Posted by Wallace, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:27 am
Colombine had guards and security cameras. That didn't work. (Pre-empting the whackos who think we should have guns in schools) Last week, an armed school guard left his loaded gun in a bathroom; gun and belt draped over the toilet. I guess he was temporarily an UNarmed guard.
Guns kill kids.
A home with guns is 7 times more likely to have the guns used on the people that live there.
Ban assault weapons and high capacity clips/magazines. Background checks on ALL sales and transfers. Remove the liability protection on dealers, brokers, importers and manufacturers.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to..."
Posted by lock down, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:36 am
This morning's "code red" lockdown has expanded to Homestead High School and West Valley Elementary School as well as Cupertino Middle School. A man with a gun was seen on campus. Best wishes to the kids.
Posted by smoke and mirrors, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:38 am
I think a certain amount of the posturing on gun control at the national level is for show by politicians who love the media spotlight and public adulation; propose things to appeal to the public that have no chance of passing Congress. Give me a lot of free press as I plan my next campaign. Wink, wink. Indeed, let's just see what really comes to pass. National news reports indicate the majority of federal officials, representatives, etc. in the (paid) pocket of the NRA and other gun lobbyists and commerical interests (it is apparently a HUGE commercial business).
I don't own a gun and am stunned at the tremendous number and variety out there in America.
I am for decisive gun control measures, especially MAJOR increased penalties on those who commit crimes with guns. The type of gun doesn't matter. Guns should be locked up in the home and if they are found not to be, the owner should be penalized. These are meaningful approaches, as opposed to fawning over granstanding national politicians who have been in office and could have done a LOT by this time on gun control, after all!
I also recommend adding your voice to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the organization started recently by former Rep.Gabby Giffords and her husband.She knows what she's talking about.
Posted by KP, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm
I preface this with the fact that I do not like guns at all. But...
If GUNS kill people...then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and forks make people fat!
Just saying, people are responsible for themselves. The reality is that we will never get rid of guns.
We defend our President, Congressmen, Governors, celebrities, banks, etc., with GUNS. Then call in people with guns when some crazy person goes on a shooting rampage.
The guns that are used by the "bad" and "crazy" people are not the "registered to Tim" guns, they are STOLEN, sold and resold. What more can really be done. The gun control is pretty darned strict already.
Posted by KP, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm
Sandybrook was done with registered guns...
Again I say, It's not the guns - It won't make a difference whether they are registered or not. Stolen guns are "usually" the culprit in most deadly situations - and if someone is hellbent on injuring others for whatever their twisted mind tells them, they WILL find a way.
I just don't think gun control makes a difference. Mind you, I do not like or own any guns.
Posted by Ian, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
A man and a woman were robbed at gunpoint last week at 8:45PM in downtown Palo Alto. The man lost his wallet and the woman, her purse.
Two weeks ago, in Texas, a gunman wounded 4 people by a theater, but was stopped by a man with a legal, concealed weapon who was across the street and helped. It did not make big news because only 4 people were wounded, and there were no deaths, except for the gunman.
With the Second Amendment challenged, Scenario 1 in Palo Alto, the armed robbery, would remain the same. Scenario 2 in Texas may have made the news, with more deaths because no one may be able to have helped stop the carnage.
Posted by James, a resident of Los Altos, on Jan 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm
If a mentally unbalanced person is intent upon killing people, there are more ways to do it than using guns. Knives were used, in China.
It's not difficult to reload legal guns, still having many wounded and causing casualties. City councils, state & federal government should try banning insanity instead, leaving the 2nd Amendment alone.
Last year, the US government, even the IRS offices, were stockpiling weapons and ammunition. Why? This group should find out for the rest of us, before they try to touch citizen's rights. Fair enough?
I don't own a gun either. But I object to losing a constitutional right to protect ourselves. It's a slippery slope in the wrong hands, and these are the same groups that brought us plastic bag bans, leaf blower bans, and the insistence on cow-towing to bicyclists and mostly empty buses, turning the majority of the population: Drivers, into villians, by reducing driving lanes and envisioning even El Camino Real as a pedestrian friendly, walkable boulevard.
Posted by smoke and mirrors, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Aside from the certain percentage of death by cop shooters, who aren't around afterwards to penalize, all I am saying is there ought to be much greater accountability and responsibility with gun ownership.
We can't prevent all shootings, we are trying to reduce them meaningfully.I have suggested a couple of specific things.
