A recent study in Preventive Medicine found that the gun homicide rate in the United States is 25 times that of other high-income countries. We don’t have higher rates of mental illness, and we don’t play more violent video games. What we do have more of in this country — a lot more of — is guns.

In 2017 there were 120.5 guns per 100 hundred people, or more guns than people in the United States. The country that comes closest is war-torn Yemen, with 52.8 guns per 100 residents. Contrary to the idea that more guns make us safer, rates of gun-related homicide are higher in states with higher rates of gun ownership.

We didn’t get into this situation by accident, but because the National Rifle Association started, years ago, to instill fear in gun owners. By defining gun violence as a political issue, the NRA created two “sides” pitted against each other. Then they persuaded gun owners not to trust the “other” side, because “they” want to take away all the guns.

But gun violence is no more “political” than cancer or addiction. Imagine wanting to restrict opioid prescriptions after a wave of overdoses and being shamed because “this is a time for grieving, not political posturing.” Gun violence is a public health crisis that kills just as effectively whatever your political affiliation.

What about the slippery slope argument that if you let “them” impose any regulations or ban any type of weapon, the inevitable result is that “they” will take all the guns away? Slippery slopes are fallacies because they aren’t supported by evidence — only unfounded fear. There is no reason to ban handguns or rifles that are purchased legally, stored safely and used responsibly. But there are good reasons to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines: Their only purpose is killing large numbers of people. No civilian needs an assault weapon.

And don’t we all want to keep guns out of the hands of people who are likely to kill someone? Proposals such as universal background checks and fingerprint IDs so guns can only be fired by their owners are designed to keep all of us safe — gun owners and their families included.

It’s time to stop the NRA from pitting Americans against each other. Gun violence deprives us all of the freedom to live our lives without fear. It’s time we took that freedom back.

Margaret Procario

Frederick

(56) comments

DickD

We can make comments all day - and we have.



First, there is nothing wrong with target practice. I have done plenty of that, it's fun.

But that is not the issue. The problem is too many guns. Probably about a third of the people, in the U.S. own them. That means many people own 3 or more guns. Now argue about rights to protect yourself and tell me why you need 3 or more guns.



And why do you want someone with a mental problem to own a gun? What's wrong with keeping your guns locked up, so no one can steal or use them - without your knowledge.



Now,tell me why you need an automatic or a bump stock to fire multiple times. Certainly isn't for accuracy. Certainly isn't for protection - unless you think we are going to be invaded and you need to protect us. Certainly not for hunting unless you want to make the animal you are hunting hamburg.



I just don't understand the 2nd Amendment rights people and there fears.



And probably even worse in total numbers of people killed are hand guns. You definitely don't need them for hunting and not for protection either.

DickD

Their fears.

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, where to start. First, as I have stated many times, each of my guns are used for different purposes. Hunting big game, hunting small game, duck and goose hunting, competitive target shooting, long distance target shooting, and more. Each discipline has different requirements. Do you play golf with just a putter or driver? I play with a full bag, thanks. Nobody wants the mentally ill to have guns, nobody, so that is a non-sequitir. All my weapons are securely stored, including my home protection firearms which are stored in a biometric safe. You already know that you cannot own an automatic weapon*, and bumpstocks were made illegal by Trump's Executive Order after Las Vegas. As for handguns, the Heller decision recognized handguns as tha most likely firearm for home defense, invalidating DCs firearm law. If someone violates firearm laws, they should be severely punished to the full extent of the law. Look up 18 USC 922 for the law, and 18 USC 924 for the penalties. Stop the revolving door of the " justice system".

DickD

Glad you are locking up, Gabe. Do you feel your right to hurt is greater than a child's right to life?

gabrielshorn2013

Right to hurt? Nobody has the right to hurt anybody, Dick. Where'd that come from? If you mean hunt, why the comparison? I have an inherent right to keep and bear arms, and all of us have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

Obadiah Plainsmen

M. Procario,

In the fall session the Supreme Court will hear the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs The City of New York. This will be the first 2A case heard before the Court in over a decade. This will be a political flashpoint in the 2020 campaign. Already 5 Democrat Senators have submitted a legal Brief demanding that the the case be dismissed and casting aspersions on the integrity the Court itself. Mainly that the 5 conservative Justices are motivated by politics instead of the Constitution. The 2A is a pivotal right that helped this country retain it's freedom, and it might be the catalyst that Americans lose it.

gabrielshorn2013

True, and NYC, knowing that their law was going to be declared unconstitutional, thus allowing more barriers to be removed, rescinded their law in the hope that the case would be declared moot.

