On the EDge: It’s time for sensible talk about guns

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — I’m going to go out on a limb here and wager that there isn’t one person reading this column whose heart didn’t sink when news of the latest mass shooting broke out of Oregon last week. Your faith, or lack of it, didn’t matter and neither did your skin color, political affiliation, age, gender or level of education.

And, it didn’t matter whether you were a longtime, card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association or never picked up a firearm in your life. As a reasonable human being, you were saddened, angry, disgusted, repulsed when you learned the news that, once again, innocent lives were taken by a lunatic.

In the aftermath of the Oregon shooting, we once again are searching for answers.

There have been those who vehemently argue that if more people were packing heat, fewer lives would have been lost.

There are those who will argue that even if every person in that little, rural community college in Oregon was armed, it would not have prevented the loss of life.

Given the nature of today’s world, I could easily go online and Google up a stack of quotes and numbers to justify each position.

But, all it would do is cloud the issue and muddy the waters even more because we would soon find ourselves arguing points that are tangential to the important core of the problem.

You see, the scholars will waste their time pleading for more research into why somebody would do something so horrendous, saying that if we can put together a profile of potential mass murderers we could, possibly, prevent them from acting on their twisted, evil intentions.

It would, however, be a waste of time.

We’ve learned enough already about the warning signs of somebody on the brink of tragic actions. We just don’t have anybody willing to actually try to prevent them, as evidenced in Oregon where, according to reports, this guy had gone into social media and had discussions about his intent to kill, warning others not to attend class that day.

Nobody, however, contacted the authorities.

Nobody stepped up and tried to intervene.

As a result, we mourn the lives extinguished in yet another senseless act of violence.

We’ve learned that, indeed, there have been situations when a Joe Citizen with a concealed carry permit has taken down a bad guy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that often and not once has it stopped one of these mass shootings, even when they occurred in places that were not gun-free zones.

But, we stick to the ridiculous and tired arguments we posit every time this happens rather than search our brains to come up with a solution.

Personally, I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment is as broad as some interpret it to be. That, however, is a question for greater legal minds than ours, a question that will never be answered fully because there is no way we can get into the heads of the long-dead founding fathers who wrote it.

So what can we do?

First of all, every new weapon ever sold was purchased legally by a law-abiding citizen. At some point, however, that law-abiding citizen crossed the line and either sold or gave it to somebody who should not have access to a gun. The bad guys get guns from somewhere, and it is complete idiocy to believe that the only guns used in crimes are stolen.

Legislation that would extend liability for violent crimes — whether a gun is used in a robbery, rape or murder — would be a starting point.

How it would work is that if you sell a firearm to somebody who then uses it to commit a crime, you would be just as culpable as the perpetrator and be prosecuted as an accomplice if you did not have a background check run on the purchaser beforehand. These checks are not expensive and, even if they were, they are cheaper than the loss of human life.

Would it completely eliminate violent crime?

Probably not, but it would, without question, curb it.

Legislation should also require that if you purchase a weapon, whether new or used, that you not only submit to a comprehensive criminal and mental stability background check but be required to receive training before the weapon is handed over. You would then have a license and could, if you wish, carry it legally.

Would it be time consuming?

Yes.

Would it cost a few bucks?

Yes.

But, think back to when you first acquired your driver’s license.

You had to have classroom and on-the-road instruction; you had to pass a written test; you were required to take an eye exam; and, if you had a medical condition, you had to be examined before the license was issued.

Hunters understand this, having had to attend a hunter’s education class before being issued a license to go into the field.

Legislation demanding strict enforcement of responsible gun ownership and accountability laws is not outside the parameters of reasonable expectation.

Before you start filling me up with hate mail, realize I do not endorse a gun ban. Neither, as a matter of fact, does our president. The man has been in office almost seven years. If he was truly after your guns, he’d have them by now.

