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After Friday's Tragic Shooting, Gun Control is Back up for Debate. What's Your Opinion?

Friday's shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school has ignited the gun control debate.

Friday's shooting tragedy at a Connecticut school has again brought the topic of gun control to the forefront.

Twenty elementary school children were among the 27 people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a kindergarten class at Sandy Hook Elementary. Adam Lanza, who killed his mother first, was identified as the shooter. He killed himself as a finale to the massacre.

Immediately the debate turned to gun control with advocates saying stricter gun controls are obviously needed. This is the fifth time this president has had to visit the families of mass shooting victims. White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, said Friday "was not the day" to discuss gun control. But the president made it clear that this does bring the topic back up. He was criticized during the elections by gun control advocates for allowing politics to temper his voice on this issue. Gun owners and strong Second Amendment supporters expect that to change now that there is no longer an election on the line.

Assemb. Michelle Schimel, D-Great Neck, a strong advocate for stricter gun control legislation said elected officials must put public safety before the interests of the strongest gun lobbyists.

Those who support gun ownership, however, say disarming those who legally seek gun ownership only leaves the criminals armed since they don't follow the law anyway. They suggest it is a cry for more gun ownership, not less, just stricter enforcement against those who possess guns illegally.

What was your gut reaction to the tragedy? Stricter gun control or time to go out and buy a gun of your own?

