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How Do We Stop All This Gun Violence?

The second worst school shooting in U.S. history, a shooting at a Portland mall, and a report of a man's threats to kill Muslims in a Fremont mosque bring the question to light.

It is being called the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, second only to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that took 32 lives. A man with several guns entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 27 people, including 20 children.

"THIS IS THE PRICE FOR THE 2ND AMENDMENT. CAN WE FIND THE COURAGE TO AMEND IT NOW THAT WE SEE THE PRICE?" posted a commenter on the NBCConnecticut.com website.

Within four minutes, another commenter responded: "The 2nd Amendment will never be amended and we should never get rid of it. Its (sic) for law abiding citizens to protect themselves, criminals will always find a way to access guns regardless of the 2nd Amendment."

With tears in his eyes, President Obama addressed the nation. "As a country, we have been through this too many times."

“No more weasly words of ‘comfort’ Mr. President. This is the latest, and worst, gun outrage on your watch. Time to act,” tweeted Piers Morgan

A White House spokesman was asked if it was time for a gun control debate in Congress. “I think that day will come, but today’s not that day," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

“Too soon to speak out about a gun-crazy nation? No, too late,” tweeted filmmaker Michael Moore. “At least THIRTY-ONE school shootings since Columbine.” 

“I am disgusted by those who want to get into the politics of today’s violence. Shame on Michael Moore & MSNBC,” tweeted one-time GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Five months ago, a shooting in Aurora, Colorado claimed 12 lives and wounded dozens more.

A few days days ago, a hospice nurse and a youth coach who were both killed in a shooting at a mall outside of Portland.

A few days ago, the Mercury News reported that on Wednesday a man entered a Fremont mosque and shouted that he was armed and was going to shoot worshipers there. The white man entered the mosque during a prayer time, claimed he had a gun, and said he wanted to shoot everyone.

The Merc reported that the man was confronted by a worshiper and escorted out, where he drove away.

Hours after the Connecticut tragedy, the National Rifle Association website mentioned nothing of the shooting on its website; its 'Top Story' was Homefront Hugs USA Urgest Volunteers to Make a Difference in a Soldier's Life and its 'NRA News Update: Today's latest breaking news and headlines' spoke of a Michigan ruling allowing gun owners with extra training to be able to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools and churches.

Do we have a facsimile to the 'fiscal cliff' here, a 'weapons cliff,' where there will never be the likelihood of compromise, where advocates on both sides of the gun control issue will draw their line in the sand and never cross? As long as the 2nd Amendment remains unchanged, is gun violence inevitible?

Tell us in the comments below. 

