A Modest Proposal

The Newtown school shooting has triggered vehement calls for gun bans and equally vehement declarations of Second Amendment rights.  So instead of shouting and scheming, let’s look at some component parts of the problem.

The Second Amendment is a bona fide part of the Bill of Rights, no less than freedom of religion and due process.  The Supreme Court recently affirmed this, which is why retaliatory blanket gun bans keep being stricken down.

Bans of certain more dangerous types of guns also fail.  A friend who owns a gun shop tells me that when the WonderBluss Assault Rifle that fires 1,000 rounds a minute is banned, the WomderBluss manufacturers make a minor rifling change and, voila!  The ThunderBluss Assault rifle is perfectly legal.  Legislation cannot keep pace with manufacture.

Rights aren’t absolute; you can lose your right to vote by committing a felony, and your right to free speech by committing libel.  Attempts to fairly regulate gun rights are tricky, but sometimes appropriate.  For example, a few years ago the legislature passed a law allowing doctors to inform police when a gun owner with Alzheimer’s began to fail to recognize family members after a man shot his wife here on Cape, thinking she was an intruder. So rights aren’t absolute, but are subject to some reasonable regulation.

Maybe we have kept approaching this from the wrong direction – from prohibition rather than affirmation.

What if – we didn’t create a list of guns and weapons which are prohibited, but a list of guns and weapons that are allowed?  Six models of pistols, three models of hand guns, eight types of rifles, etc.   That would eliminate the WonderBluss/ThunderBluss shuffle.  It would affirm the right of citizens to own guns for protections and recreation, while protecting them from the carnage of automatic weapons fire.  The right to bear arms isn’t an absolute right to bear every kind of weapon there is.

We, as a nation, need to turn away from absolutisms and try to find workable solutions to protect our children and communities while preserving our rights.

About Peter Porcupine


  1. It would affirm the right of citizens to own guns for protections and recreation, while protecting them from the carnage of automatic weapons fire.

    If you can find me a crime committed with an automatic weapon, it will be the first I’ve heard of.  These nut jobs are using common semi-automatic firearms, which aren’t going anywhere.

    Limiting magazine capacity is the main objective of gun control these days.  The Assault Weapons Ban accomplishes this, plus limiting the number of scary-looking features a firearm is allowed to have.

    In addition to an Assault Weapons Ban, Massachusetts also has an Approved Firearms Roaster for handguns — I believe the state screens handguns for consumer safety only.  The result: Sig Sauer handguns can be sold in MA; Glocks cannot.  They’re both equally deadly in the wrong hands.

    A significant loophole in all this is that none of these laws apply to guns or magazines manufactured before the laws went into effect.  So people will buy a new AR-15 (with MA-legal 10 round magazines) and then just pick up surplus 30-round magazines manufactured before 1994… all completely legal.  

  2. First, note that CT has background check, makes ‘assault weapons’ illegal, has a gun free zone around and in the school, and yet the shooter, likely with no license and therefore illegally possessed of an assault weapon went illegally onto school grounds and shot people.

    Second, it was not an automatic weapon.  There simply are very few of those in the hands of the public.

    But to discuss your suggestion, suppose we adopt on a Federal or State level, an ‘affirmation’ statute that says something like, only these guns allowed:  5 shot max, no pistol grip nor flash suppressor, semi-automatic…

    Well at that point, you have the Federal Assault weapons ban, which is also pretty much the current law in Massachusetts.  Further, Mass has a list of handguns that are allowed.

    And, note that even with that law in place here in Mass, I can legally possess and own within about 30 minutes a semi-automatic AK-47 with a 31 shot mag.  Then, I can pick up any number of additional magazines for about $30 per.  In Massachusetts, legally.

    The reason I can possess that AK-47 is i) because there are a large number of those weapons already in circulation and they may be bought and sold, and ii) the weapon was grandfathered in pre-ban so even new Romanian AKs may be imported to Mass and sold.

    So with your proposed law in place for future gun production, what to do with all the existing guns like that in private hands: Federal and state laws telling all of us to turn them in?

    These laws I’m imagining simply won’t become law.  The NRA isn’t some monster that opposes gun laws.  The NRA is us!  I don’t want to turn in my legally owned guns.

    But imagine this: imagine the horrible delemna facing the teacher, in a classroom with a shooter advancing.  His/her only choice is to gather the kids into a corner?  BTW, I can’t imagine why gather in a corner is a real solution-seems like a large bunch of people is a better, not worse, target.  I’m sure the notion of allowing a teacher the right to concealed carry wouldn’t be popular, but wow…might that not be an option on the table.

  3. No, I will not negotiate & surrender my right to keep & bear arms.

    The list of guns to which you refer ARE the list of guns that are allowed, at least handguns in Massachusetts.

    The list of so-called “assault weapons” that are permissible is a joke as the Federal law was largely based on merely cosmetic features.  A gun that “looks” scary or versus it’s actual functioning and the bullet it fired.

    Firearms, be it the WonderBluss or the ones I own, don’t make me or others a killer any more than my fork & spoon make me fat.  No, it is the action of someone using those items – mere tools – that causes the killing or the weight gain.  As the saying goes, my guns have killed less people than Ted Kennedy’s car & in that instance it wasn’t the car that killed anyone, it wasn’t even the likely alcohol, it was our former Senator!

    With all due respect my friend, even if I cede the mental capability issue your example of committing a felony or engaging in libel just don’t work. Your attempt to show that rights aren’t absolute is found wanting.  Both of your examples are of speech that is illegal after the words are uttered and the legal remedies follow the actions.  Your suggestion & that of anti-Second Amendment activists is to penalize the exercise of my rights peremptorily, before a anyone even attempts to exercise the right.  

