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A woman leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut December 15, 2012. Investigators assembled
Time is an enemy when it comes to Congress doing something to make another massacre like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School less likely; as time passes, the horror will fade for many not directly affected by the murder of 20 children and six adults, and the gun lobby will have a chance to go to work on members of Congress. But for now, the momentum is on the side of making a change, with even some gun-related businesses responding to the new environment. In maybe the best sign of how potent an issue this is, the National Rifle Association has gone silent:
Its Facebook page has disappeared. It has not sent a message on Twitter since the extent of the carnage became clear. And no leaders of the 4.3 million-member organization appeared on the talk shows this past Sunday, two days after the shooting.
The NRA isn't the only defender of limitless gun ownership to have gone silent since Sandy Hook, but it's perhaps the most reliably shameless one, until now. In the political threat vacuum the NRA's silence leaves, and following pro-gun West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's determination to "look at ways we can make our country and our children more safe," two more pro-gun Democrats, Sen.-elect Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Sen.-Elect Joe Donnelly of Indiana, have said they're willing to start talking about changes to gun laws.

Arizona Rep. Ron Barber has continued speaking about the 2011 shooting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords, which he also survived, saying, "The young man that shot those of us in Tucson last year was carrying clips that had 30 rounds in them and in a matter of ... seconds he was able to unload all of those bullets and shot 19 people, six of them died." Nor is Barber the only member of Congress whose life was changed by a mass shooting—New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy's husband was killed in the 1993 Long Island Railroad shootings.

Meanwhile, retail chain Dick's Sporting Goods has taken the guns out of its store closest to Newtown, Connecticut, and suspended the sale of "modern sporting rifles" from its website nationally. The guns will come back to Dick's at some point, but that's not the only business responding to the shootings. Private equity firm Cerberus is trying to sell off Freedom Group Inc., the largest U.S. gunmaker, which manufactured the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle apparently used by Adam Lanza. Cerberus says it doesn't want to be "drawn into the national debate" on gun control, and apparently profiting from the sale of the weapon used in the Sandy Hook killings is a little too debate-adjacent for comfort.

It's time for action, before people start to forget the shock and horror of last Friday and the gun lobby comes back with a unified squeal of outrage that restricting the possession of weapons of mass killing might be seen as a reasonable way to prevent mass killings. Help keep the momentum going—sign the petition urging President Barack Obama to push for a real national conversation on gun control.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  crickets on this site after 14 December (12+ / 0-)
    The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Established in 1975, ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:30:55 AM PST

    •  ILA ????? These guys: (0+ / 0-)

      They want guns so they can shoot k!ffxrs.

      Stay close to home, guys.

      "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:45:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you really expect any other response? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha, exterris

      I'm actually glad they are showing their true colors by crawling under the nearest rock. WTF are they going to say to defend the right to murder 20 first graders and six school administrators, including a principal, a school psychologist, teachers and a substitute teacher? I mean seriously, WTF is ANYONE going to say to defend that?

      Can we please start talking about the culture of violence that seems unique to this country? It's a culture that has existed since our founding. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can pass reasonable gun control and address the core issues behind the ongoing violence and mass shootings that have become the norm, not the exception in this country.

      I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

      by Pager on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:01:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just because the NRA isn't in the press, doesn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli

        mean they are under a rock.

        Deals get done out of the limelight.  They're working hard.  Bet on it.

        •  Oh, I'm sure they are. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          exterris, Boris49

          But that wasn't the point, was it? It is the PUBLIC face of their response that most people are commenting on and noting. And people that are even pro-NRA on other blogs have commented on how silent they have fallen.

          I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

          by Pager on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:11:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wish you were right, but... (0+ / 0-)

        Look at any comment thread on "regular" news sites (most sites, actually) and you'll see exactly what they are saying to defend this mass murder. There are several wackos screaming "FASCIST" (in all caps). There are people who believe that "they" are using this to disarm all Americans and impose something/something/blah/blah on the nation. Wingnuts are blaming the shooter's mother. Armed radicals are salivating over the chance to attack every person in this country who has a mental illness. (With guns, of course.)

        Guns are made to kill. Rights should come with responsibilities. But according to certain right-wing radicals, the only responsibility belongs to people who don't carry guns. We have the responsibility to take a bullet.

    •  They may not be "on record," (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boris49, Agathena, eru

      but their gun-lusting minions are out there in force, once again pushing the stale old NRA talking points.  Today the points-du-jour seem to be:

      (a)  "We can stop this by taking guns out of the hands of the mentally ill," and

      (b)  "Let's just do something about semi-automatic rifles and leave it at that."  

      The first point is bogus.  Overwhelmingly, most violence is not by mentally ill people, and overwhelmingly, the mentally ill are not violent.  

