Why I Don’t Want Gun Lovers Grieving Another Massacre Alongside Me

I am grieving again today.

Once more I am mourning the senseless execution of beautiful souls taken in the prime of their lives and in the middle of their innocent ordinary. I am again grieving more premature funerals and canceled weddings and discarded futures—and I want to be alone right now.

Gun lover, please don’t tell me you’re grieving along with me today too. You’re welcome to mourn, but I don’t think I want your company right now. 

If you’re still against greater gun control measures—I don’t want you to grieve alongside me today.
If you’re part of the zealous, gun-glorifying community—I don’t want you to grieve alongside me today.
If you’re a militant, unrepentant NRA apologist—I don’t want you to grieve alongside me today.
If your right to bear arms ultimately matters more to you than the human wreckage strewn about movie theaters and shopping malls and elementary schools and nightclubs and hospitals and festival grounds—I don’t want you to grieve alongside me today.

Not again. Not now. 

I just can’t accept your condolences and prayers and claims of solidarity—not now.

If I do, if I allow you to bow your head with me and speak a quick prayer before moving on to the exact same posture and practice and politics, then it feels like I am just consenting to more murder. It becomes an empty gesture. As a lover of life and person of faith I simply can’t do that in good conscience, and so I ask you to allow me to mourn in peace right now.

Words of sadness and offers of prayers alone are not significant enough now.

Any expression of grief that doesn’t come with an admission that guns, their easy availability, and (perhaps most importantly) a politically fueled Wild West culture that nurtures their worship are a central part of the problem here—rings hollow to me.

Any claim of mourning that doesn’t also demand some substantial change in how we promote, regulate, access, and talk about firearms is just crocodile tears and a slap in the face to families of the dead.

It all feels ultimately like empty words.

I’ve had enough of empty words.

And “thoughts and prayers.”

I’m really tired.

I’m tired of a centuries-old amendment being propped up as being relevant in any way to this time and place in history and to the purpose it was ratified in the first place.

I’m tired of a John Wayne, cold dead hand, OK Corral romanticism that makes guns, not some necessary evil but a sexy status symbol of true Americans.

I’m tired of partisan media sky-is-falling, fear-mongering that makes people believe their immanent danger requires an arsenal always at the ready; in their kitchens and in their cars and at their ankles.

I’m tired of a culture that sees repeated mass shootings as the acceptable collateral damage of some supposed personal freedom.

Most of all I’m tired of premature funerals, lives taken before their time, and of people who never seem to give enough of a damn to stop it from happening again.

I fully realize if you’ve fully bought into the lie that says guns are absolutely necessary, entirely neutral, and constitutionally guaranteed—you really don’t care about any of this.

You already likely know the numbers and the statistics and the reality too, but you dismiss it all or rationalize why none of it is relevant. You’ve washed your hands of culpability in the continuing slaughter and exonerated guns and you don’t care to entertain conversation—which is your right.

I’m not going to demand that you conform to my convictions. 

I’m not going to try and convince you of what seems so very obvious to me, but I’m also not going to allow you the courtesy of saying you mourn as I do and suffer alongside me, because that simply isn’t true. 

You grieve gun violence while loving and celebrating and worshiping your guns.
I grieve gun violence while abhorring guns and wanting us to make them more difficult for sick, angry, unhinged, malevolent people to have.
I guess we have a different idea of grief, you and me. 

I respect your position and reserve your right to mark this tremendous loss on your own if you want, but I’d like some distance right now because your presence is simply salt in these terrible, ever-multiplying wounds.

So today, after yet another gun tragedy—please let me mourn in peace.


589 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want Gun Lovers Grieving Another Massacre Alongside Me

    • Hundreds of millions of legal gun owners have owned guns their entire lives and have NEVER KILLED ANYONE. This sick Oregon perp passed every background check and purchased numerous firearms. These mass murderers carefully plan their sick schemes over long periods. They will murder as many people as possible and die in a ‘glorious’ gun battle with police (or be shot by someone with a concealed carry permit). Their intent is to achieve some recognition before they die. Gun-free zones are their killing fields. THINK about it people! But, no… we want to point the finger at everyone and every thing EXCEPT the murderer and their sick, pathetic egos. That’s how far our logic has evolved. It’s like blaming water because there are 3,600 drownings every year!

      • Amen beeker55 – the kind of man this young man was – there are many of them out there and by appearing to be normal while he built his arsenal up – he got away with it legally.

        JOHN – Maybe instead of blaming the GUN – how about we blame our leaders for closing multiple mental health facilities all around the country where people like this young man needed to be housed! I am sorry to interrupt your moment of PEACE, but the GUN is not to blame. Hey I have an idea – maybe we need to totally and completely not allow the things they build bombs out of to be taken from our store shelves – never mind that many innocent, God-fearing people might need to use them for other reasons, but hey – they will maim and kill others – and if found in the hands of those who do not value human life – even their own – it should not matter what others need or want to live their lives, but that is like a gun – in the wrong hands it kills others. How about we do away with knives, axes, and any other things that people can kill another with – why not take these items off the shelves and do away with them, never mind that there are law abiding people who would need them – who cares – the majority of people think they are a threat to our safety and so therefore we will remove them so no one can buy them! The list goes on for many things people kill others with and yet they remain on the shelves of stores, as do guns. Guns are the right of every American person on this earth. Here is an example of when a gun might be needed – try walking outside of your home one morning finding a rapid skunk attacking your dog – I don’t think lassoing the skunk is going to stop it from attacking, unless I am good at strangling it before it turns on me – but with a gun I can eliminate the threat on my life and the dog’s. What if you hunt for food – cannot go out and throw a knife at it – just would not be feasible – that is when a gun is necessary. Most Americans are not out there hunting to “kill people” – they use their guns as they were intended and safely – but here is the way it always seems to work – because there a few whack jobs out there that kill a handful of people – well, we need to eliminate all guns! REALLY?? There will always be nut cases and criminals and if you think controlling guns in this country is the answer to them not having a gun available to carry out their evil deeds then you are not logically thinking this through.

        Has anyone at all considered that maybe it is our government hiring these people to carry out these shootings so that they may enforce the taking of every Americans guns so that no one can protect themselves anymore – with this President and his cronies I do not think that is a stretch to believe this could be the case – he wants to unarm the people so that they will be in his or the governments control. Something for you to think about John while you wish to have peace and no comments.

        There have been people who have murdered others from the beginning of time and that is the work of Satan and the evil powers that dwell on this earth – fully controlling guns is not the answer – the life saving blood of Jesus is the only answer to stop such things from happening, but of course many Americans and the leaders of this country have turned their backs on Jesus and what hope is there, but to blame it on an “OBJECT that cannot and will not shoot by itself” – it is a twisted, sick way of thinking – blame it on an object – where the blame needs to be placed is on the man who committed this crime – that is the LOGICAL way to look at this! Guns are not the problem here – it is the hands of which one finds itself in that decides how it is used.

        • This man was not mentally ill, he was evil. There’s a big difference. He had full knowledge and awareness of his actions. Some people are just bad. Period.

          • Only around 22 percent of mass murderers suffer from clinical mental illnesses, while the rest are just people with narcissistic and paranoid personality traits like entitlement, self-righteousness and resentment. They strike back at people they both know and don’t know. At the time of the killings, they’re usually feeling a combination of murderous rage, utter hopelessness and suicidal despair — but these things are not mental illness, Stone wrote this May in the journal Violence and Gender this past May.

        • If you look at the numbers…mentally ill people rarely resort to violence. In fact, mentally-ill people are more likely to find themselves victims of violence. Most of these shooters do not need mental hospitals as you suggest.

          And honestly? Your conspiracy theory that the government is behind this? The most ridiculous laying of blame possible.

          • I don’t believe the government is behind this even though it is odd he was investigated…and this isn’t the first time ppl have been investigated remember the marathon bombing and how we trained the pilot in 9/11 attack…But I do feel anyone who can kill someone is somehow mentally ill. To be okay with taking a life or many there just has to be something wrong up there.

          • What I find interesting? John asked for distance to mourn. But did you honor that request for even one day. No. It’s always too early to talk about gun access reform, but it’s never too early to flap your gums whilst stroking your beloved guns.

        • I agree with you, it is not the guns that are killing people it the lies being spread by the real American terrorists FOX NEWS who fill people like you with fear and hate. And if you are looking for who is responsible for these murder sprees look now further then the GOP and people like Dick Cheney

        • Good God. You have issues. Keep your freaking guns! I don’t care! And the government does not want to take them away either!! If you want a weapon to protect you from rabid skunks that’s fine. Or for hunting or for shooting targets or tin cans or protecting your family. Keep them! And get over your wacko fear that some tyrannical government is coming for them. It’s not going to happen!! As soon as you can look at the problem with some sort of logic & rational thought, there is no argument that can be made against more gun regulations.

          • Yeah, no argument to be made against more regulations. Look at all the good regulating Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth has done. All the criminals have given up selling it because it’s illegal. You don’t hear about people ordosing on drugs. In countries that outlaw guns you never hear about shootings or any other killings by gun because all the criminals just say “Oops, guns are illegal.”

          • As one of those”ConspiracyWhackos” any way you want to look at things is fine by me my heart goes out to the victims of yet another senseless act of terror But really do you think that our current ruling elite have our interests at heart then PLEASE remember Benghazi and our envoy to Libya our Ambassador of good will beaten,burned and tortured paraded through the streets and remember the lady that let that happen wants to be our next president

          • I’m more than happy to look at this with logic and rational thought. Are you, Anonymous? You seem to be reacting with emotion, not logic.

            • I prefer to think of the gun freak according to their behavior. They like to do things only with like minded people. In fact, most of their friends feel the same about their guns and will reject those people that feel differently concerning gun control. They have their own little club. They will demonstrate in the streets and dare people not to like them. If one has a long black thing, the others want to see it and handle it. They always smile when a long black thing is displayed. In short, they are ammoqueers.

          • Amen. I have never understood this wild fear that the gov is going to take guns away. Sounds like a bunch of kids worried about their teddy bears.

        • Same tired arguments that fly in the face of history, statistics, reality and just plain common sense. Tired of the tired arguments. Tired of being compared to a bunch of gun crazy whacks by the rest of the civilized world. Tired.

        • Your paragraph beginning with “Has anyone at all considered that maybe it is our government hiring these people to carry out these shootings so that they may enforce the taking of every Americans guns so that no one can protect themselves anymore” is absolutely crazy-making! It is part of the reason that so many people have been brain washed into believing: (1) that the government wants to take away all of their guns and (2) that guns are not the problem!

        • That’s sort of the point, though – the gun – a piece of metal – cannot just randomly kill people in safe practice. However, the process of obtaining a gun should be refined so that people of questionable mental health cannot buy guns, so that radicals cannot buy guns. Sure, they’ll look to the black market or using bombs, but guns are just too easy.

          It removes the attacker from the target. It makes the act less personal. Have you tried to cut anything with an axe, even a sharp one? It requires a lot of personal strength and at least some conviction and persistence. Again, a knife is a close range combat weapon – you still need the conviction to use it, the willingness to spill blood… but with a gun? You can be quite a distance away from the victim. You can kill multiple victims very quickly. And even with a bomb, you have to be fairly competent, but the size of the bomb made by an amateur radical is probably not of the caliber required to create such a massacre as we have experienced in Orlando.

          Also your argument is made from the viewpoint of a RESPONSIBLE adult. A good number of younger individuals are not appropriately responsible.

          And I really doubt that the left wing has a secret agenda to take away the safety of the citizens… UNLIKE THE PATRIOT ACT… but I can guarantee you that every battle that’s lost versus better gun safety protocol does indeed help the next perpetrator of such a terrible crime. You have just condoned that crime by saying that restricting gun access to more responsible individuals is not the answer.

        • I would like to blame the gun. What’s the capacity of the magazine? 30? 50? If that gun can pop off 30 rounds as quickly as you can squeeze the trigger, it belongs on a battlefield, not on our streets.

          So yeah, I’m going to blame the gun. Almost any other gun would have required him to reload, and he could have been tackled and stopped. The LIRR shooter was tackled when he stopped to reload.

          Maybe people could keep their assault weapons, but with 5-round clips.

          • You can get a 30 round magazine for a handgun. Or you can just empty a regular handgun magazine and drop it then reload another one in about 1-2 seconds then get right back to firing. Capacity has nothing to do with it. Mass shooters are hell bent on committing a publicly visible murder and is thus unlikely to be much deterred by gun control law.

            • A mass shooter may not be 100% deterred by tighter controlled gun laws, but it would be a difference in 3 or 4 dead versus 50. That is 46 additional lives gone because people don’t want to give up their “right” to own a weapon that can shoot 30 rounds in the pull of a trigger. Think of this logically and from the perspective that human life is a bit more valuable than owning a highly destructive gun.

        • You speak of satanic Powers, ask yourself who it is that gets richer every time a mass shooting happens.

          Considering gun sales increase after every shooting, I say it’s those who sell the guns. It’s those who hold stock in guns, it’s the NRA, it’s the congressmen who vote down every gun control law.

          And it is these same people, same forces, that propel the narrative that SOMEONE wants to take your guns away.

        • Only around 22 percent of mass murderers suffer from clinical mental illnesses, while the rest are just people with narcissistic and paranoid personality traits like entitlement, self-righteousness and resentment. They strike back at people they both know and don’t know. At the time of the killings, they’re usually feeling a combination of murderous rage, utter hopelessness and suicidal despair — but these things are not mental illness, Stone wrote this May in the journal Violence and Gender this past May.

        • It’s so simple……
          Americans own more guns then any other country…… By ALOT
          America has more gun violence/ deaths then any other country……. BY ALOT
          All those words to try and justify the unjustifiable……..

        • Your theory that the government is somehow responsible for this massacre in an effort to take away your stupid gun has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read today. Your idiotic attitude is why no one wants you mourning alongside them. Please do us all a favor and stay the hell away from the victims ‘ family.

        • No. The government has not created these scenarios, you sick, twisted person. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO DIED in the Las Vegas massacre. For you to suggest it’s all pretend play because your obnoxious, ridiculous, RW media sources spin a crazy tale for you, and you are too blinded by your love of violent weapons to see through it, is just SICK.

          Spreading that NONSENSE just adds to the misery and mourning of the friends and families of those who were murdered by an angry white man and the NRA’s REFUSAL to allow sensible gun regulation.

          Pray for forgiveness for spreading this BULLSHIT around the internet. I won’t forgive you for your DISGUSTING words, but maybe God will.

      • Beaker,
        You brought up some very good points. But do you have any suggestions to remedy this horrific trend? all the new gun laws in the world won’t get all the guns out of the hands of the public, crazy or “normal”. And if anyone wants a gun, we all know getting one from a legit source is not necessary. But honestly, there are societal blames to be had for the decrepit state of our society. Every night on the boob tube, there are countless situations resolved by gun justice in the name of “entertainment”. The big screen is also complicit. THe new Whitey Bulger movie is a prime example. He was a bad guy with no conscience but the movie romanticizes him. A mind that is off kilter to start with sees this and the sicker they get, the violent thoughts and fantasies become reality.
        IMHO, the belief in God (or not) issue shouldn’t even be a part of the discussion. There are too many varying beliefs to blame these events on one believer, non-believer or anywhere in between. how many murders are perpetrated in the name of God anyway?
        Where do we go from here? Seems to me it’s too late to close the barn doors. the horse is already gone.

        • How about a surcharge on ammunition? A really large surcharge? How about a limit to the number of rounds that can be bought in a 90-day period? You still get your stupid guns, and those who already have ammo, still have it, but the crazy guy wanting to kill a boatload of people would have to pay a ton of money and plan for months or years to get enough ammo to do it. If you can afford a gun, then you can afford the extra cost for ammo. If not, well, we all have to forego what we cannot afford (like healthcare, vacations, retirement, and for some people food and housing).

          • Guns are an expensive hobby and doubling the price of bullets probably wouldn’t put a dent in ammunition sales. Reloading equipment sales would go up some.

      • It was NOT a gun free zone and no mass shooting has ever been stopped by an armed citizen. You’re not John Wayne and real life is not a freaking movie. Water is not a weapon and water’s sole purpose is not to kill. Now shut your mouth and let us grieve without your stupid comments.

        • It was a club that sold alcohol so it is a GUN FREE ZONE and had a person with a concealed permit been there , with the training , then this would have been stopped.

          • I seriously doubt that a scared as shyt customer with a little pistol would have stopped the gunman. When the bad guy has an automatic weapon, he kills a lot of people in seconds. Before you even know what’s going on. Especially with loud music going on. Everyone was running for their lives and you can’t blame them. Anyone that would have had a pistol and tried to take the gunman down, would surely be dead.

            • I think mostly want gun law advocates want is to ban retail sales of AK-47’s in particular. Yes they may get one off the street anyway, but maybe not. This guy had been investigated twice by the FBI. Why was he allowed to go buy automatic weapons. And how did the gunman get in with it in the first place? Those are the more important questions. On another note, guns and alcohol do not mix well. That’s why guns are banned at bars and clubs. If the club I work in allowed gun carrying customers, I would quit. Because there WILL be alcohol related shootings by angry drunks.

            • It wasn’t an automatic weapon it was a semi automatic just like hand guns. You pull the trigger and it bangs once the you have to release and pull the trigger again to get another bang. Please know what your talking about before you comment on a subject. Thank you

          • Apparently There was an off duty cop there who drew on the shooter and was killed by him. So, this popular idea is simply wrong.

          • So, your solution is to put guns in the hands of those under the influence of alcohol in a dimly lit environment with the hope that they can tell which person shooting is the actual bad guy and not someone trying to shoot at who they think is the bad guy? Oh, that’s right – life is just like video games, where the bad guys show up on your map, right? Or like the Wild West, where bad guys wear black hats, yes? Maybe laws that make it harder to get weapons of mass murder if you have a history of violence, maybe something like that might help..?

          • No. You can not say that. There is no way to know what would have happened. Maybe the guy with the conceal carry becomes a terrible shot or freezes in a live fire situation. Maybe the guy with the AR15 takes him out before he can do anything. Don’t make an argument by just stating something that you hope would be true.

          • Uh…there was a cop posted at this night club…pretty sure he had a pistol and the training to use it, and he wasn’t able to stop the shooter. What makes all you gun nuts think YOU could have stopped him?!

        • To your point that a mass killing was never stopped by an armed citizen…you’ll never know if an attack was intended to be a mass killing if an assailant was killed by an armed citizen before carrying out the attack…that’s why people believe in concealed weapons. The healthy, gun carrying citizen will be able to stop these things and has but the media doesn’t share it. Think of what the citizen in this story could do to prevent a mass attack…http://www.cbsnews.com/news/customer-shoots-dead-hatchet-wielding-store-attacker-washington-state/

        • Actually, armed citizens actually have stopped people who would have comitted more murders if the’d had the chance. But those rarely splash across the headlines, because there’s a lower body count. I don’t carry, but i don’t live in a rough neighborhood or go out on the town much. If that incident had happened in Texas, it would have never made the news because the minute he opened fire, any number of concealed carry permitted citizen’s would have taken him down.

        • Don’t waste your time Hannah they’ll never get it. These people worship guns and that makes them religious fanatics.

          • Sorry to burst your bubble but the vast majority of us legal gun owners probably 99% don’t worship, love or glorify them. But in your mind it sounds better and more dramatic. You’ve already made up your mind about people you don’t even know. Sad.

        • At the very least there was that rumor driver that stopped the public shooting a couple of months back. It’s not that it doesn’t happen it’s that it’s not really going to get reported if something doesn’t happen. People might not even know but anything could have happened. 50 people dead in a nightclub is definitely a larger story then one guy with the gun shot another guy with a gun.

      • Hanna. I think YOU may be the one living in that little movie playing inside your mind. Please feel free to grieve all you want. It’s a very important stage in getting through any life trauma or loss. Grieving may temporarily excuse irrational thinking, but it does not allow you to create a separate reality for yourself or others. You’ll see that I didn’t say Umpqua College was a gun-free zone. (hint: It was a generalization.) I lived in Oregon. If you have a concealed carry permit, you can take a gun on campus in that state. But, the vast majority of students on every campus in the U.S., Hanna, …DON’T carry guns. And, just like every other mass murder site you can name — for the victims that day, Umpqua College was virtually a Gun-Free Zone. Look at the statistics and killer’s confessional letters… psychopathic killers carefully select these arenas. They don’t just randomly show up somewhere like some zombie in a weapon-induced trance and start firing at the gun’s command!

        And my dear child, if you were REALLY interested in truth instead of loathing in self-righteous pity, it would take you mere nano-seconds to realize that your claim, “no mass shooting has ever been stopped by an armed citizen”…is TOTALLY FALSE, just like every other myth you choose to believe about gun control, all because you heard it on TV! Armed citizens have stopped COUNTLESS murders, ‘mass’ and otherwise. But don’t believe the silly facts, Hanna. Continue believing the thoughts in your mind and rest comfortably in your self-delusion. However, that’s never a recommended formula for awaking to reality.

        And, yes, I totally understand this sounds stupid to you. Grieve on. I’ll do the same.

      • Xena44, you are entirely correct. There are numerous complex factors in this issue. And the horse was let out of the barn eons ago. Our pop culture refuses to understand this. That’s one reason “gun control” is now the accepted catch-phrase. It’s not only easy, it preps a democratic society for socialism and the next generation for worse. But, our culture has little reasoning skill to draw on. And history is at a ripe time to repeat itself in the form of electing some political savior with the promise of deliverance and “hope”. The scenario has played out the same way over millennia. The realistic answer is: There is not a gun law that can be legislated that will prevent these kinds of atrocities. The perp in Norway eluded the most stringent gun laws in the world and killed 85 people. Ten years after passing very restrictive gun legislation in Australia the statistics show a reduction in mass murders. Viola! Right? But – and this is NEVER reported – violent crime overall has risen 42%! Armed robberies are up 70%! Home invasions went up 21%! Sexual assaults rose 30%! (Australian women are now THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY to be raped than American women.) Norway proves you can’t stop psychopathic killers, even with the toughest gun laws that were ever written. Australia proves tough gun laws and confiscation actually causes OTHER violent crime rates to skyrocket. This phenomenon is also proven in Chicago, Washington D.C., and other major cities in an era where skyrocketing concealed carry permits (by States) has resulted in a steady REDUCTION in violent crime overall in the U.S. for the last decade. The fear and hype by politicians and the media are nothing but political hyperbole and outright lies. History has shown what happens when the populace is disarmed – hundreds of millions of people were exterminated in the last 100 years. But, this society is not interested in facing the awful truth about how and why it happened. We want to FEEL like we’re caring people, and not be bothered by having to THINK or reason. That was for the old fashioned America.

        One partial answer is to re-institute people with mental illnesses, but that is way to judgmental and not politically correct these days. Some, but certainly not all, of the blame can be laid at President Reagan and the Republican’s feet for changing the way state mental facilities were funded by the federal government (no, they did not eliminate such funding as most TV talking heads believe, but the result was virtually the same as if they had). But every other legislative attempt at gun control is a dead end, pun intended.

        • Sorry but check the latest statistics, United States and Australia are the same for sexual assault, 28.6 per 10000. And don’t quote stupid statistics when there’s no way of determining all the variables between a culture and the law. We don’t have the mass shootings. You can’t deny the truth of that statement. Stop justifying your selfishness. That is all it is. In its purest form. Live by the sword, die by the sword. That’s what you have chosen for yourself, your family and friends and your nation. Your words are dust in the wind.

        • I’m not sure why you believe socialism is a bad thing. You’re probably thinking of fascism, which is completely different. Socialism is just a society that contributes to programs that the entire body of the society benefits from. It has nothing to do with gun control.

        • beaker55, you cite some statistics about the increase in violent crime in Australia. The big difference is that most people walk away from those crimes. Are they wounded, maimed, emotionally wounded, etc.? Possibly or probably. Nevertheless, they are ALIVE and can hope to rebuild some semblance of a life. Not typically so with guns. They kill and so do quickly and indiscriminately. BIG difference.

