A pledge to pass tougher Maryland gun laws

“The streets of Baltimore should not be treated under our gun laws like a battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan"

gun bill backers

Clergy, lawmakers and law enforcement officials pledged support for gunl bills being introduced in the Maryland legislature this year.

Photo by: Fern Shen

Throwing their support behind gun control measures rejected for years by the state legislature, Maryland lawmakers joined with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and faith leaders yesterday, saying last week’s school shootings in Connecticut compel them to act.

“It’s impossible to remain silent,” said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat. “The situation cries out for leadership.”

Frosh and the other lawmakers were also frank about what had emboldened them – “a sea change” in U.S. public opinion on the issue, following the recent massacre of 26 people, including 20 first graders, by a lone gunman carrying a semi-automatic weapon.

Before the latest tragedy, politicians were afraid to support gun control legislation for fear of what would happen to them at election time, said Sen. Jamie Raskin, another Montgomery County Democrat.

“Now, politicians are afraid of what’s going to happen to them if they don’t act,” Raskin said, during a news conference held at the Diocesan Conference Center at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in North Baltimore.

“I think when people see schoolchildren slaughtered they get the message that things have to change,” said Frosh, chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

“Reducing Lethal Capacity”

Frosh and the others at the press event said they would push for passage of four pieces of gun control legislation during the upcoming legislative session, including a ban on assault weapons such as the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle used by Newtown, Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza.

Raskin, who last year sponsored a bill banning “military-style assault weapons” – and never succeeded in getting it out of either legislative chamber – vowed to bring it back. “The streets of Baltimore should not be treated under our gun laws like a battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan,” Raskin said.

Frosh, said he would re-introduce a measure to strengthen the authority of the Maryland State Police to inspect the inventory of gun dealers, a responsibility that now rests with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which he said is overwhelmed by the task.

Sen. Brian Frosh, Chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, vowed to push gun control laws through the Maryland legislature. (Photo by Fern Shen)

Sen. Brian Frosh, Chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, vowed to push gun control laws through the Maryland legislature. (Photo by Fern Shen)

He noted an ATF report that, between 2008 and 2010, 62,000 guns were missing from the inventory” of U.S. gun dealers and likely winding up in the hands of criminals.

“That number is actually probably far greater because the ATF only inspects 1 out of 5 shops,” Frosh said.

Baltimore Senator William C. Ferguson IV discussed a measure he is proposing to add new requirements for those seeking a handgun permit, anticipating the possible impact of a March U.S. District Court ruling that found Maryland’s current restrictions unconstitutional.  (The state has appealed that ruling.)

Under Ferguson’s measure, pending felony charges or dishonorable military discharge could disqualify an applicant. Applicants would have to complete a firearms training class and would be barred from having their handguns in a number of locations including  churches, bars, schools, libraries, movie theaters and youth centers.

“This madness must stop,” he said.

Another bill, being proposed by Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, would reduce the maximum allowable capacity for ammunition in detachable magazines from 20 to 10.

Mayor on Guns

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she spoke “as a mother and as mayor” in supporting President Obama’s call for stronger gun laws. “The grief of the families of Newtown is similar to the grief of families in Baltimore who have also suffered from gun violence,” she said.

“Our first priority in Baltimore is to build support for laws that address access to illegal guns and assault weapons,” she said, but spoke most enthusiastically about Frosh’s bill to heighten the State Police’s authority over gun dealers’ record-keeping.

“Among the many pieces of legislation, there is one bill that deserves our full support. It was introduced by Senator Brian Frosh last year as Senate Bill 512, and my administration strongly supported it,” she said.

Announcing support for gun control measures: Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Sen. Jamie Raskin, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Sen. Brian Frosh, Rev. Hal Hayek and Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy.

Announcing support for gun control measures: Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Sen. Jamie Raskin, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Sen. Brian Frosh, Rev. Hal Hayek and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. (Photo by Fern Shen)

Asked by a reporter whether she supported the idea of allowing school personnel to carry firearms, she dismissed the idea with ease: “I don’t see how that would make students safer.”

But a two-part question, about whether there are any city investments in companies that manufacture guns and whether the city is considering divestiture, as some jurisdictions have, seemed to throw her. She told the reporter sharply that it was only “appropriate” for her to answer the first question and that she did not know if the city had any such investments.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy noted, as most of the speakers did, that no one measure would end gun violence. “But we must do what we can to reduce the lethal ability of people to kill,” he said. Referring to the assault weapons ban, which was allowed to expire during the Bush administration, he said “we need to go back to doing what we knew made sense.”

McCarthy mentioned legislation that was not cited by the others yesterday – “a ban on armor-piercing bullets. . .cop-killer bullets” – and said “I am very hopeful that becomes part of the package.”

Other speakers at the event included Rabbi Ron Shulman of Chizuk Amuno Congregation, president of the Baltimore Jewish Council, Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore; and state Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat.

In his remarks as host for the event, Rev. Hal T. Ley Hayek, dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, noted that a secretary at his church had previously lived in Newtown and sent her child to the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“She is up there now, helping with the funeral arrangements.”

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  • DucatiRider

    Yes, we must keep guns out of movie theaters. If the theater in Colorado would have had some no-gun signs, the shooting never would have happened. Oh wait, it did have no gun signs, they didn’t help. 

    • Casey Kipe

      What part of “shall not infringe” don’t you understand? You want to cut down on crimes and murders?? then why are we letting murders and rapist back on the streets?  We have killers getting charges dropped or less time behind bars because they plead insanity???? All the more reason to lock them up and keep them off the streets!!! Before you try taking away my rights and means of defending myself and family, try dealing with the real problem at hand, laws that protect the Criminals! 

      • Barnadine_the_Pirate

        What part of “well-regulated militia” don’t you understand?

        Do you know what percentage of criminal defendants — not just murders, but of all stripes – make an “insanity” plea? about .5%.  Do you know how often that plea is successful? About .1%.  So .05% of criminals successfully make an insanity plea (in Maryland, that’s call NCR, or Not Criminally Responsible), which does NOT get them back out on the street, but rather has them committed to a secure mental hospital instead of a prison.

        It is the gun freaks who are the “real problem at hand,” flooding the streets with weapons and ammo and refusing to acknowledge  that their anti-social paranoia and insecurities are killing us all.

  • DucatiRider

    Yes, let’s not allow people to lawfully carry at theaters. Put up ‘no gun’ signs like the theater in Colorado. Oh wait, that theater had ‘no gun’ signs. All that did was make sure that the shooter met no resistance.

    Let’s also not allow people to carry in church. You should not be allowed to exercise more than one constitutional right at a time.

    Let’s bring back the assault weapons ban — the one that the CDC (so the government itself) said was worthless.

    Also, while we allow armed security guards in school, it would be crazy to think that we could also trust teachers.

    Ladies and gentlemen, behold the anti-gun arguments of Maryland politicians.

    • Rocky_Ground

       Hi DucatiRider,
      Just out of curiosity, what do you propose we do about these senseless massacres? Anything? It’s quite alarming that there are many Americans who are so devoted to gun rights but somehow visualize our country as being powerless to do ANYTHING to stop this madness. Please tell us what you would do.

