Morgan Barnes

Law Enforcement Officer, government agency

This conversation is closed.

Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?

After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.

Closing Statement from Morgan Barnes

Firstly I would like to say I did not flag or delete anyone's comments I am perfectly capable of speaking for myelf however I did get frustrated and had some comments deleted myself.
As I write this President Obama has signed 23 executive orders inline with Colleen's post from yesterday from New York.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed that we could not of just discussed the issue in a more calm, critical and logical manner and be able to offer solutions as well as recognised the underling causes, as this is a forum for open ideas and thinking, Then again we are dealing with human nature.
To those of you from the International community thank you for your imput and allowing people to see the different views helds in different parts of the world on this subject.
I will not deny that the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights are the backbone of America, but remember it was written by man not given by god and man can take it away or amend it, if he really wants too.
I am a believer that in the 21st Century we should use it to advance humankind to address the problems of the world and improve it for all. It won't be easy but we have to start somewhere or we risk implementing our own destruction.
I hope that this be a positive start and and an even more positive step in which the US can show the way.
Once again I thank you all for your contributions

"In a progressive country change in constant : change is inevitable "Benjamen Disraeli

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    Jan 13 2013: The original premise of the 2nd Amendment is valid and was written to enable citizens to protect themselves from a hostile government. It was also based on the need or desire to have local militia, for which citizens would be able to provide their own weapon - which at the time was a single shot musket. What has gotten completely out of control is the way zealots, especially among those on the pro-gun side of the equation, have corrupted the meaning and intention of the 2nd amendment. I see less of a need to repeal than it is to legislatively update and clarify. It seems clear to me that setting some limitations on what one has the right to own, carry, and use is hardly the same as banning all guns. To hear the NRA, any limitation begins the slippery slope towards taking away the right entirely. If that is truly the case, then what is the legitimacy of any law or regulation? My right to own a car does not also grant me the right to drive it any way I want at any speed. My right to consume alcohol and my right to drive, does not grant me the right to drink and drive. My rights are not being infringed when the greater good of society is protected. Regulating the possession of high-powered weapons and lethal ammunition designed solely to kill other human beings, is not the same as banning all weapons or voiding the second amendment. Given the statistics on gun related deaths here in America, the argument that gun ownership makes us safer rings hollow.
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      Jan 13 2013: What are those statistics, Don?
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        Jan 14 2013: Here are a few links, including one from the University of Utah Medical Medical School. The datablog entry in the Guardian references the FBI and there is also a US Dept of Justice databank that outlines gun-related homicides versus that by other weapons, with gun use far higher than other weapons. The US also ranks 4th in the world for gun related deaths, behind South Africa, Colombia and Thailand (
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          Jan 14 2013: Thank you Don,
          These links provide raw data. What is missing if we use only raw data and jump to a conclusion ie: "people are killing people with guns, therefore we need to ban guns" is the context in which these incidents are taking place, Since 75% of gun murders are taking place in inner city gangs, does it make sense to say that guns are the causal agent or that banning guns is the cure? Chicago has stringent gun laws and one of the highest per capita incident of gun homicides in the nation. Why, if those policies fail so miserably on a small scale, is it imagined that they will work on a large scale?
          The other statistic that is missing, since a ban effects all legal gun owners, is the one that demonstrates that legal gun owners are committing a disproportional number of murders.
        • Jan 14 2013: Marianne, I didn't read where Don was mentioning a ban on all guns. Maybe I missed that part. I think all logic shows that banning all guns would not resolve the issue. However, placing restrictions on 'military style' weapons could reduce the mass shootings. Will people in gangs and other criminals still carry those weapons - of course. That is why they are criminals. However, the people who have legal access to weapons who feel the need to go out in a blaze, might not have such a tragic affect if they were not allowed high capacity cartridges or sub uzi's.

          I do not begrudge anyone owning a gun. I support their right. However, I question the sanity of owning an assult weapon.
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      Jan 13 2013: Just who are the zealots who have interpreted the constitution? Those who say the arms in the 2nd Amendment just meant muskets? What about the sabers?
      Aren't all weapons high powered in the sense that they can kill human beings? All ammunition is lethal regardless of design.
      So we limit the rights of the individual for the perceived safety of society? I have not speaking of the rights of an individual that has caused murder or mayhem on society. I am speaking of an individual who has a legal right to possess a firearm. of his choice, except now it can not fire automatically, or be of more then a certain caliber, under go investigations, get licenses, etc., etc. And now you are proposing more etcs.
      Just how safe how safe does society need to feel.
      I under go what used to be considered felonious sexual assault to board an airplane just so society can feel safe?
      Hundreds of posts here have listed statistics of murder and mayhem on society. Gunfire is not on top of the list. Any act of harm is illegal. Lets address those illegal activities instead of addressing a legal activity.

      PS. FYI. You can drink as much as you want and drive as fast as you want on your own property and you don't even need a license. Have a great time!
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      Jan 14 2013: So Don,
      Zealots? Is that all there is in that quiver? Name calling and demonization only plays to your choir.
      Do you want a real answer to your question? "To hear the NRA, any limitation begins the slippery slope towards taking away the right entirely. If that is truly the case, then what is the legitimacy of any law or regulation? "

      The 2nd Amendment was written to reserve the right of armed revolt against the government. The way it is written states that at no time shall that right be diminished. Like it or not, we live under a social contract called the US Constitution. According to any form of contract law, we all must abide by it unless you can overthrow it by either force or mutual agreement. The reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment is not really that unclear whenever it gets to the Supreme Court because they have such vast writings from the people who wrote it that their exegesis supports the premise, that the people have reserved the right to armed revolution. It only follows logically that if the government regulates it, that the government will have a conflict of interest. By the way, it never mentions guns at all.
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        Jan 14 2013: This was a reply to Don's previous tome. I tried to address his points.
        I am aware of the 2nd and the Federalist Papers addressing the tenor of the times. I hold myself to be a strict constitutionalists. I am wary of those who interpret the constitution, like judges who believe they know better then Jefferson and Madison; the elected who know better then the electorate and academics who know better then anybody.
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          Jan 14 2013: Sorry. my reply was to Don, also.

          Today we are looking at a very practical conundrum. It is questionable what portion of the population can recognize giants like Madison, Locke or Jefferson.

          I think we need to find out exactly what per cent of the population consider the Lorax the pinnacle of morality.
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        Jan 14 2013: I entered the conversation to offer an opinion and participate in the discussion. I hoped to join a discussion that allows both sides to think and consider ideas. For example, I am now thinking about the point about the potential conflict of interest. So thank you for raising it. I am not of the opinion that there should be a repeal, which was the overarching conversation starter. In fact, I agree with the basic premise and stated that at the top.
        The overall issue of armed violence is complicated and encompasses many factors beyond weapons and guns and controlling legislation. I joined this conversation because the topic is important and worthy of the wisdom and insight that can come from open dialog. I will leave it at that.
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          Jan 14 2013: Don,
          The issue is most important and well worth the discussion. The frustrating thing for me is that the illegal violence continues albeit, it is supposed to be improving. Yet, The issue of the 2nd repeatedly comes up, restrictions are placed against legal gun owners, and these effects made no appreciable reductions in violent crime. Reductions seemed to have come from more policing efforts and new law enforcement techniques. I am at a loss to understand why some raise this cry for action concerning the 2nd. Over zealous gun holders cry out that certain elements are out to disarm them and take over the country. Repeated attempts at doing something to the 2nd begins to lend credence to cry's of the conspiracy theorists.
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          Jan 14 2013: That's a swell answer, actually, I take back the dinosaur comments.
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        Jan 14 2013: James, History shows us that once power is ceded, those to whom it is ceded never give it back voluntarily. I have not been arguing here for my guns, but for my rights.
        What is really been demonstrated, is that the prohibitionists display an almost complete unawareness that they are the provocateurs in this discussion, and that as such, they needed to answer the questions that they have provoked. They have failed miserably throughout this thread.

        Instead, they seem to assume that since, in their own imagination, they occupy the moral high ground and that their postures always represent moral enlightenment, that those who do not concede are working out their primitive fears.

        They have demonstrated this in that they don't ever have to give a reasoned explanation to the myriad of contradictions to their theory that have been presented to them, simple things like the failure of the exact policies that they are clamoring for, to get them the result they theorize about, such as Chicago gun laws.

        They simply denounce Constitutionalism as backwards and go on to assure us that their conclusions as just so OBVIOUS, that we should all submit to their superior revelations.
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          Jan 14 2013: Rights, like constitutions are just human constructs. I actually agree with most of the values that sit behind most modern human rights. While I agree with self defense, I'm not sure having an ak47, or stingers, or land mines in private hands is the same as freedom of speech, or is necessary or a good thing for society.

          If stingers were widely available I assume you would have fanatics shooting down planes.

          You mentioned Nazi Germany. Part of the problem there was the armed private militias, like the sa. I wonder if us citizens may have more to worry about with freedom fanatics and anti government people than the government.
    • Jan 14 2013: I don't disagree that there needs to be alternative things to try. I have no problems with background checks, and fingerprinting is done in my state for handguns. I would have no problems with mental health screens as well, especially if they put those into place for police officers as well. After that however, after putting a lawful citizen through all that, they should be able to purchase whatever they want. I understand the limit them mentality, I just don't believe it will change things. I would be much more open to menatl health issues, and intitatives to reslove the problems of this nature.
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        Jan 14 2013: There is quite an extensive psych screening for police and law enforcement .
        • Jan 14 2013: Really? In what country? Certainly not here? Are you sure you've got your facts straight? I have several family members in law enforcement, and the only one that had to take anything was federal. Are you really so sure?
        • Jan 14 2013: I called my family members it seems some, and I repeat some police forces require pysch tests, but not all. They also told me if I google it [and i did] you will be amazed at the number of sites showing you how to beat the test. Yeah, REAL extensive.
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          Jan 14 2013: In the US, the arrangement to have the trained psychiatric personnel administer the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test to law enforcement candidates, rapidly deteriorated due to the problem that so many of the LE personnel test results showed they tested the same as criminals, also showed other severe personality disorders. LE Unions argued that they tested that way because they "had to learn to think like the criminals" that they were fighting.
          It is now common to have LE personnel administer the tests to their brothers, and I have even know officers that couldn't pass it until they were "tutored" by other LE personnel.
          Most of what I know about this, came directly from an elected Sheriff and a former Colorado State Trooper who had been involved in the hiring process, also the psychiatrist that did all the testing for one state, that I will not mention.
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          Jan 14 2013: Timothy,
          I was curious, so I googled "How to beat the law enforcement tests".

          I got lots of sites with instructions... "tips on how to deal with testing", "strategies for police applicants", "police quiz preperation", "police prep info", etc. etc. The only thing I could find were sites which appeared to be educational sites to prepare an applicant for the tests.

          Could you provide links to sites which show a person how to "beat" the tests?
        • Jan 14 2013: When I went back there I found several sites that did everything from telling you what to expect to how to answer the questions, but I may have misspoken as the one site I didn't go to was titled "how to beat the police pysch test" and was a police site that once you started to read it said you couldn't beat it. So I just stole the title, my mistake. but the jist is, not all police, in this country especially, have to take pysch tests, and when they do, lots are thrown out on their ears, and are then upset because theyv'e been police officers for years.
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          Jan 14 2013: Timothy,
          I really respect and appreciate you for clarifying that information.
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    Jan 15 2013: I have been following this conversation from the start and I have come to a couple of conclusions. The point is not about the caliber of a weapon or preventing people from owning weapons, but about the mortality rates in gun crime as opposed to other violent crimes. People get beaten to death too.
    I am from New Zealand a country that has extremely strict regulations around owning weapons (not a country that bans weapons or prevents decent, sane, non-criminal people from having them), and given that I work within the police/Ministry of Justice field, I have a much better understanding of how many murders occur and how they were killed, so I feel that I am in a position to say that guns are more likely to kill than knives or bare hands because of their lethal nature. The damage to human tissue is extreme. The wounds from a gun shot are also a lot more serious and as someone else mentioned in this discussion, lets not forget the survivors who have been shot and left extremely disabled.
    I am not telling people they should not own guns, I am saying that the reality is, that in countries where there are a lot more regulations, guns are less likely to be in the wrong hands. Hands of people who go on killing sprees. If you are law-abiding, have had pyschological testing that shows a respect for life, do not have a history of violence and you and your family have been interviewed to establish that nobody in your life is afraid of the idea of you owning a weapon, and you can prove that this weapon will be locked up securely when not in use and under no circumstances will any children in the household have access to the weapon/s or the codes/lock to get into the weapons, then by all means, get yourself a gun!!! The problem is that in all of your states, there are no set or strict regulations. Some states require criminal checks. some states require nothing. For me the argument is about "Regulation." Is that so unreasonable?? Does this infringe on your rights?
    • Jan 15 2013: While I agree with the general idea behind the regulation, I don't like the idea of asking the family if they're comfortable with you owning guns. That assumes that 1. your family is interested in your well-being, which may not be the case, 2. your family's idea of your well-being is the same as yours, which may not be the case.
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        Jan 15 2013: That's mild John, what if they asked for a psyche assessment by two independents at your own cost?
        • Jan 15 2013: That too. I don't know how effective brief psych evaluations would be. However, if the applicant already has had a psych evaluation, and has been diagnosed as paranoid-delusional, bipolar, etc., I'd consider that grounds for denying a permit.

          Just in case someone brings it up... I don't think blind people should be allowed to own/use guns either.
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        Jan 15 2013: John that's not funny, this could turn into a white paper monster and before you know it some group gets a lot of power and money and people get branded something that they are not. Government departments get created and the monster gets bigger.

        Then something happens and the call goes out for all people by the people to be evaluated.

        You were joking weren't you?
        • Jan 15 2013: Don't worry, nothing I ever say stands a chance of getting implemented. ;-)

          I do see how kids in the US get branded as something they are not, just because the school can make claims for extra funding for each "challenged" kid they host.

          However, a few of my friends are psychologists. Not in the US. I have been told detailed stories of all kinds of strange cases. I also have two friends with bipolar disorder. A relative of another friend thinks that all his neighbors are plotting (some bizarre plot) against him.

          The question remains: how likely is a person to endanger other people out of sheer recklessness. Some mental disorders (or physical ones, like blindness) render a person with a gun a risk to bystanders. Adam Lanza was one such person -- though all the diagnoses that he was bestowed turned out to be incorrect.
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        Jan 15 2013: Hi John,
        What I mean by family being asked is essentially your close loved ones, people you share a home with. The may even be a room mate. My experience of the process of getting a gun licence was when my flatmate just wanted to renew his, as he grew up on a farm and enjoyed hunting. Because I lived with him and would essentially be living in the same house where there was a gun, a policeman came over to interview me and asked me a lot of questions around how I felt about knowing there was a gun in the house, how I felt about my flatmate having a gun, whether I had any concerns etc, whether I was every afraid of him or if he showed any violent tendencies, so they really made sure that everyone in the house was ok with him having a gun. We were, as he was a lovely guy with a very gently nature. I had no problem with him having a gun because I was completely comfortable and safe with him.
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      Jan 13 2013: That's very liberal of you, to determine that whatever side you are on, is right and the ones who don't see it your way are blind? Very good.

      You want rigid? Here: "Don't speak to me of good men, chain them to the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson
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      Jan 13 2013: Why did you change your post Kate?
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      Jan 13 2013: Kate,
      The fear saddens me as well. I cannot imagine how it must feel to live every day with so much fear of their own government!

      I know LOTS of gun owners, and I have NEVER heard this kind of fear expressed. I am aware that there is a very tiny segment of our society living with this fear based belief, and apparently they are all here on this discussion thread?
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        Jan 13 2013: Colleen, Isn't it true that what you are really experiencing is that your opponents are immovable and not receptive to what you imagine are your own 'reasonable pleadings" for them to agree with you?
        People are entitled to their own thoughts and opinions and evaluations of the status of the nation.
        You have not actually refuted any of the facts regarding abuses of power on the government side, you have simply pooh poohed and pretended that there is no connection to the issue.
        Then you have tried to diminish the arguments of anti-prohibitionists with "what are you afraid of".
        We don't want people like you and Morgan Barnes, tinkering with any part of the Constitution.
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          Jan 13 2013: Marianne,
          I am aware that you are immovable because you demonstrate that fact over and over again, and I am not "pleading" with you or anyone else. You have your perspective, and I have mine.

          I support the removal of assault weapons from our communities, and based on the past ban on assault weapons, I believe that will happen without repeal or amendment of the constitution, because that document provides for "regulation" of guns.
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        Jan 13 2013: You might get your way.
      • Jan 16 2013: Perhaps there is justification for "a very tiny segment of our society" to be in fear when something so simple as the size of sugary drink, we can consume, is regulated. Some people rightfully fear losing liberty.

        I remember a nation with less regulation where I could buy a happy meal in San Francisco. Show me a world where more regulation offers more freedom and I'll show you a contradiction.
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    Jan 7 2013: YES!!!!! It should have been repealed years ago! I am a New Zealander. A country that sees very little gun related deaths, because we do not all have the right to bear arms and in fact if we want to purchase or have a gun, we have to be interviewed by the police, have our family and friends interviewed by the police, police checks done etc, and then only for hunting. Even our police force does not as a rule carry guns (we have an armed unit that may be called out if necessary) and because of this our police are incredibly skilled at talking offenders down and calming situations. We have had very few police offices killed in the line of duty and those usually not by guns.
    When your constitution was written, as I understand it. America did not have its own armed forces. Your country was brand new, as a result of no armed forces, the government relied on local militia to fight against the English. This was a time when farmers and landowners and everyday men where required to take up arms. In other words, this amendment was required at the time and fit the circumstances. This is no longer the case. You have the biggest armed forces in the world, you do not require farmers and grocers to pick up arms and fight for your country, so you should do as the rest of the world have done and make it illegal to own or buy a firearm without a firearms licence, which would be very difficult to get. America is so far behind the times it is a joke. Your constitution needs to be updated bigtime. It is 2013 people, not 1787!!!!
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      Jan 7 2013: We also have a government guilty of war crimes and human rights violations. You watched as we slaughtered Iraq, just to show some muscle. We detain countless foreigners at Guantanamo for years without charge, many under 18. We assassinate foreign dissidents (and their families) with no judicial oversight or declaration of war, utilizing remotely controlled UAVs. We recently assassinated one of our own citizens, a 16 year old boy who was the subject of a recently dismissed court case. We drop these bombs in Pakistan and Somalia, and now Turkey as we slaughter Kurdish rebels for the Turkish government. We train our UAV pilots by locking onto domestic targets, cars cruising the highway in Texas, without their knowledge.

      Us Americans watch our government commit these atrocities, under the rule of both major parties. We voted in a man who promised to end them, but who has only continued full throttle. Last year he signed a bill authorizing himself to detain Americans without charge, which is a blunt violation of our Constitution. Other bills currently sitting in Congress are the Expatriation Act, which allows the government to strip us of our citizenship, and HJ Res 15 which repeals the 22 amendment, abolishing term limits for the president. He would've sign SOPA too had Google not killed it.

      We also watch in horror as European economies collapse and our national debt rises above 16 trillion. Our grandparents watched in horror as Hitler ravaged the continent during a similar depression. The United States is by far the most powerful government on the planet. If you'd really like to disarm our people, then I hope you enjoy the New American Century. I don't suspect your country would be able to do anything about it.
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        Jan 9 2013: Wow, it sounds like your country is even more messed up than I thought and it sounds like you feel a need for some kind of revolution that may require guns to fight against your own government, ah la Egypt, Syria, etc. Your first instinct is the need to fight with violence. When my countries government, (New Zealand), decided they wanted to introduce nuclear power and invite nuclear powered ships into New Zealands waters, the people of my country said "Hell No", We All stood up and shouted our wish to be nuclear free. We picketted, we protested, we papered the country with our views and forced the government to have a reforendum where we overwhelmingly voted against any nuclear power or nuclear weapons in our country. Even though our government did not agree, they were forced to do as we wanted because we made it clear that our government was For the people ,and we the people had some thoughts about how it should be run. Then again, very few New Zealanders do not vote, whereas many of your countrymen don't. We paid for our decision because American placed strong embargoes and sanctions against us and it threatened our treaties but We the people stuck to our guns. All without any violence. The only violence came from France, when us New Zealanders protested the nuclear testing that France was carrying out in OUR territorial waters, so they sent their spies to NZ and bombed the Rainbow Warrior. You could call this an act of war. Instead of fighting back with violence, we just caught their spies within hours of the bombing and threw them in prison, thereby humiliating the French who thought our small country, Hick police force would have no hope of catching their top spies. If our government was to do things that our people are unhappy with, we get rowdy. Violence is not the only way to make change happen.
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          Jan 10 2013: I suppose picketing would've stopped Hitler and Stalin too. :/ The second amendment isn't just for the past or the here and now. It's for every century in the future, to insure that citizens are as well armed as their government. The fact that the government's weapons well overpower our own is due to a distortion of the amendment. To trust that the government will always respect the will of the masses is foolish, and ignorant of the past.

          The rights you take away from people today, you take away from people in the future. If you think the rest of time is going to be all well and dandy if the citizens of the world are unarmed and dependent on their rulers, well... I guess I have to respect your opinion.
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    Jan 3 2013: I think the underlying issue here is that many americans are living in a fantasy construct and seem to believe two things.

    1. That the guns are protecting their freedoms, despite all evidence now demonstrating that (because of policies such as the Patriot act, drone surveillance and the TSA) they have considerably less freedoms than pretty much all of the rest of the developed world.

    2. That somehow when 'the time comes' , that they're all suddenly going to become Rambo and the locked up single guage rusty rifle in the garage is suddenly going to appear in their hands with unlimited ammo and they're going to take on a fleet of trained military and special forces personnel.
    People in general do not have such an ability, despite many believing they do.

    More guns = more freedom isn't an accurate representation of reality either.
    More guns for everyone equals more guns for the untrained, paranoid, trigger happy and mentally questionable people who are also carrying them like you..

    It creates an environment where you don't just have to be on guard for the rare nut-case who's shooting up the cinema, but also the 50 terrified people who are shooting wildly in retalliation with their eyes closed and any conflict that takes place anywhere, where everyone now has the capacity to immediately escalate the incident where dozens of people can get killed, a situation made clear by American gun crime statistics.
    That isn't freedom, thats wild-west anarchy and xenophobic paranoia.

    Americans, you're not in a diehard movie. Time to accept that.
    • Jan 3 2013: What is diehard?
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      Jan 3 2013: Xavier, you know how all Americans will react during a shooting !?! .... What can you tell me about me? Are you psychic? That would be to cool!. ... ... Dude. ...Smart and psychic.
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      Jan 3 2013: Wow, great insightful response to Xaviers comment here... I love the way the pro-gunners respond sometimes...

      I'll try to answer it for you, excuse me if I'm out of line.

      @Ivory: I think he's referring to a film (or rather four films) with Bruce Willis, but he misspelled it. The correct title is "Die Hard", good movies!

      @Gary: I don't think that Xavier knows how every American would react, I think he's basing his assumption on classical psychology. That does not mean that he's a psychic.
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          Jan 4 2013: Gary,
          What is the "proper" use for an assault weapon to the average person?
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        Jan 4 2013: classical psychology, Jimmy, no ... he is basing his assumptions on imagination. ...
    • specs 2

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      Jan 3 2013: I'm curious about the self defence argument and why a gun is necessary.

      If somebody breaks into your house - Is that burglar also going to kill you? Is that SOP for burglary?

      Because if it is SOP, then I understand the need for the gun at home. But if it isn't, do you really need to shoot the thief over a TV or a PC or the misc whatnots?

      But what if you're not at home when the thief breaks in? Did you bring the gun with you or leave it at home?

      If you left your gun at home, then doesn't the thief now have it? Now you need to go out and get another one because somebody might break into your house because you don't have a gun.

      if you brought it with you then doesn't make you a threat to the non gun carrying person out there who offended you for some unknown reason and who you're now going to put in his place, because .., well..., you have a gun? And heaven help you if you step on somebody's property. He's obviously just as well armed as you and he'll think you;re a thief and you're gonna kill him. You had a gun after all - what was he supposed think when he confronted you and you pulled it out to defend yourself.
      • Jan 6 2013: Please see this article:

        By the way most gun owners are responsible law-abiding citizens. Many are trained and store their guns properly.

        I guess I have to clarify this post for "specs 2." First, he was armed with a crowbar. Second, she saw him, according to the article, and she had to gather her children, a phone, and yes her gun before she retreated into a crawl space. No I applaud her for doing exactly what she did. He broke into her house and tracked her down. I don't fault her for firing all the round either! I would hope you are never put in this volatile situation, adrenaline pumping, fearing for yours, and your children's lives! This could've been much worse. Give me a break!

        Again, he shouldn't have broken in. She didn't have to fire a warning shot. It's too bad he was only wounded, you're right he probably will sue. But she is fully within her rights per castle doctrine.
        • Jan 7 2013: I'm not excusing the robber but don't you think that she could have handled it better instead of shooting an unarmed man.

          He rang the doorbell? Why didn't she answer the door? The whole freaking thing could possibly have been avoided right there.

          Why didn't she call the cops before hiding? She had time.

          Why didn't she answer the door with the gun? Again the whole thing could have ended right there.

          And why shoot him five times? Wouldn't one shot have stopped the guy?

          Why did she unload the gun on him? Her only solution was to try to kill the guy. That's not defense. That's an over reaction. She used more than enough force to defend herself and had he died she could conceivably be charged with manslaughter.

          After all is said and done she shot an unarmed person because she was afraid of her own shadow and relied on her gun instead of common sense?

          And oh yeah - just because many gun owners are trained to store their guns properly, that doesn't mean they do or do more than the required to meet the local requirements.

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      Jan 3 2013: Things are very real here brother. ...
      2 days ago in Louisiana .. an elderly man in his 80s had to shoot a man, a known drug addict and thief, who was breaking into his home. The old man made his presence known by yelling at his would be assailant through the door. He still broke in and was shot as soon as he walked in. What do you think about this?

      Let me add that a few years ago, my bosses dad, who was at least 80, was robbed by 2 men, one kneeled on his chest and held him down while he was looted. ... Any thoughts?
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      Jan 4 2013: Xavier, I'm aware of the loss of freedoms. That is why I champion pro choice freedom.

      As it matters to this discussion, pro choice of each citizen to buy guns, semi-autos too, or not.
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      Jan 4 2013: Tell the people in ghettos across the U.S. about xenophobic paranoia. Tell any of the dead victims of home invasions that were killed or raped first then killed. Explain to the father holding his dying child on this weeks New Orleans newspaper about paranoia. This is not Fantasy Island, these things happen. We may seem safe from everyone but nut-jobs in this country, but you never know what can happen and people want to feel prepared.

      As far as a fantasy construct, people in America have many different realities.

      If you take away guns can you assure me of no black market for criminals, a la drugs. Do you think the police will be one step ahead of the criminals, especially murderers? When have they got there before the crime?
  • Dec 31 2012: I see many sides to this discussion. Some want assault weapons banned and for others all weapons. Some of us say that our mental health institutions need to be changed and perhaps given more funding. Others point to video games and violent movies as the culprit. Some even have gone as far as wanting armed guards in all of our schools.

    We need to stop kidding ourselves that just one of these ideas will fix the problem as a whole. If we really want to see change, to see less of these shootings, then we will need to apply each one of these measures. Assault weapons should be banned or limited to some extent, there is absolutely no reason to have such a weapon unless your getting ready to fight a war. In the US in 2009 for every 100,000 of us, 10 people died from gun related crimes. In the UK, which does not allow private gun ownership, .25 people died for every 100,000 citizens in 2011 and for Japan, that number is down to .07 deaths for every 100,000 people in 2008. And lets face it, our movies and video games glorify violence, our children are growing up in a world where there told killing people is bad, but then proceed to pay a game where killing people is the goal. As for the armed guard in every school, while this is an extreme measure, having at least one armed guard in some of our more major schools may not be such a bad idea.

    Most of us can agree that our Mental Health Institutions need more funding and support, and some new programs should probably be instituted. However the demonizing of the mentally Ill should not be allowed to continue, and while not everyone is doing this certain groups are. It reminds me of the Nazis, using a scapegoat to blame all their problems on. Finally we need to take a good look at our society as a whole, what should be acceptable and what shouldn’t be tolerated. We will only see change if we want change, and we will only see progress if more than just one approach is followed.
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      Dec 31 2012: There is no need to amend the Constitution in order to address these problems.

      All the hard stuff has been largely ignored, I know, I am a street fighter advocate for the mentally ill.

      Each time these events happen, there is an outburst of public furor over guns and the rest of it is largely ignored, people go back to their old habits, their gross ingestion of violent slop.
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      Dec 31 2012: Well said Jarred, and I wholeheartedly agree, that there are many underlying issues that need attention. I believe one of the first things we need to do, and the topic of this discussion, as you insightfully recognize, is to get assault weapons out of circulation.
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        Dec 31 2012: And if you can get the assault weapons ban in place FIRST, then you won't really have to take care of any of the other underlying problems that your generation have allowed to fester in plain sight.
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          Dec 31 2012: Marianne,
          I have been working for over 60 years with abused women and children, with offenders who are incarcerated, facilitating empowering workshops for ALL people, mediating with convicted felons, volunteering in shelters, family centers, guest lecturing at the university on the topic of violence and abuse in relationships....bla.....bla....bla.

          STOP being sarcastic....STOP blaming and START becoming part of the solution!
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        Jan 1 2013: Colleen,

        The reason that many posters here are bringing up the same issues is not as obscure as you pretend.

        It's as if the prohibitionists have taken the 2nd Amendment and equated with the root cause of the shootings in Conneticut. In their minds, they are judge and jury and the posters here are being brought in to help with the sentence. Then like a lynch mob, pose the question to the group "Should we shoot him or just whip him?'
        Well, the non-probitionist side is making their case, that "you have the wrong man", and you are letting the real guy get away.
        So to continue:

        I don't think any of us can remember a time where there hasn't been a bureacracy and a social worker assigned to everyone of our social ills. I hope you did good in your career. It is probably easier to do so in a smaller communtity where there might be more resources.

        However, it has also been long known, since as far back as the Peter Grace audit of the Federal Budget to the GAO reports, that a mere smattering of dollars that are appropriated for these problems, end up as measureable services or in the hands of the people or i who need it, with 80-90% being absorbed by the bureacracies themselves.

        Some rogue thinkers don't ascribe to the idea that Big Daddy government has all the solutions to all the social problems. The Torah model for taking care of people & famliies who fall out of the economy, is to get them back on their feet in one fell swoop while the policies of the government programs have done little but faciitate the poor languishing in the lower social economic conditions for generations, where they become a breeding ground for violence & crime.

        There really was no reason for me to call you a control freak. But how many posters are you currently telling that their input is outside the scope of the subjet?
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          Jan 1 2013: I'm not "pretending" anything Marianne.

          There is no lynch mob or pose here is a discussion on TED.

          The topic is:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"
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        Jan 1 2013: That is the question asked by Morgan Barnes, but it is not honest to ignore that the question is posed as a reaction to the shootings in Newtown.

        After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

        Without actually making the case, Morgan Barnes has found the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership culpable of the shooting event. That is the same as a lynch mob mentality,because Barnes hasn't made the case, he jumps to a conclusion that he has not established.

        The prohibitionists are demanding a shallow solution to a complex problem, which seems to be "Do Something that Violates the 2nd Amendment"...

        That is a disservice to the people who will be killed in these horrific mass killings of the future.
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          Jan 1 2013: There is no "lynch mob mentality" here Marianne.

          Many folks are respectfully addressing the question:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

          Most responders seem to know that there are other issues to be addressed, and getting the assault weapons out of our communities is only one part of the solution.

          No one suggests "violating the 2nd amendment"

          "A disservice to the people who will be killed in these horrific mass killings of the future"???
          Oh my goodness......think about that statement Marianne!!!
    • Dec 31 2012: Well since no one appears to be even close to it, I'll just offer one that I know to be true, and shouldn't offend your delicate sensibilities. It's fun. Handgun's, rifles, submachineguns, heavymachineguns, assault rifles, explosives, all offer a different experience. Don't know why, not prepared to say, but explosions are REALLY fun. Considering fun and excitement on it's own isn't a big problem with this country, or people in general for that matter, it seems unlikely to me that this isn't a legitimate reason.

      For me, mental health is the only issue here. All answers with people are derived from... you guessed it! People.
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        Dec 31 2012: I suggest Matt, that if you ask the loved ones of those who have been killed, they would not agree that it is "fun"..
        • Jan 2 2013: Of course not, however, not every assault gun carries with it a tag indicating the # of confirmed kills. I can't get behind this kind of thinking, we as a society give these same weapons to 17 year old kids of all backgrounds without worry. Other countries do it as well, without issue. Training is important but there are SEVERAL cases in your local papers across this country that has veterans losing it and killing people with assault rifles while other ones, like me, don't have a problem. Clearly the answer is not so simple, we have a purely reactionary society and it's quite good at overreacting, if this wasn't children it probably wouldn't have had as much attention.

          Mental health is the only issue at stake here.
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        Jan 1 2013: Some may consider anything to be fun, including stealing, raping and killing. The fun argument is invalid.
        • Jan 2 2013: The majority of people would agree that those three are not fun. That's how society works of course, the majority decides whether or not a minority pushes them to.

          I completely understand the people that want them removed on principal alone, they don't go to the range, they've never had to use one, they don't want to, they have no interest in them. All those personal choices doesn't change the fact that it is somewhat fun to fire more and more powerful weapons, particularly for young males.

          I've heard it echoed over and over here that there is no reason to "need" the weapons in question (I hate that wording by the way, to need weapons, you could say the same thing in varying factors about just about anything else. Instead ask, why do people want them), but people want them for reasons we've discussed or at least introduced here and this one which is wholly ignored, probably because people aren't interested in shooting. Now, is that an invalid reason to own weapons?
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          Jan 2 2013: Matt,
          I don't see people arguing for "removal" of guns "on principal alone". You don't really know what the reasons are, unless you genuinely read and try to understand the comments, which it appears you are not doing.

          Your argument... "somewhat fun to fire more and more powerful weapons", feels kind of frightening and not a very good argument.
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        Jan 2 2013: I agree Matt..."not every assault gun carries with it a tag indicating the # of confirmed kills."

        How is that related to the topic question?

        You say..."we as a society give these same weapons to 17 year old kids of all backgrounds without worry."

        What 17 year old kids are you refering to?

        I agree that some people "overreact".

        Is that what you are doing because you think guns are "fun", as you stated in a previous comment?
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    Jan 16 2013: You say: "The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years."

    As a former gun owner, US Navy Marksman, and student of the US Constitution, I agree with the words quoted above...just not the direction that you are trying to take that sentiment.
    The consideration from the Constitutional point of view is that the FIRST act of every single dictator in history has been to attempt to dis arm the citizens of the nation they are trying to take over.
    I've done a lot of research over the years and two very interesting facts stand out:
    1) Our gun laws (about purchasing weapons) as they exist today, WORK. The have prevented felons and psychos from being able to buy a weapon. They worked in this case and they have worked with VERY few exceptions in the cases of other school shootings.
    2) Virtually every single case of a psycho (yes, I KNOW it's not politically correct but if you shoot up a school or a mall, you are by definition a psycho!) shooting up a school was made possible by some legal gun owner NOT securing their weapons and said weapons were STOLEN by the psycho because they were prevented from buying them.
    Here's my suggestion: 1) REQUIRE legal gun owners to SECURE their weapons whenever the weapons are not on their person with a shrouded trigger lock and or gun SAFE (NOT a display cabinet)
    2) REQUIRE gun owners to take a use and safety class every 2 (two) years that is at least 40 hours.
    3)Require gun owners to have liability insurance.
    Every one of these school shootings, IMHO, has been a direct result of legal gun owners displaying gross negligence...
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      Jan 16 2013: Its a start agreeded but even crims have legally obtained firearms would you agree that by regulating the kind of firearm available would also be an option does anyone really need a 50cal desert Eagle in an urban situation????
      just as an example??
    • Jan 16 2013: I stopped at....(....WORK!) Tell that to the families of those killed at Sandy Hook, who were killed by, not a Criminal, but by one of their own citizens.
  • Jan 13 2013: Excellent topic!
    The issue is the USA has a disproportionate number of killings using firearms than other any developed country. There must be correlation between the ease of access of high powered weapons and the killing statistics. Surely it can't be "cultural" can it??

    Violent movies and so on are available everywhere!

    Many countries have gun laws that restrict and control the types of guns people can own and how those guns are stored and the users trained. Surely it would do no harm for the US to take a look at what happens elsewhere. If this means that the precious 2nd amendment needs to be amended or abolished and or replaced by some sort of stricter control over firearm ownership then good! The outcome that any civilised country should seek is the safety of its people and it's laws should be aligned accordingly.

    The days when cowboys roamed the range shooting at everyone else have passed, time to move on America!
    • Jan 13 2013: There is no correlation between the use of assault style weapons (aka "high powered weapons") and killing statistics. Few gun crimes are committed with high powered weapons. Most are committed with handguns. So that is an incorrect correlation.

      However, the increase in requirement for firearm training is a valuable one and should be pursued.
      • Jan 13 2013: Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't just thinking of assault style weapons.... there are some pretty powerful hand guns out there too.
        • Jan 13 2013: David, it is true that there are some high power handguns out there. I would hazard a guess that most of the crimes committed with handguns are lower caliber, easily accessible guns.

          Most of the high caliber, high powered handguns are expensive or not interesting to those who would commit a crime. Mainly due to cost and difficulty accessing them.

          That being said, it is important to truly look at what weapons are being used, where they are coming from, and who is using them. The issue runs much deeper than just the weapons themselves. There are significant cultural issues tied into this that are not being addressed and probably should be.
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          Jan 13 2013: David, you are right....there are some powerful hand guns out there too, and they are available at gun shows and on line with very little, if any, regulation.

          I agree with you Everett, that there are other issues that need to be addressed, and we need to address ALL the issues.

          This topic question is:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

          This is one issue we can start addressing, to hopefully contribute to the overall challenge.
          I do not believe the second amendment needs to be repealed or amended, because the document allows for regulation. The last time we had a ban on assault weapons, nothing was repealed or amended to the best of my knowledge.
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    Jan 10 2013: Was the meaning of the second amendment meant to change with time? If not, issue a musket, ramrod, powder horn and balls to every American, and ban modern weapons. If so, put a patriot missile in every front yard.
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      Jan 10 2013: I don't know, this is a popular theory, that the Constitution should 'change with time. But we all know that "time' can not change the Constitution so let us lay the question out in real terms..isn't the question more rightly put as "Shouldn't we allow men to change the Constitution as they choose?"

      Of course, that creates a dilemma when elected officials who have sworn to uphold the Constitution see fit to diminish the provisions of that same document.

      What do you think Thomas Jefferson meant when he said "Don't talk to me of GOOD MEN, chain them to the Constitution."?

      We give Morgan Barnes the benefit of taking him as a "GOOD MAN" and yet he has openly defended the slaughter of innocent people at WACO by law enforcement, who just "made some mistakes" (sic) while the horse he rode in on is the Sandy Hook massacre and the attending public angst.

      The most ardent 2nd Amendment advocate has not suggested that Adam Lanza's mother
      just made an unfortunate mistake that we should overlook. If that were the case , we would offer an asinine suggestion that all we should do in reaction to Sandy Hook is to insist that all guns be labeled "DO NOT ALLOW MENTALLY UNSTABLE PERSONS TO COME INTO POSSESSION OF THIS GUN. AND BY NO MEANS, USE THIS GUN TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE"...this would be equal to Morgan Barnes assertion that we overlook recent law enforcement atrocities in the US and chalk it up to a learning curve.

      I think that if we ever entertained the idea of revising the Constitution, we would have to be able to produce statesmen of the same caliber as the original authors.
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      Jan 11 2013: Was the meaning of speech meant to change with the passing of time? Should 'speech' in the Constitution legally be limited to a set of things one might have said 300 years ago?
  • Jan 8 2013: I saw a movie once where only the police and military had guns....

    It was called Schindler's List.
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    Jan 1 2013: Not the moral high ground necessarily, Britain has flaws and has caused many problems in the past but we can teach young countries, Britain also has much to learn from older countries like Japan and Norway but we will not due to ignorance. The only way we will all learn is from experience, we all have failings but we tend to point the finger towards the Usa when it comes to guns. We have a duty to educate and assist people in learning about peace and understanding.
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    Dec 25 2012: I find it is easy to criticise the American government for what Lanza did but the fact is lots of scapegoats are being targeted, namely computer games and parents as well as the gun laws, the fact is Lanza was a fan of the military more than anything. Violence exists in the world whether you like it or not and we can search for all the excuses we wish to, banning firearms worked in Britain because we are an ancient country who has learned over centuries to evolve, the United States of America is still young and requires support to handle their gun situation not finger pointing, half the country want to own guns, the government cannot win without upsetting half of the country, namely the half of the country which already has the say. People will not be safe with or without guns, individuals who wish to kill will kill. Instead of blaming from your pedestal put money into mental health research and community youth and homeless programs. Offer guidance to a young country.
    • Dec 27 2012: While I agree with the young country argument-in most cases-I'm confused how that relates to gun control. Is Switzerland a young nation? Have you evaluated that? In my experience, this much snobbishness was always limited to the Swedes' so I'm surprised to see so many Brits staking their claim upon the moral high ground and talking about how much moral clarity they've obtained (how's your ethnic track record recently?) through just 300 years of unity (1700s). Clearly the very tip of the spear on social issues.

      Young nation, yes, in need of guidance, yes. How that relates to gun control? Not seeing it.
  • Jan 15 2013: I will leave this conversation, with some thoughts about our future. And I guess I must ask the question: Where are we going as a Society, as a Nation, as a Species? Where are we going if, as a collective people we believe that something we created, not our Creator (something that has the power to take away life so fast, and with great numbers) be the Answer to us growing as a responsible Species living on a planet that none of knows how much time we have? While I can say that I have no Fears that the US Government is on the path of taking away all of our rights as many in this Country do, I do have the fear that having so many arms in circulation will be the Crux of an upcomming Civil War. There are many other assault weapons being sold on the black market in this country including Bombs, Chemicals and other mass destructive devices. At what point do we protect ourselves, from...OURSELVES? While I can disagree with so many of you out there on this issue, I still believe that our Government is the answer. We the people have got to become more involved and hold Politicians more accountable! But we the People have to be dedicated to not perpetuate a Violent Society. Many fight for the rights of the unborn, but still believe taking a gun away from a potential threat is not as good an answer as putting a gun in the other persons hands. With those odds, you can bet that death is almost certain. But the real growth in our society will be when MONEY is not the determining factor in our lives, as it is now. Again, something we created that has become (much more than a cliche') "the root of all evil!" When will human beings be worth more than Money itself. It is the Crux of this thread when all is said and done. A homeless family can be arrested for trespassing for squatting in a vacant house, just because they are trying to stay warm. But where is the common sense? Where are we going? Do we have the strength of Faith to lay down our guns, open our hands and help each other?
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      Jan 15 2013: I like your ideas for a better future, but people can not be forced through legislation to follow a certain path to achieve your idea of a better future. People have their own ideas for reaching their goal of a better tomorrow.

      I appreciate the potrait you have painted of decadence and salvation, but I can not help but wonder with a statement like "arms in circulation are the crux of a civil war", who is really paranoid?
    • Jan 16 2013: Unfortunately, Craig, I do not share your optimistic view of mankind. I try to walk in the New Testament, but much of the world operates as if they are still in the pre-Old Testament. There are a lot of people who want to kill us and our wives and our children, and are doing so to thier greatest abilities, for what we believe in-freedom of speech, religion, etc., people who stone women and kill gay men and beat women for exposing an ankle. So the byword is to be prepared and stand ready, and then go about our lives to the extent that we can treating our fellow man with decency. If we lay down our guns and open our hands as you say, we'll just get our throats slit like so many sheep. That doesn't mean we don't help each other. As for money, it is a medium of exchange and a convenient store of value, not evil. We are free to choose how to live, at least in the US so far. Civil war comes from oppression, not from too many weapons. However, Amen to getting involved and holding politicians accountable. Although you and I disagree in a fundatmental way, we still could break bread together without fear, and probably find some common ground.
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    Jan 13 2013: Heres the major issue that everyone seems to be overlooking whilst being infavor of mass gun-ownership (and an increase, according to some comments).

    Any Professional firearms trainer will immediately say something to the tune of:
    'A gun is never more dangerous when its in the hands of someone who is untrained/emotional. Not necessarily to the criminal, but to themselves, thier family and anyone else around them'..

    Here are some facts:
    -More people are starting to carry loaded guns
    -More people are aware that other people are carrying loaded guns
    -More people are untrained to use them, have never used one, are going to freak out in danger
    -More people are not Rambo
    -More people who shouldn't have guns have them aswell
    -More people are carrying them in the possible case of an incident
    -More people carrying guns are going to find themselves in relatively crowded locations

    To me that sounds like a horrifying outcome because it creates a situation where all it takes is for 1 crazed basketcase to fire a shot before an untold number of frantic, horrified individuals are firing a gun they can't control and/or not have sniper-precision to shoot the right person in a crowd of people running for their lives.

    There will come a point where someone will go on a 50 man killing spree and it will turn out that 30 of the deaths didn't come from the maniac.
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      Jan 13 2013: People who would act as you say with a gun probably would not own one and almost definitely would not conceal carry them. We can have concealed carry where I am from and I do not know anybody that constantly is armed. The people that do carry are usually working in a bad section of the city. No one I know goes to the mall, or movies , ... anything like that, carrying.
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      Jan 13 2013: Uh, Xavier, From your list of "facts"...can you also produce numbers showing that those "facts" are resulting in crimes or any justification for proposing that the nation amends it's Constitution? You have to understand that what is being proposed here is an amendment to the US Constitution. It's absurd to think that an amendment to the Constitution is the solution to your "Scary things' list.
    • Jan 13 2013: Xavier, your scenario is a nightmare. The fact is that in order to obtain a concealed cary permit, you must first go through a training class. The guns are not the problem, people are the problem, a well practiced individual can cause as much or more havoc with any weapon and size magazine. If we start eliminating our "Constitutional Rights" where will it end? Will you want to also eliminate our right to "VOTE"!!!! I say that there is a greater need for 'GUN EDUCATION" than "GUN CONTROL". The "2nd. Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, I wont let them take that right away from me. More people (including children) die every year from "Medical Malpractice" than from "gun violence", but I don't hear anyone saying that we should change the "medical malpractice laws".
  • Jan 12 2013: I will apologize if I repeat previous comments, as I have not read the entire thread.

    First, discussing the repeal of the 2nd amendment following a tragic shooting is always a poor choice. Feelings run high and the tragedy is fresh in our minds. We do not think clearly.

    Second, there are many laws in place that monitor, regulate, and state what is legal and not with firearms. The recent shooting simply shows us that even those laws fail. For example, the shooter stole the guns, could not have owned them legally, had a mental disability which might have kept him from owning firearms at all. None of those laws did anything to stop him.

    Third, the issue that is most frustrating, is that we often find that people suspected the person who did the shooting was going to do it, and did nothing. That is a failure of humans, not the firearms. Often, there are mental issues that are left without help and the person reaches a tipping point where violence seems appropriate.

    Finally, for the 2nd amendment to be repealed is a significant process. If the country is going to do it, they need to stand up as a large portion and state that. For the president to use executive power to alter the 2nd amendment would be a poor choice on their part. It would turn very ugly very quickly and polarize the nation against him or her. And probably is not constitutional to boot.

