually work to save lives. This is common sense  proactive legislation that will move us forward instead of backwards. I don't want to live in the days of the minute men and the Founding Fathers. As much as I respect the work they did, they are now being glorified in ways that attempt to re-write our history. If Thomas Jefferson and James Madison lived in today's real world, what would they say about the fact that anyone can buy 30 round ammunition magazines and go out on shooting spree that murders 6 people and injures another 13? I'm betting they would be horrified. So let's listen to what folks who have some reason and common sense have to say, like Vincent D'Onofrio of T.V's Law and Order in the You Tube video linked above. Wow- a guy who uses a gun on T.V. thinks that maybe some restrictions should happen in real life where real people get shot to death every day.

Also back in the real world where spree shootings have become common place on the streets of our country, one just happened over the week-end. Here is another shooting at Youngstown State University in Ohio, this time at a fraternity party. The article does not mention it but one could guess that alcohol was involved given that it was a fraternity party and the wee hours of the morning. More will come out later but until then one innocent student is dead and 11 more injured. This is a good case for why it should not be legal for students to carry loaded guns on college campuses. Rather than using guns for self defense, we would likely see incidents like this one where guns and alcohol do not mix nor do guns mix well with volatile and the yet not mature minds of college students.

There is something about our American culture that gives license to the shoot 'em up mentality of taking care of disputes, perceived or real threats, domestic problems, family matters, revenge and all the other reasons people shoot people every day. Sad, but true. And watch for some of the repeal of common sense gun laws coming to a state near you as well as legalizing armed paramilitary groups and guns on campus among other such measures that will make us less safe.

94 comments:

  1. Spreading more fear. If there was any culture in America I could trust more than the rural ranch/farmer/small town prototypical momtanaian, I would be hard pressed to find it.

    I guarantee that if your car breaks down outside of Bozeman or Greatfalla the next car or pick up coming down the hiway will stop, try to help you out, drive you to town or even home to their house for supper. Self reliance couple with "'we're all in this together" is how they survive. You seem to take pride in picking on that which many of us find most appealing.

    Singling out my example of people helping out somewhat out of context is typical. My example of people joining up as community either in peace or in arms was what that statement was about. You conveniently left out my eyewitnesses accounts of armed civilians maintaining law and order in the face of natural disaster until the local authorities were able to catch up.

    How often is it when the governor calls out the national guard do they even think about bearing arms?? Rarely. Usually the Official Militia is called out to do exactly the same things as the volunteers would do, stacking sandbags, blocking down bridges. Rescuing stranded families. That is the exact same roles those volunteers did in St Peter.

    That sort of volunteerism is uniquely American.

    Lasltly you talk about guns on campuses. Right now they are targets because they are resistance free zones. They have been made killing fields by disarming alll but the criminal in a twisted ironic outcome of attempts to make them safer.

    In the original campus attack Whitman was prevented from killing more people when STUDENTS responded to assist the campus guards who only had handguns against his rifle. Those students recovered their own legal weapons and kept Mr Whitman pinned down until State and Local police were organized enough to make an assault.

    In the mid seventies when I went to school, about half the men in our dorm had shotguns or deer rifles in the closet. Number of mishaps, 0. In the aftermath of a brutal kidnapping on campus by an outsider, there were night armed escorts provided for women students by male students, using those legal shotguns and rifles. Number of mishaps, 0.

    Start with facts. All of the facts. Not just those that point out your viewpoint. Ask why do they keep picking on schools. Simple, all the victims have already been unarmed

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  2. It's disturbing the extreme legislation being proposed. The proposal for a Montana paramilitary force is particularly troublesome and beyond common sense. Better funding for police and National Guard would achieve the same goal without armed civilians roaming the streets during emergencies, and organizations like CERT and Red Cross already help with other logistical needs.

    Here is a link to a similarly-disturbing bit of legislation, from Arizona (no surprise) calling for citizen militias to help with border patrol:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/04/jack-harper-arizona-citizen-militia_n_804409.html

    Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right? Oh, yeah, something already has, with the murder of a father and little girl:
    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/01/brisenia_flores.php#

    The point is that, unlike police and National Guard, these volunteers would barely be accountable to anyone and likely would lack the training, equipment, and organization we would expect from police, National Guard, and Border Patrol. Further, since modern militias are havens for anti-government sentiment and glorification of insurrection, they would pose a more serious threat to national stability if recognized in some official fashion.

    My blog post on this, at New Trajectory:
    http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2011/02/legislating-armed-paramilitary-militias.html

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  3. " They have been made killing fields by disarming alll but the criminal in a twisted ironic outcome of attempts to make them safer. " Nonsense. That is simply not true. It is erroneous.

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  4. >>" They have been made killing fields by disarming alll but the criminal in a twisted ironic outcome of attempts to make them safer. " Nonsense. That is simply not true. It is erroneous.<<

    True. They never intended to make them safer, they simply realized that to claim so was a convenient political lie.

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  5. There is too much violence in American society ... but while that's a problem, it's not due to availability of guns. The violence problem would exist with or without gun, as guns aren't the cause. And wherever you are on the spectrum of 2nd amendment empowerment NOBODY believes it's OK to settle disputes with weapons of any kind.

    It's because of the violence in this country that the rest of us will be making sure that laws that protect criminals by keeping guns away from law abiding citizens will be rolled back. Yup -- that's still my goal.

    And if you have something to keep guns away from Loughner's without affecting people like me ... I'd love to hear it.

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  6. Sorry Japete. It was done to make the appearance of safety. When it was common to allow student to keep arms on campus this sort of thing did not happen. Stripping away forms of selfdefense only disarms the law abiding.

    It may not align with your sense of the world but the truth is it is only the defenseless that criminals usually try to harm.
    Logic clearly shows this.

    Creating "gunfree school zones" does nothing. A criminal by definition is going to break the law. No criminal intent on harming someone has ever stopped because there was a sign in the window banning guns. I dare say a few have been stopped by signs saying "armed guard on premises."

    The police have no statutory responsibility to protect. They only show up after the incident has occured.

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  7. Then, Stephen, why is it that guns cause most of the homicides and suicides in this country? And also that firearm homicides and suicides account for the 2nd or 3rd cause of injury death in some age groups? I guess maybe guns are the problem. Without the guns, one could say that another type of injury death coud rise up in the place of guns but most likely not in the number that gun deaths now have because guns are more deadly and easier to use in a murder.

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  8. It has never, and I repeat, never, been common for college students to bring guns on campus. That is a made up reality for you but it just does not happen to be true. I don't know where you went to college but I know what was going on at my campus and that of my kids. There just plain were not guns there. Come on- do you expect me to believe this stuff?

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  9. Ok lets try it this way.

    A shooting happens off campus at a frat house during a party = ban guns on campus.

    Seems like common sense to me

    Oh wait no it does not.
    Why not ban alcohol at frats
    ban alcohol all together ( oops we tried that once)
    Ban Frats

    All of those seem as common sense as what you propose

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  10. Yeah- Anthony- that just doesn't work for me. There's a difference between alcohol and having alcohol and a gun at a frat party. Lots of bad things happen at frat parties when alcohol is consumed. But adding a gun to the mix can result in death. Frat parties have been going on for decades as well as drinking at frat parties. But allowing legally owned guns has not been in the mix. Why people want guns in the mix is totally beyond me and beyond reason, actually.

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  11. Actually I don't see why an off campus frat house would have to have guns banned in them. I was not in a frat and they might be but it would seem like it would not be illegal. If that is the case I am sure that there have been guns at frat houses for years.

    The odd thing is this murder did exactly what you wanted he left the gun outside. Unfortunately he then returned and shot into the crowd.

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  12. "It has never, and I repeat, never, been common for college students to bring guns on campus."

    The assertion was that some students kept their hunting rifles and shotguns in the dorms, which was so common as to be entirely unremarkable.

    Of course, most of the anti-gun crowd has an amazing ability to be unaware of how many guns are around them.

    Hell, Minnesota was a Vermont-carry state, where pretty much anyone could carry a handgun, openly or concealed, anyplace they chose, prior to 1975. But I'm sure your memories of the time don't include any of your neighbors and friends packing guns.

