Wango Tango Facts: Shotgun vs AR-15

Fact-base reporting by

Rob Roman

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Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent hasn’t had a hit in 22 years. He hangs out on his ranch shooting his guns.

Ted Nugent fostered a conspiracy theory after Sandy Hook massacre: “AR-15 wasn’t used”.

Ted Nugent promoted ‘crisis actor conspiracy theory’ after Parkland massacre. “David Hogg is a 26 year-old paid crisis actor”.

Nugent, the aging Michigan rocker now from Crawford, Texas, made a video with Dallas based Alex Jones, another well-known conspiracy theorist and the owner of the web site “Info Wars”.

nugent gun 1

Ted Nugent wants you to know that a shotgun is “more deadly” than an AR-15. He recommends a bird gun with buckshot, for any would be school shooter to get the maximum kills. “It will kill more people per shot fired, than any AR-15.”

“Cinder Block Wall Destroyer”

“3 1/2 inch triple aught (0-0-0) buck, literally is a cinder block wall destroyer. You could be behind a cinder block wall, and I could take five of these. The first two will take out the wall and the rest will cut you in half.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: A shotgun with buckshot is primarily most deadly to humans at point blank range to 20 yards. Beyond that, you may hit and wound someone, but not necessarily kill someone.

30 People Shooting

“Each round shoots over 30 pellets. Every time I pull the trigger, it’s 30 people shooting. Thirty ‘bullets’ come out of there.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: Unlikely you will kill 30 people with one shotgun blast. Then you have to go to the next group of tightly packed people. Shotguns are long and solid, so more difficult to conceal. Shotguns typically hold 8 to 10 rounds, then you have to reload those rounds one by one by one. Some shotguns have a shell magazine typically holding 5 rounds. With the AR-15’s .223 (5.56 mm) x 2.26 in (57 mm) round, you can carry more rounds and more magazines concealed on your person.

Fact: Shotguns have been used in mass shootings, but always in conjunction with other firearms, exactly because of the limitations of the shotgun.

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Mass shooting events involving a Shotgun

Columbine, Colorado High School. April 20, 1999. 13 killed, 21 wounded. 2 student shooters also used a TEC-9 and other weapons.

Wakefield, Massachusetts Edgewater Technology shooting. December 26, 2000. 7 dead. Mostly by AK-47. Shotgun also used.

Meridian, Mississippi Lockheed Martin plant shooting. July 8, 2003. 6 killed 8 injured mostly by shotgun.

Red Lake Minnesota Indian Reservation. March 21, 2005. 9 dead 5 wounded. 2 pistols also used. Shootout with police, no police killed or wounded.

Capitol Hill Seattle, Washington March 26, 2006. 6 dead 2 injured. The shooter shot five people at close range before entering the house. Despite 5 minutes of shooting inside the house and 300 rounds of extra ammo, the shooter only managed to shoot 3 additional people.

Bart township Lancaster County, Pennsylvania October 2, 2006. 6 dead, 5 injured. The shooter fired 13 rounds from his pistol and some rounds from a shotgun.

Salt Lake City, Utah Trolley Square Mall shooting February 12, 2007. 5 dead, 4 wounded. Shooter fired at a security guard with shotgun and missed. Shooter shot at a police officer with shotgun and missed. Shooter had to leave a store to reload.

Carthage, North Carolina nursing home March 9, 2009 – Shotgun used. 8 defenseless patients killed, no staff were killed. 2 wounded trying to stop the shooter, one unarmed nurse and one police officer.

Aurora, Colorado movie theater July 20, 2012 – 12 killed, 58 wounded. 3 killed by shotgun. AR-15 with 100 round drum barrel magazine also used.

Where are the 30 people killed with one shotgun blast? In one of these shootings, 3 people were hit by one shot at close range, but they were lying on the floor next to each other.

Compare that to these shootings involving AR-15 variants:

-Orlando Shooter bought his gun legally.

49 killed 53 injured.

-Las Vegas Shooter bought his guns and bump stocks legally.

58 killed, over 500 injured.

-Newtown / Sandy Hook Shooter’s guns were bought legally.

26 killed, 2 injured.

-San Bernardino Shooters bought their guns legally.

14 killed, 22 injured.

-Sutherland Springs, Texas. Church shooter should not have had access to guns. Passed background check. 26 killed, 20 injured.

-Parkland, Florida. Shooter should not have had access to guns. Passed background check.

17 killed, 7 injured.

A shotgun is more survivable, not effective at longer ranges, holds less rounds, shooter can carry less rounds, takes much longer to re-load, is longer and harder to conceal.

ArmaLite AR-15

Armalite Ar-15 nugent

“So, this is a standard AR-15…It’s a semi-automatic sporting rifle. It is not a weapon of war. It is not an assault rifle and it is not a weapon of war. It is a standard American family sporting rifle that shoots one bullet per trigger-pull.” -Ted Nugent

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Fact: That is a standard model AR-15 that Ted Nugent was holding, but that wasn’t what was used at San Berardino, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, or Parkland. The AR-15’s used in those shootings, were more easily concealable, did not look like a “sporting rifle” or a gun suitable for an after church family outing as Ted Nugent described. The weapons used were assault weapons and weapons of war.

