A SIG Sauer P220 45 ACP semiautomatic handgun. Source: kcdsTM / Flickr

BETWEEN THE LINES: After the January 2011 Arizona shooting spree when six were killed, including a 9-year-old girl, and more than a dozen injured, most notably U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, gun violence in America again became the focus of debate for several weeks.

Despite the predictable healthy dose of rhetoric in the aftermath of such tragedies, no remedies have ever resulted, nor has a damn thing ever been done, to change gun laws.

The relentless argument about whether or not our society has too many guns — it’s estimated there’s at least one firearm for every American — seems to be reflected in several news stories that have hogged headlines nationwide so far this year.

Here’s a sample:

  • A gunman opened fire at a small Christian university in Oakland, California, last week, killing at least seven people, wounding three more and setting off an intense, chaotic manhunt that ended with his capture at a nearby shopping center.
  • A teenager, described in media reports as a bullied outcast, opened fire in a suburban Cleveland high school cafeteria in late February, killing three students and wounding two others before being caught.
  • The most recurring news story for the last several weeks has been the furor over the Trayvon Martin shooting in which neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Stanford, Florida, teenager, claiming self-defense, under the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self-defense when the youth, who he was following, attacked him. In a released 911 call, Zimmerman said that he had followed the suspicious looking teen “in a hoodie, walking slowly and looking into houses.”
  • Just as I was preparing to file this column it was reported that four officers were wounded in Sheepshead Bay early Sunday morning after they engaged in a gun battle with one gunman. Afterwards, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly noted that the handgun used by the shooter was originally bought in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the sawed-off rifle had been stolen in Florida. Two states with lax rules for gun ownership.

Decades after the Virginia Tech and Columbine school shooting massacres, they remain grim echoes in our national conscience and resurface in most gun control squabbles.

Though some members of Congress say they advocate meaningful gun control, when push comes to shove, they seldom have the guts to challenge the potent National Rifle Association, even when it comes to banning AK-47s or other assault weapons that can kill dozens in a few seconds. Politicians avoid tackling the issue rather than face certain backlash from the well-funded gun lobby and its influence on gun-owning voters at the polls.

A couple of years ago, when writing on the subject for the umpteenth time, I learned that from 2004 to 2010, more than 600 individuals on the terrorist watch list underwent background checks when they attempted to purchase firearms or explosives. However, if an individual on the list does not have a felony conviction, illegal alien status or other prohibitive information, the firearms transaction is acceptable and not pursued by law enforcement. The Government Accounting Office, which tracks such purchases, reported in 2010 that more than 1,000 (91 percent) of such purchases went unchecked.

The incident in Sheepshead Bay early Sunday morning called attention to Mayor Bloomberg’s steadfast campaign to urge Congress to enact tougher gun laws.

Testifying at a hearing before Congress two years ago, Bloomberg, a staunch advocate to combat illegal guns, asked South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham if someone is on a no-fly list, isn’t it “reasonable to assume that person should not be allowed to buy a gun.”

Proposed legislation in the Senate went nowhere because Graham and his steadfast gun ownership advocates said such a law “would deny U.S. citizens on the terrorist watch list their Second Amendment rights.”

Graham added, with a straight face, “There’s no constitutional right to fly, but there is one to keep and bear arms.”

To Graham and his ilk, I say if you make gun laws stricter and make it mandatory to license all firearms — like we do our pets, cars and bicycles — there’s likely to be fewer guns to kill people.

Maybe, if federal and state lawmakers stop kowtowing to the NRA, sensible gun laws could be enacted.

Sometimes it seems the NRA and its gun-obsessed members value their misguided Second Amendment right to possess firearms more than America’s safety. Although the nation has experienced a drop in overall crime in the last decade, according to the National Institute of Justice, gun-related murders have slightly increased in that period.

I’m fed up with those who ignore early American history and the impetus for the Second Amendment. Colonists were ruled by a foreign power for decades and one method to contest the oppression was to put weapons in the hands of a “regulated militia.”

Today, besides a few wacko factions that do not recognize the U.S. government, we are not faced with an external regime and already have controlled regulated militias that eliminate any need for groups or individuals armed to the teeth.

Rather than being bullied by the NRA, strictly controlled gun ownership should be a priority for our elected representatives, who don’t seem to comprehend that unrestricted firearms leads to ruining lives, diminishing liberty and limiting the pursuit of happiness.

Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.

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  • Guest

    why does sheepsheadbites push its liberal agenda? good reporting should leave the opinions to the reader

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      It should have an “op-ed” label. But that’s no longer done much of anywhere. Heck, news reporters are manufacturing and editting evidence at this point – do you think they have the ethics to “leave the opinions to the readers”. You’re talking about a time long gone, mr. guest.

      Then again, I assume SB is a for-profit business. The guy has to publish with a bias to make money reporting in this neighborhood, I can see that. Nothing personal.

      I don’t think much of his readership can withstand an unbiased reporting ethic, after all, they believe the liberal viewpoint IS unbiased reporting.

      • NSF

        Readers of SB should know by now that Behind the Lines is an op-ed piece, not a news report.

        • Local Broker

          Out of curiosity what is your personal experience with firearms?

        • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

          I would hope there are new readers all the time!

    • NSF

      This is an opinion piece, not a news report or, necessarily, the viewpoint of the blog’s editor.

    • Guest

       Why do conservatives believe there is a “liberal agenda” whenever they disagree with something?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

        To name something is to classify it and focus attention on it.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          So, in the spirit of fairness, you won’t mind if arguments for less restrictive gun laws are labelled as examples of the “right wing” agenda?