      • Thank you for being a voice of common sense and reality! I agree wholeheartedly with you; the weapon wasn’t evil; the person CHOOSING to use it was.

      • and if he didnt have a gun, it would never have happened. He could not have created that mayhem with a knife or any other item.

        • Except a bomb. Like in Boston or Oklahoma City where 168 people were killed (including 19 children). Where there’s a will there’s a way.

      • Australia woke up to the madness of American-like gun laws in 1996 after 35 people were killed in a massacre at Port Arthur. Since then, there have been no mass shootings in Australia. So the argument that you need an armed populace to stop the “bad guys” has already been disproven by Australia and countless other countries that don’t have the same easy access to guns and yet still don’t have the scourge of mass shootings that America sees. Can you not see a correlation yet? Tighter gun laws do not mean we’re all going to be shot in our beds. The world has proven over and over again that tighter gun laws makes society SAFER. I don’t have to worry about my child being shot while at school or my friend being shot while at a movie or a nightclub. But as John said, it’s no point arguing with you as you can’t see what has already been proved to be true over and over again. So let those of us who can see mourn in peace, as your justifications, statistics and posturing just rub salt into the wound.

      • No it isn’t.It IS like blaming paracetamol for deaths by suicide in the UK because they don’t put the antidote which would add 0.5 pence to the cost. Because a weapon is a weapon that enables someone to kill, and they kill faster and more efficiently the more complex or capable of killing a weapon is. Who in your society needs, actually needs, the big weapons you allow people to own? If you look at the figures for deaths by guns in the US the numbers speak for themselves. Compare the number of people who die by guns with the UK deliberate homicide 0.06 per 100K population in the UK with 3.43 per 100K population in the US. Even if you add in homicide using knives to the UK figure (0.82 per 100K) we’re still way off the homicide rate in the US and the reason is the accessibility of guns. Guns kill quickly and easily. With other methods you’d have time to reason with someone, talk them down, or escape. You have more people killed accidentally with guns than our suicide and homicide rate added together. It is true that it is the person holding the gun who commits the murder, suicide or accidental killing, but the guns help them do that efficiently and don’t give time for any negotiation or second thoughts. They’re quick. Too quick for someone to calm down or be disarmed easily.

      • GUNS DON”T KILL. I can set my gun by my chair for months and it doesn’t kill a soul. Think about it??? If it’s not guns it will be another style of weapon. A bomb, a knife, fire, poison, a car, a truck, drunk drivers, etc, etc. The list could go on and on. Evil, sick minded people will find a way. Our world has not always been like this, but we have always had guns. Look at Detroit. They have the strictest gun control laws of our land and there are more lives lost there from shootings than any where else in our country. Taking all the guns away from legal, law abiding citizens is not the answer. All that is doing is taking away our protection. This guy here in Florida had been traveling back and forth to Syria, had tried to purchase a bullet proof vest, had been investigated by the FBI, etc. Maybe they should have keep watch on him a little longer. I’d say there were enough warning signs. Taking all the guns is not the answer. They better do away with all of this political correctness crap and be more careful who they let into our country. People can say what they want but emigrants that used to come to our country wanted to come here to become citizens and to live a better life. Now a great number come just to do what they can to inflict their way of live on us and to change our country to their way. If this is why they come they should stay in their own countries. If it’s for reasons of protection maybe we should think about making safe havens in their own countries where they can go on living under their laws and the way of life they seem to want.
        Political correctness burns me up..Morals have deteriorated, families spending time together and having evening meals together are a thing of the past. So many things have change over the years that have caused rot and ruin to our society besides being a gun owner. Sorry for the rant, but I feel better for it. Our country is going down the tubes and something better be done but doing away with guns is not the answer folks!!

      • Agree, simply put guns didn’t kill those people a sick mind did. In fact if a few people in that gun free zone would of had guns there would not have been 50 victims. Someone would have put him away.

      • You are spending too much time on pointing fingers at gun owners than is necessary. Just because people like guns or own guns doesn’t make them less heartbroken than you.

      • That’s baloney!!! You can’t tell me I can’t grieve just because I believe in the right to protect myself and those around me. If a gun owner had been there they could have would have stopped the maniac, your full of it!

      • Well said! Its funny they mention shopping malls but fail to mention the Oregon incident where a man with a gun stopped a mass shooting from happening in a mall. Or any other incident where people have been saved from guns media acts like this doesn’t exist.

      • Dear Beaker55 – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
        Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

      • “Did IQs drop sharply while I was away?”

        He doesn’t want you near him right now. If you’re just going to make excuses, he wants you to go the Hell away for a while.

        How much clearer did he have to be?!?

      • beaker55: Just one note. The last sentence of your post was particularly interesting. “It’s like blaming water because there are 3,600 drownings every year!”

        The thing is, if 59 people drowned in a Las Vegas water park, we’d be considering how to make that area safer. Fencing it in, lifeguards, etc. But we don’t do that with guns. A mass shooting occurs and a large segment of the country just shrugs and shouts down ANY consideration of how to prevent it in the future. The NRA will actually lobby to prevent STUDY of the problem. That’s what is different. We apparently aren’t even allowed to look for ways to improve the situation. Do you see the difference?

      • Why do you need a gun? Simple honest answer, please. Don’t respond with “it is my right” – that is not an answer, that’s an excuse.

      • nearly every mass shooter was a legal responsible gun owner till they fire that first shot. it isn’t like blaming water for drownings because you can’t take a swimming pool it to a church and commit a mass drowning. yes it takes a person to pull the trigger but the gun empowers and emboldens the person holding it . the argument that only bad guys will have guns if we outlaw them is in a way true. but a lot less bad guys would have them not every would be mass shooter would know how to find and acquire a black market gun

      • Then let’s as a nation make it MORE difficult for the twisted egomaniacs to purchase firearms. Make gun ownership a true badge of honor because of how difficult it is to prove you have our nation’s permission to use one. Pretend, as a gun owner, that you have the privilege of seeing to it that every other gun owner is as mature, responsible and self-controlled as you are. If it’s someone’s fault that the perp passed background checks, then call that man to task. Take “pride ” in your gun ownership, and protect it from mass murderers, instead of whining when you feel blamed for another man’s atrocity. And, no, unfortunately, although it is foolish to blame water for drownings, it is not foolish to ask gun owners and the NRA to take seriously a change in the way we as a nation view and facilitate gun ownership. Humbly, Edd Lukens, father of 5 in Colorado Springs.

    • Funny how this radicalized muslim is said to NOT represent the entire Muslim community, but somehow is used to slander the entire gun owning community.
      I own guns to protect my family and friends and community–even strangers–from jack wagons like this guy.
      My regret is that people were not armed and able to protect themselves. People like YOU have made that possible. You have blood on your hands from San Bernadino and Orlando.

      • Dear Curtis Reed – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
        Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

      • And just how would anyone with a gun in the crowd been able to stop this man who was using, I am assuming, high powered rifles or whatever, firing from his hotel room on the 35th floor of a building 400 feet from the concert grounds? They probably did not even know what direction the shooting was coming from? Just saying……

    • This entire article was nothing less then one long plea for gun owners to be ashamed. Criminals are not going to give up their guns. If the rest of society gives up their guns crimes will increase not decrease. Most shootings happen in gun free zones because it is known that there will not be any legally armed citizens to defend themselves. The shooter is then free to kill as they please until they run out of ammo or the police (the people who always have guns) show up to stop them. If you want everyone to give up their guns then let’s also have everyone give up their pools and cars. Cars kill a lot of people, so we should outlaw them. Next let’s ban knives and matches. So, go ahead and grieve alone and stop posting your emotional pleas for people to give up their guns.

      • Dear Robert Criger – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
        Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

      • Robert, You don’t need to be ashamed. You don’t even need to give up your gun. The screening process for a gun purchase needs to be reworked. Please just think about that.

    • If someone wants to hurt, they will find their means. Bombs, knife, car (New York just last week). They will hurt in other ways. There is evil in the world and many of the evil are determined and smart. Stricter gun control will do as much good as tougher drugs laws…if someone wants it, they will get it.
      Don’t tell gun lovers not to mourn…we can mourn any way we want and alongside you and everyone else. Police or gun lovers, the military, etc. One of the things about “gun lovers” is we accept evil is in this world. Most, would run towards danger versus everyone who bashes would run away or stay to take a video or picture then use that to promote hate like this.

  1. Here in Canada your gun license requires a doctor to say you are mentally competent, How many of these would be stopped if that was adopted in the USA? We can buy guns. But frankly we don’t. And if we need one as a tool, there is a check and balance in place.

    • Seriously, there are doctors who will do things just to make money. Just ask Michael Jackson’s doctor. Anyway, there would be a line of doctors who would gladly sign a document saying that “at this time the person is of sound mind”. I don’t think that would stop anything. If the media was NOT allowed to publish their name or say their name, and if they had no idea if anyone else in the crowd had a gun, they may think twice of being a wimp. Crack is illegal, heroin is illegal, owning lions and tigers is illegal and still somehow people get what they want. It would be a wonderful thought if that would work but you are in a pipe dream if you think that will actually do anything.

        • John Lease, We don’t need name calling. Laura has every right to her own opinion just as you have a right to yours. Let’s be fair!!!

      • Guns are more dangerous than any other weapon. Guns are too easy to use to kill. If those committing the massacres would have had to use knives or any other weapons, they wouldn’t have had the chance to kill as many as they did. Even if only one less life had been taken for this reason, it IS reason enough and enough for me to say the only guns allowed should be those in the hands of the law.

        • Yet he could have chosen to get fertilizer from he hardware store and with no gun, killed as many or more. Crazy finds a way.

          • Yes considering he called 9-1-1 just prior to pledge his allegiance to ISIS – he was carrying out their wishes – or he could have used a plane – this was a well planned act of terror

      • Dear Laura – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
        Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

    • Canada Jim, you might want to change you name, for you have no clue of what you speak. Your comment is a complete and utter LIE! A POL requires nothing from a doctor. Where do you come up with this shit?

    • In the U.S. the same types of doctors who will prescribe cannabis to anyone regardless of their medical condition, would pop up in mental health and would sign off on anyone who can pick the reasonable answers on a questionnaire..

      • Actually. That is not true. I have some expertise in this area. Clinical psychologists actual rig the mental health inventory questions to where it is virtually impossible for a mentally ill person to skirt the tests by answering certain questions in the so -called “right away” to beat the tests. The tests actually contain a lot of internal camouflage to trip up a person who is trying to “beat the test.” This was necessary because the test builders understood that certain types of people like Ted Bundy will try to beat the test in just the way you mentioned. With the tests they give today, it is really hard to pull the wool over an examiner’s eyes.

    • This is an excellent idea and I wish it could be adopted in the US but if it were, the doctor’s would be required by the Republican/extremist right government to lie about the mental competence of anyone wanting a gun just as they are now required to lie to women who want a legal abortion. And the medical profession has long since abdicated their responsibility to tell the truth rather than what the government wants them to say.

    • I am also Canadian and it completely mystifies me that the States has not made any changes to a person’s ability to access guns. I can only think that it is because many of the gun people live lives based on fear…fear of the ‘other’, fear that someone will attack them on the streets, fear that someone will break into their house, fear that their government will come and take away their rights or something. And their fear is greater than their saddness at the death of so many people by guns. It seems even their understanding of God is based on fear, fear of sin, fear of spending an eternity in Hell. How can you even begin to change such a world view.

      • I hear you Wendy. I live in a virtually crime-free neighborhood where it is safe to walk the streets at any time–day or night—and people do just that without incident all the time.. Regardless of that fact, old people in my neighborhood erect metal bars that look like jail cell bars on their exterior windows and doors. It is complete foolishness to do something like that in my neighborhood.

        • John Lease, We don’t need name calling. Laura has every right to her own opinion just as you have a right to yours. Let’s be fair!!!

      • Unfortunately, Wendy, you can’t. The USA is so mired in an acceptance of gun toting that to truly be safe in the USA, you need to have the means to protect yourself, Oops I fell in again… Seriously, there are so many guns currently in the USA that so many more tragedies are a sickening guarantee and they will never do anything to change it because to do so would be to threaten the 2nd ammendment or whatever the hell it is. Gotta give your head a scratch. They really got that “defend yourself” identity thang all wrong. It is so much safer in Canada!

      • Really??? There are changes, there are rules, there are laws, there are regulations, there are forms, there is registration, etc, etc. And yet…criminals who by their very nature…do not abide by the law get guns every day. The LAWS only take guns from those who are LAW abiding citizens. Who are then open to predatory actions of CRIMINALS who take guns illegally and kill people. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in this country and they have an exponentially high murder rate. Why??? Criminals have guns. And by the way there were more people killed in hand to hand fights and knife fights then killed by guns last year. Look up the stats. So, we will make people wear gloves so they can’t hurt other people by hitting them and we will outlaw knives too. Oh, look up the stats on the number of people killed by cars. Astronomical when compared to those who were killed by guns.
        The town in America with the least amount of murders per capita is El Paso Texas. A gun loving, gun toting city. Everyone has a gun. And there were less than 0.04 murders per capita vs Chicago with those tough gun laws. 351 people killed to date. A total of 10 people in El Paso and that statistic includes other violent crime. It is considered one of the safest cities in America according to the crime index.
        Americans do not keep guns just out of fear. Well at least fear that is not unfounded. A friend of mine was able to defend her family from an attacker because she owned a gun. The criminal’s intent-he was armed-was to rob and kill them by his own admission. She shot him first. Didn’t kill him, but she did defend her family from him. So, I personally know someone who’s life and her children’s lives are still present because she had the right to have that weapon.
        You cannot tell me that there is no reason to fear. And when someone can guarantee me without a doubt that the criminals will lose their guns too, then maybe I would agree to stricter gun laws. Until then NO!
        We keep guns out of a need for security that is part of it. I do not keep a gun because I love it or consider myself a rootin-tootin-cowgirl. I keep a gun for the protection of my family because the police can never get somewhere fast enough.
        Fear of taking away our rights…history itself shows how MILLIONS of people lost their lives when their governments took away their rights to own guns and thereby take away their ability to defend themselves against their own governments who then proceeded to slaughter them. That is in history, it is a fact. PERIOD. Germany, Italy, Vietnam, North Korea, the Soviet Union, England, France, China. All countries where the populace at one time or another and still today had their weapons taken from them leaving them unable to fight the tyrannical governments that then proceeded to imprison and kill them. There is a reason our forefathers put this in the constitution. It was because they knew first hand what happens to the populace of a country when they cannot defend themselves against a government that becomes too powerful and strips away their rights.
        Perhaps we as Americans are too fearful. But, we are an independent people. There is still a large majority of us who do not like the over reaching of our government; who know that the defense of our freedoms and rights may just have to come from the people themselves.
        What the real tragedy in this is of course is the unnecessary and tragic deaths of these people. But, let’s look at the real issue, the real issue with any violent crime is with the person themselves. It is with our government who takes more and more money from mental health treatment and has closed facility after facility for treating the mentally ill. We are backsliding terribly in our care of the mentally ill and disabled. For such a great country we have an abysmal record in this area. WE should blame the poverty and the attitudes in high crime areas and the lack of response in dealing with the issues there. Gangs, drugs, poor schools, hopelessness and these don’t affect just black kids, but white kids, asian kids, etc. It is a SOCIAL problem. IT is a sickness in our souls that need to be fixed. Until we do this, all the gun laws in the world will NOT fix this.

        • Dear Pavennah – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
          Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

      • I think you explain quite well, Pavenneh, the cult of fear that permeates the US at the moment. I have heard the argument about Chicago having stricter gun laws and it having a high rate of gun violence as a reason not restrict guns. It is a ridiculous argument in that if guns are available elsewhere, they will make it to Chicago. There has been an increase in deaths from handguns in Canada….where do you think that people are getting these types of guns? If people are not able to buy assault weapons do you really think that companies will continue to make them? This is simple supply and demand. The fewer guns allowed, the less there will be lying around for the bad guys to steal or buy.

        Are there deaths from other causes? Of course there are….cars are often sited as a reason to not restrict access to guns. You are arguing apples and oranges. Cars are not designed with the sole purpose of killing people, there are rules around driving, you must pass tests, you must have a licence, there are rules of the road, you must be a certain age. I don’t think all the rules apply to purchasing a gun. We are not talking about death by knife, or car or fists….this discussion is focused on death and violence because of guns. Your argument that because more people die through the use of cars makes it ok for people to be killed by guns makes no sense. When was the last time you heard of a purposeful mass killing by car?

        And it is a red herring to blame it all on people with mental health concerns. While I expect that it is true that there are insufficient services to help people with mental illness, providing them with services is not the solution to gun violence. Stats have shown that people with mental illness have no greater rate of committing a violent act then the general population. So, please increase services, but don’t necessarily expect there to be a decrease in gun violence.

      • Living life eternally in hell, isn’t that the exact reason of being a God fearing Christian? I know it is for this gun owning God fearing Christian. I absolutely fear the consequences of of not accepting Christ. You should too!

    • In Australia we have strict gun laws. You cannot ever purchase an automatic weapon, there is no place or need for this type of weapon. Gun related deaths plummeted in Australia since the laws were changed in relation to gun ownership in 1986 after ONE massacre. Our then Prime Minister took decisive action and made changes to the gun laws to ensure the safety of our people.

  2. Thank you John. I haven’t had words. Couldn’t find any. Now this. It’s what needs to be said and what I want to say. So thanks.

    I plan to post this on the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page today. It should go out at 10 Central. There will be backlash for both of us. I’m ready and I’ll bet you are too.


    I also want to circulate it as a guest post on my Intersections Faith Culture Politics website and FB page. I only have a small following but I’ll do my part to help add this important wisdom and passion to the public conversation.

    • Thank you. I feel nobody is listening. Our country is much better than this. We are looked at by the rest of our world as crazy for our gun laws.

      • No it isn’t, this country was founded on genocide and slavery, we spend more on war than we do on healthcare and nobody bats an eye. Our gun laws have always been the same and gun violence is down 49% since the 1990’s. Mass shootings are a relatively new phenomenon and changing gun laws isn’t going to stop them from happening. You don’t cure a mental disorder with a band-aid. More gun laws will just give criminals more power just like the drug laws give drug cartels more power.

        • Dear Klent Foster – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
          Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

  3. I know you don’t want to hear from me today, (but that is the reason for a blog, conversation) but your pool analogy is so flawed. If people fall into your pool and drown, it was because they fell in it, it would be an accident. Now, if you carried the person to the pool and submerged their head under the water until they drown, you would have the same analogy as what happened yesterday. The pool didn’t drown anyone, the person holding their head under the water drown them. The gun that young man used yesterday only did what it was designed to do and that is to fire projectiles from its barrel. Someone, someone with a sinful heart, had to aim that gun intentionally and pull the trigger. He held their head under the pool’s water until they drown. Was it the pool’s fault? Not at all, was it the water’s fault? Of course not. Was it the amount of gallons of water in the pool? (Using the opposing people’s idea of large clips) Of course not, it was the shooter’s fault. People with a sinful, and hateful heart, possessed, oppressed or what ever you want to call it, that possess the will of Saran, will find anyway possible to demonstrate that hate. If it had not been a gun, it could have been a bomb. Bombs are not legal, people are still killed them. You’re right I won’t grieve with you today, because you’re grieving for the wrong reason. I grieve because sin has taken the lives of people senselessly. You grieve because a piece of man made metal and plastic performed what it was constructed to do.

    • Sinful heart? Give me a break.

      Mentally ill. And full of anger or hate…

      But not a sinful heart. Don’t break it down into religious mumble jumbo nonsense.

      • And where do you think hate and anger comes from? It comes from a sinful heart. Religious jumble jumbo, the guy that wrote this blog normally writes about religious things, although I disagree with most of them. As a minister it is my place to give the truth, it is your place as a non believer to not believe it. You and I were born with a sinful heart, when I accepted Jesus, I exchanged mine for one of righteousness that steers me in a different direction than hate and anger but love and peace, as long as I walk after the Holy Spirit. I’ve been delivered from the law of sin and death. The killer of these unfortunate Christians stated that he was prepared to meet Satan in the depths of hell. At least he got one thing right. But I guess he shouldn’t be writing religious jumbo jumbo.

      • Please stop letting our culture of violence off the hook by writing these shootings off as “mental illness.” The vast majority of mentally ill people will never ever be violent, and are people like you or me suffering from anxiety or depression. Many people are afraid to seek help because of the stigma (like your comment) surrounding mental illness. I know you think you were comdemning gun fanatics, a noble aim, with what you said, but please think of who you’re throwing under the bus in the process, and the gaping wounds in our social consciousness you’re letting off the hook.

      • Please, please STOP with the “mentally ill” thing. We know no such thing yet. It’s the go-to cop out when a killer is white. It harms people who actually are mentally ill, most of whom are more at risk of being victims of violence than of committing it.

        No one needs to be mentally ill to kill, in fact the vast majority of killers are not mentally ill. Unfortunately, being a killer has a very, very long history in humanity.

      • You’re kind of a dick, bro. You obviously understand what they were meaning to say, but what, because you don’t have faith someone else isn’t allowed to? Don’t be an asshat.

    • Mr. Davis please spare us the logic. Your failure to find the meaning and feel empathy is exactly what this post is talking about.

    • A gun has one purpose, as you stated. To fire projectiles, to maim and kill. That’s exactly what they’re designed to do- they have NO other purpose. It’s just plain stupid to sit here and pretend that a gun’s whole reason for existing isn’t to kill and maim. So shut up about this “guns don’t kill people” nonsense. It’s getting old.

      • I beg to differ with you, I have yet to see a firearm purposely pull its own trigger and kill Or mane anyone. So I will not shut up telling the truth.

      • I agree with Robert Davis – a gun cannot kill someone without a human pulling the trigger – it shouldn’t take too many smarts to figure that out!! Lets lay blame where it truly exists – on the shooter who killed innocent lives!!

      • It’s good to hear from the children in the room with their intellectual comments. (Hope you’re at least smart enough to see the satire there.) I can envision you on your back in the floor wailing your arms and legs in a childish tantrum while you typed your elaborate opinion. Hell was meant for Satan and those that follow him, so I don’t have to worry about that, no natter what your potty mouth throws at me. It worked so well to try to change my opinion on things. NOT!

    • And if it had been harder for this mentally unstable person to get this tool then those people might still be alive. In every other civilized country in the world there are gun laws that make sense. There are checks and balances. There are NOT 264 mass shootings this year. America needs to take it’s collective head’s out of it’s collective asses and do something about the damn stupid laws that allow damn near anybody to build an arsenal.

