Southern Brooklyn

Do All Our Guns Make Us Any Safer?

A Bushmaster AR-15, one of the three firearms the Newtown killer used to ambush his defenseless victims. Source: barryt83 / Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: When I wrote my first column about gun violence in the wake of the fatal Columbine shootings years ago, I knew it wouldn’t be the last. Similar incidents happened before and were likely to happen again. I’ve written seven since then. Here’s number eight.

By now, I thought, Congress would at least have set stricter federal standards to reduce the chance of it recurring. Sensible, necessary laws are passed to ensure public safety with speed limits, penalties to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, in addition to requiring licenses, registrations and, in most states, insurance for motor vehicles. But when it comes to guns, the attitude is far too restrained.

In and around the annual commemorations to the victims of 9/11, the inevitable question is: “Do we feel safer?” That query relates to potential terrorist attacks. However, after last week’s slaughter of 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that question is also pertinent to our glut of guns. Americans own an estimated 300,000,000 of them.

Are we any safer? When people are massacred in small town schools and movie theaters, is there any safe haven from potential tragedy?

The US may be the freest country on earth, but, due to many citizens’ obsession with firearms, it also is the most violent. Gun deaths and gun-related violence in the US are at epidemic levels. An estimated 34 Americans are murdered with guns every day. The Centers for Disease Control reported that, in 2011, guns resulted in the deaths of 31,347 Americans. After 11 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, combat deaths for US troops are 6,653.

Newtown. Oak Creek. Aurora. Tucson. Fort Hood. Virginia Tech. Columbine. Those are not battlefields, but rather places of senseless carnage.

More people die in shootings than in drunk driving accidents. Tougher laws have reduced the latter number over the past 30 years, thanks to the grass roots commitment of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Perhaps tougher laws and other restrictions will reduce gun deaths.

Many elected representatives are indebted to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) campaign donations and veiled threats to unseat them if they oppose the gun lobby, so sensible restrictions are ignored and slaughter by guns happens again and again and again. The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, with each victim shot multiple times, may have changed that.

The influential gun lobby has spent years building a pool of pro-gun lawmakers, an extensive grassroots network and a political money arm that has made gun control legislation nearly untouchable. It’s time for the NRA to concede on tougher, stricter laws to help reduce the excess of violence that seems to exacerbate with each incident.

After 9/11, controversial laws limiting our civil liberties and increased travel security were enacted and accepted to enhance public safety. Yet, the NRA persistently opposes regulations that would likely boost public safety if there was a ban on weapons only meant to kill and maim.

In the aftermath of mass shootings, gun control is routinely debated and some politicians offer knee-jerk pleas for gun control. But, as the sadness and the echo of the gunfire fades, so does the call for action.

Maybe this time there’s hope.

The crucial part of President Obama’s speech Sunday night in Newtown was when he said, “These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change… No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”

The president was virtually silent on the gun debate after the Aurora, Colorado incident last summer. He skirted the issue in the midst of the presidential campaign, not wanting to alienate those who support that controversial issue.

To hell with the NRA! The time to stop another national debate on gun control is at hand. No speeches, no debate. We need an earnest, bipartisan Congressional effort to curb the madness. I used the word “curb” because, sadly, it will never stop, even with new laws. They can start with a categorical ban on semi-automatic weapons. We have to do our utmost to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths from these hand-held weapons of mass destruction.

Ban assault weapons. Ban high-capacity magazine clips. Limit the sale of bullets. Require thorough background checks for every gun transaction, especially at gun shows and for private sales. Mandate a 72-hour waiting period to complete all gun sales.

There is neither a single basis for gun murders nor a single solution. But, one of the most obvious is passage of the Fix Gun Checks Act, a bill languishing in Congress that is supported by police organizations and 700 mayors across the country, from urban centers to rural towns, like Newtown. It would ensure that the record of every person already prohibited from possessing a gun is in the background check database and that a background check is conducted on every gun sale.

The NRA, its members and supporters can no longer hide behind their self-serving interpretation of the Second Amendment. While it gives the right to bear arms to a “well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” even reading between the lines, it doesn’t vaguely suggest that citizens have the unfettered right to possess a weapon.

