Hair-trigger reaction

Rush to 'do something' on guns is stifling reasonable debate

  • Follow Editorials

The sane reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting might have been to look at the country’s mental illness infrastructure.

The shooter in the case was clearly sick, and mental illness is the common denominator among these mass shootings, after all, from Newtown to Tucson to Aurora to Virginia Tech and beyond.

Instead, look at what we’re doing.

The White House and many in Congress have targeted legal gun owners and guns; at least one lawmaker in Iowa has openly called for confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens; and several media outlets have even run maps showing the homes, addresses and names of legal gun permit holders in New York.

That latter move of publicly identifying legal gun owners, by the Journal-News of Westchester County and by Gawker.com, is particularly despicable. It puts a target on the back of law-abiding gun owners, while criminals with guns are excused from the discussion.

It’s possible some of the legal gun owners may have been put in danger by the exposure – from burglars intent on stealing guns or from past abusers who may not have known their victims’ current place of residence.

But in the main, the decision to publish the identities of legal gun owners is a reprehensible attempt to scapegoat them and subject them to public ridicule in the wake of a tragedy many miles away that they had nothing to do with.

In short, law-abiding gun owners across this country are being slandered.

And to what end? Even if you could confiscate the guns that the government knows about – which we would hope the Second Amendment still prohibits – that would merely disarm the law-abiding population.

We understand the knee-jerk sentiment in the wake of Sandy Hook to “do something.” But in truth, there is no law that would prevent a law breaker from breaking a law. And there are plenty of laws already on the books.

As ominous as any of this is, perhaps more frightening is the prospect that an American president would consider unilateral action, without the assent of Congress, to rewrite the nation’s gun laws through executive order – which Vice President Joe Biden has said may happen.

Having knifed into the Second Amendment thusly, what other rights would an unfettered president cut into?

Perhaps not surprisingly, the anti-gun hysteria has inspired Americans to flock to the Second Amendment. Gun sales and permit applications have surged across America.

“In December,” reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Gwinnett’s weapons carry applications doubled from the previous December, rising to 1,082. Cobb County saw an 89 percent hike to 1,212 last month.”

In Augusta, a recent spot check of Richmond County government by The Chronicle revealed 40 gun permit applications in a single day; they had been running at about 10 to 15 a day.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association reports a tsunami of 100,000 new members.

It makes absolutely no sense to come after law-abiding gun owners. They’re not the problem.

The current hysteria ignores the fact that violence and gun violence have actually dropped by half since the 1990s – and that the areas with the strictest gun laws often have the most gun violence, probably a reflection of the fact that the government is capable of disarming only those residents who follow laws.

Studies show mass killings peaked in 1929. And as for banning “assault” weapons, they are difficult to define – and a study of the country’s former assault weapons ban concludes the effect of a reinstatement of it is “likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. (Assault weapons) were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.”

Sane and law-abiding Americans, who are in no way responsible for Sandy Hook, are as serious about the Second Amendment as most of us are about the First Amendment and every other constitutional protection against the heavy hand of government.

We said in the wake of Sandy Hook that we’d welcome a reasonable debate on guns.

So far, there’s no sign of one.

Comments (20) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
specsta
6073
Points
specsta 01/14/13 - 02:48 am
2
17
We Haven't Grown Up Yet

Here's the NRA's fuzzy math equation : more guns + more guns = fewer gun deaths - and we can all get along and sing in harmony by the campfire.

WRONG.

More guns means more people killed by guns. More shootings, more murders, more arguments settled with a bullet in somebody's hide. We are a violent nation, and we might as well face that fact. We are one step removed from barbarianism and we prove that point every day that a citizen is murdered in our streets by a firearm.

nofanofobama
6724
Points
nofanofobama 01/14/13 - 07:31 am
13
0
look at govt stats where guns

look at govt stats where guns are allowed vrs where they are not..then try repeating the same talking points..they dont fly in the face of FACTS..

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 01/14/13 - 08:49 am
1
12
More booze=less drinking More

More booze=less drinking
More drugs=less drug abuse
More tobaccco=less smoking

Jon Lester
2269
Points
Jon Lester 01/14/13 - 09:23 am
5
1
Hold firm.

If those opposed to the Second Amendment have to resort to disrespecting the First and openly advocating to abuse the Fourth, then something's wrong with their argument.

