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Polite Applause Gives Way to Shouts at Gun Violence Forum

by ARLnow.com — March 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm 2,868 277 Comments

Rep. Jim Moran's panel discussion on gun violence at Washington-Lee high school

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) What started with polite applause ended with jeers and shouts, as Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) hosted a panel discussion on gun violence at Washington-Lee High School Monday night.

Hundreds turned out at the school’s auditorium for the discussion, with gun supporters — wearing “Guns Save Lives” stickers — outnumbering gun control advocates about 3:2, based on the volume of completing applause points.

Among the panelists on stage with Moran were:

  • David Chapman, a retired ATF Special Agent and advisor to Mayors Against Illegal Guns
  • Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • Earl Cook, Alexandria Police Chief
  • Jonathan Lowy, of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Karen Marangi, of Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The event was titled “Preventing Another Newtown: A Conversation on Gun Violence in America,” and the Newtown, Aurora and Tuscon mass shootings were repeatedly referenced.

Rep. Jim Moran's panel discussion on gun violence at Washington-Lee high schoolWhile expressing general support for the Second Amendment right to own firearms, Moran and the panelists made the case for additional gun control measures, including universal background checks, an renewed assault weapons ban, magazine capacity limits and mandated reporting of stolen guns. Possible changes to the treatment of those with mental illness were also discussed.

“We hope those of you in the room will really help us to move this, so we can make our communities safer,” Marangi said of some of the gun control legislation that has been proposed in Congress.

Many in the audience, however, were there to voice another opinion. After a generally polite reception for a opening statements by the panelists, the question and answer session brought a different tone.

A majority of speakers spoke strongly in support of gun rights and against additional gun laws, and some expressed fear that the government’s ultimate goal in gun legislation is to gradually ban gun ownership. Moran and the panel’s response to the audience statements and questions often drew boos and shouts.

Rep. Jim Moran's panel discussion on gun violence at Washington-Lee high schoolGun supporters said that firearms make communities safer, not more dangerous, by allowing law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves and those around them.

“Congressman, I know you’re pro-choice, but why aren’t you pro-choice when it comes to self-defense for women?” said one speaker to loud applause. “Why don’t you guys listen to the young rape victims in Colorado when they said that if they had a gun it would have prevented their attacker.”

Other gun supporters called for the elimination of “gun-free zones,” particularly around schools.

“As you can see, there are a lot of people here who are legitimate, law-abiding gun owners,” said a man who asked fellow gun owners to stand, before voicing support for allowing teachers to carry guns. “We would be more than happy to defend innocent lives should a psycho… come into an area to commit an act of violence.”

“I would be opposed to teachers carrying guns in the classroom, and I would not want my children in a classroom where their teacher was carrying a gun,” Moran said in response, to applause from gun control advocates in the audience.

Rep. Jim Moran's panel discussion on gun violence at Washington-Lee high school“I know this community well enough to know that the people standing up in this auditorium are not representative of the majority of the residents, ” he continued, to more applause as well as some jeers.

Moran and the panelists drew the most jeers when they brought up “assault weapons.”

“What does that even mean?” some audience members shouted, about the term. Some speakers — those who stood in line to speak — made the case that the term assault weapon is often used to refer to a gun that might look menacing but isn’t significantly different, functionality-wise, from a standard semiautomatic handgun.

“I don’t agree that there’s a need for individuals to have military-style assault weapons,” Moran retorted. “I don’t believe that we need guns that can hold in excess of ten bullets.”

Adding to the urgency of passing gun control laws, Moran said, is a projection that gun deaths will exceed traffic fatalities by 2015. That expected milestone is partially due to rising gun deaths, but mostly due to advances in car safety that started in the 1970s — safety improvements, he said, that came about after being mandated by law.

Speaking to reporters after the forum, Moran said he expected a negative response from the crowd.

“I fully expected this and it’s par for the course for people who feel this strongly,” he said. “For many gun owners, this is defining of who they are. They feel it’s a matter of self esteem, that it’s important for them to operate weapons.

“I think that there are groups such as the National Rifle Association and others who have a vested interest in convincing gun owners that the ultimate objective is to take all of their guns from them,” Moran said. “And that has spurred a near-paranoia, and I think we witnessed some of that tonight.”

Moran said his views on gun matters weren’t swayed by the response from the audience.

“I heard a lot of emotion, I didn’t hear anything particularly convincing,” the Congressman said.

Despite the jeers, many gun supporters who spoke thanked Rep. Moran for holding the forum as part of their statements. Some also engaged in discussions with the panelists after the event.

Asked about how he felt about the forum, one of the gun supporters, who only identified himself as “David,” said he appreciated the dialogue.

“I thought it was a good conversation,” David said. “There’s room for listening on both sides, probably.”

David said he didn’t think gun owners should be targeted for new laws, when there is plenty of violence committed with other types of weapons. He said he might be receptive to the idea of universal background checks, but other proposed measures, like an assault weapons ban, would be a non-starter for him.

“They’re saying the AR-15 doesn’t have a legitimate use, but I was hunting with one in the woods three months ago,” David said. “I just don’t think [a ban] is going to do any good.”

Moran has proposed two pieces of gun control legislation: the NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act, a package of provisions that Morans says is supported by over two-thirds of NRA members, and the Tiahrt Restrictions Repeal Act, which would remove restrictions on certain gun-related law enforcement actions.

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  • novasteve

    Mr. Moran, did you bring up the shooting in DC yesterday where 11 people were shot in a mass shooting? Perhaps teachers having guns in Arlington isn’t necessary, but what about some rural area where it would take the police over 30 minutes to respond to every incident? Not everyone lives in an urban or suburban area. Also, how were they defining “assault weapons”?

  • novasteve

    Also, had a republican politician treated a rape victim like the democrat did in Colorado, we would NEVER have heard the end of it. At least no brawl took place unlike at the school play here in Arlington not that long ago. I know Moran and the democrats were absolutely shocked that not everyone hates the 2nd amendment here in Arlington, but booing isn’t illegal especially when you are advocating violating their rights in a pointless attempt to have a feel good moment KNOWING that it wouldn’t have prevented any of the shootings they focus on, or even moreso, the daily shootings they ignore in urban areas.

  • Arlington Chris

    Nice reporting. Cool to see that you guys went to that event.

  • ARL

    I imagine no guns were allowed in this forum. And I think we saw why.

    • novasteve

      Yes, because people who own guns kill people who don’t agree with them. Got it. More violence broke out at a play at an arlington school.

    • Trev

      Since it’s a “gun free zone” (a school) they would not be legally allowed, no. However, as the problem always is, those with intent to hurt someone else aren’t concerned with the rules anyway.

      • kalashnikev

        +1 It’s only a Gun Free Zone for those inclined to follow the law.

        • Scott

          We should only have laws that criminals we agree to abide by. Makes sense

    • John F

      For all the firepower privately owned in the US, how many times has it been used to unlawfully impose political will?
      Anti-gun groups keep canceling counter-protests because they are afraid the pro gun guys are going to start firing across the street. The irony is that a gun rights protest is the safest place you could be for all who do not threaten the life of another. Gun control groups included.

  • John Fontain

    Question for those who oppose gun restrictions: Do you believe there should be any limit on the type of firearm permitted to be privately owned and why?

    • novasteve

      will you ban bolt actions next when you realize they are more accurate and tend to use more powerful ammunition? My Mosin Nagant’s 7.62x54R can blow limbs off people it’s so powerful. Much more power than so called “assault rifle” ammunition.

    • kalashnikev

      I personally believe IAW with United States v. Miller that “The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.” I will also preempt the next comment by adding “The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the
      debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and
      States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly
      enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting
      in concert for the common defense.”

    • David

      You can make a good case for strictly regulating Class 3 fully auto firearms, because there’s not much defensive benefit for a civilian; the real offensive benefit is in a military setting. Those guns have been strictly regulated since 1934 and are nearly impossible to buy. A semi-auto, in contrast, has a significant defensive benefit, which is why most hunting rifles and handguns chosen for self-defense purposes are semi-autos (doesn’t require constant reloading, etc.). Contrary to what you hear in the media, semi-auto is not “military-style” — if the military used semi-auto rifles, we wouldn’t win too many battles.

      The problem with the gun debate is that most of the “antis” don’t know anything about full vs. semi vs. non-automatic, so they make sweeping generalizations with no understanding of the benefits/drawbacks of each.

      • speonjosh

        I think you have raised an important issue that many in favor of increased gun control would do well to consider. If you are perceived by the other side as not knowing what you are talking about, then it doesn’t matter whether they might actually agree with your proposal – they’ll reject you as a stooge before you even get to the merits of the proposal.

