Pro & Con Quotes: Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted in the United States?
Sharon Risher, MDiv, Reverend and Spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in a July 28, 2017 article, “Everytown, Moms Demand Action Applaud Rep. Cylburn’s Legislation to Close ‘Charleston Loophole’ That Allowed Charleston Shooter to Obtain Gun without a Complete Background Check,” available at the Moms Demand Action website, stated:
“Two years ago my mother and cousins were gunned down by a white supremacist during a prayer service at their beloved Mother Emanuel Church. That hate-filled man never should have gotten his hands on a gun, and yet, through a loophole, he was able to arm himself and take the lives of nine beautiful church-goers, peacefully in prayer. If a full background check had been completed, my mother, cousins and six other loved ones would still be alive today…
Between 2010 and 2016, the Charleston loophole allowed nearly 23,000 gun sales to dangerous people who would have failed a criminal background check because the check could not be completed within three business days. After the three-day period has expired, federal law allows gun stores to sell a gun to a prospective buyer, even though the background check is not complete…
Background checks that have been completed have blocked more than two million sales to people who failed a background check, and have saved countless lives.”July 28, 2017 - Sharon Risher, MDiv
The American Medical Association, in a June 14, 2016 statement, “AMA Calls Gun Violence ‘A Public Health Crisis;’ Will Actively Lobby Congress to Lift Ban on CDC Gun Violence Research,” available at ama-assn.org, stated:
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence… Our AMA ‘recognizes that uncontrolled ownership and use of firearms, especially handguns, is a serious threat to the public’s health inasmuch as the weapons are one of the main causes of intentional and unintentional injuries and deaths.’ AMA policy supports legislation calling for a waiting period before purchasing any form of firearm in the U.S., and supports requiring background checks for all handgun purchasers.
Moreover, AMA policy supports stricter enforcement of present federal and state gun safety legislation, and the imposition of mandated penalties for crimes committed with the use of a firearm, including the illegal possession of a firearm.”June 14, 2016 - American Medical Association (AMA)
Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, PhD, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a June 14, 2016 statement, “In Wake of Mass Shooting, UN Rights Chief Urges US to Consider Robust Gun Control,” available at un.org, stated:
“It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign.
How many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation? Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapons designed to kill lots of people?
Irresponsible pro-gun propaganda suggests that firearms make society safer, when all evidence points to the contrary. The ready availability of guns leaves little space between murderous impulses and actions that result in death. The journey between hate-filled beliefs and violent hate crimes is accelerated. Society — in particular its most vulnerable communities and minorities who are already facing widespread prejudice — pay a high price for the failure to stand up to the lobbyists and take the necessary measures to protect people from gun violence.
Examples from many countries clearly show that a legal framework to control the acquisition and use of firearms has led to a dramatic reduction in violent crime.”June 14, 2016 - Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
Hillary Rodham Clinton, JD, former US Secretary of State, in a June 20, 2015 article, “Hillary Clinton Calls for ‘Common Sense’ Gun Reforms in Wake of Charleston Shooting,” available at huffingtonpost.com, stated:
“We can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners… The stakes are too high, the costs are too dear, and I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms, and along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country.”June 20, 2015 - Hillary Rodham Clinton, JD
Martin O’Malley, JD, former Governor of Maryland, in an email to constituents reprinted in a June 19, 2015 article, “O’Malley: ‘I’m Pissed,’ Calls for Gun Control, NRA Silencing,” available at the Washington Examiner website, stated:
“It’s time we called this what it is: a national crisis…
So now, I’m doubling down, and I need your help. What we did in Maryland should be the first step of what we do as a nation. The NRA is already blaming the victims of yesterday’s shooting for their own deaths, saying they too should have been armed. Let’s put an end to this madness and finally stand up to them. Here are some steps we should be taking:
1. A national assault weapons ban.
2. Stricter background checks.
3. Efforts to reduce straw-buying, like fingerprint requirements.”June 19, 2015 - Martin O’Malley, JD
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a Jan. 2013 statement, “American Academy of Pediatrics Gun Violence Policy Recommendations,” available at aap.org, stated:
“[T]he absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.
