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At a news conference last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands with people who have been affected by gun violence. Bloomberg, an outspoken proponent of gun control, says until recently elected officials were afraid to stand up the NRA. But, he says, the Newtown massacre has changed everything. (Seth Wenig/AP)

As a young officer in the Marine Corps, one of my first assignments was to serve on a board investigating the shooting of an enlisted man. The incident began when the shooter was ordered to march a prisoner from the Camp Lejeune base brig to a courtroom to face a court martial.

On the way the prisoner said to the Marine guarding him, “I’m going to run now. Don’t shoot me.” But Marines take their orders seriously and the guard opened fire with his M-1 rifle, the standard semi-automatic military rifle of the day. One round tore away part of the man’s back and killed him instantly.

When I saw pictures of the victim’s body, I was stunned. I had understood its function analytically, but until I saw its effects on the human body, I had no sense of the power or deadliness of a military rifle.

Unfortunately, I would go on to see many more victims of assault rifles in a journalism career that took me to wars in Vietnam, Lebanon and El Salvador. But it is the vision of that dead Marine that haunts me, and was fresh in my mind as I read about last month’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. The mental image of a child shot 11 times, even with a firearm not as lethal as an M-1, is too horrible to consider. No wonder the first responders have had trouble coping with the scenes they encountered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

When I saw pictures of the victim’s body, I was stunned. I had understood its function analytically, but until I saw its effects on the human body, I had no sense of the power or deadliness of a military rifle.

In 1994, Congress banned military assault-style weapons. But the ban ran out after 10 years and lawmakers — cowed by the bluster and bombast of gun owners and their lobbyists — failed to renew it. Since then, most gun measures have come out of state legislatures.

Though Massachusetts has relatively tough gun laws — and many assault weapons are banned here — it’s not an entirely rosy picture.

According to a CommonWealth Magazine review of state records, since 2008, the number of Class A licenses (which allow citizens to carry high capacity weapons) is up 27 percent statewide, and in Boston they are up 50 percent. CommonWealth quotes State Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick) as saying gun manufacturers have figured out a way to “configure” these weapons so they “qualify in Massachusetts.” Linsky says manufacturers are selling “‘lite’ versions of assault weapons with such features as flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, and collapsible stocks removed.”

He’s right. Linger a few moments on the web site of Smith and Wesson and you’ll easily find the M&P15-22, a semi-automatic weapon that is “compliant” with tough state gun laws (states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland). The “recreational hunting” rifle can be yours for $499.

For decades, Washington has been intimidated by the National Rifle Association which waves the Second Amendment in the face of even the most reasonable advocates of restrictions on guns.

But the appetite for federal gun control is back.

Whether outraged by the murders in Newtown, or horrified more broadly by the carnage caused by guns every year (more than 30,000 deaths in 2009, according to the Violence Policy Center), citizens are again pressuring lawmakers to implement sweeping firearms controls.

President Obama, who last week unveiled a package of legislative proposals and executive actions, begins his second term pressing for reform. And Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading a task force to study gun violence, told the National Conference of Mayors last week: “There are some who say the most powerful voice in this debate belongs to the gun lobby … I think they are wrong. We are going to take it to the American people.”

A recent CBS News-New York Times poll found that Americans are on board. Mandatory background checks for all potential gun buyers won approval from 92 percent of respondents; 63 percent support a ban on high-capacity magazines; and 53 percent back a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

There is no predicting how this third rail issue will play out in Washington. Lawmakers from rural and western states are not eager to cast a recorded vote on guns unless public pressure becomes unyielding, but to most Americans it’s clear that it’s finally time to take the power of setting of gun policy away from the NRA.


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Tags: Guns, Newtown

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  • spencer60

    The headline on this article is completely misleading.

    The vast majority of Americans still think that we should be enforcing the ‘gun control’ laws already on the books rather than trying to pass new ones.

    As for the polls you cite supporting more gun control laws, all are sponsored by organizations that either support, or actively promote a gun control agenda.

    There is no measurable increase in the number of people supporting ‘gun control’ in polls done by reputable organizations.

    This article also exposes the idiocy behind firearms bans, such as those in Massachusetts, rather clearly.

    The differences in the actual firearm (not including the magazine) between ‘compliant’ and ‘non-compliant’ are all cosmetic. They do not change the basic operation of the firearm in any way, shape or form.

