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NRA may be losing its grip on the public's imagination

81 Comments

Public opinion on guns seems to be going in the same direction as it did on same-sex marriage. The religious right lost the fight against same-sex marriage. The gun lobby may lose the fight to stop reasonable gun-control laws.

Over the past 10 years, the United States has seen a complete reversal of public opinion on same-sex marriage - from opposition to support. This month, a Gallup poll press release was headlined, "Americans' Desire for Stricter Gun Laws Up Sharply."

The turning point on guns came in 2013, when the Senate filibustered a bill that would have closed the "gun show loophole" and mandated background checks for all gun purchases. About 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks. After the Senate bill failed, public support for stricter gun laws shot up to 58 percent from 44 percent a year earlier.

In the case of same-sex marriage, the shift of opinion was driven by personal experience. More and more Americans say they know someone - a relative, a friend, a coworker - who is openly gay. The shift on guns is being driven by mounting outrage over the country's inability to keep guns out of the hands of deranged individuals.

"The political calculus has changed," said the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a lobbying group.

Six states have passed background check legislation since 26 people, including 20 small children, were killed by a gunman at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. One passed in Washington state last year by popular vote. In New Jersey recently, the state Senate, for the first time, mustered enough votes to override a veto by Republican Governor Chris Christie. The vote upheld a New Jersey law requiring that the courts be notified of any request to expunge mental-health records of people attempting to acquire a gun.

State laws won't mean much, however, as long as people can purchase guns in one state and take them across state lines. Advocates of stronger gun controls are hoping the momentum is building for action in Washington, just as it did in the case of same-sex marriage.

But the two issues are different. The ultimate victory for same sex-marriage came when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. A same-sex marriage law never had to be passed by Congress.

Getting a gun law through Congress is difficult because of single-issue voting by gun-rights supporters. If you are a legislator and you know that a majority of your constituents favor a new gun law, you also know that it would be risky to support such a law. Why? Because you would lose votes from the minority who would vote against you for that reason alone. They would likely outnumber those who would come out to support you for that reason alone. Most people who favor gun laws don't care so intensely about the issue that it drives their votes.

President Barack Obama is trying to change that.

Following the shootings on a college campus in Roseburg, Oregon, last month, the president urged people who want to see stronger gun laws to become single-issue voters. "Here's what you need to do," Obama said at a press conference. "You have to make sure that anybody that you are voting for is on the right side of this issue." And if they oppose new gun laws? "Even if they're great on other stuff, you've got to vote against them."

In other words, let the gun issue drive your vote.

Gun-rights activists do that all the time. They make sure legislators know they will be punished if they vote for new gun laws. For supporters of gun control, however, guns are not usually the sole voting issue.

In fact, Obama quickly undermined his own appeal when he compared gun laws to the conservative effort to shut down the federal government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded. "You can't have an issue like that potentially wreck the entire U.S. economy, any more than I should hold the entire U.S. budget hostage to my desire to do something about gun violence," Obama said. "That would be irresponsible of me."

The problem is that gun-rights activists, like many anti-abortion activists, don't care about being "irresponsible."

Things may be changing, however. Most of the gun lobby's power is over Republican legislators in one-party districts, where they can punish waverers in low-turnout primaries. Democrats are not so easily intimidated, particularly if, as is increasingly the case, they represent strongly Democratic constituencies.

More broadly, the gun issue has become a clear demarcation between the New America coalition that defines the Democratic Party today - minorities, working women, young people, educated professionals - and the Old America that defines the Republicans. The New America constituencies are growing. The Old America is not.

Moreover, the Republican Party is tearing itself apart, while the Democratic Party is coming together around stronger gun regulation, as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has found out. This is one key area where she outflanks her strongest opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). She has declared war on the National Rifle Association. "This has gone on too long," Clinton said at the CNN debate. "It's time the entire country stood up against the NRA."

The public consensus on guns is changing. It's not happening as fast as it did on same-sex marriage. But it is happening. And Democrats, who feel increasingly safe from gun lobby threats, are ready to act.

In the past, opponents of stricter gun laws could peel off a few Democrats who got elected in rural and conservative areas. There are not many of those Democrats left. Now supporters of stricter gun laws are finding they can peel off Republicans whose suburban constituents are increasingly horrified by gun violence.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

81 Comments
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Regardless of what this author would like to believe, gun sales have increased every month in the last six months.

source: http://www.hngn.com/articles/147397/20151105/gun-sales-at-record-high-for-six-months-in-a-row-fbi-data-suggests.htm

2 ( +8 / -6 )

In the case of same-sex marriage, the shift of opinion was driven by personal experience. More and more Americans say they know someone - a relative, a friend, a coworker - who is openly gay.

And when it comes to guns, I would guess that most Americans know at least one gun owner who should be kept far away from weapons of any kind due to psychological issues that make them a danger to themselves and others (I know several). Terrifying.

And the gun advocates who are the most adamant about the right to bear arms are usually also among those who are most psychologically unfit to own guns.

