Las Vegas Sun

March 31, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Reasonable regulation’ is fair

Another view?

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“What it should be, though, is a fight between those who irrationally believe that reasonable regulation will lead to the government confiscation of our guns and those who think that common sense will save innocent children’s lives.”

Is there anyone who disagrees that this quote from Brian Greenspun’s Where I Stand column is a valid starting point? While we may disagree as to what constitutes “reasonable regulation,” is there anyone (other than lobbyists for the gun industry) who truly believes that no regulation is reasonable?

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  1. The problem with government regulations are obvious. We have them at the State, Federal and local levels. Oftentimes, they are contradictory and obtuse. They never expire. And they are never reviewed on a regular basis for their continued relevancy. Outside of that, they're perfect.


  2. Hank, please get real. There are gun "regulations" coming out of our gazoos! To own a gun legally you must undergo a background check, then you need to register it and to carry it concealed, you need to go to a "training" facility. How many criminals do you know that abide by those simple rules? They buy their weapon on the street and conceal it with impunity, that is, until they pull it out and demand your money or take your life. Think more rules and "regulations" will make them change their ways? If so, you're dreaming.

  3. Re Jerry. Correct as far as it goes. I have an issue with anyone walking into a gun show and walking out with the weapon of their choice, with nothing required but cash on the barrel head (pun intended). Where's the regulation in that instance?

  4. Re Future: Remove the word "liberal" from the text of your comment, and I would agree entirely. The cultural environment of violence is not being addressed by ANYONE, liberal or conservative. Mentally ill folks purchasing weapons is not being addressed by anyone, liberal or conservative. EVERYONE holds the killer, deranged or not, responsible. I haven't heard any liberal "apologize" for the act this guy committed, or conservative either.

    Bottom line: Will the issue be addressed in a meaningful way? Probably not. Will the ban on assault rifles be reinstated? Probably not. These two issues are just the tip of the rhetoric being spoken after each and every incident of this nature.
    In time, after all the hyperbole and rhetoric, as in previous incidents, NOTHING will be done. The gun lobby (NRA) who shill for the gun manufacturers, will hold sway, and it will all be same as it ever was. With Grover Norquist sitting on the board of directors of the NRA, I would expect nothing less.

  5. Chuck333: "automatic weapons" are regulated by the Feds, with a Federal license required by a collector wishing to purchase a fully automatic weapon.

    The weapon used by the perp in Connecticut was a SEMI AUTOMATIC rifle. Not that it mattered in the end, but people should not confuse machine guns with semi automatic weapons. Having said that, I'm sure one can find a way to make a semi automatic weapon fully automatic on the internet.

  6. JefffromVegas has some suggestions that actually would make a difference. Unfortunately, all of them will be fought by interests that disagree. Gun rights advocates will fight the restrictions on guns that he suggests and advocates for the mentally ill will fight his suggestions on handling of mentally ill individuals.

    The truth is that, as a society, we must reach a place where we are willing to further restrict an individuals options regarding guns, and even more important, in my opinion, we must be willing to restrict the options that mentally ill people have for remaining completely free, on the streets, in our society with no assistance, no medication, no intervention of any kind.

    The price we pay for the level of freedom that we currently afford gun advocates and others and that we afford the mentally ill are the events where the unbalanced get guns and kill innocents.

    It can be a slippery slope to restrict access to guns and/or to restrict the ability of the mentally ill to live their lives as they please, but their are consequences for not doing both. Currently, we've chosen, as a society, for more freedom and less restrictions. It is time we revisit that choice, but unless we are willing to make some rather large changes, the changes won't do much good.


  7. a society that can't even protect little children- perhaps you bible toting dimwits are right-this is the end time.

  8. The population of the about 310 million people.Between 70-80 million Americans own guns.The total amount of guns owned by U.S. citizens are 270 million.About 4.5 million
    of the 8 million guns manfactured worldwide are purchased in the U.S.

    With this many guns available in our country some in the hands of deranged or mental people, we are bound to have things like what happened in the Connecticut school.