        • novasteve

          It’s hard to make an argument, especially to ban things, if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Feinstein was asked about barrel shrouds being a factor in assault weapon bans, and she couldn’t even describe what one is. She just thought they looked scary, and thus, should be banned. All a barrel shroud does if protect your skin from the heat of a barrel. Guns get very hot after you shoot them. You could burn yourself on the barrel if you touch it. I’ve heard completely ignorant comments from gun control advocates, such as describing an AR-15 as fully automatic, calling a magazine a “clip”, saying .223 is “large caliber”. If someone is totally ignorant on an issue, how could they possibly improve a situation?

      • novasteve

        When they say “military style” it means “it looks like something the military uses” therefore it should be illegal. However the counterargument for what you say is that the 2nd amendment was created to protect the people from a tyrannical government, thus they should get the same weapons the military uses in the battlefield. Back in 1787, the musket was the state of the art firearm that the military used. A democrat will reply, “but should you be allowed to have nukes”? Of course not, because why would you need to destroy cities if you are fighting against a tyrannical government?

      • David

        Yeah – it’s worth noting that I (and virtually every gun owner I know) supports the mentally ill, convicted felons, etc. from not owning firearms. Those are good laws that should be strictly enforced.

        I’ll add that there are a lot of ways to reduce gun violence without banning or restricting guns. One would be putting an end to parole. Most beat cops will tell you that they regularly arrest parolees who are repeat offenders for various gun-related crimes. Keeping those guys off the streets and requiring them to fulfill their sentences would be a good start.

        • Atticus Fisticuffs

          It was interesting to hear the Mental Health expert say how broken the system is that is to update the NICS database. Fixing that would be a HUGE step in the right direction.

          • Scott

            So would universal background checks and mandatory reporting of stolen or lost guns. How do either of those things hurt the lawful gun owner?

          • novasteve

            How is society benefitted from involving the government in a gift from a father to an adult child of a gun? A granfather bequesting his Luger he found in WW2 needs to involve the federal government? I have no objection background c hecks for actual sales. But for gifts between family members?

          • Scott

            When a father gives his adult child his car the government has a record of the transfer. Is that such a terrible burden?

          • novasteve

            A car isn’t a Constitutional right. Is having photo ID to vote such a terrible burden?

          • Scott

            You are correct. A car isn’t a Constitutional right. Didn’t say that it was– but we’re agreed that it is not.

          • novasteve

            Scott. A gift between relatives. You are fine with the government being involved? Would you be okay if the government got involved in the case of an abortion? I don’t think you would.

          • Scott

            I said lost or stolen guns.

          • novasteve

            So should I get fingerprinted if someone steals my gun? And the proposals would involve the government in gift transactions between family members.

          • Scott

            Why would you get fingerprinted if someone steals your guns? Do you get fingerprinted if any other personal property is stolen? You would need to report your guns stolen if someone steals your guns. oh noes!

          • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

            @novasteve, The government gets involved if one relative sells a car to another relative. Should we ban cars?

          • Scott

            Wait what’s that you say? The mental health system is broken because it lacks a functional database? A database to track this information would be a huge improvement. A database – wow that’s interesting – databases can be useful.

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            The database is what the NICS system references when background checks are done to check for mental illness…so yes useful.

          • Scott

            Very interesting that a database would be useful to track those with mental illness during background checks…

    • Trev

      I only oppose certain restrictions. Blanket banning AR-15s and “high capacity” magazines is idiotic and has been proven to be a red herring in regard to preventing school shootings. Instituting more laws simply does not work, and it’s been demonstrated for decades.

      However, I believe that those with a history of mental illness or violent crimes should not be able to buy, own, or handle guns. Period. You waive some of your rights with actions you commit and have to live with the consequences. This is no different than voting, or operating a motor vehicle in my opinion. If you prove that you can’t handle the responsibility you should not be permitted to try.

      I see no logical reason why a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen should have his rights revoked however.

      • novasteve

        Not all mental illnesses are the same though. Why would an anorexic or bulemic need to be denied gun rights if they are committed? Lots of kids are bullied to the point of being suicidal. Should they be denied guns once their situation improves? Also being mentally ill isn’t a crime. Should they also be deprived of shoelaces, medications they could OD on and access to sharp objects for life as well?

        • Scott

          You’ll take any argument I guess. We should parse which mentally ill should and should not have guns and hope for the best.

          “Lots of kids are bullied to the point of being suicidal. Should they be denied guns once their situation improves?” = Columbine

        • kalashnikev

          Once you give mental health professionals the option to “bless” a person with their rights or deny them:

          1) Every patient gets the block checked as a CYA measure for the provider
          2) People stop seeking treatment for mental health issues for fear of being denied their rights outside of due process.

          …and actually I’m not even sure how this could even be possible in the first place with HIPPA.

        • drax

          Yes, steve, we’re all aware of that problem and we would fix it in the legislation.

        • Poster

          Anorexics often meet the definition of severely mentally ill. Being anorexic can be liberally construed as being a danger to oneself, although not in the traditional violent manner but rather passively. In fact, I know someone in Fairfax County that had the door of their apartment/house knocked down by the police/mobile mental health crisis unit of the county community service board and was taken to the local state hospital, INOVA, in handcuffs based on a concern of failing to eat express by the individual during conversation with the mental health professional, clearly an indication of a willingness to engage in some level of treatment. Please also note that the individual was not particularly thin and could be viewed as quiet plump. To part in another way, the individual was in no immediate risk of fainting, let alone dying. Nonetheless the county obtained a court order over the phone by
          calling a judge. I question the due process, 5A, of this procedure because among other things surely the individual did not have an attorney by their side during the call or been afforded the opportunity to defend themselves. Furthermore, while in the hospital the individual was penalized and detained further/lengthen hospitalized for failing to eat meat despite being a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian is not against the law and certainly not something that taxpayers should be paying thousands of dollars in treatment costs to impose on an individual,
          despite eating other foods in compliance. Nonetheless, according to current laws this individual would be denied their right to own a gun based on having a legal process related to mental health. I do not believe the Founding Fathers intended for anorexics to lose their God-given, constitutional rights to life and liberty, free from forced commitments, let alone their gun rights, 2A, which is specifically enumerated among them, or the right to eat foods they prefer based on the morality of eating meat according to the dictates of their conscience, 1A. Forced treatment is nothing short of government overstep into the private affairs of citizens. No to mention that anorexia is a control related illness and thus an involuntary commitment would be counterproductive to the underlying issues of the condition.

    • John F

      The second amendment was put in place to prevent the government from ignoring the rule of law and imposing their ambitious will upon the people.
      That said, I’d be fine with a restriction that would bar me from owning anything that my opposition would be barred from in the event that the second amendment must be exercized. Place the same restrictions equally against the military, police, and citizenry.

      • novasteve

        That’s actually why the police in the UK are typically not armed. A gun ban there is less “unjust” because the police usually aren’t armed themselves, so less chance of oppression, but that’s if you ignore the nanny state, the cameras everywhere, etc.. I think you are confusing juries with the second amendment. 2nd was created to fight back against a tyrannical government, the jury system was created to fight back against what popularly were felt as unjust laws or unjust application of laws.

      • gunsendlives

        So you are leaving open the possibility of shooting law enforcement officers and service members? Interesting…

    • John Valjean

      Yes. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER.

    • Nicki

      Crazies and violent criminals. That’s it. I don’t believe depriving some guy convicted of tax evasion in 1963 of his rights makes any sense.

  • kalashnikev

    They should have tarred and feathered him for putting on such a biased, rigged “discussion” in one of our schools. How about some real dialogue on how to make our schools stronger and safer, not softer targets?

    • novasteve

      My AP US History teacher (yes, I’m so sophisticated! anyone for a Belgian beer that’s not Jupiler?) taught us that tarring and feathering sometimes was fatal.

      • kalashnikev

        Well this would be the non-fatal kind. I’m serious too.

  • Mary-Austin

    The “guns save lives” guys are really creepy.

    I remember there was one that would wear that hat to class every day when I was in college. This was particularly disturbing as it was right in the wake of a 30 lives being taken away by a crazy person with a gun. People still would have been shot and killed and NO the rest of us don’t want any yokel carry firearms in schools just so they can feel like a badass.

    • novasteve

      How much sleep do you lose over the daily shootings in this country that kill far far far more people than the rare mass shootings do? So teachers are yokels?

      • nobby styles

        really? I thougt that guns saved lives? now I’m confused if there’s all these people being killed every day.

        • kalashnikev

          Most are killed in “Gun Free Zones” like NYC, Chicago, and (as recently as last night) DC.

        • novasteve

          Oh if death is all that matters, then there’s a whole lot of things we can ban.

