RETHINKING GUNS

So, I finally have to ask this question. If your own or a loved ones life is the price you pay for supporting “everyone’s” right to have and use a gun … is it worth it? Really worth it? Is your career, supported by money from the National Rifle Association really and truly worth your own life? The life of a friend? Of a colleague?

I am sorry when anyone gets shot. Anyone, anywhere, at any time. This was yet one more meaningless shooting which could easily have been prevented. I’m sorry Steve Scalise is back in intensive care. Horrified that this crime apparently has not even given gun advocates some pause to consider that maybe there is a way to control guns without eliminating them. To at least keep them out of the hands of those patently unable to control their use … including children, toddlers, and mental patients who’ve slipped off medications and are wandering the streets, looking for targets.

Guys, maybe you could consider rethinking your position? Even a small movement in the direction of simple commonsense might stop at least some of the killing.


A little more from Garry Armstrong:


There’s always been a nonsensical reaction to the issue of gun regulation in the United States. I did myriad stories during my career about illegal weapons used in gang wars, drive by shootings and mentally deranged people killing and or seriously injuring innocent bystanders. Gun lobbyists always said “It’s unfortunate but you can’t legislate because of isolated incidents”. Isolated, my rear end!! If you tally the number of “collateral damage” victims — just in the past 50 years — the numbers are staggering. It was popular to say the gun violence occurred mostly in the inner cities and “Those people were just killing each other off”.

Check again and note the shootings in upscale, predominantly white communities — just in the last calendar year. Few of “those people” were involved.

It’s a national nightmare that behooves people of all political persuasion to realize that “ALL lives matter!”.

59 thoughts on “RETHINKING GUNS

    • We just had a few police murders locally. A mental patient off his medication had a big gun and went out looking for targets. He shot completely randomly. He was black, the cops were black. He was sure the government was hunting him. A stupid, meaningless killing because a person who should never have had a gun … had a gun. This is one of those things I don’t understand. Lately, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand.

      Liked by 3 people

      • That seems to be happening much more frequently in the LA area as well, along with police pursuits.A lot of it has to do with drugs, and with mental illness — but there are way too many people who have guns who shouldn’t.

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        • This guy was dangerous and they KNEW it. There was no reason for this to happen. He was literally an escapee from a mental unit. He killed a young mother with kids at home who had been a teacher and decided to become a cop. Shot someone else, too, but I forget who. That’s the awful thing. These shooting are so often, you forget.

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      • We’ve had problems with mental patients and police killings here in Canada. They closed most of the psychiatric hospitals and now those people who would be counselled, medicated or controlled to some degree are out there – mostly homeless. The gun issue is something else. I really don’t know, what is the right thing to do?
        Leslie

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        • Registry. Exam. Insurance. Just like cars. It works. You can’t just buy one. You need to pass a test and get proper insurance. You hurt someone, lose your gun, have it stolen, you PAY for the cost of the whole thing. Use it drunk? Go directly to jail, do not pass go.

          Liked by 1 person

          • California has among the strictest gun laws in the country. Registry check, criminal check, training, 1 week waiting period, no “straw buyers,” restrictive resale rules, etc. My friend, a target shooter, has a collection that now sits in a safe (he no longer is capable of target shooting). He cannot give them away to family members in TX, and does not know how he will dispose of them before he dies. And with all of the rules, CA is one of the worst states for shootings and other crimes using guns. Police activity is often prolonged or impossible due to the concern that suspects may be armed; virtually every crime is frequently accompanied with a statement that a gun was involved. Although treating guns like cars, as you suggest, sounds like a good idea, it has not worked here. Perhaps locking up the ammo (which is also tightly restricted) and allowing people to use it only by permission at shooting ranges, etc. might help? Unfortunately, guns in the hands or the wrong people and combined with ammunition DO kill!

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            • New York and Boston have done pretty well with the same law. Not perfect, but better. I suspect the police need to rethink how to deal with shooters, too. Retraining? But can you imagine how things would be WITHOUT the laws? That’s even scarier. I think the whole thing would work better if it were national because it’s still very easy to get guns somewhere else. I keep hearing how easy it is to get a gun, but honestly, when we talked about it, all i could see was that a good, quality hand gun costs a lot more money than I’ve got to spend on it and that was back when we did have money.

              I don’t have all the answers, but i know that what we are doing is not working, so we need to do better.

              Liked by 2 people

                • Sometimes. Around here, they are the ones in the morgue. Stupid, stupid killing for no reason at all. Crazy guy off his meds, goes around shooting cops through car windows. He’s black. They’re black. And they are all dead.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Local trend doesn’t seem to reflect national. You’re right ALL of it is deplorable.., there’s no excuse. Murder is murder. I’m just appalled at the number of times the police get away with it.