      The second point is also bogus.  The problem is all guns.  For every mass murder, there are countless individual murders with all kinds of weapons that aren't semi-automatic rifles.  

      •  The mental illness argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eikyu Saha

        is not only making me sick, it's scaring the hell out of me. Mental illness is more likely to make many sufferers suicidal, not homicidal. (As you pointed out.) There's a lot of people who think you can end murder by shooting anyone who is mentally ill. Not only do they want to return to the Wild West shooting gallery, they have taken away all of the progress mental health care has made.

  •  It might be time for youtubery. (7+ / 0-)

    This is a list of NRA board members.
    You'll see a number of names you recognize. One or two might surprise you.
    Perhaps they could be intercepted and confronted in public by citizen journalists equipped with cameras. Watch them cover their faces and do the "no comment" thing.

    •  as was suggested on the West Wing, they can be (8+ / 0-)

      defeated by electoral methods although the have 4 million members now

      TOBY It's a nifty phrase, but I think if we call for a permanent revolution, people are, you know, gonna expect one.

      JOSH The founding fathers made it very clear that they didn't want Judeo-Christian morality within 10 city blocks of the law.

      SKINNER You know, I never understand why you gun control people don't all join the N.R.A. They've got two million members. You bring three million to the next meeting... call a vote... All those in favor of tossing guns - [Snaps fingers] - Bam! Move on.

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:52:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great list! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kestrel9000

      For starters:
        Oliver North - convicted criminal
        Karl Malone - got a 13-year old girl pregnant
        John Bolton - man with temper issues
        Larry Craig - man with bathroom issues
        Charleton Heston - long dead

  •  Time To Strike While The Iron Is Hot - For Years (13+ / 0-)

    progressives have been trying to get legislation passed that PERMANENTLY bans military type assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips. Now is the time to get it done, while the Sandy Hook massacre is fresh in the public's mind, and sentiment is on our side. And no sunset provision on any assualt weapon ban - let's  not make that same mistake again! I also think legislation mandating universal background checks for ALL gun purchases in ALL states, and closing the gun show loophole is called for.  To prevent a person from obtaining an arsenal all at once, I would also like to see a limit of one gun purchase allowed per 90 days. Democrats and progressives, let's not get bogged down in talks about "mental health issues" - the NRA loves it when progressives get distracted from the REAL issue - making dangerous weapons less likely to fall into the wrong hands. Mental health issues are important, but let's talk about them AFTER we get assault weapons banned.

    •  Great list! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, eru, DSPS owl

      Guns are inherently dangerous. Especially when "used as directed." (i.e. Insert ammo, release safety if any, put finger on trigger, aim if any, fire at will. If happy with that, fire again. And again. Repeat.)

      It's time to stop chasing the NRA's arguments down the NRA's rabbit holes.

      - Guns kill people. And they do it more efficiently than most other kinds of homicide.

      - Sure, the mentally ill can get their hands on guns and use them, but we shouldn't have to wait to identify and cure all the mentally ill before we cure the proliferation of guns, starting with those capable of mass destruction ... but not ending there.

      - Yes, almost all police are against wide open gun laws. That is not because the government is taking over the world. "If guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns." True; what's your point? I wouldn't go quite that far, but now that you mention it ...

      - Self-defense can be stretched to the ridiculous. Such as: No, principals of elementary schools should not have K-47's in their school lockers. No, concealed carry shouldn't apply to stadiums, bars, churches or any place else. If you're allowed to carry a weapon - except for undercover officers - show it and have your registration information with you at all times.

      - The Second Amendment does not prohibit restrictions on gun sales, ownership and use.

      - If "semi-automatic" guns is a phrase hard to define, use the one from the last law Congress enacted. (It's a start. And then broaden it.) Or take the existing law against fully automatics and insert "semi-".

      - Ban gun shows that market guns. Of all kinds in all places.  There's no law against that. If the phrase is hard to define, define it broadly.

      Just for starters.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:57:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look for mandatory reporting by you doctor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VectorScalar

        if you are on medication that might be construed to be a remedy/mitigator for a psychological condition.

        Doesn't matter if you want to own a gun, it will still be reported.

        Prozac, Ritalin, Xoloft.

        This is gonna be a disaster for privacy rights.

        •  And make sure (0+ / 0-)

          that no one ever gets help for anything that might be construed as "mental".

          Doctors are already required to report if they believe someone is a danger to themselves or others. I hate to break it to you, but the generic Ritalin in my drawer doesn't mean I'm homicidal, and that pill isn't going to make me homicidal. (That new birth control pill I tried a couple years ago, though...whew!)

          If my doctor becomes concerned, then I will be reported to the authorities. People who are receiving psych meds are also receiving psych care. It's already hard to get and stigmatizing, and you won't find a bunch of wanna-be killers in the waiting room.

