What do you think of President Obama’s initiatives to reduce gun violence?

Today, President Obama called for a ban on assault weapons, wider background checks and new restrictions on gun trafficking. He also said he would act to increase enforcement of existing gun laws. Today’s Question: What do you think of President Obama’s initiatives to reduce gun violence?

  • John

    He should be looking at the psychiatric drugs that all of these shooters have been taking.

    Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile
    shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.
    At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public, neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.)
    Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of
    aggression. Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only
    1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual numberof side effects occurring are most certainly higher.

    • Steve the Cynic

      I think you’re confusing cause and effect. Yes, that’s a question worth studying, but there’s no puzzle why mental illness and the use of psych meds are correlated. These are people who are getting treatement. From what I’ve read and heard, it seems likely that those side effects are largely due to people getting the wrong meds for their conditions (antidepressants when they’re bipolar, e.g.) or not getting the talk therapy they need to go along with the meds. The real trouble those stats point to is that we have a health care system based on extracting profits from sick people, rather than keeping the populace healthy. (F’rinstance, there’s more money to be made by doing coronary artery bypasses than by preventing heart disease in the first place.) The industry loves treating things like erectile dysfunction, but there’s not much incentive for bright young docs to go into child and adolescent psychiatry, which doesn’t pay nearly as well as other specialties.

      • John

        Stevie boy, go to the doctor and tell him/her that you have been feeling down, guess what you’ll get, drugs, and you might not kill someone but the probability that you will goes up.

        • Steve the Cynic

          Johnnie boy, that’s exactly the problem. Our health care system (so called) incentivizes providers to give people with mental illness cursory treatment and shuffle them out the door, so they can make more money off people with deeper pockets and better insurance coverage. (And that won’t change much after Obamacare is fully implemented.)

          BTW, I did that several years ago and had excellent results with the meds I got.

  • Bill

    He is a hypocrite. He is guarded by guns through the secret service, his daughters have armed guards at there school. Fienstien, who is pushing for greater gun control has armed guards. Obama uses drones to kill people daily, many innocent women and children, just isn’t reported in the mainstream media.

    Any more gun control laws will only hurt the law abiding gun owning citizen.

  • reggie

    I hope he follows Jon Stewart’s suggestion and clarifies that the 2nd amendment provides an absolute right to muskets and cannons. Beyond that, I’d like to see a clear distinction made between hunting weapons and killing weapons, with the former protected and the latter banned for civilian use. But then I’d also supported the death penalty for anyone who uses a gun in committing a crime.

    • georges

      You have a good chance of getting what you hope for, reggie, as Obama and his crowd frequently seem to be taking their cue from the fake news, like the Daily Show.

      • GregX

        georges … silly boy …
        all of the news is fake.

        • Pearly

          MPR/NPR?

          • Sue de Nim

            Every time I’ve been personally involved with something that got covered in the news, the reports got at least one detail wrong. Usually it’s not deliberate distortion, but no news outlet is 100% accurate.

          • Gary F

            Yes, even MPR/NPR.

    • Jeff

      So you would support that same idea when it comes to freedom of speech? The freedom of speech would only apply to newspapers (using pre-1800’s printing tech), along with word of mouth…no freedom of speech on TV, radio or internet. Always take your logic and apply it to another right and see if your logic still holds up…in this case it does not.

      • reggie

        Jeff, I thought everyone would understand the first sentence (and Stewart’s point) as satire, but I guess I’ll have to be clearer for the literal-minded. The point is that many things have changed since the writing of the constitution and its amendments, and maybe the mindless “originalist” arguments advanced by the NRA don’t serve us very well under modern conditions. Certainly not for the gun issue, and maybe not for others. I don’t think the technology of free speech has outstripped the protections of libel laws in quite the same way assault weapons have outstripped our ability to insure public safety.

        • Jeff

          I understand that Stewart’s point was satire…but you seemed to take the point literally…even as you described in your retort “the mindless ‘originalist’ arguments…not for the gun issue, and maybe not for others”. Even there you would suggest that freedom of speech could not “serve us very well under modern conditions”. Without originalism we have individual judges simply picking and choosing what is allowed based on their feelings rather than using thought process of those actually creating the laws.

          • reggie

            I think you vastly overestimate the potential of any individual judge to do more than raise a question about how to interpret a law, thus starting a long, tedious, ultimate good appeals process adjudicating how the Constitution remains a living document. Of all of the “straw man” arguments of the past few years, the dangers of “activist judges” is one of the least troubling.

          • Jeff

            Funny that you mention that, even through the entire appeals process on Obamacare not a single judge (even very liberal ones) considered the health insurance mandate a tax. Yet on the Supreme Court a single judge took that viewpoint and applied it as such to make the law constitutional. One single judge took one single viewpoint (completely different than the dozens of other federal judges) to make a law constitutional. That is an activist judge, under that ruling Congress could very easily pass a law requiring all individuals to own a gun or pay a fine and if you believe that Obamacare is constitutional then to maintain intellectual honesty you would have to agree a gun mandate would be just as constitutional.