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And what exactly is this for? A family sporting picnic after church?

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Ted Nugent gives the standard BS line that these weapons are not fully automatic upon select, therefore not a weapon of war. Military soldiers are taught to use automatic fire only when overwhelmed (“spray and pray”), and semi-automatic most of the time to pick off one “target” at a time. The AR-15, especially with the small, adjustable stock, can be made to simulate automatic gunfire, using the slight recoil of the weapon at the stock, to pull your finger against the trigger as quickly as possible. The “bump stocks” are stocks designed to make this easier to do.

I also wrote this after Sandy Hook and it’s still true:

“The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 military assault rifle. The main reason this weapon was developed was to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. Guess what? The AR-15 can be easily converted to fully automatic, and many owners know this very well.”

“See, you can see it makes a little .22 caliber hole in the target.” -Ted Nugent

Fact: I wrote this in an article 5 years ago after Sandy Hook, and it is no less truer today:

“The .223 caliber round, used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, was preferred over higher caliber rounds in combat because you can carry more of the smaller rounds and because the round Yaws through the air at 880 meters per second (963 yards per second) .

223 exit wound

It then explodes on impact causing baseball sized holes in the flesh. Internally the bullet causes a massive baseball sized explosion (cavitation). The bullet then fragments into multiple shards which spin, ricochet off bones, and rip through vital organs.

Emergency Room Doctors will tell you that they don’t see injuries from this weapon very often because most victims never even make it to the hospital and usually bleed to death.”

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“If you really want to crush the Left, and crush freedom haters, not only should you be a member of the National Rifle Association, but you should give away memberships to everybody you know at work, at school, at church, the NRA should have 50 million members”.”So far, 5 to 6 million NRA members are doing the heavy lifting for freedom for the rest of America.” – Ted Nugent.

Freedom ala Ted

Ted Nugent, whose twisted idea of freedom includes calling for the lynching of a sitting President and the shooting of a Presidential candidate, wants you to believe his self-serving statements. I call them a misrepresentations of facts, aka: lies. In contrast, the facts presented in this article are true today, true 5 years ago, and will be true 10 years from now.

Hopefully, if the NRA did actually have more members than Planet Fitness, they may then actually have leaders who make sense and don’t lie to us, and more members who already know that sensible gun safety laws will save lives. People from all sides should join gun safety organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety to protect freedom, and combat the lies and distortions from the NRA and the paid inaction of Congress, so we can all live in the America we want and deserve to live in.

 

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Our President giving red carpet treatment to NRA Spokesman Sportsman / Gun Nut / Conspiracy theorist Ted Nugent

Fact Checking “Gun Facts” (May 1)

Fact-based reporting by

Rob Roman

A video was recently posted where Left leaning actors were given “gun facts” to read on camera. The idea was that these actors and the ‘Lefties’ seeing the video would be surprised, if not shocked, at these “gun facts”. Watching the video, I immediately knew that most of these “facts” were actually misrepresentations, and some were not facts at all.

Here’s the video:

 

So, let’s fact check these gun facts.

– 2/3rds of 38,000 gun deaths in 2016 were suicides.

Fact: Suicides that may not have happened or may not have been fatal if a gun were not readily available.

“The reality that I have learned is that suicide is a rash act, and it’s one that the vast majority of people who attempt it who don’t succeed the first time actually never go on to commit again. That’s why the introduction of guns is such a dangerous factor because very sadly and as you know 90 percent of the time an individual who attempts suicide by a gun is successful.”

https://www.npr.org/2017/09/30/554789675/report-finds-suicides-are-even-more-common-than-gun-homicides

– There are over 300 million guns in the United States.

Fact: Three percent of the population own half of the civilian guns in the US.

“Overall, Americans own an estimated 265 million guns – more than one gun for every American adult, according to the study by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities. Half of those guns – 133 million – were in the hands of just 3% of American adults, so-called “super owners” who possessed an average of 17 guns each, it showed.”

“The findings include:

  • An estimated 55 million Americans own guns.
  • The percentage of the U.S. population who own guns decreased slightly from 25% in 1994 to 22% last year.
  • Between 300,000 and 600,000 guns are stolen each year.
  • Gun owners tend to be white, male, conservative, and live in rural areas.
  • 25% of gun owners in America are white or multi-racial, compared with 16% of Hispanics and 14% of African Americans.
  • There are an estimated 111 million handguns nationwide, a 71% increase from the 65 million handguns in 1994.”
 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/

– There are more than 5 times more murders by knives than by rifles.
Fact: Right, and why would this be surprising??

Let’s take a look at the stats for 2016 and see what people are using to commit murders:

fact check stats

There were 4.3 times more knives used as a murder weapon than rifles. All methods are dwarfed by the use of firearms, which allow people to kill rashly, from an emotional and physical distance.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/

– The U.S. is #1 in gun ownership, but #28 in gun murders.
Fact: So? What does that prove? You are comparing the U.S. with 3rd world countries.

This is a tough statistic to measure accurately, but Wikipedia can give us a rough idea. The last year reported may be 8 years ago for some countries. Using this data, I get The U.S. being #18 in gun murders, but more important are the countries above the U.S. in gun murders.

