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September 16, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Weigh feasibility in gun debate

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In response to the recent massacre in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association proposed armed guards at every public school in America. I don’t believe we can leave the potential solution(s) to those with a biased, self-serving agenda.

On the surface this would appear to be an appropriate solution, but this would suggest armed guards in every school, shopping mall, theater or public place in the nation. Has the NRA forgotten that Presidents Lincoln, Reagan and Kennedy had armed guards, or that there was an armed guard at Columbine High School?

The lack of one common cause among these types of crimes makes a perfect solution difficult. Among the many variables are mental instability, questionable motives, easy access to guns, violent behavior, a social outcast and bullying. I believe every think tank in America should be addressing this issue.

We know two things for sure: In every one of these incidents, we have people and we have weapons. Should we remove people or remove assault weapons? Which do you think is more feasible and practical?

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  1. Recently in a San Antonio theater an off duty police officer shot a would be armed murderer and prevented a mass murder. Again, a good person with a gun is the best option.

  2. In 2011 there were reported to be nationally about 8,600 firearm murders. A number of them were committed in highly liberal strongholds like Chicago where there are gun controls. Gun controls are not the answer to the intentional infliction of harm in America. It is even questioned whether the Left who clamors for more gun controls is even focused on the greatest tragedy in America involving the intentional infliction of death by human will. In Roe vs Wade may be found a profound and lethal death trap to which left wing America steadfastly clings in the name of a woman's "choice". Between 2009-2011 the average estimated annual number of abortions in the U.S. amounted to a staggering 1,212,000. Planned Parenthood accounts for about 300,000 of these abortions every year.
    Before the liberals start to focus on the creation a of a gun free Utopia, they might take a look at the mass killings by abortion in America that are intentionally inflicted in the name of "choice". Where does the real ugliness and brutality rest in America's culture!

  3. The Columbine guard, a deputy, was in the parking lot of the school at the time having lunch in his car. By the time he was called back into the school for the shooting, several students were already killed and injured. There were no metal detectors for guns and bombs, lock downs after school begins, and/or monitored and approved sign ins for visitors/late arrivals. None of these were present.

    One third of American schools today already have local city and town police presence in the schools and have for years.

    CarmineD

  4. Simplistic solutions cannot solve complex problems. Banning assault weapon sales and large ammunition clips will have little effect if we leave a vast inventory of this weaponry in private hands. Even now, sales of these weapons are accelerating, in part, on speculation they can be sold for a higher price later.

    I hear support for armed security in schools and other venues with little explanation of how these wouldbe protectors will be vetted to be sure they really are "good guys". Poor screening of these people has obvious risks.

    Spree killers almost always enter a situation without an escape plan or any fear of death so exactly how effective a good guy armed with a handgun is as a deterrent to a heavily armed bad guy is questionable.

  5. An "off duty police officer" is not a self appointed vigilante with a need to shoot something to become a hero.

    In the 2011 Tucson market shooting, the gunman was taken down by unarmed patrons. The martial arts people have a lot more integrity than the concealed 30 round glock cockers looking for meat to drill.

  6. I believe most Americans support the 2nd Amendment which gives us the right to own and bare arms.

    I think the most concern lies with people owning assault rifles.The last 3 groups of murdered men women and children that took place In Aurora Colo,Newtown Conn,And Webster N.Y.were carried out with assault rifles.

    Perhaps in some of these cases if other weapons were used.Maybe just maybe the killers could have been overpowered as they tried to reload these non assault weapons,and lives could have been saved.

  7. Self protection in America is a complete myth. For every instance where a gun is used in legitimate self-defense there are countless numbers of people being slaughtered because of gun proliferation.

    Both the National Rifle Association and the Cato Institute maintain statistics on instances in which guns are used for legitimate self-defense purposes. The Cato Institute's heat map goes back 10 years and even includes guns used in protection against attacks by wild animals. There are a few a-month. Millions of gun crimes have taken place over the last 10 years.

    In decades of police work I can remember instances where people used guns for self-defense. Many were shot an even more missed. People have no training when it comes to the guns they own. Every year people get shot trying to load and unload their guns. Go to any gun range and you will find bullet holes everyplace that are a result of accidents. Even the military expends 250,000 rounds of ammunition for every assailant they hit. We have a lot of guns but no one that knows how to use them properly.

    In addition vast numbers of guns are stolen every year because people fail to secure them properly. These are then used in crimes. Children find guns and kill each other. Nevada is one of the most violent states in the entire country. Go through the archives and see how many instances of legitimate self-defense you will find. A handful in the state that is a Charnel House.

