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SOAPBOX: Why Do You Need That Assault Rifle?

Start Soapbox

I know that this is a controversial topic, but I am in favor of the proposals that the President made for some additional gun control measures. While most people can agree that universal background checks and more attention to mental health issues are important, I think that it becomes emotional somehow when the discussion turns to assault rifles and extended ammunition clips.

I see absolutely no reason — constitutionally or morally — that justifies the sale and possession of weapons of mass destruction. I put this particular class of weapons in that category. I am a gun owner and hunter, and while I support the right to have guns for hunting and protection, I just don’t get the opposition to banning weapons whose only practical use is killing large numbers of people.

If you drill down and talk to those who feel that banning assault rifles and large clips is wrong, you really have to get out your tin-foil hats and suspend reality. The 2nd Amendment was never intended to cover all arms — I mean, you really do not have the constitutional right to possess surface-to-air missiles and nuclear bombs. When I talk to those who oppose any gun control legislation and spend some time and a few beers trying to get to the bottom of their opposition, it turns to talk of black helicopters, people coming to their home to take away their guns and the notion that they would have to use these weapons against US troops. These are really scary and totally unreasonable reasons to allow these guns to be sold in Walmart or anywhere.

I am under no illusion that banning these weapons will mean that there are no more berserker killings. However, we have had virtually no gun control, and we have more guns per capita than any other country — which has not seemed to work to lessen or eliminate these tragedies, but somehow has created the NRA’s berserker mentality that the solution to gun violence is simply more guns.

Sensible gun control makes sense and is consistent with our constitution and civilized society!

End Soapbox

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  1. I don’t need two macs either, but I have them. I do mostly word processing, yet I have considerable amounts of RAM in both of my machines. It is not about need, it is about what we can have. It is far easier to make rules against metal bits than it is to overhaul the mental health system in this country. Only a complete overhaul will help reduce the likelihood of this sort of thing happening again.

    — Kim Slayton    2013-01-18 11:48    #
  2. I applaud your comments on gun control – such action is long overdue and the hysteria about black ops is simply that,’ hysteria.’
    Sensible measures are drastically needed before further tragedies occur. We can get this working in a sensible way.

    — Harriet Smartt    2013-01-18 11:59    #
  3. According to FBI stats,More people are killed with hammers than with rifles.

    Bill Howe    2013-01-18 12:00    #
  4. Right on, Brother Don!

    — Phil Caps    2013-01-18 12:14    #
  5. I think we good guys should have equal or better firepower compared to what the bad guys have. Otherwise, self-defense isn’t possible. Gun control is directed at the good guys only. Bad guys don’t obey the laws we have.

    — Jim Howard    2013-01-18 12:30    #
  6. It is called “The Bill of Rights,” not “The Bill of Needs.”

    — Mike Taylor    2013-01-18 12:49    #
  7. I agree, wholeheartedly with your statement.

    — Bill ferguson    2013-01-18 12:50    #
  8. I agree 100% Don. It’s past time to do something.

    — Ken Wood    2013-01-18 12:57    #
  9. GREAT Don!! Why does anyone but a soldier need a weapon of war? The Founding Fathers knew nothing of semi-assault weapons. We’re talking about the safety of all of us especially our children (and grandchildren). We must attend the mental health aspect across the board as a healthier way to STOP THE VIOLENCE!!! Thank you.

    — Barbara    2013-01-18 13:03    #
  10. Thank you for a concise, well-reasoned contribution to the discussion (by which I mean, I agree with you!). Those who fret over black ops and overthrows are probably not mentally stable enough to be allowed a butter knife, much less a gun.

    — Deacon Maccubbin    2013-01-18 13:07    #
  11. Excellent points, Don. The only reason people need automatic weapons is to protect themselves against other people who have automatic weapons. I have nothing against guns, but no one needs automatic weapons. We should look at how Australia implemented a buy-back program on assault weapons and model our laws after theirs.

    Darron Spohn    2013-01-18 13:15    #
  12. Agreed 100!
    And let’s knock off the “Good Guy vs. Bad Guy” childish arguments!

    — William Cervini    2013-01-18 13:17    #
  13. A simple clear thinking message, thank you.
    I truely believe that the vast majority thinks as you do. Yet, we mostly hear from the “extreme” thinkers, as we can see some have left comments here.
    We are all “restricted” in different ways to ensure public safety, there is no reason guns should be immune from “restrictions”

    Ralph Schoonebeek    2013-01-18 13:17    #
  14. The same people who scream about gun rights and black helicopters are the same people who scream that those of us who are Christians are being harassed by all those “other” people. They really believe that this is a fundamentalist “Christian” country—which it never was—and they want to take us back to the “good old days”—which never were. It’s odd to me that those who scream that the 2nd Amendment has been taken away want to get rid of the 1st Amendment, and maybe the Supreme Court, too.

    — Wayne Webb    2013-01-18 13:22    #
  15. I think business and politics are best kept separate

    — Frodo Baggins    2013-01-18 13:34    #
  16. To those who say that telhe 2nd isn’t intended for weapons of war? What do you think a musket was back in the day. They used that weapon the best of the time to assualt and kill people. This I do believe that makes it a weapon of war. It’s the bill of rights not bill of what the gov thinks we need. The musket was the state of the art gun back then it was their assualt rifle. If they had Ak and AR-15 best believe they would have been using them. All you liberal scum need to grow a pair of balls and learn to shoot. End of story will never give up my rifles which kill far less then any other gun or weapon including fist and hammers. Maybe we should ban those too nobody gets hands or hammers they are deadly assualt weapons. Jesus Christ you people are dumb it makes me sick

    — Dan ploof    2013-01-18 13:35    #
  17. I agree. The NRA has done a spectacular job of creating rules where none exists otherwise. Everyone of our constitutional amendments have caveats that limit their use (the classic screaming “fire” in a theater, for example) but guns are sacrosanct. Why? Because the NRA has said so.

    I see the NRA as a terrorist supporting organization. Let me parse that: I am not saying that they are a terrorist organization, not at all. I am also not saying that their members are terrorists or by default that all their members support terrorists. Like all organizations, their membership is varied and to vilify them all by the actions of a few is wrong.

    Nonetheless, the NRA, as an organization, does everything it can to make sure that any terrorist organization in the US can get just about any weapon of choice they wish. And by these actions they are a terrorist supporting organization and should be dealt with in a legal manner that corresponds with the terrorists they support. They are not supporting the constitution, rather they are subverting it against the people of the US.

    — Gary    2013-01-18 13:36    #
  18. Don, you seem to demonize the opposition to gun bans a delusional paranoids. That is not a nice way to start a discussion. My fear is that the only way to prevent mass killings, and that should be our goal, is to remove all weapons from the hands of citizens. And I guess I’m wrong on what the 2nd Amendment guarantees – I think citizens do have the right to keep and bear arms. But just like me, you have a right to your opinion. See, I like the constitution.