I mean, even though I can’t understand why anybody needs to own an assault rifle, a ban on those weapons is not the answer. The 10-year ban on sales of new assault rifles did little to move the number much when it came to mass killings, and they are almost never used in incidents of one-on-one violence.

Besides, as we have woefully learned, wingnuts armed only with a semi-auto and a pocketful of ammunition clips have wasted a lot of human life.

It’s time for that to stop.

But, we cannot expect to come up with a reasonable solution if we lock ourselves up in unreasonable discussion.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

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Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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52 Comments

  • Brian October 6, 2015 at 8:02 am

    You never see these kinds of mass shootings at gun ranges, gun shows, etc. You always see them in “gun free zones”. Guns aren’t the problem. People are the problem. You can’t change the people problem, period. It will never fully go away. The real problem is our culture is sick. Disgustingly sick. We embrace in our music, movies, kids cartoons, anime, etc. We embrace pornography and its dehumanizing affects. Kids aren’t taught compassion or empathy anywhere but church, and we’re shunning that and telling the religious that they’re idiots that believe in fairy tales. In short, we’ve made our bed and are being forced to sleep in it. Well over 100 million people were killed by their governments during the 1900’s because their governments first took away their guns, and the people could no longer defend themselves against their governments, not each other, and not “criminals”. That is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. Period. Not hunting, not sports shooting, not even self-defense against criminals (though their each valid reasons for it). The primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment is protection against your own government. Without the “right to keep and bear arms” the colonists would have lost the Revolutionary War (actually it never would have started) and there would be no America. We’d all be drinking tea 3 times a day and have bad teeth (ie. we’d all be British). That is why the 2nd thing they wrote when putting pen to paper was essentially, “guns are vital to freedom”. That hasn’t changed (because human nature hasn’t changed), and we aren’t immune.

    • Brian October 6, 2015 at 8:04 am

      “We embrace violence in our music, movies…”. I left out a key word.

    • sagemoon October 6, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Ug. I hate to agree with Brian but he is right.

    • GrandmaB October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Mentally ill not violent

      In the article, “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings and the Politics of American Firearms,” Metzl and MacLeish analyze data and literature linking guns and mental illness over the past 40 years. They found that despite societal pre-conceived notions, most mentally ill people are not violent.

      “Fewer than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness,” they write.

      Four myths arise after mass shootings

      Their research uncovered four central myths that arise in the aftermath of mass shootings:
      •Mental illness causes gun violence.
      •Psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime before it happens.
      •U.S. mass shootings “prove” that we should fear mentally ill loners.
      •Because of the complex psychiatric histories of mass shooters, gun control “won’t prevent” mass shootings.

      They stress that all four of these are incorrect, though understandable, assumptions.

      “Our research finds that across the board, the mentally ill are 60 to 120 percent more likely than the average person to be the victims of violent crime rather than the perpetrators.”

      MISDIRECTED BLAME

      Metzl and MacLeish find that the focus on mental illness after horrific, yet statistically rare, mass shootings misdirects people from the bigger issues tied to preventing gun deaths in the United States.

    • GrandmaB October 6, 2015 at 9:47 am

      You blame everything but the guns. And you do not address the FACT that those countries with reasonable gun control laws, with the same cultural background as ours, DO NOT HAVE MASS SHOOTING ISSUES. No one wants to take away your guns, at least not all of them. Grow up!

      • native born new mexican October 6, 2015 at 10:58 am

        A gun is just a thing. Nothing more. two hands have to load the gun and pull the trigger. I am not afraid of metal things lying around my house which do me no harm. I have an ax and a box of matches and a knife and a metal baseball bat and a bottle of draino. None of these things do me any harm. They are just things. If someone tries to kick my door in one of these things will quickly be used by me to do real mortal harm to the intruder. I will not be a victim!! You are nuts grandmab. You live in a fantasy world. People do bad things in this world and someone has to stop them. There was a big poisonous spider in my friend’s house the other day. She was shaking and terrified. I grabbed my shoe smacked the ugly thing and splattered spider guts all over. Dead spider no more threat to any one. Guns are for fixing bad situations but if you try to take my gun I’ll just use something else to do the same thing.

