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Letter to the Editor: Columnist’s Opinion on Guns ‘Repugnant’

By David Fisk M.D. |

It’s a shame that Noozhawk allows Harris Sherline to have a platform on your website, given his reactionary opinions posted on the recent Newtown shootings. His statement, “Are guns the problem? I don’t think so,” ignores the obvious connection between high-capacity magazines, automatic weapons and the capacity for someone with a simple grudge to ruin the lives of so many people in such a short time.

One cannot forget the connection between America’s high rates of gun violence and our lax gun laws. As a physician, I find Sherline’s comments repugnant and the type of thought that leads to the current climate in the United States where mass shootings have become commonplace. I am seriously questioning my use of Noozhawk when I see opinions like his posted.

David Fisk M.D.
Santa Barbara




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» on 01.06.13 @ 09:17 AM

If you’re not happy with Noozhawk, Doctor, perhaps you’d be more inclined to emerge yourself in more liberal sites that only spew one opinion: yours.

It sounds to me like you are not willing to face ALL of the facts.

» on 01.06.13 @ 10:45 AM

I on the other hand feels that Dr. Fisk is offering another knee jerk reaction which in my humble opinion will never work.
I sincerely believe that following his recommendations and that of other highly intelligent emotional individuals will exacerbate the problem and will not solve anything. His proposals will alleviate the concerns of a highly emotional public demanding something be done but not ultimately solving the problem. I believe all sides of the argument should be heard and hopefully a debate which Noozhawk is promoting will do more to solve the problem. More shootings will take place and any recommendation I might have will not, like Dr. Fisk’s suggestions, solve anything and may actually foster more murders. Once again in my humble opinion.

» on 01.06.13 @ 11:31 AM

Sir,

Thanks for pointing out Harris’ entry - I had missed that one.

On balance, his article is sound, and he makes many valid points.  In fact, it’s not clear whether he’s for, or against, more gun control.  I say _more_ because, we in California, already have some of the strictest laws over possession of high capacity magazines and automatic weapons than any state in the union—they ARE illegal.  Read the law at CA.GOV Possessing a high capacity magazines in this state is a felony.

As a physician, perhaps it would be prudent to address the problem of inadequate access to, or treatment of those with current mental issues.  Or, the issue with the law where one can ‘know’ an individual could be ‘set off’ yet one cannot adequately do something about it.

The ship has sailed with respect to guns in society, they exist.  One can wish them away, but they will exist.  Both Chicago and Detroit are an example of cities with some of the nation’s strictest gun laws and a high and growing capital murder rate by guns held by criminals.  One can argue that it is the gun in the hands of law abiding citizens that keeps the murder rate in these cities from climbing higher.

Star Parker has a quote from Fredrick Douglass that is worth reading in this article: http://townhall.com/columnists/starparker/2012/12/31/blacks-should-embrace-nra-gun-proposal-n1475313/page/full/

Detroit police chief: “There’s a difference between a law-abiding person who seeks a gun and a criminal…” : http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/01/detroit_police_chief_america_h.html

When second’s count, let’s not just box ourselves into a corner, as police departments take minutes to arrive: http://1389blog.com/2012/12/23/larry-correia-refutes-the-gun-controllers-once-and-for-all/

In the past weeks we’ve seen some very irrational actions, in part by the press, where addresses of gun owners have been published.  Interestingly, this puts not just gun owners at risk, but non-gun owners in particular.  In our state one could surmise that any house with an Obama/Biden car bumper sticker is an open invitation for criminals to enter.  http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ex-burglars-confirm-that-newspapers-gun-owner-map-is-like-gold-for-crooks-exceptionally-stupid/

Do we really want to live in a society where we’re dependent on the actions of a police state to enforce our security?  This is not obtainable. It may not even be desirable.

Lastly, let’s stay on point and not attack the person in these letters to the editor.

» on 01.06.13 @ 12:02 PM

I’m sure Dr. Fisk and I agree about guns and about Mr. Sherline.  But why attack Noozhawk?  I think Noozhawk does everybody a favor by letting Mr. Sherline and others exhibit for all of us to see the kind of lazy thinking that they believe we will find persuasive.  Some of these writers are obviously paid shills of un-think tanks (and you can often spot this via Noozhawk’s description at the end of an article).  I doubt this is true for Mr. Sherline.  My guess is that he just likes the attention he feels he gets by aggregating stuff, pretty much unfiltered except for political slant, off of the web, then adding some thin commentary so he can sign his name..

» on 01.06.13 @ 12:52 PM

I agree with Dr. Fisk that Mr. Sherline’s column is repugnant starting with his reference to persons with mental illness with terms like “crazy” and “nutcase”. As a former healthcare administrator, one would hope he would have a more reasonable and compassionate way to talk about them.
However his views on gun control seem to be at odds with all of the reputable media he cites (thank you, Mr. Sherline.)  Several of those cite the experience of Australia, which enacted sweeping gun control measures in 1997 after a mass shooting of 35 people in Tasmania.  Results? 
1.  There has not been a mass shooting since then.
2.  Gun-related homicides fell 59%
3.  Suicides by gun fell 80% with no significant rise in non-gun suicides.
4.  Robberies at gunpoint dropped significantly.
Australians have urged the U.S. to look at their gun control techniques.  Why not?

» on 01.06.13 @ 02:27 PM

The only gun that doesn’t kill is one without bullets and a firing pin.

Thank you Dr. Fisk for your post.

» on 01.06.13 @ 03:05 PM

Before accepting the leftish “connection between America’s high rates of gun violence and our lax gun laws”, one might do some research into the facts.

California has the toughest state gun laws in the country and is among the top 10 states in per capita gun violence.  Chicago has the toughest city gun laws in the country and is the murder capital of the US.  Florida’s incidence of gun crimes against citizens has declined steadily since the establishment of “right to carry” 25 years ago.  Switzerland has the highest percentage of gun ownership in the Western world and the lowest incidence of gun crime.  All of these facts are easily located on the ‘net, for those interested in fact-based vs emotional debate.

Granted there are states (quite a few, actually) that need better controls.  But to continually deny the element of personal responsibility (recent crimes were committed with guns legally purchased by someone else who did not obey the existing laws in terms of securing the weapons) and the issue of mental illness is unfortunate and unfair to the millions of gun-owners who are law-abiding and law-observing citizens.

There are an estimated 300 million guns in the US, owned by an estimated 50% of households.  Tragic as they are, the mass shootings are extremely rare and involve a virtually invisible fraction of the gun owners.  Penalizing the law-abiding 99.9999% for the crimes of the .0001% is just wrong.

» on 01.06.13 @ 03:07 PM

And BTW, I think the letter writer’s response to Mr. Sherline is repugnant.

» on 01.06.13 @ 03:12 PM

I think a big part of this debate is that many of us consider personal freedom to be more important than personal safety.

» on 01.06.13 @ 03:33 PM

Dr Fisk is not researching the facts but rather looking for an emotional, feel-good course of national action.

Look at Switzerland where virtually every adult must maintain real military grade weapons yet their gun crime rate is low. Look at states where private citizens are allowed by law to carry guns for self-defense and the gun crime rate has gone down since these laws were enacted.

Look at cities where private citizens’ gun ownership is most restricted, like Chicago, Washington, New York and the gun crime rates are some of the highest in the nation.

Look at the fact that according to the FBI, along with increasing gun ownership and private citizen concealed carry, mass shooting have decreased notably.

Look at “facts” and FBI statistics before you make your decision as to the best course of action for the nation.

» on 01.06.13 @ 04:01 PM

“I think a big part of this debate is that many of us consider personal freedom to be more important than personal safety.”

And this cuts both ways:

The personal freedom to be armed and insure one’s safety.  And, the personal freedom to feel safe, yet leave the task to others.  Those in support of Amendment 2 would likely prefer the former than the latter.

I really respect Noozhawk for providing the forum for these types of debates.  Amendment 1 at work.

» on 01.06.13 @ 04:59 PM

Andy Caldwell has a good piece in the SBNP today (Sunday): http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/article.jsp?Section=EDITORIALS&ID=566630169968771115

In the editorial he quotes John Adams: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”

If you have a chance, read the article, it’s worth your time.

Implementing more laws which will only be followed by the law abiding, largely to their disadvantage, is not in our collective best interest.  CA has sufficient laws on the books, it is now time for proper enforcement.  Read the law: http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

For those of us who would prefer to remove our second amendment rights, start with those in power who have the advantage of carrying themselves, or the ones who pay others to carry for them.  When they stop having the protection of guns, when their children attend schools without the protection, then it’s time to start the discussion.  They are talking a great story, but doing something altogether different.  Cases in point:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/23/School-Obama-s-Daughters-Attend-Has-11-Armed-Guards-Not-Counting-Secret-Service

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/12/someone-tell-rahm-emanuel-his-children-are-protected-by-armed-guard-at-school/

http://m.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gregory-mocks-lapierre-proposing-armed-guards-sends-kids-high-security-school_691057.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144921,00.html

http://pithocrates.com/2013/01/05/ft151-while-rich-liberals-can-hire-armed-body-guards-many-ordinary-americans-can-only-afford-a-gun-for-their-protection-old-pithy/

http://www.federalobserver.com/archive.php?aid=10104

Something is clearly wrong with our nation when we have two sets of values, or enforcement of laws: one for the rich and in power, and one for everyone else.  It’s is particularly eye opening when the those who espouse the control are in fact, those who are benefitting from the very thing they would have you and I not be be able to use for our own protection should we choose.