As with the shift of opinion regarding same-sex marriage, let's hope that people's familiarity with irresponsible and psychologically unsound gun owners brings about a similar shift against the NRA.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I think this falls into the category of "if you say it is so, you hope to make it so". The writer is an advocate for gun control and stricter gun regulations in the U.S., so obviously it is his hope that this will, in fact, be the case and it is his hope that public opinion will change. We shall see.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The NRA has shown a nearly criminal promotion of reckless and dangerous gun laws.

At every opportunity these gun lobbies coach ignorance and fear.

Wild eyed supporters claim they will shoot anyone who suggests the need for better regulation on guns, some have recently called it a civil war justification. The NRA herself has determined the American People may not study gun violence and that the voice of the NRA is godly in its omniscience and all its faithful are similarly gifted.

How many lives have been lost to the inaction, bribery, obstruction, ignorance and greed of the NRA? The only thing that grips the imagination of the American should be the image of twenty tiny children slaughtered with six of their teachers and their classroom. That's American Gun Laws in action.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The NRA is losing its grip.

It's already lost its marbles.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@gaijinfo But what percentage of that increase is a first time purchase of a gun? I'd venture a guess that a large majority of those buyers are paranoid gun rights people who already have a stockpile of weapons.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I wonder if Dr. Schneider wrote this piece before last Tuesday's elections? The "gun control" crowd lost almost all the elections. By the way, has anyone noticed that most of the mass killings took place in Gun Free zones?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Only psychopaths believe it is 'normal' to own guns, let alone complete morons who think having 24 or so is 'safe' and 'normal'. The people are starting to wake up to that fact after hundreds of thousands of murders and other gun-related deaths while countries, one just north of the US, have almost no gun deaths a year by comparison because of gun control.

This is going to be another issue that the GOP loses votes on, by the looks of it. And that's good. Time to take the power away from the terrorists in the NRA.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

It'll never happen.

Only psychopaths believe it is 'normal' to own guns,

Maybe, but it's my choice and I wear that remark with a badge of honor.

let alone complete morons who think having 24 or so is 'safe' and 'normal'.

What about the people that have loads of porn on their HD or the people that own hundreds of comics or games? We all have the right to own what we want. I own a few firearms, if you think, I am a moron because I love to collect guns, that is your choice, but it would never stop me from purchasing more.

The people are starting to wake up to that fact after hundreds of thousands of murders and other gun-related deaths while countries, one just north of the US, have almost no gun deaths a year by comparison because of gun control.

But we are thankfully NOT any of those countries.

This is going to be another issue that the GOP loses votes on, by the looks of it. And that's good. Time to take the power away from the terrorists in the NRA.

Again, it'll never happen. Wisconsin alone has over 638, 000 registered gun owners and that's just one small state. Good luck with that

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

This month, a Gallup poll press release was headlined, “Americans’ Desire for Stricter Gun Laws Up Sharply.

K, stricter laws are good. Don't need grudged-out unstable people trying to get firearms in order to spray up university classrooms, malls etc.

“You have to make sure that anybody that you are voting for is on the right side of this issue.” And if they oppose new gun laws? “Even if they’re great on other stuff, you’ve got to vote against them.”

That's just "dirty" advice. Gun laws shouldn't supersede tthe importance of-oh let's say- illegal immigration or foreign policy.

How many lives have been lost to the inaction, bribery, obstruction, ignorance and greed of the NRA?

Not more than the total combined of drug dealers, crips, bloods, illegal immigrants and their irresponsible lifestyles which promotes them kill each other all across america.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

'What about the people that have loads of porn on their HD or the people that own hundreds of comics or games? We all have the right to own what we want. I own a few firearms, if you think, I am a moron because I love to collect guns...'

You love to collect guns because you love guns. You truly love them. That should be disturbing.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

@bass What about the people that have loads of porn on their HD or the people that own hundreds of comics or games?

With your background at the Washington Post and NBC, have you heard reports about people using these collector items as weapons to kill people, purposely or accidentally?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

while countries, one just north of the US, have almost no gun deaths a year by comparison because of gun control.

It might not be because of gun laws. Maybe some countries just have less psychopaths...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

By the way, has anyone noticed that most of the mass killings took place in Gun Free zones?

Don't forget about Chicago'a south side. . . where black lives are "supposed" to really matter.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The people are starting to wake up to that fact after hundreds of thousands of murders and other gun-related deaths while countries, one just north of the US, have almost no gun deaths a year by comparison because of gun control.

But we are thankfully NOT any of those countries.

Wow! As boasted, the poster really does wear the psychopath label as a badge of honour.

Business as usual for steel phallus cultist: guns good, people bad.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You love to collect guns because you love guns. You truly love them. That should be disturbing.

Why is that disturbing? Because YOU think so?

@sense

You're not making any sense.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Why is that disturbing?

Because they are a tool made to destroy life. The love of something that is meant to destroy is disturbing to those who treasure life.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

At least bass seems to understand that owning guns is a bit like having lots of porn on your hard drive. Both a bit sad and yes, disturbing. But not really something a normal person would want to brag about. (Hence the psychopath label, bass.)

Sense is making lots of sense.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

At least bass seems to understand that owning guns is a bit like having lots of porn on your hard drive.

