Fight on Guns Is Being Taken to State Ballots

The gun control movement, facing mounting losses in federal elections, is tweaking its name, refining its goals and using the gay-marriage movement as a model.

Comments: 327

  1. Gun safety! Sounds oxymoronic but it is a perfect shift from gun control. Just like the move from gay marriage to same-sex marriage.

  2. Actually, the change in terminology to marriage equality has had a bigger effect than even same-sex marriage.

    Equality shows that blocking same sex marriage is unfair.

  3. And what about poverty, the War on Drugs, mental illness, and the other societal factors that fuel ALL types of violence?

    Address the causes, not the symptoms, of gun violence.

  4. They are not mutually exclusive. While we address all the pathologies you cited, we can, at the same, take measures to prevent those suffering from them, or dealing in, or using, illicit drugs, from accessing guns. The rest of the civilized world already had shown that difficulty in accessing guns lowers gun violence dramatically. And we can also be more particular about who's allowed to openly carry. By sheer luck, that toddler in Idaho did not kill another child or some innocent customer.

  5. Why can and should address all of it.

    But if one of your loved ones is holding a gun to his head do you suggest addressing the causes of his distress or do you snatch the gun out of his hand?

    It's time to snatch the guns out of America's hands. Then we can talk about the causes of violence.

  6. @slartibartfast: You said "It's time to snatch the guns out of America's hands."

    You, and any other organization, are welcome to try.... But you'll have to take the bullets first and they travel really fast.

    So, unless you can run faster that 1150 feet/second? You'd better be bulletproof.

  7. Washington is not broken... what we are seeing is the voice of conservativism across the nation being heard more clearly after years of liberal groups attempting to pervert the constitution and the wishes of the majority. State and local liberals will try to subvert the 2nd amendment at their peril.

  8. No, Washington is not broken, Washington has been bought by gun lobbyists and corporate interests (e.g. gun manufacturers).

  9. At their peril? Really? Do you understand how ballot measures work? Against whom and how, exactly, are you going to take revenge when a measure you don't like passes?

  10. The threat at the end sure gives me confidence about this commenter's stability.

  11. State laws can be overturned in the courts, also.

    These people need to start focusing on crazy people, not guns.

  12. What do you propose "crazy people control laws". Why would any reasonable person object to background checks that would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, those with a history of domestic violence or convicted violent felons.

  13. Really? So the mother that was shopping in WalMart was crazy was she? I doubt it, but she was carrying a loaded gun in her purse. When will everyone get it through their thick heads...get rid of the guns!!

  14. Well, of course any state law can be overturned in the courts. Does that mean we stop passing necessary laws?

    When you say we should "start focusing on crazy people" exactly what do you mean? Expanded mental health services? That would be great. Can you support that?

    I think we should focus both on mental health services and making sure crazy people don't get guns.

  15. I think it's wise to move away from the term 'gun control' as this was likely a term invented by the NRA or its ilk. We don't speak of automobile 'control' when we register and license our vehicles.

    'Control' is exactly the image that gun rights supporters wave like a flag, and brings to mind the idea of government interference. In reading about the early days of the automobile, there were howls of protest at the time from those who did not want driver's licenses or to have their cars registered.

    It's important to bear in mind that in Canada, the gun deaths per capita there is 1/5 of what it is in the U.S. In the UK, deaths by firearms are a tiny fraction of what they are here, but then they have sensible gun regulations.

  16. so true ... they should also be referred to as firearms. far more accurate.

  17. 100% on that, Tim B. It's all about the semantics...

    When the discussion was about "global warming", it was a tough row to hoe when you were speaking from a sub-freezing winter's perspective. Change that to "climate change", and at least the discussion can be a bit more reasoned when you're looking at 7' of lake-effect snow before winter even got here.

    We can hope the same would be true about the "violence with guns" situation. Call it "gun control", and a meeting of the minds just won't happen. Call it "gun registration", and maybe.....just maybe.... common sense might prevail.

  18. Excellent point.

    The neoconservatives understand the importance of language. It's not "gun control". And it's not "death tax" and it's not "tax burden" and it's not "pro-life" and it's not....

    Language really is powerful! The challenge is to come up with catchy language on the other side. Honesty can be an impediment, but we have to try.

    Not "control"; but not "regulation" either--unless we're able to rehabilitate that word. Hey, how about "gun law and order"? See, it's not easy. Many wealthy think tanks put work into the neoconservative terminology.

  19. The Marysville, Washington school shootings in late October before the election likely helped passage of Initiative 594 and defeat of 591. Also if you look at the county results, you'll find that the more heavily populated Puget Sound counties soundly overcame the very strong opposition from the rural counties in the eastern and southern parts of the state.

  20. Whether it is a spineless or congress or weak kneed state legislators just as with gay marriage they cannot be allowed to stand in the way of legislation that protects the constituents they were sworn to protect. A majority of people support better background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill or those with a domestic violence records and one would think that so would the NRA. I am thankful to my fellow voters in Washington State for so strongly supporting our new background check laws that our state legislators failed repeatedly to address.

  21. A majority of voters may support those issues in the abstract, but please realize that the new WA law is in reality excessively broad, particularly because it extends the background check requirements to those already licensed by the state of WA to possess firearms. There is no logical reason to make it a crime for a concealed pistol licensee, licensed armed guard, licensed private investigator, or off-duty cop to pick up a firearm that does not belong to her. If she were prohibited from possessing a firearm, she would not have the license in the first place. (This is largely the basis for the current legal challenge.)

    Bad laws like this make it very easy for gun rights advocates to argue that universal background check laws are actually the cornerstone of a long-term strategy aimed at making it so difficult to legally obtain a firearm that few people will want to go through with it. Start by making it a crime to get a firearm anywhere but a licensed dealer, and then pass onerous licensing requirements that slowly whittle the pool of licensed dealers down to near-zero. (Doesn't it sound eerily similar to the approach taken by certain Southern states with regards to abortion clinics?)

  22. The legislation passed in your state is a disaster, that many in law enforcement say is unenforceable or that they refuse to enforce it....and now a guy can't loan his shotgun to a neighbor to go duck is anyone safer?

  23. Really, CJL, please enlighten us here in Washington State how it as been a disaster. So far the state has said the the background checks have prevented several people with mental illness from buying guns. Where are the disasters? As to loaning your gun to a neighbor to go hunting with, do you know that he is sane? Do you know if he is prone to violence? Are you sure he won't shoot you with your own gun. The only disaster here is the type of thinking that precludes rational conversation and gun safety.

  24. Yes, this is probably a wise tactic. Go state by state, call it "gun safety", focus on local support county by county if necessary. Go for it! Put the money into a state by state wave... If same-sex marriage can succeed, so can gun safety!

  25. Some time ago, there was the term "pro choice" but somehow unfortunately morphed into "pro abortion". Let's appeal to the masses and make this up hill battle a little more positive.

  26. This is exactly the strategy women used to get the vote in the early 1900s. It worked.

  27. I would hope that the various groups that are promoting gun safety would join together under one umbrella to better combat the NRA.
    And not mentioned in this article is the ease with which terrorists can obtain guns. Shouldn't everyone want to keep guns out of their hands?

  28. Actual gun safety is taught not "promoted." Which organization spends the most money on teaching gun safety? Can you guess?

    The NRA.

    By like a factor of 1000.

  29. The NRA promotes gun safety as part of it mission. No one wants criminals/terrorist to have guns. Perhaps we could start with investigating the Obama/Holder initiative to get guns to Mexican drug cartels? Disarming curtailing the rights of honest folk will do nothing to stop crime.

  30. Well, while it is laudable that the NRA promotes gun safety, it apparently isn't working.

    If gun safety were mandatory, it would be a different matter.

    Then perhaps the mother in Walmart wouldn't have been shot to death by her 2 year old child.

  31. The fact that we Americans are still debating the need for stricter regulations on background checks and types of weaponry after the frightening carnage of the last few years is almost unbelievable. Pride in my country turns to embarrassment in light of this blindness and ignorance. At some point, those that continue to embrace the incredibly false and misleading NRA line, 'guns don't kill people; people kill people', must take personal responsibility for the continued loss of life in this country-- due largely to this obsession with firearms and the false claim that 'liberals will take away all our guns if we give any ground at all'. Utter nonsense.

  32. "due largely to this obsession with firearms and the false claim that 'liberals will take away all our guns if we give any ground at all'."

    Well said, your quote about liberals and taking away guns reminds me of my two grandsons fighting over the same toy, with belligerent little faces. The difference being that they are both two year olds. One wonders what the emotional maturity is of many who have this morbid fascination and infatuation with guns.

  33. I'm a gun owning Democrat, and I wish the left would just drop this issue so we could start having some strong social and economic liberals elected in this country, especially in rural states.

    The one thing these groups can never seem to grasp is what Jeffrey Goldberg (not exactly a conservative) once pointed out: "The NRA is quite obviously a powerful organization, but like many effective pressure groups, it is powerful in good part because so many Americans are predisposed to agree with its basic message." This reality has not changed, and gun control groups will not succeed in putting new restrictions in place.

    Americans want to own guns. Time for Democrats to let the issue go and focus on things like gay rights and the minimum wage, where there is broad consensus on what the nation needs.

  34. Parents of dead 6 year olds in Newtown (and everyone else who cares about innocent kids) won't let it go, and neither should the Democrats and any right thinking person. It is too easy to get your hands on a killing machine or amass an arsenal of weapons in this country. I retain a tiny shred of hope that, with hard work. sanity will prevail, even if it takes a generation.

  35. ridiculous. takes time to climb a mountain.

  36. Many Americans do not want to own guns and are afraid of those who do.

  37. The NRA cannot get around the fact that every gun used in a crime was made and sold to some middleman legally. Bottom line, restrict which guns can be purchased and those guns will not be used in crimes because they will not be made in the first place.

    You want to bear arms, join the militia. We call it the National Guard now and they pay for college.

  38. Not true. Back in the day, my music teacher was standing next to a friend who was more involved in the local "youth culture", the fore-runner of today's Bloods. His, mm, associate had his head taken off from 75 feet away by a rival young Democrat using a home-made zip gun. That was the '50s.
    How are you going to prevent people with $15 from making an untraceable, disposable zip gun? How are you going to prevent any random individual with a spare room from making a hundreds of them, in multiple quality grades and selling them for $20 to $50?
    If you can make tens of thousands of 13 shot repeating rifles with the technology of 1865, it sure ain't hard to make a hundred today in your basement. If even 5% of the prison population has a workplace and a brain not totally fried from drugs, there's tens of thousands of micro gun factories right there. There's also no laws limiting the power of such thing, so they could be 75 or 100 caliber.
    Or to heck with making stuff, and just hide modern guns within truckloads of drugs coming from Afghanistan.

  39. Your claim is patently false. What does it even mean to cite the manufacture? Are you implying intent to abet crime? Many guns used in crimes were sold legally and then stolen. Your premise is beyond weak.
    Militias are not the military, just the opposite. When written, the 2A referred to citizens who provided their own weapon, and the meaning of "well regulated" in the day meant they also provided his (or her) own ammo and powder, horse, tent, and the like, and was proficient in the use of them all. Your "facts" are not facts at all, but rather either ignorant, or worse, deliberate misleading emotional appeals based on wishful thinking. You really should know the facts before distorting them. The vast majority of us who own guns take our responsibility very seriously. Your comment is both erroneous and insulting.

