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Bill Moyers: "Even as sadness turns to outrage over the Newtown tragedy, and powerful coalitions of leaders and celebrities speak out, those who produce, push, and promote guns continue unfazed and unabated."

Portrait, Bill Moyers. (photo: PBS)
Portrait, Bill Moyers. (photo: PBS)

The Gun Lobby's Firepower

By Bill Moyers, Moyers and Company

08 January 13



BILL MOYERS: You may remember that we spoke about guns just a few days before Christmas, following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. So did Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.

WAYNE LAPIERRE: The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

BILL MOYERS: Listening to LaPierre, my jaw dropped, and it occurred to me that he might well have plagiarized his vision of a wholly armed nation from another "man of the people" of forty years ago, the protagonist in the famous sit-com "All In the Family." When a local TV station comes out in favor of gun control, Archie Bunker hits the airwaves with a rebuttal, which he watches at home with his family.

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: Good evening, everybody. This here is Archie Bunker of 704 Hauser Street, veteran of the big war, speaking on behalf of guns for everybody[…]

Now I want to talk about another thing that's on everybody's minds today, and that's your stick-ups and your skyjackings, which, if that were up to me, I could end the skyjackings tomorrow.

MICHAEL 'MEATHEAD' STIVIC in All In The Family: You could?

ARCHIE BUNKER in All In The Family: All you got to do is arm all your passengers. He ain't got no more moral superiority there, and he ain't going to dare to pull out no rod. And then your airlines, they wouldn't have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they just pick them up at the end! Case closed.

BILL MOYERS: Case closed. Except that Archie Bunker's a fictional character, created by Norman Lear, who knew better. Not Wayne LaPierre - he's real and he means business. Big business. Every time we have another of these mass slayings and speak of gun control, weapon sales go up. And guess what? As the journalist Lee Fang reports in The Nation magazine, "For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA."

So naturally, in a country where even life and death are measured by the profit margin, the cure for gun violence becomes, yes, more guns. Bigger profits. Never mind that just before LaPierre spoke, three people were shot and killed outside Altoona, Pennsylvania. Or that early on Christmas Eve morning, in Webster, New York, two volunteer firemen were called to the scene of a fire, then executed by an ex-con who allegedly set the blaze and murdered them with the same kind of assault rifle used against those school kids and their teachers in Newtown. Or that on New Year's Eve, in Sacramento, California, reportedly in a fight over a spilled drink, a 22-year-old opened fire in a bar, killing two and wounding two others. In fact, in just those few weeks since the Newtown slaughter of the innocent, more than 400 people have died from guns in America. That should boost the last quarter profit margins. So not surprising, the merchants of death are experiencing a happy new year.

We can't forget. We mustn't relent. We have to keep talking about this, because Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are insidious and powerful predators. Have you seen the reports in both the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Washington Post of how, 16 years ago, the NRA managed to get Congress to pull funding on gun violence studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? And just two years ago, NRA henchmen even snuck a provision into the Affordable Care Act that prevents doctors from collecting information on their patients' gun use.

As Wayne LaPierre's brazen call for an armed populace makes clear, the odds don't favor common sense. There are always members of Congress willing to do the gun lobby's bidding as they profess their love of the second amendment and wait like hungry house pets for the next NRA campaign donation.

Every American a gun-toter is a frightening vision of our future. It doesn't have to be, if only we stop and think about where the Wayne LaPierre's would take us. That's what a fellow named Frank James did. He stopped, he thought, he changed directions. He's a pawn shop owner in Seminole, Florida, his youngest child is six. Frank James told a local ABC station he has decided to stop selling guns.

FRANK JAMES on ABC Local News: It'll probably cause my business to go out of business because it was a big part of it, but I just couldn't live with myself. I thought, wow, this is crazy. As a gun dealer myself, I'm like, yes, we need more gun control. Guns are getting into the wrong hands of the wrong people.

BILL MOYERS: He also said "I'm not going to be a part of it anymore. Conscience wins over making money." Thank you, Mr. James. your social media marketing partner


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+72 # Barbara K 2013-01-08 12:02
The lunatic that runs the NRA gets ONE MILLION DOLLARS a year as President of that killing club. Thank goodness we all haven't lost our senses. We don't need guns in our homes for security. Put in a Security System, one of those never killed anyone. Guns kill homeowners and their family members more than any home invader does. I'm not against rifles, have some inherited from my dad and some I bought a long time ago. They are hunting rifles, used for target shooting and never killed a living being. My dad was a crack shot and taught me how to shoot. I love target shooting, but would never kill a living being with one of them. There is no reason for people to have military or assault rifles unless they intend to kill someone. That is their only use. Want to feel safe at home? Put in a Security System that automatically calls in the police, and sounds off a loud alarm. Schools can do the same thing.
+31 # allie 2013-01-08 12:31
Barbara K you are always the voice of reason and understanding. Just want to let you know how much I love reading your posts.
+5 # Barbara K 2013-01-08 18:35
allie: Thank you for your kind words.
+39 # NanFan 2013-01-08 13:15
Quoting Barbara K:
Want to feel safe at home? Put in a Security System that automatically calls in the police, and sounds off a loud alarm. Schools can do the same thing.

