Banning assault weapons didn’t help at Columbine

After the tragic shooting of 20 children and 7 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, calls for a ban on the assault weapon used in the killings are once again beginning to be heard from gun control advocates.

The question that needs to be answered is “Would an assault weapons ban have made a difference in this tragic event?

From September 13, 1994 to September 13, 2004, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was in full force.

However,at 11:10 AM on Tuesday April 20, 1999, almost the exact middle of the assault weapons ban in the U.S., the weapons of choice in the Columbine High School massacre were two-20 pound propane bombs with timers set to 11:14 AM that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had placed in the cafeteria to kill over 400 students who were eating their lunch.

In their duffle bags were pipe bombs. The two also had a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun, a 12-gauge double-barrel sawed-off shotgun, 9-mm carbine rifle and a 12-gauge pump sawed-off shotgun. Black trenchcoats hid the weapons and utility belts full of ammunition. They also carried knives.

Their toll on that day was twelve students, one teacher, and the two murderers dead; plus 21 more were injured.

It seems that the Federal Assault Weapons ban in place during this time period didn’t help the high school students and teacher at Columbine, because, obviously, other weapons can still be used to kill if that’s the intent!

Just a thought.



  1. I just heard the expression “assault clip” from a U.S. Senator for goodness sake. She didn’tave a clue, just blind sheep following the script given to them.

  2. A ban on assault weapons would be a good start for the new year. It would send a message that we care enough about our fellow citizens to take these weapons away especially from those who are imbalanced.

    • Ted Biondo

      Steverino, you apparently didn’t see the part that the assualt weapon ban was country wide for 10 years – it didn’t make a difference because killers will kill regardless of what they have to use as weapons. Am I writing in a different language of logic, data and common sense and some people have trouble with understanding based emotion, symbolism over substance and generally just want to try something so they can feel good whether it works or not – OMG!

      • Tom Mauser

        I know something about Columbine–my son Daniel was murdered there. Yes, propane bombs were their main weapon of choice, but they didn’t work, did they? They waited outside with guns to mow down the survivors. You claim the AWB didn’t work. But you irresponsibly fail to point out that the TEC DC9 used to kill at Columbine WAS a banned assault weapon but that existing ones were grandfathered in. The gun lobby made sure of that and the gun makers pushed out as many as they could before the ban went into place. How tragic for so many victims. But I assume you never lost anyone to gun violence, did you?

        • It never ceases to amaze me how people continue to blame so-called “assault weapons” for gun crime, rather than the criminals who use them. Denying millions of law-abiding gun owners of their rights, because of the irresponsible acts of a few deranged individuals, makes no sense. We don’t ban cars because of drunk drivers, or ban knives, or even hammers, each of which kill more people than rifles of ALL kinds. Millions of gun owners use their weapons responsibly to stop, or at least deter, criminals every year. In spite of massive increases in gun sales, and the expansion of concealed-carry, gun violence has actually DECREASED over the past two decades. See: http://www.ibtimes.com/gun-violence-down-49-1993-peak-despite-public-perception-high-crime-1243671

          Your son’s death is tragic, but punishing lawful gun owners is not a logical, nor effective, solution to the problem of gun violence. If anything, disarming law-abiding citizens only makes things easier for the criminals and lunatics to do their evil deeds.

  3. Let’s see how a retroactive assult weapons ban works instead this time.

    • Ted Biondo

      CJR1 – the assualt weapons ban didn’t work because the Columbine killers simply used other weapons. Did you read that part? You don’t have the constitutional right to ban anything – register it, license it maybe, but to tell free people who are not criminals that you do not have the right to own a gun takes away freedom from the law-abiding citizens to protect themselves – even from the government, which is one of the reasons the 2nd Amendment was placed in the Constitution and now you want to give that government the right to take away our right – No way!

  4. I don’t think they are that stupid. I don’t think they are prepared for the extremely crazy people and the repercusions of that. And, like I said, they will never ban anything they can make money off of. If they cared so much about saving people’s lives, cigarettes would be banned. But they make too much money from taxes and they keep increasing $1 pack every so often. Extreme hypocrites.

  5. You missed the point Ted. We need to acknowledge gun violence as a huge problem in this country and restricting weapons with more sensible gun regulation is a start towards sanity. The gun culture of kill or be killed simply must stop otherwise we will continue down the path of one tragedy after another. Gun worshiping is not a religion we need to participate in we can do much better.

