century theatre in aurora, Colorado

Gun control advocates say last week’s tragic theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado underscore the need for new and tougher firearm laws. Their adversaries in the gun rights community see things differently: if someone in the theater had been armed, they argue, lives might have been saved. Will the massacre lead to legislative action? How will the politics of guns play out in a presidential election year?

John Velleco, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America
Garen Wintemute, director at the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis

  • OldVet

    It will be amusing to discuss race without connection to the bi-weekly inflammatory document dump of the Zimmerman – Martin murder – no-justice case.   What an emotion stoker race can be, whichever side of the race divide one lives upon.  I hope a wise Michael Krasny can point out well couched racism in this interview.   

    I read ‘Madness at the Gates of the City’ by bay area author Barry Spector and realized that from the white side, the race line is soft; and from the dark side the color line is sharp, like a sword.   I say this in full realization that President Obama, has done little for the legacy of slavery that fills our prisons and composes 14% of our population.

    To assume that race is not currently used as a political lever is blind, naive or both.

    So let the race discussion begin….. but do not think for a minute that it is not about the election.    and do not get me wrong.   I will not vote for Romney, nor Obama, for I swore an oath to the constitution.

    I do yearn for a genuine, experienced candidate, backed up by the American people, that will stop the surveillance state, the wars, the financial corruption of law and politics, and the disenfranchisement of people as members of society and voters. Both parties are corrupt at the at the national level. Playing one race against another is just a symptom of that.

    • Greg Slater

      So, to sum up, are you in favor of unrestricted access to automatic weapons, or against?

      • OldVet

        Recall how many were killed as unarmed Kosovo was so easily taken over.  Our founders were used to being occupied, thus the second and third amendment.   Thousands, not dozens were killed by the occupying forces.    

        If you think the law will make you entirely safe, I bid you recall the Peoples United judgement.     The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  The price of being occupied and subdued is initially….  so cheap and easy…. just have the experts take care of you.    I invite you to read Dana Priest’s article: To Secret America.

        I beseech you, do not succumb to mob think.

        • Greg Slater

          So, to sum up, are you in favor of unrestricted access to automatic weapons, or against?

  • Rhet

     The only race that I’ve noticed Obama giving cover to is that of the blood-sucking banksters, which are a relatively new species created during little-known experiments by the Rothschild family, which involved the interbreeding of humans and lower forms of life. The human-leech hybrid survived, and gave rise to the modern bankster con man such as those at Goldman Sachs. Another cross-breed, between humans and sucker fish, gave rise to the modern Ponzi schemer and indeed the entire Madoff family are human-sucker-fish hybrids, their fishy aspect carefully concealed of course in every aspect, although of course their dealings were always rather fishy.

    • Rhet

       Typos fixed:

      The only race that I’ve noticed Obama giving cover to is that of the blood-sucking banksters, which are a relatively new species created through experiments by the Rothschild family in 19th century. These involved the interbreeding of humans and lower forms of life, such as leeches. The human-leech hybrid survived and gave rise to the modern bankster con-man like those at Goldman Sachs. Another cross-breed, between humans and sucker fish, gave rise to the modern Ponzi schemer and indeed the entire Madoff family are human-sucker-fish hybrids, their fishy characteristics carefully concealed in every way, although of course their dealings were always rather fishy.

  • Beth

    Anyone notice that this young man and the young man accused of killing so many in AZ and maiming the Congresswoman BOTH seen as troubled by folks in the colleges they attended? Yet NO one notified the police. 

    The Denver post has a piece that says ‘James Eagan Holmes’ behavior and activities in the weeks before the Aurora theater shooting made neighbors and others take notice. Holmes attempted to join a gun club in the eastern Arapahoe County town of Byers on June 25, but his behavior was deemed too bizarre for membership. It wasn’t Holmes’ club application that raised a red flag for Lead Valley Range owner Glenn Rotkovich but rather the outgoing message on his answering machine.”It was this deep, guttural voice, rambling something incoherent,” Rotkovich said. “I thought, ‘What is this idiot trying to be?’ “Rotkovich said he told his employees Holmes was not allowed on the premises, he said.

    Why don’t we require folks who encounter someone like these young men to notify law enforcement? When a family member of ours sustained serious head injuries because of a drunk driver and hd serious depression and mental concerns we notified the gun store in town to NOT allow the family member to handle much less buy a firearm. If we could do this then good god so should schools, universitites, and others.

  • Mike

     The pro-gun lobby has clearly won the policy debate about whether the 2nd Amendment really gives individuals a right to own firearms. As a result, I think we just have to accept that the occasional gun massacre is now a part of American life.

  • Dawn

    Stricter laws only impact law abiding citizens, not criminals. Criminals do not follow laws- that is the definition of a criminal. Psychopaths do not follow laws- that is the definition of a psychopath. If law abiding citizens were allowed to be armed we would be able to protect ourselves and our families and criminals would think twice before behaving in this manner. 

    • Greg Slater

      Given the proven abject incompetence of the vast majority of americans in using lethal technologies (for example, automobiles, with which we kill 40000 of each other and injure hundreds of thousands more each year through incompetent piloting), does it really make sense to deputize a nation of nincompoops and psychos and give us automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition to carry into restaurants, theaters?

  • Gregory Slater

    Can’t you just rebroadcast the version of this segment that presumably aired after the last mass shooting?  or the one before that?  or the one before that? or the one before that?  or the one before that?….