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  13. How do we know that the gun used in the frat house shooting was legally owned? If it was owned by a gang member, someone who routinely solves disputes with violence, what amount of regulation would have stopped them from retaliating against the party's organizers in some way?

    Yes, perhaps they might have been less deadly with a different weapon than a gun, provided any law was capable of removing guns from their hands, I'm not sure how many times you have to say something is illegal before a criminal listens. For all we know though, they might have just set the house on fire instead. The lack of a gun does not mean the lack of death, there is a bigger problem here than the tools used for murder, it's the intent to murder itself.

    And of course alcohol and guns should never mix, no gun owner I have even known would advocate that. We have a better record of keeping guns and alcohol separate than drivers have of keeping cars and alcohol separate, although the disparity in numbers doesn't really make that a fair comparison.

    As far as gun free zones like schools, I am not inclined to think that such policies would just allow anybody to carry a gun into a school without any regulation whatsoever, you make it sound like it would be permissible for anyone to run around with guns on campus. I'm sure that the rules a school or legislature might consider, would disallow guests or other unknown individuals from carrying guns, and would of course disallow anything that isn't legal.

    I picture it like this; someone who is intent on bringing a gun onto campus is going to do it no matter how many "no guns" signs are posted, possibly no matter how severe the penalties are. Unless you make everybody pass through a metal detector at one single gate outside a campus, you are not going to stop someone who is determined.

    Now there is a legitimate argument that if guns were available to all students with no criminal history, someone might still pull a gun in an altercation. I've met some pretty stupid people who wouldn't hesitate much to get into a fistfight. Throwing alcohol into the mix certainly wouldn't help. I can completely understand your point, and the idea of guns on campus worries me a bit too. However, maybe I just have a bit more faith in people to not turn to deadly force every time they have a dispute. Perhaps guns are not for everybody on a school campus, but maybe a school could issue permits to students and staff who pass a qualification. I guess this isn't something for the gun lobby to pursue yet, I don't think people are ready (society has lost some of it's sense of responsibility, I blame legislation and social trends that promote less responsibility in people for their actions). But I do know, that no 'weapon free zone' policy could ever keep someone intent on doing harm out of a school campus. It would be really great if that little "gun free zone" sign did the trick, I'd happily accept no guns on campus if that sign really kept them all out. But it won't, no matter how much any of us want it to.

    -DHS

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  14. Just because you did not see guns did not mean they were not there.

    My father lived in a dorm at the U of M. All of his worldly possessions were in his room. Two rifles, one shotgun, two handguns. That was 1947.

    My cousin was at Ohio in the 60's. He was in ROTC. He was required to keep is gear in his room, including an M1 rifle, ammunition and bayonet.

    My wife went to Vanderbilt. She was in a Sorority and was on the sorority's trap and skeet team. Her Grandmother was a Vandy alum and gave her the Colt her father bought her as her H S graduation present saying "a Vandy woman can look after herself".

    A very close friend has a daughter going to University of Montana currently. She has a .22 and a 9mm pistol with her at school stored in accordance with University rules.

    Another friend has a son at Tennessee, on scholarship for shotgun sports.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Rifle_Championship?wasRedirected=true


    http://www.nrahq.org/compete/college_lookup.asp?Disc=5&State=

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-NCAA_intercollegiate_championships#Rifle

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  15. Also this. Using a gun on TV gives Vincent D no further credibility than TV doctors giving medical advice.

    He's an actor, who often exhibits very poor gun skills on TV. (finger on the trigger, poor muzzle discipline, finger on trigger while holstering, etc).

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  16. I hope you don't really believe this, Japete, and it's just a typo ... but obviously a gun never "caused" a homicide or suicide, any more than a jawbone from an ass "caused" Samson to kill 1,000 Philistines, or the presence of a knife "caused" this man in China to murder 6 police officers.

    I mean, we can argue all day whether a 30 round magazine makes someone more lethal than 3 10 round magazines or two separate guns, or if a person is more likely to be successful at suicide if a gun is available vs. a bridge or rope as is preferred in Japan ... but certainly you don't believe people choose to murder for no other reason than it's easy and convenient, do you? I'm hoping not. For one thing, it wouldn't explain why somewhere around 89,990,000 American's own guns WITHOUT committing a murder. Me among them.

    Anyway ...

    These are the same talking points we've exchanged 100 times. If you spend a little time doing research you'll discover that firearm ownership rates have very little to do with the homicide rate in this country or any other, as through decades of going from no gun control to an AWB and then cancelling it the homicide rate has NOT changed in relationship. And continues to go down even though we keep passing laws you don't like, and ignoring cries for laws you do.

    Without the guns, one could say that another type of injury death could rise up in the place of guns -- and in fact one would say exactly that if one compared existing total homicide rates in places like the U.K. and Australia before/after a gun ban, or even here in the US in places like D.C. or Chicago.

    In fact ... after reviewing all that data one might combine those facts and logic into their "common sense" and come to the conclusion that fighting for gun control (that won't pass in the current congress anyway) isn't really a "common sense" pursuit for one who cares about human life after all. And perhaps tackle the real problems, like trying to figure out how to make sure ALL American's feel included in the American success potential and don't have a need for violence and drugs.

    Or we can keep debating the whole "is he more dangerous with a 30 round clip or 3 10 round clips." Up to you. I'm not the one trying to limit an accepted constitutional right, I'm the one challenging how far that right can be limited.

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  17. "Yeah- Anthony- that just doesn't work for me. There's a difference between alcohol and having alcohol and a gun at a frat party. Lots of bad things happen at frat parties when alcohol is consumed. But adding a gun to the mix can result in death. Frat parties have been going on for decades as well as drinking at frat parties."

    According to USA Today 20% of all freshman deaths are related to alcohol. So lets keep citizens who have a permit and can carry anywhere else defenseless. That will stop all those deaths.

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  18. Well of course, Stephen- this:" firearm ownership rates have very little to do with the homicide rate in this country or any other" of course is totally false. The rate of firearm ownership in our country is more than any other country ( Canada is a close second) and what do you know? The rate of firearms homicides and overall gun deaths are much higher than any other country. The same is true in the states that have high firearms ownership- the rate of gun homicides and/or suicides are higher. I have provided articles and graphs showing this in past posts.

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  19. Stephen says, "The violence problem would exist with or without gun, as guns aren't the cause."

    japete says, "why is it that guns cause most of the homicides and suicides in this country?"

    Stephen, I don't think guns are the "cause." And I agree there would be violence even without guns. But, with gun availability like it is, the violence is more lethal than it would otherwise be.

    japete, when arguing with guys like Stephen, if I may be so bold as to give you advice, you might find it better to say that "guns are a factor" or that "gun availability" is a factor rather than "guns cause." Otherwise, he'll keep saying that we think the inanimate gun actually "causes" the violence, which is obviously not what we mean.

    My idea is that gun availability is the one factor that we could easily do something about. Gun rights activists know this and are fighting tooth and nail against it, even by making every little discussion as tedious as possible, like Stephen does every time he comments.

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  20. Quote. japete said...
    Well of course, Stephen- this:" firearm ownership rates have very little to do with the homicide rate in this country or any other" of course is totally false. The rate of firearm ownership in our country is more than any other country ( Canada is a close second) and what do you know? The rate of firearms homicides and overall gun deaths are much higher than any other country. The same is true in the states that have high firearms ownership- the rate of gun homicides and/or suicides are higher. I have provided articles and graphs showing this in past posts. Unquote

    But then why are not the Swiss, Israelis, Finns and Swedes murdering each other at astronomical rates? They have near universal gun ownership.

    If you look at cities with very low legal gun ownership like NYC, Chicago, or DC. They have very high murder rates.

    I have argued this with you in the past and even MikeB will agree, the hardware is not the cause. Plain and simple. The crime is committed by the criminal. Whatever base influences they claim, be it drugs, gangs, hopelessness, economic distress, is all a ruse to slip from culpability. Because for every kid in the hood who becomes a violent felon there are three or four who chose the right track.

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  21. As you said, Canada is a close second ... and yet they have a LOWER homicide rate than most of those restrictive European countries(half of France's). People choose to kill, THEN they choose the tool to use.