I do think well-known, well-publicized harsh penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime (or permitting a relative, thief, casual sale)to cause a crime to be committed is unacceptable - aside from direct criminal activity there is also often negligence in these cases and this needs to be corrected.
There are several scenarios we hear about.
If it was found someone had a bunch of guns in a household and they are reported stolen to the police, that is semi-negligent. If they are actually sold to criminals from registered gun owners and NOT ever reported as stolen until LATER (in an attempt to cover up the illegal sale) when a crime is committed (and gun traced back) and owner claim oh, it was stolen way back when, that needs to be punished.
There are too many guns out there already and gun sales have skyrocketed, unfortunately; so I think there must be penalties for all the levels of misbehavior, negligence and crime.
Posted by CountMein2, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm
When is the next meeting? Does this group have a webpage, Facebook, and/or Twitter account yet? I want to be involved too. This is the sort of grassroots action that can really support what Senator Feinstein, Congresswoman Gifford and the President are trying to start right now. I agree that there has to be the right balance between preserving Second Amendment rights and preventing senseless gun violence and horrific tragedies. However, this issue is too divisive right now and much too attached to the partisan sentiments. I think we first must all agree that the status quo on guns in this country is not acceptable,then begin rational, fact based discussions on the kind of changes that will be the most effective in reducing violence.
Posted by Wallace, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm
"Knives were used, in China." Huh? Want to substantiate the numbers?
"even the IRS offices, were stockpiling weapons and ammunition. Why?" Too much newsmax and Fox news, sounds like.
"But I object to losing a constitutional right to protect ourselves." Who is taking that away? What part of a background check does that? Why do you require an assault weapon to do so?
"Drivers, into villians, by reducing driving lanes and envisioning even El Camino Real as a pedestrian friendly, walkable boulevard." Specious, silly, straw man fallacy. Seriously, you don't have anything better than that?
YOUR constitutional right, defined by "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to..."
Compared to EVERYONE's constitutional right to Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"There are too many guns out there already and gun sales have skyrocketed, unfortunately; so I think there must be penalties for all the levels of misbehavior, negligence and crime." Uh, okay. We agree.
Regulate all guns. Background checks for all transfers. No assault weapons.
Notice that there were about 1.2M violent crimes in the US, with about 14,000 murders. Is it your claim that the police know who committed all of these murders, and where they got the weapons that were involved in the murders? (By the way, all murders are not committed with guns. How to you square you claims for murders committed with a knife, or a club?)
> Knives used in China ..
Yes. You can google it: “china children attack knife”
Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm
> How many died in China from the knife? ZERO
Are you for real? Are you claiming that knives can not be used to kill people (such as children)?
Yes, this particular attack didn't result in any deaths. Why? Do you know? Was it because the madman did not know how to use a knife, or the he perhaps just wanted to "send a message" to someone about something?
It is a bloody miracle that no children were killed in that attack. And your response is so close to mindless that you should consider stop posting and do a little thinking about all the weapons that can be used to kill someone.
There were a goodly number of attacks on children in Chinese schools during this two-year period. The total of children killed with a knife easily equals the Sandy Hook incident. Clearly, a mad man can overtake a teacher, and children will not provide much in the way of resistance.
It would be a mistake not to consider these attacks in China--and begin to look at ways to confiscate all guns, knives, clubs, automobiles, matches, gasoline, explosives--and even baling wire, so that schools can be made totally safe.
Posted by Marilee Anderson, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm
Count me in. Guns have but one purpose --to kill an animal or a human. Obama is on the right track, and I want to support his efforts. The AR15 Bushmaster assault weapon used in Sandy Hook was legally registered to the killer's mother. We need to prohibit the sale of these weapons and do everything we can to stop the perpetuation of gun violence. We all want to feel safe.
Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm
> it is much harder to kill a lot of people with
> one knife than it would be with a gun.
Perhaps. But knives don’t need bullets.
The Rwanda Holocaust ended up killing about 1M people in about a month. It is generally conceded that machetes and clubs were used to kill most of the people. No doubt, some rifles were used, but acquiring tens of millions of rounds of AK-47 Ammunition would have been difficult to do. Everyone in Rwanda already had a machete.
People have been killing each other since the dawn of time. Guns are only one way that they find to put another’s life to an end.
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm
Sharon is back again with her theory of gun violence. Naturally she provides no evidence for her claims and probably never will. Let's just lock up everyone who Sharon thinks is mentally ill! That will solve the problem!!