Due to our lax attitude toward guns, the 26 people massacred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School were deprived of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That alone should be enough to motivate Congress to act and endorse meaningful gun laws or, to put it in more politically correct terms, common sense gun safety legislation.

If not now, when? How many more have to die?

As long as these senseless tragedies continue to happen, I’ll continue to condemn our nation’s inability to do something about stricter weapons regulation — until they take my keyboard from my cold dead hands.


After the NRA Executive Vice President came down from his sniper’s nest, or wherever he calls home, to hold a press conference on December 21 and appearance on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, I added the following remarks:

At the press conference a week after the Sandy Hook massacre, he refused to take questions from the press, but Wayne LaPierre gave new meaning to NRA: “NO RATIONAL ANSWERS!”

His response to the senseless slaughter in Newtown was more guns and armed guards in every school.

Brilliant. What’s next, bullet-proof vests for kids?

In noting that we protect our money, our airports, our communities etc., with armed personnel, he reinforced the Second Amendment’s reference to “well-regulated militia” — not the NRA’s interpretation for gun ownership for every citizen.

He also criticized and blamed the news media and entertainment industry for exposing children to an excess of violence, yet clearly overlooked the First Amendment right to free expression. However, his organization relentlessly cites the Second Amendment as justification for unrestricted gun ownership.

While there was a window of opportunity for the NRA to make a concession or two for some common sense solutions, such as supporting background checks at gun shows and a ban of semi-automatic assault weapons, instead, LaPierre stuck to his guns, then shot itself in the foot, when it called for armed guards in every school in America.

It’s time for conscientious gun owners, the group’s members and Congress to denounce LaPierre and the NRA as it blithely refuses to recognize that the nation’s gun culture has led to an unacceptable slaughter of innocents.

Two days after he spoke to the media, LaPierre had a touchy interview with David Gregory on “Meet the Press.” The two debated over LaPierre’s call for armed guards in every school and other gun control issues.

LaPierre stood by his passionate argument against new gun laws and his contentious recommendation to have armed guards America’s schools. He also added: “If it’s crazy to call for putting police in our schools… to protect our children, then call me crazy! …It’s the one thing that would keep people safe, and the NRA is going to try to do that.”

Meanwhile, on “Face the Nation,” NRA President David Keene told host Bob Schieffer that the NRA “will continue to oppose a ban on semiautomatic weapons.”

I only took a few psychology classes in college, but if Wayne LaPierre believes a school guard with a handgun has a chance in hell to take down a well-armed intruder before he kills or wounds others, then he is crazy or just another sicko obsessed with guns.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy New Year to the regular and occasional readers of this column, and thanks to Ned, Robert and the staff for allowing me the space to offer my two-cents worth on Sheepshead Bites for the last year.

Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Comment policy


  1. It is often said that only lunatics commit mass murders with
    guns. Then why not have yearly mandatory psychiatric exams for all gun owners?
    It seems that we only identify these “lunatics” after the murders. It has to be
    more cost effective than armed guards everywhere.

  2. Sadly, as with most serious matters, there is no simple or quick solution. However, how about this as one of the solutions…..
    If anyone commits a crime with a gun and is convicted of the crime, sentancing for the crime begins AFTER a mandatory 20 years (no plea bargain, no reduction, no paroll) is served for COMMITTING THE CRIME WITH A GUN. No exceptions!

    Now, what has been done is penalizing the CRIMINAL and perhaps discouraging any future crimes committed by CRIMINALS. Law abiding citizens, by definition, will always abide by laws…..including gun laws. The CRIMINAL does not, by definition.

    Yes, we need strong regulation. But regulation that affects the CRIMINAL and not the Law abiding citizen. Banning guns requires a LAW and only law abiding citizens will honor the law. Criminals are very happy about gun laws. THEY don’t have to abide by them.

    Redundant…..yes. Valid point…..yes. Will it solve all problems?…..No….but it’s a good start in the right direction.

    I am an NRA member and gun owner………and Law abiding citizen.

  3. Another good start is banning semiautomatic weapons, whose only purpose is to kill another human being. THAT would be a great start to the New Year!

