Trying to Make Sense of It

Two weeks after the rampage in Tucson, survivors struggle with ‘what if’…

So does Suzi Hileman, who days after the shooting awoke in her hospital bed shouting: “Christina! Christina!”

That Saturday morning, Ms. Hileman picked up Christina-Taylor Green, her 9-year-old neighbor, and promised the girl’s mother that they would return in three or four hours.

Ms. Hileman, 59, had simply wanted to take Christina to meet their congresswoman. They would make a day of it — going for lunch and a manicure after the “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a local Safeway. Instead, a gunman opened fire, killing Christina and wounding Ms. Hileman.

“I never got to bring Christina home,” Ms. Hileman said. By now, her voice is almost matter-of-fact. But her sadness is betrayed by the long pauses she takes, the way she buries her face in a throw pillow when the tears start to fall.

The guilt comes in waves. It was there in the hospital. It still lurks, threatening to return at any moment. When someone asks about it, she calls her husband over to hold her hand as she answers.

Another survivor, Joseph Zamudio, had a gun and came within a second of shooting one of the bystanders who was trying to stop Jared Loughner. It was a scene of mass confusion.

After the disaster ended, we were no less confused about who to blame, what to do.

What if we made treatment for mental illness as accessible as treatment for physical illness, instead of cutting mental health services? What if we demanded more accountability from people who buy and sell guns? What if we limited bullets as strictly as we limit how many pseudophedrine tabs we can buy? What if we re-instated the ban on assault weapons?

Since the Tuscon shootings the background noise of gun violence continues. More children have been shot, four police officers shot by a man who walked in with a gun drawn and ready.

Guns don’t make you safe if you don’t know how to use them. If you don’t keep them out of the hands of children. If you can’t ensure they won’t get stolen. If someone in your family is having a mental breakdown. There’s such a thing as responsible gun ownership, but it’s not politically correct to support stronger gun laws.

We can’t make sense of it until we recognize that glamorization of guns, loose gun laws and a culture of hate speech makes it certain that susceptible and troubled individuals will try to achieve fame and glory with a mass shooting– a crime that we are almost getting used to.

19 thoughts on “Trying to Make Sense of It

  1. Keep up your rant about guns,go on your marches,etc and it won’t make a bit of defference to a criminal who wants to use a firearm to commit a crime.
    I’ve been in countries and cities with really strict gun control and they have plenty of gun crimes.
    “Limit ammunition”-what a silly remark.Anyone can buy equipment to make their own.
    I really think you have nothing to teach anyone about “responsible”gun ownership.
    If you dislike guns,don’t buy one.We have very adequate gun laws.They aren’t enforced very well,particularly when gns are used in a crime.
    Remember a few years ago,when a young couple was kidnapped and murdered after being attacked by a gang of subhuman cretins near the Arcade?One of them,Samuel Sanchez,was out on BAIL for armed robbery,where I believe he shot someone.
    You liberal crybabies always have such empathy for these offenders.Amazing.He should never have been on the street.
    States with “lax”or no gun laws(Vermont,New Hampshire i.e.)also have little gun crime.
    Why?Because they have better societal norms.
    Keep you nose out of the business of legitimate gun owners and stop crying crocodile tears for gangbangers and career criminals.
    If your heroes in the ACLU hadn’t been protecting insane people all these years,a gun dealer would know not to sell to them.
    I got news for you-this Congress will put anygun control bills right in the toilet where they belong.
    Oh,and define “assault weapon” Nancy-good luck with that one.

  2. Was that the case where a man kept ‘losing’ his guns and reporting them stolen and the police never investigated him for lending the guns to criminals? This guy was arming a gang and no one figured it out? The guy who shot himself after the gang killed two innocent people?
    Joe, there are a majority of sites where you will find enthusiastic gun support. That’s why I have to write here. This point of view is unpaid, unendorsed, and undefended by our politicians.
    Sorry it makes you mad. I hope you will work for better enforcement of the laws we already have if you think that’s the answer.