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:01 pm
"Vice President Biden says a mental health check on gun sales may have averted the 2007 mass shooting on Virginia Tech‘s campus. Biden’s comments came after a roundtable discussion in Richmond today that included experts involved with the gun control commission convened after the university tragedy.
The vice president reported the panel had reached “pretty broad consensus” over what criteria they proposed should deny a sale, including “mental capacity.”
“One of the problems that was pointed out here was that there was an adjudication of the young man that committed the crime at Virginia Tech, and yet he was able to go out and purchase two weapons,” he said.
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm
You will notice that mental issues is only one criteria, so the problem must be more than just the mentally ill. But Sharon you propose locking them all up and medicating them. But you fail to address the ease of which everyone can by these weapons. Any comments as to why we really need these assault weapons to begin with? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm
JL-from your link:
" School shootings prior to the late 1990s, when they received intensive press and official coverage, were considered local incidents and may be substantially underreported in current tabulations, raising questions as to whether school shootings are actually increasing or are simply receiving more attention in recent years."
Of course the question should also be what was the availability of assault weapons in those days as well.
Posted by GetReal, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm
It is an emotional and foolish response to ban additional guns from law-abiding citizens. And the President is hypocritical in wanting to disarm the general public, even if by degrees, as he just wrote into law lifetime armed protection -- paid for by taxpaying citizens -- for his whole family. People need to read more, reflect on history and not take liberal, anti-gun talking points at face value. Let's focus on the root of the problems, not the devices used to do harm. Web Link
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm
Wrong again, Sharon. You are confusing assault weapon with assault rifle. Assault weapons refer to semi automatic guns tat really have no place in our society--- they are gun of choice for people who want shoot up places and kill many people. Of course the acolytes of the NRA love to blame everything and everyone else besides the real problem-- free access to assault weapons.
Sharon wants to lock up people she considers to be mentally ill, instead of dealing with thereal problem-- a page right out of the NRA play book.
Most amusing is Sharon misquoting Biden and Obama-- two of our leaders whom she has not hesitated to vilify in the past.
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm
Let's not forget that the same people (get real, sharon et al) that are clamoring for continuing to allow people even greater access to weapons that really serve no useful purpose (really, what do people need assault weapons that use high capacity magazines for--- certainly not hunting orrotection). These are the same people that support the continued availability of cop killer bullets. Enough said. Let's address the real issues and ignore the smoke screen put out by the NRA and their followers.
Posted by Terry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm
Folks should remember that we have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.
I agree that citizens should not possess modern sophisticated military weapons, but should have non infringed access to weapons similar to police departments. After all, police carry weapons to protect themselves, so why can't a citizen do the same?
As soon as you suggest I don't need the provision of the second amendment, I might suggest that you don't really "need" the New York Times. Also, how about registering all the loons that publish stupid comments in comment forums.
Posted by Zeev Wurman, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm
Well, I never owned a gun in this country, but given the specious arguments here and the mindless attacks on our Bill of Rights, I think it's time for me to purchase a few guns.
And if schools will be foolish enough to send letters home "reminding" people they are responsible for gun abuse by they children, I will be happy to contribute to sue the schools for providing legal advice while unlicensed. After all, parents are responsible for essentially everything their children do while they are minors, not only gun abuse.
Posted by Maurice, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 12:29 am
Making guns illegal will no more take guns off of the streets than laws against drugs keep crack, meth or heroin off of the streets.
The people who are committing most of the gun crimes obtained their guns through illegal means. There is a culture of violence associated with those thus that almost glamorizes power associated with gun crimes and thuggery. There is something seriously wrong with a culture that makes people believe that they have a right to receive (or take) something that they did not earn.
Good, honest Americans can be trusted with guns. They aren't the big problem. It is the thugs and criminals that we must worry about -- and they aren't giving up their guns anyway.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 8:56 am
The mother of the Sandy Hook killer owned guns legally. She was the first victim of her own guns. They did not protect her. Her guns then caused mayhem. If she didn't have the guns, her son would not have been able to use them to kill.
Posted by Gun Owner, a resident of Atherton, on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm
Statements from the Gun Fetishists, above:
* "then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and forks make people fat!" Okay. They do. And guns still kill too many Americans every year. I could care less if your children misspell words or your dad is fat, but I pray for them that guns don't ruin their lives.
* "The gun control is pretty darned strict already." Ask the folks at Aurora or Sandy Hook.
* "Stolen guns are "usually" the culprit" Ask the folks at Colombine or Virginia Tech -- 'legally' purchased weapons.
