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OP-ED | I Don’t Own A Gun - But Not For The Reasons You Probably Think

by Sarah Darer Littman | May 29, 2014 10:30am
(96) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Civil Liberties, Opinion

When one is a vocal supporter of background checks before purchasing a firearm, or federal dollars to support research into gun-related deaths, or of the ability of medical doctors to inquire of patients suffering from clinical depression or other mental illness if there is a gun in the home, there is a certain breed of “gun rights” supporter that will automatically assume you have never touched a gun and hate the very idea of shooting one. Period. End of story.

But like most assumptions, these can be wrong.

In a video game arcade I head straight for the first person shooter games (race car games are a close second). When my boyfriend and I went to Las Vegas, we went to The Gun Store, and shot a variety of weapons including a Walther P99 and an assault weapon that was almost as big as I am. Forgive me, it was many years ago, and I can’t remember what, exactly, it was. I just remember how freaking BIG it was.

I enjoyed that experience so much the boyfriend considered getting me a year’s membership at a gun club in Norwalk.

He’d gotten his NRA sharpshooter certificate at camp when he was a kid.

But despite that, neither of us own a firearm, and we’re both firm believers in all the things I mentioned above and that the Stand Your Ground Amendments should be overturned. I believe it is possible to hold these positions and still not abrogate the Second Amendment. I also believe that the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have been grossly irresponsible and extremist in holding otherwise.

There’s a good reason I don’t own a firearm, and it’s not because I don’t like the feeling of firing one. Rather, it’s because I like it a little too much.

Back in 2003, I attended the Citizen’s Police Academy in Greenwich, and part of it entailed the type of situational weapons training that police officers go through. We took turns with a Glock hooked up to a training simulator, which ran videos of an incident. We had to decided if and when to fire.

My first situation involved a car with two suspects — I didn’t know if they were armed. The car stopped outside a residential building. Despite being told to stay in the car, one of the suspects emerged and started walking toward me, gesticulating wildly and shouting. I starting shooting.

The officer in charge stopped the video.

“WHY DID YOU FIRE?” he asked. He didn’t sound happy.

I lowered the Glock.

“He was shouting at me.”

“He had his hands in the air!” the instructor pointed out. “There was no weapon.”

I’m 5 ‘3” and a survivor of both sexual and verbal abuse, not to mention that time a guy tried to pull me into his car when I was walking home from high school after theater rehearsal at age 15, and both street harassment and rush hour subway groping when I lived in New York City.

In other words, I’ve had life experiences similar to far too many women who are my age. Just read the Twitter hashtag #yesallwomen, which started in response to the Isla Vista shootings.

I realized that merely because I’d felt threatened by a larger, verbally abusive man, I’d not only shot, multiple times, an unarmed person, but one of my stray bullets had gone through the wall of a residential building and could have potentially killed an innocent person. Potentially even an innocent child.

That’s when I realized that as much as I loved the feeling of power that having a gun in my hand gives me, putting a lethal weapon in my hand in a real life situation is far too dangerous, because in the heat of the moment, I will shoot first and ask questions later. It’s better for everyone if I stick to arcades and shooting ranges.

What’s the difference between me and, say, a George Zimmerman? Why did I take the course of deciding that I shouldn’t own a gun, rather than make myself into the neighborhood vigilante?

Maybe it’s because I spent nine long months carrying each child, vomiting six to eight times a day for over five months (whoever called it “morning sickness” lied) and then spent 48 hours in labor to bring one child into the world and 12 more to bring in another.

Maybe it’s because my faith tells me “whosoever destroys a single soul . . . scripture imputes [guilt] to him as though he had destroyed a complete world; and whosoever preserves a single soul . . . scripture ascribes merit to him as though he had preserved a complete world.”

So when I hear the inevitable, “if only there had been a good guy with a gun” and I remember how difficult it is to be a “good guy with the gun” in that split second heat of the moment, I shake my head and wonder: Where are the thoughtful, cooler heads in this debate?

Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning columnist and novelist of books for teens. A former securities analyst, she’s now an adjunct in the MFA program at WCSU, and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.

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(96) Comments

posted by: Chien DeBerger | May 29, 2014  12:13pm

Well Sarah as Dirty Harry says; “Every man has got to know their limitations.” I applaud you recognizing that you are a sheep. And that is okay. Because 90 per cent of the population are sheep. But God has also placed sheepdogs in the world to protect the sheep and to eliminate the wolves. Don’t disarm the sheepdogs, because the wolves will not stop their terror of the sheep if it is only the wolf with the gun.

posted by: Matt from CT | May 29, 2014  12:15pm

The thoughtful, cooler heads disappeared when The Brady Campaign (then known as Handgun Control, Inc.), in the form of it’s founder, stated its goal was the complete abolishment of civilian ownership of handguns and handgun ammunition.

Is there room for legitimate compromise?  Absolutely.

Make background checks something strongly encouraged but not required—if you sell a firearm to someone who a background check would have shown at that time to be prohibited, it’s a felony and you lose your right to own firearms.  But a father shouldn’t be required to get a computer to say it’s OK to sell a gun to his 18 year old son. 

Want to encourage tougher standards for pistol permits?  Pass a Federal law that any pistol permit that meets a tough but reasonable standard (such as Connecticut’s) is automatically recognized in all states.  That’s an enormous carrot to get gun owners in other states to push their legislatures to adopt higher standards (at least for permits for interstate use).  The current system where my CT permit (and by the way, I don’t own a pistol despite having the permit) stops at the state line and I have to pay $100 annually and make a personal appearance in Boston is baloney.  (Never mind trying the near impossible of a non-resident permit for RI).

Allow such permit holders to purchase and sell guns outside of their home state without going through a dealer (but still subject to the background checks as stipulated above).

But Liberals have adopted gun control as a partisan issue exactly as so-called conservatives adopted a pro-life platform.  Reason goes out the window in the pursuit to pass every law they can to harass folks from exercising their rights within the limits of what the courts will allow.

Massachusetts, already among the toughest gun laws in the nation, this week announced legislation to make long gun permits discretionary as well.  Already a Police Chief can deny a handgun permit for any reason including that he’s grumpy he didn’t have a cup of coffee yet; now they want to extend this anything-goes-for-a-denial to all firearms.  This is the type of extreme ideology reasonable people face on BOTH sides of this issue.

posted by: DanofiveO | May 29, 2014  2:28pm

Hi Sara and thanks for your comments. It’s so important to let everyone know that gun ownership or use is not exclusive to one group, it’s a uniquely American thing that most of the world can’t participate in the way we can. Shooting is fun!  And there is no shame in enjoy it, it’s ok to go skeet shooting and enjoy a cookout after with friends it really it is!
I really appreciate that you spoke up and gave your position having been there and done that.
I believe in the NRA’s position, I am a member and I support stand your ground laws. I also understand what the antigun crowd wants ultimately is confiscation. It’s easy to see too.
Just look to a state that is more restrictive and see where they are headed next, so the “common sense gun control” is a tactic to erode our rights. I am a former democrat and now a republican. Gun control can’t stop crazy or criminals they will continue to rain their havoc as society moves away from institutionalizations and refuses to address mental health or enforcement of existing laws. I have been the victim of crime three times in my life. Twice I was unarmed and at the mercy of criminals but the last time I had a firearm and presenting it had a small gang turn and run without a shot fired. I’m a believer. When you get in to the weeds with gun control I find that where concealed carry laws are implemented crime drops where guns are the most restricted there is the most gun violence. My take on your simulator experience is different than yours. You were brave enough to try it and you made a mistake under pressure and that’s why you have a simulator. I would think in reality it would be much different. You would present the weapon and everyone would be listening very closely to you. In a training environment it’s different don’t you agree but now you know and you would react differently I’m sure. Lastly belonging to a sportsmanship club I meet a wide cross section of people from all walks of life who like to exercise their rights. No one I know would ever want to turn a weapon on anybody ever unless it was an absolutely dire situation. Conversely I trust these Americans even the newest shooters to be safe with their weapons around me as I do equally when drive on the nations roads with them. I hope they will be nearby god forbid I ever need them to be. Yes horrible accidents happen and crazy people and criminals threaten the peace on the roads too at times. So from my experiences I know when it all goes bad I want to have an option other than becoming a victim again or watching people around me being cut down. The police will most likely not be around when you need them. Faced by a killer like the Santa Barbara guy who had a plan, lots of weapons and ammo, why would we restrict what the law abiding choose to carry?

posted by: Greg | May 29, 2014  2:54pm

Sarah- I applaud you for your well reasoned “reason” for not owning a firearm.  As with many things in life, its a decision you’re free to make and if you’re not comfortable with one in the house, then good for you. 

Echoing Matt from CT’s comments, the polarity in the gun debate is caused in large part by a loud, emotional group of people who scream #gunsense and #commonsense while their ultimate goal is to abolish firearm ownership in the country.  Furthermore, it’s a lack of critical thinking when violence occurs where it’s always the gun’s fault never the killer’s.
Case in point, this california kid.  He STABBED 3 people and shot the rest, yet it’s the NRA’s fault this kid was a spoiled, emotionally neglected kid driving a luxury car all angry he couldn’t pick up chicks while popping antidepressants.  WE NEED GUN CONTROL is the kneejerk response, yet CA has stricter gun laws than CT, NY, MA, et al. So, the bodies are barely buried yet CA legislators are on CNN talking about the need for more gun laws. 

Take the new CT gun law into account:  It wasn’t the tightened background checks for permits, permits for ammo (a minor inconvenience), or any other ticky-tack rules that angered the gun community.  It was the “assault weapons” ban & registration, magazine ban, and the E-cert passage in the middle of the night that caused the trouble.  Testimony before the law revealed only one person in the state in recent history was killed by a rifle, and it’s not even specific whether it was fired by a scary black gun or not.  Yet, the legislature drafts a law in secret banning grenade launchers amongst other minor cosmetic features and cannot justify the benefit to public safety without screaming NEWTOWN! at the top of their lungs.  Beth Bye and Martin Looney can’t articulate the difference between a “flash supressor” and “muzzle brake”, yet they felt the need to ban those things.  In the middle of the night with the only emergency being Obama’s visit at UHart a few days later. Without public input on the bill itself. 