    • And your analogy of the author’s pool analogy is flawed beyond reason. If you honestly want to refute his points, why do so with your own analogies that twist & distort his words? Never once did he insinuate that water or the inanimate pool was to blame. At least not in the piece I read…and it is entirely possible, based on your comments, that we did, indeed, read two totally different documents. I believe the sentences that were clearly omitted in the piece you read were meant to suggest that there needs to be better laws in place in an attempt to prevent irresponsible use or unnecessary accidents. Yes, it’s true, as so eloquently stated by the current spokesperson of the Bush think tank…”Stuff happens”. It certainly does, however, we are intelligent beings who possess problem solving skills…why are we not using them? I’m sure there is some archaic law that provides me the God given right as an American to own land. I’m glad, I like owning property. There are also, however, rules of the society we live in that are meant for the greater good of all…with maybe a sprinkling of common sense. I can own my dirt…I can dig a hole in my dirt and fill it with water…then, along comes the unreasonable community I live in trying to take away my rights by passing further laws that say I have to put a fence around that water filled hole…and it has to be a certain number of feet high…and has to have a certain kind of lock. My insurance company jumps on the bandwagon of rights killers and adds further rules. They are doing this because it saves lives…O.K., the insurance company doesn’t give a crap about some kids life, they just want to save money. So, a more accurate analogy might be : Now the pool manufacturers are in an uproar…these ridiculous laws are making it more difficult for people to own pools. And there exists a bunch of very rich people who own the biggest pools and don’t think there should be any pesky pool laws, These groups of people combine their financial resources and create the National Pool Association. As wealth equals power, this group becomes very mighty and spends inordinate amounts of time & money preaching to whoever will listen that the government is trying to take away their constitutional right to have a water filled hole on their own property. What’s next? Before you know it the government will expect you to repair your cracked, heaving sidewalk so someone doesn’t break their neck. So they spend millions to make sure you don’t have to be inconvenienced with these trivial details.
      I hope you never experience the horrific loss of a child or grandchild because some arrogant, thoughtless asshole couldn’t be bothered to put a fence around the watery grave they have the right to own….or didn’t feel they should have to clear the obstacle course that surrounds their very own piece of earth. But if you do…I hope someone doesn’t say “Oh well, stuff happens. It’s not the waters fault & the sidewalk couldn’t help the fact that it had dangerously disintegrated. Let’s not start generalizing. Let’s not get all wacky about the notion that maybe your loved one would still be alive if a bit of logic or
      rational thought had prevailed and if greed didn’t rule the world.” Hell, it’s just one kid.

    • Mr Davis, your argument is flawed. You say the guns do what they’re supposed to do, fire projectiles. What those projectiles are meant to do? I’ve noticed there have been more mass killings in our nation this year by guns than we’ve had days of the year. You say if it wasn’t a gun it could have been a bomb, that a hateful heart was to blame. Explain though that reasoning why we have more mass killings -by far- than any other nation at peace? People in other nations can express the evil within themselvess many, many way… yet they rarely do.

    • I’m sorry, but I can’t listen to this stuff anymore. You can hyper-analyze John’s pool analogy if you wish, but you miss the point.

      Yes, bombs are illegal in this country (thank God!) – and on the average(based on 20 years of statistics) there are 35 deaths in the US every year as a result of bombings. If only guns were as hard to come by as bombs, perhaps the deaths they cause would be as rare.

      Let us pray, dear God . . . let us pray.

      Last year there were 12,562 people killed by guns in this country . . . people like your kids, your friends, your family members . . . TWELVE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY TWO just like them and just like you, and just like me. So far this year the number is 9,979 at which rate extrapolated through the end of the year will mean 13,244 real live human beings with kids and parents and spouses and friends and lives filled with human potential will die because of our love affair with guns.

      I grieve the loss of life, and I am outraged that we continue to construct the pieces of man made metal and plastic you dismiss . . . metal and plastic that as you say perform what they are intended to do, which is to end precious, unique, once-in-a-universe human lives.

      I’m sorry . . . I can’t listen to this stuff anymore and not call it out for what it is.

    • Yours is lazy, simplistic, and inhumane thinking through and through. The NRA would be proud.

      “Christian” fundamentalism and “Christian” conservatism (which appears to inform your childish screed) is one of the most monstrous evils the world has ever seen. I know; I have seen it and have been victimized by such people throughout my life—and so have hundreds of millions (if not billions) of others.

      Satan (not Saran) is very clever; he loves to hide behind the cross and the flag and American “Christians” always eagerly follow him, crucifying Jesus over and over. If Jesus were alive today, American conservatives would be the first to lynch Him.

      • First of all, I am not a member of NRA or an owner if any type of fire arm. Yes, I am a Christian and will not apologize for it, although you speak and you don’t believe but then use Satan (and you know than Saran was a typo that I had no way to fixing afterward) in your debate. “If Jesus was alive” and yes He is very alive is grieving too, as those that follow him were killing for doing so. I don’t claim to have the answers, I don’t know what will work, but I do know what will not work and banning guns is not the answer. Ions day when Jesus returns, we won’t need them any more.Come, Lord Jesus.

        • Dear Robert Davis – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
          Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.

    • No, it’s actually a good analogy, it just went over your head. The author is saying that, even if it’s not his or the pool’s “fault” that kids are dying in it, at some point he has to decide if he wants to keep fighting to keep the pool, knowing that children will continue to die in it. If you owned a pool, and children kept drowning in it, would you dig in your heels and insist on keeping the pool because “the pool didn’t drown anyone, those children are drowning themselves, it’s my RIGHT to own a pool?” Or would you have some human decency and try to do something to prevent more children from drowning in your pool, even though it’s not technically the pool’s fault, or even your fault? Obviously guns are inanimate objects and need a human to discharge them to harm others… you’re not clever for making that argument. But at what point are we going to decide that something needs to be done about all the deaths? Can we keep throwing up our hands and saying “this is someone else’s fault… a SINFUL person’s fault…” and pretending there’s absolutely nothing we could do to prevent more gun violence?

    • Then if that piece of metal and plastic was as regulated and restricted as simply as we do cars which are other tools that in the wrong hands can be used to hurt. With classes, ID’s background checks, licensing, etc, then that would reduce the amount of people able to use them in “sinful” manners. Bombs can be used too yes but compare how many bombs have been used in the past year, minuscule, to the amount of gun massacres, 264 in 10 months. That is only counting massacres. The pool analogy is not demonizing the pool itself, it’s saying that if you make it harder to access something that is causing deaths then maybe less deaths will happen.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

      • I have a feeling that this is a bit like responding to an invitation to put my hand in a meat grinder, but here goes.
        First, I know that right now everyone who owns guns is considered a monster, an uncaring lout willing to sacrifice the lives of babies for his own agenda. I am suddenly the boogyman, and to be honest it feels like a punch in the gut.
        We live on a horse farm, out in the middle of Eastern Washington state. It’s a quiet and peaceful life, and we love it. However, over the past couple of decades there’s been a lot of meth houses, and gang activity. The cops do what they can, but they’re stretched pretty thin. If I call 911, and IF they have an officer in town ready to respond immediately, they might make it to my house in thirty minutes. Neighbors have had a number of thefts and break-ins over the past year or so, all unsolved. A year ago, I had a car completely destroyed by hammer-wielding vandals when it was disabled beside the road for a few hours. I’m peace loving, but not everybody is.
        Also, we have lots of coyotes and (over the past couple of years) wild dog packs running around at night. We make our living breeding horses, and the foals would be easy prey. There are even a few mountain lions around, though I haven’t seen one personally.
        So, I have guns, several of them. They’re tools, just like a hammer or a screwdriver. They provide a lethal means of dealing with potential threats. My wife and I are over fifty, and frankly I never was all that tough. I store them responsibly. If ANYBODY (especially children) come over, the guns are immediately secured in a heavy safe, which is itself hidden. I’ve never threatened, much less shot anyone. And as long as you’re not trying to force your way into my home in the middle of the night, you’re in no danger whatsoever from me.
        And yes, when innocent lives are taken, I grieve. Gun ownership doesn’t lessen my empathy for my fellow man, diminish my moral capacity, nor make me complicit in the evil actions of others.

        • Dear Mike,
          No gun laws in any country in the world would actually stop a farmer from owning a rifle for stock protection from predatory wildlife. But statistics from every other developed nation of the world show that you and your family would be safer if there were national gun laws which prohibited the purchase of semi-automatic weapons and the control and licensing of gun ownership to restrict them to people like yourself who have a reasonable reason to require a weapon – other than the good-ol ‘self defence’

          • Jimod – first off I’ll assume you don’t fully understand what a semi-automatic weapon is., and I’m not going to try to explain it. Second, what statistics are you talking about? The U.K., Austrailia, and Ireland have all I acted some sort of gun ban, and the murder rate after the ban is the same or even higher than the rate before the ban. So a gain, how does banning a gun make you safer?

      • Since no one else wanted to reply to your question, I will give it a go: I grew up around firearms. We shot trap with shotguns, targets and small game with the .22’s, and large game (deer) with the .30 caliber rifles. The pistols were for home/camp defense. No one ever fired a gun irresponsibly and I have been around them for over 50 years. Gun safety and training were part of every event that included guns. We never loaded them until ready to use (except the defense guns, which were never fired.) They are sporting and hunting weapons, and stand-by for home and personal defense.

        Now, in these 50 years I have never drawn my pistol or fired my shotgun at an intruder or other marauder. But I do train for that. In my upscale ex-urban neighborhood there are plenty of drug addicts who rummage through cars parked in driveways looking for valuables. There are stabbings and other violence committed in the city where I work. My first response will always be to back down, try to de-escalate, try NOT to draw and fire on someone. However, if my life, or the life of a family member, or friend was threatened, make no mistake – I will fire into center body mass until the threat is removed.

        So back to the answer you seek: Guns are my heritage, guns are a shooting-sport hobby I enjoy with my adult children, guns are set aside for home and personal defense. My neighborhood is only patrolled by the State Police, who cannot respond in less than 20 minutes to a 9-1-1 call. I can load my .357 with six rounds and be on target in 48 seconds. I hope and pray everyday that I never have to fire my weapon at another person, which is same prayer as every police officer. But my Constitutional right to own firearms shall not be infringed. My responsibility to safely own, store, transport and use firearms is, to me, part of that right. I hope this answers your question.

        • Dear Chester – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
          Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.
          Chester – sporting shooters, with correct licensing, are not restricted in owning sporting rifles in any developed nation with gun controls in place, but the hand-guns which you have never needed for 50 years, are more likely to harm your family than protect them.

      • I will answer your question. I have a gun. I was raised in a house with guns. I don’t remember at what age my dad took us to the shooting range. We knew there were guns. We didn’t play with them or threaten people. My parents would of beat us. We were taught respect, for the gun, for humans.
        Why do I have one now. I live in the middle of no where. My husband works nights. Because I was taught to respect human life. I would not shoot someone over my t.v. or my computer. If I felt my life or my family was in danger yes I would.
        Because we live in the country we have snakes and all kinds of wild animals. I would shoot one before I let it attack me. I am 45 years I have no record I am sane. The question I have is why should I not be allowed to own a gun?

        • Dear Tammy,
          No developed country with gun controls completely removes your ability to own a gun – specially not if you on a property with wildlife and have a sporting shooters license – but what they do is control the appropriateness of the gun that you are allowed to buy – so you may not be allowed to buy a sumi-automatic ak47 (excuse my gun model ignorance) to kill rattle-snakes – but a sporting rifle could be allowed. Gun control is about helping people have the guns they need, not the guns they want – and that is a really important distinction. Hand-guns are completely useless for just about anything except killing people – and that is why most people shouldn’t need or have them. Trust statistics – internationally – every other developed country has better gun laws that the USA, and they are safer – why don’t you demand that your government makes the USA the safest country in the world? Demand sensible gun laws!

    • No, her pool analogy was right. What she is saying is that if something is dangerous you do what you have to to make that danger less. Did you not even understand what she was saying about the culture of glorifying guns being part of the problem. Your response is the typical defensive one .You didn’t understand a word she said.

    • I really think you missed the point. Yes the pool drown the person put the idea is to put the proper precautions in place so that it does not happen!!!! Get the picture!!!!

      • And the government should build fences around every lake, river, and stream while we’re at it. (Get the picture?) Actually, conscientious training by caring by parents is the place to start with swimming pools AND guns. You could not prevent this killer with any imaginable law. He passed all the background and mental checks. He was simply bent on killing as many as he could… for no other reason than a few moments of recognition from someone. These killers are all pretty much the same. Pathetic piles of narcissistic human tissue.

      • We’ve allowed liberals to pollute the minds of the youth for far too long. That’s what’s went wrong. You people are responsible for this. He went to your schools. He watched your TV programs. He posted madness on websites I would have had shut down years ago that you still demand be allowed to cultivate the next loon. He was a product of your multiculturalism. He was a product of your secularized America. He was a product of your rejection of both God and the Constitution. He targeted the same Christians you target and encouraged him to kill. You did this. You leftists don’t get to mourn, period. You are all murders. You cheer the ripping apart of babies in the womb. You did this. You don’t get to mourn.

        • Wow.

          So you are angry at this man, who killed “Christians”. In a gay bar. And you’re able to work up a healthy froth over this killing, because you hate liberals–who are, by and large, the portion of society who support the LGBT community. But then, isn’t the LGBT community part of that sinful secularism, and isn’t this man’s attitude that gays are disgusting and deserving of death far closer to the attitudes of Christian conservatism than it is secular liberalism? And that he had every right to own a gun and do God’s work?

          How hard a cramp did that logic put in your brain?

      • We have too much Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism in the United States, both of which feed on fear and paranoia—and then repropagate what the feed upon as even more fear and paranoia in a vicious circle that sucks everyone and everything into it like a blackhole. The day Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism die off in the United States, it will be possible to grow a more stable and lasting society where love is important. However, they may take about three generations after their fall to happen because they have already contaminated and messed up millions of people that cannot help but spread the radioactive fallout from their “screwed upness.”

      • We have taken God out of our country and it has gone to HELL in a hand basket – that is what the problem is! We have become more immoral in our thoughts, our way of handling things and it is the ruination of this country. God is what this country was built on – now we want to take God out of our schools, the halls of justice, and silence the Christians or God-fearing people who walk this earth! That is what is wrong with America!

    • 1. Bombs are illegal
      2. Other than the tragedy in Biston, how many have been killed by a bombing in this decade.
      3. How many pool drownings were there! Too many, but at least we have laws (fencing, iLife saving equip. for public facilities, etc.

      No one should have a gun without a background and mental check. No logical reason for the public to have large caliber weaponry and clips.
      Your argument is flawed on so many levels.

      • 1. The bombers acquired what they needed even though bombs are totally illegal.
        2. How many people buy bombs for hunting or self-protection or collect them as an investment?
        3. 36,000 have drowned accidentally in the past decade. That’s ten people every day. And you don’t even need a background check to go swimming. Should we consider the 100,000 yearly deaths caused by erroneous medical intervention practices (check out the education and licensing requirements in that field – we still get 100,000 unintended deaths per year from bad medical treatment – we just sign our rights away when we undergo those treatments). But, you’ll rarely hear mention of this splashed across the globe by our trusted media outlets…. it’s nowhere near sensational enough. Shouldn’t we collectively mourn those deaths, too? What about the people who die in vehicle accidents? No, I guess we need to keep our attention on guns only. After all, THEY are the objective in overturning the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; not swimming pools and automobiles. You can’t defend yourself with a swimming pool or a car. (H-m-m-m-m-m-m….)
        You might want to check Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy on gun possession. Or, have Jefferson’s philosophical views become outdated? No gun law you can posit would have stopped the killer from doing what he did. Read it in the Times (really). You can totally outlaw guns, but someone who wants one will still be able to acquire one or multiple guns. It just requires more work. The Umpqua perp passed every background and mental check.

        • Dear Beaker55,
          In the list of alternate deaths you present you fail to mention that every single one of them has a lot of time, effort and legislation put into it by the government which has, over time, reduced the likelihood of deaths from these causes. And yet, when every other developed nation in the world has put time, effort and legislation into gun control (not banning – don’t panic) and have discovered the exact same safety improvements – the USA appears to ignore this – why don’t you demand that your government gives you the safest country to live in? You owe it to yourself, and your family.

      • I always love when anti-gun people have no clue what they’re talking about but apparently the rest of us are supposed to take them at their word like they’re experts. “Clips” whenever I see someone use that word it’s obviously know nothing about what they speak. You don’t get to tell other people what you think they should owner not own you don’t get to tell women what they do with their own uterus and vagina.

        • Dear Mbsevans64 – I love you and God loves you – and for that reason, I want you to be safe. Statistics from every developed nation on earth show that you would be safer with gun laws that you are with a gun.
          Your family would be safer, your friends would be safer, but you deny them this safety. Don’t you love your family – don’t you want what is best for them? Give them gun control – and prove your love.
          I love your comment about not getting a say about other people’s vagina’s – I fully support that – don’t fully understand it, but I think I get your drift!

      • Well said beeker55 – may I go one point past what he said. I read that in Obamacare that if you are over the age of 70 and you have a life threatening illness – lets take lung cancer, as in the case of my father who died last year almost 1 year ago today and that the Hospice in my hometown is using the directives written in Obamacare to euthanize the elderly who have no other options for treatment and are given a number of months to live – I watched as my father was fed large amounts of Morphine, mind you against our family and his wishes, so that he would die sooner. He was given 8 months to live and from finding out this news he survived 3 months under the care of Hospice. The reason I say this is because we were lied to by Hospice and nursing home staff, we were not allowed to see any records of his while he was a patient in the care facility he was in, we were not listened to when he said or we said we did not want him to have that drug, he was not in any pain at the time this was happening, yet their whole reason for giving this drug is to eliminate the patient’s pain, and it made him so sick and drugged up that he was not able to stay awake, he was not hungry because he was nauseated and vomiting a lot, he could not keep food down, he also had a sensation that he was not able to breath and so this also perpetuated the need to give him more of this drug – that is a side affect of being given this drug – air hunger. I watched while they did the same thing to the man in the bed next to him – he died 2 weeks before my father did. I know that this med – Roxanol or Oxidose are used for such purposes and I know this because I used to work in a hospital and I recall nurses saying all the time that as someone was in a lot of pain with cancer they would give a large dose of the drug and it would cause them to stop breathing. I know this was done to my father – I watched the progression of the use of this drug on him and know he was euthanized. It is happening more and more in our country and it is not necessarily something new, but it is being used to remove people from the face of this earth sooner than they should be. He did not deserve to go this way!!

        The sad thing is no one hears about these things, but many people are experiencing it, as there are a lot of places online that comments such as this has been left. How about that – do we take this drug away from a doctor or nurse?? Who needs a gun to kill someone when you can over dose them on such drugs – it is a silent way of killing people off! I think this country has a lot more things to worry about then GUN CONTROL!!

        • While I disagree about prolonging life. I want you to know that I hear the pain in your heart and sadness in your soul. I am sorry it was such a hard struggle. You are very kind in sharing that story with all of us. I hope you are doing okay.

          • I am doing fine if I do not dwell on it – but prolonged living should be up to the patient – not a doctor, a nurse, or an insurance company. It should never have happened – it all started at the hospital he was in before he arrived at the nursing home – so they all had a part to play in him losing his life – it is something all should be watching and asking questions about – it is never right to take a life if that life chooses to live as long as God above allows them to.

      • This shooter passed a background check. He purchased his guns, just last week, in a completely legal way. Even though he had been on the FBI’s radar since at least 2013.

        Next solution?

        • Dear Anahata56,
          Other developed countries with gun control not only control who is eligible to own a gun, but what guns they can have. For example, farmers need hunting rifles to protect their stock from wild-life, and sporting shooters need hunting rifles to kill poor fluffy things (hey, not my game) – but who (seriously) actually NEEDS a semi-automatic machine gun – lots of people WANT them, but they don’t need them – and that is what good legislation controls. Hand-guns can be restricted to gun club members where they can be kept securely. All of these things provide for peoples ‘right’ to own a gun – provided it is a sensible gun for their need. We allow restrictions in many other parts of our life for the greater good (speed limits and seat-belts are a simple example) which restrict our ‘want’ to drive as fast as we want – and we all understand that this has made us safer collectively. International statistics show that good gun laws make everyone safer – and we should demand that safety in the USA!

    • You trying to fix the analogy is even more flawed.

      A pool is not designed to kill children. That weapon was not designed just to fire projectiles from a barrel. It was designed for one purpose and one purpose only. to kill people.

      Also, trying to minimize the impact of large capacity mags is disingenuous at best. He was only stopped because he *finally* had to reload. The bigger the mag, the less often the shooter has to reload, the more carnage inflicted in a shorter amount of time.

      Perhaps you should try to think your argument through a little more thoroughly next time. It’s even worse than the car argument.

      And you’re right. We don’t want to hear from you.

    • “People with a sinful, and hateful heart, possessed, oppressed or what ever you want to call it, that possess the will of Saran [Satan?], will find anyway possible to demonstrate that hate.”

      Which is precisely why gun ownership should be better regulated! So that when those people seek “…anyway possible to demonstrate that hate”, one particularly simple and effective way – that of shooting up rooms full of defenceless people – is not available to them. It’s not rocket science!

      As for the pool analogy, the author specifically referred to “kids” falling in the unfenced pool and drowning. Good luck explaining to the authorities, never mind the parents, how a neighbourhood kid drowning in your unfenced pool is nothing more than “an accident”. We’re talking pretty basic risk assessment and hazard reduction strategies here, so while you’re free to tie yourself in knots and twist his words all you like, John’s clear and simple message remains: living in a society where guns are freely available – just like living in a society containing unfenced pools kids can access – means more people will die than otherwise would.

    • Do you remember that 9-year-old girl who shot and killed her gun instructor — what a fucking filthy sinner she was, right Robert Davis?

      Remember that 3-year-old who accidentally shot her mom, killing her? Only sin could have caused that tragedy, right?

      Remember that guy doing a safety demo, ended up shooting himself dead? Goddamn motherfucking SINNER!

      • Difference – you even said it Sinner without a Gun – ACCIDENT!! Still not the guns fault, but maybe the parents for keeping it out of reach of a child and a guy doing a safety demo – ACCIDENT!! The man in the Oregon shooting was filled with hate – that is SIN – BIG DIFFERENCE!!

        • USA, USA, USA
          You gun lovers are so funny to watch (from a safe distance) – just keep right on arguing about your ‘rights’ – and kill each other on a daily basis – it’s hilarious! 🙂
          The most hilarious thing about it is that you keep thinking that you are so superior to the rest of the world that no other country could possibly have a better idea about anything – specially not guns!
          Look, I understand that this is a highly insensitive post at this time, but from all of the comments I have seen on this post – you gun nuts stopped caring for anyone else a long time ago. A nation of the most selfish individuals I have ever seen:
          – guns – I want one so my rights override the safety of everyone else.

        • Dear Lorlyn63,
          This is not an attack on you personally, just a broad question – isn’t being selfish kind of a sin? So, all of those gun ‘accidents’ were just that – accidents. But, the fact that the guns were around and available are a direct result of people resisting the call for better gun control in the USA. And why do they do that? Because they want to be able to own a gun – and defend this as a ‘right’. Isn’t that ultimately selfishness? Statistically, every developed country in the world has better gun control than the USA, and has less gun violence and death. So, therefore, peoples selfish desires are causing ‘accidents’ and harm to society, and this is being ignored. There is sin.

      • For some reason I thought this was a Christian blog. Doesn’t sound much like Christians reading and replying to them with the language demonstrated. As far as your message hidden within your foul language, all of those mentioned were accidents that no law other than banning guns altogether would have changed which will never happen in this county. Our discussion is about intentional murder here, intentional acts of hate, intentional hate against Christians, (which is what we really need to mourn,) Hate triggered by the our original sinful nature will manifest itself one way or another whether there is a gun or not. Remember Cain killed Abel with a rock. If we’d had the controlling government that we have today, we’d be talking about banning rocks.

    • I’m sorry but your argument, like a flawed pool, doesn’t hold water. Yes people can be bad, but I’m willing to bet that if these bad people had to do this with a knife or a baseball bat, fewer people would be killed. I’m a gun owner. I shoot at the range and not at people. If having to do a background check and medical clearance, as inconvenient as that seems, would save lives, then sign me up for the inconvenience. My bad mood shouldn’t cost someone their lives just as your feeling that evil is the problem should cost anyone their life. The pool analogy is accurate.But you don’t want to hear that and one cannot change the actions of one that doesn’t see an issue with them.

      • What don’t you all get. He passed the background checks. He passed the mental health certification. Or at least it was signed that he passed. So….what next? Laws will not stop murder. However, I do agree that we don’t need large capacity magazines for public use. And Automatic weapons should be limited in the ability to fire rounds. There does need to be some restrictions on the types of weapons out there. I don’t see the need for an AR15 in my house or of anyone else.

    • I Grieve no only for life lost but because a tool whose only purpose is to take a life has no requirements for use. The pool analogy hold little water. Water has many uses were as a gun is only made to kill. A car can kill too but that is not its intended use. Can you say that about a gun?

