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Gun Violence - Solutions Now!

The polarizing argument to solutioins to American gun violence is heating up. Will it solve anything this time?

 

Since April 20, 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot up Columbine High school in Jefferson County, Colorado thirty-one other major mass gun shootings have occurred. During that same time frame only 14 similar events occurred in the entire rest of the world. Gun Violence is epidemic in the United States and the first message out of the White House again was “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.”

We need to discuss our options.

  • Enhance mental health services
  • Perform background checks on all gun purchases
  • Limit the size of ammunition clips
  • Ban semi-automatic weapons
  • Ban Assault Weapons
  • Put more gun-carrying officers in schools
  • Train and Arm teachers

 

Now IS the time to talk about SOLUTIONS to this epidemic. We know the semantics of “gun control” is instantaneously polarizing. We cannot find solutions to this problem if we go to instantaneous polarization. We cannot find a solution without talking as if we are working toward the goal of ending this Violence.  We must stay focused on the goal of reducing violence.

Arming teachers is not an American ideal. We live in a better country that this. Suggestions of putting more armed government officials in our schools is a bold idea and it will indeed act to make the community “feel” safer, but does it actually make us safer? My first impression is that it will make our schools into metaphorical prisons. So, I must ask, "Do we really want to raise the next generation of our country this way?" I personally think not. The long term effects would be very detrimental to the collective psyche of parents and children.

At the candlelight vigil held at Perry Hall High School last Sunday night, a news reporter asked “What is it you are asking for? What do you want the authorities to do?”

My response to her was that we need to come together as individuals and talk honestly about solutions. Without our community imput politicians and ambitious elected officials are going to promote an agenda that they feel will get them re-elected or elected to another, higher office. Multiple ideas are far better than one idea better from someone we look up to. We need to participate in our government now more than ever. We need to influence this decision. Our communities are at stake. Our lives could be at stake

Blog articles, here and elsewhere, that allow reader input seem to provoke instantaneous polarization. As soon as background checks are suggested, some pipe up with why that soultion wouldn’t work.  Suggest our community limits access to assault weapons and someone else is screaming about taking away his civil rights. My response to that is, “There is a difference between a civil rights and a constitutionally protected right. A unalienable civil right is granted to us in an unchangable way. There are limitations put on the constitutional rights. There are limitations on voting, on free speech, and there are also restrictions placed on owning automatic weapons. Constitutional rights are limited because we voters have the right to change the constitution. And we have more than a few times. What ever happens here will probably be tested at the Supreme Court.

The immediate reaction of many in a position to impact these proposed changes are politicians with partisan agendas. The polarity in these agendas has seemingly little sway at the moment. I am hearing calls for gun ownership restrictions from the Baltimore County Chief of Police, the Baltimore County Executive, our Maryland Governor, our Senator and our President. It feels like a done deal, but I am leery. Will we accomplish anything or will we let this drag out for twenty or thirty more years?

We have had 31 mass gun killings in this country since the Columbine High School mass murder. Yes, it was murder. It was more than a mere gun incident. The tragic mass murder that happened in the Newtown Connecticut elementary school was the straw that broke the “no you can’t” camel’s back. Hundreds of angry citizens marched on the headquarters of the National Rifle Association earlier this week chanting "Shame on the NRA, Shame on the NRA."

Its time for a new solution, We need an assault weapons ban in this country. We need to enhance mental health services in this country and we need a total and comprehensive background checks program in this country and we need these changes now.

