Obama, guns and media control

March 18, 2011

Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

There is fresh thinking, of a peculiar sort, in the perennial debate over gun violence in the United States, world leader in civilian ownership of firearms. Censorship of news reporting on the mass shootings that have long been part of American life will help prevent other mass shootings.

So says the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an open letter responding to President Barack Obama’s suggestion that it is time for all sides in the gun debate to get together and find a “sensible, intelligent way” to make the United States a safer place. The president mentioned common sense and a White House spokesman talked of the need to find common ground.

Common sense has not been in abundant supply in decades of on-again, off-again debate on guns and violence. As to finding common ground between the leading gun lobby and advocates of better controls, the NRA’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, says his group will “absolutely not” take part in the sort of meeting envisaged by Obama. Such a meeting, he said in a series of media interviews, would be with people opposed to the constitutional right to bear arms.

Talking to people of different views is obviously not a concept the politically powerful gun lobby intends to embrace.

In his open letter, LaPierre listed steps the president could take to prevent mass shootings, such as the January 8 rampage in Tucson that killed six people and wounded a member of Congress, Gabrielle Giffords. “One of these (steps) is to call on the national news media to refrain from giving deranged criminals minute-by-minute coverage of their heinous acts, which only serves to encourage copycat behavior.”

It’s an argument that presupposes that there are plenty of deranged Americans who, like the Tucson shooter, are well-armed, passed the background check required to purchase guns, and are primed to spring into action after they see scenes of carnage on television. It’s also an argument fit for a pre-Internet dictatorship where presidents could tell the media how and what to report.

Until he tip-toed into the subject of gun violence on March 13, with an op-ed article in the Arizona Daily Star, Obama had kept silent on the issue, disappointing many of those who had voted him into office after a campaign in which he promised various gun control measures, including a permanent ban on the sale of assault weapons. The disappointment ran so deep that one of the most prominent gun control groups, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, gave him an “F”, a failing grade,  after his first year in office.

The president’s belated entry into the discussion, stirred anew after the Tucson shooting, will not earn him a reputation as an audacious reformer of a system even some gun enthusiasts admit is defective. “No guts on gun reform,” noted a headline over an opinion piece critical of Obama in The Washington Post.


The president made no mention of assault rifles, no mention of the high-capacity magazines control advocates want banned, no mention of private sales of guns that do not require background checks, no mention of the so-called Tiahrt Amendment which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important information to trace guns, no mention of a proposal that would have required around 8,500 gun shops along the border with Mexico to report multiple sales of two or more assault weapons to the same person.

Thousands of weapons from those gun shops end up in Mexico, where more than 36,000 people have died since 2006 in parallel wars drug traffickers wage against each other – for access to the rich U.S. market – and against the government. President Felipe Calderon has repeatedly called for a re-instatement of the ban on assault weapons the administration of George W. Bush allowed to lapse in 2004.

The Mexican government expressed disappointment when the limited measure – it called for reporting, not prohibiting, bulk sales – died in the House of Representatives in February after energetic lobbying by the NRA. For it, and other gun rights group, tighter regulations are part of a long-standing conspiracy to undo the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

Passed in 1789, the amendment says that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The sinister forces working for infringement, in the eyes of many gun owners, include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the coalition he set up in 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

It has grown from 15 mayors then to 550 now, advocates “common sense legislation for background checks”, and in January dispatched on a tour of 25 U.S. states a truck carrying a billboard with a running tally of Americans killed by guns since the Tucson mass shooting. When the truck left New York, on February 16, that count stood at 1,300. By March 17, it had risen to 2,316. Daily average: 34.

Such figures do not impress the self-appointed guardians of the Second Amendment. Neither does a bigger number: since the September 11, 2001, attack on New York and Washington, more than a quarter million Americans have died by firearms  (murder, suicide, accidents).

In online discussions about guns, without fail someone comes up with the observation that more people die in car accidents than by bullet. So, goes the inevitable question, should there be restrictions on car sales?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

For those who want further restrictions on gun ownership, which is always the aim of gun control proponents, the argument always involves a rehash of supposed statistics showing how many have “died by guns.”

