Since the shootings in Tucson, we've been asking lots of questions about gun control and access to firearms. Here are some of your thoughts and reactions on this perennially divisive issue.
Carrying a gun to protect oneself from fellow citizens that also may be carrying a gun, is not a safety measure at all. I've heard military and law enforcement people well trained in the use of guns say: pulling a gun in reaction to a violent crime almost never works. It takes long, serious training in gun use, and mental training in focus and discernment, to be able to make a split second decision about whether to and how to use a gun in an emergency situation. It is rare when a responder is able use a firearm accurately enough to bring about a safe ending to a situation that involves a gunman and a number of people gathered in one place. How can we average citizens hope to bring about peace and security by adding even one more gun to the mix?
-Eileen Clark from Brooklyn
Amazing how when in the USA a half dozen people are shot (while tragic) is a big deal when in Iraq and Afghanistan dozens are being assassinated and blow to bits daily. How about going after Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney for the illegal invasion of Iraq ? Have a bit of Empathy for the rest of the world the USA is Ruining !
-Jeff Pappas from Connecticut
I just returned from a holiday trip home to the midwest. I was very surprised to learn how many of my friends are now carrying guns. As a lifelong supporter of gun control I initially found this circumstance very disturbing, though after listening to their reasoning (and seeing the neighborhoods in which they reside), I had to admit it was a more complicated issue than I realized. I still don't think it's the best answer, but I definitely appreciate how this kind of escalation happens so easily.
-Aaron from Manhattan
Why is the discussion not about regulating the amount of bullets a gun can fire at one time. Do hunters really need to fire 32 bullets in rapid succession to kill a deer. Where's the sport in that? Why is no one talking about the gun show loophole? Why does Remington continue to make a rifle that fires on its own? Rapid fire guns are meant for war, not for sport shooting and should be outlawed. The man who was carrying the gun at the Giffords slaying was afraid to use his gun for fear he would be considered the shooter by cops and eyewitnesses. If everyone carried, like in the old west, it would be a free-for-all. Ridiculous.
-Katie from Huntington, NY
What about police officers - should an officer who has ever taken prozac - even years before - have his or her gun taken away?
-Andrea from NYC
Forty-nine states can have strong gun laws, but if the fiftieth does not, the whole thing falls apart. Uniformity is the most urgent priority.
This tragic incident should start a discussion about the parity of health insurance between mental illness and physical illness.
-nyorker from NYC
When are we as a nation going to understand, that it's the availability of guns that is the problem here. If the federal government doesn't make a move on gun control, local governments, states, and cities need to take the lead. The idea of making guns illegal within a specified distance of a political event is a great start, a small one considering this recent event, but a great effort to begin more robust discourse on this issue.
-Jackson from Brooklyn
The usual standard is in these sorts of matters is to refer to mass murderers such as Jared Lee Loughner as a thug and describe him as a monster, animal, blood-lust terrorist hoodlum... but in this case, everyone is a psychiatrist with a diagnosis for this killer of a Federal Judge, and an innocent 9 year old girl and several others. The fascination with guns should stop and the violence to language when some describe political opponents must stop as well... why should we ask Alec Baldwin to mind his language and we are unwilling to say the same thing to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh? It leaves me again, wondering aloud about these permanent double standards and hypocrisies in America. First of all, this terrorist, were he an Arab, or an African or an African American, he will be castigated as a monster, animal, bloodlust terrorist hoodlum. But for some inexplicable excuse, the public and press have been strenuously building this terrorist’s legal defense by continually insisting that he is deranged, insane and his terrorism is therefore understandably expected?
-Paul I. Adujie from New York City
We spend too much time and energy talking about our political differences, that there isn't enough time to talk about actual solutions.