      • BIG GUY October 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

        GRANDMAB, no country has the same cultural background as ours. No country has the racial, ethnic and religious diversity that we do. No country has the entertainment media that we do, the same media that glamorize violence and show little “compassion and empathy” as BRIAN notes in his comment above. Further, you are really far afield when you say “no one wants to take away your guns.” Many on your side of the fence would indeed like to take them away, all of them.

    • GrandmaB October 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

      The largest lie in your argument: “That is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. Period. Not hunting, not sports shooting, not even self-defense against criminals (though their each valid reasons for it). The primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment is protection against your own government.”

      It is time to change this Amendment.

      Aren’t the police an “arm of the government” and aren’t they, in fact very busy denying people their right to life, without an arrest, being charged, trial or sentence? So, we have a right to defend ourselves against the police!

      Times are not the same was they were, 200+ years ago. France, Great Britain, Canada and Australia, not to mention the Scandinavian Democracies – all have gun control laws. They have NOT LOST THEIR hunting rifles, their non-military guns used for self defense, or the recreational guns – target shooting. THEY ARE ALL STILL DEMOCRACIES. They still vote. Their governments are less restrictive then ours, with all of our guns.

      You are championing a right that makes no sense, in a world where nothing but money is motivating this fight.

      Knife attack at Chinese school wounds 22 children – CNN.com
      http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html
      Dec 14, 2012 · Twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.

      All 22 of those children are alive.

      Guns are not allowed in prisons on the floor for very good reason. Guns do not keep people safe. They just make it so much easier to kill someone; to kill yourself; to kill your wife and children.

      It really is time for this country to grow up.

      • Brian October 6, 2015 at 11:39 am

        There were roughly 262 million people murdered in the 20th century by their governments: https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM. That’s 7,178 per day. So a mass shooting the size of the one in Oregon (9 people killed) would have to happen somewhere in the world 797.5 times per day (roughly every 2 minutes) to have the same affect. All 262 million people had one thing in common: No right to bear arms. I know you think we’re somehow enlightened now, somehow beyond that, somehow immune. Many, many of these 262 million people probably felt the same way about their lives and governments. The people in Germany in 1938 probably felt the same way, and yet look where they were in 5 short years: burning people in ovens by the millions. If we start picking apart the Constitution we’ll slide down the slippery slope far faster than you can imagine. The sad truth is, we already are, but not without a fight. You keep your gun free zones, and I’ll keep my guns and my freedom.

      • BIG GUY October 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        GRANDMAB, you are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.
        .
        You start by saying BRIAN lied but offer no explanation or facts to support this.
        .
        You claim police are “…very busy denying people their right to life without an arrest….” There are a few, very few, well publicized examples of this. 16,121 homicides occurred in 2013; very few of these were attributable to police. This hardly qualifies as being “very busy” unless you only get your news from MSNBC.
        .
        You state the governments of France, Great Britain, Canada and Australia are “less restrictive” than ours. Few would agree with you here: only Canada’s government spends less as a percentage of GDP . Please provide substantive examples of these less restrictive policies.
        .
        Blaming moneyed interests, free enterprise and the profit motive for social ills is a common liberal trope. The NRA (I am not a member) gets less than 10% of its annual income from corporate sources linked to firearms. The great bulk of its income comes from dues and personal contributions. Please provide examples of your claim.
        .
        Facts are available to those who care for them. Try it.

    • native born new mexican October 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Brian is correct. I agree strongly. Too bad someone was not in the building with their own gun and could have taken the guy out before he did as much damage as he did. Somebody in that situation needed to have the guts to act and neutralize the threat.