    • Ted Biondo

      Unilateral disarmament has never worked and places the one who follows the rules in even more danger, Steverino! Also, I acknowledge violence as being initiated by the murderer – his weapon of choice is not always a gun. Reread the article – a ban against assualt weapons had been invoked for 5 years – it did no good!

      • Tom Mauser

        A ban doesn’t work? Look at England, Australia, Japan, etc etc They have VERY few deaths from assault weapons. Surely you can’t deny that? Or are you a flat earther?

  6. I don’t want to lose the right to bear arms. I occasionally go to one of the largest gun ranges in the country and target shoot with a .22 revolver and a .38 revolver. I think that my weapons are adequate for my home defense also. (I have a double barrel 12 gauge too, which some experts say is the best weapon for home defense.) I don’t see the need to carry a weapon in my car all the time but it can be argued that doing so prevents some crimes from occurring. However common sense and logic tell me that 30 round magazines (or more)and bullets designed to deposit all the energy into human tissue to cause devastating injuries are not necessary for my self-defense or target shooting enjoyment. The same things tell me that the 2nd amendment is not the right to keep a military arsenal. Do you think that putting some restrictions on gun-show sales and limiting magazine capacity and ammunition purchase, and requiring background checks are inconsistent with the 2nd amendment? Shouldn’t we have some dialogue about what steps can be taken within the bounds of the 2nd amendment to make random acts of extreme violence less likely or lethal? By citing one instance where a current gun regulation didn’t prevent the act does that mean we do nothing? I’m interested in what the NRA says tomorrow. This is first time after one of these horrific shootings where they haven’t immediately come out defending unlimited arming of the citizenry. So maybe even they are ready to move a little on the issue. Oh and Ted, Steverino says “more sensible gun regulation” and you translate that into “unilateral disarmament”. !!!! We all have exclamation mark keys but we all don’t have to use them after each comment we make.

    • Ted Biondo

      Azguy – you said, “Do you think that putting some restrictions on gun-show sales and limiting magazine capacity and ammunition purchase, and requiring background checks are inconsistent with the 2nd amendment?”

      Surprise – I agree with the gun-show sales and requiring background checks and I would add mental checks!

      However, the rest I would need to be convinced for what reason if I am a law abiding citizen.

      Many people disagree – they think that with registration, the government now knows the location of every gun and can confiscate them at will. I look at it this way. If the government is attacking us like Syria is doing to their citizens, it’s probably too late to do anything about it, but a survivalist will disagree.

      Finally, the second amendment was meant to allow the citizens to rise up against tyranny of their government, as well as to defend oneself against an intruder or murderer.

  7. Finally some sensible comments! The amount of rhetoric that I have read in the last few days and including Piers Morgan the Idiot has reached the point of unbelieveable!

    Bottom line is simple…People want SANE solutions to fix INSANE problems! It’s not going to happen! Gun control measures like bans on certain guns, magazine capacity, etc is nothing more than a band-aid! Period! Sadly, it’s a societal issue and mental health issue. Putting bans on guns is like saying everyone who owns a gun will commit a violent crime with a gun! Much the same, it’s like saying everyone with a mental illness will murder someone! It’s ignorant! If someone is intent on killing 1 person, dozens, or even hundreds, they are going to find a way to do it! If there wanst a gun available, locked or unlocked, 1 bullet or 1000 bullets, he would have found a way! There is absolutely no way to possibly legislate sanity. My wish is that the incredibly brave and selfless teachers who either confronted this Maniac or shielded those small children would have had the means to defend themselves, some way, other than hiding! Lockdown, while important at some level, doesn’t provide the ability to confront and eliminate the threat! It becomes hide and seek…and time is never on their side!! I am saddened beyond measure seeing and feeling what these people are enduring! I would give anything to have had the Principal and her Colleagues firing away as soon as he shot out the windows! The heroism and selfless acts those teachers displayed exceeds anything I have ever heard. The bravery and compassion they demonstrated to preserve lives, children’s lives, is unapproachable! I hope they are honored and rewarded here and in the their new resting place! They certainly have earned it!

  8. Ted Biondo

    RedRover – that’s the most unintelligent argument I have seen in my two and one-half years doing this blog, on any subject, or in my entire life, for that matter, with anyone who had an ounce of intelligence. Why not write on someone else’s blog? If you ever are this stupid again, I will wipe out anything you write from now on. What a obtuse comment!