          My privacy rights are already in danger. And, thanks to a viciously irresponsible gun lobby, so is my life.

          The people who try to get help--whether for specific concerns, current issues, or general illness--are acting responsibly. The doctors who treat them are working responsibly. It's the people who fire guns who refuse to accept any responsibility.

        •  Why do you think doctors will have to report meds? (0+ / 0-)

          Because of a gun law? Even if so, why would the "danger to themselves and others" be any different under gun laws than any other law requiring doctor reporting?

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:57:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Where is the website ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... that offers me an easy way to contact my representatives in Congress to demand what you're suggesting?  Where?!?

      Come, my friends -- 'tis not too late to seek a newer world .....

      by shurley on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:01:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We can show these kids' faces (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha

      at every gun-sucker political rally from now till doomsday.

      Show Palin with her damn wolf-guns.

      Pair her narcie, gun-glorifying ass with the dead kids.

      Fuck all of them. Every one of them who make careers setting up the gun craze that drew in the psycho who shot the kids.

      No gun craze. No dead kids.

      "We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:09:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Waiting period is essential (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha, exterris, eru

      they have got to take the "impulse buying" away from guns.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:51:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Barely touches the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      Even if it suppressed a few high-profile killings, it would not address the vast majority of killings, which are with smaller weaponry.  "Military-style" weapons are already highly regulated, anyhow.  

      I suspect this is just another NRA talking point, designed to confuse and cloud the issue.  

      The problem is ALL guns.  

  •  they are busy loading the bullshit cannons, n/t (6+ / 0-)
  •  Richard Burr (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, jck, bontemps2012, Eikyu Saha

    His answering service SUCKS.
    You have to know a number to get thru.
    I did call after 12:00 pm, could they be on lunch break?

  •  You mean they're not saying (3+ / 0-)

    ...if only some of the 5th or 6th graders had been carrying?

    So even the NRA has a line it doesn't cross.

    Who'd've thunk?

    ------
    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:37:57 AM PST

    •  heard many say - if only it wasn't a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden

      "gun-free" zone ....

      Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

      by 51percent on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:54:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps... but one wants to ask them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden

      just what their number is for acceptable deaths of children, since whatever it is we evidently haven't reached it from Columbine to now.

      If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. Thomas Paine

      by WestCider on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:59:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Assume a spherical cow (0+ / 0-)

        They always seem to be of the "assume a spherical cow" school of analysis.

        IOW it isn't that laissez-faire gun policy or [fill-in-the-blank] policy doesn't work -- it's just that it has never been given a sufficiently fair trial in a sufficiently pure form.

        ------
        Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
        It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

        by Alden on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:37:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is no momentum and NRA isn't silent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Eikyu Saha

    They're plenty loud working their bought and paid for politicians right now - that much you can be sure of.   And that's all that really matters, there is no way any meaningful legislation can pass Congress.  They have all the House GOP and all the Senate GOP and enough Dem Senators to make sure they don't have 51 votes for anything let alone 60.  

    Momentum is more than just statements in the main stream media.  Attention spans in America are fleeting, and the NRA will slow walk anything until months from now when Newtown is long forgotten in the minds of the vast majority just like Aurora was, the Temple shootings in Wisconsin was, the Va Tech shooting was etc.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:38:15 AM PST

  •  NRA doesnt care about people and their safety (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, jck

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:39:38 AM PST

  •  They may be silent... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, 51percent, jck

    But they have all of their little NRA minions on Facebook and Twitter.

  •  If NRA were to drop their support of all weapons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, jck

    designed for military use, including the ammunition and magazines, I would have more respect.  

    Such a clear declaration would be a game changer in terms of how they are viewed by many, and could ensure their long term survival.

    Yes, it's a silly thought.

    West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:46:05 AM PST

  •  Nope, here they come (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, ConfusedSkyes, jck

    rolling down the track. My Facebook page is starting to fill up with people putting up there "STOP OBAMA'S GUN BAN!" posters and such...

    Their position is absolute - I wonder if they know that it was Reagan who signed the plastic weapons' and cop-killer bullet laws?

  •  Hey, Hey NRA--time for you to GO AWAY..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, 51percent, jck

    Everybody now!

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:48:06 AM PST

  •  It's still operating behind the scenes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, jck

    The blame game on God not being in schools

    It's TEH GAY's fault.

    LOOK LOOK, VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES!!!!!!!!

    All of that crap is nothing more than desperate attempts to point the blame at anything and everything except the guns.

  •  Day 4 and still - NOTHING (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, annieli, Eikyu Saha, Diane dp

    Despite the fact that NRA members and fans (puppets) are tweeting that it's time to join the NRA "protect our rights!"