          • reggie

            You’re really reaching here, Jeff. I believe the final Supreme Court vote on the Affordable Care Act was 5-4, not 1-0. Along the way, federal judges were split as the questions became more focused on the underlying Constitutional issues. That strikes me as reassuring, not threatening.

            Congress can clearly pass any laws it wishes, no matter how ridiculous (e.g., your gun ownership mandate), but I still have confidence that the checks and balances of judicial review will maintain the integrity of our system of government. You seem to lack that confidence.

          • Jeff

            I actually found the ACA (Obamacare) ruling quite disturbing. The twisted logic behind allowing the law to be constitutional was a complete stretch. It was a single judge that pushed the idea that health insurance mandate was a tax; 4 thought it was perfectly constitutional under the commerce clause and 4 thought it was completely unconstitutional. Here’s the sad part, even thought the 4 that believed in the constitutionality using the commerce clause they didn’t put forth the idea that it was constitutional using the taxing power; they simply went along with the idea so Obamacare could be constitutional. If any of those 4 judges had any courage (and/or integrity) they would have stuck to their guns and determined that Obamacare was constitutional under the commerce clause but still not a tax. But no, they are political creatures and would rather have a law they like be deemed constitutional using twisted logic (that they didn’t even believe themselves) instead of standing up for what they actually believe.

            This is overreach, now here are a list of mandates that are constitutional because they are “taxes”: mandate on eating vegetables, mandate on exercise, mandate on gun ownership and a mandate on buying GM cars. It does make me sad to see so many people willing to trade away their freedoms (the freedom to buy a product is the antithesis of freedom) in exchange for government subsidized healthcare insurance.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Writing at 9:01 am, I find it amusing to see how many people have an opinion to express before they even hear what the man has to say later this morning.

    • Steve the Cynic

      BTW, I really dislike the fact that Disqus doesn’t show the actual date and time of posts. Can something be done about that?

      • Steve: Do you mean you want to see a time stamp besides the “two hours ago,” “5 minutes ago,” etc.? Or do you not see even that information?

        • Steve the Cynic

          Yes, a time stamp. I realized as I was writing that comment at 9:01 that tomorrow it would only say “one day ago” and give no indication that I was writing before the president’s address, which is why I saw the need to start with that subordinate clause.

          • Hey! Hover your cursor over the “an hour ago” and see what happens! (Thanks, Will.)

          • Steve the Cynic

            Thanks. I’d still like to see that info at a glance, though.

          • JasonB

            I agree, I like the old version with the date and time stamp up front.

          • Gary F

            Eric, not a big fan of the new system either.

          • Steve the Cynic

            Another problem I’m having with Disqus is that the threading of replies in a high volume discussion (like today’s) can make it hard to find the newest posts, because they’re not always at the top or bottom. Other than that, I’m getting used to it.

          • Sue de Nim

            Also the need to click on “Load more comments” when there are more than 50– I don’t like that.

        • Steve the Cynic

          I’m noticing other problems with Disquss. It often happens that not all the comments are displayed, even after clicking on “Load more” (twice when there are more than 100). Sometimes a newer comment will appear when I sort them by “newest” first but not when I sort them by “oldest” first, or vice versa. Sometimes my “vote up” or “vote down” won’t stick but disappears when I refresh. These are major annoyances, and I think the confusion they cause are likely to lead to misunderstandings that could impede rational discussion. I hope there’s something that can be done about theses issues.

  • Bear

    Well the NRA may have shot themselfs in the foot. The ad they just released may make hard core gun advocates “feel” good but it have the unintended consequence of driving moderate and undecided gun owners to the other side. And, it will harden the gun-control advocate even more.
    Over 30 years in Marketing and PR and I have never seen a campaign so misguided. The NRA is out of touch with the current times and public opinion.
    Do we want the people who crafted this irresponsible and misleading campaign owning guns?

    http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2013/01/16/16543105-nra-ad-brings-obama-kids-into-gun-debate?lite

  • Wally

    Grab the guns and grab ’em now
    If Congress won’t the prez knows how
    He will do it by decree!
    So what’s that mean to you and me?
    The cops and army will have arms
    But what if you are facing harms?
    Just talk the thug out of his gun
    And if you can’t? You’d better run!

    I don’t often agree with the NRA but they got it right for calling Obama hypocrite (like Bill did here) because his daughters have armed Secret Service agents at school. And the president himself is surrounded by armed agents at all times. See an excellent cartoon at this link: http://www.gocomics.com/glennmccoy/2013/01/14

    • Paul – Duluth

      I trust an average citizen with a gun as much as I trust a thug with a gun. Yes, you should run. Pulling out a gun to fight a gun is pointless. That’s how you aggravate the situation and end up with more dead people. (Seriously, where does everyone who thinks they need a gun live that the threat of an armed gunman is so prevalent?)

