Demand A Plan

Regular readers of this blog know of my great admiration and appreciation for the work of our NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg. One of Bloomberg's signature issues has been gun safety. When you ask Mike about this issue, he tells you that after a few visits to the wives and children of NYC police officers who have been shot and killed on their job, you get pretty worked up about this issue. And worked up he is.

Bloomberg and many of the urban mayors around the country have created the Demand A Plan organization to fight for gun safety. It is currently the leading gun safety group in the US.

Many leaders in the Internet/tech industry have been working with Demand A Plan over the past few days to kick off a large and sustained social media and regular media campaign to pressure our leaders to do something about the gun safety problem in our country. I have been involved in this effort and I support its goals completely.

Here are a few things that are launching today:

1) A full page ad in the New York Times which I have signed personally

2) A viral social media campaign at the Demand A Plan website

3) Change your twitter avatar (I changed mine)

I will update this post with additional efforts that launch today. Like the PIPA/SOPA efforts last year, this effort is diverse, distributed, chaotic, and hopefully effective and powerful. I am not aware of everything that is going on right now. There is a lot of activity out there. But I will try to stay on top of it today and keep you all up to date as well.

In addition to our Mayor, I would like to thank Ken Lerer, Ron Conway, and Eric Hippeau for their excellent leadership of the tech sector's work on this issue in the past few days.


Comments (Archived):

  1. panterosa,

    Glad to see you are involved in this and aggregating info. I signed the petition and will follow on to others. This is so long overdue.

  2. jason wright

    From the Demand A Plan website;”Every day, 34 Americans are murdered with guns.”

    1. kidmercury

      let’s compare that with stats on how many times firearms are used to prevent crime.

      1. jason wright

        i’m assuming here that the “murdered” is truly distinguishing such deaths from ‘lawful killings’.

        1. kidmercury

          sure, let’s assume that. my point is, if guns are used 34 times a day for murder, 34*X times per day guns are used in self-defense or to prevent violent crime. if 34*X > 34, you have an argument that guns does not yield a more dangerous society.

  3. awaldstein

    I’m in.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’m Canadian and I just added the #DemandAPlan banner to my Twitter profile picture.

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        There a are hundreds of thousands of Canadian living in the US and even more who visit regularly, so it is of interest to Canadians as well.

  4. JimHirshfield

    Great to see your involvement in this important initiative.

  5. RichardF

    Good luck with this.There really is no feasible reason for an individual owning an assault rifle. They were banned here in the UK after the Hungerford massacre a good few years ago. Not often I’m in favour of government intervention but that was just plain common sense.

      1. RichardF

        it’s put a dent in massacres though!I’m a gun enthusiast, had to give up a handgun after Dunblane (which I disagreed with) and recently gave up my firearms certificate for a hunting rifle because I wasn’t using it much and the law is actually too tight now. Still have a couple of shotguns.Don’t get me wrong I’d be like a kid in a sweetshop in the US however I logically cannot see a reason for needing to own an assault rifle.

  6. kidmercury

    yes let’s certainly demand a plan. here’s my proposed plan:1. it’s clear that enforcement is a major problem, as we already have many gun control laws.2. 3D printing is clearly going to be the major way that guns are manufactured. @ShanaC advocated requiring software on 3D printers that prevented the manufacture of firearms. i like this idea, although i think we need to go further and regulate the sale of 3D printers so that only licensed sellers can sell them, and only licensed buyers can buy them — just like alcohol, firearms, etc. fred mentioned that 3D printers should not be regulated because metal manufacturers who create gun parts aren’t regulated; i think they should be regulated too. enforcement is the issue. because government has no money, i think this should be financed via a special tax on 3D printers and on metal manufacturers.let’s make sure we demand a plan and demand that 3D printing is addressed in this plan. 3D printing is the future of weapons manufacturing, as sites like wikiweapon clearly illustrate. we need to regulate it and regulation needs to have more teeth than the regulation against media piracy, which we all know is widely prevalent and very easy to get away with. lets learn from our lesson and make sure the same doesn’t occur with 3D printing.

    1. JamesHRH

      Kid, you need to deal with the now as well.The idea that a Bushmaster 223 is on sale at your local WalMart is surreal.If that is an over the counter consumer item, your national culture isn’t healthy.By the way, I grew up shooting .22’s for target practise with my father.

      1. kidmercury

        yes i agree as noted we need to tax metal manufacturers as well, and ban the bushmaster and whatever else. so let’s certainly deal with the present. but going forward, to create a long term solution, we need to deal with 3D printing as well. so i hope a plan we demand deals with present solutions (taxing metal manufacturers, banning guns) and deals with developing trends (being able to print a gun via a 3D printer at home).

      2. Matt A. Myers

        I just looked up the Bushmaster 223. That’s totally fucked. i’m crying now.Why don’t people setup protests, and go to the gun manufacturers and stores en mass? Like, to all of them, and just rip the places apart? Oh wait, the police will use their guns to prevent it — maybe the police should help them, though, too, you know, if they want regular people to be able to get access to guns.

      3. awaldstein

        Your phrasing concerns me.The US culture is sick?Laws don’t fix culture. Laws are there to protect rights and liberties and enforce culture.This law won’t change the majority of people. They are not the problem. They will help codify what the majority wants so the whackos are stymied.

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Indeed. Gun legislation here only came into place, effectively, with the aftermath of the horrors of Dunblane. And such a horror has not happened since the punitive gun restrictions were enforced..…For the period since then, thugs and weirdos have often used crossbows (I jest not) and knives if they cannot get access to a gun – which is very hard to do, nowadays, even if you operate in the underworld. Crossbow legislation took too long but that is now controlled, and knife legislation and appropriate punishment has been too lenient – until of late.No doubt the sickos will find other ‘tools’ and devices – but, we just have to make it harder and harder for them, for once they are reduced to using their fists they cower away in a corner like the messed-up pathetic misfits they are. Or maybe they will just contend themselves with their ‘shoot ’em up’ games…

          1. awaldstein

            Your logic is correct Carl.I don’t have an answer. I do believe that taking assault weapons away is a right start but not the end game.What I don’t see nor feel is a condemnation of society, that a culture here is somehow sick. Weird sickos there are. They can shoot themselves to the top of mind. They can’t shoot themselves to the point that they are considered the norm.

        2. JamesHRH

          Arnold, I have enough cycles with you to respect the legitimacy of your concern.But, there is no more simpler Wal Mart synopsis than this: its only on the shelves if it moves. When Wal Mart moves this product –… – that means volume.Its hard to conceptualize 1000s (10000s) of Americans finding that product appealing, but that must be the case.That’s an unhealthy, juvenile disconnect. A momentary feeling of power begets a lethal impact. The need for that release is hard to square with a healthy national psyche.

          1. awaldstein

            Fair enough and I appreciate the response. I really do.I guess we are just going to have to disagree.Disagree that Walmart is the litmus test of the US. Disagree that we have an unhealthy culture. Disagree that we are a flawed human race.There are sicko’s aplenty. I have no patience nor mercy for them.Things are better, not worse, than they were when I was growing up. Things are safer, more tolerant, more possible.Country wise and NY wise. Tell me that it’s not safer than it was.Things and some people are also beyond reproach.I’m not undermining your observations. I’m disputing and rejecting this is a a typification of the US society as a sick one.I see no upside in that approach. And honestly I have little tolerance for critics without ideas for change. Thinking and kvetching and pointing fingers is easy work. Compromising to make change is the hard real work that is needed.

          2. JamesHRH

            I think we may have an inversion here, Arnold.I am saying sick as in ‘take some social antibiotics & clear that up’; not, ‘sick from the core of the American Dream’.I feel the American ideal – work hard, get ahead, keep the playing field level – is by far the most inspiring cultural framework.Some of the splinters off of that ideal – almost always supported by some version of a “literalist’s” view of an ancient document (Constitution, Bible) – are unhealthy.The humanistic answer to avoiding these particular tragic outcomes is to be proactive in some way. Sitting on the other side of the door with a bigger gun is effective, frankly, but leads to anarchy in the long run, IMO.The ‘no brainer’ fixes are to ban these weapons & to track unusual ammunition purchases.Yet, a vocal, significant minority of Americans oppose even the no brainer solutions, with the belief that any and all types of gun ownership & use are fundamental to the American Way of Life.It is a curable illness that plagues the American culture, but it has proven quite persistent & resistant.I wish you (nationally) godspeed in ridding the culture of it.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      It’s tough to argue against that if your actions (what you manufacture or do) has potential negative consequences, that you should be responsible for paying for those to be policed and/or paying towards prevention of trying to make sure those negative consequences don’t occur. It’s tough to argue against, if you think people should be responsible for their actions, that is. If your service and/or product is valuable enough to society, then it will still sell.You then have to worry only about corruption, which can be dealt with with substantially rewarding whistleblowers, and with isolating the convicted from society for long periods of time depending on what the consequences of their actions could lead to.

    3. Morgan Warstler

      It is scary kid, because the folks gearing up for this ought to have a plan. And even lefty mascot Chris Hayes sees this is likely to bite all of us on the ass of unintended consequences: http://www.morganwarstler.c

    4. ShanaC

      we don’t do that with copy machines though, which is really the closest analogous item to 3d printers that I know of.

      1. kidmercury

        copy machines don’t produce firearms. if you want information control, regulate copy machines. if you want gun control, regulate 3D printers.

        1. ShanaC

          they can produce money, and counterfeit money is extremely dangerous to society (hyperinflation)

          1. kidmercury

            if you want stricter counterfeit laws than i agree we should regulate them. in whatever arena of life you want strict laws, you need strict regulation and corresponding taxes. counterfeit, firearms, speech, jaywalking…..whatever.

  7. gregorylent

    would love it if mr mike had the same feeling about the militarization of his police force .. they have all the heavy combat gear of any modern army, and for what? occupy? “terrorists” lol ..

    1. kidmercury

      #upvoted. it would also be interesting if mayor mike showed the same enthusiasm for regulating wall street crime that he shows for regulating the self-defense and dietary habits of others.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Not sure if you saw Karl Denninger’s post yesterday, but he excerpted a blistering response to the media:

        1. kidmercury

          that’s a great post, he’s absolutely right. thanks for sharing. you won’t find much in terms of rational arguments in the anti-2nd amendment crowd, just some blind faith that giving government more power will result in something positive. as mao said all authority stems from the barrel of a gun.i really like denninger’s market commentary too (except for his bearish views on amazon, which i disagree with). i listened to a lecture he gave on the macro economy a while back, and while it was much of the same doom and gloom (too much debt, everything sucks, etc) i appreciated his analysis and his style of communication.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            NP. He has been hammering the debt issue. And he has an interesting take on medical cost inflation too.

      2. Tom Labus

        that needs to come from the feds.

        1. kidmercury

          overturning the 2nd amendment also should come from the feds, but that’s not stopping bloomberg here. he could easily impose a wall street tax to pay for new york’s budget deficits that he’s added significantly too.

    2. Anne Libby

      The mayor is frustratingly human. I’m still peeved about the 3rd term. And I support him on this, and (some) other efforts.

  8. johnmccarthy

    Thanks Fred.

  9. Kenneth Danna

    Nice post Fred!We defiantly need a plan!

  10. johnmccarthy

    Talk about a chance to disrupt the status quo

  11. DonRyan

    Oh boy. This is where my midwestern sensibility clash with east coast values. I think the problem with Mayor Mike (who I generally like) and the east coast media is that there is a pervasive “ban all guns” mentality. There is a failure to understand how engrained hunting and sporting culture is in fly-over country. High power rifles are used responsibly for hunting (deer, elk, moose) as well as larger handguns (.44 and .45 caliber). A semi-automatic weapon is also helpful if you are targeting an animal on the run or don’t have a kill shot the first time around. I have zero problem with background checks, waiting periods, or banning or full automatic weapons. I also don’t have an issue with getting rid of high volume clips (although that’s an arbitrary number). What I have a HUGE problem with is the nanny state attitude of the media suggesting that all guns are bad and we have to ban them. What we need to do is enforce existing laws and provide better access to mental health care. Banning guns will keep them off the streets about as well as banning cocaine and heroin. In short, it won’t.Thus endeth the sermon.

    1. David A. Frankel

      I don’t think Mayor Bloomberg or Demand a Plan are advocating the banning of all guns. We need sensible, multi-pronged solutions that involve regulation, eduation, prevention and mental health care — I believe that is what this group is advocating. Supporting it will ensure the conversation turns in that direction and away from the extremes, which I agree will not work.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      The other issue is that in other parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, it can take a lot longer for police to show up.

      1. DonRyan

        Bingo. I grew up in rural Ohio where the county sheriff was 10+ minutes away if you had an emergency. As such, we had 2 handguns, 2 rifles and 3 shotguns in our home. We hunted with these and, most important, learned to treat them with the respect they deserve. Also, if someone tried to break into our home (it did happen) we could introduce them to Jesus. Personally.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          As the guy quoted in this post puts it, if criminals attack you, you’re the first responder. Police are the second responders:

          1. brian piercy

            I also grew up ‘country’. (West Virginia.) I’m curious if this thread’s opinion changes if you live in an urban environment with 1) better emergency response times and 2) no need for high-firing-rate weaponry. Personally I feel that a handgun would be enough for six-sigma protection. FWIW.

        2. fredwilson

          and that should remain legal. and i am confident it will.

      2. Wavelengths

        I had a stalker, in a state that had strong anti-stalking laws. The police were 30 minutes away. Two different officers on two occasions told me to get a gun. “We just can’t get here fast enough.”Yes, I have my hunter safety certificate. I don’t presently own a gun, but I value my right to have one.

        1. ShanaC

          I’ve had a stalker too (actually, I’ve had 2), in a city environments Guns don’t help there.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Yes, but that’s the point. None of us care if NYC has their laws. Just ask Plaxico Burress, but out in the country? Let us decide.

          2. ShanaC

            I semi-agree. people are mobile.

    3. JamesHRH

      A semi automatic is required for a hunter with almost no skill. I do not know of a single hunter that would use a large bore handgun to bag large game.That is ridiculous.If you don’t have a kill shot the first time around, try again.Its not a video game. Its also not an activity where you get a prize every time you play.The nanny state BS and banning all gun BS is totally without merit.

      1. Ryan Lackey

        Handgun hunting (using .44mag and up) is actually a fairly popular sport. It depends on what you mean by “large”, but certainly for CXP2 (say, deer) it’s fine, and for something like a .454 Casull, maybe elk, and certainly as a backup to a rifle for large or dangerous game.

      2. DonRyan

        In Ohio, white tail deer are legal to be hunted with hand guns of .357 caliber and above (.380, .40, .44, .45). Very common method of hunting here.

    4. ErikSchwartz

      If you don’t have a kill shot you do not take the shot.

      1. DonRyan

        Ideally yes, but every first shot for a variety of reasons doesn’t do the job.

    5. fredwilson

      i don’t think anyone is suggesting we ban all guns. but that is how the gun safety folks are painted by the gun lobby. if we step back and talk, like we are doing here, i bet we would agree on a lot.

      1. Wavelengths

        Thank you for providing the forum.For such an emotionally loaded topic, people here have been remarkably civil.

      2. kidmercury

        until the “gun safety” crowd, which i’ll refer to as the anti-2nd amendment crowd, acknowledges the spirit of the 2nd amendment and its true purpose, their views will be seen as being synonymous with calling for a ban on guns. because that is the spirit of what they are asking for.9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

        1. fredwilson


          1. kidmercury

            lol you keep saying that although simply repeating “bullshit” is hard to find convincing. the anti-2nd amendment people almost never address the origins of the 2nd amendment. that the anti-2nd amendment community calls for the state to have more power and for greater disparity between civilian access to firearms technology and state access to firearms technology, suggests they don’t appreciate the concerns of the 2nd amendment fanboys/girls.

          2. fredwilson

            I don’t have the time this week to argue so I am just calling bullshit when I see it being spewn. And with all respect you have been the biggest spewer of it in this thread

          3. kidmercury

            lol well you that is your take, although there are a couple things we know:1. the anti-2nd amendment crowd refuses to acknowledge the 2nd amendment argument (not mentioned at all in demand a plan stuff)2. why hasn’t existing legislation worked? not even addressed, just more legislation demanded, as well as the false assumption that there isn’t any legislation3. why isn’t this being pushed at the state level?three major points, and for the pro-2nd amendment crowd they are all related because they relate to concerns pertaining to the size/scope of the state. you can call it bullshit all you want, but that only makes me more convinced that the kneejerk requests of demand a plan is anti-2nd amendment, as they won’t even dignify the constitutional concerns with a response.

  12. Scott Barnett

    I was curious if you were going to write about gun control given the events of the past week, and glad you did. Fully support Demand A Plan, signed the petition and changed my avatar. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. takingpitches

    I hope this works, but I think the Congressional districts are too gerrymandered so that GOP members and some Dem members worry about a primary challenge if they support even modest efforts like these.I don’t think social media will make a difference if this is the concern, unless the NRA gives them air cover. Let’s see what the NRA says in their Friday press conference, and a lot of the social media efforts should be dedicated to showing them as the polls seem to say that their own members support some gun control, and if they continue to take a black and white view they will lose their members.I like the idea of engaging faith members. I think in those many districts where guns are more culturally important thank here in NYC, that is where you might start peeling off people into seeing that this is not an effort to rid Americans of their right to own guns, but to regulate such that hopefully tragedies like Sandy Hook don’t happen.I think a new assault weapons ban has to be tied to an assault weapons buyback to at least start getting some of the existing inventory out of private hands.

    1. William Mougayar

      I think it will make a difference. SOPA/PIPA push-back started that way. This is probably a more uphill battle, but it must be done.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      What does gerrymandering have to do with primary challenges? Gerrymandering makes seats safe in the general election.As for NRA members supporting some gun laws, sure, almost everyone does. The problem is that criminals don’t follow those laws. It’s not as if the mass murderer in Connecticut got his weapons legally; he stole them from someone else who got them legally (his mother). I think the concern of NRA members, and gun owners generally, is of a slippery slope, where a ban on one type of gun leads to more bans. The involvement of Mayor Bloomberg, who is against pretty much all guns (except for the ones held by his body guards and his “private army”, the NYPD) won’t assuage those concerns.

      1. Ben

        If anyone can explain to me why someone needs a semi-automatic weapon for a logical reason I would be shocked.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Before anyone does that, they should make sure you know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic.

        2. kidmercury

          there are two reasons:1. because criminals have them, and because all authority stems from the power to impose violence. access to weapons for all is a way of democratizing power in society. 2. because of fundamental property a bonus reason, no one knows how technology will evolve. what starts as a semi-automatic weapon could evolve into something entirely different — perhaps a tool for drilling or manufacturing of some kind. some of the most powerful innovations come about when a product is repurposed for something else.

          1. yikes!!

            All power does not stem from the ability to impose violence.Kid Mercury, Fred Wilson has more power than you and it’s not because he has bigger guns.Same goes for Mike Bloomberg’s power.Lookup referent power, authoritative, and legitimate for modern interpretation of power struggles.Your thinking that guns are the only way to build personal power (let alone a good way) is a serious issue.

          2. kidmercury

            i am not a violent person, but if i have a gun, enter someone’s house, and they are unarmed and defenseless, let’s see who has more power.if you want to go beyond the personal level, consider the land of the free, and its military.if violence is not related to authority, why doesn’t bloomberg turn in the weapons of the nypd?

          3. yikes!!

            Yes, guns can influence a person’s or country’s authority, but its certainly not the only way as you say in #1 above.You should revise #1 from”because all power stems from the ability to impose violence”It’s not intellectually responsible. Especially, on the powerful Fred Wilson’s blog. I doubt Fred will impose any violence on us.

          4. kidmercury

            i didnt say it was the only way, but it is the root way. this is very simple: anyone can tell me to do something. what if i don’t want to? for instance there are laws against robbing stores. what if i don’t want to obey that law and want to rob stores? what is going to stop me from going into the starbucks across the street, pushing the cashiers out of the way, and taking all the money in the registers and the wallets/purses of the customers present?that is a personal example, although the same is true internationally. africa has quite a bit of mineral wealth. but military power has ensured others have prospered more so from it.

          5. Yikes!!

            kidmercury, You don’t need guns to have power/authority/influence. Agree?I am surprised by a lot of the comments to this post, that this is a central question in this debate.

          6. kidmercury

            it is the ultimate source of authority. for instance, you and i probably are not going to resort to violence over any dispute. we would likely prefer contracts and an arbitration process if necessary. however, if one of us refuses to comply, violence is what ultimately settles the dispute. i am not saying this as a fan of violence, i’m only saying it is the bottom line, regardless of how distasteful it indisputably is.

          7. JamesHRH

            Not the best examples (not that they aren’t admirable people), but the #1 replacement phrase for ‘impose violence’ would be ‘purchase influence’!Net worth of your examples works against them here.

          8. Yikes!!

            Good point.

          9. ShanaC

            maybe. But if the world ends friday, guns might be helpful

      2. takingpitches

        Gerrymandering makes incumbents not worry about general elections and instead worry about the ideologically pure and extreme (on both sides) challenges in the primary instead. See, the Tea Party.

  14. William Mougayar

    The link to the NY Times ad is going to a blank page and says waiting for RebelMouse. Is RebelMouse hosting this?

  15. Anne Libby

    Thanks, Fred. I’m in.

  16. Tom Labus

    I’ve never seen the Mayor this focused or pissed.The window to do this is so short and concerns me a lot.

  17. StartUpJerkFest

    🙁 i thought this was going to be about business planning for 2013, as in “demand a plan, don’t just hope and pray”

  18. Dave Pinsen

    On the off chance regulars here are interested in reading a view from another perspective, I recommend Kurt Schlicter’s piece from earlier this week:…Excerpt:“Gun control” means all guns under the control of the government and available only to it and, of course, to politically connected cronies. Gun-grabbing poser Michael Bloomberg is going to be surrounded by enough fire power to remake the movie Heat. He’s always going to be protected. The purpose of gun control is to ensure that we aren’t.So let’s have that conversation, and let’s lay the cards on the table. Modern firearms (which really aren’t that modern) are highly effective weapons in the hands of an evil little freak who gets off shooting children. They are also highly effective weapons in my hands when defending my children from evil little freaks. Liberals ask why I need these weapons. The answer is simple. I’m going to be as well-armed or better armed than the threat. Period.Here’s the fact – bad people are going to have guns. And if you’ve ever smoked a joint, you are disqualified from arguing that prohibition works.

    1. kidmercury


    2. johnmccarthy

      I wonder if Mrs. Lanza would agree with this…..

      1. PhilipSugar

        If Mrs. Lanza had kept her guns locked up and not committed a felony by Connecticut law, that’s right felony because an unlocked gun committed a crime then we could probably ask her and 25 others.

        1. johnmccarthy

          Very silly indeed. The woman took her son to shooting ranges. She gave him free access to her guns. She spouted the same nonsense that you are spouting. And she is dead. All because she broke the law by not locking up her guns?!……Any safety procedure that requires 100% adherence in order to be absolutely effective would not be condoned in any industrial or manufacturing process. Yet people like you use the 100% standard on guns. Insane,

        2. HudsonJoe

          We don’t know that they were not locked up! Do you have a first person source you can site? If you can’t you are at best inventing facts at worst you are an out and out liar slandering a dead woman.

          1. thinkdisruptive

            I believe that all the first person sources are dead.

    3. jason wright

      how many of the parents of the murdered children of Newtown owned guns to protect their families from evil little freaks i wonder? Being as well-armed as the threat is no guarantee of security. period. Schlicter’s view requires every American to have a Kalashnikov to hand. that’s an arms race to hell. weapons need to be taken out of society. Schlicter is wrong.

      1. kidmercury

        schools are a gun-free zone and connecticut has some of hte strictest anti-gun laws in the country. vermont has the most lax gun laws in the US, 2nd lowest gun homocide rate in the country.

        1. jason wright

          not strict enough Kid. it would be more accurate to describe these laws as being some of the least relaxed. being legally able to buy a bushmaster for the home is absurd.

          1. kidmercury

            yes i agree, that is why i proposed stricter laws in my comment below. if we don’t regulate 3D printers in some way, this whole conversation is moot.

          2. jason wright

            change the design and technology of guns. introduce a new type of projectile design. stop production and distribution of conventional ammunition to render existing guns obsolete. every new technology gun should be gps trackable.

          3. andyswan

            BET you’ll carry a gun when you come for mine….

          4. jason wright

            why would i need one?

          5. andyswan

            To get them

          6. jason wright

            a closed loop, but given the opportunity to swap your old tech gun for a new tech gun would you take it?

          7. andyswan

            Not if it was being tracked or could be shut off by the State.

          8. jason wright

            not shut off, but its location being monitored isn’t such a big deal…is it?

          9. Wavelengths

            If you expect to have your gun with you as protection against large and dangerous wildlife, e.g., 600-lb wild pigs on desolate highways, then yes, it is a big deal.

          10. jason wright

            being tracked in such circumstances is a hindrance?smartphones can be tracked.number plate recognition tech can track vehicle movements.

          11. Wavelengths

            When is the last time you drove on a highway (yes, highway) for an hour and didn’t see another car? And had no phone signal?Uh, how far away is the highway patrol?You are speaking from your personal experience. I am speaking from mine. Don’t judge my opinion unless you’ve driven the roads I’ve been on.

          12. jason wright

            i don’t see how having a trackable gun in any way places you in greater danger from a wild pig on your desolate a satellite phone.

          13. Wavelengths

            How did you think a gun would be tracked in that environment? And now what is the data-tracking overhead that you create tracking how many guns and in how many locations, etc.? And how do you determine legitimate uses of guns? From a gps signal? Sounds like it doesn’t survive a cost-benefit analysis when you dig deeper. More complex than it appears at first glance.

          14. kidmercury

            i think it is. do i get to see where the government has their guns? or do i get the technology of a prisoner while they get the technology of a free person?

          15. andyswan

            Absolutely it is. I value my mobility.

          16. kidmercury

            those are great suggestions and i agree. so, to implement your suggestions, we should require 3D printers have the capability to implement gps tracking. this goes back to my point that 3D printers really need to be a licensed product, and subject to federal review and approval. the costs of this should be financed via a tax on 3D printers. it’s important that we get down into teh details of the plan to ensure it is actually enforceable and properly structured so as to ensure firearms are highly controlled.

          17. jason wright

            i’m with you Kid.

          18. kidmercury

            sounds great. i hope that others in this thread get on board and that discussions about how to regulate 3D printers become at the heart of how to control firearms distribution and new legislation that is enacted.

          19. KG18

            while I agee in principle… the problem is that there are just plainly too many guns. they are bound to end up in the hands of ppl who shouldn’t have them. but if you restrict the flow – the price will go up and ppl will complain about that too. I personally don’t think anything is wrong with that – but is there political will for that? Chris Rock once made the joke that if bullets were expensive – criminals would think harder before they shoot. While he was making a joke – it’s a deadly serious and true statement.

          20. kidmercury

            if one is serious about gun control, i agree there will need to be gun and ammunition confiscation. however, 3D printers are the future of how this is manufactured, and that is a completely decentralized technology, so that issue needs to be addressed as well. i’m glad money in the american tech community has gotten behind this issue, although i hope they don’t use their influence to block legislation regulating 3D printers.

          21. Richard

            gps makes so much sense

          22. jason wright

            the technology could disable the gun if it is gps tracked beyond the boundary of the private property to which it is registered. fingerprint readers, et.c… it’s very doable if the will is there for change.

          23. fredwilson

            i have been thinking about these kinds of ideas all week. but i wonder if they can really work.

          24. andyswan

            Ask Obama how well “gun tracking” works…. oh… wait….

          25. kidmercury

            #ohsnap +1

          26. JLM

            .Said facetiously, your comment is filled with wisdom.How can one trust someone who has not only not been credible on gun regulation BEFORE the feathers hit the fan but who has been a huge, huge abuser?Well played! But what would expect from someone who resides in the real world?.

          27. thinkdisruptive

            That defeats the purpose of the 2nd amendment. It seems more likely to incite civil unrest and feed the paranoia of those who think the government is going to take all their rights away. Seems like a non-starter, whether technologically doable or not.

          28. thinkdisruptive

            Yes, and imagine what 3D printers will do to IP protection law. There will be a battle over copyrights and patents that may require us all to arm for protection against big corporations AND the state.