    — michael vollmer    2013-01-18 13:41    #
  19. Absolutely agree. It is time. It is not about hunting or self defense. It’s about trying to eliminate the weapon of choice for mass killings by people who have gone over the edge. I am not paranoid about needing it for when our government turns against us, besides even with all those guns, it would no be no match against what the government would have. And DanP, I’ve got plenty of balls. It’s writing like yours that really convinces me we need to get as many of those weapons out of circulation as possible.

    — Rick Lee    2013-01-18 13:58    #
  20. Only in the land of the Free and the Brave, could an organization (NRA) hold such sway over elected members of the congress. They kind of remind me of the nonsence that Grover Norquest, got republican members to sign. A no tax increase contract. Forget that it was Bush’s 10 year tax reduction plan, that has the USA in the bind that it is in now. This what “who me” atitude that is gripping this society these days, is just the kind on irresponsible lack of attention, that will surely doom us all, in the end. We can’t seem to help ourselves, in spite of ourselves. It is about time for everyone, to just stop the nonsense, and grow up, and start acting like logical adults.

    — Gord Harmatiuk    2013-01-18 13:58    #
  21. Thank you, Don.

    — Pam    2013-01-18 14:02    #
  22. 2nd Amendment is a relic of the old regimes when the US had a real militia which depended on the individuals’ weapons. Now the US has a standing, permanent army; the militia is called “National Guards” which has its own permanent weaponry.

    The USA should be saved from the shame of the 2nd Amendment.

    Hakki Ocal    2013-01-18 14:04    #
  23. You have a right to your opinion as due all FREE Americans!

    My opinion is that you would make a great politician being that you like to impose rules that you feel are good for others.

    So let our Founding Fathers know that you do not understand what “shall not be infringed” means!

    If the laws that are on the books now would be enforced justice for all would be served.

    Thank you and God Speed.

    — Bill Egner    2013-01-18 14:16    #
  24. The 2nd Amendment is not about the government having a military it is about the people having the means to combat a government that tries to become tyrannical over its people, not about hunting or sporting purposes either. History has shown that this is possible and in terms of History not all that long ago. None of the provisions being asked for by the President or other politicians would have or could have stopped any of tragedies. The truth is these disturbed individuals target soft targets, you never hear of them attacking one of the high schools that have had such bad gang violence that armed guards and metal detectors are stationed at the entrances. But people get looking at this in an emotional context and often ignore facts and only pay attention the propaganda of the anti-gun groups. I happen to be a loving grandfather and personally would not be put off knowing that my little loved ones had truly secure school environment not just some feel good Gun free Zone slogan.

    — Michael    2013-01-18 14:16    #
  25. Totally agree, Don. There is absolutely no doubt that, whatever anyone thinks about their “rights” in this matter, way too many people are dying at the hands of deranged lunatics who can buy guns and ammo in this country as easily as you and I buy groceries.

    — alansky    2013-01-18 14:17    #
  26. Amen.

    — Molly    2013-01-18 14:37    #
  27. 2 Thumbs up.

    Steve Watson    2013-01-18 14:48    #
  28. I agree 100%. I would also ask the geniuses at NRA to explain the how a cop or an armed teacher would survive an encounter with a nut with an assault rifle, 60 round mags, and body armor. Creating dead heroes will not protect our kids.

    — Ed Wood    2013-01-18 14:49    #
  29. Just a couple of facts. Switzerland actually has the most guns per capita – not the US. Assault rifles are not automatic weapons – they are semi-automatic weapons. Automatic weapons have been banned for many years (probably since Al Capone’s days. Assault rifles are no different from any other semi-automatic rifles except in how they look. If we want to band semi-automatic weapons, then that is a different discussion.

    — Bobby    2013-01-18 14:57    #
  30. I’d take a look at Japan. Almost NO gun fatalities, and very stringent rules in place before one is allowed to own any firearms. Also: People have to re-take tests every several years which seems like a great idea. People: Responsible gun ownership is good, but take off the tinfoil hats! No one is coming to take your arsenal away ;-)

    — herzco    2013-01-18 15:04    #
  31. Amen to you, Don! You hit all the right points, thanks.

    — David Witter    2013-01-18 15:15    #
  32. Right on and well stated.

    — Glenn Pense    2013-01-18 15:18    #
  33. Simple reply, unsubscribed

    — Mike Persell    2013-01-18 15:30    #
  34. You make good points based on your personal experience as a hunter and gun owner. However, your gun ownership experience seems narrow.

    You think of the AR 15 as a military assault rifle, but to a dedicated target shooter it is a very accurate rifle with lots of available accessories for enjoying marksmanship.

    A popular handgun for target sports and personal defense is the 9mm Beretta 92F. The standard magazine for that handgun is 15 rounds. More than 10 rounds, in general, does define an extended magazine.

    There are lots of misunderstandings. One commentator mentioned opposition to automatic weapons, which are already prohibited.

    Others are opposed to semi-automatic guns, although semiautomatic shotguns have been very popular since the 1900’s. One of my favorite fowling and skeet guns is a 2 shot Browning semiautomatic shotgun. Bolt actions and lever actions are nice for some gun sports. For others, semi automatic is more appropriate.

    — Tom Turlock    2013-01-18 15:33    #
  35. When I was about 10 or 12 I agitated for, and got, a Red Ryder BB gun. In my 20’s I owned an automatic pistol. In my 30’s I had a 22. I have also fired M-16’s (MC issue) shotguns, 30-06’s and various other firearms. I am a female, now in my 70’s and have one question: When shooting any weapon, do you (as the shooter) have any idea where the round goes or how far it travels if you miss your target?

    — Adams    2013-01-18 15:41    #
  36. As a 12 year veteran, I can appreciate the fondness of the AR-15/M-16. It’s really a great weapon. But for what? People say it’s not a great weapon for self protection… and not a great hunting rifle… I disagree with the first and do agree with the second. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t a great weapon at protecting, then I wouldn’t have had one slung over my shoulder for 12 years (and we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion). But the fact is, it does what it was intended to do and what all guns are designed to do, hit an object with accuracy (at least that’s the hope).

    But while I do agree we need to have these discussions, but none of the outlined measures by the president would have stopped the senseless killings in CT. Maybe in CO, since that guy obviously had mental issues and bought the weapons himself.

    But let’s face it, you give me 10 round magazines and it wouldn’t take more than two seconds and some duct tape to make them 20 round clips.

    If we’re going to talk about gun control (and I am in favor of that!)… Let’s figure out what the real problem is, then try to come up with some meaningful solutions.

    Oh and for the record, the AR-15, despite what the talking heads on TV say, is not an automatic weapon. Hasn’t been since the A1 version of the M16.

    — Wayne Brissette    2013-01-18 15:50    #
  37. agreed !!!

    — Elinor Osborn    2013-01-18 15:53    #
  38. It’s the people that belong in a nut house, not the guns.

    — Les Anderson    2013-01-18 16:02    #
  39. I agree totally with your position, Don. In response to the gun culture’s purity stance on the 2nd Amendment, I would point out that we have many limitations on our rights under the 1st and 5th Amendments for example. Try standing in front of your place of employment (or a customer’s office) carrying a sign that insults the CEO and see how long you still have a formal relationship with that place of business.