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Jack December 17, 2012 at 03:19 AM
This shouldn't be a gun control issue, it should be about the care, diagnosis and help for the mentally ill children/people in our country! Why is our senator all about gun control, she should be focused on funding our schools here on every level! We are paying price for years of cuts to our educational system. People need to wake up, we need to recognize and help people before they ever even come close to the point of what just happened. :-(
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Did you even read the Bill of Rights? Did you read the 2nd Amendment? Where does the right of Walmart in selling semi-automatic weapons trump the rights of a First Grader to having a life? There are NO rights to individuals having weapons that are only intended to kill a mass amount of innocent individuals in a short amount of time. The 2nd Amendment talks only about a the rights of a militia...that is IT! We will end this completely backwards thinking and start to have some compassion in this country.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
It is a gun control issue. Why should any one have the right to a semi-automatic weapon of mass killing? Why do we need military weapons walking our streets? The 2nd Amendment does not provide for such so-called "freedom" to kill. Read it please....understand that it only is there to support a citizen army (aka militia) if such is needed.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Our issue is confusing what is meant in the 2nd Amendment. NO ONE should have the right to buy semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction. NO ONE!!!!
Craig Knowlton December 17, 2012 at 08:58 AM
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. Dave, you might want to reread it yourself.
Steven Norwin December 17, 2012 at 09:19 AM
Dave, It's a mental health issue. The medication used is making these people violent. I am reading how the Columbine shooters, colorado shooter and the mall shooter along with this recent Newtown shooter were all on the same or similar medication. BTW A semi automatice weapon in Californa is not really that. It holds the same rounds as a handgun ...CA law. And please stop with the hysterics, you're scaring yourself.
Steven Norwin December 17, 2012 at 09:23 AM
It will happen again and again until the real issue is addressed. Mental health is the problem here people.
Steven Norwin December 17, 2012 at 09:25 AM
Too late Dave, there are roughly 300,00-400,000 of them legally owned in the good old USA. Rightfully so!!!
stephen schwindt December 17, 2012 at 04:17 PM
The 2nd Amendment is outdated and ought to be reconsidered. The USA maintains a sizable and effective armed forces, making a "well-regulated militia" unnecessary and irrelevant.
Karen Dionne December 17, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Hear, hear, Stephen! It's a very complex issue. It is both mental health and too many damn guns available to too many people! How and when do we determine that someone is a not in their right mind and is a threat? You cannot get inside someone's head and there are not always outward signs. Even with more thorough background checks, what happens if someone develops mental illness after they already have a gun? Not everyone locks up their guns, so any disturbed family member may have access to them. Guns are made for killing and that's what they do best. Geez - what does it take to convince people that they may have to give up their precious guns in order to protect what is TRULY precious?!
Christine December 17, 2012 at 05:44 PM
And who's gonna protect you from your government? The second Amendment protects "We the People." Without it they can rewrite or abolish all our amendment rights.
Christine December 17, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Gun sales were up this weekend. People feel the need to protect their family since no one seems to want to address the real problem.
Karen Dionne December 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I think it has more to do with fear of gun rights being taken away.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I thought that I had left a Comment that many mental health patients and the safety of society would be best served by re-opening the mental health institutes. As I understand current reporting, this unimaginable tragedy is the result of inadequate mental health care. Mental health institute closures for either the purpose of balancing a state budget, or in preserving the civil rights liberties of those who are profoundly mentally ill are the basic cause of this tragedy, and exact a societal impact not comparable to any budget considerations. Transfer of mental health care from the state to the counties is a failure. The profoundly mentally ill do not get better if they are treated out-patient and closer to home.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM
@Steve - WRONG! One can never prevent mental illness though we need to do much more to provide for identifying the issues and helping folks - a long shot considering the massive reduction in support for such programs thanks to Republican lawmakers. The real issue is that you can buy weapons intended for causing rapid massive harm at Walmart, and also at gun shows WITHOUT background checks. You are choosing weapons over lives. Which is ironic because the same people promoting the right to buy military-style weapons on the street are those that claim to be "Right to Life" supporters.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 06:53 PM
@Craig. Glad you read the 2nd Amendment..now, please don't forget that first part - "a well regulated Militia." So, all weapons sold at gun shows without background checks are going to those involed in a well-regulated Militia? Craig, thanks for putting the rights of weapon owners ahead of children.
Bob Ratto December 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Well said. While some will staunchly advocate for the confiscation of all guns, this is not the answer. Timely and proper diagnosis of mental illness would be a much more effective method of beginning to attempt to prevent such awful tragedies. The benefits to society far outweigh any and all associated costs.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
@Christine. Why are you against children? By supporting those more interested in owning weapons intended to kill, you have shown yourself completely against the protection of children and our society. Ironic considering your past Right to Life stances. You are wrong about the 2nd Amendment as well. Are you yourself part of a well regulated militia? Do you need to own military weapons at your home? What are you really afraid of?
