Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Let’s love our kids more than guns

Another view?

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Regarding the Connecticut shooting: Most people are familiar with the statement that things will change for the better in the Middle East when the Arabs value their children more than they hate the Israelis.

The same can be said for our nation. Things will change for the better when we value our children more than we love guns.

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  1. Dr. Freeman. Thank you for this morning's lecture on intellectual credibility. But here the situation is more about competing priorities than it is about competing values. And while two values do not necessarily have to compete, there is ample experience that these do and intellectually we have no reason to expect better results from doing nothing.

  2. Many many many many [did I say many] have said that ONE gun in the right hands at Sandy Hook School may have prevented the evil tragedy completely and/or reduced the murderous devastation. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. Now is the time for mourning, grieving and praying for the victims [and the families and loved ones] of Sandy Hook School who are still being buried. There is a time for every purpose under Heaven, and talking gun control now, is not the right time.

    CarmineD

  3. "Things will change for the better when we value our children more than we love guns."

    Kainen -- what an ignorant letter. Have you had the experience of standing between a violent home intruder and your child? I have.

    "...take this to the bank, Mr. Kainen, law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves..."

    BChap -- good post!

    "We must choose between freedom and fear -- we cannot have both. If the citizens of the United States persist in being afraid, the real rulers of this country will be fanatics fired with a zeal to save grown men from objectionable ideas by putting them under the care of official nursemaids." -- Scales v. U.S., 367 U.S. 203, 270 (1961), Justice Douglas dissenting

  4. The letter to the editor writer makes a comparision to the Middle East hate of Israel, and gun laws here in the U.S.

    We here in the U.S. have a far better chance of changing our gun laws for the safety of our children and other citizens,than the Middle East has to stop the hate of Israel.

    Our current gun laws are based on a desire to have and own assault weapons.These laws can and need to be changed.The situation in the Middle East has been going on since the beginning of time.As we have seen with many wars and many deaths not so easy to change,hate is the killer in the Middle East.Lax gun laws are the killer in the U.S.It would be nice to see changes on both issues,sometime soon.

  5. In 2012, more children were buried throughout the United States having been run over by motor vehicles then were murdered by gunfire. Therefore, it's logical to assume that will change when we "value our children more than we value motor vehicles." Makes about as much sense. Which translates to none at all.

  6. ByTick,"wrong Sam"

    Please tell me how!!!

  7. Jerry,
    "In 2012,more children were buried throughtout the United States having been run over by motor vehicles than were murdered by gunfire".

    Any loss of life of our young children no matter how it occurs is tragic.Death's by motor vehicle are accidents and are mourned just the same.Murder by a crazed person of so many children such as in Connecticut is so unexpected and shocking,I hardly see a comparision.We love all our children and don't wish for them to die so early in life by any means.

  8. Bytick,

    I have no problem with the 2nd amendment,and the right to bare arms. I do have a problem with people owning assault weapons.In both cases the one in Aurora Colo, and the most recent in Connecticut both killers had easy access to obtainng assualt weapons.By banning assault weapons it makes it harder for deranged people to get them.Yes some will find a way to get them,but harder for a deranged person.

  9. This has to be one of the most nonsensical letters I have ever read on this site.

    "Things will change for the better when we value our children more than we love guns." ???

    The issue seems to be lunatics getting hold of instruments that are extremely effective at killing sentient beings and using them to do so. Unless the writer is speaking in some metaphorical sense that I am incapable of understanding, it appears to be of such one dimensional thinking that it is truly worthy of ridicule.

  10. Bytick,
    Our gun laws are based on the right to bare arms under the 2nd amendment,that includes assault weapons.You should have read between the lines.As I only said we need to ban assault weapons, not pistols or hunting rifles.I will be a little more to the point with you on any further comments.

  11. sam says "As I only said we need to ban assault weapons, not pistols or hunting rifles."

    An what do you expect that result of that ban to be sam? What are you trying to accomplish?

    Because anyone who can read the tables of FBI crime statistics can clearly see that previous assault weapon bans have utterly and completely failed to achieve their stated goals.

    Legality or illegality of certain types of weapons, either in individual jurisdictions or the nation as a whole, fails to correlate to a matching increase or decrease in violent crime, gun crime, homicide, etc.

    You've had some well thought out opinions before sam, so please think this one through and tell us why the assault weapon ban you advocate now would somehow be different from every prior attempt.