  40. On Memorial Day I wear a black armband in memory of my uncle who was shot dead, and I always feel like I'm alone on caring - until I see the polls that show just how FEW people are AGAINST gun controls. It's a handful. It's a handful with Big Money and even bigger mouths. We out number them 9 to 1 and yet this nation is cowed to their whim.
    I haven't a drop of respect for anyone who bellows and whines and plays political games on the safety of the people of this country. In fact, I'm revolted and I refuse to kowtow to the lunatic fringe of any society. Our politicians will - I won't.

  41. Where do you get 9 to 1? Can you cite a source for this claim? Or do you just wish it were so?

  42. "A recent Pew survey, for instance, showed that 52 percent of respondents said they believed it was more important to protect gun ownership rights. That figure was up from 29 percent in 2000."

  43. Did you read the article? Recent polling shows that 52 percent of Americans believe that it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns
    than it is to control gun ownership.

  44. Nothing brings out cognitive dissonance like ballot initiatives. Whether its gun control, the minimum wage, legalized pot, the right of women to choose, or any other 'librul' position. Put the issue on the ballot and people will vote with some common sense. But when it comes to electing a person, most just pick the guy with a R next to his name who opposes all of the initiatives.

  45. "Gun safety" sounds better than "gun control". "Weapon sanity" is even more accurate.

  46. Gun control advocates really need to centralize their resources and efforts so they can come together under one organization that can rival that the NRA.

  47. The difference is that the NRA is working to defend a constitutional right. The "Gun Control" crowd is working to take away a constitutional right.

  48. No, we're not all looking to it away entirely, just control it better. I recognize the position you have, and would like to ask if you have any room for compromise on gun safety/control/restriction issues, and if so, what aspect of gun ownership do you think might be tightened up?

  49. No Phil, what we're looking for is that the 'well-regulated' part of the Second Amendment be enforced much more strongly than it is.

  50. In the last decade more than 400,000 people, including children, were killed in automobile accidents. In the cases of tens of thousands of auto mobile related deaths there are hundreds of thousands more who are critically injured and permanently maimed, paralyzed or otherwise physically handicapped for life. Nearly 30% of auto accidents are caused by people driving under the influence. Surely the gun control advocates have their priorities in the wrong place. Additionally we lose thousands of more lives to drug abuse. More lives are wrecked by domestic violence though I am not including deaths by stating that.
    This slaughter and injury rate by automobiles and trucks dwarfs the homicides and injuriels by gun violence. I do not wish to lessen the tragedies of death by guns nor trivialize the losses that many gun control advocates have suffered.
    However, what gun control advocates fail to understand and value are the rights of ordinary citizens. Yes, mentally ill, persons with criminal convictions and persons with protection from abuse orders must never have access to firearms. The rest of American citizens though have the right to own, carry. buy and sell firearms. Criminals always can find a way to obtain firearms. Barring law abiding citizens to their right of self defense and banning firearms is without question a green light for criminals to prey on others. Gun control law that restrict criminals and the mentally ill are fine. Law that restrict others must not pass.

  51. The simple fact is owning a gun is a serious responsibility. We have a duty to make getting a gun in the USA at least as rigorous as getting a driver's license before being able to drive a car, because plenty of people are not responsible and they are the ones who create tragedy.

    Criminals will drive cars without licenses too.

    But I don't see anyone using that as a lame excuse to say therefore no one needs to get a driver's license.

    Responsibility is responsibility. If you want to own a gun, go ahead. But you are going to prove society you deserve one first. It's not fair to impose laws limiting guns because it's a right? We already impose limitations! The point is to make the current existing limitations more effective and more coherent and more comprehensive.

    The second amendment refers to a *well regulated* militia. Disciplined. Well-trained. You must be that, and prove it on a test, before you get a gun. There is nothing in the intent of the founding fathers that means they wanted any yahoo who wants a gun to get one easily without proof they know what they are doing. Are you a capable person? Prove it with training and testing. Then get your gun.

    Any responsible gun owner understands what I am writing, they agree with it, and they have no problem getting proper training and licensing. Because they know, better than anyone, that a gun is a serious responsibility.

    The only people who lose are irresponsible people and gun manufacturers.

    So what.

  52. There are already strong movements to take on D.U.I.s amd distracted driving. Taking on gun violence seems to be another good place to spend one's energy.

  53. Rest assured. Statisticians predict that gun deaths will exceed motor vehicle sometime this year. — a first since those types of records have ben kept. That way the US can maintain its exceptionalism. Whoopee!!!!
    Something to bear in mind: Cars, trucks et cetera are used with far more frequency than guns.

  54. Gun ownership should be banned save for bonafide hunters who should then both be licensed and pass background check.

  55. Of course WHERE one lives plays a role in this discussion.
    Rural areas may not have Police Departments close by.
    Then what ? There's no argument against training and licensing............

  56. The 2nd Amendment was not written to protect us from "out-of-control deer".
    It was included as a fail-safe against "out-of-control government".

  57. The Second Amendment was intended to facilitate the citizen army contemplated by the Framers who would be called into served in the absence of a standing army which was abhorred by the Framers. In the absence of the militia contemplated by the authors of the Constitution -- which has no role in today's world -- the right of a citizen to bear arms to enable to rise against the Government is ahistorical and has no true place in Second Amendment discourse where the conjunction with militia should not be read out of the equation.

  58. It is appalling that those in Congress are more beholden to lobbies than to their own constituents. If the state by state referendum approach works, then by all means use it.

  59. Except not all states allow for ballot initiative by citizens. Pennsylvania doesn't.

  60. Congressional districts are smaller (and therefore more responsive to constituents) than state-wide ballots. If you can't get a gun control congressman elected it's probably because the area where you live is not in favor of more gun control. Lobbyists lobby on behalf of individuals who support a cause. This very article admits that, "The National Rifle Association, which raises millions of dollars a year largely from small donors and has one of the most muscular state lobbying apparatuses in the country." I am one of those small donors. The NRA represents me and millions of people like me who believe in responsibility and a natural right to self defense.

  61. Voters are putting these people in office. If we want change, we have to have more numbers on our side.

  62. As with all legislation, the devils will be in the details with regards to whether "safety" or "control" is the real focus.

  63. Safety through law and regulation, why do go nuts have to be so paranoid?

  64. It's a no brainer.....Safety.....specifically gun safety.....Talk about the dumbing down of America!! Who are these gun nuts? I am glad I live in New York State .

  65. Anna said: " I am glad I live in New York State"

    ...So are we.

    The same rules that would do well in NYC for gun usage and ownership do not apply in the rural Mid-West, Rocky Mountains, or Alaska.

  66. I am sure we are all glad you live in NY as well; a non violent utopia no doubt not like up in Vermont where everyone is packing....LOL

  67. Then stay there please. Safety is the number one priority of every responsible gun owner, and the first and foremost thing taught at all introductory firearms courses. This was established by the NRA, whose original and ongoing purpose is to make the military in specific and all hunters and shooters in general more accurate, safer and more responsible. It may surprise you to learn that you live in the bubble, and the mainstream is carrying, shooting, hunting or supporting those who do,all around you.

  68. Many Americans who never owned guns have an innate feeling that 'gun control' is a bad idea. Many Americans who own and carry guns have an innate feeling that many gun owners are not as careful or responsible as they should be.

    What young mother can read about a two or three year old getting a hold of a gun and shooting a mother or brother will not feel a shudder of fear.

    Yes, we need a change in focus from control by government fiat to safety and responsibility. The reason should be obvious. There are almost as many privately owned guns in this country as there are people. Background checks will never have sufficient effect to change the dynamics. Not now nor in a dozen lifetimes.

    And we certainly will never have gun confiscation similar to European countries or Australia.

    Perhaps Mr. Bloomberg's millions would be better spent on non-governmental approaches to improving actual gun safety and responsible gun ownership. Yes, universal background checks as well as enforcement of current law is a good idea. But that won't improve gun safety. No law that can be passed and survive judicial challenge can do that in America.

    So the correct model is not marriage rights, but the anti-smoking campaign. All that can be done by law has already been done. It is time for the public service approach, and the clinical intervention.

  69. So why not impose training and testing, before gun ownership, like with cars?

  70. Who provides the most qualified instructors, the most comprehensive training and the most safety centered curriculum? The NRA.

  71. It appears we need a lesson in history.

    In 1994, Pres. Clinton passed the "1994 Assault Weapons Ban".
    In 1996, the Republicans swept the mid-term elections and took control of both houses of Congress.
    In the time since his second term, Bill Clinton has stated that he believes passage of this bill was the direct cause of the Republican landslide during the election.

    History *DOES* repeat itself, it seems.... Rest assured that any further encroachment upon gun rights by the lunatic Far-Left will result in similar results in State and Federal elections.

    Short version: If current liberal politicians are no longer interested in being employed? Then passing more laws like this will ensure their wishes are granted.

  72. Senseless gun deaths know no political party. The majority of Americans support gun safety legislation, and it will be centrists who will pass reasonable limits with respect to the possession and use of firearms.

  73. Lunatic Far-Left? Wow, lovely stereotyping. So any attempt to reduce the endless body count that only the US among the Western nations enjoys is some ultra-liberal attempt to take your guns? I guess just like in any democratic system, you get the government.... or the results we deserve. How soul crushing.

  74. What you and the rest of American need to be reminded of is that the last highly publicized murder of two police officers in New York City was done by a crazy person who obtained a firearm that was traced to a pawn shop in Atlanta, Arrowhead Pawn, that has been the source of many other firearms that ended up in the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. This is what we will be going after.

    Good luck following a losing battle!

  75. I am surprised the phoney "gun homicide" figure was not in the article. Over 2/3 of all "gun homicides" are suicides, but gun control folks want you to believe everyone is killing each other with guns.

    Wonder why?

  76. The gun homicide figure you cite is actually gun deaths. Yes, suicides matter too.

  77. Wonder why?

    Because a death by firearm is still a death by a firearm, just ask a 2 year in Idaho who got ahold of his 29 year old Mom's handgun out of her "conceal & carry" purse and shot her dead in Wal-Mart.

    Oh I forgot, the two year old can barely speak, of course if the Mom had another concealed firearm on her she could have "defended herself" against the attacker, her two year old son, that's perfect NRA logic.

    Why anyone needs to be "strapped" heading into Wal-Mart is a whole different subject unless of course you're a young black male who needs to protect himself from the "Police".

  78. I could care less if it's a "homicide" or a suicide. Easy access to guns means too many people die. I personally don't value someone's life less because they are suicidal. That fact you are so worried that "they" are coming to get your guns and so tens of thousands more will die than necessary rather than any new regulations can be put in place is tremendously sad.

  79. Addressing gun control within the states also has the advantage that local gun tragedies resonate with voters and legislators. For instance, Washington endured killings from school shootings which hit home for residents. What a shame, though, that it takes loss of life for people to understand the importance of these measures.

  80. Yet you totally ignore the majority of the murders committed by thugs with illegal firearms. How many have prior arrests that the courts ignore in their revolving door system? But try to tighten it up and you have other "special interest" group claiming it's unfair to incarcerate criminals.

