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Stricter Regulations For Gun Purchase: The Time Has Come To Save The Lives Of Innocents

Woman In Shock Over Sandy Hook Shootings

Commentary | Over the course of sixty one years on this earth, I have witnessed much horror. I have seen wars, murders and suicides up close and personal. I watched close friends waste away from aids and I was saddened by the promising kids from my generation who destroyed their lives with drugs. I write about tragedy every day as a journalist and although I abhor violence, I realize it comes with the territory. Yet today, something is different. The murder of a classroom full of children in a Newtown, Connecticut kindergarten changed everything.

Every American, from President Obama to hard nosed crime reporters to the man or woman on the corner in towns and cities all over this nation, is stunned literally to tears. As I write this commentary, it is difficult to contain my emotions. Twenty children and six adults died in an elementary school at the hands of a disturbed gunman after he allegedly murdered his own mother in her home. Two weeks before Christmas, 20 young Kindergarten children will not be opening presents under the Christmas tree or around the Menorah for Hanukkah. The wonderful life they had ahead of them was snuffed out forever in an instant. Stunned families are left to mourn their loss in horror as our nation watched this terrible scene play out live on television.

In the last few years, the world has witnessed an endless parade of insane gun violence from Anders Breivik in Norway to the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre. Time after time, innocent human beings are gunned down in the prime of life. Every time I read about the latest rampage, after I get over my shock at the loss of life, I think about the political uproar that will inevitably follow. Those opposed to private gun ownership will demand strict gun control and Second Amendment advocates will proclaim their ‘God Given” right to own and carry guns.

The United States is the only modern, industrialized nation that allows its citizens to go armed in the streets. In Great Britain, for example, every single firearm must be licensed and permits for private citizens to carry concealed weapons are virtually non-existent. At the same time, in Colorado, where James Holmes is alleged to have killed 12 and injured 58 moviegoers during his shooting spree, there are no gun registration laws. To carry a concealed weapon in Colorado, a resident simply goes to the local Sheriff’s office and applies. You can walk into a local gun shop and buy a gun as easily as buying groceries.

Most readers who are familiar with my writing are aware that I am a dedicated Libertarian. I believe in human freedom, limited government and the right of responsible adults to make important decisions without the interference of a Big Brother Nanny State. In recent years, we have witnessed the Federal Government inject itself into every aspect of our lives from parenting to religion to our health care choices.

All things considered, why then do we need laws to require background checks, gun registration and a reasonable waiting period to purchase a firearm? After all, many of the shooters involved in these terrible incidents probably would have been able to acquire a firearm one way or the other, no matter what the laws. How would stricter laws have prevented this disaster and what can we do to prevent them from happening in the future?

At the risk of offending most Conservatives and Second Amendment advocates, I will answer my own questions. In many ways, today’s shooting in Connecticut was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. We simply can not let this terrible tragedy fade into our collective consciousness and be forgotten, like all the other tragedies involving guns and mentally disturbed shooters.

1. The time has come to save the lives of innocents by requiring all guns be registered in the owner’s state of residence. The registration should include a complete background check, fingerprints and a reasonable fee to absorb costs to local and state government. All gun purchases should also require a short waiting period to permit the registering agency to complete the background check. The waiting period might also save lives by allowing an emotionally distraught individual a cooling off period to rethink their plans of violence. If only one shooting is prevented because someone had the time to change their mind about a decision made in the heat of the moment, lives will be saved.

2. Gun crimes must be addressed with sentences that take criminals off the streets. No one who uses a gun in a crime should be given probation, a reduced sentence or be released back into the community without strict parole. While I am not an advocate of cruel laws, people must come to understand that if they commit a crime with a gun, they will pay a serious price for their actions.

3. Gun ownership means guns must be handled responsibly and safely. The states need to pass laws requiring anyone who is given a concealed weapon permit to complete an annual gun safety course and qualify at a police shooting range at the gun owners expense. Too many innocent bystanders have been shot, including the nine New York City residents caught in a hail of NYPD gunfire at the Empire State building earlier this year.

4. I must question why many states allow individuals to drive around with rifles and shotguns on display in their vehicles. In Great Britain, the only time you can carry a long-arm in your vehicle is if your going to a coming from a shooting range or a hunt and you must be a member of a gun club. The gun must be stored in the trunk of the vehicle and every single round of ammunition must be kept in a separate locked container. In Colorado, you can drive around with guns prominently on display in your vehicle. Even James Holmes could have put his weapons on a gun rack in the window of a pickup and driven to the theater.

5. Yesterday’s shooting in Sandy Hook clearly illustrates why stricter controls on gun storage in the home are absolutely necessary. According to reports, the alleged shooter had a history of mental illness, yet he lived in a home with his mother, who owned and kept guns in the house. He is alleged to have used his mother’s weapons to kill her and then 26 people in the kindergarten. Why would a law banning the storage of guns in a home with a person suffering from mental illness be so unreasonable? It is already illegal is most states to keep guns in a home occupied by a convicted felon. Would it really impose such a hardship to ask the gun owner in this situation to store their weapons at a licensed shooting range?