  • Fred

    It has been alleged by radio and Internet personality Alex Jones that because the USA has a long history of using mind control to cause people (like Sirhan Sirhan) to kill others for political reasons, under the MK-ULTRA program which was dramatized in the movie The Manchurian Candidate, we should entertain the possibility that the shooter committed his atrocity because he was programmed to do so. After all, his motives remain very unclear. Also he does comes from San Diego, which has a heavy military-industrial complex presence including the company known as the “private CIA”, called SAIC. If this was a political attack, it comes precisely the week when Oxfam and the UN began pushing the idea of limiting arms sales to individuals. The probability that this is just a coincidence is low.

    • tinfoilhat


      • Fred

         You’re right, there are no criminals operating inside any government nor corporation and never were, not in the USA nor Israel nor Nazi Germany. Who would ever imagine such a thing? That’s just crazy talk.

      • Fred

         You’re right, there are no criminals operating inside any government nor corporations, not in the USA nor Israel nor Germany, and never ever were. Who could imagine such a thing? That’s just crazy talk.

  • Eamonn

    If guns kept people safer we’d be allowed to carry automatic weapons on commercial flights. If the solution to all of our problems with violence was to meet them with more violence, or the threat thereof, we’d have been living in a perfect society a long time ago. The 2nd amendment has long outlived its original purpose, unless you think Timothy McVeigh was some sort of hero, and it is now causing more problems than it solves. Shame on the gun lobby for having the audacity to claim that every massacre is an argument for more guns while their hands drip with the blood of the victims of the latest atrocity. Shame on the gun lobby for keeping their domestic terrorist friends armed to the teeth. Shame on them. Shame on them all.

    • Greg Slater

      Actually a good share of 2nd amendment enthusiasts do in fact regard McVeigh as a hero, which is quite informative.

      • Rhet

         That’s a sweeping generalization, a slander and a red herring all in one.

        • utera

          Yea this is the issue where lefties and democrats start acting like republicans and hardcore conservatives when it comes to abortion.  Reason leaves the building, facts stop mattering, emotion hysteria and all the ugliness take over. They become people quite proud to have strident opinions based on plain ignorance.

        • Greg Slater

          Do you regard McVeigh as a hero?  (no lying please)

          • utera

            No, but do you consider stalin a hero? 

            Don’t insult people with stupid questions.

            It only reveals how poor an argument you have when you need believe in such strawmen.

          • Beth Grant DeRoos

            NO!!! He was an evil bad man!

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        Greg Slater where is your PROOF that a good share of 2nd amendment enthusiasts do in fact regard McVeigh as a hero? I know of NO 2nd Amendment folks who would agree with your statement. 

        • Greg Slater

          How would you characterize Timothy McVeigh?  Terrorist?

    • Ralph

      Informed people know that the police found multiple very heavy military grade bombs in the Oklahoma federal building that McVeigh could not have in 1000 years put in there.

    • Gs

      So, let me guess, you think pilots shouldn’t be allowed to have guns on planes.

      Got it.

      • Eamonn

        Let me guess. You think passengers on planes should be allowed to carry guns on board with no restriction. Got it.

    • utera

      No, shame on the anti gun people for not understanding how absurd they look  trying to make isolated incidents into something to make political hay on.  How do you stop serial killers? Take away cars and basements?  Shame on you for not thinking this through…

      • Eamonn

        Great. Now we’re comparing basements (rooms designed for storing stuff in) to guns (weapons designed to kill people).  The fact that massacres like this happen over and over again in this country and no other developed western nation says it all about how “isolated” this incident is.

        • utera

          No we are comparing tools with tools.  BTK did what? He bound using rope, tortured, using god knows what, and killed, so what should we ban based on his killings?  He strangled most of his victims, so I suppose rope or whatever he used should be restricted, clearly they are impliments of death.  Sorry like it or not your reaction is based on hysteria, in a country of 300 million, you are more likely to drown than die from one of these incidents.  You trying to turn this freak incident into a reason to pass bad law just kind of says it all about how ill considered your reaction is.

          This is the hysteria of today. In the past it was serial killers, the summer of sam and the rest, it will pass. The reasons for it are far more complex and out of your control than you would like to imagine…problem is folks like you want simple answers….always simple answers.

          • Eamonn

            So massacres like this are no big deal, eh? Ropes and vans are comparable to automatic weapons that can slaughter dozens of people in a few seconds with the pull of a trigger?  Do you people ever listen to yourselves?

  • Adolphus Brown

    Forget killing Hitler; if I get access to a time machine, I’m going back to demonstrate an AK on semi-auto to the Founders, getting their reaction, and making sure that Scalia saw it clearly (he must have been there and known them all very well, otherwise his rulings would be partisan boiler-plate dressed-up as their will).  

    I’d wait until after Shays’ Rebellion convinced them that militia must be well-regulated, and after the Whisky Rebellion as well.

  • mu_Zak

    There’s no civilian purpose for an AR-15 assault rifle with a continuous 50 round magazine except for killing multiple people. 

    • Rhet

       There’s no civilian purpose for lobbying firms with a continuous Washington DC lobbying operation except for undermining democracy.

      • Greg Slater

        If lobbying firms were outlawed, only criminals would have lobbying firms.