The figure always includes suicides. These should not be included since, absent a firearm, most suicides would occur by other means. Check the statistics on suicide in Japan, where gun ownership is rigorously controlled.

The figure always includes accidents, which should not be included since they are not usually actual accidents but predominantly a matter of stupid, negligent gun handling. Fools will always be with us and will always find some means to injure or kill themselves or those whose sense of self preservation is so stunted as to hang out with them.

Then there are the intentional shootings. Any of these involving gang members should be disallowed since they would go at one another with axes if no other means were available. The same is true of homicides committed by felons or those done in the course of committing other felonies (armed robbery for example)since those willing to go so far to steal would use knives or clubs if need be.

Obviously, justifiable shootings should not be included in the number.

Which would leave a much smaller number than the ones cited by gun control proponents.

Even this line of reasoning is really beside the point: the right to arms is in the Bill of Rights for good reason and tampering with it in any degree is unwise.

Far from considering new schemes to control weapons, we ought to repeal all the controls passed since 1789.

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I agree with the above comment, but sometimes I just dont get the attitude of gun owners. I am one, for the record. I own several hunting rifles (which I rarely get to use anymore for lack of time), and a couple of handguns for home protection. I am well trained, responsible, and prudent in the care and ownership of these guns. I dont want my rights to own them (particularly for the protection of my family) threatened. However, I simply cant see how banning automatic rifles, high capacity magazines, assault weapons, etc. could possibly infringe upon my rights. Someone please explain how a high powered scope or an extra 10 bullets in my clip mean anything to me in the case of self defense. How are assualt rifles or high powered scopes really useful for real hunters? My father taught me to hunt (to be a sportsman) on iron sights – no scope. His rationale – if you cant get close enough to hunt with iron sights, it isnt very sporting. I have no problem with my fingerpriints on file, or even requiring a class or certain training for gun ownership – opposing these things makes you look like you have something to hide doesnt it? Maybe the NRA strategy is just to push as hard as possible with the end goal of maintaining equilibrium. Its a sad world if that’s true / neccessary. I really do adamantly believe in my right to bear arms to protect my family, but I really dont beleive the founding fathers contemplated high powered scopes or auto weapons or 20 round magazines.

Posted by PortlandMP | Report as abusive

The gun control issue isn’t what it interesting in this article.

It is the idea that an organization run by conservative zealots wants to control the media.

They want to silence reporting on violence in America…gun violence that is.

So when the folks who still believe the guys from the South should have won the war, and believe that all problems are best solved with violence; when those folks are herding people who don’t agree with their politics in front of large, quickly dug ditches, the NRA will tell the networks what to air and what to say.

Don’t you just get a warm fuzzy at the thought of that?

Doesn’t that sound about as American as apple pie to you?

Or maybe it sounds like something from the not-so-distant past…hmmm what could that be?

NRA = Nazi Republicans of America?

They want you afraid, angry and hateful. They want you to villify your political opponents and marginalize those that don’t look or pray like you.

Because when you are paranoid about the world around you, you create the need to own a gun. And they need you paranoid, because their corporate gun maker buddies need you to buy their products. Lots of them.

They hide behind a Constitutional law written at a time when the nation needed every man, woman and child to be ready to fight against the English, or the French, or the Spanish. None of which wanted to face an armed populace across an ocean where supply chain management was nearly impossible to support during a war effort 250 years ago. Does that still apply? We have the best armed forces on the planet and several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Or should we fear them too?

Especially now, when they subtly wisper fears about all Left leaning politicians and the imminent threat of Socialism in America.

On the other hand, maybe every American should be allowed to buy a gun, a rifle, an automatic squad weapon, a grenade launcher, mortars, howitzers, tanks, rocket launchers, fighter jets, bombs, missles, UAV drones, ballistic missiles…

We have that right, don’t we?

I guess it is time to buy a bigger house.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

For Portland MP –

Automatic rifles are already so severely restricted by burdensome regulations that it amounts to a ban on them.