  4. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and the highest gun related crime statistics as well. Doesn’t seem to be working too well. Now California wants to issue a compulsory gun buy back program, and Gov Cuomo is looking to do the same. As mentioned before, criminals do not care about laws. Law abiding citizens do. How does disarming good, law abiding citizens solve the problem? It doesn’t. How does giving up our Constitutional rights ensure our Liberty? Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner…. Liberty is 2 wolves and a WELL ARMED lamb voting on what’s for dinner!!

  5. Your absolutely right; unfortunately the writers this blog-news outlet chooses are really hardcore socialist boot liking scum. Pay attention people, your 2nd Amendment isn’t for target practice and hunting!!!!!!! I refer everyone to the Federalist Paper at 184-8.

  6. Hitler, Mao, and Stalin all agree! Gun control works! Enjoy being a defenseless slave, thinking that the police and military are here to keep you safe. The only mark of a free man, is his disposition to the ownership of firearms; those who do not understand the blood which was shed for the Bill of Rights, will be doomed to suffer under the hand of the same ruling elites, our founders fought. Enjoy your re-education interment camp:

  7. Except any weapons are readily available in any county surrounding Cook County (Chicago). Town of Webster, NY did not have any ban, however.

  8. I can’t talk for Mr. Friedman, but sure, I like boots! I wear them all winter long. What’s wrong with that?
    I also like hardcore (when the wife is not around). Also, I guess I am a Socialist as defined by the Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

    So why should we pay any attention to you, again?

  9. You do realize what a “Semi-Automatic” weapon is correct? It appears not. A semi-auto firearm still only fires one round per each trigger pull. That means I have to pull the trigger 10 different times to fire 10 different rounds. Nearly all pistols sold today are semi-automatic weapons, not just the Bushmaster AR-15’s that they scare people with on the news. A little .38 caliber pistol is also a “semi-automatic” firearm.

    A automatic weapon will fire at least 3 rounds per trigger pull. These firearms are typically reserved for our military and law enforcement and are illegal in most of the United States.

    In your case, you wish to ban all personal protection pistols for law abiding citizens. A shotgun is not semi- or fully-automatic, yet in most cases it can fire a more deadly round than a lot of semi-automatic pistols.

    I agree something needs to be done. First, we must enforce the laws already on the books. We need to ensure that criminals do not posses firearms, We need to ensure that those with mental issues do not posses firearms nor their caretakers or anyplace that they live or spend a lot of time at. The background checks need to be revamp to ensure these things happen. All FULLY automatic weapons need to be off the streets. Although in most of these mass shootings no FULLY automatic weapon has been used and they are already illegal to posses in most circumstances.

    The assault weapons ban was in effect when the Columbine shooting occurred. The weapon bans don’t really help as can be seen in Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York in recent history. Connecticut also has in place the same/similar assault weapons ban in that the federal government had in place back in 1994 and beyond. As you can see, it didn’t help. Criminals will still find ways to get firearms. They will still do whatever it takes to kill.

    Multiple points here. One, you need to know what you are talking about when you are proposing to revise the 2nd amendment. In this case, it appears the most basic firearm terminology is lacking. Then we need to look at history and understand a lot of bans that have been in place or are currently in place have not worked. Anything we do in the future must take these lessons learned into consideration.

    As for magazine capacity, 10 round magazines or 30 round magazines do not matter to me. When I train for my job and for personal protection, I practice fast magazine exchanges. That means when I’m firing my last round in one magazine, it is already exiting the gun and I have the new one inserted in less than a second. Being fast is a matter of life or death. I’m also trained that having more bullets is better than not having enough. Meaning, if I am put in an active shooter scenario either on the job or off the job protecting myself or my family, I need to make sure I have enough ammo to disarm a threat and not be left holding my baton in my hand.

    And it is funny how the U.S. Capitol has hundreds if not thousands of armed guards/police officers to protect our congressmen. Yet, we frown at the fact of putting armed guards/police officers to protect our children. Evidently protecting them is more important than protecting our children. I can only remember one time where a person fired a weapon near the U.S. Capitol, not even inside the building, and he was killed by the armed police officers their to protect the building and the people inside. Why is that concept not good for schools or other locations where there is now a higher risk and/or vulnerability? Heck, I can’t walk into a Social Security office or an IRS office without seeing armed security. I hardly can go shopping without seeing armed security. But having protection in our schools is just “awful”. That makes sense.