Call the NRA and NSSF “extremest” all you want, but please do realize some of us are only reacting to what we see from the gun-ban crowd which is just as extremist and myopic as any Ted Nugent-type character.

posted by: DanofiveO | May 29, 2014  3:28pm

Look I know it’ may be the wrong thing to say given the current debate and I’m not politically correct you can ask my wife, but. I think Sarah looks damn fine holding those weapons!
Keep America beautiful Sarah you can shoot with us anytime!

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | May 29, 2014  3:41pm

Perhaps that feeling of power was not related to wanting to shoot someone (or perhaps just a writers license) but a feeling that when handed responsibility you were afraid?  It’s a tough thing to realize you have peoples safety, livelihoods, or dignity in your hands.  Can you handle the stress?  Or will you crumble? 

Make a list of all the things you do that have others lives in your hands and think hard on that responsibility.  And merely obeying rules doesn’t count.  So why does holding a gun make you feel reckless or not in control while driving a car does not?  Is it training, experience or is it that facing a person who is operating outside of common decency is so frightening to you that you cannot deal with it.  If you were subject to a home invasion (like the Petits) what would you do?

posted by: FAS | May 29, 2014  4:17pm

Chien DeBerger: That has to be one of the silliest metaphors I’ve heard in a while. Thanks for the chuckle, and feel free to sheepdog in someone else’s field.  We sheep will be fine without you.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | May 29, 2014  4:46pm

Wow, Chien. Way to encourage a thoughtful debate.

So, Ms. Sheepdog, and everyone who has just told me how all of their ever so responsible gun friends would NEVER be irresponsible with a gun and the states with the most lax gun laws are the safest:

How do you account for the never ending litany of stories like this: http://www.azfamily.com/news/Toddler-shoots-younger-sibling-in-head-while-visiting-Payson-home-260825251.html

Arizona has some of the most lax gun laws in the country.

And as for us being “safer” in lax gun law states…Let’s have a look at plain facts, rather than conjecture and emotion. What are the top 20 states in terms of gun deaths per capita:

http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/death-by-gun-top-20-states-with-highest-rates/

Oh wow. It’s those same states with the lax gun laws.

I’m not advocating trying to take all guns away. I lived in a rural community for 10 years, where shooting (both clays and for pest control and sport) was part of the way of life. But to make these claims that we are safer when more people have more guns isn’t actually borne out by the facts. And until y’all are ready to look at those facts and stop pretending they don’t exist because you think that everyone who supports common sense gun laws is trying to take all your weapons away, there is no change of a reasonable debate. The whole reason I wrote this column is because I was hoping to dispel the notion that everyone who thinks that there should be such laws wants to take all guns away and is anti-all guns and anti-sports.

Now Dan0, I realize that my simulator experience was part of training, and I did much better in the second simulation. But what that first simulation did - and I think this is one of the reasons why the Citizen’s Police Academy exists - was to make me conscious of just how easy it is to make a mistake. A deadly mistake that could cost an innocent life.

Now if that makes me a “sheep”, I have to ask the question - what does that make the people who don’t seem to give a shit about that? Chien, you aren’t a “sheepdog”. Don’t flatter yourself. I had a sheepdog, and sheepdogs care about the entire flock. They don’t casually disregard the death of a lamb.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 29, 2014  7:35pm

Sarah I will give you kudos for providing this information.

I’d like to recommend something for you to consider.

We live in a crazy world. You may never need a gun for the reasons one may think they should have one.

If I were you I would have a gun for that Black Swan event where something really bad comes out of the blue. Leave it locked away securely. I wont even advise that you use it more than once at a range or maybe your education is enough to not have to do that. However, you and every other law abiding citizen owes it to their children to be able to protect them in that time that you never see coming.

I think I posted this about three weeks ago but when you have a NY Democrat non-right wing Congresswoman saying that there is a 100% chance to we will face an EMP attack as a country, I tend to agree with her. Maybe its the cascading effect of terrorists hitting power plant substations like they did in California and having us without power for 6 months or more?

None of us know and if it happens, if I were a police officer I am probably more focused on protecting my own family should these happen or something even crazier like a solar flare. If someone thinks thats crazy then understand that there is more agreement on that possibility than climate change. Its just 1 of yet another reasonable prediction of 100 out there.

The government is spending lots of money on continuity planning for these types of events, and I see you as being a responsible gun owner that should do the same.

posted by: Common Sense | May 29, 2014  8:00pm

Sarah:  The worst thing you could do is to let criminals know that you do not have a gun. It defies the law of self-preservation.  A World War II expression was: LOOSE LIPS—SINK SHIPS.  Please try to stay afloat—Sarah Dittmer Littman.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | May 29, 2014  9:12pm

RogueReporterCT

We do differ a bit on guns, but I totally respect your self awareness and your sharing this personal story. My New York City experience was the closest I’ve ever been to a live firearm: I was walking home with my wife (4’11”) on the block where I lived and we passed under a broken streetlamp. Next thing I know, the Glock is pressed up against my temple and the guy actually said, “This is a stickup!” (LOL, but only in retrospect. At the time he did strike me as an inexperienced mugger, though.)

Today I was speaking to an East Hartford police officer, and I apologized for the fact that I kept looking down from his face to the ammunition clips in his belt, and he told me that it was okay because the point of keeping them visible was so that people would look at them. Anyway, that is how I prefer my guns: in the holster of a cop.

I am 46. A couple of years ago, I remarked that I had never held a loaded weapon. Par for the course as I come from Silicon Valley, but I thought that If I retained this fact somewhere in my head, maybe I could keep up the streak until I die.

However, when I think about the second amendment, and I think about the context in which it was written, and I just can’t get over the idea that the Founders viewed guns as a means of resisting tyranny. So when they kick at your front door, if that’s what you’re preparing for, I totally get that you would want to be holding more than just a pea-shooter.

I think where we most agree is that gun ownership is a right that can be un-earned through criminal behavior. But aside from that, it is most definitely a right, and one of the Big Ten at that.

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 29, 2014  11:44pm

gutbomb86

Awesome column, Sarah.

And I appreciate the fact that you took the time and truly gutted chien & dano et al with your comment.

The status quo on firearms has utterly failed. You are either in favor of trying harder to keep firearms out of the hands of crazies, or you’re OK with arming them. It’s really that simple.

posted by: DanofiveO | May 30, 2014  8:21am

Hi Sarah,
I guess another issue is the assertion that because gun owners don’t accept ANY responsibility for the actions of criminals or the mentally ill we just don’t care when someone is murdered or injured. Nothing could be farther from the truth and anti gunners who throw the blood of helpless victims on law abiding good citizens in a effort to strip them of their rights is so reprehensible that out of courtesy we ignore this line as completely unsubstantiated and it is an afront to common decency and civil discourse. We all know mental illness is the common thread but yet no action, they won’t add the records of the mentally ill to the background check database why ? Out of the 82000 who failed background checks virtually none were Prosecuted, the excuse was ” we don’t have the time ”  why?
Horrific acts of violence happen in the gun free zones, when the shooters are confronted they commit suicide as they fear being confronted so they go to the gun free zones to shoot up as many as they can. Continue on your quest Sarah to enlightenment read the Harvard study and study the FBI crime statistics and write another article tell us what you found no matter what and even if your views are corrupted by the science just be honest. The railing of the anti gunners has sold more ammunition and guns than any other marketing technique could ever do. The results, lower crime safer communities. Overall through this debate people start to get past the lies of the anti gunners and start to accept the facts and reality that guns are not the problem. criminals and mental illness going untreated are and they will carry out their insanity with little regard or intervention from laws or government regulation. Everyone must look at there own position and decide if they really have examined both sides or are just carrying a banner of their position without having examined the facts. This is where when pressed the gun control view will depart from the facts and head for emotional appeal despite the facts. Why not look at the stock investments of the pro gun control side to see how much they have personally profited from pushing gun control?  Pretty sick to contemplate but what are the facts here?
Keep digging Sarah the truth is waiting for you and you won’t like it, guns will still be prevelent,
Mental illness will go untreated, people will resist teaching children gun safety and sadly accidents will occur. Let’s not limit the law abiding from their rights. I cannot overstate the sense of relief when a gang of 7-9 individuals terrorized myself and four other couples for four hours in the woods while we were camping the night before fishing season and when I finally was able to retrieve a shotgun and present to the leader how quickly they decided terrorizing us wasn’t worth dying for and fled as fast as they could. I don’t know hat they were planning for us but I’m glad we have all led good lives since. We are all in it together, peace!

posted by: GBear423 | May 30, 2014  8:47am

GBear423

@Rogue-
How very well said. Kudos and respect.

regarding Firearms today, politically there is push and pull, and if your gonna be involved in it you have to push a little further than your goal. This is where I think we have the appearance/acceptance of extremism.  Just as the author has stated that those wanting additional restrictions do not want guns to be abolished, nor does those who support the 2A want crazies or criminals having even a red rider BB gun.

posted by: JH_1 | May 30, 2014  8:56am

Sarah - This was a very good column.  If you’ve made the decision to not have firearms for the reasons you noted, then I respect that, just like I respect other’s decisions to not own any. 


Firearms are not for everyone.  I’ll be the first to admit that not everyone should have them or have access to them. 


As for me, I made the decision to own them a long time ago.  Since then, I’ve only had one time where I thought I would have to use it.  I had my hand on the firearm, but thankfully, never needed to draw it from the holster.  The situation de-escalated before it got to that point and I got out of there as quickly as possible.  Maybe the situation ended because I was carrying and the other guys realized it, maybe not.  I’ll never know.


So for me, it’s something I will continue to do going forward. All I ask is that others respect my decision to carry and not try to limit me with how many rounds I can have in my firearm. 


I do believe you when you say you want common sense legislation that won’t take away gun owner’s rights.  I’m in agreement with tougher penalties on straw purchases and also with keeping all firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.  Pass those laws and stop there and I’d have no problem. 


The problem is that most politicians don’t think like you.  The first thing that comes out of their mouths is banning rifles and a 10 round limit on magazines.  That’s the problem most gun owners have with the anti gun movement.  It’s an all in approach with them.  In their eyes, no one should have anything.  That’s why 2A supporters fight back so hard.  Give the anti gun movement an inch and they’ll take a foot. 