The AAP continues to support a number of specific measures to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents through the implementation of the following recommendations:
Enact a strong, effective assault weapon ban;
Eliminate the gun show loophole and require mandatory background checks and waiting periods before all firearm purchases;
Ban on high capacity magazines;
Enact strong handgun regulations; and
Require safe firearm storage under federal law.”Jan. 2013 - American Academy of Pediatrics
The Brady Campaign, on its “Changing Laws” page (accessed Mar. 26, 2015), available at bradycampaign.org, stated:
“The Brady Campaign supports a policy platform that addresses the problem of gun violence and is driven by the opportunity to save the most lives. Every death is a tragedy, whether in a mass shooting that horrifies our entire nation, or one of the 32 gun murders or 90 gun deaths in our communities and homes every day… Policies such as ‘universal background checks’ on all gun sales would keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill and other illegal purchasers without impacting anyone else’s Second Amendment right to own guns. Background checks are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners, and they make us all safer.”Mar. 26, 2015 - Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
John Traphagan, MAR, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin, in a May 20, 2015 article, “University of Texas Professor: Gun Control, National Security and Waco,” available at newsok.com, stated:
“There is no need for a civilized society to tolerate the type of gun-related violence that Americans seem to accept as normal. The solution to gun-related crime isn’t further arming the public. It involves enacting comprehensive gun control laws that prohibit many forms of gun ownership, significantly curtailing or eliminating access to and the ability to purchase guns, and implementing programs in which the government confiscates or purchases illegal guns already in circulation among the public.
For those firearms that are legal, ownership should be tied not only to background checks, but to extensive and mandatory training in the safe use and storage of weapons.
In an era of extreme concern about national security, Americans need to recognize that one of the greatest threats to national security is their own heavily armed population. Unfortunately, our proven inability to handle widespread gun ownership suggests strongly that the way to do this is to deeply restrict access to and ownership of most types of guns.”May 20, 2015 - John Traphagan, PhD, MAR
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, on its “Issues” page (accessed Mar. 26, 2015), available at csgv.org, stated:
“Approximately 40% of gun sales are made without any background check—giving convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill and others unchecked access to firearms. It’s long past time to require a background check on every gun sale in America…
Semiautomatic, military-style firearms are designed for one purpose: to kill people en masse, and quickly. They have no place on our streets, and are a threat to law enforcements officers and civilians alike…
Mental health screening for gun buyers in the United States is shallow, arbitrary and often unfair. A new standard must be developed that focuses on dangerousness—whether or not someone with mental illness presents a threat to self or others.”Mar. 26, 2015 - Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Gabrielle Giffords, MRP, Cofounder of Americans for Responsible Solutions and Former US Representative (D-AZ), in an Apr. 16, 2014 article, “Giffords: Fight Back against Political Cowardice,” available at usatoday.com, stated:
“We need a comprehensive approach: a surge in mental health services, mental health ‘first aid’ programs to identify and intervene in problems before it’s too late, and a background check system that will stop the most dangerous among us from buying guns, by getting records in the system and closing the Internet and gun-show loopholes…
We have done our homework, and the numbers don’t lie: From Texas to New Hampshire and everywhere in between, we know that support for policies such as expanded background checks continue to be popular in both parties. Gun owners and non-gun owners alike agree on expanding background checks, making gun trafficking a serious crime with stiff penalties, making it illegal for all stalkers and all domestic abusers to buy guns, and expanding mental health resources so the mentally ill find it easier to receive treatment than to buy firearms.”Apr. 16, 2014 - Gabrielle Giffords, MRP
Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University, in a June 26, 2014 article, “Guns Kill People. And If We Had Universal Background Checks, They Wouldn’t Kill So Many,” available at newrepublic.com, stated:
“When criminals get guns, they get them from friends, family, or from an underground market source. Without universal background check requirements, there is little deterrent to selling guns to criminals or gun traffickers. State laws mandating universal background checks deter the diversion of guns to criminals. The most comprehensive screening and background check processes, where potential gun purchasers apply in person for permits to purchase handguns, are associated with lower homicide and suicide rates…
Better regulation of gun sales is only part of the solution. Policies should make it extremely risky for criminals to illegally carry and use guns, and we must expand efforts to diffuse conflicts involving high-risk individuals before they are settled with guns.”June 26, 2014 - Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH
Monte Frank, JD, Attorney and Legal Advisor to Newton Action Alliance, in a Sep. 11, 2013 article, “We Need Lawmakers to Enact the People’s Will on Gun Control,” available at theguardian.com, stated:
“Let’s ignore this vocal fringe group, some of whom openly advocate treason (in violation of article 3 section 3 of the constitution). Instead, Americans must come together to call for Congress to put politics aside and pass common-sense measures that the majority of Americans, including gun owners, support…
[W]e need to ban military-style weapons and 30-round magazines, so that when the next unstable individual slips through the cracks in our healthcare system, their ability to access an assault weapon won’t be easier than buying a beer…
[A] federal anti-trafficking bill that includes real penalties for ‘straw buyers’ is imperative, since firearms are being transported through many states. A strong bill will dry up the ‘iron pipeline’, the supply of cheap and plentiful firearms into our cities…
Finally, universal background checks would help reduce the risk of a firearm ending up in the hands of a criminal, a person affected by mental illness, or a terrorist. Currently, under federal law, a person on our terrorist watchlist can buy the Bushmaster AR-15 – the weapon used at both the Sandy Hook elementary school and at the Aurora movie theater – in a private transaction, without any questions being asked.”Sep. 11, 2013 - Monte E. Frank, JD
Barack Obama, JD, US President, in the Feb. 12, 2013 State of the Union Address, available at whitehouse.gov, stated:
“It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans — Americans who believe in the Second Amendment — have come together around common-sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because these police chiefs, they’re tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned.
Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress…. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun — more than a thousand.”Feb. 12, 2013 - Barack Obama, JD
John E. Rosenthal, Cofounder of Stop Handgun Violence, in an Apr. 6, 2015 article, “Why I Support Gun Rights and Gun Laws,” available at huffingtonpost.com, stated:
“I believe that, as a gun owner, I have a responsibility to my family and my community to store my gun safely, locked and unloaded. I also have a responsibility to advocate for responsible gun laws that help keep guns out of dangerous people’s hands. That includes being willing to submit to a background check every time I purchase a firearm and expecting buyers to submit to a current background check if I sell them a gun. Furthermore, I believe that if I misuse my gun, for example if I violently threaten a family member or allow a child to gain access to a loaded and unlocked firearm, I should be held accountable for my actions…
Being concerned about the thirty-thousand-plus gun deaths each year in the United States does not make you anti-gun. And advocating for policies that make a dangerous product a little less dangerous just means you care about saving lives and countless grief from preventable firearm injuries and death. However, this message is so controversial that the gun industry, who thinks the Second Amendments trumps the First, wants to silence it.”Apr. 6, 2015 - John E. Rosenthal
Piers Morgan, journalist and TV personality, in the Mar. 28, 2014 episode of Piers Morgan Live, available on youtube.com, stated:
“I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theater, and then, just a few months later, 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, the absurd gun laws in this country would change. But nothing has happened…
My point is simple: More guns doesn’t mean less crime, as the NRA repeatedly tries to tell you. It means more gun violence, more death and more profits for the gun manufacturers. And to those who claim my gun control campaigning has been ‘anti-American,’ well, the reverse is true. I am so pro-American that I want more of you to stay alive. But I’ve made my point. I’ve given it a tremendous whack. Now it’s down to you. It’s your country; these are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry: ‘Enough!'”Mar. 28, 2014 - Piers Morgan
Michael Bloomberg, MBA, former New York City Mayor and Cofounder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in a Jan. 14, 2013 opening address at Johns Hopkins University Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America, available at nyc.gov, stated:
“First and most urgently, we need the President and Congress together to require background checks for all gun sales – including private sales at gun shows and online. These private sales now account for more than 40 percent of all gun sales nationally – which means that in 2012 alone, there were more than six million gun sales that happened with no background checks…
Second, Congress should make gun trafficking a Federal crime. In New York City, 85 percent of the weapons that we recover from crime scenes come from out-of-state sources – but Federal laws designed to curb illegal sales across borders are incredibly weak. Criminals who traffic get a slap on the wrist…
The third legislative measure that the White House should support is limiting the availability of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines with more than ten rounds. These guns and equipment are not designed for sport or home defense. They are designed to kill large numbers of people quickly. That’s the only purpose they have.”Jan. 14, 2013 - Michael Bloomberg, MBA
Liam Neeson, Irish actor, in a Sep. 12, 2014 interview, “Liam Neeson Interview: Hard Man Actor on Bono, Ralph Fiennes and His Fear of Guns,” available at independent.co.uk, stated:
“I am totally for gun control in the US… The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying. Every day we’re seeing some kid running rampant in a school. And do you know what the gun lobby’s response to Newtown was?
The National Rifle Association’s official response was ‘If that teacher had been armed…’ It’s crazy. I’ll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun.”Sep. 12, 2014 - Liam Neeson
John Walsh, Creator and Former Host of America’s Most Wanted, in a July 14, 2014 interview, “10 Things John Walsh Said about Gun Control, the NRA, and More,” available at auburnpub.com, stated:
“I’ve seen what guns do in America. I’m gun owner. I know about guns and I have guns, and I believe we need reasonable gun control. Many countries have all kinds of safeguards, and none have the violence we have—there were 11 murders in Chicago last weekend. I talked to the president and vice president about reasonable background checks—that’s all I’m talking about. We’re the richest country on the planet and we have the most violence. All the capitals of Western Europe combined don’t have as many homicides as Chicago does…
We’ve got to start somewhere, with reasonable gun control. We need to have what this country doesn’t have: A reasonable mental health system so when you go for a gun, they can see if you’re under psychiatric care — all the things you need to do in Canada or New Zealand or Australia or Japan. The things I’m proposing to the NRA are so simple and so much-needed because we’re a country of 350 million with about 450 million guns. There’s a way to start, and that’s some reasonable gun registration and background checks. So when people get upset about that — I’m a gun owner; no one’s gonna take my shotguns away or my 9 millimeters away. I’m probably the only guy in America who needs guns, I get so many death threats from nutcases.”July 14, 2014 - John Walsh
Al Sharpton, Baptist Minister and civil rights activist, in an Oct. 27, 2011 article, “How to End Gun Violence? Get Guns off of the Street,” available at huffingtonpost.com, stated:
“Gun supporters and advocates always champion the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms. But this right doesn’t mean that everyone should possess a weapon. It doesn’t mean guns should be so readily accessible to the least stable among us. And it doesn’t mean that we don’t need stricter gun laws to keep them out of the hands of criminals and those with a complete disregard for human life. Perhaps the fierce gun proponents need to take a walk in our neighborhoods, where young children have to dodge bullets just to get an education, or where mothers and fathers spend sleepless nights figuring out ways to keep their families safe…
[W]e cannot continue to bury our precious ones. Life is indeed short, but let’s not make it shorter by killing one another needlessly. Get guns out of the community and stop them from ever finding their way back in. Together, we can save ourselves — and the next generation.”Oct. 27, 2011 - Al Sharpton
The Democratic National Committee, in the “Moving America Forward 2012 Democratic National Platform,” available at democrats.org, stated:
“We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements–like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole–so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”2012 - Democratic National Committee
The National Rifle Association (NRA) in a June 29, 2017 article, “No. Gun Control Is NOT a Winning Issue,” available at medium.com, stated:
“Voters know that gun safety does not mean whittling away at their Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It doesn’t mean restricting where or how a law-abiding citizen can exercise a constitutionally protected right. And, it certainly doesn’t mean forcing hunters or target shooters to go to a Federally Licensed Firearm dealer for a background check before they can borrow each other’s guns for an afternoon.
