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Best petition to the White House ever.
we petition the obama administration to: Eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their families, and establish Gun Free Zones around them. Gun Free Zones are supposed to protect ...
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Dick Davies's profile photoAlex Swavely (helifino)'s profile photoNathan B Hinckley's profile photoJe Saist's profile photo
119 comments
 
Will signing this one get me a tax audit?
 
This is just plain silly. I'm a gun owner and I whole-heartedly support the 2nd Amendment. But come on, how many teachers do you know that you would trust with a gun? How about instead of cutting the military, we deploy soldiers around our schools? I'm not kidding, this could be an effective way to re-deploy our troops and keep veterans from being unemployed.
 
You miss the point - if the gun free zone is good enough for us, it's good enough for them, too. If they balk at using the White House as a gun free zone, we say "But no reasonable person could possibly object to that kind of restriction!"
 
+Jeff Kasten To arm the teachers, or deploy troops, they'd first have to admit that "Gun-Free Zone" signs are stupid magical thinking.  The objective of this petition is to teach that lesson by reductio.
 
+Jeff Kasten 
I would trust any teacher that would want to carry.
However, I don't believe any mandate requiring teachers to carry would be the proper method of enhancing safety in schools.
The last thing I would want is to station police officers or soldiers around public schools and make them look more and more like the prisons that they are....on second thought - maybe that is a good idea.
 
What's the current rate of bystanders being undeservedly shot by police officers, and what's the same rate for being shot by civilians (including off-duty and retired military and LEO)?
 
+Paul Brinkley I don't have current stats, but when criminologist Gary Kleck compiled data on this in the 1990s he found civilians were less likely to shoot a bystander by about a 5:2 ratio.
 
The NRA has made sure that all kinds of guns--including semi-automatic rifles--and high capacity magazines are so readily available that it makes the statistical likelihood that someone is going to get shot to death or many someones. They can then say, "we need even looser gun laws" so that everyone can be armed to protect themselves from the problem they created.

It's not about gun free zones or banning guns (it's not possible and we do have the right to defend ourselves and hunt). The issue is about reducing gun deaths. And we can do that with sensible gun regulations.
 
+Chris Merle Logic fail.  When guns laws are tightened, gun crime goes up, not down.  And that remains true whether you're in a country where access to weapons is easy or difficult.
 
Talk about logic fail. I understand it's tongue in cheek, but shooters pick their targets based on the maximum impact (no pun intended) of their actions.  Remove all protections around the president, more people are going to shoot at him.  Remove protections around a teacher does not mean the same thing.
 
One problem with these comparisons is that they are inherently oranges-to-apples with respect to the culture, laws, and social environment of the countries in question.
You can't compare the U.S. and Croatia on gun violence.
Look at gun deaths simply in the U.S.
Compare deaths and crime rates in areas with strict controls vs. areas without.
 
It's interesting that gun deaths aren't that  much greater in Mexico than in the US. And here I was afraid to visit Mexico because of the drug wars and tortures and beheadings and gun deaths.
 
Tortures and beheadings aren't counted in "gun deaths", you know. 
 
+Hans Wolters No, actually tighter gun laws increase gun crime everywhere.  You're being fooled by the fact that the U.S's baseline rate of violence in all modes (firearm and non-firearm) is exceptionally high.

Which, by the way, is due to conditions in a handful of our largest cities.  If you leave those out, our gun crime rate (and our crime rates in general) look like Switzerland's.
 
I suspect there's some overlap, Margeret. Victims could be tortured then shot then beheaded.
 
+Eric Raymond I know, been to some of the larger cities and do know what you mean. We have those area's in Europa too. Still, there isn't that much killing overall. I must admit there has been one in the Netherlands a few years ago that was awful but that might only happen once per 50 years or so. 

What I wonder is what would happen if the us would ban guns in general. The killing rate might go up for a few years but in the end it will go down beneath what it now is.

In my view I would feel sick if I needed to keep a gun in my house to protect me and my family. I know a lot of people in Europe feel the same. They are so used to live without them.
 
Funny how much of the snide on this issue comes from Germany. 
 
+justin wright Comparing areas in the US with stringent gun laws to those with loose gun laws doesn't really get you much either, because the stringency of gun laws in a particular location does little to lower the availability of guns there if they're readily available in nearby jurisdictions, nor do gun regulations have any real impact on the social factors that lead to gun violence and other sorts of violence.

This all said, in a country like ours with literally hundreds of millions of guns in private hands, the idea that regulation is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals in high-crime areas, or the even the occasional deranged spree killer, is absurd.

IF we are going to insist on general availability of firearms to American citizens -- and given how central to American culture gun ownership and use is, I can't see this changing for the foreseeable future -- we are just going to have to accept the fact that a certain amount of gun violence is inevitable.

We could greatly reduce gun crime, indeed, crime of all sorts, if we only imposed a police state.

Justice Holmes famously said that taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society.