    1. Hope I will work for better enforcement of laws relating to guns?
      Are you trying to mock me?I seized a whole lot of illegally possessed firearms during my career,mostly,but not all,from illegal aliens,many involved in the dope trade.
      And more than one of those was pointed at me.
      So yes,I HAVE DONE something-and at some risk to my life.
      I don’t march in parades to disarm ordinary citizens.
      I wll repeat the Charlie DeRosa(a US citizen)story-he was a violent convicted felon out on bail for a murder committed with a firearm and he tried to run me and another officer over-we apprehended without firing a shot(numerous children on the street)and he got out after only seven years.He got an illegal firearm within two weeks and killed his ex-wife and himself.
      Today a convicted sex offender killed two officers inFlorida with a handgun.You think he bought it in a stroe?Convicted sex offenders-let’s see-who has all that concern for their privacy?Steven Brown and Art Handy.The world will end before you ever criticize those two.
      If you went after the really dangerous people on this site,we wouldn’t be arguing.I don’t want convicted felons or mentally deranged people to have guns,ok?
      As far as the guy you mentioned,it sounds familiar,but I really don’t remember if it was in that case.

  3. If you want stronger gun laws, go ahead and get them. Please limit your preferences to your own state, though.

    I’m ‘not allowed’ to own a gun because my girlfriend had a traumatic experience with gun violence, and I feel safe in the city (police have never been more than a minute or two away).

    I can’t imagine how someone in one state can feel like they have jurisdiction in creating the rules that govern another state. If we’re going to do that, we may as well just become one single-level federal entity.

    Also, I have to agree with Observer on the idea that people will get them anyway… I think we’ve learned from Alcohol, Narcotics, and prostitution that you can’t really keep a free people from getting their hands on what they want, so you may as well just regulate and control.

    1. Exactly-what Nancy and her friends who are believers in social engineering don’t understand is that someone who intends to commit a homicide,robbery,kidnapping,etc is not really too concerned with gun laws.
      I think they really don’t care about stopping crimes nearly as much as being able to control people who make them uncomfortable.They have no right whatsoever to do that.
      these are the same foks who oh so innocently try to impose the “fairness”doctrine on us.
      Now Nancy has a real job and all,so I’m not directing this at her,but so many of these types describe themselves as “activists”when asked what they do.It’s like a rotten gene that makes certain people want to undermine society all the time.
      Ocean State Action is like a carbuncle-a conglomeration of angry boils.

  4. I think both sides have some valid points though “observer’s” unpleasant insulting language detracts from his message. Still, the 2nd amendment is not to be trifled with, guns can and are used in self-defense, criminals will indeed ignore the laws. On the other hand, I am convinced there tend to be higher violence rates in states with looser laws (not necessaruly causal) mentally ill people do get guns too easily, there is a risk to children when lots guns are around, assault weapon availabilty is a potential massacr and our current system results in all too many people being shot. However, a middle gound approach is not likely to be politically possible when the gun advocates are so much better organized.

    1. Barry-If I’m “unpleasant”,I guess it’s because I’m as serious about what I’m saying as women’s choice advocates are,and they can be a whole lot more unpleasant than me.
      I’m in my mid 60’s and I am kind of disgusted at the whole politically correct sea change we’ve undergone.
      an example:when i was 18,about six months before I joined the military,I bought a carbine at a sporting goods store in Manhattan-this was NYC about exactly a year after the JFK assassination,so guns were being blamed back then too.
      I got the proper permit and all,and picked it up and they wrapped it in paper,I took the subway home to Brooklyn and I also had 100 rounds of .303 British ammo with me.
      Anyone could tell what it was,but no one gave me a second look.
      I couldn’t carry it loaded of course,but still,imagine that today-the Navy Seals would probably show up.
      We’ve turned into a skittish,woosy country.Every time something bad happens “counselors”descend on the scene.
      One of my friends got killed in middle school joyriding in a car.It was over Easter recess-when we came back,we had a moment of silence in Assembly and that was it.Now they wanna put kids through therapy or something.
      During Vietnam,television showed the war unedited-so did magazines.
      Now,they can’t even show sealed coffins.If you are gonna have a war,people need to see the results.
      You cannot sanitize it and expet a healthy society.We couch everything in euphemism these days.
      It’s like 1984.
      I’m so glad I grew up when I did and where I did.There was no effort to make things easier.Once we stop being honest in our approach to life we become sheep.
      The counseling thing really irks me(unless it’s peer counseling),i.e.when you lose someone close nothing anyone tells you will amke it better.
      If it’s someone who’s experienced it,that’s different.
      Now,I don’t have a problem with counseling for medical problems,addiction,etc-that’s often extremely effective-I’m talking about the emotional stuff-a total waste of time.
      BTW I don’t necessarily believe in concealed carry without any standards.
      Someone who wants to carry a handgun should at minimum,qualify periodically to insure they can actually be at least minimally proficient and pass a safety test.
      I had to qualify four times a year on each handgun I was authorized to carry(two)and twice a year on the shotgun.
      If I didn’t qualify,I would beassigned to desk duty.
      (It actually happened to me once in 1976 when I fired a new course for the first time).I was embarrassed and that was the last time it occured.

