(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On Monday, President Obama stood alongside family members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims and called for Congress to vote on gun control legislation. While some senators are working on a bipartisan compromise, more than a dozen Republicans have threatened to filibuster a vote on any such bill. We talk about the policies being proposed, and the likely fate of gun control legislation in this Capitol Hill showdown.

Guests:
John Bresnahan, senior congressional reporter for POLITICO
David Mark, editor-in-chief of Politix
Adam Winkler, professor of law at UCLA School of Law, and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America"
Harry Wilson, professor of political science and director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College, and author of "Guns, Gun Control, and Elections"

  • Slappy

    Everyone should understand why the Constitution allows the PEOPLE to possess firearms (if you don’t, you obviously do not fully appreciate the circumstances upon which this country was founded).

    That said, there are definitely those who should not own firearms. We already have laws in place for such people. What more can additional legislation accomplish? If the problem is enforcement, then start enforcing. The problem here is the potential for legislative abuse by the Federal Government. It is inevitable that there will be sections in future bills that will go too far in terms of restrictions, and I believe that is what Republican lawmakers, and their constituents, do not want.

    • Ehkzu

      What Republican lawmakers want is to preserve the patronage of the gun makers and their lobbying organization, misleadingly called the NRA. What the gun makers want is anything whatsoever that will increase their profits. What they don’t want is anything whatsoever that will decrease their profits.

      You cannot serve two masters, and the Republican lawmakers don’t–they serve their financial patrons, then try to conceal this fact from their voters. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the issue of universal background checks for gun purchases, supported not just by over 90% of voters but by a big majority of Republican voters and even more than 2/3 of NRA rank and file.

      A vote on this issue will force Republican lawmakers to reveal their true colors. Hence the attempt to filibuster the vote.

      Fortunately a few Republican lawmakers, such as John McCain, have a shred of decency and oppose this cynical filibuster.

      And Slappy’s “slippery slope” argument is a common rhetorical fallacy. When you can’t argue against the issue at hand, try to change the subject to an imaginary issue that you can argue against.

      • Another Mike

        The total annual revenue of ALL American small arms and ammunition makers is less than the annual revenue of the Hershey Corporation, so it’s not “corporate profits” that is driving the pro-rights side.

  • Ralph

    They can take people’s guns, they can take the knives, they can take my atlatl, they can take away all the crossbows, they can take my books and burn them, they can take the heirloom seeds I’ve been hoarding … but they’ll never get my consent, my agreement, nor my compliance. In a police state, only the police have guns. A police state exists in the USA today, you need only look at the laws that have been passed that make it so.

    • Ehkzu

      Your argument is against the boogeyman–oops, the federal government–confiscating everyone”s guns. Something no American politician is proposing, or has proposed. Something that is not a part of any pending legislation anywhere, locally or nationally.

      So while the Ralphs of the world jump at shadows, most Americans work from some semblance of reality. This guy talks like Timothy McVeigh talked.

      Police state indeed. Talk to someone who’s actually lived in a police state. This is beyond ignorant.

      • chrisnfolsom

        Thanks – I find it interesting so many want to protect themselves from “the boogeyman” with M-16’s…. If you REALLY wanted to protect yourself you would need a bit more than personal armament. I DO believe in state militias such as national guards as I believe ALL adults should be part of their own government through service – although even that is a bit crazy as a protect against a National Government (the original intent of the 2nd Amendment).

      • Ralph

        Gun confiscation has happened in the USA at gunpoint already — in New Orleans.

        As for the police state, you’re ignorant. Read the laws that have been passed. Ever hear of the Military Commissions Act of 2006? Ever hear of the Patriot Act?

        Learn something before you resort to ad hominem attacks. Oh but you’re doing that because you refuse to learn anything.