          • crazy_j

             They already are. Pretty much unanimously.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Unless you agree with it.

  • Rpell1

    The “gun control” issue will go on and on and on……..for one major reason.   The NRA is as powerful as it is only because of the number of it’s massive, (legitimate citizen) membership that constitutes a majority in this country that wants legitimate gun ownership protected.   The majority wants it’s rights protected.     LAWS WILL NOT STOP ILLEGAL GUN VIOLENCE.   By definition, criminals do NOT follow the law.   New laws will also not be followed.   So, gun laws are NOT the answer.   The solution is to ENFORCE the current laws that are on the books and mete out substantial penalties for crimes committed with guns.    Perhaps an automatic 20 years without paroll for any crime committed with a firearm, before sentancing for the crime, might be a deterent.   You can impose HUNDREDS of new gun laws and all you will accomplish will be to disarm the law abiding, legitimate citizen………..NOT THE CRIMINAL…..who again, DOES NOT ABIDE BY THE LAW!!    If I seem to repeat myself it is because I cannot understand why people refuse to see this problem for what it is.   Personally, I am not an advocate for wholesale gun ownership in our country.   I would insist on proper training, screening and security prior to any form of gun ownership.  This would at least insure that the owner has received instruction and is not a “loose cannon”.

    Okay now……all of those people who are sadly uninformed or have no other information on this issue other than what they are told and read…..go ahead and come up with a realistic solution.    

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

      Your daughter is sitting in a restaurant eating an late dinner.  A man who has just gotten a gun from his cousin decides to make a withdrawal. 

      He enteres the place, and is so nervous that he can hardly stand, he is totally out of control of himself and his new gun, and is extremely dangerous.

      His first action when he walks in is to shoot the floor then demand the money.  The cashier gives it to him, then he grabs your daughter and drags her to the door with the gun pointed at her head.

      Would you rather see her get her gun out and shoot this guy ten times in the stomach, chase him out the door and watch him fall in the street – or just go with him, add a rape to his take that night, and get HIV, Herpes, and be afraid of her own shadow for the rest of her life.  In truth, it is HER choice to do one or the other – and she will have to deal with the aftermath of HER choice.

      Unless writers like Friedman get in the way.  Then it is no longer her choice, but the choice of the state and it’s laws.  She will not be asking herself, “Can I shoot him,” but, “If I shoot him will I spend the rest of my life in prison.”

      It’s a decision that is made every day in gun free zones.  Defend yourself and be locked up, or face a rape, illness, and possibly death by following the law.

  • Local Broker

    This is propaganda and a copy/paste from every other anti-gun writer out there. You do not offer any opinion or an idea of a solution to what you call a problem. Bloomberg doesn’t know what the fuck hes talking about he has his own private army according to him so why would he need a gun. If i were a rich politician i wouldn’t want to carry a gun i would let my security do that but i wouldn’t try to deny people the right to protect themselves. At some point you are going to have to realize that criminals dont care how many laws are on the books they are going to break them anyway and do whatever they want until they die or are caught. The only thing more gun laws would do is restrict law abiding tax paying citizens their rights and not do a thing to stop criminals. I am not a redneck whack job that thinks the government is out to get me but i do know the government isn’t going to be there if some crackhead decides to try and rob me while im out with my wife and kid. Your a fucking sheep if you think that someone is going to magically appear to save your ass when you need help the most and that the bad guy gives a shit about that new law that just passed making his gun any more illegal than it already is.   

  • TITANIUMDX

    Gun laws only make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect there families and oneself.

    Gun laws will not prevent criminals from getting a Fire Arm. If they can’t get it in the USA; I’m sure the criminals will start smuggling them in from Mexico or other countries.

    When criminals attack and seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

    Gun laws need to be relaxed nationwide for law abiding citizens.
    Stand your ground laws need to be implemented nationwide.

    Here is a possible solution, implement the death penalty nationwide for unlicensed illegal guns.

    • Local Broker

      Just a little correction we dont smuggle guns out of Mexico only drugs. The US Government are the ones that smuggle guns into Mexico. Read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal
      And for all the gun-antis out there ask the Mexican people how they feel about being unarmed while all cartels slaughter thousands of people.

      • nolastname

        A person can get a gun in Washington or Philly easier than Mexico.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

        It was told to me by a Colombian that the bulk of the weapons smuggled into Mexico were done to arm the citizens and help them defend themselves from the drug cartels.  The reason they are picked up by the Mexican police is because the cartels sneer at the US made guns and leave them at the crime scene unless they are something really special.  The police go in, collect the bodies and weapons, and return the weapons to the US instead of giving them to someone that could use them like the Mexican Nationals.  The huge difference between the gunwalking scandals and the normal gun smuggling is that a mexican civilian will get the gun in the smuggling – while the ATF was supplying to the Cartels themselves!

        Now, think about this…  The gun laws in Mexico are the PATTERN for the ones that the anti-gunners want to see in this country.

        Those the support crime and profit from it want ALL of American disarmed.

  • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

    Mr Neil S. Friedman what the hell does legal gun ownership has to to with Sheepshead Bay shooting? Do you understand the difference between legal and illegal firearm ownership?
    Every single gun restricting law takes guns away from law abiding citizens and does 0 yes zero to take guns away from criminals.

    With today NYC gun control laws I have no way to defend myself in my house, work, street or subway. It’s sicking how much hoops you have to jump through and how much it cost to get handgun license in this city and I’m not even mentioning how it’s close to impossible to get a carry license.