      • Mark

        DucatiRider already told you, Rocky: allow the citizens to be armed and protect themselves. It is you and your fellow advocates of so called “Gun Free Zones” that are responsible for these massacres. Yeah, that’s right, YOU. YOU have the blood of these innocents on your hands and you want to deprive law-abiding citizens of their civil rights by laws conjured up by you and your ilk, written in their blood (NYC and Boston’s mayors didn’t even wait for the victim’s bodies to be removed from the school, let alone waiting until after all the victims were buried before pushing your agenda. And the same goes for Obama, using a memorial service to push your agenda. Shame on you all.).You deprive citizens of the right to defend themselves in schools, theaters, and other areas (like whole cities: Washington, DC (Murder Capital of the World for several years running in the ’80s; Baltimore (another Murder Capital of the World winner), Chicago (just had their 500th gun murder today- nice job). There are PLENTY of gun laws which restrict access to firearms but the criminals, and in the case of the mass shootings, the criminally insane, ALWAYS find a way to obtain a gun. And you don’t think, that if we transported ourselves into your drug-induced dream-world USA where ALL guns are magically confiscated that guns won’t find their way into criminals’ hands? We, who have an illegal alien and illegal drug importation problem will somehow magically ensure that firearms aren’t smuggled into the US? Please. And then what? What happens when your home is invaded at night by a ne’er do well? Call 911? It’s true, when seconds count, the police will be there in minutes. Or take Newtown. Gun free zone. Yep. Safe, right. Uh, no. The maniac shoots his way in, and, depending on the reporting, 8-20 minutes go by before the police are able to arrive.  Plenty of time to kill 26 people. I guess you and your ilk think 26 is an acceptable loss, or, as Judge Kratovik, would coin it, their was a “reasonable limit” put on those victims’ right to self-defense.  What if that principal, Dawn Hochsprung, or the psychologist, Mary Sherlach, had been allowed a concealed carry permit. They might have stopped this nut in his tracks, or maybe not, but the odds sure would have been more in their, and the other victims’ favor. I think the same thing about Aurora and VaTech: What if at least one person had a CCP? Did you know the Aurora nut had a choice of 7 theaters showing the Black Knight movie at midnight in his area? Did he go to the closest theater to his home? Nope. OK, it must have been the biggest theater, to get the biggest body count! Uh-huh. He went to the ONLY one of 7 theaters which had a sign FORBIDDING CCP holders from being armed.  Are you seeing a pattern here, Rocky? These nuts (and most of the time, the mass murders are those who have been mentally handicapped, usually some form of schizophrenia) go to where the victims are unarmed and will offer little to no serious resistance.  The laws are already in place to prevent criminals from buying firearms (look at the NY fireman killer- a convicted felon, he got someone else to buy him his gun), there is already a fair balance of placing restrictions on 2nd Amendment rights and allowing the practice of the 2nd Amendment.  What the laws, and your kind, don’t offer is a solution for what happens when you’re confronted by an armed madman. What happens when the maniac gets into the school? Well, the Newtown children did what my children are being told to do: everybody get under the teachers desk, lock the door and HOPE the police get there before the madman with the gun does! HOPE is not a plan and it’s not a means of protecting yourself. I’m coming after a lot of people (so-called civic leaders) via the courts if any of my children get harmed in such a situation. You and they make an implicit promise: guns are not allowed here; your guns to protect yourself are not allowed here, nor those of any teacher so inclined- WE are providing for your children’s safety. In fact, we guarantee it, that’s why you don’t need guns. And let’s go back to your gun-free USA, Rocky. We’ll be just like the UK and Australia, right? Well, guess what? The violent crime, to include murders, are UP in their countries since  they’ve imposed their gun ban (Australia) or severely restricted access to firearms (UK). Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that the criminals know that whoever they target will not be able to put up meaningful resistance? Tell you what, Rocky, you live in your fantasy world: don’t allow guns in your home, and put a “This is a Gun Free Zone” sign in front of your house. But let me and other law-abiding citizens engage in our civil liberties. I promise never to come to your house under arms. Deal? If you want to talk about ways to mitigate the Auroras and Newtowns and Stocktons, try this: 1) put armed guards at the schools or better, let those teachers desiring a CCP to do so (and amazingly enough, I’ve already read some people saying that we can’t trust the teachers- Really?! 179 days a year we can trust them with our children but allow them to carry a weapon and WAMO! They go berserk on day 180!), 2) you need to  allow people with psychological problems to be involuntarily committed more easily. There was a big movement to deinstitutionalize those in mental hospitals in the 60s and 70s, and studies in the 70s showed that these formerly institutionalized patients were more prone to be arrested for violence than the general population at large 3) While we’re discussing curbing peoples rights, other than those who practice the liberties of the 2nd Amendment, let’s curb that of the Fourth Estate, shall we? Not all but many of these nuts kill for the “fame of it” (bonus question, Rocky: tell us who Joe Ferguson is, why the majority of citizens don’t recognize his name and why he did what he did and what he hoped to gain out of it). Make it a federal law to prohibit publishing the name, photograph and other identifiers of the next nut job who commits mass murder (and there undoubtedly will be a next one no matter how successful you are at destroying the citizens’ civil liberty)- they should be referred to as ‘Citizen X’ or some other sobriquet to minimize any notoriety his acts will generate and discourage the next one. 4) Allow all citizen’s the right to carry concealed weapons- those who are able to do so (21 years of age, not a felon, not have mental health issues) and so desire. Might as well, because once the schools are no longer an attractive, easy target (either take away the “Gun Free Zone” nonsense (Gun free to law abiding citizens, you criminals feel free to do what you please- oh, wait, you ALREADY do that! Silly me), add armed guards or, best option, allow those teachers who are qualified and want to be armed to do so) then the criminals/criminally insane will go to a ‘softer target’ (kind of like a real terrorist), maybe a theater, or some other private entity which doesn’t allow firearms.  I don’t accept these deaths, nor do I say we can’t do anything about them but, taking away our freedoms is not going to change this situation one little bit. 

  • BContrarian

    So, here’s the ‘I’m a horrible person’ thing:  Why do we assume that these terrible, rare (they really are) events require action?  People die.  We need to look at the rates, not the , admittedly, heart-rending individual incidents.  And, frankly, at whether these terribly stupid and naive attempts by politicians have any hope of helping (they really don’t).

  • ushanellore

    This is my letter to those opposed to tougher Maryland gun laws.  We have to start somewhere.  The answer cannot be that the criminals will get these guns anyway and we the good guys and law abiding ones should get them before the criminals do or that we should get more guns than the criminals have or that we should get more powerful guns than the bad guys and we have to do this to protect ourselves. 

    We are living in a society where the character and moral differences between the good guys and the bad guys are blurring.  The country is awash in paranoia and fear.  The reasons for the good guys to be armed may be purer and nobler than the reasons for the bad guys to be armed.  But the consequence of that type of indiscriminate arming of society with powerful weapons, that can kill by tissue fragmentation, is a civil war with vigilante justice an accompaniment.

    This takes an emotional toll on a society.  Gun owners, armed for their protection, are not necessarily, calm and secure people after they come into gun ownership and become accomplished target shooters.  Many of them are actually novices who don’t even lock or store their guns properly. 