    If anyone can tell me why an adjustable-length stock (intended to allow you to properly ‘fit’ a rifle to a shooter) makes a firearm more dangerous to the public somehow, please enlighten me.

    Flash hiders, threaded barrels, bayonet lugs, they are all scary sounding ‘features’ that make no difference except visually.

    A far more powerful, .308 caliber, semi-automatic deer rifle, is fine as it is though, simply because it has a wooden stock, not a black polymer one.

    (BTW, the .308 is the same caliber the author describes being used in his opening paragraphs. )

    This all shows that what the media, politicians and especially the gun control industry call ‘assault weapons’ has nothing to do with their function or lethality, but simply their looks.

    And I have to laugh at the authors description of the M&P 15-22 as an ‘assault weapon’.

    It’s a 22 caliber rim-fire rifle for pity’s sake, one step up from Red Ryder BB guns. Didn’t he wonder why it was half the price of the ‘real’ firearms?

    I’ve always found the gun control advocates know the least about what they are trying to ban and restrict.

    In fact many take a perverse pride in saying that they don’t even want to know anything about firearms, as if that somehow gives them the moral high-ground.

    Actually, all it really shows is that people like that shouldn’t be listened to, and I’;m afraid the author fits into this category.
    .

    • massappeal

      “As for the polls you cite supporting more gun control laws, all are
      sponsored by organizations that either support, or actively promote a
      gun control agenda.” The primary poll cited was conducted by CBS and the NY Times—regardless of what you think of their editorial positions, neither organization spends much time or energy supporting or actively promoting a gun control agenda. More to the point, they have a reputation as conducting and commissioning solid, useful public opinion polls on a range of issues.

      What would almost certainly be helpful in this debate would be for organizations of hunters, sportsmen and responsible gun owners to step forward in support of specific gun safety measures: e.g., limiting magazine capacities, universal background checks, etc.

      Knowledgeable gun owners like spencer60 could help by stating which gun safety measures they support and why, rather than simply restating what they oppose (YMMV).

      • spencer60

        Sorry, I have to disagree. The NY Times is probably one of the most biased, anti-Second Amendment entities in existence.

        Gallup and Pew are probably the best, but even they will use biased terms such as ‘assault weapon’ rather than rifle.

        To be honest, none of the proposed laws or executive orders will have any chance of preventing this type of attack from happening again, because none deal with the root cause.

        The simple fact is that schools (and churches, and malls, and many other places) are ‘soft targets’, due to the existence of the ‘gun free zone’ laws. .

        Just like an airplane before 9/11, anyone who can get any weapon at all inside a ‘gun free zone’ has such a huge advantage over the disarmed people there that they are literally in complete control of the situation.

        As 9/11 and the school attacks in China show, the weapon doesn’t have to even be a firearm to be effective.

        Almost every mass murder in the last 30 years (since the law was enacted) has taken place in a ‘gun free’ zone.

        Rather than try and re-implement political agendas that have already been show to fail (bans and restrictions), we need to think rationally about the subject.

        If these laws have made targets of these areas, the first step would be to remove the bullseye.

        Allowing legally permitted firearms owners, including staff into these areas again would be a great first step.

        It’s worked in Israel, where they adopted this policy in the 1970s after the Ma’alot school shooting. They have not had a successful school attack since then.

        In Utah, where they never disarmed their licensed concealed carry permit holders, they have never had any type of incident at all.

        Many studies have show that these attackers will almost immediately suicide or surrender when met with armed resistance.

        This is why police doctrine has changed so that instead of waiting 45 minutes for SWAT, the first officers on the scene now go in immediately.

        However you are still dealing with a window of 10-15 minutes no matter how quick the response.

        No matter what weapon is used, the death toll that can be generated in that length of time can be staggering.

        The key would be to reduce that time until armed responders can resist the attacker to zero, but that can only happen by having them on-site.

        Armed security is one suggestion, but that is not ideal since all the attacker needs to do is shoot them first, as with Columbine.

        You need to have multiple officers scattered around the school at random, to prevent a single attack from leaving everyone else defenseless.

        Far better would be the system being tried in Harrold, TX, where each schools has multiple permit holders with additional training present in each school.

        Only the principals and the school board know which staff are armed, and an attacker would have no idea on who might be considered a threat to them.

        This kind of ‘defense-in-depth’ is similar to the steps we took with airplanes after 9/11.

        We have random Air Marshals posing as passengers. Many pilots are armed in the cockpit now. Even the passengers are far more aware and would not hesitate to resist an attack.