  9. Ted, why not wipeout everything RedRover wrote right now? What a Moron! Its amazing the idiot is even capable of connecting sentences!

  10. Adam Faber

    Ted, please explain how RedRover’s post violated the Terms of Use located at http://www.gatehousemedia.com/terms_of_use that control our conversation here. By deleting this comment and calling him or her stupid, you are only reinforcing my prior allegations that you either delete or refuse to respond to comments that you don’t like and you call people names like a third-grader.

  11. Since when is it forbidden to post things on this blog that YOU consider stupid, Mr. Biondo?

    Don’t you post things that some of your readers consider “unintelligent”? And when you do, does that give them the right to call for an end to your blogging rights forever, just as you have threatened to terminate mine?

    You are still living in America, Mr. Biondo, and not in Red China. So are we playing by the American rules of free speech for all, or is your blog ruled by the Chinese policies of suppression of views that disagree with your own?

    If you read my post, you will know that I am a Vietnam War veteran. Is this how you honor those who served with me, by selectively censoring my views solely because YOU and some of your readers happen to think that they are idiotic, moronic, unintelligent, and stupid? If so, then what did my comrades in arms fight and die for?

    I think that you should apologize and repost my piece. It’s the very least that you can do to honor the ideals we were all raised to believe in and that some of our fellow Americans died fighting for.

    • Ted Biondo

      RedRover, equating guns with your private parts is as far as you go. You insulted all gun owners and elderly people with your comparison. I’m not apologizing to you for insulting people who can’t help what age does to them or people that want to own a gun and aren’t doing it because they are old and have trouble going to the bathroom – you were cruel!

  12. Hey, Adam, I’ll answer your question, as soon as you tell me how Ol’ race-baiting Pat gets away with kicking people off his site for insulting Obama, and/or replying to Pat’s personal attacks, in kind. That isn’t in the Terms of Use, either.

    Is Ol’ race-baiting Pat playing by the American rules of free speech for all, or is his blog ruled by the Chinese policies of suppression of views that disagree with his own?

    It works both ways.

  13. truth hurts

    I have one MAJOR FACT that shows not only how inaccurate the press is in reporting these atrocities, but how ignorant anti-gun people are.

    The term “assault weapon”.

    Back when the origional assault weapon ban law went into effect the DOJ (department of justice) along with the Military classified a “assault weapon” as this………


    Any weapon that can do such is governed under the law for distructive devices under the BATF and require a CLASS III licence PER GUN.

    This requires EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS BY BATF, A fee, extensive paperwork, and allows the BATF to do random checks to make sure you still have said weapon.

    Even some states (like IL) do not let you have a class III/assault weapon even if you have a licence.


    You CANNOT BUY a assault weapon at wal-mart, dicks, gander mountain or any gun show UNLESS SOLD BY A CLASS III DEALER.

    If you convert a rifle/pistol to a ASSAULT WEAPON it is a MAJOR FEDERAL FELONY and you go away for a VERY LONG TIME.

    Now for those liberals/obama/brady military style/assault type terms do NOT BY LEGAL DEFINITION make it an ASSAULT WEAPON.

    I can take ANY modern pistol, shotgun, rifle and dress it up with any combination (depending) of pistol grip, extended magazine (NOT CLIP), shrouds, handguards, bayonet, folding stock, sighs, color and so forth and make it look like something out of the military.


    What I find glossed over is the fact ALL OF THESE SHOOTING TOOK PLACE IN A GUN FREE ZONE.

    The only exception is the mall shooting. IN that it was not reported but it was STOPPED BY SOMEONE WITH A CCW.

    Short version he was with his family and saw the shooter shooting. After getting his family under cover (wife and child) he drew his weapon and took cover by the shooter. The man had him in his sight but held fire untill he had a clear shot where his bullet (if missed) would not hit a bystander. The shooter (with initial weapon jam) saw the man lining up on him and ducked into the starewell. There he took his own life.

    He saved countless people lives, no “wild west shootout with civilians getting shot”, and no press coverage.

    I leave with this thought.



    The sad part is people are more concerned with the item or the evil person than allowing good people to defend themselves and others.

    That is almost as bad as the act itself.