* "Knives were used, in China." Already addressed by Wallce: "How many died in China from the knife? ZERO. Tell us how many died at Sandy Hook." The fetishists haven't answered that yet (it was 28)
* "even the IRS offices, were stockpiling weapons and ammunition" That's a strange one. Too much Fox. a really out there, looney statement.
* "But I object to losing a constitutional right to protect ourselves." No one is taking away your constitutional freedoms. Read it sometime. Start with: "Militia". See also: Well Regulated".
* "will no more take guns off of the streets than laws against drugs keep crack, meth or heroin off of the streets." Again, Wallace answers well: that's a first, comparing gun ownership to addicts and addictive personality.
* "I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy to carry." That's sad. What does James do that requires a cop at all times? Like gary, I've not needed one for 40 years. Sounds like Gary is correct, our good friend James is a burden on society.
No more time to highlight the other absurd statements. It gets disheartening to know a couple individuals are posting all this NRA inspired noise.
Background checks, and mental health checks on all gun owners. If found lacking, throw the crazies into Sharon's government mental camps.
Let's follow the Constitution and keep this WELL REGULATED.
Posted by James, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm
Why I'm I a burden on society? I carry a gun because of my retail business and trips to the bank every week. I go to the shooting range about once a month. I'll taken three classes in carrying, using and cleaning my weapons. I was with my family at movie theater the other day and believe me I was glad that I had that weapon on me. So was my family. It is a different world that we live in now... The mass shootings, 9/11. It's sad, but that's the way it is. I hope I NEVER have to use it because that would change me forever, but at least me or my family would have a chance of being alive.
Posted by Jimmy D, a resident of Mountain View, on Jan 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm
- I also have concerns about someone walking among us in so much NAKED FEAR that he feels he has to carry a concealed weapon at all times. Does that include after having a couple at dinner? Given the number of people who think they are sober enough to drive (and aren't,) we know there are The Afraid carrying guns when they THINK they are sober enough....
- Columbine: the TEC9's were purchased at a gun show, if I recall correctly
Lastly: me? I've gone well over fifty years without ever getting myself in a position that needed a cop with a gun. I also wonder what James does that requires his Fear to be masked by carrying a gun. Must really be painful to be so Afraid. I hope he seeks help and can recover and lead a happy life.
Life is too short, too precious to live in such fear.
Posted by Zeev Wurman, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm
"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 amendment simply says that from time to time people may need to come together to act as an armed organized group. Perhaps to pursue a band of criminals, perhaps to defend their own property, perhaps to join in defending their state, or perhaps to rebel against the tyranny of their state and overthrow it -- the amendment does not specify all the possible reasons except to say that it is important to secure a free state. To have such militias "well regulated" simply means well-trained (see DC v Heller, 2008). So ... the militias need to be trained and disciplined if and when they assemble, but the the amendment goes beyond it and *unequivocally* says that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Not only if they are willing or able to join the militia. Not "the right of militiamen to keep and bear Arms" but the right of "the people."
Let me give you an example. The first amendment says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ..." We all know from the discussions at the time that the purpose of this was primarily because of the importance of political speech. But the amendment carefully does NOT say "freedom of political speech." Our jurisprudence treats political speech as the most protected, but it treats essentially all speech as protected, with extremely minor exceptions.
The Bill of Right gives all free people the right to keep and bear arms, to freely exercise speech, to freely exercise religion. It does not allow only non-controversial speech, or exercising only approved religion. Similarly, it does not grant people the right to own only some approved arms, or carry them only if the government likes it. Limited regulation of arms, like limited regulation of speech (e.g., yelling "fire" in a crowded theater), is permitted only in particular clearly dangerous and narrow circumstances, and not because of the "well regulated militia" clause.
That is the specious part of the argument, and that is why an attack on the right to keep and bear arms is no different from attacking the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, or other freedoms in the Bill of Rights.
If you don't like it, convince enough people and amend it. That's what Constitutional Amendments are for. But by trying to narrow its guarantee through disingenuous interpretations you chip at the same time at every other protection the Bill of Rights gives us. Free speech can be "explained away" too, you know. Pretty dangerous, in my opinion.
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm
Zeev--- you state that the bill of rights does not grant people the right to own only approved arms. If that is the case why are automatic weapons Anne's. Does that not infringe on the rights you are talking about? Why aren't you and the NRA fighting to repeal that ban. But why do people need assault rifles and 100 clip magazines?