  5. I’m going to make what I consider one last good-faith effort to come to some sort of…detente? with the Observer on the whole gun question.

    First, yes, we’re talking about the 2nd amendment. …the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed…

    Fine. But other amendments use similar or identical language, and yet we recognize that no right is absolute. Free speech? Can’t call ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre.

    Search and seizure? Many of the same people who advocate completely untrammeled gun ownership are fine with the idea of the police busting down the door, warrants be damned, even though the 4th amendment says rights against search shall not be violated.

    So can we agree that no right is absolute? My right to free expression of my religion doesn’t give me license to practice human sacrifice. So if I’m a sincere follower of Aztec religion, my rights are being infringed. No?

    Secondly, the idea that, if the bad guy knows you probably have a gun, then he won’t use his on you. And yet, about a year ago in Pittsburgh, and now recently in Detroit, men deliberately sought out policemen–whom they know will be armed–and shot them, killing three in Pitt and four in Detroit.

    Third, it used to be common practice in parts of our country to carry weapons openly. We stopped, because it proved to be more dangerous. I don’t believe Afghanistan has effective prohibitions against guns, and yet it’s not exactly a Libertarian paradise.

    Fourth, I absolutely grant that any bad guy who wants a gun badly enough can get one. But, isn’t that due to lax gun laws? If most anyone can walk into a gun show and buy whatever they want, where are the safeguards? We regulate liquor more stringently.

    Fifth, if you want to know where you’re most likely to be killed by a gun, go to the states that have the highest incidence of gun ownership. The states with the highest incidence per capita of gun-related deaths are LA, MS, AK, AL, NV, AK, AZ, WY, NM, and TN. These are not exactly liberal havens, where bad guys are guys are preying on sily, hapless, unarmed liberals.

    In states with high gun ownership, you are more likely to be killed by someone you know than by a random act of violence perpetrated by a stranger. How is that a good thing, or something to be emulated? I have a better chance of avoiding high-crime areas than my next-door neighbor who gets annoyed because…

    Look, I understand that the country is full of heavily armed people intent on perpetrating crimes. But you apparently believe that the solution is for law-abiding citizens to carry weapons. I would suggest it’s better to cut off the supply of guns. If you decrease supply, the price will go way up, making it that much harder for marginal criminals to get guns. Yes, there will be a black mkt (there always is), but the price there will skyrocket, too, b/c ompetition from the legal gun mkt has been curtailed. Then criminals will not be able to buy them in pawn shops, or steal them from people who buy them legally b/c they feel the need to protect themselves. If there are fewer guns on the street, there will be fewer gun-related crimes.

    Can you see the logic of that proposal? I have the impression that you don’t. If not, I’m not sure I can explain it more clearly. If you don’t want people to have guns, make it hard to obtain guns. Don’t make it easier.

    Like many of the proposals of the GOP, we’ve tried it that way. It hasn’t worked so far. Why will continuing these same policies work any better in the future?

    See, now is the part where you claim I don’t know what I’m talking about, that your law-enforcement experience tells you that taking away guns is bad, etc. But you have never been willing to address these points that I’ve just offered.

    This has been what I consider a good-faith effort to explain my position. If you respond in kind, we can have a discussion. However, if you simply insist that your experience trumps my case w/o actually explaining how or why, then we can’t.

