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Poll: What Can/Should Be Done To Reduce Gun Violence?

December 23, 2012 Crime, Politics/Policy, Popular Culture, Sunday Poll 15 Comments

The tragedy in Newtown CT on Friday has left myself and others wondering what, if anything, can be done to at least reduce the number of such incidences. Facebook, Twitter and other forums have been filled with passionate discussion from all perspectives. I don’t know the answer, I wish I did.

With a lot of reservation the poll question this week asks what can/should be done to reduce gun violence. The poll is in the right sidebar, I’ve provided a wide range of answers to choose from. When commenting below please be respectful to others.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

    • JZ71 says:

      The problem with your proposal (no possession of long guns / rifles in the city) is that many hunters live in the city and hunt outside the city. Mere possession, by legitimate hunters, is not the problem, so proposing something so over-reaching, at the local level, just insures its failure.

      • Bryon says:

        I don’t believe anyone would have any issues with allowing bolt-action non-clip-fed rifles up to .308. Clip-fed semi-autos, yes, but only idiots use those to hunt with.

        • JZ71 says:

          So what are your thoughts on pump-action shotguns? For home defense, they’re both intimidating and effective.

          • Brian Wittling says:

            True. If I chose to keep a firearm for home defense use it would be a pump-action shotgun. 1) because the sound alone is unmistakable and announces loud and clear to an intruder that things are about to go VERY BADLY for them. 2) you’re not as likely to miss 3) the stopping power is great, and 4) you don’t have to be as concerned about over-penetration. No freak stray bullet is going to go through your walls or windows and strike someone outside or in your neighbors apartment, etc.

        • RyleyinSTL says:

          Exactly…the only reason to own a semi automatic assault rifle (or shot gun) is so that you can use it to kill another person, that is what they are specifically designed to do. When hunting game as a kid I didn’t use an M16, I used a bolt action 270 with a 3 or 5 shot clip and so did everyone else. Using an assault rifle for hunting is like bringing a nuclear bomb to a grenade fight.

          • Brian Wittling says:

            The “only” reason? You are terribly misinformed.

            Semi-automatic shotguns are the most popular type by far for all types of clay pigeon sports, and waterfowl hunting.

            Maybe You used a bolt-action, but today there are many semi-auto purpose made hunting rifles. Sure you can argue that it’s not the best tool for the job but people do use them, just like people use a Crescent Wrench instead of box end.

            A “military style” rifle (“assault rifle” is a specific type of weapon that the public does not have access too) is popular for home defense for the same reason the police use them.. they are effective, easy to operate, and easier to hit your target than a pistol in an emergency situation. They are also popular for target and competition uses. it’s the multi-tool of the gun world when you can’t or don’t want to own an entire closet full of purpose-specific weapons.

          • JZ71 says:

            If someone is inside my home (a home invasion or a burglary), then yes, any gun IS there “so that you can use it to kill another person, that is what they are specifically designed to do.” Don’t want to die? Then don’t break in!

            The Connecticut shooter’s mom may have been paranoid to the point of excess, owning the firepower that she did, but they did not present a problem UNTIL her nutjob son CHOSE to illegally use them to invade the school. What you do in the privacy of your own home is one thing. Once you cross into the public realm, then yes, another set of (more restrictive) rules and laws SHOULD apply. Unfortunately, adding more laws, here, there, in Aurora, in Tucson or in Milwaukee would not have deterred ANY of these determined, deranged shooters. Less firepower would have likely reduced the carnage, but even half is way too much. Until and unless we outlaw all guns, getting 99%+ out of private ownership, the best we can hope for is addressing the mental issues, not the tools the deranged choose to use to accomplish their misguided goals . . . .

    • Brian Wittling says:

      If you think rifles of *any* type are the problem, your fears are severely misplaced. I’m sure there are newer numbers out that what’s sourced here, but the ratios haven’t changed:

      “The FBI murder statistics do not differentiate between types of rifles. There are about 100 million rifles in the United States. In 2009, the last year in which numbers have been reported, there were 13,636 murders. Guns were used to murder 9,146 people. Hands and feet were used to murder 801 people. Blunt objects were used to murder 611 people. Rifles were used to murder 348 people, and that is all rifles, of which assault rifles are only a small fraction. Assault rifles are used so infrequently in homicides that many police departments almost never see them; in 2009, there were nine states that did not have a single murder committed with any rifle.”