While I am not an advocate of the draconian prohibition on guns we see in Great Britain, we can do better in the United States. Do British gun laws work? The numbers tell the story: 31,347 Americans were killed by guns in 2009, while in 2008, only 39 people were killed with guns in Great Britain. America is a much larger country and we have a long history of gun ownership, hunting and recreational shooting. A complete ban would not work and it would probably be unconstitutional, but some changes are desperately needed.

Over the years, both sides in this great debate have dug in their heels and largely refused to even consider compromise or negotiation. The NRA has insisted that even the most innocuous gun laws are a violation of the Second Amendment. We can all remember Charlton Heston’s famous “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands” comment as President of the NRA.

The opponents of gun ownership are not much better; working tirelessly to ban guns and often resorting to deception and subterfuge. Like Heston, Obama has his own rigid view of gun ownership and he told Sarah Brady, the wife of James Brady and a passionate advocate for banning guns, that he has his own secret agenda to restrict gun ownership.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Neither party is willing to come to the table and talk. They hold to unyielding ideologies and refuse to consider compromise. In a recent poll, 74% of the citizens questioned are opposed to a ban on handgun ownership. There are 88 guns for every 100 citizens and banning guns might lead to a civil war. The solution is for both sides to put aside their tired old ideas and work together to develop a workable policy to allow responsible citizens to own guns while keeping them out of the hands of criminals and emotionally unbalanced individuals.

The obstacles are great and the gulf between the two sides on this issue is immense, but we must finally make the effort to work together and find a better way. We owe it to our children.

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Comments

113 Responses to “Stricter Regulations For Gun Purchase: The Time Has Come To Save The Lives Of Innocents”

  1. Sam Basso

    But these weren't this shooter's guns… they belonged to his mother. How do you accomplish that feat here?

  2. Wolff Bachner

    as i said in the article, guns should not be kept in a home where a person who is suffering from serious emotional illness is living.

  3. Jason Fuesting

    You don't, but that won't stop people thinking with their emotions from trampling the liberties of their fellow citizens in a misguided attempt to salve their own consciences.

  4. Sam Basso

    And please tell me how you define that in the law? How do you do that on a practical basis? What qualifies? Apparently he had Asperger syndrome. Does that disqualify? What about guests? What if your guests have issues? How do you test for that? They say he was autistic. Does that qualify? How about depression? Depressed people commit suicide. How about new mothers? Post partum depression? If you are solution oriented, tell me what could be done to stop this kind of thing. Gun ban? Places that have banned guns have had very high rates of murder by guns. Chicago had 10 shootings last night, and still has strict gun control in place. Background checks? These guns didn't belong to him. More school security? This school had a high level of security, except it didn't have armed teachers. Keeping track of every person with a personality disorder or mental illness? Impossible. We can't even track the illegals in this country.

  5. Sam Basso

    Wolff Bachner So, now we know that an "assault rifle" wasn't used in the killings, it was a couple of pistols. So, and "assault rifle" ban is irrelevant to prevent this, as well.

  6. Sam Basso

    In a free society, do we test everyone, once a year maybe like getting a driver's license? Maybe we create a new kind of IRS that goes door to door with psychologists, and people are hooked up to lie detectors and given batteries of tests. We'll call it the Precrime Department of Thought And Emotional Control. And if a doctor misdiagnoses such a condition, does he get sued? What if he says the guy is just upset that he lost his job, but he really has PTSD, does the person in the home with the gun go to prison and the doctor get sued for $10 million dollars? Maybe this, if you have any condition mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders you can't have a weapon of any sort, including a knife? There was that attack in China yesterday, too.

  7. Wolff Bachner

    Sam Basso i never said ban any guns. read the article. i said place resrtictions on storing guns in homes where a resident has severe emotional issues

  8. Wolff Bachner

    id like to be absolutely clear. I support the 2nd amendment. I am an avid sports shooter who has owned many guns. but I have no problem with a background check or a waiting period. I am not in favor of banning any guns but we need some common sense rules to keep them away from people who might use them improperly and incompetent people who are not qualified to handle them safely in public. would those kids be alive today if the shooter didn't have access to his mothers guns. I will let you think about the answer. would it have been too much to ask she store them elsewhere while her son lived with her due to his emotional issues? its all speculation but we need to find solutions. if we don't find a middle ground, they will ban guns sooner or later. this is the last nation in the western world that still allows general gun ownership.

  9. Wolff Bachner

    Sam Basso gun safes might be an answer as well. the point is there are solutions and we need to find them. i do support the 2nd amendment and i am an avid shooter but this isnt the wild west either. we need to find a happy middle ground., too many kids are dying.if this continues unabated and gun owners refuse to negotiate, there willbe a total ban someday. id guarantee it.

  10. Wolff Bachner

    Sam Basso gun safes might be an answer as well. the point is there are solutions and we need to find them. i do support the 2nd amendment and i am an avid shooter but this isnt the wild west either. we need to find a happy middle ground., too many kids are dying.if this continues unabated and gun owners refuse to negotiate, there willbe a total ban someday. id guarantee it.

  11. Kathleen Eickwort

    We most definitely need stricter gun control laws. I think only guns for hunting should be allowed, under strict control, maybe like the Japanese who require a psychiatric exam to get a gun permit. And yes, I think that would have prevented this tragedy.