Call every single elected official that represents you. This will be on the agenda in Washington DC in very short order. This will also be on the legislative agenda in annapolis. That session will be starting in a few weeks. Tell them how you want them to represent you. Its up to you speak up or live with their decisions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jason December 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM
FIFA, OK if you think so. Now a bolt action tends to be high power rifle with larger cartridge. So, now someone can shoot one bullet at close range possibly penetrate 2 to 3 people before the bullet stops. Even better at long distance the rifle becomes accurate. Again, what is the difference. Your thinking and that's good and your energy is spent on removing all rifles and handguns. Again, your thinking about a material made out of metals and plastic but never once you thought about the person behind the weapon. Now think outside the box. With all the handguns and rifles gone from this world. Use the same creative energy and show me how you would use common house old cleaning supplies, commercial fertilizers, detergents, vehicles, kitchen knives, light bulbs, gas, natural gas and the list goes on and on. You think this will stop? We need to be educated and teach our kids, teachers, police, and parents the signs a signals. Just I was taught what to look for when someone wants to commit suicide. We deny we even saw the signals until it is too late. We teach our kids not to drink or take drugs. Do you know the signs your child could be high?
Jason December 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM
A manic shows signs, carrying a large duffel bag when normally he carries a small back back or none, wearing a long coat during the summer, showing signs of withdrawal, being abusive to parents, teachers and peers, mistreatment to animals or fascination with death or even our school nurse and principle already knowing an individual may be mentally unstable but can't tell anyone. These are things we should be looking at. Once guns are out of the picture something else will come along and take its place and will we be ready for another assault? We have to be firm and determined. You think TSA is doing a wonderful job? Maybe, its the Air Marshal with a loaded weapon on the plane that is deterring people away. These are things we should be looking at the Solutions what works and doesn't.
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Your facts on the Air Marshall, or just your two cents? I am betting on the pennies in this one. There hasn't been a school shooting in the United Kingdom since 1996. Coincidence?
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Let's go, a bolt action limited to a 5 round clip or an AR-15 look a like with a 90 round clip. Jason, be real, which would you rather have if you wanted to do a mass murder? Don't need a a duffel bag or nothing else. Just walk out of my motor home at the Raven's tailgate. It takes a sick mind to do that, they are everywhere. Jason, right now about 30.000 people die from gunshot wounds a year for all reason. I'll take my chances on the other stuff. Try building a large bomb with fertilizer now and see how far you get. I don't know how many people I can kill with light bulbs, but I'm sure you will help me out. Jason, yes I know the signs, it is not very difficult if you are paying attention.
Jason December 27, 2012 at 11:06 PM
FIFA, you are correct since the first gun to school massacre started there. But maybe they are doing something different. Maybe, we should send our FBI or local police and find out what they are doing to secure their schools. Americans are hard headed and we don't do thing right the first time. Look around, China and Japan the perps used a common house old kitchen knife and stab like 20 kids. People and the internet are creating copycats and trying to become bigger in life from what the last person has done. Air Marshall, since they been flying around armed the skies have been safe and I hope we can keep it that way. Maybe, its because we copied the Israelis since they have been armed for many years. They even have teachers armed in their own schools too. Again, its a solution and needs to be looked at and see why this works. Right?
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Anything that works needs to be looked at, check on your Israeli facts though, they had a different problem, terrorists and have since tightened gun controls. Terrorists have different motivations and believe they are working for a "greater good". The whole virgin thing, etc. Regarding UK, they banned anything that fired "cartridge ammunition". They went for the whole enchilada.
Jason December 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM
That's the UK and other nations but your talking about the US and the 2A being abolished. Will that happen? Maybe or maybe not. So they have the AWB and someone will find ways to circumvent the law and make the adaptation and changes but still looks like a gun, still looks like a magazine and still looks like a cartridge. And again, nothing has changed. Israeli tighten gun control? A bit hard to mess with a group of people who train to fight, kill and take nothing from terrorists.. They are very experienced with automatic weapons too. That would deter me from messing with them and I would not play around with them. They earned their respect.
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Never happen here. And a AWB is no good unless you get the existing stock as well as the magazines. So, what will happen, we will continue to have mass shootings and mourn those who have died and whine about why we haven't done anything about it. That be us, I'm afraid.
Steve December 28, 2012 at 06:55 PM
There is no sense in reinventing the wheel. Australia had the same problem and they solved it. Let's just adopt the Australia Model.
Greg Redmer December 29, 2012 at 02:41 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323777204578195470446855466.html?mod=hp_opinion A 3% drop in gun murders isn't really solving it.
Jason December 29, 2012 at 04:06 AM
http://youtu.be/RaX3EM-fsc8
Steve December 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM
"A 3% drop in gun murders isn't really solving it." But a 30% drop in gun crimes is. Actually if there was even 1 less murder by firearm it is successful.