    • chrisnfolsom

      The nice thing is that in a Democracy such as ours (there are many flavors) you don’t have to have consensus – I don’t like religion being shoved down my throat, or being introduced as “science”, but that is the way it is – I am working on changing that through the freedom we have in our political system – THAT is my right. You have the right to voice your opinion try to influence policy and law, and to break the laws – as well as pay the penalty.

      You can’t hide behind your own interpretation of the 2nd Amendment – an amendment after all – and then not follow the Supreme Court. If you won’t follow the laws of the land – then you can’t claim a specific amendment….

  • Another Mike

    I would like to thank Mr. Krasny for asking about the utility of extended background checks. What would actually prohibit most of these mass shootings would be expanding the definition of the mentally ill who would be prohibited firearms ownership.

    • Ehkzu

      Well, I support bringing back the looney bins, and putting obviously crazy people in them, both for their own good and for ours. But there is no way to capture many of these mass shooters before they snap. People like Charles Whitman, whose craziness only showed up in his diaries before he started shooting.

      So this argument is just NRA propaganda–an attempt to throw up anything to distract people from the pressing need to regulate firearm ownership–something that even the Supreme Court’s right wing majority explicitly supported in Heller.

    • Another Mike

      The idea that these mass shooters “suddenly snap” is not true.

      The Va Tech killer had been adjudicated mentally ill, but was not entered into the prohibited person database.
      Gabby Giffords’ shooter was barred from his community college campus until he received a mental health clearance.
      The Aurora shooter was being treated by a psychiatrist who had reported him to the police.
      Psychiatrist colleagues of the Fort Hood shooter described him as “paranoid” and “schizophrenic”.
      The Sandy Hook killer’s mother lamented that she could no longer handle him. Police found a scroll in his bedroom indicating he had been planning the shooting for years.

  • chrisnfolsom

    We can’t be held hostage to those who will not compromise. To say “nothing will solve the problem” – so do nothing is ridiculous To say that 4 million NRA member will dictate what 98.6% of America will do is ridiculous. An arms race between the citizens of America is crazy – the only reason criminals don’t carry guns is that there is a small chance they will be confronted with one – the sure way to increase gun violence in crime is to give everyone guns.

    • Ehkzu

      It’s not even 4 million NRA members. For one thing. a million of that number is NRA members who are currently deceased or who got their membership as a freebie for attending a gun show or buying a gun. Of the remaining 3 million or so, 2 million support reasonable gun regulation issues like universal background checks.

      That leaves 1 million gun nuts. Those are the ones who flood mainstream media comment threads with their rants against the gummint and liberals and blacks (using the appropriate dogwhistle language).

    • Another Mike

      The NRA has more members than any other citizen lobby except the AARP. If you use the number of members as the indication of who supports their position, you would conclude that no one supports abortion, because the membership of NARAL is tiny compared to the NRA’s.

      The Audit Bureau of Circulation supplies a lower bound to the NRA membership claims: each member or household has the right to receive one NRA magazine, although many now read theirs online.

      The NRA membership list is never made public, so the validity of statements concerning NRA members’ beliefs is questionable.

      • chrisnfolsom

        This is a democracy, not a lobby competition – although the power of the NRA perverts democracy by letting 4 million (or 2Million by Lee) push their agenda in opposition to the will of the people – even the will of their own people in the case of gun registration. Again, I understand the frustration of the “tyranny” people, but as with racists, anti suffragists and such you have a choice to follow new laws or pay the price – THAT is your right.

  • Ginny Bahr

    I’m all for gun control. However as a mental health professional, I am fearful that the chance of having guns taken away due to a diagnosis will deter those in need from getting help.
    Veterans have a difficult time as it is overcoming stigma to get the mental health support they need, who would want to get help at the risk of losing their right to bear arms?

    • Another Mike

      On the other hand, do you really want veterans suffering from PTSD to go around carrying concealed handguns, as they do in Texas?