It would be an excellent analogy, except that I don't think porn videos can be used to kill anyone. That being the case I think it's one of the stupidest things I've ever read.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

LoL. I think one would rather brag about an arsenal than tons of porn on their hard drive. I also think it's fair to assume Bass is a lawful abiding gun owner/family man/educated. People like him do not end up on armed killing sprees.

It's the crips, bloods, illegals, Chicago, Detroit . . . those are where the gun problems lay. And destroy the credibility of lawful tax paying americans- myself included.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I think one would rather brag about an arsenal than tons of porn on their hard drive.

Only in America. I've known lots of guys who have bragged about porn on their hard drive. For that matter, I'd rather brag about porn on my hard drive. But I don't own guns, and I stream my porn.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Maybe, but it's my choice and I wear that remark with a badge of honor." What kind of guns do you have? Glocks? Machine guns? Grenade launchers?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I like to do other things as well ie; fishing, camping. (w/ lawfully exposed firearm on my hip on within the confines of rented campsite). I'm probably wrong for doing this? ( or all 3? Fishing/Camping/Armed) . . but no more, no less. It goes hand in hand with hunting, camping and other outdoor activity legal owners enjoy.

"Maybe, but it's my choice and I wear that remark with a badge of honor."

LoL. Machine guns will get 10 yrs in federal prison. Grenade launchers? Sure there are a few crips-bloods/illegals who would just love to get their hands on one of the those. In any blue state of course.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I've been camping many times in life, and never seen anyone carrying a gun.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LoL. Maybe it was concealed. In some states, campers may legally carry on their campgrounds. This doesn't appy to National Parks though. Forgot how it applies to fisherman, but there is (was) a loophole for them too.

It's really wonderful how gangbanger don't go camping! I stay outa their hoods, they stay outa places like Bishop, Owens Valley, High Sierra CA.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

lawful abiding gun owner/family man/educated. People like him do not end up on armed killing sprees.

Since 2007, over 700 people have been killed by 'law-abiding gun owners' licensed to carry a concealed weapon, in incidents not including self-defence.

http://concealedcarrykillers.org/mass-shootings-committed-by-concealed-carry-killers/

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Maybe it was concealed.

No, I've just never been camping in the US.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@cleo. Well I expected someone with a link soon. And it's very unfortunate, 700 is a large number. I hope Bass or people like him never come stats.

But I'm willing to keep my firearms and hope an "accident" never happens to me or any of my loved ones.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

CC people or other people who apply for certain permissions rarely commit crimes. (good case of "well regulated" working) But

"Machine guns will get 10 yrs in federal prison" Is this a good case of "well regulated" or putting "shall not be infringed" on the spot?

Interestingly a good percentage of Americans think the NRA is too liberal for not pushing for more open gun laws (above case of machine guns as an example). What say you?

"In any blue state of course." Why do you say this?

"It's really wonderful how gangbanger" How do you feel when gangbangers kill each other?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How do you feel when gangbangers kill each other?

Good, I guess. Let's call it street justice. Unfortunately it's the cops, innocent bystanders who are being killed.

"In any blue state of course." Why do you say this?

Please spare me the bureaucratic comparisons of lenient blue states circuit courts vs the red ones.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

"Good" OK, you are saying it's good to kill people with guns.

The number of cops getting murdered on the job is down.

"Please spare me the bureaucratic comparisons" No, I'm listening. Please! go on... I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.

Waiting for your answer about the many Americans who think the NRA is too "left". Do you agree with these people? Your comment about the 10 years in prison for machine gun possession sounds a bit "left".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nishikat. There was no pun intended in my original comment to you.

With that being said, please note the following: I support the right to lawfully own a firearm. (A legal firearm. Not Military fully-automatic). I support the NRA. And I think the criminal justice system in the US needs to be tougher on gun crime.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I got my first firearm at 12, and I still own several, but I am very disappointed that the NRA opposes so many common sense ideas for reducing gun violence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK, I think we both agree with CC people (or other permit holders) are very safe people. Personally I don't feel like carrying since it just means more junk to carry, my smartphone is enough. But.....the iPhone 10S? ("S" means "shooting") LOL.

I also believe in extended checks. In Chicago (with their tough gun laws) guns come from OUTSIDE where there is more relaxed gun laws. Many of those teens are actually targeted for stupid reasons that have nothing to do with gangs. They might look at someone funny in the classroom, jealousy over a girlfriend. They are safe inside the school environment but once outside. Being a teen in a HS in tough neighborhood can be more volatile than being in prison.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't buy it. This is one of those subjects where deeds haven't outran words. Stop talking about passing sensible gun control laws and do it already!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's the crips, bloods, illegals, Chicago, Detroit . . . those are where the gun problems lay

Umpqua Community College, OR (9). Chattanooga Base, TN (5). Charleston, SC (9). Marysville, WA (5). Alturas, CA (4). Washington Navy Yard, DC (13). Hialeah, FL (7). Santa Monica, CA (6). Federal Way, WA (5). Herkimer County, NY (5). Newtown, CT (28). Minneapolis, MN (7). Oak Creak, WI (7). Aurora, CO (12).

...none of the perps were crips, bloods, or illegals, and none of these massacres occurred in Chicago or Detroit. How damned inconsiderate.