    • Eric

       AR-15 are not assault rifles. They are by definition a semi-automatic rifle. AR stands for ArmaLite. The company that original designed the rifle. It is no different than a hunting rifle. They operate the same way. regardless of the size of magazine.

      • mu_Zak

        Define the ability to kill 50 people with a high power rifle in a continuos manner that has a civilian purpose (yes regardless of the rifle). The weak “slippery slope” argument was the best the speaker could come up with to defend this unnecessary capacity. At some point the technology will be advanced so that gangs will be able to kill people at such a rate with short barrel assault rifles there will be war within the cities. If the technology isn’t banned now the amount of civilian crossfire and misidentified targets will rise exponentially with spray assault driveby shootings.

        • utera

          Sorry that is just ignorance, shooting civilians with even small magazines is not the issue, reloads take almost no time at all with a little practice, go look on youtube to see how fast quick reloads can be.  Left leaning folks tend to be outraged when right wingers speak from ignorance to justify legislation, well, the shoe is on th other foot on this issue..the ignorance displayed on the left and the hysteria is rather hypocritical, and kinda shameful.  I know many of you like to think you are more level headed than the fox news types, but on this issue I see much of the same behavior…bad thinking.

          • Eamonn

            Excuse me, but I think you’ll find that shooting civilians is very much the issue. Your hair-splitting about the speed of reloads is noted.

    • utera

      I’m sorry, but you don’t have an argument here, it actually jammed. How about we just talk about the facts.

      The virginia tech shooter doubled this guys kill total with simple hand guns.  This guy tried to be rambo bringing the entire arsenal, but as most people should know, you don’t do that, do you see special forces carrying a dozen guns? Of course not, this guy was a moron, if he were perhaps more lightly armed and not concerned about throwing smoke bombs he probably would have killed a lot more people.  So your concern about the magazine comes from a place of hysteria and ignorance.

  • Rhet

    The USA is a narcissistic society. The gushing over superhuman Marissa Meyer by feminists last week provided that for the 2054th time. But so did the Aurora atrocity, wherein a brainy young guy from San Diego equipped himself like a murderous movie villain and then played out that role in real life, killing average folks who never did him a single bit of harm.

    • Rhet

       Fixed typo: “provided’ should be “proved”.

      • Rhet

         If every tool that expresses and expands a person’s narcissism that can also harm people should be banned, then we must ban not only AK47’s, but also expensive sports cars, which cause car accidents, and lobbyists, which undermine democracy.

        • Greg Slater

          I agree, especially about personal hellfire missiles and personal predator drones

        • Greg Slater

          If the Marxists and Leftists and Socialists had their way, expensive sports cars would be banned, and only criminals would have them!  Support your right to keep and bear expensive sports cars!  Yay!

          • Ralph

             Marxism didn’t foresee such cars, so it’s speculation as to whether they’re banned.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we put a HUGE tax on bullets so that the money can be used for education, victims families and other expenses associated with the misuse of guns?

  • eriksf

    The person representing gun owners used the example of an armed person in the theatre being able to take out the shooter with one well placed bullet as his vision for a safer America. Everyone is armed. What a delusional world view. Oddly video game like in its detachment from reality. Of course a rational person imagining people blazing away with guns in a dark theatre to defend themselves recoils in horror.

    • utera

      The delusional world view is your own.  The theater was marked as a “gun free” zone, it made it so much safer right?  You really think once people are armed people will just kill more?  Did your mother stab you in the face just because she happened to be in the kitchen where a kitchen knife was?  No, most people are decent, maybe you forget this.

  • Marzipans
  • Eric

    Please use the correct terminology! An “assault weapon” by definition will fire more than one round per pull of the trigger. One shot per pull is called “semi-automatic” Just because a rifle is black does not make it an “assault rifle”.


  • Jdcoates13

    Please explain why the right of any crazy person–or anyone–to have any gun they want is more important than the right of citizens to be safe in their daily lives–at a movie, at school, at a political rally, at home?  Why does anyone need a semi-automatic weapon?  The idea that people would have been safer if moviegoers were armed is just nuts–can you imagine bullets flying from every angle in a darkened theater?  Given that the first priority of government is maintaining order and ensuring the safety of its citizens, it is criminal that we allow the ownership and use of these weapons of mass destruction.  We need leaders with the courage to stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby.

  • Mockinggirl

    If guns are not responsible for the gun-related deaths in this country, why is there conern about other countries — especially those we find “unpredictable” —  having nuclear weapons?  Weapons ARE dangerous in the public when there is no way to regulate who has them.

  • Kendrick from San Jose

    I’d like to point out, that despite the GOA representative’s comments, I do not feel safer knowing that if a shooter starts firing on a crowd including me, I do not feel safer when armed civilians begin a shoot out.

    With the rise of militia movements and the slaughter of Trayvon Martin, I fear that even more civilians will be killed, especially my brother next to me who happens to be black and wearing a hoodie.

  • Mark

    Has there __ever_ been an actual instance of an armed citizen intervening to stop a mass shooting that was underway? This idea, which is being put forth as a rationale against gun control, seems like a gun enthusiast’s fantastic daydream.

  • Wanderer247

    This great country was built with guns. Guns are not going anywhere…
    The ‘Right” to bear arms is not going anywhere…
    In Rome, when there was a stabbing was there legislation to ban swords?
    Not likely.
    I’d really like to know what is going on in Colorado. This makes two tragedies.
    I pray there’s no ‘Murder Pact’ club or there will me more.

