The guns Adam Lanza used to kill Sandy Hook Elementary School children were NOT “stolen”

Stolen guns.

Stolen guns.

For the record:

The weapons Adam Lanza used to slaughter children at Sandy Hook Elementary weren’t exactly “stolen from the owner”. I know those defending the ability to purchase and possess assault weaponry want these to be “stolen” guns, and keep referring to them as “stolen” guns, but that’s not really the case.

The guns were household items. According to reports, Adam Lanza had access to them while living at home. His mother reportedly took him to the range to shoot the weapons. The mother bragged about owning the weapons and made very clear the reason why she had them, had many of them, and had quick access to them.

These were not weapons, for instance, that were stolen from a gun shop and then used to commit a crime; they were household items to which the killer had regular access.

If while living at home, a kid takes his dad’s shovel from the shed (the one that he uses to do his usual yard work and chores) and instead uses it to kill the neighbor’s cat, it’s not a “stolen” shovel. It’s still a crime, but the shovel isn’t reported as “stolen”. The kid had regular access to it.

Photo from the Hillcrest Baptist Church

NOT “stolen” gun. Photo from the Hillcrest Baptist Church “Father-son Gun Shoot”. (NOTE: The weapons aren’t shotguns..)

Or if, let us say (completely hypothetically of course) that a church (likely Baptist – see link at right) held an annual father-son breakfast and gun shoot, and the kids were taught and encouraged (as some form of evangelism, Bible study, of parental bonding in the name of Jesus) to shoot weapons by their parents, and then if the kids, while living at home and while having access to the same guns they are accustomed to shooting, used these guns to commit a crime, you’d have a hard time arguing that the guns were “stolen”. (Of course, the parents might claim that the teenager “stole” the gun to avoid legal liability, but the guns would be better classified as “proud household items”, not items “stolen” from somewhere or someone else.)

[For more on the dangers of giving kids access to unnecessary assault weapons, read this very sad case.]


NOT “stolen” gun. (The proud parent is even taking a picture of his son shooting an Uzi.)

A better example is the terrible scenario of when a kid living at home takes mom’s car (which he has driven before with his mom, and alone with his mother’s permission), and hits someone with the car and kills them. The police don’t consider the car a “stolen” vehicle, especially if the kid is listed on the mom’s insurance, and especially if mom had given the car to her child in the past, and even taken him to the range to drive the car for practice. Again, the mom might claim that the car was “stolen” to avoid legal liability, but I’m pretty certain that the victim’s family would have success arguing that the child had regular access and permission to drive the family’s car.

Gun advocates want to frame the weapons used by Adam Lanza as “stolen” so they can argue that banning assault weapons won’t stop “thieves” from “stealing” legal assault weapons (say, those owned by law enforcement officials), and then using these “stolen” weapons to commit crimes. They want to classify the Adam Lanza’s weapons as “stolen” so they can make a rhetorical defense of assault weapons and argue that new legislation against assault weapons won’t stop “thieves” from “stealing” them.

The only problem is that the weapons that Adam Lanza used weren’t “stolen”. They were household goods, proudly passed down from generation to generation (as gun advocates are wont to say). They belonged to his family, just like the car. It may have been registered in mom’s name, but it was the family car. And they were the family’s weapons. She may have kept the guns locked (again, like the car, and like the shed), but they were still the family’s guns.

NOT "stolen" gun

NOT “stolen” gun

The fact that some would resort to the rhetorical reclassification of weapons used to commit a crime in order to defend the ownership of assault weapons is a not only a transparently fallacious argument, but it betrays the weakness of the advocates of assault-weapons’ position.

67 Responses

  1. […] also posts by Bob Cargill, Eric Reitan, Frankie Schaeffer, Bob Cornwall, Caryn Riswold, Matt Reed, John Shore, Stacey […]

  2. It doesn’t matter whether Lanza stole the guns or whether one agrees the guns are a “household item” (as though you can get it from the Pottery Barn catalog) Responsible gun owners don’t handle, store or think of their guns as “household items” freely accessible to all family members at any time. But we know what you’re trying to say with that rhetorical reclassification. ;-) People who argue from the “stolen” angle are not well-informed advocates. (although there is an important point about this in the greater dialogue). The better arguments regarding gun control and crime reduction are the abysmal outcomes of such initiatives in places like the UK, Australia, Chicago, D.C., Detroit, etc. Statistics have now demonstrated that a country will likely not achieve the desired outcomes in gun crime by instituting bans and extreme controls. In fact, it can get worse (as Thomas Jefferson observed so many years ago). As it stands, in the roughly fourteen years since UK enacted controls, the firearms offenses stand at nearly twice as high as before, and peaked at 89% higher at the 10-year mark. Australian agencies have also had to admit that their gun ban cannot be credited with the reductions they promised. Switzerland has one of the highest per capita gun ownership populations in the world and has one of the lowest crime rates. Of course, there are many variables at work in all of these cases — and the issue is both complex and emotional. As a parent of two young children, I want my children to ACTUALLY be safer with any initiatives enacted. So far, the statistics I have seen do not support my rational support of such an approach. I am wiling to be convinced but not cattle-driven into a mistake so we can all “Feel” like we did something to be safer, which recent experience shows may well be the opposite of true.

  3. well, maybe not pottery barn, but cabela’s

    and some cited studies would help your statistical arguments. do you have any links to credible studies to which you can point me? that would help convince me. thanx.

  4. 38% of homes in U.S. contain guns. Of those homes, 20% contain MOST of all weaponry. 20% of gun owners are really gun hoarders. They hoard guns and ammunition to relieve mild to severe anxiety. I think this anxiety is caused from being told as a child that the world is going to end any day. They are told that when the world ends and society devolves it will be every man for himself (until they are raptured by Jesus). Don’t these religious types understand how scared this makes kids? I remember as a child when I heard from a religious neighbor that the world would end soon. Panic set in. Thank goodness my mother was able to convince me that it was just a bunch of bunk. One of my daughters is a worrier too. A religious neighbor told her the world was ending soon and even pointed out all of the signs to look for. I did my best to alleviate her anxiety but she still is really not convinced. Her new fear is Dec. 21. BTW, we are having a party on that day to celebrate the world not ending. That seems to be helping her to be a little less anxious.