    Posted about this the other day - Why is the NRA hiding?

     one of their last tweets was celebrating the 1 million concealed weapons permits - thinking of cancelling my trip to see the Red Sox spring training:

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:52:06 AM PST

  •  Gun Sales are UP since Newtown (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Eikyu Saha, Diane dp

    Offered without commentary, this.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:53:23 AM PST

    •  no commentary needed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha
      Mark Hessler, manager of U.S. Firearms Academy in Reno, said politics are playing a role in the increase in background submissions, including President Barack Obama’s comments Sunday in the wake of the shooting.

      “Grown men are buying AR-15 (assault rifles) that would never buy them before,” Hessler said.

      Obama’s comments Sunday, in which he said, “We’re going to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” has increased the urgency among gun owners and buyers, Hessler said.

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:30:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Why did Nancy Lanza love guns?" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck

    God knows, I've been doing some serious soul searching about my pro 2nd amendment stance, since the shooting in Aurora this summer.

    Read a fantastic article by Slate that offers a unique perspective as to why 43% of all women own guns. This article explores yet another angle that needs to be discussed. So many conversations we need to be having about guns and violence in this country and this is one of them.

    As the article states, "time to woman up" and disarm.

    I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

    by Pager on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:53:59 AM PST

    •  Weapons tech (0+ / 0-)

      I know there are ways to require a "match" between the gun and the shooter before it can be fired. How does doing so violate those precious 2nd Amendment rights? It allows the owner to fire the weapon.

  •  There are lots of bogus "founders' qoutes" (6+ / 0-)

    out there on the pro-armed-to-the-teeth sites.  Some of you may have some Facebook or email back-and-forth on this issue with your more reason-challenged friends or family.  They will point out that Thomas Jefferson said

    The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.

    ... except that, no he didn't.

    Or that Washington said

    Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99.99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good. When firearms, go all goes; we need them every hour.

    ... which doesn't even sound 18th-century, does it, with it's prairies, pilgrims, and percentages.  Because it isn't!

    Or that John Adams said,

    Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self-defense.

    ... when what he really wrote was,
    To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
             ---John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States (1787-1788)

    And so forth and so on.
    Now, I am not arguing that this debate should be fossilized in the real or purported views of the 1780s and 1790s.  But if you do get "quoted at," please do ask your opposite to provide the source.  If it sounds like you're reading Thomas Hobbes' recipe for how to lead a "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" life rather than the soaring communitarian principles of liberty of John Locke --- then you are probably not reading a Founding Father.

    Just wanted to provide that in case you may run into this...

    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. Thomas Paine

    by WestCider on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:54:52 AM PST

    •  There's a huge propaganda war going on (0+ / 0-)

      that's one of NRA and gun culture in general's weapons.

      They pull the full weight of the Constitution on their side and yet it's only one misinterpreted archaic phrase taken out of context of one amendment that is legally used to justify the proliferations of guns and guns carried everywhere.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:08:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember, the First Amendment... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is only "one Amendment" also.

        The SCOTUS has spoken - that is the new reality and that's not going to change.

        However, nothing in Heller implied that the Second Amendment is an unlimited right -- just as the First Amendment does not protect yelling "Fire" in crowded theater (that is not on fire!), slanderous speech, or death threats. As such, the battle is on finding where the limits are on the Second Amendment.

        Obviously limitations that substantially interfere with self defense (esp. in one's own home) will be struck down under Heller.

        In that context, for example, owning weapons useful in protecting oneself against a home invasion robbery by multiple assailants (which really does happen) is probably protected. A pretty good model probably is to recognize that police officers carry sidearms primarily for self protection so whatever they carry is likely constitutionally protected for all citizens (the frequency of the threat is not relevant -- anymore than a ban publishing posts calling for a return to slavery would be accepted just because "that view would be expressed so infrequently that protecting it is not necessary"). The same can not (under Heller at least) be said for machine guns, bazookas and small nuclear bombs (which have no obvious realistic role in immediate self defense).

        •  The stats reveal that keeping guns in the home (0+ / 0-)

          is a danger to those living in the home.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:06:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Care w/Statistics (0+ / 0-)

            It is important to understand the "stats" -- unfortunately, this is difficult to do without any references (if you're referring to a particular analysis, it would be helpful to reference it so it can be discussed).

            Note, first, that when dealing with Constitutional issues, "the most effective" answer is not always the "constitutional answer". For example, in high crime areas, if police could stop and search people freely or enter and search homes and businesses unannounced without a warrant, it's very likely that crime (assuming properly behaving police, but that's the assumption about the imposition or enforcement of any government mandate) would go down. However, in spite of this expedient solution, we don't even consider allowing police to do so due to the pesky Fourth Amendment. So, even if keeping guns in the home is a net danger to those living there, the Heller decision would disallow the wholesale banning of guns from homes (that is, almost exactly, what Heller was all about!).