Paul E. December 17, 2012 at 09:10 PM
The need for improved mental health service and tighter gun control are not mutually exclusive issues, in fact, quite the opposite. I absolutely agree that we need earlier and better mental health identification and services; however we also, at the least, should reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons (and this time without the loopholes). If Adam L. had better mental health care perhaps this mass murder wouldn't have happened; at the same time, if his mother didn't have a stock of military-type weapons, Adam wouldn't have been able to have massacred so many innocents as he did. Our country's need for better mental health intervention/care should not be used as an excuse to ignore our easy access to assault weapons.
Christine December 17, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Get a grip Dave! Don't shove your Liberal logic on me. Supporting the 2nd Amendment does not make me against children! Before you go insulting others with different beliefs as yours, try reading up on the constitution. Better yet check this out. http://youtu.be/n9ZvwPmjJu4
Steven Norwin December 17, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Columbine... gun free zone, Virginia tech... gun free zone, Aurora movie theater... gun free zone, Connecticut elementary school... gun free zone...AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEE'S A PATTERN HERE??? More guns = less crime, that is a FACT. States that allow concealed carry have a violent crime rate that is 19% lower than states that do not allow concealed carry.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 17, 2012 at 09:59 PM
@Paul, the need for better mental health care should not be used as an excuse to impose gun control laws.
DavethePragmatist December 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM
There is NO reason that assault weaponry, which has KILLING as its only intended purpose, should be for sale to the general public for general use or any use. The Federal assault weapon ban needs to be put back in place. In addition: 1. We should never allow any more bullying from the NRA - that is the one sole reason that there are as many guns out there as there are American citizens. 2. We are not Somalia - though many posters here seem to argue that if everyone has a gun, we will have no crime (again...see Somalia as an example). 3. There is NO reason that gun sales at gun shows should go without background checks. You can be for gun control, be against assault, automatic weaponry on the streets. and still be for the right to have arms under a regulated and safe program. @Steve and Christine, time for you to understand that history is changed and it is reasonable for you to get to the correct side of it. Even the NRA will come kicking and screaming to understand that we as a people DO NOT accept the free-wheeling right to own military style weaponry. Those without guns and those who advocate for reasonable gun control will not be bullied any more. Freedom requires responsibility - it is about time your side of the philosophy showed it.
Steve December 17, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Steven, I think the pattern is in your head. It is a fantasy of the gun-worshipers that concealed weapons will save us from assault rifle-toting crazies. The majority see the American fetish with guns to be the real problem. We have too many guns, and there is no rational justification for individual ownership of military grade assault weapons. The only tyranny we realistically have to be concerned about is the absolute control of policy-making by the NRA.
stephen schwindt December 18, 2012 at 12:48 AM
your comment makes no sense to me.
stephen schwindt December 18, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Let me be clear on this. I am not advocating the confiscation of all guns. after all, our colonial forefathers depended on their guns to put meat on the table. There is today a large contingency of sportsmen in america who's licensing fees help fund the management of our indigenous wildlife. Of course the guns appropriate to the sportsman should remain available to the citizenry. Fully automatic weapons are illegal for taking game. Some semi-automatic weapons are legal if their magazine holds no more than 5 rounds (shotguns 3). Any guns that do not fall into this category should not be available to the general public. And christine, you and your AR-15 are darn sure not capable of protecting me from my government. That's what the ballot box is for.
DavethePragmatist December 18, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Why does the NRA continue to remain silent? Can't they hold their heads high and come out to say what has happened is a tragedy and that a ban on assault weapons is justififed? Because they are cowards, true cowards. The American voice is much more powerful than a semi-automatic assault rifle - and it always will be. The writers of the 2nd Amendment DID NOT envision that this so-called "freedom" would be taken hostage by the selfish right wing fringe of society. They never envisioned the killing of so many citizens young and old in the public arena. Keeping a militia armed to help defend the country is what they had in mind. When will the right wing extremists finally recognize this? I hope that time has come.
T.Sprocket December 18, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Dave for the very same reason that after we were hit on 9/11 by terrorists many sat quietly out of respect and in order to let the warranted fervor settle down. Were those that were opposed to rushing in to Afghanistan "cowards"? As you know, it is never wise to make rash decisons when very upset over something as emotionally charged and horrific as the events in Newton.
DavethePragmatist December 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM
The NRA is quiet because of "respect'? You have got to be kidding. Ban Assault rifles, ban quick load magazines, make all gun show sales contingent on background checks. What is rash about that!!! The NRA should be the FIRST in line to "man up" and become part of a civilized society!
Karen Dionne December 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Hear, hear, Dave. Let's move to action while everyone's feelings are still raw, people still care and have not forgotten the massacre, as has happened with all past massacres. Just how many people have to die before guns are highly regulated and less attainable to every Tom, Dick and Harry?

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