America must decide between its people and guns

Published: February 29, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

US politics has taken a nose dive. In the run up to the November 2016 presidential election, public opinion is going crazy. At a time when Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and are hell bent on safeguarding the dreadfully outdated Second Amendment to the US Constitution, we, as a society, are seemingly settled and resigned to our fate.

Beyond the 400 or so mass-shootings and over 2000 deaths and injuries just in 2015, the guns are still blazing and there’s no stopping the lunacy. Proponents of the dastardly arms trade say that guns only kill innocent people when they fall into the wrong hands. They also attribute mental illness as a reason for the rampant killing sprees. Proposals for deeper background checks are booed at when the government wants to make a move in the right direction.

All this is contributing toward undermining the image of the United States. When murderous acts are carried out on the streets, in schools, places of worship, family planning institutions and centres for the developmentally challenged; when educational institutions let students carry guns in classrooms and when laws of the country are slack enough to allow domestic terrorists fill up their homes with ammunition enough to kill large chunks of population, where do we stand as a nation? Shouldn’t we wake up to the reality and move on with the gun control measures? Obviously National Rifle Association (NRA) has its own axe to grind, helped by the far-right, blood thirsty Beltway leeches that would gun down even the vaguest effort to curb the supply and trade of arms.

It’s not just the politicians though. It’s the public at large in various parts of the country that is used to bearing arms and traditionally thinking that carrying guns would make them safe. The founding fathers enacted the right to bear arms into the constitution in the late 1700s to enable people to join the newly-independent nation’s army, suppress slave revolts and repel invasions. None of this holds true in today’s United States. We are not in a state of internal conflict and slavery was abolished about 150 years ago. The Second Amendment is completely obsolete.

Speaking of obsolete, our Republican friends on the campaign trail keep protesting that ‘Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world’ ‘What’s wrong with that?’ I ask. Is Obama committing a daylight murder if he’s trying to introduce some 21st century reforms in the society? Why build walls of resistance when it comes to gun control measures?

Constant massacres from Michigan to Kansas to San Bernardino have dragged our emotions to the lowest ebb. The irony is that politicians all over the presidential campaign landscape are desperate to score points and competing with each other to cosy in with the gun lobbyists and those afraid of a slave revolt.

This is the ‘Bible Belt’ population that suffers from economic problems and not educated much – folks who Donald Trump fondly refers to as the ‘poorly educated.’ Soundbytes favouring Second Amendment are belligerent and anyone opposing guns is either told to shut up or simply leave the country since such voices are considered unpatriotic.

They say, ‘don’t talk about it, be about it’. Americans must move past the hallucination that more guns make them safe. If restrictions on supply and sale of weapons are imposed and stricter checks are performed, fewer people will have access to arms and, therefore, there’ll be fewer killings.

We are continuously bombarded by the scare tactics of the likes of the Republicans and the right-wing media. We must not let our destiny be commandeered by the gun lobby that serves parochial interests. The ease of access to weapons is letting every lunatic use their Second Amendment ‘right’, shoot and kill. In a country where many believe that access to health care is not a basic human right, death by hostility is the answer to our health woes since a bullet costs far less than a visit to a doctor’s office.

There are no easy solutions. As desperation in the society grows, as patience and perseverance in life turn into unknown commodities, we are walking on thin ice on this issue. How many women, kids, office workers, bystanders and ordinary souls must sacrifice their lives before anything constructive can be done to curb this menace? While undoubtedly the constitution reigns supreme in the US, at times people feel that the Second Amendment, by virtue of its non-stop mention, is the constitution – a general perception that we get on account of the phenomenal importance attached to guns.

America is still an incredible country and, just like any other nation, is characterised by innumerable flaws and follies. Mental illness is a huge issue and lack of care is an ever-increasing problem that increases the risk factors. If someone is unhappy with the Planned Parenthood concept, they go and kill people in one of their facilities Colorado.

Influenced by ISIS and think America is the ‘great satan’? Buy weapons in bulk online and receive them at your doorstep.

The bottom-line is that anyone and everyone can get weapons from the most basic handgun to even the latest and the greatest rocket launchers.

As a proud American I feel appalled by the attitude of the powers that be, refusing and turning a blind eye to the chronic gun-crisis. Listening to the presidential debates, one experiences a complete failure to address the burning issues of the day. The clowns on the stage keep harping on the same old tune that they’ll protect the Second Amendment with their lives. I think they need psychiatric treatment themselves. Also, such fluff is super interesting for entertainment purposes but adds nothing new to the conversation.

Obstructionism doesn’t ever help. What may help is getting to the root of matter, i.e. work with the interest groups, curtail the monstrous, incessant supply of weapons to the market and incentivise states all over the country to work on mental illness related issues. Talk to the blue-collar and poorly educated that guns don’t help. Several luminaries and celebrities are already working against guns. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is at the forefront of this campaign and an active gun control supporter. There’s no reason to reinvent the playbook. We just need more of such people and less of the right-wing zealots.

Despite all its imperfections, America must live long and prosper. For many, it is much more than a country – this is our home. This is the time to act and eliminate gun violence. If not now, I’m afraid, it’ll be never.

Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • cautious

    Gun law proponents tend to overlook that that baring removal of all guns (which ain’t going to happen) none of their proposed “gun control” laws would have made even a tiny dent in the mass shootings everyone abhors. Like Obama they tend to talk in generalities and offer no concrete solution.Recommend

  • Parvez

    This is a runaway train scenario. Michael Moors brilliant ‘ Bowling for Columbine ‘ addressed this issue forcefully……..what happened ? …….exactly nothing, it has just become worse.
    What little I understand is that addressing this on national level will not work…….but if individual States lobby for change in their areas, it could work in a small way and then build from there.Recommend

  • Bob Owens

    There were FOUR mass shootings in 2015 not 400, as even liberal Mother Jones notes. It’s this kind of inherent dishonesty from people like the author that keeps us from being able to have an honest conversation about the role of firearms in our society.Recommend

  • DanH

    No. Next issue.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    aacqure

    Not true! north American continent was acquired by force, eliminating the indigenous people of the land. it can only be maintained by the use of force and erecting walls against its neighbours. How does the naive new immigrant author reckon the floridans could imlement the jeff Bush new law to cut down the one from whom one feels threatened. Both Obama and his like citizens should return to the lands of their forefathers.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • gp65

    In Germany too there is a right to gun ownership like in the US. However, it does have gun control laws. Result: Number of gun related per capita killings in Germany is less than half that of USRecommend

  • http://www.myhightechsecurity.com/ jack burton

    Hansan would understand America a great deal better by a five-minute read of the essay, “Is the damage to society from the misuse of guns worth the freedom to have guns?” at http://hubpages.com/politics/damage-society-gunsRecommend

  • Turkeyguy

    I’d love for the author to document his claim that modern rocket launchers are available to “anyone”. It sounds like he is expressing how he feels about things instead of reflecting the reality of the situation. Or is he perhaps confessing some illegal research?Recommend

  • LibertyFirst

    Tell you what. I’ll keep my guns to protect myself and my loved ones. I’ve chose both guns and people. Problem?Recommend

  • Nomad1412

    Those who write articles like these neither understand the culture on which America was founded not do they comprehend the vastness of the United States.

    USA won freedom from the British after the American Revolution where militias each consisting of a rag-tag bunch of untrained Americans from the countryside with their own weapons carried out a successful guerrilla war. Thus the right to bear arms is enshrined in their constitution as it was what won them freedom in the first place.

    USA is vast and many people live in homesteads with no one around for miles and a gun is essential for safety from wild animals and home invasions. USA is not all Manhattan, that is why they do not even have a decent public transportation system outside of NYC.

    What is required in the United States is leadership on this matter and we are yet to see that. Taking just one side or the other helps no one at all, though I agree with @gp65 that stricter gun ownership (euphemistically called gun control) laws are required.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Thats not the issue. The issue is that gun control wont stop criminals ( Partially because there are already too many guns to police ) and because gun control measures wont work with those many guns. More then one mass shooter has bypassed gun control laws by just getting them illegally or stealing them.

    Germany can say gun control works becuase it has so few guns to take care of.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Correct. There are too many guns for any sort of control to work. Its too easy to get them or control them just because of how many there are.

    A better solution is just to start investing more money in mental health care.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    As far as i know, hes not being dishonest, he is stretching the definition of mass shooting as far as it will go. He probably considers any sort of incident with 2-3 or more people harmed by a gun ( harmed, not killed ) as a mass shooting.

    But its disrespectful and a insult to journalism. He is stretching the facts to suit his agenda.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    This guy is quite the piece of work.

    Stretching the facts, promoting his own liberal agenda as much as possible;

    Clearly writing misinformation.

    Even if you are anti-gun, it is no reason for you to blatantly lie.Recommend

  • Trolly

    What about your homeland Pakistan? What should they do? Any unsolicited advice for them?Recommend

  • Ammono Cruose

    The only way to prove the anti-firearm side of the argument IS to lie, because the actual facts prove that the positives of legal firearms use far, far outweighs the negatives. Without lies, they have nothing.Recommend

  • Frank_in_Spokane

    “Brilliant” ONLY as propaganda: http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

    But filled with just as many lies as THIS worthless, “hair-on-fire” screed.Recommend

  • Ammono Cruose

    If everything has become worse, then why is it that overall crime, firearms related crime, overall murders, and even firearms related murders are all DOWN significantly since Columbine took place? Just take a peek at the FBI unified crime statistics and stop listening to the alarmist media. There is a runaway train alright, and its America becoming a safer country by the day.Recommend

  • Frank_in_Spokane

    Q: If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

    A: Four. Calling its tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

    Likewise, calling a gun crime a “mass shooting” when it isn’t doesn’t make it one.

    It does, however, confirm the author as the liar he is. (Along with Bravo Sierra claims about doorstep delivery of bulk arms shipments, the ability to buy RPGs, and the Founders’ intent re. the Second Amendment.)

    All brought to us, ironically, by the FIRST Amendment. How odd that he would misuse the First — by blatantly lying — in order to attack the Second.