Indeed! It works for your cars, doesn't it? Should cars be armed with "drone-like" guns to shoot anyone trying to break into them?

I think its time for all of us to use our heads AND our hearts in this country, to use our consciences as Mr. James did, and STOP the madness!

400 deaths in America by guns since the Newtown shootings! That is untenable, and how many of them were done "protecting ones home" with something other than an assault rifle?

+18 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-01-08 13:30
Friday, I was depositing money at an ATM site. I started a conversation with the man next to me:"were you happy with the presidential elections?" (Scowl on his face.) His comment:"that is why I joined the NRA, go'n to a gun show today."
+19 # robniel 2013-01-08 14:11
Quoting Barbara K:
Want to feel safe at home?

Safe may be when the NRA is stamped out of existance. This will happen when their treasury is emptied by a never-ending flood of lawsuits. It's guaranteed that this will finally get their attention without having to depend on wing-nut politicians.
+8 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-08 15:54
Great Dustin Hoffman/Gene Hackman/RachelW eisz/John Cussack flic: "Runaway Jury".

About suing the gun industry. Suspenseful peek into the dark back rooms of court manipulation.
+21 # Barbara K 2013-01-08 16:57
I've said in the past that the NRA needs to be sued out of existence. They are certainly encouraging nuts to buy guns. They don't care if people should be armed. They get money for every firearm and bullet, etc., that is sold in this country. Did you know that? Sue them out of existence. People don't need them to have weapons, or to pay their high "membership" fees.
+12 # giraffee2012 2013-01-08 18:02
Barbara K: Agree but who can/will sue them? And now the "Occupy" or any movement is "outlawed" how can we even voice our outrage at these monsters?

1. hope Scalia (and the RATS) retire or go
2. call all congress people AND President Obama to take the NRA to the highest court and move up to the Supreme Court - oh dear, I forgot: The NRA puts $$ into the election campaigns of most of our congress people.

Anyone have an idea HOW WE SUE?
+8 # Barbara K 2013-01-08 21:18
giraffee2012: Those injured and the families of victims can sue them. They are definitely complicit in the wounding and killings by encouraging, and in some states encouraging the governments to use their "stand your ground" defenses, which is being misused. We have to start somewhere and the best place to hit is their pocketbooks.
+1 # robniel 2013-01-09 10:27
Quoting Barbara K:
giraffee2012: We have to start somewhere and the best place to hit is their pocketbooks.

Anyone can sue them. Tie up their $500/hr lawyers
in depositions for years, if necessary.
+2 # X Dane 2013-01-10 20:43

If the NRA resist all of the suggestions or laws that may come out of the latest shooting. Then I think the families of the many victims in the shootings should sue them.

There are a LOT of people organizing right now. The fury is red hot. Governor Cuomo of New York Will have new laws ready in a few days. There is no time to waste...It is important to get rolling before NRA get organized.

We just may see some action this time. But we need to do a lot more than outlawing assault weapons, and that should also start NOW.
+12 # X Dane 2013-01-08 21:31

That was how Morris Dee of the "Southern
Poverty Law Center" destroyed the Ku Klux Clan. He and they... sued the monsters out of existence. Morris Dee is one of the most courageous people I know of. He did what few have the courage to do. Stand up to the worst of the worst. His life is in constant danger.
+4 # Barbara K 2013-01-09 09:11
X Dane: Exactly, and that we can do the same thing with the NRA. There are safer protections than guns. I mentioned Security Systems, and if one has the room, get a good dog. There are many pleading for good homes in Shelters all over the country. You would also have a loving companion, as well as protection.
+2 # giraffee2012 2013-01-10 11:12
I like the dog idea - and if you don't have room or "can't" take in a dog - do as my dad did in the 60-70s: Posted signs all around = "Beware of dog" (with picture of a ferocious dog) and other warnings about his "alleged" dog. He was in local politics and never was bothered except once when someone threw green paint over part of his business (which was painted white) -dog musta been snoozing then!
+1 # Barbara K 2013-01-12 21:46
giraffee2012: LoL! I've done the same thing. Just put up Beware of Dog signs. It is surprising how many people who come to the door are so wary of a dog coming after them. But if you have the room get a real one, they need homes and you can have a loving companion. Besides, you never know when the secret of the invisible dog may get out. LoL.
-11 # aaheart 2013-01-08 14:49
How long will it take for the police to arrive? How long will it take for your murder to occur? Your rape? Your mugging? Police are at best Second Responders. They investigate. They don't prevent crime.

