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September 22nd, 2009
07:11 AM ET

Mad as Hell: Gun owners up in arms

A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona in August.

A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona in August.
By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

December 15, 1791 – On that day the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, sowing the seeds for an ongoing and still raging debate about the right to be free to bear arms vs. the right to be free of violence.

Here’s the exact wording:

“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.”

We went to western Pennsylvania, where hunting is popular, and to Baltimore, Maryland, where it isn’t, to understand better the cultural gap that divides the two sides.

Baltimore, Maryland – So far this year more than 300 people have been shot. Just last week six people died from gunfire. Baltimore is one of more than 450 small and large cities that have joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to keep guns away from criminals.

Baltimore also has instituted “Safe Streets,” a program that aims to reduce shootings by putting community members onto the streets at night to mediate disputes that could lead to violence.

Dante Barksdale is one of those community members. An ex-con, Barksdale says “Safe Streets” gets at the heart of gun violence. “I don’t know about people loving guns,” he said, “but I know about people using guns to protect themselves or protect their image. … And this is why usually people use guns to resolve conflict. It’s because they feel like, you know, someone is stepping on their macho image [but] … being macho, being the biggest man with the biggest gun, the man who has all these people fearing him, this is not being a man. This is ignorance.”

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania – The gun owners we spoke with here, just east of Pittsburgh, see their freedom threatened by efforts to control gun possession. They were not uniformly against all gun control, but expressed concerns that new legislation could escalate into an outright ban.

CNN's Carol Costello visited retiree Irwin Polansky, who hunts around the small town of Jeanette. She asked him if owning a gun is a God-given right. “Yes,” Polansky said. He needs a gun “to protect myself from bad guys. … or an animal.” Polansky added that “they’ve got enough laws on the books right now. If they would only enforce them to go after criminals. … But why come after us? We didn’t do nothing wrong.”

We found several hunters early one morning waiting quietly with shotguns for geese to fly over Twin Lakes in Latrobe, PA. After downing several birds, hunter George Smithula told us that “you have to be born in the environment to really appreciate guns.” As for assault weapons, Smithula told us: “I’m not too keen on [them], but everything else I see no problem with.” Why does he think some gun advocates oppose all forms of gun control? “Because if you take the assault weapons away … what’ll be next? The handguns? Who knows?”

“If I lived in a place like [Baltimore],” said fellow geese hunter Dan Weyandt, “I’d like to have a gun for protection because there’ so much going on. What are you going to do if somebody comes in and comes after your family?”


Filed under: Mad as Hell
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. Drake Bailey

    Lotsa uninformed out there I see...
    And Canada's no gun policy has raised all gun related crime rates.
    Then there is the gist of this base article, 'They' are gonna take our guns away!!! oooooeeeeeee!!!
    The whole thing is about property rights, as in where you can carry.
    The rest of all this might become mute.
    The UN resolution on 'safety' to regulate small arms world wide...
    Obama is all for this.
    Too much talk and not enough action.
    I don't just use this blog cause I got free time...so
    Which of you is a lawyer? Which has the money for the legal costs of taking this on?
    How many would be willing to form a group to address this?
    Anyone here or know someone who represents the press?
    This noise can be ignored, as can a lot of press, and reports.
    Maybe it is time to take definitive action against those taking these treasonous actions against The Constitution?
    Let's start a load of lawsuits against those who are in favor of such things or the actions themselves...a combination of the two?
    Besides, we can make this blog famous...

    December 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  2. william

    The under lining issue is not gun contro;. The issue is control of the american citizens. It is a shame about the unlawful killings. But who is getting killed. ninety five percent is the criminal elements, gang members, drug dealers and more. If one firearm is banded it will snow ball from there and all of the firearms will be taken. The second amendment does nothing for the hunter. It says the militia. most citizens are militia members even if they do not know it. us code 310. We the people have the right to be armed as the military and law enforcement (except full auto arms). The people need to deal with the issues and that is not the fire arm, it is the person under the influence, it is the criminal element that does not care about your safety. citizens need to take responsability for their action and start doing the right thing instead of looking the other way.