Rank Gun homicides per 100,000 people Country
1 66.64  Honduras
2 39  Venezuela
3 37.16  Swaziland
4 30.38  Jamaica
5 29.62  Guatemala
6 26.49  El Salvador
7 20.7  Brazil
8 17.74  Colombia
9 14.36  Panama
10 8.9  Philippines
11 8.2  South Africa
12 6.34  Mexico
13 5.78  Paraguay
14 5.63  Costa Rica
15 4.78  Uruguay
16 4.22  Peru
17 3.72  Nicaragua
18 3.5  United States

Now, let’s look at the countries with the least gun homicides:

 

Rank Gun homicides per 100,000 people Country
1 0  Luxembourg
2 0  Japan
3 0  Iceland
4 0  Hong Kong
5 0.002  Singapore
6 0.02  South Korea
7 0.04  Romania
8 0.04  Poland
9 0.06  United Kingdom
10 0.07  Germany
11 0.1  Norway
12 0.11  New Zealand
13 0.11  Hungary
14 0.12  Austria
15 0.14  Belgium
16 0.14  Belarus
17 0.15  Spain
18 0.15  Qatar
19 0.15  Estonia
20 0.15  Czech Republic

“Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries, a new study finds. Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the United States’ gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. And, even though the United States’ suicide rate is similar to other countries, the nation’s gun-related suicide rate is eight times higher than other high-income countries, researchers said. The study was published online Feb. 1 in The American Journal of Medicine.”

– Handguns are responsible for more than 80% of total mass shootings.

Mass shootings are often defined as homicides where 3 or more people are killed. Semi-automatic, military-style assault rifles are used in the mass shootings with the highest kill rates. 

– Between 1993 and 2003 gun ownership increased by 56%, while gun violence decreased by more than half.

Misrepresentation of the facts. Gun homicides decreased by nearly half, not “gun violence”. There are more wounded survivors.

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/cnsnewscom-staff/more-guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013

From 2000 to 2014, firearm homicide did decrease by 10% according to the CDC. However, at a much higher occurrence, firearm criminal assault requiring medical attention increased by 11%. The higher number for non-fatal injuries means that, when combining the two categories, criminal firearm fatal and non-fatal injuries increased 6% over those 15 years.

– Nearly all mass public shootings have occurred in “gun free zones”

This is to say that Nearly all mass public shootings have occurred in a public place. 

– From 2013 to 2015, the six states that ban open carry, experienced higher rates of police deaths.

California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina are states banning open carry. Texas was the 6th state, but not anymore. Population of the U.S. is about 326 million. These 6 states account for well over 1/3 of the entire population of the US.

 

Census (2013) Rank State Population
1 California 38,332,521
2 Texas 26,448,193
3 New York 19,651,127
4 Florida 19,552,860
5 Illinois 12,882,135
     
Total   115,866,836

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/population.shtml

They went back to 2013 to include Texas because Texas has a high population and a very high number of police deaths.

What’s happened since Texas became an open carry state? No change.

texas police deaths
(Click to enlarge)

– A large percentage of police chiefs and Sheriffs support open carry. They overwhelmingly oppose further gun control. 

Misleading. They are adding in all small town Sheriffs all over suburban and rural America. The police support the laws that are in place. Concealed carry is allowed in 45 states. Also, why would they not support concealed carry? 

“There are somewhere upwards of 765,000 full-time law enforcement officers working in the United States, along with some 400,000 part-timers. Roughly half are attached to departments that number 10 sworn officers or less.

Not only do law enforcement personnel in these smaller agencies patrol wide swathes of underpopulated territory, they usually come from the same community themselves. Which means that their views on all subjects is often no different than the views of the people whose neighborhoods they patrol. And let’s not forget that the further you move away from cities, the higher is the per capita ownership of guns.”

“What does Woldoff mean by a ‘nuanced’ view on guns?  She learned that rural police overwhelmingly rejected the concept of ‘gun control’ while embracing the notion of ‘individual rights. Nevertheless, these same officers supported expanded background checks and mandatory, pre-licensing training prior to concealed-carry issuance.

Here again, the multiple identities that these cops must fold into a ‘police identity’ is reflected by the fact that they view rural gun owners as responsible gun owners, “but also as unsafe and insufficiently trained to own and use firearms.” “

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/not-all-cops_us_586d0f1fe4b0de3a08fa4c73

 

– People with concealed carry permits commit less crime than police.

True. 

They undergo a rigorous background check in many cases. These are people who haven’t committed felonies. If they did, they risk their CC Permit. These are government agents, people in the security field, detectives, etc. About 16 million people have concealed carry permits. Interesting statistic, though.

– Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership and very few zero gun homicides.

Switzerland is a very homogeneous country, with few of the problems that exist in the U.S.

“Unlike the US, Switzerland has mandatory military service for men.
All men between the ages of 18 and 34 deemed “fit for service” are given a pistol or a rifle and trained.

After they’ve finished their service, the men can typically buy and keep their service weapons, but they have to get a permit for them.

In 2000, more than 25% of Swiss gun owners said they kept their weapon for military or police duty, while less than 5% of Americans said the same.

In 2007, the Small Arms Survey found that Switzerland had the third-highest ratio of civilian firearms per 100 residents (46), outdone by only the US (89) and Yemen (55).
But it seems that figure has dropped over the past decade. It’s now estimated that there’s about one civilian gun for every four Swiss people.