    Instead, I would like to see a focus on improving the mental health care of our nation and address the issues that would lead someone to consider this action. Also, enforce the laws on the books. And recognize that a large number of crimes are prevented by the possession of a firearm. Then consider the facts, not the fallacies of the arguments in a clear, non-emotional light.
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    Jan 10 2013: WOW Morgan!
    Have you read a single reason against your viewpoint, it sure seems like you did not.
    You know all the reasons given here for amending and calming no interest in taking all guns, may sound better if we had not heard them all before.
    We are just going to ban tanks,
    We are just going to ban cannons,
    We are just going to ban grenade launchers,
    We are just going to ban grenades,
    We are just going to ban automatic weapons,
    We are just going to ban high-capacity semi-automatic weapons,
    And if we give in, how soon will we hear?
    We are just going to ban semi-automatic weapons,
    We are just going to ban guns,
    We are just going to ban sharp long knives,
    We are just going to ban long knives,
    We are just going to ban sharp knives,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech on TV,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech online,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech in public places,
  • Jan 9 2013: This whole ban the guns thing is pure scare tactic and smoke screen. More children die of hunger, drowning, vehicle accidents, not getting access to doctors, and other things than die of gun vilolence. There are things that can be done about those things, but they are not being done, ,why? Are our guns scaring you? Are our guns going to jump up and kill you? No, you are being driven by lobbyists that want to see our citizens disarmed,. That is the real question, why do they want to see us disarmed? It is definately not about the lives of children, or we would see them pass legislature to make sure every kid is fed, and has access to health care, and we saw how they cared about that. This has to do with making us into good serfs that can no longer bargain for our rights, or defend ourselves from those in power. Wake up!
    • Jan 10 2013: Can anyone tell me the last time that citizens of the US, legally armed under the amendment, used these said arms to "defend (y)ourselves from those in power. " ? The whole point, whilst containing some worthwhile distractions, is worthy of a Monty Python sketch. The right to bear arms..against a despotic government:; do you honestly think that if you ever suffered under a totalitarian regime, that they would respect those rights ? On the other hand, even without the right, all over the world ( think Libya and Egypt recently ) citizens who had had enough of a regime were still able to obtain arms and overthrow the despot. Do you think that Oliver Cromwell and his parliamentarian army that overthrew King Charles the 1st needed to go to Charlie boy and ask for permission to raise arms against him ? It's a nonsensical argument.
      On the other hand, if you are claiming that it is the "right to defend oneself and one's property", that is another issue. I can see some logic there, but surely then, you don't need a bazooka or a tank to defend yourself on the way home from the pub or your 2 acre smallholding ?
      So let's sort out what you need the arms for and then limit them to a sensible calibre, fire rate or whatever and please make sure that applicants have a stable background and an IQ. above their age !

      By the way, it was stated that the US has the highest gun ownership in the world. I believe both Canada and Swizterland have higher per capita levels without anything like the level of crime/fatalities. So there may be some credence to the population densities..or is it just that they make sure that you have to show a sane personality and some proficiency/self control with a firearm before owning one rather than the fact that you've just opened a new bank account !
      • Jan 11 2013: You sound an awful lot like a brit, and I don't appreciate your implying that IQ has anything to do with the crazies that use firearms to kill innocents. Just because it's been a while since anyone defended themselves from overeaching governments, doesn't mean it won't happen. As far as being able to resist an out of control government without arms, tell that to the Chinese man that stared down the tank.As for per capita gun ownership, the chart I am looking at per 100 people The U.S. has 88.8 canada 30.8 Switzerland 45.7 So I guess you are mistaken.
        • Jan 11 2013: To suggest I'm British is a typical US stereotyping. I'm Irish and we know something about raising and arming a militia to overthrow a despotic government ! And guess what, we did it without an amendment, hell, we did it without a constitution ( well, an in force one anyway ).
          Mistaken - no. The figures that you read putting the US top of the gun ownersdepends on how you read the figures. That figure is based on the total number of private guns sold divided by the population. So when you start removing the people with more than one gun, and figures suggest that 50 of the people who legally hold a gun licence have more than one ( many more than one ! ), the figure drops dramatically.
      • Jan 11 2013: Lets see your figures because it sounds goofy to me. You are saying an awful lot that I should take on what your say so? Everybody I know, and grew up with, owns at least one gun, and usualy many. And lets face it, the argument was number of guns per population no matter how you split them up in your mind. By the way, should we all use bombs as the IRA did? Isn't that how you armed against a despotic governmment?
      • Jan 11 2013: After rereading your post, I have some points to make. If my country removes my constitutional right to own guns, then it has become despotic and no longer is the country I served in the military. Second, it is not my problem that your ancestors and others didn't win in their struggle to liberate themselves from despotic monarchies, and fight to get gun ownership rights for themselves. Third, I do not see how someone from Europe can sit there and tell me that my continued ownership is likened to Monty Python, when it has been the U.S. and it's gun toting citizens that have helped make the world safer. Fourth, while I accept your posting as a right, no one in Europe really has any stake in this debate, at all, no skin in the game so to speak. And last, oh my, I called you a Brit, in my world that is not sterotyping, the Irish are considered British over here, and I meant nothing by it, My grandmother and grandfather were Irish, and they considered themselves Americans.
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          Jan 12 2013: Timothy I think you need to brush up on your geography because you will find part of Ireland is British and the other is Independent and Australia is not in Europe.

          Actually as this is an International forum we have the right to voice our opinions which is why I bought up the question in the first place. What you seem to of forgotten is that ,what happens in the US does impact on the rest of the world even it is a domestic issue.

          You are making a great case as to why the US Government should amend its firearms legislation.
      • Jan 12 2013: I know where Ireland is, and the fact that they want to call one side British and the other independant t means nothing. As for Australia, lets face it, you are all still colonies.
        You are acting as if we are at the whim of the rest of the world, that is not the case.This country tends to follow it's people's wishes, and as such, I am not really afraid of any change to the second amendment, because it will not happen. This fear mongering of those out there, that are anti-gun, is equally cancelled by the fear-mongering that is pro gun.You, the rest of the world, act as if you can bully us into your wishes, good luck with that!
  • Jan 8 2013: We (Americans) do not owe a single solitary explanation for the laws & policies that we have created to govern ourselves.
    • Jan 8 2013: You're free to not participate in this discussion. No one is holding a gun to your head, and making you participate. ;-)

      And... unlike the US, none of us is sending an army to your country, to to force a change in your laws.

      This is how freedom of speech works.
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    Jan 8 2013: Frankly I believe this question can only be addressed by citizens of the United States, and no others. Comment all you will about your views on this topic but the US Constitution can only be changed by Americans! Fred Lanisake's comment below is very much on point. It requires a Constitutional amendment to change or remove the amendment and politicians who attempt to undermine it do so at their peril. Most Americans consider the Constitution to be the heart and soul of this country and while some of you non-Americans are critical of many aspects of the USA, all of you would not pass up an opportunity to move here!
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      Jan 8 2013: @ Ian , Unfortunately these incidents end up on the front pages of the news services all over the world which in a way allows the rest of us to comment because if we did want move there you really need to know what you are getting yourself into. Also as you are a "superpower" do you not think you need to show the rest of the world a sense responsibility that comes with that title.

      I agree though it is up to the citizens to change the culture and lobby the Poli's to change and it is going to be an uphill battle.

      There are some wonderful things about the US don't get me wrong I love the scenery the New England turning of the leaves, Monument Valley, Bryce canyon, California Coast Road, Mid West Plains, Utah/Idaho/Vermont Snow fields.
      Nothing like being on the road and coming across a fantastic little diner in the middle of nowhere where everyone is friendly and wants to hear you talk because of the strange accent. I am there fairly regularly and I have also lived there for a short period, but every time another of these incidents happens I feel a little less secure than did before and I find I am more alert than even I usually am ( occupational hazard aside). In my travels in the States I have been fortunate enough to meet a wide variety of her citizens some I've had great times with some have scared the hell out of me and completely miles out of my comprehension but it is an experience.

      I want to enjoy coming the States, maybe even move back for a little while ,but I don't want to fear her or her people but it is starting to get to that point which is shame.
      • Jan 9 2013: I think we have been "showing" the rest of the world responsibility by continually bailing other countries out. We have come to the aid of just about the rest of the world for this or that threat. Gun ownership isn't about just protecting ones home, it's about protecting ones country, and sometimes from ones own government.If they ever allow the dissolution of the second amendment, I hope I'm either in the grave, or have found a country with even more fortitude than this one. I understand that kids have died, and that is tragic, but what about the kids that have died from collateral damage from airstrikes that all the major countries have launched? Are we trying for perfection?Are we trying to reach some stage where life is precious? If we are, we need to change the human genome, because humans are terrible when it comes to the rights of other people. If we are serious about saving lives, we need to get really serious about our numbers, which need to be reduced, and our usage of resources, which need to be reduced, and our destroying of the enviroment, which will end us all.
    • Jan 8 2013: Ian- well said. While we cannot avoid being scrutinized, we owe nobody an explanation, or defense, of the policies or laws in our country. There are many many wonderful things and scary things about every country.
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      Jan 9 2013: "all of you would not pass up an opportunity to move here!" Are you kidding me!!!! You could not PAY me to live in America!!! Americans are very good at convincing themselves and each other (propoganda) that your country is the best, that you have the most freedoms and opportunities blah blah. That is so completely wrong. I could never live in your country, and it is madness for you to make such a gross presumption that All of us would.
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        Jan 9 2013: Lee-Anna,
        I agree with you that it is arrogant for anybody to presume that everyone would jump at the opportunity to live in America. I believe some American's arrogance at times, is one of the main factors regarding dislike for Americans around the world. I would like you to know that we all do not think that way!
  • Jan 4 2013: Colleen, You seem to be good at topic policing and wanting to control what others say but apply different rules to yourself. I find this to be the case with many of the bleeding hearts in my life. It is annoying and I respectfully ask you to allow others to draw meaningful analogies without you correcting them. Below are but a few examples of your own OFF TOPIC statements.

    "We probably would not ban hammers"
    Is this Topic about HAMMERS?

    "I agree that many mass murderers may be triggered by mental instability."
    Is this Topic about MENTAL ILLNESS?

    " Yes, I am a woman..."
    Is this Topic about WOMAN'S RIGHTS?

    "I agree that fear, anger, hate and antagonism can be expressed emotionally."
    Is this Topic about EMOTIONS?

    " I have been working for over 60 years with abused women and children,"
    Is this Topic about YOUR WORK?

    " I'm generally pleased with our legislation, environmental laws"
    Is this Topic about the ENVIRONMENT or VERMONT?

    " Vermont is "predominantly female"? 50.8% female, 49.2% male....looks pretty close to me!"
    Is this topic about GENDER?
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      Jan 4 2013: Ivory Babble,
      The ONLY thing I control is what I choose to address, and I follow the TED conversation rules, which means I try my best to stay on topic. I have not, in any way "corrected" anyone. I have, however, shared my perspectives regarding the topic question, and stated that I will stay on topic. If you feel annoyed by what I write, my only suggestion is to discontinue writing comments to me.

      No, the topic is not about hammers, mental illness, women's rights, my work, the environment, gender, and you know that. I responded to commenters who brought those issues into the discussion, and my intent, which seems clear, was to let them know that I will do my best to stay on topic.
      Again Ivory Babble, I respectfully suggest that if you are annoyed with my comments, you discontinue directing statements to me. I cannot do anything about YOUR feeling of being annoyed. It appears that you are annoyed when people do not agree with you.
      • Jan 4 2013: The only thing that annoys me is illogical, irrational discussion where bleeding hearts talk about their feelings about issues and provide few facts. By definition logic is void of emotion.
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          Jan 4 2013: If it annoys you Ivory Babble...don't do it:>)
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      Jan 5 2013: Colleen is trying to insist that we consider the issue in a vacuum, we even have to ignore the context that Morgan Barnes presented it in.

      So, Ivory, can you please ignore the man behind the curtain and try to conform yourself to a yes or no answer?

      But Colleen, let's be honest, the ONLY reason we are being asked to consider pulling down the 2nd Amendment is to diminish our rights. It's prohibitionists against the Constitutionalists. We are not being asked to consider the 2nd in order to expand or protect our existing rights.
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        Jan 5 2013: Marianne,
        I am honest, and have been very clear right along that I am trying to stay on topic....NOT trying to "consider the issue in a vaccum". Your insistance that I and some others are considering this issue in a "vaccum", is simply an expression of your disagreement with our perspectives.

        My perception is that we are addressing this issue for the purpose of making our world a safer place. I'm not "against" anyone Marianne because I believe we can all have different perspectives, perceptions and preferences. Nor do I feel that anyone is discussing "pulling down the 2nd amendment". I respect your belief and fear of your rights being diminished. I do not agree.
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          Jan 5 2013: Here Colleen,
          I have cut & pasted question that Morgan Barnes posted. It is called "Context".
          He didn't post the question about the 2nd Amendment because he was doing an exhaustive update of the Constitution.

          Morgan has taken the liberty of going a step forward and asking how to "enforce" said law and ended in "time has come" edicts. He left the door open for any and all of the comment that he has received.

          We are talking about 2nd Amendment gun issues in the light of the CT shootings. If you want to start a thread on abolishing the 1st Amendment, that is your perogative.

          BARNES: After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

          Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

          That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

          Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

          What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

          And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

          The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.
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        Jan 5 2013: Marianne,
        What is your purpose in suggesting that I start a thread on abolishing the 1st amendment? What is the point of this recent comment of yours?
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        Jan 5 2013: I got the same thing out of it Marianne, and the way Morgan Barnes presents the question, I feel as though he only wants a dialogue with people who see it from his perspective.
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          Jan 5 2013: Nothing happens in a vacuum, and the rhetoric about the Constitution being outdated, (when what they really mean is that abiding by the Constitution is no longer expedient for their agendas) has spurred a renewed interest in understanding the Constitution.
          The nuances and the brilliance that negotiated the laws of this land, can not be understood by a minds dulled by the their immersion in the popular culture and status quo.

          It is hard for them to imagine being young enough not to be scared into giving up our freedoms so that they can go to their graves imagining that they have done as much as they could to "control" everyone else's lives.
          There is an awakening in all the free world from those who understand in real time, what the rule of law means to them. The powers that be, need to understand that we realize that our rights are significant even when they keep getting in the way they imagine is "best for everyone."
  • Jan 3 2013: Realistically, I highly doubt we would be able to repeal one of the original 10 Amendments at this point in time. Amending the 2nd Amendment may be more likely, but I think it would still be almost impossible at this point in time. I think the real problem is that such a large proportion of Americans practically worship the 2nd Amendment. So the real question right now is not 'Should we appeal the 2nd Amendment?' but 'How do we change the minds and attitudes of this proportion of Americans so that we can actually take some action towards amending the 2nd Amendment or creating new gun control laws?'. If we can't do that, then there's no way we can even realistically consider amending the 2nd Amendment.

    It is my opinion that tighter gun control laws need to be created. If you look at the statistics, most other developed countries have substantially lower gun fatalities every year because it's just a lot more difficult to gain access to a gun legally. And even illegally.
    • Jan 3 2013: Just why do you feel it is your mission...your change other peoples minds? Emotions aside...I'm am going to keep asking the same question over and over til somebody can provide me a reasonable answer. Just what is the logic behind wanting to change peoples minds about something that has a very, very, very low probability of occurring? How many people have died from "Mass shootings" ? I realize math and stats is about about as scarce as logic in these discussions.
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        Jan 3 2013: 'Just what is the logic behind wanting to change peoples minds about something that has a very, very, very low probability of occurring?'

        It has a 'very low probability' of occuring because you only factor in one single scenario and not the totality of the scenarios that hinges on the problem that everyone has access to firearms and the ability to carry them fully loaded to any place.
        Your argument is like claiming there aren't many household accidents because only 8 people trapped their tongues in an electric whisk last year.

        The FBI statistics database concludes that each year in America an average of
        -120,000 robberies take place specially related to firearms each year
        -130,000 aggravated assaults specifically related to firearms each year
        -10,000 homicides because of firearms each year
        and a firearm related death rate per 100,000 people that rivals the entire 50-country European block combined.

        120,000 murders, 1,560,000 assaults and 1,440,000 robberies specifically related to a gun since George Bush got into office. Thats almost equal to 1/100 having a direct crime committed against them with a firearm, or 1 person per street.

        This doesn't even include non-fatal gun shot wounds, accidents or threats using a gun, which could quite easily add an extra 30% to that number, of not more.

        England has a low probability
        Canada has a low probability
        India has a low probability
        America does not have a low probability.
        • Jan 3 2013: Otherwise stated:
          -120,000 robberies take place, related to PEOPLE each year
          -130,000 aggravated assaults, related to PEOPLE each year
          -10,000 homicides related to PEOPLE each year

          With an estimated ~300,000,000 guns in the US the probability is very low.
          And if we are talking about "Mass Shootings" and "Assault Weapons" the probability is miniscule.
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          Jan 3 2013: 1 hour ago: Ivory Babble,
          You say "emotions aside"? That is interesting coming from you, because you seem caught up in the emotion of this question!

          The logic behind changing the law, which will probably NOT require repeal or amendment of anything, is because there are too many "mass shootings"....too many people killed with assault weapons, that should not be the hands of the general public.

          Regarding your question below Ivory Babble...
          Too many people have been killed in mass shootings with assault weapons.

          I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. I would like to see our world more safe, and less frightening.

          2nd EDIT:
          I am using logic AND emotion together Ivory Babble. You can do that too if you wish:>)
          The figures are already posted on this thread several times, and you can certainly get the numbers on line. I do not have to repeat something that has been posted several times.
      • Comment deleted

        • Jan 3 2013: OK Colleen...Just how many people have been killed in Mass Shootings? And with Assault Weapons?

          EDIT: In Response to Colleen.
          This is where logic meets emotion Colleen. I am asking you to quantify and put forth some logic behind your statement "too many people..."
          Is this just a feeling or can it be explained. We will likely never see eye to eye on this. I can tell though you are a kind and caring person and I appreciate that.

          Also, please explain why some in this discussion feel enlightened to the point of deciding what should be in the hands of the general public?
      • Jan 3 2013: I don't feel it is my right to change people's minds. All I was saying was that the opening poster was asking the wrong question. Before we could even consider amending the 2nd Amendment, we probably would have to get a lot of the people who staunchly oppose anyone messing with the 2nd Amendment to change their stand on the 2nd Amendment. That doesn't mean that they would internally have to agree with the action, but we would need more people to outwardly support changing the Amendment.

        And just because something may have a low probability of occurring in the present doesn't mean we should just give up on trying to effect change, whoever 'we' happens to be. Everyone lives their lives everyday directly or indirectly trying to persuade people around them. I happen to believe that limiting access to guns in this country would reduce gun homicides and mass shootings, but I'm not going to shove that down people's throats. However, that does not mean I will not live my life trying to convince the people around me when the time comes that this change will probably be for the better for our country. If you believe doing something is the right thing to do and will help your community, then you will work towards that. It's the same thing that those who support limiting gun control laws believe.

        And you're right. There should be more statistics in this discussion. I am not sure how many people die from mass shootings in each country every year, but this resource does explain total number of gun homicides per year per country:

        In 2009, according to this study, the United States had about 10,300 gun-related homicides. Canada had 173, the United Kingdom 46, Germany 188, Australia 30, etc.
        • Jan 3 2013: We can probably all agree Canada, UK, Germany, Australia etc. don't have a whole lot of things we have here in the US. :-).
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      Jan 3 2013: Hi Holly,
      When we had a law regulating assault weapons before, I do not believe anything was repealed or amended. It appears that the document provides for "regulation" of guns. We don't necessarily need to change the minds of people, and based on some of the comments on this thread, we're not going to do that. We can, however, change the laws to get some of the assault weapons out of circulation in the general public.
      • Jan 3 2013: True. Some minds may need to be changed though if changes are to be made considering how much lobbying power the NRA has over Congress and how much influence the NRA gains from the many Americans who support it. Unless of course, Congress decides to resist that lobbying pressure or some other big push comes through.

        And Ivory, yes, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Australia have much stricter gun control laws.
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    Dec 23 2012: No, we should not repeal the second amendment.

    Has anyone read the article written for the Harvard Law Review entitled, "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" Their short and clear answer: No. The Cato Institute, a highly respected research organization wrote an article entitled, "Gun Control: Myths and Realities" also came to the same conclusion, and there is quite a bit of independently researched information on this. [Counterpoint: I suspect one can find opposing studies - I just haven't found them in my limited searching prior to writing this response.]

    Just to state: I have not ever owned a gun, nor do I plan to own one, and I don't have an agenda in this debate.

    I believe a government effort to ban guns in this country would follow in the same steps as our failed "war on drugs". Just as with drugs, the bad guys can always purchase what they need and outlawing guns would spawn a black market where things will get much worse.

    With the advent of 3-D printers, it will soon become almost trivial and cost effective for anyone to manufacture working guns out of their own home and out of raw materials. A bit like growing pot in your backyard. It will be impossible to prevent the bad guys from making their own guns.

    I think we tend to get blown and bent out of shape around these shooting disasters due to their spectacular nature, the way our media carries this, and the way we as a nation respond to this. I think that just exacerbates the problem. There are far worse tragedies affecting children and adults alike every day, but they are not so news worthy. Daily, I think of the tragedy of thousands of children who die in this country every year from breathing second hand smoke (part of the nearly half a million who die in the U.S. every year from smoking). Those are horrible, prolonged, preventable deaths. That won't be all over the news even though 1,100 die every day in this country from smoking.
  • Dec 17 2012: No it should not be amended or repealed.

    Take a look at police in America today.
    They are outfitted and look like Storm Troopers. Nazi Stormtroopers.
    They are armed to the teeth, as the saying goes, and they want nothing more than to have complete control, dominance, power and terrorizing freedom, not to protect the citizens from outside terrorism or terrorists, but to be used against the citizens themselves.

    Never!! One would have to be insane to consider allowing those who consider the populace to be "the enemy" to have all the weapons for killing, terror and dehumanizing people.

    The first report I read said this person was, "as clean as a whistle." A saying which means they were as normal as could be. Well, I haven't read more lately, but that kind of thing is, well hell, it already is being used to try and get the weapons people WILL NEED to defend themselves, away from them for good.

    Keep in mind, that the liberties of Americans are almost all gone.
    They have told them, "see those people over there? Terrorists, people who use firearms to kill people like you? Well, they want to take away your freedoms. They want to kill you. So to protect you, we will take away your freedoms!!
    We will take away your arms!!! We will take away your rights and abilities to protect yourself!"

    If you believe that BS, then you are crazy, brainwashed to death.
    The freedom of info act in America, revealed that the CIA killed children, teachers, parents and burned or destroyed schools in South America, with the sole intention of getting the populace to give them all their rights for their protection. It was all lies.
    Benjamin Franklin said, "Any man (woman) who would give up a little bit of liberty for a safer society, deserves neither liberty nor safety."

    I trust his political acumen far more than I trust anyone in the offices of power in America.
    We know they lie to us and have been lying for decades.

    No!!! Absolutely not. You don't suspend gravity for those who fall off a roof
    • Jan 14 2013: you wouldn't think that Benjamin Franklin would lie? Don't be confused with the 'times' and the ability to lie.
  • Jan 16 2013: What if everyone was missing the forest for the trees? What if the debate surrounding guns in the USA was stuck in the 20th century? What if, instead of gun control, a dated concept, we thought in a novel and 21st century like manner about gun architecture?

    We should have in mind the peculiar regulatory mix that has come to be with the advent of the digital world, one where Law is not the only Law, where, as Lawrence Lessig brilliantly put it more than 10 years ago, Code is Law. In such a world – and such is the world we now live in – the rights we have as citizens or consumers may be enforced through the blueprints of goods and services. When you download a song with DRM (digital rights management) features, such as one from iTunes, what you can do with it is strictly delimited and at the same time enforced by the technical architecture thereof.

    What if every gun and rifle sold in the US (or in the world for that matter) came equipped with DRMs that would limit who could use them, where and when they could be used? Imagine that guns were all connected with an ID database stored in the cloud (easily feasible) where the rights different profiles of users had on different guns were recorded, this could for instance lead to different scenarios - for instance only law enforcement officers could be allowed to “turn on” firearms near or inside schools...

    I don’t know if such a gun architecture scheme could be easily implemented; I certainly don’t know if it would be upheld by courts in the face of a 2nd amendment to the US Constitution that was drafted to ensure the Government had some legitimate fear of its sovereign, the citizens, and that its foreign enemies were kept at bay; but I’m thinking this would be worth a try…

    Thoughts initially published here:
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      Jan 16 2013: Interesting concept Anthony!

      We have serial numbers, registration, and interstate tracking systems now, which are not always effectively used. Do you think technology can advance to the level you suggest? Who knows...anything is possible, and perhaps as we evolve as human beings, this too is possible:>)
      • Jan 16 2013: Actually technology has already advanced to such a level ... in other fields. Take the smartphones out there today, they can be disabled from a distance thanks to central ("cloud") servers. It would not be without additional costs to the manufacturers, but one could argue this would be like imposing the installation of seat belts or other security devices to cars, something that one has to obey in order to protect broader public interests...
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    Jan 13 2013: .
    The NRA's position on guns is as follows...

    Higher gun violence rate = Buy more guns to protect yourself
    Lower violence rate = You could still become a statistic so buy more guns
    No change in violence rate = Lets fix that, buy more guns

    Certain guns may be made illegal = Buy as many as you can now to stock up
    Illegal sale of a gun is overturned = They're back! Buy guns to celebrate!
    The subject of guns comes up in politics = Be worried, buy more guns!

    Buy guns for your collection
    Buy guns for defence
    Buy guns for hunting
    Buy guns for training
    Buy guns and be a patriot
    Buy guns and be an American..
    Everyone buy as many guns as you can for no matter what reason
    Everyone buy guns no matter who you are
    Everyone buy guns and allow no limitations

    It seems to me that the Americans are being duped into thinking that endless-gun-freedom equates to liberty, when in actuality it appears to be nothing more than a scam by people who work for the gun manufacturing industry..

    We all know that the Teaparty are unknowingly doing large corporations biddings with their
    'zero tax+zero regulation = liberty' chants,
    so how does no one see this situation with the
    'more guns for all = more liberty'
    situation we have here?..
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      Jan 13 2013: Xavier, "It may seem to you Americans are being duped", but you are wrong. No one thinks endless guns is the equivalent of liberty. The right to bear arms is a part of the foundation that ensures our liberty.
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          Jan 13 2013: freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

          freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.

          freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
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        Jan 13 2013: 'It may seem to you Americans are being duped, but you are wrong'

        A group who originally focused almost entirely on adequate gun control start receiving large amounts of money from Gun manufacturers and now want as many guns to be sold as possible for any reason and to absolutely anyone who wants them without restriction..
        Odds are on my favor here..
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          Jan 13 2013: The gun owners I know all have brains of their own and do not wait for the NRA to tell them what to do next.
      • Comment deleted

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          Jan 13 2013: What Kate? Where have I been quite defensive and what are you talking about? Do what in your own head?

          Full of fear? Where is this coming from?
        • Jan 14 2013: @Kate Blake:
          I too have stayed in India for a while. These are my thoughts and observations:

          Indians don't understand the idea of freedom. The police are pretty much lawless too. Most of the cities have a daily curfew at 23:30. The police make rounds to make sure shops are closed. Indians in northern parts of India have made living with dangerous people a part of their lives. Most girls don't venture out on their own after dark ~ 18:30. So, no, most Indians don't own guns, but then they don't expect to live their days like we, in the west, do.
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    Jan 13 2013: The more I read the posts coming out of America, the more I am concluding the following:
    A - Americans are constantly attacking each other, to the point that everyone lives in paranoia of the 'next' life threatening incident, that can only be addressed through the use of violent retaliation.
    B - Americans are Just plain Paranoid,
    and or
    C - You are all so patriotically stubborn that you refuse even to listen to any views from people who are not American. I am starting to wonder if all the Americans (who from these posts seem to be overwelmingly FOR guns, and are even encouraging more gun ownership) are being so stubbornly "gun happy" just because of patriotic, "must show solidarity" viewpoints. It just blows my mind that a large population of a large country are so fiercely gun crazy! I must admit, my views of Americans are sliding further into the negative the more I read. I am going to keep away from this chat from now on before I end up having no respect whatsoever for your entire country and population. Having said that, Great Chat Morgan!
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      Jan 13 2013: All three. But consider this. American culture is based on being at a war standing for most of its history. In the twenty odd decades of it's existence one would be hard pressed to find one where in some away in some area of America was not engaged in combat. The "free world" became that way because of American skills with combat and combat weapons, is an internationally accepted factor. Let us consider this scenario. the world is the same as it is today. Tomorrow, there is no 2nd amendment, no "gun" culture in American. Of course, there is no American culture to be a world military power. There are no alliances for mutual defense, forward projection forces or even interest within the USA. But, Americans are now a peaceful peoples, if a trading partner is invaded and our friends are devastated, there is the loss in our economy, a threat to our well being. I mean if it happens to your country will ours be far behind? Well, know that America will plead your case to the United Nations and demand that something be done. Under that scenario, all these discussions on American gun culture and 2nd amendment would not be a bone of contention. There could be discussions on best survival in a gulag or concentration/retraining camp.

      Now does this comment stretch credulity? Anymore then the other 1000 or so comments?
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        Jan 13 2013: good comment! How soon they forget, what it appears they never knew.
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      Jan 13 2013: Lee-Anna, you read opinions from 20, maybe 30, Americans on this forum and you judge 315,000,000 by that.

      Do you know enough of the people you judge, to tell them they are not responsible enough to own a gun? Are you sure you know enough about people who believe guns are necessary to tell them they are paranoid and/or stubbornly gun happy? Do you equate gun happy with murderer?

      ... You are teetering on the edge of having no respect for the entire population? ... I could write pages on the great people I know personally and pages more on the excellent people I've met just passing through.
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    Jan 11 2013: The whole anti-gun position is that of a Statist who not only believes the government should, but wants it to have the sole responsibility of keeping the peace. Such an expectation justifies and often requires complete and total oversight into our lives- cameras at every corner, logs of every event and an infrastructure capable of intelligently analyzing all this data.

    With this we move farther away from a self-ruled society and establish an even more privileged higher class, one that has the right and duty to micromanage our safety. It's the child and parent mentality, superimposed over a class of unlikable bureaucrats and the rights of every day citizens. If you'd like to see the utopia you're aiming for check out Cuba. No guns, no homeless, everyone has a job and the State does a dandy one at that.
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      Jan 11 2013: We can not be sure if the populace all still agrees that a system that is required to kill some of it's own people to achieve one of their utopian schemes, is wrong.
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        Jan 11 2013: I big reason a lot of people here don't agree is because they live in a country that's already like this. Maybe their country has always been this way. America was born from rowdy colonists breaking away from the King. We established our country in such a way to be free of one- our federal government is set up with a system of checks and balances that has become the model for a lot of other nations. Not only do we have powers working against each other within our government, but we have State governments ruling sometimes in complete defiance. In our recent election where Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in defiance of federal law, such a thing would never happen in many European nations.

        Our mentality as Americans is different. In our eyes we're a free people, and our government is something to keep in check. We insist on our liberties, Europeans ask why!? They don't see themselves and their government in the same way.
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          Jan 11 2013: I don't want to state the obvious, but many of the responses here are nothing more than "It can't happen here.". An ironic phrase that was coined as the precursor to it "happening here".
          However, maintaining a position that "it can't happen here" when it has "happened here", defies explanation except for the shopworn comparison to the ostrich.
        • Jan 12 2013: Huzzah! Fred, I agree 100%. I do not believe this talk can go any farther as the ones initiateing it are for the U.S. giving up our rights to please them, and put us in the same barrel. To use the language they expect, "us por mericans aint got any cents"
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          Jan 12 2013: Read the statement Repealed or amended?// There is a choice
      • Jan 11 2013: Marianne, do you feel that as an american you are part of the governmental process? Your posts constantly refer to "them" and the "government" as if you have no say or ability to effect change. But then you refer to court cases that adjudicated some of your issues in your favor, how you support current law, etc. so you must have some faith (a little?) in our system? I am not so sure. You bring so much anger and dire predictions of the awful hypothetical future we face, and you make them with such a broad brush and such certainty when predicting the future, a future nobody can be certain of. This topic is about making changes in public policy from the status quo in one specific area, but you have broadened your responses to such a level that it makes me wonder if your posts are about the topic at hand, or if you would be against any changes that involve governing or government. Try to keep it realistic in your response if you could-we aren't Cuba, or Hitler's Germany, Cambodia, or any of the other scare countries that have been brought up. We are a representative democracy, one that is attempting to fix a problem through thoughtful discussion by the people and their representatives. So do you think any changes to gun laws that could be interpreted as more restrictive to the general US population should not even be considered?
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          Jan 11 2013: Characterize it any way that serves you, the fact is that the only reason to bring up the 2nd Amendment is to diminish the rights of citizens to be armed.

          It is a demonstrable fact that local law enforcement agencies are on the receiving end of military ordinance, training and vehicles from the Federal Government at a time when violence is at an all time low in the United States.

          It is also a demonstrable fact that innocent American Citizens were killed at both Ruby Ridge and Waco by United States Government agencies who acted illegally and later destroyed evidence and lied en mass at the Senate hearings.( In the case of Waco the government did pay off on a wrongful death suit. However there was no redress of grievances for WACO to restore the rule of law.)

          Whether or not we are a nation where the rule of law is upheld, depends upon whether or not the people hold that to be a non-negotiable principle. In my experience, there are entire sectors of our society that can not differentiate between the rule of law and the rule of men. Foremost, it is important that our President believes in the rule of law. I find him unconvincing in that arena.

          In a conversation of thoughtful discussion, some of the facts that have to be considered, in this case, are very ugly. They are as ugly as the list of dead at Waco. They are brought to this discussion in this progression:

          Q Why do you think you need guns?

          A The people reserved the right to themselves to armed revolt against the government.

          Q How can you think that the US Government would do such a thing? We are not Cambodia.

          A They did it at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

          And your response is what? That those events didn't happen?
          We shape our own future.
          Nobody here has suggested a bilateral disarmament, only a disarming of the people at the bottom of the power structure.
          So, it's a completely different conversation that what is wrong with the Adam Lanzas and what we need to do to stop this from happening again.
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          Jan 11 2013: And Sean, I am not big on how people "feel" about important issues as much as what they intend to "do".
          However, if you feel that you, as part of the electorate, still occupy the top rung of the social contact that we live under..please take me up on my invitation to invite the Federal an local LE agencies to stand down and begin this Messianic disarmament which will spring forth from their inner desire to tone down the violence and fear that they disseminate on a daily basis. Let them openly repudiate their "secret" Homeland Security memos that were issued against the advice of their own Civil Rights Division. See if you can get them to stack up their military ordinance that they purchased for Urban Warfare, into a big pile in the middle of the street and burn it. Oh, and while you are at it, make some regulations that require Big Phama to only administer their dangerous potions to people who are safely locked in institutions..and reinstate the funding for those institutions, whose funds were diverted elsewhere from 1960 to 1980. Can you also ask Hollywood to stop filling the cultural cesspool that children drink from? Make all parents responsible and make sure that all public schools require the children to practice the golden rule?
          Sure the most advanced nation in the history of the world can accomplish some of these tasks.
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    Jan 10 2013:

    This article is a great neutral representation of current data that is available. I found it extremely interesting that both sides of this argument have little factual causation in terms of guns and how they effect crime or murder rates. A great read.
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      Jan 10 2013: Learned a lot. It is a good site.
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      Jan 10 2013: Those are based on reported stats what about the unreported thing is you will never get an accurate number and stats as we well know can be manipulated to show anything you want.
      I like the more gun ownership but in less households hate to think of the arms cache some owners have then.
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        Jan 10 2013: Morgan,
        I apologize but I do not understand your response. The article addresses how incomplete or "bad" the data is and states more than a few times that any conclusion is impossible with the current data.
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          Jan 10 2013: Maybe I was getting who's data is mixed up will read it a bit more closely, sorry about that

          but I had noticed with a lot of stats and articles that have been posted they have been very specific about the year of choice where the stats show the highest rate within for example a 10 year period.
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        Jan 10 2013: The article addresses various different statements from both sides of the arguments and how they are either exaggerated on fabricated to suit the needs of whoever makes them.

        The consensus among those who study the statistics is that the data cannot support a conclusion either way and until better data is acquired there is nothing in the numbers that can be used to further the agenda of either side of the argument.
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        Jan 10 2013: We know how many innocent children were slaughtered at Waco..and that can be condoned by MB because it was law enforcement.
        If that massacre can be passed off as part of the learning curve, I guess MB would be happy if we put stickers on guns saying "DO NOT USE THIS TO KILL AN INNOCENT PERSON"...all things being equal.
    • Jan 10 2013: Thank you for the goes to our earlier discussion on reasonable evaluation of our laws in light of current facts. Near the end of the article it concludes that the US is average in violence, but extremely high in deaths. (paraphrasing) It also concludes that concealed carry laws seem to be a what could explain the difference between the US and other developed countries that leads to more than 7000 extra deaths per year in the US? I maintain that people in other countires may be just as violent, but the US population is just much more effective at killing at the time of violence because we in the US have unfettered access to better weapons with which to kill. Every country has a violent population, we just let ours have the deadliest weapons, so the impact of the US violence is multiplied and deadlier. I'm no rocket scientist, but that is the one thing that sticks out as unquestionably different from other countries and in high coorrelation with the high gun homicide rate. Sure, mental health, TV, poverty rates, etc can all be considered contributing factors to differing degrees, but every country struggles to deal with those too. The 2 differences are our high homicide by gun rate, and our unfettered access to hi speed shooting weapons. Hmmmmm, draw your own conclusions.
      If you feel that unfettered access to all weapons is a neccessity to protect yourself from something, then that is fine. We just have to come to terms with the knowledge that (y)our national fear causes 19 unneeded deaths a day, and then decide if it is worth it.
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        Jan 11 2013: We let ours have 'the deadliest weapons'? What, a rile that shoots without a lever action?

        I wonder how many homicides there are in North Korea.
  • Jan 9 2013: Letter to the President 29 Dec 2012 - Part Three Please read above 1st (Sorry):

    As an intelligence analyst I always found it interesting that the general public made decisions with little in the way of facts. Emotions move people in one direction or another and I believe it is your administration’s responsibility to keep the conversation grounded in facts. Figures from the FBI, CDC and other agencies indicate the issue of gun violence is more complex than what is being reported via the news or on the web. There are so many different ways to interpret the data that I believe an outside, non-governmental or political, organization needs to look at the information; specifically, the organization that has been utilized extensively by SOF Commands in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I recommend utilizing the people from Palantir, as your administration did when investigating stimulus fraud in 2010. I firmly believe the people at Palantir can give you the most comprehensive look into the reality of gun violence.

    As a father I find myself searching for the reasons why anyone would want to take the lives of innocent people in such a horrific manner and I want to contribute, somehow. At this time it seems that some are more focused on their political agenda vice determining how to prevent these types of attacks from occurring in the future. I would like to think that we as Americans would be able to set aside the hyperbole and truly focus on the issue at hand, taking care of our children. I consider myself a very pragmatic individual (I believe you are as well) and will let the facts guide my decision making process.

    Thank you for your time and looking forward to your response.

    Very Respectfully,
    Charles Clingensmith CPO USN (RET)
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      Jan 9 2013: Is this part of the problem?
      Todays news, after, much of the nation cried out against the violence at Sandy Hook, the public moves along having their children drink from this cultural cesspool

      “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” carved out the top spot at the box office with $23 million,

      Read more:
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      Jan 9 2013: Well said and thank you for your service. I couldn't agree more with the sentiments you express here. Regulation is necessary but the knee jerk, emotional reaction that tragedies such as sandy hook elicit is so illogical at both extremes it shakes my faith in the american public to approach any issue from a factually based, logical perspective.
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    Jan 9 2013: There is one aspect of the 2nd Amendment that I want to succintly state: The right to bear arms is the right to armed revolution against the government. The 2nd Amendment reserved that right to the electorate.

    The most powerful entity in a government of the people, is the people, the electorate.

    The people reserve the right to revolt against a government that is no longer considered a true representation of the electorate; and that they can not reclaim it by other legal process.

    This provision was based on the certain knowledge that like cream floating to the top of milk, that those who seek power for power's sake, would eventually, effectively defeat the mechanisms that were put in place to keep the government of the people in force' and that the pure practice of Constitutional law would be eroded, one bit at at time until the aggregate affect would again be "might makes right".
    I know many people who feel that in large part, the people who now occupy the Federal government are not a true reflection of the people themselves. There are dozens of speakers on TED who talk about this configuration. Personally, I haven't given up on the Representative government. I am proud to say that I live in a state where both our Senators voted against the NDAA bill. Both are left-wing Democrats. Unhappily, they are 2 among only 17 that stood against the NDAA. To me, there is no clear indication that we are heading towards an enhanced civil society that respects the rule of law. To me, the indications are that the electorate no longer understands the importance of the rule of law as it pertains to the government, that there is a generation of people who only understand top down governance.
    The more that people clamor for more top down, authoritarian constructs such as the gun bans, the more convinced I am that nobody should willing cede one iota of a right to anyone of them.
    • Jan 9 2013: I agree with you, we need to retain the right to argue with our government. Sometimes you must be armed to do so. I truly believe our government is no longer of the people, but of the corporation. If the corporate giants can remove the threat of an armed citizenry, they reduce us to serfdom.
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        Jan 9 2013: Ultimately that is what can not be ceded. We are sorry that people kill people, with or without guns. However, taking arms away from lawful owners carries too many sinister results. Mao took away the guns from the people, Stalin did the puts a new spin on the idea that "only criminals will have guns"
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    Jan 8 2013: It's about behavior. But the impetus to create more authoritarian constructs is about rights. If it's about guns, guns would be about 8th in the list.

    Mark Twain said that anyone who had watched a baby crying had to admit that we were born knowing how to swear, we just don't have the language until later.
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    Jan 8 2013: 1/07/13.....This just in.....

    "A 17-year-old, self-proclaimed white supremacist will be arraigned today in what police say was a plot to attack fellow students at his high school in Russell County, Ala., with homemade explosive devices.
    Derek Shrout was arrested Friday after a teacher at Russell County High School found what appears to be the teen's journal and contacted authorities. Police said the journal contained plans to kill six students and one teacher with homemade grenades."

    Should we take away a person's rights to make homemade grenades?
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      Jan 8 2013: Do people have the "right" to make homemade grenades? They can make a molotov cocktail with home made ingredients.
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        Jan 8 2013: EXACTLY!
        This is not about weapons or rights, its about behaviors isn't it?
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          Jan 9 2013: The teacher found a journal?

          What kid writes a journal that can be found in this day and age and walks around with it at school?

          You say it's "Behavior/s?

          Could you expand on this for me Theo? I would like to know what a professional has to say about this.

          That teacher must have had this kid under observation before hand?
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    Jan 7 2013: The morning after that elementary school shooting, a similar event occured in China. A man killed 22 kids with a knife outside an elementary school.,0,6383015.story

    "China has strict gun control laws, so knives are the weapon of choice in violent crimes."

    I think that puts a nail in the coffin of the 'guns don't kill people' debate. Millions of Americans own firearms for hunting and self defense, yet don't shoot up malls and schools. People want to blame guns because they already have an anti-gun agenda. They look for anything they believe might justify their views, and in this case don't give the subject legitimate thought. People don't inherently lack self control around guns.

    After the Connecticut shooting, a mother of a mentally ill, potentially homicidal child wrote this piece:

    I found it quite moving. This article is an excellent illustration of what it's like to live with a child like Adam Lanza. Some people have serious issues. Disarming the masses is an asinine way to accommodate them.

    The second amendment isn't for hunting. It's to insure that the citizens of the United States remain a free people. It's right up there with the first amendment. The first amendment is most important to our freedom. The second should be considered second most important. They get those two points out of the way to begin with, before anything else.

    I understand that many European countries run things differently, and many US citizens would like to conform to their standards of socialism. But our founders left Europe and started a different kind of country. We have a Constitution that has ratified these different values, to insure that we remain a free people as our country changes and matures over time. The second amendment isn't just so we can fight foreign invaders, but our very own government should we need to.
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      Jan 7 2013: when have you needed to??? When do you think you are going too??? Half your citizens don't even vote so why should you be surprised if there is a Government take over????

      Think about it, do you really think the guy in China would of shown up at a school with a knife if he hadn't known about the school shootings in America??? Okay he didn't have a gun but he still killed a number of people at a school why because its an easy usually undefended target.
      • Jan 7 2013: "Think about it, do you really think the guy in China would of shown up at a school with a knife if he hadn't known about the school shootings in America??? "

        Congratulations! You just played the hand that the Chinese government play to censor news. News kills!

        "Half your citizens don't even vote so why should you be surprised if there is a Government take over???? "
        You voted, so can I hold you accountable for all the actions of your government?
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          Jan 7 2013: What a crock of .................. and I didn't vote for the present party but yeah go ahead if it makes you feel better
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        Jan 7 2013: Had the US not intervened in WW2 you'd probably be living with Hitler. Tyrants are a fact of the past, present and future. Maybe you can't see an American Hitler today, but how about a hundred years from now, or fifty? The founders of the US put the right to bear arms right at the top of the Constitution, second only to the freedom of speech, religion and right to assemble. This country was designed to be free, to be governed by checks and balances and inherent freedoms, so that the people would never fall subject to a tyrannical government. I would think foreigners would want the same freedoms, especially living in the shadow of the US government.
      • Jan 7 2013: @Morgan Barnes
        "I didn't vote for the present party "
        Is that how it works now? You're to be held responsible only for the actions of the party you voted for? Democracy works only if the party YOU voted for wins?????

        "so why should you be surprised if there is a Government take over"
        Whether one votes for a party or not, the government is supposed to adhere to the constitution, and always to fundamental rights.
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          Jan 7 2013: Actually democracy works because I have the right to vote for whom I wish ok so it wasn't for the party that won I can live with that and I knew that the party I voted for wouldn't win but I did know they would keep the other basta**ds honest. :-)
      • Jan 8 2013: Morgan, your blatant trash-talking is objectionable, because it is so obvious. You are saying that a lunatic in China killed children because a lunatic in the US killed children. This is so ridiculous it's laughable.
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          Jan 8 2013: actually it's known as a flow-on effect small snippet of information that hits the subconscious and is carried out, but yes there is also coincidence
    • Jan 7 2013: Fred, the article states that 22 children were "slashed", not killed. I think you've highlighted a great example of why gun control is a good thing, if he had had a gun then they might very well have been killed. No one died in the attack you mentioned.
      I will admit that at the end of the article It does state that "In 2010, nearly 20 children were killed and 50 wounded in a string of copycat incidents around central China." Just imagine how many would have died, had guns been involved in those 2010 attacks.
      YES, people all over the world are crazy and go around killing other people, lets not make it easier for them and give them easy access to weapons that can fire 800 rounds a minute.
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        Jan 7 2013: Wow nice catch. I read that article a few weeks ago and didn't reread it before posting. I guess I have to hand it to you. :)

        Perhaps China is a great example of gun control. It has a powerful government that protects the people and everyone is guaranteed a job. Excessive surveillance keeps everyone safe. Just imagine how much more violent the Tiananmen Square protest would've been had the citizens been armed.

        I think the big difference between the US and China is that we're a free people. We have the right to bear arms in our Constitution. Whether or not you'd like a world with round corners and soft edges, our founders gave us this right for the same reason they gave us checks and balances in government... so we don't become like China.
        • Jan 7 2013: I am not saying that you should get rid of all your guns, but where do you draw the line? Should citizens be allowed to own hellfire missiles? They can be classified as arms can't they, why can't you bear them on your light aircraft? Surely if you were to rise up against the government you would need something a bit more powerful than an 50cal?

          Here in Australia we have tight restrictions on guns, I myself have a gun license and enjoy shooting, it's great fun. Do I wish I had an AR15? Sure, I bet they are a hoot! However I completely understand why they shouldn't be in the hands of even the most responsible citizen, because heaven forbid they fall into the hands of some nut job.
          Do I lose any sleep over not being able to have an AR15? No, because essentially they are toys, toys which we can LIVE without.
          I would hope that we have a lot of other checks and balances in our respective constitutions that help steer us away from becoming anything like China. Oh and don't worry the patriot act allows you to be very well surveilled to ensure of your safety ;)
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        Jan 7 2013: Oh AR15's are a hoot. And really no different than any other hunting rifle when sold in the US. Bushmasters are popular for hunting over here.

