Reports of mass killings have been taking place on an almost daily basis. From the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut, to Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, to a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. and to an Oklahoma Hospital — Where does it end? Is this America?

We are at a cross-road here, people. It’s time to ban the sale of assault weapons altogether. A recent report indicated that there are more assault weapons on our streets than there are people. Does that make any sense? It’s time to stop this insanity; action has never been more urgent.

(13) comments

Dave in Lincoln

I am in agreement with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Bousquet, however, i do not

think that we will see the emergence of progressive constituencies in Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina or the 23rd district of California capable of unseating these obstructionists. In the upcoming midterm elections, we may see Democrats lose control of one or both branches of Congress. As such, legislative efforts on a federal level will become next to impossible. Progress on gun control will continue at the state level but successes will be hard fought against a Supreme Court that has lurched to the right. That is my opinion. My hope is that Mr. Bousquet call to action will be heeded. MLK said it best "We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." In a Democracy, this is the only way forward.

Lincoln 247 has expressed the notion that a more zealous “enforce(ment of) existing laws to get career criminals and violent illegal immigrants off our streets …” would help. This is true in the sense that every life has value and that every life cut short is a tragedy. But it is misleading as it ignores both the root causes of community gun violence and is inconsistent with the results of actual studies. Data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is useful towards this end. Texas is the only state that records and keeps the immigration statuses of those arrested and convicted of crimes, and for this reason studies such as these can cut through the politically biased anecdotalism that passes for facts in the MAGA metaverse. Even The Cato Institute ( an American Libertarian think tank) gave weight to this report, citing that a “ 10 percent increase in the illegal immigrants share of the population is associated with a 1 percent decline in violent crime convictions in our sample of Texas counties.”

Citing instances where “ progressive politicians work to keep bad people on our streets, and our borders wide open” is typical NY POST sleight of hand . And yes, the administration of justice does vary from place to place and over time.

However, posts here and elsewhere that attempt to lay blame at the feet of “career criminals”( surely no one believes that people wake up one morning and upon consultation with the school guidance counselors, parents and community religious leaders declare an intention to pursue a life of crime !! ?? ) , that seek to implicate illegal immigrants who are more often the victims of crime than the perpetrators and that attempt to scapegoat the mentally ill as significant drivers of gun violence are simply rhetoric designed to divert attention from dealing with the real issues we face.

Specifically, those issues are 1) the notion that existing laws are sufficient in themselves , 2) that Progressives are the problem, 3) that government officials are the problem, 4) that unarmed victims are the problem, 5) that the mentally ill are the problem, 6) that illegal immigrants are the problem.

Oh sorry, the real issues, 2nd Amendment supporters who are sold on the NRA’s pitch that any new law represents the opening salvo of wholesale, nationwide confiscation of Constitutionally protected firearms. The unsubstantiated belief by gun owners that their god given right to protect themselves or others can be implemented in real life situations . Data from the 2019 FBI Expanded Homicide Tables shows that family members were victims of homicides committed by other family members in 1,810 instances.Though unspecified, It is likely that upward of 70% of these fatalities were firearm related.The CDC data for 2019 reveals 24292 suicides by firearm. So over 25,000 deaths by firearms of family members. Who was there to protect them? Some supporters of 2nd Amendment rights have proposed that this is the price we pay for “Freedom.” REALLY !! Is this the best we can do?

Yes, I know, there goes another liberal weaponizing FBI data as a justification for confiscating 400 million firearms. Gun owners who actually think this exists in the realm of possibilities must surely be in the minority.

It's just another Scare tactic to generate money for PACs. It is a hopeless and immoral pursuit of an unworthy goal. The simple fact is that guns in the home increase the risks of homicide and suicide.

Certainly supporters of 2nd Amendment rights will have both their opinions and their guns. But would it be so hard to publicly admit that actions have consequences, sometimes unintended and that the problem of gun violence is both uniquely complicated and uniquely American. Maybe folks on the left and the right could temporarily put aside their wishful thinking and make some progress. Oh the family members we could save.

YIKES !!!! ( thanks Tim 1952)

Lincoln247

We don't need a study to know that being soft on crime leads to more voilence and gun deaths in our communities. People intend on suicide have many options besides guns.

Dave in Lincoln

Hi Bob Sorry, I will try to keep it shorter ! Let's try to understand the problem before we start to fix it.

The “ War on Drugs” started in the Nixon era. “ Tough on Crime” sentencing policies followed in the 80’s.

50 years later, through both Republican and Democratic administrations , we have a prison population of over 2 million. Our “War on Drugs” has cost One Trillion Dollars. Are we any safer ? I lived in a NJ community for over 25 years that was very ” tough on crime,” it was common knowledge that if you were a person of color you were going to be stopped by police. I witnessed this frequently. So I think it's more a matter of how it's implemented on a day to day basis. This requires leadership, persistence and training. We are fortunate that our Lincoln Police force exhibits these qualities. Bob, regarding guns in the home. This is a personal choice that sometimes comes with unintended consequences. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Witness recent events in Cumberland. We cannot know how the Parkland School shooting might have been prevented. The weapon was obtained legally. Florida subsequently enacted a state law setting the minimum age of 21 to purchase a semi-automatic weapon. The Parkland school shooter had a long and troubled history and the failure to prevent this tragedy is regrettably not remedied by those who propose “Get tough on crime” solutions without first understanding the problem. Bob, I agree that it is time to get tough on the bad guys. If you have the secret to identifying them before they commit these atrocities please share it with law enforcement.