Gun sellers follow strict licensing procedures.

Swiss laws are designed to prevent anyone who’s violent or incompetent from owning a gun.

Switzerland is also one of the richest, healthiest, and, by some measures, happiest countries in the world.

The Swiss were applauded for high marks on “all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance” the report’s authors wrote.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/switzerland-gun-laws-rates-of-gun-deaths-2018-2

 

American Culture Must Evolve

America Needs a Cultural Evolution

Government Shutdowns – Healthcare – Activism – Laws – Education

Prisons                                                                             Technology

Innovation                                                                               Religion

Medicine                                                                                         Bullying

Human Rights – Resource Allocation – War – Personal Responsibility

美国需要一个文化的演变

Los Estados Unidos necesita una evolución cultural

アメリカ合衆国は、文化的に進化する必要があります

Les Etats-Unis a besoin d’une évolution culturelle

لولايات المتحدة الأمريكية يحتاج إلى التطور الثقافي

Die Vereinigten Staaten benötigt eine kulturelle Evolution

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The late, great author Kurt Vonnegut             AR-15 rifle, pink & white w/ Hello,                                                                                           Kitty

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Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre

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Growing up in America

As a child in America, my room was decorated in red, white, and blue. My goal was to go to the NavalAcademy, to serve my beloved country as an officer in the U.S. Navy. I truly believed we were the greatest nation on earth. I believed our proud history and I believed in American Exceptionalism.

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Overseas Cultures

When I was travelling overseas for the first time, I happened to find myself on a bus with a group of expatriate Americans. They were complaining about the U.S.A. and I became very angry. I wanted to fight them all, but I remained silent and just observed. For so many people overseas, visiting, pursuing an education in, and living in America is a cherished dream.

Cooperative Cultures

I was fortunate to meet some of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met in my life. They were from such nations as Iran, China, and Egypt. I was exposed to authoritarian states where people were afraid of the police and distrustful of their governments, yet they lived in a beautiful culture of cooperation, honesty, caring, friendliness and trust. I experienced cultures where people who argue, fight and behave with aggression are scorned and shunned as poorly educated and primitive.

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American Culture

Then I returned to America to week after week of sensationalized murders, political intransigence, gun violence,  sports heroes setting really bad examples, gun worship, the glorification of mean adults and the suicides of children due to bullying by their peers.

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Cold War and Terrorism

I thought back to my own childhood in the United States, when the world seemed to be divided into two camps. I was scared to death that the cold war would heat up and quickly go nuclear before people came to their senses. This fear was replaced by a new fear of terrorism, where innocent people are randomly targeted by a small group of desperate religious heretics. Now, a new fear is emerging, the fear that we will destroy ourselves from within, and do it freely, willingly, and with a healthy dose of patriotism and pride.

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I believed then and I still believe that America needs a Cultural Evolution. The American people desperately need to let the wisdom and the culture of other nations like China seep in and permeate our dealings with each other in our everyday life.

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American Exceptionalism

There had been some controversy about people from the United States of America claiming “American Exceptionalism”.  Exactly what makes America exceptional, other than our ever – growing list of millionaires and billionaires and our severe dysfunctions? Now, if you are from another country, you probably will heartily agree with this statement.

ProudAmericanEagleSm[1]If you’re an American, you may be as upset and offended by that remark as I was on that bus with the expatriates. What is exceptional about America is that our citizens come from every other country in the world. Our culture is a mix of most of the cultures of the world. We Americans hope to lead the way in legal, political and social reforms throughout the world.

sandy hook victims

Cultural Evolution and Medicine

To take on the tremendous responsibility of this ideal, and truly be that “shining city on a hill”, we need some serious constructive criticism form within and from other nations. We need this constructive criticism from people who hope to visit, be educated, or live in America. We need this constructive criticism from people who want no part of America. We need constructive criticism from people who live in and love America, too.

We need cultural education and reform. We need to take the medicine. We need to evolve.

medicine 2medicine

A famous Zen Buddhist monk once said that “sickness cures the medicine”. We are used to seeing things from one perspective, so we would say “no, you are wrong. Medicine cures the sickness”. The statement of the monk was not meant to contradict this usual, reasoned statement, it was meant to inform it.

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Who we are

We call on all persons of good will, inside and outside the United States to contribute and share some medicinal constructive criticism. Let’s shame America into realizing the desperate need for a cultural evolution and fulfill its noble promise to one day become truly exceptional in the eyes of the world.

We are not on the left (liberal) and not on the right (conservative). We are from the political center and we love America. We will criticize the left and the right and we look for solutions from both sides.

Please join us and contribute information

We welcome your contributions to this goal. Please feel free to write or contribute an article for this blog, make any comments about this blog, and provide any relevant links to other blogs or information on the worldwide web which can assist in our shared goal of a U.S.A. Cultural Evolution.

feather-penThe pen is mightier than the sword

Welcome to USA Cultural Evolution

We hope you enjoy the content

Amanda Chen – People’s Republic of China china flag

Rob Roman – United States of Americausa flag

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The Sandy Hook Atrocity, JFK, and 154 Magic Bullets (part 3)

Fact based reporting

by Kenneth Jameson Jr.,

research by Amanda Chen,  edited by Rob  Roman

A 4-part series by a Sandy Hook Elementary alumnus on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. An overview of Newtown from the inside, a description of what is now known about what happened on December 14, 2012 (Including a possible motive), an analysis of  the different sides of the issues, and what the prognosis is for slowing the rate of mass killings and gun violence in America are all discussed.