    But even if most gun owners are responsible they are, like all humans, subject to self doubt, anxiety, marital discord, family conflicts, periods of depression or impetuosity.   They can make errors.  Gun ownership makes it that much easier to settle family quarrels with bullets and the lethality of guns precludes survival in most instances.  Gun availability also makes suicide that much easier and statistics bear this out.   Gun owners more often kill themselves than others and reports show annual casualties to be in the thousands.  

    It is also true that school children, even as young as elementary age,  have been caught with guns on school property, which they brought to show and tell, or to use.  Teachers have divested these children of their weapons.  Simply to dismiss the parents of these kids as anomalies among gun owners won’t wash.  In a culture that glorifies guns, guns subconsciously have become the ultimate romantic acquisitions, even in the minds of little children.    

    The Newtown shooting is dramatic and hence it has mobilized our society and galvanized it against violence.  But what of the numerous drive by shootings and shootings of mistaken identity?  It was just a couple of weeks ago, it seems to me, that a grandfather shot his own granddaughter mistaking her for an intruder.  He shot, then he thought, then he wept and most probably expected exoneration because after all he did it to defend himself.  This grandfather’s story is not unusual.  Often, in this country, relatives are gunning down their loved ones, mistaking them for burglars. 

    Americans have a high level of anxiety and they are on alert behind their forts.  If I am lost on a street in America I couldn’t knock a door, confidently, to ask for help for fear I could be shot down by a “perfectly normal”but frightened gun owner. 

    The subliminal anxiety that runs through American society takes a big toll on the country’s mental health.  Our numerous mental health problems cannot be dismissed as merely genetic in nature.  They spring from isolation, abuse, drug addiction and the violence embedded in our society.  In the media the violence is gratuitous, for profit and unconscionable. 

    The widespread arming of an anxious society with lethal weapons is resulting in terror and anarchy.  That terror creates more anxiety and a greater hankering for guns.  That is not what the founding fathers intended for America when they wrote the Second Amendment.  The people who own assault weapons, today, are not part of a “well regulated militia”. 

    And those who would portray mass shootings as rare should consider the regularity with which they are occurring.  The Newtown shooting is not the first elementary school shooting.  The Amish, in Pennsylvania, experienced a devastating loss in their community when a gunman attacked the West Nickels Mines School in 2006.  Six children were killed and the perpetrator turned the gun on himself.  Another gunman attacked and shot innocents in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.  We had the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre.  Jared Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others in Arizona, at a public meeting.  Those who say “people die” and shrug these murders off, only do so because they or their loved are not yet, thankfully, victims.          

    Teachers teach, pilots fly, doctors heal.  They have callings and careers.  The idea we should arm all professionals who come into contact with the public is an idea so repugnant, proponents should be ashamed.  But that is where the gun lobby stands now, in a tunnel of its own making.    

    We first renounce non violence as a sign of weakness, then we make, import, export, collect and store more weapons than most other societies on the planet.  Then we argue backwards and say that with so many guns around gun control or an assault weapons ban won’t work.

    Dr.Martin Luther King freed an entire people without firing a single shot.  Gandhi won independence for India from the callous and stubborn British by prayer, fasting, sit ins and “ahimsa”.  Ahimsa, in Sanskrit, means to do no harm.  It embodies the principles of non violence.  To the NRA that may sound like a quaint and useless precept but it has stood the test of time and it is the only way for men.  We should teach our children non
    violence and we must pass tougher Maryland gun laws, both.

    • BContrarian

      While I don’t have any victims of a mass murder in my circle, neither do most people.  They are rare.  They are big news and make us feel terrible, but they don’t happen very often.  Many more die due to drug overdose or car accidents than guns, but they aren’t as big, as flashy, as scary.   Think, don’t feel.  Legislating on fear is what goes us the PATRIOT ACT.

      Additionally, MLK and Gandhi were only able to succeed with nonviolence because others were willing to do violence.  They were the better option.  

    • Mark

      Poppycock, Ushanellore.  And what about the 2-2.5 million defensive uses of firearms per annum, to stop a crime from occurring? They far outstrip the criminal use of firearms. 

      Again, all those massacres you site at the end of your missive, were committed by those w/ obvious mental health problems and all, with the exception of the Tucson shooting, were done in gun free zones.  When are you going to stop allowing law-abiding citizens from being made helpless and depriving them of their right to defend themselves, and deprive them of their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? 

      Neither the government at any level, nor temporary politicians have the ability to make our lives risk-free, though that it was what they are promising as they pass ineffective law, after ineffective law to make it so.  In this country, you have the right to not exercise your various rights. Fine. But I and millions of other responsible, law-abiding citizens wish to exercise our rights. Our rights are not causing these massacres.  Criminals and the criminally insane are doing so, and YOU and your ilk are doing so by disarming law-abiding citizens and depriving them of the ability to defend themselves.  

      And yes, dear Ushanellore, these shootings are rare and becoming more rare, though still horrific. Perhaps if you, your politicians and the media would stop your fear-mongering, manipulation of emotion and the spilt blood of the innocents to attempt to sway people to your way of thinking, we could have a serious discussion as to how to thwart the next attack. Alcohol-related automobile deaths far out-strip gun related deaths but I don’t hear the loud bleating for Prohibition again, do I? And drinking alcohol isn’t even a protected right. But what do we do? We implement laws designed to minimize such deaths, knowing full well they will not be eliminated.  We have enough gun laws in place now to stop criminals from getting firearms. We just need to a) enforce these laws (remember Project Exile? Whatever happened to that program?) and b) give the people back their rights to defend their lives once the criminal has entered their home or the school, or the theater. All you and your ilk are doing is depriving people of their rights, plain and simple.  

      No one says we should arm everyone who has contact with the public but, those legally allowed to own a firearm should be per permitted to carry. Appeasement and non-violence didn’t work at Munich, Ushanellore, and it doesn’t work in an elementary school or movie theatre where an insane person is shooting and killing people.  High schoolers cringed under desks and in corners at Columbine as those two nut-jobs did their heinous deeds, and it didn’t work. What MLK Jr-inspired words or Ghandi-like nonviolent plea will you give to the criminal/crazy as he stands over you, pointing a gun at your head, hammer cocked, finger squeezing the trigger? Or maybe he’s just beating you w/ a 2×4 or a 38 Louisville Slugger (in your fantasy world, all guns have MAGICALLY disappeared). One good blow to the head w/ a 2×4 will give the same result as a .22 to the heart. The result is the same: death for the disarmed citizen, deprived of his right to defend himself. What form of non-violence will you utter to prevent your death? Whatever it is, good for you. I applaud your willingness to sacrifice for your ideals. I, on the other hand, prefer to defend my family, my life and my home with a firearm, perhaps dissuading the criminal with the loud chambering of  a round, or the warning that I’m armed, and 911 has been called, that he should perhaps conduct his business at another address, and thereby leading to your preferred method of conflict resolution, a PEACEFUL one where nobody gets hurt and a round isn’t fired. But you can’t get to that point unless you have the means to defend yourself. My warning that I’m armed is currently a valid point of concern for the criminal but take our rights away and it a foolish bluff. Ask the citizens of the UK and Australia who have extremely limited or no gun rights, respectively, what their violent crime rate has done since the unreasonable denial  of their rights.