    Anyone who thinks assault rifile should not be banned,or that we need some sort of better gun control,better think twice.

  9. The are 60 million that take 300 million prescriptions for psychotropic meds a year. We lead the world in terms of mental illness. Millions of these folks are armed to the gills. The big cities have become battle zones and the price of treating the wounded astronomical.
    Many of our biggest hospitals on the brink of collapse.

  10. Drugs, alcohol, pesticides are all regulated. Even inhalants like spray paint. Most deaths relative to poisons and automobiles are accidents.

    The gun nuts feel that if I have an accident while driving my car and my wife gets killed it is is the same thing as if I blew my wife's head off with a gun. I don't!

    Read the front page of the newspaper today. A high school kid arrested on gun and explosives charges. He threatened to blow up his high school. It's easier for a kid to get his hands on guns and bombs then spray paint.

  11. gasoline, diesel fuel, fertilizer, can be used to create massive destruction. Any time someone wants to buy tons of the above it should be suspect.

    I was working a narco desk when the methamphetamine craze began in the United States. Companies like Costco were selling 20,000 packages or more of products containing pseudoephedrine to individual buyers. Currently most states have limits on the purchase of pseudoephedrine. When a runny nose kid walks into a store and wants to buy $200,000 worth of Sudafed that should raise some flags. If that same kid walks into Home Depot and wants to buy thousands of dollars worth of products used to make bombs that also calls for some common sense.

  12. RefNV doesn't have an argument, Jeff.

    Simply, our risk of death by automobile and death by poisioning is about equal with our industrialized peers. Our risk of death via firearm homicide is astronomically higher.

    "The US homicide rates were 6.9 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries, driven by firearm homicide rates that were 19.5 times higher. For 15-year olds to 24-year olds, firearm homicide rates in the United States were 42.7 times higher than in the other countries. For US males, firearm homicide rates were 22.0 times higher, and for US females, firearm homicide rates were 11.4 times higher. The US firearm suicide rates were 5.8 times higher than in the other countries, though overall suicide rates were 30% lower. The US unintentional firearm deaths were 5.2 times higher than in the other countries. Among these 23 countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States, 86% of women killed by firearms were US women, and 87% of all children aged 0 to 14 killed by firearms were US children."

    It's not our culture... we share our culture throughout the world. Our entertainment (movies, music, video games) is just as popular, just as violent as those in our industrialized peers... yet our firearm homicide rates are insanely higher.

    When you compare apples to apples, there's no denying the impact our lax gun safety regulations have had on our country.

  13. Living in fear on an almost continual basis is not normal.

    Appropriate fear is a response to danger that is imminent. It produces the fight or flight syndrome. Adrenalin is pumped into the system. One makes a choice in the action they take.

    Projecting fear in some situations can be more dangerous because it can signal another person to have the same reaction toward you. The choice they make to protect themselves may result in a more dangerous situation. Both individuals may become aggressive or defensive.

    Sometimes people become addicted to the adrenalin they produce from fear. They need to get a hit on a regular basis, so they start seeing more reasons to be fearful. They make up things to be fearful of to get the adrenalin rush. This is not normal.

    Then you have people who have had to endure extremes of fear and violence, resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which needs treatment.

    Healthy fear is only normal when one is in imminent danger in order to take action.

    The quote of my statement: "Then, we have those who are living in fear that has progressed to paranoia. They have control issues as well. Certainly, their stability is questionable."

    Paranoia is not normal. LIVING in fear is a control issue since one is involved in working through scenarios of how to respond to imagined events in order to be prepared. This takes a good deal of time in such a persons life. Everything becomes a potential threat. This is not normal.

  14. Jeff,

    It appears that you and I agree on something. Will wonders never cease? All kidding aside, we are not always as far apart as it appears. As you state, I do use measured tones, which seems to irritate you at times, where you are more acerbic.


  15. The only time in my life when I was in danger and the fear response kicked in was when I owned a gun.

    Fortunately, I never had to use it, but I was prepared to shoot if I had to. I was able to use my brain in both instances, rather than my trigger finger.