        The founders of our country gave us the second amendment so we could remain a free people. So personally I wouldn't draw the line at all. Over the century the interpretation has been gradually stripped to "these guns" without "these parts" and such, but the amendment has remained the same. If we're really to remain armed against a potentially tyrannical government, we need real weapons of war. That means hellfire missiles.

        Is it realistic for an armed citizenry to take on our current regime? I could ask the same of your country or any other, military and all. Could you take on the US? Could Europe, without a nuclear fallout? This is an increasingly interesting thing to think about as we watch the US orchestrate the planet to "make it safer for Americans and American business". The fact is the US is a power matched by no other country, a global hegemon that already feels fine publicly assassinating dissidents and extraditing foreigners for copyright infringement. Our guns aren't toys, they're a check and balance to this extraordinary power. As it stands today, the feds would need Blackwater to stand against it's own armed citizenry and 50 state governments. A handgun ban here would bring about only chaos. Repealing the 2nd amendment as the OP suggests is a laughing matter. Even the pending assault weapons ban only bans sales, all previous owners are grandfathered in. Martial Law would need to be declared to confiscate anything. The US is definitely not the UK.

        Our civil war was very well organized. The rebelling states had a union with a president and a capitol. I believe that's one advantage we would have in such a scenario... the state governments maintain some level of autonomy. How that measures against UAV's, well other countries have them too. Our revolution against Britain was partly due to the French.
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      Jan 7 2013: You've misguided people who don't read that article you posted, it says the man slashed the kids and some were seriously injured but I couldn't see anywhere where it says he killed someone.
      And your 2nd amendment is about hunting, it's also about self protection in the days when law enforcement were just too spread out to be totally effective.
      Also the right to bare arms is a very ambiguous statement and that's why your gun lobby loves it. But under scrutiny it really doesn't say right to all arms or any specific type, Obama could ban all guns except hand guns with a 5 bullet clip and a 2 second release reloader catch and that would still be constitutional
      Europe isn't socialist by the way, it's dominated by countries who currently have right wing leaders
      Also I'm from Northern Ireland and I'm reminded every day of what happens if someone who wants to kill has a gun,
      And surely if we're working towards a peaceful future and Americas to be the leading light then surely you'd want no guns at all
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        Jan 7 2013: Sam pointed that out to me in his comment above. I apologized for the mistake.

        It seems a lot of foreigners think our second amendment is for protection against foreign nations in the old days, or was meant to fill the void of a police force. Really it's to maintain our rights and freedoms that our founders granted to us, to rise against any future tyrannical government, a century from now or tomorrow. America was born out of colonists wanting freedom from the British empire, and was set up in a marvelous way to keep us a free people with a decentralized order. Unfortunately these checks and balances, inalienable rights and freedoms aren't extended to foreigners or our foreign policy. If you're looking to America to be a "guiding light", hate to say it, you'll probably end up really disappointed.
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          Jan 7 2013: It seems all to probable that given the date of the second amendments adoption that it was to protect citizens from attacks by natives, fights with Mexico etc
          And the rise against argument will never work, even if every US citizen had guns but the army stayed loyal to the gov the people would be decimated, to defeat the US gov you'd need missiles, tanks, warships, subs, emps, trained forces, planes, bombers, fighter jets.
          Which comes to the next argument, what is an "arm"? In the 1790s it was a single shot musket, the assault rifle would make their weapons look like stones (relatively speaking). So would Americas founders retract what they said in repulsion at what this bill has become.
          Or if they stuck by it would they argue that if someone can afford it they've every right to own a functioning tank, scud launcher, jet,
          And why not? These objections all become plausible under the freedom argument.
          To everyone looking into the US this is the one piece of statute that everyone thinks is out of date
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        Jan 10 2013: If you think the fights with Mexico are over you should visit LA.
  • Jan 6 2013: I'm acutely aware of the law of unintended consequences, especially within a governmental context. I think this is probably one of the worst times to have a rational discussion on this topic because while the universal response to such events is emotional, the solutions need to be rational. I'd actually be open to more of the "well regulated" provision if it's accompanied by a relaxation of conceal carry permits (unless I'm unaware of a rash of illegal shootings by people with these permits). Restricting the rights of people who follow the law as a means of regulating those who don't and won't is not the solution that anyone is looking for.
  • Jan 6 2013: Mr. White and Mr. Taylor seem to be assuming that the individual right to "bear arms" trumps any reasonable consideration of public safety. If that is the case, why stop at automatic weapons? Why can't I put a dozen landmines in my front yard in order to discourage the deer and the neighbor's dog? Why can't I booby-trap my front porch so that any unwanted solicitor gets a faceful of Sarin or anthrax?

    The fact is that the unregulated presence of automatic & semi-automatic weapons in a free & open society will inevitably lead to the deaths of some innocent bystanders, & that the availability of automatic & semi-automatic weapons to the general population means that those numbers will continue to rise with each passing year. If you believe that the country's gun laws should be left as they are, then you must acknowledge that this is a price you are willing to pay.

    Gun advocates often raise the spectre of an armed takeover of the U.S. by some internal or external foe, but this is a fantasy, not an argument. There is no rational or plausible narrative that would get the US from where it is now to the point where it would make sense for any large military force to invade & then to impose martial law on a country of this size. Instead of watching old Patrick Swayze movies, people who think this is a realistic possibility should read a book or two about military history or military strategy.

    So I agree with Mr. White--let's leave the emotions out of the discussion. Let's look at the likely public-health costs of leaving the current gun laws in place, & weigh them against the likelihood of the general population of the US surrendering either to its own government or to an invading power at any point in the foreseeable future.
    • Jan 6 2013: Jody, landmines and other weapons of war are not addressed in our 2nd Amendment, so this argument jumps to extremes.

      We're talking about semi-automatic weapons, but many are injecting military automatic weapons into the argument. This is not helpful to a proper discussion.

      There are many more murders caused by other means than lawfully owned firearms. Why don't we focus on what might reduce the killing, not the means with which to kill? If a killer chose to ram a school bus full of explosive fertilizer into a school building, how will a new law banning guns help?
      • Jan 6 2013: Hi, Larry. You're right that the argument jumps to extremes. That's because I was trying to make the point that we already accept some limitations on the absolute right to bear arms. Because the Second Amendment doesn't say "the right to bear small arms" or "the right to bear muzzle-loading muskets," the country as a whole has had to decide which arms we can tolerate in our midst & which ones we can't.

        You & I simply draw that line in different places; you want to keep ARs & SARs but presumably would be uncomfortable if someone in your neighborhood had a 50-caliber machine gun nest in his attic. I think that automatic & semi-automatic weapons are weapons of war, not weapons of sport.

        I really have no problem with people who want to own handguns, rifles, & shotguns. I come from a family of hunters, & I enjoy a venison steak as much as the next guy. But I'm pretty sure that my brothers don't really want to share the woods with someone who thinks you should go hunting with a Bushmaster & a 30-round magazine, because it suggests a lack of perspective & a lack of skill that would be dangerous with any kind of firearm. And if you're just target shooting, I don't know why you'd need a 30-round clip--after all, that target's not going anywhere. Calm down, take a breath, reload.

        Regarding your last paragraph, we actually do have regulations about fertilizer these days. The kind of fertilzer used to make bombs now includes (by law) a chemical fingerprint so that (if necessary) the police can figure out where the fertilizer was purchased. I can't remember offhand whether this law was partly in response to the Oklahoma City bombing or whether it was on the books earlier, but either way, it makes good sense to me. Would you support a similar law calling for mechanical / chemical fingerprints on all ammunition?
        • Jan 6 2013: I don't support everyone on the block owning a .50 cal machine gun, but I do support the current licensing and control placed on those that would like to own them.

          This discussion is primarily about semi-automatic weapons. Many average hunting rifles function the exact same way as the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle.

          As far as a 30-round magazine, I agree a good hunter need only one well placed shot. I just don't think it matters whether a killer carry's a 30-round mag or 3 10-round mags. Again, the criminal will always ignore the law so why have ineffective laws on the books. Who are you to decide, or the government to decide, what we law abiding citizens need or want. It's like choosing a red Corvette vs. a black one. It's our choice, but in this case it's addressed in our 2nd Amendment!

          Personally, I just enjoys shooting, and this includes a 30-round mag at the target range. If I were still hunting I would chose a nice bolt action 7mm Mag, and not a Bushmaster .223 Cal with 30-rounds. If the ant-gunner had their way, they may determine that a 7mm Mag is overkill and outlaw that.

          Your right we have placed controls on fertilizer, but there are many other choices for the would-be criminal to use to kill. No, I personally don't support mechanical imprinting i.e. micro-stamping as this only adds undue cost to weapons for no gain.
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          Jan 7 2013: A good friend of mine hunts with his bushmaster, and he's quite skilled. He bow hunts during bow season and uses the AR during rifle season, and his muzzle loader for muzzle loading season. But his 30 round mags aren't for hunting... they're definitely for people. This is a free country and we have the right to defend ourselves.
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        Jan 7 2013: Perhaps you should look to other countries to see how violent America is in comparrison. We have a saying outside of America. "Only in America", because for most of the world, school shootings just do not exist, kids killing other kids, people going on sprees with automatic weapons, this is extremely rare, because as a rule, we deal with problems in a non-violent way. Americans are so used to violence that you see it as being normal for that kind of thing to happen. Open your eyes!!! Look outside of your borders and ask yourself, why is this happening in your country? You talk about using fertilizer bombs instead of guns!! You know what, the problem maybe isn't guns, it's American's attitude towards the use of violence in any form. It's interesting that the largest population of serial killers and psychopaths reside in America. Why? There are many people posting about how it should be your choice to own firearms. But you know what, I do not think that everyone should have that choice, because too many people have proved that they cannot be trusted to own a firearm without victimising someone. Gang members should not have the choice, known violent offenders, anyone with a history of family violence abuse should NOT have that choice. Like many other countries around the world, people should only be able to have guns if they have a firearms licence, and getting a licence should be made to be difficult where police checks are done, family violence checks, and interviews with family members on their safety before someone should have that right.
        • Jan 7 2013: I could go into a bunch of statistics about how crime in America is lower per capita than many, many other smaller countries, but I think it would fall on deaf ears.

          Our country has 310 million vs. New Zealand 4.4 million citizens.

          Our country has the only Constitution of it's kind and has done very well for our country for 234 plus years! Our Constitution establishes, in the Bill of Rights, guarantees for our freedom and liberty. This is at the core of American history and tradition.

          If you've never studied the United States Constitution, I suggest you do. It's very enlightening. You would have to read the Federalist Papers, and other documents written by our Founders to truly understand the context and meaning.

          Bottom line, it's easy for the uninformed to interpret the 2nd Amendment, but America having been born from the tyranny of the English King, this should be understanding enough!
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      Jan 7 2013: I believe the discussion is about the right to bear arms, not murdering solicitors or slaughtering dogs.

      As for gangs, MS13 doesn't patrol LA with registered hunting rifles. This is the problem with liberalism. Liberals are idealists, progressive citizens who look to create a peaceful, easy to live in world. In pursuit of their lofty goals they fail to see realism. Government regulation isn't the end all for utopia. Practically every government agency and power has been exploited and abused, because the people running them are no different in nature than the people being regulated. Let's assume it would be great if every government dropped their guns and there was no more war. A gun free America is no more realistic, and attempting this only cripples and further controls a people who are supposed to be free.
  • Jan 6 2013: A thought experiment:

    Over the next ten years, which seems more likely?

    a) that shock troops hired by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (or some other military or quasi-military agency of the US or world government) will show up on the edge of your property, demanding that you give up your guns & pledge allegiance to a Fearless Leader you never heard of.


    b) that 5000 innocent bystanders will be killed during that same period by a**holes with automatic weapons.
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      Jan 6 2013: Hi Jody,
      I suspect the second choice (b) to be most realistic, based on US history and available evidence. I have heard about this fear of our own government, and some folks hoarding weapons for an anticipated "counter attack", and it feels like a fearful theory which is unsubstantiated.

      Frightened people with weapons, are frightened people with weapons. I am just as frightened by those who say they need weapons to survive in our culture, as I am by other frightened people who use weapons inappropriately.
  • Jan 6 2013: You will know when the "times comes" to "get rid of guns" by a very simple test: is your government so trustworthy , honest, and free from corrupt inclinations that no one has any fear of its getting out of control, or, as often happens, attempting to overthrow such democratic practices as have survived, in the present climate of creeping Fascism? Do we have a "Standing Army" , that Gold Standard of tyrannical dictatorship wanna-bes? As for the idea that armed citizens cannot stand up against a modern Army, That is so ludicrous as to be almost laughable, if it weren't such an indication of mindlessness. Have they failed to notice that just such "militia" armies, in our own time, have defeated both the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, as well as the US army, and Vietnam was no different. Not to mention the Revolutionary war against Britain. Muskets are not the issue, infantry weapons are. And the ability to use them. Anyone who thinks our Constitution is out of date, or doesn't apply in "Modern Times" is sadly uninformed about human history, or even the news of the day. Can the Syrians trust their government to protect them , at this very moment?! News Flash: our own good old US government is murdering civilians right now, world wide, and your confidence that it could not happen to you is based on : what?!

    'standing Army",
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    Jan 4 2013: Think of having a well-armed civilian population as part of America’s check and balance system.

    I propose the reason the US has not been threaten with the possibility of military rule is because we have an armed police and civilian force, and likewise a strong military and civilian force prevents a police state. And no mob rule because we have both military and police forces.

    And you have to also consider the deterrent of having three layers of defense has made to foreign occupation.

    With US politics being in the state its in, is now the really the time to change the military/police/civilian balance?
    • Jan 5 2013: As if armed civilians were a comparable force to the army... I do not think there is a need for armed civilians from a checks and balances point of view at all.

      The US military is controlled through its members and their moral. If the generals and soldiers of the military would have a common will to take over the country armed civilians could not stop them!

      Luckily the US military is a very complex, patriotic and diverse body with high loyalty to the people of the US and their political system so that the fear of a military rule in the US becomes a ridiculous idea. Civilians do not need weapons to prevent this from happening apart from their inability to do so in case.

      The military and a lot of other stuff nowadays is much different from the colonial era and so should be the ways of how to protect our citizens.
      • Jan 6 2013: Mathias: the reason that dictators have always favored Standing Armies is that they follow orders. It has been demonsrated throughout history that to rely on the common decency and human feelings of the troops to keep your government honest is simply inadequate. If ordered to shoot, they shoot . Perhaps you are old enough to remember "Kent State". Or do you think that there was actually a Communist Plot?!
      • Jan 6 2013: Mathis:
        I support Don Andersons' comment “ Think of having a well-armed civilian population as part of America’s check and balance system. “

        The framers of the Bill of Rights sought to balance not just political power, but also military power, between the people, the states and the nation.

        Alexander Hamilton explained in 1788:
        “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens”
        Noah Webster similarly argued:
        Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.

        The British could not subjugate the colonists because there was a gun behind every bush. The Colonists won because they demoralized a superior force.

        The shoe was on the other foot when we entered into Vietnam. Politics aside we were the superior power, defeated by an inferior force, through the use of small arms to demoralize our will to fight.

        At the time of the colonists, a civilian had the same available firepower as the army musket versus musket. The balance of power is today very lopsided as you suggest “ As if armed civilians were a comparable force to the army...” Could a well armed militia defeat a modern army? This is actually playing out in the world today. Syria's Assad Regime has tanks, planes, and the full complement of trained military. He is trying to suppress a population who has decided that they will not tolerate the oppression of his regime any longer. Any guess as to how that will turn out ?
        • Jan 6 2013: In Syria Assad cannot win because the core of his miltary turns away from him. I think that soldiers are generally moral people and thus the best and only possible way to control a military is from within. If the syrian army would stand united against the population theyd win easily but they dont because the soldiers are the people dreaming of a better system like anyone else.
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    Jan 4 2013: This issue should be taken up at the state, county, and city level. That would make the majority rule closer to fair for all affected communities. Someone in a upscale gated community does not have the same concern as the person in a bad area or a person living next to a bad area.

    For those that say banning guns, or certain kinds, will prevent everyone from having them consider this:
    New orleans had a gun buyback program. The guns turned in were later found and used in crimes.How did they get back on the street?
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      Jan 5 2013: Excellent points Gary!

      This issue IS addressed on many levels, including state and least in THIS state.
      According to your profile you are from LA? I suspect it is addressed on several levels there as well....hopefully, you are involved with that process:>)

      You did the guns turned in for a buyback program end up back on the street? That is an EXCELLENT question for the authorities in your state. Hopefully, you will pursue that question where, and with whom it is applicable:>)
      • Jan 6 2013: As usual missing the point. The 2nd Amendment is second to the 1st Amendment you so freely exercise here in this discussion. It's not the gun that's bad, but the criminal behind it. You can restrict, ban, confiscate, destroy, or even buy back guns. You'll never keep them out of the criminal's hands. Barring having a police officer in everyone's house 24/7, who will be there to protect you and your family when the bad guy comes through your door or window loaded for bear?
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          Jan 6 2013: I don't think I'm missing anything Larry....are you?

          Gary made an excellent point to address this issue on state and city levels as well as the federal level. I agree with that idea, and believe it is happening in at least some states.

          I am aware of the meaning and purpose of the 1st and 2nd amendments.

          I agree that it is the person behind the gun who is responsible for the gun.

          I agree that we will probably not be able to keep all guns out of the criminal's hands, and I DO believe that we can at least try to get some of the assault weapons off the streets.
  • Jan 4 2013: The events that occurred in Newtown, Aurora, and others are tragic and indefensible. But what is more indefensible is a total lack of knowledge about the gun culture in the US. Where can you find the highest rates of gun violence in the US? Look at those areas where guns are banned (Chicago, DC, NYC). The bad guys have no fear of reprisal. Now lets look at FBI statistics that show more people are killed with hammers and blunt instruments than rifles ( Twice as many people are killed annually with hands and fists than rifles. So this abject, knee-jerk "ban guns" reaction is without merit in terms of solving the actual problem. Here in Pittsburgh a certified loon shot up the Psychiatric Hospital and killed 4-5 people. My first thought was - how did he get the gun? Of course he was originally from California and his records somehow did not get into the national database. Does there need to be a better job with handling certified nutjobs? Certainly, but don't punish law-abiding citizens for the actions of a few. Certainly, the number of deaths from rifles in the US last year was less than the number of murders in Chicago. Address the problem, not just the symptom. We all want to feel like we "did something" to allow us to overcome the remorse we feel for not addressing the problem earlier. No gun ban, now or before, would have stopped Newtown or Aurora (see Columbine).

    I will accept a gun ban if it applies to law enforcement and the government, as well. The second amendment was created to allow the citizenry to protect itself FROM THE GOVERNMENT. They are not your friends (see Waco). We do not need the government as it now stands, but they sure need us. What do you think they will do when the $$ runs out - and it will. The problem is not too many guns but not enough in the right places. When seconds count the police are just minutes away.
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      Jan 5 2013: John Galt, you get one thumbs up, just for the name.
      I had asked this question earlier, if we were being invited to a complete disarmament or just the people at the bottom of the hierarchy being disarmed. The silence was deafening. Seems like we are being invited to a turkey shoot.
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    Jan 4 2013: Its up to us citizens to decide whether to am mend their constitution, or simply put some limits on what arms are acceptable, and the rules around these.

    I don't really understand the wild west mentality and militant distrust of authority. You beat the Brits 300 years ago. No more redcoats on the horizon.

    For my country i'd prefer to live in a society with less automatic weapons and guns in general floating around
    • Jan 4 2013: The "wild west mentality" is a fairly modern myth: (you'll find references too there).
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      Jan 5 2013: We would all love to live in a nice gun free, or should I say, "violence" free society. Getting there is the problem. We spend too much time thinking about what ipod we want of which car to buy rather than dealing with the needs of our society as a whole.

      My natural tendency is to be protected from harm. Guns are just one tool in pursuing this safe haven.

      There is a saying in Israel: "If the Arabs give up their guns, there will be peace in the Middle East. If Israel gives up her weapons, there will be no more Israel."

      We cannot disarm the world in parts, at a time. It would have to be all at once or nothing. I don't ever see that happening. Until then I prefer to remain armed. But yes, I would prefer peace on earth better.

      We should bear in mind that giving up the "Right to Bear Arms" is giving up a "RIGHT". It's not the same as making a country free from guns. The government will still have them. The police will still have them and criminals will still have them also. But the legal "Right" will be gone. How do we get that back if we need too?
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    Jan 3 2013: One last comment before I leave this debate.

    Personally, it's been fun. But sometimes I think I gave the wrong impression or maybe offended some folks. I apologize for that. America is a great country and for those of us fortunate enough to live in a democratic country, we have a lot to be thankful to America for.

    I've been around the world and lived in some great places and not so great places. Wherever I go though I know the American sense of democracy and fairness is alive and well and is emulated. Just like the US dollar, American democracy and it's constitution set the standard for others to measure up against. Some do it better. Some do it worse. But America it seems always has an influence and we are all better of for it.

    This debate is an example. We've all learned something or had our values challenged and we're all better off for it. In the end, the debate in America will work itself out one way or another for the best as America always strive to do the right thing. We all benefit from their example.

  • Jan 3 2013: Nam vet class of 68 and sort of anti gun. Know all to well what thy can do in the hands of highly trained people. The untrained scare the hell out of me! The bibles every word is open to interpretation, just depends on who is doing the interpretation. Just thru that in to let you know I know were your coming from. What ever your stance on the issue is, you are a thinker, very rare. And as for a single word being open to interpretation, just remember the mental capacity of most on this planet. Smile
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      Jan 2 2013: also if we install surveillance cameras in every street, public place and household, all crimes will fall. mandatory remote-detectable surgically installed personal id chips would also help, with 100% monitoring of all citizens' movements. finally, since shooting with tied hands is impossible, we should tie everyone's hands behind their back.
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        Jan 2 2013: We're going to start with YOU Krisztián!

        I see you brought your sense of humor into 2013 with you:>)
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        Jan 2 2013: Here we're discussing gun control, not the things you mention, there's a difference.

        (I can never tell if Krisztián is serious about what he says, some times he is and some times he isn't...)
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          Jan 2 2013: That is EXACTLY why I suggest starting the surgically installed personal id chip implant with Krisztián himself. We'll find out how serious he acturally is.... I've already arranged for the operating room:>)

          I don't want to tie his hands behind his back, because I honestly would miss his sense of humor:>)
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    Jan 1 2013: My knowledge on this argument is not extensive but the way I see it the original point or objective of the second amendment is no longer an objective in modern society and is no longer necessary while it is impeding the progress towards our current objectives.

    The 2nd amendment was put in place because the founding fathers of america wanted to be able to raise a citizen militia in case of trouble. A citizen militia is no longer relevant, the military threats faced by the US today cannot be solved by a citizen militia and issues that can be are in all likely hood a thing of the past. So the amendment no longer fulfills what it was set out to do and that is to protect the US and whats more it now seems to be compromising the safety of the US's citizenry by preventing legislators from introducing any effective measures to control the spread of

    There are now a lot of other issues at play but shouldn't the amendment then be amended to specifically deal with these issues because the original issue is no longer relevant?

    So I say yes, the time has come for the second amendment to be repealed or amended
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      Jan 1 2013: Hi Joshua,
      You make some good points in addressing the purpose of the 2nd amendment, intent of the founding fathers, and relevancy in todays society.

      The amendment, as written, however, is probably NOT "impeding the progress towards our current objectives". It appears that nothing was repealed or amended when a ban on assault weapons was adopted previously, because it appears that the constitution and 2nd amendment provides for "regulation" of guns.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that it is time to do SOMETHING about assault weapons freely circulating in our society.
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      Dec 31 2012: If it were a police case, and they arrested the wrong man, and hang him for the crime, the worst thing is that the real culprit goes free to kill again.

      Yes, something is obviously very wrong when an entire staff of a school can allow this Adam Lanza to attend school and literally, we find out now, slithered along the sides of the school buildings; something that to most of us would indicate he was in some kind of mental torment.

      They want you to examine the crime in a vacuum and accept the simplified version that all we need to do is take away everyone's right to own one particular type of guns. The real answers take too much energy to put in action.

      Maybe it was a giant mistake to replace teaching "brotherly love" with "tolerance". Maybe it was a giant mistake to stop funding mental health facilities. Maybe it is a giant mistake for American's to purchase billions of dollars of mind rotting films and television programs each year and sharing that culture with their children.
  • Dec 31 2012: I feel we are very manipulated. 10,000 deaths is a lot and we should try to lower these deaths. however death by firearms are not in the top 15 causes of death. Why aren't we upset that we are dying from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. Diet is implicated in 10 of the top 15 reasons for death in the US. The government actively supports and gives aid to the large food producers and junk food industry to promote a poisonous diet that kills millions (including children). ( Our founding fathers were afraid of the government more than anything thing else and they gave us the ability to fight back. But fighting the government is a losing proposition without media and PR. We should work on our problems that affect the majority but we are sorely uninformed about those issues. The sensationalizing of this issues diverts our energy and leads to more of the same by the sad and depressed. When more than 50% of the nation's households have firearms it is unlikely that there will be significant change.
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      Dec 31 2012: We ARE upset over all those thing, just not on this thread!
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      Dec 31 2012: Mark,
      Some of us are informed and addressing many issues at the same could too:>)

      This topic discussion is:
      "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

      What do you think and feel about the topic?
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      Dec 31 2012: Hi Mark,
      Your questions make too much sense. The other ongoing nightmares you cited are not sensational enough to draw a crowd, require effort and demand measureable results, it's a lot easier to stand in a crowd and clamor.
      The answer to your question is that for the last 40 years, the Baby Boomer generation has neglected to make the needed improvements in any real terms. The Public School system that is largely dominated by the classic Baby Boomer staff is a disgrace in terms of being a world class school system or even considered socially civilized after about 4th grade. Public Health, for those who have accepted the top down approach is in the dark ages, as typified by it's psych meds. The Mental Health system is practically non-existent as Baby Boomer bureacrats cannablized the very expensive system that used to operate in the US and used the funds for their own salaries (and retirements). During the Baby Boomer experiment, the mentally ill in this country were relegated to law enforcement, where they are now shot in the street at a rate of 4 times any other group by law enforcement. Inner city blacks, were by and large abandoned after it became clear that their problems actually required consolidated effort.
      And yet, these dinosaurs continue to show up with no shame, arrogantly attempting to dictate more of their marching orders to everyone else, refusing to acknowledge that their failures are their legacy.
      This Mark, is the reason that on this thread, you are being asked to consider the question of amending or abolishing the 2nd Amendment in a vacuum.
      The dinosaur trick here is to give you the formula that only a simpleton can love. "Bad man shoot kids with gun. How can we stop it? Take gun from bad man."
      There is only one reason to open a discussion about the 2nd Amendment & that is to dilute it.
      Uh oh, I better go, I think one of the monitors is coming. :)
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        Dec 31 2012: Marianne,
        All the issues Mark mentions are important and should be addressed. I tried to tell you this before and you called me a "control freak" among other things.......let me try again, so the TED monitors don't continue to remove your comments.

        TED has a terms of use agreement...if you scroll down to the bottom of this page you will see the link, and I believe it is on every page of TED.

        TED encourages staying on topic with respectful comments....disrespectful comments and off topic comments are often deleted.

        This topic is:
        "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"
        Morgan Barnes, the author of the topic has defined the topic with the introduction. Many of us know there are many underlying factors regarding why people kill other people, and many of us have had extensive conversations about some of these factors on other comment threads, where the topic brought in some of those other factors.

        While you continue to say that some of us are addressing the topic in a "vacuum", we are simply staying on topic. We are not simpletons, or uninformed, or ignorant...we are simply staying on topic, and for that, you seem to be angry and frustrated at TED, AND other participants, who do not go along with the direction you want to take the discussion.

        You can always start a conversation to address ALL the issues of why people kill other people. No one is stopping you from addressing all the issues you want to you understand?
  • Dec 31 2012: I find this whole argument very skewed. The mental health agencies and all the bureaucracy, drug pushing, greedy pharmaceutical companies need a major overhaul. Many individuals are in crisis and that is what is Front and Center for each of these events. Please acknowledge these outcries for what they are: a Cry for Help.
    Now, how can we remedy the orientation of this crisis. The gun is the bandaid, we need to be more in tuned to helping our society to become balanced. Mental Health is the beginning of the conversation. Period.
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      Dec 31 2012: Good girl! The most optimism we have is that the next generation is aware that these short sighted authoritarian solutions to everything are outdated.

      It will be difficult for the dinosaur generation (aka baby boomers), who, in large part must have been doing something else while this country shirked it's moral codes at every juncture including mental health, to understand that their failures are now their legacy and nobody is waiting anxiously to hear their "solutions".

      The only one being held accountable for the mass shootings are the gunowners. What was the staff of the school doing while Adam Lanza slithered along the walls of the school buildings during his tenure there? What was so important that he needed to be mainstreamed when it was obviously not good for him? Why don't they have a 3 month and 6 month evaluation of unbalanced patients, on and off their medications? Where the patients are not on the street but evaluated in secure settings since they are so dangerous?
      Here is an excerpt from the PRECAUTIONS for Zoloft:
      Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication
  • Dec 31 2012: Our constitution is not meant to be a static document, some of our founding fathers believed that it should be continually revised every decade or so. While it has been changed over the years, as of late little to no effort has been made to revise or replace parts of it. Remember these were laws made over 200 years ago, the mind set and ideals back then are not the same now. And while I personally would rather not get into the gun debate I would like to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing or revising the Constitution. It was meant to be changed; how and for what reasons are for the people and their elected officials to decide.
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      Dec 31 2012: From what I can tell, the framers were a lot better educated than your run of the mill statesman today. I can't think of any political leader that I would want to allow to change the Constitution.
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    Dec 29 2012: It strikes me that the resistance to any gun-control laws rests on the single-minded focus on the main clause in the Amendment: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." But that clause is placed on the foundation of the introduction: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state . . ." We do not have militias in the same sense that that the founders viewed them; we now rely on a national army. (We might argue that the National Guard constitutes a kind of militia, and while we may say that the National Guard is highly useful, would we argue that the National Guard is necessary to our security?) But the term that gun advocates seem always to overlook is "well-regulated," which, it seems to me, introduces the prospect that the constitution does accept the possibility of regulation of arms. At this point, relatively few people I know have advocated an outright ban of guns. Most would allow Mr. Taylor his shotgun to protect himself in his home or to hunt. But for the rest of us the issue is all about assault weapons, which, as the name implies, provide a function that goes considerably beyond defense.
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      Dec 29 2012: There is a certain shift in paradigm that the gun prohibitionists fail to recognize. That is the inference that one individual has the authority to "allow" another man to carry arms.

      To wit your statement: "Most would allow Mr. Taylor his shotgun to protect himself in his home or to hunt"

      This implies that Mr. Taylor is granted permission by someone else. The Bill of Rights delineates rights as peculiar rights that are not subject to diminishment by future acts. The right is recognized in the Bill, but is not granted by the Bill.

      The problem with carrying out gun prohibitions on lawful men is that it also violates their 4th amendment right to be secure in their property.

      Amendment IV

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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      Dec 30 2012: You bring up some good points Philip...

      I agree that the constitution may provide the possibility of regulation of guns, which is why, in my very first statement on this thread I suggested "revisiting" the articles regarding gun regulations. To the best of my recollection, nothing was repealed or amended when the law banning assault weapons was previously adopted. I think that was done relatively easy within the existing regulations. It may not be necessary to amend or repeal the existing regulations to again adopt a law banning assault weapons.

      I am not aware of anyone who advocates an outright ban of guns, and I agree with you that it is mostly about assault weapons, which, as you say, provide a function that goes beyond defense.
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      Dec 30 2012: Assault weapons provide a function that goes beyond self defense. Arbitrary. ... That should not be enough to strip people of the choice to own an assault weapon. ... I hope I am making it clear that my argument is deeper than assault weapons. It should not be easy for a group of people to take away a choice of another group of people in the United States without a good argument and serious consideration.

      So, it has to be more than, "I feel assault weapons are unnecessary or the Second Amendment might mean" ...
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    Dec 27 2012: After the events of the past decade, and most recently in my neighbor state Connecticut, it shows that fire arms should be banned if not limited. I believe that the only people who should be allowed to bear fire arms are people who have a job of protecting the populous, police, army, etc. People use guns for sport and self-defense, and I applaud those people for using fire arms responsibly, however we have to try to prevent those fire arms from being used irresponsibly. One thing that should be stopped immediately is individuals selling guns privately.
    • Dec 28 2012: I agree with you to an extent. Im not a gun advocate but I think the gun culture in america is too strong for them to be banned. There would be an uproar if it ever happned. I do wish the contitution could be ameneded so that guns could only go to law enforcement. The problem with that is if law enforcement is the only one with guns whats stopping the US from becoming a police state. We would have no way too fight back. As for limiting the availibility or sale of guns that could help. I think the biggest problem with the mass shootings though is the fact that most of these people not all but most were mentally unstable. If we can get to these people or catch signs before this happens and consulte these people then we just might curve alot of this violence. Somteimes people just need someone to talk to or attention and they go about trying to get it in the wrong way.
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        Dec 28 2012: Good point Jerome, when only the police have weapons, there is little to stop a police state.

        Not because we are held in check by armed police, but because we try to maintain a balance of power with all government agencies including local law enforcement.
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          Dec 28 2012: there are still a number of Police Forces who's general duties or uniformed officers still do not carry firearms United Kingdom being one of them
    • Dec 28 2012: As for the selling of guns I agree too. Except how much would it really curve. Most of the people i know that have guns brought them illegally, burglarized a house or gun shop, or stole it out of people cars. None of them have a license and absolutly none of them obtained them legally unfortunately .
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      Dec 28 2012: Dear Thais,
      Are you under the impression that everything can be legislated? do you have no faith that moral persuasion is the most long lasting tool to sustain a civil society?

      Are you so quick to turn your attention to guns and for the umpteenth time, let the real social structures that create these pathetic monsters get a pass?

      Why was a student allowed to exist in a state of protracted mental torture, as we now find out, slithering along the walls of the school buildings in plain sight of the teachers and staff, during his tenure there?

      The mother, was, imo, an ignorant slob. How dare she ignore her obviously mentally ill son and allow him access to those weapons? Do you have a law against ignorant slobs? Because, if someone would collect the actuarials on deaths and tragedy caused by the same, and put an end to their activities, you would doubtlessly save many more lives.

      Doubling down on gun regulations on lawful people does nothing to change what lawless people will do with guns or bombs, or cars or sticks or knives, or hot stoves or bathtubs or rat poison.
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        Dec 29 2012: Marianne

        Along with laws against ignorant slobs, I think we should push for a law that allows us to ban people from the internet for bad opinions. /sarc Considering that there is such an overlap between the two we would see HuffPo, NY times, CNBC, Fox news, all go away. Hoo-rah!
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          Dec 29 2012: And, not to make light of the horrid death by rape in India news, should we ban rape? I forgot, it has been banned for over 5,000 years in all societies.
      • Dec 29 2012: "Do you have a law against ignorant slobs?"
        Definitely! In most developed countries, she would have been tried for this:

        I am saddened that she is not alive to face up to her crimes.

        "Doubling down on gun regulations on lawful people..."
        In this case, I advocate changing the laws to sell weapons only to those who have undergone safety training.
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          Dec 29 2012: For the most part, people who have acted feloniously or met the bar for being mentally ill, do lose their rights to own and purchase firearms.
          So, what ignorant slobs let the guy out of prison who admitted killing his grandmother with a hammer, so he could kill 2 fireman the other day?
      • Dec 29 2012: "...for being mentally ill, do lose their rights to own and purchase firearms..."
        Adam was mentally ill, but irrespective of that, when he tried to buy weapons, he was turned down. My point is NOT about Adam buying the weapons. My point is that Nancy should not have been able to buy these weapons without undergoing safety training.

        "So, what ignorant slobs let the guy out of prison who admitted killing his grandmother with a hammer, so he could kill 2 fireman the other day?"

        That's impossible to answer without knowing the situation. Did the murderer act responsibly and sanely while he was incarcerated? If he did, letting him go was not irresponsible -- unless you advocate life-sentences for one murder.
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          Dec 29 2012: Thank you John for demonstrating the disconnect between those who think that there are mitigating circumstances, which in some instances, would allow a person who murdered one person with a hammer, to have a second chance to do it again.

          I would advocate putting a man to death who kills his grandmother with a hammer. In no circustance would I ever allow him to be free again. That is a fundamental responsibilty to the innocent people who you put at risk.

          So now we have one more reason to keep ourselves armed. People like yourself advocate letting murderers getting another chance to murder again.

          Can I ask you what the magic number is for murder? How many murders would you say a man can perform before he should be locked up and fed for the rest of his natural days?
      • Dec 29 2012: Thank you, Marianne, for demonstrating how much people can assume based on just snippets of information, and why exactly we need legal proceedings.

        Did you look at the court documents of the murderer's case? Did the grandmother have a history of abuse (mental or physical) of the murderer, right from childhood? On what basis are you so sure that the grandmother was completely blameless? Don't jump to the conclusion now that I am now saying that the murder was forgivable. All I'm saying is that there could be circumstances that make the incident less heinous.

        "I would advocate putting a man to death who kills his grandmother with a hammer."
        I'm not quite so bloodthirsty. I might support death penalties in extremely rare cases. And certainly not for mentally ill people, whom I would keep away from the public in any case. If, during the period of incarceration, I see that the culprit has reformed himself into someone who can be a good-natured, contributing member of society, I see it as a crime against the culprit to keep him incarcerated any longer.

        By the same token, we have one more reason to make sure that firearms are not handled by trigger-happy people who see themselves as judge, jury and executioner.

        I don't believe in magic numbers, like one, two, three, etc. I prefer due process.
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          Dec 29 2012: The man pleaded guilty to hammering his grandmother to death. Have you really been taught to think there are mitigating circumstances in such a case?

          The process allowed him to spend some years behind bars and then get out and kill again. I would suggest that there might be something wrong in a process that allowed this predator to get out on the streets again and kill.

          The reason that I would advocate putting such a predator to death, is to protect the rest of society from him killing again. Apparently, he got another chance, so while you may want to characterize my position as "bloodthristy" I think the actual results show a disregard for reality and a complete disregard for human life.
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          Dec 29 2012: oh, wait, we should outlaw hammers! and matches...
      • Dec 29 2012: "Have you really been taught to think there are mitigating circumstances in such a case?"
        Sure! You can teach yourself too:

        "...allowed this predator..."
        "predator"? Again, I don't know enough about the case to justify using such a word.

        "results show a disregard for reality"
        Can you tell me more about the circumstances of his release? You don't have to type it out. Links are fine. I'm not in the US, and I don't know the case you are talking about.
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          Dec 29 2012: Here is what is reported as a transcript of a parole hearing
          "Commissioner: "Why did you think you killed her?"
          Spengler: "I still haven't figured that out. I still have no reason or rationale for why."

          Sounds good to me. Maybe he just needed a chance to find himself...and apparently from what he wrote, he did. He liked killing people.
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          Dec 29 2012: And John,
          I actually give some of my hard earned dollars to the Innocence Project.
          However, I know to draw the line on the side of innocent victims.
          The application of mitigating circumstances becomes folly when it is not tempered by the reality of the act itself. In Spengler's case, the brutality of beating a human to death with a hammer defines what the person has become. He is a person capable of beating an old woman to death with a hammer.
      • Dec 29 2012: "oh, wait, we should outlaw hammers! and matches..."

        If I had my way, I'd outlaw jumping to conclusions.
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          Dec 29 2012: The conclusion was the death of innocent firemen.

          However, the larger carnard being presented on this thread is that making laws against weapons is a step towards a more civil society. In fact, if you have to put all the sharp objects up, and out of the reach of the popuation, like you do a child, it undermines the concept that men are capable of governing themselves in a manner that causes no harm to others. That is the definition of the Primary or Civil Law. The second function of law is called the Penal Law, and that percribes the remedies for those who break the Primary Law.

          In fact, the majority of gun owners are not law breakers so the proposal to inhibit their freedoms is the solution of brutes.
      • Dec 29 2012: Thanks for the info on William Spengler. Now that I know his name, and have read up about the case more, I agree that he should not have been allowed to go free.

        Statements like "The conclusion was the death of innocent firemen" do not help your case. Others in this thread would say something quite like that about Adam Lanza also.

        "the larger carnard being presented on this thread is that making laws against weapons is a step towards a more civil society"
        Not all laws about weapons are laws against weapons. I have made a case (in reply to Faisel) for training before people are allowed to handle or buy weapons. I am of the opinion that if Nancy Lanza had been taught how to keep the weapons safe, none of this would have happened.

        Nancy was not ROBBED of her weapons. The weapons were STOLEN from her. She was shot when she was in bed. That is negligence.

        I did not write against ALL sales of weapons. But I do prefer laws that make sure that weapons are sold only to people who know how to handle them and how to keep them safe.
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          Dec 29 2012: I realized later that you did not have access to the stories on Spengler.
          However, the conclusion of the actions taken regarding the handling of Spengler and that whoever was in charge allowed him to get out and kill again, are certainly the deaths of innocent men. There's no arguing with success and Mr Spengler was certainly successful against all odds.

          If you are going to make the case that being robbed is significantly different from having something stolen, I can't even address it. That's too esoteric for me. /sarc

          Secondly, you use the word "allow" as if some entity in society possesses the authority to
          allow or disallow another citizen to possess a firearm or keep a firearm. Both the 2nd Amendment and the 4th Amendment disallows either American citizens or the American governments from either infringing upon these rights or executing what amounts to seizures.
      • Dec 29 2012: Nancy apparently taught Adam how to use her firearms. He knew how he could get to them on his own. Nancy was asleep. Negligence.

        "allow": You are "allowed" to drive a car, aren't you? Most factories would not exist without access to toxic substances. Yet, people who handle toxic substance for their factories are "allowed" to do so after they have met some regulatory requirements that ensure that they are aware of risks to the public, and of how to prevent accidents. There is no right to endanger the lives of innocent bystanders. Why is access to weapons any more sacred (or "fundamental") than access to cars, sodium cyanide, uranium, etc.?
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          Dec 30 2012: Arms are set apart in our Constitution as something that the people have a right to possess.
          It's the law of the land.

          The people are allowed to own and keep firearms to be used for their own protection against whoever threatens them. That threat could come from criminals or a state turned criminal.

          Cars are licensed only when they are driven on public roads. It is access to public roads that gives the state the mandate to regulate who can drive on them. If you want to buy a car and drive it all over your own private land, you do not need a license or insurance.
      • Dec 30 2012: Reference to the constitution is circular reasoning. The circularity of the "it's the law" argument can be broken by changing the law. Even your right to possess firearms was an amendment to the constitution.

        Sure, firearms have their use. So does sodium cyanide, and that's why it is made in tonnes. You seem to be under the impression that I want to deny its proper use. If you look elsewhere on this thread, you'll see that I have made the same statement as you about the use of firearms. Here's what I'm adding to the argument: negligence with some things will cause a great deal of harm.

        Irrespective of the wishes of private airlines, the TSA disarms you before you board flights. Do you see that as an affront to your rights?

        Would you accept the same argument you made for cars, made for firearms? How do you feel about a law that says "you may do what you wish with your firearms on your property; if you want to get it out, you need a license and insurance"?
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          Dec 30 2012: You see, John. that is what the founding fathers tried to forestall in this country, the day when men would prefer a government of men over a government of laws.

          According to your reasoning, we could make a law that says if you have too many children, the community can kill one. "Ah" you say "but there is a law against murder"..but then I say "well, we can change that".
      • Dec 30 2012: "According to your reasoning, we could make a law that says if you have too many children, the community can kill one."

        Exactly! Except that it isn't my reasoning, this is what *you* used. And exactly for that reason, saying "it's the law" is a poor argument to justify the moral rightness or wrongness of something. Laws only justify legal rightness and wrongness. And hopefully, legal rightness and wrongness are based on moral rightness and wrongness. Not the other way around.

        "prefer a government of men over a government of laws" sounds like rhetoric to me. It does not sound an argument.
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          Dec 30 2012: Have you ever read John Locke? In particular, I recommend his essays on the social contract.
          You and I, we almost speak different languages on the subject of law. But I am tenacious and am going to give this one more try.
          Law has two functions, the first being the Primary Law, those laws that men are obligated to govern themselves by in order to cause no harm to others.
          The second function is called the Penal Code, which are remedies for those who break the Primary Laws.
          In a perfect world, all men would govern themselves according to the Primary Law and there would be no need for the Penal Code.
          Which function of law does the prohibition of private firearms come under?
      • Dec 30 2012: I have not read John Locke. I have tried, now and then, but I generally find the arguments of these old-timers not rigorous enough for my liking. I come across a few things I don't like, and then I give up. It's not their fault, they were pioneers for their age, but I prefer the rigor of modern philosophers.

        Coming to Locke: I did a brief search, but I came across no references to Primary Law and Secondary Law that would suit our context. I did come across Natural Law ("a system of law that is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal") and, to contrast, Positive Law. I did read up a bit more about his views on each.
        These are what I scanned: and

        I'm afraid I found his views too arbitrary. Yes, even his natural laws.

        I cannot give you references to my own views on the matter of gun control. I have typed out quite a bit on this thread already. And I have already provided links to facts that my reasoning is based on. If people find my reasoning deficient, I'll address it.

        "Which function of law does the prohibition of private firearms come under?"
        Is that a trick question? 1. I never advocated the prohibition of private firearms. 2. In view of the risk to other people through accidental misuse, I advocated mandatory training for people who acquire them.
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          Dec 30 2012: I wasn't directly referring to Locke when I outlined the functions of law, I was actually paraphrasing Lesson 1 in my very first course on secular law. It parallels exactly what I was taught as the structure of law found in Torah. This was also the structure of the Common Law.

          When we study Torah, we are given two definitions of the word, the first being instruction and then law. I always thought that it was two sides of the same coin, to those that embrace the teachings, and model their lives that way, it is an those that do not, it becomes a curse, a sheriff with a warrant.

          I don't find your reasoning deficient. I am curious as to what your heritage is, culturally. It is obvious that I am coming at this subject with a decidedly Western Civilization standard application, what culture do you hail from?
      • Dec 30 2012: I'm in Europe, so Civil Law, instead of Common Law. I don't have a cultural heritage. Personally, I call myself mostly-libertarian. "Mostly" because I disagree with the "no laws" approach to gun control, and other things now and then. I like the Swiss way of doing that.
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          Dec 30 2012: Well, now we agree. If people must have guns, and it seems they must, I concur that the Swiss model should be the model.
    • Dec 28 2012: The events in Sandy Hook clearly sparked all of this debate with gun control, and there are a few of us who are acutely aware that gun control isn't the underlying issue. Mental health is, and, as a mental health professional I strive towards one day having the American people think and act appropriately with all aspects of health, science and reality. After the Columbine school shooting, an investigation was convened by the Secret Service to investigate the causes of the event. The results are actually available to the public, and they included 37 prior school shootings. It is rather enlightening:
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        Dec 29 2012: Good lord what a BS report. All the explanations are, we don't really know, will not speculate, but we will give you the statistics you asked for.

        There is no mention of prescription pharma use, or the types of anti depressants or anti-psychotics these people were on or with drawing from.
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      Dec 28 2012: Dear Morgan,
      I am aware of the history of the police in the UK, beginning with the Peelers and the rule they used. I have advocated for similar police attitudes to be adopted in the US. My take is that they prefer the Reservoir Dog model.
      Another good reason not to disarm.
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          Dec 29 2012: You know Mette,
          I agree with you, but to the opposing side, the idea that arms are the culprit or that prohibition is a step forward, is exactly that, ludicrous.
          My initial posts challenged those who were really concerned with the circumstances who led up to the recent shootings in Newtown, to address the issues that they continually fail to address and also challenged them to reflect upon the difference between social changes that occur by moral persuasion and social changes that occur by making layer after layer of law aka micro-managing. However, those concepts fell on deaf ears and elicited zero response.
          Instead we have a steady one note drum beat and to tell you the truth, I was disappointed a the level of the posts on the prohibition side.
    • Dec 28 2012: Thais: I am not American so I should have no say in this but I am going to point out that sport hunting is very important to ecosystems and conservation of species since it reduces the species population to that which can be safely sustained within the ecosystem (or tries too). That being said, hunters are often the biggest advocates for the preservation of land and water ways, by punishing these people you are punishing law abiding citizens, the environment, and even potentially increasing the danger of driving.