Real gun safety is the fact that over the last 20 years, the annual number of gun-related accidental deaths has decreased by more than half. Or the fact that guns are only involved in 0.4% of accidental deaths among the U.S. population. Real gun safety is also found in the training programs that the NRA offers each year by one of our more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers.
The gun control agenda has one goal, and it has nothing to do with keeping people safe. Instead, it has everything to do with decreasing the number of guns in America and making them more difficult to legally purchase. That doesn’t make Americans safer?—it simply makes them unarmed and vulnerable.”
[Editor’s Note: On Oct. 5 the NRA released a joint statement from CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Chief Lobbyist for the NRA-ILA Chris Cox that included a reaffirmation of the organization’s stance against gun control, and the following: “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” The statement was made in response to the shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017 in which the shooter used bump stocks to make semi-automatic guns function like automatic guns.]June 29, 2017 - National Rifle Association (NRA)
Gary Johnson, Former Governor of New Mexico, in a Jan. 19, 2016 article by Rachel Ray, “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Says Time Is Right for ‘the Party of Principle’ in the White House,” available at telegraph.co.uk, stated:
“I am in the camp that if you outlaw guns only the criminals are going to have guns. I supported permitting the concealed carry of handguns in New Mexico. I believe there is a lot less violence in the parking lot, as they say, because the potential perpetrator of a theft or an assault is thinking twice because someone might be carrying a gun. Restrictions on gun ownership will only encourage outlaws to have heavy ammunition and high calibre weapons.”Jan. 19, 2016 - Gary Johnson
Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida in a Jan. 14, 2016 presidential debate available at washingtonpost.com, “6th Republican Debate Transcript, Annotated: Who Said What and What It Meant,” stated:
“In this particular case [the Emanuel AME church shooting in Charleston, SC], the FBI made a mistake. The law itself requires a background check, but that didn’t fulfill their part of the bargain within the time that they were supposed to do.
We don’t need to add new rules, we need to make sure the FBI does its job. Because that person [Dylann Roof], should not have gotten a gun, should not — would not have passed a background check. The first impulse of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is to take rights away from law- abiding citizens…
I think we need to focus on what the bigger issue is. It isn’t law-abiding gun owners.
Look, I have an A plus rating in the NRA and we also have a reduction in gun violence because in Florida, if you commit a crime with a gun, you’re going away. You’re going away for a long, long while.”Jan. 14, 2016 - Jeb Bush
Sean Davis, MBA, cofounder and CFO of The Federalist, in a June 18, 2015 article, “No, a Lack of Gun Control Didn’t Cause the Charleston Shooting,” available at thefederalist.com, stated:
“[W]hat we do know is that nine innocent men and women were slaughtered in a mandatory gun-free zone by an evil madman wielding a gun.
More gun laws won’t prevent evil people from doing evil things. Human nature cannot be legislated away. No amount of laws can ever eliminate evil acts committed by evil men. But gun control laws like those in South Carolina certainly can eliminate the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from those who intend to do evil. And that’s a tragedy.”June 18, 2015 - Sean Davis, MBA
Vince Vaughn, actor, in a June 1, 2015 British GQ interview available at the British GQ website, stated:
“I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. We don’t have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It’s not about duck hunting; it’s about the ability of the individual. It’s the same reason we have freedom of speech. It’s well known that the greatest defence against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back. All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones. Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns. These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenceless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these… schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds…
Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat. Taking away guns, taking away drugs, the booze, it won’t rid the world of criminality.”June 1, 2015 - Vince Vaughn
Ted Cruz, JD, US Senator (R-TX), in a Jan. 7, 2013 PBS NewsHour interview, available at pbs.org, stated:
“What I think is two things, number one, that restricting the right to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional.