    December 17, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  3. Todd

    PAUL

    My statements regarding AR-15s are generally accurate. I also am an instructor and, judging from the appearance and quality of your responses, probably have been since before you were out of diapers.

    AR-15 type platforms ARE "typically" chambered in 5.56 NATO. There are a few that are chambered in .223 SAAMI but the preponderance are chambered in 5.56, even if they say .223. The chamber leade (throat) on a NATO chamber is slightly longer than on a .223 owing to the looser NATO length spec. Because of the difference in measurement techniques (i.e. location) and pressure specifications, certain NATO cartridges CAN create an overpressure condition in a tight .223 SAAMI chamber under certain conditions, particularly where the longer and heavier bullets are used. This is most commonly observed in competition grade bolt action rifles chambered in .223 SAAMI.

    The AR-15 platform chambered in 7.62 x 51 is also commonly referenced as an AR-10, I will give you that. The M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon is chambered in 5.56 – not 7.62. We don't use the M-60 much anymore and have not since the 80s and 90s, with a few notable exceptions. It has largely been replaced by the M-240 which is also chambered in 7.62 x 51 but has a higher rate of cycle. So, your stated "facts" do not reflect reality.

    All other things being equal, barrel length and guage of rifling/headspace(leade) are the largest factors affecting velocity. Penetration and in flight stability are both governed by bullet design/weight/rate of twist coupled with velocity considerations.

    Again, your ability to read for comprehension appears severely limited and your ability to distinguish friend from foe appears to be disturbingly lacking. How many times have you shot the good guys or even gone to the wrong address on your tactical entries?

    November 20, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  4. Paul (police officer)

    TODD – Your facts are not even close to correct about AR-15's and their typical chambers. Although your grain information (5.56 mm does not necessarily have low penetration. That parameter is not only affected by velocity, but also by range, projectile design, composition and weight. 62 gr, 65 gr, 77 gr generally penetrate better than 55gr, Penetrator or Nosler designs penetrate really well. ) is correct and would be for any aapropriate weapon employing those rounds/grains...

    Not only am I a firearms instructor in law enforcement, I am also a tactical entry training specialist. I am a little familiar with the topic...

    Thank you for your opinons. (even if not factual)

    The "AR-15" is a for "lamens terms is a civilian version" of the M-16 and is standardly chambered in .223 which is very very close to 5.56. The M-16 and M-4 are typically chambered in 5.56 and are not 7.62mm. Can you get them that way.. Of course.. However, my statement was "typically"

    US military assault rifles chambered in 7.62 are typcially larger squad support weapons such as the M-249 (saw) the M-60.... etc... Try actually researching the material you speak about so you can speak intelligently.

    And the penetration rates are from the FBI national firearms lab. All this can be found on the internet as well. U can confirm every fact I have ever stated on here.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  5. PNUT

    When your door gets kicked in at 3 a/m or you get accosted by a group of thugs in a parking lot late at night you'll change your mind about gun control really quick. Sadly, there are predators in the world and for a little old lady or a small guy a gun is the only thing that can put them on even footing with a couple of criminals intent on doing them harm. Restricting law abiding people from having guns is to leave them to the human wolves. As a Democrat and a pretty liberal leaning person it shocks me that so many of us fail to see the reality of society. Cops arrive on the scene after crimes are committed ,not before. even thirty seconds is an eternity when you are fighting two men with knives. I'm not taking a chance that a cop will happen by and save me. Thank you, Mr.Gaston Glock.

    November 2, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  6. mark

    Carol,
    Firs tell Rita A. Banda to stop playing the racial card, The president (if his story is true) is just as black as he is white. But that is neithier here or there. This is about the second amendment or in my mind all the amendments. Once they get done telling use what guns we can buy and when and where and how we transport them, they will start on the other amendments. How long before the start telling us what we can and cannot say, and when and how? oh, wait they have, a kid in colorado got exspelled for wearing a shirt that expressed his opinion of Obama during the election (keep in mind his shirt had no profanity or folgarity). I think Loius Lamar said it best in his books in the seventys "when guns are out lawed only outlaws will have guns". If you want to know some truths about guns and how they save lives you will have to get away from mainstream news media, because they stopped being objective reports a long time ago. All you hear and see now is what sells the ratings. There was a guy in colorado a few years ago that shot and killed and intruder into his home, under the make my day law. We heard about it for 24 hours. But the kid on crack that shoots some one, you hear about it for months because he is going to court and because it sells better than the father and husband that stopped and intruder.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  7. Todd

    And PAUL…..

