When will the gun madness stop?

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Tucson was a disaster, a tragedy, possibly a result of overheated political rhetoric driving a deranged man to action. It was also the result of a national culture that makes it too easy to obtain a powerful weapon.

I looked at the top three stories on SFGATE this afternoon, and here they are:

1. More on the Tucson shootings.

2. 96-year-old woman and grandson shot to death in Livermore.

3. Man shot in Tenderloin coffee shop.

I know, the Chron loves to lead with mayhem, but seriously: That's a lot of dead people for one day. And you can't shoot someone if you don't have a gun. You wonder when this madness will ever end.

 

 

Comments

If just one person attending the Gifford function had been carrying, Loughner could have been taken out after the first shot, and 19 other people would not have been shot.

If you want to throw out the Constitution, Tim, then good luck to you. But gun control never stopped a bad guy getting his hands on a gun.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 14, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

A semi-automatic pistol with 30 rounds in its clip fired by someone with lethal intent means that even if everyone around Giffords was armed and trained, the same amount of people (if not more) would have been shot. By the time I unholstered my weapon, drew, aimed, fired--same number of casualties. If not more--ask anyone that's ever been in a war zone what happens when shooting of any kind actually starts, not the kind you see (and believe to be real) in a film.

A few things--supply side economics are a proven failure. Not every single subject on the planet is an assault on the Republican party. The proliferation of handguns means more gun violence and not less by reason of simple arithmetic.

And most importantly, brush your teeth and wash your face before you kiss your mom--I doubt she likes the scent of Rush's ass as much as you do.

Posted by Matty on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 10:48 am

Actually, two of the heroes who subdued that murderer were carrying concealed weapons. But they never got a chance to draw and fire.

Posted by Grim Griefer on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 12:11 am

if someone in the crowd had been packing, s/he might have taken the gun out, started shooting, and killed more innocent bystanders. There is no reason for civilized folk to own guns. Not. One. Reason. The constitution is a living document, something we have changed over the course of time. Do you still think African-Americans should be valued at 3/5 of a caucasian? I believe that would be the literal reading. Guns need to go. There's no argument for them.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 6:36 am

The Tucson incident is a perfect example of why civilized people should have the right to own and carry a gun.

The bad guys have guns and gun control will never stop them getting firearms. Disarming the good guys will make thigns worse, not better.

And you may have no respect for the Constitution but you speak for nobody but yourself.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 9:22 am

totaly agree

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2011 @ 9:21 am

Ummm, wow.

So that means that we can vote your rights away?

With the constitution we should expand the rights of Americans. Not limit them to sooth the feelings of so called liberals.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (who is the exact opposite of liberal) wrote a ruling in 2008 that stated of the Second Amendment "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

In short, the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that "laws imposing conditions and qualifications" is Constitutional.

So, don't lay your beef on "liberals", your actual beef should be aimed at conservatives like Justice Scalia who ruled in 2008 that essentially all gun control laws are constitutional.

Posted by check the facts, not liberals, but the conservatives on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

What I don't know, but you win.

As long as we are free associating...

Wasn't it Mark Leno who said there was all kinds of illegal gun dealing at the Cow Palace gun shows in his attempt to ban gun shows? Unknown to law enforcement in Daly City it seems.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

Everyone knows that you can buy any gun at a gun show. And if not in the Bay Area then go up to Modoc County or, for that matter, Nevada.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

You're confused about the law.

The 2nd Amendment is entirely consistent with banning felons from having guns, just like the laws on marriage still forbid marrying by siblings, children, threesomes and (at least for now) people of the same gender.

The idea of a right does not mean that there aren't exceptions but rather that those exceptions have to be clearly and constitutionally in the public interest.

What is more interesting about the gun laws that we have is that they are focused almost entirely on who can sell you a gun and procedures they have to follow, i.e. gun dealers.

The laws don't generally apply to owning, borrowing or gifting a firearm, only on the sale of them. And of course, if you are a felon who wants a gun, you can just get someone else to buy it for you, lend it to you, or you can steal it, of course.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

A crazy man went and drove over a bunch of people a couple of years ago, yet nobody suggest taking drivers licenses away or denying them to mentally unstable people?

Posted by TedBike3000 on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 9:42 am

It is the Amerigun way.

We are by far the most violent country in the industrialized world.

And easy accesss to guns is the reason.

Posted by Barton on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 10:25 am

Easy access to guns doesn't necessarily mean high levels of violent crime. One only has to look at the country of Switzerland to figure this out. The Swiss have most likely the highest level of gun ownership in the world but have an extremely low level of violent crime. Why are the Swiss citizens able to have access to such a high level of firepower without blowing each other away?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

Take one look at the U.S. government's use of weapons and military might, and it's constant news media and film barrage to U.S. citizens justifying weapons and war as the way to solve problems, and it is easy to see why the Swiss have guns but not near the level of violence we have.

However this is still not justification for continuing to allow personal guns, which inherently cause far more problems than they solve.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

When guns are policed by the state, only the police state will have guns.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

Yer issued a rifle and a box of bullets at 18, because they have no standing military.