Again, good column and thanks for sharing your experience.

posted by: ASTANVET | May 30, 2014  9:00am

Sarah - I think it’s great that you have the freedom to exercise choice.  You choose not to own a firearm.  I am a firearm owner.  Responsible, safe… I don’t always carry, but I like the freedom to do so when I think it is appropriate.  That’s freedom.  I don’t infringe on you, you don’t infringe on me.  I said in another column that society does not commit crimes, that People do.  The NRA doesn’t commit crimes, nor does CCDL or any other entity.  Both the anti gun, and pro gun crowd are pushing their agenda…but if we just respected each other’s individual freedoms we would be all better off.  I’m not going to get into the Jerry Springer kind of debates that Gutbomb likes to taunt folks into, it’s not a sport… i think that is a large part of the problem.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | May 30, 2014  9:46am

Dirty Jobs Guy - I’ve been in other high stress simulation situations - and in fact non-simulation, REAL situations of life threatening import, where I have performed with a cool head and had the adrenaline let down afterward. When I lived in the UK, I trained as one of the first aid responders for our business, and as part of the certification they did an emergency scene with live actors in makeup. In that situation I was calm, collected, did what I needed to do, gave orders to the other people, and was told that I performed admirably. So I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s a matter of being “afraid” to take responsibility for the lives of others. I actually worry that having a gun in my hand makes it too easy to be MORE reckless with human life.

Mark Cuban said recently, very honestly, that he crosses to the other side of the street when he sees a black guy in a hoodie or a white guy with lots of tattoos. So let’s say we put a gun in Mark Cuban’s hand, and put him in a situation where there is ambiguity about what is happening. We already know from his honesty that he will feel threatened MERELY BY THE COLOR, DRESS AND TATTOOS of the OTHER PERSON. He lives in Texas, a Stand Your Ground or “Castle Doctrine” state. Can you tell me, honestly, that he would be a “responsible gun owner” in that situation? There’s not even a legal justification for him to do so anymore, because he can just say “Oops, I was standing my ground. My bad.”  Talk about license to kill. Who needs 007 anymore.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 30, 2014  9:48am

DanofiveO, you just made my point that I hope sarah and others think about. Who would have ever thought that on an overnight camp you would face terror. That to me is a Black Swan event where its not so much that you have a gun for what you think is coming (because the statistics dont support that) but for what unexpectedly happens that you just can’t believe is occurring.

“I cannot overstate the sense of relief when a gang of 7-9
individuals terrorized myself and four other couples for four hours in the
woods while we were camping the night before fishing season and when I
finally was able to retrieve a shotgun and present to the leader how quickly
they decided terrorizing us wasn’t worth dying for and fled as fast as they
could. I don’t know hat they were planning for us but I’m glad we have all
led good lives since”

Look at Sandy Hook. I have personally said here and many other places before it occurred that one of our elementary schools is going to get hit by Muslim terrorists similar to Breslan and many little kids will die. I still think that will happen and yes I was wrong about the first perpetrator of that act. However, I just think people live in this fantasy world where they just cant comprehend the intersection of mental illness and evil, and want other good people to suffer because many of us can picture that and want to at least have half a chance if it happens to us or people we care about.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 30, 2014  10:15am

Sarah you blew that one.

You said “MERELY BY THE COLOR, DRESS AND TATTOOS of the OTHER PERSON.”

I say yes. Its all about perception. Perception is reality and it doesnt matter if its right or wrong, its a perception.

Also he said that he would cross the street. How do you go from a person who says he will walk away from the thing that scares him to avoid an issue to now he has a gun so he’ll suddenly blow him away. That is so unreal to make that leap.

As for the hoodie they are worn by good people, and bad people, white people and black people, and all kinds of people.

After seeing all kinds of things in the news over the years of assaults against people and worse by people wearing hoodies and all the news videos of hoodie wearing robbers, its insane to not get concerned when its not inclement weather or really cold when you see someone wearing a hoodie, By the way using the examples above, most white criminals tend to wear baseball caps of some types and blacks wear hoodies,

posted by: Greg | May 30, 2014  10:18am

Slice and dice statistics:

Gun Murders by state, 10 lowest rates in order (per 100k population, 2010 FBI & Census data):

VT, NH, HI, ND, IA, ID, ME, UT, OR, WY

VT and NH had some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation, NH being all “live free or die” where everyone is probably armed to the teeth with their scary black rifles and such.  The only ones on that list with generally restrictive laws being HI and OR, albeit not anywhere close to a CT, NY, NJ, or CA. 

Why is gun violence so low in these states, yet so high in a Washington DC (#1) or Maryland (#4) a CA (#13) where gun ownership is more or less taboo? 

Fact:  You’re 8.4x more likely to get shot in CA than NH, or 41.25x more likely to be shot in our nation’s capital than NH, despite DC being the most heavily survailed, law enforcement and military armed, and gun restricted places in the country. Chicago?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state

At worst, the correlation between lax gun laws and gun violence doesn’t hold despite what the #gunsense people want us to believe. 

Furthermore, the #gunsense people (and NRA-types at that) seem to ignore the drop in violent crime has been roughly 50% since the early 90’s. 

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite

Despite a general loosening of gun laws at the state level, the expiry of the federal Assault Weapon Ban, et al…violent crime is at a historic low.  Correlation does not equal causation by any means, but this loosening of gun laws has NOT by any measure contributed to any rise in violent crime over the past decade. At all. Despite the emotional hootings of Bloomberg, Moms Demand, the Brady Campaign, CAGV.

posted by: DanofiveO | May 30, 2014  10:27am

Hi Sarah,
Mark Cuban has sense enough to avoid a situation he feels unsafe in for whatever his bias is and avoids confrontation so despite his outlook I don’t see him as a threat?
What your talking about is profiling like the cops do in NYC to justify illegally searching minorities for guns, isn’t it? 
If your spider sense tingles up your neck don’t get in the elevator, cross the street or run the other way even if they are dressed like a circus clown. If its too late and you have no choice fight for your life and to protect your kids with what ever you have.
Joebigjoe : you are right, sunny day walking to get a coffee with a friend, cars going by, two men mugged us one with a knife the other a big revolver, they took our coffee money and left, very Scary… Just sitting down at a crowded restaurant for dinner with my date when a drug deal goes bad and a guy shoot 10 or more rounds off in the restaurant, imagine every one enjoying dinner then deafening gunfire indoors followed by quiet sobbing and people were under the tables and on the floor. I know I’m jaded now and really wonder when the next nut job will snap and not if anymore.
The other people who have prevented serious crimes or arrested them with a firearm need speak up, the good people need a chance too.

posted by: Nutmeg87 | May 30, 2014  11:56am

The issue of guns have long been an emotional issue…  Much of the conventional reasoning is based on anecdotes…  These stories certainly resonate with the one telling it as well as listeners that can relate to it…

Hey…  Politics is simply the same…  much of the debates & issues get sorted out in the voters mind emotionally and not rationally ...  Thats why politics are about sound bites & baiting emotion…

California has STRICTEST STATE GUN CONTROL in the nation.  Simply because NY & CT just enacted it, where CA had decades of gun control via attrition…  IT DIDNT STOP THIS MASS KILLING…

More deaths are caused by hands, clubs, automobiles, household items than “assault weapons”...  MOST VIOLENT CRIMES involing gun deaths are related to another primary crime, such as drugs, gang-related, vice, burglary, hate, etc….  They DONT GET GUNS legally anyways…

People kill people…  We already have laws that state killing is a crime (some states punishable by death even)...  It happened since the beginning of time and will conitnue to happen…  What John Moses Browning did, was only level the Darwinian playing field - allowing the weaker to have a method to even the odds in self-defense…

The founding fathers had already the assumption that guns are not a right given by the government, but an inalienable right to self-defense… The 2nd amendment just ratifies the need to “level the playing field” so that the average citizen can have the ability to organize against future tyranny of governments.

Debate as you will about guns…  But People are the culprits…  The liberals seem to mind when confidentiality is at stake when we’re dealing with the mentally ill…  But have no issue with the confidentiality of law biding, tax paying, wealth creating, productive average folk that own guns?????

Sara, how about all those people I remember getting pushed into trains (metro-north & Subway) in NYC by the mentally ill???  You gonna advocate for a 2 mile/hr speed limit?  Because no one is advocating registering anyone seeking psych help?  So basically CT rather have a registry of me owning a gun & 15 rd mag versus all those out there seeking psych help, let alone, confidentially taking drugs for it…  Nice….

posted by: GBear423 | May 30, 2014  1:23pm

GBear423

in response to SDL’s hypothetical:

For myself, a combat vet that saw action, the honest answer is I feel more secure as I pass by potential threats. If there is a real threat posed, deal with it as peaceably as possible.

No “responsible” firearms owner is looking to kill anyone; those would be the crazy people.

posted by: Common Sense | May 30, 2014  2:22pm

New Hampshire is among he lowest in gun-related killings as they do no have the large ghetto population of larger states. Even the air is better in New Hampshire. The welfare crowd has not made an in-road into this state “yet.”  Perhaps thos state’s welfare benefits are too low? Connecticut attacted THE WELFARE CROWD many years ago

posted by: Chien DeBerger | May 30, 2014  5:58pm

Wow Sara, sorry I have not been on the site for a couple of days. It is okay that you do not understand the concept I was alluding to. Again, I applaud you for knowing that you could not carry a weapon for personal defense or take a life if you had to. That is okay.

posted by: Common Sense | May 30, 2014  7:47pm

Our mass-killers are rarely wearing a hoodie or baseball hat. They are not caring about being identified or die once they did have shot their load.

posted by: shinningstars122 | May 31, 2014  5:52am

shinningstars122

Sarah,

Your story is very compelling and the reasoning for your decisions are thoughtful and honest.

I think as a society we need to acknowledge how quickly anger can turn to violence, extreme violence, and often resulting in a deadly outcome.

This is another component of this debate.

Many of the men here ignore the reality that women are more likely to be murdered or injured in a domestic violence incident if the man has access to a firearm.

Most often the firearm is legally owned.

Why do these men commit such violence against someone they ” love”?

I do believe that one major factor is that these men have been conditioned by negative gender stereotypes, promoted by their peers and society for most of their lives, which sadly manifests into misogyny.

It is also important to note the fact that men in our society are respected and glorified when they get angry.

Think of the Alpha male syndrome or a day of football.

I don’t agree that marketing ” cute” pink handguns to women is the best way to deal with this ageless problem either or to empower women.

Sarah maybe that would be a great starting point for your next piece?

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 31, 2014  11:35am

I just read about a bill brought up by two Democrat Congressman having to do with keeping guns away from the mentally ill. On its face it actually looks decent but once libs get their hands on it, it will turn into something not reasonable, and not pass.