      Instead of pushing for the repealment of the second amendment may I suggest you push for an adjustment to it, that says pending training and psych evaluation, somewhere in there. This would make much more sense, you wouldn't be punishing the law abiding, and could help to create a watchlist of people who have potential for incidents like this.
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        Dec 28 2012: Personally, I would like psych evals on lots of people, but we should do it evenhandedly and start at the top, say the President first. That sounds like I am joking, but I am not. This president, and others, who imagine that they can legislate anything that resembles moral upgrades, they themselves can not negotiate the world without using wars and are constantly upgrading their arsenal that they imagine they will have to use against their own people.
        When someone comes on the scene who can actually speak the language of peace, and who is not part of their fear mongering, they can't even understand what he is saying.
        So there is a difficulty in the mechanics of using psych evals: you would have to empower the part of our society, the bureaucrats and government, which constantly demonstrates the most retrograde thinking, to do the testing.
  • Dec 21 2012: The amendment in question had to do with defending against the British in colonial days, and the citizen's right to form a well-ordered militia.

    Well, the British are no longer a threat to American democracy. America has innumerable police forces, ("good guys with guns"), plus an enormous - and OH, so costly - military establishment, to ward off foreign oppression.

    Legitimate hunters can continue sport hunting with bolt-action rifles and pump action shotguns. Unless you want to give Bambi and the duck no chance at all of survival.

    So if you want to retain the "right to bear arms" - how about at least reducing the potential calamity of arms abuse by demented people, by restricting the TYPE of arms you insist on bearing. And do you really need to bear them in church and shopping malls?? Schools?

    Funny how many other countries with much lower murder rates and far fewer guns, manage to get by without universal gun ownership.
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      Dec 22 2012: What are these other countries? Why do they have fewer murder rates and fewer guns? Post the answer here as it is relevant to this discussion.

      ... Some people might feel the need to have a gun of their own and not want the military and innumerable police forces to be the sole owners of guns in this country. Why trust the military and police forces or government to be responsible with those guns and use them to protect the people? ... Did the national guard not mow down unarmed students at Kent State in the 70s? Who gave that order?
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    Dec 19 2012: It's illegal to possess or use most drugs in the U.S. Does it solve drug addiction problem? Does it solve drug-related crime issues? Can any law fix our mental and psychological issues?
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    Dec 19 2012: It's never time to take away rights. Rights come with responsibilities to use them without causing harm to ourselves and to others. It's gun owners in the first place who must find out a way to make sure that things like this never happen. Gun owners must be the ones to legislate and enforce gun control laws such as mandatory background check, for example. They also must educate their fellow gun owners about guns, safety rules, etc.

    Why would people trust the government to decide what is best and safe for them? More people die from irresponsible driving than from irresponsible use of guns. If we prohibit gun ownership, we should also prohibit car ownership and make everyone use public transportation with government-certified drivers. When guns are outlawed, the only people with the guns will be criminals. I do not own guns and have no intent to own them. But I appreciate the right to do that.

    I have 2 children of the age of those who died in Newtown. I can very much put myself in the shoes of the parents of those kids. These news deeply grieve me as everyone else. But I have to restrain myself from making unjustified conclusions, inferences, and generalizations. The impulse to take away guns from people is one of those emotional decisions which can be exploited by a government seeking to expand its power. People should retain their power and show responsibility and capability to solve the problem without the "big daddy".
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    Dec 19 2012: Suggesting that there is a connection between guns control and the Newtown tragedy woefully misguided, but I will concede the point that gun safety, a simple trigger lock device, might have made a difference.

    Did the lack of gun control contribute to the mass slayings in Cambodia or Rwanda or Serbia?
    We are quick to forget in our 24/7 news cycle event such as the "Oklahoma City Bombing," where a daycare was attacked and where no guns were used.
    Are we so naive as to believe that in the absence of guns people who intend to harm others will not devise a way?

    There is a greater problem that needs to be explored in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting, one that will only be obscured by a debate about guns:

    "A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7- and 9-year-old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me."

    Sadly "Michael" has been involved in "various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He's been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans." Nothing seems to work is the hapless compliant of the mother.

    I will offer this; in a disease model, like with cancer, we understand that the agent that can be causing the "illness" may be in the environment. Is this true with mental illness issues as well? Are we somehow the cause?
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      Dec 20 2012: "I will offer this; in a disease model, like with cancer, we understand that the agent that can be causing the "illness" may be in the environment. Is this true with mental illness issues as well? Are we somehow the cause?"

      Mental illness is not something that can be defined simply. It is a combination of environmental, personal biochemistry, and life experiences. A perfect example is a pair of identical twins where one becomes schizophrenic during college and the other one doesn't ever show any symptoms. What causes one to suffer a mental break and the other to remain sane?

      While I believe everything can be explained, I do not believe we have the knowledge at this point to explain it. We can how ever look at past incidents similar to what happened in Newtown Connecticut and find similarities between them. This in the hope that we can prevent these situations in the future. One of the similarities is the use of meds for psychological disorders.

      I am reposting this link -

      "Are we so naive as to believe that in the absence of guns people who intend to harm others will not devise a way?"

      Looking at the Columbine incident the plan was to blow up the school, the guns were secondary and meant to be used on the survivors. So your point was already proven in the late 90's.
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        Dec 21 2012: I happen to be an identical twin, and I also read the novel by Wally Lamb, "I Know This Much Is True" about a set of identical twins where one was schizophrenic.
        In my own studies with mental illness, I know that there is rarely a wellness model, or a recovery model, unlike addiction, even though depression shares some of the same epigenetic traits.
        Columbine and Newtown both involved developing adolescence with marginal relationship models. When society tells these young people there's "something wrong" with them, where are we putting them if not on the fringes, seemly broken, alone, and without hope? And yes, it is correct to observe that "antipsychotic and mood-altering pharmaceuticals" are an contributing factor. ,
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          Dec 21 2012: The things I follow where incidents like Newtown Connecticut are concerned, are exponential growth curves, trends, history, and probabilities. One thing I noticed was, many of the children that would have become self medicating, cannabis smoking stoners, are now on prescription pharma. Statistically they also tend to abuse their parents meds with no regard for what the drugs do or their interactions with other drugs.

          We have gone from Opiates, Cannabis, Alcohol, and weird mushrooms, that have been with humanity for thousands of years, to designer drugs that the human body has yet to adapt to, as the drugs of choice for our children. This has happened in less than 40 years. The pill cabinet is becoming the liquor cabinet of old.

          Now to my point. Any models you have are moot when you change to many of the variables. In the past we had Alcohol, Cannabis, and random plant based psychedelic drugs. Today we have over 100 different drugs that alter a persons brain chemistry. All of this occurred over a period of less than 100 years. Feeding custom mind altering drugs to a child with mental health issues is insane.
  • Dec 18 2012: The 2nd amendment suggests gun ownership is a right. With rights come responsibilities. First, gun owners should be required to secure their weapons in gun safes. Second, gun owners whose guns are stolen should be subject to significant fines and other punishments. Sadly, many crimes are committed with guns that have been "stolen."
  • Dec 18 2012: No guns, no mass murder. Burglary with a baseball bat, knife, machete, ninja stars, etc; go learn some kun fu! (still no mass murder).

    On a serious note, I believe we need to concentrate on the root of the problem. Better parenting, adult supervision, and lots of love. Our generation will not solve this epidemic but we can sure start the process.

    Just a thought, what if we begin to teach the children not to play with toy guns, not to resolve conflict with violence, but to find non-hostile solutions instead. Educate them, let them know this, by using a gun or any weapon, you can take someone else's son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, father, mother, cousin, etc.

    Why not take the money being spent on the production of weapons and spend it on prevention, mental assistance to those who needed.

    Why not ask drug makers to pay 10% for the prevention cost. They made 136 billion in sales, 2009. (

    No amendment, no guns, no weapons, and a long term solution. I'm still learning and this is my humble opinion. =)
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    Dec 18 2012: In the ten years before the Port Arthur massacre there were 38 deaths in Australia from mass shootings. A further 35 were killed at Port Arthur. This inspired the introduction of very strict gun use and ownership laws. In the ten years following Port Arthur there were a total of two deaths from mass shooting events.
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    Dec 17 2012: If we could have such a law that truly banned guns, people who are evil would still find a way to harm others. Banning guns would not stop crime. There would probably be a black market. Evil people could probably still find a way to get guns. I definitely would agree with making guns more difficult to get though. Honestly, I want a gun even more now to protect myself.

    The Second Amendment refers to “a well-regulated militia.”The right of the people to form citizen militias was unquestioned by the Founders. The Second Amendment begins with the phrase “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” I really want to keep this freedom.

    I think we should focus more on security in schools.
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          Jan 16 2013: Contempt for Americans?

          - Like dismissing the ideas of fellow Americans or the democratically elected government of the people as ignorant fools, undeserving of affecting change when they don't agree with your point of view?

          3 generations of human rights activism?

          - Protecting or rescinding them? Perhaps it's your writing style but some of the comments you wrote on here were extremely offensive on a personal level and indicative of a personal bias that has very little regard for human rights.

          That you're a very bright individual is evidenced by causing me to look at my own ideas and reexamine them, but it was hard to do that when the underlying theme of so many of your posts were so offensive, not to mention other posts that were deceptive, misleading or hypocritical..

          You might have scored points had you given any indication of deliberate consideration of other's POVs but in continuing to refer to the original poster as a 'he', I suspect you didn't pause a moment to consider any of their assertions, or even your own, and often responded with a single purpose of mind.
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    Jan 15 2013: @Krisztian Pinter. Democracy is this forum, this debate, this sharing of ideas to try and come to a consensus and to gain knowledge and respect for ideas you disagree with. Majority rules can apply to deciding representatives in politics, not issues like gun control, because it is not a fair representation of each individuals choice and can be used to strip people of their freedoms.
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    Jan 15 2013: Almost time to close so to sum it up for me... I enjoyed all the banter between myself and those I have engaged. I hope I haven't hurt anyone's feelings. My concern has always been If we get rid of the guns, by repeal or regulate to death, then it is easier to shut up that Rush and his bunch and what about those Christians that oppose abortion and non traditional marriage, ban the churches? Am I just being too dramatic? Could be, but then a paper published by a well know professor of political science who asks " Why do we need the constitution? Now that is a topic for conversation.
  • Jan 14 2013: I agree with the statement thesis that's it's time to repeal the secondment amendment. No other democratic country has it, and they're no shortage of liberty in these countries, e.g. Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

    The 2nd amendment made sense when the US did not have a large standing army in the 18th century, but that is no longer the case.
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      Jan 15 2013: It's your choice to agree.
      I would question your explanation.
      It's not about the shortage of liberties, it's about the most.
      Further, the" sense" of the constitution is not about standing armies.
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    Jan 14 2013: Just to point out what people who oppose amending the constitution and banning certain guns have been called:

    Having a cowardly mentality, extremist paranoia, wanna-be Rambo, uncivilized, primitive thinkers, cowboy and indian mentalities, wild west mentality, lack of care for children, stubborn and gun-crazy, selfish, zealots .... we have a complete disregard for life, we have been duped (= we are impressionable and silly) ... so much for a respectful conversation.

    Oh yes, I forgot my favorite, Angry Blind People.
    • Jan 14 2013: Let's hope your comment does not get flagged as "disrespectful" and get deleted ;-)
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      Jan 14 2013: Gary,
      With all due respect, we also know what YOU have called people on this comment thread, so how about we not accuse others....those who live in glass houses should not throw stones?
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        Jan 14 2013: I knew you would not fail to comment on this. Its not an accusation, its true, the proof is in the comments. I notice you have let all disrespect slide from the people on your side of the debate.

        Funny thing is in a way I am on both sides of the debate. The freedom of choice for each individual creates a better quality of life for everyone. The more people believe they're opinion is what everyone should adhere to, the worse off all Americans will be.
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          Jan 14 2013: Well, mine is not an accusation's true! Funny thing Gary, I am in the middle of the debate as well. I am all for the freedom to own guns, and I support the effort our local, state and federal governments are taking to remove assault weapons from our communities.

          I am not responsible for respect or disrespect coming from any individuals....not responsible for letting "disrespect slide".
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        Jan 15 2013: I wrote that last post wrong. I am not for both sides of the debate because I do not believe you can control my choice. I do mean that my stance on the freedom of choice and freedom from being chosen for, would benefit both parties.
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          Jan 15 2013: I AM NOT trying to control your choice darlin' :>)
          Majority rules, and I think that is what a democracy is all about:>)
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        Jan 15 2013: Democracy most certainly does not mean majority rules.
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          Jan 15 2013: what then?
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          Jan 15 2013: Gary,
          I don't know what you think democracy's the definition:>)

          " a: government by the people; especially: rule of the majority"

          This question... "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?" being discussed throughout our country, on local, state and national levels. I have confidence that the outcome will respesent the wishes of the majority.
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      Jan 15 2013: Gary what you may not of seen yesterday as it was up for less than 5 minutes was a totally racist rave which took me off guard and it wasn't just aimed at your country it was aimed at mine a number of others.

      If it stayed up it would of looked like a recruitment ad for the KKK or ANP it is a shame that pro-gun and some of it's loudest defenders are hate groups. That in itself should be worrying that those groups also have a say.
      • Jan 15 2013: I haven't seen that comment either. But you seem to be judging all pro-gun people by that. Gary mentioned quite a few specific words. I can scroll down and find them even now.
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          Jan 15 2013: I wasn't having a go at Gary it was just an FYI that it was out there and to be aware of it.

          I know both sides have slagged each other off quite significantly and I have copped a decent share of it so no argument there :-)
    • Jan 15 2013: Gary, seriously...whats your point? I won't be as kind as Colleen. What you are attempting to do is minimize and some how demonize the descriptions that have been used for folks who are part of an unprecedented number of Assault Weapons Purchased Since Barrack Obama was elected. In the past Month again there were record sales! When Neil Boortz implies on National Radio, that if this President gets re-elected, you better go out and buy a gun to protect yourself from the Government, every description of folks protecting their gun rights is accurate. There is with no doubt a serious paranoia in many Repub/Cons thinking that their rights are going to be taken away and that even in the attempt to Protect Children, Assault Weapons should be legal. The term "COWARDLY" which I used, is also Accurate, because it will take some faith and guts to believe that stricter laws will work as they have in other countries. To try and do what you are attempting is again "cowardly" in that instead of admitting there is Paranoia, you attack those who are simply pointing it out. A common tactic of Sean and Rush.
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        Jan 15 2013: @ Craig Shamwell. Neil Boortz, Hannity, Rush... I have a brain of my own. No one does my thinkiing for me. Not these people, the president, you, no one.

        A person's choice should not be taken away because you or anybody else feels that children will be safer by enacting a useless ban. You do not know what is best for the entire country. Your opinion does not matter more than mine or anyone else. Your opinion shall not be used to pass judgement on people you have no knowledge of.

        No one is making a decision to sacrifice a child in order to own a certain type of gun. That guilt trip will not work. There is no truth in it.

        I have not attacked anyone, Craig. I was just pointing out what people assume to know about other people.
        • Jan 15 2013: How is describing a person's attitude, as well as statements assuming? Its an observation. You say I don't want anyone controlling your choice. That is "EXACTLY" the words Sean Hannity and others use every day. While you may have a voice of your own, if you don't, I am sure you have had conversations with people who do and have listened to them. And the point you argue is a clear, deliberate action, in the form of Fear Speech that distracts from the main point. Its not controlling your choice, but making sure that some of the choices we have, if they can result in mass killings are not an option. But this is very hard for folks like you to grasp, because you have been told or are of the opinion that Bans on certain Weapons don't work. Where is your proof, and how many sources, by who do you have to support your claim? The truth is, it has worked in other Countries and we are the only civilized country with a 2nd Amendment. So, no I am not assuming much when it comes to what you have said. This issue is very cut and dry. People with access to Assault Weapons are capable of doing what others cannot. And that's kill a lot of Folks in very short period of time. You either want folks to have access to such weapons or you do not. The issue is not about taking away your rights, or controlling your choice. Its ultimately about common sense.
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        Jan 15 2013: You talk down to me and slander people you do not know. You mistake your two cents for common sense.You have the same lack of proof as anyone on this forum including me. You are exactly the example of why majority rules does not work. There is no way that you, a man who shows incoherent rage and will not shut up about Rush and Hannity, should be able to decide anything for anyone but yourself.
        • Jan 15 2013: No slander intended, nor am I talking down. And no, I have no rage either. But I will say that one day a few years ago I stumbled upon Cons Talk Radio. I was shocked by what not only was being said, but by how many would call in and agree with these people. I started tracking the strands of thought and clearly saw an agenda throughout that Spectrum. I started hearing people say things that were verbatim out of the mouths of these same people including Rep. Congressman and some Senators. There is no question these people have a major influence on how a large part of the US opines. So whether you listen to them or not, you share similar views to these folks and I am sure through the many conversations you have had, advice has been given to you via these folks, without you even knowing. For instance, I specifically said "the rise in mass shootings" and someone said the statistics don't show a rise in "Crime"...not what I said. This is the kind of "twisting of facts" I have observed for several years. Another example: Where is the fear of the Government coming from all of a sudden? And why was there not the same fear when Bush and Cheney were in office? Proof shows that that administration was much more intrusive in our personal lives, and did more to cripple our economy than the past and several before it? So tell me, where is "the Government is now the greatest Domestic threat to our Freedoms!" coming from? Its been either implied or stated outright several times in this thread. Where did that dialogue start? I heard it months ago on Conservative Talk Radio! And now its moved to the forefront of the fear mongering. I believe this kind of 24-7 rhetoric is Cancerous to our Society. Suggesting people buy guns, literally calling the President a "thug" and many other untruths and outright lies. But many People stand under what they preach. This is not anger, or hatred, this is again is common sense. I have decided that they should be called out along with their ideologies.
  • Jan 14 2013: Of course it needs to be looked at, but that would make too much common sense! What we are seeing is the new "Platform" the Republican Party is allowing themselves to be Hijacked by. First it was Radical Religion using the Abortion issue. Of late its been the Tea Party and whatever their agenda was/is. And now its an even more heated issue...The 2nd Amendment! Its hard to say if the Republican Party is looking for an agenda, or is an Agenda looking for them?? This issue is such a no-brainier that its hard to believe we are having it! But look what you have in our society that is literally poisoning our country....Propaganda Spewing as prolific as some of the worse in history. We have many in our society that actually listens and acts on the words of People like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Neal Boortz, who said on his show: "If this President gets re-elected you better have your back up plan! And all I'll say is, there is no wonder why gun sales have flown through the roof!" And Sean Hannity and others going as far as saying that they believe the "single Greatest Domestic Threat is the US Government"! The plan to create a Fear/Threat and then say the answer is to Buy more guns is obvious!! Again, this is such a 'no-brainier'. The ones that will Profit "DIRECTLY" from this mentality is the Gun Manufactures, The NRA and the Republican Party. I mean serious, as a Race of beings, in the year 2013, we want to arm more individuals with Military style weapons and then think that, that will some how keep "All Hell" from breaking loose?? I can only imagine when the guys who have their assault weapons sitting in their trucks at their kids little league game and an argument breaks out. Some of you say "we tried banning weapons before and it didn't work!" Says who??? Legislation like that takes years to see its long term impact. This issue is driven by money and power on one side, and Common Sense on the other.
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      Jan 14 2013: Bingo!
    • Jan 14 2013: There's no common sense on your side either.

      "I can only imagine when the guys who have their assault weapons sitting in their trucks at their kids little league game and an argument breaks out." is exactly the kind of fear-mongering that you accuse republicans of doing. Don't you see it?

      You mention republican extremists like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Neal Boortz. Yes, there are extremists on all sides. You sound like a democrat extremist, yourself.
      • Jan 14 2013: While you may want to paint me as an extremest, you would have called me the same thing if I would have said "Suppose a sick kid gets a hold of his mom's Assault weapon and goes to a school and shoots up 20 6-10 year olds?" a few months ago now wouldn't you?? This is the tactic used by those same Conservative Talk Radio Hosts. 'Turn it around and call them crazy!' Well that's not going to work here. My scenario is more than plausible and you know it. This is not fear mongering at all. Look at the numbers of guns being sold in just the past month alone!! Are you kidding me! The days of settling a dispute with fists is over and its not stretch to think that we will see more killings at the end of more Gun Barrels!
        • Jan 14 2013: The sick kid going postal is an example of what happens if irresponsible people get their hands on weapons.

          I've said the following things before, I'll mention them here:
          1. The irresponsible person here was not the kid. It was the mom, who not only left the weapons within easy reach, but also taught her kid on how to handle them.
          2. Proper training and certification on safe handling and storage will prevent that. Look at Switzerland. If the certifying person sees that the applicant seems to be unstable, the certification can be denied.
          3. People have a right to defend themselves.
          4. Many people here have given plenty of examples where such weapons were used properly and effectively in self-defense, and prevented carnage.

          Don't make arguments that can be turned around. I'm careful not to.

          "Look at the numbers of guns being sold in just the past month alone!!"
          Means nothing to me. I'm neither in the "take it all away" camp nor in the "let everyone have it" camp. Again, if you want numbers, look at Switzerland.

          "The days of settling a dispute with fists is over"
          Most definitely! Try fists, and you'll get charged with assault. We all have fists. And yet, you don't see most of us settling our differences that way, do you?
  • L B

    • +1
    Jan 14 2013: I am not a gun owner....yet. But, the arguments being made for the restrictions to purchase a gun (any gun) makes me consider much MUCH more the need to buy a gun before it can't be bought. I have never understood the rationale which suggests that bad people will ever adhere to a new gun law restricting their ability to obtain. The more my side (Democrats) push this idea of restricting lawful possession, the more I am inclined to rethink my political affiliations.

    It's simply impossible to enforce a ban on any specific gun. From 1994 to 2004 we tried it. It didn't work then, either.
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      Jan 14 2013: LB,
      You have succinctly said it all.
      There are people, too many, that use weapons, including guns to commit crime. Yet most emphasis to prevent these crimes is to put additional restrictions on legal purchase,etc of guns. I know I am not the sharpest tack in the box, but can someone explain that connection? Because the only way I can see this working is for the repeal of the 2nd, confiscation of every gun from everyone, making gun possession a capital offense. Then I could be convinced that gun violence would be pretty much eliminated. My confusion lies in the fact that in Switzerland, there are assault type weapons with large capacity magazines in large number of households, there are few "gun" violence activities there and almost none using the weapons from the household. In Chicago, Ill. and New York City, which are probably the size of Switzerland have guns laws up to there and nearly a thousand deaths attributed to guns this past year. Can someone explain that cause and effect? Maybe it is because the Swiss unlike Americans don't wallow in the culture of victimization.
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        Jan 14 2013: Mike,
        You say..."the only way I can see this working is for the repeal of the 2nd, confiscation of every gun from everyone, making gun possession a capital offense".

        I am not seeing that proposed in discussions of this issue in cities, states, or our federal government. Could this be a projection of what some people are afraid MIGHT happen? I ask, because I do not hear anyone suggesting repeal of the 2nd, or confiscation of every gun from everyone. This seems to be the fear which is expressed as a hypothetical conclusion?
        • Jan 14 2013: Colleen,
          You say that you do not hear anyone suggesting repeal of the 2nd amendment. Yet, the title of this conversation (written by Morgan) is "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

          And many people here, Americans included, are proposing exactly that.
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        Jan 14 2013: Hi John,

        I'm aware of the conversation title, and I've said over and over again throughout this discussion, that I do not believe we need to repeal or amend the 2nd amendment because the constitution provides for "regulation". When we had the ban on assault weapons before, there was no repeal or amendment, as I recall.

        I see people on this thread, in the general public, local, state and federal representatives supporting the ban on assault weapons. I don't see too many proposing repeal or amending.

        What I said in my very first comment in this discussion, is that I think it is a good idea to "revisit" the 2nd amendment.
        • Jan 14 2013: Hmm... I got the impression that quite a lot were proposing that; I would have said "too many". But of course, I realize that there is no objective measure of what constitutes "too many".
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      Jan 14 2013: If "they" wanted to confiscate all guns, they would start by requiring you to register all guns, I think that is how Australia pulled it off. They already knew where all the guns were, when they instituted their ban.
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    Jan 14 2013: Officer Barnes
    You come from a country that has stripped it's LEGAL populous of firearms with minor exceptions of outback farmers and few others able to own firearms. Has this stopped gun crime in Australia? You seem to know about gun crime in america so let's see if we strip away all the LEGAL firearms and the people actually give them up. Do you think the gangs, drug runners or criminals will follow suit? Do you believe that our Nations enemies would love to see this country unarmed? One of the reasons the British lost was because armed citizens with muskets and flintlock banded together to defeat the World then Best army! And if you read the 2nd Amendment there is no mention of Muskets or Flintlocks or the size or number of people that can BARE ARMS with the RIGHT not being INFRINGED!
    Thank you for your concern and insight, but hang on? Did not your own Country have a small disagreement with the HOME ISLAND?
    Well we were fortunate enough to have founders that were kind enough to write one of the WORLD's premiere Declarations of Independence, Constitutions and Bill of Rights that has formed models for many other's written afterwards. 200+ and still standing, warts and all! It's a fine Country to be in, Visit others from and return to!
    I loved Bunbury W. Australia when I was there back in the late 70's even went hunting on a sheep ranch for 6' bunnies seems they made good meat for dingo traps and ate the forage the sheep needed? Wonder if that's still legal there?
    Anyway thanks for the concern and we will decide for our own thanks.
    Yours in service
    James Acerra
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      Jan 14 2013: Actually about 3 million guns currently for 22 million people.

      We can have a gun, just not military type guns since the port Arthur massacre.

      I grew up in new Zealand when standard police didn't carry guns. No arms race with criminals.

      Agree it is a question for us citizens. Agree need to be careful not to react without due consideration. Not sure if you current us situation is comparable to revolutionary times. Us has the most powerful military in the world. Also I can see the point of limiting access to military, automatic type weapons, morters, grenade launchers, stingers, tanks etc.

      Society is a balance between individual freedoms and restrictions for the greatest good. You are free to drink but not to drive drunk. Have your guns, but not mass killing machines. No rights are absolute, they are balanced against other rights. Free speech but not liable or slander etc.

      I'd also fight to protect the freedoms we have, keep an eye on self serving political parties and lobby groups etc but I don't expect to be able to do everything I please.
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      Jan 14 2013: Actually our gun laws have been in place since settlement and as the country grew yes for a while in there in 50 60's and 70's it got a little out of hand which is when they reviewed and bought them back into inline.

      We had a couple of mass shootings given 1 was a bikie war and was a fruitbat who decided to go and shoot a load of tourists. Why we still don't know and he is still alive.

      If by small disagreement you mean the Eureka stockade that was to do with the price of mining licences
      it wasn't a full fledged revolution ad we still have Queen Elizabeth II as our sovereign we are not a republic and still looks like we do not wish to be.

      As for the 6ft Bunnies yep you can still cull them but not with semi autos or autos that's just not sporting.The dregs are still used in dingo traps rest is filleted and sent to you.

      By the way this was meant as a debate I have never denied it is ultimately a question for the US to work out.
      It was meant to be an open forum for open minded discussion and hopefully some sound ideas on how to best address what is obviously a problem.
      You have advocated the right for free speech as well shame there is so much hate and fear still aired.
  • Comment deleted

    • Jan 13 2013: This is scary stuff! The police in my country are a lot more civilized, and I'm very thankful for that. However, in this particular case (i.e. the case of police excesses) the right of citizens to carry guns will not help one jot. What Americans need to do is come together and have mass-protests, peacefully, to raise awareness.
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        Jan 13 2013: It is indeed scary stuff John, and that is exactly why it was posted. As I'm sure you know, we can get all kinds of "stuff" on youtube. GREAT idea to come together to raise awareness peacefully.
        More guns is not going to solve the challenge we face with this issue.
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      Jan 13 2013: Its always amazing that when something wrong happens there is always someone there or media cover mainly because they are rare and agreed should not happen,

      Yet for everyone of those incidents there has probably been a thousand good incidents that go unnoticed with no thanks or major media cover then there are incidents like this

      these are the kind of acts you don't see, you don't know about and rarely get reported
      • Jan 13 2013: @Morgan Barnes,
        That response was so predictable that it blew my mind!!

        Your argument "...when something wrong happens there is always someone there..." is exactly what the gun rights people have been saying about Adam Lanza also. Many here have also posted links about all the tragedies prevented because citizens carried guns, which you happily ignore. And yet, you swoop down whenever your buddies are shown in bad light.

        It's not just bad that cops misbehaved. What makes matters worse is that when citizens go to their higher-ups or try to fight through legal means, the "superior" police officers and the courts routinely turn a blind eye to the whole thing. Though I write this, I'm not sure you'll comprehend it. Unlikely, given your previous responses.
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          Jan 13 2013: Just had a look at 3 of mariannes video's the police were all within their right to stop search and detain if necessary okay they lost it but there is lot you can't see and hear either . Granted The reactions of the police in question may not be that acceptable but they are within their rights.

          Like it or not and I doubt very much the officers in question were not discipline by their "superiors" shame the "citizens" don't understand the law that well
      • Jan 13 2013: "within their rights"? I don't know which videos you're referring to. The US also has the Fourth Amendment that protects the rights of citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.

        In the first video (kassP7zI0qc) the police officer says that he has a right to shoot red-shirt-guy in the face. Is that just "questionable reaction"?

        Well, you and I can doubt whatever we want until we're blue in the face. I just prefer legal and public closure.
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          Jan 13 2013: 4th amendment has been amended read it.
      • Jan 13 2013: The amendment still requires probable cause. Read it again.
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          Jan 13 2013: then it comes down to how you interpret 'probable cause" and the circumstances under which it was executed.
  • Jan 12 2013: I can see the use of some of the gun laws, we don't need the high tech guns to hunt. I grew up on a small farm with 6 siblings and we grew up in a family that hunted for food. Times were much simpler during those times. Of course we didn't have the high tech violence games to play either. I think there has always been violence throughout mankind history. Someone always wants to start wars and have those less fortunate fight them for them. This goes back to the beginning of time. What I don't understand and what I think we need to incorporate into these gun control measures is controls on the media and gaming industry. Why should we have high drama and murder in every show on TV? Why should we invent video games for our children to spend hours per day on...killing, killing, pressing a button to reset, then killing some more? Sometimes it seems they spend more hours per day on these games than they do in school learning math/science. Why do we as parents and responsible adults allow this to happen? Easy babysitters? Or just giving into the kids wishes to keep them happy? Do they know better than we do? What do we expect the outcome to be? Seems like everyone is very hypocritical. Do as I say, not as I do. We need to start this "gun" control much earlier than with the topic of "guns". We need to start this control with our children and our own perspective on life. Control the human and you can control the gun.
    • Jan 12 2013: Saying people are committing these shootings because of violent videos games and movies is like saying humans have sex because people make pornographic movies. There are hundreds of millions of people who play these games and watch these movies and live perfectly normal lives, and lets not forget one of the "classic" games kids play, cops and robbers (or from a slightly more dated perspective, cowboys and indians) one could argue that running around and "shooting" our friends who are on the other team is a violent game, yet no one ever talks about outlawing these games.

      Most adults, and for the sake of this argument I'm going to go ahead and consider teenagers adults, understand that things that happen in video games, physical games, in movies and on television are ficticious, and that they won't respawn if they get shot in the head, nor will it add up to some scoreboard that everyone can view. The people who commit these crimes do so because they are sick people, not because of Call of Duty or Scarface.

      The reason we have games and movies/television of this variety is because it makes for interesting or thought-provoking gameplay or viewing, or it looks into a particularily violent point in history, whether a true story or not. I think its absurd that people use violent movies, television shows and video games as a scapegoat every single time something like this happens.
      • Jan 12 2013: Thank God we live in America John, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
        • Jan 12 2013: We don't all live in America, and as far as your particular opinion, how can you disagree with the games and movies of today, but not the games played in the past, many of which were equally or much more violent than what we have now? Aside from that point, there is absolutely zero fact based evidence to support your claim of "violent games cause violent children" Humans are violent by nature. We have a fight or flight instinct built into us specifically to either dominate other beings, or avoid being dominated. The problem isn't with media or entertainment, the problem is with people.
      • Jan 12 2013: Look at your last sentence, problem is with the people...then look at my last sentence in the first piece I did, control the human. I think we almost agree...people are the problem. People's outside influences creates the minds thinking and understanding, has from the beginning of time, whether its cowboys and Indians or today s mass media. Correct the thought process before worrying about what tool is going to be used in the murder.
        • Jan 12 2013: Oh yes, I know. I never disagreed with the summary of your opinion, just that the current generations forms of entertainment were the cause of it. I should apologize, however, because I sort of only said half of what I meant in my previous reply. What should actually be said is something I discussed in an earlier reply (about a page and a half down from here,) that being: There are many things which contribute to and cause this particular issue (easy access to guns, for example) and that they can't all be controlled, if they can be controlled at all.

          However, that being said, I don't agree with your statement of "control the human and you can control the gun" because I really don't think that is true, without revoking that person's freedom and which would require imprisoning or institutionalizing everyone who shows any sign of mental instability. It is simply impossible in some cases to tell who is going to commit an act of violence such as a school shooting, as countless people have at least some mental issues, however minor. In fact I believe the number is something like "one in three" here in Canada, but I could be wrong on that one.
      • Jan 12 2013: Good point. We all have issues of some kind. By controlling the human, I am just talking about education of the individuals. Mind control ultimately is an individual thing, but what is taught to the individual in the beginning has a lot to do with how we turn out in the end. If we grow up on and with violence, we will tend to lean that way in any given situation. I know that many other aspects go into bringing up a child, it just seems to me we should try to bring them up in a better environment if we can.
        • Jan 13 2013: Well said, and I agree almost entirely. However you'll always have people saying "who decides what is a better environment for my child" since everyone is going to have a different opinion of what actually constitutes a better environment.
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    Jan 12 2013: This video is Apt to this conversation.

    Violent crime has gone down 50% in the last 20 years and no one is taking credit for this.

    England has a violent crime rate that is 3.5 times what it is in the U.S.
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      Jan 12 2013: I don't think England can be used in comparison Pat, it's population is 1/5th of the states and 1/1000th of it's size + it is an island/s. I forgot most of it's population is in london, still she's considered a fortress now.

      In house stats apply as they directly pertain to the issues and if you say that crime is down then this is something that has nothing to do with gun control? Rather something else?

      Look at this quote=

      I think the issue, that nobody wants to address as a potential political landmine, is the question of “Why are Americans so much more prone to deciding to go out in a ‘Blaze of Glory’ by shooting up a school before they top themselves? Is our national culture a bit…

      I didn't watch the vids in my link as i was more interested in the article. If it's not so much the lowering of violent crime then is it the reaction to the type of crime?
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        Jan 12 2013: I agree that gun control cannot be compared across countries as stated in the Video there is a disconnect.

        I do think that he points out something that is interesting in that the crime occurs in high population centers.

        But to me the overriding factor is the correlation to violence and Psychiatric drugs
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          Jan 12 2013: I can only agree, So these are the issues that America needs to talk about rather than jumping on the surface possibles.
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        Jan 12 2013: Truthfully I don't think most people really care. The media sees to it that it remains that way.
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          Jan 12 2013: I think most countries like ours are not going to discuss this openly but some conspirawhacko's on a few of my countries politico blogs keep pointing out that there are some serious discrepancies with one family whose daughter was apparently killed then she was seen to be on "O"s lap when he came to visit.

      • Jan 12 2013: Why are you ignoring everything that could be a possible cause to support the second amendment? Was your mind already made up? Do you use statistics only when they are in your favour?
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          Jan 12 2013: Pat and I established that it isn't about the second amendment or gun control and i try not throw a stat unless i can get my hands on the real deal otherwise it is suspect. We use comparison too much. America is unique, there is no other country like it out of the 5 English speaking countries. This doesn't mean there is something wrong with America, no countries perfect but she could be the first to come face to face with these issues and do something constructive to fix things. If she does then others will model themselves after her.

          Biden's three day meetings seem a little too fast, too quick, too much like a rushing parent.

          The only thing i agree on is the full background check otherwise you are never going to bring this type of tragedy down. You don't have to change the second amendment or control guns.
  • Jan 11 2013: It's becoming very commonplace in todays era of the shoot first and then hide behind the lie of " I thought I saw a gun". I remember growing up that the police (for the most part) were considered friendly and helpful, but this was back in the early 70s(but I was also in a white middleclass area) It seems that law enforcement has lowered their standards to such an extent that they are becoming thugs! While working as a bouncer for a short time there was a police officer that would come by on a regular basis and would brag on how badly/unjustly he had treated some minorities during his week and expected us to laugh and joke about it (which some of the other bouncers did). All I could do was to just pretend I had something to do and walk away, shaking my head on the inside and feelin sick and a little ashamed that I had not told him how I truely felt.But I think he picked up on how I felt as he stopped sharing those stories with me when I was the only one around to share them with. I wish I had the power to impliment somekind of far reaching change to make law enforcement accountable for what at times seem to be overreaction to a given situation which result in death or great bodily injury. I do understand that their job places them in many areas I would not be caught in after dark and deal with some real bad people, but I think if they showed some compassion for the majority of people in these areas that are just trying to live their lives they would have alot more community support and help!! Lets just hope we never have to face the wrong end of a gun that an overzealous officer is pointing at us. Thats a flip of a coin I don't want to experience!!
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    Jan 11 2013: 1000 posts and still going.

    After reading a few of the most recent there seems to be a divide between those who think having more access or unlimited access to weapons might make society safer, and those who think being armed any way you want helps protect yourself from criminals or government that might turn on their citizens.

    Suggest there is a different dynamic between an individual being armed and better able to protect themselves in a specific threatening situation, and then looking society wide. Guns may help in individual situations, but overall having numerically more, and more powerful weapons around would seem to make people less safe overall.

    Agree there are other issues, not just what weapons are available, as root cause, but I would rather face a crazy who didn't have easy access to automatic weapons, just like we have speed limits, and limits on the type of vehicles you can drive on public roads.
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      Jan 11 2013: "Suggest there is a different dynamic between an individual being armed and better able to protect themselves in a specific threatening situation, and then looking society wide. Guns may help in individual situations, but overall having numerically more, and more powerful weapons around would seem to make people less safe overall."

      There is absolutely nothing to support this statement in any SCIENTIFIC analysis of data. Its comments such as this that really skew an uneducated public opinion in the wrong direction. Posing an argument in such a way that sounds like it "makes sense" without any data or research to support the statement.

      I could just as easily say that the more citizens who are armed in a society deters criminals because they know that there is a better chance of encountering an armed citizen and therefore it would seem that more guns would seem to make people more safe.

      Seems to "make sense" and supports the opposite side of the argument but in reality no one knows how the number of guns affects violence or crime.

      Point is it's easy to make arguments by being a wordsmith, but making arguments willy nilly without having any backup is not useful and is, in fact,, counterproductive to coming to any meaningful resolution. People get mired down in arguments that can't be won by either side and nothing ever sees a resolution.

      edit: This is why the media and lobbyists on either side cannot be trusted as sources. The do this ALL THE TIME.
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      Jan 11 2013: I agree Obey....more guns does not necessarily mean more safety and peace. In fact, I believe it causes the opposite.....the more assault weapons circulating in our communities, the greater the chance for people to use them inappropriately.

      You are right Paul, that all the statistics and data varies, so it is difficult sometimes to get accurate information. I have done a search of data on this issue, as you say you have done in another comment.

      There is absolutely NO evidence that the US government is trying to turn on the citizens of this country, and that is an argument that runs through this discussion as a good reason for the citizens to arm themselves.

      THAT is the kind of inaccurate information that "skews an uneducated public opinion in the wrong direction", as you insigjhtfully say. This kind of information, is indeed "willy nilly without having any backup... not useful and is, in fact, counterproductive to coming to any meaningful resolution". That kind of inaccurate, unsubstantiated information simply creates more fear, and unfortunately, I think that is what some folks are trying to do in an effort to support their argument that having more guns is better.

      I do not honestly believe that we are going to come to a "meaningful resolution" here on this comment thread. We CAN however, move toward sharing our perceptions, perspectives, thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions respectfully, with accurate information.
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        Jan 11 2013: I would have to agree with your reasoning here. The only thing is, and I may be in the "uneducated public opinion" group here, hasn't the past shown us that, given too much power, fallible men will use any advantage they may have over the masses to further their own ends? My thought here is that we know, from history, that governments and those in power are easily corrupted by power. Our forefathers knew this ugly side of human nature and built in safeguards to our governments (checks and balances) and the constitution as a whole.

        I'm assuming you would agree with me and I would then want to pose a question in response to your post....

        Knowing what we know about the nature of government and those in power, do we cede power (i.e. the ability of the government to disarm its constituents) and have faith that our government has not proven (yet) that they are willing to to turn on it's us?
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          Jan 12 2013: Paul,
          I agree that given too much power, some people use any advantage they may have over the masses to further their agenda.

          Which is why it seems reasonable to get assault weapons out of circulation in our communities.

          Yes, those in power are sometimes corrupt.

          Which is why it is good for all of us to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. When we are genuinely engaged in our government, to whatever extent is possible for each of us, there is less corruption.

          Yes, our forefathers may have been aware of this side of human nature and built in safeguards (checks and balances) in the constitution.

          Which is probably why there is a clause in the constitution which apparently allows for "regulation" of guns. When we had an assault weapons ban in the past, nothing was repealed or amended, and perhaps our forefathers were wise enough to know that technology would advance, and conditions in our country may change to the point where this issue needed to be revisited.

          I do not perceive anyone wanting to "cede power" or wanting to "disarm" constituents. There is no evidence of that idea whatsoever. There is no evidence that the US government is "willing to turn on us"......the citizens of the US. I believe this to be a fear tactic, spread by a handful of frightened people.

          Being afraid of a government overthrow, and hoarding masses of guns because of that fear, when there is no evidence whatsoever, is a frightened knee jerk reaction, which in my humble perception, simply causes more fear. A frightened person with a gun, is a frightened person with a gun, and has no ability to think or act reasonably. I am frightened of the folks hoarding assault weapons because of their fear.

          We have a situation locally... a guy has not paid taxes for many years....believes this country still belongs to England... made his home into a bunker....gated... assault weapons....etc.....that's how he and his family have lived for years...nothing has happened.
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          Jan 12 2013: OOPS.....I forgot......something tragic DID happen. The teenage son killed himself by laying on the traintrack and letting the train run over him. Can you imagine how frightening and confusing it was to live in that environment....afraid of the government, a home that was a protected bunker, assault weapons all around....incredible fear. Apparently, letting a train run over him and ending his life was preferable to the way he was living.
  • Jan 10 2013: Regarding the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,--- the need for reform would appear to me to be simply common sense to any civilized human being. The right to bear arms for the purpose of hunting and to protect one's family is a given. There is however, absolutely NO logical reason for ANYONE outside of police or military to own or possess an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. PERIOD. We can only hope that sane, responsible gun advocates currently associated with this internal terrorism group calling themselves the NRA would feel as ashamed and sorrowful as most Americans do, and disassociate themselves from these people as quickly as possible. A new, responsible gun lobby in urgently needed, one that does not present the solution to a gun problem to be adding more guns.
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        Jan 11 2013: Do you think it likely the us government is going to commit the same sort of atrocities against its own citizens?

        Is the us similar to Nazi Germany? Is modern Germany similar to nazi Germany.

        Suggest there are better ways to promote non dictatorial regimes than inversely lethal weapons being freely available.

        When you say the government, in the end its often ordinary people carrying out these atrocities.
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          Jan 11 2013: You are correct, and since I have had to disarm a rotten, corrupt police force, I came face to face with police supporters who would believe no evil of the men in blue and even when the trials were over and the indictments and the convictions came in, the "supporters" just claimed that they were "set up".
          Right now, Portland Mayor Sam Adams said that Portland will continue to "try and get control of it's police force".
          And the Federal agents like Homeland Security have been creating partnerships with local law enforcement agencies. Napolitano made headlines asking for local LE to turn in lists of names of people that they thought should be watched. The ones who cooperated were rewarded with vehicles, enhanced technology and ordinance.

          Germany, before Hitler was a nation of laws, They were such an orderly, lawful nation that they didn't take a guttersnipe like Hitler seriously, and by the time that the old guard realized what they had done, it was too little too late.

          Lots of cops are ordinary people and many are the stuff of heroes. But giving them those faceless costumes is a mistake, and so is filling their compliments with people from other countries where the rule of law is not the rule (like Mexico).

          RE your comment: Suggest there are better ways to promote non dictatorial regimes than inversely lethal weapons being freely available.

          I agree, however, ceding your rights to the government at this juncture is just encouraging them in their own, unwholesome endeavor.
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      Jan 11 2013: It would probably seem like common sense to a Statist. People in China love their government too.
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    Jan 10 2013: I think your conversation has broken a TED record? Nearly a thousand posts and 16 thumbsup's.
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      Jan 10 2013: Really??? WOW ! I knew when I decided to post this topic it cause some controversy and even emotive.

      I was also prepared for being told off because I am not an American citizen that didn't bother me I knew that would come.

      What I wasn't prepared for was the highly passionate almost boarding on pathological patriotism that certain areas regard the Constitution.

      It has been an interesting insight into certain aspects of the human psyche. Everything from conspiracy theories, to the complete disregard for human life over the right to own a piece of metal because it was written down over 200 years ago. What constitutes Right Vs Privilege.

      As an international forum I thought it would be interesting to open it up and allow people to see how things perceived from outside the US in the rest of the world. I was amazed how closed minded some posters have been and shouted down those international posters.

      I have not tried to post anything malicious or insult anyone, but I have tried to get people to think , maybe not always the right way,and open their minds a little and get people Talking.

      I would like to thank everyone for participating it has been incredibly interesting debate, I would also like to thank those veterans who have served and contributed some exceptionally interesting insights.

      There is no easy answer to this problem and yes there are a number of other factors involved and hopefully with the review more help will be available for those who need it.

      Also we are talking about trying change a highly ingrained culture and powerful and cashed up lobby groups, not easy in anyway shape or form.

      But it is time for change that does not mean taking everyone's firearms just regulating it better so these tragedies do not keep repeating themselves, either in the US or elsewhere in the world.

      I thank you all again for your contributions right, wrong, emotive, controversial , passionate ,logical insightful, feel free to keep posting till the end

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          Jan 10 2013: Did you read Morgan Barnes response to the list of dead at WACO? "Koresh was a fruitloop'?
          It slays you to find out what passes for high moral ground. In the end it's nothing but a bunch of crocodile tears over a pet atrocity.
      • Jan 10 2013: I too must call you out. Not because you are not an American, but because you do not understand what guns have meant to this country. In your country, the very richest people have guns, do not deny this, it is real. They have guns because they have money. In this country, we all can have, or choose not to have guns, it is a great equalizer, and keeps our government aware of how this country came into being. I am not willing to slowly have those rights taken away until I am disarmed.
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          Jan 10 2013: where on earth did you get that from???? not even close???
        • Jan 11 2013: Timothy, your view is one that I have never, ever, heard expressed in the U.S.
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          Jan 11 2013: It's not too easy for foreigners to understand. Many of them don't have the right to bear arms in their country. They never fought for it, and if they had it they happily gave it away.
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        Jan 10 2013: I don't know if regulation is the answer to their dilemma Morgan. Sandy hook has only galvanized them to face themselves and start asking the hard questions or look in this direction, this a delicate situation as it is a family matter not a planetary issue.

        My country and yours or any other can't be used as shining beacons of peace to compare it with as our populations are too small, just because there is cultural similarities does not mean they can be used, we are old colonial countries that didn't break away, we still look north to the old girl even though she herself has turned into an island fortress.
        • Jan 11 2013: Ken, of course this is a human matter, not just a U.S. matter! How can such a universal subject not be? This is not about only Americans, just because the inciden tthat started this conversation was in America! Are you aware of what happened in Norway recently? Please open your mind and your heart. It can't hurt to consider other perspectives.
  • Jan 9 2013: Culturally, the US is not ready for this change. Logic, arguments, reality has nothing to do with it. It like trying to ban witch burning in the year 1500 and arguing that seizures are not a sign of evil spirits possessing you. It is not going to be accepted, no matter what. Gun culture is still too ingrained in the US. In 30-40 years it may be possible, but not now.