  12. bywender, "tell us why the assault weapon ban you advocate now would somehow be different from every prior attenpt".

    It's not just me who wants an assault weapons ban it's many American's.Did you ever stop and think that the American people have had enough of the senseless killing of innocents.Aurora Colorado and Connecticut to name just two from assault weapons.What would be your fix on this?

  13. The question is not whether the federal government can regulate arms. That has been long established. Try going to a downtown store anywhere in the country and buying an RPG, an A-10 Warthog, a pair of simple hand grenades, or even an archaic arm such as a mustard gas canister or sawed-off shotgun. Nope. All regulated.

    The question here is how far can/should regulation of arms extend? With one exception, the restricted arms are military weapons. Do we want to keep all such out of private hands? Then why are assault weapons different? They are, or are designed to imitate, military weapons. Are they necessary for "self defense"? I doubt that the excuse of "collateral damage" would justify, to a jury of your peers, the killing your neighbors in their beds while you are using a fully automatic assault rifle to try to kill a burglar in your urban home.

    It is time to move any firearm with a large-capacity magazine, any firearm styled to look like a military weapon, any automatic firearm or any firearm designed to allow ready conversion to automatic fire into the banned category, with a high life-long penalty for possessing such.

    We already ban people with some forms of criminal activity, some forms of mental problems, and an insufficient number of birthdays in their backgrounds from having firearms, with NO justification for such action in the second amendment. The rationale behind these exceptions can readily be extended to require all people wanting to posses any firearm to have their backgrounds checked prior to taking possession of a firearm to insure that they do not have a history of prohibited activity or mental problems.

  14. Sam, and I have already shown, the data says that assault weapons bans do NOT lead to a reduction in gun crime or violent crime.

    So the fact that the majority of people want to do it still doesn't make it a good idea.

    YOU specifically advocated a ban on assault weapons and said so here, so I'm asking YOU to tell us why you think an assault weapon ban would be effective this time, when it has failed every time and every place it has previously been tried.

    I'd be very disappointed if your entire rationale was "because a bunch of other people also want it". I've seen you use much better logic than that in previous posts.

    Other people aren't necessarily as logical but I'll ask them also:

    When saying "It is time to move any firearm with a large-capacity magazine, any firearm styled to look like a military weapon, any automatic firearm or any firearm designed to allow ready conversion to automatic fire into the banned category" what exactly is the result you expect from that ban? Previous similar bans have proven to not result in a reduction in gun crime or violent crime...so do you think the result of your suggestion would be?

  15. Bywender,"what exactly is the result you expect from the ban".

    I would like to see U.S. Gun manufacturing companies be made to stop making assault weapons,along with high capacity ammunition clips.Make it illegal for citizens to possess,own or to buy one.In short do away with assault weapons altogether,that's what I would like to see happen with a assault weapons ban.

  16. Charles... The same thing was said when selective fire weapons restrictions were put into place. In the early 1900s people were getting slaughtered by fully automatic weapons. Gangster killings were rampant in many big cities. Since they put severe restrictions on the acquisition of selective fire weapons I don't think there's been someone killed by a machine gun in the United States in the last 40 years.

    Assault rifle restrictions were put into place in California after a neo-Nazi shot up a Jewish community center in the San Fernando Valley many years ago. I lived in Sherman Oaks at the time and the crime took place not far from my house. Although assault rifle crimes do still occur from time to time in California they are few and far in between.

  17. Previous restrictions on assault rifles have had hundreds of loopholes. Eliminate the loopholes and assault rifles will be confiscated and destroyed when they are used in crimes. In a few decades the problem will resolve itself the same way it did with machine guns.

  18. Sam, so it sounds like your goal isn't to affect crime or deaths in any way....your sum total goal in advocating an assault weapon ban is to prevent companies in one country from manufacturing them.

    I admire your honesty, but would then question your plan. It pretty much just boiled down to "no one should have them because I don't like them".

    CreatedEQL, not a student of history are you? Go look up the bans I referred to. See how many years each one was in effect. If you think you need more than 10 years to see a beneficial effect from a law then you have an ineffective law and a serious case of wishful thinking.

    gerry, you've seen far too may TV shows about gangsters in the 1920's. The year 1931 saw the highest murder rate in the first half of the century, murder rates were on the decline for 3 years prior to the ban on machine guns, and that peak rate in 1931 was still lower than the murder rate in the US was in 1992. But it's amusing to see that you've stopped using real data to try and bolster your position and have started using gangster and western movies.