  81. Hi rds,
    I am cognizant of criminal use of guns, whether or not they were initially purchased legally and then changed hands. But the world of illegalities does not diminish the need to make reforms and look for solutions on the right side of the law. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. Best regards.

  82. Without "...loss of life"..."what would be the importance of these measures"?

  83. I am a new gun owner and I am amazed at how my purchase has made me think differently about this issue. My primary concern is always the safety and security of my weapon. Is it safely locked up? Is the ammunition safely secured? Am I always handling the gun and transporting it in a safe manner. Anyone who takes the NRA approved gun safety course knows that the majority of the course is spent on gun safety and most of it is common sense. People with guns and bad intentions create havoc in our society. People with bad intentions can also create the same havoc with knives, cars, homemade explosives and many other items that otherwise have innocent uses. I see a need to enforce some responsibility by legal owners of guns to make sure their weapons don't get used by people illegally but it is a dangerous and slippery slope. We also need to pay some heed to the founding fathers addressing the right to bear arms behind only the right to free speech in the Bill of Rights.

  84. If you are new to gun ownership I'd sure like to know what it is that makes you feel the need to own a machine that exists only to kill other people. Do you see a threat so great the police are ineffective where you live? Have things so changed where you live that no other means available will deter what has obviously created fear in you enough that you consider using a firearm? There must be instances that led up to your decision and I'd be most curious to hear what those damages are. Or do you simply enjoy the feel and sound of a firearm?

  85. If you, and the NRA, are so safety conscious, why not support enforced training and testing *before* you own a gun? Like with cars.

    You agree that gun ownership is a serious responsibility. But obviously, many don't take it so seriously and responsibly. So let's make our laws reflect the seriousness of gun ownership/ Go ahead, get a gun. But you are going to approve to society you deserve one first. How could you, or any responsible gun owner, have a problem with that? Because someone owns a car, they think no one should have to get a car license?

    The Second Amendment refers to a *well regulated* militia. Training. Discipline. Knowledge. Care. Concern. So it is in the spirit of the founders to regulate guns well.

  86. If you, and the NRA, are so safety conscious, why not support enforced training and testing *before* you own a gun? Like with cars.

    You agree that gun ownership is a serious responsibility. But obviously, many don't take it so seriously and responsibly. So let's make our laws reflect the seriousness of gun ownership/ Go ahead, get a gun. But you are going to approve to society you deserve one first. How could you, or any responsible gun owner, have a problem with that? Because someone owns a car, they think no one should have to get a car license?

    The Second Amendment refers to a *well regulated* militia. Training. Discipline. Knowledge. Care. Concern. So it is in the spirit of the founders to regulate guns well.

  87. If the anti-gun groups didn't lump all gun owners into mass murderers, they'd get far further. 99% of legal gun owners are law abiding, take every precaution to secure their arms, and feel strongly about the Constitution that gives Americans the right to bear arms.

  88. If responsible gun owners acted like responsible gun owners they wouldn't permit the debate over responsible gun ownership to be argued so unreasonably by irresponsible gun owners.

  89. I see your point, but in this cohort, the 1% who are not "law abiding, take every precaution" citizens can do an awful lot of damage.

    The 99% vs 1% argument works for knife owners, fast drivers, etc., but modern guns have been and will continue to be an enabler of the crazy 1% to exact a devastating, outsize toll on the rest of us.

    I know this is not new information, but it requires repeating.

  90. If so many gun owners wouldn't classify anyone who supports gun regulations as "anti-gun" we'd be better off. I like guns, and enjoy shooting. I just don't think it's necessary or responsible to walk around armed all the time. I think it creates more problems than it solves.

  91. This is a great move to begin to stop the insanity we have in this country vis-a-vis guns. The NRA is not only supported by individual donations, but heavily backed by the gun manufacturers and gun sellers. It is long past the time that we take control of the situation from these special interests who bribe politicians virtually every day. The NRA membership is less than 1% of the population. There is no way this group should be dictating gun policy to the rest of us.

  92. You mean like every politician who takes campaign funds from special interests?

  93. Wouldn't it be a better world if we all stopped trying to tell our neighbors what to do? Let's see more energy spent on expanding rights, instead of reducing them.

  94. There is an irony that the state-oriented approach heavily favored by Republicans is now being used to support firearms reform, which is anathema to the GOP.

  95. It is appalling how naive the gun control groups are!
    It is clear to even the most ardent gun and 2nd amendment enthusiasts that background checks are reasonable and will not threaten our right to own guns. But why is the NRA so successful in raising money?

    Because it has long switched its raison d’etre from that of a political advocacy group to that of a corporate entity that MUST grow in order to survive. This is not unlike the pharmaceutical industry which has to keep selling drugs we do not need because we are getting better at preventing diseases: Create the notion of new ills in order to promote sales! Inflate the significance of little sufferings, such as headache, acne, ED! Don’ tell them that these do not threaten our life!

    For the same reason, every reasonable minimal restriction is inflated by the NRA as a change that will threatens to take away our arms! The gun right movement has already achieved so much that it the NRA may lose its raison d’etre and donations. Hence the NRA has to create new reasons why we need its “service”. It blows reasonable restrictions out of proportion, using that slippery slope argument. The NRA has become a money making scheme for the sake of its own survival – and this is what the gun control people are actually fighting against. Rationale public safety arguments won’t do it.

  96. Why won't the government open up the NICS system so individuals can do background checks?

  97. With the prevailing attitudes in South Dakota over gun regulation, if it ever happens here, I will eat my hat.

  98. The arguments against reasonable gun control laws became even more irrational after the horrible incident in an Idaho Walmart where a 2-year child accessed his mother's handgun and killed her with it. By all accounts, the victim was a responsible, educated woman with a concealed gun permit, and the shooter was a normal curious child. Perhaps the NRA modify its famous quote to say, "Guns don't kill people, two year old kids kill people."

  99. So you would support "reasonable" gun control laws that would have prevented that responsible, educated woman from owning a gun? If not her, who?

  100. What is the definition of "responsible" in this case? It seems for gun enthusiasts, "responsibility" only means you haven't shot anyone yet. To me responsibility means understanding the risk associated with what your doing and taking steps to mitigate that risk. Let me know when you come up with a better definition.

  101. Harrison - The irony is that no amount of responsibility will protect you (or those around you ) from firearms accidents and that it is irrational to carry a lethal weapon to protect life when the Walmart incident proves just the opposite.

  102. The US should look to Australia; they got guns under control very well.

    What is vitally needed is to revisit the 2nd amendment, this whole scale ownership of guns is not what the founders intended, nor did they mean the assault weapons we now have.

  103. To pass a constitutional amendment, you need 2/3 of the senate, 2/3 of the house, and 3/4 of the states. You are wasting your time thinking that there will ever be a constitutional amendment that revisits the 2nd amendment.

  104. Maybe they should call themselves the National Right to Life Committee.

    Oh, wait. That's taken by the Right to Life folks. You know, the nice folks who are all for banning access to abortions but have no problem with unrestricted access to guns of any kind. And they seem to be all gung-ho about wars of choice that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people too.

    Strange. I guess getting shot and killed for no reason is just too American to give up.

  105. The irony continues, if you wish to pursue this stereotype.
    Right to Lifers = ban abortion, have unrestricted guns
    Pro-Choice = unrestricted abortions, ban guns

    So both the right and left want to regulate us and trample on the Constitution. They just differ in what they want to regulate.

  106. I love people who screech about their precious Constitution. Without looking it up, please tell us what the Third Amendment covers. Or the Sixth. Or the Seventh.

    Other than the grade school interpretation of "Free Speech" which most people believe means the unrestricted right to say anything they like whenever, wherever – or the Second Amendment, which everyone believes is a right to own any gun at all granted by Jesus himself, no one in this country has a clue what the Constitution really is or means. They cherry pick what they think they know, the same way they cherry pick bits of the Bible to back up what they would like to be true.

  107. This article comes just after a news item about a two year old who got hold of his mother's gun.

  108. And the shopped who was confronted by an armed robber and successfully defended himself.

  109. This preconceived notion that we as Americans have a Constitutional Right to bear firearms, whenever, whatever, wherever we like needs to be addressed soon by public policy makers to end what has become in effect a war zone out there.

    There is no individual right to bear arms in the 2nd amendment period. Instead its a recently "implied" right by SOCUS case law handed down by the legal idiots of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, et al.

    This is why 2016 election is so important, get a liberal/progressive President to change the spectrum of SOCUS and get this Country back on the track to firearm sanity and basic common sense.

  110. Our homicide rate is the lowest its been in 50 years and compared to all other nations, the US has a homicide rate that ranks 112.

    Enough with the hyperbole. Our Bill of Rights keeps the US a (relatively) free country and without the 2A, the rest wouldn't exist.

  111. The NRA is supported mostly by small donors, really ? I thought it was mostly supported by gun manufacturers. I would like to see this author's documentation.

  112. Guess where the gun manufactures get the money from.

  113. I guess the membership dues from almost five million members doesn't count?

  114. The article is correct. NRA is supported by small donors. In fact I will be sending them another check today just based on this article. All information about financial donations is on the NRA website.

  115. Gun safety is only like gay marriage in that they both required popular ballot measures in the beginning. Let's compare gun safety to automobile safety. In order to drive a car, which can be a lethal weapon, you have to be licensed, and for that license you have to take two tests, one to prove that you know the rules and laws of driving, and one to prove that you know how to drive properly and safely. Maybe we could just start there.

  116. Driving is all but essential for life in our society. Guns are for killing animals or killing humans--both despicable acts that should be met with zero tolerance.

  117. Driving is a privilege not a constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT. Your comparison is somewhat misguided although interesting in that cars still account for many more accidental (including drunk driving) than guns, even with all that "common sense" regulation.

  118. It's called a "right" because you don't need anyone's permission to exercise it.

  119. As a long-time gun owner, I heartily applaud anything that brings some sanity to gun and ammunition sales. There are far too many walking time bombs who have been brain-washed by the NRA into believing that gun ownership will solve all of society's ills.

  120. It is patently obvious that there is NO WAY to keep these weapons out of the hands of homicidal maniacs other than to ban them and confiscate them.

  121. I happen to, largely, agree. One of the main problems these 'more gun advocates' don't seem to realize is simply having guns in peoples' hands is an overly simplified approach because no one can know when or where someone is going to appear and start shooting. If you are an armed person who has little training in combat, by the time you figure out what is going on and get to where the guy is to stop him, several people would have already been shot and killed, and shooting a target that has a gun and is shooting back is different from simply shooting paper.

  122. I fail to understand. Any gun control bills come with the line, ' state's limit on hand gun sales to one a month'. Does that mean one can buy 12 guns in a year? Would 12 handguns under your pillow at night make you safer? Can one use 12 guns at a time? Or maybe, 24 in 2yrs.,36 in 3 yrs.,48...

  123. The purpose of the measure is not to prevent an individual consumer from amassing multiple guns; it is to prevent traffickers from acquiring lots of guns for illegal sale on the street.

  124. I think this is intended to curtail straw-purchases.

  125. “Whether it’s on guns or immigration or tax reform, clearly Washington is broken,” Mr. Feinblatt said. “You have to influence the federal government at the state.”

