Will Aurora Massacre Change the Gun Laws?
In the wake of the devastating massacre in Aurora, CO on Friday, most of the conversations have gone from “How?” and “Why?” to “Is there anything to be done that can effectively prevent future massacres?” The first answer is altering the gun control laws, and the discussion ends in the same results as expected.
The conservatives make the argument that it's unconstitutional to restrict firearm ownership and it wouldn't really do anything anyway. They argue that these criminals would get their hands on guns whether it was legal or not to do so. There is some validity to this argument. Republican Senator, Ron John (Wisconsin) defends guns laws saying if "a responsible individual had been carrying a weapon, maybe - maybe - they could have prevented the death and injuries."
That is one enormous maybe because the other side of that coin is MAYBE more people could be dead or injured. It's true that every senseless massacre is an isolated incident; however in this case there was tear gas involved and vision wasn't clear. Imagine if more than one Good Samaritan was carrying a weapon and they all started shooting. They could eventually start shooting each other confusing one another for the actual suspect.
If so many people believe that having rights to carry a gun will in fact help in a situation like this, then why aren't more people carrying? Then we can go to a movie or the mall without fear, and feel comfort in knowing that some hero is sitting among us that will be a great shot against a semi-automatic rifle, shotgun and handgun.
In keeping the gun laws the way they are, then more "responsible individuals" as Sen. Ron Johnson says, need to start carrying a firearm if they're actually capable of protecting the public from senseless acts of harm like this. Otherwise, we sit back, nothing changes, and we just accept this as the very expensive price of "freedom." It's very difficult to call the loss of these victims a "price" when they were all very special and priceless individuals to many parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.
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We have to do something about crazy people. We always hear first that the shooters were just normal guys. Shortly after, we hear that everybody around them thought they were nuts but could not do anything about it.
I don’t really have an answer, but I think we need to talk about it. We have defined rights so broadly that we can rarely act to prevent acts of crazy violence.
RE gun control -The “debate” has become something like abortion, with extremists on both sides controlling discussion.
I don’t see any reason to permit weapons that can create such mass damage. Presumably, you would not need that to shoot deer and skunks.
We also have to point out, however, that there have been gun massacres in places like Germany, Norway, Finland and the UK which have strong gun control laws.
Beyond that, China has had a string of crazy people massacring children with knives and hatchets. If you google the subject, you will find lots of them. In a couple of months in 2010 there were six incidents killing dozens of kids. The Chinese authorities keep it as quiet as they can, so we don’t hear much about it.
I am not trying to shift blame here. What I am trying to show is that in China, a place that is like the U.S. in no particulars regarding freedom of movement and gun control, produces similar pathologies.
Speaking of gun control itself in the U.S., I doubt that President Obama will advocate it. As far as I can tell, it is only Feinstein among serious politicians who is seriously advocating it.
The 2nd Amendment, a Constitutional right of all Americans, has been so watered down and infringed upon that the only thing really left is registration and banning.
So what further changes to our 2nd Amendment right do you want that will be effective in stopping further mass murders?
I have the same question as Tim. I’ve heard a lot of folks over the past week say we need “tougher” gun laws with Sen. Feinstein going further by saying we need to bring back the expired provisions of the Brady Bill (something a Republican President said he would sign).
But what law(s) would like to see in response to this horrible event?
This is a dead issue; there is not a single Democrat Representative or Senator who would touch this issue with a 10’ poll. If Obama jumps on the bandwagon, with some of the radicals on the left who are calling for more gun control, it would be the last nail in the re-election campaign. More and more American people are getting their CCW permits every day. There are now millions of Americans carrying concealed weapons and this freedom to protect one’s own self will be hard to reverse. The American people have come to the conclusion that the police CANNOT protect you and their job is simply to clean up after the crime has been committed. Close to 1/3 of Americans have firearms in their possession, and the SCOTUS has declared the 2nd Amendment stands as written.
Instead of the typical knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy, the politicians and anti-gun groups should wait until an investigation has been completed. There can be no doubt that existing gun laws have been violated in the Colorado shooting case.
As far as the type of guns Americans can own; there are already Class III license required for full auto weapons. Everything else is semi-auto and when the liberals start debating and writing law for gun control, it never fails that they try to put restrictions on weapons that include weapons used by hunters. Example: when John Kerry was at one of his “I’m a hunter too” campaign photo ops, the shotgun he was hunting with was a gun that would have been banned under the gun law he supported. This was brought out by the NRA, and Kerry looked like an idiot.
People already don’t trust Obama and his supposed support of 2nd Amendment rights; the best thing the Democrats could do is stay out of this one.