The Second Amendment was not established to guarantee success in hunting. The Founders intended it to be the leveling process to keep government fearful of the people, one of the first of the checks and balances to ensure freedom and liberty.
+21 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-08 18:41
Actually the 2nd Amendment was for a Citizens Army to defend against not just foreign invaders but insurrection and rebellion. Just one year after the Bill of Rights was ratified we have the passing to TWO within one week Militia acts by a FF Congress and signed by a FF POTUS. The first extended the powers of Congress to POTUS to call upon the militia and it organized it like any standing army would be. The second was mandatory conscription. You had to provide your own musket and provisions.

It was NOT created for first checks and balances. How our govt is formed is its first checks and balances. People taking part in the democratic process is the next. Getting out your boom-stick should be of last resort and not because you simply are part of Romney's 47% who voted for him and do not like Obama.

Actually in crime studies it has shown crime goes down when cops actually patrol.
+10 # mdhome 2013-01-08 19:21
Do you really think the government with their standing army equipped with drones, helicopters, missiles, bombs (smart and otherwise), tanks, APCs, APVs, mortars, and artillery are going to be stopped by YOU?? You do not even have the power of a flea compared to the government.
+13 # X Dane 2013-01-08 21:40

More people and kids are killed with a families guns than are an intruders.

You need a gun loaded and ready at your side at all times, to really be protected. IF you HAVE that, the chances of a horrible accident is greater than you shooting a criminal.
+3 # chrisconnolly 2013-01-09 12:37
Do you think the Founders intended that first graders be able to be shot 11 times in a matter of seconds? The 2nd amendment needs to be amended if you think that is what your 2nd amendment rights are.
+3 # Barbara K 2013-01-09 13:35
Not so long as you want us to think. The loud alarm scares away most burglars immediately. A barking dog will do the same. It's better than the legal fees you will incur for killing someone.
+5 # Regina 2013-01-09 13:43
The Second Amendment was not enacted to generate a tsunami of slaughter. It was written for militias carrying muskets. It has become the enabler of murderers, at dozens of bullets per second. The Founding Fathers would be horrified if they could see us today.
+6 # X Dane 2013-01-09 19:34
Regina and Barbara.

There is also the case of armor piercing bullets????? They are made for penetrating a bullet proof west. Who wear those?? The police!!! It should be a no brainer that they should ONLY be used by the military.

I think the police chiefs should be speaking out about this gun problem. for police are certainly targets too. Some years back, bank robbers were in a big shoot out with the police.

Get this ...The robbers had much more powerful weapons than the police?? The stand off was not solved until the police brought in heavier fire power.

These military weapons should not be available to ANYBODY but the military. it should not be possible for criminals or anybody else to get their hands on them or on these mega clips.

No hunter would be using automatic or semi automatic weapons to hunt dear or pheasants.
+2 # X Dane 2013-01-10 02:01
An addition.....Th e fight to capture the Bank robbers here in LA, was going on for a few hours, and all was seen on TV,
+1 # Barbara K 2013-01-12 21:48
X Dane: I remember seeing that battle on TV. It was awful. Just think how many would be alive, if the crooks didn't have the biggest weapons and body armor.
-6 # edge 2013-01-08 15:00
OK, let's hear YOUR LAW that will stop killings?

It borders on the insane to think a law will do that!!!

Chicago had 500 murders last year, perhaps they should lower the limit to 400 in the hundreds of laws they have on the books already!

YOU WILL NEVER get rid of all of the guns because the criminals WILL NEVER turn them in!

So write a law that only stops criminals...WHA T YOU CAN'T DO IT?

Great now you woke up to reality!
+12 # robniel 2013-01-08 18:44
In the case of poisons, you make them hard to get. In the case of murder weapons, you limit how much damage they can do in a short amount of time.
-3 # Adoregon 2013-01-09 12:48
So do like the rich folk do. Hire your own security. Isn't that what firms like Crackwater (now Xe)provide?

The police and the government can't [proactively] protect you or stop a madman from spraying innocents with bullets. You can't do di*k with your empty hands.

So what are you going to do to protect yourself and your loved ones from crazies with guns? What exactly??
+31 # moonrigger 2013-01-08 12:28
As long as we're going to arm teachers, janitors, teachers and students, we might as well have the gas station attendant, the UPS guy, the cleaning lady, the crossing guard, and the barrista at Starbucks pack heat as well. Who knows where a bad guy is going to strike next?

Think of how arming everyone to the teeth will help our economy. We'll sell off all the existing guns and then, of course, we'll have to re-arm everyone with increasingly powerful weapons, since you know the criminals will have them, to get a leg up on the rest of us. I guess we'll have to stop at ICBMs, though, or risk breaking some treaty, right?
-6 # aaheart 2013-01-08 14:56
No need to increase firepower, moonrigger. Just the thought that people being targeted with criminal intent might, just MIGHT, be able to respond to their emergency with any kind of firepower could be enough to make the would-be felon think twice about weighing the risks of the crime.
+9 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-08 15:56

Were you a contributing writer for that Archie Bunker episode?
+15 # robniel 2013-01-08 18:46
Suicidal murderers do not weigh risks, aaheart. They need to be technogically deprived of their tools.
+24 # Douglas Jack 2013-01-08 13:14
Bill Moyers, Thankyou for standing up. We all have a problem with human insecurity, coward-aggressi on cycles, isolation, one-side thinking & technology-enha nced aggression which in Sandy Hook elementary destroyed the lives of 26 in just 20 minutes before Adams suicide. The key is taking responsibility for every part of the whole cycle. Both left & right agree that; we need to go deeper than 'arms', we need to decide where our 'feet' are headed.