    These religious types that are telling our young children that the world will end soon are a public health menace. Their scare tactics are affecting the rest of us even though we do not subscribe to their apocolyptic world view. Even those children who grow up and fall away from their religion retain their anxiety from childhood. They hoard rapid fire weapons and large bullet thingys (I don’t know what it’s called). Anytime they feel a loss of control, they go out and buy more weaponry. A perfect example is when President Obama was elected. It is time for the religious types to STOP SCARING OUR CHILDREN.

  5. Sure. The quickest ones I could remember/access …

    First, a summary article by Howard Nemerov (a former disarmament supporter) who also wrote the book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control – Why Isn’t It Working? His data includes official Australian sources such as the Australian Bureau of Criminology and Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

    A “quick view” graph of UK Home Office numbers from the year of enactment (the blue bar) through 2008.

    An updated report by the UK Home Office reflecting some good news (i.e. some reduction from 2008 to 2011) but still SO much higher than before the controls.

    Just starter stuff. There were also some BBC reports from a few years after the UK initiative and then again around the 10-year point but I’m a bit crunched on time at the moment and just wanted to get you some of it.

  6. I support a ban on high capacity magazines but and the requirement that gun owners secure their guns either in gun safes or with trigger locks. Just about anything beyond that is really a waste of legislation.

    “Assault Rifle” is such an overused phrase. All a civilian assault rifle is is a semi-automatic rifle that looks like a military rifle. It is purely cosmetic. The assault weapons ban did very little to stop assault rifle sales as it banned individual models. All they had to do was change the model name to get around it. Banning all semi-automatic weapons would affect many hunting rifles and all pistols.

    Ban the high capacity magazines (there is no real reason to have more than 15 rounds), register all handguns and require trigger locks / safes. If someone’s gun is used without their knowledge and they didn’t have it properly secured then hold them accountable. You can also require all manufacturers to fire a single round through the gun when it is first manufactured and submit them to the FBI with its serial number. That would make tracing guns used in crimes much easier.

    The goal is to keep the criminal and mentally impaired from getting access to guns without interfering with the rights of law abiding citizens.

  7. And if you (MK) could cite how many mass shootings have occurred in these other countries that have enacted stricter gun control regulations, that would be helpful too. A hold up is one thing, the use of firearms designed for the sole purpose of killing other people in the most efficient manner possible for just that purpose is another. I, for one, would be curious to know how the US compares to other countries – particularly Western ones – in that regard.

    Jefferson’s opinions on private gun ownership were formed within a context very different from those we face today. I doubt he would hold the same opinions in today’s America. Certainly, the “Founding Fathers” argument has worn thin to the point of transparency by now?

    You are correct in that the problem is much greater than accessibility to the weapons themselves; for example, why are we not doing a better job of addressing mental health issues in this country? That said, it’s time for gun-ownership advocates to admit that firearms are a key part of the equation. The constant denial and – as in this case – attempts at reinvention of facts, is not helping us get any closer to a solution.


    – Rod

  8. Rod – even a hold up over here in the UK is pretty rare, I don’t know anybody personally who has been held up by or threatened with a gun. It’s about 20 years since I’ve even *seen* a gun here that wasn’t in the hands of a soldier, policeman, or in a museum!

    MK is correct that gun crime has increased in the UK in recent years, but a fair chunk of this is related to gang violence. The kind of random shootings that seem so prevalent in the US are thankfully rare here. And if were talking statistics, you’re 36 times more likely to be killed by a firearm in the US than you are in the UK.

    Trust me, there is noboby over here who wants US style gun laws in the UK.

  9. It might be unfair to assert that gun advocates constantly deny guns are part of the equation. But this is how they are characterized by anti-gun activists. However they are generally unwilling to blindly agree that guns are THE problem. You do admit there’s an equation, meaning other variables. One of the studies I linked above talks about the fact that the Australian gun law cannot be said to have reduced gun homicide numbers and that OTHER variables (part of your equation) needed more attention.

    As to the mass shooting statistics, I have not tracked on that single category but I do know there was just not long ago a mass shooting in the UK known as the “Cumbrian” mass shooting. So one could say that if we look at the UK example, the stricter gun laws did not prevent a mad man intent on killing multiple people in a small amount of time. Interestingly, the 12 victims were not all in “one place” … the guy just drove around randomly picking off people. But it is still classified a “mass shooting.” Personally, I think the aggregate numbers are the more compelling foundation when trying to make a nationwide policy…you can single out mass shootings if you want but no country should make gun policy solely on one category of criminal data.

    I also think its unthoughtful to suggest Jefferson’s statement isn’t relevant today because it was “back then”. I suppose you would say his statement that central banking would end up in us losing our property is also irrelevant today. But his statements on both of these issues have borne out as true by the gun law experiments cited and also by what we are experiencing in the economy run by private, robbing central banks. The principles of his statements are timeless and absolutely relevant.

    I want my two small children to be safer. I am unconvinced by the available (rational) arguments that it would actually turn out that way if our country starts taking guns from law abiding citizens. Meanwhile, have you heard the statistics about how many people have been able to defend themselves with firearms? It is VERY significant — mass numbers. But the media do not report these. Interesting that the mall shooter in Portland, instead of killing more people, killed himself after spotting a gun pointed at him by a guy with conceal and carry permit. Can we say the citizen who was aiming at the shooter prevented more “Mass” death? Maybe, maybe not but it’s at least a curious coincidence where a more terrible outcome might have been reasonably expected.

    As I said before. I’m willing to be convinced. The “mass-shooting” cherry doesn’t get me there.

    Cheers to you too!

  10. The “36 times” number goes down by 60% when adjusted for suicides (and compares numbers for different years but would probably be nearly the same). But it does show how bad crime is in the U.S. compared to other countries. No one should argue the U.S. doesn’t have this problem. The question remains, did changing the gun law accomplish this? The statistics show it did not. We cannot accept the UK gun controls as causal of the statistical disparity.

    The fact that gang violence is a big chunk of the UKs gun crime now is true and actually highlights the problem with legislating against licit ownership. It demonstrates that criminal elements with guns will tend to increase their activity. Before Australia’s gun ban, home invasions were basically non-existent. Afterward, a whole new category exploded for them of home intrusions, since the criminals know that citizens are unarmed.

    I wonder what the families who live where the gang aciivity is increased would say about it? More safe? Less? And we have already seen it will not prevent a “mad man” event.

    When someone can show us a causal relationship between gun bans/controls and the decrease in the events, then we can be moved. But so far — haven’t seen this from anyone. I wish it could be true.