      • Guns have more than one purpose. Guns do not have to be used to kill people. They are used to hunt. They are used in self-defense. The PERSON kills. And if that person is intent on killing, perhaps they wouldn’t kill as many at once, but they would still kill. That has not changed since man was created.

    • That is the point. More than any other kind of weapon, that piece of man made metal and plastic perform what they are constructed to do by both good guys and bad guys. Their only function is to kill and maim and it is sheer madness to to glorify them, cling to them as if they and they alone are sacred cows, justify the stockpiling of them, call people names who abhor them, threaten with them, and refuse to support regulation of them. Perhaps it is a sin to make them the gods so many people do and to refuse to make them less accessible to those who would use them to kill and maim another. Yes, bombs are dangerous, but they are illegal and guns are not and I never hear anyone saying bombs should not be illegal. Nor do I hear complaints when people have to take their shoes off at airports, limit the size of liquid bottles in carryons, leave the pocket knife from grandpa at home We do it because those things are considered potential threats to human lives. But they have killed far less than guns. Even in this man’s deep grief, you refuse to consider another point of view. He is wrong in your eyes and once again there is no willingness to be part of the solution just the same tired old excuses over and over. How many more senseless murders with guns have to occur before you acknowledge that maybe just maybe, the greater sin is the unwillingness to pry your fingers from your sacred cows and work with the other side to come up with solutions to save lives. You may have to, God forbid, give a little but isn’t that worth it if it saves lives? So, I beg you to stop the justifying and offer real workable solutions. I have yet to see your side willing to do so, and that is an affront to the victims and their families and to anyone who values human life.

    • Nice reply, but you missed his point. He’s grieving becaue we’ve built a culture where guns are accessible to everyone, including criminals and the mentally insane. We need new laws, and a better more responsible congress to enact them.

    • Robert Davis,
      Yet, its still your pool, and if someone keeps using your pool for killing and you do nothing and keep the pool saying “well I didn’t kill them, it’s the mentally ill person. It wasn’t me; not my problem”, your still the sick neighbor with the blood filled pool. And no one can ever say that every gun out there is in a safe place, where no one else has access to it, clearly. And no one can put as many measures, background checks, mental psychological checks on every gun purchased. Mentally disturbed people have a clear understanding of how they need to act, talk, and walk in order to deceive the public to achieve their horrifying plans. This is all proven through out each and every gun shooting in our history as a nation. This is now a generational curse that we have the responsibility to fix. Until gun supporters understand this truth, they will always be swimming in a blood filled pool.

      Thank you, John Pavlovitz for your honest. Your words, perspective have really said it all. I send you my condolences.

    • I disagree with you. Correct me if I am wrong, but the analogy of pool he made here is not about the existence of the pool, but what we do with it. You are right, a pool itself does not possess a will to intentionally harm anyone, but our actions can. If you are an owner of a pool, doing nothing after such “accidents” occur repeatedly just means you don’t care enough about the effects of having a pool has on other people, be it to be your fault of not.

    • They said on the News today that in the US 1 person is killed every 16 minutes by a gun, not a bomb, not a knife, not any other method….just a “man made piece of metal and plastic that preformed what it was constructed to do”. And all it is constructed to do is kill, whether an animal or human, all it is made to do is kill and destroy. That is what you are defending…that is what you want in the hands of anyone in your country who desires one…something solely designed to kill. And you are supposed to be a follower of Jesus? How do those things go together, how do you rationalize your love of God and supposed love of your brothers and sisters and still defend having guns so readily available to everyone…

      Oh, and you said “Bombs are not legal, people are still killed (by) them.” Indeed you are right, they kill a vast number of people when they go off….but they are not legal. How many people die in the US daily from bombs? Unless the News is not reporting the daily numbers, I would say that the fact that they are illegal diminishes the possibility of them being used to kill people. Hmmmm…I wonder if there would be fewer gun deaths if there were less guns….you might have a good idea there.

      • Wendy – It will not matter if there are less guns – people like this young man who killed people in Oregon will still find a way to get a gun, make a bomb, etc – despite the fact they would be made illegal! It will not stop the killing – it may in fact increase it and someone said the campus there were no guns allowed – did that deter this young man from bringing a gun in – say there were security people who were unarmed – they were powerless to eliminate the threat – this is the kind of America we will have to live with when they take our guns away and control who gets a gun – you think there is too much killing now – they will go on a rampage because they know people will be unarmed – we have seen nothing yet!!

        • Dear Lorlyn63,
          Internationally, in every other developed country, the introduction of better gun laws have reduced the incidence of gun deaths of all types (accidents/suicide/murder/mass) – nearly all of the mass shootings in the USA have been ended by the police, and they will continue to have guns in their professional duty. No other country has seen an increase in gun deaths after introducing gun control.

      • And how many guns will be around for people to get if some are made illegal? Do you think companies will keep building the number of assault weapons if no one is allowed to buy them? Who are they going to sell them to? It is simple supply and demand.

        And you really want everyone walking around with a gun assuming that the other person is about to shoot. I just read today of the man in the US who killed his wife when she walked into their house because he thought that it was a burgler. If he had grabbed a knife to defend himself, he would have seen who had walked in before he killed her. We have limited access to guns in Canada, and while we do sadly have some mass killings, we certainly have less then the US and Australia has basically eliminated mass killings since they removed guns from their country. The evidence is clear….you just don’t want to give up guns and are willing to sacrifice untold numbers of people so that you have the option of killing someone if they dare to make you feel threatened.

        • Yes Wendy, in Australia the statistics show a reduction in mass murders. But what NEVER gets reported is this: Since restricting firearms in Australia VIOLENT CRIME OVERALL has risen 42%! Armed robberies are up 70%! Home invasions went up 21%! Sexual assaults rose 30%! (Australian women are now THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY to be raped than American women.) The Australian experiment proves tough gun laws and confiscation actually causes OTHER violent crime rates to skyrocket! This phenomenon has also been proven in Chicago, Washington D.C., and other major cities recently. All in an era where skyrocketing concealed carry permits (by States) has actually resulted in a steady REDUCTION in violent crime overall in the U.S. for the last decade. Why aren’t we hearing about this on the nightly news? It’s not scary enough and it doesn’t play well when the object is to increase public fear. Another statistic that is never reported is: The vast MAJORITY of gun killings in the U.S. involve gang shootings, drug deals and other criminal activity. AND many shooting statistics are family members killed by jilted, sick, depressed or psychopathic members of their OWN FAMILIES. Furthermore, the official federal definition of ‘mass’ shootings was been reduced from 4 people to 3 people starting in 2015. Naturally, when the threshold changes, statistics change. But, people hear the news and assume the worst. This is in no way meant to condone gun violence! But, it IS intended to be an example of how the masses tend to believe something is true, simply because we hear it on the news. And that settles it. We’re being entirely misled by virtually all the media… and proudly accepting it as truth. That is not intelligent.

          • You need to check your facts! While homicide rates did tick up slightly in the 2 years after Australia implemented gun controls in 1996, they have declined steadily since then and are currently more than 30% lower than 1996, and approximately 1/4 of the US homicide rate.
            The numbers you cited are from a widely circulated email and are pure fabrication!

    • You missed the point of the analogy and quite deliberately so. It was because you were expected to miss that point that you were not invited.

    • In the analogy, he’s not saying it’s the pool’s fault. He’s saying it’s his fault for not taking more precautionary measures to prevent people who should not be around the pool from accessing it. Similarly, it is not the gun’s fault, it’s our fault for not putting in more precautions with regards to obtaining and keeping firearms. Keeping with the analogy, if the pool owner know’s someone is mentally ill and highly capable of pushing swimmer’s heads under the water and not letting go, they wouldn’t be allowed near the pool especially with others in it.

      The question begs to be asked– If this person truly wanted to kill all these people and didn’t have access to a gun, would he have done it? Would he have been able to looks these people in the eye and stab them because he had access to a kitchen knife instead of just pulling a trigger? Maybe, but unlikely. If someone charged at him while holding a weapon other than a gun, chances are they would have succeeded at preventing further attacks and they wouldn’t have been shot 7 times in the process. You can’t say it could have been a bomb, because it’s a completely different situation. Bombs are not spontaneous. Bombs require research and a bit of skill to assemble, and there HAVE been measures put in place to deter people from obtaining the necessary ingredients.

      Just something to think about.

    • Yeah that’s right when all else fails blame “sin” or the devil…do not blame stupid irresponsible guntil owners…blame the stupid piece of metal…ridiculous ..

    • If what you say is true why is the United States the only developed country in the world with these gun problems? Everywhere else restricts ownership or teaches competency. Guns are still available but require training where I live. The pool analogy is great. Your “hate in their hearts” commentary is meaningless in the face of actual people actually dying.

    • this is so f#$%ing pathetic. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. So yes gun lovers can grieve about this. Stop posting this stupid shit.

      • “People kill people”. Correct. So why make it easier for them by making guns so readily available? Every measure available demonstrates unequivocally that people who want to kill people can do so far more effectively if they have access to guns. “People kill people” is not an argument for the proliferation of weapons; on the contrary, it is the most compelling argument for regulating them.

      • Dear Jay Owen,
        Gun lovers who deny that their selfish desire to have any type of gun they want, anywhere they want it, create an environment with more gun deaths than any other developed nation.
        Statistics prove that everyone in the USA would be safer if there were better gun control legislation in place.
        To grieve involves wanting the thing that happened, not to happen again. To deny your part in not only the thing happening, but all future repeats, means that you are not truly grieving.
        Harsh, yes. True, yes. Fair, yes. Sorry.

    • True liberty lie in Justice. Its justice that a pool be fenced, its mainly small children and babes that fall in pools. Its true justice and freedom that guns be controlled, people with access to guns, especially automatics, kill easily. We have mentally ill people here in NZ, we have drugs, we have violent video games, we have all that America has, but we don’t have mass killings and we don’t have easy access to weapons, in fact ive never seen a gun in person. Its not a people problem its an easy access and glorification of weapons problem.

    • Yes, a crazy perso pulled the trgger. A person who should not gave had access to guns. Background checks will help prevent crazy people from shooting. Crazy people may drag someone to a pool or a bathtub, but they are less likely to drag 9 people. Guns make a difference and thus has to stop.
      There is nothing about gun regulation that would stop any additional assets going into mental health treatment. It is not either or. But it is time to stop the easy unbridled access to weapons designed to kill so many so fast and at a distance. Enough nonsense. Stop this now.

    • Wow. What an apropos analysis and a super helpful comment. Super awesome. Way to go. Fantastic. I’m sure this will be incredibly helpful when explained to the families of the victims. What a lovely gesture to leave this comment here and straighten everybody out.

    • Yes it did perform what it was constructed to do. That doesn’t mean that it should be owned by every person in this world. I think the people of the world that have guns are afraid, and maybe they should be. I don’t own a gun and will never own one because I see no need for one. I have lived 72 years and have never had one, so why would I have one now? It is too easy for people to get them. If you go to a gun show they don’t ask if your crazy they sell one to you. It’s all about the money and the gun industries are doing well.

    • No the pool thing still works as the kids dying in the pool could either be by accident, on purpose by the kuds (suicides), or dragged by another person and killed there. The pool represents the guns – something that can be used for fun or a purpose but people are still dying because there is not the things in place stopping all three of these instances happening – just like with guns.

      It does work really well. I live in the UK and we owned a gun for competitive shooting before the gun ban so yes I do know what it is like to have a gun in the house but I also know how my parents made sure there was no way anyone could access it. As soon as they didn’t feel this was the case as my sister got older and into an “interesting” crowd, it was given to our instructor so it could and would only be used in practice sessions.

      Now you have to go through various checks to get one now and the regulations are much better to keep everyone safe.

      I do wonder what would have happened if the gun had stayed in the house even with my parents procedures in place as my sister got violent and stole from various people. Just like with the pool respenting guns, they saw what could have happened and put up that fence etc because of the worry of someone using it wrongly and not the pool its self.

    • Reverend. Although what you say is true from the Christian perspective, and I can agree with it to a large extent, what you have to say here is not helpful in addressing the gun violence problem in a practical way. Despite what you might think, we live in a Jesus-saturated culture already. The question: “Have you ever heard of Jesus my dear friend?” is one of the stupidest questions you can ask in the United States today. The fact of the matter is that because of people like you, nearly everyone in the United States has heard of Jesus and the Christian message—numerous times. It is a ubiquitous scratched, vinyl, 33.3 record. Regardless of that fact, gun violence in this country is everywhere and all-pervasive in nature. I seriously doubt that more evangelism will solve this problem.

      A famous prosecutor in Indiana gets numerous e-mail messages from all over the country urging the emplacement of 10 commandments monuments on courthouse lawns. She is against such monuments because she thinks they are stupid. I do too. In those letters, the writers say, “We need to erect these monuments because no one is teaching people right from wrong anymore. If they were, there would not be so much crime. These monuments will teach people what is right for the very first time in their lives, and then they will not commit crimes anymore—and the crime rates will go way down. Do you know what she did? She went into the jails and prisons in her area and actually surveyed all of the prisoners to determine whether they knew right from wrong before they committed their crime. Almost to the last man (or woman), the prisoners stated that they clearly knew right from wrong before they did their crimes and that their crimes violated the will of God. The next thing they said right after that was key: “We went ahead and committed our crimes anyway because, quite frankly, we did not give a shit whether it was right or wrong or what Jesus thought about it.” I know you think evangelism is the answer to everything, but that is only because you come from a religious tradition that emphasizes evangelism above all other things—no matter what those things are. Evangelism is not the answer to the gun violence problem.

    • Probably it’s more easy to own a gun than a pool! And I bet there are more restrictions to keeping and maintaining a pool than for one to keep a gun at this point. It’s about gun control and the maniac was able to buy numerous guns legally, though not sure if using them at will was legal! Now tell me why this nation made so much fuss about Iran or Korea’s access to nuclear weapons, when there is free access for all to deadly weapons at home? Shouldn’t we mend our own house first? Now, just wonder how you’d make out of the saying of my Master, the Sage of all sages in Matthew 26:52!

  4. Thank you for expressing clearly what so many of us are feeling, John. I can’t understand what motivates people to choose their own pleasure and convenience over the lives of others. It’s a deadly form of narcissism and we seem to be powerless as a nation against it.

    • So you’re just saying that it’s a coincidence that there are so many more people with evil in their heart in America, the country where this keeps on happening in mass numbers with clockwork regularity?

  5. If you want to mourn in “peace”, then don’t put it out there for everyone to see. All you have done is exactly what you say you don’t like. You have cut down others right to be who they are.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

      • I owned a gun in the UK before the ban – it was for competitive shooting. I did young farmers teriathlons where you had to shoot, swim, run and horse ride. The gun was so me and my sister could practice but I was terrified of the thing being in the house.

    • ARE YOU CRAZY! “Right to be who they are”…. do you really think as a nation, we have the right to murder innocents? Those kindergarten children in Ct. Had more of a right to live unfinished lives! You want to shoot guns- go play with yourself!

    • OK, then please don’t cut down my right to be who I am: a murderous, sadistic, permanently adolescent idiot who likes to steal people’s identities, put spike strips down on every highway I find, and make death threats to as many people as possible as often as I have time.

      Sorry, it’s just who I am.

      Having guns isn’t a “lifestyle.” It’s just antisocial and stupid, not unlike other forms of terrorism.

    • No. If you had read with an open mind you would know you are wrong. Instead you read what you wanted so that you could respond according to your own needs.

  6. This was big news here on the BBC yesterday.

    In the U.K., gun deaths are rare. Approximately 18-38 people die in shootings every year.* In the U.S., approximately 30 people are killed with guns every day.

    The difference? U.K. has strict hand-gun laws.

    * If you equate for populations, and take the high value of annual shooting (38), the U.K. averages 0.5 gun killings per day. That is, one shooting every two days, in the whole country.

    • If you eliminate cities with strict gun control laws, even Chicago alone, it reverses your statistics! Every time we’ve added guns laws, the violence goes up! UCC was a gun free zone and it didn’t stop this violence from happening. There is a reason why these people target guns free zones.

    • Gun lovers can’t comprehend what you are saying.

      Their minds shut down… not that they ever really operate correctly.

    • The UK has one thing that the United States has never had. After Charles Dickens and other reformers helped you figure out that oppressing poor people was wrong in the middle 1800s and forward in time, you developed a civilized society to go hand-in-hand with your near absence of guns. It is an understood societal ethic that is shared even by the bad guys in your country. The United States has never had that sort of massive, universally-shared civilized condition. It really pisses me off when people in Europe stand up and say: “We know more about your country than your own people do.” That is bullshit. You have to live in a culture like an ethnographer does before you can really understand the culture of a country. The United States has always had a wild and woolly culture with an “anything goes” attitude, particularly in its criminal communities, and it is often fired by assorted prejudices and fears of prejudices—and hundreds of other things.

      I could probably write you a book, but there is no space for that here. I will give you a little story that actually happened in the 1960s. I was visiting an elderly couple, and a man who was married to their daughter was really excited and full of pride because he had bought his first handgun. He took us down into the forest behind their house, set up a target on a tree, fired it at the target, and let the adults fire it too. I went with them, but I was just a child at the time. The gun owner was really excited, getting lots of pats on the back about the new gun, and then one of the adults asked, “Why did you buy it.” I do not remember his exact words, but I do clearly remember why he bought the new gun: “I bought this here gun to kill out-of-control niggers on the streets of Indianapolis!!!”

    • Gun deaths…yet your own counties crime statistics show that both homicide and violent crimes as a whole have increased since the gun ban. You’re using a slanted statistic to prove your point. The bottom line is that your average citizen isn’t as safe as they were when guns were legal.

    • The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the US, yet they have the highest murder rate. Guns have nothing to do with it, it is the criminal mind. If it weren’t a gun, it would be something. In fact, if you took out the murder in Chicago and 2 other cities (cannot find the stats right now) the gun murder rate in the US is lower than elsewhere. Where guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns. That is why these crazies go to gun free zones to commit their crimes.

      • Mr. News…are you really that naive…or are you being sarcastic. Because by the time the police even get there the law abiding, unarmed citizen who is being robbed at gun point by the illegally obtained gun is dead. And no…I am not a gun lover. I do not sleep with my gun. A gun is a tool. If it kills someone it will be through my neglect and stupidity if it is by accident and if I shoot someone it will be in defense of my family. People on here make it sound like any of us that own a weapon are just salivating at the thought of shooting it and killing someone. Talk about mass hysteria and judging people. Just because I believe in the right for a person to own a gun and the right to use that gun in self defense does not mean I do not believe there should be laws and regulations. I do. But, I am also well aware that laws WILL not stop gun deaths. Look at Chicago if you want to see what strict gun laws get you.

    • Just to reply to a few of the comments made above.

      My point was simply that gun control in the U.K. works. But here there is also a groundswell of support for it. It doesn’t seem to me that, today, there is the will for gun control (to the same extent as the U.K.) in the U.S.

      My suspicion is if the ban was just in London and not country-wide it would not work. Someone could just bring guns in. Thus, it is not surprising that a gun ban in Chicago isn’t effective, if guns are limited elsewhere.

      Statistically, if there are more guns there will be more shootings. It’s just a numbers game.*

      • But, statistics in the last 100 years also prove that when firearms are removed from the citizenry, millions die at the hands of their government. This is not speculation; this we KNOW.

  7. While you may not “demand that ‘I’ conform to your convictions,” you do not get to “judge” me based upon a very complex issue that I happen to hold a particular opinion on. To tell me that as an educator and a gun owner, that I don’t get to “grieve” with you is shallow and forces a very “grey” issue into a “black and white” discussion. You are painting me with a very, very broad brush. One that is neither accurate nor appropriate for this conversation. You’d like to promote a dialogue, but you are preventing open and honest communication by name calling, pigeon-holing, generalizing, and inaccurate accusations.

    I am not evil. I am not an awful person. I am not a criminal. I am not a delinquent, degenerate, philistine simply because I own a firearm. And I am NOT insensitive…I am NOT unconcerned…I am NOT ignorant…I am NOT unaffected by and to the events in our society.

    I am glad you are passionate about your beliefs. You get to be passionate. But if you get to be passionate, so do I. And I have written all of this WITHOUT vilifying you, calling your names, or accusing you of being anything short of passionate.

      • Mike. I am unable to “refuse to look/see.” I am forced to observe every single day. It is part of what makes me a responsible, caring, loving human being. It is part of what makes me an educator.

        How is it that you are “looking/seeing”?

    • Thank you Jason. You speak the feelings of probably 100% of all of us are also passionate about our 2nd amendment. That does not makes all terrible unfeeling persons . Thank you for dying it so intelligently

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

      • Dover…my position stems from a variety of factors and conditions. Ultimately it is personal responsibility, freedom, and accountability. I am not opposed to regulation of gun sales. I am not opposed to things like background checks and mandatory safety classes. I support intelligent regulation for everyone’s safety. There is a certain logic that escapes me in the quest to “outlaw” all forms for firearms. From my personal experience as a sportsman, to my rural upbringing, firearms have been a part of my life…a very safe part of my life. Ninety-percent of gun owners are safe, respectful, caring people who practice safe gun ownership. Ten-percent do not. If society responded as extremely to every issue based on the unfortunate actions of those ten-percent, imagine what our lives would look like. We cannot allow the actions of the “ten-percent” to dictate policy that governs the remaining ninety-percent.

        Thank you for asking.

    • Amen, when did this country turn into such a bunch of hateful and intolerant people? I am 58 years old and grew up with guns all my life… You got your first gun at 16 in my household but for almost 30 years none of this crap ever happened except for incidents like JFK’s assassination and the sniper in Texas… Check the age of the people committing these crimes and it’s a group that grew up on violence from their internet games and sat for hours on the internet soaking up crap from everywhere including the middle east… I noticed Christians are again being targeted and yet guns are the issue? I would think the Christians would be up in arms but no, the media has an agenda about gun control. This is being fueled by people with no real clue what they are talking about and are using failed logic and statistics to prove their points. I keep hoping someone will arise from the masses with the voice of reason and an agenda that benefits, we the people, and not just the minority groups he supports but I guess those days are over… You reap what you sow and it’s a sad state you’re going to reap here very, very soon.

      • Thanks Randy. Are you saying that in your mind the word “firearm” is synonymous with the word “freedom”—and that thing which is truly free must be completely and totally free?

    • If you are so concerned with what happened then what are you doing, as an educator and gun owner, to help solve this completely solvable crisis we have here in the USA? Have you used your voice as a gun owner to say “Maybe there should be restrictions on how people can get guns and who can access them” or “A training course for all potential gun owners should be mandatory to ensure the people who own them are using them properly”? Or are you just sitting here in an online form attacking anyone who is calling out the blatant hypocrisy of people defending guns so much while mourning the lives of those lost to an act that could have been prevented by better gun laws and mental health care?

      • Hi Chelsea.

        I don’t see how my post was “attacking anyone who is calling out the blatant hypocrisy…” I did not slander, call names, or belittle anyone. I simply displayed righteous indignation at being told that I am not allowed to grieve. I feel that your emotions are reading more into my post than is actually there.

        As far as “what am I doing?” I am supporting legislation to require mandatory background checks. I am supporting mandatory gun safety classes for all gun owners. I am advocating for parent/child sportsman classes where the parents and children learn hunting safety together. I am an educator. I am protecting our children and teaching them. I actually do quite a bit.

        Thanks for asking.

  8. John, I don’t know who you are and I’ve never read anything you have written, until today, and today I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for putting into words how I feel. Thank you for speaking from the heart and from your grief.