      • Rainbow Dash October 6, 2015 at 1:39 pm

        Easier said then done as you know. Just because someone carries a gun around on their hip 24/7 doesn’t mean they won’t raise the white flag and run for cover in fear at the first sign of aggression from someone else. Guns don’t equal guts. In fact, in my experience, it’s quite the contrary. In my experience, People who carry guns around willy-nilly are either compensating for something else or looking for trouble. In fact I can name one specific group of people who carried guns on their person 24/7 but still sang like canaries when given the choice between giving up their “friends” or going to jail without even putting up a fight. Collectively, they were called “The Mob”. Go read the book “A Goodfella’s Guide to New York” if you don’t believe me. It was written by one such “informer”, Henry Hill.

    • ladybugavenger October 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Brian, we don’t agree on Mormonism but we do believe in God, and I have to agree with your comment…. and I’ll add God is being taken of of our country in the name of civil rights. In that, we are going to see more destruction, more hate for people who believe in Jesus and more hate for people that stand up against evil. Mental illness is filled with people tormented between good and evil. The world keeps taking God out of it and mental illness will increase.

      • ladybugavenger October 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm

        Maybe it’s not civil rights as much as constitutional rights. Anyways, bring on the God hater comments, you know who you are.

  • Brian October 6, 2015 at 8:10 am

    “Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that often and not once has it stopped one of these mass shootings, even when they occurred in places that were not gun-free zones.” We don’t know how many mass shootings Joe Citizen has stopped, because when he stops them, they aren’t mass shootings. See, when someone intends to kill as many people as possible and someone with a gun stops them after person 1 or 2, it isn’t a mass shooting, but very easily could have been, because their intent was to kill until killed. So of course you’ll never see a news story with the headline “Joe Citizen uses concealed firearm to save the lives of 27 people at XYZ University today after stopping a crazed killer”, because we don’t know how many people were saved in the presence of Joe Citizen, we only know how many were killed in the absence of Joe Citizen.

  • Jeff October 6, 2015 at 8:36 am

    A few things:

    Good guys don’t always sell firearms to bad guys, or give them to someone that shouldn’t have them, they are often stolen from good guys, police, or from stores. Criminals will continue to obtain firearms regardless of what good guys are doing, that includes bringing firearms into the country illegally.

    Next, its a slippery slope. The 2nd amendment is as cut and dry as the 1st. Are you willing to give up your 1st amendment rights and limit your ability to write these articles? No? Then you shouldn’t be willing to give up your 2nd.

    You do not want your government taking your rights, guaranteed by the constitution AND its amendments, away. This is why it exists. Our Constitution, and ALL of its amendments, are there to protect US from the government, government does not have your best interests in mind, despite what you hear during election cycles.

    Many people died to create, uphold, and protect the constitution, it should not be easily given up.

    The wording “shall not be infringed” was chosen carefully, and for a reason. The 2nd amendment has already been walked all over, we don’t need to give up anymore. If you had people questioning the 1st amendment like they are the 2nd, you would have a revolutionary war. The 2nd should be no different than the 1st.

    Before someone says “its an outdated amendment, soldiers were using muskets back then” well – the British Government was using much more than muskets against the citizens, as the US Government could do today.

    • GrandmaB October 6, 2015 at 10:10 am

      If you are so concerned about the Constitution, why not the First Amendment and Separation of Church and State?

      How about Amendment IX
      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      How about the right to LIFE!

      We have the right to change the Second Amendment.

      • Brian October 6, 2015 at 11:22 am

        There is no such thing as “the separation of church and state” in the Constitution. It says there won’t be a state-sponsored, established religion (ie. the Church of England). When they created the Constitution and for most of 2 centuries after, their government meetings, schools, town squares, and courts were full of references and honor to God, religion, and things like the 10 commandments. The Constitution offers protection of religion, not protection from religion (only protection from a state-sponsored religion at the expense of other religions).