    We had a ban on assault weapons for about 10 years and I don’t recall feeling any lack of freedom as a result. Today, every time I walk into my classroom at the college where I teach, I mentally rehearse the lock-down and evacuation plans.(In 2012 there were TWO mass shootings exactly half way between my home and my classroom.)

    — Frank Gwirtz    2013-01-18 16:02    #
  40. Don;

    First of all no one in the United States outside of the police and the military own an assault rifle, the media and politicians lie to you every time they use this word.

    The Constitution is very clear on the subject. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Right there in print for all to see “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,”. The founders knew that a free state exists because the people were capable of insuring that freedom.

    Those that argue that only members of a militia are authorized to own guns willfully ignore the next half of the sentence “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”, it does not say the right of the militia does it?

    So Don, you may not “need” to own a “semi automatic rifle with cosmetic attributes that resemble a military grade weapon system” but your freedoms are insured by the Constitution and Constitution is assured by the People who have exercised their right to keep and bear arms.

    It is exactly that simple.

    — Canis scot    2013-01-18 16:03    #
  41. I wonder how many people that DOESN’T have a mental illness buy assault weapons to kill a large group people? My guess is none. This is a mental illness issue not a gun issue. When you take away the guns they will simply move on to some other means to kill people. Their focus is to kill people not be picky about what they use to do it with.

    — macmac    2013-01-18 16:18    #
  42. As a resident in the District of Columbia (who until the recent Heller decision would’ve been unable to own a gun), I would point it is only due to Mr. Heller and the NRA that I have had some of my 2nd Amendment rights restored. Now for the fun of the DC required bureaucracy (including having to get my gun and safety training across “state” lines) to actually be able to exercise my Constitutional rights ……

    — RW_in_DC    2013-01-18 16:18    #
  43. Yes, Ban them and high capacity clips. Thanks Don!

    — Bob Malbon    2013-01-18 16:30    #
  44. Back during the Great Depression, this country had a major problem with criminals and miscreants using weapons that could cause mayhem in a major way. Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc. had an answer. The Firearms act of 1934 made it illegal to possess automatic weapons (machine guns etc), sawed off shotguns, sawed off rifles and silencers. We again face a similar scenario with the destructive power of some of today’s weapons. Do we as a nation have the courage and intelligence to act as those of our “Greatest Generation’ did and add semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines to the weapons outlawed by this law?? Don’t say it won’t help. History proves you wrong. How many illegal acts do you see with automatic weapons, silencers, sawed off weapons. Not many! We must begin now. It won’t happen overnight.

    — Pat Maharg    2013-01-18 16:40    #
  45. I almost NEVER agree with you, Don, but on this one I do. I’ve never voted for Obama and rarely agree with him on anything, but again, on this one, I do. I say this as the daughter of a Life member of the IRA and someone who used to target shoot as a child. What I find the most frightening is the idea that we must arm ourselves against our own gov’t. This country has survived presidential assassinations, 9/11, elections where the results were not known for weeks and any number of other major traumas. The only time I’ve ever seen troops in the streets was in Washington DC in the ’60s during the riots, and they were there to protect the population from a bunch of hooligans. Somehow, I just don’t picture this 69 yr old grandmother protecting the family home with an AK47 against gov’t troops. But I am shocked that so many educated people think this is going to happen. I’ve never been accused of being naive – most folks consider me a pretty cynical old gal. This is just beyond me. To my great embarrassment, one of my US Senators is now recommending that we allow teachers to be armed in the classroom. He admits that the occasional “accident” might happen. And I held my nose and voted for this idiot! Don’t we already ask our teachers to do way more than teach – we also ask them to bring up our children as we’re “too busy”. Now they also need to be trained marksmen? What a world…

    — Suzanne    2013-01-18 16:41    #
  46. I completely disagree with your position on banning “assault rifles”. While the tragedy at Sandy Hook was awful, a knee-jerk reaction to ban weapons is short sighted. This ban would have in no way stopped the tragedy that unfolded. Punishing responsible gun owners because of the irresponsible actions of another is not the correct way to address the problem. The second amendment of the constitution grants our citizens the right to bear arms – your position reduces the liberties of our citizens for what? Perceived enhanced security? The more our people advocate for the reductions of their own freedoms in the name of security the less of both we have.

    — Anthony    2013-01-18 16:50    #
  47. Thanks for telling the truth. No private citizen needs a weapon of mass murder. They exist to kill as many people as fast as possible.

    — Mark    2013-01-18 17:00    #
  48. Well stated. One of these days, common sense will prevail again.

    — Kathy A    2013-01-18 17:00    #
  49. You need to read the concerns our forefathers had about big government and it’s potential abuses. Hell yes I believe in the 2nd Amendment. And all the rest of the Constitution and bill of rights.

    Kenny Brett    2013-01-18 17:03    #
  50. I stated target shooting in college. I served in Viet Nam – M14 days, not M16. My concept of gun control is hitting the target on the first shot. I do just fine with a 6 shot revolver… Anything more is overkill – literally.

    I belonged to the NRA for over a decade when they were pro gun safety, hunting and target shooting. I quit after they started going into the combat arms for all stance.

    Be realistec, if a platoon of heavily armed troops with helicopter back ups come after you – you don’t have a chance in hell… And they probably have a good reason in looking for you!

    — Carl Carter    2013-01-18 17:06    #
  51. The boilerplate ignorance of this posting offends me to the point where I have to rethink my relationship with your company.

    Demonizing common semi-automatic weapons as “weapons of mass destruction” and saying their “only practical use is killing large numbers of people” are nothing more than “progressive” talking points — saying them over and over still doesn’t make then true. There is a whole other legitimate side to this debate that you won’t read in the Boston Globe or the NY Times, and you’re obviously ignorant of it.

    Here’s just one example: a recent story about a woman who emptied her six-shot .38 revolver at a home invader, hitting him with five out of six. The thug was NOT incapacitated, and it was only her good luck that he decided to walk out the door instead of finishing her off.

    So when you go around insisting that nobody NEEDS more than N rounds for self-defense, think of this woman and develop a little humility that perhaps what other people NEED is really not up to you.

    — Henry Bowman    2013-01-18 17:16    #
  52. An argument based on a fallacious premise: There never has been a ‘Bill of Needs’, only a Bill of Rights – which ‘grants’ nothing, it merely acknowledges that certain rights which far preexisted the establishment of the nation are sacrosanct. Among those rights is the most basic: The right of self-preservation. Should the event occur that I am attacked by multiple assailants, I demand the ability to defend myself and mine – knowing full well that under those conditions, my aim may not be as true as on the range, and any or all of them may not succumb to two, three or more hits.

    You have the ‘right’ – but certainly not any ‘need’ – to spew your bias and misinformation. Others may disagree, but none has any ‘right’ to censor you, or limit you to disseminate them through paper printed with movable type on a hand-operated press. That right was purchased for you in blood, over the course of two centuries, by men who bore the latest technology into battle with enemies of liberty. What you should ask is not what tools of defense an individual ‘needs’, but whether you are truly the enemy of liberty you appear.

