March for Our Lives

On March 24th I attended Redding’s March For Our Lives event, a response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida on February 14 in which 17 students and faculty lost their lives and 17 others were wounded.  It’s sobering to realize the leaders of this movement were ordinary high schoolers just six weeks ago (SIX!), worried about grades and prom and driver’s licenses.  Now they’re on the cover of Time Magazine, mobilizing their generation to vote and fight for change.  Only a fool would ignore the strength of their argument and commitment.

The speakers at this event were all local high school students, the youngest under age 16.  Their eloquence and passion and anger were startling and I was brought to tears by their words many times.  It was a sight to behold and I’m honored to have been there to see it for myself.  I felt like I was witnessing the start of something very profound, and it gives me hope that perhaps change really is coming.  I’m ashamed my generation didn’t do it for them.

The rally was well-attended, with hundreds of people present, and the crowd was spirited, energized and vocal in their calls to end the gun violence in this country.  I only saw one counter-protestor (there may have been others), holding up a sign that said “PRO NRA” on one side and “#2A” on the other.  During a lull in the speeches, someone in the back shouted about gun rights but a number of people standing nearby turned to that person and there were no more disruptions.  The rain threatened to dump on us at any moment, but the weather held and we stayed dry the entire time.

As people marched from the Sundial Bridge to the Mt. Shasta Mall, the crowd stretched from Hilltop Drive all the way back across the length of the Highway 44 bridge.  Many cars honked at the crowd, receiving raucous cheers in return, but I noticed a few extended middle fingers mixed in with the supportive waving.  One fine citizen threw a plastic bottle from a passing car, which thankfully didn’t hit anyone.

More than 800 events were held all over the country and around the world, showing that people are tired of the deaths and the fear and the pain.  The gun lobby may own our politicians but they don’t own our voices or our votes.  Come November, I think things are going to be very different, with waves of brand-new voters ready to bring the change we couldn’t give them.  I certainly pray for a brighter future for this generation.

I do not wish to debate the merits of gun control laws in the United States because the truth is that I’m a Leftie very much in favor of strict laws against gun ownership as well as an outright ban of all AR-15 rifles.  In my opinion those weapons have no business being in the hands of the public.  As you might imagine, I’m also anti-NRA, another provocative point I’m not going to argue.  A News Cafe is open to submissions of diverse viewpoints and you are free to submit an opinion piece of your own.

Matt Grigsby
Matt Grigsby was born and raised in Redding but has often felt he should have been born in Italy. By day he's a computer analyst toiling for the public good and by night he searches airline websites for great travel deals. His interests include books, movies, prowling thrift shops for treasure and tricking his friends into cooking for him. One day he hopes to complete his quest in finding the best gelato shop in Italy.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

132 Responses

  1. Deb Deb says:

    Great article, Matt! I am glad that nothing ruined the peaceful march, neither weather nor anger nor thrown plastic bottles.

    The kids who are getting involved give me great hope. Everyone likes to have a shot at ‘lazy’ or ‘apathetic’ teens (and always have – I know one of my dad’s favorite grumbled sayings was, “Rotten kids!”), and I know that bullying is real and perhaps worse than ever, but that’s why it’s so good to see kids also being galvanized towards positive action and change. And they aren’t kids who are dumbing down the issue by saying “all guns bad!” They are kids who are pushing for better gun *control*, and that seems to be what NRA members refuse to see or acknowledge.

    It would be good to have a new view towards politics from these up-and-coming voters. Voters who educate themselves about the issues, who learn to look at all viewpoints and make reasoned choices, and who demand proper representation by their politicians can only be a good thing.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      I admit, I’m surprised it was very peaceful. Even the counter protestors didn’t cause too much of a fuss.
      It’s interesting to me how quickly these kids pulled together and started speaking out. You’re right, they haven’t asked for gun bans or disarming citizens; they only want reasonable changes that will save lives.
      These new voters are going to expect a lot from their representatives, because they aren’t jaded like most of the rest of us are. That fires me up!

  2. I am also thrilled to see the kids so strongly stand up for the ban on assault rifles. The gun rights people keep thinking that all guns are to be banned and the government will pop by and take away all their guns someday. Nonsense and impossible to do . Just need to get these multiple killing machines out of circulation. They were produced originally for weapons of war and should only be used for that purpose. I can see a real change coming and I am so pleased to see it about to happen thanks to these upcoming voters.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      That’s exactly right, a ban on assault weapons isn’t too much to ask, and will make EVERYONE safer, including gun owners. No one wants to take away all the guns, just the ones used over and over in mass killings.

  3. Avatar Philosoraptor says:

    So what you’re saying is that, amid a 25+ year decline in gun violence, troops of astroturfed children are encouraging law-abiding citizens to surrender their battle rifles 1 year into the presidency of a man widely derided as the 2nd coming of Hitler?

    Now ya’ll are beginning to make me really wonder whether Trump is a diabolical mastermind playing 3D chess for world domination!

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      No one has said anything about citizens surrendering “battle rifles” (whatever that means). The laws on the books clearly don’t work. We’ve done things the same way for years and it’s time for a new approach.

      I don’t think Trump is capable of anything more complicated than door knobs or spoons.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Philosoraptor, Tim?

      Not to nit-pick, but Trump more closely resembles the 2nd coming of Mussolini.

      Or maybe, “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”

  4. Avatar Bob Higgins says:

    A hundred and some kids were killed in a weeks time from driving under the influence. When’s the march?

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Why not start a movement, if this is something that makes you angry? That’s exactly how this one started.

    • Avatar Christian Koehler says:

      The “march” began about 38 years ago when a bunch of greiving mothers formed MADD. Since then, through common sense public policy…standardized drinking age, sobriety check points, licensure and insurance penalties, treatment programs, information campaigns (designated driver)…the rate of drunk driving fatalities has fallen by over 50%. No one’s right to drive was infringed by these policies which have had a positive effect. Did these policies stop every drunk driving death in the last 40 years? No. Did they prevent Bob Higgins from being killed by a drunk driver? They very well may have. Sensible public policy can yield great benefits. Why are you so afraid to apply similar standards to what it means to be a responsible gun owner?

      • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

        Perfectly stated.

      • Avatar Philosoraptor says:

        Drunk driving laws target drunk drivers. Gun control targets legal owners.