Good Grief Y'all December 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
. . ."the deranged lunatics that live amongst us" who get their hands on rapid fire guns . . . because they're too readily accessible . . . and many gun lovers are careless . . .
Karsten Torch December 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM
And I get the sentiment, I really do. But, when the assault weapons were banned before, crime using this type of weapon went up. After the ban, those numbers came down. I know it seems illogical, but it's what happens. I have no problem with making sure people are competent in handling firearms. But banning something because some people are irresponsible seems silly to me. Especially when others having that item could prevent some of these situations....
Dave M December 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Good Grief Y'all.... have you not read any of the above??? Did you miss all the points made on why what your saying is totally impractical? Deal with the world as it is. All guns are killing machines! Many handguns have large capacity clips and aren't assault rifles. The Ft Hood shooter used such a handgun. You can't stop crazy-- I wish you could but how do we make areas that these deranged folks find attractive safer? That should be the discussion. You will never have an effective gun ban in this country unless you modify the Constitution. We are not Australia. That will never happen.
Good Grief Y'all December 17, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I sure have, Dave. I didn't miss anyone's points. Did you miss any of mine? Because I said it's a multi-faceted problem requiring a multi-faceted solution. No quick fix or easy solutions. Let me state further, that I should have included large capacity clips along with those assault rifles. I didn't say you could stop crazy . . . in fact I said you can't stop all these tragedies. Does that mean nothing should be done? You yourself had a partial solution, "Face the fact that we we need to "harden" the targets. Improve physical security at schools and yes, pay for full-time police officers on duty." I agree with that but someone accused me of promoting a Gestapo state. We have had an assault weapons ban - in 1994 until it sundowned in 2004, so it's not impossible. Most of these massacres have been carried out with legal weapons, and they have increased since then, along with the number of casualties. All guns are indeed killing machines, but no one's (at least not I) proposing to ban all of them - just the most efficient ones. This shooter committed his horror in about 20 minutes time. He was using an efficient piece. Oh, I agree with you. It won't happen. All this will be forgotten in a few weeks and we'll be back to normal until the next event. I would venture to say that it would take a gun massacre in every Congressman's home city before they would be ready to face the problem.
Patricia Sabin December 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Well....sure, because bombs AND semi-automatic weapons are meant for multiple casualties. Several years ago, we had a horrifying incident at Mountain Park Elementary School in Lilburn. A mentally ill man from the area walked into the school and hit a little girl in the head with the claw end of a hammer. It scared all of us to death, but there were no fatalities. We all know what would have happened if he'd had an assault rifle.
Good Grief Y'all December 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Well, I believe the numbers have increased since the ban expired. I didn't do the research myself, but read another Patch blog on the subject. And have seen the list on other sites. http://athens.patch.com//blog_posts/its-time-to-ban-semiautomatic-weapons
Good Grief Y'all December 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM
It's a lot easier to say what should be done, what shouldn't, what any of us would do in an assault. Maybe Patch readers should take a field trip to Newtown CT and see how those people feel about the experience. They're going through it right now and probably have some serious insight. We could probably learn a lot from them. We should let them grieve awhile first.
Dave M December 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Good Grief Y'all-- the problem as you say is complex. When I started in law enforcement kids had a sense of right and wrong. Parents actually parented. When I retired I saw 16 year old killers; many kids with no care for others. We are now beyond gun bans, clip bans.... there are so many and remember 50% of your neighbors have one or more. Unless you repeal the 4th amendment and forcibly remove weapons then the tomorrow after an assault rifle ban will look like today. 50% of your neighbors will have one or more and the people that do these things will still have them. Facing the problem is not blaming GUNS. It is looking at the causes of the disconnect in these kids.... it is hardening the potential targets. That is the point -- we are beyond gun ban talk.. it inflames legitimate owners and prevents us from having a real dialog.
Sean Gilley December 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM
When I was growing up, my dad had guns. We even went out to the rifle range a few times. We knew the guns were there, the guns were not locked up, but we never went near therm. We never even DREAMED of using them. I don't know why, but we didn't. I can certainly understand the public reaction to the Connectlcut gunman's accessibility to weapons, but, if a staffer in the school office had had access to a weapon, the gunman might have died with only 2 or even 0 casualties. I agree with Dave above--if we could get back to 2-parent households with real parenting and a strong, law-abiding father figure. It seems that the times have become increasingly complicated as the family unit has broken down. Pity that. Although the amount of female hormones in the water supply is supposedly negligible and does not threaten human health, what do those hormones do to the developing males' brains? Just wondering ... Maybe those hormones cause an increase in mental disorders. It would nice to see a study on that .....
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I agree with most of what you say, but we are not beyond gun ban talk. However, it won't go beyond talk because, as you say, it inflames owners. (And there's so much $$$ in the industry.) Why do we have to tip toe around them when there's a need to an all-in approach? Why shut down the dialog? If I were a gun proponent I would want to have reasonable conversations and help in seeking workable solutions. That would make the gun people more acceptable, wouldn't it? The argument is not about blaming GUNS, it's irresponsible management and ownership of guns, and most of all access to those guns by mentally dangerous people. I don't know why that is so hard for you guys to understand. Americans are 20 x more likely to die from guns than other developed nations. That's a gruesome statistic. I'm certainly not for entering private homes to search. I like freedoms as much as the next American, especially the right to the freedom to live. That trumps someone's right to own and use a Bushmaster rifle that can fire 45 rounds in a minute. That's what the CT shooter used in this atrocity.
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Well, Sean, I think it would be easier to ban and confiscate all guns and amend the Constitution to boot than to make certain that all children are raised by 2 parents including a strong father figure. There are many great single parents who have raised amazing children.
Dave M December 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Wow--"gun people"? Your prejudice shows thru. You mention a ban then you want a dialog to discuss everything.... besides emotion, why do you feel banning guns today will work? What do you propose for responsible ownership and management??? I am a responsible gun owner.. what gives you the right to try and remove my rights???? Oh yeah.. we are ignorant "gun people". We must be because you feel it.
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 01:06 AM