Posted by Zeev Wurman, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Not an issue: I am not a constitutional scholar but I would guess it was prohibited on the basis of those "narrow exclusions." I personally disagree with that, but it is what it is. Should we also regulate twitter or facebook speech because it is of too high bandwidth and it can disseminate subversive ideas too rapidly? I am sure Mubarak and Gaddafi would agree.
My point is that any time we chip at our liberties, the next round chips them a bit more. I am not an NRA member -- yes, you remind me I should send them a donation anyway -- and I can't speak for them. Given, however, that the second amendment's *explicit* purpose is to maintain a free state, which includes overthrowing the tyranny of external and internal enemies, I am rather surprised how one can argue for limiting the size of magazines.
Peter Carpenter: If you argue that only arms available at the time are protected, I have two questions for you. First, why shouldn't then ownership of cannons be permitted? Second, why should we extend the freedom of speech to radio, television, or the internet? They clearly did not exist, nor were even imagined, at the time. In fact, an AK-47 is much closer to the musket of the day than Television is to the newspapers of the day.
But those are quibbles. If you attack our freedoms through re-interpreting an amendment you don't like, tomorrow someone will re-interpret an amendment you do like. There are proper and explicit ways how to amend the Constitution, and that's the way you should follow. The fact that people try to "explain away" our rights instead of amending the Constitution is simply because they know very well that the popular will for changing the Constitution on this subject does not exist. Can anyone explain to me why one thinks it is honorable to try and subvert the popular will? Think about *that*, if you truly believe in democracy.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm
Maurice is right: Making guns "illegal" won't work anymore than the "war on drugs." It simply disarms the good citizens while keeping guns in the hands of thugs.
Has anyone ever traveled to Mexico? There are two checkpoints. The first checkpoint is at the border. The second is usually about 100 miles inside the United States. Having lived within that "zone," I can attest that I saw piles of guns that were being smuggled INTO this country nearly every time I cross the checkpoint. Most of them are manufactured in other countries. So, there is an obvious market for illegal firearms in this country.
The current hysteria against gun ownership will eventually die down. I suppose that it happens each time that there is a tragedy like what happened in Connecticut or other campuses in the past. While such a thing is tragic, there are many, many more people murdered in a single month in Chicago than by a crazed young man in Connecticut.
I believe that there should be some reforms. However, we need to ask what is the output that we want to achieve. Our goal should not be a silly demand that most firearms disappear. Our goal -- first and foremost -- should be to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, mentally incompetent, children and untrained hands.
Personally, I believe that laws should be strengthened to restrict gun ownership from felons, those who have committed drug crimes or individuals who are convicted with multiple non-traffic misdemeanors. I also think that any individual who has been diagnosed with a mental illness -- including bipolar disorders and PTSDs -- should have their name added to a federal "can not by" list.
Guns are not the real problem. The real problem is found in the individuals who choose to use guns for violence. If some armed man was invading my house, I would have no problem shooting them (if there was no other way to protect my family). That may sound "harsh," but I love my family more than a criminal.
Unfortunately, there is a certain class that commits most of the gun violence in this nation. They are the ones that must be targeted with gun laws. Otherwise, they are the ones who will be better armed to do what they like in society.
The day that politicians, celebrities and CEOs no longer need armed bodyguards will be the day that good, decent and law-abiding American citizens will no longer need to bear arms.
Then again, the right to bear "arms" -- in the Bill of Rights -- is also a "check" of tyrannical government. This is so politicians cannot seize power (even the "law"), reject the Constitution and Bill of Rights and do whatever they want.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm
* I should have said "traveled FROM Mexico." While there are checkpoints in Mexico just like the United States to stop illegal immigration and smuggling, the checkpoints that I was speaking about are in this country. You can see piles of automatic and semi-automatic guns smuggled into this nation from Mexico on a daily basis.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm
During discussions about the consequences of a fundamental right of free people to bear arms, Thomas Jefferson quoted Cesare Beccaria's ESSAY ON CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
"A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. . . . The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent.
Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty?
It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons."
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 7:23 am
Some of the comments here really surprise me.
Most of the poster's here supporting the private ownership of guns are proud Americans and like to this that America is also the ideal system with ideal Constitution and laws, and every other country should try and copy because we are the most free country in the World.
Well, we have more gun deaths per population, more illegal guns, more violent crime, etc. etc. than other countries with strict gun control. We are also the laughing stock of the world when it comes to their views on us when it comes to guns and violent crime.