To George and Kctim:
The law I would like to see is the ban of semiautomatic weapons. And no kctim, despite whatever your imagination sees when you read the constitution this would not involve a ‘change to the 2nd amendment’
But as Frank says, it’s a dead issue.
Schwamp, it doesn’t matter if I accept the Constitution as the founders meant it or if your imagination sees it as a living thing to be changed willy nilly to sate your fears.
The fact of the matter is that you are going to have to re-interpret, yet again, in order to ban “semi-automatic” weapons.
You see, unlike “fully automatic” weapons, there are millions and millions of semi-auto weapons in the hands of millions and millions of individuals exercising their 2nd Amendment right as it is currently defined.
Now, you can pretend that redefining the 2nd Amendment to no longer include semi-auto weapons will make people line up to surrender their right to government, but you know that won’t happen.
The ONLY way to strip individuals of your fears is confiscation and the ONLY way to effectivly accomplish that is with search and seizure.
If we are going to allow government to search our persons whenever it wants and to seize our property whenever it wants, should we not give government the tools to do so?
Changing what the 2nd Amendment has meant for the last 200+ years or even getting rid of it all together is the tool government needs to ease your fears.
We are way past the point where a simple re-interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is going to be effective.
I don’t have the level of fears you seem to assume I have. I simply judge semi-automatic weapons as being much more likely to be involved in a massacre than in preventing one.
Still, the risks are small and I don’t feel threatened. Of course, I would consider the risks of government conducting these door to door searches as even smaller; and for some reason the NRA membership fear of it is disproportionately large.
“Presumably, you would not need that to shoot deer and skunks.”
Since when does the 2nd amendment limit weapons strictly for hunting?
I’m glad the fight for gun rights has come this far. Obama, who is as anti-gun-ownership as one can be, won’t touch this issue because of the political backlash.
We (gun owners) have won great victories. Supreme court cases, conceal carry in almost every state in the United States, the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle is the most popular rifle sold today, “high capacity” Glocks and similar handguns are the most popular pistols sold today, and so on. There is more work to be done, but there’s no doubt the Brady Bunch and gun control advocates are loosing every battle and we’re winning the good fight.
The attitude of gun owners in the 1990s is very different than today. The political reality of today is that people not own want, but LOVE AR-15s, Glocks, and “high capacity” magazines. Conceal carry license holders in every state is growing by the numbers everyday.
However, I can’t help but notice something I find really funny about this debate.
Democrats will accuse me of being a hardcore Republican for being as pro-gun-ownership as I am.
However, Republicans will call me a hardcore Democrat because I oppose banning gay marriage, abortion, drugs, and so on and so forth.
I’m very consistent in my belief that laws that attempt to legislate morality do more harm than good. Banning drugs DOES DID WORK. Banning alcohol DID NOT WORK. Banning abortion DID NOT WORK. Likewise, banning guns WILL NOT WORK.
All these laws do is turn a large percentage of the population into criminals that we have to feed, cloth, and care for in jails.
I personally don’t see how putting people in jail for having an abortion, using drugs, or owning a gun will solve any of our nation’s problem.
We have all the laws we need to punish those who commit crime. Murder is illegal. Rape is illegal. Assault is illegal. Threatening someone is illegal. Stealing is illegal.
We don’t need more laws. How about we make room in our prisons for REAL CRIMINALS like murderers, rapists, and thieves for a change?
Please don’t use the “evil NRA” rhetoric. The NRA would be nothing if it did not have the support of the common person.
To me, the 2nd Amendment right issue has reached the point where we have to accept it, alter it or get rid of it. I am tired of anti 2nd Amendment people talking about “gun control” and not offering any solutions that would be accepted, effective and practical.
It does no good to ban something if you don’t have a way to confiscate it.
So, if you don’t think government would have to do door to door searches to enforce the ban, how would they get them?
So here’s an argument that was put forth by someone who might post in this column: a href=”http://www.rr.com/news/politics/article/rr/71340471/72374874/What_To_Do_About_Guns”>What to Do About Guns
Just as Schwamp can not prove the benefit of confiscating then banning the sale and transfer of just a certain type of gun (semi-automatics), this writer will have the equally impossible task of proving that any of the measures she promotes would do anything to stop violent crime. Oh and I would take a Mossbourg 500 Thunder Ranch (pump shotgun) over a semi anyday if I were the Mayham guy from TV.
» Added lag time between gun purchases (one year)
So if you wait long enough you might not go out shoot someone? A criminal would just steal a gun if they were bent on killing someone.
» In-depth background checks with notarized reference letters from employers/teachers.
Criminals don’t do background checks; they’re criminals.
» Destruction of gun-show loopholes
“The loophole” is the right of citizens to privately transfer firearms between themselves without paperwork. To close it means registration of all guns
» Reenactment of the federal ban on assault rifles
That one didn’t work the last time it was tried.