There is an issue with mental illness and a bill about getting and keeping guns. A bill like that would compel extreme liberals which is about 20% of the Dem party to relinquish firearms now and in the future.

Everyone who is sane knows that extreme liberalism (not average reasonable people can disagree liberalism) is a mental illness. At its core its an ideology based solely on emotion and not being able to make sense of those emotions.

I know some of you find that offensive but ask yourself this question. Its one of many.

You say that Conservatives want to take us back to the 1950’s. In the 1950’s anyone could order a gun and ammo through the mail without background checks and we didnt have schools and other places shot up.

What’s changed since then?

posted by: Matt from CT | May 31, 2014  12:47pm

>But to make these claims that
>we are safer ... isn’t actually
>borne out by the facts. ...stop
>pretending they don’t exist
>because you think that
>everyone who supports common
>sense gun laws is trying to
>take all your weapons away,

First, “common sense” is a buzz phrase.  There is nothing that makes sense in it, other than the market testing by PR firms.  Using that term is showing a bias already beyond a reason-based approach.

Second, the issue of “safer,” “more guns,” and “facts” is not true and far more complicated than collecting a number of facts that agree with your position.

As Greg points out, Vermont for many decades had the least restrictive gun laws in the nation and the lowest rates of violent crime and certainly isn’t a hotbed of gun safety negligence.  Many of the southern and western nations that have equalled or exceeded Vermont’s gun laws previously had laws more restrictive than Connecticut in regards to carrying firearms.

They had relatively high rates of violent crime and accidents before.  And they still do.

The drop in violent crime following more widespread adoption of laws allowing carrying of firearms, and the expiration of the national assault weapons ban, is not a causative relationship.

Violence was on the decline for other reasons.  Guns don’t cause crime, so they being legally more widespread didn’t positively or negatively impact the crime rate.

More than anything, crime and safety are cultural issues.  Vermont is a safe state because of the legacy of it’s Puritan founders and their desire to make this earth as best as it could be—including butting into other people’s business and lecturing them on things like safety.

Other areas of the nation do not share that cultural background.  The greater Appalachia area founded be clannish, mistrustful Scot & Irish stock dispossessed of their lands back in Britain were more prone to crime and violence than Puritans, or Quakers, or German Protestants who settled north of them.  Barbadian planters who dominated the Deep South encouraged violence to keep their slaves under control (and we see this in Northern cities with large populations of the black diaspora from this area, along with other social, economic, and legal issues that contribute to urban violence fueled by drug money).

Individual facts can be collected to support any position.

What is needed is the knowledge of the entire complexity of crime, violence, and safety and the cultural norms surrounding it. 

Until you have the wisdom to guide those cultural norms without causing a reactionary backlash you won’t find a solution.

It’s a people problem, you can confiscate the guns, but

If the media still sensationalize mass killers, car bombers will replace shooters.

Urban violence fueled by smuggled drug profits will continue with smuggled weapons and ammo.

People who aren’t safe will hurt themselves in other ways.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | May 31, 2014  1:39pm

Just got back from synagogue, where I had a very interesting convo with a former paratrooper in elite Israeli unit about this piece. He cannot understand the gun culture in this country. As he pointed out, Israeli citizens live with a far greater risk of terrorism on a daily basis, and yet the attitude towards guns isn’t like it is here. When he went through training in the desert, if someone shot an animal for the hell of it, it was 28 days in the brink. He said he doesn’t understand the US mentality towards guns. I said I’m an American and I don’t understand it either.

posted by: Carp12 | May 31, 2014  4:03pm

You are certainly entitled to see things that way but others disagree. Gun ownership and Stand your Ground amendments are bedrocks of one’s liberty to defend themselves against violent attacks.

The victims of these deranged murderers do not have a chance to change their mind on gun ownership and self defense. Does anyone think in that moment they would rather be disarmed?

Gun control has proven to only embolden criminals and create more innocent victims. Millions upon millions of citizens have made the decision not to be a victim. Once these rights are taken away we will never get them back.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | May 31, 2014  7:44pm

RogueReporterCT

Chien, funny you should mention sheepdogs. When the Nazis invaded Hungary, first they came for the royal sheepdogs. Pretty much wiped them out, too. See link: http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/JEBIAN/

posted by: ASTANVET | May 31, 2014  9:24pm

Shiningstars - so…wait… you just said that women are more likely to be murdered with a firearm (a legally owned firearm) if their ‘man’ has one.  I don’t think i’ll let that one pass - the crime statistics published by the FBI would argue your point.  If gun control worked, and gun legislation was the key to safety and prosperity, Chicago would be the safest city on the planet.  Right along with Wash. D.C., and Detroit.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl69.xls just the beginning link to evaluate a lot of data.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | June 1, 2014  2:14pm

@roguereporterCT-

Thanks, that describes exactly what I was alluding to about certain persons who have a love for the sheep (peaceful people) and hatred for the wolves (predators of the innocence and defenseless). Here is a link to the piece I was alluding to in my post. This can also be found in Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman’s book, “On Combat” for anyone who would like to understand. It is well worth the read. Semper Fi!
Link: http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 1, 2014  3:53pm

shinningstars122

@AStanvet I guess you are not familiar with domestic violence or restraining orders and the risk factors that increase for women when they exercises these rights?

Here are a couple sources to open your eyes.
http://www.safehorizon.org/index/what-we-do-2/domestic-violence—abuse-53/domestic-violence-statistics—facts-195.html

Jump to page three on this study from 2011.

Or wait I will make it nice and easy for you.

>>>>There were 264 women shot and killed by either their husband or intimate
acquaintance during the course of an argument.

# Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon could be determined (1,551), more
female homicides were committed with firearms (51 percent) than with any other
weapon. Knives and other cutting instruments accounted for 20 percent of all female
murders, bodily force 14 percent, and murder by blunt object seven percent. Of the
homicides committed with firearms, 73 percent were committed with handguns.

I am sorry dude but your logic is simply preposterous.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 1, 2014  9:25pm

264 is 264 too many but how many women have been saved because they had a firearm?

How many women killed the male?

Sorry but the Constitution cant be changed because two people that decided to sleep together at some point in their relationship dont know how to be respectful to each other and not kill each other. In this case its more men than women doing the killing.

The Constitution cant be changed because nut jobs in many cases raised by weak and stupid parents decide to kill.

The Constitution cant be changed because a bunch of people want to act like animals to each other and choose not to follow laws or social mores like not doing drugs and staying in school.

If people want to change the Constitution then lets do that to deal with these types of people so future generations think more than twice about going down that path.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 1, 2014  10:49pm

gutbomb86

As is often the case, Joe, you’re proceeding from poor assumptions.

No one is seriously suggesting that the Constitution be changed. You’re just interpreting it wrong.

And when presented with data in this thread on women murdered (or really any data that doesn’t fit your worldview), you default to belligerent adherence to a failed status quo.

If you’re in favor of a status quo that has utterly failed to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms. More controls are needed. That’s all there is to it. You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution.

Hint: Being part of the solution means not being a close-minded partisan.

Guns make you *feel* safe, but they certainly don’t make anyone safer. You just think your comfort zone is more important than everyone else’s right to live.

You might want to read Michael Waldman’s book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography” ... it might clear things up for you.

Relevant point here, cited in this review:

...there is not a single word about an individual right to a gun for self-defense in the notes from the Constitutional Convention. Nor with scattered exceptions in the records of the ratification debates in the states. Nor on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as it marked up the Second Amendment.

“People ask who is right? Did the Second Amendment protect militias, or an individual right to a gun? The answer: Both, and neither. It protected the individual right to a gun… to fulfill the duty to serve in a militia. To the Framers, even our question would make little sense. To us, today, their answer makes little sense.”

That’s the best analysis I’ve read yet and what it means is pretty simple - there’s no “god given right” to a firearm, nor is the constitution suggesting directly that an individual has a right to a firearm without being part of a militia - a militia being a state entity. And let’s be VERY clear - the “militia” could not, and would not, have ever been intended to mean a bunch of anti-gov’t nutjobs who are fixated on firearms.

There *IS* room to regulate the heck out of firearms to protect the public from criminals and crazies without violating the constitution. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 2, 2014  7:31am

Gutbomb, self defense is a God-given right and not one that needs to be enumerated in the Constitution.

If we go back in history to that time it was absolutely assumed that people would have guns for self defense and hunting. Look at the history before the Revolution and tell me that’s not true.

All of the writings of people like Madison Jefferson and others outside of the Constitution as well as after the Constitution clearly show the intent and that is that individuals have that right so that they can turn back a tyrannical government. The militia issue is one way and they also discussed the role of the “individual freedom fighter and guerrilla type fighter” and those are of course my words, but their concept.

If the National Guard is the militia today and they are the government, then how does that protect our freedom, if to protect it we need to rely on the government fighting the government?

I dont know one person, seriously not one person, that wants criminals and nutcases to have guns. I’m sure you want the same so we agree on that.

When the laws “infringe” on the rights of people like you and me, and make it such that we cant own guns or have to register them beyond the first legal acquisition of them then world history proves that’s an issue. The verbiage ‘shall not be infringed” also comes into play.

Look at whats happening in Chicago. The SCOTUS ruled again in favor of law abiding citizens owning firearms in a case brought by a black man who recently passed away. I mention black because of the black on black crime out there and now more black on white crime. He was a veteran that served this country and his community honorably, but couldnt buy a gun. He won his case. Now Rahm Emanuel has passed all these new anti gun zoning laws so gun shops cant even open in Chicago and also is trying to implement a law on videotaping the person buying the gun.

Don’t you think that spitting on the face of the SCOTUS and the law abiding citizens that live in fear, makes this a bigger issue and makes people with guns dig their heels in even more? Rather than working together on keeping guns out of the hands of people that shouldnt have them, you get the looney tune left that raises the stakes and works to get gun owners madder and into a panic that leads to them running out and getting more guns they may not even need and tons of ammo.

Why? Because when the left does this the gun owners paint a picture in their minds, and rightfully so, that anything is possible in government.

It’s the left on the issue in the wrong, but I say that a far right government taking dictatorial power is just as bad. Right now we live under a soft tyranny and it’s not getting better. Our civil liberties are getting stripped all in the name of stopping terrorists, yet we let every joker into this country under the guise of “studying.” Yeah we’re screwed.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 2, 2014  8:12am

Chien - I apologize for misinterpreting your intentions - I read the article you linked to and now understand what you intended. But can you read this: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sheep and try to understand why calling someone a “sheep” in political discourse might be misinterpreted and potentially offensive? 