    Or perhaps I should say, “How TYPICAL.”Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    I think that most of us can understand and respect a difference of opinion, however, this article goes far beyond anything reasonable. Why does any mainstream publication allow such an article? Based on the information at the end of the article, this author has actually had other articles published.Recommend

  • Ted

    This coming from a country that continues to suffer from violence because the criminals just went to the next best tool after banning guns. Now you have campaigns to turn in knives. Next, all knives will be banned, then pots and pans, then cricket bats, then bricks, then… Better take care of your own back yard before you go fretting yourself about the U.S.Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    Yes, there was much force and violence on all sides during the early days of European settlers on this continent. However, not sure that any of that matters other than to illustrate the absolute need for the Bill of Rights, including the natural right of self defense and having the tools necessary.
    The liberal goal of “government” having the exclusive use of force is exactly what I (and most other citizens) do not want to happen. “Obama and his like citizens” have as a goal to change the underlining ideas that the founders codified in the Constitution. In that goal, “The People” must not allow that to happen. November elections will be an opportunity to stop the progressive movement in a peaceful fashion.Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    Well, I agree that change at the state level is happening. More states are passing pro-gun bills and removing limits on “bearing arms” than ever. The few very liberal states are just out of step and need to be reined in and forced to follow the Constitution. Join SAF, GOA, NRA and you state rifle associations.Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    Now, lets understand that if gun are harder to obtain there will be other weapons used by the criminals. However, the level of violent crime in every case has increased when the ordinary law abiding citizen has had their access reduced/denied. Look at the large urban liberal cities where gun control is strong, that is where the majority of the murders are taking place. So, why is it that gun control supporters think it you are less dead when killed with a knife/fist/club?Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    Your statement sounds good on the surface, however, few of the mass killers were identified as dangerous because of mental health issues prior to their killing spree. Certainly, the ISIS terrorist can not be explained by mental health problems. With most of the killers obtaining their weapons and passing a BC, that approach does not seem to work.
    The only solution that has been proven to work to stop a bad guy with a gun (or any weapon) is a armed good guy.Recommend

  • TopCat_Texas

    I disagree that stricter gun ownership laws would provide any measurable improvement. Just as when the Clinton AWB and magazine limit law was up for renew, no one could show any benefit from these restrictions. Just as the places where guns are misused the most are places where there are extremely strict gun control laws, like CA and Chicago.
    Now, we can do a lot better. Here are my suggestions:
    1) Include gun/safety training as a requirement in every secondary school in the country.
    2) encourage local police departments to offer low cost and high quality gun classes/practice areas.
    3) make any organization that puts up a “No Gun Sign” 100% responsible to protect all citizens in that area and travel to/from that area.
    4) Constitutional Carry in all states.
    5) enforce laws against bad acts to the fullest, acts like murder, rape, robbery and assault.Recommend

  • Sho Rembo

    With as much bias as shown in this article I’m not sure how they call this person a journalistRecommend

  • ttboy2004

    I saw this and it is so well written i had to re-post it.

    Let’s take a quick look at the FACTS.

    The US Ranks #1 in Gun ownership in 218 Countries listed at 90 guns per 100 residents.

    The US Ranks 111th out of the 218 for per capita Homicides with 4.7 Homicides per 100,000 people. (note: Not all Homicides are Firearm related, and 60% of firearms deaths are suicides.)

    No 1. Is Honduras. A socialist gun control country, with 90 Homicides per 100,000 people

    The Democratically Controlled cities with strict Gun Control Laws rank as follows for Homicides per 100,000 people:

    1. Detroit 54.6 2. New Orleans 53.2 3. St Louis 35.5 4. Baltimore 34.9 5. Newark 34.4 per 6. Oakland 31.8 per 7. Stockton 23.7 8. Kansas City 22.6 9. Philadelphia 21.5 10. Cleveland 21.3

    Now let’s look at that Gun Crazy town of Plano, TX, where virtually everyone has a firearm of some type. The Homicide rate per 100,000 is 0.4.

    So is the problem really guns? Or the people holding them? According to the FBI Website almost ALL violent crime happens in pockets of cities with a population of greater than 250,000 with high minority populations. Facts and Logic dictate that we DO NOT have a “Gun” Problem. We have cultural problem in the inner cities of America. Which are almost EXCLUSIVELY run by the Democratic Party.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    better solution is just to start investing more money in mental health

    Good thinking! To blame the availabity of guns in the USA for the regular shoot out is a lame excuse and nothing more than a diversion. USA is the largest arms exporter in the world and its prison establishment being the largest employmennt agency. It is the mind set which acts first before the use of a gun.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Cal S.

    First note on credibility, do NOT use Mother Jones stats on mass shootings. A mass-shooting is a singular incident in which 3 or more people besides the gunman(men) is killed. ‘Singular’ meaning that there was no crime being committed during the incident and it was simply meant to be a senseless act of murder. There were only 4 such incidents in 2015. Three passed the same kind of background checks you tout as a preventive measure in this article, and the San Bernardino shooters got their guns through a straw purchase (illegally).