  11. MK – In my 37 years on the planet, I think there have been 3 mass shootings in the UK, in Hungerford, Dunblane, and the Cumbria shooting you refer to. I wonder how many there have been in the USA in this time?

    Mass shootings don’t tell the whole story of course, but as I say the overall rates of fatal shootings in the US are 36 times higher than in the UK.

    After Cumbria, the debate was about whether our gun laws should be tightened up (which they should), not whether there should have been more armed bystanders.

  12. Sorry MK – I didn’t see your above reply before posting. I used to live in an area of London where gun crime (and crime generally) was pretty high. Trust me, almost nobody in the UK wants ready access to firearms, wherever they live. There’s a debate about whether the police should be rountinely armed but not the general public. It’s a non-issue.

  13. Paul — the question is whether stricter gun laws will cause better numbers in the U.S. The UK statistics do not demonstrate this regardless of your personal impressions and repeated use of a statistic that, while true on its face, needs to be more ably handled for policy discussion. And it would not be wise to approach the debate as “whether there should be more armed bystanders”, of course! The point is one of trying to include ALL variables and statistical, contextual impacts as contributing to a rational policy. One cannot make a policy on guns without considering the good along with the bad. That would be imbalanced and stupid. Although, with our politicians this is often the sad reality.

  14. Bob — thanks for entertaining our comments here. I’m probably done with my set on the gun thing here. Once I find myself repeating points, it tells me to move on. How great it would be if we could emotionally remove ourselves when attempting to look at statistics to help us make decisions. But is that even reasonable? If we weren’t emotionally moved by the tragedies, we wouldn’t be trying to make new decisions anyway! Philosophically, we could have a REALLY big debate on the culture of guns and violence which would move us up the food chain to discuss the aggressive overt war initiatives and covert violence that our government(s) supply in the name of — well — national interests, security and humanitarianism. Those crime scenes are where the greatest numbers of massacred children are slaughtered, though they are not mostly “western” children. See what I mean?

  15. Wow, way to not sound condescending at all with the “they must be proud” comments. Adam Lanza’s mother may have recognized his mental illness but our country has weak laws about commiting those who are potentially violent if they have not acted out yet. It is the lack of early treatment, recognition and labeling of mental illness that is causing the jump in violence not the access to guns for people who want to lawfully own them. Also the gun free zones schools are make them easy targets. Wonder why the Colorado mall shooter only killed 2 people in a mall 2 weeks before Christmas during prime shopping hours? It was a man with a concealed weapons permit who confronted the shooter causing him to turn the gun on himself. The average number of people killed when the cops end a mass shooting is around 8 times higher than when the shooter is confronted by a civilian with a weapon. Planes were also gun free zones until the air marshall program and now it is much safer to fly than before 9-11.

  16. So, we need armed security guards, with permits and much training, in our schools. OK. Many schools already have this.

    But why does the general public need assault weapons?

  17. Armed guards is a waste except for at the most at risk schools. You could perhaps allow for armed administrators or teachers but that should be a state or local decision as each schools situation is of course different. You will never be able to completely remove the risk as schools have always and will always be soft targets unless extreme measures are taken.

    As for assault weapons why are we asking if someone needs them? Shouldn’t the real question be is the benefit to society worth the abrogation of the individuals rights? Isn’t that how this country is supposed to work?

    For me the answer is clearly no. How many people have actually been killed by assault weapons in the last year? The number for mass shootings I have seen is under 100. That is a pretty small number. Is 100 deaths worth abrogating the rights of millions? If so then there are lots of other dangerous items and habits that we had better start outlawing. To begin with we had better mandate alcohol detecting ignition locks for every car because way more than 100 people die in drunk driving crashes every year.

    The problem with trying to pass an assault weapons ban is that if you don’t ban all semi-automatics then it will be too easy to get around. Lots of legitimate hunting rifles are semi-automatics. The Bushmaster in CT was designed specifically to get around CT’s assault weapons ban. Also there are millions of these guns already in circulation. How do you get rid of them? You want armed rebellion in this country try taking away people’s guns.

    Tighten up the laws on who is allowed to buy a gun. Close gun show loopholes. Mandate the use of trigger locks / gun safes (with stiff penalties if people don’t have them and those guns are used in a crime). Ban high capacity magazines (though again what about the ones already out there). These things will help reduce gun crime with minimal impact on law abiding citizens.

    Also rework the mental health system. Haven’t pretty much all of the shooters been shown to have visible mental health issues ahead of time?

    I for one am just glad that none of them have not really thought out their plans. All of these could have been a lot worse had the shooter added in pipe bombs (through them in classrooms from the outside) or used fire alarms or bomb threats to get the people to congregate outside. Think of OKC and if a bomb like that had been placed near an assembly point and a fire alarm pulled or bomb threat called in.

  18. Some people think they need assault weapons to defend their property when society devolves. They think societal breakdown is inevitable and could happen any day. The gun problem has nothing to do with hunters or urban vs. rural. If we are to solve the problem then we need to understand the true cause. If we think we need to reassure hunters that they will not be affected then we will get nowhere. It is the paranoid gun hoarders that are the problem.

    After the Australia massacre, there was a gun buy-back program instituted and there has not been a mass shooting there since. That could never happen here. The difference is our fundamentalist religious industrial complex. The fundamentalists are in the business of manufacturing fear for power and money. They feed off of anxiety by their twofold remedies; God and guns.

    The off-duty security guard at the PORTLAND mall is becoming an urban legend with NRA types. There is no proof whatsoever that the shooter took his own life when he saw the security guard point his gun.

  19. The pro-gun argument is not “the general public needs assault weapons.” The argument is, “our government should not take away legally owned weapons from law abiding citizens, which ownership is constitutionallly protected”

    One of the things contributed by a general public permitted to conceal and carry is a high degree of risk (uncertainty) for perpetrators who cannot be assured of success in a criminal act by virtue of the potential someone in the public can intervene to stop them. There’s a guy named Lott who has done extensive study into this question. Check him out.

  20. The counter argument is that assault weapons are NOT constitutionally protected. And neither are large bullet holding thingys. The government also has the constitutional right to abolish something that harms the common good. DDT comes to mind.

  21. The constitution makes no distinction on type of weapon. So yes, it actually does protect ownership of an assault weapon. It does not protect the criminal use of an assault weapon.

  22. I would just add that I went ahead and used “assault weapon” as a matter of expediency in my last reply since I don’t expect the term was used precisely in the prior comment — one of the glaring problems as people debate this matter.

