In the light of the unspeakable tragedy in Newton, Conn. we must all try to do what we can to put limits on to regulate automatic weapons in America.


Bang.  Extending your arm with a firearm makes you feel powerful and controlling.  Once you have a gun in your hand you can really get back at all the people that have offended you.  You can make teachers and bullies run, husbands afraid to come home after dark, teenagers with hoodies and baggy pants walk around you on a street.  Why not?  Why should you have to deal with sociology when all you have to do is point and shoot?  And isn’t that a constitutional right?

If you want a gun and you are “just a kid”, check out your uncle’s hunting cabinet.  He has guns just sitting there, not even locked up.  Just take one; take it to school; and see what happens.  Kids in school are sitting ducks.  Actually, chances are good that a nice handgun is available at home.  Didn’t your mother get one and “learn” how to shoot it at target practice?  Dumb.  Everybody knows how to shoot a gun.  And, along with your uncle, she does not know how to put a trigger lock on it.  Free trigger locks have been offered numerous times by local cops and even politicians.  But nobody seems to have them or use them.  What if you NEED the gun and you can’t get the lock off?


Okay.  That’s a bit cynical.  But if you read the papers and watch the news you have seen all of the above.  Sadly, you have seen it and heard it over and over.  Schools, homes, political assassinations, families of disturbed veterans, gangs, policemen murdered, Virginia Tech., Chardon, Ohio, Sanford, Florida.  A teacher in New York City writes that as he looks out at his class, he has started to see shooters.  He wonders if he will be next because he is known as a “hard grader”. 


There are a numerous ways to get a legal gun, and carry it anywhere.  In some states it has become legal to bring a gun to a public park.  Joking Texans say, “Let me get my gun and I’ll go with you for coffee.”  In almost every state, guns come from “straw purchases”, legal purchases from federally accredited sources (FFL), gun shows that slide around the legalities, and Internet sales that do not really require much in the way of ID, provided the buyer and seller meet the federal rules.


After first arguing that “in the Gifford’s shooting, if citizens had been armed, they would have responded to the shooter and saved lives”, a typical gun totin’ blog goes on to say: “…High-capacity magazines are a must-have for any reliable defense of home, person or property. Six bullets is simply not enough, especially if your assailant is armed with a high-capacity magazine.”  (TheTruthAboutGuns.com) Right.  Imagine a crossfire situation in which several people pull their guns in a crowded supermarket!  But this kind of gun lunacy prevails across 30 states, and is possible in many more.  Republican Senator Thune of South Dakota proposed that a national “Stand Your Ground” law would be good for America in the same week that the Trayvon murder occurred in Florida.  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush supported the Florida law and was significantly supported by the NRA. What is Governor Romney’s position on gun control?  He won’t tell you that he is hiding behind the 2nd Amendment for fear of the NRA.  The disaster that is gun availability won’t be mentioned in his speeches.


A high schooler randomly killed three students in Chardon Ohio. A writer for the Huffington Post observed that the gun violence happened because the shooter had easy access to a gun.  In seconds there was a large response across all media (probably organized by the NRA).  “…The ‘if only the shooter hadn’t had access to guns’ response to spree killings is a pretty pathetic argument that completely ignores the possibility, the desirability of potential victims fighting back.” (TheTruthAboutGuns.com) What?  Arm the students and the teachers and encourage them to shoot back? 


When an expensive TV ad paid for by the National Rifle Association touts their concern for your freedom you can say, “The freedom I want is for my children to be safe from gun-wielding crazies and everybody like them.  The freedom I want is to know that guns will not be sold anonymously on the Internet or anywhere else.  The freedom I desire is that my children will not get unlocked guns from anybody’s home, including mine. The freedom I want is to have solid no-carry laws against multi-load, fast firing, automatic weapons anywhere in America.  Mayors, and police in more than 30 cities are asking for better gun control including Mayor Bloomberg of NYC and Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia.  Call your local police and they will tell you that the police are backing the mayors.


