Why the NRA should support gun control

Opinion: Ken Trainor

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

In my Sept. 26 column, I responded to Dave Schweig's proposal for a citizen advisory commission on the issue of guns in Oak Park. He's in favor of them, so calling for a public discussion is a remarkable initiative on his part. After all, the five Second Amendment-lovers on the Supreme Court already overturned Oak Park's longstanding (and very popular) handgun ban — thanks to outside intrusion by the NRA.

So I give him a lot of credit for not just smugly thumbing his nose at the rest of us. He's putting himself out there.

In that previous column, where I took gun proponents to task for wanting rights without corresponding responsibilities, I said, "I have, on several occasions, freely acknowledged that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns. I need Dave to acknowledge that with that right come certain responsibilities — including the recognition that something needs to be done to keep madmen from having such easy access to firearms. As soon as I hear that, I'll support the inquiry commission on responsible gun ownership."

On Nov. 21, we carried Dave's response in Viewpoints: "I heartily endorse your position that those of us who support the Second Amendment have a clear responsibility for meeting all legal and moral requirements for owning/using firearms, and we certainly recognize 'that something needs to be done to keep madmen from having such easy access to firearms.'"

For all I know, this could be the first public statement of this kind from any supporter of gun ownership/Second Amendment rights. At any rate, it's the first I've seen.


Both of our statements are pretty straightforward, so I'm assuming good faith. Therefore, I endorse Dave Schweig's call for a public inquiry commission on guns that would eventually issue recommendations to the village's department of public health.

The devil, of course, is in the details. I'm no organizer, and my public endorsements in the past, sadly, have had less than a galvanizing effect on the public at large. It's possible that the only two members of this commission will be Dave and myself, so until an actual group is formed, I'll get the discussion rolling.

As I suggested in my comment above, I believe such a commission should be focused on "responsible gun ownership." To me, that includes legislating a system of truly effective gun control. In fact, a strong case can be made that the only way to be a responsible gun owner is to promote gun control.

I would also argue that effective gun control measures are in the best long-term interests of the NRA and individual gun owners like Dave Schweig. In fact, the NRA should be in the front lines, lobbying for better gun control instead of supporting those so adamantly opposed to it.

Easy access to guns leads to mass murder. The incidents are piling up with maddening frequency — almost every month now. The number of casualties will only increase. The NRA's ability to intimidate a cowardly Congress does not mean they're winning the argument. It only means they enjoy a short-term advantage. The same is true of the current Supreme Court majority. Inevitably, that will shift, very likely not in the NRA's favor.

Meanwhile, the rising body count will be accompanied by a rising tide of public animosity toward both the NRA and their congressional lapdogs.

Some of the deeper thinkers in the pro-gun movement characterize the right to own firearms as "a priori," i.e. a divinely granted, inalienable right, essential to our very humanity. Which is, of course, horse manure.


The right to free speech is inalienable because without free speech, our humanity would be diminished. Freedom of worship is inalienable because freedom of conscience is essential to human dignity. Guns are tools. They are not essential to who we are as human beings. And the right to keep and bear arms is anything but inalienable. Public outrage against the mass mayhem caused by careless, easy access to guns will inevitably sweep away the Second Amendment.

Therefore, if gun supporters want to preserve it, they need to join forces with those who favor effective gun control. Instead, they oppose any and all measures to restrict or delay access to gun ownership because their greatest fear is that the government will eventually try to take away their firearms, and they see this as the first step toward that end. Ironically, all their efforts to block gun control only bring that day closer. In time, the vast majority of Americans, fearful for their own safety and that of their loved ones, will vote against any candidate who supports gun ownership.

This is not an argument the NRA can win long term. There is no moral legitimacy to their position. Talk about a respect-for-life issue. I hope to God that at least the so-called "pro-life" folks will take a public stand in favor of gun control. Otherwise their entire movement loses its moral credibility.

All the gun promoters have to back them up is a vaguely worded, historically obsolete constitutional amendment and a lack of political will to overturn it. Time is not on their side. It may not happen in our lifetime, but it will happen — unless the NRA changes course.

Gun control, in the long run, is the only way to protect the Second Amendment.

In endorsing this commission, therefore, I suggest we start with the proposition that the interests of gun owners and non-gun owners alike is best served by a system of truly effective gun control.

Now, how do we get there?

I don't know if we can find common ground, Dave, but you reached out to start a dialogue and I respect you for that.

As always, I look forward to your response.

Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

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Reader Comments

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LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 25th, 2012 1:38 AM

Merry Christmas, everyone.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 25th, 2012 1:37 AM

(continued) As far as Burke and Trotter go, well, in Illinois, some animals are more equal than others. They must be doing a lot of private detective work that puts them in harm's way, right?

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 25th, 2012 1:31 AM

(continued) Or are you talking about removing the floorplate and making an extra-long magazine? I seriously doubt that that would work, since the follower spring wouldn't be long enough to reach the top of the extra-long mag. If you're talking about a pseudo-large capacity mag that you'd just have to flip over, again, I don't see that being useful, as it's not very much faster than just using a new magazine. In fact, it might be slower, because you wouldn't be able to simply drop the old one.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 25th, 2012 1:27 AM

@ Brian: I've heard of that, but I don't have any personal experience. As far as I know, it was only to save them from digging around in a pouch for their first reload. The time saved wouldn't be significant from a reload--it was just an easier way to carry a spare mag rather than to have it stuck in a pocket. I'm not sure what you mean about spot-welding a couple of magazines together. Do you mean it would make a pseudo-large capacity magazine, that you would just have to flip over?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 5:54 PM

Brian - can I give an opinion - You can, but the lips that retain the rounds are kind of fussy and don't take well to abuse.The bottom of your hi cap magazine would be that easily bent area. Another point is that there is a lot of weight involved with a loaded 10 round clip of 45 acp

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 5:33 PM

To LL: I heard that in Viet Nam they used to tape two magazines offset for the M16, fire one until empty,eject, turn over slam the second mag in for high firing capacity. Whats to prevent a semi auto pistol mag to fabricate a pot metal clip and spot weld to hold magazines together to make a large capacity mag from 2 low capacity mags. I have heard nothing as to why Ed Burke and Donnie Trotter, need to posses firearms.Please comment.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 2:49 PM

Can we call a 24 hour cease fire in honor of the holiday? Peace and good will to all on this eve of Christmas! Please accept my wishes for the joys of whatever holiday you celebrate this wonderful season.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 2:23 PM

@ Jackie: A) I didn't apologize for Ray's misspelling. I suggested that you are a moron for attacking Ray when you're wrong. B) Again, you have completely ignored the issue. You are seemingly incapable of logical argument, which seems unsurprising given your position on the issue. Your side of the argument has been proven wrong repeatedly, and instead of trying to refute my points, you hurl insults like a child. I love arguing with people like you, because it makes my job so much easier.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 10:21 AM

@D200 - the residents of Sandy Hook could have made the same argument 2 weeks ago. I wonder if they are now in agreement with you? Many ideas have surfaced lately - some good some awful - the more we see the easier it will be to reduce the incidences of violent carnage. We must try!

D200 Fights Guns with Higher Taxes  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 9:56 AM

Your gun control musings while interesting are meaningless. No one will have any money to buy guns - or groceries for that matter - if they keep raising taxes like D200's arrogant board. Comment on an issue in which you might actually have a real impact locally like your local leaders amassing a $117M cash reserve.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 9:36 AM

@ Jackie - once again you are sticking your foot in your mouth proclaiming something you know nothing about. Why would I use my name on one post and not another? I happened to be letting the dog out at 4 this morning and posted as I waited - if it is any of your business. The spelling correction was more a slam at your nit picking than anything else. I believe that 'Unfortunately' profiled you very accurately and I second his opinion. We have several people here with opposing views and for the most part the dialog is civil - until you throw in your 2 cents and it gets shrill, childish and rude. I have yet to see anyone defend your presentation beyond affirming the first amendment right to make a fool of yourself.


Posted: December 24th, 2012 9:00 AM

LL/Ray-you are a fraud. First, why would LL personally apologize for a misspelling by Ray. Second, what are the chances that LL and Ray would post comments within 12 minutes of each other--at 4 AM. Why does it matter? Because anyone who must have a conversation with oneself, to bolster his own position on an issue, and referencing how smart/right/logical the other is, is a fraud and has a borderline personality disorder. Like I said, get a hobby wingnut.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 4:12 AM

@ Jim - We might consider some kind of emergency response team that is well trained to use lethal and non lethal weapons like pepper spray and tasers. The last thing we need is a faculty SWAT team clomping down the hallways in black jump suites and "Handy Manny" ski masks. The key is well trained and confidence in their ability to defuse, delay or stop a person until law enforcement arrives. Their function would also include training the entire staff about emergency communications, lockdown of rooms and how to get everyone out of sight. A smart plan would be better than the chaos I imagine happened. The beauty of the Air Marshal program is that you don't know who they are or when they are around. Having a logical plan and trained staff need not be expensive or threatening to young children.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 4:00 AM

@ Jim. I'm not advocating for requiring anything. I'm simply saying that people who already have concealed carry permits, and are lawfully allowed to carry everywhere else, should be allowed to carry inside schools. If a teacher has a concealed carry permit and a firearm, he or she should be allowed to carry it inside their place of employment.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 24th, 2012 12:57 AM

It appears that you are advocating that all teachers and school adminstrators be armed and prepared to respond with deadly force, if necessary. Would they be required to purchase guns or will weapons be provided to all personnel by the school board? Is refusal to comply with the directive grounds for termination even if based upon religious or personal beliefs?. No exceptions to edict? How about private schools? I'm still trying to understand how this plan would be implemented.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 6:47 PM

(continued) Multiple victim public shootings almost always happen where firearms are banned.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 6:45 PM

(continued) Nor was it the largest theater with the most potential victims. He picked the ONLY theater out of seven within a twenty minute drive from his home that explicitly banned carrying concealed firearms. Now, it's impossible to know what was going through his head, but it certainly seems like there is a realistic possibility that the potential of an armed citizen led him away from any of the other theaters in the area.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 6:43 PM

@ Jim: Not at all. The benefit to concealed carry is that nobody knows who has a gun. The potential that somebody has a gun is a deterrent in and of itself. Obviously, the more armed faculty and staff available is better for a response, but as far a deterrence goes, it's irrelevant. There hasn't been a lot of speculation about why the Aurora, CO shooter chose the theater that he did. But John Lott took a look at theaters in the area. The theater wasn't the closest to the shooters house.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 6:04 PM

