Rational gun safety talk advocated

December 18, 2012

Ami Bera

A new California congressman said Monday that he hopes last week’s school carnage in Connecticut will generate meaningful discussion about gun safety measures and “give us the courage to engage in the conversation.” (Sacramento Bee)

Democratic Rep.-elect Ami Bera told the newspaper that he believes efforts by Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to rekindle interest in a federal assault weapon ban is a “good first step.” The physician emphasized that he also seeks improvements in mental health services to help and better identify potentially dangerous individuals.

“We have to have the courage to have the conversation,” Bera said. “It is not an infringement on someone’s rights if you ask them a few questions.”

And in Sacramento, state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is introducing legislation today to alter “the easy accessibility to firearm ammunition that fuels gun violence and criminal activity.”

De León was the sponsor of successful 2009 legislation requiring thumbprints and other information from gun buyers, a law eventually struck down by a Fresno Superior Court judge.

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And for those of you who want to help prevent gun violence and say no to the agenda of the gun lobby, can join The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence, and it’s Free!


95,000 people shot this year in America http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts?s=1

The brady network is nothing but a bunch of losers in Washington making $$$ from other peoples’ pain.

They haven’t done a single constructive thing since they began.

I wouldn’t send them two cents.

Gun owners are a minority in this country….AND….gun rights are civil rights….


your link and advocacy is for the open oppression of the civil rights of a minority group.

Remind me again, what is the definition of ‘bigotry’ ?

The brady network is a crap organization. I suggest joining the NRA.

I should clairify that. I just rejoind the NRA, not that crap organization posted by hotdog.

That unwelcome link was deleted.

Brady has been a loser organization for years…

In America, the right to carry a gun is sacrosanct. It is more important than a child’s safety. It is more important than safe homes, safe schools, safe workplaces, and safe public spaces.

The NRA has ensured that this is so, and will remain so.

Before you go to bed tonight, tuck in your children and kiss your guns goodnight.

“The NRA is the enabler of death–paranoid, delusional and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into

a cruel and deadly hoax.” –Bill Moyers

And Bill Moyers is deeply ignorant and/or knowingly lying.

At least Bill Moyers is willing to put his real name next to his words.

Also It is a cruel and deadly hoax, every day we die a little.

Sure, Moyers is playing to his fans. There is no downside for him to lie.

Bill Moyers is deeply ignorant LOL !! former press secretary pluged in media guy is a Texan you stupid ass I’ll bet you a 22lr he has a gun back at the ranch.

I wonder if Moyer’s got the NRA and the ACLU confused with one another?

you are a wonder.


Cute inflammatory hyperbole and all but you’re wrong.

The right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally guaranteed in the USA. It does not come at the cost of “safe homes, safe schools, safe workplaces, and safe public spaces” as you suggest. Nice try but no sale. Quite the opposite in all actuality — as long as the politicos are kept from monkeying-around with our rights.

Yes, it certainly is nice to have the NRA around so the politicos don’t infringe on our right to keep and bear arms.

I don’t base my logic on the Constitution, I base it on my perceptions, my own two eyes, and most importantly, my heart. You can hide behind the 2nd Amendment, but the reality today is that it has helped create a country held hostage by fear, which feels the need to dominate the rest of the world by threat of violence by fostering conditions for violent expression & repression. It is something we as Americans have, each in our own way, either consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly, supported and fostered. It is not the only factor, and not the most important one, but it is, on the heels of the latest gun massacre, the most visible, and can stand as a symbol of our national sickness, which is the myth & illusion of separateness and the cult of individualism.

We are all connected. Your thoughts influence my reality, as my thoughts influence yours. I want to create a world where guns are irrelevant and have no purpose. There is no room for hate or fear in that world. Guns are a symbol of fear. Survival, hunting, defense, protection are all responses to fear.

“I don’t base my logic on the Constitution.” Sorry, but it’s that very same Constitution that gives you the right to publish this post, as well as your cartoons which lampoon authority figures. Try some of your art work in Pyongyang, Harare or Beijing, and then we’ll see if you want to start basing your logic on the Constitution. I believe on one level that you do mean well, but as I’ve said before, and I grew up here, the Central Coast is an enchanted kingdom, and it’s all too easy to be isolated from the real world here. You only have the rights you do, under our Constitution, because other people (with guns, tanks, aircraft, etc.) stand ready to annihilate anyone who’d take that right from you. And they’re out there, believe me. So you’re ready to do away with the amendment that you don’t need; maybe others don’t need for you to have the First Amendment. Have you considered that? Perhaps it’s best to leave the Bill of Rights alone. Think about it.

I don’t happen to believe that the 200+-year-old document is sacrosanct, and neither have the people of this country. If you’re a student of history, you’ll be aware of this. It’s constantly being discussed, amended, rationalized, dissected.