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                    • A lot of cops get shot. A lot. In many cities, nationwide. They don’t always get much publicity and a lot of those cops are also black, shot by white guys and black guys and in-between guys. I understand the problem of racism. You know I do, but I also understand this isn’t going to be a simple fix. Complicated problems don’t have simple fixes.

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                    • Notice I didn’t Say White cops because they all do it. I’m thinking that any officer has a right to be fearful of personal danger. I had brother that was a cop, and the training is supposed to be intense at keeping your cool in all situations. Maybe the training has to be stepped up so that officers are not released onto the streets before they are ready. The hardest part of the training is the “Psychological.” Anyone can pull a weapon and begin spraying bullets at the slightest perceived provocation.., restraint is the true test and I dare say that it was waived in quite a few of these recent incidents. A guy gets stopped for a minor reason and starts to run.., does that justify lethal force?? I think not.

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                    • I think cops need some major retraining everywhere. They get so spooked so easily. And I think they need to be better about getting rid of the ones who are time bombs, just looking for someone to kill. There’s a lot of rage going around and it’s probably as bad or worse amongst the police. You know we need a lot of things fixed. But at least starting with getting rid of so MANY guns couldn’t hurt.

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                    • Getting rid of guns is easier said than done as there is a shit load of them out there. Both Jeff and I had rifles back in the day and we managed not to shoot anyone. Neither he, nor I, are considered bad guys. I know you’ve heard it before but I will repeat; Regardless of laws, if a bad guy wants a gun he’ll find a way to get one.., or 100.., or 1000. Even if we penalize manufacturers, foreign companies make and export them as well, and many are imported to our shores legally. My brother was a collector, as are many cops. When he died we found a lot of ammo in his house which we gave to a local Long Island police dept. Now, though, I’m not so sure that this is the safest way to dispose of these things. Some communities have initiated voluntary surrender of weapons and ammunition, but a huge segment of owners, of legally acquired guns, refuse to give them up, and, by law, they don’t have to. This thing is really, really complicated. There is NO simple solution.

                      Like

      • There’s always been a nonsensical reaction to the issue of gun regulation in the United States. I did myriad stories during my career about illegal weapons used in gang wars, drive by shootings and mentally deranged people killing and or seriously injuring innocent bystanders. Gun lobbyists always said “It’s unfortunate but you can’t legislate because of isolated incidents”. Isolated, my rear end!! If you tally the number of “collateral damage” victims — just in the past 50 years — the numbers are staggering. It was popular to say the gun violence occurred mostly in the inner cities and “Those people were just killing each other off”.

        Check again and note the shootings in upscale, predominantly white communities — just in the last calendar year. Few of “those people” were involved.

        It’s a national nightmare that behooves people of all political persuasion to realize that “ALL lives matter!”.

        Like

        • I agree completely, but.., and that’s a big BUT too, read my reply to Marilyn’s statement above. This is no easy matter to solve. Even with the staggering numbers you, mention, only a small fraction of the guns owned, or rather possessed, in this country play a part.., and therein lies the rub

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          • Nobody is taking the guns away. All we are asking for is a registry so the people who are off their meds can’t go and buy guns. The last three murders in Boston were ALL done by a man who was literally just out of a mental institution and was off his meds. He got a gun. He killed people. If we only stopped 25% of the killings, that would still be a lot of people — and a lot of children.

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  1. Not only are the Republicans and the NRA not considering rethinking their positions on guns, they’re now talking about legally permitting silencers on handguns! Don’t hold your breath waiting for common sense gun regulations.

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    • Well now it all finally makes sense. They (Republicans) really are looking to get rid of, or diminish the population of poor and ordinary folk. The two main means are 1. make health care so prohibitively expensive that many will die through denied access. 2. Pass gun laws that will allow these people to kill each other off easily.., again preserving the best for the 1%. How clever.., so it doesn’t really matter how stupid or un-compassionate they are, or what they appear to look like to the rest of the world…, THEY DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard this argument. It isn’t true. In EVERY OTHER COUNTRY WHERE THEY HAVE LIMITED SALES OF GUNS, shootings have dropped by as much as 90%. There will always be nuts. But you realize that more people in this country are shot by toddlers than by terrorists? Toddlers. Now, they are going to sell SILENCERS for handguns? Seriously?

