Streams

Gun Violence and the Colorado Shooting

Monday, July 23, 2012

Police cars in front of the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman opened fire during the opening of the new Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (JONATHAN CASTNER/AFP/GettyImages)

New York Congressman Carolyn McCarthy (D-4th), longtime gun control advocate, reacts to the Colorado movie theater shooting.

Guests:

Carolyn McCarthy

Comments [90]

TNC from QNS

Man, the rhetoric is certainly overheated here. First someone mistakenly referred to “machine guns” and then hysterical MC from Manhattan referred to small arms as “WEAPONS of MASS DESTRUCTION.” Um, no.

Individual small arms ownership, including semi-automatic rifles, is protected by the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled thus, just as they enshrined the right to safe and legal abortions.

“Truth and Beauty: notes:

“Does anyone else find it ironic that those who are most opposed to gun laws and gun control are also opposed to abortion? In other words, they value fetuses more than existing human beings.”

Flip that around and look in the mirror. Does anyone find it disturbing that the same people who are trying to take away your rights are the same ones who support the routinized murder of babies? That's not what I think personally, but it springs from a similar mentality as your own.

Steve (and others made similar comments):

“The argument for firearms as protection from a tyrannical government became invalid with the invention of the tank, the chemical weapon, the jet fighter and the nuclear weapon.”

This one takes the cake:

“And Chip, we learned in the 1960s that non-violent protest works far better at overthrowing a govt than attacking it with all the handguns in the world.”

The lesson learned in Vietnam was that a people armed largely with light weapons could defeat the most powerful military in the world. There are other instances where a military that was perceived as undefeatable (by its officers and the citizenry) was defeated by a much smaller, less well-armed force. Yes, even in the age of drones, jet fighters and nuclear weapons. Look at what is happening in Syria right now.

Jul. 24 2012 08:12 AM

Anthony asked: "If police officers who are trained to appropriately use their guns get it wrong, can we trust the average citizen?"
Police have 5 times the error rate (shooting the wrong guy) as armed civilians.
Cops arrive on a scene they don't yet understand, and any gun looks like a threat to them.
An armed victim knows that the bad guy is the one that just demanded his wallet, or started shooting into the crowd.

Jul. 24 2012 03:45 AM

correction to interchangeable genocidal villains:
Cambodia's citizens were already disarmed under laws passed in 1920, 1938, & 1956. So the Khmer Rouge had unarmed victims in 1975-77 when they killed a million "educated" Cambodians - about 14% of the population.

Jul. 24 2012 03:16 AM

Mark,
Your view, that Nazis are the opposite of Communists, is one dimensional.
Add another dimension to your political spectrum with this fun quiz:
http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/
Nazis (National Socialists) and Commies (Soviet Socialists) are both in the same authoritarian quadrant of the Diamond Chart.
Both Nazis and Commies implemented gun registration, then confiscation, before committing their genocides.

Jul. 24 2012 02:42 AM

To Mark,
Cambodia's citizens were already disarmed under laws passed in 1920, 1938, & 1956. So the Talaban had unarmed victims in 1975-77 when they killed a million "educated" Cambodians - about 14% of the population.

Jul. 24 2012 02:23 AM

to amalgam,
Your history on the Afghan Mujaheddin is a bit revisionist. Hit-or-miss RPGs didn't down copters. Shoulder-held Stinger missiles forced the Russian aircraft to keep their distance. But AK-47s and Enfields did most of the killing.
The US initially had an easier time, because the Taliban had already disarmed most of their previously armed countrymen.

Jul. 24 2012 02:17 AM
David

M. L. Stern from Fort Lee, NJ, you wrote: "Has there been a single documented case where this has actually happened?"

Did you see this recent video of a 71-year old armed customer stopping two young armed robbers?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175170/Harrowing-moment-elderly-internet-cafe-goer-guns-robbers-chases-door.html

Jul. 23 2012 07:53 PM
M. L. Stern from Fort Lee, NJ

I'm glad Congresswoman McCarthy addressed the contention "that an armed movie goer could have stopped this attack as asserted by Luke O’Dell of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (page 1 NY Times - Saturday July 21) by stating police opposition to this belief.

"Potentially, if there had been a law-abiding citizen who had been able to carry in the theater, it’s possible the death toll would have been less.”

Has there been a single documented case where this has actually happened?

Jul. 23 2012 07:32 PM
Mark

Oh man, the ridiculous fantasy history these guns nuts come up with is scary. I can't believe people have this shaky a grasp of history. On another article some guy was blaming the Khmer Rouge on gun confiscation. The Khmer Rouge were insurgents who overthrew what THEY considering a "tyrannical government"! The Khmer Rouge were "living the dream" that all you gun crazies have! Also we all know if you guys were in Germany you would would have supported the Nazis as anti-communists, that's the truth. I have to stop reading English language websites. Americans are just too deluded.