  12. Pam Turner

    Honestly that sounds good but if you are dealing with evil people laws make no difference to them. So if they want a gun they will get one. You can even order them on the internet. So making laws for lawless people just don't matter.

  13. Cindy Pigno

    First of all the shooters should put the gun to their own head before going on a shooting spree. CT has the 5th toughest gun controls laws in the country. I truely believe violent video games should be addressed. whenever you hear of shootings like this, it is always found out that the shooters are avid games. don't blame the law abiding citizens. did you ever hear of anyone going out to get a gun license before killing someone? This was a senseless act of violence by one sicko. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the parents, families, faculty andentire town of Newtown CT.

  14. Michael Nau

    Wow, all these emotions from a senseless crime and yet we still can't solve a problem. We have become such a enabling, politically correct society that we have lost touch with right from wrong and supression due to lack of engagement from leadership. The White house is a great example of lack of leadership. Gun control, not the problem. Enabling is. We can't even say Merry CHristmas or Happy Hanukkah without some one or governments saying this is wrong. We have supressed these crimes to the point that they become relentless and yet we pick on a device rather the source of the Human spirit. In each of the massive killings of lately what was the root cause of the people going over the edge. Why is this not the issue, rather than guns. A Russian Sports writer visiting in Seattle Recently stated that in their country a sports game has Armed gaurds, military and other authorites at each and every sports event. Wow. Gun Control. Come on America, Wake up. Those beautiful kids lost their lives because of today's arogant and enabling adults.

  15. Tom Fischer

    No need to ban all guns…just the automatic/semi-automatic guns. If you need more than a single shot when hunting you should probably try practicing more because as a marksman….you suck. And for target practice….a single shot will do. You want to collect? Have what ever…weld up the chamber…we'll let you have a 50 cal. Whatever you want. Yes I'm a Liberal, and a gunowner. I use to do a lot of sportshooting…but I can't deal with the typical sportsman dude….low IQ AND stupid. The Nra and all their crap has taken my money out of the gun business.

  16. Cynthia Watts

    The time has come for new gun laws. All guns sold should b registered. All owners should have a license. There should be a minimum of 30days for bk ground & mental health status report. Anyone n violation suffers maximum criminal charges. DUI's get harsger sentences than these gun toting murderers & robbers. Its cray!

  17. Valerie Reinemer Fidrich

    So in what universe is it logical to make sure that the only people with guns are the criminals?

  18. Pam Turner

    The problem with that is if the gun is already in the home and you are dealing with a person who is out of their mind what then? Guns don't kill people it is the people with the guns that do. Stricter laws just bring on a challenged for the crazies. Don't matter. Just like drugs is still here, selling young girls is still here so making a law wont stop nothing just make the more determined to do their crazy stuff. In the mean while the law abiding citizen has no defense.

  19. Kurt Williams

    people whom do these acts DO NOT Care about gun laws and if they want to get guns they will do it legally or not NO to more Gun Control.

  20. Joe Howell

    Only 39 gun deaths in UK? What about all the thousands of other crimes against defenseless victims that could have been prevented by an armed citizenry?

  21. Summer Olsen

    Unfortunately those who want to brake the law always find a way. I believe in the 2 amendment it keeps our government from being tyrannical. If you look at history you will see that if the right to bear arms is taken from the regular people governments tend to loss fear that the people will rise up and over throw them. Since we do not have a crystal ball we do not know who will do evil. We do not know if there were signs for the above problem but there probably was.

  22. Gene Collier

    The issue as I see it is mentally disturbed people. In my opinion if a disturbed person want's a gun they will come up with one. Banning guns from the citizens will only help the criminal. they don't go by the law anyway. It is truly sad by what took place in this school. I know there is a cost involved but there needs to be better security in the schools. Drugs are illigal but there is growing crime over this. Drunk driving is illigal but there are growing deaths over this. Omitting guns from the good citizen will in no way stop these crimes.

  23. Austin Sickels

    Why do you people always keep going after video games. If you even have to go after a scape goat, blame movies and tv instead since there is FAR more violent content in them then in a game.

  24. Randy Leary

    How many deaths we have each day from drunk drivers and people driving while texting? Lets band all alcohol sells and band Cell phones also. These are also senseless killings.

  25. Tom Fischer

    Still waiting for a solution from all you gunfreaks…..you have offered none. Perhaps if your child were shot dead you might have a different view.

  26. Kevin Groetken

    @Tom Fischer, Obviously you did not read the article all the way through its 5 short paragraphs:

    "Violent crimes are growing more common in China. There was a string of knife attacks against schoolchildren across the country in early 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50."

  27. Brian Cunningham

    The rate of private gun ownership per 100 people.
    United States 88.82.
    United Kingdom is 6.72.
    Canada 23.8
    Switzerland 45.7
    Mexico is 15.02.

    The annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population.
    United States 4.96.
    United Kingdom 1.2.
    Canada 1.8
    Switzerland 0.70
    Mexico 21.5

    The annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population.
    United States 2.98.
    United Kingdom 0.03.
    Canada 0.50
    Switzerland 0.52
    Mexico 10.0

  28. Linda Jacobs

    Tom Fischer I am not a gun freak as you put it, but I believe that if just one of those teachers had been armed[legally] we would not have lost 1 child!