  9. How particularly un-christian and presumptuous of you to believe that somehow those Christians who also believe that God condones the protection of one’s self, family, and innocent lives are incapable of the same level of grief as you, or that their grief is insincere or somehow less “worthy”. My simple question for you is this: What gun law or regulation would have prevented this? Until you can answer that question, there is no debate. When the wolves of the world attack the sheep, the answer is not to remove the sheep-dog. I applaud the fact that you have chosen to live a life of peace and would not resist evil with force. That is your choice and God-given right. However, you don’t get to make that choice for everyone else. Until you can propose a reasonable solution that still allows for individuals to defend their lives and the lives of others AND reduces the way the wolves are able to attack the sheep, then all you are proposing is to remove the sheep-dogs under a false belief that the wolves will go away too. The problem with the anti-gun crowd is that they can’t propose a solution that actually works. Background Checks? Have them. Stringent laws for the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime? Have them. Limits to the types of weapons individuals own? Have them. Which one of them prevented this? Which new law would you propose that would do what these others have failed to do? Should we ban guns altogether? History is quite clear about what has happened to societies where the citizenry was disarmed. In every instance this action preceded a period of mass genocide. The painful truth that you are so desperately ignoring is that there is evil in this world, people created by God but who choose the dark and seek to extinguish the light. It is evil of you to suggest that this evil should go unchecked or that it should not be confronted with force, if necessary. When you advocate disarming people and preventing them from being able to defend themselves, then their blood is on your hands.

    • Psychological clearance given by a medical doctor, stating this individual is of sound mind & possesses the mental faculties to responsibly own & operate a weapon designed to end the life of the person at which it is aimed?
      More resources & credibility given to the science of mental health?
      A requirement to maintain one’s mental health, stay current on checks & care, or risk losing the beloved weapon?

      Mass shootings are committed by mentally ill people who were able to obtain life-threatening weapons. So let’s start at the root: address mental illness: diagnose & treat without shame. And meanwhile, keep the mentally ill safe from themselves, & the public safe from the mentally ill, by making it virtually impossible (or as impossible as we reasonably can) for them to get their hands on weapons unless & until they are well. How does that work for you Tralik33?

    • The legislation they enacted in Australia after the last mass shooting there. Everyone turned in their guns, and lo! No more mass shootings. It’s not rocket science.

    • Tralik33, You wrote, ” That is your choice and God-given right. However, you don’t get to make that choice for everyone else.” The same argument could be made for abortion.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

    • “the protection of one’s self, family, and innocent lives” > such protection goes through having NO gun at home. It is safer. Facts prove that it is more dangerous to have a gun at home than having none. You want to protect yourself, your family and innocent lives ? Get rid of your guns.

      “What gun law or regulation would have prevented this?” > There is no such thing as 0% risk. However, NO GUN SOLD TO CIVILIANS who have no professional need for them would drastically lower the chances for “this” to happen 264 times in less than a year ! Clearly, having gun does NOT prevent it; maybe you should try the other solution. It is still time to bring guns back afterwards but no other country in the world has needed to do so.

      Guns available for sale is not “helping the good protecting themselves against evil”, it is “facilitating evil to do wrong, and the temptation for good people to turn evil”. You’re just making things easier.

      “History is quite clear about what has happened to societies where the citizenry was disarmed. ” > Yes, it is. Australia is a brilliant example where suicides by gun, gun homicides and mass shooting have plummeted after citizens were disarmed. As far as I know, there has been no mass genocide in Australia since 1996. Sorry to break it to you, but you have a very flawed perception of what banning guns results in. And when “The Federalist” denounces “the fallacy” of the plan, it is just to say that “the plan would require Americans to abandon their gun, which they won’t”… that’s just a completely stupid circular argument.

      I am not American, and I cannot believe how blind you are to those simple facts.

    • Huh so history has shown that no guns won’t work…. Interesting. So have you read anything about other countries like UK, Australia or Canada? Stricter gun laws, way less guns and shockingly……. WAY less gun death. You can’t expect to fix the problem by just saying we already have gun laws, there’s nothing else we can do. It’s our moral responsibility to do something- and maybe you would feel differently if it was your town, your community school or your child. We can’t keep doing what we are doing and expect different results.

    • Sorry 33 . . . I’m not buying it anymore.

      Privately owned guns are rarely used in self defense. They are thousands of times more likely to be used to intentionally or unintentionally kill someone or to commit suicide.

      Yes, the evil acts are committed by people, but given the choice of facing a deranged mentally ill person who has an assault rifle or one with a kitchen knife I really don’t have to think too long to make my choice.

      The notion you suggest of a citizenry armed to defend itself against the government is farcical on its face.

      Should all guns be banned? Pretty much. Private ownership of anything except for hunting rifles should be strictly regulated and based on a demonstrable need, Private ownership of assault weapons designed for combat should be absolutely outlawed.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      Yes, I’m angry. I’m fed up with those who can watch these reprehensible atrocities carried out in our schools, offices, shopping centers, movie theaters, on our streets and in our homes and still defend the archaic, obsolete second amendment as absolute.

      No, I’m not going to change your mind, or the minds of others who believe that holding on to this stupid outdated notion of America as the wild frontier, who think that their right to keep instruments designed to kill others is more important than the lives of tens of thousands of people who die every year because of this way of thinking . . . but I’m not letting it go unchallenged any more. The echoed voices of the 150,000 + people murdered with guns in the last 10 years in this country will not let me.

      • Thank you, I agree wholeheartedly with the original post and with your comment. As Spock would say” The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”. Many more people would prefer to live than mourn the loss of innocents to the wants of the few or the one gun enthusiast who decides to shoot up a school, a theater, a mall, a medical facility, for whatever reason they have. Psychopaths have an agenda, most of them fueled by the non-stop, fear mongering, conservative owned, religious right “talking points” fed 24/7 news media. When you’re told to be afraid of everything, and you don’t think for yourself and only act upon what you have been spoon-fed your whole life and indoctrinated into, what else is there to do other than get a gun and take out those who, in your unbalanced mind you view as a threat?

    • There should always be mental heath evaluations done before allowing someone to own a gun. That surely would prevent many of these events. This is NOT a religious issue.

  10. JOHN: a deep word of gratitude to you for your blogging “Why gun-lovers……” – you have managed to not only express your faith-full frustration, but also capture the feelings likely shared by 1,000’s more
    (including President Obama, I believe, having watched his statement yesterday and saw his body language). Keep the faith…… keep writing. Rev. Deacon Roger Dowdy

  11. So, my friend’s daughter was airlifted from that horrible scene yesterday. I got word this morning that she has a bullet lodged near her spine. While that was happening, the president gave a speech. Oh how the gun lovers came out on my social media to blast him! As usual, their timing and bigoted beliefs suspended any care for the victims or families! I am undone!

    • Dear Laura,
      So sorry for the pain you are experiencing in your community. You must know that thousands all over the world are with you All in prayer and with hopes of healing at this time of great loss. May the Lord’s peace rest over you all as a warm blanket of comfort! In Jesus Name.

  12. You could not express better what I have felt for years. Other than moving to an island where no guns are allowed we remain immersed with gun lovers who refuse, like all idiots, to learn from the past and like children only care about themselves.

  13. I’m for more gun control, but I don’t really see your logic. Are car lovers not allowed to grieve when another death by automobile happens? Are beer lovers not allowed to grieve when any sort of crime is alcohol related?

    • The difference with these sorts of analogies is conveniently forgetting what a guns one and only purpose is. You want to support rifles for hunting, etc. that’s fine. But an assault weapon…well the name says it all.

    • Hi Frank –

      I am glad that you understand the need to control firearms. I don’t think that John was saying that gun lovers are not allowed to grieve . . . As I read him it’s just that he doesn’t believe they grieve fully if they refuse to make the connection between our gun-soaked culture and these predictable atrocities that have become something we expect – and he can’t hear them anymore. I’m completely with him on this.

      It all needs to stop. The excuses need to stop. The bull-crap that it’s not the guns doing the killing need to stop. The nonsense comparisons of guns with other things that may be involved in deaths, but not so intentionally and certainly not so conveniently and pervasively need to stop.

      Cars are not designed to kill.

      Beer is not brewed to kill.

      Guns are manufactured to kill. That is their purpose. They do so quite efficiently.

      I live about 35 minutes from a place called Newtown, Connecticut. You may have heard of it, it’s a really nice little town. There is a village just east of the center along the Pootatuck River called “Sandy Hook”. You may have heard of that too. I happen to know a lot of people who live there, who have kids that go to school there . . . and without going into too much detail you might imagine this is a bit personal to me. When 21 little six and seven year old kids in that village were brutally slain by a deranged individual with an assault rifle any willingness I may have had to even consider the protests of the gun lovers was ripped to shreds along with those precious innocents and their teachers.

      We stop the killing when we rid ourselves of the instruments designed for that purpose and quit making the bull-crap excuses.

      I’m way beyond grief, and I’m tired of being numb.

    • Are the beer lovers advocating getting in one’s car and driving drunk? Are they trying to repeal laws designed to keep people off the road when they are impaired? We have to take a test to be able to drive one. They are licensed, titled, and regulated.

  14. Except people don’t want to leave it to professionals either. Calls online to kill cops…Christians. ..animal breeders…blacks…whites… farmers…whomever *I* don’t agree with. It won’t stop until the willingness to kill is dealt with, and too few want to touch that.

  15. John,

    You speak my heart. Thank you.

    As a Canadian observer, your culture of guns and militarized shoot-first policing scares me.

    As a parent and grandparent of family soon to move from Europe to the deep South, it terrifies me.

    • Not to worry. I grew up down South and have lived here all of my life here. Your relatives will be safe. However, I will caution you on this. If they send their kids to the house of a southern relative or the house of stranger who does babysitting or child daycare, numerous people throughout the American South leave loaded guns where children can get to them easily, particularly on the tops of the nightstands beside their beds or in its top drawer. You relatives need to ask the homeowner if they have guns store where children can find them, and ask them to secure their guns so children cannot get to them. If they get angry and refuse to lock them away, you should refuse to allow your children to go to those houses. Southern children die quite frequently from loaded guns they find in closets, in drawers, and on furniture tops.

    • I’m Canadian also, and I agree. I have no desire to even visit the U.S. because everyone walks around with a gun and there seems to be nothing in place to screen these people for mental health issues.

      • Yes, I have also had reservations about visiting the US in the past few years. How am I supposed to know which gun carrying person is good and which is bad. Truly, if I saw someone walking down the street with an assault rifle (not that I actually know what one looks like) I would be terrified.

  16. According to the sources named in THIS article, there have been 9,957 deaths due to guns this year. (With just quickly skimming, I see those totals include gang executions and other crime-related incidents).
    According to the CDC there have been also been 30,208 deaths by “unintentional falls” and 33,804 deaths by motor vehicles.

    IF we don’t think outlawing or banning stairs or multiple story buildings and motor vehicles is the solution, does that mean we aren’t allowed to mourn those deaths either?

    But I’m puzzled; why would you write a public letter to other people with whom you do ?not? want to interact?
    If you don’t want to mourn with people who don’t agree with you, then you certainly shouldn’t have to – don’t. But you do not get to decide when or how or why anyone else mourns. And if you don’t want to talk to them, then maybe you should not start a conversation with them.

    • Rather stupid analogy Cyndy. The deaths you refer to were accidents not deliberate killing for the sake of killing.Our Prime Minister (John Howard) was able to radically change our gun laws overnight. Why can’t your Government do the same?

    • Again with the nonparallel analogies. Guns are for killing period. That is their intent. Cars and stairs, well, they’re for other things.

    • Comparing some one hurting themselves fatally while falling down a stairs and a student being shot by someone else while running and trying to hide is very disturbing. I for one am glad he wrote the letter because it allows the rest of the world to read it and see the replies and to try and understand a culture of people that thinks guns are so vital to their existence. I am so lucky to live in a city that I can get up every day and go to bed each night not thinking that someone is going to kill me and that I need to be on constant surveillance and have a gun to protect myself. It gives you a lot more time in your day to live a better life. RIP to the victims and their families, their friends, their teammates. their fellow students. their neighbours, their teachers, their roomates,..

    • That is the beauty of a blog. It belongs to you. You get to say whatever you want on your cyber real estate. You also might notice, the good Pastor has given you a place to also say what you think. So I am not really sure why there is a problem for those that disagree with the man. He has given you a place right here to voice your thoughts. Just because one posts an opinion on their own blog does not obligate them to talk back to people. Some times he does. Some times he doesn’t. Give what he wrote I think he is grieving with the people he wants to. We all are.

  17. Thank you. I am generally a rather tough critic but I can not find a thing I would alter here. I would be honored if you would consider reading my brief piece on the topic and make comment.

  18. I’m sure that a lot of people won’t agree with you in this one but I totally do. I just don’t get it why the Americans INSIST so much on their ‘right’ to keep a weapon at hand. To have it in their home, to live with the fear that theit kids can take the guns anytime they want and shoot someone.
    I understand your grief and I’m completely with you. Unfortunately, I’m afraid nothing will change. 🙁

    • Parents have the opportunity to teach children an abundance of topics including guns. My dad kept an unholstered pistol on a table next to his bed all my growing up years. My brothers and I were taught very early to never pick up the gun. We never touched it. Fortunately my dad ne ear had to use it but we knew we were safe. I believe too many people have turned away from moral values . They are convinced there is nothing after life on this earth. MOST people believe there is.

    • Because simply that it is, our right. We have guns in my house. Like many other Americans. They are locked somewhere where only my father has access. And I am glad. We have had 3 attempted break ins since we moved into our current house. I dont agree that guns should be taken away, however I fiercely agree that there need to be stricter gun laws. Extensive medical background and mental exams before purchasing, and reevaluations every couple years. And just because someone does own a gun does not in any way whatsoever mean they cannot grieve the same. The only kids who can “take a gun anytime and shoot someone” are only those that have parents foolish enough to leave them unlocked or in sight or easy access. Not everyone who owns them is irresponsible with them. How many people are stabbed to death each year and yet, every household has knives that are far easier to access. People need to stop blaming guns and maybe start taking issues such as mental health and whatnot more seriously. Do not lump all Americans into one category.

  19. I just found your webpage on my FB with post on guns. You are awesome. You capture mine and many other people’s feelings beautifully!
    Both on the Pope and Kim Davis and on gun rights advocates trying to say they want to say our hurt, our anger and our pain at the senseless killings!
    Thank you!
    From a nature loving spiritualist!

  20. I grieve all violence. I also understand that no law, no restriction, no waiting period ever stopped a mad man from committing evil. The only way to stop evil is to meet it with a tool of equal or greater force. The problem here is not that we love our guns. It’s that people actually believe regulation will stop evil and limit where we may carry them for self-defense.

    Grieve all you want to on your own. Ignore me if you like. But if you desire an honest conversation, you will listen to me.

    The Gun Guy Who Gets It

    • You are wrong. Sensible gun control legislation can and does prevent gun violence. Read about UK. Read about Australia – ZERO mass shootings since enacting their legislation in 1996. Armed robbery down. Suicides by guns down.

      There are enough guns for almost every man, woman and child in the U.S. The massacres continue. More guns are definitely NOT the answer, sir.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

    • It’s your belief in your ‘right’ and ‘need’ to carry a gun in ‘self defense’ that is a problem. It is this cavalier attitude that as an American we should be carrying to defend family and property coupled with an ever increasing narcissistic attitude that fuels this. Guns should only be used for hunting. Those who train to use guns for hunting ultimately can defend themselves should a catastrophic event occur where they should have a right to bear arms (i.e. government turns on its people, president or military overthrows the government and declares himself or themselves supreme ruler(s), civil or international war). But not trusting professional law enforcement and military to protect our society from more localized events, criminals and criminal organizations is damaging on several fronts. The difference between Americans and people from other similar nations is the increasingly all for one but not one for all attitude. It is the reason Congress gets nothing done. It is pervasive throughout society. No one seems willing anymore to sit down and honestly debate and hash out solutions because it requires actual time spent in face to face conversation and it requires some give and take to arrive at an agreement. It really scares me that legislators want to be able to legislate remotely from home rather than to travel to Washington, DC. Ours was a nation born of the idea that differing backgrounds, opinions and ideas should be allowed to be raised by everyone in order for the collective group to make decisions for the betterment of the nation as a whole. Instead we have become a nation that hates each other online and refuse to consider other positions and arrive at a compromise. We cannot ultimately continue to thrive as a nation of individuals who refuse to acknowledge or allow other ideas and with absolutely no care for the ‘greater good’ anymore.

    • Mike: A most excellent and perfectly logical response to this blog. Lots of emotion on this topic throughout the nation; very little common sense or logic.

  21. I own guns and I mourn. I’ve written my legislators, I’ve written the NRA. I support gun control laws. I support mental health.

    Don’t just write about it , do something. Join the NRA and fight from within. Write emails to them, and ask your followers to do the same, tell your local state and federal politicians that you are sick of this, support a single payer health plan with mental illness treatment so the sick people doing this can get well and stop.

  22. John, your words echo my feelings exactly. I feel so helpless and yet so angry and so filled with grief, and again so helpless….

  23. This is the stupidest article ever written. Gun owners are some of the nicest, most patriotic, caring people around. It is not a lie that guns are protected by the Constitution. It is a lie that passing more laws would have any effect on criminals and their activity. I am allowed to feel sad for the victims. I do. I am also allowed to protect myself and my family from the next nut that decides to kill innocent people whether by gun, bomb, car, knife or pressure cooker.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

      • What part of y’all aren’t welcome here today do you not get? Go away and beat off with your murder machines somewhere else.

  24. Mr. Pavolvitz, Thank you for sharing. You perfectly relayed the feelings that I also have, but you did it in a powerful, meaningful and eloquent manner. Again THANK YOU!!! Absolutely brilliant!

  25. Reblogged this on The Ability To Love- Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse and commented:
    This shooting happened approximately 200 miles from my home. This article is also an excellent segue into an article I’m writing about political psychopathy.
    The level of hatred and fear ruthlessly exploited by politicians in power, and the ‘moneyed elite’ that pay them to do so, is having a powerful, pathological impact upon our society and with extremists of every stripe. From racists to gun loving, NRA apologists, the level of rhetoric that inflames extremists in society is reaching a breaking point.
    The pathological abuse we are seeing out of psychopaths in power, follows the same, predictable pattern of tactics and behavior that we see in our personal relationships with these people: exploitation, manipulation, deprivation, sabotage, abuse and scapegoating.
    As a nation, we’ve reached the point of succumbing to pathological abusers. We’ve normalized abuse.

    We’ve normalized mass shootings too. This country is an absolute mess. A society that is sick from so much exposure to so much pathology.

    I’m very uncomfortable now, thinking in terms of black and white, but so often now I say to myself, ‘this is a war ….between those with conscience and empathy and those without’. . .

    Another thought that often runs through my mind that is so simple, yet when applied so true: “Healthy minded people do not advocate for the deprivation, suffering, and in this case, murdering of others.”

    If all I’m able to do is write about this, then so be it. But I do not wish to be part of ANY extremist system that bode ill upon others.

    Apathy and our normalization of abuse is killing people. I’m tired of feeling so powerless against a bunch of bullies in power and in society who pathologize my ability to empathize, to be compassionate and to love when I speak out about their abuse and while they constantly justify it, as well as exploiters in power who are more than willing to help them do it.

    I pray that the pitchforks are coming. . .

    Pathological rhetoric

    • Hey

      I can actually never get anybody to engage in conversation with me on the point that you made but I so believe you are right. And that’s part of what is wrong with society is the inability to be able to see past the rhetoric. I once made a bumper sticker that said “if young rich white Men and women Were getting murdered on the street and incarcerated at the same rate that young, poorer men and women of color are getting murdered and incarcerated do you think the answer would still be to lock them up and throw away the key?” Yeah, I do not think so. It is all about population control. You keep the middle-class and lower fighting in he every day struggle for survival and not focused on Getting a fair share of the money the rich are stealing ( legally-stock market, tax tree shelters, the list of loopholes is endless) . It is classic Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. You think it was an accident that suddenly the borders in Mexico are front page news topics when we didn’t find any WMD in iraq? Yeah no, I don’t think so. it’s all smoke and mirrors. And they’ve got it down to a psychological science. the hierarchy has got the masses scared, thus controlled and that’s all there is to it. “The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people” Noam Chomsky. The war on drugs is a farce. The billions of dollars that it exchanged hands in suitcases in unbelievable. But yet, it employs so so many people. People who think they are fighting the good fight because it is what has been ingrained upon them. But you never see a rich CEOs son on the front line anywhere do you ? Obviously I could go on and on and on with examples but I think I’ve made my point and I thank you very much for introducing the topic. Pathological rhetoric. Perfect description

  26. Thank you so much for writing and sharing. Helps to know others are just as outraged. I wish there was something we could do. I feel hopeless about this critical issue in our nation.

  27. I respect what you are saying but I think this was maybe a little bit of an unfair accusation.
    “Gun lovers” don’t want guns around so that they can be used to murder people.
    Guns can be used to defend people, and stop crimes like this from happening. This attack actually took place in a gun free zone. People that are going to use guns for crime, they aren’t even going to listen to the laws.
    Guns don’t kill people. Guns do not attack people. PEOPLE attack people. And the attacker should be held accountable, not law abiding citizens who want to keep their guns. It is unfair to say that these people have no right to grieve. They too grieve for this attack and wish that people were not left so defenseless in a society where evil like this takes place far too often.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

  28. I understand where you’re coming from, but to characterize all gun supporters—or, as you call them, “gun lovers”—as people who see “repeated mass shootings as the acceptable collateral damage of freedom” and refuse to see them any other way is to spit on their own sense of grief. Gun supporters want to end this violence just as much as you do. Are their proposed methods the same? No. They are very different from what you propose, but they share the same goal of minimizing—if not erasing—harm.

    You are so compassionate toward those with whom you disagree. That is what drew me to your blog. But your “Leave me alone, you don’t have the right to mourn with me, your very presence is salt in a wound that you cannot share because this whole mess is YOUR fault” attitude demonstrates a stark and startling lack of compassion. You are so open-minded. Please be open-minded on this. If your side and their side continue to stare one another down and not budge, nothing is ever going to change. The only way we are going to end these shootings is if gun supporters and gun opponents can find it in their hearts to compromise on a solution.

    • Their methods are different; their methods DON’T WORK. This has been statistically and anecdotally proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. The U.S. has an astronomically higher rate of gun deaths than any other developed country, and it is the only developed country where gun rights are enshrined by the political culture. If gun owners cared about people more than guns, they’d consider the notion that they might be wrong, in the face of overwhelming evidence that they ARE wrong.

  29. There are certain quotes that stand out to me, when horrific things occur. In this case, it’s: “We called 911 and called our parents, our loved ones … We didn’t know what was going to happen, if those were our last words or not.”

    That’s exactly what I would do, too. Because it’s not an unreasonable thought, considering the circumstances, considering the fact that America clearly has a problem. A problem it refuses to acknowledge.

    Another quote that’s always stuck with me is this, from a 13-year-old Pakistani boy named Zubair, when he addressed Congress in 2013, “I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey. When sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.” Zubair was 12 when he and his younger sister, Nabeela, were injured in a drone strike near North Waziristan in October 2012.

    Zubair lived in fear of our violence, and now so do we.

    We in the US have what’s called a “gun culture” in which gun-slinging cowboys are the heroes, fearlessly defending their constitutional rights, and **only** the “mentally ill” villains kill people with guns. We see guns through a very specific lens, because they are so deeply embedded within our culture. So, in order to defend our precious guns, we equate them with other lethal things, based on only that one similarity. But when was the last time you saw a large group of people fed some kind of legal poison, like ammonia? A mass poisoning, if you will? There’s easy access to it, just like guns, and killing people with it is illegal, just like guns. So there must be another difference.

    But expecting people to see it is like expecting them to realize that the Constitution was always meant to evolve. The use its dated words to justify contemporary legislative stagnation, completely ignoring that it includes language pertaining to its own eventual growth, itself acknowledging that it would eventually become obsolete and require updating, hence an amendment process. Gun-lovers cannot accept their cognitive dissonance any more readily the small-government anti-marriage equality activist.

