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YouSpeak: Should Gun Control Laws Be Stricter?

The president’s call for tighter restrictions

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Last week, in his first trip outside Washington to promote his proposals for strengthening existing gun control laws, President Obama spoke to a crowd of law enforcement officers and community leaders in Minneapolis. His sweeping package includes universal background checks for gun purchasers, restricting the size of ammunition magazines, and reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

The president’s proposals, which come in the wake of the mass shootings in Colorado in July, and more immediately, the December rampage that left 20 children and 6 adults dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., face strong opposition from some members of Congress and from the National Rifle Association.

The president told the assembled crowd, “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something.”

So this week’s “YouSpeak” asks: “Should there be stricter gun control laws?”

YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask, post it in the comments section below.

106 Comments
Erik Duda, Multimedia Producer video film, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Erik Duda

Erik Duda can be reached at erikduda@bu.edu.

106 Comments on YouSpeak: Should Gun Control Laws Be Stricter?

  • Mat on 02.11.2013 at 12:36 am

    The ignorance of some of these people is appalling. An assault weapon is a select fire weapon. All of the weapons in the “Assault Weapon” ban are semi-automatic firearms, one shot at a time. The second amendment was put in place to protect against the threat of tyranny, without an armed citizenry the government could run unchecked. We need less so called gun-free zones. They are a magnate which attracts violent criminals who know they will be able to commit acts of mass violence without being stopped until first responders arrive which could take upwards of half an hour.

    • Tom -class of '96 on 02.11.2013 at 10:05 am

      Mat, you’re almost right on. As a machine gun owner, you can bet I am pro-2nd amendment. But, this particular civil right was not enacted to allow an insurgency, but to prevent one. The push for the 2nd amendment came after William Shepard, a (state) militia general defended the (federal) Springfield Armory in western Massachusetts. It was soon realized that the private citizen is the best first responder and should be armed. This principle is still true today. I believe we went down the wrong path by ignoring this core truth and reason for arming the responsible and capable private citizen.

  • Cameron on 02.11.2013 at 12:49 am

    Perhaps we should do something to work on solving the problem of people having murderous tendencies rather than focusing on making it more difficult for law-abiding people to purchase firearms.

    • James Turk on 02.15.2013 at 4:06 am

      Probably would not be a bad idea to put God back into our schools and our homes. Just saying.

      • O rly on 02.15.2013 at 11:34 am

        I thought your god was supposed to be omnipresent.

      • Kelly on 03.29.2013 at 6:10 pm

        What does this mean, “put God back in to our schools”? Public schools have never as far as I can remember said prayers during class, the only thing that is ever said is the Pledge of Allegence which is still being said at least in my children’s school.

  • JG on 02.11.2013 at 3:46 am

    “No.”

    • US on 02.11.2013 at 9:02 am

      Most people answer, “yes.”

      Despite all of the anti-gun law comments here, popular opinion still rules.

      • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 10:06 am

        Most people are ill informed. Statistics do not support gun control. Many who have never shot a gun fear them. It’s not particularly hard to manipulate the American populous into a certain belief.

      • MS on 02.11.2013 at 10:13 am

        Talking as if the popular opinion is always the correct one.

        And it’s certainly not “most people.” Gun law polls suggest its around 5:4, 5 to “yes for stricter control,” with the rest of the population being unsure.

      • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 12:34 pm

        Thankfully rights are not subject to the temporal swings of “popular opinion.” People are emotional, irrational, and easily manipulated. This is why there is a clearly-established constitutional amendment process, and also why that process is so difficult. Want to limit guns? Propose an amendment. I’m betting you wouldn’t find much support, if any.

      • Jim on 02.11.2013 at 8:18 pm

        “Popular opinion still rules”? No, it does not. Perhaps you don’t realize that we live in a republic, not a democracy.

      • tyler on 03.09.2013 at 8:47 pm

        that is because most people are stupid and believe everything they hear

  • Kate on 02.11.2013 at 5:39 am

    The so-called “assault weapon ban” is a ban on scary-looking features, like the angle you hold your hand at (pistol grip), collapsible stock (which makes it more comfortable to fire), so on. They have nothing to do with the actual cartridge being fired, and won’t do anything to make guns less lethal. Furthermore, they target rifles that are often significantly less powerful than rifles designed for hunting.

    The private sale exemption allows parents to purchase firearms for their children, spouses to give firearms to each other, families to inherit heirlooms, friends to trade one gun for another, etc. It was deliberately exempted for the same reasons we don’t force all used car sales to go through a dealer.

    Restricting the size of magazines (as NY has done) makes it harder to use firearms for self-defense. A woman defending her children recently used 6 bullets against a single attacker, who was able to move and get in his car to drive off. She was fortunate in that she was able to bluff him into believing she had more ammunition than she did, leading to him flee.

    As someone with asthma and joint issues, if someone wants to attack me, I can’t run, and I can’t fight. Without a gun, I’m at their mercy, whether they have a gun, a knife, or even their bare hands. I carry for personal protection, and like many semiautomatic weapons, the standard capacity magazine it came would be illegal under the proposed regulation. Six bullets may not be enough to stop a lone assailant. What about two assailants?

    The currently proposed anti-gun legislation is mostly ineffective, “feel good” measures. None of them would have stopped the latest tragedy. The legislation that isn’t ineffective serves to make things worse for law-abiding citizens – the very people we don’t need the laws to protect ourselves from in the first place.

    No, there should not be stricter gun laws. We already have plenty – let’s enforce them first.

    • MS on 02.11.2013 at 10:08 am

      Finally, someone who’s talking some sense.
      This whole gun control thing is just crap politics.

      You’ve rightfully pointed out that an “assault rifle” ban is ridiculous because it doesn’t actually reduce the destructiveness of the gun itself. Even the word “assault rifle” was termed for fully automatic weapons. For instance, the US Army standard issue M4 Carbine is an assault rifle. The semi automatic version, AR-15 (‘AR’ for ArmaLite Rifle, the company name) is semi automatic. Also, this very common rifle uses a .223 caliber bullet with a very light bullet weight. A typical “hunting rifle” uses a .308, or even a .300 Magnum, a bullet with higher bullet velocity and much higher punching power. A .223 will make a clean through and through, where as a “hunting rifle” has enough power to blow through limbs. It could be shot from a much longer range as well.

      The talk about complete gun bans are dumb too. Do you know how many guns are floating around in the US? If you take away the law abiding citizens’ right to own arms, you are only making it worse by making civilians easy targets. This is a slippery slope argument.

      Perhaps we should get away from this bulls*** politics and focus on what’s really wrong, like mental health issues in the US.
      Besides, if someone’s willing to kill, they wouldn’t even care about these gun laws.

      PS. A gun is not as easy as getting a cellular phone in many states, especially in large cities. In Boston for instance, it will take at least 8 weeks to get a restricted licence to carry A. Restricted meaning you cannot conceal carry around Boston. In fact, no one in the city of Boston is allowed to conceal carry unless they have a legitimate reason like working in a dangerous environment or a job that requires frequent trips to the bank.

    • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 10:26 am

      YES. Thank you for your logical argument. I agree we need to just enforce the laws we have and possibly get rid of some which clearly don’t work and are useless (gun free zones *cough* *cough*)

    • Cem on 02.11.2013 at 11:23 am

      Oh, it is so unfortunate that a human being is still alive because there weren’t enough bullets in the cartridge. The tragedy! If only she had a couple more bullets.

      Also, if 6 bullets are not enough for you to scare off two assailants, maybe you should be more conscious when using the gun, you know better trained to use it?

      • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 2:12 pm

        “there weren’t enough bullets in the cartridge”…really? It seems someone doesn’t know much about guns. Perhaps you were referring to a “magazine?”

        And sometimes bullets can’t “scare” off an attacker and you have no choice but to stop them by killing them, unfortunately. And even after being shot 6 times, some people can still keep fighting. People have been shot many times more than that and have survived. Maybe you should educate yourself on the subject a little more.

        • Cem on 02.11.2013 at 6:26 pm

          I don’t know much about guns and I am not a native English speaker, so go on, bash on me because I don’t know the difference between a cartridge and a magazine.

          Well, it didn’t seem like bullets didn’t scare the attacker, as he fled. Also, please educate me, how often does it happen that a person shot 6 times is not wounded/killed and still poses a threat?