We await the next shrill bleating from the steel phallus cult.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's good that this article was considered an 'opinions' piece. This professor's logic and or thinking on the subject amounted to nothing more than just saying the left is good, the right is bad, gun control 'reasonable' is good, those who oppose it are right wing negative .. He doesn't mention how or where there is any proof of such reasonable gun control laws actually having the desired effect. How this is related to opinions on same-sex stuff is beyond me. People's views on various subjects are always changing - so what?

If taking away any of our liberties is going to happen, it would be nice if there was conclusive evidence of the benefits.

This gentleman may be a professor or whatever at some school but he's certainly not making a case for more gun control laws by just saying attitudes are changing on this subject.

All in all - a poor presentation to his audience on JAPANTODAY. That is my opinion. BTW I think reasonable gun control laws should be invoked - but who is going to define reasonable?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

" but who is going to define reasonable?"

voters (eventually)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bass4funk: "What about the people that have loads of porn on their HD or the people that own hundreds of comics or games?"

How do you kill people with those things, bass? For a supposed journalist, it really is amazing that you can't tell the difference between what guns are for and what they can do with porn and comics and video games.

"But we are thankfully NOT any of those countries."

You're actually PROUD of the fact that the US has more gun-related deaths per year than the number of Americans killed in Vietnam.... wow. More proof about the whole psychopaths owning guns, I guess.

"Again, it'll never happen. Wisconsin alone has over 638, 000 registered gun owners and that's just one small state. Good luck with that"

Psychopaths, or just plain sick people. Every one of them. Pathetic. And as if how pathetic and sad the state of things are in the US needs to be made clearer than it already is, how disgusting is it that the guy who murdered a movie-goer for using his cell phone during a movie is using the stand your ground law and claiming he feared for his life when he murdered the guy -- all because he was irritated at someone using their phone.

Wc626: "Unfortunately it's the cops, innocent bystanders who are being killed."

Or cops killing themselves and Fox quickly 'jumping the gun' to BLAME it on black people and/or gang bangers (until it's revealed they were dead wrong, and they drop the subject completely).

0 ( +5 / -5 )

How many of you know someone who has been killed or injured by a gun? I can think of two people off hand. Gun violence has become a personal issue for thousands if not millions of Americans because of mass murders or ordinary gun crime. The NRA has become hysterical in the face of popular revulsion against the promiscuity of gun violence in the US.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

For parts of America, owning and using a firearm is part of the culture. We grow up hunting with our mothers and fathers. We spent many happy days hunting with family. We pass on this culture to our kids.

A friend collects firearms. Many he inherited from his father. Some are very unusual, big, fully automatic. These are federally licensed. They are locked inside safes held in place with poured concrete. The local police know about the automatic firearms.

It is the same as eating whale or dog or monkey or pig or cow is part of some other cultures. I don't understand, but I can respect their choices just the same.

BTW, a good friend shot himself last May. He left a beautiful 2 yr old boy and wife behind. I don't blame the gun. I blame my friend's depression. We had no idea he wasn't "living the dream." He seemed to have everything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Bass

I get the feeling you regret telling us that you loved guns. I remember thumbing you up for being honest while others were prattling on about the second amendment and similar smokescreens.

I also get the feeling that you see something uncomfortable with the statement 'I love guns'.

Am I wrong here?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't have or never owned a gun. I did carry a gun as a security guard and had the proper training. I believe it is a right granted by the Constitution of the United States. Many of my friends fish and hunt and shoot guns for target practice. If you tried to take away the guns it would be futile because the criminals would only have guns then. One of the biggest problems is not the guns but the prolific use of drugs issued to young people growing up, some of these drugs have side effects like depression and fits of anger. But the liberals refuse to take a look at that they just blame the gun. Just the other day a nutcase used a knife to stab people on campus and guess what stopped him ....yes folks a gun. So the liberal media loves to dump all the problems on the gun. I many cases guns have saved lives but you never hear about that. I think conceal and carry is a good way to protect yoursel and your loved ones because by the time a cop shows up you just may be dead. Sorry folks but thats how it it in the US its in the Constitution and good luck changing it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Gun owners make up less than a third of the population. Even most people even in high crime areas do not feel the need to own a gun. Time for the majority to take control again. The gun companies fuel the fear for their own profit. There are some 300,000,000 guns in America. Their is no need for semi-automatic weapons, and even the NRA used to be against that, and against just anyone having a gun. Under the Reagan Administration were Assault Weapons were banned with full support by the NRA. The NRA did not use to be a radical lunitic fringe organization.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"But the liberals refuse to take a look at that they just blame the gun" Why do you say Liberal? Conservatives have done a lot to restrict guns. What has Obama really done? Because Nixon wanted a complete handgun ban.And look at Nixon's record.

"If you tried to take away the guns it would be futile because the criminals would only have guns then." Where could they get them?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because they are a tool made to destroy life. The love of something that is meant to destroy is disturbing to those who treasure life.

So you think your burger walks all by itself on your plate? And NO, not all cows are put down with electricity. My grandparents own a farm. Plus we hunt or are you saying I should negotiate a deer to jump into my oven and it'll hopefully cooperate?