I'd add that a certain frequency of gun violence -- greatest in areas of greatest poverty, but extant at some level everywhere -- is the price we pay for living in a free country in which gun ownership is held to be a right.
 
I'm not advocating a complete gun ban. I'm advocating restricting what types of firearms we can own. We can't own fully automatic guns without a special license, nor can we own grenade launchers. Where do you draw the line on what citizens can own? How would say being limited to revolvers and 10 round fixed magazines in rifles increase gun crime?

As I said there are so many guns and high capacity magazines available that any laws would take years to reduce them from the market, though a ban on high capacity magazines would create a black market and raise the price of those mags and limiting who can afford them.

And we've been having the same gun debate for the past forty years. I would think that gun deaths would have gone down in that same period if more guns in more places would have reduced gun deaths.
 
+Margaret Leber Don't let my current living area guide you into this. Germany is a country where a lot of people do own a gun too but I know they are talking about more control too. There has been some school shootings here too. 

I lived in the Netherland up until 2008 b.t.w.
 
Also note that an exceptionally high percentage (~60) of US firearm deaths are suicides, which shows more a lack of legal humanitarian euthanasia options.
Ending US drug prohibition would probably realize a significant decrease as well.
 
+Chris Merle I think, and this might be a world wide problem, most of the deaths we use to have this debate is due to the fact that family members are in the news a lot when it comes to school / mall killings. The problem seems to rise when there is a mental problem that is going worse.

A decrease in number of bullets would only stop killing more people at once when you look at those cases.
 
Your belief that guns can be banned "in general" is a fantasy that can never be fulfilled. Criminals don't obey bans; if they did, they wouldn't be criminals. The most that you can manage is to prevent non-criminal civilians from having them - so only criminals do.
 
Then please explain to me why the deathrate in general is lower in Europa. Even when we count the area's where major crime is a deal.
 
+Hans Wolters I know we can't stop all gun deaths, but we can reduce the body count. Mass shooters have been stopped when the attempted to reload. Jared Loughner was stopped that way.

And as for people having conceal carry. There was a man who did have a concealed carry pistol at Gabrielle Gifford shooting. By the time he drew and was able to aim it was all over. He did have presence of mind not to shoot when he saw the gun being wrestled away. Also at the Portland mall shooting. Another armed citizen was able to aim his pistol at the gunman but he chose not to shoot out of fear of hitting unarmed people behind the the shooter.
 
+Hans Wolters It's because Europeans are more law-abiding and less violent than we are.  It's not the weapons, it's the people.
 
Ok, let me try to explain what in my mind could be prevented.

I know criminals will always have guns, this will not change. What could be prevented is those school / mall killings and the ones where someone goes bananas when they get fired from their jobs. 

In the heat of the situation those idiots will grab a gun since it is in the house. This has nothing to do with being more violent but with the stress factor or their mental health. When it would be impossible to grab a gun at that moment it would save a lot of people. 
 
And the culture telling you that you need to be able to kill your neighbor with a gun to be safe of course has nothing whatsoever to do with human life being held to be somewhat cheaper..
 
+Hans Wolters  Except that doesn't describe what happens.

Spree killers (like Anders Breivik in Norway) don't "just go bananas when they get fired from their job."  They meticulously work out their mental fantasy of "becoming famous" by "going out with a body count."

It's something that's PLANNED for months, if not days.  
 
+S.P. Zeidler true, it could not always be prevented. I know the Gouda killing in the Netherlands is a real world example of what could go wrong. The kid who fired the guns was granted a membership of a shooting club while being mentally ill.
 
+Hans Wolters In actual reality, the school and mall killings are not impulse crimes.  They are carefully pre-planned by nutjobs who are both prepared to and able to evade the law.  Preventing casual access to weapons does nothing to stop these people - it only lowers the odds that a non-nutjob with a gun will be able to stop them.
 
+Ken Burnside True. But the difference between planning something sick like that or doing it in the heat of the moment is something else. Breivik is a very sick person and I agree he would still be able to get weapons. 
 
In the US, baseball bats and hammers (combined) kill more people than rifles of any type do.  By about 50%.

The vast majority of firearms related deaths are semi-auto pistols in the US.  

US Automotive fatalities are about 2.5x the rate of firearms deaths.

Can we please require that everyone who owns a car be required to pass a federal criminal background check?  

Can we please declare car-free zones for the safety of children and fuzzy liberals?
 
+S.P. Zeidler What you said sarcastically is actually true.  In a civil society, the areas where most of your neighbors own guns are those where life is least likely to be taken on a whim.  If you don't think the U.S. is a good demonstration, learn about Switzerland.
 
" Breivik is a very sick person and I agree he would still be able to get weapons. "

So, you admit then, that the gun control laws would not actually solve spree killings.  Why do you still want them?
 
I think it would. Don't think putting in more effort to explaining this would have any success, I just hope some of you will at least consider the opinions others have, no hard feelings.
 