  29. Patrick Frye

    Overall agree, although after a couple hours of thinking about it I wonder what happens if the gov starts classifying beliefs as a mental illness?

  30. Patrick Frye

    My biggest concern is that such laws should not be enforced at a federal level. This may leave states with disparate laws, but prevents Congress from messing things up. Negative part is that the states would then have to work together to share databases in order for enforcement to be effective. Secondly, I question how the background check would be implemented. Even the ACLU might not like medical information being tied to criminal databases. And if the fee for a comprehensive background check were made too expensive only the rich might afford guns.

  31. Roger McCall

    Liberals LOVE a tragedy such as this. It gives them an excuse to try to take away more of our rights. The truth is, America has turned it's back on God and this is the result. Even the President has said, ( with glee I might add) that we are no longer a Christian nation. Saten knows his time is short, he is going about as a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour. We are truly living in the "last days" and as the sprit of the AntiChrist becomes more prevalent, you are going to see even more of these type of tragedies.

  32. Chris Coburn

    These numbers are misleading. They don't account for multiple gun ownership. Only about 45% of US households have guns. Essentially every household has a gun in Switzerland.

  33. Robert Graves

    HELLO! IT IS NOT THE GUNS THAT KILL PEOPLE IT IS THE PEOPLE THAT USE THE GUNS…So stupid… do we really think that bad and deranged people are going to abide by ANY laws? How dumb to enact harsh gun laws on people, when you are only taking the right to protect ourselves away from law abiding citizens. When will America wake up? This is only a ploy to, again take away our rights, given to us by our constitution. Let's face it , there are some that do not abide by any law. Don't take away the rights from good people, otherwise laws like this are leaving the innocent wide open for attacks. Lets be sensible!

  34. Chris Coburn

    Some of these suggestions deserve to be the discussed, but the discussion we should be having is how better protect schools. We armed pilots, we should arm teachers. Innocent kids can't continue to be sitting ducks.

  35. Samuel J. Saladino

    You and I are the same age so I've experienced much of what you have as well. In regards to your responses:

    1. I've purchased firearms while a resident in two states, and underwent a background check in both states and I have no problem with this. However the killer in this instance was NOT the owner, so background checks would have made no difference. My current state of residence has a 3 day wait to purchase a firearm… it hasn't stopped any murders. Recently a young wife was reported missing by her husband. Weeks later her body was found in the river about 50 miles south of where she was last seen. She had been murdered by blunt force trauma, no gun involved and now her husband is charged with her death. If someone wants someone dead, they aren't going to take the time to think about going to buy a gun, they will simply do the deed with whatever tool they have including their own fists and feet.

    2. I support this statement, however it also seems to be the current trend to commit suicide after the killing so that won't make much difference as far as I can see.

    3. I think every firearm owner should go through a safety course, however I think an annual course is overkill, and certainly a financial burden on some. Maybe a refresher course requirement when the permit is up for renewal would be in order.

    4. A simple gun lock, which consists of a cable and lock would have prevented yesterday's tragedy as long as that key was out of the reach of the killer. Many manufacturer's now include them with the firearms, or some other sort of trigger lock, and if not they are very reasonably priced. The tools are there, people just need to USE them. Keeping those firearms locked up at a gun club would defeat the purpose of self protection under concealed carry permit. You can't ask a criminal intent on shooting you to wait while you run down the the gun club to get your pistol.

    Bottom line is in that household, with the son having the problems he did, proper safe storage techniques were not employed.

    I've used and owned firearms since I was about ten years of age, I've never shot anyone, nor have I ever had the thought cross my mind to shoot anyone, other than employing it as a tool for self defense for myself and loved ones. I use to be an avid hunter and target shooter, not a murderer of fellow humans.

  36. Tannia King

    I guess that depends. Did he use his own guns and did he obtain these legally? It is my understanding that he used guns registered to his mother. So this becomes another case of a criminal doing what criminals do, breaking the law and obtaining weapons illegally. Although I will say that no civilian needs to own a semi-automatic. That ban should have never been lifted.

  37. Dave Bush

    Having Rights would suggest that each and every party to that right has the responsibility to act morally. There should be self regulation in the fire-arms economy. And there should be accountability in the absence of it. I have been to gun shows, looks like a circus for sociopaths.

  38. Roger McCall

    @Tom, if MY child had of been shot, my first question would have been that pertaining to protection. We can't stop people from being crazy, but we CAN protect ourselves and our children with proper firearm training for those in a caregiver position. Case in point; Teachers in Israel are armed. Something like this NEVER happens there.

  39. Tannia King

    You know, I'm not a fan of guns, but you have a point. As a student teacher, I'm thinking that I'm going into a high risk field anymore. The only concern with arming the teachers is they'd have to go through extensive training on how to handle a weapon and secure it, just like a police officer or military personnel, but if that's what it takes to save the kiddies, then I'm for it. Gods know something has to change.

  40. Kristina Rivera

    Where there is a will there is a way , when someone wants to do something bad enough they will find a way to do it. My prayers go out for comfort and strength to the families who have lost there little ones , I cant imagine the hurt and pain they are going through. I do agree on their being a tighter gun policy only for it to be harder not for it to go away as long as their is evil nothing will truly go away , lets try and stop sweeping things under the carpet with rules and get to the real issue and unite in prayer over this country.