    — J.D. Schechter    2013-01-18 17:50    #
  53. The argument of the NRA is that the burden of wrongdoing with is on the people using them. Stop them, get rid of them, is their answer.
    That is a very difficult thing to do. You or I could harbor some homicidal tendencies, and it will never come out. Most of us have inhibitions against any of these thoughts. The few that don’t have the inhibitions still get by us. It’s a very difficult thing to detect.
    So, let’s get rid of the instruments (i.e. guns) which the above have access to. It’s easier and saves many lives

    — Russ Allan    2013-01-18 17:54    #
  54. I’m afraid by opening your pen on this subject you haveoffended more people than you have comforted. I am one that has bought their last Apple product from your firm.
    It just seems irrespnsible that a company would “openly” show their disregard for our Constitution and 2nd Amendment. I am not part of your “tin-foil hat” followers, but I am realistic about what happens to countries where they have given up their right to bear arms. Australia has continually warned the U.S. to maintain their weapons less we wind up like them with totally out of control crime.
    I would only hope that you, your family or business never have to be involved in a home invasion or armed robbery.

    — Richard Sutherland    2013-01-18 18:05    #
  55. My respects to all for at least having dialog, and especially to those in the state of Vermont, where concealed carry is permitted WITHOUT having to obtain a permit.

    The statement about the 2nd Amendment never intending to cover so called assault guns is completely inaccurate, however.

    George Mason, who helped Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence, and was a major contributor to the Bill of Rights, also helped write the Virginia constitution… which further clarifies the purpose of the 2nd Amendment bey REQUIRING” every qualified citizen to own and bear arms equal to those of the standing army.

    Furthermore, in ever single instance where a class of firearms has been banned, gun violence has gone up. Look at Australia and England!

    Cars kill people, but should we ban them. More to the point, and a better example is that cars kill people, but should we ban high performance cars like Ferrari and Lamborgini?

    Far more people are killed by knives than by guns of any sort. Let’s stop PRETENDING that banning law abiding citizens from owning a certain type of inanimate object is going to stop the criminals from using them or make them go away, somehow.

    If we could snap our fingers, say a magic incantation or just pray every single gun away, I’m all for it. Until you can guarantee me the criminal element will not be able to outgun me or the police, you can forget about me turning in anything.

    Best regrads to all,


    — Don Cely    2013-01-18 18:22    #
  56. Thank you, Don
    Common sense will prevail.

    Grant MacLaren    2013-01-18 18:29    #
  57. I own an assault rifle, two hand guns, and a short barrel pump shotgun with a pistol grip. I dont hunt and I don’t shoot for sport. I own these weapons of mass destruction because if you break into my house and threaten me and my family I dont want to have to aim to take you down. When the adrenaline is flowing no one can aim. I just want to point and keep pulling the trigger until you are no longer a threat. I’m not giving up that right no matter how many mentally disturbed people there are killing other people. That actually drives the point home even more. Banning guns does nothing. Look at VT. We have the second most lax gun laws in the nation and the second least crime rate per capita. As Clint might say, you can take my M-15 from my cold dead hands. Thats the only way you’re gonna get it. Have a nice day.

    — John    2013-01-18 19:17    #
  58. “the sale and possession of weapons of mass destruction”

    Here we see the essential sloppy nature of progressive thought, which is based on “what I think is right” as opposed to what really is.

    Does Don really consider semi-atuomatic rifles “weapons of mass destruction”? If so, he and a bunch of other people owe President Bush an apology, since there clearly were such “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.

    Or is this hyperbole, an acceptable cost of solving a problem? That doesn’t work either, because the 1990’s assault weapon ban had no impact on incident rate, nor would it have effected most of the incidents that are driving the current editorial.

    So what is really going on here? Well, that’s for Don to say, but it’s interesting how much he likes to attribute conspiracy theory and “scary and unreasonable reasons” to others. I suspect that’s a typical case of progressive psychological projection: The strong rejection in others of what you most fear is wrong with yourself. Much of progressive discourse is based on faddish group-think. They know in their hearts that this is a real problem with their worldview, but that reality is so threatening that at the first hint of anything like that in anyone else, the progressive caucus reacts with full cry revulsion.

    — Henry Stimson    2013-01-18 19:22    #
  59. Ask the Holocaust survivors how they felt about being disarmed. Lots of people thought Hitler was a savior, too.

    — John Daley    2013-01-18 20:00    #
  60. Lot’s of common ground here:
    Background checks-no problem

    Mental health- no problem, but that’s another can of worms!!

    If a tax paying, law abiding citizen wants to buy a Sherman Tank, I got no problem.

    Banning weapons is not the solution!!

    I do not own a firearm

    — Michael Wilkinson    2013-01-18 20:04    #
  61. More people were killed in the US last year with hammers than with assault rifles. What do you need that hammer for. The second amendment doesn’t protect our right to own hammers.

    — Dee Skillen    2013-01-18 20:06    #
  62. Don,
    First you need to learn the facts about which you write. A rifle that “looks like” a military assault rifle doesn’t make it one any more than a PC in a Mac enclosure makes it a Mac. In fact, military “assault rifles” describe a class of weapons capable of automatic fire (continuous firing with 1 trigger pull). Such guns have been outlawed in the USA since the ’30s.

    As far as the writers of the Constitution never envisioning modern weapons, let’s also look at the First Amendment and our freedom to write our ideas like this without government control or retribution. This right also protects and allows inflammatory, inaccurate, immoral, illegal writings, videos, blogs, etc. Certainly the writers of the Constitution could not envision modern communications tools but yet no one suggests curtailing our First Amendment rights.

    And without the Second Amendment, all the other rights guaranteed by the Constitution depend on a continual benevolent government, something that given human history, can not be guaranteed.

    — Art Thompson    2013-01-18 20:34    #
  63. I agree 100 %

    No reason for assault rifles in civilian hands,

    If the 2nd amendment was for all arms, we would have machine guns,missiles and tactile nukes

    as for the hammer comments

    The hammer stat is a LIE spread by the NRA and their ilk. And if hammers are a problem then hammer guns would be worse

    20x more deaths from guns than any other civilized country

    Wake up

    — Dan    2013-01-18 20:45    #
  64. Did anyone notice our Marxist-in-Chief didn’t have comment towards the wanton violence depicted in films? Something about being paid off by Hollywood. If the NRA opened a film studio and did the same thing, what would the libs say to them?

    — David Halonen    2013-01-18 20:54    #
  65. Don – I often agree with you when you advocate social liberal views and responsible business practices, however I disagree with you regarding gun control. My life experiences have led me to very different conclusions. I have five children and I cried several times this last month after Sandy Hook. We all know people should never try to solve complex and integrated problems like this so soon after a tragedy, when their judgement is emotionally biased. Knee jerk and emotional reactions rarely lead to meaningful and lasting solutions that address root causes. Besides – the second amendment isn’t any more negotiable than the first amendment.

    I think my family and I deserve the opportunity to defend ourselves the same way as anyone else – even those already in positions of power. We too deserve to benefit from the rights afforded by the second amendment. I’m not a constitutional academic, but I am certain common sense suggests our forefathers weren’t talking about hunting firearms.