    Way, way too many people in the US choose violence as an option to settle a dispute of one way or another. And there are a lot of cultural reasons for that. But I believe the vast majority of them would choose to kill whether there was a gun available or not, and I believe statistics around gun control support that.

    If I'm wrong, show me how gun laws in the UK, Australia, D.C. or Chicago LOWERED the homicide rate when they were passed and kept it low. Please. I'd love to see it.

    And as I've pointed out ... our NON-GUN homicide rate is higher than about any European country's. Even if you banned and seized all guns (not on the table from you) and made it work and NONE of those people murdered with a different means, we'd still have one of the highest rates of murder in the world.

    Inconvenient facts, I know ... but facts nonetheless.

    But fight on by all means. Even though the gun control laws of 1934, 1968, 1994, etc. did nothing to affect the homicide rate, I'm sure that limiting magazines to 10 rounds will save countless lives per year! And admittedly it's much easier than figuring a way to make drug dealers quit shooting at each other.

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  22. Stephen- this is a losing battle with me. The Swiss, Israelis, Finns and Swedes have nowhere near the rate of gun deaths per 100,000 that we have. That is a fact and cannot be disputed. All right- it is the availability of guns to criminals, domestic abusers, etc. that cause the problem. As you all like to say- the gun doesn't jump off the table and kill someone. It requires a person. But as long as that person has the availability of any kind of gun they want, that person and many others, will continue killing people in this country. The Swiss, Swedes and others have very different gun laws- much more restrictive, by the way, than our own. Crimes are committee by criminals, domestic abusers, adjudicated mentally ill people, drug abusers and law abiding citizens with guns.

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  23. Sorry- last comment for P and not Stephen.

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  24. Stephen- our gun violence rate is also higher by far than any other country not at war.Surely without the guns, our rate would go down. Guns are known to be deadlier and designed to kill. Other things are used- fists, feet, knives, drownings, poisonings, lamps, etc. They don't kill nearly as many people and people can get away or maybe are injured but not dead. The CDC WISQARS bears out all of this. Those are inconvenient facts for your side.

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  25. Japete.

    You're missing the point.

    The four nations I mentioned have near universal gun ownership. They also are very likely to have military issued weapons in the home.

    So in these lands of a machine gun or automatic rifle in every closet there is hardly any gun crime and very low criminal violence.

    By your reasoning, they should be ankle deep in blood everyday. But they are not. Thus by reasoning it cannot be the Guns fault. You mentioned strict laws. There are strict laws about BEHAVIORS concerning firearms.


    Finally quote. Crimes are committee by criminals, domestic abusers, adjudicated mentally ill people, drug abusers and law abiding citizens with guns. Unquote.

    Really? Did you really mean to post this?

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  26. Yup- I meant it. Jared Loughner was a law abiding citizen until he pulled the trigger. By law abiding- it means he was not a prohibited purchaser by our gun laws. And I own the amount of gun deaths in this country when compared to others to our lax gun laws and our gun culture here that seems to value guns over all else. We are unique in that regard.

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  27. Japete: “Surely without the guns, our rate would go down. Guns are known to be deadlier and designed to kill. Other things are used- fists, feet, knives, drownings, poisonings, lamps, etc. They don't kill nearly as many people and people can get away or maybe are injured but not dead.”

    This is exactly why we keep asking you to cite total murder rates as your measure of success, not just gun deaths. Citing total murder and suicide rates is the only way to prove your above statement. I get what you are saying about concentrating on guns on this blog, nothing wrong with that. And you can use rates of gun deaths as a stepping stone for evaluating gun policies, but the final goal is to save lives. Let’s say some new policy somewhere is enacted and gun deaths go down by X%. Great, now let’s see if it really worked to save lives by looking at the total rates of murder and suicide, and that our reduction in gun deaths wasn’t cancelled out by method substitution or an increase in defenseless victims. That is the disconnect that we are having in our conversations.

    Here is an example of the disconnect:

    Japete: “Well of course, Stephen- this:" firearm ownership rates have very little to do with the homicide rate in this country or any other" of course is totally false. The rate of firearm ownership in our country is more than any other country ( Canada is a close second) and what do you know? The rate of firearms homicides and overall gun deaths are much higher than any other country.”

    Stephen said a statement referring to total homicide rates, and your answer was about gun death rates. You both could be right. Your statement did not address what Stephen said, but by all accounts this does not mean that Stephen is dodging the issue of guns. Since guns are a more effective means of killing (as we all can agree), it is natural to compare the ownership rates to total murder rates (I always like to use murder instead of homicide which includes justifiable homicide) and it is more germane to the goal of saving all lives.

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  28. Actually according to the law he was a prohibited person as a habitual drug user. He was not accepted by the Army for twice failing drug tests. That was reported to his local sheriff, who failed to pursue that criminal activity.

    Calling him a legal gun owner is not true. Had the local sheriff done his job, most likely the entire event would not have happened. Nine arrests. Not once did he go to trial or even get charged in most cases. The first part of the system worked. It was the administrators and prosecutors who failed.

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  29. The system has flaws allowing people like Loughner to be treated as if they are not prohibited purchasers.

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  30. Baldr: Here is a link to a similarly-disturbing bit of legislation, from Arizona (no surprise) calling for citizen militias to help with border patrol. Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right? Oh, yeah, something already has, with the murder of a father and little girl

    That's a bit unfair, Baldr, don't you think?

    The first is legal proposed legislation by Arizona invoking its tenth amendment rights for a new government organization arising from the despair of Arizonians after the murder of a rancher and a Border Patrol agent in the past year.

    The second is an illegal heinous brutal criminal act that has been vigorously denounced by both pro-gun and anti-gun folks on this blog and elsewhere.

    If this Hispanic Oregonian was living in southern Arizona, I would volunteer for Harper's militia because I'm not too happy about people crossing our borders and killing our law enforcement officers.

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  31. I honestly don't comprehend how making an illegal activity "more illegal" achieves a different outcome (less gun violence).

    In the case of the frat party rampage, I can only guess the argument as: if there was a severe penalty for carrying on campus, the person would've left the gun at home.

    For that to work, the offender must be stable enough to understand and respect that rule.

    Trouble is, a premeditated murderer does not concern themselves with the legal consequences of their logistics.

    How many fleeing bank robbers would you expect to obey the speed limit?

    - also regarding "the system has flaws"

    Yes, but his local sheriff, a person, FAILED to execute his duty. At least that's the current info we have. We can blame the nebulous "system", or rather call out the person(s) who failed their community.

    We're on the same page with "what", but are disagreeing with "how".

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  32. I dont know if they still engage in the practice but in the mid 90s the US to UK homicide ratios were very skewed due to differences in how the two nations reported "homicides."

    For instance in the UK they tracked all murders through to completion. If a person was eventually convicted of a lesser non-homicide charge, such as reckless driving, that homicides comes off their numbers. Additionally if a person is not convicted they come off the numbers. It also did not include people who killed in self-defense.

    The US includes all self-defense deaths and any death that resulted in homicide charges, no matter if convicted or not or convicted of lesser charges.

    Additionally "Attempted Murder" counts in our rates as it is homicidal action. It counts in the UK as well, but the charge of attempted murder is much more infrequently used in the UK compared to the US. They often instead use a charge called "Malicious Wounding" that is not part of their Homicide numbers.

    My understanding is that this would not make our murder rates equal but it close the gap quite a bit.

    Of course if it is too painful for the Brits to admit and they start to get a complex about it I suppose they can always take solace that at least those people were not killed with guns...