CallingOutYourBS

What I will never understand is why anyone would live their life based upon the outdated ideals of slave owners who also didn't value women as equals.

Even more baffling is up to 50 percent of Americans...people who claim loud and proud everywhere they go that The Constitution is the greatest single writing ever...completely ignore everything about what our founding fathers had to say about Monarchy's and one man holding power.

It's all BS. I wipe my butt with The Constitution.

Bob Leahy

That was a lot of words used to say Making America Great Again is bad, and homes shouldn't have guns. David of Lincoln didn't offer any solution other than to knock groups he doesn't like including the NY Post (which earned credibility on Hunter's laptop). The school shooting in Parkland Florida illustrated how being soft on violent disadvantaged and disturbed kids, and refusing to get the criminal justice system involved in order to "break the school to prison pipeline" as AG Eric Holder described the success of that experiment in that county--until it lead to 17 kids being shot to death. The shooter had a clear background check, and easily bought his guns because progressive policies purposely kept it clean. It is time to get tough on the bad guys, and protect the good kids, not rid all homes of guns.

Bob Leahy

Hi Dave, I tried responding to your second comment, but like you ran into (I suppose) there wasn't a reply button available. The Breeze should look into that so readers aren't forced to jump all over to follow a conversation. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I appreciate your second comment (you were not in attack mode so it was better recieved) and I agreed with most of what you had to say. I wouldn't consider the war on drugs (often a victimless crime with the way it was waged), however, to be the same as being tough on those who commit crimes against others. We often know who is likely to shoot up a school, or behave with complete disregard for the safety of others. Unfortunately, we have gone soft on them and allowed them to slip through the cracks because of social justice reasoning which often gives these bad apples a pass, until the tragedy happens. Parkland was a precise example of that. I understand your hesitancy because of past mistreatment of some races by law enforcement, but that doesn't excuse keeping violent out of the criminal justice system as Progressive Attorney Generals are doing now. This just emboldens them to do more harm to more people.

Dave in Lincoln

Hi Bob, thanks for reminding me that this is a dialogue as opposed to a diatribe

Meeting in the middle for a conversation should always be the goal. Hopefully, we can do a little good in the process.

Daniel Riendeau

Same old song.....blah blah blah

Captain Cumberland

I agree with this letter. Similar assault weapon bans have been successful at lowering gun deaths in other countries. It might not be easy to pass legislation to ban assault weapons with the filibuster in place and the NRA's hold on the GOP, but it is still worth the effort.

There are also other things besides assault weapon bans that can be done to lower gun deaths. For example, Japan has laws that consider a person's mental health and criminal record.

To qualify for a firearm license in Japan, potential buyers must attend an all-day class, pass a written test and a shooting-range test with an accuracy of at least 95%. They also must undergo a mental health evaluation and drug tests, as well as a rigorous background check – including a review of their criminal record, personal debt, involvement in organized crime and relationships with family and friends.

After obtaining a gun, the owner must register their weapon with police and provide details of where their gun and ammunition is stored, in separate, locked compartments. The gun must be inspected by the police once a year, and gun owners must retake the class and sit an exam every three years to renew their license.

Japan has almost eliminated gun deaths, rarely totaling more than 10 in a year for the entire country. In the United States we have gotten more than that in a single mass shooting.

This issue of gun violence and possible solutions is definitely something that I will consider when I choose which candidates deserve my vote.

Lincoln247

What you forgot to mention is that Japan is tough on crime. They invest in their police forces and keep bad people off their streets, which is tge exact opposite of what progressives are doing now, in America.

Lincoln247

If you read this letter slowly, you get the impression that so called "assault weapons" have a mind of their own. There is no mention of the career criminals or mentally ill persons, using a relatively small fraction of these guns in a bad way.

Instead of focusing on the gun, it would seem to be a more rational (less emotional) approach to focus on the bad people using these guns. Instead of being soft on criminals, and going easy on young, violent, and often mentally disturbed young men in the name of the latest social justice crusade, it would seem that we need to start getting tough. Duh.

Banning guns that look scary, while progressive politicians work to keep bad people on our streets, and our borders wide open, doesn't make much sense. In fact, it would only make things worse as law abiding Americans would have less effective options to defend themselves, their families, and their properties against an increasing number of criminals on our streets--including the violent mobs we witnessed during the summer riots of 2020.

CallingOutYourBS

Gee Linc do ya think you could throw a few more parroted labels at people? PS you forgot to blame everything wrong with the world on BLM and ANTIFA. Yikes!!!

Lincoln247

This conversation isn't about your feelings. Get over it.

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