The 'Right-to-bare- arms' or each of us rolling up our sleeves to pitch-in for making the world a better place, each of us not bogged down in heavy body-armour & armaments. We need to liberate ourselves & our loved ones from the perpetual fear of scarcity through each in our own way contributing to an abundant world where people understand that mutual-aid is the greatest factor of human-society & evolution. Tell us about your own efforts.
+17 # 2013-01-08 13:50
Yes. Thanks for talking about mutual aid to all - and fear of scarcity - which we are all consumed with. As this country continues to spend dollars overseas being the military police for the entire world, where other civiilzied countries, have health care, transportation, day-care, jobs, job guarantees,a true safety net for those who can't work, vacations...lea ding lives with dignity. As we baby boomers move into this next decade, I fear for all of us...I have always been fearless, but not any longer. The leadership failure in this country is astounding. I don't know who to communicate with - or where it makes a difference - and I am a former Congressional staffer who continues to be active in our local political scene, but feeling more than frustrated - depressed and saddened. Worried for my future, and that of my children and grandchild.
-10 # aaheart 2013-01-08 15:06
We still have a few anomalies to sort out from the Sandy Hook atrocity before we are going to be ready to make public policy. Connecticut has very stringent gun control laws, yet Adam supposedly kill his mom to use her guns.

He was found dead in the school with handguns...but the medical examiner said all deaths were attributed to a long gun. Where was the long gun? They found one in the trunk of a car outside. How could Adam Lanza have killed people with a long gun that was not in his possession at the time of his death? Where was the long gun that did the killing? Did it have his fingerprints on it?

Did Adam Lanza use mind-altering drugs as part of his therapy to deal with depression? Are not SSRIs possibly responsible for Adam pulling the trigger? Without the anti-depressant s would Adam have killed his mom and all those kids?

Yes we need to work on that ideal of an abundant world. Our forefathers were in the process of doing that...under a Constitution that protected them from government intrusion. THERE is an ideal that has been left behind and politicians have been permitted to gut our bill of rights and undercut the Constitution for whatever convenient reason that suit their purpose. We should not stumble again in defense of liberty.
+9 # mdhome 2013-01-08 19:24
I think you were using mind altering drugs when you read (or heard) the reports from Sandy Hook.
+13 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-08 13:21
"Guns don't kill people. People kill people".

Guns merely fire high-speed projectiles which inflict structural damage (marked, considerable, or massive) on the object they strike.

So, expanding LaPierre's mantra: "Guns don't kill people. People, using guns as they are designed and intended to be used, kill people".
+28 # lourdmar 2013-01-08 13:26
BRAVO - Moyers is on the top of the list of our most respected credible voices! The antidote for the incivility that prevails and the greed that motivates it.
-6 # aaheart 2013-01-08 15:19
I've had great admiration for the thoughfulness of Bill Moyers over the years, but we must each think our way through this without the emotional baggage that is used to steer our opinion. We need to look carefully at the facts and be wary of the emotions that can sidetrack rational thinking in a nanosecond.

We need to ask if Adam Lanza was taking the mind-altering anti-depressant s that have been found to stimulate suicidal and homicidal behavior. His brother described him as having mental health problems.

We need to ask how Adam Lanza was able to shoot all those people with a rifle when there was no rifle in his possession when he was found dead in the school. How could all those handguns he had with him have caused all those rifleshot wounds that the medical examiner described?

One rifle was found outside in someone else's trunk...but there was no connection to the alleged shooter who lay dead in the school.

We don't yet have the evidence to make public policy decisions but for the emotion that has been aroused and managed to manipulate our opinion in accordance with someone's agenda. That agenda is not necessarily in the best interests of Americans.
+11 # X Dane 2013-01-08 23:25

We know that Adam Lanza had mental problems, So did a number of the others in the mass shootings before this last one.
Soooooooo obviously we need to do something about the mental illness .... Good luck with that. We KNOW it is needed.

We WANT it addressed. Many people are desperately seeking help for their sons and though it is young men who are doing these horrible shootings.

These parents are looking in vain for help. For the budget cuts are hitting any and all health care. So if you hope for help in that direction. You are OUT OF LUCK.

We HAVE to protect ourselves by getting rid of these mega clips and the assault weapons. We do NOT have the luxury of waiting for action in the mental care field...A LOT more cuts are coming... soon and they will most certainly hit mental care.