    The most reasonable thing you can try for is to ban weapons and accessories that make it easy to kill a large number of people in a short time. Semi-autos, large capacity magazines. The NRA will fight tooth and nail against that too, but there is remote chance that it could happen.
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      Jan 9 2013: Boy, you are not kidding. Have you seen the ammunition purchases for Federal Agencies?
      Here is an example:
      NOAA purchased 46,000 rounds of.40-caliber ammo Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, which enforces laws against illegal fishing and marine life importation. The ammunition is for 63 personnel, amounting to about 730 rounds per officer. Fish importation and illegal fishing...not considered capital crimes in most countries.

      Department of Homeland Security contract for a maximum of 450 million rounds of .40-caliber jacketed hollow-points, to be supplied over the next five years.

      My point is, that it is absurd to ask the people on the bottom of the power hierarchy to disarm while the government can't buy enough ordinance to make themselves feel secure, let alone the acceleration of URBAN WARFARE training across the nation by all LE.

      Maybe we should be asking, as a community, who upped the ante? Looks like the FEDS might be a wee bit of a hypocrite.
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        Jan 9 2013: This is sad, Americans seem to be only afraid of each other.
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          Jan 9 2013: Oh well, when people are negligent about their civic duties, the care of the weak, mentally ill and have low standards for their own children and the atmosphere in their schools, you can't expect another outcome. When a society can't get enough of Chainsaw Massacre 3d and will spend 23 million dollars in one day to suck it down, the result might just be "sad" and I can think of a few more words for it. These same people with low standards also vote and put other people in power that have similar low standards and in particular, a noted lack of noble purpose. I don't live that way, I don't want to have it engulf me or my peeps.
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          Jan 10 2013: Not sure if its necessarily afraid, but I do witness distrust, hatred, people " on top" looking down upon others. Race, religion, sexual preference, economic status, aesthetics, etc. We separate along these lines. United we stand, divided we fall.

          This is where we all lose out as a nation and a people.
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          Jan 10 2013: Not all of us Ken....we're not ALL afraid of each other or our government, as some folks are saying on this discussion thread!

          I agree with Gary that "United we stand, divided we fall.". We COULD start being "united" right here on this conversation thread and at least discuss the question with respect and accurate information. Distrust, hatred and disrespect are based on fear.

          If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. Being disrespectful and presenting inaccurate information from a place of fear does not serve anyone.
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        Jan 10 2013: You described a portion of my country but on a smaller scale yet it is beginning to be the same.
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        Jan 10 2013: I really don't think "O" should use the Executive order on this issue. I don't know much about your countries governmental system but this one incident should not be used to use such a powerful tool as that order.
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          Jan 10 2013: He's just baiting the conservatives. We really created a monster by re-electing him when even he knew that he didn't deserve it. It feels like we are dealing with an adolescent. Any of his gun legislation will eventually be overturned by the Supreme Court, because they have a clear understanding of the 2nd.

          The text doesn't hang on a "comma' or a a street lawyer explanation of what a militia is.
          But let's face it, when a majority of people are uneducated enough that they want to change the flag from red, white and blue to mauve, wedgewood and cream because it's "outdated"..that will be the end of the city on the hill, and too bad for all the oppressed people of the world that one day hoped to be like us. As a nation, we are stumbling, let's hope we get up off our knees.
      • Jan 10 2013: This is exactly the kind of primitive mindset that I am talking about. The government is a foreign entity that is out to get you, and you can fight with it by purchasing guns. This group of people have literally not updated their thinking in 300 years. They need to buy guns, because the government is buying guns and they want to get even. These guys, with their stockpile of AR15s, are going to form a militia and fight off the government, with its aircraft carries and nuclear bombs. I kid you not.

        How can you talk about any sensible legislation on guns when so many are living in the year 1800?
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          Jan 10 2013: And your comment is the exact sophistry that presents such a real and present danger. You imagine that because you live in the age of gadgets, that you are an enlightened thinker. However, the sheer genius of the US Constitution goes right over your head.
          The issue is human rights to those who hold that as the standard by which we judge societies. Since we abolished slavery in the Western Hemisphere, a natural extension of the precepts laid down in the US Constitution, and since that stands alone in history as the most monumental achievement in human rights, and since no other nation has ever has ever exported anything equal to it, who comes now, when America is stumbling, and tries to connive to have us give up any of our rights so we can be led around by the nose as Europe and UK are currently?

          Tell us what your great replacement is. Tell us who you represent in terms of a new social contract.

          You want to mock people as primitive thinkers? Ridicule is the best course for those who can't make a reasoned case.

          Why don't you tell us, oh wise one, which blueprint you are comparing the US Constitution with? Which success story? Which social contract?
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          Jan 10 2013: What, is the government free from corruption and take over? Long live the powerful State?

          Your people don't understand what it means to be free, because you never fought for it and earned it. And you dismiss history and current dictatorships, in trust of your government. The world's not too different than it was 300 years ago. Technology has excelled, but human nature has remained the same.
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          Jan 10 2013: The BB generation wasn't worthy of their parents sacrifices, in the most part, they took it for granted and many never evolved past that "know nothing loud mouth stage"..they just got older.
          Hopefully they have triggered a homeopathic reaction in the Millenniums..stay tuned to the NEXT GENERATION...
        • Jan 10 2013: Thank you Mr Desi. Thank you for a lone voice of sanity amid this wilderness of brilliant apologists defending their non-existent 'right' to own weapons of mass destruction.
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      Jan 10 2013: Vikas,
      I believe the US IS ready for a change, and I think it will happen with small you insightfully say...

      "The most reasonable thing you can try for is to ban weapons and accessories that make it easy to kill a large number of people in a short time. Semi-autos, large capacity magazines."

      Of course there will be those who "fight tooth and nail against that too, but there is remote chance that it could happen."

      I believe there is MORE than a "remote chance" for this to happen. Those who oppose any kind of gun regulations usually speak the loudest, and it appears that those who DO support gun regulations are speaking more often now:>)
    • Jan 11 2013: We at least have to try
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    Jan 9 2013: There have been a large number of opinions presented on this matter. There are some that have great passion about eliminate/change the 2nd amendment to eliminate guns and the associated problems. There are others who feel the 2nd amendment is not the problem, but merely a symptom of larger problems and the 2nd amendment should not be addressed.

    It has been stated before and bears repeating... "About the 2nd Amendment. Americans hold the first ten amendments to our constitution as do Christians and Jews hold the ten commandments. So, to those who want to change the 2nd amendment... If you can get Moses to change one of his, we'll talk about changing one of ours".

    And a tip of the fedora to those down under, it was a great debate.
  • Jan 9 2013: I applaud you, Morgan, for starting this thread. As an American and a British citizen, i also believe it's time to address an amendment that was made at a time when citizens were forced to defend themselves on a daily basis. I am quite ashamed of the mean spirit with which many commenters here have responded. And it's clear that, although the bigger issue is mental health and the nation's ability to help families and individuals who are experiencing fear that is expressed as rage, there is definitely value in at least consideting whether the Constitution and the Second Amendment are up to task of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Americans, and whether or not the Second Amendment is being sanctified only by NRA members and lobbies. Many I have spoken to agree that it is outdated.
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      Jan 9 2013: I'll preface by saying that I don't own a gun. But having the right to do so is such a fundamental part of democracy I am baffled by otherwise intelligent people who argue against it.

      My question to anyone who supports the gun control that is being suggested is this....What would america look like in 10 or 20 years if ordinary citizens were no longer afforded the right to bear arms?
      • Jan 9 2013: Take a look at Wikipedia's list of countries with the right to bear arms, if you educate yourself on what a country looks like that does not afford its citizens the right to bear arms.
        U.S. is in the weak minority. Most civilized countries tightly control or prohibit the ownership of guns by ordinary citizens without unusual cause. The question remains, why would an ordinary citizen in the States need a gun for protection in the 21st century? And what is not really being addressed is why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?
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          Jan 9 2013: To speak to your first point I found the Switzerland entry to be of particular interest:

          "Rules regarding firearms in Switzerland differ markedly from those in other European countries. Under Swiss law, all adult males who have received training in the Swiss armed forces are reservists who are required under law to keep their official firearms at home. According to the gun law of 1999 (larm99), automatic weapons like the Swiss army assault rifle have to be stocked separately of the bolt, which has to be in a locked place.
          Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. In recent times political opposition has expressed a desire for tighter gun regulations.[22] However in 2011, Swiss voters overwhelmingly defeated tighter controls that would have required all guns (including privately owned guns) to be kept in government arsenals."

          Also the list of countries given leaves a lot to be desired as far as "model" societies go.

          The question remains, why would an ordinary citizen in the States need a gun for protection in the 21st century?

          The question answers

          And what is not really being addressed is why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?

          How many people do you think own multiple guns (including an assault rifle) across the US that do so responsibly and without incident? I would venture a guess that the number is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.
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          Jan 9 2013: The issue at hand, once again, has nothing to do with the tools used but with the system. From the school teachers (and other child service professionals) who are not trained to recognize the anti-social behavior that precedes tragedies such as what happened in Connecticut, or columbine, or in the movie theater shootings, to the health care system that is ill equipped or flat out unable to provide the mental health services that these people need, To the bureaucrats (and apparently many other Americans) who try to blame the behavior on the availability of firearms.

          What do you think would happen to the crime rate if ordinary citizens were no longer allowed to possess guns? Do you think the guns already in the hands of the criminals would magically disappear? Do you think that a budding criminal wouldn't be able to find a firearm to carry out whatever criminal activities he/she had in mind? This line of questioning could go on and on....

          I'll revisit a point I made before, if the man who went on a shooting spree in Connecticut did not have access to a gun, he would have used a bomb, or a grenade, or poison, or whatever else he could have gotten his hands on to carry out that heinous act. The big picture problem here is not, I repeat not, with the availability of firearms. The sooner our nation as a whole recognizes that fact the sooner we can address the problems that really are the cause of the newtown tragedy (and the many other tragedies that we are all aware of) and prevent them from happening in the future.
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          Jan 9 2013: We live in America, not La La Land.
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          Jan 9 2013: Hi Kate,
          Sorry I could not get this response closer to your question....

          "Kate Lynch
          1 hour ago: Coleen,
          If we've already had a ban on assault weapons, why don't we still have it? What's the inside story on that?"

          The 10 year ban on assault weapons passed Sept. 13, 1994 and expired Sept. 13, 2004 as part of the law's "sunset provision".

          Regarding your other question...
          "...why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?"

          From the reports I've seen, it appears that she wanted the guns to protect herself and her home. That seems to be the most accurate report, although there are also reports which say that she was buying them for her son.
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        Jan 9 2013: Paul,
        This is a response to your question...

        "My question to anyone who supports the gun control that is being suggested is this....What would america look like in 10 or 20 years if ordinary citizens were no longer afforded the right to bear arms?"

        I support gun regulations just as our constitution supports gun regulations. As you probably know, the last time we had a ban on assault weapons, the constitution was not repealed or amended, because it apparently provides for "regulation".

        We don't know exactly what america would look like with assault weapons removed from our communities, anything we project is speculation. It seems like a logical move considering all the factual information we have at this time.
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          Jan 9 2013: Good point Colleen.
          Why all the talk about amending the Constitution when the governent has proven itself so very agile in working around the Constitution in so many other areas? 4th Amendment is pretty m;uch shredded and we pay taxes to fly political prisoners outside the states so we can violate the 5th. I am sure the 2nd won't stand in anyone's way, once you all put your heads together.
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          Jan 9 2013: I wouldn't argue against your assertion. My point is that un-arming average, normal citizens would be disastrous for our country. My only issue with the assualt weapon argument is that if someone is motivated enough to get their hands on such a weapon, regulation or no regulation, they will be able to do so.
        • Jan 9 2013: Coleen,
          If we've already had a ban on assault weapons, why don't we still have it? What's the inside story on that?
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        Jan 9 2013: Paul,
        I don't think anyone is contemplating "un-arming average, normal citizens". I agree to some extent that if someone wants to "get their hands on such a weapon"...they may be able to do so. Getting assault weapons out of our communities, however, could decrease the number of assault weapons available to those who would mis-use them.
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          Jan 10 2013: Colleen,

          "I don't think anyone is contemplating "un-arming average, normal citizens"." I think that there are a large number of people who want to do exactly what you said here. They are under the false assumption that firearms are the "evil" that leads to the events we are discussing.

          I agree with you that assault weapons should be ultra regulated if not banned, but my concern is that making concessions on this issue will inevitably be taken advantage of those who I mentioned above to further their own unrealistic and dangerous goals.

          I think the gentleman who wrote a letter to the president had it right when he said that the issue has to be approached on a factual basis. The problem is that people (on both sides) become so emotionally wrapped up in the details that it blinds them to the bigger problems that need to be addressed.
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        Jan 10 2013: Marianne,
        You seem to have misunderstood my "point".

        I do not believe the "government has proven itself so very agile in working around the constitution".
        I understand you have a fear of the US government, and it does not help your argument to produce inaccurate information, or try to twist my comments.

        Let me post my exact comment again, so you can try to understand it.
        "I support gun regulations just as our constitution supports gun regulations. As you probably know, the last time we had a ban on assault weapons, the constitution was not repealed or amended, because it apparently provides for "regulation".
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        Jan 10 2013: Hi again Paul,
        I agree with you that there are extremists on both sides of the argument. I also agree with the idea that it would be much more beneficial to approach the issue based on facts, and that some folks are wrapped up with inaccurate information, which blinds them to the issue being discussed on this thread.
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          Jan 10 2013: And some that are extremely docile, to the point where they refuse to acknowledge that government agencies have committed massacres in our recent history..
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      Jan 9 2013: Seems a bit contradictory that if you have a populace that has to have all sharp objects removed in order for them to be 'safe' that these people can be entrusted to dismantle and rewrite the Constitution of America or any part of it.
      Such a shallow observation, that the US Constitution is "outdated". Perhaps you can tell us which social contract you propose that is even in the same class as the US Constitution. Which system holds a candle in the advancement in human rights that the US Constitution can hold claim to?

      Since there is nothing extant that is comparable, perhaps you can suggest which of our trustworthy & noble politicians we can call upon to write this "improved" social contract. Who are the Thomas Jeffersons and John Locke's of our time?
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      Jan 9 2013: Fatalities of April 19
      In the April 19, 1993 final assault, the Davidian dead included:
      Katherine Andrade, 24, American
      Chanel Andrade, 1, American
      Jennifer Andrade, 19, American
      George Bennett, 35, British
      Susan Benta, 31, British
      Mary Jean Borst, 49, American
      Pablo Cohen, 38, Israeli
      Abedowalo Davies, 30, British
      Shari Doyle, 18, American
      Beverly Elliot, 30, British
      Yvette Fagan, 32, British
      Doris Fagan, 51, British
      Lisa Marie Farris, 24, American
      Raymond Friesen, 76, Canadian
      Sandra Hardial, 27, British
      Zilla Henry, 55, British
      Vanessa Henry, 19, British
      Phillip Henry, 22, British
      Paulina Henry, 24, British
      Stephen Henry, 26, British
      Diana Henry, 28, British
      Novellette Hipsman, 36, Canadian
      Floyd Houtman, 61, American
      Sherri Jewell, 43, American
      David M. Jones, 38, American
      David Koresh, 33, American
      Rachel Koresh, 24, American
      Cyrus Koresh, 8, American
      Star Koresh, 6, American
      Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, American
      Jeffery Little, 32, American
      Nicole Gent Little, 24, Australian, pregnant
      Dayland Gent, 3, American
      Page Gent, 1, American
      Livingston Malcolm, 26, British
      Diane Martin, 41, British
      Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, American
      Lisa Martin, 13, American
      Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, American
      Anita Martin, 18, American
      Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, American
      Julliete Martinez, 30, American
      Crystal Martinez, 3, American
      Isaiah Martinez, 4, American
      Joseph Martinez, 8, American
      Abigail Martinez, 11, American
      Audrey Martinez, 13, American
      John-Mark McBean, 27, British
      Bernadette Monbelly, 31, British
      Rosemary Morrison, 29, British
      Melissa Morrison, 6, British
      Sonia Murray, 29, American
      Theresa Nobrega, 48, British
      James Riddle, 32, America
      Rebecca Saipaia, 24, Filipino[72]
      Steve Schneider, 43, American
      Judy Schneider, 41, American
      Mayanah Schneider, 2, American
      Clifford Sellors, 33, British
      Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35, American
      Floracita Sonobe, 34, Filipino
      Gregory Summers, 28, American
      Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17, Australian, pregnant
      Startle Summers, 1, American
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        Jan 10 2013: David Koresh was a fruitloop he had been caching and modifying weapons for a number of years, he had been involved in drug manufacturing and also been accused of assault all under the supposed protection of "religious freedom" That siege was 51 days if I had been in charge I wouldn't of waited that long and it was Koresh who ultimately started the fire and killed his own followers.

        Okay the Law Enforcement made mistakes gee guess what not everyone is perfect, problem is when Law enforcement get it wrong we are the worst thing since to happen since the black plague.

        At least when we do get it wrong we learn from our mistakes and try to make sure it never happens again.
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          Jan 10 2013: Since when is being a fruit loop a capital offense? Since when does it carry a death penalty? We saw his "arsenal" after the fire, not very impressive really. You have repeated lies in your comment, regarding the drug manufacturing and the assault charges. You forgot that he was also investigated for child molestation.
          Law enforcement "made mistakes" but "oh well' better luck next time.
          Let's apply your standard to the shooting in Newtown. I guess Mrs Lanza made a mistake. She should never have left those guns where her son could get them. Oh well, better luck next time.
          Isn't that what you just said? In Mrs Lanza's case, we only know that she allowed her son to murder on one occasion. In the case of the Lon Horiuchi, the FBI sniper, he murdered Vicky Weaver in Idaho, was given Federal immunity after he was indicted in Idaho, and he went on to murder again in WACO..and lie about it in the Senate Hearings.
          What a hypocritical stance. You wouldn't have waited 51 days? Well, it turns out that you are a pretty bloodthirsty package yourself.
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          Jan 10 2013: And Morgan,
          Law Enforcement doesn't learn from their mistakes. They lie, a lot. And they lied to the United States Senate on national television. And they destroyed the evidence from at least 7 cameras that were trained on their initial assault at Mount Carmel..and they learned that nothing will happen to them when they act like this.

          And they lied that Delta forces were deployed on the ground at WACO in violation of the Posse Comitatus.
          And at this time, all the Law Enforcement officers that are loyal to their oaths to support the Constitution are now an openly stated entity to be "watched" according to Homeland Security memos along with ex-military who also served this country.
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        Jan 10 2013: Until you have been in Law enforcement and have to work within the parameters we have to I advise you to get off your high horse.

        All that time given to allow Koresh or Howell or whatever he called himself to come and have a meaningful dialogue and sort out what the problem were.
        But he shot at the officers who were trying to serve a search warrant.
        As for the sniper I didn't know about him but if you are recruiting from the military you will get those who slip through the cracks even the military have wack jobs.

        There's an old saying in the Commonwealth Special Forces "Society can't use psychopaths but we can" problem is they have to go somewhere after.

        In my years in Law Enforcement I have watched the rights of the victim dwindle to the point that the Criminal has more rights and better looked after and supported than the victim.

        I have worked my butt off collecting evidence to make sure a perpetrator will be put away, but with overcrowding and more lenient sentencing these pricks are allowed back on the street to reoffend and usually do so or spend a minimum amount of time behind bars to be paroled far too early.

        Saying we don't learn and that we lie is massive insult to those of us who try to do the right thing and uphold values we believe in and to help the community.

        So slag us off all you want because you know what, when that crim or wack job breaks into your house or threatens your kids at their school. Who you gonna call cause it sure in hell won't be Ghost Busters,

        it will be 911 .
        • Jan 10 2013: "Who you gonna call cause it sure in hell won't be Ghost Busters, it will be 911 ."

          ... as if we have a choice in which security agency gets funded from our taxes.

          "Saying we don't learn and that we lie is massive insult to those of us who try to do the right thing"
          Yeah... you're so sensitive when the finger is pointed at you! Would you like me to show you evidence of cops getting away with excessive force? Their victims, usually the ones you call "perpetrator", don't live to talk about it.

          You readily take offense on behalf of the entire police force, all over the world. Do you apologize on behalf of the entire police force, just as readily?

          If not, I advise you to get off your high horse.
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          Jan 10 2013: I have personally disassembled 3 entirely rotten police departments. Rotten to the core, from having the Justice Department seize drug evidence that was kept, prepared in a desk to "drop" on their victims, to presenting lying witness accounts that could have put a completely innocent man behind bars for the rest of his life, camera footage of a police cars picking up meth for sale, shaking down kids that they knew had good weed, filming a cop jumping up and down repeatedly on a man's back with his knees saying "get on the ground". I was also present at some of the indictments and convictions.

          And you know who my main support was? good cops who were hemmed in by these scumbags. Some of the people I respect most are good cops. The same type that are now on HOMELAND SECURITY's list of people who should be watched.

          You can decide who you are, but if you want to defend the lying ATF & FBI agents involved in RUBY RIDGE and WACO, you have defined yourself for me
          Maybe you believe the old "thin blue line" myth, that if you were not there, we would all start beating each other over the head.
          Here is the real statistics:
          Most crimes go
          1 UNDETECTED
          2 UNREPORTED
          3 UNSOLVED

          I appreciate what law enforcement does. But the belief that you are "keeping us in tow" or that you are our moral teachers... that dog won't hunt. You certainly have a place in our current social structure, but don't imagine it is more than it really is.
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      Jan 9 2013: Rachel Sylvia, 12, American
      Hollywood Sylvia, 1, American
      Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18, American
      Serenity Jones, 4, American
      Chica Jones, 2, American
      Little One Jones, 2, American
      Neal Vaega, 38, New Zealander
      Margarida Vaega, 47, New Zealander
      Mark H. Wendell, 40, American

      When the perpetrators of these murders went unprosecuted, this became the reality of where the bar is set in atrocities that will be tolerated by the people of the United States. This became the standard of what the the American Federal government can get away with.

      What is being proposed is that the people at the bottom of the power heirarchy are disarmed..unilaterally. Nobody is proposing a disarmament across the board. In fact, local law enforcement is beefing up it's arsenals and training for urban warfare.

      Only a complete fool would take that deal.
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        Jan 10 2013:

        Looks like someone else was beefing up their arsenals and training for urban warfare as well
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          Jan 10 2013: You can read into the rather pathetic arsenal at WACO, whatever is expedient to you. What you can not demonstrate is Koresh's guilt in the things you stated he was..either guilty of assault or manufacturer of drugs. You just threw it in, like you all do, to up the ante and justify the massacre at the hands of Federal Agents, many innocent children.

          By the way, the Federal agencies involved in the massacre at WACO are not considered a trustworthy authority on anything that transpired either before or after. You may not be aware that in the Senate hearings, it was determined that the film from 7 LE cameras all disappeared, the film of the original assault on the front door of the compound. Since the right or wrong of any of the actions depend upon the LEGALITY of the initial assault, and since the assaulting party "disappeared" the camera footage of the action, those agencies are generally considered lacking any credibility regarding the same.

          What I mean is that nobody wants to hear any more of their lying mouths, they got away with it. That should be enough.
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          Jan 10 2013: Oh, I see, this is a list of weapons, not an account of these weapons being used in a massacre.
          I think that is the main difference. Not that someone had some weapons, but that a FEDERAL AGENCY used ordinance against innocent people because they had no respect for either life or due process.
    • Jan 9 2013: Kate,
      You seem to have a distorted view of the 2nd amendment in regards to what it represents.

      you stated: " there is definitely value in at least consideting whether the Constitution and the Second Amendment are up to task of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Americans"

      The Second Amendment does not ensure safety and well-being as that was not its intent… The Second Amendment GUARANTEES the inalienable, human right of self defense. It could be a bad guy with a gun, it could even be a tyrannical government with lots of guns; Regardless, as a human being, you have the right to defend your existence from those who wish to do you physical harm. No guarantees of safety and well-being stated or implied.
      • Jan 10 2013: Hi John
        Sorry you don't agree with my view, but that is your right as a human being. In any case, I don't accept yout patronizing tone. The Constitution and its various Amendments have both explicit and implicit meaning. You are interpreting explicit; I am interpreting implicit. And, to your "coreective" point, no written document can guarantee anything, particularly not anyone's "right" to defend themselves. If that were even remotely possible, there would be no murder in the U.S. And there would have been no 9/11.
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          Jan 10 2013: Kate, when you interpret something that says a "right shall not be infringed " as "you can infringe upon this right" it is actually called "anathema" or "180 degrees away" or "a complete contradiction"...
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        Jan 10 2013: The SECOND AMENDMENT is a right reserved to the electorate, the people, to an armed revolt. Make no mistake about it.

        You can not penetrate the psyche of those who take the flyspeck in history that American freedom occupies against the backdrop of enslavement that human history demonstrates. They seem to be intent on proving that those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.
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    Jan 8 2013: What is the realistic goal of repealing or amending the second amendment? No more violence? Human's who are mentally unstable enough to go on a shooting rampage WILL find an alternate means of accomplishing there goals, however horrific they may be. Do we ban every tool that could possibly be used to commit a violent act?

    If I drive by a house that is under construction, I don't ask myself what hammer or saw built it...I ask WHO built it.. A simple metaphor but it points out how illogical the gun control argument is at it's most fundamental level.
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    Jan 8 2013: Here is a video that refutes what Pedro loves to tout

    Pedro what about this video is bogus?
  • Jan 6 2013: Just a little question. Have you ever heard of a black market my friend? Making firearms illegal won't stop people from owning them. The right to bear arms is a right that has been around since the founding of our nation. People won't let such a law just happen. The people won't go down without a fight.
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    Jan 6 2013: Don't forget that this prohibition generation still loves their Tom Sawyer President Bill Clinton, even though he allowed the murder of all the residents of the WACO compound by ATF & FBI agents.

    If you are not familiar with what these love-niks can tolerate in the name of the status quo, you can see the Senate Hearings or the full story on youtube WACO-A NEW REVELATION.

    The Baby Boomer generation can't get enough of the Clintons.
    Nobody in the Federal Government was held criminally accountable for the deaths at the religious community.

    n the April 19, 1993 final assault, the Davidian dead included:
    Katherine Andrade, 24, American
    Chanel Andrade, 1, American
    Jennifer Andrade, 19, American
    George Bennett, 35, British
    Susan Benta, 31, British
    Mary Jean Borst, 49, American
    Pablo Cohen, 38, Israeli
    Abedowalo Davies, 30, British
    Shari Doyle, 18, American
    Beverly Elliot, 30, British
    Yvette Fagan, 32, British
    Doris Fagan, 51, British
    Lisa Marie Farris, 24, American
    Raymond Friesen, 76, Canadian
    Sandra Hardial, 27, British
    Zilla Henry, 55, British
    Vanessa Henry, 19, British
    Phillip Henry, 22, British
    Paulina Henry, 24, British
    Stephen Henry, 26, British
    Diana Henry, 28, British
    Novellette Hipsman, 36, Canadian
    Floyd Houtman, 61, American
    Sherri Jewell, 43, American
    David M. Jones, 38, American
    David Koresh, 33, American
    Rachel Koresh, 24, American
    Cyrus Koresh, 8, American
    Star Koresh, 6, American
    Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, American
    Jeffery Little, 32, American
    Nicole Gent Little, 24, Australian, pregnant
    Dayland Gent, 3, American
    Page Gent, 1, American
    Livingston Malcolm, 26, British
    Diane Martin, 41, British
    Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, American
    Lisa Martin, 13, American
    Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, American
    Anita Martin, 18, American
    Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, American
    Julliete Martinez, 30, American
    Crystal Martinez, 3, American
    Isaiah Martinez, 4, American
    Joseph Martinez, 8, American
    Abigail Martinez, 11, American
    Audrey Martinez, 13, American
    John-Mark McBean, 27, British
  • Jan 5 2013: The answer is NO. It's time for parents to begin monitoring their children's violent game and video content and stop allowing the neural pathways for reasoning from being destroyed because video games and TV make good babysitters or because mom and dad want to be "friends" with their children instead of being parents who teach discipline and responsibility - the really hard stuff.

    As far as guns go, consider Northern Ireland where guns are outlawed. It's one of the most violent places on earth.

    I would however like to see a requirement for anyone who wants to own a gun to go through the same training and certification I had to for my concealed handgun license. It still wouldn't stop school massacres and the other forms of violence coming to countries that allow violent video games, TV and movies to be viewed by children. You will begin to see IED's and such.

    It's weak to give up rights. It's much harder to do the right thing and raise responsible humans who are stewarded and nurtured by responsible parents..

    Pretty much anything by LtCol Dave Grossman is good reading material if you're really interested in what violent video games, TVs and movies do to our children. " On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace ." and "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society "
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      Jan 5 2013: Are you implying that it is the culture? The violence from Hollywood, the dereliction towards mental health in our communities? The lack of monitoring of the psych meds?
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    Jan 3 2013: I wonder if the same people who advocate the possession of guns for protection, have the same view of Iran’s desire to produce a nuclear arsenal to ‘protect’ themselves against other global superpowers? It is exactly the same argument.
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      Jan 4 2013: Not the same, very exaggerated ... I do see the point you are trying to make though. I wonder if the difference of death toll is the one that matters most.
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        Jan 4 2013: The death tolls do not matter to the victims. You are just as dead if you are shot down by a criminal or one of many to be incinerated by an atomic bomb. And the loss to the mourners left behind is no different.

        Often the best way to explore the true essence of a problem is to expand it to its largest and smallest extreme, and if it still holds true then it may be valid.
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          Jan 4 2013: What i am getting at is: Does it make it a different argument when considering the small amount of gun deaths with the intention of killing (not suicide, accidents, etc.) compared to dropping an atomic bomb intentionally, killing tens of thousands immediately and the same number overtime by radiation.

          In my mind an extreme would be if more than half the population was being gunned down a year.
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          Jan 4 2013: Are you suggesting waiting until half the population is gunned down before addressing the issue?
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    Jan 3 2013: On the subject of intent, it is ridiculous to bring death figures for various alternate means of death into this debate, as one million deaths caused by cancer, do not change the injustice of a single child shooting.

    If the argument is that because there are more deaths from other causes, guns should remain freely available, that is a ludicrous and unrelated hypothesis, as in that instance the government should ban ‘old age’ as this is surely the leading cause of death in the USA.

    It is obvious that people can make bad decisions that have adverse effects their health or even cause death, and a government should act to prevent companies from exploiting and encouraging these bad decisions. So in that regard, cigarettes are a bad choice that need to be considered. But GUNS are for KILLING and making a bad choice with one of those doesn’t just have an adverse effect on you, but instead focuses on causing maximum harm to others who are not able to choose whether or not to interact with the gun.
    • Jan 3 2013: So back to my question which no one has yet answered: What is the logic to support radical legislation that only could possibly impact a life every 22 days and does nothing to address the real issue of mental illness?
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        Jan 3 2013: Ivory Babble,
        Mental illness is not the topic of this discussion.

        The topic is:
        "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

        It would not be "radical legislation" to adopt a law banning assault weapons, which is what we had in place previously. The logic to support the change is that assault weapons are used to kill, and many of us would like to stop at least some of the killing.
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          Jan 3 2013: "Because many of you want to stop some of the killing". You honestly believe that is a good enough reason to take the choice of owning a semi-auto gun from people. A good enough reason to make a very important decision for another person? Why is it you know whats best for all those people?

          Is there no truth in "Be the change you want to see in the world"? To lead by example, not force.

          What do you feel about people who own these guns? Do you know any?
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        Jan 3 2013: Ivory Babble, You cannot look at a person and decide he/she is mentally ill. Why is it so difficult to understand a mentally challenged person is more dangerous when having a gun in his hand than empty handed?
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      Jan 3 2013: Yes, absolutely Gary! Stopping at least some of the killing is a VERY GOOD reason to adopt laws to work toward that goal.

      It is NOT a decision for "another person" is a decision for our whole community. I do not "know what is best for "all those people". I can only express my preference, and if there are enough other people who share the same preference, there will be regulation/laws that support our wishes as a majority.

      YES.....ABSOLUTELY....BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD".....well said Gary! YES.....LEAD BY EXAMPLE...NOT FORCE....well said Gary.

      Yes, I know many people who own guns....I've said that several times on this thread Gary. It doesn't seem that you read other people's comments, and that certainly would help with discussion:>)
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        Jan 4 2013: Colleen, we have a failure to communicate :) I understand your brother and father was a cop. I guess I didn't consider them in my question, though I wish you knew at least one person , a Regular Joe not law enforcement , that owned an assault rifle.

        Anyway, I get ya on the yes and the majority stance, all I that comes to mind and what I want Xavier to understand, is some communities have different realities.
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          Jan 4 2013: Yes Gary, I did address your question about knowing gun owners father and a brother were law enforcement officers, my five brothers and LOTS of friends are hunters, so they have lots of guns. I have friends who keep small pistols in their homes for protection. I used to shoot skeet, and was pretty good in the competitions....if I may say so:>)

          The only people I know who have used assault weapons are military friends and relatives....lots of them.....and they feel that assault weapons should NOT be in the hands of "regular Joe's". They are in favor of regulating assault weapons because most regular Joes do not have enough training and these weapons are used primarily for killing people. When they are available in our society, they can, of course often end up in the hands of people who want to harm/kill others.

          I also understand your concern about having your rights taken away. When a law is passed, however, it has to be accepted and passed by a majority, so it is passed by a group of people in our society...not one person taking away the rights of another person. We need to trust that the people we elect to represent us listen to the MAJORITY of their constituents, and act, based on what the majority wishes.
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          Jan 4 2013: Gary,
          This is in response to your comment to me which begins...

          "Because many of you want to stop some of the killing". You honestly believe that is a good enough reason to take the choice of owning a semi-auto gun from people."

          Yes Gary, I honestly believe that putting a stop to the killing is a good reason to ban assault weapons from the general public.

          "A good enough reason to make a very important decision for another person? Why is it you know whats best for all those people?"

          I personally do not know what is best "for all those people" Gary. I think it is important to look at the facts, and make the best decisions we can make as a society. I perceive the removal of assault weapons from our communities as "giving" rather than "taking". It may allow "giving" of more life.

          "Is there no truth in "Be the change you want to see in the world"? To lead by example, not force."

          Yes, in my humble perception, there is indeed truth in "Be the change you want to see in the world".
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    Jan 3 2013: From an outsiders perspective, as a British resident, I don’t understand how some of the people making comments in this feed do not make the link between gun availability in American and the number of gun related fatalities they have.

    In the UK, as with most developed countries, gun crime exists but is extremely rare, as criminals with intent to harm others must have connections, money, and persistence to obtain a firearm through illegal channels. This therefore means that it is next to impossible for a disgruntled employee or a bullied teenager to get hold of a gun, therefore limiting the means for them to take out a school or an office block.

    I personally find it reassuring to live in a country that I can go most places, safe in the knowledge that the likelihood of anyone I interact with having a weapon a minute possibility.

    I understand the passionate stance of those people who feel that the guns are a necessity for their protection against other gun owners, however the people who wield a weapon against an armed enemy are usually the first to die, as the old saying goes “if you live by the sword you die by the sword”.
    • Jan 3 2013: According to the Topic Police this is off topic. The Topic is not about guns in the UK. It is about the II amendment of the US constitution.
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        Jan 3 2013: America does not exist inside a vacuum, so when its government considers changes to the constitution it is ignorant and foolish not look to their neighbour’s successes to understand how they too can be successful in reducing firearm fatalities.

        In that regard, gun control in the UK is very relevant.
        • Jan 3 2013: Deviation from Topic when it is convenient for your argument but not for anyone else. I don't see the UK mentioned anywhere in the Topic.
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    Jan 3 2013: 'TODAY in the US there were an estimated 1700 deaths from Heart Disease, 1600 deaths from Cancer, and 1200 from Smoking, 112 suicides and 73 deaths from guns.'

    The discussion is not about heart disease or suicide or anything of this nature.
    Granted you could also argue that more people probably kill each other accidentally with household appliances, but the failure in logic to the argument with the appliance, cholesterol, cancer, a car, whatever kills more people etc etc,
    is that there is a staunch difference between accidents, inadvertant outcomes, long term unseen accumulative results...and using a weapon created for the sole purpose of shooting bullets into things that serves no other function than to do exactly that.

    Approximately 10,000 gun related homicides take place every year in America. Thats just one specific gun related scenario that led to the deaths of 120,000 people between 2000 and now.

    This isn't like getting diabetes, the intent and/or the capacity were present in all of such cases and almost none of those events would have escalated into homicide had not every random person out there had the ability to buy a gun almost anywhere, just because they wanted one, and carry it loaded everywhere they go.

    This is not something that applies to countries with a rational approach to the subject, I.E/ Every other developed country on earth, as usual..
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      Jan 3 2013: As usual the Mason Dixon line is emotion verses logic. Emotion is not very logical or useful.
      • Jan 3 2013: Even though both emotion and logic do exist, both must have a place. If one is not useful, the other cannot prevail because they draw on each others strengths.

        What do you think?
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          Jan 3 2013: I think what you say is true Madolena:>)
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          Jan 3 2013: Nope emotion has nothing to do with logic. by emotion I mean fear, anger, hate, antagonism.
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        Jan 3 2013: Hi Pat,
        Emotion: "the affective aspect of consciousness". Are you suggesting that our consciousness is not logical?

        I agree that fear, anger, hate and antagonism can be expressed emotionally. If, however, the definition is "the affective aspect of consciousness", which I found in the dictionary, wouldn't that include logic? Wouldn't that include everything that is an "effective aspect of consciousness"?
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      Jan 3 2013: Xavier and Pat,
      I agree that there are many causes for death and injury, and as you insightfully say Xavier, an important element is intent. I do not see anyone on this comment thread dismissing deaths from illnesses, disease or injury, and that is not the topic question. If a person chooses to smoke, comsume unhealthy food, etc., that is a choice a person makes for him/herself.

      When one buys and carries a gun there is a certain intent, and that intent is often to harm/kill other people, which makes the topic very different from dealing with health choices for oneself.

      I don't think a line has to be drawn between emotion and logic. I believe we can use both together to determine how to solve our challenges as a global community. If we get carried away with the emotion, and do not pay attention to logic, then I is not very useful.
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        Jan 3 2013: But I do
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          Jan 3 2013: You do draw a line? "Emotion verses logic"?
          That is a choice you make for yourself, and if it works well for you...carry on:>)
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        Jan 3 2013: Thank you for your permission. (8^(l)
  • Jan 3 2013: "And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place."

    That is silly...How about...

    And please no Words do not hurt people, People hurt people debates it was people who spoke in the first place.

    Or maybe...

    And please no Spoons do not kill people, Food kills people debates it was people that planted crops in the first place.

    Howz that for logic?...LOL.
    I know some of you touchy-feely folks don't like this but let's take an unemotional look at some numbers.

    TODAY in the US there were an estimated 1700 deaths from Heart Disease, 1600 deaths from Cancer, and 1200 from Smoking, 112 suicides and 73 deaths from guns. I assume the gun death number includes both good guys and bad. To my knowledge there were ZERO deaths from Mass Shootings today. In fact there have been only about 210 deaths from Mass Shootings in all of the last 13 years. That is less than 1 every 22 days. So based on this why are all you gun control advocates suddenly so moved to control ~80,000,000 Gun owners in the wake of the actions of a psychotic (drugged) person? You want to change the constitution based that? Please check your logic and see definition for "Misleading Vividness".

    Take a look at what most ALL the deaths have in common? FOOD AND DRUGS. If you want to amend the constitution add something that controls the crap people put in their bodies.

    Oh Damn...Am I off Topic again? Remind me what the Topic is again.
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      Jan 3 2013: Exactly!
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      Jan 3 2013: Dear Ivory Babble,
      Please check YOUR logic for "misleading vividness", as you say, and try to determine how the illnesses you mention are similar to death from being shot by another person.

      You are absolutely right.....many deaths do indeed have food and drugs in common. Food and/or drugs often cause death or illness in ourselves, if that is the choice we make for ourselves.

      When one uses drugs, AND guns are available, causing death of other people, a person is not only making a choice for him/herself, s/he is also taking the life of another person, and that may not be the choice the innocent person prefers. Do you see the difference?

      Of course death and illnesses caused by drugs and consuming certain foods needs to be addressed. On this comment thread, it is not the topic, and simply a distraction from the topic. I think you know what the topic is, and perhaps you prefer not to address it with logic:>)
  • Jan 2 2013: Jimmy, It seems you dismiss mine and others analogies but consistently draw off topic comparisons yourself. Is this a privilege only granted to the Translator?
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    Jan 2 2013: Everybody buys guns to defend themselves but later on they not only kill themselves but also others with same gun they bought. I have never heard a news in the media that a gun has saved a life but it has always killed.

    My apologies if my thought is not what is requested in the question.
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      Jan 2 2013: Fact is that guns provide no defense. Only a reactionary offence. It's a tool designed for one function, to make something dead, not to prevent death. Target practice is practice to make something dead. If you use a gun incorrectly, something doesn't die. No analogy can be used in accidental gun deaths when defending a gun because it's the only tool with a single function to kill stuff...

      That being said, I enjoy hunting mule dear and elk in the Rocky Mountains and know how important hunting is to some states.
      • Jan 2 2013: From where I'm standing, guns have two uses: defense and offense. Guns can sometimes serve either function without a single shot being fired.
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          Jan 2 2013: John,
          A good offense is a good defense? A good defense is a good offense? How does that happen without a single shot being fired? Are you suggesting that simply having the guns stops the use of the guns?

          I suggest that if there are two people carrying guns, facing each other in offense/defense positions, each will try to get the first shot. Could that be what Jesse is talking about with "reactionary offence"?
      • Jan 2 2013: @Colleen:
        Joe could rob a store by threatening with an unloaded gun. That is considered an attack. If Bob, the shop owner, in trying to protect himself, shoots Joe dead, Bob is neither legally nor morally considered a perpetrator.

        Mary could be carrying a holstered gun in plain view, when walking home late at night. The gun may be unloaded, but potential attackers would hesitate to mess with her. It is quite like the way many countries use nuclear weapons as defense. No one plans to fire them, but the potential attacker knows that if they use it, the entire world will obliterate them.
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          Jan 2 2013: Hi John,
          That scenario would create a good argument in court in favor of the store owner. The shop owner has no way of knowing if the gun is loaded or not. The perp is threatening because of trying to rob the store AND brandishing a gun...not knowning if it is loaded or not would be an excellent defense for the store owner, and I believe there is indeed enough cause to consider the perp still a perp!

          I agree with you that some countries may use the threat of advanced weapons to try to hold other countries at bay:>)
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      Jan 2 2013: Rafi, Jesse,

      I'm so glad to have you guys here!
    • Jan 2 2013: @Rafi Amin:
      You're from Afghanistan, right? Don't you have a problem with tribal warlords? Don't you think that if the civilized men and women started to take their own defense seriously, the warlords would think twice about attacking? Don't you think your government is clearly ineffective in keeping innocents safe?
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        Jan 2 2013: Providing weapons to the people of an unregulated state would only create more warlords... Just take a quick look at Africa.
        • Jan 2 2013: Where in Africa do you mean specifically? I know a few cases where the government armed people to fight wars on its behalf. Is that what you meant?

          I can say, for sure, that if I were in one of those areas, I'd arm myself to the teeth. With bombs, rocket launchers, and what not.
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        Jan 3 2013: @John Frum,

        In my country people were given guns to defend themselves from Soviets & it was accomplished, but later on they started to kill themselves and thousands of others which now everybody call them warlords.

        Now in your country(i assume USA) who has invaded that you are giving guns to defend.

        Defense from 100 yard away neighbor ?
        • Jan 3 2013: I guess the Soviets, the Americans and the Afghans themselves must all share the blame for the broken-down society that Afghanistan has now become. If I were in such a society, I would surely have all kinds of weapons. Even the girls in India are realizing that they have to take their own security seriously, because the officials certainly don't. At least the recent, highly-publicized tragedy there is teaching them that.

          I'm neither in the US, nor am I from the US. I'm in Europe, but my own personal history is far too complicated to write here. Let's just say that I don't associate myself with any country. But coming to your point, I don't carry weapons of any sort. The police here are quite effective in keeping crime levels very low. I've been in this town for 5 years now. The locality that I lived in when I was a student was so safe that no one bothered to lock the front door, even when no one was in the house. Not everyone among my acquaintances have been that fortunate. Two of them have been robbed when walking in an isolated area. And then there was a case of a young man who tried several times to molest women, late in the night, in an isolated area. The offices in that area increased surveillance significantly during that period, and the young man got caught. If I were a woman, and had to work until late at night, I would have definitely carried a weapon with me, during that period.

          "Defense from 100 yard away neighbor ?"
          The police here are good, but they can't be everywhere. There are always dysfunctional people now and then.
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      Jan 3 2013: Rafi

      You are NEVER going to hear that a gun saved a life. But absolutely did by virtue of the incident that did not occur. A number that by probability would dwarf the incidents that caused harm
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    Jan 2 2013: This is a well articulated explanation of the second amendment:
    • Jan 2 2013: You're being sarcastic I hope.

      She talks about rights being taken away. I see more rights being recognized in the last few decades and can't think of a single one that has been taken away.
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      Jan 2 2013: It may be well articulated to you, but is it well argued?
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        Jan 2 2013: Yeah, thats why I posted it. ... what I believe the best and the hardest concept to accept of america I hold is the freedom. I have my choices and I live with the choices of others around me, if I agree or not. I do not presume to know what is good for someone else. I do not fool myself into believing I understand the full breadth of culture and circumstances of people across 50 states. United we stand, does not say to me I shall dictate to you what I think is best. It says to me I will accept what you are about and be responsible for myself and loved ones.
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          Jan 2 2013: Well, that's very nice and loving of you.
          But what I see is gun-propaganda. (And I mean all that I say in all well-meaning, it might be hard to understand but it's true.)
          When you say that you're not going to dictate how anyone should live, you're also saying that things should remain the way they are. That means that you ARE dictating consistency and you wish others to live in a nation where (just about) everyone carries a gun. You ARE dictating that it's best if things are left untouched. And you're also closing the discussion with that statement, making those who wish to debate it morally inferior because "They're trying to tell you how to live"

          I can see that you love your country very much but don't let it be like teenage love and say that it's all good, that it has no faults and nothing needs improving.
          Gun Control is one of those things that IS damaging your country, it breeds fear and hate. And it's harming the rest of the world when you let that fear spill over your borders.
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        Jan 2 2013: It is freedom of choice propaganda.

        Also, Japan, Switzerland, any other country has a different culture than us. What works there does not necessarily work here. It is always easy to be on the outside looking in and say there is the problem.
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          Jan 2 2013: Cultures can be (and are always) changed. I have the same critical view on my own country...
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          Jan 3 2013: Jimmy

          The real point as indicated by Gary is that your culture is the proverbial frog in boiling water that has acquiesced so much for comfort that you don't realize it, not that the U.S. is above that sort of thing as witnessed by the last 3 presidents and their spending. It IS damaging your country, you just don't see it.
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          Jan 3 2013: no they don't. there is no such thing as culture of freedom and culture of bondage. only some are ahead of the curve, and some lags behind. japan lags behind in this issue. europe went sideways after two devastating wars. and the US is now going down into the abyss of socialism. happens. but the goal is the same for all human beings, regardless of location, language, history or culture. we all need to stop aggression, suppression and coercion in the name of sacred things.
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          Jan 3 2013: I see many of the errors of my country, I'm also probably, as you say blind to some of them.
          Btw, did you know that the proverbial frog is somewhat of a myth, it really only worked when you removed the brains of the frogs...
          Was Pats' statement what you wanted to say Gary?