    5.56 mm does not necessarily have low penetration. That parameter is not only affected by velocity, but also by range, projectile design, composition and weight. 62 gr, 65 gr, 77 gr generally penetrate better than 55gr, Penetrator or Nosler designs penetrate really well. For a weapon that is still lightweight but offers high penetration/energy at distance, it is hard to beat the various .338 configurations.

    I should also note that, in general, rifles chambered for 5.56 x 45 mm or 7.62 x 51 mm can also typically fire the .223 or .308 cartridges – it is, however, not advisable to employ 5.56 or 7.62 cartridges in weapons chambered strictly for .223 or .308.

    October 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  8. Todd

    And PAUL.....

    5.56 mm does not necessarily have low penetration. That parameter is not only affected by velocity, but also by range, projectile design, composition and weight. 62 gr, 65 gr, 72 gr generally penetrate better than 55gr, Penetrator or Nosler designs penetrate really well. For a weapon that is still lightweight but offers high penetration/energy at distance, it is hard to beat the various .338 configurations.

    I should also note that, in general, rifles chambered for 5.56 x 45 mm or 7.62 x 51 mm can also typically fire the .223 or .308 cartridges – it is, however, not advisable to employ 5.56 or 7.62 cartridges in weapons chambered strictly for .223 or .308.

    October 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  9. Todd

    PAUL – I CONCLUDE THAT YOU ARE LIKELY EITHER A FRAUD OR INCOMPETENT.

    Paul (police officer) writes:

    “By the Way… TODD….

    AR-15’s are typically chambered in .223… which is esentially a .22 caliber bullet, except it has more powder behind it for longer distances… In law enforcement we use the .223 because of its LOW penetration rating. .223 penetrates less then a .45 cal. handgun.

    U can verify this at the FBI ammunition penertration ratings found on Google. Secondly.. even we (police) don’t use fully automatic AR-15’s Only a few select officers like Swat, etc. and then they switch the commonly known Mp5 which is 9mm… same as a pistol caliber and has the highest penetration of the common calibers..

    If you are going to knock “Assault Rifles” then at least be educated about the topic. Besides all civilian models are semi-automatic just like handguns.”

    By the way, PAUL, I think I know a thing or two about the subject. And it is clear that you have great difficulty identifying friend from the enemy. If you would have bothered to comprehend my post you would have noted that I was taking issue with Allen in Hartwell, Georgia over HIS ridiculous position and statements. My reply to his statements was in the second paragraph, just as I am responding with your comments captioned above in this response. AR15s ARE NOT typically chambered in .223. They are typically chambered in 5.56 x 45 mm, loaded hotter that .223 and with a headspace approximately twice that of .223. The AR15s I referenced that I hunt with are chambered in 7.62 x 39 mm and in 7.62 x 51 mm NATO. You will also note that in a high speed CQB engagement in a structure, I pointed out that the combat handgun or a 12 ga loaded with buckshot would concern me much more than a .22 long rifle. Also, I did not “knock” so called “assault rifles” – in fact I defended them, more correctly “assault weapons” which I define to be semi-automatic. It appears to me that YOU are the one who does not know your subject matter, nor are you able to read for comprehension, and it concerns me greatly in that you claim you are a knowledgable police officer. Maybe you should go back to school – I would have failed you had you been in my class. Attention to detail is an imperative skill for a good police officer. But, maybe that is not required or desired in Chicago

    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  10. arich

    You got that right, James. THe mass media and the garbage they pedal like LA LAW would have us believe America is in the midst of a tidal wave of violent White crime. When in reality it's the reverse. We don't need gun control we need minority control for the most part.