  • Rachel

    I find the speaker’s comment that the shooting could have been ended by an armed theatergoer’s well placed shot to be ludicrous. This lone hero fantasy esposued by the speaker is a product of movies and video games and seems to ignore the reality of what actually happened in the theater. How easy was it for many officers to stop the Hollywood shootout criminals who were heavily armed and wearing body armor?

    • utera

      Um, so whats your alternative?  You take the bullet politely and with grace?  Perhaps its not the best situation for a ccw to deal with, but who in their right mind would choose to be in a locked room to be killed, and choose to die unarmed?  

      I think you’ve taken some advice on not being a hero when faced with a mugger who wants your wallet.  Hand over your wallet, that is fine, that is what a mugger wants.

      What do you hand over to please this kind of shooter?  You hand over your life? Don’t be a hero, just hand over your life.  Wisdom from rachel….

      • Eamonn

        Here’s an alternative. How about making it illegal for any Tom Dick and Harry to arm himself to the teeth like Rambo and reducing the amount of gun violence in the country?

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      There were legal gun carry folks in the theatre just as there were legal gun carry folks in AZ where the Congresswoman nd others were shot and some killed. BUT….those with firearms did NOT draw their firearm because they knew it wasnt safe in either case, because so much panic and movement was happening and no one could get a clean shot. Period!

  • Tony Rocco

    I am sick of hearing gun nuts like your guest claim that if we simply arm everyone, the world would be a safer place. The idea that living in a world bristling with firearms, where everyone is armed and can therefore defend themselves, would be much more violent world and not a safer and more peaceful one. I would much rather live in a world with no guns at all than one in which everyone has the right to own one. It surprises me that anyone would take such an outrageous point of view seriously – that returning to the ethos of the wild, wild west would make for a more sane and civilized culture.

    • Eaheckman

      To whIt, there were actually very few “shoot outs” in the wild, wild west. Guns were not very accurate, ammunition was expensive and hard to come by, and there was really very little reason for anyone to shoot anything save a coyote harassing one’s chickens.

    • utera

      In a world with knives everyone gets stabbed, thats why when you were naughty your mother stabbed you in the face with a kitchen knife.

      Oh wait that doesn’t happen…sorry whats your theory of humanity again?

  • Frank

    The gun advocate needs to be further challenged on his assertion that armed people would have mitigated the Aurora shootings:

    The theater was dark.  People were panicked and running all over. 
    If multiple other people started shooting, even more chaos could have
    If completely unregulated gun ownership produces the safest
    society – how about some examples where this works?  The Old West?  I
    don’t think so.  How about Afghanistan or Somalia?  It seems to me the
    places with the loosest gun laws also have the highest violence.

  • guest

    The 2nd amendment was written when the act of loading a musket reduced capacity to one or two rounds within one minute.

  • Erich Fischer

    If I recall, recently on KQED it was mentioned that after mass shootings in other, namely European, countries, stricter gun control laws were enacted and the number of such occurences has decreased dramaticly, while we here in America talk and talk, and then the NRA throws money at people and we do nothing… and the violence continues. Why do we keep talking when other countries have proven tighter gun control does help?

  • M. Jewell

    Hello Forum,
    gun advocates say if someone in the theater had been armed lives might have been saved? What kind of firearm pierces body armor? How easy is it to land a head shot in a darkened theater? I’m just wondering…

  • guest

    Yah, right. Locked-and-loaded teenagers in a dark, smoke-filled theatre.

  • Mya R

    Why aren’t we discussing the tragic lack of mental-health services in this country?

    • utera

      Bingo, these people focus on the wrong problem.  As I’ve said already, its like trying to stop serial killers by banning cars and basements, you entirely miss the point if you go there.  You have to find these people way earlier, and perhaps accept you won’t find all of them.

  • Natalia

    You, guys, are so gun-smart in America! You are spoiled beyond believe with guns being accessible… Something irritates you — pull out your gun…Boom. Problem solved. How about personal courage? How about facing what irritates or intimidates you face to face — relying only on your feasts? How about being strong without guns. Any neurotic, psycho, unhappy person turns into …successful shooter. Do you like this? I don’t.

  • Andrea Waterstreet

    There is a fundamental problem with arming citizens and expecting them to be able to hold down the law on the streets with their guns, and that problem is that no matter how much experience they may think they have, they simply do not have the training of a professional law officer.  The adrenalin that courses  through the veins during a crime produces unpredictable reactions in the non-professional producing the problem of friendly fire or fatally bad judgement.  I suspect that too many gun enthusiasts of the type who would carry guns on their person have too many action movie reels running through their heads a la George Zimmerman, just waiting for the “right” situation to present itself for them to be a hero.

  • Michael

    Anecdotes are great. Here’s one: Robbers enter a Sacramento pharmacy. The owner’s son pulls a gun. A young employee is shot in the head in the resulting shooting. All gun owners lived. This really happened. You can look it up. 

  • LeslieR_TD

    One on one encounters with guns (dissuading a mugger/rapist) MIGHT prove valuable.  Multiple shooters in a dark, smoky, chaotic enviroment sounds like a guarantee of additional injuries and deaths.  Sorry…not a solution.