The point of resisting a ban on high capacity magazines is that such a ban has no chance of realistically reducing massacres. Any reasonably well coordinated person can fire 30 rounds from a Glock by using three 10 round mags and do it very nearly as fast as firing 30 from a single high capacity magazine. The ban would therefore have no practical effect. What it would do is establish a precedent that the government can ban firearm accessories.

The reason I will work tirelessly and contribute my dollars to defeat representatives who would vote for such a ban, is that those who want to strip us of our weapons are gradualists, always willing to nibble away at the right until the day it is gone.

The utility of particular weapons for hunting has nothing to do with the second amendment right. That right was put in place because the founders had recently successfully prosecuted a violent, armed rebellion against a duly constituted colonial government. The founders intended that their successors would retain the ability to do the same when necessary. The first shots in that conflict were fired at Concord, Massachusetts when the Brits marched there to confiscate the colonials’ arms.

Posted by 45-auto | Report as abusive

The problem with Wayne LaPierre’s response (and one of the many reason that I’m not a member of the NRA even though I have a concealed carry permit)is that it assumes that the “any gun, any place, at any time” is a Constitutional right under the 2nd Amendment. If that were ture then I’d agree with Mr. LaPierre’s stance against “negotiating” away constitutional right.

But it is not. The Heller and McDonald decisions hold only that the 2nd Amendment protects an individuals right to own firearms in common usage for purposes of self defense in one’s residence, subject to a government pre-qualification permit system. Nothing more.

I do hope that future cases expand that right, but for now that is what we have. Everything beyond that is a mere privilege whether Mr. LaPierre likes it or not.

So until the courts expand the right, if ever, he had best sit down and negotiate. Either that or he can sit at home with his gun collection waiting for someone to invade his house to make use of them.

Posted by nogods | Report as abusive

First and foremost, it is our constitution we are really talking about. To that end I think the NRA folks and for that matter all citizens of the united states should be very careful in matters of the constitution. Common sense means mob rule.. Mayors against illegal guns means government seeking common sense answers to very serious issues.. We all must bare in mind ” A well regulated malitia, being neccessary to the security of a free state” means the people, not the government. For one to suggest the word militia represents government, well that makes no sense what so ever, this is what folks with different views invision. “The right of the people shall not be infringed” Again this means people. To entertain foriegn leaders diatribe and local politics as a credible argument on such a serious matter cheapens the great work our fore fathers provided for us. Until President Obama or any succeeding president of the United States understands our constitution in a sensible and itelligent way there will never be an open and honest debate about Violence in america..

Posted by Sernadon | Report as abusive

The NRA wants to censor the news? Any chance the non-violent American public can censor the NRA? I don’t have anything against recreational gun users. But to be truly “recreational”, that means LIMITS.

Posted by Jo55 | Report as abusive


As long as the population has guns, they won’t be herded in front of large quickly dug ditches. They will be fighting back.

Posted by centralplains | Report as abusive

“The figure always includes accidents, which should not be included since they are not usually actual accidents but predominantly a matter of stupid, negligent gun handling. Fools will always be with us and will always find some means to injure or kill themselves or those whose sense of self preservation is so stunted as to hang out with them.”

Tell this to the child who is accidentally shot by their parents gun. You had some valid argument in the suicide portion, but after that there’s just nothing there. You’re responding to a call for common sense. Try harder to use some.

Posted by TrueIronPatriot | Report as abusive

You gotta love alarmist articles like this. They’re so fun to pick apart. A quarter million Americans have died by firearms (murder, suicide, accidents) since 9/11 ?? Guess how many people have died from heart disease alone?…try like 10 million people in the last decade. How many people have died in car accidents in the last decade?… about the same as how many people died of Alzheimer’s…5.5 million, for a combined total of 11 million. That’s 21 million people so far, and I haven’t even brought up cancer and all the other disease-related deaths….which is probably about another 9 or 10 million. So we’re talking about a good 30 million, which means the quarter of a million gun deaths (which 65% are suicides) represent .75% of all deaths in the US during the last decade.

It’s not even 1%

Oooooh nooooo…everyone run for the hills !!!

Posted by gruven137 | Report as abusive

Hey it’s not a Commandment from God, it’s just an Amendment to the Constitution. We’ve added and repealed those many times. Let’s repeal this one.