The grossly oversimplified model we call the "political spectrum" doesn't really apply, tempted as you may be to assume a host of other positions must accompany a gun rights opinion. The division here is between individualists and statists, those who love freedom and authoritarians, both of which can be found on the nominal left and right. Some of us understand that usage of the phrase, "the people," in the wording of the Second Amendment, is identical to what it means in the Preamble, where its importance is illustrated with tall letters.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 01/14/13 - 09:25 am
1
6
See: Mulford Act

See: Mulford Act

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 01/14/13 - 10:06 am
2
8
" areas with the strictest

" areas with the strictest gun laws often have the most gun violence, probably a reflection of the fact that the government is capable of disarming only those residents who follow laws."

There never was any drinking in dry counties either, right? Folks never drove across county lines to buy booze. Could guns be bought in a state with lax laws show up in states with tougher laws? For the years I can find the info (2006-2009), our little home state of Georgia leads the nation in guns used in crimes recovered in other states. In 2009, that was 13% of all of these weapons. We should be ashamed.

GnipGnop
11429
Points
GnipGnop 01/14/13 - 10:39 am
7
0
More gun laws?

You can't enforce the ones on the books now...how many times do we read "possesion of a gun by a convicted felon" in our newspaper? Gun ownership by responsible citizens is the only thing that keeps the criminals from taking everything they want without stopping. Remember the shoot to kill orders in the 80's when there were a rash of robberies? The only thing criminals understand is instant punishment for their actions. Luckily, there are people who still believe in defending themselves and not bowing down and forfeiting their rights because of a knee jerk reaction.

dichotomy
30344
Points
dichotomy 01/14/13 - 10:43 am
8
0
And what percentage of

And what percentage of shootings are done by legal, permitted gun owners? Statistically insignificant is the appropriate term. How many of those shooters used stolen guns and were already participants in our catch and release criminal justice system? How many of those shooters were mentally ill and were known to be so by family, friends, school teachers, and law enforcement and nobody did anything to force them into treatment?

And here comes Techfan with more irrelevant info....the Mulford Act. Another knee-jerk reaction law that was found to be unconstitutional. As are ALL gun ban laws.

You folks that want a lot of gun control should move to Chicago or Los Angeles. They've got a lot of gun control to match some of the highest murder rates.

If they try to ban our semi-automatic "assault" weapons at least we will finally be able to buy the good stuff, you know, the fully automatic REAL military grade weapons from the Mexican cartels who will be smuggling them across the border by the tons.

The 2nd Amendment is my permit.
Issued: 12/15/1791 Expires: Never

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/14/13 - 10:57 am
5
0
Cite whatever you want for Gun Control facts.

But when you open the US Constitution up to Mob, political or Socialist Rule every Guaranteed Protective Right comes into play.

It could come to:
SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, BE A GOOD STATE CITIZEN

BTW:
The US Supreme Court has scheduled a case for Feb 15th. Chief Justice John Roberts scheduled a case regarding validity of President Obama vs his other name Barry Santos. The case titled Noonan, Judd, MacLeran, Taitz v Bowen.

Remember & Understand
Say what you will, The US Supreme Court does not accept cases unless there is a viable legal reason or justification.

Bulldog1
223
Points
Bulldog1 01/14/13 - 11:21 am
8
0
New Harvard Study

A recently published study from Harvard University shows that FEWER guns do indeed equal MORE murder. Something most thinking people have understood for a long time.
Http://theacru.org/acru/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

debbiep38
376
Points
debbiep38 01/14/13 - 11:26 am
0
0
Wouldn't that be a citizen
Unpublished

Wouldn't that be a citizen murdered by a citizen, Specsta?

debbiep38
376
Points
debbiep38 01/14/13 - 11:29 am
0
0
Poor Techfan.
Unpublished

Poor Techfan.

myfather15
49167
Points
myfather15 01/14/13 - 11:49 am
6
0
And to what end??

Do you not understand that exactly what you said; is the end goal? The disarming of the law abiding citizens IS the ultimate goal. The left wing politicians ARE NOT stupid as many would like to think. They are brilliant. They realize their laws WILL NOT effect criminals, but criminals AREN'T their target. Law abiding citizens ARE their target.

Learn who George Soros!! He is the GOD of the left wing; No, it isn't Obama, it's George Soros!!!

George Soros Quote; “The main obstacle to a stable and just WORLD ORDER is the United States.”

You must understand, the United States MUST FALL in the minds of the left wing, in order for a JUST World order to take over. THIS is what they are working for is a one world order, where THEIR rules are what govern the world. George Soros and Barack Obama would be major leaders in this order.