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  33. Gun deaths are gun deaths. The numbers in the U.S. do not include attempted murders- only actual murders. As to the U.K.? " To obtain a firearm certificate, the police must be convinced that a person has "good reason" to own each firearm, and that they can be trusted with it "without danger to the public safety or to the peace"" and " Under Home Office guidelines, firearms licences are only issued if a person has legitimate sporting or work-related reasons for ownership. Since 1946, self-defence has not been considered a valid reason to own a firearm." and " A thorough background check of the applicant is then made by Special Branch on behalf of the firearms licensing department. Only when all these stages have been satisfactorily completed will a license be issued, which has to be renewed every 5 years." A Home Office study published in 2007 reported that gun crime in England & Wales remains a relatively rare event. Firearms (including air guns) were used in 21,521 recorded crimes. It said that injury caused during a firearm offence was rare with less than 3% resulting in a serious or fatal injury.[30]

    The number of homicides per year committed with firearms has remained between a range of 49 and 97 in the 8 years to 2006. There were 2 fatal shootings of police officers in England and Wales in this period and 107 non-fatal shootings - an average of 9.7 per year over the same period.[31]

    In 2005/6 the police in England and Wales reported 50 gun homicides, a rate of 0.1 illegal gun deaths per 100,000 of population. Only 6.6% of homicides involved the use of a firearm.[31]

    By way of international comparison, in 2004 the police in the United States reported 9,326 gun homicides.[32] The overall homicide rates per 100,000 (regardless of weapon type) reported by the United Nations for 1999 were 4.55 for the U.S. and 1.45 in England and Wales.[33] The homicide rate in England and Wales at the end of the 1990s was below the EU average, but the rates in Northern Ireland and Scotland were above the EU average" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom

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  34. And the Frat shooting plot thickens.

    "They fail to mention that Rogers was not legally able to own a handgun and Jones would not have been allowed had the Mahoning County Prosecutor's Office not dropped all of his felony drug charges. Neither were legal gun owners."

    http://www.examiner.com/trumbull-county-conservative-in-youngstown/university-murder-suspects-due-court#ixzz1DHlBrg6E

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  35. So your point is, Anthony? If these guys were both prohibited purchasers, where do you think they got their guns? Straw purchase at a bad apple gun dealer? Gun show? Stolen? Guns are easy to get in this country. If they had been legal, what would that have proved? To me, it would have shown that legal gun purchasers and owners also shoot people.

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  36. I think Anthony's point is that, as expected, it was a criminal and not a law abiding gun owner that shot innocent people with a gun. Apparently all the laws meant to keep guns out of their hands failed, how many more laws will it take to actually get a result? Will any number of laws ever get a result?

    I would love to keep guns out of their hands, but I don't think the removal of guns, would remove their intent or ability to cause just as much harm. These guys should not be roaming the streets, with guns or without. They should be in prison, in vocational classes, in school classes getting an education and a degree. The system doesn't want to do that though, the sytem dropped felony drug charges! What was the reason for dropping felony drug charges? This doesn't sound like a guy who would get arrested for felony drug possession in a misunderstanding, this sounds like a guy who could likely have illegal drugs in his possession at any given time.

    I agree that we need to try and restrict the availability of guns to criminals, but I disagree that innocent people should have to bear those restrictions too. There has to be a way of doing this that focuses on criminals with actual work on the ground, rather than just writing more laws.

    -DHS

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  37. "Surely without the guns, our rate would go down."

    I agree with that. No guns, maybe less deaths. But can you achieve no guns?

    The problem is that we have many people here who REALLY REALLY want guns for crimes. They want guns for crimes SO MUCH that their desire and willingness to pay for it will result in a black market that will supply them as long as there are legal guns, and will defy most gun control laws aimed at criminals.

    The result is obvious. When gun control laws aimed at criminals fail to significantly reduce shootings, gun control advocates will conclude that the answer lies in the drastic reduction of legal gun ownership.

    japete, gunowners know that's where it will eventually go, which is why they fight so hard against lesser steps now.

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  38. UK: police must be convinced that a person has "good reason" to own each firearm

    UK: Since 1946, self-defence has not been considered a valid reason to own a firearm

    japete, you seem to approve. Do you really wish to deny firearms here to any who want them for self-defence?

    It seems sort of funny for you to debate which guns or magazines gunowners "need" for self-defence if you believe that gunowners should not be permitted to own guns for self-defence at all.

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  39. Just wondering why a person with a proven history such as his would actually follow the rules you suggest? If he would not how would it make anyone safer? You suggest the removal of the ability to have LEGAL guns somewhere makes us safer but suggest no defense against ILLEGALLY owned guns in the hands of criminals with the intent to do harm. Hopefully this guy spends a long time in jail this time and is not able to harm anyone in the future.

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  40. No, what happened is some Prosecutor FAILED to prosecute existing laws when presented with a drugabusing person. There were laws in place which were not enforced. The penalty besides any jail time would have been a forfeiture of his gun rights. Writing MORE laws against guns would make NO difference if Prosecutors do not do their job and take these people to trial. We have some twenty thousand gun laws on the books and nearly as many drug laws but we see time and again Prosecutors failing to execute their duty as officers of the courts.

    Ok. Let's say the soft hearted prosecutor does not wish to saddle a teen or young adult with a felony. Ok. Make the plea include no firearms until the offender has gone Five years without a drug offense. A plea is a contract, anything can be included. We know the chances of a drug abuser making it five years with reoffending is low, so we protect all.

    We do this all the time in courts. Traffic tickets get reduced if the driver has no "likes or similars" for a year or two.

    But get the Courts to start making repeat offenders pay for their offenses. Just dropping the charges has proven to not work.

    Your statement begs for prior restraint, which has been time and again proven to Unconstitutional. That is "you are a gun owner, and because I have a feeling you are going to commit a crime I am going to ban you from having a gun".

    Well I say, Japete if you have a bottle of wine in your house, you are going to go out drunk driving tonight, therefore I am going to take your wine before you can drink it.

    If you have a car I am going to seize it because you might speed.

    I have the appropriate male parts there fore I am rapist who has not yet offended. Do you feel the need to ban those parts as well?

    Your arguments are illogical.


    290,000,000 guns are owned by legal gun owners in this country. Owned by some 80,000,000 Citizens. Some 8,000 people a year commit some 15,000 murders, far too many I agree, but that is one one hundreth of one percent of gun owners, so you desire to hinder ten thousand legal and law abiding gun owners for every offender who commits a crime with a gun? Even when studies show that if denied a gun they will find another weapon?!?

    There is no logic in this.

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  41. "The proposal for a Montana paramilitary force is particularly troublesome and beyond common sense."

    For years the gun controller interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was that it didn't protect an individual right to arms, but a collective right. Now that a state is actually pursuing that collective right, it's "troublesome"?

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  42. P, I do agree that guns don't "cause" anything. I state it differently. But, what I don't agree with is you description of Switzerland as a place with so many guns and so little gun crime. It's just not like that. You're just repeating what others have said.

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  43. "The system has flaws allowing people like Loughner to be treated as if they are not prohibited purchasers. "

    Then why don't we fix the flaws rather than enact more draconian laws that effect the rest of us?

    The sheriff's department talked people out of filing charges against this fool for making death threats, ignored his drug us and then blamed the attack on Sarah Palin. Yeah, the system broke down, so fix the system.

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  44. DHS- What restrictions would you personally suffer if guns are kept away from criminals and drug abusers?

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  45. Jay- I need to know how gun owners "know" that there will be a drastic reduction in legal gun ownership. "answer lies in the drastic reduction of legal gun ownership." Give me a concrete example of how this will work because it is not in any plan I have seen or heard of. Further, many gun owners, in fact the majority of them in poll after poll after poll, disagree that any restriction will mean loss of their guns or rights. Explain to me how the NRA is representing gun owners and it's members with it's extreme positions that have led you all to believe in the lies you apparently believe in.

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  46. What part don't you agree with? The guns or the crime?

    Shooting is a national pastime in Switzerland and all males 18-40 or so are in the army or the reserves and keep their duty weapons with them in the home. We know they have little gun crime, both of my facts are true. Easily proven true.

    Just google Swiss shooting clubs. All the information you can ask for.

    I actually spent a summer there, have you?

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  47. Jay- as you no doubt know but don't want to say, I provided that information to refute a lie that was written on this blog. The UK simply does not have the number of gun crimes and gun deaths that the U.S. has. The reason?- strict laws. That is the case in almost every other country. That is why we have the problem we have in this country. Now to say that I am advocating that very system is another lie. However, given that, it is an example of how we can actually reduce the number of gun deaths. I hold it out there as an example of how other countries deal with the problems. You guys feel so "put upon" by any restriction. People in other countries have learned to live with different laws. They are not gun nuts. They have guns but they are not killing people in such great numbers. So, maybe that is what it will take. I have no illusions that we can get to that point in this country because you all would rise up against any such thing and maybe even use your guns to make sure it didn't happen. What do you suggest then? I am in favor of some restrictions to keep criminals, etc. from easy access to guns. Do you have an idea? I haven't heard a thing about that except to punish people and give them stricter sentences and send them to jail. That hasn't been working out so well has it?