Part 3: The Aftermath

St. Rose Church Vigil (click to enlarge)
St. Rose Church Vigil (click to enlarge)

$(KGrHqRHJBMFIPnT5rLkBSMLKtn5(Q~~60_35First of all, when discussing firearms, don’t mistake the word “clip” for the word “magazine”. A magazine can be external or integral to the firearm. The difference between a clip and a magazine is the presence of a “feeding device”. Of course, some law abiding gun owners and gun enthusiasts believe that if you don’t know about firearms, you are not qualified to opine on how to reduce gun violence or save the lives of future gun victims. They have a point, except for one small problem. Too many law abiding gun owners and gun enthusiasts, clever as they are about such things as caliber and rate of fire, offer zero solutions.

Of course, the landlord in Vermont who shot the unarmed young couple to death over a parking space and the man in Georgia who shot an unarmed young man dead because he mistakenly pulled into his driveway, were both “law abiding gun owners”. They were law abiding at least until they lost control and murdered people so easily with guns.

The young man pulled into the driveway by mistake because of a G.P.S. error. The homeowner who shot him dead probably did so because of all the far right hype he was hearing on TV and over the internet about the government coming to confiscate his guns.

download (3)“A father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School student testified on January 28, 2013 in a Working Group Public Hearing at the Connecticut State Capitol on gun violence prevention. While Bill Stevens’ fifth grade daughter was not harmed in the incident, she was one of the children that were in “lock down” during the shooting and following it. However, Mr. Stevens said that his daughter’s friend’s little sister was one of the children that was murdered “when 911 and ‘lock down’ were not enough to protect her from an evil person, not protect her from an ‘assault rifle’ or some type of an inanimate object, but from an evil person.”

“He then stated that he was not there to quote statistics, the number of lives saved with a gun or even the economic impact. He also said he wasn’t there to discuss “asinine legislation” gun control laws that were being talked about.”

Bill Stevens, whose daughter Victoria was in 5th grade lock down in another school during the Sandy Hook shooting, and knows someone who knows one of the victims, said that the laws on the books are good enough if enforced, and personal responsibility and enforcement are the key.

He went on to say that his constitutional right to own firearms and to protect his daughter comes from God and not from the government.  He said at home if there is a break-in, he will call 911 AFTER security has been restored in his home. Bill Stevens said you will have to pry his gun and the ability to protect his child “from his cold dead hands”. Fair enough.

I guess Bill Stevens wins the Newtown Golden Cock award for January, 2012.  Adam Lanza was under no obligation to seek treatment and the firearms in the Lanza Household were legally purchased and some (the most dangerous) were properly stored in a gun vault. Actually, no laws were broken that day besides driving without a license and trespassing. Oh yeah, and mass murder. That’s against the law, too.

usa-connecticut-school-shootingAnd, Billy, no one ever threatened to take your gun away, so relax.

We should be tired of hearing this tired lie over and over.

Victoria Stevens may be a cool kid, but Bill Stevens, who seemed to be some corporate big shot, cold and lifeless as an inanimate object, like the Newtown cock at the top of the meetinghouse in February, did not lose a child and is no different than any other citizen of the USA. Some how, a simple fact such as gun ownership has fired him up and makes him feel like a man. His idea is to do nothing. He wants every law on the books enforced, but he would not vote to pay for this enforcement, because that’s part of his “core values” – translation: Let’s do nothing.

My sister’s daughter was also on lock down that day, and she doesn’t even live in Newtown. That’s because they have a very good system in Fairfield County so that when there’s a shooting alert, all the schools in the surrounding area are locked down, too.

My sister would have just as much right to speak at the Connecticut hearing as Bill. Does she own any firearms? Maybe, but I don’t know. It’s not the prime subject of conversation. It’s not her life, it’s just a firearm. That’s the difference. My sister would say to do anything you can to reduce the chance that another mass shooting will happen. Maybe that’s what God would want, too, not just letting Bill Stevens have a gun.

598429_10151333210605479_466605897_nA real Sandy Hook parent is the father of James Mattioli, 6, who actually was gunned down at Sandy Hook. He is also against any gun legislation.  What he said, was that we need more civility and better parenting in this country and that the gun laws in Chicago did not save the 500 or so killed there in 2012. He said we need mental health legislation.

Mark Mattioli was smart in saying that we need some mental health legislation to help prevent mass shootings. The problem with that is that Adam Lanza didn’t drive over to the Sandy Hook School and expose himself or throw crayons at 1st graders, he took 3 firearms, over 20 magazines, 301 rounds of .223 hollow point rounds, and another 100 or so rounds of 10 mm and 9 mm ammunition. All that was required was that he point and shoot, and not care a fig about other human beings.

earth globe made with flags of the worldMark Mattioli was wise to point out that it is partly a cultural problem.  He’s correct that all the laws in Chicago did not save the lives lost to gun violence. But we were talking about mass shootings, not general gun violence.