    October 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  11. straightarrow

    No, Paul, I did not go off on a tangent. Several here have equated support for the second amendment as racism. That false charge needs to be anwered. I answered it.

    I can see where you might think my speaking of civil rights was unrelated to gun ownership if you didn't think too deeply about it. So, I'll help you out here.

    The second amendment is a guarantee that government will never infringe the one civil human right that protects all the others. It is that simple. There are people who cry "racism" at every disagreement. They do this because they know that nobody wants to be considered racist and will usually shut up, allowing them to win the debate by default. The very fact that they know this and continue to use this tactic puts the lie to their claim that support for the second amendment is "racist". It is necessary to answer those false charges every time they come up, lest we lose the debate by default and the Right by government edict.

    I hope this helps you understand.

    October 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  12. Trigger Joe

    I believe gun owners who decide on owning a gun/ firearm need to educate themselves regarding their rights to bear arms.

    Also – message to those posting - not all gun owners are criminals, members of the inner city, or individuals who purchase them illegally. Some gun owners participate in competition amongst others. This is regarded as a sport and NOT neighborhood 'friendly fire'.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  13. Paul (police officer)

    Lee..

    Legal firearms unless u posses a Class 3 FFL can not fire more than one round per pull of the trigger. And it is very difficult to get a Class 3 FFL.

    I do agree with stiffer penalties for gun related crimes.... However not simply becuase you shoot someone.... Im sure that is not exactly what you meant...

    For example, Even as a police officer, if I point my gun at you without just cause, I can be charged with Aggravated Assualt.

    So I would say if you shoot somone with any kind of malicious intent. Because the way you said it would say I cant defend myself with a firearm if I were met with deadly force....

    October 11, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  14. Paul (police officer)

    By the Way... TODD....

    AR-15's are typically chambered in .223... which is esentially a .22 caliber bullet, except it has more powder behind it for longer distances... In law enforcement we use the .223 because of its LOW penetration rating. .223 penetrates less then a .45 cal. handgun.

    U can verify this at the FBI ammunition penertration ratings found on Google. Secondly.. even we (police) don't use fully automatic AR-15's Only a few select officers like Swat, etc. and then they switch the commonly known Mp5 which is 9mm... same as a pistol caliber and has the highest penetration of the common calibers..

    If you are going to knock "Assault Rifles" then at least be educated about the topic. Besides all civilian models are semi-automatic just like handguns.

    October 11, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  15. Paul (police officer)

    Everyone has kinda gone off on tangents that have nothing to do with the issues.. Especially Straightarrow.

    I am a cop in the Chicago area and I fully support FREEDOM OF GUN OWNERSHIP. CRIMINALS DONT BUY GUNS THROUGH LEGAL MEANS. THEY BUY THEM ILLEGALY OFF THE STREET OR STEAL THEM. I HAVE NEVER ONCE TAKEN A LEGALLY PURCHASE GUN OFF OF A CRIMINAL.

    TAKING GUNS AWAY FROM LAW ABIDING CITIZEN WILL NEVER STOP GUN VIOLENCE.

    Well regulated militia was Private citizens in colonial times... Our current National Guard answers to the Federal Government(Commander and Chief) over that of the State (governor). for wich our Colonial Milita did not.......So they do not represent the people in times of tyranny or potential dictators... They protect even against DOMESTIC " so called problems which are determined by the President.

    I have no problems with those who dont like guns, but dont utilize hiding behind STRICT WORD FOR WORD understanding of the law.... Instead realized all the variables and what the law was actually written for.

    October 11, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  16. Jeff in California

    I have never known a gun to jump off the shelf and shoot someone all by itself.

    To blame an inanimate object for someone's moral failure is to dodge moral responsibility. Of course, that's ok with some people.

    With every right to goes a responsibility. We have the right to bear arms, and the responsibility to use that power wisely. If someone uses arms to commit a crime, it's not the right's fault, not the gun's fault, but it is the criminal's fault.

    October 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  17. David

    If anyone thinks by taking guns away from working americans is going to stop violence, they are kidding themselves.
    I had a brother that was murdered in 1988 and he was beat to death by two guys that had nunchucks, that is two sticks fastened together, not a gun. If my brother had a gun, he might still be alive today.