  8. A secondary issue and one that is not mentioned enough is that if you do shoot someone you're going to get sued. The resulting lawsuit is going to cost you a fortune. There was a jeweler in Santa Monica that shot several guys that were trying to rob his jewelry store. The jeweler was shot in the neck. The medical bills combined with the civil suits cost the poor bastard everything he had. He won the lawsuits but when all was said and done he was completely bankrupt and suffered terribly from the gunshot wound to his neck.

    Guns used in self-defense. Good luck!

  9. I would rather have my fourth ammendmnt rights protected before my second ammendment perversions. It would be less creepy.

  10. Motorsports...your idea is not bad. Gun owners represent a minority yet the carnage is paid by all. A massive tax on guns, ammo and mags would at least generate some relief for the endless throngs of gun violence victims. Have a victims fund. Send some cash to hospitals and have some security at schools.
    It wouldn't pay for everything but currently victims get zip.

  11. One solution is to use the surplus from the miltary budget now tha we are reducing forces overseas. Billions were spent in both regions over the past twelve years and if they found money to fight those battles they can find money to fund a national school police. Not to mention enveloping existing school police departments. I don't belive the majority of ccw holders obtain theur permit in hopes of goong out to tsek on the next active shooter. Do people need training, absolutely, it should be required for all ccw holdes to have more training thsn just the inital class. Better background checks, like random oevr the years, fine I have no problem with it. I have a long military background and know tactics but if I were at the local mall and someone decided to light it up, my first priory would be getting my family to safety, not playing hero. You are just as likely to be mistaken by LEO's as being the shooter. If he came in my area and i had no choice yez I would engage, but again I've had training. As far as banning military style weapons, i used to believe you had the right to do so, but i just can' find a good enough reason the average citizen needs to have one at home and this comes from someome who's been around weapons all my life. This is just my opinion, one of many differing views. It would be great if we could have spitited debate without personal attacks or hurt feelings. Just because i don't agree with someone does not mean we can't all work rogether to find common ground aand a solution, rather than just complaining about who's right who' left etc. Debate can be a good way for opposing side to see somehing from anothers point of view, maybe you won't change your mind, but no one is right or wrong its just how they see it.

  12. Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan were all shot with weapons that are not "assault weapons," so invoking their assassination/attempts to justify banning weapons is just ignorant.

    The weapons used in Columbine were also not "assault weapons" and occurred during the "assault weapon ban." Clearly banning certain firearms does nothing to stop mass murder any more than the ban on making pipe bombs stopped the murderers at Columbine from manufacturing 99 of them.

    Perhaps the writer should have put some actual thought into the examples used to justify banning weapons instead of peddling reactionary propaganda. But what can we expect, most people who write about guns know nothing about them. This is easily seen as most of the people commenting have no idea that "assault rifles" are already banned under the national firearms act of 1934 and that "assault weapons" are a term manufactured by the media.

  13. @motorsports

    And yet the highest murder rate with highest violent crime rate in the country is in Washington DC with its now unconstitutional handgun ban in effect for 30 years. Murder rate double the nearest state consistently for that entire time. The murder rate in of itself is useless unless you actually look up what weapons- if any are used.

    But lets not forget, the vast majority of murders and violent crimes (over 90%) are not committed with firearms. Of the 8% of crimes involving firearms, 80% of those were obtained illegally. That means 1.6% of crimes involve legal firearms. The rest would be unaffected since criminals don't follow laws. Only 1% of firearms crimes involve "assault weapons," so at best, the ban in theory would only stop 0.016% of crimes.

    However, the murder rate has dropped 14.5% since the Assault Weapons Ban expired, so it would seem no crimes are prevented with a ban.

    A ban on drunk driving would be more effective in preventing deaths. Oh wait, that's already banned.

  14. Motorsports - "@Mikegino unlike most republican chickenhawks I actually served - and in combat"

    Kudos MotorSports,

    I wonder how many average citizens would be capable of returning fire in combat without panicking or crapping their pants? Assault weapons with high capacity magazines have one function, to maim and kill other human beings. To this day I still remember the emotional impact when I first fired a M14 rifle and the M60 machine gun.

    Last August 10 innocent bystanders were shot by police in NYC returning fire at a work place. Imagine the damage and/or chaos untrained civilians would cause in the same incident.

    Thank you for your service.