(GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

In response to the deadly shootings in Santa Barbara this weekend, California lawmakers have proposed a “gun violence restraining order.” The proposal would give friends and family members of those showing signs of committing violence more power in preventing them from buying or possessing guns. In the Santa Barbara tragedy, the mother of the shooter had previously informed law enforcement that her son was a danger, but after visiting him, officials took no action. The proposed bill would have given his mother an avenue to intervene through a process similar to a domestic violence restraining order, allowing a judge to order that guns be taken away.

Guests:
Nancy Skinner, California Assembly member representing the 15th District, which covers parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Robert Farago, publisher of "The Truth About Guns"

  • Guest

    A large tax on bullets would be a smarter choice than mere restraining orders, which are basically reminders to people who don’t plan to listen anyway.

    But the USA is a war-mongering country, which has military bases in 130 foreign nations so there is little chance of an intelligent approach to limiting firearms. You might as well preach good nutrition at a lard factory.

    The military industrial complex created the context in which violent force is considered normal, just and guiltless.

    • bigDrew2003

      so poor people would be unable to use a gun for self defense? or would you have the government subsidize it for poor people.

      • Guest

        You make a good point, thanks.

    • Chipsterr

      “…A large tax on bullets”

      Was, at least conceptually, one of the reasons we went to war with England all those years ago.

      “But the USA is a war-mongering country”

      You don’t seem to like this country very much. Have you considered trying one of the many other countries out there? I am sure there is one you would like better than here, some place a little less war-mongery.

  • thucy

    “In the Santa Barbara tragedy, the mother of the shooter had previously informed law enforcement that her son was a danger, but after visiting him, sheriff officials took no action.”

    If said shooter were Hispanic, Black, or a poor white, you can believe sheriff officials would have taken action. Elliot Rodgers got “a break” because he was perceived as white/Asian and moneyed – and look how he betrayed police trust. In contrast, many non-violent black youths have been arrested by cops, then imprisoned by a corrupt justice system, for mere possession of a single joint. They have been subsequently assaulted, often sexually, in our prison system.

  • thucy

    Perhaps the subject that is too impolite to broach is:

    1) each of these mass shooters was male, and
    2) each of these male mass shooters had been taking FDA-“approved” psych meds, the mechanisms of which we still do not understand.

    If the problem were merely access to guns, why aren’t there female mass shooters? Why aren’t there any mass shooters who have not been subjected to psych meds?

    • Guest

      The gender isn’t nearly as large a factor as their being on corporate medications.

    • Dinkum_Thinkum

      They all had ears too.

  • Cal M

    The argument being made by individuals such as Mr. Farago that “if we did away with guns, crazy people would still do damage w/ knives” is preposterous & laughable. Let’s talk facts: the same week as Newtown, a deranged individual attacked a primary school in China. The difference? The China attacker only had a knife. The result? 20 kids were INJURED. Let me repeat, they were INJURED, not KILLED.

    • thucy

      good point about the greatly reduced damage due to the absence of guns. Let me guess – the assailant in China was… male. Why is this XY chromosomal factor NEVER part of the discussion ?

      • toomuchinformation

        Who says it’s not part of the discussion? What do you do with that information?

        • Lucubration

          Ban males.

    • Chipsterr

      “..crazy people would still do damage w/ knives” is preposterous & laughable.”

      I think I am going to go rob a bank today…. no… wait… no more guns. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to finish my lunch and go back to work.

      Criminals are going to be criminal and do criminal things. Why would you want to remove the best tool to defend ourselves from them?

    • rightontheleftcoast

      Bill, your statement contradicts itself – of course crazy people do damage with knives. Rodgers killed three room-mates with one, before setting off on his BMW and gun rampage. Whats laughable about that? Are you laughing?

      What is “preposterous” about Mr Farrago pointing that out, that its not one tool of many to do violence, but the person that needs to be regulated?

      Did you even read the draft? Did you listen to the whole interview? I’m guessing not- your comment was up there pretty fast, if not before the show started, by my clock, but then again…I noticed the host was awfully quick to jump on your comment to summarize, and conflate it with the disjointed and loony NRA reference- that left even the poor legislator flat footed…

      C’mon PBS, are your interns and producers phoning it in, these days?

    • Dinkum_Thinkum

      A deranged person will find another way, another weapon, and easily a more effective one. Two of the highest death-toll mass murders perpetrated by disturbed individuals were in 2008 (28 dead, 73 injured, Chengdu) and 2013 (47 dead and 37 injured, Xiamen).

      In each case the perpetrator, with limited access to firearms, used a plastic bottle of gasoline and a lighter in a confined space. This deadly weapon is available at every gas station and in every garage. Access to this deadly weapon is expedient, its employment unsophisticated, its cost less than $5, the opportunities for use immense, the damage grotesque. These “weapons” are demonstrably more lethal in a mass attack than a gun.

      The ONLY solution to this problem is to remove the killer from society. What we need now is a change in law enforcement procedure. When they get a credible “mental health” call they should bring a psychoanalyst with them on the call and task their cyber crimes division to investigate the public data on the person. These are all abilities law enforcement has, they just need to be connected better. This opportunistic gun control bill doesn’t do any of this.

  • Cal M

    Can Forum please have Michael Waldman on the program? He has just published an exceptional book on the 2nd Amendment.

  • disqus_63X8zNMKNl

    At this moment, the discussion is about the “anguished mother” who tried to get help for her violent son. Why does no one question the morality of parents sending their troubled, violent child off to another town paying for him to go to college there, buying him an expensive car,-and then letting the poor innocent children of that community–in this case, Isla Vista’s UCSB students–become the victims of that violence. Why is that just skipped over? These parents sent off their apparently psychotic son, apparently knowing full well of his mental illness, to another town, to be their problem. This is not the first time this has happened; look at David Attias, who rammed his car into and killed UCSB students 7 years ago.

    • My2Bits

      Good point. If he was really in so much trouble, why enable his life by sending him so much money, buying a BMW, etc. Seems to me a full-time job would have occupied his time better.

  • nisha

    How do we support the gun violence restraining order?

  • Ginny Bahr

    I agree with the comments that the 5150, a 72 hour hold, should have been used and if appropriate, the lesser known 5250, which is an additional 14 day hold after the 72 hours, if the doctors diagnose a mental disorder, a danger to self or others, or is gravely disabled and refusing treatment.

  • ardee

    I agree with Mr. Farago – the proposed legislation is discriminatory against firearms …….

    I would like to see Rep.Skinner consider expanding the bill to temporarily remove vehicles, knives and any other deadly weapon that might be in the possession of the mentally troubled subject.

    • Whamadoodle

      The difference is that knives and vehicles have uses that are not deadly.

      People always say “cars cause deaths, too–will you ban cars?” Well–for the homicidal and mentally ill, SURE I would.

      • ardee

        Please see my response to your comment above!

      • Chipsterr

        “…The difference is that knives and vehicles have uses that are not deadly”

        And? Guns have many uses that are not deadly. In fact, if you look at the number of guns and the number of people killed by guns you find that a very tiny fraction of one percent of total guns ever kill someone. As far as product design goes that is a pretty crappy ‘success’ rate.

        • toomuchinformation

          The purpose of a gun is to pierce flesh to kill. That is what they were made for. That is their primary purpose. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

        • Whamadoodle

          “Many”? I can identify: 1) target shooting. And 2) hunting, or putting down hurt animals in deep country. Long rifles taking a maximum of 10 or 15 rounds take care of both of those.

          If someone wanted to argue “since knives or autos are deadly, we should regulate them further,” then I’d ask “how, exactly?” not “NO! NEVER! EVER!” Asking for specifics, and then arguing them, is not usually what happens, though, because the gun salesmen just come out and scream about any law at ALL. This is hardly a logical way to approach anything. I wouldn’t want them banned, of course (except from the hands of the violently mentally ill), but no one is ever discussing that except the “everyone fear the boogeyman” NRA people.