  14. Adam Faber

    Snuss, what someone else does cannot be used to deflect from the instant issue.

    Ted, please answer my question.

  15. truth hurts

    Ah adam your quote

    “delete or refuse to respond to comments that you don’t like and you call people names like a third-grader.”

    I think you are on the wrong blog and you meant to say the unabashed liberal applesause.

    Except for the delete you have described in clear detail applesauce/any liberal and not ted.

    I can show many many posts refuting what you are spewing.
    I myself even had a disagreement with him (which got heated) but he answered and responded.

    I submit adam it is you who seems to have the issue.

    I suspect your problem (common for liberals) is you do not like the answer or opinion you are getting.

    Highly different than deflection or not answering.

    However if you still feel slighted remember this.

    You have the first ammendment freedom of speach (which I will defend even for you).

    But that freedom does not shield someone from looking or being called stupid (another person using their first amendment right).

    Does not guarentee that ANYONE has to listen to you or is forced to give you a venue to give your opinion (this is teds blog).

    Lastly that freedom also gives you the right not to read or comment here on his blog if you are sooooo offended.

  16. Mr. Biondo,

    You have called my posting “unintelligent”, but you have shown that you don’t know how to spell “assault”, for godsake! Who are you to judge what is “unintelligent”?

    If “Equating guns with your private parts” is too far, then why was I forced, as a young Army recruit, to do so? I thought it was a joke at the time, and still do. Do you understand what the word “satire” means?

    Satire is an important technique used in all of the arts. In your capacity as member of the RVC Board of Trustees, will you squelch all satirical material that might be scheduled for performance and/or exposition at the new multimillion dollar Arts Center?

    You are acting like a tyrant, sir. Thomas Jefferson had this to say about that: “I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    Do you have what it takes to admit that you have sinned against freedom of speech, Mr. Biondo?


  17. Adam, the comparison IS relevant. The blog host controls their site, and they, with the assent of the RR-Star’s powers-that-be, can do as they wish.
    BTW, 1st Amendment rights only pertain to government’s action, not those of businesses, groups, or individuals.

  18. My posting was not about old people and guns. Please reread it and get the message it contained.

    That message was that many of those who love guns may do so for reasons that have more to do with sexual dysfunction than with self-defense, and I cited a study that documents that notion.

    That connection may be why gun sales and Viagra sales have both surged to new heights.

    Your post was about gun control. My post was about why guns may be so popular. Seems to me to be well within the scope of your topic.

    It bothers me that you have this totalitarian contempt for differences of opinion. Why do you bother to open your posts to comments if you are not willing to allow them from folks who are outside your ideological turf?

    Noam Chomsky knows of one good reason for this sort of censorship: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

    Is that your reason, too, Mr. Biondo? Do you really want to keep the rest of us passive and obedient to your ideas only? Is that why you are on the RVC Board of Trustees, to train students to be passive and obedient?

    You right-wingers are fond of saying: “Freedom is not free.” What you demonstrate with this act of censorship is that the price of freedom that folks like you would exact from the rest of us is just this: You can be a free man in ultra-right wing America but only if you never dare to act like one.

    I post on blogs like yours to to elicit and hold up to ridicule that sort of attitude. It is dangerous and unbecoming of any American who still knows what real freedom looks like.

    Do you still love freedom, Mr. Biondo? If so, please stop acting to stifle it.

  19. Redrover sez: ” That message was that many of those who love guns may do so for reasons that have more to do with sexual dysfunction than with self-defense”

    So, conversely, that must mean that Liberal men who hate guns are trying to emasculate themselves. Sounds reasonable (from a Leftist’s viewpoint), and extremely dysfunctional, to me.

    Also, the female Liberals have a similar viewpoint. Essentially gun control is an attempt to perform a symbolic castration of all men in society, in particular those men that would outwardly manifest strength and a will to power by owning a gun, being committed to self defense and engaging in hunting or sportsmanship with firearms. (Source: http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/gun-control-as-castration/)

    Have you obtained the status of “girly man” or “eunuch” yet? Is there a ceremony, or an award for the achievement? Perhaps a lapel pin?

  20. On a related note…

    Petition to Deport Piers Morgan Gains Internet Fame

    A petition asking President Obama to deport CNN anchor Piers Morgan gathered more than 33,000 signatures in just three days.