  • Ehkzu

    What the gun makers (and their lobbying arm the NRA) really fear is government doing anything to reduce straw man purchases. Most crooks and psychos get their guns from someone who got that gun legally, then sold or gave it to the crook or psycho. We need to make doing that a federal felony–and we need a federal registration of all guns in America–something no lawmaker has proposed, unfortunately–so whenever we catch a crook or a psycho with a gun, we can find who he got it from, and go after them.

    • Another Mike

      If we catch a crook or a psycho with a gun, when the ATF traces it to the first retail purchaser, don’t we have the ability to trace the steps between, by querying the purchaser and subsequent purchasers?

  • Cal M

    Michael, a thought for your panel:

    Those whose primary concern in opposition to ANY gun control is that they can “protect themselves from the government” are in total denial. Have they heard of tanks, bombs, & drones?

    • Another Mike

      Despite having tanks, bombs, and drones, American troops were fighting and dying against irregular forces in Iraq for nine years.

      • chrisnfolsom

        If that’s the case then why do we have all those weapons and why does the right defend them? We also follow “rules of war” If Saddam had our armaments there would be radiation and much larger holes in the ground. We care about PR in a war and you can’t use our wars as a yard stick with which to measure others. We fight wars and watch NFL on Sunday’s with bean dip stains on our shirts.

  • In discussing this with friends, wondering why the south was so untrusting of government, I thought about the civil war, where “the government” did turn against the South. I find that history impacts things for long after the time we have forgotten it.

    • Ehkzu

      The government didn’t turn against the South. The South turned against the government. It was a Southern government that fired on Fort Sumter.

  • Ehkzu

    Distrust of the federal government underlies much of voter opposition to any kind of gun regulation.,

    Who distrusts the federal government? Two main factions:
    (1) Very rich people who want complete freedom to continue the class war they’ve been so effective at waging against the rest of us over the past 40 years.
    (2) Johnny Reb–Southern rural white men, their wives, and fellow travelers who are still fighting the Civil War in their minds. Hence their fury at President Obama–because to them the worst thing on Earth is an Uppity Negro. The gun makers have been very successful at propagandizing this group, who view the federal government as an enemy occupation force, just as their ancestors did during Reconstruction.

    Group (1) finances the propaganda, while group (2) provides the shock troops.

  • Another Mike

    The case-control studies used by the CDC doctors had to assume that correlation equals causation. You could “prove” that oxygen bottles caused emphysema that way.

  • Is there any evidence anywhere that strict gun laws have reduced crime? Chicago seems to indicate otherwise….

    • chrisnfolsom

      One city proves nothing as guns cross borders. That is why we need a national system. The only problem is that a national system get’s all the “Tyranny” people up in arms. So I guess there is no solution and we should just sell hundreds of thousands of new guns every year into the mix…..

      • And if that national system is not effective, would you agree to dismantle it?

        • chrisnfolsom

          Yes, but obviously the “rules” would have to be set, as well as thresholds. Do you believe the only way to have a free society is for everyone to have a gun to secure their personal freedom? I would like to propose another experiment – give every person in a crime ridden area a gun (even educate) them with free ammo (so they can assert their rights without limits) and see how that works. The answer is in the middle I would imagine.

          • free society does not require gun ownership. It does require each person to be able to protect themself and their family. People are free to choose how they protect their family. Some choose to rely exclusively on the government (oops – see Katrina or LA riots). When the next big earthquake around San Francisco happens the government will get another chance to show what they can do.

            How big does the scale of the experiment need to be? Perhaps we could just look at Great Britain or Australia and see how it turned out for them.

            I would gladly give up my firearms for such an experiment if I would get them back after a reasonable period – maybe 5 years? I fear that if the threshold for such an experiment is not met, the government will not say they are sorry, will not remove the laws and will not give them back.

          • I agree that the answer is somewhere in between. Give gun laws enough teeth to discourage evil people from using firearms to solve their problems.