To be an effective deterrent, doesn't this plan require that all school personnel be fully armed and equipped with body armor? Where's does it stop? How do you respond to teachers or staff who would object to having to carry and be prepared to use a deadly weapon due to religious or personal beliefs? How about those with physical limitations? The idea of relying upon volunteers to stand armed and ready is ludicrous. Ask a teacher how difficult it is to get people to help out by chaperoning field trips or assisting in the classroom. Our former village manager proposed having volunteer crossing guards. That bit of foolishness was quicky dismissed by people who knew better. Don't spend time on a plan that will not work and is fraught with dangerous consequences. Best to keep engaging in thoughtful conversation and hope we can come up with a reasonable solution that addresses the mental health issues, violence in our modern society and the seemingly easy access to deadly weapons.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 4:30 PM

These occurrences are so rare that perhaps the possibility of armed teachers would be enough. The value of concealed carry is the unknown factor of who can fight back and who can't. The likelihood of an armed teacher might deter a reasonably sane bad guy. Real problem is that recent shootings have been mentally deranged individuals who don't care. How many kids die while the armed guard/teacher shows up? Real solution is to be able to identify mental illness that results in this kind of carnage. The additional problem is that even sick people have rights under our constitution. More problems than solutions

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 4:28 PM

(continued) And, a comparable number of multiple victim public shootings have taken place in Western Europe, which has far more restrictive gun laws than the United States. In fact, until Newtown, the three worst school shootings (K-12) took place in the United Kingdom and Germany. Fourth was Columbine. And then the fifth was, again, in Germany.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 4:26 PM

(continued) Having teachers, faculty, and parents with lawfully concealed firearms might actually serve to meaningfully mitigate the effects of a mass shooting, which is more than can be said for feel-good moves like assault weapons bans which have been proven to have no meaningful effect on firearm-homicide rates. Almost all multiple victim public shootings in the United States in the last decade have taken place in gun-free zones.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 4:07 PM

@ Jim: Not necessarily. Only one of them would need to hit the shooter. It's not necessarily a solution that would save all of the lives, but it's a solution that would end the shooting sooner. The alternative is calling the police and waiting for them to get there. In some parts of the country, it could take ten minutes for the police to arrive. Not to mention, body armor protects you from a frontal assault. A competent and trained shooter would be firing from a position of cover anyway.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 3:37 PM

The teachers at the the school in Newtown would have had to been wearing body armor to withstand the attack by that gunman. Does that make sense? If everyone is carrying concealed weapons and prepared to use deadly force; won't they all also have to be covering themselves with protective gear, including the person who is commiting the crime? As we learned during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our troops were still vulnerable despite being equipped with body armor.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:32 PM

@ Jim: I agree that putting armed police in all of these places would make life feel like a police state. The solution is to expand lawful concealed carry. If parents, teachers, and faculty with concealed carry permits could carry their guns on school property, then the government wouldn't have to pay for anybody to be posted at the school. And we'd get the same benefit in adult day care centers, libraries, post office, churches, funeral parlors, theaters, and everywhere else.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:29 PM

@ Pete: I agree that the expense involved in putting an armed cop in every school is going to be too high. But it's illegal to put a tax on the exercise of a constitutionally-protected right. It's like a poll tax. It would be equally offensive to tax a violent video game or violent books. The solution to the cost would be, more appropriately, to arm the principal or other staff member. Then the only cost would be that of the firearm and the training.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:23 PM

(continued) All of this is meaningless, though, because it has already been shown that restricting the right of law-abiding citizens to access certain types of firearms has no measurable effect on the rates of firearm homicide.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:21 PM

(continued) If his mother had been a cop, he could have stolen her firearms. He could have stolen a chainsaw and committed the murders with it instead. He could have driven a car into the schoolyard at recess. Somebody crazy and evil enough to murder 20 children isn't going to be stopped by his choice of weapon. Or, more likely, he could have gotten the guns illegally. Your assertion that you can prevent the actions of a madman by limiting the rights of everybody is absurd.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:18 PM

@ Jackie: I don't care who you were addressing. It was a nonsensical argument, so I attacked it. Even if we were the same person, which we are not, it wouldn't change the fact that you prefer to call names and engage in emotional zealotry. Again, in the entirety of your two comments, you managed exactly two sentences that could be seen as logically addressing the issue at hand. However, it's a weak argument. Holding law-abiding citizens responsible for the actions of a madman is wrong.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 2:12 PM

Where does it stop? Are armed guards needed at day care centers, public libraries, post offices, houses of worship, funeral parlors, movie theaters, nursing homes, animal shelters, etc.,. Are we prepared to live under siege because we are not able to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous and disturbed individuals? Are school teachers going to have to wear body armor in addition to shouldering a sidearm? Kids too? What Wayne LaPierre and Louis Gohmert are proposing takes us to a slippery slope. No easy answers for sure; but the NRA plan lacks a reasoned thought process.

Pete Prokopowicz from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 1:57 PM

I like the NRA proposal but it would be much more convincing if it came with a suggestion to tax guns, ammo, ranges, licenses, etc enough to pay for it. That would show that with the right to own arms comes a responsibility not only to use them safely but to work actively to minimize the harm inherently done to a society that values open access to guns.


Posted: December 23rd, 2012 10:15 AM

@Jackie. I have always ignored your previous rants and am sickened that I'm not doing that right now - you are always completely shrill, obnoxious, petty, and post almost exclusively childish comments. HOWEVER, Lord forgive me, I could not let stand your comment of "immoral acts" - Madoff was a Democrat. I can add that Obama's action with GM is, so far, losing $15B of taxpayers money. "Blame" can be shared by many R's and D's. Hmm, did Obama get his start with David Pope? John Rigas?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 10:11 AM

@Jackie - your ideological hatred sure reflects your spirit of the season. Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Posted: December 23rd, 2012 9:22 AM

Scott--you rightie wingnuts are laughable; just like you claim that half of all guns are owned by "lefties", half of the abortions are by righties, more than half of welfare recipients are rural, white and rightie, the each of the largest economic scandals in the last 20 years have been committed by righties, and the financial institutions demanding taxpayer bailouts for their immoral acts have been headed by righties. So, I submit that it is the rightie who has some explaining to do on morals.


Posted: December 23rd, 2012 9:14 AM

LL-my comment was to Ray, not you. Your response suggests that you and Ray are the same person. Tsk, tsk. Did you forget who you were for a moment? To the point, Nancy Lanza thought she was a law abiding citizen, then her son took her guns and killed 20 children. Those are facts. If she did not have guns, son Adam could not have used them to kill 20 six year old kindergarten kids. That's the logic, a priori.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 23rd, 2012 8:47 AM

LL-I have been to the range many times while in the army. Thanks for the offer though.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:33 PM

Unfortunately the Arabic characters didn't show up. They did in the preview. My apologies.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:32 PM

(continued) But please, Jackie, continue to call names and act like a child. It isn't nearly as mentally taxing as addressing facts and using logic.

LL from Oak Park   

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:29 PM

(continued) Banning guns isn't going to prevent murderers from being murderers. Next, and this is a minor nitpick, but it bothered me, and so I will respond: Sirhan Sirhan or Serhan Serhan--it doesn't really matter, because he was born in Jordan, and his name in Arabic is ????? ????? ?????. The problem with transliterating foreign languages is that sometimes the sounds aren't exactly analogous. This is especially true with vowels. So before you go calling names, get your facts straight.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:25 PM

(continued) Why do the police get called? Because they have guns. Put somebody with a gun in schools. School resource officer, off duty police volunteers, principal with a concealed carry permit, former military, volunteers. It doesn't matter. Give them firearms training and let them act as either a deterrent or a first line of defense. Next, you claim that criminals with guns can and do kill. That's true. They also can and do kill with knives, baseball bats, and bombs.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:23 PM

Where did you get the idea that liberals want to kill anyone? Were conservatives and tea partiers responsible for death threats targeting the President and First Family. Always consider the source and figure the individual calling for an assassination of a public figure to be very troubled. Disregard political affiliation, religious beliefs, sexual preference, marital status, etc.,. Madness is the issue.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:23 PM

(continued) As I said, I'm willing to debate facts. So here goes. First of all, I'm not defending the "right of killers to continue to kill innocents." I am absolutely, however, defending the rights of the other 76,000,000 gun owners who didn't kill a single person. You want a policy solution? Arm people. Wayne LaPierre said on Friday that the only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. He was absolutely right. When someone starts shooting, the police get called.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:17 PM

@ JBM: Merry Christmas to you too. And I wasn't kidding about taking you to the range. If you'd like to try it, let me know. It's a whole lot of fun. @ Jackie. Of course it's much easier to ignore the arguments and call names. The facts have been laid out, and have yet to be refuted. I'm perfectly willing to defend my arguments with facts. If you want to claim that I'm peddling snake oil, fine. Tell me where I'm wrong, and back it up with some facts.


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 10:04 PM

I did get a huge kick out of the liberals threatening to kill NRA executives and members on Twitter and Facebook. You lefters do know that you own half the guns in this country? Have not seen the first one of you giving up your guns, your whole agenda is to hate right wingers.


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 9:58 PM

We have given up on even trying to teach morals and values to our children. Living here means having to accept any deviant behavior because everyone has a cause. We are creating these shooters by the sick society they are being bred into. Personally, I am not a criminal. Just a father, a grandfather and a loving husband. Thanks but I am going to keep my Glock, my two remingtons, my 22's. my 270 , my 223 and my M4. There is not a justification for anyone removing guns from people like myself.


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 9:49 PM

What people need to understand is none of this is an issue with law abiding citizens. I truly believe that the left has totally shredded the last moral fabric, of society. They have no problem with killing thousands of babies and using abortion as a form of birth control. They insist that all Americans should embrace gays and denounce Christ to anyone who will listen. I could care less if two people, of the same sex, make a home, great. Just don't tell me I am required to like it, I don't .


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 6:09 PM

cont. And, Ray, you misguided old fool, the NRA, not the ACLU or me, has done everything in its power to open gun sales everyone who wants one. This seems to be your organization of choice, so own it. If it were your 6 year old, would you be so brazen? You shed tears for the gun owner, whether sane or insane, and shed not one for the loss of young lives.