How come they don't want to copy us?
And those who want to emulate Switzerland and Israel, they also have compulsory military participation. Do we really want to copy them?
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 9:34 am
Perhaps it is time to outlaw the CRIMINALS who commit the crimes rather than the GOOD CITIZENS who can be trusted with their right to bear arms?
I told a Research Methods class in college in which one of the topics that we studied was violence. After going through statistical evidence, you quickly realize that there are some very peculiar traits that are most common among those who resort to gun violence. Yet, for the most part, those correlations are ignored. To fix the problem, those things will need to be analyzed.
As for America: As an immigrant, I do think that America is better than every other country in the world. I think that there is a reason that more immigrants from around the world apply for entrance to the United States than any other country.
Despite its flaws, America is still a lighthouse to alternate systems of economics and political systems. It is a land of opportunity. My dad often says (in Spanish): "Si no lo puedes hacer en Los EEUU, no lo puedes hacer en ningun lado." It means, "If you can't make it in the U.S., you can't make it anywhere."
I do wish that gun violence -- like all violence -- would diminish. However, the solution is to take guns out of the hands of criminals, thugs and the mentally imbalanced. Current hysteria would simply take guns out of good, decent people and keep them in the hands of thugs.
Posted by parent, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 11:47 am
I would not allow my kids to go to a play date at a house that I knew had guns, locked in safe or not. It would be great if some sort of disclosure was required by the school and made publicly available. That way we could keep our kids safer.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Parent, I agree with you completely.
Nayeli, you can't say you know every other country in the World and that America is better. How many countries have you visited, let alone lived in.
The Sandy Nook killer had legal guns acquired by his mother. She was probably tested, etc. Yet her guns killed her first before causing mayhem. It would seem that not only does she need to be tested, but her family, her boyfriends, her ex husband, in fact anyone whom she may trust to come into her home as well as an opportunity thief who may break into her home. If she had not had the guns, this would not have occurred. It is not always about criminals or those with mental illness owning guns. It is about law abiding gun owning citizens whose guns get into the hands of the mentally ill or the criminals. The less guns about, the less likely criminals or the insane will get their hands on them.
Posted by parent, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm
@Aaron: I would settle for an easily visible tattoo on the gun owner that identifies he or she as one. In all seriousness, there should be at least a requirement for verbal disclosure between parents planning the play-date. I see no need for my kids to mingle with whacky gun-owners kids.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Mine was simply an opinion that is largely shared given the fact that the United States is the nation for which more people apply for entry.
As for the tragedy at Sandy Hook: The killer in this case was mentally imbalanced and also did not LEGALLY own the guns. He killed his mother, stole her guns and used them to commit his crimes.
Most importantly, most of the gun violence in this nation does NOT happen in a manner similar to what happened at Sandy Hook. It happens everyday on the streets. Statistically speaking, the perpetrators are young men using guns obtained illegally.
The ultimate result of the legislation proposed by anti-gun laws will simply restrict GOOD citizens from owning arms while thugs (most of whom will ignore any such laws anyway) will continue to operate on the streets.
I do think that reform is needed. However, the goal should be to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who cannot be trusted with them.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm
"Whacky?" Really? So, you think that someone who owns a gun is "whacky?" Even if you actually disagree with the rights of good, honest and peaceful gun owners, is it even necessary to call them "whacky?"
Posted by the gun crazies, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm
"He killed his mother, stole her guns and used them to commit his crimes."
He stole the guns from his gun nut, obsessed mother who had them legally, killed his mother, then murdered dozens of small children with military style weapons that ripped their little bodies apart.
With legally acquired guns.
Yes, in my mind, anyone that owns a gun that can be stolen and used against them is not thinking clearly. From another post, shows how crazy it is for people to have guns laying around - this sh** happens every day in America.
1/23/13: "A man who told police he lost his .380 semiautomatic pistol while riding his motorized scooter through a north Longmont neighborhood on Jan. 16 told police he found the gun between some couch cushions in his home on Wednesday."
This one isn't as funny: "BOSTON, MA, 1/20/13: “He was cleaning his gun, and he forgot there was a shell in the chamber, and he struck his girlfriend in the head,” he said. “They were madly in love with each other. This wasn’t domestic violence. It was an accident.”"
Like Liz above, I've gone over 50 years without ever needing a gun. Or an armed police officer. Who are these crazies that insist they need one?