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  48. Now Anthony- really? Do you believe what you just said? I am advocating always for ways to keep illegal guns away from illegal people. These guys were not in the NICS and therefore, likely "legal". Or perhaps they were in NICS as prohibited purchasers but, as I said, and ad nauseum by the way, it's too easy for people like them to get guns anyway. What is your suggestion? If they had been put in jail, maybe. Are people like this routinely jailed? Jails are so full that sometimes they are not sent there or let out early. That is another problem no one is addressing here. It costs lots of money to keep people in overcroweded jails and prisons and no one wants to fork over tax money to solve that problem. Give me your ideas. You know very well that I am talking about illegal guns. But I need to remind you that buying at a gun show from a private seller without a background check is legal in most states.

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  49. P= I wrote about this above. Your argument is fallacious. Keeping guns away from those admittedly small number of people would stop them from killing the about 15,000 ( or less actually) people a year. Any other cause of death that killed that many people is dealt with by doing studies, trying to find ways to reduce it and resources and national attention given to it. It also does not include the about 17,000 gun suicides which are preventable and the accidental deaths ( about 800 a year or more) that are clearly even more preventable. To try to liken it to drinking or driving is a false analogy. We do things about those, by the way. We have speed limits, we have drinking/driving laws, we have seat belts, we have air bags. As to rape- yikes- that's a new one. It's total nonsense to equate your male sexual anatomy with a gun. Are your male body parts designed to kill someone or rape someone? I hope not. Guns are designed to kill. There is no other use except that people use them to target practice in anticipation of needing them to kill or injure.

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  50. Aztec- interesting remark. Now that you guys finally got the individual rights interpretation, you have moved on to wanting the collective right. What's that all about?

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  51. I'm all about fixing the system, including the private sale loophole for guns and cracking down on bad apple gun dealers as well as other measures to make sure that the wrong people don't have easy access to guns.

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  52. P- I think you just made my point: " Shooting is a national pastime in Switzerland and all males 18-40 or so are in the army or the reserves and keep their duty weapons with them in the home. We know they have little gun crime, both of my facts are true. Easily proven true. " And no, I have not spent a summer in Switzerland though I have visited the country.

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  53. "DHS- What restrictions would you personally suffer if guns are kept away from criminals and drug abusers?"

    Well let's see, you advocated for banning "assault weapons", "sniper rifles", and "high capacity magazines". Many rifles I use and plan to purchase can be put in one of those categories, so that is a restriction I must suffer even though I do no harm to anybody. Are you going to require NICS checks for every private sale, or just gun shows? It doesn't make sense to regulate private sales at gun shows, but not outside gun shows. You're going to support expanding the NICS system to handle extra calls and teach people how to call in correctly? I don't like the idea of the government getting involved in private sales, that's my personal business. What if they decide that while these sales are being called in, they could charge a tax too? Put people who purchase firearms frequently on a list? Having people do NICS checks is a novel idea and on paper I like it a lot, but in practice it won't keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It might slow down a few criminals and make them work a little harder, but you're not going to see any difference. There has to be something more effective.

    I completely understand your point, make guns less available to criminals, so their supplies are lowered. That doesn't require restricting my guns or regulating me left and right. That requires going out there and getting those guns off the streets, and making illegally owning one have very unfavorable (for the criminal, not us) outcomes. Yes, jails are full and we can't afford to pay for more jails. We need a different punishment system, one that puts prisoners to work to teach them a trade skill and generate money to run the prison. That way instead of just being a hardened criminal when they get out, they have skills to get a job. Not perfect but it would help.

    You also cannot compare different countries in regards to gun crimes, you're comparing entirely different cultures, different socio-economic conditions and trends, many other different laws, different locations on the planet. England banned handguns altogether, and that didn't stop crime. Before and after their various gun bans, they've generally had a lower crime rate than the US. The only useful comparison you could make, would be a short term before and after gun ban in the same country. You just cannot compare two very different countries on one issue. That would be like doing a drug test where the control group and test group are each entirely different ethnicities, you're results aren't going to mean anything because the two groups have significant genetic differences.

    Those comparisons P made earlier were not meant to compare cars or rape to guns, it was meant to make a point about presuming intent just because the means are available. You can't treat all gun owners like potential killers just because they own something suitable for killing, just like you can't treat all car owners like potential DWI's because they own a car and have access to alcohol.

    Also, what does this comment mean? "There is no other use except that people use them to target practice in anticipation of needing them to kill or injure." Most people own guns to shoot targets for fun, not to practice killing. If it were to practice killing, we would be simulating real life situations, not sitting at fixed distances. You can't look at benchrest shooters, and tell me they're practicing to kill.

    -DHS

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  54. DHS-" That doesn't require restricting my guns or regulating me left and right." Exactly and to say so or think so is a faulty conclusion on your part. As to going out on the streets to get those illegal guns, what did you have in mind there? As to may comment, I mean that the only reasons guns and large capacity magazines exist is for killing. Guns are designed as weapons, pure and simply. If you enjoy target shooting just for target shooting, that's great. But I think some do their target shooting to hone their skills so they are ready to kill at any moment if they think they will need to. Comparing stats with other countries? You guys brought that into this conversation as I recall. I am just responding. Sometimes the conversations here get so convoluted that I have forgotten my original point. That is by design of the people who write in their comments, I believe. Divergionary tactics.

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  55. "Aztec- interesting remark. Now that you guys finally got the individual rights interpretation, you have moved on to wanting the collective right. What's that all about?"

    Most fun owners want all rights. To them, rights aren't a zero sum game. Collective rights and individual rights can co-exist.

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  56. Not all the gun rights people agree on specifics or have common tactics for posting comments.

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  57. All this talk of comparing the United States to other countries is silly. The United States is not Canada is not England is not Japan is not Switzerland. The United States is a relatively young country founded by rebels who couldn't tolerate the way things were done in other countries. Our nation was founded by fighters who were willing to give up everything for their freedom. Even as recent as the migration of the Mormons to the Salt Lake area, we see this drive amongst a core group of our citizens to push and fight and persevere against overwhelming and deadly odds. It is the same drive that put Americans on the moon and fuels the innovation that sets our country apart from all others. It is the drive that draws illegal aliens into our country amidst the threat of death. This is why the United States defended England and set France free. It is why we are now Japan's protector, the Chinese build the products that we design, and why we are stabilizing the Middle East.

    The NRA taps into this ancestral memory to keep it alive amidst a small short memory minority that is driving to turn us all into gelatinous time-bombs.

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  58. Yes I am serious you continue to push for more places that guns are/should be banned. It obviously does not stop people from going there and killing people but it will stop the people that could otherwise legally carry. I have asked 5 or 6 times how someone should defend themselves in a no gun zone against a active shooter. You have never even given a suggestion. In this instance you used an off campus and I would guess that the shooter was not a student to show that we should ban guns on campus.

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  59. What is a faulty conclusion on my part, that a renewed and revised AWB isn't going to infringe on my rights? That McCarthy's magazine ban bill wouldn't infringe on my rights?

    Throwing criminals in jail won't infringe on my rights. Properly sharing information between government agencies isn't going to infringe on my rights. Spending money on undercover stings to bust gun runners in NYC, rather than harassing people in Arizona, isn't infringing on my rights.

    As for comparing different countries, both sides brought up comparisons I believe. Usually gun control advocates say "look at x country, they have stricter gun laws and less crime", and the pro-gun advocates say "look at x country, these crimes increased immediately following a gun ban", or "look at y country, they have plenty of guns but low crime". There's no point in comparing different countries to ours, to determine what we need to do. They are not the US, what works for them will not work for us. All we can establish is that obviously people commit crimes with or without guns, and the greater the number of guns in existence, the greater the number of crimes that may be committed with them, though the number of crimes overall remains about the same.

    I think both sides are right and both sides are wrong. A reduction in the number of guns in existence will reduce the number of guns in criminals hands, but it's not going to reduce the number of criminals. Taking the guns out of law abiding people's hands will ensure that criminals have defenseless victims.