    For all their efforts in restricting, confiscating, and outright banning guns, the European Union as a whole has more mass shootings claiming more victims than the US does. So what’s the answer? More restrictions? It’s already far easier to purchase a firearm illegally than it is to obtain one legally. In Australia, there are professional garage SMG manufacturers churning out so many high-quality pieces that upwards of 10% of the firearms seized in gang-related crimes are homemade.

    The United States is already in the midst of a 20-year downturn in murders according to hard-and fast FBI stats. Even with gun ownership and concealed-carry permits skyrocketing, that number is only going down. I’m not buying the “Rocket Launcher” claim. Care to back that up? Probably not…Recommend

  • NukeDoc

    Some or all of the guns I own, you believe I should not be able to own.

    You insist that I give them up.

    I am not going to give them up.

    Your move.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Now compare the harmone enriched beef consumption per capita of the yanks with Germans sausage eaters and one will come to the conclusion that the yanks are relatively more handy with their guns.Recommend

  • Charlie Victor Alpha

    “We just need more of such people and less of the right-wing zealots.”

    Just…WOW. I really wish this author would respond in the comments section and back up his position. The authors NEVER defend their position to the masses because they’re not interested in debate. They want compliance with their opinion. They want to persuade using no legitimate facts, just emotional appeal after emotional appeal. This is why things will never change to their favor. Set aside your bias for a while, see what each side has to say, where and how each side gets their data, and the history of this country and why “arms” are so important to individual liberty.Recommend

  • Charlie Victor Alpha

    I think investing in mental health care is important, but won’t make much of a dent in the overall homicide rate. We need to invest in urban minority communities, and I don’t mean let them suckle off the government teet forever. That’s already happening and it doesn’t work, it only sows apathy. Their culture has gone off the rails, and they need a major change of heart.Recommend

  • ml_Oath

    So tired of people like this author….either roll the dice and attempt to take them (you can start at my house.) or keep quietRecommend

  • xtphreak

    Mother Jones article that debunks his claim of 355 mass shootings in 2015.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/12/no-there-were-not-355-mass-shootings-this-yearRecommend

  • Constiutionalist

    You have shown a great ignorance of firearms and the acquisition of such. Please tell us about these rocket launchers that everyone can get. And please tell us about the outdated portions of the Constitution. I feel the first amendment is also outdated. So let’s have away with that.Recommend

  • Glenn Smith

    What passes for journalism now is truly more like agenda driven opinion pieces than the fact based reporting of my youth.Recommend

  • Rob

    Wow. Where to start? Jesus, could you have even TRIED to be right? On ANYTHING? I don’t know about you, but I pay attention. Look around. America has made it’s choice. It’s the guns. Deal with it or get out.

    And you’re NOT a proud American. I can’t say for certain WHAT you are, but I can say with a certainty what you are not. Americans – REAL Americans – cherish their liberty and the means to maintain it, even with it’s downsides. We understand and remain forever grateful for the sacrifices made to secure and preserve it, the lives given freely for belief in it. We do not harbor undying faith in a State that has not proven worthy of it; we remain forever guarded against what we know it can become, will become, must become. I have no fear of others being free. Why do you? Because you are not us, and you do not belong here.Recommend

  • Phillip Marritt

    wow! the ignorance in this article is staggering!!!! 1st, their claim of 400 mass shooting is predicated on a redefinition of mass shootings by AN AVOWED ANTI GUN ORGANIZATION incongruent with any accepted definition used by the fbi, ncic, or any other crime tracking organization. were this new definition applied to past data it would show that, in fact, firearms crimes including mass shootings (how ever you choose to define it) are at a 40 year low. the use of this new “statistic” in contrast to previous data is deceitful and disingenuous.

    2nd the second amendment has nothing absolutely to do with “joining the army” the “author” needs to go look up the definition of militia. the whole point of the 2nd amendment is to guarantee the people the personal right to bear arms so as to be able to form militias when they found their liberties to be threatened by tyranny, BOTH foreign AND domestic. since tyranny, apparently isnt obsolete ergo, neither is the 2nd amendment.

    3rd study after study including one recently released by the cdc find that more gun DO NOT equate to more crime and, in fact deter crimes in areas known for gun ownership. the cdc report then goes on the equivocate about correlation vs cause and blatantly states that the information was unexpected and not particularly useful to their purposes.

    4th whom exactly is doing the bombarding with scare tactics? take this very article for instance. the blatant use of false information is calculated to induce fear. as is the vast majority of anti gun propaganda.