  • Sad

    Your pro-gun-control guest was quick to agree that ‘timely use of firearms have saved lives.’  How many per year?  Compared to how many innocent people killed by guns, whether stray bullets, kids who find adults’ guns, armed criminals, etc.?  Even in open carry states?  And please do ask about organized crime (and foreign terrorist organizations, too, perhaps) funding the gun lobby and donating to the NRA and directly to legislators?  Nobody seems to be brave enough to ask this – and maybe Forum isn’t brave enought, either.

  • Circa51

    Sounds like some believe we should return to the days of the Wild West, with everyone armed. But a universally armed society is based on the idea that anyone is a mortal threat to me at any given moment. Does anyone seriously believe that attitude creates a safer and more civil society? Seems delusional to me.

  • With an expansion of gun carrying rights do we all not become George Zimmerman’s

  • Fhochfeld

    The gun organization representative asserted that gun control would make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to protect themselves.  He should be reminded that the perpetrators of the Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine massacres had no criminal records.
    America needs leaders willing to tell the NRA and others who value the right to posess military type weapons over the lives of citizens – and police – to go to hell.

  • Rhet

     Europe has less gun violence because it has more socialism. People never get to feeling desperate because they have a social safety net.

    In the USA, so many desperate people have no health insurance, why even talk about mental health care? It’s ridiculous. It’s insulting.

  • Char9taf3

    The sad thing about this
    event, and those that preceded it elsewhere is that once again the argument is
    made that individual freedom trumps the concept of community.  The personal freedom argument – whether to
    make money and/or accumulate power through unsafe practices of any kind (food
    safety, tobacco) — inevitably reveals the contempt with which such ideologies
    hold the value of the community.  Some
    restrictions on individuals (you have to have a license to drive after all)
    redound to the benefit of all.  Until the
    majority of citizens recognize it’s to everyone’s benefit, powerful lobbies of
    all kinds will continue to run the country.

    • utera

      Oh you mean the westborough baptist church has a powerful lobby?  

  • Duy

    There seems to be a focus on the utility of guns as a protection mechanism.  I can very much appreciate this argument.  However, speaking strictly to this point, would it suffice to ban individual gun ownership of all forms and limit individuals to less lethal devices like tasers?  For those who enjoy hunting or rifling, we can allow rentals at reserves and gun ranges and regulate those entities.

  • Erica C.

    Your guest from the Gun Owner’s Association talks about times when people with guns have stopped crimes or saved peoples’ lives. Fair enough. I’m sure that does happen but arguing about that keeps leading to a dead end. Although I would like to have fewer guns in our society, I think the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment has made a broad gun ban impossible. However, we could and should ban assault weapons, which are used in these horrific mass-murder situations and which do not have any recreational or safety purpose. Can we just focus on banning these weapons which are so dangerous?

  • Mary

    I always thought that “freedom”, as repeatedly touted by the NRA, is always accompanied by “responsibility”–how often does the NRA tout “responsibility” as a companion to “freedom”?

    If everyone can carried a weapon, then does this mean that “everyone” becomes a police deputy? 

  • Mitch

    Doesn’t the Trayvon Martin shooting teach us of the dangers of charging anonymous citizens with deadly force trying in to prevent crime?

  • Ganleycc

    You have to be of certain age to be able to purchase cigarettes  or alcohol, we have laws to control who can drive.  Guns are more dangerous than any of them, why don’t we have rules to control who, where and when one can purchase, carry or use guns?  If one has the right to carry and use guns, what about the rights of the rest of us to live in a gun-free society?

  • Kay

    I am incensed by the gun rights advocate’s comment that lives would have been saved by armed people in the theater.  More civilians with guns shooting in the theater would have meant more bloodshed more innocent people dead.  I love gun rights advocates idea that gun owners are automatically actually good shots and good in stress situations.  It is the rarity that a gun owner could actually effectively use a firearm in a shoot out.  I don’t trust half the people around me driving cars.  I’m sad to think of all the people around me with firearms who have no idea how to shoot them or store them safely.

    • utera

      Again you’d rather the people in the theater have zero chance than some chance at all right? The theater was already working under your line of thought, it was a “weapons free” zone, you see how that worked out.  ccw owners are less likely than cops to shoot the wrong person, so you may be working from a misrepresentation of what is actually out there.

  • Jps

    I am really tired of anecdotal evidence as ‘proof’ of either side of the argument. I am also tired of pro gun advocates that reject gun registration and some bans (essentially military grade weapons) by using examples of a citizen stopping a potential crime by using firearm that would not have been banned by any of the suggested weapons bans. How many crimes have civilians stopped by using machine guns, assault weapons, tanks, missile launchers etc.?

    • utera

      You are confused about the purpose of the second amendment, its purpose is to guard against tyranny, not let people hunt.

  • GiorgioOrwell2nd

    Please discuss the case during Gabrielle Giffords shooting, where a concealed weapon carrier, 
    Joe Zamudio, very nearly shot the wrong man during the chaos that ensued, and admitted so. He came out of the drug store with his handgun safety off and the first person he saw was a guy who had already wrestled the gun away from Jared Loughner, he decided not to pull his gun at the very last second and tackled the other man.  He said he was literally a second away from shooting this other guy and was “very lucky” to not have caused even further mayhem and confusion  
    See article here:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41018893/ns/slate_com/t/armed-giffords-hero-nearly-shot-wrong-man/#.UA2MyrSvKSo

    • utera

      Please discuss the face thw ccw owners are less likely than the police to shoot the wrong person.

      You want to discuss facts right?