    The petition on the White House’s “We the People” website posted Friday has crossed the 25,000 threshold needed to solicit a response from President Obama.

    It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

  21. To Snuss RE Gun Control as Castration

    It’s a pity that Mr. Biondo has banned my original posting so that you could criticize its content while knowing what it really said.

    But of course, considering oneself as an expert on topics that one has no experience with is a very conservative thing.

    Just as the liberalism Adlai Stevenson has been contaminated by morally bankrupt phonies like Bill Clinton, so the conservatism of Barry Goldwater has been tainted by the unsupportable claims of ignorant know-it-alls like Glenn Beck.

    If you want to continue this conversation in a meaningful fashion, Snuss, I suggest that you join me in calling upon Ted Biondo to repost my banned reply and demand that it does not happen again.

    “Let a hundred flowers bloom!” as conservative Richard Nixon’s buddy used to say. That’s the only way to truth that I can see.

  22. So, no lapel pin?

    It IS possible to disagree, without bringing sexual organs into the discussion. Ted doesn’t like that kind of language. Is your vocabulary so limited, that you can’t make a point without such comments?

    Ol’ race-baitin’ Pat kicked me off Applesauce, because I insulted “The Messiah”, and he threw a hissy-fit when I wouldn’t retract the (accurate) comment. What a (Liberal) weenie!

  23. http://times247.com/articles/bill-clinton-once-backed-armed-guards-in-schools

    Ironically, it was Clinton who, in 1998, spearheaded a program akin to the school safety initiative proposed by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Friday, which was widely criticized by Democrats, that would put armed guards in schools across the country. The New York Times reported at the time:

    “Two weeks ago, President Clinton announced a program called Cops in Schools, aimed at making it easier for school districts to get money to hire police officers in hopes of preventing the types of shootings that have resulted in the deaths of students and teachers in half a dozen schools in the last three years.”

    Read more: http://times247.com/articles/bill-clinton-once-backed-armed-guards-in-schools#ixzz2GHc18hJU

    • Ted Biondo

      Wilson, you are right on. To some Democrats, Clinton wasn’t liberal enough. Some Democrats today even think Obama is too middle of the road to suit their tastes – you wait and see!

  24. Harlan Johnson

    Ted Biondo. You said The question that needs to be answered is “Would an assault weapons ban have made a difference in this tragic event? [in Newtown]

    The legislation I am recommending, properly enforced, might have saved the lives of those children! Unlike the old assault weapons ban, which I understood had 600 exceptions – different from my suggestion that gun policy include “well regulated” aspects, I encourage the use of disincentives – tax and registration that is thorough including evaluating the home, the location where the guns will be, and incentives – buy-back programs for these weapons of war, confiscation and prosecution when assault weapons are not registered. I request that you and others who respond to my guest column respond with compassion for those children.

    Regarding Columbine, I believe there WERE armed guards here.

    For more on this including my complete post, go to comments following my guest column at

    • Ted Biondo

      Harlan, did you see my post on assault weapons proved that any ban on assualt weapons, even your legislation, would have accomplished little because the Columbine kids didn’t use assault weapons – anything but.

      Will your legislation outlaw Propane tanks, knives, sawed off shotguns and other things these criminals brought into that school – No!

      So what good is more control over law-abiding people or criminals for that matter, when either could use something else to kill people. BTW, experts said if the propane timers had worked in the cafeteria, there would have been over 400 dead students, and what would any gun ban or clip size have done for those students?

  25. Mr. Johnson, this discussion will go nowhere as long as your keep falsely describing these military-STYLE, semi-automatic rifles as “Weapons of war”. They operate in exactly the same fashion as millions of other rifles, shotguns, and pistols that have been produced for over a century. One pull of the trigger equals one bullet fired. As I have stated previously, you can take a car, install bigger tires and wheels, and plaster it with decals, but that doesn’t make it into a NASCAR racer.

    TRUE “assault weapons” are either FULL- automatic (bullets fire as long as you hold the trigger, or until you run out of ammo), or are “select fire” (full-auto, short bursts, or semi-auto).

    The LAST “assault weapons” ban did NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING to the rates of gun crime. When it ended, gun crime DID NOT INCREASE. Doesn’t that tell you anything?