    However, my tendency to take chances because I was armed led me to see that my thinking was getting warped, and I had more fear. I got rid of the gun and lived happily ever after.

  16. I spoke to a friend in Portugal about European gun laws.

    In Europe, a person must prove they are in danger to own a gun for self protection. One may own one rifle for hunting that is single shot, no automatic guns allowed.

    Intimate partner violence is killing the women in this town. The women in Connecticut was slaughtered by her son.
    Read the above Fox report.

  18. Kevin, about that 30% lower suicide rate, this could in part be related to the northern countries not getting sufficient sunlight. They have long periods of lack of sunlight.

    This leads to more depression problems, alcoholism, and suicide in some countries.

    I have friends in Sweden and Finland who I discussed this with.

  19. I think were getting into fantasyland here. Nevada is the most violent state in the country when it comes to violence against women. On a per capita basis we also have an astronomical amount of guns.

    Try to find one woman that has successfully used a gun to defend herself in the last 10 years. I'm sure there have been one or two but I can't find a single instance.

  20. "I'm not taking guns away from women and the elderly who need to protect themselves from younger, stronger perpetrators."

    Oh really?

    "In a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun."

    This is what proponents of no-holds-barred gun proliferation do not want you to understand. They don't want you to understand that the risk of your child killing themselves accidentally skyrockets with a gun in the home. They don't want you to know that gun homicides are higher in the United States by a factor of 7, as compared to other, similar countries! They say that guns are needed for ladies and the elderly to protect themselves when statistics show it makes them more likely to be seriously harmed.

    They say that gun control has never worked, but fall silent when Australia is mentioned.

    "At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country's new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a "genuine reason" for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent."

    "What happened next has been the subject of several academic studies. Violent crime and gun-related deaths did not come to an end in Australia, of course. But as the Washington Post's Wonkblog pointed out in August, homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. Studies found a close correlation between the sharp declines and the gun buybacks. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase, contrary to fears that firearm ownership is needed to deter such crimes. But here's the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn't been a single one in Australia since."

    When we try to talk about sensible gun safety reforms, Ref gives us imagined attacks on his/her parents and nonsense about poison and fire.

    We have laws against arson, yet people still set stuff on fire. Should we NOT have laws against arson? This is the "reasoning" of the gun fanatics.

    When you compare apples to apples, there's no denying the impact our lax gun safety regulations have had on our country.

  21. I mentioned it yesterday: a good starting point would be to expand the background check to all members of the household or location where a weapon would be accessible.

    Another tangent might be to take away the stigma from suicide. Take all laws that make it illegal (just what is the penalty, anyway?) and put in place means to allow someone to end their life with dignity if so desired. That might reduce the number of murder suicides, and possibly help prevent some weapons falling into dangerous hands.

  22. RefNV (Re Freeman): You're just a bit off-topic. . . again. The topic here is:

    "20 Children Died in Newtown, Conn., School Massacre"

    It's not about individuals defending themselves from other individuals. With due diligence you can pick one or two of those off the internet almost any day,

  23. Mr. Freeman... None of your above examples have anything to do with Nevada. As stated Nevada leads the nation in terms of gun ownership and violent crimes against women.

    I haven't been able to find one instance of a woman using a gun in the state of Nevada to defend herself.

    The other day someone mentioned "reductio ad absurdum" arguments. The argument that gun proliferation in the state of Nevada is making women safe is a classic example.

    Most gun owners have almost no training. People can't shoot worth a damn. The military can't shoot worth a damn. They require 250,000 rounds to hit one assailant. Vast numbers of police officers are very poor marksman. Basically no one in this country can shoot but everyone wants a gun.

    People are watching way too many movies and TV shows.

  24. There is a vast difference between ideology and statistical reality. In a few short decades more people have been slaughtered by gun violence then in all of our wars combined including the Civil War which was very costly. The cost of treating tens of thousands of gunshot victims every year is enormous. The King Drew Trauma Center in Los Angeles went bust largely because of gun violence. They were the busiest trauma center in the world.