I also have to vehemently disagree with what was written in that article. I am not in denial of the dangers to me. Anyone who has heard me speak about my past, or read my pieces about writing for young adults knows that I believe that DENIAL is the enemy. As a woman, I am more than aware of the dangers I face every single day. I won’t park in a multistory car park at night if I’m by myself. I have to make choices all the time that are dictated by the fact that there are dangers I face that a man doesn’t.

But here’s the difference. Like my Israeli paratrooper friend, I don’t think that I should bear arms unless I am extremely well trained to do so. When that general wrote about warriors being sheepdogs, do you honestly think he was talking about every Joe Schmo being able to buy and shoot weapons? I don’t. I think he meant highly trained sheepdogs. A sheepdog who isn’t well-trained can wreak havoc with a herd.

You quoted Dirty Harry. My Israeli friend actually commented that he thinks part of the problem with the US is the Dirty Harry culture. Everyone thinks they’re going to get some punk to make their day.

posted by: Common Sense | June 2, 2014  9:01am

Pres. Obama skirts the Constitution all the time to suit his dictatorship rule—and just bypassed Congress on the prisoner exchange over the weekend “as President Dictator.”

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 2, 2014  9:20am

Michael Waldman’s book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography” DOESNT PLACE YOU IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE OF THAT TIME…

IT IS A “GOD GIVEN RIGHT” to protect yourself, family & property…  Its has always been presumed that you can do so with equal force… Guns are just tools…  The KY & TN made guns were actually better & more innovative than the British military spec arms at that time…

2nd amendment just ratifies the need/ability for us to organize in defense of govt tyranny…  They didnt see the idiotic need to further write in atht “yes that means guns can be used…”  When the 2nd Amendment protects our ability to organize to defend against govt: state/nat’l/foreign - do you think the founding fathers meant that it can only be with a “handicap”..  REALLY ???  Most of the authors & signers fought the govt themselves? Do you really think they needed to further elaborate of all the handicaps that ordinary citizens should adhere to???  REALLY…  Revisionist history gone bad…

Sara- There is a reason that ISRAEL was founded & remains a military state…  Totally understandable after Hitler & Stalins gungrabbing, property confiscating & oh yeah the murdering…  They have their history, unfortunately one with much violence & terror - and no wonder everyone there has your friend’s opinion…

But America also has its own unique history and culture…  One that spans its Manifest Destiny with violence & terror too…  Its a large country with a unique difference between cosmopollitan coasts, rural middle-america and the north & deep south…  Its a Republic of states…  Texas and CT…  There is a different history, culture and diversity than Israel…  Whether you like or believe in a republic, capitalism or the melting pot - Pax America certainly has served the world a generation of innovation, technology, international trade, mobility and yes - better standard of living & human advancement than any other “peaceful” era since the Roman Empire…

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 2, 2014  12:28pm

Common Sense that was a BAD decision.

Forget about the “we dont negotiate with terrorists” part for a moment.

If this soldier had been in battle and was taken, I might feel differently. He deserted. He didnt want to be there and there are comments being made that other than the jets in the air and drones looking fr him that 6 US soldiers may have been killed looking for him.

We let go the worst of the worst which is another issue.

Finally, the big issue that will start to get more airtime very soon is the Tweet that was sent out and then deleted by Bergdahls father. Copies are already out there and its shocking. Google that and tell me that something isnt very wrong here.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 2, 2014  12:36pm

“My Israeli friend actually commented that he thinks
part of the problem with the US is the Dirty Harry culture. Everyone thinks
they’re going to get some punk to make their day.”

Wow is your friend wrong. I would say 99.9% of gun owners would hate to pull the trigger.

However, Dirty harrying isnt not just about pulling the trigger. We can all mourn the deaths of people from guns, both good people and bad people, but that number doesnt even come close nor is it in the same Universe of the number of people that arent added to that death list, assault list, rape list, robbery victim list and on and on because they had a gun where they either used it in self defense or brandished it and the bad guys went away.

The day the number of the good guy uses of firearms is less than bad guy uses, then we can talk.

The media rarely covers the factual incidences where someone pulls a gun to protect themselves legally. If they did the number of anti gun people would go down because they would start living in fear because every day they would read about a gang shooting leaves one dead and 5 people in varying situations pulled, showed, or led someone to believe that they had a gun to defend themselves against bad people.

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 2, 2014  1:52pm

Oh BTW…

Most EVERYONE is a “Joe Schmo” with a gun…  The VAST majority of the soldiers (paratroopers included) are barely above Joe Schmo…  Read The Band of Brothers - The guys that parashooted behind Normandy and Arnheim…  Most are boys out of high school from farms with NO firearms training oustide of boot camp…  How about the boys that got drafted and went to Vietnam…  How about majority of our Policemen - most of whom really dont like to even pull out a gun - just a career job - and most likely visit a range less than most Joe Schmo civilians…

Militias ARE Joe Schmos - back then they were farmers ...  today they may be electricians, plumbers, retired folk, or “white collar” guys ...  Militias are not the National Guard - institutionalized state reserves with government issued weapons…  MILITIAS ARE JUST JOE SCHMOS THAT MAY BE ORGANZIZED BECAUSE OUR FREEDOM OR LIBERTY IS IN DANGER - Not exactly guys that work for (and paid) by Govt…

Not that militias are being organzied today for some insurrection ...  But theres all this talk that 2nd amend is NOT about right to bear arms - just only for militias - Really ...  who do you think militias are?

posted by: ASTANVET | June 2, 2014  4:47pm

shining stars: - first I would say that parsing crime statistics can lead you in any direction you want.  Chicago has tons of crime - the most gun restrictive place on the US map - and crime is rampant.  Why?  You have an agenda with only citing crimes against women, however more men are shot and killed in the US - a vast majority with illegal firearms.  As much as I hate to agree with GUTBOMB, he is mostly right about his interpretation of the us constitution.  The CONGRESS shall make no law (that is no federal law) which will infringe on the freedom to bear arms.  States can do what they want, within the bounds of their own constitutions.  While i disagree with the gun laws that we passed last year, they have been upheld by our state supreme court… end of story until we elect new representatives in the CGA.  The question seems to be should guns be allowed or not, i would argue that they should, so why quibble over nonsensical terms like assault weapon, bayonet lugs, or pistol grips.  High capacity or low capacity… that is just incremental nonsense.  If what you want is a state wide gun free zone, just step up and advocate for your position.  Don’t hide behind the talking points, or parsed statistics.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 3, 2014  1:04pm

Nutmeg - I’ve read Band of Brothers - and the Longest Day, and Blackhawk Down, and Jarhead, and Generation Kill, and D-Day by Stephen Ambrose, Sun Tzu’s the Art of War and so many books on war, history, intelligence (the spying kind) that it would take me far too much time to list. I started reading Foreign Policy when I was in my early teens. That still doesn’t convince me that anyone needs to walk into a Home Depot or a Chilis carrying the kind of weapon I was shooting at the Gun Store - or why anyone who hasn’t been highly trained should own one.

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 3, 2014  3:05pm

Sarah-
I’m certainly not trying to convince nor condone carrying a long-gun into a chillis or home depot…

The fact is that “highly trained” firearms experts are far & few…  Many civilians sportsmen & NRA FA trainers are FAR more “highly trained” than local law enforcement…  And they do carry concealed to a chillis…

I just think its NOT an issue of training on weapons, as you know, most soldiers are just kids (not Special Forces or soldiers of fortune of course…)...  RATHER its an issue of maturity, temperment, philosophy, and ethos of the person with firearm that ultimately determines JUDGEMENT used with firearm - whether its open carry, how quickly its used to resolve conflict or trigger point when in fear…  ITS NOT THE GUN, ITS NOT THE ABILITY TO SHOOT WELL, ITS THE PERSON !!!  A psychotic expert in firearms is more a concern to me than an average joe who carries concealed to Home Depot buying plumbing supplies…

posted by: ASTANVET | June 3, 2014  4:00pm

Sarah - as you probably experienced, semi-automatic rifles like the P99, M4, mini-14 are easy to shoot.  Meaning they are light, maneuverable, and very little recoil.  What it trades for weight is stopping power, so you need more rounds on target to put it down.  That is the experience from a combat veteran who has experienced that kind of “stopping power” many times.  The light weight however does make them ideal and safe for someone like my wife or daughter to shoot.  I’m not advocating for anyone to walk into a home depot with one, but I don’t think that makes anyone unsafe just by it’s presence.  Again, we are looking at the tool instead of the individual, and we are presuming that people that carry guns are pre-disposed to violence or committing crime.  I have a concealed carry permit.  I do on occasion carry…not often, but some times.  You are not less safe if I’m carrying in a restaurant, or convenience store.  In fact it is quite the opposite.  This again seems like the idea that if I want to carry, i have to have the consent of everyone I pass along the way.  That seems contrary to personal or individual freedom.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 3, 2014  4:27pm

gutbomb86

You are not less safe if I’m carrying in a restaurant, or convenience store.

Huge crock of p**p you just dumped there, Astanvet. You clearly have zero understanding of statistics. *You* may *feel* safer because you have a firearm in a restaurant, but the very fact that you have carried one into the restaurant makes everyone else less safe because of the presence of the firearm, which carries with it the potential for an accident or the opportunity for you to use it unjustly. With all due respect to your military service, you need to wake up and face mathematical reality. The presence of firearms increases risk that they will be used. That is an incontrovertible fact and a lot of folks like yourself can’t seem to get it through your stubborn streaks.

You make the same arguments over and over. You offer the same fantasy-land perception of reality. Ridiculous.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 3, 2014  4:30pm

ASTANVET - as you say you are trained. You have been in combat. There is a difference between you and people who are carrying such weapons and aren’t trained.

For the people who make the comparison - as someone in the thread did earlier -  “But you drive a car and that’s a lethal weapon”. Yeah, but I had to be trained and take lessons and get licensed and I have to have insurance and prove that I have insurance every time I renew my registration.  And if I want to drive a race car, (which trust me, I would LOVE to try) I would have to get even more training and have even higher insurance. But the gun lobby fights all of those things when it relates to guns. You can’t have it both ways.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 3, 2014  4:31pm

Gutbomb, have you ever eaten at Lubys, McDonalds in California, or Donna Lee Bakery in New Britain?

