Patch’s most recent Sunday Poll question — Have Recent Events Made it More Likely for You to Own a Gun? — has an almost 50-50 split among 90 votes and more than 200 comments from Patch users.
The discussion is at times emotional, but numerous users have shared thoughtful opinions about gun ownership, gun violence, self-defense and even mental illness. What follows are some of the best comments. You can still vote in the poll and participate in the discussion.
Keith Best: I refuse to be a victim. I will protect myself and my family WITH A GUN if I have to. If I never have to pull it out all the better, but as I said, I refuse to be a victim.
Steve Ebbie: I have hunted all my life. Own a variety of guns: shotguns, rifles, pistols and black powder. I've never needed more than two shots to take game. I remember the first time Barrack Obama was elected there was a run on ammunition because people were scared. Hope ammo has a long shelf life. I know fear does.
General Batguano: If the government truly wanted to confiscate weapons, they would first announce that they were going to confiscate all weapons, then they would simultaneously send local sheriffs to the houses of gun owners and call over the megaphone, "Come out with all your weapons."
This would trigger well-trained, well-coordinated and disciplined army of gun owners to unleash their master plan (codenamed "Fantasy"). They'd communicate over the phone systems and the internet that the government forgot to shut down or monitor. They'd shoot their way through military roadblocks and barricades and link-up to seize the police stations, military bases, and communications networks; effectively rendering the government incapable of counter attack.
When it was all over, crowds of meek non-gun owners would pour into the streets and raise the victors on high.
(Full disclosure: I AM a gun owner.)
Randy1949: We're all law-abiding until we commit our first crime. We're almost all of us sane until we fall prey to a mental illness. Sane, law-abiding citizens can purchase guns and then become neither sane nor law-abiding.
So how do we deal with this fact in an imperfect world?
Adam: Gun bans simply don't work. … Illinois has the most aggressive gun restrictions in the country and Chicago has had over 500 homicides in the last year. And Rahm Emanuel, who (criticized) the NRA proposal to put an armed officer in every school has been taking that exact same approach for some time now. When the Columbine shooting occurred there was an active ban on assault rifles signed into law by Bill Clinton. One of the (weapons) specifically mention in the legislation, the TEC-9, was used at Columbine. Last time I checked, heroin and cocaine were illegal but I think its fair to say that it hasn't stopped people from using them. … In short, yes, I will be buying a gun.
Tom Bosworth: Choosing not to own a gun is fine, but the idea that no one should be allowed to is not. Neither is prohibiting others from choosing high capacity magazines. The Korean shopkeepers who stood on their roofs with "assault rifles" to protect their stores during the Rodney King riots were the only thing which prevented their destruction, and quite likely their own deaths.
High capacity magazines are essential for resisting multiple assailant attacks. You may believe that you will never be in such a situation. That's fine: your life, your choice. Other people live in different situations, and they as reasonable and responsible people have the right to make their owned visions as well. A shopkeeper in Oakland lives in a very different world from those in Fox Point or Bayside, WI. Bans don't work: they just disarm victims without stopping murderers and rapists.
Mike Itzenhuiser: Have recent events made it more likely for me to own a gun? Absolutely not. I've owned guns my entire life. Recent events have only made it necessary to get my concealed carry permit. Now I don't leave my house without packing heat.
Charlie DeSando: Things change over time. Rights can be limited, such as the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment is not absolute, and neither is the 2nd amendment. There can be limits placed, as put forth in the Constitution.
St8shooter: I can't think of one mass shooting involving an assault rifle because assault rifles are "fully automatic" while the civilian model of AR15's/M4's are only semi auto which is the same as most handguns and many other shotguns and rifles. It's a civilian model because it is appropriate for civilians. It shoots almost the same bullet a squirrel hunting rifle does just in a gun that looks differently. The only difference is the larger magazine and if there was any correlation to the magazine size and killings then I would be ok with banning them but there isn't.
Bottom Line: I do wish we would focus on criminality and the mentally unstable, instead of discussing limitations for the law abiding. I haven't read many posts, blogs, or articles, that address the real issues.
People that choose not to own guns, and people that want complete arsenals are generally not causing these events that occur. Mass shootings, and day to day shootings are happening because we have people in our free society that should be institutionalized, or jailed.
Exrepublican: The term "assault weapon" is very misunderstood by people who are not familiar with guns. An AR-15 certainly looks menacing. In reality, it is a semi-auto fire rifle with a fairly small caliber bullet. I for one think that the government should restrict it to a maximum of 10. Of course it won't deter someone hell (bent) on murder, but it makes it just a little harder to cause mass casualties. Nobody who hunts uses a 30 round magazine. To truly make a difference, I believe you have to take some discretion out of judges hands. There has to be harsh mandatory minimum sentences for people who commit crimes with guns. I'm not talking about just murder. I mean ALL crimes committed while armed with a firearm.
The Anti-Alinsky: The opponents of Liberal gun control are not a "do nothing" group, we just realize that the restrictions that Liberals really want (take all guns away from everyone) does not and has never worked. What we want is real change that will be effective, and it does not have to come at the expense of trashing the second amendment.