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Gun control: What can we do locally?

Uploaded: May 22, 2018
As a Palo Alto resident who is upset about all the mass shootings our country keeps on witnessing, I want to do something about gun control.

But what? Locally, we are not besieged by shootings, our children are safe in schools, thank goodness, our police are vigilant, and we live in a state that has relatively strong gun control laws – but certainly not enough. And yet, I submit, we should at least try to do our part to get Congress to enact much stronger gun controls, ban automatics and semiautomatics, outlaw bump stocks on guns, get better background checks, and put pressure on gun manufacturers to adjust to the realities of changing views on gun control. Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher.

Thanks to the students at Parkland, Florida, who decided to do something after their classmates were shot, I think the attitude toward mass gun killings is finally beginning to change. Except in Congress, which has done zilch about gun control during the last two decades, a time when there have been more than 75 mass shootings in our schools, malls and at public events.

How can we end this madness?

We need to try to dramatically reduce the use of guns, and, more importantly, to convince the public that our dependence on guns is worse than our former dependence on cigarettes and drugs.

Three ideas for solving this gun problem were recently in The New York Times: 1) John Paul Stevens, a retired associate Supreme Court justice, declared the Second Amendment should be repealed. A bold idea, but I don’t think it will happen. 2) Stop shielding gun makers and work on repealing laws that prevent suits against the gun industry. The NRA has been successful in enacting these shields. It is time to get them repealed. Lawsuits helped the auto industry make cars safer, and lawsuits can convince gun manufacturers to increase the safety of guns. We are in a situation now where more people die from firearms than motor vehicle accidents. 3) Work on getting the public attitude to change about the overuse of guns in our society.

The third idea is important. Over time, people change their views. Public opinion has helped encourage smoking bans, more fuel-efficient cars, more recycling, and support now for gay marriage.

How do we do this? A tough question.

Obviously, contribute to gun control efforts throughout the country, write letters to the editor on proposals to limit guns in our state, vote for state legislators who support gun control, circulate information on which of our elected government officials received funding from the NRA, and ask all candidates running for public office if they would support gun control legislation.

Those are my ideas. You may have others.

Other Western nations don’t have the same gun problems we have, and their residents live in safer societies. We can make our country a better place to live -- not die from a bullet.
What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

 +   12 people like this
Posted by Emotions vs Reality, a resident of Woodside,
on May 22, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Educate our friends:


** Keeping a gun in the home increases the risk of injury and death.

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

- 11 times for completed and attempted suicides
- 7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
- 4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.

** More guns mean more gun tragedies

- Harvard Injury Control Research Center
- Homicide
1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review)
2. (more) Web Link


Keeping a gun in the home increases the risk of injury and death.

Fact.



 +   9 people like this
Posted by username324q34, a resident of Community Center,
on May 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

Common sense is understanding that criminals, by their very definition, don't follow laws. Anyone that recognizes the actual concern of protecting children MUST understand that it's not the typical "law abiding" American that needs to be restricted, it's the criminal (or "potential" criminal). History proves that there's primarily two types of criminals: Those that followed the laws in order to obtain their weapons, and chose to break the law afterwords (Paddock passed several background checks), and then there are those that willfully ignored the law, and obtained their weapons illegally. No new law would have stopped either of these types of criminals, and it only further restricts the law abiding Americans that choose to own a firearm for self defense.
Furthermore, as a victim, there are only two ways to stop an attacker: the victim can either "reason" with the attacker, or they can "force" the attacker to stop. Those are the only two options, and everything falls under those two. Any person that debates firearms/laws/etc, must know that guns will not be "uninvented" or eradicated from the USA. They're simply here to stay. So understanding that, and the "reason and force" fact I posted earlier, it's not surprising to understand that firearms play a major role in self defense in America. Even the CDC has reportedly admitted that DGU (defensive gun use) is significant (as many as 2.5M times per year, but as "low" as 50K times). The numbers really aren't relevant though, if you use the talking points given by liberal democrats: even if it saves ONE life...