    I would like to remind Mr Feinblatt that Arizona (a well as other states), tried to do exactly that (influence immigration issues which are negatively affecting their state directly) with SB1070, yet the federal government and the courts took a dim view of that, saing that it was an issue better left to the Feds?
    Why should gun control be any different?

  126. Because SB1070 violated the supremacy clause of the Constitution but mandatory background checks, wait lists, limiting features or types of firearms, removing weapons or banning the sale of firearms to violent offenders, and taking actions to prevent gun trafficking do not violate the Constitution. Pretty simple.

  127. Imagine if that poor mother at the Idaho Wal-Mart had a can of pepper spray in her purse instead of a loaded gun.

  128. Imagine if that poor mother had gone to Costco instead...just as meaningless a false dichotomy

  129. You're right, the child could have easily pulled the gun out of her purse and accidently shot her at any store they went to.

  130. When "gun safety" fails it will be "pro-life", as in, I have the right to be for my life and for yours being over.

  131. A seriously mentally ill young man guns down several at a Congresswoman's rally and one of the victims can't even keep his job. Dozens of children and teachers at a school are gunned down and people take to the internet to prove it's a government hoax. A two year old shoots his mother (a nuclear researcher) in a Wal-Mart, and there was no irresponsibility, she was just "taken much too soon".
    I grew up with guns and probably "loved" them. I was a Marine for many years and knew their value (and lethality) as a tool of my trade. I don't want guns taken from law-abiding Americans but the love affair is long gone and I know more regulation is the absolute minimum. It seems incredibly self-apparent that something has to change and yet it doesn't seem possible.
    I have such a hard time teaching my government classes with any real sense of hope so I pray for them when I get home, it seems to work as well as our government.

  132. Accidental gun shootings have gone way down, and not due to any regulations.

  133. What would you more regulate.... stupidity? When a woman leaves a loaded pistol in easy reach of a 2 year old, she's being careless, irresponsible, and stupid. Whether she's a nuclear researcher or a rocket scientist.

  134. Yours is a beautiful post. Because if as a gun owner you see important social value in gun control there must be others like you too. Unified, strong action can make a difference. No one wants to take guns away from law abiding citizens the rest of us would like guy owners to take the responsibility as seriously as you and to pass laws stop easy purchase of guns, their resell and their use in public places. Is that a lot to ask? Do non gun owners have any rights?

  135. Clearly an independent non-partisan group should be able sit down and review all of the state and federal data on gun violence, from homicide to suicide, accidents to assaults and weight them against the number of times guns help prevent these incidents and come to a reasonable conclusion on the effectiveness of our gun safety policies. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

  136. If guns didn't prevent assaults, the cops wouldn't need them, and we could issue whistles to the Marines.

  137. It would be a whole lot easier if Congress in its infinite wisdom had not forbidden the federal government from collecting information on gun violence - back in the 90's. In addition, since information is labeled and defined differently not only state to state but even city to city, the data is much harder to collect and analyze than anyone would guess.

  138. I have NEVER heard of an armed citizen saving the day, as you suggest. Give us some noted examples, please. I'm sure it will help us all to see the whole picture.

  139. As someone who supports guns, the reason the NRA relentlessly crushes all opposition is because, if you give gun control advocates an inch, they will take a mile. I fully support the NRA's tireless suppression of gun control, but they sometimes go too far. Background checks are sensible, neglecting the mentally-ill firearms is a fair. Some people don't need guns. However, for most, it is their given right to own.

    The sad fact of the situation is, however, I could get in my car, drive 20 minutes and illegally purchase a firearm. In Ohio, my co-worker from California was surprised he could walk 2 blocks from our office and purchase a shotgun.

    I grew up in a rural area, and most urban people I know do not like guns, but have never shot or enjoyed a pastime involving firearms. In their environment, guns help criminals. In mine, I shoot at stationary targets and enjoy clay pigeons.

    Conveniently left out is the fact that gun violence is down. A quick search on the Bureau Of Justice's website can confirm ( NYT, of course, tends to leave such information out, and focus on the grief caused by outlier situations.

  140. I despair that this nation will get a grip on gun control or gun safety anytime soon. The reason for all those guns is not for self defense, not for hunting and not for sport. The simple reason is that so many Americans are obsessed with guns and gun ownership. Contrast this ethos with that of other, similar cultures around the world and see what I mean.

    So until the gun ownership mania goes away, guns won't go away, and the associated violence and mayhem won't either. What would cause the mania to go away? I haven't a clue.

    Of course, gun advocates tell us that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." That's right. People kill people. With guns.

  141. I lived in Bologna Italy for a year and a half. Every male I knew had at least one pistol, usually more than one. There were, however, no homicides (one in a year and a half, love triangle, a knife.)

  142. Knives, cars and blunt objects...more than so called "assault rifles"

  143. People also kill people with knives, hammers, clubs, and bare hands. Until I am assured that I will never have my life or health threatened by a person using whatever means at their disposal I will oppose any attempts to deprive me of the means of effectively protecting myself. The only thing that all the gun control legislation I've seen proposed accomplishes is to make it more difficult for the law abiding to defend themselves.

  144. I can't believe we are still having this conversation after those poor innocent children were murdered by a gunman in Sandyhook. Shame on the gun lobby and their supporters.

  145. Now this is disingenuous, and borders on sick ....even though all the gun control passed in NY and CT since the tragedy would not have made a difference in the Sandyhook case. Who should be ashamed?

    "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

    Rahm Emanuel

  146. I vote in 100% of the elections, and any candidate who opposes gun owner rights will never get my vote. The Second Amendment is just as important as the First Amendment. Fortunately, where I live, any candidate who opposes gun owner rights has as much of a chance of being elected as a three-legged dog.

  147. Read the second amendment sometime, or try to. As it stands it means nothing. The simplest alteration that gives it meaning is to move a comma such that it says states may not be prevented from forming militias.

  148. Phil, I find your passion for the second amendment very interesting. I myself am a gun owner but an very much fine with placing restrictions on gun ownership. In all sincerity, I would love to hear why, to you, the second amendment is as important as the first. I'm not trying to argue, just simply curious.

  149. I think the vast majority of Americans, especially responsible gun owners, would agree training and testing *before* gun ownership is a good idea.

    Our laws must reflect that gun ownership be taken at least as seriously as car ownership. No one takes the argument seriously that because some criminals drive cars without a license therefore no one has to get a car license. The same logic applies to guns, even if propaganda levels means some can't agree or understand.

    The Second Amendment refers to a *well-regulated* militia. Training. Discipline. It is in the spirit of the founder's intent to make gun ownership rigorously regulated. The founder's never intended that any yahoo can get a gun easy right now. We had a lot of Dirty Harry constitutional activism in the last century that turned an amendment that was about Redcoats and muskets and community service on the frontier, and redefined perception and legal status quo to make it about criminals and handguns and personal liberty in urban environments.

    We should, and will, reverse that bad development.

    Our social and economic peers have gun death rates far below ours, and they have just as many crazy people, poverty, gangs, etc: all the red herrings gun happy types spout to change the subject. But some of us are paying attention and see the legal landscape surrounding guns is the real problem. And we are sick of the carnage. And if you're not, or you don't see the connection, you're blind, a propagandized fool, or heartless.

  150. There's a world of difference between "a good idea" and a government mandated limitation on a natural civil right. Many gun owners do seek out extensive (and expensive) training. I certainly do.

  151. There's a world of difference between "a good idea" and a government mandated limitation on a natural civil right. Many gun owners do seek out extensive (and expensive) training. I certainly do.

  152. Would you really want to live in a country where every "good idea" is mandated by law?

  153. I have a microchip to track ownership, extensive training, and liability insurance...for my dog. Maybe we shouldn't worry about laws, but liability.

  154. This is a great idea. You should name your cause "Guns for the wealthy" and see how far you get.

  155. I guess I missed the part about Rover in the Bill of Rights.

  156. Sure, because crazy people and criminals are surely going to be deterred by the risk of having their victims file suit against them and thereby lose their vacation homes and investment accounts.

  157. The law already requires gun purchasers to go through a background check. The law already forbids those with domestic violence convictions from owning a firearm. Restraining orders can be had as easily as a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, and do not reflect a conviction, and everyone has some form or level of "mental illness", so those criteria are overly broad, prejudicial and, like most of this article, disingenuous. The reason the gun control "groups" now have the money to fund their special interest is Michael Bloomberg, who heads, funds or pulls the strings on many if not most of them.
    This is not to argue against any regulations, most shooters agree with most Americans that certified criminals and mental patients should not have guns. The nuance required to effect reasonable regulations, however, is lost of many of the frequently strident, sometimes rabid anti-gunners. Like it or not, a dispassionate, empirical look at the numbers and statistics show things that they would rather not come to light, like increased ownership correlating with decreased crime. They don't want you to hear authorities in the know saying that so called "assault" rifles are no such thing and play an infinitesimally small and statistically insignificant role in the so called "wave" of gun violence they'd have you believe is occurring.
    Most shooters would love to have access to the firearms Mr. Bloomberg's security details carry, but for us, that's illegal. Go figure.

  158. Exactly right!

    I refuse to be lectured to regarding the means I use to protect myself and my family.... Especially by people who have a 24/7 detail of armed security.

  159. I dislike the e comparison with marriage equality...which is extending rights under the equal protection clause while gun control seeks to curtail constitutional rights. That said, the details SHOULD reside with the states, Most of so called gun control is a failure. California, the only 4 star state from the Brady campaign, has a higher gun murder rate than Texas. Now I need to figure out how to get out of here, meanwhile I will keep up my donations to my favorite civil rights group, the National Rifle Association

  160. There is something the gun control crowd is forgetting when they aim for local laws: A municipal or state law cannot abrogate a constitutional right. If a state law is passed that bans or puts undo restrictions on gun owner rights, the law will be overturned by the Supreme Court. Look at Cook County for an example.

  161. That is probably why they are not trying to abrogate constitutional rights. If you read the article, you'd see that they are focusing on things like background checks, which have generally found to be constitutional. I didn't read anything in this article about trying to replicate Cook County.

  162. The Democrats in Trenton think otherwise. Fortunately, they have not been able to override Christie's vetoes.

  163. And which well-regulated militia do you belong to again?

  164. The comparison with gay marriage is bogus. In most states where it has been legalized, gay marriage was imposed by the federal courts and against the will of the majority of voters. To adopt the same strategy with gun laws, you'd have to frame the restrictions as an equal protection issue. Maybe you can find a few unelected liberal judges to circumvent the will of the voters.

  165. Yes, same-sex marriage might be a good model to use.

    But how about using the NRA model? It is obviously extremely successful, going from 29% to 52% support for gun ownership rights in 13 years.

    How did this happen? The NRA? Fox News? The rise of the southern, white Republican party? Video games? Mexican drug wars? Lobbyists?


  166. They wrote a lot of checks to politicians.

  167. @Ken, what kind of circular logic is this? The Pew research is a public opinion poll, not a poll of congressmen.

  168. You make it sound like support for gun ownership is something that people have been manipulated into. How about other reasons, like the fact that more people are taking greater responsibility for the protection of self and their loved ones? How about an increase in interest in hunting for procuring meat that is healthy and free of hormones and additives?