      What is your answer to the single mother who’s being stalked and threatened by her ex and now, in your fantasy world, has been denied the ability to purchase a firearm to defend herself and her small children? Get a restraining order? Yeah, bad guys ALWAYS obey restraining orders like they obey gun laws and other laws. Lock the door and call 911 and HOPE that the police arrive before he gets through? So, Ushanellore, WHAT do you tell this single mother? HOW does she defend herself? Or, do your “shrug these murders off, only do so because you [they] or your  [their love are not yet, thankfully, victims”? Your method of dealing with this issue is the implied guarantee: you don’t need guns because Ushanellore, the police, the county executive, the governor and the president all guarantee your personal safety. Don’t believe it, fellow Marylanders and citizens. Why in heaven’s name do you want to surrender your ability to defend yourself under a bill of goods which over the past 50 years has proven it doesn’t work? Why surrender any of your liberties to the government which were fought for, and blood spilt over our nation’s history to bequeath to you and yours? Why would you deny future generations of your family these same rights you enjoy?

      Or how about the 90 year old elderly neighbor who who is being attacked by three young men who have entered through his basement?  What do you tell him, Ushanellore? Shrug your shoulders and tell him that his injury and death are a statistically anomaly and that is the sacrifice that must be made to maintain the illusion of a gun-free (for law abiding citizens) country and a risk-free life here in the US of A? Actually, in this case, the elderly gentleman had a semiautomatic rifle and shot the first intruder who came up through the basement door.  

      Again, the good use of firearms far outstrip the bad use. Good defined here as protecting a citizen from being harmed by another citizen with criminal intent.  But we don’t even hear a fraction of a percentage of these 2-2.5 million incidents. I wonder why? Could it be that, well, in most of these incidents, no one was injured, the gun merely brandished and that was enough to scare the criminal away? Or maybe, even if there was a discharge of the weapon and the criminal was injured or even killed, that it just doesn’t reach newsworthy level for an extended time and nationally? Or maybe it’s just because the lawfully, defensive self-protective use of a firearm just doesn’t fit into the left wing media’s narrative? You decide, dear reader. If you like to read just a smattering of one of the reasons why we have a 2nd Amendment, go here:, or here:

      No one wants to shoot another human being: no police officer, no soldier, no law-abiding citizen. No one but the insane relishes the aspect of taking another’s life. It is an awesome responsibility. But citizens do exercise control and presence of mind as you can see by viewing this news excerpt from the recent Oregon shooting:
      This hero, an armed, law-abiding citizen, prepared to fire at the criminal, but decided against doing so because there was the possibility that if he missed, another citizen could be hit. But the gunman saw him and, according to the citizen, one of the last shots the criminal made was to end his life- once he knew that armed resistance was present- and that was before police had arrived.

      You see, Ushanellore, it’s a dangerous world we live in. Always has been, always will be. What right do you and others have to deny others the right to defend themselves and their families? More importantly, what are your answers to all the citizens- and police officers saved by armed citizens- in the numerous articles mentioned in those links, how do you stop the insane and the criminal from killing you and your loved ones? WHAT. ARE. YOUR. SOLUTIONS? 

    • Mark

      Ushanellore, please explain to Ms. Eddy Silva what your solution/recommendation would be to her niece, Beatrice Clintora-Silva to defend herself against her ex, Daniel Sanchez.  What Ghandi-like non-violent act would have stopped Mr. Sanchez from committing his murder/suicide act? Call 911? Yep, apparently Clintora-Silva did, her pleas and the sounds of her death and Sanchez’s death were captured on the 911 tape:

      In 2011 there were an estimated 14,612 gun murders (FBI) or 11,101 gun murders (National Center for Health Statistics)(*  versus an estimated 2.5 million/year lawful uses of a firearm by citizens to defend themselves. So your answer to address violence is to disarm law-abiding citizens because of 0.5% of criminal use of guns as compared to the lawful use of guns? What are you and your ilk going to tell us when the 2.5 million legal defensive use of guns gets turned on its head and becomes criminal assaults/murders on the law-abiding? Assume the lotus position, and be Ghandi? Throw spitballs at the armed criminal as he enters my house?
      * And yes, I’ve excluded suicides from this discussion. Those statistics have no bearing on the right of a free people to own and bear arms.  But if you’d like, add the estimated 19766 to the total number of firearm murders. Logically, factually- and that is what any legislation should be based on as well as how effectively it will deal with the problem it was written to address- the lawful, good uses of firearms in the hands of law-abiding, citizens exercising their 2nd amendment and other civil rights (self-protection, right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness)  FAR outweighs the criminal use of these tools and labels as foolish the idea that further restrictions on firearms will have any bearing on this issue.

  • p johnson

    In Baltimore City where we actually have a serious murder problem year after year, do you know what type of gun is by far the most used o commit that crime? If you guessed assault rifle with large ammo capacity magazine you would be WRONG. Handguns are how people kill one another. So even if all assault weapons are banned (and even confiscated) I predict over 200 people will still be murdered on the streets of Baltimore Next year.

    • Barnadine_the_Pirate

      If we could reduce the number of large-scale massacres to, say, one a year, would that be enough reason to prohibit assault rifles and high-capacity magazines?

      Is the public good brought about by high-capacity magazines and widespread circulation of assault rifles greater than the public harm brought about by the now monthly occurrence of some nutjob gaining the power to kill 60 people in ten minutes?

      The Second Amendment was written with muzzle-loaders in mind.  I have no problem with the free and unfettered distribution of muzzle-loaders.  You know why they didn’t have mass shootings and drive-bys in 1789? Because after you got off the first shot, someone else could beat you to death with a rock before you reloaded for the second shot.

      • Steve

        The reason there wern’t any mass shootings in 1789 is the fact that mommy was not subsidised, so daddy could not [ out of blatant irresponsibility ] walk away. The degredation of American society is the symptom of a progressive social utopian fantasy. The Gubment bears no responsibility in this , course not , not them ! The cure for this would involve the powers that be to implicate  themselfves. Highly unlikely since self – preservation is humankinds most inherant virtue. This is practiced on a grand scale in D.C. daily. So who’s the fool? The fool , or those that follow the fool ! The constitution is not to blame , it’s a safeguard created to limit any single entity from assumeing control over the populace. It’s enumerated powers are limited for a reason . Are you sure the authors wern’t thinking about 6# howitzers instead of muzzleloaders. I’m sure that the threat of meeting an untimely end by an attacker with a rock after firing ones weapon was right at the forefront of contemplation.. Your academic pedigree was a waste money and time , so lay down and let the cause of social reform do your bidding. Not long ago we remember 6 million exterminated in the name of social reform.

  • discer

    Sounds great in theory. Let’s see what actually becomes legislation. While I am for banning military style weaponry I do  not think that alone will stop many  of these killings. It certainley won’t have any affect on the the national murder rate. That goes well beyond access to guns and is a much deeper social issue. But that isn’t really the issue. The issue is that while thousands of people are killed in our nations urban centers annually it takes the killing of white children to get people moving on this. For that, we as a nation should be ashamed.