          • chrisnfolsom

            The only issue is that there are so many guns…. I do feel though that if we all had guns then “evil people” would shoot first, or use bigger guns to get at you and your stuff. The only protection we have against a escalating gun war is to not have it in the first place – some how – that doesn’t mean no guns, but more regulation and control… I just don’t see any other way and have a hard time believing my daughters have to carry guns around to protect the few who “need” guns to feel safe.

          • chrisnfolsom

            I understand your feelings and you should have guns, but all the “illegally possessed” guns were made in legal factories – how did they get to the illegal owners? I have an issue with the “tyranny” people, and used to tolerate them, but as with the right wing religious nuts trying to rewrite history rather then deal with “reality”, I am fed up with the people who us their interpretation of the 2nd amendment to hold us all hostage. Democracy works with rules, not fools (sorry, just came to me 😉

      • Another Mike

        Guns are not allowed to cross borders. No one may buy a handgun in a different state, and no one may buy a long gun in a different state unless both states’ laws allow.

        • chrisnfolsom

          And because the regulation of guns and such is so bad (and would be even worse if the NRA could run things) we have no idea what the real numbers are. Really, guns aren’t allowed to cross borders???? Give me a break.

          • Another Mike

            If laws are difficult to enforce, the solution is not to give up on enforcement.

          • chrisnfolsom

            And the answer is not to just “create more laws” I am against “knee jerk” laws in principal even if they help my views although it’s hard when “the other side” will use manufactured facts FUD to get their point across. And popular opinions is increasingly meaningless when gerrymandering (congress), lobbying (NRA and such) and saying whatever you want (Palin, Bachnann, Rand, Ryan) – it’s a tough to fight with principal when those you are fighting against believe the end justifies the means.

      • The national gun confiscations in Great Britain and Australia have not appreciably changed their crime rates. What makes you think that the US would do it better than those countries?

        • Chemist150

          The gun related crimes in Britain are about that of northern states with the least gun regulation. The US has the worst gun related crimes on border states… Go figure. The stats in Britain cannot be directly correlated simply because of border issues. If the US was an island, I’m sure border states would have lower gun related crimes as well.

    • Another Mike

      No evidence from FBI statistics: The firearms homicide rate is the lowest in three different states: strict control Hawaii, medium strict Minnesota, and least strict Vermont. The firearms homicide rate is lower in Texas than in California, even though the laws are less strict in Texas.

      • chrisnfolsom

        It shows you that the answer is complex – and shifting. fyi – I own and enjoy guns, would own and shoot more if I had the time and money as well as spent 4 years in the military and love the feel of an automatic burst of rounds. I don’t have guns to protect myself from “tyranny”, and don’t think much about personal safety with them – admittedly I live in the suburbs.

    • Ehkzu

      “Chicago” is NRA dogwhistle language for “blacks.” The NRA loves to claim that all American gun crime is done by blacks in cities, but the statistics refute this.

      As for strict gun laws working–news flash! America isn’t the only country on Earth. Rich countries with stricter gun laws that ours not only have fewer gun homicides, they also have far, far fewer homicides per capita.

      You can look this up in the article “Gun rhetoric vs. gun facts” at the FactCheck.org website.

      The challenge for gun control in America is that areas with strict gun controls get arms brought in from areas with lax gun controls. Hence the need for federal regulation–especially of straw man purchases.

      • Another Mike

        On a per capita basis, the US manages to kill as many people without firearms as the UK does using all methods.

      • I have read your very long article, and would even suggest that the comparison should not be of “gun murders” but of a combination of all “gun violence”, which tilts the statistics a little in your favor. Still, “gun violence” in the US is not wildly our of proportion to other countries. I think you will agree that the vast majority of “gun violence” is perpetrated by evil people (gang members, drunk people that think that a firearm makes them important, etc). Rather than work on distinguishing who can and cannot own/carry firearms my concern is that the currently proposed gun control legislation is being lazy and assumes *everyone* is evil. Do not say that I cannot own a gun because of the actions of some other evil people.