            Obviously it is true that a proliferation of loaded and improperly secured firearms in households with small children would result in injuries and deaths that otherwise would not have happened. It is likely that under Heller, reasonable restrictions on storage of loaded guns would be allowed as long as they didn't delay access to the gun by an authorized user. This would not require eliminating guns from the home environment, merely insuring that they were properly secured.

            Even if one is willing to ignore constitutional issues and make a decision solely on "stats", let's look at deaths in the US (preliminary for 2011).

            We see (table 2, page 41) that there were only 851 deaths by accidental discharge of firearms (compared, for example, to 26,631 deaths due to falls and 3,555 due to accidental drowning or submersion). I think we can be fairly comfortable saying that the vast majority of these deaths would not have happened at the time or in a similar matter if there were no guns in the U.S. Although, note that this includes accidental deaths outside the home (such as hunting accidents) so eliminating guns completely from the home would not have prevented all of these.

            We see (table 2, page 42) that there were 19,766 suicides by firearms. We also see however that suicides are fairly easily achieved in other ways as almost as many people (18,519) accomplished the same goal without firearms. We also know that Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in industrialized countries - almost 2.5x the rate of the US (26 per 100,000 vs. 11 per 100,000 in 2009). We also know that Japan has strict gun control laws that make it illegal for most Japanese to touch a gun. As well (IMHO) it is a fundamental human right to commit suicide (under the same theory that it is a fundamental right to refuse medical care or even have an abortion). For these reasons, I discount statistics about "safety of guns in the home" without considering this, the largest class of firearm deaths, differently than accidental firearms death or those caused by a criminal act.

            For comparison, we see (table 2, page 41) that alcoholic liver disease killed 16,634 people in 2011. These, are of course "self inflicted" and we don't often hear calls for eliminating access to alcohol to prevent these deaths. To me, a similar attitude is appropriate for the suicide deaths by firearms.

            Considering homicides, we see (table 2, page 42) that almost 70% (11,101 out of 15,953) were by firearm. Obviously many of these were not in the home. As well, obviously some number of those that were in the home would have been carried out by other means (knives, blunt force trauma). It's hard to judge how many, but of those that were in the home, I suspect many of these would have been avoided (and some deferred) if there had been no firearms around.

            For perspective, we see (again, table 2, page 42) that there were 37,275 "transport" deaths in the US in 2011 - mostly motor vehicles. Some of these were criminal (drunk driving), a few were likely homicides, and some were likely suicides - some identified as such and some not.

            What, one must ask, is the positive value of firearms in homes and private citizen's hands? Undeniably, at least one crime has been averted by the presence, or anticipated presence, and responsible use of firearms. It is difficult to get accurate statistics on this though. Many attempted crimes are never reported and those that were deterred by the victim exposing a gun are likely to be particularly under-reported as the individual defending themselves is, understandably, hesitant to put themselves under the police microscope and run the risk of running afoul of some gun control law. In addition, it is difficult to determine how many criminal acts never happen, esp. in the home, by a robber or intruder, because a prospective criminal decides not to risk their life. It is clear from interviews with some criminals that this IS a factor at least in their decision on who to target and, in some case, IF to commit a particular crime.

            Any statistics that ignore all the "crimes that didn't happen" and acknowledge the difficulty of getting accurate statistics on such matters are lacking value.

            •  The Risk of keeping a gun in the home (0+ / 0-)

              PROBLEM:  Keeping a gun in the home increases the risk of injury and death.  Gun owners may overestimate the benefits of keeping a gun in the home and underestimate the risks.   

              DID YOU KNOW?   Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths.
              Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership. (Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 2009).

              An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present (Wiebe, p. 780).  

              Household gun ownership levels vary greatly by state, from 60 percent in Wyoming to 9 percent in Hawaii (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001).

              DID YOU KNOW?  Keeping a gun in the home raises the risk of homicide.
              States with the highest levels of gun ownership have 114 percent higher firearm homicide rates and 60 percent higher homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership (Miller, Hemenway, and Azrael, 2007, pp. 659, 660).

              The risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084).

              Higher gun ownership puts both men and women at a higher risk for homicide, particularly gun homicide (Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, 2009).

              DID YOU KNOW?  Keeping a gun in the home raises the risk of suicide.

              Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17 (Kellermann, p. 467, p. Wiebe, p. 771).

              The association between firearm ownership and increased risk of suicide cannot be explained by a higher risk of psychiatric disorders in homes with guns (Miller, p. 183).

              DID YOU KNOW?  A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.

              Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

              11 times for completed and attempted suicides (Kellermann, 1998, p. 263).
              7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
              4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.

              DID YOU KNOW?  Many children and teens live in homes with firearms, including ones that are loaded and unlocked.

