Friday, July 20, 2012

Gun violence

I don't have any issue with people having guns for hunting, target shooting, or even collecting (under certain circumstances).   I do believe that the NRA interpretations of the 2nd Amendment is completely off base and out of touch with the current reality.

The tag line "guns don't kill people, people kill people," is again proven incomplete as an apparently lone gunman entered a theater in Aurora, CO and shot and killed 14 people (as of my writing) and as many as 50 were wounded.  Yes, it was the violence of an individual man, but it would not have been possible without the three guns he was carrying.

We need sensible gun control NOW.  Go to the Brady Campaign to see how you can help change the current situation which enables so much needless violence.

5 comments:

revrannulf said...

Agreed, Roy...

Sadly, the conversation about gun control will probably fade as quickly as the news media allows this trajedy to fade from our national consciousness...

Michael Mahoney said...

Gun laws don't work. Norway has some of the tightest gun laws in the world, and Anders Behring Breivik was able to walk into a youth camp with guns and bombs and kill 77 people.

I'm curious as to what kind of tighter gun laws you would advocate in this matter. Two shops both did complete background checks on Holmes, and he was perfectly clean. Colorado doesn't have a requirement for a waiting period, but do you think another couple of weeks would have put him off?

The guy was a whack, and if he couldn't use a gun, he would have used a bomb, and if he couldn't buy a bomb, he had the chemistry background to make one out of fertilizer and fuel oil like Breivik did. No law would have stopped this guy.

It's interesting to note that the only one who did feel there was something hinkey about Holmes was the gun club owner who turned him down.

roy said...

Here's a start, Michael, I think automatic weapons should be illegal. Period. With none grandfathered in and a significant penalty on anyone found with one in their possession including manufacturers. Any semi-automatics that can easily be modified to full automatic, likewise illegal. Next, there should be limits on the size of the magazines allowed. Maybe limited to 10... and anything larger illegal. period. none grandfathered in. Similarly harsh penalties for having a larger one in your possession. And maybe limits on the number of magazines that can be owned. Next ammunition should be tracked with limits on the amount anyone can own/purchase. Maybe a limit on the number of guns one can own.

Michael Mahoney said...

The only real problem I have with your plan is the "none grandfathered" part. There are people who have significant investments in (right now) legal collectors items. So in essence, you would support the government just taking thousands if not more dollars worth of legally obtained firearms from citizens. No way.

My family owns dozens of firearms. (My dad is an NRA instructor and range office, my nephew is a ranked shooter and his wife is an Olympic shooter, and I've won some medals myself. None of us have ever shot anyone.) Which government agency will storm the house and decide how many guns we can own and how much money we will lose when they grab the rest?

The other problem is that your plan would be completely ineffective at reducing gun violence. It's not like all the gang members in LA are going to go "Oh, no, I'd better turn in all these MAC-10s I have here!"

I DO support the harsh penalty part. No parole, no reduced sentences. No early release because the jails are too crowded.

roy said...

Michael, I'd disagree that Breivik is an example of gun laws not working... all you need do is look at the statistics and see how many more shootings there are in the US vs. Canada, Norway, wherever.

As for the no grandfather part, yes it obviously is a problem, but getting the guns off the streets is the only way to get them off the streets. Can there be some kind of reimbursement for those who had them legally and with no bad intentions? Yes. Will they be happy? Not likely. But you didn't ask what would make people happy, you asked what would work in terms of reducing gun violence. So yes, I am in support of the government confiscating weapons that were legally attained. Do I expect it will ever happen? No. So how about making people legally liable for any violence done by their gun? So if it is stolen and used in a crime, there are liable for that use? That gives them the option of keeping the gun but being completely responsible for its use.

Given my fantasy scenario, it is true the gang bangers would still have the guns they have now... but some would break, some would get confiscated, some would be thrown into the river after a crime and there wouldn't be any to replace them. Eventually, if none were being produced, there would be none on the streets legally or illegally. Obviously that is an exaggeration but the point is still valid.

As I said, I have no issues with hunting or target shooting or even some kinds of collecting, I just don't see the purpose of an assault weapon or a 100 round magazine other than killing large numbers of people. I've yet to see an Olympic event where they use AR-15s...