      • Your comment [“Chicago” is NRA dogwhistle language for “blacks.”] is inflamatory. Chicago is a place with a specific culture of violence and criminal behavior. If anyone says that culture is caused by “blacks” then they are racist. Throughout history, I do not recall seeing a single picture of a crime boss in Chicago that was *african american*. Your comment saying that the NRA used “Chicago” when they really meant “blacks” is needlessly inflamatory. I would suggest that you do some soul-searching to come to grips with own racism. If I misunderstood your comment, then I apologize in advance.

        • SkippyFlipjack

          Chicago is used as an example by the NRA in an attempt to entangle Obama with gun violence.

          • Another Mike

            Obama chose to live in Chicago as a young man, in 1985, and except for Harvard Law School and the presidency, he has lived there ever since. Further, Chicago has been governed by Democrats — the President’s party — since 1931.

          • chrisnfolsom

            What does that have to do with the argument, or guns in general? Chicago has also had many other problems with job loss and the economy with a large population “existing” – still 700 deaths in a year – wow.

          • Another Mike

            Associating Obama with his chosen home town, and implying that he should know from experience that his party’s strict gun control policies have failed at controlling the number of homicides, is fair.

          • chrisnfolsom

            I disagree and believe the failure of Chicago’s policies can be attributed more to a lack of National Standards and less a lack of local laws. I admit I am ignorant of all that has been done or tried in Chicago. but as you label Chicago’s attempt “his party’s” I can assume you are mentioning the Democratic gun control agenda – which I don’t fully agree with, but saying NOTHING should be done is also wrong.

            Interesting wording – as if Obama “choosing” a hometown is disingenuous – many people “choose” where to live – wtf? I guess he is also a closet muslim and not a “real” American?? It’s hard to argue/discuss a point when you are trying to undercut the discussion with insinuation and slurs. Forget Obama, the Democrats – what about everyone else who want some gun regulation and control – including NRA members?

          • Another Mike

            Honolulu is Obama’s hometown. Chicago is the city in which he chose to reside.

      • menloman

        Good catch. Not all gun crimes are done by blacks…however, the overwhelming number occur in cities with large black populations. You can test this out. Turn on tonight’s news and take note of where gun crimes are committed and who is involved.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Jack makes a good point. Bear in mind the Mayor of Chicago and friend of President Obama enacted the hardest gun laws where if you own a gun you cannot use it outside your own home. Yet, deaths by guns on the streets of Chicago have gone up which suggests that its not the law abiding folks who are the problem. So the question remains. How do we keep guns out of the hands of those who insist on breaking the law?

    • What’s true is that without a state or federal ban on certain guns, one simply has to buy elsewhere and enter the city, so no firm conclusion can be drawn. Regardless of the evidence, gun nuts persist in perpetuating myths like more guns results in fewer homicides.

      • Another Mike

        Buying a handgun in a different state violates federal law.
        A Californian who buys a long gun in a different state would violate federal law.

        If these laws don’t prevent “one simply buying elsewhere,” what do we need to do, pass a law requiring people to obey all previously enacted laws?

    • Regardless of what the evidence shows, gun nuts see what they want to see. The NRA is an advocacy group, not an impartial org. The research shows that states with the most lax gun laws have the highest homicide rates.

      • Another Mike

        Then why do FBI statistics show that the firearms homicide rate in California is higher than the firearms homicide rate in Texas? Why are the firearms homicide rates identical in lax Vermont, strict Hawaii, and intermediate Minnesota? You can download the spreadsheets from fbi.gov.

  • Amazing that “privacy issues” are being brought up as a reason to not back these background checks. Is it because mental illness is stigmatized in this country? It shouldn’t be. Furthermore, as a way to promote mental health in this country, skills like meditation (the ability to self-regulate) and compassionate communication (the ability to solve conflict peacefully) should be part of our schools’ curriculum. The internalization of these skills would go a long way to inoculate our society from violence.