Not a zillion handguns modified to wipe out crowds.

Posted by Matty on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

Clarification, at this time there are most likely over 500,000 military weapons stored in the homes of Swiss citizens. These are not just ordinary rifles, they are full blown machine guns and yes they use high capacity magazines. These weapons certainly could be used to wipe out crowds. Just what sets the Swiss people apart from us Americans?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

It's a standard issue firearm.

And in fact a 9mm isn't particularly effective. Giffords was shot point blank in the head and she survived. A .38 or .45 would have blow half her head off from that range.

A 9mm, even though lethal in this case, often doesn't stop a large man or men rushing towards you. A larger caliber is needed to lower blood pressure and induce hydrostatic shock.

It is no coincidence here that the dead were all very old or very young. It's not little 9mm guns that are the problem, which is why the cops or military rarely use them either.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 16, 2011 @ 9:10 am

Causality is so entertaining, or the lack of.

The British have a fair amount of rifles laying around for hunting and have a history of a military that runs amok.

There is something going on other than the "American foreign policy made me do it" world view of American "liberal."

It's interesting, right wing radio loudmouth idiots makes crazy people run amok and kill, while thug culture doesn't.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

The British government has made it almost impossible for their citizens to acquire and own firearms of any kind. After the new restrictive guns laws were put into place and most all of the British people surrendered their previously legal to own firearms an interesting development occurred. "CRIMES INVOLVING GUNS WENT UP".

Posted by Guest on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

There are as far as I know still shooting clubs and rifle owners about. With progressive logic at hand we could infer that in 1900 people in England would be killing each other at thousands a day.

American culture is at fault for our gun crimes, and its not about our foreign policy.

It may have something to do with the myths of the west...

...but more likely something to do with the drug culture and those who enable that.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

The British military no longer runs amok, the poodle stays indoors without explicit permission from the Pentagon to go outside.

The US military budget is greater than that of the rest of the world combined and the record of US violent military interventions is still being written.

See Ward Churchill "The Most Peace Loving of Nations" for a documented record: http://books.google.com/books?id=ygjmHruT2swC&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=ward+c...

This industrial scale violence perpetrated by our government with our tax dollars contributes significantly to the violence in our culture.

Call it American Exceptionalism unless you hate the US.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Jan. 16, 2011 @ 11:17 am

"A survey for the period 1998–2000 compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranked South Africa second for assault and murder (by all means) per capita and first for rapes per capita in a data set of 60 countries.[6] Total crime per capita was 10th out of the 60 countries in the dataset."

Other such countries using your criteria should have little violent crime, not be out pacing us.

You should take a stab at books written by real historians and sociologists.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 16, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

You ignore the fact that about half the USA gun deaths are suicides, and those suicides tend to be concentrated in states with high gun ownership. Switzerland has high gun ownership (as does Finland) and both these countries are at the top of suicide rates. The fact is that when you also count high suicide rates, gun ownership equates to high gun death rates in industrialized countries like both the USA and Switzerland.

That said, the USA is different than Switzerland in that we have vastly more handguns per capita. Switzerland tends to have more rifles.

Posted by check the facts on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

In Switzerland, all thos guns are held (at home) by current and former soliders of the Swiss military. They are trained to use weapons.

Any training in Amerigun?

No. You need a license to drive a car, but not to own a Glock pistol.

Get it now?

Posted by Barton on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 11:48 am

I'm not sure about other states, but in California before you are allowed to purchase a handgun you must pass a test and acquire a Department of Justice Handgun Certificate. After you purchase a handgun there is a ten day waiting period to allow for a comprehensive background check. When you return to the handgun dealer you are required to demonstrate that you can operate you newly acquired handgun safely. However I completely agree, all gun owners should be required to attend live fire training courses with an emphasis on gun safety.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

First off, many States don't require licenses for guns any more than they require licenses for household applaiances.

Second, even in a State with a license requirement, it is only for gun dealers at the point of sale. If you acquire a gun privately, or out-of-State, there is no licensing requirement.

Posted by Tom on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

Gun Control is what the Democrats do to commit political suicide, to distract public anger into ancillary measures that do nothing to eradicate the state sponsored violence that creates the climate for criminal gun use.

Whenever the Democrat political elites and media machine scream in shrill uniformity the same message, we need to be learning to move in the opposite direction because they are leading us off of the cliff.

A successful push for gun control, even something reasonable like long clips, will result in the Senate moving further to the right in 2012 and not keep anyone much safer.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Jan. 15, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

I live in EU and most of the countries on this side of the ocean do not allow civillians to carry weapons.

And that is for the best I guess. The argument that states that if good guys have weapons they can kill the bad guys is just naif and childish.

The reason why it is so easy for "bad guys" to grab a firearm is because they are so easy to get in the first place! Just go to youtube and search for kids shooting firearms at stuff and the amount of US made videos will creep you out. If it doesn't, I'm sorry but you don't belong in this millennia.