  23. One more thing and I gotta go: The government doesn’t have constitutional rights (that is for individuals) but is granted limited powers under the constitution. Important difference. Unfortunately, the “limited” part has been busted.

  24. it defends the right for a well regulated militia to bear arms, which the supremes have interpreted as the right to bear arms. but that says nothing of what types of arms the govt allows us to bear.
    the amendment right before it gives us the right to free speech, but some speech IS not lawful, like threats against the president, aggravated harassment, speech made in the name of someone else (e.g., forgery and identity theft), false witness, perjury, etc.
    that is, even though we have the right to free speech, some speech is illegal.
    and just as we have the right to bear arms, some arms can be deemed illegal.
    that list is about to grow… and it’s completely constitutional.

  25. Yes. One of the powers granted to the government is to legislate/enact statutes that are actionable by law enforcement (though these do not amend the constitution, per se). The free speech exceptions you list are examples re: the 1st. Automatic weapons (fully automatic) stand as legislatively prohibited exceptions re: the 2nd. The list might be about to grow.

    The question is, will that translate to the ostensible outcome?

    We do not have any convincing data that it will be causal of the reduction we desire. If you have credible studies demonstrating that stricter gun laws are the cause of such reductions, please cite them.

  26. I actually don’t think assault style weapons will be made illegal. What will be made illegal is the selling of new “assault weapons” with some watered down definition of “assault weapon” that will be easy to get around. The millions of assault weapons already in private hands will stay there and get resold via private sales.

  27. Here is what I consider to be centrally problematic. You said, “that says nothing of what types of arms the govt allows us to bear.” The government “allows” us? Where rights are concerned, our government does not grant those to individuals. They are understood to be inherently possessed (not allowed or given by Papa government). Would we ask, “what types of speech does the govt allow us to use?,” or “the govt allows women to be treated equal”? We understand those things to be right, natural and inherent, not the benevolent orts tossed to us from the bureaucratic table. In case we forget (and I believe we have), the body known as our government was formed as one “of the people, by the people and for the people.” We are the ones who “allow” IT. What a government DIS-allows through legislation is (was) designed to be representatively disallowed as the collective will of the people – not doled out to us or taken from us as it pleases the government. We now have it backward in this country because of the decades of shift in powers from the citizenry to a bloated central borg.
    I’m not against legislating for the “common good,” as Susan puts it. But I am against the non-representative dictation of what the “common good” really is … and by non-representative I mean what we have today, where lobbyists and non-citizen entities are actually being represented through legislation, instead of the people. We kid ourselves if we think our modern, technological age is any more advanced in principles of community or any safer from the dark realities of tyranny that our forefathers understood supremely well and from which they hoped to protect us through the instrument of the constitution and limits on government. If anything, we may be more at risk to those perils because of our forgetfulness and arrogance than ever before.

  28. I don’t want to get off topic but I keep hearing that Obama has taken away our constitutional rights but I just can’t figure out what rights have suddenly been taken away?

    It is true that I don’t know the gun culture vernacular. Let’s just say that any gun that can kill 20 children in two and one half minutes (estimated by police) with multiple gunshots in each child, should be banned.

  29. of COURSE the government grants us those rights. think about it: from where do those ‘rights’ originate? the bible? the king? no, they come from the constitution of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, which has always been and implicitly means the GOVERNMENT of the US. we are a democratically elected representative republic, and the constitution is created BY and FOR the people. the CONSTITUTION (of the government) grants the rights.

  30. At the very least the “common good” should include freedom from the fear of sending your 6 year old to school. Although 6 year olds cannot vote and therefore do not have representation, the “common good” should include safety from being murdered and watching their teacher murdered in their classroom. If tyranny is the despotic abuse of power then these children are the true victims. Tyranny is sitting by and doing nothing while children and other innocents are sacrificed on the alter of the holy 2nd Amendment.

  31. No, not of course. You are not understanding. We are individual free men and women who have natural rights entirely independent of any government or document. No human government grants (or granted) those to us. There is no need for an “authority” to grant those things. They are natural and inherent.
    The republic was functioning without the constitution for quite some time. The constitution does not grant the rights! It documents and protects rights that were assumed as natural and precedent to the document! The constitution and government codify and serve our rights. The people of the republic voluntarily agreed to the framework which would govern civil life and contract. The did not wait for it to be granted. Bob, you are just off base on this in my opinion and it is a BIG reason we are in the mess that we are in…Americans do not understand and so march ever forward into slavery rather than standing free.

  32. Tyranny is not sitting by and doing nothing. Apathy is sitting by and doing nothing. There is no apathy from either side on this issue, I think.

  33. MK, you TRULY believe that the ‘right to pear arms’ is a natural right? A non-governmental, natural right? So, if you believe in God, that makes it a God-given right? REALLY?

    Methinks you just stepped off the deep end my friend.

    We’re ‘marching ever forward into slavery’??? No, we got RID of slavery in this country. Our march – and not just the US’s march, but humanity’s march – is one of progress, away from the slavery of ignorance and superstition and tribal warfare and primal instinct and fear and toward intelligence, enlightenment, reason, rationality, greater fairness, and a society with admittedly all kinds of problems, but one that is evolving and maturing. It is for this reason that we don’t believe spirits cause disease. It is for this reason we don’t worship the sun anymore, or think that the world is flat. It is for this reason that we no longer think that gods cause the weather to punish humans because they didn’t praise them enough. And it is why the argument of ‘just let everyone have a gun and they’ll magically stop shooting each other’ is something of the past, not the future.

    Marching toward slavery. Funny.

    MK, you sounded a little like David Barton there. You know who he is?


    (PS: And in response to whoever mentioned arming teachers: Look, I loved my elementary school teachers; they were great! But no way do I want them packing heat! Where are they going to keep it? In the desk? Wear it as a sidearm? THAT’s the learning environment we want: one where the teacher is armed?

    Armed school security is a solution we have to look at. But arming Mrs. Johnson?)

  34. I believe the right to bear arms is a natural right, in that any individual has the right to that which bearing arms does may provide. A couple of examples — food, self-defense and defense of property. It is entirely natural for mankind to exercise free, personal choice in pursuing or preserving those things. Yes. And I do not need to assert that it is granted by God or any external “authority.” It is. We are. When individuals abdicate the exercise of their rights of personal choice in these natural pursuits over to a government, they make the government their master. They make a master/slave relationship.