  10. If it’s true that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” then it follows that guns don’t make people safe, people make people safe.

  11. This is much too complicated. Let’s just assume that everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Then it will be much safer in the new Amerika.

  12. The killer who slaughtered the innocent at Sandy Hook is dead. The
    Child-Killing Apparatus over which Obama presides continues merrily
    along. Americans understandably shaken and saddened to the depth of
    their souls by the horrors in Newtown should consider this: The
    government that impudently presumes to rule us has made Sandy Hook-style
    massacres routine for residents of Pakistan.

  13. It’s not about me levp, or who I am as an individual, heck I currently reside in Westchester county, but I still read this blog because I grew up in S. Bay. This battle is about the inherent birthright , which is guaranteed to all Americans, regardless of their place of residency in the United States; and that is the right to bear arms (which shall NOT be infringed). Although you may personally disagree with me, I still love and respect you as a human being, and I think that we can both agree upon the important principles of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which has highlighted the United States as a shining beacon of hope, for the last two hundred years; unfortunately this nation is almost completely deteriorated into some nightmare shared by the founders. The brave men who wrote the Bill of Rights made sure to protect the right to bear arms (hmmm must be pretty important?) Not for hunting, Not for taret practice, but to resist the onslaught of a tyrannical government in some future condition, which the Constitution was designed to protect us from; but the 2nd amendment is the “check and balance” held in the hands of the PEOPLE which are the Republic. Listen, I just want you and your progeny to live and experience the beauty of liberty, and self-determination in life, just as all individuals in this country, so if some trendy/liberal victim loving propaganda has convinced you that guns are for police and military only, I refer you to the examples of government overthrows and Democide, which follow civilian disarmament. Look at NYC, it’s a complete crime ridden hell hole. Why shouldn’t I be able to conceal carry in my home state of NY, when if I cross the border to PA, that becomes perfectly legal?

  14. I don’t know about hell hole; just yesterday this statistic has been released:

    New York City On Pace For Lowest Murder Rate In 50 Years

    Also, I appreciate the rhetoric, but you are not being very realistic in regards to resisting “the onslaught of a tyrannical government”, and anyway, I had enough of revolutions considering my old country’s experience since 1917. There ought to be a better way of preserving our democracy (regardless of how much you hate Mr. Bloomberg).

  15. But the children that we kill with drones get automatically renamed as “militants”, which makes it OK.
    Plus they were too far for us to care about anyway.

    Seriously, though: one good fight does not preclude the other; we should argue against unjust violence whether it occurs because of guns, police, drones or all-out wars.

  16. This argument, like so many others, shows the infantile and ignorant mind of the vast majority.

    First of all, let’s get something straight. Gun crimes began to increase with the amount of gun control laws. Since the advent of the push for right to carry there has been a decrease in violence in the corresponding states. Countries such as the UK, Australia, and Brazil that previously had lax laws saw a dramatic increase in violent crimes.

    Murder is something that is a big problem in America, and it stems primarily from our intervention around the world, and the fact that we continue to foster the agenda that has created genocide in the past. China has been arming gangs here for decades with the intent of causing internal strife.

    Our schools are a very big problem. We push students through in this no child left behind program, which has done nothing to improve the lives of our children. Some schools in big cities have become hell holes with the advent of the liberal programs; AKA, how do you destroy a country from the inside.

    It’s time to speak the truth, not the trash that’s repeated mindlessly by those who have no concept of how to form an original thought.

    It’s also time to tell those who publish articles such as this, and their advertisers that they had better start paying for people who know history, and current day facts.

    It’s also time to remind those who call for government regulation that they are the primary reason why we need to own guns. When push comes to shove they will be the first to volunteer to drive the buses to the concentration camps for some noble reason.

    Mr. Friedman, if you want my guns, make sure that you come and get them. Don’t send some poor fool who thinks that he/she has the lawful authority to enforce an unconstitutional act.