  41. Tannia King

    Cindy, in Canada they watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that we do and the majority of them have guns, so I think you're blaming the wrong thing here. Besides, where in this shooters background, was it released that he was an avid video game player? What did come out is that he was mentally ill. Maybe the focus should be on that issue, rather than what his hobbies were.

  42. David Garascia

    If you are a gun owner then you know that to own an automatic gun legally a person has to have a Class III license. If you are a hunter, I guarantee that you haven't went dove, duck, phesant, quail, or squirrel hunting and have hit and killed everything with just 1 shot. I am betting you are one of the typical liberals who say I am a gun owner but have never fired a shot in your life.

  43. Leah-Dave Solomon

    the freaking gun didnt drive itself there, didnt force itself inside, and sure didnt pull its own trigger. Some mental dumbass who probably was told how good he was his whole life, even though he was truly a piece of shit, did. our system is so afraid to take these kinda people out of mainstream society because of their rights. when will we realize that until we make the punishment fit the crimes, this kinda stuff wont stop. execute peole like this when we have the chance instead of putting them back on the streets and sickos might give things a secong thought. MY GUN HAS NEVER KILLED ANYONE YET, BUT DONT FUCK WITH ME OR MINE BECAUSE IT WILL!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Tr Johnson

    I just left a big long rant on a friend's page who had proposed that only military and police should have guns. Certainly, that would have prevented the tragedy at ft Hood, but I digress…

    I'm not going to put a copy of my morning rant here, but I will summarize the gist of it.

    People who want gun control want it because it "makes them FEEL like they've done something without ACTUALLY DOING something."

    Nobody wants to deal w/the ROOT CAUSE, because that would be WORK – and, as a society, we aren't willing to do THAT anymore!

    Solution to the problem:

    1.) Only make babies w/someone who plans to actively love and participate in the upbringing of that child.

    2.) Take that responsibility more seriously than you take anything else – PERIOD!

    With the exception of severe (incurable) mental illness or physical irreversible brain damage of some sort, PROBLEM SOLVED!

    I'm so tired of people trying to put the blame anywhere but on themselves.

    What happened to those little children is appalling but, because I had ONE good parent, I know they are going to be ok forever. I do, however, believe Mr & Mrs Lanza – even though they were "victims" – share in the responsibility of yesterday's events.

    AND…where were the friends and neighbors who saw problems and did nothing to help?

    As friends and neighbors, we need to be aware of the people around us and not so caught up in our daily routines that we don't see when children are in need. They're VERY easy to spot if you're paying attention.

    To Tannia, below, I promise if you find them – even as a substitute – and let them know you genuinely care, you will not be harmed by them. Be the adult they CAN go to…

    Rant summary complete…; )

  45. Bradley Russell Jones

    I believe in the 2nd amendment. As stated before, that is the ultimate form of checks and balances to unbridled government power. That and our National Guards(citizen soldiers). The problems I see repeatedly with these tragedies is that there were signs of mental illness, etc. long before the gunman acted. That in my opinion is where the correction needs to be made. Partly by the government, partly by hte family members of the individual. I am certain the mother of this gunman should have considered what was best for her son and sought treatment for him, if it wasn't already being done. I personally would have removed firearms from my home, just saying. Ultimately, the gunman needed mental health care. Obama and his "secret agendas" genuinely scare me.

  46. Brian Cunningham

    Which just goes to show that gun ownership doesn't equal homicide murder. Your point coincides exactly. Merry Christmas to you and your family..

  47. Brandon Arriel

    Would the author of this article like to expand a bit on the part of the innocent people who were shot at the Empire State Building? In particular, why not bring to light the fact that the gunman went in to shoot one person, then when he left, the police opened fire on him, and in doing so, they managed to kill him and hit all the innocent people as well? Why did you leave that part out? Were you not aware of the entire story? Did you just not want to make people aware that the police were the cause of those injuries?

    VERY poor journalism.

  48. Trudy Strand

    I don't believe a gun ban or stricter gun laws are the solution. If that is done, only the criminals will have them. However, no one needs rifles or handguns that hold 15 shells in a clip except law enforcement – they need them to match what the criminals have, and even then they are often out-powered. If the Conn. shooter had to reload after 2 shots, MANY lives could have been saved. Oh, and BTW, lets label the shooters like we do hurricanes so they don't get ANY recognition. It only serves to glorify them to the other sicko's that are notoriety wannabe's!

  49. Mandy Martinez

    Why when something horrific happens do we need to blame gun control, schools, God, etc. The only person responsible for this act was the shooter himself. I truly believe that people have lost focus in life. We need to raise our kids with empathy, love, and compassion. Many parents of my generation are too wrapped up in their own selfish things that they get their kids a few expensive toys and send them off to "teach" themselves. I realize this person had mental issues, but I am a teacher and I see many kids who are not taught love, compassion, or empathy. If you don't have those things in your life you have no regard for life. I for one do not want to carry a gun in my classroom just in case of a school shooting. Where would I store it? Do I trust that if someone did bust in I could hit the shooter and miss scattering children? I think the answer is truly within our homes. Love, support, teach, and be involved in the lives of your children so they learn to value human lives.