    The deep end? I’ll meet you there – since I see you believe in a progress that is largely non-existent for major numbers of the world’s population and a self-congratulating fiction about just how evolved and mature we have become.

    Ignorance, superstition, tribal warfare, primal instinct and (as clearly demonstrated this week) especially, fear are still RAMPANT all over the face of the planet. Sun worship, belief in spirit-induced disease, gods sending bad weather, God causing school shootings … these things also still, sadly, are believed by too many people. Comfort yourself if you want…but how ironic — when this whole conversation would be moot if we had achieved a fraction of the fantasy you are holding. I will give you that the flat-earth thing is pretty much gone.

    And wow — how many times does one have to say that the pro-gun argument is NOT… “just let everyone have a gun…etc.”

    I kept going on this at this blog b/c I thought you indicated a willingness to be convinced by the data. Maybe I was wrong about that. Too bad. I’ll just need to peddle the air — off the deep end — elsewhere. Bye.

  35. Perhaps if you were a female, MK, you would think differently. If you were a female of color you would for sure. But since you are a white male, you are used to the privileges afforded your race and gender. Imagine not being able to vote, own property or even having sovereignty over your own body. These are problems my mother and grandmother had to deal with but are completely foreign to my daughters. It’s true that the world is still lurching toward progress but we are a lot farther along than we were last year. Your examples of natural rights are insufficient because they are totally male centered. Enough progress has occurred so that the rights of women must be considered in your equation of personal choice. We want to be safe. Even more than our own safety, we want our children to be safe. If you had children (and I don’t think you do) you would understand that they are the sun and the moon. There is a reason those teachers and principle took a bullet for those kids. That is how important they are. The safety of any child trumps your right of personal choice any day of the week.

  36. I’ll believe the right to bear arms is a natural right when guns grow on trees.

    And, no, I don’t want my kid’s teachers armed. I wanted my kid’s teachers focused on education. Remember what happened the week after the Aurora shooting with the man who decided he was going to protect himself at the movies and managed to shoot himself in the ass when he sat down? Arming teachers sounds great…until some student gets hold of said gun and shoots him/herself or a classmate on accident.

  37. Susan,

    Only because I don’t want others reading to be mislead by your wrong assumptions and misjudgment, I will tell you that…
    I am a 40-something mother of two children, 11 and 10. I am a peace activist who happens to believe in having an open mind to the data that is available on this gun question — since I am keenly interested in my children’ safety. The available data suggests that the stricter gun laws will not necessarily make my children safer and may make them less safe. I do not believe in being driven by fear and following what is, in my opinion, a reactionary approach to national policy. I will support a policy if it can be shown to work — which is not the case here. Someone — please — provide the studies. I will read them. If they can show it will make my children safer, I will change my mind. My preference would be for all guns, of every type and also all weapons, of every type to be wiped from the face of the entire planet. Destroy every one of them, shut down gun factories, go vegetarian globally (no need for weapons to kill animals for food — not even arrows, though we probably need some sort of cutting device for our celery stalks) and whatever radical extension of this concept you want to add for fun. That would be my ideal. If we believe Bob — perhaps humanity is now mature enough to be about to accomplish this and we won’t have time to worry about gun laws in the U.S.

  38. What about the father who accidently shot his 7 year old son as he was getting into his carseat? The father laid his handgun on the dashboard and it discharged hitting his son in the chest and killing him. In an alternate scenario, if that 7 year old had not been in a carseat and had been killed in a car accident instead, the father would have been charged with a crime. But since the accident was caused by a sancrosanct gun, the father was not held liable. What the hell! Because they can’t vote, all children are held hostage to the tyranny of the 2nd Amendment.

  39. MK, you’re a female?!?! You must give me specific reasons why you think we are marching toward slavery. What rights have been taken away? I am sure this question will not get answered.

  40. […] Norelli rightly called the tragedy senseless. Robert Cargill weighed in on “The guns Adam Lanza used….” James Pate wondered whether the shooter had been loved in his life. Julie Clawson of […]

  41. So, by this logic, no household item that a child has ever had access to could be stolen from their parent. Isn’t it true that if my daughter was to borrow my charge card a number of times with permission and then run away from home taking the same charge card and racking up large purchses on it I could have her arrested for STEALING the card? Could I not report a car stolen that was mine, but that my son took without permission? Sorry, but the term stolen would apply here in most any legal or moral sense- especially when the objects in question were removed from the premisis. To be honest though, the fact that the weapons were or were not stolen is not germain to the argument at hand- wheather or not the citizens of our republic should have access to the same tools that are used to keep a gov’t in power. (Please do not degenrate this argument to the ridiculous by trying to use the WMD red herring. It also does not belong in the discussion.)

  42. Well for one, charge cards cannot be used by anyone other than the person whose name is on the card without a signatory card from the parent. If there is no signatory card, the store should decline the card. As for your car, yes, you’ll likely report it stolen. and IF this is the first time she’s done it, the police may believe you. BUT, if you tell the police that you’ve taken your daughter to the range to drive it with her on a number of occasions and your daughter has taken the car on her own a number of times in the past, you’ll STILL likely CLAIM that it was stolen, but the police may have a bit harder time believing you.

    As for the rest of your comments, I’m not sure if the point you’re trying to make works. For one, it does not work to say, “There is no solution to one plus one. And ‘please do not degenrate this argument to the ridiculous by trying to use the NUMBER TWO red herring. It also does not belong in the discussion.'” That is, you can’t discount out of hand and without evidence the argument that disproves your claim simply because it disproves your argument. If you’re going to argue that the “germane” issue is (and I quote), “citizens of our republic should have access to the same tools that are used to keep a gov’t in power,” then you had better be prepared to defend a citizen’s right to own tanks, grenade launchers, assault aircraft with sidewinder missiles, etc. That would be a simple refutation of your argument. Simply attempting to discount is beforehand does not render it moot.

    And two, yes, if a child takes from the house something which the child is accustomed to taking, and which the child has regular, recurring access to, then no, it’s not ‘stolen’ like money from a bank vault or guns from the gun shop.

    In short, your comment makes no sense, and if anything, proves my point. So, in a way, thank you.


  43. Actually both the credit card and the car are theft and prosecutable. Any time you take something that doesn’t belong to you without permission it is theft.

    You are dreaming about the store declining the card. So long as the person is the same sex, looks old enough to have a card and can make a somewhat believable signature the store will normally accept it. Self checkouts, online and gas pumps are even easier. That is why credit card fraud is such a big business.