» on 01.06.13 @ 06:44 PM

Dr. Fisk, as a man of science I would hope that you would look at indisputable facts.

Fact, you are FAR more likely to die at the hands of a physician then you are a gun.

“The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal study of preventable medical errors estimated as many as 98,000 people die every year at a cost of $29 billion.”
http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/justice/hs.xsl/8677.htm

My guns haven’t killed or injured anyone Doc, how about you?

» on 01.06.13 @ 09:51 PM

“The only gun that doesn’t kill is one without bullets and a firing pin.”

Not exactly true, the gun that prevents a death while not being fired is one that does not kill.  While this is hard to measure, it would be safe to say this outnumbers the quantity of deaths caused by spree killers.

Further, the comment by Interloper: “Fact, you are FAR more likely to die at the hands of a physician then you are a gun.”—this is not specious.  As noted above, guns do prevent deaths, and at times, not even by causing deaths in the process.  Doctors do the same, although Doctors do number higher on the list of preventable deaths in the US than guns.

I would much rather see a gun in the hands of a trained and capable 105 pound female whose apartment is being broken into than not.  She may not have the nine minutes needed for a taxed police department to come to her rescue.

I would rather see trained and capable doctors applying their skills to save lives than incompetent or error prone doctors who’s licenses are in the process of being reviewed or discontinued.

» on 01.06.13 @ 10:04 PM

in·ter·lop·er
/?int?r?l?p?r/
Noun
A person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.
Synonyms
intruder

» on 01.06.13 @ 11:26 PM

“... to be aware that these people are out among us with their hostile viewpoints and their firearms.”

“Hostile viewpoints? A desire for self-defense is a “hostile viewpoint?”

What warped world do you exist in?

» on 01.07.13 @ 12:34 AM

“Agree with your feelings and awareness, however it is important for us to be aware that these people are out among us with their hostile viewpoints and their firearms.”

Ah, Toni… “these people”, “hostile viewpoints”, “their firearms”... it should not surprise you that the people who have been involved in the debate are in fact supporters of your goal to feel safe and free from harm.  They just differ in the approach to insuring your goal.  And, they differ with your viewpoint in that their right to insure their safety trumps your vis-a-vis the second amendment.

What I think is truly interesting is the naming of your organization: The Coalition Against Gun Violence.  I don’t think anyone who’s involved with this debate today is in favor of gun violence.  Certainly we can all agree to that.

I am sure you know of several Obama/Biden supporters in our fine town who benefit from hired armed security personnel, or in fact, have a gun safe or locking device for their handguns, as required by our strict CA firearms laws.

Would you feel safe today to post “gun safe zone” on your office, home, or car?  Would taking the guns away from law abiding citizens provide you with the level of comfort to do so?  I think not.  Perhaps that’s the hypocrisy of what you profess—no matter what level of gun elimination we have in this society, we will never feel safe enough to do so.

More to the point, I think that you would be hard pressed to believe that anyone with a contrary opinion to yours in this debate would not be in the possession of a gun.  When, in reality, this debate is not about the possession of guns per-se, but about the right to possess, and the consequences of so doing, or not.

Shall we instead focus on the challenge your profession faces of improving the success rate in addressing the issues of the patients you treat so we can in fact avoid gun violence?

» on 01.07.13 @ 01:14 AM

I just received this and feel it is apropos to the debate.

WHY GRAMPS CARRIES A GUN

My old grandpa said to me ‘Son, there comes a time in every man’s life
when he stops bustin’ knuckles and starts bustin’ caps and usually it’s
when he becomes too old to take a whooping.’

I don’t carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the
world.

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry.
I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating
myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not
on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a
cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the
ones they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am
inadequate…

I don’t carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful
to me.

Police protection is an oxymoron.
Free citizens must protect themselves.
Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the
crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to
take an “ass” whoopin’.....

author unknown (but obviously brilliant)

» on 01.07.13 @ 02:42 AM

Can I have some of whatever Ms. Wellen has been smoking?

» on 01.07.13 @ 02:47 AM

Following is an article describing how a handgun saved a mother and children from a convicted felon who broke into her house using a crowbar and confronted her as she was hiding from him.  911 was called but had not yet arrived.  He rummaged through the house and up to the third floor where they were hiding in an attic space.  She had her .38 handgun and 6 shots to save her and the twins from the intruder.

The Sheriff said: “You go after a mother’s kids and she’ll find herself capable of doing things she never thought she was capable of.”

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/mother-of-two-surprises-burglar-with-five-gunshots/nTnGR/

In an ideal world, these things would not happen.  We do not live in an ideal world.

» on 01.07.13 @ 12:22 PM

Dr. Fisk is entitled to his opinion, which is what his Letter to the Editor is, just as Mr. Sherline is entitled to his. Thanks to Noozhawk for allowing all sides to be represented.

But I’m not sure that Dr. Fisk actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the mechanics of guns. As a physician, what he SHOULD know about are the mechanics of the medications the Newtown shooter was taking. As a medical doctor, why isn’t he advocating that we learn more about those? Heck, why isn’t the media interested in even reporting on what the gunman’s prescriptions were?

Why the intense interest in the tools and not in the causes of this atrocity, Dr. Fisk?

» on 01.07.13 @ 12:27 PM

Toni, the most hostility has been promoted by your anti gun coalition. Compassion, sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help, has nothing to do with being anti gun. In fact as many commentators here have spelled out having a gun, knowing how to use it and using it to protect others is in fact compassion. Had that school principal been armed and trained she would have saved the lives of 20 children and 6 adults. She is dead along with the rest, how is that compassionate? How is having her defenseless against someone who is hell bent on killing compassionate?

I know for many anti gun proponents that a gun is a symbol of violence and death. It is a reminder that we as a species are violent and deadly to our selves. To those who are opposed to the second amendment it is a reminder that governments are not perfect, that they are indeed problem creators rather than problem solvers and need an armed citizenry to remind it that we are the reason they exist, not the other way around.

In a perfect world we would all get along, peacefully and compassionately. No need for guns, governments or rules. But it is not a perfect world. Better to have a gun or many and never ever have to use them, to see them rust and decay into the earth for lack of use than end up like that school principal and those poor children, defenseless and dead, because you believed it was the tool and not the hand that was the problem.

» on 01.07.13 @ 12:56 PM

Mr. Sherline’s commentary contains two core statements of opinion. “Are guns really the problem? I don’t think so ... the reason for the tragedy is the shooter.” and “Can the problem of random shooting of people by deranged individuals be prevented by confiscating guns? I doubt it.” By narrowly defining the problem Sherline can easily dismiss the current discussion about gun violence and how to control it.

I believe the tragic massacre at Sandyhook Elementary raises much broader questions that deserve our full attention, including the following three: (1) How can we make our schools and public places safer from gun violence? (2) How can we reduce the number of times that psychotic individuals harm others using guns? (3) How can we establish and enforce reasonable limits on the type of lethal weapons, such as guns and ammunition, that can be privately owned?

» on 01.07.13 @ 01:06 PM

This article is almost three years old, but we’re still in denial and now more kids are dead. Hope is not a plan.


May 05, 2010

10-43: All Units…
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial
Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents

Editor’s Note: Visit the Newtown Shooting special coverage page for more perspectives on active shooters in schools, including my article “Active shooters in schools: Should teachers be trained by police firearms instructors?” Have a perspective on this issue? Leave it in the comments below.
“How many kids have been killed by school fire in all of North America in the past 50 years? Kids killed… school fire… North America… 50 years…  How many?  Zero. That’s right.  Not one single kid has been killed by school fire anywhere in North America in the past half a century.  Now, how many kids have been killed by school violence?”

So began an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, West Point psychology professor, and without a doubt the world’s foremost expert on human aggression and violence. The event, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, was held in the auditorium of a very large community church about 30 miles from San Francisco, and was attended by more than 250 police officers from around the region.

Grossman’s talk spanned myriad topics of vital importance to law enforcement, such as the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle, and others. But violence among and against children was how the day began, and so I’ll focus on that issue here.


Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, pictured with PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie, spoke before a crowd of more than 250 police officers in an event hosted by the California Peace Officers Association. (PoliceOne image)
Related Articles:
Arming campus cops is elementaryA decade after Columbine we’re still learning, teaching
Related Resources:
Book Excerpt: On Sheep, Wolves, and SheepdogsVisit the Killology Research Group website
Related Feature:

Helping schools prepare for an active-shooter showdown
Sheriff Fred Wegener says that preparing schools for an active shooter is community policing at its best.
“In 1999,” Grossman said, “school violence claimed what at the time was an all-time record number of kids’ lives. In that year there were 35 dead and a quarter of a million serious injuries due to violence in the school. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. But we hear people say, ‘That’s the year Columbine happened, that’s an anomaly.’ Well, in 2004 we had a new all-time record — 48 dead in the schools from violence. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. Let’s assign some grades. Put your teacher hat on and give out some grades. What kind of grade do you give the firefighter for keeping kids safe? An ‘A,’ right? Reluctantly, reluctantly, the cops give the firefighters an ‘A,’ right? Danged firefighters, they sleep ‘till they’re hungry and eat ‘till they’re tired. What grade do we get for keeping the kids safe from violence? Come on, what’s our grade? Needs improvement, right?”