      • Mary-Austin

        Well it is very disturbing to me…A baby was just killed in Chicago while getting their diaper changed and was shot 6 times. To the NRA this is no big deal but I think it is crazy this happens in America. Also, the only teachers that are yokels are the foolish ones that want guns in classrooms.

        • kalashnikev

          Why do you say that to the NRA this is no big deal? I find this offensive (honestly). Please define “yokel” as well…

          • Mary-Austin

            I base this on their statements, the cavalier attitude of Wayne LaPierre about the whole thing, and their refusal to take any meaningful action to stop gun violence. You should be offended and not want to be associated with that vile organization.

        • joe

          Yes, teachers, Principals and staff like Dawn Hochsprung, ( was gunned down when she lunged at Adam Lanza in an attempt to disarm the shooter who killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday

          Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/heroic-newtown-principal-mourned-article-1.1224000#ixzz2NN8VyYu2)

          can be trusted to be with our children for more hours of the week than many working families see there children during the week are not trustworthy and should not BE allowed to carry concealed???Really Mary? Dawn might be alive today if she had another option other than hand to hand combat. Mary do you trust police with guns? Guess what, they are regular men and women just like the rest of us. They received training and practice at the range on occassion and qualify maybe every 6 months? maybe every year? People that get concealed carry permits take classes, and pratice multiple times a year too. Do you make generalizations and expect the worst in humans in other areas too besides gun ownership and the desire to have an ability to protect themselves?

          • Mary-Austin

            Stop trying to put words in the mouth of a dead person to promote your gun agenda. That is absolutely sick. You don’t know whether she had even fired a weapon before. The vast majority of educators I have heard on this issue think guns in schools are a terrible idea.

          • joe

            Well Mary, I don’t ever remember hearing of a story about a victim of a violent crime say how grateful they were that they did have any means to defend themselves. It seems obvious to me someone willing to risk their life (unarmed) against a madman with a gun would be someone I would feel comfortable carrying a concealed gun on their person to protect my children.

            And I must apologize, I did not realize only you can make offensive comments like ” the only teachers that are yokels are the foolish ones that want guns in classrooms.”

            or

            “…To the NRA this is no big deal…”

            I find it disturbing that you are putting words in the mouth of a nationwide organization that promotes gun safety.

            It is funny how some of the anti-gun folks scream about how people with guns should have extensive training or should not have guns at all then attach the very organization the provides the training being called for.

            And for what it is worth my wife and I both served our country on active duty and were trained on how to safely operate weapons. After our service we chose to take addition safety classes.

          • kalashnikev

            Mary- If she had a carbine in the office, at least she would have had a fighting chance. She died heroically trying to protect those kids… do you want everyone like her in the future to be killed-in-place, as she was? The only thing we can do to prevent and mitigate this type of attack in the future is to reduce the amount of time between the initial assault and the arrival of armed response. Frequently the attackers end their own lives when armed response even gets close. When I go into government buildings, there is armed response on site- WHY are we leaving our kids exposed?

          • Mary-Austin

            So then maybe half only have the class would have been shot before she engaged in a gun battle in a kindergarten?? This is the insane line of thinking of the gun nut crowd.
            I think if anything she would have rather the shooter just not have had acccess to assault weapons in the first place.

          • joe

            Mary I agree with you. She would have rather not had him have access to any weapon that he could use to kill with.

            Reality sets in though and we have been waging a war on drugs for how many decades now? Drugs can be bought in every city in every state of our country.

            And in that classroom children were being shot. That is a tragedy. I think if she could have saved half the children the families of the saved ones would be very happy for that. She might still be alive as well. Something else to consider, as he boldly walked into the school, there is a chance he could have been stopped by a police officer, armed guard, armed principal, or armed teacher. many schools already have armed police or security. Some states do allow school staff to concealed carry weapons and I for the life of me can not find one single instance where a student took the gun from a teacher, or the teacher shot students.

          • Scott

            This warped NRA vision that schools and everywhere should be a ready action wild west/ Die hard action movie is perverse. An armed sheriff’s deputy at Columbine and a robust security force at Virginia Tech didn’t stop those slaughters from occurring.

          • joe

            Scott you are correct, they did not work out in those instances. I think it had to do with complacency. When nothing happens for a long time folks let their guard down. People are paying attention again and have plans in place and do readiness drills to be familiar with what to do. We do that with fire drills in office buildings and that has become the norm.

            I have my point of view based on my life’s experiences. I prefer to have every opportunity given to those that wish to protect themselses and others.

          • Scott

            If this vision were to come to be and everyone is armed, a shootout breaks out– how does law enforcement know who’s the good and bad guys?

          • Mary-Austin

            The Connecticut shooter was an extremely isolated individual. It’s not like he could have just bought those guns on the streets. You act like guns are as easy to buy on the streets as pot. Absurd. In any of these cases, people would have been killed before a principal could respond. That is not something to just accept. Only in the insane world of the gun culture.

    • David

      If a law-abiding citizens were carrying a gun and saved you from, say, an armed robbery in a convenience store (which happens regularly; see gunssavelives.net for news articles), they’d probably be less creepy.

      Anyway, while Moran is probably correct that the pro-gun crowd isn’t the majority of his district, the majority of his district is not the majority of Virginia…or the United States. Approximately 40% of American households have guns.

      • Arlington Chris

        34% in 2012, down from 49% in 1973, according to the General Social Survey (GSS), conducted roughly every two years by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

        • novasteve

          Yes, that’s what happens when you have more and more people on food stamps, reliant on the government, and being indoctrinated in the public schools. You think the public schools teaches kids about their second amendment rights? kids get suspended for making “guns” out of poptarts.

          • Scott

            This we can agree on. Schools suspending kids for poptarts that might look like a gun is dumb & overly PC.

          • Rankin

            The thing that is never mentioned with that pop-tart gun episode is that the kid was repeatedly pretending to shoot his classmates with pretty much anything that came to hand. This was disruptive to the class – if he had been repeatedly talking or clapping or anything kids do to annoy the teacher and other kids it would have been the same. The teachers had told him to stop many times.

            They sent him to the Principal. He wouldn’t stop being disruptive.

            Eventually he got suspended.

            Not really because of the gun-shaped pop-tart (thought that was the final straw), for being habitually disobedient.
            But that isn’t such a good story to bash the PC crowd.

          • drax

            That’s our steve!

          • Hank

            And it’s interesting that violent crime has also declined during roughly the same time period. The anecdote of a kid getting suspended for making a yeasty and delicious gun out of a Poptart doesn’t prove your point. Most of us liberals (as well as most of us educators) think that was an absolutely ridiculous, unnecessary, and abhorrent response.

          • speonjosh

            Wait, you’re blaming food stamps for a decrease in gun ownership? Could you possibly be more inscrutable?

      • bubba

        Then it’s suprising really that we don’t manage to save more lives isn’t it? Instead the 40% with guns seems to have led to an epidemic of gun deaths.

        • novasteve

          Bubba, should cars then be banned? I mean what just happened at Key Bridge this weekend and in Ohio?

          • Scott

            I’ll take this one. No, cars should not be banned.

          • kalashnikev

            What about BIG SODA?

          • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

            BIG SODA is okay, if there’s a (D) for diet. :-)

          • kalashnikev

            Wrong. BIG SODA is always OK. I’ll take a 24 oz. Rio Grande y un medio blanco, por favor. Con los dos.

          • red herring

            please stop abusing me!

        • David

          Actually, if you look at the data (as well as the daily anecdotal news articles in the story I sent), you’ll see that there’s also an epidemic of defensive uses of handguns. There’s also a benefit to people like me who–thank God–have never had to use a firearm, but like having it in my house to protect my family, should the need arise. Go after the criminals, not the law-abiding, responsible citizens.

          • bubba

            So we must have a widely disproportionate number of criminals then…compared to countries with gun control…it must be in the water.

          • novasteve

            If you didn’t include the urban violence in this country, we’d have gun violence rates compared to western europe, DESPITE the access to guns.. And I thought that the illegality of drugs was to explain for that? Also, care to explain by Brazil and venezuela have so much gun violence?

          • Scott

            If you exclude all the violence in this country, we’d have much less rates of violence in this country.

          • novasteve

            The point being is that the violence I asked to be excluded, the liberal media and liberals ignore anyways. I think it’s a horrific shame they do. But since they do….

          • Scott

            When you say things like the liberal media and the liberals– whatever legitimate point you might be trying to make gets lost in the conspiracies of those you think are out to get you– and then people tune you out

          • novasteve

            How Scott? Do you deny that the media acts as cheerleaders for democrats especially Obama? It’s not a conspiracy, it’s fact.