          If we are considering statistical anomalies, where do we stop? What if 10 people attack you? What do you carry to protect yourself?

          • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 8:32 pm

            First, I’m not trying to bash you, I’m trying to educate you. A magazine is a device inserted into a gun that holds rounds of ammunition. A cartridge is part of a round and holds the bullet, propellant, and primer.

            “A man in North Carolina was shot roughly 20 times in 1995 and lived to tell about it. The rapper 50 Cent was shot nine times in 2000 and has since released three albums. And in 2006, Joseph Guzman survived 19 gunshot wounds during the 50-shot fusillade by police detectives.”
            “Shots to roughly 80 percent of targets on the body would not be fatal blows, Dr. Fackler said.”
            (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/nyregion/03shot.html?_r=0)

            If you do not hit someone in the right spot then it is likely they won’t be killed. And it’s easier to say just train more or take a perfect shot but when your adrenaline is pumping even cops don’t have perfect shots.

            Yes, in the case Kate referenced it did scare off the attackers. However, there are many stories I have heard where the attacker doesn’t stop until he is killed. I don’t have statistics for this but a simple Google search would bring up many cases.

            Statistical anomalies aren’t necessary, just common sense. Why should I only be allowed to carry 7 rounds in my gun if I live in NY while criminals can carry as many as they want? Standard 15 round magazines are not ridiculous and should be allowed to be carried by law abiding citizens, just like police officers can.

      • Jim on 02.11.2013 at 8:41 pm

        Cem; The guy was a waste of flesh. The tragedy is his own making. The tragedy is that the taxpayer is going to have to pay for his trial and jail time. Another tragedy is that you have the brains of an ice cube.

    • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:14 pm

      Actually, your argument makes no sense. The assault weapon ban is not based on ‘scary-looking features,’ it is based on restricting weapons whose sole purpose is warfare. The ‘scary-looking features’ part is happenstance. Agreed, the assault-weapon ban won’t fix everything and is not perfect, but it’s also not as marginalized as you seem to believe.

      Second, while used cars don’t have to go through a dealer, they do have to be registered. This is the point with guns. Hypothetically speaking, if you are sane and legally allowed to purchase a gun, but your brother is schizophrenic, I couldn’t care less if you can’t give guns to your brother unregistered. Background checks are there for a reason and should be universal.

      Lastly, you are providing anecdotal evidence, at best, of the benefit of large magazines. I can cherry pick plenty of cases where a large magazine made a deadly situation more deadly. So why not provide some real statistics showing that large magazines are in fact more advantageous than they are hazardous? Oh, right, because the statistics disagree with you.

      • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 1:40 pm

        “The assault weapon ban is not based on ‘scary-looking features,’ it is based on restricting weapons whose sole purpose is warfare.”

        Wrong. There is literally a list of scary features including pistol grips and retractable stocks. The old AWB outlawed guns with two or more scary features. Feinstein’s new bill requires only one scary feature. There is not a single army in the entire world that uses the semi-automatic version of the AR-15 or AK-47. These are civilian arms only.

        The car analogy falls apart for two reasons. Firstly, car ownership is not an enumerated right whereas gun ownership is. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, car regulations only apply to operating a vehicle on public ways. You could keep a car on your own property and not need insurance or registration. If you intend to carry a firearm in public, then we can talk about licensing and classes.

        Define “large magazine.” A 30-round magazine in a rifle is standard capacity. Around 15 is standard for a handgun. Military and police use standard-capacity magazines because they are useful for protection while still being more practical and reliable than a large-capacity drum magazine. Police used to call their six-shot revolvers “widow makers” because you could empty six rounds into a target without incapacitating him, leaving you totally defenseless. Standard capacity magazines are essential to self-defense.

        • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 2:03 pm

          “There is not a single army in the entire world that uses the semi-automatic version of the AR-15 or AK-47. These are civilian arms only.”

          They are semi-automatic versions of automatic military weapons, which are basically outlawed. Civilians buy them because they can’t get the automatic version, thankfully. So semi-technically, every army does use them, but the automatic version if available. No comment about the scary features thing, it’s a moot point to deflect from the real issue. Drawing the line is not a black and white issue, so there’s bound to be hypocrisies. I already conceded it isn’t perfect, but the line should be drawn somewhere lower than it is now.

          Second, the interpretation of the second amendment is also controversial, as it clearly says for the purpose of a militia. Thus it is not necessarily a universally enumerated right, it is just interpreted as such by those who choose to ignore the militia-clause. The other difference is that a car is not designed for killing things and cannot be easily concealed and operated illegally as such. Regardless of what the current law is or what the constitution “says” for that matter, a vast majority of Americans believe that a background check is a logical requirement for allowing a person to own guns. It is already essentially the law for federal licensed dealers, but states choose to allow ways around it.

          I don’t care to get into a discussion about magazine-size technicalities, my point was simply that Kate’s anecdote about 6 shot magazines (which I’m pretty sure would not be restricted with the current proposed laws anyway) is not a real argument.

          • Ozz on 02.11.2013 at 3:38 pm

            ” Civilians buy them because they can’t get the automatic version, thankfully” Wrong again! As long as you are not disqualified to own a firearm i.e. felonies and such, you can purchase a full automatic firearm through a Class III dealer. All that is required is that the purchaser pass a Federal background check and pay a $200 transfer stamp tax upon delivery of the firearm. Get your facts straight Guy.

          • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 5:27 pm

            A militia does not have to be standing, one can be formed at crisis time. Self defense was incredibly clear in the original intent of the founders. They have made many arguments as such.

            Scary looking does deflect from the point. Many of the features banned do not make the weapon more lethal. Does a collapsible stock? A pistol grip? The only reasonable one that makes a weapon more lethal is a bayonet lug. Do you remember the last time someone was killed with a weapon mounted bayonet? The actions on these weapons is no more lethal then any other weapon.

            Also weapons are not easily concealable. That is why the federal government limits barrel length to 16″ for rifles and 18″ for shotguns. Shorter needs a class III permit. Handguns that are concealable require a permit in almost all states.

          • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 9:30 pm

            @Ozz
            ”Civilians buy them because they can’t get the automatic version, thankfully” Wrong again! As long as you are not disqualified to own a firearm i.e. felonies and such, you can purchase a full automatic firearm through a Class III dealer.

            If you had read the sentence before, it says “basically outlawed.” It is possible to buy them, but significantly more difficult (ie costs more, longer wait time, deeper background check). So get your reading comprehension straight, Ozz. And next time, try making a real argument.

  • Nathaniel Moran on 02.11.2013 at 6:28 am

    We don’t need the federal government involved in more gun control. The states should be the ultimate authority in gun control. Personal, individual responsibility is the key to less gun violence. There is no way to reinstate an assault weapons ban when those types of guns are so prolific in the market today. There are so many sold today, so many owners of guns of that type. Let it be. Stop wasting the tax payers dime and time. Focus on more important issues like the economy.

  • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 7:02 am

    After much thought and discussion I’ve come to the conclusion that all arguments for no gun regulation come down to four claims:
    1. If we don’t have guns the government will round us up into gulags.
    2. It’s tradition.
    3. Without guns we’ll all be helpless against crime.
    4. I want me fun guns.
    All of these can be swiftly taken apart without much effort, but I think it’s instructive to think about it from a public health perspective. We require vaccinations and seatbelts don’t we? Have those rules led to anything but mild inconvenience and countless saved lives?

    • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 8:33 am

      That is a bit of your personal bias. We can review some facts:

      4. Agreed. Guns can be fun.

      3. Brookline

      1. Maybe it is more that government doesn’t have your best interests in mind. How would you have felt in New Orleans where the police disappeared? LA when the riots broke out? Even Sandy in Long Island where people got attacked for gas.

      As someone who was a firefighter I will tell you right now there are high acceptable casualty rates in an emergency situation. You do not want to be relying on these people to save you. While agencies such as the FDNY are extremely well trained many are not. You are effectively entrusting someone less intelligent then yourself will far less incentive to help you in a such a situation. Does that sound like a good idea?

      Although factually there was that little incident in WWII where we put all the Japanese in camps…

      • BU Parent on 02.11.2013 at 12:00 pm

        Adding to this, many of the Japanese sent to internment camps were native-born American citizens. To those who say that happened 70 years ago in different era, right after 9/11 the same wheels started in motion but towards Arabs and Islamics (report to the FBI, etc).