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Emotions vs Reality, a resident of Woodside,
on May 23, 2018 at 11:26 am

Rather wild framing by @username: "Furthermore, as a victim, there are only two ways to stop an attacker: the victim can either "reason" with the attacker, or they can "force" the attacker to stop."

In fact, keeping guns in the house MAKE A FAMILY FAR MORE LIKELY TO BE A VICTIM:

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

- 11 times for completed and attempted suicides
- 7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
- 4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.


The topic is: What can we do locally? One answer is to educate our friends on realities, not some odd framing about our communities being full of victims of crime and they somehow need a gun to stay alive.

When the presence of guns, in fact, kill more often than defend victims.

Keeping a gun in the home increases the risk of injury and death.

Fact.




 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 23, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Stricter gun laws will probably not prevent the criminal element from getting hold of guns and using them for their lawlessness.

But stricter gun laws may prevent mass shootings and more importantly reduce the number of accidental shootings or those that involve domestic disputes, children getting hold of guns by accident, mistaken identity shootings and various other shootings that are caused by so called responsible gun owners being careless with their weapons or allowing alcohol or lack of judgment making them irresponsible. And this is not even mentioning the reality of gun suicides by those who own guns or their families.

Mass shootings are caused by different scenarios, but many are by guns that are obtained legally, either by the shooters themselves or by close family who have not prevented others to access them. Gun control can definitely make a difference to many of these types of shootings.

Gun control can definitely make a difference to the number of deaths by gun violence.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Cocktail time, a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"Gun control can definitely make a difference to the number of deaths by gun violence."

The fringe that is emotionally attached to their guns can NEVER admit that fact.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by James, a resident of University South,
on May 24, 2018 at 6:22 am

The suggestions can be categorized as good intentioned band-aids. The statistics quoted are fine, but look at London...a murder rate exceeding NYC except the piece of metal used is a knife, not a gun. People are still murdered which is what we want to prevent. Why for 200 yrs were there no school shootings and then in the past 20 years many? What has changed? The answer is broken families yielding no discipline for children, no discipline in schools, lack of reform schools to remove dangerous children for the normal school population, basically liberalism is the problem. Until this is reversed, armed teachers and a police presence in schools will be required until discipline is restored and children's minds trained in acceptable conduct and life values and the consequences of not following the rules are very harsh.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Guestimate, a resident of Barron Park,
on May 24, 2018 at 8:37 am

re London
Cherry picking at its finest! Look at a chart for the last ten years (or 20, or 30, or longer) and you can see London's a blip the last couple months.

If that's your "proof", show us the numbers on 10 other European capitals.

re "broken families"
Really? Proof? Links?

Paddock killed 60 in Vegas. How old was he?

You can't blame that on a broken family. You can blame the fever swamp: his ramblings about Waco, FEMA camps, etc..
Oh, and access to insane amounts of firepower.

Guns.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Guestimate, a resident of Barron Park,
on May 24, 2018 at 8:38 am

BBC London. Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 24, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Thank you to the previous poster for the link to the BBC article. I was about to do the same.

The London data is disturbing for the British, but should not be used here as anything other than a foreign news item. The situations are completely different.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by MothersDemandAction, a resident of another community,
on May 25, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Check out Moms Demand Action, a national grassroots organization advocating common-sense gun reforms. They follow the model of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. There are local chapters in the Bay Area including one in Menlo Park. Don't let the name discourage you if you aren't a mom. All are welcome to join. Check them out on Facebook or on their website:

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Emotions vs Reality, a resident of Woodside,
on May 25, 2018 at 5:41 pm

I checked out moms demand action. Totes useless. Very proud of their MADD model. Sure, they talk about action, joining, lots of press releases, but I couldn't find what they STOOD for!!!

Yes, they say: "Our common-sense, middle-ground solutions to the escalating problem of gun violence in America are straightforward.:

Great. What exactly are their proposed *solutions*? Can you find specifics on their website? I couldn't.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by MothersDemandAction, a resident of another community,
on May 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm

@EmotionsvsReality. “Founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, “Moms Demand Action" lobbies at state, local and national levels for common-sense gun reform." Web Link

They are also activists who organize marches, rallies, sit-ins, awareness events, even boycotts to debate and counter the talking points of the NRA. The website is for the national organization but a lot of the hands-on work is done by the local chapters who lobby their local representatives. They also join up with other organizations like Everytown for gun law reform.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Emotions vs Reality, a resident of Woodside,
on May 26, 2018 at 10:58 am

Mom: thanks. I thought I was missing it - but it isn't there, not even at your link.