        There are over 10 million AR15-style rifles in the USA. Less than 500 people die each year rifles of any kind (including the Ar15).

        There are 1,000,000 Corvettes in the USA and they kill about 70 people per year. Should we ban Corvettes? Sports cars in general? They are deadlier than rifles and serve no purpose whatsoever.

        Fact is, you do not have a constitutional right to feel safe. I do have a constitutional right to bear arms. ‘Shall not be infringed’ does not mean “infringed in a manner the majority doesn’t mind.”

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          “Shall not be infringed” doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s nothing more than a sentence fragment, with zero context.

          “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.”

          It always fascinates me that gun-humpers tend to think of themselves as constitutional fundamentalists, yet generally choose to ignore the entire first half of that sentence as if it has absolutely nothing to do with the last half.

        • Avatar Christian Koehler says:

          Let the record state that you and the Amish believe automobiles serve “no purpose whatsoever”.

          Gun control laws target irresponsible people just as DUI laws target irresponsible drivers.

          The US military does not give soldiers a gun on the first their first day in the service. They are trained how to use it first and need to show proficiency. If they handle it irresponsibly they get kicked out.

          Corvette owners need to pass a drving test to legally use them. Is this an infringement on their rights. You need a special license to drive a Semi-Truck which I have not been trained to do. If the same bar we have for gun purchases were applied to Mack trucks I could be on the road with one this afternoon exposing everyone on the Interstate to danger.

          I do not wish to infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners. I would like the the definition of “responsible” to be redefined in more sensible manner that it currently carries vis a vis gun policy in this country and would hope most gun owners would agree with me.

        • Avatar K. Beck says:

          “Gun control targets legal owners.” Precisely the point. Certain guns should NOT be legal. I think the US has an army, a navy, an air force, and army reserves, here at home, who are sent out to defend this country should they be needed. In 2018, why does the US need a militia? This is not a rhetorical question.

        • Avatar Philosoraptor says:

          Yes Steve, there are more words in the amendment, but those four – “shall not be infringed” – are pretty clear. As for the rest of it, the courts have ruled definitively that it applies to individual citizens, a view corroborated by original texts.

          Christian: I said Corvettes & sports cars, not automobiles. Corvettes are 4-5 times more deadly than the average car (Camaros are even worse). So again, why not ban them?

          K: We are not supposed to have a standing army. And the 2nd is what protects us from the government. Perhaps I sound like a kook to you by not trusting the government. But then again, the government just informed us that the Pulse nightclub shooter was asked to be an FBI informant (and his dad was one – which surely expedited the fbi’s decision to drop its earlier investigation into Omar). We also just learned that he was related to the Fort Hood shooter.

          • Avatar Christian Koehler says:

            I haven’t mentioned banning anything.

            “Shall not be infringed” does not make 2A an absolute right.

            Like it or not (and I do), we have a standing army. The last time we didn’t The British burned the White House and the militia didn’t stop them.

            The militia protects us from the government bit is a silly argument that hasn’t held a drop of water since the Battle of Hampton Roads.

            Can every gun death in this country be prevented? No. Can we lesson the death toll with common sense measures that don’t infronge on your rights? I firmly believe we can.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Tim — The 2nd Amendment is notable for not being at all clear. It is easy the most poorly and ambiguously worded amendment in the Bill of Rights. Further, the absolute divorce of “a well regulated Militia” from “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” is a relatively new construct by a conservative SCOTUS (District of Columbia v. Heller—2008). “Shall not be infringed” arguably modifies everything that comes before it, including “A well regulated Militia.” All of the clauses are separated by commas—not periods or semi-colons that would imply separation of intent.

            Your view begs the question: Why did the Founders put “a well regulated Militia” in there at all if they didn’t intend for it to have meaning and force? The 2nd Amendment was re-drafted about a dozen times, but that clause remained.

            If you’re going to go back to their original intent, the 2nd was motivated by fear of central control of a standing army. The Founders would probably view the current power of the U.S. military as an abomination. They would recognize immediately that the success of any would-be American despot would likely turn on whether or not the military backed that despot. That was exactly what they were trying to avoid.

            There is also this potential fly in the hedge-against-tyranny ointment: Imagine Trump as an insane, megalomaniacal, power-drunk despot who decides he wants and deserves to be President for Life, and the country is thrown into civil war. Consider the great majority of gun-humpers around here—which side are they going to back?

          • Avatar Phil says:

            Who is the Militia?

            “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States”

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/246

          • Avatar Phil says:

            PS: The actual grammar of the 2nd 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.”

            That is what was ratified by the states and authenticted by Thomas Jefferson: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=220

          • Avatar K. Beck says:

            Well we DO have a military. Would you like to do away with it and substitute it with a militia?

            Believe me, I totally understand not trusting the US Government. That is why I study politics and research people running for office. Voting is really our only defense. I don’t just listen to what our esteemed elected officials tell us (which is primarily hog wash) I pay attention to what they do, how they vote, and who is funding them.

            I had a small part in resisting the Vietnam war. I know about the FBI.

            There is at least one film showing the Chinese military take over of Tibet. The Chinese army goes door to door, literally throwing the people who live there in the street. Then they ransack the home throwing all the guns out into the street. Yes, people in Tibet had guns. Then a truck pulls up and all the guns are loaded up and taken away. Look at that scenario in the current USA. Do you really think you would have a rat’s ass chance you could stop something like this when it is a SWAT Team busting down your front door?

          • Avatar Phil says:

            Would I do away with the military completely? No, but I’d scale it way, way back. Make it less than 1/10th its current size and operate more like the national guard or Swiss Army.

            A humorous perspective on our military spending:
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5uU9O_4U25I

            Do I think citizens could stand a chance against the US Army? Absolutely, as long as the army was unwilling to resort to genocide. But it wouldn’t be a war we “win,” it would be a war they lose. We’d have to grit it out and survive while harassing them just enough to spend themselves to death. Like how the colonials beat the British. And how North Vietnam beat us. And how the Afghans beat Russia. And how they will beat us…

    • Avatar Gayle says:

      When a kid consumes drugs or alcohol, then drives a car and causes the death of themselves or others, they bear the responsibility. When someone with mental health issues opens fire with an automatic weapon on the facility where the kids are required to be, they are innocent murder victims. I see a BIG difference there. Neither situation is acceptable, and not comparable.