    Mass killers usually find a method to commit their crimes. We need to be more vigilant in detecting these people, and defending “soft targets” against their insanity. Establishing “gun-free zones” is the equivalent to inviting these deranged individuals to the target of their deluded dreams.
    If you feel otherwise, why not place a “gun-free zone” sign in front of your own house? Will that make you safe?

    Depriving lawful gun owners of their 2nd Amendment rights makes NO positive improvement in crime reduction. If anything, it ensures that such acts are less likely to be defended.

    As Wayne LaPierre stated so correctly: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,”.

  26. Harlan Johnson

    You asked, ,”Harlan, did you see my post ..” Yes. Then “Will your legislation outlaw Propane tanks, knives, sawed off shotguns..” No. It’s a start. Did you see the news about the attack in China the same day by a crazed violent person in a school – against little children – with many injured and no fatalities because he used a knife ?

    You can google it. From one report:
    While it sounds like the horrific massacre in Connecticut, this attack took place about 8,000 miles away in central China. And while several of the victims were reported in critical condition, none of the 22 children were killed. The 36-year-old suspect in China — which has strict gun control laws — attacked the children with a knife, according to local reports. “The huge difference between this case and the U.S. is not the suspect, nor the situation, but the simple fact he did not have an effective weapon,” said Dr. Ding Xueliang…

    My suggestion is that we need to, from a position of compassion and common sense, work to build a broad consensus to do all we can to protect innocent victims from gun violence. “Do all we can” that actually CAN be done now. Not all at once. Not in a way that interferes with legitimate gun owners’ rights, and yet honoring the right to LIFE that is being violated thirty times a day, every day in the US through gun violence. My suggestions include starting with an excise tax.

    Taxing Cigarettes has saved many lives. According to Patrick Reynolds, Executive Director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America, “…there are now 3 million fewer smokers, thanks to the 62 cent Federal tobacco tax hike Obama signed into law on his 16th day in office.” Reynolds knows a little something about smoking and cigarettes: his grandfather is R.J. Reynolds. If Reynolds’ grandson can take action, gun owners can too!

    Cigarette tax in illinois is $2.99. I remember when a pack cost 40 cents. In some places the cost is $4, $5 or more per pack. Who would have imagined? How did this happen? Think of the last time you were sitting some place, minding your own business, when you smelled second hand smoke and looked around to see who the “culprit” was! There’s been a sea change in public opinion during my lifetime.

    Let’s imagine ways to begin creating greater safety for all of us by doing all we can to lower the number of weapons of war that can be obtained by just about anyone. We need a sea change in his country – so people will stop tolerating this insanity.

    Really, Ted doesn’t that make sense to you?

    • Ted Biondo

      As a free man, Harlan, why must I continue to live my life according to the lowest common denominator (LCD) in our society. I’m tired of being restricted in my actions by those who don’t obey the law, who didn’t wear their seat belts and now I am forced to do so, rather than make a logical choice freely.

      I used to smoke – a lot. I freely decided to quit, long before the restrictions. I don’t need a smoking law because some people don’t want to stop or if I wish to have a cigarette out in a park, somewhere on the planet – I can’t because now some laws are restricting everyone from even smoking in the open air!!

      Someone is always trying to control other’s behavior because they think they know what’s the right thing to do.

      What about the mayor eliminating the 20 oz. jumbo drinks in New York or saturated fat because some obese people raise our insurance rates when they require treatment. It goes on and on. There are hundreds of examples where the behavior of everyone is affected by the behavior of the few, regardless of the reason and I’m tired of people controlling my freedom because of the few who refuse to live by the rules.

      If I obey the laws, plus I’m fed up with taxes of all kinds, then I should be free to own or collect any gun if I so wish in a free country. I don’t want you or anyone else deciding for me how to live my life. Do you understand the concept of freedom, where my actions do not affect others – I should be free in America. I don’t want to live in 1945 Germany.

  27. Snuss said … this discussion will go nowhere as long as your keep falsely describing these military-STYLE, semi-automatic rifles as “Weapons of war”. They operate in exactly the same fashion as millions of other rifles, shotguns, and pistols that have been produced for over a century. One pull of the trigger equals one bullet fired….”
    Watch this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9sNcq5jHFY

  28. Harlan Johnson

    Ted – it’s true you are a free man. You have also chosen to be a public official with responsibilities that affect all of us. Your position reflects an extreme focus on yourself as an individual, yet I don’t get from you any sense of responsibility to the community – to those 30 people murdered each day by guns. You speak of 1945 Germany – yet you seem to be oblivious to a kind of holocaust that we’re all living with – gun violence in the US. Not in other nations. In the US. People in Germany had “minded their own business” and ignored the slaughter of millions. You are free to ignore a call for compassion and for practical ways to overcome the killing of people with guns. And notice I didn’t suggest a law to ban assault rifles. Disincentives (taxes and fees) and incentives (buy back programs) preserve people’s freedom yet may result in lives saved in society. What kind of “social contract” do you espouse vis a vis the tragedies of gun violence?