  50. Faith Hughes

    And you think your stricter gun laws are going to stop a man without a permit from stealing guns and killing children??? Really? How does that work? Because from EVERY account I have read, this act was NOT committed by a law abiding, permit carrying gun owner but rather a gun stealing whack job with mommy issues. Now, anti-gun people throw up England as their example and pro-gun people will yell Switzerland back at them. Seems to me we have two opposite ideologies that BOTH WORK. The problem in this country is that we are somewhere in the middle…The guns are already here. Banning guns is definitely not the answer as only honest, law abiding folks are going to comply. Let's face it, criminals really don't care much about what's legal. That will leave only the criminals with guns. You can bet we'll see a lot more incidents like yesterday's if that happens. It's not just that the Swiss HAVE guns, they are trained to use them. Maybe we should focus more in this country on making sure that people with permits and guns have the proper training as to how and when to use a firearm. Maybe we should also look into why we have so many more "crazies" in this country…

  51. Xhekli Duraj

    Everyone who is for stricter laws not just for guns but most things. Think, when the fuck do criminals, who mind you break the law, respect and follow said laws? Shit plenty of high schoolers can get drugs incredibly easy and stricter laws won't change it.

  52. Barbara Kohls Jenkins

    So you are so nieve to think that a hunting gun owned legally or stolen can not kill someone? Gun laws only leave the good guys defenseless to protect themselves from the bad guys.

  53. Catherine Davis

    I don't know where you get your info from but guns in Japan are strictly illegal. Their murder rate is nearly as high as the USA but NONE are gun related. That make you feel better?

  54. Catherine Davis

    OMG, Tom. You're an idiot. Honestly, I've seen smarter preschoolers than you. If you bdon't want to own an AK47 or anything else like it then DON'T but leave mine alone. Personally I think that people that play golf are sissys but I don't think golf clubs should be banned. And I could bury a golf club in your skull almost as easy as I could shoot you. You want to ban automobiles as well because of drunk drivers? Moron!

  55. Michael Mccall

    More gun control or an outright ban is not the answer. The answer lies in how we reconginise and get the proper treatment for those who have mental illnesses that can become violent. Laws over the years have become laxed and harder to commit someone who is showing signs of Mental illness. The first step should be two phased. 1. Teach people how to reconguise mental illnesses and 2. Develop better legal procedures to commit a person. Also Judges should not be the one to determine if a patient is ready to be released back into the public. That should be left up to the Doctors.

  56. Catherine Davis

    What a lot of people don't think about is the size of European countries. The UK, for example is about the size of Michigan & Ohio combined (a little smaller actually). Switzerland is about the size of Rhode Island. Germany is half the size of the state of Texas. Also, no one in Japan is allowed to own a firearm but they have a murder rate nearly as high as the USA. Rare that any of their murders is firearm related. They use knives to kill in Japan.

  57. Bernadette Perle

    I agree with your statements. We should not remove the Constitutional rights of the people, but rather enforce stricter laws on ownership. Simply because amending one Amendment would create a dominoe effect in removing all other rights. In America, it is the law for children to go to school. There are alternatives in education, such as homeschooling. However, many parents are not in a position to do so. My point is, if the law is enforcing that children be in school, then the law should be responsible for their safety while they are there. Any thoughts?

  58. Crystal Fetterman

    the gun laws arnt the problem…even if you took away guns criminals can still get them so all you would do is take away the ability for people to protect themselves. You want to make a difference? start putting armed guards in schools! this way the shooter isn't the only one with a gun! how many of those people would be alive today if an armed guard would have been there? they keep asking "are we doing enough to protect our kids?" NO WERE NOT! as a mother of a kinderguardener I know I would feel better if there was an armed guard at my daughters school…wouldn't you?

  59. Mandy Martinez

    Roger McCall how dare you say anyone would LOVE a tragedy such as this. Are you stupid? Liberal or not no one with compassion and love for other humans would LOVE a tragedy such as this. I cant believe the stupidity some people spew.

  60. Mandy Martinez

    This post is exactly what I was trying to say earlier! If a child is not raised with love he/she will not know how to love. It all starts in the HOME. If a person has a child then the priority should be that child. Teach him/her how to love, how to have empathy, compassion….all the things people need to understand others. I am sick of everyone blaming the school or the laws. When are people going to take responsibility of their own actions and children? When my son makes the wrong choice I dont go blaming his teacher for getting mad at him. I sit him down and we have a talk and he has consequences. I teach him the skills he needs to be a caring compassionate person who knows that actions have consequences. My husband does the same. People are too wrapped up in themselves to take the time to raise a child.

  61. Dianne Gardner

    I agree that guns aren't the issue here. It could have been a bomb. The terrible event in Conn. shouldn't be a political issue. What scares me is the undertone that events like these are being pushed for one agenda or another. Who's to say something like this can't be 'staged' to repeal the Constitution of America? Terrorists will do anything. They hide behind their own children during wartime. And what's worse, the in sensitizing of the value of human life. I would much rather see violent video games that teach young people, mentally healthy or not, that shooting people is fun banned, rahter than mess with our right to defend our homes and our families.