mprocario

I think that the aspersions, as you call them, result from a belief that the NRA and other conservative groups attempted to persuade senators to confirm Justice Kavanaugh in the hope that he would vote in favor of conservative issues. Until and unless I know otherwise, I will assume he will uphold the Constitution in deciding each case on its merits. As for the Second Amendment, I don't understand your claim that it helped this country retain its freedom. I believe that the Heller decision in 2008, which declared that individuals have a personal right to own a gun, was a misinterpretation of the Constitution. Everyone seems to ignore the wording at the beginning of the sentence: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State." Ultimately, I believe that the freedom of the rest of us to live our lives without fear of being shot outweighs any right someone feels they have to own the latest military hardware.

rikkitikkitavvi

mpro, We will agree to disagree.

https://rodmartin.org/second-amendment-explained/

gabrielshorn2013

mprocario, individuals have always had the inherent right to self protection, going back to common law England. The 2A merely confirmed that pre-existing right. It is not a collective right to keep and bear firearms. If it were, the 2A would have said "the right of the militia to beep and bear arms". It didn't. What other right guaranteed in the Constitution are collective rights? None. They are all individual rights guaranteed to "the people". Can you imagine a group having the right to free speech, but not the individual (1A)? The right against self-incrimination to a group, but not the individual (5A)? Do this exercise with all of the Bill of Rights. As for your reference to the prefatory clause requiring membership in a militia...no it does not. The prefactory clause was an introduction, giving a reason for the right not to be infringed, but not the only reason. We all want the violence to stop, but the law-abiding citizens, nor the NRA who stands up for those citizens, are the problem. As information comes in, it turns out that the latest mass murders (El Paso and Dayton) had huge red flags, that nobody paid attantion to. The El Paso shooter's mother tried to warn officials that her son had an AK47, and was dangerous. The Dayton shooter's friends and school system all knew that he was violent and had something wrong, yet nothing was done. Most shooters are repeat offenders, and if they served their entire sentences, would be in prison and unable to shoot anybody. Case in point is Radee Prince, who had an extensive criminal record, including firearm violations. The firearm violations alone (under 18 USC 922 and 924) should have put him away for 30 years, but his sentences were always bargained down to nothing by the Maryland revolving door justice system. When he was let out the last time he killed his coworkers at Granite Solutions in Edgewood.

phydeaux994

Scalia’s Heller Opinion has been roundly criticized by many Conservative Judges and Scholars.....

https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/justice-scalia-second-amendment-and-judicial-conservatives

gabrielshorn2013

Still the law phy. Doesn't make it less so. If you looked at the logic of the argument, rather than your emotions, you would see it too.

gabrielshorn2013

"keep" not "beep" and bear arms.

MD1756

You seem to ignore that by the specific wording, the right is given to the people, not the city, county, state, etc. In all of the amendments the language is clear as to who the right is given to. Another example is the 10th amendment where powers not expressly delegated to U.S. are reserved to the states or the people. Other amendments assert the rights of the people or citizens, not states. So it is clear that when the term people or citizen is used, it means individuals, not states. If only states were to have the right to keep and bear arms, they would have used that language.

Obadiah Plainsmen

A person who believes in the collective rights theory make their arguement by using the first half the 2A. That theory stood for about 70 years until Heller came along and then the final sentence came into play. The sentence that says "the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed" . Heller decision was supported 2 years later in McDonald' vs City of Chicago.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Futhermore I think we can agree that the framers were some pretty smart dudes. If the intent of the 2A was to limit or restrict private citizens owning or carrying arms I believe they would have said so in very clear language.

DickD

The "right to bear arms" has been modified many times. Kentucky was the first state to restrict hand gun. And prior to the Civil War only "free men" could own a gun. Now that probably was meant to allow women, but it was meant to restrict slaves from owning a gun.

hayduke2

Otherwise known as the National Guard.

rikkitikkitavvi

duke, When the National Guard was Federalized it was no longer the Militia.



https://learnaboutguns.com/2009/05/12/the-second-amendments-militia-is-not-the-national-guard/

shiftless88

Hey Obadiah; casting aspersions regarding the political bent of judges shouldn't bother a supporter of POTUS, right?

Comment deleted.
mprocario

Jerseygirl42, you seem to be troubled a great deal by illegal immigration. If you are referring to the 1,800 homicides that Rep. Tom McClintock said were committed by illegals in 2017, those have been shown to have occurred over a period of many years, even though the report in which the figure appeared was published in 2017. According to the Cato Institute, the number of crimes (including murder) committed by illegal immigrants is lower than those committed by legal immigrants, which in turn is lower than those committed by native-born US citizens. Using Texas as just one example, they found that conviction rates for homicide, larceny, and sex crimes were half those for native-born Americans.