        2. markslater

          answer the question. Site a single example when a gun owner was ever able to “take action” against an evil little freak? touting this construct as even remotely plausable, grounded in any historical factor or otherwise is diversionary at best – ignorant at worst.user story: “here comes mr.crazy with his assault rifle entering my school……let me reach in to my desk and pull out mine and lets go ok coral on this mo fo…….” that is pure and utter fantasy. That is a movie or a video game. that is not an argument you or anyone can make any longer – because that apparent “guarantee of security” is a mirage and if you happened upon a situation as tragic as last friday – you would – like us be running for your very life – not swiveling your revolver and “saddling up”. Having a weapon is not a deterent to crazy – thinking that you need one to respond is idiocy. its never happened in the history of mass murders and it never will.

          1. kidmercury

            lol seriously? that’s your question? way too easy to answer…. check the “most popular stories” column on the left side……

          2. markslater

            so you go ahead and keep your 9,400 gun deaths, i’ll keep my 39. thats the most absurd and riduculous construct you just put up for the need to own a gun i have ever heard. The data does not country of 70 Million people had 39 gun deaths last year. Yours had 9,400 – please attempt to explain what part of your argument makes this in any way a sane one.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Your country in no way has the diversity of ours.

          4. markslater

            you would not even pretend to know. thats a ridiculous statement.

          5. jbcolme

            how does diversity translates in the need for guns? Seriusly. I’ve seen that argument many times, and it just doesn’t make sense and would like to know why people keep saying it. So certain country is very diverse. Great. So what? that makes people want to kill each other per se? Where I live is pretty diverse, but we don’t kill each other. And if you need guns, is because you are killing each other or are being threaten. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

          6. PhilipSugar

            Take a stroll in the 50 worst sections of the U.S. versus Europe.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            Different groups commit crimes at different rates. In 2005, the last year for which the data are available, blacks were 7 times more likely to commit homicide than whites (they were also 6 times more likely to be victims of homicides, as most of the victims of black killers are black):

          8. fredwilson

            i don’t think that is true. i go to london often and it looks like the streets fo NYC to me.

          9. Jim Ritchie

            London true, no rest of UK by and large

          10. Pete Griffiths

            It isn’t true. The UK is extremely diverse.

          11. kidmercury

            you asked to cite an example of self-defense. i did. now you want to move the goal post to gun deaths. that’s fine, although you are making the implication that more guns = more gun deaths. switzerland is the obvious rebuttal cited in countless discussions on this subject that have occurred many times already. gun deaths are not a function of gun laws, they are a function of cultural issues.

          12. markslater

            switzerland!!! LOL keep going this is funny.explain in simple terms the difference between what happened in my country and what happens in yours. That was the beginning of this thread and you never answered lets start over shall we. Answer the question on why there is that disparity. once you do that , we can make site the founding fathers and link to the reality today is to completely ignore the vast gap between their intent and the reality on the ground.

          13. kidmercury

            what is your country? uk? i don’t know so i wanted to clarify.the difference is culture.also “what is happening” ignores other factors like crimes prevented by’re ignoring the founders’ intent. they spell it out clearly in their founding documents. and i would argue their vision of the 2nd amendment and its importance is extremely reelvant to today’s world.the decision to put it into the constitution is not one taken lightly. why didn’t they put an amendment guaranteeing the right to have a horse? to wear clothes? to shake hands? to drink beer?it’s about protection against the state. once that is understood everything else falls into place.

          14. Wavelengths

            After all, these were people who had just won their freedom from the British. That situation was uppermost in their minds, we must assume.

          15. kidmercury

            yup, exactly

          16. KG18

            yet the US Bill of Rights is based on the English Bill of Rights… just as the founding documents were based on the Magna Carta. In fact in the Declaration of Independence – the argument was that the king failed to live up to English law – and that was the reason for the rebellion.

          17. markslater

            sorry – been in meetings! i’ll respond as best i can shortly!

          18. Pete Griffiths

            I don’t believe it was ‘protection against the state.’ The right to arm a well formed militia makes it pretty clear that this militia is itself an instrument of the state. It never intended to be for the protection of the individual it was rather to assuage the concerns of the states with respect to the union. Of course, access to such arms it didn’t stop the Civil War because the North wasn’t impressed by the South’s force of arms.The problem is that an amendment that was framed in the context of black powder weapons and an uneasy tension between the states and the union has been used to justify the right of an individual to ‘protect himself’ with modern assault weapons designed to kill many people fast. This neither protects the individual against the state (the state will always have bigger and better guns) nor does it recognize that it is lunacy to make military weapons so freely available.

          19. kidmercury

            here is a quote from federalist paper #29 by alexander hamilton : if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should are some more quotes to read through that illustrate it was about protection against the state:

          20. Pete Griffiths

            The question is not whether the founders were fearful of tyranny – we are agreed that they were. The question is how they saw the best way of counterbalancing the risks of a powerful state. You interpret some of his writings to mean that individuals should be armed but he talks of ‘the people’ not of ‘persons.’This is a good discussion of the point and of the difference.

          21. kidmercury

            sure, you can always debate and interpret what a word meant. that is what lawyers get paid for. 🙂 jefferson advocated guns as a means of personal exercise, in addition to defense against the state, which suggests favoring it for personal use as well. moreover, the issue of “what if people go killing each other” was also addressed. either way, the anti-2nd amendment crowd should pursue an amendment or local legislation. they may also benefit from considering why existing anti-2nd amendment legislation, of which there is no shortage, hasn’t cured the allegedly growing problem of violent gun crime. they may also benefit from considering whether or not the threat of the state is a current concern, whether it is large or growing concern, and, if htey wish to overturn the 2nd amendment, what they can do to decrease that concern amongst those who are pro-2nd amendment as a compromise. unfortunately, the anti-2nd amendment crowd does none of that.

          22. Pete Griffiths

            And this was a time when for many in rural america a gun was a useful tool.Wrt anti-2nd amendment – I don’t think there is much point being against anything material in our society as the system is brilliantly designed to gridlock any material change.I do find the idea of individuals holding guns being any kind of check and balance against the power of the state rather incredible. But I recognize that it comforts some. 🙂

          23. kidmercury

            it is only incredible when history is ignored. dictators always seek to disarm their population, after promising them the world. hitler and mao are recent examples. the system of US checks and balances is already eroded, as illustrated by the growth of a huge bureaucracy in the executive branch. the president now declares war without congressional approval, issues executive orders to circumvent legislation, threatens to take away congress’ power of the purse by demanding an infinite debt ceiling, and has had congress forego much of its power to bureaucracies in the executive. as thomas jefferson said the beauty of the 2nd amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.

          24. Pete Griffiths

            Is that really what has happened though? Did Hitler disarm a German population? Or Mao the Chinese?I totally agree about state abuse of power, just don’t find the deterrent effect of individuals with guns against the organs of stake power terribly credible. Look at the problems the Syrian rebellion is having. Just how heavily armed and well trained does the domestic population have to be to keep central power in check?

          25. Richard

            And what say you about switzerland?

          26. Richard

            Look at the the violent crime stats by country, the uk is at or near the top of the list.<html xmlns=””><head><meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″/><title>Comparisons of Crime in OECD Countries </title></head><body><div class=”page” title=”Page 6″></div></body></html>


            I think I know why.

          28. jason wright

            due mainly to cheap alcohol and a 24 hour drinking culture.

          29. Richard

            yep, drugs and alcohols are the principal components.

          30. fredwilson

            the numbers are staggering on this issue mark. i don’t think anyone can look at them rationally and not come to the same conclusion you come to.

          31. markslater

            i am not against the second amendment. i am against people who have exploited it. And i am most certainly confused at people who cant see the data and not go…….WOW.I’m also a father – last week – whatever side of this debate you fall on……was a tragedy – and i have a hard time even today trying to process it.

          32. kidmercury

            same difference, you are against the 2nd amendment. the kinds of restrictions that the gun control people want are against the spirit of the 2nd amendment.

          33. markslater

            and you would know that how? if you thought for a second that those people who wrote the second amendment envisioned one day the gun culture we now live in you are certifiably insane.

          34. kidmercury

            your name calling is only making you look foolish. try reading documents written by the founders of the US. thomas jefferson in particular. educate yourself before calling others insane.

          35. Wavelengths

            I thought the colonists refined the art of guerrilla warfare against the redcoats. Seems to me there were some guns involved.

          36. markslater

            you told me i am against the second ammendment when i am not. Go ahead – answer the question. Did founding fathers envision the gun culture we now live in when the wrote the second ammendment?no they did not.

          37. kidmercury

            lol you simply don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re revealing that repeatedly in this discussion…..the founders absolutely envisioned evolution in technology. it’s not like they thought the world would never change and no one would invent anything better. they experienced better technology when fighting the revolution. their goal was to ensure people could defend against a tyrannical state. ergo, if the government soldiers possess powerful weapons, citizens should also have access to such technology — or whatever technology will allow for defense against the state if necessary. read all the documents by founders, especially thomas jefferson, and this will be very clear.

          38. Pete Griffiths

            a) The founders undoubtedly foresaw changes but that openness could not have prepared them for some the technology now available. Assault weapons are SO much more powerful than the weapons of their day.b) With respect to people defending themselves against a tyrannical state. They definitely had this concern but where you and I differ is in interpreting their proposed solution. They did not envision individual citizens being armed to the teeth in some survivalist fashion. What they tried to do was balance state and union and a part of that was for the states to have meaningful power. A well regulated militia is to be seen in that context. I think the record is clear on this. There is a vast amount of material on the founders pondering how to balance power between union and the states and being extremely sensitive to the concerns of minorities. I can’t think offhand of equivalent material about the inalienable right of the individual to arm himself against the state. The founders were students of European history – they were certainly extremely aware of the dangers of tyranny but were also of acutely aware of the perils of chaos.

          39. MickSavant

            I doubt the founding fathers envisioned the porn and violence culture we live in today when they wrote the first amendment. I doubt they expected television and the Internet to pipe violent content aimed at a young audience. Should we ban this content?

          40. markslater

            the data does not lie – i am still waiting for someone to explain 9,400 VS 39. none of you can.

          41. markslater

            oh and please dont misinterpret my “name calling” as rude – i am passionate about this issue and i have tremendous respect for your views kid. Sometimes tone is lost in type.

          42. kidmercury

            thanks for the clarification — and i probably overreacted, apologies for that.

          43. Pete Griffiths

            I don’t believe that’s true. I think this bears on what you consider the ‘spirit’ of the amendment to be. If you consider it to be framing an individual right to have pretty much any weapon you like to protect yourself and yours against others and the state then you will indeed see gun control restrictions as against the spirit of the amendment. But whilst this interpretation is popularly held and widely promoted by the NRA and arms manufacturers it is at best highly questionable. The historical context of the framing of the amendment is extremely important to its interpretation. This is the wording in question.As passed by the Congress:”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.”As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:”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.”The language is all about a ‘well regulated Militia’ not about individuals having an inalienable right to bear arms. This language makes total sense in its historical context. States were concerned about the tyranny of the majority and the power of the Union. It was politically imperative that such fears be assuaged. Giving each state two Senators is one example. The amendment is another. But these were political compromises, no more and no less.Sadly, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia. In the light of the wording above I confess I find that decision rather confusing. In the light of this recent massacre I think I need to dig into the decision more deeply.

          44. kidmercury

            see my previous comment with quotes and links, the founders wanted an armed population as a substitute for a standing army AND as defense against an oversized state

          45. Ryan Lackey

            Actually, armed private citizens were involved resolving many spree shootings — just as examples, the famous Texas Tower shooting involved response from a bunch of local hunters with scoped deer rifles pinning Whitman down, and then an armed civilian going up the tower with some police and DPS employees, armed with a shotgun, to take Whitman down.In the recent Clackamas County mall shooting, an armed civilian (a security guard at another property) was shopping with his girlfriend; he confronted the shooter with his weapon, but didn’t fire (due to people in the background who might be hit), leading the shooter to kill himself shortly thereafter, not shooting anyone else after first seeing the armed civilian.Yes, armed civilians did nothing in some of the well-publicized recent events in Aurora, CO and Sandy Hook, CT.

          46. Wavelengths

            Please note this news item from 2008. Small school, 30 miles from sheriff’s office, located on busy U.S. Hwy 287.

          47. markslater

            so by that statement are you suggesting we arm our teachers?

          48. kidmercury

            not a bad idea. israel does it. no school shootings there…..

          49. ShanaC

            the teachers I know in israel don’t usually carry guns on them. Having a draft does mean most people can shoot, and therefore respect guns

          50. kidmercury

            youre right, i misspoke, the teachers there don’t usually carry guns. they have a lot of guns in general, though.

          51. Dave Pinsen

            Maybe the photo flying around on Twitter of the armed Israeli teacher was taken in the West Bank?

          52. Kirsten Lambertsen

            ya, it’s a real paradise.

          53. kidmercury

            that’s not the point, as you know.

          54. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I appreciate your calm response to my snarky comment 🙂 I could have been more thoughtful.I would argue that it is the point. Israel has considered itself in a state of war since its inception. They believe they have to be ready for a siege at any given moment. Their geography is much different than ours. Their rationale for arming everyone is different. They live in a situation where they believe the enemy is perpetually at the gate.The fear industry is selling us the idea that we are at war with each other, or with the “elements” who will come to steal our televisions when our society collapses. Do you live each day believing that? I, for one, do not.Maybe once we’ve all worked together to reverse the culture of fear in the U.S., we can talk once again about free access to all kinds of deadly weapons of mass destruction. I don’t know. It’s my opinion that our house is on fire, and we need to extinguish the fire first by limiting access to semi-automatic weapons.

          55. kidmercury

            i don’t live in fear, although i think the odds of a massive societal transformation, resembling a collapse and all the chaos such a transformation implies, is closer than it has been since this country’s inception. i believe this is a rational perspective validated by many, many, many data view this as fearful is like saying a person who buys homeowners insurance or has savings in the event of an emergency is living in fear. fear is how the gun grabbers operate, and that is why they all clamor for government to save them after the media scares them. because they are perspective is simple: if one person can own something, then i should have the right to own it too. i don’t believe in a two-tiered system in which government is allowed all the weapons they want while a mere peasant like myself is treated like a criminal. this is especially ironic when one compares my track record (never committed a violent crime) vs that of government’s (commits violent crime daily, has been doing so for decades, perhaps centuries).

          56. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Actually, I do think buying insurance is an irrational fearful act. In fact, it must be, otherwise the insurance companies wouldn’t have a business model. Definitely profitable fear purveyors there.You think your fear of societal collapse and mass chaos on the streets of the U.S. is more realistic than my fear of another mass shooting in a U.S. school? There are some data points to consider there.Simple constructs always sound good. But they don’t hold up in action. If someone else is allowed to perform surgery, then I want to be able to do it too. I can’t get down with the idea that the solution to violence is more violence.Fear of the government is less rational, in my opinion, than fear of the profiteers who control it.Honestly, I believe that people actually want this societal collapse they talk about. It would give their empty lives meaning.

          57. kidmercury

            insurance companies don’t profit on the payout between collections and payouts, they profit on the time gap between the two as they make investments the collections they receive.i don’t really fear a mad max scenario. i am vigilant against the US government becoming more like the north korean government, and view an armed society as the best defense against such a transformation. this is the true spirit of the 2nd amendment, not defending yourself against your neighbor or shooting deer.i do “want” the collapse in that i think such a collapse is likely necessary before society and the global economy can heal itself. only those who didn’t foresee the economic crisis and think we are out of it view collapse as an outlier scenario. those who understand its origins and what is needed to fix it view collapse as the road we are on.

          58. thinkdisruptive

            I don’t think I’d put buying insurance in the same category as buying a gun. Insurance is a rational risk mitigation against a worst case scenario that you can’t afford. I’m not afraid of being in a car crash, but it seems to be very probable that someday I will, and maybe I will suffer catastrophic injury that would bankrupt me without insurance. That seems probable enough that if the cost of lowering my risk is reasonable, I should do it. The probability that the country will collapse and we’ll be fighting in the streets — not quite so high (with apologies to the Kid — we all calculate our own risks and how to avoid them).

          59. markslater


          60. markslater

            its just frightens me to think f my 3 year old in class with a teacher with a gun. As a father – i have to assume most would agree.

          61. Wavelengths

            The issue of arming teachers is already on the table. It is being discussed in today’s news. It’s not my recommendation, necessarily, but it is a major current discussion.My point is that a school district chose to take this action 4 years ago. If you look at the reasoning behind the choice, the locality, and the society in that area, the decision does not look unreasonable.

          62. markslater

            i agree.

          63. Dave Pinsen

            I’m sure there are plenty of instances, but heres one that comes readily to mind:

          64. Richard

            CountrySpainCases of Robbery per 100,000 Population1188Belgium1762Mexico 607Chile456Portugal 192France181England and Wales 137

          65. RichardF

            I suggest you look up the stats on massacres even in the last ten years and see where the US ranks. By the way just to be clear I’m a gun enthusiast but there needs to be control. of assault weapons there is absolutely no justification for ownership, none, period.

          66. Richard

            How about a parapeligic female with three young kids living on a kansas prarie? Btw there is no justification for owning a lot of things.

          67. andyswan

            Protection from chaos, mob and tyranny. There’s three.

          68. RichardF

            I guess if you feel that you live in a country where those are real and present threats Andy then go for it for as long as you are able. My impression from visiting the US a fair bit is that it’s a developed country with organised security forces that would probably be able to cope with chaos and mob rule but hey I haven’t travelled that widely.I own guns for sporting purposes and they do provide the added benefit of a level of protection in the home but I figure two rounds in the chamber are probably sufficient in the unlikely event that they would ever be required.

          69. kidmercury

            the “organized security force” is precisely the threat to be protected against.

          70. RichardF

            I just don’t buy it Kid. The organised security force is made up of average US citizens and I’m pretty sure the scenario you see as a threat does not exist.

          71. kidmercury

            well that’s why i always say 9/11 was an inside job. but people don’t want to believe that. if that is accepted then the idea that government is tyrannical is very easy to accept. and of course there are countless other examples — tuskegee experiment, government admittedly experimenting on black people by giving them syphillis. the idea that government is our BFF here to protect and serve simply is hard to accept when one considers information like hwat i’ve included here.

          72. andyswan

            Richard— the cost is negligible. Why not own them? Plus, it’s fun to practice.

          73. RichardF

            I’m with you on the fun, the problem is they are falling into the wrong hands too often and I cannot think of a way of stopping it without an outright ban on them.It has to be addressed too many young people and teachers are getting killed.

          74. thinkdisruptive

            And, from other people with assault weapons. I’m curious why you don’t also argue that bombs and grenades are needed to protect against tyranny of the state, chaos and mobs? Where do you draw the line between what is reasonable and what isn’t — everyone has a line somewhere.

          75. andyswan

            One action one kill

          76. thinkdisruptive

            I don’t think I understand. I would interpret this as being against automatic weapons. The problem for me with assault weapons is the speed and efficiency of the kill. It doesn’t take 11 bullets to kill one child, yet that’s why some of the kids couldn’t even be identified after several hours.

          77. andyswan

            Intent is the distinction for me. An accident with an AR-15 kills one… An accident with a grenade could take out everyone.One action, one kill

          78. thinkdisruptive

            So, you only care about accidents, and not deliberate intent? People acquire assault weapons for these types of crimes because they want to inflict maximum damage as fast as possible. They aren’t worried about accidents.One intention. 26 dead.

          79. andyswan

            “its never happened in the history of mass murders and it never will.”Holy crap did you just type that? WOW.

          80. kidmercury

            lol i know right……most ridiculous response in the whole thread…..

        3. ShanaC

          but why?

          1. PhilipSugar

            Because there are bad people in this world. In my rural county there have been two gun deaths this year related to self defense. In both cases the Sheriff was called. In both cases the Sheriff did not get there in time. Both cases involved domestic violence where a boyfriend/ex-husband came back to beat the snot out of a girlfriend/wife not for the first time. In both cases a father/husband sent a domestic abuser to see their maker.

          2. Wavelengths

            In today’s news: Domestic abuser/kidnapper released from Boulder Cty, CO, jail at 10 p.m. Monday, shootings occurred at 4 a.m. Tuesday in rural Weld Cty, CO. Four people dead.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Not sure are you trying to reinforce my point? I see you are and you are right. That is the assymetry us rural people do not want. The only difference in our stories is that the abused party could not defend themselves because they didn’t own a gun. I’m sure that like my state it is illegal to own or posses a firearm if you have a domestic violence arrest or conviction. So what you have is somebody that is not allowed by law to have one (that’s what people want) but now you want to not let the victim who is currently allowed to have one own one. Ok, one party already has broken your law that’s not going to change, but you now want to make it illegal for the party that needs one to own one. That’s really the heart of the issue. Right now I have to fill out paperwork, get a background check, pass a course, and wait seven days to purchase. That’s ok.

          4. Wavelengths

            I agree with you.In the above news story I see two glaring failures. 1) the abuser was released at 10 p.m., pretty late in the day for the potential victims to take preventive action, and they were quite likely not even informed of the abuser’s release. 2) the victims were in a rural area and, given the details of the story, they were not armed, whether they had guns in the house or not. The girlfriend was on the phone to 911 when she was killed — clearly police help was a distance away.

          5. PhilipSugar

            I understand there are going to be different rules in the cities but they don’t apply in the country. Boy that is sad, and again, I’m sure there was a restraining order so he probably broke that law as well.

          6. fredwilson

            is there some way to keep guns in rural locations and not let them near suburbs and cities? if you can figure that out, i would be all for it.

          7. JamesHRH

            Absolutely there is – GPS sensors.& you are right on track that this is a rural urban issue.

          8. kidmercury

            pursuing legislation at the state level

          9. KG18

            state level alone doesn’t work… in states with tough gun laws ppl try buy what they want out of state. Do you know how many guns are transported up and down I95 for instance? That doesn’t even go just for in the US. Most of the guns in the Caribbean and Central America are illegally transported out of the U.S. How does that happen?

          10. kidmercury

            then it is up to each state to guard their borders, not impose their will, ironically through the armed force of the federal government, on other states.

          11. realposter

            but that would be very expensive for each state to do… and then their are interstate commerce issues – which would be a federal issue. The only time something like that works is where there is reciprocity – like with traffic violations. Every state wants to collect the revenue so they cooperate with each other. Gun control as we see is very different.


            There is no way to control guns tightly. The people who would work on that would be carrying guns or something worse!.Help people to be better people and you won’t need to care about weapons of any kind. Also, with better people the world will be a better place..It’s all about people here on the planet earth. They say educated people are better people. Why don’t we have *free* internet education?

          13. fredwilson

            i don’t think there is one single answer to any problem. they are all multifaceted.

          14. andyswan

            Because “Gun Free Zones” work so well? Why would you want to deprive people in the most dangerous environments of the right to self-defense?

          15. PhilipSugar

            We are talking laws here right? We are not talking about an all out gun ban correct? Right now if I bring a handgun into NYC I am going to spend several years in jail. If I use it in a crime….might as well throw away the key. Am I going to do that? No way. Do you still have a gun problem? Yes, but is the root of that problem that I can buy a gun after I go through a ton of hoops? No, and seriously you should read what I have to do to buy one. What about if I do it on the internet? If I get caught doing it or it gets used in a crime and traced back (which it will) I spend time in jail.So the reason my comment resonates is people believe like me this is a guise to take away my rights, no different than you believe Republican’s stands on social issues try to take away rights from women and gay people.

          16. fredwilson

            i totally agree. but it would sure be great to get in a room with gun owners and say “what makes sense to you and what does not?”i think we can improve our gun safety laws in this country

          17. PhilipSugar

            I agree and I’d sit down anytime. I’d welcome you to come out here to the “sticks” and see what its really like to buy a gun legally (somehow people think you just walk into a Walmart, which is just not true), and even gasp shoot a gun :-)But the point of my comment is that we have to look at root causes:1. What makes somebody willing to risk spending a minimum of five years in jail, just to rob a convenience store for $300? Are laws going to work on them? If we say you need to get training and this and that or anything are they going to do it? If we say you need to turn in your gun is that going to happen? (BTW: If you look at the increase in prison population and decrease in crime they both correlate to this law, I shocked Peter Sheahan with this)2. What do we do now that we don’t institutionalize people with mental illness? How do we monitor that?3. The U.S. also leads the world with 85% of the worlds serial killers, that is much more related to mass murder than gun ownershipSo yes, you could push to make straw purchases even harder and more illegal for point 1, I don’t think anybody would have a problem with that. Speaking of something I have no idea about is what is the trail and how do you buy a gun in a place like NYC? I really don’t know. My experience is going to a place that has a Federal Firearms License, filling out a ton of paperwork with the designated person, proving I’ve taken a course, giving up my Drivers License, having a State and FBI background check completed and then having to comeback depending on what I bought two weeks to a month later to pickup a gun with a safety lock installed.Maybe you could have a database or require an independent interviews for point 2, I could see that.But the fact is that in both case 1 and 2 laws were broken already, will making an extra one will that work? Not really, but addressing the root cause has a chance to make it better, not fix it but make it better.But I think people’s big fear, is that like the soda ban, we worry there will be a misguided attempt to reason if we somehow ban guns that will fix the problem, and even if that’s not the first step its the end goal. That’s the bigger one. I’d like to see every proposal start with the affirmation of the 2nd amendment.This is no different than thinking if we ban birth control people will stop having sex.. Yes if there was nobody having sex in college you wouldn’t need birth control, yes if there were no bad people in the world you wouldn’t need guns. The fact is neither is close to or ever will be close to reality, and as I said the ship has sailed for both whether you like it or not..

          18. Chase d

            So, just because fred wilson lives in a city, he wants all us city dwellers to be defenseless, so he can feel safe. Great idea. How about one of the rural hicks gets mad, decides to go to an area which has gun free zone plastered all over and let the people there have it? Will Lord Bloomberg the mighty save and protect us before anything happens?

          19. ShanaC

            that points to other, larger problems about society, not inherently about guns. Kitchen knives also are highly deadly. Guns wouldn’t not have changed the situation at all (making domestic violence a low tolerance thing by men among men, otoh)

          20. PhilipSugar

            There’s a saying that Colt made all men equal. It should of course say people. I will say this. Where I live the most ardent believers in the second amendment are women. That is logical. Generally there is a big difference in size and strength but owning a gun takes that away.


            “Generally there is a big difference in size and strength but owning a gun takes that away.”.More logical thinking… I’m outta’ here…


            “Kitchen knives also are highly deadly”Uh oh ShanaC, you’re talking logical. You may be asked to leave the country if you keep that up!

          23. PhilipSugar

            They completely changed the situation.


            “Because there are bad people in this world.”.Yes, but why do some step accross the line to taking terrible action? That’s the question.

          25. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Wow. Dream come true. (not)

          26. KG18

            read the bible…. eye for an eye would mean the community to administer lashes to the offending individual… and learn him/her a lesson. life is only to pay for a life. so unless someone’s life was in imminent danger – that doesn’t meet the standard the “Maker” outlined.

          27. PhilipSugar

            Now we are trolling. I suggest you talk to a battered woman, who has an abuser coming to give her another round. I don’t care where the hell you go but it is in the same place as a child molester.

          28. KG18

            not trolling one bit… you brought up the phrase “see their Maker”… well I suggested you read what the Maker says… but I guess it’s easier for you to say “I don’t care where the hell you go”… That’s precisely the mentality of the “shoot first and ask questions later”. And I’m telling you it’s not biblical. Child molesters deserve death… but not by the hands of a vigilante… he/she should be tried in a court…and then sentence carried out.

          29. PhilipSugar

            There are a lot of young boys at Penn State that would disagree.

          30. KG18

            huh? what does that even mean? if the staff at Penn State did what they were supposed to do the guy would have been stopped. That wild west mentality didn’t work in the 1800’s and it doesn’t work now either. I’m all for capital punishment… but I believe the biblical stance that it should be by qualified witnesses and not some vigilante. Btw – I know of licensed gun owners who have been armed and been killed while armed. The sad reality Philip is that if someone really wants to murder you – and plot to do so – unless circumstances prevent them – they can/will kill you. You would never see it coming… Even police get murdered on duty. The answer is NOT – as the NRA head tried to say in his press conference – to put guns everywhere. The only ppl who benefit in that instance are the makers of the guns and ammunition.

          31. PhilipSugar

            Sorry and I’ll add since you are taking their soul like a child molester, unfortunately death is too easy.

        4. KG18

          poor comparison – Newtown basically had zero crime before this… just like Vermont. Both are fairly rural.