    I’ll end on another old saying…if all guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns.  The Prohibition & the War on Drugs clearly is evidence that those who want illegal things will get them yet all you will do is have government victimize law-abiding citizens, not subjects, and turn them into victims for criminals.  Do you really think that criminals follow gun control laws?  No, I know they don’t.  However, law-abiding citizens do follow the law and will have their rights crushed by such suggestions.  Perhaps if the news ran stories of how often firearms protect & define lives – rather than only the great tragedies like yesterday – our anti-gun mentality wouldn’t be so indoctrinated into our collective consciousness.  

    To the bureaucrat coming up with lists of guns that they, in their infinite tyranny, believe I should be permitted to own – pry it from my cold, dead hands!  Opportunists are already exploiting this tragedy for their oppressive anti-Second Amendment schemes & machinations.  

  4. The distinction between fully automatic and semi-automatic is a fine one in the eyes of the public at large.  Both allow a more or less continuous stream of fire, which is what enables quick multiple killings.  Likewise, the guns already in circulation or grandfathered is a technical issue to most.

    Very small children killed en masse is far more widely understandable.

    Gun ‘nuts’ as they are often called do themselves harm by using the cold, dead hands analogy – it reinforces the impression that they are not concerned with the safety of society at large, but only their own personal satisfactions in owning weaponry. It is braggodocio, bombastic and unthinking. It allows their arguments to be more easily dismissed as those of ‘wing nuts’.

    The argument that the person was underage, breaking the law, etc. is a cheap debating point.  Since he was engaged in an already illegal act, of course he wasn’t conforming to the niceties of prohibitive statutes.  It’s a branch of the argument that if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns. Background checks are most useful in determining ownership, not determining who might in years to come decide to commit a crime.  But making these arguments and refusing to acknowledge that compromise and some management of guns is needed to protect the general public only advances the likelihood of that outcome.

    IF there were an affirmative statute, it would eliminate the grandfathered weapons and magazine capacities.  It would make it more difficult for criminals and mad men to buy or steal weapons with quick, multiple shot capacities by taking them out of the marketplace.  Most mass gun violence is committed with a stolen legal weapon.

    Affirm the right of gun owners to have weapons.  Just not the nuclear ones.

  5. Mr. Porcupine –

    I appreciate your thoughtful post. If only the country were full of people like you and Brock. We would not need such legislation.

    There is a political tsunami coming. It has been gathering strength over the years with all of the gun deaths in America – vastly more than any other nation like us. The mass shootings – once rare, now common – have made it strong enough to wipe out the power of the NRA, which only represents 5% of gun owners. This shooting was the final boost of energy that will cause this wave to crash against the House Republicans.

    We have now left the post-Regan shooting status quo. Decisions will be made. Laws will be passed. Good citizens like Brock will not be consulted.

    We are in a new time now. The old arguments won’t work anymore. The GOP will not be able to quietly cater to gun nuts who fantasize about kneeling in their kitchens, firing at government agents who want to take them away without cause.

    It’s over, Mr. Porcupine. The future of gun laws will be decided by the majority of the nation who love children more than guns.

    And I, a big believer in the second amendment, someone who knows that the men who wrote the constitution brought guns to the gathering that approved it, am with them and not the NRA, or you, or Brock on this.

    I don’t want my kids to be gunned down one day. To hell with defense against tyranny. If the government sends Seal Team Six to my house, I don’t believe a shotgun in my closet is going to make a damned bit of difference.

    I am going to be part of the solution. I don’t care if RMG’ers don’t get it. I do.

  6. Curious how we do this without creating a situation where each manufacturer has a monopoly on their particular segment of the gun market.

    Also curious what happens when foreign weapons surpass ours, due to the lack of innovation that would accompany this legislation.

  7. I have always been a firm believer that it is the person, not the gun.

    But maybe Republicans have always whitewashed how bad the gun situation is. I just didn’t know how bad it was here until I saw the story in today’s post about how many guns we have:


    Just look at this chart alone:

    So, in other countries, a guy can’t drive to the house of some middle-aged female school teacher and find a cache of weapons. They are a lot, lot, lot, harder to find.

    Again, when the public is shown these charts, when things like Australia’s case study is shown (in Kristof’s devastating article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12… ) and when these grieving mothers sit and cry at a Senate hearing on guns, all of the good and bad arguments of conservatives will be washed away.

  8. 1. Everyone reading this post should donate as much as he or she can give to the relief efforts established to help the families affected by this tragedy.

    2. Treasure every moment you have with the loved ones in your life.

    3. Let’s give the politics a rest for a few days.  

  9. I find it troubling that all too many do not reference our own State Constitution Article XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence… There was a balance of laws, Natural Laws of balances and checks that “the happiness of a people” and “preservation of civil government” is explicitly tied to religion and morality. It is not more gun laws that are needed but the teaching of piety, religion and morality that is needed as it once was. Furthermore, that it is in our Laws and Founding Values that Government must be an active component in this, to lead by example not by force, to convey our Unalienable Right as well as the Duty of all.      



  10. There is a reason that Obama never pushed any gun control laws, even when the Dems had super-majorities in the House and Senate. Its a political loser.

    Bring it up, and it will be another potent weapon for the GOP in 2014. In the Senate, the Dems are on the defensive in AK, AR, LA, MT, WV, SD, and NC in 2014.

  11. Simple J. Malarkey

    …strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means”

    Thomas Jefferson

  12. Where is the discussion on mental illness? Oh that’s right, it’s a hell of a lot harder to politically grandstand on something few, even experts, understand. There is no easy solution to this problem, and while Brock is somewhat wrong to suggest we are at a moral low point in this country (he’s also somewhat correct), there’s the potential that a great deal of these shooting occurrences are happening because of huge, slow moving societal frameworks, which are nearly impossible for a government to change over night.