          • Scott

            That’s an excuse for an inability to make a more compelling argument. When folks go to “the liberal media” etc, fall back I automatically think of the idiot that is Sarah Palin. She was an idiot in way over her head and when a spotlight was shown on her as such– her excuse for being an idiot was the “gotcha” journalism; not that she was actually an idiot. I actually imagine you might be a bit brighter than Sarah Palin so don’t resort to her tactics and I won’t have to call you out on them.

          • novasteve

            Scott, watch MSNBC some time. Everything you accuse Fox of doing, they are 10x worse. They even employ AL SHARPTON. AL SHARPTON!

          • Scott

            What did I accuse Faux news of doing? You’re the one going on about the liberal media conspiracy. I’m not a fan of Al Sharpton myself.

          • speonjosh

            How?

            Pre-cogs?
            It’s far too flippant a response to just say “go after the criminals.”
            Just as airport security has to screen everyone, I think some gun control measures that affect everyone who wants to own a gun are not unreasonable.

        • ARL

          We’re going to have gun deaths no matter what we do. We can only reduce them, and that will come by BOTH reducing the guns in the hands of bad guys and putting more in the hands of good guys.

          We shouldn’t be focusing on “more guns or less guns.” Both are incredibly simplistic solutions.

      • speonjosh

        There has to be a better way to make this argument about “guns save lives.” I think that for every story about someone chasing away a criminal by pulling out their gun, you’ve probably got at least one story about a gun killing someone.

        • David

          Google for the studies, the data actually shows more defensive uses than illegal offensive ones. But even if you don’t buy that, consider that for every one gun killing someone, there are a lot of knives, clubs, and hammers also killing people. So we should ban those too, I guess…since it’s the inanimate object’s fault.

          • speonjosh

            This analogy makes about as much sense as saying we should require driver’s licenses for bicycles, tricycles and skateboards. It doesn’t take much exercise of the ol’ grey matter to see that a gun is a categorically different kind of item as a hammer.

          • novasteve

            A hammer isn’t a constitutionally protected right. Funny how you people throw the loudest hissy fits on earth at photo ID to vote to prevent fraud..

          • David

            You’re right. A gun is designed to save lives. A hammer is designed to drive nails. Criminals misuse both to assault and kill people. Neither should be banned because of their beneficial intended purpose.

          • Scott

            You’re argument assumes that there is a proposal in place or being considered before Congress to BAN guns. There is none. Gun control does not equal ban guns.

            Is there someone on the other side of your argument advocating the ban of all guns?

          • David

            First of all, I talk to liberals all the time who would love to ban all guns. The only reason there’s no bill before Congress to ban all guns is because it would be political suicide (and because Democrats begrudgingly had to accept the Heller case, which they opposed). But more to your point, you’re right, there is no proposal to ban *all* guns. Instead, the proposal is to ban a wide variety of semi-automatics–guns which are used regularly by law-abiding citizens, and guns whose technology is identical to that of most hunting rifles and self-defense pistols used today.

          • Scott

            You and I ranting on an internet board carries no weight of the enforcement of law. There is no proposal to ban guns. A new Federal assault weapons ban is unlikely to attain broad support to advance a bill. Some action is being seen at the state levels– that’s another story. If the states do over reach they’ll be dealing with their own Heller cases– which they would lose.
            The most likely proposals at a Federal level to have the possibility to advance and become law would be universal background checks & overall better tracking of guns through the mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns and the like. I honestly and truly do not understand how those types or proposals are that controversial –unless you’re some kind of prepper and you believe the gov’t is your enemy and you are readying for revolution.

          • joe

            Scott, things happen in a creeping way.

            http://gunssavelives.net/blog/gun-laws/no-one-wants-to-ban-or-confiscate-guns-huh-these-quotes-from-anti-gun-leaders-say-otherwise/2/

            there are politicians wanting total gun bans but know they can not start there. they have to work slowly for changes to happen.

          • Scott

            The government is out to get you – watch out! Stock up on guns and ammo and get your bug out location ready. Revolution!!

          • joe

            Sorry Scott you asked “Is there someone on the other side of your argument advocating the ban of all guns?” and there apears to be some politicians that believe it. If you check the link I gave you there are youtube clips of the politicians saying how they really feel.

            I look at it like this, if there are Jihadists that say they want to hurt and kill Americans I believe them. There is a track record showing they will atleast try to harm us, all over the globe. Likewise if politicians that have supported bans and restrictions in the past, I believe them if the say they want to ban more or all guns. I’ll take them at their word based on past actions.

          • Scott

            Surely, there are blowhards from every view point. With 2 or 3 seconds of googling I could post a bunch of links going the other way.
            http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/nra-mass-shootings-myth
            To what purpose though?

            The 2nd amendment still exists. It has been upheld to be unconstitutional to ban guns. No guns have been banned by the Feds and there are no bills in the hopper with any chance of passing that would intend to ban guns.

          • Scott

            Politicians who lie and say anything to whatever group they’re speaking to that day—– are just like terrorists. I believe you believe that and that’s frightening to me.

          • joe

            Sorry bad comparison,

            What I was saying is that if a group says they are going to or are willing to do something, and their past actions are in line with what they are saying, I believe they will try to do what they say. I never made a comparison that Politicians are just like terrorists, that is all on you. That frightens me that you would draw that conclusion. Thank you for the interesting points of view you have shared here. Sorry I was not more clear for you to understand, and I am sorry you get frightened when you misunderstand what a person says to you.

          • Hank

            A gun is designed to save lives? Huh?? No, guns were designed to kill people more efficiently and from greater distances in combat. You could argue that a possible side effect of the development of guns is personal protection, but you can’t seriously or honestly say they were developed to “save lives.” If you want people to take your argument seriously, use facts and data, not rationalizations.

          • speonjosh

            A gun is decidedly NOT designed to save lives. If you really believe that, you are deluding yourself.

            A gun is designed to TAKE lives. Or to inflict bodily harm at the very least.
            Sure, you can use them for target practice or just to make a large noise if you want. And I guess some guns are even designed for that purpose (target shooting).

          • David

            Last time I checked, the laws in every state in this country recognize the right to take a life to save a life, in limited circumstances. It’s called self-defense. So this is just semantics. Yes, firearms kill people. But (and I know this will make your liberal head explode), there are actually times when killing people, as unfortunate as it is, is justified. So the *long-term* primary goal is to protect people, i.e. “save lives.”

          • dk (not DK)

            A gun is designed to save lives? That is patently ridiculous.

        • VAgurl

          “guns killing someone” that’s your problem right there. guns dont kill people, people who are idiots and shoot people kill people. When will people realize its not the weapon but the people that matter. laws only take guns away from law abiding citizens, and makes an unarmed populace. If you dont want to own a gun, dont. But its my right to do so. Just like people’s arguments for gay marriage. If you dont wanna marry someone from the same sex, dont, but dont stop someone else from doing it if its what they wanna do.

          • speonjosh

            No one, and I mean, no one is saying you don’t have a right to own a gun.

            The guns don’t kill people argument has that “common sense” sort of veneer to it. It’s very distracting.
            But if a 5 year old is playing with his dad’s sword, it doesn’t accidentally go off and blow his sister’s head off, does it?

            Now, I’m not saying this is an argument for banning all guns. I’m just saying that you can’t pretend that guns are completely harmless until the psychopath / criminal touches it.

            I think, in general, it is seems unlikely that a city with 100,000 guns in it is safer than a city with 1,000 guns in it. Which seems to be what the NRA is arguing, for example.

        • PghBigDog

          You’re missing the point, that there is a percentage of those killed by guns that damn well deserved it. Not all gun deaths are innocent children or old ladies on the way home from bingo. The figures for gun deaths are not figures for “innocent folks killed by guns”. It actually includes criminals, rapists, burglars, etc. etc.

      • Mary-Austin

        I wouldn’t want any of the geezers pictured above opening fire in a crowded area around me. And the majority of Americans want common sense gun control that is being held up by the gun nut cult.

        • Atticus Fisticuffs

          Im 29 and have over 12 years of military experience. I am in that picture above. Maybe you should actually educate yourself instead of having to rely on petty name calling.

          • getoveryourself

            Are you the guy in the leather jacket with a banana in a gun holster? I bet you felt really cool yelling at a congressman and police chief about how they don’t understand the Constitution.

          • novasteve

            Why would a congressman or a police chief be experts on the Constitution?

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Nope I came from my grown up job in a suit and tie. try again.

          • Tim

            Oh, you’re that guy at work.

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Actually everyone at my work wears them. So I’m not sure what you are stating. I assume that was meant to be an insult?

          • Louise

            Over 12 years military experience? You joined the military at age 16?

