By Mary Bottari on December 19, 2012

You know you are not going to be seeing the brightest bulbs on TV defending America's loose gun laws the weekend after the mass slaughter of children. Even the NRA had gone dark, taking down its Facebook and Twitter accounts and refusing to respond to reporters.

So after twenty children and six adults were killed by an AR-15 assault rifle in Newtown, Connecticut, who did Fox scrape off the bottom of the barrel to fly the guns-don't-kill-people flag?

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Only a Gohmert would believe that the way to prevent mass killings is by giving assault weapons to more people.

Gohmert explained to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace this weekend that what we really needed to do is arm the principals. "Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out ... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," Gohmert said.

Michigan too is worried that there are not enough guns handy in our nation's schools. So the lame-duck legislature passed a law last week to encourage concealed carry in schools, day care centers, hospitals, churches, stadiums, and bars.

Are we really going to let the NRA and the knuckle-draggers define the terms of the debate in this country?

The U.S. Has 20 Times the Rate of Gun Murder

Although the NRA has worked hard to suppress data collection and independent research on gun violence, there are a number of facts relevant to this debate.

A 2011 study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined.

Does America have 20 times the level of mental illness? No, but we do have the highest gun ownership rate in the world - an average of 88 per 100 people and extremely loose gun laws that in some states allow ex-felons and the mentally ill to petition to be allowed to buy and carry weapons.

After 35 people were killed by an AR-15 assault rifle in 1996, Australia implemented an assault weapons ban and a mandatory buy back program for the weapons already on the street. Explicitly, the Australian government was worried about importing "the American disease" of gun violence.

The result? "In the 18 years before the intervention, Australia had 13 mass shootings. In the dozen years since, there has not been a single one," says David Hemenway of Harvard's Injury Control Research Center.

No More Hiding Behind the Second Amendment

In sane countries, military-style assault weapons and ammunition are reserved for the military. But not in the United States. The NRA and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pushed for the sunset of the 1994 assault weapons ban and have fought hard to preempt any reasonable gun legislation at the state or municipal level, as CMD has documented. Wal-Mart sells AR-15 style weapons like hotcakes and chaired ALEC's task force dealing with guns when it passed the NRA's "Stand Your Ground" bill implicated in the Trayvon Martin killing.

From Virginia, to Tucson, to Newton, the death toll is rapidly mounting. The NRA may be lying low this week, but we can be sure they are gearing up behind closed doors.

Many are ready for the fight, MSNBC host Ed Shultz says there will be "no more hiding behind the Second Amendment." Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), both of whom have A-ratings from the NRA, are changing their tune: "The status quo is not acceptable anymore," said Warner. "Everything should be on the table," says Manchin.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) said she will introduce legislation in January to ban the sale of assault weapons, and big clip ammunition, drums and strips of more than 10 bullets. But she admits that her proposal is riddled with 900 exceptions - and it applies only to future gun purchases.

Is this really the best we can do?

Mayors Tell Obama to Get Moving

Having attended the funerals of too many victims, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his growing coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns are not waiting around for any more. They are taking the airwaves by storm, backing a comprehensive assault weapons ban and advocating for a number of needed reforms at the federal, state and local level.

They know that policymakers have to move fast, before the horror of the latest tragedy fades. For now, the tide appears to be turning against the NRA. Support for reasonable gun control is at a 10 year high. A private equity firm was shamed into selling its holdings in the company which made the assault weapon used in the Newton massacre. Dick's Sporting Goods suspended the sale of high-powered rifles. California legislators are moving on background checks and ammunition. Even Governor Rick Snyder is seeing the light, vetoing Michigan's concealed carry expansion yesterday.

But the mayors know that leadership is needed from the top. 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during Obama's second term. The president has pandered to the NRA lobby in the past. They are demanding a robust White House proposal on guns.

You can access the Mayors' "Demand a Plan" petition to the White House and Congress here and follow the discussion at #DemandAPlan.