    But really—if you insist on the “freedom” to own a gun, then you sure as hell should be screened for mental fitness! No one’s
    “freedoms” are being impinged upon here. My feelings of security are
    if these legislations—background checks and limited ammunition clips— do not pass.

  • Chemist150

    Sure militias were used in various ways but part of the discussion leading into the 2nd amendment was that the guns had to remain in case the federal government became too far reaching. To some (Madison), it was inconceivable that the federal government could even assemble an army to compete against the militias and questioned the necessity of the second amendment. The 2nd amendment is there because our founding fathers came from an oppressive government and knew we needed maintain the ability to dispose of that government when, not if, it begins to overstep the contract between the government and the public. It’s a safeguard to keep the government from overstepping its authority.

    America has lost the common knowledge, responsibility and respect of gun ownership as guns are hidden away and we should not let that lead us down the path of removing our protection of being able to dispose of the government if necessary.

    • chrisnfolsom

      Great idea, but times have changed. This is before cars, tanks, GPS, missiles, planes, bombs. When (1791) a militia of soldiers with guns could stop a calvary advancing with guns, cannons and bayonet. There were not even gattling guns… A musket was only useful in groups of 10 or more as a smaller force could be advanced upon before reloading – something ONE individual can easily do with today’s weapons. Against a government with air planes and modern weapons a single person is more like a flea than a competitor. Until most of the “tyranny” proponents say they need individual bombs, air planes, tanks, bombs and missiles I will not take them seriously (some do I realize).

      • Chemist150

        Those in Syria should lay down their arms and give up? Planes and tanks do have an advantage but I will point out that there are armories across the US where some police themselves have small tanks. These would be raided first. Revolution finds it’s way. Rat packs win even when under armed but having arms gives clear advantage. Don’t give up the protection of the second amendment, I have to wonder what the agenda is of those that fail to learn from history.

        “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. “ — Douglas Adams

      • Chemist150

        I’ll also point out the foreign built army vs. homegrown military. Lybia was able to hold out so long because of foreigners being paid to hold down the populace. A comparison would be a latino army by the US paying them better than at home and promising citizenship if they fire on citizens.

        This is compared to the Soviet Union who basically said they would not fire on their brother or father and refused to resist the collapse even though the military was strong.

  • It is my understanding that New Orleans confiscated guns in the days following Katrina, and many have never been returned to owners. Did that gun confiscation provide any benefit to crime in New Orleans following Katrina?

    • Ehkzu

      >>among advanced countries, the U.S. homicide rate stands out. “We seem to be an average country in terms of violence and aggression…What we have is huge homicide rates compared to anybody else.” … “The difference is that in this country violence involves firearms and firearms change the outcome.”<<

      –http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

      • Another Mike

        Yes, Dr. Garen Wintemute of U.C. Davis believes that US firearms ownership causes our high homicide rate. But the factcheck.org graphic shows that the firearms homicide is the lowest level since 1981, even as firearms ownership is the highest in years.

  • Bill_Woods

    Recent call-in comment: “It seems like there would be bipartisan support for a tax on ammunition.”
    Excuse me? Bipartisan support? Which two parties did you have in mind? And what fraction of bullets are fired during crimes, as opposed to fired in practice and recreation?

    • chrisnfolsom

      I agree although a small tax is reasonable along with a tax perhaps logging of excessive purchases. I think as with drugs that we should know where ammo goes – just to have the data and the analyze trends. I am sure some will disagree.

      • Another Mike

        High volume purchasers do the most practice, not the most killing.

        • chrisnfolsom

          If they are legal then what is the problem? It’s just nice to track data to be able to make policy. We track so many other things currently. HOW can you make policy without some information – which the NRA has done by inserting policy into certain bills to limit gun violence statistics from being investigated – promoting ignorance is a sure sign of a bad idea.

          • Another Mike

            I daresay we can set abortion policy without going down a list of every woman who ever had an abortion.