Who knew that cities and states with the highest population have the most murders? Go figure. Maybe that’s why gun legislation needs to come from the federal government, so there is a uniform policy across all states and cities. Now, that wouldn’t be fair to suburban and rural communities because cities are different. Translation – Let’s do nothing.

While liberals were moving to re-impose a previous ban on “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines”, plus universal background checks for all firearms purchases, conservatives were recommending that all schools be protected by the police and that teachers and school staff be allowed to carry concealed weapons. “Gun-free zones” are an open invitation to shooters and should be eliminated, they say.

The “assault weapons” ban met with disapproval because people want to possess and enjoy semi-automatic rifles. They claimed that the difference between some of these rifles and others are merely cosmetic, such as folding stocks, grips, and muzzle fire suppressors.

The ban on “high capacity” magazines was scoffed at because, there are already so many of these in circulation. In addition it was claimed that a person could easily fabricate homemade magazines.

The Universal background check was viewed with alarm by conservatives because this would necessitate  the government to create a database of gun owners and their purchases, and this could be used to forcibly remove arms from homes in a future government takeover in violation of the 2nd amendment.

Most of these are very good points and people who want to see more restrictions should listen to responsible gun owners on these points. But not all gun owners are responsible or reasonable when it comes to guns or the 2nd amendment.

c1218cjThe often repeated idea that some people in some states need high powered semi-automatic military style rifles with high capacity magazines to protect and defend their homes from multiple invaders is just laughable. I haven’t heard of any “Scarface” type home invasions happening anywhere in America.

Warning: Language and Violent Content

The idea that there will be a government tyranny conspiracy where the government military goes door to door and confiscates weapons is just absurd. Who thought that one up, Adam Lanza?

la-sp-sn-20130214-001People who are against any further gun restrictions also point out that current laws on the books are not enforced. Of course, this is due to the limits of budgets of governments and the priority choices they are forced to make. The next thing they will say is that this is a mental health problem and not a gun problem. This sounds good and most people agree that mass shootings have a strong relationship with undetected troubles and untreated mental illness.

Some of these same people offer no solutions, however. The other thing pointed out is that again, areas where many people gather such as school, movie theaters, etc. are labeled as gun free zones. This draws the shooter to these places because there are no armed people who can fight back.

In Arizona, Colorado, and some other states there are currently attempts to pass legislation which makes it legal for anyone qualified to conceal carry on college campuses. The measure failed for now in Arizona but it has passed in Colorado. This “gun free zone” argument doesn’t seem reasonable. Shooters go to places like schools, malls, and theaters because there are large concentrations of people there. If some of them were armed, why do you think shooters would not go? Most of them want to die. They go to where they can make a statement.  Why would people with weapons make a difference? By the time they realize what’s happening, most of the damage has already be done.

Sandy-Hook-2The damage is done in mere seconds or just a few minutes, and it takes time to react. The shooter always has the element of surprise. That’s why at Sandy Hook, even with all that firepower, 11 out of 18 survived in the first  classroom because they heard the first gunshots outside and in the hallway and they had time to react.

If people in schools and malls are carrying weapons, the shooter will just adjust to this new condition to maximize the element of surprise.

images (7)As far as arming teachers and staff, have gun control opponents really thought this out carefully? The recent school shooting in Sparks, Nevada illustrates why this may not be such a great plan. “The 12-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, began by shooting a fellow student in the shoulder. Then he turned his gun on math teacher, Mike Landsberry, killing him before shooting a second student in the abdomen, Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras said.

After that, he shot himself to death with his pistol, which Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller identified as a Ruger 9mm semiautomatic.”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/22/justice/nevada-middle-school-shooting/

What happened was the math teacher was a combat veteran. He immediately and heroically tried to get the attention of the student and have the student concentrate only on the math teacher. This would allow other students to escape and find cover, while also preventing the shooter from entering the school where he could do even more damage. While trying to talk the shooter down, Mr. Landsberry was fatally shot. Now, had he been armed, gun-control opponents claim he could have just shot the student to death and ended the danger, as well as creating a deterrent for future shooters to consider. But what this “solution” doesn’t consider is the chaos and confusion of a shooting incident, as well as the ability of teachers and people who work with children to take a child’s life.

images (12)Up to the point that the math teacher got involved, only one student was injured in the shoulder. Could the math teacher then shoot a 12 year-old to death? How would he live with that? Would he be sued by the child’s parents? The only fatality would be the shooter and people would question why deadly force had to be used. What if a teacher mistakenly shoots an innocent student or a student gets caught in the cross-fire? What happens when students know that teachers and staff are carrying loaded weapons? Could they overpower the teacher and get hold of a weapon? These are some things to think about.

One of the Newtown teachers echoed the sentiments of many when he said if he were ordered to carry a loaded weapon, he would quit immediately.

This 12 year-old kid in Nevada wanted to and was ready to kill and to die. This was a mental health problem and could have had a solution, only he happened to have a weapon in his hand, which he probably got from a “law abiding gun owner”. What do you think would happen if the math teacher was armed and ordered him to drop the weapon? Most likely it would be “suicide by teacher”. Also, teachers with a spouse and children will think twice about walking into a live fire shooting and especially with high-powered weapons and large capacity magazines being used.