      2. Dave Pinsen

        How many of them thought that Connecticut’s strict gun laws would protect their families? There are no absolute guarantees of security. But mass shootings seem to happen more often in places (such as schools) where the killer is confident his victims won’t have guns.

        1. jason wright

          they are not strict guns laws by the standards of other societies in the west.

          1. Todd

            Cuba has excellent gun laws, they also have a higher murder rate.The highest murder rates in the US are in the cities with the most severe gun restrictions.This is not a coincidence, criminals don’t care about the laws and will always find a way to obtain the tools to break those laws. All your “Solution” does it make it easier for the criminals to commit crimes and citizens to become more dependent on the government.If you think that no one but the government should have guns you are in the camp of genocidal tyrants, dictators, and despots everywhere.Your response is knee jerk at best and solves nothing.

          2. jason wright

            i’m advocating the use of new technologies for new designs of guns. i’m not in the camp you describe. less talk of my knees please.

          3. KG18

            rubbish comparison… Cuba is a small poor country. if you compare it to urban areas in the US it does NOT have a higher murder rate. Also – the cities you are talking about instituted gun laws AS A RESULT of high crime. The problem is that it doesn’t help when criminals can travel to buy guns by the trunkload and go back home.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I don’t want to live in a society where everyone is packing.I’m going to paraphrase someone who got it right, “If only the first victim in this tragedy had been armed. It could have been prevented.” (It’s irony, for those who missed it.)

        1. thinkdisruptive

          Wasn’t the first victim the mother who owned the guns? I recall some stat that more people are killed by their own guns than by someone else’s.

        2. Wavelengths

          Don’t move to Texas, Arkansas, or a number of other states where a reasonable person should assume that out of 10 people in the parking lot, perhaps 5 are within an arm’s reach of a gun. And probably carrying legally.

      4. KG18

        yup – I knew someone in South Florida who had a licensed weapon – was armed – and was till killed by robbers.

      5. k77ws

        “Being as well-armed as the threat is no guarantee of security. period.” Right. I can tell you what is GUARANTEED, though — which is that NOT being armed against a threat is a guarantee of NO security and imminent harm. Period. People want an opportunity to protect themself, not just stand there helplessly and be maimed or watch others be maimed.

        1. jason wright

          then you need to walk around SWAT-style each and every day. the solution is to take these weapons out of society. there’s no threat out there that i see to justify the need for a citizen to own assault rifles and automatic weapons.

          1. k77ws

            What “weapons” would you have taken out of society? Of course, you deny reality because this is 100% impossible. Or do you mean take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, but allow the Government to have them? In which case, again, they are not taken out of society. Just because you do not see a threat does not mean that others also see same as you. Or do you just want to control other people as you see fit, too?

          2. jason wright

            i’m accepting of your position. i just don’t share it. we will have to agree to disagree, and hope that this sad event never happens again.

          3. k77ws

            fair enough. on your last statement we can both agree.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      So maybe the conversation should be re-focused on figuring out why people become ‘evil little freaks’ and find ways to help make sure that doesn’t happen – or happens as little as possible.

      1. Wavelengths

        I’m all over this!

        1. Matt A. Myers

          That’s mostly where my life’s worked has directed itself toward. My business projects, and a not-for-profit charity I will be founding in January. Wellness and the health of people.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Cool. It’s not all ready for the spotlight – but getting there. The not-for-profit should help me secure funds specific to my plans to help implement a preventative/proactive healthcare system in Canada, and business side – proof of concept is coming along + other assets to relatively soon be able to get investment on that front, too. I’ll shoot you an email.


            Send me one too! Hit my site I didn’t find funding for my HealthRMS and it would be nice to use it for proactive health care. It’s a records management system that I created myself. So, I can tweek it to do what I want.


            Hit my site RapidCloudSolutions dot info and you can email me. I have a HealthRMS system that I can tweek to do whatever I want. I haven’t found any funding to take it to market here in the US. Maybe it could be used for something like the proactive healthcare you mentioned..Posted twice, the first one has disappeared.

          4. ShanaC

            the first comment got caught in spam. sorry


            No problem ShanaC. It was probably the link. Thx for mentioning it. Now my mind won’t be wondering about it.

          6. Matt A. Myers

            In all fairness, it does look like spam … 😛

          7. Matt A. Myers

            Health RMS is a whole other gong show and not sure I’ll ever touch that – though I’ll send you a message.

          8. Dave W Baldwin

            Keep me informed Matt as your schedule dictates.

          9. Matt A. Myers

            Following you on Twitter, don’t think I have your email though. You could just DM it to me.


            You’re really spreading yourself thin, no?

          11. Matt A. Myers

            Nope. I’m getting pretty good at organizing and keeping track of plans. And amazing people are attracted to what I am doing who are ready to help/come on board, and I have spent enough time (years planning, evolving) on it to have a solid plan – and where I am comfortable and not afraid of competition either. I know where I will fit in this thing called the internet. All I need is continued access to resources (money and then to hire people) to step up development, etc..


            “All I need is continued access to resources …”.Join the club, dues are low but you have an almost unlimted membership to converse with.

          13. Matt A. Myers


      2. Mark Essel

        Sadly it’s a game of socio-history and statistics. We couldn’t identify root causes without rewinding the clock, changing some rules and playing it forward. Advanced simulations may help, but are a sorry substitute for reality.What we can do is look to model our culture on places where violent crimes of this nature are limited or nearly nonexistentI’m not against taking action (better to try and fail as long as it’s not catastrophic), I’m against reactions that aren’t carefully thought out.


          “We couldn’t identify root causes without rewinding the clock, changing some rules and playing it forward.”.I disagree. I think we can see many potential reasons. I think what’s best is getting the people with alterior motives out of the way and fixing it ourselves. We shouldn’t demand a plan from politicians. We should come up with the plan ourselves then demand they do the work. After all they are public servants!

        2. Matt A. Myers

          “What we can do is look to model our culture on places where violent crimes of this nature are limited or nearly nonexistent”Exactly, and all signs point to a good social/health system.

      3. Ryan Ridgway

        Thank you! Out of 868 comments, i’m glad to see this one at the top (for now). It’s not a gun issue, it’s a societal issue. When comparing the gun:human ratio from the 50’s vs. today, can we really say there’s been a surplus when speaking about arms in the hands of civilians? The answer is no. Society has changed. The way we have raised our children has changed. Guns are great, i own quite a few myself but i’m not going to parade down the street with one or remove one from my vehicle for no reason. Gun’s have never been the issue. Hypothetically, if all guns were removed from the earth, there’s nothing stopping someone from driving their vehicle through an elementary school classroom if their goal is to kill others and themself (as usual in shootings). What are we supposed to do, control all large dangerous objects in motion? Right.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          It’s not just a societal issue. It is also a technological issue. When the founders framed rights with respect to guns they had cumbersome black powder weapons. A modern assault rifle with large capacity magazines and bullets designed specifically to do maximum damage as they pass through the body is a very different machine.

          1. Jim Ritchie

            It is almost impossible to legally own a “modern assault rifle” in the US. An assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon. The version of the AR-15 used in the CT shootings is not an “assault rifle”. People do use the incorrect term “assault weapon” for these small bore, lightweight, semi-automatic rifles, but they are not “assault rifles”.Actually the .223 rounds used in the AR-15 do far less damage to your body then a typical deer rifle round such as a .30-06 and less damage then a low velocity, but much larger round such as .69 caliber musket ball used by the British in the Revolutionary war.

          2. Pete Griffiths

            I believe that the term ‘assault weapon’ is applied in law to semi-automatics.…I don’t pretend to know how much damage one bullet rather than another does but I do know that the AR-15 bullet killed a lot of people. I also know that calibre is not the sole determinant of damage – some rounds are designed to tumble inside the body and thereby do enormous damage although they are not huge rounds.I have no idea how much damage the British musket ball did. interesting question.

    5. PhilipSugar

      What amazes me is there are people that are suggesting control that is less stringent than the current law. I think people from the “right” need to realize abortion is here, the ship has sailed. Get over it, move on. You don’t believe in it great teach that to your kids, people see through your arguments. Same for people on the “left”: people in the U.S. are going to own guns, that ship has sailed, people see through your arguments. This is my last comment, I over commented.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Steve Sailer notes another parallel between gun control and abortion in this piece on mass shootings:”when I was getting my MBA at UCLA over 30 years ago, the Daily Bruin would run extended Letters to the Editor on the three topics that excited policy opinions among early 1980s college students: drugs, abortion, and guns, frequently all three in one letter. The correspondents typically would write at length about how it was pragmatically impossible to outlaw drugs, and then about how it was totally unfeasible to outlaw abortion, and then conclude with a ringing declaration of how it was morally necessary to ban all guns right now.”

      2. fredwilson

        yes they will own guns. but the right kinds of guns. and not the same ones our navy seals use.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I am so glad to have somebody who doesn’t own guns me what the right one is. Just as happy as my wife is when a male tea party candidate tells her what is right for her

      3. Al DeLosSantos

        It pains me to read your comment about abortion Philip, posted so confidently, and to see that no one really takes issue with your assertion. If indeed you do not care for the lives of unborn children, then I wonder if you will feel any qualms at all about taking the life of another human being with the weapons you possess.It should not be a mystery to bloggers here why our country is headed down the path it is on. Yes, lets spend time discussing gun control laws. This seems like a worthwhile pursuit…

    6. fredwilson

      that argument disgusts me. i am for disarmament. not massive armament.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Massive armament is what’s happening though:…That link goes to an aggregation of tweets about lines at gun stores this week. One quotes a CT gun store owner who says Obama is the best gun salesman he’s ever had. Mayor Bloomberg may turn out to be a great gun salesman too.

    7. KG18

      how many times you’ve used your gun to protect your family???? all you have to do is read any newspaper (or web site) and see ppl are murdered every single day. why? there are too many guns. how many guns does someone need to “protect their house”??? Everything that has to do with safety is regulated by the government. The “right to bear arms” was actually contingent upon a “well regulated militia”. Cars – pharmaceuticals – even the electricity you use to power up the machine you used to make the post. Lightweight – high powered handguns help to further crime – not diminish it. That says nothing of weapons like the Bushmaster used in the massacre in Newtown.

    8. k77ws

      I’m having a very similar discussion below with Fred re: Bloomberg having guns vs. other people not. “Selective Disarmament” I call it. Done only by hypocrites, of course.

    9. hebertbrian

      spot on with the analysis in the link. here’s another one (long, but worth it if interested in this topic) http://larrycorreia.wordpre

  19. ObamasFakeTears

    Is Bloomberg giving up his guns (and his bodyguards)? or are only us little people supposed to be disarmed and vulnerable?

    1. kidmercury

      just little people. no soda for you either, so don’t get too big for your britches and think you can do what you want. just pay your taxes and do what you’re told.



    2. Dave Pinsen

      Kurt Schlichter made a similar point in the post I linked to a few minutes ago.

    3. Richard

      The Swiss have a gun every household, the highest levels of gun ownership in the world. Sure looks interesting in that gun related crime is low, very low, less than 1/10th vs the US. yes that’s per capita. Just one piece of data but one that should be included in the discussion.

      1. PhilipSugar

        And having done a bunch of climbing with the Swiss Army, to which every male is drafted and is a member of the militia. Guess what it is? A government issued assault rifle.

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          And a totally different structure/demographic when compared to the many social woes over in the USA and even the UK by comparison.

        2. ShanaC

          maybe we should bring back the draft

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Definitely.For all their challenges and pressures many of the best and most well-balanced people I know are from/still live in Israel.To them guns are not a toy.

          2. ShanaC

            Lived there. Had a story about locking three guns in my closet once upon a time. 🙂 Yeah, guns aren’t toys there, but they are treated kind of casually. I used to wonder when I took busses in jerusalem of how good someones reflexes/pickpocketing skills needed to be in order to pull handguns out of people’s back waistbands.(never did it, but I always thought it was strange that in theory, one could do it)

          3. PhilipSugar

            Not sure if your comment is tongue in cheek but I think we should.

          4. ShanaC

            it isn’t. I don’t necessarily think we need a draft draft, I do think it might be interesting to take everyone between 18-20 and pack them up to different parts of the country, subsidize some group rent, healthcare, and basic groceries, and make them do things like help local governments, poor schools, aid clinics, help new citizens do whatever, save the environment what have you. Get them exposed to other people in the US, give them civic pride in the process, a better work ethic, more mature for college.

          5. SkepticalOx

            I mentioned this in another site (The Big Picture), but the draft would help connect Americans to the wars that their government launches. I’m sure that if you looked at the lives of most average Americans during the 2000’s, you wouldn’t know that their country was waging two the most expensive wars in history.

          6. ShanaC


          7. Anne Libby

            Yes. We the People have outsourced our wars to those who will serve.

          8. Wavelengths

            I think the Mormons do that. Well, they send the young people out as “missionaries,” but I do think it has an effect on them, instilling responsibility and letting them learn about other communities.I like your idea.

          9. ShanaC

            it was a good friend of mine in college’s idea. We don’t need the military power aspect as much as “thing to unify the country culturally”

          10. Anne Libby

            Agree. We’d also teach people how to create civil space for working with people from a wide range of backgrounds.I learned how to operate in the workplace — and how to manage and lead — from many veterans. The people who mentored/coached/taught me came from a generation where most men had served. (And I worked in an industry where leadership was overwhelmingly male.)Gen X is the first post-national service generation in America. It’s my hypothesis that many changes in the US workplace that have devalued people/human potential really took root when Gen X entered middle-upper management ranks in Corporate America.

          11. matthughes

            Mormon missionary service is not mandatory though – it’s entirely voluntary.(Granted, there is some cultural pressure that young men serve missions, and to a lesser degree, young women.)What makes the program so effective though is that the great majority of Mormon missionaries willingly “serve” as opposed to being drafted.Disclosure: I went on a Mormon mission to Brazil (from the US). Easily the best, most rewarding two years of my life.

          12. Wavelengths

            We have a couple of very nice young Mormon women doing missionary service in my neighborhood. I hope you won’t be offended if I suggest that they could be prototypes for a TV show called “Girls Gone Mild.”

          13. matthughes

            Ha!No offense taken – that’s pretty funny.A lot of Mormon missionaries come across as mild, timid, shy…It’s not easy to stick your neck out there sometimes.You learn quickly how to listen, respond & engage.And in my case, I learned to speak Portuguese (not to mention an entirely new culture).The learning experience is invaluable.

          14. Aviah Laor

            Now where did you get this idea from?

          15. JamesHRH

            Actually , mandatory public service is a very compeling idea, for all the reasons you have listed. Maybe you could choose: military, social, engineering (Habitat for Humanity style).Make it 6 months. If you want to do 24, it goes towards education funding somehow.

          16. Ryan Lackey

            Bringing back the draft (or rather, a new 1-2 year national service obligation, met by military service or some comparable non-military service) would fix MANY problems in the US, many of which are far more important than reducing the number of people murdered with firearms every year.More the Israeli model or the Swiss model vs. what we had in the past, though.

          17. JLM

            .The concept of national service is an excellent idea which will never, ever see the light of day.Having been in the Army during the draft, I can only say — be very, very careful what you wish for.The draft was a relic from WWII and was the most disruptive force in society for men only.We have the best military in our Nation’s history though I am concerned about the current administration gutting it in the next few years..

          18. Jim Ritchie

            The draft is a very bad idea with our need for a motivated, modern and intelligent military force. It only made sense in times where we needed masses of men to fight large wars of attrition (Civil War, WWII).What would be interesting to debate is a 2 year voluntary service to your country (military or civilian and at 18 years old ) that would then earn you the right to vote ala Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. Otherwise you don’t get to vote until you are 35…

          19. Matt A. Myers

            If it funnels people into getting proper healthcare, preventative / proactive and social – as opposed to bandaids like medication – then sure.


            Probably better to just bring back intelligent thinking.

        3. RichardF

          that’s changed now Phil, Gun control is really tight now in Switzerland

          1. PhilipSugar

            I stand corrected if so, but I do know what is was when I was younger in better shape. Do they still have the two weeks a year of service? Because we’d go climbing with those guys, and they were good.

          2. RichardF

            I don’t know that Phil.

        4. jbcolme

          They cannot carry around a rifle to go shopping for sure. Nor I think they can buy all the ammo they want. They have very tight control on those things. And may be have one. Not an arsenal. Gun control in Europe is VERY different from the gun control in the US.

        5. Alan Gerber

…Even with army rifles in homes, the ammunition isn’t there anymore, because those army firearms were used for crimes.


          Are you saying guns might not be the problem? It might be the person pulling the trigger who’s at fault?

      2. ShanaC

        what are they doing that is different than what we are doing?

        1. SkepticalOx

          Mandatory military service is a major part of it.

          1. jason wright

            it’s a democratic country, and decentralized.

      3. jason wright

        i’ve read that they are considering having the ammunition stored centrally to prevent massacres, to be distributed at times of crisis (threat of invasion, but by whom i really do not know).

      4. RichardF

        they don’t actually that’s a common misconception. Gun control in Switzland is really tight now.

        1. kidmercury

          israel is another example for those who wish to reject switzerland

          1. RichardF

            I’m presume you mean as an example of a country where they have tightened gun control in recent years

          2. kidmercury

            sure, tightened, but the rates of ownesrhip and possession are still very large and significant.

          3. fredwilson

            i don’t know why you think gun safety is about getting rid of guns. it is not. people should be able to own guns. but they should be tightly regulated and there are some kinds of guns and ammo that should not be legal to own

          4. kidmercury

            tight regulation leads to reduced availability and so it is a form of restricting ownership. as you note, many people also want a blanket ban on semi-automatics which is a complete ban. you seem unconcenred with the risk that government presents, although that is from my perspective the greatest risk of all.

          5. SkepticalOx

            Or another country that has mandatory military service. Would you be up for that too kidmercury?

          6. kidmercury

            lol no….although i dont think mandatory military service is needed to have a safely armed population

          7. Kirsten Lambertsen

            dirty bombs for everyone!

          8. kidmercury

            yes, i’m not opposed to that.

        2. Richard

          Per Wikipedia: The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.[1]

          1. RichardF

            A gun without ammunition is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

      5. Matt A. Myers

        The difference is their population is healthy — physically, mentally, emotionally. They take care of their people and have systems in place to get people help they need when they need it.Edit: To add, “physically, mentally, emotionally” and socially.


        Ping Mougayar

      7. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Are they semi-automatic weapons?

        1. Richard

          Drunk Driving Kills more than 200 children each year and almost 3X the number from that due to guns. So alcohol is and continues to be responsible for more death, more disease than firearms, Do we need alcohol? Of course not. But the right to life and liberty means that we have to deal with it and the cost that it has on society. Im all for a serious discussion about guns and alcohol, we know the “types” of people who commit grotesque crimes with guns (and alcohol). Lets just have an honest discussion about it?

          1. Jeremy Hoang

            Alcohol is self-destruction but guns are helping kill others lives

          2. Richard

            Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

          3. fredwilson

            and we regulate alcohol. and we should regulate guns too. we regulate driving cars too.

          4. kidmercury

            guns already are regulated. try buying one in new york.

        2. andyswan

          Pretty much all guns are semi-automatic. Who wants to cock or reload between every shot when you’re trying to kill someone that is trying to kill you?

    4. William Mougayar

      Why do you feel more vulnerable without a gun? Do you live in Afghanistan?

      1. kidmercury

        no, because he lives in the united states.

      2. ObamasFakeTears

        Ask the single mother with small children living in the ghetto hiding from drug dealers that question.Your Afghanistan comment shows a real lack of compassion for people living in nightmares around you. That is very likely the exact attitude the elitist Bloomberg has. “no one needs protection. We have police…”Here’s a question for you – are there murders rapes, kidnapping going on in this country or not? or is that only in Afghanistan?

        1. William Mougayar

          I have a lot of compassion & not being elitist in my thinking.Having more guns for everybody compounds the problem without solving it. I’m sure the US can do better than the current gun laws it has.

          1. ObamasFakeTears

            USA can do better at what?After a lot of FUD it is always helpful to restate the problem you are trying to solve. Is it gun crime? Is it schoolhouse massacres? Is it the scary prospect that your (law abiding) neighbors have guns?The only thing more gun laws solve is top down control of the law abiding citizenry by making them dependent and afraid of Govt monopoly on force. Just because we naturally feel the need to “do something” doesn’t mean it will solve anything (it will actually make violence more prevalent).


            “The only thing more gun laws solve is top down control of the law abiding citizenry by making them dependent and afraid of Govt monopoly on force.”.I don’t know about the “afraid of” part but the “dependent” part is very true. Look at how much entitlement there is today.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Answer one question honestly. Before you posted did you read the current laws that apply here? I have posted them.

          4. William Mougayar

            I don’t know its details, but I’m with Demand A Plan.


            So, umm… You don’t know the details but you’re with it? Hmm….What’s your motive?


            “Having more guns for everybody compounds the problem without solving it.”.We wish. That would be easy. Unfortunetly you’re wrong in a big way. I’ve seen stats where countries that are much more armed than the US have much less crime. I’m not saying that criminals get plugged by gun owning citizens. But, your statement is incorrect!

          7. William Mougayar

            I am the least of your problems, because I don’t live in the US and am Canadian. But I read the Demand A Plan, and it makes a lot of sense.


            Canadian? I thought Canada was one of the big time gun owning countries?

          9. FlavioGomes

            They are…but with significantly stricter gun regulations. Hand guns are restricted, no automatic weapons of any sort for citizens. Magazine restrictions…very very few conceal permits.. Etc

          10. William Mougayar

            Canada has stricter gun control laws that the US, and guns aren’t as widespread throughout the populations. You can own shotguns and rifles, but not assault rifles and automatic weapons.

          11. Jim Ritchie

            The average US citizen can not legally own assault rifes or automatic weapons either. The AR-15 used in CT is not an assault rifle. It is a lightweight, small bore, high velocity, semi-automatic rifle. They are legal to own in Canada with a license.

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          She doesn’t need a semi-automatic weapon. Do you have direct experience with single mothers living in the ghetto hiding from drug dealers?

          1. ObamasFakeTears

            1 – It’s not a Bill of “Needs”. It’s a Bill of “Rights”. 2 – name a gun that is not “semi-automatic”? They all are.I’ll ignore the snobbery about not knowing the underprivileged.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Yes – that’s what we’re being sold in the U.S. That we are verging on being Afghanistan, or worse.I had deep experience with this mindset for a year while doing some consulting.Just look at our Prepper culture. The arms makers (and other sellers of things) constantly pump the idea that our society is about to collapse and it will be necessary to barricade in one’s home. That is what the killer’s mother believed. That is what an alarming number of people in our country believe, and it has become the focus of many of their lives.

        1. kidmercury

          that’s right! prepper culture ftw! it ain’t a fad it’s a trend!!!! 🙂

    5. SkepticalOx

      What I don’t get is why pro-gun (anti-gun control) advocates are so black and white in their thinking. I don’t think the majority of Americans want or expect their to be a total ban on guns, but they want some sensible gun policies. What I see a lot of around the internet is the pro-gun folks comparing car accidents to guns to show how more people die from cars than guns everyday, and therefore it’s a bigger problem to tackle – yet they miss the point that to own and drive a car, there are so many regulations put into place to protect the safety of everyone.Questions that should be ask is why it was so easy for a young-man with known mental issues to get access to what is basically an assault rifle, plus other weapons that his mother owned. Can we not have some sensible regulations to help decrease the odds of someone’s stupidity and carelessness resulting in the death of dozens of kids? Why must the NRA be so against biometric locks on all guns, so that only the licensed holder can use it (for example)? Just as cars have keys and security systems to prevent unauthorized use of cars, and laws that make distracted driving result in a harsh penalty, we can have similar approaches to make guns “safer”.It’s not either-or!

      1. kidmercury

        we already have gun controls on a state by state basis. how many more are desired?

      2. PhilipSugar

        His mother committed a felony in most states by not having them locked up.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Answer: profit.Notice how no one will respond to the concept of highly restricting semi-automatic weapons (and not selling them in Wal-Mart)?The NRA doesn’t want to frame it that way. Because there’s a lot of money to be made selling semi-automatic weapons. And they’ve convinced gun advocates that we’re all trying to take away their hunting rifles. Which we aren’t.

        1. kidmercury

          who’s not responding? many gun advocates favor a free market in selling semi-automatic or even automatic weapons. i have no qualms with it.

      4. fredwilson

        totally. i am not for getting rid of all guns. i am for reasonable gun safety. but the gun advocates frame it this way because it is the only way they can rally their troops.

        1. kidmercury

          there already is gun control laws, and many of them keep comnig, since LBJ. if gun grabbers keep framing it as if there aren’t, it’s the only way they can rally their troops.

          1. SkepticalOx

            Just because there are A LOT of laws, doesn’t make them EFFECTIVE laws. I’m all for streamlining gun-control laws if it results less mass murders (like what Australia did in 1996 and the resulting decrease in mass murders), or less gun accidents that kills innocents.Just as I support your right and liberty to drink yourself pissed drunk, and to own a gun, I also think it’s necessary to have restrictions that lessen the odds that you step into a car drunk and mow down a bunch of kids, or do that with an assault (like) rifle. Where’s those kids right or liberty to their lives?

          2. kidmercury

            it’s pretty much illegal to own a handgun in new york or chicago. i don’t know how much stricter you want the laws to be.laws also need to start at the local level. if new yorkers want to vote themselves into slavery, that is their choice. i resent their attempts at imposing slavery on others far beyond their jurisdiction. it is an uneducated, selfish, disrespectful way of behaving.

    6. k77ws

      guns for me, but not for thee, said the Bloomberg.

      1. fredwilson


        1. kidmercury

          how is that bullshit?

          1. jason wright

            confirmation. you are twins.

        2. andyswan

          how is that bullshit?

          1. fredwilson

            he doesn’t own a gun.

          2. andyswan

            isn’t that because he has armed guards surrounding him? Why should he be entitled to greater protection than you or me?

          3. fredwilson

            I have been with him without any armed guards around. His girlfriend Diana, who lives with him, walks their dogs in central park every morning without any protection at all. I think you imagine way more protection than he really has.

          4. andyswan

            I got my info from the following article:…”The mayor also takes along a police detail when he travels, flying two officers on his private plane and paying as much as $400 a night to put them up at a hotel near his house; the city pays their wages while they are there, as it does whether Mr. Bloomberg is New York or not. Guns are largely forbidden in Bermuda — even most police officers do not use them — but the mayor’s guards have special permission to carry weapons.”

          5. fredwilson

            ah, bermuda. i wonder what he’s worried about down there

          6. andyswan

            So you’re saying the mayor uses semi-automatic guns to protect himself when he is worried about safety, but doesn’t want my wife to have the same opportunity?

          7. fredwilson

            I didn’t say anything of the sort.

          8. andyswan

            OK agree to disagree on this one I suppose….which just confirms that the Mayans were completely wrong. It’d be disconcerting if we came to an agreement on gun control today.

          9. PhilipSugar

            Seriously Fred? I can’t seem to stop myself on this thread. Yes, you have been with him when he doesn’t have “muscle” around him. His girlfriend doesn’t walk with “muscle”.I use that term because I know how security details work (ask JLM for confirmation, and then ask the Mayor but don’t put it here). Yes “muscle” the big conspicuous guys with earphones that you see are there for a reason. But the reason is to distract the person from coming at you when you are not moving to not realize the real threat is behind them. That person is always there. If there aren’t a lot of people no “muscle” needed. If you are moving fast, muscle not needed, in an easy environment where you know everybody, not needed. Everybody takes their risks.Guaranteed if I came up and had a rolled up coat under my arm, in anything other than a completely controlled environment we would see who that guy was. I’ve had it happen to me at an Eagles game, even in the box section with the mayor, then governor who I know and love, most polite exchange ever, but it was clear, he wasn’t sure who I was and he didn’t like what I had.

          10. fredwilson

            He told me that she goes to the park to walk the dogs all by herself

          11. PhilipSugar

            Lets leave it at that. I will say I just watched the NRAs response and was embarrassed/uncomfortable not sure how to describe, other than happy I am not a member. That said I was not thrilled about watching some liberal California Senator’s wanting to get some press time, but I wasn’t looking at the screen like my dog trying to understand the point.

        3. k77ws

          “bullshit”? have you thought that through Fred? I haven’t heard Bloomberg and the City of NY Government getting rid of their guns. So how can you call bullshit my comment? Or do you deny that Bloomber would prefer “selective disarmament” — no ‘assault’ weapons for the folks, but all the ‘assault’ weapons his government needs?

