Welcome to a live Google+ Hangout with Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Jeffrey Toobin and AC360 producer Jack Gray!
With your help, they're continuing the conversation they started last night with many others in the "Guns under fire" town hall. What questions did the program raise for you personally about gun violence in America? Leave a comment here or on the AC360 Google+ page, or on Twitter with the hashtag #gundebate360.
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Post by: Ella Chick
Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Guns • Jack Gray • Jeffrey Toobin • Town Hall: Guns Under Fire
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So let me get it. We don't want to label the mentally-ill, but we have no problem labeling law-abiding gun owners? Neither should be on registries, but should be given rights of privacy. Hello? In no way should the government be permitted to violate HIPAA. Neither should they be permitted to violate citizen's right to privacy. Background checks are one thing. Invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens is another totally different thing. Gun-control advocates may love the idea of government registries, but how will they feel when they are put on a registry for something that should be private.
The 2nd amendment was not put in place only for "state militia" – and it's not a topic that changed "recently" – over 50% of the States in this country validated the rights for "Self Defense" & "Protection of Property" in their own State Constitutions and validated this all through the century and decades following the initial constitutions ratification!. The reason it's being questioned now is because it was a basic right that never should be called into question, yet some fools still feel like fighting the 2nd amendment and calling something stupid or irrational, or "not the intent" because "they don't agree with it!".
Curtail the ammunition supply and you end the gun violence. No bullets, no death. 2nd amendment says nada about the right to purchase ammunition.
AC its true that its very hard to eliminate killings of any kind.Systems that Create a safe environment for people to live without fear should be a priority.Having schools have reliable security systems is very important.Training people on security just like fire drills in many places should be a priority too.The sandyhook shooting is an example of irresponsible behaviour by gun owners.Those without licenses for guns cannot have access to guns.There is a reason why owning a gun requires a license.To prevent irresponsible use of them.
Finally, with the topic of gun control, it doesn't matter how many guns someone can own and how severe our government is willing to regulate them, it's about the possibilities or risks. It doesn't matter having twenty guns or just one, someone who merely has 1 can go on a shooting spree or commit murder. So it would seem that only law enforcement officials, as well as military and government officials should be allowed to wield such a dangerous weapon. And I for one support the right to bears arms, but only to those who can undertake the responsiblity to perform their duties with such power.
The gun problem in the US has been building for years. There are more guns than in any other civilized country and proportionally more gun deaths. It is a daily problem in every major US city. It is just simple math. As a Canadian, I look at utter amazement at the extremist attitude that "more guns" is the right way to go. Wacko gun advocates are the laughing stock of the entire civilized world.
You want to fix things then fix the inner cities, get kids out of gangs, stop the war on drugs that supports the gangs, and get america back to work. . . . this is all a big distraction so we won't look at the miserable job Obama and the gang in DC is doing to fix the real issues in our country
I'm curious how removing a style of weapon will make anyone safer as opposed to removing violent individual access to weaponry? I ask this is the context of the NY Safe Act and proposed assault weapons ban because individuals like Holmes and Lanza could still get their hands on weapons, albeit a different style of weapons.
Whenever there is a massive gun related tragedy in our country law abiding citizens stock up on guns as a way to legaly defend themselves. Meanwhile liberals try to limit the gun purchasing options of law abiding citizens. The national outrage needs to be focused on securing the borders which will greatly reduce the drug and illegal gun trafficing. I am not sure that we can ever fully protect our scoiety from the criminally insane youth who chose to act out their mental instability for the 1st time via mass murder. If guns are taken away from convicted felons, drug dealers, and gangs gun violence will be reduced.
oh and lets not forget all mass shootings except one in the last 50 years have been in gun free zones. . . and the AWB was shown by our own government to have had little to NO EFFECT on crime. . . and areas with carry laws and armed citizens have lower crime than areas that restrict guns to the chosen few. . . there are no facts I can find that support the idea gun control does anything to stop crime. The criminals still get guns or other tools to use to kill . . . . The UK is still at 50% more violent crime per 100K people than here in the US, and that is down from 6X our rate. . .. again, why are we taking about guns?