Jul. 23 2012 05:46 PM
scott from soho

I was going to post a comment, but Chip and Gary from Queens covered all I wanted to say.

Jul. 23 2012 03:52 PM
Gary

Ugh - from reading these comments, it looks like the unemployment around this town has addled people into sheer lunacy. No hope at all - better to move out of this zoo than live with the animals (aka - the gun lovers, teabaggers, and assorted other loons).

Jul. 23 2012 03:29 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ CaptainDrG -

Your history on the Afghan mujaheddin is a bit revisionist, considering you overlook that they were being slaughtered until the US armed them with military hardware (particularly RPGs) that helped them to bring down attack helicopters. The COMPLETE lack of infrastructure and the impossible terrain greatly aided the mujaheddin as well, something that the US is learning as well. To wit; the experience of the Afghan mujaheddin cannot be replicated and have almost no bearing on an American _gun control_ discussion.

Also, many examples, including most recently the occurrence of the Arab Spring (however one feels about it), demonstrate that nonviolent means (e.g., Egypt, Tunisia, India, etc.) of resistance to are at least powerful if not more so than armed conflict in terms of toppling a tyrannical government.

Jul. 23 2012 02:41 PM

re: "The argument for firearms as protection from a tyrannical government became invalid."
Small individually-armed Afghanistan beat the Russian Army.
Armed Americans outnumber the military by about 100 to 1.
Soldiers mostly signed up to defend America - not to murder fellow Americans. Tyrants can't count on them to suppress a justifiable popular revolution.
So the armed body of the people encourages leaders to avoid the appearance of tyranny.

Jul. 23 2012 02:08 PM
gary from queens

Jawbone:

Ian Ayres* & John J. Donohue III do not take into account that no date is entered into police reports when a gun is brandished in which it thwarts a robbery or mugging.

Jul. 23 2012 01:03 PM
gary from queens

Jon Pope from Ridge

The reason the majority of cops never shot anyone is because criminals dont rob banks and mug people when cops are around. Dare I say DUHHH?!

Jul. 23 2012 12:43 PM

Enabling non-law enforcement individuals to acquire 4 weapons and 6,000 rounds of ammunition is just looney...No public good can be supported by such easy acquisition and it just makes the general environment more dangerous.

Look to our own history, in the West, firearms were needed to protect the homestead, against road agents, etc. However, nearly every town enacted a 'guns free' policy inside the city limits.

Where is the ingenuity that enables a non-lethal takedown system that citizens can carry if they are so inclined.

Jul. 23 2012 12:25 PM
Anthony from new jersey

I look at gun laws like child safety. We make sure we keep certain hazards away from children, that does not mean they are 100% safe but we find it necessary. Its a moral imperative to make certain things harder to do. Especially when many individuals suffer from mental illness in this country. Background checks,and a ban on assault rifles and large clips seems rather modest.

Being able to trace a weapon after the fact does little to help dead victims. Also isn't there already a black market for guns? In recent memory I can not remember a mass shooter that wasn't apprehended at the scene anyway. I would put credence in the idea of vigilante civilians with guns if no one was ever shot for pulling out a wallet before. If police officers who are trained to appropriately use their guns get it wrong, can we trust the average citizen?

As for protection against the government; if people kill people, not guns, then it would stand to reason a government made of people could be tyrannical no matter the amount of guns present. Ideology is powerful and would be a better place to start defending oneself.

Jul. 23 2012 12:24 PM
alan from NY

Generally, Americans know that they are being disenfranchised- substitute "corporations" for "monarchy"- "1%" for "aristocracy." Every day,our elected officials demonstrate their loyalty(and dependence)to money,not to their country, not to their own parties, certainly not to their own constituents. More and more people project that their access to safe water, clean air, quality education,safe food, a better future for their children are not insured, assured, likely, probable, or even possible.
Stronger gun control legislation cannot happen when NRA money corrupts legislatures and when more and more people are fearful and feel threatened by larger forces.

Jul. 23 2012 12:14 PM
David

MEMO to Carolyn McCarthy: When was the last time an ARMED police officer was there to protect you when you were in the middle of being the victim of a crime???

Police are not active in crime prevention; they are re-active. Needing ANY "permission" from the people (i.e., government) whose job it is to protect you (and generally DON'T) to provide your own protection is the height of arrogance and stupidity.

Jul. 23 2012 12:06 PM
Roger from New York

In what other advanced society would there be such a debate about guns? We Americans are indeed exceptional and not always in benign ways. There seems to be a collective psychosis with regard to the need to own firearms. It is pointless to try to enact sensible legislation because far too many Americans sincerely want to own a gun, and truly believe they need one to defend themselves against criminals, terrorists, aliens or their own government. We've all seen far too many movies and TV shows! It is highly unlikely that effective, intelligent laws controlling the purchase and ownership of firearms will be adopted in the U.S. - unless, as a society, we look in the mirror and question our motivations and justifications for virtually unlimited gun ownership.