          • chrisnfolsom

            yes, but if we dont even have numbers and qualifying factors, perhaps race, income, age, marital status or whatever, how can you make a policy? reg guns NRA says crazy people are the problem – not the ease at which crazy/anyone can get guns. That gun shows are not a source of guns for criminals – where are the numbers? Do I just believe the NRA? All we have left are people spouting numbers and “opinions” – I can watch FOX and listen to Limbaugh if that is what I want.

      • Slappy

        What exactly would logging “excessive purchases” do?

        • chrisnfolsom

          Not sure, but I like data 😉

  • Alvin Leung

    NRA say gun don’t kill people only the person holding the gun kill people. This country need to take this literal. The people who own gun will be responsible for the gun they own. Every gun that leave manufacturer site must have traceable paper work. Every gun sell must create traceable paper work. The seller and buy must keep their paper work for the life of the gun. If the gun record is needed for investigation, the authority will trace the paper trail with court order. The last person that don’t have proper paper work is responsible the gun and share the liability of the damage create by using that gun. Proper paper work is defined as seller have correct information that the buyer can be located.

    • Another Mike

      The ATF can trace any gun sold to the first retail purchaser with two phone calls. For his own protection, the first retail purchaser should keep a record of who he sells it to, lest he be considered a crime suspect.

      • chrisnfolsom

        That sounds great, but is it reality? Are most of the guns used in crimes traceable?

  • During catastrophes, the US government has proven ineffective at protecting the people. Katrina and the Los Angeles riots for just a couple examples. In those vaccuums, evil people emerge and take advantage. On a smaller scale, a no-gun theater is a smaller vaccuum where an evil man can take advantage. Why will no one admit that the only way a citizen can assure their own protection against evil people is to arm themselves?

    • Ehkzu

      A strong argument against total gun confiscation. Which is not a part of any law being proposed, since it would require repealing the 2nd Amendment. So why bring it up?

      I also believe we shouldn’t confiscate people’s shoes. Of course that’s nonsense–just like everything this guy has said here.

  • The national gun confiscations in Great Britain and Australia have not appreciably changed their crime rates. What makes you think that the US would do it better than those countries?

    • Ehkzu

      Baldfaced lie. The truth is the exact opposite, and anyone can look it up if they venture outside the right wing blogosphere.

      • Another Mike

        Actually the UK’s firearms homicide rate went up, post handgun ban, till about 2003. You could look it up.

      • You only *think* it is a lie.
        Where are you getting your information? Got facts?

    • chrisnfolsom

      I have not verified all of this, but it looks right from:

      http://sandiegofreepress.org/2013/01/some-factual-gun-statistics-part-2-of-a-cultural-comparison-gun-violence-in-the-us-and-europe/

      In 2010, roughly 70% of US homicides were by gun whereas in Britain including Northern Ireland only 9% were by gun. In the US in 2012 the total firearm-related death rate including both suicides and homicides was 10.2 per 100,000; in France the comparative figure was 3.0; in Britain, 0.25 . So the US firearms-related death rate was about 40 times that of Britain!

      The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – at 89 guns for every 100 Americans compared to 6 in Britain, 31 for Canada and Norway. And the gun murder figures themselves are equally astounding. While there were 9,960 U.S. gun homicides in 2010, there were only 58 in Britain. Britain´s population is one-fifth of the US population. When adjusted for this, British gun murders are equivalent to 290 US gun murders.

      Thus, versus Britain, the US had 34 times more gun homicides. In 2010, there were total of only 1,164 EU-17 gun homicides vs. 9,960 U.S. gun homicides making the U.S. homicide rate higher by a factor of 11 on an equivalent population basis. In the years 2010 and 2011, homicides by guns as a percentage of total homicides were about 28% in the EU-17 vs. 70% in the US. In 2011 there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms. In 2012, there were over 500 gun murders in Chicago alone – almost half the total of the EU-17 countries. Contrary to propaganda by the NRA, these figures show that smaller levels of gun possession lead to smaller numbers of gun homicides.