  62. Megan Charles

    Metal illness is a little more difficult to define (pre-crime) than say in comparison to a convicted felon status. Thus, it would be hard to say where one would be allowed to keep a gun in a household with someone classified as mentally ill. In some places they consider autistics to be mentally ill or manic depression – so does that mean if I have a relative that is slightly autistic I can't keep a gun in my own house? Or what about ailing parents with advancing dementia? I can't keep a firearm locked up in my home to protect myself or family from intruders looking for medications, cash, or sexual assault because I can't afford to put he/she into a care facility, their not advanced enough to be, or prefer to home care my loved one? Too much of a slippery slope with that particular regulation. I don't disagree with a little regulation, but it inevitably conforms the law abiding citizen not the criminal. We have spree killings in other places in the world, we call those suicide bombers. If he wanted to kill, he was going to find a way, either with fire, pipe-bombs, etc…something. Taking guns away from everyday citizens who require them because police cannot be everywhere at all times to protect us, would be unfair. You're punishing the good for the bad behavior. Criminals will get their hands on guns…if not from a relative like you mentioned, or steal it from a friend. I'm sympathetic to the families in all of the spree shooting that have happened. I hate that someone didn't come forward sooner – a friend, family member, social worker, psychologist, etc in all of the cases there was some failure to report suspicious behavior in part to the person nearing their breaking point.

  63. Megan Charles

    I grew up in a home where my father kept many rifles, handguns, bows, arrows, and knives in unlocked cabinets. But we were raised to treat them with respect like tools and not toys. We never never brandished or played around. At the very least he made sure we respected the weapons for what they were. I don't see a problem with independent gun ownership. I agree this sort of spree shooting business is getting out of control, but these people committing this crime are literally out of their minds and were showing signs of mental and emotional fracture long before they committed these crimes. I don't want to lose my rights to protect myself simply because some lunatic decided he had to go out in a blaze of glory taking down innocent lives in the process. It's just not fair. It's the exact thing "they" want to happen. Had there been an armed security guard posted at the school I'm sure that would have made more of a difference and resulted in less deaths had one been present. Regardless, I pray for the easing of those suffering from the most recent of unfortunate tragedies.

  64. Sam Basso

    Several people have said that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome. We are also hearing that people want some kind of controls put on the types of people with certain disabilities after this… many respected historical figures have had symptoms of Asperger's, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Thomas Jefferson… yeah, let's lock 'em up.

  65. Andrea Weeks

    3,000 people are killed every year including children by the wheel. Throughout history the wheel is responsible for Billions of deaths and Trillions of injuries. Let's all Ban the wheel!

  66. Sam Basso

    Okay, so: 20, therefore too young to buy a handgun. On psychotropic meds. Acquired weapons illegally. Illegally entered a school. Committed a crime of murder, multiple times. Solution: Attempt to take all other guns away from half the population of the third largest nation on the planet, because we've got to do "Something." Conveniently forget 2nd, 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments, because we've got to do "Something." Attack anyone dissenting with this logic, because we've got to do "Something." I understand and sympathize with the anguish, but strong emotion rarely leads to wise thought.

  67. James R. Butler

    It takes a sorry person to kill his mother, someone needs to investigate the kind of person he was before this took place. What caused him to take her life, surely he didn't just wake up and say "I, m going to kill someone today just for the hell of it." There must have been some indications somewhere, however, She could have probably done nothing because he had not committed any crime yet.

  68. Summer Olsen

    Okay Tom you need to check the your history not just the sissy lala crap they put in history books truly dig for it. David your right drones would not be the only form of attack but our American solders have not had live ammunition used on American citizens sense the civil war. If someone says something about the 60's and 70's that was not solders with live ammunition but police. Catherin you are right I could take someone out really easy with a golf club, car, pencil but I still don;t believe that a civilian needs an AK – 47 it was made for one purpose and it does it very well. The 2 amendment does not say you can have this but not that. Our founding fathers wrote that one like that and they understood people pretty well and nations. I have another question why does this debate always come up after a horrible catastrophe just asking?

  69. Jeremy Cieminski

    lets see, charge for gun, charge for ammo, charge for background check, charge for license, and let's not forget charge to shoot gun as well in alot of places. You know a big reason for the Revolutionary War was being Charged for everything. Oh what a coincidence, Great Britain or should I say England was who the US fought against in the Revolutionary War.

  70. Allen Crow

    Not to mention that the 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with "hunhting"!

  71. Tracy Laufer

    Roger McCall you are correct! Maybe Love is to strong a word but they will take this tragedy and twist it to their own needs and desires. They will play it for all the sympathy they can to get more control.

  72. Talia Wallace

    They might still be able to get a gun, and they still might be able to commit crimes using that weapon, but something must be done to prevent horrible crimes like the recent shooting. Stricter laws mean that it is more difficult to get a gun, thus more difficult and less likely for horrific crimes to occur. If it can save lives, it should be done.

  73. Chad Burnett

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson.

  74. Sondra R Finley

    How about instead of our government sending $$$$ outside of the USA–they spend it on the problems of mental health. I do agree that it's too easy for anyone to get a gun, this also should be addressed! this has GOT to stop. As a grandmother and mother-in-law of a teacher, I have to say, I'm scared to death!

