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Kate Jones

Partner, Institute for the Advancement of Service

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The time is NOW for people to stand up and say 'No More Assault Weapons" and not wait for the government to legislate the change.

Change starts when people change, not when governments legislate change. Think back to the days when driving drunk was socially acceptable, no matter who died in the process. Then Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) formed. The rest is history.

The time is 'now o'clock'. We will change our resopnse to violence and stop purchasing violence video games as gifts for our children, and stop patronizing films that promote violence, mayhem and murder. Glorifying the horrific has become the norm.

What happened in Newtown, CT should never happen again.

Remember Mahatma Ghandi's words: "Be the change you want to see in the world". The time is now o'clock!

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    Dec 21 2012: @peter lindsay Re: "No I'm suggesting he feared people, the guns just make people more scarey."

    The knowledge that other person has or may have a gun also makes it scary to commit a crime against that person. Would the gunman enter a classroom if he knew that the teacher is armed and trained to use her weapon? Guns work far before the trigger is pulled. Their action is, first and foremost, psychological.

    Steven Pinker suggests that "common knowledge" has a great power and changes the way people behave.
    http://wordyenglish.com/lit/language_and_human_nature.html

    I would make a hypothesis that if everybody carried a gun in plain view and everyone could see that everyone else has a gun, the gun violence would drop. There would also be a lot less road rage and everyone would be a lot more polite to each other. True or false? Are there historical examples with data?

    It seems to me that the shootings are rarely committed by legal gun owners. From what I know, they are often committed with stolen guns by people who feel disrespected or insecure in hope of boosting their importance.
    • Dec 23 2012: Stolen from who?

      I would suggest they are stolen from the average homeowner on main street. So as Joe homeowner buys more and more guns he is making it easier for criminals to access weapons. That starts the vicious circle and perpetuates the escalation of gun ownership and violent crime. It's gotten to the point now that folks without guns not only have to concern themselves with security from the criminal element, gun ownership is so out of hand and out of control, those poor folks now also have the George Zimmerman
      crowd to worry about.

      I live in Canada with a measure of gun control in place so I cant speak for the American law enforcement experience but most law enforcement personnel here spend their entire careers without ever having fired their sidearm in the performance of their jobs. These are the folks that put themselves in harms way every day. So tell me again why people need guns for protection in their homes?

      Gun control is not perfect by any stretch. People do still get killed by gun violence. The fact is though they get killed in much much lower per capita numbers than without gun control.

      So in the end it boils down to that old argument again - do the benefits for the many outweigh the benefits for the few.
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        Dec 23 2012: Re: "George Zimmerman crowd"

        That's the thing. These news get blown out of proportions. There is no "George Zimmerman crowd". This is the only incident of the sort that I have heard of. Usually, this kind of incidents happen with police officers when they kill unarmed people.

        You present things as if people in the U.S. are all armed and go on shooting rampages every so often. This is not true. I know people who carry a gun with them everywhere they go. I am not afraid of them at all.

        Here is an interesting article which may explain why the shooter in Oregon mall this month has killed only 2 people before killing himself - he was confronted by a person who also had a gun. If not for this person, the death toll might have been larger. This fact is hushed by the media, for some reason.

        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2012/12/16/virtually-unreported-ccw-holder-likely-prevented-larger-clackamas-mall-d

        Re: "So in the end it boils down to that old argument again - do the benefits for the many outweigh the benefits for the few."

        Who defines what the benefits are?
        • Dec 24 2012: I would say the benefits are already defined

          The pilgrims landed seeking freedom from tyranny and oppression. That's the benefit and the intent of US citizenship and it was then captured in the opening paragraph of the Constitution

          "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...."

          Note the use of the terms 'Common defence' and 'General Welfare'

          I would have to think, whatever the debate might be, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

          Re the article - what good the CCW fella did is debatable. He didn't actually fire a shot. He couldn't. Not without risking a bystander. Thank goodness he was responsible. Somebody like George Zimmerman wasn't and I would wager that for every time a CCW permit or permit to carry is proven to save the day, there must be 100s and 100s of accidental gun deaths from legally owned weapons.
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        Dec 24 2012: Re: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."

        Exactly. And how do you do all that without guns?

        Re: " He didn't actually fire a shot..." Yes. This is how guns are supposed to work to prevent crime.

        Re: "for every time a CCW permit or permit to carry is proven to save the day, there must be 100s and 100s of accidental gun deaths from legally owned weapons."

        Thousands of people die from car accidents. Cars also pollute air. Why are you against guns and not against cars?
        • Dec 24 2012: You see I read that same para and see that gun controls based on some mutually acceptable limit are needed to protect me and mine from the proliferation of guns and a gun culture.

          George Zimmerman is not a one of a kind type of incident. Many people are shot mistakenly and many more accidentally. I seem to recall within the past month or two a father down there shot his son coming home late one night mistaking him for a burglar.

          We have a cabin up North - I don't ever dare use it in the Fall or Spring literally for fear of the Hunters mistaking me for wildlife.

          As for Cars - They do kill people but I won't ban them. We have controls in place that protect citizens as best we can and I accept that more controls wouldn't significantly improve things. We could play this game day all day - We have random police stops of vehicles to ensure everything is in order with the vehicle and driver. Should we do the same Guns and the owners. I would say no but you drew the comparisson.
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        Dec 27 2012: I'm all for responsible using of guns. Not using them at all would be OK with me as well - I don't own a gun and don't want to. I'm against government control over what people can or cannot do. Once we allow people do what they want, we have to accept the risk of mistakes, negligence, or malice. Some balanced approach is necessary. Just declaring that guns are bad and banning them won't do any good as it was with prohibition.

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