We should demand stronger gun penalties in every state.  When we stop voting for NRA candidates, the NRA won’t succeed in providing options for politicians, criminals, vigilantes, and crazies.  PA Senate Bill 1438 gives gun owners and membership organizations (which includes the National Rifle Association) legal standing to challenge any municipality that enact ordinances to regulate firearms and ammunition.  Give your “Senator” a call and tell him we need a no vote on a bill that takes gun control out of our communities and provides easy access to guns.  SB 1438 allows “take your gun to work”! At the federal level, PA Representatives Fitzpatrick, Dent, and Gerlach enjoyed NRA support and NRA endorsement.  So does Senator Toomey, and many others in Pennsylvania, mostly Republican. 

What can be done about law that is really written by the NRA?  Start with the promise that NO gun-totin’ political cowboys will get your vote.  Decide that barrels full of money from the National Rifle Association to support the legislators they want will no longer work. 


Ann Melby Shenkle

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pam December 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The NRA=be responsible gun owner.The last ditch effort in self protection is to fire a weapon of leathal force.NRA=respect &responsibility,not 'guns for everyone & use when possible for whatever purpose suits you'.What I fear is the mental illness and privacy laws that make it easy for mentally ill persons to injur others w/ guns.I had a sister whose husband was being protected by 'the system'.HE was seeing psychologist&psychiatrist with serious mental illness.Due to the HIPPA laws,wife couldn't know how bad he was,how his treatment plan was going,couldn't discuss th case.After his second suicide attempt she went through legal to discuss his case w/doctors.Dr was still barred from allowing his spouse to know anything about his medical, but advised her to divorce him and move.HE is a school teacher,minister & nice guy in public;jekyll & hyde in private.He illegally got a gun.One day,HE went nuts.I am saddened that he is no longer with us,but am glad that a citizen took him down with a gun before he could hurt innocent person with his illegally obtained weapon.If your uncle has a gun,leaves it unlocked, then your uncle is not taking his responsibility seriously.If mom doesn't know how to put a trigger lock on gun, same.What we need protection from is the CRAZIES who have mental illness and think it's ok to violently attack a person who disagrees with us, w/ a teaspoon,harpoon or with a gun,rather than walk away and just hate our viewpoint.
Don Talenti December 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Tell me, which law would have prevented the Connecticut tragedy? Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. No guns in school zones? Nope. Oh, how about a law against murder? Chicago, Camden, Washington DC, New York - all have a ban on guns. How's that working out for them? Like Prohibition with alcohol, gun bans don't work. Emotional based thinking usually leads to "solutions" which do not produce the intended goal, and cause side effects not foreseen. Why is it that when something like this happens, the anti-gun nuts want to remove guns from law abiding gun owners? Sort of like restricting cars from good drivers because of drunk drivers. Or requiring everyone to take a driver's ed course because of the auto accident on the Bypass this past Thanksgiving Eve. We readily see that this would neither be logical nor fair, nor would it solve the problem. But that's exactly what we do with guns. A nonthinking, emotion based, knee jerk response. Gun owners save scores of lives each year, and prevent thousands of crimes. But the press won't report this. How many heard of what happened at the Clackamas Town Center mall last week? Did you know that a person with a concealed carry permit drew his weapon, causing the shooter to flee and hide, stopping the shooting? If this person were unarmed, the criminal would still have his weapon, and we'd have more grieving families at Christmas this year.
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Randy Macon December 19, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Our Declaration of Independence speaks of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our ineffective gun laws threaten the right to life of every citizen in the country. Using common sense and banning assault weapons, large magazines and bullets that tear human tissue into shreds is prohibited by the second amendment to the Constitution. Yes, there will still be people who go berserk and shoot up schools and shopping malls, but the number of casualties would be greatly limited.
Randy Macon December 19, 2012 at 10:00 PM
sorry, I left out a critical word, ...is NOT prohibited by the second amendment


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