        Anonymous- DOJ statistics support #3 rather than “swiftly taking it apart without much effort”. The best case is Washington DC before, during, and after their gun ban. Gun and other violent crimes increased during the ban, then decreased back to pre-ban levels when the Supreme Court declared the ban unconstitutional.

        • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:20 pm

          How about a link? Correlation does not equal causation.

      • Thomas on 02.11.2013 at 2:30 pm

        Obviously a terrible thing for the government to do, but are you suggesting that Japanese Americans should have taken up arms against the US government? They had the right to own guns, they could have. They would have been outnumbered though.

    • Danny on 02.11.2013 at 9:43 am

      Freedom to drive without a seat belt and freedom to avoid vaccinations are not guaranteed by the Constitution.

    • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 9:55 am

      You are right. Thank God we are required by law to wear seatbelts and everyone follows this religiously. It is great that not a single person has broken this law and died in a car accident due to not wearing a seatbelt. Now only if we could make guns illegal so not a single person in the country had one… You should run run for President.

      • Cem on 02.11.2013 at 11:59 am

        Yeah, because if we can’t save *everyone*, we shouldn’t even try? Who cares if the seat belt legislation saves a few thousand lives, because some people still don’t wear seat belts. Really? We are all supposed to be university students here.

        • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 12:26 pm

          So maybe you’re missing my point. I’m arguing that gun control WON’T save any lives, and will in fact put law abiding citizens at greater risk by disarming them or reducing their capability to defend themselves against the bad guys who are STILL going to get the guns regardless of the laws.

          • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:40 pm

            “I’m arguing that gun control WON’T save any lives”

            Wow, that’s a pretty over-arching statement. Are you willing to bet your life on it?

          • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 2:14 pm

            @that guy
            I don’t have to bet my life on anything because I carry a gun for self defense.

        • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 12:44 pm

          Question: Do people wear seatbelts because of the law or because they have been informed of the life-saving benefits? For a point of comparison, has marijuana prohibition been more or less successful than public awareness campaigns about the health effects of tobacco? I believe that education alters behaviors in a way that legal mandates never can.

          And returning to the original topic of conversation, what about all the lives that guns save? Northwestern University found that guns are used in self-defense roughly 80 times more often than they are used in crime. If you take away all the legally-owned guns, are you really saving a life or are you condemning 80 lives?

          • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:46 pm

            How about this statistic:

            A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide (11x), criminal assault or homicide (7x), or unintentional shooting death or injury (4x) than to be used in a self-defense shooting (Kellermann, p. 263).

            Kellermann, A. L., “Injuries and Deaths due to Firearms in the Home,” Journal of Trauma, 45:2 (1998):263-67

          • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 2:20 pm

            @that guy
            The objective of this study was to “Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to INJURE or KILL in self-defense.” This did not take into account incidents where shootings did not occur because the bad guy was scared away by a good guy with a gun, which is far more likely to happen than him being shot. In addition, often times these incidences go unreported because the gun owner is afraid that he will get in trouble for defending himself with a firearm even though he did so legally. Therefore, this study really concludes nothing because we don’t know how many times a life was saved without a shooting.

          • Cem on 02.11.2013 at 6:37 pm

            I never said law is more effective than education concerning seatbelt usage. My argument is instating the legislation helped, no one can argue that more people die in traffic accidents because wearing a seat belt was made mandatory.

            The case is not so clear cut in guns legislation, I was just picking apart Dan’s analogy to seat belts and pointing out his fallacy of assuming something not having absolute effect has no effect at all.

          • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 8:43 pm

            @Cem
            First, it wasn’t my analogy. I think it’s an awful analogy because you can’t compare guns to seat belts at all. I was simply making the point that not EVERYONE follows the law, which is true and you cannot pick apart. Even if you ban guns, criminals will still get them because they don’t follow these wonderful laws that the government puts in place. Just like not everyone follows the seat belt law.
            Again, I didn’t say that banning guns would have no effect. I said it would have a negative effect by disarming good guys and keeping bad guys disarmed.

          • that guy on 02.12.2013 at 8:56 am

            @Dan
            While clearly there are such cases that would be unaccounted for, it doesn’t invalidate the statistic. First of all, I posted it because 22:1 ratio, with a cited source, is completely different then the junk 1:80 statistic that Anonymous pulled out of his/her back side. 2) It is definitely possible to quantify the number of cases that you proposed. I’m sure it would not be as accurate because of going unreported, but there’s no way it would make up for a 22:1 ratio. 3) Even if they did consider that statistic, it would be meaningless because it compares apples to oranges. Most people care about the number of deaths, not scaring people. You could just as easily “scare away bad guys” with other weapons, or an unloaded gun for that matter. So maybe we should ban bullets (kidding)? That statistic would have to be compared to cases where a crime was prevented by other means.

          • Anonymous on 02.12.2013 at 11:33 am

            @that guy
            Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun,” 86 The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, 1 (Fall 1995): http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/kleckandgertz1.htm

          • Dan on 02.12.2013 at 4:16 pm

            @that guy

            Okay, let’s put this into an example. To make it easy, let’s say over the course of this study there were 22 suicides and 1 self-defense shooting. Now during that time, there were also 10,000 cases where a citizen was able to defend themselves by simply brandishing the gun and not firing a shot (so these would not be included in the study). So, you are saying that these 10,000 saved lives are not worth the 22 suicides that occurred. Additionally, one could argue that these statistics show how responsible gun owners are and how much self-control they have. Out of 10,001 cases, only one person had to actually shoot the attacker to defend themselves. This counters the common anti-gun argument that gun owners go around shooting people that they get into stupid arguments with. So, until you prove to me that less than 22 lives were saved (instead of 10,000) for every 22 suicides, your statistics are useless.

            Side note: This study only refers to “in the home” and not out on the street. Suicides are commonly done at home but self-defense shootings are common out in public where there are more threats.

      • tyler on 03.09.2013 at 8:57 pm

        @Dan
        i agree with you 100% im glad some people see the point but dont forget the fact that this will also hurt our military

    • James Turk on 02.15.2013 at 4:21 am

      You know this gun control deal does not worry me in the least. It does not raise my BP one notch. Why? Because I know I am not going to comply with any gun control laws no matter what they are. End of story.

  • spencer60 on 02.11.2013 at 8:08 am

    Why on earth would we need more of these laws?

    Gun control has proved itself to be just political dogma now.

    It’s central tenet of ‘more guns = more crime’ has been dramatically proven false by the lowest crime rates in 50 years coupled to the highest number of firearms in private citizens hands in history.

    Gun control has always been about control, not guns.

    Even it’s proponents admit that none of the repressive new laws being proposed (and in some cases passed) would have any measurable effect on attacks like Newtown or crime in general.

    So you are actually asking the question wrong, we need to get rid of some gun control laws.

    Primarily we need to get rid of the so-called ‘gun free zone’ laws. These misguided and deadly laws have turned our nations schools, churches and malls into killing fields.

    There is no reason school staff who already have concealed carry licenses shouldn’t be allowed to carry their legal firearm with them on the job.

    The deterrent factor alone would stop school shootings instantly, without any additional cost except possibly some advanced training. Even more importantly, it would make schools safe, something gun control laws can never do.

  • Jack on 02.11.2013 at 8:17 am

    I think the Mr Obama needs to focus on things like enforcement of existing laws, mental health bills, illegal prescription drug abuse (which is out of control) and helping to rebuild our economy. We need to start making it harder for lazy people to live free of charge in this country and put them all to work doing community services. No work, No money!! Idle time breeds discontent and discontent people are a big part of our social problems, Doctors prescribing Oxy to homeless people who intern are selling those pills for 20.00 on the street have been responsible for several shootings in my neighborhood recently, I live in what is considered an affluent area near the beach in Florida, If this happens hear I can only imagine how it is in the inter-cities, when asked to do something about it, the police respond that they can’t violate these peoples civil rights for fear of being sued, (what’s wrong with this country has nothing to do with guns, shooting are a biproduct of a broken society). IMO

    • Dakota on 02.11.2013 at 8:23 am

      Very Well Stated

  • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 8:25 am

    I have a great idea. Let’s pass a federal law that requires all criminals or those that intend to commit any criminal act, including mass-murderers, to immediately turn in all their weapons and promise (cross their hearts and hope to die) that they will forever give up their criminal and homicidal desires and to live straight and upstanding lives.
    That’s it!!! The perfect law. Moreover, since it is a federal law, we can all be assured that the targeted group (criminals and the insane) will comply immediately.

  • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 8:27 am

    I think those of us living in Brookline just experienced how ineffective police can be at crime prevention. Based on that I think it is hard to say that I am against responsible carrying. Now that does have its caveats, I think a school wide ban of concealed carry can make sense IF the university can provide adequate security.

    On the other hand the term “assault weapons” is a terrible legal farce. It is created to simply trick someone into thinking an assault weapons is an assault rifle, which are two very different things. NYS now defines an “assault weapon” as pretty much anything with a detachable magazine making 70% or so of guns “assault weapons”.

    • Sean on 02.11.2013 at 11:42 am

      “I think a school wide ban of concealed carry can make sense IF the university can provide adequate security.”

      Perhaps that works for you, but what about those of us who aren’t willing to surrender our inherent right to self defense to the school, the state, the church, or any other entity? The whole idea of being armed is to be prepared for the here and now danger, not the danger that can be handled by the UNARMED security guard who has to run up 8 flights of stairs to get to the place where the madman with a gun is actively killing people.

      • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 12:57 pm

        “school, the state, the church, or any other entity”
        I didn’t argue against all those. Please don’t expand my argument without asking me.

        I argued about the school. We are in an academic setting that puts students in very close proximity to each other through campus housing. Just the presence of ammunition in such a situation creates the potential for well above average firearms death that we really don’t need. Guns have to be cleaned don’t they? A lot of cops (somehow) manage to shoot themselves cleaning their weapons. Accidental discharges happen. A single round can skewer five or six other people in a neighboring dorm. In this case if the university can provide strong security (did you see me say unarmed anywhere?!) then carrying is actually putting your own safety above that of everyone else around you.

        You may also notice the if is capital. There a reason for that. I don’t think BU can. They have shown they do a poor job at it. I think they should lighten up their restrictions.

        • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 4:13 pm

          First of all, please explain how “the presence of ammunition in such a situation creates the potential for well above average firearms deaths” because I really don’t understand that.
          Second, what about someone who lives off campus like myself and stores his ammunition and firearms at home.
          Third, if I can be trusted to carry at a dark, crowded movie theater and a packed shopping mall during the holiday season, why am I not competent enough to carry in a calm, quiet classroom setting with 40 kids in it?
          Fourth, if someone shoots themselves while cleaning a gun then I am sorry but they are a complete idiot. Anyone with common sense knows that you NEVER have ammunition out when you are cleaning a firearm. Unfortunately there a very small number of people who can’t use firearms properly and they ruin it for the rest of us. But the vast majority of gun owners understand basic firearm safety and would not have an accident like that. I don’t even carry with a round in the chamber so it is virtually impossible for me to have an AD. The only time I load a round is when I am at the shooting range or if I ever had to use my weapon in self defense I would.
          Also, I disagree with “a single round can skewer five or six other people in a neighboring dorm” unless you shoot a high powered rifle and everyone is standing perfectly in line.

          • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 5:46 pm

            Sure thing.

            1. As stated about cleaning a weapon in the previous post. Happens fairly often. Usually cops.
            2. We are away from our residences most of the day and don’t live long in a particular place. How are you going to get a reasonable safe to secure the weapon at other times?
            3. Drunk students and firearms aren’t a good mix. Some drunk a-hole punches you in the face. Sees you have a gun and tries to take it. Now you have to shoot him. Its mere presence escalates this situation.
            4. We tend to live in areas with many people in a room. Can you account for the weapon and your roommates at all times?
            5. Those places are public. BU is a private institution. I can reasonably argue that a firearm is not conducive to an academic environment and that part of my tuition money can be used to secure the campus in order to promote that environment.
            6.It’s that small group of people I’d be worried about on campus. Not everyone is as responsible as you. I personally prefer a round in the chamber depending on the gun.
            7. On this one you’re wrong. A FMJ 9mm can go through more walls then a .223 HP. While I know one is HP and one is FMJ it is likely that someone will be using FMJs in a 9mm. Shrapnel tends to do a lot of non-lethal damage. Besides think about how many people can fit into a dorm next if someone is having people over.

            I think 5 is the most important point here. I don’t disagree with your right to carry (in fact I support it) but it really doesn’t help in an academic environment. UVA used to have huge problems with students carrying. We tend to do stupid stuff.
            I’m sure you are personally responsible enough to carry, its everyone else I worry about.

          • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 6:41 pm

            @ SMG Student
            1. Do you have statistics for this incident that happens “fairly often?” For instance, the percentage of times that someone shoots themselves while cleaning a gun. Because I have cleaned a gun hundreds of times and have shot myself 0% of the time. I doubt the nationwide percentage is much higher.
            2. The point of having a gun is you keep it on you. I would be carrying it all day when I was not at my house. With the current gun laws, I have to lock my gun in a safe in my car when I enter a “gun-free zone.” Also, I have lived at my current house for about 15 years and I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.
            3. What?? First, you conceal your gun so nobody knows you are carrying it. Second, even if someone was drunk I don’t think they would try to steal someone’s gun. Third, you don’t HAVE to shoot him. You can still fight him off or run away. Or you could use pepper spray instead, which I also often carry.
            4. Again, I live at my house. But if I lived in a dorm, yes I could. That’s the whole point of a safe. My brother’s can’t access my guns now because they are locked in a safe.
            5. Actually, those places are privately owned. If by “public” you mean anyone can come and go, anyone can walk into the GSU or SMG or CAS also and not be stopped. Okay then, let’s hear you reasonable argument of how my concealed gun on my hip will somehow destroy this “academic environment.” Also, let’s hear about how your tuition money can guarantee 100% that no crime will magically happen on BU’s campus. There is absolutely no way you can stop a person from walking into a BU building with a gun and shooting someone else. Unless of course you want metal detectors and armed guards in all of the doorways…
            6. That is why additional training could be offered, preferably with the BUPD, so that students and faculty could learn how the BUPD handles situations and how they could work together and be safe in a situation where someone was required to use a firearm.
            7. I highly doubt a FMJ 9mm could go through a wall and then 5 people, but I won’t waste time arguing this. Also, I would say most people carry HP.

            I appreciate your argument but I simply don’t see how students carrying guns alters the academic environment in any way. Like I said, students would conceal their guns so nobody would know they had them. As for storing it in dorm rooms and whatnot, I certainly agree that there would need to be strict requirements. At some colleges they have separate housing for students who carry and requirements for those dorms. I’m not necessarily saying that storing guns in dorm rooms is a good idea, just that guns in general should be allowed on campus. Like I said, I commute from home so there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to carry my gun to class. Check out the group Student for Concealed Carry, maybe they can answer some of your concerns:
            http://concealedcampus.org/common-arguments/

          • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 8:50 pm

            1. Survivor bias.

            2. Even when you go out on weekends to bars? Drinking invalidate your license.

            3. You can argue specifics, but it still brings a bad element of escalation into the situation. You know as well as I do drunk students do stupid things.

            4. You average student does not live in a hour for that long but a dorm or apartment. Since BU can’t say no one who lives off campus with the exception of those who live far off campus this is how they prevent local students from carrying to school.

            5.You’re right actually they are private. I was thinking about State Universities versus Private there.

            6. I didn’t say that BU can provide 100% security or even perfect security. You are extrapolating from my argument things that aren’t there. It is hard to argue that an academic environment where students are carrying is more productive then one without. It worries me if you can’t see the potential for other people to do something stupid with your gun. In theory it (being security) is a burden that I would like to not have to worry about on a daily basis at school.
            6. I agree. But students still tend to do stupid things. Unlike the reasonable adults we will be in a year or two when we move somewhere else a community is 17-22 year olds tends to act somewhat irrationally and emotionally.
            7. I know I said five, but does it have to be five? I’m sure it could go through more then a few in the cheap semi cinder block construction dorms use. Apartments are even worse with their truss construction. Although agreed most people carry HPs. I usually still target shoot FMJs because they are cheaper.

            I actually have no problem with commuter students carrying at all. It mitigates 99% of my concerns mentioned above. I’m just not sure how BU would make the distinction between off campus and commuter.