        A hijacker would have very little chance of commandeering a flight today, and so they no longer even try.

        As long as we leave areas like schools as targets, we can expect that the sick and the criminal will take advantage of their vulnerability.

        • massappeal

          Thanks for this clear statement of your views that it is only by making ourselves a *more* heavily armed society with vastly *fewer* laws and regulations governing gun safety and the conduct of gun owners that we will be safer.

          Speaking just for myself, if you had evidence of even just one nation on earth in which such a model had proved effective, I’d be more open to taking your ideas seriously. (Israel and Switzerland—two small, heavily armed democracies—don’t count because both (to my knowledge) have quite strict gun safety laws.)

      • lbeacham

        Mass, At 58, I fairly new to owning more than a “closet” gun, one that just sits there until I moved to another town. Now that I’m almost retired and make sport of shooting on my rural property and need more personal secuity, something comes to mind in this current gun debate. I agree with you that there are many who want no changes, even small targeted one. But, do you agree that many on the left have gone overboard on vast changes after many years of status quo. Too many are calling for draconian messures unrelated to existing problems. A few vocal media oponents of the 2nd amendment have ridiculed the original intent of protection from tyranny and insinuate most guns should be banned. It has set up a “camel-nose-under-the-tent attitude that one compromise will be taken as surrender. There are zealots on both sides. Until one side recognizes the Constitutional underpinnings gun ownership with freedom and liberty, and discounts hunting (it is very regulated) and the other loses the fear of general gun rights as we have now, no room is left to discuss how to increase safety and decrease the death of innocents. That should be the goal.

        • massappeal

          In a word, agreed. I’ve taken to trying to talk about “gun safety”, since that seems a less inflammatory phrase for some, and one on which there’s broader agreement that it’s a worthy goal.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            here you go all you need to know about gun safety:

            http://training.nra.org/nra-gun-safety-rules.aspx

          • massappeal

            All good stuff. Any objection to turning more of it into a matter of law?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i am pretty sure its already illegal to shoot people. (unless you are a former vice president) in mass we already require a gun safty class and i think thats fine. now david linsky is trying to make it so the hunters ed class does not count for a permit because it is free even though it is a much more in depth class than the classes you have to pay for.

          • massappeal

            Thanks for the reply. Any objection to universal background checks?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i think the current FA-10 form in mass is fine. we already require background checks in Mass even at gun shows. what is alarming is creating a registry of guns kind of antithetical to the idea of the 2nd amendment. as i am sitting here oboma just used the term “magazine clips” again. Universal background checks will not affect the black market one iota

          • massappeal

            So it seems we have agreement on universal background checks. It’s not a solution to every aspect of gun violence, but it’s a solution to some part of it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            what difference do you think it will make? how much liberty should we trade for what amount of safety?
            “gun violence” is a misnomer so as long as thats the problem you are trying to address whatever you do will fail.

          • massappeal

            If I recall correctly, the current partial federal background checks have prevented about 1.5 million purchases of firearms by ex-felons, the mentally and emotionally unstable, and other people with records that indicate serious questions about their ability to function as responsible gun owners. Presumably a more universal background check would prevent additional purchases.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            how will you get black market dealers to comply? how many of that 1.5 million went to the black market? we will never know.

          • massappeal

            With all due respect, dealing with illegal gun sales is a separate issue. It’s an important one, but the fact it exists is not (in my view) a reason not to take other measures to improve gun safety.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            it seems like a feel good measure designed to make it look like we are “doing something” without addressing the real problems we have while leading us down a slippery slope to registration of legal guns without any evidence it will prevent anyone from aquiring any firearm they want. Guns are already very safe, turkey hunting is one of the safest youth sports. How do you think they could be made more safe?

          • massappeal

            Given that the existing, limited federal background checks have prevented 1.5 million gun sales to people whose past behavior gives reasonable cause to believe they aren’t and wouldn’t be responsible gun owners, I’m not persuaded by your assertion—without any supporting evidence—that universal background checks would be a “feel good measure…without addressing the real problems we have”. Again, it wouldn’t address all the problems, but on all available evidence that I’ve seen, it would address some of the problems.

            I’m sure turkey hunting is very safe. The arsenal used to deadly effect in Newtown did not, so far as I know, contain any firearms designed for turkey hunting.