The Second Amendment is an integral part of the Bill of Rights. And what it means is, politicians cannot come and strip the guns from law-abiding Americans. But, number two, it’s misguided policy. If you look at the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws, almost without exception, they have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates.
If you look at the jurisdictions that most vigorously protect our right to keep and bear arms, almost without exception, they have the lowest crime rates and the lowest murder rates. Gun control policies don’t work. And they’re contrary to the Constitution.”Jan. 7, 2013 - Ted Cruz, JD
Rand Paul, MD, US Senator (R-KY), on his “Second Amendment” page (accessed Mar. 30, 2015), available at paul.senate.gov, stated:
“Gun control laws only restrict access to responsible gun ownership. High risk individuals will still be able to acquire firearms even with an increase in prevention. I do not support any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens.”Mar. 30, 2015 - Rand Paul, MD
Paul Ryan, US Representative (R-WI), in a Jan. 28, 2013 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview, “Fourth and State: Paul Ryan on Gun Control,” available at youtube.com, stated:
“I have a lot of guns. I’m a big hunter. I’ve been shooting guns since I was a kid. I’m very familiar with how these weapons operate, with how semiautomatics operate. I think you’re getting to the point where you’re making changes in law that won’t make a difference [such as large clip bans] and you’re compromising people’s Second Amendment rights.
There are legitimate reasons for citizens to own these weapons [“assault weapons”]. Whether it’s for hunting. People do use these for hunting. Whether it’s for target shooting or self-defense. There are legitimate reasons for people owning these guns.
We’ve got 310 million guns in this country. You really think we’re going to stop these guns? We still had Columbine during that time [of the the assault weapons ban]. The point I’m saying is why did the kid do that? What’s wrong with our culture, or what’s wrong with our system, where a person who is clearly mentally ill, missed all the checks to get him the help he needed to prevent that from happening.”Jan. 28, 2013 - Paul Ryan
Rick Perry, Former Governor of Texas, in a Jan. 16, 2013 statement, reprinted in the article “TX Gov. Perry: The Piling on by Political Left to Use Massacre of Children to Advance Political Agenda Disgusts Me,” available at the Gateway Pundit website, stated:
“Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror…
In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.”Jan. 16, 2013 - Rick Perry
Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA-ILA, in a June 30, 2014 interview, “Chris Cox ‘Unequivocally’ Supports Open Carry,” available at nranews.com, stated:
“Unfortunately this is another tragedy [referring to the May 23, 2014 University of Santa Barbara shooting] that was not prevented by gun control and there’s not one more… there is not another gun control law that could have been passed that would have prevented this awful situation from happening.