          Why are you all so afraid to discuss specifics, or to allow that some regulations of guns are actually good things? (Note: I don’t mean “all gun owners,” since most gun owners, and indeed most NRA members polled, disagree with the NRA’s “No Gun Laws–EVER!” stance.)

          • Chipsterr

            “…Why are you all so afraid to discuss specifics”

            Discuss away, I’m listening. From your other comments I am thinking your knowledge on the subject of firearms is limited, but I am willing to listen to you.

            “..or to allow that some regulations of guns are actually good things?”

            We already have quite a few regulations and very few of them are doing what they claimed would get done.

            If you have a new idea, by all means share it.

            You will, however, have to pardon our skepticism because there have been many before you who claim ‘reasonable” for things that aren’t, claim ‘common sense’ for things that clearly aren’t going to be, and say ‘compromise’ when they have no intention of actually compromising.

          • Whamadoodle

            I never said the word “compromise,” since, on the contrary, you have yet to point out ONE example of ONE gun bill, EVER, that the NRA has opposed, but of which you have said “oh I agree with that bill, though.” This in spite of my asking you and everyone else, around a DOZEN times on this page. So you can hardly claim piety when it comes to compromise. Looks as if other people are the only ones who get to do so. Please don’t pretend you were about to do lots of listening to anyone, and to say “great, we find common cause and we’re going to work together on a gun regulation bill.” You have never done so, and will never do so, right?

            “a new idea,” then, means “you can’t say anything that was in one of the many other dozens of bills we insisted on defeating”? Mm, I don’t see why I should restrict it to that.

            I think that there are MANY regulations that are doing what they claimed would get done. For instance, the safety regulations on firearm manufacture, that keep people from making crap weapons that would explode in your face. And regulations against mail-order gun sales; you claim those “don’t do what they claimed would get done”? Really. Your claim is simply false.

            So, GCA 68’s restrictions against sales of guns to fugitives, the mentally ill who have been committed, or drug addicts, those are completely ineffectual, and you’d like to see them lifted. Got it. I disagree. You will not convince me, nor, I suspect, the many, many, many voters like me, MANY of whom, by the way, know far more about guns than either of us, but still object to your take on things. 75% of NRA members, after all, favor more restrictions on firearms, and disagree with the NRA’s own leadership. Don’t worry, though–the gun dealer money’s on your side, so the campaigns, and therefore the votes, will be bought. You’re sitting pretty.

          • Chipsterr

            “…”a new idea,” then”

            No. A new idea would be something that is, you know, new. Meaning not a rehash of something already tried. Background checks for example…. how is expanding a system that doesn’t accomplish anything going to suddenly start accomplishing something? Just adding “Universal” to the title isn’t a ‘new idea.’

            “…”great, we find common cause and we’re going to work together on a gun regulation bill.””

            I willing to listen. And I explained why you have an uphill battle in presenting your ideas for regulating guns more than they already are. Adding MORE laws is going to require a lot of convincing. Updating some of the existing laws would be a better use of everyone’s time.

            “… And regulations against mail-order gun sales;”

            How has this helped in any way? The claim was it would prevent criminals from getting guns. The effect was criminals getting guns, just not in the mail. No gain on the safety side, no reduction in the number of homicides, net effect of zero effectiveness.

            ” 75% of NRA members, after all, favor more restrictions on firearms, ”

            Ha! Just and simply Ha!

            “…and disagree with the NRA’s own leadership”

            It is a voluntary membership organization. If members disagree they are free to leave the organization or elect new leadership to the organization. Since membership is reportedly up and there are no calls for removing the current leadership I am thinking the dissenting opinions are in the minority.

            “…he gun dealer money’s on your side, so the campaigns, and therefore the votes, will be bought.”

            Are you aware that the NRA is only at number 52 on the list of Lobbyist groups? And that they are outspent 17 to 1 by the number 12 group on the list. And are outspent 35 to 1 by the number 1 group on the list. As far as politicians are concerned, the NRA is small potatoes spending a ‘paltry’ 17 million dollars a year nation wide.

          • Whamadoodle

            “Ha!”

            Oh, really? Then the Johns Hopkins study that demonstrated exactly what I just said isn’t true, eh?

            http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/28/strong-majority-of-americans-nra-members-back-gun-control

            Also false are your claims of their lobbying, since the figure is more like twice that:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/30/how-the-nra-spent-32-million-in-2012/

            though even 17 million dollars is still a TON of money. That sways elections. You’re simply lying. I think I’m done.

          • Chipsterr

            “…Oh, really? Then the Johns Hopkins study that demonstrated exactly what I just said isn’t true, eh?”

            That statistic is just as flawed as the supposed 90% support for more gun control in the general populace.

            78% of the respondent said they supported more, but it doesn’t show how many were questioned. If seven people were questions and five answered you would have that percentage but you still would have only questioned 7 people.

            Lets look at if from a broader view…. The NRA has a reported 5 million members now. Do you honestly think 3.9 million of those members signed up with the NRA to work on getting more gun control laws enacted?

            “…Also false are your claims of their lobbying, since the figure is more like twice that:’

            So you know how to use google to find evidence that supports your point of view but are unable to do so when the information does not support your statement?

            Here are the numbers for 2014 so far:

            http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000082&year=2014

            Poke around that site a bit and you will see that the NRA is small potatoes when it comes to who is spending how much on trying to influence politicians.

            “..though even 17 million dollars is still a TON of money. That sways elections.

            Yes, it does. So why is it when a group you support spends that kind of money you call it advocacy, but when a group you dislike spends that kind of money it is considered buying politicians or votes?

            “…You’re simply lying. ”

            Your opinion. I can explain it to you but I can’t make you understand it.

            “…I think I’m done.”

            Good day. It has been a pleasure chatting with you.

    • toomuchinformation

      Sorry, but this is an insane argument. A gun makes it MUCH EASIER to kill multiple people than a knife. The same day as sandy hook there was a knife massacre in China… 20+ kids were INJURED. Nobody died. It’s false equivalency! POOR LOGIC.

      • ardee

        In response to both @mark fassett and @whamadoodle ……

        I think we are all in agreement here ….. that we should temporarily ban ALL deadly weapons from those who are suspected to be homicidal &/or mentally ill.
        While a firearm provides the easiest way to murder and maim, we all recognize that sadly it is not the only way.
        Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment is viewed as a G-d-given right, and as Mark points out, NO tampering with it is acceptable to the Gun Lobby. For those who are naturalized citizens, this is one of the worst aspects of our adopted country – nonetheless the good far outweighs the bad!

      • Chipsterr

        “… A gun makes it MUCH EASIER to kill multiple people than a knife.”

        So?

        That same gun makes it MUCH EASIER to defend oneself from an attacker.

        Why is the tool so important that you would ignore the criminal trying to use it? Isn’t the guy that stabbed those 20 students in china just as much of a criminal as the guy who shot the 27 people that day?

        • toomuchinformation

          Again, false dichotomy. It’s not either/or is it?

        • My2Bits

          It is coming out now that in this killers manifesto; he selected a target (college street party) due to the concentration of targets. But scratched it off his list as a target due to the presence of security with firearms. Looks like a non-gun free zone discouraged this psycho.

          • toomuchinformation

            Could be. I know there are people who would prefer to see guns in the hands of everyone.. mutually assured destruction? I guess there are people for whom that would be a good choice. It’s true, it would probably dissuade someone from shooting. But that’s not the community I’d want to live in, where anyone unstable can start shooting at any time…

          • Chipsterr

            “… I know there are people who would prefer to see guns in the hands of everyone”

            Except for those adjudicated as mentally incompetent or are convicted felons who have not petitioned the State to have their rights restored.

            No one, no where, is advocating for criminals to have access to firearms. No one, no where, is advocating for the criminally insane to have access to firearms. No one, no where, is advocating for the mentally incompetent to have access to firearms.

            What I *am* advocating for is for people to quit telling me that my firearm is a problem and that I have to give up my rights for something I did not do, am not part of, and have no responsibility for. If you want a firearm, go get one. If you don’t want one, don’t get one. Don’t tell me I can’t have one just because you don’t want one.