            Among the proposals for improving gun safety that I think are worthy of consideration are: universal background checks, improved school safety, improved mental health care, limits on the size of high-capacity magazines, more and better research on the causes of gun violence.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            Its feel good because there is no reason to think that those people had bad intentions and that they did not just purchase a firearm on the black market.(not to mention that many of the denials are bogus and eventually overturned) So unless you can say that none of those people went to the black market to get a gun then its just a feel good number.

            I’m sure turkey hunting is very safe. The arsenal used to deadly effect in Newtown did not, so far as I know, contain any firearms designed for turkey hunting.

            1. We have not been told what gun was actually used in the massacre just that the mother had an ar15 registered to her along with several other firearms. Same with the aurora incident

            2. Organised youth shooting sports has never had a fatality. Compare that to any other team sport. The ar15 is a popular choice for youth shooting sports for many reasons. In fact the mother in conn owned one because she enjoyed shooting competitions.
            “Gun violence” does not exist so we might as well just research unicorns like the north koreans do. Lemme know when a gun shoots someone by itself then i will support research into “gun violence” The one sensable reccomendation is that we look at our mental helth system. for many years they have been trying to phase out inpatient treatment facilities and just medicate people and send them home. Some people should be in an institution. In fact one report i read said the mother in conn had told her son she was going to commit him to an institution and thats what set him off. So maybe we need more education for people and more resources to be able to provide secure treatment for more disturbed people. As soon as you come up with a way to limit a criminals access to a high capacity magazine I would be more than willing to discuss that untill then law abiding people should be able to defend themselves with as many rounds as it takes. Custer saw what happened when you are outgunned, why should we put law abiding citizens and their family at risk?

          • massappeal

            Well, one way to limit access to high capacity magazines is to outlaw their manufacture or sale….

            Also, if you don’t support research into gun violence (by which I, and I think most English speakers mean violence accomplished by the use of guns by humans), would you support research into the safe (and/or unsafe) use of guns?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            Well, one way to limit access to high capacity magazines is to outlaw their manufacture or sale…. How is that working for illegal drugs?(hint: its not working at all)
            The term “gun violence” is a manufactured term just like “death tax” it is designed to scare people for political goals. Guns are not violent. Is it better to be beaten to death with a bat or shot with an ar15? what a stupid question huh? no one talks about “bat violence” when someone is beaten to death with one. so what do you want to do about human violence? We already know that safe gun handling practices are 100% effective when used. What do you think is still a mystery that needs study?

          • massappeal

            On the other hand, guns are not an addictive substance….

            Serious question: how many deaths each year in the U.S. occur by being beaten to death by a bat? (We know there are around 30,000 U. S. homicides and suicides each year that result from gun shots.)

            It’s not that gun safety is a mystery that needs study. It’s the fact that, despite all we know about the safe handling of guns, 30,000 Americans die from gunfire each year. By researching who they are, how and why they are shot, how and why they die, etc., we’d have a better basis for creating a nation in which fewer people die early deaths because of gunfire.

            It may be that extensive research would lead to the conclusion that all we need is more and better training on safe gun handling. And, if that’s where the research leads, I’m all for it. If it leads in other directions as well then, assuming we agree on the desirability of fewer Americans dying of gunfire each year, I think that would be helpful too.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the number of people currently beaten to death by bats is irrelevent. Those 30,000 were not caused by guns but by people who wanted to kill themselves or others. They were not accidents. Safer handling would not prevent them. Americans are free to die however they see fit. I am not against research as long as it is privatly funded and not biased or political in nature. Here is an idea i could agree to. firearms already have labels but maybe the warning could be. “Caution:accidental or intentional misuse of this product may cause irreperable harm to you, your family and others” Thats what we do for most dangerous products. I just read this”Prescription drugs taken as prescribed in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death in the US and Canada” over 100,000 a year in the us. 15,000 from asparin and ibproferin per year. thats about 50% than homicides with guns. where is all the public outcry to regulate them more for the childrens sake? This is a political issue not a public safety issue

          • massappeal

            Thanks for clarifying that—with the exception of the consumer safety warning label you just suggested—you’re opposed to any changes to the status quo, no matter how reasonable or effective they might be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            No, the status quo is clearly unacceptable, we need to immediatly change the mass laws to make LTC-As “shall issue” in the commonwealth effectivly ending the discriminatory and criminal practices that are the status quo. When you come up with an idea that sounds like it makes sense i will let you know. I will be fascinated to hear the results of your research.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michaelgerard Michael Fitzpatrick

            Guns are not violent? Guns are designed for a single purpose- to kill. That, by definition, is violent. Hammers are designed to build, obviously, you can kill with a hammer but this is not the sole purpose of that tool.