    The idea that you will be helped by police when you get mugged on subway at 2am in the morning is laughable. And if you are a woman you have no way to protect yourself from molesters and rapists when you are alone, even in your house. Just last summer woman in Manhattan was raped in her own apartment when I guy crawled through her window.

    If anything gun control should be much, much less restricted. People have a right to defend themselves, our gun laws take that basic right away from average law abiding citizens. Loose gun laws are not a problem, the problem is PD not enforcing the laws on hand.

    Organization like NRA is not evil. If it wasn’t for them the only people in this country who would have guns would be government. First thing USSR government did after coming to power was take away guns from citizens. Why do you think they did that?

    It sounds to me Mr. Friedman you just embraced this dumb “society without guns” agenda  that has been drilled in to people minds in last 20 or so years. People like you who don’t know first thing about firearms tend to be screaming the most about something you don’t know how to use and fail to see the purpose of and more importantly your lack of knowledge inadvertently will endanger life of good people who might have had a chance to defend themselves instead of being another statistic for local PD precinct.

    • Local Broker

       +100

    • NSF

      You misunderstood the intention of my column. If Congress enacted responsible laws for legal guns and illegal guns were available willy-nilly in some states, there’d be less crime committed with firearms.
      Those who feel the need to own a firearm should have to license them and be limited to how many they can own. 
      People that keep guns in their homes are open to family accidents and self-inflicted injury, and maybe death if they draw on an intruder.
      But, then again,you have your opinion and I have mine.

      • Local Broker

        From cdc.gov  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_19.pdf  
        page 35-39
        2007- 22,631/death by accidental fall. Rate per 100k people 7.5
        2007- 3,443/death by accidental drowning. Rate per 100k 1.1
        2007- 613/death by accidental discharge of firearm. Rate per 100k 0.2

        People that have pools in their homes are open to family accidents.
        If you are not responsible enough to swim or watch others swimming then don’t go swimming. But don’t try to tell me when and where i can go swimming.

      • Rpell1

        Sadly, your opinion is one that is uninformed, misinformed and substantiated only through hearsay.   It has always be the “easy way out” to take the negative position.   These people simply refute any and all arguments without the necessity of proof.    And on, and on and on……………

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

        I understand what you are trying to do, but good intentions and all that…

        The truth is that violent people prey on the non-violent. 

        When a bank robber decides to rob a bank, he will walk in, look at the cameras, look for the guards if there are any, and then note how busy the bank is.

        If the bank is weak, he will attack.  If it has cameras, guards, and is busy he will not.

        The same attitude applies to regular crime.  If a criminal sees a man carrying a gun on his hip in a convienience store, he will not rob it – he will wait for the armed man to leave, or go somewhere else.

        In EVERY case where gun owners carry openly, the crime rate is lower.  In every state where open carry is actively practiced the murder rate is lower then in every state where open carry is banned.  Look it up, the statistics are on OpenCarry.org and the FBI’s website.  Heck one state, in the last couple years, the murder rate was 6!  Compare that to DC with 500K people and the murder rate was in the thousands… and you can clearly see the true effect of disarming a person.

        Now, I know that what you are saying is that if every person and every gun was registered – so that the police knew who had what, and what all the numbers were, then no guns would make it to criminals, and no more gun crime would happen.  Sadly, that is true and false.  In countries where that has happened, the gun death rate did drop dramatically, but the rate of death by other means rose and the overall murder rate was higher after the ban.  Why higher?  Because as soon as criminals realized that people were unarmed, the crime rate rose dramatically and more homeowners and business owners were hurt or killed defending themselves and their property.  England faced this and now have laws that punish you if you try to defend yourself during a crime.  One man got years for brandishing a kids toy bb gun recently – the criminal ran off and called police!  He was not arrested, the business owner however, was.

        Sir, the problem is not the guns, but the lack of knowledge.  Everyone should own a gun* and know how to use it, safely.  Everyone should be trained, and I would support mandatory training in schools with a certificate of completion in order to purchase their first gun.  I do not support  FOID card, but that first gun purchase can be regulated under a well regulated militia concept.  Imagine that everyone who owns a firearm is trined how to use it to defend themselves!  Imagine that they all know to check the line of fire, to carry safely, to store it properly, to clean it, and how to protect it from others. 

        Crime would plummet!  Gun deaths would plummet!  Kids would be safer, more mature, and safer everywhere.  Rapes would nearly stop, and home invasions a thing of the past.  Instead of a murder rate in the thousands, imagine it in the hundreds for the nation!  It was once, before the gun laws.

        So if you wish to do some good, perhaps you might adopt my idea and focus on training kids to handle weapons safely at an early age, and a nationwide ban on all gun laws that do not have to do with regulated safety and proper use of the weapon.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

          * The federal militia act requires that every man in the United States between 18 and 45, have in his possession, one handgun or rife, a day kit, and ammunition for those guns.  He is to register with the Adjunct General in that state he lives in, and be ready for training if he is so called.  This is federal law and not optional.  TO NOT own a gun IS a crime in every state in the United States if you are make between 18 and 45.

          That is why in every state in the United States, the specific gun mentioned in the act, a Musket or black powder long rife, are exempt from all state and federal gun regulation.  Even in California and Chicago, with their gun ban, you can still carry a loaded 1890 Army Black Powder Revolver openly on your hip. (which is a really nice looking weapon)

      • Comments

        Yes it is your opinion and I am asking you not to concern yourself with what RIGHTS I choose to exercise.

    • nolastname

      You’re the best.