    October 9, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  18. billly

    Here Chuck maybe this will help you understand, this is what makes you free! “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.”

    You are not getting weapons from law abidding people, your country is getting them from the criminals not from the law abidding people! So banning them will not work, you will still get them! Sorry but try again!

    October 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  19. billly

    If Chuck knew what he was talking about, crime would drop but since he don't we have to keep our guns

    October 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  20. Paul

    I feel sorry for all the amereicans that do not, or will not, accept the fact that all the thousands of gun laws already in exsistance have ,in reality, done very little to control gun violence. A good definition of insanity is repeating the same action expecting a different result. I am a former Democrat current Independant voter and I enjoy discharging firearms. History has shown me that Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, to name just a couple, thought gun controll was a good idea. I have found it quite difficult to find gun control and freedom in the same context. I will vote for the party that will not take my guns! Oh by the way the recent death in Chicago was

    October 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  21. straightarrow

    For Dorothy Kincaid. Don't you know that the reason gun control was ever started was to keep blacks from having them? The Democrats did not want freed slaves to be able to defend themselves from the Klan, nor from any other white man who desired to hang a black person for real or perceived offenses.

    If you look at the venues in our nation today with the strictest gun control, you will note that all have very high minority populations as compared to other venues. This isn't an accident, Dorothy. Gun Control is racist. Its inception was racist and its continuation is basically racist with the added component of trying to make everyone a helpless slave, regardless of race. So, Dorothy, you might want to rethink your position. You and i should be on the same side. The side of empowering people to be able to defend themselves and not have their very lives dependent on the sufferance of those who consider themselves superior by being the herdsmen and us being the livestock who exist only to serve the purposes of the herdsmen, whether it be shearing, slaughter or sale.

    Has it not occurred to you that drug gangs are tolerated because they instill fear in the populace, which then look to the state for protection? Further, you will note that that supposed protection takes the form, every time, of placing more restrictions on the law abiding, but provides no surcease from the criminal nor do they lessen criminal activity. This too is no accident.

    I feel bad for you that you are so enraged that people of various colors exist and you somehow feel all who aren't black are your enemies, but that most probably can be explained more by your hysterical anger rather than by fact.

    Too many good people of all colors have sacrificed too much for you to dismiss their contributions to civil rights by ignoring them. It is true that most of those people were white people, not because they are inherently morally superior to other folks, but simply because there were so many more of them in our society during those struggles.

    Another thing you should probably educate yourself on is the group Deacon for Defense. Google it. They were armed black men who defended their neighborhoods from cowardly monsters who had attacked their communities and had intentions of continuing to do so, until they realized that they weren't the only ones with guns. Funny how that seems to make bad guys back and reassess, as the politicians like to say.

    You should also have noticed that no advocate for unfettered Second Amendment exercise by citizens has called for a "black exception" to the free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, if you are honest, you will note that we advocate for ALL Americans to enjoy the rights of free men and women.

    So please, quit using the "racist" crap, it's old, tired, worn-out, and false.

    October 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  22. Todd

    Allen in Hartwell, GA writes, "Most of the argument here seems to be about assault weapons and handguns. Assault weapons are toys for most, and used for killing people by some. They serve no other purpose. Handguns have their place, and I would not want to see them banned, but to say they are for home defense is ridiculous.
    What would scare someone the most – a woman waving around a small handgun acting like she didn’t want to use it, or a woman with a semi-automatic 22 rifle aimed directly at you?"

    Your opinions about AR15s and similar firearms are incorrect. I often hunt deer and hogs with appropriately chambered "Assault Weapons." As far as close quarters battle in a home defense situation, I would fear the large caliber handgun much more than the .22 cal rifle, particularly when facing someone with the knowledge, skill and attitude to effectively employ a handgun. All things being equal, I would consider the .22 cal a minor hazard that could be easily overcome in that environment. In a high speed engagement the odds of sufficiently accurate shot placement with a .22 cal rifle in a dwelling are long. In fact, a short shotgun with buckshot in it wielded by a competent individual would bother me more than either a combat handgun or the .22 cal rifle in a CQB environment. I don think that a motivated individual, woman or not, would wave around a "small" handgun and act like she did not want to use it in a home defense scenario. And if she were unwilling to use the handgun, why would the small caliber, rimfire rifle be any different?