            Your comment simply illustrates that you are one of the intractable gun owners that believes that the 2nd amendment gives free reign to have any and all arms.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            nonsense, guns are designed and used for many reasons. What difference does it make to a person that was killed with a hammer what the hammer was designed to do? do we call it “hammer violence” or say someone went nuts? God or nature if you aren the religous type gave free men the right to own any and all arms needed to defend themselves. The 2nd amendment simply acknowledges that fact

          • http://www.facebook.com/michaelgerard Michael Fitzpatrick

            Really? Please enlighten me as to the other reasons that guns exist. If not to kill animals and people, what are they used for? Stirring cake batter? Nope. Building houses? Nope.

            Maybe you’re clued into some use I’m not, and if that’s the case, please, by all means share. Otherwise, at least embrace that guns have a singular purpose and that it isn’t spreading glitter and rainbows.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            mostly they are used for shooting paper targets, sometimes defense, and often to harvest game, most importatly they are used to prevent and stop tyranny. some times a crazy person or a criminal gets a hold of one and uses it to murder but thats illegal. it would be a fun way to spread glitter! maybe with some glitter filled 12 gauge shells

          • http://www.facebook.com/michaelgerard Michael Fitzpatrick

            I have to say, unless your gun cabinet includes a ballistic missile, defending yourself from “government tyranny” is a ship that sailed about a century ago. I’m not sure that even the AR-15′s everyone seems so desperate to hold onto would be much of a match against an Apache. Admittedly, 12 gauge glitter would be great for parties.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        gun advocacy groups like the NRA put a lot of resources into promoting good gun safty measures. If people just followed this one recomendation then all gun “accidents” would be prevented
        1. treat every gun as if it was loaded
        I would even be in favor of labeling guns like any other dangerous thing we sell people

        • massappeal

          Granted, the NRA and other hunting and sportsmen’s groups put resources into promoting gun safety.

          However, given the number of homicides and suicides in the U.S. each year that are accomplished by means of firearms, what additional measures (if any, beyond labeling) would you endorse?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            are you concerned about the means or the ends? if someone wants to kill themselves or someone else they will find a way. i am pretty sure people killed themselves and each other well before firearms were invented. Do you really care if someone kills you with a gun or a brick?

          • massappeal

            On this issue, primarily I’m concerned with ends. The particular “end” we’ve been discussing in this thread (at least as I’ve understood it) is gun safety. In other words, what additional effective and constitutional methods can and should we as a society take to reduce the incidence of gun violence?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            if we are discussing gun safety why is your question about “gun violence”(whatever that means)? since you are concerned with ends, what do you think we should do to stop homicide and suicide by individuals? i dont oppose classes like we have in the commonwealth i think thats a great way to promote safety

    • http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php?disp=bloggers citizenkane

      You ask to be enlightened as to how an adjustable-length stock makes a weapon more dangerous to the public. The answer is obvious: it makes a rifle-length weapon easier to conceal.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        so a person who can legally carry a concealed weapon should not be allowed to buy a weapon thats “easier to conceal”? why?

  • Thinkfreeer

    It’s pretty obvious that most of the current outspoken commentators on guns are motivated by the “tragedy” and “horror.” And those “assault weapons” are really scary looking, man! They have little knowledge of guns. They are just afraid of them.

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional
    maturity.”

    ~
    Sigmund Freud

    • massappeal

      Really? Sigmund Freud? That’s the best you’ve got?

      (For what it’s worth, I’m not really frightened by what a Bushmaster AR-15 looks like. What it does when fired repeatedly at a roomful of 6 year olds, now that’s another thing….)

      • Djbassfish

        Really? Massappeal?

        Its sad what had happened at that school. But….one that gun was never taken in to the school.

        And gun control should be….don’t keep you gun(s) out to where the mentally unstable can get to them.

        • massappeal

          Thanks for the reply. So, do we agree that measures like universal background checks (to help prevent guns getting into unsafe hands), and safety requirements for guns in a home are appropriate responses to recent events?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            do we think adam lanzas mother did not have a background check? i dont know about conn but here in mass we have a law that requires you to lock up your guns and its sensible

        • snarvid

          Gun control should include that, sure. It should also include limits on the destructive capabilities of weapons. Neither home defense (best with a shotgun, frequently a pistol for convenience), personal defense through concealed carry (pistols), or hunting (take your pick) require 10+ round mags, nor the availability of semi-automatic versions of military weapons.

