Posted by Mars , a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Dec 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm
I like the way Hamilton slips in that "home-defense weaponry is far more likely to hurt or kill a member of the family it is intended to protect." This is a patently false claim. Every study ever done shows that guns in civilian hands reduce crime, and on balance, far more lives are saved through stopping rapes, assaults and robberies than are lost through accidents.
The assault rifle ban had a time limit to allow for collecting 10 years of data about its effectiveness. When its time was up, it hadn't reduce crime at all, and so was allowed to expire. California currently has a ban that keeps all the features of the Federal ban, including banning magazines that hold more than 10 cartridges, and it hasn't reduced the murder rate.
The Brady Campaign crawls out of the woodwork every time there is a tragedy of this nature, to push an agenda that they know won't work, won't save any children, but is just an incremental step towards pushing their goal - and making life more dangerous for us all.
Posted by Army Vet, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Dec 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm
To suggest that the schools are even remotely prepared for something like this is just wishful thinking or outright lying.
Any one legal or illegal can buy a gun legally or illegally if they want to. That's the reality.
40% of the elementary district population is Hispanic and many of these families are illegal. We know nothing about these individuals or if they have a criminal history or a mental illness. Nor do they have access to mental health resources. The government knows much more about me, but nothing about them. That makes me a little more nervous on top of having to worry about all the other crazies this country produces on its own.
Limit ownership of assault weapons to members of the military, active, reserve and retired with no criminal history or mental health issues.. They are trained to use them. Any other citizen only requires a revolver for protection or a shotgun. The price of ammunition should increase to at least $100 a round, unless you can produce a military ID. The profit should go to pay off the national debt. If people want more gun play, send them to Afghanistan on the next troop carrier departing. You can get all the gun play you want out there.
Posted by Objective facts, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 21, 2012 at 4:52 am
A major cause of the problem is that "Gun free zones" as required by federal law, forces schools to be defenseless against lunatics. Only armed defense by responsible adults such as teachers and administrators trained and licensed to carry concealed firearms can stop these attacks, but that's not allowed under Federal law.
The law that mandates pacifism and forbids responsible defense is costing innocent lives, which is both deplorable and correctable if we take an honest look at facts.
We also need much better mental health care, but until that happens, why leave the most at risk completely defenseless? That's completely irresponsible, preventable and wrong.
Posted by Hard Facts, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 21, 2012 at 9:07 am
Truth of the matter is we have a huge mental health problem in this country, and no real ways of helping people with their problems. We throw artificial therapists at them (drugs) and move on to the next. I am a gun owner and I know MANY legal gun owners who own handguns, shotguns, "assault" rifles. We have not gone out on a shooting spree. The fact is if any one decides to put stricter laws regarding LAW ABIDING citizens, it won't do anything. You can buy any type of firearm on the street for even cheaper than in store. If some one really wants to cause harm to people, it won't be hard to look some where else. How about we look at the illegal gun trade harder before we start knocking people who follow the laws. Sometimes though, you just can not fix crazy.
Posted by Darin, a resident of another community, on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm Darin is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
Re: "The price of ammunition should increase to at least $100 a round"
That would certainly boost the sale of reloading equipment and supplies. It would also promote a black market for ammo. And it would make it a lot more expensive for citizens actually become proficient with their weapons.
2) There as been a decline in mass killings in the past three decades. (Associated Press)
3) @Logic: If there were no guns people would be stabbed, kicked, bludgeoned, punched to death instead. Keep in mind that 2011 FBI statistics demonstrate that more people got killed in california from a combination of hands/feet/fists than rifles and shotguns combined. In reality handguns are the leading murder weapon; however, you can be sure that if they were not available, other means would be employed.
4) Timothy Mc didn't use a gun, he used fertilizer. Where there is a will there is unfortunately a way.
5) The worst mass killing in a school was the 1927 school house bombing in Bath MI, where sadly 38 children were massacred
6) The absurd policy of declaring "Gun Free Zones" has got to stop. A disproportionate number of mass killing happen in such areas. The Aurora shooter, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie with which he was obsessed within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn't the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals.
7) We have to acknowledge the violent films and video games are a contributor to violent behavior in those likely to become criminally insane. e.g. James Holmes the Aurora bomber and the Batman, Martin Bryant and the movie Childs Play, Barry Loukaitis and The Basketball diaries etc. Furthermore, video games such as Call of Duty are, to quote for army psychologist Colonel Grossman author of "On Killing", murder simulators. They effectively condition players using the same techniques the military uses to inoculate soldiers against violent confrontation, to objectify the enemy and to operate on trained reaction.
8) The state of mental health services in this country are woeful, and the ability to commit persons who are likely to pose a threat to society is too limited (in reaction to the fact that it used to be too easy to commit folks)
My personal commentary:
So called "military style assault weapons" account for a small percentage of crime in this country. It is true that we have seen some spectacular events in the past year. The quick "feel good" fix is to pass a law banning them. But we know from experience that laws banning things simply do not work. Examples: Massacre in Norway, the chaos in Mexico that happens to have some of the strictest gun laws on the planet. Does this mean that we should throw our hands up in the air and give up? Absolutely not.
For a start here are some suggestions that will continue to protect the unique right to keep and bear arms that is inherent in our culture, but will hopefully improve firearm safety - If the Swiss can do it, so can we:
- Close the gun show loophole. Every gun sale *must* include a background check period.