              One third of all households with children younger than eighteen have a firearm (Johnson, 2004 p.179).

              More than 40% of gun-owning households with children store their guns unlocked (Schuster, p. 590).

              One fourth of homes with children and guns have a loaded firearm (Johnson, 2004 p.179).

              Between 6% and 14% of firearm owning households with a child under 18 have an unlocked and loaded firearm (Johnson, 2004, p.175).

              In almost half of unintentional shooting deaths (49 percent), the victim is shot by another person.  In virtually all of these cases, the shooter and victim knew each other (Hemenway, p. 1184).

              DID YOU KNOW?  Parents may underestimate their children’s access to guns in the home.  Women may not know about guns in the home or be unable to assure safe storage, despite wanting it.

              Among gun-owning parents who reported that their children had never handled their firearms at home, 22% of the children, questioned separately, said that they had (Baxley and Miller, p. 542).

              For unmarried mothers, when an adolescent boy reports a handgun in the home, nearly three-fourths of the mothers say there is no handgun in the home (Sorenson, p. 15).

              Of youths who committed suicide with firearms, 82% obtained the firearm from their home, usually a parent’s firearm (The National Violent Injury Statistics System, p. 2).

              When storage status was noted, about two-thirds of the firearms had been stored unlocked (The National Violent Injury Statistics System, p. 2).

              Among the remaining cases in which the firearms had been locked, the youth knew the combination or where the key was kept or broke into the cabinet (The National Violent Injury Statistics System, p. 2).

              Among married women living in gun-owning households, 94 percent believed in safe gun-storage practices but 43% of those households stored their family’s gun unsafely (Johnson, 2007, pp. 5, 8).

              Women are less likely than men to own the guns in their homes (Johnson, 2007 p. 4).

              Women are less likely than men to report a gun’s presence in the home (Johnson, 2004 p. 180).
              SOLUTION:  Without stronger, sensible gun laws, thousands upon thousands of people will continue to die and be injured needlessly each year.  The Brady Campaign fights for sensible gun laws to protect you, your family, and your community.

              Sources
              http://www.bradycampaign.org/...

              ❧To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:24:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  How (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        does anyone convince themselves that George Washington, among others, would cheer at the chance for everyone to own a 30-round magazine?

        And why isn't their "well-regulated militia" required to be regulated?

    •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WestCider

      Thanks for sharing that. You are not arguing that the debate be "fossilized", but plenty of people are. I appreciate the information.

  •  Web page to faciliate contacting Congress? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck

    Can anyone point me to a web page -- organized by a Brady Campaign, or Stop Handgun Violence, or some such organization -- making it easy for people to contact their representatives in Congress to demand support for stronger gun control legislation?  

    I cannot find such a site, which is outrageous at a time when millions of people WANT to make their voices heard, but don't know how to go about doing so.  Anyone have any information or ideas?

    Thanks ...

    Come, my friends -- 'tis not too late to seek a newer world .....

    by shurley on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:59:57 AM PST

  •  Conversation? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, Agathena, Diane dp

    I think we've had enough conversation.  I want action.  Do we really need a conversation about the insanity of selling semi-automatic weapons with high capacity ammo clips?

  •  Also call and fax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck

    The sound of constantly ringing telephones and clattering fax machines can be compelling in a way that silent internet communications are not.

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:02:06 AM PST

  •  Bullies are cowards. (0+ / 0-)

    No surprise about it.

  •  Why should the NRA talk (0+ / 0-)

    when they have legions of followers who are willing to do it for free on social media?

    After digesting this for a few days, I'd like to think that the NRA's facade is starting to crack and that people are waking up to what the NRA really seems to want: a private army. I think that their "individuals have the right to guns" 2nd Amendment argument covers the fact that it's really the "well-regulated militia" part that they want to protect. Of course, it would be "well-regulated" by the NRA and gun makers, not by any government. To me, their thinking goes something along the lines of "Well, if we can keep convincing the government that individuals have this right, then the government won't try to stop individuals with guns from forming groups. And, hey, if something bad is happening and one or some of these groups happens to be nearby then they can save the day. Then no one will hate guns anymore. Win win for everyone!"

  •  NRA 800 number (0+ / 0-)

    ... a friend of mine told me she's called them six times today and the operators seem to be kind of ... swamped.

    The number is on their page at: https://contact.nra.org/

    Just sayin'.

  •  They'll still be working fervently (0+ / 0-)

    behind the scenes with their lobby, I have no doubt. Blood on the hands never gets in the way of an ideologue and his/her lobbyist.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." -Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:25:21 AM PST

  •  Australia Port Arthur Massacre (0+ / 0-)

    There is some terrific coverage on today's Democracy Now of how this event sparked major changes to Australia's gun laws. There are a lot of parallels, including how they handled state-federal issues. The laws went as far as outlawing possession of assault weapons. The Australian government bought back guns for retail price plus 10%.