          • Dan on 02.12.2013 at 3:01 pm

            @SMG Student

            1. I still don’t see statistics.
            2./3. I wouldn’t carry a gun to a bar if I were drinking…
            4. I still don’t see why it matters how long someone lives at a location? If you’re worried about getting the safe, you don’t need a huge 30-gun safe. I small handgun safe for $25 that you can cable-lock to your bed is perfectly adequate.
            5. And I didn’t say “an academic environment where students are carrying is more productive then one without.” I said the area would be safer with student carrying. Having concealed guns in a room has absolutely nothing to do with the academic environment.
            I also don’t see how someone would do something stupid with my gun when it is either on my hip or locked in a safe 24/7. Nobody else would ever lay their hand on my gun.
            6. You need to be 21 to obtain a handgun permit so students 17-20 would not be carrying. Also, the number of 21+ people who could obtain an LTC from their police chief/the number who would actually want to is probably tiny. I would estimate that only a dozen students would do this. It’s not like half of the students would suddenly be packing heat and having shootouts on campus.
            7. Well non-students and even students who live off-campus are legally allowed to possess firearms in their apartments so I don’t see how that has anything to do with carrying on campus. The walls in my house are probably thinner than the dorm walls and yes, a bullet could hypothetically go into my neighbor’s house. But, that’s why we practice gun safety.

            I see that you are mainly worried about students possessing firearms in dorms and I can see your concerns. However, I see ways to make this safe such as special housing for students who carry. These areas could have built-in safes, extra security cameras in hallways, and other security features to make the area safer. It would also be a “dry” dorm and no alcohol would be allowed. Some colleges that allow concealed carry out West already have this separate housing, but I don’t know anything about the specifics. If you still don’t like this idea then BU could ban handguns from dorms still but allow them in classrooms, dining halls, etc. Your concerns about students living off campus in apartments really isn’t relevant because a student can legally have a gun in his off-campus apartment already. My main point is that having all college property be a “gun-free zone” when I can legally walk down Comm Ave with a gun is ridiculous. I am no less capable of carrying a firearm when I walk through the GSU.

    • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 1:21 pm

      Bear in mind the Supreme Court has ruled that police have no legal responsibility to protect individuals

      • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 2:29 pm

        Right. Again why I said school. BU isn’t your average community. It’s also a private institution rather then a state one.

  • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 10:03 am

    For once I agree with the majority of comments on a BU Today article. I was beginning to think my fellow BU students were completely ignorant after watching that video.
    Most of the arguments have already been covered above (nice job Kate!) but just to respond to the kid in the video who thinks reducing the number of bullets in a magazine is a good idea..

    Seriously?? Do you still not understand that laws ONLY affect the law abiding people. These laws on magazine capacity only mean law abiding citizens have less bullets to defend themselves. The criminals and gangbangers will still have their high-cap mags because they get them on the black market and they don’t care if they get caught! They probably own the gun illegally anyways. If you think it will save lives during active shooter situations, most of these crazy people have multiple guns with them and lots of extra magazines. It only takes seconds to reload so it is highly unlikely that even a single life would be saved during these rare active shootings. This only puts restrictions on law abiding people who now have to fit multiple magazines in their pockets if they want to be able to adequately defend themselves. The entire thing, like most gun laws, is just a publicity stunt to make ignorant people feel safer and feel like something is being done.

    On a side note, I completely agree with the person above who said we need to reduce the number of gun free zones. Going along with my above point, only the law abiding people follow these laws, not the criminals! You should check out this group called Students for Concealed Carry:
    http://concealedcampus.org/

  • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 10:13 am

    I see many comments all over about how there should be less gun control regulations in place and that we should arm our school staff with fire weapons and put in place security to protect our children in schools.

    Here is some food for thought:

    If we did not require background checks and training from police officers, security personnel (which, although I disagree, many argue should be in schools to protect children), militia, etc. and simply handed them a gun, do you think that would be a smart move from our part?

    The people whose job is to protect us have to undergo rigorous training and background checks before being given such responsibility. But many are arguing that it is ok for civilians to go to Walmart and buy a gun, no questions asked except for “what size and type would you like?”?

    • MS on 02.11.2013 at 10:37 am

      I don’t know about others but I do agree on extensive firearms training and what not. In fact, many states with and large cities are already doing it. In Boston, you need to take a mandatory fire arms course and pass a police marksmanship test.

      The problem with these gun control laws is that they are focusing on the physical layouts of the gun, which is in all honesty, useless.

      Many states do check your records before you buy one.

    • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 10:56 am

      I don’t think people understand what you actually have to do to purchase a gun. Maybe in some states it’s easier than it is here, but in MA the process is as follows:
      - take a gun safety course and pass a practical test and a written test
      - apply for a FID card (which only allows you to buy small capacity rifles and shotguns) at your police station
      - have your picture and fingerprints taken and pay a large sum of money to the government
      - wait about 6 weeks while a background check is conducted
      —————————————-
      Then, when you turn 21 you can apply for an LTC:
      - take a handgun safety course (if you only took a hunter safety course previously); pass the test, etc.
      - make an appointment to meet with your local chief of police
      - get your picture and fingerprints taken again and pay another large sum of money
      - convince the chief of police why he should let you have an LTC (note: in MA, your local chief of police determines if you get a class A or class B LTC and he can put whatever restriction on it he wants – essentially meaning HE decides if you can carry concealed)
      - wait another 6 weeks while you undergo a background check
      - pick up your LTC at the police station
      THEN to buy a gun:
      - pick out your gun and wait while they call the FBI to do an instant criminal background check
      - the FBI has the option to put a 3 day hold on the check meaning you can’t take your gun home that day

      So as you see, buying a gun is definitely not as easy as “buying a cellphone” like the girl in the video said. If you don’t have knowledge on a topic, please just don’t comment about it people.

      • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 11:48 am

        Hi Dan,

        My comment does not concern what is in effect currently (in MA or elsewhere). It concerns the opinions of those who endorse less gun regulation and are opposed to background checks.

        In response to: “if you don’t have knowledge on a topic, please just don’t comment about it”, that is simply rude and I, like others have the right to voice my opinion. Thanks.

        • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 12:59 pm

          My comment about the current gun laws was not directly aimed at you, but everyone on here who is saying it is too easy to buy a gun. I am simply showing that it takes months and months and multiple background checks before you can get a gun so there is no need for stricter laws.

          As for my other comment, that was also not aimed at you, but most of the people in the video who said general vague things like “the less bullets someone has in a gun, the less damage they could do” arguing for lower magazine capacity. He clearly has not thought that through at all and doesn’t understand the concept of reloading the gun with a new magazine. He also doesn’t understand the fact that law abiding citizens also use guns to defend themselves and the less bullets in the gun, the harder it is for someone to protect themselves. I do not think it was rude at all, and in fact, I think it is rude that people make these ignorant comments on a topic that they have little to no knowledge of. You certainly have your right to voice your opinion (as do I) but these people should save themselves the embarrassment of making ignorant comments based on what they heard in the news.

        • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 1:05 pm

          Hi Anon,
          Good constructive comment. There is actually a huge legal distinction between LEO and personal carrying. When one applied for CC there are huge warnings that you are not a law enforcement officer and actions by you will have legal consequences. That is why you cannot just buy a gun at walmart and wander around the street with it in many states.

          Also many of those in the armed forces at the enlisted level do tend to have a criminal record. There is less restrictions for those in the national guard then a civilian, but they also don’t own that weapon and often can’t bring it off base.

          As to background checks its rare to find anyone against them THe argument usually fielded is what if I want to give a weapon to a family member temporarily or as a gift. In reality the underlying reason is that a background check for all sales creates a de-facto gun registry that states can have access to. Gun owners fear that they will use this to confiscate guns in the future as happened in NYC.

          Many states also abuse licensing procedures such as NYC. Boston used to be bad. A police chief doesn’t like gun owners and arbitrarily begins denying licenses. Hopes that answers some of your questions.
          I certainly agree that there should be universal background checks, but some form of safeguard to prevent states seizing guns such as a mandatory payout of $2 Million USD inflation adjusted that would allow gun owners real recourse.

          • Sean on 02.12.2013 at 9:22 am

            “Also many of those in the armed forces at the enlisted level do tend to have a criminal record. There is less restrictions for those in the national guard then a civilian, but they also don’t own that weapon and often can’t bring it off base.”

            The degree of factual ignorance in this paragraph is staggering.

