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    What You Can Do About Gun Control TODAY

    20 children have been murdered in Connecticut. This what you can do about it right now:

    1. Write and call your Congressman. Writing to your Congressional representatives is the most important thing you can do, more important than writing to the White House. Write and call your House member first, and then your two Senators. You can find their contact information at and

    Tell them you want them to bring back the assault weapons ban from the 1990s. You may want them to do more than that, but getting them to do more than that will take a long time. This is the easiest gun-control measure to vote for, and the hardest to vote against. Tell your House member and Senators that the gun used to kill those children was illegal fifteen years ago, and that it should be illegal now.

    Tell them that passing the assault weapons ban is the least they can do, and that they need to show you that they are leading on this issue.

    Tell them that you are very, very angry.

    2. Write to the President. You can contact the White House here.

    Tell the President you want him to bring back the assault weapons ban that President Clinton passed. Tell him that you want him to show leadership on this issue, and that you are very, very angry.

    Also tell him that you want Attorney General Holder to enforce all existing gun laws and make firearms enforcement a top priority. The President does not need Congress to do this. He can do it tomorrow. Tell him to do it.

    3. Write all of the same people next week and tell them the same thing.

    Elected leaders do not do things because voters want them on the day something terrible happens, no matter how badly the voters want those things or how terrible the day. They do things because they know voters want those things every day,  and will not change their minds. Show your leaders that your mind will not change.

    Write to your Congressmen and the White House next week and say that you still want the assault weapons ban and strict gun law enforcement. If they have not done anything by next Friday, tell them you are very disappointed. If they have done something, tell them they are doing a good job and encourage them to do more.

    Then write to them the week after that. Write to them every time a gun-control bill comes up in Congress.

    If you really want to do something about gun violence in our country, it will take a long time and many stages. It will take steady determination even to get the assault weapons ban back. It will take years of effort and determination to do more than that.

    Politicians in our country have learned to fear the gun lobby. They will not back meaningful change until they are more worried about angry voters who want gun control then they are about powerful lobbyists who don't. This is going to take us many, many hard days. Today is the day to start.


    Dear Senator Portman,

    I urge you to introduce a bill in the Senate restoring the assault weapons ban from the 1990s.

    There was no reason for those twenty children to be murdered today. The gun that killed them was illegal fifteen years ago. It should be illegal again tomorrow.

    I would like you to show leadership on this important issue.


    CNN has a report that '100 rounds' may have been fired, no doubt one or more 'massacre magazines' were used, and likely legally acquired, clips of more than 10 were banned under the Clinton ban from 1994-2004, and are banned in some states. The Colorado shooter had a 100 round magazine. Turn off the TV and do what Dr. C advises above.

    Not a bad tactic.

    Now I have Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar in the Senate.

    In about three weeks I have a good dem in Congress once again!

    And I certainly do not mind writing the WH who emails me every week!

    I shall embark upon this quest.

    We are hunters up here (speaking in the cumulative of course, I have no guns).

    But I do not feel that good dems with guns always agree with the NRA.

    At least my small voice will be heard!

    “Every society is based on the twin concepts of duty and loyalty. If those concepts fall into disrepute, it is time to move elsewhere. Social collapse is not far away.”
    –Robert A. Heinlein

    Duty and loyalty are mocked by capitalism, the only goal of w
    hich is the accumulation of more capital. Capitalism, which has shaped our culture and bought our government. And most of us are shocked, shocked! to find acts of senseless violence happening all over the place with increasing frequency. "

    It's not about the guns. Take away one weapon and another will be found.

    It's about a government that has lost all integrity and most of it's legitimacy. Where something like this is a major tragedy but killing even more women and children in the middle east or any other country with our own drones is not. Where those on Wall Street can get away with criminal acts and no consequences.

    Where doctors and lawyers and engineers and university professors will blindly support these acts by our military and financial sector and their leaders surely like the Germans supported Hitler's extermination of the Jews. And now support the Israeli extermination of the Palestinians.

    Take away the guns and it will still happen and with even greater frequency.

    Take away one weapon and another will be found.

    No, Chris. It won't. There has never been, and may likely never be, a weapon of personal destruction like the modern gun. It is a technological marvel.

    A bankrupt culture without guns has to get down in the mud and fight with bare knuckles. It's undignified, but the body count is a hell of a lot lower.

    You want to get rid of crime by reforming the human heart? It's a noble path. You can get in line behind Jesus, Confucius, and the Buddha. They've been at it for thousands of years, and plenty of us are still killers. But until you've got the culture straightened out, I'm going to work on the guns.