I think the mental health database creates a huge catch-22 situation. I think we as indivduals and consumers have a right to privacy, (protected by law) regarding our mental health status. We don't have to disclose that to anyone, not even an employer. Who are these Gun Dealers, and how trustworthy are they? Who is doing background checks on THEM? (both from a legal standpoint and from a mental health standpoint?) I mean, you have the guy at walmart selling you a gun, you have the guy at a gun show selling you a gun, and let's not forget that in different states you can buy them in local stores with some minimum wage kid working the counter. While mental health needs to be addressed as an issue, I think this is not the way to do it. You don't know who has access to this information, what they are doing with it, and it could get really our of hand and have terrible ramifications for someone's life. The national background checks database however is a solid idea because it would have government and law enforcement oversight.
Blame the person behind the act, not the tools!
Furthermore, we can blame violent video games and movies all we want and regardless if witnessing acts of violence increases someone's agression, it's all about self control. Understanding that movies and video games are incorporated into our lives, but they are not reality. It is also worth mentioning that only people who are responsible and understanding that video games are simply that, games. You can pick them up and put them down at will, BUT killking someone in a game as opposed to real life have different results to say the least.
Why are we so quick to try and pass an assault weapon ban, which has shown to be ineffective in the past, when are focus should be centered around fixing our backgound check system, reforming our mental health system and improving the ATF's ability to check for violations to current law by gun sellers or others?
I think we need to come up with more stringent gun regulations. Universal background checks should be a must. Guns are not toys they are killing machines and if we are going to allow an individual to own one then we as a society need to know that that person is mentally capable and responsible enough to own one without other peoples lives being at risk. i was listening to the gun debate yesterday and to just say that we should not have stricter gun regulations because the ones we have now are not enforced enough does a disservice to those innocents that have died due to gun violence. As a society we also need to help those that our mentally challenged. While helping them lead some semblance of a normal life, we need to keep guns and other killing instruments away from them.
The bottom line is that we as a law abiding people have the right to bare "any" arms necessary to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government. 1946 Athens Tennessee (The Battle Of Athens) it happened once and in can happen again! (remember... this happened less than 100 years ago... not 1776)
As a martial artist I'm about survival and preparedness. "Martial" means warlike times. Are we that naive that we assume nothing bad will ever happen again. There will never be another natural or man made disaster that will disrupt our current society? Asteroid, hurricane, pandemic, volcano, etc. So these situations will NEVER occur again? If they do there will be looting and serious danger in our communities. I have three business and a home to protect. The criminals will have access to 30 round magazines and AR-15's, why can't I? Am I doomed to be less armed in the event of a serious life-changing event? How about in regular armed break ins involving multiple attackers. One happened recently in Florida where there were five assailants? Am I limited to the amount of ammo I can have in these situations? It is short-sighted and ridiculous. I am entitled to as much fire power as the criminals, new laws will only disarm law abiding citizens.
Just an opinion to this gun violence in the country. I think it's simply commonsensical to take measures to control access to these kinds of weapon. My opinion therefore is to make guns with security equipped smart chips with biometrics and or pin code authentication chips. This will force owners to activate their guns with their biometrics and or pin codes just as in our laptops and cell phones. This will truly eliminate the possibility of stolen guns been used by bad people. Secondly just allow civilians to purchase low-rounds (4 bullets) guns for crying out loud with safety locks using pin codes and or biometrics. Military style weapons is simply for wars people! Get real!
Gabriel – Atlanta
And a home invasion of 5 people? What then. Locks on guns? Do we just politely ask any intruders if they'll give us a minute to unlock our gun?
Sensible gun control can be done very easy.
First, Conceal Handgun License (CHL) should be at the federal level so that the laws are uniformed across all the states. The requirements have to be very strict, unlike some states that does not require any knowledge of the law or pass a firing test. Like in Texas, you have to pass an FBI background check, you have to pass a firing test, and you must pass a written test on the gun laws for CHL.
Second, the self-assessment of your mental health must be removed and replace with a federal database linked to individuals medical records during the background check. Recertification of your CHL must also be a strong component for a CHL. If you house has anyone living there with mental issues, you must have a federally approved storage of your guns and subject to random inspection.
Third, close the gun show loophole, register any and sell and purchase of any guns in a federal database. Reduce how many guns an individual can buy at one time or in a month unless you have a federal firearm license.