    But one day, we will have to accept that our very American need to cope with our fears via explosives and firearms is not only destroying the lives of innocents of all over the world (because who remembers Zubair?), but also our own innocent community college students…

    And church-attendees…

    And theatre-goers…

    And kindergarteners….

  30. John, I’m re-posting this, word for word, on my own FB status. I have struggled to find a way to express my dismay and utter contempt for the gun culture in this country, but your words sum up exactly how I feel. Thank you, my friend. I grieve with you.

  31. Sorry the pool analogy just not clicking for me you’re saying there needs to be better legislation but in your example it’s more responsible ownership you’re preaching on. But the legal gun ownership side is only part of the battle what about making harder to get a hold of the illegal guns, stiffer penaties for crimes committed with illegally attained arms? And you can be a gun lover and still see the need and still call for change to keep more people safe. But in the end it’s not the weapons, it’s the sickness that we’re carrying around that needs to be treated.

  32. John
    For someone so against religion telling others what to believe and not to believe. I find your comments equally offense as you tell gun owner what they should believe and that they cannot equally grieve with all those lost because of crazes that chose to kill others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against background checks that include mental capacity. But the right to bear arms was one of the checks and balances that our forefathers put in the constitution for good reason. The idea that guns are violent by themselves is ludicrous. I’m not suggesting that you believe one way or another on this issue. But don’t tell me what to feel or what right I have to grieve with those who have lost loved ones not to guns but too crazy individuals Who have chosen to kill.

  33. How about – let’s actually look at the cause? Mental illness from trauma, medical, genetics, whatever, is a huge reason why our streets and jails are filled with people. Children from foster care get no treatment, or not adequate treatment, or are made worse by the foster care system, they age out, they end up on the streets, in the jails. Our veterans come back with PTSD and we don’t provide proper treatment for them. Stop talking and focusing about the **damn tool used and look at the SOURCE. A troubled child grows into a troubled teen who grows into a troubled adult if you don’t provide adequate treatment and medications when necessary. A mentally ill child grows into a mentally ill teen grows into a mentally ill adult and without proper medications or housing if medications will not work, becomes a ticking time bomb. Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to get proper mental health care for children in this country? I don’t mean google who does it, I mean people who actually know what they’re doing, and don’t make things worse with troubled children. Safe places that treat our troubled teens and not just house them for the allotted 3 or 30 days as allowed by insurance and then dump them back on the parents worse than when they went in because they learned new tricks of hurting themselves and others from the other kids on the ward. I can’t pray away schizophrenia, but I will do whatever I can to help my child if she/he has it, with medication and whatever else. I can’t pray away my child’s traumatic background and psychopathy, but if I can’t find a proper dr to treat them and if I can’t afford the medication required and have to use something that doesn’t work nearly as well, or has terrible side effects, no matter how much I want to help my child or how good of a Christian I am, the system is still failing me and my child.

    • Even if you were 100% right (you aren’t, most people who use guns to commit violence are not mentally ill), it doesn’t change the fact that every other weapon is far harder to kill large groups with than guns are. Guns are the only weapon you can kill people from a distance and very quickly. Please stop ignoring that fact.

    • Are you aware that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are OPPOSED to the application of standard clinical psychology and psychiatry in the United States—and if they buy into it at all—it is usual some sort of Bible-based pseudo-psychology that is at best sheer quackery? I agree that all of the people you mentioned should get effective help. The way to do it is band together all across the United States and demand that the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals quit blocking the pathway to getting help for these people.

  34. I’m a nursing student in college. I apply to the Nursing program this spring and hopefully start in the Fall. Before this, I became a Firefighter-EMT. I guess you could say that I really want to protect life, to help those who are hurting.

    I also have several guns. I like to shoot them, I usually have one on me. Do you know why I carry a gun? Because there are psychopaths out there who shoot other people for no real reason. I carry a gun to protect the people I love, my self, and people like you, who decide to see me as less than human because I want to even the playing field. So how DARE you say I am less human for wanting to keep my right to defend myself. How DARE you say that I am not as sensitive as you for owning guns. How DARE you say that I am not allowed to grieve for my fellow man because some deranged psychopath forgot how valuable life is and decided to commit this terrible crime.

    In 30 seconds I was able to find 12 different incidents where someone with a fire arm stopped a potential mass shooting. No, these people were not on duty police officers. These were people like you and me (more specifically me) who are “lover[s] of life and [a] person of faith” (those are your words, not mine). And they were armed with a firearm. They stepped in and risked their life to save someone else. With a gun. The same thing that you claim is not “relevant in any way to this time and place in history”. They are. Because bad people have them. And I am not going to idly stand by and watch someone point a gun at my mother, my father, my brothers, my girlfriend, my friends, or anyone else, and start pulling the trigger. I will empty my own gun into their head if I have to. And then I will weep. Because it means that I had to end a life. And I pray to God that I never have to do that.

    So don’t you dare say that I am less human because I want to protect my loved ones. I grieve for the loss of life today (yesterday). I also grieve for the loss of humanity that you seem to be suffering from. You have lumped everyone who owns a gun with this deranged man and all the others before him.

    Do you have a car? Well then you are a no longer allowed to grieve with me when a family gets hit by a drunk drive. Because obviously you support cars, and cars in the hands of drunk drivers get people killed. You may think this is silly and that cars don’t get people killed, drunk drivers do. This is exactly what you doing with fire arms. They kill people, so people who have them hate life, or don’t love life like I do.

    I am distraught that this has become “the norm” of our country. But with all do respect, don’t you ever tell me what I am allowed to feel again.

  35. Thank you, John. We Oregonians in favor of intelligent gun control measures are roiling in a sea of shock, loss, anger and despair for this broken, wasteful system.

  36. I could not agree with this more! The tragic shootings are outrageous! When does it end? When some of the NRA lovers loose one of their own or a politian loosing someone? SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

  37. I’ve had to deal with 11 funerals in my life. That’s close friends and family. I’ve had to actually plan many of those funerals. It truly sucks going through that entire process. Only one happened because a friend decided to ace them self.

    What I don’t understand is feeling grief over someone that a person has not met and in all actuality will never meet. Sure you can say “I feel sorry for the family” but what’s the point? They had actually no impact upon your life or those that are around you. They’re just not a known entity until something hits the news wire and then all of a sudden one has to care?

    Then telling someone that they have no right to feel the same as you do because of different beliefs is also extremely arrogant. Why can’t someone that’s pro 2nd feel grief as you do? What makes them exactly the opposite of you and not allowed to feel as you do?

    I’ll end with this. The pool analogy was pretty stupid. I’m also certain this comment will never be allowed through the censorship portion of approval.

  38. Excellent job of using a tragedy to further your political agenda. Should a crazed gunman ever show up during your “ordinary,” please be sure to phone a pacifist, an anti-gun zealot, or just attempt talking him down yourself. The police will only use their guns and I would hate for that to upset you.

  39. I admire the passion of your statements and there is truth in them. I am a therapist that works with at risk youth I have intervened directly with young people that were attempting to commit mass violence, I like the pool analogy because it illustrates the extremes take when we look at violence and why we can’t get together on a plan to stop it. It becomes an all or nothing argument that separates all of us. The only way we will take action together is to identify the areas we have in common and build an idea from there. So.. when you tell be you have a special right to morn and gun owners do not have the right to join you? Congratulations! You have just facilitated the very disconnection and animosity that potentiates the violence you say abhor.

  40. I do mourn for all lost. I mourn for those gone and those left behind. I mourn for those who know this could have been avoided if someone had their consealed carry with them. I mourn for those who think banning guns is the cure. I mourn for the mentally ill, who would do such horrific things, those eho grew up without loving parents and guidence. And I mourn for the ache in the hearts of all Americans with scenes like this one being repeted! I mourn for those who do not know God. Amen

  41. Yeah, this will go viral shortly. You have a few typos up there but overall, beautifully written and pretty much exactly what I’ve been thinking. Thanks!

  42. Thank you for expressing your thoughts so eloquently; and sadly this is happening all to much in our society. I share your grief and concern. Guns IMHO have no place in a civilized society, especially the type of weaponry that currently seems to be sold. Namaste!

  43. I couldn’t get a handle on why I felt so isolated today…and unwilling to converse on social media. This is exactly the reason. Thank you for expressing this feeling so succinctly.

  44. John, I’m not sure that your grieving is anymore sincere than the media that descends on every location of these tragedies. You didn’t know these people but you act as if you did. I’m not a gun lover or hater. But they are a tool that is dangerous. Reacting sensibly and understanding that people that want to use guns will find them makes more sense. Sent from my iPhone


  45. You have a very judgmental slant on these senseless killings? You must know deep down that it wasn’t the lack of gun control laws that allowed the killing of those the students yesterday at Umpqua Community College. It was the hate and contempt that the perpetrator carried in his heart that led him on the murderous rampage of Christians.

    Law abiding citizens who are gun owners are not the problem. Why are you lashing out at them? Are they providing guns to unstable individuals who are bent on killing?

    If Gun Control and gun confiscation were the answer, you’d see Chicago as one of the safest cities in America. Instead, it leads the nation in homicides. Why, because gun owners are responsible for providing guns to those gang bangers and drug peddlers? No, it’s because criminals will do whatever they need to do to arm themselves. All gun control will do in this country is take away guns from law abiding citizens, leaving only our military, police, and criminals with guns.

    If any of those students in that classroom had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, yesterday’s news story might have read, “student kills heavily armed gunman on college campus, thwarts plot to kill.” But in your world, only the criminals, and the police, who were a good distance away from helping anyone, would be armed.

    Your heart is in the right place to mourn for those innocent lives lost, on what should have been a normal day at school, but get a grip on the real problem in our country today. We’re seeing society become polarized, disengaged, callous and cold. That’s where our attention needs to be directed. Our society is becoming more and more dysfunctional, and we need to figure out why and fix it.

  46. Just as you have your right to grieve as you want so do others, so why do you choose to write an article vilifying others beliefs or feelings? Everyone mourning the terrible deaths and additional woundings in Oregon have just as much right to their feelings without judgment from you, as you do. Besides fighting for needed additional gun controls don’t ignore the glaring issue of mental health being almost totally ignored in this entire nightmare.

  47. I do not own a gun, or other weapons for that matter. I have never hunted. My most menacing tool is a kitchen knife, so when I ask this question please understand I am not that NRA advocate or John Wayne fan. What I cannot come to terms with is the fact that we have had weapons readily available for the entirety of existence and this type of problem is only coming to light now. Why? I feel as though there are other greater villains than guns. I also feel that if guns ceased to exist these fools would find some other way to take mass casualties and draw media attention. I feel that there is a deeper root issue than guns.

  48. Could not possibly have said it better.

    The extent to which I find myself numb to these atrocities now is soul-chilling. This stuff shouldn’t be routine – and it is, and it will be until changing our attitudes about violence, changing our attitudes about guns, and changing our attitudes about how we live with each other leads us to beat these instruments of death into gardening tools.

    How many more dead kids will it take before we decide, as a society, that the love of life is more important than the love of guns?

  49. I am very saddened by this mass shooting..and do believe this and previous mass murderers are mentally ill and if we US had better control over ability to obtain weapons by these mentaaly ill we will not stop the carnage. I grieve with you.


  51. You need to be blaming the shooter right now. Do not devoid him of responsibility by blaming his tool. By blaming guns, specifically, for this attack, you are saying the killer is not at fault. Stop protecting him and make him accept the consequences of his own actions.

  52. Seems to me if you choose to mourn publicly you can’t expect it to be peaceful. Public discourse is open to all opinions.

  53. FU. Another whiny, liberal bitch who thinks his freedom matters more than mine. The government and school administration created the situation with a “gun free” policy that set them up to be victims. Hey Dorothy, this isn’t a fictitious Oz. Protect yourself. Big daddy can’t be there 24/7/365. You are ignorant and weak thinking its someone else’s responsibility. This is a community college, they were adults. Is it tragic, yes, but no one fought back except the one guy who took 7 bullets trying to stop the gunman. No one shot back because they were mind-numbed into a false security. Wake the fuck up. Personal responsibility for your own safety. What is your life worth if you won’t defend yourself?

  54. Exactly. Face it squarely, accept your culpability, and recognize my need to keep you at a distance while I struggle with my pain. I am so tired of making changes at the margins, so tired of hearing the same arguments, so tired of people who love America but hate Americans enough to watch the slaughter. Thank you for this post.

  55. Following your Pool analogy, even if you close your pool, there are other pools, rivers, lakes, oceans. Are we to fill these in too? Guns are a tool, the same as a knife, a rock, even a fist, these are not regulated. Hiding the danger, as you put it, does not solve the problem, instead why not educate, teach the children in the neighborhood respect, respect of the pool, of your property, of others in general.

    It is time we stop blaming an inanimate object and start blaming ourselves, our culture, our education system, our political system even our economic system for failing our children, and our children’s children.

    We have raised a generation who is so absorbed in themselves, their video games, their movies, their fantasies, that they do not and can not comprehend that reality is hard, that life is difficult and just because you do not get your way, you can throw a fit and kill, maim, steal, loot, rape.

    The time of participation trophies and handouts has to stop, this is an illness, but not one that can be fixed by closing your pool or taking away guns. It can only be stopped when we take responsibility and raise Human Beings, who respect life. Let’s put the Human back into Humanity.

  56. The rules that govern this nation indicate that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. You want Congress to just ignore those rules and create a new rule that says “nobody should have guns” and you expect people to follow it. Why? You’ve just shown me that you have no respect for the laws of the country, why would I follow the ones you like?

    And what about the last 15 years makes you think giving Congress the green light to just ignore part of the Constitution is a good idea? What could possibly make you think they’d pass a gun law and stop? How about that antiquated First Amendment that predates the internet? Should probably ignore that. And the Fourth Amendment that was written before drug cartels and terrorism? Archaic! This silly Fifth Amendment stuff about Due Process? Surely that seemed important long ago, but today? Nah.

    If you want gun control, get the Constitution amended. It’s been done 17 times. If you feel that it’s too much work, then I think we can understand how strongly you really feel about gun control.

    And while I’m here, about 10,000 people each year are killed with guns.

    35,000 people die in auto accidents
    40,000 people commit suicide

    If we took all the energy expended on complaining about guns and focused it into mental health reform, and we prevented just 25% of the suicides in this country, we’d have saved as many lives as all gun homicides.

    • The problem here is that Americans are just as opposed—for bedrock cultural reasons—to getting these people mental health treatment as they are in favor of keeping guns. Traditionally, in American culture, the human brain is the only organ in the body where people refuse to believe it can malfunction or be diseased just like any other organ. Instead, we deny that and substitute the concept of “evil intent” to explain away all mental illnesses as NOT BEING mental illnesses. As long as this nonsense goes on, the children will keep dying at school. In the 1960s, my mother was mentally ill. She was scared to death to admit that she might be mentally ill because the culture did not accept mentally ill people. She tried to get help from her medical doctors, but they behaved as if they did not want to even touch or even consider the possibility of mental illness in a patient. This is an American culture that has traditionally hated and persecuted mentally ill people INSTEAD OF reaching out to get them help. As one health insurance executive put it in his own words on 60 Minutes: “We can screw mentally ill people and provide less insurance coverage because we know that mentally ill people are mentally unfit and poorly equipped to fight back at us.” Now—isn’t that a wonderful thing?

  57. America it’s just not working for you is it ?
    The idea that one has time to retrieve a weapon to protect oneself when faced with unexpected attack is unrealistic and absurd.
    I live in Australia and I can remember when the laws changed and my father had to hand in his rifles. It was a mammoth exercise for this country but well worth it.
    Yes, if a murderer wants a gun badly enough, they could obtain one, sure. But not readily and easily and not without the risk of being caught with it in their possession ahead of time, which happens.
    As long as you have relaxed laws on guns America, you will have mass shootings.

    • “The idea that one has time to retrieve a weapon to protect oneself when faced with unexpected attack is unrealistic and absurd.”

      What fantasy land do you live in where people are never unexpectedly attacked?

  58. Pingback: Responding to Senseless Tragedy | Jesus, Beer, and My Tiny Kitchen

  59. Pingback: Gun Violence: Perfect Love Drives out Fear

  60. Although I respect your opinion, I believe you are wrong in many ways. First, acting as though you are better fit to mourn a tragedy than me, a Christian who believes in the 2nd amendment, is not Christ like. You are a man of the Lord, you should be working to bring people together during times of tragedy, not using your voice and a tragedy as a stage to push your agenda and to separate them. As a man of the Lord I would have expected something very different, but at the end of the day, you do not have the right to judge me or any other supporter of 2nd amendment rights. I answer to one, and it’s not you.

    Secondly, you and I both know these shootings are not happening because of gun laws, but because the human race has gotten so far from morals and values that we are living in lawless times. Not the “Wild West” you speak of, but the people who have little to no regard for any laws. There are laws making drugs illegal, but people still find and use them. What makes you believe increased gun laws would be any different? People think that gun control will change someone’s heart, that is RIDICULIOUS! People who are evil or mental ill will find a gun, and they WILL NOT care if the gun is legal or if they are in an area that allows guns. Let’s look at the Chattanooga shootings. They happened in a gun free zone, and the ONLY reason the shooter did not kill more people was because someone had a gun and shot him. Guns used by law abiding citizens are not the issue. The issue is with the person on the other end of the gun.

    The ONLY way we will change this world, is to change the hearts in it. And that must start from the top, which includes leaders such as you. I will pray that the Lord softens your heart towards people with a different opinion. I will pray that he opens your mind so that you can see that those who support the 2nd amendment are not the vigilantly cowboys you think we are And I will pray that next time you choose to use your voice for something it will be to bring people together, not tear them further apart.

  61. Well said. Those of us who are like minded need to do what we can, vote appropriately — even from the lowest level. It’s a start. I have to believe we are a larger number than those beholden to NRA. We need to unite, and not be as forgetful as the other side when a tragedy is over and dims in our memories. We must be diligent.

  62. everyone poitns at the guns as the issue when every year we cut funding to mental health institutes and ignore more and more mental health issues, also dont throw everyone who owns a gun under the same bus, that just makes you look judgemental. I have a friend who owns 5 guns, but has never shot a single one, it just likes the way they look, in fact last i asked him he didn’t even have ammo for any of them. He just likes having them mounted in his living room for decor, so according to you that makes him just unable to register and feel other people’s sorrow because some people disagree with his political and life choices. disgusting

  63. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Roseburg is a town of 20,000 people in rural Oregon. It is full of gun owners, many of them hunters. This event has touched everyone there. Really, what kind of twisted, heartless soul would even think to tell these people that “they don’t get to grieve?”

    I don’t know what brand of “Christianity” you practice, but I grieve for YOU.

      • Oh yes I did read it. Normally, it’s the wingnut “Christians” who are heartless people who hate others. Congratulations! You are liberal “Christian” who is every last bit as hateful as Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson has ever been. And just as smug and self-righteous about it too. Ugh. What in the world is it with you people? Fix your own houses.

  64. So, let’s pour cement into all the backyard pools and legislate them so that pools can only be publicly owned and operated as opposed to educating or kids or teaching then how to swim or providing them with life jackets. This argument is invalid. If someone in class was armed (concealed or open carry) they could have prevented 8 other lives from being taken. One person watching over the pool can/will save lives, but if someone really wants to get into my pool, no fence, no matter how big or how many locks is going to stop them, but why should my kids have to suffer because you didn’t teach yours how to swim????

  65. User are so unbelievably wrong there are so many of us that on guns and would never contemplate taking another humans life. I to get mourn just as you do for the senseless slaughter of beautiful souls. I to get to mourn when I see some reckless lunatic for no absolute reason take another human life you don’t get to take that away from me or any other person who owns a gun. you need to look at the person not the label. I am a kind loving caring human being before I am a gun owner. I am in no way trying to change your pain your sorrow your grief or your mind I ‘m just letting you know that you sir do not get to take the right for me to grieve for those lost souls away just because I may own a gun.

    • When I was growing up in Tennessee, the rural fundie people would often make the following statement: “You know whut? Them peoples over thar in Asia don’t have the same respect for human life that we Americans do. I guess when you got a country with more than a billion people, there’s so much human life ever where that losing some of it no long matters after a bit.” With 315,000,000 Americans now, I think what the gun lobby is saying here is: “Well, there is no easy answer to this question. I’m a keepin’ my guns, and the loss of a classroom full of children every few weeks is really a small and acceptable price to pay for my right to keep my guns.”

  66. bulls##t…why dont you work at stopping all the drunk driving deaths!!..ur a hypocrite alchohol kills thousands more than any guns every year!..ohh but they have a right to have a drink after work ..just one beer before i go home..no harm in that…its the people who drink..its people who shoot guns..see the real problem? people!!

  67. Well. I understand your perspective John. In my role as a professional anthropologist, I can tell you that the problem with American gun ownership is neither legal in nature (2nd amendment) nor logical- argument based per se. It is a general cultural thing just like tobacco.

    Tobacco kills numerous Americans every year just like people with guns do—but the American people keep it around because it is a traditional thread in the fabric of American life. People keep tobacco around because it is embedded in warm memories of days gone by. Christians in my state still grow tobacco, gladly pocket the money from selling it, and do so without even thinking of the lives it takes. My own daddy was a good Christian man who maintained warm memories of “baccer” and the great powers it had in the rural life in which he was raised. They grew their own food and meat on the farm, but that did not yield spending money because it was all eaten. Baccer money bought the cloth for making clothes, the few candy bars a child ever saw, a new pair of shoes, the things of Christmas, the birthday present, and the coins in the collection plate at church on Sunday morning. They could have easily said: “Baccer is great. Baccer is good. We thank Baccer for everything but our food.” God got credit for the food.

    A similar, deeply imbedded cultural thread is at work in gun ownership. The Pennsylvania long rifle over the fireplace won American independence from the British. The same rifle fought off Indian attacks as Americans moved over the Appalachians. Other kinds of guns won the American Middle West and Far West. The gun protected a man from miscreants on the streets of Tombstone, Arizona. The gun protected the gold prospector’s claim…and on and on and on it goes. Guns even gave people a sense of social status and respect—these two songs go together:

    In 1861, the guns at home protected southern people from “them blue-bellied bastards” on the battlefields of Virginia,Tennessee, and Mississippi—and when the hogs had all been stolen or killed, the guns prevented starvation because they could still shoot squirrels and rabbits. Practice with the gun at home as a child ensured that Alvin York could pick off more than 100 of the Kaiser’s boys in no time. And the gun play in pulp western novels fired the imagination of every American male kid between 1870 and 1940. “Guns are great. Guns are good. We thank our guns for everything but our food.” God got credit for the food.

    This is really sad, but it is true—and the massacre in Oregon yesterday is just a natural outgrowth of our American history with guns. Texas pseudo-historian David Barton has made a mint propagating the fiction that the American republic was founded on God and the Bible. If you work with American history and actually know it like I do, you know for certain that Barton’s bullshit is far from the truth. The American republic was actually founded on many things working together. Two of them were tobacco and guns. In other words, much that we value as Americans was founded on drug addiction and the power of the gun. If you look at the history, it is a wonder that God has anything to do with Americans at all—but God is patient, generous, and merciful.

    My point is simply this: The historical and cultural power of the gun in American life will is founded on cultural bedrock so solid and so deeply ingrained that it will take more than just reason and sensibility to achieve fully responsible gun ownership in the United States . It will require some sort of cultural sea change roughly equivalent to the actual return of Jesus to change it. The situation should not be like that—but “should not” will not buy us anything or bring back our dead children.