Comments

The comment is made in here that all "sane" countries reserve what most Americans consider decent hunting firearms for the military. I assume they are talking about such countries as Mexico, where only the military and the police are allowed, legally, to have anything more powerful than a popgun. If that is the case, perhaps they should ask why, if only the military and police are allowed to own these weapons, there are so very many murders committed with semi and full automatic weapons NOT under the direct control of either the military OR the police. The countries with the fewest gun deaths actually have MORE guns out among the population than does even the US, Switzerland being one of the top members of that group. IF they anticipate 12,00 illegal gun murders a year over the next four years, perhaps they should do more about controlling the gangs who go in for mass killings like that. We have not had that many gun deaths in the last four years altogether, so seems someone is selling a big scare job, again.

Couldn't agree more with the above comment. This is an issue of people, not guns. Mexico is a prime example of how an unarmed populous gets overrun by criminals who have access to REAL assault weapons. It is illegal to own an automatic weapon in the US. Those who have them are criminals by default. The AR-15 or AK-47 platforms today are nothing more than an average semi-automatic hunting rifle and that is what they are used for as well as sporting competition and target/range shooting. Assuming the AR-15 is the problem is also assuming that those who own them are potential murderers. That is not the case. I have several handguns and rifles that I used for strictly target shooting and hopefully someday competition. I don't even hunt. I can't kill anything unless it is attacking me or my family and that includes humans. The last thing I'd want to do is shoot someone but I will if someone invades my home in the middle of the night. This is all to say that a vast majority of folks who own firearms are like me, peaceful law abiding citizens. The most important thing to remember is the Mexico example. When only police and military are allowed to have weapons, the country becomes corrupt and very dangerous as is Mexico today. The other point I'd like to make is that these murder stats that are being thrown around have no basis. The proper way to do that is to say "of a population of 330,000,000 people, 30 people a year are killed by guns. It's a per capita stat. So when you compare the US to other smaller countries, the total population should be considered. We are a huge country. Statistically, the more people, the more crime. It's pretty simple and not a stat that is valid. The other issue is that many gun deaths are accidental or suicides. I have not seen any mention of this. It all seems to be bundled in with the "murder" category. How about disclosing all stats.....the total population, death by suicide, deaths by murder, deaths by accidents. 65% of all gun deaths are due to .22 cal firearms. Think about it. 35% are by the above, murder, accident and suicide. If we are going to throw out numbers, let's throw them all out for everyone to see the reality. 30 people a year out of 330,000,000 is equal to .0000000909% of our population (30 / 330,000,000) of people getting killed yearly. For a country as large as we are that is minuscule. Though they are still human beings, were some gang bangers or other types of criminals killing each other? Why is there no mention of that? Lets be fair about this debate. Look at the stats properly and compare to other countries. We are so huge there is going to be murders, rapes, thefts and every other kind of crime known and there will be a lot, but compare it to the size of the country. Use the numbers properly. Don't sway them to make them look like our country is full of murderers. That is just not the case. We also have to consider the incidence of major psychological issues we have in our country. Again, do it per capita to be fair. One more point.....there was an incident in China where a madman stabbed many small children to death with a big knife. If there are no guns, these nutcases will find another way. The US is not alone in this type of mass murder. Again, look at the population size. China is more populous than we are. I guarantee there are a lot of mass murders in China and likely Russia too. Again, look at the numbers of people in these countries and use math....if you have the ability to think logically and look at stats. I honestly think that many of these anti-gun people don't know how to look at things mathematically and also don't want to because they want to sway the numbers in their favor. That is wrong and unfortunately too many others don't know enough to look at this mathematically. All they see is "guns = murders" and can't think past that. Australia has a very small population so it is much easier to deal with issues concerning the population. If they had 330,000,000 people, it would be a completely different story.

I totally Agree with both of you....

When we open the discussion about mental health and guns, it must include a chapter about a unique climate of fear and rage our commercial (in this case gun) culture finds lucrative to prey upon. The bluster of primal-instinct, with the dumb-down all-pictures NRA thinking to help make the power-point, is a sign of social failure to thrive gone viral, and public. An effective immune system fights parasites, it doesn't make them role-models. Throw out the tranquilizers and chemical lobotomy kits, then go find a bullet and bite it. For those who dream of an exciting retirement of aggression and violence in the State of Nature, I suggest they be given free airfare— one way, outbound. Don't forget to take all your guns with you.