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 6:02 PM

I think you mean Sirhan Sirhan, you dope. So now we understand your position. Gunmen are only crazed gunmen after Ray Simpson can look into their eyes and make a call for everyone. Pardon me but if this passes for a policy solution to a "complex problem" we are all in trouble. I wonder of the parents of children murdered by gun violence would be as confident in your ability, only after the fact apparently, to identify the criminally insane.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 5:52 PM

@ Jackie - Look at the eyes of a 20 year old who has just murdered his own mother and 2 dozen innocents and tell me he might be sane. Look at the kid in Colorado who shot up a movie theater and tell me there isn't a mental health issue. Look at Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dommer, Serhan serhan and tell me they are sane. Their actions prove otherwise and you blame the guns. You and the ACLU have made it impossible to identify and protect society from these dangerous people till they have done irreparable harm.


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 5:33 PM

Ray are you serious or a fool. You can now look at someone and tell if he/she has a mental health issue. Not all criminals are insane, sometimes they are just criminals. And criminals with guns can and do kill. I am not trying to convince "us" of anything. You do not represent anyone or anything that needs convincing, just warning others of people like you.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:53 PM

@Jackie - I guess you didn't notice that we are of the mind that the real problem was/is more mental heath than gun rights. You are trying to convince us that each of the gun violence incidences was committed by a perfectly rational person who was given his instructions by the NRA. Look at the eyes of the Colorado shooter and tell me he is sane - BS. You opt for simplistic answers to very complex problems and demonize people who see things differently than you do. On who's authority do you condemn anyone to hell? Isn't that a bit presumptuous on your part?


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 1:20 PM

LL and Ray: You both preach for the church of death. Thanks for your defense of the right of killers to continue to kill innocents. There is a special place in hell for both of you. Come up with a policy solution to the problem and maybe someone would buy your snake oil. Until then, get off the blog and get a hobby.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 9:50 AM

Merry Christmas, LL

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 6:56 AM

@ LL - Game set and Match - well stated! Does JBM understand a word you said?

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:31 AM

And, by the way, it seems to me that if the law was so effective, it would have prevented the Monash University shooting in 2002, in which 21 people were shot. But, obviously, you wouldn't mention that one, because since only two people died it didn't meet your requirements. And, well, because it would suggest that the law doesn't work.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:28 AM

Finally, true to form, you continue to spout lies and present them as fact. First of all, 2 of the 13 "gun massacres" that you claim were, in fact, serial murders that took place over the course of days. One of them even involved three separate shooters. Chapman was rightly criticized for claiming that in his study, but you almost certainly never bothered to read either the study or any academic discussion of it.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:28 AM

(continued) Also, JBM, if you had bothered to do any research, you would probably know that even if if could be proved that the 1996 gun control law prevented mass shootings (which cannot be demonstrated), the 1996 gun laws did not have ANY MEASURABLE EFFECT on the rate of firearm-related homicide in Australia. None. Over the last 25 or 30 years, the rate of firearm-related homicide in Australia has been declining at a steady rate. The gun law didn't affect it.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:27 AM

(continued) In fact, that data you present mean nothing. Canada and New Zealand both have considerably more lenient gun control laws than Australia. And they have gone similiar lengths of time without a mass shooting. (That's what science calls a "control.")

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:27 AM

(continued) It is tremendously difficult to have a valid statistical analysis of rare events. It would be an equally valid to argue that the reduction in mass shootings was directly attributable to the election of a center-right government in 1996. Without a valid statistical analysis, it is impossible to draw conclusions of causality from correlating data.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:26 AM

Furthermore, if you had bothered to read any of the referenced studies, you would have seen that the claims made in the USA Today editorial which you copied come from a study done by Simon Chapman, who, again, is a profoundly anti-gun activist in Australia. Now, Chapman's ideology certainly doesn't change the facts. But attributing the drop in mass shootings to the NFA is not a legitimate conclusion, and Chapman himself acknowledges this.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:25 AM

@JBM: Why don't you cite your Harvard University study? Probably because if you had bothered researching, instead of just copying and pasting your comment from a USA Today editorial, you would have found that it wasn't actually a study--it was a summary of research done by other researchers. That summary was funded by the profoundly anti-gun Joyce Foundation.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 4:31 PM

AUSTRALIA - when a gunman killed 35 people in 1996 with a semiautomatic rifle in the tourist town of Port Arthur, on the island of Tasmania, the Australian people decided it was time for a change. A new law, backed by a conservative prime minister, divided firearms into five categories. Some of the deadliest assault-style weapons and large ammunition clips are now all but impossible for individuals to lawfully own. Firearms are subject to a strict permitting process, and dealers are required to record sales, which are tracked by the national and territorial governments. What's more, the law encouraged people to sell their firearms back to the government, which purchased and destroyed about 700,000 of them. The results are hard to argue with. According to a Harvard University study, 13 gun massacres (in which four or more people died) occurred in the 18 years before the law was enacted. In the 16 years since there has been none. Zero. Of course Australian are not as smart as our right wingers! Merry Christmas, Everyone.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:25 PM

(continued) Each one of your examples demonstrates why gun control is a terrible idea.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:24 PM

(continued) Fourth, you conveniently fail to mention times when armed citizens actually have resisted tyranny, such as the Korean storekeepers in LA during the 1992 riots protecting themselves and their stores against gang violence. Each and every one of your examples demonstrates what happens when an unarmed group of people is subjected to an armed group of people. If the victims of these injustices had been armed, they likely would have ended differently.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:24 PM

(continued) The earliest gun control laws in the United States were designed to prevent blacks from owning and carrying weapons. I encourage you to read the works of Professor Adam Winkler of the UCLA Law School, historian Clayton Cramer, Professor William Tonso of Universisty of Evansville for further information about the racist roots of gun control.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:23 PM

(continued) Third, the Second Amendment doesn't provide for the creation of roving bands of superheroes stamping out all forms of injustice. It simply allows individuals to own firearms to defend THEMSELVES from tyranny. Each of your examples illustrate a failure of people to defend themselvs from tyranny, except for the examples involving slaves and former slaves. Why don't those examples illustrate the same thing? Because those groups were disarmed by gun control laws.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:22 PM

@ Bob: Awesome. Another phenomenally dumb argument. First of all, it's completely irrelevant to the debate. The fact that gun owners haven't lived up to your expectations in no way limits our right to own guns. Second, you could make the same arguments for free speech. Free speech also failed to stop slavery (that actually took guns) and the mistreatment of native populations. Nobody is suggesting that we should have banned free speech because it failed to create a perfect world.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 6:01 PM

Rightwing gun owners say they need guns to fight against tyranny, however they have a very poor historical track record. In slavery times they made up the ranks of the slave patrols who were the "well regulated militias" who upheld the tyranny of slavery and whose brutality was well documented. Where were the rightwing gun owners when our government uprooted the Cherokee or the Sioux and treaties were trampled on? Did they help battle the KKK in the aftermath of the Civil War when ex-slaves and their allies were fighting for the lives and freedom? Did they ever stand up against company gun thugs during union organizing campaigns? Where were they when Bull Conner was putting police dogs on school children and the KKK was bombing churches and murdering civil rights workers. Have they ever offered to defend our nation's natural environment from corporate polluters? Why does the NRA use Oliver North as a spokesperson, whose campaign of terrorism against Nicaragua brought shame on this nation There are other examples too far numerous to mention. In America's fight against both government and private sector tyranny, rightwing gun owners have been part of the problem, not part of the solution. It's time we stood up against their bogus claims voiced through organizations like the NRA and assert our freedom to live free from gun violence.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 5:25 PM

Further, from DC v. Heller: "We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes"

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 5:02 PM

@ Tom: Research is tough. I'll do it for you. "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." "At this time" usually means "at this time" and not "148 years ago."

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 4:21 PM

Ummm LL, while you may be a gun nut, you are clearly not a US Supreme Court nut. The Miller court found that a federal law that outlawed sawed off shotguns did not violate the 2d Amendment because sawed off shot guns were not common arms when the 2d amend was ratified. Are you saying that the AR 15 was the weapon of choice by the minutemen?

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 4:08 PM

@MichaelO - Also, do you have any meaningful experience with firearms? Serious question. Furthermore, you're right that I could say that the right to own a semi-auto would be an opinion. But it wouldn't be mine--it would be the Supreme Court's. In US v. Miller, the Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to firearms "in common use at the time". It would be remarkably difficult to argue that semi-autos are not common, as the AR15 is the most commonly sold rifle in the US.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 4:02 PM

@MichaelO - It's faster, but not in any really meaningful way. If you want to go to the range and empty the gun as quickly as you can, you can do it faster with a semi-auto than you can with a bolt action. But for aimed fire, where you actually have a chance at hitting anything, it's only moderately faster. And bump fire is a joke. It's fun, but that's about it. It's difficult to do, and you're not going to hit anything. You can't really control muzzle rise, so everything ends up missing.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 3:49 PM

A semi-auto weapon is actually really "much faster" than a bolt action. And then you have the bump fire yahoos. Sorry. I don't think you can explain away the need for such a weapon in the hands of the general public. You can say it's a right but that's opinion.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 3:38 PM

@ Ray. Also, thanks for the offer to help out, but it probably won't be necessary. I sincerely doubt that any of the anti-gunners will take me up on it. They never actually want to learn about the issue. They would rather spout the lies handed to them by the Brady Campaign.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 3:36 PM

(continued) You don't have to allow access to the storage location--you are thinking of Class III dealers. If you'd like to shoot a machine gun, there are a number of ranges in the country that allow you to rent them to shoot on their range. There used to be a place in Chanderville, IL that did it. I've heard rumors that GAT Guns in Dundee is going to start.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 2:56 PM

(continued) You also must live in one of the 38 states that doesn't prohibit legal automatic firearm ownership over and above federal regulations. Given the limited number of pre-1986 transferable automatic firearms (there are probably about 200,000 of them, but nobody really knows for sure) the prices are ridiculously high. As in, over $10,000 each. That is not a typo. Basically, the ownership of automatic firearms is restricted to very wealthy collectors.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 2:53 PM

@ Ray: The requirements to purchase an automatic weapon are these: Submit fingerprints, photograph and letter from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer to the BATFE, along with a $200 check for the tax stamp and an ATF Form 4. Wait approximately 6 months for the BATFE to process the application and return your tax stamp. Oh, by the way, you can only purchase a Title II firearm that was manufactured prior to 1986, which means that there is a fixed and incredibly limited number of them.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 1:43 PM

@ LL - I would love to join you and help out. I have a competition accurized 1911 that you might like to try.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 1:39 PM

LL you can own one but everyone owns a piece of you if you do. License is expensive and hard to obtain. You are required to give treasury access to the place where it is stored and go through training every three(?) years. If you want the experience it might be easier to just join the army. I got to fire a 50 cal machine gun with tracers at night when I was in the army. As a medic I got to go out with most of the different fire teams and if I would tote the ammo they would let me fire it.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 1:29 PM

Also, I am an NRA-Certified Instructor. If any of the anti-gunners here would legitimately like to educate themselves about firearms, let me know, and I'll take you to the range. Even you, JBM. I'll even buy the ammo.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 1:26 PM

(continued) Semi-automatic sounds much scarier than it actually is, and the anti-gunners have taken advantage of that. All semi-automatic means is that you don't have to manually chamber the next round. It's not any more deadly, or really very much faster, than a bolt-action. Lee Harvey Oswald used a bolt-action rifle to shoot Kennedy.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 1:22 PM

@ Brian Slowiak: It has been effectively illegal for anybody who is not a police department or a government organization to own a firearm that fires more than one shot at a time since the National Firearms Act in 1934. (Firing more than one round at a time is called fully automatic.) No mass shooting has used a fully automatic firearm probably since the 1920s. The firearms used at Columbine, and in Arizona, and in Aurora, and Va Tech, and Connecticut were semi-automatic.