        • Accountable October 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm

          BRIAN, yours is the most concise explanation of the “separation of church and state” I’ve read.

        • Rainbow Dash October 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm

          Sorry Brian but you are wrong. I submit that the Constitution does not explicitly say “Separation of church and state” but it is is implied and that implication has been upheld in the supreme court in a t least two occasions:
          Reynolds vs. United States and;
          Everson vs Board of Education

          I’m sure there are more.

          SCOTUS has also used a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 which reads, in part:

          “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their “legislature” should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties”. *Emphasis added*

          As you can clearly see it was the intent of at least one of the founders to create such a separation and that intention, though it was not actually written has been upheld.

          let me sum this up for you. No one in America has the right to impose their religious principles on anyone else. NO ONE. Not the Federal Government, not the state, not the Mormons, Not the Catholics. Not Thomas S. Monson Accountable or Native Born New Mexican. Not me or you or President Obama or anyone else. I cannot force you to believe what I believe and you cannot force me to do the same. Now on the other hand if you want to stand in the middle of the street and or church building and shout “Heil Monson, Heil Hitler, ask people if they know Jesus, stand on street waving rainbow colored signs that say “God Hates Fags” or put up a big ole’ cross in your front yard well more power to ya, you have that right and if that right is ever challenged I’ll be the first in line to defend it. Fortunately for me, thanks in part to the U.S Constitution and people like Thomas Jefferson, I don’t have to stand there and pretend to believe what you believe. In my opinion Religion(s) have no place in public schools, public offices, or really anywhere outside of the home, privately owned businesses in which the owner(s) choose to display it and religious buildings/schools. That’s it.

          • Brian October 7, 2015 at 8:02 am

            The supreme court is a very political board. They’ve been wrong before, and they’ll be wrong again. In many cases later supreme courts and overruled or changed previous supreme court cases. I agree with the Thomas Jefferson letter, just not your interpretation of it. Atheists and liberals have gone on a rampage in this country, demanding that any reference to God or religion of any kind be removed entirely from the public space because someone, anyone, might be offended. The concept of “separation of church and state” (again, nowhere in the Constitution and not even mentioned until 30 years later) has been twisted into “the Constitution guarantees me the right to never hear the even hear anything religious in school or any government setting”, which compared to history and the days of the Founding Fathers is clearly ludicrous. It has gone so far as kids being punished in school for saying “bless you” when someone sneezes, which is absolutely ridiculous. Kids can read vampire novels in school in their free time, but not the Bible. The pendulum has swung way, way too far against religion, directly in opposition to the Constitution, which never intended to create a religious vacuum, which is what is being sought (and unfortunately obtained) from the left.

          • Rainbow Dash October 7, 2015 at 10:55 am

            Brian, I have a challenge for you, send your kid (since you’re a Utah Mormon I assume that you have at least 12) with a bible and have him or her read it during free time in class. You’ll find 2 things:
            1.) Kids don’t have any “free time” in class because they are busy learning stuff they will actually use later in life. and ;
            2.) If that kid wants to read the bible at recess it won’t be the teachers “punishing” them. My mother was a teacher for over 20 years so I would know.

            So you want to hear religious stuff in schools? Great! No one is banning you from homeschooling your kids or sending them to a religious school.

      • Jeff October 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        I get the feeling you didn’t read my comment in its entirety, @GRANDMAB. I specifically brought up the first amendment.

        Also, its interesting you bring up the 9th amendment, because it states:
        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

        This is to say that the constitution does not limit your rights to only those items specifically listed in the constitution. The right to bear arms by the people *is* specifically listed however, so it is not a gray area at all like you are making it out to be.

