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Comment Archives: stories: Columns: Your Turn

Re: “We mortals should hate war

Who got paid for the Iraq war??? When political families (Bush & Chaney) make money off of war, their will be no end of war in sight!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by gurudori on 11/12/2013 at 1:00 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

“Don’t read any more of these [constituents’ emails] than you absolutely have to.” is precisely what Morse stated on the Rachel Maddow show. Feel free to view the video yourself to see the quote and the reference to what he was talking about Bill Guman.

The author states that guns continue to get more deadly, but a .44 magnum today is not much different than a .44 magnum 100 years ago except for the smokeless powder. But that is not something that is changing continuously. And a .44 slug is a .44 slug.

What has changed is the moral fiber of society along with increasing gun control. In general, in the US, it has been shown that more lax gun laws and allowing more law abiding citizens to have guns decreases crime and gun violence. But let's not confuse people's emotional response with facts.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rob Harris on 09/24/2013 at 5:04 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

BTW, happyfew, the actual story, which is still wrong, was NOT that he was denied an AR-15 because of a background check as many like you incorrectly assert. The original story was that he was denied an AR-15 because he was from out of state. However, the state does not have such a law regarding AR-15s.…

In fact, the NY Times finally corrected their misstatement saying "Correction: September 20, 2013
An article on Wednesday about the gunman in the Navy Yard shooting, using information from senior law enforcement officials, misstated a provision in Virginia state gun law. Out-of-state buyers must provide additional forms of identification to purchase a high-capacity AR-15 rifle; the laws do not prohibit the sales of all AR-15 rifles to all out-of-state residents."

Since the gunman had not only a driver's license, but also a US military issued CAC, he would have had more than enough ID.

Even Vanity Fair had to correct themselves: "Update, 3:00 p.m.: A lawyer for the firearms store in question tells Talking Points Memo that “Mr. Alexis did not attempt to buy an AR-15 from Sharpshooters Small Arms Range. He asked about purchasing a handgun (no brand specified) but he was told that he could not purchase a handgun except for delivery to his home state through another Federally-licensed firearm dealer. He then decided to purchase the Remington 870 express shotgun.”"

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/20/2013 at 5:35 PM

Re: “A message from the middle


"He attempted to buy an AR 15 but was denied due to a state law because he was checked." -- happyfew

Incorrect, happyfew. The background check for an AR-15 and for a pump shotgun are exactly the same. If he was denied for one, he would have been denied for the other. He passed the background check for the shotgun; therefore he could not have been denied for the AR-15.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/20/2013 at 5:19 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

"5) The background check for an AR-15 and for a shotgun is exactly the same"


He attempted to buy an AR 15 but was denied due to a state law because he was checked... A very good state law, almost inarguable after this lesson.

0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by happyfew on 09/20/2013 at 2:46 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

"Granted, most of my knowledge on the subject comes from bad Vin Diesel movies, but still..." -- Warren Epstein 1

You are not alone. What most people have learned about firearms is a mixture of hearsay, urban legends/myths, what the gun controllers tell them, and what they see in movies and on TV shows. At least 70% of what is shown on TV and in the movies is wrong. It can be so bad that sometimes it actually gets annoying to watch TV shows and movies (though sometimes the mistakes are funny). There used to even be a USENET group (if you remember USENET) which compiled running lists of errors in shows.

This is part of the reason a lot of bad laws get passed.

I can put you in touch with a guy who is pretty good at teaching some of the basics without any NRA propaganda if you want. He has done this for a few reporters in the past.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/20/2013 at 12:55 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

"We can make smart bombs that can drop into chimneys, but we haven't made advancements in gun technology? " -- Warren Epstein 1

Pretty much. The tech used in firearms has really not changed much since in about 100 years. Semi-autos are over 100 years old. Smokeless powder and center-fire cartridges are also very old. Machine guns are very old. We have improved some of the materials used, tweaked things here and there, but there have not really been major changes since John Moses Browning's time.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dave H on 09/20/2013 at 12:31 PM

Re: “A message from the middle


We can make smart bombs that can drop into chimneys, but we haven't made advancements in gun technology?

Granted, most of my knowledge on the subject comes from bad Vin Diesel movies, but still...

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Warren Epstein 1 on 09/20/2013 at 11:56 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

"And yet your arguments all say "no." No to gun control."" - Warren Epstein 1

My argument is that while some gun control may be necessary and even advisable, specifically the ones that address behavior, a lot of gun control addresses the object. Gun control laws which target the behavior like the misuse of firearms are generally fine. These laws do not burden the law abiding, are enforceable, and do not restrict the object itself. Gun control laws which target the object are generally not good.

Sarin gas is a WMD (nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon or extremely large conventional explosive -- usually greater than 2,000 lbs of TNT equivalent). As such, it is not addressed by the Second Amendment. You are engaging in what has become known as "the nuke argument".