+Eric Raymond  Minor correction.

The areas where your neighbors legally own guns are those where life is least likely to be taken on a whim.  If your neighbors own guns in contravention of the laws, your odds of being the victim of a drive by shooting go waaaay up.
 
That would depend on how far east you would go. 
 
+Ken Burnside Yes.  But the way you put it is misleading, because you make it sound as though those neighborhoods full of law-abiding gun owners would go from least violent to most violent at the flip of a switch if the passage of a law made their guns illegal.

We both know that isn't true.  The correlating factor is not whether the guns are legal, it's whether the people who have them are lawless - part of the 3% minority of hard-core criminal deviants.

This is a point that needs emphasizing.  Otherwise, you are at risk of reinforcing our European friends' fantasy that making guns illegal will decrease crime.  You know that isn't true either.
 
+Hans Wolters Will given you said "Europe" I include as far east as Russia, Kazakhstan, and possible Georgia.  You know, Europe (physically and culturally).  The east has some nice crime stats (that I think we can all admit are woefully under reported).  Hell even today in ex-Yugoslavia people just vanish.
 
Gun control laws are about you deciding that every person you meet is likely a horrible person just itching to use a gun to kill people. That's the fundamental logic behind them. They're about distrust of your neighbor, not about a healthy or sane society at all. If you trust your neighbor to be a decent human being, why do you care what (s)he has in h(is/er) closet?

This logic is revealed in the NYT's treatment of the gun registry as if it's a list of potential criminals by publishing it. This is pure evil, but not at all a surprise.

I think this petition would be funnier if the text was in earnest instead of clearly meant as a jibe. A breathless endorsement of gun free zones as a safety measure would be far more effective than a sardonic suggestion followed by an explanation of the conflict presented.

Additionally 'spree killers', in contrast to the seeming randomness inherent in the name are almost all methodical planners. When they haven't been able to get a gun legally, they've stolen them. There are no gun control laws short of mass-confiscation that are going to have any effect on that problem.
 
B.t.w., you are wrong we think crime rates would drop, we think it will help stop killings like explained :-) Crime will never drop.
 
Actually feel free to ignore me.  I read "Europa" as "Europe" and realize now you meant the EU.  Never heard of the EU referred to as Europa in my life until today.  I just assumed you made a typo.
 
True, but Russa and Kazakhstan or even Georgia should be considered Europe. 
 
And if you are referring to Western Russia, it was very long ago they considered this as a part of Europa. 
 
What I was missing was your use of Europa v. Europe.  I've never heard of the Europa as anything other than a moon of Jupiter but now I understand it's another name of the EU.
 
Sorry for not being clear on this, might have been confusing indeed.
 
+Eric Raymond note that in Switzerland, the men may have guns in their wardrobe, but they don't have ammunition for it any more since the women in the country got fed up with being murdered in "extended suicides"
 
+S.P. Zeidler [citation needed]

Members of the Swiss militia (which is most of the adult male population) have been traditionally required to have both military-grade weapons and ammunition in their homes in case of callout. Requiring guns but forbidding ammunition would defeat the entire purpose of that policy, so ... I don't believe you. Give us a documentary source, please.
 
As much as I could make some arguments against the logic of this, I find the concept highly amusing and seriously hope it gets to the limit required if only so it makes its point.
 
I think it would get more votes if phrased "Eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their Banker overlords, and establish Free Gun Zones around them | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government
 
I'm not trying to stir the pot with this comment but "C'mon folks, aren't there enough silly petitions already?"...
 
Guy dont be suprized when guys in suits with dark sun glasses show up at your door an comince to tearing your life apart making dumb petitions like this you get what you deserve.
 
+Richard Agnew I don't think anyone needs to worry about the feed showing up. I do agree with you though that some restraint should be exercised with some of these petitions. Even though I did sign the "Deport Piers Morgan" one... :)
 
I am constantly amazed at the number of stupid people who buy the argument that reducing gun violence is some kind of worthy goal.

Why does it matter whether the violence is from guns, clubs, crossbows or karate chops?  The victim is just as dead.

This morbid fascination with gun violence is, in itself, a mental disease.  Rational people will want to talk about reducing violence.

But of course, we're not dealing with rational people here.  Which is why I think this petition is very delicious.
 
It's much easier to kill five people in under a minute with a Glock 19 than a Louisville slugger baseball bat. It's not about stopping all murders, but making it harder and less likely for them to occur. This isn't an all or nothing debate. America doesn't allow civilians to have military weapons. So where do we draw the line?

Seeing the comments here helps me to understand why the gun debate is so polarized and hasn't shifted in decades. Any gun control legislation is going to be DOA in the House, so don't expect anything on the Federal level before 2015 at the earliest. However, I will continue to advocate reasonable gun control and those of you opposed will continue to advocate whatever it is you advocate.
 