We can’t forget that the first three victims were stabbed to death. Now that’s not something that the national news media wants to talk about. A number of victims were hit by a car, gun control obviously wouldn’t have prevented that behavior either. They have very strict mental health rules with regards to firearm ownership in California. There are things that can and should be done, the National Rifle Association is interested in addressing these underlying problems. We have underlying problems with a lack of school security, a lack of armed security in our schools. We have a problem with a lack of prosecution coming out of [Attorney General] Eric Holder and Barack Obama’s administration, and we have a problem, no question, with regards to these gun control laws that leave people defenseless, and we have a problem with a mental health system that’s completely bankrupt…
[T]he blame needs to be placed on the politicians in California who time and time again their answer to these issues are more and more gun control laws. They have passed every gun control law imaginable and it hasn’t done a… thing, and that’s a tragedy in and of itself.”June 4, 2014 - Chris Cox
Buz Williams, a retired Long Beach, CA police sergeant, in a Jan. 5, 2013 article, “Point-Counterpoint Debate: Should We Have Stricter Gun Control Laws? – No,” available at dcourier.com, stated:
“Let’s look at the crimes committed by Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School killer. First, he killed his mother. Then he stole his mother’s guns… I think it is a safe bet that Lanza broke some laws transporting loaded firearms. It is almost certainly against the law to enter a school with a loaded firearm… In addition to killing 26 people, Lanza committed an undisclosed number of attempt [sic] murders, at least one burglary when he entered the school after shooting off the lock, and probably a plethora of other crimes, including but not limited to, shooting into an inhabited building, shooting within city limits and negligent firearms use. If we tighten our gun control laws, if we enact more and ‘tougher’ gun control laws, won’t that just be more, tighter and tougher laws that sociopaths can ignore? We don’t need more and/or tighter gun control.”Jan. 5, 2013 - Buz Williams
John R. Lott, Jr, PhD, Founder and President of Crime Prevention Research Center, in a Dec. 30, 2014 article, “Why Most Americans Oppose More Gun Control,” available at foxnews.com, stated:
“In the wake of tragedies such as Newtown, gun control advocates keep pushing for more restrictions. But the proposed regulations have nothing to do with the tragedies…
Even worse for gun control advocates, people are realizing that regulations — such as gun-free zones — tend to encourage attacks by disarming law-abiding citizens instead of criminals.
Hopefully, cities such as Washington, Los Angeles and New York will change their rules as more poor blacks and women recognize the benefits of gun ownership. At present, only rich, well-connected people can get concealed carry permits in those places. The poor have every bit as much right to defend themselves.”Dec. 30, 2014 - John R. Lott, PhD
The NRA-ILA, in its Mar. 26, 2014 “2014 NRA-ILA Firearms Fact Card,” available at nraila.org, stated:
“[M]ost criminals obtain guns from theft, the black market, or ‘straw purchasers’—people who can pass a background check and who buy guns for criminals. Furthermore, none of the high-profile crimes that they cite involved guns bought without a background check…
Americans own well over 100 million ‘large’ magazines and the nation’s murder rate is nearly at an all-time low…
‘Assault weapon’ is the term that gun control supporters use to malign general-purpose rifles like the AR-15. Americans now own five million AR-15s, the number is growing by several hundred thousand annually, and the nation’s murder rate is down by more than half since 1991…
NRA opposes requiring guns to be made with electronic equipment that would allow the guns to be deactivated remotely, or with other features that gun owners do not want…
Gun control supporters want markings on bullets and cartridge cases fired from new handguns to be entered into a database. NRA opposes it, because enforcing it would require gun registration…
NRA opposes legislation to prohibit the possession of firearms by people on the watchlist, because the FBI will not say who is on the list or why, and the legislation would violate the 5th Amendment by preventing a watchlisted person from challenging the FBI in a fair and open hearing in court.
‘Gun Control’ Doesn’t Work.”Mar. 26, 2014 - National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
Sarah Palin, former Alaska Governor, in a speech at the NRA’s annual convention, available in the Apr. 27, 2014 article, “Sarah Palin Talks Waterboarding, Guns at NRA Convention,” available at cbsnews.com, stated:
“Every day we are seeing more and more efforts to strip away our Second Amendment rights. And our founders knew that our inherent right to defend life and property and freedom, it had to be enshrined. It was enshrined in America’s most perfect blueprint to form a more perfect union. Of course our Constitution. So it was enshrined and they knew that if the Second Amendment goes, the rest of the Constitution is not far behind. They are trying though. They, you know who they are. Look, if you control oil, you control an economy. If you control money, you control commerce. But, if you control arms, you control people. And that is what they’re trying…
And I love our police. I do. But they can’t be everywhere, you know, so maybe our kids can be defended against criminals on the spot if more mama grizzlies carried. And Obama administration wants you ID’d for that? Well, then, just go ahead and carry a sign too. A sign that says, ‘Yeah, I carry a gun, because a cop is too heavy.’