Jul. 23 2012 12:04 PM
Edward Mayer from West Orange, NJ

I believe that the founding fathers would have understood the danger of assault weapons as they are today, eg, 1. rifled bores so bullets travel predictably, 2. no manual time consuming muzzle reload 3.large automatically rapidly fed magazines, 4. reliable initiation of the gas release from the cartridge that drives the bullet rather than creating a spark that hopefully will ignite the powder, and 5. bullets rather than spherical projectiles.
Its the supreme court that should revisit this this issue in the light of these facts.

Jul. 23 2012 12:03 PM

Maybe I am splitting hairs, Brian, but your bulleting of '...the two years that the Democrats controlled Congress..." deserves at the very least an asterisk. The undemocratic and (IMO) treasonous use of the filibuster by GOP members of the Senate has gutted much of the 'majority rule' aspects of our republic and therefore makes an proclamations of 'control' suspect. My personal contention is that majority rule existed for less than three weeks in 2009. From July 7 when Al Franken was FINALLY sworn in and the beginning of the August recess. As you know, when they returned from recess Teddy Kennedy had died.

We need to temper that 'Obama and the Democrats had the Congress for two years! What did they get done?" thinking and shed more light and less heat.

Jul. 23 2012 12:03 PM
David

Correction: I meant to write: "The idea that one needed permission to own a gun would have seemed outrageous to people..."

Jul. 23 2012 11:59 AM

re: "...armed citizens could have stopped him. When has that ever happened?"
Here is a video.
http://libertycrier.com/front-page/video-senior-citizen-guns-down-would-be-robbers-protects-crowd/
if the link doesn't come thru, search:
video-senior-citizen-guns-down-would-be-robbers-protects-crowd

Jul. 23 2012 11:59 AM
David

Stuart Waldman from Manhattan, you wrote: "If the right to bear arms is unlimited by the constitution as the NRA would falsely have us believe, than we have a right to own tanks, grenade launchers, even nuclear weapons. They are all arms."

It actually does. The Second Amendment is NOT about firearm protection for personal use. It's about firearm protection against oppressive governments. Back then, owning a firearm was like owning a fork and spoon. The idea that one needed permission to won a gun would have seemed outrageous to people. In fact, a number of the colonies had laws requiring people to own a firearm.

If anything, because the Second Amendment is about the citizenry protecting itself against an oppressive government (It's no coincidence that the Second Amendment follows directly after the First Amendment concerning personal freedoms), private citizens have more of a right to own military weaponry than the small arms that they currently can own.

My own philosophy as an individualist is that ALL bombs should be banned from the planet because bombs are indiscriminate weapons that murder innocent people as well as the potential aggressors that one is targeting with a bomb.

Jul. 23 2012 11:55 AM
John A

Rereading about Jared Lee Loughner. Seems he went through a heavy illegal drug binge prior to flipping. Interested in how the story on this shooter will go, along these lines.

Jul. 23 2012 11:53 AM

re: "...armed citizens could have stopped him. When has that ever happened?"
Several of the school shootings terminated when a student or teacher retrieved their own guns and stopped the shooter.
A shooter entered a gun store and started shooting wildly. Customers & staff responded. He had 24 bullets in his body when he fell dead, and he killed nobody.
In Israel, shooters have been stopped by armed citizens.

Jul. 23 2012 11:51 AM
Steve

The argument for firearms as protection from a tyrannical government became invalid with the invention of the tank, the chemical weapon, the jet fighter and the nuclear weapon. You don't want me to have any of those and I don't want you to have them either.

Tracking guns and bullets will deter sane people, but how do we prevent the insane from taking an arsenal into a public space? They might not care about being judged or buried.

As usual, the gun lovers are typically white, fearful males who don't have to live with the impact of guns but can romanticize about being heroes from the safety of the 'burbs.

Jul. 23 2012 11:50 AM
Ken Atkatz from NYC

The argument that the Founders wanted the People to be able to start a civil war whenever the government becomes oppressive is a dubious one. The people of the Southern states started a Civil War, and Abe Lincoln and the rest of the American people decided that they had no such right. If there is a right to fight against the government, remember that the government has tanks, planes, battleships, and nuclear missiles. Do we have a right to own such weapons?

Jul. 23 2012 11:49 AM
Jon from Manhattan

For those neurotics who claim that their firearms would protect them from an oppressive regime, you would not want to encounter the military might the US government could unleash on its populace were it so inclined. You wouldn't have a chance. The only effective means to overthrow the government would be carried out by more subversive mechanisms and firearms would play a trivial role. Unless you argue for an M1 Abrams in every driveway do these sorts of diatribes carry any weight.