          The ruling interpretation of 2nd Amendment already recognizes that the right to bear arms is not unlimited. You can’t have any weapon you might like, and you can’t bring it everywhere you might like. Now we just have to move the line a bit to better balance ownership rights against the compelling government interest of not having its citizens shot quite as readily.

      • Feerm

        Funny, My AR15 never gets up on its own and kills kids. It must be defective. If you think using “the children” as a narrative is going to win you gun control this time, you better think again. Its not 1994 anymore and our congress remembers what happened to them the last time they voted to ban certain scary looking guns.

        • massappeal

          Of course, neither did Nancy Lanza’s AR-15. It just was in a location and condition that allowed Adam Lanza to pick it up and use it to kill others. (Just saying.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            while I agree that he mother was irresponsible to allow her gun to be stolen it was his defective mind that allowed him to murder children. do you think if his mother had not owned that particular gun he would have played tiddlewinks instead of murdering?

      • Thinkfreeer

        Well, you’re different then. The assault weapons which many want to ban are no different than other semi-automatic rifles in function – only in appearance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      we need to help some people learn that a gun is not really a weapon unless its used as such. just like anything else. if someones head is smashed in with a brick the brick is a weapon if someone shoots an ar15 in their backyard (where legal to do so) then it is not a weapon. a weapon is something that has been used to harm someone.

  • lbeacham

    There’s a lot of problems that American people would like to solve. Giving up natural freedoms enumerated in our Constitution is what some Americans would agree to. Thank God our Founders created a Representative Republic to insure against mob rule and emotional reaction without deliberation to avoid unintended consequences. It’s not perfect, it’s just better than any other way to insure our Freedoms. The process will work as intended or we can rebel. That’s what the 2′nd Amendment is for. If I lived in NY, I would move out. If politicians feel they can circumvent the Constitution and ignore any of the Bill-of-Rights, rebel we will. It is our responsibility to to the next generation and debt to the previous ones. It won’t happen because it’s mutualy assured destruction. The fact that it is programed to happen is our protection. I’m planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

    • massappeal

      So, assuming the Supreme Court upholds New York’s new gun safety law, where’s the problem?
      The duly elected representatives of the citizens of New York will have deliberated and passed what they consider to be reasonable legislation under both their state and federal constitutions. Just as the founders intended—except for women and Negroes having the vote, and a few other changes along the way….

      • lbeacham

        I don’t live in NY. I said if did, I would move if I didn’t agree with the level of gun control. It will be interesting to see if the court system is asked to rule. I like the State’s Rights provision in our Constitution. It encourages the states to compete and gives the people an escape for State Laws you don’t agree with. Federal Law trumps state law so it makes sense to limit the Feds to Contitutional constraints. Sadly, the Fed has been alowed to stretch their reach beyond their powers. We must challenge them when that occurs. Obama won’t like that.

        • massappeal

          What challenges do you have in mind?

          • lbeacham

            Voting for Conservative politicians in any election is best, long term. Laws and restrictions that punish the honest and/or reduce freedom and liberty in wide sweeps will not be tolerated; will be ignored by significant numbers and be ineffectual. The majority of Americans voluntarily comply and can’t be “ruled” by force.

          • massappeal

            Good news! There’s a strong case to be made that nothing President Obama proposed will “reduce freedom and liberty in wide sweeps”. In fact, there’s a case to be made that, if enacted, those proposals would increase freedom and liberty.

          • lbeacham

            I’ll be in the “trust but verify” mode. Hopeful but vigilant. I’m more concerned about the Congress. The most important problem is the one they all agree to ignore. Funding the Federal Government. With half of our working age populating not paying Fed income tax, we’ve got an anchor on the system. Payroll taxes are not fully funding Social Security and Medicare since 2009 and note expected to in the future. State payrole taxes don’t count for Fed funding. In a nutshell, our non taxed voters now number enough to sway elections. Not good for the future. We enter this future with top heavy debt with unlikely plans or motivation to slove it. If we are going to fund the Government by taxing wages, everyone must pay, without exception. We’re too far away from this to go back. The tax sytem has to change, probably a consumption tax. But only a consumption tax, not both. One favorable result might be to make consumption “smarter” and unleash productivity in ways that will surprise. We can’t keep making “poor” and minority people the priority focus of Federal public policy. It’s technically bankrupted us and is going to take the current and next generation to solve this funding and debt problem. If we don’t do it, who will? (Or, debt doesn’t matter and I’m wasting time worrying. Party on).