  5. Avatar conservative says:

    224 Days until the election. Can the Democrats keep up the momentum?

  6. Avatar Cheryl says:

    Very well said! I’m shocked that it has come to this, but I’m hopeful that the kids will continue to fight, and those of us will stand right there with them. I agree with you 100%.

  7. Avatar Virginia says:

    Strange how the Left is so happy with the children marching against guns and NRA.

    But, do you see those same children marching to stop the drugs in use in their own schools? How many are dying from drugs, and it is not getting better, but few of seem to care. How sad!

    Would it be wonderful if only 17 adults and children died from drugs in the same period of time?

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Strange how the Right is so happy with gun violence AND drug use (and intoxicated driving as mentioned above), since they’re not starting any movements of their own. Sad!

      If your argument is that nothing is being done, then do something. These kids are actually taking on the challenge.

      • Avatar Virginia says:

        I don’t belong to NRA. I don’t have a gun. BUT, I have worked for nearly 50 years to stop the drug use!

        Stranger that you think the Right is happy with gun violence and drug use because that isn’t true for most people in the USA, either Right or Left!

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          That was poor wording, I was exaggerating for effect.

          My point is, if the Right is ALSO concerned about these issues, why don’t they ever do anything about it?

          • Avatar virginia says:

            Yes, your comments were poor…..

            You had President Obama in for 8 years. Why didn’t he do something! So stop blaming anyone who thinks a little different than you. It is not one side or the other!

          • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

            I don’t blame anyone who thinks a little differently than I do. Nor do I blame anyone who thinks a lot differently than I do. I disagree with members of my own family on this subject, and yet we still manage to get along splendidly.

            While my views are for MUCH stronger gun laws, I know this isn’t practical nor realistic. I’m willing to settle for sensible gun laws.

            As for why Obama didn’t do anything, I can’t say. I can say I felt the same way then as I do now. Since your party controls all three branches, the responsibility falls upon you to do something, especially if you’re angry that Obama did nothing. Here’s your chance to fix things.

        • Avatar K. Beck says:

          IRT: “You had President Obama in for 8 years. Why didn’t he do something!”

          We ALL had President Obama for 8 years.

          The answer is obvious: He had a Republican Congress who would never pass any law he proposed. Both of you really need to understand how the government works!

          Maybe if we all stopped the Right vs Left arguments and looked for solutions to things we all just might be better off.

          • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

            I understand how government works. I understand Obama had a Republican Congress. When I said I didn’t know why Obama didn’t do anything, I meant I don’t know why he didn’t propose changes to gun control laws. Perhaps he figured it was already futile.

            And to be blunt, I don’t expect changes to gun laws to ever come from the Right. Call that what you will.

          • Avatar Philosoraptor says:

            Matt: Apparently you aren’t totally familiar with how government works. The president does not propose legislation – he is merely the head of the executive branch. Like any citizen, he can make suggestions on twitter, but that’s about it.

            Congress is the legislative branch and it is up to them to propose new laws. Once both chambers of congress agree on new legislation, it goes to the president. The president can then sign it or veto it. If he vetos it, congress can override the veto with a 2/3 majority (in both houses).

            If a law is approved and citizens feel it is unconstitutional, they can challenge it in the judicial branch.

            If you are sensing a theme here, it is checks on power. And part or that system of checks and balances is the 2nd amendment. It isn’t there to protect the majority — the German majority gased Jews afterall. It is there so the minority have fighting chance if they should exhaust all other remedies.

            “That could never happen in modern America,” you might say. Except it has. Recently. If it weren’t for armed “radicals” like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, the moderates would never have gotten a seat at the negotiating table. Just ask the Dalai Lama…

          • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

            OMG, my first Mansplaining! I know it happens to women, but this is the first time it’s happened to me!

            Dude, you rock. My oversimplification in attempting to make a simple point brought a condescending lecture about how government works. And you managed to squeeze in Nazis, Black Panthers and the Dalai Lama as well. That’s got to be some kind of record.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            “The President does not propose legislation” is on of those statements that is true in the narrowest technical sense, but fabulously untrue in reality.

            Much of the legislation dealt with by Congress is drafted at the initiative of the executive branch. The President personally proposes legislation in annual and special messages to Congress, including the annual State of the Union address and joint sessions of Congress. “Next week I will submit to Congress a proposal that would….” If Congress has adjourned without acting on his proposals, the President may call a special session of the Congress.

            The President is also responsible for submitting an annual budget to Congress for running the government. This is in effect a first draft of the annual spending bill.

            The idea that the POTUS is “merely the head of the executive branch” is quaint, but fake news.

          • Avatar K. Beck says:

            Thanks Steve. Saves me a lot of time. The President can also sign Executive Orders, which can then be undone by the next President who might have a vendetta against the previous President. We have seen way too much of that recently.

    • Avatar K. Beck says:

      I cannot recall, ever, when someone entered a classroom and forced drugs down students throats. Your analogy is off base.

    • Avatar Diane H says:

      Virginia, your disparaging remarks about the organizers of Saturday’s event are misplaced. Each of us has our own personal “causes” we support for personal reasons. It sounds like you worked to reduce drug usage. That is an excellent cause, and hopefully, you will continue. To downgrade the cause that others are supporting is not helpful. They are acting to see positive changes happen for their generation and the whole country. There are too many adults who sit, criticize, and do nothing. We can use these young people as role-models to get out and work for the changes we would like to see. They may not be the same changes, but there are different things that touch each of us.

  8. Avatar Bob says:

    The majority of our citizens want stricter gun control. This is an incontrovertible fact reaffirmed by every major poll. The majority of our elected officials do not want stricter gun control, as evidenced by virtually every vote in Congress. It is time for change.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Our elected officials would have to give up that sweet trough of money from the NRA, which means they’ll never vote for stricter gun laws.

  9. Avatar cheyenne says:

    Remington has filed for bankruptcy. Smith & Wesson and Ruger have announced sales have been slow and thousands have been laid off. Wyoming Fish and Game, like other state wildlife agencies, have reported their share of federal firearm taxes has fallen.
    Why? Because the election of President Trump has removed the “Their coming after my guns” statement.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      And the funny thing is, with all the cries of “Obama is going to take our guns!” for eight solid years, not one gun was taken away from anyone. Not one.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I’m kind of amused at Obama’s legacy with the right as an anti-gun president. Heck, it appears to me that, in balance, Obama expanded gun rights. He signed into law a bill making it legal for CCW permit holders to carry in national park land. He also signed into law a bill allowing gun owners to carry firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak.