Jul. 23 2012 11:47 AM
Peg

Would an advocate of high powered assault weapons please explain why they are necessary in civilian society?

In the US, these guns will not prevent government tyranny, because the Gov'ment has so much more firepower and advanced weaponry. If the government wants to take anyone out, all they need is a drone.

Jul. 23 2012 11:47 AM
Max from Norther NJ

(paraphrasing Brian) "You're not talking about hunting or target practice, you are talking about arming people for military insurrection against tyrannical government???"

The Second Amendment, in its entirety, reads,

"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."

"Necessary to the security of a free state" should answer your comment.

Jul. 23 2012 11:47 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Many think the pro-gun argument against possible government tyranny is unrealistic, because we believe we're "post-history". But we're not.

Jul. 23 2012 11:47 AM
David

Did Brian just say: "If something is illegal, it's harder to come by?" You mean like illegal marijuana, cocaine, heroine, and LSD? We sure have stopped illegal drug use/ownership by making it illegal to own them. The War on Drugs is a great success. The poor Black communities are especially grateful for making recreational drug ownership illegal.

As the saying goes: "When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns." Here's a story of an armed 71-year old private citizen using his gun to stop armed robbers. I "wonder" why the Media didn't pick up on this story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175170/Harrowing-moment-elderly-internet-cafe-goer-guns-robbers-chases-door.html

Jul. 23 2012 11:47 AM
Stuart Waldman from Manhattan

If the right to bear arms is unlimited by the constitution as the NRA would falsely have us believe, than we have a right to own tanks, grenade launchers, even nuclear weapons. They are all arms.

Jul. 23 2012 11:45 AM
Suzanne from Manhattan

We don't know that Holmes didn't have documented mental health issues. Since he was not killed, the university can release none of his health or academic records and, appropriately from a liability standpoint, the school has directed its staff and asked its students not to discuss the shooter or the incident. His behavior is consistent with the onset of schizophrenia which most often appears at his age and is not a problem unknown to college students under pressure to achieve. If he had been identified by the college as mentally unstable, then reporting issues similar to those at Virginia Tech might arise. We just don't know yet.

Jul. 23 2012 11:45 AM

The argument for gun possession that if someone had had one in the audience the damage would have been less or none is bogus: for every case like this one there are hundreds of instances where people have guns at the ready, panic or lose their temper and unintentionally hurt or kill somebody. I don't want to think that there are people in the audience of the movie theater carrying a weapon.

Jul. 23 2012 11:44 AM
Unheard from WNYC

Can someone enlighten me to "any" example of somebody being armed that has saved the day in a similar situation to the Aurora shooting? If it exists I'd like to know about it.

Jul. 23 2012 11:43 AM
Kay from NY

Japan is illegal and it seems like working... It may only because the country is easier to eliminate foreign smuggles, but I think it is worth look into it. While I was living in that country, I had no concern happening like this. Sure, there was a crazy mass stubbing case - but how difficult to prevent that compared to guns....

Jul. 23 2012 11:43 AM
Barbara Withers from Manhattan NYC

Please repeat the website Carolyn mentioned to support the house bill.

Jul. 23 2012 11:42 AM
Megan from Brooklyn

Those who mention the second ammendment, including the Supreme Court in 2008, claim that rights for everyone to own guns is protected. But I always thought it was to protect the States from domination by the federal government. What has happened to this discussion - it is off the table now that the Supreme Court changed the playing field in '08?

Jul. 23 2012 11:42 AM
gary from queens

If "compromise" is the word of the day in politics, then I would think the NRA would be open to having a higher threshold for owning assault rifles and large mags.

But McCarthy and Bloomberg etal refuse to compromise on conceal carry permits for pistol ownership for self protection.

Some people really need this protection, when police are scarce.

Jul. 23 2012 11:42 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge

So gary from queens,

How many bad guys have you shot with your concealed weapon? Fact, the overwhelming majority of cops in all 50 states never shoot their gun in the line of duty. Remember, they actually go out looking for the bad guys everyday they work....

Jul. 23 2012 11:40 AM
RL

Yes, it is all "traceable", but the people are still dead.

Jul. 23 2012 11:40 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Mr Lehrer has just stated that bans make things rare. Like drugs I suppose.

Jul. 23 2012 11:40 AM
Bob from Flushing

Re the Texas congressman who says fewer would have died if someone in the audience had been "carrying"a weapon--That's akin to Archie Bunker's proposed solution to the rash of airplane highjackings during the 70s: Pass out guns to all the passengers as they board the plane; then collect them when they exit. Flawless logic!!!

Jul. 23 2012 11:40 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Rep McCarthy mentions the opinions of police who stated that, in their opinion, an armed response would not have short-circuited Colin Ferguson's LIRR rampage. I must wonder, which police officer did she ask: the officers who fired fifty rounds at Sean Bell and his party, who struck their targets with less than 10% of their rounds, whose rounds struck the commuter rail station a quarter-mile away? Are those her experts?