Johnny Firefighter, A+ Student
“Why can’t we be like little Johnny Firefighter?” Grossman asked as he prowled the stage. “He’s our A+ student!”

He paused, briefly, and answered with a voice that blew through the hall like thunder, “Denial, denial, denial!”

Grossman commanded, “Look up at the ceiling! See all those sprinklers up there? They’re hard to spot — they’re painted black — but they’re there. While you’re looking, look at the material the ceiling is made of. You know that that stuff was selected because it’s fire-retardant. Hooah? Now look over there above the door — you see that fire exit sign? That’s not just any fire exit sign — that’s a ‘battery-backup-when-the-world-ends-it-will-still-be-lit’ fire exit sign. Hooah?”

Walking from the stage toward a nearby fire exit and exterior wall, Grossman slammed the palm of his hand against the wall and exclaimed, “Look at these wall boards! They were chosen because they’re what?! Fireproof or fire retardant, hooah? There is not one stinking thing in this room that will burn!”

Pointing around the room as he spoke, Grossman continued, “But you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? No! This fire guy is our A+ student! Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. ...They’re in denial.”

Teaching the Teachers
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.

“Come with me to the library at Columbine High School,” Grossman said. “The teacher in the library at Columbine High School spent her professional lifetime preparing for a fire, and we can all agree if there had been a fire in that library, that teacher would have instinctively, reflexively known what to do.

“But the thing most likely to kill her kids — the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill her kids, the teacher didn’t have a clue what to do. She should have put those kids in the librarian’s office but she didn’t know that. So she did the worst thing possible — she tried to secure her kids in an un-securable location. She told the kids to hide in the library — a library that has plate glass windows for walls. It’s an aquarium, it’s a fish bowl. She told the kids to hide in a fishbowl. What did those killers see? They saw targets. They saw fish in a fish bowl.”

Grossman said that if the school administrators at Columbine had spent a fraction of the money they’d spent preparing for fire doing lockdown drills and talking with local law enforcers about the violent dangers they face, the outcome that day may have been different.

Rhetorically he asked the assembled cops, “If somebody had spent five minutes telling that teacher what to do, do you think lives would have been saved at Columbine?”

Arming Campus Cops is Elementary
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called Arming campus cops is elementary. Not surprisingly, Grossman agrees with that hypothesis.

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security.

“Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

Grossman said (and most cops agree) that many of the most important things we can do to protect our kids would cost us nothing or next-to-nothing.

Grossman’s Five D’s
Let’s contemplate the following outline and summary of Dave Grossman’s “Five D’s.” While you do, I encourage you to add in the comments area below your suggestions to address, and expand upon, these ideas.

1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman.

2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero

3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount.

4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.

a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.

5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:

a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medevac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help.  Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.

Coming Soon: External Threats
Today we must not only prepare for juvenile mass murder, something that had never happened in human history until only recently, but we also must prepare for the external threat. Islamist fanatics have slaughtered children in their own religion — they have killed wantonly, mercilessly, and without regard for repercussion or regret of any kind. What do you think they’d think of killing our kids?

“Eight years ago they came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. Do we know what they’re going to do next? No! But one thing they’ve done in every country they’ve messed with is killing kids in schools,” Grossman said.

The latest al Qaeda charter states that “children are noble targets” and Osama bin Laden himself has said that “Russia is a preview for what we will do to America.”

What happened in Russia that we need to be concerned with in this context? In the town of Beslan on September 1, 2004 — the very day on which children across that country merrily make their return to school after the long summer break — radical Islamist terrorists from Chechnya took more than 1,000 teachers, mothers, and children hostage. When the three-day siege was over, more than 300 hostages had been killed, more than half of whom were children.

“If I could tackle every American and make them read one book to help them understand the terrorist’s plan, it would be Terror at Beslan by John Giduck. Beslan was just a dress rehearsal for what they’re planning to do to the United States,” he said.

Consider this: There are almost a half a million school buses in America. It would require almost every enlisted person and every officer in the entire United States Army to put just one armed guard on every school bus in the country.

As a country and as a culture, the level of protection Americans afford our kids against violence is nothing near what we do to protect them from fire. Grossman is correct: Denial is the enemy. We must prepare for violence like the firefighter prepares for fire. And we must do that today.

Hooah, Colonel!


About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 600 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his “spare” time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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http://www.policeone.com/active-shooter/articles/2058168-Lt-Col-Dave-Grossman-to-cops-The-enemy-is-denial

» on 01.07.13 @ 03:15 PM

Gramps, good questions and since you posted this on Sherline’s article I’ll post my reply here as well.

(1) How can we make our schools and public places safer from gun violence?

The best method with the most data to support it is to advertise the existence of armed protectors at the school site. Nothing deters a violent gun toting criminal better than knowing some will shoot back.

(2) How can we reduce the number of times that psychotic individuals harm others using guns?

Have much better medical facilities to deal with violent mental health problems. Confiscating guns from sane peaceful law abiding citizens doesn’t work. However, even a suicidal, homicidal nut case knows that the violence they wish upon others is muted if others are willing to defend themselves violently. Nothing deters a shooter better than staring down the business end of a Smith and Wesson 44 or a pump action 12 gauge or the barrel of a 223 semi automatic rifle.

(3) How can we establish and enforce reasonable limits on the type of lethal weapons, such as guns and ammunition, that can be privately owned?

There are no limits necessary unless you are convinced that peaceful, law abiding citizens are some how the problem. You will have to explain the twisted logic in that though, good luck.

Better to have lethal weapons like guns with lots of ammunition and never have to use them, than to be like that poor principal and face down some armed violent lunatic completely defenseless.

By the way, consistently and remarkably missing in all the anti gun rhetoric being spewed forth since the Sandy Hook tragedy is the fact that the guns used to murder 27 people were STOLEN, not legally obtained by the shooter. So much for your control mania.

» on 01.07.13 @ 08:46 PM

AN50 -
You say schools and public places will be safer with armed guards. I agree, we should consider ways to increase security at schools.

You say the harm that psychotic individuals can do to others can be reduced with better mental health facilities. I agree, we should consider ways to improve how we deal with mental health problems.

You say establishing and enforcing reasonable limits on privately owned guns and ammunition is unnecessary because that will only affect peaceful, law abiding citizens who will be completely defenseless facing a violent lunatic with stolen weapons, like the principal at Sandyhook Elementary. I disagree, the Sandyhook shooter was only able to commit mass murder because his mother, a peaceful, law abiding citizen, owned an arsenal of weapons and ammunition designed for military combat. Reasonable limits on the guns and ammunition that private citizens can own is not “control mania”, it is common sense.

» on 01.08.13 @ 04:43 PM

Gramps, you are living in a fantasy world. Semi automatic weapons and high capacity clips ALREADY exist. No one is going to voluntarily give these up. Its absolute madness to think that would happen. That means to get them you would have to have a MANDITORY confiscation.

Think about that for a moment. Think about the violation of freedoms we enjoy in this country to pull that off and still you might get half of those that they have records of, leaving three quarters still in possession. California, bastion of European socialist worshipping, dope smoking, peace love dove hippy liberal progressive commie lovers collected 2000 guns in a voluntary gun turn in program in one year while selling 600,000 new ones. Every control you add now that leaves existing weapons in place just hurts the innocent and leaves them defenseless. Anyone so deluded to think that gun confiscation and control would some how work in this country ought to look at the complete disaster the drug prohibition is, and that is with drug addicts for God’s sake!

I understand your fear of guns, they are deadly tools designed to kill. But ignoring human nature and inventing some irrational fantasy where they all magically disappear so you don’t have to deal with that fear is insane. Do like many of your liberal friends who are ardent gun rights supporters and get one yourself. Take lessons, get safety training and arm your self with knowledge and experience so that you can dispel this irrational fear.

Guns of all types including semi automatic rifles and hand guns and high capacity accessories already exist and in very large numbers and barring turning our country into some barbaric police state where the government goes door to door kicking them in and ransacking your house to confiscate weapons, they will continue to exist. Your best defense is to become a gun owner, train, practice and carry.

Who knows you might be the one guy who stops some lunatic from gunning down innocent civilians, not because you want to, not because you have to and not because it’s your right to, but simply because you were there at that moment and prepared. If enough lunatics, criminals and violent nut cases end up dead because we as a culture defend ourselves with deadly force they will become an endangered species and then my friend we will all breath easier.

After all Gramps, we don’t have the most powerful military on earth protecting the most powerful country on earth because we believe in being weak and defenseless.

» on 01.08.13 @ 05:04 PM

AN50, you have created a very important new name for these gun rights activists - “gun addicts”. I like it - they want all the privileges of personal freedom - much like drug users. I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say, now that I understand your “limits of liberty”. So, it is OK to have personal liberty as long as “you/they” can decide the “limits” of personal liberty.