And if illegal immigrants were committing mass shootings, I would not want them to have access to semi-automatic weapons either.

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

NONSENSE...

mprocario

Wran, I have nothing against target shooting. I'm an archer myself, and I also love my sport. My objections to AR15 style rifles is that, from what I understand, which I know is limited, they are semi-automatic and can make shooting multiple people easier. Are there other guns that are good for target shooting that aren't semi-automatic?

wran

mpro. Yes bolt action rifles can be used in the NRA and CMP Highpower competitions. Highpower is a particular match with a course of fire described below. The majority however use AR 15 based rifles for Highpower because of particular course of fire. Highpower is just a name. It has nothing to do with the power of the rifle. A 50 shot match consists of 10 shots slow fire, single loading in 10 minutes, 10 shots rapid fire sitting position in 60 seconds with a magazine change, 10 shots prone rapid fire with a magazine change in 70 seconds, and 20 shots slow fire prone single loading in 20 minutes. There is also an 80 shot course with 20 shots for each stage. Ninety five percent use ARs because of the rapid fire stages. The AR allows a shooter to keep their rifle on the target during the rapid fire stage. Using a bolt rifle is much slower to operate and requires most to take the rifle out of their shoulder to manipulate the bolt and then re acquire the target It takes a better shooter, in my opinion, to compete with a bolt action rifle and get their shots off within the time limit. I have used a bolt action rifle a few times and have had trouble getting shots off within the time limits. In the 2019 NRA Highpower Championship a 60 year old finished 4th using a bolt rifle. There are quite a few women that compete. The national match champion a few years ago was a woman soldier and she used a bolt action rifle. I believe she is one of the best rifle shooters in the country. She has not competed for about 3 years now because of Army deployments.



There are other NRA matches that have no rapid fire stage. They are prone matches with one minute time limits for each shot.



Of course we all deplore these mass shootings and the other shootings that are not 4 people shootings. I wish they didn't happen. Several of the mass shooters did not use AR rifles. The Columbine shooters used a shot gun and a semiautomatic rifle that fired pistol bullets. The VT shooter used 2 pistols. The Charleston shooter used a pistol.



So, I have written too much.

wran

Here is the lady US Army soldier who won the National Highpower rifle championship a few years ago shooting a bolt action rifle if you care to watch her shooting the rapid sitting position. Most shooters can't do what she did with a bolt action rifle in competition. She is one of the best rifle competitors in the country. She is totally dedicated to being a soldier. Was Soldier of the Year recently.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI3CNcLDvTs

mprocario

She seems pretty incredible. I have no desire to ruin anyone's sport--in fact, if there was a way that people could still shoot for sport without guns getting in the hands of people who want to commit murder, I would be all for it. I understand your point that not all mass shootings have been committed with semiautomatic rifles, but it seems that the larger the firepower of the gun, the more people someone could potentially kill with it. There is no perfect answer, but I hope we can all keep talking and do something to try to keep all of us safer from people who want to do us harm.

DickD

So, most people can't do what she did. Does this mean you have no problem to restricting semi automatic weapons?

MD1756

From NationMaster (see: https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Mexico/United-States/Crime ) a comparison of the US and Mexico (which has greater restrictions on forearms and only one legal gun shop) Murder rate in Mexico is 15/100,000 and in the US it is 5/100,000. Per million murder rate using firearms in Mexico is 24.42 (ranked 12th vs the US 32.57 (ranked 10th in the world). Intentional homicide rate in Mexico is 15/100,00 vs 4.7/100,000 in the US. The murder rate in Mexico is 218.49 per million people vs 42.01 per million in the US. Will regulating guns do much? Unless our cultural beliefs change, it appears that more regulations on firearms will only change the way people are murdered.

hayduke2

Apples to Organges...

MD1756

How so? Stricter gun control in Mexico. They have fewer murders by firearms, but a higher murder rate and higher murder rate with other than firearms. To me that shows that gun control measures probably have less to do with murder rates than culture (and probably how children are raised) does.

shiftless88

Because culturally and economically Mexico is nothing like the US.

MD1756

Shiftless, didn't I say in my comment that culture appears to be more of a factor in murder rates than gun control laws? Mexico has more stringent gun control laws and that may result in fewer murders by guns, but they have a higher murder rate which means they just use other means to kill rather than guns. If economies were a huge impact on murder rates, than why would India with a per capita GDP of $1,489 (ranked 135th) have a murder rate of 34.24 per million (raked 58th and it is a lower murder rate than in the US) while Mexico with a per capita GDP of $9,747 (ranked 60th) has a murder rate of 218.49 per million (ranked 17th at 6 time more than India)? India has much lower crime rates than the US and its economy is nowhere near ours. I believe it is culture, more than access to guns, that is a more significant factor in murder rates. So again, I believe the numbers do mean something.

hayduke2

You can find a statistic to support any view - doesn’t mean your interpretation is valid or proven by research.