    At the end of the day, all the assault weapons bans, school no gun zones, gun registries, gun safety features didn’t stop this boy from committing these heinous acts. Making more gun laws won’t stop these deranged and committed individuals from perpetrating their crimes, or treat the underlying symptoms. We have to work on our society, and build a new psychiatric health system in America, and that’s a hell of a lot harder for politicians and politicos to score points on.  

  13. After watching Obama turn a memorial into a policy speech, I am more sickened, and more determined.

    There are words to describe emotional, impulsive governance like mobacracy and lynch mobs. Our whole system was built to avoid that.

    The other side cant win with logic, facts, and level heads; so they wait until the weepy eyed masses are vulnerable and weak to launch their Unconstitutional, statist assault.

    Truly pathetic, as are those who follow the pied pipers lead.

  14. …and apparently the NRA can’t either…

    How many of these crimes are committed with legally owned-registered guns…by the legal owner?

    Some interesting stats:


    I’m not the biggest numbers wizard out there but I believe you’ll see that rifles (of all kinds) are used in less than three percent of all homicides. And, since assault rifles are a subset of those…it would have to be something less than 3%…..

    Interestingly…shotguns kill more people than rifles and I don’t hear anyone screaming to ban shotguns….maybe because “shotgun” doesn’t have the emotional appeal of ….dun..dun..dun…”assault rifle”.

    Also…(I believe someone else alluded to this above) the 1994 Democratic Congress passed an assault-rifle ban. Gun enthusiasts watching the debates started buying up assault rifles by the millions. It is probable that the ban put more of them on the street than would have been without it. In addition, the law banned guns according to type/style…pistol grips, flash supression, etc. so manufacturers simply made versions without those things. And, if you look at the FBI crime stats for the ban period…the percentage of murders committed with rifles didn’t change. Finally, when the law sunset after a decade…President Bush and Congress let it die… the percentage of murders committed with rifles didn’t move.

  15. I think we are at a point where we have to try something.  What that something is I do not know, and if it requires some limitations I do not know.   But I do know this – if there is a prescribed list of guns that are somehow ‘okay’ because of how they fire.  Then won’t we suddenly find ALL murders being committed by people with those types of guns?  And then won’t Deval Patrick, the newly minted Justice of the Supreme Court, ask to outlaw that specific dangerous gun?  and then won’t they work their way down the list of prescribed guns until we eventually have none…?  

    Its the perfect slippery slope…

  16. Named after Deputy Barney Fife –

    Let people carry guns, but only allow them to have one bullet, and they have to keep it in their shirt pocket.  By the time they got it out and into the gun most potential victims would be long gone…

  17. …or we will get our @$$es kicked in the next set of elections as well.   We discuss here how to win back female voters and appeal to more people one day and the next day discuss at length why we should resist all attempts to ban certain weapons even while discusing that those bans are purely symbolic.  We may be right on this but the general perception of the party will be negative in the eyes of the general public.  We are more concerned with “assualt rifles” than protecting little kids – it may not be fair but that will be the message used against us…I’m sure they are already prepping the ads against Scott or whoever runs in the potential special election for Senate – the pro-rape mantra can now be retired in favor of the pro assualt rifle mantra.  There has to be a way to split the difference – we should be willing to make some symbolic concessions if we want to have any chance of winning again.  We can insist on absolutes but I fear that will only end in electoral defeats again and again.  If we really want to win over suburban soccer moms we will need to find a better message than this.

  18. The founding fathers wanted a well armed population where able bodied men would be part of militias. The purpose of this was to provide a means of defense against and deterrent to a tyrannical federal government. Although we don’t have that many militias anymore, we at least have a well armed population.  

    As for gun control laws, I would like to point out that there have been mass shootings in countries with much stricter gun control laws.

    Gun control laws are collective punishment against the good guys who vastly outnumber the psychos. These laws discourage gun ownership by the law abiding and do little to stop criminals.

    Gun ownership is empowerment, not just for self defense against violent criminals, but also a deterrent against the statist ambitions that many politicians have. Giving up our constitutional rights is foolish and will only hurt us in the long run.

  19. Have no idea how “accurate” these statistics are:


  20. Imagine the founders of US sitting around:

    Tom:  Ok, on to the right to bear arms.

    Ben:  Sure, let everyone have a right to bows and arrows, but can’t let them have muskets, only the government can have those. Way too dangerous otherwise.

    If you accept that i) the 2nd amendment created a right to bear arms, and ii) the arms were intended, in part, as a deterent to government tyranny and iii) the arms possessed by the individual had to be of the same quality as those potentially owned by the government, otherwise there’d be no deterent THEN what’s changed between 1776, (Government and individuals each own flintlocks) and now (Gov and individual each own high capacity weaponry).

    PP, is the change between 1776 and now, this:  the threat posed by individuals owning high capacity rifles is greater than the threat of governmental tyranny.  

    That accurately states your position, PP?

  21. keep it up nice work i like it

    summarizing online

  22. Yesterday’s shooter was 20 years old and allegedly used his mother’s legally bought, owned, and registered handguns in the massacre.  

    Slight problem, the law in Connecticut – some of the toughest laws in the country – prohibits anyone less than the age of 21 from even carrying a handgun.

    Evidently, nobody told the shooter that he was in violation of state law.  I’m sure that if someone had notified him that he had to wait until he was 21 that the shooter would’ve obeyed the state law and gone home.  To a place where he had already killed his mother.


  23. You CAN buy a Glock in Massachusetts but you have to be in law enforcement.  For example, when I bought my Ruger SR1911 back a few months ago I was offered to look and handle a selection of Glocks.  Wanting a Model 1911, I passed.  

  24. As a legal gun owner in Massachusetts, I am able to own semi-automatic firearms.  However, I have not obtained a Federal Firearms License therefore I cannot legally own a fully automatic firearm.