    Please don’t try to avoid a collaborative intellectual analysis of these problems by belittling people that don’t immediately agree with your views. It’s verbal bullying to marginalize people with these sophmoric euphemisms like tin-foil hats. Have some courage, make your case, and acknowledge you will likely have to collaborate with others who think for themselves, and wont be easily pushed around in response to peer pressure.

    We should be first talking about armed protection at all schools, training ignorant gun owners how to buy and use a gun safe, how to find necessary psychological treatment for your child, and supporting our law enforcement in making the difficult decisions and do their jobs. Those are relatively easy to implement now and will at least provide the immediate protection our kids deserve.

    I am in no way willing to compromise the second amendment to make those overly affected emotionally feel better for the sake of it. We all have to face the fact that this is a complex problem with many root and contributing causal factors. We will have to be patient.

    Kevin Gary

    — Kevin    2013-01-18 20:58    #
  66. Art Thompson LXII got it right. Don, how can you play so loose with definitions when you apparently are careful with respect to computers.? Or if you truly can’t distinguish between a “machinegun” (an “assault rifle” is “select-fire”) and a semi-auto, or between a semi-auto and a nuclear bomb – maybe it isn’t safe to have you do something with computers.

    — Henry    2013-01-18 21:00    #
  67. The US Gov Director of Civilian Marksmanship sponsors rifle matches requiring “the current or past US military” firearms. I own one of the infamous “black semi-automatic assault rifles” in order to take part in that competition. It pained me greatly to shell out over $1000 to get that piece of plastic—no matter that it is extremely accurate to 600 yards. The maximum number of rounds loaded is 8. Most of the shooting is done single shot (1 round loaded at a time), or a maximum of 5 rounds in a magazine. The 10 round magazines are the magazine of choice, with the 8 round magazine close behind. Most competitive shooters either do not own a 30 round magazine, or they leave it home, since they are notoriously unreliable. I have competed for almost 30 years in these events—I have yet to meet the type of Yahoo that would buy or use a 100 round magazine. These shooters are disciplined and focused on developing a skill. There is no time or desire to play out some warped notion of military macho.

    — Chuck    2013-01-18 21:15    #
  68. Some interesting history:

    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

    China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

    You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property yet gun-control laws adversely affect only those law-abiding citizens. What sense does that make other than for the politicians to be able to say “we took some action?”

    — Art    2013-01-18 21:24    #
  69. If most killings were done with rifles some sort of ban might make sense but rifles are just about the least likely weapon to be used for killing. Picking on the excessive risks of the mentally ill is another red herring. The mentally ill as a group are no as violent as ‘sane’ people and as a group more apt to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

    — Douglas W St. Clair    2013-01-18 21:45    #
  70. Don, you (and many of your customers) are severely misinformed about so-called “assault weapons. Presuming that you are all intelligent people who don’t wish to be misled by one-sided propaganda, please consider viewing the following:

    Macs R We    2013-01-18 21:55    #
  71. I live very close to the Mexican border. Thanks to the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation, the drug cartels are better armed than ever.

    I need to be at least as well armed as drug cartel smugglers, in case I encounter one or two while I am out in the desert doing nature photography.

    It’s not about hunting. It’s about self defense. I invite you, Don, and anyone else who is interested to visit the border anywhere between El Paso and Nogales – some parts are secured, and some parts are “controlled” by a 3-strand barbed wire fence.

    I join with other comments in urging you to learn more about the topic, including existing laws, before making ignorant statements.

    — On the border    2013-01-18 22:09    #
  72. Wow! A gun owner and hunter who isn’t a wingnut! Will wonders never cease! Thank you for being one of the few who is sensible about gun control and who is a gun owner. Thank you!

    — Joan Reyes    2013-01-18 22:25    #
  73. One last thing for those who, like me, are pro gun: The name calling and loss of decent grown up respectable language do very little to further your cause. Short of temper, maybe you should not be allowed around guns and sharp implements.

    I also live near the border and have been the victim of a home burglary. No one was injured; no one was captured.

    And for those who make regular trips to China, why? The government is oppressive, it encourages limiting families to 2 children (or did limit) by any means; girl babies are not wanted, freedoms are rare, counterfeiting high. So I do not understand why any one in their right mind would care to pay money to visit to that nation. But then, that is an individual choice and an individual right freely exercised. I am good with that.

    — david    2013-01-18 22:44    #
  74. If some one wants to look into reducing the number of senseless deaths in the U.S., check out this information . 10,228 people died in 2010 in alcohol related accidents. Let’s start with the things that cause the most deaths and then work our way backwards.

    — Allen    2013-01-18 22:46    #
  75. Thank you for your stand on this.
    It’s not still the 1700’s, and we don’t need to raise defenders of the nation by having each community send men with their muskets to fight for us.
    Providing for the common defense—that’s what the founders were assuring.

    — Mary    2013-01-18 22:46    #
  76. December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began AFTER the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. When the final round had flown, of the 297 dead or dying, two thirds (200) were women and children. Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.

    Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment- the right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of criminal attack, invaders or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting misses the facts. When the United States Constitution was drafted “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and refers to the right of American citizens to be armed to prevent the rise of such tyranny in the United States. So far it has worked.

    As time goes on the average citizen in the United States continues to lose personal freedom or “liberty.” Far too many times unjust bills are passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for your protection.” The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, then expanded and continued by Barack Obama is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of rights and privacy for “safety.” Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and many would like it to be taken away for “our safety.”

    Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute-Evil exists in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. We can not legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law; defective people will always find a way around it.

    Wounded Knee is a prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to surrender our Right to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we have no right to defend ourselves and our families.

    — Art    2013-01-18 23:08    #
  77. Thanks to all for an informative and rational discussion of this often heated topic. I now realize that I too I had been under the influence of the hype and not quite as well informed as I thought I was. Some reevaluating is necessary.

    — Jeff    2013-01-18 23:28    #
  78. Someone earlier inferred that if a person were a gun-owner and/or a hunter that they were most probably, in her terms, “a wingnut.”

    That kind of attitude is completely without basis or merit. Just think about the more than 100,000,000 gun owners in this country and compare that to the small number of criminal users of guns then think again about whether you really think they are all wingnuts.

    Gun owners do not like to see improper use of guns in crimes as much or more than you. It is infantile and counter-productive to try to discuss an issue by boiling your position down to simply calling a class of people disparaging names because they do not agree with your position.

    Did you ever think that YOU might be wrong?

    — Art    2013-01-19 00:26    #
  79. Don et al,

    Excerpts from the Federalist Papers, number 29:
    If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions.