Try looking at it this way, Chris: that ease of killing goes for both sides of a conflict. It's much easier to kill the person killing other people with a Glock, with a Glock, than it is to kill him with your bat. And even if it's baseball bats all around, it's going to end up being domination by the one with the most body strength - an altogether different flavor of unfair.

Your second paragraph is depressing, meanwhile. You're apparently one more person who understands their own argument and does not understand that of the other side. Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, often display detailed familiarity with the arguments for gun control. You've a right to your own opinion, but when it's informed from only one view, you won't get far against their superior leverage, no matter how reasonable you believe you're being.
 
+Eric Raymond actually guns can best be banned "in general". The problem with piecemeal regulation is that if there are some legitimate weapons for some legitimate buyers, then there is good reason for the entire industry and distribution network.

On the other hane, if you picture, say the Uk, it is much harder for criminals to have guns because there is not a huge leaky distribition network of them.
 
+Paul Brinkley even if one were to accept that you can best stop the bad guys with a gun, that still doesn't explain why semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines need to be so readily available.
I hope that not many people are carrying those to the mall "just in case they need to stop a bad guy".

And the open question still remains:
What percentage of gun rampages would be avoided, if the Killer didn't already have a firearm in his household?
Compare that number to
What percentage of gun rampages are stopped by random people with a gun?

If one is a lot greater than the other, then someone has a point.
(I don't have the numbers, hence the question marks)
Also, those numbers are hard to get, if you are not making them up.
 
The second amendment guarantees the people the means to overthrow a tyrannical government. That is what they taught us in St. Joseph's Elementary School. High capacity fully automatic weapons would be required for that purpose.
 
Fair questions, +Benedikt Morbach, although when I've visited such questions in the past, the data was indeed strongly on the side of unrestricted private ownership.

As for needing high-cap mags and semi-automatic rifles (and pistols), it's a matter of turning the question against them on its head: I can think of no firearm feature that aids would-be mass murderers, that would not aid would-be protectors. (Bombs are another story.)
 
+Paul Brinkley sure, automatic rifles may make it easier to defend against a mass murderer, but:
He will likely use them, if readily available.
You on the other hand, are less likely to carry them on your casual Saturday afternoon stroll through town.
He wants to hit as many people as possible, which is greatly facilitated by those features.
You on the other hand need to be careful not to hit innocent bystanders, a fear that has in the past prevented people from stepping in (see above).

Again, I would say that you have to compare who gains more.
If stronger weapons that enable one to kill more people in a short amount of time were banned, the defendants wouldn't loose much, because they are very unlikely to use them anyway, but reducing the chance of them being used against innocents by even the slightest bit will be a big net win.
 
+Benedikt Morbach, if you're going to factor in the mass murderer's incentive to hit as many people as possible, then you need to also factor in the mass murderer's incentive to acquire the tools for doing so, despite their illegality. It's the same old argument: in the long run, laws only affect the law-abiding.

Then compound that with the fact that when that mass murderer finally does get those weapons - and sooner or later, one will - he'll have nothing to fear from those unarmed civilians. That tends to tip things over to the other side; the defendants do indeed lose more than the murderers.
 
+S.P. Zeidler 
The provided source is misleading.
The Swiss ammunition requirement and law changes only ended the military-supplied 50-round sealed box of ammunition.
Basically, they ended the storage of government-supplied ammunition within private residences.
Swiss citizens can legally purchase ammunition for their handguns and military rifles from either resellers (which require registration) or shooting ranges (which requires ammunition to be used at the range).
 
Still, even with the proviso +Bob Maloney points out (which completely destroys any argument that it was an anti-crime measure), the 2007 policy change is nuts.  Why issue your militia weapons if you're not going to load them?
 
 
+Chris Merle, you wil continue to advocate "reasonable" gun control and those of us who understand what "shall not be infringed" means will continue to oppose you with every breath in our bodies. The reason is that, historically, "reasonable" gun control actually means "no private ownership of firearms".

And restrictions on magazine size are meaningless. A practiced shooter - and it doesn't take all that much practice - can swap magazines in under a second if they don't care about getting the old magazine back. A mass shooter certainly won't care about that, as they don't expect to get away.

+Dominic Amann, the UK's draconian gun laws didn't stop either criminals using guns or mass murders. All it did was disarm law-abiding citizens and send the crime rate upward, exactly as gun advocates have been saying for years.

+Benedikt Morbach: The Columbine shooters' guns were purchased illegally, one by a girlfriend, one from someone who knew they were underage. Fat lot of good gun laws did to stop that.

And as a general note, we really need to push back against the term "gun violence" and "gun crime". The guns aren't either violent or criminals.
 
+Eric Raymond Switzerland has more than twice the gun death count than Portugal, where the gun control laws are far more stricter. Does that mean people in Switzerland are more violent than in Portugal? I don't think so. It's just easier for them to reach a gun when things go awry.
 