  • Grizzled_Stranger

    First, you have it backward. There are more than 22,407 restrictive gun laws. ALL of them have been followed by an increase in violent crime. On the other hand, Americans have purchased more than 150 million new guns in the last 18 years. In that time, our homicide rate has dropped by more than half, our incidence of violent crime has dropped by 74%, and the incidence of firearms accidents has dropped by 77%. Gun related crime or gun related violence has not increased, it has decreased. As those things go, our crime rates are plummeting.

    So what you are advocating is MORE crime, and more violence. The same thing that 1904′s wave of restrictive gun laws triggered. And exactly the same thing that followed the Gun Control Act of 1968. And that is something informed Americans are well aware of – and do not want.

    • NSF

      Here’s my final input on this debate if you still think there isn’t a need for stricter gun control.
      According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in 2010, guns murdered:

      35 people in Australia,
      39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada and 9,484 in the
      U.S.

      GOD BLESS AMERICA; SCREW THE NRA!

      • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

         I have simple answer to your statistic and it’s another statistic:

        Australia – population: 22,882,555
        United Kingdom- population: 62,300,000
        Spain- population: 46,196,278
        Germany- population: 81,831,000
        Canada- population: 34,763,600
        United States- population: 313,332,000

        See the difference?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population

        • Local Broker

          You need to stop making sense you might hurt someones feelings. I believe guns are illegal in Australia and UK so how can people have guns there and kill others? If they have laws outlawing guns where do the bad guys get them? Something is definitely wrong there.

          • Stan_LS

            Oh, I know! Perhaps they didn’t outlaw homicide? If only they made that illegal – the killing would stop! We should do it here, too! ;)

        • http://www.bayridgeodyssey.com/ Brian

          So, the fact that the U.S. sees 270 times the number of people murdered by firearms as Australia is explainable to you by the fact that it has 14 times the population?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_arithmetic

      • Rpell1

        The NRA IS America!!   So what you are saying is, “Screw America”……Nice!!

        • Tinman

          It says, “God Belss America.” The NRA is NOT America, jut a bunch of fanatics on a misguided mission!

      • corpsman

         Sir,
        You are wholly missing the underlying issue. The 2nd Amendment was not written to provide for personal self defense although that is a side effect, so to speak. It was written to provide for the legal existence of the militia, to be well regulated at the community level, not the federal government.It was written with the clear intent of providing the people with the right to keep and bear contemporary military firearms so that the people could defend the Constitutiopn against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The men who wrote the Constitution had just won a revolution, by the skin of their teeth, and they recognized the critical role the citizens militia played in that victory. The US Constitution has the only such law in the world that deliberately empowers the people with the right to overthrow any tyranny, foreign or domestic, that subverts the Constitution. To get a clear picture of that intent, read the Federalist and anti-Federalist Papers. The Supreme Court decision in Heller vs DC is firmly rooted in that law.
           That said, the reality is that the US is afloat in firearms. The number of capable home machine shops is astounding. Attempts to control firearms ownership are doomed by this reality. Nothing short of a total jack boot dictatorship could come close to eliminating firearms ownership. Meanwhile, the current laws only empower the criminal class. I worked in a couple of prisons and it became very clear to me that the professional criminals are very much in favor of restrictive gun laws as that reduces the risks of their occupations. They clearly fear the armed citizen far more than the police.

        • jarhead1982

          Not bad, but the BOR is a limitation on government powers, and affirms those rights which pre-existed so no rights were or are given.

      • Mikeyp

        So, basically, you just hate the NRA and doctor facts to match your personal bias.

      • Willbill

        NSF, after the U.K. enacted extreme firearms prohibitions,
        gun crime in the U.K. doubled in a decade.

         

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6438601/Gun-crime-doubles-in-a-decade.html

         

        By contrast, firearms rights have been expanded over last
        several years, and more citizens are now free to carry firearms in more places.  Yet, homicides, including homicides with
        firearms, as well as all other violent crime have been decreasing since
        2006.  Moreover, after a dramatic
        increase in firearms sales and ownership after the last Presidential election
        including an increase in first time firearms purchases and an increase in
        firearms carry permits, gun ban groups and zealot predicted that there would be
        a corresponding increase in murders. 
        However, the U.S. homicide rate decreased from 5.0 per 100,000 in 2009
        to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2010.

         

        Preliminary data from 2011 shows Murder is down by 5.7%,
        Rape down 5.1%, Robbery down 7.7%, and Aggravated Assault down 5.9%

         

        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

         

        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls

         

        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01a.xls

        These are the inconvenient facts that citizen disarmament
        zealots and groups ignore.

      • Comments

        Whether or not you like it this is the law of the land:
        “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        This is an invididual right as reaffirmed by SCOTUS (District of Columbia v. Heller).

        The process to amend the Constitution is outlined below. Short of that please do not violate my rights.
         
        There are essentially two ways spelled outin the Constitution for how to propose an amendment. One has never been used.

        The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

        The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

        Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. There are two ways to do this, too.

        The text of the amendment may specify whether the bill must be passed by the state legislatures or by a state convention. See the Ratification Convention Page for a discussion of the make up of a convention. Amendments are sent to the legislatures of the states by default. Only one amendment, the 21st, specified a convention. In any case, passage by the legislature or convention is by simple majority.

        The Constitution, then, spells out four paths for an amendment:
        Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

  • Vivian Mares

    Why do you not ask how many gun deaths as compared to traffick kills. check and see how many in compared captia per thousand. Then see if you can ban cars and trucks!!!

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    As long as the politically correct don’t go so far as to take “The Rifleman” or “Have Gun Will Travel” off the air, I’ll stay silent on the subject.

  • TL671

    I only have one thing to say, it’s a quote from someone most people have probably heard of.