But not really something a normal person would want to brag about. (Hence the psychopath label, bass.)

Not bragging, just proud. Nothing wrong with that.

Sense is making lots of sense.

I doubt it, maybe in the sense of wanting a fascist country perhaps.

How do you kill people with those things, bass? For a supposed journalist, it really is amazing that you can't tell the difference between what guns are for and what they can do with porn and comics and video games.

Sorry, but that is a weak and deplorable argument. Has nothing to do with being a journalist. The guns that I have at home by themselves are harmless, when I go hunting, the guns are ONLY dangerous to the prey that I am hunting. I am NOT a threat, nor am I having thoughts of wanting to stroll down the street and gun people. AS I said, Wisconsin is a prime example, in that state, how many people die, if you compare that by ratio of guns and the people living there?

Again, I could care less what any liberal thinks or would like to see happen. I love guns and I love hunting, my whole family does and there is nothing wrong with that.

You're actually PROUD of the fact that the US has more gun-related deaths per year than the number of Americans killed in Vietnam.... wow.

I never said that. You're going off the deep end.

More proof about the whole psychopaths owning guns, I guess.

Call us what you want, but that will not, nor should it. persuade for us to give up our firearms.

all because he was irritated at someone using their phone.

That person could have easily used a sharp knife to cut his throat. Stop making excuses for losing gun debate, when you have a mentally challenged person that wants to kill you, it doesn't matter what the instrument is, that persons objective is to kill you, pure and simple and by any means necessary.

Conservatives have done a lot to restrict guns. What has Obama really done? Because Nixon wanted a complete handgun ban.And look at Nixon's record.

You always love to dive into the past. liberals like their guns as well. Harry Reid is ok with the NRA and is a supporter.

I get the feeling you regret telling us that you loved guns. I remember thumbing you up for being honest while others were prattling on about the second amendment and similar smokescreens.

Why on Earth would you think that? I meant what I said and was honest about my feelings when it comes to firearms and No, I don't regret anything.

I also get the feeling that you see something uncomfortable with the statement 'I love guns'.

Am I wrong here?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So you think your burger walks all by itself on your plate?

I know my burgers aren't getting shot, that's for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bass4funk, with some of your past posts I thought you were a reasonable person, but not now. How on earth can you be thankful you live in a country with so many senseless gun-related deaths? And claim to be thankful you don't live in a country like that directly north of yours? It defies logic. When I read of US gun-owners (some law enforcement officers included) being arrested, jailed, fined and having their weapons seized and not returned by Canadian border security and RCMP officers, I shake my head at your countrymen's stupidity and lack of respect for my home country. And, obviously, your lack of respect for Japan's attitude towards guns, too. But then, you'll probably just put that in your holster and ride with it, won't you, cowboy?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bass Fair enough. It's just that you seemed to be shifting the emphasis slightly with 'I love collecting guns' rather than the bolder 'I love guns'. Okay. You love guns.

It's just that you and others complain that people calling for stricter gun control often approach this with emotion rather than logic, particularly after a gun massacre. I suppose some people get emotional over the idea of innocent people being massacred while others get emotional over lumps of metal designed to drill holes in living things. I suppose it is difficult to keep emotion out of this debate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But the two issues are different. The ultimate victory for same sex-marriage came when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

Wrong. The US Supreme Court also ruled that the second amendment was also a constitutional "individual" right. Why is this rather obvious fact left out of the article?

If any right, including the right to own guns, can be regulated, limited, or abolished, then so can any other constitutional right, including the right for gay people to marry.

The problem with having a great deal of personal freedom is that freedom requires a great deal of personal responsibility. We allow people to drive cars, and accept the fact that granting this right means that 40,000 Americans dies unnecessarily very year, and millions are injured. We allow people to smoke tobacco, and doing so means that 480,000 people very year die prematurely from it. We allow people to drink alcohol, and accept the unnecessary deaths, illnesses, and the serious problems alcohol causes to families and society.

If the goal of gun control is to reduce unnecessary death and injury, it seems rather foolish not to take on problems which cause vastly more unnecessary deaths and injuries. But how much of your liberty are you willing to give up to be "safe"? Would you accept the abolition of motor vehicles? The abolition of alcohol, tobacco, and sugar? These three things will kill more people in the next month than guns will kill in the next decade.

The gun control issue is generally irrelevant to the safety of most people. Though a great deal of people are killed each year by guns, more than half of those deaths are suicides. Others are accidents and self-defense shootings, the final number is murders committed by guns, and this number is relatively small compared to the number of guns and gun owners in America. In Japan a little more than 30,000 people kill themselves every year, a number much greater than total gun deaths in America, despite Japan having nearly two-thirds less people. If America has a problem with guns, what kind of problem does Japan have? And what can be done about it?

The gun control issue is just a political football, like many others. On the list of the great many problems America has to deal with, guns are not even on the first page. But issues like gun control are controversial, and excite morons who support gun control, or want to abolish gun control. National debt continues to creep upward, infrastructure is falling apart, school scores are declining, social security is approaching insolvency, the medical care system remains a shambles. Rather than do something about these problems, politicians on either party love to play games with stupid non-issues like gun control, abortion, prayer in schools, or gay marriage. For all I care, people can pray in school before entering a gay marriage after having an abortion at a gun range--these issues are pointless and irrelevant. What I want congress to do is fix infrastructure, fix the schools, fix the healthcare system, and fix social security. But doing these things would require hard work and sacrifice, and no one becomes a politician to do such things.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

More shrill bleatings from the steel phallus cult:

So you think your burger walks all by itself on your plate?