+Bob Maloney The purpose of the exercise is not to prevent people from being sports shooters, it's to prevent people from using guns as an argument in a fight, or to kill your family and yourself with. As such, getting ammunition at shooting ranges to use on site is excellent.

I can't be bothered at present (really, that is not my fight, if you USians like your violent society, I can watch that sociological experiment from a long way off at little pain to me and mine) to find out what registration entails, but I would hope for the Swiss that it entailed keeping supply low enough that mass-murder would require real long-term planning.
 
+Jay Maynard nonsense re: uk. Uk gun deaths are a small fraction of usa. Overall crime rates are not in contention here. Permanent harm os what we are talkinng about. And frankly - if I didn't know hundreds of decent sane americans, I would just say "arm them all and let them kill each other. The world would no longer miss them". However I do know hundreds. And I suspect that they actually outnumber you gun nuts.

As for complete elimination - Canada has reasonable restrictions. No-one is advocating for complete private disarmament. That whole argument is a straw man.
 
"No one is arguing for complete disarmament" easily proven false.
 
If the argument that "reasonable gun restrictions" are needed, please describe the current gun regulations, with citations, and explain how they fall short?

Then, look at the factual errors in the reporting of Sandy Hook, and ask yourself - "Is this being used for political gain?"

For example - Sandy Hook is being used as a justification for the reintroduction of the "Assault Weapon Ban."  There are people talking about buying the Bushmaster company and "running it ethically" (which likely means "mismanage it until it goes out of business and claim moral victory.")

All of the fatalities in Sandy Hook were done with a pair of pistols; he took the time to swap magazines twice.  They found a semi-automatic shotgun in the trunk of the car.

Yet the reporting of the coroner's report says "High velocity rifle round."  

"But then there was Aurora!"

Indeed, and in Aurora, we have a clear cut argument for suing AMC theaters.  Making a space a gun-free zone means the theater owners accepted full liability for the safety and security of the patrons.  Because local governments operating schools tend to have legal immunity on these issues, it's harder to press the case.

But if I were going to advise anyone on the pro gun rights side, it would be to press the case that establishing a gun free zone also means assumption of liability.
 
The current gun controls were considered reasonable when they were first enacted. They seem not to be working. Does that mean that stricter gun control regulations will also be reasonable? Or does it mean that we now need unreasonable gun control regulations? Either way gun control is a slippery slope.
 
+S.P. Zeidler We don't "like" having a violent society, we just don't suffer from the comforting delusion that banning civilian weapons would fix that. Experience says otherwise.  The U.S.'s high rates of violence are a consequence of policy failures in which our idiotic political class is heavily invested - drug prohibition being the most conspicuous one.  Remember: where the drug posses aren't, our violence rates look like Switzerland's.

+Dominic Amann When you point out that U.K. gun deaths are a small fraction of the U.S.'s, you fail to normalize in at least two important ways:  (1) by population, which predicts that the U.K's incidence should be less than 1/5th the U.S.'s to start with, and (2) by levels of violence in all forms. Without considering gun deaths relative to the latter you don't have any clue to whether civilian firearms are causative or not.

The most significant fact about firearms in the U.K. is undoubtedly the fact that since they were banned after the Dunblane shootings, gun crime in the U.K.  has shot up by a factor of 4 and London is now a more dangerous city than New York.


 
 
+Eric Raymond Reread what I wrote when I corrected you.

Legal ownership != regulated ownership.  Indeed, it is the presence of regulations on ownership that makes illegal ownership possible.

If you are in an environment where gun ownership is legal, you are safer.  Civilian marksmen who know that they are personally liable for the results of their marksmanship tend to be better shots than cops as a class - the numbers I see are about 3.3:1 - a copy is about 3.3x as likely to shoot the wrong person as a civilian shooter.

If you are in an environment where gun ownership is widespread, and illegal, you're in an environment where the incentive to own the gun isn't self defense, or the defense of others.  It is incentivized towards projecting your personal power on those who cannot defend themselves.

To get a better look at gun control laws and firearms death rates - the strong positive correlation is between welfare systems and crime rates. The better the welfare system, the less likely it is firearms related homicides will occur.

As you travel from West to East across Europe, and the welfare systems unravel, you see crime rates that approach or exceed US inner city levels...and you also need to compare  areas of comparable population.

I don't get to declare Norway a blood-soaked festering pit of gun violence (0.8 convictions per 100,000) by comparing it to Vermont (0.7 charges per 100,000).  Instead, I have to compare it to US states with comparable population and demographics, and compare apples to apples.

Minnesota has a similar population (5.4 million), and has 1.3 charges of murder or death by firearms mischance per 100,000 people.  It has a murder conviction rate (the figure reported for European countries as "homicide deaths") of 0.8 per 100,000.

If I'm going to compare the US, it's going to be to a similarly constructed population spread in Europe. 
 
"Civilian marksmen." That's an odd concept.
 