    “A free
    people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have
    sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from
    any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own
    government.” — George Washington

  • Gene

    Check out the statistics in the following book: “More Guns, Less Crime”  a book authored by John Lott. You can’t argue with the factual truth.  And as for Virginia Tech or the LIRR killings, if there had been even one responsible, legal gun owner present in either of those cases, the victims would not have had to sit there in total fear and be picked off sytematically like helpless sheep, but unfortunately the nanny state politicians have done their best to prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves while criminals scoff at the enacted laws.  When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.  It sound silly and you can poke fun at the above statement, but at the end of the day it rings true.  Food for thought: When your life is in danger, and every second counts, the police are just minutes away.  Think about it. That said, I do agree that better, more uniform regulations may need to be enacted in some states, but only to prevent the illegal procurement of firearms, not to put law abiding folks at further risk. 

  • http://www.bayridgeodyssey.com/ Brian

    Not sure what you’re trying to accomplish by invoking the no-fly list, but to me it diminishes the credibility of this article. The no-fly list is a civil-rights disaster – there’s almost no judicial review, due process, or anything that might be considered oversight. There’s certainly no one held accountable if they put someone on the no-fly list that doesn’t belong there. I feel like you’re just as likely to end up on the no-fly list if your name is Khaled Meshall, leader of designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas and commander of rocketeers and suicide bombers, as you are if your name is Khaled, American citizen who visited your mom in Yemen eight years ago and has a passing familiarity with the Koran.

    You say that 600 people on the terrorist watch list have passed background checks in order to buy firearms and explosives from 2004 to 2010. Have we had 600 terrorist attacks in this country over that same time period? I think I’d have remembered that. Seems more likely there are close to 600 people who we’re treating like terrorists, but aren’t. Have you followed up to see what gun crimes any of these 600 people have committed? Terrorism, murder, armed robbery, carrying a firearm without a permit, anything at all? If not, why don’t you assume for a minute that the system cleared 600 responsible gun owners instead of assuming they’re all guilty of something? Or if you weren’t assuming that, what was the point in even bringing it up?

    So with all of that in mind, I couldn’t possibly imagine applying the same no-fly process to gun licensing. Who would Mayor Bloomberg put on the no-gun list? Certainly all Yemen-descended, Koran-familiar Khaleds who are already on the no-fly list. It’s not like anyone fitting that description would own a 24-hour deli where they feel as though gun possession is a matter of self-defense. How about anyone who has been convicted of a felony? I think we should play it safe and make it anyone who has ever been arrested, period. I mean, if they were arrested, they were guilty of something, there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove it, right?

    As far as my own attitude towards guns, I’ve been thinking for a few years that it is time I exercised my own Second Amendment rights, because I don’t think right-wingers should be the only people in this country with guns.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Point. There are too many militia groups with too many members and too many weapons and quite frankly, the government has been intimidated into inaction regarding them. There may well come a time that these people could become a real threat. There’s so much concern about Muslim terrorists, but the gun rights lobby has within its numbers countless militia supporters. I keep telling people to read “It Can’t Happen Here” http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001h.html because it can, and the gun lobby is helping to bring this to pass.

  • Willbill

    “…even when it comes to banning AK-47s or other assault
    weapons that can kill dozens in a few seconds.”

     Now for the inconvenient facts:

     In 2010, Aks, ARs,
    Uzis and all other semi-auto “Assault Weapons” as well as all other rifles
    accounted for 358 murders nationwide.  That
    is less than three percent of all homicides and comes to less than two per day.
    Not only does that mean that no one in you state will be murdered by an
    “Assault Weapon” or any other rifle this month but likely not next month, or
    even the month after that.

    By contrast, over four times the number of murders, 1,704, were
    with knives or cutting instruments, over twice the numbers of murders, 745, were
    with hands, fists, feet, etc, and more murders, 540, were committed using blunt
    objects like clubs, hammers, baseball bats, etc.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

     

    Of course, citizen disarmament zealots and groups ignore
    these inconvenient facts because he and the Brady Campaign are trying to
    frighten the public into banning all firearms one class of weapon at a time.

     

    “….according to the National Institute of Justice,
    gun-related murders have slightly increased in that period.”

     

    No, it is actually down. 
    Firearms rights have been expanded over last several years, and more
    citizens are now free to carry firearms in more places.  Yet, homicides, including homicides with
    firearms, as well as all other violent crime have been decreasing since
    2006.  Moreover, after a dramatic
    increase in firearms sales and ownership after the last Presidential election
    including an increase in first time firearms purchases and an increase in
    firearms carry permits, gun ban groups and zealot predicted that there would be
    a corresponding increase in murders. 
    However, the U.S. homicide rate decreased from 5.0 per 100,000 in 2009
    to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2010.

     

    Preliminary data from 2011 shows Murder is down by 5.7%,
    Rape down 5.1%, Robbery down 7.7%, and Aggravated Assault down 5.9%

    Homicides with firearms dripped from 9,199 in 2009 to 8,775
    in 2010.

     

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

     

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls

     

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01a.xls

    By contrast, the United Kingdom enacted extreme firearms
    ban, and gun crime in the U.K.
    has double in a decade.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6438601/Gun-crime-doubles-in-a-decade.html

    Citizen disarmament zealots and groups hate these inconvenient
    facts and continue to rely on paranoia, fear mongering, and deception.

     

    “Colonists were ruled by a foreign power for decades and one
    method to contest the oppression was to put weapons in the hands of a
    “regulated militia.”

    I’m sure you hate to read law review articles.  The vast majority of law review articles that
    examine the Second Amendment conclude that it guarantees citizens individual
    right to keep and bear arms.