          • toomuchinformation

            I don’t think you having a firearm is “a problem.” I don’t want to live in a country where people walk around with firearms as a matter of course.

            I don’t like the fact that any small disagreement would have the potential to turn into a gunfight. With all due respect, I will fight against that as much as I can. Wrong on every level to me.

          • toomuchinformation

            It’s not as simple as “if you don’t want one, don’t get one.” I don’t want to modify my behavior in fear that some idiot with a gun will take me out for looking at him the wrong way.

            I don’t want that as a potential outcome with every interaction.

          • Chipsterr

            “…don’t want to live in a country where people walk around with firearms as a matter of course.”

            Have you considered moving to another country? One more to your liking?

            “…I don’t like the fact that any small disagreement would have the potential to turn into a gunfight.”

            Ahh….. Now we are getting somewhere.

            This is a typical response, and it has been heard over and over again about the sky is falling, the streets will run red with blood, shootouts will happen over the smallest of things like parking spaces or cutting in line at the market.

            Well….. where is any of that happening?

            All Fifty States now have some form of carry. All of them. Every single state has someone somewhere carrying a firearm and I don’t mean the cops.

            So where are all the shootings? Where are all the deaths from all those small disagreements.

            Your comment shows you to be an elitist. You find carrying a firearm ‘wrong on every level ‘ so instead of simply not carrying a firearm you think it your duty to impose your idea for how the world should work onto everyone else. You want everyone else to not carry around a firearm as a matter of course.

            Why? Why do you think yours it the correct view of the world? Why do you think we should live our lives based on what you think should and shouldn’t be? Why do you think you should be able to tell anyone else what they can or can’t have, do or don’t need, do or shouldn’t do?

          • toomuchinformation

            “moving to another country”… how quaint, Amurikka love it or leave it, is that it? Only your view is correct? I think not.

            No “sky is falling” for me, just a preference, and one I will work hard to ensure is still the case for future generations.

            It’s not happening very many places because getting a concealed carry is not a matter of course, it’s not happening everywhere because you are not in the majority. I’m not talking about the present. It IS happening in some inner cities where freeway disagreements turn into shootings.

            “Elitist.” How quaint. I’ve made it very clear that I don’t think I’m “right” so that’s just a talking point. How about you think for yourself rather than try and brand me according to your propaganda? I have said to you, respectfully, I disagree with your view, and I will fight against you within the law. That, my friend, is what the true meaning of freedom is.

            I prefer to live my life a certain way, and that is what I will use my freedom of speech to promote. You can name call, stereotype, scapegoat, and do whatever else your “side” has taught you to do in your effort to demean others. I don’t mean you any harm, I just disagree… you know, the old truly “American” thing where we have the freedom to fight for our beliefs?

            Or… should we just do the old standby, where you call me names and I call you names? Is that all people are capable of these days? Sad… but I’d encourage you to think for yourself and have a conversation rather than trying to brand me according to your learned propaganda. How cool would that be?

          • Chipsterr

            “… I have said to you, respectfully, I disagree with your view, and I will fight against you within the law.”

            The only law you can enact regarding your idea of limiting my firearms is to amend or repeal the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

            Until that happens, I will be keeping my firearms regardless of what you think of them or me.

            I think you are an elitist snob with your ideas of controlling others and I am going to openly mock your point of view as being thoroughly un-American.

            You are welcome to call me names in return, and I encourage you to do so.

            And I seriously encourage you to write to your elected officials to get the process started to change the Bill of Rights. Just know this…. if you loose that process I will, and without any shame, be very childish in my dancing around you saying ‘toldyaso!’ because I believe to my very core that yours is the tiniest of minorities when it comes to firearms in this country.

          • toomuchinformation

            I’m not going to debate the 2nd amendment. Again, I will just agree to disagree, and I’ll fight my battle through due process. Feel free to fight yours.

            I don’t understand why people who appear to have your ideology seem to be so much more apt to fly off the handle and start with the name calling. Why would I call you names when I don’t even know you? I think we’re done, and I wish you well. So glad we live in a country where we can respectfully disagree.

            See you at the polls. 🙂

          • Chipsterr

            “..See you at the polls. :)”

            Indeed.

            Have a good night.

        • toomuchinformation

          All you guys and your false dichotomy. It’s not either/or. Focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill doesn’t mean you’re not also focusing on the people. The two go hand in hand.

      • My2Bits

        And in Canada a few months back 5 of 5 people were killed with a knife, and a gang killed 29 in China at a train station, and in Australia, after the big guncontrol push in 1996, there have been multiple mass killings using fire. Dead is dead regardless of the tool used.

        • toomuchinformation

          So this is good logic. Let’s give people MORE options to kill, rather that fewer.. right? Let’s not regulate chemical weapons, OK? Let’s not regulate anthrax! Why not? Someone will kill ANYWAY using a different tool? Is that the logic?

          Well… no, that is not logical. We don’t want to give the mentally ill MORE options to kill mass numbers of people. We want to give them fewer options.

          So keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill… is kinda a good thing.

          Fewer options for them = better for us.

      • Dinkum_Thinkum

        A deranged person will find another way, another weapon, and easily a more effective one. Two of the highest death-toll mass murders perpetrated by disturbed individuals were in 2008 (28 dead, 73 injured, Chengdu) and 2013 (47 dead and 37 injured, Xiamen).

        In each case the perpetrator, with limited access to firearms, used a plastic bottle of gasoline and a lighter in a confined space. This deadly weapon is available at every gas station and in every garage. Access to this deadly weapon is expedient, its employment unsophisticated, its cost less than $5, the opportunities for use immense, the damage grotesque. These “weapons” are demonstrably more lethal in a mass attack than a gun.

        The ONLY solution to this problem is to remove the killer from society. What we need now is a change in law enforcement procedure. When they get a credible “mental health” call they should bring a psychoanalyst with them on the call and task their cyber crimes division to investigate the public data on the person. These are all abilities law enforcement has, they just need to be connected better. This opportunistic gun control bill doesn’t do any of this.

  • disqus_63X8zNMKNl

    I feel compelled to respond also to the suggestion that somebody being “subjected” to psychotropic meds is the cause of subsequent violence. Nothing could be further from the truth–does the writer have any studies or statistics to back up this idea that taking appropriate meds for mental illness, and taking them regularly and with a psychiatrist’s care, is the cause of violence?

    • bigDrew2003

      The warning labels about side effects on the bottles of the pills. That is proof directly from the manufacturer.

  • Reed Stevens

    When my 15-year-old son skipped school, stayed out all night and cruised around Philadelpia with a 21 year-old whose father provided money, coke and women, I begged the Juvie Court for help.

    He ignored the school counsellors and the psychotherapist, quit whatever medis he had been on and simply ignored me, his mother.

    But the police said they could do nothing until they caught him out after curfew (11 o’clock) or in possession of drug. And he wasn’t truant until the school complained.

    Nothing slowed the boy’s progress into drug dealing and jail times. He’s been lost to his family for thirty years.

  • Darshana Nadkarni

    Mr. Farago is telling us to focus on the victims & not the perpetrator but he keeps vehemently arguing for rights of the perpetrator! Also, how can we blame law enforcement, if we are not willing to put laws into place that enable the law enforcement to put the restraining order and/or do an intervention!

    • thucy

      Darshana,
      Law enforcement routinely exercises “intervention” – on non-white males and females.
      But most mass shooters are white. And nearly all are male.

    • bigDrew2003

      Law enforcement could have found him a risk and placed him on 5150, but they didn’t.

    • Chipsterr

      “… but he keeps vehemently arguing for rights of the perpetrator! ”

      No. Mr Farago, nor anyone else in this discussion, is arguing in support of the criminal.

      Mr Farago is arguing for the support of our individual rights as citizens and a restraining order is, or at least very easily can be, a violation of due process of of law. A restraining order is based on nothing more than an accusation of wrong doing, little to no evidence is required when it is issued. Specifically to this idea of a Gun Violence Restraining Order there is the potential to have not only your fourth and fifth amendment rights violated but now you get your second amendment rights violated too.