  •  This is an action alert-CodePink- (0+ / 0-)

    Please call Senator Reid at 202-224-3542.

    We need more restrictive gun laws---now.

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:32:17 AM PST

    •  Sorry, Today (0+ / 0-)

      I am more interested that Senator Reid focus on filibuster reform.   Perhaps after filibuster reform takes hold.  

      If filibuster reform doesn't happen, no amount of your 'code-pink' alert will make a damm bit of difference if the filibuster exists as it is today.   It will still take a super majority of 61 to get anything done, and something this inflammatory, divisive and controversial...not a chance.

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:38:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WE THE NRA are the the first words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    in our Constitution.  When our forefathers created the Constitution, our amendments addressed our right to live a life free of fear. Those amendments allowed that each of us be who we really are without oppression from others. The history behind the 2nd amendment is full of examples of oppression the colonists experienced at the hands of the British. As the call for independence grew louder and louder, the oppression became stronger. Arms, ammunition and parts were embargoed. Rebelling against tax laws resulted in citizens losing their guns.

    The NRA purposely ignores the other nine amendments and twists the the 2nd to suit their purposes. The tragedy in Newtown is an example of why our forefathers gave us our rights. It's clearly states no government or militia can be more powerful than the citizens themselves.  
    Today, our military is the largest and most advanced in the world.
    A radical gun lover was interviewed and 1 minute into it, I wanted to throw my TV across the room. The NRA believes the right to bear arms means we have the right to own military weapons. He claimed assault weapons are fun. It's no different than driving a sports car rather than an economy car. He was advocating the belief if we can drive any car, then we are allowed to own any gun. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?  Bullshit propaganda from the NRA.
    Colonists needed to be armed for self defense and putting food on the table. The NRA is well aware the society today differs vastly compared to 1776. It is why they advocate guns for everyone and we've seen that expressed everywhere since the tragedy on Friday. That advocates a society more violent than the one we live in.  They're assholes. We have the right to bear arms. We also have the right not to. Turning the 2nd amendment into a law everyone must follow violates all of our rights.

    Grover Norquist is a boil on the right butt cheek of humanity.

    by bluebuckeyewmn on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:38:57 AM PST

  •  I usually agree with Krystal Ball but the other (0+ / 0-)

    day I got a bit miffed at her and some other people I've heard on MSNBC.

     Some people are saying on talk shows things like we have to stop calling it gun control. We have to use the term gun safety, or sensible gun safety measures etc...
       So as not to offend the rural gun community. Because we need to treat them respect and assure them that we aren't taking their guns away.
       We have to play semantic musical chairs to do what?
       Get people who look at the terror guns bring to American life and say more of that please on our side? We have to mollycoddle to adults and take them out for an ice cream cone to get sane gun bills past?
       If you are living in the U.S. and aware of what's going on with respect to guns and violence in this country yet do not understand things have got to change, you have no business owning a gun.  
        Do you really want me to talk down to you before you'll put down your toys and listen to reason? Should I speak, or type slower so you'll understand? Do you really want me to act out every stereotype I have of you and people you identify with to your face before you'll be reasonable?

    How-do-you-do-Mrs.Wiley.
    Do you know what a question mark is?
    It's not a bad thing.
        The only mollycoddling I agree with is to say this change is going to happen you can choose to engage constructively or live with news laws that will happen without your input.
        The time for sharing cigars and brandy after debating in quiet rooms has long past. I don't really need your permission, and you could care less about my respect.  

        Another thing someone else did bring up is just look at the election. Obama won reelection with no help from the south or the mid-west. We have a strong coalition that got Obama elected and we can get it to do much more.
       We can not wait for lawmakers on this. We have to get out on top of this like we mean it. First stop Michigan.

     

    "Too much. There's too much fucking perspective now." David St. Hubbins

    by nellgwen on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:50:23 AM PST

  •  Saner gun laws Action Alert- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:02:52 AM PST

  •  Send Dicks some support for sensitivity (0+ / 0-)
    "Meanwhile, retail chain Dick's Sporting Goods has taken the guns out of its store closest to Newtown, Connecticut, and suspended the sale of "modern sporting rifles" from its website nationally.
    http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/...

    I'm a Kennedy Catholic.

    by EquiStar on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:22:38 AM PST

  •  we will never ban guns in the USA (0+ / 0-)

    Guns exist.  Killers will find ways to get them.

    What we need is for our law enforcement agencies to have access to electronic information that red flags likely terrorist and crazed gunmen.  Every case of a crazed gunman has many similarities to the events leading up to 9/11.  The problem is that law enforcement is not allowed to connect the dots.