Now, here is a quote from Isoroku Yamamoto (Commanding General of the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII); "You can not invade the American mainland, there would be a gun behind every blade of grass."

The left wing realizes this; They've crippled us economically (16 trillion debt), educationally, religously and now they are working on the guns. THIS COUNTRY COULD NEVER BEEN OVERTAKEN BY FORCE AS LONG AS WE CITIZENS CAN DEFEND IT WITH FIREARMS/MILITIA.

Now, they realize this and are now working on that facet of the takeover. George Soros and Obama realize they MUST reduce the United States Citizens ability to defend themselves from oppressive governements. Because that is EXACTLY what they want is a ONE WORLD oppressive government. They have much support from Countries all over the world. They must weaken us to put us on the level playing field with them. GUNS are the only thing keeping us above them, now they are taking them. Watch and SEE!!! The following link is a great read about the most evil man in the world, George Soros!!

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/14700

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 01/14/13 - 11:45 am
0
0
lefties promote:
Unpublished

rap music which espouses gun violence and murder and leads to it, out-of-control video games which depict mass murder, issuing names of police officers, former police officers and legally gun abiding citizens( who have a legal right to bear arms) in national rags. These irresponsible morons deserve a little taste of their own medicine. Hollywood smut factories ( worshipped by these depraved lefties ) continue their "1st Amendment Right" to depict mass murder, rape, robbery, cop killing, wife and girlfriend beating and offer Academy Awards to the communist incitors. Defend yourselves, leftie punks, if you can.

myfather15
49167
Points
myfather15 01/14/13 - 11:46 am
5
0
@Tech

You just disproved your own argument, without even realizing it. You said; "There never was any drinking in dry counties either, right? Folks never drove across county lines to buy booze."

Exactly, those who wanted to DRINK, will go through great links to DRINK, regardless of the LAWS PASSED!!! Get it? Even if they have to MAKE THEIR OWN ALCHOLIC BEVERAGES.

Ok, now lets see, criminals who want to rob, murder, rape, etc. Will probably do the same thing, won't they? They will go through GREAT LINKS to get a gun, regardless of the stupid LAWS. The only people going to obey the laws, are the LAW ABIDING CITIZENS!! But you realize this, don't you? You're not that dumb and I know it. You're just a part of the plan.

You act as if it's POSSIBLE to live in a world FREE of guns. Guess what? That is NOT POSSIBLE. They were invented, and SHALL ALWAYS be in existence. Banning them will only moved them to the black market/Street market. Then only CRIMINALS will get their hands on them. Do you realize with just a small shop, I can actually make my own firearms? Watch the show "Moonshiners" sometime. Do you think these guys care that moonshine is illegal? Nope, and neither would criminals care which guns are banned. They would find ways to get guns, or make their own.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 01/14/13 - 11:48 am
0
0
Blaming the mentally ill
Unpublished

Blaming the mentally ill solely. That's rich. The common denominator in all shootings is the gun.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 01/14/13 - 11:51 am
0
0
If you think you can take
Unpublished

If you think you can take over the government with your small cache weapons against the greatest military force in the world, you have another think coming. You'll never get enough consensus among the populace of this diverse country to rise up against the government militarily. Remember, the Constitution calls for a "well-regulated" militia.

Darby
23510
Points
Darby 01/14/13 - 01:27 pm
6
0
" Watch the show "Moonshiners" sometime....."

You just reminded me of something. A few years back some enterprising reporter was led around by some Taliban types. One of the things on the "tour" was a series of grassroots gun manufacturing shops. Grassroots would be appropriate because these places had mud floors.

These enterprising folks had taken apart weapons, in this case an AK-47, and reproduced them in mass and in meticulous detail. The result was a wall display full of beautiful, fully functional weapons.

One of these guys took pride in the fact that his handiwork was so accurate that he had even reproduced the original serial number on all of the weapons receivers.

Another shop on the tour produced ammunition for those and other weapons.

These are the folks the American left can't begin to understand. They believe that all that is needed is a new law or two, and all guns go the way of the dinosaur.

KSL
120663
Points
KSL 01/14/13 - 02:10 pm
5
1
Techfan, what a stupid argument!

When the meat counter at the grocery store is full of nice looking prime ribs, I don't buy more, or the show lot at the new car dealer. Good grief! Please tell me you are more intelligent than that. If not, please tell me where you work. I remember what you posted your profession is.

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/14/13 - 03:47 pm
1
0
We are one step removed from barbarianism
Unpublished

must not have traveled much.

