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What to Do About Guns?

In the aftermath of two mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, Bay Area lawmakers and gun rights activists disagree on how to proceed.

 

The  of six people over the weekend at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin was the second mass-murder committed using firearms in the United States within two weeks. The temple shooting followed in mid-July which killed 12 people and wounded nearly 60.

The two recent attacks have raised the question of how best to prevent incidents such as these from occurring in the future.

California Democratic lawmakers such as Sen. Leland Yee contend that the best way to prevent mass shootings is by creating stricter regulations on the purchase of weapons, particularly assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons which have the potential to exert the greatest damage.

Yee recently introduced , a bill to limit the damage that can be caused by semi-automatic weapons and assault weapons. The intent, Yee says, is to prevent weapons from being easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.

Join this conversation in about the potential ban on the "bullet button" Yee's bill could bring.

“While most gun owners are law-abiding, it is a fact that such weapons are more likely to be used to kill an innocent person than used in self-defense," Yee said. "One only needs to look at England, Japan, and other nations with strict gun access to see that these types of gun control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides."

His bill has recently gained support from other Democratic politicians including Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Adam Keigwin, Senator Yee’s spokesperson, added that this is only one of many steps needed to reduce gun violence.

Other steps needed, according to Keigwin, include mandatory psychological treatment such as anti-depressant drugs, which would decrease the likelihood of a person in a volatile state from committing a violent crime.

Keigwin stressed that while Democratic lawmakers such as Yee support second-amendment rights including ownership of hunting rifles and other single-shot weapons, "the type of weapons on the market today are too harmful to be available to anyone," he said.

“Our founding fathers could not have imagined the weapons that exist today,” Keigwin added.

Gun rights activists such as Scott Jackson strongly disagree with the regulatory approach being pursued by Democrats.

According to Jackson, the chief instructor for the Bay Area Firearms Training Group, blaming guns for mass killings is akin to blaming cars for vehicle accidents.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” said Jackson.

Jackson stressed that psychoactive drugs are actually the cause of mass murders, rather than the solution.

“Every horrific crime is because people are on anti-depressants and psychoactive drugs,” Jackson said, adding that both the shooters in Colorado and Wisconsin were on such drugs during the time of the shooting.

Jackson contends that the reason drugs are framed as the solution rather than the problem is due to the money in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Pharmaceutical companies are liars and corrupt. They buy off senators and congressmen,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the ideal solution to gun violence is two-fold.

First, Jackson claims that allowing concealed weapons will act as a deterrent to potential shooters.

Jackson points out an example of a church shooting in which, after the first shot was fired from the shooter, an armed parishioner returned fire, killing the shooter and potentially preventing a massacre.

Second, Jackson says media outlets must refrain from publicizing information about the shooters, as it encourages copy-cat killing.

Jackson offered Canada as an example, where the media does not publish information about shooters; rather they are discretely tried and sent to prison.

“We have to stop making an idol of these kind of people,” said Jackson.

Both Yee and Jackson point to statistics on how their ideas of increased regulations or decreased regulations respectively can decrease homicide rates substantially.

 

Which solution do you agree with? Or do you disagree with both? Share your thoughts in the comments, and see our article on , where you can vote in our poll and join the conversation already taking place.

 

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d wave August 10, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Say Dave, Have you ever used a parachute when flying? i fly in small planes and we don't even carry a chute - I fly business and have never seen one on a passenger jet. Is our life so full of peril that every transit from point A to point B has to be in fear of falling out of the sky, of being assaulted? = my grand parents on both sides lived in northern california around 1910 and did not have a lock on their door, great uncle owned a duck club. i understand why they had guns. = people in other countries can ride trains and go to games without the constant angst of assault that we have in the states. in the US we are 20 x more likely to be the victim of a gun incident (brady). we have a choice whether to live in a constant state of stress and fear or in a civil society where a tap on the back is surely a kind gesture from a friend and never construed as an assault on my person. = the color of your parachute is bright red. is that the way we want to live? is this /might makes right/ the world we want to leave for our offspring? ours is a democracy - and so the majority forces will determine. i vote not.
Ben Toy August 10, 2012 at 08:57 PM
The 2nd Amendment was written just after a war to separate from England and was to insure that the public was armed in case this 'NEW' government ever became unbearable to the public. I do NOT believe that at that time, the intent was to arm against home burglars/etc.....just an ancillary benefit Some have argued that it was for flintlocks and now we have assault rifles...well back then, flintlocks were the latest and greatest...so comparing wrong eras technologies Read the news of the latest civil strife 'over there' and then noodle that those dictators all took away and/or controlled access to any firearms for the public. That is what the 2nd Amendment is all about. Most lose sight of the fact that there are other in-animate object perfectly capable of killing/maiming...albeit not as efficient as a firearm. So if firearms are to be demonized for their ability to kill, why not knives/baseball bats/poison/bow-arrow/etc ? A crazy person bent on killing will kill some day and it boils down to the efficiency of their choice of in-animate object. I prefer to deal with that 'person' and try to either fix that person or jail that person, but in our society...it is an after the fact scenario instead of being proactive. "....... ours is a democracy - and so the majority forces will determine. i vote not....." Agree, but I vote yes to the 2nd Amendment....allow the public to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, but control gun ownership
Ben Toy August 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Morning reading found this article in Businessweek and is spot on this thread's topic and my own opinion that it is NOT the gun's fault, but the person's fault...but they do go away from treating the person to banning or limiting the in-animate object, which is okay with me too as long as they keep with the 2nd Amendment rights Title of that article and the link below "....Doctors target gun violence as a social disease..." http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-11/doctors-target-gun-violence-as-a-social-disease
Ben Toy September 18, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Another news article on the topic of guns and societal laws governing ownership of guns... Many reference England as their example of tough gun laws...so tough that their own police are forbidden to carry guns...unless some sort of specific situation arises This article talks about two policewomen who were killed (murdered) recently in England. They were unarmed, as mandated by their gun laws Goes to one of the comments see all the time in reference to guns..."...out law guns and only criminals will have guns...." British fugitive shoots dead two unarmed policewomen http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-britain-police-shooting-idUSBRE88H0UA20120918 (Reuters) - One of Britain's most wanted fugitives killed two unarmed policewomen on Tuesday in a gun and grenade ambush, police said, killings which are likely to reignite a long-running debate over whether British officers should carry guns. Police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 26, were gunned down in a hail of bullets after they responded to a hoax call about a burglary in the northern English city of Manchester.
David October 16, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Yee said. "One only needs to look at England, Japan, and other nations with strict gun access to see that these types of gun control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides." -------------- Yea, Lee, so by that chain of thought...if we (you) outlaw cars, the driving fatality rate would plummet. Genius. Please move to England or Japan if you admire those places so much and leave us law-biding citizens alone.

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