What is sacrosanct is the evolved consciousness of our founders which created the document, the same consciousness which places such high value & responsibilities on human rights. The same evolved consciousness which they expected us to nurture, to grow, such that we could create a truly great society and fair government. I happen to think that we’ve let them down for the most part.

As a commentator, if I don’t challenge the assumptions and values of my readers, including from time to time their interpretation of our commonly-held rights & so-called freedoms (the ones that are supposed to come with responsibilities), then I’m not doing my job. It’s supposed to make you uncomfortable. Especially here in SLO county, where it’s so removed and so comfortable that it’s easy to forget there’s anyplace else and that people actually suffer or dare not dream.


All these miserable Anti-Gun Proponents Activist whose got nothing better to do should unite and go to all gang banger, thugs, muggers, sickos in the US, all the drug cartels in Mexico, all terrorists and genocidal dictators in the Mid-East and finally leave us alone, they already twisted 2nd Amendment bad enough as it is. And when they are done with this round, they should expand and tell LE and military to ban guns as well.

Sometimes you are hard to follow, now you are irrational. Forget your meds today?

Resorting to ad hominem attacks at this point?

“De León was the sponsor of successful 2009 legislation requiring thumbprints and other information from gun buyers, a law eventually struck down by a Fresno Superior Court judge.”

If that’s the case, why was I required just yesterday to fill out several pages of info and provide my thumb print in order to buy two new rifles?

The main focus should be on how to identify and treat these wackos BEFORE they do unspeakable things like what just happened.

You could ban the sales of ALL firearms starting today and not stop that kind of thing. Of course, the government could declare a police state, search every home in the US, confiscate all firearms found. How would you like to see that happen? I’d be willing to be that such a thing would bring about civil war in this country and you’d never find or get them all.

All a gun ban would do is to create a huge black market for guns. They would be smuggled in just like all the dope is now and we KNOW how effective our government has been in stopping that!

DeLeon’s efforts focused on ammunition not firearms.

The next thing anti-gun activists are gonna demand is an armed policeman sitting at the front of every home and business.

In the past few years, world wide, many mass killings have been have been happening in quiet towns.

I think it is time and right now a good time to issue training and CWP to responsible teacher or parents

I completely agree that mentally ill people have gotten the short end of the stick in this country, a fact that we should be quite ashamed of. On that note, it may be a slippery slope to proceed upon, when the government could start deeming people to be “mentally ill” possibly because those people (we) don’t go along with their program, even those of us with no violent tendencies.

True. That’s the problem with requiring psychological evaluations before being allowed to purchase a firearm. Such tests are highly subjective. The gov’t could interpret them in such as way as to keep almost everyone from being able to purchase a firearm.

Now that is wonderful, would solve a lot of problems.

Then what do you propose to keep dangerous weapons out the hands of the deranged?

Let’s begin by enforcing the 20,000+ existing gun laws on the books.

Then let’s focus on treating the mentally ill and not ignoring them.

Your comment illustrates that a continual and indefinite delay of addressing the mental illness is acceptable.

It’s not. It’s something we can do right now. If you’re afraid someone might label you mentally unfit to wield deadly force, then perhaps you could work on the fear part of the equation, and let sane people deal with the diagnosis part.

No, it does it. The first step I mentioned could be executed the morning of the first day. Focusing on the mentally ill could begin after lunch on the first day. You would already have a head start once you started enforcing existing laws beginning earlier in the day.

Guns are not the problem.

Insane/violent people are the problem. Stop looking away…

A culture that does not understand or accept mental illness, or believe that it is the highest priority to care for our fellow travelers on this hurtling globe, is the problem.

Guns are a problem , but as you say, we need to enforce the laws already on the books to reduce risks inherent in their use. Guns are a fact, they’re not going away. But I get a strong sense from your posts that it’s all “someone else’s” problem. You’re dead wrong.

You need to stop trying to speak for me. That’s highly offensive.

I have posted several times that violent/mentally ill people are primarily to blame for the growing list of massacres. Thankfully others seem to understand as well. If there is one positive from this latest massacre, it’s that people are finally beginning to talk about mental illness.

They are not trying to blame guns as a means to salve their psyches as you continue to do. This is society’s problem — everyone’s problem and until we stop focusing on gun control, it will remain.

A question for gun-owning parents of small children, would you give-up your assault rifle and hand gun for the comfort of knowing that your kid wouldn’t have their little brains blown out, execution style? Call me “crazy”, and you have called me much worse, but I would give up mine. After hearing all the callous comments and juvenile name-calling , I’m sure that none of us need assault weapons and hand guns. By the way, keep up the harsh treatment of us “idiots” (parents), nothing motivates better. It got me to change my whole perspective on the issue of gun control. MY KIDS WILL DIE NEITHER BY ASSAULT RIFLE NOR BY HANDGUN AND I WILL SEE THE CHANGES ARE MADE. How’s that for tough talk? No firearm required.