    UMC writes off over $200 million in goodwill every year and operates at a $70 million loss. That's where most of the Vegas gunshot victims end up and it costs the hospital millions.

    I believe at some point you stated you went to college someplace in Texas. Research what has been happening in Texas over the last 10 years. That's another state that's got an unbelievable amount of gun violence. The hospital industry told Perry that that if he didn't do something about uncompensated care they would never build another hospital in Texas again.

    There is a moral outrage associated with gun proliferation and the financial cost. Talk to any administrator of any major hospital in a big city and asked that administrator what he or she thinks about the gun boom.

    You would like your parents to have guns to protect themselves? The elderly is where murder suicides come into play. Every year countless elderly people shoot each other

    One... Excellent! Now tell me how many crimes against women involving guns take place in the state of Nevada every year.

  26. Read your own post. The article said it was unclear as to whether or not the people knew each other and that no arrest was made in the case. That tells me it was some type of a dispute and had nothing to do with self-defense. They probably shot it out over some drugs.

    Drug disputes occur every day. I wonder if either one of these people paid their hospital bills.

  27. Ref, you never answered my argument.

    Simply, our risk of death by automobile and death by poisioning is about equal with our industrialized peers. Our risk of death via firearm homicide is astronomically higher.

    "The US homicide rates were 6.9 times higher than rates in the other high-income countries, driven by firearm homicide rates that were 19.5 times higher. For 15-year olds to 24-year olds, firearm homicide rates in the United States were 42.7 times higher than in the other countries. For US males, firearm homicide rates were 22.0 times higher, and for US females, firearm homicide rates were 11.4 times higher. The US firearm suicide rates were 5.8 times higher than in the other countries, though overall suicide rates were 30% lower. The US unintentional firearm deaths were 5.2 times higher than in the other countries. Among these 23 countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States, 86% of women killed by firearms were US women, and 87% of all children aged 0 to 14 killed by firearms were US children."

    Why do you think Americans are so at-risk for these violent acts? Get specific.

    We face similar rates of homicide via poisoning, arson, vehicular homicide, etc. But we are wildly more at-risk for homicide via firearms.

    We've limited our exposure to death via any number of different weapons. Firearms are no different. We can find a sane, reasonable way to address the outsized threat posed to our citizens by the proliferation of firearms.

    "No one is in favor of children being murdered by deranged gunmen."

    You are specifically in favor of gun laws which enable these "deranged gunmen" to have access to semi-automatic assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. You've told us tales of citizens being at a "disadvantage" because of gun safety laws, regardless of what the evidence shows.

    You are not in favor of children being mowed down by deranged gunmen, yet you support these individual's access to weapons. That is the reality of your position, Ref.

    Tell us: which additional firearms safety laws do you support? Which laws would you enforce to limit the number of homicides by firearms in the United States?

    Or, do you believe our Constitution mandates these deranged gunmen have "unalienable" rights to firearms?

    Where do YOU draw the line?

  28. The Constitution does NOT allow the possession of home armories or hand held Gatlin guns for personal protection.

    Anyone who needs more than a six shot hand gun for self protection is such a miserably poor aim that they are more qualified for the Darwin award then self protection...and should be properly awarded.

  29. "in Texas, the murder rate per 100,000 people has dropped each year from 6.4 in 2003 to 4.4 in 2011."

    Wow! It must be all the guns, right?

    The stat Ref doesn't want you to know?

    Number of Deaths Due to Injury by Firearms per 100,000 Population, 2009
    Texas: 11.1
    National Average: 10.1

    The number of deaths due to firearms is ABOVE the national average.

    Further, "Since 2000, the state's population has increased by 12.7 percent, nearly twice that of the nation (6.4 percent)."

    So the number of murders could have INCREASED while the number of murders "per 100,000" decreased.

    That's the problem with statistics, Ref.