Minnesotans are similar to Norwegians? YA THINK??
 
+Nuno Salgueiro, it's the central concept to American freedom. It's how we became free, and it's how we stay free.

+Dominic Amann, the public statements of the folks pushing "reasonable firearm restrictions" disprove your contention. Just look at what the Brady Campaign, nee Handgun Control, Inc., has said in the past.

We don't trust people advocating for "reasonable firearm restrictions". We have sound historical reasons not to.

+Russell Nelson: Ya shure, you betcha.
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Where do I sign up for lutefisk control? That's what I wanna know.
 
Imagine a civil rights march onto the Washington Mall supporting the 2nd Amendment....
 
+John Yost I have never fired an automatic weapon, but I have watched videos. They seem to be very hard to hold on target. Even the military has noticed this, and so the M-16 has a semi-semi-automatic mode where it will only fire three bullets. That way, in the heat of battle, you don't hold down the trigger and empty your magazine in a few seconds.
 
+Eric Raymond uk gun deaths have nothing to do with gun ownership. They are connected entirely with russian mafia in london. Organized crime there is well armed (as you have noted criminals will arm themselves regardless) however that has not stopped them shooting each other frequently. If you remove criminal on criminal shootings the gun homicide rate in the uk becomes vanishingly small.
 
The whole debate is ludicrous. It is all really about the fact that guns are cool and people like shooting them.
 
Really? I don't think guns are cool and I don't like shooting them. But I'm glad that other people do, and I'm glad that my country's founding document guarantees them that right.
 
Yes, much like freedom of speech arguments are all about the fact that computers are cool and people like shooting off their opinions on them. :)
 
+Russell Nelson as a Vietnam veteran I have actually fired an M-16 in combat and let me tell you from first hand experience sometimes full auto is a necessity when several dozen enemy soldiers are coming over the wire. Luckily the Sisters of Mercy made sure I learned the way of John Wayne in elementary school. Whoever told you about "semi-semi" doesn't know what they are talking about, unless it was done after 1969/70. My tour of conscription.
 
+Dominic Amann You can have all the fantasy theories you like about why we Americans cherish our freedom.  We'll keep doing it anyway.
 
+Dominic Amann: Looks like my comment to Chris above applies to you as well. Base your argument on assertions about the gun rights side which are actually true, rather than whatever assertions you'd prefer to project onto them, or else you'll get absolutely nowhere.

+John Yost, I believe you, but... just to make sure I'm clear, are you saying completely full auto M-16, or 3-round burst? What (very little) I've read suggests that completely full auto was pretty useless, other than for suppression, I'd guess. Not to mention how quickly it uses up a magazine. (If it's not belt-fed, I'd imagine any practical magazine used up within about 4 seconds - and most of it would end up sailing about 30 degrees over the target. ...Well, I suppose an M-16, being more of a two-hander weapon, would fare better than, say, a one-handed Mac-10. But I'm a relative newbie on this; I know what little I know mostly from watching footage.)
 
+Dominic Amann, funny you should say that.  If you remove criminal-on-criminal homicide from the US statistics, the gun homicide rate in the US also shrinks by a very large factor.

So what was your point again....?
 
+Phil Stracchino, you beat me to this one. The simple facts are that crimes with guns are overwhelmingly committed by criminals against other criminals, that the the statistics that say that people are far more likely to be killed by acquaintances than strangers are badly inflated by counting drug dealers and gangbangers as each others' acquaintances, and that the stats for kids killed by someone using a gun are inflated by counting those up to age 19 as kids, which rolls in the gangbangers and drug dealers in the inner city. Factor all that out, and the US is no more violent than any of the European countries that deprive their citizens of the right to keep and bear arms.

Oh, gun grabbers, you say you're just trying to stop mass killings? I'm sure the folks in Cumbria are happy that the UK's draconian gun bans stopped mass killings after their adoption.

It was illegal for the Columbine killers to obtain the weapons they did. Yeah, laws totally stopped them.

So-called "assault weapons" bans and "reasonable gun control" will stop it? Connecticut has all of the laws on the gun grabber wish list. Look what good it did them.

We've been down the road of "reasonable gun control" before. Before the Gun Control Act of 1968, American law had no concept of "sporting purpose". The Second Amendment isn't about sporting. Yet the gun owners of the time caved in and agreed to this "reasonable" regulation. Wasn't enough, was it? No, because nothing short of total bans are ever enough.

We've been there and done that. We're not going to do it again. It doesn't work, and it demonizes a tool instead of the hand that holds it. We're putting our foot down and saying "Enough!"
 