    By a curious refinement upon the spirit of republican jealousy, we are even taught to apprehend danger from the militia itself, in the hands of the federal government. It is observed that select corps may be formed, composed of the young and ardent, who may be rendered subservient to the views of arbitrary power. What plan for the regulation of the militia may be pursued by the national government, is impossible to be foreseen. But so far from viewing the matter in the same light with those who object to select corps as dangerous, were the Constitution ratified, and were I to deliver my sentiments to a member of the federal legislature from this State on the subject of a militia establishment, I should hold to him, in substance, the following discourse:

    “But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, BUT IF CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD AT ANY TIME OBLIGE THE GOVERNMENT TO FORM AN ARMY OF ANY MAGNITUDE THAT ARMY CAN NEVER BE FORMIDABLE TO THE LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE WHILE THERE IS A LARGE BODY OF CITIZENS, LITTLE, IF AT ALL, INFERIOR TO THEM IN DISCIPLINE AND THE USE OF ARMS, WHO STAND READY TO DEFEND THEIR OWN RIGHTS AND THOSE OF THEIR FELLOW-CITIZENS. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

    There is much to read in No 29 as well as those leading up to it regarding militias, freedom and liberty or lack there of. The interpretation of the clipped language of the 2d Amendment is indicative of a spirited debate having taken place prior to the Bill of Rights being written; that many reasons were given both for and against a militia, and an army; reasons that history had shown could be used to keep people in power who oppressed those they governed; reasons that showed that an army or militia could repel an attack from another country. Why it is written the way it is, suggesting a preamble that is missing? I guess you had to be there. I urge people to read not only the whole of number 29, but from 17 through 30 if not the entire collection.

    None of the forgoing has to do with a nut case with a gun. It is a people issue, much as a person buying certain types and quantities of fertilizer, or deliberately directing 2800 lbs of automobile into a crowd. This recent tragedy is producing emotional knee jerk reaction. There are calls for dialog. (Talk is cheap). I am a gun owner. I am pro gun. I DO NOT support pistol magazines that extend beyond the base of the pistol handle. A rifle magazine holding 5 to 10 rounds is practical, in MY opinion. I am not opposed to a 20 round magazine. I personally do not see a need for a banana clip or drum magazine for home or personal defense. MY opinion. I think the NRA made a mistake in punking the president with the whose kid is more important commercial. Not a good way to show concern and compassion. I think the NRA should call for a ban on “ridiculously large capacity” magazines, and the Administration call off the ban on AR style weapons. Then and only then can there be a ‘dialog’ after each side has offered and accepted a starter solution. As long as each side of the issue feels that they are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong, we will get no where whether we talk guns, mental health, enforcing existing laws with no plea bargains, etc.

    Personally, I have great use for a 12 ga pump shotgun; a handgun, a 410, lever action and bold action rifles, semi auto rifles. I do not need or desire (after 25 years in the army 1970-1995) to own an AR style carbine/rifle/weapon; nor am I enamored with semi auto “machine pistols” type guns. To me they are impractical. To others, they are a joy to shoot. To a few deranged lost souls, any gun or rifle, is not a tool but an extension of their own desire to destroy that which they cannot understand. They are mental cases that that need to be treated. Maybe they shut themselves off from society for too long; forgot how to interact with others in a positive manner; maybe they text rather than talk and have lost communications skills; maybe they play too many violent games; maybe they have been neglected and made to feel worthless; maybe, maybe and more maybe. They are the problem, not some inanimate object. And they must be helped. Anyone remember news about Dahlmer? The Boston Strangler? The Zodiac killer? There are others, one murder at a time, by one individual over a period of months or years, or 10 or 20 at once. Murder is murder, by knife, strangulation, gunfire. It is always tragic. As long as there are people, there will be senseless killings justified only in the mind of the killer.

    Should we limit the horsepower of an auto engine because it COULD be driven at speeds far exceeding posted speed limits and thus poses a greater potential for mass accident fatalities? Some might say yes, but no, it is not the car that is the problem but the person behind the wheel. The same can be said of guns or any other object requiring human intervention in order for it to do its job. It is a people thing.

    — david    2013-01-19 00:39    #

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    This does NOT just provide we have the Right to maintain guns for hunting. The intent was to allow us to arm ourselves as a means of keeping the government from becoming dictatorial. Thereby, it allows us to protect and defend from those in power and keeping safe our Rights to freedom and choices.

    It’s correct. You may not need a Ruger Mini 14 (a .223 caliber assault rifle, as sometimes now, defined as an assault rifle) to deer hunt. However, it is pretty much guaranteed you will need one when you try to defend your life and property against the military or any intruder intent upon taking possession of what is yours.

    No gun ever made has ever killed anyone. The person using the gun did. The same goes for every knife, car, truck, boat, hammer, baseball bat, shovel or any other inanimate object a person could use as a device to inflict harm upon another person.

    Taking the guns away from people will just leave those choosing to own them with one less means to defend themselves.

    It’s not the criminals we need to worry about. It’s the politicians. We have plenty of gun control laws on the books now. The government just needs to enforce them.

    Enforce existing laws and treat those who need mental care. The gun in the broken person’s hand doesn’t need fixing. The broken person who shoots people with a gun needs fixing.

    And, as a side note… Attention, Mr. President and everyone else who doesn’t get it, just because it looks like a military automatic assault weapon, by definition, it doesn’t make it an assault weapon. As for automatic weapons, they have not been legal for the general public to own since the 1930’s. As well, a semi-automatic weapon is NOT a machine gun. A semi-automatic only allows one round to be fired each time you pull the trigger. An automatic weapon allows multiple rounds fired with a single pull of the trigger. There’s a HUGE difference between the two.

    — Paul McAlhany    2013-01-19 01:08    #
  81. If the sky is blue on the planet where you and the other respondents live and you folks live your lives by using facts, logic and reason then I respectfully suggest that you all read such books as “That Every Man Be Armed” by Stephen Hallbrook. He gives immense legal and historical background about why our founding fathers wrote the second amendment. He footnotes everything so it’s a great place to start further study. You might read “More Guns, Less Crime” by Dr. John Lott. Dr. Lott set out to prove the anti-gun theory. He converted based on fact, logic and reason. You might look into the study done by Dr. Gary Kleck, University of Florida, criminologist, card carrying ACLU member but academically honest, a rare trait in today’s world. He concluded that approximately 2.5 to 3.0 million times a year, guns are used to prevent crime in this country. Why is that not mentioned in today’s media? With about 12,000 gun deaths per year that equals about a 208:1 ratio of good to bad. If that was any other inanimate object, society would deem it good for society. If the sky is pink on your planet and you live your life based on emotion, then I request that you stay there because emotion based living has given us such tyrants as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc and slaughtered 170 million of their own people in the 1900s alone. My progeny nor I would like to be under their regime. You probably would not like to be there either. Constitutionally you have no basis for your arguments, contrary to what some dishonest lawyers and judges would like you to believe. The founding fathers said “..bear arms”. They did not say ordinance. There is a difference. It was what ever the common soldier carried, at that time. Now days it would be whatever the common soldier carried. It’s a balance of force thing. You also might want to see/read Dr Edwin Vieira’s works on what the militia actually is. No, it’s not a bunch of beer swilling bozos dressed in camo waiving ARs or AKs around. Others are welcome to their opinion, just don’t infringe on fellow citizens and their right to protect their loved ones and themselves. Why are most of the mass murderers on psychotropic drugs, and, generally, from a liberal or “progressive” background? According to the MSM it’s the conservatives that are the greatest threat to society. Why aren’t these facts brought out? It makes a logical person question the veracity of the media. Are they reporting, as were were all taught, or are they just a propaganda machine? You choose, but choose wisely. Our country and our very lives depend on it.