"Our common-sense, middle-ground solutions..." It's rather shocking the "common-sense, middle-ground solutions" trumpeted are not listed.

Please don't take this wrong. I'm a fan (well, depending on what your "common-sense, middle-ground solutions" are) and would like to see many reforms also. Stricter checks, testing, interviews, inspections, limiting certain styles, mag sizes, manufacturer liability reinstated, and more.

Just thought that Moms would actually LIST their "common-sense, middle-ground solutions."

Just constructive advice, probably worth exactly what you paid for it (0). Good luck...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by MothersDemandAction, a resident of another community,
on May 26, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Don't underestimate the power of a collective voice in calling out the NRA and NRA backed politicians, and supporting politicians and candidates who have good ideas for gun law reform. I know it is easier to give up and wait for others to come up with solutions. The NRA loves when that happens. Sounds like YOU have some ideas, but I wonder how you could put them into action? Hmm, what group of people would listen, help you put those ideas into a bill, then put pressure on lawmakers to get that bill passed? Hmm...

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Gun Owner, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards,
on May 26, 2018 at 9:19 pm

Why has nobody mentioned gun locks? Proper gun locks could have prevented the Santa Fe shooting, Sandy Hook, and others where the shooter used a gun already in the household.

Why doesn't Palo Alto require ultra-high-security gun locks, with very, very, very stiff penalties for violations? Surely our children deserve that much.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Emotions vs Reality, a resident of Woodside,
on May 27, 2018 at 10:36 am

me: What exactly are the "common-sense, middle-ground solutions" that your org brags on?

you: "Don't underestimate the power of a collective voice in calling out the NRA..."

I get that. What I don't get is the groups clear message about "common-sense, middle-ground solutions" and then clearly not having outlined what those are. Change the message, it's so distracting. Go with the "we are a distributed resistance group, here's how to work with our chapters..."

Everything else is all good, resist, etc..


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Terry, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm

What has changed in America? I remember in the 60's when I would walk out to the high school parking lot and see shot guns hanging from gun racks attached to the back window, inside the cab. No one “mess" with them. Also, going to my friend's homes and seeing the family guns displayed behind a locked glass door cabinet. No one “mess" with them. If a family or friend was fired from their job, they usually deserved it and would take responsibility for it. Now they kill their co-workers. There were no mass shootings every week and school shootings were almost nonexistent. What has changed in America?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Since I have shot a gun LEGALLY since I was 12 years old, my comment is this:
Gun Control means using both hands. I prefer to use the Weaver Stance...
A REMINDER: This REPUBLIC was created with guns. " We did not shoot fairly ( think LEGALLY ) at the time of the American Revolution. We had the phrase " Guerrilla Warfare " applied to ALL US Citizens! I suggest that people who DEMAND Gun Control laws leave Our Republic, since it was founded by guns and guns are allowed to keep the Peace by both LEOs ( which have abused this right for many years, See YouTube for confirmation ) AND THE CITIZENS OF OUR REPUBLIC! Even trying to say the 2nd Amendment requires a militia does not apply in my case ( and to many other citizens too ). There are many Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics out there that are published because their continued paycheck is needed on both sides of the issue. There are many examples of the failures gun control in our World History. If you HAVE to live in a Gun controlled environment, China and North Korea are your beat bets right now. It is not legal to demand Gun Control ( See our Federal Constitution and many State Constitutions for details ), so to enforce Our personal Contracts, All in favor say BYE to living in OUR United States of America.

On Gun Control, the issue is not about GUNS, it is an issue about CONTROL.
On THIS Memorial Day, what an irony to talk about Gun Control while many died for that right to keep and bear arms.8P..

Oh what happened? Too many wusses, while criminals kept stealing guns while many started demanding " gun free zones "...


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