Remember to put all your liquids in a one quart bag and take your shoes off at the airport because this is what happens when law abiding people are viewed as terrorists.

Let's see: If all or any terrorists went to the airport looking like a terrorist, it could be very upsetting to law abiding people (sworn on the airport bible with a cast of thousands) who dressed down just because they wanted to wear frumpy clothes and be sloppy comfortable. The commercial fallout is too screaming obvious to say, which is why all terrorists have been requested to dress nicely and not stick out their tongues in isolation booths.

If you want to avoid suspicion at airports, dress as if you just crawled out from under a bridge, and, what is more, that way the ‘bad guys’ will stand out like practical-jokers and bankers.

What hasn't been widely understood is that gun loving terrorists— birds of a feather —have infiltrated the NRA (Not Really Awful) to support weapons-grade freedom, and several of the terrorist lobbies are openly feeding Congress, the monkeys, Fred Bosbee's grandmother, already spell-checked legislation in favor of deporting any person found on US soil without a functioning, bullet pumping (not caps, not water, not flags that say "Boom") mass-consumption weapon of considerable local destruction.

Instead of whacking a baby on the backside at birth, fire a wake-up round next his/her/their ear, then hand him/her/them a first baptismal birth-arm, and from that point Fort Knox is the limit— the sky is a place to shoot things out of. It's only a question of time before the real-guys-with-guns at the Never Reasonable Android can come out of the gun-closet and speak openly for violent, cinema-grade fun, and an end to bumming people out at airports.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.

When I go about without an arm, I am not disarmed. To be disarmed I must consciously go about without an arm, and I never think of that at all: I do think about going out without the right glasses because sometimes I do that. I am perfectly free to be inclined and determined to commit crimes, or to say, "Hi, Bob, how's it going."

It must be sad to have to forego foreign travel since everywhere outside the US, almost without exception, there are very strict gun ownership, or gun-carry laws. When Americans are present, to be polite, people in foreign countries do try to seem fearful about being shot, but they're not really good at it because they watch too many bad movies. Does feeling no risk of getting shot in a foreign country take any pleasure out of travel? Low crawling about cobble-stone streets could wear out the elbows of your shirt. Dodging in and out of hedges looking fearful and violent could be taken for mime practice, or off-date Easter Egg hunting.

When I was in the military, I got to carry a 'rifle.' One never says 'gun.' If you do say the bad-word some sergeant will tell you, "Soldier, here is my rifle, and here is my gun (pointing to his privates), this is for shooting, that one's for fun." After packing an M-14 rifle about all day, carrying an arm lost some of its fascination. Carrying, or bearing arms is no problem for me; I'm just against putting bullets in them and shooting them. There may be less risk of private arms falling into the wrong hands if personal arms were bonded to the owner with Super-glue, or some surgical intervention. If you're wondering why I'm talking like this, the answer is I've tried using calm, sensible arguments, and it's been so disappointing, I've decided to just talk to myself. With a little practice it's possible to break the habit of killing, or being killed. It's slightly harder than learning to not fall upstairs, but you get the same achievement badge.

You say, "The AR-15 or AK-47 platforms today are nothing more than an average semi-automatic hunting rifle and that is what they are used for."

Obviously you are not a hunter. Someone who has to use this type of weapon for hunting is not properly trained and/or skilled enough to be a hunter, and should therefore not be allowed to possess a hunting license.

You say, "When only police and military are allowed to have weapons, the country becomes corrupt and very dangerous as is Mexico today."

Knock it off with the strawman "ban ALL weapons" nonsense. Gun control advocates aren't asking for a complete ban. They're asking for a ban on ONLY military-style assault weapons and high-capacity clips, both of which are completely unnecessary for civilians to own.

You say, "when you compare the US to other smaller countries, the total population should be considered."

Did you even read the linked report? Obviously not. Even the article stated: "the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined."