All famous massacres and there are more than that at restaurants and food establishments.

There are many more but those are just 3 that jump right off the top of my head.

Name one shoot ‘em up at restaurant where good guys decided to engage in gun play.

posted by: Common Sense | June 3, 2014  4:52pm

gutbomb86:  Ir’s a controversial subject and everyone is entitled to their views without offensive reference if you disagree. Your opinion is not gospel. Have a nice day.

posted by: Common Sense | June 3, 2014  5:12pm

joebigjoe:  Let’s not give only restaurants and food service peoviders a bad name to prove your point. People are also known to bring guns to church and other house of prayer.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 3, 2014  5:15pm

gutbomb86

@commonsense or @stanmuzyk or @reasonable (you have a very distinct cadence and use of punctuation in your comments) ...

Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions. But not their own facts. You and your pals often offer false information to support your arguments. The FACT is, the presence of a firearm ADDS risk - it does not reduce risk. This is a FUNDAMENTAL failure in the analysis of most gun advocates.

@joe - your idea that the “good guy” with the gun will save us is bunk. You know it. The shooters all see themselves as the “good guy.” When you carry, you’re just adding to the ever increasing risk of a shooting taking place. That’s all there is too it. Risk is risk - it’s mathematical.

@sarah - your last point was excellent. The gun-worshippers in this thread like to trot the same stuff all the time, comparisons to cars and other tools that all have other purposes and, in the case of vehicles, are more heavily regulated than firearms. The “why don’t they outlaw spoons” argument is the weakest of the lot in terms of NRA talking points.

And I believe I just read today that the NRA has come out AGAINST open carry because - surprise! - it hurts their cause. Why? BECAUSE IT’S RIDICULOUS.

Trust is a big part of the equation, and the NRA is now starting to see its chickens come home to roost in the form society’s total lack of trust in their most vocal members who advocate open carry. The reasons are obvious. Just because you favor gun rights doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to wave them around in public, making everyone nervous. Why do guns make people nervous? Because they kill people. It’s pretty simple.

And it’s always fun to read nonsensical conservative history lessons in these threads. Keep at it. If there really is a god out there giving out rights, the almighty certainly would not approve of what gun proliferation has done to the creatures (both mentally and physically) on this earth.

Back to Sarah’s point - these things are regulated for good reason, and should be more heavily regulated, incrementally so, for as long as it takes to end this spate of mass shootings once and for all. They have managed to get their guns under control in other countries and they are doing fine. Don’t spout nonsense about mass stabbings at me, either. That’s cr*p.

You’re either part of the problem or you are part of the solution. “God” didn’t give each one of you the right to walk around with bombs for self-defense. Highly dangerous weapons (handguns included) have the potential for far more damage than self-defense, and that potential outweighs their value to society as a whole. That’s why we regulate them and will continue to do so.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 3, 2014  5:18pm

gutbomb86

A big part of the problem is the geographic uneveness in the risk of shootings here in the USA. Urban areas are sadly still home to ongoing, brazen criminal enterprises. That’s where the majority of the shooting deaths come from. When you regulate guns, you need to regulate them nationwide, rather than in pockets. Because people know they can get guns easily just a few miles away in the parking lot outside the gun show with all those “good guys with guns.”

But somehow, out in suburbia, people are so distracted that even a parent calls and says her son is dangerous, law enforcement can’t be bothered to Google the kid’s web history to see if he’s publishing threats of violence for the whole world to see. They can’t be bothered to check the kid’s gun ownership records before they come to the home. I’m sorry to say it, because I respect law enforcement a great deal, but that incident in California looks like shoddy police work, if not negligence.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 3, 2014  5:18pm

Sarah, I dont know one person who carries concealed that has not shot 1000’s of rounds before that. I’m sure there are people that have guns at home that have never fired them but I honestly dont know one John wayne that buys a gun and then doesnt fire tons of ammo down range before they decide to walk around with it.

You dont need to be “highly trained” to be able to protect yourself. I belong to IDPA and have never been “highly trained”, but just got training with alot of additional experience. I can out shoot many police officers so who defines “highly trained.”

I rarely carry in restaurants, although I should, I carry most of the time in movie theatres and other places I may go where there could be questionable characters. I dont carry at the mall but history says I should.

I just dont want to be a victim nor do I want others to be.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 3, 2014  5:36pm

Yes some do carry in church because people have been massacred there.

As for open carry, I have never once said I am for that as I am actually against it. You should try to reasonably conceal in my opinion.

As for the jerks open carrying in those restaurants they are open carrying RIFLES which is ridiculous. They are as bad as the looney tune lefties that want no guns.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 3, 2014  5:40pm

Gutbomb, only the 2nd time in history but I totally agree with your second paragraph on the police in California.

Also speaking of California why dont we ever hear about the woman paralyzed in the pickup truck when the police unloaded on her when they were looking for Christopher Dorner.

yet another reason to stand for the 2nd amendment because a Police state isnt looking too promising.

posted by: ASTANVET | June 3, 2014  6:52pm

Gutbomb - seriously, i am stubborn about freedom, which does not comport to your wishes some times.  Fact remains, that I never claimed that I was safer, but you cannot claim that you are less safe.  I have control over my holstered, secured weapon as I have done on several hundred combat patrols… not once in 35 years of shooting have I had an “accident”.  But we cannot guarantee that accidents do not happen… at what price are you willing to vanquish someones freedoms so that you can maintain an illusion that life will not have it’s fair share of accidents.  I can tell you that you cannot protect yourself, or anyone else with that mentality.  I go back to something that i’ve been saying for a long time.  I’m not taking anything from you…and you are trying to change my behavior… who is the aggressor?  The bottom line is that you do not believe in the presumption of innocence.  If you follow your logic of statistics, what does that mean for urban crime?  what are you willing to do to the people who live in cities to ‘protect’ them?  flawed logic my friend… freedom and responsibility are two things that go hand in hand.  You can’t take those things from people and expect a good outcome.

posted by: ASTANVET | June 3, 2014  6:53pm

Sarah - you sure did stir up controversy with this one… sheesh!

posted by: Common Sense | June 3, 2014  8:13pm

gutbomb86: Your quote: “You and your pals often offer false information ib support of your arguments.”  Without giving any specifics you are again “being careless with the truth.“My writing pals consistently tell the truth.” You get carried away supporting proven false prophets. “Your gutbomb explodes” every time you comment. A good name for you!

posted by: Politijoe | June 3, 2014  8:39pm

Politijoe

Sarah great article on your reasoning regarding gun ownership. As im sure youre aware, there are currently about 22,000 guns laws on the books and subsequently a real lack of enforcement when an individual commits a crime with an unregistered firearm. Additionally less than 2% of crimes committed with firearms are done so by legal gun owners. With that said, the obvious elephant in the room is mental illness and our collective lack of support and funding for services. This is a larger conversation but suffice to say the conservative right simply cannot oppose increased spending in areas like mental illness on one hand and then in the same breath acknowledge mental illness as a critical component to gun crime, simply cant have it both ways. The one issue which seems to be the biggest challenge and would certainly go a long way with public perception is closing the loop-holes in gun shows and straw purchases.This is a reasonable ask and the NRA opposition to this comes across as irresponsible.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 3, 2014  9:42pm

LOL Right again Joe!!

I have said this exact thing on this site and now WFSB is reporting the same thing.

The more anti-gun people push for more laws that dont make sense the more guns are sold, the more ammo, and the more new people getting into guns that never did before.

The best thing that antigun people can do is actually join with progun people in pushing for existing laws to be enforced because we all know that they definitely arent. New laws are just feel good and anti-Constitutional.

Push for existing laws to be enforced by states and feds and watch gun sales fall dramatically which is what they want.

Never happen though because that’s counter intuitive to their emotional position.

http://www.wfsb.com/story/25684945/gun-sales-on-the-rise-experts-say-one-reason-is-laws

posted by: Politijoe | June 3, 2014  10:05pm

Politijoe

Joebigjoe, I’m hoping you haven’t dismissed the critical point regarding mental health support and funding. Furthermore I certainly would not include new legislation that closes gun show loop holes as “feel good and anti-Constitutional” 
This is a multi-faceted issue that demands more than just emotional, biased rhetoric.

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 4, 2014  5:46am

shinningstars122

@ASTANVET am I “hiding” behind crime statistics?

Man you are grasping now.

I could easily put up the statistics of men murder and shot in the US but all of you folks would just come up with some anise rationalization that it is the criminals fault.

I wonder why you all love citing Chicago?

A former Chief of Staff for the Mayor?

It is clear that the guns in the hands of criminals were at some point bought legally in another state(s).

That is the problem in Chicago and the drug trafficking and other major crimes committed by the very organized and deadly gangs in that city.

I mean if you can post a reliable source of a bunch of gang bangers having taken over a military munition dump or raiding a major gun manufacture please do share.

I am sure you can find something up on The Blaze?

The major point to consider is all of these social and health effects as a result of gun violence, no matter the gender of the race, are ignored by the majority 2nd Amendment folks.

They just choose to ignore the reality of what is happening in all areas of our country.

Throw onto this that the NRA has effectively lobbied against any government agency from studying and collecting empirical data on a variety issues surround gun violence and you have the mess we are in now.

And gentlemen it is a mess.

Violent crime and murders have been trending down in our country but it has nothing to do with private gun ownership…you can thank law enforcement and other efforts for that guys.

The bottom line is there is no middle ground for you folks and because of that fact thousand upon thousand will be shot and murdered in our country for years to come.

For all of you that is simply the ” cost” of freedom or as you may very well know @ASTANVET these are the “projected casualties” of this self induced conflict.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 4, 2014  7:13am

Joe, I am all about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

However, HIPAA and the ACLU stand in the way of what could be done with this issue.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 4, 2014  9:00am

Astanvet - : ) I wrote an honest column, hoping to create constructive dialogue. That’s the job of an opinion writer, IMHO.