    • Barnadine_the_Pirate

      I agree — to an extent.  The day-to-day murders don’t elicit the same sort of outcry.  However, the occasional murder of a child or bystander, even in Baltimore City, does elicit a level of response that is not forthcoming from the “usual” murder of one thug killing another thug.  It’s a lot easier to be sympathetic about the execution of six-year-olds than it is about drug dealers killing each other.

      I’m not going to be “ashamed” about being more upset by a maniac shooting kindergarteners than I am by a guy with nine prior felony arrests being killed in a gangland dispute by a guy with ten prior felony arrests, which is the “typical” Baltimore murder.

  • Barnadine_the_Pirate

    Half-measures won’t solve the problem and when they don’t, gun freaks use it as proof that we shouldn’t enact full measures, either.

    The perfect is not the enemy of the good, and a state law banning high-capacity magazines is a step in the right direction. But we have Virginia to the south and Pennsylvania to the north, which will react to this tragedy in completely the opposite fashion, trying to increase the number of guns on the street. So the Maryland measure won’t help much. We need a national solution. Unfortunately, gross distortions in our political system mean that a reactionary minority control the workings of the federal government, which means that on this — as on everything else — good, rational policy will not be forthcoming from Washington anytime soon.

    Eliminate high-capacity magazines. Close the gun-show loopholes. Ban the sale of weapons that don’t have biometric or other personal trigger locks. Limit handgun ownership to two per person. Impose a set of rigorous, uniform, objective licensing requirement for both home possession and concealed carry.  Drastically increase the penalties for “straw man” purchases. Impose a $20/round tax on ammunition, with a comparable tax on propellant and empty cartridges, but with an exception for ammunition which is purchased and fired the same day at a licensed shooting range. Require firearm microstamping on all new guns sold in the state. Make it much easier to revoke the dealership licenses for habitual violators.

    Gun buybacks are only worthwhile if the above restrictions are imposed nationwide; otherwise you’re just subsidizing armament upgrades. But with that caveat, buybacks are a good idea, too.  After the Porth Arthur masscre, Australia addressed the problem that way: it became much, much harder to buy a new gun, and then they bought up as many of the old guns as they could, and after awhile, viola, gun deaths went down.  (Australia now has roughly 1/10th the number of gun deaths per capita as the U.S.).

    We CAN fix this problem.  We just choose not to.

    • xZZMANx

       I have a customer that is from Australia and he had the pleasure to visit Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. He stated to me that the crime in Au is so bad that he cant leave his car or any of his belongings out side his house or it will be gone the first night, he said that what he just purchased from me would be in a trailer and that if the trailer was left in his drive way or on the street in front of his house everything in the trailer would be gone and the trailer would be on blocks. He was impressed at our Honesty, life style and our country. No I did not take him to to the Inner city’s. I did tell him we also have some places that are the same way. This customer has traveled to many country’s around the world. The last thing he stated to me was that it was a mistake with there gun control then confiscate (forced buy back) because that’s when the crime went through the roof.

      Now my view on gun control

       That it was a horrendous act what the mentally ill individual did at Sandy Hook. But that does not give our elected officials the right to Infringe on the 2nd amendment..  Maryland has one of the strictest laws in the Country now. You need to read the paper work that is required to purchase fire arms now in Md.
      The gun bill that you are proposing is not going to accomplish any
      thing. According to the FBI web site all crime is down in the US and
      this is after  the lift of the 2006 assault gun ban. Here are the facts  to prove my statements that assault weapons are not the issue

      All US crime is down

      All crime is down in Maryland

      Homicide data in the US
      All facts came off the FBI web site

      There are more people killed by hands, fist and feet than with a rifle. acording to the FBI reports

        CNN caught Vice President Joe Biden, named by President Obama as the leader of his gun control task force after the Sandy Hook shooting, telling supporters that “Nothing were going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring down uh uh gun deaths to a thousand a year from what it is now” . This despite the President and Vice President arguing that the policies would, specifically, reduce mass shootings. The advice that V.P. Biden gave ” Just go on the balcony and shoot two (2) shots into the AIR” is the one most irresponsible and careless thing you can do with a fire arm…. The next thing V.P. Biden said is to just Shoot through the door. This is our V.P. Please people DON’T TAKE THIS ADVICE…

      We need to address and help the seriously mentally ill people in this country that have gotten a hold of any kind of illegal fire arms. Guns don’t kill people, SICK people kill people. The Sandy Hook kid Killed his mom and took her weapons. The kid at the movies had a scholarship to go to the U of Co. from NIH here in Md.  He only snapped after he got to Co as a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado, Denver, studying neuroscience. The Wall Street Journal confirmed with a university spokeswoman: “Holmes had begun attending the neuroscience program in June 2011.

      Next is the criminals and fire arms.

      The criminals don’t care about laws. Criminals will still have there guns and the gang bangers will have there full auto weapons. The gang bangers are the reason why local law enforcement needed full auto fire arms, That was due to the gangs were out gunning them with full auto fire arms.  by the way they were been band in The National Firearms Act of 1968. Not because the law abiding citizen had a semi auto fire arm with any size magizine. One never knows how many rounds he or she will need for self-defense or defense of others, or how many criminals may attack.  Thus having a firearm that allows its lawful user to discharge multiple shots can often be the difference between life and death. In fact, a number of studies have shown that firearms are used for self-defense hundreds of thousands of times to 2.5 million times annually.  Therefore, guns are used 3-5 times more often for self-defense and to stop a crime than to commit a crime. The FBI statistics reveal that 75 percent
      of all violent crimes for any locality are committed by six percent of
      hardened criminals and repeat offenders. Less than 2 percent of
      crimes committed with firearms are carried out by licensed (e.g.,
      concealed carry permit holders) law-abiding citizens.

      Our forefathers wrote the constitution for our benefit We the people. I does not say all future Citizens of the USA can only have muzzle loader rifles. The muzzle loader was state of the art at the time. Yes the advancement of weaponry in our day and age is at a level to far beyond what any citizen will need. I personally think that a LAW ABIDING citizen should be able to own as many SEMI AUTO rifles and hand guns they wish to buy and of any style. and if they WISH NOT TO OWEN any that is there choice.. Our rights are being infringed upon more than just the 2nd Amendment by executive orders, by all the Presidents.

       CDC 2011 estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6
      Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized,
      and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. that’s correct it says 3,000

      FBI 2011 reports in the Homicide data sheet 323 deaths from all types of Rifles so deaths from Assault rifles is only a fraction of the 323.

      Our Government is willing to give F16 Fighter Jets and M1 Tanks to Egypt payed by the the US Government please do the back round checks on the leaders of Egypt. Send 60 mil to the Syrian rebels. Dept of Homeland Sec. buys 1.5 billion rounds of ammo and much of that ammo is not permitted by the Geneva convention. Then you are willing to restrict Semi auto fire arms to the law abiding citizens.

      Just my 2 cents


  • ushanellore

    It is fear that gave us the Patriot Act.  It is fear that has given us assault weapons galore.  I wonder what the names are of the violent people you are holding up as delivering for MLK and Gandhi.  The gun debate is hopelessly mired.  If I have been emotional–pardon me–what a sin that–Berdanine_the_pirate has been perfectly logical and has a lot of spunk and rational thought in the solutions she has suggested.  She of course seems to evoke silence.  Perhaps she is simply too logical for the gun lobby that seems to pride itself on logic.