  17. One more thing Mr. Friedman. I take it that you are of the Jewish faith.

    Why, with the history of the Holocaust at you back, would you call for any laws that put the People at a disadvantage to government thugs?
    I recently asked a Jewish friend this question, and he said that he couldn’t understand that mindset. Perhaps you should be writing why the some of the biggest proponents of gun control are of the Jewish faith.
    And for the record, there are so many gun control laws on the federal and state levels that you could make a career out of studying them. Maybe then this nonsense that there are no sensible gun control laws on the books will stop.

  18. Seriously?

    Switzerland has a total population of 7.8 million as of 2010:
    But 11.0% of those are below the age of 10.

    On the other hand, U.S. Armed Forces official “personnel strength” as of 9/30/2012: 1,388,028 (well above the age of 10), out of which 74,560 are currently stationed directly in Europe.
    “These numbers do not include any military or civilian contractors”

    If required, we could have made Switzerland literally look like desert storm, in no time.
    Oops, I think I just gave Obama a wrong idea…

    EDIT: maybe, not such a wrong idea – if we get to keep their banks. Instant solution to the national debt!

  19. Any of those proponents eligible are welcome to make aliyah and serve in the IDF. Plenty of guns and even more opportunities to use them. Live targets, too!

  20. So this country that has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, and spends among the most per capita on education and healthcare, has low crime rates because everyone has a gun? You sure it’s not because no one needs to commit a crime?

    Y’know, I’m willing to bet my money that levp would eagerly welcome guns for every male in America if we also got the rest of Switzerland’s socialism. (Btw – just males? wtf? I’ve never heard of a school shooting done by a female. Maybe they should get the guns)

    Just sayin’. Now I’m back to sitting this out.

  21. And, lest you jump on the little things, I ain’t saying Switzerland is socialist across the board. But they sure do seem to be on the “social” side of things.

  22. I cant argue or debate with people who miss the whole point of it, turn it into something else and are not open to another point of view.

  23. Is that an answer to my question?

    I’ve been around for some time. I was asked to consider an undersecretary position back in the late 70’s. I knew people who made Howard Hughes look middle class when most believed he was the richest man in the world. I’ve studied the law, and economics, and I know without a doubt that there is no truth to come out of government from the courts through the executive. The media lies for a purpose that seems to be for no other reason than malevolence.

    In the last century genocide was the paradigm coming from governments, and we fought wars of horrific magnitude, with WWII ending in nuclear destruction. In this century, the VA claims the amount of deaths to our servicemen fighting in the Middle East to be 10 times what the uneducated public is being told. Go to the VA website and look it up.

    Yet we have people more than willing to promote the same agenda’s by granting government a monopoly of power.

    America is becoming a police state, and the armed citizen does not fit. That is the answer to my question. There is no place for those who choose to fight the true death attics; those who wish to disarm the individual.

  24. Major cities are playing with the numbers. I, unfortunately found this out through a tragic event. 1 in maybe 4 crimes are being reported.

    I know a newspaper reporter who went to his editor to correct a story on crime and was told that they would not publish the truth.

    Whether you believe or not is inconsequential. The real problem is the attitude of those who grant unauthorized power to the state. The institution of this nation was based on a complete distrust of government, and so the text of the Constitution and the Amendments are written in that context. None of our Founders believed that we would go this far without a bloody revolution to put things back the way they should be.

  25. I agree with you on the question of genocide, but disagree strongly with your solution.
    And government is not some kind of a detached entity – we were the ones who voted for G. W. B., twice!
    So like I said before, there ought to be a better way.

  26. You didn’t make a point, you posted a link. The video seemed to make two points. One in its title and description, which is the one I replied to, and the other one about why Jews should support gun rights. I didn’t respond to that one because, as a Jew, I find it much more vital to my liberty and safety to not join mobs one way or the other.

    And as someone you know in real life, who has had this conversation with you in real life, please don’t insult me again by calling me closed minded. I don’t weigh in on the gun threads for a reason. I did this time not to talk guns, but to suggest that perhaps better social nets, education and healthcare are the best solution, a la Switzerland.

    Then again, perhaps it’s you not open to another point of view? I’ve never seen you concede a single point on this issue.