    As for the car, it happened to my cousin. He took the car without permission (not for the first time) and his parents called the cops. He was taken out of HS in handcuffs. The charges were later dropped but he was arrested.

    If the child has regular, free access then it is not theft. However if the child has restricted access then it is theft. In this case do we really know what kind of access he was allowed? The two people that would no for certain are dead. So we don’t know if taking the guns were theft or not. Either way it really doesn’t matter.

    The true issues in this case are mental health care and what restrictions do we want on the second amendment.

  44. One thing I would like people to recognise is a need to blame a tool rather than the person using it. Personally I get angry when I hitmy thumb with a hammer but I dont blame the hammer. Guns are useful tools made for hunting, sporting AND defense against animals and mammals in any form. Dont forget that with a way to protect ourselves from a tyranical government this country was born. Now we have a government that is so large it does nothing to sustain itself but take from those it controls and yes, I too let that happen. Blame the people that do thewrong thin, not the tool. After all who is the first phone call to that you make when a violent crime happens???? its to a good guy with a gun because he can stop the bad guy with a gun. Laws dont stop crimes or wewould be drug free. laws only stop those willing to obey them and criminals choose not to.

  45. Andrew,

    I believe you’ve made my point for me. Since the credit card cannot be used without express, written permission, it is prosecutable. The car as well, as long as it can be demonstrated that the driver was not accustomed to driving it. (Again, that will not stop the parent from claiming he/she did NOT have permission to avoid legal liability…).

    And I’ll ask the question again: I’m not arguing that we should ban cars and credit cards, as they were NOT DESIGNED to kill. But assault rifles??? Of course people can misuse tools and harm people, but it’s usually a little more difficult to kill 27 people with a credit card or a car…

  46. Nathan, the “don’t blame the tool” argument has been discussed ad nauseum. In fact, see above.

    I’m not arguing that we should ban cars and credit cards and hammers, as they were NOT DESIGNED to kill.

    But assault rifles??? The PURPOSE of an assault rifle is to KILL.

    People will always misuse tools and harm people, but how many little children and teachers would Adam Lanza have killed with a hammer? It’s a silly argument to say that all ‘tools’ are the same, when some tools were DESIGNED to KILL people at a HIGH RATE OF SPEED. Not even revolvers are designed to do that.

    And do you REALLY think that you NEED to stop a ‘hostile government’ from ‘taking us over’, and do you REALLY BELIEVE you can stand up to the US Gov’t with an AR-15? You’ve watched one too many remakes of Red Dawn, and you’ve listened to one too many episodes of ‘The Blaze’.

  47. One problem I have with this whole debate is centering it on assault rifles. Do you actually know the definition of an assault rifle? The problem is that there is no real good definition. Most people define it as a semi-automatic with features of military weapons. According to the US Army it has to have select fire which no semi-automatic has.

    If you are going to say that the purpose of an assault rifle is to kill then you should generalize it and say that the purpose of all firearms is to kill. Assault rifles are used for the same purposes as any other rifle. Most are used for target shooting but they are also used for small game hunting.

    By the way the M16 was not designed to kill. It was designed to wound. The bullet is supposed to tumble inside the body and cause damage but not kill. This way the wounded soldier takes other soldiers out of the fight to carry him off the field and take care of him. Also puts extra strain on the supply train.

    Trying to outlaw assault rifles is a waste of time. There is no easy way to define them that the manufacturers won’t be able to get around and none of the legislation will touch the millions already in circulation. Trying to take those millions out of circulation may actually cause an armed uprising. Yes it would most likely be put down but are you certain which side the military will take? A lot of the people with these “assault weapons” are former / current military.

    Banning high capacity magazines, increasing the reasons for failing the background check, mandating trigger locks / safes, and increasing education, those items will do far more to stop such crimes than banning an almost undefinable class of weapons.

    Also remember that mass killings have been happening for a long time (your link on Facebook stated that the worst school killing was a bombing in 1927) and no piece of legislation will completely stop them.

  48. Andrew,

    While it is true that all firearms are designed to kill, SOME are designed to kill in a certain manner, and certain prey. A 20-guage shotgun with shot size of 7 1/2 to 8 are designed for dove and quail, not stopping an intruder. An AR-15 is designed to dispense a large number of human-lethal rounds in a short period of time. Sane people don’t deer hunt with AR-15s. They deer hunt with a Remington 7mm Magnum.

    Attempting to argue that all guns are the same is either ignorant or deliberately misleading.

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes, and only one devoid of training in logic fails to understand the fallacy of a slippery-slope argument.

    I’m not arguing that we should ban ALL guns, just the ones designed to “The bullet is supposed to tumble inside the body and cause damage”.

    By the way, your above argument: that “The bullet is supposed to tumble inside the body and cause damage but not kill”, is the most fallacious thing I’ve ever heard in ANY gun debate. EVER! I’m not even going to ask you to cite your source. It’s just comical (in a very sad way).

    That mentality is why some people want to ban ALL guns – if THAT’S how gun owners think, if THAT passes for sane logic, then I can understand their concerns. I don’t agree with them, but you’re making their argument for them.


  49. Yesterday a gun accidently discharged in a World Market store where I frequently shop. A man had a gun in his pocket and bent down to examine merchandise. The gun fell out of his pocket, fired and hit a table leg. No one was injured. The man casually walked over to the book store where he was found and questioned by police. He was not arrested. Where I live, apparently it is not a crime to fire a weapon in a shopping mall.

  50. Let us all fantasize for a moment. There are no guns. None of any type. We can put to rest the notion of “assault” weapons vs non-assault weapons. We can stop the senseless discussion about semi-automatic weapons. Any gun with a magazine that advances another round once one is fired is a semi-automatic weapon. That would include the simple “six shooter” of the old west. While I will admit the AR15 is a very powerful firearm, all firearms can and do kill. Hence all firearms are assault weapons. Had Adam Lanza chosen to arm himself with only numerous hand guns and been proficient with each hand, he may have been able to inflict even more harm than he did. But let’s pretend that they don’t exist. There are no guns of any type. Now what?

    As previously asked, would it, will it, solve the problem? If someone is intent on doing harm, what would they, what will they, do then?

