Let me start by saying I’m a gun owner, an Ohio CCW permit holder and the father of three young children.   And the events in Connecticut today DO NOT leave me conflicted.

When I hear that 20 innocent children are slaughtered by some nutjob out east, the first thing that crosses my mind is not: “holy crap!  They are coming for my guns.”  It’s: “what can we do to prevent this from happening ever again.”

The last time we had a serious conversation about guns in our country was the early 90’s when conservative icon Ronald Reagan, who survived an assassination attempt outside a DC hotel, came out in support of the Brady Bill.   Reagan’s support changed the minds of many Republicans who ended up voting for the bill – including our current governor John Kasich.

To be clear, I’m not (necessarily) proposing a gun ban, or adding security guards to schools, or locking up everyone who seems a little bit “off”.  I’m not saying we should arm grade school teachers or put metal detectors in the entrance of every kindergarten or add more “God” to our schools.

To be quite honest, like the rest of America, I don’t know the answer, but I do know that we need to do SOMETHING.

Like any problem that needs to be solved, the first step is actually admitting there IS a problem.   And until we get past that step, we are doomed to repeat today’s events ad infinitum.


  • Beat me to the punch, Joe. I may revisit my proposed regulation scheme here on PB, but at the very least I hope we have a serious discussion.

  • While I don’t own a gun, and do not hunt, I am close to some who do, and I accept the fact that on this subject, as in so many areas, reasonable people may differ. The conversation which has begun is one we must have, as we seek to change a culture in which violence is so often woven into games, movies, and television shows in ways that desensitizes us all (especially boys and young men, who are the target audience — and what a horribly ironic phrase that is). News reports say that the gunman’s mother was the owner of these legally purchased weapons. This is not the first time that someone other than the purchaser has gained access to the guns and killed family members and others. Almost daily we hear of children accidentally killing siblings in play, and the horrific behavior of this disturbed young man, following so quickly on the shootings at the Clackamas mall in Oregon, the deaths in a movie theater in Colorado, a mosque near Milwaukee, and too many more in this, worst year ever for such incidents, we need to ask questions. Why would someone feel she needed such weapons at home? To me they sounded like far more than one needs for self defense or hunting. What was she afraid of? What makes so many of us believe that we need an arsenal at home?

  • The NRA, a longtime member and monetary supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was originally founded in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” Today, the powerful NRA works through corporate-backed ALEC to write and promote many other conservative laws that have nothing to do with gun control, such as voter ID and immigration laws. ALEC and its sponsors, like the NRA, pull the strings of the GOP, and the only way we can have an honest conversation about gun violence is to first get our Republican legislators to cut their ties with the puppet-masters.

  • My question: Is it finally time to have an honest conversation about mental health?

  • DublinIrishBob

    Yes, but not as a distraction or diversion from gun issues.

  • JLM452

    Good suggestion. As someone who spent nearly 32 years in the mental health field, I can relate that research for mental health is woefully under funded. From current news reports it may be that the perpetrator in question suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, wherein the person has a great deal of difficulty with social relationships and faulty control mechanism for expressing anger. (I am not making excuses, just looking for answers). Unfortunately, he also had access to weapons. Unbelievably sad.

  • namvetted68

    La Pierre doesn’t speak for most NRA members when it comes to gun control. By a two to one margin NRA members think that there should be more gun control in place right now. It’s the cowardly politicians who have done nothing to change the laws on gun control.

  • The majority of NRA members may favor more gun control, but by allowing CEO Wayne LaPierre to have such extreme power over their organization, they are as guilty as the cowardly politicians. Get rid of the guy!

  • JLM452

    I concur. Television, movies and especially video games contain violent content to such a degree that desensitization takes place.

  • dmoore2222

    There is not a single incident where an Aspbergers person has perpetrated ANY type of mass murder. And to suggest that this would be the case is to further stigmatize people who already have a very difficult time in life. They are not by nature violent people and “difficulty with social relationships” in no way means they are disposed to violence. There’s a ton of literature available regarding Aspbergers if you’re willing to inform yourself.

  • JLM452

    Please don’t misunderstand. I was not trying to disparage or label those with Apsperger’s and I’m sorry if I gave that impression. You are correct, I am not well versed in Asperger’s. I was just trying, as I stated, to look for possible answers. I apologize.

  • athenap

    Fox News’d be my off-the-cuff guess. The NRA, though, probably takes the lead in this. All they have to do is make people scared enough to believe a gun will keep them safe. Cha-ching!

    Sell the fear, and the guns sell themselves.

  • athenap

    I would be very happy if you had to demonstrate the same level of responsibility to own and operate a firearm as you do a car.

    –Take a class and a hands-on practicum.

    –Qualify for a license via a written test and a practical field test presided over by a trained enforcement officer (written test to maybe include one or two “rorschach test” questions). Demonstrate that you know the safe and proper handling, care, and use of your firearm.

    –Renew that license every time you move to a different state, or every year or two

    –Pass a vision test (this should be a no-brainer)

    –Carry insurance against the liability that your dangerous weapon may be used in an incident that causes bodily harm or property damage to someone else.

    –And maybe pass a physical. Not because you need to be fit to fire a gun, but in this way, we might be able to peg two clay pigeons with one stone and take care of some of the obesity problem in this country.

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