After Massacre, Looney Vows Gun Control Fight

Thomas MacMillan PhotoAs the horrific details of the school shooting rampage in Newtown continued trickling out Saturday, New Haven state Sen. Marty Looney promised a push to strengthen Connecticut’s gun-control laws.

Looney (pictured) made that vow in an interview as New Haveners came downtown for a 6 p.m. vigil on the Green on behalf of the 26 students and adults massacred at Sandy Hook elementary school by a gunman who then killed himself.

The shooting provoked a national outpouring of grief—and an immediate call for a resumption of efforts by gun control proponents to take on the NRA and pass tighter legislation.

Looney, a Democrat who’s now the Senate majority leader, cosponsored Connecticut’s assault-weapons ban (with a Republican, then-state Sen. Bill Aniskovich of Branford). The ban passed into law in 1993. Looney said Saturday evening that it’s time for a “fact-finding” mission to see whether the law needs to be expanded to cover more weapons.

He also said he now plans to reintroduce a bill he sponsored two years ago to ban the sale of ammunition to people who may not legally own a gun.

“Without ammunition,” he said, “a gun is just a club.”

He also said he plans to look at reviving a bill to allow for court orders to require that people with mental illness take prescribed medication if they pose a danger to themselves or to others.

In coming days partisans on both sides of the gun control debate will look closely at the emerging details of the shooting. The shooter apparently carried two handguns on him that are legal in Connecticut: a Sig Sauer and a Glock, a rapid-fire gun used by cops. He is believed to have used a third weapon, a Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine rifle in the actual killings. The Bushmaster are “similar in type to the weapons used in” other mass shootings in the control, according to this New York Times story. It’s unclear whether the rifle was legally purchased and owned or not; Connecticut’s 1993 law grandfathered in already-owned rifles. Among the questions under consideration: Whether new state laws can make a difference, whether this incident will shift a political calculus that has tilted toward the gun lobby, and whether the state adequately enforces its existing laws.

Looney acknowledged that the bigger fight is on the national level. People can easily buy assault weapons in other states and bring them across the border, he said.

Connecticut has some of the more restrictive gun control laws in the nation, Looney said. “The fact that federal laws are so lax undermines the capacity of the individual states,” he continued. “We really needed strong federal gun legislation. We need the federal government to not be intimidated by the gun fanatics and people who feel only the Second Amendment is important to the exclusion of everything else in the constitution.”

The federal government passed a ban on the sale of assault weapons in 1994 under then-President Bill Clinton. The law included a sunset clause. It expired 10 years later during the Bush administration. Connecticut U.S. Rep. John Larson Saturday called for renewed federal gun control legislation.

As the gun control debate possibly heats up again, Looney knows how passionate it can get. The night his law passed in 1993, “somebody called and said we [he and Aniskovich] were both dead men because of our support of that bill.” Looney called state police, who escorted him home, while local police stayed with Looney’s wife and then-young son.

Markley: Good Intentions, Bad Ideas

Christine Stuart PhotoOne of Looney’s Republican counterparts in the Senate, Joe Markley (pictured) of Southington, said he would not support Looney’s initiatives.

“My answer on a Saturday night [to the question of how to stop these tragedies] is: I don’t know what the answer is. If I thought Marty Looney, who I deeply respect, had an answer to this, I would entertain it. But I don’t think he has it, either on the weapons or the medication. It’s more than that. It’s spiritual on another level. That’s where the hunger is.”

The root of the problem is the way our “troubled society” is producing people who would carry out an act like the Newton massacre, Markley said. He said that he doesn’t believe banning guns or ammunition will stop them.

“That root cause of what has made a sick society is a complication beyond me and 187 legislators to correct. I do believe in the constitutional right to the protection to bear arms. If I thought some kind of control might have some kind of effect, I might entertain it anyway. But I don’t believe it. I don’t believe changing the number of rounds in a clip or the style of a weapon is going to prevent things like this from happening,” he argued.