  169. I am tired of government 'controls' on drugs, booze, guns, whatever.

    All we get from such 'control' is more sclerotic bureaucracy, mindless paper-shuffling, militarized and aggressive police, and an underclass of revolving-door feeders for the system. Yet the social problems they are meant to address always still remain.

    How 'gun control' would differ in its outcome than, say, 'drug control' has never been explained. Its a weasel phrase that gives something rancid in lieu of what it literally suggests. Maybe that's why they're trying 'gun safety?'

    The more descriptive term for what it delivers would be 'DMV for Pistols.' Or 'Form TZ-4329JBN-847.' Nothing else will change.

  170. What? And how do you explain other developed countries minuscule numbers for the daily mayhem inflicted on the people in this country? Gun control works. Ask any Brit.

  171. And I am just as tired of the steady drumbeat of anti-government sentiment that defines "liberty" simplistically and hollowly as "the right to do what I want without interference." There is a public, and such a thing as the public interest. Genuine liberty is about striking a balance between individual rights and the public welfare. Gun ownership rights have expanded far beyond the degree necessary to secure individual liberty because conservative populist politicians play the issue endlessly for political gain. Some of the very same libertarians, like Rand Paul, then call for the government to step in and close the border to stop the spread of ebola, displaying the inconsistency and vapidness of the extreme libertarian philosophy.

  172. "And I am just as tired of the steady drumbeat of anti-government sentiment that defines "liberty" simplistically and hollowly as "the right to do what I want without interference."

    This is exactly what I am talking about above. I never talked of individual rights or any such thing in my post. I said 'gun control' is a weasel-phrase because one thing it will not do is 'control' guns. Eric Garner died as a result of NYC trying to 'control' cigarettes. Yet people still smoke, and there's ten more Eric Garners hawking singles on the street. That is a microcosm of 'cigarette control' in action. Gun control will be no different.

    And any nation remotely comparable in both size and diversity to the United States is per-capita a much more violent place, no matter their gun controls. Stop with the inane comparisons with European mini-states vis-a-vis a continental superpower like the United States; its like equating John Elway and Ryan Leaf because they were both NFL quarterbacks. Just silly.

  173. It is just wrong and un-American to revoke a Constitutional right from someone without due process of law. A restraining order can be issued with no finding of facts. If police arrested domestic abusers and prosecutors charged them with felonious assault then upon conviction the abusers would not have legal access to guns.

  174. Some say the constitution does not give people that right it gives the people the right to form militias.

  175. The Constitution does not give any rights, it recognizes pre-existing, natural rights. I have the right to defend my life using lethal force if necessary. That is well-established in Common Law.

  176. While "some" may share Don's view, "others" whose opinions actually matter - a majority of the SCOTUS - disagree.

  177. It's sad to realize how many people will fight for their rights to hold on to and/or purchase weapons that KILL ... and get all up in arms (pun intended) when others question that. How is it that someone who bears firearms feels free? If you need to have firearms to feel free, aren't you really feeling threatened and defensive ... where's the freedom in that?

  178. The freedom of firearm ownership - besides the freedom to hunt or do target shooting, is in one's right to defend one's self. Have you ever been the victim of violent crime, be it a carjacking, a home invasion, a mugging, a rape? Have you ever been walking somewhere and been attacked by a pack of dogs? It is not paranoia to be aware of the fact that criminals exist and that they victimize people every day. Where is the freedom in being a victim with no means to defend one's physical sovereignty? Having a gun for a possible defensive scenario does not mean one feels constantly threatened and defensive. Do you feel in constant fear of fire because you have a smoke detector and fire extinguisher in your house?

  179. Self reliance and personal responsibility are part of being free.... you need not carry a weapon if you choose not to or live in NJ where only criminals and the police have them...

  180. Absolutely right on!

  181. I think proponents of sensible gun regulations need to reframe this issue to one of equal rights for both pro- and anti-gun people. Citizens who favor tighter gun regulations should be able, within their own states, cities, and towns, to enact such regulations to protect their safety. To quash any attempt at regulation, which is the NRA's stance, is to deny the rights of those who would disarm their communities for safety. Why can't we have communities favorable to each view?

    Why does the NRA hide behind their overly expansive view of the 2nd amendment to deny these equal rights? Are they afraid that a balanced public debate would show their views to be in the minority? By squelching the discussion through buying our politicians, they are deny equal rights to those who favor the safety of fewer armed citizens.

  182. Gun control advocates may feel better pursuing their goals of disarming ordinary law abiding citizens however, they will have an infinitesimal effect on gun violence.

  183. Our social and economic peers also have mental illness, gangs, poverty, etc.

    But they have far, far lower homicide rates than the USA, where all the extra homicide is due to guns.

    Germany, Japan, Australia, UK, etc. prove that if you control guns, senseless deaths go down.

    It's not controversial, it's not complicated, it's not hard to understand: easy access to guns = more pointless deaths.

  184. Please continue to tiptoe around the elephant in the room.

  185. The assertion that gun safety advocates are trying to "disarm ordinary law abiding citizens" is rank hyperbole.

    But beyond the so-called "law-abiding" crowd, how about we start restricting access to and ownership of guns from the non law-abiding, the mentally unstable and the downright criminally insane?

  186. 'The National Rifle Association is well attuned to its foes’ shift in focus. “We will be wherever they are to challenge them,” said Andrew Arulanandam, the group’s spokesman.'

    Translation: "We will be wherever they are to challenge common sense, intelligence, basic safety and and any simple efforts that would decrease the gun death rate in the United States."

    Dollars Over People; Greed Over People.

    Nice despicable country.

  187. Can we please just divide up the country and let all those who want guns be in one part and all those who want to live without guns live in the other part. I want to live where only the police and the military have guns.

  188. I saw a movie once where only the police and military had guns.

    ...It was called "Schindler's List".

  189. May I suggest Cuba or North Korea?

  190. This wouldn't even be an issue except for the archaic second amendment.

    If that were to be repealed, then we could decide if we want to allow people to carry in public places, objects that are designed for the sole purpose of killing the people around them.

  191. Maybe we can get rid of that pesky First Amendment, too, while we're at it?
    I happen to think that you have far too much freedom of speech...

  192. Archaic?

    Self defense is a natural and eternal right.

  193. Our new law here in WA is already working, barring a convicted felon from buying a gun at a gun show a couple weeks ago. I worked on this campaign with very dedicated volunteers who are sickened by gun violence, the tepid political response to the problem, and the extremist influence of the NRA. We are now a force to be reckoned with and will push for additional, sensible legislation at the state level. The tide has indeed turned!

  194. I think this makes eminent sense. As does the rewording of what proposed gun limits are all about. Much as marriage equality made more sense than 'same-sex marriage,' so does gun safety much over gun control, which is negative and threatening.

    Isn't safety and accident prevention what gun safety all about? I'm still haunted by the New Years incident in Idaho where the 2-year old found his mother's loaded pistol, in her open handbag, and he managed to kill her. While I doubt any of the gun safety legislation would change the potential for similar acts, I'd like to see more efforts to ensure that gun-owners act responsibly with loaded weapons around kids. I never ceased to be amazed at how careless people are with guns, which matches the spirit of our current freewheeling gun culture, fostered and aggravated by the NRA.

  195. On the other hand, if every child of a gun owner shot their parents, the problem would soon take care of itself.

  196. As long as even one state has loose gun laws there will be a flow of illegal guns out of that state into the more restrictive states. There are gun runners leaving New York City ,driving to Virginia, and coming back to the city and making good money selling weapons illegally. This is why real change can only come from federal laws, which doesn't look like it will happen any time soon.

  197. Follow the gay marriage strategy? I kind of hope they do. When it gets closer to home, when it affects people personally, I think they'll find more, not less, support for meaningful (by which I mean effective) gun controls. I support the rights of people to be able to walk around, go to school, drive their cars without losing their right to live.

  198. Tim B. As we all know, correlation does not equal causation. Canada and the UK do have more stringent gun laws, but they are also different societies with different values.

    I understand that we need stricter gun laws, but what kind? What gun law would have stopped the Newtown killings?

  199. A ban on high-capacity magazines would be a good start.

  200. Fact: Gun controls work - see Australia or the U.S. Capitol Building as examples.
    Fact: Gun restrictions are Constitutional - see the words "well-regulated".
    Fact: Lax gun laws are the reasons too many Americans needlessly die. See the news recently tracing the gun used in the senseless killing of two NYC police officers.
    Fact: The only reason we don't have reasonable laws to protect us (universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, gun registration) is because of the profit-over-life-minded NRA and their supporters.

  201. Gun control advocates are misguided. Gun massacres are only the visible manifestation of deep cultural malfunction. By this, I mean economic injustice, racism, suburban purposelessness, and the mental illness to which these things give rise. Band-aids don't work. Outlawing guns will simply cause desperation to morph-- probably into more dangerous form, viz. Boston Marathon-style bombings. An obvious analogue is trading Saddam Hussein for pan-Islamic guerilla solidarity in the form of the Islamic State. Problems must be addressed at their root.

    This is one side of the coin.

    The other side is that political rights cannot be secured absent a confident citizenry. The founding fathers recognized this. Drones kill innocents all over the world every day, and these drones may come home to roost. As MLK pointed out, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

  202. I don't think the two year old who shot his mother in a grocery store was incensed over socioeconomic imbalances in the urban landscape.

  203. Wow, keith-e; pro-guns and pro-MLK in the same comment. And, by the way, the so-called founding fathers did not believe in an armed citizenry to ensure confidence. Nice try.

  204. I concern myself with the big picture.

  205. Why do these freedom lovers stop with guns? Shouldn't we be allowed to have anti-aircraft missiles, (following an NRA safety course in their proper use, naturally) ? Why rely on big government to protect you and your family from a possible foreign air assault? Further, since the 2nd amendment addresses the issue of protection from overzealous government, the only way to counter them is with FULL access to ALL military hardware--automatic weapons, tanks, napalm, fighter jets, atomic bombs.

    Who are THEY to tell an American citizen he can't have an ICBM in his back yard?

  206. Why do these freedom lovers stop with guns? Shouldn't we be allowed to have anti-aircraft missiles, (following an NRA safety course in their proper use, naturally) ? Why rely on big government to protect you and your family from a possible foreign air assault? Further, since the 2nd amendment addresses the issue of protection from overzealous government, the only way to counter them is with FULL access to ALL military hardware--automatic weapons, tanks, napalm, fighter jets, atomic bombs.

    Who are THEY to tell an American citizen he can't have an ICBM in his back yard?

  207. The most important thing to do is register voters and get people to the polls.

  208. 1. The US is the only Western, developed democracy where a two year old accidentally kills his mother by reaching in her purse and shooting her pistol while they were out shopping. Something like this happens regularly. The US is the only Western, developed democracy where civilian police regularly shoot and kill unarmed citizens. This happens because the police are rightfully worried that everyone is carrying a weapon.

    2. The Congress and Supreme Court may thwart attempts to limit "the right to bear arms" but they cannot overturn local efforts to control the behavior of those who do. Local ordinances can establish no shooting zones, for example. They can require gun sellers to hire specially licensed security guards. They can add taxes to the sale of guns and ammunition.