"and where to draw the line on the access to increasingly powerful weaponry."

The power of the weaponry really hasn't changed much in the last 50+ years -- longer actually. There have been small advances here and there, but nothing major.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/20/2013 at 11:44 AM

Re: “A message from the middle


You repeat excellent arguments about gun control. You say absolutists are rare, and I'm inferring that you're not among them. And yet your arguments all say "no." No to gun control." They all say to me that we shouldn't be having this discussion about weapons. And I'm not disagreeing that the nature of violence goes beyond the tools used, but the tools, at some point, become important.

Now, if your neighbor had a stash of serin gas, the fact that he was also a violent criminal would be a bad thing -- but I'd be really freakin concerned about that gas. We have plenty of violent criminals around, and the causes of violence need to be explored. But wouldn't you be focused on the poison gas that could wipe out our city?

I use this ridiculous extreme example (and you could use the police state example for the other side of this freedom-vs.-authority argument), to point out that sometimes it's access to the weapons themselves that is the issue.

And I'm not even trying to argue for gun control. Only for the idea that we might set our entrenched ideologies aside to have a meaningful discussion about how and where to draw the line on the access to increasingly powerful weaponry.

I haven't heard many folks on either side say this would be OK, but this would be too far.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Warren Epstein 1 on 09/20/2013 at 10:14 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

"the reason I dismiss the old "guns don't kill people" saw is because it's both cliche and simplistic. " -- Warren Epstein 1

Cliche and simplistic, but true.

You want simplistic? Focusing on a misused object is simplistic and oh so typical of our instant gratification society. We want the "silver bullet" magic pill cure to things and that is basically what gun control proposals usually boil down to. We want to make the problem of violence go away and we don't want to put out any effort or for it to cost us money, so, we focus on the object, demonizing it, blaming it, trying to keep it under lock and chain because it appears to be the easy, magic pill solution. This despite this approach's history of failure.

People do not want to entertain the real solution because it is difficult. It requires us to rethink, re-prioritize, and put forth effort.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/19/2013 at 6:03 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

Stacy, the reason I dismiss the old "guns don't kill people" saw is because it's both cliche and simplistic. People always think it's either or: Either you're in favor of personal responsibility or you think society has a role in encouraging or discouraging behaviors.

Look at civil rights. It was both individuals and groups behaving badly. And passing the Civil Rights Act did not in any way say that we don't blame individuals for discrimination.

Now, I recognize that this example lumps gun advocates in with bigots, and, in that way the analogy is both unfair and inaccurate. But it does get to the idea that personal responsibility and societal responsibility are not mutually exclusive.

(And, really, does one op-ed piece make me part of the gulag? )

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Warren Epstein 1 on 09/19/2013 at 2:01 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

Good comments here, but I want to focus on one thing Epstein wrote (oh, and by the way, Epstein, thnks for costing me 20 bucks. I had bet that Noreen was going to be the next Gazette employee to be sent to the Indy gulag, but I digress). Epstein wrote "Guns don't kill people, people...yeah whatever", kind of dismissive of a truth. Yes, firearms are inanimate objects, they do not operate independently. How can you just blow that off as if it doesn't count in this debate? A lot of people actually consider this a phobia, hoplophobia, but I don't think it is, follow me here. I have been trying to figure out why people on the left would have this fear of metal and springs, and I think I have it nailed down. It's known as "projection". People on the left tend to be pretty angry (doubt me? Look at that picture of Tosches on the front page, teeth clenched together and frowning as if he were a victim in this world) and they also tend to believe everyone thinks like they do (thus the "if only more people voted we would have won" meme. So these leftists usually find their angry selves in traffic or in line at the store or something else that bugs them, and they say to themselves "if I had a gun I would kill every one of these so and so's" and they think EVERYONE thinks like this! That is why they are for gun control, not because they fear guns, but they fear their fellow man. However they cannot admit that to themselves because they are "of the people" and "for the little guy" so they cannot face this fear head on, so they blame the guns for the fact that they are so afraid of other people they don't feel safe leaving the house. Get professional help you guys, don't be a shut in.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Stacy in Woodland Park on 09/19/2013 at 1:06 PM

Re: “A message from the middle

There are multiple issues with gun control, aside from the fact that study after study have been unable to show that it actually works.

First of all is a simple matter of definitions and knowledge. Most people have no idea what half the terms being used actually mean. Heck, you have legislators who think that magazines and clips are the same thing and that they are one time use objects. You have people who don't know what a machine gun, assault rifle, or assault weapon are. You have people who think hollow points are illegal, explode, and are less safe than FMJ bullets.

Second is defining the problem -- it gets so bad sometimes that you see gun control being called for as a response to a bombing (yes, that actually happened after Boston). You have people calling for universal background checks in the wake of the Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings even though the Aurora gunman PASSED FOUR BACKGROUND CHECKS and the Sandy Hook gunman stole the firearms he used.