            “Also many of those in the armed forces at the enlisted level do tend to have a criminal record.”

            You Sir, (or Ma’am) are completely and utterly incorrect. The preponderance of individuals in the armed services with criminal convictions is significantly less than that of the general populace. Thank you very much. We members of the 0.45% of society which serve to protect the rest of society, have already undergone multiple background checks before we join the military. It fails to advance your argument when you fabricate statements or dredge up anecdotal accounts without supporting them with facts.

            “There is less restrictions for those in the national guard then a civilian, but they also don’t own that weapon and often can’t bring it off base.”

            Ibid. Members of the National Guard are subject to the same regulations as everyone else and soldiers are NEVER permitted to take military weapons off-base unless participating in some tightly controlled exercise or participating in a mission.

      • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:30 pm

        You are basing this on MA law only, which is much more restrictive than other states. 33 states (not including MA) do not have any restrictions on private, intrastate purchasing. This is the basis of the so-called “gun show loophole,” which is not a problem in MA. The idea is that in these states, guns can be sold privately (at gun-shows, for example) by unlicensed dealers without background checks, bypassing the whole system. It’s not so hard to go to a neighboring state without restrictions and purchase a gun in this fashion.

        • that guy on 02.11.2013 at 1:33 pm

          Following up on your second comment, the “stricter laws” are aimed at making it federal law, so that laws like those in MA are enacted in all states.

          • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 5:50 pm

            NYS’s new laws are a travesty that ban nearly all guns. It was nothing more then an obvious power play by the state.

            It’s impossible to argue that is was a good thing for the state to waive the mandatory public commentary AFTER negotiating it behind closed doors. Especially something that has constitutional issues involved.

            The state could do the same to pass any law no matter how unconstitutional while it takes months for citizens to seek an injunction.

    • Sean on 02.11.2013 at 11:18 am

      You refer to the “people whose job is to protect us” (sic). Exactly who are these people? The job of police is not to prevent crime but rather to respond to victims of crime. The Supreme Court ruled in Warren vs. Distict of Columbia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia that the police do NOT have a duty to protect individual citizens, they have a duty to protect society.

      The only person whose job it is to protect you and, by extension, your loved ones, is YOU. Yep, that’s it. The entirety of that life and death (literally) responsibility is in YOUR hands. No one else’s.

      After you come to grips with the fact that the world is a dangerous place and realize that, while plenty of people will investigate and feel badly for your maimed love ones, nobody is actually going to protect your family, you figure out that you’d better be prepared for the .01% of the time when you or your loved ones are in mortal danger.

      Just so you know, a gun makes it easier.

      • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 5:35 pm

        Hi Sean,

        I guess I should rephrase my comment about police offers’ job to protect people.

        Taken straight off http://www.cityofboston.gov:

        “Sec. 1 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS: A patrol officer, in carrying out the
        functions of the department, including but not limited to, the preservation of the
        public peace, the protection of life and property, the prevention of crime, the
        arrest and prosecution of violators of the law, the proper enforcement of all laws
        and ordinances and the effective delivery of police services shall constantly direct
        his best efforts to accomplish that end intelligently and efficiently…”

        They specifically say that a police officer’s function is to “prevent crime” and protect life and property. Oh and individual people are part of society.

        That said, I am not ignorant and I realize that I have my own responsibilities in terms of my safety and the safety of my family. Furthermore, I do not rely on police officers to protect me. Despite that, I do believe that gun regulations currently in place (such as in MA) should be enforced and be consistent across states.

        I don’t think it is wise to make assumptions about other people’s experiences (example: “after you come to grips with the fact that the world is a dangerous place”).

        Make of that what you will.

      • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 5:54 pm

        Not to be annoying, but not having a legal responsibility to protect us is different to it not being their job to protect us.

        It’s Chipotle’s job to provide me with a delicious burrito, not their legal responsibility. Of course the implications to the police failing at their job are far scarier.

        • Sean on 02.12.2013 at 9:33 am

          And if they fail to provide you with a delicious burrito, you walk next door to McDonalds and get a delicious cheeseburger

          If the police fail to prevent you or your loved one from being raped you’re out a bit more than just the cost of lunch.

          I’m not willing to entrust my duty to protect my loved ones to anyone else. I’ll gladly take the help of the police in doing so but, in the final analysis, it’s my job and I’m not willing to be disarmed and obstructed in my duty to protect myself and my loved ones simply because it makes other people uncomfortable.

          Oh, and by the way: You’re not being annoying, this is debate.

  • Joe on 02.11.2013 at 11:28 am

    I think BU Today should think twice before publishing people who cite false facts in these BU Today videos, even though it’s clear that person’s statement is not BU Today’s.

    One thing to say “I think most Americans support stricter gun control” and another to say

    “The vast majority of Americans support stricter gun control.”

  • cletus van damme on 02.11.2013 at 11:29 am

    The problem is not guns. Guns are a tool, an inanimate object. The real problem is the societal decay.

  • GM_Man on 02.11.2013 at 11:33 am

    It is good to see such a wide variety of opinions out there. It appears that this will go down as another divisive issue in our great nation. So, here comes my 2 cents worth.
    The question at hand is should gun control laws be stricter? My response as an independent and gun owner is no they should not. My reasoning follows:
    1. In and of itself Gun Control Legislation does not work to decrease crime. It does not work to decrease violent crime. The vast majority of people are not prone to violence, however if placed under stress that population will embrace violence as a solution. This occurs during times of distress caused by lack of basic necessities such as water, food, shelter as occurs during the times of natural disaster. Currently our great nation is under financial distress caused by unique mismanagement of financial institutions that are ‘Too big to Fail.’ Unemployment is high across the nation, and in some locations, such as are inner cities, it is much higher. Minorities have greater stress in those same locations as their official unemployment rates are approaching 25%. The unofficial rates are even higher. Substance abuse is also soaring in the nation with pharmaceuticals, designer meds, alcohol, etc being misused at record highs. At the same time our State and Federal Governments are financially hard-pressed. For the first time in known history States and major cities are bankrupt or would be if allowed by the Constitution. Social programs are being cut across the board. Police and other first responders are being laid off across our nation. Need I continue. As a parent, if you have no job, no food stamps, no health care and your dependents look up to wondering where the next meal will come from or where are you going to move the car, which is your home now, you are under the greatest of stress imaginable. Now add to all that Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene, Winter Storms, Tornado activity across the midwest in February, and no power well what can I say. Welcome to the perfect storm.
    2. There are some 300 Million Firearms out there. Most are in the hands of responsible gun owners. The vast majority of these firearms are not used in violent crimes. Where are they being used? In cities that have the highest crime rate, the highest minority unemployment, the highest poverty numbers, the highest population density, and the highest families on food stamps. Google it folks and map out the numbers by population or city size versus violent crime. There is a direct correlation in the graphs. I need to run or I’d have posted some links.
    3. These same States, cities and urban/suburban locations also have the the tightest gun control legislation. While some cities go up and down with the economy, Detroit and Chicago crime rates rise while NY City rates fall, those changes do not correlate with Gun Control Legislation. Sorry they don’t. If they did, then NY State and California and New Jersey would not have such high crime rates. Don’t believe me? Take a walk down Main Street Camden New Jersey folks; Take a walk on the wild side, wear your bling, wear your most expensive Nike. Let us all know how that works for you. In summary, Gun Control does not equal less crime of any sort.
    I wish it did, but it doesn’t. You have all these States and Cities with really tough gun control legislation but not one can be used as a shining example of how that legislation drove down violence.
    Since that is not possible I intend to hold onto my firearms. Not because of the 2nd Amendment, not because it is my right, but because it is plain common sense. I DO NOT TRUST anyone else to keep my family and friends safe from desperate people who will prey on the weak and infirm in order to provide for their substance abuse issues or for their family by burglary, robbery and home invasions.
    No, don’t waste my time with tougher gun control laws as they don’t work. Gotta Go!!!

  • Joe on 02.11.2013 at 11:53 am

    No, I do not believe that more gun control of the “let’s pass more restrictive firearms ownership laws” type is necessary. I am a recent transplant to Boston, and grew up in a state out west where, quite literally, firearms outnumber people. I’ve always maintained that the best gun control is education. You can pass as many firearms laws as you want, but ultimately the decision of whether to follow those laws or not is up to the individual. You can’t legislate away responsibility; that’s something that can only be taught.