          "the abyss of socialism" - Really? I don't see it that way, have you read up on the matter? If you haven't perhaps you should start with this Wiki
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        Jan 3 2013: Jimmy

        Absolute common sense and extremely well argued
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      Jan 3 2013: Gary

      She is great she gets it.
  • Jan 1 2013: Just for the record, I am completely against having armed guards in all our schools, or even any of them, even in the inner cities. This sends the wrong message. We are already a far too-violent society, so what we need is not only less guns (fund some sort of redemption program to bring in the ones already out there), but far less violent movies, ban all violent video games where kids sit and practice how to blow people away, and fund a lot more mental health programs for teens in schools and mental health clinics or institutions.
    Most of all, our leaders have to stop hating Muslims and firing drone missiles which scatter the body parts of Pakistani children all over their compounds... the leaders must lead the way to peace. Start talking with the "enemy" like that graphic designer in Israel who Facebooked a design of him and his daughter reading "I (heart) Iran, we would never bomb you"... when we realize the "enemy" is a human being like ourselves who loves his/her children and parents, etc... then we can curb violence. Switzerland has a higher per-capita rate of gun ownership, but no mass shootings, because they have a society that has traditionally valued non-violence, pacifism, and neutrality in all armed conflicts. We have to become such a society, valuing "Love your enemy" more than we treasure guns. After all, is your pride in gun ownership anyway even close to as important, as vital, as heart-wrenching, as a parent's pride and love for his/her child?
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      Jan 1 2013: Sometimes it is necessary to state the obvious. I have to agree with you on everything except I do think it is necessary to have solid security in the schools, if that means an armend guard, so be it. And if people want to give their guns up, I have no problem with that.
      However, kicking in a new layer of prohibitions, executed by the government, (the single largest armed entity in the nation), sends a bad message also.

      I love that you used the words "Brotherly Love". These words used to be the benchmark and need to be again. Tolerance, by it's very definition assigns someone to the position of the "tolerant one" and another to the "one to be tolerated". Sort of like agreeing to sit next to someone and wearing a clothespin on your nose.
      Immanuel Kant quoted Fredrick the Great as saying that he hoped he would never find himself so arrogant as to call himself tolerant of any man.
      Most of us are not going to ever criminally assault anyone, whether with guns or other weapons. We need to model our society after the majority of the people and not create laws that relegate everyone to the level of a potential man-killer.
      Thank you for your post, it is encouraging.
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    Dec 31 2012: I wish the people on this forum would have the same passion and put forth the same energy to demand a ban on homelessness, poverty, discrimination, homophobia, rape, pollution, domestic violence, ... ... These only affect millions of people. Oh well, we shall try to ban semi automatic guns and save no one, and royally screw countless people over and tell them that they are not responsible or smart enough to own a gun, to make that decision for themselves and it is too dangerous because someone may get a hold of it and kill somebody.

    Leave the second amendment alone. Stay out of other peoples business if your only desire is to tell them what is good for them and have no intention of listening to what they have to say.
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      Dec 31 2012: Hi Gary,

      We do pay way more attention to "homelessness, poverty, discrimination, homophobia, rape, pollution, domestic violence" perhaps you're biased and only looking for the things that scare you (e.g. not having weapons)?

      Now, I understand that the second amendment is all over everything in the States right now, but when this calms down you'll be able to hear all the others scream for help if you just listen.
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        Dec 31 2012: You speak for everyone Jimmy? ... ...

        I am not scared of losing semi-automatic guns, I do not own and do not plan to own one. The closest thing I have to fear in this discussion is desire, to keep people thinking and realize the gross negligence of the facts and an inability to sympathize with the both sides. Decisions being made for me , even by a majority, is something I do not take lightly. For a group of people to have the illusion they know whats best for another group of people based on media coverage and a Google search does not scare me, it peeves me off.

        " I do not think semi-auto guns are necessary" and "I do not understand why people think they need them" arguments combined with the tragic school and theater shootings is not showing me where it is necessary to take these weapons from responsible gun owners. It is not showing me how lives will be saved. Most importantly, it does not show how anyone has the right to make that choice for another.

        It seems people opposed to semi-auto gun ownership want to lay a guilt trip down along the lines of, "after 20 children were gunned down you still will not turn in your gun? Are you that selfish and cold?". That is BS. These people shall not be held accountable for the actions of a few others. I'm not into that good suffer for the bad shtick.
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      Dec 31 2012: Gary,
      You address your statement to "the people on this forum"...
      Your statement:
      "I wish the people on this forum would have the same passion and put forth the same energy to demand a ban on homelessness, poverty, discrimination, homophobia, rape, pollution..."

      Why does it surprise you that Jimmy begins his statement with "we"? Several of us have already stated that we care about your other concerns just as much, and that is not the topic of this discussion.

      I totally agree with you Gary.... it is important to "realize the gross negligence of the facts", and that piece of the puzzle needs to start with you Gary.

      You criticize, moan, groan and complain that "people on this forum" are not giving you information, when, in fact, several people including me, have given you quite a bit of information, which you choose to ignore. Do you simply want to continue to rant and rave with inaccurate information, anger and frustration? Or do you want to have a meaningful, productive conversation?
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        Dec 31 2012: Read my comments. I have laid it all out there; all my reasons for debating this issue.

        You and other people do not want semi-automatic guns to be legal. Some people do want them to be legal. To each his own is where I'm at on this.
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          Dec 31 2012: I've read your comments very carefully Gary, and responded with accurate substantiated information.

          I agree......we each have different preferences, and I respect your choice.
  • Dec 30 2012: I do not believe we need to repeal or amend the second amendment. We just need rational guns laws and a stop to the NRA's misguided influence on our country. Military semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity clips and armor-piercing bullets should not be sold to civilians.

    This is my opinion and I respect the opinions of others.
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      Dec 31 2012: What would you say to people who believe that they have the right to be armed with weapons that can be used in a military capacity? against enemies foreign or domestic?
      • Dec 31 2012: It is my opinion that protecting innocent civilians is more important than continuing to think we can maintain armed militias around the country.
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          Dec 31 2012: The goal of protecting innocent civilians and keeping your arms, are not mutually exclusive.
          I actually am aguing more for my rights than I am for guns. I wish we could take all the weapons and beat them into ploughshares, but I don't like the idea that only the people at the bottom rung of the hierarchy are being asked to disarm themselves, while the law enforcement is arming themselves for urban warfare at an alarming rate and nobody seems to be holding them in check. I live in a rural area, and our Sheriffs and Muni police are receiving free, military style vehicles and ordinance from the Feds. There hasn't ever been anything that resembles a riot in this region, forever.
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    Dec 30 2012: Here is a real life situation, that the media chose to ignore, where undetermined lives were saved by someone carrying a handgun to a public place. Despite the ignorance on this subject the stories indicate how peace is achieved through strength.

    Here are some more:
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      Dec 31 2012: We could all share links to just about anything. doing so here on TED without a statement is just something that takes up space...
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        Dec 31 2012: Please don't resort to ad hominem.

        My point is that it is a human right to protect yourself as indicated by the framers of the Constitution.
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          Dec 31 2012: Hey Pat,
          For what it's worth, I don't perceive Jimmy's statement to be a personal attack. I was not sure what your message was with that link either. So, it DOES help to have a statement along with the link....don't you think?
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          Jan 1 2013: Neither did I perceive it as ad homniem, I was merely saying that just a link doesn't say anything to the people that aren't willing to click it, which most aren't if it lacks a description...
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        Dec 31 2012: Colleen

        Duly noted.
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    Dec 30 2012: I could not agree more. And I'm serious when I say, If only the rest of the country could be more like Vermont. . .
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      Dec 30 2012: Thanks....I'm generally pleased with our legislation, environmental laws, concern for people and our rights, etc. Most of our legislators are down to earth, reasonable, responsible people who genuinely listen to their constituents. Perhaps it is our small size which helps facilitate this? Perhaps it is the fact that there are not too many places for our representatives to hide!!! LOL:>)
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      Dec 30 2012: I think you have inadvertently hit close to the root of the problem, Phillip. It would be idyllic if the rest of the country could be modeled after Vermont. I don't mean because it is 98% white or predominantly female. I am also fairly certain that if you checked, Vermont will have a higher than average college education level. But the factor I am referring to is the density of population being the 2nd least populous., It is hard to overestimate the value that those conditions have on the quality of the collective conversation.
      Unfortunately, there is nothing afoot in the current plan that will move more of the population into those types of living arrangements. Land use laws all over the country now work towards coralling the population into the cities & in the same voice reject the wise stewardship model tarring it with the label "urban sprawl". I know, I live in a state where over 80% of the land is held by a public agency.
      If we had the Vermont model, it would be idyllic to sit down & discuss all the post-industrial revolution, non-intentional, effects that we live with & address all the de-humanization that has occurred & decide how we would like to undo it. In the meantime, it is unfortunate that to some citizens, (myself not included, I live a semi-pastoral life) their situation has already become dire. Most of the population lives in cities, which encourages a rat-like mentality. If you find a way to inject honest Vermont reasonability into the conversation, starting at the top..our legislators, let me know.

      Would you entertain the idea that it is unjust to start at the bottom simply because you can require the mass of people to surrender their gun/rights, while you may have no tools with which to require the wealthy & powerful to conform to the same level of civility? The kids will still be medicated, the mentally ill will still go untreated & killed by law enforcement at a rate 4 times greater than other perps. Where is the wholistic conversation?
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        Dec 30 2012: Vermont is "predominantly female"? 50.8% female, 49.2% male....looks pretty close to me!

        Land use laws in Vermont encourage high density, AND anyone is free to buy land and build OUTSIDE the high density areas.....just like in other states. No one is "coralling" anyone Marianne.
        I am on the regional planning commission and regional project review committee. We see people ALL the time making these choices.

        Marianne, I know lots of people who live in cities, by choice, and they DO NOT have a "rat-like". mentality.

        If you genuinely want to have a "wholistic conversation" Marianne, you need to contribute to that kind of conversation.
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          Dec 30 2012: Colleen,
          I think you are missing my point. The density alone in Vermont makes it an ideal situation for quality living. I also live in a low density, higher education enviorment and I thank providence every day for that, seeing as I am not wealthy enough to buy myself out of the city if I found myself there.
          I have also been involved in land use planning and the national trend, which is reflected in the Smart Planning agenda, definitely does have goals to keep the population in urban areas and to resist allowing any more land to become populated.
          These people who you know in cities and live there by choice, are they living in the blighted areas of Akron or Detroit?

          Even your capital city, is the least populated capital in the US.

          It has been largely recognized that "over crowding" is considered a detriment to humane living conditions.

          How does it detract from a wholistic conversation to introduce these accepted realities into the conversation?

          When you have a shooting in a pastoral community, the community reacts with horror that their world is shattered. But the rest of the year, a city like Akron will have 27 murders and call it normal. In Akron you can expect 209 violent crimes per square mile in one year. In Montpelier you had 34 crimes per square mile & zero murders in 2012. Don't you think most people would chose the Montpelier model if they could? And don't you think that if you want to dictate standards for everyone...that it would be good to reflect a moment on how some of your fellow American's live?
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        Dec 30 2012: Marianne,
        This topic discussion is:
        "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

        This discussion IS NOT about land use.
        It is NOT about who lives in cities and/or who does not
        It is NOT about "rat-like mentality".

        You ask..."How does it detract from a wholistic conversation to introduce these accepted realities into the conversation?"

        What you are indroducing over and over again on this comment thread are NOT "accepted realities". They are apparently YOUR realities, and often not even close to reality.

        ANYONE AND EVERYONE reacts to a shooting with horror Marianne...whether in a "pastoral community" or not. The death of children and innocent adults gets the same reaction EVERYWHERE.

        I am very aware of how, many of my fellow Americans fear. That is why I am in favor of banning assault weapons.
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          Dec 30 2012: Colleen,
          I can't imagine one participant would want to arbitrarily decide what anyone else wants to bring to the discussion. It is an "accepted reality" that overcrowding diminishes the quality of life.

          The discussion does include prevalent land use trends, because they are congruent with all other aspects of how people live and what leads up to violence. The discussion does include these issues because I have chosen to bring them up and I am part of the discussion

          You state the death of innocent children gets the same attention everywhere, I know people, personally involved in the murder of inner city black children, that would take issue with that statement.

          As for the trend towards making less and less land available for people to live on, it is a stated goal of all Smart Growth policies which have become the model in every state. This is common knowledge to anyone involved in planning issues.

          I am sorry that you do not recognize that overcrowding in blighted innercities contributes to the murder statistics, but it is part of the conversation because these people do not want to relinquish their gun rights to an ideal that they can not realize: a world where they are not threatened by criminals (with guns).

          Wiki excerpt on Smart Growth, emphasis on the last sentence on how the inventory of developable land is systematically reduced by current land use policies.

          " The most widely used tool for achieving smart growth is the local zoning law. Through zoning, new development can be restricted to specific areas, and additional density incentives can be offered for brownfield and greyfield land. ....
          Related to zoning ordinances, an Urban Growth Boundary is a tool that several U.S. cities now use to contain high density development to certain areas. Some believe that UGBs contributed to the escalation of housing prices from 2000 to 2006, as they limited the supply of developable land"
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          Dec 30 2012: I take it all back, Colleen, let's adopt Vermont's gun laws and add Vermont Constitution's interpretation to the 2nd Amendment.
          WIKI EXCERPT from Vermont Gun Law article
          Vermont has very few gun control laws. Gun dealers are required to keep a record of all handgun sales. It is illegal to carry a gun on school property or in a courthouse.

          State law preempts local governments from regulating the possession, ownership, transfer, carrying, registration or licensing of firearms.[1]
          The term "Vermont Carry" is widely used by gun rights advocates to refer to allowing citizens to carry a firearm concealed or openly without any sort of permit requirement, however this term is being replaced by the term "Constitutional Carry". Vermont law does not distinguish between residents and non-residents of the state; both have the same right to carry while in Vermont.
          The Vermont Constitution of 1777, dating well before the Bill of Rights to a time when Vermont was an independent republic, guarantees certain freedoms and rights to the citizens: "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."[2]
      • Comment deleted

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          Dec 30 2012: I withdrew my earlier comment because you are determined not to entertain a wholistic conversation about violence and the factors that contribute to it. It is easier to imagine you can treat the nation like small children and simply take away one of the symptoms of the problem and not addres the underlying problems.
          Do you deny that overcrowded living conditions are widely recognized as detrimental to humane living conditions? Is this the statement you wish to take issue with?
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    Dec 30 2012: I think it is fair to say that the decision to place restrictions on assault weapons isn't just arbitrary -- it is based on the fact that a schoolroom of children, a theater full of people, and a college campus, were all assaulted by people with those weapons. Combine those recent events with the fact that the U.S., which has the loosest gun laws in the industrialized world, leads the industrialized world in gun death -- and by a great margin. And I don't think that enacting any restrictions on assault weapons will be an easy excercise. So . . . to my mind it goes far beyond feelings about their being "unnecessary." What we're seeing is that many American now believe that assault weapons represent a considerable threat to themselves and their loved ones, which I do not see as arbitrary. As for interpreting the Second Amendment (what it might mean) -- what else do we have? Interpreting the constitution (what it might mean) is what our legal system is based on.
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      Dec 30 2012: No Philip, it is not at all you insightfully point is based on events and behaviors that are threatening to humans. Unfortunately, some folks get their knickers in a knot and address the issue from fear, rather than from an informed, reasonable intent to reach a balance.
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        Dec 30 2012: Is that what drove Vermont to have some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation? Fear?
        Or are Vermont's laws the result of thoughtful, balanced, respectful, informed opinions that took in the issue of rights as well as safety, and rejected authoritarian options?

        What is the nature of the people who rely on regulation and can't take the time to make the deeper changes that are needed?

        Is it fear or just lazy-ness?

        Is it fear that you can't or don't have time to build a more civil society, so you just take the old authoritarian stance and hope it goes unchallenged?
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          Dec 31 2012: Marianne,
          I believe Vermont's gun laws are the result of thoughtful, balanced, respectful, informed decisions, and it appears that our legislators are going to revisit this issue when they are back in session. I believe that is how we can all "build a more civil society".
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        Dec 31 2012: Colleen, I said the ideas were uninformed and ignorant (as in unaware, not stupid), which in my opinion the comments prove. I did not call anyone ignorant. I did say self centered, I stand by that. I ask you to step out of Virginia and step into the shoes of the people you intend to take away from. I ask that of everyone including myself.

        As far as RPM is concerned, forget Google ... In order to have 12,000 rpm a gun would have to shoot 200 bullets per second. Do you think a gun can do that out of one barrel and be something you could carry around, let alone conceal?
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          Dec 31 2012: Gary,
          For clarity, here is your comment.

          "Gary Taylor
          1 day ago: Dearest Mette,
          The anti gun crowd refuses to dig deeper into the issues behind these tragedies, they ignore the facts of gun ownership and how many people are responsible, they are self centered and only interested in satisfying their own uninformed and ignorant ideas without considering the huge number of capable gun owners and their wants."

          You ask me to step into other people's shoes? I've mentioned, on this thread, that I have lots of friends and relatives who are hunters, and have many guns, my father and a brother were law enforcement officers, and carried guns, friends keep small pistols for protection in their homes, I used to shoot skeet. I am familier with some guns, and have had them around me my whole life. I have no problem with guns that are used responsibly. That is not what we are talking about. Assault weapons are designed to kill people, and it is irresponsible for those guns to be freely circulating in our communities. I realize you disagree with this concept, and I respect your cjhoice. I do not agree with your choice. So, take your own advice, stop being disrespectful, and step into other people's shoes to at least try to understand something different than you think you know.
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          Dec 31 2012: Gary,

          Regarding your question:
          "In order to have 12,000 rpm a gun would have to shoot 200 bullets per second. Do you think a gun can do that out of one barrel and be something you could carry around, let alone conceal?"

          Yes, it appears so. Here are a couple references. With a little research, you may learn that some machine pistols fire at a rate of 900-12,000 RPM. Pretty amazing huh? It always helps to have factual information when speaking about anything my friend. That may help change your practice of calling people ignorant and uninformed?

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    Dec 30 2012: Of course, I think it's horrible that shooting rampages are the suicide-bomb equivalents in the US. But, I actually do see the sense in the 2nd Amendment standing, as is. The US is still a relatively new country founded on personal liberty. The historical significance of this Amendment is more than just a quaint old figurative oddity. I'm sure it still means a lot to many law-abiding, license-carrying, totally sensible, non-murderers.

    The issue is Education. This Amendment, in particular, deals with something exacted for death, that many aren't taught how to properly handle or the full consequences of using--so, to have the issue of guns so prominent in US citizens' lives and in public debate, yet not actively teach about it (i.e. its numbers in the neighborhood; safe storage; potential faultiness of owners; what it means to shoot to kill; Do we really need one?), is why the Right to Bear Arms too often is, instead, a ridiculous, scary, senseless spate of totally preventable deaths.

    All the non-murderers who uphold this original Right need to reclaim its rightful significance through Education. A gun-free USA will only happen when everyone willingly chooses not to own one through critical thinking. Same with a USA that no longer has senseless shootings, but responsible gun ownership.
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      Dec 30 2012: Hi Genevieve,
      If, as you suggest, the issue is education, the opportunity exists within the public school system to provide this education. Great idea, no excuse for not understanding the do's and don'ts of gun ownership.

      I also concur with you that the 2nd Amendment is more than just a quaint oddity. The point of the Amendment flies over many heads as does the concept of making the right to bear arms, outside the scope of state censorship.
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    Dec 30 2012: Thank you, Colleen. And I agree with your point. My feeling is that we don't need to amend. I believe it's about interpretation. If we had five justices who interpreted the Amendment with an emphasis on the premise -- well regulated militia, etc. -- then it seems to me that we could feel fairly free to say, We have the right to regulate firearms, and we give you the right to defend yourselves and to hunt and to keep guns in your home and to register them as you do your cars ("well regulated") but you don't have the right to own a weapon that can kill 30 people in seven seconds. . . . I think that this is a point that Warren Burger arrived at . . . and he was appointed by a Republican. . . so his point can't be THAT antithetical to conservatives, right? . . .
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      Dec 30 2012: Right Philip.....I's about interpretation. As I said in another comment....I don't recall anything being repealed or amended when the ban on assault weapons was adopted before. The constitution also allows for states to regulate gun ownership, transport and sale to a certain extent, which is why each state has different regulations. Our legislators in Vermont, are talking about revisiting gun regulations as one of the first things on their agenda when they are back in session in January, and our regulations are already on the strict side compared with some other states. We have LOTS of gun owners in Vt. (hunters), and I have not heard anything from these folks being afraid that their guns will be taken away from them. The ones I talk with are in favor of control and regulation of assault weapons. The people I know who keep small pistols for defense in their homes are in favor of regulating assault weapons as well. I believe it is about finding a balance? People have a right to "bear arms", and I do not perceive anyone trying to take that right away. Assault weapons are for killing people.....why would anyone want to fight to own them?
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    Dec 30 2012: The studies are inconclusive because a number of factors were not cited such as population growth mainly through immigration. Nothing has really changed in the legal side of things it is the illegal that spiralled but still is no where near as bad as yours. The majority of homicides in this country are within certain ethnic communities and mainly among themselves. ( not including domestics from all sides)

    We also have disputes between bikie gang's, and of course we have that section of stupid young males who follow American gangsta culture and think they are invincible.

    At least our young idiots don't blow their own heads off in drive -bys because they put their mac 10 on full auto and fired it out of a car window not realising what the recoil is like firing that many rounds a cycle because it's to hard to get a hold of
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    Dec 29 2012: Two things are of interest to me in your message: As mentioned, the Second Amendment makes very clear that it is talking about the use of arms for military purposes -- hence the "well-regulated militia." I mentioned in my previous comment that firearms advocates, when discussing the Amendment rarely bring that up -- and it is absent in your comment as well. I would be interested to hear your response to that. About that Fourth Amendment, it has always struck me that it is dealing with the protection of the indvidual against governmental intrusion . "To be secure" does not necessarily mean that the individual has the right to take any specific action. If its focus was on the absolute right of the individual to protect his property, why doesn't it also mention a right to bear arms as a means to prevent that intrusion? So, it seems to me that the Amendment spells out restrictions on government, not rights of individual to "secure" anything. These are honest questions, and there is ample room for honest debate, but these points you make are not "self-evident" or absolute, at least not in the way that I read them. If they were, Warren Burger would not have labeled as "fraud" the assertion that the Second Amendment gives the right of the individual to bear arms.
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      Dec 29 2012: The use of arms for military purpose, would, I believe, naturally align with the fact that throughout history, government has been the perpetrator of mass murder on a scale unequaled.

      The argument made here, continually, by gun prohibitionists, is that the threat of mass murder by our government is totally abated, the reason for the people to be armed is outdated.

      I think that if we are looking for context,and I agree that the text must have context, we have to take into consideration that we look at 200+ years of the American experiment and imagine that what we have enjoyed is the norm. The framers had a context that came from the first 5000+ of human history.

      Text reads:
      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      The text resolves the need that is identified in the first clause, by prohibiting infringements upon the people themselvs from possessing and keeping their weapons, in the second clause. The Militia is one entity, the people is a different entity. They seem to be acting as a repository for the weapons, a living armory.

      For the government to regulate this entity, (a Militia of armed people), relegates them to a division of the State, which would be anathema. Otherwise, we could suppose that the National Guards would fulfill the will of the text, which no one suggests.
      That is my understanding of the text.
      The reason I emphasize this paradigm shift, is that the idea we are granted these rights by the Government defies the principle that the only power is to lie in the electorate.

      The text creates the construct of an armed electorate.

      Currently there is a wide suspicion that the Government is turned a corner & putting in place constructs that will allow itself to perpetuate itself, in defiance of the people, if they so choose to re-establish control.
      The current interpretation of the text allows armament parity between state & the pe
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    Dec 29 2012: Thank you Faisel,
    We are finally talking. I am all in on anything that raises men up.
    But top down legislation more often plays a sinister role in. It can not be denied that the biggest mass murderers have been Governments.
    Imagine we are at a table, discussing our issues as a human family. .The Conversation of Civil Men.
    Only civilized men & women are allowed to offer an opinion. OUR responsibilty is to vet who contributes to that conversation.
    We are attempting to advance justice. There are voices that are absolutely verboten at that table, and it goes without saying that those who propose killing people are not allowed. Maybe we want to discuss mass murder, as we do now. Maybe gun control or food./

    So let me state now. that there are people sitting at the table who advocate POPULATION REDUCTION, I have given you one example. For one man of that persuasion to sit at the table, he represents wider support as indicated by the very fact that he was not drummed out of the corps when he made his statements.

    I have isolated this one example of the shifting paradigms because it is not just anathema to what Americans understand to be part of a civil society, it is anathema to what most of the world thinks is part of a civil society.
    Some other examples could be found in the writings of Ezekiel Emmanuel on Bio-ethics.

    These factors are indicator species as to whether or not the coversation of civilized men is becoming more civil or more barbaric.In my view, the fact that a Philip Carvhalo can suggest populaton REDUCTION and not be fired from his post, indicates a degradation in our values. When upper echelon teachers can openly espouse the killing off of humans, and unless you know another means of reducing the human population, that is exactly what he espouses, you can not depend upon the advancement of the civil society at this point.

    It is folly to offer uni-lateral disarment of the people on the lowest rung while would be man-killers are given umbrage.
  • Dec 29 2012: Amending the Constitution is a complicated & unwieldy process, & there's no way that Congress or the requisite number of states (75%, if I remember correctly) would go along with what you propose. We've had an assault weapons ban in the past, & I could see that coming back if it happens quickly (say, before March 1st), but the NRA would certainly do everything they could to block that as well. During the early part of this decade, there were some rumblings about filing some public-health-based lawsuits against gun manufacturers in order to recoup some of the public costs resulting from the use of guns in crimes (I think these were loosely modeled on the lawsuits against the tobacco companies in the 1990s), but the NRA had enough clout during the George W Bush administration to have a law passed that basically immunized them against this kind of action.

    The Sandy Hook massacre offers a brief window of opportunity for a few incremental improvements in our national gun policy. It seems to me that we might be able to re-institute the assault weapons ban & maybe ban semi-automatic weapons as well, & also that we might be able to get rid of the 30-round ammo clips & get all ammunition labeled so that we can trace a used bullet back to the purchaser. This doesn't really amount to much, but it may be all we're capable of accomplishing in the current political environment. The US Congress is dominated by big money & as dysfunctional as it's ever been, & the average state legislature is even worse, so I'm not optimistic.

    The gun question in the US is complicated by different assumptions & concerns that are dictated by whether one lives in the city, the suburbs, or the country & by the fact that many Americans still hunt. I have no problem with hunting, & I have no problem with individuals who feel they need to own a handgun or a shotgun or a rifle. I don't see any legitimate reason why an individual private citizen would need an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.
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    Dec 29 2012: You people think it is a joke to need guns for self defense. Am I right to assume these commenters live in safe areas? ...I do not think a hunting rifle is the right gun for a home invasion and you cannot rely on the police.

    ... I own a single shot 12 gauge, thats it. Thats my choice. It is not mine or any of your place to make that choice for other people.
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      Dec 29 2012: Obamas kids go to a school that is protected by armed guards.

      Michael Moore's armed guards were jacked at the airport.

      Obama was also asked about his daughters growing up:

      On his show, David Letterman remarked on how grown-up Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, looked at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this month.

      “Does that kill you?” Letterman asked.

      “It worries me, but they’re surrounded by men with guns,” Obama replied.

      It is your choice, you are right, your right is not to be diminished by these people.
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      Dec 29 2012: Hi Gary

      I live in a part of south London where there is a lot of crime, but never to the extend where I would feel the need to own a gun. I'm not blind to the fact that if I lived in your area I would feel different. But I would also start asking the question of why my society was so unsafe, when clearly there are other countries in the world that do not have these problems.
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        Dec 29 2012: Now you are hitting the point Faisel.

        Add to that list of questions, why, since the conclusions of the studies showed that school security was one solution, why money wasn't made avaialble to enhance school security everywhere in the US?

        American's have a lot of very dark realities about themselves that they need to face and they shouldn't be allowed to use gun ownership as a scapegoat.
        One look at the multi-billion dollar cultural cesspool that is produced by Hollywood answers about 90% of the questions. If the adage is true "you are what you eat", how much more so is it true that what you consume in the form of ideas also changes you. Hollywood panders to the most prurient interests and intrigues of men, and the American public can't get enough of it. They allow their children to watch serial horror films.

        One of the most popular trends now among young people is Criminal Forensic Science. I guess we are aiming for a generation of ghouls. The garbage that is aimed directly at the inner city black community is enough to throw your television in the street.

        I have boycotted television for over 30 years and recommend it to any mother raising children.

        Mentally ill have a 4 times higher rate of being killed by law enforcement than your average perp.

        And the list goes on. They should not be allowed to cry more crocodile tears over these poor children, point their fingers at guns and then go back to their own dereliction and continue to ignore the more substantive problems.
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        Dec 30 2012: Dearest Mette,

        ... Why should we turn in our guns and trust certain police(?) with the exclusive right to bear arms? If someone were to break into your house, armed, are you comfortable with hoping you will not be killed? When do these certain police come? After you are raped or robbed, and possibly killed? If you are willing to take that chance, that is fine and it is your decision. Why is it not ok for others to make that decision for themselves? Why is that your decision too?

        The anti gun crowd refuses to dig deeper into the issues behind these tragedies, they ignore the facts of gun ownership and how many people are responsible, they are self centered and only interested in satisfying their own uninformed and ignorant ideas without considering the huge number of capable gun owners and their wants.

        Also, this IS the United States we are not Canada, Australia, Africa We Are The United States. Our culture and clash of cultures is unique to us. Thank you.
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          Dec 30 2012: Gary,
          You don't help your cause at all by calling those who disagree with you "the anti gun crowd", "self centered", "uninformed" and "ignorant.".

          I have not observed any "anti gun" people in this discussion at all, nor have I observed any self centered, uninformed or ignorant people in this discussion. If you want people to consider your concerns, it might be helpful to drop the name calling.
    • Dec 29 2012: Self defense is a very subjective consideration for owning a firearm. What one person justifiably believes is necessary, another may feel it is not. Neither is wrong really.

      It's a judgement call based on an individuals life experience.

      I live in Toronto, about 1000 yards from the scene of a gang shootout at a neighborhood BBQ this past summer where 22 people were shot, 2 fatally. I also spent a good part of my adolescence in some of the worst neighborhoods in this city. Before that we lived in Belfast during the 'troubles'.

      Maybe our family has a different perspective on things or we're used to it. I don't know what the reason is but neither myself or any member of my family has had a gun and to be honest I don't think it's ever been discussed.

      My Brother in Law on the other hand has several guns. He grew up in a quiet bedroom community in Suburbia and I don't believe he's ever lived where crime was a concern. Today they live in a well to do community where petty vandalism is major news. He has 3 daughters though and says he worries about protecting them. That's fair enough by me if that's what he thinks he needs.

      Here's where his argument get's dodgy though. One of his guns is a handgun that he uses at a firing range for target shooting. Handguns here are very restricted so his is a rare commodity. What bothers me with his argument is that he brings it out from time to time in the presence of house guests. Many of those are teenage boys at the local high school.

      So the question is - If he was so intent on protecting his girls, why then does every kid at that high school and many more further afield now know that he has a handgun + several rifles at his house. Hasn't he made his house a target for thieves and increased the risk of harm to his family?

      I would have to question whether there are baser instincts driving his his need to have so many weapons at home.
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      Dec 29 2012: Gary,
      I don't think it is a joke to have a gun for self defense. I know people who keep a gun for that reason.....small pistals.....not assault weapons that shoot 12,000 -15,000 RPM. Having a gun for protection is a choice many people make.

      I live in an area where hunting is very popular, and many people feed their families with the game they hunt and shoot. I have several brothers and lots of friends who are hunters. Although I could never shoot an animal, I do eat the venison and rabbit that is generously given to me. I also am familier with guns because I used to shoot skeet for sport.

      I believe that as a society it IS our choice to decide what kinds of guns are circulating. I do not believe it is reasonable for average citizens to own assault weapons for which the ONLY use is killing people. They are not good for hunting game....nobody wants meat filled with ammo. They are not necessarily good for defending our the speak.....unless you're expecting an army to invade your home, as has been foolishly and fearfully mentioned on this comment thread.

      You are absolutely right Gary....hunting rifles are not generally used for home invasions, and very few intentional killings are done with sport rifles.

      The ONLY use for assault weapons is killing people, and for that reason, I am against them being available in the general population.
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        Dec 30 2012: Colleen,

        Fully automatic guns have been banned since 1934. No gun fires 12,000 rounds per minute. The mini gun holds the record at 6,000 rpm and you can't just hold it in your hand, it has multiple barrels.

        ... By "our choice" you mean you and people who agree with you.

        ... How do you know an assault weapon is overkill for protection?

        ... the only use for assault weapons is not killing. Its used for protection too, different than just killing. Also for sport. I'd like to add that if people knew you were armed with such a weapon, it can be used as a deterrent, you probably will not have to use it.

        ... As i stated before I do not carry a gun and the only gun I own is single shot. That is my choice though. I respect the choice of others and ask people on this forum to do the same. No one on this forum has any suggestions except ban assault weapons or guns completely and psychiatric evaluations(?). Weak. Someone please make a good argument as to how taking away assault weapons will save lives and why this is our only option.

        ... I have to reply to your question for me below, here: As far as assault weapons are concerned I can understand why people would want them, same as I understand why people do not want them. There are extremists on both sides of the argument. I am for choice, yours, mine and everyone's. I do not feel there is a dire need to ban assault weapons and take that choice away from people on the pro side of this debate.

        ... ... I know if Adam Lanza didn't have access to that gun he "may not" have killed as many people. There was more to that story than gun nut shoots up school. It was a series of bad decisions.
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          Dec 30 2012: Gary,
          Regarding RPM and automatic guns:
          You might want to do some research on that my friend. The information you provide is not accurate.

          Regarding: "Our choice"
          My statement is clear..."I believe that as a society it IS our choice to decide what kinds of guns are circulating". Our choice as a society. And that, of course, was in response to your statement..."It is not mine or any of your place to make that choice for other people." Society has the right to make the rules, just as they did when our society was formed. If you read the constitution, you may discover that it allows for "regulation" of guns, which I believe is how and why the previous ban on assault guns was adopted without repealing or amending anything.

          I totally respect your choice and the choice of others Gary, and my preference is that assault guns be banned again from use in the general population in the USA, because the only use for assault weapons, is for killing people.

          This discussion topic is : "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?" That is the focus of this discussion.

          Of course underlying issues need to be addressed as well, and "psychiatric evaluations" are not the topic of this particular discussion.

          I agree with you Gary...there are extremists on both sides, and the best possible end result is to find a balance. I also agree that there were many factors and decisions which led to the recent shooting. One very important factor with this shooting, and shootings of many innocent people in the past, is the availability of guns.
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    Dec 28 2012: I don't want to state the obvious, but it was reported that the the Chinese Communist government media Xinhua called for Americans to be disarmed, which would put a lot of Americans in the same boat.

    However in a much more important arena, it is now acceptable in the United States to posit that population control "might not be enough" to fix things on the planet. And forgive me if I sound patronizing, but can I take you through an exercise once proposed by George Orwell in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language" ?

    What I would like you to do is put this statement by Professor Philip Carfaro into simple terms "“Ending human population growth is almost certainly a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for preventing catastrophic global climate change. Indeed, significantly reducing current human numbers (emphasis added) may be necessary in order to do so.” And tell me if Carfaro's premise bears more resemblance to what most American's believe that it does to what the Chinese Communist practiced?

    Since it is currently an acceptable idea being thrown out by University (of Colorado in this case) professors of good standing that America needs to embark on "population reduction" ( and please note the subtle change from population control to population reduction) that might be one more reason that it is unwise to disarm the people.

    Some of us, actually consider the suggestion that we need to adopt "population reduction policies" a red flag.
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      Dec 29 2012: Hi Marianne

      If I have come across as mocking anyone, I do apologise. It has not been my intention, and I do sometimes get caught up in the debate and in moments lose sight of why we are debating.

      Nevertheless, I have really been trying to understand your point of view.

      Many people speak of reduction of population growth. The best way to do this is to lift people out of poverty. There is a TED talk by Hans Rosling that shows this correlation very convincing.

      How you can make the connection between reduction of population growth and gun control is beyond my comprehension. If anything the current gun laws accommodate your view of population reduction.

      I am sorry but your arguments seems to me to be based on irrational fears.
  • Dec 28 2012: Marianne:
    Please don't take this the wrong way, however, I am not nearly as naive as you say. You don't know me except through this filter of language. Perhaps we can dialogue someday about the use of language through the perspective of Chomsky or Zizek.

    I am in fact well read (including the classics that you imply), and I do understand the phrase, which has its etymology, I believe, in Greek culture and was famously used, to my recollection, by various people, for different reasons, during our lifetime, including Frank Zappa and Gerald Ford.

    I think Zappa had it right.

    The way you use words does not belie your world view, which seems to me to be radically conservative - that is, an outlier.

    Our society is neither at the place, as Matt writes, in which "we'd all like to believe that we live in a world where non-violence perpetually solves any and everything", nor are we at another point of the multi-dimensional spectrum, at a place in which you describe, "Are we so vacuous that we need to raise a generation of people, who need to have all sharp objects kept out their reach?"

    You write correctly that the average person is not aware of the facts behind "The rule of law". You write incorrectly about their thinking ability, "That being the case, it makes sense to resist this same mob from "deciding" it's time to take your gun." By making those two statements next to each other you actually contradict yourself, do you not?

    ".... arming for urban warfare" is also a radical statement.

    Additionally, you elide my original point: no one is out to take away your guns. My point was that the Constitution does not need to be amended or repealed but re-interpreted to become valid and representative of the majority view of those in our society.

    When persons carry it makes me think that I need to carry in order to protect myself. You are forcing your world view upon my freedom to live my life gun free. Your minority view is dominating the majority view.
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      Dec 28 2012: What you have demonstrated is that you can parse someone else's words and try to pigeonhole them, which is not really advancing the cause of communiciating with each other. In fact, I often marvel at how well my neighbors converse and share ideas even though they hold to political ideas that, on the surface, are 180 degrees from each other. However, since they both embrace their own posistion because they honestly believe that is the route to follow to get to the same goal ie "what is best for everyone"..they can talk to each other and rarely remain crystalized in an artificial construct such as "radical statement".
      If mentioning "urban warfare' is a radical much more radical is the FACT that LE trains continually that occupation? I recently had to advocate against the local sheriff taking control of a deserted fish hatchery that was being offered by the Department of Fish and Game. A local school district had also put in a bid to receive it and convert it to an Outdoor Education program when the County made a bid to train for "Urban Warfare". Cool, huh? So, sorry, my picture of things is pretty well rounded in light of what happens in front of my eyes.
      But I digress. The reason that we do not have a pure democracy, but a democratic republic is because a minority view needs to be protected against a majority rule that infringes upon inherent rights. The Bill of Rights delineates rights that are not subject to other people's attitudes or opinions.
      It is the very notion that one man or many men, can possess the authority to diminish another man's rights. That is the issue. If one man does not possess the right to take your club, which you carry with you in a peaceful manner, away from you, can many men banding together, generate a lawful right to do so? Aren't you just using force in a different manner?
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      Dec 28 2012: yoncalla, the outlier..Rudyard Kipling..I can live with that.
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    Dec 28 2012: It seems like a lot of the commentors disagree with Adam Lanza's use of firearms, but they are willing to die for his right to bear one.
    • Dec 28 2012: Adam Lanza's right to firearms? I'm not advocating that at all! Adam Lanza had mental issues, and he would be considered a minor in some countries. I am advocating the rights of people who have been trained with proper usage and storage of firearms, à la Switzerland. His mom, Nancy Lanza, the one who owned the guns Adam used, would flunk that criterion.
  • Dec 28 2012: Unfortunately, most people haven't read much about why the second amendment was created. Our founding fathers made it so that the people had a chance to fight against a corrupt government! Answer me this: If all guns are banned from the common people, and the government has stripped us of our rights, and we are being killed in the streets, what are we supposed to do? Peacefully protest? What happens when the military rolls in and kills all the peaceful protesters? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! You end up with a mound of corpses and a load of useless brass casings. Change the scenario a little... The 200 protesters were armed. They have a chance to fight back and possibly defend themselves from being taken advantage of by their own government! Banning or severely limiting guns is not the answer. And seriously, that guy who said banning ammunition? Are you stupid? Criminals in a shooting use around 3.7 bullets average. Not a lot... When I go to the range, I may shoot anywhere between 300 - 400 rounds in one sitting! By upping the cost of ammo who are you actually hurting? The criminal or the law-abiding citizen?
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      Dec 28 2012: Hi Nate

      I am very surprised at how poor the people who do not wish to restrict gun laws in any away are at arguing their case.

      This is a debate; you might get exposed to viewpoints you disagree with. You use arguments to plead your case. "Are you stupid?" is not an argument.

      Corrupt government can be fought through elections.

      Do you really think that if you don't have guns your government will start genocide on its population? Why do elect these people? If you look around the world you'll see that it is possible to have a stable society whithout bearing arms.

      Your founding fathers also owned slaves. They were fallible.

      I keep hearing about fighting corrupt government. Yes, that's what Timothy McVeigh did.
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        Dec 28 2012: Good points Faisel,
        I will add...our founding fathers had hundreds of slaves AT THE SAME TIME they were crafting and signing the document which said all men will be free and equal! With all due respect to SOME of our founding fathers, they realized their contradiction, hypocracy and inconsistancy AFTER signing the document, and a couple of them freed their slaves at that time.

        To say that our founding fathers had it all "right", is not a very good argument. Times change, our world changes, and it's a good idea to re-visit some of our old laws, which may have been based on accepted ideas at that time.
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          Dec 28 2012: Maybe we should also revisit the time before America where we can easily ascertain that for the bulk of men's history, the majority of the human race lived in one or another form of slavery.
          And that because of the American experiment in government, more people on earth today live with a modicum of human rights than at any time in human history. We should also, if we are going to measure the worth of a government system by it's advancement of human rights, that the blow struck to human slavery by the American and British outlawing that practice in the Western Hemisphere is probably unequaled in all human history and by that standard, we should probably take a deeper look at all the precepts that went into the making of the system and not decide that because their hair styles look outdated, that we can do a quick fix on a system that has spurred monumental changes in the way the powerful have had to regard the rest of humanity.
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          Dec 28 2012: The "times change" argument doesn't hold water when you are taking a right away from someone. What is next the need to remove a need for a warrant to do surveillance? Oh wait, that has already occurred with FISA. Or how about the ability for the government to take down any website they do not like, which would be violating the first amendment? Oh wait, the DOJ and HomeSec is already doing that. Or the right to a Jury of your peers? Oh wait, indefinite detention. Then there is that whole water boarding - torture thing. I forget, which right does that violate?

          I could go on through all of the rights and how the government is violating each of them. But you get the picture. Slowly but surely, the US government is eroding and removing all of our constitutional rights. This has to stop, and be reversed.
      • Dec 28 2012: "Corrupt government can be fought through elections."

        I don't know how you could say such a thing, when we have such a massive amount of evidence to the contrary. Look at all the east European, Asian, African and South American democracies. Elections are not the answer to ANY political problem. Voting is only good when, for example, friends want to decide where to go for dinner.

        Nate should not have used the word "stupid", because that never helps discussions. But the rest of his argument was sound. In what way did you find his argument poor?
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          Dec 28 2012: Hi John

          Corrupt government CAN be fought through elections. This doesn't mean that elections automatically abolish corrupt governments.

          Would you normally compare American democracy with Ukraine or Zimbabwe? If not, why are you doing it here? It is misleading and shows your selective use of data. You are shooting yourself in the foot.

          From what you are saying I understand you believe in gun rights, but not democracy. I don't really know what to say to that.

          Hypothetical scenarios of the American military commiting genocide on its own population is a poor argument. It does however give an insight in the paranoia that seems to go hand in hand with owning a gun.
      • Dec 28 2012: "Corrupt government CAN be fought through elections."
        Show me some examples.

        "This doesn't mean that elections automatically abolish corrupt governments."
        Do you think voters in all the regions I mentioned do not really care about corruption? Is that why all those countries are still corrupt?

        To compare American democracy with Ukraine or Zimbabwe, the US set a precedent with the bill of rights. The bill of rights was used as a guide for creating many of its laws. Most other countries, including Ukraine and Zimbabwe begin with something that sounds like they recognize the rights of men, but then water it down with exceptions later on. Most laws are then created on an ad hoc basis, with no regard at all to the rights of men.

        Democracy is a colossal waste of time, resources, and everything. I don't like huge countries. I like many smaller countries, governed in whichever way they please, and individuals "voting" with their feet. People believe in democracy, just the way gambling addicts believe, that their NEXT play will fix all their previous disasters.

        American government committing genocide on its own population may be hypothetical, but governments committing genocide on their own populations is not.

        I believe in individual rights. I believe that as long as I am not interfering in the lives of others, others should not interfere with my life. Given this, don't you think people should be "allowed" to own guns, for whatever reasons, as long as they are not harming people (who leave them alone) or even risking harm? Don't you think some people would want to keep guns to make sure that other people do not hurt them or rob them?
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi John

          I believe democracy is the best system we have at the moment, but I have not come across any government that I support. That however does not make me reject the democratic project. I have confidence in humanity and think we will get better at it administrating it.

          Regardless of where the inspiration for the Zimbabwean and Ukrainian constitutions came from, is this really the countries you want to compare yourself to? Why not look at the western European countries who have managed to build relatively peaceful societies without firearms?

          You don't believe that elections can change anything, but is guns really the way to change government?

          I too believe in personal freedom. For instance I believe that drugs should be legalised and I don't see why a person isn't allowed to marry someone of the same gender.

          The principal of personal freedom is your strongest argument in my opinion and I can understand it to a certain degree – and I think this is where the debate lies. Personally I just don't think this is worth 10,000 deaths a year.

          In the political environment of polarisation that exist in your country and after engaging in this debate, I would suggest a removal of all gun restrictions as an experiment. If it turns out to move the society in a positive direction, as many believe, everyone wins. If the opposite turns out to be true a valuable lesson has been learned and action can be taken with the support of a large majority.
      • Dec 28 2012: Boy, I sure wish I was this naive about government. I could put my head under the sand once again and wear a big dumb smile for the rest of my days!
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Matt

          This is also a response to the comment “Boy, I wish I was this naive...”

          You are not doing anyone a favour by portraying people you disagree with as naive and with a “dumb smile”.

          I am not naive about government, but I think we can all agree that it is here to stay. I fail to see how inherent mistrust and firearms is going to change the nature of government. In order to fight the negative aspects of government I believe the way forward is arm one self with information.

          Frankly I think there are bigger problems in the world than the 10,000 Americans who die annually in gun related crimes. What I do see as a big problem however, is the polarisation of the American society, where none of the parties are willing to listen, have a dialogue or compromise. To me it's an indication of a future of an increasingly unstable USA. And that, I think, is a problem for the whole world.
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        Dec 28 2012: Faisel,
        You have been exposed to very well argued positions here. You avoid any points that can't be easily refuted and you also resorted to mocking, quite early on, as I recall.
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        Dec 28 2012: Our founding fathers, also crafted a system of government that has resulted in the greatest advancements in human rights that can be honestly plotted on the timeline of human history.
        If we want to measure governments by their advancement of human rights, you would not be able to find anything that has had such sweeping reforms as the outlawing of slavery by first the British and then America, in the Western Hemisphere.
        I have to make that note, in the Western Hemisphere, because many American's naively assume that the outlawing of human slavery became the standard in the world, but that is not true.
        So Faisel, since you have exposed the failings of "our" founding fathers, did you want to put your chips on the table here and show us a better way?
      • Dec 28 2012: I know I am not very well versed at arguing my case, I'm 14.
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          Dec 28 2012: You are doing fine. Unvarnished truth has it's own special place in any discussion.
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Nate

          I don't think I was capable of engaging in a debate of this kind when I was your age. Kudos to you, my friend.

          However, what Marianne fails to tell you is that you do not hold the truth – and neither do I. This is why we debate.