        Those might be among the reasons the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave President Obama an “F” for his gun control record.

        If I owned a gun store, I think I’d really be missing Barack Obama.

    • Avatar Philosoraptor says:

      Gun sales have gone up considerably since this latest round of gun control hysteria. We’ll see the hard numbers in a few weeks when the FBI releases its March NICS numbers.

      The irony is that gun control crusaders target this vague “assault rifle,” which they cannot even define, yet 97% of firearm homicides are from handguns. And when gun grabbers push to ban things like the AR15, what do gun buyers buy? Handguns. A15s too, but mostly handguns…

      But hey, we obviously need more “common sense gun reform” from a group of kids who have never even been alive when the USA was not at war…

      • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

        I hope this “gun control hysteria” never dies down, and this gun grabber is happy with trying to change the laws. The laws we have don’t work. I have no idea what the kids’ age has to do with anything.

        But hey, lets just continue to flood our country with weapons and wonder why people are being murdered all the time.

    • You are exactly right about the slowing of gun sales. The gun guys were so afraid that they would lose their precious guns under Obama they they began hording them. Now with Trump, that has all changed and they are not buying them. One local gun seller is now cutting firewood for a living as his gun business has gone to heck. My family have guns and so do I. We are happy to end the sales of the lethal huge magazine weapons and will gladly give ours up. I am often armed and would be able to stop someone with a normal weapon but would have no chance against a nut with an assault rifle. People need to be sensible about this whole thing. I am a 70 year “old” woman who needs to see these mass killings ended.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        In the gun industry, it’s known as the “Trump Slump.” Gun manufacturers and sellers are probably praying secretly for the Democrats to retake Congress so that sellers can enjoy another round of frenzied panic buying. Mass murders are good for business, too—they stoke paranoia about impending gun-grabbing that never comes.

        • Avatar Phil says:

          The “Trump Slump” is hyperbole:

          2017: 7.2m handguns 5.2m long guns
          2016: 8.1m handguns 6.0m long guns
          2015: 7.3m handguns 5.5m long guns
          2014: 6.2m handguns 5.5m long guns
          2013: 6.4m handguns 7.1m long guns
          2012: 5.7m handguns 6.9m long guns
          2011: 4.3m handguns 5.4m long guns
          2010: 3.7m handguns 5.8m long guns
          2009: 3.7m handguns 5.0m long guns
          2008: 3.3m handguns 4.9m long guns
          2007: 2.6m handguns 4.6m long guns
          2006: 2.4m handguns 4.8m long guns
          2005: 2.2m handguns 4.6m long guns
          2004: 2.0m handguns 4.5m long guns
          2003: 1.9m handguns 4.4m long guns
          2002: 1.8m handguns 4.4m long guns
          2001: 2.2m handguns 5.0m long guns
          2000: 2.2m handguns 4.8m long guns
          1999: 2.5m handguns 5.2m long guns
          https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_year_by_state_type.pdf

          Let’s look at those numbers with some perspective – here are the key events:

          2017: 7.2m handguns 5.2m long guns
          ***Trump elected***
          2016: 8.1m handguns 6.0m long guns
          ***Clinton campaigns on gun control***
          2015: 7.3m handguns 5.5m long guns
          2014: 6.2m handguns 5.5m long guns
          2013: 6.4m handguns 7.1m long guns
          ***Sandy Hook/Obama begins lobbying hard***
          2012: 5.7m handguns 6.9m long guns
          ***Giffords shooting/Obama’s first G.C. speech***
          2011: 4.3m handguns 5.4m long guns
          2010: 3.7m handguns 5.8m long guns
          2009: 3.7m handguns 5.0m long guns
          ***Obama elected***
          2008: 3.3m handguns 4.9m long guns
          2007: 2.6m handguns 4.6m long guns
          2006: 2.4m handguns 4.8m long guns
          ***PLCAA passed***
          2005: 2.2m handguns 4.6m long guns
          ***1994 Assault Weapons Ban expires***
          2004: 2.0m handguns 4.5m long guns
          2003: 1.9m handguns 4.4m long guns
          2002: 1.8m handguns 4.4m long guns
          ***9/11***
          2001: 2.2m handguns 5.0m long guns
          2000: 2.2m handguns 4.8m long guns
          ***Y2k scare***
          1999: 2.5m handguns 5.2m long guns

          The PLCAA protects gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits as long as their guns are sold legally. Before the PLCAA, a large chunk of a gun maker’s profits might be spent fighting civil claims from the victims of crime and anti-gun cities. The combination of the plcaa in late 2005 and the expiration of the 1994 AWB in 2004 led gun manufacturers to begin rolling out AR15-style weapons in 2006 & 2007 with demand exceding production until 2014.

          • Avatar Phil says:

            The 2017 “slump” is really due to the fact that most gunmakers racked up a bunch of easy debt during the gun boom and, when faced with a relatively minor drop in demand, they proceed to slash prices to get rid of inventory to make debt payments, killing industry profits.

            The worst offender is a vampire hedge fund called Cerberus, which you may recall sucked Chrysler dry before the US bailed it out. It did the same thing to Remington — buying it for $370 million and then borrowing $1 billion to pay itself a nice dividend plus buy a bunch of smaller companies. Then Sandy Hook happens, and Cerberus doesn’t like the negative publicity so they try to sell Remington for $1.3 billion (turning down reasonable offers around $800 million). They then just ignore it completely and the brand spirals. Quality control goes to hell just as they attempt to expand into the concealed carry market: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Ul5duLldM
            Now bond holders are left holding the bag, hoping to maybe get $0.20 on the dollar…

            But that’s the gun business. Gun sales are still through the roof by historical norms. And every call for more gun control just makes Joe Blow want to spend this week’s paycheck on something he fears won’t be around next year…

          • Avatar Tim says:

            The FBI just released the March 2018 numbers and it showed the highest number of handguns ever sold during the month of March plus the 3rd highest ever number of long guns sold (highest since March 2013):