Steve from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:57 PM

Another responsible gun owner: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/20/boys-make-the-right-move-with-loaded-gun-in-theater/?hpt=hp_t3

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:55 PM

@Michael - I believe that the m-16 was chambered for the NATO round where the AR was not.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 10:32 AM

Uncommon, the M-16 is the military designation of the AR-15. I think your history is backwards. The AR-15 came first.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:59 AM

clarification - anything more than 1 shot per trigger pull is automatic and not allowed. I saw a sear break on a 1911 45 one time going full automatic. The shooter was so good that all 5 rounds were on the paper. That is real gun control.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:54 AM

The design is also modular which makes it easy to customize and service - scopes, stock, grips, etc. It basically is the defacto standard rifle PLATFORM of today. Kind of like how different car models may be based on the same platform. I think the gun grabbers got so used to seeing the m-16 from Vietnam, they just assume anything that looks similar is the same regardless of the actual functionality. This is why "assault weapon" is vague because it is based on looks, not functionality.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:49 AM

Brian, there is a selector switch on true assault rifles (a la M-16) - single shot, three shot burst, and full auto. single shot is basically one bullet per trigger pull. full auto is machine gun. three shot burst is three bullets per trigger pull. The AR-15 is SINGLE SHOT just like most rifles, handguns, revolvers, etc. It just looks menacing because the m-16 design was so effective as a rifle it was co-oped for civilian use - hunting, target shooting.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:44 AM

@ Brian - perhaps if the bayonet lug was more functional than the gun the gang bangers would kill less of their buddies. There are a whole list of things that qualify a gun as an assault rifle. 3- shot or more bursts make it a automatic weapon (machine gun) and not available to civilians. Magazine loading in front of the trigger guard -DUMB- Pistol style grip on a rifle - DUMBER- and on and on!

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:42 AM

A liberal calling someone racist, idiot, or some other name is usually a sign they have been bested in the debate so that is all they can fall back on. I guess you are a fan or Piers Morgan. Loved his meltdown in the face of logic and reason.... I love Oak Park, but woke up to this liberal PC nonsense years ago after I saw my father diffuse a situation with a raging crackhead threatening my mother by pulling his handgun. By the way, I am black and ivy educated so don't even go there...

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:35 AM

Jackie, so you gun grabbers politicizing a very rare tragic event to push for more legislation that has be proven time and time again completely useless in stopping lunatics/criminals isn't just as egregious? I have prevented facts and logic questioning the left's senseless utopian worldview. Stop believing everything these bootlicking politicians and media tell you and do your own research to get educated.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:56 AM

To LL: I had heard that the assault rifle banned had a feature to affix a bayonet to the barrel. Also, an assault rifle has a switch to determine how many rounds can be fired, single shot,there rounds and fully automatic. Please comment.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 8:34 AM

@ Jackie - my late father told me that your vocabulary is a window to your intellect. At his retirement party his long serving secretary confided to me " your dad could tell a man he was an a##h** and the man would thank him for being concerned" A lesson you have yet to learn.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 7:48 AM

@ Jackie - I hope you are holding the White House to the same standard. Yesterday the president used the carnage to demand that Republicans compromise and give him everything he demands. Tax increases, gun control and no spending cuts - do it for the children. What was the term you used to describe uncommon?


Posted: December 20th, 2012 6:38 AM

@uncommon-your insistence on equating accidental deaths with the murder of 20 six year old children by a man with a gun proves that you are a first class a## h***. Could you at least let the funerals end before get on your soapbox. You are a disgrace.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:44 AM

@ JBM. I honestly think that you're pretending to be an idiot to get a rise out of me, because it would be difficult for somebody to be this dumb and still be capable of communicating in written word. I'll break it down purple-dinosaur style for you--My point is that it is impossible to ban "powerful assault rifles" and allow hunting rifles. If something is lethal against a deer, it will be lethal against a person. The "powerful assault weapon" is a myth and a lie.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:37 AM

(continued) The AR15 actually fires a much smaller round than the M1 Garand (the WWII battle rifle) did. The M1 fired a .30-06 (which, by the way, is one of the most common hunting rounds), which is significantly larger and heavier, and has significantly more energy than the .223 fired by the AR-15. You should admit that you have no idea what you are talking about. Otherwise, please explain precisely what you think the difference is between a so-called "assault weapon" and a hunting rifle.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:32 AM

@ MichaelO: Seriously, you don't know what you are talking about. You have never fired an AR-15 before. The assertion that an AR-15 "was designed as an assault weapon" is absurd, because it is meaningless. Please explain what you think an "assault weapon" does that makes it different from a hunting rifle. This is a serious question. How do you think it "mutilates prey?" It fires the same round, with the same muzzle velocity, with the same rate of fire as a Ruger Mini-14 varmint gun.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:32 PM

Deaths from Deer: 200 Deaths from vending Machines: 13 Deaths from falling out of bed: 400 Deaths from texting while driving 6,000! Deaths from drowing 3,000, 250 kids under 14 die from bicycle accidents. Arson: 100 people. Not to minimize anything, but the sensationalism of these incidents has to stop. Maybe if we didn't have 24 hour non-stop coverage of this stuff, these wackos might not do it for the attention.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:28 PM

gun grabbers needs some perspective. Despite the incessant media attention, mass shooting ARE NOT COMMON no matter how much it hurts our hearts. About 100 people die each year in what the FBI calls a mass shooting (meaning 4 or more victims). Keep in mind, that isn't four or more innocents, but just four people. But lets just assume gangbangers/thugs are innocent. So 100 people every year die needlessly.

Kevin Cassidy  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:27 PM

Which of these things is not like the others? Which of these things is not quite the same? "Fair share. Rich. Wealthy. Social Justice. Wage Inequality. ASSAULT WEAPON."

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:19 PM

@JC - You get Drivers license renewals with a sticker - FOID card could use the same system That could be a self auditing system - Dealer refuses ammo or gun purchase without qualification sticker. You are required to show the FOID card when you sign in anyway. The industry can monitor this idea better than the government.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:16 PM

Jim, while basic training may have changed a bit in the 30 years since I did it, from my experience there is not a lot of dry fire training in the Army. Other than telling us about range safety (which was mainly warning us to keep the weapon pointed down range), we pretty much learned to shoot while using live rounds.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 1:59 PM

Ray, it's my understanding that the Army does not provide a loaded weapon to a new enlistee. Each soldier undergoes intensive training and is required to pass tests before being issued live ammo. This would seemed to be an appropriate policy to follow in the private sector. A citizen purchasing dangerous weapons is not required to have any training; just cash.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 1:27 PM

@ all happened after I got out. Loved that old Garand! Look on you Tube for Brian Zinns and Tara Penemba to see what a true master can do with a 1911 ACP!

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 12:54 PM

Ray, the AR 15 is and always has been the civilian version of the M-16. The only nominal difference between the two is that a shooter of the AR 15 cannot select auto fire. However, any semi-competent gunsmith (really anyone with a file) can change that.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 12:37 PM

When I took basic training we were issued M-1 Garands - by the time I got out the M-16 was the issue weapon etc etc etc now we are into the AR series. Each step marked improvements in weight, accuracy durability and construction. Those improvements then translated to the civilian marketplace for all of the same reasons. Interesting enough the standard sidearm went from the 1911 ACP to the .38 to the 9mm, now I understand that the 101 year old design is back in vogue. The 1911 can be accurized, is easy to maintain and is reliable.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 10:04 AM

An AR-15 is an assault weapon. It was designed as an assault weapon and is still used as an assault weapon. Just because poor hunters chose to use it to mutilate prey doesn't change it's function.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 9:44 AM

LL "Anything that can take down a 300 lb buck (elk) is going to be able to take down a 300 lb man." How can I possible not mention that it can take down 20 kindergartners with ease. I respect hunters and understand their right. I do not respect hunters that use ten rounds to bring down an elk or a kindergartener.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 9:20 AM

MichaelO, they are functionally the same. There is no such thing as an ASSAULT WEAPON available to the public. The AR-15 that gets plastered on the news has become the base design for a modern hunting/sporting rifle. These assault weapon laws are based on LOOKS, nothing more. it is kind of like banning sports cars with spoilers because of speeding deaths even though many are no faster than a minivan.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 7:34 AM

Hunting rifles are not functionaly the same as assault weapons. The function of hunting rifles is hunting. The function of assault weapons is combat. We need a definition of assault weapons that all can agree on. Here's one: any of various automatic and semiautomatic military firearms using an intermediate cartridge? features useful in combat.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 2:18 AM

Uncommon, you're wasting your time. JBM is an idiot. Jim, why do you think that "assault weapons" are high powered? Do you know anything about rifles? What aspects of an "assault weapon" make it more powerful than a hunting rifle? Logically, this doesn't even make sense. Anything that can take down a 300 lb buck is going to be able to take down a 300 lb man. Hunting rifles and "assault rifles" are, functionally, the same thing. The difference is that "assault weapons" look scarier.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:28 PM

@ JC I am sure that the NRA has agreements with several insurance companies that already offer that coverage. The run of the mill shooting enthusiast has such spotless history of safety and security that the premiums would be minimal. The government should then purchase financial insurance to cover the mayhem and costs of the thugs and gang bangers. That policy will wind up very expensive.I sure don't want to pay for criminal activity. The world rapid fire championships use a gun that was declared an assault weapon the last time around. The rational was that the magazine was loaded into the gun in front of the trigger guard. We let Washington write rules and laws with no idea what they are doing or the consequences of their actions. "The next time you send me to Washington we will write laws to solve the worlds problems" and we buy this BS year after year.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:23 PM

Fog, fog, fog -- I agree with GYNZKILL.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 10:09 PM

Ray, I'm not able to define what is a military type weapon. You appear to have expertise on that subject. But high powered/assault rifles that are not intended for hunting purposes would probably be in that category. My suggestion is that gun owners be required to have liability insurance for any guns that they keep in their homes. Guns stored at a range would be exempt. How the mandate would be enforced or if companies that provide homeowners insurance would have any interest in offering that coverage needs to be examined. I don't see why responsible gun owners would object unless it was regarding the additional expense. I do agree with you that there needs to greater effort made to get the weapons out of the hands of those who do not demonstrate a willingness to abide by the laws.