..plus (elsewhere) the oft repeated dancing on the graves of gun violence victims by comparisons to automobiles, alcohol and sugar.

Really, people? Is this the best you can do?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If any right, including the right to own guns, can be regulated, limited, or abolished, then so can any other constitutional right, including the right for gay people to marry.

The right for gay people to marry is already regulated and limited, just like the right for anyone else to get married. There are legal requirements, including age and not already being married.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow... Talk about wishful thinking, this author is delusional as is anybody who thinks they're right... But then again you have to be delusional to support gun control so...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

you have to be delusional to support gun control

People Bad. Guns Good.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If any right, including the right to own guns, can be regulated, limited, or abolished, then so can any other constitutional right, including the right for gay people to marry.

This is true, and in fact is a good thing. The constitution should always be open for re-examination. The gun debate illustrates that perfectly - it was a clause written hundreds of years ago with no idea on the impact it would have in the future.

Even gay marriage should be open for re-examination. That said, with the way that the world is moving, it's doubtful it will ever be revoked, same as giving women the vote, and freeing the slaves. It's just not something that would happen, so there isn't really any worry on that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sounds optimistic but don't think it will get far. Some very mild tweaks to purchases would be about it. The private market would be completely hands-off I reckon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"You always love to dive into the past" Yes, the conservatives invented ObamaCare. By the way, since you are a retired corporate CEO of a fortune 500 company that employed 100s of thousands around the globe what did your company do for your security on your business trips? What kind of guns do you have? You didn't answer.

Nixon invented ObamaCare and he wanted to take your guns away. History could repeat itself. Obama, low taxes more millionaires and signed a law allowing guns in parks- Obama is a non socialist millionaire factory capitalist who supports guns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gun owners make up less than a third of the population. Even most people even in high crime areas do not feel the need to own a gun. Time for the majority to take control again.

Sure. Just repeal the 2nd amendment by obtaining a 2/3 majority vote in the House and Senate OR 2/3 majority of the states.

I'd like to see gun grabbers try. Until then, I'll continue enjoying all of my innate rights.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is true, and in fact is a good thing. The constitution should always be open for re-examination.

The American constitution was written with the premise in mind that the majority is not always right. American by definition is not a democracy, but a constitutional republic run by democratic means. Some of the greatest tyrants in recent memory were elected democratically, and abused the democratic system to create dictatorships. Plato himself characterized democracy as one of the weakest forms of government for this reason.

If 51% of the people vote to take away the rights and property of the other 49%, is that okay? Of course it is not, and that is why the American constitution limits what rights can and cannot be changed or abolished.

Lastly, by limiting the ownership of guns (or anything else) to a particular class of people, then society is no longer equal. Do you consider yourself too irresponsible or reckless to own a gun? Do you think that just because a person is a soldier or police officer that they are more responsible and less reckless than ordinary people? I have been a soldier, and I was a police officer for more than ten years, and I am here to tell you that if you think these people are more competent to be armed, you are nuts.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Above is the second amendment, as it is written. You probably think from the words that it is says only the "militia" has the right to keep and bear arms, and that it must be well regulated. You would be wrong. First, who does the regulating in America? It is not the militia itself, nor the government in Washington which regulate the country, it is the people. And since it is the people who have the end authority to regulate not only the militia, but the government, the people are given the ultimate power to do so. It is the people who are supposed to be "well-regulating" their servants in Washington, and in America, politicians serve at the will of the people. Americans are not subjects, they are citizens, and as citizens they have the right so say and go where they like, and have more means than just a simple vote to regulate those who are supposed to serve them.

The moment you take away a fundamental right and power from those who are supposed to be the ultimate authority over every politician, every policy, and every act the government performs, then the role is reversed, the government becomes the authority, and the people exist to serve the government. To avoid this, the people are given vast rights, and the ability of the government to curtail or abolish these rights is limited. And in a true free society where each and every person is in fact equal, this is how it must be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The true zeal for gun rights is sorely underestimated. The U.S. 2nd Amendment guarantees citizens RIGHT to keep and bear arms. While there is a lot of "noise" about changing the amendment and enacting stricter gun control laws, there is no serious threat (at the moment) of any significant changes.

In fact, readers can be assured that if the U.S. Government attempt to further infringe on American Citizens Right (with regard to the 2nd Amendment), it could very well start a civil war in the U.S., and fortunately, the government will loose due to the shear number of law abiding citizens that own guns and will not give them up.

The vast majority of the police forces in U.S. States and the majority of the U.S. Military believe in the Constitutional 2nd Amendment and will not enforce any law that might attempt to disarm our citizens.