  • Whamadoodle

    The most illogical argument people make is when they claim that any law will be futile, because another killing may happen, as Mr. Farago says.

    This is nonsense–laws against murder and drunk driving don’t always prevent them. Do you want to repeal those laws too?

    • bigDrew2003

      do you make a law than bans knives that have a serrated edge? do you ban bars since it is common for people to drink at a bar and then drive home?

      • Whamadoodle

        No I don’t. Not every single regulation of something dangerous is good.

        Nor is every single one bad, as pretended.

        I notice that, while I answered your question, you failed to answer mine: do you want to repeal laws against drunk driving, since that doesn’t always prevent drunk driving? If not, then it sounds as if you agree that some regulations are good.

        • bigDrew2003

          Laws should prohibit actions. Items themselves are not inherently good or evil. Why is it that you want to regulate gun? Because you want to stop murder and assault. Great, that is the action you are trying to change, so lets make murder and assault illegal and jail terms appropriate to each.
          It has been shown by looking at crime data across the world that adding regulations on guns does not lower crime rates. In many cases it increase the crime rate before finally returning to whatever the trend was before hand.
          Many people like to point to increased gun regulation in Australia and how that solved their problems. Australia had VERY VERY VERY few mass killings before their law change. Their violent crime rate was on a decline before they added the regulation on guns. Once the regulation was added, crime increased. It then began to decrease again at just about the same rate it was decreasing before the law was creaed.
          Australia, even after their confiscation and law changes are just about back at the same level of gun ownership as they were before the ban. They are however now seeing an increase in gang activity and drive-bys and things of that nature. They are also seeing an increase in homemade guns by their criminal element. The guns they are making at home are also full automatic weapons.
          When you look at numbers, not feelings, adding gun control doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are deeper issues as to why people commit crimes/atrocities here in the US. Placing more restrictions on guns does not get to the root of the problem.

          • toomuchinformation

            We already incarcerate more of our citizens than any other country per capita.. so… that does’t work.

            When you look at the numbers of mass killings, and those at the hands of mentally ill, it certainly makes sense to keep the weapons as much as possible out of the hands of the mentally ill.

          • bigDrew2003

            I agree with you. We need better solutions

          • Whamadoodle

            I am glad that we agree to keep them out of the hands of the mentally ill. I wish the NRA and the posters here would back such laws, and would be as activist in getting them passed, but there’s just too much money in it.

          • toomuchinformation

            I guess I was saying MORE incarceration won’t work. We are already the most jailed population per capita. Why would jailing even more people help? Maybe we’re jailing too many nonviolent drug users and not enough violent offenders? Not sure about that one, I guess that’s possible.

            I think though you have me mixed up with someone else, as I think we need more regulation on guns. 🙂

          • Whamadoodle

            I’m sorry, toomuchinformation, you’re correct–I edited my comment when I realized my mistake, but not in time. No worries! 🙂

          • Chipsterr

            “.. I wish the NRA and the posters here would back such laws, ”

            It already IS a law. Those adjudicated as mentally incompetent or mentally deficient are prohibited from owning firearms. It is a Federal Law and already in place. No one has to back anything, it is already reality.

          • Whamadoodle

            It was my understanding that, per GCA 68, only those who have been COMMITTED TO AN INSTITUTION as mentally ill were prohibited from sales. I may well be wrong; please let me know if you know of another law that touches it.

            If so, though, then I’m glad (though apparently, none of the posters here are glad, because they all claim that laws don’t work, so presumably, they all want that law repealed so they can sell guns to the committed mentally ill again).

          • Whamadoodle

            By your logic, since drunk people hitting people with cars is the thing you want to avoid, you shouldn’t prevent impaired people from driving; you should only make the actual hitting of the people illegal.

            I want to prevent impaired people from driving even BEFORE they’ve hit someone, and I want to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns even BEFORE they’ve committed crimes with them. Do you see a problem with that?

          • bigDrew2003

            the only way to prevent them from doing it before they hurt someone is to have the police checking out drivers. Which has been shown to work. Maybe we should put more police on the streets in high crime areas.

          • Whamadoodle

            Yes, which the police frequently do. When they have had police checkpoints to check for drunk drivers, I haven’t said “you’re persecuting me! I’m innocent and don’t deserve to be delayed!” I say “don’t apologize–I appreciate you doing that!”

            So why are gun owners different, and why do you say “you’re persecuting me!” when I say I don’t want the mentally ill allowed to buy guns? I’m NOT persecuting you–I’m trying to keep the mentally ILL from having them.

            I also don’t have a problem preventing people from having 250 mph cars on our freeways, since one that goes 120 should be fine for any reasonable person except the police, so by the same principle, I don’t know why we need to freak out that people want to ban certain TYPES of guns (which is perfectly constitutional), since you can still have your hunting rifle. You’re just not being reasonable, that’s all.

          • bigDrew2003

            That is where we will forever disagree. I believe in personal liberty. If you, as an adult wish to have a car that goes 250mph, so be it. Be prepared to face a fine if you attempt anything over the speed limit. That is personal liberty. The reason why we shouldn’t be limited to “hunting rifles” is because they aren’t always the best tool for self protection. In some cases a handgun is best, in some a shotgun, and in some a rifle.
            I believe in personal protection because I understand that no one is responsible for my safety except for me. There have been several supreme court cases that affirm the fact that the police/government has absolutely zero duty to protect you.
            I am for background checks, but not in the way the current system is implemented. The police themselves have said that tracing guns doesn’t help them solve crimes, so there is no reason for the government to know which and how many guns I have. If they were to change the system to make it so that regular citizens could call the same 1800 number to conduct background checks that the dealers use, I would like to believe the number of background checks conducted would increase. I am against having to pay a dealer $25-75 to simply call an 1800 number to run a background check for my private sell.

          • Chipsterr

            “…I’m NOT persecuting you–I’m trying to keep the mentally ILL from having them”

            So why, then, are you asking me to prove I am not mentally ill every time I want to purchase a firearm? Why am I having to prove my innocence over and over again? Why am I being held responsible for the actions of a criminal just because I have the same firearm? I am not accused of drunk driving just because I have the same car as the guy who ran over that lady so why am I being accused of potential criminal activity just because I happen to have the same brand of firearm?

            What you are calling reasonable is anything but. If even half of the restrictions placed upon firearm owners were placed on you voting you would scream louder than all of us combined. And don’t even bother with the votes don’t kill because it would just mean you didn’t even try to understand what I am saying.

          • Whamadoodle

            For the same reason you ask me to prove I’m not drunk-driving, when you allow the police to stop me. Do I ask “why am I accused of drunk driving just because I’m driving a car?”? No I don’t– and you’re NOT accused of being mentally ill, just because you have to prove you’re not. You’re claiming something false.

          • Chipsterr

            “..when you allow the police to stop me. ”

            First, I think the DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional and should be stopped. The Supreme Court has rules they are and can continue, but with certain restrictions. The concept, if I am remembering correctly, was a limited administrative search. The Police can set the check point and check everyone who drives through. What the police can not do is stop you before the checkpoint (without other probable cause) or chase you down if you turn away from the check point before arriving at the check point. You are not forced to comply with the checkpoint, you can turn onto another road before entering the checkpoint and the Police are not allowed to stop you for it.

            And that is the difference between a DUI check point and a Background check to purchase a firearm. I can not skip the background check, every purchase from my dealer requires the check. I can not simply turn onto another road and bypass the check.

            And if I come back tomorrow, I have to submit to another background check even though I passed the background check yesterday. I have to prove, again, that I am innocent of any crimes before I can purchase a product that is legal to purchase and legal to own.

            The background check isn’t optional. I can’t even go to the next City, or even the next State, because the background check is a Federal thing and every dealer I buy from has to run the background check regardless of how many I have passed the background check before.

            The entire concept is a violation of the very concept of due process of law. I am considered by the State to be guilty until I can prove my innocence and only after doing so will I be allowed to exercise my legal right to own a firearm.