          • massappeal

            We’re somewhat off topic in talking about federal debt, but just to clarify a few points:

            *Every wage earner pays federal taxes (that’s why they’re called payroll taxes).
            *It’s not accurate that “half of our working age” population doesn’t pay federal income tax. (For example, many of those who don’t pay federal income tax are retirees collecting Social Security.)
            *”Non-taxes voters” constitute a tiny minority of American voters. The vast majority of voters pay sales taxes, excise taxes, payroll taxes, and/or income taxes (whether federal, state, local or some combination).
            *When Republicans took power in 2001, they inherited record federal surpluses and a shrinking federal debt. They then passed two massive tax cuts (benefiting primarily the wealthy), started two off-budget wars, and created a major, new, deficit-increasing health care benefit (Medicare Part D).

            *Meanwhile, under President Obama, annual federal deficits over the past three years have shrunk faster than at any time in the past 60 years.
            *In the past two years, Congress has passed and President Obama has signed about $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction measures.

            It’s your prerogative to consider federal debt the top priority facing Congress. Hopefully this will help you in your efforts to play a constructive role on the issue.

          • lbeacham

            Your remarks and conclusions are clouded by facts. I said “Fed income tax” and “working age”. That excludes S.S. Payroll tax and retirees. The half that are not paying any income tax is documented with IRS statistics widely published. I’m not saying their bad people, they just get enough deductions and credits to pay no income tax. Some get tax refunds exceeding withholdings. The Payroll tax for SS/Medicare is in shortfall now (starting 2009) and will remain so requiring “subsidy” from non-payroll withholdings. I know it all comes from the same “pot” but the Feds in the past have likes us to think differently. My point was the taxing system has to change. Also, your deficit reductions are skewed by your need to spin. The 2.5 trilion you reffered to is in the out years of Obama’s term and probably not materialize. The fact is Obama’s real time deficits each year are measured by the increase in annual borrowing and total national debt. It will be more than a trillion a year going forward as well. That’s planned now, unless a new budget reflects current spending reductions. It’s not all of his fault, he shares this with the rest of the Government. I made that point too. He’s just not trying to lead in the other direction on spending. That is his fault. Eventually, someone will have to reverse this. How/ I don’t know. Now, back to gun control. I make the case that this is just a misdirection to take the public’s and media’s attention away from the debt clock. Immigration will be next for that purpose. Climate change legislation will attempt to raise money for future temp. control but be spent now. Another shell game attempt. It won’t work, America won’t fall for it. The the ball gets passed back to Republicans and they continue to screw things up as well. Nothing changes until it has too. We don’t yet know what that “lynch pin” will be. No one does. In the past it has been war.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            how will anything proposed increase freedom and liberty? make the case

  • bulldurham

    The content of this article is misleading. “since 2008, the number of Class A licenses (which allow citizens to carry high capacity weapons) is up 27 percent statewide”. Since 1994 gun ownership is DOWN by 80% while gun related crime has risen by 80%. “and in Boston they are up 50 percent”. I would love to see who is getting a license to carry in Boston. It is nearly impossible to get one if you are a city resident. Unless you are a judge, lawyer, or have an in with the BSC. A class A license does not give you the ability to carry concealed unless it is unrestricted. It only allows you to LEGALLY possess large capacity firearms provided they were manufactured prior to 1994. Massachusetts has some of the most restrictive firearms regulations IN THE COUNTRY. You almost need to be a lawyer to understand them.

  • Feerm

    Americans want gun control? What “America” is this? Everyone I know all across the country is gearing up to fight against gun control, writing senators, getting politically active and protesting. Sorry but a few people on the east coast will not dictate to me what kind of guns I can own.

    • massappeal

      Just curious—what guns do you own and why? And what, if any, restrictions on gun ownership and safety do you support?

      • lbeacham

        Not his answer but I’ll take a shot. Various legal guns including revolvers, pistols, shotguns and rifles. At least five different calibers, maybe more. Each having it’s own features to accomplish the desired task. Property and self-defence, hunting, target shooting and collecting are a few reasons to have firearms and the reason one or two won’t do. Current restrictions are suitable. Increasing responsibility for use and misuse if other’s personal, property or civil rights are violated is a good place to reveiw. It’s about freedom and liberty for all. The Government must protect everyone’s inalienable Rights, not just the one’s that Liberals like.