    1. Yoy have not walked in my shoes.
      I put away some bad people for along time-I deported a lot more-not the innocuous factory workers,but legitimate a**holes.Some of them hold a grudge.
      I once had to send my family out of state for few weeks after a detained criminal alien described my house and wife to a detention supervisor in Boston and allowed as how she’d be killed if he was deported.
      He had three brothers on the loose in RI,all of whom had criminal histories and one of whom I had arrested and was out on bail.
      Let’s just say that we took the gloves off on that one-the FBI got involved,and so did the PD as well as my agency.
      All four brothers were eventually deported.
      They are a small example of some of the people i had to deal with as part of my job.
      I will never be unarmed -I am physically disabled from war related illnesses to the point where I cannot fight with anyone-I’ve been retired 14 years and some people I put away are still waiting to come out.
      i’m relating this because there are many people who need a firearm to defend themselves.It’s really none of your business why as long as they aren’t legally prohibited from owning firearms.
      I’m not going to be rude because for a change you’re not being pedantic in your approach.
      I just disagree with you-I related in another thread how my niece defended herself against a home invader/rapist with a handgun.
      You mentioned some states where the society is kind of rough and violent-I spent time in some of those places and you(the general”you”) aren’t going
      to change people.
      The states I mentioned with very lax or no gun laws(Vermont relies on federal laws)that don’t have such a violent society are quite safe places to live although guns are everywhere.
      Your mention of the 4th Amendmentis interesting-I participated in the execution of over 900 search warrants and an uncounted number of warrantless searches-this is a very complex area requiring extensive training and experience-we haven’t the space to discuss it here,but you are really out of your league on that subject unless you have the requisite background,whether it be as an attorney,law enforcement officer,or a specialist in Constituional law who might not necessarily be an attorney.
      As afr as people shooting police,it happens.I’ve lost some co-workers to that and barely escaped it a few times,once because the perp didn’t know to disengage the bothered me for a few hours,but my attitude is not to sweat the “what ifs”-you can lose your mind that way.
      I actually don’t believe anyone should be able to walk into a gun show and evade a background check.
      Let’s discuss figures-there are upwards of 200 million firearms in circulation.There are about 80 million legal gun owners.
      If the government ever tried to confiscate firearms in private hands,and if 90% of gun owners complied(not likely)that would leave 8 million Randy Weavers(minus the racist part)out government wants to even think about that.
      I’ve been carrying firearms since I was 18-I’m 64 and never had an issue about safety or improper use.
      I take my anger out on a blog or talk radio-I ahve been in hundreds of physical fights,some of which were pretty bad,and I never want to get in another one,I dislike using violence to settle problems.
      However,I like to shoot recreationally and both myself and all my adult family members own firearms for protection.
      I won’t suggest you do the same.ecause that’s your choice.
      And of course no rights are absolute-to bring it down a notch from human sacrifice,threatening someone is a crime-not free speech.
      I think we ave to agree to disagree on ths issue.
      I do think it’s kind of funny that gun control activists like Senators Schumer and Feinstein have concealed carry permits.Sheldon Whitehouse who rails against personal gun possession likes to shoot with his friends.Total hypocrite.
      When he was AG he cancelled carry permits for two doctors who I had been a patient of simply because he didn’t “think’they needed them.
      These were two men who had peoples’ lives in their hands every day and one was a retired military officer-think he knew how to handle a weapon safely?
      This actually isn’t even a left-right issue-I shoot with people who are at least as liberal as you.
      My father was a dyed in the wool left winger all his life and always owned a gun-he was in WW2 and was an extremely good shot.He didn’t feature being a victim.
      FWIW RI Democrats in the GA are more pro-gun in many cases than some Republicans I could mention.
      RI gunlaws are sensible and we have relatively rare occurences of legally owned firearms being used in crimes.
      The Netherlands have a very strict handgun ban and there are parts of Den Haag and Amsterdam where you can get shot in a NY minute-I’ve been there and know cops there aand they deal with it all the time.