      • Wally

        Where do YOU live Paul, that you would trust a thug as much as an average citizen? If “pulling out a gun to fight a gun is pointless” then we might as well disarm our military, and our police, and ourselves, and spend all that money on diplomats and negotiators so they can talk talk talk the thugs, and terrorists, and nuclear-armed megalomaniacs to death.

        • Wally

          p.s. And buy everybody track shoes so they can better run from the bad guys.

  • Mary

    It’s a step in the right direction. The US has more guns than any other nation we also have the highest gun violence in the world. There is a correlation and there’s no denying it.

    • Pearly

      Africa?

    • Steve the Cynic

      Not the highest in the word, but the highest among modern industrialized nations.

  • rev

    I support Obama’s initiatives; they’re long overdue. After reading recent articles about how the NRA quashed any & all research on guns, gun violence, gun deaths through buying off Congress, I’m disgusted with them. I own a gun and support the right to buy arms, but a universal background check and better mental health initiatives are long overdue.

  • Rick

    A generation from now, legal and policy discussions will look back and see gun control for the sham that it has always been. The real shame is that it took decades of political action, millions of dollars in litigation, and thousands of lives lost to end the preposterous idea that governments can reduce the number of victims of violent crime by first taking away their means of resistance.

    Chicago is the gun control capital of the United States. Obama even opposed the right to use guns for self-defense in the home while he was a state senator in Illinois. The reality is that the only people being denied guns under Obama’s scenario are
    law-abiding citizens. And this means criminals are beginning to understand they can carry out their misdeeds pretty much anytime, as the citizens they accost or attack have no weapons with which to fight back. As a result, Chicago is on track to have more than 500 gun-related deaths for this year alone.

    • Steve the Cynic

      Gun control worked for Australia after the Port Arthur massacre. Making comparisons state-by-state in the US is misleading, because it’s so easy to move across state lines.

      • Americans134

        Its misleading to state that gun control in Australia worked because after the ban violent crime soared and continues to this day.

        • Steve the Cynic

          That’s different from what I’ve read. Although I did read that the (American) NRA had published a lie to that effect and was rebuked by the Australian government.

  • jockamo

    Abusing little children……
    ………by exploiting them for political gain………
    …………………should be a felony.

  • Jeff

    I’m all for a law that makes sure we do background checks for person to person sales at or near gun shows (with an exception for families to purchase firearms for one another)…creating a list of mentally unstable people and criminals who should not be allowed to own guns. The other provisions are pointless, so-called “assault weapons” operate the same way as nearly every hunting rifle. Limiting clip sizes to 10 is unrealistic, many people have 12 or 15 bullet clips on their pistols including police. I wonder if police would have to follow these same rules with clip sizes and assault weapons. Also, one major thing that could be done is to eliminating “gun-free zones” since they do nothing other than disarming law-abiding citizens.

  • georges

    Obama’s reference to Ronald Reagan was a total misrepresentation.

    Reagan was asked by Sarah Brady to say something favorable about the Brady Bill, as a personal favor to Jim and her. Reagan, being always faithful to his friends, did the favor she asked of him. Reagan did not believe in gun bans, he was just being the loyal friend. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Oh, what an ugly web a Dem weaves, when at first a Lib practices to deceive………

    • Steve the Cynic

      You’re saying Reagan lied about his opinion on a public policy matter as a favor to a friend?

  • JasonB

    If it works, fine. But I wonder how any of these new rules would have prevented the Sandy Hook shootings. Background checks on purchasers and laws will not completely stop irresponsible people from allowing second parties (ie: the son of the gun owner) access to guns.

  • Gary F

    I’d hate to be a doctor these days. It will be interesting to see what malpractice insurance will cost now that doctors will have to police for guns for the Obama Regime.

  • Fred

    Even police officers don’t carry guns with clips bigger then 7 AFAIK. Criminals take you by surprise, no way are you going to be carrying some giant gun in your pocket. Even regular smaller pistols are hard to get out if you are attacked by a criminal, assuming you are even carrying it around.

    Seriously, unless federal agents are storming your compound, or the zombie apocalypse happens, there will almost no chance for anyone to legally and morally need/use some 30 clip gun.

    And if you are needing/using this gun in a crazy firefight straight out of some action flick, in real life, the odds of someone getting caught in the crossfires or hit by a stray bullet can be pretty good.

  • CJ

    I can’t believe that lame criticism of Obama’s kids having police protection and other kids don’t is getting any traction at all. Like you can’t tell the difference between the potential threat to the high profile family of a president as opposed to Joe Anybody’s kids at the local school. Is anyone taking this obvious and idiotic attempt to derail an actual conversation about gun safety in the schools seriously?