    I would just like to end this by saying that my state of residence (Tennessee) is the Vatican of gun ownership in the United States. My own extended family is saturated with guns and ammunition—and not just your average stuff either. One former relative by marriage was an officer in the U.S. Army and an M1A1 tank commander. One of my relatives told me that he keeps live tank rounds in his closet at home. Tennessee gun ownership is more often irresponsible than responsible—by my own personal observation. It is not at all unusual to have 20 people sitting around the sides of a living room in a home at Christmas. A new rifle has just been opened as a Christmas gift. It is fully loaded with all safety measures disengaged—and the barrel is just waved around carelessly in front of the people sitting around the room. One person I know shot his knee-cap off. He was in a semi-reclining position and using his knee to support the barrel of his rifle—but did not notice that the end of the barrel had drooped down in front of his knee. He fired—and there went the knee. My father-in-law was absolutely sure that no rounds were in the chamber of his hunting rifle. He was showing it to another relative back in his bedroom. He accidentally pulled the trigger and the supposedly “nonexistent” round shot through two bedroom walls and straight into the living room where we most often gathered. Fortunately, no one was standing in that room in the path of the bullet. He or she would have been a goner. I have seen similar things happen with friends and their guns throughout my life here in Tennessee. Irresponsible gun ownership and ignorance about basic firearms safety is rife here in Tennessee—I have seen it myself with my own two eyes across a lifetime—just utterly stupid things ordinary people do with their guns—utterly stupid stuff. Even if people know firearms safety, they do not remember it and do it. I know firearms safety myself and always apply it whenever handling a firearm because i know someone can easily get hurt if I do not—and I never take it for granted that a gun is unloaded—even when one might think it is. However, I reiterate, it has most often been my observation that my relatives, friends, and neighbors are just plain stupid when handling firearms.

    • You pretentious sack of s***t, you’re mourning? Did you lose a family member during this? A friend? Are you going to console someone who did? Are you going to wake up in the morning and wonder if they suffered, or why it couldn’t have been you, or cry ever night because the pain is so unbearable?

      No, you’re not. You’re upset over what happened. That’s understandable; people get upset over senseless acts of violence. But don’t compare yourself to the families and friends of the victims who are in agony right now. You’ll get to go to sleep, wake up, and live your life as if it never happened.

      You’re using this catastrophe to explain your beliefs on gun control. Lord knows you’re not the first, and sadly you probably won’t be the last, but you’re making this about you. Your pain, your sense of loss. This isn’t about you. You’re just an observer, using this event to justify your outlook and that to me is the ultimate selfishness – what is it you said? “Just crocodile tears and a slap in the face to families of the dead.”

      By all means, feel sadness. Fight for more gun control. But you’re not in mourning. You’re a pretentious douche that’s using a tragedy to get people to listen to what he believes is right. Hey, maybe you should run for office!

      F**K YOU.

  68. Your broad brushed hatred of people you know nothing about tells me you are easily brain washed and manipulated or that you are mentally ill.

    • I think John was actually saying something somewhat equivalent to an original quote of my own: “The First Amendment guarantees you the right of free speech. It does not guarantee you an audience for the speech.” I think John was trying to say that he respects the fact that you have a right to your separate opinion on this issue as a fellow American, but that does not mean he is obligated to respect the content of your opinion.

  69. Your hatred towards guns and gun owners isn’t going to help. There were 52 shootings in Chicago last weekend alone, 7 of which ended in fatalities. For America’s city with the strictest gun control laws, this sort of violence is routine. Men only do the evil that is in their hearts, this is a heart problem, not a gun problem and there are many, many other tools with which someone can use to murder. Remember, Cain did use a gun to kill his brother Able. Violent criminals target gun free zones such as this campus, so if anything this is yet another direct result of gun free zones!

  70. This article is not at all representative of most responsible gun owners who do not agree with the nra, who do believe in stricter gun control and universal background checks. This article tries to lump all gun owners into one category that many gun owners are not. The idea that all gun owners are crazed lunatics who want no restrictions on gun ownership is simply untrue. Australia may not have the mass shooting but they do have high rates of other violent crime. Canada does not have the mass shootings but they have a very high rate of gun ownership. Its wrong to say we don’t greive, that we dont have the right to feel as a non gun owner does. These incidents are hard on us in ways you could not know. The downright failure of extreme gun control measures in places like chicago and detroit, which prove that even a near total ban is useless to stop the killing, proves over and over again that this is not just an issue about guns but of the deeply eroded societal values in our country.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

  71. How many more gun laws do we need? What gun laws have stopped any killings? So, make having, or purchasing guns, totally illegal…….that worked for the illegal drugs.

    People die everyday in car accidents,,,let’s ban all cars. People die everyday from the affects of alcohol…..let’s ban alcohol( Oh, wait, that was attempted once).

    Take your vengeance out on the idiots the sell guns to idiots. How many of these mass killings were done by those who respect the gun, and can legally carry/own one? How many of these mass killings were done by those in their right mind? Next time someone sees you driving, or holding up a glass of alcohol, would you want them to call you a murderer? Next time, and I hope it doesn’t happen, someone you love dies in a auto accident, don’t allow any legal drivers license people grieve with you…. And if the driver was drunk, don’t let anyone that ever drinks alcohol, grieve with you. Next time you need the services of the police, don’t let them show up with a gun. Next time you think you need the military to protect your freedoms, tell them to do it without a gun, and don’t allow them to grieve with you.. Next time a high official decries the owning of guns, tell him to go around without his armed body guards, and don’t let him grieve with you.

    • Let me ask you a question. The NRA position, the second Amendment position, the Obama position, the firearms companies’ position completely aside—just put all that completely aside—why is firearms ownership so important and vital to you and you alone—personally and individually. This is not a set- up or a trick question. I would really like to know. Educate me about YOU and guns.

    • You are truly an idiot. Cars and alcohol were not designed to kill. Guns were, that is the ONLY thing they were designed to do. The police and the military were hired/volunteered to do the jobs they do, it is a service to the people and the country. Someone who shoots and kills people is not serving anyone but themselves and doing so with an item designed to kill. Yes, some of them did have a legal license to carry the weapon. What is your next argument? What law would have stopped it? How about a law that bans guns all together? I am just grasping at straws here, but I bet that if they did not have access to a weapon, they would not have been able to complete this mass shooting, even if they had the bullets, I doubt they could have thrown them hard enough to kill anyone. Before you go on your rampage about laws taking away guns don’t work, read up on all of the countries around the world that currently do not allow gun ownership and compare our gun death rate to theirs, then come on back and discuss.

  72. When will those with a child’s way of looking at the World grow up? The problem is NOT guns, NRA, Conservatives, 2nd Amendment supporters (should be ALL Americans), etc… The problem will ALWAYS exist. There have and ALWAYS be crazy people, Grow up moment for all: BAD people WILL always get their hands on drugs & even guns. There are OVER 25,000 gun laws on the books now. NONE would have prevented this NOR any will. Only thing that would have PREVENTED it would have been if several people would have been armed and the MURDERER knew that he would have been shot as soon as he started shooting others. #GrowUp
    How about complaining about Chicago with over 6000 yes Six Thousand shootings since 2012 and OVER 1600 DEAD by guns. . .not convenient to talk about cause OBAMA was the community organizer there AND it has the STRICTEST gun LAWS already. GROW UP: Criminals DON’T follow the law, . .why they are CRIMINALS !!!

    • Do you really think that America is the only country with criminals? So why is it that Australia, who has had a very strict gun ban, not had a mass shooting since 1996, (which is when they stopped allowing guns)? They also prosecute anyone found with a gun. Guns are still available on the black market, but because of the high cost if you are caught with one, the price for one on the black market is around $50K. Did that make their criminals disappear? I doubt it. But, it did make the guns unavailable to everyone, including anyone who would have otherwise used it to harm others. Get real, gun ownership is not the answer. Arming everyone would only result in more deaths.

    • If that is the case, then why isn’t gun violence at the same level worldwide? If criminals always have a way to get illegal items, then the violence rate would be the same in all developed nations, but it’s not. Please explain to me the validity of your point.

    • Excluding replies is a good way to say “your not worth my consideration”. The exact way many of these shooters began their illogical reasoning that lead to their actions. Way to go! A glorious pat on the back for exactly understanding the problem!

  73. What an interesting thread this has been–up, down, for, against, you name it. Hurt feelings and anger.And fear. Give John a break, people, he’s talking about people who could help, but WON’T. I think he’s referring to lawmakers who can actually do something about this mess and yet DON’T, for their own personal benefit. Most of us who are seeking more stringent gun-issuing laws would not want to see USA citizenry disarmed, that’s not in the equation. I understand your feelings about not having a means of defense at hand, but that’s not the issue here. For the sake of those whose loved ones have already been murdered, won’t you at least consider limiting who guns are issued to? You know there are people who should not have access to ownership of a firearm, especially a weapon capable of killing multiple victims within seconds. Please give some thought to this. Thank you.

  74. Yes, a thousand times YES. This is what we need to inspire action. Not “thoughts and prayers” or claims of “I don’t know what to do”. There is plenty to do. We all need to get on and do it.

  75. I’m a 20 year military veteran. Yes, I believe in the 2nd amendment. I believe you have a right to own a gun and keep it in your home for protection. I don’t believe you need a semi automatic rifle, a 15-30 round clip.

    The issue is our elected officials who don’t have the backbone to bring up and pass legislation impacting gun ownership. Their primary concern is to get re-elected so they can play partisan politics and do nothing to move this country forward.

    • A little humor hear Bob—just for fun—hearkening back to an earlier pro-gun comment:

      “You is a damned liar Bob. You ain’t been nowhere near the military in your life. Do you know how I knew that? You used the word “clip.” Nobuddy what’s been in the military or has ever owned a firearm would ever use the word ‘clip.” Real firearms afficionados call it a “magazine.”

      Great. Next time I want to shoot something, I’ll insert Time, Newsweek, or Atlantic Monthly into my AK-47 and see how it goes!!!

  76. Yet again, the ignorance of the anti-gunners is overwhelming. Just a single armed student or professor would have saved many lives. Why can’t you guys see that?

    • I guess it is because I would be very uncomfortable if i knew that several members of my class had guns on their persons in our classroom—because everyone who has a gun in their possession is not necessarily Dudley Dooright. You forget that the bad guys have guns on their persons too, and how do I know that one of the packing members of my class is not one of those bad guys? Most people in a class are strangers these days. That’s right. I won’t know until the shooting starts.

  77. Thank you for passing judgement on people for whom you have no concept of, for grouping I to a relatively small category of carefully construed groups which fit your agenda.
    And do not worry, for I will not ask to grieve with you, just as I won’t ask you to grieve for the life I once lived as a non-gun owner…the life that was taken from me as a victim of a violent crime by a stranger who just happened to pick my house that night.
    As a gun owner, I grieve for my loss and for the loss of every victim of violence, and unless you have been a victim, you do not get to stand next to me and tell me you grieve for victims, or even have any point of reference for what I live and other victims live with every second of every day.

  78. So if the army vet who was shot multiple times trying to save lives had a gun , he might have been able to save more lives? Iam proud to be a 2nd amendment fan. The reason these lives were taken was because the murderer knew it was a gun free zone , and no one could protect themselves. I believe that the blood is on your hands. We as Americans have a right and responsibility to protect ourselves. your gun free zones keep law abiding citizens from being able to do that. Shame on you. When will you realize that signs and laws will not stop a criminal or murderer. It hurts the law ABIDING citizens. We need to be a stronger people, willing to defend innocent people at a possibility of giving up your life, fight these murderers, make them fear us. Instead you give them time to kill so many people, like fish in a barrel.

    • You show me a human society where every individual in that society has a handgun strapped on his hip for protection—and I will show you one seriously fucked up society.

  79. John you stupid little bitch. My Rights will always trump how you feel and all of the other panty wastes that agree with you.
    Let me educate you as to why we American Citizens have the right and responsibility to own firearms.
    1 Self preservation, from oppressive government(s) or sadistic individuals that are a blight on our society.
    2 See number one (1).
    3 It’s not about hunting or for sports.

    Here is something to think about. Hitler was responsible for 60 – 85 million deaths, Stalin 20- 40 million , and Mao 40- 78 million. The list goes on and on. This was all accomplished through “Reasonable” and
    “Sensible” gun laws that became Gun Control and ultimately Gun Confiscation. This could very well happen in the United States and it would if some people had their way. I will tell you why it will not happen anytime soon, because men and women like will not let it happen as long as we live.
    Some day one of the very people that you so contemptuously disparage and hate may save your life with a firearm that you also hate.

    I do not normally resort to name calling when I speak to someone but in your case it just seems so right.

    • I think you’re living in a dream world: Don Quixote with a gun clinging to a reality which we’ll never see, while thousands of people die every year.

      And the name calling is a reflection on you, not me.

    • Listen dipshit. I have no responsibility to own a firearm. If any law is ever passed to require me to own a firearm, I will refuse to obey it by either refusing to buy a firearm or getting rid of any firearms I already have. No American is ever going to fight off an oppressive government by sending .22 hollow points into battle against tanks, helicopter gunships, A-10s, and so forth. If you think they are, then you need to get some professional help.

  80. I am so tired of the mindset that looks at tragedies like today, winces, but can only conclude something like, “If only we had more gun control . . .” Really? Is that the problem here? Has anyone ever stopped and wondered what the hell is going on in our world today that causes young people to decide that their best course of action is to grab a gun and go shoot up a school full of innocent people? When can we have an honest, heartfelt conversation about that?

    I’m all for common sense gun control. Surely there is something we can do in that regard. But please do not think for one minute that that will stop someone deranged enough to do what’s happened over the past 16 years since Columbine.

    We’ve got gun control in schools today; guns are strictly prohibited. There’s a sign above the entrance to my sons’ public schools proclaiming as much. Did you know that hasn’t always been the case? My dad tells me of taking his gun on the bus around 1970 to use for target practice at school during PE. Wow! Guns were legal to bring to school, and to my knowledge no one shot and killed each other. Today, guns are prohibited in schools, and people take them there anyway and shoot and kill students and teachers.

    So rather than a little common sense gun control (which I’m all for), I think the larger issue here might just be what has happened between 1970 and the 2000’s that has caused young people to think this kind of behavior is acceptable. If we figure that out, maybe we can stop this madness.

  81. I will not grieve with you about anything that you said. I will grieve with the families of those who have lost loved ones. I will also grieve with future loved ones who will senselessly be killed because there was noone there to stop them. It did not take any guns to kill those on 9-11 only the determination of fanatics. Again, no one there to stop them except for one flight. The idea that the police or someone else will be there to protect you is a fantasy. The continued harassment of legal law abiding citizens that want to protect themselves and their loved ones has to end.
    Please do us all a favor and place a gun free zone sign in your yard and property to help direct the lunatics and criminals to the path of least resistance.

  82. What I don’t understand is why we don’t at least try. So you don’t “believe” in the wealth of case studies and statistical data about gun violence and gun access. Ok. But common on, surely it’s at least worth entertaining the notion that maybe, just MAYBE they are somehow related, so can we at least give it a shot? Even if we only save 100 lives? 10? Just 1? Can we just try it and see if maybe we can stop the bloodshed? And then, if it doesn’t work out- go ahead. Gloat. Say I told you so. Dance on your roof tops blasting your bullets into the sky and tell us how we were all just a bunch of stupid freedom hating liberals. But for the love of fucking Christ, can we at least exhaust the option? Shouldn’t we be exhausting all the options? Why is it not worth it? How can so many people, as the author above put it, see ” repeated mass shootings as the acceptable collateral damage of freedom”?

  83. Mr. Pavlovitz,
    I suggest you read the reasearch that John Lott and Gary Kleck have been conducting since the late 80’s/ early 90’s. Then review the FBI’s violent crime statistics. Murder and violent crime rates are close to the lowest they’ve ever been even as lawful gun ownership by responsible Americans has risen.

  84. Thank you for writing exactly what I’ve been thinking. The gun rights crowd may say that they have respect for human life, but their words and actions show that they do not.

  85. All statistics cited are from government sources, mostly the FBI and CDC.

    Here are a few quick facts from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics before we begin:

    1. In crimes where the offender possessed a gun during the commission of the crime, 83% did not use or threaten to use the gun.

    2. Fewer than 1% of firearms will ever be used in the commission of a crime.

    3. 74% of felons agreed that, “one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime.”

    4. 57% of felons polled agreed, “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”

    Regarding interstate transfer of firearms to defeat local gun control laws:

    1. The BATF reports that the average age of a traced crime gun is 11 years, meaning that most guns moving from state to state were transported when legal owners moved.

    2. Fewer than 5% of traced crime guns in California came from neighboring Nevada and Arizona.

    Now that we have that out of the way, black swan events are almost impossible to predict. Outside of someone making an open and credible threat of violence, you probably aren’t going to prevent them regardless of what laws you pass. Getting rid of guns all together will not happen in United States. If you want that solution you’re going to be perpetually disappointed. So now lets talk about what can be done and would actually work.

    First lets look at the firearms that are actually used to commit crimes so we can get away from the “assault weapon” nonsense. Handguns are used 81% of the time to commit crimes over rifles 10% and shotguns 9%. That 10% for rifles includes all rifles, not just AR-15 or AK-47 pattern rifles. Why is that? Because they’re easier to carry and conceal. Anyone who proposes an “assault weapons” ban either doesn’t understand that they are almost never used in crimes, or they’re being disingenuous with their intentions. The reason I put assault weapons in quotations is because, by definition, an assault weapon has to have select fire capability. Meaning the safety selector has to include safe, semi-automatic, and either full-automatic or burst positions.

    AR-15 pattern rifles are not assault weapons, and are almost never used in a crimes according to FBI statistics. Also, a legally owned actual assault weapon hasn’t been used in a crime since the 1930’s. Again, we have to ask why? Fully-automatic weapons are ineffective weapons for committing crimes, or even mass shootings. They put a whole lot of rounds on one or two targets, and then you’re out of ammo. They are also expensive, and people that can afford them buy them for collecting purposes. Besides, it’s incredibly easy to illegally build a fully automatic rifle from scratch with parts available on the internet if you wanted to use one in a crime. All you need is some equipment and basic gun smithing knowledge. But criminals don’t do this because they are ineffective for their purposes.

    Now lets look at how criminals actually acquire the firearms they use in crimes. 40% of all crime guns are either stolen, or purchased from an illegal (blackmarket) source. Another 40% have friends or family members make the purchase for them in order to bypass the background check. That is what is known as a straw purchase, and it’s a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 9% are legally purchased from a retail store because the person had never done anything that would have prohibited them from owning a firearm prior to the crime they committed with said firearm. 5% are purchased in private party transactions and may or may not be legal depending on the eligibility of the buyer to own a firearm. 4% are purchased from pawn shops and these may, or may not include a background check design on the age of the firearm, or if the shop has a Federal Firearms License (FFL). 1% are purchased at flea markets. And 1% are purchased at gun shows. Note that any one who holds an FFL must always perform a background check regardless of where the sale takes place. The only exceptions are for buyers, such as myself, who get a thorough background check through all state and federal agencies every 5 years. So hopefully you are starting to see that 80% of crime guns are not purchased legally, and therefore stronger gun control laws would have little to no effect on violent crime rates. Also, the 10% of crime gun that are purchased legally are purchased by someone who was legally allowed to own firearm due to not having a criminal record or previous mental health issues. I would also like to point out that 90% of violent crime doesn’t involve a firearm of any type.

    What can we do about it? First we need to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Too often prosecutors cut deals with offenders for a quick conviction by dropping the gun charges. This repeatedly puts violent offenders back out on the street to commit more crimes. Most firearms related offenses carry a sentence of ten years. We need to enforce that. If you make a straw purchase for someone, then you need to go away for 10 years. If you get caught with a stolen firearm, and you can’t prove where you got it from, then you go away for ten years. If you get caught with a firearm with a defaced serial number, because you bought it on the black market, guess what, ten years. If you’re a prohibited person and you get caught with any forearm, you go away for ten years. If you commit a forcible felony with a firearm then you go away for a minimum of 20 years. No more deals, no more compromise. This wouldn’t solve the problem overnight but it would significantly reduce our violent crime rate and get violent people off the street. These are laws and sentences that are already on the books and the constantly get plead down so prosecutors can get a quick “win”.

    In the next few paragraphs I’m going to address murder specifically. I’m going to refer to the total murder rate and not just gun murders. After all, if you’re dead, you’re dead. It doesn’t really matter how you were murdered.

    Gang violence is responsible for aproximately 48% of all murders in the United States. In fact two-thirds of the people who die each year from gunfire are criminals being shot by other criminals. What can we do about this? Put violent criminals in jail and keep them there. See my paragraph about enforcing existing laws. Now, that will help once people are beyond redemption, but how do we prevent them from getting to that point all together? Community policing and school resource officers have proven to be effective at keeping kids out of gangs. Stressing the importance of education, after school programs to keep kids off the street, and having fathers present in their children’s lives are probably the most important factors in keeping kids out of gangs though. We also need to stop the glorification of gang culture and violence in our media. These are all things that can help lower our murder rate without passing any new laws.

    The US has a population of about 320 million people. In that population there are approximately 11 million illegal aliens. That is around 3.4% of the population, yet they are responsible for 30% of the total murders committed in this country according to FBI statistics. Comprehensive immigration reform and immediate deportation of any illegal found to be in this country, along with stiff prison sentences for repeat offenders, could reduce our murder rate by 30% alone. We could make provisions for a pathway to citizenship for people who were brought here as children and who don’t have a criminal record.

    In closing, we really don’t have ineffective gun control. We have ineffective criminal control. Implementing the things I have suggested above could bring our total murder rate, and even our violent crime rate, down to the often cited European levels effectively and quickly. Removing the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues,as well as making mental health services available and affordable to everyone could also be effective at preventing some black swan events. The solutions aren’t complicated, they’re simple, and our goals can be achieved without passing one single gun control law. Politicians know this, but it’s easier for them to blame “evil guns”, than to do their job.

    • Great facts, level headed and logical presentation. And no one is going to listen because it doesn’t play to their rhetoric or to the “hysteria” about gun ownership in this country and our love for guns. Amazing. Everyone talks about the UK and Australia as great examples of gun control works. What a farce. The statistics they do not show are the increases in personal crime, murders by other methods, burglaries and assaults. Especially rape and home invasion. Most cases are up over 50%. But that’s okay. At least no one has a gun. And people are only dying one at a time. And oh…deaths by illegal weapons. But, that is okay…again…at least no one has a gun…except the crooks.

  86. Loving guns while grieving tragedy is only slightly less offensive than playing up your own “grief” with clickbait titles and hysterical posts like this. Classy. Almost HuffPo quality.

    • If somehow making this tragedy about me, someone who abhors guns, makes you feel better, that’s fine.

      I’d say it’s a flat out joke.

      Guns and our American gunlust are the problems, not people who despise guns.

  87. You can grieve by yourself.
    As others have said you are grieving for the wrong thing.

    People are saying the U.K. Has do few gun deaths, because they have no gun.
    Yah, great. Knife deaths are out of control. So now they are trying to ban knives, do the hands just use screw drivers.
    Do you think criminals care what they use to hurt people?

    Australia banned all guns. So now the hands have better guns than the cops. And armed crime is through the roof.

    Japan the same.
    No guns, not supposed to have knives either. They still have mass knife attacks on public, or bombings, or poison gas.

    Make new laws. Yes that always works right.
    So we should take all cars off the roads because so many drive drunk?
    And sports cars, they are only used to break speed laws, so they should be banned.
    Only the police should have them.

    It doesn’t matter what laws there are.
    Right now in Canada the gun laws are stupid.
    You can spend three years in jail for having any one of 10 pages of permits expired.

    But some teen gets picked up with a stolen handgun.
    Well the same cops will pick him up two weeks later, on the street again with another stolen handgun.

    We don’t need more laws,
    We need laws used correctly.
    We don’t need more laws.
    We need sanity about it.
    We need to Stop having people spread fear and paranoia.

    You say people can’t grieve with you.
    Well get stuffed.

    You are the one with a childish attitude about what’s wrong and how to fix it.

    Fill in your pool. Get real.
    Like I said should all cars be banned because some drive drunk?