    Yet again, Ref offers not a single constructive thing the government can do to reduce the amount of gun violence or deaths due to guns. He can't answer simple questions about his/her own beliefs.

    Murder is way too narrow when discussing gun issues. In Texas gun deaths run 11 per 100,000. That represents a lot of dead Texans when you are looking at one of the most populous states.

  31. RefNV, you twice missed the keyword in my statement, "living" in fear. To clarify for your needs, that references someone in an almost continual state of fear of one thing or another. There are people who suffer from that, and it is like an addiction to fear, or OCD. That is not normal fear.

    Anything I refer to as a mental health problem does not reference a normal state of mind.

    However, there are plenty of people who think they are normal when they are not.

  32. Mr Stone,
    In direct response to your letter, here is what I consider reasonable regarding firearms. Clearly, many will disagree.

    1) An individual may be allowed to possess a 6 shot handgun for family and home protection, as long as the pass criminal and comprehensive mental health investigations.

    2) An individual may be allowed to own a single non-automatic hunting rifle, as long as they pass criminal and comprehensive mental health investigations.

    3) Collectors must register for that purpose, but be limited to no more than 6 non-automatic firearms, after passing criminal and comprehensive mental health investigations.

    4) All gun owners must fulfill gun handling and safety training before they will be allowed to store the weapons on their property. All guns must be stored in a safe on the owner's property.

    6) Any gun owner who feels in danger must call the police immediately, if possible, and apprise the police that a gun(s) are in the home.

    7) Annual renewal of gun licenses must include repeat criminal and mental health examinations.

    8) No concealed weapons may be carried on the person without providing proof of need to the police.

    9) Any ownership of semi-automatic or automatic firearms may only be allowed for a formal militia and stored in an armory for the militia, after criminal and comprehensive mental health exams are and the individual owner passes the investigations.

    10) Weapons stored on property that has more than one person requires each individual on property have the same criminal and comprehensive mental health exams and investigations, as well as training in handling and safety of the weapon(s).

    11) Each gun owner must carry liability insurance related to any injuries or deaths resulting from the use of the gun.

    12) Ammunition rounds should be limited, but I haven't decided the amount that is needed for a personal defense in the home, and for hunting.

    13) Possession of any assault weapons, WMD's, drones, or other weapons that go beyond personal, family, and property defense, and hunting, are illegal for personal use.

    14) States may specify some variations that don't represent increased hazard & risk to the public, depending on the need represented by the nature of the location, i.e., rural, ranching, city, etc.

    15) Law enforcement is the primary responsible party for the protection of the public and property. Enabling them to perform their function adequately must be facilitated.

    16) Mental Health Services must be enhanced and facilitated to examine, treat and trace people with mental health problems, including offering anger management and treatment of adrenalin addictions.

    17) Limitations and regulations on manufacturer's production and export of armaments must be strictly enforced.

    18) All confiscated weapons must be made inoperable, and stored in a secure location with limited access, until they are destroyed following legal processes.

  33. antigov,

    You are correct. As Gov. of California, Ronald Reagan began emptying the State mental hospitals, putting them on the streets.

  34. RefNV,

    Good common sense precautionary measures.

    I don't taboo natural human emotions. I spoke of abnormal excess that can be instability. Clearly, if someone lives in fear most of the time, they need to change some thinking, and as you state they should be able to express this to a professional without fear, and with trust.

    Life to me is about living in balance & peace, loving, giving, sharing, connectedness, being joyful & just, having inner freedom, and appreciating life in all circumstances and surroundings.

    This I wish for all humans.

  35. Good morning one and all. It's nice to know this one is still going, maybe we can set some kind of record.

    Ref..You may not think Texas has a massive gun violence problem but the Texas medical authorities do. It costs them billions.

    Over the last 10 years something in the neighborhood of 25,000 Texans have been killed by guns. I believe that's roughly 5 times the number of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That may be nothing to you but it has to be devastating to the tens of thousands of families.

  36. I'm curious about how easily Republicans are willing to give away our fourth ammendment rights in order that we poor can shoot one another.