The Second Amendment is fairly clear in its language and intent, and it also was necessary in another time; not so now, and as the previous poster said, the Founding Fathers certainly didn’t foresee today’s assault weapons back in a time of single shot muskets.

The statistics illustrate that if you have a gun in your home you’re twice as likely to kill yourself or a loved one as you are to kill an actual perpetrator. Training and diligence helps sway this statistic in the favor of those who are responsible gun owners such that safe ownership is entirely possible; it’s just that safe ownership is rarely practiced in the U.S.

Let’s repeal the Second Amendment, and then allow gun ownership for hunting, sporting and self defense purposes, and require training and licensing in an appropriate and diligent manner.

Posted by PapaDisco | Report as abusive

censoring news on murders? this is insane. Such offer should be a good justification for fining National Rifle Association.

Posted by uha1 | Report as abusive

By getting rid of the First Amendment, we can make our interpretation of the Second much more safe, solely for America’s benefit.

Posted by Adam1234 | Report as abusive

I am an advocate of gun control partly because I saw my neice’s middle school and high school aughters with their mother’s service revolver in spite of very strict orders not to touch it unless there was an intruder. Likewise, gun cabinets only work if the owner actually locks them, the autolock, and the owner or authorized users maintain perfect security of the gun case key(s). In spite of that I have no objection to handguns kept at home for personal safety as long as they stay at home and there is no history of mental illness or abuse in that home. Some states have “make my day” laws that authorize people to shoot and kill anyone who is not part of the household, if they enter a home, other than their own, without permission.

As an academic matter though I really wonder if mass killings in the U. S. would be more or less common with stricter gun controls. In Europe similar incidents show up as bombings or poisonings rather than shootings. The human body is fragile and there are unlimited ways of killing people. A compact crossbow type weapon powered by gas can be just as effective as a gun in crowd.

American society may simply be more prone to violence because the U. S. is the world’s melting pot. Many groups actually have larger population centers in the U. S. than in the biggest city of their native land. The U. S. could conduct the equivalent of a World War without any residents crossing a national border. I, for examp[le, would like to see some Southern U. S. states expelled from the country, while many Southerners feek the same about teh liberal New England states. California alone likes to brag that by itself it would have the world’s sixth largest economy, while some states in Appalacia have economic typical lives some only associated with the developing world.

Posted by SeniorMoment | Report as abusive

“Its an argument that presupposes that there are plenty of deranged Americans who, like the Tucson shooter, are well-armed, passed the background check required to purchase guns, and are primed to spring into action after they see scenes of carnage on television. Its also an argument fit for a pre-Internet dictatorship where presidents could tell the media how and what to report.”
NO, NO, NO. It does not need to presuppose that “there are plenty of deranged Americans……”. The fact is that as far as there are people with different opinions (such as the debate on whether people has the freedom to carry guns) and if the media gives those people the impression that shooting might be a good or the only way to communicate, then they might take the action – this is to both sides – whichever side that might be – it is even more dangerous on the side that is less dominant especially if the dominant side makes effort to suffocate the message of the weaker voice (such as if the ruling party just tries to make it illegal for opponent to go against them peacefully). Most shootings – including wars are crisis of communication, the resolution is not to handle the issue afterward, but to resolve it before hand, – instead of trying to bury the different voices, give them space to grow – from that point of view, democracy is a failure as much as dictatorship as it does not allow the voices of minority/opponent. from that point of view, Separationism is the solution, if someone’s opinion does not comply with the majority, he/she does not need to be forced to live with it, he/she could choose to live outside of the majority – and in time maybe he/she would realize that the majority might have some merit – such as separate into some states that carrying gun is totally legal, while some other states it is forbidden.

Posted by JoeAtLowell | Report as abusive

Protect a secondary right, gun ownership, by abridging a fundamental one, freedom of speech and press? Huh?

Posted by Marc_Ladewig | Report as abusive

LaPierre has clearly forgotten that a free press is essential to democracy. Without it we cannot make informed decisions on how to govern ourselves. Surely he’s not advocating that we make uninformed decisions, or is he?