    The Second
    amendment speaks of two separate groups the Militia and the People. If the
    right to keep and bear arms were meant only to apply to the militia it would
    read “The right of Militia members to keep and bear arms shall not be
    infringed.” Or, it would read “The power of the States to maintain armed
    militias shall not be infringed.” It reads “The right of the People to keep and
    bear arms shall not be infringed.” All other references to “The People” in the
    Bill of Rights are also rights of individual citizens.

    See also:
    DC v. Heller
    Held:
    1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
    firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
    traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
    Pp. 2–53.
    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
    does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
    clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it
    connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html

  • Guest

    Guns should be outlawed. The 2nd amendment is no longer needed. The NRA should be disbanded. The end. No guns No more Nekwon’s No more Zimmermans. Finished.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Riot/100002015053368 Pat Riot

    Tell me, why did you go back to the Arizona incident – oh, wiat, it’s a better example than the Chicago one, right?

    Folks, what this “reporter,” isn’t telling you is that on the same weekend that George Zimmerman defended himself with a gun and drew the ire of the parents of hoodrats everywhere, Chicago, a gun free city where the laws that this killer (referring to the writer of this story) support are fully in place, the victims of THOSE shootings did not have the ability to fight back, did not have the ability to defend thsemselves, and are dead.  THe shooters?  ALive, well, and shooting some more people.

    Mister Friedman, pay attention to your sources.

    University – Oakland – gun free zone (victim rack-up zone)
    Cleveland incident – Gun Free Zone – not one of the people shot were able to defend themselves.
    Sanford Florida, Zimmerman lives!  Not a gun free zone, it’s a criminal death zone.
    Sheepshead – Gun free area, stolen weapons, police win BECAUSE THEY ARE ARMED.

    Seems to me that you’ve made my argument and destroyed your own.

  • Frank Clarke

    It hardly needs to be proven that evil people will do evil things and stupid people will do stupid things.  Why is the avowed policy of the anti-gun loons to prevent good people doing good things?

    If legal gun owners were as stupid, evil, crazy, vicious, and out-of-control as people like Freedman portray us then, quite simply, there wouldn’t be any of those anti-gun loons left to write stupid (or is it evil?) trash like this.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    So I’ve got a question. There is clearly a great number of readers who are fans of gun rights (not to mention that this post has now been linked by a couple of gun rights-websites). That’s fine. What I’m curious about is that a number of the arguments have been about protecting yourself and your family in the case of a mugging or something. That would mean that you also want less restrictive carry laws. 

    Is that right? Do you want more people walking the public streets with guns on them?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

       And they are here now as well , spreading the gospel of “Arm yourself or die”.

      So these are all not voices of our community.

      • Local Broker

        I am from this community and i agree with everything they are saying.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           Nevertheless, the site has been invaded by outsiders.

          And you agree with EVERYTHING they say?

          • Local Broker

            Its been invaded by outsiders because the article has nothing to do with local news. Yeah i agree with the right to keep and bear arms. Unless you know of some way to get rid of every gun why is it so hard for people to understand that new gun laws do nothing to deter criminals that dont care about the thousands of existing laws. Why is this such a hard concept to understand? Isnt it obvious that its illegal to carry firearms in NYC but for some reason the bad guys do it anyway. Lets say the guy on Nostrand decided to shoot the movers right there on the street before he went upstairs. Where were the cops to protect them? Its not about bashing cops and saying they are not doing their jobs its just they cant be everywhere at the same time. So why should anyone be able to deny that mover the right to protect himself? Maybe if the mover had a gun he could have used it and saved 4 cops from getting shot.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Every subject of national importance has a local aspect and impact.

            I was not particularly interested in taking this up. But I do know that years ago it was quite easy to get a gun, it is not so easy now. Nevertheless, there are states which have no interest in enforcing laws regarding the sales of guns to individuals not from their state, it is this laxity that accounts for the guns that are for criminal purposes
            here.

            We’re dealing in speculations here. I can have some as well. The mover attempts to shoot the guy after he pulls a gun on him. He misses, and someone walking down Nostrand Avenue gets shot. Did a lot of good, didn’t it? Having a gun is no guarantee that one is going to be effective using it.

            And as I have said in the past, don’t take out a gun unless you’re willing to use it, and able to use it well in a stressful situation. Too many people would fail that test.

          • Local Broker
          • jarhead1982

            Oh thats right, ideas and rights stop at a county ine, doorstep or some other arbitrary line in the sand drawn by people whose unsubstantiated claims have proven what again, oh thats right, NOTHING!

            Since you are part of the USA, FREEDOM OF SPEACH REIGNS!

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Mind if I ask some gun control advocates to join this discussion?

            I wouldn’t do that, even though you people are already here.

            The question was asked why this is in local news publication, and the answer is that everything that happens on a national level has a local aspect. So local voices need to be heard from.

            At any rate your presence here may have the opposite effect than that which you desire. Merely considering the names you people choose would be quite enough to turn people off from any possible validity your words might have. And some of the things that some of you have written elsewhere would not resonate too well with many. I’m all for free speech, but with the understanding that free speech carries with it the possibility of a response the writer may be discomforted with.

    • Rpell1

      “Everything in moderation”.   Extremes, whether in actions or ideals, will not work.  There are many legitimate reasons for owning guns besides protection.  In my opinion, I want my right to keep firearms in my home for primarily sporting reasons and ALSO for personal protection.   I would also like to see more properly trained, law abiding adult citizens with the ABILITY AND RIGHT to carry firearms.   What I would like to see most is to have much more stringent sentancing, with no pleas, deals or leniency with regard to those CRIMINALS that commit crimes with firearms…..NOT more unenforced laws to clog the books.