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/14/13 - 03:51 pm
1
0
leads the nation in guns used in crimes recovered in other state
Unpublished

Ah geez, did they start making guns with legs now?....

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 01/14/13 - 04:04 pm
2
0
My favorite frequently asked

My favorite frequently asked question on the CNN 24hr. "grab all guns" channel is " why would anyone want or need these weapons?" Nobody will give the answer that is the real truth: Americans are plain scared . After seeing the Katrina debacle in New Orleans, who wouldnt be. Its a mix of fear of the economic future, a terroist nuke attack and watching 200 people stampede thru stores for a pair of the latest tennis shoes or a Black Friday special. Imagine a shortage of food, gas or medicine to fight a pandemic. Now throw in a leftist-socalist leader backed by one world order money. Strange days are not too far off.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/14/13 - 04:32 pm
3
1
Maybe we should ban
Unpublished

Maybe we should ban murder.....then we will all be safe, because if it's illegal then no one will do it.......right?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/14/13 - 04:34 pm
3
1
Walrus
Unpublished

The question of WHY is relevant. The fact is that you are entitled to these weapons as well you should be. No one NEEDS a car that can drive over the speed limit, yet they are still available and people still buy them.

oatka01
17
Points
oatka01 01/14/13 - 07:22 pm
0
0
Liberals don't want to debate - just dictate and enact

"Reasonable debate" is a non sequitur because liberals view this tragedy as an exploitable crisis too good to waste. These people KNOW more gun laws won’t prevent more mass killings. They don’t care. Their goal is to eliminate private ownership of firearms and are willing to walk on the bodies of murdered children to do it.

Just as the bill to aid Hurricane Sandy had loads of pork added, so too with any proposed gun law. Transfers between citizens, down to the father-son level will have to undergo a background check. Same with individuals who want to sell a gun at a gun show- the so-called "loophole". Then, we also have the "Classified Ads loophole", etc. etc.

They will demand the moon, then use the Communists' "two steps forward, one step back" ploy and then settle for a high-cap magazine ban or ammo restrictions. My fear is that the gutless Republicans will cave, once again, and then declare that they "blunted" the attack (Fiscal Cliff anyone?)

oldfella
599
Points
oldfella 01/14/13 - 08:50 pm
1
0
You left off half of the equation

"More guns means more people killed by guns."
Ummm......not necessarily: more guns used by average citizens against criminals means more criminals killed by guns. And I'm just not seeing a down-side to that.
Another way to look at it: more guns used by criminals to kill other criminals (hey, a guy can dream, can't he?) is a definite win-win.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 01/14/13 - 10:12 pm
0
0
"look at govt stats where

"look at govt stats where guns are allowed vrs where they are not..then try repeating the same talking points..they dont fly in the face of FACTS.."

And yet almost everyday in Augusta we read reports of crime happening, even though this area is very gun friendly.

Want to reduce crime? Legalize drugs. Notice the gangsters of the prohibition days are no longer around?

Stop stigmatizing mental issues in the country.

And the media needs to stop promoting the violent crazy folks who act because they want to make a name for their selves. Stop with the weeks on end of digging into their lives on 24/7 news, with cheap graphics of plans, and posting pictures of the shooter... that will cut down on a lot of the violence.

And the thing is- we need to think about what society we want. A free society where we understand there are risks- such as people dying sooner than they should- or live in a society where we think politicians know best by banning guns, soda, speech, and other things. In a society where TSA like agents are at every avenue of our lives...

Once you figure out what other people are willing to give up because they are afraid- you'll discover how much they are against freedom.

Bizkit
29116
Points
Bizkit 01/14/13 - 10:23 pm
0
0
Just think if the students at

Just think if the students at Kent State had been packin' some heat maybe fewer unarmed innocent students would have been gun downed massacred and murdered by the national guard. That is the tyranny that law abiding citizens expressing their constitutional rights need to protect against.

Bizkit
29116
Points
Bizkit 01/14/13 - 10:28 pm
0
0
Legalize drugs, gay marriage

Legalize drugs, gay marriage but ban guns???? What the heck. I see freedom is just a "catch" word for doo doo. I know a fellow that has a room full of guns of all sorts-worth hundreds of thousands of dollars-of which I doubt he has shot maybe two or three of these special beauties. They are collectors items-shootable but why chance it with such value. I have musical instruments I collect and don't play too. People are so ignorant it the reason people hate guns and gay marriage and freedom. Hypocrisy.

Back to Top

Loading...