    5th the article states that it is exceeding easy to acquire weapons ( an assertion, no doubt, not backed up by ever actually TRYING to acquire any weapons to see how difficult or nto they are, in fact, to get). the article states that it is easy for someone whos mentally ill to buy a firearm ignoring that background checks regularly deny those whove been adjudicated mentally unfit to purchase firearms. an eaxmple, adam lanza the the newtown ct shooter. he tried, and failed to purchase a rifle in the weeks prior to his shooting spree so he resorted to MURDERING his mother and STEALING hers. then the article states “Buy weapons in bulk online and receive them at your doorstep.” completely ignoring the fact that online purchases must be shipped to an ffl GUN DEALER where a background check MUST BE PASSED before the weapons can be released to the buyer. if the background check fails the buyer CAN NOT receive them. the article then states “anyone and everyone can get weapons from the most basic handgun to even the latest and the greatest rocket launchers.” which is an out and out lie. many individuals such as felons and the mentally ill are ENTIRELY prohibited from LEGAL weapons ownership and while it is technically true that a rocket launcher can be owned anything that fires a projectile larger than .5 inch is deemed a “destructive device” the owner ship of which is highly regulated requiring a comprehensive BACKGROUND CHECK. further any projectile launched by such a device must be solid as explosive projectiles OF ANY SORT are EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. period. the authors falsehoods and half truths ARE FEAR MONGERING IN THE WORST WAY.

    6th the powers that be arent ignoring a “gun crisis” BECAUSE IT DOESNT EXIST!!!! IT IS WHOLLY A FEAR MONGERING SCARE TACTIC MANUFACTURED BY THE ANTI GUN LOBBY TO PUSH THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA. study after study find that crime, as well as gun crime are at a decades past low.Recommend

  • Superlite27

    Anyone else notice the mental disconnect?

    Anti-gunners usually tell us we’d be safer following their advice and being unarmed….

    ….by using example after example of large numbers of people being slaughtered while following their advice and being unarmed?

    When are they going to start using examples of lawfully armed CCW holders being slaughtered by the truckload instead of people following their advice?Recommend

  • Phillip Marritt

    completely ignoring the fact that germany has much fewer guns per capita than the us because at the end of ww2 THERE WAS A COMPLETE PROHIBITION OF FIREARMS POSSESSION BY ANYONE (INCLUDING THE THEN DEFUNCT ARMED FORCES) AND ANY FIREARMS WERE REQUIRED TO BE TURNED IN TO ALLIED AUTHORITIES! also this was after a draconian decade long restriction on many, many types of firearms enforced by HITLERS NAZI REGIME!Recommend

  • Phillip Marritt

    you seem to forget that, unlike communist paradises, the walls are there to KEEP OUT an endless stream of this wishing to illegally enter this country to benefit from its superior quality of life.Recommend

  • Phillip Marritt

    The reason for the lack of success of the anti gun lobby is that the MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE simply dont want it.Recommend

  • TSJones97

    What I don’t get is how these idiots keep on desperately try to push this issue. Our overall homicide rate is going down. We’re LESS likely to be murdered than we were back in the 1970s by about HALF. And yet, because we get instant news 24/7 now, we hear about each and every crime (major and MINOR) around the world in real time. What’s pathetic is guys like this who opine but really have no real world experience, nor common sense. I guess pats on the back at cocktail parties with like minded ivory tower types is all that he craves…..Recommend

  • John Jordan

    You need to do some actual RESEARCH.
    Words on a piece of paper are not going to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, laws only affect the law abiding.
    If a person wants a weapon they will get one.
    Either on the open market or black market, through theft or smuggling.
    Your be surprised how easy it can be to MAKE a firearm.
    Until you can hold a knowledgeable, intelligent conversation about guns, gun owners and regulations, your opinion(that’s all this article is) means absolutely nothing.Recommend

  • Josh Parks

    The author of this article must lick lead paint and windows on the days they’re not blatantly lying about guns in and the united states. This article is ridiculous and false in its entirety. I feel my IQ dropping from reading this.
    Recommend

  • GameOgre

    “Buy weapons in bulk online and receive them at your doorstep.”
    Not possible.

    “The bottom-line is that anyone and everyone can get weapons from the most basic handgun to even the latest and the greatest rocket launchers.”

    Liar.

    “Journalist”
    Bull, journalists actually research what they write about so they don’t come off as ignorant dimwits. You’re a blogger only slightly ahead of Food Babe in the “posts inane lies” category.Recommend

  • PavePusher

    “Buy weapons in bulk online and receive them at your doorstep.”

    No, you can’t do that.Recommend

  • PavePusher

    No, he flat out lied, by inventing a new definition for “mass shooting” not found anywhere in law enforcement.Recommend

  • PavePusher

    “In Germany too there is a right to gun ownership like in the US.”

    Not really. If it exists (please cite the relevant German law or Constitutional quote), it is nothing like the U.S. Right in codification or application.Recommend

  • PavePusher

    “Michael Moors brilliant ‘ Bowling for Columbine ‘ addressed this issue forcefully…”

    No, it wasn’t “brilliant” And hardly “forceful” More like “feeble”.

    “…..what happened ? …….exactly nothing, it has just become worse.”