Posted by lhathaway | Report as abusive

Yes lets regulate everything that is dangerous for the public because the government has nothing better to do. Let ban all scissors because running with scissors will eventually lead to someone killing themselves. Lets not forget about Motorcycles and Cars those are bad too. Oh, and hammers, I can not tell you how many times I hear about people hitting their thumbs with hammers. Perhaps we should have a government feeder come to our homes and let them feed us the appropriate nutrition so we don’t get fat.

Where has the personal responsibility gone in this Country? I really feel for those people who can’t regulate their own lives and must rely on others to do this for them.

Posted by mmasse | Report as abusive

gruven137: Your argument comparing deaths from gunshot wounds with deaths from cancer and Alzheimer’s is a brilliant illustration of the article’s point about common sense. You made it clear to all how alike the cases are. There are some 9,000 shops on the U.S. side of the border where you can buy cancers and Alzheimer’s. The sales are sometimes through straw buyers. You then load the cancers into a truck and smuggle them into Mexico, where they increase the cancer death rate. Ditto with Alzheimer’s. Not to forget the places where they sell defective hearts.

Posted by Komment | Report as abusive

I think a major misunderstanding is those who are against gun control view those of us who are in favor of gun control as working to undo the Second Amendment. The ongoing argument is over gun control, not whether or not we should abolish the Second Amendment. I am very much in favor of gun control, i.e. reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban, but I don’t think the Second Amendment should be undone. Would the Founding Fathers have gone through with the Second Amendment if they knew one day American citizens would have access to semi-automatic weapons that could fire dozens of rounds in a relatively short period?

Posted by fassman316 | Report as abusive

Our President will pick when and how and what he fights for in order of importance – it should be obvious to this writer who chose to cater to the boutique liberals who find it fashionable to talk idealistics’ as opposed to reality.

Progressives have never had ab advocate as strong and effective as they do now in the white house – but true to from they will undermine progress with unreasonable demands claiming not enough, not fast enough …. as if they ever made progress – perhaps a better name for them would be regressives’.

Annoying twits – everyone of them.

Posted by coralights | Report as abusive

You know, I wonder at the ability of people to read, comprehend and infer these days. “A well regulated militia” defines the TYPE of guns that may not be restricvted. Not hunting rifles and shotguns. Not self defense pistols. There is no protection of the right to own target rifles. No, the weapons people are guatranteed are MILITIA weapons: assault rifles, machine guns, cannon, rocket launchers, grenades and flamethrowers. And they are supposed to be “well regulated.” That means that Uncle Sam has the right to place limitations on their storage and use. Militia appropriate regulations, not reserve or national guard troops. True volunteers, whom the government may not deny access to military grade weapons so long as they are stored and used in a way appropriate for a volunteer militia.

Posted by esoclectica | Report as abusive

esoclectia, I think you are mistaken by the meaning of well regulated. The term “regulated” means “disciplined” or “trained”. In Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “[t]he adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.” Regarding a well regulated militia, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 29:

A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.

Posted by mmasse | Report as abusive

[…] Obama, guns and media control […]

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There are over 700 million fire arms in the homes of law abiding citizens of the United States, and no one died last night from one shot fired by any of them. Now that is well regulated if you ask me. Disciplined and trained and ready for a moments notice for that time when duty calls. As for volunteer milita I think that is covered as well. It is easy to muddy the water with fear and ignorence. It is difficult to show constraint when confusion and folly abounds. We seem to be able to perform this task as well.

Posted by Sernadon | Report as abusive

Most Mexican Guns Not Traceable to US!

It appears that most public assertions regarding the source(s) of guns in Mexico have been misleading.

Here is some clarifying data from STRATFOR.

According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008.

Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing.

In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing.

This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.

Posted by Wireless.Phil | Report as abusive

Maybe the wackos should be aiming for the Brady Bunch?