So we Must start with the weapon and the many things that CAN be done without curbing the rights of hunters and people who like going to shooting ranges. Let's see what Joe Biden and his group will come up with.
+5 # Barbara K 2013-01-09 13:44
aaheart: Most mentally ill people don't go on shooting rampages when they do not have access to firearms. Many take enough responsibility to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, not the NRA, they and their followers don't care who they arm; the NRA gets rich no matter who gets killed. We have too many guns in too many hands in too many places.
+20 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-08 13:28
We already have a time-tested, well-worn, four-point set of procedures to deal with crises like Sandy Hook Elementary.

1) A mass shooting at "X" triggers shock and disbelief, then a surge of outrage crying for weapon control to halt these brutal, senseless attacks on innocents.

2) The wave of protest crashes against the massive bulwark of the gun lobby which decries the "knee-jerk, feel-good" petition for tighter control; the N.R.A. denounces this brutal, senseless attack on Second Amendment Freedoms.

3) Among the soul-searching swirl of proposed remedies: renewing the bans on automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines which in turn triggers a sales boom in automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Meanwhile, the damage-tabulate d massacre jostles for ranking as the killings at "X" weigh on a wearying public... more victims than Aurora? More than Columbine? Not so many as Virginia Tech?

Body armor sales spike. Kevlar-lined backpacks (on sale for $199 at bulletblocker.c om) offer comfort to some parents; most find solace in simply sighing "So sad... glad it wasn't my child...".

Gradually, the killings at "X" ebb from memory.

4) Repeat as needed.
+9 # Smiley 2013-01-08 15:16
I don't think it will happen that way this time, because the corporate media is pushing for gun control. In San Antonio an off duty female cop takes out a crazed gunman who shot up a restaurant and then started shooting up a movie theater and that wasn't national news. Makes me wonder about motivation. I'd like to see gun control. I wish i could trust our military/indust rial/wall street/bankster controlled government to do it.
+5 # aaheart 2013-01-08 15:33
This scenario will be repeated as often as necessary to manipulate public opinion toward an agenda of undercutting the Bill of Rights. Over a century ago the Tavistock Institute studied the psychology of manipulating public opinion. They found that most people cannot think critically and rationally, as much as 87% of the population. These people will look to someone else's opinion upon which to stake their own. They will seek an authority to make up their minds.

They also found that people could not hold a position very well in the face of an onslaught of stimuli. As a result the bits of the puzzle could never be brought together in a pattern that could be useful, as long as the deluge of information and stimuli displaced the THOUGHT.

Repetition and emotionalism are necessary ingredients for manipulating public opinion. Edward Bernays was one of those two Americans who attended the Tavistock Institute and wrote the propaganda classic, "Manipulating Public Opinion" We've all been subject to the tenets of this book our whole lives.
+1 # Douglas Jack 2013-01-09 22:36
aaheart, Interesting description of some factors of citizen information processing. Thanks for the references.

For most it is important to recognize that; our emotions are information on a meta (transcending) level. Much of human mind is unconscious. Emotions represent quantities & qualities of information beyond the ability of immediate processing or understanding, but still holding an important role as part of our analysis. Emotions give each of us overall assessment upon which we can act in precautionary ways & but which must be verified with more detailed point-by-point analysis.

In keeping with Marshall McLuhan's 'The medium is the message', human mind as well considers data across both content & process instinctually comparing whether both are speaking the same message & thus the veracity whether one is out of sync & disingenuous.

Traditionally human societies use 'dialectic' (literally 'both-sides') rights & analysis as an instituted process for media, government, law, education (Socrates) & every aspect of human society. Unfortunately mainstream media & all of our social & economic institutions have degraded dialectic rights in human relations.

The American constitution, Bill-of-rights & other articles are framed by genocidal colonial land & slave-owning male-dominated societies which to this day doesn't recognize its travesty.
+5 # Vardoz 2013-01-08 14:08
All of these mass shootings have been carried out by males and I am beginning to wonder if they haven't taken some substance that forces them to such extreme violent actions? It's as if these people who carry out these mass killings are under the influence of something where they become uncontrolable mass killers.I don't think anyone has gotten to the bottom of what actually provokes these sudden psychotic breaks. Anyone ever see the Manchurian Candidate. We know that the all those who whitnessed the JFK killing and saw something other then what was reported, suddenly died from heart attacks and that has been a convenient tool for these kind of killings in the past. So I ask myself what really transpired? Did the autopsy’s reveal anything?I am referring specificcally sudden mass killings not the every day shootings that take place on our streets.
+8 # dick 2013-01-08 14:33
If we admitted WHY people want portable, concealable MACHINE GUNS, we might ban the guns AND the people who want them.
+15 # amye 2013-01-08 14:49
If we as a country can't do anything to control guns in this country after 20 children are mass murdered, then we will never do anything about guns in this country and the massacres will continue to the end!
+9 # dick 2013-01-08 14:52
What's the "mental health" status of people who murder majestic living things for the sheer rush of taking a life? Preschoolers are bagging deer; where's the adult challenge? I'm worried about a population desensitized to slaughter. Let's give avid sportsmen a stick & let them hunt grizzlies, without dogs to do all the real hunting for them. They can smear blood on themselves & be their own bait piles if they like. That's what REAL MEN would do.
+7 # X Dane 2013-01-09 00:13
You hit the nail squarely on the head.
We are ALL desensitized. Example: Sometime ago, the announcer on a news program, told of a shooting in which, a man at a funeral, shot and killed his wife.