“You can ban guns, and there will always be another kind of gun. The question ultimately comes down to: Should citizens be allowed to have guns or not? It’s fundamental to our country to say that they should. I don’t think we accomplish much by drawing lines around what kinds of guns we are talking about.

“No matter what you have in your mind, to walk into a room of elementary school kids and say, ‘I’m now going to do this,’ isn’t there a moment when you look out and say, ‘What am I doing?’ We live in a society that is creating people who are beyond that, a large percentage of people who need pharmaceutical assistance to cope.”

That doesn’t mean a law to require people to take medication would solve the problem, either, Markley argued.

“Forcing people to take drugs is a strange thing for us to do in this society. One day it’s the wonder drug; four years later the study shows” otherwise, he said. “I’m very hesitant to take away individual choice.”


Post a Comment

Commenting has closed for this entry


posted by: lkulmann on December 15, 2012  9:00pm

What does gun control have anything to do with this incident? Please help me understand the logic of this type of thinking…the answer to this is writing a new law?  I’m scared…very scared at this response.

posted by: meritocratic on December 15, 2012  9:40pm

This tragedy has everything to do with gun control. This state has been strewn with the bodies of children and teenagers killed by guns. Too many guns, too many powerful, automatic weapons, are floating around. There’s no need for them. If there were fewer of them, there would be fewer deaths. Plain and simple. Senator Looney knows this, and we all know it. And even one life saved makes it worth the effort of stricter gun laws. Too bad Joe Markley ddoesn’teem to get the connection.  It seems heartless to me for him to continue to cite his constitutional right to bear arms.

We’re not talking about muskets here. You can blame our “sick society” and throw up your hands and not take responsible action. But in the wake of 20 little caskets, can you afford to pretend that we can’t do anything?

And while we’re on the subject of our “sick society” how about better mental healthcare access for those who are troubled and need help?  Or do we just wait for those suffering to commit crimes and then build another prison to house the offender?

posted by: Wildwest on December 15, 2012  10:26pm

I’m scared too lkulmann, this is a mental health issue and until we stop ignoring this issue we will see worse things happen.

posted by: Wildwest on December 15, 2012  10:34pm

I’m sorry, this is no way to break the Sabbath. Mental health is the issue PERIOD.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on December 15, 2012  10:54pm

After Massacre, Looney Vows Gun Control Fight.

He better start here.

The NRA’s Blood Money And Those Who Take It.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on December 16, 2012  4:32am

All societies have a certain percentage of deranged and disturbed people in them.

We are the only “civilized” society in which deranged or disturbed people can have their pick of military-level weapons, designed specifically to kill large numbers of human beings rapidly and almost effortlessly at a distance, with very little trouble, because such weapons, both legally and illegally acquired—and the ammunition to use them—are widely and easily available.

It is beyond denial that access to such efficient killing machines raises the stakes exponentially when a disturbed individual snaps or follows the well-known pattern of planning a spectacular self-immolation in which he brings down others with him.

After all, if these tools did not make it easier to kill, why would the gun enthusiasts be so attached to them?  If baseball bats or knives were as effective—if only “people,” not guns, were responsible for this harvest of death—then the NRA would be using its vast resources to promote high-quality kitchen knives and the latest military-level truncheons and spears.

Ever heard of a drive-by knifing?

It is extraordinary what warped logic people will use when they do not want to admit something obvious.

posted by: ElmJackCity on December 16, 2012  7:53am

In this state CRIMINALS use guns acquired illegally to kill people.  The guns used in Newtown were acquired the same way.  They were legally possessed by a 52 year old woman.  It doesn’t matter how many rounds a person can use it will not minimize the outcome or the devastation that the families feel or felt by the community.  Gun control is a ploy being used by politicians.  Last year in New Haven we had 34 murders?  Where was Looney and gun control then?  This is grandstanding at its finest.  Just put this in your head folks, in China this month a madman used a knife to cut and harm 20+ kids.  Is that any better?

posted by: ElmJackCity on December 16, 2012  8:00am

Something I’d also like to mention. 