  • Luneasea

    To the gun owner, have you practiced what you would do in a theater that’s dark, tear gas going off, your children and wife crying out in terror and people running wildly……….do you really believe you would be able to calmly find the shooter, and perfectly execute a shot? 

    • utera

      To you, would you rather have zero chance at all.  A ccw in that situation would drop down between the seats and shoot from there.  The crowd would be the cover for the ccw shooter, a predator is dazzled by target overload, that is why birds fly in flocks, sometimes massive numbers of them in a swarm to confuse a predator trying to pick them off.  The shooter stood at the front of the theater, a lone man in contrast to the walls and the rest, he had no cover, and from what witnesses have said, didn’t even bother to move, would someone be able to shoot him? Perhaps, I’d take my chances with a ccw in the room rather than have everyone hope he finds some kindness in his heart and doesn’t just shoot us all.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      There were legal gun carry folks in the theatre just as there were legal gun carry folks in AZ where the Congresswoman nd others were shot and some killed.  BUT….those with firearms did NOT draw their firearm because they knew it wasnt safe in either case, because so much panic and movement was happening and no one could get a clean shot. Period!

  • Jps

    update to previous comment.
    Almost all proposed or advocated legislation involves basic gun registration and limiting assault type weapons, not individual firearms such as hand guns and rifles used in hunting.

  • Please challenge the gun advocate on Obama’s policies.  Do not accept some nebulous BS about executive privilege.  Gun advocates in the media have a terrible record on lying.  Obama has signed legislation to allow guns in national parks, so he has leaned to gun owners.  

    • Guest

      As a DEMOCRAT, I am grateful that I can carry a firearm while I’m hiking in the wilderness. Remember, there are lions, tigers and bears. Oh My!

      This is NOT an issue of the Parties, but it is a right to my freedom to protect myself.

      Address insanity, if you wish to discuss this particular issue.

      • Greg Slater

        You seem to appeal to your ‘DEMOCRAT’ badge as if it was proof that your heart is pure or something.  The Democratic Party (through Obama and the Congressional leadership) has come to embrace:
        – wars without end- deregulation of reckless financial houses- targeted extrajudicial assassinations – increasing encroachment on the right of privacy of citizens- endless detention without trialetc..So your DEMOCRAT badge is pretty meaningless.

  • Jonathan May

    Two points here.
    -If someone is determined to commit a crime, they will find a legal or illegal way to do it. We should be focusing on laws that address the psychology of such a determined individual.
    -I don’t own a gun, but I think at least having access to guns is a simple matter of education. Our species is creating an incredibly vast array of weapons, and unless we join the military or police force, the public at large seems to be being asked to just remain ignorant of their mechanical operation and capabilities. Someone that just wants to understand what is out there in the world today for purely educational purposes is not a guaranteed criminal. Someone that is determined to do harm to their fellow humans is.

  • Lindsay Stallones

    Your guest said that gun control laws violate the rights and liberties our country was founded upon.

    That’s true – but our country was also founded upon the right to own another person. Not every right this country was founded upon is sacred.

    • Ralph

       At a time when UC Berkeley is being given TANKS by Homeland Security, you might want to think more carefully about who ought to have guns.

  • Stan

    Your gun control advocate has cited studies that show that the AVERAGE incidence of gun violence goes down with increased control.  However, your other guest keeps bringing up only isolated incidents (or the possibility of incidents) as a means of arguing for no control.  Ask him to respond to the data from the studies.

  • Jerunder

    So frustrating! The key element for me is arms manufacturers protecting and expanding their profitability. Anything that would prevent consumers from buying whatever product the popular culture suggests they might want must be eliminated so marketing can work its magic. 

  • guest
  • Chemist150

    The Declaration of Independence sets the scene for the 10 amendments to it.   The rights were an agreement between the people and the new government and the right to bear arms is a right granted to the people.  In context of the Declaration of Independence, it’s for the people to maintain the authority to dispose of any government that violates the contract with the people.  In that sense, “non-traditional” use firearms should be allowed and if not, it could possibly be construed as a violation of the agreement between the people and the government.

  • Why can’t we regulate private citizens’ selling guns to each other? People can’t sell their drug prescriptions, their votes, or their driver’s licenses.

  • Oakland

    We can have this discussion for years, but nothing will
    change. It almost seems the definition of an America is one who clings bitterly
    to his guns and his religion. I can’t see when this will ever change in the near
    future.  Politicians know this, which is
    why they don’t seriously address gun control.

  • Wanderer247

    If he were Muslim, this would be considered terrorism.

  • Animalia

    Thank you for this program today. I was so impressed with the speaker from UC Davis who was eloquent and informative. The speaker from the GOA was just what one would expect from his ilk…misinformed and extreme with mostly knee-jerk reactions and anecdotal evidence.

  • Log

    As a gun owner to the NRA rep. Your fooling yourself that an armed citizen could have stopped or delayed the shooter in a low light situation, panicked crowd, and tear gas in the mix.

    Also not to completely jump on the bash the NRA bandwagon. I do support the right for people to own guns for self defense. No offense to the police, but dear lord OPD response time while I was living in Oakland was terrible. As cowards, criminals pick out soft targets of least resistance. Have been mugged 4 times, OPD never responded. I’d have been much better off being able to conceal carry in that city.