FIFA December 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Evets, I have consistently stated I am for a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. You want a gun. Bolt action, muzzle loader, or revolver should handle all of your needs. Anything that uses a magazine or other invention to accomplish the same, ban it. I believe that will significantly decrease murder in the US. But like I also said, it will not pass ever. Regarding shooters, the white male is an attribute, middle aged has been an attribute, but it appears average age is decreasing. Are the crazies getting younger or is the access to the necessary weapon easier?
FIFA December 31, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Interesting, albeit long, study here: http://www.academia.edu/1199492/Hegemonic_Masculinity_and_Mass_Murderers_in_the_United_States
Greg Redmer December 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Gun sales in our country are at an all time high and crime has been going down for years. Guess we are already successful.
Mark Patro December 31, 2012 at 03:15 PM
guns are at an all time high because gun manufacturers and the pro gun lobby are stoking fear. More gun ownership has nothing to do with lower crime rate. How about lets put twenty-somethings back to work in this country and the crime rate will go down even more.
PerryHallParent December 31, 2012 at 03:26 PM
As a long time, legal gun owner (who has never fired it except at a firing range), I am happy to hear that legal gun ownership is at an all time high. I hope many, many more eligible, decent, law abiding citizens purchase, learn how to property use, store and own one and that those who attempt to infiltrate private property for the sake of crime get what's coming to them. The only thing that's missing is the right for people to carry them and shoot back when the constant flow of crimes, committed by gun owning criminals, shows no signs of stopping. They can carry on buses, into schools, into malls, into theaters, into salons, in street fights, in cars, why can't WE?
Mark Patro December 31, 2012 at 03:33 PM
for the same reason the person who smokes cannot do it in the grocery store, the public restaurant and in school buildings.
JD1 December 31, 2012 at 03:42 PM
My guess is that the twenty-something's that you are talking about are not the ones committing the gun crimes. The gun lobby doesn't need to stoke fear - look at the headlines in today's paper - that's what stokes fear. The first day of school at PHHS stokes fear. Every drug dealer in Baltimore City stokes fear. Seems to me that the good guys should have the right to defend themselves against the slime with reasonable force.
Mark Patro December 31, 2012 at 03:45 PM
they may not need to but they do
Steve December 31, 2012 at 05:20 PM
They is no correlation of causation between more guns and less crime. That was John Lott's premise and it was discredited a long long time ago.
Steve December 31, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Gun Nutters live in a dream world... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QjZY3WiO9s&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Steve December 31, 2012 at 06:16 PM
This topic seems to go 'round and 'round. Archie Bunker's take on Gun Control http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLjNJI54GMM&feature=youtu.be (Who does that remind you of?)
Mark Patro January 27, 2013 at 10:09 PM
On January 14, 2013 Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced at a Johns Hopkins Gun Violence Summit with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a new comprehensive gun violence prevention legislative package for Maryland. Anyone wishing to purchase a handgun first be required to obtain a license to purchase the weapon from the state police. Proponants of this legislation suggest this is the best way to reduce gun violence because it will substantially reduce "straw purchases," which occurr when people who are prohibited from owning weapons get someone without a criminal record to purchase the gun for them. Straw purchases are the most common way tha guns end up in the hands of people who use them to kill other people. The complete list of goals to prevent gun violence in Maryland are: Requiring a license to purchase a hand gun Banning assult weapons designed to kill and inflict maximum carnage Limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds per magazine Providing the State Police authority to regulate gun dealers for illegal activity These are common sense measures that will not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, or sportsmen that use hunting rifles or shotguns. These are responsible measures to take military-style weapons off of our streets and reign in the sale of hand guns by "straw purchasers" just before they are used in a crime. For more information please go to http://marylanderstopreventgunviolence.org/
Evets January 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM
These measures sound fairly reasonable to me. I did not yet go the website you cited, but I wonder what the state plans to charge for this license to purchase a handgun.
Mark Patro January 27, 2013 at 10:26 PM
The requirement to get a license to make a gun purchase will make sure the background check is done before the gun is purchsed. This is the change. It will make sure that gun prchases in a neighbor to neighbor scenario and gun show sales will also require this license to purchase. It will greatly reduce the holes in the current gun sales law.
Mark Patro January 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Tim could you please provide a link to page 19 where you are reading this.
Mark Patro January 28, 2013 at 12:45 AM
thank you. I was looking at this one: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/bills/hb/hb0038f.pdf
Mark Patro February 22, 2013 at 08:05 PM
this will help Move Maryland in the right direction: https://www.change.org/petitions/support-solutions-to-gun-violence-that-work#
Mark Patro February 25, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Prevent Gun Violence: The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (SB281/HB294) The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7-4 to give this bill a favorable report and it is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. SB 281 significantly modifies and expands the regulation of firearms, bans military-type assault weapons, requires licensing for handgun purchases, limits magazine capacity and makes changes to mental health regulations related to the possession of firearms. The opposition will speak out in force on this one. The passage of this law will help decrease gun violence in Maryland.

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