Sounds a little like fascism. Laws dictated by the corporations (Gun Manufacturers, Gun Lobby, Politicians funded by the Gun Lobby), and of course the main players like the NRA and its main funding from Walmart. <http://letsslimtogether.com/blogs/entry/Read-How-The-NRA-Conspires-With-US-Gun-Makers-To-Sell-11-7-Billion-In-Weapons>

Oh, BTW, AN50 - try not to be too vitriolic in your response.

» on 01.08.13 @ 05:39 PM

Dude you make Gramps almost seem reasonable. Go take yer meds you nut case.

» on 01.08.13 @ 06:11 PM

Bruce,

How would you propose one should respond to your points?  In the earlier postings, it’s been well stated that there are many solid reasons for having a weapon today, including the fact that when one is in possession of a weapon they have the opportunity to defend themselves when seconds count and law enforcement takes minutes to arrive.  And, that guns are a leveler vis-a-vis size/stature: a small person, or perhaps a female, can protect themselves against a larger person.

CA law makes ownership of automatic weapons and large capacity ammunition devices illegal.  You’ve seen here on Noozwawk in this thread is that no one posting here is interested in guns to commit violence per-se, rather to use them for defense.  You don’t have to discharge a weapon for it to defend you, though clearly successfully discharging a weapon with the intent of hitting someone is violent.

Would you have CA implement a version of Fahrenheit 451 for guns and ammunition—going house to house, searching with dogs?  Would you have friends and family turn in those who have not relinquished their weapons?  Would you ask school children to tell the authorities when they come into knowledge about weapon ownership?  Would you have dogs search every vehicle entering our CA border looking for incoming illegal (per existing CA law) weapons and large capacity ammunition devices?  Would you search people landing at airports, and coming in via sea?  Guns exist.  Asking citizens to turn in legally owned and stored weapons is a big stretch when citizens own them to protect themselves from those who will do illegal things with their illegal weapons against otherwise law abiding citizens.

What should one do who does not own a weapon today, but is arguing in favor of keeping the Second Amendment in place as they feel it’s their right to make that choice or gun ownership later?  Should they purchase now?  That may be what’s driving part of the massive consumption of weapons and ammo today, in addition to the existing owners purchasing more.  Fanning the flames of confiscation, implying (not saying you are, mind me) gun owners are stupid, right wing, fascists, or sticking to their guns and religion is not helping stem the purchases today.  Notice, too, that the fanning has not caused more deaths either, which flies in the face of those who say the folks who legally own today are currently dangerous.

What makes gun ownership reduce gun violence is _not knowing_ if someone will have a gun, even in our great State of CA.  That question of not knowing causes hesitation of illegal actors to act.  That’s a positive thing.

Imagine what could happen if ‘all’ the legally held weapons and ammunition leave our state or are destroyed.  Yes, we’ll feel better, some of us anyway.  Some of us will feel our rights were confiscated, in addition to our property.  Some of use will lose our hobby or passion of plinking, shooting, or hunting.  But, we won’t have solved the problem of illegal weapon ownership.  And, that’s 99%+ of the problem (my guess.)

However, all of us will lose the not-knowing-if-that-person-who-I’m-going to rob/rape/kill/hurt/maim/slaughter will have an effective weapon to defend themselves.  All of us will know we have minutes to wait for a officer of the law to respond to our call for help.  Is that the desired outcome you’re asking for?  We sure as hell better start training to use that fire hose as the earlier police training posting noted, cause we’re not going to have much else at hand when it happens.

Perhaps we need to print up signs for all those arguing that guns should be eliminated from our Great State.  The signs could say: Gun Free Zone - I do not have a weapon at this residence, place of business, or vehicle.  Then, folks, perhaps yourself included, could post those signs today showing support in large numbers.  Do you think this would work?  I’d be willing to bet that the number of folks posting these signs would be very insignificant.  Even if all the guns were eliminated, I’d bet the signs would not go up.  Why - because we all know the not-knowing aspect creates some measure of safety.  However, I strongly encourage all the pro-elimination folks in town to pool their resources today and move ahead with this initiative to post the gun-free-zone signs.  It would clearly show their support of this state of consciousness, which is truly a noble cause.  I would love to be there, in an ideal world, but that ship sailed centuries ago and it’s not coming back.

I cannot imagine a time where the only location of legal guns in Santa Barbara would be at the Courthouse, the police station, a marked or unmarked vehicle, or on the hip or under the arm of a law enforcement official.  It’s a shortcoming on my part, and I acknowledge it.  But, from a practical standpoint, I don’t see it happening.  I also think it would be a bit unfair since every celebrity in town would either legally continue to have a concealed carry permit, or have security around them that would. I’d prefer to think that my wife or daughters would be able to have the same privilege (or, ground leveler) as them, but perhaps that’s a flaw in my thinking too.  I sure as heck would not want our criminals to know about the low presence of legal guns either.  I can tell you at almost any time where the cops in Carpinteria are, is that a good thing?  I think not.

In the meantime, many of us are strongly considering investing in ownership, training, and secure, legal storage to cover ourselves as we know the police can’t respond fast enough, particularly if the eliminate folks are successful with their well-intended campaign.  You see, many, in fact most of use in town don’t own today.  At lease, us legal types.  But, the thinking around this is escalating this to the point where it may dramatically shift.

It’s ironic, but I think we all want the same outcome (most of us anyway)—less death, less fear, less violence.  I just don’t think we’re coming together on how to achieve it.

Help me out please.

» on 01.08.13 @ 07:46 PM

Hey, Oldtimer and others:

If you read the article I posted <http://letsslimtogether.com/blogs/entry/Read-How-The-NRA-Conspires-With-US-Gun-Makers-To-Sell-11-7-Billion-In-Weapons> then you see where I am coming from.

Billions (11.7 Billion) of dollars are being made by gun manufacturers while people like us are debating. Walmart (according to the article) never sold anything but hunting gear in small rural towns until 2011.

“In April 2011, Walmart began stocking guns in more and more stores, expanding the sales to 1,750 outlets nationwide. By the end of that year, the FBI received 16.4 million background check requests; the number is 16.8 million this year. Overall Walmart sales figures are back on track after the 2011 slump, and executive vice president Duncan Mac Naughton told shareholders at a meeting in October 2012 that gun sales in particular are a staple of the chain’s strategy to continue boosting its numbers. He said that over the past twenty-six months, gun sales at Walmart stores open for a year or more were up an astonishing 76 percent, while ammunition sales were up 30 percent. Walmart, is now the biggest seller of firearms and ammunition in America.”

When you look at the facts, it becomes obvious that the only way 38% of the gun owning citizens can trample on, and literally control the rights of the other 62% who do not own guns, and are calling for real gun control, is accomplished through the underhanded tyranny. Because if it could be put to a vote, the gun owners would lose their perceived rights. However, due to the political manipulations of the NRA, Gun Lobby,Paid Politicians, and people like you, it will never come to be voted on. People who profess to have the country’s best interests in mind.

My point is this: it is unthinkable that a conspiracy operating with complete transparency could literally control the gun laws for $11.7 Billion. Is that all it costs in America to make and distribute a product that is made to kill? Unbelievable!

Meanwhile a “toker” in the privacy of their own home can be arrested for possessing weed. Perhaps you can comment on why this is not ridiculous.

» on 01.08.13 @ 09:54 PM

Bruce,

Thanks for the quick response.  I take a bit of offense at the comment “people like you’, but that’s ok, I understand the passion from where we’re both coming.

Let me respond to your points and add a few.  And, I’ll apologize in advance for getting of track, but I know I will as you’re weed comment created some openings that I can’t pass up.

I read the article, thanks for the reference.

First, regarding a legal corporation making a legal profit on a legal sale: I’m all for it.  Before you throw me in the “he’s one of those right wing Wall Mart supporters” group, let me explain.  Yes, they are making a profit, and they employ people as a result.  I’m all for legal employment and legal taxes, both sales,  and income.  I also think there’s a multiplier effect in the communities in which these folks work, so that’s a plus.  I’d be a bit concerned if the folks that ran Wall Mart didn’t run the business right and lost money, because it would be bad for the stockholders, employees, community, and the tax recipients.  And, the CEO would probably still have a golden parachute which would really stink.  Besides, if they sold the guns for cost, they’d probably sell more of them, and folks would be complaining about that, both from a anti-competitive basis, and from the proliferation perspective that you’re taking.

But, my thinking is not limited to Wallmart. I want grocery stores to compete and succeed or fail because based on the market.  Same for the broadcast industry, medical, tire, auto, etc.  I think competition benefits us all.  It’s probably somewhat safe to say that the local firearms industry is not benefitting from pork in the way that other industries have in the last few years.  And, I don’t think there will be any sympathy for any firearms company that fails.

Regarding the conspiracy theory, I really thought when this whole thing took off that the Obama administration figured they would eventually make an end run on guns and find a way to abolish legal weapons, and in the interim, they’d benefit from the increase in employment, taxes, multiplier effect, etc.  Seriously.  I thought Geitner had it all figured it all out and we were all just pawns, dancing to the music, you and I.  But, my wife told me I was thinking too conspiratorial, so I stopped.  I don’t have a problem with the CEO of a company communicating to their shareholders the state of their business, and their plans.  I am one of the people that believe actual transparency is a good thing, not just the hope of it. Don’t tell my wife, but I still think there’s a chance the end run will win out, and I think from a democratic basis that we all lose if it were to happen.