    WHAT has “become worse”? Crime rates? GUN crim rates? All down, and trending so since the early 90’s.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-violent-crime-1970s-level-20141110-story.html

    https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2014-crime-statisticsRecommend

  • John Jordan

    You need to do some actual RESEARCH.
    Words on a piece of paper are not going to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, laws only affect the law abiding.
    If a person wants a weapon they will get one.
    Either on the open market or black market, through theft or smuggling.
    Your be surprised how easy it can be to MAKE a firearm.
    Until you can hold a knowledgeable, intelligent conversation about guns, gun owners and regulations, your opinion(that’s all this article is) means absolutely nothing.Recommend

  • Brandon Savage

    Are you sure that’s the only causal link?
    Not poverty? Population density? Cultural attitudes in general? Media portrayal of mass killers?Recommend

  • Shane Wilson

    Mr. Hasan, you are a clear example of someone who SHOULDN’T speak even though they CAN. You speak of something you know little-to-nothing about and you are only making yourself look like a fool.Recommend

  • thomaspainelives

    You might want to be careful there. Germany has had plenty of mass killings, it’s just that people like to pick on us. Feel free to have your gun control while being invaded by the “refugees”.Recommend

  • thomaspainelives

    Explain how ANY of the gun laws we have now would, if made stricter, stop any criminal. I’m waiting.Recommend

  • Kenneth Harper

    For cryin’ out loud Hasan. Please don’t insult our intelligence by telling lies, stretching the truth, and putting your own ignorance on display. And please don’t refer to me as a Beltway vampire, or whatever the hell the phrase was that you used. I live in the People’s Republik of Kalifornica where the state government seems to be bound and determined to render us helpless in the face of evil people who, oddly enough, ignore the gun laws.Recommend

  • getfreight

    Let me make sure I understand. We are, as a nation, in internal conflict according to the first paragraph.

    In the third, the Second Amendment is obsolete because we are not dealing with internal conflict? So we are free, as long as we do not defend ourselves or others?

    Then, the author goes on to state that it is the uneducated that want guns. That guns are a menace. An inanimate object, a piece of metal and/or plastic is a menace? Is this a satire piece?

    And we can apparently get rocket launchers delivered through amazon prime. Right to your front door. Who would have thought! Where is this store? That should be interesting to check out.

    After the exaggerations on all fronts. Whipping the reader into a righteous anger about a blatant sack of lies, there is a gun crisis? Do tell???

    There is mention of getting to he root cause but then a sharp left turn back into La La land. Celebrities and Luminaries working against guns. how is the fight against an inanimate object going for them? It must be tough to get a gun to listen to the nonsense. Just because a person is famous does not imply they are smart. Especially if they argue with a lump of metal that keeps beating them. They should not quit their day job.

    Then we must mention Michael Bloomberg. The man who wants to legislate everything since the simple folk cannot make good decisions on their own. Yeah, the guy I would want to side with. Sounds like a great long term success strategy. We’ll force people to be free by telling them what they must do or what they can not do. Makes logical sense.

    Everyone cannot and will not agree, but villifying the supposed right wing zealots that actually come from a majority of the political spectrum. Pure genius. Manipulate through emotional rants and appeal to the mob mentality. I am truly underwhelmed. Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    With all due respects, gp65 has a very valid point. Why
    gun control laws will not work in the US? Or Background checks? Regardless of how many guns are out on the
    streets. Your view is fatalistic. A journey of a 1000 miles requires that first step.
    US gun ownership is 88.8 per 100, highest in the world.
    Total population is approx. 318 million.
    Yemen, has the next highest 54.8 per 100 and a total
    population of approx. 25 million.
    Germany has 30 per 100 and a population of 80 million.
    However, Germans have stringent gun controls and laws.
    Results, fewer gun related deaths or casualties or crimes.
    Perhaps, it boils down to gun accessibility. Besides, the Second Amendment, in the US, is a very touchy issue and interpreted in various passionate ways. A more prudent
    view would be to revisit these gun control laws AND close
    the loopholes…in US.
    By the way, the highest gun related issues in the world are
    in Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica and Puerto Rico !Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    ” other weapons will be used by criminals’ …You mean bow
    and arrows? Spears? Samurai swords? Nunchuck sticks?Flower pots? Kamikaze rolling pins? Rusty nails?Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    Ooops! See, you forgot ! Your forefathers were ‘refugees’
    from England, Netherlands, say even Germany or one
    of those spaghetti countries? Shall we pick-a-country?
    Maybe one of those left over from the potato famine diaspora.Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    But that was 70 years ago ! Germany is part of NATO
    with all kinds of firearms and weapons AVAILABLE to
    the Germans. From just about everywhere. Ukraine, Russia,
    Turkey, Yugoslavia etc.. Plus, Germans manufacture guns.
    In case you have not notice, Hitler went up in smoke, in a
    parking lot in Berlin. So did the Nazi regime. You might try
    Argentina. Little wisps of pseudo Nazis might be found there.Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    Doubt very much there is poverty in Germany. German
    economy is thriving and is the driving engine of Europe.
    A powerhouse. And, yes, a population of 80 million, could
    be construed as dense, with the connected social issues.
    Parts of former ‘East Germany’ may be lagging behind.
    So, yes, there MAY be pockets of poverty.Recommend

  • Greg Goff

    “buy weapons in bulk and have them delivered to your doorstep”? maybe in afghanistan, but not in the US. quit spreading the usual, leftist, lies. its IMPOSSIBLE for such a scenario to happen LEGALLY in this countryRecommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Gun control laws will not work becuase=

    There are too many guns to police

    The logic of people legislating guns is completely non-existent. If gun owners themselves were bought onto the stage and then asked to make control laws, thats a different story.