    • georges

      Certainly it is true, CJ, that the children of the president need protection, as they are “high profile”, and Joe Anybody’s kids are not.
      But, the fact is, it is Joe Anybody’s kids that are getting killed, not the kids of the president.
      Therefore, CJ, it is obvious that protecting children with armed guards works………..and works very well.
      Welcome aboard the conservative wisdom train.

  • Gary F

    Just got a new e-mail from cheaper than dirt dot com. They have a big sale on magazines!

  • Fred

    Guns in self defense should be used for threat, not actually killing people. And even one bullet is enough to convince someone else to put down their weapon and surrender.

    Also you hear this, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, so lets just get the guns to the right people because the criminals will have guns anyway. Well even criminals find it hard to get guns in a place like Japan, where gun control is very strong. If you restrict a gun type, to the point where it isn’t even being manufactured there, it won’t matter of the criminals respect the law.

    And you might say the right people, but just about anyone carrying a gun, might say gun down a couple of teens for trespassing for purposes of theft or some other castle defense cause. And plenty of unstable people out there, we can’t identify them all no matter how much we try. Even using guns against people for the best reasons and training can go wrong.

    And right to defense, but what about those who can’t afford guns, or afford assault rifles, does that mean we should buy all those without criminal or mental health records guns, since these are supposedly so needed to defend ourselves. ‘Who needs police, I got a gun’.

    All these “proper citizens” defending themselves with guns, when does it cross into vigilantism, judge, jury and *BANG*. all rolled into one NRA citizen?

  • Regnar James

    Ban psychiatric drugs.
    BHO was salivating to get this chance to trash our constitution even more.

  • Jim G

    Finally, President Obama is attempting to deal with the 32,000 gun deaths that occur in this country each year. I support his initiatives and the administrative tightening of regulation. Universal background checks and a 10 round max for clips are good starting points. The real reform will come only with action from Congress and specifically the House. Write letters and call your representatives if you care about reducing gun deaths.

    • Gary F

      I didn’t see much as substantial in his address, except that doctor’s malpractice rates will increase because they are the new gun police.

      • Jim G

        Mental health professional needs; the numbers of clinicians, training, and malpractice law will need to change.The current mental health laws have allowed the mentally disordered to treat themselves with drugs of their own choosing. Then when their self-medication doesn’t work, they commit suicide. A few will commit mass murder first. Of course this gun violence has many causes and facets. I’d compare it to a jigsaw puzzle, where the NRA periodically comes along and shakes the table.

    • georges

      The number of murders, using firearms, is about 10K per year, not 32,000.
      This is about murders, not accidents or suicides. Nice try, JimG, but tis better to stay on subject than bear false witness…….
      Har

      • Jim G

        If you’ve had a family member commit suicide with a gun like I have, you include them. I lost my sense of humor about gun deaths then and it’s been pronounced “dead” with the Sandy Hook Slaughter of Innocents. I respectfully request you keep your Hars to yourself.

        • georges

          What may have happened in your private life does not affect what the topic here is about. It is about murders, not suicide or accidents, therefore, the 32,000 figure is inappropriate. The 10,000 number should be used.

          To attempt to make a rational discussion of policy into a battle of “feelings” is contrary to what we do here. We calmly and intelligently discuss issues of the day.

          I don’t talk about myself. But if I did, I could talk about my friend, who hung himself, and my feelings about it. But I do not have an inordinate dislike of belts.

          Or, I could mention how I used a firearm to stop a home invasion (similar to Little Falls), how it was the correct, just, and legal thing to do, and saved the innocents. But, as I never talk about myself, I will let it go, and request that we keep this on an intellectual level, without feelings being involved.

          • Jim G

            Life experience is what life is all about. You learn from life, if you don’t, you don’t lead a successful life for long. I’ll just refuse to follow your “intellectual” rule here. It runs counter to my “life- experience” rule.

          • georges

            What one learns by living needs to follow the facts logically, or it is worthless. For instance, persuant to today’s question, one could say that if these types of murderers did not have access to rifles with large capacity magazines, then more people would be alive today, enjoying life (Biden did say this, I believe).
            But, does it follow logically? No, it does not, if you study the facts, you will find that most likely more people would have been killed by these murderers.
            Likewise, personal antedote is irrelevant to a general discussion. If you tell me Marcy ate a chocolate and broke a tooth, I have learned something specific about Marcy, perhaps, but I have learned nothing of general knowledge. Gossip has its place, I guess, but that place is not in rational discussion.
            This is why decision by conference call does not produce viable action.

          • Jim G

            The question was ” What do you think of President Obama’s initiatives to reduce gun violence?”

            I answered the question of what I thought about the President’s initiatives. I don’t have to have your approval for my feelings or thoughts.