    I’ve looked into purchasing an AR-15 yet I cannot purchase an M-16.  I can, and when I save up my pennies I may, buy the former but here in the Commonwealth I am unable to obtain the latter until & unless I obtain my FFL.

  25. Only newly manufactured ones are.  Old clips are quite pricey, in short supply, and perfectly legal from their grandfathered status.  My brother actually just purchased a few for the range.  

    Personally, that’s how I think it should be.  Sure, they’re expensive, but they retain their value in a marketplace; and they’re really only afforded to those who have a need for them.

    Biggest issue with guns laws are the huge discrepancies between states.  While purchasing/owning a gun here has some checks to make sure they don’t get in the wrong hands, at the wrong times; I can easily go to NH and come back with one, either via myself or a straw purchaser.  

    There’s a reasonable discussion to be had, but the fringe on both sides does not want to hear it.  MA need to go lighter and stop the arbitrariness of issuing FID cards.  NH/VA on the other hand needs close the loopholes that put cheap firearms on Boston city streets in the wrong hands through trafficking and star purchasers.  

  26. The shooter also broke the law by carrying a firearm in a school zone.  That makes another law broken by the shooter yesterday.  A good dozen or two dozen were probably broken, how many more useless laws are we going to heap upon the Second Amendment?  Had the shooter not killed himself does the extra year or two had another decade to the life sentence that he would’ve almost certainly been given after trial?

    Gun control doesn’t work because criminals do not obey the law, that is why they are criminals!  

    Your affirmative statue does nothing but penalize legal gun owners who haven’t done a damn thing wrong…no sin, no crime, nothing.  It doesn’t impede a criminal for one second as the already often enough don’t use a legally obtained firearm in the commission of their crimes.  I could walk down to any number of street corners in any Massachusetts city & get a firearm for $50 that would’ve cost me hundreds or thousands to purchase legally.  

    Are you going to pass an affirmative statue to require public mass transit because legally stolen cars can run over people?  

    Are you going to seek an affirmative statue to blunt knives into mere butter knives for public safety sake?  After all, just yesterday some crazy nut in China used a knife to massacre how many people?

    Ideas such as these for gun control, a surrendering of Constitutional rights for failed do-gooder reasons is like Rosa Parks negotiating to sit in the middle of the bus.  

    What rights are gun control zealots willing to give up?  No, the Founding Fathers enshrined the right to keep & bear arms, the natural right to self-defense, in the Constitution to prevent the very government actions that you propose.  The document is not an affirmative statement of right as proposed by the government but rather a negative statement of what the government may not do…and that’s infringe upon my individual right in the Second Amendment.  

  27. Modest v. immodest is in the eye of the beholder.

    Suppose your proposal is adopted, and the assault weapon is made illegal to own.  That means, at least two guns I own must be turned over to the state I guess.

    So, an investment of close to a thousand bucks is what your ‘modest proposal’ asks of me.  That is, unless the state is willing to buy them from me.

    The problem’s with the backlog.  There are hundreds of millions of guns in the US.  Following this incident, gun sales will jump once again.

    Rather than your modest proposal, I’m rather fond of a strategic approach:  given a risk of terrorism in schools, how to defend?

    For example, wouldn’t an emergency exit in each classroom be kinda a good idea rather than rely on the let’s crowd into a corner defense?

    For example, perhaps some concealed carry training for the teachers?

    For example, an armed security director on staff of each school?

  28. There is nothing in your proposal which would have changed the outcome of yesterday’s atrocity.

    The killerbwould still have had all the tools he needed to commit the act.

    The only difference would have been cosmetic.

    I am somewhat taken aback that the conversation continues to focus primarily on the tool, rather than on how it is that our society is churning out these demented monsters at an accelerated rate, and what are we to do about it.

  29. The distinction between automatic and semi-automatic is important because semi-automatic firearms are very common.  Any ban that includes all pistols (which are, by definition, semi-automatic) is a complete non-starter.

    Banning semi-auto rifle-caliber firearms may be more politically viable.  But for it to mean anything, you’d have to confiscate millions of pre-ban firearms.  Confiscation is another complete non-starter politically.  

    Realize, you may think that ownership of assault rifles is only for loonies, but the reality is that they’re not only mainstream, they’re some of the best-selling guns on the market today.  There are easily enough civilian purchases in a single year to outfit our entire combat forces.  The use of military-style arms by civilians is a long tradition in America, unlike other countries.  Congress chartered the Civilian Marksmanship Program over a hundred years ago to teach civilians (particularly our youth) to become proficient in their use.  Here’s some pictures of Massachusetts students at a CMP-sponsored clinic with AR-15’s:


  30. As I said in the post, we passed legislation to allow doctors to report to police chiefs when there was an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.  Those people haven’t done anything – until the guy in Harwich shot his wife and called 911 to report an intruder.

    A person with a diagnosis of insanity hasn’t done anything – should they be allowed to purchase guns?

  31. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/

    (Your link didn’t work for me)

    Twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.

    The attack took place at the entrance to the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Henan province, according to the public information department of Guangshan county, the area where the school is located. An adult was also wounded, it said.

    Several of the children are in critical condition, the state-run website Chinanews.com said, citing local authorities.

    Police say they have detained a suspect, a 36-year-old man from the village, state media reported.

    Initial assessments suggest the man is mentally ill, Chinanews.com said, citing Guangshan authorities.

    China was hit by a spate of knife and cleaver attacks that targeted school children in 2010.

    and that…in a Communist police state.  

  32. You have to explain how our country unlike every other industrialized nation, has so many more monsters. How do we have 13 times the gun deaths of any other western nations and ten times the number of mass shootings?

    I don’t think it is that we have more monsters.

    Do you?