Responding to your point about the percentages of citizens, I don’t know if this is an accurate number or not, and I apologize for not knowing.  However, I can tell you that there is a percentage of people, as I pointed out earlier, that are strongly considering legally purchasing weapons and ammunition because they don’t know when they won’t be able to.  That has to push the minority in your example up somewhat, though I would not know by how much. But, I’m thinking its a significant amount.  If you did an unbiased survey (which is rarely done these days) it would be revealing to see by how much.

Further, what I do know (but I profess I’m no constitutional lawyer) is that I can’t take your rights away because they are unpopular.  I’m really beginning to love the First Amendment because I think that you and I benefit (and hopefully others) from this public debate in a way that would not be possible if it were filtered by our media.  They (Dem/Repub/Other) press seem to be less than ready for you and I to have this debate and host it in its entirety.  We all benefit from this forum and the First Amendment.  Until, of course, you or I say something that’s in the minority, i.e., unpopular, and there’s a call to ban it.

Having said this, I think we might agree that 50+ million fetuses don’t exist in part because of a ruling called Roe v. Wade.  This played into Amendment 14 as I understand it.  I have to tell you that I may not agree with the ruling, but I do believe that the mother has to live with her decision and that’s a tough one indeed.  I may not like it, but that ruling was made.  And, it’s held.

So, my point is that here in the U.S. have the constitution with its amendments, and it’s not a popularity vote kind of thing.  When I agree with the way it falls, I think it’s a good thing.  When I don’t agree, I grouse, but sometimes I concede its still a good thing.  I also like the fact that we have a mechanism for dealing with the decision process, i.e., the Supreme Court.  And, I’ll concede that we can be contentious about how decisions are arrived at by that body as well.  But, on balance, I believe it’s better than not having a Supreme Court.  Lawyers, on the other hand…

Now, you made a point about lobbyists and paid politicians.  I thought Prop 32 in CA, which we voted down, was very promising.  I thought getting the unions (which are by definition, corporations that don’t make a profit) and corporations’s money out of elections was a good thing.  It lost by a small margin, but it lost.  I think you and I lost out because it would have been good for the great folks of CA to set an example for the nation.  Would it have eliminated corruption, no.  But I believe it would have leveled the playing field to our benefit.  Politicians, I’m of the belief that they should run for office, be in place for a term, then go back to work their farms.  I think we have too many professional politicians and way too much pork.  But, we keep voting in the same ones in our state, so, in our case, life’s not like a box of chocolates—we always know what we’re going to get.

Let me expand a bit.  It came to pass last year that our Congress was able to benefit from insider knowledge about companies and investments, and decisions they made in closed door meetings without the benefit of being subject to SEC insider trading.  Not only do I think what they did was wrong and immoral, but that their hide should have been nailed to the wall.  They were Left and Right, and all of them should have been purged from office.  It doesn’t surprise me that most of our Senators and Congress folks are wealthy.  A lot of them came into wealth after achieving office.  Hmmm.  We have some really wealthy ones in CA.  I’ve already said, they ought to be there for a term and go back and work the family farm,  However, if all states did not implement this, it would put CA at a competitive disadvantage.

As far as ‘Toking” goes, It’s a mixed bag.  The stuff today, from what I understand, is far more powerful than what was around in the 60’s.  I don’t know if it’s conclusive one way or there other that this stuff does not cause birth defects, dependency, or can be a gateway to worse things.  I do know that I don’t want to be in your house looking for dope any more that I want you in your neighbors looking for guns.  The war on drugs is a failure, and we’ve got an increasing number of Panga boats running dope up the coast.  These boats are proficient and they are becoming more accomplished.  They can run anything up: dope, people, arms, nuclear stuff, you name it.  It’s not a good thing.  Letting them perfect their work cannot be in our best interest in the long term.

But, don’t make me breath your exhale.  Don’t ask me to fear being on the road because you thought you were below .08 on the dope scale and you weren’t.  Don’t say you’ll have dope in your house without taking the same legal precautions that are required of guns so my neighbors kids can’t have access to it and get behind the wheel in an illegal way.  This dope today is very strong and should be treated as such.  Grow it, distribute it, tax it. Create jobs with it.  Get it in our wonderful ag valleys and grow the heck out of it.  Fine.  Take the incentive of the black market away.  Put in place financial and legal (felony) penalties if someone is harmed because some bozo did not follow the CA law and lock it up, just like guns.

Democracy is tough, but nothing else is better.

» on 01.08.13 @ 11:28 PM

Dear oldtimer, AN50, et al,
I have not heard anyone propose overturning the 2nd Amendment nor would I support that. I’m not aware of any proposals to “eliminate guns from our Great State” nor would I support that. What I do support is reasonable limitations on the type of guns and ammo that private citizens can own. We already have most of the needed limitations in California but enforcement is weak. As a citizen in Newtown said, “Why does anyone need semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity ammunition clips that are capable of murdering 26 people in less than 10 minutes?” Surely we can do a better job with security, mental treatment, and gun control if we unite to support effective ideas that balance individual rights and community safety.

» on 01.09.13 @ 01:19 AM

Since not everyone has the time to go the CA.Gov website and read the details, I’ve copied and pasted some of the law.  There is a lot more.  It’s very extensive.  As you’ll see below, what you’re hearing the general media about ammunition and assault weapons is covered by our law.

The law even goes way beyond what you’d expect on the surface regarding mental health.

The law is there.  It’s not clear that we need more laws.

Let’s get tough on the enforcement, if it’s weak.

If you personally observe a clip that holds more than 10 rounds, immediately report it.  Same for a canister, a machine gun, etc.  As with everything else in life, we can’t just sit aside and say it will go away.  It’s important to get involved and report when people are breaking the law, most any law.

The formatting is a bit tough with copy/paste, but here you go.  It’s a subset of the actual document, which is here: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/Cfl2007.pdf?


1. PROHIBITED FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, AND RELATED DEVICES
It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, cause to be manufactured, import into the state, keep for sale, or offer or expose for sale, or give or lend, any large-capacity magazine. (Penal Code § 12020(a)(2).)
A large capacity magazine means any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but shall not be construed to include a feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds, a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm, or a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device. (Penal Code § 12020(c)(25).)

Machineguns
It is unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, possess, or knowingly transport any machinegun. (Penal Code § 12220.)
The term machinegun means any weapon that shoots or is designed to shoot more than one shot automatically (without manual reloading) by a single function of the trigger. The term also includes any frame or receiver of a machinegun and any part or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting an otherwise legal weapon into a machinegun. The term also includes any weapon deemed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as readily convertible to a machinegun under Chapter 53 (commencing with section 5801) of Title 26 of the United States Code. (Penal Code § 12200.)
These prohibitions do not apply to (a) persons having a permit or license issued by the California Department of Justice to possess, transport, or sell machineguns (Penal Code §§ 12230, 12231, 12233, 12250); or (b) federal or state military or naval forces or law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their duties. (Penal Code §12201.)

Assault Weapons and .50 BMG Rifles
It is a felony for any person to manufacture, distribute, transport, import into California, or keep or offer for sale, or give or lend, an assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle. (Penal Code § 12280.)
Any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle must have registered it as such with the Department of Justice. (Penal Code § 12285.)
[There follows an extensive list of specific weapons and terminology that you can read in dept on the CA website: ]http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/Cfl2007.pdf?]

Armor-Piercing Bullets
It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, or knowingly possess or transport handgun ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor. (Penal Code §§ 12320, 12321.)
Handgun ammunition means ammunition principally for use in pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person, as defined in subdivision (a) of section 12001, notwithstanding that the ammunition may also be used in some rifles. (Penal Code § 12323(a).)
Handgun ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor means any ammunition, except a shotgun shell or ammunition primarily designed for use in rifles, that is designed primarily to penetrate a body vest or body shield. (Penal Code § 12323(b).)
Body vest or shield means any bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma protection for the wearer or holder. (Penal Code § 12323(c).)