    Some examples of illogical control=

    If two guns do the same thing the gun made of black plastic will be banned vs the one with a polished wood finish.

    A .50 bmg rifle is banned because it can supposedly “Take down aircraft” Which governments have tried and failed to do. It cannot take down a flying aircraft, not to mention the sheer cost of a rifle like that ( 10,000 USD and above )

    Putting a extra grip/handle on a gun makes it illegal, somehow that will prevent mass shootings.

    Limited magazine capacities. The firearms come with a magazine that can normally hold 10-30 rounds. If you put a maximum capacity on that , its done by a small piece of metal fixed inside the magazine. Anybody with a screwdriver can remove it.

    A criminal wont care about gun laws anyway, thats why he IS a criminal. You can issue all the laws in the world, he will still find some way to kill somebody.

    A journey of 1000 miles requires the first step…in the right direction.

    some of your figures are misleading. One gun owner usually owns more then a few guns. You have to look at the number of owners instead.Recommend

  • Greg Goff

    evidently you are unaware of the mass stabbings that take place in China, or the calls for knife control in the UKRecommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Ever since the rapes the amount of purchases of self defense weaponary has skyrocketed. Tasers, stun guns, pepper spray sales are through the roof. They KNOW they need protection, and im sure quite a few of them are regretting voting for more gun laws.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Thats still a failure on the mental health part. Sure, it Identified the unstable folks , but it did not intervene in any way, to my knowledge the proper departments were not even informed.

    Thats another reason why we need more mental care, we can see the crazies but we dont have enough cash to do anything about them. And also some power needs to be given to the mental care institutes. The ability to place somebody under arrest if they are a danger to themselves or others, to prevent ownership of firearms and prevent access of things that can be used to harm.

    These are all failings of the mental health care system.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Im with you on guns and all that, but i dont understand

    Why on earth would you want to protect america?

    Its turned its back on the people who built it, its turned its back on veterans,and its on its way to becoming a socialist paradise.

    50 years ago i would protect it too, but now? ehhhh,Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Its near impossible to get a legal firearm, ranges are non existant, its impossible to transfer weapons to others, a glock 17 costs 3000 USD and 9mm ammo is 50 cents a pop.

    Crime is sky high, the people have no means to defend themselves and those who do use guns to defend themselves are charged for excessive force later on.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    There is no guarantee that making gun control stricter will make it harder to get illegal guns

    Just wanted to put that out there.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    iliigal guns, homemade guns ( yes, its possible, google it . Any person on the level of a mechanic can do it )

    And knives.Recommend

  • thomaspainelives

    Oops, assumption on your part. My ancestors on my father’s side were Hessians fighting in the Revolution. He was captured by those pesky ARMED Rebels, sent to Virginia, given parole and started a family. And I REALLY don’t see how “refugees” have anything to do with what was said. I didn’t want to bring Poe’s Law into the discussion but 1936-1945 Germany, gun control worked for the people there, didn’t it?Recommend

  • Kevin

    Go fix Pakistan and then preach about how the USA is so screwed up from your ivory tower of made up crap.Recommend

  • Phillip Marritt

    all very true but during the time of the ban and subsequent turn in american gun ownership continued unabated. meaning more guns in the long run and never any gun ban or restriction imposed on the population. and who cares what happened to the nazis. they were defeated and are gone.Recommend

  • George Bagley

    Where in the United States can you mail order ‘the latest and greatest rocket launchers’?Recommend

  • George Bagley

    I’m amazed when people make broad sweeping statements that are so easily disproved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_goods#United_States
    But never mind transporting explosives, let’s look at the ‘latest and greatest rocket launchers’, shall we?
    The US Army uses a reloadable recoilless rifle from Sweden, the M3 84mm. It costs $25,000 each, without ammo. But I suppose that his mythic ‘anyone’ just has an import license, a trucking company to transport explosives and $25,000 to spend…what’s that? You mean you can’t just order this online and have it delivered to your doorstep?Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    It would be pointless, to have a reasonable discussion.
    Seems you have your mind girdled in ironclad theories.
    From which there is no escape. A prisoner of your psyche.
    But, it takes all kinds to make this world, and you happen
    to be one category. And it is plain. If you don’t agree, the
    stats, figures, numbers are “suspect”.Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    Ah…respected sir, but you did ! You did in your original
    comment.. ” have your gun control while being invaded
    by ‘refugees’. ” That came across as derogatory. Perhaps
    you were referring to something else,..butterflies? Moths? Mosquitos? Could be you meant something else, entirely.
    Hmm…a giant misunderstanding there. We will never know,
    will we. A 1000 apologies.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    It looks like you have already developed a opinion about me. For the sake of debate, humor me and read on.

    I never said your stats are wrong or incorrect, i said your stats are misleading. Your stats are absolutely correct. Except you are deliberately wording them in a way to make us think there are many more “gun totting fanatics” ( in your mind ) then there actually are.