Because people were shocked and in fear right after the shooting, gun sales increased. Because people feared coming bans, restrictions and other legislation, gun sales increased even more. Gun manufacturers and the NRA ramped up the propaganda and sales increased even more.People were told that the government was coming for their guns, so they bought a lot of AR-15s .

The reluctance of many states and school districts to allow teachers and staff to conceal carry, led gun sales to increase even further. Political organizations have made it almost a right of passage for people of certain political persuasions to own and use guns, and this has led to even more gun sales. In Arizona and possibly other states, 2013 was Christmas for concealed carriers.

George Zimmerman would get strapped with his firearm just to go down to the local deli.

ct-shooting-bodies-2Adam Lanza’s weapons came from a “law-abiding gun owner”. Kip Kinkle’s guns came from a “law abiding gun owner”. James Holmes was a “law abiding gun owner”, until he took his weapons to the Aurora theater and started blasting away, shooting 72 people and killing 12. Yet the opponents of sensible gun control want you to know that this problem has nothing to do with guns, and that the proper solution is to do nothing.

People who are in favor of sensible gun safety legislation get angry because some people who own guns and call themselves “responsible gun owners” offer no reasonable solutions to gun violence or mass shootings. They show no responsibility for a problem which directly involves them. Also, the rolls of gun owners are increasing dramatically. Of course, a big part of the problem is mental health issues, yet it is the combination of a disturbed person and the ready access to firearms which are inextricably linked.

You can not address one without the other. Both these problems need to be addressed in a coordinated way.

628x471In debating the issues, the first thing conservatives like to do is to join the two separate issues of mass shootings and general gun violence together. Now they will say “how can a ban on 30-round magazines or some semi-automatic rifles save the victims of gun violence, mostly killed by handguns? These proposed bans have nothing to do with general gun violence but are directed at slowing the rate and the lethality of mass shootings.

How did Adam Lanza kill as many people as quickly as he did? He had 30-round magazines. How did James Holmes shoot 72 people in a movie theater? He mail ordered a 100-round capacity drum magazine for his rifle. Why weren’t more people killed in Aurora Colorado? Holmes was a bad shot and the drum magazine jammed. Why weren’t more children killed at Sandy Hook? Adam Lanza took time or fumbled while changing out magazines and 6 children were able to escape.

80b83026baef2727440f6a706700ff75Adam Lanza brought 10 30-round magazines and used seven, He had to reload six times. If he only had 10 round mags, he would have had to reload 14 times. Remember, Lanza also changed out mags before he ran out of ammo and at the most opportune times. He wouldn’t have been able to do that with a 10 round magazine.

The universal background check is aimed at both mass shootings and general gun violence. Some conservatives like to point out that places like Chicago have the most gun laws and also the most gun violence. This is the recurring theme that laws do not stop illegal gun owners and more laws, regulations and restrictions will do nothing. “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”. This is the same thing as saying that in Iowa, there are more laws, regulations, and restrictions on corn than in Alaska, but there is much more corn in Iowa. In Chicago, there is more gun violence, so more restrictions were put on guns. Guns still find their way into Chicago illegally due to lax laws in other states and districts.

Any argument which advocates doing nothing should be rejected. Any opinion which offers no solutions is not a constructive opinion. The starting point has to be that we want to do something to reduce the incidents and the lethality of mass shootings.

sandy-hook-girls-AP84355411_620x350We want to do something to slow and reduce the rate of gun violence. If this can be done without further laws, regulations, and restrictions on firearms, then that’s wonderful, it should be tried.  But gun owners and enthusiasts should not expect that the 2nd Amendment is unlimited and that the government should not be concerned about public safety. They also should not feel that they have no responsibility to help solve the problem.

A gun is not equal to a car, an axe, or a fork, which are necessities. Yes. All three can be deadly, but cars are heavily regulated and controlled, and they are not designed to kill people. A an axe and a fork can be as deadly as a gun, but you would be hard pressed to kill 26 people in 5 minutes with a fork or an axe.

images (13)Where do we go from here? First, for good or ill, we do have the 2nd Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. A firearm is as safe as the person operating it. But the idea that that right “shall not be infringed” can never be seen as an unlimited right. These firearms need to be safely kept in responsible hands and many people who want to own them need to be instructed on how to be responsible gun owners. There must be some sort of regulations on gun use and some restrictions on what weapons or “arms” can be kept and how and under what conditions people can “bear” them. Not to accept this is irresponsible and it weakens the 2nd amendment.

The full quote is: 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.

Where is the “well-regulated militia”? Will you rise up and protect me if the country is overthrown by external enemies or by a tyrannical government? I bet you would.

“The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of individual Americans to keep and bear arms, regardless of service in a militia. The right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of firearms and similar devicesState and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right. The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments comprising the Bill of Rights.

images (10)The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common-law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.””

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Another thing is that at some point, Americans need to realize that the overwhelmingly high rates of violent deaths, gun deaths, and mass shootings compared to the rest of the world shows that it is in part a problem of our culture. Temporary conflicts lead to permanent solutions where someone must “win”. The way to win is to totally defeat or kill your opponent. When drugs and alcohol or mental illness are added into this mix, it becomes even more deadly. A conflict can also be, as the Chinese say, an opportunity to grow and to improve a situation. It depends on what your culture is and what your learned response is to conflict.