  33. you can also buy a used Glock in Massachusetts.  I was just trying to keep things simple — but for every simple statement of MA Firearms law (including the additional one I just made), there are multiple exceptions and qualifications.

    What gets me is that it’s illegal to purchase magazines over 10 rounds for most .22 rifles.  Assault Rifles?  No problem.

  34. Republican state committee members are allowed to pack heat?  That ought to make the election for a new Chairman a bit spicey…..

  35. but why can’t we grant higher access to better weapons as you gain “XP” like in call of duty?

    Grant higher FID rating for safety, instruction and range classes. Everyone starts with the ok to own a hunting rifle, shotgun, and limited capacity handgun for safety, hunting and personal use.  You want bigger tools or toys?  You put in the time to learn the trade.

    I think the problem overlooked above isn’t that this guy broke the law, but that it was probably harder for him to buy alcohol or cigarettes then garner the weapons he used.  The weapons and items he used, allowed him to do a LOT more damage because of their power, accuracy, and capacity.  

    What business did his mother have buying those weapons beside passing a background check that requires nothing but a clean history?  Same with the kid in Aurora.  

    Gun can’t and shouldn’t be “banned”.  But absent the loons that think the government is looking over them with blackhawks and think they’ll be able tot take on the military or state police because they’re a “free citizen”, there’s a median way where guns of all classes can be legal, while we build a system where they’re better kept out of the hands of the mentally unstable.  

  36. Simple J. Malarkey

    ….reconstruct every school room in the country with an emergency exit…have an armed security guard in every school.  Ya right.

  37. It’s cultural above everything else.  The disparity is nothing new, and I’d argue these atrocities aren’t that new either.  Crime is down, historically.  Even as the economy is just scraping by.  

    They were just smaller in the past, and less focused on my a national, interconnected media.

    A ban on guns would have done nothing to stop this kid.  It might have at least reigned in some of the damage.  But so would smart gun laws.

    Prohibition will NOT work.  You’ll just create a lucrative black market for organized crime to flock to, that the normal population will partake in under the radar.  It happened with booze, it happened with drugs, and it will happen with firearms if they’re banned.  And the outcome will end up being worse, and more prevalent then these random acts of violence.      

  38. We have more people who have had their consciousnesses ill formed, if at all.  We have more people who are disconnected from any moral core.  We have more people who have had their lives severed from any familial/community connection.

    The problems we have today are not political.  The problems are not legal or policy.  

    Our problems boil down to a simple explanation – our culture is rotten and our civilization is thus in ruin.

    What we need is a new Great Awakening and American rebirth.

    We have built our own Frankenstein’s Monsters in our brave, new America and to mix a few metaphors, we are now reaping the ill harvest that we and previous generations sewed so long ago.

  39. I agree with geo999: “I am somewhat taken aback that the conversation continues to focus primarily on the tool, rather than on how it is that our society is churning out these demented monsters at an accelerated rate, and what are we to do about it.”

    What do Rep Giffords, most of the victims in Newtown, all of the targeted victims at Edgewater, have in common? They were women in positions of power over the killers. And what do all of the killers have in common? They were men, and they only killed men when they got in the way of them killing women. I bet we’d find that pattern in most of these cases, and find that the killers were frustrated by their lack of respect as men. That’s why I think that enacting an Egg and Sperm law that at least affirmed that men are necessary for a woman to reproduce, and that all men are created equal and have equal rights to marry and reproduce as men, would go a long way in helping stop these incidents.

  40. I said that in the last paragraph.

  41. proves you wrong.

    Not sure what fiction you think happened back in the day, but by almost all measures today is much, much, much better than yesteryear for the vast majority of people.  Both in physical health, culture, and spirit.  

    And yes, you grandmother was giving HJ’s in the back of Chevy’s.  Just as drugs, sex and Jazz ruled the 20’s with mobsters making money off black market hooch.

    Really sick of this pervasiveness of each generation bitching about the moral decay of the next.  

    Now get off my lawn.  

  42. Every day, eight kids under 20-years-old die from gun violence.   The horrible situation in Connecticut is just the latest incident that is drawing attention to the problem.

    The gun-violence problem won’t go away by itself.   It will continue to get worse, and it will continue to make headlines.

    We have a responsibility to protect our children.  The question is:  what role will the Mass GOP play?   Are you going to rigidly argue that there should be no additional changes to gun laws?

    Are you going to be leaders by helping find a federal solution that will protect our children?

  43. Mass shooting are not up and not new, at least in recent decades.  

    Over the thirty-year time frame, an average of about 20 mass murders have occurred annually in the United States with an average death toll of about 100 per year…

    the facts say clearly that the has been no increase in mass killings, and certainly no epidemic.


    The targets just change over time, there was a string of political murders in the 60’s, post office shootings in the 80’s, and school’s have been more common in the last 15 years.  And even if you eliminated all guns people would move to things like IED’s which can be even more horrific.

  44. Armed guards and limited access to in session school buildings.

    It will be a lot cheaper, more realistic, more effective, and more politically viable than the approach liberals reflexively gravitate to.

  45. The only history you understand is apparently revisionist history with a strong anti-American bias.  It’s okay, you have the right to not only be profoundly wrong but also half a skewed, self-loathing, sense of our national history.

    There may never have been a “Golden Age” but by any cultural indicator that day certainly will never be considered this day and age.

    There will never be a utopia or Heaven on Earth this side of eternity but today, our civilization is at its absolute worst with rot and decay from within, and the body count from various forms of violence – be it in schools, at work, at home, in the womb, and beyond is ample and self-evident proof of the degradation and depravity of society.

    America may never achieved the lofty goals and high ideals itself for itself in the past but at least we, as a nation, used to strive for excellence and upheld our principles and consciences towards what was right, true, and ever lasting instead of lowering the bar to the lowest common denominator.

    We, as a People have been great and we can be even better some day but that day is certainly not today.