    You are deliberately choosing way of providing the information so that people think there are far more gun owners then there are in actuality.

    instead of posting the number of gun per 100 you need to use number of gun OWNERS per 100.

    If, like in the USA a person owns many guns. Normally about 3-5 for a enthusiast. and about 10 out of 100 own guns.( arbitrary sample, not a real stat )

    That means that out of every 100 people, there are 50 guns.
    People read that and think that 50 people out of every 100 own guns. That is misleading.
    A person can only use one gun at a time, so it does not matter if he owns 1 gun or 5 dozen.

    Once again, focus on the number of OWNERS not the number of guns.

    As for the rest=
    –Gun violence has been going down for the last 50 years.
    -The rate of ownership is also decreasing

    The only real argument against guns is you pointing your finger at the USA and saying look at their violence!

    This is one country with relatively lax gun laws that you are all going on about. Just one.
    For every country with strict gun laws that has a low crime rate i can show you 10 more with sky high crime rates that have brutal firearm laws.

    Also, the laws will only stop lawful citizens. France has extremely strict gun laws; What did they get for it? The attackers in Paris used SMUGGLED AK-47s. Not legal. No law on the books was going to stop them. Except another Paris citizen with a firearm might have had a small chance.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    …..Thats quite a jump.

    NATO is only dealing with the millitaries, it has very little to do with the guns available to civilians.

    Or could you explain why UK citizens can only get air rifles and shotguns?

    Even though they have ( off hte top of my head ) 5+ firearm manufactures?

    Or Belgium and its own FN Herstal , why dont Belgians have guns all over the place?

    Italy?France?

    Why dont their citizens have guns even though they manufacture them and are part of NATO?

    I could go on and on you know. Recommend

  • thomaspainelives

    You really are rather stupid. Nowhere did I say anything derogatory. I stated fact. Europe is being invaded by those “refugees”, many of whom are adult, single males. Plenty of photographic proof of that. They also want Europe to be like their “old country” and cater to them. Sorry if you’re too ignorant or pighieaded to understand that but life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.Recommend

  • thomaspainelives

    What an incredibly terribly written piece. You first state that the continent was acquired by force from the indigenous population. There is no indiginous population, the Indians came over from Siberia most likely. They had 20,000 years of genocide and using force to enslave other tribes and take their land. Who is Jefrf Bush and what new law are you talking about. And who are Obama’s like citizens and why should they leave?Recommend

  • Rangoonwala

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Proves the point
    racists and bigots are found everywhere. Your patron saint
    Trump is on the rise. Enrollment is open in the all the racist
    supremacists dot org
    Hessians? They were a dime a dozen mercenaries imported
    from Poland? Balkans? Eastern Europe? Latvia? Left over
    from the Czar’s purges. Rejects? Well, considering this is coming from a mentally challenged jingoist, like you. Spinning and parroting theories of Pegida.
    Somehow, you invoke the image of something,… pitiful.Recommend

  • LS

    Exactly.. It never amazes me how these “Holier than thou” pseudo journalists think that they can talk about world issues when they themselves are in proverbial mess.Recommend

  • LS

    You are talking about common people. Is the issue in Pakistan common people or the other violent perpetrators?

    The actual perpetrators of crime have no problem acquiring AK47’s or RPGs, material for suicide vests or C4 for car bombing.Recommend

  • LS

    It should not come as a surprise though… Not many people know much there…Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    The issue is the protection of the common people, first and foremost.

    They have no problem getting illegal weapons to harm us, we should have legal weapons to defend ourselves.
    As you say, they have no problem in breaking the laws to harm others.
    Gun laws and legislation will not do anything to them.
    Thats why we need the capability to have a firearm in the home, at least as a deterrent. Sure, the “hero” fantasy of hollywood and bollywood will almost never happen, but at the same time its a very effective barrier. Even a false sign that this ” house is protected by XXX ” Has been proven to discourage break ins.Recommend

  • LS

    My point is Gun Laws are only apply to those who want to follow the law. Handing out gun to normal citizens is NOT the answer and will lead to more violent crimes because once you have gun in the home it is naive to assume that it will ONLY be used to protect the household against armed perpetrators. Moreover none of these people would undergo proper training to handle the weapon or when and how to react appropriately.

    It was like in Charsadda the cry to arm teachers with Guns. It was a horrendous idea. The money needs to be invested on providing economic development and shutting down those houses where hate is peddled and a certain ideology is encouraged. It is not a short term task by any means…

    Once every house is armed to teeth with guns you can only imagine what would happen when minor disputes flare and there is a gun at home.Recommend

  • Abdullah Ahmad

    Yes, you are correct. Laws only apply to those who wish for them to apply. I agree with your entire first paragraph.

    Im not saying giving out guns like candy is the answer, but rather that locking them down is not the answer. This coin has more then two sides. And instead of looking at the sides of the coin, we need to look at where it came from ( as you say, where hate is peddled and certain ideologies are spread)

    My position is summed up as this. Stop going after the symptoms, go after the disease. We need to start shelling out money in mental health care.Recommend

  • LS

    Agreed.Recommend