    What do I think the answer is?
    Come down really hard on the people trafficking guns, come down really hard on the criminals using guns, bust gun running rings and seize all the guns. And most importantly, solve some of the problems that our society has. Obviously we can't have a utopia, but we have a failed prison system that isn't making many criminals change their lives. We have a failed education system that is letting kids drop out and join gangs rather than go to school and get jobs. We have this huge loss of the manufacturing industries, so there are far fewer jobs. Correcting all these things takes a lot of time and work, it's much harder than just saying "oh, well then let's just ban that", and then go write another law saying you can't do or have x. It's like the politicians have convinced everybody that just making a law will solve problems, that somehow work isn't required to fix things, just making rules will somehow make problems disappear.

    -DHS

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  60. Japete

    My argument was about the Unconstitution concept that you were suggesting about guilt prior to any evidence of criminal behavior. There are millions of farmers who have diesel oil and ammonia Nitrate fertilizer. Simply having those same components as Timothy Mcvee used does not mean you intend on doing as Mcvee did. There has to be Constructive Intent before things become a crime.

    You statements that guns are only designed to kill is based In ignorance. Yes, pretty much all guns could kill, but that is not the intended use. All cars could kill, all America could be used for arson. It's the intent of the user that matter.

    In earlier posts you decry the concept that Constituion carry does not require training, or practicing. Yet here you claim that target practice is just training to kill. Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

    You are living in fear. I am far more afraid of getting kied in a car crash from a drunk than from a legal gun owner. I am far more afraid of getting killed by a texting 17 year old girl driving Daddy's car than of getting killed by hoodlum with a gun because I get exposed to her many times a day and overall, she's probably more lethal in terms of numbers killed every year.

    She has a more powerful weapon too.

    Finally. How does contradicting your self over Switzerland make your point?

    If your point is the mere presence of guns and availability equals high crime, then why do those nations have universal gun presence and no crime. That makes MY point. Not yours.

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  61. Migo- you had me until this: " The NRA taps into this ancestral memory to keep it alive amidst a small short memory minority that is driving to turn us all into gelatinous time-bombs. " Are you serious?

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  62. Sad to say, Anthony, that I am not sure someone can actually defend themselves in these situations which is why I don't advocate for the carrying of guns everywhere. I would rather work on stopping the shootings and the shooter in the first place by denying them easy access to guns. We haven't really tried that in this country. In fact, we have gone the other way and make it easy for people who shouldn't have guns to get them. That is a huge difference between us.

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  63. DHS- I don't think laws will solve all the problems. They are only part of teh solution but they need to be part of the solution. So far, we have refused to allow the laws to be part of the solution. And as to this: "I think both sides are right and both sides are wrong. A reduction in the number of guns in existence will reduce the number of guns in criminals hands, but it's not going to reduce the number of criminals. Taking the guns out of law abiding people's hands will ensure that criminals have defenseless victims."I am not saying to take YOUR guns away. Where have you found that I am saying that? I am not convinced that your having your guns in a public place will protect you the way you envision it but if you want your gun in a public place, please do be extremely careful with it. It's a deadly weapon. Someone could steal it. Someone could grab it and use it against you. It could fall out of a pocket. Accidents have and do happen.

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  64. Let's get our terms straight here, P. A car is not designed as a weapon making it instantly different from a gun. Cars cause more accidental deaths than guns. That's a fact. Texting teens cause accidents- I don't deny that. We have passed laws against such behavior and we have passed all kinds of laws to make cars and drivers more safe. Why not do the same with guns, which are actual weapons designed to kill? That's all we want? Why don't you want this as well? If you want it for cars and drivers why don't you want it for guns? What's the difference then? If you want to equate cars with guns then let's equate laws making cars and drivers safer with laws making guns and users safer. Let's keep cars away from drunk drivers and underage or very old folks with impaired reasoning capacity. Let's keep guns away from people who will not use them responsibly.

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  65. Lets make cars and guns similar...

    In most places ANYONE, even one without a drivers license can purchase an autombile, motorcycle, bulldozer, farm tractor, race car, etc. with no real record keeping aside for tax paperwork and drive it to their hearts content on private property.

    A license allows you to drive it on public roads and and spaces (parking lots, etc.)

    So if we treat guns like cars...

    Any American can purchase pistols, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, etc. at a store with no liscensing, testing, background checks, or registration. They can then shoot these weapons on private property to their hearts content.

    Then at 16-18 years of age, the owner can take a simple test, show proficiency with their weapon, pay a nominal fee and be liscensed in all 50 states to possess that weapon in public areas.

    Sounds like a plan to me!

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  66. Not even close to a good plan. Of course you love to mock things and come up with ridiculous analogies. Nice try though.

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  67. You again did not site a defense against an active shooter. Lets make it simple and choose an active shooter like the one Colin Goddard survived. You are in a hall where the only exit on the second floor is into the hall where the gunman is on. Now if you do not want to carry and hope for the best I am fine with that but you had better have a plan to defend yourself. Now I know you are going to say that he said if he had a gun he would have probably been shot to death but he has put himself on one side of the equation and it is easy to make that statement to support his other argument. I wonder if all the victims would have chosen not to defend themselves given the ability for hindsight.

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  68. How do gunowners know that the plans of gun control advocates will lead to drastic reductions in legal gun ownership? By looking at those places that gun control advocates praise and hold up as good examples.

    They praise the UK, which prohibits gun ownership for self-defense. They praise Australia, which banned and confiscated all semiauto and pump action hunting rifles and shotguns.

    And when gunowners say that gun ownership for self-defense may be in danger, and popular hunting guns may be banned, gun control advocates can't figure out where gunowners got such ideas from?

    Really?

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  69. Japete: “Texting teens cause accidents- I don't deny that. We have passed laws against such behavior and we have passed all kinds of laws to make cars and drivers more safe. Why not do the same with guns, which are actual weapons designed to kill? That's all we want?”

    And what laws do we have to ensure that teens CAN’T text and drive anyway? If we want to compare that act to felons buying guns at gun shows- which is already illegal, but you have to be caught doing it in order to be prosecuted. A very small percentage of people who text and drive are prosecuted for it and it’s usually because they were involved in a accident that sparks investigators to check phone records. A lot of laws are like that for cars and guns- we make it illegal and prosecute those who are caught. You want to STOP people from texting while driving (which is what you strive for gun control)- then pass a law forcing phone companies to disable that feature when the phone is traveling over a certain MPH. Sure it is going to inconvenience some law abiding passengers, but it is for the common good, right? Or we could mandate that all cars be equipped with breathalyzer interlocks and not just drivers with multiple DUIs. Since you want to prevent shooting from happening in the first place, you would certainly want to prevent drunk drivers from killing in the first place (especially those who were law abiding right up to the point where they turned the key).

    Anyway, we do the same types of things for guns with no protest from us gun-rights folk. Guns are safer than they have ever been. Modern guns pretty much have to have the trigger pulled in order to discharge- the industry strives for this without any need for government intervention because their customers demand it. There are laws against carrying while intoxicated. I have never met anyone who doesn’t think this is a good idea. I say punish those who do wrong, but leave the rest of us alone; drivers and gun owners.

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  70. Apparently, Jay, you can't read what we say and figure out what it means. We mean what we say- not what the NRA says we say or what we mean. It's pretty simple, really.

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  71. We have, as you now know by my writings, no intention to bother you guys who are law abiding.

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  72. You dont think people should conceal carry. I conceal carry, legally I may add. Sounds like you are acting with intent to bother to me.

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  73. "Apparently, Jay, you can't read what we say and figure out what it means. We mean what we say- not what the NRA says we say or what we mean. It's pretty simple, really."

    Okay -- let's take a look. I own a copy of the book "Guns Don't Die, People Do" by "Pete" Shields, who was chairman of HCI (which became the BC). From chapter 3:

    "It is important to understand that our organization, Handgun Control, Inc., does not propose further controls on rifles and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are not the problem; they are not concealable."

    japete, did Shields mean what he said? Did his organization not propose propose further controls on rifles and shotguns?

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  74. "We have, as you now know by my writings, no intention to bother you guys who are law abiding."

    Except by banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, banning .50 caliber rifles, banning imported guns, banning "assault weapons", etc., etc.