  46. A person with a diagnosis of insanity hasn’t done anything – should they be allowed to purchase guns?

    NRA would say no to that question and support legislation to that effect. I, for one, agree with them.

  47. So there shouldn’t be any extra cost.

  48. This is the latest incident, one that happened at a school.  Other incidents have happened at malls and public events.  The solution is to have armed guards every 20 ft or so all across the USA?

  49. If you read the referenced study – few Australians owned handguns  before the ban.


    I don’t see a way to take away  handguns away from US citizens. Do you really think drug dealers would turn in their guns ?

    BTW – I don’t have a solution.

  50. You can still own whatever you want, but can only keep one gun at your home.  The rest get locked up in the public armory.

    I’ve toyed with the idea before of having the gun owner be liable in some way if their gun is stolen and then used in a crime.  Perhaps this would provide an incentive for people to lock them up properly.  Of course we don’t do anything like that with cars, but maybe we should stop these analogies and recognize that guns are different.

  51. The answer is risk assessment.

    Notice that malls and public events, in fact, do have armed security guards; houses in tornado areas have shelters; homes near the ocean are built on stilts, etc…

    The risk of you local school being hit by a terrorist attack is small but the harm, if said attack occurs, is great.  Therefore, consider the threat, and sure, what’s wrong with discussing the need and costs of a security guard(s), emergency exits in each classroom, concealed carry.

    The knee-jerk reaction doesn’t really advance a solution. For example, we should ban the sale of Barretts or mini guns.  Neither weapon, available to the public at high $$, have ever been used to commit murder, ever; each is hardly the criminal weapon of choice.  Sure, ban them and feel real good. But, it accomplishes nothing because that’s not the problem.

    This thread, “modest proposal”, doesn’t progress unless your proposal deals with the millions of assault weapons in possession, the definition of “assault weapon” and what does this “modest proposal” do to the currently legally owned assault rifle?  Seizure?  Because anything other than seizure means it’s still available to the public.

    Or, this suggestion: reinstate the Federal assault ban. Assault ban is, practically speaking, the law in CT and MA. Further, when the federal law was introduced it created a Bushmaster buying frenzy, the likes we haven’t seen until next week when the next buying frenzy starts.

    I was driving and listened to Emily Rooney debate an NRA spokesman.  She had her clock cleaned to the point that she closed the piece with an apology to her listeners that “I’m sorry, I don’t know much about guns”.  That’s part of the problem,(i) advocates for gun control don’t know much (ii) try to solve the problem with regulations, which have been ineffective.

  52. We have a responsibility to protect our children.

    Given your other response, I can reasonably conclude that your 20 foot proposal is facetious (at least I hope).

    I find the security personnel concept at public schools to be the most rational solution. The emergency egress idea may be a impractical (though less so in new builds), but security is something that can be done immediately – it could protect kids immediately.

    I note that, over at the kiddie table, they are mocking all but their test, ban & grab models, and of course, the differently winged. I would invite you to use this forum proffer realistic thoughts about the causes of, and ways to mitigate or eliminate these atrocities.

  53. No. I was thinking Seal Team Six, Patrick.

  54. If the solution is that each school needs an armed guard then why can’t the military perform that function?  They are supposed to be there for defense, right?

  55. But that hasn’t prevented attacks, only mitigated the damage.  How many guards do you propose each school have?

  56. So what? Isn’t that what you’re after, or should be?  Assess the threat; arrive at solution that will mitigate the damages.  

    How should I know how many guards?  A centralized top down approach can’t answer that.  It depends on the facility.

  57. may be the best you could hope for, particularly in public places.  At the Clackamas mall shooting, the gunman killed himself after he saw an armed citizen draw on him:  http://www.thetruthaboutguns.c

    In Israel, retired people serve as armed security in schools.  Apparently, the thought of getting gunned-down by someone’s grandma has been enough to deter terrorists from even trying to target schools.

  58. Otherwise aren’t we saying that a massacre every now and again is just the price of freedom?  That doesn’t seem quite right.

  59. Given our crazy legal system – I’m not sure you won’t get sued if someone stole your car and had an accident.

    Guns might be exempt from this at a federal level – but I don’t think cars are.

    One of my clients was sued when someone hit his truck that was  parked legally in a parking space.

  60. Otherwise aren’t we saying that a massacre every now and again is just the price of freedom?  

    Cold, but I think the answer is yes.

    Or, otherwise ban guns, cigarettes, non-utilitarian knives, fireworks, fast cars, fast boats, air shows, building within a mile of the coast line.  While at it, institutionalize anyone with a mental disease capable of violence.

  61. But why let the perfect get in the way of the good?

    This monster broke into a locked school building, and meeting no resistance whatsoever, slaughtered 20 little children and six adults with impunity.

  62. Lots of things couldn’t be passed prior to 9/11, but were passed afterwards.  I’m not sure if guns are still the political winner you think they are.

  63. Plus, most of the impulsive, emotional responses after 9/11 turned out to be ill-advised. Maybe a cool down period was needed before we passed the PATRIOT ACT and invaded Iraq. Both efforts could have used more discernment.

    This is more like Gabby Giffords or Aurora. All these arguments made by over-emotional, weak-kneed Republicans were made after Colorado. A few weeks pass and people settle down.

    Every time, they look for a scapegoat to appease emotional needs. Connecticut had some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. A deranged kid with asperbergs syndrome and a personality disorder stole guns. What type of draconian laws do you need to stop that from happening.

    The Second Amendment is not something that can be pushed aside on emotional whims. You would think conservatives would respect our civil liberties with a little more back bone.  

  64. Simple J. Malarkey

    Brock you seem to hate today’s America, but for someone who prides themselves as an historian of sort, you have blinders to the great lapses of moral shortcomings found in our history.