    • Mark

      So Ushanellore, what, EXACTLY, is an assault weapon? How do YOU define it (because everyone has their own idea of what this unicorn-like weapon is)?

  • Andrew Waldman

    Legislating on fear also 

  • Andrew Waldman

    The United States is a violent society from its very top to the very bottom. On our behalf, the government fights wars against poor people in the Middle East to combat terrorism. They use drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists, but they also kill a fair amount of innocents, including children. The administration believes this is “collateral damage,” and nobody really stands up against that statement. I hear no cries in the streets of America for the Pakistanis who were in the wrong place at the wrong time when a U.S. drone flew low over their village and killed their child or brother. 

    I’m not trying to go all anti-Obama here. I think every administration since about James K. Polk has been waging wars for dubious purposes. I believe that a lot of other industrialized western countries do not have the problem with street violence and mass shootings because their governments have not set a terrible, violent example for their people via their foreign policy. What does everyone think we consciously or subconsciously conclude while watching the United States military run roughshod over the less fortunate countries of this world? That violence is NOT OK? I think that a true decrease in gun violence requires more than a few more regulations on clip size or firing action. It requires a complete review of how our society uses violence against others. 

    • Mark

      Well said, Andrew. I don’t necessarily agree w/ your assessment that it’s because of our foreign wars which teach us human life is cheap. I think allowing 1 million babies to be killed by their Mommies is a more instructive, closer to home lesson in life is cheap.  But it’s more than that. There is a coarsening of society: in our speech, in our obedience to even the simplest things like traffic laws, in rudeness to our fellow citizens.  There was a time, not too long ago, when school boys would take their rifles with them to school to hunt after school, and there were no massacres and school shootings.  Something has changed in the character and demeanor of many of our us. I also think the de-institutionlazing of those w/ mental disorders also has contributed to the spike (since the 70s) of mass shootings. We didn’t have them before (and statistically, we do not have that many know, and they’ve been going down in number) the change in treating the mentally ill. I think that is probably a bigger problem than the displayed violence. Just a thought.

  • 1tonysolesky1

    Often people refer to the right to defend oneself and then use their military experience to justify their 2nd Amendment rights.  It seems to me then that most folks in the military are issued one weapon and a specific amount of ammunition. If they are not engage in a combat zone their firearms are secured in the Armory and just as our civilian Police do  only security forces  have guns. I think that people should be allowed to own 1 military type firearm (rifle-weapon) and one side arm (weapon) with a limited amount of ammunition and clips. After that all other firearms(sporting guns) in their possession should be sporting guns that should be limited to no more then 5 rounds per clip/ magazine. There needs to be just as with fishing and Hunting a possession limit that a person can have and maintain without a special permit. even with dogs  If you own more then 3 dogs you are supposed to have a kennel permit weather you are a kennel or not. There should be a number of sporting guns and ammo and a weapons limitation placed on all citizens just as the military does on the individual service person. After that you should have to meet a higher standard. Even in the Military not everybody gets a tank or a jet or a 50 cal.  The idea anyone has if holding off a organized aggressor(Army) in their home compond is a little short sited. Now if you had a organized group of folks at some point you would have still have to go on the offensive to overtake your local goverment armory any way. Otherwise you are just accumulating arms and Ammo that will have no real world self defense effect you can only use one gun at a time. Of course such a gun collection would be perfect for conductin war on innocent people but far to big to serve the self defense purposes of one human being.

  • 1tonysolesky1

    Often people refer to the right to defend oneself and then use their military experience to justify their 2nd Amendment rights. It seems to me then that most folks in the military are issued one weapon and a specific amount of ammunition. If they are not engage in a combat zone their firearms are secured in the Armory and just as our civilian Police do only security forces have guns. I think that people should be allowed to own 1 military type firearm (rifle-weapon) and one side arm (weapon) with a limited amount of ammunition and clips. After that all other firearms(sporting guns) in their possession should be sporting guns that should be limited to no more then 5 rounds per clip/ magazine. There needs to be just as with fishing and Hunting a possession limit that a person can have and maintain without a special permit. even with dogs If you own more then 3 dogs you are supposed to have a kennel permit weather you are a kennel or not. There should be a number of sporting guns and ammo and a weapons limitation placed on all citizens just as the military does on the individual service person. After that you should have to meet a higher standard. Even in the Military not everybody gets a tank or a jet or a 50 cal. The idea anyone has if holding off a organized aggressor(Army) in their home compond is a little short sited. Now if you had a organized group of folks at some point you would have still have to go on the offensive to overtake your local goverment armory any way. Otherwise you are just accumulating arms and Ammo that will have no real world self defense effect you can only use one gun at a time. Of course such a gun collection would be perfect for conductin war on innocent people but far to big to serve the self defense purposes of one human being.

  • ushanellore

    Bravo Andrew Waldman–in the name of fighting terrorism we have committed multiple terror acts across the globe.  Yes, indeed there is a subterranean river of violence running beneath our society’s gamely pretenses to justice and peace.  Remember Obama getting the Nobel Peace prize and laugh at the irony of it!  In this very thread Becontrarian appeared and challenged me to think and not be emotional–as though passion for a subject would automatically blind me to rational thought.  The very same contrarian also opined that Gandhi and Dr.King were only victorious because others were willing to commit violence for their causes.  What a bunch of hooey baloney.  But do not be surprised that the gun lobby would stoop so low as to vindicate violence, exalting it as a reason above the non violent movement for the liberation of Blacks and Indians.  Those who romance guns, know how to give their illogical blather the luster of a high flown dialog .  To defeat their opposition they will say anything including that Dr.King and Gandhi if not for violence, would not have succeeded.  Don’t you see?  Out of violence freedom, out of violence security and out of violence survival.  Of course for a good measure, when gun owners throw in the constitution, the survival of the Republic, the substance of our democracy, and the essence of American manhood, as creatures that would be dead in the water without guns, we are all expected to be idiots and be bamboozled.         

  • H S

    Where was all this outrage, over the last two decades, when thousands of young people were being slaughtered in our inner cities? Twenty-six white people get killed and we’re ready to criminalize gun ownership. Not only are these anti-gun proponents hypocrites but they’re also, apparently, incapable of any sort of critical thinking.

    How many times do you people have to see the play before you figure out the script? Allow no good crisis to go to waste. 9/11, the Iraq annexation, Afghanistan, and the 2008 looting of the Treasury–it’s like a broken record that we never tire of. This is a PR/propaganda campaign designed to disarm us under the guise of public safety. If they really wanted to stop these mass murders (and they don’t), they’d stop making the shooters celebrities. I guarantee you that the next shooter is being created by the current media coverage and the media is well aware of this, too. Use your heads, for once, and consider why they might be so adamant about disarming us at this particular junction. It’s not rocket science.

    The Second Amendment guarantees the us the right to bear arms to prevent the state from having a monopoly on lethal force. If you don’t agree with that freedom, change the Constitution. We’ve already lost habeas corpus and any expectation of privacy due to the 9/11 crisis. Just why do you think you civil rights are being eroded? If you think its for some greater good, you are, indeed, a fool.