          1. fredwilson

            Its bullshit to compare the security a high profile public servant like the president or the mayor needs and why you or I need

          2. k77ws

            So I see that now can I take that as a “Yes”, you do agree that Bloomberg — because he is a “high profile public servant” — will have all the guns needed to protect him. But we the folks are not allowed to have guns he deems inappropriate And why? Because we are not high profile and/or public servants?My security — my right to defend my life with the force I deem appropriate — is just as important as any high profile public servant. But you seem to draw a distinction based merely on one’s perceived profile in society.I see no logic in your argument.

          3. fredwilson

            That is bullshit. He’s a high profile person who makes decisions every day that piss people off and make him a target. We are not targets.

          4. k77ws

            OK we can agree to disagree.But I just want to make clear for everyone here that you do not deny that Bloomberg will have all the guns and protections he needs — justifiable by you by virtue of his high profile — while at the same time he will deny guns to ordinary people who lack his social status.And that, to me, is bullshit. It is hypocritical and supremely wrong of you to justify letting some people (“high profile public servants”) to have guns and some not.You don’t know the future Fred. You don’t know who are targets and who might become targets. You don’t know.

          5. fredwilson

            He doesnt carry the guns. Hired professionals do. I have no issue with hired professionals carrying guns.

          6. k77ws

            Splitting hairs!! The point is that Bloomberg would enable himself to defended by weaponry that he would deny to others. Hired professionals — government employees paid by the taxpayer, are they not? The key distinction here is government personnel having access while common citizens do not – and here we come full circle, as this is precisely part of the intent of the 2nd amendment!

    7. fredwilson

      paraphrasing Kurt Schlicter? that’s original.

      1. ObamasFakeTears

        Yes, nothing too original about my statement. Which begs the question why such obvious hypocrisy doesn’t bother people advocating for these restrictions? (Oh and I did not read the article you refer too, so no paraphrase here).

  20. ObamasFakeTears

    Quick quick, while the nation is grieving and in an emotional state let’s ram through changes to the constitution that would never get any traction otherwise.

    1. Ryan Lackey

      Seemed to work pretty well with the PATRIOT act!

      1. Wavelengths

        My very first thought, You beat me to it.

    2. johnmccarthy

      good idea, while the NRA is re-loading.

  21. Dave Pinsen

    We should do an over-under on the number of comments this post generates.

    1. kidmercury

      there’s probably fatigue on this issue, so i’ll say under 250. perhaps even under 200.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        I’ll take the other side and say over 250. But I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong.

        1. ShanaC

          @kidmercury:disqus and @daveinhackensack:disqus there is something about political posts on this site that generates killer amounts of comments. In fact, the most commented on post in the history of the site was a political post. Something about testosterone and politics being closer to religion

        2. kidmercury

          looks like you’ll be correct. guess i should stick to social media and financial markets instead of being a fredland bookie.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            This one is going to 1000.

          2. ShanaC

            doubt that

      2. ShanaC

        it will exceed 200

        1. Wavelengths

          By a lot!

  22. David A. Frankel

    Fred, thank you for using your bullhorn to weigh in on this issue. We need ideas, innovation, collaboration, commitment and leadership to come up with sensible, realistic solutions to stop senseless gun violence. Your readers can certainly make a difference in getting our elected leaders to do their part.

  23. howardlindzon

    Nice work by everyone involved. Done. I need to glean this process to help my industry update securities laws still in use from 1929.

    1. LE

      Won’t happen unless there is another demarcation point event. You may want to have the plan in place so if/when that happens you will be ready to push the agenda.

  24. Richard

    How about a lean startup approach to this issue before we set up the Department of Gunland Security?

    1. kidmercury

      too late obama’s already got a task force on it! lol

  25. Ryan Lackey

    I’m sure this is an unpopular belief with the majority of the tech community, VCs, NYC people, and SF people, but I can’t support “Demand a Plan”.Two of the three proposals seem reasonable (if insufficient — you really need a resolution to the drug war, better mental health care, dealing with domestic violence, and better enforcement of existing gun laws), but banning assault weapons and standard-capacity magazines is bad policy for many reasons — handguns are the majority of deaths (>80%), and the majority of gun violence is intimately tied to the drug war — exactly the people who won’t obey any laws, and have plenty of access to both legal US stockpiles and international stockpiles.(Requiring an instant, no-information-retained background check for every transaction seems more than reasonable, and increasing and actually enforcing existing gun laws, great. Most of the firearms industry would support these as well.)Bundling proposals like this is something you would oppose in technology regulation, and by making it part of your plan for gun violence, you’ve completely lost my support, and as I’m fairly representative of enough of the country to matter, have doomed this to not pass outside of a few places like California and NY.Pushing multiple independent policies and getting whichever pass seems like a far better strategy. Making this all-or-nothing means getting nothing.

    1. johnmccarthy

      Had the guns Lanza used been banned, fewer people would be dead in Newtown. And elsewhere. What public policy agenda is pursued by having automatic and semi-automatic weapons available to the general population? Harm reduction, not a perfect answer is what we need to be aiming for (no pun intended.)

      1. Ryan Lackey

        Banning soft drinks also would lead to fewer people dead in Newtown. Or banning alcohol. Or banning many other things which are responsibly used by some and irresponsibly used or abused by others.I suspect a far greater percentage of users use semiautomatic rifles responsibly than use junk food responsibly.I don’t think a semi-automatic rifle ban could withstand constitutional review, given the view the courts have taken for all of the recent decisions. In fact, I’d even think the 1934 NFA could be at risk.

        1. johnmccarthy

          This type of re-direction is designed to maintain the status quo. If anyone at a startup ever used this type of intellectually dishonest argument they would be out on their ass.

          1. Taylor Brooks

            And I guess your straw man is intellectually honest?!?

          2. johnmccarthy

            My contention is that had the CT state legislature banned the possession of 30-round magazines in March 2011 when it was introduced to the legislature, Lanza’s mom (a law abiding citizen by all accounts) would not have had 30-round magazines in her house. Therefore, if Lanza was forced to use 10-round magazines instead of 30, at least 1 fewer person would be dead. Probably more. Given the number of bullets he used to kill 30 people and the time needed to swap out a magazine, this seems like a reasonable conclusion. Assuming he used 150 bullets, he would have used 5 30-round magazines, as opposed to needing 15 10-round magazines. that is 13 more re-loads. At an average 5 seconds per re-load, that is a total of 65 seconds of re-load time. Time during which he would not have been shooting babies.

          3. Brian Johnson

            While I am sympathetic to the gun magazine argument, any law banning the magazine size would have done nothing in this case. He had a rifle and two handguns.…He easily could have killed the first two people with the rifle he met in the hall. He then easily could have killed the adults in the first classroom. He could have switched to the handguns for the children.At most, switching magazines adds 30 seconds to a minute. Not enough time to do any good.I do not own a gun. However, going through the facts of the case, the only things that would have changed the severity is having someone who is armed at scene, his mother not having any guns, or having it easier for his mother to commit him.…I live in TN. We are now stationing a cop at each of our schools. I feel better when I say good bye to my daughter in the morning.If we cannot stem the tide of drug use or illegal immigrants, we have no chance of getting guns out of the hands of criminals. I think the founders were wise to put in the 2nd amendment to allow the opportunity for folks to protect themselves (even if folks like me do not take advantage of it). Adam’s mother was a single mother living by herself. I really find it hard to say she should not have any guns.I think the folks who read this blog would be opposed to making it easier to commit the mentally ill based on all the stuff against the Patriot posted here during the Bush years. Sometimes civil liberties have a painful cost.In my mind, that only leaves the option of having some responsible adult with a gun protecting our children. For some areas, that can be the police. In other areas, that may need to be ordinary citizens.

          4. LE

            That’s certainly ironic given all the wet behind the ears and stupid things that people at startups do. Seems mild by comparison. If they had experience there wouldn’t be all those “gee look what I figured out today” posts on blogs. And people asking for help with everything instead of trying to figure it out themselves.The parent commenter’s point is taken. You need data to back up decisions. Take a look at the murder rate in Camden NJ or Newark. Nobody is putting any big effort into stopping that either because it’s out of site and happens chronically (not to the right class of people) instead of being something that appears emergent to people we can all relate to.

          5. johnmccarthy

            “You need data to back up decisions.” Yeah, ok. The arguments put forth by the NRA are emotion driven (fear and hate are emotions) and anecdotal. They appeal to the worst in human nature and our nation’s pysche. We are better than this. And calls for “more data” in this case, like many others, are a ruse designed to avoid any meaningful change. Shameful behavior belying a very sad moral compass. More data my ass.

      2. LE

        ” What public policy agenda is pursued by having automatic and semi-automatic weapons available to the general population?”What public policy agenda is served by me having a car capable of driving 185 miles per hour?If someone wants to draw a line and simply decide that assault weapons are just to dangerous then that’s fine. But not by saying that something has to fit into some policy agenda. Or provide benefit other than someone’s enjoyment of firing a gun (which I don’t share but I will defend someone else s right to have that enjoyment if they are a responsible party.)

    2. ShanaC

      actually, your opinion is quite popular.

  26. Dave Pinsen


  27. johnmccarthy

    SB 1094 introduced in March 2011 to the CT legislature would have banned the possession of 30 round magazines in Connecticut, which is what Lanza used. The NRA and its handmaidens frightened the feckless CT legislature into not even considering the legislation. Here are the the names of those who wrote letters and emails in opposition to that bill with hyperlinks to the letters. Had this bill been made into law, would Lanza have used standard 10 round mags? Would his mother, a law-abiding citizen by all accounts, have kept her 30 round mags? If so, would at least 1 less person been killed in Newtown? Don’t think letters and emails to politicians don’t have an impact.

  28. mmayer

    A recent Harvard Business Study concluded that contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no positive correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, instead, the study revealed a strong negative correlation: as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases.The study highlights the findings of two criminologists Prof. Don Kates and Prof. Gary Mauser. Their exhaustive study of American and European gun laws and violence rates are telling:Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. For example, Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland’s murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns.As the study’s authors write in the report: if the mantra “more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death” were true, broad cross-national comparisons should show that nations with higher gun ownership per capita consistently have more death. Nations with higher gun ownership rates, however, do not have higher murder or suicide rates than those with lower gun ownership. Indeed many high gun ownership nations have much lower murder rates.It is important to note here that Profs. Kates and Mauser are not pro-gun zealots. In fact, they go out of their way to stress that their study neither proves that gun control causes higher murder rates nor that increased gun ownership necessarily leads to lower murder rates. But what is clear, and what they do say, is that gun control is ineffectual at preventing murder, and apparently counterproductive.

    1. kidmercury

      #upvoted. great comment!

    2. Richard

      Funny thing about facts, they dont resonate until the operatives say they do.

    3. ErikSchwartz

      Can you post a link to this study?

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Um, Harvard JLPP is not Harvard Business, it is a student publication at Harvard Law.

          1. Cam MacRae

            I couldn’t care less: It’s a link to the literature review that’s being cited over and over by people who clearly haven’t taken the time to read it, GGP commenter apparently excepted.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            By saying it is Harvard Business you are implying it is peer reviewed and it is not.

          3. Cam MacRae

            I didn’t imply anything. You’d do well to lose your snotty tone.

          4. ErikSchwartz

            Chill out dude. You are reading stuff I did not write.

          5. ShanaC

            *sigh* politics…

          6. Cam MacRae

            No, I’m quite certain I’m reading your words.Some random cited a study, you asked for a link, being familiar with the material I posted it as a courtesy and without commentary.I’m not interested in engaging in your political dialogue; I live happily in a nation where I’m more likely to be assaulted with a beer bottle than a gun.

          7. kidmercury

            i’m siding with erik this beef. i really didn’t interpret his tone as snotty, although there is always that communication gap with text-based comments online.

          8. ShanaC

            I think we need a post on breathing when you get hyped up over a comment. we’re growing still, and less people know each other, and these posts are more likely to bring out the worst in people. (I don’t think we need to stop these posts, just be more respectful)

          9. kidmercury

            i think we should set up polls and let the community vote on who won the beef

          10. matthughes

            Will there be Super PAC’s allowed?

          11. kidmercury

            super PACs are great although i’d prefer to be able to bet on it too. people will get even more irrational and emotional that way

          12. Wavelengths

            “Where’s the beef?” Uh, er, will anyone get the joke?

          13. Anne Libby

            Only if you’re “of a certain age.”

          14. ShanaC

            takes too much time

          15. Cam MacRae

            One doesn’t prefix their sentence with “Um” unless they’re being snotty, and one certainly doesn’t put words in another’s mouth.I posted the guy a link to the study the grandparent cited so he could read it and make his own mind up. I offered no commentary, let alone implied the study was peer reviewed.I take exception to Erik’s behaviour. Unfortunately that kind of thing is all too common with respect to posts about US politics, which is why I usually avoid them like the plague. In this case I expected better, frankly. Lesson learned.

          16. kidmercury

            oh i didn’t notice the um. i agree that does tend to be a bit snotty.

          17. LE

            Great point and I didn’t see your comment when I just made my comment along the same lines. It’s amazing how people just run with the theme based upon a lead that says “according to Harvard…”. No skepticism.

    4. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Pretty f*cked-up societies such as the UK, USA, Holland, et al, will always have more violence etc regardless of access to guns and the legislation thereof. Nice places are, well, generally more ‘nice’ – and safer. Having worked/travelled and/or lived in most of the USA, Europe, Israel, and Australia, the complexities of society and its mix is all too clearly what dictates how a society functions and how its dysfunctional traits manifest themselves. Guns or no guns a mixed-up society will have people who will find and use a weapon. We just need to make that harder and harder a process until reduced to their fists. Such people are cowards and won’t fight without a device/tool to do it for them.Ideal answer is to fix society – the root cause, not the outcome/event – but we are almost at point of no return for some societies unless we get leadership with the guts to address the real issues out there. The debt crisis, social disparity and mess of violent games etc will only compound matters in cultures where the depraved are rife.Norway and Switzerland have been cited here and elsewhere – both are remarkably civilised place with a very ‘balanced’ demographic mix and parity overall in society.Even then things go wrong……The girlfriend of a very close friend of mine was one of those murdered that day.

      1. fredwilson

        i agree. but i think we should do both.

    5. ShanaC

      this doesn’t help at all. what is different about holland compared to the us compared to norway beyond guns. I think if we knew that we wouldn’t be thinking about “gun control”

    6. SkepticalOx

      Here’s a roundup from Harvard regarding gun studies (…, and it basically concludes that:1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide3. Across states, more guns = more homicide

      1. kidmercury

        that study is totally false. switzerland is the easiest and most widely cited example. domestically, vermont.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Observational studies don’t speak to cause and effect, only associations.

          1. kidmercury

            sure, but cause and effect is what we’re ultimately looking to understand if we want to solve the problem.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            Right, which is why the confounders in Switzerland and Vermont are important.

    7. jbcolme

      @mdreid twitted the following a few days ago. Take a look at the chart, you can look up the data, very easy to understand.”Out of curiosity, I grabbed gun death and gun ownership data for OECD countries from Wikipedia and ran it through R:…”

    8. LE

      “A recent Harvard Business Study concluded”If you are going to quote a study you should link to the study so people can verify and draw their own conclusions if they want. Of course someone could, with a little effort, do this by google but as I pointed out in another comment many will not.

    9. Druce

      hard not to see a relationship between gun ownership and gun death –…but for overall homicide (not just guns) clear relationship seems to go away…FWIW the ‘Harvard Business’ study cited seems to be here…always nice to provide a link – honestly a quick skim did not impress as a masterpiece of objectivity and rigor.

  29. andyswan

    Hey Mike… let’s take two midnight strolls…. One through the Southside of Chicago where guns are illegal, and one through the streets of Murfreesboro, TN where that damn NRA has brainwashed everyone.

    1. andyswan

      Oh and no fair bringing your personal military…

    2. Aaron Klein

      I’ve got to be brutally honest. My two kids trump ideology any day of the week. This shooting has shaken me and it has made me think.But at the end of the day, if you step back from the emotionalism that has urban vs. rural at each other’s throats over the last week, there is no logical way that banning a particular method of violence ends violence.You can make bombs out of ordinary household ingredients. The guy could have taken out the whole school as a suicide bomber. What’s next, banning fertilizer?I’m fine with demanding a plan, but it had better be more effective than the firearms equivalent of “let’s shut down YouTube and Napster, and that will end music piracy.”

      1. andyswan

        I think my kids are safer with me as the first responder.

        1. JamesHRH

          is it worth undermining trust throughout the entire community in order to protect yourself from this specific threat in this specifci way?Surely there are other ways….although they require community wide cooperation.

          1. andyswan

            What? I trust gun-owners WAAAYYYY more than the power-thirsty nanny wannabes that want to disarm them.I’m guessing 90% of my friends family and neighbors have a peacemaker.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Totally agree.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So, do you want or own a semi-automatic weapon? Is that important to you?

          4. andyswan

            I own several. AR-15, shotguns, 9mm, 44. Yes, it’s important to me. I’m in the market for another but they’re sold out currently 🙂

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Why do you own them? Why is it important to you?

          6. andyswan

            To defend against violent individuals, governments or mobs who wish to harm my family or property. Like an emergency first-aid kit or CPR training, I doubt I’ll ever have to use it but I like being prepared for bad things.

          7. Aaron Klein

            This is part of the urban vs. rural disconnect. I live in a rural area just like @andyswan:disqus and @philipsugar:disqus and believe me, it does not undermine trust in the least if you’re one of the houses that has a firearm.We had a violent murder with a knife and a baseball bat in my neck of the woods not too many years back. I live a solid 15 minute drive (maybe 10 with sirens blaring) from the closest sheriff’s substation.You bet I’m going to be prepared to protect my family, and my community would think I was stupid not to.

          8. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I come from a rural area too. I know a lot of dead people who’d be alive today if they hadn’t had easy access to a gun. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that the per capita gun death rate in my town was higher in the 80’s than it was in NYC.I’m not for banning all guns. But no one needs a semi-automatic weapon for hunting or home protection.

          9. andyswan

            What about the threat of post-disaster chaos or tyranny? I also own some dehydrated milk that I never want to use.p.s. semiautomatic is pretty much every gun sold. It’s ridiculous to think I’m going to bring a single-shot gun into a deadly situation

          10. Jim Ritchie

            Almost all modern firearms are semi-automatic and they have existed for well over 100 years, or even before the first US Federal gun law came in to existence in 1934, which was basically in response to Al Capone and the like firing their Tommy Guns to protect their illegal bootlegger business.Law of unintended consequences, no prohibition, no gangsters making money off this illegal trade and no issues with machine guns and sawed off shotguns.

        2. Aaron Klein

          Agreed. I do want to see us fix a mental health system that provides only two paths – the normal one and the criminal justice system.My point is…it looks like there should have been an intervention with Mr. Lanza years ago. Just banning one of the multitude of types of weapon he could have chosen when he snapped doesn’t solve the problem.

        3. fredwilson

          the sad thing andy is no parent could have gotten there in time to save their kids

          1. andyswan

            That’s right. Do you think it would have been better had the administrators had a gun in a safe? Or are we to say this is a “really Really gun free zone” now and hope that rule works???

          2. kidmercury

            maybe we should declare it a “magic happy zone” so that everything is magical and happy

          3. fredwilson

            i haven’t studied the chronology of this tragedy but my sense is they couldn’t have gotten to the gun in the safe either. having a gun in a safe may be comforting to folks but the question is whether it would have actually helped.

          4. andyswan

            Not all tragedies can be prevented, but I will do my best to prevent one in my home… And that includes being armed against criminal, chaos or tyranny.

          5. William Mougayar

            Both sides make some valid arguments, but I wonder what the opinion of a parent who had a gun in their home and was victimized at Sandy Hook would be. Just asking.

          6. andyswan

            “wish I would have been there with it” I’m sure.

      2. FlavioGomes

        investing more in mental health and finding ways to help people who need it. From what I understand, almost every incidence in recent memory of a person who committed mass shootings had a well documented history of mental problems. Access to weapons should be at least 2 degrees away from the source.

      3. LE

        “The guy could have taken out the whole school as a suicide bomber. What’s next, banning fertilizer?”I agree with you but would like to point out that there is a friction factor at play as well.Making a bomb takes effort. Sure a determined bomber can do it just like a determined terrorist can take flight lessons and develop a plan to fly into the world trade center. But not everybody is going to go to that effort. Pulling the trigger is very easy.So you can think of it like a barrier to entry. And any barrier will reduce an action. (I’m not saying that I oppose or don’t oppose I’m just pointing this out for discussion by the way.)I’ve found in the past that one way to “turf” people is to give them an assignment to do. Most people won’t want to do the work that you assign and will never come back (or will ignore the assignment). Contrarily if you want something from someone you make it easy for them where it requires the least effort for them to give you what you want.

        1. Aaron Klein

          When you are willing to die in order to accomplish some insane goal of revenge or retribution, that changes things.My point is: the choice of weapon is not the issue here. We had a brutal murder a few years back in my area that involved a baseball bat and a knife.Shall we ban Louisville Sluggers now?I view this tragedy in Connecticut as a HUGE wakeup call for the reform of mental health treatment. There should have been an intervention for Adam Lanza LONG before he got to thinking about what weapon to use in his “exit.”

          1. SkepticalOx

            Except I don’t think Lanza would’ve killed 26 if he was using a baseball bat. Australia instituted new gun-control laws after a massacre in 1996. 18 years before those laws, there were 12+ mass murders. Ever since 1996, 1-2.

          2. kidmercury

            the pharameceutical industry and all those involved — the advertisers who push it, the media outlets who run the ads, the doctors paid to prescribe them, the insurance companies, etc — are the ones who should be looked at. not the firearms technology industry.

          3. thinkdisruptive

            Of course we shouldn’t ban bats, any more than we should still be banning metal cutlery on planes. You can do as much or more damage with a ballpoint pen as you can with real utensils. In all things, it is about balance and degree. The question is, who “needs” an automatic weapon? I don’t have any problem restricting access to that. We restrict access to cars, and with good reason. If the only weapon available was a Slugger, he’d have had trouble getting into the building and claiming his first victim, and likely would have been restrained after hurting (not killing) a couple of people.The argument that always comes up is that {name your tool} doesn’t kill people, people do. But, as an entrepreneur, you know the reason we create tools is to be more productive, effective and efficient at what we do. Put a Bushmaster in the hands of a crazy person, and mayhem will ensue.

          4. Jim Ritchie

            Automatic weapons are already effectively banned in the US, have been since 1934.

          5. thinkdisruptive

            Yes, I used the term loosely. Although I know there is a technical difference, it is small enough to be irrelevant, and I don’t perceive a lot of impactful difference between a fully automatic machine gun, and a Bushmaster. No one needs a Bushmaster, and I would definitely redraw the line to make them generally unavailable.

          6. Jim Ritchie

            You are just showing your lack of knowledge and understanding of firearms. Full-auto and Bushmaster are world of difference. This is a big part of the problem as people think they are the same. If you ban AR-15 semi-auto you might as well ban all semi-auto rifles, which by the way have been around and used for at least 75 years in private hands in the US including being the most favored form of weapon for deer hunting.

          7. thinkdisruptive

            What I’m demonstrating is not lack of knowledge, but lack of caring. The difference is immaterial from the perspective of how quickly and efficiently it can kill — it is way far across the line of sport shooting or self-defense. And yes, I would restrict or possibly ban all semi-automatics. For what purpose does one require a 20, 30 or 40 bullet magazine? Even 10 seems excessive, unless you’re a drug dealer.The fact that they exist, and have been used for a long time is a statement of fact, not a reason to allow them to be used by civilians. We also don’t allow Formula 1 cars on the highways, for similar reasons.

          8. Jim Ritchie

            It is a lack of knowledge as full auto weapons are nothing like semi-auto and the difference is not “immaterial”. Banning all semi-auto guns is not going to happen as most guns are semi-auto. Size of magazine is pretty immaterial as well. In fact, the 1903 sporterized Springfield 30-06 rifle (made at Springfield armory in 1918 so 94 years old) that I have for deer hunting can be reloaded with a 5 shot clip in about 2 seconds. This is not a semi-auto weapon but a bolt action rifle. One can easily get off 15-20 rounds in a minute, plenty to do extreme damage. Same issue with pump action shotguns versus semi-auto, just as dangerous.This is not a weapons issue, but are a cultural and greater societal issue. This article “The Roots of Mass Murder” makes some very interesting points http://www.nationalreview.c

          9. thinkdisruptive

            Probably not the best idea to underestimate those who disagree with you, so let’s agree that we aren’t going to agree.From my perspective, any of these guns are significant overkill (pun intended) for the needs of average people, and extremely dangerous in the hands of anyone not properly trained in safety and care of weapons. Gun advocates who continue to claim that all guns are the same, and that no stricter regulation is necessary are looking increasingly out of touch and irresponsible, a lot like those who protested stricter drunk driving standards in the 70s and early 80s. Yes, there is a cultural and societal issue — I’ve said that myself. But there is no simplistic solution to this problem, and certainly no solution that doesn’t involve greater regulation of guns.

          10. Jim Ritchie

            “any of these guns”…sorry, but this makes no sense. This is one of the main issues when discussing gun control laws. People don’t want to take the time to really understand what is being regulated. Kind of like we passed Obamacare without really understanding all of its implications. I am open to both well thought out and validated ideas to both make our nation stronger/safer and to make medical services more available/cheaper. However, poorly thought out new laws typically make things worse because of the law of unintended consequences.

        2. ErikSchwartz

          Sure choice of weapon matters. On the same day that Newtown happened a nut went into a school in China and attacked kids with a knife. 22 injured, none killed.If Lanza had to work a bolt between each shot and reload after 5 shots he would have killed 5 people not 28.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            He would have killed more than five. It’s not as if stopped firing when he emptied his first magazine. He shot those kids as many as 11 times each.

          2. kidmercury

            or he would have just used a different weapon altogether. or someone in the school would have had a gun, were it not a gun-free zone like so many of these places where sensationalized mass murders occur.

        3. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Thank you.

      4. ErikSchwartz

        “The guy could have taken out the whole school as a suicide bomber. What’s next, banning fertilizer?”Go try to buy a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

        1. Wavelengths

          This is contributing to reduced crop production and higher food costs.

    3. ShanaC

      I’ve taken 3 am strolls on the southside. Nothing happened except my fingers being cold and my decision to nickname myself “the frozen chosen”

      1. Anne Libby

        Hyde Park isn’t the part of the south side I imagine Andy was talking about…

        1. ShanaC

          me either, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t on the south side.For the record, a lot of people hated that I did this

    4. Guesty McGuesterson

      This has everything to do with the difference between an urban area and a rural area.You might add two more strolls to your list: today’s New York City, and New York City pre Bloomberg and pre Giuliani.

    5. fredwilson

      that’s nonsense andy. its not just about guns. its about demographics and culture and norms.

      1. andyswan

        my point exactly.

  30. PhilipSugar

    What really bothers me is the way people use this horrible incident to move their agenda. As was stated before reporting is one thing, a 24hr loop is propaganda.Why aren’t we examining the root cause of this? Why do we allow the use of antidepressents like prozac during pregnancy when we know its related to aspergers and autism?Did the shooter own any guns? Answer no. Why aren’t we examining the mother that did?If we really want to get ridiculous why don’t we say that we shouldn’t allow people with aspergers in schools? Oops that would be politically incorrect, but if we are going to say we don’t want this to happen again, shouldn’t we immediately ban anything that had something to do with it?

    1. ObamasFakeTears

      Harness the mob while we can… don’t let a crises go to waste…


        Yep and Fred’s quilty. I say we hold him to a higher standard!!! You owe us Fred.

        1. Wavelengths

          It’s Fred’s soapbox. He’s entitled to use it for his own perspective.We’re lucky he also supports free speech so we can have this discussion.Out of all our disparate views, I think there are some very good suggestions. Where else can you find such a riot of opinions from intelligent people, well-armed with personal experience and facts?

          1. fredwilson

            i totally agree wavelengths. i want the debate. even if i have my mind pretty much made up on this issue. but there are nuances that i can and will take away from this thread for sure.

        2. fredwilson

          i am guilty of caring to give a shit. i plead guilty as charged.


            Join the crowd. Well… Join the small group. Forget guns, they are inanimate objects. A great thing to blame as they suffer no humiliation. The real culprit is *people* and asking why they behave as they do isn’t a bad thing. It’s complicated but that’s OK. We can figure it out at least enough to help change things..If we get rid of guns we get rid of one object but there are many more. Some hurt thousands of people instead of just a few..If we fix people then it doesn’t matter how many inanimate harmful objects exist. A better person won’t use *any* of them to harm others!