No sir. You are hyper sensitive. I'm not prejudiced against those who choose to own and use guns, as long as they're sane, responsible and legal. What would you have me say instead of gun people? Gun lovers, gun enthusiasts, gun guys and gals? I simply meant gun proponents. No bias or insult intended, so please excuse my choice of words. You putting words in my mouth is not only wrong but not helpful, Dave. Do you claim that all gun owners are responsible? If that's the case, why have we had so many gun massacres with legal weapons? I'm not trying to remove anyone's rights. You can have all the legal guns you want. It's not up to me. I sure hope you keep them out of the reach of someone who isn't responsible. Where did I say "ignorant gun people"? Get a grip man. That's a hair-trigger temper you're exposing. You're protesting way too much to anything I said.
Dave M December 18, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Wow again.. how about "Gun Owners"? You attempt to marginalize us by saying we need to be more acceptable (so obviously you have the high moral position), I call you on it and now I'm hypersensitive, you insult me with the "hair trigger" comment and say I protest to much? OK-- I apologize for misunderstanding your comments. It's time for me to sign off this Blog- my points have been made to the extent I can communicate. I wish you had provided some substance to yours.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Actually owning a gun of any type is NOT a decision to be made lightly. Deploying a gun in ANY situation is NOT a decision to be taken lightly, one MUST be certain they can fire it directly at whatever is in the sight. If the criteria above doesn't suit you or the situation, its best you DON'T have one. That said, its YOUR decision granted in writing by our founding documents - make the decision for yourself and YOUR family, NOT for others.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 04:04 AM
@ Bobby In a nutshell NOT even close... But extra points awarded for attempted pot stirring! (Smiles)
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 07:12 AM
So bottom line is that this comment proves that "Security" around our schools is the real issue, NOT the choice of weapon. This just didn’t get the NATIONAL media treatment. Let’s face it, the REAL fear is that our terrorist enemies will transplant this style of attack from the MID-EAST region and African continents. Barring USA citizens rights won’t impact that one situation iota. Mental Health? That’s all covered under ACA - FREE for all, right? Or is this the new phase 2?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 07:19 AM
There is nothing flawed about considering alternate weapons … Just check out any prison reports you wish, IF absence of guns in the general population makes it all better - that approach means prisons are the safest places on the planet… Because NO one ever dies prematurely in prison…
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 07:22 AM
"We already have that. It's called law enforcement." credit GGY And they will tell you, when seconds count - we are only MINUTES way ... 911 response "All operators are busy, please hold ..."
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 18, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Even a "taser" type stun gun, there are approaches that can cover new ground...
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Wow yourself, Dave. Unlike you, I wasn't trying to insult or disparage anyone. You're the one who said gun ban talk "inflames legitimate owners", so you opened that acceptability issue up. I guess "acceptable" now has a bad connotation. Seems to me that both sides must be acceptable to the other to have any civil conversation, which would go a long way toward finding solutions. You claim that my comments have no substance. That looks like to me that you can't refute anything I have said, can't convince me, so you're just denying them. What about this: "Do you claim that all gun owners are responsible? If that's the case, why have we had so many gun massacres with legal weapons?"
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM
*correction on above comment: I should have written "gun owners". My apologies to anyone who was offended by my misuse of words.
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Oh, I just realized, I actually used the correct terminology in my earlier comment . . . gun owners. But I failed to follow through with that word on every statement. I must be more careful. :(
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM
R, at my own peril in getting started with you, your analogy is a false equivalency. You know full well that my point and that of others questioning the sanity of all gun owners being able to buy military-style, rapid fire weapons is the issue. Your comment seeks to deflect and distract. Again, I say, as I have repeatedly, we're not talking about "absence of guns".
Dave M December 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM
The only reason I'm again joining the conversation is because you you say I can't refute what you say. I don't have a clue what your points are??? NO not all gun owners are responsible. Not all humans are responsible. Not all drivers are responsible... I don't want to remove their rights just because of that! I don't want to ban cars because of that? Is that your point? There are some gun owners that might not be responsible so we need to ban weapons???? Most DUI is committed in legally owned cars.... ? Its not the car, type of car, gun, type of gun.... that is my point. Why do you want to ban guns? Why do you feel that will make us safer? You agreed that there are so many guns out there its not practical so what is it that you want to do??? You ask me if gun owners are all responsible-- NO. So fill me in on your plan.
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM
R, I have no experience with calling 911, but I very much doubt that's the every-time answer. Besides, my point made somewhere in all this, is that there should be more law officers stationed in these high risk places, some uniformed, some undercover. Hopefully, there already are more undercover, trained officers positioned all around than we know about . . . undercover.
Dave M December 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Good Grief Y'all... you really are something. People can read your posts and decide. Go harass someone else. I'm no longer will engage you... you can have the last word?
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Kristi, I respectfully disagree. Some guns are the issue. When it's harder, more time consuming, with enforcement of controls on gun purchases, training, education, safety and responsibility concerns, at least the numbers may come down. Every life is worth that effort. Comparing Oklahoma City and other political and terrorist attacks to shooting massacres perpetrated by mentally ill, socially dysfunctional attackers points out that steps have been taken to lessen the incidence and impact of the former. Now we have metal detectors and scanners at all courthouses, barricades at the entrances to the most likely public building targets, Homeland Security Department, TSA screening all airline passengers, officers on flights, etc. It's the now, no longer new, reality. We need a new reality for the gun violence issue.
Good Grief Y'all December 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Dave, I have made suggestions and put forth ideas. But you keep insisting that I want to ban all guns. It's not true, but you can't seem to get past that idea in YOUR head. Comparing transportation to weapons intended to kill is wrong minded. We do have laws pertaining to motor vehicles and the drivers. Highway deaths have gone down as a result. No one claims those laws and regulations can or will eliminate roadway accident-related deaths. When the motor vehicle was invented there were no highways, no stop lights, no road signs, or any laws. As they became more prevalent in the American landscape, that all changed, and laws regulating vehicles have been enacted to meet the challenges. That auto comparison is a weak argument. I don't have a plan that can fix it. I am not a lawmaker or a lobbyist. I do have a right to express my opinions, though, same as you. If there's a national conversation, which it seems some folks are afraid of, just possibly something positive will come out. I guess my plan is not to shut down the ideas or demean the thoughts of others.
stacy lovvorn December 18, 2012 at 08:41 PM
A illegal hispanic male killed his 2 brothers and shot a police officer this past weekend....he got the weapon like all thugs do of the street. Guess we need to ban hispanics too huh

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