Posted by Wireless.Phil | Report as abusive

The censorship issue here appears to be a foil for anti gun guys. It is sad that so many ignore history and the desperate need for real guns, not just hunting guns in the hands of private citizens of every country to prevent the rise of dictators who enslave and kill millions. But then again guys like Bernd prefer the relative calm of leaders like Burma, Kumar Rouge, Red Chinese, Chavez, Gaddafi etc. ad nausea who could not exist without “gun control”. Bernd and his ilk prefer passivity and enslavement because it is less troubling to the simpleton minds of people coasting on the freedoms brought to them by patriots of all nations. Wonder why guys like Hitler, Stalin, Chavez, Gaddafi come to power? Look no further than the mentality of people like Bernd Debusmann and the gun control wackos that ignore history repeating itself with the deaths and slavery of millions on their guilty hands.

Posted by JP007 | Report as abusive

Obama, guns and media control | Bernd Debusmann | Analysis ……

Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

Posted by World Spinner | Report as abusive

Guns don’t kill people. News stories do. Wonderful.

Posted by johncabell | Report as abusive

Bernd, these things can’t be prevented, just like you can’t prevent plane crashes, fistfights, drug use and proliferation, bombings, overdoses, war, or pies in the face! You might as well complain about the color of the ocean. Perhaps you could bend your considerable talent to analyzing real problems that both effect more people and might be solved.

Posted by Soothsayer | Report as abusive

Lets face it folks. No government, or group is going to get our guns taken away. Ever. They will continue to try, and that is fine, this is America and they have the right. Write about it, converse about it, complain about it, etc…

THEY WILL NEVER GET OUR GUNS. EVER. Spend some of this energy, produced by this kind of topic, and use it to help those affected by the shift in the earth crust. New Zealand, Japan,etc..it will be better served. One more time…

Posted by Av8ts | Report as abusive

Yes I own guns, and yes I DO NOT BELONG TO THE NRA (just like most sensible people I know).

NRA types are scared scared scared – (need I say gutless wonders who are firmly convinced that they cannot even manage their own lives?) We need sensible regulations and will eventually get non sensible ones when the NRA’s crazy stance finally breaks. What to do?

Posted by SuefromSault | Report as abusive

Another case of the misuse of the word “conservative” to mean people who believe in freedom of any sort. The so-called “social conservatives” have much more in common with other totalitarians in that they think freedom is the enemy and the root of all evil. Take away freedom and you are on the road to social virtue.

People who *DO* believe in freedom value freedom of expression as well as the right to bear arms. This very rarely includes bankers or other “financial” professionals or people in law enforcement. Telling lies, whether directly or indirectly, destroys freedom and peace and promotes social slavery.

Just look at Russia. Israel. China. Vietnam. Mexico. Cuba. The world is full of “paradises” where there is plenty of gun (and many other kinds of) control. They don’t report bad news either. We don’t report financial scams which is why the USA does not have any, right?

Posted by txgadfly | Report as abusive

Having fought in Vietnam as a US Marine, well trained to kill, I want to take issue with a commonly voiced falsehood… the notion that if guns weren’t so readily available, knives or some other weapon would be substituted. This argument is offered up regularly by gun advocates, though it is clearly untrue.

Make no mistake… it is FAR more difficult to kill a person with a knife. It’s very physical, very bloody, and very intimidating to the untrained. Killing with a knife requires a physical gruesomeness that the vast majority of Americans could never muster. It is also dramatically more difficult to kill a number of individuals with a knife. Killeen, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tuscon… these senseless acts could never have been accomplished at the hand of a knife toter.

Posted by 60sdreaming | Report as abusive

Lets not forget that the biggest supplier to the Mexican drug cartels is…. Our ATF who is supposed to be stopping this sort of nonsense. The NRA has called this one right. Why participate in a anti-gun debate with hostile groups who can’t even monitor their own agencies but want to over regulate the only group who abides by the law…

ATF story here:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/2 3/eveningnews/main20035609.shtml

Posted by mmasse | Report as abusive

Want to make a long-term impact on gun deaths? Teach shooting skills and firearm safety in the schools. This will instill respect for firearms, reduce the chance of accidental shootings, and remove some of the allure and mystery of guns. It is also a good way for kids to learn that irresponsibility can have real consequences. Of course, it’ll never happen because most soccer Moms will never stand for it. Shooting skills are on par with swimming skills: you’ll probably never actually NEED the skills, but it’s something that a well-rounded person should acquire.

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