    — Greg Smith    2013-01-19 02:11    #
  82. Don – Thank you for making this blog available to us.
    Kevin Gary

    — Kevin Gary    2013-01-19 08:49    #
  83. Perhaps Don can forward all of this discussion to Biden and Obama.

    (Not that it would change their minds…..)

    — Art    2013-01-19 11:13    #
  84. I side w/Don…. And will add NRA has absolutely no idea what they are supporting.. they are paying off a few to get legislation through for a few… If you want to shoot these “Magnificant” shooting machines let only certain businesses maintain a couple for the “sport” there is absolutely no need for ANYONE, military or otherwise, to have them in their homes!! These are killing machines and need very strong rules on who should or shouldn’t, even to touch, these machines.. I’d be willing to bet there are more than a few who regret, very deeply, they ever allowed them in their home to start with!

    — Carol K    2013-01-19 11:48    #
  85. TOTALLY and completely agreed.

    I’m just frustrated at how much power the NRA has.

    Paul Merrill    2013-01-19 14:11    #
  86. Carol and Don,
    There are many, MANY semi-auto hunting rifles. Browning makes one called the BAR Hog Tracker (among other fine hunting rifles). Pistol grip, 10 round box magazine. It is for hunting. Fires a .308 cal round. It is not an AR. It is a killing machine, designed for hunting 4 footed game. In the wrong hands, it can be used for other purposes. Should it be banned? Then there is the Remington 750. How about Ruger rifles? Benelli?

    The AR is popular because it is the gun of choice in movies and electronic video games. True, it is associated with killing people more than hunting varmints and game. That does not mean it should be banned, but rather we need to take a strong look at all aspects of society. Guns can be used for good purposes. Like most hard goods we use daily, they can be used for good and evil. The computer: Probably the most used device for promoting and furthering human trafficking and child porn. Should they be banned as well? Of course not. It is the person sitting at the keyboard. Each one of the rifles I mentioned above can be used to kill a human even though it is a hunting rifle. Lennon was killed with a handgun. Reagan shot with a hand gun. It is not the weapon; it is the person!

    We must apply existing laws. Trials must be swift and fair; no plea bargaining for lesser sentences. We need to ensure that each fire arm sold is linked by serial number to a specific individual (no un-registered sales). We must be calm and rational in our thinking and choices. Most importantly, whether family, friend, co-worker or whomever, if abnormal behavior is witnessed, to include delusional behavior or a tendency towards violence, no matter how embarrassing it may be, it must be reported. To know that someone is on the edge, behaving oddly, has an abnormal fixation on death, or violent games, is happy only when engaged in some form of destructive activity (getting a rush) and it is not reported, and they one day commit murder on any scale and you knew about it, suspected something was wrong and remained silent, you are as guilty as the one who pulled the trigger. We are our brother’s keeper.

    — david    2013-01-19 14:31    #
  87. This says it all:

    — Paul Miller    2013-01-19 14:32    #
  88. I am COMPLETE agreement with Don!!! There is NOTHING that would convince me otherwise!!

    — Judith O'Connor    2013-01-19 15:00    #
  89. Paul Miller

    Thanks for the link. It gives one time to pause and think. And it is factual rather than emotional.

    — david    2013-01-19 15:17    #
  90. You are absolutely right. Well said!

    — John Ludwigson    2013-01-19 15:24    #
  91. Don, I don’t know what you read, but the Obama proposals I read are only meant to appease the low/no information public. They will do nothing to stop any type of violent attack in the future. The ignorance of the Sandy Hook event shown in this blog is astonishing. It’s OK to kill over 500 kids in Chicago, but not 20 well off kids in CT. The ignorance of the weapons used is fuel for those who just “have to have a new law” to make themselves feel good. Let’s enforce what’s on the books already. Put on another colored ribbon and sing Kumbaya- you’ll get the same result. Just leave the rest of us alone.

    — Jerry Johnson    2013-01-19 17:27    #
  92. The current outcry against so-called “assault “ weapons is motivated by either ignorance,
    hysteria or a mis-guided political agenda. At least two of the three are in play here.

    — J. J. Casazza    2013-01-19 20:46    #
  93. There is reason Japan never came to our shores. I think the translation comes out to “We knew there was a gun behind every blade of grass”.

    — db    2013-01-19 22:59    #
  94. I am shocked you are even broaching this subject on your blog. I was of the impression that you were running a Mac business. Regardless of your position on this or other political topics, with respect to business you should remain silent. Stick with your core competancies, not politics or religion. If you want to blog about your political leanings, do it somewhere else away from Small Dog. It is important for business interetest you should be silent on such topics. I will remain silent. Because you have chosen to mix business and politics, Small Dog Electronices has just lost Any and All future business from this Mac owner. This is the best way I can send a message. Many here have spent endless words trying to convince you to change your mind. I suspect they and strong 2nd amendment supporters will begin taking their business elsewhere.

    — Mark Newton    2013-01-20 11:51    #
  95. FBI data shows that 323 murders were committed with rifles of any kind in 2011. In comparison, 496 murders were committed with hammers and clubs, and 1,694 murders were perpetrated with knives.

    — Art    2013-01-20 13:59    #
  96. I’m glad you brought this up! And I agree wholeheartedly with what you have to say!

    I see no purpose in rapid-fire assault-type weapons or high-capacity magazines. I wish the federal govt. would offer $1,000.00 in cold, hard cash – with no questions asked – to encourage folks to turn in those weapons; gun and ammo mfrs. should not be allowed to produce any weapons or bullets for civilian use. Period!

    One angle that I think is lacking from all of the current proposals is EDUCATION AND TRAINING. AND PERIODIC TESTING AND CERTIFICATION. Just like I was required to pass basic marksmanship in the Army…so should any gun owner!

    That’s my $0.02 on the subject!

    - Dave in Denver

    — Dave Sacher    2013-01-20 16:26    #
  97. Thanks Don, for a rational thought on the subject of gun control,you havnt a hope in USA with all the immense fear that the average citizen seems to have, that there is a drug crazy gun toting criminal under each bush. You also have the NRA acting as a powerful political party,without any responsibility that an elected party has for their actions.
    In Australia we had the buy back scheme and that took lots of guns away, where Richard Sutherland got the idea that Australians were telling the USA to keep the gun culture going as the Aussie crime was out of control, is a bit strange, as America has more people in jails per head of population than all developed countries.
    In Australia, we have one beautiful thing, and one that is never going to happen in America, and that’s compulsory voting, what that means is that pressure organisations such as the NRA, the far right or far left, have their power watered down at elections by moderate voters, and the voting lansdcape is less polarised.
    After reading the some of the fanatical thoughts that some of your letter writers have put down I fear that gun control in America is never going to happen,I have a vision of men and the odd woman in bed with their guns, lovingly cuddling them as they drift off to sleep, dreaming of living in log cabins fighting off bad government agents, coming to claim taxes to distribute to the poor, or build welfare hospitals, or some other such frippery.
    Stick it to them Don! Make them all think a little instead of just mouthing propaganda.