I learned a lot from my publisher when I first started as a columnist in 2003, Durham Monsma. He got a lot of complaints from people in Greenwich who didn’t like my criticism of the Bush Administration, and he didn’t necessarily agree with me, but he said he supported me because I wrote well-written, well-reasoned arguments that made people think, and that was the purpose of an op-ed.

posted by: ASTANVET | June 4, 2014  12:10pm

Shining Stars: please do not lecture me of the cost of freedom.  Unless you are willing to ruck up and put your life on the line i suggest you drop the snarky, egalitarian, pseudo-intellectual tone.  Agree with me or not, I have put my life in great jeopardy in support of our nation.  I know what freedom costs.  What you in all your wailings have failed to account for is human nature, which i have seen at its worst.  I wasn’t citing chicago because of it’s mayor, as much as it’s crime statistics.  Forget Chicago…detroit, nyc, wash dc, every major metropolitan area has crime.  Some guns, some drugs, but lots of violent crime.  Do you think that will stop with your little legislative agenda… nope.  You are like a rights killing terminator just without the cool shades… you will never stop, if it isn’t guns, it’ll be something else that ruffles your delicate sensibilities.  Then what…start the lobby train again… gotta keep people upset to initiate action.  It’s a joke… a bad joke… and every time one of your plackarded elites comes down from your ivory tower to mix with us unwashed masses you just want to take more control and freedoms.  Yeah, you ticked me off… I apologize in advance for not being my normally detached level headed self.

posted by: Common Sense | June 4, 2014  8:31pm

Sarah Darer Littman accomplished the purpose of her madness. She got everyone to agree to disagree by continually adding fuel to the clever dissentient fire she created, “and not stopping her persistent agitation to get the mice to virtually come out of the woodwork.’

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 5, 2014  6:03am

shinningstars122

@ASTANVET sure you are pissed, and offer plenty of assumptions about me, but you offer nothing of substance on your point of view.

You just regurgitate a hate filled, and fact devoid, ignorant opinion that is anything but constructive or solution oriented.

You and I probably have more in common then you ever would care to admit and sadly that is your loss and your causes loss.

How dare you question my civic activism and my support of our country and the Constitution?

People like you remind me of Joseph McCarthy.

Who is the elitist now?

Go use that pseudo white washed patriotism on someone else buddy.


I have not personally attack you or questioned your service but that is the first thing you go for when you can not intellectually defend or even articulate your positions through straight forward civic discourse.

Plus you seem to not appreciate sarcasm either.

Sadly my opinion of you at this point is that you sir are a lost cause.

Ignorance is bliss.

If you want to have honest, respectable, and constructive debates with folks like me, and I am more than willing, you honestly need stick to the facts sir and leave the assumptions at your own house.

posted by: Politijoe | June 5, 2014  6:18am

Politijoe

Joebigjoe HIPPA and the ACLU are not the problem with regards to firearms and mental illness. The issue is accessible and affordable mental health treatment, that requires adequate funding and services. Complimented with closing gun show loop-holes and enforcing existing gun laws.

Common sense stated that Sarah got everyone to agree to disagree by continually adding fuel to the clever dissentient fire she created and got the mice to virtually come out of the woodwork. I don’t believe this should be considered a negative. This is an emotional issue on either side of the isle that is worthy a dialog.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  8:37am

Joe, on that one you are misinformed.

Being that I am on the pro gun side of the argument I see tons of information and examples where that regulation and that organization have blocked getting information to the right people to prevent the purchase of firearms through the NCIS.

I can give you tons of examples but let me give you one. Aurora Colorado.

The school psychiatrist did her duty and reported James Holmes to the University of Colorado police as well as his journal which clearly showed his homicidal desires. They did nothing. We know the result. Why? Because the guidance they got from their lawyers was that they really couldnt get involved because of his private medical records and that it was best that they just keep an eye out for him on campus.

posted by: ASTANVET | June 5, 2014  8:40am

Shining Stars:  everyone can have a bad day - I’m much more relaxed today.  My defense of my argument is one word.  Freedom.  People should be allowed to live their lives free - so long as their actions do not breach the freedoms and rights of others.  That is a civil society.  Crime happens, that’s why we have laws. I’m not an anarchist.  I’m a small govt. solve problems at the lowest level.  My issue with your arguments and activism is that you seek to disrupt the rights of others who, while under the presumption of innocence, have committed no crime.  You want to restrict, and I believe want to remove firearms from the general population. We disagree.. but in my world view, we can peacefully co-exist. In your world view, you need to continue to restrict my rights further and further.  That is frustrating.  I get the impression that you do not want a debate as much as a platform to force your views.  I’m just trying to live in peace,not harming anyone by owning firearms, or by carrying them.  Can’t you leave people like me alone?

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  8:42am

Shining Stars you brought up Joseph McCarthy.

Lets talk about that a moment.

Joseph McCarthy overstepped his authority and no one can disagree with that.

When the Soviet Union fell, the Verona Papers within their government proved that Joseph McCarthy was 100% right with his accusations and he actually missed alot of people that were communist sympathizers and spies.

Today there are people making accusations of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and worse infiltrating our government. That will also prove to be true.

posted by: Common Sense | June 5, 2014  10:35am

joebigjoe: You hit it on the nose.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 5, 2014  10:40am

“Joseph McCarthy was 100% right with his accusations and he actually missed alot of people that were communist sympathizers and spies.”

OM\G. And…what about all the people he falsely accused who were deprived of their livelihoods because of the blacklists?

Common Sense accuses me of “madness”.

My late father (of blessed memory)  worked in intelligence, and he taught to me to be cautious and analytical - but to CARE enough to be brave.  All I can say is I am REALLY glad I don’t live in your head, JoeBigJoe.

posted by: Common Sense | June 5, 2014  11:11am

Sarah Darer Littman: I did not specifically accuse you of madness. I said: “There was a purpose to your madness.”

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  11:11am

When you say “OMG. And…what about all the people he falsely accused who were deprived
of their livelihoods because of the blacklists?”
we are saying the same thing…I think.

You are right as I was not specific with the people that were wrongly accused and what happened to them but most of the people he accused he was right on about according to the Soviet documents found 40 years later and he missed a whole bunch.

Its because of his screwup in terms of falsely accusing that today when we have Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the highest level of our government we are afraid to go after them.

posted by: Politijoe | June 5, 2014  1:38pm

Politijoe

Joebigjoe, Once again you miss the nuances and the bigger picture when you refer to HIPPA protections and the ACLU as the obstacles to addressing mental health and firearms. The solution isn’t as you suggest to erode our privacy and protections but instead to ensure we have affordable access to mental health diagnosis and treatment. I suppose the reason you arrive at this limited conclusion is the same reason you stated “Joseph McCarthy was 100% right with his accusations and he actually missed alot of people that were communist sympathizers and spies.” 
You have again failed to recognize that the solution is not the erosion of our rights, privacy and protections but affordable mental health treatment, responsible gun legislation (closing gun show loop-holes) and enforcing existing laws…..AND maintaining moderate and reasonable discourse and thinking. Predictably this is where the dialog with you becomes a train wreck. Your overly simplistic thinking on mental health and gun violence is challenging enough, however your consistent pattern of sophomoric statements like “The Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating our government” is an illustration of incomplete thinking that I simply cannot engage in.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  4:02pm

Here you go Joe. You’re a non-believer but I wont call you an infidel.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/120513-681914-radical-islamist-officials-find-home-in-white-house.htm?ven=rss

As for HIPAA and ACLU do you want links on that too? Didnt think so.

I am in agreement with you on needing more access to mental health care. The bottom line though is that if I was under mental health treatment now and saying “I hate liberals. I wish they were all dead. If I had a gun I would use it”, my therapist would discuss with me these feelings and have me work through them. However I’m no dummy, and I start to play the therapist and telling them what I know they want to hear. After all I’m sick and filled with hate. I then go over the edge one day after reading one of your posts and grab my legally acquired firearm and go ruin many lives at the local Liberals R’ Us convention.

So what blocked that therapist from getting their concerns over my threats into the gun system? HIPAA. Lets say that the therapist went to the police and said “Joe, is dead set on killing liberals and you have to get him into custody and I will sign off as a professional that he needs to be seen by other professionals immediately. Who gets me out of that hospital really fast? ACLU

posted by: Common Sense | June 5, 2014  4:09pm

Politijoe: The Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of our government is only “sophomoric” in your mind only.

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 5, 2014  6:16pm

shinningstars122

@ASTANVET This is where we can agree freedom is threatened from many sides in our society.

It is also very subjective what that threat is.
I will give one example of that.

Many Libertarians on this site, and is it safe to assume you are one of them?

Many of these folks are ardent supports of the second Amendment are also openly supportive of un-regulated free market capitalism and believe corporations should have free speech protections and personhood.

I totally disagree with that Ayn Rand vision and it amazes me that many folks believe that is ” freedom.”

But back to our discussion.

Just to make PERFECTLY clear, and if you read my posts, I do NOT want to take weapons from citizens who own them legally.

I have never said that or implied that EVER.

If you want to legally own a firearm… is it unreasonable in a modern society that you should do as much as you would to own a drivers license or register you car or GASP! be required to buy insurance for that right to drive your vehicle?

I will say that I do believe the national automatic weapons ban should be re-instated but that has a snow ball chance in hell of happening so I choose to live in CT, taxes and all, instead as it is still one of the last great progressive islands in the country.

Acceptance and complacency of society’s problems is not a solution.

Poverty and violence are still deep problems no matter how good the economy is.

Plus who crashed the economy into the mountain in ‘08?

Not the poor.

I don’t expect Walmart or David Koch to come up with the solution(s) for that or if they even care.

Capitalists love the poor, they love blaming them for all the bad things in society and they love to pay them squat.

They use it as a distraction from their own crimes of not wanting to pay their fair of taxes and controlling virtually every politician in Washington.

That is not freedom it is a plutocracy.

I mean many of these ” job creators” think they should be treated like royalty.

But first a reality check.

We should all apologize to Sarah since we have taken her story and gone AWOL with it.

Her story was about the possibility of being capable of deadly violence has been lost in all these posts.

Owning firearms simply increases that probability of violence regardless if it is legally or illegally owned.

You folks can not dispute that fact of human nature.

Especially when most of the folks on this thread are hunters and not gatherers.

So I ask you this @ASTANVET.

Where is the middle ground on this issue?

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 5, 2014  6:27pm

shinningstars122

@JoebigJoe.

Dude you get the Ollie North prize for that post of elevating McCarthy to some sort of patriotic sainthood.

My goodness that is pure rubbish.

Regardless of your ethnocentric revisionist view of American history.

Communists were an active part of the progressive movement in the early 20th century in our country.

They were just as American as you claim to be and many of their fights have benefited working class people for decades since.

I would also read up on the similarities of the Gilded Age and today.