1. It has been confirmed by state police that two pistols were used.  I don’t believe any legislation will pass that will outlaw pistols, nor would I support it. I find the general climate to be dangerous because of criminals and our police have their hands tied because of lawyers.

2. It is apparent to me that security at schools needs to be improved and taken with the utmost seriousness.

posted by: Kevin on December 16, 2012  10:54am

@ikulmann I’m scared, very scared that there are (presumably sane and adult) persons who do not see the relevance of gun control laws to this tragedy. Reasonable people can and do disagree on how the law should address gun ownership, but the obtuseness of your post is astonishing.

@MikeM this is clearly a mental health issue, but it is not merely a mental health issue. I have seen no evidence yet that the killer’s mother, who purchased the murder weapons, was herself mentally ill.

posted by: NOW what? on December 16, 2012  12:18pm

Those who claim that rational gun control would not result in a major decrease in these types of horrors are seriously and factually mistaken, as the overwhelming majority of THESE types of killings are perpetrated by people who have previously shown signs of psychiatric and/or psychological impairment - and with guns that, incredible as it may sound, they legally owned. It is *entirely* possible - and rational within our current Constitutional framework - to at LEAST create a gun-ownership registry; and to ban gun ownership and possession by those who have psychiatric illness, developmental disability, severe substance abuse disorders, those whose doctors and/or therapists believe their judgement to be at least temporarily impaired enough to justify it; and by those who have been convicted of a violent crime. The longer such rational controls remain absent in America, the longer the list of innocent victims will grow.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on December 16, 2012  12:24pm

“You can ban guns, and there will always be another kind of gun. The question ultimately comes down to: Should citizens be allowed to have guns or not?”


“It’s fundamental to our country to say that they should.”

-We can change that.  Violence and murder are awful foundations for a country.

“I don’t think we accomplish much by drawing lines around what kinds of guns we are talking about.”

-Let’s give it a try and find out, rather than tossing around speculation.

posted by: UNH Grad on December 16, 2012  1:33pm

Can someone explain to me how Glock and Sig pistols are “rapid-fire” weapons?

This is the problem, the people who are creating our gun laws have absolutely zero idea what they’re talking about, they’ve probably never even touched a gun.

I agree with many of the other people commenting here, this is mental health issue.  Its also a issue of school security, more importantly the lack thereof.  To paraphrase LT Col. Dave Grossman (Ret.) of the US Army;  You would never allow you children to attend a school without fire extinguishers, fire alarms and fire exits, but very few parents are calling for armed police officers in every school.  Why not?  Your children are way more likely to be hurt or killed by an armed assailant than they are to be hurt in a fire…

Look up his essay “On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs” if you’re interested in some perspective.

posted by: NOW what? on December 16, 2012  3:15pm

Jill_the_Pill - An outright ban on the personal ownership of guns is NOT necessary to significantly decrease the likelihood of *these* types of of horrendous crimes. But adopting MUCH more adequate *controls* that can actually PREVENT access to guns by mentally unbalanced, developmentally disabled, and substance abusing individuals - as well as those who have been convicted of violent crimes - IS necessary.

posted by: NOW what? on December 16, 2012  3:18pm

UNH grad - - You are apparently misinformed. While the shooter was in possession of MANY different types of firearms, it was actually his use of one or more rapid-fire, “assault” type weapons that resulted in the mass killings.

posted by: lkulmann on December 16, 2012  3:42pm

@Kevin…I think we should peacefully agree to disagree…its all good. Knock yourself out writing laws and I will advocate for all the Adam Lanzas in this State get the proper educational and mental healthcare interventions that he needed so these tragedies may be prevented. The mothers mental health is a non issue…btw. I’ll be looking out my window for the gun control enforcement team next to my son looking for Santa and his sleigh…

posted by: Claudia Herrera on December 16, 2012  5:50pm

Mayor Against Illegal Guns.
Blue Print for Federal action on illegal guns.

posted by: Mopar on December 16, 2012  8:14pm

NOW what? said: “it was actually his use of one or more rapid-fire, “assault” type weapons that resulted in the mass killings.”