    You live in the same delusional fantasy land that nearly all on the left do. Attack the symptoms but refuse to acknowledge the disease.

    Your opinion is noted, Chris.

    You feel I am living in a delusional fantasy because I propose concrete steps that can be taken in the physical world rather than making a hazy blanket statement about the need to change our culture in some profound and unspecified way.


    Yes, our gun control laws need to be addressed, and I agree that petitioning our politicians is important, but we also need to do something about the need to care for the mentally ill. 

    In the 1980's, under Reagan, tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of mentally ill patients were released because we feared they were being put into or kept in institutions without good reason.  The laws changed to read that a person could only be kept against his or her will if they were "a danger to themselves or others." 

    One crazy reason to release them was that parents or partners might be putting people into institutions just to get rid of them.  If they were angry or irrational or even just annoying they might find themselves locked away.  That was hogwash, of course, and the real reason was to save the government money, which was more important than anything else so that Reagan could look like he was fiscally conservative.

    Add to our reluctance to institutionalize those who are mentally ill the rise in drug use and the ease of acquiring even the most exotic drugs--drugs that make some people temporarily insane and out of control.

    But the bottom line is that a private citizen in the United States doesn't need and shouldn't be allowed to own assault weapon ammunition.  If gun collectors want to add assault weapons to their collections, fine and dandy.   But the ammunition to go with them ought to be illegal to own. 

    And, oh by the way, to hell with the NRA.

    I just want to put out there that if the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban was in effect, the likelihood that some people would have died today is very high.  The difference is that maybe not as many would have died.  And YES that is good thing.  Something that should be emphasized.  But to think that someone like this individual in CT would not have carried out his "mission" because his clip was only 10 instead of 30 (or whatever it was), is to be living in la la land.  Even if it was just a couple of six shooters, he would have still carried out his intentions. 

    I am reminded of America's response to the two attacks on the World Trade Centers.  The first one only killed a few, then the second killled thousands while we watched and we freaked out.  Was not the lives of those lost in the first attack as valued as those lost in the second attack? 

    What if the CT shooter only killed his mother and maybe one student and the principle?  Would we be as outraged as a nation?  Does 16 students trump 3 students? or just 1 student?  How many children die each year as a result of domestic violence and never get a word in the media?  Maybe they were just shaken to death, no gun involved.  Are they not entitled to same outrage as expressed now about this incident?

    I didn't say no one would be dead, AT. I said fewer people would be dead. Right now, I would take that. If five more kids were at home with their parents tonight, I would be grateful for that.

    I am talking about what can be accomplished RIGHT NOW. Banning all guns in the United States would take somewhere between 15 years from now and 15 years after the end of the world. Getting the perfect gun control solution, that allows some gun ownership but minimizes gun crime, also requires something between a decade and eternity.

    Fixing our mental health system will also take at least ten years. If voters created enough pressure, we could get the assault weapons restored ten weeks from now.

    And if people say that, good.  It is when it is wrapped in the "how do we do we stop this senseless violence" framework. The senseless violence has always been there.  A thousand years ago.  A hundred years.  And so on.  Sometimes the number of dead is only 1.  Sometimes no one died.  Just wounded.

    So what do we say to our elected politicians? What do we ask of them?  What is the ultimate outcome of the legislation that we seek?  Is it the end of massacres?  Or is it end of people feeling like violence of the nature of the violence in CT is some kind of answer.  

    So do we ban guns of anyone who has a family member who is mentally ill?  Is anyone who has a mood disorder, such as myself, banned from having access* to guns.

    *What constitutes access? 

    So what should we tell those politicians?

    Jeez, Trope. The doctor isn't suggesting we can stop ALL senseless violence, which has indeed been with us for tens of thousands of years. We can stop THIS!

    Every senseless violent death is a tragedy, of course. But 27 victims -- mostly babies not yet in fourth grade -- is a national disgrace. Not something you can just throw your hands up about.

    Start by re-banning automatic assault weapons and massacre clips. Then take a look at Canadian gun laws. We have roughly one-tenth your number of gun homicides per capita. It's not that we have banned all guns; it's pretty easy to buy a rifle or shotgun. Handguns -- not so much. There are also background, checks, mandatory training, restrictions on muzzle length, clip size, rules for storage and transport, etc.

    In a pinch, Canada could probably put together a well-regulated militia. Why do Second Amendment fanatics always leave out those two words?