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            17…almost 30 now…try again

          • Jim

            Not college material, huh?

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Keep trying…went to college and not an online one…keep reaching

          • Jim

            went to…didn’t graduate. Like I said, not college material. Just another undereducated gun nut.

          • QTR

            Yes, Jim, all military folks are undereducated. Unlike you, of course.

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            My apologies..I went to AND graduated from a major university. Keep up your petty and unfounded arguments…they get you so far.

          • QTR

            What an inane, uneducated comment. Lots of people join the military, you know, even some who are, in fact, college material.

          • Scout

            You are 29 and have OVER 12 years of military experience? I don’t think playing soldiers in your backyard counts.

          • QTR

            Umm, hate to break it to you, but if he’s got 12 years in, there’s a much better than average chance he’s been to Iraq or Afghanistan. You know, the wars? So I don’t think that counts as “playing solider”.

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Clearly you are not aware that you can enlist in the military when you are 17 with your parent’s consent…as I did

          • ArlChick

            Atticus, please don’t make us guess anymore about where you went to school, or which one in the picture is you. 29… military experience… well-dressed…. educated… professional… don’t be such a tease, just post your face pic and relationship status so we can hit on you!

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Haha sorry but contrary to what some on here would assume, I am taken. It would also be rude of me to dispell the knuckle dragging, toothless, unbathed image that some on here have of me.

        • kalashnikev

          I know some old “geezer” types who can put lead on target in short order when it’s needed. I’d take them watching my back over some lib on a cell phone any day.

        • Nicki

          I’m in that photo as well, and I’m female and an Army vet. Way to be an ignorant bigot!

    • kalashnikev

      Welcome to reality… Guns Save Lives. Gun Free Zones are open slaughter fields. It’s proven itself time and time again.

      • malaka

        really? England is a slaugher zone? news to me!

        • kalashnikev

          You need to get out more. England is the violent crime capital of Europe.

          • malaka

            I get out plenty I was born and raised in the UK and return at least once a year. I guess you read about Enalgan on some gun blog or Fox News

          • kalashnikev

            Well then you should already be aware that subjects of the crown experience 2,034 violent crimes/100K while Americans experience 466 violent crimes/100K. They simply can’t get away with that behaviour ( ;) ) around here.

          • wikipedia

            The comparison of violent crime statistics between countries is usually problematic, due to the way different countries classify crime.[2]Valid comparisons require that similar offences between jurisdictions be compared. Often this is not possible because crime statistics aggregate equivalent offences in such different ways that make it difficult or impossible to obtain a valid comparison.

          • or put another way

            Homicide rate per 100,000 population
            UK 1.2
            USA 5

    • speonjosh

      And this is sort of the flip side of the ignorant non-gun owner who doesn’t know what semi-auto means, the difference between a magazine and a clip, etc. On the flip side you have pro-gun ownership folks who border on the loony – reading government take-over and oppression into any proposed restriction, no matter how reasonable and benign.

      I don’t think anyone reasonably believes that gun ownership will ever be substantially reduced by government action. Most people with handguns, hunting rifles, shotguns, etc will continue to be able to own and use those guns regardless of any new gun control measure that could possibly actually be enacted. Remember, there was an assault rifle ban. It did not lead down a slippery slope. In fact, in the end, it was allowed to expire. It was a temporary ban. Charlton Heston’s followers would do well to remember that.

      • novasteve

        And more people are killed per year with hammers and fists than with “assault weapons”. What logic is there in banning a fire arm based upon what it looks like? AR-15 = SCARY! BAN IT! While a Mini-14 is okay despite both using 223?

        • speonjosh

          Calm down there, big fella. I never suggested that a new assault rifle ban was a good idea. Just pointing out that the slippery slope paranoia put out by the NRA, etc is bogus.

          • novasteve

            Isn’t that what Moran is proposing? Isn’t that what they just passed in MD? How are you safer now that guns are banned based upon what they look like? If a slippery slope agenda isn’t a possibility, why is Bloomberg and his cohorts so upset about their soda ban being overtuned? I heard Micah Brzyinski on MSNBC saying that restaurants and food makers should be sued into the ground for making “poisoned” foods referring to sugars, salts and fats. Do you deny that democrats are increasingly trying to impose their way on people’s daily lives? I can’t even buy a 100 watt incandescent bulb anymore, but guns are different some how?

          • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

            @novasteve, you wrote, ” Do you deny that democrats are increasingly trying to impose their way on people’s daily lives?” Ask me again after my transvaginal ultrasound its over.

          • novasteve

            Dezl, is that law? No it isn’t. Yet democrats on a daily basis are passing more restrictions on people’s daily lives, and is an abortion part of EVERYONE’s daily life?

      • kalashnikev

        …and AWB ’94 did nothing but strip law abiding citizens of their Second Amendment Rights in exchange for a feel good moment. It was a dark time in our history that will never be repeated, just like the Prohibition Era.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Typical of local pols, if the attendee’s agree with you at a “forum” it’s a mandate, if they disagree with you they aren’t representative of the community.

    • novasteve

      Well, Moran’s got a point. Arlington is full of liberals so I doubt a majority of them support gun rights.

      • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

        Pretty broad statement. Please define what you mean by gun rights.

        • novasteve

          Something tells me that most liberals in Arlington dont’ think anyone not in the government should be allowed to have any gun, let alone hand guns and semi automatic rifles. Don’t forget its liberal cities that try to or have or had total gun bans. Until a few years ago in Washington DC is was illegal to own a handgun, even for home use only. You also couldn’t use a legal rifle for self defense. You would be prosecuted if you did. Why would our liberals be any different?

          • Rankin

            I’d be fine with that, actually.

          • Scott

            And what happened to that DC gun law? It was struck down and the 2nd amendment wasn’t abolished. The crux of the matter seems to be some think there are reasonable steps that could be taken to reduce gun violence – particularly the mass shootings that garner the headlines. The flip side being led by the gun manufacturers’ lobby group is to oppose any change on principle. The gun manufacturers’ lobby group advocates that they should sell more guns. The slippery slope argument is many times overused and taken to very unrealistic hyperbole to attempt to makes opposing points. The 2nd amendment is here. There is no proposal to ban all guns. In the hugely unlikely scenario that there were to be such a proposal down the road to ban all guns, it would again be struck down as was Heller. But again there is no proposal to ban all guns or for the gubmint to come take your guns. That’s fiction.

          • novasteve

            But if you pick certain guns to ban, then obvious when there’s another shooting (of course ignore the daily shootings) then something will need to be done, and other types will be banned. Once you start banning, you will continue to ban until there is nothing left to ban. It’s like how the left is moving on from smokers to overweight people to start banning and nannying. Youa re proposing banning guns based upon their physical appearance, not their functionality. So if your side is being that irrational, why shouldn’t people believe the goals of the left aren’t broader than they claim?

          • Scott

            There you go with the slippery slope. Slippery slope meets 2nd amendment. You cannot ban all guns. Slippery slope fail.

          • novasteve

            So why are you proposing to ban an AR-15 but not an M1A? Where’s the logic? The proposals liberals make are arbitrary and based upon emotional reasoning, not logic. They are picking guns to ban that are “Scary” looking but aren’t any more lethan than guns they aren’t banning. If they aren’t using logic to ban things, why should I feel comforted that it won’t expand?

          • Scott

            So why are you proposing to ban an AR-15 but not an M1A?
            I’m not proposing banning guns. I’m not a politician and as such I do not propose or vote on laws. I don’t know what an M1A is but I’ll assume its a big scary gun.

            Where’s the logic?
            The logic behind it is when the next crazy person shoots up a theater or school they’ll kill less people than otherwise. Same thinking goes to banning limiting extended magazines or clips or whatever it is– the thing the bullets go in.

            If they aren’t using logic to ban things, why should I feel comforted that it won’t expand?
            1) There’s been how many mass shootings in the past 12 months or so? How many guns have been banned in the time since? Zero. Your arguments are a series of what-ifs built on top of what-ifs. NO guns have been banned to date so you can extrapolate out zero guns being banned out into infinity. If you know of a bill moving forward & likely to pass to ban guns let me know
            2) Because the 2nd amendment states it is unconstitutional to ban all guns outright. See Heller

      • John F

        …so the congressman chooses to openly ignore those with an opposing view rather than at least pretending to weigh their opinion and offer his reasoning for his decisions?
        He has such a handle on the demographics of his district that he can tell by looking at them which people to dismiss out of hand?

        • Pezdrake

          That’s the nice thing about Democracy. If you want to run against him as a pro-gun rights candidate you can do that but he was elected with gun safety as part of his campaign.

      • John F

        Supporting or not supporting rights is not a decision Moran gets to make.