            Here are some facts so you don’t need to rely on generalizations.
            In 2011 –
            Total Gun Deaths -32,163
            Gun Homicides- 11,101
            Gun Suicides – 19,766

            These numbers only make sense to a living observer. If you are one of these statistics, the only number that matters is 1.

          • Sue de Nim

            Belittling and demeaning people who disagree with you is your idea of how to “calmy and intelligently discuss the issues of the day”? Har!

          • georges

            Ahhhhhhh…….Sue. How ya doin’?
            Where do you see any “belittling and demeaning” things in my post?

          • Sue de Nim

            Not in the one I first replied to, but often previously, and now in this one. Are you really that blind to how you come across?

          • georges

            I’ll take that, sue, to mean that you can’t find any B & D in my posts, either. If you could, I don’t think you would be too bashful to point them out. Har

          • Sue de Nim

            Really, you don’t see it? It’s so obvious to this observer that I thought it was intentional. Of course, the worst examples are among those posts of yours that got removed, so it would be hard to cite them. I’ll try to help you out by calling it to your attention in the future.

            So, here’s the first example: “Ahhhhhhh…….Sue. How ya doin’?” I know for a fact that you don’t give a rip how I’m doin’. Between that feigned familiarity and that “Ahhhhhhh,” your note comes across as demeaningly patronizing.

          • georges

            Sorry, sue, but I genuinely care about your well being. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t ask. So…..you can’t find any B & D in my posts, either?

          • Sue de Nim

            You genuinely care? I’m sure you want to believe that about yourself, but you’re not conveying it effectively. You as much as said in your comments today that feelings are irrelevant. As I said, some of the prime examples of your “B & D” were in notes that got pulled. A couple of those were ones I had flagged, and apparently the moderator agreed with me. You might try talking to others the way you’d want them to talk to you (variation on the Golden Rule, doncha know).

          • georges

            Now, Sue, you know I didn’t say feelings are irrelevant. Just that they are irrelevant to a conversation/debate about an issue of public policy. You cannot run a country, or a company, or a family unit……on feelings. They must be operated on logical, rational thought. That’s why we have debate……..in order to come up with the proper logical answer to a problem. Those who are in the debate just to put forth their own feelings on the matter are not serious about solving the problem, and therefore have nothing to add to the conversation.
            Good to see that you also cannot find any B & D in my posts.

          • Sue de Nim

            As I said, I did find examples and flagged them as inappropriate, and they were wisely removed. Among those still posted is the one 10 days ago where you decried the rise of “female values” and the decline of “male values.” If you don’t see that as belittling women, you have a huge blind spot. And do you deny that you have often called others in these forums “immature” and “genetically inferior” while claiming to be “wise” and “brilliant” and boasting of your supposedly superior intellect (sometimes under your other screen name, “jockamo”)? You often claim, in phraseology that sounds like gloating, to have won a “battle of wits” when you clearly have done no such thing, except in your own imagination. You use “liberal” as a virtual curse word. You aren’t the only one doing these things, but you’re the worst. You are an emotional bully, and I’ve had enough of you.

          • georges

            If you, sue, think that I am the worst, then you understand that I am the best at what I do, which is to objectively assess the facts and come up with the right answer to the problem. Compliment accepted.

            Now, what I said about male & female values is unqestionably true. I feel bad that the truth is painful, but if one was objective rather than feelings-driven, one would enjoy the truth instead of feeling pain when it is encountered.

            The “diversity” of more females in Congress was the question. Some answered that diversity of opinion is good….the more diversity the better. But is that actually true?

            We have all seen the news stories where a chess Grand Master takes on 30 ordinary chess players at the same time. Tables are arrainged in a big square, each player sits around the outside with a chess board in front of him, and the Grand Master is inside the square, just walking from game to game, making a quick move at each, and dispatching all the lesser players in short order. And, it wouldn’t matter if there were 300 of the lessers…….or 3 million……the result would be the same. The Grand Master would win every time, no matter how many there were. You see, mediocrity cannot surpass superiority, no matter how much mediocrity is amassed.

            So much for diversity.

            By the way, there are 1,380 living Grand Masters. 1,353 are males, 27 are females. And, they had to lower the requirements in order to get that many females. That’s right, females get Grand Master status without meeting the high standards males have to meet.

            This is true not only in Chess, but most endevours, these days, especially in Liberal Nation.

            Things are always easier for females. They are given gifts.

            Females are given preference in Small Business Loans. So much so that men are virtually unable to secure them at all.

            Females are given everything in a divorce, children, house, cars……everything. Illegally.

            Females are given a smaller basketball, as a smaller basketball is easier to put through the hoop.

            Females get to tee off in golf closer to the hole.
            A few years ago, Annika Sorenstam, probably the best female golfer ever, announced she wanted to play in the U.S. Open. I was all for it. She was allowed to play….and missed the cut. The best female ever to play, couldn’t make the cut against the guys.