    October 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  23. Lee Bowman

    As I posted on 9/22 (in part):
    "... Agreed. Why should a shooter’s penalty hinge on the outcome of the victim? I propose that the mere act of shooting someone should mandate a penalty of from twenty years to life. Mandatory. The fact that they may survive should not diminish the sentence.

    Both limiting which guns are allowed (absolutely NO assault weapons, and a limit on clip size and firing rate), and SEVERE penalties for the act of firing upon would improve gun safety, and should be acceptable to both sides."

    And on 9/24 (in part):
    "But since guns make robbery, murder, suicide and child deaths from guns as simple as pulling the trigger, they need to be better regulated.

    Than means limiting their rapid fire functionality, clip size, improved safety devices (locks, code locks), and the continuance of background checks. That won’t prevent abuse, but will reduce it.

    Last but perhaps most important, since they are everywhere in the US and will always be available for crime use, I recommend a federal law that would mandate a long prison sentence, without parole, for anyone who deliberately shoots another, except in self defence or accident. Whether death or permanent impairment ensues, the penalty should be based on the act, NOT the outcome. Intentional assault use = twenty years to life minimum."

    October 2, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  24. Gene Liverman

    Think about this old bumper sticker that I saw at summer camp years ago: "If guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns." Ponder on that a minute... Now ponder on this: every nation in the civilized world that has outlawed guns has seen their crime rate go UP, not down. How many guns on the streets do you REALLY think are purchased legally? My guess is not many. I do not believe that ANYONE should infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens' rights to own guns. Criminals on the other hand should face HUGE penalties for committing crimes while using them.

    October 2, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  25. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Most of the argument here seems to be about assault weapons and handguns. Assault weapons are toys for most, and used for killing people by some. They serve no other purpose. Handguns have their place, and I would not want to see them banned, but to say they are for home defense is ridiculous.
    What would scare someone the most – a woman waving around a small handgun acting like she didn't want to use it, or a woman with a semi-automatic 22 rifle aimed directly at you?

    October 2, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  26. steve l

    so, you folks in favor of making guns illegal; think that will work out as well as has making drugs illegal?

    September 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  27. k

    Saying that legal legitimate gun owners are responsible for gun crime is as silly as environmentalist claims that hunters destroy species. Now intelligent animal lovers realize hunting and hunters do more to preserve animals and the outdoors than probably any other group. If you want to stop gub crime and crime in general focus on why more kids are getting involved in crime, the destruction of the family, lack of parental control and involvment, traditional values being outlawed. If you took all guns away it would not stop crime. Take the guns away you'll find the government in your living room reading your mail and criminals with guns still comitting crimes.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  28. anson macdonald

    The second amendment to the Constitution does not GIVE us any right. What the second amendment DOES do is enumerate a God-given right (a birthright). That birthright is the right of self defense, inherent in being human. Those who wish to turn it into a revokable privilege have an agenda in mind and that agenda does not include the safety of mankind that comes with the advertising copy.

    Every tyrant who ever used mass murder as a political tool first removed firearms and the right of self defense. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. all had that same agenda. If you think it can't happen here your only deluding yourself.

    As a post script I would add that MUSKETS were not mentioned in the Second Amendment wording. It clearly reads ARMS and that includes those useful arms mislabled "assault" that so frighten the hoplophobes. Instead of an H1N1 anti-virus what is really needed is something to cure the control freak impulse that motivates the gun grabber mentality.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  29. AW

    What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" don't you understand?

    It is my duty and responsibility to protect myself. Nobody elses.

    One of the original posts on this topic says we have a right to muskets not rifles... Where does it say that?

    The plain and simple truth is that if you demand all guns be banned or turned in, only law abiding people will do it. Criminals will still have them and they will use them with increasing visciousness. It's what they do.

    Protect the 2nd Ammendment. Buy an AK47.