Jul. 23 2012 11:37 AM
Chris Garvey

The Aurora Colorado Theater was a Gun-Free Zone. The "No Guns" signs deterred all, except the mass murderer, from being armed.
The Texas Restaurant, where Suzanna Gratia-Hupp watched her parents and 21 others executed, while her gun sat, as required by law, in her car, was a gun-free zone.
Columbine High School; Virginia Tech; The Empire State Building; The Flights of 9/11 - - all Gun-Free Zones.
Hitler's Germany, for all but government Nazis, was a gun-free zone.
Parts of the South were gun free zones, But only for slaves.
East Timore was a gun-free zone. And was helpless to resist Suharto's invasion, and 25 years of Indonesian genocide.
The death toll of gun-free zones: Thousands, Millions, and it accrues,
Massacres at shooting ranges, gun shows: none. But that's not news.
Copr. 2000, 2012 Chris Garvey

Jul. 23 2012 11:37 AM
Robert

I, being a gun owner and a hunter, target shooter, fully agree with the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. If you want an eye opening experience, go to a rifle range on a weekend afternoon and take a look at what is being fired and who is behind the site. It is somewhat disconcerting to see. We do need to protect the Second Amendment but to a point. My opinion is that our forefathers never intended to have a public armed with the type of gun, ammunition and loading capabilities that we have at our disposal.

Jul. 23 2012 11:37 AM
Leo from Queens

Question: "why do you think the NRA has so much power over members of Congress?"

ANSWER: Because they have lots of money coming in from the Gun traffickers and the Mexican drug cartels - Even Bloomberg's money can't compete with that kind of money

Jul. 23 2012 11:37 AM
Sheldon from brooklyn

Gary - I agree, not everyone have the likes of the NYPD to protect themselves or their property.

I would go further and say that the city makes it too difficult for law abiding citizens, especially businessmen, to get a gun permit. I'm watching this guy on TV, in court - live, he looks like a nutcase.

Jul. 23 2012 11:36 AM
Katie from Brooklyn

I'm so tired of this argument that other armed citizens could have stopped him. When has that ever happened??? Even at VT, in a state that issues concealed carry permits, that didn't happen. And regardless, he was wearing full Kevlar. It's such a ludicrous argument. Ban high capacity clips.

Jul. 23 2012 11:36 AM
Dennis Maher from Lake Luzerne

Bill Owens(Plattsburgh, NY 23), is funded by the NRA, and his support of guns makes him viable as a Democrat in the north country. I am calling out Bill for this nonsense. And the same could be said of my current Congressman, (R) Chris Gibson. We have to vote our values. It must be that we value guns over people.

Jul. 23 2012 11:36 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Does anyone else find it ironic that those who are most opposed to gun laws and gun control are also opposed to abortion? In other words, they value fetuses more than existing human beings.

Jul. 23 2012 11:35 AM
RL

The guy had even covered his nuts in bullet-proof armor. An audience member with a gun would have been useless and would have been the next to die.

Jul. 23 2012 11:35 AM
Peg

If everyone in the US joined the NRA, perhaps their "power" might be taken down a bit. (Membership starts at the bargain price of $25)

Jul. 23 2012 11:35 AM

Wow, only Texas politicians would say such things..more guns, yes, let people have a bullet fight, that is the solution. Can it be more idiotic?

Jul. 23 2012 11:35 AM
JH from NJ

My issue with people like Sen. McCarthy is that they really don't know what they're regulating. (see her infamous 'barrel shroud' YouTube video where she didn't know what she was trying to ban, and why it would help).

They don't know the different between hollow points and armor piercing, muzzle brakes from flash suppressors, feel noise suppressors make your shots inaudible, and a dozen other things.

... and the article you just quoted - 'speedloaders'? Really? That's to quickly load the magazine - not make reloading during shooting any quicker, it would not have affected this incident in the slightest.

(and yes pro-gun people do vote for Obama)

Jul. 23 2012 11:34 AM
MC from manhattan

I don't care what you argue ... these are weapons of mass destruction period . WEAPONS of MASS destruction!
The constitution says before it mentions any thing about gun rights "in accordance with the establishment of a "WELL REGULATED " militia . Does any gun nut apologist understand what this means and why it was written into the constitution. no the gun idiots ignore this stipulation and interpret the constitution to mean that they can have any thing they want . This illegal madness must stop
The Gov of colorado is an idiot to make arguments to excuse away our collective responsibility out of fear of the NRA

Its an emotional issue for the gun nuts .. they are not balanced to look at these incidents and explain them away this way is proof of a lack of connection to reality ... 70 people in 90 seconds is a weapon of has destruction

Jul. 23 2012 11:34 AM
john from office

I carry and it would be suicide to pull your weapon in a shootout, because police and other armed people don't know you are a good guy. You will get shot.