Can you or someone else please explain to me exactly how or what made this particular rifle more “rapid-fire” then a pistol or hunting rifle?

posted by: William Kurtz on December 16, 2012  9:22pm

The moral and intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of the gun lobby and their apologists is staggering.

I could spend all day decimating the specious arguments offered in favor of gun “rights” but will just point out a few of the more vacuous ones on display here.

“It doesn’t matter how many rounds a person can use it will not minimize the outcome or the devastation that the families feel or felt by the community. “

You must be kidding. Let’s imagine Friday’s gun-wielding murderer had an old-fashioned, single-shot derringer and managed to shoot one person with it. Yes, I concede that the the devastation felt by the victim’s family would be the same, but there would be only one family grieving.

“In this state CRIMINALS use guns acquired illegally to kill people. “

Technically, I guess, correct. The guns were legally bought by the suspect’s mother is what I believe has been reported. Without exception, everyone in Newtown has said they feel safe there, that’s not the kind of place where “these things happen”. Yet this household had an arsenal, readily available to an apparently mentally-ill man.

But the Connecticut pattern is the exception, rather than the rule. In most of the high-profile mass shootings (insane that that phrase makes sense!) the guns were bought legally.

Just put this in your head folks, in China this month a madman used a knife to cut and harm 20+ kids.  Is that any better?

Yes. More accurately, 26 murdered people is worse than 21 injured people. That’s the difference between knives and guns; it takes a lot more time and effort to kill someone with a knife. Do you seriously not understand this?

posted by: anonymous on December 16, 2012  10:57pm

Even if the attacker had had two or three six shooters—the common police weapon, up until a few decades ago—the carnage would have been much lower.

There’s really no comparison between the firepower that we allow anyone to have, and what other nations do. The weapon principally used at Columbine, which fired around 100 shots, makes the first “machine guns” look like toy guns.  Go on Craigslist and you can buy one of them for yourself right now for cash, no questions asked.

Given that about 300 U.S. children under the age of 10 are killed every single year by these weapons, any hypothetical debate about whether any single incident involving a dead kindergartener or preschooler could have been prevented by a common sense regulation, or even by a better mental health system, seems to miss the point.

posted by: NOW what? on December 17, 2012  1:13am

“Mopar” - The particular rifle used for rapid mass murder in this case was a semi-automatic that is highly customizable (even grenade launchers can be bought for it) and uses high-capacity magazines. The bullets used in this particular individual’s magazine(s) were the type that are designed to expand and remain lodged in tissue in order to cause maximum damage. Each victim was shot multiple times rapid-fire. There is NO justifiable reason for such a weapon to be as readily and legally available to civilians as it is. HOWEVER, even *I* admit that the banning of such weapons would not, in and of itself, be enough… much greater efforts to keep ALL guns out of the hands of those who cannot or will not use them safely and otherwise appropriately must be undertaken.

William Kurz - I agree 100%. It’s time we cut through the B.S. and stop the cop-outs right in their tracks. We are not weak imbeciles, helpless before the NRA.

posted by: William Kurtz on December 17, 2012  9:27am

Anonymous wrote,
<blockquote>Given that about 300 U.S. children under the age of 10 are killed every single year by these weapons, any hypothetical debate about whether any single incident involving a dead kindergartener or preschooler could have been prevented by a common sense regulation, or even by a better mental health system, seems to miss the point.<blockquote>
Agreed. As horrifying as Friday’s mass-shooting is, it’s still an anomaly. The steady parade of smaller-scale killings: (negligent killings, mistaken killings, and unjustiable vigilante killings, and whatever you want to call this insanity is more than enough reason for decisive national action. I sincerely hope we’re not “helpless before the NRA.” Maybe it’s time for gun-control advocates to become single-issue voters, just like the gun “enthusiasts”.

posted by: Teacher in New Haven on December 17, 2012  10:18am

This is an issue of guns and of mental health.