        • bigDrew2003

          Gun control specifically in the US has shown to have little to no measurable effect on violence. The CDC or Harvard released a report within the last year backing up that claim.

          • Whamadoodle

            I’m sorry–you’re claiming that not one SINGLE gun regulation is a good one?

          • bigDrew2003

            That is exactly what I am claiming. There hasn’t been one law that has been passed that has had a measurable effect on violent crime.
            Here is a quick 20/20 story on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHLsnzZgdPw&index=5&list=PLG6HP2EymsL8ghkBOG924tVXDEFjw8rWT
            There is a recent change in gun laws that might show correlation, but no one has released a study on it yet. Missouri used to require universal background checks. They stopped recently and have seen an increase in violent crime.

        • My2Bits

          I support the 2nd-Amendment, and don’t think drunk driving laws should be repealed. After all, they are targeted at the individual and places responsibility for their personal actions. Not the car or alcohol.

          • Whamadoodle

            Yes, and a law against the mentally ill buying guns would, too.

            Also, I am perfectly fine with banning cars that do 250 mph on our freeways, even though that “targets the tool instead of the person.” What earthly difference does THAT make, if the only conceivable application of such a tool is to increase its lethality? Who cares that I’m targeting the tool in that case? Target it!

    • Chipsterr

      First of all, Laws don’t prevent anything. There is a law that says killing people is illegal yet people still get killed. That is not a fault in the law because the law does not prevent that from happening, it only defines it as something that is legally actionable.

      If you don’t go around killing people, the law doesn’t apply to you. If you do go kill someone, the law will then apply and you will be arrested.

      • Whamadoodle

        Yes… and therefore, it’s not a fault in gun regulations, when those gun laws “don’t prevent anything.” (And if you don’t think that laws against murder prevent anything, I think you’re completely wrong, by the way.)

        Laws to prevent violence are not always bad. If you think they are, I disagree with you.

        • Chipsterr

          Laws don’t prevent violence.

          It is already illegal to kill people so why do people still get killed?

          The law only provides the mechanism to define what is and is not legal. The punishment for breaking the law is the implied deterrent, not the law itself.

          For example…. Robbing a bank is illegal. The punishment for doing so is jail time up to a life sentence. You might want to rob a bank, but the idea of spending life in prison is not appealing to you so you don’t rob the bank.

          The law didn’t deter you because you considered robbing the bank.

          The possible punishment is the preventative measure in our legal system.

        • Dinkum_Thinkum

          Is it conceivable that there are problems where legislation is simply an ineffective tool to fix?

          • Whamadoodle

            Not only conceivable, but certain.

            Is it conceivable that there are problems legislation is an EFFECTIVE tool to fix?

            Not only conceivable, but ALSO certain.

            That is why each law should be looked at carefully, instead of simply packaging the same exact speech, in a knee-jerk fashion, saying “this law is bad this law is bad this law is bad” without ever proposing what the laws SHOULD be, as people always do on this issue. It seems phony, the 100th time you do it, for every single law that ever comes up to regulate these things. You don’t even bother changing the words of the canned speech. Phony.

          • Dinkum_Thinkum

            I agree with your first 3 sentences, and the 4th up to the comma. Those are all legitimate debates to have.

            After that point I think you are jousting with a presumed composite debate partner who doesn’t represent my views and providing an ironic example of what you are deriding from then on.

            I think a change to police procedure could effectively solve this problem. When the killer was reported the police were made aware of his videos but no one looked at them. Reports now are that 4 to 6 officers went to make an assessment, who likely weren’t mental health experts. Changes I recommend are that when a report comes in that has a cyber component they have their cyber investigations division look at the reported material. When a report comes in that has a mental health component the officers should bring a mental health professional who has the knowledge and skills to make an assessment. The officer’s role should simply be to make initial contact and make the area secure and protect the mental health professional. Then the investigator can integrate all of the available information and make a determination to intervene, continue to monitor, or dismiss. This isn’t a law, this is a minor enhancement of law enforcement procedure which could very well have saved lives. What’s either phony or ignorant is the knee jerk reaction that another gun control law would have made a difference.

            The proposed gun control law sets up a situation where if some jerk makes a fraudulent complaint against someone else, they lose their gun rights. The legal system is often abused as a weapon of revenge in petty squabbles between neighbors, business competitors, divorcees, etc. (While the rights of a person going around making nonspecific threats of mass murder to their psychologists are apparently unassailable.)

            Pass your new gun control law as is and ignore non-legislative solutions such as learning/evolving/adapting law enforcement procedures. (or maybe carefully untying the hands of mental health professionals a bit!) The next deranged killer who can sweet talk a few cops who never looked at his cyber footprint could easily wake up and decide to take a milk carton of gasoline and a lighter on a bus or a subway.

          • Whamadoodle

            I have invited everyone here, by the way, to name ONE law of which they’ve actually said “now THAT law is a good one! Let’s pass that!” Not ONE reply, after asking it half a dozen times. So yes, I am talking about aaaaalll the actual debate partners here, in my last paragraph.

  • toomuchinformation

    I AM SO TIRED of the gun lobby. Guns don’t “kill people” but they make killing a LOT MORE CONVENIENT. I’m not anti gun rights, I’m pro 2nd amendment, but the INCREDIBLE stupidity of some of these gun nuts cannot be left alone. The incredibly STUPID argument that knives should be banned is another insane illogical comment. A knife is not a tool that easily allows MASS MURDER like a gun, especially an automatic weapon.

    I cannot for the life of me understand how any sane person can be zero tolerance on reasonable gun regulation. There are just TOO MANY reports of these kinds of things, it is incredibly sad for the families.

    • Werewolf1021

      Except when you look at so called “reasonable” and “common sense” gun control laws, it is anything but.

      Just so you know, automatic weapons are highly regulated in the US. And there hasn’t been a documented crime with a machine gun in over a decade.

      • toomuchinformation

        Yet reasonable and common sense ideas like limiting the cartridge capacity is a non-starter. Why is that??

        • My2Bits

          The killer used California, gun-control approved 10 round magazines. And lots of them. Didn’t make a difference in this instance.

          • toomuchinformation

            Yep, but still the NRA is against these regulations. How many more shots and how many more would be killed if he had 20 rounds each?

          • Chipsterr

            “…How many more shots and how many more would be killed if he had 20 rounds each?”

            Well, he didn’t even use a full magazine so I am going to say no more than he already did.

          • toomuchinformation

            I didn’t pay attention to the details, did they release how many rounds he fired in the press?

          • Chipsterr

            “…, did they release how many rounds he fired in the press?”

            Not yet. So far there is only mention of multiple magazines (they used much more scary sounding language, he had an ‘arsenal’). But doing the math with the limited information available the shooter didn’t even empty one magazine.

          • toomuchinformation

            So… you are guessing. You might want to modify your language, because you are making a GUESS… even if it’s somewhat educated, you don’t actually know. Maybe he was a bad shot? I read accounts saying they heard lots of shots. So I don’t know.

            Seriously, maybe say “he probably didn’t use a full magazine” rather than definitive language when you don’t actually know.

          • Chipsterr

            From the limited information I have found so far, “he probably didn’t use a full magazine”

            I am eager to hear more, and even more eager to hear it from multiple sources.

          • Whamadoodle

            Yes, but you’ve agitated against all such gun regulations, which, taken together, would have made a difference in many, many instances, correct? Limiting the capacity WOULD have made a difference in OTHER shootings. Why are high-capacity magazines sacred?

            I mean, come on–there is NEVER a gun regulation that you like, right? Even if it covered EVERY for-instance you could think of, you’d want it shot down, or if it covers only one single situation, you want those killed too, correct? What gun regulation bills have you actually ever supported?

          • Chipsterr

            “…Limiting the capacity WOULD have made a difference in OTHER shootings.”

            Name one instance where magazine capacity made a difference?

          • Whamadoodle

            If you claim it doesn’t, then may I ask why on earth you’re yelling so loudly to keep them, and calling it “abuse” that you can’t?