Posted: December 18th, 2012 6:49 PM


Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 6:23 PM

JBM, the reason the definition of assault weapon is important is because when one truly and factually understands what it means, you quickly realize that the foot stomping about assault weapons is a farce. True military weapons are already banned. The rifles purchased today fire no deadlier than the ones of 60 years ago. They just LOOK military like because that design has proven to be effective for sporting, hunting, and defense but in reality are just standard semi-auto rifles.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 6:15 PM

JBM, one of the problems with the left is they love to co-op vague terms without defining what they really mean. Fair share. Rich. Wealthy. Social Justice. Wage Inequality. ASSAULT WEAPON. Then when pressed to be more specific, they want to brush you off as if your question isn't important to the debate at hand.


Posted: December 18th, 2012 3:40 PM

Every gun owner must be held accountable by law for what happens with the guns it owns. If one sells a given weapon, then proper background check and lengthy paper work ensues. No need for guns to be untraceable.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 2:11 PM

Ray - I am not wasting my time looking for information I could care less about. So I am not going to define "military style gun" for you. I will let you know that New England Cable News reports that the gun shots are selling out as gun-enthusiast are rushing to buy them before they are not available. Squirrel Hunting Season must be near.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:38 PM

There is this nice little tool called Google. You should try it. "Ninety-five percent of US police commanders and sheriffs believe most criminals obtain their firearms from illegal sources, according to a survey released by the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Coincidentally, data released by the US Department of Justice appears to confirm this claim by our nation's police executives. The DOJ study refutes the conventional wisdom that guns used in criminal acts are purchased at retail"

Andrew Renko  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:33 PM

I wish the pro-gun crowd here would get to Newtown and picket those childrens' funerals, a la Westboro Baptist. It is clear that the big bad government wants to take your guns away. No compromise on your part. Their gun (s) is more important than my five-year old. It's clear the real victims of gun crime are those that have guns and are offended when people assume guns can kill little kids. Let's organize a trip to Newtown to tell those grieving parents to quit their whining. Pathetic.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:33 PM

@ JC - How do you define military style weapons? Just about every gun on the market has at one time or another been used by the military. Conventional pistol competition uses .22 cal rim fire (OSS - CIA) .32-38 centerfire MP's and 1911 .45 . We had an assault weapons ban 10 years ago that had zero measurable impact on weapons violence. The current call for an assault weapons legislation won't make any greater influence this time either. Start gathering up perps with illegal guns, convict them and throw away the key. The word will get out.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:29 PM

Not purchased legally? How do gun manufacturers and dealers explain that? Please share the source for the data that supports your claim. Regardless of which type of weapon is used to commit crimes, the fact remains that there are dangers attached to gun ownership and liabilty insurance should be mandatory. Those who consider themselves to be responsible guns owners could not really object based upon the fact that good drivers with spotless records are still required to have coverage. Proof of insurance could required or purchased at point of sale. It would be interesting to see how many insurers would be willing to offer coverage. Or if the NRA would have to step up on behalf of its' members.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:21 PM

NTWS, there are already restrictions on the types of guns you can own. The assault weapons meme is a farce and based more on appearance than reality. (kind of like how Obama calls $250k income a millionaire & billionaire and rich). You already can't buy military grade assault rifes (full auto capability), however, many rifles look like military weapons but aren't any different from a plain jane rifle.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 1:11 PM

3544, the vast majority of guns used in crimes are not purchased legally. Jim, it has been illegal since 1934 for the public to own machine guns (full auto firing). Assault weapons bans are symbolic more than anything in that it is more about the way a gun looks, not how it is actually fired - vast majority of guns are already semi-automatic and have been since late 1800s. Further, the vast majority of gun violence is done with handguns, not "assault rifles".

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 12:41 PM

Mandate that all gun owners, especially those who possess military style weapons, be required to purchase liabilty insurance. The NRA could offer the special policies to their members. While this would not prevent the senseless slaughter of innocents, gun owners would be required to take all necessary precautions to make sure that their firearms were safely and securely stored. Close the gun show loophole and increase the criminal penalties for those who engage in straw purchases. 300 million guns in this country are owned by less than 25% of the population. It's time they accepted responsibilty .


Posted: December 18th, 2012 12:25 PM

All guns are purchased legally at one point after manufacturing. That's when a background check needs to take place. Ray, If we had more background checks today, maybe there would be fewer guns in the gang bangers hands. FYI- These tragedies are not being committed by the gangbangers. Wise up Americans.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 12:17 PM



Posted: December 18th, 2012 12:00 PM

Jackie - again, 3,000 children legally, barbarically eliminated each day since 1973, without one shot fired. And you call me a soulless pig? I believe you have some misplaced anger issues. I think we're seeing a perfect storm of complicated cultural and lack of moral issues that have come back at us

not the whole story  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:38 AM

Uncommon -- I get your point. You have been clear on your feelings about thugs and criminals all along. But the question you answered isn't the one I asked. Should YOU have restrictions on the firearms you can own? The waiting period isn't to restrict what you can buy, it's a cooling off period. Most guns are initially acquired legally. The guns used in Colorado and Newtown were legally acquired. These owners and guns weren't criminal until a bunch of people were dead.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:36 AM

Over the past six years, Cerberus has amassed a holding company called the Freedom Group, which has purchased some of the biggest names in American gun manufacturing, including Bushmaster. The firm's decision to sell off the interests in firearms companies and return the capital to its investors underscores how Friday's shooting -- which took the lives of 20 children -- has reinvigorated the national debate on gun control, not just for activists, but also for investors.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:25 AM

I advise leaders on how to make change happen as a profession. I don't disagree that changes need to happen to the mental health system. However, I recognize that health system changes will be much slower than other preventative measures that can be taken. Mental health services will take years to fix while people continue to get killed by high volume(created for the battlefield) assault weapons while at the mall/movie theater/school/etc. Sometimes the simplest answer is the one to go after first AND in parallel with the more complex changes. When organizations/ countries only go after big bang change vs incremental change they get paralyzed...inertia takes over and we're left with the status quo. And I think calls for...well if you're going to limit guns you should do something about every other way that someone might die in an unfair manner is just plain obstruction.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:24 AM

NTWS, there ALREADY ARE RESTRICTIONS. You just can't waltz in and buy firearms at the 7-11. We already have background checks, FOID, waiting periods, etc. None of that stops thugs from killing thugs or drugged out nut jobs from going on shooting sprees. You can put all the restrictions on guns you want, but we will still be having this conversation because more laws for law abiding citizens does not address the root causes of gun violence.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:23 AM

Machine guns ( full automatic) none for civilian ownership. Mental heath patients none without special medical permission. Convicted felons none - ever. Orders of protection - police supervision or none for either party. Juveniles with adult supervision only. RPG, mortars, howitzers, bazookas, or flame throwers for military only.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 11:08 AM

So, here is my question. Do you believe there should be any restrictions on the weapons an individual can own? Please don't respond with rants about people getting guns illegally, thugs shooting thugs, etc. We can go there later if needed. Are there/should there be any legitimate limits to an individual's ability to own and carry firearms?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 10:33 AM

@ 3544 Do you include the south and west side gang bangers as well? Figure that one out and we would all agree!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2012 9:43 AM

@ Jackie - I look in the eyes of those kids and I see my 4 1/2 year old grand daughter - so don't pretend to see into my heart. I have taken the position that this is a mental health issue and have never stated that this sick kid should have had access to guns. Your side has jumped on this issue to promote your political agenda, yet you acclaim that I know no shame.


Posted: December 18th, 2012 9:07 AM

100% background checks for ALL gun buyers.


Posted: December 18th, 2012 7:33 AM

rj, ray and uncommon all seem to ignore that 20 six year olds are gone in Newtown, an entire grade of children. This is not philosophical, its a tragedy caused by a man with a gun. You people have no soul and are the pigs you have shown yourselves to be. Shameful.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 10:30 PM

Cigarettes were found to be deadly for people's health, so the federal government mandated safety messages on every pack. The states increased taxes on cigarettes to reduce smoking. Today 27% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is taxes. The primary cause of death in motorcycling deaths was found to be injuries to the head. Most states enacted helmet laws and fines are given for the helmet-less. Clearly government have the right to use punitive measures to prevent injury or death. Assault guns cause death to the innocent. A 27% tax over and above the sales tax seems like a good first step for assault weapons.


Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:57 PM

If you want to bring DWIs into it, remember that the server of the alcohol can be held liable in some situations. So at least there is some accountability. Compare that to gun violence (which involves a machine designed to and intended to kill humans) where the people responsible for arming killers are completely unaccountable.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:51 PM

There are about 17,000 deaths from drunk driving annually. More than double the number from guns. No one is saying let's ban automobiles because RATIONAL people realize it is the idiot drinking that is the problem, not the car or law abiding drivers who follow the rules of the road. But for some reason, gun grabbers can't use the same logic when it comes to guns. Patricia, there are already laws on the books for guns, we don't need more.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:34 PM

And saying take any action because we can't prevent all violence resulting in death is a ridiculous argument. That's like saying because I can't be a CEO today I'm not going to go to work.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:33 PM

The fanatics will never listen, but fortunately some people are understanding what needs to happen. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/joe-scarborough-newtown-shooting_n_2315100.html

ldl707@hotmail.com from Oak Park  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:19 PM

@ JBM: Yet again, you are showing that you know nothing. It is precisely the "recreational...handguns or rifles" that are being challenged. There is, functionally, no difference between the rifle used in Newtown and your uncle's deer rifle. The AR15 is one of the most common sporting rifles in the country. It is not "excessively powerful". What do you think makes the AR15 more powerful than any other rifle? Please be specific. Why don't you be honest with us? You want to ban all guns.