Third is the effectiveness and enforce-ability of the laws being called for. The new laws regarding magazine capacity and universal background checks both fail these areas miserably.

Fourth is the restrictions and burdens on the law abiding. Restricting and burdening the majority because of the actions of a minority rarely makes much sense.

Further, we constantly run into the words "reasonable" and "common sense". These are "poisoning the well" terms which are designed to get the weak minded to jump on board and to demonize anyone who would dare to oppose the proposals. The truth is a lot of gun controls are neither reasonable nor common sense. They might have common appeal, but appeal and sense are rarely the same thing.

The bottom line is you cannot change a behavior by focusing on the object being misused. All you end up doing is perpetuating the problem.

By obsessively focusing on the firearms, we ignore the behavior and its actual causes. In doing so, we actually imply approval for the behavior by shifting the blame to the object. Yet this has been our approach to "the problem" for nearly 80 years by passing more and more restrictions on what firearms can be owned, who can own or possess firearms, and how to buy firearms... and it really hasn't worked. But every time there is an incident, the first thing out of some people's mouths is a cry for more of the same. In fact, after the recent Navy Yard shooting, the echoes of the gun fire had not even faded yet before the gun control fanatics were smearing themselves in the bool of the victims to call for even more of the same failed approach.

Unless we focus on the behavior and its actual root causes, such as economics, education, mental health, reducing the glorification of violence, an instilling ethics, we will just keep marching right down the "slippery slope" that we have been for the last 80 years.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/19/2013 at 11:23 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

"the navy yard shooter was denied an assault rifle due to a background check... he used a pump action shot gun instead. " -- happyfew


1) No "assault rifle" was used

2) The AR-15 is not an "assault rifle"

3) He never tried to buy an assault rifle

4) He was never turned down from buying an assault rifle

5) The background check for an AR-15 and for a shotgun is exactly the same

6) He PASSED a background check when he bought the shotgun

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/19/2013 at 10:56 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

"Still, what's happened here is the birth of a new political weapon, "

There is nothing new about this. It just had not been used before in this state. It is and always has been a part of our democratic process and one of our checks and balances on our government and a way to redress grievances.

"Most people I know think the gun debate is about two words: yes or no. You're for gun control or you're against it."

Incorrect. People are usually for or against certain types of gun control. The absolutists are actually pretty rare with about 10% of people thinking firearms should be completely banned and less than 5% feeling there should be absolutely no restrictions on firearms.

"Here's another truth: Without new restrictions, guns will grow more abundant and more deadly."

Here is a truth for you -- firearms really have not gotten more deadly in the last 50 years and there are more firearms in private hands than ever before, but our homicide rate has actually been decreasing for 20 years.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave H on 09/19/2013 at 10:52 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

You cannot negotiate on gun control until you agree on what it means. At this point the concept is a slippery slope that could lead anywhere, depending on who you ask.

My own opinion is that any gun law that doesn't keep guns away from criminals isn't worth pursuing.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ConcernedCitizen on 09/19/2013 at 10:08 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

Rocky has it right.. there are plenty of laws on the books that should have stopped most of this madness if THEY WERE ENFORCED! The Navy yard shooter should have been placed on a do not sell list. So should have the theater shooter, the Sandy hook shooter was known to be a bit off the tracks (and he was denied a gun purchase and found a place to steal his weapons), the Army knew that the Ft. Hood shooter was going off the rails a long time before that happened too. More laws would not stop this if they are not going to be enforced and the criminals (by definition) are not going to abide by them. When these mad men do their evil and make the press, why call for even more that only infringe on those of us that do follow the laws. Why impede the 100's of 1000's of citizens who stop this kind of thing every year (that the press refuses to report on)? If there is going to be any kind of progress against this madness, it is going to be a societal change, not more laws that force Americans to become sitting ducks with a rape whistle and a sharp pencil praying for the police to get there in time when only seconds count.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jim Coda on 09/19/2013 at 9:42 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

The biggest problem with these laws is NO enforcement. We have local politicians that wont we have the same problem all over this Country. Case in point the Navy yard shooter. Why was his name not put in a data base for for do not sell? Politics thats why. Back ground checks can and will work the TSA uses them on do not fly list's but you need the American people to demand that law enforcement comply to the law. Back ground checks are not gun control its people control and thats what needs done.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rocky Smith on 09/19/2013 at 7:30 AM

Re: “A message from the middle

Yes or no.

Black and white.

Jim, I know that you have great passion about this. So do victims of violence. So do people who live in fear, and think rounding up guns will make us more secure.

I'm trying to argue here that we have to drop the yes or no. Once we acknowledge that we already have a certain level of gun control, and most of our arguments are about where to draw that line, then we can speak as human beings instead of ideologues.

1 like, 7 dislikes
Posted by Warren Epstein 1 on 09/18/2013 at 11:22 PM

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