We have no reasonable system to help, and in some cases institutionalize, the severely mentally ill in our state.  I understand that no one wants to go back to the institutions of the 50s, but our current system is simply unworkable.

Guns however are also the problem.  High capacity magazines, and modern semi-automatic weapons allow a person to fire slightly fewer rounds in a minute as a thompson sub-machine gun did in the 20s.

The M4 Carbine for example can fire all of the rounds in its magazine in under a minute even when limited to semi-automatic fire.

This was a weapon that his mother would not have been able to buy under the Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.  Fewer bullets, and slower firing saves lives.

posted by: Kevin on December 17, 2012  10:27am


Thank you for your response.

We agree on the need to provide proper educational and mental health care interventions; the issue will be coming up with the funding to provide them.

My point in raising the mother’s mental health was that the scope of the tragedy was the result of a quite probably deranged man having ready access to military-style weapons. That access was in part the result of laws that permit people who are not mentally ill or criminals to buy weapons whose capacity to kill far exceeds traditional hunting weapons.

posted by: luckyykid on December 17, 2012  10:52am

Creating a war on guns will work just as well as creating a war on drugs.  There are too many guns already in the country, and outlawing them will only make law abiding citizens disarm themselves while the criminals will keep and continue to acquire guns.  The answer is not in limiting guns, but more guns.  Arm the teachers.

posted by: member on December 17, 2012  11:59am

Fellow School Parent,

  I hear everyone already saying they better increase security, they better do this and they better do that.
You can’t just say it, you have to demand it. Call, write, go to the BOE meeting and YELL it. This is a, what
they refer to as a war on terror. Terror that is being brought to our communities and against our most
our most important resource, our children. sSo if you"re not happy with what they do for us , we fire them,
Now remember who is responsible for protecting our children besides their parents, work for us, all of them.
Everyone from the superintendent of schools to the president of the United States. Well how do you fire these
people you ask? It’s easy, you don’t vote for them. Remember the BOE is an elected body, elected by us the
voting tax payer. I hear things like, a police officer is expensive to have at every school, it’s expensive and
labor intensive to fortify classroom doors. Really? Are you kidding me? I ask you what are 20 six and seven year
old children’s lives worth? I’m personally putting all those people responsible for keeping our children safe on
notice as of right now! Protect our children at any cost! Or as Donald Trump says “Your Fired” This will be our
Battle Cry, This will be our Call to Arms.

Thank You,
Gary W. Cole

posted by: JohnTulin on December 17, 2012  12:18pm

So, Gary Cole from Northford, just to be clear - you’re blaming the teachers and staff at the school for this?

posted by: member on December 17, 2012  12:56pm

In no way, my god no. What those teachers did was super heroic I’m a officer on the New Haven Fire department and today those teachers are my heros. You can never stop an evil person from carrying out their evil deed Something like Newtown is unpreventable. Added layers I’m refering to. To prevent what you can. I alot about forcible entry if you add a $10 slide bolt to the outward swinging doors required on every classroom you have pretty much a fortified safe room. Take my word you’d need a power saw and a hell of alot of time. Things like these would cetainly save lives. But budgets get tight all i’m saying is spare no expense to protect our children

posted by: UNH Grad on December 17, 2012  3:23pm

@NOW What

Direct quote from the article:
“The shooter apparently carried two handguns on him that are legal in Connecticut: a Sig Sauer and a Glock, a rapid-fire gun used by cops.”

This was the root of my statement.  A Sig Sauer and Glock are not “rapid-fire” weapons.  They are semi-automatic handguns.  Semi-Automatic, which means they fire one shot each time the trigger is pulled without having to manipulate the action of the weapon to cycle another round.  It does NOT mean they are machine guns.

I assume that you are referring to the Bushmaster .223 as the alleged “assault weapon.”  The operation of that weapon is no different than that of one of the aforementioned handguns.  You pull the trigger once, one round comes out.  The weapon is longer, and perhaps scarier looking, but it is not to be confused with a machine gun, which is illegal to own without a very difficult-to-obtain federal tax stamp.

Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 943 Section 53-202a defines an “assault weapon” under state law.  If you were to compare it with the former federal “assault weapons” ban, you would find they were near to exactly identical.  Basically put, the federal ban may have expired, but the Connecticut law has not, assault weapons, as defined under that statute, are STILL illegal in Connecticut.  This leads to 1 of 2 conclusions:

1.  The shooter had a real assault weapon, which was illegal to possess in the State of Connecticut, so no weapons ban in the world would have helped prevent that.

2.  The weapon, scary as it may look, did not meet the qualifications to be listed as an assault weapon in the State of Connecticut, and therefore the weapon was legal to possess, unless illegally modified in some way.

Calling those weapons “rapid fire” is at best a misunderstanding of terms, at worse a fallacy to further an agenda.  Either way, a little research would go a long way.

posted by: William Kurtz on December 17, 2012  3:37pm

UNH Grad,

I apologize on behalf of all the bleeding-heart liberals for not taking the time to pore obsessively over back issues of Guns ‘n More Guns, to understand the subtle differences among the infinite variety of firearms, so that we might reach across the small unimportant chasms that divide us politically and reach some consensus on the meaning of the words ‘rapid fire’.

I actually did do some checking when you first disputed the words ‘rapid fire’ and read that a Glock’s rate of fire is largely dependent on the skill and strength of the shooter but that the clip could reasonably be emptied in a couple of seconds. Seems ‘rapid’ enough to me.

posted by: NOW what? on December 17, 2012  4:07pm

UNH Grad - I know fully well of the differences between the models and types of guns and ammo involved, and now just about everyone else in the modern and “civilized” world knows as well. If you truly believe that such “explanations” as yours will somehow ultimately help prevent needed increased regulation of semi-automatics, or confuse anybody about the meaning of “rapid-fire,” your are GROSSLY mistaken.

posted by: member on December 17, 2012  5:42pm

I will never say I know very much about guns but I have owned bot a Glock and a Bushmaster .223 and I own a Mossberg 12 gauge pump shotgun. One thing I can certainly attest to being on the New Haven Fire Department for 15 years is they all kill just the same and as quickly as the other. This event is unpreventable as I said earlier. Guns do not kill people, people kill people 9mm,40 caliber, .223 or 12 gauge ask any Dr. in the O.R. and they will tell you one person has never been deader then the other. You could put a mote with alligators around a school and evil and I say evil because a sick person kills yes but it take a pure evil being to look down the rail of any gun and put not only one but 20 children ages 6 and 7 in the site and take their life. No Dr.,Therapist or medication could stop that.You will never stop a person hell bent on killing someone from killing someone, whether it’s with a butter knife or a 50 caliber and trust me I’ve seen them both and everything in between. All we can do is to be proactive in preventing more death when something like this begins, that includes educating and drilling everyone in the schools to react in the best way they been trained to do to keep themselves and our children from being harmed. Now don’t get me wrong you can’t lock them in a cage to teach them but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent more killings.

posted by: Nathan on December 17, 2012  7:15pm

There is understandably a great deal of passion involved in the aftermath of recent events for those who seek to increase the safety in society by preventing mass murders.  That does not, however, remove the burden of clear headed thinking and expression with real facts about the various factors involved, including types of legal weapons, approaches to regulation/registration, evaluation of previous assumptions about the security of public schools and other buildings, and a deep and wide discussion regarding mental health issues and treatment options and availability.  Simply put, yelling out positions on the gun control debate and claiming that opposing views are made by idiots/savages/left wing hippies/right wing war mongers, etc. will accomplish nothing more than perhaps providing a needed vector for releasing emotion, but at the expense of making one potentially look foolish.  This is a complex set of issues that should receive proper evaluation and consideration by both private experts and the public at large.