  29. @ Harlan Johnson: It is STILL a semi-auto weapon. One trigger pull equals one bullet fired. The level of accuracy from that setup would be horrible. BTW, that same technology could be fitted to a .22 rifle.

    You might find this video, of a revolver being fired, interesting:

    As to buy-back programs, they normally only get worn-out junk, that has been collecting dust for decades. However, it IS a great way for criminals to get rid of a traceable murder weapon, and get a gift card in trade.

    As to murder statistics, gun violence rates are dropping, even as gun sales increase significantly. Per YOUR logic, just the opposite should happen to the gun crime rates.

  30. You may also find that the U.S.A.’s murder statistics are not that high, compared to the rest of the world:


    SIXTY-FIVE MILLION gun owners didn’t shoot anybody today. How do you justify abridging the Constitutional rights of all those law-abiding gun owners, because of a few deranged individuals?

  31. Responding to Snuss who said “… the U.S.A.’s murder statistics are not that high, compared to the rest of the world,”

    I don’t get why you say 65 million gun owners didn’t shoot anybody today. We should be happy that only about thirty did?

    America sees far more gun violence than countries in Europe, and Canada, India and Australia When a person kills another in the United States, he or she generally uses a gun: 60 percent of U.S. homicides occur using a firearm. Among the G12, we are far and away 1 in gun homicides – a whopping 600% above the next highest (Canada and Switzerland).

    From the Harvard Injury Control Research Center:
    “The US has more guns in civilian hands than any other developed country and more firearm related death as a result: more frequent massacres like the horrific shooting in Colorado, and day after day, more accidental firearm deaths, more domestic homicides, more homicides in the streets, and more firearm suicides. …Other countries have much more sensible gun control policies than does the US and, ironically, more people in the US favor sensible firearm control legislation than has been enacted. The toll of firearm death is not, however, inevitable. Indeed, we know that rates of suicide and homicide are lower, all else equal, in areas of the US where there are fewer privately owned guns and where more sensible gun control is the norm. Violence is a public health problem, and firearm violence is recognized as a uniquely American public health problem (at least in comparison to other high income countries). Most scientific studies on firearms now come from the public health community.”

  32. Of course, if you check the murder rate, per capita, the USA is not even in the top twenty:

    See: http://begbd.blogspot.com/2008/11/murders-per-capita-most-recent-by.html

  33. Harlan Johnson

    Your figures aren’t limited to firearms murders. Your post inspired me to do some more research.

    Looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence , This article has a marvelous chart that can increase understanding. The article is worth studying in depth. It does caution against comparing the figures as different countries collect statistics differently.

    So bearing the caveats in mind, comparing firearms homicide per 100,00 people in US with other DEVELOPED countries the figures are discouraging. It compares the % of homicides with firearms. We’re 5th, just behind Zimbabwe. In overall homicide rate by firearms, we’re 9th eclipsed by Columbia and Guatemala. Comparing the US to other developed countries, we are much worse. The United States has the highest rate of gun related injuries (not deaths per capita) among developed countries, though it also has the highest rate of gun ownership and the highest rate of officers.

    Statistics aside, I believe at bottom we’re better than this. See http://www.bradycampaign.org/ . We need to develop ways of minimizing gun violence. And I believe it can be done in ways that protect people’s rights. To me the right to life – to not be killed with a firearm – is not taken seriously enough. Think about those kids in Newtown – and the 30 firearms homicides every day that we don’t even hear about.

  34. This reply is a bit late, but still relevant:

    If you removed the U.S. cities with the greatest gun crime rates (which, not surprisingly, have the most strict gun laws) from the gun crime totals, the remainder has FAR lower rates than many other countries.

    Also interestingly, since concealed-carry was adopted in Illinois, Chicago’s gun crime rates have gone down.

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