  • novasteve

    If anyone here attended, did they mention that 11 people were shot in DC yesterday morning? Why was that local news only?

  • novasteve

    Also, how are people made safer from requiring the government get involved in transfers within families? If a father gives his adult son a gun, or a grandfather passes on his Luger, you’d have to get the government involved. Should we go the route of Maryland and require fingerprinting to purchase a firearm? Nothing like treating people exercising constitutional rights like common criminals. Would you be okay with fingerprinting before voting or getting an abortion? So why with guns?

    • kalashnikev

      +1
      How about for exercising your First Amendment rights? Or should lowly civilians be limited to expressing their opinions via the printing press?

  • Oh please

    “For many gun owners, this is defining of who they are. They feel it’s a
    matter of self esteem, that it’s important for them to operate weapons.”

    Yeah, just like hard drinking and beating women is defining for who you and your kin are, Moran. It’s all about your self esteem, isn’t it?

    • kalashnikev

      Coming Fall Semester to NVCC: The Moran Clan Self Esteem workshop- chugging Whiskey and slugging Women.

    • Funny Mindset

      The bitters do cling to guns and religion. They don’t like change, so the grasp religion (the mindset that God set rules that don’t change) and guns (provides the comforting illusion that they can stop change by shooting it, if it spooks them).

      • kalashnikev

        Sounds almost as bad as those nuts who are all about preserving First Amendment or any of our other freedoms. Why won’t they just take up the chains that have been offered?

  • kalashnikev

    I wish I was there to call out this pack of tyrants. It took me a while to realize in the other thread that I missed it…

  • LuciferBernanke

    These gun grabbers are pathetic. How many
    people are killed in mass shootings every year?
    Less than a 100. How many are killed by guns
    every year? Less than 10,000 — and the vast
    majority of those are gangbangers/suicides.
    Obama cared about children, would he have
    authorized drone strikes that have killed
    hundreds of innocent children in Pakistan
    alone? Of course. He loves the children. Now
    give us your guns before the financial collapse.
    lol.

  • John F

    There are so many layers of slime here, where to begin?

    A pro-gun control congressman hosts a panel consisting of reps from three gun control groups, a pro-gun control police chief and a retired ATF agent (lemme guess which way he leans) to have a ‘panel discussion’. A panel is for open debate, not for campaigning a cause.
    “We hope those of you in the room will really help us to move this…” does this sound like a ‘conversation’?

    “I know this community well enough to know that the people standing up in this auditorium are not representative of the majority of the residents, ”. Wow. So much for the congressman listening to the voice of the people.
    Then there’s the ‘NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act’. Moran denounces the NRA, but co-opts their very name to push his gun control agenda through? That is mendacity bordering on copyright infringement. I take special exception to this move as I am an NRA member, so don’t use my name or that of my organization to push law that I oppose. Don’t take a generalized poll with a vague question, and hold it up as the heartfelt opinion of others as to your legislation.

    • kalashnikev

      His hubris will be his downfall. He can beat his woman, but he can’t beat the power of the United States Constitution and the vision of the framers.

      • novasteve

        You are so wrong. Even republicans have no objection to the 10th amendment violation that the ACA is. They only complain about religious organizations being required to provide insurance that covers certain services, and to the insurerers at what copay they can be, especially on a gender basis. If that’s permissible due to being a “Tax”, then the government could pass a law requiring everyone to buy a can of paint, and then telling Home depot what colors of paint, what ingredients, and how much people have to pay for the paint, which can differ based upon your gender… They don’t care.

        • drax

          Wow, look at you two yelling past each other.

        • kalashnikev

          Steve… you’re kookin’ out too hard, bro. I’m not a Republican.

        • naked man

          Government aready requires that I buy pants

          • kalashnikev

            Not mine! ;)

          • novasteve

            Not really, if you stay at home you can be naked all you want. Also you can wear shorts, a dress, a kilt, a tablecloth, a toga. There’s no requirement you wear pants.

    • John F

      UPDATE: David Chapman is an advisor for ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’. Looks like they did in fact accidentally forget to invite an entire half of the “panel”.

      • Nicki

        Unfortunate. He’s the only one who had a halfway useful presentation. I spoke to him afterward. He’s not a bad guy, but he only knows what he knows from the perspective of an ATF agent. We discussed a few other things, and he appeared to be fairly open.

    • gunsendlives

      I say good for Rep. Moran.Being a member of the NRA is nothing to be proud of and its members need to be publicly shamed. The blood of those children and especially victims of future gun massacres are on their hands as well.

      • Atticus Fisticuffs

        You are what Stalin referred to as a Useful Idiot…talk about ad hominem attacks

        • gunsendlives

          Why don’t you educate yourself on the facts about the number of people injured and killed by gun violence in this country? You are just another tool for the gun industry hiding behind the tough nerd persona.

          • kalashnikev

            Respectfully, I think it is you who lacks the knowledge.

          • novasteve

            So what about automobiles then? Alcohol? I almost slit the arteries on my microwave door last night. Missed the artery by about 2 cm. Should we have microwave control?

          • Darwin

            Absolutely not!

          • Scott

            Now you’re just being obstinate & over-the-top. This also does not lend itself to a credible argument.

          • Scott

            The sale, transfer, and use of automobiles & alcohol are both well regulated. You’re on your own with the dangers of microwaves but I wish you well.

          • guest

            I’m not sure why your microwave door has arteries, Steve. But if you somehow almost slit them, I suggest not opening that bottle of (thoroughly regulated) wine until after you have already safely microwaved your dinner.

          • John F

            I can’t speak for others, but I have deeply educated myself on the facts. As a gun owner, I have rights; therefore all the statistics from a legislative standpoint are irrelevant anyway. As a caring, responsible husband, father, neighbor, and community member, though, I felt it necessary to examine my own choices in this matter…even if it meant making sacrifices I didn’t first believe in to make my family safer.
            What I have found is that all of the numbers come out very strongly in favor of gun ownership. The CDC study, the FBI study, the Kleck study, the Lott study, the Violence Policy Center information, the Brady Campaign numbers, the NRA numbers, the Piers Morgan interviews, the changes before and after legislation are in place, when vetted carefully and compared fairly, scream from the rooftops that expanding gun ownership and loosening restrictions, though it may seem counterintuitive, prove to be the best course for a safer society.

          • gunsendlives

            Not how you could have arrived at that conclusion based on facts. The reality is your family is not any safer with a gun in your house. The fact is your children are more likely to use it on themselves or their friends, intentionally or not. Responsible parents teach their kids that guns are for police and the military and not to live their lives in extreme paranoia with dangerous firearms at the ready.

          • YTK

            How would you know what responsible parents teach their kids about guns? Or paranoia??? How about spending some time on the streets of Camden New Jersey and seeing what criminals can buy on the street and on the black market with no care in the world about gun registration??

      • novasteve

        Notice how you don’t care in the slightest about the daily urban shootings?

        • Let_Them_Eat_Cake

          Nope. Not a single word. And what about Big Pharma? Those mass shootings had another thing in common: Anti-Psychotic and Anti-Depressant meds.

      • bobbytiger

        I guess the invitation to the NRA “conversation” was lost in the mail, no? While Jimmy elected to, unsurprisingly, stack the deck 5 – 0, what ever happened to that good ole Arlington “diversity” stuff?

        • nomorenewtowns

          There’s no point in inviting the pro-gun lobby. They claim there is nothing to be done except sell more guns. That is not particularly helpful. I think this was meant to be a constructive forum for people who actually want to prevent violence.

          • kalashnikev

            What’s the money thing about that you guys keep bringing up? This is about Liberty.

            Also- The only thing that stops violence is violence. You can’t weaken a target to the point that no one will want to attack it. Quite the opposite is true.

          • John F

            The organizer brought the legislation with him. There was no intent to have any sort of conversation…they already have their answer. This was a legislative sales pitch wrapped in the thin disguise of a ‘forum’.
            You can choose to agree with them as far as the issue itself, but the fact that the whole panel shows up with opinion to agree with from the start shows the blatant dishonesty of what was attempted there.

      • John F

        If so, then why use the name of the NRA in your legislation?

      • Nicki

        Yes… fabulous… tell millions of your fellow Americans who haven’t committed crimes, who are law-abiding citizens, and who treasure their rights that they are to be publicly shamed. you’re disgusting.

      • PghBigDog

        @ gunsendlives… your statement is complete insulting BS. The blood of the Newtown victims lies completely and only with the perpetrator, Adam Lanza. Will you also publicly deride members of the ACLU for speaking out for our rights?
        These types of statements are just inflammatory and do not do a thing to further any semblance of an intelligent conversation. Do you have anything constructive to add to the discussion? If not, please stay out of the way of people who have an interest in solving the problem and stop wasting our communal supply of oxygen.