    • utera

      Half a chance is better than none.  Low light, panic crowd, smoke, those are things that work on both ends of this equation, don’t forget that.   In fact the odds are not so stacked in the shooters favor as you’d think, he stood out in the open, no cover, just a wall/door behind him which only highlight his form.  Prey much of the time work in heards or flocks to confuse predators, target overload is the issue, the shooter would have been dazzled, he unlike the ccw shooter shooting between seats would have been unable to react quickly to someone shooting back in all likelyhood.  Even a non fatal wound on that guy would have allowed more people to escape.

      • Log

         That some extreme optimism to think it’s anywhere near half a chance. The probability of hitting an innocent over the perp would be to high. A ccw shooter would have to be willing to accept killing/injuring innocents to have a slim to none chance of stopping/delaying the main target.

        • utera

          Again, I think you’ve confused advice about not being a hero when being mugged for your wallet, sure in such a case you can hand over your wallet.

          In a case of a mass shooting, don’t be a hero, just hand over your life is not rational at all.

        • utera

          Not sure what your alternative is, suck it up and die quietly?  You wouldn’t prefer half a chance and would choose no chance?  Pretty absurd.  ccw shoot less unintended victims than the police .but you don’t really want to hear that do you.

          if you get your knowledge of guns from hollywood i guess you might come up with your weird conclusions. kevlar doesn’t make you bullet proof, it makes it so you can live to fight another day, emphasis on another day.  broken ribs and the rest will seriously take the joy out of masscreing people for that guy, it doesn’t matter if you get a kill shot or not from aiming for the head, even a leg shot will give other people more of a chance to escape, but you’d rather pretend that isn’t true.  a ccw dropping down and shooting between the seats is under cover, and hidden by the crowd, the shooter was standing against a wall or door, he was isolated as a target. 

          In any case the words of the joker in the last film are appropriate for this discussion.  

          “The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did, to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hm? You know what, you know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! “

  • Thfleisch

    The problem with gun control laws is that they fail to change the psychology of people who believe they need firearms. 

    If liberals, like myself, are going to be successful in reducing gun violence, they are going to have a longer-term vision of how to accomplish that aim. 

    This means:
    1) Funding in-depth studies of the sociology of American firearms culture. (Understanding)
    2) Countering NRA claims with facts. (Education)
    3) Effective campaign to change the psychology of Americans with regard to guns in a moderate direction. (Behavior Modification)

    • utera

      The problem with abortion laws is that they fail to change the psychology of people who believe they need abortion.  

      If people, like myself, are going to be successful in stopping the murder of children, they are going to have a longer-term vision of how to accomplish that aim.  

      This means:
      1) Funding in-depth studies of the sociology of pro choice culture. (Understanding)
      2) Countering pro choice claims with facts. (Education)
      3) Effective campaign to change the psychology of Americans with regard to abortion in a moderate direction. (Behavior Modification)

      you see how patronizing it is?

      how about just thinking about your own psychology for a moment,  

      Start off with this quote from the last film. 
      “The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did, to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hm? You know what, you know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! ”

      Now inject some facts.  The virginia tech shooter killed twice as many with just handguns.  What is it about liberal psychology that lets them ignore facts like this to fixate on his “assault rifles” when they clearly are not as effective as your liberal fear response would imply.  The commentator on this show said that evil happens when good men do nothing, implying that doing anything is better than nothing, so after 9/11 we probably should have banned all muslims from entering the united states right? Thats better than doing “nothing”.  You see liberals on shows ranting about the amount of ammunition and how easy it is to buy, well how much can you really carry on you at once time anyways?  Why is such a simple concept of practicality something you would ignore so quickly ?

  • PM

    Gun Owners of America, sadly has a California origin, supporters of death squads and ties to Neo-Nazis.  see http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/04/11394/not-just-nra-former-alec-leader-head-gun-owners-america-sides-shooter-trayvon-mar

  • Silvia

    I am generally not in favor of gun ownership. However, I understand that this is a right that most Americans want to preserve. What I don’t understand is how you can legally own a lethal weapon without any requirement for training on how to use it, care for it and safely store it.
    After all you have to have a license to drive a car which can also be used as a lethal weapon….something to ponder…

  • OldVet

    Balance:   Guns in the hands of crazies makes for massacres.  An unarmed public can be easily subdued as exemplified by Kosovo.   This balance was struck by the second and third amendments of the bill or rights. 

    The constitution would never have come into being without the bill of rights.
    and begins with amendments 1,2,3.    One: freedom to assemble, speak, believe and petition the government concerning it’s wrongs. Two: to bear arms. Three: to prohibit the quartering of soldiers in private homes.   Simple.
    We can gather: One.  We can carry guns: Two.   Not in our homes: Three.

    The founders were familiar and concerned with being under the boot of occupation by the British and their corporations, the Massachusetts Bay Company and  the Virginia Company.    Soldiers quartered in your daughter’s room is not OK.

    In short, the second amendment is about stopping an occupying force, not about hunting or other ‘civilian’ uses.  It is about stopping an oppressor, foreign or domestic.   The NRA from my point of view is an extension of the military industrial congressional complex, explicitly the arms manufacturers and it wants to sell guns.   They often mistranslate the second amendment.  Not that all their members are bad, any more than all the tea party members are bad.  But their leaders do not, from my perspective, have good intentions.  They want to sell guns.

    I want to see that we are not oppressed, by force, nor by economic corruption.  So did the founders.  We are so very far from their hopes for us.