      You’d do twice as good to ban hands and feet than to ban all type of rifle!

      • Bryon says:

        Read the whole thread Brian. Rifles are not the focus. I, and about 99% of everyone else, have nothing against bolt-action hunting rifles. Clip-fed semi-auto’s are something different. If you need a clip of shells to hunt deer you are doing it wrong. If you don’t take 1 shot fully believing that it will do the job then you shouldn’t be taking it. And what if you do miss? Then take the 10-15 seconds to reload and make it good. If you hit the deer at all it will not have gone far. We have to get the killing machines out of the urban areas and to clean up the illegal ones held by criminals we have to give Police the legal support that they need to keep those criminals behind bars. The 1-2% of St Louis city and/or county residents that actually hunt will understand. If not, tough, they can move or store their rifles out in the country where they hunt.

        • Brian Wittling says:

          I did read it, and your impression is completely inaccurate. Rifles OF ANY TYPE – semi auto or bolt action or whatever, are not an issue. Homicide by all types of rifles together are so few as to be statistically insignificant compared to deaths by handguns. We had a bad once already – it made no difference and wasted everyone’s time and energy; and ultimately only lined the pockets of gun manufacturers, lobbyists and politicians. Even the ATF admits it didn’t work. How many shooting deaths in St. Louis can be attributed to a rifle of any sort? Whether you hunt with one or not is immaterial.

  1. There is no reason for anyone to have an assault rifle with a magazine or drum capable of holding hundreds of rounds. That is pure and simple insanity. Personally I don’t have a problem with guns. I do, however have a problem with conceal and carry.This is not 1812, it’s 2012. The old west does not exist anymore.

  2. JZ71 says:

    Much like homelessness, there is no one, simple, easy “answer”. At their most basic, guns are tools, and any tool can be both used and misused. While I see little need for “assault” weapons in the hands of the general public, I also know both how hard it is to write precise, effective legislation (with few or no loopholes or unintended consequences) and to justify limiting possession of unique anything by collectors (as opposed by homicidal maniacs).

    What I do object to is the current knee-jerk reaction that we need to “do more”, to essentially fortify all our schools, essentially turning them into armed camps. What happened in Connecticut is a tragedy, but it’s a rare event. We lose far more children (and adults) over the course of the year to gun violence (and drugs) outside of our schools, on the streets and in our homes, the ONLY difference being that it’s not one mass-casualty, headline-grabbing tragedy. The daily body count on the local news around here worries me much more than the random mass shooting / terrorist attack. And the vast majority of the murders here do not involve “assault” weapons and extended clips, so any restriction would be largely symbolic (in addition to the reality that many other existing gun laws are already being broken – possession by felons and underage) and would do little or nothing to address the underlying issues of mental illness, desensitization to violence (some video games) domestic violence and guns as urban, thug status symbols.

  3. JZ71 says:

    “In 2011 – the latest year for which detailed statistics are available – there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms.” That comes down to 35 (all causes) and 23 (guns alone) PER DAY, more than the toll in Connecticut. And locally, in 2011, the city saw 113 homicides, or one every three days, 35.5 / 100,000 residents (compared to 2.75 nationally). Yes, guns are a major part of the problem, but so is our complacency with our ongoing local carnage. That’s more homicides in the city than 18 other entire STATES saw and exactly the same number as the entire state of Minnesota (a state with a population SIXTEEN times that of the city of St. Louis)!


  4. butlermiller says:

    Banning assault rifles won’t stop Newtown events, as the mentally ill will find a way to inflict the violence. However the question is how to stop gun violence generally speaking. Longer sentences for violent criminals would do that, taking the violent people out of the population for a long(er) time. Ending the drug war would do that, too, sucking the profit motive out of drug dealing. There are more holistic issues to think about, but if you want a silver bullet, there are two.


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