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm
@ "by the gun crazies:"
That is ridiculous. This troubled young man STOLE the weapons from his mother. You have NO RIGHT to call her a "gun nut."
I am glad that you have never needed a gun. However, it is not helpful to a discussion for you to call those who exercise their right to own a weapon as "crazies."
I have known many gun owners during my life and I have never met a "crazy" person. In fact, I have already said that truly "crazy" (e.g. "mentally unbalanced") individuals should be restricted from owning a weapon.
Is it possible to have a discussion without using ridiculous ad hominem attacks on the character of good, decent law-abiding American citizens with whom we might disagree?
Posted by the gun crazies, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm
Naynali: I'm not the one that first called her a gun nuit -- ask Rupert Murdoch.
from Fox news sister pub, the post
"Adam Lanza’s mother taught her son how to become a killing machine who used what he learned from her about firing guns to commit one of the worst massacres in American history at a Connecticut elementary school.
Weapon-loving Nancy Lanza regularly took her awkward loner-son Adam to shooting ranges, where the painfully shy boy — who suffered from the autism-related Asperger’s syndrome — blasted away targets using his mom’s small arsenal of guns."
She owned far more weapons and firepower than needed for self defense in that area --- yes, she was a gun nut.
"He fired four bullets into her head – possibly as she slept – then took three of her guns to Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where he killed 20 children and six staff."
"She would boast about them in a local bar and also showed them off to her landscape gardener."
"She was "a big, big gun fan" who went target shooting with her children, according to friends. She enjoyed craft beers, jazz and landscaping. She was generous to strangers, but also high-strung, as if she were holding herself together.Nancy Lanza was the first victim in a massacre carried out Friday by her son, Adam Lanza, 20, who shot her dead with a gun..."
"The mother of the gunman who killed 20 children and seven adults in America’s worst school massacre, was a gun-proud “survivalist” preparing for economic collapse..."
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm
I never called gun owners whacky.
The mother of the Sandy Hook killer legally had guns. She was never asked presumably whether she had a mentally ill person living in her home. These weapons which she had for her own defence (I think that was her reasoning) did not protect her or her son. They were used to kill, not to protect.
I agree that I would not have wanted my kids playing in homes with guns. Musical, there was a Morgan Hill case lately of a very young child killing himself with his father's weapon, a San Jose police officer. Yes, I would not have liked my kids playing in that home.
It is reasonably easy to stay away from street crime as in Oakland and East Palo Alto. Yes, I know that there are certain areas where gun crime is frequent and scary. But, I don't go there. I feel it is as unlikely for me to get shot in Oakland or EPA as it would be for me to be killed in a plane crash. If I lived in those troubled areas, I would expect it, but not here.
I see no reason why my law abiding neighbors here in Palo Alto should have weapons in their home. If they did, I have no way of knowing and if they do, I have no way of knowing if they are locked away securely with the ammo locked away elsewhere. If someone does intrude in their home in the middle of the night, I can't honestly see how safely locked away weapons would help protect them.
I am sorry, but I know there is a great feeling of self protection but my gut instinct is that these guns are much more likely to kill innocent bystanders in a shootout rather than one strong thug who may or may not be armed and dangerous.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm
@ "by the gun crazies:"
I don't care who was the FIRST to say it, but it isn't helpful to a discussion to perpetuate a stereotype or resort to name calling.
You can't accurately call her "crazy" (especially based upon hearsay in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy). However, I think that we can safely conclude that her son was obviously burdened by mental instability.
I will admit that there is probably some very legitimate concerns over owning weapons in a home where a child may be mentally unbalanced. At the same time, I have also known individuals who owned weapons and were able to defend themselves against potentially violent armed intruders.
The point is that the logical first step would be to try to get guns out of the hands of CRIMINALS or MENTALLY IMBALANCED. Then, we could decide what steps (if any) are necessary subsequent to that. We should first enforce existing guns laws to make sure that the most typical type of gun violence (from thugs) is diminished.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Here are the very sensible UK requirement regarding gun storage:
"Any person holding a Firearm or Shotgun Certificate must comply with strict conditions regarding such things as safe storage. These storage arrangements are checked by the police before a licence is first granted, and on every renewal of the licence. A local police force may impose additional conditions on possession, over and above those set out by law"
"The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world with 0.07 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009 compared to the United States' 3.0 (over 40 times higher) and to Germany's 0.21 (3 times higher)."
Posted by the gun crazies, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm
She was single, blonde, rich, had a great house, liked to go to bars and brag about her gun arsenal. All the while she KNEW she had an unstable person in the house that she dragged to the range and encouraged gun use.