          2. jason wright

            you won’t need your gun in Japan, it’s not a military democracy. it’s a civil society.

          3. jason wright

            The irony being that Japan chose a foreign policy of complete and total isolation from the region and the world for two hundred years until US expansionism through Perry disrupted the status quo. The rest is history, including Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Vietnam. The law of unintended consequences applies , and equally to the 2nd Amendment, written before the age of the Bushmaster assault rifle. I don’t demand a plan. I vote for society to devise a workable plan to make it much harder for an ‘evil little freak’ to commit mass murder. It was much too easy at Newtown.

    2. MickSavant

      It is hard to see the recent push for gun control as anything more than opportunistic politics. Proponents, including some on this board, keep referencing the victims and their supposed opinions. Liberals don’t follow this logic when it comes to capital punishment. They talk about how it isn’t a deterrent (neither are gun laws). They tell folks not to make policy during times of emotion.The entire concept of demand a plan presupposes that there is a solution that would prevent gun violence or mass homicide, or that there wouldn’t be significant trade offs. This is an infantile approach to problem solving, and par for the course for NY’s infantile mayor.Talking to victims of gun violence gets me angry too, but I’m not about to enable politicians to expand their control over law abiding citizens because of it.


        “t is hard to see the recent push for gun control as anything more than opportunistic politics.”.If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… Well….

      2. Guesty McGuesterson

        I have not ever been particularly focused on, or passionate about, the political issue of gun control or, as the messaging seems to be now, “gun safety”.I say this having been a high school senior in the same town as Columbine on April 20, 1999. I knew people there, competed with them in sports at that school. My school went on lockdown that day, I went to services in the aftermath. When the gun control debate flared up, I was repulsed by the NRA rally, but also annoyed with the gun control proponents. The “too soon” line made sense to me.As Bloomberg pointed out, we have heard the “too soon” excuse many times since then in the wake of mass shootings.Just in the week leading up to Sandy Hook, an NFL player killed his family and himself, and Bob Costas brought up the issue of guns during a halftime commentary. He took a lot of criticism for that. Guns were back in the national spotlight.While that incident was still fresh, there was another shooting in a mall. A particularly clearheaded armed bystander trained a gun on the shooter and, though he didn’t fire, possibly helped put an early end to the incident.Before the “too soon” period faded for that incident, we got Sandy Hook.I can see how it might seem “too soon” to bring up these issues for people who have not been closely following the news, and the conversation among commentators. If you have been following these things however, I think by now this argument should strike you as worn out and without merit.I should also note that as visceral and relatable as this incident is for people in the United States, and therefore as potent in terms of promoting an agenda, it would be a good thing if we could relate just as viscerally to the deaths of innocent people (particularly children) in other, farther away places.

        1. thinkdisruptive

          I don’t think that controlling access is the same as trying to completely eliminate gun ownership. Your example seems to suggest that you believe no one would have a gun or been in a position to deter the mall shooter. There may be a few extremists who argue for complete bans on guns, but I don’t think anyone here is arguing that.

      3. fredwilson

        it doesn’t presuppose that it would solve it. it just presupposes it would make it better. like wearing seat belts in cars and speed limits doesn’t make driving safe. but it makes driving safer.

        1. thinkdisruptive

          Seat belts don’t make driving safer, and there is ample reason to believe that the restriction of motion makes driving less safe. They do make the driver less likely to be seriously injured or die in a crash. There is a big difference between these two statements, and a parallel in the argument for gun control.I happen to believe in controlling access to guns, and in what kinds of weapons an average person can acquire — I always have done, and I’m not swayed for or against this belief by the tragic shooting of children. I just believe it is common sense.On the face of it, it is ridiculously easy for people who are certifiably crazy to acquire weapons of any kind — hunting knifes, assault weapons, bow and arrow, whatever. It seems eminently reasonable that people who are mentally ill, or who have any record of assault (including as an adolescent or before reaching the age of majority), should be prevented from owning them. Worse, it is easier to get a gun and start using it than it is to get a drivers license, for which most states now require basic driver education. It also seems eminently reasonable (without restricting constitutional rights in any way) to require training in both how to use guns and how to keep them safe before issuing a permit to own one. Neither of these things will prevent people using guns to kill people, but both of these measures would reduce the number of mass murders and also accidental killings.Lost in the Newtown hullabaloo is what seems like a biweekly occurrence where I live — children playing with their parent’s guns, unaware that they are loaded, and shooting themselves or other kids. When my son was 9 years old, he was at a sleepover birthday party where another kid had brought a loaded gun. The kid pulled it out and threatened another boy with it at 1:30am. Fortunately, the safety lock was on, and nothing came of it, except a phone call at three am from the embarrassed sleepover parent to all the other parents explaining what had happened and offering that if their kids were too upset, they might want to be picked up and go home — a few did. The surprising thing for me was that so few of the other parents thought this was surprising. They were shocked that it happened, but mostly not surprised.It also seems eminently reasonable to restrict ownership of any weapon that can shoot more than one round at a trigger pull. I’m not aware of any hunters that require automatic weapons to shoot bambi, and it seems the only purpose of this type of weapon is to kill a lot of people quickly. If you’re at war, perhaps one of these would be useful, but I don’t see how anyone is harmed by not having an assault weapon in the suburbs.I am perplexed at why this is such an emotional argument for many. We don’t allow the general citizenry to own hand grenades, rocket launchers, flame throwers, nuclear bombs, chemical or biological weapons or numerous other weapons that can inflict deadly force. The constitution guarantees a right to bear arms, but it doesn’t specify what arms, or specifically say that all guns are fair game, no matter their killing force. We’ve accepted that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, and that the right to bear arms isn’t absolute, so why can’t reasonable people agree that some weapons are simply not necessary, nor safe to be in wide distribution, or that assault weapons also cross that line, just as much grenades and handheld rocket launchers do?We require kids to go to school until they are at least 16 years old. We require people to be licensed to drive. We force people to wear seatbelts to drive, and if anyone objects, people will socially gang up and pile on with comments about the Darwin pool — how is owning a gun less potentially dangerous than not wearing a seatbelt? As a person with a chronic health condition, it is immensely harder for me to get life-sustaining drugs that have no street value than it would be to go to a gun show and acquire a deadly weapon. We enforce standards for fuel economy in vehicles. You need to be trained and licensed to practice many trades from plumbing to medicine to financial planner. Why not require training and proper licensing to own guns?Controlling access to guns is clearly not enough — it’s a small part of a solution to the endless news cycle of murder and accidental killings in this country. The per capita rate of violent death (includes death by guns as well as other weapons) in the US is significantly higher than any other comparable civilized country in the world. It has been falling in recent years as the population ages, but is still 5x higher than our closest similar neighbor to the north, Canada (and it used to be 10x higher). It’s more than twice as high as countries that we imagine are rife with gun violence, such as Mexico. The culture is clearly a big factor — there is no other way to explain it — and it too must be addressed.However, culture + easy access + lack of proper training is clearly a toxic brew, and one that lawmakers would be irresponsible not to begin addressing. If it takes Newtown to cause action, that’s sad, but it is no less needed.It’s well past time for a rational debate of what controls make sense and do not unnecessarily impinge on constitutional freedoms. Not a lot of dumb sloganeering like “guns don’t kill people, etc.” People who own guns DO kill people — a lot of them.

          1. fredwilson

            i agree with you

          2. thinkdisruptive

            I was hoping for a “more than you agree with yourself”, but I understand those are strictly rationed. :)Fred, you should send a link to this post to Joe Biden. I doubt he’ll find as thorough, impassioned, intelligent representation of all sides as right here.

          3. Wavelengths


    3. LE

      “If we really want to get ridiculous why don’t we say that we shouldn’t allow people with aspergers in schools? Oops that would be politically incorrect,”Actually if we really want to get ridiculous we can prevent people from having as many babies as they want and continue to support them on the public roles and allow children to grow up with baby fathers etc. I love having to pay for people to have big families who aren’t Kennedy’s and can’t afford them.(Which makes me think of the line in the Godfather where Kay says to Michael Corleone “senators and congressmen don’t kill people” to which Michael says “who’s being naive Kay (they do)”. (Thinking of people killed by the dead kennedy’s).

    4. Brandon

      “What really bothers me is the way people use this horrible incident to move their agenda…Why aren’t we examining the root cause of this?”This is without a doubt the best comment out of 250+ made so far.Next thing someone will point out is Eminem, Marilyn Manson, or some other music celebrity. And then someone will mention a violent first person shooter video game like Black Ops. And then they are going to point out his tox-screen with evidence of some illegal substance. And then they are going to point out his separated parents. And then someone will bring up bullying or perhaps no family dinners at home.Reality is that some of those factors could be potential “root causes” and yet everyone points to the firearms first.What if he went in there with a blunt or sharp object? homemade pipe-bombs? a chemical agent?It’s truly depressing so many influential people actually believe that with different firearms laws he would not have committed such a heinous act. The firearms were the weapons for his deliverance of pure evil, not the actual reason or root cause.If key people and groups of social influence actually devoted the time, money, and resources to the multitude of potential or proven root causes then I’d think we start to see a difference in the rampant violence in our society.What would people point fingers at if another heinous gut wrenching situation like this occurs and firearms were banned?

      1. jason wright

        my ‘agenda’ is to stop innocent children from being massacred with guns.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Before you get worked up, read this: It’s neither pro or anti gun, but rooted in the clear hard thoughts of an economist: http://streetwiseprofessor….

          1. jason wright

            there’s nothing to be gained from getting worked up. better it work it out, the answer.

          2. pointsnfigures

            Streetwise Prof has some thought provoking analysis

          3. Jim Ritchie

            Great article and definitely worth a read.

          4. Brandon

            This was an excellent read, thanks for sharing.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        This argument doesn’t stand up. Homemade pipe-bombs are illegal. Chemical agents are illegal. Dirty bombs are illegal. These are weapons too, no? Why aren’t you arguing for your right to possess a dirty bomb?We DO need to address root causes, I agree. But sport hunters don’t need semi-automatic weapons. There is no reason for them to be sold at Wal-Mart. And, the purveyors of those weapons are PART of the root cause because they use fear to sell their product. And the culture of fear in this country is one very big facet of the root cause.

        1. fredwilson


        2. andyswan

          The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I’ll concede that. At the time it was written, The Constitution also considered women and slaves (which were legal) half-persons.But, I’m game to pursue this line of reasoning. What do you say is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment?

          2. kidmercury

            defend against tyranny imposed by the state.

          3. andyswan

            defend against tyranny of the State, chaos after disaster, and the violent nature of our fellow man.

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Help me understand the scenario of State tyranny, and how that plays out for you. Under what conditions do you envision yourself using your assault weapons to defend yourself against the tyranny of the state?Regarding chaos after disaster, is this applying to things like Katrina and Sandy?So you feel people are inherently violent?I do appreciate you answering my questions. I am trying to get beyond the surface.

          5. kidmercury

            hitler 2.0 comes around and wants to put the jews in the oven/concentration camp. or the blacks, the gays, the homeschoolers, the anti-vaccine, gets murky for sure though. but the point is the state does not have the exclusive moral authority to determine when violence is justified. if we go by track record, the state is the last one who has that right, not the first.

          6. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So, do you feel that if anti-Nazi people had all been armed with the most forceful weapons of the time, that WWII and the Holocaust could have been prevented? (I’m asking in sincerity, just in case there’s any doubt.)

          7. kidmercury

            hard to say for sure. certainly, a culture of liberty and vigilance is needed as well, as well as allegiance to morals rather than the state. so i would say access to firearms technology is an ingredient in protecting against state tyranny (though not the only one).

          8. Kirsten Lambertsen

            It is hard to say. I doubt it would have made one bit of difference. The fear merchants had already done their job.

          9. PhilipSugar

            I wasn’t going to bring up the 1938 German Gun Act:…”Jews were forbidden from the manufacturing or ownership of firearms and ammunition”

          10. kidmercury

            i’m disappointed in myself for not knowing about that already — thanks for the education. a really important fact.

          11. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So, if German and Polish Jews had been armed, you think it would have prevented WWII and the Holocaust?

          12. ErikSchwartz

            Nope, guns don’t really protect you from a mob for very long.

          13. PhilipSugar

            Yes.Look up the word precursor. Then look up the Warsaw Getto Uprising:….220 handguns, 3 rifles, one machine gun. Versus thousands of Germans. 3,000 jews saved.This will be my last response to you because I know this is going to be viewed as uncivil.

          14. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I didn’t see it as uncivil. So that’s not your excuse for disengaging 🙂

          15. ErikSchwartz

            How did the Warsaw uprising save 3000 lives? There was no major break out during the uprising, if there had been the poles would have turned over the escapees to the germans anyways. Those who were not killed were deported to the camps. Their chance of survival in the camps was not related to their involvement in the uprising.

          16. PhilipSugar

            “On 19 April 1943, the first day of the most significant period of the resistance, 7,000 Jews were transported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka extermination camp,[37]where, purportedly, they developed again into resistance groups, and then helped to plan and execute the revolt and mass escape of 2 August 1943.”

          17. ErikSchwartz

            Which had nothing to do with the limited weapons stockpiled in the ghetto. The reason for the revolt in Warsaw was the increased rate of transport.

          18. PhilipSugar

            We will disagree on cause and effect why did they increase the rate?….one could argue. Since this thread has calmed down I’ll engage because I like your opinions, I’ve had several comments deleted….not sure why.I think there is middle ground but the problem is that you have two very opposed sides. One that in its heart believes you should not own a gun. I can’t disagree with that more. The other thinks you should be able to buy anything, anytime, anyplace. Same opposition.But from my selfish point of view there are three facts:1. I have too much to lose to not follow gun laws so I do.2. There are many that don’t give a shit at all about gun laws. See Chicago and NYC gun crimes even though there are the most brutal minimum sentencing laws ever.3. I have too much to lose worst case scenario if I come up against somebody that believes in point 2 when point number 1 states I can’t own a gun. So I will fight for point 1.

          19. ErikSchwartz

            They increased the rate in spring 1943 because the goal was to liquidate the ghettos. The Germans had just lost at Stalingrad and at that point it was only a matter of time before the Germans lost the war.

          20. PhilipSugar

            I’ll grant you your history without looking it up.Three other points.1. You will never take guns away, not even out of cold dead hands, they are passed down.2. Anybody that thinks you can’t inflict more damage out of a high volume magazine on an assault rife than a knife is nuts.3. Anybody that thinks banning all semi-automatic weapons is ignoring the fact that since 1911 that is what was being made (see point 1)

          21. ErikSchwartz

            I agree with all 3 of your points.

          22. andyswan

            State tyranny is 100x more difficult to achieve against an armed citizenry, as you can imagine. This is why we drop-ship assault rifles and other weapons into revolutions that we support, and it is why dictators always remove guns from the hands of their citizens. I do not imagine a scenario where I alone am playing Rambo against government aggression like we saw at Waco. But I do feel far more confident in our ability as citizens to keep government in check when the State knows that we are armed. This is a big part of the motivation behind the 2nd amendment, as its authors have communicated in their letters and writings.Katrina, Sandy, a major earthquake, riots or the general degradation of society. It can all happen extremely quickly. History tells us that guns and butter determine the winners. I don’t anticipate it anymore than I anticipated my kids having a heart attack but I took CPR for that…..and I’ll own the guns and be trained on them to deal with this possibility as well.I do feel people are inherently violent, and make their decisions based on incentive and punishment. The evidence overwhelms me.I’m not a Rambo wannabe. I never ever want to shoot anyone, ever. Like I said before, I’m speaking for probably 90% of the friends, family and co-workers that I have within a 100 mile radius.Oh…. all of the above AND shooting pumpkins from 70 yards is a great experience! 🙂

          23. Kirsten Lambertsen

            OK, so actually it’s about deterrence for you, more than the actual probability of engaging in armed combat with the government some day?In the aftermath of Katrina, how would it have helped to have every citizen armed?I grew up in gun country and understand the fun of shooting at beer cans and pumpkins.

          24. JLM

            .I agree with you completely.I personally want to command a Corp (3-5 Divisions) in the Rocky Mountains (Steamboat Springs AO) during the Rebellion.I am already here now and I get can started tom’w. Well, maybe after Christmas since the family is enroute.I would like a couple of extra Corps artillery battalions, two Ranger battalions, two SF battalions — not much to ask.In return, I will give you complete control of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, S & N Dakota, Kansas and a few other states.Good bargain, no?Just kidding, ya’ll.Merry Christmas to all AVCer..

        3. Jim Ritchie

          I think you have proved the point yourself. Making something “illegal” that someone wants will not stop them from possessing it or acting, Murder is illegal, still happens. Cocaine is illegal, thousands of people use it everyday in the US. An all out ban on all firearms in the US would not stop people from murdering each other with guns. There are just too many already in circulation in the US.FYI, semi-automatic weapons are used everyday by hunters. My 1954 Browning shotgun is a semi-automatic, my 22 cal. varmit plunker is a semi-automatic, most newer deer rifles are semi-automatic (I use an older 30-06 bolt action), most handguns are semi-automatic including those carried by LE.If you REALLY want to get to root cause then we need to focus on two things:1) Culture – Reduce our celebration of violence. Most crimes of this sort are committed by young men so we need strong role models to help shape men in to caring and empathetic human beings.2) Mental Illness – We need to look at how we treat (stop with the pill first approach) mental illness. Hard core drugs pushed by big Pharma is big business in the US and funds many a political campaign. Also, we should fund public mental health care to levels pre-1984. Reagan screwed the pooch on this one:

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I think we’re all agreeing about culture and mental illness. Some of us think immediate gun restriction measures (not an all out abolition of all guns) is also needed. Some think that everyone having a gun is needed.But, according to your argument, we should legalize murder. In all sincerity, I would recommend against using the argument that laws don’t stop people from doing bad things. It’s not your strongest card to play.

          2. Jim Ritchie

            Making something illegal is only a deterrent for the law abiding, not so much for criminals or the mentally ill. Fear of punishment is what the criminal will weigh when considering a crime, but even that causal link is weak as shown by many studies. I am generally not in favor of making it a crime to own personal property, or for that matter, to make it a crime to do something to yourself (take drugs).…”So, while we are talking, let’s talk about what we lawyers call “causation.” Since apparently we need a whole batch of new laws, perhaps we ought to see what laws might have prevented this crime. Well, we outlawed murder, but that didn’t seem to help. We outlawed stealing, but that creep stole the guns from his mother. He transported them, took them to a school, loaded them – all criminal violations, as was merely possessing the pistols at his age.”

          3. JLM

            .Agree with you more than you agree with yourself particularly on #1, #2.The definition of “assault weapons” does not include pump action shotguns — one of my personal favorites. Love an old Remington pump.Pretty damn good self defense weapon — spray and pray. Must be committed to a lot of repainting afterwards..

      3. fredwilson

        it would be a lot harder to kill dozens of people in a few minutes with a knife. these are weapons of mass destruction and they should not be on the streets. and they are not on the streets in most developed countries around the world.

        1. JamesHRH

          and the argument that ‘I want to be as armed as the other guy’ holds no weight. It leads to insanity.

        2. kidmercury

          lol unless the US military is there

        3. ErikSchwartz

          Just to make the contrast crystal clear; on the same day that Newtown attack took place a nut went into a school in China with a knife. 23 wounded, 0 killed.

          1. Jim Ritchie

            From the article you quoted “The following month, on May 12, a man named Wu Huangming killed seven children and two adults with a meat cleaver at a kindergarten in Shaanxi Province. That attack was followed by an August 4 assault by Fang Jiantang, who killed three children and one teacher with a knife at a kindergarten in Shandong Province.”Yes, it is definitely harder to kill many people with a knife in a short period of time. However, definitely possible to cause mayhem.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            Would you rather have 20 dead children and 7 dead adults or 7 dead children and 2 dead adults.

          3. Jim Ritchie

            I think if you are the child, or the parents of the child, dead it does not much matter if it is 1 dead or 25 dead. You are missing the point, focusing on the specific weapon used, AR-15 semi-automatic rifle makes no sense. It is fear mongering.Also, let’s get the language correct when discussing these weapons. They are not “assault weapons”, which is a made up term by politicians. The military does arm their soldiers with assault rifles. However, assault rifles have full automatic or a least burst capacity, and are already illegal in many states and require strict Federal guidelines to purchase and own. Not many private citizens can actual own fully automatic weapons, which is fine with me.

          4. ErikSchwartz

            You will never stop madmen. You can make them less efficient at killing by limiting their tools.

          5. Jim Ritchie

            There is a good argument around this point in the article referenced earlier here http://streetwiseprofessor….Law of unintended consequences and trying to get to a true cost/benefit analysis.

          6. kidmercury

            china is also a country with an extremely oppressive regime as its government. perhaps it would be less oppressive if the population was more armed.

        4. Jim Ritchie

          So now a semi-automatic (fires on each trigger pull) small caliber, high velocity rifle is a WMD? A killer could cause just as much or more damage with a standard hunter’s Remington pump-action shotgun. 6 shell magazine and easily to reload in under 15 seconds. This is a tragedy of the highest order, but let’s keep the discussion rational.A knife is definitely not a good weapon to kill from range. However, in tight quarters a knife is much more dangerous than the average handgun and the wounds caused can be just as horrific.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            In 15 seconds I can easily run out of the effective range of your shotgun. I have a Remington 870, outside of 75 yards you’re just spitballing unless you are shooting slugs.

          2. Jim Ritchie

            I think you are making my point. Either you want to ban all semi-automatic rifles or you don’t. Either you want to ban all guns or you don’t. Either you want to ban all knives or you don’t. Which one is it?There is nothing special about the AR-15 with 30 round magazine used in this case. Children in a classroom are not going to be running anywhere if a deranged killer comes in to their classroom.OK, let’s ban 30 round magazines. Oh wait, it takes 2-3 seconds to reload. Let’s re-enact the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Oh wait, that ban had no measurable impact on crime and banned certain guns based on basically cosmetic elements (they looked scary). Let’s declare schools a “gun free zone”. Oh wait, we already did that and it did not work in this case…These knee-jerk reactions mask potential real-world solutions and we certainly don’t need more laws eroding our liberties even further.

          3. ErikSchwartz

            “Children in a classroom are not going to be running anywhere if a deranged killer comes in to their classroom.”Many of the children in Newtown tried to run away.I have no desire to ban all guns. I own 5 of them (Remington 700 SPS, Remington 870, two Savage Arms O/U .22/410’s, and the 1911 my grandfather carried in WW1). I also see no reason why anyone needs more than 6 rounds without reloading.

        5. Brandon

          I agree with your assessment in the amount of time it would take to take lives with a knife but I respectfully disagree in putting a semi-automatic firearm in the same category that can wipe out whole human populations in seconds.

      4. thinkdisruptive

        Most of the kids were shot multiple times — one suffered 11 bullets. While the incident might still have occurred, many fewer people would have been shot, and likely a smaller percentage fatally, had Lanza not had easy access to assault weapons and the ability to acquire enough ammunition to kill every child in the school multiple times. Had police not arrived quickly, he likely would have continued the killing spree.You don’t have to believe in an absolute ban on weapons to argue against the speed and killing efficiency of automatic guns. Certainly lots of other weapons could have inflicted lots of damage. Fortunately, we don’t allow civilians to own grenades, and while possible to make pipe bombs, it’s a lot harder than picking an assault rifle off your mother’s gun rack.Arguing that root causes need to be examined does not negate the need for sensible controls on weapons whose main purpose is killing. I suspect most of us would agree that we need to pay attention to all the contributing factors.

    5. David Petersen

      Our doctors throw pills at people with problems. They don’t mention the words exercise, nutrition or sleep. It’s shameful. And judging by the comments on this blog, it might actually be easier to address that than gun control.

      1. Wavelengths

        This whole discussion is making me anxious. I think I’ll take some Xanax, play some BlackOps, and maybe peer through the blinds to see if those people who have been after me are still out there. 😉


      “Why aren’t we examining the root cause of this?”.Becasue that would be logical and probably do some good

    7. fredwilson

      i agree with you Phil that this is a multi-faceted issue and it is not only about gun safety.but on the gun safety issue, think about this. if you have given years of your life for a cause you believe in deeply (getting guns off the streets) and then this comes along, it is not opportunism. it is pain. deep and real pain that this shit keeps happening.

      1. andyswan

        I don’t see what you’re doing as “opportunism”, FTR. I see it as a logical, honest stance built upon a flawed premise. It’s a good debate to have and I think you’re right for surfacing it.

    8. thinkdisruptive

      It’s not relevant that the killer owned or didn’t own the gun. It’s relevant that he used guns (several of them), and had enough ammunition to kill every kid at the school. He had easy access, and the mother should not have absolute rights when someone is living in the same house with a mental disease and known violent psychoses.I’m all for examining root causes, and connections and correlations. The one inescapable correlation is that without access to an assault weapon, at most one or two people would have been killed, and likely no kids.

      1. Jim Ritchie

        You conclusion about potential deaths without access to an “assault weapon” is flat our wrong.I don’t have all the facts in this case, but as a responsible gun owner, especially with a son that had known mental issues, the mother should have had these weapons securely locked in a gun safe.

        1. thinkdisruptive

          Yes, of course she should have, especially since she apparently knew of the problems her son was having over the past several months. But, the fact is, he had access because she enabled it. Without access, this shooting doesn’t happen.

      2. HudsonJoe

        We don’t know the shooter’s psychological history! You are basing your arguments on hearsay and rumors. At this time there is nothing in the public record that says Adam Lanza was known to have violent psychoses.

        1. thinkdisruptive

          With or without hearsay, the killer acted in a violent psychopathic rage (psychopath = disconnected from normal human emotions of guilt, caring, etc.). We don’t know for certain what the motivation/internal justification for killing innocent children was, but we do know that the vast majority of us are wired to inhibit this behavior, and no matter how angry we are, couldn’t imagine doing it. That’s partly why the reaction to this event is so strong. We also know that such emotional disconnection and rage is unlikely to have been exhibited for the first time in this incident — it doesn’t spring from nowhere, therefore his pathology had to be known to others. We don’t require a full psychological makeup to know this — it’s apparent from the action itself, and I’m basing my statement on that only.Regardless of whether you believe that or not, it still isn’t relevant that the killer did or didn’t own a gun. It is relevant that he used and had access to guns. They weren’t secured, and when he bought the ammunition, no one asked questions or required evidence that he had a permit because they don’t do that to anyone. Ergo, he had unrestrained and easy access to all the tools he needed to kill dozens of innocent victims. Take away the assault rifle and ammunition, and this story becomes about 1 or 2 people, possibly suffering serious injury, but not likely anyone being killed.

          1. Wavelengths

            If he was really psychopathic, he didn’t need rage to fuel his actions. He just did what he did. That is part of what makes this issue so creepy and complex. He may have looked perfectly calm and normal as he stepped into the school.Remember that Ted Bundy — an example of someone called “highly psychopathic” was quite calm and friendly as he lured his victims. “Such a nice guy,” as people remembered him.When we talk about screening for mental health, the most dangerous people, as I see it, are the highly psychopathic who have learned to camouflage themselves, fitting into society, while plotting their deranged exploits. The number one characteristic of a highly psychopathic person is “pathological liar.” That person will lie with a straight face, even a smile, and will pass the lie detector test.This is a far more difficult issue than many people think.

          2. thinkdisruptive

            You mean how perfectly calm he looked as he smashed the windows to break into the school? The news has reported that he had several psychological disorders, and that several people around him knew there were increasing problems.from ABC news:”Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” wrote a neighbor and former classmate Timothy Dalton on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.””[Adam] was not connected with the other kids,” said family friend Barbara Frey. A relative told ABC News that Adam was “obviously not well.”Mark Tambascio, another family friend, said he believed Lanza’s mother, Nancy, had become increasingly concerned in the last few months about Lanza’s emotional and behavioral issues…Some of the long term behavioral issues may be from the reported Aspergers Syndrome, but there are also reports that he was withdrawing and becoming more anti-social over the last several months — a symptom that often precedes mass murderers who take the final step across the line.Further, as someone with Aspergers, Lanza would have had a very difficult time concealing his anger, depression and other issues. I’m not saying that there is any panacea for the problem of gun violence, but this particular incident seems like it could have been prevented, and no doubt many others could as well. I don’t think anyone is looking for a perfect solution — we’re all human after all — but there is a lot we can do by applying common sense to reduce the scale of the problem.I’ll refer you to our favorite ultra-ring wing conservative ( @JLM ) for an already precise, elaborate, and sensible articulation of the issues.