    3. Insurance companies give discounts for those who engage in safe behavior, i.e., they charge more for those who engage in risky behavior. Gun ownership is risky behavior.

    4. The social model that should be followed is how cigarette smoking in public has been severely limited. Private businesses and residences should ban guns from the premises. Separate areas for those with weapons could be set up in some establishments. Many smokers have quit because of the social disapproval and isolation. This strategy can be applied to guns, too. Parents should not let their children visit friends if there are guns in the houses of the friends.

  209. Few points.

    1) Universal background check is a horrible concept because it was designed by people very anti gun and who don't understand the system. Requiring FFL/Form 4473 is burdensome and infringing. Requiring of temporary transfers is just asinine.

    2) In Colorado, the gun control is not very popular and has very little compliance and no enforcement. None. Nota. No arrests, no interest in arrests. They are pile on laws, nothing more. Well, other than they infringe on law abiding gun owners. Poll after poll has shown majority in Colorado do not suppor the new gun laws.

    3) The CO Senate seats held by Dems and were recalled after the new gun laws did go back to Dems in November. However, despite the best efforts of the Democratic party to be the party of gun control, there are pro gun Dems out there and one of them won a recalled Senate seat in CO. IOW, BFD.

    4) Hickenlooper is so wishy washy, he will tell you likes/supports the new gun laws, or doesn't depending on the day of week and who the audience is. He is on record admitting they are largely unenforceable and especially admitted the magazine ban wasn't a good idea.

    5) Hickenlooper also barely won his reelection against a re-purposed GOP candidate that ran for Gov in 2006 and lost then by 17 points. It was a 3 pt loss this time. Hick won by the seat of his pants in a race he should have won big. If not for his support of more gun control.

  210. Look what happened in CT. They passed their assault weapons law and were met with massive civil disobedience. There are tens of thousands of new felons in Connecticut and the government has no idea what to do about it. The government bluffed and the citizens called them on it. No one registered their AR-15's or their large capacity magazines.

  211. Look what happened in CT. They passed their assault weapons law and were met with massive civil disobedience. There are tens of thousands of new felons in Connecticut and the government has no idea what to do about it.


    Similar situation in New York. Civil disobedience

  212. A civilized American society would repeal the 2nd amendment or at least amend to ban all handguns outside one's own property.

  213. It's a good thing we're so uncivilized!

  214. Violent crime rates are at the lowest levels we've seen since the 1950s and yet gun ownership is at the highest levels we've ever seen and gun rights are as liberal as we've seen in decades. Clearly increased gun ownership has not increased violence and carnage. We are doing a great job at reducing violent crime. We should all be happy. Given the amount of serious problems we have in this country, gun ownership is really pretty low on the list. We would be well served to let this issue go and focus our resources on actual problems.

  215. America suffers 33,000-35,000 deaths by gun *every year*. We are 4th in the world in death by gun - after Thailand, Nigeria, and Colombia. It's a fact that if you own a gun, you are more likely to die from gunshot than someone who doesn't own a gun. Aside from our outsized gun death numbers, consider the 10's of thousands of injuries caused by guns.

    The NRA is little more than a gun manufacturers lobby; they are, in fact, akin to a terrorist organization because they regularly oppose even the most basic safety laws and gun safety innovations. The NRA has enabled the distribution of more than 300 million guns to American gun owners. No other country in the world has this problem in such numbers!

    What is most disappointing is that the NRA uses its funding from gun manufacturers to threaten politicians with loss of their position, and it works!

    Last, the perverse arguments made by the NRA, and even the stacked Supreme Court about "the right to bear arms", resembles nothing of the intention of the 2nd Amendment. Where is the NRA's *organized* militia. Where is there ANY organized American militia outside of the National Guard or the US military.

    What makes me laugh is that if, by a 10 billion to one chance, the American military would go rogue, that all of these chest-beating, "rah-rah" NRA types think their pea shooters would stand a chance. It's laughable and tragic at the same time.

  216. So many falsehoods in your comments I'm not even sure where to begin. First off, your 33K deaths by guns implies people killing each other. In fact, homicides by guns is 8454 in 2013 (see FBI homicides table 8). The majority are suicides which bluntly speaking, if they did not have a gun they would jump or use a rope. Read the Federalist papers and get up to speed on your talking points. The founders wanted an armed populace to curtail the power of a Federal government. Finally, your most laughable is the US Military going rogue to do what, gun confiscation? The Military would disolve and its members would defend the 2nd amendment. I doubt you have ever served let alone know anyone in uniform, otherwise you would know how stupid you comment is.

  217. Thailand, Nigeria, Columbia, all involved in battling insurrections of one sort or another. We have nothing of the sort and come in fourth! Absolutely amazing. The civilized world must be laughing at us and rightly so.

  218. "Laughable" sums up your entire comment.

  219. And just how do gun control folks plan on disarming the gangs that have no problem getting illegal guns to kill each other as well as innocent victims? Do they really believe ballot initiatives will stop the street corner buying and selling? There will always be a way to get a gun for these thugs. Go after them, not the safety conscious gun owner who goes through the background checks and does it right.

  220. That's a really good point. Career criminals aren't going to be hampered by the regulations mentioned in this article. Do you think it's possible that the gun safety initiatives could succeed in other contexts though? Maybe these regulations would be more effective in preventing gun crimes by less sophisticated assailants: the mentally ill, known wife beaters, etc.

    In my own life, I worry more about someone going off the deep end and shooting up my wife's office or my kid's school than some gangster in a part of the city we frankly never enter.

    I could see where someone with a history of mental illness might object on discrimination grounds. Perhaps it's just a scare tactic by the gun safety folks. I'd like to see some numbers on how many people would actually get rejected weapons by the policies outlined here. Also, how many violent crimes have been committed by those people.

  221. Ballot initiatives were passed overwhelmingly in some states to ban same-sex marriage only to be overturned by judges as unconstitutional. Why wouldn't the will of the majority to control or ban certain guns meet a similar annulment?

  222. Because in both cases, there is the Constitution. In the first instance, there's the equal protection clause. In the second, there's the phrase "well-regulated".

  223. To the Framers ”well-regulated" meant highly trained or properly functioning, not proscribed by law as people interpret the meaning today.

  224. To the Framers, arms meant muskets.

  225. Bullets are people, too.

    Support the NRA and more senseless gun deaths.

  226. I would like the reporter who wrote this article to cite her sources for the information that the NRA is largely supported by small donors. The NRA is heavily subsidized by the gun manufacturing industry.

  227. How can you know that somebody is mentally unfit to purchase and keep a firearm if you have a healthcare system that doesn't cover 50 million Americans? Let's just keep on doing what we do best: practice violence, on each other, on foreign countries.

  228. As long as even one state has loose gun laws there will be a flow of illegal guns out of that state into the more restrictive states. There are gun runners leaving New York City ,driving to Virginia, and coming back to the city and making good money selling weapons illegally. This is why real change can only come from federal laws, which doesn't look like it will happen any time soon.

  229. After a tragedy involving guns, the pro-gun groups are quick to compare them to hammers, and blame the gunman. Two police officers were murdered in Brooklyn almost 3 weeks ago by a gun. The reaction from the pro-gun crowd: blame the mayor. It's rhetoric that drowns out any serious conversation about this important subject.

  230. Police anger toward elected authorities in NY and police killings of unarmed citizens throughout U.S. are best arguments against restricting gun ownership too much. Cops have guns and, worse, they are organized.

  231. THIS Past summer the NRA floated the proposition that advancement of school children in grade should be contingent on their passing a fire arms proficiency test.

    IF this was the case, I guess the dead eye Idaho 2 year old who shot his mom in the head in Walmart should be off to university now instead of preschool.

    BUT as we all know, more guns make us all safer.

  232. Unfortunately the victim stored her weapon in an unsafe manner. We shouldn't abridge the rights of millions due to the negligence of 1 person.

  233. I get so tired of the "my second amendment rights" scream. Have you read the only 2 decisions on the second amendment issued by the most conservative court in modern times? You don't have a right to walk down main street packing an open carry or concealed carry weapon. Your federal rights end with the pistol you keep for protection in your home. Try carrying that rifle slung over your shoulder when you shop for groceries in Virginia and walk down an aisle in Maryland and you will be body-slammed to the floor. Thank goodness intelligence prevails and please don't compare drug war fatalities in Baltimore with your rural lifestyle. I've lived in Baltimore all my life and witnessed one purse-snatching.

  234. Isn't that "most conservative court in modern times" the same court that approved of same sex marriage and approved of the Obamacare law?

  235. Most of the traction that the pro-gun control got after Newtown has been crushed by the NRA. Unfortunatly, it's going to take a future tragedy and a higher body count than Sandy Hook for any serious conversation about guns to happen again. Truly sad.

  236. Fact: Gun controls work - see Australia or the U.S. Capitol Building as examples.
    Fact: Gun restrictions are Constitutional - see the words "well-regulated".
    Fact: Lax gun laws are the reasons too many Americans needlessly die. See the news recently tracing the gun used in the senseless killing of two NYC police officers.
    Fact: The only reason we don't have reasonable laws to protect us (universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, gun registration) is because of the profit-over-life-minded NRA and their supporters.

  237. "clearly Washington is broken,” Mr. Feinblatt said. “You have to influence the federal government at the state."

    Too bad for the Left, after the midterms Republicans now have historical domination at the state level, controlling 68 of 98 state legislative bodies, and now 31 Governorships. The NY Times conveniently neglects to mention this.
    So even disguised as "gun safety", there is little chance the gun control issue will be successful on the state level.

  238. It seems that Nanny Bloomberg hasn't learned his lesson.

    No one likes a hypocrite who wants take guns away from the people while he drives around in an armored limousine with bodyguards.

    Also, no American is going to turn in his or her gun under any circumstances after what happened in Ferguson.

  239. This will not be easy as gun lobby is so powerful and not enough politicians have the courage to address this problem. How many Americans were killed or wounded by gun violence in 2014? This figure should be publicized.

  240. BLB, do a little homework before you start talking about "this problem". Take 30 seconds to do a web search on FBI Homicides Table 8 and you'll see the real numbers which show "this problem" is steadily going down for both gun and rifle homicides for the last 20 years. Stop getting your facts from a 2 minute sound bite on some mass media station with an agenda. So there you go, the figures are published (8454 homicides in 2013 of which 285 were done by rifles), and they simply do not back the "out of control gun carnage' image that is being published by the media or people who are clueless.

  241. I myself own a glock 40 caliber handgun, shot it with my 18 year old daughter and her boyfriend last week, fun was had by all. When at home the gun is close at hand ( I have no small children) and the lord have mercy on the intruder that enters my home in this castle doctrine state, for I assure you I shall have absolutely none. That said it is outrageous that it is easy to get an AR-15 assault rifle or similar gun ( the Sandy Hook weapon) and bring it into your home. Nobody needs it unless they are expecting a surprise ISIS attack presently, or they find themselves beset on all sides by big cats during the commute to work. Want to fire an AR-15 or similar weapon? Rent it and return it. There must be a measure of sanity in the gun debate, lest their be further Sandy Hooks.