+Russell Nelson I believe the 3 shot burst makes the modern M16 as a "sub" machine gun, still an automatic weapon, as opposed to that overpriced varmint gun, the AR-15. +John Yost Didn't going full "rock and roll" for extended periods tend to burn out barrels?  Just glad you made it home and thanks for your service.  +Eric Raymond Maybe we've been approaching this wrong all along, we should highlight the violence between urban and rural America the way Europeans contrast themselves to us.  Gun violence is not a common occurrence where I live.  Everyone I knew growing up had access to firearms in the home.  No-one ever committed murder, shot themselves by accident, or committed suicide.  I, for one, am shocked and appalled by the violence in urban America.
 
+Paul Brinkley  If I am understanding Wikipedia's article on the M16 correctly, when first issued in the mid 60s, its firing modes were semi- and full auto, which would match up with +John Yost's experience. The M16A2, which had semi-automatic and 3-round burst was adopted later, in the mid 80s.
 
+Phil Stracchino the point is we are talking in the wake of a gun massacre of children in a school. Not biker gangs or mafia. I don't care how trained you are I don't want to send my kids to a school with some guy armed with an assault rifle.
 
And the degree of snark and smugness being bandied around with pseudo science and questionable statistics just makes you guys seem like flat earthers or moon landing deniers.
 
+Dominic Amann: We're snarky and smug because we've been around this loop lots of times, and not once has anyone explained how anything they propose would keep guns out of the hands of crazies determined to get them. We're tired of this argument. We refuse to surrender a basic freedom.

Want to talk with us? Then stop raising the same old tired debunked arguments. You can start with explaining why the laws gun grabbers want to impose on the entire country didn't stop the Connecticut killer even tough every last one of them was in force there.
 
Oh, and +Dominic Amann, I guess that means you wouldn't send your kids to Sidwell Friends School, where Obama's daughters go...and which employs no fewer than 11 armed guards...
 
+Dominic Amann 

Please read this. 

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/ 

I get that you don't want to own a gun.  I get that you're afraid of "crazy Yosemite Sams" with guns shooting innocent bystanders.  

It doesn't actually happen, outside of urban cesspits.

You are likelier to be killed by a cop doing a "no knock" drug bust with the wrong address than you are to be killed or injured by a spree killer.

Nationally, cars kill 2.5x as many people as guns.  I don't own a car.  I've been put into the ER three times because other fucktards had a car and weren't paying attention to what the fuck they were doing.

The only people I see doing that shit with a gun?  Senators from California barrel-sweeping a room of their supporters with the safety off, their finger on the trigger, and looking away from where the barrel is pointed so they can score political points.

I don't demand you give up your car because idiots with cars have put me in the hospital as a pedestrian.  Or because cars kill 2.5x as many people in the US as people with guns.

You want to stop the next spree killing?

Don't make spree killers famous.  They fit a common pattern of behavior:  Male, few friends, fewer social outlets, living in a world of self-made misery because the reality of modern society isn't what they were told it would be, and so afraid of changing themselves that they'd rather become famous by "going out with a body count."

So, how about we put some regulations on the news:  If you publish the name of a spree killer who is dead or in custody, or publish a picture of his face, 3/4 of your advertising revenue for the next 35 days goes to the victims fund.

Why is it only newsworthy when there's a Missing/Dead White Woman?  Why is the fact that more people died in Chicago on the day of the Aurora shootings than died in Aurora not news?  Because none of the victims were white, they were all urban gangbangers.

YOU ONLY CARE ABOUT THIS BECAUSE IT INVOLVES DEAD WHITE WOMEN.  

And you're going to decide we're all a bunch of crazies and obstructionists and flat-Earthers.  Rather than admit your own failing.
 
+Jay Maynard I am actually not convinced that gun control is viable for the USA. However I am convinced that putting armed guards in schools is outright daft. And disarming the white house is a cheap provocation which is outright disrespectful to the office of head of state.

It is unfortunate that the gun lobby is thick with people who fundamentally distrust all government. The 2nd ammendment was written when there was a legitimate fear (based on recent history of crown rule) that a government without the welbeing of the people at heart would impose rule.

Charles Dickens observed that Americans although fine people, had an absurd distrust of government.

For those who think i am anti gun, you are mistaken. I do not own one now, but i almost certainly will once i own a farm. It would most likely be a shotgun or bolt action rifle for coyotes and game.

I have a hard time seeing the need for assault weapons for any pursuit other than murder or warfare. The slippery slope argument does not strike me as convincing. Rocket launchers are controlled. Why such an issue with assault weapons?

The other issue i have is the money question. The arms industry is very wealthy, and i believe it (and many other industries) hold an unhealthy influence over government.

I don't believe arms control will work well in the USA, but I believe even gun proponents should be suspicious of the money being spent on their behalf by arms manufacturers.
 
In this case, the disrespect is earned. And to be clear: so was the disrespect for his predecessor, and his predecessor, etc.
 
+Dominic Amann, the "disrespectful" part is that the President's children are "entitled to" the safety and security of a school protected by 11 armed guards, but the rest of us aren't.  It's a bit like the sick joke about bear attacks: "I don't have to outrun the bear.  I only have to outrun YOU."