  • BIG GUY October 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Every homicide is a tragedy and I agree that all who read this column are saddened by the mass killing in Oregon. Ed’s comparison of getting a driver’s license and establishing an analogous licensing process for gun ownership is interesting to me: I’ll be interested in hearing others’ comments.
    .
    Facts about gun homicides have been hidden by the media and its anti-gun agenda. In fact, the non-partisan Pew Foundation reports that gun homicides have DROPPED 49% over the last 25 years. Sadly, the majority of today’s killings are young black men killing other young black men. Media hype surrounding “Black Lives Matter” would have us believe that police killings of black men are a great danger. This misleading publicity has resulted in roll backs of community policing and of “stop and frisk” police tactics that are supported by most living in black communities but not by liberal politicians trolling for grievances. The result: even more black deaths. Go figure.

  • NotSoFast October 6, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Very interest discussion, topic Ed. You make some interesting points. Brian however, make equally valid points which I totally agree with. Bottom line in my opinion, folks associated with the NRA or those wanting to protect their own are not crazy’s as the progressive party line keep saying. This is nothing more than a politically ploy by some to have total control of the folks. The truth is the truth. I keep thinking about the poor folks in the Chicago area. The truth is the truth again.
    I conclude that because of all the crazy’s around us,(governmental officials included), It’s my responsibly to protect my own. Talk about the government monitoring our every thought for our own protection is a different subject.
    note: I am not a member of the NRA and I don’t think I’m paranoid.

  • GrandmaB October 6, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Amendment IX
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    I’m sick of the fanatics that use the Constitution when it is convenient for them to justify gun violence.

    If any Amendment denies basic rights of American’s it is time to change that Amendment. Life, I would say, is a basic right.

  • 42214 October 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Guns in America has become the classic chicken or the egg argument. You need a gun to protect yourself from another person who has one too. Insanity at it’s best.

  • Accountable October 6, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Law abiding citizens, law abiding gun owners are not committing these atrocities. Criminals and psychopaths do not and will not adhere to any laws.

    As for this president and all of his liberal cronies, they should address the mass shootings that happen every day in all of the major Democratic cities — Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Camden, New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington. Those cities have the strictest gun control laws in the country. I wonder what would happen if this president took to the airwaves every Monday after Chicago’s weekend death toll to deliver the same remarks as those he gave in response to the nine people killed at Umpqua Community College?

    This is more political posturing and pandering by a community organizer from the city of Chicago who has no business lecturing anyone on gun control. In the 15-hour period between Monday night and Tuesday morning last week, a total of 14 people were shot in Chicago (including two young boys). Six died. In the last two weekends in Chicago, 98 people were shot and 13 people were killed. And, next up is the criminal Hillary (who should already be in prison) to try to grab some headlines…

    Law abiding citizens, law abiding gun owners are not committing these atrocities. Criminals and psychopaths do not and will not adhere to any laws.

  • fun bag October 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

    only real solution with this many guns floating around is a heavily armed, militarized security state, with armed security personnel for nearly every building used for public or for crowds. I’m not sure if this is the wild west dream so many idiot gun loons have dreamed of making reality for so long. Just look at the cops, they’ve become paramilitary, armed to the teeth and and developed the attitude that comes with it. Everyone will have less liberty in the security state, and Brian is right about the culture of violence. it really is sickening. look at these vile video games with murdering people as the main theme. These video games have become a home training method for psychopaths who dream of murdering. It’s also sickening that any 18yr old psychopath can go down to the local neighborhood walmart and buy a near-military spec assault rifle and hundreds of rounds–it just makes it much too easy. The surprising thing is that there isn’t more mass shootings…