    There are any manner of ways to harm, to attack, to kill. What if Lanza had chosen to poison his victims with an otherwise legal substance? What if he had chosen drive a vehicle laden with explosives into the building? What if he had chosen to burn the school down? These are all methods of mass killings that have been used in the past. Would we seek to outlaw the accelerant he may have used… say it was kerosene, alcohol, or gasoline? I know it is an absurd question to pose, but would we then seek to outlaw fire? Fire as a means to intentionally damage property is already known as arson is it not?

    Sadly, laws do little to prevent the actions they are designed to regulate. They simply define what will be punishable if the law is transgressed. Not to be trite or trivial but remember it is already illegal to commit murder. And the number of gun laws already on the books is mind boggling.

    Those intent of doing harm will do so. Does the method that they choose matter? It reminds me of the childhood riddle, which is heavier; a pound of lead or a pound of feathers? We immediately react to say the answer and soon realize we have become the victim of mental “slight of hand”. Would this have been less tragic if done by any other manner?

    Earlier someone stated that without the larger magazine and rapid firing Adam Lanza would not have been able to kill as many. As I suggested above, maybe not. So then, is the issue, the number of people killed? Would it have been okay if only 7 or 6 or 3 had died? For sure, fewer would have died, fewer would been wounded, fewer family and friends would have suffered. The magnitude of the event would have been less. But for those affected it would have been no less a tragedy.

    I won’t make the silly comparison to the number of people killed in auto accidents, or by drunk drivers, or infections contracted during a hospital stay. Those are accidental. This was a willful act. The gun did not accidentally fire upon those helpless souls. The gun was used as a tool of violence by someone intent on doing harm.

    The truth is that a person who was apparently very sick chose to inflict harm upon others. He first killed his mother and then chose to perpetrate what is even more unthinkable to rest of us and preyed upon the easiest target, the most vulnerable, and the least protected among us. Adam Lanza was intent on doing harm and he chose to inflict it by the use of firearms. We stand a far better chance of minimizing the risks of another such attack by identifying the Adam Lanza’s of the world because we simply cannot anticipate or eliminate the weapons they may choose.

  51. Yes, Rob, it would have mattered. If fewer children would have been murdered, then more families would have been able to pick up their precious kids from the fire station. It is rediculous to suggest Lanza could storm that school and poison these children. This line of argument infuriates me. After the Murrah tragedy, the federal government took measures to protect buildings from bombing. Why can’t we take measures to protect our children from mass murder weapons?

  52. Susan,

    You have missed my point.

    I asked if the method that Lanza chose mattered. As if we would be grateful to hear he had committed this aweful act by some other means. As if we would all have a collective sigh of relief and say “thank goodness he didn’t shoot them with an assault rifle”. Of course we wouldn’t say that.

    Nor would we rejoice to hear tomorrow of 3 or 4 deaths because the shooter only had a handgun with fewer rounds. No matter how many or how few, it’s a tradegy. Yes, fewer is better, but any at all is a tragedy.

    I was trying to direct the argument to the cause, which was Adam Lanza. He carried out the attack. To suggest that he could not have inflicted harm without these guns is a bit too hopeful. He planned this attack. Intent on doing harm, only his imagination would limit him to the method or the number of people he could have harmed.

    The common denominator in so many of these incidents seems to be people with some degree of mental illness that are intent on doing harm.

    Why can’t we take measures to protect our children from mass murder weapons? We can. As soon as we decide to address the real problems instead of pretending that feel-good measures will solve anything. The real weapon here was Adam Lanza.

  53. It would be wonderful to have the ability to determine who will become violent but we don’t. We live in reality not a Tom Cruse movie. Australia and Great Britian have not had one mass shooting after they limited their access to mass murder weapons. The limitations placed on gun ownership in these two countries were not feel-good nor knee jerk. So, apparently, the method does matter. I am not against firearms or even concealed weapons. But those people who choose to carry must have extensive training. If an accident occurs because of lack of adherence to protocol, the owner of the firearm must face the consequences.

  54. Hey here is a question for everyone. Do criminals follow and abide by the law? Really I’m not making any statement I just would like one law written here in this blog that prevented anything? J-walking, spitting on the sidewalk, theft, rape, murder is there one law that prevents any of this?
    Oh I guess there is one thing I’ll say; a lot of you question the statistics. I offer to you that it is known statistics can be varied, changed to look or give you what statistical outcome you want. So with that being said go look up this information for yourself, there are plenty of places websites and reference material to gather the information yourself. Trust no one do it yourself and open your eyes.
    One last note while you are looking for this information online, at the local library or at the library of congress look up news stories from China from last August and one in December. Look for attack with knife seems to me like it doesn’t require a gun to attack innocent unarmed children or adults.

  55. Shawn is correct that laws are broken frequently. That is
    why mass murder weapons and large capacity clips must be banned.
    The knife attack referenced by Shawn was not fatal. Nobody died in
    the knife attack but some of the 20 murdered children were shot as
    many as 11 times.

  56. So idiot, so she willingly gave him the guns? No he shot
    her in the face and took them! If my kid walks out the door and
    takes off to Florida in my car without asking do I report it
    stolen? Do the cops say no, its a household item…. Your an

  57. True joy is reading the words, “Your [sic] an idiot.”
    True. Joy.

  58. Bob,
    While I understand your position, I have a hard time comparing a shovel taken and used to kill a cat versus killing someone and then taking item to go kill another. My thought process would be if I have to kill someone to take something, it is because I feel they would try and stop my from doing wrong and would no longer give me access to said item.

    Stolen or not this is a horrific crime that has too many people becoming overnight experts in a variety of aspects and demanding that “their” side is “right” (That goes for both sides)

    Guns should be respected and protected. The problem (in my opinion) is that evil people do bad things, and always will. As a society we can minimize and prepare for evil acts, but they will continue.

    On a side note, for informational purposes only, the weapon picture in article that has caption about father and son shooting an UZI, is not an UZI. It appears to be an HK UMC.

    Craig Berberich
    LEO Gear
    Tactical Trainer & Outfitter for Law Enforcement

  59. 1. Thanx for your astute comments.
    2. Thanx for the correction about the Uzi. Still, how come I feel no better knowing it’s not an Uzi.
    3. The argument does seem to be one of semantics. All of a sudden, gun advocates want to label a gun that was legally purchased and used by someone living in the house as ‘stolen.’ It not much different from arguing that since an automatic machine gun isn’t an ‘Uzi’, it’s somehow better (or different).

    My question is: what are untrained, unlicensed folks doing with high powered automatic and semi-automatic weapons?