Let’s look at our culture

Highest-grossing films of 2013:

1. Iron Man 3
2. Despicable Me 2
3. Fast & Furious 6
4. Monsters University
5. Man of Steel
6. The Croods
7. Gravity
8. Thor: The Dark World
9. World War Z
10. Oz the Great and Powerful

Doesn”t this tell you something? Think about it.

bildeOur society is based on the supremacy of the individual, competition and aggression. This is what is taught from early childhood and is reinforced everywhere in our society. This needs to evolve into a society based on group advancement, cooperation,empathy, and kindness. We need to at least head in that direction. Because, if not, violent criminals and mentally ill people will take this ingrained competitive and aggressive culture to its extreme conclusion, and these tragedies will continue again and again. The frequency and scale of the attacks will only increase.

So a change in culture where children learn to look out for others and to respond to and help troubled people can help our society immensely. A change in culture where people see violence as a weakness instead of as a strength could transform America. A culture where the value of human life is enhanced rather than degraded is also needed. A culture where people cooperate together to solve problems and advance together is better than our culture of zero-sum games where someone must win all and all the others must lose all.

There are more and more articles in the news where teens are attacking and even murdering their parents because their video game or smart phone was taken away.

We should look into the extent by which our culture both induces and increases mental illness.

ef7d724ed4b02827440f6a7067005a22Look around at our society, our politicians refuse to respect each other’s views and will not compromise in the least for the greater good. We take teenagers who have gone wrong and we throw their entire lives away in prison. We prey upon the weakest among us, we compete at everything and we reward aggression. Our society teaches our children to devalue human life in so many ways.  We cherish an absolute right to bear arms with no restrictions over the most basic and fundamental of all rights, the right to life.

Almost everyone agrees that there is a cultural element to the violence

On this, the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity, Zero has been done to address mental health issues and Zero has been done to address gun safety and sensible gun control.

To the State of Connecticut: Show some, not all and not most, but some of the photos from the Sandy Hook massacre. The people have a right to see what happened and the families will be strong and they will understand. 

Show the world what Adam Lanza did, and what we can expect again soon. You are not protecting the wounded parents and families by hiding the full horror of this vile act. Actually, hiding this is nothing short of criminal.

Gun control opponents should be listened to and respected. Educate yourself on firearms, the NRA, and know and understand this point of view. Thr 2nd Amendment is here to stay.

Gun control proponents should also be listened to and respected. The right to bear arms is not unlimited and it can never be so.

Don’t let gun control opponents tie general gun violence and mass shootings together. These are two separate issues.

If you truly believe that armed security should be in all schools, are you prepared to help pay for it?

memorialDon’t let gun control opponents tell you this is solely a mental health problem. The best way for mental health services to be available to all is for everyone to have access to affordable healthcare. Do they support affordable health insurance for all ?

Gun control opponents are right to say that eliminating certain high powered semi-automatic military-style weapons and high capacity magazines will not end violent behavior or mass killings. But in Australia, England, and Scotland, it has reduced mass killings.

It takes time to make bombs and to devise complicated plans. During that time, a person may have a change of heart. They have more time to deliberate. With guns, you take it with you and you point and shoot. It’s immediate and many times there isn’t as much time for reflection.

ang_4802_6gvau1n1_sji0jzq7Gun control opponents are right to say that there are millions of high powered semi-automatic military-style weapons  in use being operated carefully and legally right now. But, judging from many articles in the news, obviously not carefully enough

Gun control opponents are right to say that it’s not fair to restrict the rights of a large group because of a few hardened criminals and a few mentally disturbed people. Then these people need to be the ones to come up with a more viable answer to gun safety.

Don’t accept anyone’s view who is not offering an actual solution.

The vast majority of the people, including military veterans, police officers, NRA members, and gun enthusiasts believe there should be Universal Background Safety Checks for every gun purchase and transfer. There is no reason not to have this legislation passed. There must be some way to achieve this in a fair way that respects the Constitution.

The Constitution belongs to ALL of us, and is not the distinct property of a minority of people who enjoy owning and using high powered semi-automatic military-style weapons and high capacity magazines.

web_sandy_school-525x429We need to think about making changes to our current culture, where bullying, gun violence, political intransigence, and school and workplace shootings are expected and have become all but routine. The Jewish Rabbi at the Newtown High School meeting had it right, we need to have classes for our children about how to treat people and behave in civilized society. We should also have classes about mental illness and how to recognize it and support those who exhibit symptoms. We should have mandatory gun safety classes and continuing education and training requirements for gun owners.

Mental health issues and gun safety are inextricably entwined.

ae1b6415baeb2727440f6a70670041ea ltIntransigence and bluster are found on all sides of this issue. We should try to see this issue from all perspectives. But intransigence and bluster is what caused the Sandy Hook Massacre in the first place.  We are all one nation.

It’s time to get serious and to pass coordinated mental health AND sensible gun safety legislation to keep the mentally ill away from firearms and firearms away from the mentally ill, even if we have to step on a few snakes to do it.

Please see Part 4: Response

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