            Time Period…..Handguns…..Long guns
            March 2018……..781,452……..540,979
            March 2017……..751,886……..461,273
            March 2016……..736,630……..430,837
            March 2015……..631,154……..446,107
            March 2014……..629,802……..482,924
            March 2013……..683,266……..700,873
            March 2012……..535,661……..556,028
            March 2011……..431,614……..466,407
            March 2010……..367,921……..421,284
            March 2009……..405,784……..469,117
            March 2008……..292,259……..383,826
            March 2007……..252,355……..378,185
            March 2006……..241,027……..404,031
            March 2005……..211,151……..359,349
            March 2004……..194,779……..346,529
            March 2003……..183,979……..352,898
            March 2002……..176,673……..349,184
            March 2001……..199,519……..373,490
            March 2000……..219,150……..368,699
            March 1999……..241,036……..376,775

            So if you truly believe more guns = more gun deaths, marching for gun control actually costs lives…

  10. Avatar Peggy says:

    Thank you Matt for reporting on the march and for your active participation and support of our youth and for legislation to make them safe. My generation too did not protect these kids and it is time to change the laws and the lawmakers who are ruled by the NRA. Never Again.

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      Never again. One death is too many!

      • Avatar Philosoraptor says:

        So you would be in favor of a 4 mph national speed limit?

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWhbUUE4ko

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          Yes.

        • Avatar Anita L Brady says:

          You are a one note song. Getting boring. Last time I tried to board a plane, I had to take my shoes off and put in a bin to be scanned. Yeah- that was because of one incident many years ago.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Ridiculous. .

          1n 1918 the fatality rate for traveling in automobiles was about 25 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. 100 years later, that number is approximately 1 fatality per 100 million VMT—a 25-fold decrease. The per-capital death rate from car accidents has decreased by almost two-thirds since the late 1960s, when car safety requirements really began to take shape.

          (Many of us who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers wonder why our drunk driving penalties are still among the most lax in the developed world.)

          Those huge reductions in mortality rates were based largely on regulation-driven engineering improvements and practical traffic safety laws, not on a 4 mph speed limit.

          It’s pretty obnoxious to have calls for reasonable, common-sense regulations of firearms met with empty *reductio ad absurdum* retorts.

          • Avatar Phil says:

            Comparing cars & guns is really not absurd. Firearms too have seen a tremendous decline in death rates, despite them becoming more reliable, effective, and readily available.

            The absurdity comes in the actual gun laws – absurdity made apparent by offering to do the same types of things with cars:

            A 1,000′ car free zone around schools.

            An attempt to ban sports cars. But since you don’t really know how what a sports car is, you ban combinations of features: If you want a spoiler bigger than X you cannot have an exhaust larger than Y. If you want low profile tires, you can’t have a spoiler or large exhaust. Absurd. But that is how California, New York, Massachusetts, etc attempt to ban battle rifles.

            To track and limit the supply (by artificially increasing price), you can only buy a car – even used – through a dwindling number of dealers. It doesn’t matter if the closest dealer is 100 miles away and charges a huge mark-up. Oh, and you can’t pick up your car for 10 days, so you need to make that 100 mile trip twice… Oh, but you must pick your car up within 30 days, so you need a career with some flexibility since many of these car dealers aren’t open weekends.

            You’ll also need to make that trip every time you want to buy gasoline for your car. And should you temporarily go out of state, you’ll want to cross back into California with only 1/4 tank or else risk being charged with illegally importing gasoline.

            If you want to drive in public, you need to pay for private driver’s Ed and take a driving test every 2 years. Even if you do, you might not be awarded a license unless the sheriff in your county thinks citizens should drive.

            If you are lucky enough to get a driver’s license, it will only be valid for the specific cars you specified (by VIN). If you replace your car, you will need a new license.

            You must keep your car obscured from direct public view (covered) while driving.

            If children steal your car, you will be arrested for not properly securing it (unless you are the police).

            If anyone close to you says you are a threat, your cars can be instantly seized. Proponents claim you do have due process since you can appeal, but in the meantime you’re on foot and have been received no compensation (nor will you).

            You cannot buy more than 1 compact car a month.

            You cannot manufacture compact cars in the state of California unless they are propelled by Unicorns.

            You cannot introduce a new compact car for sale in California unless it is powered by unicorns. You can continue to sell existing new models compact cars until you make ANY change to them – even if it is as minor as different size wheels.

            Used compact cars of any kind can be sold in California – even if they are not powered by unicorns.

            Police can buy whatever new compact car they want.

            Police often make a good side living buying non Unicorn compact cars that regular Californians cannot buy, and then reselling them in a few months on the grey market for big profit.

            Those are just some of the laws. You also have social consequences too. For instance, if you let your son take the wheel of your car way out in the middle of the Mojave desert, you may lose your job or clients if they find out.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            Here’s another analogy: You can’t drive your SUV through the halls of the US Capitol building in Washington DC, even thought Republicans currently run the joint and generally profess to be freedum-loving, because they don’t want to get run over and killed. But let’s have 20% of teachers drive their SUVs in school halls.

            You’re analogies are proving two things:

            1. Analogies are limited—they’ve been called the weakest form of argument for a reason.

            2. Your arguments, such as they are, have convinced me that nibbling around the edges isn’t the answer.

          • Avatar Phil says:

            “they’ve been called the weakest form of argument”

            argumentum ad verecundiam

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Phil, I didn’t appeal to any particular authority, even in the abstract—I was stating that arguing from analogy is *widely held* to be a weaksauce form of argument.

            My preceding analogy was meant to be absurd to make that point, given that it was wholly absurd, but not much more absurd than many of yours.

          • Avatar Phil says:

            It was the “they say” authority to which you appealed.

            You seem to hate analogies because they aren’t equivalencies. But that does not make them any less useful, particularly when explaining something your audience does not understand at all.

            I could say a softball is like a baseball in shape, texture, and intended use. You could say they are different in size which, while true, does not make my statements false.

            So I’m happy to clarify any analogy you feel may be false, but I’m not interested in fighting straw men analogies I haven’t made.

  11. R.V. Scheide Jr. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    Stand by to arm teachers. That’s what they’ve proposed in Florida, and that’s what Trump is proposing, in addition to raising the age for buying a gun from 18 to 21 and throwing a few dollars at mental health treatment. There isn’t going to be an assault rifle ban. There will be no universal background checks. There will be more school shootings.