      Incidentally, a PROPERLY TRAINED AND EDUCATED (referring to the use of firearms) adult will be least likely to use a firearm, unless absolutely necessary!   With proper training comes respect and responsibility.  The “Old-West” gunfight mentality is as rediculous as the Roadrunner being blown up in cartoons.   It’s not logical.

      Sadly, most negatively minded people will only read what they want to.   If these people would read opinions in their entirety, perhaps they just might see something they might agree with……….God forbid!

    • Local Broker

      I thought thats what we were talking about in the first place. You can legally get a license from the city after jumping through more hoops than a circus animal and keep a firearm in your home. The point is to be able to protect yourself at all times. The problem in NYC is that they are breaking the law by denying people the right to get a CCW license and even though they claim to be a may issue state/city. Its always call the police they will save you but we know thats not the case http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Michael-Pena-NYPD-Officer-Rape-Trial-Verdict-Deadlock-144422235.html
      then you have a case like this
      http://www.wyff4.com/news/local-news/spartanburg-cherokee-news/News-4-exclusive-Woman-who-surprised-attackers-with-gun-talks/-/9324158/10134558/-/item/0/-/1296ouf/-/index.html

      And this happens every single day. You think about it and make a logical decisions.

    • corpsman

      Yes. The more citizens who have firearms, ready to use, the lower the crime rates. This has been clearly demonstrated to be true. Check out the FBI crime stats and note the high correlation between decreasing crime rates and increasing firearms ownership rates.

    • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

      Berke, then answer is yes. I do want more people walking around with firearms. People who obey the law, have been instructed on proper use of weapon, people who spend at least few hours a month at shooting range, people who are aware that you only take a gun out as your last resort and you only take it out when you intend to use it. Yes I want those people to carry guns on public streets.

      • levp

        In theory, I totally agree with you.  Moreover, in a place like Montana, it is practical and, for the most part, already works that way!
        I just don’t see how this work for a place like NYC.  It would be real fun to see Kingsborough College students open-carry on B49!

        • jarhead1982

          Lets see, 4 states and 72 plus universities yet no bloodbaths by law abiding citizens.

          35 reinstated concealed carry in eateries serving alcohol, no bloodbaths again.

          41 states, reinstated concealed carry since the the mid 1980′s (49 total today),  41 of which are shall issue, no bloodbaths again.

          Reality is that the result will and always has been quite boring, unless your a bad guy.

          • levp

            I guess you are not familiar with our community college (B49 is a local bus route, quite packed during rush hours)…

            My point is that it is not only the people you like that will carry.
            I found this quite funny:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry_in_the_United_States
            May 2, 1967 openly armed members of the Black Panther Party marched on the California State capitol in opposition to the then-proposed Mulford Act prohibiting the public carrying of loaded firearms. After the march in the state capitol building, the law was quickly enacted.

          • Stan_LS


            My point is that it is not only the people you like that will carry.” – currently it’s only the people *not* like him who carry. 

  • crazy_j

    “[...] I say if you make gun laws stricter and make it mandatory to license all firearms — like we do our pets, cars and bicycles [...]“

    Think about that for a second. Licensing of pets, cars, and bicycles. We’re licensing bicycles now?

    Anyone who can read that sentence and then come to the conclusion that there is not enough government control of our lives is a complete whacko.

  • levp

    NYPD is known to put 41 bullets into someone without a gun (although with a wallet).  I wonder what they will do to someone carrying one openly.

    You: “I’m going to reach into my pocket for a permi…”
    POP! POP!
    Cop 1: “What did he say?”
    Cop 2: “I don’t know, but I saw him reaching for his gun…”

    Also, think this way: Muslim and Black people will have the same rights, too.  I hope they will stand their ground.

    • Stan_LS


      Muslim and Black people will have the same rights, too” – kudos for being consistent! You do love to race bait. Going to mention Bay people organization or whatever here, too?

  • levp

    Also:

    https://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&tbs=qdr:m&q=year+old+shot+self&oq=year+old+shot+self&aq=f&aqi=g-m3&aql=&gs_l=serp.3..0i5l3.20014l20302l1l21349l3l3l0l0l0l0l143l299l2j1l3l0.frgbld.&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=2051e9f9563069d9&biw=1680&bih=928

    Filtered just for past 1 month.

    • Local Broker
      • levp

        Which is why there are rules and, yes, regulations about pools, lifeguards, etc.

        And did you know, children are required to be in an approved child/booster seat while vehicle is in motion.
        And you should keep kitchen chemicals in a locked cabinet.
        And you should teach your children to never cross the street from between parked cars (or on the red light).
        And…

        The words “risk reduction” perhaps have something to do with all this.

        But maybe we should indeed just let natural selection run its course…  You do that.  For my children, though, I’ll continue with risk reduction measures.

        • Local Broker

          And if you own firearms you should have control of them at all times or make sure no one else has access to them. That is what responsible people do. You dont throw your kid in a pool come back in a half hour and see what happens. You teach your kid how to swim and supervise them. You dont let your kid out into the street leave them there and come back in a half our and see what happens. Again you teach them and supervise them. Just like anything else. Guns are not WMDs they are no more dangerous than a car, power drill or saw. I am actually way over protective of my child and make sure anything she does thats new to her is under my watchful eye and explain things to her. When shes old enough to start going into the kitchen and cooking i am not going to just leave her there with a stove and a knife. We can go back and forth on this all day. If you dont feel comfortable with firearms dont get one but it behooves you to know how to use one and teach your family how to use one as well. Take your family upstate or poconos find a shooting range go there for a couple hours and come back and let me know how it went.  