Barbara Bresnahan from Stafford Springs  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 7:15 PM

Great article, Mr. Trainor.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 4:48 PM

Gun slaughters will be reduced when we figure out how to keep nut jobs away from guns, not guns away from law abiding citizens. However, the sad reality is that we will never 100% prevent these types of tragedies whether it is guns or fertilizer bombs or sarin gas attacks. Despite the high profile coverage, these mass shootings are not common so knee jerk legislation isn't the answer. Far more people die from drowing, arson, car crashes, falling, stabbings, etc than mass shooting incidents.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 4:25 PM

Guns are not going to be banned in this country. What is being asked post-Newton is that the government find ways to reduce the gun slaughters. It is not recreational or security handguns or rifles that are being challenged. It is the excessively powerful, multi-round guns that have slain people in schools, hospitals, churches, malls, et al. this year.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 10:59 AM

There are already some 200 million guns in circulation. Are the gun control advocates recommending govt confiscate ALL guns? If so, how do they propose that to be done? Would the war on guns be just as successful as the war on drugs? Drugs are illegal, yet we still have plenty of crackheads running around just as guns are already heavily restricted, yet violence is still an issue. How exactly are more gun laws going to prevent gang violence and random mass shootings?

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 10:43 AM

rj brings up an excellent point. All this righteous indignation about guns, yet completely obtuse regarding pro-death, i.e. abortion. Lots of talk by pundits, particlular on the left, about the increase in violence over the past 40 years. Did they ever stop to think maybe the CAUSE is the pro-death culture that began w/Roe v Wade? That, & the complete neglect of Mental Illness by Fed & State govts? Gun control makes the left feel good, & absolves them of their culpability in all this. Hypocrits!

not exactly  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 10:41 AM

The first things the Nazi's did was not take away the guns. Laws in Germany expanded gun rights for most citizens. They did, in 1938, make it illegal for Jews to purchase or manufacture guns but they expanded gun ownership rights for the rest of society. In a discussion this important let's represent the facts accurately. If you mean to say that Nazi's restricted access to guns for Jews, please say that and make your case from there. Not picking on you, History, you're just the most recent post.

History Provides Answers  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 8:56 AM

The 2nd Amendment exists first to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government. Governments always eventually turn tryrannical because they concentrate power, and human nature dictates people will try to leverage that power. The first thing the Nazi's did was take away the guns. Horrible as Newtown was, compare it to Hitler's Germany.

Larry Skiver from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 3:04 AM

I was wondering if anyone has heard of the term "foot in the door". When the door is shut you have control on what comes through the door. When someone gets their foot in the door you don't. Let's think about this, I don't smoke and I think it's a nasty habit, so let's tax the hell out of it. That's okay with me because I don't smoke. Yeah good for society-less smokers-better health-less doctor visits for smoke related issues. More tax money in the coffers, good. While we are at it, let's tax the hell out of alcohol. I don't drink so it is ok with me. Yeah more money, we'll teach those smokers and drinkers. So when the tax man comes around to something you do care about and wants to tax the hell out it , then what are you going to do?. Society has the foot in the door and your way of life is threatened. So here we have a true tragedy with the School shootings. Right away some people are calling for the ban on guns or stricter gun control laws (which have not worked). If we jump to fast and ban guns and change the second the govt. has their "foot in the door". Hey while we are at it let's change the nasty first amendment, the people let us change the 2nd amendment so let's change that one too. By the way we'll just change them all because we know what's best. Be careful what you wish for.


Posted: December 17th, 2012 12:53 AM

Gun control couldn't have a stronger voice - it's the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. Seems to conveniently fall on some deaf ears as to why it will always endure. Perhaps some should also find empathy for the 59,000,000+ children that have been voluntarily exterminated since 1973 in the US alone. We mourn for those 3,000 each day and all those who perish due to gun violence. Some of us are just consistent in our moral outrage under any and all circumstances.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 17th, 2012 12:25 AM

President Obama ?" Newtown, Ct. 12-16-2016 "We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that -- then surely we have an obligation to try."

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 11:25 PM

So many gun advocates are SO loud. They barrel through every gun conversation and are so insistent even when their argument fly in the face of basic first year college logic. Gun Control needs a stronger voice. http://www.facebook.com/GunControlLikeIfYouWantChangeInTheUs

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 10:26 PM

Ray - in eleven posts since yesterday morning, you have not mentioned the 29 dead. You have not offered concern about their families,friends, and neighbors. You have shown zero empathy for all that are suffering. There is not a single word of compassion in your thousand posted words. Along the way, you have accused fellow posters of intentional dishonesty, blind hatred (of the NRA), hypocrisy and your ego has created a diagnosis of the shooter's mental condition and expanded it to a national problem. Throughout the weekend when most people in the country were grieving, praying in church, and shedding tears, you ignored it all in defense of the NRA. You really need to examine your conscience.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 9:53 PM

@M Perkins. Japan has had general weapons bans going back to the time of samurai and a long history of social control of behavior. Switzerland has compulsory military service for all males and voluntary service for females. Folks in Switzerland keep their service rifles at home. This means almost every home has real assault weapons and shooting is a popular pastime. Firearm crimes are not much of an issue because of social controls in the society. We need a change in culture, not a gun ban

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 9:42 PM

@ Promo - You mention the 3/5 issue. I am sure you have no idea what the fractional representation reasoning was. Slave owners wanted slaves counted fully - since they could not vote that would give the southern voters greater representation than the north when house representatives were calculated. The 3/5ths leveled things out - sort of. It had nothing to do with less than human thinking - that came much later.


Posted: December 16th, 2012 7:38 PM

Psych ward not "psyche ward" and http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/16/autism-rights-group-aspergers-does-not-explain-newtown-school-massacre/ should be on your level of understanding. I cannot continue to engage in this discussion. The second amendment was adopted when blacks were considered 3/5's of a person. We've moved passed that unfortunate time in US history. Nothing sweeping, I just have work to finish.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 7:06 PM

@ Promo - I have given you SIL reference source, her background and her experience. You make some sweeping judgements yet you fail to prove on what authority you speak. Are you a MD or some other professional that has insight beyond finding fault with others?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 6:50 PM

@ Promo - no children - mostly homeless. She quotes "Asperger's and Murder in the Journal of Psychiatry and Law " SIL will never need your pity nor would she hesitate to relate her real life experiences to justify her opinions.

Renee Zoltowski from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 6:43 PM

I normally read the Journal no later than Thursday every week, but because of Life, I just finished reading it today, Sunday. I was sad I missed out on some fun things, but this article stopped my heart a beat. Unbelievable timing on your part, Ken. I agree with you on every part. Gun control may only be part of the solution to the horrible tragedy that occurred on Friday, but is a start. It is TIME for this conversation! Thank you, Renee Zoltowski


Posted: December 16th, 2012 6:20 PM

I regret that there are children under the care of your SIL. Writing as a medical professional, she has stepped out of line to make such a bold statement and there is not a shred of scientific validity behind it. At best, it will confuse people into further isolating a population already at risk for abuse.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 6:05 PM

@Promo the sister in law has been the head nurse practitioner on a hospital psyche ward for about six years. Her statement to me was that Aspergers when combined with other mental disorders can be a time bomb waiting to go off. Like any other mental disorder there are varying degrees of severity. My shooting of late is limited to photo shots with the Nikon I purchased when I sold most of my competition pistols. While not an active shooter I do take umbrage with people who have no knowledge of the NRA and its activities but rather blame them endlessly. I think we should impose the People First, Fox Lies rule. He claimed that FOX lies because Wendell Gollier misstated the facts of a story 5 years ago. JBM has earned the PF gag order for his intentional dishonesty about machine guns.


Posted: December 16th, 2012 5:18 PM

@ Ray Simpson - Furthermore, It's unusual that there are no neighborhood pics of this child growing up. Likely, he was shunned for being different, probably bullied. Isolation is not a good thing for children. Occupying your time with guns is even less so. Social skills can be taught. We have to work as a community toward acceptance and tolerance of differences. I've heard a lot of verbiage in OP about this but rarely see it in action. Most especially with this population.


Posted: December 16th, 2012 5:03 PM

@Ray Simpson - Asperger's violent? Better lock up Bill Gates, you never know. The men you mentioned had been medicated, badly, I might add, and the consequences disastrous. Your SIL must know something about SSRI's and violent behavior.

LL from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 4:54 PM

@JBM: Are you a moron, or are you just trying to look like one? Even after being corrected, you continue to claim that "machine guns" were a factor in these mass shootings. "Machine guns" have been banned for general ownership since 1934. They have been used in precisely 0 mass shootings. What you mean to say when you say "machine guns" is "guns that look scary." All of the firearms used in Newtown were semi-automatic, or, in non-technical terms, "not machine guns."

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 2:57 PM

@ Michael O I admit calling you guys hypocrites because you assign rules for me that you refuse to live by yourselves. I intimate that you are myopic in your view of most everything but never deny you your right to say whatever you choose. You like to call opposing views of everything insane, foolish, stupid or any other name you can think of when the facts are not in support of your ideology. Hand wringing never accomplished anything.


Posted: December 16th, 2012 2:35 PM

MichaelO - To your last sentence- yes to all 3. But then you throw the same back at us righties. Though he was probably mentally challenged, our culture has been turned into a soulless, Godless, lefty secular society. We're no longer grounded in basic moral fundamentals that was the glue that we could all agree on. I feel everything has been turned upside down and you don't think it's been shaken up enough. Maybe more mayhem has to occur before we can agree how to save ourselves. Not just guns

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 1:07 PM

Ray, Ray, Ray. You have answers for everything: global warming, caused by sunspots; massacres, caused by aspergers. NRA good; people who disagree with concealed carry laws and semi- automatics for everyone, bad. It's odd that anyone who disagrees with you is either an out of control leftist, a fool or a hypocrite. Do you think you might be missing something?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 1:01 PM

@ JBM read this: http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html?m=1

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 12:55 PM

"Do you believe that the NRA wanted these tragedies to happen? No Ray, I do not believe the NRA members wanted any of the tragedies "machine guns" caused in schools, churches, hospitals, malls. I also do not believe that they are celebrating today. I suspect that "the directors" are doing the same today as you are -- trying to identify the strategy to shift public attention from the ban "machine guns" to mental health. The NRA as an organization (not individual members) lacks compassion, and view the death of 20 childrens (some with as many as 10 bullets in their dead bodies), as merely a casualty of the "Arm Race being conducted by the NRA. Two questions ?" Why is the NRA opposed to machine guns (assault rifles and pistols.) ban? What public good do they have?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 12:25 PM

@JBM are you so convinced that we are knuckle draggers that you can transfer the actions of a mentally deranged individual to some organization you have a blind hatred for? I will agree that there can be a family genetic problem and none of them should be near guns. Do you believe that the NRA wanted these tragedies to happen? You imply that there is quiet celebration,at NRA headquarters, every time some individual goes over the edge . I know 3 directors and you cannot be more wrong - not that seems to matter to you finger pointers.