  242. Odd. Many small-town police departments are militarizing (uniforms, weapons, armored vehicles), justifying their excesses by citing the possibility of a surprise ISIS attack materializing presently in Pleasantville. Should it surprise us if some of the hoi polloi share their concern, and arm themselves, willing to rise as a militia in such an event?

  243. "for I assure you I shall have absolutely none"

    How sad that scorn for and distrust of our fellow citizens so strongly characterizes the pro-gun lobby.

  244. Nonsense and misdirection.

    Cars still kill more people in the USA than any other method. Cars have killed more US citizens annually than guns since 1916. It is so common we don't consider auto deaths a problem. That is collective psychosis.

    Over 110 children are backed over and killed by the family car every single year in the USA. So 5.5 Newtown Massacres happen every single year thanks to the family car. You never hear about it because it is not spectacular enough.

    Gun deaths of children under 19 year of age also pale in comparison to drowning, fire, poisoning, and suffocation. In most states, death by firearm is not even important enough to register in the statistics. Autos are always number 1.

    The CDC tells us that 60% of gun deaths in the US are suicides. A Harvard Law study tells us that the presence of firearms does not affect suicide rates. Japan is gun-free, but has a suicide rate 4x higher than the USA.

    According to the FBI, 87% of US gun murders are carried out by felons who possess a gun illegally. Same dataset states that 78% of firearm VICTIMS have a felonious history.

    Criminals killing criminals, yet gun control seeks to affect ONLY the non-criminal, law-abiding gun owner.

    Like me.

  245. Further, if one subtracts the "black on black" gun violence, the stats for gun injury and death mirror other developed countries. However, combine mental illness (which this country pitifully attempts to address), and alcohol and drugs with gun ownership and you have a tragedy on the prowl. The same can be said for automobiles and drugs and alcohol. Keeping guns from law abiding citizens is a thug's dream

  246. I can understand what you mean about vehicles, but cars are not used as weapons and many, many more people are driving cars at any one time, which means you will have many more chances of people being killed in car accidents, which could be a reason why their numbers are higher.

  247. Wow the deaths by other means makes the deaths by guns ok because there are fewer ones.......mind boggling logic here

  248. "The gun control movement...using the same-sex marriage movement as a model to take the fight to voters on the state level."

    Uh, didn't same-sex marriage lose at the ballot box only to win in court? Gun control has lost in court and lost in federal elections. Now, based on one ballot issue in one state, the thinking is they have a winning strategy? Good luck with that. The article says it best: "Candidates who backed gun control mostly lost in the midterm elections, even after groups spent millions on their behalf."

    There is a reason Republicans have greater control at the state level than ever before, 68 of 98 partisan state legislative chambers; Democrats flogging losing issues such as gun control.

  249. Uh, didn't same-sex marriage lose at the ballot box only to win in court? Gun control has lost in court and lost in federal elections. Now, based on one ballot issue in one state, the thinking is they have a winning strategy? Good luck with that. The article says it best: "Candidates who backed gun control mostly lost in the midterm elections, even after groups spent millions on their behalf."


    Amazing thought process isn't it?

    Especially the cognitive dissonance about passed ballot initiatives prohibiting same sex marriage being overturned by courts.

  250. There are huge stretches of the country that are VERY unlike New York City, vast rural and mountainous expanses where you may not see a uniformed law enforcement officer for a week or more. Protecting your family takes on a much different perspective when you live far from town or city. A gun can be all that a man has to protect his family and property from those who would do them harm.

    People in these areas are not anti-"gun safety," but they fear the incrementalism of anti-gun proponents: first it's more stringent background checks, then it's restrictions on magazine size, later certain types of guns are banned, and finally the right to own a gun is taken away. They are leery of any first step in the direction of gun control.

  251. Right, just like the requirement to have seat belts in cars led to the requirement to have airbags which led to the banning of cars. Oh, wait.

  252. See Chicago and California for proof.

  253. "Protecting your family"

    Sorry but the "Charles Bronson" rationale is ridiculous at best, and is more likely disingenuous. Some people like to shoot guns. Just admit it. Then we can discuss selfishness and civic responsibility.

  254. In September of this year, California passed a first-of-its-kind bill authorizing the issuance of restraining orders that would confiscate firearms possessed by any close relative who might pose a threat. To me, that seems like a big deal -- a first meaningful restriction after seemingly endless failure. Californians made admittedly modest progress, but nobody else was making any. I think this follows the gay marriage model of reform and is the way to go. It should be clear by now that emotional campaigns following major shootings don't work. Small steps can. Folks who have despaired of progress should recognize that progress is made one step at a time.

  255. "...who might pose a threat".

    You're right, that IS a big deal!

    Since when is it acceptable to circumvent "Due Process of Law" and the 4th Amendment?

  256. The restraining order works just like a domestic restraining order. It is issued upon specific allegations by a potential victim. Courts have repeatedly upheld them because, as any female victim of abuse can tell you, their enforcement is pretty spotty. Constitutional arguments like yours have repeatedly been made and seem reasonable. But they have not prevailed. This is not a final answer in gun matters, any more than in domestic matters. But it is a step forward.

  257. I have no problem with someone owning a legally obtained gun - just as I have no problem with someone choosing to smoke or drink alcohol, or eat foods that lead to morbid obesity.

    America is a nation defined by individual liberties. But the freedom to exercise those liberties does not mean freedom to exercise them without paying your fair share into the risk pool for society.

    If you own a gun, your household is more likely to be a site of a gun shot injury - this is fact. If you smoke, you're more likely to utilize expensive health care resources - same as if you drink alcohol to some excess, and the same as if you eat yourself to a dangerous weight.

    Pay for it. If you own a gun, smoke, drink or become morbidly obese, you should have to pay a fair amount of money into some sort of fund - you should have to pay for your higher risk behavior so the rest of us don't have to pick up the bill.

    Tax people at every turn of dangerous behavior, and at the very minimum society won't have to worry as much about how to pay for their accidental gun shot wounds, their heart disease, liver cirrhosis or cancer.

  258. Oddly, Obamacare has put the insurance argument to rest. Time for some new talking points.

  259. Shouldn't we then also tax pompous, self righteous indignation? Better yet, let's mandate that everyone be strong, good looking and above average. And if you live in or close to places likely to be attacked by terrorists, disgruntled citizens or aliens, your life, health, auto and homeowners insurance premiums should reflect the added risk. Folks in Langley, McLean, Fairfax, etc. should pay a hefty surcharge on their taxes for the extra security the rest of us are obliged to provide. Of course members of congress who smoke, drink, eat too much or lie will be exempt.

  260. Just as a homeowner with a swimming pool in her backyard pays more for home-owner's insurance, someone who owns a gun should be required to carry insurance to indemnify others in the case of an accident. What if the toddler in Idaho had shot and insured one of his cousins instead of killing his mother?

  261. The gun control and same sex marriage issues are not really analogous.

    The difference between the continued pursuit of greater gun control & the laudable spread of same sex marriage in the states is that the former is for more restrictions on individuals & greater government control over the citizenry, whereas the latter is for greater freedom for individuals to live their lives as they themselves decide.

    Thankfully the American people are still more pro-freedom than not. That is why gun control support has sagged, while approval of gay marriage has blossomed.

  262. I hate guns. Hate em but if I felt the need to protect myself and my family, I want the option to own one. Self-defense is a basic human right and no state should be able to prevent me from defending myself or my household. Am I supposed to leave my most basic human rights up to the discretion of the police?

  263. Yes, every other country in the world demands that from its citizens.

  264. The only one is who asking you to is the NRA-created bogeyman they use to frighten gun owners into given the NRA money.

  265. Most the planet does not consider a gun a necessary component of "human rights."
    Buy a dog.

  266. Yeah good luck with that. Supporting gay marriage and opposing gun rights are not even in the same American socio-political galaxy. The U.S. Constitution guarantees equal rights under the law (e.g., gay marriage), and also the right of the people to keep and bear arms. See the difference, utopian progressives?

  267. Because it's necessary for the security of a free state which is defended by the militia.

  268. Actually, no it doesn't. Every Supreme Court disagrees with you, including this one. As has repeated by many except those who continue to express your view, there are mitigating other terms (militia, well-regulated) in the 2nd amendment that qualify and diminish what you call a guaranteed right.

  269. The term "gun-rights groups" is an incomplete term especially when referring to the NRA. The term should be "gun-rights-above-the-right-to-live groups."

  270. This is the kind of unhelpful and self absorbed rhetoric which alienates the honest gun owning public not to mention the 5mm members of the NRA. Your chances of getting killed by a firearm are miniscule even in NYC.

  271. The wisdom of a campaign for "gun safety" was lost on gun legislation advocates after Sandy Hook, and the advisability of confining their goals to reduction of specific factors that had demonstrably caused the Newtown shooting was apparently rejected.

    Unfortunately -- for me, given my preference for strong gun control laws -- the intervening years have shown that states are a successful laboratory for attacking state statutes that uphold a lower-than-federal standard of civil rights. It seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will take the opposite tack now.

    It might be better for advocates to focus on federal civil rights that are (arguably) in specific and demonstrable conflict with black letter 2d amendment rights.

  272. Having lived abroad, I appreciate the wisdom of the founding fathers had in including the second amendment. I don't take it for granted. My family lives in a country where guns are banned but armed criminals act with impunity while law abiding citizens can only cower and wish they had the right to selfdefense. That being said, I also appreciate the awesome responsibility that comes with the right to bear arms - a responsibility surely expected by our founding fathers.

  273. Until NY SAFE was passed I was a legal firearm owner. Now I have several items including one rifle and two high-capacity magazines that are now illegal to own. Do I plan to modify or dispose of these items? No.

  274. As a gun owner, I fully applaud this effort. I have property in western NC, on a trout stream and a mile from national forest. Yesterday, while just enjoying the day, there was a gun shot practically under our window. To my absolute horror, someone had shot one of a pair of herons that nest nearby. We were so accustomed to them, we named them and enjoyed watching them fish and interact with the otter family who also frequent our area. I cannot express my outrage at this unfathomable act of meanness. I don't know what legal measures could have prevented this, however, it's clear that something needs to change. The shooter, coward extraordinaire, camouflaged and hidden in the woods got away despite our efforts and immediate assistance from NC Fish & Game.

    What if this person decides next time that it might be fun to shoot our pets, or even one of us? What if a grandchild had been outside and the bullet ricocheted? The brutal murder of this elegant and exotic bird that graced us with his presence, has left me with a sadness, and disgust for "humanity" that will probably remain always. Watching him die, was excruciating.

  275. What if? Do you really need to ask? You would be standing over a dead child. You could shoot a gun that has a bullet ricochet and could be responsible for the killing of a beautiful animal or a precious child. That's what if.

  276. @swm: maybe I am misunderstanding the tone of your reply, but no - I don't really have to ask - I'm not stupid, and really don't appreciate the lecture. This was an inexcusable act by a vicious person with a gun. The "guns for everybody no matter who/what" crowd are the ones those questions were directed to.

  277. Deb, You are clearly a sensitive, thoughtful person, and I mean no disrespect, however you raised some very serious 'what ifs' in a forum that allows for debate, and that as a parent I have very strong feelings about. An inexcusable act and an accidental act can have the same outcome.