    Like many children in “flyover country,” my father bought me my first rifle, a Ruger 10/22, when I was eight. He taught me to shoot and maintain the rifle, but he also taught me firearms safety. As I got older and became more proficient with firearms, my parents bought me my first pistol, a Glock 21 chambered in .45 when I turned fifteen – it was my mother who bought it for me. To this date I’ve fired literally tens of thousands of rounds through pistols, rifles, and shotguns, and am a proud owner of 17 different firearms.

    It’s a terrible thing when somebody commits a heinous crime using a firearm, but reactionary laws aren’t going to make any of us safer. Banning a firearm because it has “scary looking features” isn’t the answer, but it’s all too often the response of people who have never once fired a weapon. My AR-15 looks scary, but it fires the same number of bullets with each pull of the trigger as my Kimber pistol – one. Instead of passing more restrictive firearms laws, those who want to curb violence should look to education instead. Teach people from an early age the value of human life. Teach them responsibility when it comes to firearms. Be proactive instead of reactive.

    • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 1:07 pm

      Kimbers are nice.

      Firearms education in the North East is very poor. Often see very stupid things at firing ranges. Probably a byproduct of a anti-gun culture.

  • Greg on 02.11.2013 at 11:54 am

    It’s nice to know that the BU community has some common sense to it… I have been pleasantly surprised by what I have read.

    To support others, guns are tools, nothing more.

    There are plenty of restrictive laws on the books – enforce those first before further infringing on the rights of lawful gun owners and potential gun owners.

    There are plenty of other well stated reasons on here so no need to rehash.

  • Court Watcher on 02.11.2013 at 12:10 pm

    I am appalled by the responds. I was expecting a lot anti-gun comments (banning guns,stricter laws etc). But glad to know there are common sense people in BOSTON/MA!! Despite all the laws MA has in the books, law breakers are mostly let off the book! (have you read about drunk drivers with multiple violations DUI ??? Same concept-nothing happens until someone is injured or killed). All the thugs caught with firearms and no license are suppose to be jailed 1 year -never in my life have seen one jailed for this crime!! so why say stricter laws?? Time to take care of society(teaching how to love one another) and rack up the lack of parenting discipline..

  • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 12:22 pm

    We do not legislate rights based on “need.” Do you “need” the ability to criticize the government? It doesn’t matter, because that is your right whether you choose to exercise it or not.

    We do not restrict lawful people from exercising their rights fully. There is no right that requires you to pass a background check, obtain a license, or undergo training before you can exercise that right. You don’t even need insurance or licensing to operate a car on private property. Licensing rules only apply when driving on public ways, and the same should apply for carrying/concealing firearms in public areas.

    We do not put rights up to a vote. You cannot complain about states putting equal marriage up for a vote but then demand that Congress/The President should sidestep the second amendment just because “a majority support [blank] according to this poll.” If you want to change it, there is a clear constitutional amendment process.

    Has gun control ever worked in this country? We had an assault weapons ban for ten years (1994-2004) and it had no effect on crime rates one way or the other. However, by doing nothing (in some cases, expanding gun rights), crime rates have fallen quite a bit since the assault weapons ban expired.

    I cannot think of a single phrase in the entire constitution that could be less open to interpretation than the phrase “shall not be infringed.” And before anyone yells “militia,” bear in mind that you are legally part of the militia if you are an able-bodied male between the ages of 17 and 45, and the SCOTUS has already ruled that militia membership is not a requirement because 2A is an individual right.

    Massachusetts in particular is much too strict on gun control and I wish someone would challenge the constitutionality of discretionary gun licensing and “approved firearms” rosters. I believe these things, as well as the assault weapons ban and magazine limits, are unconstitutional.

    Want to reduce crime rates more than they are already falling? Focus on gang violence. Consider ending the drug war, properly funding education in urban/disadvantaged areas, expanding economic opportunities for “at risk” teens (read: jobs), etc. And it wouldn’t hurt to fix mental health care, although that contributes such a small percentage to the crime rate that making it the major focus of reform is a bit of fool’s errand (if your goal is making a noticeable impact on crime).

  • Student on 02.11.2013 at 12:40 pm

    I find that the people saying we should ban guns are the ones who understand the issue less. It’s simply ignorant.

    • Court Watcher on 02.11.2013 at 1:40 pm

      need more students like this one!! he /she is NOT ignorant!!

  • James on 02.11.2013 at 12:49 pm

    Guns! Guns? Guns. Over the past few months gun control has been more prevalent in our society than guns themselves. The United States has been seemingly rocked by one crisis followed a few short weeks by another. Each incident forces us to reexamine ourselves and our society in the light of an individual doing something to others that we, the society at large cannot seem to fathom. One former student opens fire indiscriminately in a movie theatre, another young man takes the lives of nearly two dozen children who were in what most parents like to believe is the safest place a child can be, in the classroom.
    Gun control follows these events almost as surely as the media descending on the town, or village where they occur (shootings happen so often in cities that they are hardly news anyway). The perpetual coverage feeds our need for on of the most basic human needs, the need for blame, and more importantly the need to blame another. When an armed man indiscriminately starts killing innocent people it seems natural that guns are to blame. It is undeniable that assault weapons and high capacity clips made this a more feasibly event. But is the fact that these weapons exist that creates humans who will perpetrate such crimes, no. Weapons with the capacity to such harm have existed as long as the human mind has been trying to create them, and furthermore the reason that our right to arm and defend ourselves is enshrined in our constitution is because (and no matter how I try to argue it I haven’t found a better solution to it) the best (and most effective) way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. To those who would mock this argument I would say 1. When you make something illegal be it guns, drugs ect. you make it so that only criminals have them 2. Perhaps the best way to spend our time is not to hunt down guns to take them off the street, BUT PERHAPS TO FIND OUT WHY A SOCIETY AS ADVANCED AS OURS STILL PRODUCES THE TYPE OF PEOPLE WHO FIND IT NESSECARY TO GO OUT AND KILL SCORES OF PEOPLE BECAUSE THATS WHERE OUR SOCIETY HAS LEFT THEM. now I am not a sociologist by profession, i

  • Rob on 02.11.2013 at 2:51 pm

    The “gun control crowd” proves their ignorance on the issues surrounding guns through the legislation they are trying to pass. Despite mass shootings, more people are killed annually by “unarmed” and “traditional weapon” (bat, knife, pipe etc.) wielding assailants than by individuals with “assault weapons” (In the public usage term, which is again, 100% wrong and inaccurate). The majority of gun violence is handgun violence and involves criminal activity (such as gang involvement). In fact, most murder and and shootings in Boston are directly related to gang activity.
    If folks were really concerned about the “public health aspect” of things, they would be discussing handgun, not assault weapon, violence. It’s a shame that these people depict themselves as “intellectuals” and “progressives” when all of the scientific evidence and data suggests that gun control is nothing but a farce.

  • Jimbob on 02.11.2013 at 3:12 pm

    Firstly I respect some of the views posted, but I actually agree with responsible gun laws, universal background checks, licensing for guns, limitations on ammo purchases with ammo purchased by the licensed gun owner for their registered weapons only. Along with high capacity weapon restriction for civilians and limitations on magazine capacity.

    These laws have worked in the rest of the world there’s no point denying it. First world Countries with stricter gun control laws have decreased levels of gun violence, hence a lower murder rate, guns are far more lethal than other weapons. No matter how hard you want to argue, a quick google search or simply travelling around the world will reveal America’s strange obsession and dangerous obsession with guns.

    Secondly. America has the highest gun murder rate in any first world country. Most murders are domestic or relationship based. Committed by family members, jilted lovers, parents, children. A large majority are gang and crime related. Then there are mass shooting, more here than anywhere else in the first world. All things considered don’t you guys realise that there is a bit of a problem?

    Is it normal to be living through one long drawn out mass shooting?

    Thirdly. What is with all the anti government, anti police, anti rest-of-the-world mentality? Every civilised society requires a Government, courts of law, a military and a police force etc. If you can’t rely on your police force then you have a massive problem, and you aren’t the civilised society you claim to be. Just a third world country dressed in a tattered first world robe.

    Remember America is a very diverse and multinational, multicultural country but it seems the only people who feel threatened by responsible gun laws are white Anglo republicans. Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Jews and even Native Americans have exactly the same right to bare arms and all the more reason to fear government tyranny, but what do these groups want? Gun control. Fact.