Good enough for me to apply the appropriate label:
Posted by Wallace, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm
Sounds like Gun Crazy nailed it: "She was single, blonde, rich, had a great house, liked to go to bars and brag about her gun arsenal. All the while she KNEW she had an unstable person in the house that she dragged to the range and encouraged gun use.
Posted by Nayeli, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm
@ Peter Carpenter:
The UK never had a broad "right to bear arms" either. Thus, they never had individuals who stole weapons. Nor do they understand that the right to bear arms is meant to be a check against POLITICIANS who might disregard the Constitution and try to grab more sweeping power.
@ "by the gun crazies:"
Again, it would be unwise to call this dead woman a "gun nut" simply because you read an article about her in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. That is almost, well, "nutty."
In the "fog" of tabloid journalism deadlines, the real stories are often "lost" by hearsay. Remember the teacher of Trayvon Martin? She said that he was a polite honor student who was suspended for being tardy (Google it). It turns out that he was a "D" student suspended multiple times for drugs and fighting. That isn't to say that Trayvon "deserved" what happened to him. However, it just shows that it is unwise to judge a person on the basis of "eyewitness testimony" in the immediate aftermath of a breaking story.
So, I must doubt your claim that the woman is a "gun nut." More importantly, I completely reject any notion that someone who owns guns is "crazy." You may not agree with them, but it is ridiculous to dismiss individuals as "crazy" for simply feeling a desire or need to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
BTW, Mexico has some of the harshest anti-gun laws in the world. However, it isn't working because the availability of guns to CRIMINALS.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm
How can you say most gun owners do not keep loaded weapons laying around the house? Or how can you say that most keep them in safes?
Therefore how can you say that good citizens can be trusted with gun ownership.
Was this killer's mother a good gun owner?
Was the San Jose police officer living in Morgan Hill whose son managed to kill himself a good gun owner?
You have no way of knowing how gun owners keep their guns? You may hear some of them say that they are locked in a safe, but how do you know they are not lying?
The point is, as far as I can tell, we have no way of knowing where a good gun owner keeps his guns. We do not have any criteria in the application for gun license for an inspection of where the guns will be kept (as per the requirements in the UK shown in Peter's post above).
What is a good gun owner?
I can't guarantee that if my neighbor has a gun, which I have no way of knowing if he has or not, is keeping it locked up safely. I also have no way of knowing that if he does have a prowler in his home that he will not fire it and it misses the prowler, goes through the wall and into my child's bedroom where he is sleeping.
I have no way of knowing if my neighbor's drunk adult son has forgotten his key and is trying to get in through an open window after midnight, heard by his parents who think he is a prowler so shoots him first and asks questions later.
No, I have no way of knowing. And, neither do you.
Posted by Wallace, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm
Mayeli: you argue the information provided by Gun Crazies, yet you can't dispute it!
You say "Good citizens can be trusted with gun ownership."
Nancy Lanza was a good citizen, had legal guns.
Gun crazies points out the truth: She was single (divorced well,) blonde, wealthy, huge house, bragged about her guns in bars according to acquaintances, knew she had an unstable kid she took to shooting ranges, etc..
You throw around terms like tabloid journalism to try to hide from the facts he/she posted.
Lastly, bringing up the murderer George Zimmerman, who left his car against police dispatcher's orders to kill a teenager just adds more fuel to the notion too many crazy people legally have access to guns.
thanks for making the case
We need to have a WELL REGULATED militia. Sanity tests. Annual inspections, etc..
Correct, the UK doesn't have a right to bear arms. Last time I looked, they still have free elections. No tin foil hat whackos who need their guns, just in case they decide to turn traitor and want to secede.
again, thanks for helping the Regulate Guns position.
Posted by parent, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm
You gun-aficionados can cling to your guns till your knuckles turn white, but please tell parents of children you have over at your place that you own guns and keep them in the house. That way we can stay safe.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm
@Posted by parent, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, 0 minutes ago
Therefore all parents should inform others if they have
Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, recent radiation treatments, any relatives or friends who are sex offenders,any DUI or prior drug convictions, any mental illness in family or relatives, any traffic violations, any smoking or alcohol use, any sharp knives, any medications any pets, any old cars without air bags, any weird relatives, swimming pools, ropes, darts, knives-etc-etc .
Guns are vital to defense against home invasion in Palo Alto-they should be secured and everyone we know does secure them