    I believe in the right to bear arms, and not just for hunting. But what is wrong with banning some of the most lethal weapons, and requiring training like we do for driving and licensing like we do for fishing?

  60. 1. You are welcome, thank you for avoiding person attack at me for said comments.
    2. I was not trying to make you feel better, lol. Based on some of your other posts, I was just giving you accurate data.
    3. The “stolen” aspect to me is not of issue. A disturbed and/or evil individual did a dispicable thing. Wether gun was legal, not legal does not lesson what horrific.

    To your question: As a firearms trainer, I encourage and wish more people would get training. In order to get a CCW Permit in Florida (where most of our training happens) the state requirements are very basic, only requiring student to fire a single round safetly and the class is generally about 2 1/2 hours. Our class is two days and students fire about 300 rounds as well as get a great deal of information to be a more responsible gun owner. That being said, in today’s “where can I get it cheaper” society, people tend to take the easy route. So licenses are required to carry a weapon, however, from a logistics point of view not certain how they could give consistent classes of MERIT. The classes now mandated are more about additional income stream. For the state it is from application fees and for trainers it is from the required class.

    I don’t have time to go into my thoughts on high capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons, as it is a long winded opinion. That being said I do not support and regulations that inhibit individuals (that meet criminal and mental criteria) from obtaining them. I have no issues with additional background checks, waiting periods, forensic tracking data, etc. as I believe that law abiding citizens will not be hampered by these type of actions.

    I also would be in favor of actually enforcing the laws we already have, and making criminals serve full sentence when crime committed. And I think many of our prisons are way too nice. We have vets and homeless people that don’t get three squares a day and shelter, but our criminals get this and much more in many cases.

    It is a shame that bad people do bad things, but the tools they use are rarely at fault. A simple look in history shows the worst school disaster in US history (in my opinion) was in Bath Township in 1927.

  61. I have rarely heard an NRA rebuttal where Bath Township is not mentioned. If it were not for that one lunatic in Bath Township, we might have had gun control sooner.

  62. Susan,

    I’m quite certain I did not mention the NRA, nor was that intended as a rebuttal. I was simply offering my opinion (which I noted) clearly.

    You seem to have made my point, “if it were not for that one lunatic” which is my point. The evil person (people) need to be our focus not the tools they use.

    I hesitate to mention all the other avenues that can be used to cause harm to large number of people as I do not wish for a post of mine to read as a recipe for those wishing to cause destruction.

    I also am in the unenviable position of seeing copious amount of reports from law enforcement agencies (domestic, foreign and federal) where many incidents are stopped prior to be executed. These rarely make the news as they do not wish to create an environment for people to come up with the most unique way to do harm.

    Society as a whole tend to find new better ways to do things as we evolve and/or things are taken away. It has been that way since the beginning of time. As an example: Communication – We started with caveman drawings (and noises, we assume), that evolved into speech and writing. Then we moved on to the telegraph (1809) and the teletype. Next up phone (1814) landlines, shortwave radios and television. So that brings us to cell phones and computers, offering us this BLOG for communication.

    So while I can appreciate your point, I don’t see a way to facilitate a gun control program that will not only disarm (control, monitor, etc.) our law abiding citizens, but the criminal (mental) element also.

    If we have the ability to implement a program to control guns (what ever your definiton of gun control is, as I do not wish to put words in your mouth) then we should be able to have the same program be effective for many of the other issues such as: Domestic Abuse, Drunk Driving, Child Trafficing, Drugs, etc.

  63. Craig,

    Glad to see another voice of reason here. The outrage from this tragedy has prompted people to cry out for something… anything… to be done. Not, that it will necessarily be effective, but by doing something… anything… they can say to themselves.. well, at least we tried.

    Doing “something” soothes our emotional needs. Unfortunately the debate has become too emotionally charged. Facts and logic don’t matter when such fervor is in place. Instead of concentrating on effective solutions that pass the test of scrutiny our leadership focuses on what makes people feel better and they pretend we can deny reality.

    I have made many of the same points as you in my prior posts in this string. This was a horrible tragedy carried out by someone who was mentally ill. It’s the typical profile of so many such shooters – the mentally ill, the deranged, the social misfit, and the outcasts.

    Like you, I agree that a person intent on doing harm will not be stopped by the absence of certain types of firearms or smaller magazines or even the absence of guns in total. If intent on doing harm they will find a way.

    The critics speak of “assault weapons” as if other types of guns are less lethal. You can probably attest better than I that these guns aren’t as powerful as most and all guns can easily kill.

    The critics speak as if these semi-automatic rifles that they want to single out can fire at a faster rate than any other semi-automatic firearms. Again, I suspect you can attest that the firing rate for all semi-automatic firearms are largely limited to how fast you can keep pulling the trigger. These aren’t machine guns.

    The critics want to believe that smaller magazines will limit the number of rounds one can fire – as if numerous smaller magazines couldn’t be carried. Better yet, as f those intent on a criminal act would be concerned about violating a law limiting the size of a magazine.

    And for those who continue to rant against guns in schools for protection I just wonder. Do you suppose that maybe just for a moment… maybe just one of those brave teachers who tried to subdue Adam Lanza… wished they had a better option than to only knowingly sacrifice their own lives as human shields? At that moment I’m quite sure each and every one of them would have preferred to be able to subdue him otherwise. Do you think maybe just one of them wished they had a gun at that moment?

  64. The unintended consequences of guns in schools are too numerous to even list here. Our country will begin to have “gun control” on a state-by-state basis. In 10 years, we will see which state has less gun violence, less cost to state government, and a better quality of life. Then we will see which state attracts more business opportunities, educated professionals, and innovative enterprises. Luckily, I live in such a state. We are tightening up our gun show laws, we are populating our databases with those that should not own guns and we are limiting magazine capacity. We are passing laws to make gun owners responsible for accidents. Canada is to our north, Cascade mountains are to our west and Oregon is to our south so we may be the only state in the country that will be fit to raise children.

  65. How many times does this have to happen before idiot rednecks stop giving their kids guns?

  66. The issue not discussed here is mental health care.

    I chose not to have a home defense weapon when I was married to my ex-wife because of her mental health problems.

    If someone in your family has mental health problems they should not have access to weapons. If you choose to have guns in your home, the guns and the ammunition should also be stored separately.

    One of my uncles (who is a registered gun collector) has gone so far as to have a separate fire safe for his ammunition to make so that a thief would have to break into both his gun safe and the ammunition safe.

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