          3. Wavelengths

            I was pointing out behaviors associated with psychopathy. Highly psychopathic individuals are exceedingly hard to diagnose. Anger, depression, and the sorts of behaviors we tend to associate with mental illness may not show up at all with who are on the extreme end of the psychopathy scale. In fact it has been noted that “mental health counseling” can make a psychopathic person even more dangerous because the process teaches the pathological liar even more tricks to game the system.I recommend that you look at the psychological analyses of Eric Harris in the wake of the Columbine shootings. Unfortunately he might have been the type of person you might least suspect as mentally unstable, and he might have even been able to pass a mental health assessment.With Adam Lanza, there may have been red flags in the recent past. But many teenagers exhibit very scary behavior and they grow out of it — it’s one reason that mental health professionals are reluctant to diagnose a younger person with Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD, the closest thing the DSM-IV-TR has to a description of psychopathy, which is considered to be on the extreme end of the spectrum.) Many very troubled teenagers do grow out of the alarming behavior.I doubt the diagnoses of Adam Lanza that are being tossed around. Precursors to ASPD that are noted in the literature include bedwetting, firestarting, and torturing and killing animals. No one has mentioned that with Lanza. I would be interested to know if those patterns were in his background.BTW, I am very much in agreement with JLM on this issue, and if you read my other posts, you will see that.

          4. thinkdisruptive

            We are approaching 1000 comments on this thread, so I hope you will understand if I haven’t read all of them. What JLM said is exactly what I’m saying is necessary. No more, no less. So, on that we agree.Regarding whatever psychological disorders were present in this case versus any other, that will still be being studied 20 years from now. Klybold and Harris would have seemed a lot more normal prior to Columbine than they would in its wake — we learn something new with each case. The point, however, is not to be 100% accurate — there is no predictive science that can get us there. The point is to apply what we do know, and reduce the damage. I’m pretty sure based on what I saw in the immediate reporting that Lanza would not have been allowed access to guns by most people, including most of the “guns for everyone” advocates posting here. So why was he? Why is there no training, licensing, permitting and registration scheme? Why was he able to buy boatloads of ammo?For precisely the reasons you outline above though (plus all the raging hormones), I’d keep most teens a long way from guns, the same way we restrict alcohol usage and are progressively introducing graduated licensing for driving cars. We won’t ever stop all reckless teenage driving, or the combo of alcohol and cars, but the death toll has come way down since we started taking it more seriously, and no one has been hurt by better regulation and better enforcement. We need to do the same with guns.

          5. Wavelengths

            I think we are pretty much in agreement. I have to point out that anyone can enlist in the military at age 18, and subsequently be handed a gun, but that is a different issue, and I’m not trying to be argumentative.You might be interested in a slim textbook written by the psychologist, and bestselling author, Jonathan Kellerman — “Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children.” Another illuminating book is “Without Conscience,” written by Dr. Robert Hare, who is considered by many to be the leading expert on psychopathy.Anyone looking to screen for mental illness should definitely be familiar with those references.

          6. thinkdisruptive

            At least in the army, there is a “productive” outlet for the exuberance and emotions of youth, as well as lots of training, discipline, and real-world experience. I believe they also try to screen out psychological issues. If we were as rigorous as the military in managing weapons, we’d have a much smaller problem already. In a way, I’m just repeating what you’re saying, but I think it does highlight that we can make significant progress without being perfect or over-reacting as we often do with new regulation that responds to crises.

  31. Salt Shaker

    I’m actually astonished by some of the comments on this thread. No one, including Mayor Mike, is advocating the abolishment of our 2nd amendment. Do you think for a second our forefathers would have advocatd the right to bear arms so openly if they knew guns would be put to such continual misuse? Society, cultures and mores change over time. The violence needs to end w/ a reasonable and sensible attempt to curtail it, without abolishing the underpinnings of the 2nd amendment. I’m sure our forefathers didn’t anticipate high powereed assault rifles, magazine clips, RPGs, bandaleros, possession by the mentally ill, habitual criminals, etc. Laws need to be adjusted so they have relevency in a modern-day context. No civilized country kills their brethren like we do. It’s time to stop the madness.

    1. ObamasFakeTears

      You don’t actually think another law would have prevented this tragedy (or any other criminal act) do you?

    2. kidmercury

      they are advocating destroying the spirit of the 2nd amendment, and the founders were well aware of what could happen with firearms but advocated it nonetheless because they saw it as vital to the defense against tyranny. they anticipated all the evolutions in technology and wanted to ensure people had the right to keep up. that the founders took the time to codify a specific amendment on this issue but did not understand how technology would evolve greatly underestimates their intelligence and wisdom and disregards teh historical context they were comign from — in which the colonies faced a far more technologically advanced british army.

      1. ObamasFakeTears

        The right to bear arms does not come from some “Post Traumatic Syndrome” of the founders having just fought against tyranny. The right stems from the more basic right to your property and therefore your ability to protect your property. Without the right to arm yourself your property is yours as long as the Govt says so (by offering you protection).The media/govt likes to frame this as if the people owning guns are about to overthrow the Government and are “bitter clingers”.

        1. kidmercury

          i disagree, i think if you look at thomas jefferson’s quotes on the 2nd amendment it was about protection against tyranny. i know the modern media likes to spin this to say that gun advocates are violent revolutionaries, but i think the connection between firearms and liberty is vital and embedded in the DNA of the US.

          1. ObamasFakeTears

            Agree. But I think it’s from the basic right to security of property and person. When extended over a community that obviously also means security from tyrannical government. I’m just saying it’s more basic and universal then that.The point being that the argument about protection from Govt always gets an eye-roll from most people who consider that hardly a reason nowadays against “doing something to protect the children”.

  32. Richard

    Why is it that just when data mining can be applied to limit the strong arm of government, we dont discuss it. Lets discuss raising the age (data mining) of some gun classes (data mining) of by gender (data mining) and geographic region (data mining) and mental health (data mining) and family makeup (data mining) and social networks (data mining) or we can ignore all the covariates and model the TSA approach.

  33. Mississippi Man

    I own 6 guns that I hunt with, both rifles and handguns. I have owned guns since I was 14 years old. I can support a ban on Assalt style weapons and clips that hold 30 rounds. If a bill were presented that was one sentence and had only those words in it, I am in. The fear of all people like me is, the Pelosi factor, “lets pass it so we can see whats in it”.

    1. fredwilson

      i know. and i totally understand that concern.

  34. Carl Rahn Griffith

    As a Brit’, for all our own problems (knives are the personal-threat issue over here), we are pretty much totally detached from guns and the perceived self-defence need for them, thankfully – closest we get to exposure to guns is when the shooting-club (ie, in a farming sense) descends on the local village pub after a day out in the woods, with double-barrel shotguns, nothing more. The gunfire resounds around the village for a couple of hours must Sunday mornings, along with the church bells, so is almost in a bucolic sense. Odd to think that gunshot sounds to us is something tranquil, almost.I read that there are some estimated 600m guns in circulation in the USA? How one would ever control that I really don’t know. That is not to say nothing should be done but clearly something is amiss in how they are governed in terms of access to them, especially rapid-fire devices, etc – security/storage restrictions here (if you have justified having a gun, which is a pretty strict licensing process) seems to ensure guns rarely get into the hands of lunatics.What is always baffling is that having spent so much time in most of the USA I have never felt at threat from guns – even when in some less than desirable areas late at night. I saw more guns ‘on the street’ when I worked in Belfast and Tel Aviv. Yet little in the way of violence involving them – other than terrorism, of course.Anyway, an interesting piece in The Economist this week..…Thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends directly impacted by this horror. The rest of us are just talking about it – I doubt we can fully grasp their emotions right now.Don’t even start me on the possible malevolent influence here of violent computer games. The sick ‘shoot ’em up’ nature of the games so many kids (and adults, incredibly) play disgusts me and is one of the few arguments I will never concede on. I have blogged about it enough in the recent past. Questions need to be asked about what horrors constitutes ‘games’ nowadays. It warps minds and values.I can’t find the words right now, anyway; all I could say on Twitter regarding this was this earlier…Carl Rahn Griffith ‏@carl_rahnIf we were all more thoughtful and proactive we wouldn’t have to ‘react’ to so much bad news. Inspiration – not frustration – is key…

    1. ObamasFakeTears

      Regulating video games or movies?! That would effect us on the coasts and not just those “bitter clingers”… and besides don’t you know about what the sacred 1st Amendment says about free speech?!

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        I just can’t believe some of the ‘games’ kids (and all too many rather odd adults) ‘play’ – all seems connected with the zeitgeist obsession with all things zombie and vampires. I guess we have screwed up the real-world so much many of them see this as light entertainment and a pleasant distraction from the real horrors out there.All I can point to, is: In the whole of 2011, the entire death toll from gun crime in the UK was 39. In a population of 70m.And in the UK, remember, we have a society that is similarly to the USA a pretty f*cked-up mixed place, with lots of angst and disparity, etc. Knife-control here is getting more draconian, thankfully, so hopefully the relatively high death/injury stats we have seen in that category in the UK will decline pretty rapidly, also.

    2. LE

      “What is always baffling is that having spent so much time in most of the USA I have never felt at threat from guns”Shows what happens the way the media portrays things. I live here and have never felt at threat from guns but I also don’t go to neighborhoods where there are guns (like the “badlands”).

  35. markslater

    Could not agree more with this fred.but i got an error trying to support the ad.and an error in twibbon.shame. I’ll try and remember to do it again later.thanks to you and your colleagues for doing this. Getting a phone call from my daughters school notifying us on friday about their security policies – and being told on monday that we are no longer allowed to escort our kids to their class rooms is a very very sad and unnerving state.

  36. Archie Rebel

    First, this is not a federal issue. The Constitution is only 6,000 words long, and many of Fred’s posts are longer. I suggest you read the founding document. Second, all the evidence I have ever acknowledges that tightening gun laws have zero impact on violent crime. http://www.realclearpolitic

    1. kidmercury

      great point. anyone seeking reform should do it at the state level.

      1. Alan Gerber

        It’s not like there’s any interstate commerce in the United States or anything.

        1. kidmercury

          there are laws pertaining to interstate commerce. if states are concerned about cross borde transfer, they can setup checkpoints and wahtever else they want.

  37. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Is easy access to weapons a good thing ?It only depends on whether you think violence and threats of violence benefit societyFred, I wish you well in this.

  38. LE

    The NRA’s handling of this will become legendary and most likely become a case study on how or how not to handle this type of crisis.Like Johnson and Johnson and tylenol:…The strategy that the NRA is following (and in my opinion should be doing) is to merely try and run out the clock out and insert time between any decisions to be made that is detrimental to their interests, and the tragedy. And in fact this is the path they already appear to be heading down.After all, they wisely decided not to say anything (“better to be thought a fool then to open you mouth and remove all doubt”) and yesterday they merely released a statement which said they were going to have a press conference on Friday saying it would offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again”. A bone will be thrown.…The nightly news story (NBC) was that NRA finally said something and then the press release was highlighted. So they got brownie points and effectively said nothing.The most important thing to do in these situations, generally, is not to do anything knee jerk (once again every situation is different so before anyone posts counter examples there are cases where I would also react immediately as well). Spitzer made the mistake of reacting to quickly and throwing in the towel while Clinton did not.As time passes, people and the media will be distracted by the next shiny ball (we’re not seeing much on the hurricane at this point and all the attention about the big future flood has lost it’s steam). Remember when you took drivers ed (back in the day anyway) and you saw all those crash films and vowed to never drive recklessly? Then they wore off after a few weeks and you returned to driving as you wished.

    1. kidmercury

      financial market rumblings could be the next big issue. however the overhyped “fiscal cliff” gets resolved, i think there will be a big move either way that will also get hyped, and lots of people complaining about it. i prefer financial activism because to me distribution of money is the biggest issue in the world today.

      1. LE

        But a big difference is that the constituency in the financial crisis is fractured and not centered around a powerful lobby with resources and a polished honed approach. That’s key in what I am describing.One voice speaks effectively for the gun lobby. With financial issues you have the sheeple who aren’t organized effectively (like you, kid mercury saying shit) and you have some major financial companies who try to band together but are in no way a match for what the NRA is able to do. And they aren’t backed by sheeple either they are opposed by sheeple. Also to many tenacles in the financial crisis (or webs whatever). What is good for me is not what is good for JLM, Fred or Shana. With guns at least it’s so simple and much easier for everyone to just say no to assault weapons.This one is the big one, the “thrilla in Manilla”. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

        1. kidmercury

          finance will be more chaotic because it is more decentralized. when everyone runs out of dollars/stocks/bonds it will create a bigger impact than anything the NRA does

    2. Richard

      great perspective.

    3. ShanaC

      great perspective, but so cynical. I mean, does the news wag politic’s tale?

      1. LE

        “but so cynical. I mean, does the news wag politic’s tale?”Explain further. (I wouldn’t use the word “cynical” to describe what I said.)

        1. ShanaC

          your comment was a comment as much about the news cycle generating policy discussions as opposed to policy discussions generating the news cycle. Eg: we should have been discussing the possibility of flooding in major cities way before Sandy, instead of afterwards. Same with guns. Instead, events drove the discussion, and as soon as the event dropped off the news, so did the policy discussion.Tail wagging dog.

  39. Todd

    I think this is about the silliest idea I have ever heard.Criminals always find a way to get a hold of tools that help them commit crimes, disarm the citizens and only the criminals will have guns. This is fairly obvious, evident in current trends, and about us unassailable as anything is, and yet most liberals cannot seem to grasp this concept and will never openly discuss this.School zones are “gun free” yet crazies continue to bring them into schools, so the only ones this really affects are the people most likely to take on the crazies. Why that makes sense to anyone is beyond me.Someone on here commented that the some of the family’s probably owned weapons and it didn’t help them. Of course not, to have helped them they would have needed to actually have the weapons in the vicinity of the criminals and lunatics are.I have yet to hear one cogent argument about this terrible tragedy from the left that deals with the real issues of mental health, the inability to commit dangerously unstable people, the mothers irresponsible behavior, and most importantly actually protecting children.Cuba has zero private gun ownership, but a higher murder rate, the most gun restricted cities in the country have the highest murder rates. Liberals ignore these statistics and simply demand that law abiding citizens be disarmed in contradiction to the constitution so that they can “Feel” safer without actually being safer.If the complete fantasy the left has about completely ridding the country of weapons took place that would only guarantee that violence like this would be carried out with some other tool and that the victims would have zero chance of responding.Until he politicians, the wealthy, and the privileged are willing to dismiss their armed security details I will provide for my own, if you don’t like that then change the constitution.

    1. FlavioGomes

      Can you provide a source to this information? “the most gun restricted cities in the country have the highest murder rates.”

  40. ErikSchwartz

    We all agree that the government should be able to set limits on arms (the constitution does not mention guns). Nuclear weapons are arms and if George Soros wanted to take his billions and buy one the government should be able to stop him. Timothy McVeigh’s ANFO bomb should be illegal. Hell, we tell other sovereign NATIONS what arms they are allowed to own. – Once we agree on that, it’s a matter of where the line is drawn.My proposal:No restrictions on bolt action rifles with internal magazines, break action shotguns, and single action revolvers. Members of the national guard (the “well regulated militia”) are allowed to keep individual weapons they have been trained on at home.Hunters would not be effected at all. Frankly, if you can’t kill an animal with one round (two for a bird on the wing) you have no business shooting at it. When I hunt deer there are one or two rounds in my Remington 700.

    1. kidmercury

      that sounds great, so long as points of distribution and manufacturing are regulated to ensure the law is enforced

    2. FlavioGomes

      I think the greatest impact is to remove guns from the hands of the mentally ill and less so the type of weapon(still an important consideration) Guns should not be stored or easily accessible in the homes of “at risk” individuals. The vast majority of mass shootings are perpetrated by mentally ill people who needed help, but didn’t get any, and had easy access to weapons.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        Yup, we say the mentally ill should not get guns but we do not screen gun buyers for mental illness. The Virginia Tech, the Aurora, and the Giffords shooters all bought their weapons legally despite being mentally ill.

        1. PhilipSugar

          And there is the heart of it. We don’t want to say if you’re mentally ill or take anti-depressants we put you in a database that we could check at gun purchase. No, if I suggested that the screaming from the left would be ear-splitting. Instead its easier to remove my rights.

          1. FlavioGomes

            Canadian gun laws screen for mental illness on renewal applications. How deep they probe…I’m not sure. When I have my license renewed every 5 years I need to get spousalex-spousal approval for the renewal and need to list any medications or visits to the doctor for reasons of mental health. How they verify or if they verify that is beyond me. But I do recall that they have rights to access your health files in this regard.I don’t think you can completely lick the problem, but putting in reasonable and enforceable measures shouldn’t be that hard.

          2. LE

            “take anti-depressants”A single prescription for 10 Xanax pills can cause you to have all sorts of problems getting disability insurance or change the price you are paying. The problem with many of these markers like “take anti-depressants” is that they are based on an arbitrary point and end up being applied much to liberally.

          3. ShanaC

            do you know how many high anxiety people in NY go to shooting ranges.There is a range when it comes to mental illness.

        2. FlavioGomes

          Well at least we know what the high risk profile is…its just a matter of applying that data to meaningful action. I think its also important to note that the above mentioned incidences are significantly distinct from general criminal groups that usually have specific low volume targets. Thats a different can of worms. However, I believe we can make very significant progress on mass violence without encroaching on law abiding civil liberties.

      2. LE

        “remove guns from the hands of the mentally ill”Keep in mind that mental illness is analog it’s not digital and there is no definitive test that can be administered. And most importantly people’s mental state changes over time. That said a good start is doing something in this area.

        1. FlavioGomes

          Sure its analog, but I’m confident they’ve collected some pretty good data on high risk situations which could be applied to a screening, outliers not withstanding…I’d be confident that this would have a very positive impact on future probabilities. 3-5 year renewals seems to be a reasonable revisit period.

    3. Todd

      Your rant about hunting has nothing to do with self defense or the reasons that this right exists in the constitution. Your lack of understanding in the area of effective self defense and self determination are also evident. No surprises here.What I cannot figure out is what scares you and your fellows on the left about weapons in the hands of law abiding citizens.I understand why the government doesn’t like them, I understand why the criminals hate them, but why and average left leaning citizen is terrified by them is beyond me unless it’s just the fact that you “Feel” safer knowing that everyone is as helpless as you apparently are.The left creates laws that make it about impossible to commit this kind of lunatic or deal with them, make sure that no one at or around a school has even a remote possibility of responding, then when a tragedy occurs your answer is to disarm the people that would be most likely to step up and respond if allowed to do so and in the right place at the right time.Your solution is no solution at all, you would have to disarm the entire nation and that would simply change the set of tools that the homicidal maniacs had at their disposal and absolutely guarantee that the majority of citizens would be better victims for whomever was willing to carry out violence against them. (PS McViegh did not obtain his bomb legally, he made it, the terrorist used box cutters and airplanes, I don’t expect you to get the point but others will )Historical and current evidence don’t seem to persuade you in the least. Cuba has zero tolerance on private ownership, and a higher murder rate than the US, the highers murder rates in the US are the very cities where gun ownership is outlawed by law abiding citizens.The VAST majority of legal gun owners commit no crimes with their weapons and your enlightened response is to limit their weapon choices so that defense is untenable or remove their rights completely, which you some how think would prevent tragedies like this from happening.Eh, I am wasting my breath, the left always has solutions to the problems they create, those solutions just make the problems bigger, after which they completely forget about them until the next round.It’s in your DNA apparently.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        What makes you think I am on the left? Or anti-gun?

    4. Alan Gerber

      Stinger missiles are awfully useful for denying airspace to a tyrannical government (just ask the Syrian rebels today or Afghans in the 80s), but somehow we’ve agreed as a nation that allowing the general public to own them wouldn’t be worth the risk of having airliners shot down.

    5. Dave Pinsen

      Sniper rifles are bolt action. What happens if someone goes on a sniping spree with one, time to ban bolt action rifles then?More to the point, your proposal (and similar ones in this thread) go in the opposite direction of recent Supreme Court decisions on the 2nd Amendment, such as Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), and the weight of Stare DecisisStare Decisis protects Roe v. Wade even though abortion isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. The only meaningful restriction Pro Lifers have been able to win on abortion at the federal level in ~40 years is on one specific type of late term abortion.Your gun control proposal is analogous to a proposal banning abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the pregnant woman. For similar reasons, neither has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming law.

      1. kidmercury

        droppin’ it like it’s hot dave…… +1

      2. ErikSchwartz

        Let me address each of these issues.There was a bolt action sniper rifle attack. It was in 1966 in Texas. The weapons I want to limit access to have been involved in 60 mass killings in the last 10 years. If there was one mass killing with these types of weapons every 50 years it would be a cost of freedom. If there are 6 of them every year you have a problem.As far as the legal issues. What I am proposing is NOT new law. It is fundamentally and extension of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (as amended in 1968) which at its core allows the government to limit access to arms based on the specific characteristics of the weapon. The supreme court has let NFA stand, so Stare Decisis as far as the limitations I want to provide is on my side. I will agree with you that Heller messes up my plan to let members of the NG take their weapons home.To follow your abortion analogy my proposal is analogous to banning a specific technique of abortion.

      3. ErikSchwartz

        One other thing. Generally the type of person who is a good long range shot, is not the type of person who goes on spree killings. Long range shooting is about controlling your breathing and slowing your heart rate.Assault weapons were specifically designed to let minimally trained recruits get more fire downrange more quickly with some minimal degree of accuracy. Going back to the StG44, that’s what they are meant to do.You are not going to be effective at long range with a sniper rifle without a lot of training and practice.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          The point remains that a bolt action rifle can be used by a sniper to kill more people than Lanza killed in CT (albeit, not all at once), while terrorizing literally millions more. As it happens, the DC snipers used a semi-automatic rifle, an AR-15 variant, if memory serves, but they could have just as easily used a bolt-action rifle for what they did. In fact, a bolt-action (and larger caliber) rifle would have been better suited for sniping. But if you banned every weapon or tool that has ever been misused by a bad person, you’d have to ban pretty much everything.I am familiar with “assault weapons”, as I trained troops to shoot them in the Army Reserve (though we just called them “weapons” or “rifles”; “assault weapon” or “assault rifle” is a scary term for a rifle that is actually less powerful than a typical deer-hunting rifle).

  41. MickSavant

    Where is the plan to end swimming pool, bath tub, car accident, toilet, and choking related deaths? All of these kill more people that guns.

    1. FlavioGomes

      I believe the intent is to focus on the malicious use of a firearm.

    2. Alan Gerber

      Not many people in NYC have swimming pools, but Bloomberg’s DOT has been doing a lot of good work to slow down speeding automobile traffic and build better bike lanes to cut deaths caused by automobile “accident.”

    3. leigh

      Come to Canada — we have great guns laws but we also have programs to teach kids to swim and a graduated licensing system for drivers and have standard teaching of CPR in schools. Suggesting that we need to do many things to stop unnecessary deaths more generally should never negate the need for a debate on gun crimes specifically.

  42. rudyc

    ignore the negative comments…real easy to fill out..should get a great response..i just posted it to my facebook page, real interested to see how many ‘share’ it out..

  43. Roman Reyhani

    Thanks for sharing this Fred. Just signed the petition. Crossing my fingers that reason will prevail when pushing this law through Congress.

  44. Guesty McGuesterson

    One of the most depressing things about all this is the way sales of new guns such as Bushmaster semiautomatic assault rifles go through the roof after mass shootings (Sandy Hook certainly included).I do not like the idea of some large fraction of my neighbors possessing these types of weapons.I get the feeling that any laws clamping down on these weapons, while justified and necessary, will take decades to have their intended effect of bringing gun violence in the United States on par with other industrialized countries. The reason is simple: there are already more than enough guns in circulation to arm everyone in the country.

    1. andyswan

      I’m in the market for an AR-15, but they were sold out this weekend. The ammo is even tougher. Nice scopes avail though.

  45. Mike Bestvina

    Fred, I think it would help to state what the specific objectives the Demand a Plan initiative has. From the website I noticed that it is:1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America 2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw purchasers”Great, we would all love this, right? By how can you systematically achieve all of this while staying within the constitution. For example, doesn’t #1 technically already exist? I don’t see enough specific actions to be on board with it.This whole thing smells a bit like the 1% initiative, which, as far as I know, didn’t ever actually change anything. Where are the clearly identifiable results?

    1. Alan Gerber

      Private sellers aren’t required to do background checks, and high-capacity magazines haven’t been banned since 2004.

      1. Mike Bestvina

        1. How do you propose regulating private sellers?2. Is there a strict definition of what is considered “high-capacity magazine”? Where do you draw the line?

        1. Alan Gerber

          1. “All sales of firearms must be made with the assistance of a licensed dealer who is able to do a background check on the purchaser.”2. 5 or 10 rounds is a good limit on magazine size. 10 was the limit in United States law for 10 years; it seems there are usually limits between 5 and 10 in other nations. I don’t know of any particular sporting need for more than 5 rounds, but there might well be.It’s not as if this is an area where clever legal innovations are necessary. Similar laws are in place over much of the industrialized world.

    2. fredwilson

      none of these exist and i believe all of them are constitutional

      1. Jim Ritchie

        What a load of feel good hooey that will do nothing to reduce illegal acts committed with firearms. Also, very little specifics, but let me see if I can address at face value. I live in SF, CA where we already have stringent gun laws”1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America.” I’m assuming this would make it illegal to to sell a gun from one private person to another. – Right now we have background checks on all weapons sold through dealers at a Federa level through FBI NICS. Here in CA all sales must be done through a dealer with exception for long guns over 50 years old so we basically have this law in CA.- it is impossible to enforce private sale provisions even among otherwise law abiding citizens. – Criminals don’t buy their guns from licensed dealers anyway. They buy them on the black market or steal them.- This would not had any effect on the CT shootings as this kid stole his weapons.”2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”- Assault weapon is a made up term to scare people. We have already effectively outlawed private ownership of assault rifles (aka, automatic weapons or machine guns). – If you want to ban all semi-automatic weapons then this means almost all modern firearms including shotguns, handguns and rifles. There is no meaningful distinction between any type of semi-automatic rifle except for cosmetics.- “High Capacity” magazines are actually the standard magazine on most semi-automatic handguns and rifles today. We have had 10+ round magazines in such weapons for over 100 years. – It literally takes 2-3 seconds to replace a magazine on a modern semi-automatic weapon. Also, most of these guys carry multiple weapons so becomes a moot point. – We had such a law in place for 10 years 1994-2004. No correlation that it reduced any gun related crimes whatsoever.- In CA we already ban such “scary” looking rifles.- Criminals will not abide by this law and there are enough existing such high capacity magazines in circulation to make this ban completely non-meaningful.”3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw purchasers””- I think gun trafficking is already a federal crime under a number of statutes. Need specifics on this one.- Straw purchases of firearms are generally already illegal if purchased through a licensed dealer or if through a private transaction and the purchasing party knows the weapon may be used in an illegal act.In summary, knee jerk reaction with no true thought. Let’s look at my home state, which has probably the most restrictive gun laws in the country. We have the 47th highest rate of murder by firearm, way to go California as those restrictive gun control laws are working wonders.

        1. William Mougayar

          Ban “gun collecting”. Lanza’s mother was a gun collector. Unless you’re a museum, it shouldn’t be allowed.

          1. Jim Ritchie

            Are you joking? How do you know if some one is gun collecting? What I think you are saying is we should limit how many guns a person can own. Don’t see this in anyway limiting gun crime.

          2. William Mougayar

            I think it’s one of many things.

          3. William Mougayar

            We know how many cars & bedrooms you own. Why not guns. Anything with a license or insurance can be counted. In this case, if the killer’s mother wasn’t a gun collector, maybe only 3 people might have been victimized instead of 26, so- yes I suspect it would make a difference. Or maybe, the killer wouldn’t have done a thing if he only had 1 average gun to get his hands on.

          4. Jim Ritchie

            Let’s say I own a 1949 Browning A-5 12 gauge shotgun, beautiful work of art by the way, and a modern semi-auto handgun such as a Glock 17. Am I “collecting”? Sorry to tell you, but with these weapons alone any trained person could create the same outcome in an elementary school. Focus on root cause issues such as education, culture and values, mental health system, removing incentives for gun related crimes such as our “war on drugs”. Banning any specific weapon or magazine size will not have any real effect in reducing murder rates or horrific situations such as what happened in CT.