  12. Avatar Diane H says:

    It was an honor and uplifting to support Redding’s March For Our Lives on Saturday. The students who spoke were articulate and focused on positive change to stop school-shootings. They had the crowd of 600+ cheering and then marching! Congratulations to those who planned and led the event, and kudos to those who marched together respectfully, with a positive attitude, and without any disruption.

    • Avatar Sue K says:

      Yes, Yes, Diane. I support the students who spoke so well. Future leaders for tomorrow. I loved it.

  13. Avatar Marc Carter says:

    As the first young speaker so eloquently put it, ” The NRA simply respond to such tragedies by saying irresponsible individuals kill students. We say irresponsible individuals are killing students … WITH GUNS!”.

  14. Avatar sal says:

    Yet once again, no reflection, comments etc on the abject failure of school administrators leading up to THIS incident. Or that of local, state and fed law enforcements abject failure up to and during this incident. Once again, pc humpers policies prove deadly. Almost like on purpose.

  15. Avatar cheyenne says:

    And in Tempe, AZ the police have mounted AR15s on motorcycles. They said this was in response to highly armed criminals.

  16. Avatar Misty says:

    “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” – Thomas Jefferson.
    We are in the midst of national growing pains, fueled by the passion of our youth.

    • Avatar K. Beck says:

      Here you go: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/03/former-supreme-court-justice-john-paul-stevens-wants-second-amendment-repealed.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=traffic&utm_content=TheSlatest&utm_source=newsletter&sid=5388d1b3dd52b8417a0122ed

      The Slatest
      Former Supreme Court Justice Wants Second Amendment Repealed
      By Jaime Dunaway
      March 27, 20185:21

      Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has called on supporters of tighter gun-control legislation to fight for more permanent reform: repeal of the Second Amendment.

      “That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform,” Stevens wrote in a New York Times op-ed column published Tuesday, just days after hundreds of thousands of people protested in March for Our Lives rallies across the United States.

      Stevens, who retired in 2010 and was nominated by President Gerald Ford in 1975, called the Second Amendment a “relic” stemming from an 18th-century concern that a national military could pose a threat to the security of the states. As states no longer consider a takeover by the national government an imminent threat, the amendment isn’t necessary in modern America.

      The turning point in the amendment’s reinterpretation came in 2008 with the landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. In the case, the Supreme Court overturned the Second Amendment’s limited reach and ruled that it protects an individual’s rights to bear arms, even for people unaffiliated with a militia. Since then, the NRA has warped it into a powerful propaganda tool, the 97-year-old said.

  17. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens urges repeal of the Second Amendment. The decision in District of Columbia v. Heller “has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Repeal would weaken the National Rifle Association’s ability to “block constructive gun control legislation.”

    It seems pretty clear these days that rationale for the second amendment is archaic and interpreted in absurd ways. Where are the Well-Regulated Militias today in our society, BTW? Does the average country bumkin or fanatical NRA member know what this means?

  18. Avatar Fill says:

    Despite media hysteria, yet another study concludes that mass school shootings are happening less often: https://news.northeastern.edu/2018/02/26/schools-are-still-one-of-the-safest-places-for-children-researcher-says/

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      “Media hysteria”? “School shootings happen less often”?

      How about we just pass laws to make sure they not only happen less often, but don’t happen at all? Like everywhere else in the world with stricter gun laws.

      • Avatar Phil says:

        And what law would that be exactly? It is already against the law to:

        bring a gun to school
        Bring ammo to school
        Trespass on school property
        Buy a gun if underge
        buy ammo if underage
        Steal a gun
        Steal ammo
        unlawfully discharge a gun inside city limits
        discharge a firearm within 100′ of an occupied building
        shoot towards an occupied building
        threaten to shoot someone
        actually shoot someone

        If someone is willing to violate those, what on earth makes you think 1 more law is going to do any good – especially these days when you can make your own “assault rifle” with a few unregulated mail-order parts and a 3d printer ( https://www.wired.com/2016/02/someone-mostly-3-d-printed-a-working-semi-automatic-gun/ )?

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          By that logic, why have ANY laws if people are willing to violate them?

        • Avatar Marc Carter says:

          Laundry lists seldom amount to a convincing argument.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Phil’s logic: Stricter gun control laws are pointless, because a good fraction of Americans are just going to ignore those laws.

          By extension of his logic and his love of analogies:

          Stricter laws addressing terrorism are pointless, because a good fraction of terrorists are just going to ignore those laws.

          Stricter laws against illegal immigration are pointless, because a good fraction of foreigners who want to come here will just ignore those laws.

          Stricter laws against pedophilia are pointless, because a good fraction of pedophiles will just ignore those laws.

          • Avatar Phil says:

            Now you’re getting it! Why enforce 2 laws when you can just enforce the 1 you’re really after?

          • Avatar K. Beck says:

            Well, the fact is (someone else can list a million statistics) laws keep law abiding citizens in line. Those who ignore the laws will always end up being a criminal. Our only hope is to catch those who refuse to follow the laws. Laws are our only hope.

  19. Avatar Ann Webber says:

    Okay I see this is going back and forth! It’s tempting to jump in. I really have one question about 2A. What constitutes “well regulated”? In what way and by whom?

    • Avatar Phil says:

      Alexander Hamilton wrote the most about this in the Federalist No 29. In his view, and probably most others, “well-regulated” meant “well-equipped” and “properly functioning.” But he was also mindful of its limitations: “well regulated” did not mean that the entire citizenry drilled & trained as if a military because to do so would pull too many away from their productive daily labor for too long:

      “The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day or even a week that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions as often as might be necessary, to acquire the degree of perfection which would intitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labour of the country to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expence of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labour and industry to so considerable an extent would be unwise; and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.”

      So in Hamilton’s mind, you would muster the militia once or twice a year and do a weapon’s check because “little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped.”

      The states would be in charge appointing officers and training them and the states would each maintain a more select corps of trained militia members ready to fight at a moment’s notice:

      “The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate size upon such principles as will really fit it for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan it will be possible to have an excellent body of well trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defence of the State shall require it.”