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  75. But then why support restrictions on 'high capacity magazines', or 'sniper rifles' or support an 'assault weapon' ban? Why support heavy restrictions on where people may carry guns?

    You can say that you don't want to take anything away from law abiding gun owners, and I don't believe that you are lying, but when the policies and legislation you advocate for are going to have that effect, it's difficult to understand what you mean. Especially when you cite the gun crime statistics in a country that has very strict gun laws or has taken away guns from law abiding people. If you cite those nations as positive models, it implies that you agree with their gun laws, which is a threat to the law abiding gun owner. Remember that the intent of a policy is not necessarily the outcome. A law could intend to disarm criminals, but ends up applying to us, and we've seen laws written this way in the past, so we are very wary of it.

    A restriction on where we can carry firearms bothers us law abiding gun owners. I know some people are careless, some people are not as responsible or as smart, and may not carry a gun very safely, but it has proven to be relatively very infrequent. A gun owner who carries a weapon for defense does not have to draw the weapon in every possible scenario. Courses that teach concealed carry and self defense, teach when to draw a gun and when not to, when to fire and when to hold fire. The responsible gun owner doesn't pull a gun at the first sign of trouble and look to start shooting. The responsible gun owner observes the situation and determines what the best action is, and only draws their gun if they are certain that a failure to do so will result in a worser outcome.

    And yes, laws are part of the solution, but laws upon laws upon laws are not going to build an effective solution. Every solution requires work and effort, with rules for guidance. Rules alone do not make solutions. What I think we really should do, is scrub all the gun laws, all the bans, import restrictions, everything, and start over. New agency to deal with firearms, new laws to guide this agency in the pursuit of criminals, rather than masses of regulatory and ban legislation, new NICS system, new licensing rules, new regulations that actually make sense. I'd like to see something that kept better tabs on criminals, gathered and shared good intel on gun traffickers and other dangerous individuals, ensured that the correct 'bad people' are in the NICS system, and that there are agents who can investigate when certain people get denied by NICS. All without telling me what, how, and when, I am allowed to have guns. That wouldn't be very popular amongst the gun control group though, who focus on controlling guns, rather than criminals. I'd like it though, clean up the web of ineffective laws, and build a system that makes illegal gun ownership very difficult.

    -DHS

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  76. P, Instead of repeating the tired old talking points and selectively reading the pro-gun sites on Switzerland, why don't you check out what my blogging partner had to say about it recently.

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  77. Pete Shields died. That was many years ago. For "Pete"s sake"- can't you guys realize that we are living in 2011? Things are not the same with the Brady Campaign as they were when the organization began as Handgun Control, Inc. Think about what you are saying. What is the organization saying today? The NRA used to be an organization that supported hunters and teaching people about gun safety. Look what it is today! Much different. Things change.

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  78. DHS-You missed my point. It is much more of a bother for people to be shot every day. If you guys can't live with a few restrictions on your own guns or where you can carry ( which by the way, you did not used to be able to do and lived just fine when those restrictions were in place before CCW laws passed) to stop felons, and others from having guns, then you just plain don't care about the gun deaths and injuries. I don't know how else to put it. This is to stop people who shouldn't have guns. As long as everyone can have them wherever they want them, then ANYONE can have them wherever they want them.

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  79. you had me until this: "The NRA taps into this ancestral memory to keep it alive amidst a small short memory minority that is driving to turn us all into gelatinous time-bombs." Are you serious?

    Yes, I was serious. The NRA capitalizes on patriotism and our rich history to invigorate its membership. They also capitalize on a recent trend by a few activist school systems to deny children, the future of us, the natural right to express or defend themselves. Even Marshall Rosenberg, a well respected leader in non-violent communication, teaches that protective force is sometimes necessary.

    In the story I linked to, a child was being bullied and wasn't allowed to defend himself for fear of expulsion. So he took his repressed pain home where it manifested itself as frustration and anger. What will he be like in 15 years? Another Cho, Kinkel, or Loughner?

    I'm sorry if this tangent from comparing the US to other countries appears to hijack your blog, but I believe Common Gunsense is much more about the person pulling the trigger than the trigger itself.

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  80. Whoa there, Migo. Did you read the link you just sent me? Nowhere does it say that guns should be used to protect children. What are you thinking here? From the site: " In situations where there is no opportunity for communication, such as in instances of imminent danger, we may need to resort to the protective use of force. The intention behind the protective use of force is to prevent injury or injustice, never to punish or to cause individuals to suffer, repent, or change. The punitive use of force tends to generate hostility and to reinforce resistance to the very behavior we are seeking. Punishment damages goodwill and self-esteem, and shifts our attention from the intrinsic value of an action to external consequences. Blaming and punishing fail to contribute to the motivations we would like to inspire in others."

    This appears to be contrary to a point you are trying to make here. I don't get it. This whole site is full of non violent solutions and raising children in a non violent atmosphere plus much talk about breast feeding and natural foods. What is your point in sending this link? I am confused and puzzled by it. Your continued attempts to correlate what is going on in other countries to the U.S. does not hijack my blog. It just shows how wrong you all are. If the person pulling the trigger is someone prohibited from having a gun because of easy access to guns due to lax laws, then it is about the trigger which should not be in the hands of that person. We can prevent that from happening.

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  81. I read that link and I'm familiar with Marshall Rosenberg's techniques. So, I am most certainly not advocating that young children resort to the use of weapons to handle non-lethal violence against them and most certainly never ever for punishment.

    My point is that children today are being told they will be expelled if they defend themselves. So they put up with bullying and that changes them in ways I fear.

    For example, suppose Tony approaches Jared with a needle and attempts to stab him with it. I believe Jared should be able to protect himself from that needle without fear of expulsion. He might have to push Tony away, knock the needle out of his hand with a book or bag, kick him, or whatever protective use of force is required to keep the needle away from him. Those actions would get Jared expelled in some schools today, so Jared allows himself to be stabbed by the needle and that seething resentment manifests itself against society some time in the future.

    Fast forward into that future and we now have a sociopath that will find a way to get a gun into a school to exact his revenge. Now, protective use of force does require a lethal weapon, a gun, which is why there is now a push to allow students with concealed carry permits to carry in colleges and universities.

    But do you see where we are now? Requiring a gun in school for protective use of force?

    Wouldn't it be better for everyone to allow younger kids to defend themselves at school so that their self-esteem isn't damaged and they don't develop into future sociopaths?

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  82. " My point is that children today are being told they will be expelled if they defend themselves. So they put up with bullying and that changes them in ways I fear." Have you worked in a school Migo or with small children? It just doesn't work this way. Bullying is definitely discouraged and punished when it is discovered but is generally not dealt with by telling a child to fight back. It is rather dealt with from the aspect of the bully him or herself and working with them to find a different way to communicate and relate to other children. What comes to mind is "use words" rather than physical confrontation. But as we know, even words are harmful so then we work on what kind of words, gestures and non verbal communication is used. I do not agree with your assertion.

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  83. I don't think Migo's point was about guns specifically, rather it was that there is a trend in schools telling kids that they can't ever stand up for themselves or defend themselves, they have to take the bullying or get in trouble. Yea, the school has a responsibility to deal with the bully, but how often does that actually happen? Schools won't touch anything now because they're afraid of getting sued. If kids are told that they have no recourse, where does that go? They become angry and frustrated, it's incredibly destructive of a child's mind. That is not a positive trend. The NRA is not just about guns, they are about culture and society too, people in the NRA want to fix other problems too.

    I don't understand why I say we have to go stop criminals and reduce crime overall, and you only say we must restrict guns. Restricting guns is not going to stop criminals from harming people. We already have restrictions on how we can use guns, most states have detailed laws about how and when you can employ deadly force, and many states have requirements before issuing a CCW license. BTW, I can't CCW here on Long Island, we're hoping to change that soon though. I've already had a close call at work where two guys, high out of their minds, came walking down the street. One even thought my flashlight was a gun. Luckily he just kept on walking, but he could just have well become violent, and all I have to defend myself is a damn flashlight.

    And I still don't see how restricting where I can carry, is going to affect where criminals will carry. Unless you put a metal detector in every doorway, how do you plan to keep criminals with guns out of certain places? How?