  • Texas Aggie 1966

    If you think that a law banning guns is going to stop a criminal from having a gun then you are as smart as Moran and his crowd. You are nothing but sheep if you believe the drivel from anti gun nuts. This is America….wake up!

    • Peter

      Seems to work for Japan and England.

      Countries with lower gun ownership have lower gun violence. It’s essentially a straight line relationship. Does this mean an individual bad guy can’t find a gun? No, and no one is arguing this.

      • kalashnikev

        What would you say to the women who were part of the 29% rise in Rapes that accompanied Gun Control in Australia?

        • Scott

          That all statistics are subject to the organization behind those statistics. Is this a source for this number is the first thing I would say.

          • kalashnikev

            The statistics were published by the Australian Institute of Criminology, in June 2008 (a government entity). The plain fact is that once the public lost the ability to defend themselves, the criminal element set up shop and took over. In exchange the people gained… well a 49.2 percent rise in assault, robbery 6.2 percent, rape 29.2 percent and overall crime rose 42.2 percent… oh, and murder is at an all time high! Fair trade for Freedom?

        • ARL

          And the murder rate decreased in Australia in the same period.

          Is rape usually done with a handgun in Australia? Did women used to defend themselves from rape with handguns that were no longer available to them after the ban?

          Your statistic doesn’t add much to the debate.

          • kalashnikev

            ARL- according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, murder reached an *ALL TIME HIGH* in 1999 (the Universal Disarmament was in 1996). Admit it… you are just making statistics up out of your head to support the lies you were told… I encourage you to review the data.

    • kalashnikev

      Well said.

    • Scott

      We should do away with laws because criminal will not follow them anyway….

  • Atticus Fisticuffs

    I was there. The proponents of 2A rights only became loud first when the Alexandria Chief of Police said he wanted to have everyone register their guns, so he knew where they were. They then would be vocal again when someone would ramble on and not ask a question (as the first person did as they told their life story and then went back to the Civil War). They finally would become vocal when Rep. Moran would at times directly ignore a question or when he would fail to actually answer it. At times Rep. Moran was doing his best Clint Eastwood impersonation yelling the equivilent of “get off my lawn!” There were multiple questions asked that were well thought out like “It sounds according to your panel there is a broken system. When are you going to focus on fixing issues like not updating Mental Health records and also enforce the over 20K gun laws already on the books?” (which was not answered) “If this proposed ban does not meet expectations would you look to ban hand guns?” (which was not answered) You can not hold a forum and when you get people that hold opposing views (to a panel that was only one-sided) complain that not everyone sees things your way. Not one person in that room was a proponent of gun violence. They just held different views as to how to fix the issue and utilized their 1A rights to voice their opinion. How you people continue to vote for this anti-semite, belligerent, integrity lacking, woman beating man simply because he is a (D) is beyond my understanding. Also, this article is ridiculously biased and a misinterpretation of the events that occured last night.

    • Jim

      How you people continue to vote for this anti-semite, belligerent, integrity lacking, woman beating man simply because he is a (D) is beyond my understanding

      Because he can make reasoned arguments that don’t devolve into ad hominem attacks, for one.

      • Atticus Fisticuffs

        Oh please tell me what ad hominen attacks I included. He assaulted his wife. He was charged with basically selling votes. He assaulted a young black child for “attempting to steal” his car (which was actually leased to him by his election team). He has gotten in fights on the floor of Congress. And he has been on record TWICE that we know of saying anti semetic things. So please inform me as to how stating his record is ad hominem.

        • speonjosh

          ad hominem has nothing to do with whether the personal attacks are true or not – just whether they are relevant to the argument or not.
          Also, you said “you people.” I take that to mean you aren’t from Arlington?

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            No by you people I mean the people that vote for Moran…I live in Clarendon. The comments were completely relevant to questioning why people vote for him.

          • dcbrewer

            The answer is because he is still a better representative of his district than ANY republican would be. I’d vote for a dead cat running as a dem before I voted for a republican for my representative. That said, I would vote for just about any D challenger to Moran in the primary.

          • novasteve

            The epitome of Name (D) = vote. This is why we get the government we deserve in Arlington.

          • novasteve

            DCbrewer, would you vote for Marion Barry or Cynthia McKinney over someone like Chris Christie or Gerald Ford (if he were stil alive?)

          • Josh S

            Except that he’s not running for a position as father or husband. Very few politicians (or persons, for that matter) are without blemishes to their character. What he does in his private life may not matter to whether he represents the interests of his constituents, works productively to produce meaningful and useful legislation, provides useful oversight of dollars spent, etc. Therefore, bringing up alleged drinking, swearing, etc qualifies as ad hominem and are irrelevant.

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Drinking and swearing are not qualities I brought up. Anti-Semite remarks, minimizing and comminting domestic abuse, fighting on the floor of congress are not private life activities for an elected official. How one can say his son bashing his girlfriend’s skull in to a metal trash can that ended with a broken nose and fractured skull is just a mistake, while supporting a Violence Against Women bill is quite hypocritical. Having to be pulled off another Representative on the floor of Congress is not a private life event. Selling stock utilizing insider knowledge gained due to his seat in Congress as to not lose money is not a private event for an elected official. Therefore everything I stated was relevant to questioning as to why anyone would vote for this man to represent them unless they too prescribe to his lack of moral fortitude.

      • Nicki

        Really?

        Like claiming Patrick Murray, a combat veteran and retired Army Colonel, has never served or telling a Navy Vet to “SIT DOWN” at a townhall meeting?

        Like claiming himself to be the arbiter of “need” to allow people to make a choice as to what tool they use for self defense?

        I was there at that forum. I asked him, very politely, that why I – as an Army veteran, trained in the use of firearms, who passed numerous background checks, has a concealed carry permit and has a government clearance – should be barred from having a firearm that fires one round with one pull of the trigger, just like my handgun. He mumbled something about him not seeing a “need.”

        This violent thug, who assaulted a little kid, and who has never served a day in the military, thinks he’s more qualified than I – a military veteran – to decide which tool I should use to protect my family?

        No… Moran gets elected year after year, because too many people in this county like the “D” behind his name.

    • Neighbor

      The problem is that what you deem “well thought out” questions are talking points straight from the NRA, which is automatically going to make the opposition shut down. I’m not arguing right or wrong, but you have to recognize that talking points are always rhetorical in nature. They may be good for messaging purposes but there is no acceptable answer to propaganda and it’s always seen as grandstanding.

      As for why Moran is reelected year after year: the area is heavily Democratic, and he never has a credible opponent. I’m never going to vote for anyone who has a chance of losing to a Republican (no wasting a vote on an Independent for me) because Republicans are beholden to a base that demands them to vote against social policies that directly affect me and my family. There are plenty of fiscally conservative Democrats that could be picked off if the Republican party would stop its campaign against gays, women, minorities, and the poor.

    • Dichotomy

      It’s interesting that 2nd Amendment supporters are so keen on enhancing mental health records and care when the party that most of them tend to support has cut back funding so substantially for mental health care.

      • Nicki

        Because mental health improvements and funding aren’t real when not done by the government? Got it.

  • novasteve

    I’m curious how would “high capacity” magazine bans actually work given they will grandfather preexisting ones? Will law enforcement radio carbon date your magazine to make sure it predated the ban?

    • Atticus Fisticuffs

      Why didnt you come? I had a conversation with a girl there about ArlNow and how we would have liked to have NovaSteve come to hear you interesting view points …followed by Drax’s

      • novasteve

        I’m sick :(

        • doctor

          we know that

  • Dirk

    I was there. Looked like the NRA (just a quick ride down 66) or similar group made all the interns and lowlevels turn out and put on the stickers and wave the twisted “Try To Take It From Me” flag with the AR-15 on it. It was the usual fresh-scrubbed types who will no doubt be networking at National Harbor for CPAC this weekend.

    • Oh please

      Then I guess it’s a shame there was a Downton Abbey marathon on that kept the gun grabbers from attending in kind. Guess it’s all about priorities.

    • Atticus Fisticuffs

      Actually that was the Young Republicans of Falls Church. Nice try. There were also a myriad of 2A supporters wearing suits and ties, like myself. On the flip side there were three morbidly obese middle aged women wearing sweat pants sitting directly behind me that were yelling anti-gun rhetoric.

    • kalashnikev

      Yeah… only low level interns are concerned about protecting constitutional freedoms from the assault of tyrants.

  • Doug

    I hope that both sides of this issue can see the benefit of holding forums such as this. If a community cannot gather to educate themselves on an issue, then there is little hope for compromise or serious policy discourse. In that sense, I applaud the panel and those in attendance for being willing to attend and discuss the issue.