          • levp

            I do, by the way (in Pennsylvania mostly).  Myself, I had mandatory basic military training in high school, including operation and maintenance of sniper rifles and AK-47.  Partial disassembly in 13 sec (A), subsequent assembly – 24 sec (B+).

            However, I am with Yuriy Shevchuk (“DDT”):

            (song title translated as “Don’t Shoot”, lyrics: http://russmus.net/song/3674 )

          • levp

            By the way, in “my day” (Soviet Union circa 1986), military education was mandatory (including for girls), but nobody had handguns in private possession (unless retired from military or police).

            Also, shooting ranges were on every corner (at least the ones with pneumatic rifles).

            So education/training/sport and regulation do not have to be mutually exclusive.

          • Local Broker

            And your saying it was a better life in Russia without the 1st or 2nd? I know you dont believe that. Listen i hope you live to be 100 years old and all of them happy and healthy. I also hope you never have a day when you wish you needed to protect yourself or your family and didnt have the option to do so.

          • levp

            As you wrote yourself, we can go at it all day.  In short, I am not for prohibition, but not for “anarchy” either.

      • jarhead1982

        You mean the CDC death data showing that since the 1930′s where 112.8 mil pop. had 100 million less firearms and over 2,500 deaths by accidental firearm discharge in 2007 have 304 mil pop., 100 mil more firearms and only 613 deaths by accidental firearm discharge of which only 116 were 0-18 years old.

        Since the BATF acknowledges that over 250 million firearms are owned by civilians in the US, and all those conservative conservation organizations have led the way for training of youth safety courses in the last 5 decades, what exactly is the risk of an accidental death of a child by accidental firearm discharge when there are what, approximately 100 million in the US age 0-18?

        116/100,000,000 = .00000116% chance, OH WOW THATS SCAREY, NOT!

        You have kids, so lets compare the chance of accidental firearm discharge death of a child versus say someone safe, say a DOCTOR.

        JAMA http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/286/4/415
        700,000 doctors in US kill 44,000 to 98,000 by medical malpractice every year .065 to .14 per physician.

        Physician is .065 or .14 /.00000116 = 56,000 to 120,000 times more likely to harm you than an accidental firearm discharge.

        So in your words, you wish to mitigate risk, why aren’t you antis crying to ban doctors?

        Reality is based on your beliefs, you should turn yourself in to child protection services for you risking your childs life so needlessly taking them in for routine checkups and such!

        • levp

          First, that’s 166 too many.
          Second, medical field IS highly regulated, and negligent doctors ARE being banned.
          Third, “between 44 000 and 98 000 people a year in US hospitals” is for adults AND children, also while in hospital (as opposed to “routine checkups and such”).
          Fourth, and the most hilarious, you are replying to the wrong person (Local Broker is on your side) – friendly fire, LOL!!!

          #FAIL.

          • Local Broker

            LOL total fail.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

             And I would trust this person with a gun? He may shoot the wrong person.

        • Local Broker

          What you are doing here is giving antis the ammunition they need to prove that guys like you jump the gun. Maybe you start at the beginning of the thread then come back to me.

    • levp

      For other interesting results, try modifying this search to add a specific age for a child, or (licensed OR permit) keywords, then expand the filter beyond “Past Month”:
      https://www.google.com/#q=%224+year+old%22+shot+self+(licensed+OR+permit)&hl=en&tbo=1&output=search&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:y&sa=X&ei=AsaFT-7vEMLm0QGV0LnwBw&ved=0CAgQpwUoBQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=2051e9f9563069d9&biw=1680&bih=928

      But it doesn’t matter, since it won’t ever happen to you.  Guaranteed.

  • Nmstandingbears

    It’s Simple, Neil, for those who are not consumed by a irrational fear of an inanimate object; the fevered cry of “blood in the street” after Florida passed the first Shall Issue Concealed Carry law in the Eighties, NEVER HAPPENED!, now over fourty states have shall issue concealed carry, four states have constitutional carry where no permit or license is needed to carry open or concealed and still no “blood in the streets” ,it NEVER HAPPENED!

      Most people that aren’t consumed by irrational belief systems could see that law abiding gun owners can be trusted with a firearm. 

      So in simple terms, get over it.

  • BGryphon

    I appreciate that the writer has an opinion, but by excluding all of the recent news where guns were used successfully in self defense he is distorting the facts to support his opinion.

    Here is a gun blog reporting on recent defensive gun use – just to balance things out.  http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/chris-dumm/nw-burglars-continue-to-not-get-it-another-burglar-killed-more-flee/

  • Barry Hirsh

    Now hear this (as if you haven’t heard it and ignored it already):

    Criminals and lunatics don’t obey laws, only sane, peaceable people do. Gun laws penalize the vast majority of the people who choose to exercise the right, and have no effect on crooks or loony toons, ergo, passing even more impotent laws is definitively INSANE.

    Presuming that folks who are anti-gun-rights aren’t so intellectually challenged that they fail to understand this, it then becomes apparent that the real reasons for wanting “stricter” laws are a personal irrational hatred for guns and the mob-mentality motivation to democratically impose that bias by the force of government. What you guys fail to realize is that our rights aren’t subject to democracy, they are inalienable. In case you don’t understand the meaning of that term, please look it up. The short version is that whether or not you like us exercising rights with which you disagree, you are legally and constitutionally powerless to stop us.

    The sooner you accept that and get on with the search for real solutions to criminality and violence, the better off all of us will be.

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