  46. ShanaC

    I’m probably one of the few women of my background who has shot a gun. (I had an ex that did riflery in high school at just under olympic level, he taught me how to use a BB gun)I’m not sure this is a regulation thing. As it keeps coming up in the comments, there are clear cultural disconnects about guns between very urban people and very rural people. There are also disconnects on the nature of hunting (some towns on the east coast, including in connecticut, basically couldn’t function if there wasn’t regular hunting of does since we’re returning more and more of this country to forest)I also think people miss that historically we had a draft, were more rural, and that the second amendment’s original framework basically had gun owners (which were effectively all men who owned land) forced into joining local militias. As citizenship changed, so did exposure to guns (it decreased). We’re also missing that a lot of gun violence is driven by the drug trade (which is our own fault).We need to give more positive, respectful exposure to guns in a more regulated enviroment. More people should be shooting (unless you want wild turkeys to start running more freely into manhattan). But they should be shooting with less powerful guns, and carrying less ammo.We also need to develop a much much better system with dealing with mental issues, from basic mental illness (really bad depression) to homecare of schizophrenia and other more serious diseases.And because of many comments on the subject – we need to rethink aspects of masculinity in order that guns don’t seem tied to masculinity. Nor should domestic violence. (Especially in the case of domestic violence – hitting someone outside of what kinks you have does not make you manly. I promise.)

    1. Wavelengths

      I very much agree. I have target-shot with .22s, .30-06 deer rifles, shotguns, and a variety of handguns. I have great respect for guns. Unlike one prominent politician, I’d like to think I know enough to keep my gun pointed to the ground so I wouldn’t shoot my hunting buddy in the face.Controlling wildlife population is very important in certain parts of the country. According to recent information, there are over 2.5 million feral pigs in Texas. Growing up to more than 600 lbs, with razor tusks and a rapid ability to reproduce, they are a menace on highways and in remote parts of the country. A high-school principal in a small town warned me that on my return trip to Lubbock I should avoid the back roads, and if I got a flat tire, I should wait for help. The pigs were dangerous.Many people in this area have concealed-carry permits. When you travel some of the desolate stretches of highway where even cell-phone service is not available, keeping a handgun in the car makes more sense than I had ever previously imagined. I do have a blanket, water, snacks, a spare tire, and a tire iron in the car. Although I don’t presently carry a gun, I respect the choice of responsible citizens to do so — in this environment.This is a “loaded” subject, and I’d hope we won’t go off “half-cocked,” coming up with ill-considered legislation that might do more harm than good.

    2. Richard

      great points

    3. LE

      ” that guns don’t seem tied to masculinity”I’ll tell you a funny thing that I’ve noticed over the years.Male “tech types” are much more likely to act aggressive in written communications with a male CSR (customer service rep) than they are with a female CSR. But they are also much more likely to question the info given to them by a female vs. a male who they seem to inherently trust.Over the phone as well a male is much more likely to question a female CSR and ask to speak with a supervisor than if they have a male to begin with (and much of this also has to do with how the particular CSR sounds I have to add). Many times the male will tell them exactly what the female has told them and the male customer accepts it because a male said it authoritatively.

      1. Wavelengths

        Interesting observation. Our prejudices and stereotypes linger.

  47. jason wright

    Devise A Plan…here.i go with new technology guns.

  48. BillMcNeely

    As I got ready for my Appointment with my VA PTSD counselor this morning I read this post. The issue of Sandy Hook is no theoretical but real. I know what an M4/AR15 rifle with a 30 round magazine does to a child. I took a child’s life in Afghanistan in 2009 when that child pointed an AK47 (later found out it was a toy) at me. I followed the rules of engagement. I did nothing wrong but the incident gives nightmares regularly.Assault weapons and high capacity magazines (over 5 rounds) should only be in the hands of military ID card holders, policemen and licensed private security.

    1. Richard

      All the best with your recovery, The question i always wanted to know the answer to is where are all these AK47s manufactures and who is making money selling these weapons?

      1. BillMcNeely

        There are over 100 Million Ak47s in existence. The biggest manufacturer is in Russia but the weapon is manufactured all over the world with Arms dealers facilitating sales at $200$400 a pop.

    2. JLM

      .I know exactly where your head is just now. Been there.It will all get better because it just will. It takes time. But it also takes effort. You are on the right path. Stay engaged with those who know the path you have traveled and are traveling.My thoughts are with you.I agree with you also. Soldiering is a noble, honorable profession filled with moments of sheer terror.Thank you for your service to the Nation and to all of us. We are undeserving but grateful.Merry Christmas!.

    3. ShanaC

      i’m so sorry

    4. fredwilson

      that is tough Bill. i am so happy that our society is making sure you get the support you deserve.

  49. Laurie Barlev

    I have to say I am a bit shocked and saddened by what I am reading. There is a big difference between an assault weapon and a gun or rifle. It feels like the discussion below is grouping them together. Do we really want more Sandy Hooks or Auroras or VA Techs or Columbines and countless others? Can’t we find some middle ground?And, yes, the problem isn’t only with guns (or the solution about gun control). This is multi-faceted issue and things like mental illness also have to be addressed. I haven’t heard many people deny this.But we do need a better solution on guns, mental illness, and whatever else drives these horrible events so we can improve the currently untenable situation. We –congress, NRA, anti-gun groups and society at large have to come forward together and try to find common ground. There will never be a perfect solution but trying something is better than nothing.BTW, what is the matter with using the recent example opportunistically? If it gets a productive conversation going because of sheer horror of seeing 6 and 7 year olds be killed, it seems that their lives won’t be lost in vain.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Please spend five minutes reading the laws below…this is from the State site. Then please tell me how we currently have “nothing”Laws to get a pistol in CT:…Now read the laws on assault weapons:…While you are there look up the requirements on the storage of weapons.So while it may be convenient to think you can walk into a Walmart and come out with those weapons, and give them to your son that is totally wrong.

  50. mikenolan99

    It is frustrating that this debate so quickly transgresses to the extremes. Fred is supporting a fairly moderate proposal. A bit on the supply side (does any one here really believe that there are NO weapons that are too dangerous for the general public?) and a bit on the demand side (Criminal checks and some Federal trafficking laws.)Yet the responses ride the slippery slope all the way to both sides. {Sigh…}

  51. Chase R

    This entire debate is filled with holes, particulary on the pro-gun / anti gun-control side. Conveniently, the anti-gun control folks jump way ahead and focus on the benefits they acquire from having a gun, and rather suspectly, fail to discuss the means employed and the process required to acquire the gun(s) that they covet.The analogy that I have heard on CNN, here, and other places is around an automobile. If some drug or alcohol abuser gets behind the wheel and kills people by way of vehicular homicide, would we ban cars? That argument is beyond silly on many levels. Let’s dig into it.How does one acquire the ability to drive a car:1) Must be a certain age2) There is a permit period with restrictions (ie, can’t leave down or drive after certain time)3) There is driver’s education – not required, but incetiveized with lower insurance rates4) There is a written test5) There is a driving test6) Licenses are granted by a govt office, where there is no sales incentive to sell one (ie, Walmart & others).7) Last I checked, you can’t acquire a driver’s license online (only a renewal of an expiring license)Gun control goes way beyond limiting certain types of guns like the Bushmaster. It goes into how a gun is acquired to begin with. And for those people who are passionate about guns and have real use cases for them….I see no reason why we wouldn’t look at a driver’s licencse or other permits to understand where gun acquisition falls short and how we can remedy those gaps. If someone believes that they are increasingly safer by possessing a gun, then why wouldn’t they go through some of the hoops above to ultimately acquire that gun? And maybe, such steps would eliminate those folks who are able to buy a gun today, but have no use case, let alone respect for the underlying instrument.Just some food for thought….

    1. RichardF

      probably the most sensible comment I have read here today.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Please read the laws to get a pistol in CT:…Now read the laws on assault weapons:…While you are there look up the requirements on the storage of weapons.So while it may be convenient to think you can walk into a Walmart and come out with those weapons, and give them to your son that is totally wrong.

        1. RichardF

          I’m a gun owner Phil, the laws in the UK are uber strict, too strict imo but there is absolutely no reason for anyone to own an assault weapon.

    2. PhilipSugar

      Simple question: have you bought a gun? In my state1. Yup2, Waiting period, and concealed carry permit which is impossible to get so must be in your house3. Yup, its called Hunter Safety course carry it in my wallet4. Most definitely5. Done in number 36. Called an FBI background check each and every time.7. You must do it in person with ID.

      1. Chase R

        Philip – you are wrong and deceptive in your response which is too bad. 40% of all guns are sold on secondary market which is completely unregulated.

        1. kidmercury

          how are you going to regulate it? sure, let’s pass whatever law you want. how to enforce it?

          1. PhilipSugar

            This is exactly what people don’t understand. So he is saying 4 out of 10 guns is sold illegally. I spend minimum jail time if I sell you a handgun. Fred wants guns out of cities. I spend minimum jail time if I bring one to NYC. People don’t want them used in crimes. I spend a lot of minimum jail time on that one. They say there are no regulations: I list them out, but he says laws don’t matter. We have another saying ban all semi-automatic guns.which basically is almost all handguns. Another says even though not having them locked up is against the law and its reprehensible and illegal you would train a mentally ill son and give him access it doesn’t matter it can never happen. So you’re left with the conclusion that you’ll make it illegal for law abiding citizens to buy or posses a gun and you aren’t going to do anything where its already illegal to possess one (NYC and Chicago)P.S. Want a better correlation to Gun Ownership vs. Mass Murder??? Look at serial killers versus mass murderers. US has 85% of the world population of those.

    3. PhilipSugar

      Please read the laws below and then comment.

  52. David Petersen

    As a whole, our society puts no emphasis on taking care of yourself. Even the most intelligent and educated people tend to take mediocre care of themselves.A person cannot be completely healthy without sleeping well, exercising daily, and eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and meat. Most people live off processed food. Even the most expensive restaurants tend to cook with cheap, inflammatory vegetable oils to save money.We have record rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, allergies, mental illness, etc.You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy. The mind and body are connected. Yet people go to the doctor, and the doctor hands them a bunch of pills and doesn’t mention the words diet or exercise.It’s the way we treat ourselves, and it starts with awareness.Getting the guns off the streets will probably help too.

    1. Richard

      yes, yes and yes. My guess is that this guy lived off of pizza, chips and soda and hadn’t exercised in years.

  53. CliffElam

    I see there are 314 comments, so I won’t add mine.My son did tell me, though that the largest school disaster in the country was more like OK City – a bomb – than it was like this. The 20’s were quite an era for bombing as I recall.America is a fascinating country. I’m glad I live here.-XC

      1. CliffElam

        I haven’t. My oldest (17) and his sister (14) both had gotten ahold of it We had a lively discussion in the car.From my daughter: if people don’t kill people and guns kill people then toasters aren’t needed since toast can toast toast.Took me a second.-CC

        1. ErikSchwartz

          With an 1863 Springfield Rifle Musket you can kill 1 person in about 15 seconds.With a 1903 Springfield you can kill 5 people in 15 seconds.With a AR15 semi automatic you can kill 30 people in 15 seconds (if you get quick on the mag change you can probably get a few more).

          1. CliffElam

            I love made up numbers too.I’ve actually shot all three of those types of weapons and am much much slower than that. Not so much at reloading, though that was certainly true with the civil war era “rifle” I was shooting. But certainly at the aiming part.Anecdote alert: I had an old geezer show me how to shoot an M1 the way he learned at PI. He could slide in a new clip and send it down range like a magician working a card deck – with arthritic old man hands. (Kind of like the ones I’m getting now, come to think of it.)Anyway, in 20 minutes, if he’d been really following your efficiency curve he’d caused a much worse tragedy.-XC

          2. ErikSchwartz

            I have not shot the 1863 but I have shot a replica Brown Bess (I grew up next to Lexington and Concord). I understand that if you are quick on the reload you can get 2-3 rounds a minute.Point is that if a shooter has 5 rounds, then a slow reload of an internal magazine, you can run away while the shooter is reloading. When the kids ran out of the closet he only would have been able to shoot 5 of them (assuming he had a full magazine) rather than all of them (which seems to be what he did).

          3. leigh

            omg those stats make me want to throw up. but i want my kids to have the chance to run the hell out of there while someone is reloading. if that and for nothing else, those guns should be banned for that.

          4. Jim Ritchie

            He had multiple guns, so a moot point.

  54. Nithin George Eapen

    I am an avid reader of avc and huge fan of FredWilson. Attend your talks just because almost all of them make so much senseregarding startups. Many of your posts on life itself are fantastic.You have contributed by your posts in my life while starting my company.But this one thing that a ban on assault weapons; will it reduce crime or murders? I have my doubtsSo tomorrow if the lunatic or schizophrenic does not have access to guns but runs a car into a school bus stop and kills 20+ kids; will we start signing petitions to put a ban on cars?You can make a bomb using soap bars, shrapnel and google/youtube videos that can cause larger damage so do we ban bar soaps?Cain killed Abel with a club, the club is not theproblem. It is Cain’s dark heart. If the club was not available Cain would have strangled Abel.I do not own a gun and not a supporter of NRA. I live close to Newtown in CT. I am scared for my children and do not have any words that can reduce the grief of the 20+ parents out there. I truly believe there is no greater loss than losing a child.But in times of horrible emotional grief and strain, should logic and rationalthought be the first mental faculties abandoned.More people are killed across the globe using machetes and swords. These are places where guns are banned or even no access to guns. More people die on road accidents(I don’t havenumbers but I am quite sure only few are accidents – rest are careless orreckless driving) in US every year.Being an immigrant and having lived in countries that are socialistic and have a police state where only law enforcement officers have guns I have seen that that does not makelife any better. What about the policeman with a gun who can go crazy?I really think a little more thought should be given to issues like this before we give ammunitions to these politicians to create a police state. A free state has its risks but it is still worth living in a free state than a police state even if it has a threat on your life.

    1. fredwilson

      there are many things that need to be done to help reduce situations like netown. and one of them, but not the only thing, is sensible gun safety legislation. that is what demandaplan is all about.


    Here’s maybe a different view. Forget GUNS!!! Help people! Then you will stop them form hurting others using guns, knives, sticks, rocks, or anything else!

  56. Brian Johnson

    While I am sympathetic to the gun magazine argument, any law banning the magazine size would have done nothing in this case. He had a rifle and two handguns.…He easily could have killed the first two people with the rifle he met in the hall. He then easily could have killed the adults in the first classroom. He could have switched to the handguns for the children.At most, switching magazines adds 30 seconds to a minute. Not enough time to do any good.I do not own a gun. However, going through the facts of the case, the only things that would have changed the severity is having someone who is armed at scene, his mother not having any guns, or having it easier for his mother to commit him.…I live in TN. We are now stationing a cop at each of our schools. I feel better when I say good bye to my daughter in the morning.If we cannot stem the tide of drug use or illegal immigrants, we have no chance of getting guns out of the hands of criminals. I think the founders were wise to put in the 2nd amendment to allow the opportunity for folks to protect themselves (even if folks like me do not take advantage of it). Adam’s mother was a single mother living by herself. I really find it hard to say she should not have any guns.I think the folks who read this blog would be opposed to making it easier to commit the mentally ill based on all the stuff against the Patriot posted here during the Bush years. Sometimes civil liberties have a painful cost.In my mind, that only leaves the option of having some responsible adult with a gun protecting our children. For some areas, that can be the police. In other areas, that may need to be ordinary citizens.

  57. pointsnfigures

    I live in Chicago. Toughest gun laws in the country. We have one of the highest murder rates in the country. Certain neighborhoods are so violent, they resemble war zones. It’s not the guns, but the culture there. Violence might drop if we legalized drugs-so the gangs would have less to fight over. However, it’s a shooting gallery. If they forcibly rounded up all the guns like they could in a communist state, it would still be a shooting gallery because only the bad guys would have guns.I own two guns I use for hunting. Even today, I put trigger locks on them. If someone were to break into my place, they wouldn’t be looking down the barrel of a shot gun-although I am reconsidering.The crime from the ghetto is spilling over into areas of the city I frequent. Flash mobs take public transportation up and rob stores. They go to the beach and start fights and rob people. When you walk down the street, they will rob you at gunpoint. Happened a few times down the block from my home. We had a knife fight there last summer.I was threatened by people walking along the street over the past month. I am now for the first time considering arming myself because I walk everywhere. I figured they were nuts, I am 6’5″. One threw a punch at me (near 1871) and I sidestepped him and kept walking-but if he would have pursued me he would have wound up in the Chicago river.It’s not pleasant-nor the repercussions of what would happen if I were forced to actually use a weapon. No doubt, I’d be demonized as a right wing fringe person attacking a helpless honor student a la Bonfire of the Vanities. But the alternative is extremely distasteful to me as well.Bernhard Goetz may have done more to fight crime in NYC than anyone else by shooting someone. I wonder what would happen in my town if one of the thugs found himself confronted with a bullet flying at him after he threatened someone with deadly force.

    1. Wavelengths

      Clint Eastwood: “Gran Torino.”

    2. Richard

      Wow, Im staying clear of walks in chicago.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Ha. I actually walk everywhere. Don’t really want to pack anything. But, if you must, you must. I am not there yet, but beginning to think about the cost/benefits.

      2. pointsnfigures

        I actually walk everywhere. But, I am starting to weigh the cost/benefits of packing. Might be cheaper in the long run to just Uber if you consider all the pertinent issues correctly.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Chicken and egg scenario. Which comes first? High murder rate, or tough gun laws? I’m guessing high murder rate; Guns don’t kill people — unhealthy, unstable / imbalanced people who feel they have nothing to live for (where the consequences of being caught for doing something bad/illegal aren’t big enough sway them from whatever quality of life they are in / feel stuck in / are stuck in) – and have anger to project, are who kill people.

  58. JLM

    .I am perfectly comfortable with weapons of all kinds. I have had extensive training in using them. I have used them professionally as a professional soldier.I hunt for deer. I shoot birds. I like to target shoot. I maintain all my own weapons. I used to be able to assemble and disassemble an M-1 blindfolded faster than most folks can do it with full sight.I like vintage weapons — old German Walther P38s of WWII era, Finnish Sako rifles, pre-WWII Belgian Browning over-under shotguns, old English Purdy bird guns and Beretta pistols.When my hands touch them, it is like a lover’s caress.I am authorized to carry a Beretta pistol on my person, concealed.I would give them all up if it would bring back those children in Newton.The time has now come for real gun REGULATION not CONTROL.More later, I am out for a walk before sundown..

    1. Wavelengths


    2. leigh

      i love that you wrote this JLM.I listened to a young man who had lost his sister in Columbine — he was talking about the culture void and lack of values of men in their twenties (his generation.). It’s not one thing. Gun laws along won’t solve the issue (although in my mind a huge step in the right direction). It’s a crisis in values, a crisis of culture and a support infrastructure for those with mental health challenges that will all contribute to solution over time.My heart continues to break for those children, and their parents.I wanted to share the two articles that probably touched me the most.

    3. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      enjoy your walk and then tell us more!

      1. JLM

        .Just got back. 12F and that is cold. Walking through the mountains in Steamboat SpringsFinally stopped snowing and it was pretty damn brisk.

    4. fredwilson

      i agree with you more than you agree with yourself on this JLM. but we knew that already.

    5. ObamasFakeTears

      Strange logical progression. You state an obvious impossibility “I would do anything to bring back the dead” and then posit a solution “we need more gun regulations”.Just because we are all very upset about what happened in CT shouldn’t make us flail wildly for govt regulations that will not fix the issue at hand.In my opinion (backed by sober statistics) these gun regulations only make the problem of crime (gun or otherwise) worse.

      1. JLM

        .It is difficult to inject context into blog comments but I will give it a try.I agree that many knee jerk reactions can result in a body of law or rules that will not effectively eliminate what happened in Newton and there is nobody who is more distrustful of the competence and intentions of this administration than I am.The administration has demonstrated a complete inability to manage a checkbook at a granular level and is unable to differentiate between fatal ailments and dandruff.I am a recent convert to and an advocate of “regulations” rather than “control”. Control is tantamount to confiscation.Mass killings like Newton are not as dangerous as simple gun related crime. The numbers tell that story clearly.The model I personally see is along the lines of pilot licensing —1. application to own a gun before you arrive at a retail establishment;2. extensive background investigation;3. a personal medical examination;4. a body of academic training based upon attaining a new skill;5. formal academic and safety training;6. academic and theory testing including the use of deadly force within the constraints of the law;7. proficiency testing to establish a base line level of competence;8. recurrent training;9. demonstrable security — gun and ammunition security — for all weapons;10. periodic and recurrent training, demonstration, gun security.This is intended to model the regulatory environment for one to get a private pilot’s license.All of this has to be done within a framework of precise and fierce enforcement.The data resulting from this effort has to be checked, double checked and re-checked versus every possible body of data out there. As an example, if you get a prescription for certain medications — your license is revoked and your weapons are taken into short term custody until you are again safe to own a weapon.This will be a difficult program to design, pass and administer. But is neither the far left’s “confiscation” nor the NRA’s absolutism.As I get a bit older, I realize I know almost nothing and I am more flexible in my thinking and willing to conduct an experiment to see if it works or not.I am willing to be a bit of an idealist and perhaps a fool to save a life. Mine, yours and those kids in Newton.I am an NRA member and I have owned weapons for some considerable time. I am willing to give up a bit to try — just try — to make the world pivot in a better direction.Do I trust the administration? Do I worship at the feet of the NRA?NO to both..

  59. uncommonsense

    Your business acumen is admirable, your constitutional commentary lacks the intellect you apply to financial endeavors. blessings, tom

    1. fredwilson

      where did i engage in constitutional commentary?

      1. kidmercury

        you didn’t which is the problem.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s a fair critique but not one he made

  60. JLM

    .The real issues are:1. Guns/ammo — availability, function, design, manufacture2. Gun safety — basic use theory and doctrine3. Regulation of licensing/sales — age, individual mental health, waiting periods, database creation and use, recurrent licensing, background checks, 60 days4. Information acquisition, storage and utilization — should be better than Am Ex5. Gun training — mandatory training, proficiency training and recurrent training6. Gun security and separating weapons from ammunition in storage7. Crazy people and their access to guns <<< this is as much a mental health issue as it is a gun issue but is the nexus of where the evil lives8. Gun law enforcement and penalties9. Our national values and how they impact the unleashing of violence10. Sponsorship of legislation and the role of the NRA11. The understanding of the difference between “regulation” and “control”The first issue is what guns should be available whether manufactured in this country or imported. No automatic weapons, no weapons that can be converted to automatic fire, no high powered “assault weapons” and no huge magazines.Gun clubs should be able to possess assault weapons solely for the purpose of allowing persons — veterans perhaps — to use such weapons for training and target practiceThe NRA is the best source in the country for many of these issues They are the best in the world as it relates to gun safety training and marksmanship. Done correctly, the NRA can use this program to smoke out all the crazies.The NRA is not the enemy. The NRA does not want crazies to have guns. They will agree to sensible “regulation” but they will not agree to “control”. In their vernacular, control means confiscation.The biggest issue on this subject is simply trust. The NRA does not trust the administration to undertake sensible first step gun regulation. On the other hand, the NRA has devolved into a lobbying operation. The NRA will have to clean up its act just a bitWhere the politicians — who are simply not credible on this issue — can really help is in financially incentivized buy back programs — buy back and destroy $1B of hand guns and assault rifles per year and destroy them. Harness the market.If Bloomberg had waved a checkbook and said: “I have $1B right here to buy back any guns you have. Bring them today.”Then destroy them.I am an NRA member and would support everything that is described above.Want to stop killers? Break the nexus between the crazies and availability of guns/ammo — a security issue.If those guns had been locked up, the ammunition locked in a separate compartment maybe this particular crazy does not get started. Kill the problem in the cradle.Make the licensing process so clear, definitive and precise that crazies are discouraged, identified and barred.The exemplar is pilot and aircraft licensing. Training, testing, competency demonstration, licensing, medical exam, recurrent training, recurrent proficiency training and insurance.I could go on forever but I have to go see the Heels v the Horns on the television.God bless us all. Merry Christmas!.

    1. takingpitches

      This is very informative JLM. Thanks for taking the time.

    2. fredwilson

      if i was the President, i would hire you as my gun czar. you would get this straightened out in short order. well played!!!!

    3. ErikSchwartz

      On hunting board I frequent I mentioned that I keep my guns in a safe and the ammunition locked up elsewhere. Many members came back at me about how can I protect my family that way. I responded that I did not keep guns in order to protect myself and family from intruders, that where I lived in rural Maine we didn’t really have a lot of large mobs marauding the countryside.They called me naive. – There is some weird psychology out there.

      1. JLM

        .I do exactly the same thing except I have 3 weapons hidden in my home purely for self defense.I had a desk built with 2 secret compartments to hide weapons.I also have a few baseball bats — aluminum — in corners of the house like the utility room and garage and the foyer.I admit to being just a bit paranoid. I am not exiting this earth without a fight.I also have a couple of dogs who I charge to the defense line item when they are on top of their games. Rarely.Did not know you lived in Maine. It is one of the last states that has a bit of real genuine state culture and spirit. A very cool place.I have an emotional attachment to Maine and Cuba — must have come from a former life.I went to SERE school in Maine in the winter and used to ski all the time up there when I lived on the east coast.I once graded a Maine National Guard combat engineer unit at Ft Drum in June — it snowed like crazy. I had gone to EOBC with a couple of the officers 4 years earlier. They were as good as any Regular Army combat engineer unit. Very serious and accomplished men..

        1. ErikSchwartz

          We split time between Midcoast Maine and Palo Alto California. I prefer Maine, but professionally the bay area makes sense. The guns are all in Maine, when I hunt in California I use a bow.The 870 and the 1911 are the only things I own that are sensible for home defense. I suppose if the world was going to hell i would hear about it and load them and keep them nearby.

      2. Wavelengths

        Yep, there is. On the other hand, there are some real deals to be had on beautiful ranch land in Texas, down near the Mexican border. A real war zone.My daughter-in-law is Mexicana, and I have sympathy for both sides of the border. People I knew in a taco shop in her home town, a whole family were destroyed by an attack involving automatic weapons. Their “crime”? They had a shop. They probably couldn’t afford the extortion. BTW, guns are illegal for citizens in Mexico.

  61. laurie kalmanson

    #becauseawesomei am done with being polite to people who elevate their wish to have guns over the wishes of parents to send their children to school without fear of them being mass murdered or the wishes of adults to go to the mall or the movies without fearing mass have a car, you have to pass a test, get a license, register it, renew the license and registration every two years, carry insurance, and drive without being intoxicated — and if you fail any of those requirements your privileges to have a car or drive someone else’s will be taken from you for a period of time, and when they are restored your insurance will be more expensive.why are cars more tightly regulated than guns?

    1. John Revay

      Nicely stated

      1. laurie kalmanson

        thank you

    2. kidmercury

      guns are not more tightly regulated than cars in many states. your premise is false.

  62. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Added my Twibbon 🙂 Guess it doesn’t show up in Disqus?I hope that in addition to other aspects of this problem, people will begin to examine the culture of fear that has been manufactured in the U.S. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Every marketer knows that fear sells. We need to all start saying “No, thanks,” to fear when it’s being sold to us, and encourage others to do the same. (Braces for flames.)

    1. Dave Pinsen

      You should read Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear. You might not agree with his point about global warming (or, climate change, as it’s called these days), but he raises a really interesting meta-point in the book: the use of fear as a means of societal control. He has a character in the book suggest that it wasn’t a coincidence that fear of global warming started getting ramped up just as fear of nuclear winter started receding, with the fall of the Cold War.Taking a broader view, since nothing really stacks up to the potential horror of a nuclear war, other fears haven’t lasted nearly as long. Nuclear winter fear lasted almost as long as the Cold War; I’d mark its peak as 1983, with the broadcast of The Day After (btw, you think it’s a coincidence that the apocalyptic movie about climate change 21 years later was called The Day After Tomorrow?). Then we had global warming / climate change, plus terrorism, of course, after 9/11.What does it suggest that 26 murders last week — as horrible as they were — have led the media to run with the story this hard? Maybe we’re not scared enough by terrorism and weather enough now, so it’s time to throw some more fuel on the fire?