  6. I guess the answer in the end is that Heller and McDonald are the “law of the land”as I have to hear from liberals about Roe v.Wade and the Dallas case(name escapes me)that requires public education of illegal aliens-I don’t like those decisions,but there it is-they were made and I have to accept them.
    You can fret and stew over the 2nd amen dment cases,but there’s nothing you can do about it.Same with Citizens United-I don’t much care for corporations buying elections,but on the other hand,I don’t like unions doing that either,particularly with member dues from people who have no voice in the decisions to donate funds.
    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  7. BTW-no officers were killed in Detroit,just the gunman.There WERE four officers murdered in a coffee shop in Washington State a year or two ago.The perp there should never have been on the street,let alone in possession of a firearm.
    Or the one in woburn just recently who was onparole from THREE life sentences.
    Why not make a life sentence just that?
    Liberal parole policies and cost related early release olicies are the problem in many cases.
    Maybe if we incarcerated less non violent criminals we could keep the truly dangerous ones in until they either posed no threat or shuffled off to Buffalo.
    One factoid-there is no pawn shop in the country that can skirt the Federal gun laws on firearms sales.The pawnshop must have a licensed firearms dealer making the sale and no Federal requirements can be waived.
    Have you noticed there are no gun shows in RI?Why?Because we have a seven day waiting period.If a RI resident buys a firearm at a gun show in another state,the seven day requirement stands and the firearm must be delivered through a RI dealer.
    I would politely suggest you check into these things before making certain assumptions.
    One of the weirdest tactics employed by gun control advocates is the extreme exaggeration ,i.e.”well,I guess you can buy bombs and bazookas,etc.”-no,you can’t.No gun rights group has ever advocated destructive devices and crew served weapons being legal for private ownership.
    many years back you could buy a 20mm antitank rifle in the mail,but after the JFK assassination,that was no longer possible.
    It sounds scary,but in reality,what would you do with it-it’s not like anyone other than Arnold Schwarznegger or a similar guy could lug one around and start shooting up a place,because it was HUGE.I think people bought them as curiosities,not for sticking up 7-11’s.

  8. OK, well, I tried.

    I agree. There are very bad people with guns doing very bad things to other people.

    No one disputes that.

    My question is this: if we want to make it harder for these bad people to hurt and kill others, would it not make sense to cut back on the supply of guns? If guns were harder to get, wouldn’t that mean fewer scumbags would get them?

    And no one here said anything about bazookas. Assualt rifles, OTOH, can be purchased.

    Look, by your own admission, RI has few guns because of the 7 day waiting period. And RI is 49th of 50 states in gun deaths per capita. Only Hawaii has fewer.

    So wouldn’t it make sense to emulate this in other states? That’s my point.

    But, if you won’t–or can’t–discuss that in a rational manner, then there’s really no point. I’ll never bring this up again.

    1. I guess when people don’t accede to your point of view,they’re “irrational”.
      I think if you took as much time to read my reply as you did to act exasperated you’d note that I thought RI gun laws were sensible.
      BTW,who’s irrational here?You have to be crazy to compare Afghanistan to the US.That country isn’t even in the 20th century,let alone the 21st.We don’t kill women here for learning to read,do we?
      You can’t tell otehr states what to do.
      Each state is limited by Federal law in one regard-they cannot set a looser standard for constitutional rights,but can set a tighter one.
      for example,in RI police ar5e very limited in searching a vehicle pursuant to an arrest.
      As a Federal agent,I could conduct a much wider warrantless pursuant to an arrest.The arrest had to be for a Federal charge though-I had statutory authority under RI law to arrest people for state offenses,but in those cases I was bound by RI law.Understand?
      You have a very dismissive attitude towards my experience,and you have yet to describe yours.if you dropped the attitude of “schooling’ someone it’d be easier to take you seriously-I’d guess you’re around 50-55 just from what you say.I’m 10 or 11 years older.I think maybe I’ve had just a little more varied experience in life than you,but it’s hard to know for sure because you’re so secretive.I think you once mentioned being a business consultant-that’s kind of nebulous.
      The reference to explosives,etc came from Nancy Green on another thread,not you.Others have used similar hyperbole.
      What’s an assault weapon?
      The last time they tried to define that,they wound up pissing on their shoes and the results were unimpressive.
      Most people are killed with ordinary weapons,including a lot of so-called “Saturday Night Specials”-cheap mass produced firearms made by Jennings,Bryco,the people who put out Tech 9’s,etc.
      Don’t tell me I’m not rational-I think at some point being irrational would have impacted my job performance or my personal life,but sorry to disappoint you-I never hd a single disciplinary proceeding in 27 years spanning two law enforcement jobs.I am married just over 40 years and raised a family.I’ve never had the police to my home for a domestic iincident.I have never had a substance abuse problem.
      All my problems were results of cancer,CAD,diabetes,and various complications of the above.
      I wouldn’t wish any of it on you,but I wonder how you’d handle it,because it ain’t fun.
      Nowadays we have a Governor and a President who acknowledge having used cocaine,and the last President was a dried out drunk.i
      I’m supposed to respect these people?
      I answered your assertions in detail and you come back sounding like you’re annoyed because I’m so reclacitrant.You’re too much,as Mr.Natural would say to Flakey Foont in ZAP comics.