  27. I was talking about levp. I know we have spoken about this a couple of times but never here. I also think you know me a little better than that. As far as conceding i have on a couple of things like private party sales going through a dealer and 100 round drums not being necessary. Have a happy healthy and safe new year!

  28. easy answer NO!!! more guns means more accidents and more hotheads with the ability to end arguements with a bullet.

  29. beware those that bloviate about how you will have to take their guns out of their cold dead hands by force… they are the most dangerous gun owners…. they hide behind the 2nd amendment without ever understanding that it doesnt protect their guns, it protects a states right to call up a citizen militia. I wonder how many of these bloviators have ever actually served in the state guard?

  30. nick is absolutely correct on this issue. My sister dated a detective for the nypd a couple years ago, and let me tell you…… The numbers on violent crimes/ murder aren’t based in the reality of even some fairytale. Let me just say that about half of serious crimes aren’t publicized …. conservatively.

    Ohh and levp, maybe you would enjoy a place like N. Korea. No firearms, the government dictates reality (that way the “tin foil hatters” can’t get you), all exclusive stays at the local torture/re-education facilities, slave labour camps……its just so wonderful, I am tearing up; and they even regulate the quantity you can drink, just like Comrade Bloomberg!

  31. Gun culture is winning. Americans are buying so many firearms that the FBI NICS system has collapsed on several occasions. Gun stores across America are completely sold out. Online ammunition retailers are completely sold out; my personal purchases are backordered. Polls overwhelmingly indicate that firearms are becoming more popular, and even “liberals” for the first time are purchasing guns. Feminist magazines are running handgun ads, and for the first time women en mass are purchasing pocket revolvers, and Kel-Tecs to prevent muggings and rape. SHTF preppers are hoarding massive amounts of guns, food, medicine, and survival equipment across the nation. State run whore media is collapsing under the weight of their own lies, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CBS…they are all intensely hated, and their viewership numbers are pathetic. Every slave authoritarian state has rounded up the armourments of its citizens before unleashing tyranny; and the American people are realizing what is going on. The government (mostly DHS) has purchased 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition this last year. Military and police across the US are running gun confiscation drills. The 2009 MIAC report outlines that libertarians, returning veterans, and constitutionalists are the #1 enemy in this overthrown republic, and that the entire DHS/FBI/NSA spy grid is meant for YOU, not some Muslims in a cave. You like socialist healthcare, well let me tell you as a pharmacist that you will! The government loves you, they spend day and night trying to improve your quality of life. The cancer viruses in the vaccines are good for you. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that mercury is good for children and it is! The flouride in the water which decreases IQ by 10 points for every 1 ppm, is also wonderful. Enjoy your dream.

  32. By the way, all these illegal guns that criminals have? Were legal at some point. States like mine have residents making tidy profits selling them to residents in states like yours. You’re welcome. (To be fair most of ours wind up in Chicago.)

  33. This editorial is a good example of the angry, emotional response to guns that seems to reflect the ability of liberals to completely abandon all use of logic to actually analyze a problem. The author declares guns to be the problem, and proposes laws to solve the problem. The usual liberal mantra includes references to guns making one less safe, providing no protection of any kind, and generally just having really bad karma, dude. If guns are the problem, aren’t the guns owned by police part of the problem as well? What about guns used by politicians protective details? Isn’t Bloomberg being made much less safe by having a detail of armed guards? What about the armed guards employed by the NYTimes? Don’t they make the Times much less safe? And, we definitely should disarm the NYPD, because that would make us all much safer? And laws, everyone obeys laws! In fact, there are laws declaring “gun free school zones” that guarantee the safety from guns of every student in every school in the country! Worked out great so far….. Why is it that these evil mass murderers seem to show up at places where they expect their victims to be unarmed. If laws against guns made us safe, and guns truly made us less safe, gun shops, NRA meetings and gun shows would be incredibly dangerous places, regularly afflicted with mass shootings, and “gun free school zones” would be bastions of safety…….. Never mind.

  34. aren’t the guns owned by police part of the problem as well?

    Sometimes, even those could be – remember Empire State Building shooting?