  •  surveillance nation (0+ / 0-)

    There ample evidence that the NewTown shooter was a threat.  He had a mental condition, he had a keen interest in guns and there is likely more information that was stored on the computers he smashed that would provide even more red flags.

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

  •  Solution to the problem of gun control (0+ / 0-)

    What we need is an amendment to the Constitution. I propose the following:

    Section 1. A well regulated Militia no longer being necessary to the security of a free State, the second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
    “Section 2. Congress and the states shall have power to regulate the ownership and use of Arms by appropriate legislation.

    There is precedent here. The 18th amendment, prohibition of alcohol for beverage purposes, was repealed by the 21st amendment.

    The text of the 2nd amendment includes a rationale:
    "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"
    With that rationale no longer valid, the 2nd amendment is obsolete, unnecessary and actually harmful to national security.

    Steve Williams

  •  Hey Hey NRA How Many Glocks Did You Sell Today (0+ / 0-)
  •  Dear NRA, (0+ / 0-)

    Fuck you.

    "Your opponent can't talk when he has your fist in his mouth." - Bill Clinton

    by MethuenProgressive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:07:18 PM PST

  •  Misplaced optimism? (0+ / 0-)

    The Heller and McDonald decisions changed the landscape completely. These decisions have, in the only Second Amendment SCOTUS decisions in modern times, affirmed that the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self defense (Heller) and that this right can not be infringed by lesser (state/local) governments due to the 14th Amendment (McDonald).

    No one has to agree with these decisions, but it would be folly to ignore that they are about as unlikely to be overturned, except via the process of amending the Constitution, in the next 50 years as Roe v. Wade is. Actually, overturning Heller is probably less likely than overturning Roe v. Wade as the Second Amendment specifically enumerates a right while a right to have an abortion is not specifically enumerated. Indeed, Heller is to Gun Control what Roe v. Wade was to Abortion -- a Really Big Deal™.

    Now the battles will be in the courts, not in blogs, protests, or oped pages. I suspect it is this shift that has motivated the NRA's et al responses to be dramatically different this time. When your opponent seems to shift tactics, it's time closely closely examine your own strategy and tactics rather than assume your opponent has given up. When the battlefield inexplicably goes quiet and your enemy seems to have left without you having scored an undisputed decisive victory, it's best not to waste precious time celebrating but instead to frantically begin digging foxholes so there will be some survivors in the event of possible aerial "carpet bombing" runs and to very carefully scan the surrounding hilltops for signs that your enemy has taken the high ground during the night.

    Many issues around the Second Amendment remain undecided. My non-lawyer mind believes that the biggest may be what level of scrutiny - for example strict or intermediate - will laws be subject to review under the Second Amendment. Such issues are something the legislative process has no direct power over now -- there is of course long term indirect political power that comes from the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justices that have a bias one way or the other with respect to the Second Amendment.

    Over the coming years, I expect we will see many existing gun control laws struck down -- to be replaced by more uniform and less burdensome ones. However, anything passed after Heller and McDonald is ripe for immediate challenge. It seems (and I could be mistaken) that courts are more willing to issue an injunction to delay implementation of a new law pending a final decision on its constitutionality than to suspend enforcement of longstanding laws pending such a decision.

    It's entirely possible that the NRA et al are being strategic here and that it would be a mistake to continue to respond as before.

    They may just be standing by while new gun control laws are passed in an emotional response to last week's events in Newtown. Indeed, they may well be hoping that these laws are as far reaching as possible. Upon passage, they then may pick the most "egregious" (in their view) ones, seek (and likely be granted) an injunction delaying their implementation, and move the challenges as quickly as possible to the SCOTUS (hoping to get a circuit split on key issues which pretty much insures the SCOTUS will take the case and, therefore, have to rule on those issues).

    The NRA probably wants the current SCOTUS to hear such cases as both Heller and McDonald were 5-4. However, even the less conservative members of the SCOTUS who dissented in Heller and McDonald are bound by those decisions.

    I suspect that the NRA is salivating at the possibility of California passing legislation that requires a permit to purchase ammunition and that the permit holder must pay for that permit (estimated to be about $50 annually). That's a slam dunk loss at SCOTUS under Heller (just as a poll tax, or a ban on driving cars over five years old on election day would be, or requiring a permit and fee for three or more people to assemble on private property would be) and it would probably be a 9-0 loss.

    I think that may be what is at play here - not evidence of capitulation by the NRA et al. Be careful what you assume. Remember, it's (12 dimensional?) chess, not tic-tac-toe.

  •  Department of Motor Vehicles (0+ / 0-)

    Department of Civilian Weaponry
    or just "Department of Weaponry"

    Licensed drivers, licensed shooters.
    Insured driver, insured shooter.
    Insured vehicle, insured gun owner.

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