A firearm is an incredible piece of design capable of giving a single individual the possibility of creating injury in such an easy way as never before seen in the history of mankind. And since the "good guys - bad guys" concept exist only on dreamland and Bruckheimer movies any human being is capable of using a gun in a wrong way at least one time in their lifes! May it be to defend a relative from a supposed threat, that wasn't actually, to a rage burst.

And even if you carry, when you see, i.e., a teenager pointing something that looks like a gun in a middle of a crowd your first instinct is to pull your gun out of the holster, put the safety off, point it correctly being secure that no other people will be hit and scream "Freeeze"?!?! Then you should be on a police force, since even so many of them, who are trained for that, sometimes cannot cope with the events.

Posted by Bran on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 5:38 am

I live in EU and most of the countries on this side of the ocean do not allow civillians to carry weapons.

And that is for the best I guess. The argument that states that if good guys have weapons they can kill the bad guys is just naif and childish.

The reason why it is so easy for "bad guys" to grab a firearm is because they are so easy to get in the first place! Just go to youtube and search for kids shooting firearms at stuff and the amount of US made videos will creep you out. If it doesn't, I'm sorry but you don't belong in this millennia.

A firearm is an incredible piece of design capable of giving a single individual the possibility of creating injury in such an easy way as never before seen in the history of mankind. And since the "good guys - bad guys" concept exist only on dreamland and Bruckheimer movies any human being is capable of using a gun in a wrong way at least one time in their lifes! May it be to defend a relative from a supposed threat, that wasn't actually, to a rage burst.

And even if you carry, when you see, i.e., a teenager pointing something that looks like a gun in a middle of a crowd your first instinct is to pull your gun out of the holster, put the safety off, point it correctly being secure that no other people will be hit and scream "Freeeze"?!?! Then you should be on a police force, since even so many of them, who are trained for that, sometimes cannot cope with the events.

Posted by Bran on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 5:39 am

...law abiding citizens should be left alone, of which 99% of gun owners are.

I do agree that fantasies of stopping crime in its tracks by gun owners is a bit much.

On the other hand look up Suzanna Hupp, author of "From Luby's to the Legislature: One Woman's Fight Against Gun Control". I've never read it but it looks quite entertaining.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 17, 2011 @ 8:28 am

To all the Robo-Sheep liberals whining about gun rights and the wackos that use them to kill others. I bet every last cent that I have, that you have and every last ounce of gold in Ft. Know that I can lay a loaded .45 ACP on my kitchen table, a loaded AK-47 on my bedroom dresser and a Bazooka in my spare bedroom and none of those weapons will ever, ever, EVER jump up all be themselves and shoot somebody. Any takers on that bet? That's what I thought.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 3:49 am

Ah, yes, of course. Guns don't jump up and shoot people and cars don't drive themselves and run over people.

In short, what the hell are you talking about?

Posted by Barton on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 11:54 am

How embarassing! The United States is supposed to be ranked first in everything. And yet we are only the 8th most violent country in the world. We need more guns so we can pass South Africa/Colombia. Just because we are not fighting a civil war is no excuse.

Gun homicide death rate:
# 1 South Africa: 0.719782 per 1,000 people
# 2 Colombia: 0.509801 per 1,000 people
# 3 Thailand: 0.312093 per 1,000 people
# 4 Zimbabwe: 0.0491736 per 1,000 people
# 5 Mexico: 0.0337938 per 1,000 people
# 6 Belarus: 0.0321359 per 1,000 people
# 7 Costa Rica: 0.0313745 per 1,000 people
# 8 United States: 0.0279271 per 1,000 people
# 9 Uruguay: 0.0245902 per 1,000 people
# 10 Lithuania: 0.0230748 per 1,000 people

Posted by Barton on Jan. 18, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

I'm sorry but "Matty" has to be the most ill informed person on this page handguns with 30 round "clips"? Zillions of handguns "modified to wipe out crowds"? Hahaha. Then there is this nonsense about suicides being concentrated in states with high gun ownership, please, you are trying to tell me that no gun = no suicide? Hahaha x 2 as I'd there were absolutely no other way to die.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2011 @ 12:24 am

When will the gun madness stop? Probably never. But we can cut down on it if we're willing to address the problem head on. The problem? too many guns, Too easy access. Because of this, once or twice a year we watch that great American tradition, the public massacre of a whole bunch of people by someone who should not have had access to a gun. California (for instance) has some of the tightest screening laws in the country. I've been through them. Basically, it's like Swiss cheese, some help but a lot of holes. Most of the people committing these atrocities would not be screened out by California's system, for instance. I've watched for decades while our leaders in DC (including people I vote for like Senators Boxer and Feinstein) have avoided addressing this head-on. I've had enough so I'm running for Congress to submit appropriate Resolution and Legislation as often as necessary to Repeal the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, including the Second Amendment. Along with collected links to articles and lead comments urging repeal, the resolution and legislation are at http://www.mjbarkl.com/run.htm .
Join me. Run for Congress. Fix this.
Best wishes, --Mike

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 11:44 am