- Enforce gun trafficking and gun crime laws.
- Require a safety course including range time to be taken prior to the first time purchase of firearms. This includes the proper handling and storage of firearms, firearms laws, etc. Issue a 3 year firearms purchase permit upon successful completion.
- Allow citizens to obtain concealed carry weapons permits with the following requirements: Training requirements to include class room and range courses. Annual/bi annual re-certification that includes safety demonstration and a course of fire (i.e. the same requirements as our police officers) to demonstrate continued competence.
- Require healthcare practitioners to share information with at risk individuals with the DOJ so that it can feed into the background check system.
- Improved regulation and labeling of violent media content, and help educate parents on the potential harm these may cause, as well as to watch for warning signs.
Posted by Mr. Big, a resident of the Stierlin Estates neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2012 at 4:44 am
1. Humans are violent beings, no amount of laws, religions, medications or wishful thinking will ever make us all peaceful. Evil humans have devised all manner of murderous means to kill and there is no way to outlaw the means to kill.
2. There are over 300 million firearms owned by private citizens in the U.S., firearms are NEVER going away in this country.
3. The term "Assualt Weapons" is only used by those who don't know how to use a firearm and want to make them illegal. It is no more accurate a term than calling the illegal law that infringes on our constitutionally protected rights "The Patriot Act". Trying to take advantage of a tragedy to reinstate failed legislation is moronic. We need rethink how we view firearms in our society (see Solutions below).
4. The police cannot and have never been able to protect everyone from harm. The ability to protect yourself and your family is and has always been your personal responsibility. The best form of personal protection available to us today is a firearm... period! Why do you think that every police officer and soldier carries one? In addition, most of them also have a second or third firearm for back-up. In Mtn. View the PD have a semi-auto .40 cal handgun on their hip (and possibly a back-up gun on an ankle), a 12 gauge shotgun and a .223 AR-style carbine (read: the same type of weapon used in CT) in the car. Many of them also have body armor, batons, pepper spray and stun guns (not sure if legal in this city but many do have it). If these are the types of tools that are good enough to protect an employee of the city, then they are exactly the type of tools that a citizen of the city should be able to use to protect themselves.
1. Make it easier and cheaper for law abiding citizens to carry concealed at all times.
2. Make it easier and cheaper for law abiding citizens to get CONTINUAL training in the safe use of firearms.
3. Every police station in the country should accept unwanted firearms from the public "no questions asked" in exchange for $200.
4. Every firearm sale should require a background check unless you're buying multiple weapons then only one per day. But, not a mandatory registration that might be abused in the future to "round up" all weapons.
5. All federal and state agencies that deal with the mentally OR emotionally disturbed must immediately report info to the firearms background check system. A system to challenge a denial should also be put in place.
6. Make it illegal to leave firearms in the home if a mentally OR emotionally unstable person resides in the home.
7. Make it illegal to teach a mentally OR emotionally unstable person how to use a firearm or let them borrow one.
8. Make TRULY high-capacity magazines illegal. This means any magazines that are larger than STANDARD capacity (i.e. handgun mags larger than 15-17 rounds, semi-auto carbine mags over 30 rounds)
9. Harden all schools against armed attack. Update evac procedures to have everyone leave the building in an active shooter situation. Armed security if necessary. Classroom door bars and wedges.
10. Give all teachers defensive weapons and training if they don't want to carry a firearm. Including pepper spray, stun guns, light weapons: lasers, high lumen flashlights, sound weapons: flash bangs, high decibel alarms.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2012 at 6:31 am
Politicians and government employees and buildings are protected by police and security guard guns. Banks and money are protected by them as well. Pilots can now carry guns. And criminals of every shape and form have guns. But our children have no protection at all.
Posted by Happiness for all, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Dec 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Mental Health is the issue! A mother teaching her mentally ill son to shoot is criminal and life threatening.
Every report card in America should have a line for mental stability of the student... Two teachers saying a kid is unstable should place a restriction on that kid from having any access to fire arms. I agree with the idea that mental health providers should be able to have input into a data base of who is fit to bear arms.... But so should teachers... They may be the only ones that observe a person.
Posted by Christopher Schulz, a resident of the Martens-Carmelita neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm
Let's be frank. The media is a poor excuse to use against somebody to blame. Evidence to this is very weak. Exposure to violent media does NOT cause these kinds of massacres to happen. My friends and I were exposed to a lot of violent video games and movies. Did we pick up guns and shot up our schools? Absolutely not! I did a final paper about the Columbine High School Massacre for a psychology class and video games were NOT the cause of their violent rampage. Why did they commit one of the worst high school massacres in U.S. history? They just plain hated the Jefferson County community of Colorado and one of the shooters had what's called "messianic-grade superiority complex". This means that his view on the human world seemed so inferior and pathetic that it disgusted him. Why did he think this? It was the bullying and the behavior he observed. He thought they didn't think outside the box and to think for themselves.
I'm sorry but guns are NOT the problem nor is gun control the solution to the problem. It is the individual who has a mental disorder that caused him to go berserk when the Sandy Hook massacre happened.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm
You have to ask why are they trying to criminalize all these legal activities and take away people's freedoms that they already had. I think it is because they know the economy isn't going to grow like it used to so they have to criminalize a greater percentage of the population. Welcome to the new American Dream.