He warned, may want to look away ..... It was shown at least 150 feet away, but you could see, in the distance, the woman fall down.

I did see it and I was shocked at,... how shocked I was NOT.... It really upset me. But we see so much murder and mayhem on a daily basis, that we DO get numbed to it.

I do not go to any of the movies that are obvious violent movies. But even in a NON Quentin Tarantino movie there is violence, and it is hard to find a movie without car chases, and on TV there is way more violence now..... So yes, we are desensitized.
+17 # James Marcus 2013-01-08 14:59
repeat as needed...
But don't, under any circumstances, look at our National Preponderance for World -Wide violence. We the 'Peace-Keepers' . Oh, sure!
Talk about Gun Sales!
The U S Defense Budget, alone, speaks for itself. And, No, we don't really know the 'All' of it. It's 'A Secret'!
It is breaking the Nation, financially, and arming the world, deliberately, methodically, at the same time. (talk about a few crazies getting weapons!)
It is unaudited. Do tell! The weapons are amazingly complex, inherently expensive, and often soon out-dated. Design/Purchase more!.
'Unaudted', and 'Top Secret' translate easily into exaggerated billions, if not trillions. And 'Rogues, armed to the teeth', whom we then get to 'Deal With'. (read 'spend more money into certain pockets')
Yes, that ugly.
And our Citizens reflect this oh-so-'sanctifi ed' approach to International Living.
Who said 'As above, So below.'?
We set a National Standard of acceptable excessive Violence, including Video Game Desensitization , and then wonder why citizens also act similarly.
-18 # Dav1bg 2013-01-08 15:25
An armed society can protect itself from an oppressive government. And yes there will be a price for our freedom. Move to Mexico, they don't have guns, you will be much happier there.
+15 # ericlipps 2013-01-08 16:47
Quoting Dav1bg:
An armed society can protect itself from an oppressive government. And yes there will be a price for our freedom. Move to Mexico, they don't have guns, you will be much happier there.

So the reason to cling to unrestricted gun ownership is to allow people to "protect" themselves from the government they elected? That would be questionable even if it weren't the case that the government has more and deadlier weapons--tanks, bombers, missiles, etc.

As for Mexico--EVERYBO DY'S got a gun there.
+1 # chrisconnolly 2013-01-09 12:45
Not so. Hardly anybody has a gun in Mexico. It is true that only the criminals have them but then Mexico do not have the kinds of mass killings with automatic weapons that we have.
+7 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-08 15:41
I have to offer again my recommendation:

NRA defenders of high-capacity magazines should perhaps invest in squeezing off a few more practice shots at their local firing range to steady their aim; in the long run, it'll save them ammo money if they can drop their trophy buck sooner than the 27th round.
+11 # Cabell 2013-01-08 15:44
I made this video to show how different the assault weapons we are able to so easily purchase today are from the guns that our forbears used at the time of the writing and ratification of the Second Amendment.
Take the time to past this into your web browser and you will be amazed. Cabell
+10 # lincolnimp 2013-01-08 15:51
The proposed crackdown on sales of assault weapons is looking at just one part of the problem. The disappearance of any kind of affordable help for the treatment of the insane is the other piece of the puzzle. I wonder how many of these incredibly insane massacres would have taken place if the perpetrators had had viable access to therapy.
-7 # eric_frodsham 2013-01-08 16:06
I don't think that taking guns away from the people is the answer. Dealing with why this happens, the mental health problems, is a much better approach. The 2nd amendment is in place for a reason and as long as our defence budget is larger than the rest of the world, I'd like to make sure I can protect myself from our own government! I'm not afraid of my good neighbors owning guns and in fact feel safer if they do own guns.
+3 # robniel 2013-01-10 23:20
Quoting eric_frodsham:
The 2nd amendment is in place for a reason and as long as our defence budget is larger than the rest of the world, I'd like to make sure I can protect myself from our own government! I'm not afraid of my good neighbors owning guns and in fact feel safer if they do own guns.

Fantasy 101. You'll last 30 seconds against any military unit.
-11 # aaheart 2013-01-08 16:16
Bill Moyers and Alex Jones are both gatekeepers of the TruthSeekers on the Internet. Their job is to gather followers who can be mislead and to deflect attention when they get too close to the truth. Both presents facts and information about which you agree, but do so with such emotionalism that you get caught up in the misdirect. Moyers uses a much quieter and thoughtful approach but he is nevertheless a gatekeeper because some people are lead to think "he is one of us"... but he isn't.

To play this game it's important to know the rules and those were published in 1928 by Edward Bernays in his classic, Manipulating Public Opinion. The Tavistock Institute that he attended with Walter Lippman found that the emotions were the key to grabbing attention and that repetition was necessary for people to hold a thought. Only 13% of humanity had the capacity to think for themselves and the rest would seek out authority on which to base their own opinion. Bill Moyers and Alex Jones are opinion leaders. They are both gatekeepers, each with his own flock to shepherd.
+12 # X Dane 2013-01-09 00:26
You keep repeating yourself, but it doesn't looks like you are convincing anyone.
+14 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-08 18:56
What I find interesting is a lot of the anti gun control comments. I spent 4 years in the US Army. I own a rifle. I remember the cry over the Assault Weapons ban when it first happened back in the 90s.

Guns do not kill people kill. Well bullets do not kill either the shock of the cavity well typically kills people. Followed by the fall does not kill you the sudden stop.

If more guns made us safer then why has crime not continued to go down? We have more guns than we had 10 years ago. Are not enough guns being sold to counter balance more crime being done? It must be gun control that is causing more crime so we need to get rid of it and arm more people. This is the constant rational so then should we arm gang-bangers? Put aside any criminal activities they may have performed and look at the premise of the gunman will think twice if the other guy is armed rationale. It appears not to stop gang-bangers from shooting each other. Columbine had a deputy sheriff on staff. He was a target. He was not in his normal place that day and that saved his life. What saved lives was that those two gunmen were bad shots and suck at making bombs. A lot more people could had died.

Some keep want to point out that some off duty cop killed this guy or that guy as examples of see how guns save people. How many stray bullets hit bystanders? It does not matter who the bullet comes from a stray is a stray or even a direct shot.
+10 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-08 19:08
Next by using the rationale of give everyone a gun let us look at car alarms.

How many cars had them? None originally. Then someone got one. And this may had deterred a would be car thief who went to another car and stole it. What happens when all cars are armed with car alarms? Did they stop car thefts? Or did car thieves learn how to bypass the systems? Now we have key-less and biometric cars. Will this stop car thieves or once when everyone has them will they just learn to bypass them. Car alarms do not harm other people in spite of being annoying sometimes.

At best these may deter a crime which is what may actually be happening in states with gun control as those who cannot get those guns in those states go to states with lax gun control laws. Humans tend to go for least path of resistance.

Next we hear the rationale of well you just take them away from law abiding citizens. How do criminals get their guns? Do they all steal them? Some do but who do they steal them from? Only other criminals? All the guns they have were originally bought legally. Some of the guns they have may had been sold to them from law abiding citizens.

That is why I am not a member of the NRA anymore. When the NRA objected to increased fees for gun dealer licenses, renewal fees of licenses and issues about gun dealers selling out of their trucks I said wait a minute. I watched undercover film of just such sales.
+10 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-08 19:22
BUT I was so assured by a co worker who goes on and on about that damn Obama going to take away his guns that there is no way he could sell his gun to anyone. Really? I am not denying having to fill out paper work at a gun store etc if not done there is no automatic bell going off at the ATF to say hey some dude on craigslist just sold a gun to some guy. We do not have some secret spy guy system in play here. It is an antiquated tedious paper trail. Hell since McVeigh we can track cow shit sales. Big flags go up.

Now onward to right to carry. So I own a store and some guy comes in with a sidearm. How do I tell he is a criminal or not? How do I know the guy is stable of mind?

I am touching briefly on this but from seeing other comments you gotta love aaheart and his own misdirection.
+7 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-08 19:35
If assault rifles/high capacity magazines keep me safer then why not fully automatic weapons? The M16 is a military grade AR 15. In order for colt to sell it to civilians it had to dumb it down by having a different bolt and I believe trigger assembly. The differences are internal. It simply does not get selective fire unless modified. So why not just sell the M16 variant to the public? Why not lift the automatic weapons ban? Let us move all the way up the chain of all types of weapons. Nukes? Do not claim absurdity. Again guns/weapons do not kill people and we need them to scare the govt. Remember that. Hold that 2nd Amendment and say with your best Heston impression, from my dead cold hands you dirty apes! Yes I spliced two things there. So why not unban ALL weapons? Sane people would never use them unless warranted. Why punish responsible people? Only the crazies kill people. Sane people never snap with no sign of previous mental illness and it is only those damn drugs and their side affects. Never mind that other cultures who have violent pasts like we have, watched violent movies and pay violent video games kill far far less with guns than we do. Not to mention have freedoms that we have AND better social services.

aaheart wants us to question the need for control. So let us get rid of all control. Control only hurts the law abiding? Remember the rationale of they will just find another way to kill you.

Of course the word is deterrent.
+6 # X Dane 2013-01-09 00:59
Thank you for your sane remarks. You sound like a big strong Scott. Whatever you are. I thank you. You have seen what war is and don't want all these guns around, as another brave man said too. General MC Chrystal was very clear that assault weapons do not belong in civilian settings. He said so on "Morning Joe"
+3 # spenel334 2013-01-09 19:51
spenel334 I keep hearing arguments on both sides of the issue, citing statistics as being on their side. 1.We need the real statistics. I don't know the numbers, but those who say that more gun control laws have no effect on gun murders, are not telling the truth. Chicago is an exception, probably due to gang warfare, but elsewhere, gun violence decreases with gun control.
2. No one against gun control can explain why they need assault rifles, magazines with many shots, or gun shows lacking background checks. Their response seems always to be, don't take my guns away, or you're defying the constitution. Those aren't answers. I haven't heard one real answer to that question.

I do believe that the great majority of people in the U.S. want basic gun control. We also need to educate people to the motivation of the gun control lobby: the fact that they get $1. for every gun sold, and the rest of the overriding role of money in their lobby.
3. What are the facts concerning home protection? How often is a serious crime prevented by a resident with a gun, or even a business owner with a gun?
How often are crimes committed in homes in which a resident owned a gun but never got to it, or how often was danger and violence increased because of residents' owning guns? We need to get real information to the people, and here is a job for the media. How to insist they do this job is a big question.
+3 # giraffee2012 2013-01-10 12:35
As I read the 2nd amendment - it talks about "muskets" - not 30-100 rounds of bullets at one shooting. (If my technical terms are wrong - you get my drift?)

If you want to add a bayonette (spelling) to the musket = go ahead.

So - to those who say "rewrite" the 2nd amendment (Yes - ok) but all we really need is for the Supremes (haha - not this one of RATS) to interpret the actual meaning of a "musket" - and .... tell the NRA that the 30-100 bullet guns are not part of the 2nd amendment.

I too hate that I don't know the names of these different guns. I'd say a 38 caliber gun is near maximum to be legal (or something on that order)
-4 # RICHARDKANEpa 2013-01-10 13:06
As we try to take guns away from the NRA lets also try to take them away from the President who is misusing them overseas.

The war on terror and on drugs lost its punch so now we have a new war on guns to make people forget that the rich are getting richer at an ever faster pace.
+3 # jstick 2013-01-12 01:59
More guns do not make you safer. Quite the opposite. The more guns there are the more people die. It is a simple formula.The New York Times has a great article on this topic. Read it and weep:
0 # ryanjt84 2013-01-16 19:36
Gun control. Very laughable. The real issue, is mental health. How about the boy who killed his mother, drove to a school where his father worked, shot him in the head in the middle of a classroom, and then took his own life. He used a knife for his mother and himself, and shot his father in the head with a compound bow. A firearm is just a tool. Any tool in the hands of an unstable, or uneducated person can be considered a deadly weapon. (wrench, hammer, bow, knife, or gun)
Now as a 28 year old United States Marine Corps combat veteran I have been shot at, watched people die (good and bad), and have taken life in order to preserve my own life, and the lives of my comrades and innocent civilians. I have lived in many countries in this world and have seen and experienced more than people twice my age. While living in Iwakuni Japan for 3 years I saw first hand what gun control is. Japan is very strict on weapons and even pocket knives cannot have blades longer than a few inches or it is a violation of the law. In Japan not all Police officers carry firearms. So there must be no guns right? No Mexico for the cartels to smuggle in illegal weapons. Hell it's a damn island! Wrong. The criminals are so well armed its unbelievable. In fact the Police are frightened by the Yakuza, who somehow have automatic weapons, and not just chopsticks to fight with.
0 # ryanjt84 2013-01-16 19:37
I saw the same thing in the Royal Kingdom of Thailand while I was in Bangkok, Korat, and Pattaya Beach. Wake up and realize that the black market does so exist. Do you clowns honestly believe that criminals will follow laws? Mexican drug cartels smuggle in thousands of illegal firearms each year. Many of these are fully automatic weapons procured from Israel and of course the always popular Automatic Kalashnikov 1947, or AK 47 which can be found pretty much anywhere. Maybe it's the combination of today's society with the quick fix prescription drug whose side effects are never really known, and the desensitization of the culture thanks to technology, the lack of social skills and interpersonal skills thanks to the aforementioned technology, throw in the shitty economy and a politically inexperienced POTUS and people are just in a bad mood. Emotions and tempers flare as fingers get pointed.
0 # ryanjt84 2013-01-16 19:37
60 years ago you could buy a Browning Automatic Rifle or an M1 Garand directly from the Sears-Roebuck catalog and it would be delivered to your door. Not every 15 year old walked into a school and blew people away because he was getting picked on and it was much easier to do. If we blame anyone it should be society, ourselves. You must fix the root of the problem, that is the person, not the gun. It takes a finger to pull a trigger. I can fire and reload 3 10 rd magazines just about as quickly as 1 30 rounder. Will I? No because my head is on right. Will accidents happen? Yes of course people aren't perfect. Car accidents and slips and falls in the home kill way more people than guns. It's a fact. Mental health and pre education is the way to go on this. Not some kneejerk govt reaction. (The War or should I say Waste on Drugs, Prohibition, Readiness Exercise 1984) all thought to be great ideas at the time.

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