So, for now, there will be no gun confiscation or significant laws that might curtail gun ownership. This is as it should be. Most educated and mature U.S. citizens know history and have seen how in many governments across the world, after citizens lose their right to keep arms, its a FACT that most cases there winds up being a dictatorship or very oppressive government emerge. Just look at Germany (prior to WWII), the USSR and now Russia, China and it history and many others.

Even the Australian folks regret that the Government was allowed to enact "Gun Safety Laws" and "Buy-Back" programs that finally lead to disarmament of its law abiding citizens and they are suffering the consequences as now truly, only criminals have guns and citizens are now at there mercy. Shame on the Government for tricking its people!

This will not happen in the USA.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First, who does the regulating in America? It is not the militia itself, nor the government in Washington which regulate the country, it is the people

Naïve BS. It's industry that does the regulating through lobbying, expensive lawyers, and palm greasing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...well regulated.." = gun control

Proof regulation works. How many people with CC commit crimes. There are the occasional crazies like Michael Dunn. But basically they are safe since they had to apply to carry.

"who does the regulating in America?" voters

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even the Australian folks regret that the Government was allowed to enact "Gun Safety Laws" and "Buy-Back" programs that finally lead to disarmament of its law abiding citizens and they are suffering the consequences as now truly, only criminals have guns and citizens are now at there mercy. Shame on the Government for tricking its people!

What? Do you actually know any Australians? This statement would make it appear that you don't.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Carl N The true zeal for gun rights is sorely underestimated

Not to me. The US gun rights extremists, like extremists everywhere, are frightening people. I would never underestimate what zealots of any sort would do. I've seen the videos of the 'come and take it' rallies in the US and when I do I'm reminded of long bearded men riding in the back of pickups shouting religious slogans and waving their guns. All extremists everywhere scare me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As we have seen so eloquently expressed,

the only argument for guns is ‘(EXPLETIVE) off, I like guns!’

comedian Jim Jefferies

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There seems to be an impression among some (many?) people that simply banning guns will somehow magically make the guns disappear. It won't. All it will do is make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to get them. Criminals will still have them.

I'm not American. I never owned a gun, but I can see why many people like them. I used to enjoy watching hickok45's channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/hickok45

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There seems to be an impression among some (many?) people that simply banning guns will somehow magically make the guns disappear. - comments

if the U.S. Government attempt to further infringe on American Citizens Right (with regard to the 2nd Amendment), it could very well start a civil war in the U.S., and fortunately, the government will loose due to the shear number of law abiding citizens that own guns and will not give them up. - comments

The moment you take away a fundamental right and power from those who are supposed to be the ultimate authority over every politician, every policy, and every act the government performs, then the role is reversed, the government becomes the authority, and the people exist to serve the government. - comments

These few perspectives yield one truth. The gun extremist thinks gun regulation is about taking guns, it's not.

One extremist wants to shoot men, women and children in a civil war over appropriate control of deadly weapons.

A third thinks having a gun is a special state of authority and control over their Democratically elected government; "those who are supposed to be the ultimate authority over every politician, every policy, and every act the government performs"

The NRA has crafted a multi-layered paranoia. One thinks gun control is confiscation, another it's a war so he can shoot people and one seems to want to surly around with his gun to let all them government know he's the boss, with his gun.

If it weren't for all the dead children, somehow one of these paranoids might have a glimmer of disappointment with existing laws that put a military grade weapon in the hands of a diagnosed delusional, more than once.

But that's what American Gun Laws do. And too many in the NRA have no problem with that.

That's sick, That's the NRA. Sick.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"All it will do is make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to get them. Criminals will still have them." But once they are no longer available through attrition, etc how will the criminals get guns. And even with guns they already have how will they get ammo?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There seems to be an impression among some (many?) people that simply banning guns will somehow magically make the guns disappear.

Well no, there is no magic about it, only logic.

If guns are made illegal, with strong penalties to follow, and a method of turning guns in without being arrested, the huge majority of people will turn them in out of a desire to remain legal. At this point there will still be a lot of guns in circulation of course, as many will protest.

Over the coming months and years, as otherwise law-abiding citizens are arrested for illegal gun ownership and strongly prosecuted, others will begin to turn in their guns out of fear of being penalized.

As these guns are taken out of circulation, and new guns are not put into circulation, the number of guns will decrease, and within a few years, there will be very few guns left in the hands of the people.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Any other apples you'd like to compare to oranges?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Any gun that is heavily regulated or even illegal is never used in crimes. Proof: Mass shooters choice of gun is the semi auto. If they could they would use something like a Milkor MGL or the Heckler and Koch HK MG4. They can't be bought so how would mass shooters have them in the first place?

To be fair I saw a real good use for an AR rifle.. Not for self defense but for feral pig hunting. These pigs are a real big problem anywhere they are loose. The hunter was explaining how well it works in those situations. The demonstration was impressive. It actually is possible to own a machine gun with the proper registrations. I'm for the same for a semi auto, just not as strict or expensive as a machine gun. But somewhere in the middle of a plain pistol and machine gun. If you have the mechanism to kill so many people the government has to know.

The more "well regulated" the less gun crimes. It's in the 2A.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Naïve BS. It's industry that does the regulating through lobbying, expensive lawyers, and palm greasing.