    And gerry, when you say "Although assault rifle crimes do still occur from time to time in California they are few and far in between." you forget that they were few and far between before then as well.

    And when you say "the problem will resolve itself the same way it did with machine guns" I have to assume you're trying to be ironic. If the ban doesn't result in a decrease in crime/deaths, but just in a change of weapon then the ban had no beneficial effect.

    And when you say "Previous restrictions on assault rifles have had hundreds of loopholes." you seem to be forgetting that YOU are the one who brought up the UK and Australia....neither have any appreciable loopholes in their bans and neither saw any beneficial effects form their bans.

    And poor teamster just keeps shouting without any data to support his position. I guess assault weapon bans work because you say they do...just like people in the US are leaving unions in droves because, according to you, "everyone in the US wants to be in a union"

  19. wender,

    "Sam,It sounds like your goal isn't to affect crime or death in any way".

    Saving innocent lives is what's at the core of banning assault weapons. If you think that I and others are speaking out for a ban on assault weapons for a different reason, you are sadly mistaken. I have no more to say on this subject.

  20. wendor (Charles Gladu): At 5:14 yesterday afternoon you wrote, in part, "Previous similar bans have proven to not result in a reduction in gun crime or violent crime... "

    I'm not aware the US has ever tried a ban on assault weapons.

    OH! You mean the 1994 act!!! Under that it was illegal to manufacture any firearm that met specific criteria of an assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device, except for export or for sale to a government or law enforcement agency. It banned possession of illegally imported or manufactured firearms. It did NOT not ban possession or sale of pre-existing 'assault weapons' or previously factory standard magazines that were legally redefined as large capacity ammunition feeding devices. It did not even ban assault weapons that were manufactured before the effective date of the law, but unsold at that time. So manufacturers simply expedited their production when it became apparent that the act might actually pass.

    In other words, it was NOT actually a total ban on assault weapons.

    You might also look up the 1994 definition of an "assault weapon" - semi-automatic and possess the cosmetic features of assault rifles (which were already defined to be fully automatic and prohibited for general civilian use since at least 1934).

    What cosmetic features? Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following: folding or telescoping stock; pistol grip; bayonet mount; flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one; grenade launcher (muzzle mounted, not externally mounted). Note the key feature: The ability to accept detachable magazines OF ANY CAPACITY! The act also included provisions for semi-automatic pistols and semi-automatic shotguns.

  21. Boils down to the fact that republicans consider things(Guns) before people (children) perhaps most republicans are autistic ?

  22. So robert,
    1. a ban on new assault weapons in the US - no effect on violent crime
    2. A total ban in the UK - no effect on violent crime
    3. A total ban in Australia - no effect on violent crime
    3. A total ban in Norway - no effect on violent crime

    We can easily test your logic as a hypothesis to see if it's valid. Since you are linking the number of "assault weapons" in provate hands to violent crime and say that reducing ownership of assault wepons would reduce violent crime then all you need to do is show us the statistics on number of "assault wepons" int he US and the rate of violent crime int he US and point out some form of correlation between the two (you know, when the number of guns goes up so does violent crime, whent he number of guns goes down so does violent crime, etc.)

    I've provided the numbers in several previous posts here and there is no such correlation...but please feel free to go out, do your own research, and then come back here and show us actual scientific evidence demonstrating that a reduction in the number of guns in provate hands has led to a reduction in violent crime.

    Until then, you're pretty much engaging in the same type of self delusion when you insist that a ban will reduce violent crime THIS TIME as a man who keeps jumping off the roof insisting that THIS TIME he'll be able to fly.

  23. sam says "Saving innocent lives is what's at the core of banning assault weapons. If you think that I and others are speaking out for a ban on assault weapons for a different reason, you are sadly mistaken."

    Odd, because when I specifically asked you what you hoped the ban you advocated would accomplish, your answer didn't say anything whatsoever about saving innocent lives.

    But if your goal is to save innocent lives then I refer you back to the actual data which shows that gun bans across the world have consistently failed to accomplish the goal of "saving innocent lives" and suggest that you focus your efforts and energy finding solutions that might actually work rather than recycling ones that always fail.