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        So, your kitchen is on fire. Do you put out the fire with your extinguisher, or do you begin planning a remodel of the kitchen, this time with better fire-proofing?Our kitchen is on fire. We need to limit access to semi-automatic weapons to reduce the possibility of them being used in a moment of passion or temporary insanity. And then we need to start planning a safer kitchen. But first we need to put out the fire.Nothing will prevent all gun violence or crime. That does not mean we should do nothing about it.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          But that’s just the point, our kitchen isn’t on fire:In 2011, an estimated 1,203,564 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 3.8 percent from the 2010 estimate.When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2011 estimated violent crime total was 15.4 percent below the 2007 level and 15.5 percent below the 2002 level.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            You’re gonna trust the Government’s statistics? Aren’t they the reason you need your guns?Sorry for the snark. But we disagree. You will never convince me of your need to have a semi-automatic weapon. Never.I’m not for banning all guns. I’m willing to compromise. Are you?

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Semi-automatic weapons are a compromise. No one is suggesting that fully automatic weapons should be widely available.

          3. ErikSchwartz

            This totally destroys your constitutional argument. As soon as you admit there is a line the discussion is not about the right to bear arms but where the line is about what arms are allowed.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            This is an example of the sort of 3am dorm room debating I was alluding to in my comment mentioning the recent SCOTUS decisions. My point was that you, and others on this thread, are debating in a vacuum, apparently unaware that yours are not novel points, and that the courts have already considered them. That not all arms are allowed under the 2nd Amendment has been settled law since the 1930s. Fully automatic weapons were largely banned in 1986.Nevertheless, as I noted in that comment, your restrictive proposals go in the opposite direction of the recent SCOTUS decisions on the 2nd Amendment.

          5. kidmercury

            #ohsnap +1

          6. ErikSchwartz

            That is precisely my point. We are having a legislative not a constitutional discussion. The constitutional issue is long settled.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            Legislation doesn’t exist independent of Constitutional considerations. The Heller case was Heller challenging a piece of restrictive gun legislation, DC’s Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.This (and the subsequent McDonald decision that expanded on it) was a huge deal, sort of like a Roe v. Wade for guns. Which is why the abortion law analogy in that comment was apt.

          8. ErikSchwartz

            The core essence is that the government has the right to restrict access to weapons based on the characteristic of the weapon. Haynes limited the 1934 NFA (although not that part of it), the 1968 amendments remedied that. We are merely now discussing what characteristic bear limitation, not the concept that limitations are permitted based on those characteristics.

          9. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I feel like Atticus Finch has arrived 🙂 (listening, now)

    2. ObamasFakeTears

      Wait – so should I keep shivering in fear that my law abiding neighbors have “semi-automatic” guns or am I being played by elitist forces that really just care about controlling me (and removing my right to protection)?…

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I’m not what you’re trying to say. But who are these elitist forces, exactly?

        1. ObamasFakeTears

          I’m saying you bring up the likely prospect of nefarious forces trying to keep us in a “culture of fear” as a way of herding the mob towards an outcome. ie Patriot Act, Iraq War, etc. Yet when it comes to gun control you seem oblivious to that prospect. Even though the solution proposed is to punish the law abiding and has no effect on criminals…

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            But who are the elitist forces you refer to?

          2. ObamasFakeTears

            The same people you referred to in your statement – “culture of fear that has been manufactured in the U.S.” – and – “fear when it’s being sold to us”so you tell me… who is manufacturing and selling this fear?

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Weapons manufacturers, for starters. Somehow I don’t imagine that’s who you’re referring to.Try letting down your guard a little. I’m genuinely interested in what you’re thinking.

    3. andyswan

      I’m with you on this, actually. Although I think we’re currently being sold fear of “semiautomatic”, “assault rifles” and other terms that only scare people that don’t own or use guns. I’m not buying.

  63. johnmccarthy

    Very saddened at the comments here. Nothing original or constructive or humane. Just retread NRA dogma and calls for More Data, More Guns and Get to the Root Cause. The recipe for Paralysis by Analysis that is the ultimate goal of the passive-aggressives that none of us would ever want to work with or be friends with.

    1. fredwilson

      i think this is america john. we need to understand it and deal with it if we want more gun safety protections.

      1. johnmccarthy

        this is one of the toughest issues facing this country as it just exposes bare all the fault lines and divisions in our society. In a crisis there comes a time when leaders need to stop asking for more data and analysis and consensus-building and just take action. Like adopting the 3 point plan put forth on the Demand a Plan website. Those 3 points just makes sense and would probably be supported by the vast majority of citizens. I hope now is the time.

    2. kidmercury

      i might be the most pro-gun person in this thread — i think the NRA is too mild, too interested in compromise. but to counter your point i don’t need more data or anything else. all i need is the anti-gun people to do two things:1. acknowledge there already is gun control on a state by state basis and examine why this isn’t working or why they want more2. understand what the 2nd amendment is really about (not about going deer hunting, and not about protecting yourself from your neighbor)but, they don’t want to have that conversation. instead, they want to leave comments like the on you left, implying the pro guns, pro liberty people are less humane. a completely false perspective.

      1. johnmccarthy

        Yeah, that humane comment was unfair.

  64. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’m really distressed to see the Newtown shooter described as a nut and crazy. His disorder did not make him crazy or even prone to violence necessarily. In fact, Aspy’s are typically strident rule followers! People who don’t have direct experience with people on the spectrum need to realize that it isn’t a form of insanity 🙁

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Rightly or wrongly, people notice patterns. And one pattern is that a number of recent spree killers had been medicated for one mental condition or another.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Autism is not schizophrenia. I just don’t want to see this meme build that it is. Autistic people aren’t crazy. They have a disability. They are not delusional or crazy any more than any other person.I’m not talking about meds, don’t know the role meds may or may not have played here.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          You are disagreeing with things I haven’t said. I didn’t say that autistics were crazy or that autism was schizophrenia.And as for memes about autism, the one that seems to be under construction now is that there’s no link between autism and violent behavior. Which leads to some interesting results when you do a Bing search for “autism and violent behavior”. At the top of the page are articles written in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, citing experts saying there’s no link between autism and violence. But further down are articles written for parents and caregivers of autistic children with titles such as “Coping with aggression in your Autistic child”, and “Violent Behavior: How to deal with it”.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I wasn’t saying you said anything. I was just reiterating my point and making it clear that meds are a separate issue.You can also find unlimited articles on aggression in “regular” toddlers. Coping with any undesirable behavior from Autistic child requires unique solutions. That’s all. A search on Bing does not make a case for Autism being associated with violence.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            “A search on Bing does not make a case for Autism being associated with violence.”Of course not. But it either is or it isn’t. And we shouldn’t let concerns about potential stigmatization preempt objective inquiry.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            There is no connection. There is a desperate need for a scapegoat to take attention off the real problem of the culture of fear paired with the easy accessibility of weapons of mass destruction. It isn’t objective inquiry. It’s distraction.

          4. Jim Ritchie

            Please stop with the WMD comments as it is very disingenuous. A WMD is a nuclear bomb or large chemical bomb or the like.

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            That’s fair. I am talking about assault weapons. That’s what I’ll call them from now on. I wasn’t being disingenuous, though. I just think of weapons that can mow down scores of people in minutes as massively destructive.But I take your point. I’m actually interested in avoiding alienating people, just get caught up in the emotion at times.

          6. Jim Ritchie

            “Assault weapon” is not even an accurate term. Semi-automatic rifle is a much more accurate term. “Assault rifle” is an accurate term for fully automatic, or auto-burst, version of these weapons that are used in the military, which are effectively already banned in the US. People keep confusing these terms, which effects the actual debate.

    2. Ryan Lackey

      I think he’s been reported to have congenital analgeisia, not just autism.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        And that’s not mental illness, either, of course.

        1. Wavelengths

          Quote out of “The Personality Puzzle” by David C. Funder:”The story is told of how Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy liked to impress people by holding his hand steadily above a lit candle as his flesh burned. ‘How can you do that? Doesn’t it hurt?’ he was asked. ‘Of course it hurts. The trick,’ he replied, ‘is to not care.'”We don’t know what was really going on with Adam Lanza’s mental state. It does appear, however, that he showed a distinct failure to care. The DSM-IV-TR does address some of this under various disorders. The DSM-V, not yet released, will have changes under certain personality disorders that reflect behaviors that might describe Adam Lanza.Note: I am not a mental health professional, but I have studied certain areas of personality disorders extensively.

    3. Wavelengths

      I think that what we are hearing is disinformation. I agree that this behavior really doesn’t look like Aspergers or autism. This appears to be comorbidity, where several disorders must be considered.

  65. Syrius2k

    The following link from George Monbiot via the Guardian & Permaculture Research Institute International connects the dots between the children shot in Newtown, Connecticut & the children blasted in Pakistan by the drones deployed by the Obama Administration. Today Joe Romm over at Climate Progress wishes there had been a *mental health forewarning* in Newtown. I believe this *connect the dots* is that *mental health forwarning* for American society. I have never read a more powerfully integrated statement on current events.

  66. k77ws

    A “Plan to End Gun Violence”? From the incompetent United States Government? ARE YOU SERIOUS FRED? They can’t even figure out how to spend = or less than what they take in in revenue? Why must you again succumb to the temptation of stepping out of your domain of expertise with a post like this.As long as there are guns, there is gun violence. Period. Is that so hard to understand? So what exactly are you hoping to accomplish? Tighter rules, fine — but enough with the stupid “Demand a Plan to End Gun Violence” and thinking that it is only the Government who can deliver on this.The 2nd Amendment exists to provide we the people, we the lowly people, with a check against an oppressive Government. For most of my life I saw this as an idealistic type of thing — sad to say that I am actually starting to think that the right to bear arms is becoming as relevant as ever been since our country’s founding — The Government is getting more and more oppressive by the year.On second thought, I hear that Bloomberg was able to banish all sodas larger than 16 oz. from your concrete jungle — maybe he can do it with guns. Good luck.

    1. fredwilson

      i support his sugar water agenda too

      1. k77ws

        Not surprised. Daddy knows best ~ it is for your own good, people!

        1. fredwilson

          absolutely. look at seat belts and speed limits. look at the adoption of smoking restrictions in bars and restaurants. i am with mayor mike on this stuff.

  67. William Wagner

    Funny story, the NYPD actually buys handguns with no questions asked at a good price. You can buy a handgun for $80 – $150 on the street from your normal crack dealer and then sell it to the police for $250. My friend Jesus showed me his Glock he got for $80 after he got robbed at knifepoint (you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight)… I don’t know why no one has just made a business out of buying black market guns and selling them to the police.

    1. Tom Labus

      Is there a limit that you can sell?

      1. William Wagner

        I didn’t ever read the fine print on the gun buying program, they just say all handguns $250 no questions asked. I am pretty sure the NYPD turns around and issues the guns they buy to their officers too, so I would imagine they wouldn’t limit it, but they might start asking questions…

  68. martyisaac

    My name is Marty Isaac [email protected] and am the president of Connecticut Against Gun Violence. Fred, I applaud your efforts. If any of you live in CT and would like to help us, would love to have your assistance. You can follow us or We are not looking to take away everyone’s guns — we are seeking a safer society. The firepower available to the average citizen is too powerful. We seek to change this.

    1. Wavelengths

      Thank you for participating and introducing yourself. Although you’ve obviously seen that the discussions here can get pretty intense, you will find that there is a a pretty consistent level of courtesy here, along with lot of high-powered intellect and wonderful, caring hearts.You might want to enroll in Disqus to make it easier for people to respond to you in discussion like this. Obviously this topic is close to you right now, but this crowd regularly looks at social issues along with technology and business. Many times the issues are inextricable. You might enjoy dropping by again.

    2. fredwilson

      “We are not looking to take away everyone’s guns — we are seeking a safer society. The firepower available to the average citizen is too powerful. We seek to change this.”i agree with that sentiment completely

  69. Tereza

    I hope it is truly different this time, and real change happens. As you know Newtown’s not terribly far from my home. My girls are the same age as that school and our school is really basically identical to Sandy Hook — a good, loving public school in the country. I caught my husband crying a few times this week and basically everyone’s in a daze. Trying not to talk about it in front of the little ones. But when you see the pictures of the kids you lose it. Across the political spectrum, everyone’s just in a daze.A few things I saw were so upsetting I needed to turn off all media. One was the stupid libertarian pro-gun Newsweek contributor who said that when someone is on a rampage the people around him should *rush the shooter*, that this is the way to take him down. 6-year-old rushing a shooter? Is this serious? And so, I’m supposed to (a) train my young children that wild rampages are a real life threat, and (b) train them survival skills for it? How can you waste time in a conversation with someone like that. The second was a young pro-gun guy who responded to one of my posts that all schools should just get serious and have armed guards outside. In this age of budget cuts — are we seriously supposed to funnel funds to something so zero-value and fear-inducing as that?Needless to say, none of these people have children, and possibly have never met a child before. If their vision is what the future should be, then that’s a future I do not want. It’s just not the country my parents risked their lives to be part of.One thing I realized in all this is that I bet some homes where my kids play actually have guns, and I never thought to ask. Occurs to me, from now on, I will ask, and furthermore ask to personally be shown what, what their safety precautions are. Tell you want i’d like: an app that draws off an API of state gun registries so I could see on my phone which homes guns. This way if kids have a playdate or sleepover, I can ask the right questions. Some families I may be OK with. Some families, absolutely not.Off to sleep — early meeting with parents (of a series) with updates to the elementary school safety policy. #dread

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      That’s some interesting food for thought there.

      1. fredwilson

        We can always count on Tereza to provide that

    2. William Mougayar

      Well said Teresa. Very touching.It is sad to see this issue polarize the US so deeply.

  70. Peter Fleckenstein

    I’m writing this in hopes of getting some true, ‘critical thinking’ dialogue going. I might piss off (I can say ‘piss off’ here right Fred?) some people in my comments. So be it but this needs to be addressed.My first reaction when I read this post was “How can so many smart and brilliant people whom I respect & admire, sign on to this #demandaplan?” I was puzzled.Then I read the NYT ad and became livid.The EXACT same policies that were in place when Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown and other mass shootings occurred were being demanded in this plan. All four listed above occurred in so called gun free safety zones. Columbine occurred when there was a Federal Law banning assault weapons. Connecticut already had strict laws which included the ban of all assault weapons.In other words, every single person who signed on for, tweeted about, put a twibbon on, and supported #demandaplan supports the exact same policies that got children, women, and men murdered before.I’ll say it again – Everyone of you who support #demandaplan support the same policies that allowed bat sh*t crazy people to ruthlessly murder children.If your demanding to make our schools, movie theaters, malls, workplaces all a safe place then I ask you this – All those places are already gun free safety zones and people were murdered, so now what?Stand up to the NRA? Really? This is laughable at best. I ask all of you supporting #demandaplan – Why don’t you have the courage to stand up to criminals and politicians and demand the strictest penalties for any crimes committed with a gun?You want to pass a Fix The Gun Check Bill? That wouldn’t have helped the murdered at Columbine and Newtown. Not one single bit.You want to ban assault weapons? Sorry. They were already banned at Columbine and Newtown CT. Now go apologize to the parents of the murdered children who don’t have a voice for demanding the same policy that got these kids murdered.You want a real plan that deals effectively both short term and long term?1. Draconian, mandatory, with no parole, sentences for anyone who commits a crime with a gun.2. Place armed guards at every school in America. This is the strongest prevention tool. It actually reduces fear and this investment in our children is worth it. Just ask the parents of the murdered children in Newtown3. Full and complete registration of any weapons purchase, including mandatory training. (Most people don’t realize that 85% of all crimes with a gun are committed with a handgun. So much for banning assault weapons.)4. Partner with the NRA in school and community education programs. There is no safer gun owner than a trained gun owner.5. A complete overhaul of our mental health system that actually helps individuals instead of ignoring them.I’d like to add that I have 2 daughters so this issue hits me with full force. I served in the Marine Corps and am certified Expert in both the rifle and the pistol. I’ve had training in numerous other weapons as well.I’d also like to share that I was in an encounter where an AR-15 was pointed at me while at a gas station, with my daughter. I did not have any weapon on me at the time. I did the only thing that I hope any parent would do in the situation – I rushed the gunman. The gunman no longer has use of his right arm. His assault weapon is permanently non functioning. I wish I had a weapon then but I didn’t. I share this story not to boast or brag. I share it to show all of you who #demandaplan what real courage actually looks like.There is no ‘Courage’ in #DemandAPlan. There is no critical thinking in #DemandAPlan. There are only failed policies that got our children murdered in the first place in #DemandAPlan.I hope that all the people who signed up and supported this plan think hard. All the smart and brilliant people whom I respect and admire take some time this weekend and think. I hate to even think that all of you actually thought this through and still jumped on board thinking you were being courageous. Nothing could be further from the truth.If you did then you dishonor the already murdered, your own children, and every American citizen.I appreciate being able to engage with all of you. God Bless.

    1. fredwilson

      My first reaction when I read this comment thread was how can so many smart and brilliant people who I respect be so crazy about their right to own guns. So I share your bewilderment.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        I’m not crazy about my right to own guns Fred. If you want to go down that path I’d be more than happy to talk with you about the 2nd Amendment including the Federalist papers which explain it so well.I knew what I wrote would get this type of reaction. But facts are stubborn things and the exact same policies that #demandaplan advocates are the exact policies that allowed our children to be senselessly and ruthlessly murdered.I’ve offered a sincere, effective, plan of action to reduce gun violence. I hope you and others take some time to let emotions subside and think through this critically. We can’t keep making the same mistakes of the past at the expense of our children and future generations.

        1. fredwilson

          i read your plan. i disagree with it as much as you disagree with mine.

          1. Peter Fleckenstein

            I’m not sure what you disagree with in my plan.I do know this – You and the others who’ve put together the #DemandAPlan plan have an ethical and moral responsibility to all children. Your plan is built using the exact same policies that failed our children and got them senselessly murdered. It’s a tough fact to face Fred but it is undeniable.The biggest question to all who support #demandaplan is do all of you have the courage to stand up and say – “On second thought, our plan has serious fundamental flaws in it that have proven to fail. We need to rethink.”My plan does not say ‘forget’, ‘now is not the time’, or anything of the sort. What it does, without taking any political sides, is to ensure that our children are protected. It’s components will reduce gun violence both on their own and together as a whole.It honors the moral & ethical responsibility we have as adults to our children.

          2. Michael L. Slonecker

            Mr. Wilson, I do understand your shared concerns with those who signed the “ad” and many others whose names do not appear as signatories. However, it is not at all clear to me how its three proposals will have any salutory effect. Mr. Fleckenstien appears to have substantial, personal experience with these and many other measures, state and federal, and rightly points out that they have had very little, of any, effect. The “assault rifle” (whatever that may be since there is no clear definition of same) ban was not reenacted by Congress after studies demonstrated it was “all show and no substance”. What about magazine sizes. While it does seem a bit much to have a 30 round clip, one with any clip-using firearm can be reloaded in a couple seconds or so. The same is also true of ordinary revolvers where an individual uses fast-loading devices. “Straw purchases” merely subject a purchaser to possible prosecution under our “false statement” law, the same law that has been on the books for decades that can be used for those filing false tax returns, false employment applications, and a plethora of other documents submitted to state and federal agencies. Importantly, I am not a gun owner and have no plans to purchase any. My comment here is merely to note that adding a few more laws are almost certain to have virtually no effect on the issue at hand.

    2. Wavelengths

      I applaud Fred for continuing to make this forum available for people with such a range of experiences and well-earned opinions.I appreciate your point of view.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        Fred is one of the very few on the entire web who has truly built a real community. I have complete admiration and respect for him.And thank you. I appreciate your point of view and all the others here in AVC land.

  71. jason wright

    in the this new epoch that i’m calling Gun 2.0 a crowd sourced plan of action from the bottom up is required. Demanding a plan from up on high is not the direction to look to. the plan must be devised from the grassroots. that is where the problem exists. that is where the solution is to be found.

  72. John Revay

    After POTUS announced his initial plan – Jon Stewart had an interesting opening monologue last night.

  73. William Mougayar

    That’s an amazing initiative which will have a big impact. We’ve seen what 1 million people on the streets can do in the middle-east, and this will be no different.

  74. John Revay

    I like the Muzzleloader comment – I agree

  75. ObamasFakeTears

    How about freedom of the press only applies to movable type hand pressed newspapers?

  76. andyswan

    “2nd amendment folks”…. Ya that pesky Constitution always getting in the way of your desire to control what I can and can’t do, consume, own, keep and spend isn’t it?

  77. kidmercury

    too dangerous. cuneiform and parchment only.

  78. Wavelengths

    Nuh-unh. The pen is mightier than the sword. (or gun.)

  79. Wavelengths


  80. Dave Pinsen

    He’d need more than a muzzle-loader.

  81. Wavelengths

    Not making this up. Directly from ranchers who are dealing with the issue. And despite the quantity of organic cattle ordure available in some areas, it doesn’t make up for diminished availability and increased costs of formerly common fertilizers.

  82. Wavelengths

    Keep your sense of humor, Charlie. It helps us get through the bad times.

  83. Wavelengths

    Thought so. Notice, once again, the differences in region and scale.I wish you were farming in my area. I’d be buying produce all season long. Around here, though, crops are planted by the 100s of acres, and cattle, especially with the drought conditions, also need hay to supplement their forage.

  84. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Great, rational comment 🙂

  85. fredwilson


  86. Dave W Baldwin

    It is complex and cool heads must prevail. Right now, every story angle seems to change every day. Throwing around Aspurgers on an audience who doesn’t even know what it is creates scapegoat. Of course he was somewhat loner due to difficulty re communication. Did That make him the killer? Give me a break.I’m glad the fellow is stepping forward in your district… It should help in comforting the parents. I’m scared many schools will do something extreme.I hope the public doesn’t forget the true heroes in this calamity, those who put themselves between the shooter and kids.

  87. Kirsten Lambertsen

    No one ever responds to this type of statement because the NRA has framed gun control as gun abolition.

  88. kidmercury

    there already are lots of gun control laws on a state by state basis. so where are the limits there?

  89. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Dirty bombs. I want my dirty bomb.

  90. kidmercury

    there is no line. the spirit of the 2nd amendment is to ensure the people have the means to defend themselves against a tyrannical state — that this is the best defense against a tyrannical state in the first place. if the government can invest billions (trillions over time) in weapons technology, the average citizen should have access to evolution in firearms technology as well.

  91. fredwilson

    and that is what gun safety is all about. changing the terms of the debate.

  92. kidmercury

    in the eyes of many gun control is merely a stepping stone to gun abolition, and is contrary to the spirit of the 2nd amendment, and thus is viewed with great skepticism and vigilance. this has little to do with the NRA and more to do with views of liberty and personal freedom.

  93. kidmercury

    not really. the anti-2nd amendment crowd isn’t really acknowledging the abundance of gun control laws already on the books.

  94. kidmercury

    yes, i would like equal access. i don’t believe people like myself, who have never committed a violent crime and have no intention of ever doing so, should have less access to weapons than governemnt — which commits violent crimes daily, for decades if not centuries in a row.

  95. kidmercury

    all the gun control people are anti-2nd amendment because they want to create a different class of people: those with firearms galore (government) and those who will be arrested for having remotely the same technology.

  96. kidmercury

    same difference. control is partial eradication and a stepping stone to full eradication.

  97. thinkdisruptive

    The problem is that they differ by state, and the state lines are pretty porous.

  98. kidmercury

    if states are concerned with guns entering their jurisdiction, it is their obligation to erect checkpoints, barriers, and whatever else they feel necessary.

  99. thinkdisruptive

    There already is a different class. The government doesn’t let you own nukes, flame throwers, ICBMs, grenades, bombs, missile launchers, napalm, chemical or biological weapons, and lots of other things. Technically, the 2nd amendment would permit the citizenry to own all these things. Except that we have reasonable restrictions on where the line should be drawn, 3D printers notwithstanding.

  100. thinkdisruptive

    It’s only a stepping stone if you allow it to be. This is a country where most people believe in the right to bear arms, and that isn’t going to change. But, we don’t allow felons to own guns. A 7 year old can’t walk into Walmart and buy an assault rifle. Rational permitting, safety education, and types of weapons allowed are all reasonable things to control.

  101. thinkdisruptive

    The 2nd amendment doesn’t guarantee unlimited access to all guns (however a “gun” is defined). It guarantees the right to bear arms. And, we already restrict a lot of arms — generally those that can be used to kill a lot of people at once.

  102. kidmercury

    i’d prefer the line be drawn as thin as possible — no line for me, actually, but i know that’s too extreme for most people — and i’d also prefer the line to be drawn as much as possible at the state level rather than the federal level.

  103. kidmercury

    the spirit of the 2nd amendment is to ensure people have the means to resist tyranny. that should be the guiding light in all gun control legislation.

  104. thinkdisruptive

    Agreed. Part of means is education. Requiring proper training in use and safety before issuing a permit would reduce both accidental and deliberate gun violence. It would also ensure that in the event of tyrannical government, the militias would have the ability to use their tools.

  105. RichardF

    If you follow that line of thinking Kid then you need to legalise ownership of anti tank missiles because the tyrannical government are not going to be arriving on horseback.

  106. thinkdisruptive

    The problem is that guns don’t respect state lines.I respect that you acknowledge that there is a line, and it needs to be drawn somewhere. Most gun advocates don’t. I get a sense reading through all these comments that the most vocal on both sides are paranoid about the intentions of the other side — that’s got to make agreeing very difficult, but I think agreeing on the criteria and rationale behind where the line is drawn has to be the first order of business.

  107. Wavelengths

    Well, in California they check at the border to see if you are carrying produce or plants.

  108. thinkdisruptive

    Of course, if the states erected barriers, they could be construed to interfere with interstate commerce, which invites direct intervention of the federal government via the commerce clause. Be careful what you wish for.

  109. Jim Ritchie

    Not sure if you are murdered that you care what the weapon of choice was…gun, knife, sword, hand, etc. You are still dead.In any case, the US does not even come close to having the highest murder rate by guns in the world.…We have about 4/100k gun related murders per year. El Salvador 50, Brazil 18, Mexico 10, Canada .8, most of Western Europe .2-.6.OK, let’s look who is committing these murders. From a quick review of FBI data it looks to me like approximately 50% of all reported murders are inner city gang or drug deal gone bad related, mostly black and latino gang bangers killing each other. This is a fairly unique US problem. The other big issue is domestic violence related murders. More could certainly be done here to address both of these issues including taking a tough look at both cultural and class related issues.If you are implying that with less guns we would have a lower murder rate I think that is debatable as I don’t believe criminals here in the US will actually have less access to guns. I believe there are some stats on UK’s murder rate not budging much after they banned handguns and even going up for a while.There are also very high murder rates in many countries with little or no access to firearms. I think it would be hard to prove any direct correlation to gun ownership rates/laws and murder rates. There definitely seems to be correlation between gun ownership rates and the fact a gun is used in a homicide, but this does not even fully play out in some areas. See

  110. kidmercury

    sounds good to me. i want the states to pay for the precautions and then the feds to intervene when it violates the commerce clause. that is what i wish for.

  111. kidmercury

    i’m not opposed to that line of thinking, although modern warfare is more about being able to disrupt the systems of your industrial opponent (i.e. cyberwarfare, infrastructure damage) rather than trying to match them with industrial size.

  112. Wavelengths

    West Texas. Oil patch. I have to admit the Pecos melons are exceptional, but much of this area is mesquite, dust, and oil pumpers and rigs. I know from the history that many decades ago, this was rich farming country, but something changed.

  113. KG18

    It comes from the film “the birth of a nation”.

  114. k77ws

    1) there are plenty of people who have extremist or string oppositional views. simply because someone is a public (government) figure does not justify them having access to weapons that common citizens do not — at least as far as the 2nd Amendment is concerned.2) I am not aware of anyone “arming the whole nation” — this issue is about Free citizens having free will to arm themselves IF THEY SO CHOOSE. You don’t want to own a gun — fine, your CHOICE.3) someone kills themselves with their own gun? Again, this is a risk someone bears by purchasing a gun. It’s not up for you to decide if they can own a gun or not.

  115. k77ws

    And by the way, that nice sob story of a video does nothing but appeal to emotion. I need reason, not emotion to be swayed. I empathize with the lady, but it sounds like the killer illegally obtained a gun (hand gun?) and committed the murder — so she “demands a plan” ok fine — but tell me what kind of plan does she want?And what is your source for “sad fact” that those who carry guns are at significantly higher risk of being killed by a gun.