    Unilateral disarmament works fine for guns. It has worked in England and Australia and all over Europe. I do not believe that Americans are any crazier than other people and if it works for them, it will work for us too. You want guns? Get a license and while you are at it, get insurance so if someone steals your damn gun, you can pay for the damages.

    We expect that much of car owners, I think gun owners can be at least as responsible as that. I am SO tired of this crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unilateral disarmament of guns works? If law abiding US citizens give up their guns, all the criminals will too? 😳 That’s awesome. But I don’t get it… What’s in it for the criminals? They look around, see no one they want to rob has a gun… and then… 🤔 Um… Why do they stop using guns?

      Silencers don’t make guns silent like in the movies, they are still plenty loud. What they do is prevent permanent hearing loss for those who enjoy target practice. Pretty sure.

      I like your point about gun insurance, that makes a lot of sense!

      Thanks for the dialogue on this.

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        • Except that it is the same everywhere. Except here. Are we REALLY so much wackier than other countries? Are our citizens so far out of control? Or is that what the gun manufacturers (who control the NRA) want you to believe?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well, what headphones do you recommend? I wear good headphones plus earplugs and still my ears ring afterward, which is a problem because my work involves hearing fine details in things. My view is that most gun owners are not crazy criminals, they do not kill people or shoot up stores.

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          • Good, then lobby to get licenses and insurance and proper testing. The police use very good headphones. Find out what they use. So do the military. You don’t need a silencer and it distorts the accuracy of your weapon, too. Research. Research. Research. Everything in the world is available if you go look for it. I’ll bet if you look on Amazon, you’ll find an astonishing number of headphones to stop the noise of shooting. It’s not like you’re the only one doing it. There’s a lot of people who like to target shoot. Lots and lots and lots.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Everything is available? I like your optimism. I’ve done decades of research but I still can’t find some things. A cure for tinnitus, for example, eludes me. I’ll keep at it.

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              • I believe tinnitus is incurable, but will sometimes go away by itself. My husband is quite deaf and there is no cure for that, either.But this is not a disease. It’s a technical question. I’d ask the cops what they use. And if you are seriously interested, I have a friend who is an audio engineer and I’m pretty sure he might have a suggestion or three. He knows lots of neat stuff and he is VERY protective of his hearing.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Very kind of you. I’ll research it before I go practice again. I’m thinking stem cells or something will eventually fix this, perhaps for your husband too. I’m pretty sure mine was caused by two full courses of Zithromax antibiotics, which have subsequently been shown to kill the little hair cells in our inner ears that let us hear.

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                  • I have heard this about Zithro. It’s hard to know anything for sure, but we all wonder about the many drugs we’ve taken and what they’ve done to us. I’m convinced my heart condition was caused by drugs they gave me for cancer, but I know I’ll never prove it. I don’t write about it either because I have no evidence. My husband’s deafness is congenital. His parents were both deaf as is his brother, but ONE brother has perfect hearing. Go figure, right?

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  3. Someone in America (I don’t remember who) was adamant after the London Bridge killings a couple of months ago that if British citizens were allowed to carry guns there would have been fewer deaths.

    Or, in reality, those with guns would have opened fire in a panic and accidentally shot half the people nearby, then the armed response unit would have turned up, thought they were the terrorists and shot them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would have been a really big show, wouldn’t it. Might have easily increased the death count by two or three times as people shot each other and themselves. Why are people so sure that all we need is a gun and everything will be just fine? What’s the matter with everyone? Too many bad movies?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Xena – yes, serious criminals in Australia still get their hands on guns – the sort of crims who belong to ‘families’ and gangs – but they use them to shoot each other, not the general population. Robberies and home invasions here very rarely involve firearms. I do appreciate that it’s an entirely different mindset: guns just don’t feature in our culture – something the US probably finds it hard to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most Americans don’t own guns. Unless you are a hunter or in the military. This is an idiotic argument funded by gun manufacturers who just want to sell as many guns as possible and they don’t care how many bodies get buried as a result. Toddlers kill more people in the U.S. than terrorists. Toddlers.

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  5. No one has a “right’ to own a gun. Period. There is no mandate and screw the wording in the constitution that has been misinterpreted to say we do. If you take into account the tenor of the times in which this was written, when we WERE under seige and there was no police force, a man needed that protection against indians, the Brits, and wild animals. It was a much harsher existence.

    I like to think we have made peace with the Brits and the Indians, and most wild animals have, sadly, been moved back into the shrinking forests. All we have to defend ourselves from now is the next door neighbor and his incessant passion for windchimes and messy lawns, and the mythical burglar.

    as my mother in law was fond of saying, “if I can’t talk my way out of a situation, I probably deserve what I get” when it came to guns.