          Calling people stupid does not bring anyone closer to an understanding nor does it solve any problems that your country is facing – on the contrary the polarisation of your country I think is a bigger challenge to solve than gun related crime.

          The key to a healthy debate is to listen to your opponents. In the heat of the debate I sometimes fail to do that as well, and I apologise for that.

          The fact that KKK was in favour of gun control for African Americans does not say anything qualitative about gun control. It is guilt by association.

      • Dec 28 2012: I also forgot to mention that gun control was rooted in slavery... If we go back to the times of the KKK they were gun control promoters, but that was only because gun laws applied to black people. They would ram law after law through congress until African Americans couldn't own guns. Then what do they do? They go robbing and killing all the African Americans they can find with an almost guaranteed chance that the person is not armed.
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        Dec 28 2012: David Fuchs,
        Sorry I cannot get this closer to your comment I am responding to, which begins:
        "The times change argument doesn't hold water when you are taking a right away from someone."

        I am not taking a right away from anyone. If you notice, my comment says...
        "Times change, our world changes, and it's a good idea to re-visit some of our old laws, which may have been based on accepted ideas at that time."

        I said revisit. One of the problems, is that some folks don't even want to consider "revisiting" this issue, because they feel right away that his/her rights are being taken away. I am not afraid of losing my rights, so I do not mind "revisiting", re-evaluating, re-structuring our laws to respect all people's rights.
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        Dec 29 2012: I'm appalled at the poor arguments made to take away guns or certain types of guns from the citizens.
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          Dec 29 2012: Hi Gary

          What do you suggest as a way to accommodate the large group of Americans who feel that 10,000 deaths a year is too high a price to pay for the right to bear arms?

          It is apparent that it is possible to build a free, democratic society without guns.
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          Dec 29 2012: Gary,
          What is your argument in favor of keeping assault weapons circulating in our communities?
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          Dec 31 2012: Gary,
          What is your argument in favor of keeping assault weapons circulating in our communities?
      • Dec 29 2012: Hi Faisel,
        "Why not look at the western European countries who have managed to build relatively peaceful societies without firearms?"
        That is exactly what I am looking at. In some of these countries, it is easier to buy firearms *IF* one has a license. In Switzerland, for example, practically everyone has a gun. Gun related crime rates are very low. I believe that the only factor that contributes to this is the stringent training that everyone receives. This is what I am advocating -- neither free access to everyone, nor strict prohibitions for everyone.

        "You don't believe that elections can change anything, but is guns really the way to change government?"
        No. Guns change governments only during revolutions. If the same old government remains, the person who used firearms against it will always be tried under existing laws, for murder, treason, etc. However, guns sometimes act as a deterrent or as a defense weapon when the police cannot get to the scene in time.

        "I would suggest a removal of all gun restrictions as an experiment."
        But this is not what I am advocating either. Some morons in Afghanistan love to shoot their AK47s at the sky, as a part of wedding celebrations. The bullets land in populated areas and kill innocent people, far away. Nancy Lanza was another such moron whose irresponsibility cost lives. All I'm advocating is training and licensing, just the way one gets a permit to drive on public roads. Without that, I believe we would have untrained drivers periodically mowing down pedestrians. Once we have a license to drive, we get to buy as many cars as we want, we get to drive as much as we want, etc.
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          Dec 30 2012: Hi John

          So you agree on some sort of gun restriction. Then you must also acknowledge that these restrictions are debatable. And then you can't argue that more restrictions are a violation of your rights.
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      Dec 28 2012: Dear Nate,

      When they propose that they can "get around" the intention of the 2nd Amendment by taking away the ammunition you are seeing the real mindset that they represent. They do not feel that they have to win the issue by presenting a morally persuasive set of ideas or deal with fundamental principles of law, if they can find a way to get their way by enforcement. These people who argue like this, are the very reason that we should not agree to diminish any right we possess. The very idea that they possess the authority to diminish your rights flies in the face of the Bill of Rights.
      • Dec 28 2012: I don't know who you are but I like you already.
  • Dec 28 2012: "More Guns, Less Crime" John R Lott Jr. Read it...
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    Dec 27 2012: "Among the details to emerge in the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school massacre was the possibility that the gunman had some form of autism.

    Adam Lanza, 20, had a personality disorder or autism, his brother reportedly told police. Former classmates described him as socially awkward, friendless and painfully shy.

    While those are all traits of autism, a propensity for premeditated violence is not. Several experts said that at most, autism would have played a tangential role in the mass shooting -- if Lanza had it at all.",0,4319311.story

    "In a rare and now controversial investigation, scientists have been asked by Connecticut's medical examiner to study Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza's DNA — but the DNA community doesn't think that's such a good idea.
    It’s a shot in the dark that’s unlikely to show anything. If they find something associated with autism, I’m afraid that it might have the effect of stigmatizing autistic people. I can see a whole morass coming out of this."
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      Dec 28 2012: In all the furor towards gun ownership, the real culprits in these scenarios, will again, get a pass and continue along until the next time.
      Why are they so hellbent on "mainstreaming" these children who have displayed these symptoms? Any reasonable person can easily imagine how dynamically the idea that "you do not fit in here" and "you are defective" is reinforced every day when these children are placed in our public schools. How is it possible that this student was allowed to slither along the walls, day after day, during his tenure in this school?
  • Dec 27 2012: I did not mean to pose my response as an insult to you. I apologize. I read your point and will concede that I vehemently disagree with everything you said and that any debate at this point would really be pointless. We don't all have to agree with what our constitution says that's the beauty of our constitution.
  • Dec 27 2012: My conclusion is a comparison to the first amendment and particularly the portion of it which protects freedom of religion. Re-read my point and you will find it is quite clear for people that have a very basic understanding of the constitution.

    There is already restrictions on weapons and the state keeps infringing on these rights even though the second amendment specifically says this is unlawful. I am not sure why compromise is mentioned when it comes to our rights. We don't compromise on the freedom of speech do we? Why should people be able to pick and choose which amendment can be compromised? Our rights are in the constitution and if you want them changed then you must change the constitution, very simple, no compromise.
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    Dec 26 2012: I could get along just fine without a 2nd Amendment. Its time passed long ago.
  • Dec 26 2012: This pretty much sums it up:

    Also, people may want guns as self defense and while that may not change there is no reason an individual requires automatic weapons for self defense. Yet automatic weapons can cause much more damage when crazy individuals get a hold of them. So at very least, there needs to a ban on what kinds of guns people can obtain.
    • Dec 26 2012: I think the extent at which firearms are needed stops at hunting rifles.
    • Dec 27 2012: Your argument extremely collapses instantly because fully automatic weapons have been illegal for the citizenry to own since around 1936. As far as SEMI-automatic weapons I would like to hear your argument. Be sure to google the difference before posting so we can have an intelligent debate.
      • Dec 27 2012: An unnecessary insult. My stance on semi automatic weapons is the same as automatic and every other gun that has more than the minimum power to kill a man. Same goes for the amount of ammo in a weapon which should be minimal. A gun's best use as a self defense mechanism is to scare away any intruder. Once bullets have started to fly both parties are put into more danger than before anything started.

        I am against all guns however, for realism sake and considering it would be impossible to enforce a complete ban, if people feel they need a weapon for self defense a basic pistol/revolver is more than powerful enough for this use.
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          Dec 27 2012: Just curious to know if your position on firearms extends to the type of guns that law enforcement is allowed to possess and use? They don't do a lot of deer hunting, and their ordinance is for killing humans. Also, what is your stance on police use of tasers?
  • Dec 26 2012: no
  • Dec 24 2012: No, and hopefully it never will be.

    I'd like to know why citizens have such an unrelenting or blind trust in their government. With the passage of the NDAA and the relatively recent admittance that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was fabricated, it seems the paranoia is not only warranted but necessary. If things did continue to spiral downward and all the talk about the wealthy being in complete control of you and your life was true, what would stop them from coercing or controlling you? They make laws, you obey them or you go to prison. Turtledove wrote a story that is interesting in this regard, which I believe was titled, "The Last Article." The wikipedia will serve to summarize it, Because we'd all like to believe that we live in a world where non-violence perpetually solves any and everything, but I don't believe we're even remotely close to that ultimate destination. It seems to me that we're light years from obtaining it.
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      Dec 24 2012: If the government is relying on non-violence, why are they arming for urban warfare against a population, which is largely law abiding? There is a good reason why the government schools don't teach history.
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        Dec 25 2012: Because it has been allowed to get so out of hand that the bad guys have better weapons than Law enforcement agencies and has been shown thee is no telling which way thing will roll.

        A Law Enforcement Officer lives with constant fear of "if I go to work today will I come home tonight"
        you talk of mental health issues have a thought for those "Government Officials who are there to protect you if you need them and what they have to go through mentally everyday"

        We do not go to work thinking oh goody I might get to shoot some-one to day we go into try and help and gets harder and harder each day.
        You see we don't only have to go and try and stop the crims we have to fight bureaucracy (budget cuts don't only mean a decrease in the number of law enforcement officers on the street , it also means that those that are left have to deal with the aftermath that it causes such as cuts in the mental health budget) as much as you do.

        When you go to protests who is there to make sure when you are speaking you are kept safe.

        Remember that next time you speak at an open meeting and there is law enforcement officials there.
        • Dec 26 2012: That's a bit like the fences of the interment camps isn't it? If the machine gun nests are there to protect us, why are they pointing in instead of outward?
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          Dec 27 2012: What has "gotten out of hand"? Americans are by and large a law abiding people.

          Are we so vacuous that we need to raise a generation of people, who need to have all sharp objects kept out their reach?
      • Dec 27 2012: Hi Marianne. I am not sure why some of your replies are available for comment and some are not, but there seems to be some common threads that run throughout your posts.

        You sound very angry about an intractable government that is bent on depriving us of our rights to pursue individual happiness as long as it doesn't hurt others, and the responsibility to promote our general welfare.

        You mention the NDAA (I don't understand why you write about a govt' of men rather than law - sounds like a talking point), martial law (forgetting that Lincoln used it without authorization but, while seeming satisfied that it is some type of safeguard you also seem doubtful about the government's ability to control its military). You mention "dues process" instead of habeas corpus, and there is no mention of "enemy combatants, whether they are foreign or domestic. I don't understand why I interpret you as replying as if you are unintentionally agreeing with some points being made.

        Our government is not a Tyrany and is not likely to become one because we, as an eclectic society, live in an information age. If something, such as our grid being knocked out, or some other similar catastrophic act takes place, our government as it is, our society, and our cultures become vulnerable. Then it might be time to think about the viability of owning guns as the 2nd Amendment is currently, and I believe incorrectly, interpreted by the Court. By that time, however, TED will not matter and we are back to the stone age anyway. Relax a little about our government's insipid acts. They don't seem to be able to do much to help about anything anyway. Large blocks of citizenry, however, can do something about gun ownership and ensuring safety for others NOW because the momentum is there. And it will happen.
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          Dec 27 2012: Hi Todd,
          You sound very naive Todd. That you don't understand the concept of a "Government of Man vs A Government of Laws" it may be that the gap between our understandings can not be
          breached. We don't use language the same way.
          Sadly, too many people who have been educated in the American Public School System were taught a "pop" version of history and were never provided a reading list that included John Locke or other great minds who wrangled with the brutal. unvarnished realities of history.
          Just a short catch up...
          1. For the majority of history, most men have lived in a form of slavery to stronger men.
          2. The freedom that American's & other Western nations have enjoyed is a fly speck in history and was brought about by the implementation of certain principles.
          3. The actions of the United States & Britain, to end human slavery, first on the high seas and then in America, is probably the high point of all human rights activity in the history of humanity. However, this only became the rule of law in the Western Hemisphere.
          4. The rule of law is actually an exotic tool that can only be maintained if it is appreciated and nurtured and held in pre-eminent regard by the citizens of that society.
          5. You can not go out in the street right now, and get one out of one hundred people to actually profess an understanding of the rule of law.
          6. That being the case, it makes sense to resist this same mob from "deciding" it's time to take your gun.
        • Dec 27 2012: This is exactly what I find so curious about my brothers and sisters, what has convinced you that you have any voice in American society, politics and government? Why are you so faithful in our system? I suspect for the majority of people in that cohort, they have no experience in working for government or no experience as a dissenting opinion.

          For me, as a veteran with a dissenting opinion, I often feel like I'm one man against 300 million. Next year, I hope to sway 2 people next year instead of 1 into a middle ground, based around our best guesses and certifiable science when it comes to social issues and politics, instead of 1 person this year.

          New to TED myself, the reply system seems to max out at the third, so you may need to reply to your own post to keep this going...
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      Dec 26 2012: That is what elections are for. If you are unhappy with your government vote for someone else.

      When in recent american history has gun ownership reduced the governments power or stopped the government from asserting its power?
  • Dec 24 2012: While i think it might be good for that to happen, the fact is that will never happen. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this that the second amendment means individuals have a right to own guns. The reference to militias had been used to argue a person needed to be part of a recognized paramilitary organization, but the Supreme Court has rejected that argument. To change a constitutional amendment requires a passing vote by Congress, then passing votes by 3/4 of all the state legislatures. For that large chunk of government to agree on voting on that, it would take no less than an herculean effort. So the argument will continue on why or why not the second amendment should be changed/removed, its very unlikely that either of those things will actually happen
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      Dec 28 2012: Unfortunately, when people hope that they will get a different result from the Supreme Court if they could only change the make up of the Supreme Court, they are wishing that we go by the rule of men rather than the rule of law.
      I personally hate guns, but I fully understand the need for the law to keep parity within the system.
  • Dec 23 2012: "Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age."
    At the time "military hardware" WAS flintlocks and muskets! If you happened to own cannon back then you were even more welcome!
    It is a common fantasy that gun bans make society safer. In 2002 -- five years after enacting its gun ban -- the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.
    Even Australia's Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:
    • Dec 23 2012: Care to share the exact link for that information. I'd like to make sure I've read the report in it's full context and be certain the reference is objective and unbiased.before commenting
      • Dec 23 2012: Sure, my pleasure.
      • Dec 23 2012: Forgot something again! I can't find any proof 9 out of 10 guns used in a crime in Canada are from the USA. Facts please?
        • Dec 23 2012: The 9 out 10 figure was off the top of my head.

          The RCMP though are the national police force here. - From their report (link Below) you'll find that 96% of the illegal guns they confiscated here either originated from or transited through the US.

          And by the way, the NCPA can hardly be considered an unbiased source can it? A few of the funding donors are also NRA stalwarts.
      • Dec 23 2012: I read the entire RCMP report and then some. Seems the vast majority of guns weren't being smuggled but were simply undeclared.
        What really caught my eye? Criminals in Canada and Australia are making more cash than ever! Way to go gun laws! Stripped the law abiding of their rights and helped the criminals make more money!
        • Dec 24 2012: And the American criminals aren't?

          See - the thing is it's almost impossible to correlate gun control and gun violence. How can you predict what the violence level would have been in Australia if gun controls had not been in place during that same period. You can't. There are too many variables.

          And as this will be my last post on the subject - gun control laws aren't really about the hear and now. They are about the future. 20 yrs from now do you want to live in an armed state where everybody that you don't know must be considered a threat or do want a state where you have some semblance of security and relative peace?
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      Dec 24 2012: No, a right is not granted by the government. It is recognized as "not to be infringed" as in "not to be diminished" as in NO.

      If you wish to make it a safer and saner planet, you must go about it the holistic way, by moral persuasion and good example. You must not spend your money on violent movies and games, you must insist that your communities have good mental health programs and that your schools make it clear to everyone that they will not be allowed at school unless they practice the golden rule. That way, some mentally deficient kid lie Adam Lanza will not sidle along the walls of the public schools for years, his internal torment going unnoticed and until he finally snaps.

      What you can't do, is disarm millions of Americans who do not do anything unlawful with their firearms as retribution or to make yourself "feel' safer. They did not cause the shooting in Connecticut. They are protected against your illogical reaction by the 2nd Amendment.

      You need to face your real problems and stop using gun owners as a scapegoat.
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    Dec 22 2012: Not one person has given a good argument as to how changing the second amendment will save lives...

    What is this lean towards the government playing a paternal role in the peoples lives? This whole argument stinks of fear.I personally hold myself responsible for my actions, I do not need nor want the government holding my hand and telling me what is safe for me. ... I think this passing off our responsibility, wanting someone else to handle our business for us is sad at the very least.

    Also this latest shooting's death toll is still a small number compared to people not killed by guns. Its a tiny number compared to the death rate in poor areas of this country. Why aren't people demanding something be done for this problem? What do we have to amend to ensure the children of these areas do not have to live in fear? I'm just wondering why the sudden urgency to take the guns out of the hands of the people?
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      Dec 23 2012: "Not one person has given a good argument as to how changing the second amendment will save lives..."

      If anyone wants I will post links to the FBI stats and other govt sites explaining everything I state as facts. Or you can look at my past post on this subject.

      Violence will happens, half of the people murdered in this country are killed by means other than guns. Half the people murdered know the people killing them. More than half the people killed in school shootings where on medication or with drawing from med's and had psychological issues, the other half the police and the prosecutors will not say if they were on med's. Over 50 percent of murders are committed by people living in or at the poverty line. Poverty drives people to do stupid and or insane things out of desperation and fear.

      So, Gary ... I agree with you. No one here has given a good reason why the 2 cnd should be repealed. I also agree with you that being poor in many cases leads to gun violence.

      I do not know what the answer is, but a line from the movie Serenity comes to mind, "People do not like being meddled with". Personally I think, a government that doesn't regulate everything, attempt to control everything, and doesn't instill fear of the latest bogey man in their society (insert your favorite fear phrase here ... terrorist, kiddie porn, piracy, etc) might serve society better. I doubt we will see this will happen in our life time because politicians are not held accountable for their actions.
  • Dec 21 2012: It seems to me that the problem is deeper than any amendment or even guns themselves. What is it in American culture that makes shooting, or threatening to shoot, someone you disagree with, an acceptable attitude? Why have the solutions to perceived threats been reduced to, what to an outsider like me (I'm Canadian) seems like a siege mentality? Yes there are dangerous people around, even in Canada, but the only lasting solutions are the ones that address the underlying problems whether they come from attitudes of entitlement, poverty, fear, anger or psychosis. The only lasting solutions are the ones that enable people to know each other, share their resources, know that they belong, and have their fundamental needs met. As long as a society is guided by a belief that only the strong have rights and an "I'll bet mine before you get yours" attitude, there will be no peace or true security.
  • Dec 21 2012: Personally I believe a governments priority should be the safety and comfort of the citizens. Not their sports and entertainments.

    So limit the ownership and thus use of assault weapons, unless one is paid to use them. To see that as an infringement on one's freedom is selfish.

    Otherwise I may just have to get a tank to drive around. Come to think.. no more line-ups.
    • Dec 22 2012: Some people think of statist viewpoints as progressive; many of us think of them as regressive (and repressive). Progressives believe that the "comfort of the citizens" should be a governmental priority. Comfort is subjective, and as such can only be dealt with by the individual. A statist is comfortable living within a controlled environment as long as the zookeeper continues to toss the food and give fresh water. An individualist doesn't want to be "kept".

      As far as the "safety" goes, some of us believe, as the founders did, in personal responsibility. Also, that the protection of it's citizenry should be broken down amongst its inhabitants: The military exists to protect the country from the world outside its borders, federal police agencies exist to deal with law enforcement on a national basis, state police exist to protect their namesake, county and local police likewise, and should conflict drill itself all the way down to my property, and should I not have the time to call on my local police, I'll protect it myself. With my guns, if need be.

      Furthermore, independent people don't depend on the government for their "sports and entertainments"; they can do that themselves and don't want the government interfering in that, either. For those of you who seem to think that the government exists to dole out "freedoms" as they see fit, who feel the need to have Big Daddy Government control your lives, you're free to lament the rest of us who wish to live in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Do you really think that a nation that was founded on the principles of individual liberty and responsibility is going to change to meet your idealistic statist views because of your wish to be guaranteed "comfort" from cradle to grave? I hope not.
      • Dec 22 2012: Right, let's get back to the way it was in the pioneer days and call it progress.
        "and should I not have the time to call on my local police, I'll protect it myself. With my guns, if need be."
        After your wife and kids have been shot by an idiot that had no trouble getting an assoult rifle.

        In those early days individual protection was, indeed, needed. Now it is just an excuse to go excessive in all we do (and want).

        Assault rifles do not make us more human, they allow the animal to come out.

        A Merry Christmas to all!!
        • Dec 22 2012: I am fascinated by your viewpoint on this issue, so a question, if you wouldn't mind answering: Do you think the cause of this tragedy at Sandy Hook was because this mentally ill man had access to guns, or was the cause the illness itself?

          Also, what do you mean by "...get back to the way it was in the pioneer days..."? The scenario of divided security is in effect today.
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      Dec 22 2012: the only reason you're not driving a tank around is because it is illegal?
      • Dec 22 2012: If it is than, at some point, there were people that had some sense..
    • greg y

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      Dec 23 2012: Assault weapons are not the problem, Adam could have killed those people with revolvers simple enough. Adam was the problem and his ability to obtain access to guns (any) that should have been locked in a safe. Ban assault rifles, ban high capacity magazines and the next Adam will use what ever weapon is available, be it a gun, propane tank, chemicals or fertilizer.

      I don't think the "state" is always around to assist in protecting my safety either. If an intruder broke into my house I could dial 911, but I don't know how long it would take for help to arrive. With budget cuts and too many people not wanting to pay taxes, there are not that many deputies on call and I don't live in the city. Many people live in rural areas where a response could be 30 to 60 minutes.
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    Dec 20 2012: Yep I know what it says David I also asked if should be repealed or AMENDED , as it was written in 1793 , which was different era and written for a completely different set circumstances some how I do not think you are going to get a load of English troop in red coats and flintlocks trying knock down your door.

    Would you agree that it needs to address the issues of the 21 century
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      Dec 20 2012: The purpose of OUR 2nd Amendment is completely relevant today as OUR local law enforcement continues to arm itself to the teeth daily with military ordinance and vehicles supplied by our Federal government.
      The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to keep the playing field even against government tyranny as well as other domestic threats.
      Do you have any empirical evidence that the threat of armed government tyranny has completely abated in the US? Because we have recently had massive changes in our laws that have significantly diminished our rights to legal redress. Just because they don't wear red coats when they come through your door, when they puncture a front door with their new "urban warfare" toys, doesn't mean the nature of government tyranny has changed.
      The constant fear mongering and the note you have played up here: that we can legislate more safety by giving up more rights, comes from an well worn playbook.
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        Dec 21 2012: Remember yours is not the only country who's laws have had massive changes that diminished peoples "rights" the world changed when the Planes went into the towers that effected everyone not just the US. What about the fear mongering that went on then.

        Fear perceived or real motivates people to react first and think later and has always been used as tool by Govts. and organisations.

        Could we not use this tragedy in CT as starting platform to reduce the fear??????
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          Dec 21 2012: Well, let 's see how it's played out. First the public are convinced that they need to fear all Middle Easterners and that they present a real and present danger, then they agree to allow their local police agencies to receive military armaments from Federal agencies to make them feel secure about the perception that some Middle Easterners among them are on the verge of rioting? they allow police road blocks, TSA invasions and anything else in their need to shed this fear that has been magnified by the powers that be, media & government.
          The thing I can't ignore, is that they government did actually move military style vehicles and ordinance into our small rural community. We have zero evidence that any of us are embarking on any civil we have to open up that conversation first, and find out what our local men in blue are scared of. We have had a list, recently, from Homeland Security that includes ex-military, ex-law enforcement, lone wolves, as well as Christian Fundamentalists, Middle Easterners and outspoken Right Wing people, to name a few that are "too be feared".
          If we could just get our "fearless leaders" calmed down, I think the rest of us could probably handle it.
      • greg y

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        Dec 23 2012: I don't think the purpose of the 2nd amendment was a counterbalance to government tyranny. If you look at how the militias were used around the time of the bill of rights it was actually to put down uprisings and riots within the 13 states, sort of the opposite of what you imply. The Government didn't have a standing police force or even Army like we do now. The Militia was the police force.
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          Dec 24 2012: Everybody and his dog is trying to 'interpret' the 2nd through the glass darkly of their own slice of historical understanding.

          Such an interest in the Constitution, we must be having a revival.

          Regardless of any Monday morning quarterbacking, our rights are not "granted' by the 2nd Amendment, only delineated there as peculiar rights that are inviolate. That means, can not be diminished

          .When the Bill of Rights came up for discussion, Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists were against quantifying our natural rights in the Bill of Rights, because it could be interpreted as applying only to rights listed, or that these were being granted, thus the addition of the 9th Amendment.

          Once we agree to let you work away at the words "shall not be infringed" there is only one result to expect, and that because, this amendment isn't coming under the scrutiny of anyone, to be parsed or 'understood" more accurately, except to arrive at the conclusion that the right to bear arms can be infringed upon.

          Now isn't that what you are getting at?
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    Dec 20 2012: Between the TSA searches, the DOJ web site seizures, and the spying the US government is doing, we have pretty much lost our fourth amendment rights. So actually, no we shouldn't, and we should push back against any attempt to change the law or the Second Amendment. What would be next repealing the First Amendment because of hate speech.

    Also, a sizable percentage of the people doing these shootings are or were on drugs for mental health issues. The rest of them the police and prosecutors refuse to answer if they were on anti-depressants, SSRI's, etc.

    Perhaps we should be looking at the pharma industry or how we handle the mentally ill instead.
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      Dec 20 2012: There are laws against hate crimes as far has Hate speech is concerned two words Westboro Baptist Church who hide behind their First Amendment rights.
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        Dec 20 2012: Apparently mocking and ridiculing people, while frowned upon when we talk about raising children, is, in fact, a multi-billion dollar industry in the US, where political comedians like Bill Maher play every night to nation of hyenas. So it really isn't a mystery why the children can make a school into a living hell for a mental deficient child or an overly shy child who, for some unknown reason, has to be mainstreamed among them.
        Maybe the popular social engineers have actually taken us down a peg by teaching tolerance when we used to teach brotherly love.
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        Dec 20 2012: Actually that is three words. :)

        While I despise that church and their actions, I wouldn't create any laws that removes their right to protest, no matter how misguided or irrational they happen to be. I am actually amused by their antics, every time I see an article about them I hear banjo's and get flashes of the movie deliverance, married first cousins in that church and all.
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    Dec 20 2012: You are sort of missing the point, if it were a militia that had broken in to the school, we would be looking at militia groups.
    The boy was mentally ill. His mother, although she had financial resources, didn't get him treatment. Propose a LAW against that..there isn't one. We need to stop thinking that there is a LAW that we can make that will resolve this or that human tragedy.

    Thinking in terms of more man-made laws as ultimate solutions is becoming revealed as a throwback approach in many arenas.

    Here is a wonderful law that we could adopt on an individual, voluntary and immediate basis "Do unto other's as you would have other's do unto you."

    Had this been the rule of the day, the mentally deficient boy may not have been turned into a monster by being forcibly mainstreamed into a public school populated by our children. You see, there is a correlation between these tortured souls targeting schools and the schools themselves.
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    Dec 20 2012: The time has come to take a hard look at how we have decided to ignore the plight of the mentally ill.
    Children who are mentally deficient, do not need to be mainstreamed into the schools where they are almost certain to
    be mentally brutalized.
    Since there is not talk on the table to demilitarize or disarm our law enforcement agencies, there is no real basis for disarming the public.
    In fact, even though close to 50% of law enforcement calls are for the mentally ill, local law enforcement agencies are being given military ordinance by Federal agencies, this is unprecedented in this country.
    In the 1980's the city Memphis created what has become known as the Memphis Model for Crisis Intervention for call outs for the Mentally Ill. To this day, very few cities have implemented it.
    There will be more and more of these events if we allow ourselves to become distracted from the real issue, which is our societal dereliction towards the mentally ill.
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      Dec 20 2012: I agree that the mental health issue need to be addressed as well as yes in a large number of cases do show mental illness is a factor.
      This is definitely something that needs to also be addressed but if the guns laws were tightened or amended then it would be harder for firearms to come into the equation.
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        Dec 20 2012: Community dereliction to mental health issues and Hollywood's culture of violence should be wearing the sackcloth and ashes.

        Taking guns to the woodshed for their public whipping is a predictable shallow ploy by a government that seeks to empower itself even further. Currently, because of the military type vehicles and ordinance being supplied at no cost to local law enforcement agencies by FEMA and Homeland Security, and because there is NO comment from the public against these stakes being raised, there can be no conversation about disarming the public any further.

        Should we all lay down our guns? of just the people?

        The mentally ill will be shot and killed at a ratio 4 times greater than the non-ill public and they will be injured by the police 14 times for every one time they injure someone else.

        (By the way, I am neither mentally ill or own guns)
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    Dec 20 2012: Is there statistics about how much crime is prevented because people have the right to own guns?

    I have a coworker from China. He says that in China, most people secure their homes with heavy metal doors and reinforced windows. I personally know that people in Ukraine do the same. Some houses look like a jail.

    In the U.S., people have glass doors in their houses - very easy to break in. Burglaries happen, no doubt. But a possibility that the owner of the house has a gun next to his bed is a HUGE deterring factor for criminals considering breaking in. In the U.S. I don't need to have a gun. I just need to shout "Freeze!" to a burglar to make him soil his pants.

    Again, I'm not a gun owner. I don't want a gun in my house. It's not about "my guns". I have 2 children in elementary school and I'm very much anti-violence. I'm just wary of seeing how easily people give away their rights and let others control their every step for a sense of security. As if having to stand in a long line, take off my shoes, empty my pockets and being subjected to Xray radiation every time I want to fly an airplane isn't bad enough. Would there be more or fewer airplane hijackings if hijackers knew that there may be 3-5 armed people on board?

    "Solutions" that I read here touch not only the 2nd amendment, but 1st (freedom of speech), 4th (security from unreasonable searches), and 16th (tax system) as well.
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    Dec 19 2012: What are the gun laws in Norway like?
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      Dec 20 2012: What are the gun laws in Norway like?
      About the same as the US and nowhere near as strict as Australia where we no longer have these events.
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        Dec 20 2012: Saying that gun control laws in Australia work is meaningless without providing details as to how they work.
        For example, "At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia."
        This does not account for why the other four-fifth of all the weapons in circulation in 1996 did not spawned another violent act.
        Currently, about 5.2% of Australian adults (765,000 people)[1] own and use firearms for purposes such as hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, and target shooting.
        One measure that factored in to the Newtown incident was this: "The number of guns stolen has fallen dramatically from an average 4,195 per year from 1994 to 2000 to 1,526 in 2006–2007. This is coincident with a campaign by police and shooting bodies, such as the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia’s ‘Secure Your Gun, Secure Your Sport’ drive, to encourage secure storage of rifles and shotguns (handguns were already subject to strict storage requirements)."
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          Dec 20 2012: The banning of semi-auto long weapons and hand guns was only part of the reasonn for the reduction in gun related deaths. As you say the strict storage requirements are possibly just as important but as the laws were all enacted at the same time it's hard to isolate cause and effect. The remaining 4/5 of the guns still out there are predominately bolt action rifles and non-pumpaction shot guns. It's hard to sustain a killing spree with two shots or a five shot magazine on a bolt action rifle. In the long term the requirements have made gun ownership so inconvenient that even though I live in a city with a population of 500,000 there is only one store where you can buy ammunition, and it's illegal to send ammo by mail or courier so you can't even get it over the internet.
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          Dec 20 2012: Firstly you must show you have a genuine reason for owning a firearm.
          28-30 day wait for background check
          Must do a course in firearms safety
          Must apply at a police station for licence
          Must show the firearm will be secured properly
          All Firearms must be registered
          Firearms must be reported if being taken across a state border
          Ammunition must be locked and kept separately from the firearm
          A Number of classes of Licence A - H outlining types of firearm and restrictions and what the firearm is for IE Target shooting or Primary Industry.
          6 month Probationary licence for a pistol
          No licence is issued for personal protection
          $5,000 dollar yearly licence fee for Pistols
          Police may enter the property that the firearm has been registered at any time to check that firearms and ammunition are properly secured.

          How's that for starters
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    Dec 19 2012: I would like to thank you all for your comments and views but now that we have hit over the 100 comments mark I would like make to make an observation which I find interesting.

    Up to almost 100 comments I think only one person showed any sorrow or empathy towards what happened this week in Newtown. People were very quick to "protect" their so called "rights" and some even gave the old they can take my gun from cold dead hand rhetoric as well.

    Have we really become so disassociated from what happens around us that we just almost push these kinds of events aside and become so ME oriented , it's what I want and bugger every one else Oh and as they are going to ban semi automatics lets go and buy them now before they are banned for good.

    We seem to of overlooked the fact of why this question was asked.

    20 little kids whose only worry was what Santa was bringing them for Christmas and if their costumes would be ready in time for the school nativity play were gunned down for absolutely no reason except that they were there.

    Families have been changed forever 26 Families have had love ones taken away in the most violent fashion

    68 people and their families in 7 shootings this year alone. We have not even addressed the damage and trauma caused to those whom have survived those shootings which will push the figure into the 100's.

    So to all of you who are at TED To all of you post, to those of you who are part of this community who just like to read what is being written, to those who put ideas forward, and gives us new ways of looking into the future. To those brilliant minds and those with ideas lets make it a goal to find the best solution to these problems and their causes.

    Lets take a few moments and remember those who have through no fault of their own been victims or traumatised by these events during the past year.

    And as an intelligent international community lets work together to find solutions for the benefit of all.

    Thank you

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      Dec 19 2012: I disagree with you idea that "We seem to of overlooked the fact of why this question was asked."
      That is a separate issue, one that we the news media will not let us forget.

      I will however add that you might consider having compassion for Adam Lanza as well.
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      Dec 20 2012: "We seem to of overlooked the fact of why this question was asked."

      I hate being a dick, in some special cases i will be, here goes. First the question that was asked was basically "should we repeal the second amendment." which is what you are getting answered. Second if you want mind reading go to a carnival. Third it is a right, let me quote "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the RIGHT of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" with the first part being a preamble and explanation.
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      Dec 20 2012: I completely reject any form of sentimentality that asks me to override my reason. The crocodile tears that are shed over these children by gun control advocates are simply not there when you posit any community based solution that requires tackling the absence of decent programs and protocols to handle the mentally ill.
      I know because I testify publicly and advocate for these reforms.
      You may have run into some jaundice on the part of sound thinkers who refuse to be swayed by an avalanche of public sentiment from those who always claim to 'feel more' than others and therefore, claim the high ground in the very base competition of spiritual oneupmanship.
      After the incident itself, I dreaded the outpouring of sentiment that will amount to absolute nothing when solutions that require rolling up your shirt sleeves or taking an unpopular social stance comes up.
      It's all very easy to echo the popular anti-gun rhetoric, notice it requires nothing more than an open mouth.
      Try enlisting these very moved mourners to get a Memphis Model for Crisis Intervention in their communities, then tell me about how deep the sentiment runs.
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    Dec 18 2012: YES. it is time. The second amendment is obsolete. Unfortunately, it will take a few more generations of people to realize this.
    I don't worry about being shot by a Bazooka. Why? Because they are banned. It works.
    Evil people will always be here. I'm sure 1000 years ago, someone came into the market swinging their sword or club.
    I don't have a gun. My dad didn't have one. My grandfather did not have one.
    My best friend has a gun. His dad has many. His grandfather has many.
    Obama just needs can be remembered as the greatest if he'll change the culture.
    Why do you need a gun? You need a gun, like you need a sword, a flamethrower, a bow and arrow, slingshot, etc..... It is my right!!! American's just need their stuff.

    Here's what OBAMA needs to do. Have a mission for no more guns by 2100. HE can start it. He''ll be remembered like landing on the moon. The specifics:

    >Immediate ban on any weapon that can hold more than 6 bullets. (fifty years from now.... 1 bullet)
    >Prison sentence if found with weapon with more than 6 bullets.
    >Complete background check, including all medical records, to purchase a gun.
    >30 day waiting period to obtain gun.
    >Require training to obtain gun.
    >pay 10% quarterly tax to keep a gun.
    >$1000 per showing tax for every movie that has a gunshot in it. (in theaters or TV)
    >$100 per gunshot tax per movie per showing.
    >$500 per showing tax for old western movies with gunshots.
    >If movie has gunshots and wins an oscar, $5,000,000 donation to families of shooting tragedies for that year (Sandy Hook, etc...).
    >$100 tax per sale for every game that includes gunshots.
    > If game company launches game with shooting, $5,000,000 donation to families of shooting tragedies for that year (Sandy Hook, etc...).
    >$100 reward for every gun turned in to be destroyed. (I believe a number of people would donate to pay for this institution)

    Not only could the national debt be eliminated, but there would be less guns!!!!
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      Dec 19 2012: This will require more than changing the 2nd amendment. This plan will require to change the 1st amendment as well (freedom of speech). 16th amendment will have to be changed to "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect direct and indirect taxes on anything without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

      Way to go...

      Instead of restricting freedom of speech, how about thinking before we speak?
    • Dec 20 2012: and your whole post has turned into a farce.

      The thing that has to be implimented is that people need education about firearms and the risks of using them. Teach respect for the tool and for other people. It seems too often that respect for others is forgotten, which helps lead into this type of situation.
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        Dec 20 2012: You do understand, that your well reasoned and simple solution is not what a panic stricken public can appreciate.

        I have had a violently unstable person in my home, we immediately made sure no weapons of any kind were accessible. That included everything from axes to guns. We used normal intelligence and common sense.
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      Dec 20 2012: I see the future you are trying to build.... All movies are chick flicks, and all video games revolve around Barbie dolls, panda bears or Llamas.
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      Dec 21 2012: Are people violent because they watch violence on TV and in computer games or do they show violence on TV because it attracts people? Would people be less obsessed with sex if sexual images and messages were not all over the place?

      As I look at a beautiful woman, I may get some dirty thoughts. Who is to blame? The woman or my sinful self? Similar thoughts cause people to commit rape. What's the solution? Make all women cover their bodies from head to toe as they do in some countries? Ban all images of sensual content? How shall I cover the pictures in my head? Or, perhaps, should I acknowledge what's going on in my head and find a socially acceptable solution?

      Long before guns, video, photography, and computer games (I'm talking biblical times or Genghis Khan era), people used to put whole cities with tens of thousands of people including women and children to the sword. What did that have to do with gun control?
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      Dec 21 2012: You forgot a full cavity search and a tracking microchip implant.
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    Dec 18 2012: Gun control is definitely an issue deserving of our attention. However, ignoring the sources of human behavior has never led us to solutions regarding social conflict. If we solve the gun-control problem we are left with unarmed psychopaths. Either way we will continue to see episodes of violence punctuated by total disregard for human life. People eventually break. We will never solve this problem from one side of the bridge. A more well-rounded approach would effectively solve our problem.

    We need to educate our teachers on how identify psychological trauma and symptoms psychological trauma. We also need to loosen restrictions that don't allow people to properly monitor children that may be in danger. Many children died because departments with knowledge that these children were in danger could not get access because of the current laws. We cannot walk around acting like we don't know what to do when we know exactly what to do.

    We have known for quite some time that an ar15 assault rifle is not needed to hunt deer. It is also not needed to protect your home as a 12gauge shotgun with a slug and buckshot mix would be a spicy enough cocktail for anybody. Some of these people that own weapons don't even know how to use them. Many others don't know how to properly clean their weapons and have died trying.

    One thing I can say is it doesn't seem like a gun owners that do the shooting. It seems like the gun owners just don't know how to secure their weapons.

    We can't continue to ignore a multi-faceted issue to focus on 1 inch of its content. It would be like cleaning your bathroom but refusing to clean anything else. You may have a clean bathroom but your house is still disgusting.
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    Dec 18 2012: Hi Morgan, I raised a similar debate when the young black boy, Trayvon Martin was murdered in Florida earlier this year. The debate highlighted to me just how divided the US population is on the gun issue - and how violently each side holds their views.

    Like you, I watch the TV coverage of the latest massacre and wonder why US politicians don't come together to at least ban automatic and semi-automatic firearms and concealed weapons. Surely, having a self-selecting proportion of the population legally able to carry a concealed gun is a highly dubious “national right“ if the ultimate human right is a right to life. If the US is wedded to its Cowboy roots then let them carry a six-shooter pistol in a holster on their hip. At least everyone can see who to avoid!

    The global problem is that weapons make weapon-owners feel powerful and strong, and no one with that mind set of fear is going to give up such an addictive psychological crutch. If you ban guns altogether they'll carry machetes (like the Rwandans did) or knives (as is rife in some areas of the UK), or illegal guns and explosives (like the mad raciest Norwegian mass-murderer), or a cross-bow like in the fictional "We need to talk about Kevin".

    We really do need to talk about what life is all about. What makes it worth while? Work? Earning a high wage? Wearing the latest fashion? Driving a new car? Or, spending time with our loved ones and community? How do we get out of the habit of “casual cruelty“, how do we value human diversity, how do we value the clever kids as much as fit kids, or kind kids, or creative kids, or average kids - and how do we carry that respect on into adulthood.

    I don’t know the answer, but their must be another way than only feeling safe if you have a semi-automatic pistol in your belt.
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      Dec 18 2012: Heather, thank you for that beautiful article, if you are an American good for you, cause you live a one of the greatest counties on earth, belief me when I say that; on that note, our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and the community of Newtown and America at large. Today. America is the global symbol of a free Nation State, where the Government is entrancingly afraid (respect) its citizens partly because of their freedom, for the most part the right to bear arms against its government if need be.

      America though free yet still in captivity of the bondage of the FREE, which is also convoluted in the balance and protection of individual and collective rights. Unfortunately incidences like the recent shooting are part of the price to pay as America seek the perfection of it Union. Whatever America does in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, “ do not toss away your freedom”. I think safety is not so much about what you have on your belt but what you have in your hearth, the answer is somewhere between healing the broken mind (I think sometime you call it mental health) and the Others among you.
  • Dec 18 2012: No. But guns should be regulated and treated as cars/driving. You should have to obtain a license and undergo training. In addition, all assault weapons should be banned. There is no need for regular citizens to own them. There is no "urban warfare" that would necessitate them, nor would they still be enough to combat the weapons owned by any armed forces. At the end of the day tho', gun violence is much more of a cultural issue than a legislative one.
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    • Dec 18 2012: I must agree that it is a big mess, not entirely of our own creation. Certainly, hug your kids.

      Then do what you can to make it better. The situation is far from hopeless. If you do not think pills or laws or talk will help, perhaps you could just share some of those hugs.
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      Dec 18 2012: I agree with you Mike, I feel like we all are in this together but instead choose to point fingers and accuse others for something we ourselves must change.
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      Dec 18 2012: True it is bad, but it is not hopeless.
      Right now people are feeling fearful and powerless and that is causing some venting and less than normal thoughtful conversation. I guess it is just a stage in the grieving process and will pass.

      The world needs to follow Bhutan example; were instead of the leaders focusing on gross national product they are focused on gross national happiness.
  • Dec 18 2012: At the risk of seeming a bit crazy and completely unfeeling, I think another concept must be added to this conversation.

    Perhaps, in a free society, a certain minimal level of carnage is inevitable.

    Just for the sake of argument, let us assume this is true. We cannot possibly know the minimum level. We will never be able to say with any confidence that last year we had x number of school children killed and we could not possibly have prevented any of those deaths without reducing our freedoms.

    Nevertheless, we can agree that freedom always involves risk.

    If we can agree on this, then perhaps we can also agree that there are many methods available for lowering that risk to the school children, and that reducing our freedoms should not be the first method we attempt.
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      Dec 18 2012: "Perhaps, in a free society, a certain minimal level of carnage is inevitable"
      This is an undeniable truth but from the perspective of an outsider I find it hard to comprehend the idea that if I were a US citizen I would be 9 times more likely to die from a gunshot than I am as an Australian. It just makes no sense
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        Dec 18 2012: And you are probably 9 times more likely to be blowed up by an IED in Afghanistan... It just makes no sense. And you are probably 9 times more likely to choke to death on a Vegemite sandwich if you are from Australia... It just makes no sense we should start protesting Vegemite
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          Dec 18 2012: What about the insidious vegemite??? if it was your choice to put it on a sandwich and eat it so ultimately it was your responsibility to chew it properly and not sue the company that makes it.

          Like gun ownership its your choice to buy and own one and accept the responsibility of ownership and the consequences that go with it if you shoot someone.
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          Dec 18 2012: Back off Pat, I like their Vegemite, it's better than our own Marmite but it only works when it is applied over real butter and with lettuce or cheese or, Dare i say it, crispy thin chips. Lol Australian gun violence may not be as high as the States but it's there just like anywhere else on the planet.
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          Dec 18 2012: I choked on a piece of Vegemite toast when I was in Oz (way back in 1990). The taste of it still haunts me (I was misinformed that it was their version of Marmite). It made me cough a couple of times - but I survived and my family were not traumatized by the event.
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          Dec 18 2012: It makes no sense Pat because in most other respects AUS and the US are very similar. We like the same music we drive the same cars and eat the same food and wear the same clothes. It's just that you guys all own a gun and we don't.
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          Dec 18 2012: and what about the insidious Vegemite?
      • Dec 18 2012: I agree, I have lived in the USA all my life and it makes no sense to me either.

        What some people claim to be a solution, the banning of guns to some lesser or greater extent, also makes no sense to me. Almost all of the killings by guns are illegal, and the criminals will always find a way to obtain guns.

        If there is any sense to this, it is our history. The settling and development of the USA was accomplished by guns. Our independence was achieved with guns. Marksmanship was long respected as a key survival skill. The myths of the wild west all involve guns. For many, hunting is still an honored family tradition, even though its contribution to the family diet is insignificant. I now live in a rural area where almost all of my neighbors have guns, mainly to keep the coyotes under control. The reason I am 9 times more likely than you to die by gunshot may be the result of history. I think that this history is one reason why so many people think banning guns is a solution. However, every single gunshot was the result of a person pulling a trigger, committing an act of violence. I think it is far more likely that the key to this problem is people's behavior rather than the weapon. People want a solution to violence in this country, and It is far easier to ban guns than to teach people to be nonviolent. It is also much more comfortable to point the finger of blame at guns rather than label ourselves as a violent society.
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        Dec 19 2012: Peter

        I know It makes no sense that you don't have guns...

        I would be interested to see some numbers of per capita usage of psychiatric drugs in Australia verses the U.S. I would not be surprised to see a correlation.
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    Tao P

    • +1
    Dec 17 2012: No need to amend the constitution. We need to look objectively at the issue. For some 'gun advocates think that the right to bear arms is the only constitutional right that is virtually without limit. You have the right to practice your religion, but not if your religion involves human sacrifice. You have the right to free speech, but you can still be prosecuted for incitement or conspiracy, and you can be sued for libel. Every right is subject to limitation when it begins to threaten others, and the Supreme Court has affirmed that even though there is an individual right to gun ownership, the government can put reasonable restrictions on that right.'
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        Tao P

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        Dec 18 2012: It's not at all proportional to the population. Firearm homicides are 8.1 times higher in the US vs Canada per 100,000ppl, with handgun homicides being 15 times higher.

        I do agree that gun reform is needed. In AUstralia they had major gun reform in 1996. Before that there were 13 mass shootings in the 18 years before the law was changed. After the tougher laws there have been none (at least in the 11 years this study tracked them)
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    Dec 17 2012: Morgan, Is it just the US that you are concerned with? There are killings in almost every country everyday. Not long ago it was Norway (I think) that had a killer at a scout camp .... Germany at a school .... etc ...

    I viewed video where a Physc said we report this all wrong. We start a news cast of the panic involved, sirens blowing, people screaming, etc .. then we name the shooter giving him instant fame .. we do interviews with kids ... mom in shock, etc ... He said that we do everything to make the shooter a hero (in his eyes) nationally. The media will keep this in play for weeks ... politicians will make fake statements and some will find a cause to join up with ...

    I do not want to sound heartless but this is really a local story. The cause and effect should be studied so that the incidents can be better understood and protective measures can be put into effect everywhere.

    If this was not on national TV .. what difference would it make. Is the media a contributor to all of this in a rush to gain ratings and sponsors for the almight dollar.