posted by: streever on December 17, 2012  11:25pm

Gary Cole
A. You take the same tactic that many gun enthusiasts do: only those who shoot guns regularly may speak on the issue. That is what your argument requires. However, those of us who value human life may indeed speak. We don’t need to be “experts” in shooting people to speak about violence.
B. Your argument as to the efficacy of guns counters nicely your assertion as to your expertise. If, indeed, a gun is a gun, and no one gun is more dangerous than another, why do we keep modifying and changing guns? Would you send soldiers into a war with BARs from the 50s? 6 shooter revolvers instead of rifles? Would you legalize rocket launchers for private citizens? After all, a weapon is a weapon, in your “expert” opinion.

posted by: Chip on December 18, 2012  3:43am

Strict gun control works in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan and most of the developed world. In Dunblane Scotland, 1996, 16 elementary school children were slaughtered. It remains one of the worst criminal acts involving firearms in the history of the UK. As a result private ownership of handguns was made illegal in the UK. UK now has about 35 to 45 gun murders a year. The US has that many in a day. Japan has virtually eliminated shooting deaths with world’s strictest gun laws - avg about 2 deaths per year! Time for us to take same action!!!

posted by: debooth823 on December 18, 2012  5:54am

It is not about gun control it is about treatment for those that are mentally handicapped. My heart goes out to the families of those killed but the issue is about the boy or man whichever you may call him that took their lives. We do not need gun control we need mental illness control. Those of you who do not know me I am in school for criminal justice and have graduated with an 3.98 average but my heart is with the children of this situation those who died and those who have lived through it. Take care of them and get them the help that they will need to get through this PTSD is not only for those in the military. Catherine Hubbard will live in my heart forever for it is my grandmothers maiden name.

posted by: NOW what? on December 18, 2012  9:53am

debooth823 - This is about *both* gun control - RATIONAL gun *control* - and mental health policy. By its very nature, this means two things: 1) keeping killing machines that were originally designed for the military to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible out of the hands of civilians, and 2) keeping ALL guns out of the hands of any and all people who are genuinely mentally and/or emotionally unstable (including substance abusers), cognitively impaired, and/or prone to violent behavior.

You of all people - a criminal justice student - should know this and *need* to know this. I have worked in the field of public mental health for many, many years, know many chiefs of police and their officers - some of whom have been and are family members of mine - and I live in a community where gun ownership is VERY popular. I know of NO police officer - nor anyone in my community - who disagrees with ANYTHING that I’ve written here. And in spite of the type of community that I live in, I don’t know ANYONE who owns such outrageously dangerous weapons as the Bushmaster - traditional pistols for self-protection and traditional (single-shot) rifles for hunting, yes, but NOTHING like the Bushmaster… because they are not insane. People who “admire” such weaponry should learn to do so by reading about them in military hardware encyclopedias rather than actually owning them.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on December 18, 2012  10:04am


When you write “We do not need gun control we need mental illness control,” you imply that the 12,000 annual gun homicides committed by sane people are acceptable to you.  Is that really what you believe?

posted by: OhHum on December 18, 2012  1:36pm

The best estimate is that there are 300 million firearms in America. If taken care of properly they will be operable a century from now. Most will sit in homes and never be fired, saved as some kind of collectable. Others will be used for hunting, target practice and shooting competitions. A very small amount of firearms will be used to commit homicides. No amount is acceptable. We have laws against owning illegal firearms. They don’t appear to work. We have gun free zones, laws that tell us where and when we can carry guns.Most of us obey them. A very few don’t. I’d venture to guess that if we repealed the 2nd amendment and outlawed guns in America there would still be homicides with firearms. There is something terribly wrong with the fabric of America and that is what has to be looked at right now. Why are we bringing this mayhem upon ourselves. Are we broken and can’t be fixed? I don’t believe so. However, we truly need to find the source(s) of the problem(s) and work on them. Fast. We have National Commissions for everything else. Why not this? Perhaps in the meantime we ban “assault style” weapons and large capacity clips. Harden schools with better doors and safe rooms for students, etc. Require the same types of checks at gun shows that there are for states like CT. Will this help to stop the killing? I think you all know the answer. And it will be different for all of us.