Jul. 23 2012 11:34 AM
RL

Jim, who would anyone in that audience shoot a guy covered in Kevlar????

Jul. 23 2012 11:33 AM
JH

My issue with people like Sen. McCarthy is that they really don't know what they're regulating. (see her infamous 'barrel shroud' YouTube video where she didn't know what she was trying to ban, and why it would help).

They don't know the different between hollow points and armor piercing, muzzle brakes from flash suppressors, feel noise suppressors make your shots inaudible, and a dozen other things.

... and the article you just quoted - 'speedloaders'? Really? That's to quickly load the magazine - not make reloading during shooting any quicker, it would not have affected this incident in the slightest.

(and yes pro-gun people do vote for Obama)

Jul. 23 2012 11:33 AM
Laura from UWS

What about the other issue--treating the mentally ill?

Jul. 23 2012 11:33 AM
Leo from Queens

QUOTE: "They are intimidating our political voices.." How are they being intimidated? It must be with violence because I don't know why politicians can be such cowards if the 'intimidation' is that the NRA will finance an opponent against you.

Jul. 23 2012 11:32 AM
Nancy from NYC

It all comes back to campaign finance reform. If we had public financing of elections, the NRA would IMMEDIATELY lose its power over our legislature and we would not permit the sale of guns and ammo beyond those used for hunting or home protection.

On another note, I'd like to see how the NRA would react if some crazed gunman shot up and killed people at its own headquarters.

Jul. 23 2012 11:32 AM
chip

With all due respect to Congresswoman McCarthy, when the government comes to put me in a gas chamber, I would prefer an assualt weapon...

Jul. 23 2012 11:32 AM

registration, then confiscation, then genocide
In the 20th Century, governments killed about 180,000,000 of their own people.
For 65 to 110 million victims of governments, the pattern was:
1. Register the guns;
2. Confiscate the registered guns;
3. Kill the unarmed victims.

Fewer than 200 national governments killed 180,000,000 of their own people = average of 900,000 murders per government.
About 10,000,000,000 people killed 18,000,000 = average of 0.0018 murders per person.
Is it safer to trust individuals, or governments, with the means of defense?
Is it safer to trust others, or yourself, with the means of defense?

Partial genocide list:
Gun Control - Country - extermination dates total - victims
1911 Turkey 1915-17; 1.5 Million Armenians
1929 Soviet Union 1929-53 KGB records 65 Million dissidents
1928 Germany 1935 confiscate, 1939-45 killed 13-28 Million Jews, gypsies, etc [Before the Nazis, Germany was a very civilized and tolerant nation.]
1935 Red China 1948-52 killed 20 to 100 Million
1964 Guatemala 1964-81 killed 100,000 Mayan Indians
1970 Uganda 1971-79 killed 300,000 Christians
1956 Cambodia 1975-77; killed 1 to 2.5 Million "educated"
East Timor, 1975-99 Indonesian rulers killed 100,000 to 200,000, perhaps 1/3 the population.

Jul. 23 2012 11:32 AM
RL

And Chip, we learned in the 1960s that non-violent protest works far better at overthrowing a govt than attacking it with all the handguns in the world. The public can never own enough guns to overpower the US military/police.

Jul. 23 2012 11:31 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

While many will argue -- and I will agree -- that an armed response to James Holmes' rampage would have made no difference, due to the specific circumstances there, an armed response would have short-circuited Colin Ferguson's rampage on the LIRR that killed and injured Rep McCarthy's loved ones.

Jul. 23 2012 11:30 AM
Katie from Brooklyn

Rep McCarthy, could you please give us specifics about the ways that the NRA has pressured you and other lawmakers?

Jul. 23 2012 11:30 AM
Jon from Manhattan

An armed audience? What are you nuts? That's exactly what was not needed. Imagine the Kafkaesque scenario with an armed lunatic shooting people and armchair cowboys sporting their sidearms shooting people in a darkened theater.

Jul. 23 2012 11:29 AM
RL

Chip, when folks like you bring up the 2nd Admendment, they never refer to the "well-regulated militia" part of it. Why not? That says straight out the regluating guns is part of the government's job.

Jul. 23 2012 11:28 AM
j

if we feel that strong controls on the gun market are important, how do we answer people who point out that the stats suggest that more guns do not seem to equal more violent crime? that to me does not end the debate, but what's the rational answer to that? it seems to me we can't just argue about the symbols, we need to be dealing with facts as much as possible.