    Is the only solution gun control. For once let us discuss all of the options .. not just a political agenda.
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      Dec 17 2012: I think the problem is Bob, that the number of these events is disproportionately high in the US. Australia has about one fifteenth the population of the US but we only have a mass shooting of this type every 10-15 years. You guys seem to have several each year which is hundreds of times more rather than the 15 times more that you would predict based on population.
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      Dec 17 2012: No Robert it is not just the US I am concerned about, it is also the carry on effect the eneviable "copycat" killings to follow all over the world .
      Yes it was social media that broke the news first and then picked up by mainstream media and yes due to panic the facts were distorted, what was not distorted is the fact 20 little innocent kids and some of the people who are charged with thier safety paid the ultimate price because no-one bothered to follow up on a law that was meant for another time, that did not keep up with the changes as a nation grew.

      Yes there are other contributing Factors mental health, over medication, access to information and violence via the internet and entertainment media even social media, and people pushed to far caught up in circumstances not of their own creation and these issues need to be addressed.
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      Dec 17 2012: I read in an article yesterday talking about what you are saying (for the love of God, I can't remember where I read it - getting old). There is a tendency for people to correlate gun violence with the US, and rightfully so; however, we fail to realize that this is a global epidemic. In my humble opinion, I just don't think our media does a good enough job to expose us to what's going on in the world. There have been multiple school shooting this year alone in Finland, Norway, and others. Now that there is this heightened interest, what can we do to help ourselves and everyone else?
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        Dec 18 2012: Ms Chang, I do not have a answer. What I can hope for is that we can learn and adjust to make this a obsolete occurance.

        Old Ms Chang ... I think not.

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      Dec 18 2012: Robert, I am glad you added: "The cause and effect should be studied so that the incidents can be better understood and protective measures can be put into effect everywhere."

      When you say it is a local story, what exactly do you mean? Is it less heartbreaking for not being in your state or mine? Or are you saying this just shows something like this can happen in that spot in Connecticut?
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        Dec 18 2012: Fritzie, The comment was made as an extention of what the psych said. It could be a bullet on the national news and some follow ups however the point is that two or three hours of national coverage at the onset is granting the shooter the power and fame he was seeking by this act of stupidity. All of the news on MSN home page, Yahoo, AOL, local news, national news, and all print media is on the shooting. The president publicly grieves with the families.

        I am not heartless and am deeply saddened over the children. However, I can see the point the psych was making. A news report and a follow up nationally would be enough and then the story belongs to the local area. That is not saying we do not care .. but there is no need to deeply implant the idea into a receptive mind by saturating the news with it.

        The boy scout shooting in Norway was reported and followed up on and that was all. Perhaps we should learn from that ... and yes it was just as sad of an event.

        Today a psych made a statement condeming Hollywood, computer games, the media, etc ... stating that they are also to blame.

        We will read alot in the near future and there will be many targets and perhaps the most important thing that will come from this is higher awareness and protective measures.

        As always thank you for your reply. Bob.
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          Dec 18 2012: Oh, I agree that it is a shame that this is a route to temporary fame for the shooter. Of course few will remember his name, which I have already forgotten.

          I am heartbroken for the victims, both the dead and the survivors.
  • Dec 17 2012: It should be amended to say something along the lines of "the right to bear arms with the exception of lethal weapons of military grade and only after training equivalent to that of law enforcement or the military". So a person can't just pick up an M4 at a whim and slaughter children. Add some examples in a footnote to illustrate the intent of the amendment (all parts of any constitution should have those), sure the examples will be outdated 200 years from now (because there will be different military weapons and training) but they would still make it much easier for a 23rd century court to rule on the matter (because there will still be some sort of military weapons and training).
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    Dec 16 2012: I think there are several different arguments to be had here. With regard to this latest event, the second ammendment doesn't need to be changed, it needs to be applied as it was intended. Of the reasons for the existence of the second ammendment the only one that has any relevence is the right to defend yourself. The rest have been made redundant by the formation of law enforcement agencies, the military and National guard etc. In this case the weapons used were unsiutable for defence. An assualt rifle is an offensive weapon so you can't really justify ownership of one by pointing to the second ammendment.
    Looking at the bigger picture, events like this are only one small part of the overall death rate from gunshot in the US. FYI more peoplem die from gun related crime in the US every day than in my country in a whole year, and we have very strict gun laws.
    The problem is that the guns are already out there. We ran a buy back scheme which in the US would cost a fortune and would take years to have effect.
    Also there is no point changing gun laws unless it is done nationally and with the co-operation of Canada and Mexico.
    This is something that needs to be done but is much more complicated than the left will admit to and obvious to everyone except the right and the NRA.
    Perhaps the US gavernment should issue every citizen with a two shot Derringer at birth as their second ammendment firearm and everything else is regulated.
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      Dec 16 2012: The second amendment is about self defense what do you do if the attacker has an automatic weapon?
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        Dec 16 2012: In Australia there are no automatic weapons. But I guess we stuck the cork in the bottle before the Genie got out. I really don't know how it could be achieved in the US.
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        Dec 17 2012: "The second amendment is about self defense what do you do if the attacker has an automatic weapon?"

        Despite there being more guns than people in the US, I have strong reason to doubt that there are all that many circumstances where the following situation takes place

        -Someone tries to rob you with a machine gun
        -You pull out a larger machine gun from...somewhere

        England had 58 gun related murders in 2011, America had 8,775.
        Even adjusting for population, Americas firearm murder rate is still 30x higher.

        When no one is allowed guns, sometimes criminals get them and you're unarmed.
        When everyone is allowed guns, criminals always get them and you'll usually be unarmed.

        Criminals carry guns with them because they anticipate the chance of using it and seek out a crime to commit.
        You might carry a gun somewhere on you or have one on your property that may sit there for years, or locked up in a cabinet, bullets kept elsewhere, because you might one day need it.
        Who do you think the gun is going to benefit in this situation, exactly?

        @Pat Gilbert
        " I'm thinking of a circumstance when a whack job takes over the country and turns it into a socialist state taking away all liberty and enforcing a dystopian state that carries automatic weapons to enforce the fairness."

        We've been waiting for this scenario for approximately 200 years now.
        Meanwhile, between 2000-2008, 81,000 homicides took place, directly related to firearms.

        Exactly how many people need to die from firearm related incidents before the worry of the government killing people from firearm related incidents takes second place?

        Anyway, socialists and part-socialist groups won over a whole series of countries I've visited over the years. Have you actually ever known a socialist politician or been to a country with a socialist party instilled? I'll take a wild guess and say no.
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          Dec 17 2012: I'm thinking of a circumstance when a whack job takes over the country and turns it into a socialist state taking away all liberty and enforcing a dystopian state that carries automatic weapons to enforce the fairness. Kind of like China the country that executes more people per year than the rest of the world combined.
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      Dec 16 2012: I agree there is no quick fix and a buy back would cost a fortune, there was a succesful amnesty a while back that was toys for guns. What if they start with amnestys such as Toys and food maybe some debt assistance relief.?????
  • Dec 16 2012: Facts and reality are subjective.

    To me, the relevant fact is that our own government is still the primary threat to the freedom of the people. In the history of the USA, the biggest threat to our freedom came with the passing of the Patriot Act, just a few years ago. Until the Patriot Act I was pro gun control. Now I am convinced that keeping civilians armed is the only ultimate guarantee of our freedoms. If the government comes looking for my gun, they will receive my bullets first.
    • Dec 18 2012: Yeah, the Patriot Act was so much worse than slavery, segregation, giving gay people electroshock "therapy", only allowing poor people to vote, backing a lot of dictatorships, WW2 internment, etc...

      "If the government comes looking for my gun, they will receive my bullets first."

      And they'll bounce right off the armored vehicle that will flatten your house with you in it, but the probability of that happening is much smaller than the probabilities of you getting killed by your own gun by accident or your jealous wife who thinks you're having an affair.

      Really, in a modern state all you can do is hope part of the military will defect and join your side and if they don't then chances are you're fight isn't very popular among the people to begin with, which should cause you to reconsider what you're doing.
      • Dec 18 2012: I think you have expressed the key difference between your point of view and mine.

        You are concerned with the probabilities. I am concerned with the principles.
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      Aja B.

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      Jan 16 2013: Of course we don't delete posts because we disagree with them. We delete posts which make it impossible to have a constructive, respectful debate.
  • Jan 16 2013: If I hear one more time... ("laws won't stop the Criminals form getting Guns!") I will scream!!
    Anyone who says this Cons' Talking Point, needs to do some research and learn who has been responsible for these mass killings over the past 10 years. Its not the "CRIMINALS", its seemingly normal people, who can pass the tests, or who's parents have weapons to execute such acts, or who have a cache of weapons purchased at Gun Shows or online. This point is completely and totally not applicable in this discussion. But so often times a real discussion about the "Phenomenon" we have seen in recent years is Hijacked by Cons' Talking Points generated from TV and Radio. When was the last time a Bank Robber went to a School and Killed a bunch of kids? Sure criminals kill people too, but their intent was to get paid, not to kill just for the sake of killing.
  • Jan 16 2013: ALL comments of Marianne deleted? So much for "democratic" dialogue.
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      Jan 16 2013: No it is just a matter of her "not playing well with others", after all this is a venue for open mindedness so that could not possibly be the case? or could it?
      • Jan 16 2013: I will become overly sensitive from now onwards. If anything even remotely bothers me, I'll quote it directly, and flag the message as offensive.
      • Jan 16 2013: They took out all of my comments that were replys to Ms Morgan, apparently she doesn't play well with others as well.
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        Aja B.

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        Jan 16 2013: Most of the comments have now been restored.
      • ed car

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        Jan 16 2013: It could. My reason for not wanting any new ban, comes from my position during the build up to the Iraq war. I have seen first hand the power of the masses. They can be swept up in a frenzy. Both cons and dems do it, I'm just amazed how the "left" seems to have forgot such a recent example. I do understand it actually, they were part of the majority that was for the war and never recognized how it came to be. I don't mean to break it into party lines, this was as clear as I can state my thoughts.
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      Aja B.

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      Jan 16 2013: We do suspend accounts for repeated violations of the Terms of Use, though never without warning. The comments that weren't abusive will likely be restored once we've had time to sort them out.
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    Jan 16 2013: "The World Only Goes Around By Misunderstanding" Charles Baudelaire

    As this Debate has run it's course I thank you for participating it has been highly interesting, controversial, emotional. hypothetical, conspiratorial, theoretical and even hypocritical and even shown the worst side of human nature.

    We have disagreed, fought, pushed agendas and given each other insights into how each other see the Laws of the Land.

    What we failed to do was agree on a course of action to improve things hopefully for the better.
    Maybe that will come with time.

    Hopefully the new Legislation that was passed in New York will lead the way and be an example for what some of us who live with strict firearms laws already know.

    No it will not stop criminals getting their hands on firearms and those who really want them illegally and it will take a long time to see results But changing Legislation for the benefit of the people does not mean there is Tyrannical Government waiting in the wings.

    So in closing I leave you with this.

    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen"

    Winston Churchill

    Thank you again

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      Jan 16 2013: Morgan,
      Although some people on this comment thread do not agree on a course of action to improve things for the better, I DO believe change for the better will come in time. Change is frightening and difficult for some folks, as we've seen expressed in this discussion.

      Based on what is happening throughout the USA at this time, with this issue being addressed on many levels, including local, state and federal, I have hope for our future. I do not hear many people in the USA speaking against the need for better gun regulations.
  • Jan 16 2013: Problem - Shooting

    Reaction - Feed the fear of gun related crimes

    Solution - Restrict the public useage of guns or effecively disarm the public

    2nd Ammendmant is surely to protect the people from a potential corrupt government?
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    Jan 16 2013: "Common sense can win," Cuomo said. "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense."
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      Jan 16 2013: 1 down 49 to go-)
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        Jan 16 2013: Too early to cheer. The key to NY new statute is the inclusion of mentally ill on the rolls for gun license review. The right to medical privacy trumps all. The lawyers are lining up as we hit submit.
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          Jan 16 2013: If they end up as potential danger to themselves or the general public it is null and void
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          Jan 16 2013: Never too early to cheer........every journey begins with a single step:>)
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          Jan 16 2013: @ Timothy don't need to bet I know
        • Jan 16 2013: Right, Treating me with respect as always.
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        Jan 16 2013: it will save lives
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          Jan 16 2013: Law enforcement officers who have no real understanding of law.
        • Jan 16 2013: That is always one of the most predictable statements... "It will save lives." I’m sure many totalitarian governments said the same thing when speech was limited; torture sanctioned, and lives erased to keep the leaders in power.

          The second amendment is a vital part of the United States; a necessary but understandable evil by those who grew up under brutal dictatorships
        • Jan 16 2013: Wanna bet?
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        Jan 16 2013: Not as you see it
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        Jan 16 2013: When was America ever a dictatorship ???? Why are you expecting it to become one because there is an African- American in the White House with an Islamic name?????

        Oh and the Queens fine thanks just celebrated her 60th Year on the Throne and expecting her first great grand-child
  • Jan 15 2013: Lee-Anna: Please allow me to provide some unemotional information. There is a considerable amount of fear of the concept of armed citizens by people unfamiliar with firearms, which is understandable. The advent of concealed carry permits (CCW) available in most US states helps with that; if done properly, neither criminals nor honest citizens will realize whether there is someone present who is armed. In the US, there are millions of CCW permit holders in most states. Why do people carry concealed firearms? There are a lot of answers, but perhaps it can be encapsulated in the the saying, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." I am one of a few I know who carry whenever it is legal. Why do I carry? Because my worst fear is being unable to defend my loved ones when I have the ability to do something about it. I have CCW permits fot 3 states, which with recprocal agreements, makes me legal in about 33 states. For me I cannot carry at work(due to corprate rules), in church, in schools, nor is it legal to consume alcohol in a restaurant while carrying. Like the vast majority of CCW holders, I have never drawn a pistol, although on two occasions in the past 20 years I reached inside my coat and put my hand on it, once at a bank ATM machine where two suspicious characters were hanging around the ATM I was using, and once while taking a walk late at night when a car full of young men stopped and backed up and I went behind a tree and waited. All firearms are locked in safes when not in use. All of my children (2 daughters 1 son) know how to handle firearms safely and can shoot rifles and pistols, and I help teach about 20 boys a year in Scouts to safely handle firearms and shoot accurately. My wife appreciates the additional comfort of knowing we are far safer from crime than most families, although she is uncomfortable with handling firearms. There are, literally, millions of US citizens like me.
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      Jan 15 2013: West Lake,
      There is considerable fear of the concept of armed citizens by those of us who are familiar with firearms as well. I have no problem whatsoever with people who are responsible with a weapon. A frightened person with a gun, however, is a frightened person with a gun. Those who have spoken on this thread in favor of all citizens being allowed to hoard all kinds of guns in the event of the US government turning on the people, is a fear based concept, so I am more frightened of those folks than I am of all the people I know who own and use guns responsibly.

      You say..."Please allow me to provide some unemotional information", and you mention your "worst fear". Do you honestly think that is not emotion?

      I respect your ability to own and use a firearm safely, just as I resapect all those who do the same. I am in favor of removing assault weapons from our communities, and many of my friends and family who own and use guns responsibly share this perspective.
    • Jan 15 2013: Colleen is right! Fear is fear. And most of us do understand, but we also understand that it is the "Accessibility" of so many Rapid Fire weapons that can fire a round over several hundred yards that can open up a persons chest with one strike, is the real issue. You can have Guards and armed teachers all day long and a person with access to one of these weapons can simply wait for school to let out at the end of the day, or drive by the playground at lunch time and still kill as many as were murdered at Sandy Hook. Put a scope on that same gun and any exterior armed guards can be picked off one-by-one. Very harsh penalties for either manufacturing or owning any kind of weapon that can do this kind of harm will make a difference. There is no other answer. Most mass murderers with guns are not seasoned criminals. No one was thinking they were threats before they killed people. So how could any law except a ban really do anything at all?? While I do, like Colleen have a lot of passion when it comes to this subject, it is entirely based on Common Sense.
      • Jan 15 2013: If you knew anything about guns, you would know that most sniper rifles are single shot bolt action. That being the case, this getting rid of multi cartridge guns will do nothing. and again banning drugs have only made them more accessible, not less. Did we learn nothing from prohibition?
        • Jan 15 2013: Again, mis-stateting what I said. I said if you put a scope on that "same" weapon, a killer could pick off people from a-far. You decided to change the weapon to make your point. I know what a Sniper Rifle, specifically is. But multi-fire weapons can be used for short to medium range "sniping' too...! Do you disagree? Outside of getting into a car and driving loaded up on some drugs, me taking something does not have the intent behind it to kill other folks. So your comparison is wrong...flat out. If you were to be truthful in your argument, you would say something that would not support your argument at all. What do you do to break a Drug Addict? You keep them away from Drugs, let them go through the awfulness of "Cold Turkey" get them help to keep them off! You do not give them more drugs. But wait!!!! There is more!!! The number of people using drugs like Heroine, PCP and Crack has dropped significantly!! Those drugs are illegal and much has been done to educate the children on its perils. So you mut be talking about the numbers of people who have become addicted and have died by the drugs that are the most ACCESSIBLE....Prescription Drugs!!!...Right!! You knew that more died from those than the drugs you think are more ACCESSIBLE, right? Its not the street walkers and the low-life's, but the average working man or woman who are hooked on prescription drugs more than any other drug! Again, not to be smug at all, but these are the talking points I have heard so much, with the hopes that ignorance to the truth is present. Educating our young and removing these threats is the Answer! It will take a Goliath of an effort, but our children are worth it. I have heard in as many months 2 children killed getting educations at a firing range. I threw up hearing about one. Its all about the RISK FACTOR Tim. If the those Children were not even in the vicinity of those Firearms they would be alive today. Its all about common sense.
      • Jan 15 2013: I am misleading? If someone had a m14 they might put a scope on it, to scope a ar15 would be a joke unless it was short range, why do you think the military doesn't do it? The only "scopes" they use on anything isn't an ar15 or it isn't really a long range scope but rather an accusition scope, which isn't the same. Why are my comparisons wrong and yours right? Where are your facts to back up your presumptious statements? Apparently you are somewhere else since heroin is on the upswing, and meth is everywhere. No, the war on drugs is just as bad as prohibition and for the same reason, too many cops and politicians on the take. And just where did you hear of two children killed at firing ranges, and how were they killed? Youer sensationalizing of all things bad about guns cannot be trusted.
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      Jan 15 2013: @West you said you have concealed carry to protect your family yet you have a licence for 3 states? and reciprocal for 33 must be a big family.

      That to me no offence smacks of fear
      • Jan 15 2013: Do you carry? Oh thats right your a cop, does that make you not human? are you still capable of mistakes? No offense meant, but, cops carry to protect themselves, not to protect others. If you wish to argue that point, where were the cops when these kids were getting killed? Cops by nature are after the fact, not there when you need them, and I am not saying that to infuriate you, it's just the way it is. By the way, I am a jeweler, and several of my friends have been attacked this year, one shot in his own home, had he been carrying, maybe he wouldn't have, another was shot at, but the would bes left when he pulled his own. Tell me how taking away guns from law abiding people is going to help?
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          Jan 16 2013: You are so far away from the truth timothy it is scary, and in this job sometime it is better not be human if you see what we see. T
          here has to be a detachment or as some have done you take your service pistol and blow the back of your head off or sink into the bottom of bottle.

          Oh and Tim no cop worth their mettle ever wants to have to pull a pistol or have to shoot someone unfortunately some leave us with no choice and there is a trend that is becoming even more scary and another situation no Law enforcement Officer ever wants to be put in it called Suicide by Cop.

          Be glad it is not you dealing with it.

          If you regulate what is available it will cut the incidents down thats fact, it wont be easy, and theres a lot of guns out there both in legal and illegal hands. But if you make it harder to obtain it makes it safer for everyone. You, your business, your family and even us.

          But Tim America is not Disneyland, Mum Apple Pie and white picket fences are no longer as obtainable as they use to be.

          Killing each other is not the answer and truthfully a change has to made or there will be no one left.
          We have to start somewhere so lets start where there can be a visable difference.

          You see you ,like Marrianne ,can quote all the statistics you like but the average Joe Blow doesn't care about that. Those things are for academics, and Government types, they are never correct, and as soon as they are corrolated they are out of date and they are missing valuable pieces of information plus it is easy for people to pick what they want to push an agenda which has been well demonstrated in this debate.

          Joe Blow watches TV and it is what he sees infront of him that he reacts to not a load of numbers on a sheet of paper. You mentioned you were in the military do you remember this

          "The Shot that kills you is the shot you never hear"


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      Jan 15 2013: Hi West Lake,
      It sounds like you are a responsible adult so I have no problem with you having a gun, BUT, the fact that your children also know how to use these weapons makes me exceptionally nervous. I am a Psychologist and I can tell you that children may appear responsible, however they are also prone to impulsiveness, especially emotional impulsiveness, which is why we see so many suicides by young people because they get so distressed at a breakup or being bullied that they will take a gun and shoot themselves in the head, even though they have no background of psyc problems (I work in the field of suicide prevention and postvention, so beleive me, even the most level headed child can do the most appaling act). When we look at the people that have perpetrated these mass killings, more often than not they are young people, who can become highly emotional and impulsive. I am sure your kids are great. But how do we know that the mother of the Newtown massacre didn't feel the same about her son? This is just my view and you are welcome to disagree, but I strongly beleive children should be kept well away from guns until they are legal adults.
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        Jan 15 2013: Does legal adult mean responsible adult? What age do people become mature enough to handle a weapon?
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          Jan 15 2013: Hi Gary,
          I use the term legal adult as the age in which by law, people are classed as adults, which in most countries is 18, and we can no longer prevent them from making their own decisions on things like buying weapons, having sex, getting married etc, because it is their right under this very constition we are debating. Ultimately there is no test for 'responsible adult' and there are some people in this world who will never be responsible or mature enough to handle a weapon. Unfortunately they are the ones most likely to take lives, which is why we should at least try and determine someone's maturity and responsibility, and emotional stability. Otherwise, chaos.
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    Jan 15 2013: As a crazy man said " It's not the gun's kill people, it's people killing people." "Alex Jones" Yes it seems a little extrema to have a military grade assault rifle on hand but as times get worse, it seem people might need them. With the U.S. government allowing a bill to pass that allows a citizen to be detained without questioning and without trial because of the fear of not so real terrorism. This Amendment protects people from other people but mostly from the government. When the government had muskets, so did the people. Because the government is made up of people and people are corruptible. So in a time were there may be marshal law issued, people will need a better form of protection then a pee shooter in the wake of a hummer with a mounted turret.
    • Jan 15 2013: If what you say is true, like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity....that the US Government is the Greatest Domestic Threat....then US Citizens will need the access to much more powerful weapons like Grenades, and Rocket Launchers. The Military and most Law Enforcement agencies are very well armed and one or two Assault Weapons won't be much of a help. Do you agree with allowing Citizens access to these weapons as well?
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        Jan 15 2013: No, I would have to say not as individuals. But as a organization looking out for the public. I'm not saying that the US will turn into a Dictatorship or that people should be in fear of an impending threat from with in. But they should be prepared, have maybe a safe with multiple locks that make it harder get to in a fit of rage. I will admit my comment was a little... over the top. You just can't relie on your government to always have your best inters at mind is what im trying to get across.
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    Jan 15 2013: I wonder if they are going to burn the school down a year from now or the young mans house.
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      Jan 15 2013: Hopefully not but imagine what it must be like for the shooters families (if they have survived) having to look at the faces of friends and neighbours who may of lost loved ones or had them badly injured.

      Your life would almost end up like someone in witness protection far away from all you know in a town and state maybe even a country that's foreign. Maybe having to change your name so people can not stalk or hunt you down.

      Imagine what the hate mail is like or your twitter account going off every 2 seconds or your facebook page defaced??? What about the stigma the surviving siblings must go through at school they would have to pulled out.
      Maybe even people driving past and shooting at the house or the family pet because they blame you for not doing anything.

      Whatever no-one wins and there is no dignity in death even less in a violent one.
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        Jan 15 2013: Yes no one wins, only the survivors are left. The ones left to question themselves, question existence, question why this place will be burned forever in their minds, sometimes burning helps burn it away so something new can take it's place. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it takes years before they do it.
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    Jan 14 2013: I must be out of sync, can someone tell me isn't there laws on the books that already deal with gun control?

    Isn't there laws that require you to be a vetted gun owner to purchase online guns?
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      Jan 14 2013: Ken,
      As far as I know, there are no regulations or requirements for purchasing guns on line or at gun shows. In fact, I just heard a varification for this information on the news.
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        Jan 14 2013: I know about the gun show loophole which only favors the manufacturers not the retailers but if the 2nd has no vetted assessment then that's a problem as we had an incident of a gun collector that hid his weapons behind a false wall then one day lost the plot and started killing people, all purchased online. No, I'm sure there must be some sort of system to go through with purchasing online.
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          Jan 14 2013: I don't think so....try it!
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          Jan 15 2013: You can only pick up guns from certified FFL dealers after ordering on-line. They do not get sent to your house.
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        Jan 15 2013: I've never bothered to buy one here in Nz, They're for hunting and unless you are a sports shooter that belong to a gun club handguns are off the menu. Most of our gun related deaths are due to hunters shooting each other by accident ( Our bush is thicker than what most people think) or people shooting themselves or others by accident. It's not paradise or perfect as we do have gun crime but that's mostly from guns been stolen and the odd owner that has lost the plot or kids being silly with pellet guns and accidentally shoot each other or the next door neighbors window.
      • Jan 15 2013: Time for some more unemotional all states, any sale by an FFL (federally licensed dealer) must include an FBI and usually a state background check, conducted by phone/computer.fax at the point of sale. This includes all gun shows. In many states, individual citizens who are not dealers can sell rifles or shotguns without a background check, whether at a gun show or in a home. However, generally you cannot sell a pistol without going through an FFL, which would entail a background check. When I gave a pistol to a daughter in another state, it went through an FFL in that state. I could have ignored the law and sent it directly, but I am a law-abiding citizen. When my son recently purchased a pistol at a dealer, he had to wait a day because of a backlog in the background check queue. When I gave my over/under shotgun to my son last year in person, no background check was involved. Some states will not permit individual transfers without dealer involvement. In the extreme, for example, when passing through Massachusetts, I tried to purchase some ammo at a good price, but could not because I did not have a resident permit. That is not typical in the US. Criminals ignore all of the laws. Hope the facts help focus discussion.
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    Jan 14 2013: Hang in there Tim, all that you are being accused of is what your critics are doing themselves. You will hear definitions of the 2nd, that question various words and phrases by these people that have their own agenda. Your understanding is wrong and theirs is correct. These assault rifles being discussed are for the most part are replica's of the military M4 .223 cal. All the discussion of assault rifles and deer hunters. I am one and I nor no one I know uses assault rifles for deer hunting. Ballistics of the .223 is all wrong for most deer hunts. What I do know is that millions of American veterans whom served in Viet Nam, Iraq, Iraq2, Afghanistan, all all the places in between used the .223 Military weapons in a number of variations. Many of these vets owe their lives to this weapon, many of these vets enjoyed firing these weapons, many of these veterans have legally bought these replicas... Because they wanted too.
    Now we have all this discussion, because a deranged minor, committed matricide, took a legitimately obtained replica rifle, went to a local school and murdered 26 innocents before taking his own life. Right away it was the assault rifle. Like if the were no assault rifles, this never would have happened. Myself, I am waiting for the autopsy reports to see if drugs were involved.
    Like the local TEA party guy said "All we need for a perfect life is for the government to take more taxes and cut more liberties and life would be perfect..." I think he was being sarcastic... too!
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      Jan 14 2013: Mike,
      You say..."a deranged minor....took a legitimately obtained replica rifle...murdered 26 innocents...right away it was the assault rifle".

      In my humble perception, the assault rifle was not the only cause of the deaths. However, if the assault rifle had not been available so easily, the outcome would cerrtainly NOT have been the same.
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        Jan 15 2013: Hi Colleen,
        Yes, as I remember, by time the 6:00 PM news came on, there was the call for the restriction of the assault rifles by many politicians, too many to list here. I would challenge your conclusion that " the outcome would certainly NOT have been the same"incicent How could you be so sure? The only thing I am that sure about is death and taxes .... att. Will Rogers. I do believe all through this comment stream the discussion has been about the 2nd amendment abolition or modification about specific weapons, etc. the motivation seems to revolve around the Connecticut incident. Why I am so critical about all those comments including some that you have made is because... where is all this concern about the rest of violence around the country. Last year over 20 grade school children were victims of homicide in LA. Last year in Chicago, 25% of homicide victims were minors. No big news there. No debate on national TV, the President didn't set up a commission. Why is that?
        The death of these children are not as .... as the deaths in Newton? So, I ask everyone who agrees with the terms of this string, would any changes made to the 2nd effect these deaths in our cities?
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          Jan 15 2013: Mike,
          You ask...How could I be so sure the outcome would have been different?
          If THOSE weapons had not been available, the shooter COULD NOT have used THOSE weapons to kill 26 people.

          My motivation DOES NOT "revolve around the Connecticut incident" Mike. I have been an advocate of a ban on assault weapons for years.

          I also have been guest lecturing on the topic of violence and abuse in relationships for years, co-facilitating cognitive self change with incarcerated men, volunteering in shelters and family center with abused women and children, etc. etc. If you want to be critical about my be it. I AM CONCERNED about violence, and I have been participating in many programs for years to help curb violence in all aspects of our society. That is NOT what this comment thread is about.

          The topic is:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"
          I have been addressing the topic question. And I have continually stated that the 2nd amendment could be "revisited". I support a ban on assault weapons, and I have supported that for years. The 2nd amendment was not repealed or amended the last time we had a ban on assault weapons, to the best of my recollection, and it probably would not have to be repealed or amended for a ban on assault weapons at this time, nor would it have to be repealed or amended for more regulations, because the constitution allows for "regulation".

          Any more questions?
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          Jan 15 2013: There is no doubt that people just hopped on the ban-wagon following the Connecticut incident. The traumatic loss of life must be getting to close to home.
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        Jan 15 2013: `Yes,
        I am confused. It may be my age.
        Are you saying that if there was no "assault rifles", there would have been no attack at Newton?
        Or that the carnage would have been inflicted with another weapon. If it is the former, it was reported that he had other weapon on his person. If the latter, we are way too tight in semantics.

        I can admire your dedication in the curbing of violence in society. I am a strict constitutionalists.
        I believe the right for you to swing your fist stops at the beginning of my nose. There is no right to violence in the constitution. I am of the opinion that violators of rights do not receive the punishment
        deserved. We can discuss capital punishment in another venue.

        What even vexes me more, is your focus on assault rifles. the term refers to 4 characteristics of a weapon that does not address caliber, ballistics, range or any function that makes it a weapon.
        I have seen an assault rifle that shoots ping pong balls.
        The only assumption I can make is the Newton shooting. Am I wrong? You stated you have supported a ban for years. You say you are following this thread, OK, but there are many variety of guns used in violent crimes... why assault rifles? The Newton tragedy?
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          Jan 15 2013: Mike,
          Sorry you feel confused. I believe I have been very clear with my comments.

          I am not, in any way swinging my fist at your nose my friend. We are having a discussion, and if we do not agree, it is ok.

          I am sorry a focus on assault rifles "vexes" you, and that must feel terrible, since there is a focus on assault weapons on local, state and national levels throughout our country. I don't know what to tell you that might help relieve your vexation.
  • Jan 14 2013: Not a rise in "crime" but a rise in senseless mass killings with Assault Style weapons. And I am using the word Cowardly, or Cowardice is in the most literal of terms, if this is what you are referring to. There is no name calling from me towards you or anyone. I often hear the same complaint when I use the word "Ignorant', which means not privy to or not aware of.
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      Jan 15 2013: I got reprimanded on this forum for saying an idea was ignorant and someone took it personally as if I said they were ignorant.
  • Jan 14 2013: I find it somewhat amusing how, just like the Conservative Talk Show hosts, people try to extract particular segments of the 2nd Amendment to justify their beliefs. The 2nd Amendment was written as a whole not in pieces.
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      Jan 14 2013: i AGREE the
      2nd Amendment
      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
      Please tell me where in this simple statement of the RIGHT to BARE ARMS does it say Muskets, flintlocks or semi-auto firearms?It does not address Hunting, Sport Shooting or any type of reason to use ARMS?
      A well regulated Militia is all the PEOPLE who could be used to DEFEND the State even back in the 1770's a Felon or the Simple Minded were not allowed to own a Firearm.
      I will agree that a Criminal that uses a firearm should be given a MANDATORY 10 YEARS Oh I forgot that's the LAW now BUT LIKE OTHER LAWS THEY ARE NOT ENFORCED! ENFORCE WHAT YOU HAVE on the BOOKS first BEFORE YOU ADD ANOTHER LAW TO THE MANY 1,000'S ON THE BOOKS!
      The CT killer broke a minimum of 30 laws What 31st LAW would have stopped him?
      All the people involved in this debate MUST understand that the LOSS of any RIGHT is the beginning to the LOSS of ALL!
      If your GOVERNMENT changes YOUR rights at it's whim! What right is next?
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        Jan 14 2013: That was before there was establlished Military and Law Enforcement agencies and even a proper Government, problem is a well regulated civillian militia does not mean a well TRAINED civillian militia it means a lot of frightened ppeople with firearms they can't handle
        • Jan 14 2013: What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not get? It is not about police, or armies, or anything else, it is about freedom of, and from tyranny. If you had read some of the reasons for this amendment from any of our founding fathers, you would know that they put a lot of thought into it. And I looked up illegal guns in Australia, seems you chaps are still finding large caches all over, it also seems they are all not well off, maybe looking in the wrong places? Or maybe you are not allowed to look in the right places, it's all about perspective and breeding, if I remember what the colonel told me.
      • Jan 14 2013: James, these people are all for getting rid of the second amendment, and are not interested in getting rid of crime, or reducing fatalities that happen. They are also not going to listen to any other ideas other than get rid of the guns. This argument is futile and the aussie sherriff wants our guns.
      • Jan 14 2013: James, you're argument about having a 31st law is just a rhetoric for your way of thinking which is much too simple. People who abide by the gun laws to be enforced (whether it be no assault rifles whatsoever, nothing larger than a 5 round magazine, proof of gun safe, or required membership at a local shooting range where the assault gun can be concealed in a locker and supervised) will make the biggest impact. It will be about getting guns out of circulation and not as readily available. People debate that a criminal is a criminal and will do whatever means there are to get an assault rifle. However a large portion of people pulling the trigger are not hardened criminal who would have the means of obtaining one of these weapons, such as the young man with a troubled family life who ran into a mall with an assault rifle in my hometown of Clackamas, Oregon. He simply grabbed the gun from someone who legally obtained it, there were absolutely no barriers set in place to stop him from obtaining it. Many of the people doing these shootings are troubled children who steal a gun, schizophrenics, veterans mental illnesses, and many others who do not have a hard criminal background and are of the civilian population. Unfortunately for all the people who do relish in owning an assault rifle, the rotten picks do spoil the batch. If the law-abiding citizens were to obey a few simple changes a lot less people would be suffering in this nation.
        Gun control is not a black and white issue, it has quite a simple solution (many solutions, at that; none of which infringe on a persons right to bear arms since pistols, hunting rifles, and shotguns would still be widely distributed; all with still being able to use an assault rifle at a gun range) that is being roadblocked in all directions. There must be a sense of responsibility as a nation and people of a community to make simple sacrifices and changes to ensure the safety of our children and neighbors.
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          Jan 15 2013: Mr. Hubbsrd
          What you and many others seem to believe is that the tool is to blame. If the CT or your OR criminal did not have a semi-automatic rifle the CT killer would have used the handguns he had to commit the same crime, or if all the guns we not available then another form of weapon could have been used in a criminal act. There are 1,000's of laws on the books and you seem to believe that if WE LEGAL folks just bend a little on OUR RIGHT to BARE ARMS all will be well. The truth is if someone wants to kill there are easier ways that using a gun.
          ONE ARMED Citizen or Officer in either CT or OR would have delayed or even stopped either criminal act in a so called GUN FREE ZONE! I myself have no reason to be painted with the same brush because I OWN a Legal firearm as either criminal because they used a firearm in a illegal act? Will my owning a gun safe or using a gun lock stop gun crime NO it will not..Neither person you have mentioned had in their possession an "ASSAULT RIFLE" there is no such animal both were semi-automatic rifle's nothing more.
          To ban a firearms for what it looks like or to limit the number of rounds it has in it's magazine or clip show lack of knowledge, their are lever action rifles on the market that carry 27 rounds in their tubular magazines A shotgun with 5 00 buckshot put out 45 .32 caliber pellets in the room size of a school or store that would have done as much damage as any semi-automatic firearm so guess what's next on the gun grab/ ammo limit list? Do not think that if a Government can change YOUR RIGHTS as they so please without using the CORRECT and LEGAL way that YOUR RIGHTS won't be next!!!
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        Jan 15 2013: Timothy I have no idea where you are getting your information but boy it is bad, the facts are these there are about 3.8 million guns in Australia at the moment about the same as 1996 Port Arthur Massacre. At that time there was approx. 17mill people in Aust there are now close to 24 mill
        when the PAM happened the Government banned all assault semi and automatic guns and over a million guns were handed in.
        There approx. 750,000 guns in NSW the most populace State in Australia it works out that those who own are mainly rural have about 4 gun each and are registered.
        Oh and it is our record with gun control which is being used as an example to your Government.

        just one question who's the Colonel????
    • Jan 14 2013: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      Two parts not dissected
  • Jan 14 2013: I will say this, the idea that something must be done to stop violent crime with illegally obtained firearms is something most will get behind. The idea that we in the United States will give up our guns because others in our country, or other countries, think we should, is just not going to happen. If it is truly the violence you wish to end, ideas must be thought about that will both keep our second amendment intact, and help solve the violence.All this back and forth serves no pupose, and you will never get most Americans to voluntarily give up our right that shall not be infringed.
    • Jan 14 2013: But Timothy, when there was an outcry years ago when Assault Weapons were all proved to be HYPE!! No one had their freedom taken away from them. And since the ban was lifted, look at how the numbers of shootings have risen...THEY CORRESPOND!!! Why is it that (some) Americans are so "hatefully" opposed to what has been done in the past? Because Rush and Hannity did not exist.
      • Jan 14 2013: I have looked at staistics from the CDC and others, and none of them show a rise in crime rates after the ban was lifted, this is pure hype. And the second amendment is written in two distinct parts.
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          Jan 14 2013: Timothy,
          You looked at statistics from the CDC? Center for Disease Control? You might want to look elsewhere for crime rates.

          All Americans are NOT "hatefully" opposed....I know you know that:>)
      • Jan 14 2013: Why does your side have to resort to name calling and adjectives describing our supposed [in your mind] intelligence? Is this the argument of someone who has a realissue to discuss?
      • Jan 14 2013: The CDC has statistics for all acidental deaths, and there's are above reproach. I could have easily used others, the fact is, no rise, just better publication.
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          Jan 15 2013: You are correct Timothy, the CDC has statistics for all accidental deaths. I'm not sure if that is the most updated information....
          Firearm homicides data for 2010...11,078
          (from the CDC site)
      • Jan 15 2013: Colleen, I went to the FBI site and saw that there was a dramatic drop in violent crimes after the ban was dropped. explain it to me? This was from 2004 to 2011 could it be possible that people owning guns caused the drop, or are you unwilling to even examine that possibilty?
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          Jan 15 2013: I'm willing to examine anything Timothy. Can you provide the link to that information? So far, much of the information you write about cannot be substantiated.
        • Jan 16 2013: There is a big difference between a drop in "Violent Crimes" and a rise in the number of Mass Executions at the Hands of Individuals with Particular Weapons. Violent Crime has seen a drop, but there has been a rise in the Frequency of Mass Shootings. The need for information about a Drop in Violent Crimes is Mute in this situation. There are many factors attributed to the drop in Violent Crimes.
      • Jan 16 2013: It is tough to find but here is one, this is not the original i saw.

      • Jan 16 2013: Really, if all these guns being produced are to blame, I would expect to see higher numbers? Your whole premise is that fewer guns, less crime, I was pointing out that isn't true!
  • Jan 14 2013: The last thing I will say before this is closed, is that their is an awfully Cowardice Mentality that many folks have, who say that they won't give up their Assault Weapons for not only Children's safety, but for the safety of all Americans. The argument is made that, banning Assault weapons won't have any effect on the "bad" know the "criminals"!!! And this is the same Cowardly, purposefully ignorant argument that so many make when the question stands in front of you plain as day! Who were the folks who have been responsible for the Mass Killings of recent years? They weren't bank robbers or hardened criminals, they were non-criminals with one commonality: Access to an Assault Weapon! Its the Access people...its the Access!!! Assault weapons should be banned from sale and manufacture to non-military/law enforcement, individuals. How many people got killed in Sandy Hook in the last 5 years to gun violence? And in less than 15 minutes, 20 Children were gunned down, on one day, because a "crazy" had access to an assault weapon. Even law enforcement agencies have said that the only purpose of these weapons is to kill people fast. We all need to man up and give serious laws with real jail time to help keep our children and all Americans safe.
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      Jan 14 2013: Mr. Shamwell
      I believe the PRO-RIGHTS people say they will not give up their RIGHT to BARE ARMS!You seem to know what you like and don't like? Tell me Sir what is an "ASSAULT WEAPON" that you seem to dis-like?I've worked/served/repaired firearms for over 30 years in the NAVY LAW ENFORCEMENT and Gunsmith and I don't know what an ASSAULT WEAPON is?
      The loss of a little RIGHTS is like a loss little FREE SPEECH!! Once you allow a part to disappear do you believe more will not be demanded later?
      So what part of any other RIGHT are YOU willing to lose?
      Yours in service
      James Acerra
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        Jan 14 2013: James,
        If you do not know the criteria which identifies assault weapons, you can find that information on line.

        Regarding your comment below. I am aware that what passes for an assault weapon today is different than 5 years ago. That's why it helps to look at the criteria which identifies an assault weapon today:>)

        I did not ever present the idea that "police would or could respond in that few seconds against a determined opponent".

        So, maybe I'm not "crazy":>)
        • Jan 15 2013: Collen, I was in the military, what passes for an assault rifle today, is not what passed for one 5 years ago, let alone more. The only difference one could say would be fully automatic weapons which are another thing altogather. The AR15's that are being touted as assault weapons are that in looks only. Sure they have the potential to carry lots of ammo, but a well versed person could easily reload a weapon carrying less than ten rounds and do just as much damage. The idea that police would or could respond in that few seconds against a determined opponent is crazy, and just plain wrong.
      • Jan 14 2013: With respect James, this is my point. Why have not the NRA along with the Government made a clear distinction on such an important issue. I personally grew up in DC, called the Gun Capital of the World in the 60's and 70's. I never carried a gun, and never heard of mass shooting like the one in Sandy Hook, until recent years. I have seen people get shot and killed. Again, I mean no disrespect, it think its Cowardly to mix the issue of Free Speech with an Assault Ban on the manufacture and possession of Assault Weapons, in the wake of 20 innocent souls murdered in cold blood! A law banning Assault Weapons will have ZERO effect on my life or...Freedom of Speech. I can surely think of some questions as to the differences between protection when it comes to firearms and Assaulting many. But this needs to be a priority. Regulating or outlawing something that you can't define is kind of backwards. When Gold was illegal to possess, no one was saying they are taking my rights away. In the 60's and 70's there were many laws that no one cared about, that today seem to generate so much hatred for the same Government that had them in place years ago, because they made sense. While your heart strings may be pulled by those telling you your rights and soon, your Freedom of Speech will taken away too (which is preposterous), they are making millions and millions of dollars. And that my friend is at the crux of this whole issue.
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      Jan 14 2013: Do you think owners of semi-auto guns do not care about the welfare of children? That is a horrible accusation.

      Craig, imagine this from the other side, you are a law abiding, responsible citizen. You believe in the right to defend yourself and family. You own a semi-automatic gun. You have not killed anybody, no one in your circle has. Why should you give your right to own this gun away?

      The action of one does not justify a call to disarm the population of any type of gun. You should plan to take care of yourself, do not give that responsibility to police, and respect the decisions of fellow Americans. Do not assume they are incompetent. Definitely not cowardly and cold when it comes to the death of children.

      Furthermore if you believe that society can not handle these things, you paint a bleak picture of society.
  • Jan 14 2013: I have one question that no one seems to be asking. The NRA obviously wants to present itself as an expert on everything guns, including the statement, "The only thing that stops someone with a gun is another person with a gun!" But if they are such experts and "care" so much, why have they not clearly defined difference between weapons used for Personal Self Defense, Hunting and Assault Weapons, and who they should be intended for, and limited to? Why are they not taking the lead on being responsible for all guns made. They directly Profit from Guns sales every year? Why do they not bear more responsibility for not doing what the NRA is supposed to do? And by the way...just what is their agenda, and should it be seriously looked at and critiqued as to any conflict of interest in being included on ANY legislative procedure and discussions?
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      Jan 14 2013: Looking at where they get their money from (gun manufacturers, mostly)
      it essentially becomes an incentive to have as many guns out there as possible, any type of restriction inhibits gun sales which is exactly what they can't agree to no matter what, because its in direct violation to what they're getting money for.
      They also don't need to be responsible because if a massacre happens...Then you just have the foundation to the argument that everyone needs more guns, which is exactly what they did.

      Its just another Tea Party that substitutes zero-taxes with buy-more-guns
      under the guise that its all about liberty and freedom.
      Load of simpletons being played for fools by an industry, as usual...
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      Jan 14 2013: Folks lets understand this is NOT about any type of weapon they want to BAN. They want to get a crack into the 2nd Amendment so they can take another bite later on! Read the 2nd Amendment there is no provision or distinction to type of firearm or weapon "STYLE" that LAW ABIDING People, US, Citizens can own.
      If you believe the NRA is supported by folks or companies that make them have a conflict of interest. then look at the groups or people behind the Anti-Gun groups You think they have NO interest in firearms being banned?
      No matter how you may look at a "Style" of weapon or firearm as it is a Legal firearm you can NOT let them be banned. Without the 2nd Amendment Protecting the 1st Amendment whats next?
      Your 32oz Soda Oh Yea that's Illegal in NYC and Salt and Trans Fats Where else do you think your rights will be!!! Stand for ALL the RIGHTS not just the ones you like! Or you may not have any!!!
      Yours in service
      James Acerra
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        Jan 14 2013: James,
        Of course there is no distinction in the 2nd amendment regarding firearm or weapon "style". How many styles of guns do you think they had 200 years ago?

        What there IS, in the constitution, is the provision to "regulate".
        • Jan 14 2013: Also in the constitution, "the right of the pepole to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"


          [in-frinj] Show IPA verb, in·fringed, in·fring·ing.
          verb (used with object)
          to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.
          verb (used without object)
          to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon ): Don't infringe on his privacy.
          1525–35; < Latin infringere to break, weaken, equivalent to in- in-2 + -fringere, combining form of frangere to break
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          Jan 15 2013: Mrs. Steen
          in the 1700's you had a variety of weapon's to choose from as to types you had Flintlocks, Matchlocks, handguns, rifles, shot guns, cannons,hand grenades, tomahawks, ax's, swords knives, halberds, pikes, bows, crossbows ect... The choice of weapons has not really changed much in the 200+ years in the 1700's their were semi-automatic hand guns that held 7 shot's and rifles that could fire 4 rounds per load not to mention the shot guns that may have as many as 7 pellets per load. More people are killed with hammers or other blunt objects or in or by cars in the US than with guns LET'S BAN CARS their not even covered by a RIGHT so much the easier!!! Please do not compare the tragic loss of life DUE TO a CRIMINAL act with the Legal Ownership of Firearms.
          As you say in the 2nd amendment as in all the RIGHTS they can be changed but only under certain Rules 2/3rd's of the Senate 2/3rd's of the House and 3/4's of the States ratifying the change! Good Luck!
          Thank you for your time and debate.
          Yours in service
          James Acerra
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        Jan 14 2013: