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Guest opinion: Time for action on gun violence

Original post made on Aug 17, 2012

Another gun spree killing. This time a house of worship, last time a movie theater, and before that a shopping mall, a campus, a school room.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (40)

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Posted by Michael Palma
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Rev. Fulmer's comments on the recent tragedies is heartfelt, however, I would like to remind him that his first amendment rights were enacted at the same time of the 2nd amendment. What gives you the right to restrict my freedom to legally and safely own a firearm and participate in shooting sports? What makes your favorite amendment outweigh my rights? And why with all the lobbying for other topics is it evil for a lobbying organization for a topic I support? And by the way, when was the last time a law abiding firearm owner threatened you or your parishioners? Does the mere presence of a firearms owner cause you to fear? How would you know? I also bet a good number of your parishioners own and enjoy the use of their firearms.

Two key factors lead to crime 1) bad economic times and 2) parents not instilling morality, ethics, and discipline in children while also failing to prepare them for a constructive role in society and not overseeing their basic conduct. On point number two, any visit to a movie, an airport, or a flight with children on board is likely to provide an example of how poorly we as a society are raising children. Address these two issues and crime will go down and we will all have a better quality of life.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:28 am

There is, unfortunately, a third factor that leads to crime. And it was this third factor that contributed to the tragedies at the Colorado movie theater, the Sikh temple shooting and the most recent shooting at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC.

That third factor is CRAZY and unfortunately, you can't legislate against it. You can probably make it more difficult for those few (and thankfully rare) crazy people to commit their crimes by inconveniencing everyone else, but you can't stop insane crimes by passing laws. Remember, all these criminals ignored many laws when they committed their crimes. What makes you think they'll obey your newest one?

It seems like every time we see or hear of a new tragedy, some well-meaning legislator proposed another law to address the latest crime. If a driver runs off the road and kills someone while doing her make-up, it won't be long before there's a law making it illegal to open up mascara in a moving vehicle. Never mind that distracted driving is already against the law in every single state.

It's frustrating, but you can't legislate against stupid or insane.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

There's a reason these mass killings make news - they're rare. As POGO notes, you can't legislate crazy and that's what the perpetrators of these mass killings are.

The killings that don't really make much news beyond the local, are the daily shootings committed mostly by gang members. Most of that is gang vs gang. Unfortunately, innocents sometimes get caught in the cross fire. The thing is though, in almost every case, the people doing the shooting couldn't legally own a gun in the first place. These people are criminals and the don't care about gun laws. All we end up doing with restrictive gun laws is reducing the ability of law abiding citizens to own them.

If we want to stop gun violence the root causes of that violence need to be addressed. Those root causes have nothing to do with the existence of guns. As noted above one of the causes is piss poor parenting. Another, is that a certain segment of our society glorifies the "gangsta" lifestyle in which a gun solves all of your problems.

Until the root causes of the majority of gun violence is addresssed it will continue to happen. Until we find a better way to identify and control crazy people, the occasional tragedy will continue to happen. Banning guns will not stop it as there is no way to eliminate what's already out there. That horse left the barn long ago. Besides that, the constitution doesn't allow it.


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Posted by CHANGE
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Republicans LOVE guns..........maybe not in Woodside, but where the average who vote live cross country.
That means, even if crime were rampant on the Peninsula, nobody would do anything to curb sales.
Gangs...sure.......how many super rich have killed their spouses?


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Posted by John
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Let's all be very clear: the 2nd Amendment is a political, civil right, not necessarily intended to allow me to hunt. It guarantees my 1st Amendment rights against a tyrannical government. Without the 2nd Amendment, the 1st Amendment is hollow.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Menlo Voter is absolutely correct. We cringe at the Colorado murders but ignore the ones that take place EVERY DAY in our midst.

Web Link

"Two months before alleged killer James Holmes stormed a Colorado movie theater, murdering 12 and injuring dozens more, police and politicians in a different place were trying to squelch the tremors from their own mass killing. It was in Chicago, over Memorial Day weekend, when police responded to more than 40 shooting victims in about 72 hours. Ten of those victims were shot dead, including four teenage children."

Do you recall the outrage over those shootings and murders in Chicago?

No, I didn't think so...


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

My right to 'bear arms' does not justify, in my opinion, the very lax laws on guns sales that prevail in this country. Other civilized nations including even Australia have recognized that virtually unregulated gun sales result in a proliferation of guns far beyond what is required for self defense.

i have to have a license to drive a car and to fly a plane and both require demonstrated competency and experience as a condition of receiving such licenses. With liberty comes responsibility.

Criminal have guns in this country primarily because guns are so easy to obtain. There is no other civilized country in the world where it is so easy to both legally and illegally obtain a gun. The US has more guns per capita than any other country including Serbia and Yemen.

Someday, when enough people are killed by guns, we will come to our senses and restrict gun sales to properly trained and certified individuals and vigorously punish illegal gun purchases.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I don't disagree about qualifying people for gun ownership but it won't stop insanity which, as we know only too well, doesn't require guns.

Remember that every single weapon in the Colorado and Sikh murders were purchased legally in states (Colorado post-Columbine and Wisconsin). And I don't think gun ownership is specifically guaranteed by the Australian constitution as it is by the second amendment in the United States.

That said, these crimes are extraordinarily rare - about as rare as the shooting spree in Norway that killed about 70 innocent people. As Menlo Voter noted, GANGS account for the vast majority of our crime. According the FBI, it's about 80% of crime. Web Link And I don't think they care about any new laws.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Peter:

As I said before, the horse has long left the barn. You could ban all guns tomorrow and you will not stop the gang gun violence. They don't care about laws. They don't care what it costs to obtain illegal weapons. They are there and they are available. Most of them have been stolen. At this point it is simply impossible to ban guns without leaving the law abiding citizen unarmed and the potential victim of criminals that don't give two hoots about gun laws.

While in law enforcement I arrested numerous people that had guns in their possession that were convicted felons. They couldn't legally own firearms, yet they had them. Why? Becasue the law was meaningless to them. In addition, at that time the DA frequently threw out gun enhancements to get plea bargains. So, criminals that should have gone away for a long time due to their gun possession did less time because the DA's office wanted to keep its conviction rate up and its costs of going to trial down. I don't know if that still occurs today, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Bottom line, if you want to deal with gun crime - ENFORCE THE LAWS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ON THE BOOKS TO THERE FULLEST EXTENT. Even then all you will be doing is imprisoning people for longer periods and keeping them away from guns for that period. Once they're out, you can bet they'll be buying a gun. Black market, of course.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A modest proposal:
1 - Impeach any DA that does not fully enforce the existing gun laws
2 - Require a license for possession of a firearm outside of one's legal residence or place of business
3 - Establish a significant bounty program for turning in guns and all such guns shall be destroyed
4 - Prohibit gun sales except by licensed dealers. i.e. no gun show or private sales.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Peter,
"1 - Impeach any DA that does not fully enforce the existing gun laws."

Do you mean recall since the District Attorney is an elected position which requires approx. 40,000 signatures by registered voters.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

1 - Impeach or recall any DA or public official that does not fully enforce the existing gun laws


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm

A modest proposal:

1 - Impeach any DA that does not fully enforce the existing gun laws

>>>>Good luck with that. Look at the garbage Wagstaffe doesn't prosecute. You think he's going to effect his conviction rate? Not that slime ball.

2 - Require a license for possession of a firearm outside of one's legal residence or place of business

>>>>Other than open carry, this is already required. The law allows open carry of unloaded weapons. If the weapons are loaded the law is very restrictive. You think criminals care?

3 - Establish a significant bounty program for turning in guns and all such guns shall be destroyed

>>>>Been tried. The guns that typically get turned in are junk or non-operational. If it works there's a dirt bag willing to pay BIG money for it.

4 - Prohibit gun sales except by licensed dealers. i.e. no gun show or private sales.

>>>>The Supreme Court has already ruled on this. We cannot ban gun show sales. Again, do you really think dirt bags are buying their guns at gun shows? Hardly.

>>>>The problem is that there are laws in place for all of these things. CRIMINALS DON'T CARE!!! They will obtain those guns any way they can and usually do. You want to stop that? Life in prison for any convicted felon caught with a firearm. Guess what, the price will simply be too high for the dirt bags to risk it. Some may be stupid enough to do so, but they will serve as very pertenant examples for their ignorant bretheren. That is, of course, if the DA chooses to fully prosecute them. I'm not holding my breath.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is CNN on the Australian experience:

"Consider what happened in Australia after a crazed gunman killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996.

The Australian federal government persuaded all states and territories to implement tough new gun control laws. Under the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), firearms legislation was tightened throughout the country. National registration of guns was imposed and it became illegal to hold certain long guns that might be used in mass shootings.

The gun ban was backed up by a mandatory buy-back program that substantially reduced gun possession in Australia.The effect was that both gun suicides and homicides (as well as total suicides and homicides) fell. Importantly, while there were 13 mass shootings in Australia during the period of 1979--96, there have been none in the sixteen years since."


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Posted by Michael Palma
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 19, 2012 at 12:58 am

First off, how are you defining lax gun laws? The state AG's summary of gun laws uses 7 pages to describe who are ineligible to possess a firearm, mostly listing specific offenses – not that I disagree, but I would hardly call it lax. Also look at all the laws that impact a firearm dealer and how they run their stores. Also, California has no gun show exemption and all private party transaction must go through a licensed dealer. So I cannot see how a reasonable person can say there are "virtually unregulated gun sales" in this state. The only unregulated sales are illegal transactions between criminals and I know of no way you can claim no such transaction occur in Europe or even Australia.

The laws are not lax if you wish to legally purchase a firearm. To legally buy a weapon from a dealer you have to prove residency, identity, be finger printed, take written and practical tests and wait. The only laxness is in the punishment of crimes. I remember last year when I think San Carlos police were almost tossed off a balcony while answering a noise complaint, one of the perpetrators had served only a year for some type of firearms violation. Out of curiosity I looked up the various penalties for firearm violations. It seemed that unless you committed some other type of criminal act, just illegal possession of a firearm, with good behavior, carried about a year's sentence, less any time already served. I don't think a year is a big discouragement to criminals who want to carry a gun. Also keep in mind, less than one percent of the nation's approximately 60 million gun owners ever commit a crime, have an accident, or commit suicide with a firearm.

Also, banning or requiring registration has not worked. NY City has had restrictive gun laws for over a hundred years – guess what, there are still frequent gun crimes. Chicago has had a virtual ban on handguns for what 50 years, yet there were those 40 shooting victims over Memorial Day weekend. Detroit and Washington DC have also had highly restricted to outright bans on firearms, yet they have huge crime rates. Also, keep in mind the Supreme Court has found these have gone too far and violated the 2nd amendment. The CDC has been unable to find any evidence to show any type or combination of types of gun control measures has an impact on gun violence. In the end, the answer is not banning guns. The solution is to address the causes of crime and violence.

Just for fun, I looked up the Wiki page for "Gun politics in Australia" (granted not the best source for research but it is fast and there are no issues listed on the page) and it seems that there is some question where the laws instituted there have really been effective.

In other countries, there are also challenges for the gun control lobby as they face reality. In the UK, there has been significant gun control for over 200 years to preserve the social class structure and their freedom of speech and free press (the British government can stop a story being printed on security grounds) are less guaranteed than in the US. Additionally, the Soviet Union banned guns just before Stalin started his purges. China, the bulwark of democracy has banned firearms for over 60 years. Nazi Germany also passed a law requiring license to purchase a firearm. One lesson we can draw from these examples is that the first step of tyranny is to ban citizens from owning firearms.

By the way, for the person who said "Republicans LOVE guns", a Gallop poll stated that more than a third of male Democratic survey respondents and more than a quarter of female Democrats say they own a firearm. Sounds like it's not just Republicans how like their guns.

But on a serious note, as the former law enforcement officer noted, banning guns only means law abiding citizens have to give up their guns. No more hunting, no more target shooting, no more antique collecting, and no more self-defense. The right to keep and bear arms emerged over 1,000 years ago in English law in part due to the more fundamental right of self-defense. The need for self-defense is still with us today. There are weekly examples from across the nation demonstrating that the average citizen still needs to defend themselves. In 99.99999%, police will not stop an ongoing attack, the police can only respond once an attack has been committed.

So please, respect our second amendment rights as much as you would respect our other constitutional and civil rights. Otherwise, someday you will wake up and find that you have none.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2012 at 6:26 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"it seems that there is some question where the laws instituted there (Australia) have really been effective"

The facts on Australia post their new guns laws are clear:

1 - The effect was that both gun suicides and homicides (as well as total suicides and homicides) fell. Importantly, while there were 13 mass shootings in Australia during the period of 1979--96, there have been none in the sixteen years since."

2 - In the seven years prior to 1997, firearms were used in 24 percent of all Australian homicides. But most recently, firearms were used in only 11 percent of Australian homicides, according to figures for the 12 months ending July 1, 2007.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Murders per 100,000 population by gun.

England & Wales 0.12
Australia 0.31
USA 2.97

That is a very high price to pay for the US's gun culture.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

Neither Great Britain nor Australia have a second amendment. U.S. citizens are guarnateed the right to own firearms. If you want to ban guns you'll have to amend the constitution. I don't see that happening. As I've said before, even if we banned all guns tomorrow it wouldn't make a lick of difference. There are far too many guns out there. You'll only end up disarming law abiding citizens.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Given the 2nd amendment and given the large numbers of guns already in the US are we willing to just sit on our hands and see over 10,000 people murdered with guns every year?

After the 3,000 deaths on 9/11 we severely restricted the 'right to bear arms' on airplanes and in many public facilities. How many deaths will it take before we rigorously enforce existing gun laws including NO pleas bargains on crimes committed with guns. How many deaths will it take before we institute the same type of training for owning a gun as we require for driving a car?

Never is not an acceptable answer. With freedom comes responsibility and if there is no responsibility then the freedom will be lost.


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Posted by CHANGE
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Two Kennedys were killed, and your favorite president, Reagan, was shot right in San Francisco.....
If no changes were made after that (throw in Lincoln as the first and most famous Prez.)then, the U.S. is NEVER going to change its gun laws because there is very little agreement on ANYTHING by Americans and it looks as if it is only gettig worse.
Count on many more gun deaths and assaults....do not blame gangs..Try police cover ups, citizens like Zimmerman, and running a story for two weeks night and day on all news stations when the movie theater massacre took place and replaced ANY and ALL news.The Shik's got a day or two....We are America.We are permitted anything written before there was a TV antenna.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Change it was Washington DC not San Francisco for Reagan shooting.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

As the FBI report noted, 80% of crime is gang related.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

POGO re what you wrote above, are you referring to this or similar data from 2009, from these sources?

-A 40+ page report based on information from a variety of agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Dept. of Justice; Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Army; Customs and Border Protection; Immigration and Custom Enforcement, and local and state law enforcement agencies.

Here's an article about this:

Web Link

This 80% has been disputed, btw.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hmmm -

"Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials."

Web Link

If this FBI report has been discredited, I will certainly withdraw that point. But the greater point is that these horrific mass murders that people use to assert the need for gun control are rare and probably not preventable (especially by yet another law...). Gang on gang crime happens every single day. As an example, I noted the 40 shootings in Chicago in a SINGLE WEEKEND earlier this year. It was hardly newsworthy.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

POGO - it hasn't been discredited, but thinking people have questioned the report, with good reason. Those reasons incl media blitzes to prevent budget cuts, for example - necessary in these times for LE to retain money.

My sense, after talking to the fed LEOs in my life, is that the figure of crime percentage from gangs is lower, but it's still significant. An important point I take from the data, even if inflated percentage, is that there is a growing variety of organized crimes that have either increased OR that we've become aware more of, due to globalization, OR some of both.

Living in EPA it's easier to see that it's generally easier to stay safe if one isn't a criminal. While you still open yourself up to the potential for property crimes living in a higher crime area, & of course, there are times innocent parties are injured are killed near violence, it's not like a war zone. It's distinctly different, as I think you were pointing out, than an angry and/or violently paranoid antisocial or mentally ill type going on a murder spree. What the latter scenarios have in common, largely, w/gangs, is that most of these violent crimes are committed by men. I don't say that to be rude or sexist, nor am I ignoring violent crimes committed by women, incl gang members. But I do wonder about the possibility of genetic aggression, the influence of hormones on the brain. We are learning a lot about brain science, but there's so much more to learn before my questions about this can be fully addressed.

I have never worried about my friends w/guns (they are mostly men), who are either hunters, target shooters, LEOs or a combo. I do worry about criminals w/guns, or those who buy guns - illegally & legally - w/criminal intentions, as spree killers AND gang members both do - they have criminal intentions.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Why can't the very bright people in this country come up with some 2nd Amendment compliant ways to reduce gun violence?

Why doesn't the NRA really push for strict enforcement of existing gun laws and to make its excellent education program mandatory for all new gun owners?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hmmm -

The point I've been trying to make is that MOST murders and MOST crime emanate from and are inflicted on a relatively small, lawless segment of our society. You experience seems to bear that out.

While horrific and tragic, we shouldn't overreact to these mass murders which occur in every society, including those countries with incredibly strict gun laws. That said, I have no problem with stricter, more uniform gun laws that include qualification requirements. But we shouldn't fool ourselves by thinking new laws will stop movie theater or Sikh temple shootings perpetrated by crazy people.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Peter:

the NRA does push for strict enforcement of our current gun laws. In fact, it is one of the reasons they usually give for not needing more gun laws. We already have plenty, they just need to be strictly enforced.

I don't know if has changed, but when I was in law enforcement it was quite common and became expected that criminals arrested on other charges that also had guns in their possession would usually get the gun charges and or the gun enhancements bargained away. So, you'd have a criminal back on the street in less time with a hand slap at best for his gun crimes. They would just go out and buy another one. And why not? They knew nothing was going to happen to them if they got caught with another gun.


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Posted by Some Guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Go ahead, criminals LOVE more gun laws. The less people that are armed, the easier it is for them. And of course, the laws dont apply to them, they aren't obeying them. They will have all the guns they need.

Or go ahead and remove them from the country, all of them, if you can. If I wanted to kill someone, I could grab one of MANY things out of my kitchen to get the job done.

You REALLY want to stop gun violence? End poverty, end the large gap between the rich and the poor. Don't abuse and abandon children (who tend to grow up to be criminals).

As I can tell, stricter gun laws have been going on the books since the 80's, and if anything, gun violence has increased. You can't protect people with legislation. You have to make ACTUAL changes in society as a whole.


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Posted by Ethan
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

"To legally buy a weapon from a dealer you have to prove residency, identity, be finger printed, take written and practical tests and wait."

That's California. In Arizona, for example, you can buy as many guns as you want with no registration or other restrictions (except for NFA-restricted weapons, e.g., machine guns). Last I checked, Arizona was located right next to California.


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Posted by Annabelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I agree with Peter Carpenter except that I am beginning to wonder if we as a society and a nation will ever come to our senses and have better regulated gun sales laws - seems like more than enough people are killed every day and the mass murders are occurring weekly.
I believe that gun regulation can be achieved without losing our right to bear arms.

"My right to 'bear arms' does not justify, in my opinion, the very lax laws on guns sales that prevail in this country. Other civilized nations including even Australia have recognized that virtually unregulated gun sales result in a proliferation of guns far beyond what is required for self defense.

i have to have a license to drive a car and to fly a plane and both require demonstrated competency and experience as a condition of receiving such licenses. With liberty comes responsibility.

Criminal have guns in this country primarily because guns are so easy to obtain. There is no other civilized country in the world where it is so easy to both legally and illegally obtain a gun. The US has more guns per capita than any other country including Serbia and Yemen.

Someday, when enough people are killed by guns, we will come to our senses and restrict gun sales to properly trained and certified individuals and vigorously punish illegal gun purchases."


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Ethan is incorrect about purchasing guns in Arizona ("...In Arizona, for example, you can buy as many guns as you want with no registration or other restrictions..."). Please do just a little fact checking before you start stating FACTS.

Web Link

"(In Arizona and all other states) ...If a person wishes to buy a gun he or she must first fill out a 4473, the federal form required for anyone wishing to buy a firearm, and a one page ATF form. This includes whether the buyer is a citizen, a fugitive, has a criminal history, or has been mentally adjudicated or committed to a mental institution. The buyer's responses are verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS, mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. The entire process from selection to purchase, if there are no denials, "is about half an hour."

That is a federal law.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

With regard to Some Guy's post about how to eliminate crime, good luck with that. I'm not aware of any society that has been successful.

But if you want to try, I would suggest:

A. Going after those people who commit violent crimes. Yes, that means a lot more jails and prisons which, unfortunately, does work by removing these bad actors from our streets.

B. Eliminate gangs. It's hard, but most exist by selling drugs. So if you want to impact gangs, legalize drugs.

Just a start.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thank you POGO. Your last post really put my feelings about this issue into perspective.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

POGO:

I am in complete agreement about legalizing drugs. For years I arrested people for possession and sales of narcotics. After all of that I came away with the conclusion that the "war on drugs" was unwinnable. It has become a cash cow for law enforcement. After the passage of the asset seizure laws enforcing drug laws became a money maker via the seizure of assets made throught the sale of drugs. There is no interest in law enforcement in actually "winning" the war on drugs.

The war on drugs is simply prohibition. Prohibition of alcohol was an abject failure. So is the prohibition of drugs. We could spend a tenth of what we spend on enforcement on treatment and still be money ahead. If you take the money out of drugs you take the violence out of them. After all what's the point? Prohibited cocaine - $100 per gram. Legalized cocaine $5 per gram. Legalized drugs available virtually everywhere. There's no giant profit motive anymore. There's no reason to risk your like or your freedom anymore. There's simply no money in it.

We are experiencing what went on in the latter days of alcohol prohibition. The country finally wized up and realized that it didn't work and that the death toll was simply too high. When will we figure out the costs in lives of drug prohibition are simply too high?


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

1. 96 Million gun owners in the US didn't misuse their guns yesterday.
2. In states where "tougher" gun laws enacted, which make it tougher for law abiding citizens to own guns, crime actually increased (including Australia). This is because criminals are aware the public has no means to defend itself.
3. Nevada is a great example of a state with strict enforcement. They allow citizens have fully automatic weapons, but if misused, they enforce the laws on their books. OJ Simpson is proof.
4. A recent video showed two criminals fleeing from an internet cafe when a 65 year old used his concealed weapon to thwart a daylight robbery. Some patrons were defenseless once the perps got the drop on them. Surveilance video doesn't twist facts.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Fruits of the 2nd Amendment:

The Chicago Tribune: "Nineteen people were shot across the South and West sides from Thursday evening through early Friday morning—13 of them wounded over a 30-minute period, authorities say."


Friday, August 24, 2012
from the Slatest
By Josh Voorhees (@JoshVoorhees)

EMPIRE STATE SHOOTING: 56-year-old Jeffrey Johnson shot and killed a 41-year-old former colleague this morning outside the Empire State Building, where the pair used to work at a women's apparel company. After killing Steve Ercolino with a shot to the head, Johnson fled the scene on foot.
When police pursued, the gunman drew his weapon, prompting the officers to respond with deadly force. Nine innocent bystanders were caught in the crossfire—possibly struck by bullets fired by the first responders—but all are expected to live.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

It is of note that the shooting in New York occurred in a city with some of the strictest firearms laws in the country. Citizens are virtually banned from owning or carrying firearms in New York with a very few exceptions. Obviously, strict laws do not prevent this type of thing from happening. Once again, a nut with a gun. You can't legislate crazy.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

At least we have the comfort of knowing that all these shooters were either members of a well regulated militia or defending their homes.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

Chicago has the nation's toughest gun laws. Chicago bans gun shops in the city, requires permits, and limits permit holders to one ready-to-fire weapon inside the home -- and that excludes porches, garages and yards.

On Friday night - that would be LAST NIGHT - 4 people were killed in Chicago and 13 others wounded...

Web Link

...and it was not even newsworthy to the rest of the country.


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