Fourth, once you buy a gun, you are responsible for the gun until you sell it through the legal process for selling a gun. Strict laws about having guns in a house with kids under the age of 12.
Fifth, assault type weapons can be purchased by those who have a special license. This license will have very strict guide lines around the storage, use, transportation, how many an individual can have, how many bullets can be purchased in a month/year.
2nd amendment must be amended. Gun violence will only get worse. No guns equals no gun shootings. Common sense says that fewer guns also equals fewer shootings. Get rid of assault gun manufacturing, and keep existing assault guns under lock and key, and only to be used for target practice. We have to do what is right and stop giving credence to the wackos. Just use common sense.
I am a gun owner who does not belong to the NRA.
If obesity is at an epidemic and more of us in the US are dying of being obesity, should spoons be outlawed?
Guns kill people in the same manner as spoons make them fat.
One can humor onself by thinking legislation of any kind will keep those who wish to do harm to others from doing so, but that is a falacy of the highest regard.
So we know Assault Weapons are only a small percent of crime guns, we know criminals don't follow the law, we know the new laws will only effect law abiding guns owners, we know violent crime is down 50% over the last 20 years as gun ownership has gone up, we know VP Biden admits the new laws won't stop mass shootings. . . so why are we even having this debate about taking away our civil rights?????
Hello, just wanted to say, I'm from Canada but I watch CNN every day and have followed all you coverage about your gun debate. Some points I wanted to make. In Canada, we watch the same movies Americans do, we play the same video games Americans do, and we also have people that suffer from the same mental illnesses that Americans do. The US is not unique in any of those regards. If those things are all truly to blame to all the gun violence in the US then we here in Canada would have the exact same problems would we not? Also, Syria is in the middle of a serious Civil war. How many Death did Syria have last year during their Civil WAR? How many deaths from Gun Violence have you had in the US during the same period? A very interesting comparison I think.
Agree with Toobin's observations/comments. Universal background checks are okay, but a big NO to AWB and magazine limitations.
propane tanks will cause more damage than what any bullet could ever do, and they can be taken from any backyard in america right out in the open
I understand the both sides of the gun debate and with most change it takes a horrible event like Newtown Connecticut. I believe that we should not move to quickly without allowing our emotions to settle down, but what I’m not hearing is a lot of facts about inner city kids (where i grew up) gun violence numbers with illegal guns, all the debate seems to be around the suburban folks that live outside the big cities that purchase guns that are done legally and we are just puts more hoops for them to step through to get a gun. Seems to me that we have a lot more deaths, injuries, and crime with illegal guns then the legally purchased guns I keep hearing the press talk about....
There are currently two criteria to be met for the gun control advocates to demand that a certain type of gun be banned: 1) The gun was used in a crime; and 2) someone, anyone, especially a politician or the media, decides that gun owners don't "need" that type of gun. This litmus test can and will be used in the future to try to ban all guns. True defenders of the 2nd Amendment will not compromise any further on this issue. No one else has the right to dictate to me what type of commonly-available gun I can use to protect my family and my community.
in the most recent shootings gun laws worked. The weapons used were stolen from the registered user and used for harm. You can insert all the laws you want. It's not going to stop the violence determined by the person who want's to inflict the harm by the means of any weapon they lust upon.
Has anyone explored the idea that these guys that have mental problems and are involved in these mass shootings are emboldened by the assault weapons? After all, you don't hear of that many that go out trying to shoot people with normal rifles and such. I wonder if they feel more powerful and safer knowing they can riddle someone that tries to stop them with a barrage of bullets.
Also, those stupid claims that women, or anyone, needs high capacity clips to protect themselves are just fairy tales. Why doesn't anyone ever ask them how many of these situations have occurred? I bet an awful lot less than have been killed in these mass shootings.
Thank you for doing this and last night. Im still trying to get the bottom of how it is possible that 73% of NRA members support background checks, yet we still cant get support to pass that through.
When an association does not act according to the wishes of its membership, it indicates that members are disenfranchised. The NRA has obviously become a lobby group for gun manufacturers, although it happily accepts membership dues.
The NRA receives millions in donations from corporate sources (upwards of $20 million since 2005, but possibly as much as $50 million), listed in their brochure "Ring of Freedom". That is where their allegiance is found.