  • Ladyk October 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I am suprise it took you this long to come out with this article, I expected it much sooner. It is horrible when anyone looses their life because of another’s actions but we can point to many different situations where this has happened without guns. Yes this Oregon case is just as horrific as the others that have happened and it broke my heart to hear of it. Coming from a legal background I asked myself several questions. #1 was WHY, why did this man go to a place he was very familiar with and kill those he knew. Was it because he loved guns so much and that made him unstable. Or was it because he hated himself so much that he chose to kill those around him that he found successful. Are guns really the problem or is a lack of respect for others the problem. This man was clearly struggling. His family and those around him knew he was but didn’t know what to do about it. I am sure they tried to do something but in the end trying to get this young man into a situation where he could better himself by getting an education was also his undoing. He said he had been wanting to do this for a long time. I have seen several cases where family members reported someone who was acting erratic or slightly dangerously and instead of that person ending up getting the mental help they needed they ended up in the criminal system
    Parents who reported their teenage boy for building a bomb found their son sentenced to 25 to life for being a terrorist because he also owned a rifle and had it and ammo in his room. It’s a good thing this wasn’t the standard when my husband was young because as he experimented with science he and his friends built several bombs. They built a rocket and put a mouse in it with a tissue tied to it for a parchute. The rocket took off and the mouse floated down and the tissue caught on a power line. The fires department came to free the mouse and got promptly bit by the mouse. The police and ATF knew exactly who did it and came and had a talk with his dad. That was the end. He went on to serve in the military and have an amazing career. Had he been arrested and put in prison some of the inventions many of you use on a daily basis may not exist. There are many young people who are serving prison sentences instead of allowing cooler minds to prevail and getting them mental and social treatment. Why am I telling you all this? It’s because we are to afraid to report and get someone into the help they need because we are concerned of over reaction. I can guarantee that many years ago this young man needed help and many teachers, friends, neighbors and family members knew it but didn’t know what to do. We fail to have compassion and respect for one another anymore so we wait until we are out of options then throw up our hands and try to defend our non actions because we just wanted to mind our own business. However I can guarantee you that there is no way of knowing if you are selling your gun to a private buyer who may become one of this mass killers. If you try to make it someone else’s responsibility to find out then the door is wide open to many what if’s. As in is there a time limit for liability? Is it 2 months, 2 years 2 weeks? Where does it begin and end. How much of the second ammendment are you willing to give up? How much of the first ammendment doesn’t matter? How about the 4th, can we get rid of that all together or make it stronger. Hillary says she will use executive action to get the guns. Will that help? One of our good friends lives in Australia. He said they were all told that if everyone were to give up their guns then crime would go away. Didn’t happen. He said all that happened was the criminals became more bold and law enforcement became bigger and they lost more freedoms. Is that really where we want this country to go? Not me. Not everyone who owns an “assault rifle” (I hate that term) is going to go kill a class full of kids. Not every person who owns a gun or who buys a gun from a private seller is a criminal. Not to mention the fact that all this is really about is to keep tabs on who owns what guns and how to tax them. It is already very difficult to buy ammunition so why should we trust the government who has shown they don’t care about any of our personal freedoms. Ask James Rosen how he liked it. Ed I am sure you would be right there first in line to defend a reporter who is protecting their source on a story despite their knowledge of potential past or future criminal events. Why is your freedom more important or valid than mine? And don’t say because mine doesn’t kill people because we all know that the pen is mightier than the sword. I thank all of those who are willing to stand up and be counted. Those who are willing to say you won’t take my freedom from me without a fight. I won’t lay it at your feet and hope you will respect me in the morning. Shame on you for thinking you can blame one person for another’s actions. Three freedoms to choose. There are so many more soap boxes ypu can climb upon that would do so much more than trying to get the guns. So just for the record, non of my guns are for sale at any price. I am an adult. I make my own choices, not all of them are perfect but I do my best. I realize that there will be more violence but gun ownership didn’t start that, hate did. Cain didn’t need a gun or a kife. He only needed his own actions as an adult who made his own choices.

    • fun bag October 6, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      OMG, ever heard of paragraphs? and i call bs on ur mouse story… lol

      • .... October 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm

        Hey.! not nice making fun of a mouse story. BITE ME.! LOL.!