            Billy Jean King once played, and beat, a man. The old time feminists still brag about it to this day. Trouble is, the guy she beat, Bobby Riggs, was a 59 year old has been never really was, while she was the best female player of all time and in her prime. Beating an old stumblebum was not any big deal. King would have been soundly beaten at that time by any one of the 300 top men. Probably 500.
            The court forced the fire departments to accept a female who ranked 150th on the list of applicants after testing, in affirative action preference over the 149 men that scored ahead of her, even though she couldn’t carry a person out of a burning building.
            And, the insanity goes on. When do females intend to stand up and say, “Enough! I don’t want to be treated like I am inept anymore! I want to be evaluated on the same basis as the men are.”
            You see, I have no problem with a woman being a fireperson, or a congressperson, or a NFL quarterback. If she can compete on an equal basis and WIN the job fairly, I am all for her. But if she cheats to get there, it devalues our whole country, our society.

          • Sue de Nim

            Sorry, but any man who believes “Things are always easier for females” has no credibility.

          • Steve the Cynic

            Give it up, Sue. The man is clearly lacking in emotional intelligence. He probably has no clue how to deal with his own feelings and so fears them, and that’s why he sneers at the feelings of others. He’s probably lonely, too. I can’t imagine any woman wanting to have anything to do with him. I feel sorry for any female relatives he may have.

          • Sue de Nim

            Now, now!

          • georges

            Careful with the libelous mendacity. Eric doesn’t like that stuff anymore. It will be a lucky day, though, if he pulls it, as it constitutes criminal harassment. The courts are coming down hard these days on such cyber stalking
            A word to the wise……..

          • Steve the Cynic

            Take the beam out of your own eye first!

      • Steve the Cynic

        The stats on accidents and suicides are relevant to this topic. Gun accidents only happen when there are guns around. Suicide is more likely if lethal means are readily at hand. (BTW, that’s the main reason for keeping guns out of the hands of the seriously mentally ill. It’s not that they might kill someone else, so much as they might kill themselves.)

  • Ann M

    Does it solve anything? The Sandy Hook killer didn’t buy the guns. Couldn’t a person kill quite a few people with a couple of regular guns that are not assault weapons?Are these white men who are killing people on drugs/medications?Our society has tried to stop gang violence. We need to find out more about other types of violence.It is ironic that the Hollywood industry that supports Obama is advertising a new movie called ” A Bullet to the Head.”

  • gc

    I support the initiatives he has proposed fully. I never understood why the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire in the first place. Also, mandatory criminal background checks seems like a no brainer to me. Way to go Obama!

  • Pam

    If you purchase an assault weapon, its purpose is to inflict bodily harm to another human being, consciously or unconsciously you are condoning its use. I think the use of such weapons were design to use in wartime. The national registry could be used to call up the owners of these weapons to serve in the army during wartime. Isn’t this truly the intent of the second amendment?

  • Steve the Cynic

    There’s almost no point in having online discussions about this topic. Most people are too susceptible to confirmation bias for any cogent reasoning to have any significant effect.

  • georges

    Now, 100 years ago, the murder rate in the U.S.A. was 50% higher than it is now. And the “assult rifle” did not exist at that time.
    In the 1970’s and 80’s, the murder rate was more than 100% higher than it is now. That nice guy Jimmy Carter didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. He had other fish to fry, I guess. Har

  • Julie

    It’s a good start. Now we need to get Congress on board with the plan! Hopefully a majority of our legislators will be able see that this is heading the right direction. Unfortunately, I live in the 6th Dist and Michele Bachmann has been strangely silent on the issue. I hope she is listening to her constituents and not the NRA.

  • Clark

    Hate guns so though I don’t care much for obama, in this area I agree with his proposls. I have been held up 3 times in my life so perhaps when a gun is pointed at your noggin, you develop a different attitude. Yes, the NRA leadership, from my vantage point are out of control.

  • Paul – Duluth

    Yes! It’s about time the government steps up to not only admit that there is a problem, but immediately sets new standards to help fix the problem. This is the way things should be done!

  • Fink

    They are not fixing the root cause in preventing the shooing sprees. And, if 40% of guns are acquired without a background check anyway, how much deterrance from those buyers would really happen by inacting these initiatives? And just how does the President plan on prooving the intentions of guy purchasers?? Attempting to distract us from the real initiative of disarming us all with exploiting children and elaborate drama speeches are wasting time that could be spent finding the real root cause and fixing it. Why strengthen background checks when it is not those people that are the wreckless shooters? Schools already have emergency drills and resources available to protect their kids. Behavior health professionals already have protocal in place for how to handle reporting on threats of violence. More money is not needed on these things. Video games are not the root cause for this occurance/incident. Mr. President, stop trying to distract Congress like you do the American people, by pointing the finger toward scapegoating gimmicks like video games. Darn straight we will oppose even the most modest gun safety measures when they do not fix the real root cause of the problem. Remember to put the past behind us, even if it was an hour ago. Focus on what we do have control over at the present moment, gather the real facts, and find the real root cause to find the solution. And if congress is not “acting”, Mr. President, you are not listening.