    How could a period in which we enslaved people be morally superior to contemporary times?  Or when we force children to work in factories 18 hours a day?  Or when the primary role of women on the western frontier was that of a prostitute?  Or when heroin and cocaine where, literally, stables found in drinks and contemporary versions of over the counter medicine.  

    But enough about that point.  I would be curious as to what you would do–if you were King for a day–to restore your version of the moral America of the past.  My guess is that you would quickly propose “solutions” that would trample on many other freedoms found in the constitution that other people embrace.  

  65. …will always look for the worst in any era. It’s in your nature to do so.

    Never pine for “the good old days” or for “simpler times” around those of festus’ ilk – they’re incapable of finding the good in anything.

  66. A “king for a day” or even a millennium cannot “propose solutions”.  You, like most liberals, instinctively think of imposed solutions, almost always through the enacting of more laws.

    There are no proposed, imposed or other top-down solutions to society’s ills.  There is only an organic growth from the people that changes and reforms their hearts and minds and leads to a stronger, better civilization.

    It’s a matter of culture, not statue.

  67. I firmly believe that America’s best days lie ahead, and that America has had some pretty darn good days in our past.  Our current day, isn’t nearly so good but it can & will be better.

    America is an exceptional nation and while it will never has been perfect, and it never will be, America can continue the process of perfectibility to the utmost of the limits of humanity this side of eternity.

    America has been & remain a great experiment and we, as individuals, and the world at large are all the better for it.

  68. Gary, you willing to pay for all this…

    …reconstruct every school room in the country with an emergency exit…have an armed security guard in every school.

    No, while wealthy enough, I cannot personally pay for all that.  

  69. Some of what happened after 9/11 may have been ill-advised, but it happened anyways.  That was my point.  I don’t see change being avoided this time.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to look for a scape goat here.  This wasn’t an act of God like a tornado or flood or an earthquake.  It was a heinous act committed by a man with a gun.  I sense there being a cumulative effect here with all these incidents.  Things will not cool down after a week or two.

    I wouldn’t be too sure that the 2nd amendment is not something that will be pushed aside.  If it is an impediment to what people think needs to be done then it will be.  The constitution can be amended.

  70. Simple J. Malarkey

    …I live in a world governed by reality and facts…sorry about that.

  71. I live in a world governed by reality and facts…

    If true, then what is your proposed solution?

    Critical thinking is what matters in this debate. The gun control appeals I read are emotional argument with poor reasoning.  For example:

    1:  Reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons ban. Ignoring that it had no effect on the proliferation of assault weapons or the gun fatality rate.

    2:  Eliminate the production and sales of certain high capacity weapons. Ignoring that there exist in private hands, 300 million legally possessed weapons, with hundreds of thousands of high capacity.

    You’re not making an argument.  You’re just yelling.

    Here’s a question for you:  if you were confronted by a gun yielding person, wouldn’t you like to have a gun and be knowledgeable and trained in its function?

    Here’s another question, given that the Principal of the Newtown school went towards the shooter:  Was that, in your opinion, a smart and strategic thing to do, armed only with terse words? Hero, sure.  Smart and indicative of training for such a possibility?

    And the last question, what’s your proposal?  Or, must we wait for the democrat talking points to feed your delivery?

  72. Simple J. Malarkey

    …we need to figure out how to desensitize unstable people in the age of personal weapons of mass destruction.  All I hear from you is the cultural aspects (and by not talking about technology and it’s affects, you show how shallow your view is) and you simply except the right of people gain access to personal weapons of mass destruction.  

    As someone above alluded to, conservatives in the strip of Thomas and Scalia would think that the founding fathers felt every citizen had the right to bear one-shot muskets.  I can’t imagine Washington and Jefferson arguing the right for every citizen to gain access to the types of weapons that were used on Friday.

    As I say below–using Thomas Jefferson for support–the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  73. He didn’t smother 28 people with a pillow.

  74. And with 270 million guns in a country of 310 million men, women, and children, we now have more guns than able-bodied adults are even capable of firing at the same time.

    I can’t imagine our founding fathers would support doing nothing about the massacres. Of course, they would be shocked at our culture and would admit that it is probably a big reason that this is happening.

    But they would almost certainly support us regulating weapons and their owners at least as much as our cars and drivers.  

  75. He didn’t slaughter 28 people, playing with a full deck.

  76. Never mind anything else I wrote.

    Certainty Lanza didn’t kill with a pillow. But Lanza chose to use a gun. There are hundreds of millions of guns in the US, and hundreds of millions of people didn’t make the same choice he did on Friday. Guns are dangerous objects, just like a knife, hammer, or even a television if used in a physically harmful way. Millions have demonstrated that they can be handled responsibly. Yet, even if they get in the wrong hands once a year (as they seem to), it’s certainly one time too many, and we have an obligation to work on preventing as many of these incidents as possible.

    I have no problems with an assault weapons ban, background checks, school no gun zones, weapon registries, and we can never be quite sure how much they help. Perhaps they are, Connecticut has most of these laws already, but at the end of the day, laws don’t stop crimes from happening. They formulate values and behaviors of any rational person for sure and give us guidance on how to dispense justice after they are breached. But if you are interested in preventing crime, and crime by a irrational person, the laws aren’t going to give you the results you desire, that no one ever breaks a certain law.

    We are never going to stop crimes from ever happening. That’s just not realistic. But we must push for perfection because lives on the line, and more gun laws probably arn’t going to move us closer to that standard (diminishing returns). More beneficial at this point would be to work on the cause of gun crimes; we have to heal the cause of these acts, not just the means.

    In places like the South Side of Chicago, where the homicide rate is sky-high, we have to as a society work to re-build the family and our economy, both which are proven to give support and structure to our communities, and prevent crime in the long-run.