    And we don't want everyone and anyone to own guns. And we don't want to be treated like potential criminals. You don't treat owners of other things that criminals use like potential criminals. And of course I care about people getting hurt with guns, as much as I care about people getting hurt with knives, drugs, cars, baseball bats, disease, pollutants, large objects falling from the sky, etc. I just don't see how these regulations are going to affect criminals.

    I guess we just cannot ever see eye to eye. I want to stop criminals themselves, you want to attempt to disarm them with rules. I want to disarm them too, but I don't think regulating me is going to disarm them. I think going after the guns actually in their hands, and throwing them in jail for illegally owning those guns, is going to disarm them. I think getting kids off the streets, is going to keep them from committing crimes with guns in the first place. I think going out there and getting dirty, letting criminals know that we're watching them, coming for their guns, and that everybody they might try to victimize, may be armed, is going to help stop them.

    -DHS

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  84. DHS- "I think going out there and getting dirty, letting criminals know that we're watching them, coming for their guns, and that everybody they might try to victimize, may be armed, is going to help stop them." I just don't see how this will work. It hasn't worked so far. I am not saying we can stop every criminal nor every crime. As you well know, I am also not saying I am going after you. You guys just have to stop thinking that you are somehow victims here. Your guns will not be taken from you. Nor your rights to buy or own guns. The laws are intended to stop the wrong people who can't or won't be responsible with guns from getting them- right now it's too easy for them to gain access to guns. We need to make it harder. And if that makes it a bit harder for you as well by asking you to fill out some extra paper work, it is worth it for the end result. And that is NOT and I repeat NOT, taking away your guns or your rights.

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  85. What extra paperwork? Do you want everyone to go through a full background investigation and get a license before they can buy a gun? Have to go through an FFL with every personal sale? I still fail to see how that will keep criminals from committing crimes. I understand your point, but I don't see it really stopping criminals from finding alternate sources of firearms and weapons.

    I agree that we need to prevent any more legally owned firearms from being purchased by the wrong people, but I don't see how any new laws will prevent what is already illegal.

    I agree it's too easy for the wrong people to get guns, but I think the reason for that isn't just lax laws. There are already a lot of guns on the streets, there are ways people find of getting around the rules. I have a different method of making it more difficult, one that I think will have far better results. I just don't see how new regulations are going to keep people from beating the system or finding new sources of guns. However, I can see how going out there and finding the gun traffickers and throwing them in jail, and taking illegally owned guns off the streets, would have a significant impact. We do it already and it is successful, it's just not done nearly on the scale it needs to be done on.

    And so you are in no way supportive of any magazine ban, 'assault weapon' ban, 'sniper rifle' ban, .50 cal ban, etc? Because before you seemed to bu supportive of such policies, which would be taking away my guns.

    -DHS

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  86. Joan, I completely agree with you on handling bullying. I too prefer a non-violent solution that includes changing the bully's behavior. The best solutions are non-violent and have the greatest long term benefits.

    But what if the bully simply won't listen and continues his attack despite the pleas, requests, and reasons made by the victim? In this case, the protective use of force is necessary. This is not coming from me, but from an expert in non-violent communication.

    All I'm saying is that this push to punish children for defending themselves or from expressing themselves, like bringing a Lego toy to school that has a tiny little Lego gun, must stop! It's silly. It's extreme. It's dangerous. It frightens me.

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  87. I agree with Migo here. Of course the answer to every problem isn't violence, but sometimes all other solutions fail, and your remaining two options, are to sit there and continue to be victimized, or take a stand and defend yourself. Whether it's with a playground bully, or a gang terrorizing a neighborhood.

    And now kids are denied so much freedom to just be kids, they're not allowed to make and experience mistakes, to learn from anything and understand why. This and that is prohibited left and right, and it doesn't make any sense to them, they haven't experienced why. This is an entire other topic to get into, though this sort of treatment of children does explain a lot of disturbing behavior, emotions, and violence that kids display, because they weren't allowed to experience and learn things to understand why some things are good, and some bad.

    And then when you punish a kid for something as stupid as having a GI Joe toy with a little plastic gun, it's insane. What kind of message does that send to a kid? That's not teaching them that violence or hate is bad, it teaches them that they are bad, it teaches them to hate because they are treated bad and with no respect. "Maybe if we tell him he's a very bad person and punish him and make him feel like a bad person, then he'll learn to respect and obey us". And people are scratching their heads wondering why it's harder and harder to connect with kids and get them to listen and behave. But this is starting to get off topic, I just wanted to agree with what Migo said.

    -DHS

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  88. Pete Shields died. That was many years ago... can't you guys realize that we are living in 2011?

    I understand, japete. And when in 10 years gun control advocates are trying to do what they told gunowners they would not do in 2011, I am sure that someone will say:

    Our spokesman who said that died.

    That was many years ago.

    Can't you guys realize that we are living in 2021?

    Things are not the same.

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  89. To a point, I do agree with some of this, DH and you are right- it is off topic and for another day. I read a good blog post about someone who wanted to make sure that her kids plastic play guns weren't banned because kids use guns while playing not necessarily in an evil way. My own son played with some guns and used sticks or other things as guns. He is a pretty peaceful adult and does not own guns. I watch my grandsons do the same. That is not necessarily all bad. But it's a fine line between encouraging self defense and actually promotingl violence. That's also for another time.

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  90. Whatever, Jay. I have nothing else to say.

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  91. One more thing...

    "The NRA used to be an organization that supported hunters and teaching people about gun safety. Look what it is today! Much different."

    But has the most relevant thing, their position on gun control, really changed? Let's see:

    In the days to which you refer, the NRA used to give out semiauto "M-1" carbines free to many of it's members for target shooting (they got them free from the US govt). Suppose that, back then, someone proposed banning them (they would indeed be banned by the latest "assault weapon" ban proposals).

    What do you think the NRA would have said? "Sure, go ahead, no problem?"

    Really?

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  92. Mike b

    He's wrong, he used a couple of quotes from a couple of people who got written up in the paper.

    First off. Every one does have military weapons in the house. Yes, the law says locked up, BUT private citizens have the key to their own locks So if one wished to have evil intent, the was is in their pocket

    I spent my time outside of Berne, and every Weds night the whole family I stayed with went shooting at the town range. It was a village event. Maybe three hundred shooters. Almost all were shooting private rifles which were "tuned" copies of their military rifles.

    Your blogging partner read some news clips, I was there, if you wish to believe some one who read about it over someone who lived there for a month with family, go ahead.

    As to the military ammo being "registered". Not really, they ae required to have x amount on hand depending on the weapon and the assigned position. The house I was in had a rifleman/scout. He had several boxes of ammo as well as several boxes of 40mm grenades, some smoke some high explosive. His brother was a machine gunner, he had at least 400 rounds along side the weapon. Some six hundred yards or so down the road from the farm was a cache site. I was told it held resupply material for the local populace. I was not allowed in but it was a concrete doorway into the side of the mountain.

    The third week I was there I spent several days taking short trips around. Going from my hosts to Lucerne, Geneva, and other places, in the various small towns I would here range fire in the evenings. I saw people carrying gun cases through small towns. The Swiss rely heavily on tourism and seek to keep a low profile. They are not naive enough to not understand that some consider the visual presence of firearms unsettling particularly in the big cities. Get into the villages and scenes of young men and women carrying rifles and shotguns is common enough as to be nominal.

    Again mike I am sure you will trust your blogger buddy who read about it over someone who spent 3 1/2 moths months living with relatives there

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  93. P, Actually I believe what you're saying. What you experienced is rural living which is more or less the same everywhere. You could have been describing the difference between a small town in Montana, which would be very different from the capital city.

    What I object to are all the sweeping statements about Switzerland and Finland as places with lots of gun availability and little gun violence. They're misleading.

    You've seen the report not too long ago about the guns-per-capita? After the U.S., at a distant second was Yemen.

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  94. Ahh guns per capita, finland Sweden, switzerland and Israel have near universal gun possession. The may not call it ownership because they are duty weapons. I still believe the percentage of ownership is much higher judging from my experience.

    Even in the Cities on Fridays you would see young men lined up all over takin the rail lines to training carrying their gear with them.

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