As for distrust of government, look at in particular the last thirty years of our government.  The War on [Some] Drugs.  Civil forfeiture, aka seizure of property without compensation or appeal.  No-knock raids, frequently on the wrong address.  Increasingly militarized police forces, and police increasingly indoctrinated with "us-vs.-them" attitudes.  Waco, Ruby Ridge — Federal police assaults with shoot-first rules of engagement.  No-fly lists that you can't get off of, and can get on simply for having a common name.  More recently, warrantless wiretapping, warrantless searches, and indefinite detention without charges or trial.  Denial of due process simply for being accused, without proof, of some nebulous terrorism-related offense.  "Special rendition", a euphemism for being shipped overseas for outsourced torture.  Your own assets seized and the proceeds used to prosecute you, leaving you no way to pay for your own defense.  Presumption of guilt unless proven innocent, instead of presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  Data mining on a huge scale to fuel fishing expeditions looking for anything you can be charged with.  Assassination by executive order.

Oh, yes, our government has EARNED our distrust.
 
+Dominic Amann  I'm not one of the people who considers Obama to be some left-over KGB drone bent on bringing about the revolution of the workers.

However, I am very very much of the opinion that our elected officials are afforded a minimum of privileges above what the average citizen gets.

If they get armed guards, we get to arm ourselves.  If we're supposed to abide by the Federal Gun Free Schools law, they can abide by living in Gun Free Zones.

If it's legal and "ethical" for a newspaper to "warn people about the pistol permit holders in their neighborhoods" by publishing an interactive map giving names and addresses...then, hey, it should be legal and ethical to publish an interactive map for all the employees of that newspaper.

The presumption that "only crazy people would want to have an AR-15" is where you're starting off on the wrong foot.  

My presumption is "only social wretches who have no connection with their community would be that afraid of their neighbors and fellow citizens."
 
Dominic Amann, "assault weapons" is an utterly meaningless term.  It has no definition of any rational form, and the attempts to define it in statute basically end up banning scary looking rifles and the ability to hang a bayonet off the end.  Nothing more.
 
I note, purely as an aside, that despite the insistence of the anti-gun lobby that bayonet lugs and "grenade launchers" are features that identify weapons so dangerous that they must be banned "for the children", not one single peacetime mass murder that I am aware of worldwide has been committed either with a rifle grenade or with an affixed bayonet.
 
+Dominic Amann: So many inaccuracies...

"'However I am convinced that putting armed guards in schools is outright daft." So you don't agree with the published fact that Sidwell Friends School - the school where Barack Obama sends his daughters, as well as many of the DC elite - has 11 armed guards on its staff? Not to mention the Secret Service agents assigned to the girls, who most assuredly are also armed? Yeah, there are no armed guards in the elite's schools, let alone the schools attended by the hoi polloi.

"It is unfortunate that the gun lobby is thick with people who fundamentally distrust all government." s/gun lobby/United States/ Americans fundamentally distrust their government - except for the Left that sees it as a benevolent big brother who wants to take good care of the rest of us. The latter seems to predominate in Europe and Canada.

"The 2nd ammendment was written when there was a legitimate fear (based on recent history of crown rule) that a government without the welbeing of the people at heart would impose rule." Dingdingdingding! You are correct, sir! Where you fall down is in believing that the time for that fear has passed.

"For those who think i am anti gun, you are mistaken. I do not own one now, but i almost certainly will once i own a farm. It would most likely be a shotgun or bolt action rifle for coyotes and game." The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It's about refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

"I have a hard time seeing the need for assault weapons for any pursuit other than murder or warfare. The slippery slope argument does not strike me as convincing. Rocket launchers are controlled. Why such an issue with assault weapons?" Because, once you strip the loaded language away, you're banning weapons that are functionally identical with other, politically correct firearms. The only way to define "assault weapon" is cosmetically, and cosmetic features don't mean a thing when you're at the wrong end of it.

"The other issue i have is the money question. The arms industry is very wealthy, and i believe it (and many other industries) hold an unhealthy influence over government." Hate to break this to you, but the companies that sell firearms to civilians are small by comparison to, say, makers of home electronics. Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC) has a market capitalization of $583 million and 1453 employees, as one example. Sturm, Ruger and Company (NYSE: RGR) is of similar size, with a market capitalization of $848 million and 1224 employees (and was number 4 on the Forbes Best Small Companies in America list in October 2012). But then, corporations are eeeeevil things to a leftist like you.

"I don't believe arms control will work well in the USA," Then why are you pushing it?

"but I believe even gun proponents should be suspicious of the money being spent on their behalf by arms manufacturers." [citation needed]
 
+Dominic Amann -- how remarkable!  If you remove the criminal element from the statistics, then the homicide rate becomes vanishingly small?  WOW!  Who coulda' seen that one coming?

Reminds me of the infamous Marion Berry quote about the crime rate in DC...
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