          • Chipsterr

            “…hen may I ask why on earth you’re yelling so loudly to keep them,”

            Because you are trying to place useless and arbitrary limits on something I own. The manufacturer of my handgun designed the standard magazine to hold 17 rounds of ammunition. That would mean the ‘standard’ capacity is 17 rounds. You are trying to tell me I have to limit my magazines to some arbitrary number for reasons that have no connection to reality and have even less benefit to me as the owner.

            Let me explain it differently…. when I go to the range to practice I would like to spend my time shooting targets, not reloading magazines. Since the standard capacity of the magazine for my handgun is 17, I would like to have a full 17 rounds in that magazine. What is the benefit to me to reduce the capacity to some lower arbitrary number?

          • Whamadoodle

            You make it sound as if you’re truly going to suffer somehow, when the fact is that 1) the manufacturer will simply switch to new, legal standards, 2) you’ll probably end up with enough guns, and

            3) although that MAY mean you’ll end up with one gun that’s regulated out of existence, and I’m sorry for that, if I’m in a theater getting shot up, I would prefer for the lunatic shooter to be forced to change guns more often.

            The extra life or two that will be saved, as the police come in while the shooter is changing magazines or guns repeatedly, taking a few seconds per change (which means a life or two, multiplied by the number of such mass shootings continue to have each year using 30-round magazines or higher-than-say-15-round magazines, which means lots of lives), trumps Some Guy on the Internet Who Might Make His Living Selling Guns Claiming It Does Nothing. I think that hindering a lunatic shooter by a few seconds means lives saved, plural, and even if it’s only a few, that is worth more than your inconvenience. That is the benefit. Your claim that it’s useless is not convincing, since if that delay meant nothing, then police responding to shooters would saunter, instead of running. It is therefore a false claim.

        • Chipsterr

          “…common sense ideas like limiting the cartridge capacity is a non-starter. Why is that??”

          First, because that is not, as you continue to claim, a common sense solution.

          The manufacturer designed the firearm with a magazine that holds 17 rounds. This is standard for the design.

          What makes rounds 11 through 17 so much more dangerous than rounds 1 through 10?

          And magazines don’t cost that much, they are considered a consumable commodity meaning that when they wear out or break you simply get a new one. Many people have more than one magazine. So how is three magazines of ten rounds somehow ‘safer’ than two magazines of 15? Or than one magazine of 30?

          Magazine limits are completely arbitrary and have no basis in reality regarding firearm safety. Why does California consider 10 rounds safe but New Jersey decided that 7 was enough? Why not 5? Or two?.

          • toomuchinformation

            Good point. Let’s go for 5 instead. Thanks for your contribution.

            A reasonable person would say the more often reloading is necessary, the fewer damage one deranged individual would be able to cause. Rarely would you need more than 5 rounds to protect yourself in a domestic situation.

            So… thanks for the idea. Five it is, I agree.

          • Chipsterr

            “..A reasonable person would say the more often reloading is necessary, the fewer damage”

            No. A reasonable person who actually understands what a firearm is and how one works will tell you that a magazine change can be done in two to three seconds, and less if you actually spend more than a moment practicing it.

            “…Rarely would you need more than 5 rounds to protect yourself in a domestic situation.”

            You might want to do a bit of research into that idea before you make that claim. There are many reports of multiple shots fired or multiple attackers making your arbitrary limit of five to be exactly that…. an arbitrary number suggested by someone who doesn’t know enough about what they want to control.

    • Chipsterr

      “…The incredibly STUPID argument that knives should be banned is another insane illogical comment.”

      No, you are simply missing the point of the comparison.

      A knife is a tool. It can cut your steak, or it can slit your throat. It depends on who is using it.

      A baseball bat can hit the winning home run, or it can crack your skull wide open. It depends on who is using it.

      Why would you focus on the tool the criminal uses while seeming to ignore the criminal using it?

      Controlling the tool does not control the criminal. Removing the guns, knives, bats, sharp sticks, or big rocks does not in any way remove the criminal intent. People have been killing each other since there have been people. Taking their guns isn’t going to stop that.

      • toomuchinformation

        What another ridiculous argument. Who says I am “only” focusing on the tool? I’m focusing on both. Why the false dichotomy? It’s not either/or.

        Controlling the tool DOES INDEED result in less damaging crime. Take a look at most other industrialized countries where they have a lot less of these types of incidents… and they have fewer guns. True, it will never be eliminated. True, mentally ill people will find a way. False, removing guns from the picture won’t make a difference. It has, and will.

        I realize that we are not in a position to remove guns, nor would I necessarily want to, but saying it won’t make a difference is just plain wrong.

        Again… guns are the most efficient method of killing people for someone mentally unstable. If the mentally unstable were not able to have guns, yes they would still kill, they would just be less efficient at it. Sounds like a GREAT thing to me. You??

        • My2Bits

          Focusing on the tool is the path that the UK has taken. And now the UK still has a (slowly rising) crime problem that they cannot figure out how to fix. There are British doctors calling for regulations of knifes (knife control). After all, who needs a large kitchen knife to cut their food or steak if its over 4″? And a knife point is only good for stabbing. But slashing with the edge is ok.

          Gun-control advocates are always point at the UK as an example. Is that the path we are on? Or should we try to focus on the people doing the evil instead?

          • toomuchinformation

            I think the UK would rather have their knife problems then our gun problems. Silly argument, really.

            Again… WHO SAYS IT NEEDS TO BE EITHER PEOPLE OR TOOLS? I dunno… we can focus on.. BOTH! What a concept.

          • My2Bits

            I don’t necessarily disagree with you. Unfortunately the focus seems to be 95% on the tool, not the individual.

          • toomuchinformation

            🙂 Thumbs up. And there was peace throughout the land. 🙂

  • s7e

    Why do these bills always follow some huge tragedy? Why aren’t we having this discussion during a time when, for lack of a better phrase, nothing is really going on. I really don’t know what to do about the guns in our country. I do, however, think using the heightened sense of sorrow and fear which follows a tragedy as a vehicle to push legislation is absolutely disgusting. Shame on you Nancy Skinner for using dead kids to further your goals. I actually do somewhat agree with you (Ms. Skinner), but your approach is deplorable.

    • Whamadoodle

      It is constantly ongoing, whether there is a tragedy or not. Constantly. For all the time since Newtown, I’ve gotten an email a week about it. Perhaps the shame should be on those citizens who aren’t listening.

  • RL Ctoo

    The topic avioids the serious issue, which is how do we get better and faster mental health support for troubled adult children like Rodgers, Lanza, Holmes, and Loughner, and help their parents, therapists, and responsible mandatory responders, to do a better job of evaluating and sequestering them for evaluation. I believe there is an existing mechanism, called a 5150 already in place, in CA.

    You don’t need a gun rights blogger to play the other side for that just sets up the same stale strawman argument, that regulating the tool will deter the tool user, who uses that tool for violence.

    WHY CA legislators keep resorting to quick fixes, that we know dont work, ie greater restrictions on law abiding citizens right to defend themselves, when once again, we see that those measures have had, and will have absolutly no effect on criminals or insane lawbreakers, is another question, that I wish PBS would have the intellectual integrity and moral courage to address.

    It troubles me that taxpayer supported public radio goes so far to the left, in its well-meaning appeal to the liberal supporters of its agenda, and fails to educate on facts.

  • Adrian

    Shame on you Michael! Robert Farago as a guest? His contributions to the discussion were insulting to your listeners’ intelligence. I hardly consider calling a proposal “stupid” as sophisticated discourse. Mr. Farago, we’re still dealing with the loss of 6 innocent lives, we’re still reeling over the loss of 20 six and seven year olds in Newtown. These children would not all be dead if it weren’t for a GUN. I still don’t know how I feel about solutions, but when you can’t even admit that guns kill and some level of control would be helpful, your course of conversation is illogical and unreasonable, and Michael I am surprised at your participation in such low brow discourse.