    Stop demanding that everyone pay through the nose for health care.

    Do you have any clue how much the profitability, and standard of living would go up,
    If health care and education was completely funded.

    Yeah yeah start crying commie.
    But look at other countries. There are a bunch that health care and education is free.

    What does that have to do with it. Cause I know no one can put it together.

    Healthy educated people, tend to go on few rampages.

    How many mass shootings had Switzerland had?
    Which by the way has the highest gun ownership in the world.
    And the lowest crime rate.

    So instead of every time this happens.
    Saying guns are evil.

    Better is saying
    Why are people so sick.

    Best is saying.
    How do we stop sick people before they flip out.

    not just how do we keep them from getting guns. That doesn’t work.
    If you want a weapon to kill with you can get one.

    You need to help sick people before they lose control.

    That’s how you stop these things.

    Oh and really
    264th mass shooting this year?
    There has been one every single day this year.

    So you go and grieve. And pray for unicorns to solve the world problems.

    I’ll aim for real solutions.

  88. Whew! I’m glad somone finally said what we were all thinking; that we should all grieve in our own kliques which can then argue over who is more sad about mass murder.
    No. Wait. Only you were thinking that.

    Well, congratulations on winning the award for “Most Sad About The Shooting”. You beat us all in the contest no one else was playing.

  89. You Americans have a serious denial problem, after reading all the comments and replies I can see that you will come up with every single excuse you can possibly fathom to deny the obvious fact – easily available firearms has directly contributed to every massacre you have endured. You can fool yourself for as long as you want but your so called ‘land of the free’ will remained incarcerated by fear until you realise the stupidity of your right to bear arms. If you dont think you are afraid then ask yourself why you need so many guns !!!

  90. Dear John,
    You have such a compassion-filled face. You and I would be friends. We would grieve together. My six children and my husband would join in our mutual grief over this senseless loss of life. But I hunt and fish. And so do my husband and kids. And therefore our grief is an insult to you. I am sad about that. My husband spends his days saving lives, as a physician in a small city. I spend my days nurturing children–our own and countless others. I wish that we would be allowed into the inner circle of those who are permitted to grieve with you. But you have excluded us. I think that you intend me to feel responsible for these heartbreaking deaths. And you know what? I do. I do feel responsible because these people who died unjustly, with hopes unfulfilled, are my fellow citizens of this planet, this nation. I wish that you would let me grieve with you. I think that our sorrow would be lessened, if shared. I guess that I will remain on the outside of your sanctioned grieving circle. It is sad to be excluded from a group that is grieving the loss of life. Mine is apparently a less valued life to you, which is indeed a bullet to my heart. Your words have the power to grant life or death. And you have elected for me and mine to be dead to you, for at least as long as you are grieving. Let me know if you ever change your mind about the stereotype you have lumped my family into. We will be waiting with open arms. Because we choose neither to harm by words nor weapons.

  91. John, as someone from Roseburg I have this to say to you. YOU don’t get to grieve with ME today. Anyone who shares your opinion, YOU don’t get to grieve with me today either. Take your opinions about stricter gun control and shove it. No one that was close to any of the mass shootings wants to hear it. Now enjoy your pretty world full of unicorns. I’m going to enjoy my reality where I protect my family with a firearm if the need arises because that is my right. Have a good day.

  92. What really baffles me are all of the people here that say that nothing could have prevented this. That taking away the guns would never work. The second amendment gives you the right… Blah blah blah. Pull your heads out of your back ends for a brief moment and look beyond your hurt feelings, maybe you will learn something. There are countries all over the world that currently have very strict gun laws, meaning they do not allow guns to be purchased and they prosecute and jail anyone found with a gun, unless it is a law enforcement officer. These countries do NOT have this problem of mass shootings like we have here. This has be going on for decades, so I am positive that history has shown that it can work. So, yes…something COULD have prevented it and yes, taking away the guns would work as demonstrated by these countries.
    The second amendment does give the people the right to bear arms, originally written regarding the militia. Obviously the founders had no way of knowing how life would be 200 years later to know that we would not have a militia as they knew it then. Some of the amendments are a little outdated. But, you can feel comfortable knowing that you can enjoy your second amendment rights and not have to worry about being required to quarter a British soldier, as stated in the third amendment.
    Anyone giving the analogy that we should ban cars or stairs, et.al. because people dying in automobile accidents or from falls; that is the worst argument I have ever heard. Guns were designed to kill, stairs were not. I don’t believe that cars were either. Don’t be ignorant.

    If you honestly feel that you need a weapon, or a cache of weapons for yours and your families protection, then you have made some wrong life choices and should probably do some rethinking on how you live your life that makes you live in so much fear.

    I agree with the author of this article. If you are a gun owner and are so blinded to your way of thinking that there is no other way to live without a weapon of some kind, when millions of other people in the world have proven otherwise, then he is correct; you do not truly grieve in the same way and you do not get to grieve with the rest of us. He is not saying that you do not have the right to grieve, we just don’t want to hear about how you are grieving for this loss, but wow, isn’t you gun so neat?

  93. Amazing. That puts into words exactly how I feel…about gun control advocates. You don’t get to grieve because you caused this by leading sheep to slaughter with gun-free zones. I know it’s a risk not to carry, but preventing people who are trained and comfortable with guns from being able to protect themselves? Unconscionable.

  94. Well, after looking at all of the comments above, I have distilled a general principle from them that seems to ring true from most of the pro-gun folks:

    “Guns do not kill innocent people. Evil people do. Christians need to get behind the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical agenda to ignore 95 percent of the Christian faith and get with the 5 percent that says the Christian faith is all about evangelizing and nothing else. We must all band together and evangelize as many evil people who might use guns illegally as possible—turning their hearts to Jesus so they will not commit violent gun crimes. For those who refuse to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior or those that are just unreachable, we will just blow their F-bombing heads off.”

    I am going to take that as another example of typical fundie “Rot Doctern.”

  95. Okay, I’ll keep my distance from you as long as that sentiment is mutual. I’m not apologizing as a gun owner; So I guess we’ll just have to disagree. Good day and carry on.

  96. My husband was killed in an automobile accident, so maybe we should take cars away from people. True the person driving the car was at fault, as was the person that pulled the trigger of that gun!!!! We don’t need to take guns out of law abiding citizens, we need to get them out of the hands of the people that shouldn’t have them. It’s crazy to take guns away from people that know how to use them safely, and it is a little judgemental of you to think just because someone owns a gun means they don’t care when something like this happens. Most people have guns to protect themselves, and to hunt. No wonder America is in shambles, Obama has ever body blaming each other.

    • Oh sure. Blame the whole world and everything in it on Barack Hussein Obama. Don’t worry. He will be out of office in January 2016, and you will no longer need your guns to protect you from the overwhelming threat presented by the most awful ditch any nation could ever fall into—-one with a Chocolate President. Get out of my sight!!!

  97. In Japan, the gun is regulated severely.
    Because the power of the police is strong, it is all right even if there is not a gun.
    I pray for the social thing that there is not the gun.

  98. So Mr. Pavolvitz,

    I imagine, by the same logic; women who have abortions don’t get to grieve dead children along side you, correct? After all, if their “selfish choices” destroyed growing human life, how dare they mourn it in another context!

    Speeders aren’t allowed to mourn car crashes. Anyone who drinks shouldn’t grieve DUI deaths or deaths from alcoholism. Heck, anyone who owns a car (especially if they’re a selfish “auto lover” … perhaps they own a sports car, or a fancy SUV, or a “tricked out” pickup truck, or a “classic auto” without modern safety features) has no business feeling sad about ANY automotive fatalities.

    I’m going to be blunt, your column today is the most ridiculous, ignorant thing I’ve read all year.

    You reference statistics in it: statistics show that gun ownership in the United States is UP by 170 million over the past few decades, yet firearms murders are DOWN by over half (and “accidental” firearms fatalities are DOWN by a factor of FOUR); but you don’t care, because THOSE statistics don’t suit your agenda. They also show that about 2.5 people die (on average) if an armed citizen on scene stops a mass shooting; conversely, if there is no “good guy with a gun” around (and victims must wait for the police to arrive), the average is over 14 (12 extra lives lost per incident)! By the way, there was an armed military veteran on the scene of this most recent shooting; he might have been able to save many lives (as happens THOUSANDS of times each year when armed citizens act to protect themselves and others from violent criminals); but he was thwarted by college administration from engaging the shooter .. you know … “for everyone’s safety” (I’m sure the 9 bullet riddled corpses created on campus that day felt MUCH safer). Moreover, UN data clearly shows virtually no relationship between national firearms ownership and homicide (go ahead and look it up, there’s a wonderfully colorful map available online that even you will understand) and perhaps most importantly, both the National Academy of Sciences (in the 90s), and more recently the CDC (at the direction of President Obama); carefully reviewed the scholarly, scientific evidence on the effectiveness of gun control laws and found that NONE of them (ZERO) were effective. But you don’t care about that, do you? You have you agenda and your ideology.

    And perhaps most ironically, you referenced swimming pools and dead kids in your column. Did you know that drowning kills approximately as many people in the US as handguns do? And among children, accidental drownings in backyard swimming pools take FAR MORE lives than accidental shootings (notwithstanding that there are an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE more guns in this country than swimming pools)? So obviously, anytime someone drowns, selfish, those ignorant swimming pool owners, or other evil ba$tards who take their kids to the beach have NO BUSINESS mourning with you, do they (and don’t even get me started on the evil “swimming pool / spa industry”, or people who promote beach town tourism. Those MURDERERS ought to be in PRISON)!?

    So, Mr. Pavolvitz, let me be clear: I don’t WANT to grieve WITH YOU. You’re an ignorant, judgmental, fool who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    But make no mistake, I DO get to grieve. Because I abhor loss of innocent life just as much as you do. Probably more so, because rather than being a coward who curls up in the corner and cries; I actually have the guts to get trained, get armed, and do what’s necessary to protect myself, my loved ones (and others if need be), from violent criminals.

    So, really, no sweat, we won’t mourn together; but if you think I don’t have the right to grieve because I’m a gun owner, and a 2nd amendment advocate, I have just 3 words for you:

    “Go f*ck yourself.”

  99. You aren’t grieving, you’re grandstanding. You, and so many like you, salivate at the idea of being a slave to the government.

    The most important thing keeping the government from imposing tyranny, is the *right* of citizens to be armed.

    What you seem to miss is: We don’t love guns, we love freedom. The same freedom that owning guns ensures. The very same freedom you want taken away.

    It is easy to be upset with you, or people like you, for your views. However, you have a right to your views, the same as I have a right to mine. I feel sorry for you, for it truly is not your fault that you have a mental illness that makes you want to be a slave.

    God bless you.

    • If your “freedom” and fear of a bogeyman which you are less likely to encounter than a lightning strike, is more important that the scores of people butchered this year, I can’t help you.

      You can have your freedom. I’ll fight for life.

    • Oh please. The good pastor doesn’t believe as you do so you announce that only people with mental illness could disagree with you? I hope you regret saying such a awful thing. If you don’t after you have thought about it a while to just shows the tactics some people will use to diminish those until they are silent. Shame on you.

  100. You can’t pick and choose which constitutional amendments to strike down. The First Amendment is allowing you to express your opinion.

    • Yes you can. The whole purpose of the amendment process is to strike down or add an amendment—as long as enough people agree that one needs to be added or struck down. Go take a civics course—no—not Honda.

  101. Not all of us who own guns are ‘gun lovers’. Some people use them to put food on the table (unless you’re a vegan how do you think the meat you buy in the grocery store gets there?). My grandmother (may she rest in peace) used hers to protect herself from two men who broke into her home and attempted to rape and rob her. She lived many years after that incident, but if not for her gun I hate to think what would have happened. My husband and father are both former military and law enforcement. We are educated and trained, and yes we believe in our rights. But you should know we also believe in stricter laws. Those beliefs don’t have to be exclusive of one another. And for the record, if you look at the studies, those of us who are law-abiding gun owners, who don’t hide it and who are open about it are not the problem. I cannot blame a gun for killing a person just like I cannot blame a car because a drunk driver decided to drive. Perhaps if we explored the travesty of mental illness and how the mentally ill are treated in this country, we would begin to find solutions. It is easy to point the finger at a weapon that can do nothing and harm no one until it is controlled by a person. Those of us who do own, use and train on weaponry do mourn and grieve. And we don’t need your permission to do so.

  102. I think this author has it wrong. A more accurate pool comparison would be to consider that you have a pool and consider swimming your all-time favorite hobby. You have built a very tall fence around your pool, lock it carefully at all hours, and have avoided any accidents. Somewhere else in the country, a serial killer builds a pool solely for the purpose of killing people. He drags people who aren’t even near his pool into his pool and drowns them.

    Will increasing regulations make the serial killer stop? Criminals don’t follow laws. That’s why they’re criminals.

    If you fill up his pool with dirt, won’t he find somewhere else to drown his victims? Or a different way to kill them?

    Should you stop swimming and fill in your pool because he drowned people on purpose in his?

    Do you have the right to mourn for those drowned by the killer, or is your mourning less sincere because you enjoy swimming in something that someone else used to kill others?

    I personally don’t understand why people swim (I find it boring), and a lot of people don’t understand why others would enjoy building and shooting guns. I personally get bored after taking two or three shots at the range, but my husband very much enjoys the precision and machinery involved in building and shooting firearms. It is his all-time favorite hobby. He is also very loving and giving, and would do anything to help even a perfect stranger in need. It’s easy to judge someone else because you don’t understand or share their interests, but for this author to suggest that he loves or cares for others less because of his choice of hobby insults his humanity.

    • If we do that, we simply make this about THIS shooting, and we avoid talking about a pattern of 250+ mass shootings in the US already this year.

      This isn’t about one person. It’s about a culture we’ve created.

  103. Please correct your data wording – there have not been 264 mass shootings this year, there have been 264 DEATHS from shootings with 4 or more deaths/injuries this year. By changing the information, makes me believe you’re skewing your post for maximum shock value. You have a valid point, which I do support in most regards, but this does nothing to make people think, which I’m guessing is your goal, otherwise you would not have posted this.

    Yes, this country needs to change its culture surrounding guns and needs to fix the laws that aren’t working, but your post is inflammatory rather than starting a discussion.

  104. Well said! and to those who are commenting about the right to bear arms and “protecting yourselfs against wolves”, just look at the statistics; no other country int he world has this enormous issue of mass shootings, and no other country has the open gun laws either. Makes sense to me, take away the guns, take away the shootings, period.

  105. Pingback: Another day, another mass shooting | Times of Bernhardt

  106. What I am going to say is something that likely will not be understood by anyone who has never experienced awareness. Awareness occurs when you turn your mind off and quit thinking. It is a space where something becomes clear in an essential way that is not thought. It is a feeling that is so overwhelming that you cannot comprehend it by thought. When you become aware, you “feel” something and “understand” something in a new way that your conscious mind cannot by thinking about what it is that you have become aware of. It is an experience.

    What I became aware of today was that those who commit these murders are actually being by influenced by an evil power. That probably does not surprise anyone who has any spiritual beliefs. What I became aware of at the same time though is that those who believe that more powerful guns, or everyone having guns, and a second amendment right to own guns are answers to stopping the evil that causes murders to murder are also being influenced by the same evil power. Let that sink in. Don’t think about it. Don’t respond to it. Let it become an experience. Become aware.

    The evil power that influences human behavior exerts itself by creating fear and confusion. Get beyond those and become aware. When enough people do that, the solution will come.

    I’m finished arguing about guns this and guns that.

  107. We had ONE high school shooting here in the UK, Dunblaine, we emediately toughened up the gun control laws, we havn’t had another in twenty years. We have our share of mad, dangerous people but they can’t get they’re hands on guns! The problem is and always will be the American love of guns!

  108. Well, given that most of these mass shootings happen in a ‘gun free zone’, i think you logic is flawed. Criminals will never follow the laws. they won’t leave their guns out side of the gun free zone. they will continue to break the rules. If however, a licensed armed person had been in the area, they may have stopped the gunman before he killed 9 people and maimed even more. It is a sad day and i will certainly grieve with you.. you don’t get to decide who can and can’t grieve this tragedy.

  109. John, this is a powerfully written piece, ; it speaks to my heart and it’s words are perfectly chosen…. Yes, it is time to lay the mass weapons of destruction down…

  110. I have read a number of the responses to your post. The problem is we wait after the loss of life in the hope someone else will provide answers or a solution for the future. Society is faceless, the Government spineless in these matters.

    Your pool analogy is flawed, another person has adressed this in relation to what happened. If you held the head of another under the water you would be guilty of similar to the recent shooter. Withstanding that I respect the point you are attempting to make.

    I believe that the 30,000 approx deaths from traffic accidents, the 100,000 approx deaths from medical mistakes are as valid as the 12,000 approx deaths from guns. Yet when do we see the medical profession, or the automotive or even society held to higher standards. We choose what we are offended by, by what we feel should be changed.

    The problem is society, more realistically us, you and I, and those who may read this. We are chasing monetary, chasing fantasy not reality, the cost we are not present as parents, as voters and decision makers, citizens. We allow more and more content into our homes that say bad behavior, violence and disrespect is acceptable. Our children are being given to others to be raised, and we only react when they fail or hit a moral / religious nerve or feeling of offense. It used to be said it takes a village to raise a child, that was defined as a support structure of others who will not accept bad behavior and disrespect. Instead it became an excuse, we expect others to raise our kids.

    Gun violence and other mindless deaths will only decline and fall when WE take ownership of our families, our homes and become members of a respectful society. I am not asking we become sheep but become shepards to our own flock.

    Be blessed, continue to provide such thought provoking prose, but please do not think by chastising those who disagree you will create change. That is what we need here, change.

  111. I thought you were different.

    When I found your blog, I thought you were different from the graceless, merciless evangelicals I grew up with. I admired your understanding toward those outside the faith, toward LGBTQIA people, toward those who my church held up as the scum of society. Here, I thought, is a Christian who models Christ as closely as he can.

    I was wrong.

    You support gays. You’re kind to those who don’t believe as you do. You’re understanding and loving toward Christians who leave the church. But your compassion has a limit. You affirm the humanity of everyone except gun owners and supporters. You peg them as the problem behind mass shootings, when they are working just as hard to stop them—albeit in different ways than you. You paint them with as broad a brush as Kim Davis paints gay and lesbian couples.

    Your grace expires the second you hear someone owns a gun.

    I thought I’d found someone to look up to, when I found your blog. All I found was someone who turns his ire on a different group. You have no more grace than anyone else; you just have a different target.

    You are not my hero.

    And I’m starting to think they don’t exist.

    • I’m not here to be your hero, Dani. I’m here to speak my heart.

      I never paint anyone with a broad brush and never make any moral judgment on anyone in this piece. I simply state that when people say, “we’re grieving with the world”, and they love and idolize guns, they don’t get to be lumped in with those of us who cannot stand them.

      My compassion here is with the hundreds and hundreds of innocent people slaughtered in mass shootings and I am sick and tired of people justifying these murders.

      If being for the victims over gun supporters makes me a bad guy, I don’t care to justify myself.

      Grace doesn’t mean agreeing with people. You don’t want compassion or grace, you want me to consent to a practice that I am not supportive of. I’m sorry. If you believe our gun loving culture isn’t a major issue, I disagree with you.

  112. How dare you tell me I have no right to grieve? How can you possibly have the presumptive audacity and lack of compassion to make this statement…to tell me what I do or do not have the right to feel? This is my town, my colleagues, my students, my friends, my neighbors who have been hit with this tragedy. Who are you?

    Guns? Yes, I own them. I live in a cabin in the national forest here, about 45 minutes out of town. I’ve had huge mountain lions sitting on my front porch at night. Yesterday, I ate deer sausage with pasta for dinner. It was from the freezer, hunted last season. I hunt for what I eat. It’s what people do around here. I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve never drawn a gun on a human in my life. I don’t walk around, hoping someone will give me a reason too, either. Honestly, to me they are just one more tool that I use, that is all. And yes, I am grieving. Terrifically. In ways you cannot imagine – you weren’t here. And it may shock you to learn that I am actually quite left-leaning in my political beliefs, yet here I am…living in the woods near Roseburg, with a gun rack in my old 4×4 pickup, just like that old stereotype that I don’t really fit.

    This town is a very small place, but it is the kind of place where good people work, live, raise families, and do good things far more than bad. It is generally a place that goes unnoticed by the world because it is – well – normal. Ok. Calm. Happy.

    But after this horrific event, we are in morning: in a small town like this, we all know someone who was killed or hurt, if not several. We all are grieving together. I am an associate professor for UCC and I spent the whole day, yesterday, doing what I could to help my students deal with the madness that occurred the day before. There is so much sadness, fear, anger and confusion here right now.

    What I’m getting to with all of this would be this request:

    Can we please have a little time for our kids, our families, our community as a whole to deal with the shock, horror and sadness of all this before we start using this event to illustrate political ideology or – even less constructively -bash the folks who live in rural America?

    Not everything needs to be about politics, all the time.

    So please, don’t presume to tell me what I have the right to feel. Thank you.

    • As I’ve said elsewhere (and in the post) you can grieve all you want, but it isn’t fair to say that those who perpetuate the NRA’s gunlust grieve the same way as those of us who abhor guns do.

      I’m tired of people saying they’re grieving… tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.

      Don’t say you need time. 250+ mass shootings this year alone in the US. Time’s up.

      • John Ronald. I would like to see your point-by-point plan to stop all these murders with firearms. I suppose you could take the position that all theses deaths are just necessary and expected collateral damage—but I am not going to do so and I am not going to let you do so either. What is your plan—point by point?

      • Okay Mr. Ronald . . . I have your piece of legislation . . .

        An Act Regulating Interstate Commerce in Firearms.

        1. Pursuant to Article I, Section III of the Constitution of the United States, all interstate commerce related to the manufacture, transportation, or sale of firearms shall be subject to the limitations of this act.
        2. Pursuant to the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, the right of persons to keep and bear arms in the context of a “well-regulated Militia” shall be respected and is not altered by the provisions of this act.
        3. The regulation of firearms, being recognized as essential to the peace and security of a civilized society, all firearms, being defined as devices capable of discharging a projectile by an explosive charge, shall be registered to the owner thereof and recorded by the authority of the state in which said firearm is purchased. Records of said ownership shall be provided to the law enforcement authority of any other state upon request.
        4. The sale of any firearm, as herein defined, shall be subject to an inquiry as to the fitness of the purchaser to possess said instrument. No sale of a firearm as defined under this act shall be made to any person who has not attained the age of 21 years, who has been convicted of any felony, who has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving an act of violence against any person, or who has a demonstrated history of mental disease shall be permitted.
        5. No person other than those in commissioned military service, or a sworn law enforcement officer shall keep or possess any firearm capable of discharging more than six projectiles from a single magazine.
        6. Any state which shall fail to enact or enforce legislation pursuant to the provisions of this act shall be ineligible to receive payments or subsidies under any program funded by act of Congress.

        Not perfect . . . but this would be a start.

      • Oh, and by the way Mr. Roland . . . I would love to see the following amendment passed, not that I hold out a great deal of hope in the present political milieu . . . but one can always pray for miracles . . .

        Article XXVII

        Section 1. The Second Article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

        Section 2. The manufacture, transportation, or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States of any firearm capable of the discharge of a projectile by an explosive charge in violation of the laws thereof is hereby prohibited.

        Section 3. The manufacture, transportation, possession or use of any firearm capable of the discharge of a projectile by an explosive charge in violation of any act of Congress is hereby prohibited.

        Section 4. The possession of any firearm acquired prior to the enactment of this amendment shall be subject to the laws of the state wherein that firearm is located and to any act of Congress effective six months after the enactment of any regulation under this amendment.

  113. I didn’t ask to “grieve” with you. And if you really wanted to be left alone to “grieve”, you wouldn’t have written to the world about it.