If you keep an open mind you will notice many of the same struggles occurring during both time periods.

Sure some were spies during the cold war but to the extent you claim is negligent and outright false.

Then you tie it to Muslims today?

Honestly why not just come out and proclaim you are a bigot?

I highly recommend you read the book “1984” it might be well worth it.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 5, 2014  6:41pm

gutbomb86

And here’s more “good guy with a gun” news: Nevada man shoots confused birthday partier who knocked on wrong door

That’s pretty much cold-blooded murder right there.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  7:15pm

Gutbom, the guy will be going to the state pen but there is no one that will call it cold blooded murder.

I couldnt open the link and went searching for the story elsewhere so I may be providing info in your bad guy with a gun version.

At 1:59 AM two guys started banging on this guys front door because they were drunk and had been at a party nearby and went to the wrong house and tried to open the door and when it wouldnt open started banging on it.

The rules are never shoot someone who is on the outside of your door and never shoot what you cant identify as a target.

He will go to jail and should but people will realize the fear that takes over that a home invasion could be occurring at 2AM with people banging on your door demanding to be let in after they already tried turning the knob and pushing on it.

If it were me, if they made it inside and then came towards me after I told them to stop or I would shoot, they would be shot, especially at 2AM.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 5, 2014  7:33pm

Shining stars I have to jump in on your discussion with ASTANVET for a second.

You said “Capitalists love the poor, they love blaming them for all the bad things in society and they love to pay them squat.”

In another story on this site the Rockcats are moving to Hartford. If you read the story on other sites with comments as well as listen to the radio, and newspaper editorials there seems to be a heck of alot of people that dont think its a good idea because of where its going to be located in Hartford. Basically to borrow some of your words it has to do with fear of “bad things in that area of society.”

Are all these people capitalists saying this? Are all of these people conservatives because I didnt think there were many of us in this state?

I think these are just people saying this that faced with the reality of a situation and the history of crime within a 1/4 of a mile of the new stadium they have reservations about bringing their family. I wonder if the stadium will search for concealed guns?

Now back to your comment about communists and progressives.

“Communists were an active part of the progressive movement…”

Thank you for your honesty. I would add that they still are.

Not something I would be proud of were I to be a progressive. Then again the dead Senate Chairman Robert Byrd was a high ranking (I cant use the word) leader of the KKK and ran the US Senate as a Democrat, so if I was a Dem I wouldnt brag about that either.

When you want to do your own research on Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the US government I am willing to be shown that I’m wrong. By the way, that list includes a VERY influential Republican and his wife, so this is not an attack on just Obama for his aid and comfort to the enemy. We release 5 of the worst terrorists in the world for a defector,but the Pakistani Doctor that helped us find Bin laden is being beaten in a prison hole in Pakistan. We also have a Marine that served two tours with honor and distinction is being chained to a cot in a Mexican prison because of bad signage at the border which they have since fixed while we let Mexican people knowingly just come across our border. Why isnt Obama demanding him back? Because he had legally acquired guns and we cant have that now can we?

posted by: ASTANVET | June 5, 2014  9:03pm

Shining stars: middle ground.  Hmmm… well for starters, you say ‘legally’ owned firearms.  But as we experienced this past year that with a stroke of a pen, what was once legal is no longer legal - ex post facto… so the legality of owning a semi-auto weapon which may be perfectly safe is made illegal through lobby groups and special interest.  Ultimately that will do nothing to deter the vast majority of crime, which as you may have read is in the cities.  So, the middle ground might be found within our judicial branch and enforcement arms of the law - and what we fill our prisons with.  But that I would suppose is a good starting point.  Respect is another - respect of ones opinions and decisions even if you disagree with them - folks seem perfectly willing to cite the grandeur of our freedom (speech and expression) by being “tolerant” of a flag burning, or the westboro Baptists - but have no tolerance for a 2A guy… where is the middle ground?  I don’t believe in a society without checks and balances.  I hope that you and I can be civil and respectful of our own individual life choices - I will continue to hold out that hope.

posted by: Politijoe | June 5, 2014  10:39pm

Politijoe

Common sense, your seriously in agreement with the Bigjoe drivel regarding a Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of our government?
I suppose birth certificates, death panels, Kenyans and legitimate rape are also a part of your box of fears. I know there is this thing called the first amendment but that doesn’t give one the right to scream fire in a crowded theater any more than it gives you the right to make up your own facts. More importantly this type of nonsense degrades our national discourse and compromises the integrity of this site.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 6, 2014  10:12am

Shooting at a college yesterday in Seattle. Here is a snippet. My question is how do you stop this? The person no one saw coming. No sign of mental illness. A hall monitor pepper sprayed him and jumped him, but what if that didnt work?

The Seattle Times reported that Ybarra had never been arrested for a violent crime. A student who described himself as a close friend of the suspect, said he was friendly and just got a new job at a grocery store, the report said. The friend told the paper he had a reading disability.

“I’m really good at deciphering if someone’s got bad news or in trouble. I’m blown away by this,” Zack McKinley, the friend, told the paper. “He called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to go fishing.”

How do you stop it? You usually cant until that first shot is fired but then you need immediate response. Good guys with guns…

posted by: Common Sense | June 6, 2014  11:29am

Joebigjoe: Our problem is that there are too mny people around.  Too many sick people with guns. You can’t protect youself against a crazed random shooter with a gun. He gets the first shot and as in yesterday’s shooting it was deadly.

posted by: Politijoe | June 6, 2014  11:06pm

Politijoe

Bigjoe you mention I’m a non-believer….If your referring to conspiracy theories then yes I would have to agree with that. Your odd obsession with Hitler, Stalin, McCarthy and now the Muslim Brotherhood reveals a pattern of conjecture, fear and conspiracy thinking. How terribly sad and frustrating that must be for you. 

What you are obviously unaware of is there are 15members appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, including Muslim-Americans. One who has served as a top prosecutor at the Department of Justice and senior counsel and executive director of the Intellectual Property Task Force in the George W. Bush administration. Another Muslim American was appointed to a homeland security position in Texas during the Rick Perry administration along with Gary Hart, a former U.S. senator and Bill Webster, who was director of the CIA and FBI. Another appointee had a long record of working in law enforcement under both Republicans and Democrats. This council makes recommendations on various homeland security issues, but members have no policy-making authority. There is zero evidence to support your claim that Muslim terrorists are infiltrating the government based on the appointees you have identified.

As for your ridiculous position regarding affordable and accessible mental health treatment you stated “if I was under mental health treatment and saying I hate liberals. I wish they were all dead, If I had a gun I would use it.  my therapist would discuss with me these feelings and have me work through them. 
So what would block that therapist from getting their concerns over my threats into the system? HIPAA. Lets say that the therapist went to the police. Who gets me out of that hospital really fast? ACLU .”.... 

Unfortunately you’re assumption is once again incorrect. There is a little thing called mandated reporting therefore HIPPA doesn’t apply. The ACLU defends constitutional issues and this of course remains an implausible and false argument. What your thinking illustrates is a pattern of incomplete thinking leading to faulty conclusions, conjecture and fear, based on incomplete data.

I say this with a fair amount of frustration and constructiveness. As I’ve stated previously this pattern compromises the integrity of the discourse and your credibility. Simply ignoring this maladaptive thinking compounds the error establishing a precedence of willful ignorance

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 7, 2014  4:52pm

Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe….have a nice weekend.

posted by: Common Sense | June 7, 2014  8:35pm

Politijoe:  Let’s not give Joe McCarthy equal billing with the two biggest mass murderers in history.  I respected Joe.  He got a bad wrap from our faulty politicians and news media.

posted by: Politijoe | June 8, 2014  2:31pm

Politijoe

joebig and common sense….thank you for validating what I already suspected. Were having a dialog about mental health and gun legislation and somehow Bigjoe always morphs the conversation towards communism, Hitler, Stalin and Muslims. As soon as his silly notions and connections are challenged and the subject become more substantive he bails with something equally as silly like “have a nice weekend”

Common sense…. you respected McCarthy and feel he “got a bad rap from the media?”  I dont even know what to say to such a ridiculously foolish statement.

I seriously feel the comments section of this site is overwhelmingly populated with low-information participants. And its not the willful-ignorance that is the problem, its the illusion of knowledge that is so concerning. There simply does not appear to be nearly enough intelligent voices on this site and that is very unfortunate as I enjoy the reporting, the topics and sharing constructive, intelligent perspectives.

This incomplete sophomoric thinking is simply a waste of time that serves the lowest common denominator.

It been about as interesting as getting a tooth pulled.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 9, 2014  7:49am

Hey Joe, I had a swamped weekend so didnt have time to formulate a response. Therefore, I wanted to at least show the courtesy of letting you know that I have read your comment.

You see Joe, at least I respond. I’m still waiting for you to answer many of my questions, but the big one is your comment on the “false ythology of American exceptionalism.” Who do you think you are? Barack Obama?

He did say the other day that it was “My Government” yet we’re to just ignore that “slip” and every other violation of the Constitution that this man does so arrogant Progressives like you can keep recycling failed policies of mad men throughout the last century. That’s why I keep bringing up those people. We as a nation should be saying every single flipping time that we do something that resembles taking away freedom that these guys did or discuss doing anything that is even close to what these mad men did, that we need to stop and change direction and not continue. I guess its easy for me to say that because not one of these people was a Conservative in any fashion.

It would be a shame if you got fed up with this board and left because I think some of us enjoy your view because I know I can then look in the mirror and say to myself that “yeah I’m right. These people will destroy this country” and I need to stay true to my core beliefs.

If you choose to not be on this site anymore because its not intellectually stimulating enough for you then thats a decision you need to make. I have said before that I picture you as being a professor of some type and now I can picture you bullying students that dont fall into your Pravda way of thinking. If so thank God for gun free zones.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 9, 2014  10:10am

Did you see the story about the 1st grade boy who was expelled. He had a toy gun in his backpack accidentally, knew it was against the rules, told his teacher, and now expelled because the district has a zero tolerance policy.

If any of you anti-gun people think that this is doing anything other than making the people with the guns dig in more than ever, because we see the lack of common sense and really true agenda here, you will wake up one day and be sorely mistaken. You will not win this battle.

Stand with the gun owners and demand this type of ridiculousness stop and these administrators be terminated, and you will be pleasantly surprised at what concessions you get from the gun lobby because then you become reasonable and not nut jobs.