    • SmokeFan

      Um, you do know that California has some of the most stringent firearms laws in the country, vastly exceeding federal standards, yes? And you do know that three of the Isla Vista attacker’s victims were killed by stabbing, yes?

      • Educator

        I have as complete of an understanding about the tragedy as far as news outlets have informed on, so yes, I do know about the knife and car, etc. I don’t mean to be demeaning but I am baffled at the inability of pro gun proponents to admit that guns cause invariably more harm and lives lost than a knife, etc. That is why they were invented I am guessing, to increase killing capacity. It is fairly logical conclusion that less lives would be loss in massacres such as Columbine and Newtown if it was only a knife. Guns are meant to kill and have a greater capacity to do so. This event in Isla Vista isn’t the most perfect platform to argue for gun control, but at least it is spawning a discussion, one that I hope will be based on reason and logic. Violence has been a part of human history since the beginning, our ancient ancestors have been killing each other since the beginning, I get that. But that doesn’t make doing it with a game changer, like a gun, okay or permissible, time to evolve.

        • Chipsterr

          “..But that doesn’t make doing it with a game changer, like a gun, okay or permissible”

          Please name a state, county, city, or town where it is in anyway permissible to cause harm to others?

          Shooting people is illegal in every part of America.

          • Whamadoodle

            So is running people over. Yet we still have laws against drunk driving, as another way to prevent it. So why are guns different?

          • Chipsterr

            Why do we need a law specifically saying killing someone with a gun is bad? What is wrong with simply making the act of killing someone illegal? Is killing them with a gun so much more important that it requires its own separate law?

    • rightontheleftcoast

      More thought control from the left. PBS does not disappoint in the comments section.

  • Karuna

    I was upset and very disappointed with this part of the show today. Mr. Farago had no business talking about the California 5150 law being from Texas and knowing nothing about it. He was also rude, belligerent and appalling. It was inexcusable when he blamed the shooters parents for “failing him.” I was disappointed that you, Michael, did not call him out on at least these two points. I was glad that at least, fellow social workers got on the air and addressed the deficiency in the 5150 law and the weakness of our mental health system. Mr. Farago obviously knows nothing about mental illness because he keep talking about “psychopaths.” Well, if you know anything about “psychopaths” you would know they are manipulative and will easily be able to “present” as calm and competent to any law enforcement or mental health personnel to get around the 5150. Mental health reform and this law is needed!!

    Also, I’m tired of the gun proponents and others who use the excuse that since they believe this law won’t work we shouldn’t even try. If the founders of this country said, “well the revolution won’t work so why try” we wouldn’t be here.

    • Werewolf1021

      Except the starting of the American Revolution was based in logic and reason. The people had legitimate grievances against the crown. Plus, the battle of Concord was initiated because the British attempted to confiscate powder and shot of the revolutionaries.

      This legislation is knee jerk reaction based in hysteria and the perpetual need to do “something” even if that something is total bunk.

      California has among the strictest gun control laws in the nation. No “assault weapons”, 10 day waiting periods, universal background checks, only one handgun per 30 days law, handgun and long gun registration, safe handgun roster, “high capacity” magazine bans, etc, etc. And this tragic event still happened. And what is the response? More gun control laws. The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again, expecting different results.

      Tell me, do you even realize the implications for abuse under this new system? How the fourth amendment can be tossed out for a perceived bogeyman? Does that not frighten you?

      And for what? Are there provisions for abuse protection? Ways to repeal the law if it is shown to be ineffective? My guess is no. And its the same way with every new law passed in California (not just gun laws). No accountability, just pass and forget, and the consequences be damned.

      • Whamadoodle

        Speaking for myself, yes, the discarding of the Fourth Amendment frightens me. However, how, exactly, would this occur under the laws being proposed?

        And I have to wonder, as well: which gun regulations have you ever praised? I’ve never heard of a single new regulation being proposed, EVER, that hasn’t been fought tooth and nail as such “frighten[ing]” “abuse.” You all say that about EVERY gun law. (If not, then there’d be laws on which everyone agrees, which would be passed with flying colors, instead of a constant low-level screaming at every single law that’s proposed.)

        I am in favor of liberty, just as much as the Founding Fathers were (more so, considering that I don’t agree with slave-owning). However, they NEVER proposed completely unbridled liberty. Neither the Constitution, nor the Supreme Court, which collectively make some of the highest law in the land, proposed such. Individual liberties should ALWAYS be balanced with damage done to the common weal, to the public. And the public have suffered HUGELY in order to ensure that your trade in firearms flows as unrestricted as possible. Calm down–I am sure that you’ll still sell guns, even if the mentally ill are prevented from buying them, or even if one can’t buy them at gun shows without meaningful checks.

        • Werewolf1021

          I’m in favor of equal access to conceal carry licenses, not just people who are buddy buddy with their county sheriff. I’m in favor of the instant NICS system when used by dealers. I’m in favor of allowing a tax credit to purchase a gun safe to facilitate safe storage of firearms. I’m also for a tax credit for firearms training to encourage people to train efficiently with firearms. Just to name a few. I’m not against gun laws, I’m against STUPID gun laws.

          But nice attempt at a strawman. Everybody is different. The extremists on your side would like to ban all guns and confiscate them (a la Diane Feinstein)

          Yes, liberty should be balanced with public good. But the balance should not be “we need to do this because I think so.” or “It might do something.” Wouldn’t you agree that in order to do something, it needs to have at least a little proof. Giving up liberty just to “do something” is ridiculous.

          By the way, firearms crime has been dropping according to the FBI. Even with the sunset of the federal assault weapons ban, loosening of conceal carry laws across the US, and no “universal” background checks at the federal level.

          • toomuchinformation

            Great, let’s help them drop further with renewal of the assault weapons ban and universal background checks including gun shows and private party sales. Yes, I KNOW it won’t get the black market guns.

          • Werewolf1021

            Except studies have shown that the AWB was a complete failure.

            FBI murder data indicates that all rifles and shoguns (including so called “assault weapons”) is less than knives, fists, and blunt objects.

          • toomuchinformation

            It’s not a failure if it saves lives. It’s not a failure if people still use other ways to kill each other. It’s not a panacea. It’s solving ONE problem not every problem.

          • My2Bits

            I think you missed the point. Even law enforcement has acknowledged that the assault weapons ban did little to nothing. The current trend of reducing crime rates in this country started before the assault weapons ban went into effect. It’s not surprising as they are rarely used in crimes (not counting TV and movie bad guys, where it is close to 100% of the time).

          • toomuchinformation

            I got your point, you missed mine. Assault weapons have no purpose for citizens. They should be banned anyway. There is no reason for them. I understand you believe they are irrelevant, but I think they are irrelevant in part because of the long running ban.

          • Chipsterr

            “…Assault weapons have no purpose for citizens. ”

            Assault Weapons is a made up term, it is not a definition or class of firearms.

            “…They should be banned anyway.”

            Lets just ban the term and then we can all be happy. You get the Assault Weapons gone and we get to quit hearing the stupid term that doesn’t mean anything.

            “…There is no reason for them.”

            So? If you don’t want an imaginary weapon, don’t buy the imaginary weapon.

          • toomuchinformation

            Again it’s not that simple. I know you prefer a society where people are armed, but I do not. We will battle over the future of this country. I won’t accept it, with all due respect. I don’t want a hair trigger society.

          • Chipsterr

            “… I know you prefer a society where people are armed, but I do not.”

            Why do you feel you should get to tell me whether or not I can be armed?

            “… I don’t want a hair trigger society.”

            You need to get out more. Yes, our country has about 7 ~ 8,000 homicides a year because of firearms. However tragic each of those deaths may be, there are over 300 million people in this country. That is, on average, a tiny fraction of a percent…. hardly a ‘hair trigger society.’

          • toomuchinformation

            I can because we have laws, and we live in a democratic society.

            Again, I didn’t say we live in a hair trigger society. I worry that would be the case if everyone was carrying. That is all. Not my preference, thank you. Feel free to lobby, contribute to those you agree with, etc.. fight for your beliefs.