        • fun bag October 6, 2015 at 11:45 pm

          LOL, a mouse is the worst kind of vermin and i think LADYK is full of hot air kooky

      • Ladyk October 7, 2015 at 12:18 am

        Sorry for the never ending paragraph. I was typing on my phone and it didn’t come out the exact way I typed it in. As for the mouse story…the city paper did a story on it. It had pictures of the fireman and the mouse/parachute.

  • JOSH DALTON October 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    GO FALCONS!!

  • Utahn October 6, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    To the author – Using your notion of “liability”, if I sold a car to someone, privately, I would be responsible if they deliberately killed someone. How could I possibly be expected to be liable for the operators behavior.

    Total nonsense.

    We do not need more laws against firearms. We do not need more federal intrusion in our lives.

    • BIG GUY October 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      UTAHN, re-read Ed’s proposal. He proposes to hold gun sellers liable only if they fail to ensure that buyers have passed the criminal and mental stability background checks required by existing laws and have passed a gun safety course. This sounds pretty reasonable to me. Nevertheless, I doubt this would have a major impact on gun-related crime. Criminals will find a way to get guns one way or another.

  • 42214 October 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Does anybody think 5 years from now anything will be different with respect to firearm deaths in the US. Waste of time debating it. In 2020 50,000 people will have died from today as a result of a gun. Over that same period of time 70 people will die in Japan.

    • Ladyk October 7, 2015 at 12:28 am

      They have to much else to worry about over there then trying to carry a gun. Besides if you talk to anyone who has lived there they will tell you that crime is rampent. They may not have many reported murders but a lot more die in the prisons there from violence the government. No society is free from it. It just comes down to the tool used. There have been serial killers who killed more than 9 but never used a gun. Taking my guns away from me won’t keep my safe but the Judge under my bed will.

  • anybody home October 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    For the record, there were people with guns in the Umpqua Community College on the day of the shooting. One of them was in the room itself. None of them stopped what happened. This sinks the argument that if other people had guns they could stop a massacre. Wrong.

    • fun bag October 6, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      most all of these gun loons have no real courage or tactical skills. If most of these gun toting “tough guys” were in a real combat situation they would freeze up or hide like little cowards that they are. Police go thru hundreds of hours of training to learn to be effective with guns and most of these gun loonies are just kooks and imbeciles. Real “tough guys” until they actually face a situation…

    • Ladyk October 7, 2015 at 12:13 am

      I can’t find any reporting that shows where anyone who was in the actual classroom where the shootings took place was carrying a concealed gun. There were former military in the class but they were not armed. There were others on campus who were armed but they were in other classrooms. Can you provide your source?

    • Brian October 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Spend a couple of minutes looking for instances where concealed carry firearms were used to stop a crime and you’ll find many: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=concealed+weapon+stops+crime

      Of course you won’t do that, because it won’t support your beliefs, and it will probably be uncomfortable. But there is plenty of evidence to support the value of private citizens having the right to concealed carry a firearm. Here’s a start: http://marquettewire.org/3806651/tribune/tribune-news/concealed-carry-prevents-more-crime-than-it-creates-study-says/
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/24/chicago-crime-rate-drops-as-concealed-carry-gun-pe/?page=all

      • Rainbow Dash October 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        A wannabe Google site and two openly conservative newspapers. Yep. ’cause everyone knows that those are unbiased. Yep. Totally unbiased.

  • Billy Madison October 7, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I don’t have a gun but I do have a box of recalled Honey Nut Cheerios and if a robber breaks into my house I will beat him/her with that box of cereal.

  • anybody home October 8, 2015 at 10:06 am

    http://ringoffireradio.com/2015/10/03/this-man-had-a-concealed-weapon-during-the-oregon-shooting-intelligent-reason-why-he-didnt-ac/

    If you still think concealed (or open) carry will solve problems like the one at Umpqua, read this interview with the young man who had a gun on campus but didn’t use it and his intelligent reasons for not doing so.

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