    Criminals will always have guns, that’s kind of a given. But we have somehow managed to convince ourselves that we need firearms to protect ourselves from the burglar, the rapist, the potential axe murderer. It’s paranoia at it’s finest. The mindset is scary. At least criminals know how to use guns. We don’t, necessarily, and while we love our guns, we don’t always handle them–or ourselves–well at all in situations where we might actually need to use one. It’s hard to aim a trembling gun, and it’s hard to look convincing.

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    • I agree. Garry agrees. I think most people agree. It’s the NRA with the gun manufacturer’s funding that won’t agree. The more mayhem, the better they like it. We’ve never owned guns, Neither of us. And yet we’ve made it to senior citizen hood and never had to shoot anyone! Imagine that! It’s a MIRACLE.

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      • But you see, it isn’t. We are NOT a well-armed, regulated anything. We are a bunch of people who own guns. You may be a sensible, careful owner, but there are a lot of people out there who still believe this is 1888 and you should shoot first and ask questions later.

        Regulated? How? No licenses. No testing. No insurance. Nothing. We would not let a teenager drive a car without a driving test and insurance, so what is wrong with doing the same thing with guns? Are guns LESS dangerous than cars?

        For many years until my son took it with him, I had a rifle in the house. I never used it. It was a single shot 22 target rifle. I inherited it from my first husband. It was clean, empty, and there were no cartridges in the house. You could have used it as a club, but I’d go for the baseball bat. Better swing.

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        • WARNING: STOP TROLLING. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING.

          I have lived in a neighborhood where 14 year olds could and did shoot up the place like they were in Tombstone in 1880. Did anyone die? I don’t know. I was hiding in hopes I wouldn’t BE one of them. My husband, however, has seen more than enough.

          As long as we have local laws that can be easily flouted by going a few miles over the border to the other state that has no laws, or can order them by mail, go to a gun show and get anything and everything as long as you have the money — and eventually, just pick them off the street, local laws won’t mean anything. Yes, I have read every single report i can find and probably so have you.

          If you REALLY think guns aren’t part of the “gun problem,” duh. But I don’t think you are stupid. I think you are a trouble-maker and I’ve put up with more of this than I usually do. Now, enough.

          Yes, there are more car deaths. There are MORE CARS. MORE ROADS. MORE MORE MORE. Don’t pretend to be an idiot. I hate people who are smart and act stupid, which is exactly what you are doing. Don’t comment on this any further, please. Enough. You’ve taken both sides of this argument several times, so you are doing is TROLLING. Cut it out. This IS your only warning. I will not stand for it.

          You want to go stir things up? Go to Facebook. They like that shit there. I don’t. Beat it unless you have something to say that is worth saying. ONE more word out of you and you are gone.

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  6. It is a shame that freedom had to earn with a gun and that our country and children need to be protected buy guns. But a gun in the hands of a madman is the real crime.

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    • Guns in the hands of toddlers isn’t all that great, either. If we controlled guns with the same enthusiasm that we control cars the problems would be a lot less. WE didn’t earn this country because we all got guns and popped the British. We had armies. Drills. People didn’t just blow each other up. Read some history. It’s very enlightening,

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  7. There has to be some way? What, are we idiots? The method they tried to implement up here didn’t work though. Cost us many millions too – before they gave up on it. I really do think that the average person would like to see some practical system in place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just like cars. A test, a license, insurance. If you can’t afford the insurance, you sure as hell can’t afford the gun. Just like the good old Registry of Motor Vehicles. But for guns. Surely that’s not too complicated for the average gun owner.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post! I used to intern for the Arizona State Senate on the Democratic Staff and often worked on this particular issue. New Jersey passed a law that essentially declared that once smart guns are on the retail market, if you want to buy a gun in New Jersey, you must buy a smart gun. What are smart guns? Smart guns encompass a wide variety of technologies. For example, some smart guns require that you wear a bracelet or ring in order to shoot your gun. The idea is similar to key fobs that are now so commonly used for new cars. You can press a button to start your car, but only if the key fob is within your possession. Pretty cool idea, right? Well, the rest of the country has used New Jersey’s pro-activeness to completely prevent smart guns from gaining traction. Read this article to learn more.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/06/24/325178305/a-new-jersey-law-thats-kept-smart-guns-off-shelves-nationwide

    It’s a true shame because promoting guns that require the owner to be wearing a specific bracelet would almost entirely reduce the amount of fatal gun accidents, especially among children.

    Like

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