  • ushanellore

    HS beautifully written, movingly and masterfully crafted but your tune is only a slightly different take on the same old NRA theme.  We are not buying it –those who are tired  of the whole miserable gun shebang.  You claim that protection and preservation of your right to your chitty chitty bang bang is what is vital for the survival of the constitution, especially at a time when a myriad other rights have been eroded, is a laugh.  My question is why have the politicians eroded every vital American right leaving alone this so called right to bear arms?  That is because they are a bunch of bought and sold weasels.  

    And your right to bear arms, hopefully, will not be impacted by an assault weapons ban,  proper background checks, proper registration of guns, taxes on ammunition, buy back programs, a ban on Internet access to several rounds of ammunition, transparency and accountability for the gun industry and more responsibility for gun owners. 

    When children kill with the guns their relatives own the relatives should be charged and incarcerated.  There should be consequences for all the secondary and tertiary players in gun violence.

     As for the world not caring for inner city deaths–violence sowed anywhere reaps violence.  We should care for every death.  I have always cared that the inner city youth were dying in great numbers and so have many others.  But it is the pro gun lobby that was hiding behind the general apathy of the nation toward those deaths and it is the pro gun lobby that knows inner city deaths will not be adequate for the cause of the anti gun folks.  It is the promoters of guns who have profited from the slaughters in the inner cities. 

    I am glad we are at a point of mass mobilization to save this country from gun violence.  Better late than never.  It is a laugh that the gun lobby portrays the modest anti gun measures proposed by sensible citizens as extreme and hysterical.  The anti gun folks should have steely resolve.  This time they should not bend or bow to the pro gun alarmists.        

    • H S

      Stop what you’re doing immediately and set fire to your television set. Although I suspect that we’re past the point of no return, I strongly suggest that you look into the rudiments of critical thinking. I’ll let you in on a little secret.  So long as African Americans are willing to commit fratricide, they can ban every form of armament that you can imagine, and it will never stop the flow of weapons into Baltimore City.

  • exspworker

    I know that this may be a dumb question but what good is legislation barring guns in schools, church’s etc,etc. when it is already illegal to carry without a permit in the first place. And a carry permit in MD. is not that easy to get. Only under specific circumstances.
    As noble as they may seem these bills will be as ineffective as the drug laws used to keep the drugs off the street. Next we will have gun free zones.
    I agree with magazine capacity and assault weapon bills to an extent but feel that there is a lot more to this than gun control in and of itself. I fault the media collectively that makes these people famous through their zeal to get their story out to the world. People that commit these types of crimes should not even be mentioned by name publicly thus denying them of their 15 minutes. They should not have an identity.
    We have also been desensitized to the extent from over exposure to violence on tv, news,movies, video games, that violence is so much more common place in our society by allowing it to get this far out of hand in the first place.

  • ushanellore

    HS you are ferocious and arrogant, both.  You  don’t have a monopoly on critical thinking, although I am sure you imagine you do.  As for setting fire to my TV set–I don’t know what that is all about, but knowing how you equate critical thinking, constitutionality and all things good and great to support for the 2nd Amendment and guns–don’t you think you should have suggested shooting my TV set instead of setting fire to it?   First you worry that we, the people of America, have not thus far been too agitated about the killings in inner cities.  Then you turn right around and say the inner city fratricide cannot be stopped by controlling guns.  What do  you want us to do? Shed some critically thought out tears for the fratricidal African Americans, then go have some Christmas egg nog, raising our glasses to the “Socratic” concept that guns don’t  kill, only people do?    

    • River Mud

      Instill effective city governance with a focus on addiction, school retention, job training, first-time-offender transition programs, and post-parole/probation programs. Those address the actual problems. Legal guns (addressed by most gun control bills) are a minor symptom of the problems. Illegal guns (not addressed by gun control bills) are a major symptom of the problems. But a symptom they are.

  • H S

    I may be a lot of things, my friend, but a fool isn’t one of them. I, for certain, have no monopoly on critical thinking, but I can assure you it is at a distinct premium these days. What I said was that the flow of firearms will not be stopped, not that it can’t be and that is the key difference.

    Again, why is it that the media and critics who are so vocally calling for a backdoor repeal of the Constitution, have been oddly silent about the wholesale slaughter that has been occurring in our inner cities for the last 2 decades? 66% of firearm deaths are in the inner cities (, so, over 20 years. we’re talking about tens of thousands of murdered African American youths. These clowns stood idly by why the inner cities of this country were turned into open air prisons/slaughterhouses for those whose only offense is that they’re “undesirable” to those pulling the strings. My point is they didn’t care then, they don’t really care now, and they’re playing you. Direct half of the incredulity and contempt that you’ve shown towards my posts towards your teevee and you’ll have this problem licked. They didn’t start repealing the Constitution with gun laws, what would ever make you think that they’ll stop there.

  • ushanellore

    Simple question HS–if the media, indeed, had been as pious as thee, and had agitated for gun control based on the inner city killings, 2 decades ago, what would the gun lobby have said?  “Ah!” it would have wept and shedding hot tears for the inner city youth, it would have rushed to save the Blacks from the fratricide? 

    It would have, like you, declared the fratricide an inevitable social malady.  A character flaw entrenched in the inner cities.  A problemo that has no solution except personal responsibility.  A sickness from godlessness, from runaway gangsterism, from fatherless broken homes, from social engineering–so on and so forth endlessly–problems that cannot be fixed and should not be fixed by throwing money at it–by social engineering, by welfare, food stamps, Medicaid–no, no.  Nothing will help as per the gun lobby except more guns for self defense and more and more guns so the firearms industry can get fat off the savagery and barbarism of the land.  

    I am not influenced by what the media says.  No one is playing me.  For you to assert that every anti gun person is only anti gun because he or she has been bamboozled by the media that is in it for ratings, never against the dying, then or now, is a broad brush slather of paint on a whole lot of people who do not think the same as you.  I understand your fear mongering –that if one part of the constitution is gutted they could come for the others too–same principle as, when they came for the Jews, the Nazis, the gentiles were not safe either. 

    Yeah, I get it, except that the analogy does not wash.  If the constitution is so sacred and it cannot be touched we would still have slavery–that too was constitutional in America until the slaves were freed and even after that the white men found it in the kindness of their souls to levy a poll tax, deny education to Black people and tell them they could only vote if they could read and write.  The Constitution is a living document and its greatness lies in the fact it lends itself to multiple interpretations as well as changes. 

    Violence begets violence.  Slavery was a terrible violence.  Mass killings are a horrible violence.  The social issues that lead to slaughter–lack of opportunities, poverty, frustration, anger, mental illnesses, injustices, abuse and neglect of children, domestic disputes, bullying in schools, religious fanaticism, intolerance, ignorance, fear, xenophobia–all these and many more cannot be eradicated overnight.  They should be addressed AND the right to bear arms should also be abridged and taxed. 

    Responsible gun ownership should be enforced.  Self defense pleas should be meticulously investigated and prosecuted.  Secondary and tertiary players in gun violence should be prosecuted.  Stand your ground laws should be scrapped.  The ability of fat cats like the NRA to bribe our politicians should be questioned, and repeatedly fought at the Supreme Cort level until Citizens United is rescinded or severely restricted–until the pernicious influence of big money in politics is diluted.  Bought and sold politicians should be banished through the voting process.  Gun manufacturers, gun shows, straw buyers, gun burglars, and all the other registered and unregistered gun outfits and individuals should accept the party days are over.