    September 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  30. david

    i don't think there should be any gun control at all. i think if the person is too dangerous to own a firearm, he shouldn't be allowed to go freely
    in public. he should be locked up or put down. in switzerland, any free citizen can buy any weapon fielded by the swiss military (that might be issued to an individual soldier). look at their crime rate. it's because they address the problem (criminals) not guns.

    September 28, 2009 at 4:56 am |
  31. ravenshrike

    Ahem, the exact wording, that is, the form of the amendment that was actually ratified, only has a single comma in the middle of the sentence.

    September 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  32. Andrew

    Ms. Costello, shame on you! Your article is full of two things: innuendo and false reasoning. For example, you write:

    "December 15, 1791 – On that day the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, sowing the seeds for an ongoing and still raging debate about the right to be free to bear arms vs. the right to be free of violence."

    You should either know better than to attempt to fool intelligent and clued-in people with a false dichotomy such as that, or be more honest. Being free to bear arms in no way implies a yoke of violence. This is Logic 101 material. Clearly you need to go back to school.

    The consider this "safe streets" program. Judging by what you wrote, which wasn't much, it sounds like it may be a very good way for community members to get themselves hurt or killed. Anyone who believes that getting between two or more pissed off gang bangers is likely to result in anything but still more violence and chaos is fooling themselves. Very few people, when inflamed to the point of initiating physical violence, will listen to reason. This is one place where the presence of a firearm can prove very helpful. It is amazing to see just how quickly most would-be assailants come to their senses when the threat of imminent grave bodily harm presents itself. While I appreciate the spirit in which such programs are instituted, wishful thinking has no place in such affairs.

    You go on to write: "An ex-con, Barksdale says 'Safe Streets'gets at the heart of gun violence."

    I note that you don't quote him directly. One can only wonder why, given that you do so immediately thereafter. The whole timbre of your article reeks of a biased pen. The article is not labeled as "editorial" or "oped", yet that is how it reads – this is not reporting, it is grand standing, and a poor job of it at that, I am sorry to say.

    Your employer should be calling you on the carpet or firing you for this deplorably ignorant pile of manure that you have had the temerity to present to the public. Shame on you and shame on CNN! If you had any sense of decency you would wear brown paper shopping bags on your head for the shame of what you dare put out as "news". I will happily send you some if you cannot find any yourself.

    September 27, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  33. Paul (police officer)

    The US Supreme Court has said that states can not infringe on the second amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller.

    Arguement Over... Subject Mute.

    September 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  34. PeterT

    It constantly amazes me that there are so many people with opinions about US gun control who have absolutely no knowledge of the law or firearms to back up those opinions. There is a wealth of good information available out there folks, take a little time to educate yourselves before exposing the world to your ignorance. Fully automatic weapons have been strongly controlled in the US since the mid 30's. You cannot own or transfer a full auto weapon without a full background investigation, approval of your local chief law enforcement officer (for the most part) and a 200$ tax stamp for each such weapon. Since this law went into effect, there have been two uses of registered full auto weapons in a crime, one of those by a Dayton Police officer. The so called assault weapons, which the ignorant assume to be full auto are not. They are merely semi-auto look alikes to the AK-47, M-16, etc. In function, they are no different from your typical semi-auto hunting rifle except that they use a less powerful cartridge. Additionally, if you would bother to check, you would see that even the semi-auto versions are seldom used in crimes, although that is on a slight increase. Please learn something about the subject. Your feelings mean nothing to anyone but yourself.

    September 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  35. Roberta X

    Carol: Then the First Amendment only gives us the right to communicate by handwritten letters, hand-set type, and assembled in groups, not to use the telephone, internet, a PA system, TV or radio. Think about it. (Come to think of it, by your reasoning, any religion formed after 1791 isn't covered, either. So much for Unitarian Universalists, who didn't merge until the 1960s; so much for many Protestant sects. So much for B'hai and Scientology. Why do you hate John Travolta?)

    (Also most "Uzis" are fully-automatic weapons, "machine pistols," taxed and regulated since the 1930s. Quite expensive to buy even before you pay the $200 tax).

    September 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
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