  9. klaus-question:Why aren’t there many shootings in Israel(terrorist attacks excepted)or Switzerland,both modern democracies much more comparable to the US than Afghanistan?Almost every home in both of those countries have at least one high capacity weapon,and often more.
    I think you believe in social engineering and I don’t.That is why we are usually so far apart.
    I suggest you google “Dr.Kermit Gosnell”of Philadelphia.This is exactly where Peter Singer’s way of thinking is going-you blew off my concerns because Singer is only “a philosopher”.
    Dr.Gosnell’s alleged offenses are likely far from unique.

  10. You know, we might be getting somewhere. If we can tone down the vitriol, we might actually be able to communicate here.

    First, I am not discounting your experience. Just the opposite. I’m trying to draw on it. But, your experience is not a trump card that automatically invalidates other opinions. It informs your opinion, and it provides valid evidence for your opinion, but it is not the final word. The problem is more complex than anything that can be summed up by one person’s experience, however extensive.

    Second, my background is pretty much irrelevant. You keep trying to peg me as a ‘this’ or a ‘that’ (ususally ‘garden variety liberal’) in order, I believe, to be able to dismiss me. I don’t categorize easily.

    And I fully concede you are more familiar with gun laws than I am. Not something that’s ever been relevant to my life. However, I have experience in the world, too. It’s different than yours, but it’s just as valid–if not as apparently pertinent–as your experience.

    Bringing up Afghanistan was stupid of me. Bad analogy. I agree that it should be dismissed. But, by the same logic, however, I will claim that neither Switzerland nor Israel are analogous, either. Let’s stick to the US of A.

    To the point: I have one question for you. Please try to answer it.

    Based on your own words and my statistics, RI has a low rate of gun violence. You attribute this to the 7-day waiting period and/or other restrictions RI might have.

    If this is true, why do you not support similar laws in other states? No, we can’t impose them elsewhere, but in a democracy, change comes about by building consensus. If enough people agree to change, change can happen.

    My goal is to keep guns away from criminals, and from unstable people in general. I believe our country (not Switzerland, not Afghanistan) would be safer if there were fewer guns. Americans, apparently, aren’t as capable of handling a lot of guns as are the Swiss, or the Canadians, who also have a lot of guns per captita.

    Is your goal to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, or the unstable?

    If not, end of conversation.

    If so, and that’s what I seem to believe you are saying when you talk about your experience, then why don’t you agree that stricter gun control will do this, just like it’s done in RI?

    I don’t consider someone to be irrational if s/he disagrees with me. I consider a person irrational if they disagree with themselves.

    If it works here in RI–and you seem to be saying it does–why can’t it work in other states?

    That’s really all I want to know.