      So Hamilton sees the militia as 2 parts: 1) the main body of citizenry whos job it is to merely own arms, shoot them competently, and muster once or twice a year. 2) A smaller corps of more thoroughly trained state soldiers ready to meet any sudden small attack and, if necessary, train the larger body of citizenry for war if it should come to it.

      In that context, the right of ordinary citizens to own weapons of war is quite clear. It really wasn’t up for debate until after His Majesty Abraham Lincoln shredded the constitution and left a large standing army. So before you sheepishly rank him the #1 president, remember that far, far more innocent people have died at the hands of Lincoln’s army than from armed citizens – from the millions of Native Americans killed in the 1800s to the 300,000 civilians killed in the Wars on Terror.

  20. Avatar Virginia says:

    There was a tragedy at Parkland. Really would putting in new laws do any good, if the ones already on the books were not used to stop it from happening, when the people paid to protect, didn’t do their job? One can not stop all deaths by laws, man-made or God made.

    Yes, I think the children who marched wanted to make their ideas known, but using some other’s set-in stone ideas, (MoveOn.org or Bloomberg’s pack) really give them all they needed to know on what happened in the whys and wherefores? I don’t feel so. But, the don’t let the grownups influence the process.

    Then I was criticized for mentioning all the deaths by drugs in this Nation that the same children aren’t marching for those deaths. They so far outnumber the deaths in the school shooting. I am minimizing the school deaths, but try to show there are things they really should be trying to stop, and neither the children or Packs trying to put that onto the forefront.

    The sad thing I now see is that the drug situation is worse than it has ever been, and so many are dying or just living a living death, but so few seem to care. And, how many of the children marching last week were/are drug users.

    No, they aren’t forced by anyone in school, other than most often their piers right in school saying how good it is to feel that live is better with drugs. That is a much bigger problem. But, from reading here, guns are all the problem. No, that is not true. The person handling the gun is the problem. And, with Parkland, who stopped that poor, sick young man from killing others? No one seemed to care about him until he killed the 17.

    We don’t need to kill the 2nd Amendment. We need to change a few rules.

    AND, stop the horrible epidemic of drug use. Seems though, more care about assault rifles than the kids killing themselves on drugs! How sad it is. But, I have tried to make some understand we have a much worse problem with the drugs that can and do kill hundreds or more every darn day. And, now we legalized Pot!

    • Avatar Phil says:

      You are right that there are far bigger issues to worry about, and sometimes you should probably be willing to trade a little freedom for a few extra deaths. Sounds cold, but it is reality — I mean you could save ~20x more lives by mandating everyone wear a hijab than by banning assault rifles:

      Annual deaths in the US by cause:
      Medical mistakes: 400,000
      Lung Cancer: 154,000
      Diabetes: 80,000
      The Flu & Pneumonia: 60,000
      Drugs: 56,000
      Colon Cancer: 54,000
      Suicide: 45,000
      Breast Cancer: 42,000
      Cirrhosis: 40,000
      Motor vehicle collisions: 38,000
      Alcohol: 33,000
      Falls: 33,000
      High Blood Pressure: 32,000
      Prostate Cancer: 29,000
      Skin Cancer: 9,000
      Handgun murders: 8,000
      Obesity: 7,400
      Malnutrition: 5,200
      Sex Acts: 5,000
      Food poisoning: 3,000
      Pregnancy: 1,100
      Rifle murders: 500
      Accidental gun discharges: 450
      Electricity: 400
      Deer: 200
      Terrorism: 180
      Lightning: 60
      dogs: 35
      sharks: 1
      Kevin Spacey: 0

      • Avatar Marc Carter says:

        No, distractions are NOT right!. Again, this thread is about ending unreasonable carte blanc accessibility to unscreened guns buyers for the purpose of killing innocent people.

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          Exactly. Folks are welcome to submit their own articles about drug use or drunk driving or plastic bags or Santa Claus.

        • Avatar Jeff Misner says:

          Did you miss this comment from the author? I’m a Leftie very much in favor of strict laws against gun ownership as well as an outright ban of all AR-15 rifles.
          We all know what the purpose of the progressive movement is and with President Trump at the helm we will fight to keep the progressive movement at bay.

          • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

            The thing that makes this country great is our ability to express exactly how we feel without fear. I’m not afraid to tell another citizen, one who is armed, that I disagree with him. I’m not afraid to say publicly that I support a gun ban. You certainly shouldn’t be afraid of my opinion any more than I’m afraid of yours. After all, your side is the one with all the guns.

            That said, I’m not a part of any “progressive movement” but I am a progressive who is also practical. Somewhere in the middle of my ideas and your ideas is a space where neither of us will be totally happy but where we will find a decent compromise. I want this country to work, even when we disagree. I want there to be path for all of us to move forward, both liberal and conservative. The mix of differences makes us stronger, which is something I hope we can agree on.

          • Avatar Gary Tull says:

            Progressing forward makes a lot more sense than stumbling backward.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        You sure about Kevin Spacey?

      • Avatar K. Beck says:

        “I mean you could save ~20x more lives by mandating everyone wear a hijab than by banning assault rifles…”

        HUH? Wearing a hijab is like putting a target on your back. Wearing a hijab in WHITE America (and Europe, it seems) is the bravest thing a woman can do!!!

        • Avatar Phil says:

          It was mildly tongue in cheek – 9,000 Americans die from skin cancer each year (vs under 500 from rifles).

          But you bring up an excellent point: there are unintended (and usually unforseen) side effects for every action. “A butterfly flaps its wings” and so on. Well-intentioned laws often do more harm than good…

  21. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    A reminder, people: don’t be rude. Telling someone to shut up isn’t going to fly here.

  22. Avatar Tim says:

    London, which is nearly gun-free, now has a higher murder rate than New York City: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/london-murder-rate-new-york-overtakes-stabbing-a8283866.html

    People, not guns, commit murder…

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Both London and New York City are among the safest large cities on the planet, according to The Economist. Neither city is as safe as some other Asian and Northern European large cities, but still, they’re both relatively safe.

      The homicide rate in NYC was 3.4 per 100,000 last year. San Francisco’s was 3.9 per 100k. Redding’s was 5.1 per 100k. The Redding area is off to a quick start in 2018, with at least 4 murders in the first quarter (all using handguns).

      The National Rifle Association-Institute of Legislative Action says it is incredibly hard to get a gun permit in New York City compared to other American cities. Moreover, a license to carry a concealed weapon is nearly impossible to obtain.