Aren’t they something though? Aren’t they something? Blaming that chunk of steel, you know, the weapon itself for the crime committed. They even blame sporting goods stores that sell arms, accusing them of being an accomplice. MmmHmm. Gun stores are an accomplice to crime. And that fork made me fat.”Apr. 27, 2014 - Sarah Palin
Aaron Zelman, the late founder and Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, in a 2009 interview, titled “No Compromise against Gun Control: Aaron Zelman Interviewed,” available at www.jpfo.org, stated:
“Our main goal is to destroy gun control. We are an organization that believes we have the moral authority to point out to the rest of the world the evils that have come from gun control and how humanity has suffered because of gun-control schemes…
I think there are numerous threats, but one is that the American public really doesn’t understand a need for an armed citizenry. Our country became independent because citizens were armed. This is why an organized, state-controlled militia received attention in the U.S. Constitution. So we have a lot of work to do. We have to reach out to people and help them understand why citizens must be armed, and what’s happened to citizens throughout the world and throughout history when they couldn’t defend themselves against a government gone bad.”2009 - Aaron Zelman
Rick Santorum, MBA, JD, Former US Senator and Representative (R-PA), in an Apr. 27, 2014 interview, “Face the Nation Transcripts April 27 2014: Netanyahu, Blinken, McCaskill, Corker,” available at cbsnews.com, stated:
“I think a well-armed family is a safe family; a well-armed America is a safer America. I think if you look at anything, from all of these attacks that have taken place, is if people actually had had weapons there those attacks would have been thwarted and people’s lives would have been saved.
In fact, there are millions of lives that are saved in America every year, millions of instances where gun owners have prevented crimes and stopped things from happening because of having guns at the scene…
You know, everybody romanticizes the O.K. Corral and all the horrible things that happened, but gun crimes were not very prevalent back then. Why? Because people carried guns. And, you know, the folks who use guns in the commission of crimes are cowards. And if you look at going to theatres, they went to a theatre in Aurora, Colorado, that they knew, you know, you could go there and no one else was going to be there with a gun.
If we are a country where the criminal doesn’t know whether someone has a gun or not, they’re going to think twice about opening fire or not because they won’t be able to accomplish what they want. It’s a wrong-headed approach that somehow or another, if we take guns away from people, law-abiding people who want to protect themselves, that the world’s going to be safer. In fact, just the opposite is the case.”Apr. 27, 2014 - Rick Santorum, MBA, JD
Ted Nugent, musician, hunter, and author, in an interview, available in the Feb. 12, 2013 article, “Ted Nugent Sings Praises of Gun Ownership,” available at cnn.com, stated:
“It’s not the weapons. The weapons have nothing to do with it. Again, these weapons are in every pickup truck in Texas. People have to get past the hardware.
I would never turn against this wonderful tool that brings me self-defense capabilities and brings me great joy in competition and marksmanship training.
In all these mass shootings, it’s not a matter of bullets or firepower. A quail gun in the wrong hands is as deadly as this gun [points to an AR rifle]. People have got to come to that reality.
There is no gun violence. There is criminal violence. And they use an assortment of tools. The gun owners of America are causing no problem. Leave us alone. Let’s go after the mentally deranged who are doing all these vicious crimes. Let’s go after the recidivistic maggots that judges and prosecutors unleash into our neighborhoods.”Feb. 12, 2013 - Ted Nugent
The Republican National Committee, in the “2012 We Believe in America Republican Platform,” available at gop.com, stated:
“We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense… Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturer and oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners. We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban.”2012 - Republican National Committee
The Libertarian Party, in the “Libertarian Party 2014 Platform” adopted in June 2014, available at lp.org, stated:
“We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.”June 2014 - Libertarian Party
The Constitution Party, in the “Gun Control” section of the “Abridged 2012-2016 National Platform,” available at the Constitution Party website, stated:
“The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.
The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.
The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.
We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen’s protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.
We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.
We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms.”2012 - Constitution Party
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