  278. As a lifelong gun owner, and believer in the right to bear arms as fundamental to our collective American identity I am worried, but also emboldened by the continued threats to our 2nd amendment rights. Despite the liberal media's relentless efforts to paint the NRA as Goliath to the gun control movement's David, the truth is the opposite. The NRA and the American's whose rights it champions is under siege by billionaires with a despotic agenda. I hope that Americans don't let them succeed in taking away yet more of our freedoms.

  279. "The NRA and the American's whose rights it champions is under siege by billionaires with a despotic agenda."

    I have not read a more ridiculous, self-serving statement in many a day. Sorry but playing "victim" as a gun advocate is ludicrous and insulting. The victims are the people who are dead or maimed because of our cowardly politicians and the self-centered people who support vile organizations like the NRA, the gun lobbies.

  280. Well.....we the people for gun safety will just have to fight you for our rights won't we?

  281. The NRA is a wealthy, powerful organization supported by gun makers and a mass of scared civilians. It is not weak, threatened, endangered, or powerless, and it is certainly not a victim. It is an enabler of obscene amounts of violence and unrest.

  282. As we saw in Idaho, gun holders put everyone at risk. It isn't even safe to go into a store and stand in line next to a mother and child. It was pure good luck that for once the blow fell hardest on the instigator and not some innocent victim.

    The ordinary citizen's right to life has to be protected over the rights of those who would kill or harm them. Evidence and reason make the case for gun control. The rest is detail.

  283. It horrifies me to feel this way, but I was glad to read that it was the gun owner who had died rather than some unlucky bloke who was in the Walmart buying party fixings for New Years Eve.

  284. We must repeal the 2nd amendment. It is obvious to all, (including NRA members whether they admit or not) that gun ownership is nothing like free speech, or the right to a speedy public trial etc. They are not the same and everyone knows it. Yet we cling to this idea that the right to a deadly weapon is somehow similar to the freedom of peaceable assembly. They are not the same and never will be. It is as plain as the color of the sky. We must repeal the 2nd amendment.

  285. That would require 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate, and 3/4 of the state legislatures. Do you think there is any realistic chance of that happening?

  286. There is a clearly defined process for doing exactly as you describe, get to work.

  287. Naïve beyond belief.....good luck, have you seen the recent Pew poll.

  288. Do you think African-Americans feel safer with only the police having firearms? But this ideal is pushed by gun control advocates as common-sense as the police can be held accountable. Yet recent high-profile, non-indictments of white officers shooting black youth to death say otherwise.

  289. If African-Americans have firearms and do not shoot back, the firearms do not help them. If police feel threatened, they will shoot first and often.

  290. Arron: "Do you think African-Americans feel safer with only the police having firearms?"

    Right, it is all about the African-Americans, and not the arrogant selfishness of the gun nuts.

  291. The Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to possess firearms. I possess five. If a majority of the citizens of the U.S. want to abridge that right, then they have the ability to redress the Congress with their grievance in order to amend the Constitution. Until that happens and it is confirmed by Congress I will continue to possess and use my firearms as guaranteed and accorded by the Constitution.

  292. Are you a part of a "well-regulated militia"? 'Cause according to the Constitution you are supposed to be...

  293. Your reading of that Constitutional text can be compared with that of the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for free people, your reading is incorrect.

  294. Just so you know, no Court has ever said that there are unlimited gun rights.

    "Free people," my foot. You've got guns confused with liberty, even as you recite the same old slogans in the same old ways, without thinking.

  295. The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution states "......of the people…" well who are 'the people"? Canadians driving through to Mexico, Mexicans driving to Canada? It must be determined that a gun toting person is "....of the people...." so that citizens have some sense of community and expectations of responsible behavior. Who has a better method of determining "the people" than through background checks? In the 21st century we need to be unified in our commitment to the constitution and it’s requirements of the citizens. That means clearly defining those who are “of the people” and those who remain without constitutional protection.
    There is not a loss of liberty in background checks. Rather there is an affirmation of rights, and liberties for “the people”.

  296. Love the Times and its rapid anti-gun sentiments. Have any of you even bothered to look up the number of gun deaths (i.e. see FBI table 8 homicides), in this country? Hate to break your preconceptions with actual facts but here goes. For the last 20 plus years homicide gun deaths have steadily gone down despite increased population growth and a vast increase in gun ownership (especially among women). The left goes insane over the issue of the AR15, yet when I ask one how many people are killed by rifles in this country, I get guesses ranging from 2000-5000 a year. Actual homicide numbers in 2013 were 8545 gun deaths of which 285 where rifles. The 33k-35K gun deaths being brandished around are mostly suicides where if there was no gun, they’ll use a rope or jump. You actually have a higher percentage of getting killed by a knife, hands/feet, or a blunt object then you do by a rifle (note Table 8 again). But the left goes bat crazy on these rifles when frankly it’s not an issue. So with all the doom and gloom, out of control gun hype by the media, the numbers simply do not back that image.

  297. So if gun deaths due to rifles are not the major form of gun death, gun advocates will be ok with banning handguns? Thanks, that is good to know.

  298. Sure, the situation is great. No School slaugther(s) in 2015, the teachers are packing now. See, Everything is fine and going in the right direction.

  299. The FBI stats are true, but how can you possibly say that a knife, hands and feet are more dangerous than a rifle. Fewer people are likely using rifles because they are much harder to concel than a pistol, and when you add up all homicides in America, according to the FBI, nearly 70% are done with a firearm.

  300. Ferguson has taught us all a myriad of lessons.

    Maybe not all of them are obvious or politically correct.

  301. Yes, we learned that prosecutors have serious conflict of interest issues with officer involved shootings.

  302. In the wake of the riots in Ferguson, MO, NYC, LA, and other locations, it is imperative the general public enact Castle Doctrine laws for their own self defense because the police seem incapable of terminating the street thugs, rioters, looters, arsonists and anarchists. The 2nd Amendment provides the right to firearm ownership. Many states already have concealed carry permits. If you are not in an area that allows for these things, then get organized and sue your local and state authorities because they will lose in the Federal court system. Last but not least do not vote for the gun control crowd because 6 years of Obama and holder misapplication of justice has been a travesty. Arm yourselves America and stamp out the anti gun politicians!

  303. I see, so you want ordinary citizens to pack some heat and go after the street thugs, rioters, looters, arsonists and anarchists? You want to fight anarchy with anarchy? Boy, there's some deep thinking right there.

  304. Why is it "hair on fire" 24/7 with you people? It really begins to look like some form of mental illness.

  305. As I just wrote:mental health assessment needed for you and your threats.

  306. Now that President Obama has foreshadowed a vigorous-duck culmination for his presidency with courageous and effective executive action on immigration, he is well positioned to issue a desperately needed Executive Order on gun control. Any nation that cannot secure the safety of its elementary school children in their classrooms is unworthy of survival. Period. It's high time for an American president to face-up to the ire of the lunatic-fringe element in the NRA and use his clear constitutional power as Commander-in-chief under Article II, combined with his clear constitutional power under the Second Amendment to ensure "a well regulated militia" by establishing clear rules and regulations for the ways and places in which "the people" "keep and bear arms." And the myopic decision of the Scalia Court on the Second Amendment should not hinder such necessary Executive Action, for that decision belongs in the SC trash bin along with Plessy; courageous Executive Action will get it there sooner rather than later.

  307. We HAVE to allow teens to walk around the shopping mall with a weapon that can shoot through the engine block of your car.

    It says so right here on this crinkled up piece of trash someone wrote back in the 18th century!

  308. That "crinkled up piece of trash" you refer to was written in 1791.

    Also, judging by your obvious disdain for the Constitution, you should consider changing your screen name....
    You are most certainly NOT the voice of any America that I recognize!

  309. Live by the gun, die by the gun. Since human beings are not always rational, mild-mannered creatures, we are far likelier to use our guns on ourselves or our families than on any intruder. If you don't want the arguments and hurt feelings that we all experience to end in bloodshed, don't buy a gun, even though it is your right.

    Rights are one thing, but adult judgment is something else.

  310. If you honestly believe that you are not rational enough to safely own a gun, by all means please abstain.

  311. Well, I guess this make sense: gun restrictions are like expanding rights for gays to get married, EXCEPT:
    a) there is no second amendment for gay marriage
    b) voters didn't support gay marriage, judges did

    Otherwise yes, they are exactly the same

  312. Judges went and upheld the Constitution...which, one notes, you lot cheered for when the pro-gun rights Court decisions came down.

  313. [[a) there is no second amendment for gay marriage]]

    Gay marriage falls under Amendment XIV, which reads:

    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    [[b) voters didn't support gay marriage, judges did]]

    This will shock you, but when people sue, judges are the people who are called on to resolve disputes.

  314. Voters in Maryland, Maine, and Washington voted for marriage equality in 2012. Please don't distort the facts.

    Most Americans support same-sex marriage. Most Americans also support sensible gun safety laws.

  315. If the Second Amendment of the US Constitution is the 11th Commandment.... how do we make it a viable tool for social good? Perhaps, the best way to protect the right to bear arms, is to organize the law-abiding citizens who want guns to narrow and police that right by toughening up restrictions for obtaining and maintaining guns.

    If you are lawful, does it matter if you have a background check?...Does it matter if you have to register your guns?...Does it matter that you can't carry a gun in public?....Does it matter if your magazine size is limited?....Does it matter if you are required to take a periodic gun safety refresher course to renew a license?

    For the lawful, none of those requirements should impinge on freedoms and the Second Amendment. However, they just may winnow out those who have guns for malicious intent....and curb the senseless tragedies of present day gun violence.

    Sensible gun safety policy doesn't deprive lawful owners of guns; it protects neighborhood children and innocents from misguided and disturbed miscreants bent on ignoring the law. It is a policy that mandates states to protect individual citizens who respect the law.

  316. If you don't intend to leave your fingerprints at a crime scene, does it matter if we fingerprint you right now? If you are not up to no good at night, does it matter if we put you under a curfew? If you are not a drunk, does it matter if the state rations your alcohol purchase? If you are not teaching your children bad things, does it matter if we bring them in for periodic re-education?
    We already have a way to winnow out people who have guns for malicious intent: jail. Liberals object to our putting people there, but it is making the crime rate drop, year after year after year.

  317. THe gun nut speaks. It doesnt matter how many children are killed by your fellow gun nuts.

  318. and it doesn't matter how many children are killed in your Gun Free Zones?

  319. How does the supremacy clause effect these efforts? Federal law allows the ownership of what Liberals call assault weapons and details the steps to be taken to acquire them.

  320. It's "affect," and you might want to learn what your own side's arguments are: typically, you guys swear up and down that states' rights and the Second Amendment trump any and all Federal law or regulation.

  321. And liberal individuals acquire guns while constantly introducing new legislation to deny law abiding taxpayers to right to defend themselves. California state legislator Leland Yee never voted for a gun law which ultimately he could not ignore in order to illegally pay off his casino styled bets at getting elected for any available office.

  322. Viewing police behavior, the spy agencies, Homeland Security,and all the rest, people wanting to disarm the citizens are naïve at best, devious maybe.

  323. Many of us would rather have the cops "oppressing," us than you lot "protecting," us.

    At least with the cops, you can take 'em to court.

  324. No, actually, the cops rarely are forced to go to court.

  325. "Taking them to court" isn't doing much good these days.