Uncommon Sensee  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 11:08 AM

JBM, people aren't ignorant, but definitely irrational. More gun control is not going to stop some nutjob from doing harm to others. You cannot legislate away every evil thing that may randomly occur. As tragic as these events may be, they are not 1) common or 2) totally preventable. Knee jerk reactions for more laws will not help anyone

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 10:11 AM

Ray, do you think the people on the post are ignorant? Do you think they can't recognize a rationale designed to shift the subject from gun enthusiasts to medical issues? Are you aware that the shooter's mother was a known gun enthusiast who had taken that troubled boy to the range many times? Are you aware, that she allowed a troubled boy to have access to a "machine gun." ? The NRA has blood on their hands. Can you face that?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2012 6:55 AM

@ JBM - You are a hypocrite of the highest order. What I have said here is unrelated to the gun issue.I have pointed out that the shooter should never had access to firearms. He was mentally incompetent and as such forbidden to have hold or use any lethal weapon.Conn. has the most strict ownership laws and that didn't prevent the carnage. BTW I have seen NO reports of a "Machine Gun" being used. The definition of a machine gun is fully automatic and it is against federal law to own one without a federal license.It seems fine by you for your side of any argument to get hundreds of column inches while those you oppose need mental health treatment and cease presenting the other side. A weak argument - at best..

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 11:58 PM

Ray, please get yourself a psychiatrist A day after 20 children were slain brutally by a machine gun and you are giving a us a lecture using the NRA theme that it is never the gun that is the problem. Have you no shame?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 7:44 PM

Copied from my sister-in-law - nurse practitioner: It appears that there is a theory emerging for the shootings . They report that the young man had Asperger's Syndrome. The perpetrator in the Wyoming shootings of two weeks ago at the college had Asperger's. There is an association between Asperger's and violent behavior (that is greater than in the general population). ? An (innate) lack of concern for the outcomes of actions ? Failure to understand (formal) questioning and an over-frankness ? Impulsive behavior which may be stimulated by an underlying anxiety ? Misreading of social signals and a lack of knowledge of social rules which may underlie accusations of sexual misconduct ? Obsessional interests which may be reflected in behavior such as stalking ? Resistance or limited motivation to change may underlie a persistence of inappropriate behaviors ? Social immaturity, and a misinterpretation of "friendships", with a vulnerability to being led by others into inappropriate or illegal behavior


Posted: December 15th, 2012 11:57 AM

My son lives in Hollywood & just sold his screenplay. There is some violence but no guns. I'm sure sooner or later someone will insist that gun violence be inserted into the script. Keep giving them what they want - you, the audience, determine when you've had enough. BTW another movie being made in Canada, not cash strapped-tax hiked CA because these liberals not only like their guns, they like to pay less in taxes when it's their money. Don't believe a word they say-watch what they do.


Posted: December 15th, 2012 11:17 AM

The hypocrisy of liberals, especially those in Hollywood who make their living pushing the envelope of guns & violence to the audience most vulnerable to the suggestion of resolving their delusions in said manner. These same liberals want to infringe on our rights to own guns, as they continue to "entertain" us, continue to add guns to their own collection & also hire gun toting security personnel to guard themselves from what they so "demonize".

Dave Coulter  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 11:07 AM

Father of Two: I agree.

DrewM from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 10:39 AM

So long as the $ flowing from the gun lobby to protect a right that's not actually threatened (and may not actually exist) does not inure to creating affordable and accessible mental health resources, expect to play defense: more memorials, more speeches, more misery and more torn down school buildings. It's about time that society stops shouldering the financial and moral burden of the gun lobby, which has exactly zero accountability.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 10:19 AM

@ Jackie, OPRF, MP the political position is yours not mine. I am putting a societal question on the table. I am questioning our recognition of mental health problems and what can legally be done when problems arise. Pointing out the irrational actions of a young madman is not promoting any political agenda. You on the other hand choose to feel that this is an opportunity to promote your anti-NRA screed. Sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander.

M Perkins from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 9:10 AM

Let any NRA member dispute these facts and the consequences of their obsession with guns. And if I'm correct, most, if not all of those countries have strict gun laws. As long as our leaders are spineless cowards who bow before the NRA, more tragedies will occur. FACT?" Last year Handguns Killed: 48 people in Japan (pop 127m) 8 in Great Britain (pop: 63m) 34 in Switzerland (pop:8m) 52 in Canada (pop: 34m) 21 in Sweden (pop 9m) 42 in West Germany (pop: 81m) 10,728 In the United States (pop: 313m)

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 9:00 AM

Mental Heath, Guns, tragedy. Why miss what is happening. It's called unwinding of the social fabric. We politely give a pass to the disgust of the games and movies that all depict violence as FUN. Guns don't cause people to do this, they are the tool, but if you must talk of making it harder to legally get a gun - lets talk about controling the junk that is ruining peoples minds and creating instibility. People had guns 100 years ago, could've take parents weapons to kill but did not - WHY?


Posted: December 15th, 2012 8:37 AM

(cont). Further, I am disgusted not by the guns, but by your use of tragedy to make a political point. Sometimes its best to remain silent and let people wonder if you're a jerk than to speak and remove all doubt.


Posted: December 15th, 2012 8:30 AM

Ray, you are double talking again. There is no information or evidence that the gunmen were mentally incompetent. And, assuming the mother obtained the guns legally, who is to be mentally screened--mother, father, kids, other family and friends-to ensure guns not accessible? Sounds like a BIG G solution you so hate.

Father of two from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 8:28 AM

Check out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/ In summary, the current national policies that support access to guns COST LIVES. Every person who supports gun rights policies must accept personal responsibility for massacres that will result from such policies. It's time for men to be men and not boys who really, really want to play with their toys at the expense of kids who are now dead.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 8:19 AM

@ Jackie - Why is looking at the "WHY" disgusting. Your knee jerk reaction is that the guns are the culprit here. They were a factor true but this kid was sick and he did not obtain the guns legally. His mother was the owner and he took them from her. Are you trying to tell people here that the planning of this horror was the act of a sane individual who happened to gain access to guns? That is the myopia that has landed us where we are. I have stated here recently that I do not support allowing access to dangerous weapons by mentally incompetent individuals and would support some mechanism that would allow the medical profession to block that access. You seem to suggest that getting rid of all guns would remove the threat of crazies. That is just a simplistic solution to a complex problem.


Posted: December 15th, 2012 7:56 AM

Ray-there you go again. News reports indicate the Conn. gunmen obtained the weapons legally. One strike. The same reports indicate the attack was meticulously planned. Two strikes. Now your solution is a big G mental health screen. Three strikes. Your posturing in the wake of tragedy is disgusting.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 7:46 AM

This mass murder issue in Conn. should shine a bright light on mental health issues and our lack of ability to identify sick people and protect them from themselves as well as protecting others. Sane , competent human beings cannot even comprehend an action like what we saw yesterday, much less plan it and do it. I am sure that we will all hear loud demands for stricter gun laws, yet, not a whimper for complete evaluation of our mental health systems and facilities. Not one of the horrible incidents of the recent history were carried out by sane rational people who should have been identified and protected from their inner demons. No one wants to think about the old "Insane asylums" but they were there for a reason and we see that while psychiatric knowledge has grown there are still people who are a danger to society. When they go over the edge, lots of innocent people suffer.

Biometric Weapons from 20001  

Posted: December 15th, 2012 1:44 AM

My heart is so heavy for the families that have lost their children in today's mass shooting in Connecticut. I actually cried for people whom I've never met because I know that if their children weren't safe at school neither are my children. What I propose is change please read & sign my petition the see if we can bring about some type of change. This petition needs 150 signatures before it can go public, so please sign wh.gov/RUPP. While stricter gun laws have already been proposed, they sad

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 8:12 PM

Uncommon, I read the CDC info you cite before asking for your figures. It states " In these cities, a total of 856 gang and 2,077 nongang homicides were identified and included in the analyses." That's a little less 30 percent of homicides being gang homicides. There's that math thing again.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:51 PM

From Chicago news channel... "October 29, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- On Monday morning, the city of Chicago recorded the 435th murder of 2012. Most of murders are gang-related, police say...."


Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:49 PM

@ Uncommon Sense -- I had actually posted the statement about 30,000 annual gun deaths before the story of the Sandy Hook tragedy had broken. I wasn't trying to make a point about this heartbreaking massacre. It just an unimaginable horror - beyind the politics of left and right. There is no point in bickering with the shadow of this nightmare looming over us.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:47 PM

NTWS, guns were pretty much banned in Chicago, so please tell me what further restrictions are needed? Yet some how, people are killed pretty much every day in this city and others with strict gun laws. So exactly what are new restrictions on law abiding citizens going to do to solve the problem? CDC good enough for thugs killing thugs? http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6103a2.htm

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:32 PM

Uncommon -- Dismissing my arguments is not the same as rebutting them. I've enjoyed the debate. As I said before, I don't want to eliminate guns. I would like to restrict them. And I'd prefer not to be painted as "left". A majority of gun owners that I know support reasonable and logical limitations on individuals and the weapons they can own.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:20 PM

Reasonable people realize that outlawing guns for law abiding citizens does nothing to stop thugs from kiling thugs or random acts of violence by nut jobs like today. I love the logic leap of the left. Gangs kill each other with illegal guns, therefore, law abiding citizens should not be able to own guns? How does the gun control crowd even make that leap of logic without laughing at yourself?? Your heart is in the right place, but your brain in another. Enjoyed the debate.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:16 PM

If the thug numbers are easy, please cite and post a source. Most gun deaths in the US (roughly 60%) are suicide by the way. I guess they don't count, either.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:13 PM

Since, by your figures, the probability of you being killed by a gun is almost zero (unless you are a "thug"-- and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now) then you don't even need a gun to protect yourself or your family. Even more, since the remaining deaths are random, owning a gun isn't likely to help anyway. Just say what you think -- 30,000 deaths a year is the cost we all pay for your rights and that's how it is. What about the rights of the 30,000 (or 22,800 if we exclude thugs)?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:11 PM

NTWS, the point is to show the illogical hysteria associated with gun violence due to high profile situations like today and other mass shootings. Again, most deaths by guns are thugs killing thugs (google it and well known among law enforcement). Nut jobs randomly shooting up schools, churches, are just that... RANDOM. No amount of gun control will stop some looney from doing harm, nor is it going to stop thugs from killing thugs. Just more feel good legislation from the left.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 4:05 PM

Outlaw gravity -- that's funny! Reasonable people understand the difference between being a victim of an accident (usually self-inflicted) and being shot by a person with malicious intent. We'd all respect you more if you would just come out say the 30,000+ that die from firearms each year are the price we pay as a society to allow you to own guns. That's the crux of your argument. And you have already stated that your chances of being a victim of a random act of violence is virtually zero ...