    — Richard    2013-01-20 19:32    #
  98. After reflecting further on Don’s ideas about disarming law-abiding citizens and his desire to co-mingle his politics with his business, I’ve decided to cut all ties with Small Dog Electronics, and eliminate all future business with the company.

    — Art    2013-01-20 20:45    #
  99. Don –
    I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Gun restrictions will raise the level of violence. Look at Chicago – with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and one of the highest levels of gun violence. Watch the numbers in New York skyrocket with the new laws in place. Government is much better at causing problems than solving them.

    We need to instill an appreciation of all human life into our children and our neighborhoods. That is something government will never be able to do.

    — Garth Shaner    2013-01-21 11:08    #
  100. I thank the person that posted

    Inform yourself.

    This ban would have little or no impact on crime.

    If that is true why create it?

    Because it makes you feel good about yourself?

    Because you feel helpless about what is happening and feel a need to do something?

    Find something that is useful and productive to do rather than something that only makes you look like you did something and can pontificate endlessly about it.

    Get the facts.

    — Kent    2013-01-22 12:47    #
  101. I’m glad you’re willing to discuss ways to mitigate the gun violence. There are more than one way to go about it.

    However, does you’re “right” to own whatever gun & ammo you choose trump the right of a 6-year-old to stay alive?

    Ev    2013-01-22 19:12    #
  102. Well stated…Touché !

    — Ann MarIe    2013-01-22 19:38    #
  103. CI (Ev): My “right” to own whatever gun and ammo I choose may make the difference in that six-year-old STAYING alive. I don’t care who you are, you’re not wise enough to make life and death choices for other people.

    — Henry Bowman    2013-01-22 22:06    #
  104. I always enjoy reading your soapbox articles and applaud you for taking a stand. I do think that the problem with the lack of dialogue in our country today is that we no longer speak the same language. It behooves us all to first stop and make sure we all know exactly what we mean when we use our words. Take this article that you wrote. You talk about “assault weapons” and “weapons of mass destruction” without defining either and then actually say they are one and the same. Then you talk about “surface-to-air missiles and nuclear bombs.” Are they also assault weapons and weapons of mass destruction? What is the difference? Or rather are they all just emotionally laden terms meant to inflame, rather than to have a serious dialogue or discourse? Until we start to have a real discourse or discussion in this country instead of just trying to inflame opinion to accomplish our agenda, I’m afraid we will further erode civilization and end up destroying the country that we all love so much. I hope you will not take this as being too critical since a soapbox does imply it will be an opinion piece and not a reasoned policy paper, but I do think in any dialogue we need to use our language precisely and clearly, in the hope that others will do likewise.

    — Mike    2013-01-24 09:10    #
  105. I think that most people who support the ban have no idea how similar these “assault rifles” are to semi automatic handguns. It comes down to cosmetics and doesn’t make them anymore dangerous than any other semi automatic rifle or handgun. Most mass shootings happen at a very close range. The same amount of damage can be done with a semi automatic handgun. They function they same way as these so called “assault rifles” It only takes a second to change a magazine so limiting the number of rounds isn’t going to make much of a difference either. All this ban is doing is making uninformed people believe that the politicians in Washington are doing their job. Look at most of the mass shootings in our past. Most occur in gun free zones. The criminals prey on the unprotected. There are storage units that have armed guards to keep people’s contents safe. Nuclear plants have armed guards to keep its contents safe. Some banks have armed guards to keep their money safe. There are many places and businesses that have armed guards to protect what’s inside. How often are these places targeted? Shouldn’t our children be put at that same level of importance? If schools are protected they probably wouldn’t even be targeted. I’m not saying to lock down the school but one armed guard could make all the difference. I live in a small town in Central IL. A buddy of mine, who is a police officer, has been on duty daily at our local high school for 4 years. Students and teachers just feel safer knowing they are protected. Look at Chicago. They have some of the toughest gun laws in the country yet had over 500 murders last year. Most of those deaths were from a handgun. There were almost as many murders committed with a baseball bat as there were with rifles. Guns aren’t the problem. It’s the person behind the gun that’s the problem and that’s what we need to focus on. I’m all about background checks, registering guns, or anything else to try and keep them out of the wrong hands. The thing is, most criminals who have guns acquired them illegally. No matter what gun laws are put into effect thugs are always going to be able to get their hands on their weapon of choice. A weapons ban will only keep law abiding citizens from owning them and the thugs will continue to acquire them illegally.

    — Semper Fi    2013-01-25 10:54    #
  106. Thanks Don.

    I found it interesting reading the comments, gun owners are so afraid having to give up a gun or two. Not much mention of the additional background checks and mental health issues!

    — Ron Sharp    2013-01-26 12:36    #
  107. Sorry, but I can’t legitimately listen to someone that calls a magazine a clip. If you can’t even get terminology correct, why shouldn’t I just consider your points moot?

    Tanks and other “weapons of mass destruction” are already highly regulated. As well are automatic rifles. They are expensive and are registered with the BATF.

    And sorry, but my 2nd Amendment right does not protect your need to hunt. Why do you NEED to hunt anyways? There’s plenty of food in thousands of grocery stores across the country. Your hunting right is not, has never been and will never be, an inalienable right.

    You say that you need a tin foil hat to listen to pro-2nd people? A huge portion of those people are ones that have fought and seen first hand what a tyrannical government is capable of. Most of all of our ancestors saw what a tyrannical government could do and they fought to remove us from that – that altered the future for every living American today. Don’t forget what this country has gone through for its independence.

    I honestly don’t believe it will be our current government that will turn tyrannical… But you can’t tell me that if semi-auto rifles are banned now, that maybe in 20 years semi-auto handguns will be next, and then another 20 years it would be revolvers. Next thing you know, the people have no means of defense and nothing to keep evil politics at bay.

    Think of it like this, looking at how the latest generation is brought up… It had to be a domino effect right? What in our past could we have changed that could have created a different outcome? Don’t you wish we could go back in time and change whatever that is?

    The AWB is that thing that will change the future for our kids and grand kids. We could possibly be causing them to one day not live in the free world as we know it. We could possibly be setting in motion the very thing that leads to them not being able to fight back.

    I personally believe that some of what Obama has said is great. As a Republican I admire his resolve to get things done, but he is trying to put band aids on broke bones. For every crazy that has a gun there are literally thousands of mentally stable, law abiding citizens. Just as for every drunken driver, there are thousands of sober, legal drivers. There needs to be developed a standard… That standard may be extremely low as to mental health. If a patient meets or surpasses that standard then there needs to be a database that “talks” to the background system (NICS). It needs to be instant and any issues should be handled in court.

    This is only a small solution and by no means covers all possibilities, but it’s a start and something that gets to the core of the problem and not just scratches the surface.

    — Colby    2013-01-30 22:52    #
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