            I suspect there are more like me than like you… more people who aren’t against the 2nd amendment but don’t think the NRA is a reasonable organization.

            I don’t need to call you names. I don’t need to “categorize” you. I don’t need to stereotype you. I just disagree. Is that OK? Or do we have to yell at each other to demonstrate our manhood?

          • Chipsterr

            “…I worry that would be the case if everyone was carrying.”

            All 50 States already have some form of Carry, we are already carrying firearms around you. Every day.

            “..but don’t think the NRA is a reasonable organization.”

            Then don’t join.

            This is why I continue to call you an elitist. You don’t want something to be so you try to remove that option from everyone else. You don’t like guns so you want to take them away from everyone else.

            “…I don’t need to call you names. I don’t need to “categorize” you. I don’t need to stereotype you.”

            Yet you do those very things. You use NRA as if it was some sort of epithet or racial slur. You accuse people you don’t even know of being just a hairs-breadth from going on a shooting spree or just shooting you because you looked at them wrong. And you categorize me by assuming that because I am speaking in favor of gun rights that I am using propaganda or am a member of the NRA, that I can’t have my own opinion or think for myself.

            Well… get ready for this…. I am a Democrat, I am a Union supporter, I am college educated and have a white-collar job, I am not a member of the NRA and never have been. I don’t get the NRA magazine nor do I get the latest talking points from them for discussions like this one. I came to my opinions regarding firearms because I own firearms. Because I believe in the founding principles of this country and I believe that out of all the other countries in this world we have the least evil system of governance.

          • toomuchinformation

            I didn’t accuse you of being an NRA supporter. I suggested the NRA wasn’t reasonable. That is what I believe.

            I didn’t say i wanted to take guns away “from anyone else.” Read more carefully.

            I don’t really care about what political party you belong to. I’m not partisan.

            Do you see how many conclusions you jumped to, based on the propaganda?

            You have been taught to call me a name rather than talk to me like a fellow human being. You have been taught to categorize me so you can easily “figure me out” and dismiss me. “Elitist” is in the playbook. This conversation is a little microcosm of what is wrong with the USA today. People analyze who someone is after a few paragraphs. That way you can easily figure them out.. right or left.. R or D…. whatever. Then you can just simply dismiss them without having to actually think for yourself. Not my style, and patently un-American. But go ahead, knock yourself out.

          • Whamadoodle

            A “complete failure”–hm. Do studies really show that?

          • Whamadoodle

            1) The drop in crime has been attributed to several possible causes unrelated to the lapse of the assault weapons ban. You were already aware of this, if you’ve read up on this issue, so your concealment of that fact tells me something.

            2) What, exactly, about the current laws being proposed do you refer to as “stupid”? I have asked here, and am asking again, but there is always–every time any law is proposed–nothing but vague objections to “stupid laws,” but rarely any specific citation of the content of the laws being objected to. Since this occurs, without exception, whenever any law is proposed (I’m certainly open to saying I’m wrong, if you can refer me to ANY online discussion like this one where your side says “now THIS is a great gun law!”), it is no straw man–your side objects to every single gun law it hears of. This, too, tells me something.

          • Werewolf1021

            Yep, you got me. I sell guns for Sturm,Ruger.

            Happy now?

            Watch out folks, we got a master debater over here.

          • Whamadoodle

            It certainly doesn’t mean you CAN’T debate honestly; but since your response about point 1) above, DIDN’T seem so, that did seem a likely reason for it, yes.

            I don’t sell guns for a living, so I don’t need to simply shout every single gun regulation down in a knee-jerk reaction. It seems as if your livelihood has made it impossible for you to explore proposed regulations in a sober, sensible way. (I may certainly be wrong; if you can name me several gun regulations you’ve been all in favor of, go ahead and name the bills, and I’ll certainly say I was wrong.)

          • Werewolf1021

            *sigh* That was sarcasm. I guess it doesnt come across the internet well. As for gun bills, I already posted this, but i’ll do it again.

            I’m in favor of equal access to conceal carry licenses, not just people who are buddy buddy with their county sheriff. I’m in favor of the instant NICS system when used by dealers. I’m in favor of allowing a tax credit to purchase a gun safe to facilitate safe storage of firearms. I’m also for a tax credit for firearms training to encourage people to train efficiently with firearms.

          • toomuchinformation

            @wherewolf1021, that’s all good. I don’t want to live in a world of conceal carry as common. So I’ll fight against you. In a democracy, whoever gets the most votes wins.

          • Werewolf1021

            Guess we’ll agree to disagree on that. Would you agree with the others?

    • Chipsterr

      “…who use the excuse that since they believe this law won’t work we shouldn’t even try”

      I am pretty sure you couldn’t put out a fire using your face, would you like to try anyway just to see if it works? I mean, it might work so maybe we should try it.

      If a law ‘might’ work it is worth looking at and the fact that it might work means there is something inherently workable in the idea. Figure out what part will work, discard the rest, and put it in place. Take the best and lose the rest.

      If a law *won’t* work why would you ever suggest we try it anyway?

  • DAN V.

    Surely, its an emotional subject, the loss of life/lives. However, exploiting such tragedy/tragedies to gain political favor seems to be an ongoing theme.

    There absolutely are solutions to these problems. The issue of course, is that cities/states/etc. dont want to spend the time, effort, resources, to actually make real progress towards the issues of violence. Political correctness be damned.

    Evil motives exist, sadly. Laws wont make evil, guns, or anything else disappear. What do we go after then? Its an issue of violence, discipline, family structure, glorification of violence (in all sorts of media), side-effects of medication, mental health issues, etc.

    Guns arent going away any time in the future; so how about we actually work to fix the underlying problems in the culture.

    • Whamadoodle

      I like laws. Again, we didn’t have laws against drunk driving during the first years of the automobile; now that we have them, drunk driving hasn’t disappeared completely; do you argue for getting rid of them, or for fine-tuning them after a tragedy (say, if ignition kill-switches exist, that will shut a car off if a convicted drunk driver can’t pass a breath test in his car)? Sounds like a good law to me.

      Laws aren’t the horror movie villains you all make them out to be.

      • Chipsterr

        “…say, if ignition kill-switches exist, that will shut a car off if a convicted drunk driver can’t pass a breath test in his car”

        That is something that happens AFTER you have been convicted of drunk driving, not before.

        Laws are, in concept, a good thing. Laws so you can ‘do something’ after a tragic event are not. And the absolutely most important thing to remember regarding laws is Innocent until proven otherwise.

        • Whamadoodle

          When there is imminent harm, the law states that action can, and in some cases must, be taken. If a psychiatrist or psychologist, for example, hears that his or her patient intends to commit harm to a particular person, they MUST break doctor-patient confidentiality and inform the authorities, even though the violent act hasn’t yet occurred

          The damage the law seeks to prevent in that case is the violence, but it also criminalizes things other than that violence. Those laws are perfectly acceptable. Similar laws to prevent the mentally ill from having guns are too.

          • Chipsterr

            “…If a psychiatrist or psychologist,”

            Yes, someone who is supposed to know those things, who has as part of their job description the goal of identifying these kinds of behaviors.

            The Restraining Order being proposed can come from *anyone* who simply has to say ‘he’s dangerous and has a gun.’

            The Doctor still has to sign an affidavit affirming their testimony, the person ‘reporting’ a problem and requesting the restraining order not so much.

            That is the problem with the idea. Find a way to maintain due process, find a way to maintain innocent until proven guilty, and we may have something workable.

  • Dinkum_Thinkum

    So if you yourself run around telling your therapists that you want to kill girls but if you don’t name a particular person your right to be roaming free in society remains unassailable. But if some jerk who hates you fraudulently reports you through this restraining order system your right to keep and bear arms is dust. Doesn’t make sense.

    Also, why do they send cops to do psychological evaluations on people? What do cops know about psychopaths? Don’t they say that psychopaths are very good at concealing their intentions to casual observers? Shouldn’t they send a along a psychotherapist in these cases? Particularly when the person has a history of mental illness?

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