    • Rob on 02.11.2013 at 3:45 pm

      First off, most of the European countries had low levels of gun violence before gun control (per capita) and continue to have low levels of violence after gun control (per capita). Second, they have high levels of violence in other areas, such as knife attacks, per capita. It’s simply “violence replacement” (it isn’t even really that, because historically these countries did not experience high levels of gun violence anyway).
      America doesn’t have a “strange or dangerous” obsession with firearms. Americans simply do not believe the government has a monopoly on the right to use lethal force for defensive purposes (European countries have an established tradition of the state as sole taker of human life). This is rooted in our founding, immigrant culture (such as the Irish, who had a deep distrust of centralized British law) as well as a history of expansion across what is now the totality of the United States where the Federal Government was not present everywhere and we did not have a militarized domestic occupational police force.

      Second, you most murders are gang related, and most murders are domestic related. Which is is? Both imply a large majority, you cannot have two majorities. Perhaps you meant a plurality? The problem isn’t related to firearms. Our gang culture (which is not present to the same degree in other societies, except some areas of South America and Mexico) inflates our gun violence stats tremendously. (1/7th+ of all murder in the United States is PROVEN to be carried out by gangs, how much more is it really though?) We aren’t living in “one drawn out mass shooting” any more than Britain is living in one drawn out enslavement of native peoples throughout the hemispheres.

      Thirdly, gun ownership =/= anti-government mentality. But, since you asked why people don’t like the government here’s a few reasons I have heard in my experience: A) The Supreme Court ruled the Police have no obligation to protect citizens. B) The Police force abandoned whole sections of the city during the LA riots, especially areas with a heavy Asian population. Leaving them to fend for themselves. C) During the aftermath of Katrina the National Guard was forcibly disarming citizens. D) The police force just shot a 71 year old woman in a blue truck, because apparently they need to silence this current rogue cop. E) Our President just issued a memo claiming he has the right to assassinate any one he wants at will with no trial or oversight.

      You are correct, if we cannot count on the police we have a massive problem (the government). You’ve just laid out the logic of the anti-government/anti-police force and tried to present it as a counter argument. Oh Lawdy.

      As for “civilised” (sp. civilized -2 points) how is Europe any more or less civilized? Do you really need a history lesson on all the atrocities that have been and are being committed by European powers? It’s a violent, dangerous, nasty world.

      Well, there’s racism rearing its ugly head. I don’t know who you hang out with, but the gun clubs I attend are diverse both in people and experiences. Well of course they have the right to bare arms, this isn’t the Middle East. Even women can wear short sleeves here!

    • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 4:01 pm

      That’s intellectually dishonest. Our “gun crime” may be higher than other countries but our “crime” rate is not. What difference does it make if you get murdered with a gun or with a knife? Let’s take emotion out of it and talk numbers. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime ranks the US #103 on the list of countries with the highest homicide rates, so we are far from being the worst. The UK had more than 2,000 violent crimes per 100k people in 2009. The US had 466 per 100k. So again, the US is doing pretty well compared to other “civilized countries.”

      But most important are trends in crime rates, because while crime rates have been increasing in many gun-controlling countries, the crime rate has been falling steadily in the United States. Our present-day homicide rate of 4.8 per 100k? That was 2010. It was 5.0 in 2009. 5.4 in 2008. 8.1 in 1995. Clearly we are doing something right, and it isn’t gun control.

      • Rob on 02.11.2013 at 5:57 pm

        You (Sir/Ma’am), a gentle(person) and a scholar.

    • SMG Student on 02.11.2013 at 5:58 pm

      “Remember America is a very diverse and multinational, multicultural country but it seems the only people who feel threatened by responsible gun laws are white Anglo republicans. Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Jews and even Native Americans have exactly the same right to bare arms and all the more reason to fear government tyranny, but what do these groups want? Gun control. Fact.”

      Just pointing out I’m jewish. I go shooting with a couple Hispanic immigrants of various origin. We are not by a long shot the most diverse group at the range. If anything I meet more white people for gun control then anything else. But that is probably just because that is the group that tends to be liberal.

  • Jimbob on 02.11.2013 at 4:47 pm

    Respect your arguments Rob and Anonymous but your statistics on Homocide rates are incorrect. England has a much lower Homice rate than America as do dozens of other countries. Have a look at this link and read the stats for yourself.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#section_1

    • Rob on 02.11.2013 at 6:21 pm

      They are not incorrect, the countries have ALWAYS had low homicide rates, gun control has nothing to do with it.

    • Rob on 02.11.2013 at 6:23 pm

      It’s a spurious relationship, 1st world European countries have traditionally had low homicide rates. Gun control has little or nothing to do with it.

    • Dan on 02.11.2013 at 6:49 pm

      First of all, we’re citing Wikipedia?
      Second, America isn’t near the top at all. Also, these are just “homicide rates,” not “gun homicide rates.”

      • Anonymous on 02.11.2013 at 8:02 pm

        Furthermore, homicide rates (even taken at a whole) are already trending down pretty hard.

  • Sean on 02.12.2013 at 10:10 am

    My neighbor has a firearm that fires one shot every single time you pull the trigger. He can empty it into a target a matter of seconds. It has no safety device built in by the manufacturer and it can be rapidly reloaded with half a dozen more cartridges at a time in a matter of seconds. Plus, it’s black and scary looking.

    By the way, it’s a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver from 1951 and you “reload with half a dozen more cartridges at a time in a matter of seconds” with a simple speed loader made in 1948. His town police department stopped using them because several cops had shot every bullet into assailants who had continued to attack them

    Should it be banned?

    • Jimbob on 02.13.2013 at 7:21 am

      What a ridiculous response. Shame on you. You will reject any change to gun laws, just admit it. There is a problem with gun related violence yet you won’t even consider the weapon itself. If people were using cars to kill themselves or others then you’d look at issues to curb such violence, right? You would implement common sense laws to ensure people couldnt just walk into a shop and buy a car without taking the appropriate tests, getting registered and a license etc right? A gun is an extremely effective killing tool, that’s what they are designed for. That’s why the military and police don’t walk around with rocks or hammers in their holsters. If you regulate the accessibility to such effective weapons you will lower the homicide rate.

      • Anonymous on 02.13.2013 at 8:13 am

        @Jimbob

        Just like how the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban was so effective in lowering crime rates? Oh wait, it had no effect on crime rates. What about Chicago? No again. Because guns don’t make people commit crime, and laws don’t prevent criminals from acquiring guns. This is equivalent to outlawing rear spoilers and expecting to see fewer drunk drivers. You have to target the behavior, not the tool, and you especially cannot target the tool when my right to own that tool is constitutionally protected.

        • Jimbob on 02.13.2013 at 1:37 pm

          The 1994 assault weapons ban wasn’t strong policy, that’s correct. It was riddled with loopholes and did little to curtail the availability of semiautomatic weapons.

          It prohibited the manufacture, possession, transfer, and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, yet it defined assault weapons in a manner that would allow gun manufacturers to skirt the around the ban quite easily. 650 firearms and grandfathered in weapons and ammo clips produced or purchased before the enactment of the ban were exempt.

          What’s worse: The .223 caliber Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle reportedly used in the Newtown shootings (the weapon of choice for those hell bent on mass murder) was the sort of weapon gun control advocates had hoped to prohibit with the 1994 ban. Yet even though the state of Connecticut passed its own assault weapons ban, modeled on the 1994 federal law but with no sunset clause, this particular gun was legal in the state because Bushmaster had made a slight and insignificant change in its design to evade restrictions.

        • Jimbob on 02.13.2013 at 3:30 pm

          I agree to some of your points, targeting the behaviour is integral to curbing all forms of violence. Making it harder for criminals or the criminally insane to get their hands on guns (tools designed to kill) is just as important.

  • student on 02.12.2013 at 9:39 pm

    The only legislation I would support is a universal background check; but not in the same way that many would think. I would support civilians having access to the same instant background check system that law enforcement has access to. I believe that a private gun sale should require both parties to keep a record of the transaction and a official copy of a background check of the purchaser issued by a local court that the seller must keep for ten years.

    This will keep federal agencies from making a virtual gun registration, ensure LEGAL private sales may continue without much hassle, ensure that a FFL dealer will not charge fees for conducting a transfer of the firearm, and keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them assuming both seller and buyer do their part.

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