    Thanks for the good advice.  I was here at dag when the news came.  Romona, Flower and I was in a discussion that had touched on this.  This has shook my very soul.  My daughter was at school today for lunch with the grand kids.  She reported that all the parents that was there for this monthly lunch event was upset.  They were not in a "did you here on the news" talk but she saw anger and tears.  I am just catching up on the news because the TV was off because of the kids.  We have a 5 year old that suffers from SAD at school.  SAD is separation anxiety disorder.  News like this only adds to it. 

    The NRA is not going to package this in a new ribbon and sell gun rights to own these kinds of weapons and be able to sell it.  We are all looking for some leadership on this.  It is time to make our congress critters more afraid of our votes then the lobyiest.    

    From a very dear and close friend and very wise lady:

    ""A culture of violence." And of mental & emotional breakdown. The culture is empty."

    That pretty much says it all to me.

    So we're doomed?  Just throw in the towel?  Empty means there is no fuel left in the tank.  We are left on the side of the road with no hope of a tow truck coming by.

    Then you walk.

    Very good Doc, and done. I have my letter ready to go every single week until we do something.

    20 babies killed, for what? It's horrendous. We have to do something, there are too many guns in America, too  many.

    Some of the hottest selling guns are AR-15's, AK-47's.  Dealers cannot keep them on the shelves.  Manufacturers can hardly keep up with the demand.  We can ban them but without some form of police state action these guns will not disappear.  Owners will not just give them up.  A buy back program will not work unless we are willing to pay an outrageous price.

    Try and just outlaw the magazines and we will simply create a black market.  We have had for years, a war on drugs, which has not been able to keep the drugs out of our hands (my hands are clean).  We outlawed alcohol to no avail also.  Someone will always step in to fill the demand.  The simple addition of a high capacity magazine can turn a simple 22 caliber rifle into an assault weapon.

    I do not know the answer.  But I do know society has changed.  In the 60's if I went to a school dance the greatest fear would be that someone, of group, may want to start a fight.  Nowadays they may simply stab or shoot you, without a second thought.

    Thanks for commenting, Tom. But banning military-grade or near-military-grade guns and banning drugs are two different things.

    Drugs can be produced by individuals with relatively cheap and simple layouts. Meth labs are fairly easy to set up. Marijuana grows in dirt. Evenm cocaine and heroin, which usually need to be imported, are created from plants using a simple process, and it is too easy to set up the growing fields and processing facilities.

    An AR-15 requires a highly specialized and very expensive industrial process: in short, it requires a modern factory.

    No one can make an AR-15 or AK-47 in his basement. The screwup from your high school who couldn't get through geometry class can cook meth.

    Yes, guns and magazines can be made in a home machine shop.  All the specs are available.  Very expensive machines can be purchased cheap on the used market.  High capacity magazines can also be produced.  But my points are that there is already hundreds of thousands of these guns here already.  How are you going to make them just go away?  And how are we going to stop the import of guns and magazines?  My point is we cannot stop the import or manufacture of drugs and it stands to reason you will not stop the guns as long as demand is high and there is money to be made.

    Has it never occurred to you that many nations that have not been able to ban drugs with any real success HAVE managed to ban various kinds of guns very successfully?

    If not, why has this never occurred to you? It should have.

    No country manages to the eliminate the drug trade. Nearly every civilized country manages to regulate guns effectively. This is not a hypothetical question. It is a question with an answer.

    Are you not thinking straight? Are you being dishonest with yourself? Or are you simply being dishonest with me?

    In any case, why should I take a question like yours in good faith? Am I supposed to pretend not to know basic facts about the universe because they are inconvenient to you?

    Are you entirely unaware of the existence of a nation known as "Great Britain?" Did you expect me to be unaware of it? How?

    What should I make of someone who proposes such a deeply unserious argument, when the policy questions here are matters of life and death?

    I am not trying to argue.  Why are you?  I was up front when I stated I did not have the answer.  I am simply stating facts.  This country is full of Tea Baggers who will create the demand.  Do you think the demand for guns in Great Britain is equal to the USA?

    I am not trying to be dishonest.  Where there is great demand someone will be there to fill it.  That is just reality.  I simply present facts and pose questions and all you want to do is run me down and argue.   You can pass all the laws you want but that will not make the guns disappear.  Not in this country.  If  you think they will you are living a fantasy.

    This is a serious problem to which I do not have the answer, and neither do you.  That is why all issues concerning this must be discussed and debated without starting an argument.

    See this story I just posted on a news thread I started; it's about Obama Justice Dept. measures that were studied after the Giffords shooting but not enacted, several that he could enact by executive order even if Congress failed to take any new actions.

    Thank you, Dr. Cleveland. I wrote my congressmen this morning and encouraged them to restore the ban on assault weapons.

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