» Elimination of the right to carry a concealed weapon
I hope the writer can prove that the majority of crime if peformed by people who are permitted to carry. At least she doesn’t propose going back to the “good ol days” of permitting when political cronies and mob types were the only ones who could qualify for the permits.
I am proud of my liberal leanings but you will not touch my guns. Democrat’s would be wise to stay away from this argument. The semiautomatic argument I can fire my mossberg pump just as fast as my Winchester auto loader. And the AR15 is suitable as a deer rifle although not my first choice. I have my ccl but nothing anybody could reasonably carry would have stopped someone wearing body armor.
I think it might be wise if people had to pass a few psychological tests in order to purchase guns (and perhaps explosive chemicals too). That way this nation might be able to weed out a huge number of the blatant crazies, without having to gut the Second Amendment or abridge the rights of responsible gun owners.
From what can be seen of the Aurora Massacre Nut that guy would have definitely been quickly weeded out.
I think it might be wise if people had to pass a few psychological tests in order vote. That way this nation might be able to weed out a huge number of the blatant crazies.
From what can be seen of the Obama administration, that guy would have definitely been quickly weeded out.
tdobson, going off topic is childish and trollish.
Not really off topic Adrienne. The right to bear arms is just as important as the right to vote. You want to limit one, so why not limit both.
The right to bear arms is just as important as the right to vote.
So… you appear to be saying that you think it’s perfectly fine if people who are mentally unstable can buy as many guns as they want. I strongly disagree.
One girl wanted to know how to react to a shooter who takes aim at a classmate.
The Dalai Lama said acts of violence should be remembered, and then forgiveness should be extended to the perpetrators.
“But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.”
And you appear to be saying that you think it’s perfectly fine if people who are mentally unstable can vote. I strongly disagree.
I will agree that a mentally unstable person should not be able to have a gun if you will agree that a mentally unstable person should not be able to vote. Does that sound reasonable to you?
tdobson, no. Allowing a mentally unstable person to punch a hole or pull a lever for a political candidate is not a threatening life or death situation. Allowing them to have a gun can be.
I disagree. Allowing a mentally unstable person to vote CAN put the wrong person in office which can cost more lives and hardships than any one person has ever done with a gun.
Perhaps you have a point… So, maybe the teabaggers shouldn’t be able to vote? After all, they are chock full of mentally challenged, volatile, angry, unstable people who carry guns with them everywhere they go…
I don’t know, Adrienne, I don’t know any teabaggers. I know several members of the tea party, but all of them that I know are stable and rational. You seem to be getting kind of angry.
Do we agree that mentally unstable people should not be able to have guns or vote?
I don’t know, Adrienne, I don’t know any teabaggers. I know several members of the tea party, but all of them that I know are stable and rational.
Are you willing to put that to the test? Because if psychological tests were done as a prerequisite for voting I get the sense that many TPer’s could be immediately disqualified.
You seem to be getting kind of angry,
Not in the least. I actually think it’s pretty funny!
Do we agree that mentally unstable people should not be able to have guns
I honestly don’t think this is as quite as crucial to public safety the way the crazies-with-guns issue is, but I do think it would be very interesting to see how many teabaggers would be eliminated!
Is that a yes or a no? I will pronounce on WB that mentally unstable people should not have guns if you will pronounce on WB that mentally unstable should vote. Will you agree?
Sorry, I stated that wrong. I will pronounce on WB that mentally unstable people should not have guns if you will pronounce on WB that mentally unstable people should not vote. Will you agree?
It’s almost 8pm where I live. I’m about to go clean my guns and go to bed. I’ll look forward to your answer tomorrow.
Is that a yes or a no?
LOL! More of a: I-think-you-sound-silly-but-I’ve-been-having-some-fun-with-that.
But my goodness, you seem extremely worried about my suggestion that people should have to prove they are psychologically stable in order to have guns! It’s just a suggestion — and it seems to make a heck of a lot better sense than demanding gun bans all across the board. Hmmm…could it be that you’re afraid that you couldn’t pass such an assessment and end up without your guns?
It’s obvious that you won’t take my challange. It’s also obvious that you are afraid that if mentally unstable people lose the right to vote, then liberals and progressives will lose a portion of their base.
My challange stands any time you want to accept it.
tdobson, don’t let logic and reason get in the way of the liberals’ feel good laws.
Think of the children!
The tragedy in Colorado has re-ignited the debate about gun control and military-style assault rifles. One aspect of this issue that rarely gets enough attention is that the same type of gun used in the Aurora shooting is also fueling violence beyond our borders. Check out this powerful video. http://www.wola.org/video/us_guns_the_awful_shocking_truth
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