    But that’s why we delegate certain functions to others, subject to training and regulation. We delegate medical treatment to doctors and nurses, for example. Sometimes they screw up too, but I’m willing to bet that an educated and licensed doctor would perform a better surgery that I would.

    Police officers, members of protective detail, military personnel, etc. undergo specialized evaluation and training, and are subject to strict licensing/regulation (as are their weapons and ammunition). Sometimes they screw up too ( ), but I’m willing to bet that a Secret Service agent would protect the President better than I could.

    Lastly: yes, Virginia, shootings do happen in gun stores:
    And even at gun shows:

    These are just from the first page of search results.

    So, we are presented here with a so-called “false dilemma” (again): either everyone has a few AR-15s – or anarchy. Say, “nancy”, need cheap surgery?

  35. Dont forget that we should only let race car drivers use cars and only chefs should be allowed to use a knife. Oh and pro baseball players only ones to use a bat. You make perfect sense.

  36. We have discussed knives and related regulations before. Short reminder: various types of knives are outright prohibited in New York.
    But yes, go ahead and start a massacre with a kitchen knife or even a baseball bat. Perhaps, then you will discover the difference between those items and firearms.

  37. Does the name Max Gelman ring a bell. I am not going to go back and forth with you. You have a personal feeling about it without the stats or facts to back any claims. Do you even realize the same pols that want to disarm law abiding citizens are the same pols that want warrantless searches and wire taps on US citizens FISA. You are nuts. So fuck the 2nd the 4th and dont forget to pay your taxes or we will send armed men to collect. happy new year hope your taxes dont go up tomorrow.

  38. Sure does. I am glad he did not have a gun, though – a lot more people would have been killed.

    I had cited various numbers before, including in this very thread.

    And we shift to the government again. By the way, no deal has been reached, so my taxes will go up tomorrow and so will yours. What are going to do about it?

  39. So going on a killing spree with a knife it was the person that did it but if you kill with a gun it was a gun that did it. Ok gotcha. I think what it shows more than anything is bad people will do bad things no matter what they use. It took a large man to defend his life with his bare hands while your protectors were hiding behind a metal door. Good thing that guy was a fan of mma or he would be dead to. Nothing you say will make sense in the real world we live in. You say what if he had a gun it would have been worse. I say what if someone else had the means to defend themselves before he killed more people.

    You use one set of stats without showing the whole picture only what you want to see.

    As for the taxes im still thinking about how i want to deal with it. What are you going to do about it?

  40. Seem to be putting words in my mouth, huh? As for “protectors”, I understand your point, but I’ll take my chances.

    I am going to call my senators and the White House and tell them not to give up a penny, just make sure ALL of the automatic cut provisions are implemented as agreed previously.
    And don’t think for too long – the other guys will draw first.

  41. Mothers shoul breast feed and surgeoms should do surgery. These are needed.
    People with numerous assault arms are over the line.
    Your examples are a joke yo a serious matter.

  42. Are you exempt from higher taxes…?….You and all the homeowners/mortgages are in for a good time, No? Yes.
    So maybe you should cross your fingers also.

  43. I’m sorry for putting in my 2 cents (no comment from the peanut gallery) but local needs an ak put up his ass so he can think more clearly.

  44. Whats an assault arms? If someone uses a bat to beat someone to death or stabs someone with a knife do they turn from steak knife to assault knife or louisville slugger to assault bat? They are a joke because you say so? As far as i am concerned any firearm i own is a defensive and recreational tool. Media labeling something doesnt mean its true.

  45. Don’t get frustrated over such helpless individuals. He doesn’t understand that the rights listed in the Bill of Rights are UNTOUCHABLE…and for good reason. The history of humanity has been highly decorated with the minds of such individuals as levp, who don’t recognize danger when they see it. I’m not afraid of guns, or the fact that most of my neighbors own them. I am afraid of government, that is here to convey me into a condition of abject slavery. He seems to lack a survival instinct. He believes that the police is here to protect him, when the Supreme Court has ruled on multiple occasions that police have absolutely no obligation to protect your life.

  46. More annoyed than frustrated. They are not laws that give us freedom they are laws protecting our human/civil rights. Some people love to ignore where it says “shall not be infringed”.


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