Because giving up my rife (AKA “assault weapon”) and handguns would not allow me to “know” that my kids’ brains would never be blown out execution style. That’s simply rubbish.

Get as emotional as you like but my legally-owned firearms and those of millions of other Americans aren’t going anyone and they will be passed down to the next generation.

The firearms used by the recent shooter should have been in a gun vault/safe. The woman knew her son had issues. Those weapons should have been secured in a real safe like many of us own. The deceased mother is at fault as well as her son.

The assault weapons ban if passed, will not be retro active. It also excludes some 940 types of firearms. There are millions of so called assault weapons already in use in the USA. It would be decades for that ban to have much change in the unbalanced and criminals from doing harm to others using so called assault weapons.

I for one would like to see some real screening and training before we buy a firearm. At least that would be a start of meaningful law as well as a system that tracks those that are mentally unbalanced.

There are a number of real changes that would help but I see banning firearms as a gut reaction to a vastly more complicated problem in society.

The ban won’t pass because it will be a pile of crap like every other ban that Feinstein has tried to craft. Have you actually taken a look at the bans here in California? They are a sickening joke.

You talk about “real screening and training” before we buy a firearm. Let’s take the training first. I think firearms training is vitally important. Who exactly is going to provide the training and who is going to pay for it? The availability and cost of the training could well define whether mandating it would be constitutionally legal. Requiring training that is not readily available or cost prohibitive would definitely infringe on my right to keep and bear arms.

You also mention “screening.” Who is going to do the “screening” and by what criteria? If someone is a felon, if they have a restraining order of a violent nature or if they have been 5150ed or declared a nut by the courts they cannot own guns. Great, fine — that will be flagged with their background check. But what what else are you suggesting?

Do you really think it’s a good idea for the government to do subjective psych evaluations on prospective gun owners? The testing is highly interpretive. The gov’t could easily use such testing to deny anyone they wanted too and that’s illegal.

I don’t want whackos to have guns either, but this “screening” you speak of sounds a bit scary.

You scare easy. Better stock up.

Now you are resorting to the hit and run ad homs?

That figures…

Sorry. It’s just too easy not to take someone seriously who won’t use their real name. It’s like debating a cartoon character.

I’ve seen your “work.” The feeling is mutual…

What we need is a meaningful conversation about what is causing a violent streak in the American society. Is the violence on TV causing the increase in violence, or maybe video games, or maybe the internet. Or is it the trend of government trying to replace parents in teaching the kids about right and wrong? Whatever is causing this shift in the moral fabric of American people, banning guns will not change it. And restricting ammunitions sales is like restricting gasoline sales to cut down on traffic deaths.

I wonder if it has anything to do with our disregard for the life of people in other countries. It is sad that our President plays up the media hype on this school shooting while he uses drones to murder innocent people on a DAILY basis.

I know you are smarter than that. The president is not using drones to kill innocent people. What is happening is that sometimes the drones kill innocent people. That is a fact of war, and I hate it as much as you do.

Obama was saddled with two lousy wars and has gotten us pretty much out of one. We linger in the other. Both were disasters for us, huge cost at little or no gain. Even now, after 11 years, the first war is a mess and corruption rules. They cannot carry on without us, if it all reverts to the Taliban we will have spent all that juice for nothing. We are stuck, a miserable situation. Its just like ‘Nam, we ought to go back in time and hang bush from the rafters for running that show without the sense of a two year old.

And, right on cue, the “it’s Bush’s fault” line. Typical, hackneyed, cliched, and totally irrelevant. Newsflash for the left: Bush is gone!! Has been for years now. Your guy runs the show. And, for the record, I am a veteran, have been deployed and have drawn combat pay. All this debate on gun control misses the point, which is that we have become a seriously depraved people. We have no moral compass anymore. Nothing is sacred, nothing means anything, all values are equal. Cultural and moral relativism rule, and old-fashioned morality is declared to be not only useless but harmful. My Dad had guns and trained us to use them safely; we never went and shot up a school or a theater. The mind controls the trigger finger, and as a nation our mind has been warped. Can we now discuss 25 years of gangster rap? Can we discuss 40+ years of increasingly-violent movies? How about 3000 abortions a day? A DAY?!?! What about trying to instill once again in our youth some of the values expressed in Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code? Oh, man, how old-fashioned and out-of-touch am I? What about looking inward at what we’ve become? Nope, too hard, and Hollywood (huge Democrat contributors, by the way) would lose too much money. Let’s take the path of intellectual and moral least resistance and pile more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. That will fix it. Until it doesn’t. Then we’ll throw away more of our rights and freedoms, till the next time.

I’m only allowed one “like” but I’ll go on record with a +1. I think you hit the nail right on the head. You put into words what I’ve been thinking.

@ hotdog,

That is funny…

people don’t kill people, drones do! That logic doesn’t work for guns either.

Well said, mkaney. I wonder whether Obama sheds any tears for Afghan kids that he kills?