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 3:59 PM

The water/drowning argument is a desperate tactic and a false equivalency. I'd like to give you credit for being able to distinguish between accidents and intentional acts but your water argument makes it appear as though you either don't know the difference or are intentionally trying to misdirect.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 3:53 PM

By the way, according to the CDC, 20,400 people die every year from random falling (mostly old folks). So what is the bigger issue? Gun deaths or the fact some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time? I guess we need to outlaw gravity now too.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 3:52 PM

I'm great with numbers and can calculate percentages, thanks. It's your manipulation of them I don't care for. You failed to source the 7800 of 9000 "thugs killing thugs" that you seem to think don't count. (9000 is too low, by the way and 7800 isn't 80% of that). But, if your chances of being killed are so small that sort of negates the argument that you need a gun for protection then. Fact is, you don't know the numbers. You are guessing and that isn't very comforting.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 3:31 PM

NTWS, seriously? Do you not know how to calculate percentages? Basic stats? 300 million people in US. 9000 gun murders mean .00003% of population. we haven't even accounted for thugs killing thugs represents 7800 of that 9000, so that leaves 1800 total on the high end that could be considered innocent/random victims. Note that 3,300 people drowned last year, so I guess that means we will institute a ban on water to keep everyone safe too.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 3:02 PM

Uncommon -- What constitutes a random act of violence? Does today count? Does Colorado? Just some basis for your "facts", please. If it is your position that of the 30,000+ firearm deaths that most of them were asking for it, just say so. But the people today weren't asking for it and neither were any of the people I know who have been shot. Not all were killed but that's luck as much as anything else. One is a school principal. His assistant principal was killed. Did they have it coming?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:54 PM

NTWS, I am just calling a spade a spade. I am NOT saying their deaths are not tragic. However, there IS a difference between a gang member being gunned down and random act of violences. The odds of anyone being killed by random gun fire is pratically ZERO for law abiding citizens. That is just a fact. To just point out that 30,000 people die by guns every year is completely meaningless as a stat because it ignores the other factors involved beyond just a gun.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:48 PM

underscore the entire pompous nature of your argument. I'm not saying you would use a gun to kill people but neither should I have to be the life of my (or someone else's family) on that. You want the guns, take responsibility for the outcomes. Just come out and say you believe that 30,000 deaths in 2009 and all the other victims are the price we pay for free people to be able to own guns. At least be honest that you believe that. Because if you don't then you would agree that more must be done.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:47 PM

without really looking into the facts of the numbers and how any legislation would actually affect the deaths. Riddle me this... if 80% of the deaths are thugs killing thugs with already illegal firearms, how is putting more laws on the books going to change anything? Guns are already practically illegal in Chicago, why is our murder rate still one of the highest in the country? Thugs killing thugs. Time to stop sugar coating this stuff and face reality

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:42 PM

Uncommon Sense, you are consistent if not reasonable. You just sat as judge, jury, and executioner of 5500+ people (half of the firearm killings) that apparently aren't worth protecting. Law abiding gun owners are just that until the moment they aren't and then someone is dead. The Colorado shooter got his weapons legally. Also, 30,000 dead in 2009 is not a meaningless statistic. It has enormous meaning. Just because it doesn't fit your world view doesn't make it meaningless. Your arguments

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:31 PM

NTWS, the point is that the vast majority of these deaths are not random acts of violence, nor are they innocent victims. Is it sad? Yes. However, the deaths of criminals, gangbangers, and the like does not make a case for gun control for law abiding citizens. The left loves to use situations like today's school shootings as the example as to why we need gun control and then combine that with meaningless stats like 30,000 gun deaths

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:11 PM

It angers me that the discussion always comes back to "thugs." That's BS. That's the gun owners and the gun lobby selling fear. It's the same old argument that we have to be able to protect ourselves and our families from "them". Case closed, no discussion. It's not insanity to discuss what the limits of the 2nd amendment are. There are limits. Guns and the way our society views and uses them is part of the problem. Not the whole problem, but definitely a factor.


Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:05 PM

@ Uncommon Sense - -Mr. Sense, meet my ass ficap@uphs.upenn.edu .

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:02 PM

Uncommon Sense, your post appears to draw a distinction between the value of the life of a school aged child or a movie theater patron and a "thug". While I commend you for speaking your mind, I would assert that the use of the term "thug" dehumanizes some victims at the expense of others. One of those thugs may have cured cancer. Also, I have known several people who were killed with guns & none of them were thugs. They were productive fathers, community members, depressed teenagers, etc.


Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:01 PM

@ Ray Simpson -- The numbers are based on a report from Firearm & Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania. ficap@uphs.upenn.edu . The study cites the following sources : The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Crime Victimization Survey, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 12:45 PM

The reality is the vast majority of gun deaths are not innocent school children or mass shootings in movie theaters. Most of the gun deaths are thugs being killed by other thugs. Gun control laws will not fix that problem as hardly any of the guns used in those instances are "legally owned". We live several blocks from that real life case study called Austin to prove that point. Gun control laws may make you feel better, but certainly will not make you any safer or stop deaths.

not the whole story  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 12:29 PM

The CDC records 11,493 homicides by firearms in 2009 and 31,347 deaths by firearms. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm I don't own guns but grew up around them and support the right of persons, within limits, to own guns. But to pretend that guns aren't a part of the problem is ludicrous. People with guns kill. A lot. From the CDC numbers it's 85 times each day. How many innocent school kids, movie patrons, etc must we sacrifice before we at least have a reasonable conversation?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 11:28 AM

C'mon Ray, you know progressives never let facts and logic get in the way of an argument. To be successful on the left, you just have to pull numbers out your rear and keep repeating them over and over again because at some point, it just might make them true! 30,000 gun deaths! 46 million uninsured! 3 million homeless! Millionaires and Billionaires! Income inequality!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 11:08 AM

According to politifact: According to the U.N. figures, the U.S. had 9,146 homicides by firearm in 2009. That year, Colombia and Venezuela both exceeded the U.S. total, with 12,808 and 11,115 firearm deaths, respectively. Three other nations topped the U.S. amount in the most recent year for which data is available: Brazil (34,678 in 2008), Mexico (11,309 in 2010) and Thailand (20,032 in 2000).

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 11:02 AM

@Progressive - I would like to see the source for your ridiculous statistic. South Africa accounts for twice as many murders with guns as the United States. What you are claiming is that there are only 7,500 gun deaths worldwide in any year. How foolish is it to believe that number?

Progressive from Oak Park  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 10:34 AM

There are an average of 30,000 gun deaths each year in the United States. That's four times more than the rest of the world combined.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 8:29 AM

@Wyanetta - what a hate filled thing to say! It is small minded people like you that support illegal gun policies in our community and deny me my constitutional rights. We won this round and will probably not cause any noticeable change in the gun toting citizenry. We will never look like the North African cities with people running down streets with RPG and AK47's.


Posted: December 14th, 2012 7:38 AM

@Melissa--you will likely be disarmed and shot with your own firearm. And if you don't like it, too bad.

Melissa Jenkins from Chicago  

Posted: December 14th, 2012 2:30 AM

Hey Kenny, in 176 days, I will be carrying my firearm on me while a stroll through Chicago and Oak Park. If you don't like it, too bad.

Nicole from Chicago  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 9:14 AM

If that was truly the "first public statement of this kind from any supporter of gun ownership/Second Amendment rights" you've "ever seen," you are clearly too underinformed to have any business writing about guns at all. Also, the last time I checked, using tools was a pretty important part of being human, and self-defense important to dignity. Lots of "popular" things get struck down by SCOTUS, though not all. Look up Korematsu some time and see if you'd rather the justices not "love" the 2A.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 9:10 AM

Ken, wrong again as usual. DDS has it right. The right of individuals to bear arms is the same thing as the right to free speech, & comes from the same place. Plus, the 2nd amendment was & is for the protection of citizens FROM govt., as important an aspect now as ever. The problem isn't law abiding gun owners. The problem is the bad guys, who won't obey gun laws anyway. How do we "get there"? Fix the criminal problem.

DDS from Miami, FL  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 8:41 AM

"I said, "I have, on several occasions, freely acknowledged that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns." If so, you were dead wrong. In US v. Cruikshank, the US Supreme Court ruled, then re-affirmed that ruling in DC v Heller, that the right to keep and bear arms referred to in the Second Amendment predates the amendment, the United States Constitution, and the government established by the constitution and is not dependent upon them for its existance.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 7:12 AM

Ken, you paint the NRA as a supermarket for gang bangers. Please prove your point and give us some example of where the NRA is promoting any illegal activity. You condemn them as bad people, yet they are always promoting strict laws for those who commit gun related crimes. If our legal system would enforce the laws we already have most of the problem would go away. The woeful pleas of a mother, defending her teenage son against his dozen weapons felony violations is sad but a major part of the problem. Our liberal, do gooder court system refuses to slam the door on young criminals who settle arguments by killing each other. You seem to take pleasure in pointing a finger of blame at the NRA for a situation that is not their fault. If you would do some due diligence you might discover that the NRA is made up of a lot of genuinely nice citizens who deplore gun violence as much as you do. The difference is that the NRA refuses to throw the baby out with the bath water. If they didn't defend constitutional rights against single minded, know it all hand wringers like you - who will? Again, show us some proof that the NRA has ever promoted any illegal activity?

Going Bust from DeKalb, IL  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 11:52 PM

"thanks to outside intrusion by the NRA" Half of the country could say the same thing when the Democrats passed the "assault weapons" bill in 1994 which was outside intrusion on rural and midwestern states by Washington/East Coast liberals. Now it's us forcing our values on you. But you started the whole forcing values problem in the first place. Sleep in the bed you made.

Charlton Down from the Mountain from Mt Sinai  

Posted: December 11th, 2012 11:22 PM

Sorry, Ken, the 2nd Amendment is inalienable, I hope you enjoy hearing about the ruling that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down today.

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