    And with regard to the perpetrators of Newtown, Aurora, Blackburg and Columbine, we have to again, re-build the family and economy, to ensure that as children people like Lanza get the help and support they need. And should things get tough for these individuals, that there is a system that provides real results and not just prescription re-fills, for those with severe mental illness.  

  77. There are mentally ill people all over the place.  The ones without firearms generally do not concern me.

  78. But I also ran a field office for the NRA in Southwestern Virginia. And guns were everywhere. Its a rite of passage. Its cultural. And there are hardly any problems.

    One could say its ironic, but its not. There are reasons why most of the gun violence in this country occurs in states and cities with the toughest gun laws.

    In DC, guns are practically already outlawed. Around Roanoke, there are gun stores and clubs all over the place and from personal experience and empirical evidence, I can tell you, you will be a lot safer in SW VA.

    Which leads to two other issues that crawl up my rear-end. It the elitist attitudes of urban elite in such places as Boston that just dont respect different cultures. They posture a lot about diversity and multiculturalism. Well how about respecting the hunting, gun, and self-sufficiency culture of southern, midwestern and rurual America?

    For these people, guns are not a novelty. Its an honored past-time. Something shared at a young age with grandfathers, fathers, and uncles. Its history, heritage and a way of life.

    Also, in much of America, there arent cops on every corner like there are in cities.  Which leads to another issue; its not just about guns. The Second Amendment was not written to protect hunting rights. It was written becuase the right of any man to defend himself and his family was one of those cherished rights considered God-given and inalienable. A well-armed citizenry is the hallmark of an independent people.

    Of course other countries are not like us. Why some would use the old model statist countries with complacent and subservient peoples as a benchmark Ill never understand. But our arms our part of our unique independent, pioneering and self-sufficient spirit.

    Maybe the elites of Boston should practice what they preach and respect diveristy, respect other cultures.

  79. …a way of keeping firearms out of reach of those who concern you that doesn’t concern me.

  80. I wouldn’t be surprised if the gun to person ratio in 1776 was higher than it is today.

    And you are right, the founders would be deeply disturbed by the massacres. But as you mentioned, they would be also disturbed by many things in our culture, or those present in their day but now completely laid bare for all to see.  

  81. denotes a civil service.  

    Historically the 2nd amendment was also read that way, at least when it comes to larger arms outside of hunting and protection.

  82. I was moved by the beginning and the ending, which seemed heartfelt. But the middle was pure politics, forced, belabored, and trying too hard to close the sale.

    Too bad, It could have been a great address, under the circumstances.

  83. What would you rather have?  23 children injured by a knife attack or 20 children dead by a gun attack?

  84. Neither will criminal activity.

    But we can slow it down, and make murders happen one at a time instead of twenty at a ‘clip’.

    It would remove dangerous models of high powered guns from the marketplace for people to steal to commit crimes.  As has been noted, legal gun owners aren’t usually the ones committing the crimes – so let’s stop buying and hoarding  guns for criminals to use on us.

    Brock was indignant that his lawfully purchased weapons would be seized from him, and I want to make it clear that he should be financially compensated for that exercise of eminent domain.  It would be a lot cheaper thant he complicated schemes I’ve seen offered for guards and protocols.

  85. roses?  I know Obama already has a problem with guns and butter…

  86. Too bad you don’t realize respect must be earned; it’s never due.

  87. 12 girls and 8 boys, and all the adult victims were women.

    You don’t think people are due respect just by virtue of being people? Wow, that’s a terrible thing to think, especially for a Republican, the party based on equal dignity of all people.  You are wrong, all men are due respect as men, and all women as women. Denying men and women their inherent dignity and value as men and women, and insulting boys and calling men unnecessary and obsolete and terrible people, less worthy of respect than gays, transgenders and women, is going to cause boys to kill as many people in this society as possible, especially women who they feel humiliated and neutered by.

  88. Simple J. Malarkey

    The change they support is to prohibit people who have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent from owning guns.  The vast majority of people suffering from mental illness never have this happen to them (and should not).  

  89. Simple J. Malarkey

    The change they support is to prohibit people who have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent from owning guns.  The vast majority of people suffering from mental illness never have this happen to them (and should not).  

  90. I have no idea “what [you] heard”.  That’s pretty slim objectivity you dealt there.

    NRA backs anti-gun group on Capital Hill. Meanwhile, disagreeing with NRA, Mental Health America proposed that Congress to rewrite the anti-gun legislation based on a person’s history of violence, rather than a history of mental illness. All this following the VA tech shootings.

    NRA’s official position has always been that we should address mental illness and regulate such that those who are mentally ill don’t have access to weapons.

    Gun control advocates question the sincerity of the position but regardless, that’s NRA position.

    Meanwhile, you still haven’t answered my 3 direct questions:

    1:  If you were confronted by someone threatening you with a gun, would you like to also possess a gun in which you were trained and proficient with its use?

    2:  given that the Principal of the Newtown school went towards the shooter:  Was that, in your opinion, a smart and strategic thing to do, armed only with terse words? Hero, sure.  But a thoughtful and wise choice of action?

    3:  What’s your proposal?

    And adding a 4th question:

    4:  Do you actually know what the Massachusetts laws are allowing gun purchase and posession with respect to say, assault rifles and weapons > 10 capacity?

  91. …it shows that criminals don’t care.

    How’s that “war on drugs” goin for ya?

  92. Simple J. Malarkey

    …the context on my statement about “pining for the good old days” have nothing to do with your three (then 4th) question.  Don’t really feel compelled to answer them and I have been attempting to put may thoughts down, but no time to properly explain them,  Suffice to say I agree with much of what Merrimac Man wrote below.  

  93. Republican Ram Rod Radio
  94. who is next?

  95. Republican Ram Rod Radio
  96. Republican Ram Rod Radio

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