        • massappeal

          Thanks for your thoughtful and well-argued reply. I think we agree that “increasing responsibility for use and misuse” is one part of the solution. I’ll simply note that “freedom and liberty for all” requires a government with the power to defend those freedoms and liberties.

          • lbeacham

            Agreed, if the power is limited and spread between the 3 branches of Government. Thanks for reasoned thoughts.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            it requires a people with the power to defend those freedoms ans linerties

          • massappeal

            True, and a government of, by and for the people (as opposed to, say the monarchies of Europe from which this nation broke away) is a means by which the people defend, protect and expand their freedoms and liberties.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            correct the goverment in america should be subject to its people not vice versa

          • massappeal

            Agreed. (With 89% of Americans and 75% of NRA members polled supporting universal background checks, this could be an interesting test of that proposition. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/28/strong-majority-of-americans-nra-members-back-gun-control)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            So we should allow polls to trump individual liberties? Thats not how a republic works. We should be doing background checks on govt workers and politicians first

          • massappeal

            No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that taking this “government of, by and for the people” notion seriously means at least pausing to take account for the fact of 1) the overwhelming public support for universal background checks (a position the NRA used to endorse), and 2) the apparent lack of any unconstitutional infringement on individual liberties inherent in such a law.

    • Mark

      Not only “a few people on the east coast” support gun control. The polls cited in the article sample across the entire country. And it shows increasing support for reasonable gun control. I think this is something to get behind.

  • Cooper

    Every time you cite the Violence Policy Center without verifying their ‘statistics’
    you lose credibility as an impartial news source.

  • http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php?disp=bloggers citizenkane

    Only an ex-marine journalist with thick skin would weigh in on this topic using his real name.Compliments, Ed; well and courageously said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    In 1994, Congress banned military assault-style weapons. But the ban ran out after 10 years and lawmakers — cowed by the bluster and bombast of gun owners and their lobbyists — failed to renew it. Since then, most gun measures have come out of state legislatures.

    Was the bluster and bombast the fact that the AWB had no effect on crime? Why does this article neglect to mention crime is down every year since the AWB expired?

    According to a CommonWealth Magazine review of state records, since 2008, the number of Class A licenses (which allow citizens to carry high capacity weapons) is up 27 percent statewide, and in Boston they are up 50 percent. CommonWealth quotes State Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick) as saying gun manufacturers have figured out a way to “configure” these weapons so they “qualify in Massachusetts.” Linsky says manufacturers are selling “‘lite’ versions of assault weapons with such features as flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, and collapsible stocks removed.”

    He’s right. Linger a few moments on the web site of Smith and Wesson and you’ll easily find the M&P15-22, a semi-automatic weapon that is “compliant” with tough state gun laws (states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland). The “recreational hunting” rifle can be yours for $499
    The article makes it sound like the class a licenses being issued is a bad thing to me its great news. Maybe Boston is finally deciding to come into compliance with the laws! So a .22 that looks vagely like a military rifle is a bad thing? can linsky provide any examples of LTC-A holders in Mass using the .22 S&W rifle to commit a crime or anyother rifles that are “bad” because they have flash supressors bayonet mounts or collapsible stocks? Linsky is a dangerous moron.

  • David

    This demonstrates the author’s bias quite clearly, “…according to the Violence Policy Center…” The Violence Policy Center is one of the most fanatical anti-gun organizations around. Their statistics are skewed to fit a rabid anti-gun agenda.

    The “assault wepons” ban was a dog and pony show. It had no real effect on crime because so called “assault wepons” are rarely if ever used in crimes.

    The “assault weapons” being arbitrarily banned are used in less than 3.8% of homicides involving firearms, according to FBI Statistics for 2011. Hands and feet were used to kill more people than rifles in 2011 (hands/feet – 728 vs. rifles – 323) these so called “assault weapons” are a small subset of rifles. Banning them has absolutely no rational basis, it is a move driven purely by fear and a lack of understanding.

    Shotguns were used in 356 firearms homicides in 2011, are they next on your list of guns to ban? They are certainly far more destructive at close range than a rifle round. So where do you plan to stop in the quest for “gun control?”

    America does not want gun control, maybe some who are foolishly naive or misinformed want it, but America does not want gun control.

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