      People commit violent crimes. Guns make it easier for those violent crimes to be murder.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        I can find only 1 firearm homicide in Redding for 2018 (drug-related February shooting of a 77 year-old by a 33 year-old repeat felon barred from owning guns). Are you counting the Bella Vista murder suicide?

        There was also a wrong-way driver suicide attempt that killed an innocent in January, but it was not classified as 1st degree murder.

        Regardless, Redding’s homicide rate has averaged 3.1 per 100k for the last 10 years. It did have 5 in 2016, but just 2 in 2015, 2013, 2010, & 2009 and none in 2007.

        London, incidentally, does not count terrorist attacks as murder. In car vs pedestrian “terrorist” attacks alone, there were 19 uncounted London murders in 2017.

        • Avatar conservative says:

          I don’t care about drug deals gone bad, gang on gang killings, domestic violence, home invasion of drug dealer’s trailers or houses, people killed in the course of committing a crime. None of those could effect me or my friends. Society saves the cost of victim’s social security, healthcare and future welfare benefits which are less than the cost of investigating.

          I care about homicides of innocent people, like theose killed by accident in drive by shootings, school shootings, police killed by criminals. It is a much smaller set.

    • Avatar Mit says:

      In addition to knifings, London is suffering from an epidemic of acid attacks. 600 in 2016 and over 400 in the first 6 months of 2017: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4016850/acid-attacks-uk-london-areas-statistics/ While they don’t usually result in death, these attacks often leave victims blind and disfigured.

      To have a comparable rate, Redding would need 10 acid attacks each year.

  23. Avatar Tim says:

    1 week after marching to restrict the rights of lawful gun owners, Parkland students were shown first hand how exchanging privacy & freedom for the illusion of security is no fair trade: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43626893

    • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

      And yet the students marched against being murdered in school and not against having clear backpacks. I would argue they are well aware of the differences between the two, almost as if they had already seen first hand what happens when anyone can buy an assault weapon.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        Yeah, and those clear backpacks are being mandated to “save lives” but they are as ineffectual as the proposed gun controls.

        Have you already forgotten about the Rancho Tehama shooter? Barred from buying/owning guns, he simply made his own…

        • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

          Clear backpacks are stupid because they don’t accomplish anything and to equate them to gun control is absurd. If AR-15s had been banned, the Parkland shooting wouldn’t have happened.

          I remember Rancho Tehama all too well. Michelle McFadyen was one of the ones murdered at Rancho Tehama and she was my friend. I remember her laughter, her smile, her feistiness and I walk past her desk every single day. This was someone I actually knew, and someone I miss. I hope I never forget what happened in Rancho Tehama because statistics are just numbers until they have a face and a name. Her name was Michelle.

          The shooters in Parkland, Las Vegas and Sandy Hook all had legally obtained guns. Banning assault weapons would have saved all those lives.

          • Avatar Tim says:

            Do you honestly believe they would still be alive if not for the gun?

            That line of thought just makes no sense to me. If I’m a homicidal maniac intent on terrorism, I’m not going to be cured simply because the most culturally prevalent way of committing murder is no longer as readily obtained.

            If I can’t buy a gun legally, I might buy one illegally. If I can’t do that, I might use a car or rental truck. Perhaps an airplane. Maybe explosives. Or poison. Or some combination.

            If you really, really think about it, we are lucky that the Vegas shooter was fixated on guns. He had ready access to far more potent weapons — heck, in Nevada he could have even have bought real machine guns instead of using a gimmicky bumpstock. Or used RPGs. Or artillery. Or flown his private plane into the crowd. Or stockpiled a large cache of chemical weapons. A million dollars and a squeaky clean background opens plenty of doors…

            But no, our gun culture made it so he fixated on guns – to the tune of spending $100,000 on light infantry weapons (even more if you include ammo and accessories). The OKC bomber used less than 1/10th that to kill 3x as many with a rented Ryder truck & fertilizer…

            Perhaps a better question is: how many lives have been saved by our gun culture?

          • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

            Yes, they would still be alive if not for those guns. Period.

            I’m not going to change your mind any more than you’re going to change mine. I’m not afraid to express my opposition to guns and I’m not afraid to say I’m against the 2nd amendment. You’re the one with the guns, so you clearly have nothing to fear from me. As I stated earlier, no law will satisfy either of us but our country’s strength comes from differing viewpoints and I hope we agree that there has to be something in the middle we can live with.

  24. Avatar Rachel says:

    Matt, what happened to, “I do not wish to debate the merits of gun control laws in the United States because the truth is that I’m a Leftie very much in favor of strict laws against gun ownership as well as an outright ban of all AR-15 rifles. In my opinion those weapons have no business being in the hands of the public. As you might imagine, I’m also anti-NRA, another provocative point I’m not going to argue. A News Cafe is open to submissions of diverse viewpoints and you are free to submit an opinion piece of your own.” LOL You couldn’t resist?

    • Avatar Matthew Grigsby says:

      I admit, I couldn’t stay out of the conversation. As the comments rolled in, I immediately made a mad dash for the comment button. I realized how angry and frustrated about gun control I truly am.

  25. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    In 1996, Australia initiated a mandatory buyback program to reduce the number of guns in private ownership. Their firearm homicide rate fell well over 40 percent in the seven years that followed.

    The NRA is merely a special interest group lobbying in favor of gun manufacturers. In 2016, the group spent a record $55 million promoting Republican legislators and candidates who currently support reckless pro-gun policy. Their goal is to protect and support big gun manufacturers who want to increase their sales profits.

  26. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    Neither are mass shootings and in the second (standoff), a hostage was killed by a police bullet.
    Your arguments somewhat are irrelevant.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      At least 4 victims
      1 event
      not gang related
      not domestic violence related
      not home-invasion related

      This is a more restrictive definition that the one used by Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, the Guardian, etc who all count any shooting with at least 4 injuries.

      The FBI doesn’t count victims, but instead counts any event in which an active shooter tries to kill multiple people in a populated area. These events meet the FBI definition…

      Years ago, Congress issued a report that counted events with at least 4 fatalities, non gang violence, non domestic violence, & non home-invasion. This is the definition you have to use if you want to say “Australia has never had a mass shooting” — which is fine, unless you use the other definitions for counting mass shootings in America…