2. PERSONS INELIGIBLE TO POSSESS FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
Persons Convicted of Felonies or Other Specified Crimes
Any person who (a) has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or (b) is addicted to any narcotic drug may not own or have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm. (Penal Code § 12021(a).)
It is unlawful for any person who is prohibited from possessing firearms, to possess ammunition. (Penal Code § 12316(b).)
A felony conviction refers to a conviction of an offense that can only result in felony punishment under California law, or any sentence to a federal correctional facility for more than 30 days, or a fine of more than $1,000, or both. (Penal Code § 12021(f).)
Any person convicted of any of the following crimes specified in Penal Code sections 12001.6 and 12021.1, whether as a felony or misdemeanor, may not lawfully possess or have under his or her custody or control any firearm:
• Murder or voluntary manslaughter.?• Mayhem.?• Rape.?• Sodomy or oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great
bodily harm.?• Lewd acts on a child under the age of 14.?• Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.?• Any other felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person,
other than an accomplice, that has been charged and proven, or any felony in which
the defendant uses a firearm which has been charged and proven.?• Attempted murder.?• Assault with intent to commit rape or robbery.?• Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer.?• Assault by a life prisoner on a non-inmate.?• Assault with a deadly weapon by an inmate.?• Arson.?• Exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to injure or murder. • Exploding a destructive device or any explosive causing great bodily injury.?• Robbery.?• Kidnapping.?• Taking of a hostage by a state prison inmate.
• Attempting to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
• Any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon. • Escape from a state prison by use of force or violence.?• Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury.?• Any attempt to commit any of the above crimes other than an assault.
• Assault upon a person with a firearm.?California Firearms Laws 2007 19
  •  Shooting at an inhabited dwelling house or occupied building.?NOTE: This offense is committed even though no person was actually inside the specified structure at the time of the shooting.
  •  Drawing, exhibiting, or unlawfully using any handgun or firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner in the presence of a peace officer regardless of whether the?firearm is loaded.
  •  Carjacking.
  •  Two or more convictions for drawing or exhibiting any firearm in a rude, angry, or ?threatening manner in the presence of another regardless of whether the firearm is loaded. ?Persons Convicted of Misdemeanor Violations of Specified Offenses ?Any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation for one or more of the following offenses is prohibited from owning, possessing or having under his or her custody or control any firearm within 10 years of the conviction (Penal Code § 12021(c)(1)):
  •  Threatening public officers and employees and school officials. (Penal Code § 71.)
  •  Threatening certain public officials, appointees, judges, staff or their immediate ?families. (Penal Code § 76.)
  •  Possession of a deadly weapon with intent to commit an assault (Penal ?Code § 12024.)
  •  Possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to intimidate a witness. (Penal Code ?§ 136.5.)
  •  Unauthorized possession/transportation of a machinegun. (Penal Code § 12220.)
  •  Threatening witnesses, victims, or informants. (Penal Code § 140.)
  •  Obstructing or delaying an officer or emergency medical technician and removing or attempting ?to remove a firearm from these individuals. (Penal Code § 148(d).)
  •  Unauthorized possession of a weapon in a courtroom, courthouse or court building, ?or at a public meeting. (Penal Code § 171b.)
  •  Bringing into or possessing a loaded firearm within the state capitol, legislative ?offices, etc. (Penal Code § 171c.)
  •  Taking into or possessing loaded firearms within the Governor’s Mansion or ?residence or other constitutional office, etc. (Penal Code § 171d.)
  •  Supplying firearms to any street gang member for use in street gang activity. (Penal Code § 186.28.)
  •  Assault. (Penal Code §§ 240, 241.)
  •  Battery. (Penal Code §§ 242, 243.)
  •  Assault with a stun gun or taser weapon. (Penal Code § 244.5.)
  •  Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury. (Penal ?Code § 245.)
  •  Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, by any means likely to produce great ?bodily injury, or with a stun gun or taser, on a school employee engaged in the ?performance of duties. (Penal Code § 245.5.)
  •  Discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner. (Penal Code § 246.3.)
  •  Shooting at an unoccupied aircraft, motor vehicle, or uninhabited building or ?dwelling house. (Penal Code § 247.)
  •  Drawing or exhibiting any deadly weapon, including a firearm, in a rude or ?threatening manner. (Penal Code § 417.)?California Firearms Laws 2007 20
  •  Drawing or exhibiting a firearm or other deadly weapon with the intentional infliction of serious bodily injury. (Penal Code § 417.6.)
  •  Bringing into or possessing firearms upon or within public or private schools, playgrounds and youth centers. (Penal Code § 626.9.)
  •  Willful infliction of corporal injury of a spouse or cohabitant. (Penal Code § 273.5.)
  •  Willful violation of a court order to prevent domestic violence. (Penal Code ?§ 273.6.)
  •  Stalking. (Penal Code § 646.9.)
  •  Carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony. (Penal Code § 12023.)
  •  Driver or owner of any vehicle who knowingly permits another person to discharge a firearm ?from the vehicle or any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle. (Penal Code §§ 12034(b) and (d).)
  •  Criminal possession of a firearm. (Penal Code § 12040.)
  •  Selling a concealable firearm to a minor. (Penal Code § 12072(b).)
  •  Possessing handgun ammunition designed to penetrate metal or armor. (Penal Code §12320.)
  •  Carrying a concealed or loaded firearm or other deadly weapon or wearing a peace ?officer uniform while picketing, carrying a concealed loaded weapon, or wearing a peace officer uniform. (Penal Code § 12590.)
  •  Possession of a firearm by a person ineligible to possess firearms because of his or her mental history. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8100).
  •  Providing a firearm or deadly weapon to a person who is prohibited from possessing firearms because of his or her mental history. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8101).
  •  Possession of a firearm by a person ineligible to possess firearms because of specific mental prohibitions. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103).
  •  Bringing or sending firearms or other contraband into a juvenile detention facility. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 871.5)
  •  Bringing or sending firearms or other contraband into youth authority institutions. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 1001.5.)
  •  Violating Penal Code section 12072 involving sales and transfers of firearms, including: ?- selling or furnishing a firearm to any person whom the individual has reason to believe is within a prohibited class; ?- selling or furnishing a handgun to a minor;?- selling or furnishing a firearm to any person whom the seller knows, or has cause ?to believe, is not intended to be the actual purchaser or transferee;?- acquiring a firearm for the purpose of providing it to a prohibited individual;?- selling or transferring a firearm without having the transaction processed through a licensed ?dealer or law enforcement agency;?- committing any act of collusion relating to a Handgun Safety Certificate. ?• Intimidating a witness or victim. (Penal Code § 136.1.)?• Threatening to cause death or great bodily injury to another person. (Penal ?Code § 422) ?Persons Prohibited From Possession, Purchase of Firearms As a Condition of Probation
California Firearms Laws 2007 21
Any person convicted of any crime for which the express condition of probation prohibits or restricts the possession of firearms may not lawfully own, possess, control, receive or purchase a firearm for the duration of the probation. (Penal Code § 12021(d).)
Persons Subject to a Protective Order
Persons who are subject to a protective order issued by a court pursuant to section 6218 of the Family Code, a protective order issued pursuant to Section 136.2 or 646.91 of the Penal Code, or by a protective order issued pursuant to Section 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, may not own, possess, purchase, or receive a firearm for the duration of the order. (Penal Code § 12021(g).) This includes any of the following restraining orders, whether issued ex parte, after notice and hearing, or in a judgment:
• A court-issued order enjoining a party from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within?a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party. (Family Code § 6320.)
• A court-issued order to exclude a party from the family dwelling, the dwelling of the other party, the common dwelling of both parties, or the dwelling of the person who has care, custody, and
control of a child to be protected from domestic violence. (Family Code § 6321.)?• A court-issued order enjoining a party from other specified behaviors as determined
by that court. (Family Code § 6322.)?• A court-issued order enjoining a party from abusing, intimidating, molesting, attacking,
striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting, or coming within a specified distance of , and elder or dependent adult. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 15657.03.)
The court, upon issuance of a protective order shall additionally require the respondent to sell any firearms in that person’s control to a licensed firearms dealer or relinquish them for the duration of the protective order. (Family Code § 6389(c).)
As of January 1, 2007, any person subject to a protective order which includes the relinquishment of firearms must immediately surrender his or her firearm(s) in a safe manner, upon the request of any law enforcement officer, or within 24 hours when no request for relinquishment is made by a law enforcement officer (FC § 6389).
Any person subject to a protective order must file a receipt with the court acknowledging the surrender of his or her firearms within 48 hours after being served with the order. Failure to file a receipt with the court in a timely manner constitutes a violation of the protective order (FC § 6389).
Persons Subject to a Temporary Restraining Order
Persons who are subject to a temporary restraining order issued pursuant to section 527.6 or 527.8 of the Civil Code for harassing behavior may not own, possess, purchase or receive a firearm for the duration of the order. (Penal Code § 12021(g).)
As of January 1, 2007, any person subject to a temporary restraining order is?required to surrender his or her firearm(s) within 24 hours of being served with the order or injunction, without regard to whether the person appeared in court at the time the order was
California Firearms Laws 2007 22
issued (Civil Code § 527.9).
Any person subject to a temporary restraining order must present a receipt to the court acknowledging the surrender of his or her firearms within 48 hours after receipt of the temporary restraining order or injunction (Civil Code § 527.9).
Persons Subject to Juvenile Court Law
Any person subject to juvenile court law and adjudged a ward of the juvenile court within the meaning of Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code for any of the following offenses, shall not own, possess, or have under his or her custody or control any firearm until reaching 30 years of age (Penal Code § 12021(e)):
  •  Murder.
  •  Arson that causes great bodily injury or arson of an inhabited structure or property. ?(Penal Code §§ 451(a) and (b).)
  •  Robbery while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  •  Rape with force or violence or threat of great bodily harm.
  •  Sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm.
  •  Lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 14. (Penal Code § 288(b).)
  •  Oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm.
  •  Sexual assault with a foreign object. (Penal Code § 289.)
  •  Kidnapping for ransom.
  •  Kidnapping for purpose of robbery, rape, spousal rape, etc. (Penal Code ?§ 209(b)(1).)
  •  Kidnapping with bodily harm.
  •  Assault with intent to murder or attempted murder.
  •  Assault with a firearm or destructive device.
  •  Assault by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
  •  Discharge of a firearm into an inhabited or occupied building.?• Specified crimes against persons 60 years of age or older, blind persons, paraplegics, or
  •  quadriplegics as described in Penal Code section 1203.09.?Use of a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of a felony; discharge
of a firearm at an occupied motor vehicle causing great bodily injury or death; use of a firearm to commit the controlled substances violations described in Penal Code
sections 12022.5 or 12022.53.?Any felony offense in which the minor personally used a weapon described in Penal
Code section 12020(a).?Felony intimidation of a witness and victim as described in Penal Code section 136.1 or
influencing the testimony or information given to a law enforcement official as described in Penal Code section 137.
Manufacturing, compounding, or selling one-half ounce or more of any salt or solution of a controlled substance specified in Health and Safety Code section 11055(e).
Possessing for sale, or selling a substance containing 28.5 grams or more of cocaine as specified in Penal Code section 1203.073.
Any of the specified violent felonies listed in Penal Code section 667.5(c) committed for the benefit, direction, or association with any criminal street gang as described in Penal Code section
186.22(b).?Intentionally inflicting great bodily injury on an employee of a juvenile facility
during an escape by the use of force or violence in violation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 871(b).
Torture as described in Penal Code sections 206 and 206.1. Aggravated mayhem as described in Penal Code section 205.
California Firearms Laws 2007 24
• Carjacking as described in Penal Code section 215 while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
• Kidnapping as punishable in Penal Code section 209.5.?• Willfully and maliciously discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle at another
person other than an occupant of a motor vehicle.?• Exploding, igniting, or attempting to explode or ignite any destructive device or
explosive with intent to commit murder.?• Any of the offenses listed in Penal Code section 12021(c)(1).?• Carrying a concealed handgun. (Penal Code § 12025).?• Carrying a loaded handgun. (Penal Code § 12031).?• Allowing another to transport a loaded handgun in a vehicle. (Penal Code § 12034).
Mental Patients, Mentally Disordered Sex Offenders, Persons Adjudicated a Danger to Others, Persons Incompetent to Stand Trial, Gravely Disabled Conservatees, and Persons Taken Into Custody as a Danger to Self or Others Because of a Mental Disorder
No person who is receiving inpatient treatment because he or she is a danger to self or others may have in his or her possession or under his or her custody, or control, nor may he or she purchase or receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearm. This applies even though the person has consented to the treatment. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8100.)
No person who communicates to a licensed psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a victim may purchase, possess, control, or have custody of any firearms for a period of six months after the threat is reported to a local law enforcement agency.
Attempts to purchase, possess, or control firearms are also prohibited. Persons prohibited under this section may petition a court for restoration of firearms privileges. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8100(b).)
No person adjudicated by a court of any state to be (a) a danger to others as a result of mental disorder or mental illness, or (b) a mentally disordered sex offender shall have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(a).)
No person found not guilty by reason of insanity of specified crimes in any state may have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(b).)
No person found by a court to be mentally incompetent to stand trial on a criminal charge shall have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(d).)
No person placed under conservatorship by a court, because the person is gravely disabled, shall have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm, where prohibited by the court. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(e).)
No person taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a designated facility pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 because that person is a danger to himself, herself, or others shall own, possess, control, receive, or purchase any firearm for a period of five years after the person is released from the facility. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(f.)
California Firearms Laws 2007 25
Under California law, no person who has been certified for intensive treatment pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code sections 5250, 5260 or 5270.15 may own, possess, control, receive, or purchase any firearm for a period of five years after the person is released from the facility. However, such a person is considered to have been adjudicated as a mental defective under federal law and therefore may not possess firearms even beyond the five years provided under California law. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8103(g)), 18 USC 922(g)(4).)
NOTE: Any person who knowingly supplies, sells, gives, or otherwise allows such an individual to possess or control any firearm or deadly weapon is guilty of a felony or an alternate felony/misdemeanor, respectively. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 8101.)