    • Atticus Fisticuffs

      I wholeheartedly agree. It would have been nice if both sides were represented on the panel. However, they were not. It would have been nice if our esteemed elected official would have answered questions from constituents. He did not (99%) of the time. The format was clearly designed to be one sided. They actually spewed lies like “you can order a gun off line and not get a background check” and antiquated data like “40% of guns are purchased with out a background check” (which is from a poll taken from 215 people during the Clinton administration). They are doing everyone a disservice by fostering a onesided argument with false data.

      • kalashnikev

        You’re a better man than me. I would not have been able to take the lies.

      • kalashnikev

        Just heard from a friend who attended- the ATF Agent said Ft. Hood was not a Gun Free Zone??? I guess he’s never been on a Military Installation…

        • Atticus Fisticuffs

          Yes…yes he did.

          • kalashnikev

            Un-bee-lievable!!!!

          • Atticus Fisticuffs

            Although technically he would be correct as military issued weaponry is locked up in arms rooms on military installations.

    • John F

      In the future, I hope both sides are invited.

    • kalashnikev

      You applaud the panel? It was as stunt, Dirk… a total fraud. That’s not discourse. Moran got called out.

    • novasteve

      It’s a shame the panel was so unbalanced.

      • http://twitter.com/Dezlboy Dezlboy

        It was a panel. Not a debate. If Catholic Priests have a panel about how to decrease the number of abortions (as that his their goal), are they obligated to have an pro-choice person? No because that is the point of the panel.

        • novasteve

          Big difference between priests and an elected official trying to get legislation passed given he actually has the power to introduce legislation, unlike a priest.

        • kalashnikev

          This was held in a public school and organized by an elected official. I’m still not even sure how he got away with this. What if he were openly plotting to attack the First Amendment?

        • novasteve

          I’m curious, if another politician used a public school to promote outlawing homosexuality or abortion, and had a panel of only people who support his viewpoints, you’d be fine with that?

    • kalashnikev

      This was a sham. Let Moran be shamed and let’s have *real discussion* on securing our schools in the future.

    • novasteve

      However, it would have been a little bit more educational if the panel were balanced.

  • John F

    Six panelists on one side of the arguement, zero on the other. What kind of a ‘conversation’ does that make this?

    • novasteve

      Welcome to Arlington!

  • jane

    The gun nuts look like mouthbreathing dummies.

    • kalashnikev

      They’re drunk off American Freedom.

      • ARL

        And many of the gun nuts sound like self-parody.

    • speonjosh

      In many cases, true. However, it is unfortunate that many of those in favor of gun control are equally zealous.

    • Mary-Austin

      Yea I think they are more of an exhibit than anything else. And they probably thought they were actually convincing people that “guns save lives”.

  • Katchpata

    Steve is about to orgasm.

  • rootbear911

    I just look at the odds and do the math. What are the odds that a crazed gunperson will invade my bucolic Arlington home and terrorize my family compared to the odds that a handgun in my house would be unintentionally discharged by one of my four kids or one of their friends? I think the latter is far more likely (and I think the data support this). You could rightfully argue that I could spend the time to train my kids in the dangers and also proper use of a handgun, and that that could mitigate the odds of an accident. But given the **astronomically** low odds of a home invasion and the **incalculably** high sense of loss if someone were accidentally killed by a handgun, I just have better things to do with my time. Some people are built to look for that rare event and plan their entire lives around them. I’m just not one of them.

    • kalashnikev

      Why don’t you instruct your kids on the safe handling of firearms, set rules for their handling, and control access? An accident would be extremely unlikely. The results of a criminal attack would be catastrophic though. What do your wife and kids think about the way you handle their personal safety and the security of your home?

    • novasteve

      So everyone should lose their rights because of what you fear could happen? I suppose they should ban all sorts of things to reduce HIV infection rates, right? Think of the children!

      • Scott

        So there should be no reasonable gun control such as universal background checks and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns because what you fear could happen? The 2nd amendment is the 2nd amendment. No one is going to take away all your big scary guns.

  • Rory

    I am a gun owner, and I think the NRA and their ignorant followers are a bunch of idiots. They are just mouthpieces of the arms industry who delude the simple minded with their talk of ’2nd amendment rights’. The 2nd amendment was never intended to mean any yokel off the street could walk in and buy an AK-47. That’s insanity.

    Most fat asses you see at gun ranges with aggressive ‘pro gun’ apparel on wouldn’t qualify for a ‘well regulated militia’ anytime soon.

    • novasteve

      If you are a “gun owner” what’s so special about AK-47s vs. any other semi automatic rifle that isn’t up for being banned? What it looks like? “well regulated militia” is irrelevant now that the SUPREME COURT says that it’s an individual right.

      • Rory

        No, I just referenced an AK-47 since everyone knows what that is. All I’m saying is the founders wanted armed citizenry in order for them to be able to take part in local and state militas for defense. They distrusted standing armies. Now we have as big a military budget sa the rest of the world combined, so that ship has sailed.
        Anyway, no one is advocating taking away guns from law abiding citizens. I just want common sense applied, as I see it…background checks, no military style weapons, no straw purchasing, etc.
        The majority of gun owners most of the proposed leglislation.

        • Rory

          ‘support most of the proposed leglislatoin’

        • novasteve

          What is a “miltary style” weapon? The military doesn’t use semi auto AKs, nor does it use AR-15s. What about actual military weapons? I have an M44 and a No I Mk III Enfield. They are actual military weapons, but they are bolt action. Not military style, but actual military weapons. Are those fine?

    • Let_Them_Eat_Cake

      Has anyone asked themselves why big Pharma gets a huge pass on this one? Newtown, Aurora, Tuscon mass shootings were all committed by individuals on anti-psychotic or anti-depressant meds, yet no discussion?

    • Let_Them_Eat_Cake

      “The 2nd amendment was never intended to mean any yokel off the street could walk in and buy an AK-47.”

      Since you are in the habit of name-calling, buffoon, that is precisely what it means. Though in the 1770′s it would have been a flint-lock.

    • kalashnikev

      The 2nd Amendment is a last line of defense against tyranny. In US v. Miller the SCOTUS affirmed that the RKBA protects *only* your right to own military weapons for use by the militia (the militia being defined as ALL able bodied males).

  • Joy

    Young women that would have been saved if they had guns? Will guns start to be distributed by the govt, along with medicaid, food stamps and WIC? Bc I know this young girl would not make buying a gun a priority, unless I was a gangster or criminal. Certainly not in the name of self defense.

    • kalashnikev

      Ideally the government wouldn’t be distributing anything to anyone and we could all keep more of what we earn… but if you don’t want a gun, don’t buy one. If you don’t want a tattoo, don’t get one. Just do what you want… this is America (for now).

      • novasteve

        That’s not how the left operates. If they don’t approve of something, they ban it.

  • novasteve

    Being ignorant on an issue makes you disqualified to pass legislation on something. You recall the dihyrodrogen monoxide “hoax” thing? You can rile up a bunch of people by scaring them, using a unfamilar technical name, list ways you can die from such a thing, and then it just turns out that it is water, but the ignorant go into a panic,a nd you have people wanting to “Act” despite being completely ignorant and operating based on emotion and not logic. The reason why democrats are rushing to pass some kind of ban and restrictions is because they know the more time passes, the more likely cooler heads will prevail.

  • Macklemore

    a BMW M5 killed/injured more people this weekend in Arlington than any gun has in the last month, maybe year.

    Where is the forum on Sport Car Ownership Control?

    • Scott

      Love these non-sensical distractions. Oh yeah, what about cars- should we ban cars? No one is proposing banning guns. Your likening car control action to an imagined proposal to ban guns is a silly position to take. To placate your misplaced argument. The BMW driver was breaking existing laws regulating the use of automobiles. If he had lived, he’d face significant jail time. Nothing to fix there. Next

  • Non Seqitur

    Is that a banana in your holster or are you happy to see me ??

  • novasteve

    Also are you people listening to what’s going on in the UK? Some former SAS sniper was convicted and jailed for over 12 months for bringing back a Glock from Iraq which was a gift given to him. Something I have a right to do in the US currently (but democrats would love to emulate the UK) got this man, a veteran convicted and jailed despite him not harming anyone.

  • YTK

    My mother had assault weapons– two hands that would hit the kids if they misbehaved.

  • TD

    The problem most liberal people in Northern Virginia run up against is that the State has prohibited any local ordinances that restrict guns more than the state level. They were able to get magazines limited to 20 rounds in some counties, but that’s only carry, you are allowed to own them and use them at the range. As a Fairfax resident I’m glad the state has stood up for my 2A rights.

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