  75. Pat Finn

    After this massacre in Newtown, I wish every gun owner would take their gun or guns (like the idiot with 47 guns in some state plotting an attack on an elementary school) and throw them in a dump that crushes garbage immediately. I think the only way to stop this violence in the US especially against chilredn is to get rid of all the guns or at least adopt Great Britain's policies. The shooter in Newtown got the guns from his mother's collection – what is God's name was a woman keeping such a high caliber gun collection, which caused her death as well as 20 cihildren and 6 adults in the school plus traumatised 400+ others for the rest of their lives. Too bad the killer had to take his own life – I would have recommended electrocution of life in solitary confinement.

  76. Pat Finn

    Sure Michael blame the White House – why not, you probably blame them for everything that happens in the world and especially in your life. Well, put the blame rather on the republicans who oppose everything the white house and democrats try to do. Get a life, but certainly not a gun.

  77. Pat Finn

    Gene – from what I have heard and read, the mother of the shooter was a good woman. She had a lot of guns in her house – her son tried to buy a gun, but didn't want to wait so he killed her with her own guns and then shot up the school. If the mother did not have a gun collection, it would have been harder for him to get his hands on a gun. As far as he beinging disturbed, I wonder about that – anyone who can plan ahead and carry out such a crime to me is not very disturbed mentally, but is evil incarnate.

  78. Pat Finn

    Tom Fischer – agree wotj upi 150%. Even republican Rand Paul from Kentucky is advocating opposing the UN Gun Ban and trying to raise funds to support gun rights – had an email from him minutes before the Newtown disaster. Doubt if he has changed his thinking either. Thank you for your intelligent answer.

  79. Pat Finn

    Linda Jacobs – what if a child found the teacher's gun in her desk and was playing with it – he/she probably would have died or even some of their classmates. Do you want every teacher to wear a shoulder harness or a gun holster around their waist – what would that teach the students in the classroom. Think about your reply.

  80. Pat Finn

    Roger: You are probably one of those gun dooting idiots. President Obama is a caring individual who creied when he was talking about the shootings at the Newtown School. Just remember one thing – judge not least you be judged – I just judged you and your comment. Amen, Alleluia and try to have a Merry Christmas.

  81. Pat Finn

    What I don't understand is why anyone feels they need a gun to protect themselves. If we got rid of all guns or adopted British laws (might help a little) – gettin rid of guns would mean the bad guy would not have a gun if they broke into your home – hit him over the head with a baseball bat. I know I will get comments about being stupid, but I don't care – the lives of innocent children and teachers and principal and school psychologist is worth a lot more than having a gun.

  82. Teresa Law

    Talia Wallace , More laws, strict, not strict does not prevent horrible crimes. Bad people, crazy people do not follow the "laws" or the rules. It is just like us having rules of engagement in war, the people/country we are at war with do not practice rules of engagement. Just like people drive on suspended licenses and hit people with their car. The "law" took their license, but that does not stop them…. What about the people in states in Africa. The war lords have killed most of them with machetes, not guns. Bad guys will never play by the rules, so to make more rules for the good guys is insane. Im not sure why that is so hard for the liberals to understand.

  83. Teresa Law

    Pat Finn , Isn't that the liberals have done, blame the WH? Funny! Ya'all are funny

  84. Bobby Owen

    I agree that the gun owner has a responsibility to keep his guns secure. Just like you keep your car keys from a drunk. Maybe they should go after the owner of the gun that murdered instead of everyone elses.

  85. Bobby Owen

    The war on drugs, war on crime, war on poverty all worked so magnificently lets see how the war on guns works out. It will probably get easier to get one.

  86. Anonymous

    even if you buy a gun on the internet you still have to ship it to an FFL and do the transfer paperwork. I really wish people would stop spreading lies to make gun ownership seem so evil

  87. Anonymous

    Pat Finn, both sides finger point all day. the reason the Republicans block the Democrats is the same reason the Democrats block the Republicans…they don't agree and won't compromise. You are perpuating the whole problem with your statements.

  88. Tom Fischer

    Been hunting since I was 8….42 years now, pheasant in Iowa, ducks on the Miss. We always joked the last 2 shots after missing, you could've thrown at the birds by hand….No you need more practice….or maybe new glasses.

  89. Tom Fischer

    Brandon Arriel Home defense? Please read the stats….chances are you'll shoot your kid rather than an intruder. Install an alarm…it will protect your guns when you are not home.

  90. Tom Fischer

    Allen Crow Obviously you have never read the Constitution…and if you have…you didn't understand it. We now have a "standing militia." Besides….you think your AR 15 is some kind of match for a Drone. Delusional.

  91. Allen Millett

    Megan, this is exactly right. The problem is that if an armed security guard was there and had stopped him you would have never seen it on the news because it's not part of the agenda. It happens all the time and never reported on main stream media. Mental health is the issue and no one is really taking about it except in these postings. Where is the push for mental health changes?

  92. Gary Barrett

    Let me call you a WAAMBULANCE, Put yourself to good use and help put a stop to wholesale murder of many times as many babies each year. MURDER – LIFE Conceptions.