      Obviously, European social and cultural factors play a major role along with much more restrictive, broadly accepted gun controls. In fact, Britain’s strict gun controls led to record low gun homicides in 2011 and to its lowest intentional (gun and non/gun) homicide level ever.

      • Another Mike

        So you would be fine with being stabbed to death, or strangled, or stomped to death, or beaten with a baseball bat? It’s only being shot to death that you would resist?

        • chrisnfolsom

          yes of course, I always bring a gun to a knif/baseball bat fight. When was the last time you needed to defend yourself? Do you know in the “wild west” they had to check their gun in in many towns – guns were for rural use, but in cities there was law. Guns are different that knives and bats – athough all can kill only one lets anyone kill with VERY little risk.

    • SkippyFlipjack

      Australia’s murder rate plunged after they banned guns.

  • It could be argued that the gun owner owner was responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting. If she had not been herself a victim, she would have been crucified for making her firearms available to her son with known issues.

    • Ehkzu

      Innumerable gun deaths are caused by the carelessness of gun owners. Yesterday a 4 year old boy shot and killed his aunt accidentally with the loaded gun his sheriff’s deputy uncle was showing off. Today another little boy accidentally killed a 6 year old neighbor boy with his dad’s loaded gun that had been left out.

      I think background checks should include everyone in the person’s household–such that Adam Lanza’s mother shouldn’t have been able to keep guns in the house unless she had her son committed, as she should have.

  • There is a difference between responsible gun owners and evil people that use guns. A backround check will help distinguish the evil people, but we really need laws with enough teeth to discourage evil people from using guns.

    • Ehkzu

      Glad you agree that straw buyers should become felons under federal law. It’s likely that most felons and psychos get their guns from people who possessed those gun legally. We need to be able to track guns used by crooks and psychos back to the straw buyers and hold them responsible for any crimes committed with those guns.

      That’s what “taking responsibility” for your guns means.

  • Prohibition has been tried in this country with alcohol, and that was found to be a bad idea and repealed. How is the current round of gun control legislation that seeks to prohibit firearms different?

    • chrisnfolsom

      You have to be 21 to drink in most states, have to pay taxes, cannot sell grain alcohol, have limits of consumption by day and time and can have your drivers license taken away if you drink and drive. Compared to alcohol what is being asked of guns is small.

    • Ehkzu

      Yet another bogus argument from the gun makers. What proposed law bans guns? None. What lawmaker proposes banning guns? None.

      100% of the talk about the government banning guns comes from the gun makers lobby–the NRA.

  • It is unfortunate that the majority of TV and movie stories involve firearms, and constantly show people using them as the last resort to solve their problem with glorious results.

    • Ehkzu

      Good point. And it’s equally unfortunate that they show people getting shot and dying instantaneously, with just a few drops of blood. In reality they die slowly in agony, bleeding buckets of blood.

      Clint Eastwood’s western “Unforgiven” is one of the few that shows the results of being shot with any kind of realism. The other is “Saving Private Ryan.”

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    My issue with gun control laws is the united states is made up of such diverse sections from cities to rural areas. Personally I do not want NYC, well off Connecticut laws here in rural west areas. This is where states rights can be very positive. Because states can have laws that fit their needs.
    The question gun control folks never seem to answer is even with thousands of gun laws on the books, is how do you get guns out of the hands of those who have no respect for life, or have no respect for obeying the law?
    Often think about how gun control folks are like someone who insists on not eating meat, insisting that a law be passed to make sure a Seventh Day Adventist, vegan doesn’t buy or eat meat. If they are already not eating meat why insist on a law?

  • menloman

    The last call was interesting in that it used the nuclear arms issue as a metaphor for the gun issue. Unfortunately, the English professor host doesn’t understand metaphors and characterizes the call as off topic.

  • Maverick

    How come we never hear from disenfranchised felons? Many are law abiding and unlikly to reoffend yet they are the pawns in this game.

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