DickD

Almost all due to the drug cartels, MD.

MD1756

And most guns deaths in the US are suicide, related to criminal activity (gangs, drugs, etc.) of domestic violence. And Hayduke, maybe you can explain the numbers then? My point is that if someone wants to kill, they will find a way. I do believe in limits on ownership but some of the proposals would require a change in the 2nd amendment, and that is the way to make change, not by passing laws that will just be fought in the court systems for decades. However, if anyone thinks that gun restrictions will have a significant impact on the murder rate in this country they're probably in for a rude awakening. Personally, if someone is going to kill me (an event that is not likely to happen and not worth worrying about compared to being killed in an automobile accident or dying from cancer), I'd rather it be by a quick shot than a machete or being stabbed 88 times with a screw driver.

wran

The statement in the LTE regarding so called assault rifles: "Their only purpose is killing large numbers of people" is simply not true. AR 15 based target rifles are the number one rifle used for NRA and Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) competitive rifle matches. There are thousands of people that participate and enjoy competitive shooting using AR 15 based target rifles. I participate in about 10 matches a year here in Maryland. Most everyone in these matches uses AR 15 rifles. We are responsible people. We enjoy our sport, and we are not doing anything wrong. Please tell me what we are doing wrong participating in our sport.



I have been competing in rifle matches for many years starting in a high school ROTC program where we had a rifle range at school for 22 rifles. We had about 600 M1 rifles at the school. We had marksmanship training with these rifles and went to a nearby military base for training and shooting the M! rifle. No one ever considered this training and program was the least bit wrong or a problem. There was never any problem with this program.



Here is a link to competitive shooting using AR 15 based rifles in national championship rifle matches. Tell me objectively what these people are doing wrong and they should be banned from doing this.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5GZv8bqinE

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] wran. Same here, and for 99.999% of other AR platform firearms. They are an ideal target firearm with high accuracy and low felt recoil.

DickD

Not a matter of being banned, it's the fact more guns, known as assault weapons will lead to more mass shootings. If you can spray bullets, why so concerned with using an AR- 15?

Thewheelone

Well done, Ms. Procario.

gary4books

New York once had the strictest gun laws in the USA. And lots of guns and even more gun crime. Why? One could go a few miles and buy a gun. National laws work the best and for that, we do need to amend the Constitution. It is slow and difficult. perhaps laws can be passed and the Constitution amended before they are challenged in court. That could be a plan. Any long term solution (in my opinion) needs a change to the Second Amendment.

gabrielshorn2013

You are absolutely correct Gary. Until the 2A is either amended or repealed, it is the overarching policy of this country. The citizens must have the political will to get 2/3 of both houses of Congress to get a bill passed, then signed by the President, then ratified by 38 States. Doing what NYC tried to do with its blatantly unconstitutional law on transport of firearms ain't gonna cut it.

gary4books

[beam]

DickD

What the government can do is require a license, Gabe.

gabrielshorn2013

Maybe for handguns and concealed carry, dick. Doubtful for long guns, and certainly not for each one owned. That is infringement, similar to a poll tax that SCOTUS has already said is not constitutional.

cleanrunoff

All very sound and cogent points, yet the author fails to address the absolutely legitimate concerns of those of us who need to defend our families from 30-50 feral hogs.

gary4books

That many? You may need Claymore mines or a "street sweeper" shotgun with heavy shot.

public-redux

We have feral hogs on my family’s hunting ranch in Texas. While we carefully manage the deer populations, you can shoot all the hogs you want.

gary4books

My friends in South Texas always were armed with .44 magnums so they would not be on foot and face a wild pig. It has been a while and they may be carrying .50 cal. pistols now. I would.

DickD

Do they make a 50 caliber pistol, Gary? A 45 is pretty powerful.

gabrielshorn2013

Yep, 0.50 caliber Desert Eagle, and similar.

gabrielshorn2013

Maybe a better fence for your yard.

hayduke2

Naw, build a wall and get your neighbor to pay for it.

public-redux

Kinda funny. We’ve managed the ranch to maximize its hunting potential. We lease hunting rights; that revenue more than pays all the bills. An adjoining landowner mostly runs cattle, which degrades the deer habitat. Apparently “his” deer preferred our ranch. He put up a 9 foot high fence n an attempt to keep “his” deer on his property.

Thewheelone

[lol]

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