Jul. 23 2012 11:28 AM
Carlos from Manhattan

In the spirit or NOT being one of those people that just complains about certain issues, in the early 90's I actually joined the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence organization. (I think just after the LI massacre). I quickly became dismayed that there are many many organizations such NYAGV throughout the nation. Meanwhile, if I'm not mistaken, "the other side" has just one (at least one major one), the NRA. I think the fact that Gun Control advocates have so many organizations is actually HURTING not helping the cause. It's diluting the message, and in general, not harnessing all the synergies and efficiencies that can be had with just having one organization.

Jul. 23 2012 11:28 AM
Leo from queens

Can you ask congresswoman McCarthy why there is so much fear of the NRA by politicians. I was extremely disappointed that the replacement for Congresswoman Giffords - Representative Ron Barber - when asked on MSNBC on Saturday morning about a discussion on limiting guns to certain people and his face filled with total fear and terror and went on to say that he was not elected to address gun issues but to address economic and health issues.

Why would he show such cowardice? Is it that the NRA and cartels have made credible threats against him and his family? Have other politicians been threatened other than with pouring money against them?

Jul. 23 2012 11:27 AM
Bob from Flushing

Was anyone struck, as I was, by the number of people interviewed at the scene who had brought extremely young children with them to the film. This was a midnight film at a theater filled to capacity and one woman had brought her THREE MONTH-OLD baby!!!

Furthermore, none of the brilliant, on-the-scene TV "journalists" was moved to even remark on this fact.

Jul. 23 2012 11:25 AM
Jim

I think Fuva and Martin are actually in agreement on something. Martin suggests that fantastical Hollywood violent and debauchery degrades society. Fuva says "We should not indulge their sick egos". She was referring to the shooter, but if you also apply that sentiment to Hollywood producers and actors, we might all live better lives. How we can simultaneously worship Hollywood crap while decrying real-world crap is beyond logical explanation.

Jul. 23 2012 11:25 AM
gary from queens

Sheldon

Of course there are limits to what a private citizen should amass in the way of weaponry.

But the court has ruled on self defense within reason. I worked nights in manhattan and would see cleaning ladies leave for home in groups. Reminded me of ships during WWII traveling in convoys because of Nazi subs on the prowl.

But in our society, there are places where there are no cops. In the backwoods of Arkansas or after midnight in manhattan. and Liberals like Bloomberg need to get mugged when no cop is present (which happens 100 percent of the time!!) before they will learn the value of bearing guns.

And this antipathy for gun ownership was revealed last friday when Brian Ross and George Stephanopolous speculated about the possibility that the tragedy was the work of a Tea Party member on ABC’s "Good Morning America". they were probably saying aloud what most of the mainstream liberal media was thinking at the time.

ABC has apologized for this irresponsible comment but now that it’s become clear that a mentally disturbed person with no apparent political agenda committed the tragedy, many on the left have fallen back on the trope that more gun control measures might have prevented the crime and are venting their frustration about the fact that the American people have little interest in more gun laws.

Jul. 23 2012 11:24 AM
Jim

@Becky asked "I wonder how a 6 year old would have shot this man??"

Ok, I'll answer the rhetorical question. A 6 year old is not likely to shoot a rampaging lunatic -- but a six year old's mother certainly could.

Jul. 23 2012 11:18 AM
jawbone

(@nd try to post)

One analysis of Lott's contentions and book, from "Shooting Down the “More Guns, Less Crime” Hypothesis," by Ian Ayres* & John J. Donohue III. From Page 1201:

QUOTE
In earlier work, we commented on concerns that we had about model reliability based on Lott's analysis of 1977-1992 data evaluating the effect of the adoption of shall-issue laws in ten states.15 We opined on the potential theoretical and empirical infirmities in that analysis, and noted the value in further study given that more state adoptions and the passage of time would likely either strengthen Lott's case if it were true or weaken it if it were false. Having extended the state data through 1999 and the county dataset through 1997, we are now able to test that prediction. We conclude that Lott and Mustard have made an important
scholarly contribution in establishing that these laws have not led to the
massive bloodbath of death and injury that some of their opponents feared. On the other hand, we find that the statistical evidence that these laws have reduced crime is limited, sporadic, and extraordinarily fragile.
UNQUOTE

Jul. 23 2012 11:15 AM
jawbone

One analysis of Lott's contentions and book, from "Shooting Down the “More Guns, Less Crime” Hypothesis," by Ian Ayres* & John J. Donohue III. From Page 1201:

QUOTE
In earlier work, we commented on concerns that we had about model reliability based on Lott's analysis of 1977-1992 data evaluating the effect of the adoption of shall-issue laws in ten states.15 We opined on the potential theoretical and empirical infirmities in that analysis, and noted the value in further study given that more state adoptions and the passage of time would likely either strengthen Lott's case if it were true or weaken it if it were false. Having extended the state data through 1999 and the county dataset through 1997, we are now able to test that prediction. We conclude that Lott and Mustard have made an important
scholarly contribution in establishing that these laws have not led to the
massive bloodbath of death and injury that some of their opponents feared. On the other hand, we find that the statistical evidence that these laws have reduced crime is limited, sporadic, and extraordinarily fragile.
UNQUOTE