    • Steve the Cynic

      It’s hard to “gather the real facts” when the CDC is prohibited from studying the issue.

      • georges

        It’s hard to gather the real facts when the CDC is involved, as the CDC is an anti-firearm, anti-2nd amendment activist organization, and not the objective, neutral, science-based truth seeker it should be.
        The CDC is now trotting out the same old falsifications it used 20 years ago to enable the passage of the Brady Bill.
        Such as: A gun in the home is more likely to harm someone in the family than an intruder.
        Wow……stunning revelation. In other amazing news:
        The carpet in the upstairs hallway is much more likely to trip a member of the family than a stranger.
        The automobile in the garage is more likely to harm a member of the family than someone else.
        The basement stairway is much more likely to break the hip of a family member than a home invader.
        If the flue gets plugged up, a family member is much more likely to die from carbon monoxide poisoning than someone who is not a member of that family.
        The knives in the kitchen drawer are more likely to cut a family member than the people across the street.
        Amazing……..but true.
        The CDC…….using your money to illegally advocate for the Democrat Party, and thereby making itself a joke.
        Har

        • Steve the Cynic

          Bovine feces!

  • Americans134

    I am not a gun owner or advocate in any way and have no wish to ever own one. With that said its very sad that a tragedy like Sandy Hook can cause people to rely on missinformation. The real issue that people should be looking at is the perpetual misuse of statistical information to curve policy. Most crimes commited with a gun between people who are not associated are almost always done with illegal firearms. Crime stats for other countries are always used without the comparison of densley populated areas. Just like the Europe comparison u always hear in which they leave out the fact we have more cities over 250K. OR what about violent crime in decent the past 20 years without policy changes in regards to univeral registration. Cant overlook the fact that many other weapons well surpass gun deaths by a large amount. Or how about the facts that out of all the death in america guns play a small part and a good amount are self inflicted gunshots. These are just all examples of what people seem to overlook in the big picture of things. The guns used at Sandy Hook were stolen, other tragedies were also used with black market supplies. And not all happen through illegel weapon exchanges but most do. The big picture here is not whether we should have restrictions because we all know we need some restrictions. The big picture is that our rights as americans are stripped away through executive order, misinformation, and occasionally flat out lies. I feel for Sandy Hook and all who have had tragedy from gun violence. But i will leave it on this note, on the same morning of Sandy Hook, a man entered a school just like that one in China, no gun just a nife.

    • Steve the Cynic

      And that guy in China wasn’t able to kill anybody with that knife, was he?

      • Americans134

        Oh sorry didnt realize 23 Children being stabbed doesnt matter to you. My point has obviously gone too far over your head.

        • Steve the Cynic

          But they all survived. Would that be true if the assailant had had an AR15 with with several high capacity clips?

          • georges

            If the assailant had used gasoline, either the guy at Sandy Hook or the guy in China, a huge death number would have been achieved. It has been proven, all around the World, that gasoline is a far better mass murder tool than firearms or knives. Anyone for establishing Gasoline Free Zones?

          • Steve the Cynic

            Unlike semiautomatic weapons with high capacity ammo clips, things like gasoline and knives have uses other than killing people. And gasoline is much more unwieldy as a weapon than an AR15.

          • georges

            Wrong on both counts.

            Gasoline is much easier to use to murder high numbers of people than any firearm is.

            And, semi-auto firearms with high cap mags are used to hunt, target practice, target competitions, plinking, and just plain fun.

            Millions of coyotes, prairie dogs, woodchucks, other varmits, etc., now deceased by the judicious use of semi-autos with high caps, might wish it was otherwise. But it isn’t.

          • Steve the Cynic

            Gasoline is harder to aim than a gun is. And if I wanted to murder a large number of people, my first idea would not be to lug a gas can to my target and ignite it.

            As for using those weapons for hunting varmints, do you really think people would buy them if that’s all they were going to be used for? More likely, people who enjoy owning extremely deadly weapons, in the absence of actual threats from human assailants they might kill, go looking for legitimate ways to use them (much like the owner of a 4WD vehicle deliberatly taking rough backroads, just to show they can).

          • georges

            Gasoline does not need to be aimed. Nor does it need to be lugged around in a can. So, wrong on 2 more counts.
            Of course people would, and do, buy them for hunting and target sports, without any intention of ever commiting mass murder.
            The rise of these arms in popularity comes from the end of the Vietnam war. Returning soldiers were used to them, liked them, knew of their accuracy first hand, so bought the civilian versions for hunting and target fun. Works out fine. Your mention of the 4WD illustrates the point. They look for LEGITIMATE ways to have fun with their possessions. Not illegal ways.