» on 01.09.13 @ 01:20 AM

Oldtimer and any others:

First let me apologize for writing “people like you” - it was definitely too general and I am sorry for that.

As far as weed or any other substance including alcohol and/or cigarettes - they will not be found in my house or my body.

BTW, those figures you were questioning are accurate.

The real issue is the money. Karl Marx was right (oh I can’t wait for this one to hit the political fan) when he said that capitalism wouldn’t work. BTW, capitalism is not synonymous with democracy or freedom. What he was saying would happen - has happened. Everything is for sale. The reason Karl said that it would essentially fall apart has been witnessed in the 2007-2010 banking frauds, the housing crisis, and (well you get the point).

I’m not a Marxist. I am a economist studying the faltering economies around the world and they are all faltering because of greed.

What does this have to do with guns? In the article I have been quoting (and you, oldtimer seem to be OK with this, “...a legal corporation making a legal profit on a legal sale…”), there is almost 12 billion dollars tied to the economy through jobs that are completely built on “killing machines” being sold to “law abiding” citizens. There has got to be something wrong with this concept. It is capitalism at its most corrupt.

“I can’t take your rights away because they are unpopular.” A very interesting way to state something that is apparently not true. Again, I will use drugs as an example. Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Hydrocodone, Celebrex, Chantix, and Zoloft are examples of drugs used by just about everyone. And yet, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine are considered illegal. Cigarettes, just as addicting, legal. Alcohol, more dangerous than Marijuana and Cocaine - legal. Celebrex can actually kill you - legal. Chantix routinely causes suicidal behavior - legal. Zoloft - well you know where I am going with this.

How did that happen? People (a minority I might add) took the rights of others away because they (the use of particular substances) were unpopular. A concrete example of a minority having the influence to literally change a substance from legal to illegal. Most people reading this don’t know the history of drugs in America and I am not going to educate them here.

38% of the American public owns firearms. I assume then that 62% do not have gun ownership. That is a fact. This entire debate is being held hostage by about 1/3 of the electorate. And yet, because of capitalism and its far-reaching effects on the economy it is impossible for the majority to have a say in the topic of gun control. This majority can’t even get a bill to the floor of either house. How is that possible if this is actually a democracy?

The answer, oldtimer, is that it is no longer a democracy. You are just hearing it from me today. I will take a stab at this statement: You believe that it is a democracy because that’s what you’ve heard. It’s what you were taught in school. But, it is no longer a fact.

The problem is that while you’ve been living a relatively warm life here in Santa Barbara, Fascism (The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.— Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938. Message to congress.) has taken hold of our lives. The Gun Lobby, The NRA, The Gun Manufacturers, and paid politicians are participating a a transparent conspiracy to undermine the political process as outlined in the Constitution that you mentioned.

This is why 38% of the electorate can actually trample the rights of 62% of the electorate when it comes to the issue and use of semi-automatic weapons with high-capacity ammunition clips. That’s not the kind of gun our founding fathers were talking about when they framed the Constitution!

It’s not just about guns, it’s about safety. John Stuart Mill said, ” In brief, society must be given power to curtail behavior that harms others…” I assert that ALL Semi-Automatic and Automatic weapons harm others and must be taken away from every citizen immediately.

» on 01.09.13 @ 12:04 PM

Bruce it is obvious that you are infected with a very narrow mined interpretation of the world and human beings. Capitalism is the private ownership and control of markets (the means of production and distribution of goods and services) and greed is the human behavior reflected in the desire for more than you need. Prosperity, the condition of enjoying wealth, success, or good fortune, is not the same as greed, though a greedy person can enjoy their resulting prosperity. But many hard working altruistic people succeed at an enterprise without being greedy, Michael Towbes, locally and Bill Gates nationally are two examples of very successful business men who are exceedingly generous and altruistic. It is also noteworthy that both men became rich while enriching the economy as a whole.

Where you and Marx stumble and commonly so is confusing success with greed and enriching ones self at the expense of the economy rather than enriching it. Warren Buffet is a generous and altruistic man but he became rich at the expense of the economy rather than enriching it. Same goes for the evil and greedy George Soros. Our capital markets were screwed by greedy people, we both agree, but not because they are privately held as you and Marx assert (as you pointed out many markets both private and state controlled are in disarray) but because many of those operating in these markets are gambling addicts and exceedingly greedy.

You really need to look at why your confusion or laziness in lumping wealth and prosperity generators in with wealth and greedy accumulators has left us in the terrible economic state we are in.

We no longer produce the goods and services we consume and the value of our economic enterprises adds less than we take, thus a nasty and persistent trade deficit and ballooning debt.

When you get that sorted out philosophically then we can delve into your dire misunderstanding of fascism, which is any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism. If anything your man in the white house is as close to this definition as any president we have had, albeit sans the nationalism.

» on 01.09.13 @ 12:41 PM

Bruce,

Let me see if I can summarize what you’ve given me to work with:

1. All semi-automatic and automatic weapons should be taken away from every citizen immediately;
2. A minority of the American public, 38%, is in favor of keeping guns in America;
3. The democratic process has been misappropriated via a transparent, coordination of lobbyists, organizations, and politicians, leveraging,in large part, due to funds from sales of weapons, such that those in #2, above, cannot assert their rights, which would be to implement #1, above;
4. The rights in our Constitution have been trampled on in the past, and because of #3, in this instance, we are no longer operating as a democracy.