    I do not for one minute think that the politicians are not after all our individual liberties.  But that is the push and the pull in American society–you’ll fight for your right to bear arms–I’ll fight to have that right restricted by sensible laws–we’ll compromise and move forward.  I’ll fight to say anything I want to anywhere–like my right to shout “Fire!” in a movie theater, even when there is no fire, just because I can.  You’ll have me arrested because my freedom to speak has no business alarming the public.  It’s a push and a pull my friend.  No right is a carte blanche. 

    Guns don’t kill but people do?  No sir, guns AND people kill.  Someone’s right to bear arms cannot infringe on another person’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness–especially life.  If I am against gun violence and I want restrictions on the 2nd Amendment I’ve been brain washed.  But when you are an unabashed proponent of some anachronistic interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then you are a brainy fellow.  What can I tell you?  Perhaps gun ownership itself causes an “addlepatedness”?                      

  • ushanellore

    Casey Kipe we can do both–restrict so called “gun rights” and deal with the broken justice system that released the guy in Upstate NY who killed 2 firefighters by luring them to his home which he set on fire.  He left a sickening note explicating his desire to kill and when it was all over several houses in his neighborhood had been burned down by the fire he set.  This man bludgeoned his grandmom to death years back, had been in prison for that, and should never have been paroled.  While your point is well taken, your one track view that the incarceration and parole situation is what we must deal with first before taking away your rights makes no sense whatsoever.  This guy too had the same weapons used in Newtown and he was a felon.  He too may have inquired, “What part of the “do not infringe” don’t you understand?”  What part don’t I understand?  The part that the NRA seems to think confers on everyone the right to purchase multiple rounds of weapons, assault rifles galore and a merry collection of shot guns.  I suppose next you’ll be telling us that the 2nd amendment also gives you the right to scuds and drones.  And why not?  As for mental illnesses, I have to beg you to not demonize the mentally ill.  Most are not killers and in all this kerfuffle that important fact is lost.  The US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.  There will be no place to put all the people, who by your standards, must stay in prison.  The man in Upstate NY stole his guns.  If gun owners are truly responsible and do not keep unsecured weapons at home this would not happen.  A whole lot of gun owners jump up and down for their right to bear arms but seem to be irresponsible allowing their guns to get into the hands of children in their homes and their mentally ill relatives.  They also take pot shots at so called “intruders” shooting and then thinking.  A granddad shot his granddaughter, a dad shot his son mistaking them for intruders–these tragedies are not infrequent.  People are also killing themselves with these unsecured guns.  What is the gun lobby’s response?  Shrug, shrug and people will die.  Yeah.   

  • tablecolcks

    we  got  plenty  of  gun  laws…to  many  lawers getting  people  off for  vivoations….to  many  easy…

  • tablecolcks

    12  dollar  a hr  gun  guards  at  the  door…doing  a  crossword  puzzel….yea   right

  • Mark

    For the record, the 1994-2004 gun and clip ban had NO, I say again, NO effect on the number of persons killed/wounded by those semi-automatic rifles banned by the law. Imagine that. Go look at Feinstein’s website. But look at the study, not just her preferred excerpts from the study.

  • George Lopez

    That 2.5 million lawful uses of firearms figure is based on junk science. There is absolutely no truth to it.

  • Mark
  • George Lopez

    Sorry Dude. Junk Science.   Think about it 2.5 million million defensive gun uses???? I doubt there  weren’t that many in the invasion of Iraq. Kleck means well. At least he isn’t an out and out fraud like John Lott.

  • NRAMember1

    All I have to say is all these people that get these firearms illegally will always be able to get them. All you are doing is disarming the people that are doing everything legally. Average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by police 18.25. Average number of people killed in mass shootings when stopped by civilians 2.2. That’s all I can say. Thanks

    • MrKing007

      I like what you say here but please cite your numbers.

  • Hank Mink

    I would say most of the 62.000 missing guns were an result from the democrats “fast and furious” gun deals with Mexico……..No way they can compare the streets of Baltimore to Iran or Iraq…LET THE FEDS HANDLE THE GUN ISSUES, for the state has no clue what they are doing. …………

  • Hank Mink

    Most of the 62,000 missing guns were a result of “fast and furious” deal with Mexico. There are more auto deaths per year than firearms, why not ban cars. More people die from cigerette smoking than guns, but no ban on cigerettes????????????????

    Come on people there are solutions to this probelm…. Let the army reserve gaurd our schools. they are getting paid anyway and are already trained. …Have  Safety seminars for all gun owners every 4 yrs the way people renew their drivers license. They can be mentally evatulaed at the same time.

    People that are not diversified probelm solvers want to take the easy way out and ban things…………

  • James Hall

    This bill will do nothing to stop crime. You are a bunch of communist. Guns save more lifes than deaths. You people need to watch a film called “Making a Killing”. All these accused killers in these mass shooting are directly tied to this film.

  • xZZMANx

     The history of gun control by governments

    The UN has been after all guns in all countries.

    The UN Small Arms Treaty will be held in March!

    if you don’t learn from history, History will repeat it self

    Sen. Finestein said it her self in this video


  • HS

    If anybody is looking for some hot investment property, Shrewsbury and Glen Rock are a getting ready to heat up. 

    • George Lopez

      But up there your fine dining choices are the Cracker Barrel or Applebees…..

      • HS

        The Glen Rock Mill Inn serves a mighty fine Ribeye and you can always take the 15 minute ride on I-83 down to Hunt Valley/Cockeysville. A small price to pay to keep your rights.

  • Matthew

    I’m wondering how much the state of MD is going to have to pay in legal fees to uphold their marginally constitutional gun laws? Probably millions…Think about how much they have spend to keep the “good and substantial reason” clause in the conceal carry permit law. I am all for gun control but I think we need a change in the constitution to do so because the current situation allows for too much abuse by lawyers.

  • February 11, 2016

  • February 10, 2016

    • Arguing that a trash-burning power plant proposed for South Baltimore would violate the federal Clean Air Act – and that its permit expired nine months ago – two groups are suing the New York-based company developing it. The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and United Workers today notified Energy Answers that they intend to file a […]

  • February 9, 2016

    • Some political candidates use Apple products to write their position papers and email their staff. Northeast Baltimore’s Rodney C. Burris dangled a couple of the trendy devices in front of potential contributors as a way of raising cash. In return for a contribution of $10, contributors get a chance to win an Apple Watch or […]

  • February 6, 2016

    • Emergency repairs to a 20-inch main will result in temporary water shutoffs to about 450 houses in the Canton area on either Monday or Wednesday. Service will be interrupted at 165 houses on Monday starting at 8 a.m. and ending about 4 p.m. The affected properties will be on Montford between Foster and Fait, Fait […]

  • February 4, 2016

    • On the eve of a trial set in Baltimore Circuit Court, a technology firm has agreed to pay over $160,000 to the city for inflated and false billings. Washington, D.C.-based Investment Management Enterprise pleaded guilty to one count of theft before Circuit Court Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill yesterday. An investigation by the Baltimore Office of […]

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • December 15, 2014

    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]