Jul. 23 2012 11:14 AM
chip

Incidents such as the one in the Aurora theatre are tragic and regrettable. However, we must bear in mind that the second amendment exists so that citizens can protect themselves from tyrannical government. If one looks at the 20th century, and the 21st centruy so far, one must ask oneself: do more people die from tyranical goverment or from random or even criminal gun violence. Clearly many more people die from tryannical government. It would take centuries of gun violence to amass anywhere near the number of deaths in the holocaust. The holocaust may never have occured if the Jews had guns. These of course were removed by the Wiemar governemnt before Hitler came to power. Think how many less people would have died in Lybia or Syria or Sudan, if the citizens were armed.

For those who say this could never happen here: I pose this question. Would anyone in Weimar Germany have predicted that a genocide of the magnitude of the holocaust could have occured in a civilized democracy like Germany? Unfortunately, incidents such as the Aurora tragedy are the price that we pay to protect ourselves from the far worse consequences of tyranny.

Jul. 23 2012 11:13 AM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

On the shooting in Co USA. That would be a good day in Iraq;

When the USA and other Nations still insist on using Killing as a means to solve problems. All they do is use Semantics, Hypocrisy and a warped sense of Justification to Kill.
Terrorists or Patriots , Good vs Evil and Us vs them ….

I have always wondered why our Politicians get upset when this kind of " Senseless Violence " happens, it implies that if the State does it its OK , since of course they have a Sovereign Right, Ha

I call Bulls… on that. All they do is tell us its OK if you have a reason, and also that Father knows best crap , I can do it but you can't.
So why get all in a huff when someone who needed mental help goes ballistic ?? There is no national health care no way to easily define and get people the help they need.
All the gun rights folks are like " more or at least one person should of had a hand gun to defend the entire theater against a heavily armed nut. Guess what happens.

In NYC last week two men were wrestling with a gun , one was a trained ATF agent the other a bad man, well the NYPD shot the wrong guy and then shot the bad guy, no charges were filed !
And Travon was gunned down without having a weapon !

Peace...

Also we are lucky so far that no coordinated multiple city strike using this one man rampage has been used by Americas Enemies, much cheaper than training a few pilots and hijacking some planes. Like then it will be our own weapons and polices that will drive the next " Terrorist " attack….

Jul. 23 2012 11:13 AM
fuva from harlemworld

(Does this count as another big incident that happened when Brian was off?)

Slightly off topic: I agree with concerns raised about the unintended glorification of these types by examining and reporting their past etc. We should not indulge their sick egos. Still, some examination of their background and mindsets is needed if we are ever to address/prevent this phenomenon...Perhaps we should consider not naming these people in public discourse. Rather, instead of their names, we could employ a descriptive term/acronym when referring to them -- something like "sick mass predator" or "SMP", followed by a sequential number. This latest fella would be SMP23 (or whatever number he is.)

Jul. 23 2012 11:11 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Gary, concealed handguns are different from machine guns. However, for better or worse, the constitution does not make a distinction between the two.

Jul. 23 2012 11:06 AM
The Truth from Becky

Oh no, it's not the guns, this guy killed and injured all those people with a a perfectly legally purchased gun so, nooo let's not do anything about gun laws, it was his right to have it..like I heard a gun nut in my office say "well if everyone in the theatre had guns" that's all I heard because I walked off! I am sure he was going to finish with, "someone could have shot him" or "he wouldn't have done it" you cannot predict mental illness. I wonder how a 6 year old would have shot this man??

Jul. 23 2012 10:59 AM
John A from downrange

I'll call this one a failure to connect the dots. One man flooded the 15-day evaluation system (?) with dozens of requests for goods, which were granted. How could that not have generated a red flag in the system?

Jul. 23 2012 10:35 AM
gary from queens

Professor John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws", has researched this issue.

Question: What does the title mean: More Guns, Less Crime?

John R. Lott, Jr.: States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws-called "shall-issue" laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

Question: It just seems to defy common sense that crimes likely to involve guns would be reduced by allowing more people to carry guns. How do you explain the results?

Lott: Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate-as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

Jul. 23 2012 10:16 AM
Sabrina

All news reports say that strict gun laws do not correlate with lower gun violence. This seems counter intuitive. Could you address the studies upon which this pov is based. thanks.

Jul. 23 2012 10:13 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

It's not the guns. (We've always had guns.)
IT'S THE NUMBING, COARSE CULTURE. (Thank you, liberal Hollywood elites.)

“Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which your are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. ... It may be that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal and that you are a paralytic.”

G. K. Chesteron, 1905

Jul. 23 2012 09:34 AM

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