I’m not sure we’re going to be in agreement on much given how far apart we are, but this illustrates the crux of the issue we face.  We, as in the folks in CA and the nation.

Our differences of opinion can be resolved via legislation or fiat in the short term. In order to achieve the goal described in #1, it sounds like you’d have to do this via fiat.  It’s hard to imagine another way given your argument stated in #3.  And, in some ways it sounds like you would justify it because of #4.

But, please allow me to delve into this a bit.

Does ownership equate to ‘in favor of keeping’ as stated in #2?  For example, if only 38% of the nation owned cars, should we infer that 62% believe cars should be banned? You and I differ on this interpretation.  Let me support this by saying I think there are far more people who believe legal weapons have a place, or role, in our society.  This is due to a number of factors including: their understanding of the Constitution, the history of how our nation came to exist, the existence and use of illegal weapons, the sensationalization of weapons use by the news media, music,  and movie industries (dare I say popularization?), use of weapons for sport and hunting, an individuals right to self-protection, and the inability of law enforcement to protect them from illegal actors in a reasonable amount of time. Thus, I believe the number to be closer to 65-70% are ‘in favor of keeping.’  But, I don’t think you and I are going to agree on this.

Noozhawk, today, published the dialog from a meeting of the City Council and the Police Chief.  The Chief stated that the average response time for ‘Priority 1 Calls’ was six minutes.  Prioriity 1 Calls are responses to circumstances that may result in injury or death.  Seconds count in instances, like Newtown, or Columbine, or Colorado, or Loganville where the mother fired 6 shots at a Felon to protect herself and her twins while waiting for police to respond. When ‘get the kids and hide’ fails,  I, and others, believe she has a right to protect her family by any means possible.  Thus, the legal use of firearms.

These seconds count to me.  As an economist, how does one put a value on that mother and her twins lives?  How does one enumerate all the other mothers or daughters like her, that daily run into circumstances where a gun has kept them safe?  (I would assert that even illegal guns play a positive role here.) I don’t think we hear about these instances, because it does not play well in our media today.  It does not fit the politically correct environment in which we live that states we ‘should believe and publicly say that all guns are bad.’  But, I and others like me, believe that she and her twins, and our daughters do count, and thus, we are ‘in favor of keeping.’ I don’t think I’m alone in stating that these instances far outnumber the recent tragedy in Newtown, but I don’t have a way of enumerating it.  Further, I will assert that in our large, media power-centric, cities, there is an innumerable amount of direct and indirect protection for the wealthy and powerful, that we in smaller communities, and those in the inner cities are not afforded.  ‘They’ have the means with which to protect themselves that ‘we’ don’t.  And, ‘they’ have the control of the media which significantly shapes our sometimes misdirected politically correct thinking.  Having worked in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the nation for decades, and working first-hand in the impacted areas has made these disparities very clear to me.  I’m not alone in believing the use of legal weapons, on balance, plays a positive role in keeping these communities safer.

It might surprise you to hear that many people have considered supporting the NRA with contributions, and in fact, joining the NRA.  Not because they believe the NRA wholly represents them, but because the NRA helps to protect their belief that legal weapons have a place in our society today.  To the extent that the NRA helps protect that right that many believe we have, then it plays a significant, meaningful, and needed role, particularly at times like these.

Clearing out illegal guns would certainly increase the percentage of people in support of eliminating all weapons.  But, we’re not there yet.  In our heart of hearts most all of us would truly like to get there, but we are faced with the ugly reality of illegal actors and visions (no doubt inflated by our nation’s founding and history) of international, and even internal, hegemony.  I don’t think any of us are in disagreement that illegal guns are bad and we should do all we can to eliminate them now.  Perhaps this is where we start.

So, Bruce, what other voice do we have?  If we can’t come together on this, in spite of our differences, I’m afraid we both will lose something.  We may disagree in that you may think we have already lost our democracy, but I think it’s worth the effort to keep it alive.  Because, as a vision, a beacon, that democracy is a light which we must aspire to find in the dark. I don’t think we have any other choice.

So, here’s what I propose: enforce the laws with respect to illegal possession or use of guns.  Take the firearms law which we have in the State of CA today and apply it to the nation, with a few tweaks.  It’s an awfully hard document to read, 50 pages or more of it, and I think there’s too much opportunity for entrapment thru misunderstanding, which can weaken enforcement, but in large part, it’s a reasonable document.

Can we agree to start there? I think it’s a much better solution than that of an executive fiat.

» on 01.09.13 @ 05:29 PM

Oldtimer, sorry to butt in again but I feel in trying to find “consensus” you only give an irrational demand undue credit. The demand for weapons to “be eradicated” in whole or in part is suicidal at best and extremely dangerous. I agree with you and Bruce that ideally it would be so much better a world if no weapons of any kind were necessary.

And that my friend is the entire problem with this conversation. We continue to delude ourselves into the dangerous and suicidal notion that it’s what is in the hand that makes one dangerous to others. No, it’s what is in the heart and mind that makes evil present and Timothy McVeigh and 19 jihadists proved it doesn’t take a gun to be a homicidal and deadly psychopath.

The fact that semi automatic weapons are already out there in the hands of civilians by the millions along with high capacity magazines and millions of high powered rounds of ammunition makes the whole prohibition argument moot. As stated before only a brutal freedom stomping totalitarian state, all powerful and in complete control of everything, could come close to eliminating guns or even some small portion of guns, like semi auto rifles and high cap mags. To argue this is absolutely ridiculous on its face. To say you are against a drug prohibition because of its fascist tendencies and then turn around and propose it be done with guns is irrational.

Clearly, the homicidal psychopath that murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook in Newtown was intent on killing. Had he not had stolen weapons from his murdered mother, an act which is heinous on its face, no one can guaranty he would not have carried out this act out in some other brutal manor, al la Oklahoma City. The focus should be on understanding what sets a lunatic off on a rampage and getting to the root of that. Trying to irradiate the planet of anything that lunatic might use, is in itself insane.

In the meantime I suggest that Bruce join many of his liberal friends and get some gun training, may be go to the range and try some out. Its far better to be knowledgeable, prepared and vigilant than get your head blown off wishing you didn’t have to or inviting a tyrannical dictatorship into your living room thinking that’s the “final” solution.

» on 01.09.13 @ 07:47 PM

OK - I’m glad some agreement is emerging from this discussion!

Oldtimer - I agree with you, let’s apply the CA firearms laws nationally and strictly enforce those laws with respect to the illegal possession or use of guns.

AN50 - I agree with you, let’s work to understand what sets off a lunatic on a rampage and see if there are ways to prevent that from happening.

If we do both those things we will eventually see less gun violence. I believe we have an obligation as Americans to try to make our communities safer.

» on 01.10.13 @ 05:09 PM

Gramps, I know you are trying to find “consensus” but sometimes it just isn’t there. I and many others will never agree to a prohibition. I don’t believe in the so called “vice” laws and the prohibitions they create. They don’t work. Any time you ban something that people want you just create a black market. It’s bad enough we have a black market for drugs, look at the toll that is taking, but do you really want that happening for firearms? If you think we don’t have enough control now wait until the mob starts running the show.

We have got to stop jerking our knee through our foreheads on these issues and start being intelligent. That means acknowledging reality and not some fantasy you want. The politicians, starting with the president and VP will use this issue to pander to your fantasy. The reality is they will make things far worse and they won’t care because they don’t have to live in our world.

The only way to make your community safe is to stop abdicating security to the government and start taking some responsibility yourself. Try out some fire arms get safety and use training and practice. That’s the knowledge part, along with recognizing who are the threats and doing what you can at a mental health level first. It also means being prepared for the worst and being vigilant.

Being a free citizen demands that. Asking someone else to make it safe for you is slavery.

» on 01.10.13 @ 06:51 PM

Dear AN50,
Our American traditions of individual responsibility and mutual cooperation give our country strength and resilience. When this dynamic balance is working well it makes our communities and our country great. I hope you will consider how we all benefit when we find common cause.
Respectfully, gramps

» on 01.11.13 @ 04:04 PM

Gramps, nothing eradicates individual responsibility more than ignorance and a proliferation of laws to force the resulting behavior. We tend rather erroneously, to believe in the failed idea that people must be told by authority how to behave in order to have an orderly and safe society. What we create is a society that is dependent on authority to behave. This is what control freaks, tyrants and despots always want.

Cooperation, the act of working or acting together to achieve a common goal is not the same as compromise, a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted. Compromise is again the tool of tyranny because it always results in a society of mediocrity. A mediocre society is far easier to control and manipulate than one based on principles and cooperation. The prohibitions being promoted require a compromise not cooperation.

Therefore I agree with you that we always win when we preserve our individual responsibility and cooperate with each other. However that is not the case with gun control, where responsibility is stripped from the individual and it is done through compromise not cooperation.

» on 03.02.13 @ 01:44 PM

Your self-righteousness is repugnant sir.

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