    1. I was just interested in your experience background as a point of reference.It’s not essential.
      I’m not in a particularly vitriolic mood,by the way.
      Now,about RI gun laws-we have the second lowest rate of gun crimes as you say.
      There can be a lot of reasons for that.
      The degree of transients has a lot of impact in this area.RI has comparatively few compared to some of the worst states you mentioned.
      Come to think of it,NH,Vermont,and Maine also have a low rate of transients.
      Even the illegal aliens aren’t that transient here-they tend to settle in.
      A high degree of transiency leads to a lot of impulse offenses,often violent,with little chance of being caught.
      BTW my degree is in Criminal Justice,from John Jay College(1973)which is a respected institution ion the field.I also finished a history major and a zoology minor.
      I find it interesting to compare RI and CT.
      CT has a law banning “assault weapons”-think of an AK47 or AR 15 for the sake of argument.
      RI has no ban on any type of firearm or ammunition except thaat armor piercing ammo can’t be sold in RI to civilians.
      RI has no gun registration.registration does absolutely nothing to prevent crime and creates a lot of paperwork and bureaucratic superstructure for nothing.
      If a firearm is recovered at a crime scene or on an offender,it can be traced to the last purchaser without any such thing as registration because dealers have to keep records.
      RI doesn’t require any permit to purchase a handgun or keep it loaded in the home or place of business.
      They do require a safety test,which is a very good idea-if you can’t pass it,you shouldn’t be able to purchase a handgun.The test is free and you’re issued a “blue card” by DEM.I had to take that test even with 27 years of law enforcement and 4 1/2 years of active duty military service.
      Long arms don’t require a safety test.Frankly,it is harder to have an accident with a long arm.
      I don’t hunt,but I know that getting a RI hunting license requires a really thorough safety course.
      carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit and you have to get it from either the AG or a local police chief.
      That permit requires a qualifying score on an approved course with a certified instructor.
      Retired law enforcement officers are issued permits routinely as long as they didn’t retire on a mental health disability.
      I have a LEOSA credential issued by DHS/ICE which exempts me from concealed carry laws anywhere in the US(except on aircraft or public buildings that restrict firearms).
      I have to reapply yearly and qualify on a standard law enforcement eyarly on any type of firearm I plan to carry.
      This type of credential is available to retired LE under HR218.
      each agency issues the document and sets criteria for initial issuance.
      Since the INS no longer exists,ICE,the succesor agency issues them.They turn down people for all kinds of reasons like a history of disciplinary actions or mental health referrals,or denial of a security clearance as well as arrests and convictions subsequent to retirement.
      I went on at length to inform you that this stuff isn’t done frivolously.
      So,I think RI laws strike a good balance between anarchy and abusive restrictions.
      The sole purpose of gun laws should be to:
      (1)keep guns out of the hands of criminals
      (2)make sure people are competent to use a firearm safely
      Just remember,even experienced personnel have accidents,sometimes fatal,handling firearms.
      Any potentially dangerous device carries that risk.
      You have no idea the kinds of hazardous equipment one can purchase without anything more than some cash,it’s just we don’t think about those because guns are a ore hot button topic.
      I had a lot of experience using an oxyacetyline torch for cutting and you can buy one at any big box home goods store like Lowe’s.
      If you happen to point an operating torch at a cinderblock wall,ypu’ll wind up wearing the wall-just one example.
      i once nearly got killed doing something I had done a thousand times with aricraft towing equipment,and that one time I failed to notice something was wrong and if another airman hadn’t yelled at me i would’ve been decapitated-as it was I got knocked about 10 feet and had a shoulder separation,and I supposedly knew what I was doing.
      What I said about social engineering wasn’t a flippant remark.People are way too unpredictable and subject to too many extraneous forces to be “managed”in the social sense.
      Entropy lurks at every turn.
      so the point of all this is that RI ahsn’t got a very “strict”set of gun control laws,yet we aren’t Dodge City.
      My feeling is that the issue of violence,whether by gun,knife,club,hands,etc.encompasses more than a question of equipment.
      I also think that people in RI have a sense of morality in tis regard-when that gas station manager in Woonsocket was murdered making a bank deposit,people were really outraged,and the police got busy fast.
      I’ve been in places where no one would break a sweat over it-that’s the sad truth.

    2. “If this is true, why do you not support similar laws in other states?”

      Because it’s none of my business to make laws for people in other states.

      Like I said earlier: You want tight gun control? Move to Mass or RI. Want to own an AK-47? Move to Arizona. Let us have our problems, and them have theirs, and let people choose to live in the kind of communities they want to. Is that so hard?

      I see the same thing in the abortion debate… I’m VERY pro-choice, but I can see the hypocrisy in saying ‘If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one’, while at the same time, making all taxpayers fund them.

      What happened in Arizona was a tragedy, but not enough for me to assume that I know what’s best for Arizonans from my high-and-mighty perch on the Atlantic.

      1. The point I made to “klaus” was precisely that RI has much more relaxed gun laws than MA or CT,yet less gun crimes.
        He didn’t answer.I’m sorry he can’t engage honestly.Really.Because he isn’t stupid,just following a predertmined set of rules he imagines apply.

  11. I meant to say I have to qualify on a standard law enforcement course.
    I also neglected to mention that I support extended access to mental health records by gun dealers-meaning committments which don’t show up on a criminal history check.
    Just because a person goes to a psychiatrist doesn’t mean they are too unstable to own a firearm-they could have an eating disorder or an annoying neurosis which does nothing to make them dangerous.

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