          • Steve the Cynic

            So, apparently you know how to commit mass murder with a gallon of gasoline. Care to share your secret?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Two things that bother me about the president’s speech today. First, I knew immediately that having those kids there would elicit charges of manipulation, which would distract from the merits of the ideas. Second, any time there’s talk of gun control, it’s good for business for the gun industry. It’s an industry that thrives on fear-mongering and benefits from conspiracy theories. The more anxiety people have about gun violence, the more guns people buy, and the more guns there are in circulation, the more anxiety there will be about gun violence. It’s a vicious circle, like Sylvester McMonkey McBean and the Sneetches.

  • Scott

    It will not stop the chain in a person’s life that puts them at the last link.
    Have background checks on your cable & internet so people who should not, do not, download porn. Have background checks before people buy video games that are nothing more than special ops. training videos.
    We are in a sick society. What would stop someone from throwing pipe bombs. It is sad to say, but we do need more armed guards.

  • Winston Kaehler

    I was very disappointed listening to the Daily Circuit on Wednesday, Jan. 16, about 11:45 a.m. A caller who works at a Minnesota institution housing those who have been convicted of crimes but ruled insane commented that the media encourages violent crimes by publicizing the perpetrators and giving them the sense of power that they so desperately lack and crave. Kathy Wurzer and the “expert” guests on the program brushed off his comment as irrelevant and impractical, an infringement on First Amendment rights, totally missing his point. In fact he was spot-on. Just as the media should not publish pictures of mangled bodies at an accident scene or (as a rule) engage in other kinds of yellow journalism, they should not be fueling the fires of perverted violence in our society by giving those who suffer from feelings of gross inadequacy, impotence, or hostility the idea that the best or only way to be important is to commit acts of heinous violence. I would really appreciate this comment being brought to the attention of Ms. Wurzer and her guests on that program. The caller had much better first-hand knowledge of the problem than they did. Thank you.

  • Sue de Nim

    Again I ask: Why should I have to carry a gun to protect myself from gun violence?

    • georges

      You don’t have to, Sue. But you can choose to. It may not be wise for you to do so, but it is wise for a great many folks. An armed society is a polite society. At least, it is more polite than a society in which the citizens are not allowed to protect themselves.

      • Steve the Cynic

        I don’t know. I think there’s something inherently impolite about carrying a deadly weapon in public. Not that impolite is the same as bad. Sometimes what’s necessary is not what’s polite, and demands for politeness are sometimes used to stiffle calls for redress of injustice.

        But let’s examine that aphorism, “An armed society is a polite society.” First of all, I don’t think the evidence bears that out. The Old West was notoriously impolite. Second, consider the premise. If I go about in an armed society, I’m motivated to be polite, why? Because someone might kill me if I’m not? Because if I say something untoward, someone might take offense and escalate the conflict to the point where I might have to use deadly force to defend myself? Is that kind of fear-based politeness really a good thing? Is that really the kind of society you want to live in?

        • georges

          Yes.

          You see, for the purposes of this discussion, there are 3 types of people.

          The first group are the decent foks, those with morals and a conscience, who would do good deeds and live right whether there are any laws or not. These people will be polite no matter what. They compose about 30% of our population.

          The second bunch is the bad. The amoral, the conscienceless, the anti-social, the monumentally greedy, those who live for their own feelings, nothing more, nothing less. These people will always do exactly what they want to do, without regard to any laws or other conventions of civilized society. They are about 10% of us.

          The other 60% are what we are interested in here. They are the ones who don’t rob banks and don’t kill anyone because they don’t want to go to prison, or get killed themselves. These are the ones who will be “polite” if they know lots of people are ready, willing and able to keep them in line. Conversely, if they know no one will stop them, no one is legally able to stop them because of restrictive laws that work against the decent and for the criminal, they will frequently cross the line into criminal activity.
          Those are the only 2 choices we have. Either the citizens have the upper hand, or the criminals do. There is no modern day Eden where everyone lives in hippie happiness, and there is no need for laws, guns, personal property, etc., love and joy is everywhere.
          Doesn’t exist. And will not exist, no matter what. Therefore, the politeness we attain by packin’ is all to the good side of the ledger.

  • Roy Wehking

    The question needs to be about how we protect our kids. Making it about guns is not going to solve the problem. It is taking us seriously off track.

  • Sonja

    I can’t figure out what background checks would do unless the person is a felon. Are we all going to be evaluated by a psychiatrist? But I do support banning large magazines.

  • Roy Wehking

    It is sad to believe guns are the problem, while ignoring the real problem, which is certain people.