    Do not be upset at a couple dozen folks killed in Colorado when 60,000 Mexicans have been killed next door due to our drug policy with almost no coverage.  Viet Nam next door and who knew?   Try not to get caught up in the mob hysteria and media barrage that will obliterate all other news for the next two weeks, like  LIBOR, corrupt money laundering banks, unlawful foreclosures, and zero prosecutions.

    Keep your eyes on the prize. Eternal vigilance….

    • utera

      Yup ironic these people don’t notice how strong the gun laws are in mexico.   

      Its wonderful for criminals when the innocent are never armed.

  • Guest

    Please keep your political rhetoric to yourself. As a DEMOCRAT, I own many many weapons that I shoot regularly with friends as we practice target shooting. We easily buy 6000 rounds of ammunition for target shooting. Furthermore, I am a vegan and I only shoot targets; not trees nor any living creatures.

    Guns are not a political issue but people are, for sure. Just read some of these posts. I’ve never seen a gun do anything by itself. People can throws rocks, so I suppose you will outlaw rocks?

    Wake up and address SICK PEOPLE and layoff the guns. NO one will take my guns!

    • Greg Slater

      “NO one will take my guns!”
      …or what?

      • utera

        or what?  no one will take your freedom of speech..or what?

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    USAToday:’University of Colorado officials disclosed Monday that massshooting suspect James Holmes was being paid $26,000 a year for his studies — money that could have financed the cache of firearms, ammunition and explosive devices found in his apartment.’

  • Nolanjones85

    In my opinion there is no debate on gun control every one weather you own guns or don’t like guns take the debate to one extreme or the other extreme. I am a gun owner and to be put it that type of situation and to think a normal gun owner like with little or no training in that situation could have made an accurate shot to hit him is stupid thinking. But that’s not my point my point is that people are not debating gun laws. Anti gun activist say we shouldn’t own gun that taking it to the extreme on there part. And to gun owners say they could have made a shot in that situation to eliminate the threat is taking it to another extreme. How do you come to a middle ground? I would put in place that for any fire arm that there should not any type that is allowed to hold more than ten rounds at a time (if you can’t have fun shooting ten rounds at a time then there is something wrong). If you go to buy a hand gun you have to take some type of training class about your weapon of choice

    • utera

      Again these are measures that do nothing, you can speed reload a gun in no time, or simply carry two.  These measures are feel good measures, as shown by virginia tech, simple pistols can double the kill count compared to this nutbag with his arsenal, it isn’t about how much you are carrying.  As for the ccw having a hard shot in such a situation, yes but that works on both ends of the equation.

      • NolanJones85

        I have read all your post and you make good points. My post was just an example of really no one is trying to debate gun laws people are only talking about what they want for there own agenda I can see we’re I didn’t make it quit clear. Now I don’t think they need to change any gun laws as much as too just go through the ones they have and figure out a better way of enforcing them. As for my whole ten round clip it was just an example to try to make common ground. People need to remember that a gun only kills if their is a person pulling the trigger and the depends on the person. Same as a knife only cuts if some one picks it up. I like your earlier post with your point that anything can be as a weapon. My finale thought is that if you that on persons means of protection/kill weapon how ever you foresee it their will always be a replacement , don’t punish the whole nation for the of a few 40 million gun owners and 270 million guns did nothing wrong or misuse their guns.

        • utera

          Well the problem is that the suggestion is legislation for legislations sake if it doesn’t really make us any safer. 

          Anyways even if it did make us safer it wouldn’t be justified by default.  After 9/11 we could have been “safer” if we had banned all muslims from entering america..maybe even deporting our own as well …but would it be right?

          • Nolanjones85

            Well I my own view there really is no solution for this problem. There will always be people that kill no matter the weapon/tool if you unarm the responsible law abiding citizens then what. And when these types of crimes keep happening then what will happen what would peoples solutions be then to stop these tragic crimes from happening.

  • DofCS

    Here is actual, very recent video of a legally armed citizen shooting an armed robber in a room full of people.

  • How will the politics of guns play out in a presidential election year? http://jokesfb.com/

  • Even after the tragey, gun control is still not popular with Americans as the latest survey results show that when asked if they would support a new Amendment to the Constitution that would rescind the 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms), only 31% of the general population said “Yes” with 52% saying “No.” When asked if they thought there should be new laws that require security screenings at movie theaters, 36% of our respondents said yes with 48% saying no and 16% unsure about increased security.
    You can see more anti-stricter control results here, guess people just don’t want to complicate their liveshttp://www.instant.ly/blog/2012/07/in-wake-of-movie-theater-shootings-gun-control-and-security-measures-still-unpopular/

  • Patricia Cherry

    We must re-frame the issue from one of gun control to Assault Weapon Governance and create a  Weapons of Mass Destruction Act.  Who can be against limiting our access to assault weapons?  We can argue this.  Also what gets forgotten about in the 2nd amendment is the opening sentence, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,”   The authors of the constitution used a different syntax than we do in current times.  But they most always put the most important thought first.  I would feel quite a bit better if we reminded folks that the biggest issue of the day was the worry over Federal against States Rights.  King George remember?  This amendment was intended for the security of the individual States, not the individual.  The people were to be part of the well regulated Militia.  to my mind that would be the State Troopers.  Got guns?  Then join the well-regulated State Militia and have responsibilities along with those “rights”.   
    Patricia Cherry

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