Naive? Industry, lobbyists, and lawyers do what they feel they need to do, and if the people do nothing to stop them, whose fault is that? If people were less ambivalent about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and went to the trouble to vote, or visited the offices of their representatives, then they have to suffer the consequences. Lawyers and lobbyists get what they want because they ask for it, the people are too busy watching tv. If people were less naive about what they could get accomplished if they simply got off their asses and took the trouble, they might be amazed.

The US gun rights extremists, like extremists everywhere, are frightening people.

99% of people who own guns are not extremists. Believe it or not, many so-called liberal people are gun owners, and more than a few gay people own and carry guns as well. Most gun owners possess guns for hunting, or shooting as a hobby, some are collectors, and some feel they are needed for self defense. This is one reason that whenever election season rolls around, the gun control issue seems to fade away. Gun ownership is not a left-right matter, many conservative people see guns as instruments of evil, and many liberal people see guns as necessary for their safety.

As a former police officer, I know that the police cannot be everywhere all the time. In the best case, if you call 911 someone will respond within 3 or 4 minutes. If you live outside the city, this can be much longer. And in cases of civil disturbances (like when I experienced the riots in LA in 1992) 911 may not work at all, and no one can be sent to help or protect you.

On a fundamental basis, no matter how advanced a society you may think you live in, it can turn out that when it comes to defending yourself or someone else, you are the last and only resort.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"it can turn out that when it comes to defending yourself or someone else, you are the last and only resort." Would you say semi autos like Glocks are a bit overkill for self defence?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Industry, lobbyists, and lawyers do what they feel they need to do

Feather plush nests in gated communities, while steel phallus cultists rage in trailer parks.

Believe it or not, many so-called liberal people are gun owners, and more than a few gay people own and carry guns as well.

How nostalgic: the "some of my best friends are coloured" argument.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a former police officer . . .

Funny, there haven't been any reports of former, or current, law enforcement that has asked that the American public be more fully armed.

Not one police fraternal organization urges the American to hurry on down to "Gunz-R-USA" to blow the monthes rent on another weapon of mass destruction.

What the reader sees in some posts is the appeal to authority; "As a former police officer" (insert imaginary personal history here), usually, some paranoid delusional they were told to write about, followed by threatening killing anyone who tries to takes their guns.

The NRA has been the author and promoter of paranoia, racisms and corruption of American Gun Laws and their track record speakes for itself.

"As a former police officer, twenty dead children and six of their teachers never gave me one moment of reflection that guns aren't being appropriately controlled, that's just the price of freedom."

Sadly the NRA has made this rationale for slaughter a slogan to their disturbed fan boys. No wonder the American is sick of the NRA's endless justification of child slaughter. "Everyone Knows! Freedom Ain't Free!"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"As a former police officer" It's good to know that less police officers are being murdered overall compared to previous decades. So being a cop now is much safer than the time you were one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The NRA is evil.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find it funny that some people talk about Canada when we sure have crimes reliated to guns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, LaPierre warned that the first-term Obama administration’s “lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term.”

source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/01/sandy_hook_truthers_the_nra_has_actively_encouraged_the_paranoid_fears_of.html

What the American knows of the NRA is sick making. The NRA example above shows part of the long history of distortion and outright lies. The reason for these planned deceptions? They make a whole bunch of stupid people buy guns, hate the black President and tar all Government as "The Enemy".

The sick perverts drawn to the NRA bonfire of ignorance have accosted survivors of the Newtown/Sandy Hook child slaughter. One of their freaks, Mathew Mills, was arrested claiming none of the murders happened in his assault on the grieving Soto family three years after the massacre.

This is the effect of the NRA's campaign. Hatred for the victims of gun slaughter. Hatred for their Government. Hatred for the Race of the President and the persistent assault of innocent victims of the child slaughter in Newtown.

Is this deranged bunch losing its grip on Americans?

No. They are ready to move on to slaughter men, women and children in a self proclaimed civil war and hold a gun to the head of Government to prove their power of threat and coercion by fear (these threats posted in this thread).

These are the responsible gun owners who call a grieving family in the night to taunt that their dead children are a hoax and a Government conspiracy to take guns.

When the American looks at the facts, the NRA has created the killing fields that have slaughtered so many and mock the loss of twenty tiny children and six of their teachers. This is the NRA.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

New poll:

Americans are more afraid of guns than terrorists.

The 2nd Amendment is a dangerous anachronism. Gun Nuts complete refusal to bend to reality will, in the end, lead to an Amendment to the Constitution repealing the 2nd A.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NRA may be losing its grip on the public's imagination

Actually, I think the general, non-gun owning public in the U.S. has long had a negative view of the NRA and understand that it is no longer the group that offered training and such to aspiring hunters and target shooters 50 years ago and sees it as the organization that most stands in the way of additional gun control.

Contrary to the factoids stated above, gun ownership continues to decline in the U.S. Gun sales are up, but that's because the gun nuts now represented by the NRA buy more and more - a gun in every room and in both trucks!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html?_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining/

It is the majority of Congress that stands in the way of stricter gun sales (states that allow repeated and multiple purchases, gun show sales with no background checks and Internet sales of weapons and ammunition). They want the NRA's money and endorsement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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