See that? 20 times higher than the next 22 MOST POPULOUS NATIONS COMBINED. Sounds to me like population was indeed considered.

You say, "30 people a year are killed by guns."

Where on earth do you get that figure? The actual figure is well over 30,000 per year.

You say, "The other issue is that many gun deaths are accidental or suicides. I have not seen any mention of this."

It's in the linked report. READ IT.

You say, "Don't sway them to make them look like our country is full of murderers. That is just not the case."

So, the murder of 20 innocent children is NOT a big deal to you?! And the loss of their precious lives should only be viewed from the perspective of the entire population?! That is INSANE.

You say, "there was an incident in China where a madman stabbed many small children to death with a big knife."

God, you are SO full of misinformation. NOT A SINGLE victim DIED in that incident!

You say, "China is more populous than we are. I guarantee there are a lot of mass murders in China and likely Russia too."

And I guarantee you are WRONG. Do your research before spouting such nonsense.

You say, "many of these anti-gun people don't know how to look at things mathematically...that is wrong."

NO, what's WRONG is the murder of 27 innocent children and adults. What's WRONG is the senseless loss of life. What's WRONG is looking at this and other tragedies "mathematically" and in terms of population size. What's truly WRONG is ANY innocent life taken. And what's WRONG is NOT doing anything to prevent another.

an ALEC SYNDICATE MEMBER HAS TOOK CONTROLL OF A DEFAX (DEP. OF HUMAN SERV.)IN FLORIDA AKA'S THE G.E.O. SYNDICATE.... ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE GEO'S IN FLORIDA HAS BEEN SUED BY WELLS FARGO AND THE ONE THAT IS BEING SUIED IT SUEING WELLS FARGO.

I ALSO DO NOT WANT TO SEE A NUCULAR POWER PLANT GO UP IN FLORIDA, FLA POWER AND LIGHT..IS NOW OR ON ITS WAY TO BUYING THE LAND FROM WIKI AND PUTTING THE BILL FORWARD. WHEN YOU HAVE A NUCULAR POWER PLANT IT HAS TO HAVE WATER TO OPERATE AND IT WILL HAVE TO BE OCEAN OR RIVER WATER. IT EMITS SULFUR INTO THE WATER AS IT PROCESSES THE POWER, SPREADING SULFER IN RIVERS LAKES AND OCEAN AND AIR. SULFUR IS AN OXIDIZER IT IS A RELATIVE OF CLORINE BLEACH AND IT OXIDIZES ANY THING IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH. THAT MEANS ALSO THAT OR EYES WILL BECOME MORE SUN SINSETIVE ALSO IT WILL KILL AMMUINE SYSTEMS. ALSO LIKE IN FISH, AND WITH OUR WASTE WE PUT IN THE OCEAN, NOW WE WILL BE EATING MORE SEAFOOD WITH DISEASES.CONTAMINATED WITH HUMAN WASTE. SULFUR IS A CANCER CAUSING AGENT ALSO.BECAUSE IT KILLS THE AMMUINE SYSTEM.. THANKS FOR LISTENING.

GUN ISSUE
AND ABOUT THE NRA I THINK THEY AND ALL THE REPUBLICANS DONE THIS TO ELIMINATE OR EXTERMINATE ALL THE POOR PEOPLE,DUMB PEOPLE,CRAZY PEOPLE THEY CAN, LIKE HITTLER. THEY NEVER SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED THE SALE OF THESE TYPES OF GUNS TO THE PUBLIC TO BEGAN WITH.THESE TYPES OF GUNS SHOULD HAVE BEEN KEPT FOR WAR ONLY. I JUST CANT UNDERSTAND THIS, WHAT SO EVER. EXCEPT THE ANSWER IS ABOVE. AND IT HAS ALLOWED FOR BAD COPS TO BOTAIN GUNS WITHOUT BEING REGISTURED. THEY CARRY ONE AROUND THERE ANKLE ALL THE TIME NON-REGISTERED SAYS A MAN THAT WAS ONCE WAS A COP AND HIS PARENTS ARE STILL COPS.

Pages